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Russia Watch Thread


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#181
TheComrade

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I feel like the ban on Russian athletes has less to do with the drug users than it is anti-Russian sentiment.

 

Obviously. Just the petty and vile revenge for Ukraine and Syria. Doping? Don't make me laugh... yes, i can admit that Russians using doping too, but no more than US team, where nearly every athlete (433 of 450 doping tests, to be exact) is seriously ill and using doping "for medical reasons", with full permission of WADA.

 

As for "serious proofs", this is no more than opinion (well paid opinion, i can add) of one single person with no any material evidence. No any normal court would accept this. But since this all is about Russia, and to Western world Russians are new rogues and pariahs, everything is clear: the WADA report is full of phrases like "we can not confirm this, for obvious reasons, but this is clear that..." Such thing as presumption of innocence is not applicable too. All Russian sportsmen are now considered "dirty" by default and each of them should then individually prove that he, unlike other Russians, is "clean". And even if he somehow managed to prove this, he's still not allowed to compete under national flag and there is no any guarantees that his rewards will not be taken away one of two years later, for some new political reason.

 

And you know what? Go to hell with such "Olympic spirit". To me, this spirit is long dead. You, westerners, are the real antipode of king Midas, you're turning everything you touch into dirt and shit. Are you want to have your own puppet sport-related inquisition, to expell all the serious competitors (China will be next target, i suppose, the "investigation" already started and follows 100% the same scheme), to compete only with Latvia and Yemen? Excellent, good luck down this road! But everyone, including you yourselves, will know the REAL price of your records and medals.

 

As for Russia, there is good saying: whatever doesn't kill us, makes us stronger. Obviously, this vile slap will not kill us, but we (i mean exactly Russian people, not Putin with his team of oligarchs) will remember these slaps, for generations ahead.



#182
TheComrade

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At 2 p.m. on some "forum of volunteers", Putin going to voice his decision about Olympic ban. And so far, it seems Ramzan kadyrov is the only true Russian among our "elite":

 

DQWc0heWkAIqvz0.jpg

 

"No one Chechen sportsman will compete under "neutral" banner. And those who should have been (go to the Olympics, but were banned), we will honor them as winners."

 

Perhaps, the words of future president of Russia (from 2024 to 2036, and maybe later). Among other things, Western vileness and hostility accelerated the formation of what is called "political nation". Just 10 years ago, it was impossible to imagine the Chechen being Russian president. And today, he's gaining popularity even among Russian nationalists. Frankly, i'd not mind to vote for him too, if only to see the terrified faces of our "western partners". With Kadyrov, they will miss Putin.



#183
TheComrade

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Russia looks to prospect of future without Vladimir as sources say he has considered quitting
Source: The Independent

 

^ LOL

 

Once agan, Putin announced his candidacy for elections - 2018. This time, IMHO, he could not choose the day worse. Usual pre-election rhetorics like "let's move forward, no one will stop us!" sounded especially hollow and grotesque after the olypmpic humiliation happened just ONE DAY ago. The crowd of enthusiastic girls can not owershadow the fact that he seriously insulted the Russian patriotic majority when agreed with IOC and did NOT declared boycott of olympics. Here, in Russia, such things matters. And the very alarming bell is that, as it seems, Putin no longer understands this.

 

Exactly THIS, and not protests of "liberal community and gay-activists" or pathetic rallies of mr.Navalny, may become the beginning of his fall.

 

xw_1482483.jpg



#184
TheComrade

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This is amazing! Michael McFaul, the former US ambassador in Russia, giving us the sincere and friendly advice:

 

"If you want the Russian team to participate in the next Olympics - vote against Putin."

 

...but, nevertheless, some people are still think this all is about doping.



#185
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Winter Olympics have not yet started, but we already have the first winner. Russian skier and olympic champion Nikita Kryukov refused to patricipate under "neutral" flag. The bad part of this news is that all the others have agreed. Between national dignity and career they preferred career. Suicidal decision, even from purely practical point of view. Their betrayial and their white flag will not protect them from further baiting, and their few medals will be quickly and easily taken away after some new "investigation". In the eyes of West they're still "dirty Russians", but in the eyes of Russia, they're already "dirty traitors" and "whiteflagers".

 

Rephrasing Churchill: "You were given the choice between honor and career. You have lost your honor, and you will destroy your careers."

 

DQ-oyLFWsAA3s9T.jpg



#186
TheComrade

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Another provocation, with blood and arrests, being prepared by our "liberal opposition":

 

First they petitioned for holding a rally on Sakharov Avenue. Their real hope was that such a petition must be rejected, and then they will hold this rally anyway, with predictable consequences and required picture for media. Surprisingly, the petition was accepted. What happened next? Right:

 

"Politician Dmitry Gudkov withdrew his request to hold a rally on Sakharov Avenue in Moscow on December 24."

 

Instead, they immediately moved their planned rally to other place, much less suitable and not yet approved by authorities. So, guys, wait for new "atrocities of Putin's regime" by 24 December.



#187
Sciencerocks

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US slaps 5 Russians with sanctions over human rights
Source: Associated Press

Josh Lederman, Associated Press
Updated 2:27 pm, Wednesday, December 20, 2017

 

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States on Wednesday imposed sanctions on five Russians, including the leader of Chechnya, under a U.S. human rights law that has been a major irritant between Washington and Moscow.

The five Russians were targeted under the Magnitsky Act, passed by Congress in 2012 in response to the death of Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky. He died in prison after exposing a tax fraud scheme involving Russian officials, and the law named after him allows the U.S. to target violators of human rights. All told, the U.S. has targeted 49 Russians under that law.

The latest additions include Ramzan Kadyrov, the head of Chechnya, a predominantly Muslim republic in southern Russia. The Treasury Department said Kadyrov oversaw "disappearances and extrajudicial killings" and that he's believed to have ordered the killing of one of his political rivals. The rival had accused Kadyrov of personally carrying out torture.

Kadyrov, an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, had been widely believed to have already been on a classified list of U.S. sanctions targets. Until Wednesday, the U.S. had not publicly disclosed his presence on any sanctions list.

 

Read more: http://www.chron.com...an-12444394.php



#188
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The son of attorney general Chaika also affected... the rare case when i fully support the USA:

 

DRlQpoHXkAUZFsi.jpg



#189
Yuli Ban

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What's the status of Russian worker cooperatives and soviets in 2017-come-2018?


And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future.


#190
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What's the status of Russian worker cooperatives and soviets in 2017-come-2018?

 

Very simple status: they doesn't exist.

 

UPD somewhere "soviets" are still exist as low-level rural administrative units.



#191
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Another provocation, with blood and arrests, being prepared by our "liberal opposition"... So, guys, wait for new "atrocities of Putin's regime" by 24 December.

 

...the day has come and passed, and the mountan gave birth to a mouse. Only few hundreds of participants per whole Moscow, several insignificant provocations, no blood, no arrests, and Navalny didn't even appeared before his young supporters... I expected much more but "It's a fiasco, bro!"

 

DR0rFNnWsAEQ6CF.jpg



#192
caltrek

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I can kind of guess what Phoenix's response is going to be to this news story. Still, advocating a vote boycott may be illegal?

 

Good grief.

 

Kremlin: Russia Election Boycott Campaign May Be Illegal

 

Introduction:

 

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian officials should review opposition leader Alexei Navalny’s calls for an election boycott to see if they might be breaking the law, the Kremlin said Tuesday, hinting at possible legal repercussions.

 

In a widely anticipated decision, Russia’s top election body ruled Monday to formally bar anti-corruption crusader Navalny from running in the presidential election next March. Navalny promptly put out a video statement, saying that the ban shows that President Vladimir “Putin is terribly scared and is afraid of running against me,” and called on his supporters to stay away from the vote in protest.

 

Putin, who has been in power for 18 years, announced his bid for re-election earlier this month, but so far has refrained from canvassing. In contrast, his most prominent rival, anti-corruption crusader Navalny has been campaigning aggressively all year, reaching out to the most remote parts of the country.

 

Opinion polls say that Putin should easily win the March vote.

 

Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Tuesday wouldn’t comment on the Election Commission’s decision to bar Navalny but said the “calls for boycott ought to be carefully studied to see if they are breaking the law.”

 

...and Trumpians don't mind that Putin and company are messing around in U.S. elections?


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


#193
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Russia: Explosion in St. Petersburg supermarket injures at least 4
Source: CBS

 

MOSCOW -- Russian news reports say at least four people have been injured by an explosion at a supermarket in St. Petersburg.

Svetlana Petrenko, a spokeswoman with the Investigative Committee of Russia, said a device containing the equivalent of 200 grams of TNT went off on Wednesday. Russian news agencies said the blast occurred at a storage area for customers' bags.

No one has claimed responsibility for the explosion at the market in the city's northwest Kalininsky district.

The Investigative Committee has sent experts to look into the explosion.

 

Read more: https://www.cbsnews....plosion-russia/



#194
TheComrade

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I can kind of guess what Phoenix's response is going to be to this news story.

 

I can only hope this "anti-corruption crusader" will eventually rot in prison, in tiny cell filled with muscular and sexually obsessed guys. He's more than deserved this. Unfortunatelly, our "authoritarian regime" is so "cruel" that even the obvious and dangerous troublemakers getting no more 15 or 30 days of administrative arrest. In any normal country it would be few years at least.

 

PS Frankly, i myself was in doubts should i go vote or not. After all, this is no more than democratic ritual with winner known in advance. But if "anti-corruption crusader" calls for boycott this mean i should go.



#195
caltrek

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Russian Army Demonstrates Latest Weapon: Cuddly Puppies

 

https://www.courthou...cuddly-puppies/

 

Introduction:

 

MOSCOW (AP) — The Russian Armed Forces has unveiled its latest cutting-edge weapon in a New Year greetings video: cuddly puppies.

 

After a year of showing off its military might in Syria, the Defense Ministry has taken a softer approach. The one-minute video shows dozens of puppies sharing food and cuddling with each other. Older dogs are shown playing with unidentified officers.

 

Over 3,000 dogs are employed in the Russian armed forces.

 

Dogs from the 470th Dog Breeding Center outside Moscow are among the most decorated in Russia. The center won an international competition last summer against the canine forces of Belarus, Egypt, Iran and Uzbekistan.


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


#196
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Russia Fully Depletes its Reserve Fund

 

 

Russia has fully spent its reserve fund to cover its budget shortfalls at the end of 2017, the country’s finance ministry said on Wednesday.

 
Only $17bn was left at the end of 2017, it was reported by the Moscow Times, but that has now been merged with the National Welfare Fund.
 
The National Welfare Fund is supposed to cover pension payments in the mid-term but will now also be used to top up the budget.
 
At the start of December the reserve fund stood at $66.94bn. The ministry has been tapping into the fund for years but has only now fully exhausted it.
 
The fund was set up in 2008 with the purpose to top up the budget in terms of crisis, particularly if oil prices fell below the budget break-even price, of $70 now compared to $115 in the boom years.
 
The government is switching to a new budget mechanism that would insulate the economy, which is heavily dependent on oil, from swings on global commodity markets.

 

http://www.publicfin...dget-shortfalls

 

It’s interesting that the day after Brent crude reached $70 a barrel (the highest since December 2014), Russia’s Finance Ministry announced that the country has depleted its Reserve Fund. The Reserve Fund was used in times of crisis when oil prices were very low. Now the country is tapping into its National Welfare Fund, which was originally intended to cover pension payments. Russia has already had to cut pensions and benefits in recent years, which hasn’t done much to help relieve domestic stresses and dissatisfaction among the population. Although the country still has $432 billion in currency reserves to fall back on, the recent drainage shows just how fast those reserves can be depleted. 
 
Russia needs oil prices up to at least $100 a barrel to eliminate its deficit and repair some of the damage that has already been done. Prices are still a long way from there. Maybe this recent spurt is the start of a long-term rise in prices that will finally bring some relief for the Russian economy. It could also just be a temporary; colder weather is spurring greater oil demand and Gulf countries are still making cuts to their productions. Most analysts expect prices to hover around $60 per barrel for the year. They may be wrong.
 
Whatever happens, Russia will still be far from out of the abyss. The country continues its massive defense spending, civil dissatisfaction is growing, and money is being sucked out faster than the oil beneath their feet.


#197
TheComrade

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^ ^ ^

 

The typical Russia-related article: combination of misinterpretation and outright lies.

 

 

Although the country still has $432 billion in currency reserves to fall back on, the recent drainage shows just how fast those reserves can be depleted. 

 

 

Here is the official statistics of Russia's currency reserves (in billion USD). The changes since beginning of Western sanctions:

 

01.01.14 - 509,6

01.01.15 - 385,5

01.01.16 - 368,4 

01.01.17 - 377,7 

01.12.17 - 431,6

 

I don't see any "fast depletion", just usual fluctuations.

 

Russia needs oil prices up to at least $100 a barrel to eliminate its deficit and repair some of the damage that has already been done

 

Current budget is based on estimated oil pace 40$ per barrel. This mean there should be significant surplus.

 

Russia has already had to cut pensions and benefits in recent years...

 

Outright lies. Government had to cut the planned growth of pensions. They're still growing, though not as fast as in past.

 

civil dissatisfaction is growing...

 

Again, outright lies. Statistics and opinion polls doesn't confirm this. Ofcourse, you can always say that "Russian statistics can not be trusted" but then you must show you own researches (exactly researches and not someone's personal opinions) and explain why are they more convincing.

 

And so on and so forth... 



#198
BarkEater93

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Russia’s currency reserves quickly dropped when oil prices took a plummet and the country was hit by sanctions, going from $509.6 billion at the beginning of 2014 to $356.0 billion sixteen months later; nearly a third of it was cut in that amount of time. In the last year they’ve grown comparatively modestly, and are still a far-cry from pre-2014 levels. The rise has been helped by the recent upswing in oil prices. The Central Bank of Russia hopes to have half a trillion dollars there in the near future. Not impossible, but it’s a lofty goal. Russia can’t control the price of oil, nor the countries that sanction it. Recent drainages show how fast reserves can be depleted.
 
Russia needs the price of oil to be $70 a barrel just to break even with its budget (https://themoscowtim...-to-exist-60157). Of course, balancing the budget can’t recover what has already been lost. Higher prices are needed to replenish its reserves. When prices were at $40 a barrel, the economy was hurting; there was a massive budget deficit. That was not too long ago. As much as Russia may want to shift its economy away from such a heavy reliance on oil exports, that change can’t happen overnight. 
 
For a country still so heavily reliant on the price of oil, $100 a barrel is around the minimum needed to sustain the Russian economy, especially since the Kremlin has had to get creative on where it gets its money from. That has included cuts to pensions. Pension cuts don’t exactly help to bring down civil dissatisfaction. 
 
Civil dissatisfaction is growing, and so far it has mostly been just that – civil. There hasn’t yet been any big uproar, just small protests. As we have learned from Brexit, the U.S. presidential election, among many others, opinion polls are often not reliable indicators. They don’t delve into what’s happening on the ground. Unrest is growing; particularly in the rural areas away from Moscow and the wealthier regions. In many cases wages are not being paid. Banks have been failing. People have gone hungry. With the cold winters Russia has, that can be a big deal. Those aren’t exactly attributes of civil satisfaction.


#199
BarkEater93

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double post



#200
TheComrade

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I'd advise you to read something other in addition to "Moscow Times". This is newspaper of our pro-western "liberal" opposition. This mean they're systematically and deliberately distort the real picture.

 

Russia needs the price of oil to be $70 a barrel just to break even with its budget. Of course, balancing the budget can’t recover what has already been lost.

 

Again, this is "Moscow Times" and its cheap apocalyptic sensationalism. if only you knew how much of this "Russia is collapsing, the end is near..." i've already read.

 

While the officially budget is based on oil price $40 per barrel. Higher price will generate surplus.

 

For a country still so heavily reliant on the price of oil, $100 a barrel is around the minimum needed to sustain the Russian economy

 

In 2017, the oil prices were far below $100 per barrel and still Russian economy grew by 1,5-2% (different estimations).

 

Kremlin has had to get creative on where it gets its money from. That has included cuts to pensions.

 

Again??? I'm sure you can show me the real examples of those cuts: whose pensions were reduced and where. I mean, serious statistics from serious official source, not another "feelings and opinions" from opposition newspaper.

 

Civil dissatisfaction is growing, and so far it has mostly been just that – civil. There hasn’t yet been any big uproar, just small protests. As we have learned from Brexit, the U.S. presidential election, among many others, opinion polls are often not reliable indicators...

 

So, other words, you can not confirm this. This is just another "feeling and opinion". Roughly the same reliable as "millions of supporters of Navalny". While actually, there is statistics of "readiness to participate" in anti-government rallies and this "readiness" is very low and not growing.

 

They don’t delve into what’s happening on the ground.

 

This is just amazing! YOU're telling ME what's happening "on the ground". Don't you yourself feel the irony of situation?

 

People have gone hungry. With the cold winters Russia has, that can be a big deal. Those aren’t exactly attributes of civil satisfaction.

 

Hungry? HUNGRY? HUNGRY???

 

=== === ===

 

That's why i usually avoid such debates. People stubbornly posting the craziest shit about "hunger and cold winters" and then calling you "brainwashed putinist" when you're trying to humbly object them.


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