Da Russophile was one of the Western world'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.

Roundup of Russia Stuff

I’m writing this from an Internet café in Seattle, so I’ll be brief. (1) Congratulations to SWSPires – the winner of the promised $25 Amazon gift certificate for participating in The Russia Debate during its first month! Incidentally, he was only the sixth member to be drawn by lot from the members pool; it’s just […]

What’s Good for the Goose is Gaffed by the Gander

I will be going on a “working vacation” this Sunday, so I’m publishing my weekly contribution to VoR/US-Russia experts panel early: Okay, let’s get one thing clear from the get go: The Russian law requiring NGOs to declare themselves “foreign agents” if they engage in political activities and receive financing from abroad, is not illegitimate. […]

On Guriev

Apparently he fled to France after senior “systemic liberal” sources in the government told him he was not safe staying in Russia. So he played it safe. Interpretations about. The return of Stalinism; a new critical phase in the siloviki vs. civiliki clan war; Putin’s vindictiveness against a supporter of Khodorkovsky. The only problem, at […]

Russia Needs To Develop Its “Hard” Soft Power

My latest for VoR/US-Russia Experts panel: I think we have to make a distinction here between “soft” soft power and “hard” soft power. The US’ “soft” soft power is, of course, overwhelming. By “soft” soft power, I mean its accumulated cultural capital: The popularity of the English language, Hollywood, the Ivy League, Apple and American […]

The Stupid Witchhunt Against Levada

I think the real situation is somewhere in between the Kremlin’s position and Mark Adomanis’ and the rest of the Western and Russian liberal media’s alarmism. So as far as this is concerned, I really do think Gudkov is exaggerating, not to even speak of the inevitable and hysterical comparisons to Stalinism cropping up in some quarters. So what if Levada registers […]

The Russian Spectrum: An Inosmi In English

You’ve had to wait too long for this. But it is finally here. The Russian Spectrum – translating everything worth translating from the Russian media. I’ll keep it brief. (1) We need translators! If you can proficiently translate from Russian into English, I will be very happy to have you on board. First, the bad […]

Should I Give Up Already?

From a Freedom House publication:

The English Inosmi: The Russophere vs. The Russian Spectrum

Another day, another Internet project. Or more specifically, reviving an old project – the “English Inosmi” concept of translating articles and blog posts from the Russian media for a Western audience. The only problem was that I was perpetually dissatisfied, even if at a subconscious level, with the name: RossPress*. An elementary problem which I had somehow overlooked […]

The Russia Debate – The New Forum For Russia Watchers

I submit that the Russia watching community has no shortage of opinionated blogs, mercenary “information projects,” and warring factions of “CIA jackals” and “Kremlin bots.” What it greatly lacks, however, is a neutral, well-moderated meeting ground where a diversity of voices could engage in free and vigorous debates about all aspects of Russian politics, economics, and history. In […]

Demography And Leaping To Conclusions

But first, a note about those two articles published here this morning: As I hope many (if not all) of you guessed, it was a scheduling accident. In particular, as regards the piece “Russia’s Economy Is Now Europe’s Largest,” this is what I expected to see once the World Bank released its PPP-adjusted GNI figures for 2012 […]

The Russian Imperialist Genocide In Chechnya

Hard as it is to believe, but in the wake of the Boston Bombings, many Western commentators actively trying to find the roots of the Tsarnaev brothers’ rage in Russia’s “aggression” or even “genocide” of Chechnya. This is not to deny that Chechens did not have an exceptionally hard time of it in the 1990s. That said, […]

Angsty Chechens Come To Boston

Is discussed at the other blog. To add a couple of things that are Russia specific: (1) We now learn that the FBI had interviewed the older brother at the bequest of an unspecific foreign government – almost certainly Russia. Tamerlan had visited it for 6 months in 2011. I wonder if he established links with some of […]

DLotK Progress: The Chapters

Just to confirm that progress on DARK LORD OF THE KREMLIN is in full swing, with about 40% of the first draft done. I am aiming for publication around October. Here are the chapter titles to whet your appetites – as you can see, I spare no tired trope when writing about the Putin kleptocracy. […]

Storm In A BVI Teacup

If you remember a couple of weeks ago, the Internet was rocked – for a total of about one or two days – by a wave of leaks from the ICIJ about the identities of offshore account holders in the British Virgin Islands. What juicy revelations did we have about the henchmen of the kleptocratic Putin regime? […]

A Brief Intro To The Navalny Case

The anti-corruption crusader and best hope of the Russian race Navalny will be on trial for embezzlement on April 17th. And it has to be admitted that even many of us who tend to look at the liberal opposition’s claims of repression with a healthy degree of skepticism are now “plagued by vague suspicions.” It’s […]

The Anti-Magnitsky List

Here is the list of US citizens publicly barred from Russia in response to the US Magnitsky List. Are you familiar with any of them? Individuals alleged to be involved in the use and legalization of torture and indefinite confinement of prisoners – the “Guantanamo list”: 1. David Spears Addington – Chief of Staff of […]

Mark Feygin Treating Pussies Badly

Everybody in the Western media seems to have forgotten Pussy Riot. Well, not forgotten, they still wheel them out every so often as symbols of the repressiveness of the Putin regime – but news of actual developments in the affair have come to a standstill. Which is a pity, because they undermine the commonly accepted […]

The West Made Its Bed, Now Russia Will Lie In China’s

The latest US-Russia.org Experts Panel discussion was about Russia’s burgeoning partnership with China. I especially recommend Mercouris’ contribution which – although unfortunately titled by VoR’s editorial staff)) – is otherwise quite brilliant. My own effort follows below: First of all, let me preface that I’m one of the biggest China bulls around. Its economy in real […]

Navalny’s Promises To Put Putin In Jail

In a recent interview with the opposition Dozhd TV channel – which is, incidentally, available for public viewing in Russia as part of the NTV Plus satellite TV package – for the first time openly declared he wants to be President. He also speculated about the motivations behind the Kirovles fraud case being brought against […]

A Demographic Zastoi In Russia?

Russia’s life expectancy is said to have decreased to 69.70 years, from 69.83 years in 2011 (via Mark Adomanis via Alexei Kovalev via Paul Goble via Izvestia). The figure for 2011 had in its turn been previously lowered from 70.3 years. So what gives? Does this herald a “disturbing trend”? Is Russia entering a period of demographic stagnation, […]