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Kompromat Korner January 26, 2007
Kompromat Korner
By Yasha Levine Browse author Email

Outrage over DEDOVSHINA is so 2006. The Russian public no longer cares about it. You've seen one and you've seen 'em all, so they say. Besides, nothing can top last year's genital mutilation of PVT. ANDREI SYCHEV. But the lack of media attention doesn't mean it isn't going strong. So even though this may bore you to death, I'd still like to print a few phrases written by CONSCRIPT ROMAN RUDAKOV, the latest dedovshina star to make it onto national news. They're culled letters he wrote home to his sister. Last September, Rudakov had his small intestine removed due to severe internal organ trauma. Ever since he's been bouncing from one hospital to another. Currently, Rudakov is rotting in a Moscow hospital, undergoing treatment/surgery for acute blood poisoning... Just as in the case of Sychev, THE ARMY maintains that Rudakov's medical woes stem solely from his previous medical conditions and have nothing to do with his service. But the private's pathetic letters home tell it differently.

"I get hit in the head everyday, for nothing. The sergeants have nothing to do, so they hit me in the head." -- 3/14/05

"I haven't slept for two days. They make us work all night." -- No date

"I haven't received any of the money you sent me. No one will retrieve it for me. If I ask the sergeant to get it for me, he'll just take away my money. If I ask an officer, they'll also take it away." -- 3/14/05

"I'm so hungry. They feed us so little." -- No date

"It was my job to take out the garbage and in one of the waste bins I found a piece of fried liver. I picked it up, cleaned it off and ate it. This is how we live." -- 5/28/05

On a lighter note, THE STATE DUMA exhibited a rare show of work ethic and solidarity with the RUSSIAN MASSES this holiday season. As soon as they got back from their vacations, deputies started working on a bill that would hold RUSSIAN TOUR OPERATORS to greater accountability. Apparently this holiday season saw a record-breaking number of hold-ups and delays within the Russian air travel industry. Thousands of Russians were forced to camp out for days in 3rd-world airports because of shitty organization and incompetence. The problem was so acute that the sheer number of complains spurred the Duma into action, Kommersant reported on January 15th. Starting this summer, tour companies will be required to buy insurance to the tune of 10 million rubles and use that policy to reimburse their clients in the event of delays or cancellations. This just goes to show that in Putin's Russia, anything is possible, even CONSUMER PROTECTION.

If this good will keeps going, helping the masses is may establish itself as trend this year. In St. Petersburg, RUSSIA'S ELITE engaged in a Western-style charity event to benefit childcare. A whole slew of politicians and celebrities were invited to take part in a charity auction called "The Alphabet Fair." Each was assigned a letter from the Russian alphabet and asked to paint anything that came to mind. Their paintings were then auctioned off to the highest bidder, with the proceeds donated to children's hospital N19 in St. Petersburg. It's no surprise that when the auction closed on January 15th, a painting made by the mayor of St. Petersburg emerged as the darling of the auction. After a fierce bidding war, VALENTINA MATVIENKO's rendition of a hedgehog under a Christmas tree, done in a bold special education style, went out the door for 2.21 million rubles. It was bought by SERGEY GOLIKOV, owner of Maxidom, a large home-improvement store chain in St. Petersburg. Regnum News reported that the sale of Matvienko's painting accounted for half of the total funds (5 million rubles) that the charity raised. $85,000 might seem like a bit much to pay for worthless painting madein under ten minutes. But then some would say that never having to worry about violating building codes is priceless. One participant of the auction was quoted as saying, "It was so fun! Sotheby's had nothing on this event!"

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

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