Wednesday, December 30, 2015

 Vadim Tiumentsev

The news are just in. I am not familiar with the matter, I will post some details now and update this later. At this point, I am trying to figure out what he said, or did. I will form my attitude after the facts are known.

Вадим Тюменцев
A Russian blogger Vadim Tiumentsev ( Вадим Тюменцев) , from a city of Tomsk in Russia,  was charged under articles 282 of the Russian criminal code, "Inciting of hatred or hostility, and humiliation of human dignity "and 280" Public calls for extremist activities. He was sentenced to 5 years in prison as a result by a court in Tomsk.

His self-description mentions that he left school, and was into chess, self-education, chasing meteorites and sun activity, and traveling.

Some of his statements which were found on internet:

"For how long Tomsk officials will keep stealing, and the Federal Security Service and Prosecutor's Office - fronting them and prosecute those who disclose corruption?"

В Ангарске"I had the misfortune to be convinced by personal experience that the school  is a repressive institution of the state, carving out of  the children the gears for their mechanisms, grinding fates, breaking bones. Soviet order required people to be smart  up to a point, to believe in socialism properly,  and tighten the nuts at  factories well. New order was finally formulated; prior to that,  teachers were in confusion, whom should they train and prepare, greenhorns for Chechnya, or prostitutes for the oligarchs; but now everything is clear - you need to prepare buyers for supermarkets."

Well, with ideas like that, as those things go in practice, he could end up getting fired from his job (if he had one), for spilling the beans, but it seems to fall a bit short for 5 years in prison ?

Apparently he made other more radical statements, sharply criticizing rebel republics in Donbas (as noted by the court), and apparently proposed 'federalization of Siberia ". Details are not readily available to me at this time.

(To be updated if more information becomes available)


Tiumentsev: "it so happened that they took my books, related to history of Trotsky, Makhno, their own works to be more precise, They also confiscated my notes, (all)  up to diaries and poetry. They confiscated my notes on about 10 years of Sun activity, which I kept since 2005, analyzing the data. That  was all about science, that was obvious. Why do they need this, I have no idea. They even took my notebooks. Those two criminal code articles, 280 and 282, they were related to videos I have made. My videos..." (recording stops here)

Added  ("Day of People's Wrath"). Had a chance to review his other video, Day of People's Wrath, April 2015. This matter turns out to be more complicated than I thought.

 In this sharply critical video, Vadim accuses authorities of corruption and collusion with the private sector to raise public transport fares. The video calls for a protest which is planned to be peaceful, but not agreed upon in advance with authorities (as required by law). Mid-way through the video, Vadim gets angry, and says things like 'this regime should go down" and "we, the people, will arrest them and put them up against the wall". The latter phrase almost surely means an expression of strong anger and frustration, not an intent for actual violence,  but it is really unfortunate that he uses it, because 'up against the wall' literally means to execute, to shoot.

Thus while I can see where he is coming from, appreciate some of his concerns, have a sympathy to him on a human level, and wish him all the best, it is not like there is no  case whatsoever to answer here. The matter belongs to the professionals league, at linguistic,  legal, and human rights experts level.

Added. The wonder of social media delivered this joke on my doorstep today: "There are only two sorts of people who are happy with the authorities: the ones not in the know, and the ones having a share" (Hey, I am just translating!)

Tuesday, December 29, 2015


  • Songs (Ukrainian, Russian, Klezmer mix-Makhno)
  • Movies (Rusian Language, many with English subs)
  • Clowns (+humor pieces)

 Russian Spring

This song, I guess, accurately reflects complicated recent events, neither hyping it up and nor  making it over-negative.  Giving Russian text, and the only English translation I was able to find. 

I keep a short list of  notable Ukrainian -Russian-Klezmer songs, this one is on the list. Ordered them by popularity, curious to see how they ended up ordered. I guess it tells something about us, actually.

Would like to see a good English cover, and maybe a translation /cover competition of sort here. Any takers ?

(Copyrights make this difficult, it is not in the creative commons field. This actually puts some brakes onto exchange of ideas, in my opinion). 

Что в твоем окне, что в твоем окне. 
Там надул пузырь ветер-нашатырь. 
Двери в магазин, толпы Лен и Зин. 
Пьяные бомжи, чахлая сосна. 

Русская весна... русская весна... 

Что в его окне, что в его окне. 
Чистый тротуар, не пролетит комар. 
Сочи в облаках, ФСО в кустах. 
За дворцом стена, за стеной она. 

Русская весна... русская весна... 

Что в твоем окне, что в твоем окне. 
Серый полумрак, лагерный барак. 
Каменный мешок, в нем растет цветок. 
Зэкам не до сна, как она нежна. 

Русская весна... русская весна... 

Что нас примирит, как нам вместе быть? 
Как весну с тобой эту пережить? 
Звезды на плечах плавятся в печах. 
Тают тонны лжи, кого еще сожрет она. 

Русская весна... русская весна...

(© Schevchuk, DDT).

What's in the window,  your window.    
The wind blew a bubble. Smelling  'f trouble.   
The doors to the store, Lenas and hoes            
Drunken bums,  pines to rock cling       

Russian spring ... Russian spring ...

Whats in the window,  his window, 
Pavement is clean, no  mosquito zing
Sochi in the sky, FSB not in sight 
By the palace wing,  there's she is in full swing                        

Russian spring ... Russian spring ...
What's in the window,  your window.         
In a grey twilight, a prison sits altight.
In a stone tower, grows a flower.                                               
Cons can' sleep,  how gently she weeps        

Russian spring ... Russian spring ...

What's the reconcile, to embrace from a mile ? 
Surviving the spring for a while?
Stars will burn us,  melting in furnace.                                                             
Fading the lying,  what she brings, whom she'll eat? 

Russian spring ... Russian spring ...

(© Translated by Rx,  December 20, 2015).


Added. And what's on Ukrainian side? Vakarchuk recently released a new song Mit' ( мить, a moment ). Wonder is there a cultural connection to a Soviet era classics migмиг, a moment). It's a bit different in style and words, but similar overall idea. Vakarchuk also has a hit song 'Not your war' , of anti-war sort ...

Russia changes currency exchange rules

A lot of commotion in the news, Russia tightens screws on currency exchanges (RT) ,  various conspiracy theories were discussed by BBC in Russian  , etc, etc.  

Not that much actually happened. The Russian anti-terrorism law full version , August 2001,  N115-ФЗ ) was written back in 2001, and nothing changed there.  That law of 2001 still governs  operations above 15,000 rubles ( $ 207 , or  190  , at the current exchange rate). 

The new law is about ID required for currency operations above that amount, and basically leaves it to the banks to decide (full text15.10.2015 N 499-П) . It may be as simple as asking for a passport for a currency exchange operations above 15, 000 rubles, and fill in a questionary,  with questions of the sort they ask to open an account (like address, employer details, insurance number, phone number).  

So far, the banks said that they do not plan for any hassle, and there is no evidence that they are doing anything too creative. 

Commotion may have to do with the fact that Russian ruble devalued significantly. It is now worth about 1/2 of what it used to be in the past (graphs and exchange rates calculators are on internet in abundance, just search for currency exchange ruble to dollar ).  So people are a bit stressed, and there is some jerky reaction. But at the moment, not very much is actually going on. 

Monday, December 28, 2015

Промова Геннадія Корбана в Дніпровському райсуді Києва 28 грудня 2015року після засідання, яке тривало майже 30 годинKorban , Kodorkovsky updates: At the bail hearing it was decided that Korban should be arrested till the end of February. UKROP party has called for a protest rally, on the famous Institutskaia and Bankovskaia streets in Kyiv. More updates and discussion on UKROP website.  The latest (January 2, 2016)  is, that according to UKROP, the appeal will be "considered by a judge convenient to the Poroshenko party  block". 

In Ukrainian Mova: Суд постановив тримати Геннадія Корбана під вартою 60 діб, під вигуки «Ганьба!» 

Kolomoiskii had this to say:
It is obvious that Korban trial is moderated not by court, but by the third parties from external offices. By  those court proceedings, authorities discredited their intentions to carry out judicial reform, it cannot be not continued any more. For the first time in Ukraine, the authorities organized trials, opaquely choosing jurisdiction and district courts, convenient for themselves.  (full statement, Ukrainian or Russian; an English version here.)

(Noted. For translations, google translate works quite well. The words often come in wrong order and grammar is often wrong, but one can see what it says, with some effort. Some foreign articles are translated, but not all, or it may not happen very quickly.)   

"Приятно наблюдать": Ходорковского насмешила жалоба защиты на его заочный арест
Russia will not be outdone, and steams ahead with Khodorkovsky trial (murder this time). A comment directly from Khodorkovsky mouth:  ...

it is a pleasure to observe how the authorities are arguing with themselves ...

RIA Novosti, 29 December, quoting David Goldberg, a partner,  White &Case — one of the firms representing the interests of Moscow in foreign jurisdictions: 

On February 9, Hague district court  will consider  the Russian appeal of the decision awarding  $ 50 billion to former YUKOS shareholders.  

"A hearing will be held on February 9," said Goldberg. 

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Starting a blog


In Judaism, the korban (Hebrewקָרְבָּן‎ qorbān; also corban) is any of a variety of sacrificial offerings described and commanded in the Torah. The most common usages are animal sacrifice (zevah זֶבַח), peace offering and olah "burnt offering."  

As for  Hennadiy Korban  (Геннадій Корбан ), a Ukrainian politician, check out his party  UKROP  (dill) website. It has a live stream of his bail hearing in Kyiv court, right after his double stent heart surgery 

Korban is accused of embezzlement and human trafficking. He denies all charges.