Sochi-Adler Krasnaya Polyana Panorama

There has been an unceasing campaign to denigrate the construction in the Sochi-Adler area. Incompetence, corruption, double toilets and so on and on. In all of this, few people have been shown what has been built for the total cost of 55 billion or so US Dollars. We have a preview; but first a discussion […]

Shredding Sochi… in a Good Way

After a long break, a new contribution to the Experts Panel: Shredding Sochi… in a Good Way Western journalists have been in the business of dismissing Russian achievements and magnifying Russian failures ever since Putin drove them into a collective derangement syndrome – he even haunts their dreams, as recently revealed by the Guardian’s Shaun Walker – […]

Serdyukov is Charged

Here is the discussion at this on The Russia Debate. My friend and DR commentator Alexander Mercouris correctly predicted this outcome – that Serdyukov would be charged, but that it is a complex case that will take a long time and likely avoid more the more serious allegations in favor of those that can be […]

Book Review: John Durant – The Paleo Manifesto

“The Paleo Manifesto” by John Durant, published in 2013. Rating: 5/5. Most books on the paleo diet follow a set pattern: An inspirational story about how the author wrecked his health with junk food or vegetarianism before the caveman came riding on a white horse to the rescue; an explanation of why, contrary to the […]

Translation: Riots and Vegetables

Anastasia Novikova at Komsomolskaya Pravda details the fallout following demonstrations on the streets of Moscow After a pogrom in Biryulyov, police are checking passer-bys and a fruit and vegetable base with the help of APCs Policemen are maintaining order after mass riots in the West Biryulyovo district of Moscow.   According to the police, around 300 […]

Translation: Evgeniya Khasis on Tolokonnikova’s Prison Letter

A letter from Yevgenia Khasis, a nationalist and convicted accomplice to murder, and fellow colony inmate of Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, published in Komsomolskaya Pravda, 28 September 2013. Evgeniya Khasis’ Letter: Tolokno’s Passions I met Nadezhda about a year ago when she arrived at the colony to serve the sentence handed down to her by the court. Despite […]

James Kirchick: Vapid, Bloviating Troll

He got invited to RT to talk about Bradley Manning and his impending sentence. The gay journalist James Kirchick got invited to argue his viewpoint that Manning wa a traitor who deserved to be put to death. (I wonder what his newfound liberal groupies would make of that?). Instead, he used his airtime to go […]

Translation: Provincial Court Grants Victory to Gay Partners

The Gryaz city court in Lipetsk oblast has voided a Saint-Petersburg registrar’s refusal to accept the intention of Dmitry Chunosov and Jaroslav Yevtushenko to get a same sex marriage. In the Lipetsk region gays win a court decision in their favour Today the Gryaz City Court declared the refusal to register a same-sex marriage to be […]

An Examination of Navalny’s Trial and Conviction

The Western narrative on the Navalny case is that it was a selective and political prosecution on trumped up charges. I think that to a significant (but NOT full) extent that this interpretation is basically correct. So given the paucity of convincing counter-narratives, I was extremely pleased to see that Alexander Mercouris, a British lawyer who […]

Translation: Jews, Journalists, and Dead Kittens

Battle of the hacks! In response to Alexei Pankin calling him an anti-Semite in The Moscow Times, Oleg Kashin pens a tongue in cheek response telling him to imagine a kitten dying every time he abuses an overworn cliche. On the Horrors of Anti-Semitism In which Oleg Kashin gives some advice to the politologists. The editors asked […]

Translation: Why Didn’t Transparency International Reveal Russia’s Bribery Data?

Why was there no bribery incidence data for Russia in Transparency International’s international survey of 2013? Andrey Kamenetsky at Odnako connects the dots to argue that it was simply because the results were too inconvenient to serve as propaganda. A Crisis of Zombification: How Transparency International failed on The Russia Corruption Rating Dear Readers! In July there […]

Why 80 Chechens can “Own” A Russian City of 40,000 People

The commentator Дарман, who appears to be from Dagestan, argues that Chechens are quite different from the other North Caucasian nationalities. Apparently, minorities in Russia don’t like Chechens much more than do ethnic Russians. (Brings to mind that War Nerd quote, “They seem like one of those tribes that are either going to rule the world or go […]

Bribery in Russia has Either Recently Soared… or Plummeted

Or neither. Well, isn’t this a useless post? I am referring to the Global Corruption Barometer released by Transparency International a couple of weeks ago, which I covered at my other blog. For the most part, there were no surprises; the only really strange figures came from Taiwan, where 36% of people claimed to have paid […]

The Navalny Verdict

Livestream in Russian, English. He’s been found guilty, as expected. The main question is what the sentence will be: Suspended, or a real term. Here is my prediction (which on developments so far might well turn out to be awfully wrong). Discuss. UPDATE: Even if he is found guilty and sentenced, he still has the choice […]

2 Murders, 3 Years, 12 Families: Why Pugachev Residents are Angry

Though I know I missed the train on this news, one point in particular is worth drawing attention to as regard the stabbing of (the half-Tatar) paratrooper Ruslan Morzhanov by a 16-year-old ethnic Chechen, which incited the small town of Pugachev to stage a peaceful mini-revolt against the feds. The town has seen similar tragedies before. A […]

Corruption, The American Way

So apparently an Ambassadorship costs $1.8 million per post in the US. In virtually any other country, even where the situation with corruption is quite dismal, such arrangements would be seen as unquestionably corrupt. And yet the US scores an entirely respectable 73/100 in Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), leagues above say Italy which gets […]

GCB2013 Released

Here it is. Or just skip the graphics and download the data in Excel here. I can’t say I care much about most of it. Of course most people everything think corruption is “increasing,” because they are a grumpy lot. What does matter is the number of people who report paying a bribe in the […]

Translation: Russia in for a Gay Revolution?

A report from Izvestia by Sergey Podosenov alleging that gay protests in Russia are organized from abroad. Political Experts Predict a Russian Gay Revolution Such a scenario described in Centre for Political Information report. Foreign-funded LGBT organizations could prepare a gay revolution in Russia that would plunge the country into a new period of chaos similar […]

Cheating In The Unified State Exams

Izvestia writes: The Ministry of Education have evaluated the results of the Unified State Exam of 2013 and identified the regions with the highest numbers of graduates who got the full 100 points on the Unified State Exam. Contrary to popular prejudices, the recordholders aren’t the Caucasian republics, but Bryansk oblast, Kalmykia, and Chuvashia. I […]

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 […]