Navalny’s No.2 Leonid Volkov Gloats About Assange’s Arrest

Leonid Volkov is Navalny’s long-standing campaign manager.

Translation: “A day of good news: Al-Bashir and Assange have overstayed their welcome, both are in need of a court, and neither deserve a drop of pity.

One problem of Russian liberals from Novodvorskaya down to Navalny is that they are not so much liberals as American stooges*. This would be Exhibit #532,783.

There are plenty of niches for oppositionism in Russia. There is a niche for more social welfare. There is a niche for nationalism. There is a niche for anti-corruption. There are even niches for human rights from Internet freedoms to LGBT. But there is not much of a niche for American stoogedom.

Gallup: 1% of Russians Approve of US Leadership. That also happens to be Navalny’s current trust rating.

I sometimes wonder what drives people like Volkov to so aggressively signal their subservience to America. It certainly can’t help their political prospects. I suppose their hatred of their own country is so deep that they just can’t help themselves.

He also blocks all critics on Twitter and engages in stalkerish behavior towards women.

That said, I feel that the new generations of Russian liberals appearing now seem to be a cut above the frankly cartoonishly Russophobic cohorts that emerged out of the sovok ruins (Kasyanov, Illarianov, Kasparov, Milov, Novodvorskaya, Shevtsova, Alexievich, etc, etc.).

For instance, here is the reaction of Mikhail Svetov, who is the main face of Russia’s libertarians:

Translation: “They often ask me why I haven’t left. Because the same is happening all across the world. If you fight for freedom, as opposed to against Russia, then you don’t have anywhere to run to.

This seems to be the more typical reaction amidst the under 25’s liberal crowd.

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. Duke of Qin says

    It’s a Sovok / power dynamic thing. Chinese liberals are the same way. It stems from emerging from a particular Soviet mentality that they can never escape from no matter how they wish to. It’s manifests itself strongly in those who feel personally thwarted by their government in some manner. In another life, they would have been willing government bootlickers but circumstances or incompetence prevented them being so, so they just adjusted their loyalties to a foreign government whose boots they now lick for their status kicks.

  2. He also blocks all critics

    He is learning well from the American liberals on how a true liberal should behave

  3. This will end up pretty badly for Volkov now that anyone accused of working for foreign governments is fair game. I’ll make some popcorn.

  4. What exactly is the Russian interest in overthrowing Assad?

  5. America Wills It!

  6. He’s referring to the Sudanese guy.

  7. Felix Keverich says

    Doesn’t he remind you of Arkady Babchenko and other supporters of current Ukrainian regime? It’s a particular post-Soviet breed of people.

  8. “But there is not much of a niche for American stoogedom.”

    Yea, Russia has two problems. One is Sovok vatniks – they are good for screaming and beating people up, but not anything productive. Given modern realities (global supply chains, transnational scientific and technological cooperation etc), expecting anything useful out of sovok is futile. They just scare people in business meetings.

    Russian liberals on the other hand are far more attuned to the modern realities. They could be productive, but how do you find a liberal who won’t sell the country for an iPhone? Liberals who are not brainwashed into Western cargo cult are rare unicorns and must be cherished.

    This is not a trivial situation for Russian government either. USSR didn’t collapse because people wanted “freedom and democracy” or any such nonsense like human rights – most didn’t know what those were and didn’t care.

    But people did care that Sovoks in USSR couldn’t make fashion jeans and bubble gum even at gunpoint, and that you had to use ration coupons for shopping, and had to stand in line, and use black market to buy products of decent quality. This is also why Russian mafia got big and good – supplying entire country with denim is a major logistics feat. And so people got angry and went with those who promised fashion pants and bubble gum, and USSR collapsed, and millions died.

    Whatever political economy the country chooses to adopt, it must be able to make fashion pants. It is not negotiable. Otherwise, destruction and mass death occurs. Nothing else matters really. Chinese Communists are still around not because they are democracy, or or human rights champions or totalitarian – those things don’t matter. Chinese are around as a cohesive country because they know how to make fashion pants, and indeed make them for most of the world, so their people dont have a reason to grumble on that account.

    Sovok vatniks have proven that they can’t make what people really want, and their way will result in collapse. Liberals can make fashion pants and thus save the country from destruction, but domesticating and house breaking them is a major challenge.


    Political Economy can do fashion pants = domestic stability, development, and rise as a global geopolitical power.

    Political Economy can’t do fashion pants = domestic discord, decline, and geopolitical collapse.

    Other things don’t really matter that much.

  9. Babchenko is in his 40s – same generation as Volkov, Milov, Navalny. The youngest cohorts seem to be better.

  10. Felix Keverich says

    They will grow nastier as they mature. 😉

  11. Cagey Beast says

    Yeah, this is the way Anne Applebaum and her social circle use Twitter. They think they can still create their own reality by controlling the Megaphone. Who knows, maybe it will eventually work? Maybe if they ban and punish enough of us, they can get back to the golden age of mass media?

    Anne Applebaum, David Frum and friends want to go back to the days before social media, back when they could just scream at us from the telescreen about the war against Eurasia.

  12. An Australian is arrested in Britain because he published what US did in Iraq. He is accused of working for Russia, in addition somehow Sweden, Ecuador, and possibly Gabon, are involved. And it is about what used to be called insults and insubordination.

    What is there not to like? This is globalism on stereoids, ‘when the walls come down‘, that’s what one-world dream means. Of course the likes of Volkov celebrate, they sense that this has breached the last physical boundaries and we are in a single world where if a Brazilian disrespects a Turk, then China could nab him next time he visits Singapore. Beautiful, imagine all the people as that boomer crooner Lennin used to sing.

    This is way better that Khashoggi; if Turkey just had a good extradiction treaty with the Saudis they could have saved the hard work with chainsaws. What is there not to like?

  13. If I’m allowed to write offtopic…

    Sometimes, when Navalny writes about how they should stop immigration, or restrict immigration from Islamic areas – he can be a sensible person.

    However, the most eccentric thing I was reading written from Navalny recently was his article against multi-storey buildings.

    I don’t know maybe someone should translate this to English? – American readers could be amused.

    It’s not even an uninteresting topic -it’s just he somehow completely unaware his opinion is the opposite of what everyone in the West (including America) itself is saying, where the consensus is that American-style of suburban sprawl has been a disaster.

  14. AnonFromTN says

    That Volkov personage is just as stupid as the American elites who are behind Assange arrest. It would have been in the best interests of the US elites to let Assange and everything he published go into oblivion. Instead, they gave him and his cause free world-wide PR, without thinking that the facts he published will also come back to haunt them.

    Crimes were committed, and the genie is already out of the bottle. Smart criminals would do everything possible to make people forget about those crimes. Dumb criminals did everything possible to remind everyone about them, out of childish desire for revenge. In world politics, it again looks like Putin and Xi are the only adults in the room, whereas the elites of the Empire have kindergarten mentality. No wonder they are running the Empire into the ground. If they weren’t so degenerate, the Empire could have remained on top for a few more decades.

  15. First, I want to say that this is a high quality comment, more insightful than 99% of the crap people write on this topic. Nevertheless, it’s not quite right.

    It’s not that the USSR couldn’t make its own chewing gum or jeans. For a long time they didn’t want to. Soviet leadership correctly perceived these things as manifestations of American cultural dominance, and so for 20 years they tried to bully, shame, or ridicule young people into not wearing jeans or chewing gum.

    But Soviet propaganda was not what it once was (or, rather, it was exactly what it once was, whereas it should’ve changed with times.) By the mid to late 1970s it became clear that the battle was lost, so the marching orders were changed and the Soviet industry started to make its own gum and jeans. But, of course, by that point they were perceived to be inferior to the “real thing.”

    Does China really make its own “fashion pants?” At least until recently what they made was either licensed or counterfeit Western brands. Maybe at this late stage they managed to develop some truly prestigious domestic fashion labels. I doubt it though. I know that consumption of Western goods is still a status symbol even in China.

    The true moral of the story is this. If your people want Levi’s give them Levi’s. Don’t try to prevent them from getting it. Don’t try to substitute it with a homegrown imitation (only offer it as a cheap alternative.) Give them exactly what they want. If you do, they may soon tire of it and move to something else. If you don’t, you’ll foster three generations of Volkovs.

  16. “They often ask me why I haven’t left. Because the same is happening all across the world. If you fight for freedom, as opposed to against Russia, then you don’t have anywhere to run to.”

    UK implements new law with prison sentences (up to 15 years in prison) for viewing terrorist propaganda and entering “designated areas”

  17. They’re planning a new law also which would impose penalties on tech companies (including prison possibly) for failing to remove content they didn’t like and they are discussing a law to crack down on ‘abuse’ of politicians.

    honk honk

  18. Liberalism is a psychiatric disease.

  19. Cagey Beast says

    It’s worth looking at this video released by the CIA in the mid ’80s. In retrospect, all they had to offer in response to Soviet socialism was trashy individualism. There is the briefest mention of religion and art but the rest of it is just middlebrow sneering at another country’s problems, hopes and identity.

    If a good, NATO supporting westerner sat down in the mid-1980s and wrote down a list of things the Soviet Union would have to do in order to be considered acceptable, we’d see now that Russia has met and surpassed pretty much anything our hypothetical ’80s conservative could have come up with. Even so, Russia is still intolerable to the nice folks at the CIA.

  20. reiner Tor says

    The punishment on the companies is especially egregious, because the companies will do everything in their power to avoid it, and so they will simply censor way more than would theoretically be required of them. Also it will not be considered censorship by goodthinking liberals, because it will be done by private corporations and not the government (even though it’s the government which mandates it for them), and also because it will only affect “hate speech.”

  21. Anonymous says

    Claim Volkov is a US stooge
    Fail to mention that Assange is, by the same logic, a Russian stooge

    Nice take.

  22. sher singh says

    That’s because it’s ultimately just a racial hatred of the other and synonymous with seeking ideological dominance with force.

    The difference between the Russians who at least tried to help starving poor people, is that they survived as a race despite their collapse.

    In the heart of everyone east of the iron curtain is a deep feeling that

    While we may feel unity and one Ness with all peoples,

    The western society must not exist and for the future of all life itself we must disable them at any cost.

    At a certain point it’s for their own good।।


  23. Putin is the one sending his hit squads around the world to commit high-profile extraterritorial assassinations (or attempt to, anyways). If Assange had been principally oriented against Putin God only knows what harebrained scheme the GRU would come up with to silence him.

    “Childish desire for revenge” – that could be the inscription on Putin’s family crest.

  24. AnonFromTN says

    Putin is the one sending his hit squads around the world to commit high-profile extraterritorial assassinations

    Do you have any examples of that? FYI, clumsy provocations (like Litvinenko or Skripal) were alleged, but never proven. Judging by the fact that Brits studiously avoid situations where they would need to prove them, they are complicit and have no evidence to exonerate themselves.

  25. Assange doesn’t have pretensions to relevancy in American politics.