Aug 28 2004

Headlines from the former USSR

by in Uncategorized

It’s been a while since I’ve posted some interesting news from Russia…here’s a few articles (some of which are several weeks old)…

Rule Breakers Get Killed, U.S. Official Told
During trade negotiations, a Russian energy official told Assistant U.S. Commerce Secretary William Lash that “People that don’t understand the rules get killed” after the discussion turned to the reasons behind Russia’s decision to strip ExxonMobil of its rights to a major field in the Far East. “We asked for clarification — if he meant financial disaster — and he clarified and said, ‘No … physically killed,’” Lash told reporters Wednesday. “It’s the most surprising answer I’ve heard in over 80 countries.”
A dark and dusty peek into the Russian soul
When I went to St. Pete in 2002, our Resident Director sent us to watch a performance of Dostoevsky’s The Dream of a Ridiculous Man. Now, I don’t know about you, but when I think of “performance” I imagine that it will be held in a theatre, not some sketchy flat at the top of a run down Petersburg apartment building. The performance itself was insane…read the above article to get an idea of what we sat through…I can’t describe it any better than the author:
When we got to the theatre, I was surprised to find the old woman waiting for us. She told us we were not to go into the theatre, but that we would be going on a little field trip. With the nine other people of the audience, I and my friend followed her out of the theatre entrance and into a backstreet of Petrograd Island. It led to a dark and dingy apartment building, where, we were told, the play was to take place.
“Now don’t be surprised at anything you see here,” she warned as we abandoned the broken elevator to walk up the crooked stone steps. “All of you will get out alive.” As the old woman probably intended, her comment was more unsettling than reassuring.
We gingerly followed her as she stepped into a room that was even darker and dingier than the building’s staircase. As I passed through the Russian doors, a musty smell wafted into my nostrils and my eyes smarted from the dust in the air. When my vision had recovered, I beheld such a sight that it was necessary to rub my eyes again, this time in disbelief.

Who’s a Pirate? Russia Points Back at the U.S.
A Russian industry and product designer are asserting that the United States has been abetting intellectual-property pirates to suit its own needs, by directing copies of Russian merchandise around the world.
The complaint is not about software or music. It makes no mention of movies or video games. It is about the Kalashnikov assault rifle, the most prolific firearm ever made….
…The automatic Kalashnikov, made in a factory here, is in many ways Moscow’s Ford. It is a quintessential national product: extraordinarily successful, widespread, a name closely connected to the identity of a state.

‘Reverse air-rage’ on Russian jet
Two flight attendants have attacked a passenger in an unprecedented case of reverse air-rage, according to Russia’s leading airline. An Aeroflot spokeswoman said the incident occurred after the passenger, named as Artyom Chernopup, said the men were drunk and not doing their job.
Did Lenin die of syphilis?
For decades it was no more than a whispered rumour in the corridors of Soviet medicine but now a team of doctors claim to have proved that Lenin, communism’s greatest icon, died of syphilis.
Ilyas Akhmadov, the former Foreign Minister of the Chechen Republic, has been granted asylum in the United States
When I was a sophomore at GW, Akhmadov spoke to my “Human Rights in the Soviet/Russian Government” class. He was a truly amazing speaker. Russia has accused Akhmadov of involvement in terrorism, but an investigation by US authorities determined that Akhmadov had no connection to any terrorist activities.
Top Students Busted for Producing High Quality Speed
Chemistry students at Moscow State University (the “Harvard of Russia”) have been arrested for producing high quality amphetamines with university equipment.
Moscow Policeman Shoots Subway Passenger for Free Ride Attempt
A policeman shot a Moscow subway passenger who was trying to bring in his friend through the turnstile without a token Saturday…
Wow, and I thought the DC metro cops were tough…
Furious Putin Tells Soccer Team to Stop Chewing and Start Singing
A furious President Vladimir Putin has told Russia�s gum-chewing soccer team to kick their habit and sing their national anthem…
Georgians Project Insulting Slogans on Russian Embassy in Tbilisi
A group of Georgians have been projecting insulting messages on the facade of the Russian embassy in Georgia�s capital Tbilisi…During the night, Georgians projected anti-Russian slogans on the facade of the building, including �Georgia without Russian troops,� �Russia�s Two-Headed Eagle is a double-dealing bird,� �Take your trench coats and leave� and others. Russia responded by halting negotiations with the Georgian government.

Hmmm…I don’t get it, why are the Russians mad?

9-year-old Sets Record with 9253 Push-ups
Pavel�s relatives told the newspaper that he loved doing push-ups so much that even while watching TV he�ll suddenly get on the ground and start doing them. It�s gotten to the point that his parents at times tried to keep him from working out, but the young boy just does it in secret.
Monument to the Potato Erected in North Russia
Somehow this doesn’t surprise me.
Boy Raised by Dog Found in South Siberia
Regional authorities in the Siberian Altai region have discovered a seven-year-old boy who has been raised by a guard dog since he was three months old.
Wilderness, Water, and (Rubber) Women Add up to a Weird Russian Adventure
This is just odd…river rafting on inflatable dolls.
Members of the National Bolshevik Party throw a portrait of Putin out of a window

In Russian courtrooms, defendants are placed in a locked cage. This is Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the richest man in Russia.

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