Film Review: Traitors (Предатели)

Where did it all go wrong in Russia? Maria Pevchikh explains how liberal “reformers” and oligarchs looted the Russian state, and then appointed a corrupt, nondescript Chekist to power to guarantee their own immunity and ill-gotten gains.

Navalny Died a Barin

The Kremlins Didn’t Do It But Even If They Did Navalny Deserved It Anyway

The Z of History

Z Is The Last Letter in the Alphabet. What Were You Expecting?

Russia’s Nationalist Turn

How Putin Created the Russian National State

In the capstone to my Russia watching career, I argue that late Putinism has adopted the Russian nationalist program near wholesale. Or so it seemed at the time…

Путин, Тайвин

“Писателю Джорджу Мартину не позволили ответить на вопрос про Путина.” Но что, очередной триумф… #KremlinMindset. С другой стороны, и так все ясно. Путин очевидно Тайвин Ланнистер. Все его убожают как великогово стратега, многоходовочника. Реальная компетентность сильно приувеличена. Сам свои руки не пачкает. Уникальный талант к потери друзей, приобретение новых врагов. Абсолютно лоялен к “семьи.” Благополучие родных […]

Translation: Vladislav Surkov – “I Was by a Great Man’s Side” (part 2)

The continuation of Surkov’s interview (2/2) with Andrei Kolesnikov, in which he expounds on the meaning of friendship, leisure, love for the fatherland, and life itself. See part 1 here. Vladislav Surkov: “I Was by a Great Man’s Side” Part II Russian Pioneer’s regular columnist Vladislav Surkov has, at the request of RP’s editor in […]

Translation: Vladislav Surkov – “I Was by a Great Man’s Side” (part 1)

In which the “gray cardinal of the Kremlin” Vladislav Surkov waxes philosophical about Putin’s holiness, the nature of freedom, and why mistakes are good in his first interview (1/2), conducted with Andrei Ivanovich Kolesnikov, since leaving office. See part 2 here. Vladislav Surkov: I was by a Great Man’s Side Russian Pioneer’s regular columnist Vladislav Surkov has, […]

Translation: Is Putin a KGB Agent, a Hipster, or a Mensch?

In his Odnako blog Evgeny Super asks why Putin’s image seems to be improving of late. Turned off by the propaganda against the Russian President, he argues, Westerners are beginning to give him grudging respect. The Russian President’s Demonic Image Collapses in the Western Media Literally from the very first day of President Vladimir Putin’s […]

Putin’s Birthday, Birth Of A Legacy

The latest Expert Discussion Panel focused on an assessment of Putin’s historical legacy, on the occasion of his 60th birthday. Here I try to answer whether history will see Putin as the “founder of a modern and successful Russia”, or as a tragic figure who threw away his chance of greatness to the “delusion of indispensability”: […]

And The Wheel Spins On

[youtube=] “Despite it being a sad and fearful prospect, in my opinion a totalitarian reversion for a certain period of time is possible. But the danger lies not in the law enforcement agencies, the power organs, and not even the Army, but in our own mentalities – our people’s, our population’s, in ourselves. It all seems […]

Putin The Peaceful?

At least, surely more so than Obama, winner of 2009’s Nobel Peace Prize. Let’s do it by the numbers. Russia under Putin fought one war, in response to Georgian aggression against Ossetians with Russian citizenship and UN-mandated Russian peacekeepers. In contrast, Obama has participated in two wars of aggression: the Iraq War he inherited from G.W., […]

But Always, A Hero Comes Home

The King returns. As this is breaking news, please feel free to discuss this breaking news while I write up a more substantive post. In summary: (1) I was 75% wrong. (I gave Putin a 25% of returning to the PM; I thought the likeliest scenario would be for DAM to continue). (2) That said, […]