Archives for May 2013

Translation: Demographics in Russia and Germany

In a graphs-heavy blog post, German-Russian blogger A.S. Schmidt argues that with its far higher emigration rates and lower birth rates, Germany is now in a much bigger demographic crisis than Russia. Demographics in Russia and Germany I have long wanted to compare some of the demographic trends in Russia and Germany but, to be honest, […]

Translation: Grigory Yavlinsky Slams the New NGO Laws

Grigory Yavlinsky, head of the liberal Yabloko party and political old-timer, argues in a Vedomosti editorial that the Kremlin’s crackdown on NGOs is not only ethically wrong but ultimately self-crippling. The Exile of Citizens from Politics Unfortunately, the Russian nomenklatura has an exceedingly poor understanding of why we need independent public organizations, and the meaning […]

Translation: One Day in the Life of the Syrian Opposition

Komsomolskaya Pravda’s Alexander Kots writes about the mounting savagery of the Syrian civil war, citing the now infamous video of the Free Syrian Army fighter eating the heart of a government soldier as a case in point. Weekdays of the Syrian Opposition: Cut out the Heart, and Eat It More and more videos from combat zones […]

Translation: A Pity the Nazis didn’t Make Lampshades out of Today’s Liberals

In one of the most scandalous op-eds of the year, KP’s Ulyana Skoybeda takes the liberal Leonid Gozman to task for equating SMERSH with the SS. The original byline was later toned down, and the author offered a partial – and some insist, halfhearted – apology. The Politician Leonid Gozman Says: “A Nice Uniform is the […]

The Russian Spectrum: An Inosmi In English

You’ve had to wait too long for this. But it is finally here. The Russian Spectrum – translating everything worth translating from the Russian media. I’ll keep it brief. (1) We need translators! If you can proficiently translate from Russian into English, I will be very happy to have you on board. First, the bad […]

Translation: Was Surkov Fired for Bolotnaya Sympathies?

Based on multiple interviews with high-placed sources, Vedomosti’s Lilia Biryukova, Maxim Glikin, and Maxim Tovkailo compile four major theories to explain Surkov’s resignation last Wednesday: Was it a simple matter of under-performance, or are there deeper currents to the story? Surkov May have been Fired for his Bolotnaya Sympathies On Wednesday, President Putin acceded to the resignation request of […]

Translation: Patriarch Kirill in China

As the Russian Patriarch embarks on a five-day visit to China, Kommersant’s Pavel Korobov takes a look at the history, current reality, and future prospects of Orthodoxy in China. The ROC Acquires Chinese Literacy Patriarch Kirill arrived in China on a five-day official visit. The leadership of the PRC has already called the First Hierarch’s visit […]

Translation: The Sacrificial Victim and the End of Russian Homophobia

Analogizing to the Pussy Riot affair, journalist Oleg Kashin argues that the grisly murder of a gay man in Volgograd may soon shame – or rather, frighten – the Kremlin into dropping its gay-baiting campaign. The Sacrificial Victim and the End of Russian Homophobia This question is either for the intellect, or for general erudition: […]

Translation: It’s All Personal

Russians don’t trust their friends much. But they trust strangers and the state even less, so personal relations predominate in the economy at the expense of clubs, communities, and institutions. Sociologist Pavel Stepantsov paints a bleak picture of Russian society for Vedomosti. Everything Revolves around Personal Relations Many of the games we play, and that […]

Should I Give Up Already?

From a Freedom House publication:

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 English Inosmi: The Russophere vs. The Russian Spectrum

Another day, another Internet project. Or more specifically, reviving an old project – the “English Inosmi” concept of translating articles and blog posts from the Russian media for a Western audience. The only problem was that I was perpetually dissatisfied, even if at a subconscious level, with the name: RossPress*. An elementary problem which I had somehow overlooked […]

The Russia Debate – The New Forum For Russia Watchers

I submit that the Russia watching community has no shortage of opinionated blogs, mercenary “information projects,” and warring factions of “CIA jackals” and “Kremlin bots.” What it greatly lacks, however, is a neutral, well-moderated meeting ground where a diversity of voices could engage in free and vigorous debates about all aspects of Russian politics, economics, and history. In […]