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6 More Russian Myths About Crimea

Published: April 16, 2014 (Issue # 1806)


Russian leaders often look uninformed or desperate when they try tojustify abuses ofpower byclaiming that theU.S. is guilty ofsimilar infractions.

Take, forexample, President Vladimir Putins comparison ofRussias selective legal assault against Yukos andthe subsequent expropriation ofmost ofYukos assets intostate-controlled Rosneft with theU.S. prosecution ofEnron in2003.

InSeptember 2012, Putin, responding tointernational criticism ofthe prison death oflawyer Sergei Magnitsky, said that theU.S. had no right tojudge Russia because it executes convicted criminals athome. TheForeign Ministry took this argument further, saying inits 2012 report onU.S. human rights violations that theU.S. executes minors, which is ablatant falsehood.

Russian authorities also fired back atU.S. criticism ofRussias record onfree speech byasserting that theU.S. violated therights offormer Private Chelsea (Bradley) Manning, jailed forleaking 700,000 classified documents toWikiLeaks.

Now, theKremlin has adopted thesame flawed look whos talking argument tocounter criticism ofits annexation ofCrimea. Here are six more myths that Russia is fond ofspinning.

1. All great powers annex territory. Look atthe U.S., which unabashedly annexed Texas andHawaii.

It is true that theU.S. annexation ofTexas in1845 was avivid example ofmanifest destiny, imperialism andpromoting theinterests ofthe powerful, slaveholding class inthe South. TheTexas annexation, which extended thestates border tothe Rio Grande river, was aclear act ofprovocation against Mexico, which had historical claims toparts ofTexas. Theannexation sparked theMexican-American war of1846-48, which theU.S. won, giving it ownership ofa huge swath ofwestern territories fromColorado toCalifornia.

Similarly, Hawaii was annexed in1898 after theU.S. orchestrated acoup overthrowing theHawaiian monarchy in1893. Themain economic motive ofthe coup was toexploit Hawaiis sugar wealth andpromote theinterests ofthe five largest U.S. sugarcane-processing corporations working onthe islands.

But it is odd that Russia is pointing toa 19th-century U.S. imperialist model ofexpansion tojustify its annexation ofCrimea. Is Russia still living inthe 19th century, pursuing its own form ofmanifest destiny? Clearly, thepost-World War II world order, which is based onUnited Nations-based system ofinternational law andrespecting theterritorial integrity ofother nations, rejects these crude 19th-century andearly 20th-century land grabs.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Wednesday, Aug. 20


AmCham gets back to business after a summer hiatus with todays EHS Committee Working Group Meeting. Check their website for more details.



Thursday, Aug. 21


Time is running out to see the fantastic creations on display at the 2014 Sand Castle Festival on the beach at the Peter and Paul Fortress. Adhering to the theme of Treasure Island, visitors can wander amongst larger-than-life interpretations of pirate life or attend one of the workshops held to educate a future generation of sand artists. The castles will remain on the beach until Aug. 31.



Friday, Aug. 22


Get ready to pledge allegiance to the flag during National Flag Day, paying tribute to when, 23 years ago today, the iconic hammer-and-sickle was replaced with the tricolor that now flutters in the wind. Petersburgers will be treated to a free concert on Palace Square, a military parade and a culminating air show featuring Russias Russian Knights stunt pilots.



Saturday, Aug. 23


Uppsala Park plays host to Fairy Noon today, a performance of five separate fairy tales ranging from folk classics to more haunting selections. There will be three different renditions of the tales throughout the day and tickets start at 500 rubles ($13.80) for adults and 300 rubles ($8.30) for children.


Classic Finnish cartoon characters the Moomins expect to receive a warm welcome from Russian fans during todays Moomin Festival at the Pearl Plaza Shopping Center at 51 Petergofskoye Shosse. Become a kid again or introduce a new generation to the beloved creation of Finnish writer Tove Jansson.



Sunday, Aug. 24


The tortured genius of Dutch master Vincent van Gogh gets his day in the centers Konnushnaya Ploschad during Make Art Like Van Gogh, a daylong celebration of the artist that will allow amateur artists to try and replicate the work that made the famed painter world-renowned.


Experience a variety of dances highlighting the diversity of the world around as at the final day of the Ethno-Dance International Dance Festival that has been at the St. Petersburg Humanitarian University of Trade Unions this past week. Tonights performance will feature Egyptian dancers accompanied by local orchestras.



Monday, Aug. 25


Today kicks off the Elena Obraztsovoy International Competition for Young Vocalists in the large hall of the Shostakovich Philharmonic. Talented youngsters will showcase their range over the next six days before a winner is chosen on Aug. 30.



Tuesday, Aug. 26


Love movies but hate all those words? Then check out Rodina Cinema Centers Factor of Consensus film forum this evening. Silent movie classics from the beginning of the 20th century will be screened and accompanied by a pianist, who will provide the soundtrack for the ongoing action. The screenings begin at 7 p.m. Check Rodinas website for more details.



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