Administrative updates

  • Beginning in August, I’ll be trying something different with scheduling my posts. Instead of publishing posts haphazardly, I plan to introduce a regular schedule, whereby reviews will go up on Mondays, Wednesdays or Fridays with the Reading on Russia Roundups remaining in their usual Saturday time slot. Longer non-review posts will also appear M/W/F and I’ll try to cut down on the number of shorter and/or pointless posts.
  • Real-world update: I finally got the chance to watch Winter on Fire, a documentary film about the Maidan protests. I didn’t like it – too simplistic and saccharine. Maybe someday someone will make a balanced film about the Maidan.
  • Reviews…in Russian? I might try to write one this summer; it would make for good practice.
  • Real-world update: I was informed this morning that my blog has lost its handshakeability. I didn’t know it had any to begin with. When did Russia Reviewed lose it? Was it when I gibed Gessen? When I knocked Khodorkovsky?
  • I’ve created a new blog – Desultory Glory. It will be very different from this blog: instead of being about Russia, it will be a far less serious experimental site for my writing, poetry, art, creative business, etc. It’ll be updated less frequently than Russia Reviewed and address no set subject. You’re welcome to check Desultory Glory out if you think you might be interested, but be forewarned – my writing can get strange.


  1. Regarding the Winter on Fire documentary – Oliver Stone just produced a new documentary called Ukraine on Fire where he interviews some of the main players in the whole affair, including Putin and Yanukovich.

    I haven’t seen it yet, but New Cold just posted an English translation yesterday of a review in Italian from when it was recently screened at a film festival in Italy.

    I’ve never heard of the term “handshakeability” in reference to a blog before.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the documentary suggestion.
      As for the handshakeability thing, Lyttenburgh can probably explain it better than I could, so you might want to ask him if/when he eventually shows up here.


  2. “I was informed this morning that my blog has lost its handshakeability.”

    [Le gasp]

    How?! How is this possible? Like a cold shower. Immediately I felt something unwholesome and shameful in my soul. Bloody Putin – stahp your provocations!

    And now, on the matter of “handshakability”.

    Dear Natylie! One of the chief stats of any self-respecting oppositioner in This Country is the level of his/her/zir “handshakability”. I.e. – would shaking hands with such a person be morally possible for any shy and conscientious intilligent, kreakl, democratic journalist and gay, or the EuroUkr?

    Surprisingly enough, but the term was introduced in masses by the one-time icon of the so-called “Russian liberalism” president Medvedev (whom some of them still consider to be just a “Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass” and “One of Us”) when he said that after shelling of Tskhinval by the Georgian troops and deaths of civilians and Russian peacekeepers there then president Saakashvili became a “нерукпожатное лицо”. While true oppos were supporting small, proud and genocidal Caucasus republics with twitts and posts like “Je Suis Gruzin” or “I love khachapuri”, the despicable vatniks, sovoks and zaputintsi adopted the word “rukopozhatnost/handshakability” as a way to describe their opponents.

    Liberasts didn’t mind that. In fact some of them gleefully embraced it. For them the term “handshakable” soon became a synonym to one borrowed word vilely used in the Western media – “kosher”, bearing the same connotation. For example – saying or writing “Russia” or “Homeland”, or even “My Country” is unhandshakable for any Aristocrat of the Spirit. They must write “This Country”. Hating Russia and wishing death to Russian troops, government officials and policemen is handshakable. Celebrating 9th of May Victory Day is not. Bringing flowers and quasi-rainbow flag to the American embassy after the Orlando is handshakable. Honoring any Russian dead is not. Watching Do\\\D’ TV, reading Novaya Gazeta and listening to the Ekho Moscwy is handshakable. Reading Izvestiya, listening to Rossiya FM and watching First Channel (let alone the “Zvezda” or “Rossiya 24”!) is unhandshakable.

    An example of real life use of the term by a thoroughly handshakable democratic journalist (aka “durnalist”) in even more handshakable “Russia! Magazine” from this articicle:

    “People change allegiances and positions so often and the attention span of the audience is so short now that the same person who was vilified for the dismantling of the original NTV channel with its “unique group of journalists” is now praised as the one of the staunchest Putin critics. The smaller, but no less important problem, is the ability of the Russian “liberals”/creative class to compartmentalize. With the “liberals”, the most important thing is to be rukopozhatny, handshake-worthy. In today’s Russia this primarily means the unyielding criticism of the existing “bloody” regime. As long as this is something that you do, all of your possible shortcomings will be forgiven. So what if you’re an asshole? You are our kind of asshole. With the creative class, the most important thing is to be a “good guy.” As long as you are that, you can be mean to some other people, swindle others of large sums of money, fail at everything you do. You are the “good guy” and people will forgive you. But that’s another story, waiting to be told. “

    To check you own handshakability you can always use either old-style “Rukopozhometrt”:

    or the newest app with the same name for you mobile device.

    J.T. for a long time asked for something, book or movie, about the ins and outs about the so-called Russian liberals. Well, sadly there is no such as thing AFAIK. But, given your’s (and Natylie’s) interest, and a good knowledge of Russian, plus the desire to learn what such essential terms as “handshakability” I think it’s time to recommend you Lev Nathanovich Sharansky, a true Light of the Russian dissident movement, the Great Helmsman of the Civil Rights, an icon of handshakability and the ultimate authority in how To Live Not By A Lie (c).

    ТакЪ победимъ!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hooray! A human recommendation! According to current exchange rates, one human is worth about 1732.59 books, which is good.
      I suppose I could get more exposure to contemporary Russian liberal thought by reading the entirety of the Проект “Путин” series – with book titles like “The Temptation of Vladimir Putin” and “The View from Bolotnaya”, I’m sure to find something if I read between the lines. At the same time, I don’t want to slog through 59 books in Russian which I may not enjoy…


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