Living Not By Lies in Lithuania


Not a month goes by without the Ukrainian nationalists of multinational nationality otherwise known as the Russian non-systemic pro-Western opposition reminding us why they have sub-margin of error approval ratings.

Their latest Kunstkamera of a conference, the so-called Free Russian Forum, was held on 9-10 March in Vilnius, Lithuania. Some 250 specimens turned out to hear what the self-styled “founding fathers” of Russian democracy had in mind for Russia’s future. Despite featuring an impressive range of handshake-worthy people – Valeriya Novodvorkaya’s spiritual successor Konstantin Borovoy, WSJ op-ed writer Gary Kasparov, persecuted $75,000-a-speech former Duma deputy Ilya Ponomarev, persecuted contraband art smuggler Alfred Koch, Cato Institute fellow Andrey Illarianov, Pussy Rioter Maria Alekhina, noted cheese aficianado Masha Gessen, thinktank welfare recipients Lilia Shevtsova and Andreas Umland, and Freedom House political scientist Vytis Jurkonis – there was virtually no Western media coverage of this event. I ever so wonder why. /s

Anyhow, I consider that to be a complete disgrace. As a democratist committed to living not by lies, I felt it incumbent upon myself to help remedy this information blackout. For your freedom and mine!

Here are the leading luminaries of the pro-Western Russian opposition, in their own words:

Alfred Koch on Euro-Atlantic Values:

It is time to stage a self-occupation and to admit there are many things we can’t do ourselves. In practice, this means that some state functions will have to be given away: That of the Central Electoral Commission – to PACE, the Constitutional Court – to The Hague, we will have to  run electoral campaigns under the control of international organizations, and so forth. This is a voluntary renouncement of part of our sovereignty, but we have to do it under the clear understanding that we are suffering from schizophrenia and are seeing things which don’t exist in reality.

… on Stopping Putin’s Genocide in Syria:

One of the ideas raised was to give portable missile systems to the Syrian opposition so they could shoot down Putin’s fighter aces, analogous to American creativity in Afghanistan in the 1980s.

Gary Kasparov on Reform:

Historically, one of the conditions for successful reform in Russia has been geopolitical defeat. If this should involve the losses of territories which do not wish to live by Euro-Atlantic rules, then whatever. Russia is a big country. The USSR fell apart and nothing bad happened.

Konstantin Borovoy on Democratic Values:

A large part of Russian society is obsessed with revanchism and the resurrection of empire. That is why we can’t win without external intervention. To deal with this – as in postwar Germany and Japan – we will have to undertake lustrations and conduct investigations into personal affairs.

Evgeny Chivcharkin on Moral Superiority:

Because we liberals can’t cooperate with each other, it is the evil people who are winning. Because they are mindless worms, who know only how to march in lockstep, and we don’t.

Andrey Illarianov on What Is To Be Done:

Unfortunately, a large percentage of Russians are infected with the imperialist virus, and without its destruction the country can’t be free. There are several parts to this: Immediate cessation of the war aganist Ukraine and in Syria, an end to the confrontation with Turkey, the normalization of relations with the West, the return of Crimea and Donbass to Ukraine, and of South Ossetia and Abkhazia to Georgia, and the removal of Russian troops from Georgia and Ukraine.

Artemy Kivovich Troitsky on Civil Society:

There is a information war going on which creates real victims. Moreover, it produces quite a lot of “crippled minds.” So if you see a vatnik [a Russian redneck], throw a haymaker at him immediately. If he also has an iPhone, first take it away from him, then clock him.

Ilya Ponomarev on Effective Governance:

The government should share its sovereignty, as happen in the EU… the end goal of the state is to self-annihilate.

… on Why Putin is Responsible for Russian Liberals Being Unable to Get Anything Done

This [opposition] dialog on Russia after Putin is really hard to carry out within Russia, because there we’re all fighting for a piece of the pie: Elections for leadership positions, in which some people unify, while others split off… But here abroad we have nothing to divide!

Livia Shevtsova and Andreas Umland on Russia Weaponizing Information:

The former alerted the audience to Kremlin financing of Marine Le Pen, Viktor Orban, and the Pegida movement, while the latter claimed that the affair with the “raped girl” in Berlin has struck a blow to Russia’s image in Germany.

Borovoy to Russian journalists on Freedom of the Press:

I really hope that you get banned from journalistic activities. Scumbags have to be barred from educational, government, and journalistic activities. You are not a journalist or a media person. You are a propagandist…

Kasparov to Russian journalists on Freedom of the Press:

I am calling the police. You are a KGB freak. *proceeds to take Troitsky’s advice on clocking vatniks literally*

(The TV crew attempting to interview Kasparov were arrested by Lithuanian police and deported as a national security risk).

The Free Russian Forum’s Ultimatum to Putin, written by Borovoy:

Humanity must realize that the discussion is not about saving human lifes, but about saving life on planet Earth. The Forum calls on the leaders of the democratic community to present the following Ultimatum to Vladimir Putin:

If in the immediate future there is to be:

1) No withdrawal from the occupied territories of Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine;

2) No freeing of all illegally held hostages;

3) No withdrawal of Russian troops from Syria;

4) No cessation of anti-human Russian propanda throughout Russia and the entire world;

5) No moves towards restoring Russia’s constitutional democracy;

… then Russia will be subjected to a total blockade.

All political, economic, transport, and information ties with Russia are to be cut until the complete fulfillment of all conditions of the Ultimatum.

Kasparov’s Concluding Remarks:

Before this Forum, it was unclear whether we would be able to launch a serious dialog. But the intellectual quality of these discussions have exceeded the most optimistic expectations.

Kasparov is, of course, perfectly correct. Many of the participants in the Free Russia Forum did indeed make accurate and incisive observations. It’s hard not to sympathize with Troitsky’s lamentations about”crippled minds,” nor fault Koch for his “clear understanding that we are suffering from schizophrenia.”

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. i doubt that any westerner recognises the quote and the joke in “for your freedom and mine” 😀

  2. Anonymous says

    I love seeing the liberals go into full retard mode.

  3. Cagey Beast says

    Here’s a very interesting clip of Putin discussing the difference between de facto press freedom in Russia and the US:

  4. Hm. So deaths exceeding births up to 900,000/year while Their Sort was running Russia means nothing to them. They’re proud of it, I expect. Cleared out millions of vatniks & moskals.

    And they wonder why nobody votes for them.

  5. Immigrant from former USSR says

    Gary Kasparov (Weinstein) on Reform:
    Historically, one of the conditions for successful reform in Russia has been geopolitical defeat. If this should involve the losses of territories which do not wish to live by Euro-Atlantic rules, then whatever. Russia is a big country. The USSR fell apart and nothing bad happened.

    This son of Armenian mother and Jewish father, adored in USSR as young world chess champion,
    is ungrateful pig.
    When the pogrom of Armenians happen in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, around Gorbachev’s-Eltsin’s times,
    he did not arrange to move his relatives and friends to Armenia or to Israel. He moved them, several airplanes of them, to Russia.

    The said above is not the sign of approval of the present-day Government of Russian Federation. Detailed review of the actions of the latter Government (better to say, complete lack of adequate actions) may be found on the blog of El-Murid,
    a.k.a. Anatolii Evgeinevich Nesmijan, here:
    Blog is in Russian language.

  6. just a passer by says

    I don’t know about freedom of press in Russia, although counting how many journalists die every year, I would guess it is not doing very well, but what Putin claims about the US it’s absolutely false! If there is one thing that is free in the US is the press, be that private or financed by public money (I hope Putin knows that there is no public press in the US, he’s an expert right?).

  7. LOL. You apparently have no clue neither about “dying journos” in Russia (go back and read Karlin’s article about that, it may blow your mind), nor about the “free press” in the USA (laughable notion).

  8. That’s a pretty toxic, nonsensical brew of pseudo-bolshevism, anarchism and some other “isms” that I don’t even want to know about. With such an “opposition”, Putin has nothing to worry about.

  9. Anatoly:

    On the one hand, thank you for this.

    On the other hand, now I’m feeling sick to my stomach Monday morning. Bleh.

    Ничего страшного не произошло? Jesus, Mary and Joseph.

  10. Immigrant from former USSR says

    Mr. Hudson:
    Are you talking about some kind of “premonition” ?
    A late colleague of mine taught me the expression:
    “Life is awful. But consider the alternative.”
    This makes me moderately satisfied each morning, when I wake up.
    Best. I.f.f.U.

  11. just a passer by says

    The article you refer to points out only that less journalists die under Putin than under the previous ruler. Considering that journalists shouldn’t really die doing their work, I will still claim that freedom of the press is not doing well in Russia. As for the US my point was merely that, given that there is no public press, the press actually writes what they want! Now, we can discuss at length on whether what they write about is dictated by the “money” that pays them, but certainly it is not Obama, nor it will be the next president that dictates their agenda.

    I will also assume that you understand that ones a journalist is dead you don’t have to kill him/her again next year, correct? So, possibly those numbers might actually go down in future years. With this I also want to point out that I don’t think Putin is killing them, I am only saying that the climate is such that journalists are killed. Think about the uselessness of such a crime in a country where justice works, a journalist is no better than a police investigator, so that anything that a journalist discovers can be discovered again by any serious investigation, the facts would still be there. Now, think about a country where maybe these investigations don’t happen…

  12. Let’s not overlook the hosts:

    The venue is actually quite befitting –

  13. Because we liberals can’t cooperate with each other, it is the evil people who are winning. Because they are mindless worms, who know only how to march in lockstep, and we don’t.

    I like this for general use, don’t really understand the implications in the current context.

  14. As Tony Montana said in “Scarface,” “Every day above ground is a good day.” The sickness was a result of reading about what, in my view, was an absolutely monstrous display by these Russians. I am mostly on the Russian side of the Crimean/Ukrainian war, but I don’t want to see Ukraine destroyed, I want them to come to their senses.

    Salud/prosit/na zdorovie!

  15. just a passer by said: Now, we can discuss at length on whether what they write about is dictated by the “money” that pays them, but certainly it is not Obama, nor it will be the next president that dictates their agenda.

    Hunsdon said: Well bless your heart. I think it’s touching that a grownup has maintained such a . . . optimistic . . . outlook.

  16. just a passer by says

    Do you have any facts to support your conclusion that, for example, Obama is dictating the news agency what to say, and/or how to say it? I will be glad to look at any facts with an open mind. I doubt you can provide any.

  17. Mightypeon says

    Sometimes I wonder if those liberals are actually a very very clever Maskirovka ploy of the Russian authorities in order to channel western support aimed at toppling them into “aid receivers” that are completely unpalatable to normal Russian and that thus, even with western aid, represent no threat to the authorities. This would basically nullify the real threat associated with western backing.

  18. Anatoly Karlin says

    Obama is dictating the news agency what to say

    That’s not how it works.

  19. Russian Chalabis.

  20. @just a passer by

    In Germany, the editor of one of the top newspapers, Udo Ulfkotte, wrote a bestselling book about how he and those he worked with routinely planted stories for the CIA:
    He has a terminal illness and no family, which is why he was not afraid to speak about this.

    I very much doubt that Germany is an exception.

  21. just a passer by says

    That is exactly my point! Which goes back to my first comment where I was simply stating that Putin, or anyone else for him, cannot state that you have freedom of the press, de facto or not, in Russia! Claiming at the same time that such freedom instead does not exist in the United States!

    I will still claim that it is actually the opposite that is closer to the truth, even if not exactly truthful, as anyone that dissented from the “official” GWB policy found out right after 9-11…. when sometimes even asking a question would have turned you into a traitor! We must though remind ourselves that those were difficult times and such an environment is not around anymore in the US, while a very similar situation is what is still happening in Russia now under Putin and, I would claim, because of Putin!