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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

KGB vs. KGB: Putin's crackdown extends to old comrades

By Fred Weir


Putin




Arrests and intimidation of political opponents of Russian President Vladimir Putin have been on the upswing recently, extending even to a former KGB comrade of the Russian leader


JewishWorldReview.com |

mOSCOW — (TCSM) Gennady Gudkov is the last person you'd think of as a radical dissident. Yet he's been driven into a dangerous corner, and it looks like the Kremlin has set its sights on destroying him.

A former career KGB officer, Mr. Gudkov and his son, Dmitry, are both Duma deputies with the "loyal opposition" party Just Russia. The Gudkovs both became involved with the street protest movement that erupted last December in order to steer the protesters toward peaceful and constructive engagement with the authorities, the elder Gudkov insists.

But today, amid a wave of government actions that some protest leaders are calling "the shadow of 1937" — the year mass Stalin-era repressions began — the Gudkovs find themselves in serious trouble, with their family business all but ruined by a blizzard of state "inspections" and the pro-Kremlin United Russia party moving to expel them and another Just Russia deputy, Ilya Ponomaryov, from the Duma.

"I was warned several times, by people who shall remain nameless from high up, who gave me 'friendly advice' to stop all this involvement with the protest movement, and they assured me that if I did my problems would go away," Gudkov says. "The last time was in early June."

Since then, the family business, one of Russia's leading security firms with about 7,000 employees, has been hit with a wave of inspections from the police, fire department, and even the Moscow architectural control committee, which resulted in the suspension of its license to allow its security guards to carry weapons in Moscow.


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Inspections are currently going on in most of the other 20 Russian regions where the company, Oskord International, operates. Without the 200 or so guns — only small pistols and smooth bore rifles, Gudkov says — in the company's arsenal, its security guards have had to stop working.

Gudkov insists the company, which has worked for the United Nations and Russian law enforcement agencies in the past, has sailed through regular inspections every three months for the past decade and has never experienced a problem with its registered firearms or their method of storage before.

"Now our business in Moscow is all but ruined, and we're being hit in the regions," he says. "I have no doubt that this is punishment directed at me for my civic position and my support of the protest movement. What's happening to me is being repeated all over the country in various ways to hundreds of other people right now, most of them not so well known as me. There is one organizing force behind all this, and that is the Kremlin administration."

Gudkov announced that he will be selling the company at a huge loss, wrecking his retirement plans. "I took the path of Khodorkovsky, and now I am really afraid," he told the Moscow daily Izvestia, referring to the fate of oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who defied Putin and subsequently was arrested, his business empire destroyed by selective legal actions. Mr. Khodorkovsky, prosecuted in two trials that most independent experts believe were politically motivated, has spent the past nine years in a Siberian penal colony.

'A DRESS REHEARSAL FOR WHAT MAY BE COMING'
Activists say the crackdown began early this month with passage by the pro-Kremlin Duma majority of a new law that imposes tough penalties on anyone who takes part in a non-sanctioned political gathering and steep fines for organizers if any infractions occur during a permitted one.

Then on June 11, police raided the homes of eight protest leaders, seizing cash, computers and vast quantities of "political literature."

Since then, more than a dozen people have been arrested and charged with involvement in "disorders" that allegedly took place during a mass protest rally on May 6, the eve of Vladimir Putin's inauguration for an unprecedented third term as Russian president.

Other odd occurrences include the flight abroad of investigative journalist Sergei Sokolov, deputy editor of the opposition weekly Novaya Gazeta, after his life was allegedly threatened by the powerful head of the Kremlin's Investigative Committee and Putin protege Alexander Bastrykhin. Mr. Bastrykhin first denied making the threat, but later visited Novaya Gazeta's offices to apologize. "I didn't have the right to explode but I exploded," the pro-government daily Izvestia quoted Bastrykhin as saying.

Of late, anti-corruption blogger Alexei Navalny, one of the best-known protest leaders, accused the security services of hacking into his cellphone, e-mail and Twitter accounts, using his own computer and iPad that were seized in the earlier raid on his home.

But most worrisome is the creation of a 200-person investigative task force, comprising security officers drawn from all over Russia, to look into the alleged disorders at the May 6 rally.

"We already see a Plan A in action, that involves harassing and putting psychological pressure on various opposition leaders, in the hopes that this will tamp down the protest movement," says Nikolai Petrov, an expert with the Carnegie Center in Moscow. "It's a way of showing that nobody can consider themselves safe if they participate in public rallies...

"But much more serious are the signs that a Plan B is being prepared, which would begin with a large-scale political trial of the people involved in the May 6 rally," he adds. "The creation of a 200-strong investigating team is unprecedented; no criminal act has ever brought together this many resources. This is not being done for nothing, there is some purpose here, and that's what people are worried about. They fear that Putin is preparing to shift to a much more authoritarian state, and this is a dress rehearsal for what may be coming. It does remind a bit of the 1930s."

STRUGGLING TO HOLD BACK
Russian human rights activists say they are not literally comparing the fairly mild police actions they are experiencing with the Stalin-era mass repressions, but they insist that it carries the same whiff of state lawlessness about it.

"Nobody's saying it's 1937 all over again. After all, nobody's getting shot here," says Yury Kostanov, a lawyer with the Independent Judicial Expertise Council in Moscow. "What we're pointing to is the absence of proper legal procedure. Police search and seize first, then begin to formulate a case. Judges follow the scripts written by prosecutors. There is complete arbitrariness about what's happening and we know from our history where that leads. There are good reasons to be worried."

Gudkov says a bigger wave of protests is on the way, probably in the autumn, and it will be powered not only by the middle-class political demands that have brought people into the streets of Moscow so far, but also by growing economic pain across Russia's vast hinterland as inflation inches up and new utility reforms erode working class living standards.

"We need to take steps to prevent radicalization of the protest movement, but how can we do that when the authorities act in such a manner?" he says. "I do not understand the leaders of our country. I'm of the same generation and background as Putin, and I've always been respectful and ready for dialogue. But he's waging war on the younger generation, like my son, Yevgenia Chirikova, Alexei Navalny, Ilya Ponomaryov. All these raids, arrests and different forms of harassment are driving them in a radical direction, and there are no avenues for dialogue other than to take to the streets," he says.

"I'm ready for any possible consequences. Things are flying out of the framework of law. They can strip me of my deputy's mandate, accuse me, wreck me. I don't think this will last long. Putin does not understand how deep the crisis has already become… The main thing is we must prevent the first shot from being fired on any side. If we have bloodshed here, the process will go out of control very fast. It's crucial for the opposition to remain peaceful, and for the authorities to heed this lesson as well," he adds.

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