Putin, losing Everwhere

In St, Petersburg, in Perm and in London, Vladimir Putin’s dictatorship has suffered serious legal setbacks.

In St. Petersburg and in Perm, two human rights groups defeated Putin’s effort to required them to declare themselves “foreign agents.”  And in London, William Browder defeated Putin’s proxy libel lawsuit.

This is to say nothing of the endless series of convictions for state-sponsored murder, kidnapping and torture that Russia has sustained year after year in the European Court for Human Rights.

Even Putin’s own courts find the extreme nature of his neo-Soviet crackdown to be unpalatable. Foreign courts can see only barbarism.

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Lady Gaga Blasts Putin

GAGA2Lady Gaga, who has nearly as many Twitter followers as Vladimir Putin received votes for president in 2012, and far more Facebook likes than he has votes, has launched a withering attack on the Putin dictatorship on Twitter and Facebook.  Here is her trio of Tweets in response to Putin’s announcement that she and Madonna would face punishment for daring to express sympathy for homosexuals during recent performances in Russia.

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Lady Gaga openly taunts Putin, calling him a coward for failing to arrest her when he had the chance.  Her blast at Putin on Facebook has nearly 100,000 “likes” from readers and nearly 4,000 comments.  Lady Gaga has twenty times more Twitter followers than Russian “prime minister” and former president Dima Medvedev.

Once again, the Putin regime stands humiliated before the eyes of a slack-jawed world.  Putin has announced that he plans to arrest homosexual athletes who act gay during the Sochi Olympics.   This brazen repudiation of the Olympic spirit should preclude any civilized nation from sending athletes to the games.

We call for a boycott.

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 a World Leader in Human Trafficking

The Washington Post reports:

But while other countries are improving, Russia is moving backward. By Russian police estimates, there were 50,000 sex-trafficking victims — the majority of them age 16 or younger — in Moscow in 2007, according to the organization MiraMed. Hundreds of girls have disappeared from orphanages into prostitution, some lured with promises of jobs and others abducted. Many of them are trafficked abroad: The Protection Project, a Washington-based human rights institute, ranks Russia among the top 10 countries of origin for trafficked human beings.

Meanwhile, Russian authorities are methodically dismantling the country’s once-robust civil society. Human rights groups are required to register as foreign agents if they receive foreign assistance, and their leaders are increasingly harassed, hounded and jailed. The U.S. government has financially supported Russian anti-trafficking organizations in the past but can no longer do so because of restrictions enacted in November.

Will President Barack Obama have the courage to stand up to human trafficking in Russia?

We Told you So!

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Over on the powerful and influential American Thinker website, Kim Zigfeld shows how darkly neo-Soviet Russia has already become and says a big:  We told you so!

And on the mighty Pajamas Media website, she decries the outrageous Chamberlainian appeasement being practiced by Twitter, in giving in to the dark neo-Soviet forces in Russia by censoring tweets on demand from the Kremlin.  Google has fought back against these measures with a lawsuit, but Twitter is eager to curry favor with the Kremlin.

If you want to demand that Twitter reverse its outrageous policy of anti-democratic censorship, you can do so by signing this petition.  You can also sign a petition to demand that the Obama administration speak up for U.S. human rights organizations under assault in Putin’s Russia. That one is here.

Even as these pieces were appearing, as if to put an exclamation point on our perspicacity, Russian dictator Vladimir Putin was recklessly plunging his country into a full-blown new cold war.  In precisely the manner of Stalin, Putin launched a wave of assaults by Gestapo-like goons on the offices of human rights organizations across the country. Heedless of the consequences, he attacked such lofty rights bastions as Human Rights Watch, Transparency International and Amnesty International.  When his forces moved against two German NGOs, the response from Berlin was swift and furious.  The German state department all but declared cold war.

Putin’s foreign and domestic polices are dragging Russia backwards in time, into its failed Soviet past.  Though even weaker than the USSR was, Putin asks for brutal cold war with much stronger countries, exactly what the USSR did.  Though he knows the consequences of brutal domestic repression, Putin cannot help but seek to liquidate dissent just as was done in the USSR.  The USSR now lies rotting on the ash heap of history. How can anyone expect any other fate for Russia?

Barbaric Russians Remain the Enemies of Liberty

“The attitude of Russians to the abolition of the propiska was more neutral-to-negative than positive.”

That’s according to Russian journalist and novelist Mikhail Loginov, in a long essay for Open Democracy explaining in horrifying detail how the Soviet system of the propiska is being reestablished under the dictatorial rule of Vladimir Putin.

That’s right: Russians actually want their government to tell them where they can live.

In Soviet times, a citizen could not leave the country or even move from one city to another without the Kremlin’s permission.  In those times, ignorant Westerners were led to believe that Russians were civilized people who loved freedom and democracy as much as anyone and who were as much victims of their repressive government as were the people of the West.

Time has shown this belief was totally without basis in fact. Given the chance, Russians have warmly embraced the rule of a proud KGB spy, indeed have given the KGB formal power to an extent never granted in Soviet times, and they have applauded as he took steps to recreate the Soviet state in Russia.  A devastating essay by Russia scholar Leon Aron in Foreign Policy lays out the horrifying detail.

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Wall-to-Wall Zigfeld

LR/DR founder and publisher Kim Zigfeld offers readers a full slate of columns this week on all three of her major forums:

  • On Pajamas Media, Kim gapes slackjawed at Russia’s decision to revive the name “Stalingrad” and return to its failed neo-Soviet past
  • On American Thinker, she documents the latest horrifying escalation of Vladimir Putin’s war on the Russian Internet
  • And on RUSSIA! magazine, she exposes the breathtaking hypocrisy of Dmitri Medvedev in calling for plagiarism reform while ignoring the outrageous acts of his county’s plagiarist-in-chief, Vladimir Putin.

We can’t think how it might be possible for any reasonable person to read all three of these pieces and conclude anything other than that Russia is a doomed, barbaric state committing national suicide.

Kung Fu Putin

LR/DR founder and publisher Kim Zigeld has added a third publication to her portfolio of employers:  RUSSIA! magazine joins Pajamas Media and American Thinker as host to Kim’s commentary on the Land of the Midnight Gun.

Kim’s first essay for RUSSIA! is up and running now, it’s a dialogue with fellow Russian columnist Georgy Bovt regarding the latest round of anti-democratic crackdowns by Vladimir Putin entitled “Kung Fu Putin.” Pow!

Russia Once again on Fast Track to National Suicide

The speed at which Russia is rushing to destroy itself is truly breathtaking.

Russia is simultaneously launching open war against both the United States and the European Union.

The ink isn’t even dry on the WTO agreement Russia signed and it is already violating it, and spitting poison at the EU rather than comply with its written treaty obligations.

And Russia is responding to the overwhelming passage of the Magnitsky Law in the U.S. Congress with cold-war attacks on the USA instead of reform.

This is the same crazed, blind, self-destructive policy we saw from Russia during the Cold War.  How it is possible for Russia to believe it can afford to provoke and confront both the USA and the EU is far beyond our mortal power of comprehension.

Zigfeld Fires on Russia with Both Barrels

Over on the mighty American Thinker blog, La Russophobe founder and publisher Kim Zigfeld lays out the horrifying level of sheer brutality that Russian inflicts on its families, decimating itself from within and hastening the day of its downfall and collapse.

Firing with both barrels, Zigfeld’s latest column simultaneously appeared on Pajamas Media, where she analyzes Russia’s shocking breakdown in relations with Germany owing to its horrifying new crackdown on human rights, and compares it to the craven manner in which the U.S. administration is still coddling Russia with Chamberlainian appeasement.