Updates from Russia

by Ingrid Robeyns on December 27, 2022

And so it begins… Yulia Galyamina, the first Russian professor who got fired because “she is a foreign agent”.

And here’s Dmitry Vasilets, a Real Russian Hero.

Also, while we’re talking about Russia: Please consider supporting Meduza. Russians must have access to free press, just like all of us – and after it got banned, Meduza can only continue thanks to subscriptions and financial support from outside Russia.



Weary 12.28.22 at 1:33 am

There is an alterntive point of view. That alternative view is that all Russians at present are almost incapable of producing something like liberal / free media that is unchained from an imperial mindset. That is, there are no “good Russians” at present.

Comparisons with RF and Nazi Germany are getting less farcical as each day passes. There were clearly good Germans during WW2. What was the attittude to German media in allied countries during ww2?

There are plenty of non- RF identified Russian language media sources. Ukraine, arguably, is the centre of free Russian language media production in this moment. Much of this is directed at the RF. And of course many RF emigres have explicity identified themselves with the Ukrainian war effort. Arguably some of the best RF journalists have allied themselves with Ukraine and now live in Ukraine.

The language barrier is a barrier. If you do speak Russian and want serious technical analysis from Russian, Ukrainian, Georgian and other regional experts, then local Ukrlife.tv video interviews via youtube is consistently pretty good. No subtitles of course.

If you dont speak Russian, then the podcast series Explaining Ukraine is good. Produced by US backed internews network. Slick in a western podcasty way. Current affairs rather than news – but will report on events as they arise -eg attacks on power supplies.

In summary, read Meduza if you wish. And plese be aware of these debates.


Thomas P 12.28.22 at 6:29 pm

What scares me is how Russian climate researchers are cut off from the world. Siberia is a large part of the Arctic and melting permafrost there is going to have a huge impact, but we’re losing vital information. I don’t care if they support the war against Ukraine or not, it will have no impact on their research or the war.


SeanW 12.28.22 at 9:37 pm

At least Twitter isn’t run by the FBI any more.


Chetan Murthy 12.29.22 at 7:34 am

Not all Russian emigre’ media is …. trustworthy. TV Rain was caught getting involved with trying to help RU soldiers with their equipment (clothing, etc) even as it had fled to Latvia — and reporting on this on video of all the mad things. The Latvians were not pleased, and summoned them to a hearing. TV Rain showed up without a Latvian speaker, b/c hey, doesn’t everybody speak Russian?



Chetan Murthy 12.29.22 at 7:40 am

There are decent Russians: of this there is no doubt. But I’ve noticed that even among Russian emigre’s there is a real dearth of those willing to stand up for Ukraine. We see many demonstrations in EU and CEE countries by RU emigres in support of RU’s invasion, and in those demos we never see any RU emigres counter-protesting. Instead, we see Ukrainians doing the counter-protesting (and getting physically attacked for it). It does make one despair that maybe even the “russian liberals” are imperialists.

And to this point, even some of the emigre journalists are pretty disappointing. I point specifically at Leonid Ragozhin only b/c I’ve seen him many times on Josh Marshall’s Ukraine Crisis Twitter lists (but there are others like him): he’s definitely got a “you can’t be beating up Russians, oh woe is me” vibe going there. Again, I don’t mean to single him out as some real bad guy: he’s not that different from other Russian emigre journalists and writers. His and their response to the talk of tourist visa bans for Russians was …. pretty disgusting: nobody was talking about banning Russians from asking for asylum — just banning tourist visas. And in the face of Russian tourists attacking Ukrainians, as well as almost-certainly including FSB/GRU assassination teams working in Europe, their resistance to a visa ban was particularly gruesome.


Chetan Murthy 12.29.22 at 8:12 am

Another media source about Russia and the former Soviet Union: Paul Goble’s blog Window on Eurasia: http://windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/

I’ve been reading him for many years (I forget how many, but >4) and have found both his writings, and what he republishes from many, many Russian-language, Russian-emigre, and former-SU blogs, to be pretty accurate and actually prescient. Most of the posts are republishing writings from that latter category of sources.


oldster 12.29.22 at 7:41 pm

Chetan Murthy —
I’d say something stronger about Leonid Ragozhin: he’s an active apologist for continuing Russian imperialism. Although he may never cross the line into over pro-Putinism, his criticisms of Russia are always carefully balanced by whataboutism of the West or Ukraine. And he sees “russophobia” in even the most well-deserved criticisms of Russia.
I have asked Josh Marshall to remove him from that twitter-list, because I think he is an agent of active misinformation. Marshall has not responded, which is his right, and perhaps he thinks that it is useful to have that kind of covert pro-russian stance represented among the voices. But Ragozhin has definitely gone onto my “do not trust” list.
On the larger topic: hundreds of thousands of young Russians fled the country to avoid mobilization, and we were told that they were the representatives of a new, post-Putin Russia. But they have done nothing, zero, to oppose the genocidal war in Ukraine. They have proven that they are utterly worthless and supine as a source of opposition to Putin.
Expatriate Iranians demonstrate against their brutal regime all over the world. Expatriate Russians say nothing. Shameful.


John Q 12.30.22 at 12:04 am

As this report shows, it’s not quite zero, but pretty close. Most of the opposition coming from people who left Russia before the February invasion



oldster 12.30.22 at 1:50 am

Thanks for adding nuance and a link, John Q. I usually prefer my invective absolute and undiluted, but there is something to be said for acknowledging that the facts are more complicated.


J-D 12.30.22 at 1:55 am

On the larger topic: hundreds of thousands of young Russians fled the country to avoid mobilization, and we were told that they were the representatives of a new, post-Putin Russia. But they have done nothing, zero, to oppose the genocidal war in Ukraine. They have proven that they are utterly worthless and supine as a source of opposition to Putin.

They’ve done as much as I have, and probably more. Would you rate me as utterly worthless and supine? I won’t be offended if you do; the thought that I’m worthless and supine occasionally wanders across my mind without being suggested by anybody else, and if that’s what you think of me I’d rather know than not know.


Chetan Murthy 12.30.22 at 11:52 am

J-D: are you a citizen of a modern war criminal regime, who found asylum in one of the countries targeted by that regime, and yet you do nothing? Or worse, you participate in demonstrations in support of that regime, again in the country hosting you, and a target of that regime ? If so, then yeah, you’re utterly worthless.

Russians in Europe participate in mass demonstrations of support for Putin, and you don’t see counter-demonstrations of Russians in Europe for Ukraine.

JQ: I scanned that link, and what I see is a lot of talk about Russian emigres wanting to not be politically active. But that’s not what we see today: what we see is large pro-Russia demonstrations by Russians in Germany and CEE countries.


Chetan Murthy 12.30.22 at 12:10 pm

oldster: I entirely agree with your characterization of Ragozin. I also had the thought “why does Marshall include this jamoke in his list?” but didn’t do anything about it.


reason 12.30.22 at 4:21 pm

I live in Germany and I dispute your characterization of the situation. There are some pro Russian demonstrations but it seems the majority of participants if you listen to them are anti-anti-Russian – i.e. they are complaining about discrimination.


J-D 12.30.22 at 9:45 pm

J-D: are you a citizen of a modern war criminal regime, … and yet you do nothing? … If so, then yeah, you’re utterly worthless.

Maybe I’ve misunderstood this comment, but what seems to me to be being suggested is that if I’m a Russian citizen who’s done nothing then I’m worthless, but the same evaluation doesn’t apply to me if I’ve done exactly the same nothing but I’m not a Russian citizen.

Why should my citizenship make any difference? I can’t figure any way it’s relevant to this evaluation.

In a similar way, I would say that when evaluating the actions of those who have supported the crimes of Vladimir Putin’s government, citizenship is not relevant; the same deeds should be evaluated in the sam way whether the people who did them were Russian citizens or not.

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