Staunton, June 10 -- The flood of news stories from a country as large, diverse and strange as the Russian Federation often appears to be is far too large for anyone to keep up with. But there needs to be a way to mark those which can’t be discussed in detail but which are too indicative of broader developments to ignore.
Consequently, Windows on Eurasia presents a selection of 13 of these other and typically neglected stories at the end of each week. This is the 35th such compilation. It is only suggestive and far from complete – indeed, once again, one could have put out such a listing every day -- but perhaps one or more of these stories will prove of broader interest.
Putin Tells Lukashenka He Isn’t Sleeping Well Anymore. Having kept so many others up at night, Vladimir Putin tells Belarus’ head Alyaksandr Lukashenka that he isn’t sleeping as well as he used to, getting not the seven or eight hours he needs but rather only five or six. That decline almost certainly is due to age rather than anything else, but perhaps in the still of the night, the Kremlin leader may have to reflect on what he has wrought (izvestia.ru/news/617301
ng.ru/economics/2016-06-03/4_bread.html), hospital patients are killing themselves because they can’t get the treatment (http://forum-msk.org/material/kompromat/11866043.html(echo.msk.ru/news/1780802-echo.html
EU Says Moscow hasn’t Met Any of Its Suggestions for Fighting Racism. The European Union had suggested a number of things that Russia should do to fight these evils; it now concludes that the Russian government has done nothing to meet any of these goals and instead is attacking the idea that it should have to meet any international standards (echo.msk.ru/news/1779430-echo.htmlgraniru.org/Politics/Russia/m.252023.html
5. rufabula.com/news/2016/06/06/prague-spring and nr2.com.ua/News/world_and_russia/V-RF-hotyat-priznat-veteranami-uchastnikov-podavleniya-vosstaniya-v-CHehii-120444.html).
Fewer Russians Vacationing Abroad but More Fleeing to Live There. Only three percent of Russians say they will vacation abroad this summer (rosbalt.ru/russia/2016/06/07/1521235.htmliq.hse.ru/news/184693484.htmlrosbalt.ru/business/2016/06/06/1521038.htmlkommersant.ru/doc/3000550spektrnews.in.ua/news/zapret-dlya-vseh-rossiyan-vyezda-za-granicu-chto-dal-she/6048
versia.ru/rossiyane-vse-menshe-veryat-v-svobodu-slova-na-televidenii), and some 100 newspapers in the Urals are now putting notices above television schedules in their pages suggesting that viewers should consider most TV outlets unreliable at best (tvrain.ru/articles/regions_ntv-410940/cheslavsky.livejournal.com/635112.html
nazaccent.ru/content/20961-rolik-ob-etnicheskoj-chistote-vzorval-internet.htmlhttp://we-russian.ru/archives/1604). Such attitudes are promoting ethnic separation, and one indication of that is the appearance of a second “Jewish quarter” in a Russian city, this time in Kaliningrad (nazaccent.ru/content/20937-evrejskij-kvartal-poyavitsya-v-kaliningrade.html
Unknown Persons Topple Lenin Statue in Moscow, Leave Note Saying He was a Hangman. Statues of the founder of the Russian state are coming down all the time in Ukraine and other non-Russian countries, but they have tended to be left alone in Russia. Thus, it is interesting that someone toppled a Lenin statue in the Russian capital and left a note saying he was a hangman of the Russian people (tass.ru/proisshestviya/3345706versia.ru/v-centre-moskvy-ryadom-s-upavshim-pamyatnikom-leninu-nashli-rebus
13. ‘You Have Enemies; We Have Concrete to Plant Them In.’ A Russian cement firm has come up with an intriguing as well as disturbing advertisement of how some might want to use its product. The ad shows various foreign leaders Moscow has described as the enemies of Russia and then a photograph of a block of solidifying concrete out of which are sticking two legs (twitter.com/CrazyinRussia/status/738125420827189248/photo/1).
And six more from Russia’s neighbors:
Even in Russian-Occupied Donbas Lenin Statue Taken Down. People in the Russian-occupied portion of Donetsk have taken down a statue of the founder of the Soviet state, an intriguing spread of the “Lenin fall” that has spread across Ukraine (kyivpost.com/article/content/ukraine-politics/ukraine-today-lenin-statue-pulled-down-in-militant-held-donetsk-region-415522.html). Meanwhile, in nearby Russian Novorossiisk, citizens have put up a bust of Vladimir Putin “in gratitude” for his moves in Ukraine (kavpolit.com/articles/bjust_putina_ustanovlen_pod_novorossijskom-26246/
17. Tashkent Bars Men with Beards from Football Matches. In an effort to prevent violence at soccer competitions, the Uzbek government has banned anyone wearing a beard to attend, apparently convinced that all those with beards are likely to be Islamist extremists (islamsng.com/uzb/news/10793).
Tajikistan to Forcibly Treat Those with Tuberculosis. In an indication of how widespread TB has become in Tajikistan, Dushanbe has ordered that those diagnosed with the disease are to be treated regardless of whether they want to or not (rus.ozodi.org/a/27782732.html