EDITORIAL: The Russophile Guide to Style


The Russophile Guide to Style.

Having spent a good bit of time observing Russophiles feverishly attempting to rationalize and defend the failed Putin dictatorship, we feel we are now in a position to offer some conclusions about their style of work.

It’s really quite simple:  Russia is never wrong because Vladimir Putin is a god.

If you provide Russophiles, for instance, with a a list of countries to which Russia is compared unfavorably, their response will be that unless Russia is the very last on the list, it’s doing just fine.  Thus, for example, if shown (as we did in a recent issue) that Russians pay more than 29 of 32 countries studied for IKEA products, even though they are located right next door to IKEA’s home country of Sweden, Russophiles will say it doesn’t matter because Japan pays more.  Never mind that Japan has nearly the same population as Russia packed into 99.9% less territory, making rents astronomical.  Never mind that the standard of living in Japan is immeasurably higher than in Russia, never mind that Russians live in abject poverty compared to the wealthy Japanese.  As long as Russia is not the very worst, Putin is a brilliant genius because under any other leader, it would be the very worst.  Same holds true for Russia’s similar position, third from worst, on a list of world nations ranked by suicide rate.

And what happens if Russia is actually dead last on such a list?  The response is transparently predictable.  In that case, the Russophile will scream “Russophobia!”  They will claim that this list was prepared in furtherance of a vast Russophobic conspiracy of lies designed to keep Russia down.  They will launch vicious personal smears against whoever may have dared to publish such a list, and dismiss it out of hand.  Never mind that the Putin government itself is run by a clan of proud KGB spies, whose propaganda the Russophiles bleat as if it were text from the Holy Koran.  Never mind how international or scientific the data they have seen may be, never mind how obvious it might be that the data is correct.  Transparency International, for instance, often finds that Russian corruption leads the world in certain categories. They’re Russophobes, and that’s that.

It’s at this point that the Russophile efforts become genuinely hilariously deranged.  You will see them search for typos in the text, and finding one they will declare that the entire content must be rubbished.  If Transparency International spells the name of a Russian city wrong, or of Human Rights Watch transposes a couple of digits, this is sure and certain proof of the utter incompetence of the author.   These tactics are only funny, however, if you don’t realize that they are exactly the same tactics that were used in Soviet times to attack writers like Isaac Babel and Mikhail Bulgakov and Boris Pasternak and Alexander Solzhenitsyn, killing some, driving others to suicide or exile, and silencing all.  Ultimately, these tactics cost millions of Russian lives and the collapse of the USSR.

There are, of course, times when the Russophile tactics don’t work.  Most of the time, actually.  Folks like Anna Politkovskaya and Natalia Estemirova and Stanislav Markelov and Alexander Litvinenko tell such scintillating stories, with such unimpeachable sources, that the braying nonsense of the uneducated Russophile idiots is only funny when compared to it.  Then, of course, they move on to phase 3, extermination.  The most sure and certain proof of their being wrong, they fail to notice, is the fact that they cannot respond to their critics with anything except the assassin’s bullet.

34 responses to “EDITORIAL: The Russophile Guide to Style

  1. Very good article. Very very good conclusion. I don’t know how long this crazy Russian degradation will continue. I just hope that not for the whole of 21 century. And please know that there are some people in Russia who very much agree with you. Those who comment here in the style which you described, 99% of them are on salary. Most Russians don’t speak English and those who are so fluent in English as these “russophiles” most of them in reality agree with you. These “russophiles” write what they write because they are paid for it. I am sure of that.

    • Voice of Reason

      Hi Ivanich,

      I write here and I like Russian culture. Could you please let me know how much money I can get for posting here and whom to contact? Thanks you verify much.

      • Thats funny VOR, have not seen your handle here before.

        What pseudonym were you posting under previously?

        • Voice of Reason

          Excuse me, Andrew, but are you the personnel director here? If so:

          1. What do I need to do to get your permission to continue to post here?

          2. How much do you get paid for doing your job?

          • What, my engineering job?

            You don’t need my permission to post RTR.

            Post away old chap, but remember, your writing style shows who you are.

            • Voice of Reason

              I am not sure your posting to LR qualifies as “engineering” in the classical sense. Only as “engineering disinformation” or “human engineering”.

              • I don’t get paid to post to LR.

                However, your posts definitely fall under the category of disinformation, but mostly they can be described as lies.

                • Voice of Reason

                  Does anybody (like Saakashvili’s PR people or the Georgian secret police) compensate the construction company that employs you for the fact that you spend your entire work day reading and posting thousands of lines of text to this blog? How much money does your employer waste per year on your salary?

                  • No RTR, I don’t spend much time posting here.

                    Remember, cut and paste from bookmarked articles is pretty quick, and some of us can type with more than one finger.

                    Just because your computer skills are inadequate, don’t tar the rest of us with your failings.

                • Voice of Reason

                  This discussion as to whether we all get paid to post here or do it for free, reminds me of the following old joke:

                  A woman comes to the police station and says:

                  – I want to report a rape.
                  – When did this rape occur, Ma’am?
                  – Five days ago.
                  – Why did you wait for so long to report it?
                  – I didn’t know it was a rape until the check bounced!

      • If you contact the NKVD or whatever it is called now, they will set you up

        • Voice of Reason

          Really? NKVD has so much money that they will pay people to post opinions to the blog that barely ranks among the top one million blogs? How much do they pay per word?

          • Well, in this field this is a very important blog, so if you negotiate well, they will give you a nice renumeration. For that, Putin will always have money

            • Voice of Reason

              RV, that’s interesting. To me, this is a small blog, ranked one millionth in the blogosphere. What makes it unique is that it is a magnet for all people who hate Russia with passion. That’s why I am here: to play a gladiator fighting with hyenas. I doubt if anybody in Kremlin pr FSB has ever heard of this blog. Like most here, I first found out about it after Mark Ames’ hilarious article in the Exile and simply had to see for myself if it is a hilarious as Mark described it. It is.

              Where did you get the idea that this blog is sponsored with political money and which group agency is behind it? CIA? Georgian secret police? The government of Ichkeria? I had previously been told that the reason why this blog has no advertising and doesn’t accept charitable contributions is because its owner has inherited billions of dollars from her uncle and thus doesn’t need this blog to pay for itself…

      • I also write here and I also like Russian culture. If you really like Russian culture so much, why not to go and live in Russia. You can even give up your current citizenship and take Russian. I highly recommend it to you.

        Otherwise, if you are Russian, living in US or somewhere in the “west” and trying to “protect” Russian culture here, this is pathetic.

        • Voice of Reason

          Ivanich, I am a Russian-American, and I am more than satisfied to live in my country of USA, especially now. But my American citizenship in no way prevents me from enjoying and liking foreign cultures, including Russian culture. That’s what American is: the land of immigrants, a melting pot of cultures, a country of Hyphenated-Americans. USA is also a country where it is every citizen’s civil duty to speak out and criticize their government. USA went through very rough 8 years of rule by bigots and warmongers,but now we are on the road back to normalcy.

          Come and visit “blue states” in USA (if you can get a visa) and see for yourself that it is not uncommon for us to like foreign culture and criticize the government. What IS uncommon is to create xenophobic blogs, to post bigotry against foreign cultures, and to accuse that anybody who disagrees with your opinions, is paid to do so.

          • That’s very beautiful, my eyes are swelling up, and you have every legal right to be “critical.” By the way, if you knew America better, you would know that to criticize the government is not a “civic duty” but a legal right, which one may choose to exercise or may not.

            But you forgot that Russia is not like another “culture,” anti-American hatred mixed with “patriotism” is its doctrine. Russia is in fact an enemy regime. There is another poster here, Mr. Ouch, and on his request I have already provided many examples of this hatred so don’t ask me to do this again. Just see previous posts if you wish.

            So, Mr. Ivanich has asked a very pertinent question. If you are such a proud Russian, why don’t you go back there. If Russian life and society are so gorgeous, and the standard of living just like in the West, and democracy is flourishing, why don’t you enjoy them there. Put your money when your mouth is.

            Of course, Russia is a backward third world nation and you know it. So, it’s very convenient to enjoy the American advantages and pour buckets of dirt on “your” country at the same time.

            If there is a war with Russia (and you cannot exclude such a theoretical possibility, can you), whose side are you going to be on? The country’s which “culture” you love so much or the country who lets you have decent life? Is Russian “culture” really “foreign” to you as you put it, or is it just a lie?

          • Voice of Reason

            But, RV, you know nothing about Russia, as you freely admit.

            Of course, the Russian culture is unique, as is the French culture, Chinese culture, and all other cultures.

            But the current Russian mistrust of USA is hardly unique, nor endemic. For example, in the 1980s and 1990s, Russians were among biggest admirers of USA. The current Russian opposition to USA’s policies is caused by USA’s insistence that it is above the international law and has the right to attack and destroy any country it wishes, especially if it has a lot of oil.

            And as you know, hate for Bush’s foreign policy in Russia is actually lower than such hate in most other countries, including even Europe and even USA. That’s right, most Americans hated Bush’s foreign policy even more than Russians did:


            9/11 conspiracy theories allege that the September 11 attacks in 2001 were either intentionally allowed to happen or were a false flag operation orchestrated by an organization with elements inside the United States government.[1] A poll taken in 2006 by Scripps Howard and Ohio University showed that, “More than a third of the American public suspects that federal officials assisted in the 9/11 terrorist attacks or took no action to stop them so the United States could go to war in the Middle East.”[2]


            Think about it: more than a third of Americans believe that the Bush administration was so deranged that it either organized to 9-11 slaughter of fellow Americans or knew about these plans but, for political purposes, took no action to prevent this slaughter.

            I don’t belong to this one-third. I belong to the middle one-third. I think that Bush had no knowledge of 9-11 plans, but that his foreign and civil policy was nonetheless criminal in many respects.

            Why should I move to Russia, RV? We won in 2008. You lost. We control the Presidency and the Senate and the House of Representatives. If you don’t like Obama’s policies – then YOU move somewhere else. Turkey or Saudi Arabia would be especially agreeable with you.

            • I have not said a word about Bush, 9/11, our elections, Obama policies, or anything like that. So, don’t change the topic. I am saying you are an admirer of the enemy regime, and I concede that you have a right to be one. I am just questioning why one who is so fond of another country decided to leave it. Every criticism of Russia is inevitably answered by you and your ilk by saying that America is evil, as if that would make Russia any better.

              For your information, I am a card carrying registered Democrat and has been for decades.

              Also it appears that a concept of supremacy of law is awfully new to you, so remember this. President of the United States has an absolute immunity from criminal (or what that matter, civil) liability for every policy he chooses to pursue. So, Bush’s policies just as those of any President cannot be by definition be “criminal.” They can be unwise, unjustifiable, stupid, not well thought out, reckless, whatever. But not criminal.

              • RV, I think you’ve found a fifth column representative. What do you do with them in the USA now? Lynching, like in the old good times?

            • Voice of Reason

              Ron wrote: “I am just questioning why one who is so fond of another country decided to leave it.

              I wouldn’t know. I never “left” the Russian Federation. Except for business trips, I have never lived in it and have never been its citizen. Ask somebody else.

              Every criticism of Russia is inevitably answered by you and your ilk by saying that America is evil

              First of all, let me remind you that your use of the term “your ilk” brands you as a very bigoted and redneck person. I don’t have an “ilk”. But speaking for myself, I don’t say that “America is evil”. America is quite a nice country to live in. What I am saying is that USA has had a rogue foreign policy.

              Indeed, when Russia is criticized for something, I often point out that USA is no better. But I am not saying that USA is evil. On the contrary, what I am saying is that USA is a non-evil country, and thus, when Russia behaves like USA, Russia is not being evil either. Is this too difficult to comprehend?

              Also it appears that a concept of supremacy of law is awfully new to you, so remember this.

              That’s a very immature, patronizing, condescending and unwise statement, especially given that you are being factually wrong here.

              President of the United States has an absolute immunity from criminal liability for every policy he chooses to pursue. So, Bush’s policies just as those of any President cannot be by definition be “criminal.” They can be unwise, unjustifiable, stupid, not well thought out, reckless, whatever. But not criminal.

              I was talking about international law. It appears that the concept of international law is awfully new to you, so remember this: Under international law, President of Yugoslavia Slobodan Milosevic was arrested and brought to trial for his actions as the President of his country. The President of Panama Noriega was kidnapped, while in office, by the US troops and flown to Florida, where he was tried and convicted for his actions. General Augusto Pinochet too was indicted in Spain at the age of 83 and later in his native Chile, for human rights violations and murders, committed by his government, although he died before his trial began.

              So, it is quite possible for country leaders to commit criminal policies and to be arrested, indicted and tried for these criminal policies.

              I am saying you are an admirer of the enemy regime

              1. I am not an admirer of the Putin regime. I find much of his domestic politics and policies despicable, and I despise and hate his party Edinaya Rossiya.

              2. Even with US-declared enemies like Communist Cuba or China, it is perfectly fine for Americans to admire Cuban and Chinese cultures, and to call for the end to the shameful economic boycott of Cuba.

              3. Russia is not an “enemy” of the United States in any sense. Hasn’t been such since the late 1980s. Since you are such a stickler for law, please provide any American law, US State Department directive, or President Obama’s statement that say that the Russian Federation is “an enemy”.

              Look, America is a country of immigrants and hyphenated-Americans.and each group has its own enemies. I know some Irish-Americans who consider UK as the enemy. Many of my Jewish-American relatives view Saudi Arabia as America’s enemy. My Armenian- and Greek-American friends consider Turkey as America’s enemy. I know several Baltic- and Ukrainian-Americans who view Russia as America’s enemy. You may be one of them. But don’t project your own prejudices and hatred on the USA as a whole.

              If there is a war with Russia (and you cannot exclude such a theoretical possibility, can you), whose side are you going to be on?

              If there is a war between USA and Russia, I, just like you and everybody else, would be on on the side of the big radioactive mushroom carrying the remains of all of us. My whole purpose here is to argue against those warmongers like you, who want to provoke a cold war between USA and Russia and thus want to increase the chance of the nuclear holocaust. That’s the main difference between you and me: I want peace, while you want hostilities.

              And as far as conventional, non-nuclear wars go, I dislike wars and consider them to be the last resort. And whether I support or oppose US wars, depends on whether I find them justified and legal. Thus, I supported the first war against Iraq, and opposed the second war against Iraq.

              How about you? Given your pride in being a knew-jerk card-carrier, would you support any war that the US government started? Do you consider pacifists to be “traitors”?

              • Now RTR, you did claim to be a Russian Jew did you not?

                Admittedly you were a Soviet citizen, not a citizen of the Russian Federation, but that is just semantics

                Some of your arguments are a little strange.

                The president of Yugoslavia, Milosovic, was indicted for war crimes, including genocide.

                In this genocide, he was actively supported by Russia.

                Just as Russia supported ethnic cleansing and genocidal regimes in Abkhazia, Transdenistr, South Ossetia, and Noagorno Karabakh.

                As for Do you consider pacifists to be “traitors”?

                If they are the sort of pacifists who wanted to appease Imperial Germany, Hitler, Imperial Japan, Stalin, and now Putin, Saddam Hussein, Amadinejad, the Taleban, and Putin, then yes most certainly they are traitors not only to the US, but to humanity in general.

                If however, they are the sort of pacifists who oppose illegal and unnecessary military actions such as Hungary 56, Czechoslovakia 68, the Russian sponsored and brutal wars in Abkhazia, Transdenistr, Nagorno Karabakh, South Ossetia, the Russian invasion of Georgia 2008, the Hizbollah and Hamas attacks on Israel, and on their own people in Lebanon and the Palestinian authority etc, then I salute them.

          • Well, dear VOR, don’t lecture me on “american values” please. I have my own and more than happy with them. This blog owners love Russian culture much more than you do. Don’t you get that current Russia is infiltrated by bloody killers? It has nothing to do with culture. Russia is ruled by assasins. This blog is against them and not against russian culture.

            • I lately read some comment on this blog like “If Lermontov was Russian, he wouldn’t have noticed being unwashed is bad”. Well, actually it’s a thing that deserves calling police. Not exactly what you call “loving Russian culture”, what do you think?

      • Contract the KGB, though I doubt if they will pay you anything. My personal opinion is that the vast majority of the Russians who are still enamored of Putin don’t get paid for their unconditional love, they’re just hopelessly misguided people whose reality is so miserable and atrocious that on a subconscious level they’re scared that were they to face up to it, they’d go irrevocably insane. It’s no easy task, mentally, to face up to the fact that everything you’ve believed in your whole life is in fact one big huge fat lie.
        ‘Hide my head I wanna drown my sorrow,
        No tomorrow, no tomorrow’

        • By your logic, most russian must have commited suicide already in 1991 when USSR dissapeared. On the contrary, nobody or almost nobody went to the streets to try to protect USSR. Nobody cried.

          If Putin will be killed tomorrow, nobody will cry.

  2. Francis Smyth-Beresford

    Russia ranks 22nd in the world in knowledge of English as a second language. Although the reported figure is only 4.9%, that’s still almost 7 million people who are not actually English or American. I notice you didn’t supply a reference for where you got your figures.


    • The data is from self-reporting and thus not very reliable. I can see how one in Russia would want to report he speaks English to improve his prestige or carrier opportunities.

      Even if the total number of about 7 million were correct, it’s very misleading to say that Russia ranks twenty-second. By this measure, one would arrive to a conclusion that English is more in use in Russia than it is in such English-speaking countries as New Zealand or Ireland. This is just absurd.

      I have noticed, Mr. Smyth-Beresford, that on many an occasion you have deliberately twisted or misstated various statistical data just to make it appear that Russia is better than it is. Are they paying you to do it?

      In fact, the only meaningful data here is that 4.9 percentage figure, which would not put Russia even in the first 100 countries.

      • “I can see how one in Russia would want to report he speaks English to improve his prestige or carrier opportunities.” – During a census? They do not normally make job offers during census.

        • Be it as it may, 4.9% of English speakers is a very low number, contrary to what was implied

          • Perhaps they were afraid of political repressions after the census and just did not tell they apeak English?

            Me, I told abt my foreign languages, and now I just can’t sleep at night, waiting for the KGB, er, FSB knocking on my door.

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