Translation: Vladislav Surkov – “I Was by a Great Man’s Side” (part 2)

The continuation of Surkov’s interview (2/2) with Andrei Kolesnikov, in which he expounds on the meaning of friendship, leisure, love for the fatherland, and life itself. See part 1 here. Vladislav Surkov: “I Was by a Great Man’s Side” Part II Russian Pioneer’s regular columnist Vladislav Surkov has, at the request of RP’s editor in […]

Translation: Vladislav Surkov – “I Was by a Great Man’s Side” (part 1)

In which the “gray cardinal of the Kremlin” Vladislav Surkov waxes philosophical about Putin’s holiness, the nature of freedom, and why mistakes are good in his first interview (1/2), conducted with Andrei Ivanovich Kolesnikov, since leaving office. See part 2 here. Vladislav Surkov: I was by a Great Man’s Side Russian Pioneer’s regular columnist Vladislav Surkov has, […]

Translation: Is Putin a KGB Agent, a Hipster, or a Mensch?

In his Odnako blog Evgeny Super asks why Putin’s image seems to be improving of late. Turned off by the propaganda against the Russian President, he argues, Westerners are beginning to give him grudging respect. The Russian President’s Demonic Image Collapses in the Western Media Literally from the very first day of President Vladimir Putin’s […]

Putin’s Birthday, Birth Of A Legacy

The latest US-Russia.org Expert Discussion Panel focused on an assessment of Putin’s historical legacy, on the occasion of his 60th birthday. Here I try to answer whether history will see Putin as the “founder of a modern and successful Russia”, or as a tragic figure who threw away his chance of greatness to the “delusion of indispensability”: […]

And The Wheel Spins On

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DvAYV6-ZN0I&w=480&h=360] “Despite it being a sad and fearful prospect, in my opinion a totalitarian reversion for a certain period of time is possible. But the danger lies not in the law enforcement agencies, the power organs, and not even the Army, but in our own mentalities – our people’s, our population’s, in ourselves. It all seems […]

Putin The Peaceful?

At least, surely more so than Obama, winner of 2009’s Nobel Peace Prize. Let’s do it by the numbers. Russia under Putin fought one war, in response to Georgian aggression against Ossetians with Russian citizenship and UN-mandated Russian peacekeepers. In contrast, Obama has participated in two wars of aggression: the Iraq War he inherited from G.W., […]

But Always, A Hero Comes Home

The King returns. As this is breaking news, please feel free to discuss this breaking news while I write up a more substantive post. In summary: (1) I was 75% wrong. (I gave Putin a 25% of returning to the PM; I thought the likeliest scenario would be for DAM to continue). (2) That said, […]

Interview with Mark Chapman (The Kremlin Stooge)

Next in our line of Watching the Russia Watchers interviews is Mark Chapman, the fiery Canadian sailor who’s been blazing a path of destruction through the fetid Russophobe ranks since July 2010. That was when he first set up The Kremlin Stooge, after being blocked from La Russophobe, who couldn’t withstand his powerful arguments without resorting to […]

Visualizing The Kremlin Clans

Can you tell your siloviki from your civiliki? MVD, FSB or GRU? The breeds of dog underneath those Churchillian carpets? If not, maybe this will help. In August 2010, I translated the introduction to political pundit Vladimir Pribylovsky’s recent book ВЛАСТЬ-2010: 60 биографий (Power in 2010: 60 biographies). The resulting Phantom Tandem, Real Triumvirate and the Kremlin Clan […]

Interview with Peter Lavelle (Russia Today)

The next installment of our Watching the Russia Watchers series at S/O features an interview with Peter Lavelle, the main political analyst at the Russia Today TV network, host of its CrossTalk debate show and Untimely Thoughts blogger. (He also has a Wikipedia page!) Peter is opposed to Western media hegemony, considering it neither fair […]

Translation: Russia’s Phantom Tandem, Real Triumvirate and the Kremlin Clan Wars

In the post with A Good Treaty’s interview, the commentator peter recommended this book, ВЛАСТЬ-2010: 60 биографий (Power in 2010: 60 biographies) by Vladimir Pribylovsky, as a “useful primer on who’s who in the Kremlin”. I happen to agree – with many qualifications, which are discussed below – which is why I translated its introductory summary […]

In which I Criticize Vladimir Putin

I’ve been accused of being a “Russophile cockroach”, an “amoral Putin lackey”, and overall bad guy. Guilty as charged! Yes, I do like Russia and don’t have much good to say about the Western media’s coverage of it. Yes, I don’t give much of damn for the moralistic posturing that any vapid idiot Kremlinologist can easily […]

Voice of the People Part 3, Cont.

This is a summary of opinion polls conducted by the Levada-Center, Russia’s Gallup, since February 2009, and continues on from the first post. Along with the original post Lovely Levada, this series constitutes a unique English-language reference for social trends under late Putinism as expressed by the Russian people themselves, rather than the limousine liberals, pro-Western […]

Putvedev is Russia’s White Rider

In April 2007 Peter Zeihan of Stratfor wrote a thought-provoking article The Coming Era of Russia’s Dark Rider, which tries to pin down the metahistory of Russia’s socio-political evolution and perhaps even inspired a book. The basic idea is that following its cyclical collapses (the Mongol conquest, The Time of Troubles, the Civil War and […]