Da Russophile

Da Russophile was one of the Anglosphere's most popular Russia blogs during its years of active operation from 2008 to 2014. Its main author, Anatoly Karlin, aimed to deconstruct Western myths about Russia through a focus on Russian language sources, verifiable facts, statistics, and opinion polls, and the application of a judicious comparative perspective. With the rise of many other media outlets offering a Russian perspective on global affairs, I made made the decision to archive this blog in October 2014. You may access a comprehensive list of its best posts at The Best of Da Russophile.

What is Ukraine’s Game Plan?

Even a few months ago, it looked as if Ukraine had taken a significant step towards Eurasian integration by signing up as an observer to the Customs Union between Russia, Kazakhstan, and Belarus. However, in the past month, evidence is emerging that it was but a temporary ploy to appease Russia while in reality speeding […]

Were the 2013 Moscow Elections falsified?

1. The CEC results Here they are. The turnout was 32%. Sergey Sobyanin – 51.37% Alexei Navalny – 27.24% Ivan Melnikov – 10.69% Sergey Mitrokhin – 3.51% Mikhail Degtyaryov – 2.86% Nikolai Levichev – 2.79% Invalid ballots – 1.53% 2. Pre-elections opinion polls: Navalny’s support – among those who indicated a clear preference for one candidate or another – rose from […]

OPEN DISCUSSION: The Moscow Elections, 2013

A couple of polls to provide the fodder for the subsequent discussions. Feel free to provide an exact figure (to one decimal place) for Navalny’s percentage share in the comments and we can have a little competition along the lines of the one we had for the Presidential elections. Background – Sobyanin vs. Navalny in Figures (July 23 […]

A Conversation with Weiss

As far as I understand, Michael D. Weiss is one of those neocons who loves Guantanamo but has a special soft spot in his heart for those Muslims who happen to be fighting Russia or some other state that the US doesn’t like much. When he isn’t chumming it up with his jihadist pals in […]

The Russian Aerospace Industry is Rapidly Recovering

More info against the Department of Russia Only Produces Oil and Vodka: Here are some graphs of Russian aerospace manufacturing courtesy of the Reality vs. Myths blog. (2013 figures are projections). Total helicopter construction has now basically converged with the levels of the late RSFSR. Aircraft construction is only halfway there, but its state is nonetheless leagues […]

James Kirchick: Vapid, Bloviating Troll

He got invited to RT to talk about Bradley Manning and his impending sentence. The gay journalist James Kirchick got invited to argue his viewpoint that Manning wa a traitor who deserved to be put to death. (I wonder what his newfound liberal groupies would make of that?). Instead, he used his airtime to go […]

Map of Natural Population Growth in the Former USSR in 2012

H/t AP for this beauty. It is for 2012. [Click to enlarge]. It speaks for itself so comprehensively that I’m not sure it’s worth commenting further on my part here. Let’s leave that to the comments section.

Russia’s Demographics Continue to Steadily Improve

Here it is, for those who read Russian. The May data also has emigration data, which is not included in the prelimary estimates – that is here. The main points to take away: Births fell 0.3% and deaths fell 0.5%; as a result, the overall natural decrease has fallen from -57,000 in 2012 to -53,000 in […]

The Russia Debate is Back From the Dead

Due to the popular outcry, my prior decision to close down the Russian politics and history forum is now formally reversed. Come on people – let’s make it work. Stop spamming each other in email newsletters. Refrain from creating thousands of off-topic comments on blog posts that will get lost in the Internet’s recesses as soon […]

An Examination of Navalny’s Trial and Conviction

The Western narrative on the Navalny case is that it was a selective and political prosecution on trumped up charges. I think that to a significant (but NOT full) extent that this interpretation is basically correct. So given the paucity of convincing counter-narratives, I was extremely pleased to see that Alexander Mercouris, a British lawyer who […]

Why 80 Chechens can “Own” A Russian City of 40,000 People

The commentator Дарман, who appears to be from Dagestan, argues that Chechens are quite different from the other North Caucasian nationalities. Apparently, minorities in Russia don’t like Chechens much more than do ethnic Russians. (Brings to mind that War Nerd quote, “They seem like one of those tribes that are either going to rule the world or go […]

Bribery in Russia has Either Recently Soared… or Plummeted

Or neither. Well, isn’t this a useless post? I am referring to the Global Corruption Barometer released by Transparency International a couple of weeks ago, which I covered at my other blog. For the most part, there were no surprises; the only really strange figures came from Taiwan, where 36% of people claimed to have paid […]