Masha Gessen’s Facebook Fuckup

Throughout the entire debacle that’s unfolded on Masha Gessen’s Facebook page over the past 24 hours, a phrase keeps coming to mind that I’m not sure how to explain: “You’ve got to hand it to her.” But why exactly? For what? There’s something awe-inspiring about Gessen’s sloppy, malicious attack on Anna Arutunyan, just as I’m …

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Pissing into an Ocean of Piss: Max Seddon, Jen Psaki, & the Kremlin’s Trolls

Over the past few weeks, the Internet group Anonymous International has leaked several hundred hacked emails belonging to people who apparently work at a marketing firm called the “Agency of Internet Research” (Агентство Интернет Исследований). I downloaded this stolen data (just kidding, law enforcement officers!), and the vast majority of the emails are excruciatingly boring. …

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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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