Serdyukov is Charged

Here is the discussion at this on The Russia Debate. My friend and DR commentator Alexander Mercouris correctly predicted this outcome – that Serdyukov would be charged, but that it is a complex case that will take a long time and likely avoid more the more serious allegations in favor of those that can be […]

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 […]

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 […]

A Brief Intro To The Navalny Case

The anti-corruption crusader and best hope of the Russian race Navalny will be on trial for embezzlement on April 17th. And it has to be admitted that even many of us who tend to look at the liberal opposition’s claims of repression with a healthy degree of skepticism are now “plagued by vague suspicions.” It’s […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

The Death Penalty: It’s Conditional

User Jennifer Hor writes: Last time I looked at the financial cost of capital punishment in the US was several years ago and already in the late 1990s – early 2000s, the cost of executing someone was US$8 million in Florida… There are costs involved like the various appeals processes which take up people’s time and […]

IQ Is A Social Construct Except When It Isn’t

That is, when it happens to show that someone is a mental retard and as such shouldn’t be executed for murder. Just the old liberal hamster wheel logic in action. I’m actually quite indifferent to the DP. But I’m not indifferent to using mental retardation as a defense. If anything it is more of a reason […]

Legal Analysis Of The Pussy Riot Case

Alex Mercouris has penned a long and extremely erudite analysis of the case against Pussy Riot. I cannot recommend it highly enough. Go, read. There are just a few things I would add: (1) I think one of the closest historical analogues to this case in Anglo world is the 2 month imprisonment of Nicolas […]

Global Highs

Via Economist: This makes sense to me. While cannabis is well-known in Russia, attitudes towards it are mostly disparaging where not hostile even in relatively enlightened Moscow. The druggies there tend to be more hardcore anyway. It is a large part of the conversation in the UK – see the debates over what classification it should get […]

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 […]

Is Khodorkovsky A Political Prisoner? Read The ECHR Judgments Before Quacking

It’s one thing if Western journalists and Yukos PR henchmen – if there is indeed any difference – shill for all they’re worth about the travails of Khodorkovsky, the former oligarch doing time for fleecing the Russian Treasury to the tune of billions of dollars, charges he sooner boasts about than denies when given the opportunity […]