Streetwise Professor

February 8, 2014

Because, Of Course, Only Putin is Allowed to be Photographed Half-Naked

Filed under: Politics,Russia,Sports — The Professor @ 12:50 pm


  1. To do what Puting can do and get away with it one needs to be trained in Russian Yoga:

    Comment by MJ — February 9, 2014 @ 5:17 am

  2. It would be fair to say that as of now the site is accessible from Russia – at least that is what my contacts there tell me.

    Comment by LL — February 9, 2014 @ 8:19 am

  3. One more clarification for fairness sake – that was my contact in Moscow. Another guy who lives in Chechnya has just confirmed that the site is blocked. So it appears to be provider-dependent.

    Comment by LL — February 9, 2014 @ 8:34 am


    Comment by elmer — February 9, 2014 @ 9:12 am

  5. Elmer, that is another Onion…

    Comment by LL — February 9, 2014 @ 11:40 am

  6. @LL

    Of course it is – it’s very obviously a send-up – and a good laugh

    Comment by elmer — February 9, 2014 @ 5:13 pm

  7. The EuroMaidan protesters in Ukraine have been very, very clever.

    Putler banned an independent channel recently, among others – “Dozhd” or Rain.

    So the EuroMaidan protesters in Ukraine brought out their umbrellas to show support for the banned channel

    Comment by elmer — February 9, 2014 @ 9:40 pm

  8. More photos of the flash mob in Ukraine at Maidan with their umbrellas in support of the banned channel “Rain”

    banned by Putler

    Comment by elmer — February 9, 2014 @ 9:52 pm

  9. @elmer. And the thugs in Moscow arrested people in Red Square for opening umbrellas in support of Dozhd.

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — February 9, 2014 @ 10:09 pm


    150 Years Ago, Sochi Was the Site of a Horrific Ethnic Cleansing

    But on the occasion of the 2014 Winter Olympics being held in Sochi and the surrounding areas, it’s helpful to look back and remember that 600,000 locals died from starvation, exposure, drowning and massacres in a concerted campaign by the Russian Empire to expel the Circassian people, as they were called, from the region. The Circassians and the other inhabitants of the Caucasus region did not fit into the Czar’s reform program, because he viewed them as an inherent risk to the security of Russia’s southern frontier and the nation is still coming to terms with the consequences of the czar’s expulsion of the Circassian people today.

    Those Circassians who attempted to remain in the Russian Empire and fight for their land were massacred. Sochi’s “Red Hill,” where the skiing and snowboarding events will take place during these Olympic Games, was the site of the Circassian last stand, where the Imperial Russian armies celebrated their “victory” over the local defenders.

    Comment by elmer — February 10, 2014 @ 6:19 pm

  11. @elmer. But Father Putin knows what is best for his Circassian children, and any westerner who invokes their historical grievances is doing so to “contain” and “hold back” glorious Russia.

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — February 10, 2014 @ 8:38 pm

  12. @SWP

    The Games are being held on the site of a 19th-century genocide, in which almost all Circassians, the original inhabitants of the Sochi area, were methodically killed or expelled to Turkey. That wound has been kept alive by the Kremlin’s current approach toward the Circassians who remain in the region, and in its attitude toward other peoples of the North Caucasus. Russia’s leaders persistently refuse to treat people from Chechnya, Dagestan, Ingushetia and Kabardino-Balkaria as equal citizens. The Kremlin regards their homelands as colonies where it has to buy off the elite and suppress the rest of the population.

    This attitude was vividly demonstrated in the last few months when Russian security forces increased mass arrests of young people and took saliva specimens from most Muslim women because the government believed that a woman from Dagestan was responsible for a suicide bombing that killed 16 people. Such a heavy-handed colonial approach can only antagonize and radicalize the population, undermining Russia’s efforts to maintain control of the region.

    Mr. Putin is also mistaken to think that the Olympics will shore up his hold on power. The last time Russia acted as host to the Games was back in 1980. The Olympics that year were meant to be a triumph of Soviet leadership and a demonstration of the superiority of their system.

    Unfortunately for them, soon after the Games ended, the turmoil that eventually led to the demise of Soviet Communism began to grow worse. There are some striking similarities with Sochi, which, like Moscow, was turned into a showcase for the system. The Soviet regime didn’t allow nonMoscovites to enter the city — just as people from the region are now being shut out of Sochi.

    Mr. Putin once called the dissolution of the Soviet Union the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the 20th century, yet it seems he still fails to grasp why it happened. Just like Mr. Putin today, the Soviet leaders back then neglected the need for modernization, betting instead on consistently high energy prices.

    After 1980, falling oil prices and changes in technology led to the eventual meltdown of the Soviet Union. Today’s Russia is teetering on the edge of recession, despite its oil boom. More broadly, there is a fundamental contradiction between Mr. Putin’s effort to tighten the screws and restore the past, and the dreams of people in and around Russia who are striving for a better future. As a result, Mr. Putin’s fate might well be decided in the cold streets of Kiev rather than on the balmy slopes of Sochi.

    Comment by elmer — February 12, 2014 @ 9:05 pm

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