Russia Roundup #44

Америка Трампа: и не друг, и не враг? (VTsIOM)

Последние события негативно повлияли на отношение к Соединенным Штатам и президенту Трампу. Около трети россиян считают возможным вооруженное столкновение между Россией и США, блоком НАТО, показывают данные ежедневных опросов «ВЦИОМ-Спутник».

A Poisonous Giant Russian Squid Ate Trump’s Brain! (Valdai Club)

There are certain real grounds for Western concern about aspects of Russian policy. These however are by far not the most important thing about the current obsession gripping the US media and political scene and the security elites in the USA and Europe. This should be seen rather as the product of two motives, one conscious, the other largely unconscious. The first is a passionate desire to bring down the Trump administration, a desire which goes beyond normal opposition and is rooted in a belief on the part of many Americans in that administration’s fundamental illegitimacy.

Interview: Russian as a major (Street Russian)

In which I’m interviewed by fellow blogger and Russian learner Katherine!

Another reason to avoid rushing on Russia’s election role (Bloomberg)

…details are spilling out, and they are not bolstering the intelligence community’s conclusion. Indeed, the most recent revelation suggests they don’t understand who has influence in Moscow.

ALTA Emerging Translator Mentorship Program is Now Accepting Applications!

The ALTA Emerging Translator Mentorship Program is designed to facilitate and establish a close working relationship between an experienced translator and an emerging translator on a project selected by the emerging translator. The mentorship duration is approximately one year. The emerging translator is expected to choose a project that can be completed in a year’s time, and they will only be advised on that particular project.

Russian Federation Sitrep 20 April 2017 (Russia Observer)

Some good advice (Irrussianality)

Given the hysterical level of Russophobic rhetoric in Washington at present, it is rare for anybody to raise their heads up above the parapet and say that better relations between America and Russia might be a good thing. The prevailing belief is that the worse relations are the better: Russia is an aggressive and dictatorial nation with which it is impossible to reason; attempts at dialogue or to forge compromise will merely be interpreted as weakness and encourage further aggression; the only viable policy is to show strength at every opportunity.

It’s good, therefore, to see the Council on Foreign Relations, a think tank which has historically had close ties to the American government and is generally considered representative of the American establishment, publishing a report entitled Reducing Tensions Between Russia and NATO. The report, written by Kimberly Marten of Barnard College, makes a number of quite sensible suggestions and demonstrates that traditional Realists haven’t entirely abandoned the foreign policy community.

A Bernie Sanders Campaign Adviser was a Russian. Now, He’s Speaking Out. (The Intercept)

A high-level adviser and operative for the 2016 Sanders campaign was Vitali Shkliarov, a Soviet-born citizen of Belarus. Shkliarov, who had previously worked on the 2012 Obama re-election campaign and for several other successful Democratic Party campaigns, has also become increasingly in demand as a political adviser and campaign manager in Russia, working for liberal candidates in opposition to President Vladimir Putin.

Possessing a unique background and vantage point, Shkliarov, now that the 2016 election is over, has many interesting observations to express on the state of American politics, the Democratic Party, U.S.-Russian relations, and the impact of rising anti-Russian sentiment in the U.S.

Codename Baboushka: The Conclave of Death


It’s the cheap klyukva knockoff Black Widow!*

“What if the sexy Russian femme fatale was actually the main character?”
Mysterious young heiress Contessa Annika Malikova has been part of Manhattan high society for several years… but if they knew the truth, her dinner companions would faint! The white-haired Contessa is in fact the notorious criminal “BABOUSHKA” — a former Moscow gang leader, now living in exile!
But Baboushka’s retirement is about to be shattered, as the US government has somehow discovered her true identity, and blackmails her into working for them! Now she must infiltrate a secret conclave of global crime lords, on a cruise liner, to retrieve information for the Americans. But nobody reckoned on the boat being hijacked by pirates…
Suitable for teens and up, CODENAME BABOUSHKA is an action-packed modern pulp spy thriller from writer ANTONY JOHNSTON (THE FUSE, THE COLDEST CITY, ALEX RIDER) and artist SHARI CHANKHAMMA (THE FUSE, SHELTERED, KILL SHAKESPEARE), filled with glamour, guns, exotic locations, guns, explosions, high-kicks, and did we mention guns?

Codename Headscarf – action packed and with a 2.89/5 on Goodreads.


*And no, I will not be tackling the Black Widow on this site. She already has three strikes against her: 1) she’s a spy, 2) she’s a sexy Russian seductress character, and 3) she’s a superhero. So yeah, reviews likely wouldn’t be fair…

Side book #9

This week, I continued reading The Strongman and began reading Emotion Amplifiers by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi.


The beauty of emotion is that it can be manipulated by internal and external stimuli – circumstances that amplify what a character is feeling. Hunger or extreme heat can increase strain and deplete the body to the point where goals seem insurmountable. Stress can unbalance the most stable of characters, opening them up to raw emotion, rash decisions and, ultimately, mistakes that send them on a crash course with disaster.


  1. Re: Glenn Greenwald article in the Intercept:

    “VS: Sure. So I was helping Russian candidates – all liberals to run campaigns in Russia. Even though we lost the campaign – have to mention that it’s fairly difficult to win a campaign against the regime, against Putin, against Kremlin candidates, and against money – but still I don’t think with winning one campaign you will change something. I see my approach and my mission in Russia and working in Russia, as being more educational.

    No, we said, “look, where is the country right now.” Look at the economic situation. And we explained, with infographics, with easy language, people on the street every day can understand, we have 251 events with, with pretty much like we did with Bernie, like, we did five events a day, reaching a broad audience, explaining what is the status quo of the country, of the the economy, of the rate of growth in the country, of the house budget. And so on.


    But the problem is also in hands of people, the people who has been ruled for 70 years, in a particular manner. So I believe you have to start, to, to talk about Russian politics with an educational approach towards all the Russian people. And I believe the future of activism in Russia lies in this approach, like teaching young people”

    That’s why I call the likes of him “liberasts”. Liberal fascists, who separate people into handshakable eloi with good faces, and stupid bydlo sovok, who deserves, at best, only the pity and brainwashing campaign, to make them vote for acceptable candidates. I.e. such candidates, who turned the worship of “reforms” into a cargo-cult, who would gladly surrender all Russian foreign policy to the whims of the Big Brother in the West, and who would gladly “give back” Crimea, don’t caring in the slightest about the opinion of the locals. Oh, and while we are at this – Russian liberasts are for exterminating Soviet legacy in all forms. Like having free higher education, medicine and 8-hour workday.

    Suddenly, it turns out that Russian people (who, mostly, descended from the victorious Reds, who won the Civil War and then the GPW) are not excited by the promises of liberasts. But – of course! – it’s bloody Regime, having all the money and influence, not the fact that liberals are ineffective idiots, who can’t work with the electorate, besides a very small circle of Two-Capitols urbanites.

    And having a wife who’s a StateDept employee – why, Mr. Shkliarov is just a gift who keeps delivering! I.e. – he’s a complete looser, performance-wise. Yet he’s pontificating self absorbedly about How Things Ought To Be. A naïve little liberast, seeing that his personal hobbit-barrow can be possibly taken from him one way or another.

    “I sense it everyday by watching the news and feeling sorry for Russians and for Americans as well, because so many *companies* suffer. I feel it pretty much everyday while talking to people.

    I recently tried to open a bank account, for my company. I was denied because it’s an Russian entity. If you talk to people, and try to talk about politics, it’s so toxic. Russia became so toxic that nobody want to touch it.”

    So he, naturally, dugs deeper into familiar worldview, instead of trying to understand and fight the process. His naïve believe in the “Marshal Plan 2.0” for Russia shows that he know no history, that his belief (notice how often he says “I believe”?) is purely religious, and is no different from the Ukrainian Maidowns, with their belief in the rivers of milk and honey, come the Sacred Association, bezviz and gay parade.

    “Partly because Russia is in the corner. Partly because Russia is economically, because of sanctions, because of political instability, in a country, on the knees, and in the corner, and Russia doesn’t have much to lose, and that’s what the American politicians underestimate: I believe the Russian mentality, when, when you look throughout the history, is, is shaped by all these losses, all these wars. And they are like more capable of taking a lot of pain, and a lot of like, sacrifice, and once, even as a little, teeny tiny cute dog, if you push them in the corner, you gonna start to bark and you gonna start to bite back, you know?”

    Mr. Shkliarov knows well how to fellate his American auditory, to make them feel themselves stronK and important, to confirm their biases. He can’t do the same with the Russians – either he is too stupid, or just idealogically precluded from doing that. We learn, that:

    1) There is political instability in Russia. I mean, no matter what time of the day, what year of month you switch on TV and look for the French news, there are always riots, clashes with police, victims of brutality from all sides, but the Downfall of the Regime (IMMINENT!) is in Russia. Always. Constantly. Only losers ask for proof.

    2) That “country in the knees” economically because of sanctions. Uh-huh, sure. That’s why, to quote from Mr. Armstrong’s SitRep linked above:

    “Unemployment is 5.5% and inflation is down to 5%. IMF head Lagarde agrees: she has praised Russia’s economic management and agrees that the economy is now growing. (Without, it should be noted, recourse to the standard IMF-style austerity package either.)”

    Indeed, what a “downshifter country” with “the economy shred to tatters”! If Russia is on the knees, then what could be said about the Ukraine?

    But such nice fairy tales are a must in any discussion about Russia. Because without this obligatory “2 minutes of hate”, no one in the West will take you seriously. First you must earn your bona fides as the pro-Western Russophobe, who opposes the Terran of Kremlin, and only then you will be taken seriously. Once again – a triumph of form over substance!

    “And they could easily, easily, I believe, they could start the war just to cover up the misery, what’s happening in the country. Just to cover up, just to shift the attention, like so many presidents do, also in America, throughout the history.”

    This phrase is just beyond Good and Evil, Reason and Logic! So far only ONE PARTICULAR COUNTRY did exactly that – waged wars to distract the people. Russia only reacted all these years, but this is unhadshakable truth for the liberasts. Comparison with the US is obligatory, but dishonest and based on false premises.

    “GG: I’m really interested in this dynamic in particular, which is that there is a fairly vibrant sector of the Russian intelligentsia that is opposed to Putin, Russian liberals. We’ve seen signs that it’s getting increasingly vibrant, protests, the opposition’s getting a little bit stronger…”

    This constant talk about “vibrant” and “getting more stronKer” opposition are eternal. They are, naturally, unsupported by facts. Compare the near constant protests of 2007-08 with what we have today. As for the activity and vibrancy – you know, some certain process continue even in the corpses, and some of them even involve live biological beings. Doesn’t mean that the corps becomes “alive” due to that. The same is with these marginals.

    “GG: Is that, do you think there’s a danger of that happening with Russian liberals or is that already happening, that, this kind of hysteria, this very anti-Russian strain in US discourse, is starting to alienate Russian liberals, and drive them to move away from the US?”

    Key question remains unanswered – why should Russian liberals be more loyal to the US than to their own country in the first place?

    Mr. Shkliarov (who is not a Russian citizen – he’s a citizen of Byelarus) is this token “Good Russki”, whom the Westie agit-prop must conjure from time to time, in order to preserve the claim of “objectivity”. Naturally, this one particular individual with sad-puppy eyes is handpicked not because he represent “True Russia” or the majority of Russians, but because he mostly resembles the Westerners themselves. Because he is one.

    The ugly truth is – yes, we are different. But we are different not in the caricature klyukvified sense, but really, really different on many, many levels. The interview, inadvertently, shows this, when Shkliarov demonstrates his incredulity over the fact that “the richest country in the world has no paid maternity leave”. But where did he learn abut this being a nor where he grew up thinking of this as the only acceptable and sane thing to have? Shkliarov lies out of his breath when he says “in Europe”. No – it was in the USSR. Paid maternity, universal free healthcare, free higher education, free housing for the graduates and their employment – all of these are the norms for the mentality of the people, whom this one particular liberasts despises and whom he wants to brainwash. And yet – he has nothing against for the White People Racially and Culturally Superior Westerners to employ these purely socialist measures in their lives! What a hypocritical bastartd!


  2. It’s always interesting to me to see how westerners use the term “babushka”. Like the book cover here, depicting a hot chick. And singer Kate Bush did a song in the 1980’s called “Babushka” – in the video she’s dressed up as a hot chick. I wonder if these people realize that babushka means grandmother in Russian, not hot chick. Not that a grandmother couldn’t be a hot chick, but…


  3. Re: “Baboushka”

    Consists of thermo-nuclear klyukva just slightly less than entirely:



    Comrades! Don’t believe in capitalist propaganda! Real combat babushkas look differently:


  4. Президент Украины был 25 мая на деловой встрече в Ростовской области этого года! Угадайте с кем?


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