Russia

Грузия

Грузия ("grooziya", roughly) is Russian for Georgia.

That's pretty much my total contribution to the current crisis.

For some informed commentary, more pro-Russia (well, less anti-Russia) than you are likely to see elsewhere, check out Saakashvilli's War from Sean's Russia Blog. I don't necessarily agree with all of his points, but it's definitely a different picture than is being painted in most of the media coverage I've seen.

(I would note that according to some of the accounts I've read, no ethnic Georgians were allowed to vote in the first independence referendum, which would suggest that it wasn't exactly definitive.)

Given the tensions involved and how close and mixed up everyone is, it wouldn't surprise me to find out some day that some jackass with a sniper rifle started it all when he picked off a few Georgian soldiers.

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The long paw of the tsar

How sad is it that my first thought upon hearing about this was that La Russophobe would soon be decrying it as a neo-Soviet hit job purrpetrated by Tsar Vladimir's evil, er, cat's paw?

Investigators were trying to determine how a Siberian [sig: Aha!] tiger escaped its enclosure at the San Francisco Zoo, killing one man and mauling two others.

Zoo officials are still uncertain of how the tiger, which last year badly mauled a zookeeper, got loose before it was shot dead Tuesday.

My deepest sympathies to the family, конечно, and yes, I know that I'm a bad person for immediately finding humor in this situation.

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It's spelled Tsar, not Czar.

Today's challenge is two-fold. First, read this article announcing the next Prime Minister of Russia (long long before any elections). Next, try to imagine (if you can) an equally fawning press--which in this article does everything but offer sexual favors to V. V. Putin--for our own president. Bonus points if you can somehow envision this without making your brain cry.

No, there's nothing truly groundbreaking here. Like a Nightmare on Elm Street movie, we know how this is going to end before it even starts: very red.

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These dogs are smarter than I am.

From Darkness at Noon comes a fascinating observation about dogs who ride the metro in Moskva:[quote]As nobody followed the dog or seemed distressed by its abrupt exit, it was then that I realized he belonged to nobody. The city, however, belonged to him, as any dog savvy enough to get around town like that has some smarts. Of course, I was left to contemplate how metro dog knew it was his stop, or why he decided at that very moment that it was time to get off the train. Perhaps he had some reading to do at the Lenin Library, or perhaps, having behaved himself on the train, he simply wanted to relieve himself on the giant statue of Dostoevsky that sits outside the library. I can't blame him, as I'm not particularly fond of the statue, though I've as of yet resisted any urges to express my dissatisfaction in public...[/quote]Read the whole story--it's entertaining.

I've been getting into the Russian weblog scene, both in English and po-russki. It's interesting and usually pretty polarized on any but the most banal topics. D@N is one of the more thoughtful ones.

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Russian stability

[quote]Yes, stability has come to Russia. It is a monstrous stability under which nobody seeks justice in law courts which flaunt their subservience and partisanship. Nobody in his or her right mind seeks protection from the institutions entrusted with maintaining law and order, because they are totally corrupt.

Lynch law is the order of the day, both in people's minds and in their actions. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.[/quote]

...

[Edit: Check out also this link to a review of the twenty journalists killed in Russia since Comrade Putin became the president. While some may joke about "a good start" in this country, it's not a laughing matter over there.]

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