Can Michael Bloomberg Speak Russian?

The lust for power does not have any limits. Michael Bloomberg, one of world’s richest men, the mayor of New York, started speaking Russian all of a sudden. Mr. Bloomberg needs to keep his office, and he is happy to learn some Russian ahead of the election day. He understands that New York residents of Russian origin can play a very important role in the election.

NY Governor David Paterson signed a special document in August 2009, according to which all documents related to the election process must be translated into Russian.

Michael Bloomberg apparently decided to make a step further and rise above paperwork. He appeared in a commercial, in which the official addresses audiences in the Russian language, albeit with a very strong accent.

“I love this city, and I know that we can make it better,” Bloomberg says in the purely Russian commercial.

Many of those representing the Russian community have already expressed their support to Mr. Bloomberg rather than to his rival, Dem. candidate William Thompson.

It is not the first time and not only in the United States, where election candidates appeal to Russian-speaking voters. Russian speakers helped Estonia’s Centrist Party win the recent municipal elections in the country. The party’s leader, Tallinn’s Mayor Edgar Savisaar, harshly condemned the relocation of the Bronze Soldier monument. Nil Ushakov, a Russian by nationality, became the mayor of Riga – the capital of Latvia - another Baltic state that borders on Estonia.

As for Bloomberg, he took the office of New York Mayor in 2001. A NY mayor is legally allowed to serve only two terms, but Mr. Bloomberg took effort to change the law and now he can run again.

It is an open secret that Mr. Bloomberg owns a whole media empire – TV channels, radio stations, and the world-known news network. One may say that Mr. Bloomberg is the living legend of the American dream. His fortune is evaluated at about $17 billion.

Boris Pushkarev, a Russian New Yorker, said in an interview with Pravda.Ru that there are many Russian-speaking people in New York indeed.

“They do represent a considerable part of the city electorate. The Russian influence can be seen nearly everywhere, especially in the center, on Brighton Beach. Many of those living here now represent the generation of people who came to New York from the USSR in the beginning of the 1970s. They are mostly Jews, who reside in the Brighton Beach area. The number of Russians is much smaller. They are mostly the women who married American men or those who came to study here, but then decided to stay here for good.

“But Bloomberg does not pay attention to thousands of Russian-speaking electors only. He targets other diasporas too, addressing people in their native languages – from Chinese to Haitian,” Pushkarev said.

Sergey Balmasov

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Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov