Massacre in Odessa

Russia’s Channel Odessa has done a real piece of investigative journalism on the Odessa massacre. It appears to show that the street fighting in Odessa that preceded the massacre bore the hallmarks of a carefully staged provocation in which sections of the police and of the local authorities were actively involved. It shows that the […]

A Bizarre Pardon

I have no idea what possessed Putin. Did he think that it would spare him Western criticism in the run-up to Sochi? Of course not. Khodorkovsky was on the back-burner. LGBT rights are West’s stick du jour to beat up on Russia. Did he think it would improve the legal and investment climate? I sure […]

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 […]

Translation: Evgeniya Khasis on Tolokonnikova’s Prison Letter

A letter from Yevgenia Khasis, a nationalist and convicted accomplice to murder, and fellow colony inmate of Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, published in Komsomolskaya Pravda, 28 September 2013. Evgeniya Khasis’ Letter: Tolokno’s Passions I met Nadezhda about a year ago when she arrived at the colony to serve the sentence handed down to her by the court. Despite […]

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 […]

Lessons From The Snowden Affair

(1) Just as with Manning, it is beyond dispute that Snowden broke US law. As such, the US government is perfectly entitled to try to apprehend him (on its own soil), request his extradition, and prosecute him. This is quite perpendicular to whether Snowden’s leaks were morally “justified” or not. In some sense, they were. […]

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 […]

What’s Good for the Goose is Gaffed by the Gander

I will be going on a “working vacation” this Sunday, so I’m publishing my weekly contribution to VoR/US-Russia experts panel early: Okay, let’s get one thing clear from the get go: The Russian law requiring NGOs to declare themselves “foreign agents” if they engage in political activities and receive financing from abroad, is not illegitimate. […]

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: 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: Dark Clouds of Revanchism

Izvestiya runs a piece by political scientist Avigdor Eskin on historical revisionism in Eastern Europe (especially in the Baltic countries and Ukraine) pertaining to World War II. Dark Clouds of Revanchism For more than 20 years, Nazi revanchism in Eastern Europe has been allowed to roam freely in the post-Soviet space. Immediately after the break-up […]

The Stupid Witchhunt Against Levada

I think the real situation is somewhere in between the Kremlin’s position and Mark Adomanis’ and the rest of the Western and Russian liberal media’s alarmism. So as far as this is concerned, I really do think Gudkov is exaggerating, not to even speak of the inevitable and hysterical comparisons to Stalinism cropping up in some quarters. So what if Levada registers […]

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 […]

Should I Give Up Already?

From a Freedom House publication:

The Russian Imperialist Genocide In Chechnya

Hard as it is to believe, but in the wake of the Boston Bombings, many Western commentators actively trying to find the roots of the Tsarnaev brothers’ rage in Russia’s “aggression” or even “genocide” of Chechnya. This is not to deny that Chechens did not have an exceptionally hard time of it in the 1990s. That said, […]

The Anti-Magnitsky List

Here is the list of US citizens publicly barred from Russia in response to the US Magnitsky List. Are you familiar with any of them? Individuals alleged to be involved in the use and legalization of torture and indefinite confinement of prisoners – the “Guantanamo list”: 1. David Spears Addington – Chief of Staff of […]

What I Learned From Freedom House…

My latest for the US-Russia Experts Panel and VoR. In this latest Panel, Vlad Sobell asks us supposed Russia “experts” whether Freedom House’s “alarmist stance” towards Russia is justified. Well, what do YOU think? I don’t think you need to be an expert to answer this; it’s an elementary issue of common sense and face […]

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 […]