Black Hundreds Return to Moscow!

Black Hundreds CEO Dmitry Bastrakov giving the opening speech.

On August 8, 2020 Moscow saw the opening of the bookshop Listva in Moscow. This is their first expansion outside the original Listva bookshop in Saint-Petersburg, where – incidentally – I had been invited to give a lecture on dysgenics last November. There will now be a similar space for lectures and activism on Russian national and historical themes in the capital. If you happen by Moscow and are interested in picking up some rare and “powerful” literature, they are located on ul. Zhukovskogo, 4с1 [VK, Facebook].

Incidentally, this expansion was only possible on account of the coronavirus crisis. The location’s previous occupants were Chitalkafe, which used to be an independent bookshop that maintained good relations with the Black Hundreds and acted as their main distributors within Moscow. During the lockdown, their premises flooded on account of some ruptured plumbing, resulting in massive damage to internal furnishings and inventories. While they might have survived either crisis individually, both at the same time were too much to weather, and they decided to sell off their operations to the Black Hundreds.

The Listva bookshops are part of the “Black Hundreds” publishing house ecosystem, which specializes in publishing lesser known Russian 19th century political and historical literature, as well as modern historical work on topics such as White Guardism and the War in Donbass. Despite the name’s connotations, it is actually meant to refer not the much calumniated Tsarist-era monarchist-nationalist movement, but to the original Black Hundreds – the people’s militia raised by Minin and Pozharsky from amongst the merchants, craftsmen, and laborers of Nizhny Novgorod to drive out the Polish-Lithuanian occupiers during the Time of Troubles. This is probably unironically true, given that it’s founder and CEO Dmitry Bastrakov originally hails from Nizhny Novgorod.

My collection of related books.

Typical sample of books published by the Black Hundreds:

  • Russian comics produced in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia from 1935-45
  • A history of the Russian diaspora from 1920-1970
  • “Honor Codex of the Russian Officer” by Valentin Kulchitsky (reproduced in the original orthography), written during WW1 to rapidly acclimatize incoming new officers into the military culture.
  • 85 Days in Slavyansk” by Alexander Zhuchkovsky on the first decisive battle of the War in Donbass.

The last book in this photo, though not published by the Black Hundreds themselves, is an anthology of philosopher/antebellum proto-Twitter poster Vasily Rozanov’s work called “Listva”, which is also the namesake of its network of bookshops. Incidentally, there is an organization/discussion club called the Rozanov Club in Saint-Petersburg, which makes videos on related topics, and whom I also gave an interview when I was in Saint-Petersburg last November.

In the week before the opening, Russian liberals (both “systemic” & anti-Putin) joined up with Communists and antifa in implicit calls to Russian authorities to shut down the bookshop.

  • “Open Media” ran an article in which Yabloko opposition deputy Boris Vishnevsky, “Presidential human rights council” member Nikolay Svanidze, Sova “anti-extremism” director Alexander Verkhovsky, and Communist deputy Elena Shuvalova expressed their opposition to the bookshop.
  • David Homak, the creator of Russian RationalWiki equivalent (who now lives in Israel), proclaimed it will start selling “Black Goatse” merchandise to its audience.
  • Anna Maria – the trans daughter of Mikhail Efremov (a washed up actor currently on trial for manslaughter while drinking & driving) – asked Antifa to inform him if they have any plans to visit nationalist bookshop Listva “with certain intentions” when it opens up in a week’s time.
  • Kristina Potupchik, a former Nashi shill, cryptically suggested that the bookshop “would not be open for long.”

So there was some expectation that there’d be attempts to disrupt the opening. As it happens, there were no sightings of Antifa and their deformed physiognomies. Attendance was strong at ~300 people, most of them educated-looking millennial/zoomer hipster types (aesthetically, Russian nationalism c.2020 is far removed from that of just a decade ago, when it was dominated by leather-clad skinheads and Soviet boomers unraveling the Judeo-Masonic conspiracy). If anything, the Black Hundreds owe thanks to the liberals for giving them so much free and enthusiastic advertising.

The AK at Listva.

Russian cider stand.

Even dogs are embracing nationalism.

Journalist Oleg Kashin sends regards from London.

Israeli journalist (LOL) interviews Black Hundreds CEO Dmitry Bastrakov.

Anatoly Karlin is a transhumanist interested in psychometrics, life extension, UBI, crypto/network states, X risks, and ushering in the Biosingularity.


Inventor of Idiot’s Limbo, the Katechon Hypothesis, and Elite Human Capital.


Apart from writing booksreviewstravel writing, and sundry blogging, I Tweet at @powerfultakes and run a Substack newsletter.


  1. Please keep off topic posts to the current Open Thread.

    If you are new to my work, start here.

  2. Saint Petersburg is better than Moscow? Not a fan of modern architecture, Slavic and Stalinist architecture is an acquired taste, frankly.

    No offense. Yeah people may say that Moscow has fine dining and restaurants from 5000 countries, but I am a man of simple culinary taste, so I do not really require caviar and grey poupon every meal. Angus fillet mignon and mash potatoes, or good old fried chicken with hush puppies, or a good old cheeseburger will do fine. And people may say that Moscow is ahead because I has those 1000 dollar a night 50 star hotels, but then I am not the person to shell out 1000 dollars on a room a night anyway, and Saint Petersburg has more than its share of 4.5 and 5 star hotels anyway, and frankly compared to Moscow its aesthetics are far more pleasing to the eye, and a lot more orderly in layout, basically Paris of the North with a hint of Venice.

  3. Daniel Chieh says

    Please read the first reply.

  4. (1) I prefer Moscow, it is more authentically Russian. Saint Petersburg’s imperial-era streets are too broad, and seem empty and underfilled relative to the purpose for which they were built.

    (2) That’s a caricature of what Moscow vs. SPB are like, there are venues catering to all classes in both. SPB has more tourism than Moscow and hardly lags it in elite-level facilities, for those who care of that sort of thing. I will agree however that finding cheap lodging is easier in SPB.

    The dining scene is similar (again, tourism). The second best restaurant I have been to to date in Russia – Cococo – is in SPB. (Unfortunately, it’s since become an ordinary bistro). (Zavod Bar in Veliky Novgorod is first).

  5. Israeli journalist (LOL) interviews

    Bookshop owner is over-hyping of media attention – “Israeli television”?

    STMEGI TV – It looks like a local Moscow Mountain Jews’ community YouTube channel, with 15000 subscribers, website and Mountain Jewish community paper.

    I guess this is like when students at university have their own newspaper, but there will be in Moscow some Mountain Jewish oligarch who pays for the ink and website.

  6. Anatoly – could you tell us whether the modern day Black Hundreds movement is still centered around eviscerating Ukrainian cultural icons, and indeed the whole of Ukrainian society? Any plans yourself of visiting Ukraine, perhaps setting a few Ukrainian reading halls (or libraries) on fire?

    No offense, but you Russian nationalists like to poke fun at the ideology and dress of “Ukrainian neo-Nazis”, but are you really any different? Instead of a light bluish mask, might I suggest a black hood, or perhaps a black cape to complete the noirish effect?

  7. Stalinist architecture is an acquired taste,

    Central Saint-Petersburg is architecturally the most impressive in Russia, and one of the architecturally best cities in Northern Europe (although central Moscow has also a lot of beautiful buildings, although most are just of normal for their time).

    I don’t see why you connect this question so much to Stalinist architecture. Most of the buildings in central Moscow were constructed in the 19th century or earlier, in standard European styles of the epoch in which it was built.

    Also Stalinist architecture is one of the easiest to like mid-20th century architecture styles, mainly because much of the building design looks like it is from some decades earlier than its actual date. Moreover, there is Saint-Petersburg quite a famous ensemble Stalinist buildings near the southern “Victory Park”.

  8. Caspar von Everec says

    Ukrainian nationalism- brought to you by Jewish oligarchs and CIA money

  9. There were no Jewish oligarchs during WWI & WW2 periods when Ukrainian nationalism got a huge bump in Ukraine. And besides thinking about paratrooping in a few intelligence recon guys after WW2. the CIA wasn’t involved much in developing Ukrainian nationalism. The involvement began when Ukrainian nationalists first approached Western sources for help after WW2. Like some Germans, the US state department thought that it might be useful to have some of these guys hanging around. In any case, Ukrainian nationalism was a homegrown affair that bloomed when Ukrainians had to find ways to deal primarily with Polish and Russian oppression.

  10. In St. Petersburg, there was a Azar restaurant. I can’t remember the name. Near a canal of course. A huge menu with every cut of every animal known to man. Can’t beat meat on a stick! Right up there with a Georgian cafe that I made a home away from home. Outstanding food.

  11. These places are a dime a dozen anywhere in Russia.

  12. Even dogs are embracing nationalism.

    Chad nationalist dog vs virgin neoliberal SJW cat.

  13. to the original Black Hundreds – the people’s militia raised by Minin and Pozharsky from amongst the merchants, craftsmen, and laborers of Nizhny Novgorod to drive out the Polish-Lithuanian occupiers during the Time of Troubles.

    This is some kind of urban legend. The army that Kuzma Minin gathered was not called the black hundred, and this army DID NOT consist of “from merchants, artisans, and laborers “. The army of course was made up of professional soldiers from the noble class (“knights”) and Cossacks (the army also included archers Cheremis and detachments of Tatars)

  14. I prefer Moscow, it is more authentically Russian

    Election campaigning for the regional Governor’s election
    ” Igor Tsaplin is a Russian guy,
    not a Chechen or a Muscovite..”

  15. Well, here’s an MSU historian on this:

    – What does the term “Black Hundred” mean? Why not blue, for example?

    – Black – because it is popular, like a plow, like black-wooded peasants of the 17th century. The Black Hundred then were ordinary sovereign people, and not in the public service, but precisely those who then earn money and pay taxes. That is, the very simplest people. The Black Hundreds themselves traced their origin from the Nizhny Novgorod militia of Kuzma Minin, which saved Russia from the Troubles in the 17th century. In the “Manual of the Black Hundred Monarchist”, a kind of catechism of the Black Hundreds, it was said that “the enemies of the autocracy called the simple Russian people the Black Hundred, which during the armed uprising of 1905 stood up for the autocratic tsar … Moscow and all of Russia from the Poles and Russian traitors “(VA Gringmut.” The Guide of the Black Hundred Monarchist “). And further, Vladimir Gringmut, the leader of the Black Hundred Monarchist Party, continues that “Prince Pozharsky joined this glorious Black Hundred with the Russian boyars loyal to the Tsar. All of them were real” Black Hundreds “, and they all stood, like the current” Black Hundred Monarchists ” to protect the Orthodox Monarch, Autocratic Tsar “.

    Likewise among the Black Hundreds at the beginning of the 20th century there were people from the upper classes or from the intelligentsia. For example, among the members of the Main Council of the Union of the Russian People there were 5 professors and even one academician.

    The Black Hundred idea combined two key messages. On the one hand, it is loyalty to traditional values, to what fits into the formula “Orthodoxy, autocracy, nationality.” On the other hand, along with these traditional values, the idea of ​​social justice played a very important role among the Black Hundreds. Therefore, it is not necessary to say that the Black Hundreds were unambiguously right in our modern understanding. They, relatively speaking, were for the people too. That is, they were quite democratic, to some extent even socialists.

  16. I can’t really imagine any Jewish groups being pleased with the advent of a newer, perhaps more vitriolic form of the Black Hundreds movement today, after all the original group was involved in some nasty pogrom activity?

    Instead of informing us all about the really good comic book collection that he’s amassing from these publishers, I wish that Karlin would quit pussyfooting around and explain what value he sees from associating with this group, and any positive effects that can come from this orientation for future Russsian/Jewish/Ukrainian relations?

  17. I doubt Israeli television would send reporters to interview about a hipster niche bookshops in Moscow, regardless of it having a provocative sounding name. Israelis are not very interested about even important stories in Russia, and certainly the Middle Eastern television viewers would not appreciate a report about a niche bookstore thousands of kilometres away from them.

    The “reporter” is from a Mountain Jewish Moscow regional charity project called STMEGI.

    • STMEGI seems to be Mountain Jewish social media project, which is headed by Mountain Jewish businessman called German Zakharyaev.

    Last November, Putin awarded German Zakharyaev an Order of Friendship for heading STMEGI. But it seems to have very few actual viewers (15000 subscribers on YouTube). Perhaps they also arrange some social events of the Mountain Jews.

  18. How about the Jewish community within Russia itself?

    I’m sure that the Ukrainian Community within Russia isn’t squawking. Black shirt sympathiques closed down the only Ukrainian library in Moscow a few years back. It’s becoming dangerous it seems to read literature in Ukrainian within Russia.

  19. From the reading it would appear that the 19th and 20th century Black Hundreds claimed kinship to and inspiration from Minin’s militia, not that Minin’s militia were themselves Black Hundreds.

  20. Well, here’s an MSU historian on this:
    – What does the term “Black Hundred” mean? Why not blue, for example?
    – Black – because it is popular, like a plow, like black-wooded peasants of the 17th century. The Black Hundred then were ordinary sovereign people, and not in the public service, but precisely those who then earn money and pay taxes. That is, the very simplest people. The Black Hundreds themselves traced their origin from the Nizhny Novgorod militia of Kuzma Minin, which saved Russia from the Troubles in the 17th century. In the “Manual of the Black Hundred Monarchist”, a kind of catechism of the Black Hundreds, it was said that “the enemies of the autocracy called the simple Russian people the Black Hundred

    A strange argument. Here the publicist Fyodor Gaida (who is NOT an expert on the topic of the middle ages and the time of troubles) speaks about what the odious madman Gringmut thought on this topic. But fantasy Gringmuth about the history and real history are two different things.

    Here is a description of Minin’s army from the biography of Prince Pozharsky written by a specialist on the subject

    “It was possible to gather an army. And at this moment, the basis of the militia immediately became a valuable military unit – from under Arzamas to Nizhny came more than a thousand nobles from the Smolensk district, who did not swear an oath to Sigismund, who occupied their land, and, of course, were expelled from their estates. …This detachment came to Pozharsky, who took the entire detachment into service. At the end of October, Pozharsky set off at the head of his detachments. On the way to Nizhny Novgorod, he was joined by detachments of the same landless nobles vyazmichi and dorogobuzhan, they were knocked out of the Palace volosts by the Cossacks of Zarutsky. Thus, the backbone of the Second militia consisted of about 2 thousand experienced soldiers from the Western regions of Russia and about a thousand Nizhny Novgorod residents.
    All the militia were divided into four sections according to their previous income from the estates, which also had the psychological significance of returning to the original order. Those assigned to the first article were to receive 50 rubles a year, 45 rubles for the second, 40 rubles for the third, and 30 rubles for the fourth. In reality, they probably received less, but in quiet times their monetary salary (however, if there is a local salary) did not exceed 14 rubles. Therefore, while it was impossible to give estates, they compensated with money. Smolyans, for example, were given 15 rubles at a time.
    Crowds of “military men” who had heard of a good salary and were roaming all over Russia began to flock to Nizhny Novgorod, but the selection made by Pozharsky and Minin was cruel. The small, but skilled and disciplined army was in all respects superior to the slack, hungry host that stood at Moscow..

    (Approaching Moscow) the militia numbered, according to the latest estimates, about 7-8 thousand noble detachments from Nizhny Novgorod, Smolensk, Yaroslavl and other areas of the North-East, and about 3 thousand Cossacks”

    That is (contrary to the fantasies of Gringmut.) there was a noble army, but not an idiotic ” black hundred of merchants, artisans and workers”

  21. Kent Nationalist says
  22. John Burns, Gettysburg Partisan says

    Bastrakov announces his opening while not wearing a mask; he would be destroyed by the conformity police here in pozzed America.

    Don’t know the Russian etymology of Bastrakov, but it’s a strong-sounding name.

  23. I wonder how much the rent is. I don’t think a place like this would be possible near me – at least not an urban place you could walk to. Not a place in the nearer suburbs either.

    Traditionally, in the U.S., a lot of money is fed to weird, leftist bookshops via the corrupt college system. And then there is the status to be gained by operating one, for rich people who don’t have to worry so much about profit, but I don’t see how it would work on the Right.

    BTW, I’ve recently been reading “Mine Were of Trouble” by Kemp. An account of a English volunteer to the nationalist cause in the Spanish Civil War. I’ve been enjoying it so far. I wonder if anyone can recommend a similar book (from the nationalist perspective) for the Russian Revolution? Something that was translated into English, or else written in it.

  24. As late as the mid-2000s you could make quite a lot of money writing conservative-themed books like Nicholas Sparks, or the guy who wrote the book 1776.

  25. Daniel Chieh says

    He does not look Irish

  26. David McCullough? I didn’t think he was very political. Just from an older generation. I’m not familiar with Sparks.

    I think there is still a profitable market for Conservative, Inc. Where it gets harder is if you actually question the narrative. Like the book I mentioned, which in part questions the story about Guernica. I think it would be hard for such a book to find a mainstream publisher today.

    Of course, there are e-books. If you have an e-reader (and they can be had for dirt cheap), it’s not a bad format, but doesn’t it really just create more muck in which to bury and hide ideas? Anyway, it seems shocking that there is still no official, full English translation of Solzhenitsyn’s “Two Hundred Years Together.”

  27. Settle down, Kareniel.

  28. Philip Owen says

    Also English money and arms, Scottish officers and some English soldiers.

  29. Really who cares? My comments were just that self described”media attention”, is a local Moscow Mountain Jewish charity group, not any real kind of media.

    And for me personally, a tangential topic about Mountain Jews was the only interesting aspect about the story.

    • By the way as you said you have Netflix in the other topic – did you try “Mean Streets” by Martin Scorsese of 1973 which they have uploaded there now? His later films are not so good, but this was one of the only modernist films I found there.

  30. Also English money and arms, Scottish officers and some English soldiers.

    No. There were no deliveries of weapons and money from England, and the offer of a detachment of English mercenaries (about entering the service) was rejected by Prince Pozharsky

  31. I you’re interested in this topic at all, I would have thought that the views of mainstream Jews, say in Moscow, would be of more interest than that of an exotic sub-group?

    Thanks for alerting me to this new fare offered on Netflix, it’s one that I never did see. I usually try and view anything associated with Scorsese. Although not a Scorsese film, I do have “The Family” included already on my watch list – it’s a mafia movie with Robert DeNiro in it, a guy whose career is intimately related with Scorsese’s. Haven’t viewed it yet – so many films, so little time. 🙂

  32. And here I thought black hundreds had something to do with negroes.

  33. RadicalCenter says

    I thought it described the line outside Popeye’s.