Escape from Elba

International => Russia and Eastern Europe => Topic started by: Admin on April 16, 2007, 09:03:44 PM



Title: Russia and Eastern Europe
Post by: Admin on April 16, 2007, 09:03:44 PM
Discuss Russian and Eastern Europen politics.


Title: Re: Russia and Eastern Europe
Post by: Bob on April 23, 2007, 11:29:50 AM
Any comments on the death of Boris Yeltsin?


Title: Re: Russia and Eastern Europe
Post by: Dzimas on April 27, 2007, 08:21:41 AM
The folks who anchored this forum in the NYTimes have set up their own forum somewhere else.  I don't have a link for that site on this computer. 

I was amazed that Condi didn't think that setting up bilateral agreements with the Czech Republic and Poland for a missile defense system wouldn't ruffle feathers in Moscow.  For all the talk of being on good terms with Putin, this administration has done its damnedest to recreate a Cold War environment, and this latest incident only heightens the tensions between the two countries.  If, as Condi says, the missile defense system offers little in the way of deterent, then why set it up at all?

As for Yeltsin, he is being treated better in death than he was in life.  The guy had the best of intentions, but was totally incompitent.  He just managed to stumble into a few good situations and endear himself to the West.


Title: Re: Russia and Eastern Europe
Post by: thebizneverloses on May 01, 2007, 10:36:21 AM
Any idea to where these folks have migrated?


Title: Re: Russia and Eastern Europe
Post by: Dzimas on May 10, 2007, 02:42:12 AM
This is where they emigrated to:

http://eastern-european-forum.blogspot.com/

very nice site.


Title: Re: Russia and Eastern Europe
Post by: Dzimas on May 10, 2007, 02:53:48 AM
The Yeltsin love-in seems to be over.  I have been shocked by the reaction to Estonia pulling down a red army war memorial.  Putin is still referring to it in his speeches, as was the case in commemoration of the Russian V-Day celebration yesterday.  Seems Putin has embraced much of the Soviet dynasty as his own, something Yeltsin had been careful not to do.  Lithuania got rid of virtually all its Soviet statues, with a savvy entrepreneur making a park out of them in the south of the country, nicknamed Stalinworld:

http://www.grutoparkas.lt/ekspozicija-en.htm

which is where such memorials belong.


Title: The Baltics
Post by: Wolverine on June 15, 2007, 01:28:38 AM
It's not all that simple - I was visiting in eastern Estonia a couple of weeks ago and there really are some human rights issues involved - a whole part of Estonia there doesn't speak Estonian - and have virtually no practical way to learn as there is no one to speak Estonian to!

(By the way - overall - Estonia has turned into an absolutely marvelous place)

These people are denied citizenship because of the language problem - and no help really given to solve that. These folks lost Soviet citizenship and could not get Russian citizenship without moving back to Russia. Estonia and Yeltsin had a deal for these Russian-Estonians to get citizenship as a kind of quid pro quo with withdrawal of the Red Army in 1994 - but I was told Yeltsin seemed to forget all about it when the army was taken out - supposedly too drunk or too busy dancing.

Latvia is no simple case either - with 50% of Riga (also the whole region's biggest city) being of Russian origin.

It will require some creative thinking and good will from all parties to get past this.
On the other hand - I'm told by some Russians - the only reason Russia is 'under control' in general is because of the iron fist he holds - he's a bit like the Saddam Hussein of Russia.


Title: Re: Russia and Eastern Europe
Post by: Dzimas on June 18, 2007, 09:27:42 AM
Celebrating Russian culture is one thing, eulogizing Soviet memorials is another.  Much of the tension that runs through Baltic-Russian relations has to do with the Soviet annexation of these republics, and the Soviet insistence that they had no autonomy before the annexation.  No Russian leader has yet to visit the Baltics since independence, despite having had visits from all other leading heads of state.  It struck me that Putin was trying to make a hornets' nest out of the situation, when all Estonia wanted to do was clear a Red Army Memorial out of Tallinn, which they should have done long ago.


Title: Re: Russia and Eastern Europe
Post by: Wolverine on June 18, 2007, 03:33:52 PM
All that is true

But do wonder why Estoia is holding hostage tens of thousands of perfectly decent human beings living in Estonia who 'got stuck' - they had done nothing wrong - they are in a very impractical situation to start to be learning Estonian (they live in areas pretty much by themselves).

Why not find a way to ive them Estonian citizenship - perhaps very serious govt programs to help them gradually leearn Estonian - etc etc

It's rather narrow-minded thinking by the Estonians - these people did not do any occupying - and anything done to help them out is only going to be to Estonia's advantage in the long run.

Similar situations MAY exist in Latvia and Lithuania.


Title: Re: Russia and Eastern Europe
Post by: Dzimas on June 19, 2007, 01:12:38 AM
Most Russians who have a long established residency in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania do have citizenship and do speak the languages.  Understandably, the Baltic countries are slow to give newly arriving (post-indepence) Russians citizenship, otherwise there would be an even greater ethnic imbalance than there already is, especially in Latvia, where tensions run the highest.  As someone who has to go through the ordeal of getting a residence visa every year, despite having a Lithuanian wife and children, I know how dehumanizing that can be, but when I hear about the horror stories coming out of Russia these days in regard to immigration, the problems in the Baltics seems quite small by comparison.


Title: The Baltics
Post by: Dzimas on June 19, 2007, 03:45:27 AM
I think the situation in Estonia spun wildly out of control, wolverine, and it has been referred to heavily in the Russian media.  Putin has picked up on it in his speeches as well.  Russian (financial) influence in Baltic politics is very strong, and is deeply resented by the Baltic nations.  Unfortunately, people get caught in the middle as a result.  Probably the worst situation is Kaliningrad, which is separated from Russia by Lithuania and Poland, and as a result has to negotiate transit through the countries each year.  What makes the situation even more difficult is that the three Baltic nations couldn't be any different: linguistically, culturally or politically, making it very hard to coordinate policy.  Since EU, they pretty much follow EU regulations when it comes to immigration and citizenship requirements, although there was a lot of bad press a few years ago over Latvia's language requirement.  Surprised that Russia hasn't picked up Lithuania's new language requirement for permanent residential visas.  One also has to familiarize oneself with the constitution as well, which seems more like a citizenship requirement.  Of course, having such isolated languages, there isn't much incentive to learn the languages, especially when one can communicate freely in Russian in these countries, although the Latvians we know prefer to speak in English.


Title: Re: Russia and Eastern Europe
Post by: Wolverine on June 20, 2007, 10:35:16 AM

Most Russians who have a long established residency in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania do have citizenship and do speak the languages.

This is not the case in Estonia for many, many persons. I know one chap - doing VERY responsible work - for 20 years - sent to Estonia after finishing university in Moscow - and he is completely caught in the 'non-citizen of anywhere' abyss

I leave tomorrow for 4 days in Vilnius - 3rd time in 2 years - and will ask around about this question.


Title: Re: Russia and Eastern Europe
Post by: Dzimas on June 20, 2007, 10:53:07 AM
There have been several waves of Russians settling in the Baltics, dating back to the late 18th century, when Russia annexed the Baltics and partitioned Poland.  The question of citizenship is a very complex issue since many Russians consider themselves first and foremost Russian and have little or no allegiance to the Baltics outside of their residency.  Estonia and Latvia never had any independence prior to 1918, subject to one nation-state or another.  Lithuania had a monarchy dating back to the 13th century and then a joint kingdom with Poland from the 16th through 18th centuries, which was conquered and divided by the Russians and Germans.  Nevertheless, Russia and then the Soviet Union tried to deny the Baltics ever had any independence, claiming the countries as their territories.  Hardline Russian conservatives continue to view the Baltics as part of a greater Russia, refusing to recognize their independence.  So, in asking your questions around the Baltic states, you should ask Russians whether they even consider themselves Balts or Russians who happen to be living in Baltic states?


Title: Re: Russia and Eastern Europe
Post by: Wolverine on June 20, 2007, 12:56:29 PM
So, in asking your questions around the Baltic states, you should ask Russians whether they even consider themselves Balts or Russians who happen to be living in Baltic states?

This will vary greatly as you can well imagine.

I was met in Tallinn harbor by the car rental girl - I told I was driving to the Narva area (Russian) - she said she'd not been there - her grandparents Russian - she didn't speak Russian - her beef with the Russians was that they acted like they owned Estonia - she said her knowledge was that the Germans hadn't acted that way in the 40's

But there is my friend from Russia there - he is going to be 'Russian' until he dies - whatever passport he has - but that's not his fault - it's just life - but he shouldn't have to be a non-entity because some governments moved borders or politics around

Lithuania was once a very important power - last time in Vilnius paid some 30 bucks for detailed history - got to really get into it - they basically went down to the Black Sea - so Russians would have some trouble telling the Lithuanias they were never independent

It is true the Baltics are 3 different countries in many ways - language, culture - etc - but one common thread now is economics as many companies are putting the 3 together - and along with a presence in Finland and Sweden (with the companies having Finnish and Swedish owners) - there is a new commonality - economics.


Title: Re: Russia and Eastern Europe
Post by: Dzimas on June 20, 2007, 11:52:11 PM
Investment runs through all countries, nothing unusual about that.  The funny part is that Anatol Lieven wrote in The Baltic Revolution (back in 93 or 94) that the Scandinavian countries would never invest in Lithuania, because there were no shared Scandinavian roots.  Actually, at one time Sweden did rule Lithuania, ever so briefly.  But that didn't really matter, as Scandinavian investment is heavy throughout the Baltics and Eastern Europe.  What makes the Baltics so attractive to investors is that they serve as a portal to Russia.  The rules of the games are more clearly defined and business and real estate laws favors the investor.  As a result, it is an economic boom in all three countries with rapidly increasing property values and a new rich quickly emerging.  It is bringing with it a whole new set of problems, as speculation runs rampant, which is why you see so many Russians now coming to Vilnius, Riga, and Tallinn, not to mention the portal these countries serve to the EU.


Title: Re: Russia and Eastern Europe
Post by: elportenito1 on September 04, 2007, 09:02:32 AM
ZIVIJO PARTIZANI!!!!!


Title: Re: Russia and Eastern Europe
Post by: CaptainCargo on September 14, 2007, 06:45:04 AM
There have been several waves of Russians settling in the Baltics, dating back to the late 18th century, when Russia annexed the Baltics and partitioned Poland.  The question of citizenship is a very complex issue since many Russians consider themselves first and foremost Russian and have little or no allegiance to the Baltics outside of their residency.  Estonia and Latvia never had any independence prior to 1918, subject to one nation-state or another.  Lithuania had a monarchy dating back to the 13th century and then a joint kingdom with Poland from the 16th through 18th centuries, which was conquered and divided by the Russians and Germans.  Nevertheless, Russia and then the Soviet Union tried to deny the Baltics ever had any independence, claiming the countries as their territories.  Hardline Russian conservatives continue to view the Baltics as part of a greater Russia, refusing to recognize their independence.  So, in asking your questions around the Baltic states, you should ask Russians whether they even consider themselves Balts or Russians who happen to be living in Baltic states?

I know from experience that many "Russians" living outside of Russia proper have two passports/IDs. Tatarstan for instance is really at odds with the Russians living there and has been trying to strongarm the Russians to be integrated into Tatar schools. For years and years there were separate schools there. And muslim Tatarstan has been harrassing the Eastern Orthodox Church there too. The were one of the few republics like Chechnya that weren't "allowed" to form their own nation such as Kazakstan, Ukraine, Belarus and others were. Tatarstan however is unique in that it happens to be completely surrounded by Russia proper.


Title: Re: Russia and Eastern Europe
Post by: Dzimas on September 17, 2007, 09:44:15 AM
Hello Captain,

The same is true in Lithuania.  There are Lithuanian, Russian and Polish schools, each taught in their separate languages.  Of course, there are a lot of children from mixed couples, so the line has long been blurred, but there are those Russians and Poles living in Lithuania who prefer to send their kids to schools that speak their languages and the country accomodates them.  Lithuania has even granted the Romas their own primary and secondary school in Vilnius.


Title: Re: Russia and Eastern Europe
Post by: Dzimas on September 22, 2007, 07:01:03 AM
I see Russia staked its claim for the Arctic,

http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/capress/070920/world/russia_arctic

I don't see how an extension of its continental shelf means anything, since the Arctic has been around a lot longer than Russia has.  By that logic the US should be able to lay claim to most of the Northern Atlantic Ocean.  It is a joke for the UN to even consider such claims.


Title: Re: Russia and Eastern Europe
Post by: madupont on September 24, 2007, 11:30:02 AM
Wait till they hit oil!  Just kidding...or, am I?


Title: Re: Russia and Eastern Europe
Post by: madupont on September 24, 2007, 11:35:04 AM
You know, the more i look at that Duchovny babe, the more I feel sure that i know her from some place. I just haven't put my finger on it as yet. She really resembles somebody that I know. Oh, I got it, it is somebody I've watched perform a lot.

Rachel Griffiths as Brenda Chenowith.


Title: Re: Russia and Eastern Europe
Post by: Dzimas on September 27, 2007, 03:41:11 AM
Wait till they hit oil!  Just kidding...or, am I?

Of course, that's what it's all about, but how does the Arctic being an extension of the same continental shelf Russia happens to be sitting on, justify their claim for the sea bottom?  This is patented nonsense.  By international law, a country's soverignty extends 200 miles out to sea, with adjustments made according to shared boundaries.  This includes the bottom of the sea, as I understand.  Years ago the Antarctic was chopped up by superpowers, and I imagine that will be the case with the Arctic sea bed.  Russia sticking a flag on the sea bed of the North Pole means diddly squat.


Title: Re: Russia and Eastern Europe
Post by: madupont on September 27, 2007, 01:06:55 PM
That's exactly what I had in mind, remembering the Antarctic exploration record but I didn't want to be so bold as to go into that picture as I had visualized. Nontheless we ourselves, in some inter-related US administrations, have investigated the extension of the continental shelf in Southeast Asia. I understand the evidence for this is in Daniel Patrick Moynihan's memoires and I've pondered why I haven't made a big effort to read that book as in:"is it worth it"? , just to do it before Babs censors it?


Title: Re: Russia and Eastern Europe
Post by: Dzimas on October 01, 2007, 08:21:20 AM
What gets me, maddy, is if the same amount of energy were spent on seeking alternative energy sources, there would be no need to drill into the fragile Arctic.   I'm stunned that the UN would even entertain such claims.


Title: Re: Russia and Eastern Europe
Post by: Dzimas on October 18, 2007, 09:04:59 AM
While there is much talk about amending the constitution to allow Putin to run for a third term, he has apparently set his sights on the Duma itself, hoping to control the parliament with a political party of his creation.  Of course, he has to put in a proxy for President, so that he can get the necessary legislation pushed through that would invest more power in the Duma so that he can assume the same authority he has enjoyed for the past 8 years.


Title: Re: Russia and Eastern Europe
Post by: luee on October 18, 2007, 12:23:25 PM
The new Russia and the republic of the mangods are allied in a quest for fire. Someone show them the way before modern civilization goes up in a cloud of smoke, please.


Title: Re: Russia and Eastern Europe
Post by: Dzimas on December 13, 2007, 04:43:48 AM
Well, there is a lot shaking in Russia these days.  Putin seems to have secured himself the seat of Prime Minister and put a proxy into the president's seat who will sign power back over to the Duma, so that Vlad can continue to call all the shots.  The beauty of the plan is that he can say he is bringing Russia closer in line with Europe's parliamentary system, while securing power indefinitely.  I wonder if he is getting advice from his good pal, Gerhard Schröder.


Title: Re: Russia and Eastern Europe
Post by: madupont on March 23, 2008, 03:04:42 PM
Dzimas, what's your take on this one; or, rather, in diplomatic terms, what do you make of this  latest ripple across the pond. As I read the announcement in the post for Sunday( and continued to the follow-up article, I find the alignment off as if something topical is being avoided?)

"Latvia asks Yard for help in billionaire huntLatvian police have approached Scotland Yard for help with an inquiry into the disappearance in suspicious circumstances of a Russian-born billionaire. Leonid Rozhetskin, who is a strong critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, vanished from his £1m home just outside the Latvian capital Riga a week ago. Traces of his blood were found in his home and in his 4x4 car. The Latvian authorities have indicated that they suspect London-based Russian agents of involvement." (Mail on Sunday)
People: Georgian billionaire died 'of natural causes'

http://www.thefirstpost.co.uk/people,682,georgian-billionaire-died-of-natural-causes,17643

Between the quotation marks was from the front page of above thefirstpost for Sunday, March 23,2008; "People" refers to the section which continues the first remarks.

I shall go look for the recommended Mail, today's date.  Well, maybe it does make sense after all; I shall understand in case you don't want to reply to an impertinent question.


Title: Re: Russia and Eastern Europe
Post by: madupont on March 23, 2008, 04:29:20 PM
It is horrors trying to find the news in a British newspaper! But here it is in total, far more complicated than the British are likely to resolve:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=542412&in_page_id

KGB plot fears as London oligarch vanishes and traces of blood are found in his mansion
By DANIEL BOFFEY, CHRISTOPHER LEAKE and PETER ALLEN - More by this author » Last updated at 14:00pm on 23rd March 2008


Title: Re: Russia and Eastern Europe
Post by: madupont on March 23, 2008, 04:30:15 PM
But, talk about Eastern Promises! Sheesh.


Title: Re: Russia and Eastern Europe
Post by: madupont on March 27, 2008, 10:47:46 AM
http://www.thefirstpost.co.uk/?storyID=25514&p=1 

IS THE POLISH DIASPORA RETURNING HOME ?


Title: Re: Russia and Eastern Europe
Post by: REDSTATEWARD on November 16, 2017, 04:36:08 PM
Saturday, November 18
A heap of day games and cupcakes

Noon

Mercer (5-5) @ #1 Alabama (10-0)
Mercer gets $600,000  to complete a million dollar Yellowhammer State double-header this year.( It lost earlier to Auburn 25-10)
Saban doesn’t have to rest his starters though, many of them are recuperating from injuries. Alabama to win, but will the Tide roll?



Virginia (6-3) @ #3  Miami (9-0) -19
Can The pinpoint passing of Malik Rosier keep the Hurricanes blitzing through the ACC?  Probably, but after the emotional highs of beating Virginia Tech and Notre Dame they probably won’t cover.


Michigan #24 (8-2) @#5 Wisconsin (10-0) -7.5
Finally Wisconsin gets a ranked team and a chance to shine in the only top 25 matchup of the day.  Two defensive BigTen stalwarts who figure to keep the score low. The Wolverines will cover.


Louisiana-Monroe (4-5) @#6 Auburn(8-2)-36.5
Auburn just put a stranglehold on Georgia and has the Iron Bowl next week.
Louisiana Monroe scores a lot of points and has a 36.5 cushion to start with. Enough to cover



  12:20 pm

The Citadel (5-5) @#2 Clemson (9-1)
Clemson

3:30pm

#4 Oklahoma @Kansas (1-9) +37
Baker Mayfield drives the Schooner all over the Jayhawks


Kentucky @#7 Georgia (9-1) -21.5
The Bulldogs rebound


Navy (6-3) @#8 Notre Dame (8-2) -18..5
A letdown for the Irish and a cover for Navy


Illinois(2-8) @ # 9 Ohio State (8-2) -41
Ohio State

Nebraska (4-6) @#10 Penn State (8-2) -26.5
Nittany Lions










Title: Re: Russia and Eastern Europe
Post by: barton on December 02, 2017, 06:17:53 PM
LOL

A wee problem finding the sports forum?