Okay, now I feel bad

I’ve been laying into Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov on this blog for not giving enough of a shit about the apocalyptic conditions in his city to come back from vacation. Also, for taking care of his honey bees, but not his citizens.

Today, his deputy, Vladimir Resin, who filled in while Luzhkov vacat– treated his sports injury, came out with a compelling defense of his boss.

“The mayor has accumulated 370 vacation days,” Resin says. “He could’ve vacationed for a whole year.”

Mayor Luzhkov, I apologize.

via LifeNews.ru

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27 Responses to Okay, now I feel bad

  1. I wonder what his Paid Time Off accrual rate is. I earn five vacation hours for every two weeks worked. I’m bettin’ Yuri does a little better for himself (though working the same job for two decades probably does wonders for benefits upgrades).

  2. marknesop says:

    I give up on Mayor Luzhkov. I apologize, Julia.

  3. Igor, AU says:

    On the photo it seems that Luzhkov is giving a practical demonstration about his personal approach to PR . And he, apparently, is left-handed…

    As an aside about different approaches to PR – perhaps, visiting Triumfalnaya with a camera during the next meeting might bring more definite results 🙂 – although I sincerely doubt that the expected gains will justify the possible expense.

  4. Soeon says:

    I don’t think Luzhkov is the only one who being insensitive.

    Last year Australia was on fire and there were headlines such as “Nations rally to help Australian wildfires” and specialists were sent across the globe while Australia was on fire.

    This year the response from some of the same country is “eh?” despite the potentially higher death toll. I notice that Chine has since offered aid because they know Russians are going to remember this. This is bad PR for Obama and UK and Canada.

  5. Soeon says:

    I don’t think Luzhkov is the only one who is being insensitive.

    Last year Australia was on fire and there were headlines such as “Nations rally to help Australian wildfires” and specialists were sent across the globe while Australia was on fire.

    This year the response from some of the same country is “eh?” despite the potentially higher death toll. I notice that China has since offered aid because they know Russians are going to remember this. This is bad PR for Obama, the UK, and Canada.

    • Igor, AU says:

      Indeed, Luzhkov is not the only one – eg. the general director of forestry (начальник управления лесного хозяйства) in Moscow region, Sergei Gordeichenko , AFAIK, has taken 3 weeks leave…Now, what to expect from foreign countries after this?

      • marknesop says:

        From Alexandre Latsa at Dissonance (French) – http://alexandrelatsa.blogspot.com/ – by way of Leos Tomicek at Austere Insomniac – http://www.austereinsomniac.info/ -;

        – La Chine a offert : 4 000 000 USD (source)
        – La Suisse a offert 470 000 USD (source)
        – L’Estonie à offert 100.000 USD et du matériel (source)
        – Les USA ont offert 55 000 USD (source
        A noter pour comparer avec l’aide Américaine que l’église orthodoxe Russe a déjà offert 315 000 USD (source) et que le président Medvedev à lui déboursé de sa poche près de 11.500 USD (source) pour les sinistrés …
        – L’Arménie a envoyé 56 sapeur pompiers, 150 motopompes et 4 véhicules anti incendies et les Arméniens de Russie ont déjà collecté 250 000 USD de dons (source)
        – La Biélorussie a envoyé 1 hélicoptère, 150 secouristes et 20 véhicules (source)
        – L’ukraine a déjà envoyé 2 Antonovs et se dit prêt à envoyer 500 militaires (source)
        – L’italie a envoyé 4 canadairs CL415 (source)
        – La Bulgarie a envoyé 100 sapeur pompiers (source)
        – La Turquie a envoyé 2 hélicoptères (source)
        – L’Azerbaïdjan a envoyé des hélicoptères (source)
        – Le Kazakhstan a envoyé des hélicoptères (source)
        – La Lettonie a envoyé 12 sapeurs pompiers (source)
        – La Lituanie a envoyé 24 pompiers quatre véhicules spécialisés, une station de pompage, 5.000 masques à gaz et 20 appareils respiratoires (source)
        – La Grêce a proposé d’envoyer un cargo avec des sapeurs pompiers (source)

        For those who don’t read French, “a offert” is “offered” and “a envoye” or “a deja envoye” is “sent” or “already sent”. “Sapeur Pompiers” are firefighters, and “secouristes” are first-aid technicians.

        This passage is worth translating in its entirety – “A noter pour comparer avec l’aide Américaine que l’église orthodoxe Russe a déjà offert 315 000 USD (source) et que le président Medvedev à lui déboursé de sa poche près de 11.500 USD (source) pour les sinistrés …”

        “Of note, for purposes of comparison with American aid ($55,000.00 USD), the Russian Orthodox Church has already offered $350,000.00 USD, and President Medvedev has already spent $11,500.00 USD from his own pocket, for you leftists…”

        It’s also worth noting that the USA doesn’t have to send anything at all, and that airlift of firefighting equipment from the Defense Department and the State of California was overlooked in this blog entry. Canada, as best I can determine, did absolutely nothing, which is disgraceful given its wealth, its altruistic reputation and the size of its Russian community. We probably don’t have much in the way of firefighting equipment over and above our own needs to send (water bombers would be like gold, and we have only a few of those and no heavy airlift capability at present), but cash would have been welcome.

        Now, look at the American contribution, and the Canadian non-contribution, against the generosity of tiny Estonia ($100,000.00 USD and some equipment), who has no particular cause to love Russia. Humbling? That’d be my reaction.

      • Igor,AU says:

        Thanks for the data, Mark. So, it appears, one can expect more from foreign countries than from some Russian officials including MChS.. – for those who read Russian -http://annabaskakova.livejournal.com/284963.html

  6. larussophobe says:


    You’re missing an important point, dear. Russia, unlike Australia, is pathologically hostile to foreigners. It is buzzing American shores with nuclear bombers even as we speak just for instance, and routinely murderers dark-skinned people, and has elected a proud member of the secret police to govern. Why in the WORLD should foreigners feel sorry for Russians? To do so would simply be irrational and self-destructive. Now, Russians will see the cost of alienating the entire globe, as they did when the world spurned Russian recognition of Ossetia and Abkhazia.

    • Soeon says:

      It has a lot to do with the foreign policies of the English-speaking world. The UK in particular has isolated itself from the EU, the Muslim world, and South America in the past few years. Russia has used firepower in Georgia, but this has not stopped other former Soviet republics – including the Baltics – from offering assistance. My point is that the alliance US/UK/Israel/etc has spurned the value of diplomacy over firepower while their main economic rival has not. This bodes poorly for the future of soft power.

      Most countries with separatist problems have spurned recognitions of both South Ossetia and Kosovo, and wisely so. A world that allows such revisionism will see the 19th century model of imperialism reemerge.

    • Soeon says:

      I forgot something about Australia. It actually IS pathologically hostile to foreigners, going as far as placing immigrants and refugees in offshore detention camps.

    • marknesop says:

      I’m fairly sure we went through this “nuclear bombers buzzing American shores” dementia a couple of months ago, and lo! here you are still passing around the same deliberate falsehoods. You have a pretty low opinion of your Early Warning system and your Air Force if you think either would let such a platform “buzz” America’s shores.

      The current DEFCON alert status is classified, naturally, but the last NORAD alert was September 11th, 2001. So if you know something NORAD doesn’t (and they can see 300 km out), it is your duty as a citizen with greater surveillance tools at her disposal than theirs to inform them the Russian Federation is inside U.S. airspace with nuclear weapons embarked. I’d love to be a fly on the wall during that conversation. If you don’t, do like Jack Nicholson advised, and sell crazy someplace else.

  7. larussophobe says:

    Now the Kremlin is trying to blame Luzhkov for the failure of Russian roads:


    But who is to blame for Luzhkov? Only the Kremlin itself. He is but a reflection of the Kremlin’s dire authoritarian plague on the entire country.

    • Igor, AU says:

      Who do you suggest to blame for the highway problems? KGB?

      >Russians hate foreigners?? They love them & trust them more than their own kin. And always did. That was why they permitted Harvard jerks to destroy the economy & society & why they still believe in Chicago Economic School “ideas”.

      >authoritarian plague ? No, it is the apotheosis of neo-classical economic liberalism in Russia. The one where everything must be bought – police, courts, fire protection, health, mayor of Moscow and “yes” – freedom and “democracy” too. Of course, one has to eg. start a fire before it becomes possible to “sell” fire protection service and so the “freedom” too must be limited before someone will want to pay for it .

      Now you can interpret the previous paragraph as a Russian Joke, but please, don’t write idiocy like “Russians hate foreigners” – you can (and usually do) better than that. Russia could have avoided many of its past and future problems if the Russians were not the only nation in the world which likes other (“western”) nations more than it likes itself. Cheers

      • larussophobe says:

        Igor, you could not be more mistaken. Undoubtedly, you have no idea how it feels to be a foreigner in Russia because you have never been one.

        But can you explain why Russia charges foreigners more to enter its museums than Russians? If Russia really loved foreigners, wouldn’t it charge them less?

        Your notion that Westerners caused Russia’s economic downfall is rather silly — and the fact that you could believe it belies your own latent hatred towards foreigners, which has been documented by vistors for centuries. Russia’s economy imploded because of years of mismanagement and theft by the Soviet system, and for no other reason. Russians seem to feel that because Yeltsin tried to embrace the West they are entitled to avoid the consequences of their Soviet mistakes. They aren’t. You have to pay the piper.

      • Russia charges foreigners more to enter museums for the very simple reasons that:
        1) Russians pay taxes to support said museums, foreigners don’t.
        2) Foreign tourists are much richer than the average Russian.
        3) Russian museums are a cultural heritage of theirs that does not have the same significance to foreigners.
        4) If said visiting foreigners have the discipline to learn a few basic Russian phrases, they can pass off as Russians at the ticket stalls anyway. Though on the other hand they’ll wait much longer in the Russian queue than in the “discriminated against” foreign queue.
        5) Lots of other countries also charge differentiated rates for natives and foreigners for access to cultural sites. I know for a fact China is one.

      • Igor, AU says:

        @LR I don’t live in Russia. But when I am visiting there, if I want to have a superior service, I intentionally speak with anglo-saxonish accent 🙂 It always works – especially well with the police. Although, after the massive anti-Russian propaganda campaign in the “west” following Georigian war, I refrain from using this trick with “normal” people on the street. You can make your own conclusions on how anti-Russian propaganda affects the perception of “westerners” in Russia itself.

        And permit me to disagree on the “theft” – I am afraid the EBN “democratisators” – like Chubais or the mentioned heroes from Harvard including those who followed them latter will score 1,000 to 1 when compared to the Soviet “communists”.

    • marknesop says:

      Note that the U.S. Air Force reports the planes above were picked up about 500 miles out – it’d be pretty hard to drop a bomb of any description on you from 500 miles away, which is also by no stretch of the imagination “buzzing”.

      These aircraft are Tupolev TU-95 “Bear” bombers. They are a nuclear bomber in the same context that a Boeing 747 is a nuclear bomber; both have an aperture out of which you could roll a bomb, like the Argentines did during the Falklands war with the Lockheed C-130 Hercules, which is a cargo plane. The TU-95 is NOT a nuclear bomber, neither in power or payload, there’s absolutely nothing nuclear about it.

      You know full well that the alarmist part of your comment is “nuclear”, not the practice of Russian military aircraft passing 500 miles from the American coast. The Air Force says this is a “non-incident”. You’re trying to make it one by suggesting they are carrying weapons of mass destruction. In order to achieve their maximum range on the fuel they carry, they’re likely not carrying any bombs at all.

      Please stop being a crackpot.

  8. marknesop says:

    Your assumption that Igor is saying Westerners caused Russia’s economic downfall is rather silly – did he actually say that? Not in the message above. He said, “Harvard jerks”. Are there jerks at Harvard who are not westerners, do you think? Maybe even Russians? I’ll save you the trouble of looking it up.



  9. Yalensis says:

    @Igor, I agree with you about the corruption. Compared to the mass robbery of Eltsin-Chubais-Gaidar era, Soviet bureaucratic corruption was petty theft. The order of magnitude is approximately like stealing a towel from a hotel room as opposed to stealing the entire hotel!
    By the way, I wanted to apologize to you for previous post a few days ago, when I misunderstood your point about capitalism. I hope I am not doing the same thing now.
    More seriously, why are you arguing with @LR who is probably not even a real person, more likely some very misguided American NGO project??

  10. Igor, AU says:

    @yalensis – I suspect that my reply, again, was caught in Julia’s spam filter 🙂
    The general meaning of it was : no worries!

  11. larussophobe says:


    You know, if you ask a member of the KKK they’ll give you plenty of “good reasons” they hate blacks and want to kill them. Or, a Russian.

    Meanwhile, the point you ridiculously stupid imbecile is that Russia DOES NOT HAVE TO CHARGE FOREIGNERS MORE but it does because IT DOES NOT LIKE THEM.

    Your totally non-responsive GIBBERISH offer ABSOLUTELY NO EVIDENCE that Russians like foreigners, which was the topic of this discussion. As usual, you have nothing to offer the blogosphere, as Russia the world, but toxic pollution.

    • marknesop says:

      Great comeback, Potsy. I must have missed the part in your post where you “offered evidence” that Russians hate foreigners.

      America does not have to charge foreigners more, but it does. So it must not like them. Why does it cost more for a non-resident fishing license that a resident pays? Don’t you want nice tourists to come in droves and catch all your fish? Why do I have to live in Teaneck, New Jersey to be able to get a library card and check out books from there as I’m passing through? Seems to me if you liked foreigners, you’d charge us less than locals, and let us have all the same privileges. Why do you hate foreigners so much?

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