A Short Guide to the Top 10 Russia Blogs

Labor Day 2010 Special – a list of the most influential, interesting, and readable English-language blogs about Russia. But first, a few caveats. Inclusion does not mean that I agree with everything – or in La Russophobe‘s case, almost anything* – the author says. Second, don’t take any of this personally. Being ranked below La Russophobe (or not being included at all) should not be taken as a slight, just as being placed above it isn’t exactly a badge of honor. Finally, though I tried to make it as objective as possible and didn’t spare my allies (or even friends) from criticism, in practice a large degree of subjectivity is unavoidable given my own views on Russia and its leaders.

10. Austere Insomniac (Leoš Tomíček) analyzes Russia from the prism of traditional European conservatism. As an erudite Czech student of languages and religion, Leoš has insightful observations on Russian culture and the Western universalism that seeks to ride roughshod over it. He also provides translations of Russian source materials. If you want a sane Averko with an understandable idiolect, this is the blog for you! In his own words…

ioffe9. The Moscow Diaries (Julia Ioffe) is written by the quintessential rootless cosmopolitan, an estranged Jewish-Russian emigre who returned to Moscow as an Americanized journalist to preach the Western gospel to the aborigines. Though sometimes fact-challenged, she writes well and knows how to get published. In her own words…

8. La Russophobe (“Kim Zigfeld”**) is a hate blog run by a bigoted egomaniac. Its holier-than-thou sincerity goes hand in hand with a slanderous campaign against other Russia watchers who don’t toe its party line, making La Russophobe its own best parody. Many of the commentators it attracts are even more deranged, not to mention morbidly entertaining (like the artworks of Damien Hirst), than “Kim” herself. If you’re forced to sink so low to vilify Russia, then it can’t be that bad, now can it? That said, this blog does provide two useful services – reprints of (Russophobic) articles in the Western press and blogosphere, and English translations of (Russophobic) articles in the Russian press. In her own words…

7. A Good Treaty is an American foreign policy analyst who prefers a “good treaty with Russia” to only treating with a good Russia, in the best realist tradition. As such, he is naturally averse to the values-based rhetoric of American neocons and Russian liberals alike. His efforts to avoid normative pitfalls have yielded a balanced appraisal of Russia and its relations with the US. Crisp and well-written, this new blog will probably move up the ladder in the year(s) ahead. You can follow the Iron Chancellor on Twitter. In his own words…

6. poemless is a neo-Stalinist Manta Ray of political analysis, erm, I mean a liberal Chicago intellectual with an entertainingly idiosyncratic take on Russian (and American) politics, culture, literature, feminism, etc. On the downside, the posts are too long and you should be very careful about describing the color of her blog theme (it’s red). In her own words…

5. Sublime Oblivion (Anatoly Karlin) is written by a (self-loathing) rootless cosmopolitan who believes that Russians have a right to their own beliefs and values, even if they run contrary to Western diktats, and should be unafraid to forge their own path to modernity. Apart from his writings on Russian demography, geopolitics, and future trends, Anatoly also provides translations of Russian source materials. His stilted, overlong prose and irregular posting schedule disqualify him as a top-notch Russia blogger. You can follow him on Twitter and Facebook. In my own words…

4. Russia: Other Points of View (Sharon Tennison, Maria Maslova, & Gordon Hahn) is part of a project to foster better Russian-American relations, e.g. by systematically deconstructing Russophobic media coverage, reprinting “other points of view” on Russia, and posting Patrick Armstrong’s informative weekly sitreps on the region. Though written in bland “officialese” with an undeniable pro-Kremlin slant, its solid referencing and argumentation is a welcome antidote to the Russophobia of the Western mainstream media. In their own words…

3. Streetwise Professor (Craig Pirrong) is a classical liberal with an intense antipathy towards Russia’s “natural state”, which he views as a champion of illiberal reaction. His posts are eminently intelligent, though bellicose and slanted. His ideologized approach abounds in double standards: a self-described Jacksonian in America, he has little concern for the opinions of ordinary Russians (who happen to be mostly statist and illiberal). It is fine and dandy for the US to unilaterally pursues its national interests, but when Russia does likewise, it is evidence of neo-imperial revanchism***. Nonetheless, he is a fine writer and every serious “Russophile” should at least hear out his trenchant criticisms of the Kremlin elites and the Kultur they preside over. Keep a pinch of salt nearby and enjoy the roiling comments sections. In his own words…

2. On Russia (Mark Adomanis) made a big splash since diving into the blogosphere two months ago, taking numerous Russia-watchers to task for their mendacity, contempt for facts and predictive failures. Having done his thesis on the Russian healthcare system, he knows first-hand the divergence between Russia’s mediocre (but improving!) reality and the apocalyptic rhetoric advanced by the neocon naysayers and their Russian liberal lackeys. If you rely on the Western mainstream media for your information on Russia, then Adomanis’ succinct, sarcastic screeds will make for a readable and indispensable counterbalance. But beware – he is more opinionated than most bloggers. In his own words…

1. Sean’s Russia Blog (Sean Guillory) combines academic rigor with an accessible, readable style. I am not exaggerating when I say that if you had to follow just one blog to get a comprehensive idea of what Russia is like, in all its rich hues and contradictions, then Sean’s blog would be it. Despite his manifest brilliance, Sean is a unassuming scholar-blogger who tries to leave his ideologies and meta-narratives at the doorstep. In the past year, Dr. Sean has left his UCLA ivory tower and is now doing research in Russia. You can follow him on Twitter and Facebook. In his own words…

For the blogstat rats – a (guesstimated, objective) rating of the reach and influence of the top Russia blogs***, and my (very subjective) appraisal of their design.

Blog Reach Design
Sean’s Russia Blog 5 4
Mark Adomanis 3+ 2
Streetwise Professor 4 3
Russia: Other Points of View 2 3
Sublime Oblivion 4 4
poemless 3 3
A Good Treaty 2+ 4
La Russophobe 5 4
Julia Ioffe 4 2
Austere Insomniac 1 2
Siberian Light 5- 4
Robert Amsterdam 5- 3
Power Vertical 4 3
Russia Blog 4- 2
Paul Goble 4 2

Finally, a quick note on why a few ostensibly prominent blogs didn’t make the Top 10. Siberian Light (Andy Young) would have certainly made the cut a year back, but his posting frequency has plummetted and his blog summaries, IMO the main attraction of his blog, have vanished altogether. Likewise with Russia Blog, a one-time powerhouse, now in precipitous decline, whose functions have been taken over by Russia: Other Points of View*****. Carl Thomson used to have a great blog at Moscow Tory which would certainly have made the Top 10, but unfortunately he closed it down and The Russian Week doesn’t (yet) seem to be picking up where he left off. What about Robert Amsterdam‘s blog? Too bad that their editor, James, has a bland and boring style and basically says the same thing over and over again (not to mention being a mendacious hypocrite). Quite frankly I don’t think they have much original, useful, or entertaining left to say. As for Window on Eurasia (Paul Goble), all it does is trawl Runet and quote and misquote its sources to create the most negative possible impression of Russia. Some might consider this a useful contribution, I would beg to differ.

I thought long and hard about whether to include Dmitry Rogozin‘s brilliant Twitter account, seeing as it is offers a unique insight into the psychology of the Kremlin conservatives. In the end I decided not to, because at the end of the day, it is not a blog, but a stream of consciousness.

* I sort of anticipate a flurry of disappointed or pissed off comments about including La Russophobe on the list, on the basis that it is a hate blog run by a bigoted egomaniac and should therefore remain taboo. I disagree. Like it or not, it is influential, even though Kim does massively exaggerate its real impact. Nonetheless, thanks to La Russophobe‘s reprints, it is unnecessary to follow the likes of Paul Goble, the Russian liberals at papers like The Moscow Times, or even most of the Russia commentary in the Western mass media. If you’ve got well-written dirt on Russia, no matter how scurrilous – La Russsophobe will pick it up. As such, it does form a useful reference point, in addition to being a great source of comical expressions such as “scurrying in the comments like a frightened cockroach” or “the neo-Soviet chickens are coming home to roost”.

** Kim Zigfeld has no real existence that we can establish, just like its older sockpuppets like “Oliver Bronsen” or “Kim Betty”. This makes her slanderous attacks all the more ridiculous and cowardly.

*** Pirrong’s response to this critique is that it “whataboutism“, i.e. “but in America you lynch Negroes!” My response elsewhere is that this is a logical fallacy and cheap cop-out.

**** Very rough guesstimates based on 1) Google Page Rank, 2) Google hits on blog or author name, and 3) publications elsewhere. A “+” signifies a strong recent upward trend, “-” means vice versa.

***** UPDATE: Longtime Russia Blog editor Charles Ganske has emailed me that he is no longer involved in the site, and the site’s remaining manager, Yuri Mamchur, is now at Vanderbilt Business School.


  1. Much obliged, AK. Very big of you. And I mean that. Without bellicosity or slant.

  2. Very entertaining & well-written – thanks for sharing.
    Since talking about politics is a politics itself, I am sure you gave a careful consideration to the selection & ranking:)) (a Russian joke)

  3. Scowspi says:

    Entertaining and informative. However, I’d also be interested in a straightforward list of your favorite and least favorite blogs, without any attempt to be objective.

    • No can do. There’s not only the political element to consider, as Alex pointed out, but it’s also simply much harder.

      I mean, who’s better – LR or Fedia Kriukov? Each one of the latter’s posts is worth at least a year of LR’s, but unfortunately Fedia is no longer posting – so how do I rank this? Or take Julia Ioffe and Eugene Ivanov. Now when I browse through her columns, I disagree with much of what Julia writes, some of it is straight out fact-challenged. But how can I really compare it with Eugene, who mostly only criticizes others’ articles (even though he does it really well)? Etc.

  4. Doug M. says:

    Averko’s problem is not crazy, but lazy. He doesn’t do his homework, and he just doesn’t accept facts that are inconsistent with his world-view.

    Anyway, good list! Lots of fun reading there, for my copious spare time.

    (Hm, Mark Adomanis was a coxswain at Harvard. Why am I not surprised?)

    Doug M.

    • In defense of Michael Averko .

      IMHO – about only Mike’s problem is that he assumes his auditorium to be more clever, knowledgeable and **patient** than it is or in most cases ever will be. So a negative defensive reaction – such as eg. derogatory labels – is not surprising.


      • Sorry, but my views on Averko are the polar opposite. His problem is that he considers himself to be more clever and knowledgeable than anybody and everybody in his audience. He purports to be a Russia expert, but doesn’t speak the language (he’s too good for that). He uses sock-puppets. He’s too good for a blog. He disses everyone of consequence, then wonders why no one rushes to prop him over “not so deserving others”. And once you start writing things which Averko doesn’t like, you become an “ass kissing suck-up” just like me.

        Now yes, Averko does get a lot of shit, but as he himself would say, “respect and the lack thereof concern a two way street”. Translated – it’s well deserved.

        • I see that Mike managed to create a reputation of sorts & not entirely positive one. Hmm..

          Since I feel that this blog (or any other) is unlikely to benefit from setting of personal scores, I suggest to consider this as a brief exchange of different experiences/ views and close the subject. Moreover that Mike is not writing in a Russophobic stream.


        • Doug M. says:

          “he considers himself to be more clever and knowledgeable than anybody and everybody in his audience.”

          The term you’re looking for is “Dunning-Kruger Effect”.

          It’s an incredibly useful concept in life generally. Online, even more so!

          Doug M.

  5. solar sun says:

    To get info on Russia it is like a jigsaw where you have to put the pieces together from different sources most not dealing with Russia directly like the Oligarchs.

    I can’t say I like Seans Russia Blog that much he is to quick to take the negative angle on Russian issues and seems to negate the fact of people like Soros or Lord Jacob Rothschild, or NED, British Foreign Office, Carnegie Endowment have an impact on affairs in Russia.

    The best blog on Russia until he joined RT in 2005 was Peter Lavelles Untimely Thoughts which the original site has closed down which is a shame as it had the best resource material.

  6. Doug M. says:

    Umm. Are we talking about the same guy? There can’t be two, right?

    Averko used to show up pretty regularly.on threads about Moldova, Serbia and Kosovo over at the Fistful. Googling up one old thread, I find:

    “BTW, who in Kosovo freely criticizes Thaci, Ceku and Haridinaj?”

    — Everybody, all the time. Pick up any Kosovar newspaper.

    — “of all the currently disputed former Communist bloc territories (Kosovo, Nagorno-Karabakh, South Ossetia, Abkhazia and Pridnestrovie), I suspect that Prid. has (in per capita numbers and perhaps otherwise) the fewest number of emigrants.”

    — By its own official figures, Transnistria has lost nearly a quarter of its population since the breakup. The loss is bigger than the total population of South Ossetia, and nearly as big as the total population of Nagorno.

    “Socio-economically, Prid. [Transnistria] is much better off than Moldova, Albania”

    — Per capita GDP in Transnistria and Moldova are almost exactly the same. Per capita GDP in Albania is much higher — around double.

    “Albanians have left Albania in significant numbers to settle in Serbia, Montenegro, Greece and the FYROM.”

    True for Greece, completely untrue for the other three. Albanians who leave Albania go pretty much everywhere *but* Serbia, Montenegro and Macedonia. (In fact, if you count Kosovo as part of Serbia, the flow is currently the other way — significant numbers of Kosovars are quietly moving over the mountains to Tirana and Shkodra.

    That’s from one thread. But all his stuff was like that — sweeping assertions backed by cites from the Tiraspol Times, Serbianna, and wikipedia. On one thread about Kosovo he cited Serbianna something like 20 times, and no other source at all. This is roughly equivalent to chain-citing La Russophobe in a discussion of Russia, except that L.R. is probably a better cite than Serbianna — she at least draws from a wide range of sources, whereas Serbianna is basically the same stuff over and over.

    I dunno. When someone just seems really sloppy, and uninterested in raising their game, “lazy” seems an appropriate descriptor.

    Doug M.

    • Scowspi says:

      I think you guys are missing the point about Averko.

      It’s not whether his analysis is good or bad, accurate or inaccurate. It’s that the guy lives in his own narcissistic fantasy world.

  7. Thanks for the shout out, Antoly, it’s greatly appreciated. Now I must redouble my efforts to take down the weak and feeble Guillory!

    • If you have to “redouble” your efforts to take down a weak and feeble person, what does that make you?
      Nah just messin’. 😉

  8. Bland and boring style? Nothing left to say?!

    Come on now, Anatoly … somebody’s not getting their Christmas card this year.

    • I call it as I see it, James. As for the Christmas cards, I’d be happy enough with you not going around blogs claiming that RA links to my site as evidence of your open-mindedness, when that is not the case and never has been to the best of my knowledge.

      • I’m not sure open-mindedness exists when it comes to writing about Russia online … I think our point has always been that we try our best not to be a#$holes about attacking other people whom we don’t agree with, and I do think that that is some rare real estate to occupy. I don’t really go for the whole meta conversation about the conversation about Russia, which I suppose can be taken as a recognition as how small we all are in comparison to these much larger events.

        • Look, I’ve never claimed to be an angel, or even denied being an asshole. Moralistic posturing just isn’t my thing. I do like to think I follow the golden rule, though. If you don’t screw me, I won’t screw you, and vice versa. You slandered me by claiming I do “academic rationalizations of murder”, moreover, only after getting proverbially spanked by LR. (Then you falsely claimed that RA links to my site, presumably to prove how awesomely broadminded you people are). You made your own bed, so please don’t complain about having to sleep in it. Or at least try to consider how it looks from my end.
          I’ve clarified my position, this is all I will say on this matter.

          • Fair enough, I can live with that.

            You should’ve just emailed me about the link … MovableType really sucks for updating blogrolls, so I don’t do it often. You are on there now.

    • James, I have to agree with Anatoly on this one. I read RA, but I consider it more like a newswire. You do a good job pointing to articles that I would have otherwise missed. But your commentary is repetitive and predictable. It would be refreshing for you to step outside your liberal box just a little bit to offer something different besides Putin-centrism. Your constant reduction of Russia’s complexity to Putin (and a few tropes: free speech, human rights, clans, corruption, etc.) doesn’t distinguish RA from what is published in the American/British press. I don’t fully blame you for this. Part of the reason for this is that you rely solely on English sources on Russia, which for the most part practice the same forms of reductionism. Plus I also suspect the content of the RA blog is the PR side to Amsterdam’s legal work. A more critical take on Russia might contradict or make problematic the council he offers to his clients.

      • That’s some pretty harsh criticism, which is probably partly deserved.

        We’ve worked hard over several years now to produce good translations, original video interviews (in fact, we’ve got one coming up that will probably be more up your alley), we published people like Stanislav Markelov before his death, and then of course a long stream of unrestrained and totally subjective opinion. It’s true that we are pretty mainstream, and not exactly out there on the fringes – but, then again, we are pretty clear about who we are and what we are doing. There’s only so far I can go in defending a site that I edit (with less and less free time to do it) … I’m sorry you don’t enjoy it – it’s not for everybody.

        In turn I also find both SRB and Sublime Oblivion often quite predictable and repetitive, but I do enjoy reading both blogs nonetheless, and I respect both of you for your effort and hard work. I also hope you keep it up, even if the digital divide remains insurmountable.

  9. I’ve recently significantly shortened the length of my posts in the hopes you’d stop complaining about them, but alas, you’re still complaining.

    I think it is bit of a crime to leave RA off this list. The sheer amount of daily information in the site makes it recommended reading. I think A Good Treaty should be higher on the list, since it seems most of his posts are pretty informative. And as much as I enjoy reading Adomanis, I think refuting hysterical claims about Russia in the western media is too easy for someone as smart and knowledgeable as Mark. Also, if you are going to put my blog up there, I think Vadim Nikitin’s Russia FPblog should be included too.

    Not that you asked… 🙂

  10. Robert Amsterdam and Paul Goble have two of the best blogs on Russia and the FSU out there right now. They are essential reading for anyone interested in Russia who’s not a Russian nationalist or an idiot (but I repeat myself). AK, you are a pathetic loser, and your hate rants against people who hold Russia to the same standards as any other country else are disgusting, purile, and have zero credibility. Go live in a cave somewhere, you have nothing useful to contribute to the larger conversation.

    • Now I see the problem with my old nick “Alex” from another life…

      Just in case, if it was not obvious – the above “me” is not me ! :))


      Igor, AU

  11. ‘pathetic loser’ – I guess with ‘Alex’ LR makes ‘her’ appearance.

    • Wrong, I’m not La Russophobe…I’m just not a knee-jerk Russophile and Putin-licker. Plus I know Paul Goble personally and won’t stand to see him maligned by the likes of this blog. He was following this subject before most of the people on here were even embryos. When’s your check from Surkov coming, “gentlemen”?

      • Excuse me, where do I sign up to lick Putin and get a check from Surkov?

      • @Alex,

        If you have a problem with me critici, erm, “maligning” Paul Goble, then please take yourself to the appropriate thread and beat it there.

        Interestingly, the two or three times I tried to leave a comment at Goble’s blog challenging his factual accuracy it didn’t go through. But you are 100% free to spout off (almost) whatever you wish at this hate blog run by a Russian nationalist pathetic loser. Ironic, no?

      • Hey Poemless, if you’re lucky enough to find out where the “Putin lickers” go to get their cash payments could you please let me know? I have a few student loans that I’d like the Kremlin to take care of. Thanks!

        • I know. The only thing worse than being accused of being on the Kremlin’s payroll is not being on the Kremlin’s payroll!

          And not getting to lick Putin.

          It occurs to me that Alex’s and my imaginations are very similar despite obvious political differences. 🙂

          • Being unemployed and all, I could really use that check too. But I’ll pass on licking Putin . . . that is unless it is a requirement for payment.

            Maybe Alex has the contact info since he thinks Putin gives checks to people with blogs who don’t scream the sky is falling in every post.

  12. @James,

    Thanks for laying out your position in your post From the Department of Mendacious Hypocrites.

    If this not-linking-to-S/O-while-claiming-you-are issue was the result of a genuine mistake on your part, then I misinterpreted your motives and you have my full retraction of the “mendacious hypocrite” flame. Just to make clear how it looked at my end: I see you saying one thing, at several discussions (that you link to S/O); I see that same thing being transparently false on your site (S/O never on blogroll). So I think my confusion was understandable.

    And thanks for linking to S/O for real. For the record, RA has been on my extended Links section all the time. It just hadn’t been on the blogroll.

    I still think your submissive reaction to LR’s blackmail and cheap shot at me was unseemly, though of course neither was my flaming in response. Truce?

    PS. If by “sites linking in” you were speaking of Technorati “authority”, I checked this morning and S/O has 409, not 90 as you say. Though it does tend to fluctuate wildly and in some cases gives nonsense responses (for instance, it is now claiming that RA is at 1).

    I should stress that the rankings I gave were guesstimated. I didn’t bother looking them up on Alexa or Technorati one by one (I have better things to do). What I did do is Google the names of the blog/author names, referred to my memories of how frequently they are cited on other blogs or news sites, etc. The kind of thing that takes a few seconds. From that I derived a rough estimate of reach. I’m not surprised people have issues with it. But I should stress that I did give RA a 5/5 for “reach” (along with SRB and LR), and estimated myself at 4/5. I didn’t claim to have a bigger reach than you. So I find your description of the ranking as vainglorious to be a bit puzzling, especially since I quite explicitly disqualified myself as a “top-notch blogger”.

    Finally, what’s up with your comments system? I’d have posted this as a comment to your post, but for some reason your comments system doesn’t work, or has been disabled.

    • Right, well I’ve also had to do battle with the likes of LaR and so many others so many times that it becomes exhausting.

      I didn’t write that Tweet – we’ve got a few volunteers who jump on @mbk_center.

      Our comments system is buggy … sometimes you just need reload the page or come back later to run it. It’s a real long story.

  13. “undeniable pro-Kremlin slant”

    Putin keeps telling me the cheque is in the mail and I’m not on the invitation list of the Russian Embassy in Ottawa.

    • @Patrick,

      Don’t mistake me – I really do appreciate your work. RPOV got off pretty lightly in comparison with many of the others in (and outside) my Top 10.

      I never impugned that you get paid (or don’t get paid) by the Kremlin. In any case, I think this whole discussion about who gets paid by who is retarded and hypocritical. Russophobes like Alex above jump to claim that people like us are paid by Surkov, but ignore that bloggers like RA are in the open employ of Khodorkovsky. But that shouldn’t be held against them, since appeal to motive is always a logical fallacy, no matter who’s making it.

  14. … Russophobes like Alex above jump to claim that people like us are paid by Surkov, but ignore that bloggers like RA are in the open employ of Khodorkovsky…

    “Open employ” is OK, paid shilling is bad, “useful idiotism” is even worse. What’s so difficult here?

    • However, any of that is better than devoting your life to stalking Averko and outing his sock-puppets on the Internet. Zing!

      • Such a juvenile attempt at ad hominem is ironic coming from someone who’s just been whining about logical fallacies. Вы уж либо крестик снимите, либо трусы наденьте.

        • Живущий в стеклянном доме не должен бросать камни.

          • That’s the second “сам дурак” from you in a row, you need to learn some more advanced arguing techniques.

            Either way, my initial question still stands: do you understand the difference between genuine blogging, “open employ”, shilling and “useful idiotism”? If yes, what are good people like Sean and SWP doing on the same list with LR and assorted da-russophiles?

            • Peter, sorry to break it to you, but I wasn’t “arguing” with you, nor am I going to. Since you are essentially asking “Have you stopped beating your wife yet?”, doing so would be utterly pointless on my part. Best)).

            • Have you stopped beating your wife yet?

              The term you’re looking for is “loaded question”. It would save you a lot of embarrassment if you learned the names of common logical fallacies and how to identify them correctly.

  15. Thanks for the shout-out, Anatoly. I’m happy to be included among such talented company. Sean and Mark are definitely leading the pack these days, with Sean being a veteran of the field and Mark writing nearly every day. In terms of unexpectedness, you and Poemless always manage to surprise me the most with the topics of your posts. It all makes for a great mix of smart buzz-commentary and original insights.

    LR’s list also includes Julia Ioffe, incidentally. I guess that makes her the winner of the Internets?

    • SWP comes higher on both LR’s and my list, so I guess he’s the winner on this criterion! 😉

  16. Crapistan says:

    This page cracks me up! When I read the back and forth, I really get the feeling of the whole lot sitting in front of their computers in their pajamas at noon meticulously calculating how many stats they get over their arch enemies on the trollosphere. “Veteran of the field,” Zing! “quite predictable and repetitive…” LOL!!!

    AK — nice that he put himself in his own list of top 10 Russia blogs, then says that LR is an egomaniac.

    LR — I actually think that she is a performance artist and that her whole site is a hilarious parody and the joke is on the readers. She picks fights with people who agree with her. Can’t be for real.

    Adomanis — his stuff on Ukraine cracks me up: “the Ukraine,” “Yushenko,” “Kiev”, “Yanukovich”… it’s like when people misspell “Barack Obama” — likely they haven’t any real insight enough to use correct spelling. “Neocons love Ukraine, hate Russia”, “As for my qualifications, they shouldn’t matter.” Explains how he ended up as a guest on RT as an “expert.”

    Averko — “independent writer, analyst and media critic” = hack. At least Sean admits he is between jobs.

    • The Russified transliterations of Ukrainian words and names is pretty common. Seeing as how far more outsiders are reading Russian language sources when it comes to Ukrainian news, I think we can all understand why it’s Kiev instead of Kyiv for most people. (Try googling “Kyiv” and the first hit is for “Kiev.”)

      Otherwise, you sound like you’re generally well entertained. Glad to hear it.

  17. Howard Roark says:

    Though not a nomination to make your list (nor an endorsement), I have to say that Mat Rodina definitely fits into the “unique angle” category. I sneak a peak at it once in a while and it never ceases to amaze me about his take on Russia. It fits into so many niches that us “traditional” Russia geeks never touch. It’s amusing without trying to be, too.

    Meanwhile, SRB is too cynical and depressing, LaR is funny and a steam-release, and S/O makes my brain cringe, but I read them all anyway. It would be interesting to find out why all of us care about this topic so much since many of us seem to pop up in so many of the same places. Though we will never agree on everything (maybe even anything), we all share a common interest for some strange reason.

    • Mat Rodina… yeah, a “unique angle” would be one way of putting it that we can both agree on.

      I admit that you Randians make my brain cringe too. Nor do I understand why you are so fanatically concerned with the state of (dis)repair of Russian roads. But your comments are always welcome at S/O.

  18. “Wrong, I’m not La Russophobe…I’m just not a knee-jerk Russophile and Putin-licker. Plus I know Paul Goble personally and won’t stand to see him maligned by the likes of this blog. He was following this subject before most of the people on here were even embryos. When’s your check from Surkov coming, “gentlemen”?”

    Yeah, maybe not La Russophobe, just LR suspect Numero Uno who knows Goble through Soros funded NYC non-profits that never lack for cash and leave their employees with loads of time to play Second Life…seriously, can’t Washington and points near further south find another cutout for anti-Russia lobbying/Prometheanism already besides Soros?

  19. this is such an interesting article! i love reading about Russia and I love finding blogs about it like this interesting article i found