Tuesday Russian News Items

Russian news items posted to Russian Notes by Dr. Bruce Holl

IN ENGLISH
Bloomberg: “If Serbia joins NATO, the alliance will want to install long-range missiles in its territory, which Russia may see as a threat to its own security, Danas newspaper reported, citing Russian Ambassador to Belgrade Alexander Konuzin.”

Interfax: “Russia is calling for a swift resumption of the five plus two talks over the Transdniestrian conflict […] The five plus two format involves Moldova and Transdniestrian as the conflicting parties; Russia, Ukraine and the OSCE (Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe) as mediators; and the United States and the EU as observers.”

International Herald Tribune: Andrew E. Kramer profiles blogger Aleksei Navalny in a piece entitled “Russian Site Smokes Out Corruption.”

ITAR-TASS: “Unidentified people blew up the MegaFon-Kavkaz basic mobile communication station in the area of the village of Bolshaya Oreshevka of Dagestan’s Kizlyar region on Tuesday morning, ITAR-TASS learnt at the press service of the Interior Ministry of Dagestan.”

RFE/Radio Liberty: “Russia announced that its air and ground forces had killed 17 rebels in a highly unusual precision strike on a Caucasus base used by Islamists.” RIA Novosti, meanwhile, reports that “Russian investigators on Tuesday accused Chechen militant leaders Doku Umarov and Aslan Byutukayev of organizing January’s deadly blast at Moscow’s Domodedovo airport.”

Russia Today: “President Dmitry Medvedev has pledged support to engineering education, which he says is crucial for the country’s modernization.”

ПО-РУССКИ
Би-би-си: “Следственный комитет России подтвердил задержание в ходе спецоперации в Ингушетии двух человек, причастных к взрыву в московском аэропорту Домодедово“.

NEWSru.com: “Источники в силовых структурах находят новые подтверждения тому, что в ходе спецоперации 28 марта в Ингушетии уничтожены лидер северокавказских боевиков Доку Умаров и его сподвижник Аслан Бютукаев (амир Хамзат), который отвечал за подготовку смертников”.

Лента.ru: “Роман Абрамович переизбран на пост председателя думы Чукотского автономного округа, сообщает ‘Интерфакс'”.

Новая газета: “В Москве сегодня вспоминают погибших при теракте на станциях метро «Лубянка» и «Парк культуры». Сотни людей несут цветы к местам взрывов”.

Эхо Москвы: “Президент Медведев не планирует вводить ‘налоговые каникулы’ для выпускников технических вузов, но не исключает определенных льгот”.

Monday Russian News Items

Russian news items posted to Russian Notes by Dr. Bruce Holl

IN ENGLISH
BBC: “BBC Russian radio broadcasts end after 65 years.”

Interfax: “Baku supports the appeal of the OSCE Minsk Group to the Karabakh conflict parties for abstaining from steps, which may hamper the peace process, the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry said on Monday.” Russia Today, meanwhile, reports that “Supporters and opponents of the unification of Moldova and Romania have held large-scale rallies in the center of the Moldovan capital, Chisinau.”

RBC: “Russia’s Federation Council, the upper chamber of parliament, believes that the country should take a restrained, albeit firm stand on the events in Libya in order to prevent the ongoing breaches of Libya’s sovereignty and the country’s deterioration of borders.” RIA Novosti adds that “The military intervention by the Western-led coalition force in Libya’s civil war is out of tune with the relevant UN Security Council resolution, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday.”

RFE/Radio Liberty: “Russia has permanently switched to summer time.”

RIA Novosti: “An aide to the Moscow judge who imposed a jail sentence on former Yukos CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky wrote her letter of resignation, Agora Human Rights Association representing the aide’s interests said on Monday.”

Russia Today: “The Russian population has declined by 1.6 % since 2002, according to preliminary results of the October 2010 nationwide census revealed by the Russian Statistics Service which were published in Rossiyskaya Gazeta daily.”

ПО-РУССКИ
Би-би-си: “В Хамовническом суде удовлетворили заявление помощницы судьи Виктора Данилкина Натальи Васильевой об увольнении по собственному желанию, сообщила Русской службе Би-би-си пресс-секретарь суда Милентина Капусткина”.

Лента.ru: “МВД Дагестана объявило в розыск двух уроженок Кизлярского района по подозрению в причастности к террористической деятельности, сообщает ‘Интерфакс'”.

NEWSru.com: “Действия авиации западной коалиции в интересах ливийских повстанцев являются, по сути, вмешательством в гражданскую войну в Ливии и выходят за пределы полномочий, установленных для участников операции Советом Безопасности ООН, заявил глава российского МИД Сергей Лавров на совместной пресс-конференции с киргизским коллегой Русланом Казакбаевым”.

Российская газета: “По предварительным данным, всего учтено 142 905,2 тысячи человек, постоянно проживающих в России. По сравнению с переписью 2002 года население России сократилось с 145 166,7 тысячи человек до 142 905,2 тысячи человек, или на 2,2 миллиона человек (1,6 процента)”.

Эхо Москвы: “Граждане России хотели бы видеть третьего кандидата в президенты страны, а не только Путина или Медведева – об этом говорится в докладе Центра стратегических разработок”.

The New Patriotic War: Revisionist History Redux

The New Patriotic War: Revisionist History Redux

Bruce T. Holl, Trinity University

Two weeks ago I commenced a series on the Great Patriotic War and the role it plays in modern Russian culture. I continue that series today.

The online Russian-language news source Regnum on March 24 published an essay by one Dmitrii Ermolaev entitled “Президентский совет по правам человека продвигает идеологию предателей Родины” [The President’s Council on Human Rights Promotes the Ideology of Traitors to the Motherland]. There is indeed such a Council, and one of its initiatives, begun this year, is of particular interest to Mr. Ermolaev: “Предложения об учреждении общенациональной государственно-общественной программы «Об увековечении памяти жертв тоталитарного режима и о национальном примирении»” [Proposals for the creation of a national government program “for the commemoration of the victims of the totalitarian regime and for national reconciliation”].

The “totalitarian regime” referred to by the Council is the one that ruled Russia from 1917 to 1991. This is what really angers Mr. Ermolaev, an unapologetic admirer of the Soviet Union. He does not, however, attack in toto the work of the Council. This would force him to defend truly indefinsible Soviet policies like the collectivization of agriculture and the internal exile of whole ethnic groups, which resulted in millions of deaths. Rather, he takes a few swipes at the general anti-Sovietism of the Council, but saves most of his ammunition for the battle that he is most likely to win: a defense of The Great Patriotic War, which in both Russia and (to some extent) the west is viewed as a justification of Soviet power. The proximate purpose of the article, then, is to criticize the Council for questioning the traditional Soviet view of the war. The ultimate purpose is to promote the position that a return to Soviet values — values that, in Ermolaev’s words, “saved the world from absolute evil” — would be a good thing for Russia.

He makes a number of points about the war:

  • “Almost all political scientists” agree with the view that the Russian Civil War ended on June 22, 1941 when the Reds and the Whites with all their supporters and followers united together to defend Russia from their common enemy.
  • There were a few “followers of Vlasov and other traitors to Russia” who fought “under the banner of the Third Reich.” They were the ones who called the Great Patriotic War a continuation of the Civil War.
  • This view was also promoted by a “negligible group” of Russians who ended up outside of the USSR after the war, now “under the banner of another protector — the USA.” (The phrase “under the banner” is repeated verbatim to underscore the similarity of Nazi Germany and the United States.)
  • If fact, as the writer Aleksandr Zinoviev admitted, these traitors, in shooting at the Bolsheviks, actually hit Russia.

He relates these points to modern Russia:

  • The traitors have emerged again today; they maintain that the Civl War is not over, and they claim that they are fighting not against Russia, but against the Bolsheviks.
  • It is precisely the Vlasov followers (i. e., the traitors) who maintain (like the Council) that “the 20th century, beginning in 1917, was for Russia a history of catastrophe and evil acts, and everything was better in Russia before 1917.”
  • The Council has the temerity to equate the USSR, which won the Second World War, with evil incarnate, Nazi Germany; to equate the two has long been the dream of Russia’s enemies. (The perceptive reader will note that Mr. Ermolaev here switches from “Great Patriotic War” to “Second World War” to emphasize that the USSR saved not only itself, but also those ungrateful “enemies of Russia” in the west who now want to equate the Bolsheviks and the Nazis.)

He ends with a rhetorical flourish on the events that (in his view) tore Russia asunder and then brought her back together:

“The twentieth century for Russia was the century of the great tragedy of the February, 1917 revolution and the great redemption of the years 1941-1945. And we shall never forget that it was our people, having stopped the Nazis in the fields around Moscow and on the banks of the Volga, who saved the world from absolute evil — Nazi ideology.”

Mr. Ermolaev’s argument might seem valid to those with minimal knowledge of the European war (like the Americans in Virginia who included a statue of Stalin in their D-Day Memorial, but it ignores many important facts. To consider them all would exceed the scope of one blog post, but here are a few that seem especially relevant to Mr. Ermolaev’s article

  • The Soviet Union and Nazi Germany, which Mr. Ermolaev finds so dissimilar, were allies for two years, during which time the Soviets massacred more than 20,000 Polish officers in and around the Katyn forest.
  • The reason that the Soviet Union was compelled to fight the Nazis in the fields around Moscow and on the banks of the Volga was because Stalin had purged some three quarters of the officer corps and was in general unprepared to fight Finland, much less Nazi Germany.
  • The United States, whom Mr. Ermolaev accuses of supporting Soviet traitors, in fact made the Soviet victory possible by providing massive financial aid to the USSR throughout the war. Some of this aid, as Varlaam Shalamov shows in the memorable story “Lend-Lease,” even went to maintain the camps of the GULag.
  • The Russian Emigres of the Second (post-1945) Wave, whom Mr. Ermolaev dismisses as a small group of traitorous crackpots, included some of the greatest Russian writers, artists and scholars of the twentieth century, who (like their predecessors in the post-revolutionary period) helped to preserve Russian culture during the Soviet era.
  • Soviet citizens who did go back to the USSR after the war, either voluntarily or through forced repatriation, were not (as Mr. Ermolaev seems to believe) welcomed by the regime for having put the enmity of the Civil War behind them in order to fight the fascists. On the contrary, they were arrested, like most of the zeks whom Solzhenitsyn describes in One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich.
  • Although this is a complex topic that will require at least one separate post later on, it is possible to say here that there is certainly no unanimity of opinion on the leader of the Russian Liberation Army, General Andrei Vlasov, and his followers. The Vlasovtsy did accept help from the Germans, but their philosophy was “neither Stalin nor Hitler,” and they represented millions of Soviet citizens, victims of collectivization, dekulakization, two famines, and the Great Terror, who did not find much to choose between the two regimes.

In short, Mr. Ermolaev’s technique of using the Great Patriotic War as a surrogate for the Soviet regime, and thereby defending that regime as model for Russia today, is a common tactic among neo-Soviet writers and politicians, but it does not withstand scrutiny by anyone who knows what really happened during the war.


RUSS 3302 Весна 2011 Седьмая Статья – Материалы

RUSS 3302 Весна 2011 Седьмая Статья – Материалы
Нино – Седьмая статья
«Экспонирующиеся в США иконы вернутся в ближайшее время»
Вопросы
Откуда иконы, о которых пишется в статье?

Где они сейчас?

Почему их решили досрочно вернуть в Россию?

Что такое “движение ХАБАД Любавич”?

Каким образом вопрос о выставке связан с этим движением?

Как министр культуры РФ относится к этой ситуации?

Кэлли – Седьмая статья
«Продолжается конфликт между музеями России и США»
Вопросы

Какие российские музеи отказываются участвовать на выставках в США?

Когда начался конфликт? О чём он?

Это просто знак протеста? Чего боятся российские музеи?

Бывали прецеденты раньше? Где, когда?

Как кончились эти конфликты? Музейные экспонанты остались на западе?

Чего сейчас требует российская сторона?

Что такое “движение ХАБАД Любавич”?

Каким образом вопрос о выставке связан с этим движением?

Захар – Седьмая статья
«Бомба ждала на остановке»
Вопросы

Где произошёл взрыв?

Сколько было ранено?

Кто взял на себя ответственность?

Как реагировали Премьер-министр, полиция?

Когда и где был предыдущий теракт такого размера в Израиле?

Какие бывают теракты в Израиле?

Что происходило между Израилом и сектором Газа за последнее время?

Как это касается взрыва?

Эрика – Седьмая статья
«Госдума защитит права животных новым законом»
Вопросы

Что предлагает Госдума?

На какие категории новый закон делит животных?

Каикие животные считаются опасными?

Какие считаются животными-компаньонами?

Как об этом думает Елена Салткова? Кто она?

Согласно новому закону, что можно, и что нельзя?

Все согласны с новым законом? Кто против? Почему?

Как вы думаете о новом законе?

Словарь
ответственный – responsible
закрепить – to strengthen
безнадзорный – neglected
приют – shelter
служебный – service
зрелищный – entertainment
чувствующее существо – creature with feeelings
испытвать – to experience
соответствующий – corresponding
оценивать – to evaluate
исполнение – enactment
актуальный – topical, current
владелец – owner
запрещено – forbidden
закрепляться – to be strengthened
в обязательном порядоке – manditorily
выгуливаться – to be walked
намординик – muzzle
поводок – leash
особенности – characteristics
истязать – to torture
наносить побои – to inflict beatings
увечье – maiming, mutilation
умерщвлять – to kill, destroy
натравливание – extermination
инвентарь – equipment
приспособление – device, appliance
продукты жизнедеятельности – poop
загрязнение – soiling, pollution
обоснованно – well-founded, legitimately
трактоваться – to be discussed
благотворитель – philanthropist
определяться – to be spicified
выделяться – to be distributed
догадываться – to guess
жкх = жилищно-коммунальное хозяйство
отравить – to poison
наказывать – to punish
создавать – to create
отслеживать – to investigate
первоочередный – primary, top priority
взятка – bribe
жулик – crook, swindler

Saturday Russian News Items

Russian news items posted to Russian Notes by Dr. Bruce Holl

IN ENGLISH
Interfax: “Most Russians, in whose populated areas elections to local government bodies were held on March 13, are basically contented with their results, although many saw irregularities and do not think that the voting passed fairly, the sociological service Levada Center told Interfax on Friday based on the results of its nationwide poll.”

ITAR-TASS: “A 26-year-old local resident with three grenades and a homemade explosive device weighing 1.5 kilogrammes has been detained in the Chegem district in Kabardino-Balkaria, a source at the Investigative Committee’s department in the republic told Itar-Tass on Saturday.”

RIA Novosti: “The niece of Vladimir Lenin, father of the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution, died in Moscow on Friday at the age of 89, officials said.”

ПО-РУССКИ
Газета.ru: “На Пушкинской площади в Москве проходит санкционированный пикет оппозиции, посвященный 11-й годовщине избрания Владимира Путина президентом России”.

Лента.ru: “В Чегемском районе Кабардино-Балкарии задержан местный житель, бросивший в силовиков гранату, сообщает ‘Интерфакс’ со ссылкой на источник в правоохранительных органах”.

NEWSru.com: “Большинство россиян (63%) с радостью переведут в последний раз стрелки часов на час вперед в ночь на 27 марта, поскольку одобряют решение отменить переход на зимнее время”.