Dogs on a Chain in Russia

By the time you read this exclusive translation, the original article will probably have been pulled from the net by censors. We found this remarkable posting in the “Forum” section of the official website of the MVD RF – the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation – the siloviki agency responsible for, among other things, the country’s police force. The author is apparently a policeman himself, addressing his colleagues. He posted his message on Friday evening, quite likely because, as one of the many people who have already commented on the article explains, “there usually aren’t moderators on the site weekends.” By the way, the overwhelming majority of the incredible number of readers who have left comments have chosen to remain anonymous, while the bulk of those who do provide a name give a pseudonym and don’t provide their email address, no doubt in the naïve belief that this will make it less likely their true identity can be traced by the organs.

Date: 19.12.2008 20:48

Dear colleagues. Russia is found at a critical boundary. Economic catastrophe is drawing near. Hundreds of thousands of our compatriots, our fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters will be thrown out on the street. This crisis has opened the eyes of the people, has shown who is who in our country. The soap bubble of the stabilization fund has burst and has not brought us benefit. Billions of petrodollars flowed as a river to us, but our rulers did not even think of putting this money into the development of the economy, science, agriculture, many sectors. And now they are rendering assistance to bankers, allocating them 5 trillion rubles at 5 percent, so those would give out loans to our enterprises at 20 percent per year.

What else awaits us? A mass reduction in military service personnellooms, 85 percent of military colleges will be abolished. They’refinishing off the army. More and more in Russia are taking placeprotest actions. The patience of the people is coming to an end. Butthe explosion of people’s wrath is still ahead! Take a look at what isgoing on in Vladivostok! One of the slogans: «Oil -to the pEDROsans,vaseline -to the people. The Rat and the Little Bear.» (There is aphoto on the net).

[Our exclusive translator requests a time out for explanation here.The photo will hardly help non-Russian-speakers (and many a Russianspeaker as well!) figure out what this enigmatic slogan is supposed tomean. A wild guess at its meaning follows: 1) “pEDROsans”: “EDRO” isshort for “UNited RUssia”, the “party of power”. Placing the “p” beforeit suggests an allusion to the word “pederast”, which doesn’t mean”pederast” at all in Russian, but is rather a deeply insulting term fora male homosexual (indeed, the mere concept of homosexuality is alreadydeeply insulting to Russians). So, the first sentence could meansomething like “Those faggots from United Russia get all the oil.” 2)The second sentence probably implies that the people are generouslygiven a small dab of this oil in the form of petroleum jelly toslightly help alleviate the pain of what the above-mentioned recipientsof the oil do to them on a regular basis. 3) “Little Bear” could referto president Dmitry Medvedev, since his surname is derived from theRussian word for “bear” – “medved” – and he himself is of shortstature. This would then suggest that the “Rat” may be his shifty-eyedand long-nosed mentor. All in all, this slogan is so obtuse it wouldhardly serve as a rallying cry for an insurrection! And now back to theletter…]

The power knows that actions of people’s protest are possible, and that the consequences could be unpredictable.

A question. On whom is the power relying? Who can save it from thepeople’s wrath? Who will help hold on to what has been pillaged? Thatwould be you and me, colleagues. The Russian police. We are going todisperse the protesters, like we did on 1 May of 1993 and in October ofthat same year, like we dispersed the Russian March in 2008. So, ineverything that has taken place with our Motherland since the year1993, there is our guilt. And we will not now cry about how we have asmall salary. And a pension awaits us that is even lower -4 200 rubles,which is the size of the subsistence minimum as of today.
A question. Are we going to be the dogs-on-a-chain of this regime? Fora piece of bone tearing those at whom they show? In Vladivostok thepolice refused to disperse rallyers because it knew that the power haddeprived their kin too of means of existence. And what will we do?

Guys, somebody save this message. Because I know that the moderatorwill delete it, and will block me. Sitikhanter, give support.

As mentioned above, there is a remarkably large number of commentsto this posting, which has barely been up a day and a half. Some are inthe form of poetry, while others are excruciatingly long and esotericessays (complete with mathematical formulas) on ways to “save” Russia,or lists of outrageous demands that nobody will every listen to – allof these being very typically Russian phenomena. Most of the commentscome from policemen, and are full of spelling and punctuation errors.Also, it is largely the policemen who choose to remain anonymous,whether they agree with the poster or not. Very few comments addressthe main question raised by the original posting – will Russia’spolicemen allow themselves to be nothing but dogs-on-a-chain doing allthe power’s dirty work?

Although some commenters express disgust at the scenes shown onRussian television of policemen gleefully beating old men and women atdemonstrations, many more state that bashing the heads of “democrap”[дермократы] and “oppassitioneers” [жоппозиционнеры] is a sacred dutythey would perform with relish. One commenter expresses the desire tomurder Anatoly Chubais. Yet another explains that policemen are alwayspaid well in democratic states because the people there are willing topay to have their rights protected, while in authoritarian regimespolice have low salaries, so that they get sucked into corruption andbribery and therefore develop a vested interest in maintaining thestatus quo. There is a comment with a citation from the Rev. Dr. MartinLuther King, Jr., while another cites John F. Kennedy. Severalcommenters go off on distant tangents, discussing the price of gasolinein Ukraine, for example.

An unexpected comment comes from National Bolshevik leader EduardLimonov, urging the “comrades policemen” not to go bashing the heads ofRussian citizens if ordered to do so, to which another commenterimmediately alleges in very colorful language that Limonov is ahomosexual onanist, and (confusingly!) a pro-Kremlin one at that.Finally, many commenters question the authenticity of the author of theoriginal posting, suggesting in no uncertain terms that he is aprovocateur in the pay of evil Washingtonian interests (strangely, theydon’t level this accusation at their colleagues who quoted King andKennedy).