What is it with stupid people and Russia?

Note: I thought about not publishing this post, and just using it as one of those cathartic rants that stays forever in the drafts folder but makes one feel better. But I’m grumpy today. So here it is. It’s dedicated to the smart people out there. You know who you are!

It fascinates – and pisses me off – the way that debate about Russia has been turned into a warped zero sum game of Russophobes versus Russophiles.

The only thing that matters is whether you’re for or against Russia and whether you can consistently twist the facts to meet a twisted worldview.

“I am nothing more than a Kremlin shill.

There’s not a lot of room left for the kind of people who are prepared to accept that a bad government can do something right, and that a good government can do something bad. Or, shock horror, even that a good government can occasionally do something wrong, or stupid.

Over the past few months, I’ve written posts that have both criticised and praised Russia. I write them because I think that Russia is often right, although it’s also far too often wrong.

And, far too often, I take crap from people. Usually because of what they think I have said, in the context of their tiny little world views, rather than what I have actually said, in the context of an entire blog post, or a series of posts.

Take this post about the Russo-Georgian war, for example, in which I pointed out that Georgia had been stupid to invade South Ossetia in the face of Russian provocation. Georgia, I argued, had effectively walked into a Russian trap.

One enlightened Russophobe took one look at the article, came to the stunning realisation that I am nothing more than a Kremlin shill:

“Which Gulag in Siberia do you blog from? Perhaps you should change the title to Siberian Lightly censored. I don’t know if you receive funds from the Kremlin, but you follow its line.

Before you blog, you ought to at least educate yourself instead of posting untruthful diarrhea all over the internet.

You might be too thick headed to understand. Putin wants to control the flow of oil in Russia’s backyard. The Georgian pipeline is not under his control. Putin has to bring about regime change in Georgia to get control of the pipeline. That is what this whole conflict is about. You can side with Putin or you can side with the Free world. I am siding with the Free world.”

Or, how about this post, from yesterday, in which I argued that Russia was running diplomatic rings around the EU because it was playing divide and conquer, and didn’t have too many qualms about using energy supplies as a tool of diplomacy.

Guess what. I’m not a Kremlin shill any more.

What a stupid, positively juvenile article. I don’t know why I take your RSS sometimes.

[…]That Russia poses a danger to the EU was the basic premise of the article, and it is a moronic one.

You know, it’s not really the inane insults that bother me. Or that the people who write the inane insults almost always do so behind the illusory screen of anonymity.

It’s that there are far too many people out there who simply don’t have the intelligence, or the patience to read anything properly any more, and who are too intellectually stunted to see anything outside of their own inflexible worldview.

OK. Rant over.

You may also like...

123 Responses

  1. Kyle & Svet says:

    This is a good Post and after reading this Post I feel much better! 🙂

    Kyle

    Kyle & Svet´s last blog post..A Few More Israel Pictures from Windows to Russia!

  2. Josefina says:

    You really do a good job. I love your blog and read it all the time! Don’t let all the other ‘stuff’ in the way of you writing about Russia…!

    Sometimes I just wonder if the Russophobe just isn’t very lucky with the men and that’s where all her anger comes from – sexual frustration 😉 And I’m not saying that to pick a fight, it’s just what more often than not comes to my mind while I’m reading her blog… And I’m certainly not saying that because I’m pro-Putin. Though I’m practically blogging out of some GULAG camp in Siberia!

    Josefina´s last blog post..Sankta Lucia: Take 1

  3. Scrat says:

    Heya don’t worry, I see your point. Just remember that it’s always safe to pick on Russia in the news and just about anywhere else. If people were to talk about real problems that means they would have to admit them and actually do something about it. That’s how I see the Russophobes anyway.

  4. James W says:

    I’m sure most of your readers appreciate the nuance and intelligence of what you write – so don’t be discouraged by the vocal minority such as these two idiots! This sort of polarisation does seem to happen a lot in blog threads no matter what the subject (have you seen Youtube’s?), but I agree there seems to be something particularly venomous about the Russian ones.

  5. Natalie says:

    The title of this post makes me laugh 🙂

  6. Sean says:

    Great post Andy. As a fellow victim of “Stupid people and Russia,” I wholeheartedly sympathize.Just remember when you piss off both extremes, it means you’re doing something right.

    Sean´s last blog post..(Un)documenting Stalinism?

  7. At least you don’t have troll like efforts which specifically target you in a clear attempt to defame and shut you up.

    Beware of some of those professing to be above “both extremes.”

  8. That’s referring to the mentioned troll like efforts which don’t appear to have been made against you.

    Earnest and spirited dialogue in a respectful enough way shouldn’t be confused with some of the more disgusting manner being provoked in cyber.

    Earnest folks need to be careful about getting sucked into such a web of deceit. This reality puts some people off altogether from participating.

    In such an instance, a form of terrorism has won.

  9. Kolchak says:

    “Which Gulag in Siberia do you blog from? Perhaps you should change the title to Siberian Lightly censored. I don’t know if you receive funds from the Kremlin, but you follow its line.

    Before you blog, you ought to at least educate yourself instead of posting untruthful diarrhea all over the internet.

    You might be too thick headed to understand. Putin wants to control the flow of oil in Russia’s backyard. The Georgian pipeline is not under his control. Putin has to bring about regime change in Georgia to get control of the pipeline. That is what this whole conflict is about. You can side with Putin or you can side with the Free world. I am siding with the Free world.”

    Can’t take a little criticism, can you? Can admit that you might be a little wrong? Until the economic meltdown, Putin was on a course to reunite the former Soviet Republics. Now, that’s a pipe dream. He is still railing against the US. Six months ago this Mr. Putin said the US no longer really affected Russia economically or diplomatically. Now, Putin is saying the economic difficulties in Russia is the US’s fault. Which is it, Mr. Putin?

    You see the guy is a master of double speak. I get upset when you accuse tiny Georgia of falling into a Russian trap.

  10. The use of the word “trap” possibly suggests that Russia had something sinister planned.

    There’s another way of looking at this particular matter.

    Recent history influenced the Russian government on the need to be militarily prepared. The Kremlin knew of the Georgian military buildup and some comments made by Georgian government officials regarding Abkhazia and South Ossetia (specifically, on the desire to retake the two lands in question). Based on these points, the Russian government made sure to have contingency plans in the event of a Georgian military strike (like the one which occurred this past Aug. 7).

  11. Tristan da Cunha says:

    Anyone who writes must be aware that his words will be misunderstood, distorted, or misrepresented by somebody.

    The only alternative is not to write.

  12. Andy says:

    @Tristan – from now on, SL will subject Russia to scrutiny through the medium of interpretative art. No words allowed…

    Or maybe not.

    Andy´s last blog post..What is it with stupid people and Russia?

  13. Tristan

    That’s the apparent idea some have in their overly selective efforts at replying to some individuals. I’m referring to manner that differs from having an earnest dialogue.

    It’s very easy to misrepresent someone else under a pseudonym and with the assistance of others.

  14. Clark says:

    I usually write my stupid comments on Kyle’s blog, but now I’ve found another victim to torment, BWAHAHAHAHAHAH!

    Clark´s last blog post..Zappadan Day 6: Zappa Conducts Ravel’s Bolero

  15. James says:

    Just do what I do, Andy – Pay no attention to those who complain about your blog being either too Russophobic or too Russophiliac.

    I think that these kinds of personal attacks against bloggers or even journalists are a sign that a person has run out of things to say about a given topic. The focus should be on contributing to the conversation by debating the issues, not the voices.

    James´s last blog post..Energy Blast – Dec 10th, 2008

  16. Rena says:

    I just wanted to let you know…that I could totally hug you. I find your blog exceptionally fascinating. Keep it up! 🙂

  17. Irishman says:

    Andy,

    I always thought you look cool, and now I know why – you look like a younger Fabio Capello!:-)

    ”Earnest folks need to be careful about getting sucked into such a web of deceit. This reality puts some people off altogether from participating. ”

    Count me out. I’m deliberately not getting into a row with you anymore. I did go too far and you didnt deserve it.

    However I do think it was a Russian trap. The Georgians were pretty dumb to walk into it though.

  18. Andy,
    The reality is quite simple – I didn’t like your previous article. It’s unoriginal, almost reads like something written by Lucas, plus the points made by Sam. I don’t think he is an “idiot”, although I agree that the two ad hominems at the start and at the end were unnecessary – but why worry over them? You’ve had more than half a million unique visitors – does it make a difference if one of them stops reading you?

    Also, criticizing an article does not mean that that feeling extends to yourself, or your other articles – some of which are very good, like the one about Khalkin-Gol and Russian bond girls. I for one will continue checking up on SL from time to time, as I usually do.

    Anyway, sorry if I offended you. After receiving hate mail from Russophobe cyber goons (the likes of Kolchak) since starting DR a year ago, I’ve become somewhat more predisposed to angry rhetoric in situations that do not really call for it.

    Da Russophile´s last blog post..Russia Economic Crisis III: On the Importance of Self-Sufficiency in Liquids

  19. Wrangel says:

    This Kolchak fella has nothing to do with me.

    😉

  20. Andy says:

    @Da Russophile – just to clarify – this article wasn’t really aimed at you. I’m sorry if you were inadvertently caught in the “crossfire” by my use of the phrase ‘Russophile’.

    I don’t agree with most of what you said about the previous article (which is fine – you don’t agree with what I said either!), but your comments certainly don’t fit into the “stupid” category that wound me up. And they certainly didn’t offend me.

    PS – I do agree, though, when you say that the previous article was unoriginal – I’m happy with the general argument it puts forward, but the article was actually a dusted off and rewritten version of a previous article, and wasn’t one of my finest.

    @Irishman – it’s just a shame I’m rubbish at football.

    @everyone else – thanks for the kind words. I wasn’t fishing for compliments, but it’s fascinating to see that the sentiments behind this post resonate so strongly among other Russia bloggers.

    Andy´s last blog post..What is it with stupid people and Russia?

  21. Chris says:

    “However I do think it was a Russian trap.”

    Based on what evidence?

  22. One view claims an increase in gunfire exchanges in the days leading up to the Aug. 7 strike.

    The Georgian government and its sympathizers spin this period as South Ossetian/Russian provoked. On the other hand, Georgia was noticeably rebuilding its military, with some Georgian officials stressing the need to retake South Ossetia and Abkhazia. It’s Georgia seeking to reacquire South Ossetia and not vice versa.

    In the spirit of this particular blog post and what some others express, I’m communicating the following:

    Whether as Chrisius Maximus, Chris, totdy, and other, this kind of manner should be ideally kept out of the process (spiteful sarcasm, targeted personal taunts that get off topic and outright rude behavior):

    http://talk.guardian.co.uk/WebX?14@98.BC6ae9L2lRg@.7760b692/657

    http://seansrussiablog.org/2007/02/07/andrei-vlasovs-legacy/#comment-53316

    The above reflects a partial listing.

    I repeatedly made efforts to keep it on the subject, only to get subjected to such obnoxious trolling. Note what someone else here recently said on the subject.

    Unlike some others, I can sincerely say that I favor as open a forum situation as possible – but with a certain sense of responsibility.

    What has been allowed to carry on in some circles isn’t “academic” in the true sense of the meaning. The repetitiously displayed boorish manner seems to have a certain definite intent to demean and limit the process.

    It’s phony to then suddenly take a kinder approach in the company of select others..

  23. That’s: other derivatives.

    Andy

    I hear you on the stupid criticisms. Some of it goes with the territory.

    What you’ve experienced is nothing to the kind of horsehit that that some others besides myself have faced. Having people blatantly misrepresent what I said – sometimes in very managed situations. Endlessly interupting and pouncing in an overly selective and frankly sleazy manner. This includes seeing supposedly responsible people standing by and in some instances contributing.

    That’s not what I’m about.

  24. Irishman says:

    ”@Irishman – it’s just a shame I’m rubbish at football.”

    Not to worry Andy. Arrigo Saachi was a shoe salesman and never kicked a ball professionally in his life, but went on to lead Milan to three Scudetto and one European Cup. He also led Italy to defeat against Ireland in New York at USA ’94 (sorry, had to get that one in!:-))

    ”I repeatedly made efforts to keep it on the subject, only to get subjected to such obnoxious trolling. Note what someone else here recently said on the subject. ”

    I did and meant it. I have overdone it more than once, and forgot that you are entitled to your opinions in fairness. You should learn Russian though. My Irish is pretty bad and I’m ensconsed in a native Irish speaking region now and havent a clue whats going on half the time, in my own country. Languages are crucial. You just have to spend an hour a day at it. I know its hard, no-one wants to do it (expected the gifted Maximus, who was born loving grammar, the lucky sod) but it just has to be done.

    ”“However I do think it was a Russian trap.”

    Based on what evidence?”

    The Russians had the Georgians spanked in two days flat and had troops pouring through the gorge the minute Georgian troops. The Ossetians started firing (allegedly) and hit the Georgians with gradi first. Which leads to two possible conclusions:

    1. The Russians give the Ossetians gradi just for the heck of it and also station a few thousand troops just over the border, again for the heck of it.

    2. The Russians were waiting for a flare up and took their chance with both hands.

    I think it may be two. I could be wrong though, and usually am about these things, but the speed of the Russian victory does look like they were really well prepared for this. Maybe too well prepared.

  25. On the “trap” issue, I looked at it from both angles. Overall, I lean towards not calling it a trap.

    Sean Guillory doesn’t know Russian (he acknowledges use of a translator). He’s not alone. Yet, some like Chris Doss repeatedly only highlight that point with me.

    You’ve one again done the same in an overly selective manner.

    This appears hypocritical and a seemingly clear attempt to belittle my input that has been otherwise accepted at a number of venues including the BBC, Inosmi.ru and Eurasian Home.

    As previously noted, to my knowledge Robert Bridge, David Johnson, Ira Straus and until recently (as I understand it) Peter Lavelle don’t know Russian.

    Moreover, knowledge of a foreign langauge doesn’t always mean having a great knowledge of the given country’s history, foreign policy and sports. On a number of issues, Doss has shown himself to be ignorant of Russia. He appears to try to cover this aspect by initiating obsessively rude manner at others. In this sense, I’m not as “gifted” as him. I prefer a more earnest approach that includes having a natural feel for what’s happening. This includes a civil interaction with any number of people familiar with the involved situation. I don’t mind some spirited exchanges. Doss and others like him take it beyond the pale.

    Doss comes across as a frustrated individual, with thousands spent on him. All he seems to do is post comments at blogs and forums. What formal commentary has he presented? All of us have a beef at one time or another. Some of us are more up front and earnest about it than others.

    For his part, Guillory hasn’t been so sincere. The two of us collaborated on work that was featured elsewhere. I don’t see Doss and him doing the same. Doss and Guillory have a left of center way of seeing things. That’s fine on the basis of it. I take an eclectic approach, which attempts to interact with others in disagreement with me – in relatively free form situations.

    IMO, this makes for better interaction. Too bad it periodically gets abused by others.

    Awhile back, Guillory blasted LR while carrying on in similar manner as that entity. I recall Guillory’s reply to an LR post which included shots at LR and me. Guillory brought me up in a negatively inaccurate way. That’s not my idea of being “academic.”

  26. On the surface, among other points, paragraphs three and four might appear strong in relation to what has been recently communicated.

    On the other hand, its main premise has legitimacy. Some creepy things have been said and I’m understandably perturbed (for lack of a better word)

    http://www.russiablog.org/2008/06/next_time_spain_defeats_russia.php

    In retrospect, in some instances, I could’ve chosen a different way of addressing such manner. This doesn’t negate my repeated efforts at earnest dialogue. One galling aspect dealt with a host/moderator claiming to advocate the same – only to contradict himself. as was noted by someone here, i didn’t deserve such treatment. It hasn’t stopped me.

    Over the years, I’ve interacted with a number of intelligent and well educated Russians and non-Russians with an interest (professional and otherwise) in the sort of subjects I comment on.

    I greatly appreciate the exchanges and am pleased to know that the feeling is mutual.

    IMO, It’s beastly to privately or publicly seek to limit such activity in one form or another.

    Andy’s post seems to touch on these aspects.

  27. Chris says:

    “The Russians had the Georgians spanked in two days flat”

    Not hard to do.

    “and had troops pouring through the gorge the minute Georgian troops.”

    It took them a day to get there. And the general headquarters was closed.

    “The Ossetians started firing (allegedly) and hit the Georgians with gradi first. ”

    Allegedly, that is, according to Saakashvili, who also claimed that Tskhinvaili was destroyed by the Russians, who also claimed that the Russians had attacked the pipeline, who also claimed that the Russians were marching on Tbilisi.

    The only person in the world, other Saakashvili, who still asserts this stuff is you. The OECD doesn’t seem to believe it. Nobody in the military seems to believe it. The US government doesn’t believe it. Nobody argues it anymore, because there is no actual evidence for it. Of course the Russians are going to be prepared for this and had troops in the area. Georgia tried to do this THREE TIMES ALREADY. The Russians aren’t morons.

  28. Irishman says:

    ”i didn’t deserve such treatment. It hasn’t stopped me. ”

    You didnt deserve it in fairness, and I wont be doing it again. Although I fundamentally disagree with you on a number of things, I shouldnt have went so far in my criticisms of you. It was poor debating indeed. And it has be said you do genuinely love Russia – and that deserves respect. I didnt bring up languages to offend you – I did it cos I know that even a bit of a lingo will give you a new and refreshing spin on things. I dont doubt you have read more on Russia in English than I have and many others. The only reason I bring up languages now is not to offend you – dont be offended – simply to show that its a great help. I’m in the local and the lads have to turn around and speak English to me. Its well worth the effort getting the books out, painful though it is.

    ”The Georgian government and its sympathizers spin this period as South Ossetian/Russian provoked. On the other hand, Georgia was noticeably rebuilding its military, with some Georgian officials stressing the need to retake South Ossetia and Abkhazia. It’s Georgia seeking to reacquire South Ossetia and not vice versa. ”

    I have heard a lot of Russians say that Georgians are prone to bravado and may well have been under the impression that they could actually hurt Russia. Clearly the reverse was true.

  29. Chris says:

    “On a number of issues, Doss has shown himself to be ignorant of Russia. He appears to try to cover this aspect by initiating obsessively rude manner at others.”

    Hey man, at least I know “multi-opionated” isn’t a word.

  30. NEVER MIJND THAT SEAN GUILLORY AND OTHERS DON’T KNOW RUSSIAN, WITH YOU NOT HIGHLIGHTING THAT.

    There’s no doubting that I’m more well versed than Guillory and others on a number of Russia related issues.

    This knowledge doesn’t just involve reading.

    BTW, the latest Doss crank involves a moniker with a comic book twang and Doss’ repetitious suggestion of poor grammar on my part.

    Never mind that Doss’s own grammar has been found to be faulty. In additon, he doesn’t go out of his way correcting the faulty grammar of others. A sleazy SOB for sure.

  31. Scrat says:

    So we’re criticizing grammer now? Me do thinks dis blog eez goin teh ‘ell.

  32. Irishman says:

    ”The only person in the world, other Saakashvili, who still asserts this stuff is you. The OECD doesn’t seem to believe it.”

    I didnt assert anything; I simply said thats the impression I got. The Russians were there very quickly, closed headquarters or not. And it was a lot faster than a day – on the day the Olympics started the Russians were beating the shit out of Georgia when the fun had only started in earnest the previous night.

    ”Allegedly, that is, according to Saakashvili, who also claimed that Tskhinvaili was destroyed by the Russians, who also claimed that the Russians had attacked the pipeline, who also claimed that the Russians were marching on Tbilisi.”

    This is great stuff – pity it has no relevance. You’re simply using what you believe to be a lie to prove something else you believe to be a lie. You may be right, but it doesnt prove your case.

    ”Nobody in the military seems to believe it.”
    ”The OECD doesn’t seem to believe it.”

    Plenty of ‘seems’, are there any ‘doesn’ts’?

  33. Scrat

    That’s what Doss does at some other venues. Someone else observed that it serves to cover his own limits.

    Seeing how this conversation gets off topic with repetitious and selectively applied observations, l’ll procceed to do the same in a more constructive manner:

    Re: http://www.russiaprofile.org/page.php?pageid=Experts%27+Panel&articleid=a1229105949

    An example of how individuals with a certain background and views get their reasonably stated opinions presented at a relatively high profile venue.

    It sure beats Russia Today’s repetitious comments about Alexy’s “nationalism.” An example of that network taking to some of the biases evident in Western mass media.

    Like I said in another recent instance, I’ve had my share of contact with the ROC and Jewry. This has to do with my own background, in relation to both faiths. The N word (nationalism) continues to be selectively applied towards some, but not others. If used consistently, a number of leading Jewish spiritual leaders can be considered “nationalists.” In modern day political jargon, “nationalism” has come to have a negative connotation unlike “patriotism.” When observed in a non-chauvinistic manner, there’s nothing particularly wrong with having a patriotic outlook.

    Andy

    I think it might be best for me to ignore this thread. It’s certainly not because I duck unlike some others.

    As you know, I’m interested in meaningful discussion, minus the trolling that has been encouraged elsewhere.

    I hope you take my advice and consider hosting intelligent panel discussions. Unlike some others, you’re more sincere in trying to get different perspectives. I’m sure you can attract a decent panel of contributors.

  34. Scrat says:

    Very true Irishman Russia was there quickly, get on Google Earth and look at the distances involved. We’re not talking about distances of 100s of miles/kilometers here were takling about 10s of. Flight time for warplanes was minutes in most cases.

    From what I gather the Russian aircraft were hitting the Georgians at dawn, within 12 hours of the opening bombardment Russian army units were crossing the mountains and into SO. Why? Because the Russians had their forces in a high state of readiness, they expected something to happen. Events prior to that such as Condi Rices visit to Tblisi and Israel breaking some armaments deals were clues.
    I don’t think the Russians set a trap, they just sat and waited for the idiots in Tblisi to do something and it turns out they took the opportunity and got their asses handed to them.

  35. Scrat says:

    Micheal. I’ll stay out of that part of the debate, I do see what you’re saying.

  36. Just wanted to ck, on something I wrote – which is why I came back.

    Scrat:

    As you no doubt know, the term “rapid deployment force” refers to quick responces.

    I suspect we’ve not been given all of the particulars.

    There’re instances when one side in a conflict can get a tip in advance.

    All things considered, I don’t think the Russians were really looking to cruise for a bruise in this one.

  37. Scrat says:

    I guess that’s a good way to describe it but look at where it is. The Caucasus, I guess Shakeasswilly forgot that Russia had fought and largely won a war that lasted about a decade there and maintains a sizable force there for various reasons.
    I have no doubt that there were some people involved on the Russian side that wanted something to happen, I think Russia needed it to happen to teach the west a lesson, especially the US. It appears to have worked.
    I see the EU apparently is dealing with it and starting to recognize that Russia is more important to them and that US meddling in places like the Caucasus will come to no good.

  38. Irishman says:

    ” have no doubt that there were some people involved on the Russian side that wanted something to happen, I think Russia needed it to happen to teach the west a lesson, especially the US. It appears to have worked.”

    ”There’re instances when one side in a conflict can get a tip in advance.

    All things considered, I don’t think the Russians were really looking to cruise for a bruise in this one.”

    I would agree with the above I guess. Whilst not a trap I suppose, I do think the Russians were itching for a chance, and lets face it, they bloody took it.

    ”Very true Irishman Russia was there quickly, get on Google Earth and look at the distances involved. We’re not talking about distances of 100s of miles/kilometers here were takling about 10s of. Flight time for warplanes was minutes in most cases. ”

    Its a fact, by friday lunchtime Russian troops were spanking Georgia, and it supposedly started on the thursday evening. It just struck me that the Russians were very quick indeed at getting down to business. Now that may be down to experience, but it was very fast deployment.

    ”It sure beats Russia Today’s repetitious comments about Alexy’s “nationalism.” An example of that network taking to some of the biases evident in Western mass media.”

    But he was a nationalist. He blessed troops heading to Chechnya on their dirty mission. If that isnt nationalism I dont know what is. Nationalist does have negatibe connotations, and I think RT are right to use this word about him. To me patriotism is criticising your country constructively when its wrong; nationalism is supporting it even when its wrong.

  39. Two more quick points (sorry):

    1. Who said “multi-opionated” (not that I’ll likely ck. back)?

    An example of not providing specifics on a quote – a not so academic way of referencing.

    “At least”, I don’t repeatedly insist that “there’re” isn’t valid English language shorthand (which is what Doss did).

    Scrat:

    Don’t get me wrong, many Rusisans weren’t/aren’t unhappy with what transpired. This shouldn’t be confused with actively seeking to instigate a situation. As previously noted in this thread, the Georgian government did its share. I suspect that it was of two possible views having to do with thinking there was a chance that the Russians might not respond and the predominating biases against Russia working in Georgia’s favor – regardless of the outcome (the first of these two stated views isn’t as likely IMO).

    BTW, I’m not too keen on the Russian government’s decision to recognize South Ossetia’s and Abkhazia’s independence at this time. The reasons are stated in the article starting with “Ramifications” at my hyperlinked name. This is reflecting a view that’s certainly not anti-Russian.

    Like I said, I’ll try to avoid this thread as per my previous note.

  40. Still yet one more (as soon as I posted my last set of comments, I noticed a new post)

    The last Alexy follow-point doesn’t negate the selectivity in how “nationalism” is applied. A specific was given at this thread.
    As for Chechnya, there was extreme brutality on the Chechen separatist side. A point which has been authoratitvely detailed elsewhere. Blessing troops doesn’t necessarily mean supporting manner considered unacceptable in warfare.

    The poorly funded and trained Russian armed forces got caught in a difficult situation. Like I said before, this no doubt influenced the better Russian military performance on former Georgian SSR territory. Another factor has to do with the Georgian government side not having the same overall brutal aspects that was evident in Chechnya.

    Among the best of the recently released articles (IMO) on Alexy have been in Russia Profile (Zolotov and Babich) and The NYT (Kishkovsky)

  41. Scrat says:

    Here’s some distances. Just for added information. The main military base in the region for the Russian army is in Vladikavkaz. In a straight line thats 92mls/150km from Tblisi and 60mls/100km from Tshkinvali.

    The road through the mountains is significantly longer but not more than 50% so it is easy to see the speed with which the Russian responded. The Caucasus forces there are ALWAYS on alert, it is a all but a warzone anyway. The SU-25 Frogfoot bombers would have been over Tblisi at cruise altitude in minutes had they been flying south. What Russia did was no great exploit of strategic movement on the battlefield but it sure as hell was an example of how to execute an operation in a tactical sense in not too friendly terrain.

    Politcally this sends the message to the EU and US that Russia is not to be trifled with. Disrespect is not productive. Meddling is not productive and if you go to far, you may not like the result. This was the wake up call, The US and Britain and others have been meddling in that region for the last 15/20 years destabilizing it creating all these colored revolutions. Innocent people are dying for politics and power, it is not right. Let Russia take the burden of maintaining the peace there, she has done it for hundreds of years and had been largely successful at it.

  42. Irishman says:

    ”The last Alexy follow-point doesn’t negate the selectivity in how “nationalism” is applied”

    I do agree that it is selectively applied. But in Alexei II’s case it is not. He was a Russian nationalist.

    ”Blessing troops doesn’t necessarily mean supporting manner considered unacceptable in warfare.”

    Of course that is true, but Alexei knew well what was going on in the South and made no protest. Surely he claimed to represent the Russian Orthodox Church and by blessing troops was he not at the very least endorsing their mission? If I was an ROC and didnt want war I’d be pretty unhappy that the Patriarch was doing what he was doing. I know this stuff is common in many countries, but that doesnt make it right. It doesnt take much reading of the Bible to figure out that Jesus was against killing. Who exactly was Alexei answerable to, The Lord or Boris Yeltsin? I suspect he was pre-occupied with more earthly matters, such as funding church rebuilding and avoiding getting banned again like back in the early 1920s.

    Scrat – thanks for the interesting and informative comments. They were quick but I think you, MA and CD are right, it wasnt a trap. More like opportunity knocked on the door.

    ”As for Chechnya, there was extreme brutality on the Chechen separatist side. A point which has been authoratitvely detailed elsewhere.”

    Actually the Russians kicked off the extreme brutality. The first Russian tank forces captured in November 1994 were actually imprisoned underneath the Presidential Palace and eventually handed back (courtesy of the soldiers mothers , not the efforts of the Russian state which were zero, and tried to deny for ages that they even were Russian troops!). A few weeks later the Russian bombardment began, followed by the New Years Eve massacre, where the Chechens beheaded many Russian tank-troops and put them on lamp-posts. I’m not condoning that at all, it was dreaful, but Russia should not have bombed Grozny with planes and artillery in the first place – I think that this was the single biggest mistake of the First Chechen War (apart from being spanked in Grozny in 1996). It turned what could have been a small series of battles with intermediate negotiations into an all-out war in the worst sense.
    Anyway, we can never agree on this subject I think!

  43. Scrat says:

    Not likely. I personally believe the Russians did them a favor, it wasn’t long after the Chechen declaration of independance before slave markets were open again. With that declaration the country moved backwards a thousand years.
    That war was a bloody mess, hopefully its all bot over now. Off to work.

  44. I’m guilty for sure of not keeping away.

    In Chechnya, Russians were being persecuted there by extremists, with many Russians fleeing.

    There’s no legitimate denying the gruesome behavior of some of the Chechen separatists. Ignoring this isn’t accurate. Scrat touches on this point, concerning the non-Russian human rights abuses in Chechnya. This explains in good part why separatist appeal has declined in Chechnya. The situation in Chechnya became unbearable for reasons that can’t be accurately pinned on Russia – but on the internal flaws within Chechnya. Saying all this doesn’t excuse how Rusisa conducted itself militarily.

    As noted before and in relation to this subject, greater autonomy doesn’t necessarily mean better human rights conditions. In the American south, “states’ rights” advocates were known to use an otherwise earnest appeal to better enact restrictive measures against Blacks. In post-Soviet Russia, places like Tatarstan, Kalmykia and Chechnya of the last decade (the two instances when it had noticeable autonomy) haven’t been considered among the most democratic or humane of places in Russia (the “humane” points especially relate to the last two).

    In this sense, I believe Scrat to be right. Chechnya still has a way to go in returning to what can be considered a reasonably normal state.

    Yeah, I kind of prefer not discussing what has already been discussed at length before among the same people – with nothing new offered.

  45. On the use of the n word (nationalism), how often are American leaders called nationalists?

    Among other examples, when the UK responded to the Argentine takeover of the Falklands, I don’t recall there being a stated wave of British nationalism.

    When it comes to foreign policy, the idea of one power having the greater right to determine the fate of others isn’t a Russian invention.

    There’s nothing wrong with a healthy Russian patriotism over some of the Russia unfriendly, if not anti-Russian advocacy getting preference in some circles.

  46. Irishman says:

    ”Not likely. I personally believe the Russians did them a favor, it wasn’t long after the Chechen declaration of independance before slave markets were open again. ”

    Scrat there is no doubt there were incidents of slavery, people put in pits etc but this was not systemic or widespread in 1991-1994. Indeed according to a Russian acquintance of mine who’d lived in Grozny and another Russian commenting at SRB there were no gang rapes, mass murders or much of the other horrors that Russian media were claiming happened during that period, and indeed the guy at SRB (I’ll find the thread and link it) said that life was reasonably OK during that time. The Chechens did admittedly allow lunatics out of hospitals and murderers out of jail – of that there is no dispute. Most Russians did not leave Chechnya until after the Russian invasion. I have no doubt that the place was dangerous and unstable but a Russian invasion was hardly the right response. In fact Chechnya had one of the few working economies of the whole RF at the time, although of course most of it was illegal. But people were fed and life continued.

    ”Yeah, I kind of prefer not discussing what has already been discussed at length before among the same people – with nothing new offered.”

    The only person who offered nothing new here is actually you. Were you even aware that Russian troops were captured in November 1994, before the war proper started, and were denied as being Russian by the Kremlin for ages? They were fed and watered under the Palace. Not too much of that happening at Mozdok I would think. You have engaged in the usual whataboutery and made the same statements about human rights again as if Russia herself was some sort of saint at the time. To CD’s and Scrat’s credit they know something about Chechnya; you however do not and are right to withdraw from the conversation.

    ”Among other examples, when the UK responded to the Argentine takeover of the Falklands, I don’t recall there being a stated wave of British nationalism”

    You dont recall because you arent from this part of the world. There was a huge wave of Brit nationalism at the time of Las Malvinas – indeed it saved Margaret Thatcher’s job. If you doubt me ask Tim Newman or Andy. Argentina would have her revenge 4 years later at Mexico City though:-)

    ”On the use of the n word (nationalism), how often are American leaders called nationalists?”

    I thought we were talking about Alexei II. So, was he answerable to God or Vladimir Putin and Boris Yeltsin? Which was it? The Russian Constitution or the Bible?

  47. You got it wrong again and this time I’ll really make an effort to stay away from here. I’m not into rehashing inaccurately stated impressions of what has been previously discussed.

    Before the start of the first Chechen war, there was plenty of imperfecftion to be found in Chechnya. The not so Russia friendly English language mass media even acknowledged this.

    Once again, saying this doesn’t excuse the conduct of the poorly trained/poorly funded Russian military.

    Try being more original when you use such terms as “whataboutery,” that originally come from people who contradict themselves.

    I probably have a better recollection of the Falkands war than yourself. I don’t recall the N word (nationalism) being used to describe the British reply to the Argentine takeover.

    My point on that matter pertains to how the N word has a negative connotation and how it’s selectively applied in an unbalanced way – that leads to some of the inaccurate perceptions out there.

  48. With plenty of evidence, Russians left Chechnya en masse because of some of the extremist bullying against them.

    This included signs that read along the lines of Russians don’t leave, we need slaves.

    At a now downed forum, a couple of Russians and one other person pasted the silly nonsense of overwhelmingly evil Russians against virtuous Chechens.

  49. In Russia, a mass released movie dealing with Russia’s military campaign in Chechnya touched on the aspect of indiscriminate bombing of civilian areas. This instance and others show that Russians en masse didn’t see the war from a completely good versus evil perspective.

    Keep in mind that the more “cleaner” of wars have involved collateral damage as well. It can become difficult to avoid, when the armed combatants are residing in a given civilan area.

    Post-Soviet Rusia seems more aware of the need to have an efficient conventional fighting force capability.

  50. Irishman says:

    ” probably have a better recollection of the Falkands war than yourself. I don’t recall the N word (nationalism) being used to describe the British reply to the Argentine takeover.”

    You probably do, being of greater vintage than me. But clearly you are unaware of The Sun newspaper and its importance in Britain, or how it whips up nationalism anytime Britain heads off to a foreign war. If you think that nationalism does not motivate a majority of Brits when it comes to foreign wars, then you know nothing of Britain at all. Without The influence of the likes of The Sun it is debateable whether or not Britain could actually send troops anywhere. At any rate Las Malvinas asked for help, and I dont see what this has to do with Alexei II in the first place. You took issue with RTs labelling of him, I replied they are right. Do you actually have a counterpoint, or are you going to waste your time pointing at Britain, the US or everywhere else?

    ”With plenty of evidence, Russians left Chechnya en masse because of some of the extremist bullying against them.”

    There is no evidence of the mass migration of Russians from Chechnya before the war started, cos it didnt happen. Admittedly Russians would be loathe to leave their apartments – far and away the biggest thing in the life of a Russian – but life was not unbearable for Russians pre-December 1994. Russian bombing did that.

    ”At a now downed forum, a couple of Russians and one other person pasted the silly nonsense of overwhelmingly evil Russians against virtuous Chechens.”

    This is a total Red Herring. I never described Chechens as virtuous; indeed they are difficult people and most definitely tend towards violence far more quickly than most nationalities. But evil and virtue have no place in the discussion – these are subjective terms with no use. Both the Russians and Chechens were brutal, the main difference being the Russians levelled the place.

    ”You got it wrong again and this time I’ll really make an effort to stay away from here. ”

    The first clause is not yours to judge and the second clause has obvously not been borne out. I have made a conscious effort not to offend you here and listen to your points, but as usual you cannot handle disagreement. Its pretty sad, and bearing that in mind I think I should exeunt myself.

  51. db says:

    You probably do, being of greater vintage than me.

    No, even Mike is not old enough to remember much about the Falklands War. By his own description, he was back then a “blonde California surfer” who wasn’t “taken seriously among academic types” because of his looks.

  52. Andy says:

    I was about 7 or 8 at the time of the Falklands war, but even I remember the wave of nationalism / patriotism that came back with the British Navy…

    Nationalism doesn’t tend to be a particular problem in America as far as I can tell – largely because America doesn’t really have a national (racial) identity that underpins its society to the extent that it underpins European societies.

    Andy´s last blog post..Word Cloud

  53. Irishman says:

    ”No, even Mike is not old enough to remember much about the Falklands War. By his own description, he was back then a “blonde California surfer” who wasn’t “taken seriously among academic types” because of his looks.”

    db you’re just a total legend:-)

    ” was about 7 or 8 at the time of the Falklands war, but even I remember the wave of nationalism / patriotism that came back with the British Navy…”

    I was the same age then, and its the first war I remember on tv – they used to show the ruins of the Argentine ships. I have read subsequently that there was a massive show of Brittannia Rules the Waves at the time and that Thatcher, who’d been in serious political trouble, was saved by her intervention. I dont actually know why Mike brought up Las Malvinas at all.

  54. db (Chris Doss)

    Another example of how disturbed an individual you are.

    Of late, I understand that you’ve somewhat acknowledged that alcohol might explain your demented state at these venues.

    You’re a “legend’ among trolls.

    Andy

    Alexy’s so-called “nationalism” embraced the other main faiths in Russia. Key Muslim, Budhist and Jewish leaders in Russia seemed to have been on good terms with him.

  55. I brought up the Falklands for the clearly stated reason I gave.

    Not being able to comprehend it explains part of the problem, which is certainly no fault of my own.

  56. Contary to the once gain displayed trolling here, I’m the one being the more earnest.

    Sucking up to the db moniker of Chris Doss serves as a confirmation.

    Later with the dreck.

    There was much havoc in Chehnya before the lead up to the start of the first Chechen war. Russian did in fact leave in liarge numbers for the reason stated. Not all Checehens displayed neagtyive manner. This explains why a good number of Russians remained.

  57. On the matter of looks, Chris Doss’ apparent friend looks like he can lose some weight:

    http://www.leftbusinessobserver.com/

    See how he plays up to the Chris Doss kook.

    http://mailman.lbo-talk.org/pipermail/lbo-talk/Week-of-Mon-20080602/009552.html

  58. Sorry Andy.

    I sure didn’t initiate this.

  59. Irishman says:

    ”Contary to the once gain displayed trolling here, I’m the one being the more earnest.”

    Not to start a flamewar here, but I havent been trolling. And db is not Chris Doss.

    ” brought up the Falklands for the clearly stated reason I gave.

    Not being able to comprehend it explains part of the problem, which is certainly no fault of my own.”

    You brought up an example – which in any case 3 seperate people have shown to be wrong – which had no relevance whatsoever to your point that RT incorrectly called Alexei II a nationalist. He was a nationalist. No, methinks the confusion lies not in Connemara or London or Moscow, but in New York.

    And I havent trolled against you. You’re always saying you want earnest discussion; thats what I am giving to you. Stop turning everything into a zero-sum game.

  60. db is an obnxious troll in the Chris Doss manner. Showing the kind of approval for such input constitutes trolling.

    You once again overlook what was actaully said pertaining to nationalism and Alexy.

  61. Irishman says:

    ”db is an obnxious troll in the Chris Doss manner. Showing the kind of approval for such input constitutes trolling.”

    Its just amazing how he finds the stuff he does. I dont think most actual Californian surfer dudes would even call themselves that!:-)

    ”You once again overlook what was actaully said pertaining to nationalism and Alexy.”

    I overlooked nothing at all and anyone reading can see this. You have not provided a shred of evidence that he was not a nationalist, and worse referred to an example – a wrong one – that Britain was unnaffected by nationalism during the Falklands War. I dont think you even know what you’re trying to get at.

  62. There he goes again with his ongoing misrepresentations.

    Once again, it’s not my fault that he can’t grasp what has been clearly stated.

  63. Scrat says:

    [quote]There is no evidence of the mass migration of Russians from Chechnya before the war started, cos it didnt happen. Admittedly Russians would be loathe to leave their apartments – far and away the biggest thing in the life of a Russian – but life was not unbearable for Russians pre-December 1994. Russian bombing did that.[/quote]

    I suggest you do some reading. You’re flatout wrong. Not only were Russians persecuted in Chechneya but in just about every other small country in the area you can think of to one extent or another.

  64. Irishman says:

    ”suggest you do some reading. You’re flatout wrong. Not only were Russians persecuted in Chechneya but in just about every other small country in the area you can think of to one extent or another.”

    I have read, Scrat. De Waal’s ‘A Small Victorious War’, ‘To Catch a Tatar’ by Chris Bird (about Chechnya, despite the weird title), ‘A Dirty War’ by Ploitkovskaya (admittedly a poor, poor book) and ‘The Return of War to Chechnya’ by Vanora Bennett.

    Now I will be the first to admit these are written by westerners and Anna Politkovskaya, but the books by De Waal and Bird are unmerciful in the criticisms of the Chechens and neither have any reason to back them. Certainly I need to read something by Russians on the subject, by my Russian isnt good enough to read a book – its hardly good enough for Spokoinoi Noche, Malshii – but I have never came across any description of the movements of large quantities of Russians back to Russia pre-war. If you can provide a link of some description to prove your point then please do, but dont become a la Averko and make glib stupid statements like ‘do some reading’. I dont dispute that life was difficult for many Russians there – their jobs were taken or vanished, apartments stolen from Russian owners – but to say Russians endured systemic persecution on a large sacle is simply not true, and again I refer you back to the commenter (I’ll get the link) at SRB who actually LIVED in Grozny at the time and said it was no worse there than pre-1991. As for Russian persecution in general – it may come as a suprise to you Scrat, but Chechnya is occupied territory; until the late 18th century it didnt belong to Russia. I dont condone ill treatment of anyone, but Uzbekistan is well…Uzbek. Kazakhstan…Kazakh. Did you think these people were just going to let Russians have any sort of control or wealth once they became independent states?

    ”Once again, it’s not my fault that he can’t grasp what has been clearly stated”

    No Mike, you just havent a clue, and so conversation with you is a waste of time. Even Andy caught you out about the Falklands.

  65. No Andy didn’t “catch” me on the Falklands.

    As Scrat astutely suggests, you don’t appear to be so familar with the subject matter.

    One unnamed Russian at another blog doesn’t serve as ample proof to what you’re suggesting.

    As previously noted, some Russians did stay. Most Russians and Chechens aren’t extremists. However, there was enough extremism against Russians to confirm what has been communicated.

    Among known experts in the field, Robert Bruce Ware seems to share the fact based views of others besides myself. The same seems to be true of Charles William Maynes and Dmitry Simes.

  66. Andy says:

    Re: Russians leaving Chechnya –

    Wikipedia (not necessarily the most reliable of sources, I know) notes that:

    From 1991 to 1994 tens of thousands of people of non-Chechen ethnicity left the republic amidst reports of violence and discrimination against the non-Chechen population (mostly Russians, Ukrainians and Armenians). Chechen industry began to fail as a result of many Russian engineers and workers leaving or being expelled from the republic.

    It gives three footnotes, but none are accessible, so I too would be interested to see if anyone can back this up.

    In particular, I find the use of wording in the Wikipedia quote fascinating: it says non-Chechens “left… amidst reports of violence”, rather than as a result of violence.

    On another note, I don’t think I’d go so far as to say I “caught” Mike on the issue of the Falklands. He suggested a comparison, and I pointed out that it was wrong. Things like this are the whole point of having a comments section, surely…?

  67. Irishman says:

    ”One unnamed Russian at another blog doesn’t serve as ample proof to what you’re suggesting.”

    Actually I named four books, three of which were specifically about the First Chechen War. You however, have no such references at all.

    ”Among known experts in the field, Robert Bruce Ware seems to share the fact based views of others besides myself. The same seems to be true of Charles William Maynes and Dmitry Simes.”

    Could you name the books or research papers written by these guys that confirm your views? And how many Russians do they reckon left before the war? You have actually read the, havent you? Its not like the situation a while back where you clearly hadnt read that book on the Soviet Union/Nazi deal about Czechslovakia? Sorry for bringing that up, but you do have ‘form’.

    ”As previously noted, some Russians did stay. Most Russians and Chechens aren’t extremists. ”

    No Mike, MOST, not some, of the Russians in Chechnya did stay. They left when their own government bombed and destryoed the country and killed upwards of 20,000 of them in the First Chechen War. Have you figured out what an aul is yet Mike? Its not a Russian word so it might not confuse you too much.

    ”He suggested a comparison, and I pointed out that it was wrong. Things like this are the whole point of having a comments section, surely…?”

    I do agree; but most people, when wrong, put their hands up, and at least try to explain what they are getting at. Mike, as usual, has made no attempt to do this and instead started the insults. Par for the course I suppose, and a pattern repeated everywhere in the blogosphere. I’m still waiting to hear how Alexei was not a nationalist, though its a wait in vain I suspect.

    ”In particular, I find the use of wording in the Wikipedia quote fascinating: it says non-Chechens “left… amidst reports of violence”, rather than as a result of violence. ”

    I just read that, and one of the references is Memorial who I’d actually be inclined to believe. Lots of Russians did leave, but most didnt – as the casualty figures on the page indicate (very high maybe?)

  68. But it wasn’t “wrong” Andy.

    The use of the N word (nationalism) is overly selective. It has come to have a negative connotation as opposed to patriotism.

    In the US, I didn’t recall American mass media describing a wave of British nationalism during the Falklands war. On the other hand, that word is more often put on others in a most hypocritical way.

    As I correctly noted, ideas like America being the best authority for global involvement can take on a rather “nationalist” tint to it.

    This article touches on some of the double standards out there:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/dec/13/russia-west-media-stereotypes

    On Wiki, we should all be careful when using it (the same is true with other sources).

    I’ve noted inconsistent approaches to how it characterizes different actions with blatantly inconsistent usage of such words as “slaughter.”

    The last set of comments doesn’t legitimately negate what I’ve said. Within his field, Ware is a recognized authority. In the lead up to the first Chechen war of the last decade, there was increased havoc within that republic. No spinning to the contrary can legitimately deny this point.

  69. Chris says:

    “It gives three footnotes, but none are accessible, so I too would be interested to see if anyone can back this up.”

    The Jewish Telegraph Agency reported on this extensively at the time, focussing mainly as you would expect on violence against Jews. I thought it was common knowledge. I mean, would you hang around in Chechnya in 1991-1994 in the midst of a nationalist/ultranationalist movement in conditions of zero law enforcement if you were an ethnic minority?

    There was extensive violence on the part of Chechen gangs and individuals against non-Chechens, mostly murder and expropriation of property.

  70. Chris says:

    Incidentally, fantasies about a united Chechen people notwithstanding, Dudaev’s support base was the generally very uneducated mountain Chechens in the villages way up there, not the Chechens in the lowland and urban areas (Chechnya having the lowest literacy rate in Russia since time immemorial anyway). You can see this even in the name “Ichkeria.” “Ichkeria” is not a Chechen word. It is, I believe, Karachai (I’ll have to look this up again when I get home to make sure), and its choice was meant to emphasize the centrality of the highlanders and their superiority to the lowlanders.

  71. Scrat says:

    The Russian side in this is not out there in any strength. I do know one thing though. My wifes best friend lives in Gomel Belarus. She lived in Vladikavkaz in the 80s, had a daughter, a husband a nice apartment a career. All of that changed, she lost her job, her husband was killed on the street, she was raped twice before she finally left, penniless, a refugee. She came to Belarus and started a new life. She is remarried has a second daughter, a good husband and a small business. Her eldest daughter is going to the university.

    “There was extensive violence on the part of Chechen gangs and individuals against non-Chechens, mostly murder and expropriation of property.”

    Were she here she would back you up Chris. This didn’t only happen in Chechnya either. All of the old republics had it to some degree or another.

  72. Chris says:

    Aha. Here is Ze Source:

    http://www.internal-displacement.org/idmc/website/countries.nsf/(httpEnvelopes)/4F9C54307DB6FFA3C1257478002C9DD8?OpenDocument

    Displacement from Chechnya to areas outside of north Caucasus (Special report, 2008)

    Non-ethnic Chechens started fleeing Chechnya before ethnic Chechens
    In total, about 600,000 ethnic and non-ethnic Chechens fled Chechnya
    Chechnya is being rebuilt, but the security situation is still volatile
    Many IDPs do not want to return and those living outside of the North Caucasus are struggling to integrate
    See Sources used
    See Disclaimer
    IDMC Special report, 2008:

    “In an atmosphere of instability and violence leading up to the first separatist conflict in Chechnya in 1994, some 100,000 non-ethnic Chechens fled to other parts of the Russian Federation. People continued to flee until the conflict ended in 1996, and again when a second conflict erupted in 1999. In total, perhaps 600,000 people, including ethnic Chechens, have been forced out of Chechnya from 1991 to the present. In addition, some 40,000 people also fled to other areas of the Russian Federation following inter-ethnic conflict in North Ossetia in 1992…

    Although more than 57,000 IDPs, mainly ethnic Chechens, have returned to Chechnya, the IDPs that are the subject of this report were generally unwilling to return to Chechnya. They do not believe it is safe there and have opted to integrate in areas to which they had fled or resettled. UNHCR confirmed in 2007 that insecurity in the north Caucasus still influenced the return of IDPs to Chechnya and UNHCR operations there. Also highlighting the insecurity and continuing human rights abuses in Chechnya, the European Council of Refugees and Exiles (ECRE) advocated that return of IDPs to Chechnya or other areas of the Russian Federation should not be encouraged.

    The federal and regional governments have made efforts to improve the situation of IDPs living in and beyond the north Caucasus. They enacted legislation including the 1993 federal law on forced migrants, which sets out the entitlements and duties of IDPs and the rules for government assistance. In the framework of this law, they transported IDPs out of Chechnya and provided housing in temporary accommodation centres where they were available. The federal government has also paid compensation for lost or destroyed property to 39,000 families and has more recently included IDPs with forced migrant status in a federal housing programme. Government assistance to IDPs has been hampered by lack of funds, inconsistent implementation of legislation, high staff turnover at the Federal Migration Service and the low awareness of IDPs of how to exercise their rights.

    Nonetheless, IDPs from Chechnya living outside of the north Caucasus are still struggling to settle at their current places of residence. Their situation is little known outside Russia as they have long had no contact with or humanitarian assistance from UN agencies and international NGOs. In order to obtain current information on their situation, IDMC conducted a three-week visit to the Russian Federation in March 2008 to determine the situation of IDPs living in seven places outside the north Caucasus: Moscow; Saint Petersburg; Veliki Novgorod; Pyatigorsk; Rostov; Volgograd and the Serebrianniki temporary accommodation centre in the Vishni Volochek district of Tver oblast. The locations were chosen based on the presence of IDPs and lawyers assisting them and their varying distances from the north Caucasus”.

  73. Chris says:

    Well Scrat, some people’s fantasies, that this kind of thing would take place would be obvious to anybody who has actually bothered to read any Ichkerian literature and noticed that it is basically fascist. I’m not one to bandy that word around much, but in the case of Ichkerianism with its emphasis on Blut und Boden and desire to return “Ichkeria” to a premodern, ethnically pure state of pristine rustic mountain tribes (going so far as to celebrate the destruction of Grozny!!), it’s a pretty close fit.

    Sure, anybody from Uzbekistan with tell you how the Russians and Jews and Armenians were forced out. Happened all over the place. God I hate tribalism.

  74. Chris says:

    Sorry, that should be “despite some people’s fantasies”

  75. Scrat says:

    Here’s Micheals article and like I said Andy, it’s safe to point a finger at Russia for a journalist when they write something.

    “Anna Matveeva guardian.co.uk, Saturday 13 December 2008 10.00 GMT Article historyA Russophobia virus has infected the air. What is it? It is when an English literature teacher in a good school, explaining how to answer an exam question on comedy, tells your daughter: “Don’t worry, simply write – I am Russian, I do not have a sense of humour.” Or the ease with which jokes like “You are Russian, you must know all about corruption,” are made. A BBC documentary presenter asks his Russian interpreter in the Baltic enclave of Kaliningrad: “Do you feel Russian or European?” What does he expect the woman to say?

    When a fashionable detective writer wants to write a thriller with a foreign twist, guess who will be the nemesis? An al-Qaida plot in Hackney runs the risk of being politically incorrect. But Russian dissidents and oligarchs chased by Scottish police fit the bill perfectly. The British media, mindful of inter-race relations, seeks to avoid hurting the feelings of Muslims, but the idea that Russians can feel hurt does not occur to them. For Russians in the west, if one is not an oligarch, pop star or secret assassin, and does not think that “Putin’s regime” is second-worst to that of Ivan the Terrible, treading these waters is problematic.

    This is not to say that Russians in Britain are discriminated against in the workplace, or that my neighbours suspect me of dumping polonium when I throw rubbish away. Rather, it is possible to say things without thinking of what it might be like on the receiving end. Stereotypes promoted by the media are now entrenched: Russian companies are corrupt and are puppets of the state, minorities are not allowed to speak their languages and males are chauvinist machos. The economy survives on pumping gas, while the leadership dreams of conquering half of the world. News from Russia is bad news. It is hard to blame journalists for reporting what is newsworthy: saying that Russians go to supermarkets and buy the same food as their western counterparts is boring, while writing that Moscow hosts the first ever all-male strip joint is “sexy”.

    The Russia-Georgia debacle brought these attitudes to the fore. The reaction of the media and the politicians was overwhelmingly anti-Russian, because their gut feeling told them who was in the wrong. More objective reports appeared much later. Why was the conflict in South Ossetia so important? Because Russia was a party to it. Readers were led to believe that minuscule South Ossetia is a proto-state like Kosovo, while no parallels were drawn with Nato action in ex-Yugoslavia in support of Albanians.

    The question is: can Russia do anything good? In Russophobes’ eyes, it should (1) surrender and apologise, (2) give western companies control over natural reserves because Russians mismanage them anyhow, (3) limit their ambitions to culture and (4) award Boris Berezovsky a medal for democracy-promotion.

    What feeds Russophobia? Moscow’s own actions are only part of the story. In the last few years several constituencies came together to create a new momentum. The cold warriors found a mission again. The existence of a familiar enemy who plays by the rules is more comfortable than the “enemy amongst us” who may work in a corner chip shop. Western liberals who passionately believed in Russia’s democratic transformation to their own recipe became disillusioned, turning the energy of embittered idealism into exposing the evils of “Putin’s KGB regime”. They were joined by immigrants who made their way in the new country by “unveiling the truth” about Russia.

    What are the effects of Russophobia? Economically, as BP and Shell found out, it is harder to do business. Politically, it is impossible to conduct a frank dialogue on issues of common concern, as trust has gone out of the relationship. In the security field, it has resulted in militarisation on both sides, undermining the achievements of disarmament. Finally, polarising language flourishes. Unlike in the 1990s, the Russian elite reads English-language media, getting from it the idea that “the west is against us”.

    Why should we care? Attitudes matter as Russia is at a crossroads. It can go either towards increased modernisation or militarisation. It can build pragmatic, but solid relations with the west, or it can indulge in spoiling the international game and setting up anti-western alliances. It is the responsibility of the western intelligentsia to see that stereotypes create enemies and not to miss their chance to prevent a new division of Europe.”

  76. Scrat says:

    Tribalism is the problem there Chris, you hit it right on the head. If it wasn’t for Russia those people would still be in the neolithic or close to it.

  77. Chris says:

    Returning to the neolithic is one of Ichkerianism’s express goals. Literally. Nuhaev wrote about this a lot.

  78. vic says:

    ???-???? ??? ??-?????? ?????????-)
    ?????????

  79. vic says:

    ???-???? ??? ??-?????? ?????????-)
    ?????????? ?????? ??????

  80. Can I note that the fact this post is so popular, 81 replies counting, and a RANT, actually in itself demonstrates why discussions on Russia frequently degenerate into heated rhetoric. Humanity doesn’t need reason and rationalism and all that other intellectual nonsense of the last few centuries, it needs blood and soil and struggle and return to a time when things were simpler and everyone knew what was good and what was evil.

    Da Russophile´s last blog post..New Year Special: Year in Review and 2009 Predictions

  81. Free world says:

    I can agree with the rant to a degree. I would like to debate Russia as I am genuinely interested in the country. I have been there a few times often doing voluntary work for a few weeks every year and I have noticed that most people especially on the russophobe side have only second hand information about Russia. For instance on La Russophobe I pointed out that the claim that only state owned TV is broadcast terrestrially in Russia. Of course if you watched much Russian TV you would know that Euronews is broadcast terrestrially. Of course with that I was a Kremilin stooge effectively. This led me to believe they have no real intimate first hand experience of Russian culture or viewpoint. Looking at a few other posts on that and other sites I came to the conclusion that most people being critical of Russia often play to old russian stereo types and use second hand politically loaded information. Its largely propaganda on all sides. The problem with the internet is the crazies always come to the forefront. For me Russian blogs have become so politically loaded they are now inaccurate and illrevant.

  82. Some more than others.

    These kind of blogs have a relationship with traditional media. Like the latter, the former has good and not as good points.

    Andy and yourself note a crankish aspect, having to do with how some immediately jump on a given particular in a way that overlooks other variables.

    This isn’t to be confused with constructive criticism.

    Michael Averko´s last blog post..Pontiac Sponsors College Football with Little Presence in the College Market

  83. At present, the currently above mentioned (Pontiac Sponsors College Football with Little Presence in the College Market) isn’t mine.

    Michael Averko´s last blog post..Pontiac Sponsors College Football with Little Presence in the College Market

  84. Free World says:

    I can see your point Michael though could you ever imagine having a term like USAphobe or Frenchophobe. I could understand it if these people had actually been to the country in question and had bad experiences. Instead of regergitating second hand politcally loaded articles from far from independant media sources.

  85. Chris says:

    Francophobe is a word.

  86. Free World:

    The very term “Russophobia” downplays the biases:

    Among the “Russophobes,” how many of them actually fear Russia versus just plain not liking it?

    A good number of us in the West are raised about the concerns of some non-Russian central and eastern Europeans, with not as much emphasis on how many Russians see the situation. As a result, many are unaware that not every non-Russian from the former Communist bloc isn’t so uneasy about Russia. Disliking Russia is related to why some other historic powers have been disliked. A matter that seems to get downplayed in some circles.

    I make it a point to often read and listen to views that I don’t agree with. This is done with seeking to fully comprehend what’s expressed. As Andy notes (pardon the repeat), earnest attempts at dialogue can often end up in the kind of experiences described at this thread. This results in some of us withdrawing from exchanging views.

    Michael Averko´s last blog post..Pontiac Sponsors College Football with Little Presence in the College Market

  87. Free world says:

    Chris:

    Believe it or not I actualy have found people using the word Americanophobe. I am quite astounded that so many people can hate entire countries they have never been too. These ophobe websites I fell propagandists of the worst kind just not trying to influence people but actually influence them to hate.

  88. Free world says:

    From Irish Man

    ”The only person in the world, other Saakashvili, who still asserts this stuff is you. The OECD doesn’t seem to believe it.”

    I didnt assert anything; I simply said thats the impression I got. The Russians were there very quickly, closed headquarters or not. And it was a lot faster than a day – on the day the Olympics started the Russians were beating the shit out of Georgia when the fun had only started in earnest the previous night.

    ”Allegedly, that is, according to Saakashvili, who also claimed that Tskhinvaili was destroyed by the Russians, who also claimed that the Russians had attacked the pipeline, who also claimed that the Russians were marching on Tbilisi.”

    This is great stuff – pity it has no relevance. You’re simply using what you believe to be a lie to prove something else you believe to be a lie. You may be right, but it doesnt prove your case.

    ”Nobody in the military seems to believe it.”
    ”The OECD doesn’t seem to believe it.”

    Plenty of ’seems’, are there any ‘doesn’ts’?

    I am sorry being a fello Irishman who was in Vladikavkaz in mid September a few weeks after the conflict I managed to talk to a few soldiers and others there.

    The impression you got about the speed of the Russian response I have heard this questioned before so I believe you have been influenced here. First Vladikavkaz is only 65miles from Tskhinvali as the crow flies, you can check it out on google earth. Similar to Belfast to Derry. The road from Vladikavkaz to Tskhinvali including the Roki tunnel was designed for military and refered to as the miltary road. It takes around 3 to 4 hours to get to Tskhinvali from Vladikavkaz due to the mountains and indirect route of the road.

    Vladikavkaz is constantly on a state of allert from attacks from both the Ingush and Chechens. Driving from Beslan airport to Vladikavkaz you pass the Beslan memorial which when I passed in Septembar had a makeshift military camp with tanks and artillery clearly soldiers withdrawn from Georgia. There is a permanant military base in Vladikavkaz with a military airbase. Infact Vladikavkaz is a military town translated to power or fortress of the Caucasus. The 58th army where stationed there and draws recruits from the area. Their headquarters was reformed in 1995 in the North Caucasus Military District from the 42nd Army Corps at Vladikavkaz during the chechen conflict. Vladikavkaz reminds me a bit like Belfast in the 80’s, you are searched going into the markets or shops for bombs.

    The 58th army where running maneuvers before the conflict in the region that is North Ossetia. Satellite photos provided by Georgia prove this and sugest a troop build up. However the reality is the 58th army always ran maneuvers in the area they where based and had always been on high alert due to the volitile situation not just due to the build up of military and training in Georgia but the tradtional Ingush/Chechen/North Ossetian problems.

    Russian planes and attack helcopters where within 20mins of attacking targets inside South Ossetia and the 58th army could have been inside South Ossetia in just a few hours. So the question should not be how did the Russians arrive in South Ossetia so slowly but how did it take them so long?

    Remeber Georgia attacked a city full of Russian citizens 65miles from Russias most experienced army. Also the Russian force was roughly equal to that of the Georgians and while having attack planes individual soldiers where equiped with inferior gear. Russians with old Ak47s and georgians with m16s etc. While between 200-300 Georgian soldiers where killed its reported that 3000 went missing during the conflict. This was not so much as a war but sheel a city into submission and if the Russians respond we will run away.

  89. Chris says:

    “So the question should not be how did the Russians arrive in South Ossetia so slowly but how did it take them so long?”

    Exactly. From my understanding (which is drawn from talking to an American scholar of the Russian military), the Russian operation has been EXCORIATED in the Russian military press for its slowness. The Russian military does not view it as a great success.

  90. Free world says:

    “Exactly. From my understanding (which is drawn from talking to an American scholar of the Russian military), the Russian operation has been EXCORIATED in the Russian military press for its slowness. The Russian military does not view it as a great success.”

    From what I could make out they had mechanical problems with many vehicles and many soldiers had taken leave after a summer of maneuvers. Of course this may be inaccurate but its what I heard from a soldier who served in the 58th.

  91. Andy says:

    I agree. It’s absurd to think that an army of Russia’s calibre (much as we like to rubbish it compared to Western militaries, it’s still a decent army on a global scale) couldn’t react to an incident that took place 65 miles away from a major army base within 24 hours.

    Imagine if, two or three years ago, Iran had invaded a part of Iraq that was 65 miles away from the nearest US troop base. How long would it be before the first US counter-attack was launched?

    Andy´s last blog post..Siberian Light nominated as Best European Blog

  92. Chris says:

    “So the question should not be how did the Russians arrive in South Ossetia so slowly but how did it take them so long?”

    Because the General Headquarters was shut down and in the process of being moved to a new location. Something I am sure the Georgians knew about.

  93. Free World says:


    Andy

    Imagine if, two or three years ago, Iran had invaded a part of Iraq that was 65 miles away from the nearest US troop base. How long would it be before the first US counter-attack was launched?

    You also have to take into account that Vladikavkaz is one of Russias largest and most combat ready military bases. It would be like Iran attacking US citizens 65 miles from Fort Bragg. Also 58th army where heavily involved in the Chechen and Ingush conflicts so they had a high level of combat experience.

    Clearly Georgia despite Russia saying it would defend South Ossetia I think Georgia thought that its standing with the US and international community would prevent that. It was a high stakes game of bluff.

  94. Gotta wonder how some critique Russia on the very issue of Russia counterattacking.

    A Russian non-response would have the “Russophobes” gleefully noting a Russian weakness.

    It also would serve to encourage the military option in the disputes concerning Pridnestrovie and Nagorno-Karabakh.

    Shortly after the Russian counterattack, Russia involved itself in enhanced negotiations in the disputes over Pridnestrovie and Nagorno-Karabakh. For now, these two disputes appear to be entrenched in a non-military Cyprus like “frozen conflict,” of periodic negotiations.

    Michael Averko´s last blog post..Disciples of George W. Bush Back Away From No Child Left Behind

  95. For clarity sake, Pridnestrovie is also referred to as Transnistria, Transdniestria, Transdnestr and Trans-Dniester.

    Michael Averko´s last blog post..Disciples of George W. Bush Back Away From No Child Left Behind

  96. Irishman says:

    ”i am sorry being a fello Irishman who was in Vladikavkaz in mid September a few weeks after the conflict I managed to talk to a few soldiers and others there.”

    Indeed and no need to apologise. Clearly I was not correct. I assumed – wrongly – that the Russian response was fast and efficient (its hard to blame me – they were murdered in Chechnya a lot of the time). Obviously you have first hand info that that was not indeed the case.
    I know we like to travel, but what are you doing in the Caucuses?! At any rate go raibh mhaith agat agus Nollaig Shona agus Athbhlian Duit.”

    agree. It’s absurd to think that an army of Russia’s calibre (much as we like to rubbish it compared to Western militaries, it’s still a decent army on a global scale)”

    Funny you didnt say that until now. In fairness the Russian army have been absolute shite since, well, 1945, and to see them win so quickly and effectively of course would raise eybrows. They bombed and bribed Chechnya into submission after all, and even that took them years to get right, and only after a defeat. Its a bit like an athlete suddenly knocking half a second off his 100 meters time. Of course questions are going to be asked.

    ”Gotta wonder how some critique Russia on the very issue of Russia counterattacking.”

    I dont know what you’re wondering about, but, seeing as you yourself dont handle ‘critique’ too well, its hardly suprising.

    ”A Russian non-response would have the “Russophobes” gleefully noting a Russian weakness.”

    That might be true for gobshites in Russophile v Russophobe-Land, but the rest of us would have been happy simply with the minimum loss of life.

  97. Irishman says:

    ”Incidentally, fantasies about a united Chechen people notwithstanding, ”

    ”Well Scrat, some people’s fantasies, that this kind of thing would take place would be obvious to anybody who has actually bothered to read any Ichkerian literature and noticed that it is basically fascist.”

    Chris, if you’re referring to me, then do so, and not act like a big bloody blouse. I thought Moscow toughened people up, not softened them.

    I have no fantasies about a united Chechen people. What I do have an issue with, and always had, is levelling a country with fighter bombers and tanks, killing around 40,000 people in the process (many of them Russians, who, shock-horror, hadnt left, indeed the majority of Russians did not leave until bombing started), a country which did not even belong to Russia until 200 years ago, and which I believe is fully entitled to run its own affairs if they so wish. I do appreciate that Chechnya was never a proper bordered country in any sense, but that did not give and still doesnt give the Russians the right to level the place and then have it run by paid gangsters. Thats my issue, not ‘Ichkerian Facism’. Listening to you one would think every Chechen who didnt want the Russians around was a Facist. Total bullshit. You seem to think every Chechen who took up a gun against the Russians was like Basaeyev or Abu Khattab(who wasnt even a bloody Chechen!). They werent. They were just people who didnt much fancy Russian tanks rolling in again. What precise problem you have with this I dont know.

  98. Chris says:

    “Chris, if you’re referring to me, then do so, and not act like a big bloody blouse.”

    I’m referring to everybody who referred to the Maskhadovites as “moderate nationalists,” without ever reading anything they wrote and noticing that they were, in fact, really nasty little fascists running a really nasty little fascist regime. It wouldn’t have been hard to do, really, since a lot of their writings used to be available on the Internet, in English, until they were mysteriously taken off a few years ago, in which you would have read them celebrating the destruction of Grozny as the God-willed annihilation of a den of sin where race-mixing took place.

  99. Chris says:

    “but the rest of us would have been happy simply with the minimum loss of life.”

    Isn’t minimum loss of life basically what happened? Unless one things permitting Tbilisi to keep pounding South Ossetia and the corresponding reprisal attacks, likely escalating to partisan war, would somehow have involved less death?

  100. Free World says:

    The university in vladikavkaz had a student program with some Irish colleges about 10 years ago. So there is a fair number of North Ossetian professionals living and working in Ireland a few of whom I know.

    As for your viewpoint on the speed of the Russian response to Georgia its the view widely propagated through various forms of the media and the internet and as I have shown a view that is inaccurate.

    As for “a country which did not even belong to Russia until 200 years ago, and which I believe is fully entitled to run its own affairs” this is true because what we now know as Chechnya is historically the Chechen Autonomous Oblast fromed the the Soviet Union and reinstated by Khrushchev in 1957. Before that checnya was never an independant country running its own affairs. Also there was 2 chechen wars. Both of which where started by Chechens. The first after the declaration of independance grew a civil war which as we Irish know is common in new independant states. . Most Russians actually fled the region at this time and the economy collapsed as a result. This was when Russian entered chechnya. The most brutal battle in this period was the battle of Grozny a battle started by chechens. The chechen victory here resulted in Russia shelling Grozny and media coverage in moscow forced Yeltsin to a peace agreement an eventually his job.

    The second chechen war was again started by now defacto independant chechens who crossed the border into Dagestan in 1999 with 1,400 Chechen, Dagestani, Arab and Kazakh militants attacking Russians in Dagestan. Chechens set of bombs in Moscow, Volgodonsk and in Buynaksk (Dagestan) killing 300 people. Adam Dekushev and Jusuf Krymshankhalov of the Wahhabi where convicted in 2004 for their part in the bombings.

    Of course enter President Putin and his response was to retake chechnya. Learning from the first conflict this time Russia did not engage in guerilla warfare instead using Tanks, artillery and airstikes similar to tactics used by the Americans and British in Iraq.

    While many civilians died in Russias brutal response in the second war this was as a direct result to Chechen successes in the first. Also the chechens separatists where not happy with independance and started a second war in which they where at least as brutal as the Russians.

    Chechens where crushed in a war they started for a country created by the USSR (until then part of Dagestan).

  101. Re: 10:59 PM Post

    No, I handle criticism quite well “Irishman.” This includes dealing with your not so earnest approaches.

    When compared to some other recent conflicts, the Russian counterattack against Georgia serves as an example of “humanitarian intervention.”

    Don’t confuse your manner towards me with my facing three academics on a major worldwide radio show.

    In that quote you refer to, I’m referring to this past summer’s war in the former Georgian SSR. This sdhould be clearly understood when referring to the commentary coming just before it.

    Michael Averko´s last blog post..Joe The Plumber Is Now Joe The Journalist

  102. Irishman says:

    ”The university in vladikavkaz had a student program with some Irish colleges about 10 years ago. So there is a fair number of North Ossetian professionals living and working in Ireland a few of whom I know. ”

    Really? Dairire, a chara? Cheapean me nach bhfuil tu Eireanach. An bhfuil aon Gaeilge agat? Ce as thu? Did you buy any chance bring home an Ossetian wife? It would explain the massive pile of bullshit that you subsequently wrote. What kind of Irish college – which colleges exactly – send kids to fucking Vladikavkaz?

    ”Before that checnya was never an independant country running its own affairs.”
    I said that above, but Chechnya was NOT occupied by Russia until 200 years ago(conquered, the Russsians arrived before that). The Chechens, suprise suprise, werent too fond of the Russians and didnt want them there, until the Russians finally killed enough of them to make them give up and bribed Imam Shamil to surrender (a tactic still being used). So to say Russia is somehow entitled to Chechnya simply because the mountain tribes didnt issue passports or have border gaurds is a total pile of rubbish. Cop yourself on, a chara.

    ”Also there was 2 chechen wars. Both of which where started by Chechens.”

    The First War in 1994 was started by Russia. This is an established fact and when I saw that you wrote this, I became convinced nil tu Eireanach, as none of us are that stupid over here. In november 1994 Yeltsin, after a meeting of his security council, motioned for the invasion which was seconded by Pavel Grachev amoung others. There were no abstentions or votes against. Tanks rolled in from three directions – west, central and east- supported by fighter bombers. Russia bombed Grozny and Gudermes BEFORE they got even near Grozny on the ground. Again this is established fact. As for the Second War, I am now inclined to believe it was started by Shamil Basaeyev’s attack on Ingushetia. However he was not representing the government of Chechnya at the time, and was a terrorist.

    ” Most Russians actually fled the region at this time and the economy collapsed as a result. ”

    Again this is simply untrue. Most Russians did not leave until after bombing started and Chechnya was actually one of the few regions that had a functioning economy in 1994, courtesy of smuggling on a massive scale from Turkey and Dubai.

    ”The most brutal battle in this period was the battle of Grozny a battle started by chechens. The chechen victory here resulted in Russia shelling Grozny and media coverage in moscow forced Yeltsin to a peace agreement an eventually his job.”

    No, the battle for Grozny was started by Russian tanks rolling in on New Years Eve 1994. The Russians had been bombing for a month beforehand. The Chechens eventually lost Grozny in February 1995, and won it back in August 1996. Again you are factually incorrect in the most basic sense.

    ” Chechens set of bombs in Moscow, Volgodonsk and in Buynaksk (Dagestan) killing 300 people. ”’
    Yes, of course we are all convinced of the integrity of the FSB and the Russian courts, and should ignore the truckload of hexogen placed in a building in Ryazan by the Moscow FSB (without telling the Ryazan FSB) and which was later claimed to be a ‘drill’. Some bloody drill that, almost exactly like the real thing, except without the boom. And yes we should all also believe it was entirely in Chechnya’s interest to have their people bomb Moscow.

    ”Of course enter President Putin and his response was to retake chechnya. ”

    Putin wasnt President he was Prime Minister. Any more howlers on the way? Oh and ‘retake’ – I love it.

    ”Learning from the first conflict this time Russia did not engage in guerilla warfare instead using Tanks, artillery and airstikes similar to tactics used by the Americans and British in Iraq. ”

    Stop conning yourself. The Russians couldnt be like the Brits if they fucking tried. They bombed the shit out the place, ruined Grozny (what was left of it) and killed thousands more people, and, thanks to a clampdown on NTV, no-one has any idea how many really died. If you’re Irish then I’m bloody ashamed.

    ”While many civilians died in Russias brutal response in the second war this was as a direct result to Chechen successes in the first. Also the chechens separatists where not happy with independance and started a second war in which they where at least as brutal as the Russians. ”

    The Russians were not facing even half the rebels in 1999 than they did in 1994. Chechnya was a broken country by then courtesy of being starved of Federal funds, subversion by the FSB and no spoort at all for the government there from Moscow. And Russia went in, again, and destroyed the place, again. Marvellous.

    ”Chechens where crushed in a war they started for a country created by the USSR (until then part of Dagestan).”

    Chechnya was always there, even if it didnt have border guards. They just didnt want Russia in control, thats all. How you dont cop this is beyond me.

    Meanwhile, keep the bullshit coming Free World.

    ”Don’t confuse your manner towards me with my facing three academics on a major worldwide radio show. ”

    I did say well done to you about that, but wasnt that back in 2007? Do you ever stop blowing your trumpet?:-)

  103. He gets away from what I was replying to.

    His other pints were already addressed at this and some other forums.

    Michael Averko´s last blog post..A Tale of Two Anne’s

  104. Tristan da Cunha says:

    “Facing three academics” – that’s scary.

    Everyone knows they bite 🙂

  105. Funny.

    The point being that it’s bogus to say that a certain mentioned person ducks critical views different from his own.

    It’s comparitvely easier to perform in situations where one is shielded from such criticism.

    Michael Averko´s last blog post..A Tale of Two Anne’s

  106. Irishman says:

    ”His other pints were already addressed at this and some other forums”

    No Mike what I discussed above were established facts, not opinions, and I am actually suprised that you had nothing to say about Free World’s drivel above – clearly most of it is just WRONG. Factually wrong! Not opinion, facts. And Mike you have never addressed any of anyone’s points about Chechnya, never mind mine. Your ‘restore order’ mantra has long been proven as rubbish. They levelled the place, not restored order, and you actually never have had anything to say about Chechnya except that. Hell, you still dont even know what an aul is. How could you when you dont even know what a derevnaya is either.

  107. You repeat what was earlier discussed. Someone with your prose and views posting as Finbar69 did the same elsewhere. That individual was soundly debunked.

    You’re once again wrong in how you characterize what I said on Chechnya. It gets boring rehashing what you repeatedly bring up.

    You end by getting off topic. A typical trait on your part.

    In this recent salvo, you launched a BS cheap shot about my (as per what you said) not being able to take criticism. I appropriately replied.

    Michael Averko´s last blog post..A Tale of Two Anne’s

  108. Kind of reminds me of some creep who recently had me on a happy new yeat list.

    That person isn’t sincere.

    😉

    Michael Averko´s last blog post..A Tale of Two Anne’s

  109. Try sticking with the issues, in addition to not rehashing what has been repeatedly stated.

    That’s good discussion and media.

    That’s what I’m about.

    Michael Averko´s last blog post..A Tale of Two Anne’s

  110. Irishman says:

    ”It gets boring rehashing what you repeatedly bring up.”

    No, it gets boring repeating myself to people with comprehension problems. Then again, your views are your own, and at any rate you’re not listening to me anyway, and I was actually conversing with new world in the first place, not you, so I dunno why you got involved.

    ”Someone with your prose and views posting as Finbar69 did the same elsewhere.”

    Mike, mad as I am, I dont follow you around!!:-) And I find it hard to believe someone out there has prose as bad as mine. But Finbar is definitely an Irish name – I know several, its a Cork name – maybe you rubbed up another Mick the wrong way. In fairness I’m not the only Paddy out there – there’s about 4 million here and God Knows how many Plastic Paddies and real ones in the USA.

    ”Kind of reminds me of some creep who recently had me on a happy new yeat list.

    That person isn’t sincere.”

    I simply thought it was a nice thing to do on NYE with everyone in party mood. I dont think you were ccd in any of the replies I got, which actually means I was the only person on that list to take any notice of you and bother wishing you well. Creepy behaviour alright.

  111. You’ve lied before, as per a Russia Blog link I posted where you falsely accused me of palgiarism. That link was posted earlier at this thread.

    How coincidental is it for another Irishman to post at another Russia related site with your prose and views?

    You’re a creepy little crank, who has hacked away cheap shots at other sites. That’s no lie.

    In your 1059 PM post here, it’s made clear clear that you were replying to me. You do this by quoting my eartlier comments at this thread. I appropriately replied to it.

    I’m trying to maintain a new year’s resolution of keeping away from vile cranks like yourself. On the other hand, I don’t want to be kept from participating in otherwise acceptable conversation. It can be a fine line for sure.

    All of this relates to Andy’s above post. STUPID people who immediately jump on what someone else says because of their own small minded views.

    In another SL thread (a recent one) , you even acknowledged doing just that. Andy intervened by diplomatically correcting your misinterpretation of what I communicated.

    Michael Averko´s last blog post..Congress Should Bail Out Porn Industry

  112. It’s not a lie to note how you have perioidically refer to me at another venue.

    I’m not the one with the problem.

    I participate with the idea of having earnest discussion. This contrasts from your frequently sleazy manner.

    Michael Averko´s last blog post..Congress Should Bail Out Porn Industry

  113. Irishman says:

    ”How coincidental is it for another Irishman ”

    About as coincidental as finding another Yank, Brit, Frog or Paddy who disagrees with you. Indeed, with the exception of a few Russians, probably nationalists, there are around 6 billion people who likely disagree with you. I’ve certainly had shots at you elsewhere, but I dunno who Finbar is.

    ”All of this relates to Andy’s above post. STUPID people who immediately jump on what someone else says because of their own small minded views. ”

    Mike, I am neither Russophobe nor Russophile, nor would I call anyone such names, except you, because you are a Russophile. Certainly if Andy is referring to me I am sure he would have let me know by now. Taking a hard line on Chechnya, unlike apologising for it does not mean I have a small mind. Stop speaking for other people.

    ”You’re a creepy little crank,” ”your frequently sleazy manner.”

    I’m probably taller than you, but apart from that I havent personally insulted you on this thread and I am not going to follow your lead in response.

    ”It’s not a lie to note how you have perioidically refer to me at another venue.”
    I’ve often referred to positively there, and I think I recently said you were knowledgeable on a lot Russia stuff.

    ”Michael Averko´s last blog post..Congress Should Bail Out Porn Industry”

    WTF?:-) Do they need bailing out too?

  114. Free world says:

    Irishman


    Free World’s drivel above – clearly most of it is just WRONG. Factually wrong! Not opinion, facts.

    If you have a problem with what I have posted I am quite willing to listen read what you have to say, even willing to correct my post. Claiming somebody is factually wrong not opinion, facts is extremely weak considering in your post you did not challenge one fact that I posted or even produced any of your own. If you don’t want to challenge any of my post then keep me out of your little schoolyard name calling session please I don’t have enough time for that.

    By the way Finbar is the anglicised form of Fionnbharr who was an abbott and bishop who kept the Catholic Church alive in Ireland during the seventh and eighth centuries. There are many myths about Fionnbharr including crossing the Irish sea on a horse. There is an Island of the coast of scotland named after him Barra. Also the more common name Barry is a version of Fionnbharr.

  115. Another round of inaccurate commernts from the usual source. This includes suddenly playing the role of innocent victim after stating a series of disrespectful and inaccurate comments.

    I’ve been a constructive critic of Russia. This has included my expressed views on Russia’s decision to recognize South Ossetia and Abkhazia as indpendent states. Along with some others, I’ve offered valid constructive suggestions on improving the current status quo of Russian government funded English language media/PR efforts.

    Some people erroneously see themselves as being more “objective.” Overall, that’s not the case. Moreover, I’m the one offering valid points, which are often under-respresented at a number of the leading non-Russian English language venues. I do this by welcoming earnest (as opposed to not so earnest) dialogue with those in disagreement.

    The word “small” can refer to something else other than the actual height of a person.

    My M.O. is clear. Interact respectfully and this manner will be reciprocated. Get chippy and you can expect the same.

    I dunno what’s up with that last blog post bit.

    Michael Averko´s last blog post..Congress Should Bail Out Porn Industry

  116. Re: “Objectivity” and Russia

    This note serves as a follow-up to my last set of comments.

    It’s inaccurate to believe that by default Marxist, neocon and neolib leaning individuals are more accurate sources over some others. The same can be said of some other views as well. Besides, within each grouping, there’s room for disagreement. I’ve had respectful differences of opinion with people who I often agree with.

    Without naming names, some individuals frankly don’t know the subject matter they’re commenting on. A case in point is the individual who said that my written commentary is “anti-Semitic,” while simultaneously saying that he wasn’t familiar with such material. Is that intelligent commentary on his part? On his claim, the private and not so private feedback was 100% against him. This included people who have disagreed with me on other topics.

    As for my “objectivity,” I’ll give another example from what was mentioned in my previously posted comments. I’d a conversation with someone very familiar with Siberian Light 😉 The discussion was about some views from Russia which suggested that Russia’s top ice hockey league can eventually challenge the National Hockey League in overall quality. With facts, I expressed the view that such a thought was far fetched in the foreseeable future and one which doesn’t benefit Russia’s top ice hockey league. In jest, the person I was discussing this topic with said that my “reputation” can get shattered with such a thought.

    As an example of he kind of BS I’ve faced, it’s not earnest advocacy to comparatively jump all over me while being mum on comments which say that Stalin was instrumental in defeating Nazism (this matter deals with another venue). More accurately put, the peoples comprising the USSR were instrumental in defeating Nazism. This was achieved despite Stalin’s blunders which included a purging of the Red Army officer corps in the 1930s and his refusal to believe his own intell. of an upcoming Nazi attack. The latter point resulted in the USSR not being well defended during the Nazi attack.

    The other day, I mentioned this point to a Belarusian Orthodox Jew from Minsk. He didn’t disagree with me. However, he expressed the view that Russians tend to give the leader credit when things are going well, while conversely blaming him/her when things aren’t going right. I’m not sure how different or how much more different this is from other peoples. In any event, this view isn’t always accurate. A lousy coach can still win on account of having a very talented team. Likewise, a very good coach can still lose because his team isn’t so talented.

    Michael Averko´s last blog post..Mentoring Women and Women Mentoring

  117. Irishman says:

    ”If you don’t want to challenge any of my post then keep me out of your little schoolyard name calling session please I don’t have enough time for that. ”

    I called what you wrote nonsense, and point-by-point I went through that nonsense. If you cant see that, or refuse to acknowledge that., then maybe you’d best avoid posting Ossetian/Russian garbage in future. Most of what you wrote was simply WRONG. If you believe that Chechnya started the First War in 1994, then you either hopelessly ill-informed, disingenuous, or both. Le do thoil, a chara.

    ”By the way Finbar is the anglicised form of Fionnbharr who was an abbott and bishop who kept the Catholic Church alive in Ireland during the seventh and eighth centuries….” etc

    Free world, could you do us a favour? Rather than copying almost verbatin stuff from the internet, and passing it off as your own, couldnt you simply provide a link to what you are thieving?
    http://www.thinkbabynames.com/meaning/1/Finbar

    ”This was achieved despite Stalin’s blunders which included a purging of the Red Army officer corps in the 1930s and his refusal to believe his own intell. of an upcoming Nazi attack. ”

    Thats totally true. And lets not forget Hitler’s contribution, telling Guderian to ignore Moscow with the city at his mercy and concentrate on the South.

    ”Without naming names, some individuals frankly don’t know the subject matter they’re commenting on.”

    Well, at least I know the year the First War started, unlike someone I could mention, without naming names. .

  118. That person sure as heck wasn’t yours truly.

    Michael Averko´s last blog post..Hugo Chavez To Keep Sending Free Oil To US Poor

  119. Irishman says:

    ”That person sure as heck wasn’t yours truly.”

    Ahem. Actually it was you. Click on the link below and read the comments underneath. You got it wrong, and even – grudgingly-admitted it, when you had no way out. I wouldnt have brought this up except for the fact that this alone convinced me you know nichevo about Chechnya.

    http://seansrussiablog.org/2007/05/22/crying-sun-the-impact-of-war-in-the-mountains-of-chechnya/#comment-3178

  120. The troll strikes again.

    You’re a poor communicator. I was referring to WW II. You then mention the “first war” right after commenting about reference which was made to WW II.

    Everyone makes a mistake.

    This isn’t to be confused with the BLATANT LYING you did over at Russia Blog (the link was previously referenced at this thread).

    You’re the one who continuously trolls on about Chechnya in a way that hasn’t negated anything I said, other an earnest mis-statement.

    You really are small as shown by the creepy way you carry on.

    Michael Averko´s last blog post..National Library Service Improves Quality of Life for Blind and Handicapped

  121. Free world says:


    Really? Dairire, a chara? Cheapean me nach bhfuil tu Eireanach. An bhfuil aon Gaeilge agat? Ce as thu? Did you buy any chance bring home an Ossetian wife? It would explain the massive pile of bullshit that you subsequently wrote. What kind of Irish college – which colleges exactly – send kids to fucking Vladikavkaz?

    Heres a link showing Letterkenny college being an offical partner to the North-Ossetian State University in Vladikavkaz. Students do not goto Vladikavkaz they come from there to study in Ireland. though I don’t think they do it anymore.

    http://portal.unesco.org/education/en/ev.php-URL_ID=1839&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=208.html

    As for the Ossetian wife no I am way too busy for that., but I will tell you this the women are very pretty. They remind me in the stereo type Italian woman.


    “I called what you wrote nonsense, and point-by-point I went through that nonsense. If you cant see that, or refuse to acknowledge that., then maybe you’d best avoid posting Ossetian/Russian garbage in future. Most of what you wrote was simply WRONG. If you believe that Chechnya started the First War in 1994, then you either hopelessly ill-informed, disingenuous, or both. Le do thoil, a chara.”

    I clearly did not see your post as it was probably in amonst all the nonsense name calling you and other members where clearly taking part in. So I will reply to them now.

    First an foremost if I want a regurgitation of politcal spin on Chechnya I will look at CNN. What most western political commentators tell us is that Chechnya was a little nation yearning for independance and declared it in 1991. However the big bully Russia using a variety of dirty tactics eventually bombed Grozny in 1994. The thing about propaganda is its partially true. Russia did bomb Grozny in 1994, Russia did enter into Chechnya in 1994. However this viewpoint leaves out several key facts. The first chechen war actually started directly after the declaration of independance. I know its nice and neat for some to say the war started when the russians launched their first attack however there had been running battles in Chechnya in the years before that. Some refer to the period of 1991-1994 as the undeclared civil war though very quietly. This period was was to see the split in the Chechen Ingush Autonomous Region and is the first time Chechnya’s borders as they are now even existed. You have failed to mention at best Chechens where split on seeking independance and this was the catayst for the start the war. Another point you failed to mention was the brutal ethnic cleansing of non-chechens including ethnic Russians and other nationalities upto 1993 and was the main reason for the collapse of the chechn economy. Estimates put the number at least 90,000 ethnic cleansed. These where the first casualities of the first conflict in Chechnya.


    Really? Dairire, a chara? Cheapean me nach bhfuil tu Eireanach. An bhfuil aon Gaeilge agat? Ce as thu? Did you buy any chance bring home an Ossetian wife? It would explain the massive pile of bullshit that you subsequently wrote. What kind of Irish college – which colleges exactly – send kids to fucking Vladikavkaz?

    Heres a link showing Letterkenny college being an offical partner to the North-Ossetian State University in Vladikavkaz. Students do not goto Vladikavkaz they come from there to study in Ireland. though I don’t think they do it anymore.

    http://portal.unesco.org/education/en/ev.php-URL_ID=1839&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=208.html


    ”The most brutal battle in this period was the battle of Grozny a battle started by chechens. The chechen victory here resulted in Russia shelling Grozny and media coverage in moscow forced Yeltsin to a peace agreement an eventually his job.”

    You have jumped to conclusions. Infact there where three battles of Grozny. The last in August 1996 a battle started by the Chechens.


    Yes, of course we are all convinced of the integrity of the FSB and the Russian courts, and should ignore the truckload of hexogen placed in a building in Ryazan by the Moscow FSB (without telling the Ryazan FSB) and which was later claimed to be a ‘drill’. Some bloody drill that, almost exactly like the real thing, except without the boom. And yes we should all also believe it was entirely in Chechnya’s interest to have their people bomb Moscow.

    It was as much in the Chechens interests to bomb these buildings as to invade Dagestan or for example


    Again this is simply untrue. Most Russians did not leave until after bombing started and Chechnya was actually one of the few regions that had a functioning economy in 1994, courtesy of smuggling on a massive scale from Turkey and Dubai.

    At least 90,000 where forced out with some estimates as high as 200,000. Chechens effectively ethnic cleansed those key to their economy. Russias blockade, effectivey cut off jobs in Russia and trade. As for the Russian coined phrase “Chechen bandit economy” only warlords and chechen politicans got rich of this including Dudayev. In 1993 many Chechens did not even get their salaries paid.


    Stop conning yourself. The Russians couldnt be like the Brits if they fucking tried. They bombed the shit out the place, ruined Grozny (what was left of it) and killed thousands more people, and, thanks to a clampdown on NTV, no-one has any idea how many really died. If you’re Irish then I’m bloody ashamed.

    That was the very point I was making like the Brits they bombed the crap out of the place.

    The NTV claim is pretty weak, first considering that its impossible to total casualites in any war. Just go and ask the americans or British how many civilians have died in Iraq see what anwser you get. you also failed to mention that towards the end of 1995. Remeber Chechens would never have disguised themselves as journalists being a guerilla force and all. Of course the Russias really copied the US bombings in 1995 in Yugoslavia and first Iraq conflict.


    The Russians were not facing even half the rebels in 1999 than they did in 1994. Chechnya was a broken country by then courtesy of being starved of Federal funds, subversion by the FSB and no spoort at all for the government there from Moscow. And Russia went in, again, and destroyed the place, again. Marvellous.

    So Chechnya where broken because of being starved of federal funds! What would Chechnya want Federal funds considering they declared independance from Russia.

    Again wheres you mention of how the Shamil Basayev led 1400 men in Dagestan. It was this event that triggered the second chechen conflict.

  1. January 10, 2009

    […] few occasions hateful, mail directed towards me, so I can only sympathize with Andy’s post on What is it with stupid people and Russia?, where he laments the prevalent Russophobe/Russophile dichotomy in discussions about that country. […]