Is Russia really the big bad wolf?



Carrera

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I note there seems to be some kind of demonisation of Russia lately in the West. The latest big scandal in the plutonium incident in London. Of course, we do not know whether Putin actually knew anything about the activities of these KGB stooges. It should also be noted that the Government over here simply cannot be trusted to tell the truth as the Iraq fiasco has already proved.
Russia claims there was an attempt made in London to recruit ex-KGB to work for the West and (specifically) to try and undermine Putin. The Labour party denies it but isn't this the same Labour Party that swore blind Saddam could fire rockets at London within 45 minutes?
Now, even Gorbachev has become involved and Gorbachev was highly respected within Europe and even by Thatcher. It was Gorby who knocked down the Berlin wall and made huge steps for peace - called a "great man" by Paul Mccartney recently and strongly opposed the Iraq War as illegal.
Gorby now accuses Western Governments of trying to interfere in Russia, destabilise Putin and possibly find another drunken Yeltsin oligarch who will allow foreign companies to get a foot into Russian oil markets e.t.c. e.t.c.
Then, as someone else mentioned on this soabox, Putin made an offer of a joint defence shield close to Russia that could be used as a defence against Iranian missiles yet this offer has been rejected. So, now Russia pulls out of former arms treaty limitations and is serious about increasing defence, maybe even targeting Poland with missiles.
So, the question is, does the West seek a new Cold War with Russia? Of course, it's true Russia is now no longer the USSR but it still has roughly the same number of nuclear intercontinental missiles as the U.S. and plenty of oil revenue to amplify these weapons. It is not Iraq or Iran by any means.
 

Carrera

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I lived there. Actually there's a big difference between Moscow and St Petersburg which most people aren't aware of. Moscow inhabitants can be pretty rugged. For example, domestic violence is a problem as well as drinking. Add to that those ugly Right-Wing groups.
St Petersburg is very different. Petersburgers are well-educated, polite and quite European in outlook. I made a lot of friends in St Peter such as Vladimir who was crazy on the Beatles. He'd play his Beatles records on an old reel-to-reel tape machine and sing along.
The girls in Peter are also gorgeous and sexy and it's not so difficult to date them. I had many who were stunning.
The thing is St Petersburg borders Finland so the Russians in Peter are less isolated and mix a lot with the Fins or Swedes. They refer to Moscow as a "big town" which it is. Moscow has a provincial mentality and I never liked it that much.
Of course, this happens too in France and Spain. The northern Spanish are serious and the Southern Spanish are lazier and have the flamenco thing. Also cycling is traditional in the north and Basque country.

Don Shipp said:
Russia is the big, bad bear.
 

Don Shipp

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I have many Russian friends who come to London to study at the University (where I work). The collaberation started during the cold war when travelling was very difficult, but these days London is awash with Russians. Most of the ones I know come from Sevastopol but one is from St. Petersberg. He always brings me vodka. We get drunk together.
 

Carrera

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My friend Vlad lived in a so-called Pyatietazhka - those five storey flats built by Krushchev years ago. His entire home was as big as one room in a house over here and he shared it with his parents.
That guy had to be the Beatles number one fan. He had a piano in the living room so I recall tinkling out "A Hard days Night" and Vlad would dutifully burst into song.
That was when Princess Diana died and I heard the news in Russia.
Moscow, though, I didn't like at all.

Don Shipp said:
I have many Russian friends who come to London to study at the University (where I work). The collaberation started during the cold war when travelling was very difficult, but these days London is awash with Russians. Most of the ones I know come from Sevastopol but one is from St. Petersberg. He always brings me vodka. We get drunk together.
 

limerickman

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Jan 5, 2004
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Two cents worth : a man was murdered in England allegedly by a Russian.

I think Britain is well within it's rights to seek the extradition of the accused.
However, and lets get the facts right, under Russian legislation there is no provision for extradition, nor is there any extradition treaty between Russia and any other country.
So Russia cannot, legally, hand over one of it's accused citizens to another country.

An alleged murder cannot by allowed lie.
Given the circumstances, Britain has to be seen to do something - thus the expulsions.
Is this a Cold War?
No.
It's a murder case
 

Carrera

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It's a very murky business indeed. Personally, I believe all intelligence services are crooked at best, including the KGB and CIA. Murder in the streets of London via chemicals is, I agree, unacceptable. Still, what are we to make of the claims the Brits have been trying to recruit Russians inorder to get something on Putin?
Having lived in Russia, I will admit it can be a dangerous country but only if you're a hard-line journalist or a tycoon. Otherwise you can get rich, eat, drink and party in Russia with plenty of freedom to do so.

limerickman said:
Two cents worth : a man was murdered in England allegedly by a Russian.

I think Britain is well within it's rights to seek the extradition of the accused.
However, and lets get the facts right, under Russian legislation there is no provision for extradition, nor is there any extradition treaty between Russia and any other country.
So Russia cannot, legally, hand over one of it's accused citizens to another country.

An alleged murder cannot by allowed lie.
Given the circumstances, Britain has to be seen to do something - thus the expulsions.
Is this a Cold War?
No.
It's a murder case
 

limerickman

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Jan 5, 2004
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Carrera said:
It's a very murky business indeed. Personally, I believe all intelligence services are crooked at best, including the KGB and CIA. Murder in the streets of London via chemicals is, I agree, unacceptable. Still, what are we to make of the claims the Brits have been trying to recruit Russians inorder to get something on Putin?
Having lived in Russia, I will admit it can be a dangerous country but only if you're a hard-line journalist or a tycoon. Otherwise you can get rich, eat, drink and party in Russia with plenty of freedom to do so.

I would agree : all intelligence services do things outside of the law.

In this case, Britain has a high profile murder and they suspect the Russians.
It's only reasonable to request the extradition of the suspect.
Problem is that Russia has no extradition treaties.
 

Carrera

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My own view is Russia would do best to shrug this one off. It's understandable the situation was a serious one and any country would have protested. Russia has offered a possible trial in Russia which could be a possibility. The Russians are quite a proud people so they're outraged by being dictated to. It's as if they didn't have law and order in their own country or legal departments to hear crimes. Still, I think Russia's best option is to shrug it off and not seek ***-for-tat expulsions which is what's being expected. Economic co-operation between Russia and the U.K. is good so the situation needs to be addressed calmly. Still, interference in Georgia and the Ukraine by Europe doesn't help. Neither does NATO creeping too close to Russia's borders which they find alarming and threatening.

limerickman said:
I would agree : all intelligence services do things outside of the law.

In this case, Britain has a high profile murder and they suspect the Russians.
It's only reasonable to request the extradition of the suspect.
Problem is that Russia has no extradition treaties.
 

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