Comments on: Getting Russia into proportion http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2008/12/08/getting-russia-into-proportion/ Thu, 21 Jul 2016 07:57:19 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.5 By: Andrei http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2008/12/08/getting-russia-into-proportion/#comment-3083 Thu, 11 Dec 2008 01:29:37 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/?p=863#comment-3083 Mr Taylor:Travel budgets are tight in all the news organizations but I recommend you ask your bosses for funds for a two or three-week to Russia. That might cure you of some of your preconceptions. And perhaps you should have a look at an internal memo circulating in the U.S. Department of State urging foreign service officers to “listen more closely.” You obviously listened to your NATO and Washington sources but not to any Russians. If any country has a reason to feel paranoid, it surely is Russia. What exactly is a good reason for NATO to extend its reach to Georgia?As to the soundbite below, have you been to Upper Volta? Maybe your bosses could spring you some additional money for a visit? The comparison is absolutely absurd.”After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, wags branded Boris Yeltsin’s rump Russian Federation “Upper Volta with nukes,” capturing the paradox of a failed state with a ruined economy sitting on a huge arsenal of atomic weapons.

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By: Jen http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2008/12/08/getting-russia-into-proportion/#comment-3030 Wed, 10 Dec 2008 07:12:13 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/?p=863#comment-3030 Mr. Taylor,You must be a russophile. Otherwise you would not publish things on Russia. Sort of sadistic love of a favorite prey. Get over it. Take some medicine.Jen

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By: Tatiana http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2008/12/08/getting-russia-into-proportion/#comment-3009 Tue, 09 Dec 2008 19:07:07 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/?p=863#comment-3009 From Foreign Policy:In September, the United States pledged $1 billion in aid to Georgia to help the country recover from its August war with Russia. The money was intended to “help Georgia sustain itself,” Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said. With several Georgian towns badly damaged by Russian bombing and 20,000 refugees from South Ossetia still unable to return home, there were seemingly many worthy causes for all that cash. So why was $176 million of the aid money earmarked for loans to businesses—including $30 million to a real estate developer for a luxury hotel: the 127,000-square-meter Park Hyatt in downtown Tbilisi, an area that was not at all damaged in the war? The 183-room, five-star hotel will include 70 luxury condominiums, a fine-dining restaurant, conference facilities, and a health spa with juice bar.The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the U.S. government agency facilitating the loan, is also financing a $40 million office building across the street from the Georgian Parliament building and a $10 million renovation of a historic building into a convention center. The loans, OPIC President Robert Mosbacher told Eurasianet, were “a clear, unequivocal signal about the confidence we [the U.S. government] have in the future of this country.”Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili’s ill-advised military operation in South Ossetia might have been a disaster for many of his people, but thanks to Uncle Sam, it seems to have turned out just fine for Tbilisi’s real estate developers

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By: Baron von Lufthoven http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2008/12/08/getting-russia-into-proportion/#comment-3006 Tue, 09 Dec 2008 18:27:44 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/?p=863#comment-3006 Billy Hirst,Regarding your comment of December 9th, at 8:05am GMT;Please quantify your assertions that my argument is erroneous.”…shame his facts are so wrong, even the history he quotes is very subjective…”What argument do you posit to challenge what I have written?Which “facts” are “so wrong”?In the grown up world, we offer a counter argument in an attempt to expose the other point of view to fallacy, and lack of credibility. We don’t sit there with our thumbs in our armpits and spits across the room at our opponent.That being said, I will address the one assertion you did make.Billy Hirst writes:”Ossetia has always been Georgian, yes the USSR intervened but it has always been recognised as Georgian even today by international standards.”Actually, up until 1922, Ossetia was a part of the Russian “empire”. In 1922, it was divided into North and South Ossetia, with the southern region being absorbed into Georgia SSR. After the fall of the USSR, Georgia declared independence, as did South Ossetia (from being a part of either Russia, or Georgia) on November 28,1991. Also declaring independence at this time was Transnistria, and Abkhazia.The second referendum held for independence on November 12, 2006 in South Ossetia (as a result of the lack of international recognition) showed that 95% of the population voted, and of that 95%, 99% voted YES for independence. This vote was observed by 34 int’l observers from Germany, Austria, Poland, and Sweden.As of today, only the Russian Federation and Nicaragua officially recognize South Ossetia as an independent state.For Georgia to not only not recognize the independence of South Ossetia, when itself declared independence is the height of hypocracy. Not only that, but to unleash a full rocket artillery barrage in conjunction with armoured vehicles accompanied by infantry against a civilian population, and killing 12 CIS peacekeepers and injuring 150 is beyond reprehensible.It is worth noting that Erosi Kitsmarishvili, Georgia’s former ambassador to Moscow and a confidant of Georgian President M. Saakashvili, testified to the Parliament of Georgia that Georgian officials told him in April 2008 that they planned to start a war in Abkhazia, one of two breakaway regions at issue in the war, and had received a green light from the United States government to do so.I am sure that an American can readily identify with what constitutes fighting for one’s independence, and getting other nations to recognize such independence.South Ossetia has a flag, an anthem, a President and a Prime Minister.For the record, I do not have any lineage with either the Russian Federation, Georgia, or South ot North Ossetia, which would interfere with an objective analysis on my part concerning this topic.

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By: qq http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2008/12/08/getting-russia-into-proportion/#comment-3001 Tue, 09 Dec 2008 16:40:46 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/?p=863#comment-3001 This has nothing to do with the Russian people or culture or scientists or technology or food or vodka or you name it. It has only to do with their leaders. Russia excludes itself from the community of nations as long as it is governed by the KGB. The people of this country do not deserve it after all they went through in the soviet times. Sitting barefoot and hungry on a pile of nuclear missiles in Konigsberg/Krolewiec/Kaliningrad? Stealing railway tracks (!) in Poti (Georgia) to take back home? This is proper to Cheka/KGB/FSB and not to Russia.

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By: Yuri http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2008/12/08/getting-russia-into-proportion/#comment-3000 Tue, 09 Dec 2008 16:39:42 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/?p=863#comment-3000 It seems people forget that South Ossetia legally IS part of Georgia. So Georgia technically couldn’t invade itself. Russia invaded Georgia. Even now after Russia proclaimed South Ossetia “independent” there is pretty much non-existing support of this “independence” by the other countries.Comparison between Kosovo and S. Ossetia doesn’t make sense only because the West is not just one country but a big chunk of international community consisting of many countries. And only international community can recognize particular country as independent. Recognition by one or two countries is not enough. Consensus of the majority is the key in this case. It was in case of Kosovo, it’s absent in case of South Ossetia. Even non-western countries recognized Kosovo.All Russia’s diplomatic efforts produced zero results. Luck of support even by Russia’s strong ally Belarus shows how isolated Russia is in the international community. It means – Russia is aggressor.The article is right on point.

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By: Edsall Hilty http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2008/12/08/getting-russia-into-proportion/#comment-2999 Tue, 09 Dec 2008 16:31:23 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/?p=863#comment-2999 Im curious, when you eliminate moscow what is the mean income of a family in other Russian cities. I have met several Russians that continue to flee seeking new opportunities, so why do they say their economy is booming. Everyone talks about Russians booming economy, but as someone in the finance world, I know no one trust their bonds, and stocks unless they have inside info which is why most of the income in the country is distributed to a select few. But back to the original question of how the avg family lives in Russia. Rather than spend money on a hopeless conquest of world domination and military power (which proved wrong already once) they should read this article and prove the author and readers like myself wrong. So far they get an E for effort, but helping with the pirates off the Somali the coast seems like a start.

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By: E.F. http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2008/12/08/getting-russia-into-proportion/#comment-2998 Tue, 09 Dec 2008 16:26:28 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/?p=863#comment-2998 I believe that Russia has to be treated from the common sence point of view. As well as any other country.Look at the “problems” mentioned here:- The gas monopoly ambitions can be handled by the proper EU regulations. For example, allowing Gazprom to extend in EU if the same criteria work for the foreign companies in Russia.- In the Georgia situation, stop lying that russians began the war since even georgians admitted that they did not. Be fait and handle the breakaway georgian regions Kosovo was handled.It is difficult because it requires thinking instead of making the black / white picture or selecting the next bad guy. This approach also gives enough space for a dialog.Unfortunately, this article still tries to paint the black / white picture and show that these are the only choices :(

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By: James Patrick http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2008/12/08/getting-russia-into-proportion/#comment-2997 Tue, 09 Dec 2008 16:05:25 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/?p=863#comment-2997 Why doesn’t Mr. Taylor mention facts like only Russia has space people carries working, and US NASA left with nothing(Shuttles will be scrapped soon) .Or why he does not compare results of international university math olympiads for ex.? Because it will show superiority of Russian education system. And that is just tip of an iceberg.Such columns doesn’t show Reuters us unbiased news agency really

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By: John Landolph http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2008/12/08/getting-russia-into-proportion/#comment-2995 Tue, 09 Dec 2008 15:56:23 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/?p=863#comment-2995 There is a palpably condescending tone in Mr. Taylor’s writing style. Yes, we should never exagerate any nation’s strengths or weaknesses. We do so at our own risk. But Russia has withstood an earth-shaking 18 years with relatively little bloodshed. As the London Times put it: “In 1999 Russia was on the verge of social and economic anarchy.” It has struggled mightily with potentially nation-destroying issues. We in the West have lied to them repeatedly about NATO enlargement and a host of other issues in attempting to lock in our Cold War victory. The fact that Russia still “potentially threatens” the likes of Taylor has less to do with it’s arsenal of nuclear warheads and more to do with an ingrained sense of Western entitlement.

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