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Russia Watch Thread


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#1
PhoenixRu

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We have separate news threads for UK, Ukraine, North Korea, so i decided to create another one, about Russia. Especially because there is a good occasion and news to start with: yesterday's Duma elections. On the one hand, they were quite predictable: Putin's ruling party "United Russia" won with huge gap - 54% vs only 13% for each of two next parties, Communists and LDPR:

 
Spoiler
 
This mean "United Russia" will once again get the "constitutional majority" (>66% of seats) in the next Duma and will be able to completelly ignore all the other parties. What is really interesting is that our homegrown pro-western "liberal opposition" didn't got a single seat. Their results are:
 
Yabloko - 1,91%
PARNAS - 0,71%
 
Partly it was the due to their own mad rhetorics like "let's apologize for who we are & return Crimea to Ukraine" that alienated the vast majority of voters and partly due to ugly squabbles in their own ranks... but there was another piquant factor: sex of head of PARNAS M.Kasyanov with some lady... and not just sex, but accompanied by political comments he was making in process. The whole thing was filmed by hidden camera and shown on TV... dirty trick, but it worked and PARNAS turned into "porn ass".
 
Spoiler
 
These results are also intersting because it was a kind of practical test for our liberals and their worldview. That's what they thought and hoped two years ago:
 

I actually look forward to it. The worse our economy becomes, the less support Putin will have - most Russians already don't trust the government with their wallets according to various data. Maybe we will have our own Maidan if we're lucky enough.

 

And here are the results, "United Russia" got MORE votes than in the past elections while they themselves got NOTHING. And today, as always, they're blaming the "rigged elections" and "dumb brainwashed crowd". Nothing new under sun...


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#2
Pisiu369

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Does Putin want all of Ukraine or just East Ukraine?

#3
Yuli Ban

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Russia 'to revive the KGB' after Putin wins biggest majority

Russia plans effectively to revive the KGB under a massive shake-up of its security forces, a respected business daily has reported

Russia plans effectively to revive the KGB under a massive shake-up of its security forces, a respected business daily has reported.
A State Security Ministry, or MGB, would be created from the current Federal Security Service (FSB) , and would incorporate the foreign intelligence service (SVR) and the state guard service (FSO), under the plans.
It would be handed all-encompassing powers once possessed by the KGB, the Kommersant newspaper said, citing security service sources.
Like the much-feared KGB, it would also oversee the prosecutions of Kremlin critics, a task currently undertaken by the Investigative Committee, headed by Alexander Bastrykin, a former university classmate of President Putin. The Kremlin has not commented.

M just came.


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#4
Guyverman1990

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Russia has proven itself a sore loser in the post-Soviet era.

#5
PhoenixRu

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Russia has proven itself a sore loser in the post-Soviet era.

 

Yeah, true, this is a sort of problem for USA and their little faithful vassals: stupid Russians do not understand that they're losers and behave as if they weren't.


Edited by PhoenixRu, 23 September 2016 - 04:09 AM.


#6
caltrek

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Yeah, true, this is a sort of problem for USA and their little faithful vassals: stupid Russians do not understand that they're losers and behave as if they weren't

 

Touché


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#7
PhoenixRu

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Not such a news, but still... very symbolic and indicative change in coins design:

 

11987-568x0-8befd.jpg

 

First coin is typical post-Soviet one, with "republican" eagle. Second one, the new coin of 2016, with "imperial" eagle. So far, both designs are used in parallel, but soon (i suspect) the new "imperial" coins will replace the old "republican" ones. When they're just appeared i was surprised and tried to keep them, but they're becoming more and more common.

 

I leave it to you to decide what would it mean. :)


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#8
caltrek

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Russian Economy Minister Detained Over Alleged $2 Million Bribe

 

https://www.yahoo.com/news/russia-detains-economy-minister-2-mn-bribe-over-012212426.html?ref=gs

 

Introduction:

 

Moscow (AFP) - Russia's security service has detained Economy Minister Alexei Ulyukayev on suspicion of taking a two-million-dollar bribe over a massive deal involving state-controlled oil giant Rosneft, investigators said Tuesday.

 

Ulyukayev is the highest ranking official to be detained over suspected corruption since President Vladimir Putin took power in 2000 and vowed to clamp down on endemic graft.

The 60-year-old minister's detention has sparked a wave of speculation about whether the case could be linked to an internal power struggle.

 

Russia's Investigative Committee, the country's main federal investigative body, said the FSB security service, the successor to the KGB, detained Ulyukayev following an operation.

 

It alleged in a statement that Ulyukayev received the money on Monday for giving the go-ahead for Rosneft to acquire a majority stake from the state in Russian oil company Bashneft in a $5.2 billion (4.84 billion euro) deal last month.

 

Part-DV-DV1738658-1-1-0.jpg

 

Russia's Economy Minister Alexey Ulyukayev, seen during the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, in 2014

 

(AFP Photo/Olga Maltseva)


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#9
PhoenixRu

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Russian Economy Minister Detained Over Alleged $2 Million Bribe

 

Yes, the fall of another person from "liberal camp". Former US ambassador mr.McFaul - currently declared persona non grata in Russia - already expressed his indignation:

 

CxSLfPmWIAEl6Fm.jpg



#10
caltrek

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Russia Accuses Ukraine of Abducting Two Soldiers in Crimea

 

https://www.yahoo.co...213.html?ref=gs

 

Introduction:

 

Moscow (AFP) - Russia has accused Ukraine of abducting two Russian servicemen on the annexed Crimea peninsula, but Kiev said it had merely detained two Ukrainian army deserters.

 

In a statement carried late Monday by local news agencies, the Russian defence ministry said servicemen Maxim Odintsov and Alexander Baranov were "illegally detained and removed from Crimea by Ukrainian security forces" on Sunday.

 

"We consider that these actions of the Ukrainian special forces toward Russian citizens are yet another gross provocation and demand their immediate return to Russian territory," the statement said.

 

The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) meanwhile said the two men were "former Ukrainian servicemen who betrayed their oath and went to serve in the Russian military after the illegal annexation of Crimea," the Interfax-Ukraine news agency reported.

 

The SBU added that the men stood accused of "desertion and treason" and had been detained "after crossing the border" between Ukraine and Russian-annexed Crimea.

3432835a8a554b58d7e667ec4207f740b1b19d34

The Russian defence ministry says two Russian servicemen were "illegally detained and removed from Crimea by Ukrainian security forces" on Sunday

(AFP Photo/Mikhail Klimentiev)


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#11
PhoenixRu

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That's why i like Putin. "Drain the swamp" Russian-style:

 

"Leading scientist" Alexander Savenkov fired from Interior Ministry

 

Another prediction of a source of the CrimeRussia turned to be true. It has transpired that after the scandal with the Russian Academy of Sciences, Vladimir Putin signed a decree on dismissing a number of employees of the Presidential Administration, the Federal Security Service, the Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Interior from their positions...

 

Our top (and not so top) officials have the nasty habit becoming "scientists". This is well known, but very difficult to stop. So, today many of them were fired. As Putin explained: "Not because they're guilty, but because it would be a serious mistake to waste such bright minds in routine of public service. I hope they'll soon bring glory to Russia as scientists"  :biggrin:



#12
caltrek

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Russia's Putin Warns Artists Against Offending Believers

 

https://www.yahoo.co...061.html?ref=gs

 

Extract:

 

MOSCOW (AP) — Top Russian cultural figures urged President Vladimir Putin on Friday to protect the freedom of artistic expression — something the Russian leader pledged to do, even as he warned artists to be careful not to offend religious believers.

 

…Putin's comments at a meeting with Russian creative figures came amid increasing attempts by officials and conservative vigilantes to meddle in the arts sphere.

 

Russia's growing conservative streak has worried many in the country's artistic community. A Moscow art gallery recently shut down an exhibition of nude photos by an American photographer after a raid by vigilantes. A theater in the Siberian city of Omsk also was forced to cancel a performance of the musical "Jesus Christ Superstar" following a petition by devout Orthodox believers.

 

…Yevgeny Mironov, a prominent actor who is the artistic director for Moscow's Theater of Nations, urged Putin to stop officials and conservative groups from trying to censor the creative arts.

 

…Russia's conservative trend has come in sync with the tightening of controls over the nation's political scene after Putin's election to a third presidential term in 2012.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#13
Yuli Ban

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Nobody's gonna take my drone, I'm gonna fly miles far too high!
Nobody gonna beat my drone, it's gonna shoot into the sky!

#14
Raklian

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161216094851-obama-vs-putin-t1-overlay-t

 

 

So, who's going to blink first in the new round about the election hacking?


What are you without the sum of your parts?

#15
PhoenixRu

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So, who's going to blink first in the new round about the election hacking?

 

No matter, after December 19 this will not be actual :)



#16
Yuli Ban

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Russian official found dead from gunshot wounds in Moscow


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#17
Yuli Ban

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Russia to experience another economic collapse in 2017?

The devaluation of the Russian rouble is inevitable, supervisor of "Stolypin Club" program,  Yakov Mirkin believes. According to the specialist, Russia currently experiences the crisis scenario of 1998, 2009 and 2014.
According to Bloomberg analysts, rouble assets may ensure the yield of 15 percent for investors by the end of 2017. In late 2016, during only three months, the profitability of investments in rouble assets made up seven percent, which was the highest rate among 31 basic currencies of the world.
Borrowing dollars at low interest rates in foreign markets, investors profit by investing in Russia. This is due to the high key rate of the Bank of Russia and the more or less stable rouble. However, according to Yakov Mirkin, this is not a positive trend. The expert believes that Russia has every reason to remain concerned. According to Mirkin, Russia may soon experience another "explosive wave" of devaluation of the national currency that would repeat the previous scenarios of the collapse of the Russian rouble.


Please explain who this guy is. I've no doubt Russia's going to experience an economic crisis next year— everyone is going to— but I need to know if this particular guy is bullshit or not.


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#18
Maximus

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Russian Military Jet Reportedly Disappears From Radars After Takeoff in Sochi

 

 

Russian Defense Ministry's Tu-154 carrying some 70 people has disappeared from radars after departing from Russia's southern city of Sochi, a source in the country's Emergency Ministry told RIA Novosti.

 
"According to preliminary data, Russian Defense Ministry's Tu-154 disappeared from the radar screens after departing from Sochi. About 70 people were onboard," a source said to the agency on Sunday. The priliminary data shows that the disappeared plane was heading to Syria's Latakia. The source added that the jet disappeared from radars 20 minutes after departing from Sochi.
 
Not sure if this belongs here, but I couldn't figure out where else to put it. It's probably mechanical failure, but it wouldn't be crazy to imagine that terrorism may be at play here. Russia certainly hasn't been making friends with ISIS and all those other jihadist groups in Syria.
 

If the world should blow itself up, the last audible voice would be that of an expert saying it can't be done. -Peter Ustinov
 

#19
PhoenixRu

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Russian Military Jet Reportedly Disappears From Radars After Takeoff in Sochi

 

Not sure if this belongs here, but I couldn't figure out where else to put it. It's probably mechanical failure, but it wouldn't be crazy to imagine that terrorism may be at play here. Russia certainly hasn't been making friends with ISIS and all those other jihadist groups in Syria.

 

This all was too unlikely and too symbolic, so to say, to be just an accident. I'm almost sure it was a terrorist act, but have nothing to do with ISIS. I don't want to point a finger, but we in Russia very well remember the threats we heard from US administration: "get out from Syria or you will suffer... perhaps even another aircraft..."



#20
caltrek

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I actually saw a brief portion of this on C-Span, with English translation provided of course. I am glad I found this article so that I now know what the banners were about.

 

Pandemonium for Putin

 

https://themoscowtim...-one-room-56636

 

Extract:

 

Vladimir Putin shared some of his precious time with more than 1,400 journalists today. For four wonderful hours, the president responded to questions about all matters under the sun, as members of the audience elbowed for his attention.

 

This year, as in years past, many people brought homemade signs, hoping a vivid or well worded banner might win them the chance to open their mouths. Others brought signs intending simply to express their love for Putin, and at least one guest brought a whole binder of slogans to troll the president.

 

We don’t know all the reasons for all the banners in the audience today, but the winner of this unspoken contest was undeniably the woman who brought a poster showing Putin as Superman. And she even picked the Christopher Reeves version, not Zack Snyder’s depressive, brooding reboot.

 

…It wasn’t all gooey love for Putin, however, and at least one person in the audience came equipped with a rather long poll and a whole arsenal of signs printed with tough questions about Russia’s Federal Penitentiary Service.

 

Political activist Maria Baronova, who was defeated in the same Duma race as Katasonova, catalogued the prison-related signs, photographing at least four of them. It’s still unclear who was holding the signs, which asked: “Will inmates be fed worse?” “Does the Federal Penitentiary Service not have enough money for light bulbs?” “The Federal Penitentiary Service is the government’s six biggest expense.” “The recidivism rate is 50 percent in Russia and 25 percent in Belarus.” 

4f0409362a524011af8a02afb70a397b.jpg

 

Kremlin Press Service


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls





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