Da Russophile was one of the Western world's most popular Russia blogs during its years of active operation from 2008 to 2014. Its main author, Anatoly Karlin, aimed to deconstruct Western myths about Russia through a focus on Russian language sources, verifiable facts, statistics, and opinion polls, and the application of a judicious comparative perspective.

With the rise of many other media outlets offering a Russian perspective on global affairs, I made made the decision to archive this blog in October 2014. You may access a comprehensive list of its best posts at The Best of Da Russophile.

The Russian Aerospace Industry is Rapidly Recovering

More info against the Department of Russia Only Produces Oil and Vodka: Here are some graphs of Russian aerospace manufacturing courtesy of the Reality vs. Myths blog. (2013 figures are projections). Total helicopter construction has now basically converged with the levels of the late RSFSR. Aircraft construction is only halfway there, but its state is nonetheless leagues […]

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 […]

Map of Natural Population Growth in the Former USSR in 2012

H/t AP for this beauty. It is for 2012. [Click to enlarge]. It speaks for itself so comprehensively that I’m not sure it’s worth commenting further on my part here. Let’s leave that to the comments section.

Russia’s Demographics Continue to Steadily Improve

Here it is, for those who read Russian. The May data also has emigration data, which is not included in the prelimary estimates – that is here. The main points to take away: Births fell 0.3% and deaths fell 0.5%; as a result, the overall natural decrease has fallen from -57,000 in 2012 to -53,000 in […]

The Russia Debate is Back From the Dead

Due to the popular outcry, my prior decision to close down the Russian politics and history forum is now formally reversed. Come on people – let’s make it work. Stop spamming each other in email newsletters. Refrain from creating thousands of off-topic comments on blog posts that will get lost in the Internet’s recesses as soon […]

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 […]

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 (Abortive) End of The Russia Debate

Its failure is so stark that I hardly need post a notification on the actual site. To the extent that I visit it nowadays it is mostly just to clean spam, which is just depressing. It has not achieved critical mass, despite the initial incentives on offer, and in my experience if a forum fails […]

Why Jailing Navalny is a Great Idea

Earlier today, Navalny received a custodial sentence of five years for the theft of 15 million rubles ($500,000) worth of timber from Kirovles. It is simply not true to say that there was “no case” against Navalny, as the Western and Russian liberal media insists on doing. There is wiretap evidence and witness testimony that […]

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 […]

Russia Overtakes Germany To Become Europe’s Largest Economy

See data. For real, this time. While it is perhaps a big strange to start thinking of Russia as a high-income economy, it’s not so surprising when looking at concrete statistics such as vehicle consumption, Internet penetration, etc. – all of which are now at typical South European and advanced East-Central European levels (even if there’s still some […]

Eurasian Integration Is A Liberal Project Opposed By Neocon Bolsheviks

My latest for VoR/US-Russia Experts panel. Hope you like the title. 🙂 The political fragmentation of the Soviet Union was one of the major contributing factors to the “hyper-depression” that afflicted not only Russia but all the other constituent republics in the 1990’s. The Soviet economy had been an integrated whole; an aircraft might have its engines […]

From Russia To Russabia? Not Anytime Soon

Faced with the utter failure of their doom-laden projections for Russia’s population future to describe reality – it’s population is now not only growing in absolute terms, but even barring migration its number of births now virtually equals the number of deaths – the more guttural elements of the interwebs are now resorting to another […]

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 […]

Russia’s Economic “Stagnation” In Global Perspective: Continued

It is now a staple of “common wisdom” to such an extent that there is little point in digging up specific news items. Bound up in red tape and crushed by the weight of state regulations, the argument goes, the Russian economy is doomed to years of renewed Brezhnevite stagnation – with the government increasing […]

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 […]

No Use Crying Over Leaked Milk – Let Alone Threatening Sanctions Over It

My latest for Experts Panel/Voice of Russia: The Panel states, “On future occasions, Russia might well require Washington to cooperate in similar circumstances; and if such is the case, its handling of the Snowden affair could prove decisive as to how Washington chooses to respond.” Well, let’s imagine this scenario. One fine day, an FSB […]

Mark Adomanis: Do As US Officials Say, Or Else!…

Mark Adomanis thinks Russia should extradite – or at least expel – Edward Snowden because… get this, it’s current stance (i.e. leaving him in at Sheremetyevo Airport, an international territory) constitutes “trolling” of the US. This is, to be quite frank, a rather strange argument. Would the US extradite a Russian Snowden? To even ask the […]