Dances With Bears: MEDIATION IN THE KASHMIR CONFLICT BETWEEN INDIA AND PAKISTAN – WHO IS LYING?

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By John Helmer, Moscow   @bears_with It appears that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his officials may have lied twice – the first time in February to deny they had discussed mediation in the Kashmir conflict with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov; and the second time this week to deny that Modi discussed US mediation […]

Dances With Bears


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Michael Novakhov on Twitter from Michael_Novakhov (4 sites): mikenov on Twitter: 12:00 AM 7/24/2019 – Puerto Rico News – #PuertoRicoNews: Jibaros, Go home! | Jeffrey Epstein’s Financial Trail Goes Through Deutsche Bank – Saved Stories – In 50 Brief Posts trumpandtrumpism.com/2019/07/24/120…

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12:00 AM 7/24/2019 – Puerto Rico News – #PuertoRicoNews: Jibaros, Go home! | Jeffrey Epstein’s Financial Trail Goes Through Deutsche Bank – Saved Stories – In 50 Brief Posts trumpandtrumpism.com/2019/07/24/120…


Posted by

mikenov
on Wednesday, July 24th, 2019 4:06am

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Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty: U.S. Government Sued Over Trump Travel Ban Related To Iran

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Families trying to bring their Iranian spouses and other family members to the United States filed a federal lawsuit in California, saying they are being unfairly blocked by the Trump administration’s travel ban in effect for Iran and four other Muslim-majority countries.

Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty


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Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty: U.S. State Department ‘Looks Forward’ To Working With New Ukrainian Government

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WASHINGTON – The U.S. State Department said it looks forward to working with a new Ukrainian government after the political party of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy won an outright victory in the July 21 parliamentary elections.

Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty


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Michael Novakhov on Twitter from Michael_Novakhov (4 sites): mikenov on Twitter: Luis Fortuño se une al reclamo y pide renuncia de Rosselló metro.pr/pr/noticias/20…

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Luis Fortuño se une al reclamo y pide renuncia de Rosselló metro.pr/pr/noticias/20…


Posted by

mikenov
on Tuesday, July 23rd, 2019 9:41pm

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Michael Novakhov on Twitter from Michael_Novakhov (4 sites): mikenov on Twitter: 4:34 PM 7/23/2019 – #Epstein #story #shows #investigativeJournalism is thriving – #MichaelNovakhov – #SharedNewsLinks℠ – In 50 #Brief #Posts trumpandtrumpism.com/2019/07/23/434…

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4:34 PM 7/23/2019 – #Epstein #story #shows #investigativeJournalism is thriving – #MichaelNovakhov – #SharedNewsLinks℠ – In 50 #Brief #Posts trumpandtrumpism.com/2019/07/23/434…


Posted by

mikenov
on Tuesday, July 23rd, 2019 8:38pm

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Michael Novakhov on Twitter from Michael_Novakhov (4 sites): mikenov on Twitter: Who paid for this display of “ANGER”, ah, Mr. Trump?! prjournal-1.blogspot.com/2019/07/who-pa…

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Who paid for this display of “ANGER”, ah, Mr. Trump?! prjournal-1.blogspot.com/2019/07/who-pa…


Posted by

mikenov
on Tuesday, July 23rd, 2019 8:29pm

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Michael Novakhov on Twitter from Michael_Novakhov (4 sites): mikenov on Twitter: #PuertoRicoJournal: #WhoPaid for this #display of “#ANGER”, ah, Mr. #Trump… prjournal-1.blogspot.com/2019/07/who-pa…

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#PuertoRicoJournal: #WhoPaid for this #display of “#ANGER”, ah, Mr. #Trump… prjournal-1.blogspot.com/2019/07/who-pa…


Posted by

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on Tuesday, July 23rd, 2019 8:29pm

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Michael Novakhov on Twitter from Michael_Novakhov (4 sites): mikenov on Twitter: 4:16 PM 7/23/2019 – All News Review In 25 Saved Stories prjournal-1.blogspot.com/2019/07/416-pm…

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4:16 PM 7/23/2019 – All News Review In 25 Saved Stories prjournal-1.blogspot.com/2019/07/416-pm…


Posted by

mikenov
on Tuesday, July 23rd, 2019 8:25pm

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Johnson’s Russia List: JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia in the Gray Zone” – Aspen Institute/ Kathleen Hicks

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“… Russia is waging campaigns … [to influence world affairs with a] significant number of … tactics … [falling] between routine statecraft and direct and open warfare …. Americans … familiar with Russia’s disinformation efforts in the United States and its use of ‘little green men’ in Ukraine … may be less attuned to stepped-up Russian political and economic coercion […]

Johnson’s Russia List


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Michael Novakhov on Twitter from Michael_Novakhov (4 sites): mikenov on Twitter: RT @julito77: FINALLY, the amazing team at @cpipr is getting global attention they deserve. They’ve been doing this work for years. So flip…

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FINALLY, the amazing team at @cpipr is getting global attention they deserve. They’ve been doing this work for years. So flipping proud of them!

Puerto Rico’s mass protests were partly sparked by this news outlet’s publication of leaked texts – CNN

cnn.com/2019/07/22/med…


Posted by

julito77
on Tuesday, July 23rd, 2019 3:08am
Retweeted by

mikenov
on Tuesday, July 23rd, 2019 5:47pm

726 likes, 305 retweets

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Michael Novakhov on Twitter from Michael_Novakhov (4 sites): mikenov on Twitter: #PuertoRicoNews – Puerto Rico News: prnewslinks.blogspot.com #NewsLinks #ToPuertoRico, #Caribbean and #Latino #Culture Headlines: Jibaros: Go home and take all these pennies that Trump threw to you and your leaders, as the payment for these “demonstrations”! #PuertoRico #News pic.twitter.com/kOHXuK1RdN

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#PuertoRicoNews – Puerto Rico News: prnewslinks.blogspot.com
#NewsLinks #ToPuertoRico, #Caribbean and #Latino #Culture
Headlines:
Jibaros: Go home and take all these pennies that Trump threw to you and your leaders, as the payment for these “demonstrations”!
#PuertoRico
#News pic.twitter.com/kOHXuK1RdN



Posted by

mikenov
on Tuesday, July 23rd, 2019 5:15pm

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Robert Amsterdam: Departures Podcast: “Putin is good for his people – he lets them steal as much as they want”

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On this latest episode of Departures, Robert Amsterdam speaks with an admired friend and colleague Dr. Anders Åslund, author of the new book, “Russia’s Crony Capitalism: The Path from Market Economy to Kleptocracy.”

In his book, Åslund contends that in his eighteen years in Moscow, Putin has succeeded in establishing a Russian state and economy that are “exceedingly reminiscent” of those that existed in tsarist Russia, a far cry from the democratic state and liberal market economy that global observers had anticipated would inevitably follow the collapse of the Soviet Union.

According to Åslund, Putin has accomplished this by constructing an “iron quadrangle” comprised of “four circles of power,” which are “vertical state power,” “big state enterprises,” Putin’s “cronies,” and “Anglo-American offshore havens,” respectively.

The consolidation of this iron quadrangle is the result of Putin’s years’ long effort to deinstitutionalize the Russian state, and devise a system that guarantees macroeconomic stability, but falls short of delivering economic growth. As Åslund describes, these circumstances will likely yield a Russia in regression, a nation that is increasingly patrimonial and, as a result, will accelerate the ongoing retreat of democracy. Should this continue unabated, global powers, particularly those in the West, may expect Putin to grow increasingly authoritarian, and in the tsarist tradition, grow evermore inclined to taking risks in seeking sources of legitimacy other than macroeconomic stability.

Subscribe to Departures below:

The post Departures Podcast: “Putin is good for his people – he lets them steal as much as they want” appeared first on Robert Amsterdam.

Robert Amsterdam


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IRRUSSIANALITY: Floreat gens togata!

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EtonShield

Britain has had 54 Prime Ministers. Tomorrow, it gets its 55th, and the 20th to have passed through the hallowed portals of The King’s College of Our Lady of Eton beside Windsor (though the first among them to have been one of the ‘tugs’ – the gens togata or ‘gowned ones’, as the school’s intellectual elite, the King’s Scholars, are known). What can we expect from Boris Johnson? Will he save Britain from its current political chaos, or will he lead it further into the abyss? I can’t say that I know the answers, and my mind is somewhat divided. I can’t help but like and admire the guy. At the same time, I can’t help but wonder if he’s really who one wants to run one’s country. A few memories help to explain why.

Boris combines brilliance and eccentricity in equal measure, as I witnessed in about 1986 when I stumbled across him one day in the Gladstone Room of the Oxford Union hosting a group of visitors from the Netherlands. Boris was clearly at a loss as to what to do with the Dutch, but on seeing me he summoned me over and launched into a hymn of praise to Eton’s founder, King Henry VI:

Rex Henricus, sis amicus

Nobis in angustia;

Cujus prece, nos a nece,

Salvemur in perpetua.

Now, I’ll admit that I have a soft spot for good King Henry to whom I indirectly owe great deal, but goodness only knows what the Dutch thought of it all. In its way, though, it was classic Boris – extemporization taking the place of preparation, entertainment substituting for substance, and yet somehow it all coming together to get him off the hook and bluff his way through the day.

The question which now arises is whether this approach will suffice to get him the mess of Brexit, a mess for which he himself is largely to blame. There’s a tendency to regard Boris as a buffoon. This is a mistake. He’s super-smart. He’s also flexible, and is willing to listen to alternative points of view. And this brings me to a second Boris memory:

Back in December 2002, when I was a Lecturer at the University of Hull, my phone rang and it turned out to Boris Johnson, then editor of The Spectator. He’d heard of a pamphlet which my mother and I had written about the proposed constitution for the European Union. Would I write an article about it for The Spectator, he asked. Sure, I said, whereupon the conversation switched to other matters, including the impending invasion of Iraq. All that guff about WMD was a load of nonsense, I told him; there was absolutely no reason to attack Iraq. Interesting, Boris replied, ‘forget the article about the EU, write me a piece saying all that.’ And so I did. Dare I say it, I think it was pretty good. The article came out in the Christmas edition of 2002 and ended up as the first of about 20 pieces I did for the Speccie. The thing about this is that Boris supported the war. Yet he commissioned and published an article saying it was stupid. This was fairly typical of his tenure as editor: a wide range of opinions were encouraged. Alas, once Boris left the magazine a more rigid orthodoxy took over and those like me who thought in the wrong way found ourselves on the street.

So, on the plus side, Britain’s new Prime Minister is no ideologue. This is a major point in his favour. I do worry about his judgement, however. Take the case of Iraq. It’s not like he wasn’t warned that all that WMD stuff was rot. In fact, he later admitted that he didn’t believe it. But he said that he voted for the war anyway because Saddam was a bad man and deserved to be removed. And that perhaps reveals something else about him: for all his intelligence, he comes across as much more a man of emotion than reason, wrapped up in myths of Britain as the historical home of freedom and democracy, and of British greatness which can only be sustained by asserting the country’s sovereignty and throwing its weight around.

Which brings me on to my third Boris memory. It’s a little hazy, but I remember going down to Eton one weekend from Oxford to play in a scratch Wall Game team with, among others, Boris Johnson. If my memory serves me correctly, Boris and I got changed in the room of the Captain of the School, after which my head got thoroughly pummelled in during the game. From outside, it looks like nothing’s happening in the wall game. Inside, it’s extremely violent. Anyway, the big game of the year takes place each St Andrew’s Day, when the College team (drawn from the 70 King’s Scholars for whom the school was founded, and who make up the ‘College’) and the ‘Oppidan’ team (drawn from the rest of the school). Legend has it that one St Andrew’s day in the late nineteenth century, the College team failed to turn up on time, with the exception of one player, James Kenneth Stephen, who managed singlehandedly to hold off the Oppidans until his colleagues eventually arrived. In his memory, every year at the dinner held in the College Hall on St Andrew’s Day, the members of the College team individually drink a toast: ‘In piam memoriam JKS’.

Part of me wonders if this isn’t how Britain’s new Prime Minister sees himself – a modern day JKS, singlehandedly holding off the enemy to deliver Brexit and save both Britain and the Conservative Party. It’s no coincidence, I think, that Boris once chose to write a biography of Winston Churchill. It’s the same sort of mythology – the lone genius who rides to the rescue. Whatever else you may say about Boris, you can’t accuse him of lack of ambition.

It didn’t end well for JKS, who some suspect (almost certainly incorrectly) of being Jack the Ripper. He suffered from bipolar order, and after hitting his head in an accident went steadily crazier. He ended up mental hospital where he wrote a couple of volumes of well-received poetry before starving himself to death.

It didn’t end well for Henry VI either. He also went mad. Imprisoned by the usurper Edward IV, he too turned to poetry, and penned a few lines of warning for those seeking fame and power.

Kingdoms are but cares
State is devoid of stay,
Riches are ready snares,
And hasten to decay
Pleasure is a privy prick
Which vice doth still provoke;
Pomps, imprompt; and fame, a flame;
Power, a smoldering smoke.
Who meanth to remove the rock
Owst of the slimy mud
Shall mire himself, and hardly scape
The swelling of the flood.

As he seeks to remove the rock of Britain out of the slimy mud of Brexit, will Boris Johnson mire himself in? Will the swelling of the flood then sweep him away? Or will he somehow extemporize his way through it? I do not know. But whatever happens, I’m sure it will be entertaining.

Floreat gens togata!

eton
Boris Johnson (bottom right) and other members of College, 1982. Spot the author.

IRRUSSIANALITY


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Michael Novakhov on Twitter from Michael_Novakhov (4 sites): mikenov on Twitter: Puerto Rico News – #PuertoRicoNews Jibaros: Go home and take all these pennies that Trump threw to you and your leaders, as the payment for these “demonstrations”! prnewslinks.blogspot.com/2019/07/925-am… @annesdy #PuertoRico #Rico #News #Jibaro #News: #Extra #Issue #JibaroNews: #ExtraIssue pic.twitter.com/hzX2qMqFNt

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Puerto Rico News – #PuertoRicoNews

Jibaros: Go home and take all these pennies that Trump threw to you and your leaders, as the payment for these “demonstrations”!

prnewslinks.blogspot.com/2019/07/925-am…

@annesdy
#PuertoRico
#Rico #News
#Jibaro #News: #Extra #Issue
#JibaroNews: #ExtraIssue pic.twitter.com/hzX2qMqFNt



Posted by

mikenov
on Tuesday, July 23rd, 2019 3:25pm

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Michael Novakhov on Twitter from Michael_Novakhov (4 sites): mikenov on Twitter: Puerto Rico News – #PuertoRicoNews Jibaros: Go home and take all these pennies that Trump threw to you and your leaders, as the payment for these “demonstrations”! prnewslinks.blogspot.com/2019/07/925-am… @annesdy #PuertoRico #Rico #News #Jibaro #News: #Extra #Issue #JibaroNews: #ExtraIssue pic.twitter.com/oi0I5A1eYk

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Puerto Rico News – #PuertoRicoNews

Jibaros: Go home and take all these pennies that Trump threw to you and your leaders, as the payment for these “demonstrations”!

prnewslinks.blogspot.com/2019/07/925-am…

@annesdy
#PuertoRico
#Rico #News
#Jibaro #News: #Extra #Issue
#JibaroNews: #ExtraIssue pic.twitter.com/oi0I5A1eYk



Posted by

mikenov
on Tuesday, July 23rd, 2019 3:24pm

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Michael Novakhov on Twitter from Michael_Novakhov (4 sites): mikenov on Twitter: RT @yuceturk_e: Strenght in Numbers! #PuertoRico pic.twitter.com/zogwq4fdr9

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Strenght in Numbers! #PuertoRico pic.twitter.com/zogwq4fdr9



Posted by

yuceturk_e
on Tuesday, July 23rd, 2019 3:22pm
Retweeted by

mikenov
on Tuesday, July 23rd, 2019 3:23pm

1 like, 1 retweet

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Window on Eurasia — New Series: Kremlin Must Keep Opposition Figures Out of Moscow Council to Hide Its Own Corrupt Schemes, Shtepa Says

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Paul Goble
            Staunton, July 21 – The Kremlin has a compelling reason to ensure that no opposition figures get into the Moscow city council, Vadim Shtepa says. Given the hyper-centralized nature of the Russian system, most of the money and most of the corrupt schemes the powers that be have arranged occur precisely there.
            Were a significant number of opposition politicians to become members of the city council, the Russian regionalist writer says, they could expose some of these arrangements, something that the Kremlin doesn’t want (arvamus.postimees.ee/6733370/vadim-stepa-kreml-venemaa-pealinnade-vastu; in Russian at region.expert/metropolis_vs_capitals/).
            Given the nature of the kleptocratic state under Vladimir Putin, that is a far more compelling reason for the Kremlin to dig in and block opposition candidates even at the risk of sparking the kind of mass demonstrations that occurred yesterday than most of the alternatives that have been proposed.
            The Estonia-based editor of the Region.Expert portal makes three other observations that many who have been commenting on Russia’s local election have generally neglected to register.  First, Shtepa says, Moscow has set the single day for voting in the regions in early autumn between vacation season and the start of school.
            The purpose of that timing is so that most people will be at their dachas or on trips when they might otherwise be focusing on elections and so that, on returning home, they will have to get their children ready for school, again diminishing the amount of time they have for political activity.
            Second, he points to an unusual feature of Russian politics – the lack of loyalty of political figures in the center to the places from which they came. Putin “by origin” is a Petersburger, but having moved to Moscow, he began to think “in purely imperial categories.” The same was true of Stalin and of Boris Yeltsin, Shtepa says.
            And third, he argues as others have that “in its struggle with the opposition, the powers that be have in fact driven themselves into an awkward situation familiar to chess players when any move will lead only to a worsening of its position.” If opposition figures get in, the Kremlin has a problem; if they are blocked, it has a problem of another kind.
            “Can protests by residents of the Russian capitals influence politics?” Shtepa asks rhetorically. The answer is that sometimes they can as they did in August 1991 when “ordinary residents of Moscow and St. Petersburg went into the streets in large numbers and changed the course of history.”

Window on Eurasia — New Series


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Michael Novakhov on Twitter from Michael_Novakhov (4 sites): mikenov on Twitter: RT @politico: Trump’s U.N. nominee’s absences included 60 personal days and the equivalent of seven months in places where she had homes, D…

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Trump’s U.N. nominee’s absences included 60 personal days and the equivalent of seven months in places where she had homes, Democrats say politi.co/2Y7l9dz


Posted by

politico
on Tuesday, July 23rd, 2019 4:31am
Retweeted by

mikenov
on Tuesday, July 23rd, 2019 10:09am

785 likes, 555 retweets

mikenov on Twitter

Michael Novakhov on Twitter from Michael_Novakhov (4 sites)


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Window on Eurasia — New Series: Even if Russia Annexes Belarus, Belarusians Won’t Become Russians, Aleksiyevich Says

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Paul Goble
            Staunton, July 20 – On the 25thanniversary of Alyaksandr Lukashenka’s first election as president, Belarusian Nobelist Svetlana Aleksiyevich tells Russian interviewer Zoya Svetova that at that time no one, even in his or her worst nightmare, could imagine that Lukashenka would be in power for so long or act as he has.
            Lukashenka, she says, remains completely Soviet in his thinking with only this difference: “he loves property and money.”  Like many Belarusians and Russians, he has never accepted capitalism or democracy or understood that simply closing up prison camps is not enough to make people free (mbk-news.appspot.com/sences/svetlana-aleksievich/).
            It takes far more than that as Germany’s experience has shown. The German government has worked hard to extirpate the attitudes that gave rise to Hitlerism but even there many of those attitudes continue to exist. No similar effort has been made in Belarus or in Russia either, the celebrated Belarusian writer continues.
            Asked about the possibility that Belarus will be absorbed by Putin’s Russia, Aleksiyevich says that in her view, “Belarus is a separate country. The last decade or so has made that obvious despite Lukashenka’s policies and his pro-Russian position. Now, he has been trying to use this national factor and to allow a soft nationalization,” although the Russian language is everywhere.
            “But people and young people in particular, are Belarusian. The countryside always has been Belarusian.”
            Lukashenka will hardly want to give up being president to become an oblast leader, she says, but adds that “we don’t know how dependent he is on the Kremlin.” And thus, he may have no choice but to go along. Nonetheless and regardless of what he does, “the people will not become Russian.”
            Asked what the people might do in that event, Aleksiyevich says “the most horrible outcome would be if young people went into the woods – and this is a possible variant,” one that would mark the beginning of “a civil war. But young people often talk about this. And I personally very much fear blood will flow.”
            No leaders are eternal despite what they believe, the writer continues. “Chingiz Khan left the scene and Putin and Lukashenka will as well.”  What the Belarusian and Russian people need to do is to change themselves and their countries so that such people will not arise again, just as one can’t imagine them now in France or Sweden.

Window on Eurasia — New Series


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Michael Novakhov on Twitter from Michael_Novakhov (4 sites): mikenov on Twitter: Jeffrey Epstein went on publicity binge to salvage reputation – report timesofisrael.com/jeffrey-epstei… via @timesofisrael

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Jeffrey Epstein went on publicity binge to salvage reputation – report timesofisrael.com/jeffrey-epstei… via @timesofisrael


Posted by

mikenov
on Tuesday, July 23rd, 2019 9:43am

mikenov on Twitter

Michael Novakhov on Twitter from Michael_Novakhov (4 sites)


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Window on Eurasia — New Series: Tishkov Working to Impose a Political Straightjacket on Ethnic Studies in Russia, Iskhakov Says

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Paul Goble
            Staunton, July 20 – Academician Valery Tishkov is seeking to build his own power vertical in the ethnographic fraternity in Russia and to impose a political straightjacket on its members, blocking any discussion of sensitive issues and insisting that everyone follow his and the Kremlin’s line on others, according to Damir Iskhakov.
            The Tatarstan historian and ethnographer says this was very much on public view at the recent Congress of Russian Ethnologists and Anthropologists, a meeting Tishkov called the best ever but that Iskhakov says was the worst of all the 13 such meetings that have been held since Soviet times (business-gazeta.ru/article/432128).
                The meeting recalled Soviet-style intellectual congresses in which there was a clear party line, the Tatar ethnographer says; but it also reflected two dangerous trends in the post-Soviet period.  In the early years after 1991, there were a large number of Jewish scholars but most of them have either died, retired, or emigrated. 
            Moreover and in contrast to the first such meeting which were characterized by diversity and democratic procedures, the last one was far more homogeneous, intellectually constrained, and undemocratic with ever less rotation of cadres in the senior positions of the meeting. And perhaps most significant of all, this congress, unlike its predecessors, attracted few foreign scholars from beyond the CIS.
            None of this is good, Iskkhakov says, because “Tishkov backs specific views;” and those who do not agree with him on issues like the existence of “a civic Russian identity” – “and those are mostly people from the republics” – are now characterized as “ethno-nationalists” who must be marginalized or actively opposed.
            In all this, the Tatar scholar continues, it is important to recognize that Tishkov “is conducting himself not as a Russian in fact but as an imperialist, a government man of the current kind.” And he is using the association of ethnologists and anthropologists as his base because he is no longer director of the institute or minister for nationalities.
            In pursuit of his own power vertical within it, the academician is using his influence over the grant process, ensuring that those who support his views get money and those who don’t don’t, an arrangement that many understand but have little choice but to go along with, the Tatar scholar says.
            By that method and by his control of the agenda of meetings like this congress, Tishkov keeps certain important issues from being discussed such as language policy and religion and marginalizes those who want to raise questions about the past and present which create problems for the Kremlin and thus for Tishkov.
                   
            “Real problems simply aren’t discussed; they’re avoided,” Iskhakov continues.  But those who adopt this strategy forget that they cannot make the problems disappear by not talking about them. “It is a very sad picture when scholarship is seized by administrators and they work in a definite key.”
            As an example of Tishkov’s intervention, the Tatar scholar describes how he kept a section on the Kazakhs from talking about the terror famine in that country, about the role of the Golden Horde in Kazakh ethnogenesis, about the divisions of Kazakhs into clans, and about whether as Kazakhs say their country was once a Russian colony.
            If Vladimir Putin has taken a different position – and the Kremlin leader has insisted, for example, that the Kazakhs did not have a state until Soviet times – Tishkov works to impose that view and in places where he has control he is often able to do so, Iskhakov says.
            The Russian academician also seeks to provoke change in the way ethnographers think by engaging in provocations. For example, he said at the congress that Russian-speaking Tatars are still Tatars. Of course, Iskhakov acknowledges, “as an ethnologist I understand that identity and language do not correspond in 100 percent of the cases.”
            “A classic example is the Lithuanian Tatars, who lost their language already in the 16th century but being Muslims preserved their Tatar identity. True, their culture did not develop: there are [only] remnants of the earlier culture which they have held on to.”
            “But if there is no language, it is impossible to develop a national culture,” the Kazan ethnographer says. “If we all will be Russian-speaking Tatars, then we will have to write Russian literature and in the end we really will become Russians especially in that Russian ‘ocean’ which surrounds us.”
            The latest congress was so Russia-centric, Iskhakov says, that he is now thinking that perhaps he and others ought to form “an association of ethnologists of the Turkic peoples. We could then discuss our problems in a somewhat more global field but with invited foreign scholars including Kazakhs, Kyrgyz and others.”
            He says that there have been certain steps taken in that direction in Bashkortostan. A group has been formed, with online publications. “This is a trend which in the future can intensify” in reaction to what people like Tishkov are doing.
            Iskhakov stresses that at a personal level, he has had good relations with Tishkov. But there is also “Tishkov the politician” and with him in that role there can only be disagreements. “I will not say that Tishkov has degraded but he has changed himself along with the political system of Russia.”
            The Russian academician was “initially an Americanist, a specialist on American Indians, he had a corresponding perspective and views. Besides, when the association was formed, he was director of the Institute of Ethnology of the Russian Academy of Sciences and was extremely democratic. He received many American grants and made good money.”
            “But when in the 2000s, a new power vertical was erected in Russia, he joined this vertical and began to serve its interests; and from that time onward, his political views changed.” In this, he has “conducted himself as a Russian.” Instead, he and others like him have “become cosmopolitan statists,” degrading right alongside the state they serve. 
His and their ability to change so quickly and completely raises serious questions about their scholarship as such because it suggests that their conclusions do not arise from their own work but from the ideological and political requirements those higher up the power vertical insist upon.
            That is not a good trend for the field, and Iskhakov argues that it must be exposed and resisted.

Window on Eurasia — New Series


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