In his Moscow Times op-ed, Vladimir Ryzhkov, State Duma deputy from 1993-2007, notes the Kremlin’s waning interest in seeking accommodation with the Council of Europe. Having weathered a flood of criticism and unfavorable decisions by the European Court of Human Rights for its abuses in Chechnya and Georgia, the Russian Federation, says Ryzhkov, appears to be consolidating efforts toward maintaining undemocratic institutions, corrupt elections, and a subdued mass media.
While these criticisms could arguably be applied to Russia’s former arch rival USA, the gangster state comprising remnants of the Soviet Union seems willing to shed even the pretense of democracy jealously guarded by the powerful in Washington. Part of this attitude shift might have to do with Russia’s control of vast energy resources desired by both China and Europe, but a perhaps equally important factor is the subversion of human rights initiatives by the EU, US, and UN in recent years.
With the IMF, WTO, and World Bank actively globalizing poverty at the expense of human rights — especially the annihilation of indigenous peoples and their democratic aspirations — austerity Russian style may yet get Medvedev a Nobel Peace prize. With privatization and theft becoming the norm in both Europe and the United States, the Russian model of gangster capitalism is rapidly becoming less of a pariah.
The library is dedicated to the memory of Secwepemc Chief George Manuel (1921-1989), to the nations of the Fourth World and to the elders and generations to come.access here