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Return of the Soviet Union - Putin Union

 
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There was an interesting op-ed in the Wall Street Journal today, written by Gary Kasparov, the former Chess Grandmaster from Soviet Union. He opined that this coming Sunday, the entire western world would have not only stood by in silence but also approved of the return to authoritarian rule in Russia. Only this time a former KGB agent would have actually pioneered what the CIA has been accused of in several conspiracy theories.
He states the following to deliver his point;
1. The muffler which has been slipped on quietly on the Russian media to stiffle any opposition to Putin
2. The arrest of one of Russia's richest businessmen, Mikhail Khodorkovsky simply because he wanted more freedom for his business (read capitalism)
3. Growing corruption in the Kremlin and the increasing number of pro-Communists in the Soviet parliment
On a positive note, there is a legislation in the US Congress sponsored by both John McCain and Joseph Liebermann to suspend Russia's membership from NATO until Russia adheres to more accepted norms of democracy.
Any ex-Russian or Russian wanting to provide their insight into this issue?
On a side note, I have high regard for Kasparov.. I hated him when he played against V.Anand but kudos to him, as a Chess fan.. I love him. The Wall Street Journal has to be the best on this planet! I dont know what I would do without this newspaper which establishes a new standard for journalistic excellence everyday!
 
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PmK: He opined that this coming Sunday, the entire western world would have not only stood by in silence but also approved of the return to authoritarian rule in Russia.
And what was there before coming Sunday? I don't know what this Sunday's elections will change, probably nothing.
The muffler which has been slipped on quietly on the Russian media to stiffle any opposition to Putin
The worst problem is that Putin doesn't have to suppress his opposition too hard -- it's almost non-existent. According to the polls, his rating is about 60% and his next competitor's (communist) - 9%. More progressive candidates will be happy to get 5%. Unlike Yeltsin, he didn't have to invite American consultants to pump his rating from well-deserved 3% (Yeltsin's well-deserved 3%).
The arrest of one of Russia's richest businessmen, Mikhail Khodorkovsky simply because he wanted more freedom for his business (read capitalism)
Considering current criminal situation and the level of corruption in Russia, any businessman can be arrested for something. When it happens, the question is what is the real reason? "He wanted more freedom" is a very romantic version. Not sure how true it is, and even less sure how one can learn what the truth is.
[ March 13, 2004: Message edited by: Mapraputa Is ]
 
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Every country has to search for its own way to democracy and if in Russia 70% vote for Putin, he'll get another term in office.
I don't see those russian businessmen as the desperate fighters for rule of the law, democracy and an economic system based on fair competition. They became big in a time when russian economy was wild west. Now they have expensive hobbies like paying prohibitive prices for new soccer-players for Chelsae London.
[ March 13, 2004: Message edited by: Axel Janssen ]
 
Paul McKenna
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Wasnt there a recent opinion poll in Russia where 60% of the population felt life was better in the Soviet Union? Is this the same 60% that is voting for Putin?? Then that only reinstates my original point - Return of the Soviet Union!
 
Axel Janssen
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Hi,
I don't think that history repeats itself. Its not that simple. There are lots of details.
Germany and Sweden both said that they have to reform welfare state to not end up doomed in globalised world economy. Sweden seems to be on quite good growth track, Germany is not.
Argentine and Chile both comited themselves to market oriented reforms in 90ties. Chileans economic figures show a quite stable growth track whereas argentinian GDP did fall 25% or so between 00 and 02 (or so).
I am no Putin-aficionado (I don't know much about Russia), but perhaps his government the country some desperatedly needed stability.
Might sound a little bit strange, but the behaviour of the russian businessmen reminds me on the pattern of rich russians at the end of the 19th century: spending lots of money in western europe and doing nothing for progress of their own country.
Axel
[ March 13, 2004: Message edited by: Axel Janssen ]
 
Mapraputa Is
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3. Growing corruption in the Kremlin and the increasing number of pro-Communists in the Soviet parliment
I am not sure what "pro-Communists in the Soviet parliament" means.
My understanding is that what happens, the party of power (Putin's party) becomes a political monopolist. All other political forces, including communists, become marginal. The society has no illusion "their" party can ever win, so it rests in full apathy.
But here is the statistics I found. I should note that during the elections you get two papers: one with a list of parties, so you vote for a party. Another with a list of local candidates who can belong to a party or they can be independent.
December 1999 elections
Party list: Communistic party - 24.29% 67 men
Local candidates: 46 men
----------------
Total: 113

December 2003 elections
Party list: Communistic party - 12.61%, 40 men
Local candidates: 11 men
----------------
Total: 51
To compare:
December 2003 elections, Putin's party - 120 men from a party list and 100 from local candidates list.
[ March 13, 2004: Message edited by: Mapraputa Is ]
 
Mapraputa Is
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Wasnt there a recent opinion poll in Russia where 60% of the population felt life was better in the Soviet Union?
I posted some poll numbers a while back and I am getting sick of finding my own old posts. From all I know 60% isn't out of imagination, it's probably real.
Is this the same 60% that is voting for Putin??
Nobody knows.
Then that only reinstates my original point - Return of the Soviet Union!
[Cough]. Care to explain? Putin trying to return Soviet policies??? I mean, like free education and no unemployment? Then he would get 99%.
Putin defends his own guys rights to become rich - Ok! How on the Earth this can be translated to restoring the Soviet Union???
[ March 13, 2004: Message edited by: Mapraputa Is ]
 
Mapraputa Is
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Paul, you see what the problem is.
You can read a lot of sources and it will do no good to you!
Axel has something I call "intuition", but you can call it any other
name.
What I am trying to say: Axel always figure out how local people feel.
Watch him, I beg you!
 
Paul McKenna
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Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:
[Cough]. Care to explain? Putin trying to return Soviet policies??? I mean, like free education and no unemployment? Then he would get 99%.


And you mean like arbitrary arrests by the government on dissenters? Or constant spying on its own citizens by the government?


Putin defends his own guys rights to become rich - Ok! How on the Earth this can be translated to restoring the Soviet Union???


I'm not sure I understand the above.. care to elaborate?
 
Paul McKenna
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Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:
Paul, you see what the problem is.
You can read a lot of sources and it will do no good to you!
Axel has something I call "intuition", but you can call it any other
name.
What I am trying to say: Axel always figure out how local people feel.
Watch him, I beg you!



Hold on.. wait a sec! Isnt Gary Kasparov a Russian himself? If the article was written by a local and expresses the feelings of a local what are you talking about???
Stumped eh??
 
Mapraputa Is
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Hold on.. wait a sec! Isnt Gary Kasparov a Russian himself?
From what I read he is a half Armenian and a half Jew! 0% Russian. But you probably use "Russian" in the sense of "Soviet".
If the article was written by a local and expresses the feelings of a local what are you talking about???
After your post I found his other articles, and I started to wonder if he actually lives in New York. His main concern is USA interests, that's Ok! But what would you say if Jason started to defend Russia's national interests in this forum?
 
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And you mean like arbitrary arrests by the government on dissenters?
Arbitrary?
Or constant spying on its own citizens by the government?
I never felt being spied until I come here. Just think about it: anybody really interested can check my work or credit history -- now this is what I call "constant spying"!
I'm not sure I understand the above.. care to elaborate?
That Putin defends his own guys rights to become rich?
Paul, why do you think the USSR collapsed? Because the ruling elite got tired from obligations to provide lower forms of live with free health care and education. So now they do not. Is this what you celebrate?
[ March 14, 2004: Message edited by: Mapraputa Is ]
 
Mapraputa Is
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And you mean like arbitrary arrests by the government on dissenters?
Ok. In all my 23 years of living in the Soviet Union I never never heard about anybody being arrested - never! Paul, we either get real and then we can talk, or you continue to eat up your conservative propaganda menu!
 
Paul McKenna
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Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:
Paul, we either get real and then we can talk, or you continue to eat up your conservative propaganda menu!


Ok.. first of all lets keep the debate civil shall we.. I have not accused anyone of being liberal or otherwise with respect to this discussion. There was no need for the above unless you feel me characterizing Putin as being pro-Soviet is an insult..
 
Paul McKenna
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Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:
From what I read he is a half Armenian and a half Jew! 0% Russian. But you probably use "Russian" in the sense of "Soviet".


I didnt know "Jew" can be used to describe one's citizenship these days. Thats new to me..


After your post I found his other articles, and I started to wonder if he actually lives in New York. His main concern is USA interests, that's Ok! But what would you say if Jason started to defend Russia's national interests in this forum?


The difference being Jason never lived in Russia, never represented Russia in an international arean the way Kasparov did and never held the citizenship of Russia at any point of time in his life.
Look at this way, you live in US now and you are a US citizen, so does that preclude you in any way from commenting about Russia's domestic affairs? After all werent you Russian at one point of time and wouldnt your opinion count?
 
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If 60% want a return to communism, why don't they simply vote for the communist party?
Or is that too simple, and do they want another bloody revolution with the throats of all who oppose them being cut in the night and cannon shooting up towns that oppose them?
 
Mapraputa Is
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This thread is going antagonistic and I do not like it.
Paul, I honestly want to help you, just do not know how...
"Return of the Soviet Union" is a metaphor, and I think it is misleading rather than enlightening. Russia now is a very different country, it is simply impossible to return to the previous state. "Putin being pro-Soviet" -- this doesn't make any sense.
Look at this way, you live in US now and you are a US citizen, so does that preclude you in any way from commenting about Russia's domestic affairs? After all werent you Russian at one point of time and wouldnt your opinion count?
Interesting question. I am still a citizen of Russia and I could vote in this elections. Actually, one our political leader said that Russians living in America can be a serious political force. I never voted since I moved and I don't understand how can you live in one country and vote for a president or parliament of another. Isn't it up to the people who actually live there to decide what they want?
 
Paul McKenna
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Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:
Paul, I honestly want to help you, just do not know how...


Ummmm....


"Return of the Soviet Union" is a metaphor, and I think it is misleading rather than enlightening. Russia now is a very different country, it is simply impossible to return to the previous state. "Putin being pro-Soviet" -- this doesn't make any sense.


Hold on! Isnt Putin a former KGB agent? "Return to Soviet Union" may be practically impossible but is "Return to Authoritarian rule" impossible? The Soviet Union wasnt about communism per se, for many in the west it represented the biggest symbol for authoritarian rule anywhere in the world. Would you disagree with the notion that the way Putin "seems" to be running Russia currently, it appears as though he is veering the country dangerously close to authoritarian rule.


Interesting question. I am still a citizen of Russia and I could vote in this elections. Actually, one our political leader said that Russians living in America can be a serious political force. I never voted since I moved and I don't understand how can you live in one country and vote for a president or parliament of another. Isn't it up to the people who actually live there to decide what they want?[/QB]


I am a staunch opponent of dual citizenship, if you immigrate then you must cut off totally is what I believe but I dont think that should preclude anyone from having an opinion about their former homeland. Agree or disagree with that opinion it is a different issue..
 
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PMcK: I didnt know "Jew" can be used to describe one's citizenship these days.
In USSR, the concepts of "citizenship" and "nationality" were strictly separate. Everyone who lived in USSR was a citizen of the Soviet Union, and everyone older than 16 years old had a Soviet Union Citizen passport. However, the passport contained a famous "line #5" which listed the citizen nationality. It would say "Ukranian" if you were born to Ukranian parents, "Lithvanian" if you were born to Lithvanian parents, "German" if you were born to German parents, and "Russian" if you were born to Russian parents. The line #5 in my mother's passport said "Jew". It didn't have anything to do with the religion that my mother practiced (she practiced none, as 99% of the Russians), -- it was simply a reference to the semitic origin of the blood in my mother's veins. If that sounds bizarre, it's because much of everything in USSR was as such. As Russians themselves like to say, "everything is through the ass".
 
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Originally posted by Paul McKenna:

I am a staunch opponent of dual citizenship, if you immigrate then you must cut off totally is what I believe but I don't think that should preclude anyone from having an opinion about their former homeland. Agree or disagree with that opinion it is a different issue..


In some cases dual citizenship is fine. In the case of a person who has parents from different countries, then they could be citizens of both.
For immigrants then it probably depends upon between which two countries the immigration took place. If country X and country Y are at war or seriously opposed to each other, then a person from country X applying for citizenship in country Y could be asked to give up loyalty to country X. Between countries that get on it doesn't really matter. Inside the EU people can hold citizenship in more than one country without many problems.
In most cases I don't think that a person must give up loyalty/respect/citizenship etc to a previous country if they apply for citizenship in a new one, but they must acknowledge that if they ever do anything against the new country that they will be in deep trouble.
An amusing thing is how the Greeks approach this issue - they ignore it. If a Greek moves to another country and applies for different citizenship, then they keep their Greek citizenship no matter where they have gone - even if they publicly declare that they renounce all ties to Greece, the Greek government just ignores this! This kind of makes declarations of this kind a bit odd - the Greek making it knows that it doesn't stop him being Greek, or stop him being able to vote etc in Greece.
[ March 15, 2004: Message edited by: Joe King ]
 
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Well, Paul, what does "authoritarian rule" mean?
(BTW, I'm from St.Petersburg, Russia)
 
John Smith
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AF: (BTW, I'm from St.Petersburg, Russia)
I think you have an extra "p" in your last name. The true Russian last names don't have double consonants.
Anyway, welcome to MD, Alex.
 
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Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:
From what I read he is a half Armenian and a half Jew! 0% Russian. But you probably use "Russian" in the sense of "Soviet".


aks .. I heard it lot of time that Russian and Soviets are two different entities.
Really for me, Russian and Soviet were same till you said that they were different. Would you please elaborate how are they different?? I really want to know.
TIA
 
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Map, I'm watching with admiration your discussion here. I hope one day I'll learn (from you as well) to discuss political issues too, and be understood. Good luck.
 
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Who was the US President that said of a foreign dictator (I forget who):
"I know he's a son of a bitch. But he's OUR son of a bitch!"
Ha ha!
I think that's a true quote; really!
Trivia fans, find out, please!
 
Mapraputa Is
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Ravish: Really for me, Russian and Soviet were same till you said that they were different. Would you please elaborate how are they different?? I really want to know.
Russian is only one nationality out of 100+ that lived in the Soviet Union. Politically the USSR consisted of 15 republics and they were established on national ground, (examples: Georgia or Armenia), so it didn't make sense to call everybody Russian!
Even now there are still more than hundred nationalities in Russia, and the word for citizens of Russia is "Rossiyane" - it is different from "Russkie" (Russian). In English "Russians" is often used to refer to the citizens of Russia, and even the citizens of the USSR -- I am slowly getting used to this usage.
 
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DM: Map, I'm watching with admiration your discussion here. I hope one day I'll learn (from you as well) to discuss political issues too, and be understood. Good luck.
Thank you for your kind words. Actually, the whole secret is to get psyched enough, so it wouldn't matter if you are understood or not.
 
R K Singh
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Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:
[b]Russian is only one nationality out of 100+ that lived in the Soviet Union. Politically the USSR consisted of 15 republics and they were established on national ground, (examples: Georgia or Armenia), so it didn't make sense to call everybody Russian!


In fUSSR, those 15 republics were called "states" or "nations" ??
Correct me if I am wrong, then "Russia" must be the biggest/powerful nation/state and Rossiyanes must be in power for most of the time in fUSSR ??
 
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Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:
Ravish: Really for me, Russian and Soviet were same till you said that they were different. Would you please elaborate how are they different?? I really want to know.
Russian is only one nationality out of 100+ that lived in the Soviet Union. Politically the USSR consisted of 15 republics and they were established on national ground, (examples: Georgia or Armenia), so it didn't make sense to call everybody Russian!
Even now there are still more than hundred nationalities in Russia, and the word for citizens of Russia is "Rossiyane" - it is different from "Russkie" (Russian). In English "Russians" is often used to refer to the citizens of Russia, and even the citizens of the USSR -- I am slowly getting used to this usage.



I suppose it would be a similar kind of faux pas calling a Georgian "Russian" as calling a Scotsman "English".
 
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Ravish: In fUSSR, those 15 republics were called "states" or "nations" ??
They were called "republics". They had their own governments, Ministries etc. In the Russian respublic there were other administrative subdivisions.
Here is a long boring quote:

In the Soviet Union, the Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic (RSFSR) contained thirty-one autonomous, ethnically based administrative units. When the Russian Federation proclaimed its sovereignty in the wake of the Soviet Union's collapse in la te 1991, many of those entities also declared their sovereignty. Of the thirty-one, sixteen were autonomous republics, five were autonomous oblasts (provinces), and ten were autonomous regions, which were part of larger subnational jurisdictions. During the Soviet era, the autonomy referred to in these jurisdictions' official titles was more fictitious than real--the executive committees that administered the jurisdictions had no decision-mak ing authority. All major administrative tasks were performed by the central government or, in the case of some social services, by industrial enterprises in the area. In postcommunist Russia, however, many of the autonomous areas have staked claims to mor e meaningful sovereignty as the numerically superior Russians continue to dominate the center of power in Moscow. Even in the many regions where Russians are in the majority, such claims have been made in the name of the indigenous ethnic group or groups.
http://reference.allrefer.com/country-guide-study/russia/russia69.html


Correct me if I am wrong, then "Russia" must be the biggest/powerful nation/state and Rossiyanes must be in power for most of the time in fUSSR ??
You are right.
More boring quotes:

According to the census of 1989, on the day of the census, January 12, the population of the Soviet Union was estimated to be 286,717,000.
The various nationalities differed greatly in size. On the one hand, the Russians, who constituted about 50.8 percent of the population, numbered about 145 million in 1989. On the other hand, half of the nationalities listed in the census together accounted for only 0.5 percent of the total population, most of them having fewer than 100,000 people. Twenty-two nationalities had more than 1 million people each. Fifteen of the major nationalities had their own union republics, which together comprised the federation known as the Soviet Union.
The nationalities that have had a significant political and economic impact on the Soviet Union include the fifteen nationalities that have their own union republics and the non-union republic nationalities that numbered at least 1 million people in 1989. They are the Slavic nationalities, the Baltic nationalities, the nationalities of the Caucasus, the Central Asian nationalities, and a few other nationalities.
http://reference.allrefer.com/country-guide-study/soviet-union/soviet-union92.html

 
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The all issue is that Someone want the all world have their religion(demarcate) and value, even the one with their feature, their size and right now! Not even gradually.
What is wrong just leave country like Russia or China to learn demarcate slowly? Are those countries more open and demarcate today then ten years age.
How can you tell an one year old kid to walk and run immediately or laugh at them if they can�t do it properly at first try?
 
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PmK: Hold on! Isnt Putin a former KGB agent? "Return to Soviet Union" may be practically impossible but is "Return to Authoritarian rule" impossible? The Soviet Union wasnt about communism per se, for many in the west it represented the biggest symbol for authoritarian rule anywhere in the world. Would you disagree with the notion that the way Putin "seems" to be running Russia currently, it appears as though he is veering the country dangerously close to authoritarian rule.
I am not ignoring this question, just didn't know what to say. But yesterday I came across an article that elaborates my vague thoughts pretty well.
Russia's Democratic Despot By SIMON SEBAG MONTEFIORE
In short, life in Russia is rather orthogonal to "authoritarianism" - "democracy" axis, and I am not sure how to apply these categories. Not that they cannot be applied, I just don’t see how. It's like if we watched an ant colony and tried to figure if they dance waltz or rumba, while they just crawl around minding their own business.
 
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