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Weekly Blog Roundup

Following a reminder from Anatoly Karlin of Sublime Oblivion, I thought it was about time I resurrected my once weekly series rounding up the best posts from around the Russia blogs. So, without any further preamble, here are my picks for best Russia blog posts of the past week (and a bit).

Did the Russian Navy ‘execute’ Somali pirates?

The most commented on story in the Russian blogosphere this week has been Russia’s rescue of a tanker under attack by Somali pirates. Initial reports were that the Russian Navy had killed one pirate in the mission, and arrested 11 others, but later reports indicated that the 11 arrested pirates were dead – the Russian Navy contend that they were released and didn’t make it back to shore, while conspiracy theorists argue that they were either just executed, or were released 300 miles from shore in a boat that lacked navigational equipment.

Streetwise Professor points out that the uncertainty over what actually happened is another example of Russia shooting itself in the foot when it comes to international perception. This is something I strongly agree with – there’s a reason why everyone is prepared to believe the worst of Russia. Robert Amsterdam reckons that Russia sent a message about its strength to the pirates (and, I suppose, by implication, a message to the rest of the world that Russia is now prepared to flex its muscles a bit more abroad). Steve Levine also wonders if Russia could become the world’s Pirate Police.

Blogging about Russia Blogging

This last couple of weeks have also been marked by quite a bit of Russia blog navel gazing.

La Russophobe kicked things off with her LR rates the Russia Blogs post, and Anatoly at Sublime Oblivion responded a day later with his own Short Guide to the Top 10 Russia Blogs. Both are well worth a read (although when you do read, bear in mind their differing perspectives), and both lists contain a lot of blogs that you really should be reading!

Moving on to Russian language blogs, you really shouldn’t miss Alexey Sidorenko’s excellent Global Voices review of the Russian Blogosphere in 2009-2010.

In other Russia meta-blogging news, Windows to Russia have moved across from blogger to wordpress.  It sounds like Google deleted their old site without warning.  This is something I’ve heard of happening more and more recently, and Google often seem to be acting without any particular reason.  So if you’re on blogger you might want to backup your blog posts, and consider a move elsewhere – are a good no hassle solution, and hosting your own site is actually pretty easy to do as well.

One final piece of meta-news – Global Voices have announced a partnership with Echo Moskvy radio station.

Other recommended posts

Other posts I recommend from the past week include:

Finally, to finish off with, two funnies:

Well, that’s it for this week.  If the stars are correctly aligned, I’ll be back next week.  Otherwise, keep an eye out for the next weekly report sometime in 2011…


  • 1. I think Russia’s “uncertainty” on the pirates is a tactful move. Neither incriminating, nor encouraging others to perceive it as being weak.
    2. Apple shunning E. Europe – is E. Europe’s gain.
    3. Thanks for the shout out. 😉

  • I’m normally the first to criticise Russia for being cack-handed, idiotic, or blitheringly unaware of how the rest of the world works, but in the case of the pirates – if indeed they did execute them – my response is a shrug of the shoulders and a hope that the message reaches pirates elsewhere. What’s the betting they avoid ships bearing Cyrillic lettering in the future?

  • On the news that the Russians have promoted somali pirates to the executive suite, I read somewhere that a NATO state (the country slips my mind but it was Denmark or Norway – something norther euro) has also put captured pirates back in their boats without navigation aids. As to how close to shore this was done, who knows. If they were more cunning, they’d let them go and then swamp/capsize the boat by blasting past them at speed.

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