I Don’t Care About Bradley Manning

No matter how you look at it, he is a traitor. He violated the UCMJ. Although he is free to make ethical arguments as to why he leaked Collateral Murder and the US Embassy cables, the US is fully within its rights to prosecute him. I’m quite consistent about this: Treason is a punishable offense, no matter […]

Much Ado About Rape: Quantifying A Big Taboo

The past two days I had the pleasure of observing the blowout over a post by blogger Matt Forney about rape – or more precisely, about “how to rape women and get away with it.” It’s completely satirical, quite funny, and one can’t help but by impressed by the size of the balls (no homo) […]

Are Caucasians Stealing Russian University Places? The Data Says, “Probably Not.”

In one of the recent posts on corruption, commentator AP wrote: Kids from Moscow are having trouble getting into universities now because entrance, based on exam results, skews the chances of acceptance in favor of those students from corrupt regions where they can buy better results. Moscow is less corrupt than, say, Dagestan so Dagestani […]

The Decline Of Russian Skinheads

It’s not just the gopniks who are withering away; so are racist skinheads. According to the SOVA Center – an NGO which is about as anti-Kremlin as it gets, so no point in speculating that it cooks the figures for PR purposes – racist attacks in Russia have plummeted from their peak levels in 2007-2008, back […]

Why Homosexuality Shouldn’t Be Promoted

I knew that gays had a maybe five or even ten times higher chance of getting AIDS and other STD’s than heterosexuals. I didn’t know the differential was actually more like 50. Something like 20% of the US gay population (which makes up 3.5% of its total population) is HIV positive. It is 5% in the […]

Russia’s Corruption In Comparative International Perspective

Continuing from my previous post (which focused mostly on trends), this one focuses exclusively on international comparisons as per the results of Transparency International’s Global Corruption Barometer survey of 2010-11. The graphs represent affirmative answers to the question of whether the respondent had paid a bribe in the past 12 months to each of 9 […]

If Sunlight Is The Best Disinfectant, Why Is The Russian Mafia State Opening The Blinds?

My latest for the US-Russia.org Expert Discussion Panel. Also as usual it appears at Voice of Russia. The version printed here is a slightly longer one: There are already a lot of opinions on the topic of Russian corruption, and I see no pressing need to add more to that morass. I do however think it […]

Translation: Vladimir Kolokoltsev – “The Death Penalty is Society’s Normal Reaction”

In an interview with Dmitry Nadezhdin, Russia’s chief police officer says that he, as a citizen – if not as a government Minister – supports the return of the death penalty for the worst crimes. Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov says that it ain’t happening. Vladimir Kolokoltsev: “The Death Penalty is Society’s Normal Reaction” The Interior […]

What Political System do Russians Prefer?

A new Levada poll indicates that after a brief infatuation with markets and “Western-style democracy” in the early 1990s, Russians more or less consistently consider the Soviet system to be the best one out there. Russians on the Country’s Political and Economic System Which of these political systems do you think is best: The Soviet […]

Translation: “Either We Convert, Or They Kill Us”

Yuri Matsarsky meets up with Egyptian Christians who fled to Russia from the persecution of Islamist extremists. “Late one evening I was walking home after a meeting with friends, when I stopped to have a cigarette at the Domodedovskaya metro station and saw a crowd of people with small children at the entrance. By their appearance, […]

Liberal Butthurt Over The Depardieu Defection

I had great fun observing the fallout over Depardieu’s “defection” to Russia. The reason for the apostrophes is of course because it had nothing to do with it. It was Depardieu trolling Hollande and the French “Socialists”, and Putin trolling Westerners and his own homegrown “democratic journalists.” (Or maybe not? In any case, I for […]

Translation: Oligarchs, A Comparative Analysis

In her weekly column for Novaya Gazeta, Russian journalist and writer Yulia Latynina compares the civic-mindedness of American and Russian oligarchs – and not to Russia’s favor. The US John Hopkins (1795-1873) – one of the richest men of the 19th century, trader and joint owner of railways – founded John Hopkins University (16th in […]

Translation: Gleb Razdolnov – Please Answer, Gérard!… (An Open Letter To Depardieu)

In the wake of Gérard Depardieu’s scandalous “defection” to Russia to escape high French income taxes, liberal Russian journalist Gleb Razdolnov yearns to know what the hell he was thinking. Dear Gérard! You’ve taken the decision to abandon your homeland, France. We will not talk of the reasons that prompted you to take this step. Such a […]

Translation: A Hell Of Their Own Making

Believe it or not but some people call me a Russophobe. Even more shockingly, perhaps, I plead guilty (at least in the sense that I do not have a very high opinion of the Russian people). There are only two logical alternatives: (1) Claims that Russia really is as good as Western Europe and the US […]

The Liberal – Islamist Alliance

Western liberals, their puppets, and the Arab Spring in a nutshell (and I do mean nut).

So Apparently Germany Is A Christian Theocracy

At least if you take Michael Bohm’s arguments in his latest Moscow Times missive on how Russia Is Turning Into Iran to its logical conclusion. Look, I’m not a fan of blasphemy laws. The First Amendment is a wonderful thing and something that makes the US truly great… even exceptional, to an extent. Although it should […]

Natalia Zubarevich – The Four Russias

Natalia Zubarevich’s concept of “The Four Russias” is one of the most reasoned and perceptive political analysis from the liberals, and as such I think it important enough to translate it (mostly I disagree with its core assumptions and conclusions though I do think it is a useful way of envisioning Russian politics). As such […]

Russia’s New Anti-Corruption Law

Russia is preparing to “nationalize the elites” by forbidding bureaucrats (and their spouses and children) from owning property or bank accounts abroad. (1) This need hardly be said at this point but this does demonstrate that Russia is not the “kleptocracy” it is frequently described as. Why would kleptocrats purposefully make life any harder for themselves? (2) It is […]

Russia Is Now An Internet Society

One of the most common arguments made to explain why Russians don’t finally overthrow the evil Putin in a bloody bunt is that they are brainwashed by the regime’s TV propaganda stations. This isn’t actually very accurate at all. Russian TV isn’t any more propagandistic than in the West, and on some issues, less so; […]

Violence Against Women By Country

Eighteen percent of the women in Sweden have at one time been threatened by a man. Forty six percent of the women in Sweden have been subjected to violence by a man. At least according to ultra-leftist Stieg Larsson (of Girl with the Dragon Tattoo fame). But thing is, if you actually ask women if […]