Spectacular Russian Failure at Wimby

Based on the draw at the All-England Club, at least three Russian women should have made the round of 16 this year at the world’s most important tennis tournament:  Maria Sharapova (#3), Maria Kirilenko (#10) and Nadia Petrova (#16).

But why be so pessimistic? Why couldn’t Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (#21) or Elena Vesnina (#22) or Elena Makarova (#27) have played heroically and taken out a higher ranked player or two? Shouldn’t Russia have hoped to have four or five players vying for spots in the quarterfinals?

Yes, they should. But when the rubber met the road not one Russian woman did so. Not. One.

Two Americans reached the round of 16.  A British woman made recent history and did so as well. But. Not. One. Russian.

Sharapova was booted out of the tournament in the second round in easy straight sets by a player not ranked in the world’s top 130.

Kirilenko did even worse, losing her very first match of the tournament to an unseeded rival.  Petrova did the same. Both Russians lost in easy straight sets, just like Sharapova. Not only did they lose, in other words, they lost disgracefully and pathetically.

Makarova was the only one of six seeded Russian players who didn’t humiliate her country; she managed to reach the third round and lost there to a much higher seed, pushing her opponent to a third set.

So once again, Russia was exposed as a total fraud when it comes to women’s tennis.  Another year, another epic collapse by the Russians. And let’s not forget that Russia’s “best” player, Sharapova, doesn’t even live in Russia and didn’t learn her game there, she emigrated to the USA as a child and hardly ever returns to Russia.

Vladimir Putin, Party Crasher

g8-leaders

Above you see a photograph of seven men and a woman, they are the leaders of the so-called “G-8” nations:  From left to right you have Japan, Germany, Russia, Britain, USA, France, Canada and Italy. One of these eight sticks out like a sore thumb, and it isn’t Germany because it’s represented by the only female. It’s Russia, in the person of Vladimir Putin.

Russia isn’t in the top 8 nations of the world when ranked for GDP.  China, India and Brazil all have more valuable annual economic production than Russia does, yet they are excluded from the G-8 and Russia is included.  If you evaluate GDP not in aggregate but in per capita terms, Russia is just a pathetic joke.   Russia isn’t in the top 45 countries of the world for per capita nominal GDP.

More importantly, Russia doesn’t share the G-8 values.  Not one — not one — of the other seven nations in the G-8 recognized Ossetia and Abkhazia as states after Russia annexed their territories from Georgia. Each and every one of these other nations condemned Russia’s outrageous act of imperialism against Georgia, Germany most vociferously.  Putin recently went on Russia Today, the Kremlin’s state-sponsored propaganda network, to denounce the nations of the West and their values. He was particularly brutal in his attack on the USA, the leader of the G-8 and by far the most powerful country in the world, calling it a nation of racist mass-murderers. He painted Russia as being engaged in a heroic, lonely struggle against the evil of Western values in the modern world.

Which is all well and good. Putin can hate the West all he likes, after all he is a proud KGB spy who spent his entire adult life prior to the collapse of the USSR working hard to destroy the West. But why is his KGB fox in the G-7 chicken coop?  Six of the G-7 nations (all but Russia and Japan) are members of a military alliance, NATO, whose formative purpose was to oppose Russian aggression in Europe.  Isn’t it completely insane for this group to allow an unrepentant KGB spy to participate in their meetings?

As we reported not long ago, Russia doesn’t stack up to the other G-8 countries when viewed in terms of quality of life provided to its citizens. Here, once again, it’s the black sheep.  The OECD has shown conclusively that Russia brings up a miserable and distant rear in every aspect of life that would matter to a G-8 citizen.

There’s only one possible legitimate reason for Russia to be in the G-8, and that would be if the other G-7 nations were going to use Russia’s membership as leverage to publicly press forward a human-rights agenda against Russia.  But at the recent G-8 summit, the craven G-7 countries did not such thing.  They ignored Russia’s barbaric crackdown on homosexuals, they ignored Russia’s barbaric crackdown on political dissidents like Alexei Navalny and Sergei Guriev and Garry Kasparov, and they ignored Russia’s barbaric support for the genocidal dictatorship in Syria.

So now, all the citizens of the G-7 nations must hang their heads in shame as Putin and his KGB minions laugh at us for being the fools we are.

Russia’s Bird of Youth takes Flight

Russian Youth

Voice of America reports (Russia-language link) that the Russian government’s own statistics show that the country’s population of young people, aged 15-29, had declined by over 6% since 2009.  It reports that the country’s Federal Agency for Youth Affairs believes the decline will accelerate in the coming years, so that Russia will have only 25 million young people, one-quarter fewer than in 2009, by 2022.

The vast majority of this age range in 2022 will be those born in the Putin years.  Someone aged 15 in 2022 was born in 2007 and someone aged 23 in 2022  was born in 1999, when Putin took power as prime minister.  Only those aged 24-29 would be outside the Putin period. So Putin can’t possibly foist the burden of this decline on Boris Yeltsin, nor can he claim these are “russophobic” statistics because they are generated by his own regime.

Of course, if the Putin regime is willing to admit things are this bad, do you dare imagine how bad they really are?

VOA points out that one in five of Russia’s precious remaining youth want to emigrate from Russia, especially for school.  Russian universities routinely fail to register on the list of the world’s best, because they are plagued by corruption, low wages and low budgets.

Latest from Zigfeld

What a month for Vladimir Putin:  First the world learns he has destroyed his marriage, then it finds out he’s a common thief who stole  a diamond ring, and finally his beloved bikers turn out to be rapists.  Over on the massive Pajamas Media mega blog, LR publisher/founder Kim Zigfeld holds forth on the stunning unmasking of a proud KGB spy.

And on the powerful and influential American Thinker blog, Zigfeld rips into a pair turncoat Republican congressmen who have betrayed their party’s basic ideals to cuddle up with Putin even as the rest of the world begins to see him for who he truly is.

New Low for Russia: Vladimir Putin is a Common Thief

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We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again:  Today you may think you’ve seen Russia do something so repugnant and vile that it could not possibly sink any lower. But tomorrow, Russia will do something so much worse that you will not be able to believe you thought Russia was low before.

Robert Kraft, owner of the NFL team the New England Patriots, has just revealed that Russian dictator Vladimir Putin stole his Superbowl ring.

You read that right:  Putin is a common thief.

And why did Putin steal the ring? Because he admired its beauty? No. In Putin’s words, he did it because he could “kill somebody” with it.

Kraft was forced by the Bush administration to say publicly that the ring was a gift in order to avoid a diplomatic incident, but now he is breaking his silence and wants his precious memento returned.

In other news, Putin refused to return precious holy books to their rightful owners.  So it’s multiple counts of theft.

This is a new low in the history of a country that is full of abysmal new lows.  How can Russians look at themselves in the mirror knowing that they are ruled by a man of such wretched character?

UPDATE: Upon learning of Kraft’s complaint, a gentleman would have put the ring on a plane and had it back in the owner’s hands within 24 hours. A true gentlemen would have included a gift and note of apology for any misunderstanding.  What did Putin do? He accused Kraft of being a weirdo welsher and kept his clutches on the ring.  Is it any wonder that with such an example Russia remains the most corrupt major civilization on the planet?

Putin Leads Russia into the Dark Soviet Past

Two stunning new laws have recently emerged from the Russian parliament.

The first makes it a crime for anyone to offend the feelings of a religious believer. It’s perfectly clear that this law will only be be applied to protect the “feelings” of believers in the Russian Orthodox Church, certainly not those of, for instance, followers of Jehovah’s Witness or Islam.

The second makes it crime for anyone to let anyone else know he/she is homosexual.  Germany has already officially condemned this barbaric leap backwards for Russia, one that only makes the nation more and  more of an isolated international pariah.

Combined with Russia’s existing law making “extremism” illegal, this trio of laws has Russia marching in goose-step rapidly into its dark neo-Soviet past.  As Russia has shown with the Khodorkovsky and Navalny prosecutions, it’s easy enough to simply accuse a political enemy of financial misconduct and send him to jail for a decade or more.  But what if a certain political enemy doesn’t have significant financial dealings?  Then you need other measures, and the terrible trio of laws fills this bill nicely. It can easily be used to chuck anyone into a concentration camp at any time.

As the civilized world moves in the direction of permitting homosexuals to marry, Russia moves in the opposite direction.  As the world becomes more multicultural and diverse, Russia seeks only homogeneity.  We have even begun to see Russia exile its dissidents just as happened during the dark days of the USSR, when the likes of Solzhenitsyn and Russia’s best and brightest were forced to flee or be jailed or killed. In recent days two major figures on the Russian political scene, Sergei Guriev and Garry Kasparov, have announced they’ve left Russia for good.  The trial of Alexei Navalny in Kirov shows that their fears of arrest and persecution are hardly imaginary.

Truly, those who cannot remember history are doomed to repeat it. Russians have chosen to be ruled by a proud KGB spy, and it is utterly predictable that he would do all he can to return Russia to its Soviet “glory” days, even though those days led to national downfall, collapse and disgrace.

Putin’s main change from the days of the USSR has been ideological. Where the USSR persecuted religion, Putin has co-opted it.  Where the ideology of the USSR was communism, Putin’s ideology is Russian orthodoxy.  Apparently he feels this was the one error made by the Soviet overlords, that the USSR would not have met its end if it had taken a different stance on the church.

Russia, Proven Barbarian

The latest Vision of Humanity Global Peace Index is out.

It ranks 162 world nations for peacefulness. Iceland is the world’s most peaceful country.  The USA is #100.

And Russia?

Russia is a shocking #155. Only seven world nations (Congo, Pakistan, Sudan, Iraq, Syria, Somalia and Afghanistan) are more violent than Vladimir Putin’s Russia.

Russia is one of only ten world nations to be depicted in blood red ink on the map of world peace created by VOH.

Sharapova in Paris

He's not going to help you, dear.

He’s not going to help you, dear.

If you were to learn that in a semi-final match at the French Open this year one of the players served a ghastly 11 double faults, had her serve broken five times in three sets (nearly twice per set) and tossed in a stunning 39 unforced errors, you’d probably speculate we were speaking about the loser of the match.

But no, it’s the “winner” of the match we were referring to.  Despite this horrific level of play Maria Sharapova, perhaps the luckiest human ever born to live, still managed to defeat her opponent Victoria Azarenka and reach the finals of this grand-slam event.

But maybe you think play this shoddy had to have been a freak occurrence? Hardly. In the match before it, Sharapova “defeated” Jelena Jancovic despite making even more unforced errors than she had against Azarenka, a whopping 45 of them, 15 more than she hit winners.  This time, her serve was broken “only” four times rather than five, so slight improvement there to make up for it.  But that didn’t prevent Sharapova from losing every single game in the first set against an opponent not even ranked in the world’s top 15 players.

In case you are keeping count, that’s EIGHTY-FOUR UNFORCED ERRORS in just two matches prior to the finals. Yet she still won.  For contrast, in her two matches before the finals Serena Williams had less than half as many unforced errors.

Sharapova ‘s luck didn’t stop there, though.

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Bear Market Devours Russian Equities

RTSI

As shown above (click the chart to see it full size), the dollar-denominated RTSI stock index plunged below 1300 today, a level it has not seen in a year.  It began 2013 above 1600, and has now lost a full 20% of its value as the second quarter of the year comes to a close. One again, Russian equities are in free fall. The bear market is devouring them.

This can surprise nobody.  Russia’s overall economic picture is an exceedingly bleak one:  economic growth has slowed to a trickle and inflation is soaring, a clear harbinger of absolute disaster.

Each day, the news brings word of another Russian who has decided to flee the country for greener pastures. First it was the renowned economist Sergei Guriev, and then it was national treasure and chess grandmaster Gary Kasparov.  In the words of former political firebrand Irina Khakamada, who has also given up on her country:  “It looks like it’s time for all honest and principled professionals to pack their bags. A sad outcome.”

Putin has failed, and his failure has been exposed. He was buoyed for a while by world oil prices, but now they have dissipated and the entire world can see a naked emperor, clueless as to how to proceed, driving the ship of state onto the shoals.