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European Tribune - Odds & Ends: Manta Ray of Political Analysis Edition
In cities like Chicago and New York with large and organized Russian communities, the renewed patriotism has come in the form of more interest in Russian culture.

A Russian ex-girlfriend of mine, who has been living in Madrid for the past six years (because she "could no longer stand living in Russia"), recently updated her Facebook status  to "... is in Moscow and thinks Russians are interesting again."

European Tribune - Comments - Odds & Ends: Manta Ray of Political Analysis Edition

"I'm here for the swimming and the women," says Chris Oganda, a 22-year-old Kenyan who came to the camp with Russian university friends. He made the 16-hour bus trip to Seliger from the town of Cheboksary. His two-week stay costs him nothing: the Kremlin pays all bills.

This was important for me to read.  I had assumed that the Nashi were xenophobic and racist.  Clearly, I was very much mistaken:  

BBC NEWS | Europe | Murder of African alarms Russia

Murder of African alarms Russia
This year has seen a sharp rise on attacks on foreigners in Russia
A Russian youth movement allied to President Vladimir Putin is to demand action against racist violence after the murder of an African student.

A spokesman for Nashi (Our People) said it wanted public condemnation of rising racial intolerance in St Petersburg, Mr Putin's native city.

Searchlight Magazine: RUSSIA The ultimate risk of being an anti-racist

The next calculated murder of an anti-racist was on 7 April this year when Lamsar Samba Sell, a Senegalese student, was shot in the neck by a nazi skinhead. Samba was actively involved in an NGO called African Unity and had helped organise intercultural festivals with Nashi. On his way home after attending an intercultural friendship evening at a discotheque, he and other African students were ambushed by a nazi gunman who had hidden in a doorway. When the nazi ran out into the street and screamed slogans, the students panicked and ran. A shot rang out and a man seen firing it escaped after throwing away a gun engraved with a swastika.

This reminds me of the way every Thai household and restaurant seems to have a photogragh of the Thai royal couple:

European Tribune - Comments - Odds & Ends: Manta Ray of Political Analysis Edition

"People are buying them for their offices, for presents and for themselves," she said. "We had a couple who bought a portrait of Medvedev and Putin together and the wife said, 'It's for our bedroom.' "

And since you had no picture of him in this edition of O&E...

WBUR & NPR's On Point : Russia, Riches, and the Law
Aired: Thursday, July 24, 2008 10-11AM ET

By host Tom Ashbrook

Mikhail Khodorkovsky was the richest man in Russia. Multi-billionaire. Oil-rich oligarch. No saint, but no worse a sinner, maybe, than many other Russian oligarchs.

Then he crossed Vladimir Putin. Ended up in a cage, on trial, and then in a prison in Siberia. Gilded life -- gone.

Now, an American attorney is fighting to free Khodorkovsky. He says it's Russia on trial here -- and whether or not a now oil-rich Kremlin believes in the rule of law.

His story is a legal thriller where losers end up in Siberia, or dead. And the answers ripple well beyond Russia.

This hour, On Point: Russia, riches, and the law.

Awesome writing. eXile needs to get a clue and start reading ET.

Cynicism is intellectual treason.

by marco on Sat Jul 26th, 2008 at 02:06:26 AM EST

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