Translation: The Red Army “Rape of Germany” was Invented by Goebbels

In an interview with Komsomolskaya Pravda, Russian history professor Elena Sinyavskaya in a discussion with Alexey Ovchinnikov disputes the factual provenance of the Red Army rape of Germany. The Myth of the “Rape of Germany” was Invented by Goebbels In recent years, Victory Day has unfortunately acquired a not very pleasant tradition: the closer the holiday comes, […]

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, […]

Russia Now Produces As Many Cars As The USSR Did At Its Peak

As I write the book, I create a lot of graphs. Here is one of them. So in manufacturing terms, as far as cars are concerned, the “deindustrialization” era is decidedly over. Of course it’s also important to note that in 1985 they were producing this whereas today they are producing this as well as various […]

On Defending The Soviet Union

Contrary to what some might try to take from my post on the longterm failure of the Soviet economy, I am not an anti-Soviet ideologue. I loathe lies about its achievements and the blanket condemnations directed its way by moralistic poseurs every bit as much or more than I detest reality-challenged attempts to paint it […]

Last Word On Jews In Russia

At least until the issue arises again. Over to Alex Mercouris: … I do not agree that the two big revolutionary parties in tsarist Russia, the Socialist Revolutionaries and the Social Democrats were under Jewish ideological influence. I do not know what “Jewish ideology” is. Anyway the Socialist Revolutionaries had their origins in the far […]

Ayn Stalin: Soviet Inequalities In 1929-1954

While researching my article on Soviet economic performance relative to the US (it was bad), I came across this fascinating graph showing income inequality in the USSR since 1946. As you can see, the 10% richest Soviet citizens in the first postwar year were more than seven times as rich as the 10% poorest. That is […]

The Soviet Economy – Charting Failure

Many Communists, leftists, and even patriots (I’m sorry to say) have a pronounced tendency to make out the Soviet economy as not quite the resounding failure it really was – or even to paint it as a success story that was only brought down by perestroika and liberal reforms. The above chart – based on […]

Jaan Kaplinski – From Confrontation To Reconciliation

Two weeks back, the distinguished Estonian poet and linguist Jaan Kaplinski in a comment on this blog linked to his article in the Russian-Estonian paper День за Днем lamenting the state of Estonian – Russian relations, especially as they were apparently really good back in the Tsarist days. In that article from От противостояния к примирению (From Confrontation to […]

The Uncertain Future Of Cheap Russian Booze

One thing that strikes you, as you wander the shops of any Russian city, is the sheer cheapness of booze and cigs. As little as 3 years ago, one could buy a pint-sized bottle of beer or a pack of cigarettes for just $1, while a 0.5l bottle of vodka cost as little as $3. Prices have since […]

Reconciling Stalin with Victory

За нас за вас и за десант и за спецназ! I would like to start off by expressing my deepest respects to the Red Army veterans who fought and died so that (literally) hundreds of millions of their Slavic brethren could live. Вечная слава героям! Last year I discussed four myths about the Eastern Front, […]

Defending the Loop

Following my posting of Russia’s Sisyphean Loop, the influential East-Central Europe expert, Vlad Sobell, wrote up an interesting critique at the Untimely Thoughts Russia Discussion Group. It addresses what may be considered some weak, or at least not thoroughly explained, points from the original article, so I thought it would be useful to reproduce it […]

Russia’s Sisyphean Loop

Anatoly Karlin @ www.DaRussophile.com PDF version | DOC version Russia’s Sisyphean Loop The Eternal Return to the Future? In this article I attempt to explain Russia’s historical cycles of failed Westernization and to project its future socio-political trajectory. First, I note the nature of and linkages between Russia’s geography, cultural traditions and imperial cycles. Second, […]

Thinking about Nuclear War

I have always been fascinated by nuclear war. Mountain bunkers, missile gaps, MAD, – what is there not to like? So this post will be devoted to the doomsday weapons which continue tantalizing us with visions of post-nuclear nirvana. Because yes, despite the post-Cold War reduction in the Russian and US arsenals (consisting mostly of warheads […]

Book Review: Alexander Werth – Moscow War Diary

Review of “Moscow War Diary” (A. Werth) Werth, Alexander – Moscow War Diary (1942) Category: history, Soviet Union, WW2; Rating: 4/5 Soviet Resilience under Fire On 22nd June 1941, the armed columns of Nazi Germany began rolling into Russia, heralding the start of the Great Patriotic War. For Alexander Werth, a correspondent for the British Sunday […]

The Nazi-Soviet Pact as Second Munich

On the 70th anniversary of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact of non-aggression between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, signed on August 23, 1939 (also my birthday!), historians, ideologues and everyone in between inevitably fall into a game of recriminations, revisionism and relativism. The anti-Soviet side maintains that the Pact gave Germany a free hand in the […]

Manipulating Russia’s Manipulation of History

Stalin was the “most successful Soviet leader”. Thus proclaims Filippov’s controversial textbook A New History of Russia 1945-2006 – a symbol of the Putin-inspired drive to rehabilitate Stalinism and steep the next generation of Russian schoolchildren in the glories of sovereign democracy. Right? Unfortunately, there’s just a few problems with this kitschy narrative of neo-Soviet […]

Victory Day Special: The Poisonous Myths of the Eastern Front

За нас за вас и за десант и за спецназ! The Red Army was the single greatest contributor to the defeat of Nazi Germany sixty-four years ago, a truly evil empire based on slavery and oppression, and responsible for the genocide of millions of Slav civilians, Jews, Soviet POW’s and Roma by gas, bullets and […]

Is The US In 2009 Like The USSR In 1989?

With increasing signs of economic collapse, military overstretch and political problems, is the US doomed to go the way of the late USSR?

Demography II – Out of the Death Spiral

As we covered in the previous instalment, Demographics I: The Russian Cross Reversed?, fertility rates are not abnormally low by European standards and are likely to rise further in the future. The same cannot be said of mortality rates – a ‘quiet crisis‘ that has been a ‘catastrophe of historic proportions’. Take life expectancy. As […]

Demography I – The Russian Cross Reversed?

The demographic situation in Russia is usually painted in apocalyptic terms. The Russian Cross – the post-Soviet transition into a world of death without new life – will supposedly preclude it from attaining First World living standards and wreck any Great Power, let alone superpower, pretensions. Is Russia Too Sick to Matter and the Sick […]