Translation: Tatyana Korchevnaya – On Liberal Web Brigades

It is a pity that foreigners are not privy to the wild and wacky world of LiveJournal, Russia’s premier blogging site – many prominent people have accounts there and traditions of opposition and kompromat makes for a lively stream of scandal.

One recent case involved Tatyana Korchevnaya, who used to be a prominent member of the Russian “liberal” opposition (I’ve explained why I use apostrophes around the word in that context before and my translation of her work below will clarify it further) and ran one of the top 10 Russian political blogs, but now condemns Soros funded evangelical groups / NGOs in Russia and the mafia linked Vladivostok demonstrators. She made a huge splash and political Runet is abuzz with the story. Whatever made her change her mind?

She came to the movement young, naive and with a Manichean worldview in which the Putinists were bad and the oppositionists good. Little by little that black and white picture dissolved into the gray cynicism of virtual politics. In a nutshell, she became disillusioned with how the “liberals” organized web brigades, the cynicism of their leaders and the zombiesm of their followers and above all their unbearable hypocrisy. They put “democratic” ideals above common human decency and empathy, tossing aside their cripples once they were no longer useful in the fight (on which note, LR recently provided a good example of this) and treated ordinary Russians as a herd to be guided and manipulated. As in the movie Night Watch, we realize that the borders between good and evil are porous, if they exist at all, and that should their cancer spread and the likes of Kasparov and Limonov ever come to power in Russia we are doomed to replay the history of Bolshevik Terror.

Read all about it here in the original Russian or my English translation below. She writes in a very colloquial style and I did my best to maintain a balance between keeping it both true and readable. I also tried to fill in several points of possible confusion (it was not a well organized text) and tried to find suitable English replacements for Russian idioms. This is a two part series. Enjoy!

TRANSLATION: Tatyana Korchevnaya LJ post of Feb 24, 2009, Part 1

(; accessed March 7, 2009)

Warning: I will not reveal any of your true names1 or LiveJournal2 (LJ) identities, but only in so far that you do not force my hand.

I decided to write all this only now because by this time the “for” arguments begin to outnumber those “against”. Call me a traitor all you like, I couldn’t care less – I’m just sick and tired of your lies and the lies of your (and not that long ago, my) leaders.

When you only have access to limited information, your knowledge, your beliefs and your opinions all revolve around that information. Sometimes, the more information you acquire – the more you understand that sometimes you go off on a wrong track.

It is natural for good people to be mistaken from time to time. What is inexcusable is to continue deceiving other people, and yourselves, even after receiving new information and realizing, knowing, that you strayed into error.

As I said before, I’m usually a nice girl – but I also mentioned that I don’t like it when people lie.

I will now tell you a snippet of history from my life. I have more than enough evidence that it all happened. The problem is that if I were to reveal it, it will not only confirm my story but will also strongly compromise everyone else who is mixed up in this mess. And so they have a choice – accuse me of lying (with all the consequences for them therein) or keep their peace forever.

Yes, I understand that there might be consequences for myself – I’ve been warned more than a few times already. But I’ve insured myself…

So let’s start from the beginning. It was an ordinary day in the spring of 2007. I, Tatyana Korchevnaya, was surfing the Internet and reading my Friends list. On the pages of the online community namarsh_ru3, I stumbled across a post in which an unbeknown to me woman was soliciting communication from people who’d like to participate in a project to link together Dissenters4 on the Web.

Now I’m always for linking people together, so I sent her a reply.

I got my answer. I was told to swallow the red pill5, acquire an anonymous mail folder6 in an Internet-cafe and continue corresponding from there. I did this.

Then I started receiving letters. In one of them there were several IQ tests, personality tests and a form “About Myself” which I had to fill in. I was asked about my nationality in one of them, to which I truthfully replied that I was Russian. After several more letters they requested me to provide links to my discussions on the Internet so that they could gauge how good an opponent I was of the so-called “Kremlin web brigade”7.

For by that time I was already registering and debating with “defenders of the regime” wherever I could under my own name. I always included my phone number, cell phone number, etc, in my sig. Why did I do this?

After the Moscow Dissenters arrived to our gatherings in Nakhodka and at around the time when we joined the United Civil Front8 (UCF), I went from opposing the local authorities9 to dissenting against our government in general – I became a full-fledged Dissenter. Many people were writing about our movement on forums and sympathizing with us, and I wanted to reply to them. I also suffered from a sense of loneliness, for I had an idea, information – and I wanted to share it with people. Yes, I still believed in many things back then, and when I believe in something, I tell everyone about it.

I made an evolutionary jump, becoming an active, convinced adept of the revolution, any revolution, because I had had enough of the state’s criminal wantonness10. I believed all bad people were for Putin, and all good people – for the UCF and Other Russia; I respected the likes of Limonov and Kasparov for their words (which at the time did not seem to me to be at odds with their actions) and respected everyone who supported them, whether I knew them or not.

Although I wasn’t quite as woolheadedly naive as you might think from above – after all by summer 2006 I had already done time as a “terrorist”11 and was well acquainted with many famous figures in the opposition.

And here I am, sitting at home and answering all your letters, and on the other end of the line people are already forming positive opinions about me as well, as an impression of me as a ninny. But I’m a ninny only in a nice sense. To all those for whom it is necessary, I am not a ninny at all. Hell no! Although the attentive reader would have already noticed this. 🙂

Anyway, back to the story. They perused the links to my online discussions and wrote to tell me that I debate very well, that I have a good “command of the word”, etc. And I love it when I’m congratulated. 🙂

But they also mentioned that to participate in the project not only did I need to know how to elegantly own opponents12, but also how to operate with facts, pass on information and several other things of this nature. I said that although I could do all that, it is not the brigadniki13 who need facts but ordinary people who go on the Internet to get info and to talk about the chaos in the country. After all, replying to comments along the lines of “You have no boobs!” or “Have you ever tried getting married?” is pointless.

Why? Because their only goal in a debate is to a) bait their opponent and portray her as a schizo and b) to bury an important thread under a heap of unrelated comments so as to distract readers’s attention and reduce everything to floods and flames14. I mean in real life when we don’t care for someone’s opinions, do we go to his house for hours, days, months and years on end, just to bait and goad him? Of course not. Because we’ve got all got our own lives, our own interests. No-one will ever go to a Pugacheva15 fan club just to try convincing its members that she is a bad singer. Why then do some people on the Internet behave differently? It would seem the answer is obvious.

They told me that I understood the situation well and asked me to draft a manual of instructions for those who weren’t as advanced or experienced as myself. I just borrowed the manual used by the brigadniki, because their “Kremlinist” methods were already well developed16. It’s not as if it was something sacred and untouchable17.

So I wrote the manual and sent it off. And they sent me an air ticket to Moscow.

Now that was quite curious – is it really that there’s no-one in Moscow who’s as clever as me, or else why spend so much money to get me there? (Yes, back then I had no idea of how big they were and that this was all pennies to them). The last time I was in Moscow was when I was 7 years old and now I kind of needed to go there again. True, I was afraid to fly there, for the “scars” from last summers’ attempt to reach Moscow hadn’t yet healed18. But then again they did send the money, plus I was lonely, I wanted to meet up with all the opposition in real life, and anyway, what the hell – why not go to Moscow?

And yikes, its not as if they hired me as some kind of hitwoman, but rather to share my experiences with other “young revolutionaries” like myself, for the sake of destroying the regime, if you will. I can write a whole book on those 45 days I spent there, if I wasn’t so lazy. I arrived in Moscow and they greeted me.

For some reason the woman said she was Jewish. This was the first Jewess whom I had ever met in my life. She asked me about my views on Jews. I replied that I can’t have much in the way of views since I don’t know anything about them, but she kept insisting that I confirm that I don’t have any hidden Antisemitism. I replied truthfully that I don’t have any such thing.

Not to mention that at the time I had already spent two years in the United Civil Front, whose leaders and nearly all Bureau members are Jews, so obviously this couldn’t have annoyed me that much.

This topic was raised again several times. One day she became very upset after returning from a Dissenters March, where two guys in the crowd said something along the lines of “Ah, these foul Yids, they have taken over the whole country they have”. She said that she had had enough of the hatred which we Russians project to her people.

I said that I was a Russian, a very Russian Russian, and I don’t have any Jews in my family tree, or indeed any other people. I mean I don’t have anything against her, so why is she so mad against all Russians? But either I was unconvincing or my words fell on deaf years. She continued that Jewish children know Brodsky19 by heart by the age of six while their Russian counterparts just play football or throw snowballs at each other and don’t develop at all. I replied that I too knew all the sonnets of Shakespeare by heart by six. But I’m not a Jewish child. Don’t belittle others to make yourself look better, I said.

In this world you can’t ever make everybody love you – Jew or Russian, no matter who, if someone wants to hurt you, they will, no matter your ethnicity – they’ll just find another reason. I am Russian, but other Russians can offend me just as easily as Jews or anyone else. And in general whenever a person is vulnerable there will be those who will take advantage of his vulnerability to kick him down. Anyway, sorry for the brief diversion.

On the other hand I understood a specific feature of the Jewish disposition – they are a people with many complexes20, complexes that take over and drive them. Such people no longer belong to themselves. I was possibly not the first one to understand this, nor the only one, but I did by myself. Along with their mother’s milk they’ve internalized that everybody everywhere always oppresses them, and hence live with hatred towards everyone around them, always ready to oppress them right back.

She admitted that the tipping factor leading to my invitation to Moscow was that I wrote about reading the “Rose of the World” by Daniil Andreyev. Apparently he too was a Jew. I sure never realized that there were so many Jews everywhere before this trip, but she told me all about it.

I can’t say that I’d actually read this book, as it was my mum and aunt who were fans of occult literature, but I more or less know what it was about. Or to be more specific I internalized one idea from the book, which is that religion divides people and that it’s better to get together and to unite everyone. She was rather unpleasantly surprised by my exegesis, but she never told me how she interpreted the book21. I didn’t have a return ticket, but the UCF bought me one and sent me back home.

As my favorite poet put it (also a Jew, by the way) – “You can convince the whole country of anything, most likely, if you mutilate spirit and reason with the help of a printing press”22. But since we, the opposition, didn’t have money for newspapers or large volumes, and were not allowed on TV, only one media source was still left open to us – not the most popular, but still the freest – the Internet. The choice of whether to surrender it entirely to official propaganda or to fight back and seize at least a small part of it was entirely up to us.

Furthermore, the Internet was the only media space where it is possible to establish feedback and dialog. Where it must be established. After all, wh

o knows how people react to program after program on the main TV channel of the country – I mean, it’s not as if anyone measures the volume of spittle on TV screens around the country, right? But on forums, on LJ, etc, you can observe people’s feelings, discover their opinions, etc.

But, as is usually the case in social relations… Do you remember how in the film “The House that Swift Built” – “I hired actors to show the people this, but the powers that be proved cannier. They hired the audience…”. So. They explained that the aim of the project is to unite many Dissenters across the country, differing from each other in status, social position and other such things. That said that it is being created under adverse conditions – “harsh oppression of the opposition” – and that very soon there will come a revolutionary situation in the country, when the state will exert its energies towards suppressing anti-regime information on the Internet and that we must become the detachment responsible for breaking up this information blockade. And they said that the project already has a conception and many other such things, up to patrons in the “enemy camp”, as well as skilled hackers and other such folks.

Not everyone would be required to participate in the debates, as some will simply spread information to every corner of Runet23, and will need to know how to defend it in case our opinion – the correct opinion, fails to win against their opinion – the incorrect one. So as to prevent everyone in our team from being uncovered in one fell swoop, they developed a clandestine cell system24 wherein one person knows only four others from her detachment, as well as her manager; and the manager knows only the four people in her command as well as her own manager. The other four don’t know each other at all.

They explained to me that these precautions were taken so that if it were uncovered by the bloodthirsty regime25, for example if they got hold of me and tortured me, then I would be unable to betray anyone else and the project will continue its work “without pausing for its fallen soldier”26. They told me about the array of torture options available to the regime, that there exist truth chemicals that can be injected into someone’s bloodstream which will force her to rapidly spill out and betray anyone and everything; quite a change from the days of Joan d’Arc, where none of this was possible and they had to burn her. Again, sorry for using so many words, its easier for me to write this way.

And if they figure me out and I crack, I would only know my “manager” and the four members of my cell. That is, if I choose to be the leader of the cell. But if I don’t agree to participate in it straight away, then I will know only her which is not so bad because I will not tell anyone anyway, or they’ll sooner believe her, than me. There.

Our main agents would preferably live not in Moscow, but in some shitty-ass backwater27, like myself in Nakhodka. The wider the net the better it would be for everyone. Why that is so, I did not understand then.

We would be required not to go under own names in the Internet so as to not get unmasked before our time. This was very much in contradiction to my values – the gist of it was that nobody would listen to anonymous Dissenter crybabies, nor would the authorities respect them, and this is why I always wrote everything I thought about our government under my own name everywhere. For I myself would have given no heed to some random shit-stirrer28, some coward who cannot stand up and expose the regime in full view but instead prefers to hide behind nicknames, proxy servers, etc. And I’d never agree with him because I don’t like cowards.

I believe that if someone is afraid to say what they think out loud from their own names then they are not a free person – it’s as if they’re playing for both teams. That is, at work he is a Putinist29, but then he comes home, logs in as Lusechka and off he goes “exposing” the regime. And the regime quails in terror – yeah, right! And anyway if you shrink from writing something you believe in from under your true name, but instead shriek, “It’s time to grab the pitchforks, for its time!” then the revolution should not be entrusted to you, coward! For as it stands you’re just a fleck in the crowd, zombified, capable of doing something. And generally, what is the only thing crowds are capable of? Chaos. A senseless and merciless bunt. And then you wake up, sober up and again gather round your porno sites, whining: “Oh what a bad, bad regime!”

But they explained me that I was in the wrong. I was supposed to be Vasya O. on one forum, on another – Lolita, on a third – Sergei Petrovich Kozlov. I could remain in LJ under my own name, but only if I left no traces tying me to my three previous alter egos.

And we would have an internal network, where our team members knew each other only by our virtual nicknames (mine was “Daughter”), and if, for example, we have difficulty “convincing” an opponent or making him out as a donkey before the other readers, we would call on our cell buddies for help or our own clones from other forums. I was OK with my secret nickname – “Daughter”, though a year, or perhaps a bit later, I finally understood the why of it. Or more accurately, the whose.

1Inspired by V. Vinge’s sci-fi novel of the same name, I will refer to real life names as “true names”.

2LiveJournal is the most popular blogging site in Russia (

3намарш_ру (, “liberal” opposition site “To the March!”.

4Несогласные – lit., “those who do not agree” (with the government, Medvedev, Putin, etc).

5“Съесть” – lit., “eat up”. Given the spirit of this writing, I think the Matrix reference is appropriate.

6“Левый ящик” – lit., “left drawer”.

7“Kремлевской бригаде в сети” – there is a theory amongst elements of the “liberal” community in Russia that there are Kremlin-sponsored “brigades” working to promote pro-Putin, pro-security forces and totalitarian opinions on Runet. See the original article “Commissars of the Internet” by A. Polyanskaya, A. Krivov and I. Lomko ( or the English translation ( For a critique, see A.Yusopovsky’s “Conspiracy Theory” (

8Объединённый Гражданский Фронт – led by Kasparov and part of the Other Russia coalition (

9“городской несогласной” – lit., “those who disagree of the city”.

10“беспредел” – lit., “without limits”. Spread from criminal argot to mass usage in the early 1990’s.


12“Умение «красиво послать»”.

13“Бригадник”, i.e. members of the “Kremlin web brigades”.

14“Свести все к флуду и флейму” – “flood” as in spam and “flames” as in insults and threats.

15Alla Pugacheva, famous Russian singer.

16“Достаточно засаленной” – lit., “well-salted”.

17“Не Боги там ее обжигали” – lit., “it’s not that the Gods fired it”, i.e. usually applied to clay pottery in the olden days.

18This refers to the Other Russia summit in Moscow which took place in July 2006. Korchevnaya says that she tried to go to Moscow by train but was detained by the local OMON at Chita, beaten and imprisoned for several days ( thus preventing her from attending.

19I. Brodsky, Jewish Soviet poet.

20“Очень закомплексованные люди”.

21We can make some educated guesses however. According to this mystical book, Russia is supposed to be the civilization through which utopian global unity (the Rose of the World) is supposed to manifest itself on Earth; but that cannot happen unless and until Russia ceases to exist as an empire. Draw your own conclusions. The book is available online (

22I. Guberman.

23The Russian Internet.

24“Система «звездочки»” – lit., asterisk/little star system which I take to mean a clandestine cell system.

25“Кровавый режим” – lit., “bloody regime”, is used frequently in this (and other “liberal”) texts.

26“Не заметил бы потери бойца” – lit., “wouldn’t have noticed the loss of a fighter”. Sounds quite Bolshevik to me.

27“В Зажопинсках”.

28“«Ляпиздрончика» какого-нибудь”.

29“Путиноид” – “putinoid”.

Part 2

OK, let’s go step by step. Example. A discussion about a Dissenters March. Three forumers write – “You’re all fags and Orangeists1”. And those reading it will see, that’s how people think about them, therefore that’s what they are. But there I enter the discussion, as tanya_ucf2; then Sergei Petrovich Kozlov happens to come by and help me out, tailed by Lolita. Now it’s three versus three. And now my cell buddies pull over, making us 3 + 4 = 7 strong.

Now we start throwing each other links and participating in discussions on other forums, where each of us was already known as a dog breeder enthusiast or playgirl or physics teacher or sport mom. That is, we don’t come out as Dissenters until the moment is ripe. First we work on developing the trust of other people, for it is always easier to convert an already like-minded group than to try winning them over from zero. I don’t know who said this first, perhaps I did.

Another example. For the first two months at a cactus-growers forum we write things like: “Your cactuses are so cool!”, and they’d reply with thx and :* kisses, and then we casually throw in: “Yeah and there was this march, so many people killed, wounded, etc”. And these people, the electorate so to speak, receive info even while doing nothing more than hanging out at cactus-growing forums. Not only do get this info, but they also get to see how “everybody” reacts to it. And who exactly is this “everybody”? That’s right. It’s us – the project participants, 3 people and our 9+ avatars.

Am I explaining this clearly? At the time this was all clear to me too and I was OK with it.

At the time I had not yet joined the project all-out, since apparently only four people had yet given their consent to participate which was too little. But I was already given the task of registering on the forum of the Daily Journal3, where my mom had been hanging out for more than a year. Mother stumbled upon it once upon a time and remained there, and even somehow managed to become its president, which is why she has the nickname that she has on LJ4. Now I also registered there previously, but I had forgotten my password. I had also joined My Circle5, but forgot its password too and even the email I used to register. And in general since I was on so many different forums and sites I didn’t write down my passwords anywhere, so that the bloodthirsty regime could not uncover them, but rather forgot most of them. But that’s all to the good.

Together with that woman6 we set off finding and recruiting new people. And one fine day there arrived a certain person. She said he would soon arrive by train and I was to meet him and then she too would come by. She also told me that he also has a LJ account, but I was not to know his identity and that to me he was to be just Sergei, and nothing else. For the fewer people I knew the fewer people I’d be able to betray if I was ever apprehended by the authorities.

I met him, we talked for five minutes and I told him his true name on LJ. I mean it’s not my fault that by that time I had already memorized the commenting styles of all Dissenters by heart, and it wasn’t very hard for me to identify someone by two or three key words they typically use. He could have said I was mistaken, but instead he became reddened and flustered, and it was clear I was right on the mark.

But nonetheless we agreed that we never met, that we didn’t see each other here and so on. And note that even now I’m not exposing him. I’m not ratting anyone out unless they they wanna play the goat and deny this7. She didn’t like that I blew his cover, didn’t appreciate my attitude.

It’s just that I’ve been very attentive and had a good memory and sense of logic since childhood. Or maybe just imitated my mom. 🙂 For my mom and I communicated with everyone and went there and everywhere all the time, and many people agreed with us and tried to participate in our enterprises however they could.

And it so happened that at this time there was a Dissenters March in July in Moscow8 and Yuri Chervinchuk, leader of the Moscow’s National Bolsheviks, said something along the lines of “and Yeltsin was bad too”. And then all the Union of Rightist Forces9 (SPS) folks began raising a fuss over how offended they were over his words. And then Limonov apparently slighted Masha Gaidar, apparently by not allowing her to take the podium.

Afterwards when they were analyzing the schedule of flights home in the offices of the United Civil Front, I said that I too agree with what Chervinchuk had to say. And when I came back home I also told everyone that I support Yuri Chervinchuk and that I don’t love the likes of Chubais, Gaidar, Nemtsov, Berezovsky, etc, much more than I love Putin.

I said this without any second thoughts, assuming this is all OK and understandable – but actually no, it wasn’t. For the unity of the opposition was built on the principle of uncompromising opposition to Putin. The question of who we’d support after the destruction of the regime was delegated to the future. I was told – what, you don’t support SPS??

And later she even wrote me a comment on my LiveJournal that if I continued dissing SPS then I would become her enemy. Now I’ve never had a single enemy, and here you go, there appeared an enemy. No, no, I don’t have enemies! I love everyone! I want everyone to open up and stop lying, stop it with their stupid complexes, cynicism, zombieism, etc! I know I can do this. But they need to want this themselves, and as of now they don’t want it.

I don’t like it when people threaten me. And they always threaten me. Yes, those, who call themselves the opposition, write, for example, that I “might meet the fate of Larisa Arap10”. That is, the opposition is not averse to using the same methods which the authorities use against them.

Everything I do and will continue doing is geared towards one thing – exposing them, unclouding their fog of lies11. And that’s all.

For by that time I had already long been a member of the SPS branch in my city – in fact from the first days of their foundation there (but I already wrote much about that), and long enough to understand what they are and how they do things. And I said that the main thing is not that I am against SPS, but that I’m for the UCF and for Kasparov. And I asked them, why is this project not focused on Kasparov – I mean, wasn’t it created for him?

“Yes, but not quite. It’s against the regime, but not quite for Kasparov, but for him and also someone else”.

Back then I didn’t understand who was that someone else.

Later I understood.

Then they told me that they wanted to be even more confident in me and that I’d have to see a psychologist-psychotherapist. They gave me money and his address (it’s on the Old Arbat street) and I went off to see him.

The psychologist said only one thing – “Tell me about yourself”.

“About me? Where should I begin?” I replied.

“From the beginning,” the psychologist said.

And I told him everything from the beginning. I talked for 40 minutes, then he said – “All’s understood, you can go now”.

“But why don’t you tell me as well, I mean I’m interested too,” I said.

He replied that he’d tell those who sent me to him. I mean why not just tell me, that I’m not inclined towards treachery, enemy recruitment and things of that nature.

*whisper* You remember, right, who told me about this again a year later?

That’s right, the NLP12 practitioners at the NLP-seminar in St.-Petersburg under the Solidarity13 movement. They told me that this is necessary because there will a come a time when the bloodthirsty regime will bind and torture us, repress us as in the days of old, lock us up in lunatic asylums and practice punitive psychiatry against us. And for insurance we need to consult doctors now, before the storm, so that if worst comes to worst they could give authorities proof that we’re sane – for it is better to do time in prison than in a madhouse, they said.

With every passing day I become ever more saddened by the things they told me. I began to experience hitherto unfamiliar feelings, which I only later figured out as like being a “sacrificial lamb on the altar of democracy14”. But I stress I only pinned down the meaning of this feeling later; at the time they just appeared to be overly impressionable and mistrustful. They’re sure taking a lot on themselves, if they fear so much15.

I left the psychologist. I then wandered around the Old Arbat, joined a picket with the National Bolsheviks, visited Lev Ponomarev, joined a “Free Khodorkovsky!” demonstration. There they interviewed me because since I was from Nakhodka, they thought I had flown to Moscow just to join them. And by that time I already had several things to say about old Khodor, because I wrote him many letters and he replied to them (and about which I boasted to everyone).

Then a friend of Khodorkovsky presented me with two tickets to the Lenkom Theater, because I said I had never been to a theater before. And that was that. I met all the opposition, such as it was, in those 45 days. I’ve still got lots of photos from that trip and many other things. Then I returned to Nakhodka. After that I traveled to Moscow five times, but henceforth only by invitation to UCF conferences.

But after that first visit, we ceased communicating. Furthermore, they even let me know that the project, apparently, could not take place. Yes, and I also missed the moment. The so-called first “action”16 of our project was to be my memories, dedicated to the anniversary of those mass repressions – the barriers against the Alternate Summit17. For this person they even involved a very famous and popular LJ user, but I won’t say who exactly.

But nothing came of it. I was very offended that they were trying to trivialize, “popsify”18, my personal tragedy, my family’s tragedy. No-one offered me legal help, for I was useful only as a living example of the regime’s evil. Moreover at the time I believe those repressions were indeed one of the most awful cases from my subjective perspective. Like the later case of Arap, for instance.

Yes, and where exactly is Arap today? Who’s interested in her health, her life? No-one. That person was needed only as a pawn in the information war.

When I returned to Moscow after a year, I met the “project manager” again.

Yes, only then did I understand that she was not its originator but just a “manager”, never mind that she insisted it was only her own personal initiative. But who pulled the strings behind this project, and behind other projects already in play after my first visit to Moscow, and projects created afterwards, I only understood later. Yes, not without hints too.

Today there are already more than a few such projects aimed at “forming social opinions19”. Under every real “movement” there exists an e-project.

Why is this bad?

Because society never gave anybody the right to form its own opinions, just as the people never conferred authority on any of our political movements and parties to speak on its behalf.

Because just a few dozens of men and women can weave a web of opinions over the people at the behest and by the design of their clients20, forcing people to think – that this is how the people think.

Because no-one knows what they will define and spread as “truth” and to what you will become an accomplice to the day after tomorrow.

Sometimes you may get the impression that there is nothing on the Internet except projects and their promoters. But there actually do exist other people. It is they who are the target audience and it is for their hearts and minds that the information war is waged.

Things might look totally different to you and you might argue that you never notice any such thing. And I trust you when you say that, for it is noticeable only to those who spend as much time on the Net as myself and in like manner.

You need time and attentiveness to notice all these things. And something else too. I’ve met people who told me (and there were witnesses with me), “We found sponsors and the project was launched on a larger scale than was planned at the start”. That already they are planning to ditch their real life jobs and embark on this project full time, especially now that they are going to get paid for it. They even named several participants in this project from St.-Petersburg – they are quite famous amongst the opposition.

And there are some other things, but this is all for now.

To be continued…

Tatiana Korchevnaya, Tel #: 89147277889, Nakhodka, Primorsky Krai.

1“Оранжисты”, i.e. foreign financed stooges, dupes and traitors in reference to the events in Ukraine in 2004-5.

2таня_огф is the author’s nickname on LJ.

3Ежедневный Журнал (

4Her mother’s blog is at

5МОЙКРУГ is a professional networking site (

6The one who was soliciting letters at the beginning.

7“Я вообще никого тут не озвучиваю, пока они первыми не скозлят”.

9Союз правых сил (СПС) – Yeltsinite party of Chubais, Nemtsov and Gaidar enthusiastic about free markets and privatization. Unsurprisingly, not that popular – they got 0.96% of the vote in the 2007 Duma elections and some of their people like N. Belykh and M. Gaidar recently made their bed with the Kremlin (

10Larisa Arap was a victim of “punitive psychiatry” in July-August 2007, Murmansk.

11“Все, что я делаю и делать буду – это раз-ОБЛАЧАТЬ их ложь”.

12She links to a prior post in November 6th, 2008 about her experiences of “liberals” undergoing Neuro-linguistic Programming ( sessions to reinforce their faith. She compares it to a cult and criticizes the leaders who would press such things on their followers. She left the UCF on November 8th.

13Amalgamated movement founded in December 2008 uniting many different “liberal” forces.

14“Сакральная жертва на алтарь демократии”.

15I think I know what she’s talking about. See this interview of an anonymous and to my mind rather paranoid St.-Petersburg student on Al-Jaazera ( I also appear on there and unwillingly provide a good example of how the MSM twists facts to fit its preordained narrative.

16To me this evokes the concepts of the “active measures” popular with Russian intelligence services.

17The Other Russia summit in Moscow which took place in July 2006 – as Korchevnaya says, she was physically barred from attending by the Chita OMON. She and accompagning members of her family were beaten, imprisoned for several days and had ammunition planted on them.

18“Пытаются как-то опопсить (от слова попса)”.

19“Формированию общественного мнения”.

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. avershin says

    Hello there,

    Good job of translation. I know that the post has been there quite a bit, still I thought you might be interested to know that, in fact, in this case the expression система “звездочки” is not about the asterisk key on the keypad of a mobile phone: just as described in that paragraph, it just means a separate group of people led by a manager. Ironically, this use of the term probably stems from the звездочки – groups in which the youngest students of Soviet schools were divided back in Soviet times – I remember being in one when I was in the first grade of the school. The idea was to teach children to support each other and compete with other groups, mainly in terms of academic performance and behaviour, sort of team spirit training. If a student of a group misconducted, the wohole group was to blame and the rest of the group was expected to influence the weak sister. The name звездочка was probably chosen as part of the Communist symobilics and normally included five students – as many as axes of a Communist star.
    The liberasts must have adopted the name as remembrance of their childhood.
    Anyway, whether my guess is correct or not, it would be hard to believe that the opposition would be able to set up a clandestine cell system.
    I congratulate on your “command of the Russian colloquial word”, I wish I would be that proficient in English.


  2. Ah, thank you for the clarification Alexey. I’ve never studied in a Russian school (well, in any case not more than one week at one attached to a Russian foreign embassy 😉 ), so this cultural specificity slipped by me.

    I agree they won’t have many clandestine cell systems, mostly because they quite simply don’t need them and actually creating them would be a symptom of paranoia (that said, they have no shortage of that). They might be harassed by security forces from time to time, but are certainly not cracked down in the systematic and brutal way a true authoritarian state would do it. Ironically, their failures at all these projects (cells, web brigades, etc) is perhaps the best evidence that Putvedev’s Russia is not the “bloody regime” of their vivid imaginations.

  3. One of the biggest mistakes that can be made during the marketing process is not being properly familiar with the culture of the country that is desired for expansion. For instance, something seen as cool and even stylish in the home country of the company might actually be perceived as rude or vulgar in another country. It can be difficult to be sure, especially if you aren’t a native or haven’t spent large amounts of time there. That is why language translation services are crucial to this process.