Mankind's only alternative 9   DEC.   22  
Mankind's only alternative
Welcome
MAIN  RUSSIA  WAR NERD   [SIC!]  BAR-DAK  THE VAULT  ABOUT US  RSS
 
 
EXILE BLOGS

The Fall of The eXile For all those wondering what the "Save The eXile Fundrasier" banner is all about, here it is as simply as it can be phrased: The eXile is shutting down.
June 11, 2008 in eXile Blog

War Nerd: War of the Babies in Taki's Magazine The War Nerd talks about babies, the greatest weapon of the 20th century.
May 28, 2008 in eXile Blog

Kids, Meet Your President A website for Russian kids to learn all about President Medvedev's passion for school, sports and family.
May 22, 2008 in eXile Blog

Cellphone Democracy Cam If this girl was exposed to Jeffersonian democracy...
May 20, 2008 in Face Control

More Classy B&W Dyev Photos Yet another hot Russian babe imitating the Catpower look...
May 20, 2008 in Face Control

Proof That Genetic Memory Is Real! Sure, the Ottomans shut down the Istanbul Slavic slave markets centuries ago...
May 15, 2008 in Face Control

Russia's Orthodox Church Youth Outreach Program The priest is going, "Father Sansei is very impressed with grasshopper Sasha’s...
May 15, 2008 in Face Control

More Classy B&W Club Photos w/Russian Dyevs We took the Pepsi Challenge here...
May 15, 2008 in Face Control

Blogs RSS feed

Russia October 1, 2007
 
The Novgorod Affair
Did a blogger bring down a governor? By Kirill Pankratov Browse author
 
Page 2 of 4
 
Its a pencil sharpener -- the one you always wanted

It's a pencil sharpener -- the one you always wanted

But then the story took another turn, one that suggested that the power of "civil society" is not always benign, that it can turn into a kind of mob rule no better than the government machine it fights.

The first crack appeared when popular young journalist Oleg Kashin visited Novgorod to conduct his own investigation, and he returned to Moscow no longer convinced that Antonina was completely innocent. Her behavior during the accident was strange indeed. For example, when her fallen daughter was lying there in a pool of blood, rather than rushing to help her, Antonina ran out on the street, while the neighbors were the ones left calling the ambulance. Antonina explained this as an uncontrollable hysteria and panic that overwhelmed her, and she ran away to find her mother for help. Moreover, Antonina's neighbors were not at all the deranged alcoholics bloggers claimed they were. Nor did they hold a prior grudge against Antonina. The boy, who was the only witness to the accident, seemed honest, lucid, and in his account, he genuinely seemed to be describing what he believed he'd seen that day. As for the prosecutor-villain, it turned out that he was a rather simple but seemingly honest provincial cop who genuinely thought he was solving a serious case of attempted murder rather than fulfilling some political orders from above; in fact he now regretted starting the whole affair which turned into such a huge public spectacle.

As for Antonina's account, it didn't sound all that appealing. She said she didn't push her daughter down the stairs, but simply let her out of sight and couldn't grab her in time to stop her fall. After the fall happened, she said she panicked and ran away because she wanted her mother to help, and she was hysterical.

After intense media and political pressure, Antonina was released from jail. Her case continues today, though few people now expect her to be convicted and jailed. Publicity continues too – there is now a lengthy article in Russian Wikipedia, a LiveJournal community called "novgorod_delo," and all sorts of newspaper articles and TV reports.

But what makes this story even more interesting is that its repercussions went far beyond the scene of the crime, to the larger problem of how Novgorod is itself so deeply criminalized at every level, and how badly that region has been governed. Suddenly, the Russian media became obsessed with horror stories about mafia killings in Novgorod, about small businesses destroyed, entrepreneurs and independent journalists intimidated and chased away.

At the top of Novgorod's power chain are the regional leaders, and this is the root of the problem. Regional power in Russia is a toxic mix of entrenched holdovers from the Soviet era; local plutocrats and demagogues who rose to power in 1989-92 as the USSR fell apart; the "Red directors" who controlled regional industry in the second half of 90's in the reaction to the "democratization" and "privatization" years; and then, of course, the "bratki" – thugs that traded in their gold chains and tattoos for designer suits and PR managers. Last but not least, there are the no-nonsense grey managers who have risen to power in the Putin era, and are trying to exert their own control.

Governor Prusak combined some of the worst features of all of the types listed above. He was an unremarkable middle manager and a graduate of the School of Komsomol Leaders in late 80s, where he learned to parrot the right lines about supporting democratization and perestroika. He was dutifully rewarded by Yeltsin for toeing his line, and appointed governor of the Novgorod region after Yeltsin threw the old Communist party bosses out.


SHARE:  Del.icio.us  Digg  My Web  Facebook  Reddit
 
 
FROM THE VAULT
Borat
The eXile Presents our eXclusive Borat Page : Plus, a special eXile video contest!

The Fortnight Spin :
Ames, Biblically
My Day Of Killing Biblically : BESTSELLER REWRITE

Taxi Driver: Gypsy Cab Confessions in Moscow :
 

 
 
 
LATEST ARTICLES

Save The eXile: The War Nerd Calls Mayday
Editorial
The future of The eXile is in your hands! We're holding a fundraiser to save the paper, and your soul. Tune in to Gary Brecher's urgent request for reinforcements and donate as much as you can. If you don't, we'll be overrun and wiped off the face of the earth, forever.

Scanning Moscow’s Traffic Cops
Automotive Section
We’re happy to introduce a new column in which we publish Moscow’s raw radio communications, courtesy of a Russian amateur radio enthusiast. This issue, eXile readers are given a peek into the secret conversations of Moscow’s traffic police, the notorious "GAIshniki."

Eleven Years of Threats: The eXile's Incredible Journey
Feature Story By The eXile
Good Night, and Bad Luck: In a nation terrorized by its own government, one newspaper dared to fart in its face. Get out your hankies, cuz we’re taking a look back at the impossible crises we overcame.

Your Letters
[SIC!]
Russia's freedom-loving free market martyr Mikhail Khodorkovsky answers some of this week's letters, and he's got nothing but praise for President Medvedev.

Clubbing Adventures Through Time
Club Review By Dmitriy Babooshka
eXile club reviewer Babooshka takes a trip through time with the ghost of Moscow clubbing past, present and future, and true to form, gets laid in the process.

The Fortnight Spin
Bardak Calendar By Jared Lindquist
Jared comes out with yet another roundup of upcoming bardak sessions.

Your Letters
[SIC!]
Richard Gere tackles this week's letters. Now reformed, he fights for gerbil rights all around the world.

13 Toxic Talents: Hollywood’s Worst Polluters
America By Eileen Jones
Everybody complains about celebrities, but nobody does anything about them. People, it’s time to stop fretting about whether we’re a celebrity-obsessed culture—we are, we have been, we’re going to be—and instead take practical steps to clean up the celebrity-obsessed culture we’ve got...

 
 
 

    MAIN    |    RUSSIA    |    WAR NERD     |    [SIC!]    |    BAR-DAK    |    THE VAULT    |    ABOUT US    |    RSS

© "the eXile". Tel.: +7 (495) 623-3565, fax: +7 (495) 623-5442
E-mail: office@exile.ru