Voices from Russia

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Vandal Spray-Painting Cathedral Nabbed by Cabbies


On Tuesday, local police in Khabarovsk in the Russian Far East said that taxi drivers tackled a vandal caught spray-painting the walls of a city cathedral. A police press release stated, “On Tuesday night, taxi drivers who were on Komsomolskaya Square saw a man in dark clothing wandering around the Assumption Cathedral. One of the drivers figured out that the stranger was spray-painting the cathedral’s walls”. The driver called police, then, he dashed up to the vandal together with a colleague. The man was unable to escape. Later, the perp failed to give a reason for his actions. He may face a criminal case of vandalism. If convicted, the authorities could lock him up for three years.

17 April 2012



click here for Khabarovsk on Wikitravel

Editor’s Note:

This shows a proper civilian response to an actual crime in progress. The cabbies called the cops, but when they saw that the perp was actually committing a crime (spray-painting graffiti on a church building IS a crime), they knocked him down and held him until the coppers got there. There was no untoward or unnecessary violence. I’m certain that the cabbies used VERY direct methods and that Miss Manners mightn’t have approved of some of their language. Popeye would’ve approved of their actions and their words… so do I. The perp better pack his long-johns and ushanka… he’s gonna be bustin’ rocks under the Arctic sun in the Sakha Republic for the foreseeable future, if my guess is correct. The cabbies were eatin’ their spinach… good on them!



18 April 2012. The Russian “Take” on Trayvon Martin is NOT that Expressed by the American Rightwing… Let’s Look at the Facts of the Matter

This is what I believe… if you don’t like it… tough beans. I won’t close my mind to suit any political, social, or religious Neanderthal. I’ll stand for what’s right, come what may. ‘Nuff said!


As I read the Russian media daily (what I post here is only a smidgen of what I read), the Russian “take” on Trayvon Martin is consistent. NO Russian commentator takes the position of Fox News and the Republican Party. I did post a VOR article by Vladimir Gladkov (click here to read it) that was typical of Russian media reportage of the event. The Russian and Russian Orthodox media publicised the inability of the American authorities to secure any justice in this case. In Russia, there is ALWAYS reference to what Article of the Criminal Code is applicable in serious media reports. I notice that rightwing US media avoid the issue of Criminally Negligent Homicide. George Zimmerman’s shooting of Trayvon Martin, in the technical legal sense, was NOT a “murder” (although in colloquial terms it was such). Murder requires premeditation not present in this case; it wasn’t a killing in the course of a felony, or a killing of a deputised peace officer. Yet, “Murder” isn’t the only form of legally-punishable killing, there’s also Manslaughter and Criminally Negligent Homicide. I believe that Zimmerman committed Criminally Negligent Homicide.

It wasn’t Murder, as it lacked intent. It wasn’t Manslaughter, as it occurred outside the commission of a crime. Yet, a death occurred due to George Zimmerman’s “high recklessness “. After he’d reported the situation to the 911 operator, the operator ordered Zimmerman to back off; the coppers would take care of it. He refused to follow instructions; he stalked Martin in his car, and confronted him, without any approval from any higher authority. Zimmerman was only a civilian member of a neighbourhood watch group, he was NOT a sworn and deputised peace officer authorised to bear and use armed force to enforce the laws of the State of Florida. George Zimmerman lacked the legal authority to confront Trayvon Martin with a firearm and demand that he “cease and desist”. Zimmerman was in his car; Martin was on foot. That means that Zimmerman had the means to “outrun” Martin if he didn’t confront him. In short, Zimmerman provoked the encounter, and that fact alone could justify a conviction under Criminally Negligent Homicide (but not Murder or Manslaughter).

Frankly, much of the brouhaha in the media over this disgusts me. On the right, there’s no discussion of the fact that Zimmerman provoked the encounter, and that he illegally usurped the authority of using deadly force. On the left, there’s too much discussion of racism… it’s there, no doubt on that score, but that’s not what’s ultimately important. What’s pivotal is that Zimmerman usurped the state’s authority to enforce the laws; he was nothing but a self-appointed and reckless vigilante. Yes… I believe that his racism motivated his refusal to pull back from the encounter, but racism isn’t what’s important in a court of law. What matters is that Zimmerman broke the law by taking upon himself the authority of a police officer. Full stop. If we keep racism out of that discussion, it’ll convince many good-hearted and well-intentioned people that not only George Zimmerman, but also the Republican Party in general, winks at gun violence and vigilante injustice (often motivated by a sick racism, to be sure).

I’ll tell you one of the reasons why the US media attacks Russia… I see that the Russian media exposed the filthy hypocritical face of US racism, embodied in white supremacy and ignorant attacks on President Obama’s birth and religion. One of the writers in the Russian press noted that if there really were a problem with President Obama’s birth certificate, the GOP would’ve been in court in a heartbeat; after all, Bush stole the election in 2000 on less of a pretext, didn’t he? On the other hand, take Joe Arpaio… he runs a brutal desert GULag that the American media would cry crocodile tears over if it were in Russia. That’s received much attention in the Russian press, too. Trayvon Martin has received much positive press in the CIS, especially from the KPRF and KPU. It’s something that Putin, Udaltsov, Zyuganov, and His Holiness agree upon (but not the pro-West running-dog Prokhorov… he’s all in favour of the US rightwing).

Doubtlessly, the rightwing will blame it all on “the liberal media”. They’ll call us “hypocrites” and “un-Christian” for supporting justice for Trayvon (and for his family, too). The Republicans have stirred the shit ever since they started to woo racist Southerners in the late ‘60s. The “liberal media” had nothing to do with it… there’s been a worldwide outcry. HH supports Trayvon… that’s why Langley hates him and wants to discredit him (the kafuffle over the blingy watch was a case in point). Indeed, the rightwing’s starting to use discredited terminology such as “race-traitor”. They’re unashamed about it all, too. That’s ugly and creepy! Not only that, it’s against everything that we believe in as Orthodox Christians. Let’s allow the court to act. God willing, the court will find George Zimmerman guilty of (at least) usurping the state’s authority… but this should be a warning to us all. Not only is there racism in the USA, “interested parties” want to exacerbate the situation for low and amoral political ends. Reflect on this… Fox News is owned by the same guy who published News of the World (it wasn’t called “Screws of the World” for nothing!)… like calls unto like, no?

Barbara-Marie Drezhlo

Wednesday 18 April 2012

Albany NY

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