Archives for May 2013

On Guriev

Apparently he fled to France after senior “systemic liberal” sources in the government told him he was not safe staying in Russia. So he played it safe. Interpretations about. The return of Stalinism; a new critical phase in the siloviki vs. civiliki clan war; Putin’s vindictiveness against a supporter of Khodorkovsky. The only problem, at […]

Translation: Egor Kholmogorov – Europe’s Week of Human Sacrifice

Russian conservative Egor Holmogorov argues that Muslim immigrants in Europe and Russia can’t have their cake and eat it too: Either they take responsibility for “lone wolf” terrorists, or they stop demanding privileges as a community. Human Sacrifices Europe has just undergone a week of human sacrifices. 1 The French writer Dominique Venner committed suicide […]

Russia Needs To Develop Its “Hard” Soft Power

My latest for VoR/US-Russia Experts panel: I think we have to make a distinction here between “soft” soft power and “hard” soft power. The US’ “soft” soft power is, of course, overwhelming. By “soft” soft power, I mean its accumulated cultural capital: The popularity of the English language, Hollywood, the Ivy League, Apple and American […]

Translation: Pressure on the Square

Were the events at Bolotnaya Square, Moscow, on May 6, 2012, the results of a police provocation, or were “opposition” provocateurs, either willingly or unwittingly acting in the interests of foreign powers, responsible? Kommersant’s Grigory Tumanov and Vyacheslav Kozlov try to find out. Pressure on the Square Could it have been calculated beforehand what would […]

Translation: Russia to Build 11 Centers of Tolerance

Russia is to spend 1.5 billion rubles building “Centers of Tolerance” to improve inter-ethnic relations in the next few years. Is this a good use of resources? Pyotr Kozlov examines the issue. The Ministry of Regional Development to Build Centers of Tolerance for 1.5 Billion Rubles The Ministry of Regional Development plans to start constructing […]

Translation: Dark Clouds of Revanchism

Izvestiya runs a piece by political scientist Avigdor Eskin on historical revisionism in Eastern Europe (especially in the Baltic countries and Ukraine) pertaining to World War II. Dark Clouds of Revanchism For more than 20 years, Nazi revanchism in Eastern Europe has been allowed to roam freely in the post-Soviet space. Immediately after the break-up […]

Translation: Russia’s Growth Rate may Plummet in the Next Decade

According to several experts, Russia may be facing a period of protracted low growth rates now that its GDP per capita has recently exceeded $16,000. Vedomosti’s Olga Kuvshinova has the details. Russia may Experience Minimal Growth in the Next 10 Years A variety of reasons are brought up to explain the Russian economy’s slowdown to […]

Translation: When do Russian Officials become Democrats?

When they are fed to other bureaucrats. Or so argues Mikhail Rostovsky in an op-ed for Moskovskij Komsomolets, in analyzing the resignations of Surkov and Alexei Chesnakov. Surkov for Breakfast, Medvedev for Lunch, and where do Russian Democrats come from? Solve this riddle. What does it mean when you hear the clatter of plates, knives, and […]

Russia’s Best Leader was… Brezhnev!

In a recent poll conducted by the Levada Center, Leonid Brezhnev was revealed to be Russians’ favorite ruler of the 20th century. Do you see his era as a Golden Age, or as a zastoi? Russian Attitudes to Former Heads of State

Translation: Why Putin Closed Down Open Government

Liberals think Putin put the Open Government Initiative, advanced by the US, on hold because he is a thief. The blogger Evgeny Super, however, argues that it is a matter of protecting Russia’s sovereignty. On the Fate of “Open Government” in Russia: Why Vladimir Putin Froze the Initiative Vladimir Putin canceled Russia’s joining of the […]

Translation: Police – Foreigners Commit 47% of Crimes in Moscow

As Russia develops a Migration Code to deal with recent influxes, one police official testifies that 47% of crimes in Moscow are committed by foreigners. Interior Ministry: 47% of Crimes in Moscow are Committed by Foreigners 47% of crimes in Moscow are carried out by foreigners, according to the latest statistics. This was announced by […]

The Stupid Witchhunt Against Levada

I think the real situation is somewhere in between the Kremlin’s position and Mark Adomanis’ and the rest of the Western and Russian liberal media’s alarmism. So as far as this is concerned, I really do think Gudkov is exaggerating, not to even speak of the inevitable and hysterical comparisons to Stalinism cropping up in some quarters. So what if Levada registers […]

Russia is Now an Internet Society

The Russian Spectrum presents the results of Levada, FOM, and VCIOM polls over the past dozen years showing the rapid digitization of Russian society. The Internet in Russia The three questions used were all similar: “Do you use the Internet, and if so how frequently?” Also in the latest Levada poll: “Do you use the […]

Translation: The Sociology of Dunces

Writing in Novaya Gazeta, Andrei Vladimirovich Kolesnikov argues that the branding of the opinion pollster Levada Center as a “foreign agent” marks Russia’s return to the bad old days of Lysenkoism. A Sociology of Dvoechniki Levada Center is being destroyed with Stalinist methods. Sociological data is dope for the present-day vlast. She looks at sociological […]

Translation: Lev Gudkov – The Levada Center is not a Foreign Agent

In an interview with Kommersant’s Ksenia Turkova, the director of the Levada Center Lev Gudkov argues that opinion polling isn’t a political activity – and as such, that his organization is not a “foreign agent.” “The Sphere of Public Opinion Cannot Fall under the Rubric of Political Activities” The opinion polling agency Levada Center may […]

Translation: Latvia Allows Double Citizenship… Except for Russians

The Latvian President has signed a law allowing Latvians to have double citizenship with other countries… except Russia. Moscow cries foul and calls on the EU to take action. Maria Efimova has the story. Latvia Signs a Citizenship Law Latvian President Andris Bērziņš signed the law “On Citizenship,” adopted by the Sejm on 9 May. This […]

Translation: The Anatomy of Context

In which Russian writer Dmitry Bykov compares the Russian opposition to Pugacheva, and God – for that is what most concerns Russians, and not the trivialities they typically discuss. The Anatomy of Context Just about the same thing has happened to the Russian opposition as has happened to the Russian intelligentsia: it has been accused of every […]

Translation: Why was Ryan Fogle such a Dunce?

Russian blogger Anton Nossik speculates on why Ryan Fogle’s attempts to recruit Russian intelligence officers seemed to be so amateurish. Why was the American Spy such a Dunce? In Soviet times, there was the following anecdote: An American spends 15 years at spying school getting ready to infiltrate the deep Soviet rear. He studies the […]

Translation: FEMEN vs. Barbie: Life in Plastic ain’t Fantastic

The Ukrainian feminist group FEMEN organize yet another topless action. Life in plastic ain’t fantastic – and they will try to prove it through the power of their boobs. Sasha Pyatnitskaya covers the story for Komsomolskaya Pravda. Topless FEMEN protest against Barbie Dreamhouse in Berlin The restless maidens of FEMEN, a Ukrainian feminist group, staged yet […]

No Rainbow in Russia – Opinion Polls on Homosexuality

More than 20 years after the fall of the USSR, Russia – and the other republics, too – remain deeply averse to the public expression of homosexuality. The Russian Spectrum makes available the results of two Levada polls, from March and May of this year, in an attempt to quantify this “homophobia” over the years. Public Opinion […]