LR/DR publisher/founder Kim Zigfeld’s latest report is up and running on the powerful and influential American Thinker website. In it, she explores the shocking agreement of the titanic U.S. brokerage house Goldman Sachs to participate in pro-Kremlin propaganda, misleading world investors by skewing information about Russia in a positive light. Putin needs to rely on such measures because, as we’ve reported many times, his leadership is driving the Russian economy to ruin.
In a January 10, 2013 piece for Russia Beyond the Headlines, the Kremlin’s wholly-owned propaganda mouthpiece in English, Alexey Dolinskiy wrote: “A February 2012 U.S. Gallup poll showed that only 2 percent of Americans see Russia as an enemy.”
It was an absurd lie. The Gallup poll in question did not ask Americans whether Russia was “an” enemy, it asked whether Russia was America’s “greatest” enemy. Another Gallup poll that same month showed that negative attitudes on the part of Americans towards Russia had nearly doubled over the prior four years, while positive attitudes had fallen by by 15%. There is a consistent trend of increasing hostility towards Russia by Americans as Russia becomes ever less democratic. RBTH headlines ignores that, of course, because it is not consistent with its propaganda efforts to undermine American opposition to the Kremlin. And this consistent trend is all the more impressive because throughout this period the Obama administration has been engaged in relentless pro-Kremlin appeasement.
During the last U.S. presidential election, Republican challenger Mitt Romney called Russia America’s “greatest geopolitical foe” because it is “the nation which lines up with the world’s worst actors” against the United States. And there’s no disputing this contention. Russia has sided strongly against democracy with murderous regimes all across the world, from Cuba and Venezuela to Egypt, Libya and Syria. More than 60 million Americans voted for Romney to become president.
Then there’s Obama’s own Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, who recently gave a speech which was closely similar to the “Iron Curtain” speech delivered at the outset of the Cold War by Winston Churchill. She warned that Putin is now working feverishly to bring back the dark days of the USSR and Russian domination of the former Soviet republics in Central Asia.
Russia Beyond the Headlines, of course, like its Kremlin masters themselves, simply doesn’t care about the facts. Instead, all it wants to do is churn out propaganda that will undermine American resolve to confront neo-Soviet crackdowns and aggression.
Nezavisimaya Gazeta reported [Russian-language link] on August 17, 2012, that the Russian military is 600 million rubles in the red to its gas and electric suppliers, and as a result thousands of military personnel and their families will go without heat this winter — including those in frozen wastelands like Murmansk where plunging temperatures can be fatal. The Secretary of Housing for the Moscow Region Herman Elyanushkin is quoted as stating that 40% of Moscow-based soldiers and their families had no heat last winter, and the situation was likely to be repeated this year.
The reason for the frozen soldiers is, according to the military, frozen funding in Moscow. In addition to a lack of money to pay for fuel, there is also a lack of funds to maintain heating equipment, so boilers are breaking down and not being repaired or replaced. The military claims it needs the whopping sum of an additional 70 billion rubles to properly heat the residences of its soldiers and their families. The Kremlin, it seems prefers to devote funds to building new and better nuclear weapons, and is prepared to watch Russian soldiers and their families freeze. The question of why Russia’s supposedly booming economy doesn’t have enough funds for both projects remains unasked.
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.
Julia Ioffe and her Campaign of Lies about Russia
If there were to be a photograph next to the paragraph in the Pajamas Media Wikpedia entry that explains why PM was formed, it should be a photograph of New Yorker “reporter” Julia Ioffe, who also writes for Foreign Policy. She’s the very worst MSM Russia journalist on the planet. She’s the disease, and PM is the cure.
Russia’s opposition movement turned to violence on Sunday, after it was embarrassed by yet another puny turnout. It bloodied police officers and pro-Kremlin journalists and it vandalized property. It became a mob, and a small one at that. Once again, Russia sunk to a new low. Its only accomplishment was that finally it forced the Kremlin to escalate the violence used against it, but that came at the cost of losing its own credibility and being led by a throng of neo-Nazis (Udaltsov), crypto-fascists (Navalny), Communists and hopelessly confused, leaderless, agendaless followers.
Yevgenia Khvoshchinskaya, a 30-year-old education specialist who was carrying a poster referencing Russia’s Decembrist revolutionaries of the 19th century, told the New York Times: “I don’t know why I came. The last protests did not achieve anything. There is no program. The people are tired.”
Photos after the jump.
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.
This photo (click it to see full size), from a photo essay published by English Russia based on a trip along the Kremlin’s parapets, gets our vote for the most poetic image of neo-Soviet Russia. Right behind the Kremlin’s walls lies a huge pile of garbage! In more ways than one.