Russia round-up #2: The BRICS, neo-Nazis, Babitsky and Ukraine

As promised, here is this week’s list of Russia-related content from around the interwebz. A lot of good stuff worth reading.


1. 5 factors limiting the impact of the BRICS nations – Andrey Movchan, The BRICS Post

The question here is: Are the BRICS members too different to represent a solid economic and political power?

Movchan lists five reasons why the believes their impact is limited — and it’s worth reading. There’s a lot of hysteria over the BRICs in anti-US circles; a lot of loud excitement about how they are creating a ‘New World Order’ and damning the unipolar world to hell etc.

But I think we ought to be more thoughtful and realistic about this. The BRICS are hugely important — I’m a big fan of the whole enterprise, and their expanding role is more than welcome and necessary — but they have their problems, which require proper scrutiny and analysis. Continue reading

Russia round-up #1: ISIS, Kiselev, Georgia and Ukraine

From now on, every Sunday I will put together a post here with a list of what I felt were some of the best Russia-related articles and content online in the preceding week. It will mostly be articles, but it could occasionally be videos or podcasts, too. I envision the list could be anything between 5 and 10 pieces every week, give or take.

I’ll try to keep it as balanced as possible and use content from all kinds of sources, but will only use content that I feel is fair (or at least making a genuine attempt to be fair) — nothing too outlandish in either direction. That’s pretty much the only rule.

I’ll use the tag ‘russia roundup’ on each post so it will be easy to find past posts, should you ever want to.

So here we go. Week #1 list:
Continue reading

The worst headline you’ll read this week

I genuinely could not believe my eyes when I saw this headline on Facebook.


Paul D. Shinkman, a national security correspondent for US News & World Report wants us all to “get used to” the fact that the US will be killing more Iraqi citizens in the fight against ISIS — and in fact, the US is actually being too careful to avoid civilians, he says.

Because remember, the US can do anything because terrorism is bad, and they’re good, right? Just imagine how Shinkman would likely react to a headline that read: ‘American civilians will die, and we all need to get used to it’.

No doubt he’d be throwing a tantrum and calling it terrorism.  Continue reading

My blog was attacked by trolls last night

As the title suggests, trolls attacked my blog last night.

This post
, which mentioned the mystery ‘troll factory’ in St. Petersburg was the focus of their attention. At first glance, the comments would appear to be anti-Kremlin comments.

Every single one them was congratulating Lyudmila Savchuk for supposedly exposing ‘Putin’s secret troll factory’, as the Daily Mail reports. All the comments were pro-Savchuk, calling her a hero, a fighter, courageous etc. They basically were supposedly celebrating the downfall of Putin’s ‘awful propaganda machine’.

Take a look.  Continue reading

This is what’s passing for a map in Dutch schools these days

You might remember a few weeks back, I said that overusing the word ‘Russophobia’ was counter-productive and actually trivializes real instances of Russophobia?

Well, this is what I meant. This here is real, indisputable, disgusting Russophobia and should not be acceptable under any circumstances. The below image is a ‘map’ published in a school book in the Netherlands for kids aged 15-16. It depicts Russia as a monster with claws and fangs, devouring Ukraine and snarling at Europe.

Kids believe what they see in their textbooks. They take it as gospel truth. It therefore must be balanced, facts-based and not deliberately aiming to promote any sort of extreme or dangerous political views. This is nothing more than pure anti-Russian propaganda and a blatant attempt to brainwash children. If you see it as anything else, you’re frankly deluded.

I’ll have a longer piece about this on Russia Insider tomorrow.

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The lights are on in Washington, but nobody’s home.

[This article was originally published at Russia Insider]


It’s been nearly a month since John Kerry’s amicable reunion with Vladimir Putin in Sochi, but it might as well have been a decade, because the gulf between what is said in Moscow and what is understood — or more appropriately, misunderstood — in Washington, is as wide as ever.

Any predictions that the US was about to change tactics in its Russia strategy were premature.

That was thoroughly confirmed by Barack Obama’s words at the conclusion of the G7 summit in the Bavarian Alps yesterday when he accused Putin of trying to “recreate the glories of the Soviet empire”. Continue reading