The Horror of “Life” in Putin’s Russia Exposed

According to Russian dictator Vladimir Putin, if you live in Moscow, one of the world’s most expensive cities, and have an income of $250 per month (that’s less than $10 per day), you are NOT living in poverty, but are well above that level.

According to Putin, if you are a Russian your income must be below 6,369 rubles (i.e., about $200) per month in order to claim poverty.

Putin claims that since the number of “poor” people has fallen from roughly 40 million to roughly 20 million since he took power, he is entitled to credit as a economic genius.  There are four gigantic problems with this “logic.”

First, the poverty data is being reported by Putin’s own government. Could they be trusted to report facts that were adverse to Putin? Unlikely.

Second, nobody can live on $200 per month in Moscow or any other cosmopolitan area of Russia, it’s an absurd and bizarre fantasy to suggest that someone who earns $210 per month is “not poor.”

Third, any changes in Russia during the Putin years are due to just one factor:  The rising price of crude oil.  Were it not for this factor, over which Putin has no control whatsoever, Russia would be in stasis.  If anything, Putin’s lack of experience with economics and business has only meant that Russia has reaped far fewer benefits from the rising price of oil than it would have if it had been led by a more competent ruler.

And fourth, most importantly, the notion that someone who moves from $190 per month to $210 per month has now experienced a life-changing alteration of living conditions is literally insane.  The fact that 20 million people have done this in Putin’s Russia, even if true, means absolutely nothing.

As has always been the case in Russia, because the people of the country demand nothing more, the Kremlin prefers to spew forth lies and disinformation rather than to pursue real reform that would actually make Russia a better country.

Michael McFaul is an Obama-Sized Idiot

“All in the open, all the time. Secrets only reinforce stereotypes. Cold war over long ago. Our time to do differently.”

That was one of the first tweets by America’s new ambassador to Russian Kremlin, Michael McFaul. Just before that, he’d tweeted: “This is going to be fun.”

One has to wonder what news sources McFaul has been reading, if any.

Not his own country’s official mouthpiece, the Voice of America, surely. If he’d read that, he’d know that Russia was threatening war with the United States if the latter dared to send any troops to Russia’s bosom pal, Syria.

Nor the Washington Post, which reported that Russia was making similar threats in the event of any military incursion into Iran, Russia’s other bestie in the region.

Also not perusing Time magazine, which revealed that the Kremlin was accusing the U.S. of shooting down peaceful Russian spacecraft, just for spite apparently.

In fact, the news virtually overflows with conclusive proof that the cold war is far from over. Russia is ruled by a proud KGB spy who spent his life learning how to hate and destroy America. He is rehabilitating Stalin, he is restoring the Soviet national anthem, and he is engaged in an all-out assault on American values. He is massively increasing Russia’s military budget and aggressively seeking to reestablish the Soviet empire.

In fact, the only one who doesn’t know the cold war is still being waged is Barack Obama, whose propaganda line McFaul is eager to reiterate to anyone stupid enough to listen. Talk about an ugly American!


Masha Gessen Jumps the Rails

On December 26th Russia pundit Masha Gessen published two hilariously dishonest and utterly deranged comments about the Moscow protest movement recently, one on a New York Times blog and one on a blog operated by The Guardian.  It’s precisely this kind of gibberish that makes it impossible to take the Moscow protesters seriously.  After all, if they’re really so powerful why is it necessary to use so many fantastic lies and so much absurd hyperbole when discussing them.

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Russian Lies and the Lying MSM Liars who Tell Them

Kim Zigfeld’s latest column on Pajamas Media exposes the incredible, breathtaking miasma of lies recently promulgated by the mainstream media outlets in regard to the protest activity taking place in Russia this month.

Let’s be clear: The so-called “movement” (1) exists only in Moscow, (2) has no agreed leader or even leadership, (3) has no significant fundraising, (4) has no recognized political party, and (5) wields an agenda that consists of demanding that crazed Communists and rabid Russian nationlists be given (even) more votes instead of United Russia.

Granted, it’s better than nothing, and maybe it’s the best Russians can do. But to write over and over, as the MSM “journalists” have done, that it is going to change anything in Russia is incredibly dishonest and a betrayal of basic journalistic ethics.

Ellen Barry Misleads the World on Russia

A letter to the editor of the New York Times:

To the Editor,

The statement by Ellen Barry and Michael Schwirtz (“Vast Rally in Moscow Is a Challenge to Putin’s Power,” December 24) about the recent wave of anti-Putin protests in Moscow that “[i]f the movement sustains its intensity, it could alter the course of the presidential election in March, when Mr. Putin plans to extend his stretch as the country’s dominant figure to an eventual 18 years” is deeply misleading.  The writers fail to inform their readers that protest activity in other cities beyond Moscow disappeared almost entirely on Christmas Eve.  Less than 5,000 were on the streets of Russia’s second city, St. Petersburg, and almost nobody anywhere else.  0.2% of the population on Moscow streets cannot alter the course of the coming election. Nor can 0.4% or 0.6%. Moreover, in Ukraine we have seen a real popular uprising fizzle and dissipate, so that now its leader Yulia Tymoshenko is rotting in prison.  There is far less hope for Russia than these journalists would have us believe.

Kim Zigfeld — Russia columnist, American Thinker and Pajamas Media

Glorious Russian Music Played as Putin booed Off Stage

RIA Novosti reports:

While state TV channels later edited the catcalls out and made no mention of the incident, Russian and foreign media said it was the first time Putin had been publicly booed. Alexei Navalny, one of Russia’s most prominent bloggers, called it “the end of an era.” He also suggested the incident had symbolic significance as it was now known to “everyone in the country, from young to old.”

“The people showed great courage [in booing Putin],” blogger Alexander Morozov wrote. “Maybe they mistook him for [President] Medvedev?” quipped Oleg Kozyrev.

Putin supporters had other explanations fo the boos. Kristina Potupchik, a spokesperson for the pro-Kremlin youth group Nashi, said in her LiveJournal blog the crowd was “anxious” to get to the toilets.

So, in the best case scenario for Putin, Russians would rather pee than listen to Putin. In the worst, they hate him. Nice work, Mr. Putin! Who knows what Brezhnevian heights you will reach in the next 12 years! If Russia lasts that long.  When Putin’s lying sycophants realized it didn’t quite make sense for the audience to suddenly start booing at the moment Putin stepped onstage if it was about the bathroom, they changed their story and said the audience was booing the American who lost the fight.  But why choose the moment Putin appeared to boo the American? This is neo-Soviet comedy of the first order.  Once again, the foundations of Russian society are crumbling and collapsing, and all the world can do is gape in slack-jawed amazement.

One can only wonder how long it will be until live broadcasts of Vladimir Putin are banned and those who post video of this kind are jailed.

The Sickening Final Days of Dima Medvedev

Anyone who thought that two recent visits to institutions of higher learning in Russia would result in the education of Russia’s so-called “president” Dima Medvedev was pathetically mistaken.

First Medvedev visited the People’s Friendship University, and then days later he appeared at Moscow State University.  Before he left the latter, students had been arrested for criticizing him; at the former, an authentic neo-Soviet Potemkin Village was created to conceal the life-threatening living conditions faced by the wretched students who call the asylum home.

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