Category Archives: Russia

Russian Police Make First Arrests Under New Anti-Gay Law

open quoteRussian police have detained two people in St. Petersburg for breaching a new law banning homosexual propaganda, the first arrests since the city’s legislature passed the controversial legislation in February.

The two gay rights activists were arrested on April 5 after holding placards reading “It’s normal to be gay.”

A court hearing is scheduled for April 6.

Under the new law, people convicted of promoting homosexuality or pedophilia among minors can be fined up to 5,000 rubles ($172) and organizations can be fined up to 500,000 rubles ($17,200).close quote (Read more)

the Trotskyite roots of the National Review and ‘neo’ conservatism

open quoteHave you ever used the term “Islamofascist?”

Do you get excited when some politician gets up on his hind legs and starts babbling about “American exceptionalism?”

You, too, may be a Trotskyite.

. . . .

The typical American wannabe conservative does not want to think too deeply about why a supposedly right-wing publication would get so worked up about a piece of writing that offends liberal sensibilities.

That wannabe conservative has been brainwashed by the heirs of old Leo.

I get these pests commenting constantly on my blog. They parrot the neocon line about spreading human liberation to every corner of the Earth without even realizing that every word of it has been planted in their brains by Trotskyites.

Here on the Lew Rockwell blog is a good explanation of the roots of “neo” conservatism in the thought of Trotsky:

From the anti-Stalinists who became conservatives — including James Burnham, Whittaker Chambers, and Irving Kristol — the Right gained a political education and, in some cases, an injection of passion. The ex-radicals brought with them the knowledge that ideological movements must have journals and magazines to articulate their perspectives. In 1955, for example, William F. Buckley, Jr., launched National Review at the urging of Willi Schlamm, a former German Communist. In its early years, National Review was largely written and edited by the Buckley family and a handful of former Communists, Trotskyists, and socialists, such as Burnham and Chambers.

Read the whole thing. Then you will get some understanding of why NR seemed conservative at a time when worldwide communism was a real threat but now seems so liberal. By “liberal” of course I mean in favor of the sort of big-government, centralized state that the Republicans created under George W. Bush.

You can see why these NR types feel so threatened by Ron Paul. He represents a return to the small-government, decentralized conservatism popular before the Trotskyites took over the American “right.”

They’re much happier with a hack like Newt Gingrich who can stir up the masses to concentrate even more power in Washington. They can overlook his support for cap-and-trade and the individual mandate as long as he pushes their internationalist foreign policy. close quote (Read more)

Russia Is Massing Troops On Iran’s Northern Border And Waiting For A Western Attack

open quotehe Russian military anticipates that an attack will occur on Iran by the summer and has developed an action plan to move Russian troops through neighboring Georgia to stage in Armenia, which borders on the Islamic republic, according to informed Russian sources.

Russian Security Council head Viktor Ozerov said that Russian General Military Headquarters has prepared an action plan in the event of an attack on Iran.

Dmitry Rogozin, who recently was the Russian ambassador to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, or NATO, warned against an attack on Iran.

“Iran is our neighbor,” Rogozin said. “If Iran is involved in any military action, it’s a direct threat to our security.” Rogozin now is the deputy Russian prime minister and is regarded as anti-Western. He oversees Russia’s defense sector.

Read more: http://articles.businessinsider.com/2012-04-09/news/31311454_1_russian-defense-ministry-military-action-dmitry-rogozin#ixzz1suALPT7B
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Russia Considering Allowing NATO a Transit Hub to Afghanistan

From Air Force Magazine online:

open quote Russia Considering Allowing NATO a Transit Hub: Russia’s legislature will consider a proposal to allow US and allied airlifters use of a Russian air base to ferry supplies to Afghanistan, according to Russia’s foreign minister Sergei Lavrov. “We want those who are fending off threats directed at Russia to efficiently fulfill their tasks,” stated Lavrov, reported the Associated Press. “We are helping the coalition to proceed from our own interests,” he added, noting that Russia may allow NATO to access the airfield near Ulyanovsk, but not station troops there. Since Pakistan barred NATO from using the over-land supply route from the port of Karachi last November, NATO relies heavily on air and rail corridors permitted through Russia. “Clearly we welcome the cooperation we have with Russia already on transit to and from Afghanistan,” said NATO spokeswoman Oana Lugescu last week.close quote

Poland Leads Wave of Communist-Era Reckoning

open quoteFor all that Poland has accomplished since the fall of the Iron Curtain, it has long resisted fully coming to terms with its Communist past — the oppression, the spying, even the massacres. Society preferred to forget, to move on.

So it may come as a surprise that Poland and many of its neighbors in Central and Eastern Europe have decided the time is right to deal with the unfinished business. Suddenly there is a wave of accounting in the form of government actions and cultural explorations, some seeking closure, others payback.

A court in Poland last month found that the Communist leaders behind the imposition of martial law in December 1981 were part of a “criminal group.” Bulgaria’s president is trying to purge ambassadors who served as security agents. The Macedonian government is busy hunting for collaborators, and Hungary’s new Constitution allows legal action against former Communists.

On Sunday in Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel nominated as the next president a former pastor and East German activist, Joachim Gauck, who turned the files of the Ministry for State Security — better known as the Stasi — into a permanent archive.

“In order to defend ourselves in the future against other totalitarian regimes, we have to understand how they worked in the past, like a vaccine,” said Lukasz Kaminski, the president of Poland’s Institute of National Remembrance. Across Central and Eastern Europe, a consensus of silence appears to have ended, one that never muted all criticism and discussion but did muffle voices crying out for a long-awaited reckoning. close quote (Read more)

Putin’s fabled tiger encounter was PR stunt, say environmentalists

open quoteIt was Vladimir Putin’s much flaunted love of animals that brought him face to face with a tiger four years ago. Deep in the woods of Russia’s far east, the powerful leader was on a mission to help save the endangered amur tiger, when one of the fierce beasts appeared out of nowhere and attacked. Putin saved the day – and at least one television crew – when he intercepted its approach with a swift shot from a tranquilliser gun.

That, at least, was the story presented by state-run television, in lengthy, fawning reports that aired repeatedly after the incident in 2008.

But now, four years later, environmentalists and bloggers are presenting evidence that the tiger Putin shot was no wild tiger at all – and that the animal died as a result of the stunt.

The scandal is the latest to show the cracks in the president-elect’s carefully crafted image, as his popularity continues to fall despite a recent election win that critics say was manipulated by fraud.close quote (Read more)

Russia must stay “combat ready” says Orthodox Church

open quoteSpeaking on matters beyond the realm of the spiritual, a top Orthodox Church cleric said Russia must play a greater role in responding to ongoing global events that could deteriorate into a world war.

“There are many processes occurring in the world in which Russia should play a much more active role,” Vsevolod Chaplin, a high-placed cleric in the Russian Orthodox Church, said in an interview with the Svobodnaya Pressa (‘Free Press’) publishing house. “The economic and social contradictions that have cropped up in the world are so powerful that they are sure to blow up into serious military operations.”

Chaplin said Russia’s military must remain “combat-ready” to prevent the outbreak of military incidents on or around its territory.

“In order to ensure that these military operations not unfold on our territory or in the vicinity of our borders, we need to keep our armed forces combat ready,” Chaplin said.close quote (Read more)

Opposition leader in S Ossetia in coma as riot police raids her office

Russia and Georgia fought a brief war over the status of South Ossetia, which resulted in their semi-autonomy, and increased Russian influence.

open quoteThe situation in Tskhinvali region became tense, Alla Dzhioyeva, the candidate of the so-called presidential elections of South Ossetia was hospitalized on Thursday, after law enforcers break into the headquarter of the party.

A doctor in the hospital said Dzhioyeva suffered a hypertensive crisis and was presently in intensive care.close quote

Her opponent, Anatoly Bibilov, claimed to be backed by Russia.

Latvia rejects making Russian an official language

open quoteLatvians have resoundingly rejected the option of making Russian the country’s second official language, results from a referendum indicate.

About two-thirds of those registered voted, the election commission said, many more than in previous polls.

The referendum, initiated by a Russian speakers’ movement, has exposed deep fault-lines in Latvia.

Ethnic Russians, who make up about one-third of Latvia’s population, have long complained of discrimination.

But many ethnic Latvians believe the referendum was an attempt to encroach on the country’s independence.

It was initiated by the Russian-speakers’ movement, Native Tongue, which collected signatures from more than 10% of voters to force a ballot.

Officials said that with more than 90% of votes counted, 75% of votes cast in Saturday’s referendum were against the proposal.close quote (Read more)

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See Also:

Russia critical of Latvia language vote

open quoteMoscow has criticised Latvia for rejecting Russian as a second language in a highly emotive referendum that exposed the tensions lingering in the Baltic nation since its years under Soviet rule.

The Russian foreign ministry said on Sunday the referendum’s outcome was biased because it excluded so many Russian-speaking “non-citizens” from the vote.

“The referendum’s results far from fully reflect national sentiments because 319,000 ‘non-citizens’ were denied the right to express their opinion, even though many of them were born in Latvia or have lived there a long time,” the ministry said.close quote (Read more)

Soviet Anti-Religious Campaigns

open quoteThe Soviet Union was the first state to have as an ideological objective the elimination of religion. Toward that end, the Communist regime confiscated church property, ridiculed religion, harassed believers, and propagated atheism in the schools. Actions toward particular religions, however, were determined by State interests, and most organized religions were never outlawed.

The main target of the anti-religious campaign in the 1920s and 1930s was the Russian Orthodox Church, which had the largest number of faithful. Nearly all of its clergy, and many of its believers, were shot or sent to labor camps. Theological schools were closed, and church publications were prohibited. By 1939 only about 500 of over 50,000 churches remained open.

After Nazi Germany’s attack on the Soviet Union in 1941, Joseph Stalin revived the Russian Orthodox Church to intensify patriotic support for the war effort. By 1957 about 22,000 Russian Orthodox churches had become active. But in 1959 Nikita Khrushchev initiated his own campaign against the Russian Orthodox Church and forced the closure of about 12,000 churches. By 1985 fewer than 7,000 churches remained active. Members of the church hierarchy were jailed or forced out, their places taken by docile clergy, many of whom had ties with the KGB.

Campaigns against other religions were closely associated with particular nationalities, especially if they recognized a foreign religious authority such as the Pope. By 1926, the Roman Catholic Church had no bishops left in the Soviet Union, and by 1941 only two of the almost 1,200 churches that had existed in 1917, mostly in Lithuania, were still active. The Ukrainian Catholic Church (Uniate), linked with Ukrainian nationalism, was forcibly subordinated in 1946 to the Russian Orthodox Church, and the Autocephalous Orthodox Churches of Belorussia and Ukraine were suppressed twice, in the late 1920s and again in 1944.

Attacks on Judaism were endemic throughout the Soviet period, and the organized practice of Judaism became almost impossible. Protestant denominations and other sects were also persecuted. The All-Union Council of Evangelical Christian Baptists, established by the government in 1944, typically was forced to confine its activities to the narrow act of worship and denied most opportunities for religious teaching and publication. Fearful of a pan-Islamic movement, the Soviet regime systematically suppressed Islam by force, until 1941. The Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union that year led the government to adopt a policy of official toleration of Islam while actively encouraging atheism among Muslims.

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Go HERE to see correspondence between Lenin and the Politburo, and Gorky and Stalin.