Voices from Russia

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

18 June 2013. You Can’t Make Up Shit Like This… “Sextremist” Topless Protest Targets Belarus President Lukashenko

00 Ukrainian police. FEMEN protester. 18.06.13


On Tuesday, cops in Kiev dispersed self-styled “sextremist” topless protesters from the Ukrainian feminist group FEMEN overnight after they attempted to storm a building where Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko was staying, the group said on its website. President Lukashenko, once dubbed by American officials as the “last dictator in Europe”, is in the Ukrainian capital for a two-day official visit. The activists carried burning torches and with daubed slogans, including “Viva Belarus”, “Dictator, Get Out!”, on their bodies, tried to break through security at the residence in downtown Kiev where Lukashenko was staying. Ukrainian riot police prevented them from entering the building and rounded them up. The group said it staged the protest to remind Lukashenko of what it called “the brutal harassment” of FEMEN activists in the forest near the Belarusian town of Gomel in 2011, following another topless demonstration near KGB headquarters in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. FEMEN said their protest also aimed to highlight the plight of independent journalists in Belarus who they claim have “disappeared” after criticising the Lukashenko régime, and of hundreds of political prisoners allegedly “illegally” held in Belarusian prison camps. The group also cited the case of the men who jailed and executed “without any proof” for their alleged role in a deadly bomb attack on the Minsk subway in 2011. The group said in a statement on its website, “FEMEN calls the world to psychological war with dictators! Watch them night and day, don’t let them act!”

In recent weeks, FEMEN carried out a series of high-profile protests abroad. On Monday, FEMEN activists issued a statement on their website saying they “can no longer watch passively” whilst Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan uses force against demonstrators on Istanbul’s Taksim Square, which has been at the centre of mass riots in the country for over a fortnight. The group appealed for money to pay for travel to Turkey, where they threatened to “fight chest to chest” against what it called the “dictatorship” of Erdoğan. In May, Tunisian police arrested FEMEN activists from France and Germany after they made a topless protest in front of Tunisia’s Palace of Justice, after the arrest of a local FEMEN activist following an earlier protest. FEMEN began in the Ukraine in 2008, initially, to protest on women’s rights issues. The group has since made headlines with topless protests around the world on a variety of other political issues.

18 June 2013



Editor’s Note:

It takes all kinds! These gals have figured out that if you give the media “T & A”, you’ll always get publicity. They aren’t dumb blondes, that’s for sure. The Ukrainian coppers in the image seem nonplussed, though. That’s part of their strategy, too. As I said, they’re not dumb blondes…



Saturday, 15 September 2012

As John Robles Sees It… Muslim Rage Spreads Worldwide

Protestors outside the American Embassy in Cairo (Cairo GovernorateEGYPT


Protests against the American film Innocence of Muslims has begun to spread all over the world. There’ve been attacks on American Embassies worldwide as Muslim anger against American policies and meddling continued. The protests involved hundreds of thousands; for the most part, they’re peaceful, with the largest part of the most serious violence directed at American Embassies and businesses, and in one case, protesters burned down an American school. Since the murders in Benghazi, there have been no reports of violence against Americans.

Mass protests by Muslims continue to spread to more and more countries as outrage in the Islamic world escalates due to the trailer of an American film ridiculing the Prophet Mohammed called Innocence of Muslims, which appeared on the internet. Although the film was the spark that lit the flames of the violence, massive longstanding grievances and anger against the USA and its attempts to force its policies on countries worldwide, as well as the constant meddling of the USA into affairs in Muslim world are now serving to feed the escalating violence. The deep socioeconomic problems in Arab Spring countries, something that hasn’t been addressed, is also playing into the hands of Islamists and adding more fuel to the crisis.

All over the world, governments are asking Muslims to show restraint and not to escalate the level of violence. On Friday, the protests spread from Egypt and Libya to other countries including Israel, Sudan, Tunisia, and Yemen. There were also widespread protests in countries outside the Middle East, including but not limited to Bangladesh, Kashmir, India, Indonesia, Iran, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines, and Qatar.


In Jerusalem, a protest near the Damascus Gate turned violent when protesters began throwing rocks at police. Apparently, the protesters began to head in the direction of the American Consulate, but the police stopped them by using concussion grenades. According to Ynetnews, there were protests in Akko, in the Wadi Ara region, and in the towns of Baqa al-Gharbiyye and Umm al-Fahm, which were for the most part peaceful.


Yemen saw some of the most violent protests with reports saying that security forces killed four protesters who were rioting near the American Embassy.


In Khartoum, hundreds of protesters stormed the German Embassy and set it on fire. Police used teargas to dispel the protesters, who then began protesting outside the British Embassy nearby.


In Kashmir, in some of the largest anti-American demonstrations so far, at least 15,000 people took part in dozens of protests, chanting “Down with America”, “Down with Israel”, and calling US President Barack Obama a “terrorist”. The country’s top cleric demanded that Americans leave the region immediately.


In Chennai, protesters threw stones at the American Consulate, shattering some windows and burned an effigy of Obama. Police arrested more than 100 protesters.


In Bangladesh, about 5,000 people marched in Dhaka burning American and Israeli flags and calling for the death of the film-maker. Police stopped them from reaching the American Embassy.


In Indonesia, the most populous Muslim nation in the world, protests were extremely peaceful, as only about 200 protesters held a peaceful protest outside the heavily-guarded American Embassy in Jakarta.


There were more protests in Tehran, including demonstrations outside the Swiss Embassy (which represents American interests in Iran). Reports say Ayatollah Jannati, the head of the Guardian Council, denounced the anti-Muslim film during Friday prayers.


Three protesters were killed outside the American Embassy in Tunis, where demonstrators attempted to enter the compound. The demonstrators included ordinary Tunisians and Salafist activists. An American school was also set on fire.


Security forces in Tripoli killed one demonstrator as protesters attempted to storm a government building. In addition, protesters burned down an American Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant.


In Damascus, hundreds of protesters gathered outside the American Embassy holding a peaceful demonstration. Protesters carried images of President Bashar al-Assad and chanted anti-American slogans.


Hundreds of protesters attempted to march towards the American Embassy in Islamabad and were stopped by police far from the city’s diplomatic quarter where the embassy is located.


Protesters filled the streets of Doha and lined the city’s main highway. No violence was reported.

In closing, I’d personally like to ask all Muslims to show restraint and demonstrate peacefully, as this was another provocation. Those who made the film want to see violence and want you to overreact. If you react violently, you’ll be playing into their hands.

14 September 2012

John Robles

Voice of Russia World Service



Thursday, 6 September 2012

Putin Warns West’s Syria Policy Could Backfire


President Vladimir Putin warned the Western powers that their “dangerous” stance on the Syria crisis could come back to haunt them. In a wide-ranging interview with the RT international news channel, Putin said, “Today, some want to use militants from al-Qaeda or some other equally-radical groups to accomplish their goals in Syria. This policy is very short-sighted and is fraught with dire consequences”.

Putin compared alleged Western funding of radical Islamist militants to help topple the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad with American support for Afghan rebels after the USSR’s 1979 invasion of its Central Asia neighbour, saying, “When someone aspires to attain an end they see as optimal, any means will do. As a rule, they’ll try and do that by hook or by crook… and hardly ever think of the consequences. That was the case during the war in Afghanistan. At that time, our present partners supported a rebel movement there and basically gave rise to al- Qaeda, which later backfired on the USA itself”.

Putin also hit out at Western criticism of the Kremlin’s refusal to back proposed UN sanctions against the Assad régime over the continuing bloodshed in Syria and dismissed suggestions that Moscow would alter its position, saying, “How come Russia’s the only one who’s expected to revise its stance? Don’t you think our counterparts in negotiations ought to revise theirs as well? Because if we look back at the events in the past few years, we’ll see that quite a few of our counterparts’ initiatives haven’t played out the way they were intended to. Look at what’s going on in Arab countries. There have been notable developments in Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Yemen, etc. Would you say that order and prosperity have been totally ensured for these nations? Besides, what’s going on in Iraq? In Libya, there are armed clashes still raging among the country’s various tribes”.

Putin suggested the key to ending the conflict in Syria was to halt weapons deliveries to Damascus, saying, “I believe that the first thing to do is to stop shipping arms into the warzone, which is still going on. We should stop trying to impose unacceptable solutions on either side, because it’s a dead-end. That’s what we should do. It’s that simple”. The Kremlin said its arms shipments to Syria don’t violate international law and don’t include equipment that could be used against “peaceful protesters”.

On 19 July, Russia and China vetoed a Western-backed UN resolution on Syria over fears that it would lead to foreign military intervention in the country, a move that American UN Ambassador Susan Rice called “paranoid if not disingenuous”. The resolution has its basis in Chapter 7 of the UN Charter, which provides for the use of force to put an end to conflict. Russia said that it has no special interest in seeing Assad remain in power, but that the “Syrian people” should decide his fate. Earlier this year, Putin vowed not to allow a repeat of the “Libya scenario”, which saw the ouster and murder of long-time Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi after a NATO military campaign last year.

6 September 2012



Friday, 15 June 2012

Anti-Spin Check: The “Little Spin” On Helicopters and the Big Lie on the “Arab Spring”

This is no spin. This is what the American-sponsored rebels are doing in Syria. Nice folks, eh? Want ‘em to move next door to YOU?


Events in the Middle East are gradually forming a pattern that less and less suits the vision of the “Arab spring” propagated by American and EU media. Attacks against police, and the headquarters of trade unions and political parties in Tunisia; a parliamentary crisis in Egypt, where the Supreme Constitutional Court dissolved the Islamist-dominated People’s Assembly; continuing ugly violence in Libya and, now, Syria… these events don’t fit the “democratisation” pattern suggested by the mainstream Western media since the start of the Arab spring in early 2011.

However, the problem is that Western leaders refuse to recognise their own mistakes, continuing to present the developments in the region as “momentous change” for the better and urging Russia “to find its place on the right side of history”, i.e. on the side of Arab “revolutionaries”. It was supremely ironic that the pro-Western organisers of The Spring of Arts named their art exhibition in a clear evocation of the “Arab spring”. One saw that it provoked the recent Islamist riots in Tunisia. There was also supreme irony in the fact that, having destroyed the exhibition, Tunisian Islamists now plan to further constrain artistic freedom by a special law on protection of sanctity; thus, putting the ABSENCE of freedom in a legal framework, trampling on a freedom so much cherished in the West. Again, ironically, in their attempt to quell the anti-art riots, the police used a law adopted by the former “dictator” Zine el Abidine Ben Ali, who’s now denounced in the West in the same way as Egypt’s Mubarak and Libya’s Gaddafi. Meanwhile, the primary enemies of a tolerant attitude to the arts were “the people on the right side of history”, i.e. the “revolutionary” Minister of Culture and the Ennahda Movement, the Islamist party that dominated the Tunisian Chamber of Deputies since the first post-Ben Ali elections, applauded by the West. Both the minister and parliament denounced the artists, putting the main responsibility for violence on them.

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Mikhail Bogdanov said in an interview with RIA-Novosti, “We often hear from our Western partners that we should put ourselves on the right side of history, but when we hear that, one often gets an impression that this kind of advice comes from the people who have fallen out of history, who simply forgot what they said a few months ago. Today, these Western partners of ours are on one side of history, tomorrow… on another. They change affiliations on a daily basis. I think that our Arab friends and partners are getting more and more conscious of the fact that we simply don’t betray our old partners with whom we’ve built relations for years”. It’s enough to remember the U-turn in American policy in re supporting Egypt’s Mubarak to illustrate Bogdanov’s point. After decades of open support for the Egyptian strongman, the US State Department suddenly became his staunchest critic; it shows absolutely no compassion for the ailing Mubarak at present, he’s serving a life sentence in prison and slowly dying in custody. All of this plays out against a background of troubling political developments in Egypt, which proves that real democratisation is a much more complicated process than the simplified American vision of it, usually reduced to a Hollywood-style conflict of “everything bad” (a dictator) against “everything good” (freethinking people).

Again, ironically, the latest spat between the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov over presumed Russian military supplies to the Syrian régime fits the same pattern. As it transpired, Ms Clinton preferred simplification (some would say a blatant lie) when talking about supplies of Russian helicopter gunships to the Syrian regime. In fact, the USA had to correct its diplomat number one, acknowledging that these weren’t new supplies, but repairs to older units, and added interesting details to Ms Clinton’s imprudent statement. The New York Times quoted “a senior US Defence Department official” as saying, “She put a little spin on it to put the Russians in a difficult position”. “Spin” in plain language is a half-truth; in modern media usage it has a tendency to become a lie, since, once put in context, it distorts the bigger picture. In the case of the current US policy on the Middle East, the “little spin” about helicopters was just a little detail of a bigger lie… that of “the democratic USA supporting the democratic Arab spring”.

15 June 2012

Dmitri Babich

Voice of Russia World Service


Next Page »

Blog at WordPress.com.