Happy Birthday to LR!
Four years ago today, this blog was born.
We published three posts that day, April 2, 2006. One was an introduction to our blog, one was about Russia’s dismal performance at the World Figure Skating Championships that year, and one concerned the corrupt nexus between Vladimir Putin and former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder. Both substantive topics proved to be themes to which we would return many times over the next four years. Our seminal original post came out a few days later, and addressed “the felonious fraud that is Victor Yanukovich.”
Since then, this blog has grown from total obscurity to become one of the most potent sources of information about Vladimir Putin’s dictatorship in the world. We have been visited more than 2 million times as per our public visitation counter, and received more than 40,000 comments. We’ve created over 7,500 web pages, and they’ve been viewed nearly 4 million times. No other Russia politics blog on this planet can make those claims.
Our contribution to the understanding of Russia cannot be disputed.
Through the selfless efforts of a team of linguistic experts, we’ve published dozens and dozens of translations from the Russian press, including heroic bastions of democracy like Novaya Gazeta and Yezhedevny Zhurnal. One of our translations, Boris Nemtsov’s anti-Putin manifesto, was cited by the prestigious New York Review of Books. But for us, this material would never have seen the light of day in English. Most recently, we translated a report from the Memorial human rights organization about the killing of civilians by Russian forces in Chechnya, only weeks before the rebels lashed out against Russia with bombings in Moscow and Dagestan that killed over 50 people.
We’ve watched as Russian patriots like Anna Politkovskaya, Stanislav Markelov, Alexander Litvinenko and Natalia Estemirova have been shot and killed for criticizing the Russian government. We’ve played a crucial role in bringing to Western prominence other Russian patriots, like Oleg Kozlovsky and Roman Dobrokhotov. But for us, Signourney Weaver might never have handed Kozlovsky a major human rights award, and his words might not have appeared on the vaunted op-ed pages of The Washington Post.
We’ve fearlessly confronted the malignant regime of Vladimir Putin with a wealth of original editorial material unmatched by any other Russia blog, and we’ve challenged Putin’s “Komissars of the Internet” wherever they’ve appeared in the blogosphere.
We’ve also republished a vast array of material from other publications, material which in many cases would have permanently disapeared behind archive walls but for our tireless efforts.
We’ve accepted no financial support from anyone to compensate us for our efforts, and we’ve accepted a barrage of hate mail and threats and libelous smears from the Russophile scum who scurry like cockroaches to attack us.
But as long as Vladimir Putin and his KGB cohorts remain in power in the Kremlin, all of that means little except that we must redouble our efforts to make the world understand how venal and dangerous that regime really is. We cannot but express our deep gratitude to all those readers and contributors who have supported our efforts in the past, and we cannot but call upon them to redouble their efforts as well.
This fight has only just begun.