“The civilizational divorce of Ukraine and Russia,” Portnikov argues, “to a large extent is driven not by the fact that one country is striving to become part of present-day Europe while the other is returning to medieval Asiatic values and practices. Instead, it is drive by the fact that Ukrainians have turned away from Lenin while Russians are returning to Stalin.”

 

 

 

“The state has probably put around 10-12% of GDP in now since Euromaidan to clean up the banking sector and the challenge of the next NBU governor and the SDIF and MOF is ensuring as much of that can be paid back to the state…”

Karen Shakhnazarov, for example, said on Moscow’s First Channel Thursday evening that Trump is Russia’s revenge for Gorbachev: He will divide the US and end up “in Miami instead of Foros.” Then, he continued, “we will rule the world.” Russians just have to wait because “Trump is again ours!”

 

<This illustration originally appeared in FT.com

 

The “Russophobia” Weapon 2017/5/11 14:35:31

As Sergei Lavrov travels the world nattering on about so-called “Russophobia,” Brian Whitmore says that perhaps the Kremlin’s main mouthpiece might look inward for the causes.

"What clearer example of 'Russophobia' can there be than claiming that Russians are backward savages who cannot possibly maintain a society of democratic norms, pluralism in political discourse, and rule of law?" 

Even before Putin was elevated to the presidency, when he was still prime minister, Zaidman continues, he “began his actions by blowing up the apartment blocks in Moscow and Volgodonsk and with ‘the training exercise in Ryazan.’ If this isn’t fascism, blowing up houses where one’s own citizens live, then what is fascism?’”

 

Gudkov: “Russia is ‘a soft authoritarian regime … not a democracy. And all regimes love to soothe themselves by various investigations about the love of the people for their leader.” Thus, ‘there was ‘a Brezhnev majority’ 40 years ago, and today ‘there is ‘a Putin majority.’  There were even majorities for Stalin and Nicholas II.”

In this Daily Vertical Brian Whitmore expounds on the Kremlin-financed propaganda machine that sucks up Russian state budget rubles by the billions and then churns out misinformation and lies designed to support Putin’s obsession that Russia remains a great power and should have veto power over any proposal in the UN or any other international body.

Russians who have fought in the Donbas, Aleksandr Nevzorov says, “have gotten a taste for easy money, easy blood, and easy opportunities for satisfying themselves,” in short, all “the criminal joys.”  And they don’t forget these when they return home, yet another way that Putin’s war in Ukraine is harming Russia.

 

During the last period, the two most important structural conditions were that the National Bank take over the heavily undercapitalized Privatbank, and that Ukraine implement the strict filing of asset declarations of 100,000 officials. 

 

Photo: Noted economist Anders Aslund

Putin's lobby in Europe. Is it losing its mojo?

 

(Cartoon by Yevhen Oliynyk, RFE/RL)

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