Global Voices Online
Monday, February 6, 2006
Everyone in Russia seems to have a LiveJournal, and that huge, cacophonous Russian-language playground (and, often, a battleground) dwarfs what would otherwise be considered a pretty sizable English-language blogosphere. So sizable, in fact, that I have to issue this disclaimer: the annotated Russia blogroll below is, most likely, far from being exhaustive – even though compiling it has totally exhausted me.
Blogs by Russia natives
The Russian Dilettante, by Alex(ei), turns three years old on Feb. 7. “One way of selecting subjects for blogging – for lack of originality – is simply to follow the posts of some bright, opinionated, and outspoken blogger and pick on them,” Alex(ei) wrote in one of his first entries. This, however, is what he rarely does, preferring instead to post his musings on culture, politics, literature, and occasional translations of the Russian poets few English-speaking people have ever heard of.
Russian Marketing Blog: “News, musings and rants on marketing and advertising in Russia by Konstantin Dlutskiy.” Also, occasional vignettes on subjects ranging from Soviet-time calculators to wooden chopsticks at Moscow’s more expensive sushi restaurants.
Russian Blog, by another Konstantin. Russian politics, Russian jokes, occasional flashbacks into the Soviet past. Much of the blog is devoted to watching the West watch Russia.
RUBLog, by Sergey Belyakov from Velikiy Novgorod. Named after the Russian currency – ‘rubl’ – RUBLog links to other blogs and media to tell the world about t.A.T.u., Putin, Lake Seliger and the Russian winter. Like Konstantin of the Russian Blog, Sergey is concerned about “growing misunderstanding in relationships between Russia and USA.”
Blogs by current and former expats, and other Russophiles
A Step At A Time, by David McDuff, translator of many Russian classics, a writer and a musician. Clippings and thoughts on politics and human rights in the former Soviet Union, notes on music, memories of life and travel in Russia in the 1960s.
Sean's Russia Blog, by Sean Guillory from Los Angeles. Russian news roundups and analyses. Sean is working on a dissertation on the history of Komsomol (the Young Communist League) in the 1920s.
Masha Gessen’s LiveJournal – commentary in English and Russian originally published in the Moscow Times, Bolshoi Gorod and other publications in Russia and abroad. Masha is the author of Two Babushkas: How My Grandmothers Survived Hitler's War and Stalin's Peace.
Ruminations on Russia, by Alistair, a Brit based in Moscow: “I've lived in Moscow longer than I've lived anywhere, so I guess you would call it home. I have a very developed sense of disliking most in other people what I dislike most in myself. Which makes Russians a great study.”
Russia Blog, based in US, not to be confused with Konstantin’s Russian Blog or Sean’s Russia Blog. “Russia Blog presents up-to-date news, facts and commentary on the state of events in Russia and the former Soviet Union. The Blog is created and managed by Yuri Mamchur, a Foreign Policy Fellow with the Discovery Institute, and edited by Charles Ganske, a writer with Discovery's Project for Technology and Democracy.”
SiberianLight used to have great weekly news roundups for the former Soviet Union, but closed down several months ago. The archives are still there, though, sorted by category. Andy, SiberianLight’s owner, has moved to Taking Aim, retaining some of his old blog’s Russia/Former Soviet Union focus.
White Sun of the Desert, named after a legendary 1970 Soviet film, Beloye Solntse Pustyni, is a blog by Tim Newman, “a British expat in Dubai with an interest in the former Soviet Union and the oil price.” Not exclusively Russocentric, but with lots of observations about the the former Soviet region that apply to Russia just as well.
Russia Brief is a new blog by Joshua Harris, “a student of international politics with a strong and abiding interest in the country of Russia.”
RusEnergy, a compilation of news items on the Russian gas and energy sector.
Russian History Blog, by John Potter of Grand Rapids, Michigan, lasted for just two months, but is a great resource on contemporary Russian history, the region’s Soviet and pre-Soviet past, Russian towns and culture. Although the archives make for some really informative and intersting reading, it'd be great if someone turns up soon to revive this project.
Russian Chronicles, a 2005 travelogue by Lisa Dickey, with photos by David Hillegas, in the Washington Post. From Vladivostok to St. Petersburg, the second time around: a sequel to the 1995 trip, re-visiting 11 Russian cities and the people there ten years later.
Megan Case, a St. Petersburg blog by “American Russophile living in St. Petersburg, teaching at a preschool known as the British Kindergarten, observing the absurdities of Russian life and the ways they compare with the absurdities of American life.”
From Russia With Blog, a Vladimir blog by Jane Keeler: “I'm short, I'm weird, and my life goal is to become a professional hermit. Or a traveler-writer-photographer. In reality, I tend to go back and forth between the two, so I'd say life's going well.”
Miscellanea: a 2004-05 blog from Yaroslavl, Russia, by Scott Rose, then a junior at Middlebury College, studying Russian, politics and literature.
Belly Button Window: a myriad of destinations and travel stories, among them three years spent in Russia: 1997, 1998 and 1999. Includes a 1998 account of how Russia invades Turkey every May.
Candid Russia, by D'arcy: “Blokes Behaving Badly Abroad.. time wasted is well earned.” Photography, travel; no updates this year yet.
Scraps of Moscow and Moscow Graffiti by Lyndon Allin are rarely updated nowadays, but archived pictures and stories from Moscow still provide an awesome insight into the life of the megapolis. Occasionally, there used to be stuff from St. Petersburg, Moldova and other locations. For over a year, Scraps of Moscow also had timely political commentary and translations of relevant stories from the Russian media.
Case In Point, "adventures of an American housewife” in Moscow, by Nancy Case: “Anyway, now that my kitchen is no longer wrecked and filled with hordes of strangers, I will have to find some new topics. But in Moscow that's no problem. And every time something bad happens, Taylor tells me it's just more material for my blog.”
Maaskva: Nashimi Glazami, a strictly bilingual Moscow blog maintained by Raffi Aftandelian. “A community blog for all those for whom Moscow has been home for at least a few seconds.”
Samtidigt, i Moskva, by Erik Petersson. Very laconic Moscow images; text in Swedish for the most part. (Erik has recently moved to Dushanbe, Tajikistan, and is now photoblogging from there.)
Two-Zero’s Diary, a Moscow Blog by Chris “two-zero”: text, photos, and even videos.
Gridskipper, “the urban travel guide,” its Moscow section: media roundups, discount flights, and other miscellaneous info.
Moskau Blog: a German-language Moscow blog with photos.
Flickr Moscow Group: 189 members and 1,468 photos.
Blogchik, Russophile Bloglet, by Michele Humes, formerly of Hong Kong and Edinburgh, lately of New York.
Languor Management, a Russian literary blog by Kevin Kinsella, a writer and translator living in New York City.
The Accidental Russophile, by W. Shedd (and Katerina): “The aimless wonderings and wanderings of an unhinged mind as it travels from the US to Russia and back. There are sure to be other pointless stops along the way.”
Glosses.net, a linguistics blog by Renee Perelmutter, a doctoral student at the UC Berkeley Slavic department. Renee dreams of “words and tenses.”
Shag za Shagom, a step-by-step (“steppe by steppe”) ‘learning Russian’ blog.
Russian Language "Live", a ‘learning Russian’ LiveJournal community.