Russia Roundup #37

Trumpspam. (SO IT HAS BEGUN.)

The Increasingly Unhinged Russia Rhetoric Comes from a Long-Standing U.S. Playbook (The Intercept)

Few foreign villains have been vested with omnipotence and ubiquity like Vladimir Putin has been — at least ever since Democrats discovered (what they mistakenly believed was) his political utility as a bogeyman. There are very few negative developments in the world that do not end up at some point being pinned to the Russian leader, and very few critics of the Democratic Party who are not, at some point, cast as Putin loyalists or Kremlin spies.

Interview: Russian with a political scientist (Street Russian)

Imagine if your job required you to take trips- lots and lots of trips!- to Russia.

Sound interesting?

Meet Allison, a woman who knows how to survive those freezing Siberian winters and sweltering Moscow summers.

Killer, kleptocrat, genius, spy: the many myths of Vladimir Putin (Keith Gessen, The Guardian)

Probably the first, last, and only time I’ll feature an article from The Guardian in these roundups. Read for the effective bits:

[…] in the long run, the Russia card is not just bad politics, it is intellectual and moral bankruptcy. It is an attempt to blame the deep and abiding problems of our country on a foreign power.

Skip the parts that sound Masha-influenced (IMHO that’s most of it):

Had Putin retired after 2008, as he said he would, and become a grand old man of Russian politics, there would have been statues built to him throughout the country. Under him, Russia had emerged from the chaos of the 1990s into a relative stability and prosperity. Now, however, with low oil prices, a collapsed rouble, risible counter-sanctions in place on European cheese, and a demoralised opposition, it is hard to imagine an end to the Putin era that is not violent, and whose violence does not lead to more violence. If this is genius, then it is of a very peculiar kind.

Putin lives a fairly modest day-to-day existence. Yes, he has a palace on the Black Sea, built with pilfered funds, but he doesn’t actually live in it. In fact, it is unlikely that he will ever live in it. The palace is, in a way, the most hopeful thing that Putin is building – a promise of his eventual retirement, and under circumstances where he is not torn from limb to limb by a mob that has entered the Kremlin and overpowered his personal guards.

There is no reason at this point to dispute the consensus view of most intelligence analysts that Russian agents hacked the DNC and then leaked the emails to Julian Assange; it is also a well-known fact that Putin hated Hillary Clinton.

Oh really?

Пара свежих снимков из Брянского леса (Igor Shpilenok) [images]

The New Yorker’s Big Cover Story Reveals Five Uncomfortable Truths about U.S. and Russia (The Intercept)

The New Yorker is aggressively touting its 13,000-word cover story on Russia and Trump that was bylined by three writers, including the magazine’s editor-in-chief, David Remnick. Beginning with its cover image menacingly featuring Putin, Trump, and the magazine’s title in Cyrillic letters, along with its lead cartoon dystopically depicting a UFO-like Red Square hovering over and phallically invading the White House, the article is largely devoted to what has now become standard — and very profitable — fare among East Coast newsmagazines: feeding Democrats the often xenophobic, hysterical Russophobia for which they have a seemingly insatiable craving. Democratic media outlets have thus predictably cheered this opus for exposing “Russian President Vladimir Putin’s influence on the presidential election.”


  1. Trumpspam

    Heretics! Blasphemers! Trump is a False Emperor! The God-Emperor is one, and only – and, given that he was born c. 7000 BC in what is now known as Cappadocia, he won’t conform to the highest “aryan” standards of your typical Alt-Right neo-Fascist:

    “Had Putin retired after 2008, as he said he would, and become a grand old man of Russian politics, there would have been statues built to him throughout the country.”

    First of all – we, Russians, are not as easily swayed to build scores of statues for people. They must be truly great. Or, the statue must symbolize all the great people at one – be it Mother-Country Becons:

    or the newest one – the statue to the Polite Men in Green in Simferopol, Crimea.

    Second – Putin got first monuments to him built (purely private citizens initiative) post 2012. Post 2014, to be precisely. Post Crimean re-Union, to be absolutely clear:

    Gessen (no matter which one) will find this “slavish” expressions to be thoroughly unhadshakable. But the fact that Mishiko Saakashvili renamed a main street in Tbilisi after the US president George W. Bush – that’s okay for them!

    Putin precisely by his action assured that there WILL be statues to him in decades to come all across the country. Because by 2008 he just dragged Russia back from the brink – a significant feat, but more in the slow restoration field. In 2014 he did something proactive – something truly great.

    These days people don’t remember how it was in 2000s. In 2000s we, what you might call now vatniki, thought that Putin was selling our country out to the West, pandering to Bush and allowing our allies to be toppled. We thought (and Gessens of the world surely hoped!) that Putin is just a direct continuator of Yeltsenite system. Yeah, sure, some oligarchs were driven from the country and poor, innocent Mordeckai Borukhovich Khodorkovsky was languishing in prison. But the rest were free to enrich themselves. More so – the Western big businesses were feeling themselves comfortably in our country, and for them 2000s were truly a golden age – safe enough compared to Rough 90s and permissible enough so as to having an opportunity to allow themselves any vice if the price was right.

    We thought Putin was “theirs”. Them thought that too. Read the old articles – both our so-called lieral opposition and all the Western punditocracy were still saying that “Putin was necessary for capitalism and democracy in Russia”. That’s why they are reacting so violently and so rabidly – who likes to be fooled? Who likes to feel betrayed?

    Putin will have his statues. But not today, not in the nearest future. And yet, Russians do commemorate him in a way – and so-called liberals understand that, and this fact triggers them. Putin is not a person anymore – he is another symbol of the Strong Russian State. So, when ordinary people erect new busts to Stalin:

    (this one in Lugansk, LNR)

    to the Grand Prince Vladimir the Holy:

    And even to the first czar of Russia Ivan IV:

    they are building, ultimately, monuments not to the dead persons they represents – but to great, strong rulers of Russia. An anathema to Gessens of this world.

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