The Best of Da Russophile

This page is a structured archive of the better and best posts from Da Russophile from 2008-2014.

The material falls into four major sections, which will be covered sequentially below:

You can also explore this blog via:

  • The Archives page, which provides the full list of posts here by chronological order;
  • The sidebar, which contains lists of Categories, Tags, and Authors;
  • The lower header menu, which lists the most popular Categories, as well as a list of Special Series;
  • A search engine, either the one at the top right of the header, or an outside engine like Google;

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Blog Posts about Russia

This section contains all the better blog posts about Russia on this blog; arranged thematically, they are otherwise organized by chronological order. Note that some of these posts have been migrated to Anatoly Karlin’s main blog.

Started in 2008 at the height of the so-called “New Cold War” (pictured above is its first header banner, in all its dorky glory), when the chief Economist Russia editor alternately described it as “fascist” or “Mordor,” Da Russophile has been exposing Western myths about Russia ever since. It aims to bring relevant facts, statistics, and Russian voices (via opinion polls) to a “discussion” all too often dominated by politicized rhetoric.

I was one of the earliest analysts to predict Russia’s demographic revival, provided a stream of original translations from the Russian media, and made the most comprehensive English-language roundup of statistical arguments for fraud in the 2011 elections. What!? Indeed, it’s not a PR project; I take seriously the Guardian’s adage that “comment is free, but facts are sacred,” even if its current incarnation has all but forgotten about that. Read the best of the blog here.

My articles on Russia have appeared in Russian Life magazine, Al Jazeera, Voice of Russia. They have also been translated at Inosmi.

I also contributed to Jon Hellevig’s and Alexander Latsa’s 2012 Russia politics anthology Putin’s New Russia (pdf).

I closed down Da Russophile in 2014 to take up blogging under the “Russian Reaction” banner at The Unz Review.

KGB 101 (Core Articles)

 

Mafia State (Politics, Democracy, Whataboutism)

 

Dying Bear (Demography)

 

Potemkin Russia (Economy)

 

Nigeria with Snow (Corruption)

 

Democratic Journalists (Kompromat)

 

Hero Dissidents (Liberal Opposition)

 

Crimes of the Regime (Litvinenko, Khodorkovsky, Pussy Riot, etc)

 

Neo-Soviet Revanchism (Foreign Policy)

 

Vatnik Galore (2014 Ukraine Crisis)

 

Stalin Worship (History)

 

The Russian Slave Soul (Semi-Mystical Musings)

 

Icons and Cockroaches (Russian Society & Culture)

 

Kremlin Mole (Anti-Kremlin, “Russophobe” Posts)

 

Special Series on Da Russophile

 Occasionally, Da Russophile blog posts were organized into thematic series, which are listed below.

Special Series: List

  • US-Russia.com Expert Panels – Project by Edward Lozansky’s US-Russia.org to solicit weekly articles from Anglophone Russia watchers that were reprinted by Voice of Russia. The project is still ongoing, but I’m not longer part of it.
  • The Kremlin Clans – Beginning with my translation of Vladimir Pribylovsky’s analysis of Russian clan politics as of 2010, this coalesced into an attempt to chart the shifting influence of the various security and oligarchic groups around Putin.
  • Interviews – A series of interviews with some of the leading Russia watchers of the early 2010s such as Kevin Rothrock, Peter Lavelle, and Mark Chapman, as well as two interviews of myself – including one very amusing one with La Russophobe, the onetime enfant terrible of the Russia watching world.
  • National Comparisons – Systematic comparison of life, media, politics, and traditions in Russia, Britain, and the US (hosted at my main blog).
  • Patrick Armstrong’s RF Sitreps – Six of Patrick’s well-know RF sitreps, produced during the short-lived attempt to make Da Russophile into a self-sustained group blog. The great historical bulk of Patrick’s Russia Sitreps are at ROPV, but most new ones will be appearing at Russia Insider.
  • New Year Predictions – I used to do New Year Predictions – and discussions of the outcomes of previous ones – on both Russia and the wider world. Are located at my main blog, but somewhat relevant to Russia.
  • Wikileaks Cables – Discussions of the State Department cables released by Wikileaks in late 2010. Three posts there are relevant to Russia: A Caucasus WeddingRussia Arming The Rest, and Chechnya, A Once And Future War?

 

Russophile Cabal (US-Russia.org Expert Panels)

 

Kremlinological Tea Leaves (The Kremlin Clans)

 

Putin Trolls (Interviews)

 

Whataboutism (National Comparisons)

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Anatoly Karlin’s Writings about Russia Elsewhere

My Russia journalism outside Da Russophile.

 

Mouth of Sauron (My Russia Journalism)

Apart from these, most of my Expert Panel contributions were reprinted by Voice of Russia, and about a dozen of my Russia articles have been published by the major Russian translation website Inosmi.

Blog & social media:

  • AKarlin.com – Anything non-journalistic/academic I write in the future about Russia will appear at my personal website, where I additionally blog about my various other interests such as world history, transhumanism, evolutionary psychology, and psychometrics.
  • Facebook – Follow my updates on Russia. Unless you know me personally or have at least had substantial online communications with me, please Subscribe instead of Friending me (I don’t accept Friend requests from unknown people).
  • @akarlin88 – Follow me on Twitter. I regularly tweet about Russia, geopolitics, history, evolutionary psychology, etc.
  • YouTube – My YouTube channel.

Author profiles at MSM websites:

Individual articles, interviews:

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The Russian Spectrum

I launched The Russian Spectrum in May 2013 with the aim of making translations from the Russian press available to audiences in the West; a kind of English-language Inosmi, if you will.

One of the things I came to realize in my Russia blogging career is that many Western journalists have a structurally skewed outlook on Russia. They hang with English-speaking liberals in Moscow, and come to see the messy and complex realities of Russian politics as a Manichean battle between Darth Putin and Padawan Navalny. And this is what they end up reporting to their Western audiences.

As a result, the opinions of the 60%+ of Russians who support Putin tend to be glossed over, when they are not dismissed as the delusions of “sovok” troglodytes; meanwhile, worldviews that are perpendicular to pro-Western “liberalism” and pro-Kremlin “patriotism,” such as Communist and nationalist currents, might as well not exist as far as the Western media is concerned. The ultimate result is that Western journalists end up portraying Russian politics as a morality fairytale that, on the whole, fails to reflect the true scope, creative flair, and ideological diversity of public Russian debates.

I realized that one of the easiest and most cost effective methods for making these alternate views accessible to Anglophones is to simply translate articles from the Russian media, which is far more diverse and combative than it is generally given credit for. This is where The Russian Spectrum comes in.

I first raised the idea at the World Russia Forum in Washington DC in May 2012, and later expounded upon at at this blog. Soon afterwards, I began The Russian Spectrum, a project aimed at providing a broad and ideologically representative sample of translations from the Russian media and blogosphere into English. This way, Anglophone readers could decide for themselves the true state of the Russian political debate for themselves – not to mention answer the subsidiary question of whether the Russian media really is as “unfree” as in Zimbabwe, as Freedom House claims.

But the ship of idealism foundered upon the shoals of reality. In its conception, the Russian Spectrum was a full-time undertaking, requiring a group of permanent translators to produce a comprehensive daily range of translations. Unsuccessful at securing funding, I eventually had to pull the plug on The Russian Spectrum. All its posts were moved to Da Russophile, of which the best are listed below; at least a sliver of its vision – access to a certain strand of the Russian political debate during the transitory 2012-13 period – can live on.

Voice of Propaganda (Translations from The Russian Spectrum)

Note that infographics and English-language analysis originally produced for The Russian Spectrum is in the sections above.

 

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The Russia Debate forum aimed to provide a central hub for Russia watchers from all over the political spectrum to engage in intelligent and mutually civil discussions about Russia today, its past, and its future prospects.

The Russian Debate continues under the stewardship of Jose Moreira, but has long been inactive.