Saturday, April 19, 2008


мир: Mir is the russian word for peace, also the modern russian word for society (The alphabet was "simplified" after 1917's Bolshevik revolution).

Here's an interesting news item, not so much for the political celebrity gossip, but what it tells about Vladimir Putin's strong grip on power in Russia:

Russia’s Putin denies he plans to marry gymnast.

"So what?", some would say. After French President Nicolas Sarkozy (who recently got divorced, to then quickly wed supermodel-turned-singer-composer Carla Bruni. She's great at both by the way), it might just be Putin's turn in being struck by some midlife-crisis demons.

Maybe, maybe not.

The thing is, the Moskovsky Korrespondent, the small newspaper that originally published the story suddenly doesn't exist anymore!

I always had an interest for Russia, from my younger days of fright at their potential (and highly devilized by anti-communist propaganda) capacity for doom, to their space program, passing by their incredibly rich culture, architecture and land. I am still learning Russian, and I am by no mean functionnal, as it is both simple and complicated to learn.

Just like its language, I love and fear the country, and this is another example of what frightens in regards to Putin's reign; A return to Russia's worst, yet most efficient habits: A small elite becoming extremely wealthy and/or powerful while the country's head of state holds to (extreme) power, by now becoming his political party's leader and Russia's prime minister after being forced by law to stand down at the end of his second term as president. A presidential reign where he kept the press under leash, gagged dissidents and opponents and succesfully reasserted Russia's place as a political, but also as an economical power. With Putin, Russia has firmly set its foot on the arena's ground, in preparation for the 21st century upcoming challenges, from the fight for natural and human ressources to religious and nationalist tensions, passing by alimentary needs and climate changes.

A Tzar is born? A dictatorship? No, but there's again a class system in Russia, the rich gets richer, sometimes in the shadows and protection of a powerful government that can close any business working against the Kremlin's interests. The real question is, does Putin acts in what he thinks is his people interests, fighting corruption and terrorism, maintaining social order and peace as he claims, or at their expenses, while improving his friends' finances and his place at the top? Is modern Russia a turbulent society longing for peace or the setting for a slowly burgeoning revolution?

Only time will answer these questions.

Tupperfan's Guide to Useless Knowledge: The Red Army Choir once performed american southern rock classic "Sweet Home Alabama" with a Finnish rock band, the Leningrad Cowboys.

время есть китайский...

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