Ending the Snow Revolution: Road Maps & Dead Ends

The first of possibly several waves of mass demonstrations has swept Russia. Yesterday, a crowd maybe as big as one-hundred thousand people gathered in downtown Moscow to protest voter fraud in the December 4th parliamentary elections. The big question now is: where does Russia go from here? For most observers on the ground, there is …

Continue reading ‘Ending the Snow Revolution: Road Maps & Dead Ends’ »

Navalny’s Nationalism

“I don’t know why foreigners love to always photograph me in vests. A possible explanation is that, in every foreign article about me, it’s necessary to cautiously mention that my ‘general views are somewhat nationalist.’ To Europeans and Americans, the vest is a symbol of the four-eyed nerd. Maybe a “nerd-nationalist” is somehow less scary.” …

Continue reading ‘Navalny’s Nationalism’ »

A Response to Julia Ioffe’s “Happy Birthday, You’re Fired”

Yesterday in Foreign Policy, the latest article by Julia Ioffe appeared on the subject of Yuri Luzhkov’s ouster. The piece, “Happy Birthday, You’re Fired,” makes for a good read, but I disagree with much of its content, and so I offer the following response. Ms. Ioffe’s central thesis is that firing Luzhkov does nothing to …

Continue reading ‘A Response to Julia Ioffe’s “Happy Birthday, You’re Fired”’ »

Not-Quite-Secret Agents: the Spy Scandal

The “Russian spy ring” story has been alternately thrilling and boring the news-reading public for nearly 48 hours now, and it’s safe to say that — until the FBI or U.S. Attorney’s Office or the Justice Department releases any new information — there’s not much left to say. There wasn’t a whole lot of journalism …

Continue reading ‘Not-Quite-Secret Agents: the Spy Scandal’ »

The Victory Day Commentary

It’s been more than a week now since Russia celebrated the 65th anniversary of the Soviet Union’s defeat of Nazi Germany. I caught a little bit of the parade and the fireworks on Россия 24, and it was basically what you’d expect: a bunch of happy people standing around outside, watching things proudly march by …

Continue reading ‘The Victory Day Commentary’ »

A Response to Julia Ioffe's 'Bears in a Honey Trap'

Yesterday in Foreign Policy, Julia Ioffe published the most in-depth English-language article to-date on the hidden-camera scandals in Russia. She interviews Solidarnost’s Ilya Yashin, Nashi’s Robert Schlegel, and the center of the fiasco himself: Viktor Shenderovich. It is a weird article. Yashin compares infidelity and mattress-humping to defecation; Shenderovich says that his wife “reacted completely …

Continue reading ‘A Response to Julia Ioffe's 'Bears in a Honey Trap'’ »

The Un-Alarmist Article Will Not Be Published

Julia Ioffe, a young journalist who’s written for Fortune, Newsweek, and the New Yorker, has an interesting new article out in Foreign Policy. “The Revolution Will Definitely Not Be Televised” is about the Russian opposition’s new campaign of “thirty-firsts,” which is an uncharacteristically well conceived strategy that’s recently popped up among the liberals. Modeled on …

Continue reading ‘The Un-Alarmist Article Will Not Be Published’ »