Voices from Russia

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

US State Department Sez Russian Laws and Policies Restrict Religious Freedom

00.01a Pussy Riot. Belarus. Romney Advisers. 02.10.12

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According to an annual report released on Monday by the US State Department, Russia was amongst the countries (including Saudi Arabia, DPRK, Cuba, Iran, and China) that imposed restrictions on freedom of religion last year. US Secretary of State John Kerry commented to the press, “This report is a clear-eyed objective (sic!) look at the state of religious freedom around the world. When necessary, yes, it does directly call out some of our close friends, as well as some countries with whom we seek stronger ties. It does so in order to try to make progress, even though we know that it may cause some discomfort. But when countries undermine or attack religious freedom, they not only unjustly threaten those whom they target. They also threaten their country’s own stability… attacks on religious freedom are therefore both a moral and a strategic national security concern for the USA”.

According to the International Religious Freedom Report for 2012, the Russian government “targeted members of minority religious groups through the use of extremism charges to ban religious materials and restrict groups’ right to assemble”. It said authorities also “restricted religious minorities through detention, raids, denial of official registration with the Ministry of Justice (Minyust), and denial of visas to religious workers”. Suzan Johnson Cook, Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom, a division of the US State Department that monitors religious persecution and discrimination around the world, said, “Religious freedom is essential for a stable, peaceful, and thriving society. … As this report makes clear, much work remains to be done”.

The report finds evidence of anti-Muslim sentiment and discrimination in Russia, as well as an increase in anti-Semitism, pointing to vandals in Russia painting a swastika on a fence at a St Petersburg synagogue in May 2012, and in July 2012, vandals painting a swastika on a synagogue wall in Irkutsk. The report alleged, “Members of minority religious groups continued to experience harassment and occasional physical attacks. Violent extremism in the North Caucasus region and an influx of Central Asian migrant workers led to negative attitudes in many regions toward traditionally-Muslim ethnic groups”.

Amongst the claimed instances that raised concern in Russia:

The report asserted, “There’s no state religion, but the Russian Orthodox Church and other ‘traditional’ religious communities received preferential consideration”. The annual report details the status of religious freedom in 195 countries throughout the world. Mandated by, and presented to, the US Congress, under the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998.

20 May 2013

RIA-Novosti

http://en.rian.ru/world/20130521/181259579/Russian-Laws-Policies-Restrict-Religious-Freedom—US-Report.html

Editor’s Note:

BOO-HOO! Let’s all shudder together in unison. Americans have NO right at all to point fingers. Look at the vacuous anti-Muslim diatribes broadcast by the likes of Fox News, Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, and Peter King. You’d think that Muslims were responsible for cancer, the common cold, athlete’s foot, and the heartbreak of psoriasis. THIS is why America and Americans are hated throughout the whole world. “Why, we’re so good that all of you unwashed yobbos and wogs have to kiss our naked arse in full view of everybody, or we’ll send you ungrateful and disrespectful sods democracy on the bomb-racks of a USAF bomber”. That’s what it is, full stop… and no one can deny it. However, they got their comeuppance in Iraq and Afghanistan. In Iraq, they ended by putting a pro-Iranian junta in power (a delicious irony if there ever was one), and they can’t impose their diktat over the Hindu Kush, even though they’ve spent twelve years trying to do so.

This is more Anglo-Saxon posturing… yes, kids, it’s what you see amongst the konvertsy… we’re all so BACKWARD… but all we have to do is to follow the simon-pure WASPs, kiss their bums whenever they present them, and everything will be hunky-dory. Well, I don’t give such twaddle any truck any more… life is too short. Cross yourself, say “Slava Bogu”, and tell ‘em to their face, “Kiss my arse”… you’ll feel 100 percent better, and they won’t bother you any further (they WILL trash you behind your back, but them’s the breaks, kids). Silly sorts, aren’t they? It takes ALL kinds in our sinful-ginful world.

BMD

Former CIA Analyst: “Elements in USA Want to End Moscow Ties”

there-are-spies-among-us-588

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Former senior CIA analyst David MacMichael told Press TV in regard to the recent spy row between Moscow and Washington that some speculations emerged that “elements in USA want to end Moscow ties”. When asked whether USA has a lot to lose by planting spies specifically at a time when the two countries are planning to cooperate and find a political solution on Syria, he said, “unfortunately, some will speculate that elements within the US Intelligence and security services that are opposed to rapprochement with Russia” did this in order to put an end to cooperation between Russia and USA.

20 May 2013

Voice of Russia World Service

http://english.ruvr.ru/news/2013_05_20/Elements-in-US-want-to-end-Moscow-ties-former-CIA-Analyst/

Editor’s Note:

Do make a crucial distinction here. The “pros” in intel aren’t “opposed to rapprochement with Russia”… they’d like an easier life, and having good relations with Russia would mean that there’d be fewer chances of a fatal fuck-up. However, you can’t say the same of their political bosses and of the political hacks appointed to the higher reaches in both Langley and Fort Meade. Interestingly enough, both Republican neoconservatives and Democratic humanitarian interventionists converge as far as warfare in foreign parts is concerned… there’s not a tuppence worth of difference between them.

Who’s worse? The Republicans, at least, are open and unashamed grasping greedsters… the Democrats garb their nastiness in smarmy robes of “democracy” and “human rights” (the neocons use the former as much as the Democrats do, but the latter not as much). They’re both equally evil in terms of foreign policy (I vote Democratic because there IS a difference in their domestic policies, enough to matter). However, do note well that the Orthodox konvertsy and their enablers (especially, Potapov, Paffhausen, and Alexander Webster… also notice the SVS/Acton Institute Dixie Fry) cheerlead for the neocon warmongers… that’s not “consistent life ethics”, kids.

You see, if peace were to break out, the arms merchants would have no more orders for a while… and that can’t be! Poor babies! How will they afford their McMansions, wetback gardeners and nannies, holidays in Orlando, and country club dues? As General Smedley Butler put it so well in the ‘30s, “War is a racket”. Things haven’t changed, kids…

BMD 

21 May 2013. Ura! It’s Polar Exploration Day!

00 Sergei Yolkin. Ura! It’s Polar Exploration Day! 2013

Ura! It’s Polar Exploration Day!

Sergei Yolkin

2013

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RIA put this up on the English side of the site today, and they lazily posted the Russian version, without any edits. On the banner on the Polar explorers ice floe, it said “Polar Station” in Russian, so, I Englished it as “North Pole Station-40″, the current drift station. I used PhotoShop Elements, nothing fancy, so, it’s clear that the RIA staffer could have done the same. Hell, I upped the canvas size and cloned in additional seascape and waves… so, don’t tell me that it was difficult…

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Russia marked 21 May as polar Exploration Day for the first time. This day was when the first Polar Drifting Ice Station, North Pole-1, commenced operations in 1937. Sergei Yolkin gives us his take on the affair.

21 May 2013

Sergei Yolkin

RIA-Novosti

http://ria.ru/caricature/20130521/938600644.html

Click here for an image gallery, and here for a vid in English

 

21 May 2013. Sergei Yolkin’s World. Curb “Golden Parachutes!”

00 Sergei Yolkin. Curb “Golden Parachutes!” 2013

Curb “Golden Parachutes!”

Sergei Yolkin

2013

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Sergei Yolkin gives us his estimation of a bill submitted to the RF Gosduma to limit “golden parachutes”, benefits paid to top managers of state enterprises after dismissal.

21 May 2013

Sergei Yolkin

RIA-Novosti

http://ria.ru/caricature/20130521/938549938.html

Click here for more on the topic

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