Translation: Nemtsov for Europe!

Opposotionist Boris Nemtsov arrested in Moscow for showing his support for Kiev mob actions, as reported by Moskovsky Komsomolets’ Natalia Rozhkova, December 2, 2013. Nemtsov shamefacedly arrested in Moscow city centre at a demonstration in support of the Ukraine Activists from the Republican Party of Russia “Parnas” taken to local police station for showing their […]

On Guriev

Apparently he fled to France after senior “systemic liberal” sources in the government told him he was not safe staying in Russia. So he played it safe. Interpretations about. The return of Stalinism; a new critical phase in the siloviki vs. civiliki clan war; Putin’s vindictiveness against a supporter of Khodorkovsky. The only problem, at […]

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: The Sociology of Dunces

Writing in Novaya Gazeta, Andrei Vladimirovich Kolesnikov argues that the branding of the opinion pollster Levada Center as a “foreign agent” marks Russia’s return to the bad old days of Lysenkoism. A Sociology of Dvoechniki Levada Center is being destroyed with Stalinist methods. Sociological data is dope for the present-day vlast. She looks at sociological […]

Translation: The Anatomy of Context

In which Russian writer Dmitry Bykov compares the Russian opposition to Pugacheva, and God – for that is what most concerns Russians, and not the trivialities they typically discuss. The Anatomy of Context Just about the same thing has happened to the Russian opposition as has happened to the Russian intelligentsia: it has been accused of every […]

Translation: Grigory Yavlinsky Slams the New NGO Laws

Grigory Yavlinsky, head of the liberal Yabloko party and political old-timer, argues in a Vedomosti editorial that the Kremlin’s crackdown on NGOs is not only ethically wrong but ultimately self-crippling. The Exile of Citizens from Politics Unfortunately, the Russian nomenklatura has an exceedingly poor understanding of why we need independent public organizations, and the meaning […]

Translation: A Pity the Nazis didn’t Make Lampshades out of Today’s Liberals

In one of the most scandalous op-eds of the year, KP’s Ulyana Skoybeda takes the liberal Leonid Gozman to task for equating SMERSH with the SS. The original byline was later toned down, and the author offered a partial – and some insist, halfhearted – apology. The Politician Leonid Gozman Says: “A Nice Uniform is the […]

Translation: Bolotnaya Prisoner tells of Georgian Money and Revolution

Olesya Gerasimenko interviews Konstantin Lebedev, recently convicted of planning riots at the Bolotnaya rally of 6 May, 2012 and given a 2.5 year prison sentence. After his plea bargain and shocking confessions, his former comrades now call him a traitor. Konstantin Lebedev – “I Don’t Consider Myself a Traitor” Were you pleased with the sentence? […]

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 […]

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 […]

Navalny’s Promises To Put Putin In Jail

In a recent interview with the opposition Dozhd TV channel – which is, incidentally, available for public viewing in Russia as part of the NTV Plus satellite TV package – for the first time openly declared he wants to be President. He also speculated about the motivations behind the Kirovles fraud case being brought against […]

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 […]

Is Konstantin von Eggert Taking A Leaf From Johann Hari?

In one of his regular columns for mafia state news agency RIA Novosti he wrote (h/t Mercouris): Valentina, an acquaintance of mine, is a third year Moscow University student. She told me recently: ‘Whenever I or my friends and college mates hear ‘Georgia’, the reaction is nearly universally positive – food, people, culture and now […]

Translation: Russia Today Hired You To Talk About The Cynicism And Wickedness Of The West (Konstantin von Eggert)

This post is a continuation of the last, and can otherwise be called “Konstantin von Eggert: A Case Study In Democratic Journalism (part 2).” Alternatively, one might view it as a refutation of claims that the Kremlin controls or censors the Russian media (Eggert’s own protestations, hilarious and Orwellian in the context of what follows, to […]

Konstantin von Eggert: A Case Study In Democratic Journalism (part 1)

There is a term on Runet, popularized by the satirical “dissident” Lev Sharansky, called “democratic journalist.” Of course, this term is every bit as satirical as its main propagator.  In the Russian context, it denotes a journalist who is obsessed with free speech, human rights, democracy, the whole turkey. But they are “obsessed” with them in […]

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 […]

Boris Releases His Eighth (?) Dud

I can’t be bothered deconstructing it as I did with the demographic section of Boris Nemtsov’s last (seventh) white paper. But there are some things to be said about its claims as regards Putin’s lifestyle and its coverage in the Western media. (1) The definitions of what constitutes one of Putin’s “residences” is very loose. […]

My Piece On Pussy Riot At Al Jazeera

A PR disaster: Five views on Pussy Riot’s war. Go, read. Comment there if possible. Just a couple more notes: Since I submitted the article, commentator peter made one of the most convincing arguments against the validity of the sentence against Pussy Riot. I suppose this will be raised in PR’s appeal. Just to clarify, […]

ECHR Rules 2003 Elections Fair, Derided As Kremlin Flunkies By Liberals

According to the press release (PDF) regarding the recent judgment, the issues considered by the ECHR as regarding complaints about the 2003 Russian Duma elections were the (1) the opposition’s access to an “effective remedy” to complain about media bias in favor of United Russia; and (2) that the media’s aforementioned bias prejudged the fairness […]

Hipsters And Democratic Journalists Might Not Support Putin, But The Middle Class Does

Yet another oft-repeated Western trope about Russian politics is that Putin has “lost the middle classes” (Brian Whitmore, paging Kudrin), that it is liberals who speak for the middle class (Fred Weir), or even that it is not just the middle class who are against Putin but the masses too (Masha Gessen). Let’s look at some […]