All 24 entries tagged From Russia With Vodka
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July 18, 2007
Writing about web page http://izvestia.ru/politic/article3106272/
The escalating tension between London and Moscow on the murder case of Mr. Litvinenko is, as expected, among the headlines in Russian press. I thought it would be interesting to see what the reports in Moscow say. And here’s one of them:
“Litvinenko would be happy…”
If he knew that the new British Prime Minister is trying to influence Russia using old methods
By Igor Yavlinskyi
The diplomatic war between London and Moscow has halted in an uncomfortable tension. Prime Minister Gordon Brown and his cabinet now needs to decide how to resolve this complicated mess of a situation – a product of their own making – without losing face.
Brown declared that he “makes no apology for the decision to expel the Russian diplomats from the United Kingdom”. But – on paradox! – the PM, according to his own words, keeps counting on Russia’s cooperation in all major international deals. His optimism encourages hope, however, it is hard to envision the coexistence of these two diagonally different approaches.
The Russian Ambassador in Britain Yuri Fedotov was summoned by the Foreign Ministry before David Miliband made his official speech to the Parliament. The Minister himself evaded questions, delegating the unpleasant task to one of his aides. Our Ambassador was presented with a list of our diplomats that were to be expelled on the demands of the British. Their names remain unknown. They are reportedly officials of the “intermediate level”.
Curiously, they were granted not 24 or 48 hours for departure, as it usually happens, but 10 days.
The British press are looking for the answer to the main question: has Premier Brown miscalculated the consequences that a “diplomatic war” could potentially lead to? And this is when “there was no suggestion that any of the Russian diplomats expelled now were involved in the Litvinenko case (or in spying)” (The Independent) [the Russian version of the quote does not include or in spying. Quote retracted from http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/politics/article2776147.ece]
Another relevant theme: can a freshly baked British diplomat such as David Miliband suggest that Russia changes its Constitution in order to achieve that extradition of Lugovoi? “But they say that considering the fact of murder of Mr Litvinenko, Moscow could have worked out a judicial mechanism that would allow it to satisfy the request for extradition” – The Financial Times [source not found].
One person is indisputably happy with the conflict: Litvinenko’s widow, Marina. She has already declared that she fully supports Brown’s actions.
Evidence against Andrey Lugovoi?
The full list of evidence gathered by Scotland Yard against Lugovoi is kept secret. The Russian prosecution is also in the dark.
— We requested the Lugovoi case in full from the British prosecution so that we can come to our own conclusions, but they did not fulfil it – Izvestia were told by an information source in the Office of Public Prosecutor, which is running an independent investigation into the death of Litvinenko. – They’ve only presented 20-odd pages of their own conclusions.
We’ve sent dozens of questions on 104 pages to London. They only answered a part of them. One of the half-empty responses explained that the lack of information is caused by the case being reviewed in the Royal Procurator. In another one they argue that they deem it unnecessary to answer our questions because they find it expedient. It is therefore assumed that they have only worked on their own version. We have our own ideas, but the British side didn’t provide us with the necessary information and didn’t give us the opportunity to further investigate the case. And finally, we’ve requested the British prosecution to question a number of witnesses, but they were not questioned because there was thought to be no ground for questioning. We asked the British to forensically examine Berezovski’s office and Patarkatshvili’s office. The peculiar thing is, everybody around Berezovski has been exposed to polonium, but he himself is unaffected.
The British press says that the prosecution relies on the fact that traces of polonium were, according to the British “Sherlock Holmes”, found everywhere Lugovoi set foot. In the hotel room, in the bar, on the plane, on the receipts and banknotes. An additional supporting evidence the British use claims that “polonium-210 is primarily produced in Russia”.
[text continues with quotes from other sources]
April 19, 2007
Stalin appears to Putin in a dream. The President has many concerns about the state of the nation, and so asks Stalin:
“What should I do about the economy? Crime is high, and unemployment…”
Stalin, without pausing for thought, responds: “Round up and shoot every male between the age of 21 and 30, and then paint the inside of the Kremlin blue.”
“Why blue?”, Putin asks,
Stalin: “I had a feeling you’d only want to discuss the second part…”
Published in the Liberal
March 07, 2007
The Death of the Clerk
One fine evening, a no less fine executor*, Ivan Dmitrich Chervyakov**, was sitting in the second row of a fine theatre, looking though his binoculars at The Chimes of Normandy. He looked and felt like a king. Out of nowhere… we often see this turn of phrase, this ‘out of nowhere’ in tales. The authors are right: life is so full of suddenness! Suddenly, his face cringed, eyes rolled toward the skies, breath held still… he moved his binoculars away from his eyes, keeled over and…apchew!!! Sneezed, as you can see. Sneezing is not frowned upon by anyone anywhere. Everyone sneezes – men in the field, policemen and sometimes even secret advisers sneeze. Chervyakov was not at all embarrassed by the act; he pulled out a hankie, wiped himself clean and like any well-bread person looked around himself to check if his feat had disturbed anyone. And suddenly the duly embarrassment dawned on him: right under his nose, in the front row, a bald old man was tirelessly wiping his shiny baldness with his gloves muttering something to himself. To his horror, Chervyakov recognized in the old bald man the civil general Brizjalov, serving at the ministry of communications.
“I sprayed him with my mucus and spittle!” – Chervyakov thought to himself – He may not be my boss, but it’s still awkward. I should apologize”.
Chervyakov cleared his throat, tipped his body forward and whispered in the general’s ear:
- My humble apologies, I didn’t mean to… to sneeze on you…
- It’s fine, it’s okay
- In the name of the lord almighty, please accept my apologies. I… I really didn’t intend for it…
- Oh for the love of god, sit down please! I’m trying to watch the operetta!
Chervyakov felt he was covered in shame; he let out a silly smile and started staring at the stage. He was watching alright, but he no longer felt like a king. In the interim break he walked up to Brizjalov, made a couple of circles around him, and fighting his fears, murmured:
- I sprayed on you, your high—ness. Please forgive me… I… I didn’t do it to…
- Oh enough already… I’d already forgotten about it and you are still on about it! – said the general, his lower lip quivering in annoyance.
“Forgotten says he… but I could see that spark of acidity in his eyes, – Chervyakov thought to himself. – he doesn’t even want to speak to me. I should explain to him I did not mean for this to happen… that it’s the nature’s call. What if he decides I wanted to spit on him. He may not think it this way now, but what if he rethinks it afterwards!...”
When he came back home, Chervyakov decided to tell his wife about this unfortunate incident. His wife, as Chervyakov saw it, took it too carelessly. She got scared at first, but when she found out Brizjalov was not Chervyakov’s boss she calmed down.
- Still, you should go and apologize to him, – she said. – He may decide you can’t behave like a civilized human being in public!
- That’s the problem! I apologized, but he was kind of weird… Didn’t say anything. Well, we didn’t really have the time to talk properly.
The next day Chervyakov put on his brand new uniform, had his haircut and went to see Brizjalov to explain things… At the reception he noticed a lot of people had come to submit their requests and the general was standing among them already open for applications. After he’d dealt with a number of visitors, the general proceeded on to Chervyakov.
- Yesterday in the “Arcade”, if you will to remember, your high-ness, – the executor started explaining, – I sneezed and… and accidentally sprayed you… my apolo…
- What utter trifle… God knows what! What it is you wish? – the general said referring to the next visitor.
“He doesn’t want to talk! – Chervyakov thought to himself and grew pale. – Means he’s angry. No, I can’t leave it like that… I’ll explain it to him…”
When the general finished his round with the last visitor and was heading towards his office Chervyakov caught up with him and started murmuring:
- Your high-ness! If I may… I only dare bother you because of my deep and sincere remorse… You should know I never intended for this to happen!
The General made a whining face and waved his hand.
- You have got to be kidding, sir! – said he, disappearing behind the door.
“What jokes? – thought Chervyakov. – Nothing like that! He’s a general and yet he can’t seem to understand! Well, if so, I’ll stop apologizing to this braggart! The hell with him! I’ll just write him a letter, I’ll stop apologizing in person, god knows I will!”
Those were the thoughts running though Chervyakov’s head as he was walking home. But he didn’t write that letter to the general. He thought hard, really hard about how to write that letter, but came up with nothing. So, he had to go back to the General again the next day, to explain himself.
- I was here yesterday, your high-ness, – the murmur had resumed once again when the general’s enquiring gaze met with Chervyakov’s guilty eyes. – I was here not to make jokes, as you’ve implied. I was here to apologize for spraying you when I accidentally sneezed; not for a laugh, I’d never make such jokes. Dare I laugh? If we all were to laugh, then there would be no respect for the authorities… no respect…
- Get the hell out of here!!! – suddenly crowed the general shaking and turning blue.
- W-what? – whispered Chervyakov growing pale with horror.
- Get the hell out of here!!! – the general repeated himself stamping his feet.
Chervyakov felt like something had torn off in his stomach. He couldn’t see anything, he couldn’t hear anything; he backed out of the door, on to the street and shuffled back home. When his feet brought him back home he laid down on the sofa with his uniform still on and… passed away.
First published in the literary magazine “Oskolki” (broken glass) in 1883, issue No. 30 under the category “Incidents”
- Executors were usually officials in charge of the maintenance issues in an institution
- * The surname Chervyakov derives from the noun for ‘worm’ – chervyak
Story by A. P. Chekhov. The original text is available at http://public-library.narod.ru/Chekhov.Anton/smert.html
February 10, 2007
Я – графоман. Я вам честно говорю! Мне совершенно не важно что я пишу... мне просто нравится шевелить пальчиками и следить за вздёрнутым хвостом пера; смотреть на красивые загогуленки моего перфектного почерка и чувствовать на себе завидные взгляды прохожих – она умеет писать!
Как только в моих руках оказывается пишущая ручка – сердце рвётся за тетрадью. Всегда хочется начинать по- новой: открыть первую страницу новой тетеради и вдоволь написаться. Исписать страницу- полторы, нарисовать слоновый хобот на полях, пятачок по середине страницы, брызги из поросячьего носа, цветочек и солнышко. Можно ещё пару лысинок травки кое-где посадить... и как посмотришь – ляпота! Вот бы и жизнь была такой.. полной слонов и поросят, а также цветочков, солнышка и травки иногда...
У меня есть свой бог. Хотя в последнее время я его подзабыла. Но он у меня есть. И зовут его просто – боженька. Боженька бесполое существо. Хотя я склонна верить, что оно мужчина. Только без надоедливых вредных мужских привычек. Боженька всегда со мной, даже когда не нужно. Он такой же обыденный человекчишко как и я. Ему тоже, наверное, бывает плохо, только он об этом молчит. Собутыльникам, наверное, рассказывает... интересно, что он сейчас делает?
October 14, 2006
Я ребёнок не родившийся на свет,
I’m a child yet unborn,
Я безродная душа по кличке ”НЕТ”,
I’m a sexless soul, nicknamed “No”,
Я колючий холодок в душе врача,
I’m a chilling wind on the conscience of the doctor,
Узелок людьми разрубленный с плеча.
A cord, chopped off carelessly.
Пусть же будет вам легко, отец и мать,
Well, live carelessly, mum and dad,
Жить как все и ничего не вспоминать.
Live like everyone else, with no memory.
Всё равно я вас люблю сильнее всех,
I’ll still love you more than anyone,
Даже если вы забыли этот грех...
Even if you’ve gotten over this sin…
October 11, 2006
In the case of the killing of the Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya I tend to think it’ll be one of those news hypes with little useful conclusion made. So Russia is moving backwards to its golden epoch under Stalin; so there’s very little freedom of speech; so the international community was wrong thinking Russia was ready to host the G8 summit. So? On the day of Ms. Politkovskaya’s funeral I believe Putin said something like “her death is an even bigger blow to our image than her work”. Nice stuff. And very KGB-like. It’s like a double negative: we are saying we didn’t like her when she was alive, so you know that we’d be stupid to actually kill her. There was a famous saying by Stalin “no man – no problem” – my personal favourite. Something tells me it’s Putin’s favourite by now too.
January 22, 2006
The BBC Russia website reported of a little tiger saved from the hunters at the price of four bottles of vodka and 160 roubles ($5,5 or £3,2). It was a very young tiger, exhausted and hungry. The hunters gave a call to the local zoo-o-logist, demanding ransom for the poor animal. The zoo-o-logist figured the hunters were drunk and would probably accept vodka above all. Thus the deal was made and the tiger was rescued.
At the temperature of -30 degrees Celsius, Russian homeless people still refuse to attend shelters for the homeless, because admitting to the place means giving up the vodka. A bottle or two of the holy drink makes them feel warm, although scientists insist that alcohol really lowers the body temperature. But they wouldn't care about science, they only care about what they feel, and what they feel is the warm, slightly dizzy and happy feeling in their stomachs. They say they don’t want to give up their freedom: “we’d rather die, but proud and free!” – loudly announced the few.
The whole hearted faith in the power of vodka inspired the Russian zoo keepers to keep their freezing Indian elephants warm with buckets of vodka. Via drinking, of course. There were no further reports about the animals. Nor the zoo keepers.