Voices from Russia

Friday, 9 March 2012

9 March 2012. Yuri Gagarin was Born on 9 March 1934… He would Have Been 78 Today…

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9 March 2012. A Photo Essay. Our Many Different Faces: Ringing the Changes on the Theme “Being a Woman in Russia”

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If you peel back the obscuring layers of media, government, academic, and partisan propaganda, you’ll find that both Russian and American women aren’t at all like the fevered and cartoonish statements of feminist and rightwing ideologues. We’re “what we are”, in no way are ANY of us “perfect” examples of femininity (or butchiness, for that matter). This is my celebration of the women of the Rodina… the old, the unconventional, the young, the “traditional”, and the just plain “one-off’s”. Where I stand on this spectrum is for you to decide… am I more Valentina Tereshkova or am I more an unsung “worker-bee” in a Lyubertsy flat or am I something else all together (a mixture of too many things to mention)? I’m too “close” to myself to give a measured judgement. DO pass the jug… this is “thirsty work”.

BMD

Austrian MP Disputes Charge of Flawed Russia Vote

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The “tall” and the “small” voted in the late Russian election… the top image shows a Russian naval officer voting… the bottom image is of the “Old Master”, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (1950- ) casting his ballot.

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On Thursday, an Austrian MP who helped monitor this month’s Russian presidential election accused human rights groups of political bias for calling the vote unfairly skewed in favour of victor Vladimir Putin. Election observers said Putin, who won about 64 percent of the vote according to official data, had a clear advantage over his rivals in the media and that state resources supported his bid for a third presidential term. The observers from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) also called for a thorough investigation of alleged electoral violations.

Stefan Schennach, a Social Democrat member of Austria’s upper house of parliament and a member of the PACE monitoring committee, said, “I feel like I wasn’t at the same election as the OSCE. I have to say, sorry, it seems to be a politically-motivated action. The OSCE probably wrote the report released after the election before the election”. Asked why he thought this, he said, “The OSCE’s no boys’ choir. It’s also political”. A spokesman for the OSCE’s election monitoring arm in Warsaw defended the report, which he said was based on the observations of large numbers of monitors deployed across the country. He noted that the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, which has a long-term election observation mission in Russia, PACE and the OSCE parliamentary assembly all had a hand in compiling the report. The spokesman said, “While it’s perfectly possible for an individual observer to go to a few polling stations where everything’s fine, that doesn’t mean that there are no problems in this election. I think our report is very factual in pointing out what the shortcomings were”. He noted that the report highlighted positive elements as well, and took into account not only Election Day, but also the entire electoral process, including the campaign environment, candidates’ access to media, and the work of the election administration.

Schennach, 55, said that finding fault with the Russian vote because it was clear beforehand who would win neglected the fact that the same was true in presidential elections in Austria or Germany. He said that although the pre-election period was marked by pro-Putin pressure and the president-elect was close to state television, the same could be said of politicians in Austria, saying, “Of course, there’s another dimension (in Russia) and the pressure’s different, no doubt. That isn’t the form of democracy we desire, but Election Day was at a high level”. Schennach said it was inappropriate to draw sweeping conclusions that elections were skewed based on problems in “perhaps, 300 of 95,000 voting stations” and deep-seated democratic deficits in the southern Chechnya region of Russia. The problems paled compared with what he called the flawed 2008 elections in Georgia. He said, “I was in Georgia where the election fraud was blatant and we election monitors were just in the process of filling out forms after hours of observing the elections. At 5 a.m. the next day (an OSCE monitoring team leader) appeared before the cameras and declared the election was in order. Something wasn’t right”.

8 March 2012

Reuters

As quoted in MSNBC

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/46666984/ns/world_news-europe/#.T1mlZMAgfig

Editor’s Note:

If the OSCE and PACE want to find REAL election fraud, let them come to the USA! Let’s see… there was the stolen presidential election in 2000… the Swift Boat Veterans for (Un-) Truth in 2004 (the REAL beef those guys had was that Kerry was a member of the VVAW)… “Landslide Lyndon“… and much, much more. Trust me, Putin’s a piker compared to real pros like Jerry Jennings here in Albany (hey, I’m not complaining, the city’s run fairly well, I’ve got to say) and the Daley machine in Chicago. In short, so-called “election monitors” issue forth nothing but meaningless hot air and bullshit, signifying nothing. Now, if we could harness this wasted energy to do useful work… why, the mind boggles at the possibilities, no?

BMD

MID Official Sez Russia Will Veto Any Military Intervention in Syria Raised at the UN

Russia and China say… “NO WAR IN SYRIA”. That’s the end of it…

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Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said that Russia wouldn’t agree to any resolution by the UN Security Council that could eventually authorise military intervention in the country. On Thursday, he wrote in his Twitter microblog, “We continue complex consultations in New York on a ‘Syrian’ resolution with the aim of reaching a text addressing the demands of both parties equally. We won’t agree with any UN Security Council resolution on Syria containing clauses that could authorise the use of force against the country. Ambiguity is unacceptable”. Russia, together with China, used its veto in the UN Security Council to block a resolution that could potentially result in military intervention in Syria, repeating the so-called “Libyan scenario”.

9 March 2012

RIA-Novosti

http://en.rian.ru/russia/20120309/172029515.html

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