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Kompromat Korner April 7, 2006
Kompromat Korner
The latest from Russia’s hyperactive rumor mill… By Yasha Levine Browse author Email

Mikhail Kasyanov

Former prime minister getting a head start on the 2008 election campaign?

Mikhail Kasyanov is planning to do a quick tour of major Siberian cities to promote his brand new democratic party coalition, the National Democratic Union, which will unite the Russia's democratic parties under one roof for 2008. Andrey Khrustalev, posting on the Solomin political rumor blog, says that Kasyanov is planning to take body shots at Putin by criticizing the planned Pacific oil pipeline that will pass within a kilometer of Lake Baikal. He'll be alerting Siberians of the impending environmental dangers associated with the project and using this to platform his anti-Putin campaign. The former PM is supposedly receiving advice and financial support from the top brass of American politicians. Funny, but wasn't Kasyanov the guy who served Yukos's interests while PM -- interests which included building this very pipeline?

"Illarionov's Dream Deferred"

What happens to a Russian politician deferred?

Does he float belly up

like a dead fish in the Moscow river

Or fester like a sore --

And then run for office?

Does he make a big stink?

Or crust and sugar over --

Like the businessman that he is?

Maybe he just hags

by writing letters to editor.

The Geek Squad

Andrei Illarionov used to be Putin's top liberal economic adviser, but he resigned last December after publicly declaring that Russia is no longer a democracy and no longer a free country. He said his resignation was a protest against increased state involvement in the economy. "Six years ago, when I took this position, I was planning to create conditions to increase economic freedom in Russia," Illarionov said following his resignation. "The situation has radically changed, and there is no longer room to follow a policy of economic freedom." We don't buy it. He was just pissed off for being restricted to the Kremlin sidelines, and now that he's completely obsolete, Andrei has a lot of time on his hands. He's actively involved in the political talk show circuit and is always ready to be quoted in articles criticizing the Kremlin. But he hit a new low when he sent off a letter to the editor to the B-list Moscow Times last week in which he entered into an editorial war with some unknown other letter-writer from Seattle who had criticized Illarionov, calling bullshit on Illarionov's low ball evaluation of Russia's GDP growth. Lesson: Illarionov is every bit the lightweight our Kirill Pankratov said he was, but worse -- he's also incredibly vain and as hypersensitive as he is foolish. Gee, think about the wonders a guy with these traits would do to the Russian economy!

Vladivostok sending their cops to get a liberal re-education?

"The most important thing to do is to teach our police officers to be respectable so that they fight against Evil in the name of Good Will," said Genady Gydkov of the Duma's Committee on Safety. Vladivostok's cops took his statement to heart and are now offering classes seeking to improve officers' diction and writing skills, as well as foster an appreciation for finer culture. The curriculum includes condensed courses on philosophy and Russian history, art and culture, Komsomolskaya Pravda reports. We're not sure it's wise to educate the Russian police force too much. They don't get much done now as it is, without having to ruminate on the four categories of critical reasoning.

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Yasha Levine is an editor at The eXile. You can contact him at

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Save The eXile: The War Nerd Calls Mayday
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
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
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...


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