Jun 19, 2015

Winter of Dissed Content

Another day, another attempt by some Russian official to save the Russian sole from the corrupting power of foreign cultural imports. In this case, our favorite bigot-in-chief, Vitaly Milonov, of the gay-propaganda law fame, is fuming against popular HBO series "Game of Thrones".  ...CONTINUE READIND>>

Feb 26, 2015

Russia: Internet Censorship 101

Courtesy of Russian president Vladimir Putin, "How to subdue the internet in a few easy steps", a instructional guide for authoritarians of all stripes. Especially useful for those in power in "democracies" who need to keep up appearances. ...CONTINUE READIND>>

Jan 03, 2015

Putin: Friends, Russians, Countrymen, lend me your trust

Putin has once more addressed the nation giving his traditional New Year's speech, compulsory viewing for any Russian citizen, mostly because that's the only thing on all TV and radio stations. Here is a rough yet nuanced translation that picks up the subtext:   ...CONTINUE READIND>>

Dec 17, 2014

The Man Who Loved Popularity Polls

Despite the economy's meltdown and the international isolation (or partly as a reaction to the latter), Putin has once more been polled in Russia as "Man of the Year". Granted, there is a year long, 24/7 all-media promotional blitz of Putin as the best thing that ever happened to Russia after the   ...CONTINUE READIND>>

Dec 03, 2014

Education in Russia: Sexcluded

According to the presidential children's rights commissioner, Pavel Astakhov, sex education will never be permitted in Russia's schools as it goes against the country's morals & traditions. He suggests instead that children be informed about sexual matters, and by sexual matters he means  ...CONTINUE READIND>>

Nov 05, 2014

Russia: The Attack of The Giant Gay iPhone

Who knew that Tim Cook's coming out would be yet another opportunity to see the butterfly effect in action. Here we have a man that comes out and soon afterwards a two-meter sculpture crumbles on the other side of the world. The said artifact was an iPhone-like memorial to Steve Jobs,  ...CONTINUE READIND>>

Oct 30, 2014

Military Procurement: A Message About Item(s) in Your Basket

Hi Russia Federation

We regret to inform you that the delivery of your item(s) has been suspended.

 ...CONTINUE READIND>>

Oct 20, 2014

Putin: La Dolce Vita or How to Survive World Summits

World summits are usually drab affairs and more so for those leaders whom a lot of their peers are quite antagonistic to and basically can't wait to see the back of. Vladimir Putin is one of those leaders. And the EU-Asia summit in Milan this month was no different.   ...CONTINUE READIND>>

Aug 28, 2014

Ukrainian Conflict: To Whisk & Frisk in Minsk

On Tuesday, August 26th, a bilateral meeting took place in Minsk between the Russian and Ukrainian leaders with the purpose of diffusing the crisis in eastern Ukraine. Also in attendance at the same venue were the president of the host country Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko,   ...CONTINUE READIND>>

Jun 17, 2014

Russian Diplomacy: To Aid or Not to Aid

It is common knowledge that diplomacy, on many occasions, is nothing but a luster of politeness covering the grittiness of backstabbing, deception and schadenfreude, especially so in those that involve autocratic regimes. Case in point Russia's diplomatic contortions over the   ...CONTINUE READIND>>

May 30, 2014

Caucasus Boys: The Young & The Restless

Mother Russia, the Angelina Jolie of adoption-inclined countries, has for quite some time now, together with her spouse Vlad, been prolifically taking under its nurturing wing wayward toddler-regions, cast aside or mistreated by their previous foster homes, in need of a father-figure to look  ...CONTINUE READIND>>

May 23, 2014

The Importance of Being Earnestly Russian

State Duma, the Russian lower house of parliament, Kremlin's vouching automaton, has of late been merrily accelerating the tightening of the noose around liberties and rights of its citizens, be that through restrictions on their (a) identity (e.g. gay propaganda laws & dual passport ...CONTINUE READING >>

May 09, 2014

The Internet of Others

Another day, another restriction legislated (another liberty usurped) by the Russian Parliament, or to be more precise, another presidential decree rubberstamped by the parliament on Putin's behalf. Don't forget, his is a strategy of incremental rather than precipitous  ...CONTINUE READING >>

May 04, 2014

The Effervescent Road to Putingrad

In his dedicated and forthright effort to imbue the Russian society with the glorious effervescence and spirited joie-de-vivre of the Stalinist Soviet heydays, Putin has been spearheading the incremental revival of various staple traditions and hallowed practices.  ...CONTINUE READING >>

Apr.24, 2014

Russian Democracy: The Veiled Harlot of Moscow

On its long-brewing, headlong path into the bosom of authoritarianism, Russia under Putin's command & control, has been shedding reliably, one by one, all the vestiges of democratic governance that his government purports to be embodying.   ...CONTINUE READING >>

Apr.15, 2014

POTUS to PUTIN: Ukrainian Booty Call

Obama's phone calls to Putin are never a joyride and this latest one about the unrest in Ukraine was no exception. World leaders often have to warily pick up the phone and talk to each other about critical bilateral or international issues, to offer their congratulations on momentous  ...CONTINUE READING >>

Apr.11, 2014

Putin: Your Bestest Penpal 4Ever

Photograph by Andrey Rudakov

Bloomberg

A dedicated and prolific pen-pal to this mates in the West, Vladimir Putin never ceases to impress his addressees with his affectionate and cordial tone, his sincere interest in their affairs and his dedication on their common interests. Even when he broaches his fair grievances or  ...CONTINUE READING >>

Apr.10, 2014

Gorbachev: Destroyer of Nations, Corrupter of Souls

Now that the Russian Federation is back on track to reclaim its Soviet era dominion, the issue of accountability was bound to be brought up. And as for any chain of complex and nuanced historical events, politicians, for the sake of the public's comprehension, are embarking on the brave ...CONTINUE READING >>

Apr.09, 2014  | HANDBOOK OF INTL.DIPLOMACY

Handbook of International Diplomacy―The Authoritarian Edition: Vociferate to Precipitate

Apr.08, 2014

The Democratic Process: GlasNOT Versions

When your strategic planning relies on future outcomes that do not fall completely under your jurisdiction and/or involve your official dominion (in other words when there is no legitimate and expedient process of bringing them about) it is very helpful to borrow the paradigm  ...CONTINUE READING >>

Let's take the Ukrainian and Russian democracy paradigms as the opposite sides of the same coin that they are. On the one hand, Ukraine demonstrates the overt and unbridled expressiveness of its democratic process with yet another parliamentary brawl. Granted, the usual ...CONTINUE READING >>

Apr.07, 2014

Annexation Trends: DIY Edition

The Russian goverenment, in a humanitarian effort to assist communities and regions around the globe to break the shackles of oppressing capitols, has created handy DIY Secession/Annexation kits (recommended age 9 years and up), with easy to execute step-by-step instructions  ...CONTINUE READING >>

Apr.06, 2014 | LA CRÈME DE LA CRIMÉE

Ukraine:  Partly-Annexed, Fully-Invoiced

Ask anyone in the know about these things (anyone at Russia Today TV chanel preferably) and you'd find out that the Russians are by-the-book businessmen quite reverent to contractual obligation and the rule of law (the Russian law that is).  ...CONTINUE READING >>

Mar.27, 2014 | LA CRÈME DE LA CRIMÉE 

Crimea Annexation: The Crux of the Matter Revealed

Geostrategic calculations and historical grievances my ass... At last it now becomes evident why Russia took the trouble, risking world-wide outcry and derision, to annex a bankrupt, barren-soil godforsaken peninsula: To get its hands on Ukraine's omnipotent, hell-raising "Killer ...CONTINUE READING >>

Mar.12, 2014

International Relations: Like school-yard antics only with a better grasp of geography

Russian parliamentarians are calling for the US to be banned from the World Cup. Presumably these are the same Duma members who nominated Putin for the Nobel Peace Prize. Ok, fine, this was tit for tat for those US Senators' identically argued request for excluding Russia from the WC and surely they (the Russians) are getting a kick out of appropriating the West's accusations of "discrimination" & "military aggression" for their own rebukes. I can picture them in their bedecked Moscow premises, drafting the letter to FIFA over vodka shots and giggles, writing gems like: "It’s an eye for an eye, a ball for a ball" in the long literary tradition of Russian puns that defy translation.

Mar.11, 2014

Ukraine Counter-offensive: The Big Guns

After her erotically jingoistic performance onboard the battleship USS Missouri for "If I could turn back time" is it any wonder that Cher is at the forefront of the Ukrainian counter-offensive? Some clues from the aforementioned video:

>> Straddling humongous guns >> Ukrainians' national pastime. Also, implying that blowing the hell out of Russian forces is as easy as masturbation.

>> The navy theme >> Revoking the lease of Russian naval bases in Crimea. Plus, Ukrainian sailors rock the boat!

>> Black fishnet >> 2nd most popular pantyhose in Ukraine.

>> "Turn back time" >> A taunt to Russians now attempting to revert to the pre-Khrushchev era.

And lets not forget the obvious allusion to the Russian gay-propaganda law.

Mar.10, 2014

Putin: Peace is My Middle Name, Now where's My Prize?

Let's take a moment to ponder this piece of news (Putin's nomination for a Nobel Peace Prize), not a very long one, you don't want your brain-cells self-combusting. Now, candidates for the Nobel Peace prize can be nominated (amongst other sources) by any member of any national assembly. So it is fair to assume that Putin's nomination is a Duma initiative in an absurd attempt to strengthen his case that intervening in Ukraine is for humanitarian reasons and of course as another (futile) Olympics-like step for international recognition. Maybe the committee should consider a Nobel Belligerence/Self- Aggrandizement prize (though he'd probably boast about winning that too).

Mar.06, 2014

Annexation Trends: Made Easier

Regions, provinces, enclaves of the world, rejoice! The bureaucratic and logistics nightmare that secession and incorporation in another country is, will soon be over! Granted your choice for a new home is limited (namely Russia, maybe Mongolia too, if you bring cash) but it is sure worth it (think cheap vodka and natural gas). New simplified 3-step procedure: fill the application, hand in keys to all military bases (pending approval of application), point all tv antennas to soviet satellite and presto! you're done! And dont forget, complimentary "Russia Rules!" t-shirt for all new citizens.

Feb.10, 2014

Russian Figure Skating: Not Afraid to tackle the Heavy Issues

Russian Olympic ice skater, Julia Lipnitskaia, is reported to be doing her next routine to the theme from Schindler's List. “Finally, someone has adapted the saddest scene from a Holocaust movie into an acrobatic figure-skating routine.”

COMING SOON ON THE HEELS OF THIS PERFORMANCE:

>> The '12 Years of Slave' flogging scene reimagined as a Ribbon gymnastic routine

>> The Omaha Beach assault from 'Saving Private Ryan' as a Synchronized swimming routine

>> The crucifiction scene from 'The Passion of Christ' as a Equestrian vaulting routine

Nov.28, 2013

Russians to LV: Take That Look Off Our Square

According to Russian politicians, the Red Square's Louis Vuitton suitcase-construction is a vulgar symbol of crass consumerism, as opposed to the embalmed corpse of Lenin in display next door (a mere, subtle, innocuous little emblem of propagandistic canonization and ideological populism). Or maybe it is payback for those LV magaxine spreads featuring Mikhail Gorbachev (clearly a sly attempt to corrupt the Russian phyche). Russian plutocrats, oligarchs and their woman-folk are advised, when in public, to carry their LVs and Hermès accoutrement in a discreet, noninflammatory manner, namely surrounded by a posse of austerely dressed bodyguards. 

Feb.10, 2012

Ukraine: Winter Delight

When the official government advice to avoid freezing to death due to the cold front is to "run 8-10km every morning and bathe in cold water", we can speculate about the Ukrainian politicians' sense of humor (unlikely), their indoctrination in the theater of the absurd (slightly more likely), their touch-love approach to problem solving (probable but unlikely since problem solving is not their strongest suit) or maybe just their cynicism as a coping mechanism against life's existential irrationality.