The unfiltered fallout

Here’s a truism: in times of tragedy, people’s real colors show through. In Russia, the Land of No Filters, that process takes no time at all. Also? Them’s ain’t colors; them’s some weird tie-dyed checkers.

Today, four days after Oleg Kashin was beaten into an artificial coma, the story arc — at first full of an uncharacteristic empathy and unity, even on the part of the authorities — has plumb-lined straight into the ground.

In case you missed the unfolding and infuriating shitshow, here’s a quick rundown. Of the shitshow:

  • Yesterday, at a meeting of the President’s Public Chamber (a government body that looks over proposed legislation and monitors parliament), the case of Kashin as well as other put-upon journalists was discussed. Irina Plescheeva, a commissar of the Nashi movement and chair of the Center for the Development of Youth Media, took the opportunity to state that, whatever, Kashin wasn’t even all that talented. Moreover, the way to stop attacks on journalists in Russia was very easy indeed: Just stop “giving people a pretext for murder.” Done!
  • Kirill Schitov, a representative in the Moscow City Duma and member of the ruling council of Molodaya Gvardia, wrote about how unfair it was to point fingers at his youth group. “The attack on Kashin has been most profitable for members of the liberal opposition,” he wrote.
  • Meanwhile, the opposition is trying to make good on Schitov’s claim by, of course, signing petitions and getting into their usual internal squabbles over the petition’s content.
  • Mikhail Beketov, the editor-in-chief of a local Moscow region paper who was an environmental activist fighting to save the Khimki forest, was beaten so badly in 2008 that he’s had a leg and several fingers amputated, is missing parts of his skull, and is barely able to speak (see above or this photo gallery). Beketov’s beating bears a striking resemblance to Kashin’s.Today, finally brought justice for him. He was found guilty of slandering the local mayor, Vladimir Strelchenko. Strelchenko is a thuggish individual thought to have ordered the attack (as well as the killing of Beketov’s dog and the torching of his car) in the first place.Best part(s)? Beketov, who had to be accompanied by a whole medical team into the courtroom (transport costs up to $200 each time he’s dragged to court), kept trying to utter something while Strelchenko delivered a rousing soliloquy, but, obviously, couldn’t; he then felt so ill, that he had to leave before the judge could ever so sweetly wave the $160 fine.The criminal investigation in Beketov’s beating, in the meantime, has been suspended. Again.

  • Speaking of other journalists who don’t have the luck of working for President Medvedev’s oligarch buddies, let’s take a look into what’s happening with Anatoly Adamchuk, a journalist for another local paper who fought the cutting down of a different forest. Adamchuk was also attacked over the weekend and remains hospitalized.This proved very convenient for the local police, who came to interrogate him in his hospital bed. One of the theories they’re going on? Adamchuk beat himself up.
  • Sergei Lopatnikov, a scientist at the University of Delaware for chrissake, has weighed in, too. “The little shit Oleg Kashin has been beaten up,” he wrote on his now-scrubbed LiveJournal. “It was a quality beating. A just one. My wish: may he croak.”

It’s a good thing Kashin has just now regained consciousness, so he can see the stupid, awful shit his countrymen are doing.

UPDATE: Evgenia Milova, Kashin’s wife, has said that Kashin has not in fact regained consciousness. In the meantime, police have accused Adamchuk of paying them 1000 rubles ($32) to beat him up.

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43 Responses to The unfiltered fallout

  1. None of this touches the elephant in the room – Russia’s repressive gun laws, which forbid citizens from defending themselves.

    But neither Julia, nor the liberasts, nor the regime’s lackeys ever mention this.

  2. Lyndon says:

    Anatoly, you can’t really be serious. If concealed carry were to be permitted in Moscow, I might consider rearranging my life to avoid coming here ever.

  3. Thanks for the update Julia.

    To think I though the initial outpouring of sympathy and concern signaled some sort of shift in Russian civil society. It’s nice to see that things have gone back to normal (i.e. blaming the victim, persecuting the weak, and the sheer ineptitude of Russia’s oppositionists.).

    And to echo Lyndon and Julia, the last thing Russian society, or any society for that matter, needs is for people to carry guns. Nor does Russia need anymore twisted American logic thrust upon it. We’ve all seen how well that has turned out.

  4. Nils says:

    I think that Anatoly has a point. If you are threatened by someone or some organisation I would certainly take measures to ensure my well-being by (maybe) carrying a gun or have security with me. Especially in a country like Russia in which you KNOW that your safety as an independent journalist is not guaranteed. One can say “yes BUT Putin” “yes BUT the government” blabla but I find it nevertheless rather strange.

    If Adamchuk (like a lot of Russia’s liberals at demonstrations) has asked people to beat him up, I would find it extremely hilarious.

    • Nils, kindly provide the coordinates for the planet on which you live.

    • grafomanka says:

      Yeah Nils, let’s set up a charity to sponsor security for each Russian journalist whose work could potentially challenge somebody’s interests. Maybe ‘adopt-a-Russian-journalist’ scheme?
      About guns, I think Russia already has some problems with rubber bullet guns being used to maim and kill.

    • Exactly.

      The alternative would be to provide journalists with special privileges (e.g. higher sentences, more investigative resources for crimes against them, bodyguards, etc) which is unfair and would just further feed their superiority complexes.

      • grafomanka says:

        Alexey Venediktov suggested on Echo that attack on a journalist should be treated like attack on on-duty police officer.

      • Yes, this was exactly what I was thinking of when making the point about “special privileges”.

        That is the solution of the authoritarian collectivist – be (s)he liberast or regime lackey – privileging certain “classes” of citizens over others, while condemning the democratization of said privileges through gun law liberalization with froth on their mouths.

        It is in short a disgustingly patronizing view of the Russian people.

  5. Nils says:

    Leiden, Netherlands, Academy of Russian Studies.

    • szasulja says:

      Nils! Are you serious? NOBODY is able to protect himself! You simply can’t.
      To see the technical reasons, lets take poor Kashin’s example. We must all have seen the video about the case. Would Kashin be better if he would have a gun with him? I am afraid, he wouldn’t. He was sat in a trap, knocked out with the first punch. Would he be better if he had a bodyguard (with a gun)? Well ceteris paribus probably yes, but then, they would have sent more than 2 gengsters (with guns), and Kashin – again – would not be better. Of course you could hire a private army, and live like an oligarch but I doubt that independent journalists have that much money, or would prefer that lifestyle.
      Why do you think there was not any savage beatings of independent journalists in our beautiful city of Leiden? Because they are carrying weapon with themselves or has bodyguards? I don’t think so. Because corrupt Dutch businessmen don’t have enough money to hire somebody to beat the crap out of them? Unlikely. But because they are afraid that they would get caught.
      It is the state’s job to protect people. It could be done effectively ONLY by the state. To find the culprits, to find who hired them, to find justice, to guarantee personal security. Of course it is cannot be done in one day, but it seems from the post, that we do not even heading in a good way. And that’s why this story about the government and Putin.
      Otherwise after Anatoly’s last week ‘glorious trolling’ I am not sure whether I understand when he is kidding and when he is serious.

      • Speaking of the Netherlands, Theo van Gogh may still be alive had he had a gun.

        Re-trolling. I clearly indicated that I was trolling so I don’t see why this should be an issue.🙂

  6. AJ says:

    @Anatoly- Theo van Gogh would still be alive if the Netherlands hadnt foolishly let in Muslim immigrants. As would Pim Fortuyn. As for your surprisingly right-wing/libertarian views on gun control, Im not convinced. In the US with its 2nd amendment, there is still the highest amount of crime than any other developed nation. Canada has more guns per-capita than the US, yet much less violent crime. Michael Moore explored this issue in his Bowling for Columbine documentary. Of course, Canada doesnt have Concealed carry. Also, it could be argued that the huge violent crime difference between Canada and its neighbor is due more to to the demographics of these nations than to gun laws. Certain ethnic groups are simply going to have higher per-capita crime rates, regardless of gun control. The thing is, Im worried Slavs are much more crime-prone than their White counterparts in the West, so Im not sure how more guns would help lower Russia’s violent crime rate.

  7. AJ says:

    The highest murder rates in the US – and where most homicides are concentrated – is in deprived inner city ghettos , where black people tend to be in place .

  8. AJ says:

    Theres plenty of guns in the ghettoes of America, does it matter if theyre legal or illegal? So you actually think more guns will lower the homicide level in poor black areas? Theres more gun restrictions in Canada, yet Canada has a much lower crime rate, because of once again, demographics. In the hands of educated, moral people, I (and many people) dont fear guns. Its when firearms fall in the hands of ghetto-dwellers, the poor, and various rejects of society that I get concerned.

    • marknesop says:

      We rarely agree completely, AJ, but except for tying the violence directly to black people because they’re black, I’ve got your back on this one. More guns and less control is all the way across town from the right answer. A “wild frontier” culture persists in the USA, where young males (and some not so young) probably practice “slapping leather” in front of the mirror so they can “haul iron” on the first transgressor they see. As I probably mentioned before, handguns not in the hands of expert shots are horribly inaccurate, and an impromptu shoot-out at Applebee’s is a recipe for a lot of innocent bystanders going either to the hospital or the morgue. Unless it’s just you and Black Bart on the street at high noon, where all you can kill if you make a mistake is your stupid self, I wouldn’t recommend it. I know guns are fun, Anatoly. But lots of things are fun that are unacceptable based on their detriments.

      There are not more murders among the black community because they’re black. There are more murders among the black community because they make up more of the poor, and because white-collar crime (not including murder, though, usually) is often hushed up (like bank fraud) or brushed aside as “victimless”.

      Straight across the board, it’s too easy to get a gun in the USA, and the philosophy for having one is flawed.

  9. AJ says:

    “There are not more murders among the black community because they’ re black . There are more murders among the black community because they make up more of the poor” HAHAHAHA oh wow! You’re still arguing about this? You follow me to other blogs just to argue with me? I’ve proved you wrong over and over again. My source is the excellent report The Color of Crime. Even accounted for levels of income, race is a MUCH better predictor of criminality than income. Theres plenty of poor white folks in Kentucky and West Virginia, yet theses states are much safer than Maryland, or Cali, or IL, or NY, or any random African country. Poor blacks commit more crime than poor whites. Poverty doesnt cause crime, thats a liberal cop-out. Its just total BS Mark, and you have no evidence that poverty is a bigger factor in American crime levels than race. Heres several great writers on the subject. http://www.inductivist.blogspot.com/2010/07/high-status-blacks-more-violent-than.html http://www.guywhite.wordpress.com/2008/08/26/crime-race-or-poverty/ http://www.guywhite.wordpress.com/race-crime-statistical-profile/ The last 2 links are an excellent blog by a lawyer, and a much smarter guy than me explaining the whole thing. Asians arrive in America with nothing, but work their way up. By your logic Chinatowns should be known for being dangerous, but theyre not, black ghettos are. I live in northern Illinois an hours drive from Chicago. Everybody out here knows the reputation of Chicago’s South Side. Its statistically the most dangerous and violent part of Chicago. http://www.flickr.com/photos/walkingsf/4982044660/ This is a racial map of Chicago, red is White people and blue is Black people. Surprise, surprise, the South Side of Chicago is mainly black! Shocker! Mark, I’ve pwned you over and over regarding this matter, it seems you have a defending black people canard while you live in the Great White North, Canada, in a majority white neighborhood in a majority white town in a majority white province in a majority white country, yet you just give off a vibe of racial self-hate.If black people are so great, why arent there any Black modern, developed nations? Why does Africa, to put it bluntly, suck? I post on your blog, please eMail me if you wanna keep going on about this, we can talk. This is the RussianBlog part of the internet, not the race or HBD part. Cheers!

    • marknesop says:

      Hi, AJ; first, don’t flatter yourself that I’m “following you around”. If you’d rather I didn’t respond to your silly comments, consider that policy adopted. I’ll put your hysteria down to stress brought on by your recent move – I note that as of October 29th (based on a comment at my blog), you lived in a “majority Mexican town, most of them dont speak English even”. That sure as hell doesn’t sound like anything in Northern Illinois an hour’s drive from Chicago, so you must have moved there in the last week. Sure picked up the pulse of the place in a hurry, didn’t you? Well, you do seem to be a quick study; the sort of cleverness we could expect from someone who is 19 years old and a Canadian citizen, but was born in the Soviet Union, which collapsed 19 years ago.

      Maybe others enjoy and will publish your unsupported racist meanderings, but I won’t.

  10. Timothy Post says:

    I’m dizzy. Reading this comment threat is like looking into the “funny mirror” at a Ground Round restaurant. Up is down and your face is longer than your arm.

    Did somebody pass around a bong and skip me?

  11. –And to echo Lyndon and Julia, the last thing Russian society, or any society for that matter, needs is for people to carry guns. Nor does Russia need anymore twisted American logic thrust upon it. We’ve all seen how well that has turned out.–

    And yet, that is exactly what this article and most of the responses do, well not all US logic, mostly just the liberal portion of it. Basically most of the responses scream that if only Russia was more like Liberal America…you know, where the media is owned by the oligarchs who own the government and protesters are insulted by sexual terms like teabaggers (and this is on regular daily news), opposition voices are not only ignored they are attacked and ridiculed, and the media would rather spend more time speaking of where Anna Nichoal Smith and her huge tits are buried than on any topic that matters….say like the continued police state tactics in America, with searchs, shootings and general thugishness of the police.

    The good thing being, in the US/UK journalists do not get beaten or killed, they just get fired by their outfits the moment they say anything against the government or its owners.

    • “say like the continued police state tactics in America, with searchs, shootings and general thugishness of the police.”

      You’re talking about America, not Russia here? And, for fuck’s sake, stop applying American political labels to what’s going on in Russia, or to my coverage of it. Russia should not be like Liberal America, but that doesn’t mean it’s exempt from any moral code, especially not the ultra-European one it sets as its ostensible standard.

      Also, if you read the news rather then the blog comments about Russia, you’d be shocked at what the Russian police are capable of.

      • Like eltro shocking old women, pregnant women, children and such? Like the 6,000 un explained deaths in the custady of the US police last year alone? Like the tens of thousands of shootings by police who were “fearful” for their lives, in the US and UK? Hardly.

    • Tim Newman says:

      Can you give an example of a UK journalist who has been fired for saying something against the government? I don’t think you’re very familiar with the UK press.

      • The UK? The very country that is now prosecuting the British National Party (one that was created by a Jew and a Persian Christian and demands that those who live in Britian become British) and is trying to ban them, grab their property and put their EU parliment mp in jail, as well as the leadership?

        The UK which watches every movement of its people with twice as many cameras as citizens? The UK which arrest people for self defense while letting the yobs go? The UK whose children are feral animals? The UK where the local council sneaks through the citizens trash to see what they put in the rubbish bins? The UK police state?

        As for an example of the US, try NPR’s, financed by the US government, recent scandal and hundreds of others, just the same.

  12. AJ says:

    “Also , if you read the news rather then the blog comments about Russia , you ’ d be shocked at what the Russian police are capable of .” Yes because American cops are just so friendly and nice.

  13. Tim Newman says:

    Anatoly has a point re: gun laws. Journalists who carry guns are probably less likely to be attacked, and I do believe the gun laws in the US allow law-abiding citizens to protect themselves. The trade off is that non-law abiding citizens can shoot each other and, unfortunately quite often, law-abiding citizens as well. Given that in the UK criminals are becoming increasingly heavily armed, the police increasingly useless at responding to serious crimes against the person, and individuals increasingly prevented from defending themselves, I am far from convinced that the US has got it wrong. As has been pointed out, the states with the gun-touting rednecks are not the ones with high rates of homicide. The Democrat-dominated city centres are. It is crime combined with lax gun control which causes a lot of shootings, not lax gun control by itself (as also demonstrated in Switzerland where half the country own automatic rifles, but drive-bys in Geneva are most unfashionable).

    All that said, I’m not convinced widespread gun ownership in Russia would produce happy results. Alcohol and firearms rarely combine well. And Russians do tend to be a bit reckless, even the educated ones. The casualty rates due to non-wearing of seatbelts are testament to that (at least, it was a huge issue in Sakhalin), along with the drink-driving stats. However, I knew a few guys in Russia who (either permitted or not) used to carry pistols which could fire rubber bullets. They needed it for personal protection when delivering money to the bank from their shops. It wouldn’t surprise me to find journalists doing the same, but I suspect the police would like nothing better than to catch a liberal, outspoken journalist with an illegal weapon. Perhaps the thing to do is quietly turn a blind eye?

    • —The casualty rates due to non-wearing of seatbelts are testament to that (at least, it was a huge issue in Sakhalin), along with the drink-driving stats.—

      Rubber bullet pistals are legal, and at 2-3 meters will punch a 30mm hole right through you.

      As for seat belts, try getting caught without one, even in the back seat. The fines are rather high. Take a baby without a car seat and you loose your license. Alcohol tolerance is also at 0.0% now.

  14. –Also, if you read the news rather then the blog comments about Russia, you’d be shocked at what the Russian police are capable of.–

    My dear, I watch the news almost every day, from a dozen different channels, here in Russia, I also read the news and watch the news from the West.

    However, the labels and standards you yourself in your blog and that of your readers are applying to Russia are exactly American liberal standards, just like your views on guns. Guns, by the way, keep crime down.

    It is only in societies where only the government and the criminals have guns that crime in on a rampage. I dare point you to the basic statistics of England and Australia, both of which banned guns in the same year and both saw a 6% rise in murders that very first year, a rise that has continued. Furthermore, Australia alone saw a 46% rise in armed robberies that first year.

    So yes, I think Russians should be armed and with more than the rubber bullet guns we can now buy. When, not if, the new codex on gun rights passes the Duma, I will be the first in line for my psychological evaluation and for my gun, which, my dear, I know quite well how to use, thanks to a rather long stint in the military.

  15. Tim Newman says:

    The UK which watches every movement of its people with twice as many cameras as citizens? The UK which arrest people for self defense while letting the yobs go? The UK whose children are feral animals? The UK where the local council sneaks through the citizens trash to see what they put in the rubbish bins? The UK police state?

    Agreed. But journalists in the UK do not get fired for criticising the government. The government assault on civil liberties in the UK is real enough without having to make stuff up.

    • grafomanka says:

      UK is recently jailing a man for trolling on internet sites, also they prosecuted some unfortunate fella for posting stupid comments on twitter (about blowing up an airport).
      Journalists don’t get fired, but neither they can write whatever they want (at least not in Murdoch media, ‘The Times’ etc).
      In USA a senior CNN journalist was fired for twitting some positive thoughts about Hezbollah’s deceased leader.

      I agree with people here that Russia is not America, Russians + guns = high risk of using the gun when someone offends them, hurts their pride, when, they’re drunk…
      Same with seat belts, driving after alcohol, there’s just a culture of recklessness, safety regulations and abiding by law is for ‘weak’ people. My own grandmother told me not to worry about seat belt, I gave her a horrified look)))

      • Everyone wears seatbelts. No one wants to be fined…which by the way is exactly how it happened in America.

        As for alcohol, zero percent is allowed, no tolerance by the law. Also no tolerance, 500ruble fines for not having your lights on during day light driving in snow and same for not having seatbelts in the back seats on.

        Furthermore, if a baby is not in a baby car seat, driver automatically looses his license.

        Russia has changed a lot more than the Western stereotypes can adapt to or will for 20 more years.

    • Just the latest and recent example of the authoritarian UK regime’s harassment against dissent:
      http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/nov/16/fitwatch-website-closed-police

  16. AJ says:

    “When , not if , the new codex on gun rights passes the Duma , I will be the first in line for my psychological evaluation and for my gun” Wait, what? Russia is changing its gun laws? Link please.

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