Boshetunmai

 

Boshetunmai
If you ran away when you were fifteen,
It’s hard to understand the guy who went to a good school.
And if you’ve got a firm plan for your life,
Then you’re unlikely to think about anything else.

We drink tea in old apartments.
We wait for summer in old apartments,
In old apartments where there is light,
Gas, telephone, hot water,
Radio, parquet floor,
Separate toilet, brick walls.
One family, two families, three families.
Lots of closet space,
Not interested in first or last floors,
Close to the subway, downtown, downtown.

Everyone says we’re together.
Everyone says it, but few people know where.
A strange smoke comes from our pipes.
Stop! Danger zone! Brain at work!
Boshetunmai, boshetunmai, boshetunmai . . .

 

Thanks to Comrade Igor R. for the heads-up on the video.

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Welcome Aboard!

To my pleasant surprise, I discovered, a couple hours ago, that on the web site of TriMet, the public transport authority for the Portland, Oregon, region, there’s a whole big page in Russian, where speakers of that fabulous tongue can find out everything they might think to ask about using the area’s terrific and ever-expanding public transport system. The TriMet web site also has special pages for speakers of Spanish, Vietnamese, Korean, and Chinese.

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Out of curiosity, I then checked whether there were foreign-language pages, for example, on the website of the Petersburg subway system.

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I don’t know why I’m still asking myself such silly questions.

The Unpleasant Incident

LGBT Activists Greet Culture Ministry Chief Medinsky with Rainbow Flags
October 27, 2013
www.fontanka.ru

The unpleasant incident took place in Petersburg when Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky was taking part in the Olympic torch relay.

As Fontanka.Ru’s correspondent reports, the Culture Ministry chief took the torch in front of the Yelstin Presidential Library and carried it to the intersection with the English Embankment. During his run, two members of the LGBT movement unfurled rainbow flags, the symbol of their movement.

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Police tried to stop the activists, but both young women managed to escape arrest and hang on to their flags.

As the LGBT activists themselves explained to Fontanka.Ru, the purpose of their action was to protest the Sochi Olympic Games [sic], to be held in 2014.

The Olympic torch rally in Petersburg started today at 11:00 a.m. The event will culminate after 7:00 p.m. with a big celebration on Palace Square.

Welcome to Sochi

An unexpurgated cri de coeur from the Russian internets:

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Вот эту фотографию из подмосковной больницы я бы сделал символом современной России, особенно в свете приближения самой дорогой в истории человечества Олимпиады в Сочи. ( – English translation is below).

Дорогие френды, особенно забугорные – пошлите ее своим друзьям. Пусть расходится по сети. И пусть ухмыляющемуся главарю криминального государства, чье личное воровское состояние оценивается в несколько десятков миллиардов долларов, будет неуютно стоять на трибуне в феврале – оттого, что все уважающие себя политики и знаменитости побрезговали стоять с ним рядом.

Here’s a photo of the local hospital in Boyarkino village not far from Moscow. This is a typical picture, not some extreme one. There are thousands of hospitals, schools and public offices like this in Russia, not only in province, but in major cities as well. I would have made this picture the symbol of modern Russia, especially today, while the most expensive Olympics in the history of mankind are approaching in Sochi.

Dear friends, please, share this with your friends. Let it go over the whole network, so for the world’s most corrupt leader of the most criminal state, whose personal fortune is estimated at tens of billions of dollars, it would not be so comfortable to host this Olympics. Let it be uncomfortable for him to stand on the podium in February, because any self-respecting politician or celebrity would be ashamed to stay next to him.

Meanwhile, back in the fascist fairyland, the locals were getting worked up about the upcoming corporate slugfest down south.
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Time Is Not on Their Side

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If the following article makes no sense to you, don’t worry. It makes no sense to me, either.

MOSCOW, October 11 – Reverting to Winter Time especially for the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics would cost the Russian budget in excess of $300 million, the head of the organizing committee said Friday.

Russia used to set its clocks back by an hour in the winter, as is done in the rest of Europe, but canceled the practice in 2011 under former President Dmitry Medvedev.

The International Olympic Committee was among those who called for a return to Winter Time to bring Russia’s broadcast schedules closer to the West for February’s Winter Games.

President Vladimir Putin ruled that out earlier this year, and Sochi 2014 chief executive Dmitry Chernyshenko elaborated on the reasons why in an address to lawmakers in Moscow on Friday.

“We forecast, other than the reputational risk and discomfort to our athletes, logistical issues and financial risks,” were winter time to be reinstated, Chernyshenko said.

“The extra expenditure needed from the federal budget to compensate international broadcasters who might lose advertising contracts in the event of a time change will lead to penalties, and we will have to compensate for it. The sum of the risks could exceed $300 million,” he said.

Reverting to winter time, he said, would lead to “fatal changes in the timetables” of Sochi’s logistics, including transport and cargo schedules.

The Games, Russia’s first Winter Olympics, are set to run February 7-23.

Source: RIA Novosti

Image courtesy of Hymy Huulet Facebook page and Comrade Tiina. The cartoon reads (in Finnish):

“I changed the clocks to winter time.”

“It’s nice to know that at three in the morning.”

Because of Russia’s inexplicable rejection of winter time, there is a two-hour difference between Estonia and Finland and the neighboring Russian regions of Pskov, Novgorod, Murmansk, Karelia, Leningrad Region and St. Petersburg during half the year.

Svetlana Gannushkina: Friday Dragnet

Friday Dragnet
October 26, 2013
Svetlana Gannushkina
grani.ru

On Friday evening, at half past five, I went from the offices of Civic Assistance, on Olimpiisky Prospekt, to a board meeting at the Memorial Human Rights Center. I was not feeling well for some reason, and two of our charges escorted me to the Dostoevskaya metro station.

Five minutes later, I exited the metro at Tsvetnoi Bulvar station and immediately heard my mobile ring. It was my escorts calling.

“We’ve been detained by the police. They’ve nabbed us and are taking us to Meshchanskoye police precinct.”

“Did they check your papers?”

“They didn’t check anything. They said they’d sort things out at the precinct.”

“But what happened?”

“Nothing happened. They just bundled us into a car, and that was that.”

“Put one of the police officers in the car on the phone.”

There was a pause.

“They won’t do it.”

“Show them your papers!”

“They refuse to look at them.”

Both my escorts are Uzbek nationals, and their papers are in order. One has a certificate stating that his application for refugee status is under review, while the other has a individual work permit. Both are registered with the migration service.

When I arrived at Memorial, I called the on-duty prosecutor, as Moscow city prosecutor Sergei Kudeneyev advised us to do only yesterday at a meeting with the prosecutor’s public advisory council. At first, the on-duty prosecutor opined that he had nothing to do with it, and then he suggested that our detainees had no papers. But a reference to the Moscow city prosecutor worked: the on-duty prosecutor wrote down the names of our detainees and my name, and promised to call the Meshchanskoe precinct.

Then I called Alexander Kulikovsky, a member of the Moscow police’s public advisory council. He went to Meshchanskoe precinct. There were about a hundred people there who had been detained the same way as our guys: the police had simply grabbed them on the street, picking out only passersby of non-Slavic appearance.

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Around half past eight, the precinct was called and the names of my escorts were mentioned. The guys heard this, raised a ruckus and demanded to be released immediately. The officers at the precinct did not particularly mind letting them go, but as they did, they said, “You had no business going to the mosque.”

It was only then we realized what had happened. There is a mosque not far from Dostoevskaya metro station: all its alleged visitors had been caught up in the dragnet.

Alexander Kulikovsky called me at half past eleven at night: there were still around fifty detainees at Meshchanskoe precinct.

Apparently, this is how Moscow police chief Anatoly Yakunin is fulfilling his promise “not to leave a single place in the city where illegal immigrants could take shelter, monitor the criminally inclined and drug addicted, and step up efforts in the fight against gambling and illicit smoking blends.”

So this is the so-called fight against illegal immigration and crime in Moscow we are now going to be witnessing every Friday?

Photo: Detention of migrant workers in the south of Moscow, October 18, 2013. © RIA Novosti, Grigory Sysoev