The Sarcophagus in the Red Square

It’s like Putin is trying to freak everybody out on purpose. I’m sure you are familiar with the following famous image of the Spasskaya Tower of the Kremlin:

As the clock strikes 12 on the most important night of the year (the New Year’s eve), the people of Russia and the Russian-speaking immigrants all stare at this image.

But this year, the famous tower looks like this:

There is a whole variety of conspiracy theories explaining that scary sarcophagus. My theory is that Putin wanted people to concentrate on something even uglier than him during the festive season. And he is succeeding.

Putin’s Press-Conference, Part III

Putin then heaped praise on the Ukrainian President Poroshenko, saying that Poroshenko was ready to collaborate with Putin but some mysterious members of the Ukrainian government were preventing him from doing that. This limp-wristed attempt at discrediting Poroshenko tells me that Putin fears him and sees him as a political force to be reckoned with.

Then Putin confirmed that the heroes of the Donetsk Airport were still alive and still fighting. This is great news because we’ve been fearing that they were no longer among the living.

There was also a long discussion of how the mean, horrible Ukrainians just had to get into a war (with themselves) on purpose to prevent the Russians from enjoying their massive win at the Olympics. They are really obsessed with those Olympics, folks. It’s been almost a year, and they are still going on and on about the Olympics. There is a huge sense of grievance that is being fostered in Russia about those Olympic Games. I actually started feeling sorry for the Russians after hearing this endless blabber about the Olympics. Poor freaks.

One of the journalists was holding up a pink bunny and a poster that said, “I have a kind question.” I found that to be an interesting journalistic tactic of attracting attention. 

Putin informed the audience that the line between a member of the opposition and a traitor to the nation was very blurry. You’ve really got to appreciate the honesty with which he warned the dissidents of what awaited them.

What I find really funny is that Putin moves, talks and gesticulates exactly like the career criminals in Russian TV series that N. and I love to watch. I think he works with an acting coach to acquire this persona because people watch a lot of these shows and find it easy to relate to this kind of character.

Ukraine Freedom Support

Nothing annoys me more than the way in which the war of Russia against Ukraine is described in the Western media. Here is one example:

Over the weekend, Congress passed the Ukraine Freedom Support Act of 2014, a bill which would impose stricter sanctions on key Russian sectors like weapons and energy, and which authorizes the President to provide lethal aid to Ukraine for the first time. . . President Obama so far appears to be holding back from signing the bill immediately, despite bipartisan pressure for him to put pen to paper. With the economic situation rapidly deteriorating in Russia, however, having the bill hanging over the Kremlin’s head, maximizing uncertainty and unease may not be the worst strategy.

Are you seeing the problem with this analysis? The journalist is discussing  a bill called “the Ukraine Freedom Support Act of 2014.” Got it? Ukraine freedom support. But the analysis is all about how wonderful not signing the bill will be in the dealings with the Kremlin. How about Ukraine, though? The one whose freedom this bill is supposed to support? It’s not even mentioned in this analysis!

The idea that any of the pathetic “sanctions” introduced against Russia have had any effect is completely bizarre. The idea that the Kremlin is anything but overjoyed with news of this bill is even more bizarre. The fantasy of Putin cowering in “uncertainty and unease” is simply deluded. 

It’s high-time to stop trying to impress Putin. The West has proven itself to be signally incapable of that. The only people who have managed to thwart Putin in any way recently are Ukrainians. Instead of pretending that they don’t exist, it would be much smarter to help them keep thwarting him.

The value of Ukraine Freedom Support Act is symbolic a lot more than anything else. Ukrainians need to hear that they matter to the West, that their struggle is understood and supported. They need at least a tiny gesture of goodwill in their direction. And while the American President is mumbling and fumbling, Ukrainians are dying for the Western values that they alone in the world seem to recall and cherish.

My Analysis of Putin’s Speech, Part IV

Ready? Here goes:

In a situation where you had domination by one country and its allies, or its satellites rather, the search for global solutions often turned into an attempt to impose their own universal recipes.

We all know what “one country” Putin has in mind, right? His ideology is pretty simple: it’s unfair that there should be a single global power (the US) that pushes its own recipes (democracy, human rights “Western values,” gay marriage, separation of church and state) on everybody. So it’s only fair, Putin says, that there should be another world power who would promote the exact opposite to create a more balanced system.

The profound cynicism of this position lies in the attempt to convince the world that Putin’s assault on democracy and human rights in Russia and neighboring countries is only done for the benefit of the planet.

“Don’t you see what I’m doing, you dummies?” he says. “I’m killing Ukrainians, rigging elections, and bashing gays (to name just a few favorite pursuits) to benefit you! So that our shared planet is a more objective and just place!”

I knew before starting to read the speech that our dear friend Mr. Snowden would make an appearance and serve a useful purpose. And so he did, even earlier in the speech than I thought:

It is not for nothing that ‘big brother’ is spending billions of dollars on keeping the whole world, including its own closest allies, under surveillance.

Obviously, I’m no longer naive enough to think that this will in any way influence Snowden’s fans to abandon their hero-worship.

Putin Is Elected President in Russia

The moment Putin got elected as Russia’s not very new President, look what happened to my Stats page:

Usually I have one or two people per day alight on the blog in search of information on Putin’s Botox treatments. Today, it’s 75 already, and it is only 11 am here.

Russian people have a very unique relationship with their political leaders. They both love them and hate them passionately. They also find it very hard to let them go in any significant way unless they die. They have gone and voted for Putin, and now they will have a blast analyzing his photos and ridiculing his plastic surgery.

I’m sure there were a few falsifications during these presidential elections in Russia. At the same time, it is obvious that Putin won fairly, and that most people wanted him as president. On the one hand, there wasn’t a single viable alternative candidate because a true opposition in the country is non-existent. On the other hand, the people of Russia are not ready to let Putin go yet. They will now get a chance to play out their favorite role of eternal adolescents making fun with their online buddies of the strict father whom they both fear and adore.

More on Putin’s Botox Addiction

Since people keep coming to the blog in droves seeking Putin’s Botox pictures, I’m happy to oblige. Here is a comparison of how he looked before and how he looks now:

Enjoy! I will be entering the final grades tomorrow and after that I promise to stop posting celebrity gossip and write good, intelligent posts.

Who Is a Bigger Threat: Iran or Russia?

Now that I have my Kindle Fire, I use it to listen to radio stations from all over the world. Once, I decided to listen to the Echo of Moscow, the radio station that is considered to be the most progressive and anti-government station in Russia.

I tuned into a show that had already been going on for a while and was immediately transported back into 1982.

“The US wants to destroy us,” the host and the interviewees were agreeing. “They will not rest until they exterminate every Russian in existence. The very raison d’être of the Americans is to destroy Russia. They care about nothing else. And, of course, now that the US is so poor, they envy us our wealth and our empire. They have no future, while we are becoming the new world power.”

I thought, at first, that this was a broadcast of an old program from the times of the Cold War. Then, however, I heard a reference to President Obama (who also seems to hate Russians with a vengeance, according to this radio show) and realized that the program was contemporary.

A little later, a guest of the show suggested that Americans import their stupid Hollywood movies to prevent the Russians from procreating as much as they could. At that point, I had to go to class, so I missed what I’m sure was a fascinating explanation of how Hollywood movies mess with the procreation of Russians. Remember, that the hysteria of “we are not procreating enough and will be overtaken by more rapidly procreating races” is going on at full strength in Russia.

The anti-American rhetoric is promoted at every level of Russia’s hierarchy of power. On Sunday, the elections to the Russian parliament (the Duma) took place. The results of the elections were egregiously falsified. Responsible citizens who acted as observers at the voting polls were intimidated, threatened with being fired from their jobs, assaulted, and beaten. The falsifications were so shameless that even the people of Russia (who are mostly disinterested in political activism) took to the streets in protest.

Protests took place in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Police dispersed the protests brutally.

Yesterday, Putin gave his first public speech about the protests. And you know who is to blame for the protests, according to Putin? The officials of his party who organized the massive falsifications of the votes? The citizens of Russia who don’t know their place and dare to believe that democracy in Russia is possible? No, of course not. The real evildoer here is. . . Hillary Clinton who, according to Putin, organized the protests:

Putin said Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had encouraged “mercenary” Kremlin foes by criticizing the vote.

“She set the tone for some opposition activists, gave them a signal, they heard this signal and started active work,” Putin told supporters.

And you know what is really sad? The protesters are a very small minority. Most people in Russia will be very happy to believe that everything is great and that the bad, evil Americans engineered the protests against the honest and truly democratic elections in Russia. They will believe that Hillary Clinton gave signals to the protesters because they are all paid lackeys of American imperialism, rather than responsible, engaged citizens.

There are many discussions going on about Iran right now. Will Iran become a nuclear power? What will happen when it does?

Nobody wants to talk about Russia, though. Russia is already a huge nuclear power. It is also a country that owns a lot of oil and natural gas, has a huge population, cannot be defeated militarily, and is consumed by a huge bout of anti-Western hysteria.

Western politicians have been bamboozled by the empty talk about democracy and the end of the Cold War that Russia has been offering for two decades. This is all a sham, though. The Cold War continues. And I have no doubt that the side to lose this war will be the one that refuses to recognize that the war goes on.