Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The snarling Russian Bear is back!

Wow, Vlad "the Impaler" Putin is really going overboard with the crazy talk these days. I know he's trying to drum up a big victory for his One Russia party in palriamentary elections this Sunday, so he can then justify his taking over as Prime Minister, but gee wiz.

AP reports:

"President Vladimir Putin accused the United States of pressuring respected international monitors to stay away from Sunday's parliamentary elections, a decision that hurts the credibility of balloting that is expected to bolster his power."

Vlad said, "According to the information we have, once again this was done at the recommendation of the U.S. State Department, and we will take this into account in our relations with that country. . . These actions cannot disrupt the elections in Russia. Their aim is to delegitimize the vote, but they will not achieve this goal" [MT]

Yeah, that charge has a lot of credibility. He kind of forgot he part where his government went out of its way to make sure the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) monitors would find it impossible to do their jobs.

The International Herald Tribune reported on Oct 31:

". . . Russia formally declared its intention to cut sharply the size of the mission that will monitor its parliamentary elections in December, and European officials refused to agree immediately to the change. Russia had already made the work of this year's mission difficult by delaying the invitation to the monitoring group, and the group says this has prevented it from carrying out preliminary work. On Wednesday, the group, the monitoring arm of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, said it had received the invitation, but it included unprecedented restrictions."

Meanwhile, just to make sure nothing goes wrong, the AP reports Vlad is making sure everyone votes, whether they want to or not:

"With the Kremlin determined to see a high turnout in Sunday's election, many Russians say they are being pressured to vote at work under the watchful eyes of their bosses or risk losing their jobs. They say they also are being told to provide lists of relatives and friends who will vote for United Russia, the party of President Vladimir Putin. United Russia is expected to win handily. But Putin has turned the parliamentary elections into a plebiscite on his rule, and the Kremlin appears to be pushing for nothing short of a landslide."

How very Soviet!

Of course, this all election rhetoric -- we hope. Vlad saying that Russia's military has to be rebuilt so that "no one puts his runny nose into our affairs," is all just for domestic consumption, right? We'd better hope it is. Now that Vlad has got that Sakhalin II deal wrapped up and about 402.2 billion in foreign currency reserves [RIA], he can pretty much what ever the hell he wants. The greenback having lost half its value in the past seven years has led to the biggest default in history so if he wants his bombers to buzz Guam or London, what are we going to do about it?


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