Voices from Russia

Saturday, 6 July 2013

6 July 2013. Sergei Yolkin’s World. Events of the Week in Cartoons: 3-7 June 2013

00 Sergei Yolkin. Events of the Week in Cartoons. 3-7 June 2013. 2013

Events of the Week in Cartoons: 3-7 June 2013

Sergei Yolkin



Sergei Yolkin sketches out the events of the week: Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin’s resignationan emergency in the Moscow Metro, and Hugh Laurie presented a performance in Moscow at the State Kremlin Palace.

7 June 2013

Sergei Yolkin




6 July 2013. Sergei Yolkin’s World. A Perspective on the Rouble

00 Sergei Yolkin. A Perspective on the Rouble. 2013 – Resized

A Perspective on the Rouble

Sergei Yolkin



Anton Siluanov said that Minfin would buy foreign currency on the domestic market to replenish state reserves. Experts speculated that there could be a possible devaluation of the roubleSergei Yolkin looks at it this way.

18 June 2013

Sergei Yolkin



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6 July 2013. Sergei Yolkin’s World. Events of the Week in Cartoons: 10-14 June 2013

00 Sergei Yolkin. Events of the Week in Cartoons. 10-14 June 2013. 2013

Events of the Week in Cartoons: 10-14 June 2013

Sergei Yolkin



The Turkish situation is interesting. Ostensibly, the dispute is over development of a park in Istanbul, but many feel that its really a protest at what secular-minded Turks see as “creeping Islamism“. This affair has become the largest protest in Turkey in decades. The government backed down… if you combine this with the Iranian election and the Egyptian coup, could one conclude that Islamism has hit its apogee, and is now on the downturn? It’s too early to say, but it’s a possibility. Islam isn’t going away any time soon (or any time later, either), but the scarier elements in it may very well have woken up sensible Muslims to what’s going on… let’s hope so.



Sergei Yolkin looked at this week’s highlights: Prokhorov won’t run in the Moscow mayoral election, Obama decided not to go on safari, and Erdoğan offered to put the future of the trees in Gezi Park up to a referendum.

14 June 2013

Sergei Yolkin



“The USA is Enraged. They Need Edward Snowden for a Show Trial”

00 Uncle Sam. I Want You to Blow the Whistle on Fascism. 06.07.13


Edward Snowden is tired of sitting in a tight spot. The fugitive CIA contractor has been in the transit area of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport for two weeks now. Earlier this week, he applied for political asylum to more than twenty countries. President Vladimir Putin was one of the first to respond positively to the request, but set a condition, “If he wants to stay here, there’s one condition… he must stop his activities aimed at inflicting damage to our American partners. He, judging by everything, doesn’t intend to stop such work, so, he has to choose a country and move there”. Snowden agreed that Russia wasn’t the best option for him, and continued seeking asylum.

Meanwhile, Moscow hosted the Gas Exporting Countries Forum. Amongst the participants were leaders from Iran, Venezuela, and Bolivia, which, definitely, one can’t accuse of worshipping Washington. When reporters asked him to comment on the Snowden affair, Bolivian President Juan Evo Morales Ayma said that he was willing to consider Mr Snowden’s request. That answer almost cost the Bolivian president his life. When he flew out of Moscow, (from Vnukovo airport, not Sheremetyevo, where Mr Snowden is holed up) all of a sudden, France and Portugal barred him from their airspace, and Spain withdrew a permit to land in the Canary Islands to refuel. These governments feared that the fugitive American spy could illegally be on board the presidential plane. By the way, this was after Snowden revealed to Europeans just how their NATO ally and partner was secretly spying on EU citizens and intercepting telephone calls of EU leaders.

Against such a background, the European countries barred from their airspace a man who could theoretically help Mr Snowden. Bruno Gollnisch, a member of the European Parliament, said in a VOR interview that this outraged him, saying, “Unfortunately, our government took the position of worshipping the USA. The only reaction to the information about American wiretapping was a request to postpone free trade talks for two weeks. I’m staggered how dependent on the USA we are. I’m even more staggered that France barred Evo Morales’s aircraft from our airspace. I believe it is a real shame for my country”. Vienna permitted President Morales to make an emergency landing. The Bolivian president enjoyed Austria’s hospitality for more than 12 hours, until an Austrian representative inspected the presidential plane and assured Madrid that there were no illegal passengers. Later, the European countries involved had to explain the incident with the plane.

Sergei Mikheyev said, “This incident is yet another failure for US intelligence. This is a serious failure for the American intelligence services, of the entire management system, and of all American foreign policy in general. The USA is enraged. They need Edward Snowden for a show trial in order to teach others not to do something like this ever again. However, they failed to catch him; so, they started making mistakes. This incident is yet another mistake. Snowden wasn’t on board the plane. Once again, they made a blunder in front of the whole world”.

In solidarity with Evo Morales, Latin American countries reacted angrily to the incident, and demanded that UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon issue a statement on the incident. Meanwhile, Edward Snowden continues to send requests for asylum to different countries. Lawyer Janis Yuksha said, “When everything’s sorted out, nothing will prevent him from leaving Sheremetyevo. He’s got a passport, but the problem is that it’s invalid. However, this document legitimises him, i.e. identifies him. We can identify a person collating photos and other data. I want to say that many countries give asylum to refugees without any documents at all. Snowden has lots of them. Nevertheless, his status is unusual, as the USA annulled his passport, but it can’t annul his citizenship. Therefore, he’s a citizen of that country, but he doesn’t want to go back there. Being in the transit area, he isn’t actually on any country’s territory”. As of today, Venezuela and Nicaragua indicated that they’d give Edward Snowden asylum.

6 July 2013

Natalia Kovalenko

Voice of Russia World Service


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