EDITORIAL: On Being “Russian”


On Being “Russian”

We have a challenge for you. Go to Moscow, sidle up to the first Russian you see, and ask them whether the following names are “Russian” — Nazyr, Islam-Beka and Aslanbek.

You won’t need to hear an answer. The quizzical “what kind of moron am I talking to” stare you will get should be sufficient. People with names like Nazyr, Islam-Beka and Aslanbek are subject to being lynched on sight in the Moscow city subway system or being cut to ribbons by machine gun fire in places like Chechnya and Georgia.

Yet, as the first week of the Olympic games drew to a close, Russia had won only seven gold medals, a puny total exceeded or matched by seven other countries, and six of them had been won by Nazyr, Islam-Beka and Aslanbek — two each in the sport of Greco-Roman wrestling. The only athlete with a “Russian” name who had won a gold medal was Valeriy Borchin in race walking (20 km).

How is it that folks like Nazyr, Islam-Beka and Aslanbek get to be suddently “Russian” when the are capable of winning medals at the Olympics, but then immediately lose that status everywhere else in Russia? How is it that, having divested them of that status, Russians can still lay claim to the territories they live in as being “part of Russia”?

These are the questions we are asking.

12 responses to “EDITORIAL: On Being “Russian”

  1. Speed walking?!? That’s a disgrace to the man race!

  2. This story actually makes me realize something. I’ve heard of medal winners in my country, but it really is of no consequence.

    In my country, the only thing that matters to me is that the government has its restrictions, and it will leave me the fuck alone. As long as it doesn’t get any ideas from you jerkoffs.

  3. I hope that one day you will taste the bitter sweet flavor of liberation. It’s alot like the night rain, only without the police.

  4. LaRussophobe, regardless of gender

    1)the information you provide on the number of medals won is inaccurate. According to the BBC, Russia is number 6 -puny no doubt, especially for overachievers like you-in terms of gold medals (8 on a par with 3 countries). Moreover, you quite conveniently fail to mention the number of silver and bronze medals- which I imagine you’re in a position to disregard- ( 13 and 15 respectively, when China (nr 1) in both cases 14, the UK (nr 3) 7 and 8 and Australia (nr 4 considered a sports superpower 10 and 12) totaling 36 (third only to the USA and China).

    2) What do you actually mean “divested of [the status” of being Russian? If these people have been victimized to such an extent, why are they participating in the Olympics for Russia? Why don’t you actually ask them how they feel? But then again, seeing the accurateness of your information…. yeah well…

    LA RUSSOPHOBE RESPONDS: Sorry, but you don’t get to decide the topics of our posts. If you want to decide topics, write your own blog you mushroom-brained idiot, and see how many people read it. Good luck with that, you loser. We choose a topic and you want to change it. That proves we won the argument and you can’t respond except by talking about something else. Really, really lame. Embarassingly stupid and neo-Soviet.

    Russia’s gold medal count is matched by tiny countries like South Korea, Japan and Italy. Germany, Australia and Britain, as well as the U.S. and China, all have more gold medals than Russia. Right now, Russia has ONE THIRD the total gold medals the US has, less than half the number of total medals China has, and barely more than half the U.S. total medals. If you’re proud of that, you’re a classic Russian idiot. Instead of admitting Russia obviously has a problem and looking to reform, you want to JUSTIFY RUSSIAN FAILURE, which is the same as saying you want it to continue. Why do you hate Russia that much? What did it ever do you?

    Read more about Russia’s Olympic fraud here:


    Why don’t YOU ask them, you lunatic? Why don’t you READ THIS BLOG and see how people with dark skin are treated in Moscow, with race killings exploding from last year to this. These people want their country to love them, that’s why they do it. But their country DOESN’T. That’s a disgrace, and the purpose of this post. You are one of the biggest losers ever to comment on this blog. You have the intelligence of a lemon and the morality of a cockroach.

  5. 1) As of 19 August 2008, Australia and Germany have won 11 and 10 gold medals respectively, Russia 9. If you regard this as neo-Soviet failure, then it would be worth asking how the USA is doing in comparison to China ( 25 as opposed to 40 and if we subtract Phelps’ 8 that brings it down to about 17-18, half that of the USA). Moreover, neither the UK, nor Germany, nor Australia seem to vies this as an utter failure. Please site anything that indicates the opposite. The only reason I am making any reference to numbers is that I want to demonstrate your inaccuracies, lies (in some case) and selective (aka biased) focus on events.
    2) Your application of the term failure -in light of the above- is either one maliciously and subjectively applied or totally misused, hence good reasons why someone should not take you seriously.
    3) Your reference to Amsterdam/Pasko is interesting but you might not know that athletes do train in other countries sometimes/often the USA. After all, Brazilian/German/British football players play for other countries’ teams. But let us assume that the Russians are American trained, then why are they doing so “badly” or (in the case of winning) what about their American competitors who lost? Weren’t they trained in the USA? What about these perceived “non-Russians” where were they trained?
    4)I mention all this because something tells me this had little to do with racism but sport. Which is why you chose to respond focusing on sport. But since you mention racism, it would perhaps be worth asking how are things in Tatarstan? Heard of any ethnic conflict lately? Or maybe in other regions where non-ethnic Russians live?
    What you write about in your blog is racial attacks by skin-heads (something I strongly condemn, although I doubt if you would do the same if Russians were attacked). But all of society cannot be blamed for skin0heads, just as the American society couldn’t be blamed for the K u Klux Clan (spelling?), or the British one for the National Front, or the Greek one for the Hrisi Avgi.
    5) For someone who claims to be so victorious you do show some rather disturbing signs of insecurity in your ad hominem attacks and focus very little on your main topic -albeit accusing me of deliberately changing the subject.
    You may try to degrade me as much as you like, I really don’t mind because I know what my morality and intelligence is and don’t really take your “editorial judgment” to seriously.

    LA RUSSOPHOBE RESPONDS: Neville Chamberlain was also quite confident of his intelligence and morality, as was Adolf Hitler. Meanwhile, when was the last time YOU WROTE A COMMENT ON THIS BLOG condemning racism in Russia and Putin’s failure to do A SINGLE THING about it? When was the last time Putin gave a speech condemning Russian racists? Did you even read our most recent post about race violence in Russia before making your absurd statements? You speek as if you think you are better informed that the team putting out the most powerful Russia blog on the planet. What ludicrious self-delusion and hubris! Dude, who do you think you are fooling? Give it up, you are just digging yourself deeper with every shovelful of manure you lift.

  6. LaRussophobe,

    What happened to Publius?

    Keep up the great work and try to find out the extent to which the Georgians kicked butt.

    There is no coverage of the fact that their flagship was hit and had to retreat and that the “Georgian” tank wreckage looks exactly like the new tanks coming into Georgia sporting Russian flags.

    LA RUSSOPHOBE RESPONDS: Technical issues with the provider that apparently nobody could resolve. All Russia content is here now. OK, we’ll look into it. Meanwhile, if you find something interesting, let us know.

  7. “Go to Moscow, sidle up to the first Russian you see, and ask them whether the following names are “Russian” — Nazyr, Islam-Beka and Aslanbek.

    You won’t need to hear an answer. The quizzical “what kind of moron am I talking to” stare you will get should be sufficient. ”

    Um, yeah, that’s cause they’re not Russian names. “Mushroom-brained idiot” I like that, though. Way to go The Most P0werful Russia Blog on the Planet!

    LA RUSSOPHOBE RESPONDS: Careful, your racism is showing. We mean Russian in the sense of citizenship not race, you gorilla. Next time, read the post you comment on and understand what it’s about before commenting, it may help you look like less of a fool!

  8. The answer to the question of whether these names are Russian depends on which word for Russian you use. The adjective ‘Russky’ is an ethnic term, referring to the Russians as a Slav people. The adjective ‘Rossisky’ is a multi-ethnic term and refers to the Russians in the sense of citizens of the Russian federation.

    So if you ask your first Russian (of whatever ethnic origin) whether Aslanbek is a Russian (Russky) name they will say no. If you ask them whether Aslanbek is a Russian (Rossisky) name they will say yes. The Olympic team is Rossisky not Russky so there is no contradiction about Aslanbek being in the team. Rossisky does not have a negative connotation. A Tatar will proudly tell you that he or she is Rossisky not Russky, just a Welshman will tell you he is British not English.

    When this distinction is taken into consideration your post seems completely pointless. I would have thought you would have known about this. having lived in Russia.

  9. Since my last comment has gone missing, I’ll just say that for someone who claims to be an expert on Russia, calling Russians a “race” seems rather silly.

    LA RUSSOPHOBE RESPONDS: We couldn’t agree more. Russians aren’t a race, they are a nationality. Statements that attack Russians therefore cannot be racist. Only statements about Slavs could be racist. We don’t call “Russian” a “race.”

    Russians however, are quite confused about this. This disqualify from the definition of “Russian” anyone with dark skin, and routinely butcher such people, including children, regardless of what passport they may hold or where they were born (others stand idly by watching hit happen). Yet, as this post shows, when such persons accomplish something in sports, Russians forget all that hatred and, sickeningly, try to take credit for those accomplishments.

    Seems as if you hardly read our post before commenting (and are somewhat paranoid). That would imply you may be Russian.

  10. Don’t you people have any short-term memory (c)?

    La Russophobe: “We mean Russian in the sense of citizenship not race, you gorilla”

    La Russophobe: (two comments later) “We couldn’t agree more. Russians aren’t a race, they are a nationality”

    LA RUSSOPHOBE RESPONDS: Please don’t drink vodka before you post. Or is it that you are simply an illiterate baboon? These two statements are perfectly consistent and say the same thing, i.e., we are NOT talking about race, but about citizenship, when we talk about Russians.

    Dude, you are a moron. We don’t like morons. Please go away.

  11. If you say “We mean Russian in the sense of citizenship not race” you imply there are two meanings of Russian, citizenship and race. In fact, because there is only one word for Russian in English, it can mean, depending on context, ethnicity or nationality. I read the post and understood it perfectly. You, of course, meant that Nazyr, Islam-Beka and Aslanbek aren’t ethnic Russian names. The fact is, Nazyr, Islam-Beka and Aslanbek never will have the status of “ethnic Russian” and they were never stripped of it, but their nationality is Russian because the territories where they live are indeed part of Russia and they are citizens of Russia (If they were so unsatisfied with their status in Russia, I doubt they would represent Russia in the Olympics). If acknowledging that means I am racist, don’t tell my mother-in-law, Nazyra.

    LA RUSSOPHOBE RESPONDS: Perfectly? Sir, you are demented.

    Our point is that Russians don’t view Nazyr, Islam-Beka and Aslanbek as being citizens because of their skin color, regardless of what the law says. The law is an institution that Russians famously disregard. Instead, in places like the metro, they KILL people with names like Nazyr, Islam-Beka and Aslanbek on sight. If you actually read our blog, you’d know we have documented these killings chapter and verse for many years now. They hold them in absolute contempt and deny them the rights of citizenship, just as Americans once did in regard to blacks, and yet Russians demand that their regions, like Chechnya, remain part of Russia and even try to claim credit for their athletic achievements.

    Your arrogance and insularity are truly breathtaking. We pity you.

  12. By documenting so much bad news out of Russia you seem to have driven yourself insane with hatred. I agree that the level of ethnic violence in Russia is appalling, but I know many people (both russkie and rossiskie) who fight it and who aren’t racist. There is also more to Russia than the Moscow metro, there are many ethnic-run minority autonomous regions where people of different ethnicities, races and religions live in harmony.

    LA RUSSOPHOBE RESPONDS: Translation: “I now see I was wrong, but I can’t admit it, so I’m going to try to change the subject to a completely stupid one [Moscow doesn’t matter, autonomous regions are key], and I hope you won’t notice. I’m also a blazing hypocrite who doesn’t mind engaging in the language of hatred even as I condemn it.”

    So lame, dude. Crawl back under your rock. By the way, thanks for all the links showing Russians living in racial harmony! Dimwit. Careful there, your nationalism is showing. XYZPDQ!

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