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.

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.

A New Film on the Horror that is Nashi

The next time you find yourself mumbling unkind words about the apathetic youth of today, or else deriding the muddle-headed protests of twonkish Charlie Gilmour types, stop and think about the Nashi. A right wing Russian youth organisation bankrolled by Vladimir Putin’s shady regime and various big business interests, they practically make you want to raise a statue to any teenager who chooses to spend their daylight hours idling beneath a duvet or playing Robin Hood in the City.

— Peter Oborne in Moscow, hot on the heels of Nashi (“Nashi” means “us white, Slavic, Orthodox Russians” — you know, sounds like “Nazi“)