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Russias president writes an article... shocking one.

#1
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090911/ap_on_re_eu/eu_russia_medvedev_s_lament

President Dmitry Medvedev says Russia's democracy is weak, its economy ailing and it faces long-term problems with the health of its population.

Medvedev's comments in an article published in Russian newspapers Friday are some of the starkest assessments to date from the Kremlin about the problems the country faces.

He says the country's political system needs to be "open, flexible and complex" and that there should also be a regular turnover of political parties in power as a result of competitive elections.

Medvedev writes, "An ineffective economy, a semi-Soviet social sphere, a weak democracy, negative demographic trends and an unstable Caucasus. These are very big problems even for a state like Russia."
The article is something outstanding. Something like this could be expected in 'Soviet Russia' - leading communist newspaper but not from the Kremlin.

Just imagine that mr.Brown writes an article for the Daily Telegraph about corruption in the Labour party and ineffectiveness of ruling elites.

Let's look at this (final fragment of Medvedev's article (with my comments)

I would invite all those who share my convictions to get involved. I would also invite those who do not agree with my ideas but sincerely desire change for the better to be involved as well.
Empty declarations.

People will attempt to interfere with our work. An influential group of corrupt officials and do-nothing ‘entrepreneurs’ are well ensconced. They have everything and are satisfied. They're going to squeeze the profits from the remnants of Soviet industry and squander the natural resources that belong to all of us until the end. They are not creating anything new, do not want development, and fear it.
Mr.president, just act. Remove corrupted officials, nationalise property robbered by so called 'businessmen', these leeches.

But the future does not belong to them – it belongs to us. And we are an absolute majority. We will act patiently, pragmatically, consistently and in a balanced manner. And act now: act today and tomorrow. We will overcome the crisis, backwardness and corruption. We will create a new Russia. Go Russia!
Mr.Medvedev who himself is a puppet of the gang of thieves that run Russia now bash his masters...

It's interesting would deeds follow after words. Unlikely.
 
#2
So i take it he will not support Mr Putin's future bid to become president again, and that democracy needs to be strengthened by increaing the free press and rooting out those who murder journalists who expose corruption. It is all true but entirely risible.
 
#3
Postie said:
So i take it he will not support Mr Putin's future bid to become president again, and that democracy needs to be strengthened by increaing the free press and rooting out those who murder journalists who expose corruption. It is all true but entirely risible.
At least mr.Putin has never said anything like this. Meanwhile coming elections to Moscow city council are under full control of ruling elites. Oppositioners are not allowed to participate. It is an anecdote. One oppositioner collected signatures in his support, sufficient number to be registered as a candidate. But 104% of signatures were declared invalid. So there are more invalid signatures than presented. Absurd.

Mr.Medvedev writes:

Russia's political system will also be extremely open, flexible and internally complex. It will be adequate for a dynamic, active, transparent and multi-dimensional social structure. It will correspond to the political culture of free, secure, critical thinking, self-confident people.

Not everyone is satisfied with the pace at which we are moving in this direction. They talk about the need to accelerate changes in the political system.
...
Changes will take place, but they will be gradual, thought-through, and step-by-step. But they will nevertheless be steady and consistent.
It could last for decades.
 
#4
In the old Soviet Union that article would have caused confusion, with some people responding to the call to show loyalty to the Party, and others worried that it was a trick to make them stick their necks out.
 
#5
bullet_catcher said:
In the old Soviet Union that article would have caused confusion, with some people responding to the call to show loyalty to the Party, and others worried that it was a trick to make them stick their necks out.
In the Soviet union such an article would be absolutely impossible. Even moron Gorbachev with his Perestroyka wished to modernise Soviet system, made it more flexible. He never blamed Communist party as a source of problems, never pointed to ruling elites as the main obstacle.

By contrast mr.Medvedev clearly said that current ruling elites is the main obstale, that they have everything and resist any changes, they resist free elections, democracy, free TV, free mass media.

Some Russian experts see the article as a sign of a division between mr.Putin and mr.Medvedev (personally I don't believe it). That the politicians have different views and different political future.
 
#6
He could take a major step forward in one easy move: place two of Russia's national TV channels under the control of independent trusts in the model of the BBC, which themselves would be monitored by an independent watchdog to avoid the development of undue bias. It wouldn't be perfect, but it would be 100% better than the current arrangement.
 
#8
parapauk said:
He could take a major step forward in one easy move: place two of Russia's national TV channels under the control of independent trusts in the model of the BBC, which themselves would be monitored by an independent watchdog to avoid the development of undue bias. It wouldn't be perfect, but it would be 100% better than the current arrangement.
Control over all main TV channels is a cornerstone of the Power of ruling elites in Russia. It is possible to bleat about it, how it is wrong. But the elites will control TV further. And mr.Medvedev is a part of the elites.

There is an interesting political situation. Soon mr.Medvedev will sound his message to the Parliament. And many think that the article prepares it. So now the message would not be so shocking.

Mr.Putin as a leader of ruling United Russia party will make a major speech on its congress in October. Would he repeat mr.Medvedev or propose another ideas?

Let's wait. But frankly speaking I don't expect much.
 
#9
KGB_resident said:
parapauk said:
He could take a major step forward in one easy move: place two of Russia's national TV channels under the control of independent trusts in the model of the BBC, which themselves would be monitored by an independent watchdog to avoid the development of undue bias. It wouldn't be perfect, but it would be 100% better than the current arrangement.
Control over all main TV channels is a cornerstone of the Power of ruling elites in Russia. It is possible to bleat about it, how it is wrong. But the elites will control TV further. And mr.Medvedev is a part of the elites.
I think the phrase 'elite' has been given a very bad rap. Their is nothing inherently wrong with the existence of or being a member of an elite, all that matters is what they do with respect to the other elites, the non-elite, and the wider world.
 
#10
parapauk said:
He could take a major step forward in one easy move: place two of Russia's national TV channels under the control of independent trusts in the model of the BBC, which themselves would be monitored by an independent watchdog to avoid the development of undue bias. It wouldn't be perfect, but it would be 100% better than the current arrangement.
Ahhhh yes, the unbiased BBC.

Is that the same BBC that is now required to "follow a public diplomacy strategy in line with government medium and long-term goals, given that funding is provided through grant-in-aid"?

See Wilton Report 2002, Carter Report 2005 and Foreign Affairs Select Committee 3rd Report 2006 for further reading.

It's all well and good having nominal day-to-day hands-on editorial/operational independence if strategically your arms have been cut off at the shoulder.

Of course, this only (in theory) applies to the World Service. :wink:
 
#11
whitecity said:
parapauk said:
He could take a major step forward in one easy move: place two of Russia's national TV channels under the control of independent trusts in the model of the BBC, which themselves would be monitored by an independent watchdog to avoid the development of undue bias. It wouldn't be perfect, but it would be 100% better than the current arrangement.
Ahhhh yes, the unbiased BBC.

Is that the same BBC that is now required to "follow a public diplomacy strategy in line with government medium and long-term goals, given that funding is provided through grant-in-aid"?

See Wilton Report 2002, Carter Report 2005 and Foreign Affairs Select Committee 3rd Report 2006 for further reading.

It's all well and good having nominal day-to-day hands-on editorial/operational independence if strategically your arms have been cut off at the shoulder.

Of course, this only (in theory) applies to the World Service. :wink:
It it couldn't be trusted, people wouldn't listen to it in place of the domestic alternative. The truth has been, is, and always will be, the best propaganda for furthering our medium and long-term interests. If you want to see real government foreign service propaganda, the Russia Today website is always a good case study: 'Stop the 9/11 Cover-up' is today's main story. I though I might have spotted an objective piece about the problems in Russia's economy with regards to the downturn in their rural employment figures: 'Crisis breeds generation of unemployable'. It was about Swindon.
 
#12
parapauk said:
It it couldn't be trusted, people wouldn't listen to it in place of the domestic alternative. The truth has been, is, and always will be, the best propaganda for furthering our medium and long-term interests. If you want to see real government foreign service propaganda, the Russia Today website is always a good case study: 'Stop the 9/11 Cover-up' is today's main story. I though I might have spotted an objective piece about the problems in Russia's economy with regards to the downturn in their rural employment figures: 'Crisis breeds generation of unemployable'. It was about Swindon.
The BBC World Service is heading the same way as Russia Today. Still a fair way to go, but...
 
#13
whitecity said:
parapauk said:
It it couldn't be trusted, people wouldn't listen to it in place of the domestic alternative. The truth has been, is, and always will be, the best propaganda for furthering our medium and long-term interests. If you want to see real government foreign service propaganda, the Russia Today website is always a good case study: 'Stop the 9/11 Cover-up' is today's main story. I though I might have spotted an objective piece about the problems in Russia's economy with regards to the downturn in their rural employment figures: 'Crisis breeds generation of unemployable'. It was about Swindon.
The BBC World Service is heading the same way as Russia Today. Still a fair way to go, but...
Any evidence the BBC WS is today any more bias that it has always been? The 'public diplomacy' approach has been in place for decades.
 
#14
parapauk said:
whitecity said:
parapauk said:
It it couldn't be trusted, people wouldn't listen to it in place of the domestic alternative. The truth has been, is, and always will be, the best propaganda for furthering our medium and long-term interests. If you want to see real government foreign service propaganda, the Russia Today website is always a good case study: 'Stop the 9/11 Cover-up' is today's main story. I though I might have spotted an objective piece about the problems in Russia's economy with regards to the downturn in their rural employment figures: 'Crisis breeds generation of unemployable'. It was about Swindon.
The BBC World Service is heading the same way as Russia Today. Still a fair way to go, but...
Any evidence the BBC WS is today any more bias that it has always been? The 'public diplomacy' approach has been in place for decades.
If one looks at the output of a news broadcast, on the surface there is little evidence of particular bias. However, scratch a little deeper, and one has the feeling that certain angles or stories are simply being ignored.

On the otherhand, if one considers the broader daily programming content, I'd say the World Service has changed quite considerably in the past decade. A change brought about to reflect a change in supplier demands not listener demands. And then there is the cutting of services to some regions and a increases in others which reflect purely government policy interest and have nothing to do with listener figures, expectations or hopes.

In effect the strategic delivery has been severly politicised, the operational delivery compromised and the tactical delivery remains relatively independent. In otherwords, the presenter can say what he/she wants as long as the programme has been granted permission to be aired to an area considered worthy of transmission.
 
#15
As the discussion has smoothly turned to the BBC then being a listener of BBC Russian I have to say that last months it looks less and less biased. Moreover, sometimes it doesn't try to cover unpleasant for the UK events.

For example, the scandal with MPs expenses was presented in details and nearly an hour was allocated for telephone calls from listeners. A Russian-speaking female Conservative activist answered question very sincerely. I rang too and it appeared that she knows an PM Bill Cash who 'hired' a flat belonged to his daughter.

By the way, time for the telephone calls from listeners was expanded from 20min to 1h20min daily.

Returning to the theme, I note that BBC Russian asked its listeners about their attitude to Medvedev's article.
 

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