Grigory Pasko: The Banana Republic of Vladivostok

nikolaev111608.jpg An international event – in the regime of a state of emergency

Grigory Pasko – journalist

A couple of days ago Russian television in the popular humoristic broadcast «Nasha Rasha» [“Our Russia”, but using a transliteration of the ubiquitous English pronunciation of the country’s name–Trans.] launched a serial about the construction of sporting facilities in the city of Sochi, where, as is known, in the year 2014 is supposed to take place the winter Olympiad. From the first humorous story it can already be seen that the creators of the serial faithfully found the sore spots of this «construction project of the century». One of the spots – the Gastarbeiters, who, in fact, will not be building the facilities.

It should be noted that in the Russian mass information media they’re
writing little and reluctantly about what’s happening in Sochi.
Recently it became known that the mayor of the city has changed yet
again: he hadn’t spent even half a year at his post. Analysts came to
the conclusion that the person, coming to this post, simply penetrated
into the essence and the quantity of problems standing before the city
on the eve of the Olympiad. One such problem – the eviction of residents from their homes in the Imereti valley.
There, judging by everything, matters won’t get by without arrests and
gunfire: the people are going to defend their homes, and the powers are
going to be forcibly evicting them.

At the other end of the country – in Vladivostok – they’re getting
ready for another international event – the summit of the countries of
the Asian-Pacific region, which will take place on the island of Russky
in the year 2012. On the threshold of this event, cadres are changing
in the Kray center as well: the power is putting in its own tried and
true people. Obviously, it doesn’t trust the local elites to divvy up
the state budget.

Thus, recently to Vladivostok was appointed a new chief of the
administration of internal affairs (UVD) – him became major-general of
the police Andrey Nikolayev. They sent him over, as is customary in
Russia, from Saint Petersburg – that Putinite smithy of cadres.

The general quickly got into the swing of things, characterizing the
criminal situation in the city and the Kray thus: «In October were
detained more than ten organized groups, behind which just in the last
half year – more than 100 episodes of unsolved apartment burglaries,
robberies, and robberies with assaults. Now all of them are arrested
and are giving testimony…In Primorye I was shocked by the presence of a
colossal quantity of places of sale of the stolen. This is automotive
disassemblies, points of acceptance of non-ferrous scrap and
previously-owned radiotelephones, pawnshops…»

How did the new chief react to all this? Turns out – simply. «The
reason I keep my hair cut short is so it wouldn’t stand on end!» – thus
did Andrey Nikolayev characterize his attitude towards the surrounding

Nikolayev expressed himself interestingly too relative to the
construction of new facilities for the summit on the island of Russky.
He said: «I spoke to the management of Rosstroy: you will build
wonderful buildings, but by the summit all the raggery from the
Primorian boondocks will drink everything away, eat everything up,
steal everything, they won’t have anything to engage in, and they’ll
drag themselves over here, closer to Vladivostok. They will be walking
in the best case with hand outstretched, and in the worst – with a
jimmy, breaking the doors of apartments, beating on the head. That’s
what I’m afraid of…»

It can be seen that the person knows both his country and his people well…

In short, the new chief has aught to keep him busy in the wonderful city of the Russian Far East – Vladivostok.

For the sake of fairness it should be noted that such a picture any
general could have seen in any Russian city. After all, today’s power
is busy with goodness knows what – from the construction of underwater
gas pipelines to a war with Georgia – only not the creation of a happy
life in its own country. And nobody is writing about the problems of
the far corners of Russia and its deep hinterlands because although
this is not said anywhere, writing about these things is prohibited.
All the more so given that international events happen rarely in the

And indeed, the power rarely visits the hinterlands. President
Medvedev, as one magazine wrote, having been on Kamchatka, experienced
shock from the poverty and the pine of unresolved problems seen there.
The power, if it even does go deep into the country, always does so
with lots of security: heaven forbid that the people so beloved by it
not-unintentionally grab a pitchfork in order to express their
gratitude to their beloved leaders.

And in Vladivostok, by the way, with the aim of protecting the
leadership of the country is being formed a brigade of internal troops
of the MVD. The new general said just that:

« This is needed for the summit. You understand, after all, what kind
of event this is, how many dozens of first-persons there will be here…»

…If the financial crisis, which is penetrating ever deeper into the
minds of Russians, is not resolved in the nearest time, then Russians
will quickly begin to understand the whole extent of the incompetence
and ineffectiveness of today’s power. It will already be hard to feed
and soothe them with fables about the intrigues and machinations of
America. And when they do understand, then, I think, the powers are
going to have to equip the entire territory of Russia with new brigades
of internal troops – for the purposes of their own security.

A peaceful life to you, our dear leaders!

Photo caption: The new general of the police in Primorye, a certain Nikolayev (source)