Recent Posts

Biculturalism and the Apollo-Soyuz Mission


The final two short audio pieces from the Monterey Summer Symposium on Russia. “A Brief Conversation on Biculturalism” by Alexandra Diouk and “Remembering the 1975 Apollo-Soyuz Mission: 45 years of US-Russian Space Cooperation” by Lisa Becker.

Trash Protests and Leninopad


Two short audio pieces from the Monterey Summer Symposium on Russia. “The Great Russian Trash Crisis” by Seth Farkas and  “An Empty Pedestal: Ukraine after Leninopad” by Sabrina Beaver.

Moskalenko’s Mercury Mirage

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When I blogged on the “poisoning” of Karinna Moskalenko last week, I asked, “Was this a murder attempt, a warning, or just paranoia?”  Well now we definitively know: It was paranoia.  The French newspaper La Figaro reports that an investigation into the mercury that made Moskalenko ill was not planted there by a nefarious Putinite agent to sully another potential “fierce critic.”  Strasbourg authorities now say that the mercury came from a broken barometer left by the previous owner.  Moskalenko bought the car in August 2008 and just didn’t clean it.

One hopes that Moskalenko will now retract her statement “People do not put mercury in your car to improve your health.”  No people don’t, but it doesn’t help that when they do, they don’t clean it up.

I’m afraid that no matter what corrective Moskalenko provides, the damage as been done.  The articles echoing another Alexander Litivinenko scandal have already circulated through the culture industry circuitry.  Just a few days ago, Time called Moskalenko “a very high profile target.”  Yeah, apparently a high profile target of her own negligence.  Yesterday, the Washington Post used the poison paranoia to lambaste Russia (again).  Here is what WaPo had to say,

“Perhaps this was an unfortunate accident; the police in Strasbourg say they are still investigating. But history suggests otherwise.”

So what is the lesson to be learned?  Well, there is obvious lesson that Westerners should be more cautious in making Russia’s “fierce critics'” every word sacrosanct.  We might recognize that some of these people are victims of their own paranoia and self-deluded sense of importance.  They are not martyrs, saints, or saviors. No matter how much they want us to think they are.

Shout out to frequent SRB commentator Chrisius [Insert Title Here] for bringing attention to it and Eugene Ivanov, who discovered the story.