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JUNE 2009

Window On Eurasia: Fetwa Against Muslims Marrying Christians Has Limited Applicability

posted by eagle on June, 2009 as ANALYSIS / OPINION


Window on Eurasia: Fetwa against Muslims Marrying Christians has Limited Applicability

Paul Goble

Vienna, June 15 – A fetwa issued by the Muslim Spiritual Directorate (MSD) of Daghestan saying that Muslims in the Russian Federation should not marry Christians has attracted a great deal of attention, positive and negative, but this legal opinion has a far narrower specific application but potentially much greater implications than most reports have suggested.
On the one hand, the legal opinion applies only to the followers of the Shafai rite of Sunni Islam, a group that formers a relatively small fraction of all Muslims in the Russian Federation. But on the other, it provides a theological basis for continuing and possibly violent clashes between those peoples, mostly in the North Caucasus, and the Russian state.
Two weeks ago, the alims (theologians) of the Daghestani MSD responded to a series of inquiries about whether it is permissible for Muslims to marry non-Muslims, questions coming mostly from the increasing number of Daghestanis who ...

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Window On Eurasia: New Russian Film Presents Andropov As Model Leader

posted by eagle on as ANALYSIS / OPINION

TUESDAY, JUNE 16, 2009

Window on Eurasia: New Russian Film Presents Andropov as Model Leader

Paul Goble

Vienna, June 16 – A new film entitled “Yury Andropov. 15 Months of Hope” presents the longtime KGB head as the Soviet leader “most attractive for the Putin regime” because his brief reign as CPSU general secretary represents “that part of the Soviet past which is closest to the heart” of the current Russian prime minister, according to a liberal critic.
In a review of the movie, which was directed by Sergey Medvedev and shown yesterday on Moscow’s First Channel on the occasion of the Soviet leader’s 95th birthday, Boris Sokolov says that Andropov is presented as “a liberal authoritarian leader who wanted to put the state in order but would not resort to the use of Stalinist terror” ( 
Thus, when he was serving as chairman of the KGB, Andropov is presented as having decided “not to shoot the most important dissidents, not to put them in the camps, and even not ...

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Window On Eurasia: Western Liberals Helping Kremlin To Undermine Russian Liberalism, Moscow Analyst Says

posted by eagle on as ANALYSIS / OPINION

MONDAY, JUNE 15, 2009

Window on Eurasia: Western Liberals Helping Kremlin to Undermine Russian Liberalism, Moscow Analyst Says

Paul Goble

Vienna, June 15 – Despite its increasing authoritarianism, Moscow has acquired “more than a few allies in the West” but perhaps none more surprising than Western liberals who many Russian liberal opponents of the Russian government had long assumed would be their best allies in promoting democracy, according to a leading Moscow analyst.
In an essay posted on today, Irina Pavlova points out that “the post-Soviet powers that be have done everything to revile and marginalize the liberal idea in Russia and those few liberals who were and remain the true supporters of this idea,” something that the liberals themselves assisted by their involvement in the nomenklatura privatization of the 1990s.
But with the coming to power of Vladimir Putin in 2000 and his efforts to demonize that period and “strengthen the regime,” the situation became even more dire for liberals as the Russian government moved in a direction ...

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The Other Russia: How Many Putins Does It Take To Save Russia?

posted by eagle on as ANALYSIS / OPINION

How Many Putins Does It Take To Save Russia?

After a series of economic protests in the small industrial town of Pikalevo, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin rushed into try to resolve the situation on June 4th.  Residents had taken to the streets after the town’s major employers closed their doors, failing to pay some $1.5 million in back wages and even shutting off communal services.

The St. Petersburg branch of the Solidarity democratic opposition movement earlier contended that the Russian government had not taken enough steps to combat the economic crisis, and was complicit in the situation in Pikalevo.

“The events in Pikalevo once again show that the so-called anti-crisis measures of the Russian authorities don’t intend to provide actual support for those who have suffered as result of the crisis,” a statement by the group said.  “The problems of Pikalevo’s residents, just like millions of other Russian citizens, cannot be solved without a fundamental change to the political regime which has formed in today’s Russia.”

Journalist ...

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Turning Television Inside Out

posted by eagle on as ANALYSIS / OPINION

June 10, 2009
Turning Television Inside Out
Comment by Alexander Arkhangelsky
Special to RIA Novosti

Russian Television Reached the Peak of Its Intellectual Ability in the 1980s, and Has Been Devolving Ever Since

When the audience scolds television, it’s simultaneously wrong and right. Television can have powerful and dangerous effects. It resembles an anaconda that’s luring in a rabbit. But it is a strange type of anaconda: it both hypnotizes the rabbits and is hypnotized by them. Wherever the viewers go, television comes along. The viewers also gravitate toward wherever there is a television screen. And it is unclear which is the cause and which is the effect, just like it is unclear which came first, the chicken or the egg.

Let’s look back and remember which television show became the most important for the early Russian (late Soviet) television. Of course it was The View (Vzglyad). Pressure was put on the show’s producers from above, their show was moved further, further, further into the night, and still people kept watching, ...

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