Pages: 1 ... 40 41 [42]   Go Down
Most Active Member
Posts: 25802

« Reply #615 on: Apr 18, 2015, 06:36 AM »

Russian Opposition Parties Link up ahead of 2016 Polls

by Naharnet Newsdesk 18 April 2015, 11:36

The marginalized Russian opposition parties of slain Kremlin critic Boris Nemtsov and arch Putin foe Alexei Navalny have announced they will form an alliance for legislative polls in 2016.

Nemtsov's RPR-Parnas and Navalny's Party of Progress said Friday they are joining forces to put forward joint candidates at local elections this year and parliamentary polls next year.

In a statement the two parties accused the authorities under President Vladimir Putin of establishing an authoritarian system that had wiped out opposition, wrecked the economy and plunged the country into a conflict in Ukraine.

The fatal shooting of Nemtsov just yards from the Kremlin on February 27 had shown definitively that rule of law had broken down, the statement said.

The two parties said they were therefore coming together "on a joint platform that does not accept lies, corruption, aggression", said a joint statement from Navalny and ex-prime minister Mikhail Kasyanov, a co-leader of Nemtso'vs party.

They said that they expected other opposition parties to join their platform.

Russia's beleaguered opposition has been sidelined during Putin's 15 years at the helm and does not have any representation in the Duma parliament.

The brazen murder of former deputy prime minister Nemtsov was the highest profile killing of an opposition figure during Putin's time in power.

Nemtsov's opposition allies accused the Kremlin of having had a hand in the killing but the authorities deny any involvement and have arrested five men on suspicion of carrying out a contract hit.

Navalny is a 38-year-old anti-corruption blogger who became the charismatic leader of the opposition movement against Putin during huge protests in 2011-12.

He was then hit with a string of corruption charges that he claimed were politically-motivated and held for months under house arrest.

Source: Agence France Presse

* w460.jpg (26.44 KB, 460x287 - viewed 3 times.)

* malignant tumor shit paper.JPG (27.01 KB, 303x371 - viewed 6 times.)
Most Active Member
Posts: 25802

« Reply #616 on: Apr 21, 2015, 05:34 AM »

Pop, glamour and gangsters: Boris Yeltsin's new rave Russia

As the Soviet Union dissipated its counter culture movement was replaced by a decade of free-market hedonism. The Calvert Journal talk us through the 1990s

Artemy Troitsky for The Calvert Journal, part of the New East network
Tuesday 21 April 2015 05.00 BST

The 1980s were divided into two five-year periods in Russia, one black, one white. First there were the throes of Soviet power played out to the accompaniment of an extraordinary carnival of underground art: from the Necrorealist film genre, to Ilya Kabakov’s art works and Pyotr Mamonov’s hypnotic rock.

This was followed by the era of perestroika and glasnost – economic policies of “openness” and “restructuring” – where everything was for sale. The 1980s ended up like a lunar landscape: its heroes, like musician Viktor Tsoy, rock singer Mike Naumenko, and avant-garde musician Sergey Kuryokhin, were dead, or – if saleable on the international market – living abroad.

There had been a paradigm shift. Where once cultural life in the USSR was led in conditions of all-encompassing censorship, isolation from the ideologically unclean “outside world”, and the complete absence of a market economy, now things were changing.

For all its obvious costs, this oppressive system also provided a range of secret weapons: it generated a devil-may-care dissident spirit, a distinctive identity. You could become the idol of millions without going on TV once; you could create a smash hit while stoking a boiler or cleaning the streets; you could experiment without sparing a thought for sales.

Perestroika brought an end to censorship and lifted the Iron Curtain, and in the 1990s, led to the introduction of the long-awaited market.

Money, which up to then had meant little, suddenly meant everything. And the high priests of this cult of cash were the engineers of the 1990s: the gangsters and the “New Russians”. Russia suddenly switched from a position of “everything is forbidden” to “nothing is off limits”: one sixth of the world’s surface found itself in a state of anarchy. The government reacted only to the day-to-day political agenda, and the rest were left to their own devices, the mantra being “grab as much as you can”.
Piling on the pleasure

In theory, this all sounds fantastic: freedom, a fresh start, “unlimited impossibilities”. In practice, however, it all came out a bit twisted. The first thing that the 1980s generation of anti-Soviet youth did, once they’d been given carte blanche in this new landscape, was to pile on the pleasure.

A good example of this was rave and club culture. I was involved with some of the first dance events in Moscow, in the winter of 1991 and the spring of 1992. Nights like Gagarin Party and Technoir, put on in St Petersburg, headed by Ivan Salmaksov.

    Everything was mixed together in a friendly stew of glamour, cocaine and criminality

They were a big success and so, the very next moment, the rave movement was co-opted by Komsomol, the former youth wing of the Communist Party that had an afterlife as a gangster organisation after the USSR disbanded. Salmaksov went missing, presumed dead, and these fashionable neo-futurist parties were reborn as drug-fuelled gangster orgies.

Or take showbusiness: the first attempts at making quality pop music by the likes of Natalia Vetlitskaya and Anzhelika Varum – packaged in stylish videos – fell prey to cunning “producers”, and as a result a fairly horrific genre of music known as popsa appeared everywhere. The only alternatives were boring “shitrock” (govnorok) and “Russian chanson”… It’s the same story with cinema, design and media. Everything was mixed together in a friendly stew of glamour, cocaine and criminality.

Apolitical mass media

The decadent free-for-all of Russia at the end of the 20th century left behind very little that was artistically and intellectually convincing. One exception might be literature, like the works of Viktor Pelevin and Vladimir Sorokin, or, in part, visual art – like painters Vinogradov-Dubossarsky, artist Oleg Kulik, and photographer Boris Mikhailov.

The culture crowd of the 1990s didn’t form any clearly articulated movements or styles; here, as with the gangsters, it was everyone themselves, you against the world, but there were some general themes.

First, it tended to be flagrantly apolitical. Surprising, but true: the extraordinarily dramatic social cataclysms of that period – the reforms and the mass impoverishment of the population at the beginning of the decade; a popular uprising in Moscow, with the storming of the Ostankino TV station and the bombardment of the parliament building; the war in Chechnya; the economic crisis and default of 1998 – all had little impact on the cultural production of the time.

Second, there was an absolute focus on the media. Unlike the underground of the 1980s, which didn’t have access to the professional press and so created its own homemade, but effective, way of being (the samizdat dissident movement, apartment gigs, word-of-mouth and other DIY endeavours), in the 90s everything was honed for mass media.

If you weren’t in the trendy magazines (Ptyuch, OM) or on the fashionable TV shows (Dryoma, Cafe Oblomov), then you didn’t exist. Lots of musicians of that period – from the crazy art-punk group Chimera to the psycho-bard Venya Drkin – never really took off largely because they didn’t fit the infamous “radio format”... Whereas a tonne of glam hacks got all the glory.
Russian Britpop

The third tendency of culture of this time was parochialism. Here the main ingredient was borrowings from trends in western mass culture: like “Russian Britpop”, the “Russian Tarantino”, or the Russian “Generation X”.

Russia, its doors flung open to the world, could not offer it any new Maleviches, Stravinskys or Eisensteins.

All of us, of course, can also recall moments that were culturally worthwhile from that time. My own favourites include the films of Maxim Pezhemsky and Yufit, the performance art of Vladik Monroe and Pirate TV, the art-rock songs of N.O.M. and the rapping of Delfin.

But most of the artefacts of that era will be wiped from our memory, like a line of cocaine in the club toilets at Manhattan Express – which has itself already been swept away, along with the Hotel Rossiya where it was once homed.

All that will remain are vague memories of shootouts in nightclubs and Mumiy Troll’s 1997 song Run away!

And, of course, Boris Yeltsin, the era’s appropriately drunken conductor.

A version of this article originally appeared in The Calvert Journal, a guide to the New East

* fb5bd7f8-80b5-49a7-a540-8e5a9cecd8d3-1020x612.jpeg (244.05 KB, 1020x612 - viewed 4 times.)
Most Active Member
Posts: 25802

« Reply #617 on: Apr 22, 2015, 05:55 AM »

EU fires warning shot at Gazprom with market abuse charge

Regulators risk wrath of Kremlin after accusing Russian gas firm of abusing its dominant market position and stifling cross-border competition

Agence France-Presse in Brussels
Wednesday 22 April 2015 12.23 BST

EU regulators have formally charged the Russian gas company Gazprom with abusing its dominant market position in Europe, a move that risks inflaming tensions with the Kremlin.

“All companies that operate in the European market – no matter if they are European or not – have to play by our EU rules,” said Margrethe Vestager, the competition commissioner who opened a similar high-profile case last week against Google.

The European commission, the EU’s powerful executive arm, said investigators had found Gazprom significantly hindered competition in central and eastern European gas markets.

Specifically, the EU accuses Gazprom of infringing European single-market rules by forbidding the resale of its gas between EU countries, allowing the Russian firm to charge unfair prices.

Vestager said these “artificial barriers were preventing gas from flowing from certain central-eastern European countries to others, hindering cross-border competition”.

If the claims are substantiated, Gazprom risks fines of up to 10% of the company’s overall sales, which amounted to the ruble equivalent of €93bn in 2013, according to the latest data available.

The countries involved in the EU inquiry are Lithuania, Estonia, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Latvia, Slovakia and Poland – all former Soviet-era satellites that have cast their future with the EU, not Moscow.

Gazprom’s leading position and close ties to the Russian government has made the handling of the case especially sensitive for EU regulators.

The European commission formally opened its investigation in September 2012 and has significantly delayed moving forward due to the crisis with Moscow over Ukraine.

Russia supplies about a third of the EU’s gas requirements. EU states bought 125bn cubic metres from Gazprom last year, with half that amount going through pipelines across Ukraine.

Gazprom has 12 weeks to officially respond to the charges. On Wednesday it provided no immediate reaction to the accusations in Brussels. However, a source close to the company told Kommersant, the Russian business daily, that Gazprom would fight the charges in court, feeling it had a “strong case”.

* 1000.jpg (63.41 KB, 620x372 - viewed 4 times.)

* gazprom-putin-naciera.jpg (41.05 KB, 585x585 - viewed 4 times.)
Pages: 1 ... 40 41 [42]   Go Up
Jump to: