The Orange Revolution
-- A coup
is taking place right now
in the streets of several Ukrainian cities. Following the "election" of Viktor Yanukovych, an election that everyone
from the Ukrainian man-on-the-street to EU observers
and the US
say was marred by serious and obvious fraud, Ukrainians are turning out by the hundreds of thousands
their support for the opposition candidate, the pro-West reformer Viktor Yushchenko
. Individual cities
, not to mention heads of Ukrainian religious groups
, have even announced that they will refuse to recognize Yanukovych as the Prime Minster.
The problem is, Yanukovych is supported by the Kremlin. Russia's state-run TV stations had been broadcasting propaganda on his behalf, they called the election on his behalf
before the polls were closed, and their increasingly despotic President Putin even congratulated him on his "win", before backtracking slightly
. And now reports are trickling out
--from former American congressmen communicating via Blackberry
, no less--about Russian soldiers
being flown across the border into Ukraine, dressed in Ukrainian militia garb
, and set among
the protestors. Phones have been cut across much of the country, including at the embassies. A semi-covert Russian-backed military push against the pro-democracy protestors is feared. Will this be another peaceful Rose Revolution
, as happened in Georgia one year ago today, or more like Hungary, 1956
? Stay tuned to the Ukrainian bloggers
; this could get messy
posted by Asparagirl
on Nov 23, 2004 -
Russian TV broadcasts siege video: [BBC link: RealPlayer/RealAlternative/Windows MPC] SFW
Unknown provenance of footage, but clearly genuine. Terrorist uses 'Dead Man's Brake' switch on a bomb, also shots of Hoop Bombs'. Beware: NewsFilter
posted by dash_slot-
on Sep 7, 2004 -
Russia To Send Troops To Iraq?
If this takes place, will it impact the forthcoming election in the United States? "Sources close to Russia's Security Council say that Russian President Vladimir Putin has agreed to the request "in principle" and has directed the Russian General Staff to work up a plan by the end of the month. "
posted by Postroad
on Jul 17, 2004 -
Dear Leo, Dear Mohandas
"The longer I live -- especially now when I clearly feel the approach of death -- the more I feel moved to express what I feel more strongly than anything else... the doctrine of the law of love unperverted by sophistries. Love... the highest and indeed the only law of life".
The Kingdom of God Is Within You
(full text available) is Leo Tolstoy
's tractatus of "Christianity
Not as a Mystic Religion but as a New Theory of Life", a primer of (among other things) the doctrine of non-violence
. Among the many fans
of the 1894 book was an imprisoned
Hindu barrister, a "half-naked fakir"
if you want, a certain Mohandas
who was fascinated by "the independent thinking, profound morality, and the truthfulness"
of the book
. So he ended up writing fan letters to the great Russian man: who warmly wrote back to his young Indian "friend and brother". The old wise Christian anarchist
and the shy, insecure young man
who sparked a revolution: to paraphrase another wise, badly-dressed , pacifist old man
, "Generations to come, it may be, will scarcely believe that such men ever in flesh and blood walked upon this earth."
posted by matteo
on Jun 17, 2004 -
"The crowds were so dense and chaotic outside that some people were trampled underfoot, others rammed against traffic lights, and some others choked to death. It is estimated that 500 people lost their lives while trying to get a glimpse of Stalin's corpse." The string quartet playing at Stalin's graveside wept openly - for Sergei Prokofiev, who died the same day and hour
Stalin was first interred next to Lenin, under glass
. But five years later, it was time to physically remove Stalin from a place of honor.
"Stalin had been a dictator and a tyrant. Yet he presented himself as the Father of Peoples, a wise leader, and the continuer of Lenin's cause. After his death, people began to acknowledge that he was responsible for the deaths of millions of their own countrymen."
posted by stonerose
on Jun 8, 2004 -
She's no Barbie
To readers of Russian Fairy tales, the name Alyona conjures images of simple peasant girls who become princesses through modesty, hard work and intelligence. A modern day Alyona
has surfaced in the cut-throat world of beauty pageants.
posted by gesamtkunstwerk
on Apr 14, 2004 -
"People had to leave everything,
from photos of their grandparents to cars." One brave (or foolish, depending on your view) girl, and her Kawasaki motorcycle take a tour through the Chernobyl "dead zone
". An astounding an eyewitness photo-essay of chernobyl
today. (Note that the first link is a google cache, but subsequent pages are available from the site when you click the "next page" link...Angelfire, go figure.)
posted by dejah420
on Mar 8, 2004 -
Anatoly Fomenko is one of a number of Russian academics advancing revisionist chronologies
which portray a greatly foreshortened view
of European history. He argues that mediaeval and classical histories as we know them today were fabricated in Renaissance times. In his book
'History: Fiction or Science
', he 'proves' that Jesus Christ was born in 1053 and crucified in 1086, and that the Old Testament refers to mediaeval events... Fomenko's theories have been debunked
, but his ideas have nevertheless gained some currency
in Russia: among his supporters is the former chess champion Garry Kasparov
. Of course, Fomenko is by no means the first
mathematician to grapple with the subject of chronology: indeed, any history must be founded in part on a calculus of dates... Are there any parallels, I wonder, between the spread of theories like Fomenko's and the renewed prevalence of Biblical chronologies
in the US, for example: is there some kind of psychological solace in perceiving history on a smaller scale than current academic orthodoxy allows? (more inside)
posted by misteraitch
on Mar 2, 2004 -
is one of the missing links in 20th-century history; in at the beginning of the Soviet Union, he saw before almost anyone what a nightmare it was going to be, wrote some prescient books, may have invented the word "totalitarian," knew everybody who was anybody, and was forgotten. Christopher Hitchens tries to remind us
(quote and acknowledgment inside).
posted by languagehat
on Nov 18, 2003 -
Russian Prisoners Sing for Freedom
A strange take on the whole American Idol concept, prisoners in Russia were allowed to take part in a singing competition to get freed.
Of the 26 finalists, six were freed.
That only leaves just about a million prisoners left.
I'm curious about the precedent this sets.
posted by fenriq
on Oct 28, 2003 -
CEO of Russia's largest oil company in jail
The guy sounds like a crook to be sure; but its an interesting contrast to the US. When was the last time in this country someone with limitless financial resources was thrown in jail? Is Key Lay
in jail? How about Bernie Ebbers?
(Worldcom getting Iraq contracts
is of course another story) Jeff Skilling?
With all the talk of crony-capitalism anymore its easy to get desensitized. But to get a reality check on how to treat toplevel white-collar crime from Russia of all places is sobering.
posted by H. Roark
on Oct 26, 2003 -
Pay your electricity bill -- or Fluffy gets it.
Russia's First Channel television reported Dalenergo, an electricity company in Russia's Far Eastern city Vladivostok, is so frustrated by customers who owe around 300 million roubles (6 million pounds) that it has decided to confiscate their pets.
posted by gregb1007
on Oct 9, 2003 -
Kir Bulychev died today.
.) Those of us familiar with Russian sci-fi will always remember him for such masterpieces as Poselok
(Those Who Survive) and a famous children's series Devochka s Zemli
(The Girl from Planet Earth). More than just a writer, he was a profuse translator, East Asian researcher, and playwright. Over ten films were produced from his books and scripts. Almost all works are online in Russian
, but I could find no online translations.
posted by azazello
on Sep 5, 2003 -
is a retro look at Russia through engaging and often playful snapshots - it has all the feel of rummaging through a box of photos in an attic. Communist Store Windows
offers another, more recent glimpse behind the iron curtain. Both galleries are like shots of peppered vodka.
posted by madamjujujive
on Aug 31, 2003 -
Fatherland or Motherland.I was wondering why people say Motherland for Russia and Fatherland for Germany.I googled and didn't find an answer but did find an artistamp
exhibit that artistically tried to answer the question.1
.And at the same site found a collection of other cool artistamps.1
And also found a neat gallery
of cigarette packages from around the world.But my question still remains to be answered.(Oh,who cares,Motherland is where the vodka
posted by JohnR
on May 5, 2003 -
Russia Makes It Funny:
Communist Party organ Pravda
["Truth"] updates its play for the weird news
niche with a skewed take on the blogging aesthetic, with links to Romanesko New World Disorder
A lot of people like going to saunas. A sauna used to be associated with cold beer and a company of friends. Now the situation has changed a bit: going to a sauna implies some sort of sexual activities and even perversion sometimes. Steam, beer and friends have been pushed into the background. Since people love mixing business with pleasure, let us try to find out, to which extent the sauna entertainment is good, and to which extent it is bad.
posted by hairyeyeball
on Mar 21, 2003 -
"Weapons of Mass Destruction", you say?
Question: If Iraq is the vicious rat and North Korea the
furious pygmy of WMD threats, where is the 800 pound gorilla? Answer -
"...law enforcement officials worldwide have seized 40 kilograms of Russian-origin uranium
and plutonium since 1991. Stanford researchers have also estimated that only 30 to 40 percent of
the nuclear material stolen from facilities in Russia and other territories in the former Soviet
Union are ever recovered by authorities."
the collapse of the Soviet Union left vast stores
of Nuclear weapons and weapons grade plutonium and uranium, and stocks of chemical and
biological warfare agents lying about at dangerously underfunded facillities scattered through
the vast expanse of the ex-Soviet realm. "Russian stockpiles of weapons and materials are
the most likely source for terrorists attempting to acquire weapons of mass destruction"
said US Senator Richard Lugar, Republican chairman of the Senate's Foreign Relations Committee. An international effort to destroy these stores of ex-Soviet WMD's
is currently funded at a tiny fraction of the estimated cost of a possible US invasion and occupation of Iraq. (more inside)
posted by troutfishing
on Mar 16, 2003 -