Now that I’m back to blogging more regularly, I thought it was about time to resurrect the weekly roundup of my favourite posts from around the Russia blogs. Rather than keep calling it by its original dull name (Russia Blog Roundup), I thought it was time for a cool and dynamic new name.
So, without further ado, I present you This Week in Russia Blogs (TWiRB!) #1…
My two favourite posts from this week both come from Mark Adomanis over at the Russia Hand blog. He counters those who argue that Russian Foreign Policy is motivated by an authoritarian regime’s hatred of Western democracy by pointing out that Russian foreign policy over the past decade has been consistently based on “a persistent and robust defense of Russia’s interests”. Mark talks mostly about Russia’s relations with Israel and Tajikistan, but it’s something that applies to pretty much every Russian foreign policy – take Russia’s policy towards Syria as another recent example.
In a later post, Mark also goes on to note that current US policy towards Russia isn’t really a threat at all to the current Russian regime, and that Russia’s assertive foreign policy pronouncements over the past week or so are actually more aimed at the Russian domestic audience than the United States.
A few related posts that are worth reading come from:
- Brian Whitmore at The Power Vertical who notes in horror (not really) that Medvedev was caught telling the truth about the real reason for Russia’s war with Georgia
- from Putinania, who links Medvedev’s recent statements to United Russia’s falling poll numbers and
- from Vadim Nikitin at Foreign Policy Blog who explains how Putin is pandering to Russian nationalists.
Other top Russia blog posts that caught my eye this week are:
- Actually, not quite Russia, but a great post nonetheless at Registan.net from a volunteer who has to leave Kazakhstan because the Peace Corps is closing its operation there. (Scroll down to read the 117 comments on the story)
- A Good Treaty asks whether the hope vested in Russian internet activists is a Runet delusion
- Neeka takes a trip down memory lane and posts some 2004 pictures from Keiv’s Maidan Square
- The Kremlin Stooge is grumpy because people are over-hyping emigration from Russia.
- In Far From Moscow’s music corner we have Pathetic Records – Apparently the Worst Label in the World
- A complete guide to saying thankyou in Russian. Be polite – go on, you know it makes sense.
- Russian cabbage pie! For those cold, winter nights.
And, finally, lets finish off with a nice animated video that tells the tale of the Valdai Bells, courtesy of Russian History Blog.
Valdai Bells / Валдайские колокольчики from Zoya Kharakoz on Vimeo.
Well, that’s your lot for this week. If you think I’ve missed any really good blog posts about Russia let me know in the comments below.
ON RUSSIA’S POLICY TOWARDS SYRIA:
I curse Vladimir Putin, the Russian leader, for helping in its wanton destruction, as he uses his veto to protect murderers, and supplies submarines and state-of-the-art weapons to kill yet more innocent Syrians. We Syrians recognise the type only too well. Vainglorious, brooking no dissent, buoyed up by financial mafias and laying on putrid cold war rhetoric, which leaves us even colder.
While I agree with a lot of what Rana Kabbani says in her Guardian article, I have to ask… how many Syrian civilians have been killed by submarines?
And what gives this Rana Kabbani character the right to speak for all Syrians?
Phoby, Phony, Phoby…
The Syrian forces have not rubbled a city, like NATO did to Sirte…
The faux outrage you spew falls flat, but its fun watching you froth helplessly spewing it.
The usual approach when your effort at starting up a new blog isn’t gathering momentum the way you thought it would – sprinkle a bunch of comments around on other blogs, and hope it generates traffic for yours. Phobie has been active on other blogs to a degree not seen since she was starting up La Russophobe. “Dying Russia” appears to be…well, dying.
As rapidly became formulaic in other “Arab Spring” revolutions-in-a-box, almost all the information sourced to breathless western media outlets has come from “activists”. The west only listens to one kind, if there even are pro-Assad activists. And thanks to kievite at my blog, we see from the precedent established in 2003 at Akre and Wilson vs. FOX News, State of Florida, that “…falsification of the news does not rise to the level of a “law, rule, or regulation,” it [is] simply a “policy.” Therefore, it is up to the station whether or not it wants to report honestly.” FOX’s appeal rested on the premise that there are no written rules against distorting the news in the media, and they won. Fox’s attorneys did not dispute Akre’s claim that the station pressured her to knowingly broadcast a false story, they simply maintained that it was their right to do so. That’s not just FOX News, although they’re the worst of a bad lot. I’d be interested to know if there’s anything in the laws of other countries that prohibits knowingly broadcasting lies. I’ll bet there’s not.
NATO enabled a government in Libya that was flying the al Qaeda flag from the rooftop in Benghazi within a week of the rebel victory. Nice going, boys – I was under the impression al Quaeda was the enemy.
Mind you, that’s what’s nice about America – they don’t hold a grudge. Unless it’s against Russia. The Republicans are still squalling that Jackson-Vanik should be kept in place to exclude Russia from the WTO, but Jackson-Vanik was established because elements within the American legislative body felt Russia was restricting the emigration of Soviet Jews. Meanwhile, Americans can’t get enough of Mercedes and BMW’s made by a people who once thought it was a good idea to eliminate Jews from the face of the earth altogether, and had made a pretty impressive start on it. Never mind – they said they were real sorry, so let’s let bygones be bygones, shall we? Meanwhile, the big story at “Atlas Shrugged” is that Butterball turkeys are certified halal, and therefore are part of a Muslim plot to impose sharia law in America. Hey – know what makes food kosher? The bottom line is, Republicans and much of their voting base are too crazy to be trusted with running an organization that you wanted to be a failure, never mind one you wanted to be a success.
Thanks much for the shout-out, Andy. And it wasn’t just grumpiness about the ridiculous hyperbole associated with Russian emigration; see below for a new article written by Mr. Irtenyev – subject of the LA Times’ sappy story – in which he says the whole thing was made up by his neighbour, who is a stringer for the paper. He knew well the Irtenyevs had to stay in Israel 6 months because of medical insurance regulations.