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In response to Putin's (in)famous NYT op-ed, McCain told CNN he'd love to reciprocate on Pravda. He was probably surprised when they agreed to it - but he may not have gotten quite what he expected, according to Pravda.ru's chief Vadim Gorshenin. The Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Pravda.ru Internet-media holding Vadim... Read More
According to a roundup of all the major exit polls by Kommersant, it appears that although Navalny's performance was massively better than expected, Acting Mayor Sobyanin still managed to avoid a second tour. In Moscow, voting has finished for the new Mayor. According to exit polls carried out at the doors of the election stations... Read More
It is wrong to glamorize a political hustler with five criminal cases against him, says the National Bolshevik leader - who claims street cred on account of having done real time. Eduard Limonov on why Navalny became a hero of the bourgeoisie. I pay a lot of attention to Navalny. I do. In so far... Read More
Battle of the hacks! In response to Alexei Pankin calling him an anti-Semite in The Moscow Times, Oleg Kashin pens a tongue in cheek response telling him to imagine a kitten dying every time he abuses an overworn cliche. In which Oleg Kashin gives some advice to the politologists. The editors asked me to reply... Read More
Why was there no bribery incidence data for Russia in Transparency International's international survey of 2013? Andrey Kamenetsky at Odnako connects the dots to argue that it was simply because the results were too inconvenient to serve as propaganda. Dear Readers! In July there took place two major crashes in Russia. Both of them were... Read More
There has been some confusion about Navalny's poll ratings due to the varying timing, phrasing, and options in the polls on the matter. The Russian Spectrum tries to clear things up. Below is a summary of comparable polls on this subject by date from two of Russia's three biggest polling agencies: The private Levada Center,... Read More
With the registration period over, there are now six candidates left to compete for the position of Mayor of Moscow in the coming city elections. Who will Muscovites vote for? Which of the following candidates are you prepared to vote for in the upcoming Moscow elections on 8 September? Out of all Muscovites ...who intend... Read More
Two Russian travel writers, Natalia Ko and Nikolay Varsegov, share their experiences in Belarus - very positive ones, for the most part - with readers of Komsomolskaya Pravda. The first surprise on detraining in Minsk: The taxi drivers here don't pester you, shouting, "Where are you going?" No bums can be seen either at or... Read More
Moskovsky Komsomolets' Dmitry Katorzhnov takes a walk around Moscow to ask people what they feel about Navalny. The impressions he gets don't promise anything good for his campaign. Half of the respondents do not intend to go to the polls anyhow. On Wednesday, July 10 Alexey Navalny will carry a Moscow City Election Committee paper... Read More
Russia is to spend 1.5 billion rubles building "Centers of Tolerance" to improve inter-ethnic relations in the next few years. Is this a good use of resources? Pyotr Kozlov examines the issue. The Ministry of Regional Development plans to start constructing Centers of Tolerance all across Russia from 2014, where anyone can go to learn... Read More
According to several experts, Russia may be facing a period of protracted low growth rates now that its GDP per capita has recently exceeded $16,000. Vedomosti's Olga Kuvshinova has the details. A variety of reasons are brought up to explain the Russian economy's slowdown to 1.6% growth in the first quarter by experts and officials:... Read More
When they are fed to other bureaucrats. Or so argues Mikhail Rostovsky in an op-ed for Moskovskij Komsomolets, in analyzing the resignations of Surkov and Alexei Chesnakov. Solve this riddle. What does it mean when you hear the clatter of plates, knives, and forks, loud chomping noises, and the desperate shrieks of the devoured: "I'm... Read More
In a recent poll conducted by the Levada Center, Leonid Brezhnev was revealed to be Russians' favorite ruler of the 20th century. Do you see his era as a Golden Age, or as a zastoi?
As Russia develops a Migration Code to deal with recent influxes, one police official testifies that 47% of crimes in Moscow are committed by foreigners. 47% of crimes in Moscow are carried out by foreigners, according to the latest statistics. This was announced by at a meeting of a Duma working group by the deputy... Read More
The Russian Spectrum presents the results of Levada, FOM, and VCIOM polls over the past dozen years showing the rapid digitization of Russian society. The three questions used were all similar: "Do you use the Internet, and if so how frequently?" Also in the latest Levada poll: "Do you use the Internet, and if so... Read More
Writing in Novaya Gazeta, Andrei Vladimirovich Kolesnikov argues that the branding of the opinion pollster Levada Center as a "foreign agent" marks Russia's return to the bad old days of Lysenkoism. Levada Center is being destroyed with Stalinist methods. Sociological data is dope for the present-day vlast. She looks at sociological reports just like a... Read More
In an interview with Kommersant's Ksenia Turkova, the director of the Levada Center Lev Gudkov argues that opinion polling isn't a political activity - and as such, that his organization is not a "foreign agent." The opinion polling agency Levada Center may cease to exist. The sociologists have received a warning from the Prosecutor's office,... Read More
The Latvian President has signed a law allowing Latvians to have double citizenship with other countries... except Russia. Moscow cries foul and calls on the EU to take action. Maria Efimova has the story. Latvian President Andris Bērziņš signed the law "On Citizenship," adopted by the Sejm on 9 May. This law allows Latvian citizens... Read More
In which Russian writer Dmitry Bykov compares the Russian opposition to Pugacheva, and God - for that is what most concerns Russians, and not the trivialities they typically discuss. Just about the same thing has happened to the Russian opposition as has happened to the Russian intelligentsia: it has been accused of every mortal sin;... Read More
Russian blogger Anton Nossik speculates on why Ryan Fogle's attempts to recruit Russian intelligence officers seemed to be so amateurish. In Soviet times, there was the following anecdote: An American spends 15 years at spying school getting ready to infiltrate the deep Soviet rear. He studies the Black Earth dialects, memorizes local maps, the manner... Read More
The Ukrainian feminist group FEMEN organize yet another topless action. Life in plastic ain't fantastic - and they will try to prove it through the power of their boobs. Sasha Pyatnitskaya covers the story for Komsomolskaya Pravda. The restless maidens of FEMEN, a Ukrainian feminist group, staged yet another of their topless protests. This time... Read More
More than 20 years after the fall of the USSR, Russia - and the other republics, too - remain deeply averse to the public expression of homosexuality. The Russian Spectrum makes available the results of two Levada polls, from March and May of this year, in an attempt to quantify this "homophobia" over the years.... Read More
Grigory Yavlinsky, head of the liberal Yabloko party and political old-timer, argues in a Vedomosti editorial that the Kremlin's crackdown on NGOs is not only ethically wrong but ultimately self-crippling. Unfortunately, the Russian nomenklatura has an exceedingly poor understanding of why we need independent public organizations, and the meaning of citizen control and social feedbacks.... Read More
In one of the most scandalous op-eds of the year, KP's Ulyana Skoybeda takes the liberal Leonid Gozman to task for equating SMERSH with the SS. The original byline was later toned down, and the author offered a partial - and some insist, halfhearted - apology. At times, one regrets that the Nazis didn't make... Read More
Based on multiple interviews with high-placed sources, Vedomosti's Lilia Biryukova, Maxim Glikin, and Maxim Tovkailo compile four major theories to explain Surkov's resignation last Wednesday: Was it a simple matter of under-performance, or are there deeper currents to the story? On Wednesday, President Putin acceded to the resignation request of Deputy Prime Minister and Chief... Read More
As the Russian Patriarch embarks on a five-day visit to China, Kommersant's Pavel Korobov takes a look at the history, current reality, and future prospects of Orthodoxy in China. Patriarch Kirill arrived in China on a five-day official visit. The leadership of the PRC has already called the First Hierarch's visit an historical event -... Read More
Analogizing to the Pussy Riot affair, journalist Oleg Kashin argues that the grisly murder of a gay man in Volgograd may soon shame - or rather, frighten - the Kremlin into dropping its gay-baiting campaign. This question is either for the intellect, or for general erudition: How many beer bottles can fit into the rectum... Read More
Russians don't trust their friends much. But they trust strangers and the state even less, so personal relations predominate in the economy at the expense of clubs, communities, and institutions. Sociologist Pavel Stepantsov paints a bleak picture of Russian society for Vedomosti. Many of the games we play, and that are studied by sociologists, are... Read More
Olesya Gerasimenko interviews Konstantin Lebedev, recently convicted of planning riots at the Bolotnaya rally of 6 May, 2012 and given a 2.5 year prison sentence. After his plea bargain and shocking confessions, his former comrades now call him a traitor. Were you pleased with the sentence? I was facing 2-3 years anyhow, so I don’t... Read More
Is discussed at the other blog. To add a couple of things that are Russia specific: (1) We now learn that the FBI had interviewed the older brother at the bequest of an unspecific foreign government – almost certainly Russia. Tamerlan had visited it for 6 months in 2011. I wonder if he established links... Read More
In a recent interview with the opposition Dozhd TV channel - which is, incidentally, available for public viewing in Russia as part of the NTV Plus satellite TV package - for the first time openly declared he wants to be President. He also speculated about the motivations behind the Kirovles fraud case being brought against... Read More
In an interview with Dmitry Nadezhdin, Russia's chief police officer says that he, as a citizen - if not as a government Minister - supports the return of the death penalty for the worst crimes. Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov says that it ain't happening. The Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev gave an interview to NTV, in... Read More
On 9 February, 2013 the Deputy Minister for Communications schooled Moscow State journalism students in the "propaganda model." They were none too thrilled about the lesson, as Natalia Romashkova writes. The Deputy Minister for Communications and Mass Media Alexey Volin explained the heated reactions to his speech at Moscow State University by the deep chasm... Read More
A new Levada poll indicates that after a brief infatuation with markets and "Western-style democracy" in the early 1990s, Russians more or less consistently consider the Soviet system to be the best one out there. Which of these political systems do you think is best: The Soviet system (the one we had until the 1990's),... Read More
Here it is in Russian: Вверх-вниз по рейтингу свободы. This translation here is of a longer version at my Russian language blog. A version of it also appears on Voice of Russia: Press freedom - on both sides of the Information Curtain. Thanks to Alexei Pankin (who is a regular at Komsomolskaya) for making it... Read More
In a comment for popular Russian newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda, Anatoly Karlin compares media freedoms - or the lack thereof - in Russia and the "free" West. There is a longer version of this article at Da Russophile. Recently the French human rights organization Reporters Without Borders unveiled new press freedom ratings, which showed Russia sinking... Read More
Russia claims one of the top places in a new ratings system of national innovation compiled by Bloomberg. According to the latest studies, the US was recognized as the world's most innovative country in a new rating. This is not surprising for a country that hosts the likes of Apple and Microsoft. But Russia at... Read More
Maxim Kononenko, the gadfly of Runet, on how the hunters may become the hunted in the Magnitsky saga. The representatives of the founder of Hermitage Capital, William Browder, have informed the High Court of London that their client sees no reason to respond to respond to the lawsuit against him by Major Pavel Karpov, the... Read More
Yuri Matsarsky meets up with Egyptian Christians who fled to Russia from the persecution of Islamist extremists. "Late one evening I was walking home after a meeting with friends, when I stopped to have a cigarette at the Domodedovskaya metro station and saw a crowd of people with small children at the entrance. By their... Read More
In her weekly column for Novaya Gazeta, Russian journalist and writer Yulia Latynina compares the civic-mindedness of American and Russian oligarchs - and not to Russia's favor. John Hopkins (1795-1873) - one of the richest men of the 19th century, trader and joint owner of railways - founded John Hopkins University (16th in the university... Read More
In the wake of Gérard Depardieu's scandalous "defection" to Russia to escape high French income taxes, liberal Russian journalist Gleb Razdolnov yearns to know what the hell he was thinking. Dear Gérard! You've taken the decision to abandon your homeland, France. We will not talk of the reasons that prompted you to take this step.... Read More
This post is a continuation of the last, and can otherwise be called "Konstantin von Eggert: A Case Study In Democratic Journalism (part 2)." Alternatively, one might view it as a refutation of claims that the Kremlin controls or censors the Russian media (Eggert's own protestations, hilarious and Orwellian in the context of what follows,... Read More
Natalia Zubarevich's concept of "The Four Russias" is one of the most reasoned and perceptive political analysis from the liberals, and as such I think it important enough to translate it (mostly I disagree with its core assumptions and conclusions though I do think it is a useful way of envisioning Russian politics). As such... Read More
Typically when Westerners write about Chinese and Russians they stress the negative aspects of the relationship. Russians are invariably racist towards the Chinese and fear them in xenophobic reaction to their (non-existent) swamping of Siberia. The Chinese for their part laugh at the alcoholic, non-productive Russkies. And quite likely they will soon invade and take... Read More
I will be jetting off tomorrow to Washington, but before I do - a translation of Edward Lozansky's interview with Komsomolskaya Pravda (Америка ненавидит Россию, которую сама себе придумала). Lozansky, who used to be a Soviet dissident, is the organizer of the World Russia Forum and has many strong, pertinent views on why it's a... Read More
Two weeks back, the distinguished Estonian poet and linguist Jaan Kaplinski in a comment on this blog linked to his article in the Russian-Estonian paper День за Днем lamenting the state of Estonian - Russian relations, especially as they were apparently really good back in the Tsarist days. In that article from От противостояния к... Read More
I'm not a big fan of analyzing Russian politics via "Kremlin clans". Estimating their relative power seems to involve mostly tea leaf reading, and in any case the entire exercise is of dubious predictive value. Even the exact compositions and identities of the various clans differ from analyst to analyst! Besides, clans are hardly unique... Read More
Le Nouvel Observateur recently compiled opinions on Russian democracy from each of the ten French Presidential candidates. While the Left is highly critical of the authoritarian Putin regime, the Right is more favorably disposed to the Russian President-elect. On the eve of the first round of the French Presidential elections, I provide a translation of... Read More
Apart from direct falsifications, which were extensively discussed here, the other really big criticism of the Russian elections process is that it isn't a level playing field. As said by an OSCE bureaucrat, "The point of elections is that the outcome should be uncertain. This was not the case in Russia." Well wait a second.... Read More
Did you know that elections in Britain and the US are marred by mass fraud? At least that would be the inescapable conclusion if they were to be subjected to the most popular methods to "prove" that Russian elections are rigged in favor of Putin and United Russia. Below I have a translated a delightful... Read More
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Anatoly Karlin
About Anatoly Karlin

I am a blogger, thinker, and businessman in the SF Bay Area. I’m originally from Russia, spent many years in Britain, and studied at U.C. Berkeley.

One of my tenets is that ideologies tend to suck. As such, I hesitate about attaching labels to myself. That said, if it’s really necessary, I suppose “liberal-conservative neoreactionary” would be close enough.

Though I consider myself part of the Orthodox Church, my philosophy and spiritual views are more influenced by digital physics, Gnosticism, and Russian cosmism than anything specifically Judeo-Christian.