RICHES AT THE NORTH POLE Russia Unveils Aggressive Arctic Plans - Page 2 - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-31-2009, 11:23 AM
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Originally Posted by isthisdave View Post
^ Maybe letting some of these regional nukular tyrants shoot each other ain't such a bad idea.
Yep.........that's good and while were at it .....why don't we have a few more Exxon Valdez's to "muddy up" the waters too.
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-01-2009, 01:01 AM Thread Starter
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Russian stability threatened by anger over economy

This might help the ex Tovarich's take their eyes off the ball:

Russian stability threatened by anger over economy
The financial crisis is threatening to destabilise Russia amid unprecedented calls for the resignation of Vladimir Putin and his government.

By Adrian Blomfield in Moscow
Last Updated: 11:10PM GMT 27 Jan 2009

Protesters have called for the resignation of Vladimir Putin and his government Photo: AP

The prime minister, who is accustomed to adulation, is facing one of the sternest challenges of his political career as an economic slow down triggers growing public discontent.

The normally supportive Communist Party has called for country wide protests on Saturday, threatening to harness "a wave of popular rage".

Officials said they expected at least 600,000 people to take part in demonstrations held across dozens of cities. Among calls for improved living standards, the protests will also demand the resignation of Mr Putin and his cabinet.

According to opinion polls, Mr Putin remains popular, enjoying an approval rating of 83 per cent. Even now, with the economy under strain, there is no sign of a challenger, who could usurp his place in the heart of most Russians.

Yet the Kremlin is planning a hardline response with several of the demonstrations being banned outright and the law has been changed to remove the right of protest organisers to trial by jury.

Seeking to show his affection among the people remained undimmed, Mr Putin's ruling party is forcing factory workers in to holding public rallies of loyalty this week that will proclaim the prime minister's wisdom and munificence.

Commentators say the administration's unease is understandable. Mr Putin has built his reputation on rebuilding Russia's economy – shattered in the decade following the collapse of communism – and pursing an aggressive policy that returned the country to international prominence.

Now, however, the economy is starting to stumble – a fact that could undermine the prime minister's ambition to carve a global role for Russia.

Government figures show the Russian economy shrank 0.7 per cent in December, the first year-on-year decline since the 1990s. One million people lost their jobs in the same month as falling oil prices undermined Russia's energy driven economy.

The Kremlin's unease has been deepened by the spectacle of mass protests on Russia's periphery and beyond. Police have broken up violent anti government protests in Latvia and Lithuania, whilst smaller demonstrations have erupted in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic and Hungary, all of which are struggling to deal with the financial crisis.

Protests in Iceland forced the government to call early elections last week. In Russia itself, a country where most are too afraid to protest even if they wanted to, a small but growing number is willing to take to the streets.

Analysts say they do not expect these weekends' protests to be large enough to threaten the government but warn that they could mark the beginning of a dangerous trend.

"The number of unhappy people is still manageable but is on the rise," said Nikolai Petrov, of the Moscow Carnegie Centre. "There is especial danger in cities and towns where local industry has collapsed."

Last month, the Kremlin was jolted from its complacency when thousands took to the streets of Vladivostok, Russia's third city. They marched to protest Mr Putin's decision to raise tariffs on imported cars by up to 80 per cent, a move that could prove economically devastating in the Russian Far East and is expected to cost 100,000 jobs.

Alarming for the Kremlin, the demonstrations took on a political hue with protesters demanding the entire government's resignation. To deep embarrassment in Moscow, placards urged Japan – where most of Russia's imported cars come from – to colonise Vladivostok. With second hand foreign cars popular among middle class Russians the protests spread.

In St Petersburg, one placard called on Mr Putin to " switch to a trolley" – a reference to the fact that the prime minister is ferried around in an imported Mercedes. Such direct criticism is virtually unheard of.

More disturbingly, the Vladivostok police defied orders to quell the demonstrations. Even ruling party officials in the region publicly stated their support for the protest. Moscow was forced to send Special Forces from the capital to end the peaceful protests violently. Dozens of demonstrators injured and up to 200 arrested.

The rebellion by state officials is unprecedented in the Putin era and raises doubts over how strong loyalty to the prime minister really is in Russia's far slung regions.

That danger has been compounded by the fact that the communist party, normally loyal to the Kremlin, is spear heading this weekend's protest and defying orders banning the marches. Facing growing discontent the Kremlin has resorted to a familiar scapegoat: the West.

According to a document written by the Russian parliament analytical department that was leaked this week, the turmoil in Vladivostok is part of a Western plot spear headed by Japanese intelligence. The intention, the report concluded, was to trigger popular rebellions similar to the pro western Orange and Rose revolutions of Ukraine and Georgia.

"Protest actions folly a single integral scenario, one bearing a strong resemblance to the so called colour revolutions, when artificially fomented discontent toppled the political regime and resulted in the insulation of pseudo democracy," the report read.
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-01-2009, 09:31 AM
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Originally Posted by drewprof View Post
Imagine her captured by a bunch of horny Russians; do you think they will water board her?

in political asylum
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-01-2009, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by mzsmbs View Post
Oh man, I am heading for the linky... Where is my TP?
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