Welcome to this week’s roundup. Without further ado, here’s my pick of this week’s blog posts about Russia:
- This week saw Komsomol’s 90th anniversary and everyone’s been writing about it. Sean’s Russia Blog has been covering the week’s celebrations here and here. De Rebus tells of his lucky escape from the clutches of his local Komsomol. Lyndon, who has just made a welcome return to blogging over at Scraps of Moscow, also links to an article about Nashi, today’s youth organisation.
- Talking of celebrations – it was Halloween yesterday. Da Russophile has put together his own Halloween special editorial – Russia of the Dead, which is “possibly the most in-depth exploration of zombie infestation scenarios in that region and a comparative analysis with other countries.”
- Global Voices Online reports on the online petition to pardon Svetlana Bakhmina, “a former senior lawyer for Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s oil company Yukos, who was arrested in December 2004 and sentenced to 6 1/2 years in prison for embezzlement and tax evasion in April 2006.” So far, the petition has gathered an impressive 76,787 signatures.
- By the way, Global Voice’s Online’s Rising Voices project has been nominated for Best Weblog at the Deutsche Welle BOB awards. So has Metro Dream, by Russos. You can cast your vote for best weblog here – don’t forget to scroll down the page to vote for the Best Russian Language Weblog, too.
- In a raw, emotional post, Peter Lavelle writes about his anger and frustration that it has taken so long for the BBC’s recent report about Georgian war crimes in South Ossetia to emerge. “The BBC report was painful for me to watch. I felt as if I was being told for the first time in my life that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west and all to make me feel I was being exposed to secret knowledge.”
- The Streetwise Professor would like it to be known that he is not in league with La Russophobe in “a vast anti-Russian conspiracy. […] And, to my disappointment, thereve been no PayPal alerts telling me that money has been sent to me from shadowy sources to compensate me for my work for the conspiracy. Guess Ill have to try harder.”
- Stephen Lock at Mmd Russia Blog speculates as to why Dmitry Medvedev’s first annual address to the Federal Assembly is scheduled for 5 November, when the world media’s attention will surely be focused on the preceding day’s US Presidential election. Devaluation, anyone? In the same post, Stephen also reports on a meeting with the CEO of a major Russian bank, who made some fascinating predictions about how the Kremlin may use the economic crisis as an opportunity to rationalise Russia’s banking industry. “The Central Bank doesnt want the 1,200 or so current licensed banks in Russia and would like that to fall fast to around 200-300 regulated institutions.”
- Admiral, a biopic of Admiral Alexander Kolchak, one of the White Russian leaders during the Civil War, has been a massive hit in movie theatres across Russia. Alec, at The Eagle and the Bear reviews Admiral, and isn’t all that impressed. Admiral “butchers the complicated history of this era in order to churn out a nauseatingly sweet melodrama that puts Hollywoods transgressions to shame.” Ouch.
- Alec also has the scoop on the secret to academic success in Russia: “He who says the least with the most words achieves success.” Or is that the secret to academic success everywhere?
- Robert Amsterdam warns against using Skype for sensitive conversations in Russia. The Chinese government have been spying on Skype calls, and he thinks the FSB probably are too.
- Mat Rodina despairs of Russian businessmen and their inability to win Western clients. He has plenty of sage advice, however. For starters, “this is not the Soviet Union, customers will not come to you and beg you to do their business.”
- Finally, what’s wrong with this picture?
Well, that’s it for this week. Just one last note before I go – keep an eye out on Siberian Light next week, as I’ll be announcing the launch of my new website.