Professionals at work

(1) The Russian Investigative Committee’s strongest side is fabricating cases against Alexey Navalny and other opposition activists. I’ve blogged about the investigators’ tricks and drew some international comparisons but this time – as Navalny is facing a 10-year sentence in the new, “Yves Rocher” case – the charges are merely absurd, both at first glance and at any number of further glances.

This forensic think tank has come up with an even more brilliant idea lately: “Russian investigators announce anonymous testimony of Ukrainian warplane taking off with air-to-air missiles and returning without them on 17 July.” Wow! – but it gets better: Mr. Zakharchenko, president-nonelect of the Donetsk statelet, claims he personally witnessed the downing of MH17 by a Ukrainian plane along with dozens of separatist fighters. Where does this nonsense stop?

(2) If necessary – says the Russian president – the government will put some sectors of the Russian economy on “manual management mode.” The minister of industry said the cabinet could set maximum prices for essential foods. Moscow starts to smell like Caracas after a global mega-cooling. The Russian economy is simple relative to advanced ones – someone has compared it to a cockroach while my idea is an outsized worm – but you Kremlin guys wouldn’t be able to manage a convenience store if your life depended on it, much less a real-life economy.

(3) Dmitry Rogozin wants Russia to search for extraterrestrial civilizations. I’d happily put him on a rocket to Mars, any day, any time, preferably in the company of his superiors.

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