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Grigory Pasko: A drop of bile in the barrel of Putinite honey

There is such a news wire under the name of «Kaplya zhelchi» [A drop of bile–Trans.] There, wonderful Russian journalists, as a rule, oppositionally disposed in relation to the regime of Putin, subtly observe certain peculiarities of this regime.

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Here the journalist and human rights advocate Alexander Podrabinek noticed that in just one day, the Bashkirian parliament prepared and subsequently adopted 15 minutes later a law on social guarantees to civil servants. According to a report by RBK DAILY, a president of 4-million-strong Bashkiria [which prefers to be known as Bashkortostan–Trans.] who has left his post is going to get a pension equivalent to 242 thsd. euros per year. This is more than the salary of the current president of 65-million-strong France (231 thsd. euros per year), the prime minister of 62-million-strong Great Britain (216 thsd. euros) and exactly as much as the salary of the chancellor of 81-million-strong Germany.

In Bashkiria the average pension – is around 750 euros per year. Further on Podrabinek expresses his opinion: «If in Ufa they one day start hanging former officials from street lampposts, I will not be greatly surprised».Another journalist, Anton Orekh, noticed: «In the capital of sunny Mordovia in a gala setting a new FSB building has opened.«The new building – tall, light and airy, with columns – has become the decoration of the center of the capital of Mordovia,– declared, interrupting the wire, head of the region Nikolai Merkushkin.– It is not in vain that it has been built at the place where construction of the republican theater of opera and ballet was planned».«Now this is indeed — not in vain», – cautiously summarizes the journalist of the radio station «Echo Moskvy».I could add to this that in the overwhelming majority of Russian regional centers the administrations of the FSB are situated either in the very best buildings of the cities, or in historical monuments of architecture. Like, for example, in Chita.Also the journalist Orekh noticed that a wonderful innovation is going to appear in Russia in consequence of the ubiquitous fires (place suitable link here). Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin has given orders at the construction sites where they are going to be building houses for the burnt-down ones, to set up round-the-clock video surveillance over the restoration works. The transmission is even going to go to three separate places. «Into the House of government, to me at home and into the internet, on the site of the chairman of the government of the RF», — said the prime minister. [This former professional intelligence officer explained that «one of the most efficacious kinds of control — this is the organization of round-the-clock surveillance of what is going on at construction sites»–Ed.] «The houses have all burned down, – writes the journalist, – there are no roads in the district, a shop-on-wheels used to come by once a week, and if you got sick, it’s easier to just go and die than to get to a doctor. But now amongst the dying embers will stand cameras of unsleeping surveillance and will transmit everything to Putin at home».From myself I will add: of course, all these remarks – are but tiny slivers of that big idiotism that is in today’s Russia. It’s good that at least someone is writing about this openly. A shame, true, that the resource on which this «Drop of bile» is placed is read by not many inhabitants of Russia.* * *Men of Action: This video clip, taken from an actual “live” Russian TV news broadcast, shows that the ruling tandem is right on top of the wildfire situation, so any problems in putting out the conflagration can’t possibly be their fault. In a carefully scripted piece, the prime minister, on the spot in the middle of the fire zone (try to find a single flame in the background), gives the president an up-to-the-minute report by cellphone. He admits that the situation is “heavy”, but assures his boss that “all the necessary decisions have been adopted on site”, and that it’s just a matter of bringing them to fruition, for which he recommends that the president involve the resources of the Ministry of Defense “for conducting the necessary work”. Cut to the Kremlin. The president, sitting very presidentially at his presidential desk, likes his subordinate’s idea very much, and helpfully adds (note that he’s memorized his lines and doesn’t even need to look at the cue cards) that it will be important to rebuild burned-down housing before the new year.