RMS: back in USSR?

11:09 pm General

There is information floating around that RMS is going to visit Russia in February or March 2008. The invitation is organized under patronage of well-known Russian politician Colonel Viktor Alksnis. Since my blog is aggregated on highly visible planet.gnome.org and planet.freedesktop.org I feel obliged to express my concerns about that coming event.

Before making any commitments, RMS should have checked the people who he deals with. Viktor Alksnis (nicknamed as “Black Colonel”) is a politician who became famous back in late 80s for his fight (including military methods) against the independence of the Baltic countries. Since that time he constantly and invariably represented so called “patriotic” (effectively meaning “imperial”) parties and forces in Russian politics. In his own words, his way of thinking was always imperial, and he always regrets about the empire he lost (USSR). Of course, most of the information about that person is in Russian, but still he is reasonably well described in Wikipedia.

These days, Col. Alksnis founded a movement for the creation of “National OS”. This is entirely within his patriotic political line. Once he discovered that GNU/Linux is free and available to anyone for modification and improvements (BTW initially Linux was not the only candidate), he evidently decided it would be a good idea to become a political leader and political face of Free Software in Russia. This is despite the fact there are companies and people in Russia who are involved into OSS for years and made huge contributions by code and real working projects.

The ideas of “National OS” are about patriotism, economical value and economical independence or Russia, rather than about freedom of software. The freedom is just a property of the software. That property provides “National OS” with the qualities it needs. That is where my main concern lies – Col Alksnis does not really share the ideas of FSF, he obuses them to implement his political agenda.

I am absolutely confident that a visit of RMS into Russia would be a great event, very useful for FOSS movement in our country, attracting a lot of attention and helping our communities. But I have serious doubts the company of Viktor Alksnis would be beneficial for the public view of such visit, RMS and FSF in general. There are many people (especially liberally-oriented intellectuals) who already have their brows highly raised while talking about that strange “friendship”. If RMS is really interested in getting into our big country, I’d strongly recommend him to deal only with the people who’ve already proved their commitment to the ideas of FOSS. For example, the companies which promote Linux for years (and which recently formed the Linux alliance). There are also universities which could organize invitations, there are computer-related media companies. I could help getting contacts, names etc (for the record, I am not affiliated with any of these companies:) That would be the proper company for RMS in Moscow, St.Petersburg and other parts of Russia. But please beware of Russian internal politics and politicians…

I hope that somehow the information I provided here would reach the eyes/ears of RMS and FSF – and they would think about it all.

44 Responses

  1. Žygis Says:

    Ironically this guy attracted my attention because his surname is written exactly like an alder (tree) in Lithuanian. Goddam.

    Having in mind the fact (I really hope it is a fiction) that RMS is going to meet him, I found these facts (from wikipedia) quite interesting:

    “In his personal blog he claimed to be principal figure behind the Riga OMON, known for opression and atrocities such as Soviet OMON assaults on Lithuanian border posts.”

    “He was designated persona non grata in Latvia after he left in 1992. In 2005, Alksnis has been named a persona non grata in Ukraine after he urged for a Russian-Ukrainian border revision while speaking at a rally in Simferopol, Crimea.”

  2. Zeeshan Ali Says:

    Have you tried contacting FSF and/or RMS directly on this matter? Hoping that a planet gnome reader would do that for you isn’t a very smart choice, IMHO since that may not happen.

  3. Adam Williamson Says:

    Why not just mail him?

    No-one in F/OSS is a ‘rock star’, however much they’d like to wish it so. I’ve never found *anyone*, no matter how supposedly famous, who doesn’t respond fairly quickly to a mail sent to their public listed email address, if it’s actually worth reading in the first place. Just find whatever mail addresses he has listed and send him a mail. I’m sure he’ll read it, at the least.

  4. zsitvaij Says:

    I hope that somehow the information I provided here would reach the eyes/ears of RMS and FSF – and they would think about it all.

    Perhaps I’m missing something obvious, but have you thought about emailing him at rms@fsf.org or something? If getting the message to him is your actual concern, that is.

  5. Jorn Baayen Says:

    This is an important subject. Have you sent RMS or the FSF an e-mail?

  6. fatal Says:

    If you want someone else to bring RMS to Russia, you probably need to talk to them – not the FSF!
    For all I care RMS spreading the word of free software could be done to anyone interested, including Stalin himself if it where so…
    I bet RMS has no agenda with speading to this particular man you are talking about. I can only assume that RMS had a free slot in his calendar, where interested in going to Russia and speaking about free software, and *someone* invited him!
    If you think someone else should invite him like the “Linux Alliance”, please bring it up with them and see if they are interested in hearing what he has to say (but they probably aren’t, because they would have chosen the name “GNU/Linux Alliance” if RMSs word has any merit with them).

  7. Jakub Steiner Says:

    Beginners mistake. Just do a s/Linux/GNU Linux/ before you even propose this to Richard.

  8. Sergey Udaltsov Says:

    Jacub, thanks for the valid point about GNU/Linux, I’ll fix it.

    Well, lads, may be you’re right – I should mail him directly. I just was never introduced;)

  9. ufo Says:

    …and in other news. Richard M Stallman was killed in a restaurant in the center of Moscow this afternoon after a fight with the well known radical russian politican Viktor Alksnis. Col Alksins stabbed RMS in the heart 10 times after he started to criticize his radical views on things including his actions with which he hoped to gather political points by promoting FOSS in Russia. It’s a sad day for the FOSS movement around the globe…

  10. Russian Says:

    You don`t want to see Viktor Alksnis as politic.
    BUT WHO ELSE want defend OpenSource`s interests in Russian Federation?!
    Maybe you want? I don`t think so.

    So shut up and don`t tell stupid things.

    Patriotism in USA – good thing, but patriotism in Russia – bad? LOL

  11. mk Says:

    Извините, что по-русски.

    Что ж, свои обещания вы держите. Только без смеха этот донос читать невозможно.

    Во-первых, дядя Риччи уже большой мальчик и может сам решить, какая компания для него подходящая, а какая нет, и меньше всего он нуждается в ваших советах. Так что последние два абзаца можно смело удалить.

    Теперь по-существу доноса. Вам прекрасно известно, что Алкснис выступал против отделения Прибалтики когда та находилась в составе СССР. Ничего противозаконного в его действиях не было. Более того, как вам хорошо известно – Алкснис сам этнический латыш. Так что будучи членом парламента он боролся за сохранения своей родины в составе СССР. Я не могу его в этом винить.

    И что осталось в итоге? “А нам его морда не нравится”. Так бы и написали.

  12. Aleksey Buluy Says:

    “Ironically this guy attracted my attention because his surname is written exactly like an alder (tree) in Lithuanian. Goddam.”

    Heh… Alsnis have Lithuanian parents, you know that? You strange guys sitting here and discussing about Alsnis’s “radical views”… and about his “hopes to gather political points”… Goddamn! Here, in Russia – Alsnis is the ONLY political person in our country, interested in Free OS… our government is just bought by Microsoft, it’s even proposes law, that declares free software or any software that do not have any license at all – illegal! If they succeed, you can forgot FEDORA Linux, ASP Linux and ANY Linux Distrib built by russian teams… And there Alsnis’s efforts for Free Software are our only hope to have any free software published… and i don’t cares that political platform Alsnis have, he can be as radical as he wants until he cares about Free Software and Free OS program, because WE NEED IT!!! If he decides to gain political reputation caring Free Soft and GNU/GPL – when my best wishes and my votes belongs to him!

    P.S. And here in Russia we are don’t cares about Baltic countries. They are crazy! I don’t knows HOW they managed to become an members of EU…. becaus they recognized at the state level that an baltic wermacht SS divisions veterans are heroes! I think next their step is to declare Hitler national hero…

  13. Sergey Udaltsov Says:

    2Russian: I never said a word about patriotism in USA. At least not in the text you discuss.

    2mk А язык-то лучше бы выучить;) Ричи большой мальчик, но он может не знать некоторых локальных деталей… Остальное, пожалуй, не буду коментировать – чтоб не устраивать тут ЛОР.

    2Alexey. Yes I know about his parents (I read that wikipedia article I referred to). And that fact is especially interesting – he is non grata in the country he comes from… If you read my text properly, I explained the reasons Alksnis supports OSS. If you are ready to make friends with anybody who supports OSS (whatever his reasons are) – I am not, the question “why” is important.

  14. Aleksey Buluy Says:

    In baltic republics are now non-grata every (!!!) person who try to protect rights of russian-speaking peoples. Damn! You knows this even better than me! You is an Lithuanian emigrant, isn’t it? Udaltsov, if you so bored with Alksnis reasons to support OSS, why you just not ignore him? Your efforts to sabotage RMS’s visit in Russia by informing RMS about Alksnin “radical political position” looks very strange… that is yours role in that??? That is up to you? In any case, that is up if Alksnis have protected the unity of USSR in late 80’s? He is USSR’s military colonel, and he just did his job, following the orders… anyway… that is up to you anyway? You not even living here! It is none of your business! You knows that RMS will be safe in Russia, we all awaiting his arrival and he have nothing to fears here… and even if his visit will be organised by Alksnis, i just don’t know any people in Russia who can better ensures his security there than an ex-USSR military colonel. Udaltsov, i think you just tries to sabotage RMS visit because of your political position! That is unfair and meanly! Jou cannot sabotage this very important visit ONLY because of your minor dislike to visit organisators!

  15. Aleksey Buluy Says:

    Some small postscriptum:

    Udaltsov, you often refers to written in wikipedia, forgetting the fact that wikipedia is can be written BY ANYONE! And NO-ONE CARES ABOUT TRUTH OR NOT IS WRITTEN IN WIKI!!! Sources of information like wikipedia mainly CANNOT BE TRUSTED AT ALL!!! If i will create an wiki artical refers to you and write in it that you an Orion alien’s spy, you will became to refer to it?

  16. Žygis Says:

    Why is this cliche political shit about Russia vs. the World is needed here? Leave your complexes out of the discussion.

    If a person is a persona non grata in two European (as opposite to any authoritarian third-world countries), then it gives some insight on the person in question, whether you want it or not. And this should be considered for certain.

  17. Aleksey Buluy Says:

    1) “If a person is a persona non grata in two European (as opposite to any authoritarian third-world countries), then it gives some insight on the person in question, whether you want it or not.” – these two baltic countries are NOT European. Not European at all. It’s governments practicates old nazi methods against it’s own people. This countries celebrates old nazi SS divizion’s veterans as heroes, then in European countries they are war criminals! Human rights in this countries means nothing. This countries are greatest shame of the European Union. It have noting to do in united Europe at all. Status of persona non grata in this countries means nothing more than it’s goverment fears the non-grata person.

    2) Žygis, it is you – who first bring this “cliche political shit” to this discussion, not me. You and Sergey Udaltsov have began to flood up initiative of RMS’s visit in Russia with this “cliche political shit” – not me. V.I.Alksnis is still an parlamentarist, legally elected by russian people. He have all authority needed to support RMS visit, and he is the ONLY person who supports OSS in Russian governmental structures. Your “pseudo-democratic” position in that discuss looks like you just trying to sabotage RMS visit. And i think only reason for this it’s because you are an Lithuanian or Estonian nationalist, you hates Russia, and ready to make any meanness just to not allow RMS visit in Russia.

  18. Sergey Udaltsov Says:

    Alexey, these countries ARE European. Just because EU found them good enough to incorporate them. That’s a fact – and your emotions about SS Veterans (which I’d be inclined to share, being Russian myself) have nothing to do with it.

    I am not trying to sabotage the visit, you got it totally wrong. I am trying to stop RMS from making friends with Russian politician who have especially dirty skeletons in their closets. I would be most happy person if RMS’s visit would be organized by, say, the Linux Alliance or any University or company.

  19. Aleksey Buluy Says:

    Sergey, don’t play a fool, please! If you just reading news about that happens here in Russia, then you knows that other russian politics being compared with Viktor Imantovich often have much more dirty skeletons in their closets. Artly saying, some even not skeletons but dismembered bodies… Moreover – most of russian politics just being bought by Microsoft to lobby Microsoft’s interests on russian market! You can hate Alksnis for his political position, but he at least says truth about his own political platform, not trying to mascarade it beneath the “democratic” programs … and then his homeland – Soviet Union begins to collapse – he, as a military colonel, have did everything he can to save his country then others just ripping theirs own country apart! Trying to save own country – is not a crime! You have nothing to shame Alksnis about! He have been a military colonel on his duty!

    And one more about current state of businesses – Viktor Imantovich at least DOING SOMETHING to suppot OSS in Russia, in time then others just making money on their’s political role. I think, in Russia now Alksnis is one of politics who have clearest political reputation. Others – mostly just group of bandits, elected into parliament by his big moneybags or by black PR-ing.

    And second – Viktor Imantovich already trying to contact Linux Alliance and many of russian Linux developers about RMS visit. Alksnis not doing a rep on RMS – he just is an only people here in Russia who can lead the official preparation to RMS visit, because main government structures not interested in OSS.

  20. Sergey Udaltsov Says:

    Aleksey, I hope I am unbiased enough – so I would raise my voice about any Russian politicians who’s skeleton (or those “dismembered bodies”) I found smelly enough (BTW, the approach “others are even worse” is rather lame in the argument, don’t you think?). I pay full respect to Col Alksnis for his honesty, he really held the line for years (comparing to many other Russian politicians who are happy to sell themselves to whatever party is ready to buy). It is just his line (“patriotic”=imperial) which I have problems with – and which I find potentially problematic for FOSS in Russia.

    Regarding the Baltic events – I am not sure it had anything to do with his duty but rather with his principles and ideas. I actually do not think he needs any excuses – because he did what he thought he had to do (which is a respectful thing again) – I just guess (from my own humble perspective) he did wrong things. And Baltic countries share my opinion.

    I asked Alexey Novodvorsky – he was not contacted by Colonel. So if you have some more information, could you please share it with me?

  21. Alexander Lubyagin Says:

    I don’t think, that Udaltsov wants to break RMS visit in Russia.
    It’s very reasonable thing – don’t have contacts with russian politicans.

    Victor Alksnis simply uses RMS rating in their political games – it’s normally for politican.
    And therefore Alksnis interested in Free Software/GNU.

    I think, that RMS should be invited by adacemic request …
    since in intellectual environment (for example in Moscow State University), Open Source is very popular.

  22. Aleksey Buluy Says:

    Alright, if you have problems with Alksnis political line of sight, how that is connected to RMS visit anyway??? How are your PERSONAL (!) opinions interfering with RMS? Stallman’s visit – is a pubilc engaged action, not personal visit of RMS to V.I.Alksnis. And you have nothing to do with your PERSONAL opinion in this important task.

    If you SO highly dislike Alksnis patriotic line, then please, argue HOW Alksnis patriotic line can cause problems for FOSS in Russia… i cannot find any potential problems in that.

    “I just guess (from my own humble perspective) he did wrong things. And Baltic countries share my opinion.” – It is your and Baltic countries humble opinion, and it is really nothing to do with Stallman’s visit to Russia. I’m himself and i believe any officials of Russian Federation will not accept any of Baltic countries’s opinions until they’ll not stop terrorizing russian-speaking people on it’s territory. Until baltic governments continues that they don’t deserve any indepedency at all, because their indepedency now working only as a over for their unlawful repressive actions against the baltic russian. EU did a huge ugly mistake by incorporating that countries.

    “I asked Alexey Novodvorsky – he was not contacted by Colonel” – sorry, my mistake. The visit initiative have been proposed by Vasily Leonov. He is main organisator, and it is he must been contacted with russian OSS developers, as i’ve heard. And V.I.Alksnis is lobbying governmental support for this visit.

  23. Sergey Udaltsov Says:

    Aleksey,

    “how that is connected to RMS visit?”. I thought I articulated it in my text. The values of Colonel are different from the values of OSS. He is just using them because they are good for some tactical movement. That is what made me raise my voice. So my opinion has really nothing to do with it.

    “HOW Alksnis patriotic line can cause problems for FOSS in Russia” – I already explained it many times. The problem would be the connection which might appear in many peoples’ minds between the ideas of patriots and ideas of FOSS (which have nothing to do with the patriotism). Wrong message is dangerous. Wrong connections spoil the original idea.

    “they don’t deserve any indepedency at all”. That’s what I call imperialism. Giving yourself permission to judge these things. As I said, I totally disapprove the whole SS business in Baltic countries – but I never doubted their rights on independence (and their rights to be a part of EU). But you’re right, this is totally irrelevant. I suggest talking values only. That’s what my position is about.

    > He is main organisator,
    Yes I know. I talked to him on LOR (actually, he sounded very sensible – so I was surprised reading his somewhat weird comments in the Colonel’s LJ – some other comments just made me laugh aloud:).

    > he must been contacted with russian OSS developers
    Whom did he contact? Do you have any information?

    > And V.I.Alksnis is lobbying governmental support for this visit.
    According to the picture you are giving me, vlnv is the main organizer and manager (coordinating everything), while Colonel is “just “responsible for the governmental support. Is that true? Reading http://v-alksnis2.livejournal.com/71084.html I got slightly different impression.

  24. Aleksey Buluy Says:

    “He is just using them because they are good for some tactical movement.” – that is not bad, if it’s working on the advantages of everyone…

    “The problem would be the connection which might appear in many peoples’ minds between the ideas of patriots and ideas of FOSS (which have nothing to do with the patriotism).” – it’s nothing bad with it… if you talk to peoples in Russia now, you will be surprised. Most of russian tech specialists and free software developers are sharing FOSS ideas ALONGSIDE WITH ideas of Alksnis. For them Alksnis engagement in preparation of visit is only additional good thing…

    “Whom did he contact? Do you have any information?” – i don’t have authentic info on that – i’ll only read posts in LOR, in Alksnis LJ, in Vasily Leonov LJ and in specially created LJ community – http://community.livejournal.com/rms_in_russia

    In that sources V.I.Alksnis and Vasily Leonov already inviting everyone who interested in RMS visit to engage in preparation. Already sighned in an correspondents of radio “Echo Moskvy” and many others. If V.I.Alksnis and Leonov still don’t contacted with Novodvorsky about visit i think it’s only matter of time…

    One question: why is NONE of russian OSS developers STILL DOES NOT INVITED RMS in Russia later?? That, they are not interested in that? Why that good idea haven’t been proposed by Novodvorsky for example?

  25. Sergey Udaltsov Says:

    > if you talk to peoples in Russia now, you will be surprised. Most of russian tech specialists and free software developers are sharing FOSS ideas ALONGSIDE WITH ideas of Alksnis.

    I talk to a lot of people in Russia (thanks again to Internet). I have serious doubts that you could prove statistically your statement (moreover, I am confident your statement if wrong). Most of the people I know share my position regarding Alksnis’s ideas. But I notice that “patriotism” (quotes are intentional!) really grows in many people, thanks to brainwashing from Russian mass media.

    > http://community.livejournal.com/rms_in_russia

    Been there. Again, the wording is “Alksnis and Leonov organize the visit”. Not “Alksnis helps Leonov in getting governmental support for the visit”.

    > If V.I.Alksnis and Leonov still don’t contacted with Novodvorsky about visit i think it’s only matter of time…

    First, do you think that contacting media companies has higher priorities than contacting arguably most well-known Linux company in the country? Second, I am looking forward to that contact. Seriously. Because I do trust Aleksey Novodvorsky, his impressions from that contact would be very important to me. But somehow I am not sure that contact is going to happen. Well, I would be happy to be wrong at this point.

    > why is NONE of russian OSS developers STILL DOES NOT INVITED RMS in Russia later?

    Do you mean “earlier”?
    I cannot answer from the name of developers living in Russia, of course. But I could guess (it is just a guess!): first, because in the global world of FOSS development everyone is just one email away. Second, because they did not want to put FOSS into the context of local Russian politics (which Alsknis is trying to do). They are happy to work normally, through the system of grants, tenders etc. Without too much PR. Well, anyway – it just my guess, you can ask in Alt Linux’s office. (I repeat, I am not affiliated with them – I’ve actually never had Alt Linux installed on my PC:)

  26. Aleksey Buluy Says:

    “I talk to a lot of people in Russia (thanks again to Internet). I have serious doubts that you could prove statistically your statement (moreover, I am confident your statement if wrong).” – And I’m too talked to lots of people. And i talk peronally, not by ICQ or e-mailing. You wrong, Sergey.
    Just go to Alksnis page in LJ and read this carefully:

    http://v-alksnis2.livejournal.com/18859.html

    http://v-alksnis2.livejournal.com/19178.html

    http://v-alksnis2.livejournal.com/19407.html

    Most of that peoples have shared ideas with Alksnis and others patriots (intentionaly without quotes!), and has been killed in 1993’th then eltsinists sturmed parliament. Many of them tried to defend it, and died as heroes. And most of them are technical specialists, students and scientists. If you think that today publical opinions is highly different from 1993, you wrong. Most of russian peoples does not supporting so called “democracy”, raised on blood and violence, and their symphaties on the side of Alksnis and others. But they don’t tell this to you – it’s becoming dangerous in Russia to keep patriotic line, and tell about it openly. Russia is diving in waters of “democratic dictature” mixed on corruption… and “brainwashing from Russian mass media” is directly opposing Russian patriotic line of politics, because is almost NO independent mass media in Russia. It is all ruled by government now, after disintegating the mainstread – the “NTV” and “TV-6″…

    “Been there. Again, the wording is “Alksnis and Leonov organize the visit”. Not “Alksnis helps Leonov in getting governmental support for the visit”.” – from change of places of composed the sum does not vary.

    “First, do you think that contacting media companies has higher priorities than contacting arguably most well-known Linux company in the country?” – yes, i do. Because it’s the shortest way to inform EVERYONE in country about visit organisation. Moreover, media companies is very interested and can really help organize the vizit.

    “Do you mean “earlier”?” – yeah… thinks one thing, palms prints other :) Sorry, tired at work…

    I think developers living in Russia just don’t have time and money to spent on visit organisation. It’s not about politics at all, i think. Alksnis is doing good thing by supporting the visit – it works to everyone as real parlamentary, not as basic moneybag who sitting in Gosduma. Most of them even not heard a word about Linux at all…

  27. Sergey Udaltsov Says:

    Alexey, I am not going to discuss 1993 here. We have different ideas and approaches to those events. I dislike both sides, but I dislike winners much less.

    I looked at those messages in LJ – they gave me no interesting information. I have no sympathy at all to those mobs…

    Yes, the people I am talking to may be considered as non-representive selection. Most of them are well-educated, generally West-oriented (from “patriotic” POV) etc. But the majority of Russian population (may be I could believe they share Alksnis’s “patriotism”) would have no idea about FSF – just because they don’t speak English, they don’t have access to Internet etc. So I am not taking them into account while discussing “people who manage to like both FSF and Alsknis”

    > it’s becoming dangerous in Russia to keep patriotic line, and tell about it openly

    Don’t make me laugh. First, the mass media in Russia is very “patriotic” these days, in a good old imperial sense. Second, when I speak to people over Internet – they do not afraid to talk about their ideas. They are just not “patriots”(=imperialists).

    > from change of places of composed the sum does not vary.

    It is not a sum. It is essential who is the leader of the project. And who would be the “face” of it in media.

    > Most of them even not heard a word about Linux at all…

    I know how unedicated Russian politicians are. It does not change anything when it comes to ideology.

  28. Aleksey Buluy Says:

    Sergey

    “I looked at those messages in LJ – they gave me no interesting information. I have no sympathy at all to those mobs…” –
    of course you haven’t. You already lives in Ireland then they dies for freedom here isn’t it? It is very simple to talk about symphaties then you not involved in real actions… then non of your friends have shot in it’s head by government snipers…

    “just because they don’t speak English, they don’t have access to Internet etc. So I am not taking them into account while discussing “people who manage to like both FSF and Alsknis”” – now you make me laugth… you REALLY think that i telling you about dirty drunk plumbers? Most of people who supports Alksnis is a serious people, most with academic education, they speaking english and using the Internet… most of really thinking, educated people here in Russia supports national patriotic ideas more or less… and they greatly supports the FSF ideology because they tired of market and copyrights. They just wants to work, to research and just to live without thinking about grants, licenses etc… and they wants to live in powerful state who could support their researches and they wants high quality OPEN software for their work… and those you calling “West-oriented” they calling “collaborationists”.

    “First, the mass media in Russia is very “patriotic” these days, in a good old imperial sense.” – EXACTLY! You right there! Good old imperial sense… We have been sirprized not less than you. I don’t know that is up to…. Looks like our “democratic” government decides to became slightly despotic… You can be assured what that is not russian patriotic forces initiative… russian patriots doesn’t need this imperial facade… i don’t know THAT our government preparing for us again… but on background of that facade TV-shit, prices on foods raised almost 25% last two months… and government already starting a “political cleaning”, wiping out it’s political opponents…

  29. Sergey Udaltsov Says:

    > they dies for freedom here isn’t it?

    No it is not. I’ve never considered them as dead for freedom. They died because of their trust to some group of politics – that’s it. Of course, they _believed_ they were going for freedom – but it does not matter.
    > non of your friends have shot in it’s head by government snipers

    Yes, because my friends are smart enough not to get involved into Russian politics (well, it seems I am not smart enough:). Russian politics is always “lose-lose” scenario.

    > they greatly supports the FSF ideology because they tired of market and copyrights

    Lovely! Thanks for that sentence! Where in FSF ideology did you find anything against market, could you please provide a quote from GNU Manifesto please? You are mixing ideas of FSF and Marxism (very popular mistake BTW). And that is EXACTLY why I my concern is about – the same mistake could make other people seeing Alksnis and RMS together.
    And people in Russia cannot be sick of copyright – because they just seen it quite recently and did not suffer enough from that “wonderful” idea. In the end, you still can buy unlicensed media (though it is more difficult now than, say, a couple of years ago).

    > those you calling “West-oriented” they calling “collaborationists”.

    I know. That was one of the reason I left Russia – the _medieval_ level of the public mind, especially deep in the country (well, St.Petersburg is more advanced in that way, but unfortunately it is all the same country). And no hope for the change in foreseable future.

    > We have been sirprized not less than you

    I was not actually. Because long ago I realized that in the end we have the same Soviet-style government as before (just without communist ideology – which makes it weaker BTW). So the things just returned to the normal way. No surprises. There was a (well, ok, naive) hope (tiny) in 90s that after some shattering we’d get a government in some Western democratic (no quotes) style. Now I am laughing at that hope.

  30. Sergey Udaltsov Says:

    Lads, my apologies. I unapproved the comments regarding Latvia – just because they do not really belong here. I am not going to take sides and I’d ask you not to continue. I think you both realize that you have no chance to make any agreement in your visions on the situation.

  31. stripe4 Says:

    Oops, by the time I wrote my reply, you have introduced a censorship policy! :) Well, I hope at least you read my comment.
    And speaking of RMS, just remember to use GNU/Linux when talking about our beloved OS to him. RMS was in Latvia few years ago, too, and one person from the audience asked a question about GNU/Linux referring to it with just the word “Linux”. RMS first named the guy a “selfish bastard” and only then answered his question. :)

  32. Sergey Udaltsov Says:

    stripe4, yes, I read your last Latvia-related comments, thanks for the information – it is interesting. I just wanted to stop your argument which is potentially as endless as ours:)

    As I said earlier, I never doubted that Baltic countries have right for independence. There were questionable decisions made, of course, and some people (well, possibly Russians more than locals) suffered. All this has historical reasons. “The parents ate the sour grapes, But the children got the sour taste”.

  33. stripe4 Says:

    Sure, no more comments about Latvia from me!
    Actually I never questioned your opinion… :) Regarding your last reply – you hit the nail right on the head!

  34. Aleksey Buluy Says:

    “No it is not. I’ve never considered them as dead for freedom. They died because of their trust to some group of politics – that’s it.” –
    not, wey are not died because of “group of politics”… You, as many oters are being brainwashed by mass-media… until revault in 1993 Russia was an PARLAMENTARY republic. After – became PRESIDENTAL… read this phrase carefully and feel the taste of blood in it. You often refers to WIKI – here you go:

    http://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/Разгон_Верховного_Совета_РФ_(1993)

    Any english-language reader of this page can translate upper link contents in
    http://world.altavista.com/
    copy-pasting a link, selecting “Russian to English” and then read to get a point in this discussion…

    You, Sergey – calling that people a “mob”, i’ve call them patriots. They don’t been scared by military in city, they don’t been scared by snipers. They trying to protect the Constitution – the basis of freedom and democratism (real democratism, without quotes), which has been broken by President. And they lost, because the force have been on the side of Yeltsinists. As an end of a conflics Supreme Soviet of The Russian Federation have been destroyed, many of that members have been executed on stadium right after the Building of Parliament. And then raised the new constitution – it was accepted unprecedented President authorities, OUR CURRENT CONSTITUTION, which makes president nealy god-like person. In fact, that events turns Russia into something like “autocracy of president”, shiny covered by “democratic values”. Your сontempt to that people, who died – is disgustingly… they haven’t been fooled, they KNOWS for what they are fighting.

    “Lovely! Thanks for that sentence! Where in FSF ideology did you find anything against market, could you please provide a quote from GNU Manifesto please? You are mixing ideas of FSF and Marxism” – no i don’t… you just playing my word once again… i don’t say that FSF ideology have anything against market… i said: people are supporting FSF because they tired of market and copyrights. Looks like you don’t understand me… let me explain… we tired of market because we have no market competition in there. Microsoft pressing his products and consuming ALL of the market… we have no state regulation, so now Microsoft doing that they wants… and one more – we have a new type of crimes now. It is a code raiding. It is looks like that: you created web-project based on sources, which is licensed under GNU/GPL license… your project became to make you some profit… then some strange group of people get’s your code (which is GNU/GPL-ed) and licensing it AS THEIR COMMERCIAL PROPERTY! And then your project is arrested as violator of their license, and you going to jail… It’s all is can be done because we here in Russia haven’t a right, legitime translation of GNU/GPL license and so cannot use it for protection of freedom of development of our code. That is why RMS visit is so important…
    and a word about copyrights – right now government trying to create a “brand new copyright law”, and it’s COMPLETELY CRAZY. If it will be accepted, when all free software at all became illegal. Moreover, then you will be forced to register a special license is you whants to write program code, and will be forced to pin all of your home-made programs with special government registration marks. This also concerns copying/duplicating any data. So you will need a special registration to buy and use the CD/DVD-writer… and any disk you write also must be marked and registered…. that is i means by telling about “we tired of licenses”… and don’t think i fooling you about it’s law project – it’s the truth! What Marxism you telling about??? We NEED RMS in Russia as soon as it possible! Or Russia became a dominion of Microsoft… it’s about politics now, not just Free Software…
    Now tell me again that “people in Russia cannot be sick of copyright”. I can assure you – we already sick of it. Just because our government as always reverted good idea of protecting software in a crazy nightmare. We don’t need any copyrights. We need an GNU/GPL, and FSF ideology to be approved on the state level.

    “I know. That was one of the reason I left Russia – the _medieval_ level of the public mind, especially deep in the country –cut– And no hope for the change in foreseable future.”
    – sorry, but that is not a question of “_medieval_ level of public mind”… – don’t play a fool one again… you know and i know that our people is smart and tolerant… it’s just tired. Look, we tired of people who trying to mix russian with dirt, we tired of people who selling our homeland by the gross, we very tired of fact what everybody in world are scared or hate russians.

    “There was a (well, ok, naive) hope (tiny) in 90s that after some shattering we’d get a government in some Western democratic (no quotes) style.” – yes it was an hope… and not naive.. if not Yeltsinists have won in that events in 1993, but the patriots and the Supreme Soviet – then our country really get an government in democratic style. Not really Western, but really democratic. In 1993 patriots fights for cancelling the post of president and giving the parliament the full governing power… But in end we got that we have right now…

  35. Sergey Udaltsov Says:

    Alexey, I have different vision on 1993 events, and you’d hardly convince me. Both sides at some point started acting against the Constitution – and I am not particularly interested who was first. All I am interested is that I do not like the ideas and values of Rutskoy and Co. – in many aspects they wanted “back in USSR”, which is ultimate evil for me. BTW to some extent Mr Putin share their values – just doing it in the Presidential state.

    Anyway, if these guys would win, I would consider leaving the country much earlier. Because of the small “not really Western” thing.

    Regarding the copyright thing – I agree, the laws current Russian Parleament is trying to push through is damn bad. But it has nothing to do with the market. And again – how can people be tired of the market if, as you say, there is no market as such?

    FYI, there is no fully competitive market anywhere in the world any more. There are some governmental regulations everywhere. The difference is in the amount and sensibility of these regulations.

  36. Sergey Udaltsov Says:

    BTW, I looked at the link you provided:

    “Нейтральность данной статьи поставлена под сомнение.”

    That huge article is somewhat fragmental. Sometimes it is neutral but some parts are strikingly biased against Eltsin. Anyway, there are no facts which I did not know. The difference is in judgments.

  37. Aleksey Buluy Says:

    “Anyway, if these guys would win, I would consider leaving the country much earlier. Because of the small “not really Western” thing” – Sergey, look, that is so bad in the fact what Russia don’t going the western way? It’s really never goes, and it’s never go at all. Just because Russia is NOT western country. And you knows what fact, what a lot of political lines just never be accepted here in Russia by anyone… just because we are the Russians. We are not Europeans, not Asians, not Americans or some… just Russians… everything we got we adapting to our needs and culture… and so it will must been with democracy. But with Yeltsin/Putin line of political sight we just haven’t a chance to built ANY form of democracy. You can dislike the ideas of Rutskoy and Co., but you cannot deny what their idea of perlamentary government had much more democratic look than the presidental line of Yeltsin and what form of government we have now…

    “And again – how can people be tired of the market if, as you say, there is no market as such?” – Exactly! We are tired of fact there is no real market, but our politicals insisting what we are “have market economics”!

    “FYI, there is no fully competitive market anywhere in the world any more. There are some governmental regulations everywhere. The difference is in the amount and sensibility of these regulations.” – i know what… and the most scaring fact is what our only “governmental regulations” – is the total corruption! We here in Russia really need a real market, and we really need it to be a some minor governmental regulation on what, but not these current “corruption rules”…

    “Anyway, there are no facts which I did not know. The difference is in judgments.” – yes it is… but if i’m understand you right, then where is no question to you anyway? You in any case would migrates out of Russia, regardless of what happens here? I’m right?

    And once again, returning to the main article… you telling you have seen an Alksnis LJ? Did you have noticed that that he are himself was writes what he just working on informational support of the visit, and what he really wants some Russian OSS to lead the preparations of the visit?

  38. Sergey Udaltsov Says:

    > that is so bad in the fact what Russia don’t going the western way?

    Yes. Because all attempts (in any country of the world) to build “democracy, but not the western way” ended up so bad that I would not like to live there. And today I see the same with Mr. Putin.

    > a lot of political lines just never be accepted here in Russia by anyone… just because we are the Russians.

    That’s what I called ‘medieval state of the public mind’. This is so 1600s…

    > you cannot deny what their idea of perlamentary government had much more democratic look than the presidental line

    I can. Because for me it is all the same good old Soviet government, just without communist ideology. And Rutskoy & Co. were even more Soviet than Yeltsin was, to my taste (well, even by the name “Supreme Soviet”;)

    > We here in Russia really need a real market,

    Generally, I agree. But first thing “patriots” would do with the “real market” is protect locals from foreign companies. Which would immediately make it “unreal”.

    > You in any case would migrates out of Russia, regardless of what happens here?

    Good question, thanks. I think you are generally right. And there are two reasons (which is effectively one). First, the medieval state of the public mind, second, the government which will always be Soviet-style (as long at the medieval state of mind persists). Once I realized all this, I found there is no other way for me but leave, sooner or later, for the sake of my children. Actually, the answer is in “His History of a Town” by Saltykov-Shchedrin. That book is an eternal “legend” for the any state of Russian political map.

    Though I must admit I really miss my Russian friends and St.Petersburg.

    > Did you have noticed

    Unfortunately I have not. Could you please provide me with the exact link? Because from his LJ (and from the forementioned LJ community) I got the impression that BOTH VA and VL are in charge. And that was the thing which made me raise my voice.

    PS And of course I am still interested in any news regarding contacts with Alexey Novodvorsky…

  39. Aleksey Buluy Says:

    On main part of your message i’m aswer later today, right now i just don’t have much time…

    “Could you please provide me with the exact link?” –
    of course i do:

    http://v-alksnis2.livejournal.com/73235.html#cutid1

    Be prepared – colonel is upset on you…

  40. Sergey Udaltsov Says:

    Of course I read that (of course, after my post). And I had a chance to notice that Colonel is very angry with me (and I had great time laughing at his “friends” discussing my and LOR’s involvement with MS).

    OK, now I see the line “my task is to help vlnv” (that posting appeared _after_ my blog record, doesn’t it?). But still Colonel fails to mention which state structures or universities will provide the official invitation…

  41. Peteris Krisjanis Says:

    Sergey, thanks for rising this problem. Please inform RMS about this , because last thing I would like to see is handshake between RMS, who is truly about freedom and Alksnis, who is infamous with trying to refuse this freedom to people of Baltic states.

    I would like to say lot of things as Latvian, but I think it is rather pointless – Russians and (mostly) Russian-speaking like Aleksey has very big crisis of identity and in such mind state, nothing will help. They still think that USSR was best thing happened to them. So I will resist to add some additional emotions to all this.

  42. Sergey Redin Says:

    Sergey,

    so have you got any response from FSF or RMS personally?

  43. Alexander Shen Says:

    Being more a grateful user of free software than a participant of the movement (though I wrote several free textbooks in Russian on math and programming) I would agree that promoting free software together with Mr.Alksnis sounds more funny than productive. I don’t know him personally but even few TV broadcasting I’ve seen made a clear impression on me – he doesn’t look as the most clever person in the world, to put it mildly, and his association with any kind of freedom does not look natural.

    Putting it cynically, if the goal is just to visit Russia, this could be a way to get visa (and may be even some free vodka and caviar:-). This is also a way to have first-hand impression on what some “soviet patriots” look like – but as a way to promote free software or to get significant financial support for it this idea does not sound very promising…

    just my 0.02

    alexander shen (shen@mccme.rum sasha.shen@gmail.com)

  44. enzyme Says:

    Žygis wrote:
    >opposite to any authoritarian third-world countries

    perhaps you you could help yourself to some geography book, pal; Russia, Baltic countries and Ukraine are all 2nd world :-), never mind how much the smaller ones want to whore themselves out to the West