The Kremlin Isn’t Scapegoating Gays, It’s Scapegoating Us

Like many Americans, I’ve followed with disgust the stream of anti-gay legislation vomited into Russian law over the last year. From St. Petersburg’s ban on “homosexual propaganda” (in the presence of minors), to the federal parliament’s adoption of the same ban, to Duma Deputy Alexey Zhuravlev’s proposition this week to strip gay parents of their …

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4 Reasons Why Miriam Elder is Wrong about Putin and Gays

Over two hundred thousand people have viewed Miriam Elder’s August 1 column in BuzzFeed about how Vladimir Putin “turned against the gays” in order to save himself from political extinction. Elder argues that the Kremlin’s new anti-gay furor is a consequence of Russia’s 2011-2012 winter protests (events she witnessed firsthand in Moscow and catalogued for The Guardian), claiming that …

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Russian Blood on the Asphalt, Armenian Hands on the Wheel

This article was originally published on Global Voices here. It’s not every day in Russia that over a dozen people die in a single traffic collision, so when an Armenian national crashed a freight truck into a bus full of passengers last weekend, killing eighteen, it caught people’s attention. The incident was even captured on amateur …

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Vladimir Putin: Lord of the (Super Bowl) Rings

This article was originally published on Global Voices here. Did Vladimir Putin steal New England Patriots’ owner Robert Kraft’s Super Bowl ring when they met in 2005? Many Russian bloggers are asking that very question, after Kraft claimed in a June 14, 2013, New York Post interview that he had in fact not given the ring …

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The Best of the ASEEES 2012 Conference for Russia Watchers

Dear readers, though my Russia blogging has moved to Global Voices, I’m always looking for things worth posting to AGT, which I haven’t abandoned, and will one day undoubtedly return to. This Friday thru Sunday, I’ll be attending the 44th annual convention of the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies (ASEEES) in New Orleans. This is …

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Catherine Fitzpatrick: Hero Blogger

Everyone enjoys reading about himself. This wretched egomania fuels the celebrity phenomenon that is the lifeblood of modern society, and why not! So you can imagine my delight to awake this morning to Catherine Fitzpatrick’s latest four-thousand-word-long masterpiece — an attack on me, my sinister Kremlin sympathies, and the outfit (Global Voices) where I recently signed on as …

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How Did So Many Kremlinologists Get It Wrong?

Are Russia-watchers guilty of over-thinking or over-hoping? Sam Greene claims to have been the “last analyst left in Moscow who actually thought that Dmitri Medvedev would stay on as president of Russia,” but this is hyperbole. Analysts as talented as Stanislav Belkovsky, Igor Yurgens, and Gleb Pavlovsky (to name just a few) were also in …

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Exit Kudrin

In light of Aleksei Kudrin’s departure from the Ministry of Finance yesterday, I’m posting this follow-up to my initial thoughts about Russia after Putin’s return. Before Medvedev spit hellfire and brimstone at Kudrin on Monday, Igor Shuvalov seemed convinced that Russia’s long-time Finance Minister would be migrating from the ‘government’ to the ‘Kremlin,’ just as …

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