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: 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 […]

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: 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: 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 […]

Translation: The Sacrificial Victim and the End of Russian Homophobia

Analogizing to the Pussy Riot affair, journalist Oleg Kashin argues that the grisly murder of a gay man in Volgograd may soon shame – or rather, frighten – the Kremlin into dropping its gay-baiting campaign. The Sacrificial Victim and the End of Russian Homophobia This question is either for the intellect, or for general erudition: […]

Translation: It’s All Personal

Russians don’t trust their friends much. But they trust strangers and the state even less, so personal relations predominate in the economy at the expense of clubs, communities, and institutions. Sociologist Pavel Stepantsov paints a bleak picture of Russian society for Vedomosti. Everything Revolves around Personal Relations Many of the games we play, and that […]

Angsty Chechens Come To Boston

Is discussed at the other blog. To add a couple of things that are Russia specific: (1) We now learn that the FBI had interviewed the older brother at the bequest of an unspecific foreign government – almost certainly Russia. Tamerlan had visited it for 6 months in 2011. I wonder if he established links with some of […]

The Tsarnaev Brothers

Make of this what you will. (1) The older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, never adjusted to life in the US. “I don’t have a single American friend,” he said. His younger brother, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, had an understanding of US teen hood / SWPL culture. He was a 9/11 “truther.” That’s from the Twitter account. That said, he wasn’t […]

Storm In A BVI Teacup

If you remember a couple of weeks ago, the Internet was rocked – for a total of about one or two days – by a wave of leaks from the ICIJ about the identities of offshore account holders in the British Virgin Islands. What juicy revelations did we have about the henchmen of the kleptocratic Putin regime? […]

Book Review: Xin Liu – The Otherness Of Self

“The Otherness of Self” by Xin Liu, published in 2002. Rating: 1/5. I don’t want to sound overly demanding, but really, unless a writer is the next Kant or Heidegger, he owes it to his readers to make his prose at least minimally engaging. With this book on too many occasions I was under the […]

A Brief Intro To The Navalny Case

The anti-corruption crusader and best hope of the Russian race Navalny will be on trial for embezzlement on April 17th. And it has to be admitted that even many of us who tend to look at the liberal opposition’s claims of repression with a healthy degree of skepticism are now “plagued by vague suspicions.” It’s […]

Mark Feygin Treating Pussies Badly

Everybody in the Western media seems to have forgotten Pussy Riot. Well, not forgotten, they still wheel them out every so often as symbols of the repressiveness of the Putin regime – but news of actual developments in the affair have come to a standstill. Which is a pity, because they undermine the commonly accepted […]

The Fraud Of America’s “Rape Culture”

In my previous post about the real incidence of rape (it is in massive decline! contrary to the claims of the campus rape industry), I said there was a discrepancy in the National Crime Victimization Survey statistics about its prevalence in the past several years. Steven Pinker writes that it was at 50/100,000 in 2008, whereas the […]

Russian Is The Internet’s Second Most Popular Language

In the wake of Russia’s Internet penetration breaking the 50% mark (now – 55%) and overtaking Germany in total number of users last year, we now have news that Russian overtook German as its second most popular language. It is used on 5.9% of all the world’s websites. It is projected that Russia will maintain this […]

A Values Chasm That Can’t Be Bridged… At Least For Now

My latest for VoR and US-Russia.org on Russia’s recent Foreign Policy Concept: The new foreign-policy concept is a long-overdue adjustment to international realities. There can be no meaningful “strategic partnership” between Russia and the US or indeed Russia and the West in general, when their respective core values have diverged from each other so much. Ironically, […]

Kathy Lally Didn’t Get Any Flowers Today. How Sad.

Happy International Women’s Day! Today I had occasion to read one of the most inadvertently hilarious things about Russia in the Western media from Kathy Lally (pictured right) from the Washington Post in which she complains that Russian women get flowers, not power. Citing the opinion of one Russian woman from the “Center for Social and Political […]