Ivan the Not So Terrible?

Bogdan (Karl) Venig - Ivan the Terrible and his old nanny, 1886.
Bogdan (Karl) Venig – Ivan the Terrible and his old nanny, 1886.

In the latest edition of monuwars (monument wars): the monument to Ivan IV aka Ivan the Deplorable Terrible in Oryol. Here’s a few quick thoughts on the subject. Continue reading “Ivan the Not So Terrible?”

Some Parallels Between the US 2016 Presidential Election & Russian 1996 One

Russia & the West.

Pt. IX: Some Parallels Between the US 2016 Presidential Election & Russian 1996 One

Trump vs Clinton
Trump vs Clinton

I’ve stumbled on a decent article summing up the way Hillary and Trump are seen from the Kremlin:

Continue reading “Some Parallels Between the US 2016 Presidential Election & Russian 1996 One”

Problems with Contemporary Russian Westernizers

Russia & the West.

Pt. VIII: Problems with Contemporary Russian Westernizers

Gely Korzhev - Triumphator (1993-1996). Oil on Canvas.
Gely Korzhev – Triumphator (1993-1996). Oil on canvas.

However, the mystery of the failure of all revolutions in Russia is a topic of a separate study. Today we will simply mark the fact that political evolution of the country did not take place.

Of course, one can do without a revolution but, alas, it is the revolution which gives an entrance ticket to the future. In addition, the revolution cleans up the country from the corrupt traditions and administrative dead thing. Such sediments are accumulated on any state’s framework, and Russia is a very severe case of that. Russia entered the 21st century without a single revolution in its history, its underlying mechanisms have never been updated: they keep on rumbling, generating lies, fear and war.

Alexander Nevzorov, Putin & Revolution.

It is interesting to see how the Russian language appropriates and redefines foreign words. I’m not using the term ‘liberal(ism)’ here because in Russia it turned into a pejorative: partly due to the collective memory of Yeltsin & Co. shock and awe ‘Westernization’, partly due to the certain positioning in Russia’s MSM. Western discourse-mongers use such found-in-translation cases in their self-fulfilling prophecy holy propaganda war, painting ‘the Russians’ as barbaric hordes of inborn totalitarians. Thus, I prefer to stick to the good old ‘Westernizer‘ term (in Russian – zapadnik) that is much more neutral.

Continue reading “Problems with Contemporary Russian Westernizers”

The Retrospective Foresight Saga (The Eternal Return of Russia Analysis)

Russia & the West.

Pt. VII: The Retrospective Foresight Saga (The Eternal Return of Russia Analysis)


A simple study of names and dates will prove that between the policy of Ivan III and that of modern Russia there exists not similarity, but sameness. […] At length Peter the Great coupled the political craft of the Mongol slave with the proud aspiration of the Mongol master to whom Genghis Khan had, by will, bequeathed his conquest of the earth.

Karl Marx, Revelations on the Diplomatic History of the Eighteenth Century (1857).


When I first went to Russia it was in 1991, I caught the last couple of months of the Soviet Union before it came crumbling down, and I was in Moscow during the coup against Mikhail Gorbachev, or the coup attempts, I should say, when there was this great optimism right after, that Russia would soon join the international community and would be sharing in Western prosperity, and so on and so forth. And it became quickly evident, in fact, it was evident already before then that the Soviet Union didn’t entirely crumble and leave a ruin on which to build a new shining capitalist democratic society but it still had many structures in place and many behaviors that continued. Nevertheless, I think it could have fundamentally changed, it was fundamentally changing in some ways in the 1990s, that is, I don’t believe Russia’s faded to remain a corrupt authoritarian country.

Gregory Feifer on Putin’s Russia (2015).

Ouroboros by Theodoros Pelecanos, in the alchemical Byzantine Greek alchemical manuscript Synosius (1478)
Ouroboros by Theodoros Pelecanos, in the alchemical Byzantine Greek alchemical manuscript Synosius (1478)

Of course, confrontation can’t last forever. When Russia emerges from its current course in the coming years or decades, it will be nearly as shell-shocked as after the Soviet collapse in 1991. The people will be confronted with the same massive task of reforming not merely the economy and government but also some of their cherished attitudes and thoughts. For now, however, they will no doubt dismiss the suspicion that will naturally fall on Russian Olympic medals in Rio, failing to see just what the Russian revelations have exposed about their country’s real place in the world.

Gregory Feifer, Russian Envy (2016).


The concept of Russia’s eternal sameness appears in a plethora of Western Russia narratives. By this ‘sameness’ I mean the continuity of Russia’s identical essence during all (or at least several) historical periods and forms of Russian statehood.

Continue reading “The Retrospective Foresight Saga (The Eternal Return of Russia Analysis)”

Twitter Poll on #Brexit


To be honest, I was surprised by the results of the referendum. I thought the overall vote would be slightly in favour of staying in the EU. So how do you feel about these results? I’ve created a Twitter poll, so please vote here: Continue reading “Twitter Poll on #Brexit”