Another Incredible New Low for Russia

It seems like only yesterday that Vladimir Putin was writing in the New York Times that the will of the United Nations must control what happens in Syria, and that the United States must bow to that will.

If you thought Putin’s hypocrisy in asking the US to do in Syria what Russia refused to do in Chechnya or Georgia was stunning, you had better sit down for this one:  Now, after a UN investigation revealed that Putin was lying when he claimed that it was the Syrian rebels, not the regime, who used chemical weapons in Syria (a “war crime” in the words of the UN), Putin is attacking the UN and refusing to follow its will.  He doesn’t just accuse the UN of lying about who was responsible for gas attacks, he also accuses them of lying about whether such attacks even took place.   His “evidence” for these claims comes exclusively from the tinfoil hat crowd.

This hubris and duplicity on Russia’s part is a new low for an already utterly wretched country.  How can any civilized nation possibly take Russia seriously after this?  In just a few years, Vladimir Putin has obliterated his nation’s credibility and set it on a course to become a rogue state itself, like Syria, Iran and North Korea.  Just when one thinks Russia can’t possibly sink any lower, it delves into depths so hideous that you can’t believe you thought it was bad before.

Writing in the Moscow Times, the chairman of the powerful U.S. House Armed Services Committee has castigated Putin for his dishonest, duplicitous and venal New York Times piece defending genocide and barbarism in Syria.  Putin’s refusal to follow the UN’s lead after demanding that the U.S. do so disqualifies Russia from sitting at the table of civilized nations. It can and should be booted out of the G-8 and G-20 organizations, the World Trade Organization and the UN security council.  Russia needs to learn what it feels like to be Syria, Iran or North Korea if it is Russia’s ambition to emulate those nations.

It is simply shocking to see how little pushback from his own citizens Putin faces for his outrageous public lies that disgrace their nation.  Because they don’t stand up to him, Russians are fully complicit in Putin’s misdeeds and richly deserve the brutal suffering that lies in wait for them.

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What did Vladimir Putin Know, and When did he Know it?

In September 1999, Vladimir Putin was catching hell for horrific human rights abuses in Chechnya.  Then two apartment buildings were blown up in Moscow, and Putin blamed it on the Chechen separatists, who denied involvement.  Opposition to Putin’s policies vanished, and he was able to launch a massive invasion of Chechnya.  When Alexander Litvinenko began publicizing accusations that Putin was complicit in the Moscow apartment bombings (alleging that FBS operatives had been caught red-handed trying to bomb a third building in Ryazan), Litvinenko was murdered with polonium poison.

Fast forward to April 2013.  Bombs go off during the Boston Marathon and a pair of Chechen terrorists turn out to be responsible. This occurs just as Putin was catching hell for supporting the homicidal dictator of Syria, and seeking to justify his support by claiming that Chechen terrorists were among the rebels fighting to end the dictatorship.  Just as in 1999, Putin attempts to use the bombing to justify his policy, claiming it proves he was right about the Chechens all along.

Then came a blockbuster revelation:  Putin had a wiretap on the Chechen terrorists who bombed the Marathon, and never told U.S. law enforcement about it.  What’s more, Putin began stonewalling the investigation into the bombing, failing to provide lots of other information wanted by U.S. authorities.

Is it possible that Putin knew the Chechens were going to launch an attack on the U.S., and let them do so in order to have convenient justification for his policies in Syria, as well as his crackdown in the Caucasus region?

Elena Milashina, Russian Superhero

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La Russophobe congratulates Novaya Gazeta reporter Elena Milashina on receiving the International Women of Courage Award this year.  Her fearless reporting on human rights atrocities in Chechnya as one of the successors to Anna Politkovskaya and Natalia Estemirova  shows her to be one of Russia’s greatest living patriots.

Politkovskaya, Klebnikov, Kashin . . .

Kashin, seen in Moscow journalist circles as something of an expert on youth groups, reported extensively and harshly on Nashi, which is a notoriously closed and guarded group: “Worse than a cult,” Kashin says. The head of Nashi and of Russian youth politics more broadly, Vasily Yakemenko, is said to have dormant connections to Moscow street gangs and organized crime, specifically a group that once regularly beheaded its victims. “My sources were telling me that Yakemenko considers me an enemy — I mean, an enemy, enemy, enemy, enemy,” Kashin says. While Kashin lay in a coma, Yakemenko’s possible role in the attack was openly debated in the Russian press. But 10 days after the beating, Putin summoned Yakemenko to his office to talk about physical education. In Russia, a signal like this is obvious, and the system responds accordingly, dragging its feet and letting an investigation gather dust. Going after someone in Putin’s circle is just not worth it.

Foreign Policy on the brutal assault of journalist Oleg Kashin and the explanation for  the total failure to bring his attackers to justice, just as the killers of Politkovskaya and Klebnikov have never been found.  Some said Politkovskaya’s case was special because she dared to report on Chechnya. But neither Kashin nor Klebnikov did that.

Hilary Swank is a Nasty, Evil, Treacherous, Dangerous Whore

If you saw the movie “Boys Don’t Cry,” you saw Hilary Swank portray a character being brutally gang raped. Until recently, we would never have suggested than any woman deserves such a fate. But now we can’t help but think that maybe Swank herself actually does. Or maybe, something worse.

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