Russia This Week is a weekly review by the MEMRI Russian Media Studies Project, covering the latest Russia-related news and analysis from media in Russia, the Caucasus, Central Asia, and Eastern Europe.
Cartoon Of The Week
(Ria.ru, August 30, 2018)
Quote Of The Week
MP Gutenev: Let's Defy US Sanctions By Deploying Tactical Nukes In Syria
Vladimir Gutenev (Source: Me-forum.ru)
Vladimir Gutenev, the first deputy head of the economic policy committee of the State Duma, stated:
"I believe that now Russia has to draw its own ‘red lines.’ The time has come to ponder on variants of asymmetric response to the US, which are now being suggested by experts and are intended not only to offset their sanctions but also to do some retaliatory damage,"
Gutenev listed as measures to defy the US: the deployment of Russian tactical nuclear weapons in other countries, such as Syria, the use of gold-linked crypto currencies for Russian arms exports and the suspension of a number of treaties with the US, including on non-proliferation of missile technologies.
Gutenev said: "It’s no secret that serious pressure is being put on Russia, and it will only get worse. It is intended to deal a blow to defense cooperation, including defense exports. We see that the Americans now speak about the possibility of sanctions against the countries that purchase Russian weaponry… We should follow the advice of certain experts, who say that Russia should possibly suspend the implementation of treaties on non-proliferation of missile technologies, and also follow the US example and start deploying our tactical nuclear weapons in foreign countries. It is possible that Syria, where we have a well-protected airbase, may become one of those countries."
The lawmaker added that in order to respond to possible "US attempts to thwart deals on Russian weaponry and civilian goods," Russia should "consider the possibility of conducting transactions in crypto currencies that are linked to the value of gold."
"And I’m sure that this will be a very interesting option for China, India, and other states as well," he added.
"In boxing, one cannot just dodge blows, but has to strike in response, too. Especially when all the rules have been violated and the referees - such as the WTO and other international institutions - prefer to stay silent," Gutenev said.
Commenting on sanctions that are already in place, Gutenev said they are unlikely to do serious damage to Russia’s defense industry.
"The import substitution program has produced very good results, alternative suppliers have been found… said. "However, we are concerned about the fact that the sanctions are still gaining momentum and have become somewhat imminent."
(Tass.com, August 24, 2018)
In The News:
- Reactions To The Death Of Senator McCain - Deputy FM Ryabkov: With The Passing Of McCain, The Wave Of Hatred Against Russia Won't Diminish- Senator Kosachev: McCain Was A Mirror Of The Cold War Epoch- Senator Dzhabarov: The 'Vietnam Syndrome' Acted Upon Him Throughout His Life - Senator Morozov: 'The Enemy Has Died. Give Him The Honor He Deserves For Honest Enmity, Hatred And Intransigence' - Senator Pushkov: McCain's Plans To Build A US Global Hegemony Won't be Implemented - MP Slutsky: He Was Our Fierce Adversary, Yet He was A Principle-Minided Figure - LDPR Leader Zhirinovsky: McCain Exerted No Less Damage To Russia Than Marx - RIA Columnist Alksnis: On Its Part, Russia Continues To Live - RT Editor-In-Chief Simonyan: I Am A Bad Christian, I Cannot Love Russia's Enemies
- US Sanctions Against Russia - Russian Embassy To The US: The Worst Cold War Scenarios Are Now Taking Shape - MFA Spokesperson Zakharova: Washington Is Only Complicating Chances For A Dialogue
- Strange But True - Novosibirsk University Covers Statues Of Naked Women Not To Offend Russian Orthodox Church Clergymen
- News In Brief
Reactions To The Death Of Senator McCain
John McCain (image: Alarabiya.net)
Deputy FM Ryabkov: With The Passing Of McCain, The Wave Of Hatred Against Russia Won't Diminish
Russia's Deputy FM Sergey Ryabkov stated:
"McCain has indeed served as a symbol of fierce confrontation towards our country, he did so with conviction. In this context, it even caused a respect to him. The enemy should be respected, and undoubtedly, we respect all our adversaries. We think these people are vested with great power and broad opportunities. Yet, this realization causes us to internally consolidate."
(Ria.ru, August 27, 2018)
Ryabkov then added: " First of all, I am governed by the ancient proverb: speak well of the deceased or say nothing at all. It's not about McCain in the matter of fact – there are many like him and they dictate the current tone in the US. With the passing of McCain, the wave of hatred initiated by those actors won't diminish."
(Ria.ru, August 27, 2018)
Senator Kosachev: McCain Was A Mirror Of The Cold War Epoch
Senator Konstantin Kosachev, chairman of the Federation Council Committee on Foreign Affairs, said:
"McCain was a mirror of an epoch in which he grew up and was shaped as a politician. It was an epoch of labeling the world as 'ours' and 'foreigners', the Cold War epoch, where our country [Russia] has been and remained the main enemy…
'His sole ideology has been 'protect your own, hit the foreigners. It was an ideology whole main yardstick was loyalty to America and American interests and not a conformity with the principles of peace, goodness and justice."
(Ria.ru, August 26, 2018)
Senator Dzhabarov: The 'Vietnam Syndrome' Acted Upon Him Throughout His Life
Senator Vladimir Dzhabarov, deputy chairman of the Federation Council Committee on Foreign Affairs, stated:
"Mr. McCain was always an American patriot. Yet, regretfully, he was unable to readjust to the 'Vietnam syndrome' that acted upon him throughout his life. He was imprisoned there, and apparently abused and tortured. During the last decades he has been an open Russophobe. He not only regarded our country badly, he fundamentally hated it. May he rest in peace."
(Govoritmoskva.ru, April 26, 2018)
Senator Morozov: 'The Enemy Has Died. Give Him The Honor He Deserves For Honest Enmity, Hatred And Intransigence'
Senator Oleg Morozov, member of the Federation Council Committee on Foreign Affairs, said:
"Senator McCain has died. I've frequently mentioned him in my [social media] feed. He was good in his hatred towards Russia. He symbolizes the current and frank anti-Russian thinking. The essence of this thinking is: Russia can't be anything but hostile. Good Russia is dead Russia. The main thing McCain achieved was in fact proclaiming that Russia is incorrigible. Whatever we do in order to be liked – prostrating ourselves to the West, pledging our love, exactly the thing we've done during the 90's – we will never be good enough. We are eternal enemies! This was McCain's logic and it's great in its transparency and logic. An enemy has died. Give him the honor he deserves for honest enmity, hatred and intransigence. All the rest are insincere. That guy said what he thought. He taught us to better understand ourselves and America. Let God accept his dark soul and decide its future."
(Facebook.com/oleg.morozov.121772, August 26, 2018)
Senator Pushkov: McCain's Plans To Build A US Global Hegemony Won't be Implemented
Senator Alexey Pushkov wrote in his Twitter account:
"McCain: 'Americans never retreat. We never give up. We don’t hide from the history. We make the history.' The question is WHAT history [they make]. 1 million dead Vietnamese, hundreds of thousands of Iraqis – this is a history of crimes. By the way, in Vietnam the US lost the war and retreated. This is historical truth".
(Twitter.com/Alexey_Pushkov, August 27, 2018)
Pushkov also tweeted:
"'Qaddafi is on his way out, Bashar Assad is next,' said John McCain seven years ago, in august 2011. He did not stick around for see Assad's overthrow and death. Politics and fate have decided otherwise. McCain's plans to reconstruct the world [in order to serve] total US hegemony will remain unfulfilled."
(Twitter.com/Alexey_Pushkov, August 26, 2018)
MP Slutsky: He Was Our Fierce Adversary, Yet He was A Principle-Minded Figure
MP Leonid Slutsky, chairman of the State Duma Committee on International Affairs, said:
"He has not been Russia's friend or ally, quite the contrary – he has been our arch adversary. He has been one of the prominent representatives of the US hawks. Yet, we should admit that he was a courageous, principle-minded figure, a patriot of his country, who has been through tough times during his lifetime. Condolences to his family and relatives and to the entire American people."
(Ria.ru, August 26, 2018)
LDPR Leader Zhirinovsky: McCain Exerted No Less Damage To Russia Than Marx
LDPR party leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky said:
" senator John McCain has died in the US. It's forbidden to rejoice at someone's death, yet it's also impossible to mourn his policy. McCain, [and the recently deceased Zbigniew] Brzezinski are dangerous and malevolent enemies of our country. Now they are dead. Those two have harmed Russia no less than Marx, Engels and Lenin... So, he's succumbed to brain cancer. Some are trying to praise US medical care, yet McCain's death demonstrates its poor quality. They have not even succeeded to save a life a statesman."
Zhirinovsky also added that McCain's death was his own fault: "If he had not badmouthed Russia, he would have come to [Russia] to get a treatment. Our doctors would have put him on his feet: they would have cut off half his brain as superflous, the other half would have functioned. His head would have been clear, his life would have continued".
According to Zhirinovsky, McCain chose malicious politics against Russia and confidence in US medical care: "We see the result – [US medical care] was unable to save Russia's enemy."
(Pnp.ru, August 26, 2018)
RIA Columnist Alksnis: On Its Part, Russia Continues To Live
Irina Alksnis, columnist for RIA news agency, wrote:
"Fierce Russophobia (as well as many other phobias) and radical militarism were his [McCain's] calling card. And a compendium of his quotations and political initiatives may easily comprise a thick volume, which could ideally be titled as 'The Hatred Book'.
"McCain was Russia's fierce and open enemy, yet at least he was never too shy to speak openly of this. That's for starters.
"Secondly, he left this world without having succeeded to implement his plans regarding Russia. Russia lives on. This provides the grounds to treat the deceased with a measure of condescension.
"Yet, we don't have reasons to express sorrow over the 'passing away of an adversary who deserved respect'. The deceased had no respect for us. Moreover, those who call upon us to respect McCain's death, treat any tragedy in Russia as a pretext for gloating and see it as prophesying the collapse of a much hated state."
(Ria.ru, August 26, 2018)
RT Editor-In-Chief Simonyan: I Am A Bad Christian, I Cannot Love Russia's Enemies
Margarita Simonyan, RT editor-in-chief wrote in her Twitter account:
"Regarding McCain's death I have to say: being a good Christian I wish peace and calm to all irreconcilable enemies of my Homeland. Of course, [I wish them peace] in the next world."
(Twitter.com/M_Simonyan, August 26, 2018)
"I'm a lousy Christian. I can't love enemies. I can't even feel sorry. I can only have the willpower to forbid to myself to express malevolence. I should work on myself."
(Twitter.com/M_Simonyan, August 26, 2018)
US Sanctions Against Russia
Russian Embassy In Washington: The Worst Cold War Scenarios Are Now Taking Shape
The Russian Embassy to the US stated the following in an official statement:
"It feels like local politicians have an unhealthy craving for demolishing the fundamental basis of bilateral relations.
"Washington issued another set of illegitimate one-sided sanctions against Russia. It feels like local politicians have an unhealthy craving for demolishing the fundamental basis of bilateral relations, on which rests the global security. Decisions are made with zero attempts to look into things, while ignoring our calls for dialogue, in absence of any real proof of 'Russia’s guilt'. The US mainstream media spreads absurd accusations against our country.
"Political elites seem to ignore the fact that every new 'seizure' of American sanctions 'fever' brings the US close to the point of no return in resolving pressing international issues - joint fight against terrorism and danger of WMD falling into the hands of non-governmental entities.
"It is clear that the worst Cold War scenarios, the ones the world should have forsaken 30 years ago, are now taking shape. Instead, it turns out that no one is safe from brute pressure of Washington. Not everyone can withstand it.
"But Russia can.
"We do not accept Washington’s hostile sanctions. They will have no effect on our determination to follow our own course in international relations. The U.S. public has to know that sanctions against Russia are futile. They meet the interests of neither Russian, nor American people."
(Washington.mid.ru, August 27, 2018)
MFA Spokesperson Zakharova: Washington Is Only Complicating Chances For A Dialogue
Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova’s answer to a media question about the introduction of new US anti-Russia restrictions
Question: "What can you say about the introduction of new restrictions with regard to Russia by Washington?"
Maria Zakharova: "On August 9, we provided a detailed comment on the US administration’s decision to extend the Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Warfare Elimination Act of 1991 to this country. Because of this, today’s official statement on this matter published in Washington is no news for anyone.
"Using an absolutely farfetched reference to the so-called Skripal case, whose investigation in the UK is far from over, they are accusing us of being implicated in the Salisbury tragedy, thus calling into question Russia’s elimination of its chemical weapons arsenal. Per long-standing tradition, they offer no evidence. However, Moscow is urged to 'confess' and provide unrestricted access to its chemical facilities.
"All the accusations so far are ephemeral, but the restrictions imposed today are quite real, if largely echoing those already in effect. These include termination of technical aid programs, a ban on selling military goods to Russia, withdrawal of funding for Russian military programs, suspension of public loans and financial aid, and suspension of Department of Trade licenses to export double-purpose goods and technologies to Russian companies with public participation or funding. But the built-in exemptions from restrictions (supplies under space programs or civilian flight safety cooperation) only confirm the extent of the hypocrisy and bias of the US authorities.
"We regard Washington’s decision as nothing more than part of a deliberate policy to erode the international structure in the arms control and non-proliferation sphere, including the prohibition of chemical weapons. Unlike the United States, Russia remains committed to its obligations: we have eliminated the whole of our military chemical potential, something that has been duly verified, including by US experts.
"In taking these steps, Washington is only complicating chances for a dialogue on existing multilateral and bilateral issues.
"It is sad that the US political elite are incapable of understanding one simple thing: sanctions cannot dissuade Russia from its chosen path of defending its national interests as firmly as possible. Naturally, Washington’s steps are not facilitating a civilized and respectful bilateral dialogue and interaction befitting our two powers."
(Mid.ru, August 27, 2018)
Strange But True
Novosibirsk University Covers Statues Of Naked Women To Avoid Offending Russian Orthodox Church Clergymen
Novosibirsk State University of Architecture and Design has covered classic nude female statues at its entrance prior to the visit of Orthodox Christian clergyman. The clergymen were supposed to participate in a forum titled "Novosibirsk as a city of limitless opportunities," and discuss the accessibility of churches for disabled people. Prior to their session, in order, "not to hurt their feeling" the university has covered the statues with textile wraps.
(News.ngs.ru, August 23, 2018)
News In Brief:
- Anti-corruption leader Alexey Navalny is sentenced to a month in jail for protesting Putin's reelection, will miss the planned rally against the hike in the pension age. (Meduza.io, August 27, 2018; read the full article)