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(...) Voters complained of intimidation and attempted bribery in what election observers called a coordinated effort to boost United Russia's results in the State Duma vote on Sunday. Golos, the only independent Russian monitoring group, said it received more than 3,500 calls on its complaints hotline. "We know for certain that this is just a drop in the ocean," said Grigory Melkonyants, Golos' deputy head. "We are seeing serious violations that we are afraid will just be ignored." (...)

one couldn't say that this was not expected to happen. nevertheless it is interesting to look more closely to the ways in which misuse happened. moscow times reports.

with regard to the results of the russian elections, robert amsterdam, who followed the elections closely, makes us aware of the following posting: five myths about the elections.

the standard reports on the results (GERM):

(...) Die Partei "Geeintes Russland" mit Präsident Wladimir Putin als Spitzenkandidat hat ihr Ergebnis bei der Parlamentswahl jüngsten Auszählungen zufolge noch verbessert. Nach Auswertung von 98 Prozent der Wahlzettel lag sie mit 64,1 Prozent haushoch vorne, wie die Wahlkommission am Montag bekanntgab. Zweitstärkste Kraft wurde die oppositionelle Kommunistische Partei mit 11,6 Prozent. Die ultranationalistische LDPR von Wladimir Schirinowski kam demnach auf 8,2 Prozent der Stimmen, gefolgt von der Mitte-Links-Partei "Gerechtes Russland", die mit 7,8 Prozent ebenfalls den Sprung über die Sieben-Prozenthürde schaffte. Beide Parteien stehen hinter Putin. (...)

the financial times provides an excellent slideshow on russian elections, taking the example of st. petersburg. this is a recommendation found at robert amsterdam's blog. just click the map to watch and listen.

(...) *Einiges Russland* hat die Parlamentswahl längst als Referendum über Putin missbraucht. Nicht allein die Propaganda der Staatsfernsehkanäle und die Unterdrückung jeglicher unkontrollierbarer Opposition machen die Wahl zu einer Farce, sondern das System Putin selbst, in dem Politik in undurchschaubaren Prozessen hinter den Kremlzinnen und in den ergodynamischen Büros der Polittechnologen entworfen wird. Die öffentliche Teilhabe verkommt zur Illusionsshow. Alle Neuigkeiten aus dem Kreml werden zur nationalen Schicksalsverkündung (...)
berichtet die zeit. and the guardian reports on how voters are forced to do their duty:

(...) The Kremlin is planning to rig the results of Russia's parliamentary elections on Sunday by forcing millions of public sector workers across the country to vote, the Guardian has learned.

Local administration officials have called in thousands of staff on their day off in an attempt to engineer a massive and inflated victory for President Vladimir Putin and his United Russia party. Voters are being pressured to vote for United Russia or risk losing their jobs, their accommodation or bonuses, the Guardian has been told in numerous interviews with byudzhetniki (public sector workers), students and ordinary citizens (...)

amsterdam1 sauseschritt is regular reader of robert amsterdam's blog. today he announced a specific channel on Youtube:

(...) We've been working hard here at the blog to always bring our readers new and interesting material on Russian and European business and politics, including a foray into a multi-platform format with diverse video and audio offering. Perhaps somewhat overdue, we're nevertheless proud to announce the launch of "Robert Amsterdam TV" - hosted on our very own YouTube Channel (...)

sauseschritt had a look and found promising stuff there!

facing one of the biggest ecologigical desasters in the black sea region, one would think russia and ucraine will work together to combat the oil spill. no, on the contrary: political tensions are on the rise and old land disputes are taken up again in. there are elections in russia:

(...) The largest sea disaster in the modern history of Russia and Ukraine is turning into a political scandal. Deputy head of the Russian Federal Natural Resources Supervision Service (Rosprirodnadzor) Oleg Mitvol has proposed building a temporary dam from Tuzla Spit, which is Ukrainian territory and has been an island since the 1920s, to the Russian shore. Mitvol says that is the only way to prevent the pollution of the Sea of Azov with fuel oil from the recent oil spill the Strait of Kerch. The idea has caused a storm of emotion in Ukraine. Ukrainian politicians see the proposal as a renewal of an old land dispute and Russian electioneering.(...)

in 2002 mk2 released two movies directed by bartabas on dvd. sauseschritt watched chamane. this is the second movie of the artist, horsetrainer and movie director clement marty (bartabas). the original movie was released in 1996.

the new york times movie review states:
(...) Gorgeously shot in the wide-open Siberian wilderness this outdoor adventure chronicles the dramatic escape of a big-city bred violinist from a Siberian labor camp. Underlying the action is the tale of a man who learns to become one with his environment rather than trying to dominate it. The story begins as enigmatic, Asian tribesman Toli comforts the starved violinist Dimitri that they will be escaping soon (...)

see parts of the encounter of the main character with a russian kosack:



photo taken by lyalka

the economist reports (ENG) how history is supposed to be interpreted nowadays in russia:

(...) RUSSIA'S past was admirable, its present is more than magnificent and as for its future—it is beyond anything that the boldest mind can imagine.” Thus Count Alexander Benckendorff in the 1830s, on how Russia's history should be viewed and written. This advice from the head of the country's first secret police is now being heeded in the Kremlin, where a new Russian history is being forged.

The decade after the collapse of communism was notable for the absence of any official ideology. Weary of grand designs, the Russian elite preferred pragmatism and enrichment. Asked about his national dream in 2004, President Vladimir Putin said that it was to make Russia competitive. But Russia's new oil-driven strength and its aspirations to be a world player have once more created a demand for something more victorious and uplifting. And as Mr Putin looks for ways to stay in power after his second presidential term expires next March, his ideological comrades are placing him in a gallery of Russia's great leaders, a quasi-tsar (...)

dazu auch eine
meldung aus der moscow times in hinblick auf die bevorstehenden wahlen zur duma (ENG):

(...) Pro-Kremlin youth groups, backed by police, are in the final stages of preparations to inundate the city with tens of thousands of loyal teens with orders to prevent an Orange-style revolution in the lead-up to the Dec. 2 State Duma elections.
Few of the conditions that led to Ukraine's 2006 Orange Revolution or the Rose Revolution a year earlier in Georgia are present in Russia, however, and opposition youth groups say they aren't looking for a confrontation. But this isn't stopping the authorities from confining them to the periphery anyway.
Activists from Nashi, Young Guard and Young Russia have been pouring into schools, universities, clubs and bars nationwide to spread one message among Russia's youngest electorate: It is your duty to vote for United Russia, the party of President Vladimir Putin (...)

everybody seems to wish to escape. paris gets rid of his overstressed citizens and is conquered by desperate tourists: vienna falls asleep and becomes even more slow; st. petersburg is remote_a g8 - capital.
here is photo of a friend living in piter: she will not stay there in summer but visit her famillies in austria and the ukraine. thanks a lot, m!


copyright by neeka oh, moscow!! let me remote_a quote from neeka´s fotoblog because not only the writing but also her fotos touched sauseschritt´s soul: the veterans had some kind of a get-together at hotel rossiya - there were hundreds of them there, and as they were walking back to their buses, it was so sad to realize that these were the remnants of a generation - the generation whose lives were ruined by the war, among other things.
and if you would like to have more of this, also visit remote_a neekas other blog. by accident I found also on moscow news: a remote_a report on a russian ww2 veteran, who rejects a anniversary medal in protest of poverty.

wer mehr über die bedeutung des "tages des sieges" (8.mai) in russland lesen will, dem sei folgender remote_a beitrag der deutschen welle angeraten! wie meinte bundespräsident fischer remote_a anläßlich der republiksfeiern: der tag sei für österreich nicht niederlage, sondern befreiung gewesen.

kazan - cathedral in st. petersburg

our dear friend and colleague from piter sent this foto attached to a "christmas email" on december 24. given time pressure of the last weeks, around 100 emails daily and the need to survive in front of my office computer, u.´s email simply slipped through my attentiveness. only today, when "cleaning up" to avoid the regular overfill of my share of server space I got aware of this wonderful foto. in the meantime we met u. and v. in vienna and we spent a very pleasent sunday together walking, eating and drinking up and down the bisamberg. apologies to both of you! maybe next time ......


"but they are all the same", paul answers as auggie presents his foto albums, in which he collects more than four thousand pictures of the same place, taken each day by him, at eight o´clock in the morning.
auggie answers smilingly: they are all the same, but each one is different from every other one. you´ve got your bright mornings and your dark morenings. you´ve got your summer light and your autumn light. you´ve got your weekdays and your weekends. you´ve got your people in overcoats and galoshes. and you´ve got your people in shorts and t-shirts. sometimes the same people, sometimes different ones, and the same ones disappear. the earth revolves around the sun, and every day the light from the sun hits the earth from a different angle. (smoke, zitiert aus dem remote_a screenplay)

seit jahren fotografiert auggie wren in wayne wangs film remote_a smoke pünktlich um acht uhr diesselbe straßenecke. beim durchblättern der alben findet ein besucher auf einem der 4000 bilder seine verstorbene frau wieder. die bilder sind nicht gleich: alle sind verschieden. als sauseschritt 1995 diese szene im kino sah, war vielleicht schon die idee vom photolocationhunt geboren. vielleicht ist es tatsächlich diese zwangsvorstellung, auf alten fotografien mit den augen von heute etwas bislang unentdecktes zu sehen und zu finden. vielleicht geht es auch um das symbol des verstorbenen menschen, der plötzlich, unvermutet aber doch immer schon gesucht, auf einem dieser bilder auftaucht.
diesmal ein fundstück aus st. petersburg. in einem buchladen am nevskij prospekt, unweit der brücke über die mojka, findet sauseschritt jene ansichtskarten, die offenbar zum jubiläum der stadt st. petersburg produziert wurden:



twoday.net AGB


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