Via Boing Boing
Via Boing Boing
Can you spot the Putin???
What with Pussy Riot, the Sochi Olympics, and the unrest in Crimea, Russia’s officially in the collective consciousness of Americans again, even the ones who get their news from Gawker. Americans generally have inordinate difficulty finding, say, Ukraine on a map, so I can’t say I’m not pleased that more people have context for an outfit like the Night Wolves.
For those not in the know, the Night Wolves are a Russian motorcycle club founded in 1989. They boast about 5,000 members, and have chapters in Belarus, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Serbia, and Romania. Like a lot of outlaw bikers, they’re fundamentally conservative, claiming to follow only their own rules, but they endorse both Putin and the Russian Orthodox Church. Putin has not only gone on rides with the gang for high-profile photo ops, he recently awarded the group’s leader, Alexander Zaldostanov (the big motherfucker here, whose nickname is “The Surgeon”), an Order of Honor for his “active work in the patriotic upbringing of the young”.
It’s difficult to tell which of the Night Wolves’ many accomplishments garnered them such prestige—perhaps it was for when they offered, ahem, “security” to churches after Pussy Riot’s “Punk Prayer” protest? At any rate, the Night Wolves have been keeping up with their civic duties, recently appearing as a vigilante military presence in Crimea. I’m sure they’re supplying just the right note of level-headed sangfroid the situation calls for.
Also like a lot of outlaw bikers, the Night Wolves find ingenious ways to capitalize off their macho “brand.” Much as the Hells Angels make a little extra cash selling tacky swag, so too have the Night Wolves ventured into the world of merchandising. The clothing linked on their website (sadly) appears to only be available only in stores. You can see it modeled below by disheveled young ladies and those guys who stand as if the bulk of their arm muscles is preventing them from ever looking relaxed. (My dad was an Iron Horseman, and I assure you, this is some sort of ubiquitous biker body language.)
But with the possible exception of some leather goods (which appear to have a wolf on them?) the clothes appear to be generic biker fare. If you really want the Night Wolf logo (and can read Cyrillic), you can order the jewelry online! The collection is sort of a mix of “goth kid” and “Rasputin,” but I could see wearing it to your local PTA meeting. Don’t delay, order today! The guys clearly need to cash if they’re ever going to buy a decent camera (the photo quality is pretty bad).
Someone’s a crankypants…..
Still can’t seem to get those arms down, huh?
That looks practical. Nice Eurotrash jeans, by the way.
Apparently no one told them they were getting their picture taken.
If you told me these were some lesser-known Kentucky cousins of mine, I’d probably believe you.
For the daytime.
For more of an evening look. Works for the symphony or the club!
Awwww, loooook! Puppies!
Speaking at their first press conference since their release from prison, members of the Punk collective Pussy Riot said they still wanted to “get rid” of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina claimed they were now more politically radicalized after their 21-month prison sentence than before, and were determined to campaign for the rights of all other prisoners. According to the Daily Telegraph, the activists told reporters:
“Our attitude to Vladimir Putin has not changed. We’d like to do what we said in our last action - we’d like him to go away…”
Tolokonnikova was referring to the song “Virgin Mary, Get Rid of Putin,” which Pussy Riot had performed at Christ the Saviour Cathedral in Moscow prior to their arrest.
Vladimir Putin is a very closed, opaque chekist,” said Ms Tolokonnikova, using the Russian slang for a secret policeman.
“He is very much afraid. He builds walls around him that block out reality.
“Many of the things he said about Pussy Riot were so far from the truth, but it was clear he really believed them. I think he believes that Western countries are a threat, that it’s a big bad world out there where houses walk on chicken legs and there is a global masonic conspiracy. I don’t want to live in this terrifying fairytale.”
Both Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina named former tycoon and political dissident Mikhail Khodorkovsky as the politican they would like to see remove Putin from office. Khodorkovsky was also unexpectedly released from prison last week under a Kremlin amnesty.
Mr Khodorkovsky is currently in Berlin, but has ruled out a career in politics. However, he is said to have “expressed determination to work to help other political prisoners, and he and Pussy Riot have exchanged open letters of support following their release.”
Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina mentioned Soviet dissident Vladimir Bukovsky, as a source of inspiration, in particular his book on Russian prisons gave them the strength to overcome their ordeal in gaol.
The activists also “extended an olive branch” to the Russian Orthodox Church, saying “they believed its charitable work had an important role to play in their campaign to change Russia’s prison culture from one of violence and punishment to one of rehabilitation.”
Via the Daily Telegraph
A satirical painting of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev dressed in frilly ladies’ lingerie, Travesty, was confiscated by officials from the Museum of Power art gallery in St. Petersburg a week before the G20 summit started. Putin is shown combing Medvedev’s hair.
Other paintings of authority figures in the “Rulers” exhibit that “violated existing legislation” and were confiscated included depictions of two evil politicians, Vitaly Milonov (deputy mayor of St. Petersburg) and Yelena Mizulina, the ones responsible for recent vicious anti-gay legislation, with a rainbow flag, and conservative, homophobic Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill, who was painted with skull tattoos and busts of Stalin and Lenin. The government won’t say which existing laws were violated, but they could always point to the one prohibiting insulting state authorities or the new one banning alleged homosexual propaganda aimed at minors. It would be hard to argue that seeing the equivalent of a political cartoon in a newspaper is going to give young people “The Gay.”
Milonov, who may be the last male on the planet who has never seen actual pornography, had already complained about the paintings being displayed and described them as being “of a distinctly pornographic character.”
According to gallery owner, Alexander Donskoy, the paintings were seized with no formal warrant for their removal, the director was detained by police but not charged, and the museum was closed for a few days. Donskoy has been a thorn in the side of the Russian government since announcing his intention to enter politics in 2006. He also owns the G-Spot, a gallery of erotica, where a painting of a nude Putin and Barack Obama (with multiple massive dayglo penises) by artist Vera Donskaya-Khilko was seized by police yesterday. The G-Spot was shut down.
The artist who painted the Putin-Milonov Travesty piece, Konstantin Altunin, has fled to France and is planning to seek asylum. Maybe he and Femen’s Inna Shevchenko, the two members of Pussy Riot who fled Russia in 2012, and the upcoming diaspora of Russian artists can all be housemates.
Oh, and he wants his painting back. In an open letter to G20 leaders, Altunin wrote, “I ask [you] to mention the topic of censorship in [a] personal conversation with Putin and ask him to return my paintings seized from the Museum of Authority.”
So, hey, just in case G20 leaders or their staff members are actually reading Dangerous Minds during boring meetings, instead of playing poker on their phones (hi guys!), here are two other paintings they’re not supposed to see:
Reuters report on confiscated paintings, below:
Don’t say I never gave ya nothing…
What’s Russian for “pwned”?
It’s been another horrific, shitty, awful week for GOP nominee
Thurston Howell III Mitt Romney. Now, even Russian President Vladimir Putin can’t resist piling on the insults aimed at the increasingly hapless Republican standard-bearer.
Yesterday Putin said he was “grateful” to Mitt Romney for saying Russia remained the United States’ “No. 1 geopolitical foe” because this idiotic statement of non-fact aimed at the GOP’s abundant pool of cud-chewing low information voters, actually helped Putin in missile defense negotiations!
According to the Russian news agency RIA Novosti, Putin told reporters:
“I’m grateful to him for formulating his stance so clearly because he has once again proven the correctness of our approach to missile defense problems. The most important thing for us is that even if he doesn’t win now, he or a person with similar views may come to power in four years. We must take that into consideration while dealing with security issues for a long perspective.”
Seems reasonable enough to me!
Way to go, Mittens! That’s what happens when you pander to people who get their information from ALL CAPS EMAILS. Yet another reason why Mitt Romney will never be the President of the United States.
President Obama drew blood with his own viciously witty riposte to Romney’s idiotic/politically suicidal statement about the crisis in Libya:
“There’s a broader lesson to be learned here: Gov. Romney seems to have a tendency to shoot first and aim later and as president one of the things I’ve learned is you can’t do that. It’s important for you to make sure that the statements that you make are backed up by the facts and that you’ve thought through the ramifications before you make them.”
Dropped. Romney really tossed that ball right over the fuckin’ plate, didn’t he?!?!?
How big a dickhead is President Vladimir Putin?
Well, we’ll soon find out, as three members of Feminist Punk Rockers, Pussy Riot went on trial today, charged with “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred.”
Their crime? Performing an anti-Putin, anti-religious song at the Christ the Saviour Cathedral, Moscow, in February this year.
It was a moment of shock political theater, as the band stormed the altar while shouting “Mother of God, Blessed Virgin, drive out Putin!”
Now, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 22, Yekaterina Samutsevich, 29, and Maria Alekhina, 24, face up to 7 years in jail for their actions.
These women have been detained since March, without access to their families or possibility of parole. Russian opinion is divided over the arrests, but there have been major protests across Moscow in support of Pussy Riot.
However, it is feared Pussy Riot won’t get a fair trial, as Putin is the real force behind the prosecutions. Nikolai Polozov, one of Pussy Riot’s defence lawyers, told the Daily Telegraph:
“They went on to Putin’s sacred ground and he’s a vengeful person. I’m sure he gave the signal for this prosecution.”
Mr Polozov said he expected a guilty verdict but could not predict the sentence. “It could be two months, it could be seven years,” he said.
“If Putin is under pressure, say on Syria, or something else happens, he might use the girls as a distraction and earn some political capital by putting them away. And then they’ll be sewing felt boots, like Khodorkovsky, in a prison colony.”
Amnesty International are currently organizing a campaign to Free Pussy Riot:
Today marks the start of Nadezhda, Maria and Ekaterina’s trial. It’s been a long time coming: they’ve been held in Moscow police cells since their arrest in February, denied access to their families – including their young children.
Last week, the Moscow City Court ruled to extend their detention by another six months on the grounds that the women committed a serious crime, and may abscond if granted bail.
Bonus clips of Pussy Riot’s “shock” performance plus news report, after the jump…
Outside of Moscow, the eccentric members of nun-like sect venerate Russian politician Vladimir Putin as the reincarnation of the Apostle Paul, AKA Saul of Tarsus, AKA Saint Paul, early Christian missionary and proselytizer. The women are the followers of Svetlana Frolova, who calls herself Mother Fotina. From The Telegraph:
“According to the Bible, Paul the Apostle was a military commander at first and an evil persecutor of Christians before he started spreading the Christian gospel,” the sect’s founder, who styles herself Mother Fotina, said.
“In his days in the KGB, Putin also did some rather unrighteous things. But once he became president, he was imbued with the Holy Spirit, and just like the apostle, he started wisely leading his flock. It is hard for him now but he is fulfilling his heroic deed as an apostle.”
Reports from the sect’s headquarters close to the town of Nizhny Novgorod say that its members are all women who dress like nuns and pray for Mr Putin’s success in front of traditional Russian Orthodox Church icons that have been placed alongside a portrait of the Russian prime minister himself.
Followers are reportedly encouraged to sing upbeat patriotic Soviet songs at ‘services’ rather than hymns.
As befits a sect that worships a man who has denounced the decadence of the oligarchs, the sect’s members are said to survive on a Spartan diet of turnips, carrots, peas and buckwheat.
A local priest dismissed Mother Fotina: “Her so-called teachings are a nonsensical mixture of Orthodoxy, Catholicism, the occult, Buddhism and political information,” he said. “But (Mother) Fotina does not come across as a mad person.”
A spokesperson for Putin said that the macho Russian strongman was “bemused.”
Comrade Vladimir Putin has proven himself to be more than just Ruler of All Russia (surely Prime Minster? - Ed.) - a dab hand at judo, a master of swimming, an ace shot, a singer, and excellent at going topless in public. It is, therefore, no surprise that some wag (surely Right Wing Capitalist Lackey? - Ed.) has a comic strip, poking fun at VP and his idiosyncratic ways. The strip comes at an interesting time, as Putin, who has had the highest approval rating of any world leader, may stand for re-election as President in Russia’s 2012 elections.
Bonus strip and Putin sings video after the jump…
overlord Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has offered his apparently highly capable services to the National Judo Team:
The 57-year-old prime minister made the proposal at a special coaching session on Saturday aired on state television, adding to his carefully-crafted macho image. Putin, who many observers believe is still paramount leader despite standing down as president last year, entered the hall of St Petersburg’s School of Sport Mastery dressed in a white judogi and black belt, to applause from the assembled squad. After bowing, the former KGB spy went onto the mats, throwing squad members half his age and even tackling the chief trainer, Olympic Gold medallist Ezio Gamba.
And when he’s not tranquilizing tigers or riding semi-naked on a horse, Putin makes instructional videos. To coincide with his 56th birthday, the ex-, soon to be next, President of Russia’s “Let’s Learn Judo” came out last year.