On Russia Insider

Preliminaries (1) Full disclosure: My personal involvement in the Russia Insider project is minimal. I donated $40 during the 2015 summer Kickstarter campaign, and until recently, they have been republishing my articles. I got no recompense for that, but I have always been okay with that. I want Russia Insider to succeed and I get free publicity […]

From RIA to Russia Today* (not RT)

RIA Novosti, Russia’s main state-run news agency, is going to be dissolved. So is Voice of Russia, a publication that I’ve written for, and Rossiyskaya Gazeta and its Russia Beyond the Headlines project*. They are to be merged into a new organization confusingly called Rossiya Segodnya (“Russia Today”), which is NOT the same as the (in)famous […]

Translation: Vadim Gorshenin – “McCain Looked for a Kremlin Mouthpiece”

In response to Putin’s (in)famous NYT op-ed, McCain told CNN he’d love to reciprocate on Pravda. He was probably surprised when they agreed to it – but he may not have gotten quite what he expected, according to Pravda.ru’s chief Vadim Gorshenin. “McCain Looked for a Kremlin Mouthpiece, and was not Mistaken” The Chairman of […]

The World Russia Forum 2013

This June I had the pleasure of once again attending and speaking at the World Russia Forum. The event now happens twice a year, in Washington DC and Moscow, and is intended to draw together Russian and American experts, academics, journalists, and policy-makers in an effort to improve relations between these two nations. An account of […]

Why De-Russification Isn’t On The Cards

My post last week on the increasing visibility of the Russian language on the Internet provoked a heated counter-attack from commentator Ildar Adi, who asserted (without much in the way of proof) that it is actually in significant retreat in Europe, the Near Abroad, and even Russia itself. He believes that whereas there were almost […]

Translation: Deputy Minister of Communications Volin explains Media-Business Relations

On 9 February, 2013 the Deputy Minister for Communications schooled Moscow State journalism students in the “propaganda model.” They were none too thrilled about the lesson, as Natalia Romashkova writes. Deputy Minister of Communications Volin explains Media-Business Relations The Deputy Minister for Communications and Mass Media Alexey Volin explained the heated reactions to his speech […]

My Article For Komsomolskaya Pravda On Press Freedoms In Russia And The West

Here it is in Russian: Вверх-вниз по рейтингу свободы. This translation here is of a longer version at my Russian language blog. A version of it also appears on Voice of Russia: Press freedom – on both sides of the Information Curtain. Thanks to Alexei Pankin (who is a regular at Komsomolskaya) for making it happen – and […]

Translation: Up And Down The Freedom Rating

In a comment for popular Russian newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda, Anatoly Karlin compares media freedoms – or the lack thereof – in Russia and the “free” West. There is a longer version of this article at Da Russophile. Recently the French human rights organization Reporters Without Borders unveiled new press freedom ratings, which showed Russia sinking to […]

So Who’s The New Clown At The Economist’s Russia Desk?

I really did think it was getting better there under Joshu Yaffa, certainly it’s not typical of him to write such vitriolic but more importantly factually inaccurate articles. Let’s hope the world’s sleaziest magazine was getting one of their old-timers to file for him that day, instead of representing the start of a new descent into Lucasian raving. […]

Is Konstantin von Eggert Taking A Leaf From Johann Hari?

In one of his regular columns for mafia state news agency RIA Novosti he wrote (h/t Mercouris): Valentina, an acquaintance of mine, is a third year Moscow University student. She told me recently: ‘Whenever I or my friends and college mates hear ‘Georgia’, the reaction is nearly universally positive – food, people, culture and now […]

Translation: Russia Today Hired You To Talk About The Cynicism And Wickedness Of The West (Konstantin von Eggert)

This post is a continuation of the last, and can otherwise be called “Konstantin von Eggert: A Case Study In Democratic Journalism (part 2).” Alternatively, one might view it as a refutation of claims that the Kremlin controls or censors the Russian media (Eggert’s own protestations, hilarious and Orwellian in the context of what follows, to […]

Konstantin von Eggert: A Case Study In Democratic Journalism (part 1)

There is a term on Runet, popularized by the satirical “dissident” Lev Sharansky, called “democratic journalist.” Of course, this term is every bit as satirical as its main propagator.  In the Russian context, it denotes a journalist who is obsessed with free speech, human rights, democracy, the whole turkey. But they are “obsessed” with them in […]

US-Russia.org, New Site For Russia Watchers

It’s been a few months in the building, since the decision to launch it at the WRF 2012, and I feel it is now developed enough to make it more widely known. I hope it will become as prominent as the current best specialized English-language Russian politics resource on the Internet, Russia: Other Points of […]

On Libya: I Told You So

And the protestations of demented democratists be damned. Only reax I can see here so far is Russia Today's @M_Simonyan revelling in the chaos in Libya a la "I told you so". — Miriam Elder (@MiriamElder) September 12, 2012 And even apart from all the HBD stuff, here is the most succinct summary of why democracy […]

Is Luke Harding Taking A Leaf From Figes?

I recently noticed with some amusement that despite the free, prominent advertising given to hack Luke Harding’s book “Mafia State” on The Guardian, to date it has garnered only 6 reviews on Amazon UK and 3 reviews on Amazon US. (Neither was his book on Wikileaks with David Leigh much more successful either. It got […]

The Guardian And Putin

Two months ago I wrote an article in which I used data and statistics to show that Russian journalists today under Putin are, contrary to extravagant claims in the Western media, far safer than in several acknowledged democracies such as India or Brazil; far safer than ordinary Russians; and indeed, far safer than they were […]

Alex Dryden, A Hack’s Hack

Just when I thought the paper of Luke “I Plagiarize Off The eXile” Harding and Miriam “Putin Stole My Dry Cleaning Ticket” Elder could get no more incompetent, vindictive, and mendacious in its Russia coverage, it did. I present: Putin calls in Darth Vader to tighten his grip on Russia’s energy assets by Alex Dryden, who seems […]

The World’s Sleaziest Magazine Plumbs New Lows

I really can’t figure what this Economist editorial reeks more of: Hypocrisy, mendacity, or pure delusion? That is as it should be, for since his decision last autumn to return to the Kremlin, Mr Putin has been stridently negative and anti-Western, most recently over Syria (see article) Being anti-Western is “negative”, even for daring to oppose […]

Edward Lozansky – America Hates A Russia Of Its Own Invention

I will be jetting off tomorrow to Washington, but before I do – a translation of Edward Lozansky’s interview with Komsomolskaya Pravda (Америка ненавидит Россию, которую сама себе придумала). Lozansky, who used to be a Soviet dissident, is the organizer of the World Russia Forum and has many strong, pertinent views on why it’s a […]

Blast From The Past: What Andrew Miller Predicted About Russia In 2000

This guy Andrew Miller used to be The Economist’s Moscow correspondent. This is his prediction from 2000. I also imagine he’d get on splendidly with K.F./Keif. No further comment is necessary. (h/t Patrick Armstrong) JRL 4331 #9 From: “andrew miller” Subject: The Gathering Storm Date: Sun, 28 May 2000 Topic: The Gathering Storm Title: The […]