Voices from Russia

Monday, 17 July 2017

17 July 2017. An Observation on Working-Class Football Culture in Europe

“Ваше место тут” (“Your place is here”… idiomatically, “You belong here”)… the rowdy backers of FK Lokomotiv Moskva in the (in)famous South Stands at Lokomotiv Central Stadium

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You back a side because your dad does; all his mates do, as does the entire neighbourhood. You’ve seen the people going en masse to the matches! It’s neighbourhood and team pride all rolled up in one. If we’re talking REAL football… let’s not forget Fr Christos in Thessaloniki who shows up at all the matches. Some tight-arsed people complained… but the people put up a FB page Hands Off Our Father Christos! The bishop didn’t ban him from the pitch…

Some middle-class people look down their noses at this… but I’d remind them that people CHOOSE their pastimes and that backing this side or that one is a far less harmful occupation than some of the things indulged in by the scornful bourgeois. Indeed…

I do confide that their real problem with it is that it’s “common”…

BMD

Saturday, 25 February 2017

The Liars Fold: Russia Vindicated Once Again

00 Paralympics. 10.09.12. Gold Medal

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Surprise, surprise… the International Olympic Committee (IOC) lamented there’s “insufficient” evidence of Russian doping. We live for these moments. As they say in America:

A lie gets halfway to Wal-Mart before the truth has a chance to put its Crocs on.

Yes, it’s finally happened. The truth finally caught up with the World Anti-Doping Agency and its International Olympic Committee pals. The IOC admitted that Richard McLaren’s 2016 report on the alleged use of doping by Russian athletes “isn’t sufficient to bring successful cases”. Christophe de Kepper, director-general and member of the IOC Executive Board said in a letter to the organisation:

At the recent meeting (21 February) held by WADA in Lausanne to “provide assistance to IFs [International Federations] regarding how to analyse and interpret the evidence”, WADA admitted that in many cases the evidence provided may not be sufficient to bring successful cases.

Finally, justice… and just in time to allow all Russian athletes to take part in the Rio games…oh, wait. Based on the first part of McLaren’s report published on 18 June 2016, which presented the results of his investigation into alleged doping at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games, WADA recommended that the IOC, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), and all international sporting federations exclude Russia from their competitions. Consequently, the IOC banned the entire Russian Paralympian team from the Rio games. We could spend all day dissecting the McLaren report, but it’s clear that the IOC has already accepted reality… it’s a bad, bad, bad, poorly done politically motivated hit job. If you want the details, you can read this or this or this. Mark Chapman nailed it back in August:

Bullshit. From start to finish. No western athlete would have to put up with a ban on competing just because he or she was American or Canadian or Dutch, and he or she would damned sure not be told to accept a ban where he or she had not even seen the evidence against him or her because it was secret. The McLaren Report doesn’t prove anything it purports to prove, and it won’t stand up to a challenge.

Bingo.

25 February 2017

Matthew Allen

Russian Insider

http://russia-insider.com/en/politics/liars-fold-russia-vindicated-once-again/ri19037   

Thursday, 8 September 2016

8 September 2016. As Seen by Vitaly Podvitsky… We Have ONE SOUL!

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The International Paralympic Committee is furious! The Belarusians aren’t afraid of them; they carried the Russian flag at the Paralympic opening ceremony! The Belarusian team came to the parade of national teams at the Paralympic Games opening ceremony in Rio de Janeiro with the Russian tricolour. Can you believe that the International Paralympic Committee has already launched an investigation into the incident? One of the Belarusian team-members carried the Russian flag. They carried the flag about a quarter of the way around the stadium before they took it away. The IPC threatened athletes who were going to carry the Russian flag with severe punishment. The Belarusian action has already caused a reaction in the International Paralympic Committee, other than that, no one else condemned it. Thank you, Belarusians! You showed that old-school Russian character!

8 September 2016

Vitaly Podvitsky Masterskaya Karikatury

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“I’m Possible”… On the Anglo Rape of the 2016 Paralympics

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Recently, a good friend of mine called me. He told me that he broke his leg. My friend is very athletic and he was supposed to compete in a triathlon for which he trained for many months. We started talking; my friend started complaining about the situation:

Can you just IMAGINE, Aleksei, I trained for so long and now I won’t be able to run…

Right after saying that, I think he realised what that made me feel like, and there was an uncomfortable silence, that I broke by making some joke.

Friends, I can very well imagine what it’s like to not be able to run or jump. I’ll tell you something else… all my life I’ve tried to imagine the exact opposite. I tried to imagine what it’s like to do those things… to run, jump, and walk. I imagine that when I wake up I won’t have to look for my little cart next to my bed, but I can just stand up on my own legs. I imagine myself running, pushing my body of the ground with me legs, and for microseconds between the steps soaring above ground. I have to imagine these things, friends, because I was born without legs and with just one arm. However, in all my life I’ve not gotten to run or jump… in fact, I haven’t even walked a single step. Nevertheless, I don’t complain about my life… in fact, I love life!

My mentors at the Soviet Orphanage №2 in the city of Tsurupinsk taught me everything I needed to live. I also managed to find other disabled people and we started an organisation called CITY, which in Russian stands for Commonwealth of Working and Active Disabled People… an organisation for people who love life and want to live. I, as well as our organisation, used to help the Ukraine’s Paralympic Team. Many members of the team were also members of our organisation. Many Paralympic athletes, unlike me, were born “normal”… with arms and legs, without thinking that they could lose them… unfortunately, due to accidents or tragedies, these guys and girls lost their limbs and became disabled.

One of the goals of CITY was to teach people who became disabled to not just live and work, but to learn to LOVE LIFE again. Very often, sport helped people find new reasons to and spirit to live. I personally know a lot of people, who after becoming disabled, didn’t straight out kill themselves, only because they were able to discover (or rediscover) sports and joined the Paralympic movement. A lot of them came to us and said something like:

I lost my limbs two years ago, hated life, I just wanted to lie down and die. But then I saw the Paralympic Games on TV, I saw what people with injuries even worse than mine were doing, and I started to love life once again!

I personally know several hundred people like that. Around the world, millions of disabled people stopped waiting for death after seeing the Paralympic Games! That’s why, friends, when I started my Facebook page, I chose a picture from the Winter Paralympic Games in Sochi. Then, at the 2014 opening ceremony, Tetris pieces spelled out the word “impossible”… then, they transformed into “I’M POSSIBLE”. That’s what Paralympians teach all of us… able-bodied or disabled. They teach us that all of us are possible, that we can be stronger than circumstances, pain, fate, and misery! Paralympians don’t get huge cash prizes. They don’t throw parties in Monaco. They don’t “pick up” girls in expensive cars. What they do though, is day in, and day out, ignoring pain and suffering, they overcome themselves. Every time these heroes compete, they inspire people around the world to discover new reasons to live.

Today, the Paralympic Games opening in Rio they will open without the Russian team… one of the strongest teams! Philip Craven (the head of Paralympic Committee) deprived the Russian team of a chance to compete at the Games. His actions were both illegal and vile! However, he didn’t just deprive Russian disabled athletes of a chance to compete… he deprived hundreds or maybe thousands of disabled people a chance to see these heroes, to find new meaning in life! So, there will be people who, without being inspired by our Russian Paralympic heroes, will start drinking or even climb into a warm bath to cut their wrists… all these rebroken lives of people who won’t rediscover the joy of life. People whose tragedies won’t have a happy end. Philip Craven’s illegal decision is the direct cause of their blood and suffering!

It’s too late for the Russian Paralympic team to compete in the Games… that’ll make the Games a parody of themselves. However, today, Russian winter Paralympic athletes are also in danger of not competing in the 2018 Games. I, Aleksei Zhuravko, a former activist for disabled people in the Ukraine, ask the Paralympic Committee to override Craven’s criminal decision. They should allow Russian Paralympians to compete and inspire millions around the world with their heroism!

7 September 2016

Aleksei Zhuravko

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