Sunday, September 09, 2012


Godwin's Law doesn't work in Russia. Hitler's horrors pale in comparison to the sheer bloody awfulness of 20th Century Russia. Some 60 million Russians died from war, starvation, state murder and exile. It's difficult to put an exact number on the slaughter. Unlike the Nazis, Russia has never been keen on holding onto the paperwork.

John Armstrong has a look at the APEC venue with a nod to local deprivations in today's Herald. Foreign Policy digs deeper into the APEC Potemkin village. The article details the decline of the Vladivostok hinterlands, which sounds like a New Zealand of the North:
Since 1992, the population of Russia's easternmost region, Primorye, has shrunk by 352,000 people to less than two million. Many of the departed are disillusioned youth who flee to Moscow, St. Petersburg or abroad after graduating high school. A recent poll showed 40 percent of the region's people are looking to pack their luggage and leave.
You can almost smell the Auckland:
It's not as if there's a shortage of problems to throw money at in Vladivostok. The city's population of 592,000 suffers crippling traffic jams, there's no public transportation after 9 p.m, there's a shortage of affordable housing -- even the local kindergartens require bribes before your child can enroll.