No Sputnik with Soviet Liberals

I have already written about the Russian government’s blocking of Sputnik i Pogrom, Russia’s foremost nationalist resource.

Two politicians have taken a clear stance on this. Zhirinovsky was one. I have been weighing whether to vote for him or Putin (if only to “reward” him for Crimea) in March 2018. Well, the decision is vastly easier now.

Another supporter is Sergey Shargulin, a Communist deputy, who has sent a letter to the General Prosecutor requesting they provision the materials on the basis of which they were blocked. This is probably connected to Shargulin having been an active supporter of the Donbass resistance, so to hear inanities such as SiP’s support for Ukrainian nationalists must have been especially jarring for him.

The liberals have generally approved of this, since Russian liberalism has little to do with liberal values as such (e.g. freedom of speech) and is more often a respectable fig-leaf for Russophobia and Western cargo cultism. (Alexey Kovalev is a consistently honorable exception).

Perhaps surprising to some – though it shouldn’t be – was the joyous reaction of Stalinists and Eurasianists, such as Israel Shamir. He has not only celebrated the “closure” of that “Vlasovite site,” but believes the authorities haven’t gone far enough; nothing less than a prison term under Article 282 would suffice!

One might think that cheering political prosecution is a rather incongruent position for someone labeled as a Holocaust denier by the Western media, but apparently SiP sinned by not being hard enough on the Jews. Not making this up! “A desperate attempt to set Russians against everyone: Against Armenians, against the Kyrgyz, against Ukrainians. But not against the Jews! They obviously get their money from the CIA, and they wouldn’t give them a penny if they criticized the Jews.

It’s hard to see where to even begin to comment.

I mean, kudos to Shamir for thinking up one of the more… idiosyncratic rationalizations for having a legal system in which obese 90 IQ bureaucrats decide what Russians are allowed to read on Russian taxpayer money (or try to, anyway; Russians are aware of VPN). Hopefully he takes this as a compliment.

So instead I will make just two points. First, this is a good illustration of why Stalinists and Eurasianists are not Russian nationalists (as the Western media almost always clumps them), and why the two factions don’t usually want to have anything to do with each other.

Second, I do want to take the opportunity to specifically address the “Vlasovite” smear that is repeatedly lobbed at Russian nationalists, including SiP, by Stalinists, Eurasianists, and assorted Soviet people.

Vlasov was an exemplary Soviet officer. He did not disappear in the 1937 military purges. Instead, he “faithfully followed the party line” as a member of military tribunals, and enjoyed steady career progression. He so impressed his superiors that he was awarded with a golden watch in 1940. But after going over to the Germans, he suddenly became a resolute enemy of Bolshevik tyranny. The Prague Manifesto, compiled in 1944 under Nazi tutelage, praised the ideals of the February revolution, supported the self-determination of the nations within the USSR (that is, an independent Ukraine, Belarus, etc), and promised to fight against “reactionary forces.”

All of that is in direct opposition to what Russian nationalism stands for. But it is also very congruent with the ideals of the rootless liberal elites who ruled Russia in the 1990s, and continue to exercise significant cultural and economic power today. Who are themselves in large part just the mutant offspring of the late Soviet nomenklatura. (The case of Nobel Peace Prize winner Svetlana Alexievich is particularly instructive: A woman who transitioned seamlessly from writing cringeworthy odes to the ethnic Polish founder of the Soviet secret police Dzerzhinsky to penning Russophobic screeds, she is perhaps the quintessential representative of this “Soviet-liberal” class).

Now here’s the thing. To my knowledge, SiP has never expressed any support or sympathy for Vlasov. (I’ve read a good percentage of everything they’ve written since about 2014, so I am reasonably qualified to make this judgment).

They have, however, pointed out inconvenient facts – including the critical observation that Vlasov was a successful product of the Soviet system and a quintesential Soviet person (as judged by that system itself until 1942).

But for devotees of a tyrant who literally erased people who fell afoul of him from historical record, this might well be more infuriating than if SiP actually were the swastika-toting Vlasovites of their imagination.

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. Alexey Kovalev is a good man. I wish more Russians debunked disinformation like he does.

  2. Now here’s the thing. To my knowledge, SiP has never expressed any support or sympathy for Vlasov

    Yet, self-proclaimed “consciousness of Russia”, Solzhenitsyn, was a huge Vlasov’s fan. so much so that even credited Bunyachenko’s Division with “liberation” of Prague in May of 1945–an operational, tactical (and historical) absurd which contradicts even basic military common sense.

    They have, however, pointed out inconvenient facts – including the critical observation that Vlasov was a successful product of the Soviet system and a quintesential Soviet person (as judged by that system itself until 1942).

    These “inconvenient” facts have been pointed out very many times, including by what could be defined as patriotic historians, before Sputnik i Pogrom ever got to this topic. In fact, judging by Prosvirnin’s rather tender age, this was done even before he got himself into the writing business. I think Sergo Beria’s (yes, the son of famous Narkom) memoirs from mid-1990s are a good primer on a Party “kitchen” during times of Stalin and Beria–late Sergo sure as hell knew on several orders of magnitude more about it than Prosvirnin.

  3. Mao Cheng Ji says

    Haven’t finished reading, but this:

    Western cargo cultism

    …is a beautiful turn of phrase for describing the essence of Russian ‘liberals’. Beautiful. My sincere compliments.

  4. These “inconvenient” facts have been pointed out very many times, including by what could be defined as patriotic historians, before Sputnik i Pogrom ever got to this topic.

    I don’t think that the point was how SiP did such a novel research on the topic. The point was that it’s not “Vlasovite”.

  5. Mao Cheng Ji says

    As for Gen. Vlasov, the guy was captured by the Nazis, for chrissake. His story is the story of a guy who rose through the ranks and wasn’t a hero. The guy wanted to live, and that’s all there is to it. I don’t think there is any ideological lesson here.

  6. Daniil Adamov says

    Three cheers for Zhirik, I suppose. I’m not a fan of that site in the slightest, but cracking down on it like that is ridiculous (albeit no new line has been crossed with this, of course) and the response of most liberals to it is pathetic (no new line there either, of course).

  7. Daniil Adamov says

    Doesn’t really matter. I agree that one could be more fair to him and understanding of his circumstances, but on the other hand he was a turncoat in a war for survival. People here hate him and for understandable reasons; they also tend to lash out instinctively against anyone who defends him as that violates an important taboo. Ideology does not enter into it, you’re right (except inasfar as some fringe ideologies are obviously more happy sacred cows). It’s much more visceral than that.

  8. Daniil Adamov says

    As a sidenote it’s rather amusing that Zhirinovsky, the fire-breathing fascist, is so often the voice for common sense in Russia. See also his stance on the propaganda of homosexuality law. Of course, he has his own moments (attacking free speech rights of certain opposition liberals I think? I forget right now) but to my knowledge those tend to be rather more superficial and on more transient issues.

  9. Daniil Adamov says

    Re: Aleksievich. I haven’t really followed anything relating to her but this little story did catch my eyes: (Russian) Typical liberal indeed.

  10. See also his stance on the propaganda of homosexuality law.

    What was this?

  11. Mightypeon says

    Meanwhile, Rokosovsky was one of the most interesting and imho awesome person of the 20th century.
    As a pole with noble origins he was also pretty much a non typical Soviet officer.

    Awesome shit Rokosovsky did:

    -Allegedly trolled/bullshitted his NKVD torturers (he never confessed nor denunciated anyone) into denouncing each other.
    -Got send to keep Smolensk from being encircled. Stalin gave him like, 2 wagons and some unsecured radios for that. Put the Radios to good use by pretending to be an army, meanwhile formed an actual army out of stragglers coming out of Smolensk. Held Yartsevo way longer then was reasonable.
    -Got the totally cool job of playing shock absorber during the battle of Moscow. His army had an alloted life expectancy of 3-4 days, they were still around at the end.
    -Captured himself a German marshall at Stalingrad
    -Bagration was his brainchild
    -Actually had a pretty neat plan to save warsaw during the uprising, cross the vistula, wrap around the germans while sending the AK just enough supplies that they dont all die, then create a massive encirclement in Warsaw. Plan had, since he tried hard to get Stalin to sign on (Zhukov did) the line “turn Warsaw into a Stalingrad at the Vistula” in it. Stalin sadly was “Haha, lol no.”
    -Had the by far harshest stance towards rapists and looters in the red army.

  12. Verymuchalive says

    Russian liberals aren’t Liberal because Western liberals are no longer Liberal. They don’t believe in Free Speech, Rule of Law and Limited Government. Contrast William Ewart Gladstone with William Jefferson Clinton.

  13. Gerard1234 says

    er…no he isn’t you cretin. Tolya embarasses himself by writing favorably about that lying shitbag Kovalev….an irrelevant, unemployable,layabout dipshit