Saturday, August 13, 2016

For Most Russians, ‘There is No Money,’ But for Rich Muscovites , Models Fight in Pool of Black Caviar

Paul Goble

            Staunton, August 13 – Even as Dmitry Medvedev was provoking anger for his remark that “there is no money but have a nice day,” a group of rich Russian bankers and officials were celebrating the Russian ruble at a lavish party in which two models wrestled with one another in a pool filled with black caviar.

            Their “battle” was captured on a video that has gone viral in Russia, sparking outrage and reminding everyone few mind living in huts until someone builds and then flaunts a palace nearby (The video is at For a Russian account, see

                Organized by the Russian Agency for International Projects in Culture, Education and Sport, the evening was devoted not only to the 700th anniversary of the creation of the Russian ruble but also to three other “Russian currencies from time immemorial – oil, caviar, and furs.”  It attacked bankers, businessmen and senior officials.

            Vyacheslav Tetekin, a Duma deputy, said that this reminded him of  “’a celebration in the time of a plague. Demographer Yury Krupnov said that it showed the triumph of feudalism in Russia and the reduction of most of its population to “second class” status while the rich partied without regard to anyone else.

            And one Russian regional paper pointedly noted that “there is no money for you. But for us, models fight in a pool filled with black caviar.”  Some who viewed the clip said it highlighted the degeneration of the elite; others, however, suggested that the whole thing was “patriotic” and that they could feel in it “the spiritual bindings” Vladimir Putin likes to talk about.

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