Welcome to this week's "There's no truth in Pravda" posting.
According to the 2/26/03 article 'Russian Muslims ready to fight on Iraqi side':
Thousands of Russian Muslims are prepared to go to Iraq to "defend the Iraqi people" from US attacks if war breaks out, the head of the Council of Muftis of Russia, Ravil Gainuddin, said Wednesday.
"There are dozens now, and soon there will be hundreds and thousands," he told a press conference...
The article includes a picture of maybe a couple hundred people in a city square. One wonders exactly what they're there for, but there appears to be no relation between the picture and its article. Poetic license I wager.
Then, let's turn to the real Pravda. Unfortunately, I was unable to find either of the following two articles in Russian; I'm sure they would have been even funnier. But, perhaps they weren't meant for domestic consumption.
According to the 3/6/03 article 'Thousands of Russians volunteer to defend Iraq':
Around ten thousand Russian citizens have applied for entry visas into Iraq to defend this country against the planned aggression by the warmongering USA and UK, according to the Iraqi Embassy in Moscow.
Iraqi Ambassador to Moscow, Abbas Khalaf, declared last week that the Embassy had received around 3,500 requests, a number which has multiplied in the last few days, according to sources in the same Embassy.
The requests come from young males, some with combat experience, who describe themselves as "volunteers" who are willing to defend Iraq against the illegal armed aggression of the USA and the United Kingdom, two countries which continue to follow a belligerent stance on crisis management, wholly outside the generally accepted concepts of a New World Order based upon multilateralist approaches to problem solving, based upon the United Nations Organisation, a position championed by president Putin's Russian Federation.
For those who present an adequate reason for travelling to Iraq, the Embassy provides a visa and transportation, free of charge.
Just 14 hours later, Pravda files 'Number of Russian Volunteers Willing to Go to Iraq Exceeds 7,000'
The number of Russian volunteers willing to go to Iraq has already exceeded 7,000 people. This information was given by Iraqi Ambassador to Russia Abbas Khalaf at a press conference held on Friday in Moscow.
Letters to the effect come from Russia's different regions, not only Muslim ones, he pointed out. "There are several thousand people ready to defend Iraq in Daghestan alone," the Ambassador pointed out. However, now there is no need for it, he said.
"We receive all letters and register them, but we do not intend to provide visas to all those willing to leave for Iraq," the Ambassador stressed. On behalf of the Russian government, Abbas Khalaf thanked all Russian citizens who expressed their desire to help Iraq in its hour of need. Among Russian volunteers there are a lot of women willing to go to Iraq in order to provide medical assistance if needed, the Ambassador pointed out.
Bghdad does not expect any financial assistance from Russia in case of war, the Ambassador stressed. "All we need is moral support," he concluded.
Hmmm... I wonder what our buddy Putin thinks of all this. And, perhaps we should distinguish between, just as an extreme example, an ethnic Russian orthodox Muscovite and a Wahabbist resident of Dagestan, both of whom may be Russian citizens. The article 'Meet Saddam Hussein - the schoolboy' has more on Dagestan, as does 'Will Dagestan Go the Way of Chechnya?'
Iraq · Tue, 03/11/2003 - 21:57 · Importance: 1