2014年10月8日 星期三

Vladimir Putin' s 12 Labours ;得意一二天 民族自豪

 普亭62歲生日 俄國以神話英雄人物祝賀
普亭62歲生日 俄國以神話英雄人物祝賀
普亭在俄國人眼中擁有乾坤大挪移的神力(網路圖片翻攝)
俄羅斯總統普亭(Vladimir Putin)成為俄國史上最狂野頑皮的獵人之一,也是讓西方社會頭痛、抓摸不定的政治人物。10月7日他歡渡了62歲生日。當天位俄羅斯車臣共和國首府,格羅茲尼(Grozny),民眾高舉著長達600公尺的俄羅斯長幅旗幟,展開盛大遊街活動,共有近10萬人參與這場慶祝普亭生日的遊行。
另一方面,莫斯科一場普亭圖片展覽會場,也以「普亭所完成的12項艱鉅工作」為題展出,圖像中將他比擬為希臘神話中的英雄人物海克力斯(Heracles男性的傑出典範),洋溢著無比歌頌情懷,不過《英國廣播公司BBC》卻將這場展覽視之為「怪異的展出」。
茲將圖畫中,普亭所完成的12項艱鉅工作,簡單敘述如下:
1.) 對抗恐怖主義。希臘神話英雄人物海克力斯,獨自對抗怪獸,而展出圖片,則將普亭描寫為大力士,擁有能耐對抗現代怪獸-恐怖主義。2.) 扭打九頭蛇怪。其中九頭蛇怪,代表了西方國家如歐盟、美國、加拿大及日本等國,對俄國施予經濟制裁;原因為俄國提供武器,並支持烏克蘭東部的分離主義活動。3.) 反對西方國家干預敘利亞內部事務。俄國於2012年聯合國的安全理事會上,單槍匹馬對西方所提出的干預敘利亞內部問題提案,予以否決。
4.) 普亭政績,擊退俄國境內腐敗的害群之馬。5.) 2014年舉辦索契冬季奧運的成功,代表了俄國民族的驕傲。6.) 普亭政績,擊退俄國境內的寡頭階級執政。7.)駕馭克里米亞公牛。該圖畫,傳達了普亭騎乘令人望之畏懼的克里米亞公牛,並讓該半島透過公投從烏克蘭脫離出來,併入俄國領土之內。8.) 西北風級兩棲突擊艦(Mistral contract)。該項俄國向法國訂購的突擊艦交易案,總金額達12億歐元。後來,因島克蘭東邊親俄派份子,擊落馬航MH17民航機,迫使法國取消該交易訂單。
9.) 天然氣外交。天然氣外交是普亭手中強大武器之一;俄國透過南邊通往歐洲的天然氣管線,讓歐洲對俄國高度依賴。10.)中俄簽署30年4000億美元的天然氣交易案,被形容為普亭的一項貿易勝利。11.)沙皇再世。普亭被描述為,結合俄國沙皇,帝王與俄共總書記為一體的英雄人物,他是俄國偉大傳統的人民英雄。12.)圖畫中,俄國普亭與美國這個強敵角力,美國在畫中被描述為負面的復仇者;對抗美國讓他在國內享有,超過80%的高支持度。
英國《衛報》(The Guardian)報導指出,俄羅斯總統普亭被視為俄國史上,最狂野、頑皮的獵人之一。他在俄國官媒的包裝之下,成了一位常常穿著無袖襯衫的獵人、釣客以及騎馬者;而這次莫斯科的普亭生日圖像展,則進一步將他比擬為擁有神力的英雄人物海克力斯。不過,網路評論家卻對普亭所得到的高評價,興趣缺缺。目前,俄國盧布幣值,創下了史上新低,而普亭的國內聲望卻出奇的高。網路上盛傳著一則普亭「價值貶值」的笑話:「一美元40盧布;一歐元50盧布;而普亭現在是62(歲)」。


The original 12 Labours of Hercules were acts of penance and toil performed by the Greek hero. Hercules' tasks have been given a Russian makeover. Mythical monsters have been replaced by modern monstrosities such as terrori sm. Http://bbc.in/1xZvYPk

 
Vladimir Putin is depicted stopping Western intervention in Syria - a reference to Russia's veto at a UN Security Council vote in 2012.Http://bbc.in/1xZvYPk

QUOTATION OF THE DAY



BBC News 新增了 8 張相片。
Vladimir Putin as Hercules - the unusual art exhibition to mark the Russian president's 62nd birthday. Http://bbc.in/1xZvYPk
Vladimir Putin grapples with the multi-headed hydra... of Western sanctions. Http://bbc.in/1xZvYPk
This painting of Mr Putin riding a fearsome Crimean ox refers to the peninsula's breakaway from Ukraine and absorption by Russia by way of a referendum held in March 2014. Http://bbc.in/1xZvYPk






Vladimir Putin is depicted as doing battle with his nemesis - the United States. Http://bbc.in/1xZvYPk
"Putin probably had his best day as president in years yesterday, and I suspect he's enjoying himself right now."
IAN BREMMER, the president of Eurasia Group, a political risk consultancy, on Vladimir V. Putin's role in Syria diplomacy.
 
Russia does not pretend to be moving towards the West. The assumption of shared goals and values is over. Rather than responding to Western criticism with irritated pleas for patience and understanding of national specifics, it simply ignores it. As an alternative, Vladimir Putin points to the East, hailing China's rise as a colossal chance to catch its "wind in the sails of our economy" http://econ.st/17nSVxf
此篇一箭射雙鵰 一指Vladimir Putin

斯諾登何不棄暗投明回國受審

 你只有一個機會留下第二印象。在我看來,愛德華·斯諾登(Edward Snowden)應該把握他的機會,而俄羅斯總統弗拉基米爾·普京(Vladimir Putin)已經糟蹋了他的機會。
考慮到斯諾登泄密之後,奧巴馬總統為防止情報收集活動侵犯 隱私而提議的改革的廣度,斯諾登理應得到一個留下第二印象的機會,以證明他真的是一個舉報者,而不是叛徒。事實是,他泄露了機密,然後逃到敵視我們、也敵 視他所宣揚的原則的那些國家。要留下第二印象,斯諾登需要回來,陳述他的理由,直面他的指控者。這將意味着,他要承擔長期入獄的風險,然而這也將意味着, 他相信美國人民的公正態度,我相信,美國人民不會讓一個真正的舉報者受到不公平的懲罰。
  • 托馬斯·弗里德曼
    Josh Haner/The New York Times
    托馬斯·弗里德曼

至於普京,早在他給斯諾登提供庇護之前,他就在重啟美俄關 係這件事上毀了自己的第二印象。美國要和普京打交道,總是會涉及一定的交換:美國接受普京在一定程度上進行威權統治,以換取普京在對美國重要的全球議題上 給予合作——只要普京多多少少地推動俄羅斯成為一個更加開放、更加講求共識的社會。然而,這種平衡已經不復存在。在敘利亞問題上,普京堅持阻撓任何可能把 「他的人」巴沙爾·阿薩德(Bashar al-Assad)總統趕下台的外交努力。在俄羅斯國內,他歧視男女同性戀者,並且濫用「法治」戰術不讓批評者開口。這一切都意味着我們從美俄關係中什麼 都得不到,許多俄羅斯人也一樣。
不過,與其迎面打他一拳,抬高他在信徒面前的地位,不如擊中他真正的痛處,即公開叫板他在使俄羅斯變得更強大的說法。
以下是奧巴馬上周被問到對普京的看法時,本來可以給出的回 答:「你知道,早在1979年,普京總統冷酷的蘇聯前任給我們送來了謝爾蓋·布林(Sergey Brin)一家。如你所知,布林後來成了谷歌(Google)的聯合創始人。這是俄羅斯的損失,卻是對美國乃至全世界的饋贈。如果不是蘇聯讓布林一家的生 活如此糟糕,我們就不會享受到搜索的好處。我這麼說是因為,普京似乎對讓這一代的謝爾蓋·布林們過上有意思的生活不感興趣。普京似乎只對在地下埋設管道以 及開採石油和天然氣(而非挖掘本國年輕人的才華)感興趣,對確保他和他的親信從開採出來的石油中分一杯羹感興趣。」
「希爾蓋·古里耶夫,到美國來吧。帶上你的朋友。再帶上被 普京投入監獄的朋克樂隊Pussy Riot(pussy有「少女」、「小貓」或「陰道」等多個含義,riot意為「暴亂」——譯註)的成員。在普京主政下的俄羅斯,創意人才沒有任何未來, 因為普京看不懂當今的大格局:世界上不再有『發達』或『發展中』國家之分;只有HIE國家(想像力大國)和LIE(想像力小國)。前者指的是培養創新和創 新者的國家,後者指的是不這麼做的國家。而在當今世界,有越來越多的人能把創意轉換成產品、服務、公司和就業,而且速度比以往任何時候都快、成本比以往任 何時候都低。普京正在建立一種一元化政治,這會讓俄羅斯成為想像力小國里的墊底國家。」
「相反,普京喜歡依靠教育程度較低的、仇外的農村人口,他 們很吃普京那套反美和反同性戀的說辭,即這都是因為世界想要遏制俄羅斯。隨着水力壓裂法、水平鑽井和能效領域的革命在全球各地擴散開來,油氣價格出現下 跌,普京未能投資於俄羅斯的人才資源——他不會這麼做,因為那將意味着賦權和放飛自由,讓人們脫離他的掌控——將成為俄羅斯的一個大問題。」
這是我會說的話。沒有普京的幫助,我們會不會失去任何東 西?當然會。那些說我們不需要俄羅斯的人是錯的。舉目今日世界,如果美俄聯手,沒有哪個重大問題——敘利亞、阿富汗、埃及、網絡犯罪、氣候或毒品——不會 更容易解決(這就是我反對北約[NATO]東擴的原因)。不過,對普京在本國的生存而言,反美現在成了不可或缺的姿態。
所以,和他浪費更多時間沒有任何意義。儘管他不會幫助我們,但他也不會給我們造成嚴重的傷害。他會(也正在)給俄羅斯造成嚴重的傷害,因為他更看重對他個人的忠誠,而不是才幹。任何長期奉行此道的體制都會滅亡。
你可以用谷歌搜索一下這個規律。
翻譯:張薇

普京夫婦公開承認29年婚姻告終

去年,俄羅斯總統弗拉基米爾·V·普京和他的妻子柳德米拉。
Alexei Nikolsky/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
去年,俄羅斯總統弗拉基米爾·V·普京和他的妻子柳德米拉。

莫斯科——多年來,對弗拉基米爾·V·普京 (Vladimir V. Putin)總統明顯垂死的婚姻的揣測一直吸引着莫斯科人的關注。有人說,他愛上了一名年紀只有他一半大的奧運會體操運動員。他的夫人柳德米拉 (Lyudmila)也會連續數月不在公眾場合露面,而當她真的與總統一起出現時,他們又表現得形同陌路。
克林姆林宮和普京曾堅決否認,他近30年的婚姻出現了問 題。當一家報紙指出,事情並非如此時,它被突然關閉。但在周四晚間,普京與柳德米拉少見地同時公開露面,宣布他們正在辦理離婚手續,這是自1698年彼得 大帝(Peter the Great)以來,俄羅斯在任領導人首次終止他的婚姻。

他們關係的真實狀況對外保密。但60歲的普京在他的第三個總統任期里專註於清理門戶,剔除他不再信任的聯邦政府成員,並向那些看似忠誠無虞的保守派選民傾斜。
拿走了甚至存在於蘇聯時期的政治機制以後,俄羅斯基本上是由普京的想法和心境來控制的。雖然選舉周期已過,出於對自己人氣的擔憂,他現在可能希望打造一個更開放的個人形象,背離他以往的保密習慣。
周四晚在莫斯科,高層政治的研究者觀看了電視播出的聲明,他們想知道在未來幾個月會發生多少變化,特別是,是否會有一位新的第一夫人。
「我們已經看到了第一幕,問題是,是否會有第二幕。這是不 是為了某個女人做的?」在過去擔任過克林姆林宮非正式顧問的奧爾加·克雷施塔諾夫斯卡婭(Olga Kryshtanovskaya)說。「離婚本身沒有什麼發人深思之處,這不是關鍵問題,問題在於:他是否會再婚?」
周四,在芭蕾舞劇《艾絲美拉達》(La Esmeralda)第一幕之後,這對夫婦在離席時宣布了這一聲明,這似乎是經過了安排,也顯得有些尷尬。一名等在那裡的國家電視台記者問二人,「你們覺 得這場《艾絲美拉達》演出怎麼樣?」隨後突然問出了一個在正常情況下可能會讓她丟掉工作的問題:「你們很少一同出現,而且有傳言稱,你們並不住在一起。是 真的嗎?」
普京吸了口氣,看着他的夫人,然後說,「是真的。」
「我的活動,我的工作是非常公開的,」他接著說。「有些人 喜歡這樣,有些人則不喜歡,但是還有一些人則完全無法適應。柳德米拉·亞歷山德羅芙娜(Lyudmila Aleksandrovna)已經堅守自己的職責八年了,準確地說是九年。所以,總而言之,這是一個共同的決定。」
然後輪到了普京夫人,她說,「我們的婚姻結束了,」她說,「因為我們實際上見不到對方。」
俄羅斯仍是一個非常保守的國家,東正教會的影響力依然很大,而普京的支持率在很大程度上取決於中年婦女的支持,如果他和一個年輕女人結婚,那麼她們的反應可能會非常糟糕。
「他這是在冒險,」普京傳記的作者亞歷山大·拉赫爾 (Alexander Rahr)說。「我們知道,俄羅斯正教會不會發出什麼聲音,他們不會做任何評論。但人們在看待這件事的時候,可不會抱多大的同情。總統的離婚總是有風險 的,特別是在俄羅斯,在這裡他被視作俄羅斯國家新地位的象徵。」
但俄羅斯分析人士基本上持正面態度,他們預計,多數俄羅斯 人會贊同他們的離婚決定。政治信息中心(Center for Political Information)主任阿列克謝·穆欣(Aleksei Mukhin)說,這對普京來說是「大舒了一口氣」,他不用再假裝他的婚姻完好無損,而在此時宣布,公眾可能爆發的憤怒也是最少的,此時他也沒有選舉的顧 慮。
克雷施塔諾夫斯卡婭說,她認為離婚將有助於提升他的形象。「普京的離婚是向邁向民主的一步,」她說。「如果他想隱瞞,怎麼隱瞞都行,但他卻選擇了公布真相:他也是人,他也會走霉運。他選擇了公開透明。」
但是她說,她不那麼確定,如果他選擇與那位前體操運動員阿林娜·卡巴耶娃(Alina Kabayeva)結婚的話,公眾會作何反應。「如果他最後選擇了卡巴耶娃,那麼他們早就認可了,」她說。「但如果我是普京,我不會匆忙行事。」
至少過去五年時間裡,一直有緋聞將普京和卡巴耶娃聯繫在一 起。卡巴耶娃曾獲藝術體操金牌,近年來,她成為俄羅斯聯邦議會下議院國家杜馬(State Duma)的成員。2008年,一家莫斯科報紙《莫斯科記者報》(Moskovsky Korrespondent)報道,普京打算與卡巴耶娃結婚,之後,這家報紙突然暫停出版,其母公司聲稱是「財務原因」。
數年來,俄羅斯的新聞媒體一直在報道,總統和他的妻子分居,還提及有傳言說普京和卡巴耶娃一起有了孩子。成為俄羅斯版《Vogue》封面人物時,卡巴耶娃在同時刊出的採訪中說,那個傳聞稱為她兒子的男孩其實是她的侄子。
離婚的宣布恰好臨近7月普京夫婦結婚三十周年。
柳德米拉·普京娜(Lyudmila Putin)曾是一名空姐,她從沒有對她的公共身份顯示出太多的興趣。據普京的傳記《第一人》(First Person)記錄,她曾對採訪她的人說,當她在1999年得知她的丈夫將接任鮑里斯·N·葉利欽(Boris N. Yeltsin)總統的職位時,她充滿了恐懼。
「我的女朋友打電話給我說,『你聽說了嗎?』」她說。「我問,『什麼?』我從她那裡得知了這個消息。我哭了一整天。因為我知道,我從此不會再有私人生活了。」


2012.12.12 普京发表重新当选总统后首次国情咨文



莫斯科
俄罗斯总统普京在其重新当选总统后的首次国情咨文中呼吁俄罗斯人重新燃起民族自豪感。他在克里姆林宫对数百名听众表示,俄罗斯深受心理创伤,因此有必要加强社会的道德和精神基础。普京同时抨击了外国介入以及西方国家的说教。俄罗斯遵循自己对于民主的见解,不在乎所有外界制定的标准。得到外国资助的政客在俄罗斯社会中没有立足之地。这位总统承诺创造2500万个工作岗位,并为教师、医生和工程师提供资助。俄罗斯安全力量的实力也将得到加强。

硬漢普京親自駕機引導鶴群遷徙

Alexei Druzhinin/Associated Press
雖然俄羅斯有人對普京的管理工作不滿,但他的鳥類朋友卻給了他更多的接納。

莫斯科——弗拉基米爾·V·普京(Vladimir V. Putin)是俄羅斯毋庸置疑的最高領導人,以冷峻的目光和剛毅的作風聞名於世。但是現在,普京選擇了一種也許更為溫和的領導新形象。他引導了一群鳥,而且是在空中。
本周三,普京的新聞部門證實,這位俄羅斯總統駕駛着一架懸掛式動力滑翔機,引導六隻瀕臨滅絕的西伯利亞鶴飛越北極荒地,前往鳥群的冬季棲息地。這次行動是一個叫做“希望飛行”(The Flight of Hope)的計劃的組成部分。
雖然俄羅斯最近有人對普京的管理工作有些不滿,但他的鳥類朋友卻給了他更多的接納。專家表示,圈養狀態下的鶴很快就會對它們認為是父母的人類產生感情。很明顯,普京一直在為扮演這個角色而接受訓練。
“對於鶴來說,父母親就是身着白袍的人,” 飼養鶴群的禁獵區負責人尤里·馬爾金(Yuri Markin)在面對俄羅斯新聞電台(Russian News Service)的採訪時說。“它們不會記得某個人。但它們記得白袍和頭巾,如果到了超輕型飛機上,它們記得的就是一個白色的頭盔——還有一個戴在頭上的 特製鳥喙。”
目前還不清楚,普京有沒有穿上寬大的白袍、戴上假喙。本周三晚些時候,俄羅斯國際文傳電訊社(Interfax)報道稱,普京駕駛着超輕型飛機,在位於北極亞馬爾半島的Kushavet鳥類研究站飛行了三次。該通訊社還說,其中兩次鶴群都跟隨着他。
清晨,一幅政治漫畫開始四處傳播。畫面上,鶴群看起來很憤怒,普京則戴着用硬紙板做成的翅膀,告訴鶴群,“我們現在來分配角色吧。我要當領頭的!” 另外一幅漫畫則更加險惡,畫面是這樣的:普京看着一隻鶴說,“我將會拯救你們!”那隻鶴盯着普京,暗想,“可能我還是滅絕了的好。”
普京的這次飛行很可能開了俄羅斯國家元首的先河,但卻並不是他第一次試圖把自己的公眾形象塑造為富有愛心的戶外男,或者勇於冒險的硬漢。
過去,普京曾用麻醉槍擊倒一頭老虎,用弩提取過一條鯨魚的身體組織,還曾給一隻北極熊戴上跟蹤項圈。周三一整天,關於他此次最新舉動的消息在網絡上 傳得沸沸揚揚,人們都為此感到高興。有人在想,普京還會有多出格。他會試着模仿鶴群間歇式的尖利叫聲,來為自己的領導地位樹立更大的威信嗎?
人們曾看到他在西伯利亞赤膊騎馬,還看到過他駕駛戰鬥機、轟炸機以及水陸兩用的消防飛機。去年夏天,他曾在黑海的刻赤海峽潛水,引人注目的是,他很快就發現了兩個古希臘陶瓮的碎片。
然而,普京的發言人德米特里·S·佩斯科夫(Dmitri S. Peskov)後來被迫承認,那一次的發現是場表演。的確,從去年的情況來看,普京的表演似乎失去了驚人的效果。對於主導俄羅斯網絡世界的年輕網絡高手來 說,普京的行為很假、很僵硬,感覺似乎回到了蘇聯時期,當時的政府開動巨大的宣傳機器來美化單獨的一個人。
在選舉前後形勢緊張的幾個月里,普京避開了這樣的活動,但此次行動說明他已經恢複信心。
佩斯科夫在接受俄羅斯報紙採訪時確認,為了用懸掛式動力滑翔機引領鶴群,總統接受了相關訓練。
亞太經合組織(Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation)峰會將在周五開幕,趕在開會前夕,普京開始引領鶴群飛往冬季棲息地。
對於普京的批評者來說,普京身着模仿鳥類的服裝駕駛飛機的形象可能是一個不可錯過的好機會。反對派領導人及博客作者阿列克謝·納瓦爾尼 (Aleksei Navalny) 周三在Twitter上寫道,“談到斯大林(Stalin)的時候 ,他們說,‘晚上,他的窗子里總是有燈光。’談到普京的時候,他們會說,‘他帶着一群鶴飛過了我們的房屋。’”
Twitter上廣泛流傳的一個帖子寫道,“為了讓這群鶴認出他的領袖身份,他在屁股後面塞了三根羽毛。”
這場表演也在其他方面對俄羅斯政治產生了影響。《環球》雜誌(Vokrug Sveta/Around the World)編輯瑪莎·格森(Masha Gessen)是一本批判性普京傳記的作者。本周,她因為拒絕派攝影師對普京引領鶴群進行報道而被解僱。該雜誌出版人表示,格森長期以來在很多方面與他們 存在分歧,這是導致他們解聘格森的原因。
普京的這個愛好顯得比較新鮮,但據俄羅斯報紙《Vedomosti》報道,早在2002年,俄羅斯鳥類學者就開始嘗試使用緩慢飛行的飛機來引領人工 養殖的鶴飛往南方。他們模仿的是北美動物保護主義者的實驗,其中最有名的實驗出現在電影《返家十萬里》(Fly Away Home)中。這部1996年上映的電影講述了一個女孩駕駛超輕型飛機引領加拿大鵝飛向南方的故事。
完成飛行之後,普京將標誌着領導者身份——只針對那群長着羽毛的追隨者——的指揮棒轉交給了專業的飛行員,後者將在接下來的旅程里引領鶴群飛往位於中亞的冬季棲息地。
Ellen Barry對本文有報道貢獻。
翻譯:陳柳、許欣


事實上,法國本身為了避免尷尬,也改過外國政要的名字。俄羅斯回鍋總統普廷(Vladimir Putin)在法國就被改拼寫成Putine,因為原本的Putin的發音很像putain,該字在法文意指娼妓。

putain


Contents

French

Etymology

Originally the oblique case of pute (dirty woman) in Old French. Compare with salope

Pronunciation

Noun

putain f (plural putains)
  1. (slang) whore, hooker, tart (French)
  2. (derogatory, vulgar, slang) bitch, cow (an unpleasant woman)
  3. bloody (France/ Québec), fucking
    Éteins cette putain de télé!
    Turn off that bloody TV!

Usage notes

Synonyms

  • (whore): pute
  • (unpleasant woman): pute

Interjection

putain!
  1. (vulgar) fuck, fucking hell, bloody hell

Derived terms



普京不適合領導俄羅斯
尤科斯公司前總裁長子帕維爾•霍多爾科夫斯基為英國《金融時報》撰稿



在冰冷的室外排隊等候一段時間之後,我父親擠進電話亭,用已經凍得麻木的手指撥通了我的號碼。在千里之外的美國,我聽到了他親切的聲音,沙啞之中透出了卡累利阿(Karelia)空氣的寒冷。他的語調像往常一樣沉著,情緒很樂觀。

我們那次交談,發生在弗拉基米爾•普京(Vladimir Putin)的總統就職典禮之前幾天,但我們並沒有談論普京的第三個總統任期對俄羅斯及俄羅斯公民意味著什麼。從他過去掌權的那12年的表現來看,我們在很大程度上已對此心中有數。我們談論了未來幾年需要做些什麼,因為我們祖國的未來已不再取決於普京,而是取決於她的人民。掌權的人或許沒有什麼改變,但俄羅斯人民已經改變了。

提高俄羅斯社會自由度和公正度的鬥爭,與我有著切身關係。我父親米哈伊爾•霍多爾科夫斯基(Mikhail Khodorkovsky)曾是尤科斯公司(Yukos)總裁,尤科斯曾是俄羅斯最大的企業。可是,他卻因當局捏造的貪污和逃稅罪名遭到關押,至今已超過八年半。他的唯一罪行是挺身而出反對普京。他資助反對黨、抨擊大規模的腐敗,因而觸怒了克里姆林宮。我從2003年赴美求學以來就再也沒有見過他,他也從未見過我現已兩歲的女兒戴安娜(Diana)。

我知道,去年選舉舞弊後爆發的抗議運動,以及全國各地成千上萬人民以和平、民主方式表達自己意見的做法,讓他感到十分鼓舞。我們兩人都希望自己當時能與同胞一起在莫斯科街頭抗議。然而我們兩人的缺席卻體現出俄羅斯面臨的問題。由於法治缺失,我父親與成千上萬遭到迫害的成功商人一同身陷囹圄。我則像成千上萬在海外求學的俄羅斯年輕人一樣,呆在海外自我流放,不願回到祖國。每天都有越來越多的同胞離開俄羅斯。

幾個月前,由於感到改革一夜之間就會到來,我的同齡人曾短暫放下了普遍抱持的、“收拾行囊離開”俄羅斯的想法。後來普京並未遭遇挫敗,許多人因此幻想破滅。但抗議活動不會中斷,人們會更明確地認識到普京的上位不具有合法性。通過聚焦於較小的目標、而非克里姆林宮本身,抗議活動的勢頭會持續下去。

這意味著要挑戰自私自利的“西羅維基”(siloviki,即“強人集團”)的利益,這些強人推進的項目包括修建一條穿過莫斯科城外受保護的希姆基(Khimki)森林的、有六個足球場那麼寬的高速公路;這意味著要註冊反對黨,到本月為止,組建反對黨還是合法的;這還意味著要在LiveJournal及Facebook上發布賄賂和毆打的消息,要簽署請願書呼籲克里姆林宮履行承諾、建立一家獨立的公共電視台。

西方既不應忽視也不應低估其在促進俄羅斯自由民主方面能夠發揮的作用,包括對懲罰侵犯人權者的法案予以支持,如美國的《馬格尼茨基法案》(Magnitsky Act)。這些法案正在華盛頓、倫敦和布魯塞爾的立法機關中得到討論,它們將限制侵犯人權者獲得簽證和銀行服務,而這些侵犯人權者往往想把資金存放在美國和歐洲。

此舉不僅僅針對謝爾蓋•馬格尼茨基(Sergei Magnitsky)案件——馬格尼茨基揭露了一起涉案金額達2.3億美元的官僚詐騙案,卻因自己惹出的麻煩而身陷囹圄,在獄中遭到毒打且不得醫治,最後死在獄中。此舉還旨在確保侵犯瓦西里•亞歷山雅恩(Vasily Alexanyan)等尤科斯員工權利的人被繩之以法。亞歷山雅恩去年去世,去世之前處在監禁中,當局一直拒絕他就醫,除非他提供不利於我父親的虛假證詞。

未來幾個月,隨著普京的人民對他表現出失望,普京會試圖鞏固權力。但即使他竭盡全力,也不可能永遠屹立不倒。

我父親最近寫道,未來的民主俄羅斯有朝一日會在這樣的前提假定下建立起來:即自由真的勝過不自由,由自由人組成的社會能夠、且能最有效地應對人類面臨的挑戰。

俄羅斯已經改變。俄羅斯人民渴望的不再是“不惜任何代價追求穩定和持續”。俄羅斯渴望的是改革。一些俄羅斯人權專家指出,多達六分之一的俄羅斯商人曾遭審判,數千名商人被判入獄——其中許多人都是當局以捏造案件形式濫用刑事司法體系的受害者。根據智庫勒瓦達中心(Levada Center)的估計,某一年有超過15%的俄羅斯人向政府官僚或這一“新貴”階層的其他代理人行賄。俄羅斯由統一俄羅斯黨(United Russia)一黨統治,任何一個想確保未來經營順利的商人都不得不加入該黨。

普京的就職典禮再次為莫斯科罩上光環。但就像我們在過去五個月裡看到的那樣,俄羅斯人正在學習如何敲打身上的鎖鏈。我們認為,再過兩年,或許三年,這些鎖鏈就會被敲碎。

2012年的俄羅斯,已經不同於2004年普京上次當選總統時的俄羅斯。許多人現在在問:普京能不能為了這個國家而做出改變?

只有卓越的領導人才知道何時該放下財富、權力和怨恨,並與時俱進。普京不是這種人。國家杜馬通過的裝裝樣子的法律,當局許下的提供廣泛社會福利的承諾,以及重新聚焦於自然資源出口的做法,都意味著同一件事:2012年的普京在更大程度上仍將是我們已然熟知的那個普京。這個國家已經改變了,但再次掌控最高權力的普京卻沒有。

有朝一日,我與父親或許能在一個與今天截然不同的俄羅斯面對面地交談。我們期待那一天儘早到來。

本文作者是米哈伊爾•霍多爾科夫斯基(Mikhail Khodorkovsky)的長子,米哈伊爾•霍多爾科夫斯基是尤科斯公司前總裁,也是大赦國際(Amnesty International)認定的良心犯

譯者/何黎

 

 

My father’s message to Putin from a prison camp


His hands numb after queueing in the bitter cold outside, my father squeezes into a phone booth and dials my number. Thousands of miles away in the US, I hear his dear voice, still husky from the frosty Karelian air. His tone has its usual calm; his mood is upbeat.
We were speaking just days before Vladimir Putin’s presidential inauguration, yet we weren’t talking about what his third term would mean for Russia and its citizens. That much we already know based on the 12 years of his rule. Rather, we talked about what needs to be done in the years ahead, because the future of our country is no longer up to Mr Putin; it now depends on its people. The man in charge may not have changed, but we Russians have.
For me the struggle to make Russia a freer and more just society is personal. My father, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, former head of Yukos, once Russia’s largest company, has been locked up for more than eight and a half years on false charges of embezzlement and tax evasion. His only crime was standing up to Mr Putin. He angered the Kremlin by financing opposition parties and denouncing the scale of corruption. I have not seen him since 2003, when I went to college in the US; he has never met my daughter Diana, who is now 2 years old.
I know that he is inspired both by the protest movement that marked last year’s rigged elections, and because tens of thousands of people across the country are expressing themselves in a peaceful and democratic way. We both wish we could have been there on the streets of Moscow with our fellow citizens. Yet our absence is emblematic of the troubles my country faces. Because of the lack of rule of law my father is in jail, with thousands of other persecuted successful businessmen. I remain abroad in self-imposed exile, unwilling to return to my own country, like thousands of other young Russians educated abroad. Many more are leaving Russia daily.
The brief pause in the “pack-my-bags-and-get-out” sentiment that was so common among people my age a couple of months ago was powered by the feeling that reforms could come overnight. Many subsequently became disenchanted when Mr Putin did not suffer defeat. Yet the protests will continue, reinforcing the idea that his ascension is illegitimate, and their momentum will be sustained by focusing on small goals rather than on the Kremlin itself.
This means challenging the self-serving interests of the siloviki, the “strong men” whose projects include building a highway as wide as six football pitches through the protected Khimki forest outside Moscow. It means registering opposition parties, which as of this month are able to form legally. It means publicising news of bribes or beatings on LiveJournal and Facebook, and signing petitions calling on the Kremlin to create a public, independent television station as promised.
The west should neither neglect nor underestimate its potential role in advancing freedom and democracy in my homeland. That includes supporting laws punishing human rights violators – such as the US Magnitsky Act – being debated in legislatures from Washington to London and Brussels. Such bills would restrict visas and banking access for human rights abusers, who so often want to park their money in the US or Europe.
This initiative goes further than just the case of Sergei Magnitsky, the whistleblower who uncovered a $230m bureaucratic fraud and for his troubles was sent to prison, where he died after being beaten and denied care. It also aims to secure justice against those who violated the rights of Yukos employees such as Vasily Alexanyan, who died last year. He had earlier been refused medical treatment when in prison unless he gave false testimony against my father.
In the next few months, as his own people display their frustration with him, Mr Putin will try to consolidate power. But try as he might, he cannot hold on forever.
A future democratic Russia will one day be established “on the premise that freedom is indeed better than unfreedom”, my father recently wrote, “and that a society of free people deals and will deal best with the challenges that humanity faces”.
The country has changed. It is no longer “stability and continuity at all costs” that the Russian people crave. Our country yearns for reform. According to some Russian human rights experts, as many as one in six Russian businessmen has been on trial, and prisons hold thousands of them – many of whom are victims of abuse of the criminal justice system through fabricated cases. The Levada Center think-tank estimates that in a given year more than 15 per cent of Russians bribe bureaucrats and other agents of this “new nobility”. The country is ruled by one party – United Russia – which anyone who wants to be sure of their business’s future has to join.
Mr Putin’s inauguration will shine a light once again on Moscow. But as we’ve seen in the past five months, Russians are learning how to rattle their chains. In two, maybe three years, we think these chains will be broken.
Russia 2012 is a different place to Russia 2004, the last time Mr Putin was elected president. Many people are asking this question: can he change for the good of the country?
It takes a remarkable leader to understand when to put aside riches, power and grudges and walk in step with the times. Mr Putin is not that man. Cosmetic legislation passed by the Duma, promises of vast social benefits and a refocus on natural resource exports mean one thing: Putin 2012 will be more of the same man we already know. The country has changed but the man who is due to retake the highest office cannot.
When my father and I are finally able to speak in person, it may be in a strikingly different Russia. For us that day cannot come soon enough.

The writer is the eldest son of Mikhail Khodorkovsky, an Amnesty International prisoner of conscience and former Yukos chief

 

 

Vladimir Putin

March 3-9
Screenshot from a parody video showing Putin under arrest

Russia

Putin: the stuff of satire

The Russian election campaign has been characterized by parodies and jokes - especially in social networks on the Internet - and more often than not, Vladimir Putin is the target.
The people of Russia have rekindled their interest in politics in the last few months. The peaceful protests against fraud in legislative elections last December have become a catalyst for new forms of political activity: humor and satire.
In the Russian city of Barnaul, for example, people creatively circumvented a ban on demonstrations: they simply placed toys and dolls on the street holding banners. The militia had to clear dolls out of the way instead of people. "What's positive about this development is that humor is taking the place of bitterness," the well-known Russian satirist Viktor Shenderovich said in an interview with DW.
Cartoons and videos against Putin
Humorous videos with political content are usually distributed on the Internet. "Court case against Mr. Putin" is the name of one of these, which shows Putin instead of jailed former oil executive Mikhail Khodorkovsky in the defendant's cage in court. Another video shows a series of the promises Putin made but did not keep as President and Prime Minister during the last twelve years. Videos like these have received millions of clicks.
Nanoprotest in Russia
Toys demonstrated in favor of fair elections
Cartoons are also popular. Vladimir Putin the presidential candidate is drawn as Napoleon, and then as one of the many Russian national heroes the Kremlin likes to use for propaganda purposes. The list of cartoons like these is endless.
This wave of creativity has also pulled in artistic circles. So, for example, actors from the independent Moscow theater "teatr.doc" have put on a bitter, angry play called "BerlusPutin," a special Russian adaptation of a work by the Nobel Prize-winning Italian playwright Dario Fo. Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi visits Putin and whines about being forced out of office. Suddenly, a terrorist attack takes place. Putin is seriously wounded in the head. To save his life, a surgeon implants the right side of Berlusconi's brain into him. The result is "BerlusPutin." He cannot remember anything and life in Russia today no longer makes any sense to him.

Trading blows with humor
Even the state media are getting creative. The Russian news agency RIA Novosti published comics with biographies of presidential candidates ahead of the elections.
The Russian prime minister's supporters aren't standing idly by in the face of the Putin satires. They, too, are making use of the Internet. Numerous video clips are used to spread the message that without Putin, life would collapse in Russia.
Putin's supporters and opponents also trade blows energetically at demonstrations. These are also often very humorous, Shenderovich said. "We know that you want to do it a third time, but we have a headache," read one opponent's poster. Putin's supporters didn't take long to come up with a riposte. It read: "Three times is normal for a real man."
Putin triggers a wave of satire
Activists with white ribbons
Activists distribute white ribbons at demonstrations
Observers in Russia think that Putin brought the satire upon himself. In a broadcast on Russian television, he compared participants in the first protest rally in early December last year to the bandar-logs, the pariah monkeys from Rudyard Kipling's Jungle Book. "Come to me bandar-logs!" Putin exclaimed, referring to the snake Kaa, who was able to hypnotize the monkeys. He disparagingly compared the symbol of the demonstrators, a white ribbon, to a condom. Shenderovich believes that Putin's response was not meant satirically. The prime minister simply lost his composure during the question and answer program, he said.
This year's presidential campaign has thus been notable for jokes about the man who served two terms as president from 2000-2008 and wants to move back into the Kremlin as head of state after the election on March 4. Serious political issues have played almost no role.
Shenderovich assumes that there will be no letdown in the creativity of the protest movement even after the election: "You can't put the toothpaste back in the tube," the satirist said. But wit and creativity are not a substitute for political consolidation. And that, he says, is the problem in Russia.
Authors: Mikhail Bushuev, Markian Ostaptschuk / sb
Editor: Joanna Impey

Russia's presidency

The beginning of the end of Putin

Vladimir Putin will once again become Russia’s president. Even so, his time is running out

THE point of elections is that their outcome should be uncertain. But everybody in Russia knows that Vladimir Putin, who is now prime minister, will be elected president on March 4th. This is not because he is overwhelmingly popular, but because his support will be supplemented by a potent mixture of vote-rigging and the debarring of all plausible alternative candidates.
The uncertainty will come after the election, not before. Developments in the past few months have shown that Mr Putin cannot rule his country indefinitely. The beginning of the end of his reign has begun (see article). Whether it is a good end or a bad one is up to him.

Putin’s choice
When Mr Putin came to power 12 years ago, many Russians were grateful for the stability and prosperity he brought with him. The political chaos and drop in incomes after the collapse of the Soviet Union had soured their belief in democratic politics and encouraged them to focus on making money. Mr Putin rode high in the polls. To the rest of the world, Russia looked like a cynical society where people were interested only in personal wealth and national muscle.
But Russia is changing. A richer and more vocal middle class has sprung up, one that recognises Russia as an ill-governed kleptocracy. That became evident last September, when Mr Putin first announced his plan to return to the Kremlin by swapping jobs with Dmitry Medvedev, who was formally president even though Mr Putin retained ultimate control. Discontent began to rumble. The rigged parliamentary poll in early December was followed by street protests in Moscow and elsewhere. A demonstration in Moscow on February 4th got 100,000 people out in a temperature of -22°C. The protests have continued since then, and the demonstrators intend to keep going after Mr Putin’s election, starting on the day after the vote.
Although dissatisfaction with the regime is most evident among the middle classes, older, poorer and less cosmopolitan Russians have been peeling away from Mr Putin too. Voters are fed up with corruption, disillusioned by his repeated failure to carry through promised reforms and increasingly sceptical of claims that his critics are all agents or accomplices of the West.
What happens next is largely Mr Putin’s choice. He can respond to the pressure for change by trying to repress it, or by going with it. His past in the KGB, his record as an autocrat and his increasingly strident anti-Western rhetoric all suggest that he will lean towards the first course. So does the corruption that infuriates so many of the protesters. For Russia’s rulers, corruption is not a happy side-effect of power, but the core of the system. A small group of people wholly above the law has, in the past decade, become rich beyond the wildest dreams of the tsars. Mr Putin’s return to power would protect these ill-gotten gains. Reform would put them at risk.
But keeping Russia quiescent may prove difficult. Mr Putin succeeded in doing so for more than a decade partly because of rapid economic growth on the back of large real rises in oil prices. Oil and gas still make up two-thirds of Russia’s exports. Yet growth has now slowed sharply. Shale-gas discoveries elsewhere in the world are dragging down the price of gas, and the oil price is unlikely to rise as fast in the future as it has in the past. Europe, Russia’s largest market, is weak. Russia is suffering both capital flight and a brain drain. The working-age population is shrinking.
A new fiscal incontinence is aggravating these problems. At 40% of GDP, public spending is already high for a middle-income country. Mr Putin has made extravagant pre-election promises, adding up to as much as $160 billion to the budget, which will push this ratio even higher. His promises include large pay and pension increases for the armed forces, teachers and doctors. In 2012 alone he has pushed through a 33% rise in defence, security and police spending. The federal budget, which in 2007 achieved balance with oil prices at less than $30 a barrel, will soon need a figure closer to $130.
Nor is repression as easy to pull off as it once was. Mr Putin could ratchet up the pressure on those media that have actively supported the protesters, a process that has already begun with Ekho Moskvy, a liberal radio station, and Novaya Gazeta, a newspaper. But even he has admitted that he would struggle to censor the internet, which has a penetration rate of 50% in Russia (and over 70% in Moscow). He would find it equally hard to cow the whole of the resurgent middle class.
There is another way
Should Mr Putin choose instead the path of reform, he could start by promising not to run yet again in 2018, and also by offering to hold a fresh parliamentary election. He could—as he promised in a recent series of newspaper articles that read like an election manifesto—establish the rule of law and reform the economy. He could reinstate wholly free elections for regional governors as a step towards greater decentralisation of power. He could release Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the jailed former boss of the Yukos oil company. And instead of Mr Medvedev, his pawn, he could choose as prime minister a relative liberaliser such as Alexei Kudrin, a former finance minister who has sought to engage the protesters.
Such reforms would lead, one way or another, to the diminution of Mr Putin’s power. But so, in a different way, would repression. If he cannot bring himself to reform the state or the economy, if he cannot harness middle-class desire for change, if he cannot see the demonstrations as anything more than a threat to be contained and crushed, then the prospect for President Putin’s next term is grim indeed: protest, disillusion, repression and economic stagnation. Russia would be diminished, and so would its leader.
A wise man with a sense of his own destiny would now be thinking carefully about his legacy and his successor. Mr Putin has not displayed much wisdom in his time in power, but he is no fool. He faces a momentous choice, and history will not look kindly on him if he makes the wrong one.

Rally Defying Putin’s Party Draws Tens of Thousands

Mass protests on the streets of Moscow forced the Kremlin to confront a level of public discontent that has not been seen in Russia since Vladimir V. Putin first became president.

On Russian TV, a Straightforward Account Is Startling

Government television covered the protests much as they had occurred — to the surprise of many.

Russia

The long life of Homo sovieticus

This week’s elections and upheavals in Russia show how hard it is, 20 years after the system collapsed, for the country to put away its Soviet past

TWENTY years to the month since the Soviet Union fell apart, crowds of angry young people have taken to the streets of Moscow, protesting against the ruling United Russia Party (“the party of crooks and thieves”) and chanting “Russia without Putin!” Hundreds have been detained, and the army has been brought into the centre of Moscow “to provide security”. Although the numbers are a far cry from the half-million who thronged the streets to bury the USSR, these were the biggest protests in recent years. The immediate trigger for this crisis was the rigging of the parliamentary elections on December 4th (see article). But the causes lie far deeper.
The ruling regime started to lose its legitimacy just as Vladimir Putin, Russia’s prime minister, declared a final victory for “stability”, promised to return to the Kremlin as president and pledged to rebuild a Eurasian Union with former Soviet republics. The Soviet flavour of all this had been underscored at United Russia’s party congress at the end of November, where Mr Putin was nominated for the presidency. “We need a strong, brave and able leader …And we have such a man: it is Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin,” enthused a film director. A steelworker told the congress how Mr Putin had “lifted our factory from its knees” and supported it “with his wise advice”. A single mother with 19 children thanked Mr Putin for a “bright future”.
Such parallels with the now idealised late Soviet era were supposed to be one of Mr Putin’s selling points. No tiresome political debate, fairly broad personal freedoms, shops full of food: wasn’t that what people wanted? Instead, unthinkably, Mr Putin has been booed: first by an audience at a martial-arts event on November 20th, then at many polling stations, and now on the streets. The Soviet rhetoric conjured an anti-Soviet response.
According to Lev Gudkov of the Levada Centre, an independent polling-research organisation, this reaction against the monopolistic, corrupt and authoritarian regime is itself part of a Soviet legacy. It is driven by the lack of alternatives rather than a common vision for change. For Russia is still a hybrid state. It is smaller, more consumerist and less collective than the Soviet Union. But while the ideology has gone, the mechanism for sustaining political power remains. Key institutions, including courts, police and security services, television and education, are used by bureaucrats to maintain their own power and wealth. The presidential administration, an unelected body, still occupies the building (and place) of the Central Committee of the Communist Party.
More important, the Soviet mental software has proved much more durable than the ideology itself. When, in 1989, a group of sociologists led by Yuri Levada began to study what they called Soviet Man, an artificial construct of doublethink, paternalism, suspicion and isolationism, they thought he was vanishing. Over the next 20 years they realised that Homo sovieticus had mutated and reproduced, acquiring, along the way, new characteristics such as cynicism and aggression. This is not some genetic legacy, but the result of institutional restrictions and the skewed economic and moral stimuli propagated by the Kremlin.
This mental software was not a generational feature, as the Levada group at first suspected. The elections were rigged in Moscow not only by middle-aged people with Soviet memories, but by thousands of pro-Kremlin younger folk gathered from across the country and dispatched to cast multiple ballots around the city. Symbolically, they made their camp in an empty pavilion of the Stalinist Exhibition of People’s Achievements. Most of them had no memories of the Soviet Union; they were born after it had ceased to exist.
Yet the election results also revealed the reluctance of a large part of Russian society to carry on with the present system. Thousands of indignant men and women, young and old, tried to stop the fraud and protect their rights. One election monitor, who was thrown out of the polling station, wrote in his blog that “I thought I would die of shame…I did not manage to save your votes…forgive me.” Such voices may still be a minority, but the clash between these two groups was essentially a clash of civilisations—and a sign that the process of dismantling the Soviet system, which started 20 years ago, is far from over.
A moral vacuum
When the Communist regime collapsed in 1991 there was an expectation, both in the West and in Russia, that the country would embrace Western values and join the civilised world. It took no account of a ruined economy, depleted and exhausted human capital and the mental and moral dent made by 70 years of Soviet rule. Nobody knew what kind of country would succeed the Soviet Union, or what being Russian really meant. The removal of ideological and geographical constraints did not add moral clarity.
In particular, the intelligentsia—the engine of Soviet collapse—was caught unprepared. When their “hopeless cause” became reality, it quickly transpired that the country lacked a responsible elite able and willing to create new institutions. The Soviet past and its institutions were never properly examined; instead, everything Soviet became a subject of ridicule. The very word “Soviet” was shortened to sovok, which in Russian means “dustpan”. In fact, says Mr Gudkov of Levada, this self-mockery was not a reasoned rejection of the Soviet system; it was playful and flippant. Sidelined by years of state paternalism and excluded from politics, most people did not want to take responsibility for the country’s affairs.
The flippancy ended when the government abolished price regulation, revealing the worthlessness of Soviet savings, and Boris Yeltsin, faced with an armed rebellion, fired on the Soviet parliament in 1993. Soon the hope of a miracle was replaced by disillusion and nostalgia. As Mr Levada’s polling showed, it did not mean that most people wished to return to the Soviet past. But they longed for order and stability, which they associated with the army and security services rather than with politicians.
Enter the hero
Mr Putin—young, sober, blue-eyed and calm—was a perfect match for people’s expectations. Although picked by Yeltsin, he made a striking contrast with the ailing leader. Though he owed his career to the 1990s, he stressed that his own times were very different. Two factors made him popular: a growing economy, which allowed him to pay off salary and pension arrears, and the prosecution of a war in Chechnya. Both symbolised the return of the state.
In the absence of any new vision or identity, the contrast with the 1990s could only be achieved by appealing to a period that preceded it—the late Soviet Union. Yet although Mr Putin exploited the nostalgia for an idealised Soviet past and restored the Soviet anthem, he had no intention of rebuilding the Soviet Union either economically or geographically. As he said repeatedly, “One who does not regret the passing of the Soviet Union has no heart; one who wants to bring it back has no brain.”
As a KGB man, Mr Putin knew perfectly well that the state-controlled Soviet economy did not work and that the ideology was hollow. But also as a KGB man, he believed that democracy and civil society were simply an ideological cover-up adopted by the West. What mattered in the world—East or West—were money and power, and these were the things he set out to consolidate.
The country was tired of ideology, and he did not force it. All he promised (and largely delivered) was to raise incomes; to restore Soviet-era stability and a sense of worth; to provide more consumer goods; and to let people travel. Since these things satisfied most of the demands for “Freedom” that had been heard from the late 1980s onwards, the people happily agreed to his request that they should stay out of politics. Though Mr Putin was an authoritarian, he seemed “democratic” to them.
The ease with which Mr Putin eliminated all alternative sources of power was a testimony not to his strength but to Russia’s institutional weakness. Yeltsin, who hated communism, had refused to censor the media or interfere in the court system. Mr Putin had no such qualms. First he brought television under his control, then oil and gas. Igor Malashenko, who helped to establish NTV, the first private television channel in Russia, says he thought that “there would be enough young journalists who would not want to go back to the stables. I was wrong.”
Russia was much freer in the 1990s than it became under Mr Putin. But the change was gradual rather than sudden, and was based on a relationship between money and power inherited from a previous era. The privatisations of the 1990s put property in the hands of the Soviet officialdom and a small group of Russian oligarchs. As Kirill Rogov, a historian and analyst, has observed, the real problem was not that the accumulation of capital was unfair—it usually is—but that clear rules of competition and a mechanism for transferring property from less to more efficient owners were never established.
Under Yeltsin, the oligarchs were shielded from competition by their political clout. Mr Putin simply flipped the formula, turning owners into vassals who were allowed to keep their property at his discretion. From now on it was the power of the bureaucrat, not the wealth of the owner, that guaranteed the ownership of an asset. The nexus between political power and property was never broken—as it must be in a functioning democracy.
Monetising privilege
Under communism, the lack of private property was compensated for by power and status. A party boss did not own a factory personally—he could not even buy a flat—but his position in the party gave him access to the collective property of the state, including elite housing and special food parcels. The word “special” was a favourite one in the Soviet system, as in “special meeting”, “special departments” and “special regime”.
The Soviet system collapsed when top officials decided to “monetise” their privileges and turn them into property. The word “special” was also commercialised, to become eksklusivny (exclusive) and elitny (elite). It was used to market almost anything, from a house to a haircut. Under Mr Putin, “special” regained its Soviet meaning without losing its commercial value. A black Mercedes with a blue flashing light, ploughing its way through pedestrians, became the ultimate manifestation of power and money. It was also one of the symbols of injustice which helped to trigger the latest protests.
Stories of bureaucrats, and especially the security services, putting pressure on businesses are now common. The most famous example is that of Mikhail Khodorkovsky and the dismembering of the Yukos oil company. But there are thousands of others. The statistics are staggering: one in six businessmen in Russia has been prosecuted for an alleged economic crime over the past decade. Most of the cases have no plaintiff and the number of acquittals is close to zero, according to studies by Russia’s Centre of Legal and Economic Research. This means that the vast number of Russian businessmen in jail are victims of corrupt prosecutors, police and courts, which can expropriate a business with impunity.
As Yegor Gaidar, a prominent liberal economist, warned in 1994, “The carcass of a bureaucratic system can become the carcass of a mafia system, depending on its goals.” By the time his book appeared in 2009 his warning had become reality. In the past few years this “monstrous hybrid” has started to extend its tentacles into every sphere of public life where money can be made. Examples of violence against businessmen abound. This adds up to a Soviet-style policy of negative selection, where the best and most active are suppressed or eliminated while parasitic bureaucrats and law enforcers are rewarded. What Stalin wrought by repression and extermination, today’s Russia achieves by corruption and state violence.
The bureaucracy’s main resource is participation in the rent-distribution chain. While this allows it to channel money towards sensitive regions and factories, it also increases the country’s addiction to oil and gas and fans paternalism. Mr Putin has worked hard to build up the image of the state as the sole benefactor, taking credit for rising incomes generated by high oil prices. As he stressed at the United Russia congress, only the state and its ruling party are capable of sorting out people’s problems. “No one else is responsible for affairs in a village, town, city or region or the whole country. There is no such force.”
This idea was spread by local governors, who told their citizens before the elections that regional funding depended on voting for United Russia. “If we are responsible, we have no choice,” the governor of impoverished Udmurtia told his people. “We must go and vote for the [United Russia] party candidates 99.99%. This is how it was in Soviet times, and if we had not broken this order, we would still be living in the Soviet Union…much better than now.” In practice, critics say, the state has failed to perform many of its functions, such as providing adequate health care, education, security and justice. But in Russia words and symbols often count for more than experience.
A fortress mentality
Among Mr Putin’s rediscovered Soviet symbols, none is more important than that of Russia as a great power surrounded by enemies. Having promoted a version of history in which Stalin represents Russia’s greatness (his repressions just an unfortunate side-effect of a cold war forced upon him by America), Mr Putin has employed one of Stalinism’s favourite formulas: Russia as an isolated and besieged fortress.
Although Russia has no iron curtain and the internet is free, “it is as though an invisible wall still counterpoises everything that is ‘ours’ to everything ‘foreign’,” Mr Levada has written. Indeed his polling showed that, by 2004, the number of Russians who considered themselves no different from people in other countries had fallen, while the opinion that Russia is surrounded by enemies had grown stronger.
The recent parliamentary elections were accompanied by a heavy-handed propaganda campaign that portrayed America’s anti-missile system as an existential threat to Russia. Dmitry Medvedev, Russia’s president, made belligerent statements and state television showed lengthy footage of Russian missiles, radars and other threatening stuff, accompanied by a tense soundtrack. It was as though Russia was about to be attacked. The target of this campaign was not the West, where the Russian elite spends much of its time and money, but the domestic audience.
Anyone who criticises the government from within Russia gives aid to the enemy without. In his speech to the party congress Mr Putin particularly attacked NGOs which receive money from the West “to influence the course of the election campaign in our country”. The “so-called grant receivers” were like Judas, he said, ending his speech with a quote from Stalinist times: “Truth is on our side. Victory will be ours!” He conspicuously left out the third bit: “The enemy will be destroyed!” But no sooner had he spoken than Russia’s slavish television (which has shown none of the current protests) aired a propagandist film about Golos, a leading independent election monitor, trying to frame its staff as Western agents.
Such tactics, in which enemies are everywhere and no one is allowed a noble motive, breed a general cynicism. In this, post-Soviet Russia feels very different from the Soviet Union. Leaders then had values, not just interests. The Communist Party might have been sclerotic and repressive, but it was not called “a party of thieves and crooks”. Soviet leaders did not encourage cynicism: they took themselves and their words seriously. It would have been impossible, for example, for a chief Soviet ideologist to write an anonymous novel exposing the vices of the system he himself had created, as Vladislav Surkov, the chief Kremlin strategist, has just done.
Many Kremlin politicians in fact perceive themselves as progressive Westernisers struggling with a backward, inert population which has neither the taste nor the skill for democracy. They assume people will swallow anything as long as their incomes keep rising. But when Mr Putin said that his job swap with Mr Medvedev had been planned long ago, people felt duped. These blatant machinations, where everything was imitation and nothing was real, leached away support for United Russia even before the elections. When the Kremlin decided to rig the ballot openly, fury boiled over.
After a decade of “stability”, Russia now looks as vulnerable to shock as the Soviet Union was at the end of its days. The big difference, however, is that the Soviet Union had a clear structure and, in Mikhail Gorbachev, a leader who was not prepared to defend himself with force. Today’s circumstances are very different.
Mr Putin is unlikely to follow the advice of Mr Gorbachev and cancel the results of the rigged election. He may instead resort to more active repression, thereby making the country look a lot more Soviet. This would only make the crisis worse. How Mr Putin’s highly personalised power might be challenged, and what the consequences would be, remain unanswerable questions. But it is obvious that unless Russians create a system that promotes honesty, openness, tolerance and initiative, no change of leader will free their country from the Soviet grip.


2007/12
日本對於Putin的翻譯
台灣:蒲亭或普丁
思考一陣子
正式為"普京"

「今年の人」にプーチン氏 「皇帝誕生」と米タイム誌

2007年12月20日08時50分
米誌タイムは19日、恒例の「今年の人」(パーソン・オブ・ザ・イヤー)に、任期切れ後も院政を敷く体制を整えたロシアのプーチン大統領を選出したと発 表した。同誌は「安定というものをほとんど知らなかった国民に安定を押し付けるたぐいまれな指導力を発揮し、ロシアを大国の仲間に復帰させた」とその豪腕 ぶりを指摘した。
プーチン氏は2000年の大統領就任以来、経済的苦境に陥っていたロシアを強力なリーダーシップで復活に導いた。タイム誌は「プーチン氏は欧米の定義する民主主義者ではない」と述べ、「皇帝誕生」との見出しで同氏を紹介した。(時事)




米タイム誌「今年の人」、大国復活のプーチン大統領

【ニューヨーク=佐々木良寿】米誌タイムは19日、世界で最も影響力を発揮した人物を選ぶ年末恒例の「パーソン・オブ・ザ・イヤー(今年の人)」に、ロシアのプーチン大統領を選んだと発表した。
Click here to find out more!
プーチン大統領は、2000年5月の就任以来、強権的政治手法で破たん寸前だったロシアの立て直しにまい進し、国際政治でも、影響力を強めてきた。
来年5月の大統領退任後も、首相として引き続き「強いロシア」を主導していくと見られている。
同誌のリチャード・ステンゲル編集局長は、選定理由のなかで、「大統領が改革者なのか抑圧時代に逆戻りさせる独裁者なのかは、10年以上たたない とわからない」とした上で、「自由主義国が享受する原理、原則や思想を犠牲にして、安定実現にたぐいまれな指導力を発揮し、冷戦後の世界政治で埋没してい たロシアを再び大国として復活させた」と述べた。
(2007年12月20日10時56分 読売新聞)


今天2007/12/20 清晨貼 CNN報導這則消息





Putin is Time magazine's Person of the Year


By Toby Harnden in Washington
Last Updated: 1:39am GMT 20/12/2007

President Vladimir Putin was named as Time magazine's "Person of the Year" yesterday for achieving apparent stability in Russia even at the cost of freedom and democracy for its people.












  • Angry Russia cancels Royal Academy show

  • He pipped four others to the title. Al Gore, the former US vice president who shared the Nobel Peace prize this year, was runner-up followed by



     Putin is  Time magazine's Person of the Year


    Putin: Time magazine's 'Person of the Year'
    JK Rowling, the Harry Potter author, President Hu Jintao of China and Gen David Petraeus, the commander of US forces in Iraq.

    The award, often made to stoke controversy and supposed to be a recognition of influence rather than an honour, was given to the Russian president because he had reshaped a country that had "fallen off our mental map", according to Richard Stengel, Time's managing editor.
    In the Kremlin, however, Mr Putin's aides were quick to hail the award as a seal of world approval for his sometimes brutal policies.
    "It's very good news for us, very good news. We treat it as an acknowledgement of the role that was played by President Putin in helping to pull Russia out of the social troubles and economic troubles of the 1990s," said Dmitry Peskov, his spokesman.
    Garry Kasparov, the former chess champion and a fierce political opponent of Mr Putin, criticised the choice as following "the Kremlin's official propaganda" and ignoring the realities of the oppression ordinary Russians faced.

    He mocked the decision, saying: "Russia has righted itself and has come a long way. There are certainly problems here and there with human rights, a few problems related to freedom of expression, a small amount of corruption, but the country is moving in the right direction, and the main architect of that is President Putin himself."
    The Bush administration also reacted frostily. "I'm not in the business of helping Time sell its magazines," said Tom Casey, a State Department spokesman. Dana Perino, a White House spokesman, acknowledged that Mr Putin was "a very intriguing figure".
    Explaining the award, Mr Stengel wrote: "At significant cost to the principles and ideas that free nations prize, he has performed an extraordinary feat of leadership in imposing stability on a nation that has rarely known it and brought Russia back to the table of world power."
    In an interview with Time, Mr Putin said Russia wanted to be a close ally of the United States but that Washington wanted to subjugate Moscow.
    Previous winners include Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin. After Ayatollah Khomeini won the award in 1979, thousands of readers cancelled their subscriptions.




    新華網紐約12月19日電(記者但凡)俄羅斯總統普京19日被美國《時代》周刊評選為該刊2007年“年度人物”。
    《時代》周刊執行主編施滕格爾在談到普京當選的原因時說:“普京將處于混亂中的俄羅斯重新帶回世界強國之列,取得了非凡的領導成就。”
    普京2000年當選俄羅斯總統,2004年連任。
    排在“年度人物”榜第二和第三位的分別是今年諾貝爾和平獎獲得者美國前副總統戈爾和英國作家、《哈裏·波特》的作者羅琳。



    第一次知道 :俄羅斯新聞網 - 9小時前

    普京,《時代周刊》 © 俄新社

    // 國際新聞 / 國際社會

    俄總統普京當選美國《時代》周刊2007年度人物
    00:21
    | 200


    俄新網RUSNEWS.CN莫斯科12月19日電 美國《時代》周刊宣布,由于俄羅斯總統普京為鞏固世界穩定以及提高俄羅斯在國際舞台影響力做出貢獻,普京當選該周刊2007年度人物。 排名在普京總統之後的世界知名人士包括前美國副總統高爾、《哈利·波特》作者英國女作家J·K·羅琳。((有意思的是CNN報胡錦濤) ) 《時代》周刊從1927年以來每年評選年度人物, 《時代》周刊從1927年以來每年都在12月份最後一期周刊登出其評選出的年度人物。選擇標准是"對新聞媒體和我們的生活最具影響的個人或群體,不管這種影響是好是壞"。



     

     

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vladimir_Putin
    中文

    Putin: Russia's choice - Google 圖書結果

    Richard Sakwa - 2004 - Biography & Autobiography - 307 頁
    ... Putin was heir to the Andropov tradition of attempting to modernise an ... Soon after, in an interview with the BBC on 5 March 2000 Putin even went so ...

     

    Awards | 10.07.2011

    Controversy over German prize honoring Putin for 'enlightenment'

    Often criticized for his authoritarian leadership style, Vladimir Putin is not exactly viewed abroad as a 'model committed to enlightenment.' But that's just what a German political organization is honoring him for.

    An obscure German political prize has stirred weekend controversy for choosing Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin as its 2011 recipient.
    The Berlin-based group Werkstatt Deutschland ("Workshop Germany") announced Saturday that Putin was to receive its "Quadriga" prize, which would be bestowed on him October 3, the Day of German Unity.
    The award, which has no monetary component, has been offered every year since 2003 to honor "models committed to enlightenment, engagement and the common interest."
    The Munich-based daily Süddeutsche Zeitung quoted the group as saying that "domestically, [Putin] created and creates stability through the interaction between prosperity, economics and identity." They praised Putin for "predictability paired with endurance" and "reliability paired with communication skills."
    Disagreement on recipient
    Mikhail GorbachevGorbachev, a previous Quadriga recipient, has called Putin 'autocratic'But there were reports of dissent among the members of the group's leadership board. Cem Özdemir, co-chair of the opposition Green Party and a board member, told the Süddeutsche Zeitung he had "spoken out against Putin."
    The award raised questions in the German press as to why Putin, criticized by human rights activists for his authoritarian leadership, should deserve such an honor. Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, himself a previous recipient of the Quadriga prize, has criticized Putin as "autocratic."
    Russian political scientist Vladislav Belov said he was "astonished" that Putin is to be honored in Germany at this time, and that the Russian leader had no need for such an award.
    "Putin has performed very successfully in domestic politics," he told dpa news agency. Since moving from the presidency to become prime minister, however, Putin has kept a very low profile in foreign affairs.
    Author: Andrew Bowen (dpa, dapd)
    Editor: Martin Kuebler
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