It’s been another bumper week for blog posts about Russia. So good, in fact, that I had to bring forward my original publication date of Sunday, for fear that there would be more good posts tomorrow and I’d run out of space.
Seriously – this is an epic edition. You might want to go grab a cup of coffee before you start reading!
Let’s kick off with an in-depth exchange between Vadim Nitkin of Foreign Policy’s Russia Blog and Anatoly Karlin of Sublime Oblivion, who are doing their best to raise the standard of Russia blogging by engaging in honest to goodness in depth debate. Over the Kuriles and Khodorkovsky no less.
- First, Vadim provided his take on events in Khodorkovsky = Kurils, arguing that Russia’s stubborn refusal to do the sensible thing is, in each case, holding it back.
- Then Anatoly weighed in with his rebuttal – essentially (I think, and I’m probably grossly oversimplifying) arguing that it’s lunacy to give something away for nothing.
- Vadim bounced back with his brilliantly titled Kurilous Case of Khodorkovsky (although I suspect I may not be alone in being disappointed that Case was not spelled with a ‘K’…)
- Anatoly has (so far) the final word with an updated to his rebuttal post – scroll to the end of his post to read the update
If that’s not enough on the Kuriles, check out Streetwise Professor’s take – like Vadim he’s wondering just what on earth Russia is doing tweaking Japan’s nose like this.
“It wasn’t as if Medvedev just dropped by on his way to the store, or something. The efforts needed to make the visit truly were extraordinary. The weather over the islands is usually appalling, and bad weather forced Medvedev to abort an earlier trip. As it was, he had to fly to Sakhalin, change to smaller plane (no airport in the Kuriles being capable of handling his normal aircraft) and risk getting marooned there for an extended period by a bad turn of weather–which almost happened, in the event. In other words, he had to work very, very hard to deliver this facial to the Japanese.”
On a related theme, Robert Amsterdam diverts himself from the Khodorkovsky trial to talk about this week’s Alexander Lebedev raids:
“It’s the new legal nihilism: it looks like reform, it smells like modernization, and it’s nothing but good news for all the smiles, handshakes, and champagne from Washington to Paris and Berlin. Who, at this point, is the one acting like a nihilist?”
Also this week:
- Global Voices roundup Russian bloggers’ reactions to the horrific attack on Kommersant journalist Oleg Kashin and Korean bloggers’ reactions to the news that Putin’s daughter was to wed a Korean man, and the subsequent damage the story has done to his life.
- An exclusive interview over at A Good Treaty with KermlinRussia, who has built a massive following on Twitter by mocking the Russian leadership.
- Oleg Kozlovsky’s explores Peaceful and Violent Protest Trends in Russia.
- More data mining from Russian Sphinx results in an interactive map of Russian real estate prices.
- The 20th edition of Pravda on the Potomac is out.
- Yelena explains the linguistic challenges of catching a cold in Russia.
- How greed, corruption and incompetence is destroying Samara’s historical architecture.
- Russia might have lost a trillion roubles to corruption this year, but Medvedev’s looking on the bright side of life.
- A Russian Secret Police report on the moral and political state of Russia, from 150 years ago
- Windows to Russia gives us some thoughts on the problems with ratifying START as well as an Oladushki recipe (its a type of Russian pancake).
- Russian Strategic Nuclear Forces blog reports on the successful launch of the third Meridian communications satellite.
- Are Slavs Stupid? No, says the Kremlin Stooge – and he’s counted the Nobel Prizes to prove it.
- Austere Insomniac extensively dissects the work of Taras Kuzio.
- Five steps that Russia needs to take to build a decent tech industry.
- Award for post title (and topic) of the week goes to Paul Goble’s “Can translating Erotica save a Finno-Urgic Nation in the Middle Volga?”
Well, that’s it for this week. I’ll leave you with the news that Birdbrain has a new look. She’s wearing a variant on the delightfully styled 2010 Weaver theme, also on display here on SL, and over at Sublime Oblivion. It seems that Anatoly is a becoming bit of a blog style guru…