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Putin Government Moves To Take Control of Russia's largest space company Energia

samzenpus posted about 4 months ago | from the mine-now-I-take-it dept.

Government 252

schwit1 writes Vitaly Lopota, the president of Russia's largest space company Energia, was suspended Friday by the company's board of directors. From the article: "The move appears to be part of an effort by Russia's government to obtain majority control over Energia, of which it owns a 38-percent share. The directors elected Igor Komarov as its new chairman of the board. Komarov is chief of the Russian United Rocket and Space Corporation (URSC), the government-owned company tasked with consolidating Russia's sprawling space sector." The government is also conducting a criminal investigation of Lopota, which might be justified but appears to be a power play designed to both eliminate him from the game as well as make sure everyone else tows the line so that URSC can take complete control.

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minutes to midnight (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47597343)

Anyone else here miss the 1980s USSR? Looks like Putin does ...

Re:minutes to midnight (-1, Flamebait)

epyT-R (613989) | about 4 months ago | (#47597419)

We're living it now, in post 9/11 america.

Re:minutes to midnight (3, Insightful)

sillybilly (668960) | about 4 months ago | (#47597435)

Hey it's nowhere near as bad. I for one, living in the USA, would have been shot long long time ago for running my mouth like I do here on Slashdot, had I been doing all this in 1980's KGB Soviet Union. (I grew up in the Eastern Bloc, I remember standing in line for bread.) At the very least I would have ended up at some Siberian Gulag.

Re:minutes to midnight (-1, Troll)

epyT-R (613989) | about 4 months ago | (#47597441)

wouldn't you agree that we're well on our way though?

Re:minutes to midnight (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47598365)

Not really.

Re:minutes to midnight (0, Flamebait)

EuclideanSilence (1968630) | about 4 months ago | (#47598385)

No, we're already there. Name one thing the Russians did that the US Congress doesn't assume that it has the authority to do to a US company.

Re:minutes to midnight (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47598391)

wouldn't you agree that we're well on our way though?

Ah, a flair for the dramatic...

Your turn will come ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47597673)

... I for one, living in the USA, would have been shot long long time ago for running my mouth like I do here on Slashdot, had I been doing all this in 1980's KGB Soviet Union ...

Don't be so impatient, buckwheat, your turn will come

Re:minutes to midnight (1, Informative)

sshir (623215) | about 4 months ago | (#47598369)

That's bullshit. There were no bread lines in 80's (lines, indeed, were everywhere, but not for basic stuff). And Gulag for dissidents was practically over too (for casual rumblings anyway). Sure, it was a shitty place to live, but not for reasons you stated. Stop trivializing.

Re:minutes to midnight (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47597915)

Complete with Gastapo as well... damn guys you sure let your government go crazy on your asses!

Re:minutes to midnight (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47598067)

Let me guess, your a fucktarded nigger.

Re: minutes to midnight (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47598135)

Let me guess, you're a racist fucking scumbag. Shut the fuck up with your racist bullshit.

Re:minutes to midnight (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47598381)

Can you give us a description of your jail cell, since the government stormtroopers obviously broke down your front door and took you away?

Re:minutes to midnight (0)

gl4ss (559668) | about 4 months ago | (#47597537)

"1970s USSR?"

there, fixed that for you

Finally! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47597825)

We can all own our own Eastern-Bloc knockoff PDP minicomputers! :)

I mean what could be better than that?

Re:minutes to midnight (4, Interesting)

Lennie (16154) | about 4 months ago | (#47598275)

You might think it is funny, but this really is sort of the plan of Putin.

It has always been his plan, from the start.

He never made a secret of it and clearly states that this is what he is trying to do.

It might not be communism he wants. What he wants a is strong Russia, a country other countries respect (maybe this can be explained as: fear).

Which includes re-integrating most of the former USSR countries.

Re:minutes to midnight (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47598463)

He's only exercising his executive powers like in a good western democracy.

Jump start the US space industry again? (3, Interesting)

asmkm22 (1902712) | about 4 months ago | (#47597355)

Maybe we'll finally stop relying on Russia for access to space...

Re:Jump start the US space industry again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47597407)

Maybe they'll just outsource it to China. The space program is often the redheaded stepchild of funding unfortunately.

Re:Jump start the US space industry again? (0)

WarJolt (990309) | about 4 months ago | (#47597527)

and catch a ride with those SpaceX guys? I'd rather deal with the Russians.

Trillion-dollar boo-boo (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47597369)

This sort of thing is why shares of russian companies trade at a huge discount [economist.com] compared to shares of western and asian companies.

Re:Trillion-dollar boo-boo (1)

WarJolt (990309) | about 4 months ago | (#47597493)

Russia has a stock market?

Re:Trillion-dollar boo-boo (2)

davester666 (731373) | about 4 months ago | (#47597751)

of course. It's used the same way as it is everywhere else, chiefly to transfer wealth from a large of small clients to a small number of large clients.

Re:Trillion-dollar boo-boo (2)

Zocalo (252965) | about 4 months ago | (#47597939)

Yes, it does, the Moscow Exchange [wikipedia.org] , or MICEX.

This kind of rampant corruption and cronyism is also the same reason why, despite an abundance of available resources and labour, Russia can't drag its economy out of the doldrums and up to a level that it ought to be capable of achieving. Russia's GDP is on a par with the that of countries like the UK, Germany and France - realistically it ought to be at least an order of magnitude above that. Ultimately though this is mostly an asset grab - you watch as control over Energia is transferred to Putin's supporters over the next few months - and probably an attempt to try and recoup funds lost through the latest round of sanctions imposed over Ukraine.

Re:Trillion-dollar boo-boo (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47598045)

Russia's GDP is on a par with the that of countries like the UK, Germany and France - realistically it ought to be at least an order of magnitude above that.

Russia's GDP is about half that of Germany, with almost twice the population. On a per capita basis it's less than half that of Germany or the UK.
You're right that it ought to be considerably higher, but absolutely nowhere *near* an order of magnitude larger.

Re:Trillion-dollar boo-boo (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47598289)

It's hard to say. Remember that Russia has a wealth of natural resources which Germany and the UK don't. If properly exploited they could easily out pace western European countries.

Re:Trillion-dollar boo-boo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47598375)

"If properly exploited" is the key. It isn't. Russians like to give and take bribes and steal from each other and from government. And they like drinking vodka much more than anything. Russia is still 60-100 years behind from other civilized countries. Mostly because Russian people like it this way. Russia is like monkey with AK-47.

Re:Trillion-dollar boo-boo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47598413)

Somalia is monkeys with AK-47's. Russia is gorillas with nuclear weapons.

Re:Trillion-dollar boo-boo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47598397)

When I worked at an algo-traders, the Micex link was by far and away the absolutely worst performer of the lot of them. Micex couldn't find their arse with both hands.

Re:Trillion-dollar boo-boo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47598379)

Asian companies? Most of them are patent violating, research falsifying sweat shops

Re:Trillion-dollar boo-boo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47598403)

This sort of thing is why shares of russian companies trade at a huge discount [economist.com] compared to shares of western and asian companies.

The stock market itself is a bubble so that's a good thing. Russia's economy is undervalued and has room for growth when Europe and America crash again, as they will do

Also, it's becoming more aligned with Asian economies who share a common interest in real economics, and not the share price bubbles in the West.

people who can't write because they didn't read... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47597373)

... really... you "toe the line" not "tow the line" as the submitter writes.

Re:people who can't write because they didn't read (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47597503)

... really... you "toe the line" not "tow the line" as the submitter writes.

Just so long as you remember to toad the sprocket, but only when it's wet.

Re:people who can't write because they didn't read (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47597973)

"That's wet sprocket to you!", said Mr. Toad.

Re:people who can't write because they didn't read (4, Funny)

fey000 (1374173) | about 4 months ago | (#47597879)

In Soviet Russia, line tows you!

Re:people who can't write because they didn't read (1)

paiute (550198) | about 4 months ago | (#47598229)

Nah - you drag the line

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v... [youtube.com]

British Royal family take over U.S. Space industry (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47597383)

We are still trying to control those British tea party campaigns which are eroding American citizens civil liberties. U.S. Americans are STUPID!

Biased Summary? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47597405)

Putin Government Moves To Take Control of Russia's largest space company Energia

"Putin Government" ... instead of just "Government"?

The government is also conducting a criminal investigation of Lopota, which might be justified but appears to be a power play

I'm certain some will perceive it to be a power play. They're the same people who check under their beds for Communists before going to sleep.

The move appears to be part of an effort by Russia's government to obtain majority control over Energia

The Board of Directors suspended him, not Putin. The Russian government only own 38%.

Oh I give up; print whatever you want. Makes me wonder who is really towing (sic) the line.

Re:Biased Summary? (2)

war4peace (1628283) | about 4 months ago | (#47597833)

Putin Government Moves To Take Control of Russia's largest space company Energia

"Putin Government" ... instead of just "Government"?

Because it happens right now, yes. 100 years ago it would gave been "Tsar's representatives".
It's exactly why "Obamacare" is mentioned as such, and not simply as "care".

Re:Biased Summary? (2, Insightful)

gtall (79522) | about 4 months ago | (#47598137)

I see. So if you were privileged or able to work your way into a company supplied med insurance program. You win the lottery and all is well. However, if you were unprivileged or had to work your life away in low, menial jobs to support your poor family and never had a chance to work your way into a company supplied insurance program, then you lost the lottery of life; you should just accept that you will die early. Then there is the lottery of your company shipping your job overseas to some low wage country when you are in your 40's or 50's. You then have little chance of further employment and your insurance is gone with your job. And you might have been allowed to get an medicaid, if you have lost enough of your wealth...except that was made harder by some governors rejecting the wider coverage. So, better hope you stay healthy and employed and aren't steamrolled by corporate America.

Most modern countries have healthcare for their citizens. How is it the U.S. cannot figure this out?

Re:Biased Summary? (0)

Nostalgia4Infinity (3752305) | about 4 months ago | (#47598209)

Work hard in school, you can get a scholarship. With your scholarship you can get a meaningful degree. With a meaningful degree you can get a good job. It's done everyday in the US. There's no luck, lottery involved. It does require hard work.

Re:Biased Summary? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47598429)

You describe this as a foolproof plan. So all those struggling to support their families are either lazy or millionaires on the wait?

Re:Biased Summary? (1)

CrazyDuke (529195) | about 4 months ago | (#47598469)

Most scholarships I have come across have involved certain race/sex/religious requirements and an essay. Academic records where usually secondary documentation, and frequently not required.

Life lesson to the young ones: Looking and acting the part is far more important than results. You get hired, accepted, etc... based on how much people feel they like you. Results are something they may or may not prioritize later on. And, hard work is cheap and plentiful in case slavery and the like was not enough of a clue for you.

You are better off working smart over hard when your own performance is necessary. And in general, if who does it is not important, you are better off learning how to get others to do the grunt work for you. Schooling is a bit of an oddity in that your own performance is being tested.

Re:Biased Summary? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47598309)

The US has a healthcare system for its citizens as well. Has had it for years and in many ways, though not all ways, it's quite a good system. All sorts of amazing treatments have come out of it in fact. Wait times also tend to be remarkably short with an abundance of treatment options. It is unfortunately rather expensive.

Oh, wait, you mean there's one aspect of the US system that you don't like so you disregard its existence entirely? You know that sort of thing just makes you sound like an idiot, right?

Russia = Fascism (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47597413)

Anybody still seriously doubt that Russia is a neo-Fascist country?

Somebody mod this up (4, Insightful)

Jesrad (716567) | about 4 months ago | (#47597473)

Administrative takeover of corporations by autoritative central state, with intimidation through abuse of executive power, is textbook fascism. Mussolini would be proud.

Can Russia become a fascist state ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47597809)

Fascist movements shared certain common features, including the veneration of the state, a devotion to a strong leader, and an emphasis on ultranationalism and militarism

According to many scholars, fascism â" especially once in power â" has historically attacked communism, conservatism and parliamentary liberalism, attracting support primarily from the far right

Are you guys sure that Russia under Putin is a fascist state ?

Or are you using slashdot as your soapbox to degrade Russia - just like you Obama fanbois like to do ?

Putin is not firmly rooted in the far right movement

To be a fascist one has to have support from the far right militancy to be able to exert control over the nation

Re:Can Russia become a fascist state ? (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47597885)

Fascist movements shared certain common features, including the veneration of the state, a devotion to a strong leader, and an emphasis on ultranationalism and militarism

According to many scholars, fascism â" especially once in power â" has historically attacked communism, conservatism and parliamentary liberalism, attracting support primarily from the far right

Are you guys sure that Russia under Putin is a fascist state ?

Yes, we are sure. Russia is pure-blood fascist state right now. It's about dictatorship. It's about freedoms ( or loss of freedom for russians )

Can Russia become a fascist state ? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47597911)

"To be a fascist one has to have support from the far right militancy to be able to exert control over the nation"

In reality the militancys ideology doesn't matter, as long as they help in exerting control. Fascism could be based on far left ideologies as wel las far right. And I guarantee Putin is far right instead of far left himself. I don't see him giving the power to the people any time soon.

Re:Can Russia become a fascist state ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47597989)

Or are you using slashdot as your soapbox to degrade Russia

Russia is doing that all on it's ickle own.

Anyway, don't you have some gays you should be beating up, Vlad?

Re:Can Russia become a fascist state ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47598197)

Anyway, don't you have some oil-rich country to invade, Dubya?

Anyway, don't you have to change the leadership of some African country, Cameron?

Re:Somebody mod this up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47597943)

Mussolini would be proud.

As would John Kerry.

Re:Somebody mod this up (-1, Flamebait)

geekymachoman (1261484) | about 4 months ago | (#47597979)

Maybe better that government is taking over corporations compared to corporations taking over the government ?

In any case.. "commoners" like you and me have no saying and are not important. Democracy, fascism.. same bullshit different name. Think what you will..

Re:Somebody mod this up (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47598131)

You are very very wrong. Wealth without freedom is meaningless. Besides you will first lose your freedom and then you will lost your wealth also. So poor commoner will be starving and very poor commoner. Russia's neighbors have seen it already.

Re:Somebody mod this up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47598313)

Fascists are still better than lobbyists. Putin is transferring wealth from oligarchs - those who owned majority stakes in several recently nationalized companies - to the government, hence to the russian taxpayers. The US transferred wealth from taxpayers to bankers instead. Time will tell if these policies are economcally sound, until now they have produced a 15-year-long boom. But we can already say that he's doing his job: taking care of Russia's national interests, and not someone else's.

Putin is gradually eliminating all the billionaires that were created by the corrupt, US/IMF-led policies of the '90s, when Yeltsin sold out its country. Some have been jailed, other ousted. The US is more and more controlled by its own oligarchs instead: bankers. They have been bailed out instead of being jailed for the rest of their lives, as they would have deserved. And american people seem to be ok with that, due to a decades-long brainwashing by a trashy and biased mass-media system, which is controlled by the very same lobby that bankers are part of (yeah, that one whose name nobody can even pronounce, otherwise one is accused of being anti-semitic or racist).

Did you know that Crimean people's pension benefits and minimum wages have been nearly doubled since they became part of Russia? I guess they don't say this on CBS.

How many billionaires and/or bankers have been jailed since the 2007 crisis? Oh, well, obviously they were all innocents. And my name is cinderella.

Re:Somebody mod this up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47598427)

Sorry, but this is bull****. Putin transferred wealth to other oligarhs and himself. Putin was just average 'chinovnik' before he gained power. Now he has 70 billion dollars of wealth. Russian state is unbelievably corrupted. US banks may be bad but compared to Russia it's nothing.

Re:Somebody mod this up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47598435)

Administrative takeover of corporations by autoritative central state, with intimidation through abuse of executive power, is textbook fascism. Mussolini would be proud.

And remember when he took over 2/3 of the automotive sector and intimidated creditors into forfeiting tens of billions in secured loans, turning over controlling interest and all that wealth to his political cronies? What more do you need?

Re:Russia = Fascism (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47597663)

Anybody with at least some brains, yes

"to take control" (2, Insightful)

roman_mir (125474) | about 4 months ago | (#47597421)

I like the "to take control" euphemism for steal.

Putin is stealing private property, that's the actual headline here. There can be no real economic development if private property rights are not protected, specifically not protected from government theft. This wouldn't be the first time Putin stole something, by the way, even before [cbssports.com] Crimea I mean. Of-course he basically stole democratic elections in Russia, I guess nothing can beat that.

Re: "to take control" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47597463)

Hear hear

Re: "to take control" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47597491)

Given that the summary chose to use the malaprop idiom "tow the line", I suggest you alter your correct usage and change it to be "here here" instead.

It's only befitting, and for all intensive purposes people will understand what you were trying to say.

Re:"to take control" (4, Insightful)

sillybilly (668960) | about 4 months ago | (#47597465)

It's called nationalizing. Sometimes it's done in the best interest of the public of the nation. Such as USRA was a nationalizing of all private rail during WWI in the USA, only to be spun off again in the 1920's as private enterprises. In fact USRA was a nationalization of rail twice, once during WWI, and one in the 70's related to Conrail. See the first two entries at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U... [wikipedia.org] Also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/N... [wikipedia.org]

Re:"to take control" (0, Flamebait)

roman_mir (125474) | about 4 months ago | (#47597489)

It is called theft, it is a very simple concept really. When property is taken away by force of government it is even worse than if a small time crook does it, the justifications are plenty, the law was broken, the morality pushed into dirt and stepped all over, war or no war, irrelevant. It is theft, nothing else.

Re:"to take control" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47597567)

Anyone going to war is a person willing to kill rather than solve the issue peacefully. If you expect anyone picking up arms to respect property laws then you aren't very bright. It is a bit like expecting a bank robber to not jaywalk.

Considering how many people there are that argues realpolitik I would have expected to see more support for might makes right, it's essentially the same thing.

Re:"to take control" (1)

gmhowell (26755) | about 4 months ago | (#47598457)

Fighting over land in Europe means the taking of private business in North America?

Re:"to take control" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47598231)

This is just ownership of a company being transferred justified by "public interest".

Do you also have such anger when the US / UK annex other countries? (e.g. Kosovo from Serbia) Or when they turn a blind eye to their allies annexing the land of countries? (e.g. Cyprus by Turkey) Or are you somehow able to "justify" those actions?

Re:"to take control" (1)

EuclideanSilence (1968630) | about 4 months ago | (#47598409)

It is also theft when the government gives away things to privileged individuals. Such as land rights for building railroads, or rights to the spectrum for privileged companies.

Re:"to take control" (0, Troll)

roman_mir (125474) | about 4 months ago | (#47597551)

By the way, theft by government for war is also just theft and there is nothing "in public interest" about it. If the public is so interested in using a factory to produce tanks rather than automobiles, the public then shouldn't use mafia tactics to steal the factory and call it 'nationalization', but it should make it worthwhile for the factory owner to produce tanks rather than cars. Everything else is theft. You want your war and your tanks? You didn't build that factory to take it, but you may provide the owner of the factory with a contract big enough to have him build your tanks, but then you actually have to pay for war, rather than steal for it from the market. Maybe people would be less inclined to start wars if they actually had to pay for them.

Re:"to take control" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47597861)

Maybe people would be less inclined to start wars if they actually had to pay for them.

As mentioned earlier, if you are willing to have people killed on a large scale, why would theft be so horrible?
Saying that preventing the government from taking over private property will act as a deterrent for war is like saying that putting up a sign that prohibits entering the bank with firearms will prevent robbery.
If the government is willing to go war and you accept that then you shouldn't have any qualms about the government seizing property.

Perhaps your real problem is that the government might take your property specifically as opposed to killing someone else and take their property in a nation far far away. I personally doubt that the people in the government cares much more about your wellbeing than it does about theirs.
There is a saying that is used to guide people when dating. "A person who is nice to you but is not nice to the waiter is not a nice person."
It's helpful because it shows you how that person will treat you when they doesn't want something from you.
You should think the same way about your politicians. A politician that appears respect you but acts like a psychopath to everyone else is still a psychopath.

Re:"to take control" (4, Interesting)

hughk (248126) | about 4 months ago | (#47597585)

Consolidating a fragmented industry can be a good idea and has worked to a greater or lesser extent in the past. The problem is that the government is usually too far behind the curve to make the best decisions and a good example would be some of the nationalisations that happened in the UK.

However, in Russia, it is about redistributing the assets privatised in the early nineties. The privatisations were a "fire-sale" in which only a favoured few could take part, however subsequently, the shares traded on a secondary market and became assets belonging to pension funds and the like. Unfortunately, in the early nineties, when Putin and his backers (the so-called Siloviki) came to power, they discovered there was nothing new to privatise so they took some companies back such as Yukos. On the smaller scale, many companies found themselves forced with new directors who had relationships with the Siloviki.

Either way, by undermining corporate governance and the protection of property, the government has made it far more difficult for a normal financial infrastructure to exist.

Re:"to take control" (5, Insightful)

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) | about 4 months ago | (#47597925)

Nationalisation pays the previous owner. It's a compulsory purchase, not just seizing control.

What the Russians are doing is just theft, extralegal, unconstitutional, just as they did with all the energy companies which are the only thing propping up their economy, and media companies. The method is a variation on how organised crime takes over a business, but with the backing of the courts.

Re:"to take control" (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 4 months ago | (#47597683)

The...dysfunctional...interaction of state and market go way back. Round one was during the post-soviet privatization, where most of the state assets worth either controlling or plundering were sold off for peanuts to a number of particularly well connected parties. Once the honeymoon was over on that, round two was the people who had turned political influence into economic power making investments in political influence. Now round three is the people who won round two using political influence to consolidate their economic hold.

It will be interesting to see if the situation stabilizes, or if the squabbling will eventually burn off most of the property value that can't be directly sucked out of the ground and exported, in classic dysfunctional petrostate style. It would also be interesting to know how many of the bright-eyed and optimistic free marketeers that we shipped over to handle the consulting were just naive and how many just didn't care. I know that some of them spent at least the 90's and early 00's thinking that it actually would work; but I don't know how common that was.

Re:"to take control" (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about 4 months ago | (#47597849)

I like the "to take control" euphemism for steal.

I don't think you understand the complete situation.

The space agency was originally a national instution. OK, by your logic it was made with money stolen from the population, but that's not the point here. At the collapse of the USSR there wasn't so much a sell-off of institutions as outright theft by a bunch of oligarcs.

One could easily argue that it's simply reclaiming something those people stole in the first place.

Then again, Putin's a power mad oligarc, so it's all a wash anyway.

Re:"to take control" (1)

rtb61 (674572) | about 4 months ago | (#47598095)

Considering how corrupt some of the privatisation was, with corrupt oligarchs colluding with western finance organisation to basically steal assets, this is more akin to repossession of stolen property. Privatisation has been pretty crooked across the globe with the only real winners being the corrupt banks that financed the mass media propaganda and the lobbyists as well as the off shore tax haven bribes. The illusion is 'private property', the reality is society allows individuals to control property for the benefit of that society, not some insane psychopathic scheme where a tiny minority own all the assets of the society in order to ruthlessly exploit the rest of that society, basically the rebirth of feudalism.

not Lopota's property (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47598453)

You're crying foul like Putin is taking from this Lopota guy his family's company. Which is surely not the case here. The company was most likely government owned a couple of decades ago and was given away by Yeltsin & co for kopecks.

Putin so hony (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47597497)

He love big dicks long time.

mua va ban (-1)

ohosaigon8 (3774107) | about 4 months ago | (#47597531)

Re: mua va ban (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47597799)

This is spam! Someone delete this spam please! Thank you.

Got it (0)

X.25 (255792) | about 4 months ago | (#47597569)

Russhia bad, Ameriika good.

Got it, thank you.

Re:Got it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47597767)

Forget about the terrorists. Forget about fundamentalists (who are taking over Iraq as we speak). We now focus on Russia as our #1 bad guys. .

Re: Got it (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47597823)

Obama is in power. Whites are the enemy, especially so if they are Republicans or tea partiers.

Re: Got it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47598051)

That's American internal propaganda. Here in Europe, we ignore that most of the time. That noise only gets too loud a few months before the US presidential elections - then we cannot block it anymore.

Re:Got it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47598103)

The fundamentalists don't have nuclear weapons. Russia does! In global scale loss of Iraq is quite meaningless. War in Europe means global problems.

Re:Got it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47597813)

I'm sorry. Did you read a different article than the rest of us? Of course any negative press about the Motherland is obviously capitalist propaganda!

Response to sanctions (0)

aralin (107264) | about 4 months ago | (#47597609)

This is a direct response to the US sanctions on Russia and to the US threatening to withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. It is basically Putin's way of saying: "Look, I am in control of how to get to space.", meaning, you can put the rockets 300 miles from Moscow, I'll just take them to space. It is a typical power play. US simply does not understand the Russians. Sanctions cannot possibly work against them. They always one up whatever move you do and the only way to end the cold war was when the US stopped the race and started de-escalating the conflict and offer a treaty after a treaty, until finally Russia felt safe enough to let go. But now they feel betrayed and I don't think there will ever be a de-escalation of the conflict possible. This time it is gonna be played to the utter economic destruction of one of the two nuclear super powers or an all out nuclear war.

It looked like such a smart move by the US state department to take over the Ukrainian government, too bad they didn't understand that the move would inevitably start a war. Now we will all pay the price.

Re:Response to sanctions (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 4 months ago | (#47597705)

Aside from its symbolic value, is that really such a scary move? The Russians offer pretty good prices for satellite launches; but are not the only player by any means(and their launch industry can choose between serving as a diplomatic pawn or not scaring customers, so they pay a penalty if they try to push that too hard). For manned launches, their position is better; but those are painfully close to ceremonial, and of limited scientific and less than zero commercial value.

Re:Response to sanctions (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47597777)

"US does not understand russians"? My outside perspective as neither american nor russian is, yes, they do. It turns out Russians are people too! *Russians* may live with weak courts, laws, and live with daily corruption, but it doesn't mean they like it or they they're unaware of it and don't realize things could and should be better. Last time the US and "russians" went to "war" .. well it took a few decades, but we still have the USA, but not the USSR.
It turns out lots of energy reserves can buy a lot month to month forgivings of a population, however if you gave outsiders like me a choice of where to live between Russia, Saudi Arabia, etc or the USA, despite all its imperfections, there is no question.
Effectively sanctions/isolation brought down the USSR. As *people* see how much better life is in East Germany now than before, how things have improved in Poland, how moving toward capitalism has improved life in China, and even how things will become in Ukraine in a generation if they follow Estonia, Poland, etc, the writing is on the wall for governments that don't work in the people's interest.

Re:Response to sanctions (2)

gmhowell (26755) | about 4 months ago | (#47598477)

"US does not understand russians"? My outside perspective as neither american nor russian is, yes, they do. It turns out Russians are people too!

Sting, is that you?

Re:Response to sanctions (3, Informative)

mjwx (966435) | about 4 months ago | (#47597819)

They always one up whatever move you do and the only way to end the cold war was when the US stopped the race and started de-escalating the conflict and offer a treaty after a treaty, until finally Russia felt safe enough to let go.

Erm...

The cold war ended because the Soviet Union was broke and in disarray.

Diplomacy was the only option left to Yetlsin. They couldn't feed an army, let alone civilians.

As it will be with Putin or Putin's successor. Breadlines, not hard-lines with break them.

Re:Response to sanctions (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | about 4 months ago | (#47597847)

Lets not forget that Yeltsin came to power off the back of a semi-failed military coup against Gorbachev.

Re:Response to sanctions (3, Interesting)

wienerschnizzel (1409447) | about 4 months ago | (#47597931)

It is basically Putin's way of saying: "Look, I am in control of how to get to space."

He's not. I'm pretty sure Chinese, Indians, Americans and Europeans are going to continue to go to space with or without Putin.

US simply does not understand the Russians. Sanctions cannot possibly work against them.

US is not working against 'Russians'. It's just containing a power-hungry dictatorial imperialistic regime. Attacking the wealth of a regime is always a good way to reduce its ability to conquer neighboring nations.

They always one up whatever move you do

Do you seriously think they didn't consider all the options Putin has? Or maybe at least the obvious ones like cutting his exports and imports? It's just a typical reactionary BS

This time it is gonna be played to the utter economic destruction of one of the two nuclear super powers or an all out nuclear war.

Yeah, imagine US losing their 28th business partner by volume of trade [trade.gov] . Economic destruction my @ss.

It looked like such a smart move by the US state department to take over the Ukrainian government, too bad they didn't understand that the move would inevitably start a war. Now we will all pay the price.

Typical dictatorship thinking - if I lose control over a government it must be because some other country took it. There's no way people would just elect their own representatives...

Re:Response to sanctions (3, Insightful)

gtall (79522) | about 4 months ago | (#47598155)

So, it is the Americans fault the new Russian Tsar stole back the Crimea, a piece of Georgia, is threatening a piece of Ukraine, is threatening Moldova, is threatening the Baltic states, and consolidating all power in the Kremlin.

Is there anything else you'd like to blame the U.S for?

Re:Response to sanctions (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47598423)

I had to do the early shift this morning, and waking up early makes me grumpy. I'm pretty sure that's all down to them too.

thanks Obama (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47597659)

Good thing Obama has kept our space program in tip top shape so we don't have to rely on Russia. Thanks Obama!

Re:thanks Obama (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47597765)

But Romney and Palin are wrong! Uncle Putin isn't any threat. He's a cuddly teddy bear riding a pony! Russia is our friend!

Not a bad idea (4, Insightful)

Alarash (746254) | about 4 months ago | (#47597869)

Sure, the way Russians go about nationalizing companies is not very nice or even subtle. But I wish my government did the same. Services that people need in order to live - energy, water, medical - shouldn't be on the free market. All that stuff should be publicly owned and the goal shouldn't to be to make money but to provide critical services to the people for the cheapest amount possible.

Re:Not a bad idea (5, Insightful)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | about 4 months ago | (#47598363)

Sure, the way Russians go about nationalizing companies is not very nice or even subtle. But I wish my government did the same. Services that people need in order to live - energy, water, medical - shouldn't be on the free market. All that stuff should be publicly owned and the goal shouldn't to be to make money but to provide critical services to the people for the cheapest amount possible.

While that is a laudable goal the reality is government owned utilities rarely view "cheapest amount possible" as a primary goal. Rather, they become tools for politicians to use to maintain themselves in office by providing jobs, subsidies , etc to please their voters and donors. That is not to say government owned utilities cannot provide lower cost services just that cost is often secondary to politics.

Re:Not a bad idea (1)

Solandri (704621) | about 4 months ago | (#47598439)

Services that people need in order to live - energy, water, medical - shouldn't be on the free market. All that stuff should be publicly owned and the goal shouldn't to be to make money but to provide critical services to the people for the cheapest amount possible.

Services that people need in order to live should start off on the free market. Once it becomes clear which method of providing the service is most efficient, then it should be transitioned to a publicly-owned service. e.g. What's the best way to provide fresh water? Wells? Desalination? Buy it from your neighbors and pipe/truck it in? The answer to that isn't at all clear and is constantly changing, so you need market forces to indicate to you the best (cheapest) method of acquiring fresh water. Distribution OTOH tends to be more static - there aren't any up and coming new ways to send water through pipes. So laying down and maintaining pipes is more amenable to a public service.

GSM is a good example of the trouble you can get yourself into if the government prematurely decides something should not be subject to market forces. The EU mandated all wireless phone carriers adhere to GSM. The U.S. did not. Consequently a different method of transmitting phone calls and data - CDMA - was also tried in the U.S. CDMA turned out to be superior to the TDMA used in GSM, particularly when it came to data services (TDMA divides bandwidth equally between users, even if they aren't using the bandwidth; CDMA bandwidth effectively gets allocated as needed as a side-effect of how the technology works). And eventually CDMA was incorporated into the GSM standard (most HSPA and HSDPA implementations use wideband CDMA - yes your GSM phone uses CDMA). If the U.S. had gone along with the EU and required GSM, data services would've been several years behind where they are now, and we'd probably still be stuck at around 1 Mbps cellular data speeds.

The distinction needs to be based on the size of the technological solution space and the uncertainty over the best solution - factors which are inherent to the technology required to provide a service. Not based on whether or not those services are necessary for life - a factor completely independent of the technology needed to provide the service. Once you realize this, you realize that other things not necessary for life should probably be publicly owned - e.g. cable TV lines. When cable TV first began, it wasn't at all obvious what was the best way to distribute high-bandwidth content to houses. But now it's pretty clear that fiber to the home is the end-game. So the government should be installing fiber to each home, then allowing multiple cable TV vendors to compete selling service over that fiber.

You ignorant children yelling US Fascism (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47598065)

Think about this the next time you want to spout off about America being fascist, this is the difference between ownership and regulation.

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