Thursday, January 29, 2009

At Davos Forum, Russia and China Blame Capitalists for Economic Crisis -

Remember the good old days, when we used to lecture Russia about obsolete economic systems?
At Davos Forum, Russia and China Blame Capitalists for Economic Crisis - "DAVOS, Switzerland — The leaders of the former bastions of the Communist bloc took the stage here on Wednesday to rebuke their capitalist brothers for dragging the world into crisis [...] In the official opening address of the World Economic Forum, Prime Minister Vladimir V. Putin of Russia spoke of a financial “perfect storm” that has decimated the old system, rendering it obsolete.

“The entire economic growth system, where one regional center prints money without respite and consumes material wealth, while another regional center manufactures inexpensive goods and saves money printed by other governments, has suffered a major setback.”

The Chinese premier, Wen Jiabao, left little doubt that Beijing blamed the United States for the economic breakdown. “Inappropriate macroeconomic policies,” an “unsustainable model of development characterized by prolonged low savings and high consumption,” the “blind pursuit of profit” and “the failure of financial supervision” all contributed, he said.

Putin’s Grasp of Energy Drives Russian Agenda -

He needs to see the Honors Council...
Putin’s Grasp of Energy Drives Russian Agenda - "As far back as 1997, while serving as deputy mayor of St. Petersburg, Mr. Putin earned a graduate degree in economics, writing his thesis on the economics of natural resources.

Later, when scholars at the Brookings Institution analyzed the text, they found 16 pages had been copied without attribution from a 1978 American business school textbook called “Strategic Planning and Policy,” by David I. Cleland and William R. King of the University of Pittsburgh. Mr. Putin has declined to comment on the allegation.

Tellingly, the passages they say were plagiarized relate to the indispensable role of a chief executive in planning within a corporation — the need for one man to have strategic vision and control."

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Really incredible pictures...

Check out these pictures...

The blockade of Leningrad was lifted 65 years ago yesterday. The siege lasted 872 days...

The pictures are very striking--collapsing modern-day St Pete into the world of the blockade.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Adventures in St Petersburg!

I don't know if anyone is interested, but I've started a blog of my study abroad in St. Pete.  It's going well so far, I highly recommend that any Russian Studies kids traveling abroad in coming semesters consider it!

It's HERE, under "From Russia With Love"  <---cheesy and cliche, I know, but deal with it.

 I hope Stetson is having a good first semester!  Make sure you all go see Lend Me A Tenor at Stover Theatre when it's on (even you Dr Denner), because it is a BRILLIANT show,  I have a lot of EXTREMELY talented friends in it, and you will not regret it.  It's the only thing right now that is making me regret being in Russia -that I can't be in Deland to be in/see Lend Me A Tenor.  I'm serious, it's that good.

Ok, shameless plug over, check out the blog maybe,
Loves to you all!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Russia and Georgia Faulted in War -

Ivan Karamazov, thinking about the strife between his brother Dmitrii and their father Fyodor, mumbles to himself «Один гад съест другую гадину» -- untranslatable, but roughly "Let the reptiles eat the serpents."

I mumble that to myself a lot when reading about international events.

Russia and Georgia Faulted in War

MOSCOW — Human Rights Watch released a comprehensive report on Friday on the brief August war in Georgia, accusing both Russia and Georgia of using indiscriminate force on civilians and lambasting Russia for standing by while South Ossetian militias and irregulars carried out “execution-style killings, rape, abductions, and countless beatings.”

The war began Aug. 7, when Georgia attacked the South Ossetian capital, Tskhinvali. Russia responded by sending columns of armor into South Ossetia and Abkhazia, a second breakaway enclave, and then driving deep into Georgia.

In the early days of the war, Moscow accused Georgia of "genocide," and said 2,000 people had been killed in the shelling of Tskhinvali. In its report, Human Rights Watch rejects those claims as exaggerated, and calls on Russia to acknowledge that more recent assessments put the number of deaths between 162 and 400.

Much of the report is devoted to a meticulous description of Ossetian rampages in ethnic Georgian villages in South Ossetia, in which houses were systematically looted, torched and bulldozed, sometimes as their inhabitants looked on. Human Rights Watch concluded that the militias’ intent was “to ethnically cleanse these villages.”

Russian forces “had full knowledge of what was going on,” said Anna Neistat, the organization’s senior emergencies researcher, at a news conference in Moscow. “I think they just didn’t care.”

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


I am posting on the wrong blog. But I can't figure out how to delete it because I'm using a European keyboard and the buttons are different. Sorry!

Hi there! lol

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Помнишь ли ты?

A friend sent me these photos, which date to sometime in the late-1980s or 1990s. I lived in Moscow & St Pete during those gloomy years, and these photos reminded me how horribly bleak things were during those days. I remember vividly walking into large grocery stores and there being NOTHING on the shelves--just shopkeepers staring hostilely. I remember seeing bodies on the way to the metro station. I remember my teacher telling me that she and her husband were subsisting on fifty kilos of pasta they'd managed to buy, because макароны не портятся (macaroni doesn't go bad).

Friday, January 16, 2009

To Moskva!

Hello all!

I'm here in Moscow for study abroad and have started a blog that will document my trip. If you want to check it out, the address is:


Thursday, January 15, 2009

Capitalists behaving badly...

You'll recall the Lancet study that claimed back in 2006 that 655,000 Iraqis had died as a direct result of the US-led invasion of Iraq... This number should sober the fans of shock therapy. / Europe - Soviet sell-offs led to deaths, says study: "Soviet sell-offs led to deaths, says study

By Andrew Jack in London

Published: January 15 2009 01:04 | Last updated: January 15 2009 01:04

”Shock therapy”, or rapid mass privatisation, in the former Soviet bloc in the first half of the 1990s was responsible for the early deaths of 1m people that could have been prevented, according to a paper to be published in The Lancet, the medical journal, on Thursday.

An analysis of the 3m working age men who died across the former communist countries of eastern Europe suggests at least a third were victims of mass privatisation, which led to widespread unemployment and social disruption."