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28th January 2012
If you think international affairs do and, for that matter should impact on decisions made by western leaders, you need to watch the ongoing ‘Putin, Russia & the West’ series on BBC2.
Also at BBC website – for 3 more weeks (UK only) – Part 2 of “Putin, Russia and the west ‘Democracy Threatens‘
“BANG TO RIGHTS” for PLANKERS … er… PLONKERS
The bang-to-rights excerpt was shown on Thursday’s programme.
Can I tell you something? Are you sure now? You won’t get upset? Can you cope with this? OK. I’ll take your word for it.
If you think Jonathan Powell’s bang-to-rights phrase on the spy rock OR showing us that British spies CAN be found out is of more value than the rest of this excellent programme, you’re as thick as two short planks.
In fact if you’re under 21, and eligible to become a Russian citizen, you’d likely fit in well here with
Hitl … Putin’s Youth –
In case you missed the real spy-rock story – Putin used the spy-rock to justify a new law drastically restricting the work of non-government organisations – NGOs. Many had to shut down.
Scroll to 54 mins to see what Putin had to say about the murder of the leading reporter of human rights abuses in Chechnya.
“The journalist was a sharp critic of the Russian government. Journalists should know, as experts are fully aware, that her influence on political life in Russia was totally insignificant.”
Like her death? Journalists should know.
The second episode includes an extraordinary interview with former Ukrainian president Leonid Kuchma, who was widely thought to be responsible for murder, corruption and sanctions-busting. He tells how, in the 2004 election, he set about getting his chosen successor elected president – with the help of Putin and his Kremlin advisers. The opposition candidate, Victor Yushchenko, tells what it was like to be poisoned during the election campaign. It won him many voters and exit polls gave him a clear lead, but the Putin/Kuchma-backed candidate was still declared the winner. This result sparked the Orange Revolution.
Kremlin officials tell how they made sure that Putin would not face a similar revolution at home. It is claimed critics of Putin, including the British ambassador, were intimidated and some were even murdered. Tens of thousands of young Russians were mobilised to fight the threat of democracy.
1. The present Russian President, Medvedev is asked – “Are you ready to die like Saddam?”
“An acute, revolutionary situation is now brewing in the country. Are you ready to face responsibility?” journalism student Vladimir Polyakov demanded.
“Do you realise that you could even be condemned to death? Are you ready to take it bravely just like Saddam Hussein did or will you emigrate to friendly North Korea?”
Read rest of above article on the upcoming Russian elections and candidates, or former candidates.
2. BBC News – Syria crisis: UN Security Council mulls Assad measures
The UN Security Council has met to consider a draft resolution against Syria’s government.
Activists and the Arab League urged the UN to take stronger action after an upsurge in violence this week in which dozens of people have died.
The UK, France and Germany drafted a resolution with Arab states supporting the League’s call for President Bashar al-Assad to hand power to a deputy.
Russia, an ally of Mr Assad, has indicated it would not back the text.
Russia’s UN envoy Vitaly Churkin told reporters after the meeting in New York that the draft resolution was unacceptable in parts, but Moscow was ready to engage in talks about it, according to Reuters news agency.
Russia and China vetoed a previous draft resolution against Syria late last year.
Over to you, China.
By the way, I hope you’re still remembering –
Comment samples follow from the Ban Blair-Baiting petition
1. I completely agree with everything that has been said on this website. As Prime Minister, Tony Blair worked tirelessly and selflessly in the interests of the people, and continues to do so today. He is primarily a humanitarian, and doesn’t deserve any of the vitriol that has been levelled at him. He was a great Prime Minister, is a thoroughly decent man; and should in my opinion, be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his outstanding work. – David Miliband (New Labour’s heir) for the next PM!
2. Best politician in Britain by a long way.
3. Fully support the petition. The criticism of Mr Blair has gone way beyond anything acceptable and seems to be carried out mainly by those who are looking to wash their hands of any involvement in supporting the Iraq war at the time. It is very easy to be ‘wise after the event’ and to make assumptions about how much Mr Blair knew or did not know before the war. In these people’s eyes, the former PM is guilty whatever the evidence.
4. An excellent petition this for a very undervalued PM. A PM who is not only the best in my lifetime but my parents lifetime too!