Russian Regression Roulette

Russia & the West.

Pt. IX: Russian Regression Roulette

Stephen King Flexible Bullet

Stephen King in his 1984 novella titled “The Ballad of the Flexible Bullet” presents a scary story, which shows how fragile our ‘normal’ consciousness is and that madness is actually contagious. Very little is needed for ‘the roof to start leaking‘ (krýsha poteklá – Russian idiom on going cuckoo). Continue reading “Russian Regression Roulette”

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”

Gas Pipe Dreams Holy Media Crusade

Russia & the West.

Pt. VI: Gas Pipe Dreams Holy Media Crusade

Some thoughts after reading another analytical piece on Russia: there are some repetitive motives which I’ve noticed in the Western Russia discourse. I’m on my tourist trip to Veliky Novgorod now, so I’ve decided to publish a quick update on one of this ‘cornerstones’.
Continue reading “Gas Pipe Dreams Holy Media Crusade”

I See What You Did There!


Of all the possible quotes from Russian literature they’ve chosen this one from Ivan Turgenev’s novel (and without actually mentioning his name). I see what you did there! Pretty smart for a Penguin.

Russia & the West: Vodka vs Caviar, or the Eternal Opposition?

Russia & the West.

Pt. IV: Vodka vs Caviar, or the Eternal Opposition?

§1. Vodkaviar.

Pubama Obutin ©, 2016.

Again a tussle with Europe (oh, it’s not a war yet: they say that we – Russia, that is – are still a long way from war). Again the endless Eastern Question is in the news; and again in Europe they are looking mistrustfully at Russia…. Yet why we should go running to seek Europe’s trust? Did Europe ever trust the Russians? Can she ever trust us and stop seeing us as her enemy? …

Fyodor Dostoyevsky, A Writer’s Diary, My Paradox, 1876.


The West in Russia is more than just the ‘West’.

Captain Obviov,  Lost Letters & Memoirs, 1989-2009.


…Let me quote Romano Prodi once again: “Russia and the EU are united like vodka and caviar“. He tried to modify an English proverb – ‘like whiskey and soda’. But my Russian friends told me that vodka and caviar are not always perceived integrally in Russia. Perhaps, I will advise him to say like vodka and herring next time.

Richard Wright (Head of the European Commission mission to the Russian Federation), Evropa (journal of the European Union), №6(29), June, 2003, p. 2.

Continue reading “Russia & the West: Vodka vs Caviar, or the Eternal Opposition?”