And They Say Mark Adomanis Is A Putin Stooge

Anti-corruption efforts have been significantly stepped up in recent months, both in terms of headline making events (e.g. the dismissal of Serdyukov) and the less heralded progress in the introduction of new laws to combat the source. One of these is a ban on Russian bureaucrats holding foreign bank accounts (this represents a watering down of […]

Berezovsky RIP

“I will either return to the Kremlin on a white horse, or in a black limousine to the Mausoleum.” It is customary to say something nice about the recently deceased, so here goes… *ahem.* If not for Berezovsky, Putin probably wouldn’t be President. UPDATE: As expected, the conspiracy theories have inevitably began to crawl out […]

Last Word On Chavez

When I said this post would be “the last post” on the matter, I meant posts written by myself. 🙂 Alexander Mercouris’ was too good to pass up, so it is reprinted here: Any discussion of Chavez must explain why he was (to his detractors) such a terrible man. He was a terrible man because […]

Samuel Moncada, Venezuela’s Ambassador In London, Personally Responds To Emails

Not sure you can say that of many national ambassadors! This is what I wrote to this email for expressing condolences on Chavez’s passing: After a heroic battle with cancer, Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías has shuffled off this mortal coil, but his dream will endure forever and continue giving hope unto the hearts of men and women all […]

Hugo Chávez Shuffles Off This Mortal Coil, But The Light Of The Bolivarian Revolution He Ignited Will Endure Forever

We all suspected this would come sooner or later. As it happens, Chavez struggled heroically against his cancer, confounding the intensive Schadenfreude and concerted death wishes of his loathsome detractors month after arduous month. But this is what you can expect to get when you look out for your own countrymen and stand up to imperialism. […]

What I Learned From Freedom House…

My latest for the US-Russia Experts Panel and VoR. In this latest Panel, Vlad Sobell asks us supposed Russia “experts” whether Freedom House’s “alarmist stance” towards Russia is justified. Well, what do YOU think? I don’t think you need to be an expert to answer this; it’s an elementary issue of common sense and face […]

Translation: Sergey Magnitsky: Act Two

Maxim Kononenko, the gadfly of Runet, on how the hunters may become the hunted in the Magnitsky saga. The representatives of the founder of Hermitage Capital, William Browder, have informed the High Court of London that their client sees no reason to respond to respond to the lawsuit against him by Major Pavel Karpov, the […]

Open Thread #2

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The Guardian Censors You Even If You Don’t Overtly Disagree With Them

Here is the article, by Nick Cohen. And below are the two comments (one by myself) that were censored. I have corrected a few grammatical points in this post. They were eventually restored, wonder of wonders, but only after two days – and therefore all interest – had passed, and after I had sent an […]

The Kremlin Does A Very Clever Thing

Lost in the furor and liberal butthurt over Depardieu’s defection has been a development of far greater import: Russia is going to cardinally change its elections system. According to Putin’s directive to the Presidential Administration and the Central Elections Committee, they are to come up with a bill that transforms Russia’s current proportional system to […]

Obama, Romney, And The Reset

Latest contribution to the US-Russia.org Expert Discussion Panel on the question of which US Presidential candidate is best able to meet the challenges ahead: When predicting election outcomes, I prefer to listen to those who put their money where their mouths are. As of the time of writing, the Intrade predictions market gives a 66% implied […]

Quick Impressions On Ukraine Elections 2012

AP asks: No article about the Ukrainian parliamentary elections? Unfortunately, no, as I’m very busy this week. But some quick impressions: (1) My initial predictions for the elections. We’ll see how I do relative to about 70 other people soon enough. (2) As the results came in, with PoR getting 37% of the vote after […]

What Happened In Georgia Was An Oligarchic Coup

My latest for US-Russia.org Expert Discussion Panel on whether to view the recent Georgian elections, in which Saakashvili’s United National Movement lost a lot of power, as a Kremlin coup or a triumph of democracy. My view that it isn’t really either: Two dominant themes prevailed in media coverage of the 2012 Georgian elections (1) The […]

A Quick Note On Venezuelan Elections

Chavez won. The comprador candidate got sent packing. As, indeed, 80% of the pre-elections polls predicted. I fully expect the usual democratist presstitutes to cry foul in the coming days. Not because the Venezuelan elections were unfair – though they will doubtless be claimed to be so by the organs of imperialist propaganda like the […]

In Which I Become A Liberast: Criticism Of Russia’s Expulsion Of USAID

The latest US-Russia.org Expert Discussion Panel focuses on whether Russia was correct to expel USAID on the grounds that it interfered in domestic Russian politics to an acceptable degree. Here is my contribution: I have no connection to USAID, or indeed to any American NGO operating in Russia or anywhere else. I do not pretend to have […]

Authoritarian Parallels

One of the main theses of this blog is that in many respects, Russia is far more similar to the the “West” (and vice versa) than various democratists would have you believe. Case in point (h/t Jon Hellevig): When GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney visited an Ohio coal mine this month to promote jobs in the […]

Boris Releases His Eighth (?) Dud

I can’t be bothered deconstructing it as I did with the demographic section of Boris Nemtsov’s last (seventh) white paper. But there are some things to be said about its claims as regards Putin’s lifestyle and its coverage in the Western media. (1) The definitions of what constitutes one of Putin’s “residences” is very loose. […]

Assange Should Have Picked The Russian Embassy

UK police descend on Assange’s embassy refuge. According to the Ecuadorians, their Embassy was threatened with a revocation of its status as Ecuadorian sovereign territory in the case that President Rafael Correa offers Julian Assange political asylum. This would clear the way for PC Plod could go in and fish out Assange. Presumably this is to avoid breaking […]

Why Obama Will Sooner Win

Ten months ago I bet a symbolic $10 on a Republican win. According to elections models and the bookies, it’s more likely than not that I’ve lost it. Not that I’m saddened by this development of course. (That said, if the economy slumps sharply in Q3, then a Romney win becomes entirely possible).

I’m Now A Libertarian :(

At least in the context of the US Presidential elections according to this nifty quiz. Here are my detailed results for perusal for anyone interested. PS. Mitt Romney’s VP pick was a good one. Paulites however are (rightly) not convinced and I for one still favor Obama if with no particular enthusiasm. PPS. The real […]