Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
August 25, 2021

Russian And U.S. Prison Tales

The very scary prison life the New York Times once envisioned for the criminal Aleksei Navalny seems to differ from the reality he now describes.

New York Times - March 1 2021

‘Your Personality Deforms’: Navalny Sent to Notoriously Harsh Prison
by Andrew E. Kramer and Steven Erlanger

Aleksei A. Navalny, the Russian opposition politician, is going to serve his prison sentence in a penal colony notorious for disciplinary measures considered harsh even by Russian standards, Russian news outlets reported on Monday.
...
The site, Penal Colony No. 2 and also known by its initials IK2, is in the Vladimir Region in European Russia east of Moscow, indicating Mr. Navalny will not serve his sentence in the country’s harshest prisons in Siberia or the Arctic.

But the colony is known for strict enforcement of rules and for making extensive use of a separate, harsher, punishment facility within its walls where inmates are not allowed to mingle or even talk among themselves, according to former inmates and lawyers.
...
While guards oversee the prison, fellow prisoners maintain discipline within the brigades, either in cooperation with guards, a group known as “activists,” or as criminal gang leaders, known as “thieves in law.”

Penal Colony No. 2 is controlled by activists in cahoots with the warden, according to former inmates, an arrangement that will allow the prison administration to strictly control Mr. Navalny’s life at all times. Activist-controlled prisons are called “red zone” facilities, in Russian prison parlance.
...
All the same, at Penal Colony No. 2, activists command fellow prisoners to perform meaningless tasks such as making beds multiple times a day, or undressing and then dressing again, according to accounts of former convicts.

Dmitri Dyomushkin, a nationalist politician who served time in the colony, described conditions in the separate punishment brigade, where Mr. Navalny could wind up for infractions as minor as failing to button his jacket, as psychologically harrowing.
...
Inmates spend hours standing with their hands clasped behind their backs, looking at their feet, forbidden from making eye contact with the guards, Mr. Dyomushkin said in an interview on the Echo of Moscow radio station.

Some four month later the above propaganda collided with reality.

New York Times - August 25 2021

In First Interview From Jail, an Upbeat Navalny Discusses Prison Life
By Andrew E. Kramer

Russia’s most famous prisoner, the opposition leader Aleksei A. Navalny, spends much of his time sweeping the prison yard, reading letters in his cellblock and visiting the mess for meals, with porridge often on the menu.

But perhaps the most maddening thing, he suggested, is being forced to watch Russian state TV and selected propaganda films for more than eight hours a day in what the authorities call an “awareness raising” program that has replaced hard labor for political prisoners.
...
Mr. Navalny described five daily sessions of television watching for inmates, the first starting immediately after morning calisthenics, breakfast and sweeping the yard.

After some free time, there’s a two-hour spell in front of the screen, lunch, then more screen time, dinner, and then more TV time in the evening. During one afternoon session, playing chess or backgammon is an acceptable alternative.

“We watch films about the Great Patriotic War,” Mr. Navalny said, referring to World War II, “or how one day, 40 years ago, our athletes defeated the Americans or Canadians.”
...
“Everything is organized so that I am under maximum control 24 hours a day,” Mr. Navalny said. He said he had not been assaulted or threatened by fellow inmates but estimated that about one-third were what are known in Russian prisons as “activists,” those who serve as informants to the warden.
...
He said he gets along well with other inmates in his cellblock, whom he described as shaven-headed men wearing prison uniforms. Sometimes, they cook snacks in a microwave.

'I am forced to watch TV,' claims the notorious liar Navalny while preparing his snacks in a microwave. Those are really bad conditions the convicted criminal has to live in.

Just compare those to the excellent life presumably innocent people experience in New York City while waiting for their trials:

A detainee was stabbed. A correction officer was slashed. And another person who was incarcerated at Rikers Island had scalding water thrown on him, causing second-degree burns all over his body.

The episodes were included in a letter that a federal monitor filed with a court on Tuesday that described “unreasonably high” levels of violence this summer at Rikers, New York City’s vast jail complex.
...
Most of those being held at Rikers, as well as those in other city jails, are awaiting trial. There are currently close to 6,000 people in custody in the city’s jails; more than three-quarters of them have yet to be tried, and are presumed innocent.
...
Mary Lynne Werlwas, the director of the Prisoner’s Rights Project at the Legal Aid Society, whose 2011 lawsuit led to the federal monitor, said in an interview that the city’s jails were more dangerous today than they had been at any time in the past 50 years.

“The city has completely lost control and as a result, people are not being protected from violence and are locked in the housing areas for days with no food, showers, access to lawyers or medical visits,” she said.

But Russian prisons are baaaad!

Posted by b on August 25, 2021 at 18:10 UTC | Permalink

Comments

I was very disappointed that Merkel on her final visit to Russia as chancellor, chose to make Navalny one of the central issues she raised with president Putin.

It just showed that right to end she was going to play the good little NATO puppet by raising the made up poisoning of this charlatan.

The fact that they have to continuously manufacture crimes to accuse Russia of must be incredibly frustrating for the Russian leadership.

That Merkel and the rest of the EU and the USA do not want good relationship with Russia.

They are consigned to the role of the forever enemy.

Posted by: James2 | Aug 25 2021 18:33 utc | 1

no comparison, lol.... usa i am certain are far worse and of course there are many more serving time in usa prisons for meaningless stuff.. then there was the 3 strikes and you are out bullshit... but we know that the nyt will not shine any light on any of this.. nor will they highlight the obscene punishment being meted out on julian assange, or craig murray... neither will they discuss gitmo... the usa media is a lost cause at this point... it is the propaganda people get even when they are not living in a usa prison... well, some would argue americans - many - are living in a type of open air prison... and of course the nyt will not mention any of this either... nyt as paper pushing a foreign policy agenda was established solidly back in the run up to the war on iraq.. nothing, and i mean nothing has changed..

Posted by: james | Aug 25 2021 18:33 utc | 2

What happened to the great CNN Navalny deathwatch? were were all assured that Navalny was on the brink of death about a year ago after he was first arrested because of mistreatment. I even recall Biden being pressured to preemptively sanction Russia over his pending death; a Magnitsky sequel.

So after this lie ran its course, we are all supposed to forget it and instead focus on state force feeding prisoners 'propaganda', whatever that means anymore.

Posted by: Christian J. Chuba | Aug 25 2021 18:33 utc | 3

@ 1 james2 - merkel would have a shred of integrity if she brought of julian assange, but she doesn't... she is just serving her masters, plain and simple..

Posted by: james | Aug 25 2021 18:35 utc | 4

Life in a Russian prison sounds safer than what US homeless people are subjected to. I expect that at this point, anyone who still believes the NY Times has completely mastered their cognitive dissonance.

Posted by: NoOneYouKnow | Aug 25 2021 19:14 utc | 5

Sounds more like they sent Navalny to an Old Age Care Home.
So he is getting the dastardly "Food And Television" treatment => FAT.

Posted by: Stonebird | Aug 25 2021 19:50 utc | 6

Meanwhile, in the UK, Julian Assange is being held in a torture prison although he has broken no British laws except bail jumping, which he finished his draconian sentence for long ago.
https://www.darkmoon.me/2019/torture-in-britain-today-the-case-of-julian-assange/

Posted by: wagelaborer | Aug 25 2021 20:04 utc | 7

One Day in the Life of Alexei Anatolyevich: breakfast, exercise, spare time reading letters, watching TV, making snacks, watching TV, lunch, watching TV, making snacks, dinner, watching TV, making snacks, watching TV, spare time reading letters, bed-time.

Maybe snatch a few minutes here and there during the day thinking about wife Julia, daughter Daria at Stanford University and young son in junior high school in Germany.

There, am I up for a Nobel Literature Prize?

Posted by: Jen | Aug 25 2021 20:06 utc | 8

Navalner deserved way more than just 2 years and 6 months in prison. I'm very disappointed in the Russian authorities.

Posted by: Midville | Aug 25 2021 20:13 utc | 9

I can just imagine Navalny being curved so watch Ballad Of A Soldier or Come And See. How dare his sensibilities be exposed to two of the best films ever made! UNACCEPTABLE.

Posted by: Biswapriya Purkayast | Aug 25 2021 20:15 utc | 10

@James2 and James, 1 and 3:

As I asked elsewhere, did Merkel also demand Boorish Johnson release Assange? If not, why not?

Posted by: Biswapriya Purkayast | Aug 25 2021 20:18 utc | 11

@10
The Oppositionsführer prefers Rick and Morty.

Posted by: Midville | Aug 25 2021 20:19 utc | 12

The western predictions of doom certainly did not come true.
It could be that their exaggerations motivated the Russians to prove them wrong.
Navalny is a high profile prisoner, that would be a reason to put him in the best prison available. Protasevich was also treated well last I heard, better than anyone else.

On the other hand if you are not a high profile prisoner the story may well be very different. So how are other political prisoners doing in Russia and Belarus?

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Aug 25 2021 20:20 utc | 13

@13
"Other" political prisoners? Are you implying Navalny is a political prisoner here? Navalny isn't a political prisoner. Or a politician. He's just some conman.

Posted by: Midville | Aug 25 2021 20:26 utc | 14

Solovyov the famous Russian tv guy has apparently made a documentary investigation into the N situation....conclusion...was a lithium problem.

https://www.rt.com/russia/533051-solovyov-tv-documentary-navalny-poisoning/

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Q7dEQOkytQk

Seems to be subtitles

Posted by: Jo | Aug 25 2021 20:43 utc | 15

@15
Well, it certainly wasn't "Novichok", that's for sure.

Posted by: Midville | Aug 25 2021 20:44 utc | 16

Reminds me of Hitler's stint at Landsberg in 1923 for the BH putsch. He had a small apartment for 9 months, conversations with the warden, and Hess was there every day to take down the dictation of Mein Kampf. After that he was perfectly rehabilitated.

Posted by: Patroklos | Aug 25 2021 21:07 utc | 17

The main reason why U.S. prision system seems so dysfunctional, especially compared to other developed countries, is due to privatizing mantra. More prisoners mean more profit for the corporations and no one cares about rehabilitation. But try explaining this to U.S. libertarians and so-called "conservatives". Also, U.S. prison model/culture seems very tribal to me, although this is also true of here, Brazil. Organized crime rule inside, there are many factions, it is not impersonal at all. And now I tell you something completely expected: last year, Bolsonaro wanted to privatize Brazilian prision system. I believe he still wants to. We suffer a lot from the import of U.S. ideological trends. And we can extend this to many other areas, such as the Armed Forces. People related to the MIC, those who sit at the board of Raytheon and Co, should not be in the Army nor in U.S. politics. But lobbying is legal in the U.S. because... libertarianism.

Posted by: lyy | Aug 25 2021 21:25 utc | 18

@midville , I agree to call him a political prisoner is questionable. The Russian court system has been pretty cautious about him. It's more that Navalny provoked it so they would lock him up and he could call it a political imprisonment. Again, in his case they were cautious. In other cases the record is less good. In Belarus it seems to be a lot worse.

I don't agree with reducing him to a fraud. He is foremost a political activist, that is his goal. I see his agenda as a nineties-neoliberal-lets-just-surrender-to-the-west agenda, and he believes that Putin should be removed to make that happen.
He also has strong ties to the West, to the extent that the Russian government has reasons to call him a traitor. But I also think we should not put that much value on the term 'traitor'.

So while I dislike him and his ideas, and don't think he's honest I don't agree with the approach where all the cognitive dissonance is removed.

I don't think B. understood at the time where the problem was with the docu 'Putin's Palace'. It was old material which was mostly correct and was warmed up again to make it all revolve around Putin.

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Aug 25 2021 21:37 utc | 19

@Posted by: James2 | Aug 25 2021 18:33 utc | 1

It's all smokescreen, James, she does it to hide the close co-operation between the spooks of both countries to protect Navalny.

The West needed desperately a fake op, something big, an atrocity akin to the case of the Skripals poisoning, something they could use to put pressure on the Germans to scrap the Nord-2, it had to be of a magnitude that would turn the world opinion on Russia so negative, the Germans would have no option but to abandon the project even though it's the guarantee of not only their energy independence, but of their national sovereignty, energy is what fuels everything, the industry, the households, the transportation .....All major suppliers of oil and gas except for Russia and Venezuela are controlled by the Americans (including the pipeline running through Ukraine).

If the idea of the big fake op were to be to dispatch Navalny to his maker, as Russia's spy chief Sergei Naryshkin hinted at, (which would have been unquestionably sufficient to get the world's opinion against Russia running at fever pitch), he had to be removed from walking freely not only the streets of any Russian city but the streets anywhere to avoid the hit. That's exactly what happened from the point of the plane landing at Omsk. From that time throughout until now when he's behind bars in Russia the man has been taken care of by either the Russian or the German authorities, nobody but the staff from the agencies of these two countries could have got anywhere near him, it seems the Nord-2 will be be ready for certification next month on the 18th.

Posted by: Baron | Aug 25 2021 21:48 utc | 20

Do not wait for me, mother, your good son,
But wait for a scoundrel and a thief!
I am sucked by the hoosegow's quagmire
an eternal prison is my life ...

There are no better prisons, they are all cruel heterotopias, other side of mirror settings.

Since Russian culture is so rich in prison tales, Dostoevsky and Shalamov come to mind, but there are many others, so with great grief and distress in honor of all caged human beings Dina Verni sings “Stop that train”, an impressive performance of underworld lyricism.

https://youtu.be/ZHtuYOhkDCU

Posted by: Paco | Aug 25 2021 22:03 utc | 21

Today we've been provided with three excellent looks into the makings of today's Russia: Its prisons with this article; its education system and its rationale here; and a second look at the national government's and its ruling party's rationales here; and I'll add a fourth that relates to the second:

"I am [Putin] aware that you have proposals for improving secondary education. I am also sure that you are concerned about child guidance at school, because these processes are interconnected and inseparable. Your ideas about what a modern school should be like – its infrastructure, equipment, the level of education, extracurricular activities, such as arts and sports – are also important.

"The students’ and their parents’ involvement are as important as the teacher's efforts because only doing things together can create a school that keeps children interested and is attractive due to its capabilities in revealing their talents and preparing them for adult life.

"As I said, we will discuss all these matters at the State Council Presidium today. But first, I would like to listen to the people who work directly in the field, as they say, or – I know we also have schoolchildren here today – to listen to them too, to get the information and experience from you, and maybe proposals that could change school for the better.

"I am very grateful to you for being here today, and I expect that what we discuss now – not for long, half an hour or an hour – we will use during the discussion with our colleagues at the State Council Presidium."

As a retired educator, I can't possibly stress the degree of importance of what Putin's doing as he talks directly with parents, teachers and schoolchildren--and not just this one time as he does it at various intervals every year--to get their input about what's working, what's not, and what can be improved. Such conversations don't even occur at the state level here within the Outlaw US Empire, and are rare at the district level. Do note what's missing from the PTA acronym--children! Thirty years ago the following methodology was proven to be the best: Students needed to be educated by a team consisting of themselves, their parents and teachers/administrators. It was made the basis of teacher training curriculum in some states that realized its successfully proven rationale, but in the vast majority of school districts it was never implemented as teaching to the test won out because of school districts need for every penny of funding that came from the Feds despite funding having always been the realm of the states. So, it's not just a lack of STEM grads; it's the lack of properly educated high school graduates based on 1970 standards, not the extremely dumbed-down standards existing today that are all aimed at test passing so funding can be provided.

As anyone might imagine, the above is a recipe for disaster which will produce thousands of cabbage eating, Victory Gin drinking easily led drones but very few people capable of independent thinking and leadership. And pundits still yammer on about the USA having won the Cold War but are totally blind at the aftermath.

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 25 2021 22:24 utc | 22

Lavrov comments on Navalny scam at today's presser:

"'As for Navalny, our Western colleagues have stopped talking about the need to complete the investigation into his so-called poisoning,' Lavrov said. 'I won’t list all the inconsistencies and contradictions related to this issue. I would just urge all who seek truth to have a look at the German government’s official responses to a parliamentary request. The responses were made public a couple of months ago, I think, at a Bundestag session. There are protocols, go read them, it’s very interesting,' he concluded." [My Emphasis]

Perhaps b or a German barfly could do a bit of investigating; for if Lavrov says "it's very interesting," it most probably is and ought to become more widely known.

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 25 2021 23:03 utc | 23

Nalvany has never served in a political position, except to run and drop out of a few local elections. He is a twice convicted con man, and documented nationalist who advocates violence against foreigners. Please stop bestowing titles and accolades in reference to this insignificant turd - intentionally or otherwise - just because western intelligence agencies find him to be a useful idiot.

Posted by: MrChristian | Aug 25 2021 23:27 utc | 24

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 25 2021 23:03 utc | 23

What a sad farewell of Merkel in Moscow, the order of the day was to resurrect a cadaver and not an exquisite one at it. She behaved like a bus boy demeaning herself in the process of bringing that sad Montecristo back to media live, they're running out of "highly likely" fairy tales. With the real business of Eurasia's destiny being played by the hour and this is all they can pull from the hat.

Posted by: Paco | Aug 25 2021 23:27 utc | 25

karlof1@23, thank you for all your links. i look forward to learning more about lavrov's suggestions.

Posted by: emersonreturn | Aug 25 2021 23:30 utc | 26

@ 21 paco... man, that is a sad song! and i don't even know the words.. quite good.. thanks..

@ 23 karlof1... yes - i too would be interested in what lavrov found interesting.. so much subterfuge in international politics and so many are oblivious to it too...

it seems the west tried to pull another skripal type scandal with navalny.... they have the basic prototypes for these type of false flags at the ready when need be..stopping nord2 seems to have been the agenda with the navalny caper... only a matter of time before another one appears, but many people are not falling for it anymore... wonder what they will think up for afganistan now??

Posted by: james | Aug 25 2021 23:54 utc | 27

Can't see Russia having a kids for cash scandal and judges convicted for taking kickbacks from a prison for providing them with a steady stream of inmates.

Posted by: andy | Aug 25 2021 23:56 utc | 28

Posted by: james | Aug 25 2021 23:54 utc | 27

There is a rich underworld culture in Russia, and that is precisely the world in which Navalny fits, a small time swindler raised to the political heavens by a West lost into his own confused narrative, so I was shocked to hear Merkel saying good bye and bringing the inmate case up.

The move is so transparent that it is pitiful, elections in Russia in September so it is time to heat up the MSM again, but it is such a childish move, like playin checkers. I think the lyrics of the song rus/eng are in the youTube clip info. The performer was the muse of a well known French sculptor, Maillol, she has an excellent record of underworld songs, criminal stuff.

Posted by: Paco | Aug 26 2021 0:09 utc | 29

Aleksei Navalny is in prison, and his daughter is studying in California at Stanford University.

Who are Alexis Navalny’s backers and bankers?

Many Americans can’t afford to study at Stanford. So who is paying for his daughter to study at Stanford? Is he rich? U$A’s grants, scholarship, intelligence agencies,...

Daria Navalnaya, his 20-year-old daughter, is in California studying at Stanford University.

What do Russians think about her studying in the Empire?

Posted by: Max | Aug 26 2021 0:22 utc | 30

@21 Paco

"There are no better prisons, they are all cruel heterotopias, other side of mirror settings."

That is a great line.

Posted by: Platero | Aug 26 2021 0:39 utc | 31

Penal Colony No.2 sounds like something out of a dystopian novel. Much worse that Penal Colony No.1. Much happier names: Leavenworth, Folsom, San Quentin, Rikers Island. Even Supermax sounds cool. Only Alcatraz, Attica, and Sing-Sing sound vaguely sinister, probably because the public has seen inside.

Posted by: Platero | Aug 26 2021 1:05 utc | 32

Paco #25

With the real business of Eurasia's destiny being played by the hour and this is all they can pull from the hat.

Disgrace is the word that comes to mind.

I saw a vid of her meeting with the Russian President in front of the press and her phone rang in her pocket. The dopey turd actually answered it in front of everyone! Putin was polite in the way he retorted, polite but pointed.

The west has never escaped the syndrome of twisting either aristocracy or democracy to 'elect' buffoons and rogues. What a sad pack of clowns.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Aug 26 2021 1:19 utc | 33


Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 25 2021 22:24 utc | 22

“...the above is a recipe for disaster which will produce thousands of cabbage eating ...people (in)capable of independent thinking and leadership.”


Seriously, karlof1?

There is an old saying: One who has possession of a whole head of cabbage is indeed rich.

- [ ] I suppose because of your coastal Oregonian lifestyle, with your wife/missus which you often boast about, eating “surf and turf” in one meal innoculates you to the sufferings of those who, worldwide, eat cabbage as a means of dietary support not only in the developing countries but as a nutritious means of support in developed countries.

“Cabbage it up” is a local US American midwestern saying, a US Amerikan sayIng
which I leave to you to interpret. Hint: it is a class thing.

Posted by: suzan | Aug 26 2021 1:31 utc | 34

#4, So, in your view, who are Merkel's masters?

Posted by: Castellio | Aug 26 2021 1:35 utc | 35

"Two years into the sentence, Alex eagerly takes up an offer to be a test subject for the Minister of the Interior's new Ludovico technique, an experimental aversion therapy for rehabilitating criminals within two weeks. Alex is strapped to a chair, his eyes are clamped open and he is injected with drugs. He is then forced to watch films of sex and violence, some of which are accompanied by the music of his favourite composer, Ludwig van Beethoven. "

"A Clockwork Orange is a 1971 dystopian crime film adapted, produced, and directed by Stanley Kubrick, based on Anthony Burgess's 1962 novel of the same name."

Source: WikiLiedToMe.
Perhaps the Russians are on to something here.
But TV? Not TV. Anything but that!
I wonder if you can opt for waterboarding instead?

Posted by: David G Horsman | Aug 26 2021 2:22 utc | 36

Horrorshow!

Posted by: Platero | Aug 26 2021 2:33 utc | 37

"conclusion...was a lithium problem." - Jo @ 15. That can occur in the elderly and people on diuretics. Or a deliberate overdose.

It is used to treat type 1 bipolar disorder. This isn't very plausible, he's just trying to insinuate he has a mental illness. Okay... Maybe it's plausible after all... that last bit...

Mind you that would clearly show in the blood work. I call BS. They would have already said so were that the case.

Posted by: David G Horsman | Aug 26 2021 2:41 utc | 38

It's mildly amusing that NYT 'forgot' that a prison sentence is Punishment for breaking the law, not a Reward for breaking the law. They also 'forgot' that successful criminals NEVER go to prison because they NEVER get caught. In Real Life you only go to jail if you break the law AND get caught.
Navalny should go straight. He's too stupid to be a successful crook.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Aug 26 2021 3:05 utc | 39

All patriotic Russian Ukranian Mennonite Canadian spies know that cabbage rolls are delicious and nutritious Karlof. We are loyal cabbage eaters.
We mix rice, ground beef, spices, onion, mushrooms, all wrapped in cabbage leaves with a tomatoe sauce. Yum.
My "nana" taught me that, and how to sew money into garmets. Dumplings and borsch (sp?) are sometimes good.

Also, don't let your children wander during a famine. Oh! and never eat yellow snow. It causes hypothermia.

We are a cultured people. Of course anyone familiar with the Ukraine would know this. What's surf and turf anyways? It sounds like gutter meat or road kill or something. Did it wash up maybe? Is it servered with a shovel? What is this turf ingredient you speak of?

Did a college student give this to you? I am concerned.

Posted by: David G Horsman | Aug 26 2021 3:18 utc | 40

@22 karlof1

I didn't realize that an attempt at good education had been made in the US, whose education standards for many decades have been the laughing stock of the world. Thank you for the information - it's a great template and worth repeating in case there is a future:

Thirty years ago the following methodology was proven to be the best: Students needed to be educated by a team consisting of themselves, their parents and teachers/administrators. It was made the basis of teacher training curriculum in some states that realized its successfully proven rationale, but in the vast majority of school districts it was never implemented as teaching to the test won out because of school districts need for every penny of funding that came from the Feds despite funding having always been the realm of the states. So, it's not just a lack of STEM grads; it's the lack of properly educated high school graduates based on 1970 standards, not the extremely dumbed-down standards existing today that are all aimed at test passing so funding can be provided.

I had to look up "cabbage-eater" but I find it is contemporary slang and perfectly used in your context. And I had to look up "Victory Gin" to find it comes from Orwell's "1984" and is empty of anything good, unless anesthetized dullness is the good. I think you've described perfectly the product of today's educational system.

But the part I quoted here is a keeper for me. Surely one day there must be a renaissance for the US, decades from now? It will be important to preserve the good recipes for the future.

Thanks again.

Posted by: Grieved | Aug 26 2021 4:11 utc | 41

@40; "Surf & Turf" in American = Steak & Lobster

Posted by: vetin LA | Aug 26 2021 4:22 utc | 42

@40; "Surf & Turf" in American = Steak & Lobster

Posted by: vetin LA | Aug 26 2021 4:22 utc | 43

@ Paco | Aug 26 2021 0:09 utc | 29.. this lady is question an fascinating singer and the songs she sings are very intriguing...

Dina Vierny - Кошмары (1975)

@ 30 max... interesting.. i didn't know that.. thanks..

@ 34 suzan... thanks for standing up for the cabbages and those who eat them... a beautiful plant and food it is!

@ Castellio | Aug 26 2021 1:35 utc | 35... it's a good question castellio and i don't profess to know.. but my guess is this is driven by finances and the financial powers are pulling the levers of power, which would include merkel... i am just thinking now of macron and his background prior to being elected... it was said that he is a rothchild asset... you are usually quite articulate.. do you have some thoughts on the question?? thanks..


Posted by: james | Aug 26 2021 4:36 utc | 44

@ David G Horsman | Aug 26 2021 3:18 utc | 40.. david, when you get a chance, take a trip to grand forks and experience some great russian/ukrainian food at some of the restaurants in this once upon a time doukhobor community in the interior that still retains remnants from its past.. if you walk in the hills and mountains surrounding it, watch out for the rattlesnakes...

Posted by: james | Aug 26 2021 4:40 utc | 45

So Aleksei Navalny's big complaint about his conditions is that he doesn't like what's on television?

“We watch films about the Great Patriotic War,” Mr. Navalny said

Well, yes, he's in a Russian prison. If he was in a Hong Kong or southern Chinese prison, he'd be watching martial art movies; if he was in an American prison he'd be watching super-hero movies. Welcome to popular culture, Mr Navalny; it caters to what most people want.

I'd say talk about a first world problem, except as I learned recently, they changed the definition of "first world" as soon as Russia qualified to be counted as one. And, anyway, since the United States is the paradigm example of a first world country and, as b's post points out, Navalny's conditions are noticeably better than those found in US prisons, I guess it really doesn't qualify as a first world problem.

Second world problem?

Posted by: Kukulkan | Aug 26 2021 4:43 utc | 46

suzan @34--

I see you completely missed the very obvious reference to 1984. Over my many years commenting here, I've posted most of my bio in bits and pieces, you obviously having missed my confessing twice to being homeless/penniless restarting life in a new city and working my way back up through my own efforts. I guess 1984 wasn't required reading where you went to school. Too bad.

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 26 2021 4:57 utc | 47

Grieved @41--

Thanks for your reply! I'm a 5th generation educator as it turned out. My initial career path wasn't teaching, although I did much training of mostly 18-24 year-olds. Mentoring is also very valuable, and Putin's excellent. I was very impressed by Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 and its Train People when it first appeared. My riches consist of my books, music and my accumulated knowledge and wisdom; I wear neither rings nor a watch, Fitbit or other baubles that denote Class. That seems to annoy a select group of people. All we really own is our word, repute and experiences. Soon I expect to see a new version of something like Star Trek but with majority Chinese and Russian actors. Stay well!

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 26 2021 5:14 utc | 48

David G Horsman #40

Oh! and never eat yellow snow. It causes hypothermia.

Yes, and it has dubious origin as Country Joe once alluded.
But who am I to wonder?

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Aug 26 2021 5:24 utc | 49

Obviously, Trudeau will be re-elected:
BREAKING: Trudeau Chased Out of Neighbourhood by Angry Crowd


Posted by: Norwegian | Aug 26 2021 5:38 utc | 50

That fountain of truth and bringer of light to dark places, The Guardian, has a very different view
The By-line
Given as "Agence France-Presse in Washington", although if Luke Harding's grubby little hands haven't be near it I'd be surprised. I suppose The Guardian is fed up with being accused of lying. Exactly why did two journalists have to go to Quito to write the Assange-Manafort article?

Luke Harding and Dan Collyns in Quito

Getting back to today's article.
The Headline:
‘Psychological violence’: Alexei Navalny says he is forced to watch eight hours of state TV a day
Russian opposition leader tells of brainwashing and propaganda in jail but remains optimistic Putin regime will end ‘sooner or later’

That's like watching eight hours of the BBC each day. Given the nature of daytime BBC, I can see how that could be regarded as ‘Psychological violence’. However, Channel 4 is also state-owned for the moment and its daytime programming is better than the BBC.
The Drop Head:
Russian opposition leader tells of brainwashing and propaganda in jail but remains optimistic Putin regime will end ‘sooner or later’

The same old BS about being "opposition leader", he's "an opposition leader" not "the opposition leader". British daytime TV is also brainwashing and the BBC's current affairs output is propaganda. With pushes to make COVID-19 vaccination mandatory and to introduce vaccination passports, i'd say the regimes in Washington and Paris are more authoritarian than the government in Moscow. Not even Putin's most ardent fans believe he is immortal although I'm sure there are some who, with good reason, wish he was, so the Putin government will end sometime.
The rest, read for yourself if you really want to but it's full of the usual Guardian crap.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Aug 26 2021 6:10 utc | 51

Can Nacalnys claims of being forced to watch TV be verified? I really would like to know if this is true.

Posted by: m | Aug 26 2021 6:18 utc | 52

Meanwhile at the bottom of the article, the western propagandist are further preparing the ground for the EU declaring the upcoming election a fraud if and when Putin wins.

His movement has faced unprecedented pressure ahead of September parliamentary polls in Russia, in which Putin’s United Russia party is expected to struggle.
.
Which translate as if Putin's party wins then the election must be a fraud.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Aug 26 2021 6:23 utc | 53

m asked: “Can Nacalnys claims of being forced to watch TV be verified? I really would like to know if this is true.”

From the NYT article:

During one afternoon session, playing chess or backgammon is an acceptable alternative.

So, no, it would seem he could play board games instead. The article doesn’t say if these board games are insidiously themed to be pro-Russian or not, though.

Like I said: second world problem.

Posted by: Kukulkan | Aug 26 2021 6:34 utc | 54

@23 Karlof1
By typing "Anfrage" and "Nawalny" at bundestag.de I arrived at two responses of parliamentary requests, here and here.

I didn`t find them very interesting. The official responses state pretty much the same as the media reports about the Navalny case.

According to the German government Navalny arrived poisoned by Novichok in Germany. This has been independently confirmed by the OPCW, Sweden and France. Several of his personal belongings carried traces of Novichok contamination. A water bottle as the possible source of the poisoning couldn`t be confirmed.

Posted by: m | Aug 26 2021 8:05 utc | 55

@m | Aug 26 2021 8:05 utc | 55

According to the German government Navalny arrived poisoned by Novichok in Germany. This has been independently confirmed by the OPCW, Sweden and France.

How did they manage to resurrect him from the dead?

Posted by: Norwegian | Aug 26 2021 8:40 utc | 56

ohhhh the OPCW "confirmed it". the same OPCW the U.S. warped into yet another tool when it wouldn't cooperate with the Iraq War propaganda, the same OPCW that recently tried to smear its own experts to push a debunked tale about an alleged Syria government massacre in Douma.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Aug 26 2021 9:00 utc | 57

Who the f**k cares about that racist POS?

Posted by: Misotheist | Aug 26 2021 9:03 utc | 58

Discussion is kind of irrelevant and rather distracting: the question is whether Navalny belongs in prison in the first place.

Posted by: Malchik Ralf | Aug 26 2021 9:23 utc | 59

Malchik Ralf @59: "...the question is whether Navalny belongs in prison in the first place."

Violate parole and you go to prison to serve your sentence. What is complicated about that? Tell me of a country where things don't work that way.

Posted by: William Gruff | Aug 26 2021 10:54 utc | 60

@23 Karlof1

In the Anfrage they ask:

The OPCW only wrote that they found „biomarkers of the cholinesterase inhibitor“ whereas the German government was talking about a chemical weapon. Why the difference?
Why weren´t the contaminated objects tested for fingerprints even though especially the bottle was THE thing that led to poisoning Navalny.

Further:
https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=&ved=2ahUKEwjYlvLHwc7yAhUJgP0HHQEfA0c4ChAWegQIAxAB&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.friesen-im-bundestag.de%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2021%2F03%2F1926684.pdf&usg=AOvVaw3jYQf-svLU0YUBG4bJ3FKZ

"The OPCW only took samples off Navalny to keep the "chain of custody" whereas this would not be possible with the objects as the water bottle etc. [...]

The evaluation of the importance of objects as evidence is in the realm of the Russian authorities.

[...] Only Julia Nawalnaya and his speaker Kira Iarmysh accompanied Navalny on the flight from Omsk to Berlin.

The government doesn´t know how the objects such as the bottle got to Germany.

Posted by: Goingo | Aug 26 2021 10:55 utc | 61

GhostShip & James et al.

Ha! seems like great minds think alike.

We have all spotted this narrative strand. I posted at Craig Murray blog site this morning:
‘Navalny gets to do interviews from Prison in Russia! NYT and Groaniad happily publish full length. Two in a week already – the nasty nasty putinists letting him say what he likes from the gulags – “they made me watch tv for hours”! Lols.
Yet not a single letter from Political prisoners Julian Assange and Craig Murray.
Not a single journalist to give even a fig leaf! ‘
... rest of it here.
https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2021/08/keeping-freedom-alive/comment-page-6/#comment-998030
————

Mutti Merkel- she has been the best and longest serving elected European / Western leader for the last 50 years!
I don’t see the usual suspects whinging about her fixing elections and fixed terms...

Her intellect, longevity and indomitability has preserved the goal of an ever closer Union which has been attacked by the Atlantacists / nato thugs incessantly over the last 50 years.

Funded by dark money being poured into that disruption across Europe - with Bannons generalship - into UKIP to AfD to any number of bought politicians and petitfascist popular figureheads who have never been and are utterly unelectable. The likes of Fartage and ‘Tommy’.

All managed through the captured and fully Mockingbirded MSM and any number of agit prop Social Media and AltMedia sites.

The perfidy of us Brits in destabilising the EU at every step by veto or encouraging the bloating by absorbing the ex-soviet countries in a single gulp into the older EU rather than creat a stabilising second tier to enable a more streamlined alignment to full membership. (That was Blair again).

The current crap by Lithuania/Taiwan today; the grandstanding by the neofascist ‘leaders’ of Poland/Hungary who were promised huge swathes of Ukraine.
As idiotic Ukrainians were foisted with ghouls of their Nazi past into attacking their own Russian speaking peoples! And of course Belorussia... where today is that great other bullshit con job of the supposed hijacked airline to arrest that other western dupe ‘journalist’?

Looks like neither Biden/Bozo or the NYT/Guardian have any time for him now. As they long ago disappeared the Skripals - not allowing any interviews by them that would allow them to say exactly what happened to them in Salisbury on that day or their long association with the Official and unofficial BBC spooks.

Merkel has stood the ground and kept the centre and the peripheries together through clear sighted strategy and tactics that her likeminded politicians of Europe have been able to follow.

She survived the installation of Macron (because Sarko had failed) in France through the most egregious presidential elections in that failed republic - chosen as the WorldBankers Sun-King, who would step into the lead EU role. once Merkel had been ousted.
His task to deliver from the top, the destruction of the ever closer Union and an anti Russian/ China SCO expansion west , east and south that threatened their nato gangster and MIC profits from our public funds for another century.

She survived that putsch and made her final coalition that stopped the BrexShittery from succeeding and she along with Putin has seen the greater tying into the energy security grid of Eurasia.

The U.K. will not be able to survive without joining it. As we won’t without the single market and free movement- as is daily more apparent here. Hell never mind unpicked fruit and veg and Xmas turkeys - the lorry driver crises is affecting BEER deliveries to our pubs! Holly shit. The dumb BrexShitheads are finally going to understand how suckered they have been !

Salut.

Posted by: DG | Aug 26 2021 11:00 utc | 62

...
"But perhaps the most maddening thing, he suggested, is being forced to watch Russian state TV and selected propaganda films for more than eight hours a day in what the authorities call an “awareness raising” program that has replaced hard labor for political prisoners."
...

Yikes!
Shades of the Alex in Clockwork Orange!?
That particular Alex was immobilised in a chair facing a giant screen. His captors attached clips to his head to keep his eyes open and a nice lady used an eye-dropper to keep them moist whilst he 'enjoyed' the ultra-violent movies.

Navalny's favourite movie Alex eventually thwarted his captors by slipping his bonds and diving through a second-floor window - which felt like a good idea until he hit the ground...

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Aug 26 2021 12:18 utc | 63

Navalny is a high profile prisoner, that would be a reason to put him in the best prison available. Protasevich was also treated well last I heard, better than anyone else.

On the other hand if you are not a high profile prisoner the story may well be very different. So how are other political prisoners doing in Russia and Belarus?

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Aug 25 2021 20:20 utc | 13

Is it "the best prison available"? Soon after Navalny got there, the story line in BBC and American media were many, and centered on claims of "concentration camp" conditions and tales of woe from his supporters. Then he had health problems treated by doctors. Then Navalny commenced hunger strike to be examined by a doctor of his choice, something not provided in USA, I am not sure about UK. After dangers to his health were publicized (dangerous levels of potassium etc.) he was given the visit to a doctor of his choice, who duly advised Navalny to eat (healthier than hunger strike according to medical science), Navalny heeded this advise and he is back to good health.

I must admit to be bad at both chess and backgammon, so being forced to endless loosing matches seems unpleasant. Still, not a "concentration camp", and one should ponder how to order Navalny's prison, Assange prison, and Riker's Island.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Aug 26 2021 13:32 utc | 64

Have Navalny and Macron ever been seen together in the same room?

Posted by: gottlieb | Aug 26 2021 14:32 utc | 65

Related:

If prisoners are to help with the UK’s labour shortages, they must not be exploited

It's not a forced/slave labor system when is it is a liberal democracy doing it! That concept only applies to the Soviet Union!

By the way, this article was written by a capitalist who employs prisoners in the UK.

Posted by: vk | Aug 26 2021 14:34 utc | 66

Sounds like a bit of a holiday camp, compared to what Biden has lined up for Julian Assange, if the USA's UK minion comes down on their side in the farcical extradition case.

Basically Navalny is the Venezuelan equivalent of Juan Guaido on in Russia.

Posted by: Republicofscotland | Aug 26 2021 15:17 utc | 67


Russian prisoners play chess. Can you imagine US prisoners doing that?!

They wouldn't know checkers or backgammon.

Posted by: Harald | Aug 26 2021 15:47 utc | 68

@ DG | Aug 26 2021 11:00 utc | 62... good rant... thank you for saying all that! i thought you were in greece, but it sounds like you are in the uk!

@ gottlieb | Aug 26 2021 14:32 utc | 65.. i doubt it very much, but the main thing is that navalny will be used as a battering ram to push against russias forward movement... skripal was designed for the same thing.. novichok, and etc. etc. etc. - all the same bullshit designed for the same purpose.... can't have russia having a say on anything and heaven forbid europe would be reliant on them for energy! have to think up a different name for energy with an evil sounding russian name for it - along the lines of novichok!!

Posted by: james | Aug 26 2021 16:04 utc | 69

Navalny and Guaido are equally boring...they will be quicky stored in the cellar..

Posted by: Virgile | Aug 26 2021 16:40 utc | 70

I think chess is pretty popular in U.S. prisons, actually.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Aug 26 2021 17:04 utc | 71

This post reminded me of a scene from Dog Day Afternoon(1975), with Al Pacino screaming: Attica, Attica.

Posted by: Sakineh Bagoom | Aug 26 2021 21:50 utc | 72

Spades, dominos, and rummy are the most common games I’ve seen in us prisons.
I never saw a chess board, that I can remember.

Posted by: Cadence Calls | Aug 27 2021 5:43 utc | 73

Puh, they have television and real chess pieces. We had to watch a picture of a television which was pinned to the wall and had to use corks as pieces!
..oh you you had a real picture, not a chalk drawing on the wall like us! And real corks! We had to use screwcaps!

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Aug 27 2021 8:12 utc | 74

"According to the German government Navalny arrived poisoned by Novichok in Germany. This has been independently confirmed by the OPCW, Sweden and France. Several of his personal belongings carried traces of Novichok contamination."

Which novitchok? Novitchoks are a class of chemicals, like anti-inflamatories, antibiotics, neuroleptics, etc. So please, novitchok, not Novitchok.

If they cannot identify le molecule, they have nothing.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Novichok_agent

Posted by: Olivier1973 | Aug 27 2021 16:05 utc | 75

According to the responses it had been "a substance from the Novitchok group". The German government refuses to give details - like the chemical formula - quoting profileration risks.

Posted by: m | Aug 27 2021 17:01 utc | 76

"Oh you were allowed actual chessboards? We were only allowed blindfold chess and the guards were banging pots and kettles to make it harder!"
Which reminds me , I wonder if Assange has access to books now or are they still doing the permanent sensory deprivation torture bit.

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Aug 28 2021 11:53 utc | 77

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