Streetwise Professor

May 24, 2010

Come on Vladimir, This Is Russia We’re Talking About

Filed under: Economics,Politics,Russia — The Professor @ 3:58 pm

To say that Russian politics borders on the bizarre is an understatement.  This story about the Russian Chess Federation is a perfect illustration of that.  The Federation has been evicted from its offices for its refusal to endorse the Kremlin’s handpicked candidate to head the international chess federation, Kalmyk president Kirsan Ilyumzhinov.  Ilyumzhinov is a bit odd, claiming to have been visited by space aliens.  But not too odd to suit the Kremlin, and Medvedev’s chief economic advisor Arkady Dvorkovich (who is also the chairman of the RCF’s supervisory board).  Incensed at the Federation, which supported former world champion Anatoly Karpov, Dvorkovich had police roust the RCF from its Moscow digs, confiscate documents, and freeze its bank accounts.

The current top ranked Russian player, Vladimir Kradnik, pleads for calm: ” Kramnik has called on both sides to use ‘only civilised methods of fighting.'”  Yeah.  Good luck with that.

This story, trivial though it is in some ways, is quite instructive.  Indeed, its triviality in large part is exactly why it is instructive.  It demonstrates clearly the complete lack of any division between the private and the public in Russia; the lack of any private sphere protected from the predations of the state, or those individuals who act in the name of the state.

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1 Comment »

  1. Welcome to neo-Soviet Russia. It is barbarism, pure and simple, of a kind Russians have seen many times before and, once again, like sheep, refuse to do anything to stop.

    Comment by La Russophobe — May 25, 2010 @ 7:35 pm

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