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Kilgor
04-25-2005, 06:53 PM
Russia's Putin: Soviet Collapse a Tragedy

Monday April 25, 2005 8:31 PM


AP Photo MOSB109

By ALEX NICHOLSON

Associated Press Writer

MOSCOW (AP) - President Vladimir Putin lamented the demise of the Soviet Union in some of his strongest language to date, saying in a nationally televised speech before parliament Monday that it was ``the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century.''

In his annual address to lawmakers, top government officials and political leaders, Putin also sought to reassure skittish investors about Russia's investment climate - just two days before a ruling in the tax evasion and fraud trial of oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky.

His statements on the collapse of the Soviet Union and its effects on Russians, at home and abroad, come as the country is awash in nostalgia just two weeks before the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe - a conflict Russians call the ``Great Patriotic War.''

Putin, who served as a colonel in the KGB, has resurrected some communist symbols during his presidency, bringing back the music of the old Soviet anthem and the Soviet-style red banner as the military's flag.

In the 50-minute address at the Kremlin, Putin avoided mentioning the need to work more closely with other former Soviet republics - in contrast to previous addresses - and he made passing reference to the treatment of Russian-speaking minorities in former Soviet republics.

``First and foremost it is worth acknowledging that the demise of the Soviet Union was the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century,'' Putin said. ``As for the Russian people, it became a genuine tragedy. Tens of millions of our fellow citizens and countrymen found themselves beyond the fringes of Russian territory. The epidemic of collapse has spilled over to Russia itself.''

Russia regularly complains about discrimination against Russian-speaking minorities, particularly in the Baltic countries of Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia.

There was no immediate reaction to Putin's speech by officials in the three Baltic countries, which have often stormy relations with Moscow. Polish Foreign Minister Adam Rotfeld said he disagreed with the statement.

``If I was in the place of the authors of the statement, I would say that the biggest event of the 20th century was the collapse of the Soviet Union, which completed the process of the emancipation of nations,'' Rotfeld said in Luxembourg.

Putin's popularity has been dented in the past year by widespread street protests over painful social security reforms and his unsuccessful attempts to head off a popular uprising in the former Soviet republic of Ukraine.

Critics also have slammed the Russian leader for reacting to terrorist attacks last year by pushing through legislation ending the election of independent lawmakers and the popular elections of provincial governors.

The Bush administration has been stepping up its criticism of Putin, albeit gingerly so as not to alienate a partner deemed vital in the global war on terrorism. President Bush said he raised the issue of Putin's commitment to democracy during meetings with the Russian leader in Slovakia in February. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice voiced concern over democratic backsliding and the need for the rule of law during a high-profile visit to Russia last week.

The 60th anniversary Victory Day celebrations, to be held May 9 in Moscow, will be a major celebration for Russia. Dozens of heads of state are expected to attend, including Bush, French President Jacques Chirac and British Prime Minister Tony Blair. Workers are frantically painting and scrubbing the city; red, star-studded posters hailing war veterans are plastered around the capital and vintage Soviet war films are being shown almost nightly on television.

Much of Putin's speech centered on assuaging the fears of investors who have been spooked by a series of contradictory and sometimes punitive legal and regulatory measures.

He said tax inspectors do not have the right to ``terrorize business,'' and repeated a call for the time for challenging the results of past privatization deals to be cut to three years from the current 10. Foreign companies need clear ``rules of the game'' on which sectors of the economy are open to investment, Putin said. Russians should be encouraged to bring their undeclared earnings home rather than squirrel them away abroad, he said.

``That money must work in our country, in our economy, and not sit in offshore zones,'' Putin said.

Investors and analysts are closely watching how a Moscow court will rule as early as Wednesday in the criminal case of Mikhail Khodorkovsky - once Russia's richest man and now its most famous inmate. Many see the criminal trial and a parallel tax assault that has dismantled his Yukos oil empire as a Kremlin-instituted policy.

Some experts say Russia is already seeing economic growth slow as a result of Yukos, along with other cases, such as $1 billion tax bill that Anglo-Russian oil company TNK-BP now faces and antitrust authorities' decision to block a bid by Germany Siemens AG to acquire Russian power station builder Power Machines.

Liberal politician Irina Khakamada dismissed Putin's address as ``an export product'' marked by ``liberal rhetoric and ritual statements addressed to the West.''

``Here (in Russia) we react to the actions of the prosecutor general's office and the tax inspectors. This is what's real,'' said political analyst Yuri Korgunyuk.

Putin was to set off for Cairo on Tuesday and then continue on to Israel - his first visit to the Middle East as Russia's president. The last Kremlin chief to make a bilateral visit to Egypt was Nikita Khrushchev, who in 1964 inaugurated the first stage in building the Aswan High Dam.


http://www.guardian.co.uk/worldlatest/story/0,1280,-4962096,00.html

Herrmannek
04-25-2005, 06:55 PM
"Give me a kiss to build a dream on"

nahimov
04-25-2005, 07:01 PM
Well for many people it was a tradegy. The collapse itself was bad and many people suffered. Imagine all of your savings just vanish in "monetory reform". Imagine that your work skills are no longer needed and no one wants to hire you and there is no safty net since the government is broke. But it was change for the better. No matter how painfull it is great that USSR is gone. Too bad it was not planned at all and just happened. Many think Chinese way is better when you slowly change from communist country to capitalist.

StukaJr
04-25-2005, 07:15 PM
Not to mention - the rampant rise in the organized crime, civil conflicts and straight out civil wars, displacement of people, rise in nationalist and hate groups... the list can go on and on. Not to mention, the political vacuum in the world order that has created, leading to rather quiestionable actions in the world events. I agree, a slow transition and re-introduction of free market economy would have been the better way. Even Kruschev realised the benefits of the "capitalist" system, have he not been ousted the change could have begun with him. Instead, in the Perestroyka - McDonalds and Budweiser was mistaken with democracy.

ReconCominAtYa
04-25-2005, 07:22 PM
GHOST RECON IS GOING TO COME TRUE!!!

Aerosoul
04-25-2005, 07:25 PM
GHOST RECON IS GOING TO COME TRUE!!!

http://militaryphotos.net/forums/images/avatars/678069841421bf3f8d987f.jpg !!!!!!!!

fdt
04-26-2005, 06:35 AM
Not to mention - the rampant rise in the organized crime, civil conflicts and straight out civil wars, displacement of people, rise in nationalist and hate groups... the list can go on and on. Not to mention, the political vacuum in the world order that has created, leading to rather quiestionable actions in the world events. I agree, a slow transition and re-introduction of free market economy would have been the better way. Even Kruschev realised the benefits of the "capitalist" system, have he not been ousted the change could have begun with him. Instead, in the Perestroyka - McDonalds and Budweiser was mistaken with democracy.

This political vacuum in the World Order for many nations was the first chance to take a breath for over 40 years.

Slow transition You say... well, I don't think he had this in mind. Most people who think that SU collapse was a disaster hate Gorbi who wanted to do it that way. I think he meant that SU collapse was a disaster sui generis and it was not about way it collapsed. BTW Yeltsin, commie aparatchik himself, knew well that such a systems don't get slowly dismantled. They fall or stand. There is no third road.

That part about vanishing savings is a joke. Savings have vanished everywhere in a Bloc. They begun to vanish much earlier and not because of SU collapse, but because of hyperinflation that was allowed and triggered by soviet rulers back in eighties.

What he said exactly One may read here:

http://president.kremlin.ru/eng/speeches/2005/04/25/2031_type70029_87086.shtml


Above all, we should acknowledge that the collapse of the Soviet Union was a major geopolitical disaster of the century. For the Russian nation it was a genuine drama. Tens of millions of our co-citizens and compatriots found themselves outside Russian territory. Moreover, the epidemic of disintegration infected Russia itself.

Individual savings were depreciated, and old ideals destroyed. Many institutions were disbanded or reformed carelessly. Terrorist intervention and the Khasavyurt capitulation that followed damaged the country's integrity. Oligarchic groups possessing absolute control over information channels served exclusively their own corporate interests. Mass poverty began to be seen as the norm. And all this was happening against the backdrop of a dramatic economic downturn, unstable finances, and the paralysis of the social sphere.

So for us here in the former bloc, in Europe, in US and World this was a disaster... :D
I don't miss the SU and it's beneficiary influence on my country... So this must be some kinda overstatement of Putin :D .

For Russians it was drama...
Well here I can agree, but the same "drama" has struck French and Britons in XX century (as their colonial empires collapsed) and I don't think that they now judge those events in "national tragedy" categories... I hope Russians will also be able to define their new role and position in World.

Old ideals destroyed...
All I can say is: too good to be true... vide this speech.

In general... same all, same all...