Voices from Russia

Saturday, 5 May 2018

6 May 2018. The World According to Hillary and Trump… As It Was for Truman, Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon, So It Is For Them

In America

Yuly Ganf

1953

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This was in the Soviet satirical journal Krokodil. Recall that Truman allowed the rot of McCarthyism to run rampant… recall that Kennedy set in motion the events that led to the Vietnam War… recall that Johnson refused to accept American defeat in Southeast Asia, recall that Nixon enabled Henry Kissinger. In short, the USA under “liberalism” (yes, Nixon was a pre-Reagan liberal, not a post-1980 “conservative” at all) was no “city on a hill”. Of course, it only got worse under Reagan, but it took the Clintons to take the USA over the line into outright evil.

This was true in 1953… it’s even truer today. That’s what scares me…

BMD

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Tuesday, 10 April 2018

10 April 2018. I D Kobzon With His Granddaughters on His 80th Birthday… The USA has this Grand Old Man on the Sanctions List… EVIL!

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The first two vids are from a concert honouring the 80th birthday of the famous singer I D Kobzon. The third one is from some years ago, with one of his granddaughters singing Guardian Angel (My Grandpa). The neoliberal pigs in the USA have Iosif Davydovich on their sanctions list. He’s a Donetsk homie and he stands tall for his hometown’s brave resistance to the American aggressors and their Galician Uniate dog allies. Iosif Davydovich is proud of his Jewish heritage, as well he should be. He’s also proud of his hometown, which shows that he’s a decent human being and a stand-up guy. It does tell you much about the Americans and their “sanctions”, doesn’t it?

This is one of the most life-affirming things that I’ve seen in a long time.

BMD

Sunday, 8 April 2018

The Bright Resurrection Brings Us a Day of Hope, Solidarity, the Affirmation of Eternal Values, and the Triumph of Justice

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Dear brothers and sisters, my comrades and friends!

We celebrate the Bright Resurrection of Christ, when life triumphed over the tragedy of death. During the upcoming Bright Week, we ever more clearly feel the unity of our citizens, so different, yet equally and passionately lovers of our Motherland, our history, our traditions, and our culture. Let us be united in joy and in sorrow, patient in trials, and persevering in our noble aspirations.

Recent events revealed the essence of all that accompanies us on the ascent towards Truth and the affirmation of the Good. Russia’s return to its mission as a great power sparked fierce opposition from our long-time enemies, whose weapons are lies, threats, defamation, and slander. However, we’ve already gone through that. One hundred years ago, 14 countries launched an intervention against young Soviet Russia. At that time, the new country issued a “Decree on Peace”, which was a call for all countries participating in the brutal war to begin peace talks immediately. The answer to this was intervention, an iron fist punched at our country. The ultimate goal of the intervention was to tear the country into pieces and have the forces of the interventionist countries control the remainder. However, from the taiga to the sea, the Red Army proved to be stronger than its foes were. Moreover, it was a new workers and peasants army, inspired by ideals of equality and social justice. The victory came not only from members of the oppressed strata of society, but tens of thousands of former tsarist officers, honest representatives of the once-well-to-do classes, and many foreigners united under the slogan “Hands off Soviet Russia!”

Furthermore, the solidarity of the working people and their love for the oppressed and besieged Fatherland prevailed over the interventionists. We stood and we won. In less than two decades, a new aggression leapt against our country, with most of the states of so-called “civilised” Europe taking part, whose leaders cowardly indulged the forces of evil, leading many to march under the banner of Hitler’s fascism. Again, we didn’t bow to their diktat, and as the great Pushkin said about the Napoleonic era in Europe, “our blood redeemed Europe with liberty, honour and peace”. Three-quarters of a century ago, at the Great Victory, again our state called for peace… “peace” was the first word written by Soviet children in their notebooks. The biggest sin is betrayal, but unrepentant sinners are even worse. Forgetting about their sins during the fascist era, our neighbours now trample on the past in hatred and insult the glory of their heroic compatriots who wiped absolute evil off the face of the earth at the cost of their blood. This is what F M Dostoyevsky said, who wrote about our nearest neighbours in The Diary of a Writer in 1877:

Maybe, for a whole century, or even more, they’ll tremble for their freedom and fear the power of Russia; they’ll curry favour with European states, they’ll slander Russia, gossip about it and intrigue against it … Of course, in a moment of serious misfortune, they’ll all certainly turn to Russia for help. No matter how they hate, gossip, and slander us in Europe, flirting with her and assuring her of love, but they’ll always instinctively feel something for us (of course, in a moment of trouble, but not before), that Europe is the natural enemy of their unity, it has and always will remain such, and if they exist in the world, then, of course, it’s because of the fact that Russia acts as a magnet, drawing them all to itself, which constrains their integrity and unity.

In our history, we aren’t the first to face furious pressure from our neighbours to our country. Moreover, we usually didn’t have to fight off the dark forces alone. Now, we don’t feel any support from the working people of those countries under the thumb of financial and oligarchic capital. The people remain silent, victims of social engineering and sophisticated methods of controlling the mass consciousness. Political technology replaces politics, information replaces knowledge; naked calculation and profit, not conscience, measures the actions of individuals and peoples. In such a situation, it isn’t easy to stop the procession of evil in the world. Being in the ring with multinational ill-wishers, as Russia’s philosopher Ilyin pointed up, the individual Russian and the Russian nation rallies and thus answers the challenges of the time. We are fully satisfied that the ideas of equality and social justice are at the forefront of our struggle and that the people’s expectations increasingly push the authorities to implement measures that facilitate the implementation of these requirements. We should say that the authorities try to respond to the urgent demands of the people. However, these are piecemeal measures; we need a long-term strategy.

We understand that half-hearted, partial, “cosmetic” measures won’t help us to transform the State into a truly socialist people’s state, when decision-makers aspire only, as Mayakovsky said, “to protect the safety of their familiar places”. It requires a hard-nosed attitude towards those who neglect the interests of the people and the state, which hinder the development of the country, which condone the plunder of its riches. We’ll continue to seek relentlessly to bring forward a humanistic view, to demand the implementation of the equality of all citizens of our state, to fight for equal access to its wealth, and to make those in power answer to the people for everything that happens in the country. Again, Russia needs to focus itself. For the sake of the good of the country, we must unite all our efforts and thoughts.

Congratulations on the Bright Resurrection to the clergy and laity of the Russian Orthodox Church, all Orthodox Christians, and to all people of goodwill! I wish peace to the peoples, happiness and family harmony to all citizens of our country, and new achievements on our path to revive our Motherland! Let the bright ideals of goodness, equality, justice, solidarity, and dignity, the eternal values of the Christian faith, become our communist ideal.

To the Resurrection of Christ!

7 April 2018

G A Zyuganov

Head of the KPRF faction in the RF Gosduma

Chairman of the TsK KPRF

KPRF.ru

KPRF official website

https://kprf.ru/party-live/cknews/174630.html 

Monday, 12 March 2018

No, Putin Is Not an Anti-Semite

Putin at a Jewish function in Moscow

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Editor:

This piece is snarkily Russophobic and rather anti-Putin, but the author has to admit:

V V Putin is probably not an anti-Semite.

That means that he’s more honest than most… we must encourage honesty wherever we find it. Much of the rest is rubbishy Russophobia, but the main point stands clear. That makes this a good read and it makes nonsense out of the anti-Semitic filth coming out of Russian Insider and Russian Faith (our bishops should condemn Damick et al for their collaboration with known anti-Semites), along with the snarky anti-Semitism purveyed by the likes of “the Saker”.

By the way, Putin has facility in English, but he has a heavy accent, which he knows the Anglo toddlers would use to make him look stupid. Therefore, he always uses an interpreter to speak for him to forestall this. That’s wisdom, even in small matters.

BMD

In an interview with NBC in Moscow that aired on 9 March, Megyn Kelly asked President V V Putin about the 13 Russian nationals indicted by special counsel Robert Mueller for interfering in the 2016 US presidential election with a covert social media campaign. Through a translator, Putin responded:

Maybe they’re not even Russians. Maybe they’re Ukrainians, Tatars, Jews, just with Russian citizenship. We need to check that. Maybe they have dual citizenship… or maybe a green card. Maybe the Americans paid them for this work. How do you know? I don’t know.

The reaction from US and Israeli media outlets was immediate and angry, headlines focusing on one word… Jews. Slate went with Putin: Maybe It Was the Jews Who Meddled in US Presidential ElectionNew York magazine with Putin Says Jews Might Be To Blame for 2016 Election Hacking, and The Jerusalem Post with Putin: Jews Might Have Been Behind US Election Interference, as a representative sample. The American Jewish Committee called Putin’s remarks:

They’re eerily reminiscent of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

The head of the Anti-Defamation League also drew this parallel. Democratic lawmakers also condemned the remarks. US Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut tweeted:

Repulsive Putin remark deserves to be denounced, soundly and promptly, by world leaders. Why is Trump silent? Intolerance is intolerable.

This reaction, while understandable, fundamentally misrepresents both what Putin said and the cultural context in which he said it. This isn’t to defend Putin for his smug and condescending tone throughout the interview, his palpably dishonest statements regarding whether the Russian government meddled in the 2016 election, or his unhelpful injection of ethnicity into the debate. Nonetheless, it’s important to be accurate about what Putin most likely meant and whether it represents a deeper animus toward Jews. Anti-Semitism in Russia is a real problem, but the panicked responses to Putin’s offhand comments miss the mark.

To some extent, this was a problem of translation. There are two words for “Russian” in Russian… rossiiskii, referring to any citizen of the Russian Federation, and russkii, which refers to a specific “nationality” (in the former USSR, this means something closer to “ethnicity”), ethnic Russians, who comprise 77.7 percent of the total population, according to the 2010 census. In total, more than 200 nationalities in Russia have had official recognition since the Soviet period. Most of these are quite small in number and many are associated with specific nominally autonomous republics within Russia, such as Tatarstan, Bashkortostan, and Chechnya. All of them are rossiiskii, but only the ethnic Russian majority is russkii. The term Putin used in his conversation with Kelly was russkii, presumably translated to him via headset, which accounts for why he might have differentiated between ethnic Russians and other ethnic groups within Russia. However, why did he single out Ukrainians, Tatars, and Jews, in that order? Most likely, as Tatars are the second largest ethnicity after Russians (3.7 percent of the population) and Ukrainians are the third largest (1.4 percent). As for Jews… it’s complicated.

Under the Tsarist rule, the Russian state was de jure anti-Semitic, with the Orthodox Church used to justify the confinement of Jews to the Pale of Settlement and the infamous pogroms. However, when the Bolsheviks, many of whom, such as L D Trotsky, were of Jewish background, seized power in 1917, they passed laws banning anti-Semitism, permitted mass migration of Jews into major cities like Moscow and Leningrad, and legally recognised Jews as a nationality with equal rights as citizens. The official term they (and Putin) used, yevrei, means “Hebrew” and is the standard inoffensive word for Jew in Russian. It denotes an ethnicity, not a religion, which would be iudei (“Judaic”), a useful distinction not easily captured in English. Despite achieving formal equality, Jews still endured prejudice and, like all other ethnic groups, the suppression of their religion throughout the Soviet period. Many sought to emigrate.

After the Soviet Union broke up in 1991, many Jews left for Israel, the USA, Europe, and elsewhere, and the Jews who remained were split amongst 15 newly independent republics, with by far the largest number in Russia. In 1997, Russia announced it’d no longer recognise nationality on internal passports. It removed the infamous “fifth point” that designated every citizen’s nationality, including “Jew”. In the same year, Russia officially recognised four religions… Orthodox Christianity, Judaism, Islam, and Buddhism, though it’s important to note that many ethnic Jews in post-Soviet Russia are nonreligious. As a result, since 1997, Jews can and do live in Russia without being legally identified as Jews either by nationality or religion. This makes it hard to estimate how many Jews live in Russia today, but the answer is likely in the hundreds of thousands and includes a significant number of prominent people in business, politics, and the arts. Moreover, quite a few are close to Putin.

Putin, who has effectively ruled Russia since 2000, isn’t known for anti-Semitism. At various points, he instrumentalised xenophobia against ethnic minorities, in particular from the Caucasus, as well as homophobia, and he’s notoriously politically incorrect in his public statements. Still, he’s never targeted Jews. On the contrary, Putin counts many Jews among his circle of wealthy friends, has a warm relationship with the controversial Chabad Lubavitch Rabbi Berel Lazar, and gets along famously with Israeli officials like Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman. He’s always spoken of Jews in positive terms, and as his respected biographers Fiona Hill and Clifford Gady noted, he had close relationships with Jews dating back to his early childhood in Leningrad.

None of this means that Putin is entirely innocent when it comes to anti-Semitism, which is still widespread in Russia. In the process of consolidating his power, he did target a number of oligarchs with known Jewish ancestry, such as M B Khodorkovsky and B A Berezovsky, but he didn’t single them out for Jewishness, many other ethnically Jewish oligarchs, such as R A Abramovich and V F Vekselberg, thrived under Putin. Putin also oversaw covert support for far-right anti-Semitic political parties in various countries, including, one could argue, the USA. However, we should understand this as a strategy for destabilising those countries and not as serving an ideologically anti-Semitic agenda. Meanwhile, he’s consistently pursued closer relations with Israel and made many warm gestures to the Russian Jewish community.

Putin’s remarks to Kelly were awkward at the very least. However, we should understand them as dissembling or trolling, which, unlike anti-Semitism, the Russian president is well-known for. He was being insincere and deliberately dense, refusing to engage on the question of whether the Kremlin is responsible for the Internet Research Agency’s alleged cyberattacks against the USA. Raising the possibility that the perpetrators might be ethnically Jewish or Tatar or Ukrainian rather than Russian is immaterial to the question of whether they had Kremlin support, which is exactly why Putin said it… to demonstrate how little interest he had in answering Kelly’s questions seriously. Nevertheless, he didn’t single out Jews, and unless this is the start of a disturbing new trend, there’s no evidence that he intended to dog-whistle to anti-Semites. There are many good reasons to be concerned about Putin, but his feelings toward Jews are most likely not among them.

11 March 2018

David Klion

Forward         

https://forward.com/opinion/396337/no-putin-is-not-an-anti-semite/

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