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Window On Eurasia: Defenders Of Molotov-Ribbentrop Reflect Moscow’s ‘Cynical Authoritarianism,’ Russian Analyst Says

posted by eagle on August, 2009 as ANALYSIS / OPINION


Window on Eurasia: Defenders of Molotov-Ribbentrop Reflect Moscow’s ‘Cynical Authoritarianism,’ Russian Analyst Says

Paul Goble

Vienna, August 24 – Pro-Kremlin ideologists have rushed to defend the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact not so much in order to revive Stalinism in all its dimensions but rather to exploit Stalin’s ultimately failed alliance with Hitler to promote “the cult of cynical force and lies” on which their own regime is based, according to a Russian commentator.
In an essay posted on the site today, Yevgeny Ikhlov argues that the current Russian elite, however much its authoritarianism might suggest otherwise, “cannot openly rehabilitate Stalin’s terror for “a whole range of reasons,” including “the loss of respectability abroad, unwelcome support for the KPRF, and “a threat to its own political legitimacy.”
And consequently, the Putin-Medvedev regime has focused on promoting the rehabilitation of the Soviet dictator by focusing on foreign policy where “it would seem” everything could be presented “as one long victorious march,” although even here there have been problems (
The ...

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Prague Watchdog: "In Glory Is Perdition" (Interview With Azamat Dzhendubayev)

posted by eagle on as ANALYSIS / OPINION

August 25th 2009 · Prague Watchdog· ALSO AVAILABLE IN: RUSSIAN 

"In glory is perdition" (interview with Azamat Dzhendubayev)

Azamat Dzhendubayev is an ethnic Circassian philosopher and an instructor at Moscow State University

Prague Watchdog: How likely is it that suicide bombing will become widespread in the North Caucasus? To what extent do you believe that this phenomenon is supported by the teachings of Islam?

Azamat Dzhendubayev: Let us start by defining the phenomenon that we call Shahidism. In the North Caucasus and the Caucasus as a whole a distinction needs to made between the different motivations of people who become involved in it. These motivations often bear no relation to Islam. There are really two types of law in the North Caucasus: the adats, which are the laws of natural justice which prevail in a certain mountain tradition, and Sharia law, which is based on the demands of Islam. In my view, most of the actions that are carried out by young people in the North Caucasus are motivated less by Islamic ...

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Russia Profile: Ready, Set, Go

posted by eagle on as ANALYSIS / OPINION

August 19, 2009
Ready, Set, Go
Comment by Alexander Arkhangelsky
Special to RIA Novosti

The Past Decade Has Been Relatively Successful, but Russia Will not Improve Further Unless Russian Society Can Find the Will to Change

Ten years after Vladimir Putin first came to power, Russian media, political life and public discourse have changed so much they are almost unrecognizable. The results are not perfect, but they are better than nothing. Putin has been generally successful in managing the myriad of mutually-exclusive problems he inherited. But what of the future? And in another decade, will the Russia of 2009 be as outlandish as the Russia of 1999 is to us now?

Vladimir Putin acquired his large-scale powers not when he was appointed the acting prime minister, but when his appointment was approved by the State Duma. It happened on August 16, 1999, before the anniversary of the financial default. There was a certain risk to this venture: the new appointee could have failed to get the necessary number of votes, if, ...

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StrategyPage: Air Force Admits Failure To Perform

posted by eagle on as ANALYSIS / OPINION

Air Force Admits Failure To Perform

August 23, 2009: The commander of the Russian Air Force admits that his force is a mess and is unable to defend the nation's air space. Although pilots are flying more, they still get into the air a third as much per year as NATO countries (where pilots fly 180 hours a year.) Russian aircraft are a generation behind most NATO countries. Russia is having a hard time recruiting pilots, as many of the new graduates get sent to remote air bases where they are only able to fly 20-30 hours a year, while getting paid less than a thousand dollars a year. If they stick around and get promoted, they transfer to bases in more populated areas, and fly more hours in more modern aircraft. But a lot of young pilots get disenchanted being based in the wilderness, and able to get into the air only 2-3 hours a month. The air force plans reforms that will improve the ...

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Window On Eurasia: Moscow Urged To Promote ‘Passive Euthanasia’ Of The CIS

posted by eagle on as ANALYSIS / OPINION


Window on Eurasia: Moscow Urged to Promote ‘Passive Euthanasia’ of the CIS

Paul Goble

Vienna, August 21 – Instead of seeking to “cure” the problems that beset the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), difficulties that have been highlighted and exacerbated by Georgia’s exit, one Russian analyst says, Moscow should acknowledge the need for and promote “the passive euthanasia” of that organization of post-Soviet states
In a comment in today’s “Nezavisimaya Gazeta,” Stanislav Minin says that Russians are now “observing the crisis and slow destruction of two post-Soviet structures,” physical ones like hydro-electric dams which must be rebuilt and political-economic ones like the CIS that should be allowed to pass away (
Unfortunately, he continues, the Russian government and Russian society to a certain extent misunderstand what the CIS is about. “They conceive the Commonwealth as a format which strengthens Moscow’s position” in the region, whereas “in fact, the CIS is a format which has been called upon to soften the gradual rupture of these ties.”
And because ...

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