Tuesday, March 25, 2014

America’s Extreme Right Has A Patriot Problem/After May 9, it will be punishable by 5 years in Russian prison to talk about ‘Ukrainian Crimea’

From Truth wins Out: http://www.truthwinsout.org/opinion/2014/03/39904/
America’s extreme right has long been known for its gratuitous flag waving – but who ever thought the flag would be Russian? As the crisis in Ukraine unfolds, it is becoming crystal clear that leading social conservatives and their advocacy groups are grappling with a patriot problem. While the rest of America is actually rooting for America, these right wing stalwarts are cheerleading for Mother Russia and are openly touting their affinity for Vladimir Putin in the middle of an international crisis.

In Sunday’s New York Times, reporter Ellen Barry wrote an illuminating article, “Foes of America in Russia Crave Rupture in Ties.” Barry pointed out that one of Russia’s most outspoken America-bashers is Vladimir I. Yakunin, President of Russia Railways and “one of Mr. Putin’s trusted friends.” A Russian Orthodox tycoon, he has overseen $7 billion worth of Olympic infrastructure initiatives, but his true passion is leveraging his fortune to turn Russia into a nationalistic, anti-Western theocracy. According to the New York Times:
Mr. Yakunin  presented plans for a Soviet-style megaproject to develop transportation and infrastructure in Siberia, a move toward “an economics of a spiritual type,” he said, that would insulate Russia from the West’s alien values.

He compared the project to monumental endeavors from the past: the adoption of Christianity in ancient Rus; the conquest of Siberia; electrification of the Soviet Union; the Soviet space program; and the Olympics in Sochi.
Yakunin’s dangerous vision is shared by the Rockford, Illinois-based World Congress of Families (WCF), which the Southern Poverty Law Center has designated as a hate group. Since 2010, WCF has worked closely with Russian organizations to pass 13 new anti-gay laws, the most infamous being the one that prohibits “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations to minors.” This law, which shreds free speech protections, has created “open season” on the LGBT community, with politicians, the police, and neo-Nazi vigilante groups carrying out violence and persecution. When Mother Jones magazine writer Hannah Levintova asked WCF’s Managing Director, Larry Jacobs, 
 if his organization contributed to these draconian laws, he chuckled and replied, “Yes, I think that is accurate.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.truthwinsout.org/opinion/2014/03/39904/

From Raw Story:  http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/03/25/after-may-9-it-will-be-punishable-by-5-years-in-russian-prison-to-talk-about-ukrainian-crimea/

By Tony Ortega Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The online newspaper Ukrayinska Pravda (literally “Ukrainian Truth”) reported Monday that soon, it will cost Russians up to five years in prison if they “violate the territorial integrity” of their country — which just grew after it annexed Crimea from Ukraine in a controversial referendum.

We checked, and sure enough, in December, the Russian parliament, the State Duma, adopted a new law that was signed by Vladimir Putin on December 28.

On May 9, the law goes into effect, and it will become a crime in Russia to make “public calls for action to violate the territorial integrity” of the country.

Doing so is punishable by a fine of 300,000 rubles — about $8,400 — or imprisonment up to three years.

Doing the same thing with the use of the news media or the Internet calls for a prison term of up to five years.

Ukrayinska Pravda points out that this puts non-Russians in Crimea in a tough spot.

Continue reading at:  http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/03/25/after-may-9-it-will-be-punishable-by-5-years-in-russian-prison-to-talk-about-ukrainian-crimea/

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