Tag Archives | Vladimir Putin

Edward Snowden: Vladimir Putin Must Be Called to Account on Surveillance Just Like Obama

Photo: www.kremlin.ru (CC)

Photo: www.kremlin.ru (CC)

Edward Snowden writes at the Guardian:

On Thursday, I questioned Russia’s involvement in mass surveillance on live television. I asked Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, a question that cannot credibly be answered in the negative by any leader who runs a modern, intrusive surveillance program: “Does [your country] intercept, analyse or store millions of individuals’ communications?”

I went on to challenge whether, even if such a mass surveillance program were effective and technically legal, it could ever be morally justified.

The question was intended to mirror the now infamous exchange in US Senate intelligence committee hearings between senator Ron Wyden and the director of national intelligence, James Clapper, about whether the NSA collected records on millions of Americans, and to invite either an important concession or a clear evasion. (See a side-by-side comparison of Wyden’s question and mine here.)

Clapper’s lie – to the Senate and to the public – was a major motivating force behind my decision to go public, and a historic example of the importance of official accountability.

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Actor Steven Seagal Gushes Praise for Putin; May Relocate to Russia

PIC: Samantha Murphy (CC)

PIC: Samantha Murphy (CC)

Yes. It’s true. Steven Seagal said that he may consider moving to Russia. The action movie star is a big fan of Vladimir Putin, apparently. As soon as you wipe your eyes clean of the tears you’ve undoubtedly shed at the thought of losing national treasure Seagal to Russia, you can read the more at Raw Story.

Do svidaniya, Steven!

Via Raw Story:

Action movie star Steven Seagal said in an interview with the Moscow Times that he is in favor of Russia’s military action in Crimea and that he may someday emigrate to the former Soviet Union.

According to Atlantic magazine’s The Wire blog, Seagal called Putin “one of the great world leaders” and said he “would like to consider him as a brother.”

While the action star’s fortunes have faded somewhat in this hemisphere, in Russia, Seagal is still a huge star. Of late, he has befriended wealthy Russian oligarchs who have convinced him to support Putin’s aggression against Ukraine.

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Putin: ‘I Envy’ Obama’s Spy Program

Vladimir_Putin_12015And Vladimir, I envy your forthrightness, notably not a quality that Mr. Obama shares with you. USA Today reports on the Russian President’s latest unscripted statements:

Russia President Vladimir Putin says his government is not working with National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden, and defended President Obama over his spying program — sort of.

“How do I feel about Obama after Snowden’s revelations? I envy him, because he can get away with it,” Putin said during a Thursday news conference in Russia.

Speaking a day after a White House advisory panel released a report recommending changes in NSA programs, Putin defended espionage in general.

He called it “one of the oldest professions in the world, just like some other well-known professions — we won’t mention them here,” an apparent reference to prostitution.

But Putin did say regulations, such as those envisioned for the NSA, are necessary: “On political level, it’s necessary to limit the appetite of special services with certain rules.”

As for Snowden — granted political asylum by Russia earlier this year — Putin said: “To speak in professional jargon, operatively speaking, we are not working with him, and we never worked with him…

[continues at USA Today]

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The Secret American Subculture of Putin-Worshippers

Photo: www.kremlin.ru (CC)

Photo: www.kremlin.ru (CC)

The disinformation® website was originally tagged as “The Subculture Search Engine” (back in 1996), so we like to think we know something about American subcultures. Putin-Worship caught us somewhat by surprise, however. Marin Cogan profiles the worshippers for National Journal:

Two years ago, Gayne C. Young, a Texas-based writer and blogger for Outdoor Life, scored the interview of a lifetime. As a beat writer, Young had enjoyed the outdoor exploits of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has been documented shooting a gray whale with a crossbow, tranquilizing a tiger attacking a news crew, hunting shirtless, fishing shirtless, and riding horseback shirtless. On a personal level, Young liked the rugged brand of masculinity that seemed a throwback to Teddy Roosevelt. “Although you have Clinton shooting ducks, you never see it. Although Rick Perry says he enjoys hunting, you don’t see it. They say they do, but they don’t.

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Russian President Putin Writes Criticism of USA; New York Times Publishes

Vladimir_Putin_12015When did the New York Times become a propaganda mouthpiece for sitting Russian presidents? Today, actually. Here’s Putin’s op-ed:

MOSCOW — RECENT events surrounding Syria have prompted me to speak directly to the American people and their political leaders. It is important to do so at a time of insufficient communication between our societies.

Relations between us have passed through different stages. We stood against each other during the cold war. But we were also allies once, and defeated the Nazis together. The universal international organization — the United Nations — was then established to prevent such devastation from ever happening again.

The United Nations’ founders understood that decisions affecting war and peace should happen only by consensus, and with America’s consent the veto by Security Council permanent members was enshrined in the United Nations Charter. The profound wisdom of this has underpinned the stability of international relations for decades.

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Russian Artist Forced to Seek Asylum After Painting Putin in Drag

IT"S NOT FUNNY YOU GUYS, VLAD IS SO TOTALLY NOT GAY

IT”S NOT FUNNY YOU GUYS, VLAD IS SO TOTALLY NOT A SELF-HATING, CLOSETED GAY MAN.

Europe’s biggest closet case, Vladimir Putin, is having an official hissy fit because an artist painted him in drag. Apparently he’s never heard of the Streisand Effect.

Raw Story:

A Russian artist said Thursday he has fled to France and is applying for asylum after police seized his painting of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev in women’s underwear.

Police on Tuesday raided an exhibition in the northwestern city of Saint Petersburg, which next week hosts the G20 summit, and confiscated works including a painting of Putin in a strappy nightie and Medvedev in a bra and skimpy knickers.

The artist, Konstantin Altunin, 45, said by telephone from Paris that he had requested political asylum and was now gathering the necessary documents.

“Yesterday I went to the prefecture in Paris… and made this request.

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Vladimir Putin On The Benefits Of Group Sex

Can you imagine Stalin making this kind of public statement? Visitors to Lenin's tomb in Moscow have probably seen him looking several shades redder than his normal white hue. Tom Parfitt reports on the Russian president's rather unstatesmanlike comments for the Telegraph:
Mr Putin made the observation on Thursday in one of his trademark pithy remarks during his first interview since his inauguration in May, with the Kremlin-controlled, English-language RT television channel. “Some fans of group sex say that it’s better than one-on-one because, as with any collective work, you can skive off,” he said. The comment came after the Russian leader had spoken about an orgy that was staged in Moscow’s state biology museum in 2008 which involved Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 22, one of three feminist activists of the Pussy Riot group who were jailed for two years for hooliganism last month after a politically charged trial...
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“Free Pussy Riot” Murders: Further Justification for Russian Crack-Down?

Picture: Igor Mukhin (CC)

Via HuffPo

Some might find a gruesome murder that could be connected to supporters of Pussy Riot awfully convenient for the Putin administration. The bodies of two women were found beneath a message scrawled in their own blood: “Free Pussy Riot.”

Investigators have identified the murderer as Igor Danilevsky, who they say murdered the women as part of a bizarre scheme to pay off outstanding debt:

The man – a 38-year-old university professor named Igor Danilevsky – was detained Thursday in Kazan, Russia’s Investigative Committee said on Friday. It said Danilevsky wrote “Free Pussy Riot” on a wall in the victims’ blood because he wanted the deaths of the 38-year-old woman he dated and her mother, 76, to appear as if they were a “ritual killing.”

The Committee said Danilevsky had convinced the woman to take out a loan to repay his debts, and promised to marry her.

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Pussy Riot Found Guilty By Russian Court

Игорь Мухин (CC)

[UPDATE: Pussy Riot sentenced to two years in prison.]

If there was ever any doubt that the judge would do what Vladimir Putin wanted, it has now been erased. Protests reacting to the verdict are in progress. Report from USA Today:

A Russian judge found three members of the provocative punk band Pussy Riot guilty of hooliganism on Friday, in one of the most closely watched cases in recent Russian history.

The judge said the three band members committed hooliganism driven by religious hatred and offending religious believers.

The three were arrested in March after a guerrilla performance in Moscow’s main cathedral calling for the Virgin Mary to protect Russia against Vladimir Putin, who was elected to a new term as Russia’s president a few days later.

They face a maximum seven years in prison. The sentence is to be handed down later Friday.

The case has attracted international attention as an emblem of Russia’s intolerance of dissent.

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