Reading on Russia Roundup #20

Russophobia and the dark art of making an anti-Russian magazine cover. Bears and missiles and Putin, oh my! Basulto’s piece reminds me a lot of my own 7(+3) Deadly Sins of Writing Russia Books. Is it purely coincidental that many of those Russophobic covers are from The Economist?

OPTION 1: Go with the Russian bear

This is a no-brainer, actually, and pretty much the default option for any magazine editor. The symbol of the Russian bear is universally understood to be the symbol of Russia, so it’s an immediate attention-grabber that readers will grasp quickly. After all, for centuries, Western satirists have used the Russian bear as a symbol of imperial aggression.

Given the latest round of U.S.-Russian tensions over the Ukraine crisis, the key is to make the Russian bear look as scary as possible.

VTsIOM press release No. 3173 . On the social well-being of Russians in July.

После июньского снижения, во второй месяц лета индексы социального самочувствия продемонстрировали положительную динамику. Больше других прибавили показатели материального положения и удовлетворенности жизнью. Однако оценки ситуации сегодня все же заметно ниже, чем были в последние годы.

Поведение индекса самооценок материального положения нестабильно: на протяжении полугода наблюдаются резкие спады и подъемы. В июле показатель прибавил 11 п. (с 52 до 63 п.), выйдя на максимум в текущем году. При этом среди респондентов преобладают по-прежнему средние оценки (66%). Если показателям 2014-2015 г. он заметно проигрывает, то значение 2009 г. превосходит почти вдвое.

US think-tank suggests cyber-attacks on Moscow Metro, St. Pete power grid, RT offices. No, I’m not kidding.

Poland should announce that it reserves the right to deploy offensive cyber operations (and not necessarily in response just to cyber attacks). The authorities could also suggest potential targets, which could include the Moscow metro, the St. Petersburg power network, and Russian state-run media outlets such as RT.


NATO has tied its own hands by declaring that it would not use all tools available to it, such as refraining from using offensive cyber operations. Holding back from offensive cyber operations is tantamount to removing kinetic options from a battlefield commander.


Important note: Beginning today, Russia Reviewed will be going on a 7-day hiatus. I may check in to read comments, but I will not be posting any new content for the next 7 days. See you on Aug. 21st.


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