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 […]

Translation: Russia in for a Gay Revolution?

A report from Izvestia by Sergey Podosenov alleging that gay protests in Russia are organized from abroad. Political Experts Predict a Russian Gay Revolution Such a scenario described in Centre for Political Information report. Foreign-funded LGBT organizations could prepare a gay revolution in Russia that would plunge the country into a new period of chaos similar […]

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 […]

Translation: Russia isn’t Germany – It has Nothing to Repent For

The German president has decided to teach Russia to fight with remnants of totalitarianism, and could not think of anything better than to call to repent. Original article by Alexander Romanov German president allowed himself to teach Russians to fight “remnants of totalitarianism” The German president  decided to teach Russia to fight with remnants of totalitarianism, […]

Roundup of Russia Stuff

I’m writing this from an Internet café in Seattle, so I’ll be brief. (1) Congratulations to SWSPires – the winner of the promised $25 Amazon gift certificate for participating in The Russia Debate during its first month! Incidentally, he was only the sixth member to be drawn by lot from the members pool; it’s just […]

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: Russia’s Growth Rate may Plummet in the Next Decade

According to several experts, Russia may be facing a period of protracted low growth rates now that its GDP per capita has recently exceeded $16,000. Vedomosti’s Olga Kuvshinova has the details. Russia may Experience Minimal Growth in the Next 10 Years A variety of reasons are brought up to explain the Russian economy’s slowdown to […]

Translation: When do Russian Officials become Democrats?

When they are fed to other bureaucrats. Or so argues Mikhail Rostovsky in an op-ed for Moskovskij Komsomolets, in analyzing the resignations of Surkov and Alexei Chesnakov. Surkov for Breakfast, Medvedev for Lunch, and where do Russian Democrats come from? Solve this riddle. What does it mean when you hear the clatter of plates, knives, and […]

Russia’s Best Leader was… Brezhnev!

In a recent poll conducted by the Levada Center, Leonid Brezhnev was revealed to be Russians’ favorite ruler of the 20th century. Do you see his era as a Golden Age, or as a zastoi? Russian Attitudes to Former Heads of State

Translation: Why Putin Closed Down Open Government

Liberals think Putin put the Open Government Initiative, advanced by the US, on hold because he is a thief. The blogger Evgeny Super, however, argues that it is a matter of protecting Russia’s sovereignty. On the Fate of “Open Government” in Russia: Why Vladimir Putin Froze the Initiative Vladimir Putin canceled Russia’s joining of the […]

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 […]

Russia is Now an Internet Society

The Russian Spectrum presents the results of Levada, FOM, and VCIOM polls over the past dozen years showing the rapid digitization of Russian society. The Internet in Russia The three questions used were all similar: “Do you use the Internet, and if so how frequently?” Also in the latest Levada poll: “Do you use the […]

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: Lev Gudkov – The Levada Center is not a Foreign Agent

In an interview with Kommersant’s Ksenia Turkova, the director of the Levada Center Lev Gudkov argues that opinion polling isn’t a political activity – and as such, that his organization is not a “foreign agent.” “The Sphere of Public Opinion Cannot Fall under the Rubric of Political Activities” The opinion polling agency Levada Center may […]