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Saturday, September 04, 2010

Etcetera

by Paul E. Richardson

Russians are wearing less and will have to do with fewer mushrooms this year.

President Medvedev is Russia's Internet President (while PM Putin apparently does not even have a cellphone), but he does not appreciate it when his minions Tweet during meetings.

Senior ranking spies in Russia earn more than the president.

Prime Minister Putin got behind the wheel for a four-day drive across Russia's Far East, while President Medvedev largely stayed in Sochi.

Foreign tourism to Russia was up 17% in the first half of 2010, vs. 2009, according to Interfax, and Russian tourism is up similar levels abroad, including a 25% increase in Russian tourism to Cuba.

Some 46 percent of Russians don't remember what the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact was, while forty-one percent of Russians feel the worst of the economic crisis is behind them.

Russia is slightly more equitable, income-wise, than the US. Over the past decade, Russian GNP has increased 7.5-fold, while average wages increased 14-fold, and 48% of Russians say they can comfortably afford food and clothing.

Quote of the week: "If you get [permission], then go out and demonstrate. If not, you do not have the right. If you go out without having the right - you are going to get beaten with a club. It's as simple as that." [Prime Minister Vladimir Putin]