A Tsar Reborn

There were two monumental anniversaries this week in Russia: Mikhail Gorbachev’s 80th birthday and 150th anniversary the abolition of serfdom by Tsar “Liberator” Alexander II. 

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Imperial Reflections

“Are you ever going to put up another post?” Jim asks.  I’ve repeatedly asked myself that very question over the last two months.  Is SRB

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Post-Bombing Rundown, Part Two

Another day, more news.

But for some the news is the news itself.  As I suggested on Monday, it was only a matter a time, like seconds, that much of the Western media would be blaming Russia–which really is a metonym for Putin, Putinism or what have you–for the attacks.  I won’t spend so much time on identifying the metanarrative or metacommentary on all of this.  Others have been this already: Mark Adomanis, A Good Treaty, and Peter Lavelle.  I don’t agree with every bit of the metacommentary, but I do support the general thrust of their arguments.

One comment I will make is the controversy over what, how

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Post-Bombing Rundown

What follows is basically an incomplete rundown of some of the commentary coming out of Russia. It’s mostly based on the Russian language media since, frankly, much of the English language media is worthless with some notable exceptions. Topics include: Russian liberal narcissism, the question of blame, the tandem’s temperament, alleged racist retaliation, alleged cabbie extortion, paranoia and fear, outrage at Russia’s federal television channels, Moscovites’ public expressions mourning and loss.

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Medvedev Creating Own Party?

Time for everyone to put on their Kremlinologist thinking cap again! Get ready to roll those chicken bones and peer deeply into the tea leaves. The boys in the Kremlin are up to their tricks again. According to Trud, Medvedev is creating a new political party. The move would inevitably pit he and Putin in the gentlemanly game of Russian electoral politics. Is it truth or fantasy?

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Their Modernization and Ours

In Russia, the time of great campaigns has returned. In Soviet times, we broke new ground and planted corn. Then we fought against drunkenness and concerned ourselves with economic acceleration. We were not always successful, but certainly in the real world. Today’s Russia proclaims the slogan of modernization. But so far this modernization is only in cyberspace.

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“We Await You, Merry Gnome!”

Russian chinovniki are known for a lot of things–graft, ineptitude, oblomovism, and when necessary, zealous obsequiousness. Sometimes, the latter leads the chinovnik to take preemptive action in hopes to satisfy the leader even if the latter is not looking to be satisfied. Take for example, the recent hilarious incident in Omsk where a preemptive measure to make President Medvedev “comfortable” led to the removal of a poster reading “We Await You, Merry Gnome.”

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