Reading on Russia Roundup #42

«Нынешнее соотношение рубля к доллару — объективный показатель» (Коммерсант)

Какого курса валют ждать к лету? Экономист Михаил Портной поделился своим прогнозом со Светланой Суховой

Dictator vs. democrat? Not quite: Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny is no progressive hero (Salon)

The fact that Navalny is a vocal Kremlin critic and ardent opponent of Vladimir Putin has ensured that he has become somewhat of a media darling in the West. He is sometimes hailed as a hero in Western coverage. Time magazine once called him “Russia’s Erin Brockovich.”

What is reported less often about Navalny are his nationalist leanings, ties to neo-Nazi groups, xenophobic comments and extreme anti-immigrant views.

Gaidar Becomes Presidential Adviser – Why, and Why Now? (Odessa Blog)

As unusual as it is to read anything so clearly favorable about a Ukrainian politician on this blog, or to write about a politician rather than policy per se, the following prose will be something of an exception.

Рейтинги партий, доверия политикам, одобрения работы государственных институтов (VTsIOM)

Рейтинги партий, доверияполитикам, одобрения работыгосударственных институтовКак показывают данные ежедневного опроса«ВЦИОМ-Спутник», рейтинги большинства парламентских партий и одобрениедеятельности государственных институтов в течение марта колебались в узкомдиапазоне. Политические события марта оказали на них весьма ограниченный эффект.


There is no Side Book this week.

However, I did find what could be the worst Stalin drawing ever.

As he appears in the animated kids’ movie Dingo Pictures’ Anastasia. YouTube.

No, I’m not sure whether Giant-Feet Comrade Mustache here is actually supposed to be Stalin; in fact, the character is never named and appears in only four short scenes of this animated crapfest.



  1. 1) Re: Danielle Ryan’s article.

    Finally, someone decided to pay some attention to dear and beloved “Lyosha Podvalniy” (one of his less obscene nicknames… there are thousands of things rhyming with “Navalny” in Russian like [CENSEORED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF COMMON DECENCY])

    There are some (minor) quibbles concerning this article. One – Navalny is ambiguous on Crimea’s issue. In fact, he suggests not to give it to Ukraine, but to hold a referendum anew under the wise guidance of the international observers. Thus he is failing to please both sides – Ukraine insists that Crimea and Donbass are theirs and there is nothing to negotiate, ’cause Murika is with us and says that Russia must end “occupation” pronto. Russia and Russians (most of all – Crimeans) find the idea of the second referendum insulting, as it will de-legitimize the first one as something “fake” (upon which insist both the Ukraine and the West plus so-called Russian opposition), pushing Crimea into a grey zone politically speaking for the interim period (which might be extended indefinitely thanks to Ukraine’ meddling and the Wests all permissiveness). This is why Navalny is not popular among the general public – he fails to pass #KrymNash test.


    “Anti-corruption protests swept across nearly 100 Russian towns and cities last week, from the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad in the West to Vladivostok in the Far East. They were the biggest demonstrations in Russia since the 2011-12 protests against alleged election fraud.”

    It’s a sad day when you see a rather good and thinking journalist like Danielle Ryan to use copy-pasta which has nothing to do with the reality, and has everything to do with the general narrative now pushed by the West. No, these protests were not the biggest since 2011-2012. She also fails to mention besides one obligatory “big scary number” (“nearly 100 Russian towns and cities”) any precise data on the number of protesters, “biggest since”. 7-8000 in Moscow were the biggest concentration if the protesters on March 26. Many of them – stupid schoolchildren and students with nothing better to do, who came for the fun of it, and who had trouble to explain what the corruption is. So far, no Western journalist have paid attention to this unfaltering characteristic of these “massive protests.

    The reason for such low turnout is easily explainable – the action was not approved by the authorities so the participants were, naturally, breaking a law and facing the consequences. Plus – it was all Navalny’s “benefit performance” starring himself, dear and beloved leader of a certain sect of Muscovite “battle hamsters”. In ages past he ruined all cooperation with ParNaS, Yabloco and other opposition/marginal forces, because his enormous Ego was too big for making a common cause. Naturally, other “leaders of the opposition” didn’t join forces with him, corruption or not. In fact – none of them is serious in their “fight against corruption”, most of all Mikhail “Misha 2%”. Kasyanov and other “Regime defectors” and “Regime aspirants” who want it to remain, should they grab the reins of power.

    2) Re: Vtsiom data.

    Despite 17+ millions of views on YouTube of “Он вам не Димон” Navalny’s video clip, Medvedev remains second most popular politican in Russia. His “reiting” didn’t take a blow. Oh, what a zrada!


  2. Addendum 1:
    The US Airstrike in Syria and Russia (Russian Military Reform)

    Yesterday’s US airstrikes on the Al Shayrat airfield near Homs seems to have been calculated to allow the Trump administration to appear to be acting decisively without necessarily getting bogged down in a conflict or creating a serious confrontation with Russia. To this end, the Pentagon warned Russian authorities about the strikes ahead of time and Russia did not take any steps to activate its air defenses in Syria. At the same time, by warning Russia, the U.S. government ensured that the strike would have very little effect on Syrian military capabilities.

    And another Danielle Ryan article

    Mere hours after the blast, commentators were referring to the attack as “blowback” for Russia’s foreign policy. This is not a word you hear frequently in the aftermath of terror attacks on European and American cities — despite decades of Western military intervention in the Middle East, with much of it engendering intense resentment among Arabs and Muslims.


    • RE: Addendum 1.

      In the mosques of Idlib moderately-radical jihadis are doing takbirs and are making dua for the sheikh at-Trumpfoon and his Mujahideen, alhamdulilihlah!

      In honor of sheikh Danuld at-Trumpfoon already had been renamed shaverma-cafe in Idlib, mashallah.

      Well, I guess it’s time to revive a Cranberry D///IHAD initiative.


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