The Interpreter

The Interpreter The Interpreter is a daily-updated online journal dedicated to analyzing and translating media from the Russian press and blogosphere into English.
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The Interpreter is a special project of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. Founded in May 2013, this online journal set out with the modest goal of translating articles from the Russian press, the better to lower the language barrier that separates journalists, analysts, policymakers, diplomats and interested laymen in the English-speaking world from events taking place inside the Russian Federation. Little did we realize then that The Interpreter would devote as much energy to covering what the Russian Federation got up to outside of its own borders. We have grown into a leading real-time chronicle and analysis resource on all aspects of the crisis in Ukraine. Every day since violence first erupted in Kiev’s Independence Square, The Interpreter’s Ukraine live-blog has documented a revolution that became a war on European soil, often breaking news stories about Russia’s annexation of Crimea, its maskirovka insurgency in the Donbass, its cross-border shelling of Ukraine, the downing of MH17, and the Minsk II “cease-fire.” Our work has been cited in news outlets all over the world, by presidents and ambassadors. Under the generous patronage of the Institute of Modern Russia (IMR), the magazine was allowed to evolve organically into a more journalistic enterprise, while still adhering to its core remit of being an “Inopressa in reverse.” We owe everything to the incredibly supportive team at IMR, and particularly to Pavel Khodorkovsky, who saw the potential and urgency of this project two and a half years ago. The Interpreter translated into English two major reports on the alleged corruption behind the Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014; the first co-written by the Leonid Martinyuk and Boris Nemtsov, the latter of whom was brutally assassinated in Moscow a year later; the second by Alexey Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation. We also published two internationally discussed stand-alone studies, “The Menace of Unreality,” a look at contemporary Kremlin disinformation and propaganda, and “An Invasion by Any Other Name,” a near-comprehensive history of the Kremlin’s “dirty war” in Ukraine that relied heavily on what Russian investigators and activists had uncovered about their own government’s deception. Then, in October 2015, Russia intervened in Syria. Under the pretense of going to war against ISIS, Vladimir Putin has tried to prop up a flailing ally in the regime of Bashar al-Assad, targeting mostly non-ISIS targets and killing scores of civilians. So The Interpreter launched another news channel dedicated to covering yet another ambiguous Russian war, in three different languages. Given the magazine’s trajectory, a partnership with RFE/RL makes perfect sense. A longtime “surrogate” for a free press where such is denied or underdeveloped, RFE/RL has produced some of the finest reporting and commentary on Russia, from the latest corruption scandals in Moscow and the legal persecution (or worse) of the Bolotnaya protest movement to the prevalence of North Caucasian jihadists joining the ranks of ISIS. Given the dire state of independent Russia media, portals such as RFE/RL are more necessary now than at any time since the end of the Cold War. And given our overlapping interest, we could not be more excited to serve as an outpost of such a venerable news organization.

Today, the Russian human rights and research organization Memorial Society has reported that independent historian Yury ...
07/22/2020

Today, the Russian human rights and research organization Memorial Society has reported that independent historian Yury Dmitriev who specialized in Stalin-era repressions, who has been jailed unjustly on false accusations of pedophilia; acquitted, then re-tried in a clearly politicized move by Russian authorities, has now been sentenced to 3.5 years of labor colony.

Memorial characterized the sentence as "mild" compared to the 15 years requested by the prosecutor, but said the sentence is unjust, as there have never been any grounds for the charges. Due to time already served, he may be released as early as November 2020.

Yesterday, Novaya Gazeta published an appeal by more than 100 independent Russian writers, critics, film-makers, scholars, scientists, and opposition politicians protesting the prosecution.

Our translation follows:

"One of the Dirtiest Trials in the Country"

Open Letter to Court Officials, Prosecutor's Office and Investigative Agencies on the Case of Yury Dmitriev

In our day in Russia, few are surprised by court cases made to order. But compared to everything else going on, the criminal prosecution of Yury Alexandrovich Dmitriev stands out in particular. Dmitriev is a historian of the repressions, one of the creators of the Sandarmokh and Krasny Bor Memorial complexes, the head of the Karelia Section of Memorial and an honorary member of the St. Petersburg PEN Club.

This is one of the dirtiest trials in the country. People have been jailed for their civic position in our country for a long time, but for those who decided to ruin the life of this Karelian historian, it seemed insufficient merely to deprive him of freedom. They decided to destroy his good name, and ruin the life not only of Yury Alexandrovich but his child, launching an endlessly cynical campaign of persecution in a whole number of pro-government publications Dmitriev's criminal case will enter the textbooks as an example of a trial made to order, fabricated according to a previously known pattern.

The truth is obvious to see: the persecution of Dmitriev, the invasion into his family and attempt to cripple the future of a father and daughter is directly related to Yury Alexandrovich's struggle for historical memory and activity in restoring the names of those who innocently perished in Stalin's labor camps. But in fact it is not hard at all to understand: neither the persecution of Yury Dmitriev, or his possible prison incarceration will stop the work he and his colleagues began.

Russian history will be able to defend itself and respond to those who want to destroy archives, level the ground and rewrite the past completely.

Signed

Inna Churikova, actress
Ludmila Ulitskaya, writer
Andrei Zvyagintsev, director
Viktor Shenderovich, writer
Liya Akhedzhakova, actress
Andrei Chernov, poet
Yevgeny Royzman, historian, civic activist
Viktoriya Ivleva, photographer, journalist
Yuly Kim, poet, playwright
Nataliya Sivokhina, poet
Grigory Mikhnov-Vaytenko, clergyman
Pavel Gutiontov, journalist
Oleg Khlebnikov, poets
Boris Vishnevksy, politician
Nataliya Sokolovskaya, writer
Yelena Chizhova, writer
Andrei Zubov, historian
Anatoly Razumov, historian
Alexander Skobov, publicist
Nataliya Yevdokimova, human rights activist
Andrei Desnitsky, philologist
Sergei Yolkin, artist
Yuliya Aug, actress and director
Valeriy Borshchev, human rights activist
Vladimir Kara-Murza, Jr., historian, politician
Nadezhda Azhgikhina, journalist
Konstantin Azadovsky, philologist, literary critic
Yury Vdovin, human rights activist
Nikolai Alexandrov, journalist
Veronika Dolina, poet and songwriter
Denis Dragunsky, writer
Nina Katerli, writer
Yelan Efros, philologist, journalist
Yelena Bayevskaya, translator
Irina Balakhonova, publisher
Tatyana Dorutina, human rights activist
Irina Bogatyreva, writer
Marina Boroditskaya, poet and translator
Olga Bukhina, translator
Vitold Zalessky, human rights activist
Tatyana Voltskaya, poet, journalist
Alisa Ganieva, writer
Darya Yurskaya, actress
Natalya Tenyakova, actress
Oleg Dorman, film director
Anton Dolin, film critic
Natalya Tendryakova, social anthropologist
Galina, Aksyonova, Ph.D. art history
Vaniamin Smekhov, actor, director, writer
Alika Smekhova, actress
Anatoly Bely, actor
Lyubov Arkus, publisher, director
Giregory Sluzhitel, actor, writer
Miriam Sekhon, actress
Kristina Gorelik, journalist
Varvara Gornostayeva, publisher
Ella Polyakova, human rights activist
Olga Gromova, writer, editor, children's literature
Yury Nesterov, human rights activist
Natalya Klyuchareva, writer
Grigory Kruzhkov, writer
Sergei Kuznetsov, writer
Olga Kuchkina, writer
Nataliya Khodyreva, human rights activist
Larisa Miller, writer
Vladimir Moshchenko, writer
pavel Nerler, historian and geographer
Anton Nechaev, historian
Valery Nikolaev, translator, writer
Sergei Parkhomenko, journalist
Leonid Krikun, lawyer, human rights activist
Dmitry Petrov, journalist
Nikolai Podosokorsky, publicist
Olga Romanova, Jailed Russia, journalist
Mariya Rybakova, writer
Zoya Svetova, journalist
Alexei Slapovsky, writer
Igor Karichev, writer
Tatyana Chernysheva, writer
Alla Shevelkina, journalist
Sergei Krasilnikov, historian (Novosibirsk)
Mikhail Mints, historian
Nikita Sokolov, historian
Irina Karatsuba, historian
Fyodor Borisovich Uspensky, corresponding member, Russian
Academy of Sciences, philologist
Yevgeny Volkov, historian
Viktor Shnirelman, cultural anthropologist
Sergei Dmitriev, Sinologist, member Free Historical Society
Alexey Vigasin, historian
Yuliya Guseva, translator
Andrei Suslov, historian
Marina Vishnevetskaya, writer
Karinna Moskalenko, attorney
Vyacheslav Sereda, translator
Dmitry Dubrovsky, historian, human rights activist
Yelena Volkova, cultural critic
Leonid Bakhnov, writer
Vitaly Dikson, writer
Irina Staf, translator
Alexander Soldatov, religious scholar, journalist
Yelena Sannikova, human rights activist, op-ed writer
Rodion Knyazev, historian
Igor Zotov, literary critic
Sergei Gandlevsky, poet
Nune Barsegyan, writer, psychologist
Alyosha Prokopev, poet, translator
Sergei Yakovlev, writer
Andrei Plakhov, film critic
Viktor Yesipov, poet, literary critic
Dmitry Karelsky, writer
Marina Adamovich, editor
Bozhena Rynska, journalist
Svetlana Kulchitskaya, journalist
Andrei Zbarsky, editor
Lybov Summ, writer
Olga Drobot, writer
Dmitry Vavilsky, writer
Mark Grinberg, translator
Natalya Mavlevich, translator
Tatyana Shcherbina, poet
Tatyana Bonch-Osmolovskaya, writer
Olga Varshaver, translator
Dmitry Stakhov, writer
Mariya Falikman, poet, translator
Lev TRimofeyev, writer
Alexander Arkhangelsky, writer
Marina Buvaylo, writer
Sergei Zagniy, musician
Keith Hammond, writer
Oleg Lekmanov, writer
Kseniya Larina, journalist
Vladimir Sotnikov, writer
Tatyana Sotnikova (Anna Berseneva) writer
Alexander Dolinin, historian
Viktor Matizen, film critic
Alexei Gusev, historian
Igor Karlinsky, human rights activist
Pavel Kudyukin, historian, trade union activists
Anatoly Turilov, historian
Vera Milchina, translator, literary historian
Boris Kats, music scholar
Irina Kravtsova, editror
Grigory Pasko, journalist
Alexei Motorov, writer
Natalya Gromova, writer, historian
Alla Gerber, writer
Mikhail Krom, historian
Arkady Shtypel, poet, translator
Mariya Galina, poet, writer, translator
Yelena Yakovich, documentary film director
Maxim Osipov, writer
Boris Sokolov, writer, historian
Dmitry Vedenyapin, poet
Irina Surat, philologist
Natalya Ivanova, writer, critic
Nikolai Kononov, writer
Askold Ivanchik, historian
Svetlana Neretina, Ph.D., philosophy
Yelana Fanaylova, writer, journalist
Nadezhda Belenkaya, translator
Yevgeny Yermolin, critic
Yuliy Gugolev, poet
Georgy Yefremov, writer
Alina Vitukhnovskaya, writer, politician
Alexei Fedotov, engineer
Maya Kucherskaya, writer
Gennady Kalasnikov, poet
Alexei Mosin, historian
Alexander Yarin, translator
Liliya Gazizova, poet
Artur Chubur, archeologist
Igor Irtenyev, poet
Alla Bossart, journalist, writer
Natalya Tumashkova, psychologist
Anastasiya Pyari, journalist, poet
Galina Rymbu, poet, feminist, editor of F-Letter
magazine and Greza [Reverie]
Yakov Gilinsky, lawyer
Vladimir Kokko, civic activist
Yevgeny Tsyganov, actor
Kseniya Rappoport, actress
Natalya Chepik, screenwriter, actress
Igor Yasulovich, actor
Yekaterina Shulman, politician

World's Most Wanted Man Jan Marsalek Located in Belarus; Data Points to Russian Intel Links - bellingcat
07/19/2020
World's Most Wanted Man Jan Marsalek Located in Belarus; Data Points to Russian Intel Links - bellingcat

World's Most Wanted Man Jan Marsalek Located in Belarus; Data Points to Russian Intel Links - bellingcat

It can safely be assumed that Jan Marsalek is currently one of the most hunted-for persons on earth. The company he oversaw operationally, Germany’s Wirecard, collapsed overnight last month after auditors brought attention to a nearly 2 billion Euro gaping hole in its balance sheet. The hole was t...

This the worst news I’ve had all year. And this year, no less. A dear friend, a mentor, a confidante and someone whom yo...
07/17/2020
Legendary Foreign Correspondent Chris Dickey Dies in Paris

This the worst news I’ve had all year. And this year, no less. A dear friend, a mentor, a confidante and someone whom you could call up in the middle of the day (evening his time) to talk Auden or Housman and he’d quote whole verses down the phone, wordperfectly. We were texting just hours ago—he was editing me for the thousandth time. A journalist to the very end. I will miss him terribly -- Michael D. Weiss

Chris Dickey hopscotched across the globe to land stories—and mentored a generation of journalists in how to do the same.

Here is another article from the first edition of The #Kremlin Influence Quarterly. This one is by Vladimir Zhbankov abo...
06/19/2020
Russian Lawfare and other malign influence operations in Spain

Here is another article from the first edition of The #Kremlin Influence Quarterly. This one is by Vladimir Zhbankov about Russian operations in #Spain, both by #Putin's agents and the organized crime who have long been making themselves at home in the country. An extremely fascinating read, including the wide view on the Russian-Spanish relationships and the specifics, such as the Russian intervention in the Catalan referendum.

This article discusses the main conditions of Russian-Spanish political and economic relations, their consequences and side effects.

KREMLIN INFLUENCE QUARTERLY - Jun 05, 2020THE (GEO-)POLITICAL ASPECTS OF AUSTRIAN-RUSSIAN BUSINESS RELATIONS, PART IBy M...
06/06/2020
The (Geo-)Political Aspects of Austrian-Russian Business Relations, Part I

KREMLIN INFLUENCE QUARTERLY - Jun 05, 2020THE (GEO-)POLITICAL ASPECTS OF AUSTRIAN-RUSSIAN BUSINESS RELATIONS, PART I

By Martin Malek

https://www.4freerussia.org/the-geo-political-aspects-of-austrian-russian-business-relations-part-i/?fbclid=IwAR2dKE2dyM25f5tFjz6akhaPK5BTgtQfYL0Zp20YpwbXGYzXqNnLxgHhDHI

As COVID-19 spread from China to the rest of the world and became a pandemic, Moscow used the disaster to intensify its political war against the West

In his article for the first edition of The Kremlin Influence Quarterly, Austrian political scientist Martin Malek discu...
06/05/2020
The (Geo-)Political Aspects of Austrian-Russian Business Relations, Part I

In his article for the first edition of The Kremlin Influence Quarterly, Austrian political scientist Martin Malek discusses the economic relations between #Russia and #Austria and what political consequences they might have.

As COVID-19 spread from China to the rest of the world and became a pandemic, Moscow used the disaster to intensify its political war against the West

From the first edition of The Kremlin Influence Quarterly: read Anton Shekhovtsov's expose on how #Putin's government ex...
06/01/2020
Russian Malign Influence Operations in Coronavirus-hit Italy

From the first edition of The Kremlin Influence Quarterly: read Anton Shekhovtsov's expose on how #Putin's government exploited the #COVID19 crisis in #Italy to score PR points. What appeared to be a "From Russia with love" altruistic outreach, turned out to have a much more sinister underside.

As COVID-19 spread from China to the rest of the world and became a pandemic, Moscow used the disaster to intensify its political war against the West

Here is an nice follow-up to the launch of "The Kremlin Influence Quarterly": an article in The Insider Russia specifica...
05/29/2020
A “friendly” deal. How Russian money supports corrupted Bulgarian politicians

Here is an nice follow-up to the launch of "The Kremlin Influence Quarterly": an article in The Insider Russia specifically about the reporting of Free Russia Foundation's Alisa Volkova on #Putin's oligarchs' work in Bulgaria. Alisa talks about how Kremlin-friendly business interestes strive to deepen deepen Bulgarian dependency on Russia’s energy sector and to keep corrupt local politicians in positions of power.

Large Russian businesses actively work abroad, transferring non-transparent Russian business practices to other countries. Bulgaria seems to be an easy target for that. The country with a socialist past and deep historical, political, and economic connections with Russia has its own tradition of cor

05/25/2020
Free Russia Foundation

Free Russia Foundation

Last Tuesday, Free Russia Foundation, with the media support of The American Interest, has launched the Kremlin’s Influence Quarterly.

The Kremlin’s Influence Quarterly is an online publication analyzing the Kremlin’s malign activities in Europe aimed at undermining European values and democratic institutions. The quarterly will feature case studies collected by the FRF team and theoretical methodologies developed by its scholars.

The first issue of the Quarterly is available here: https://www.4freerussia.org/the-kremlin-s-influence-quarte…/

Here is an excerpt from the discussion, featuring Editor-in-Chief Anton Shekhovtsov, as he describes in excruciating detail the PR operation turned by the Kremlin with the #COVID19 aid to Italy.

The entire discussion, with Péter Krekó, Director of the Political Capital Institute, Greg Frolov, Vice-president of Free Russia Foundation and Damir Marusic, Executive Editor of The American Interest, and an extensive Q&A with viewers, is here: https://youtu.be/4xS0gtgtXzg

05/22/2020
Free Russia Foundation

Last Tuesday, Free Russia Foundation has launched the Kremlin’s Influence Quarterly.

The Kremlin’s Influence Quarterly is an online publication analyzing the Kremlin’s malign activities in Europe aimed at undermining European values and democratic institutions. The quarterly will feature case studies collected by the FRF team and theoretical methodologies developed by its scholars.

The first issue of the Quarterly is available here: https://www.4freerussia.org/the-kremlin-s-influence-quarterly-1/

Here is an excerpt from the discussion, featuring Péter Krekó, Director of the Political Capital Institute, as he delves back into the history of the Viktor Orban-Vladimir Putin relations, revealing the transformation of the Hungarian leader into a Kremlin ally.

The entire discussion, with editor-in-chief Anton Shekhovtsov,
Greg Frolov, Vice-president of Free Russia Foundation and Damir Marusic, Executive Editor of The American Interest, and an extensive Q&A with viewers, is here: https://youtu.be/4xS0gtgtXzg

Last Tuesday, Free Russia Foundation, with the media support of The American Interest, has launched the Kremlin’s Influence Quarterly.

The Kremlin’s Influence Quarterly is an online publication analyzing the Kremlin’s malign activities in Europe aimed at undermining European values and democratic institutions. The quarterly will feature case studies collected by the FRF team and theoretical methodologies developed by its scholars.

The first issue of the Quarterly is available here: https://www.4freerussia.org/the-kremlin-s-influence-quarterly-1/

Here is an excerpt from the discussion, featuring Péter Krekó, Director of the Political Capital Institute, as he delves back into the history of the Viktor Orban-Vladimir Putin relations, revealing the transformation of the Hungarian leader into a Kremlin ally.

The entire discussion, with editor-in-chief Anton Shekhovtsov,
Greg Frolov, Vice-president of Free Russia Foundation and Damir Marusic, Executive Editor of The American Interest, and an extensive Q&A with viewers, is here: https://youtu.be/4xS0gtgtXzg

05/20/2020
The Kremlin’s Influence Quarterly – Project Launch

Free Russia Foundation with media support of The American Interest have launched a new project, The Kremlin's Influence Quarterly. The first issue is out already, over 80 pages of brilliant analysis and reporting on Putin's malign influence in Europe. See the link below to read the whole glorious thing.
https://www.4freerussia.org/the-kremlin-s-influence-quarterly-1/
Also, here is the video of the launch event, featuring Anton Shekhovtsov (the project's editor-in-chief), Greg Frolov, Peter Kreko and Damir Marusic.

Free Russia Foundation, with the media support of The American Interest, launches the Kremlin’s Influence Quarterly. The Kremlin’s Influence Quarterly is an ...

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The Interpreter is a non-profit online news site providing translations of Russian and Ukrainian media, news updates and analysis of Russia’s wars at home, in Ukraine, and in Syria. Founded in May 2013, this online journal set out with the modest goal of translating articles from the Russian press, the better to lower the language barrier that separates journalists, analysts, policymakers, diplomats and interested laymen in the English-speaking world from events taking place inside the Russian Federation. Little did we realize then that The Interpreter would devote as much energy to covering what the Russian Federation got up to outside of its own borders. Throughout the first years of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, The Interpreter was among the leading real-time chronicle and analysis resource on all aspects of the crisis in Ukraine. Every day since violence first erupted in Kiev’s Independence Square, The Interpreter’s Ukraine live-blog documented a revolution that became a war on European soil, often breaking news stories about Russia’s annexation of Crimea, its maskirovka insurgency in the Donbass, its cross-border shelling of Ukraine, the downing of MH17, and the Minsk II “cease-fire.” Our work has been cited in news outlets all over the world, by presidents and ambassadors, and in academic papers. Under the generous patronage of the Institute of Modern Russia (IMR), the magazine was allowed to evolve organically into a more journalistic enterprise, while still adhering to its core remit of being an “Inopressa in reverse.” We owe everything to the incredibly supportive team at IMR, and particularly to Pavel Khodorkovsky, who saw the potential and urgency of this project two and a half years ago. The Interpreter translated into English two major reports on the alleged corruption behind the Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014; the first co-written by the Leonid Martinyuk and Boris Nemtsov, the latter of whom was brutally assassinated in Moscow a year later; the second by Alexey Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation. We also published two internationally discussed stand-alone studies, “The Menace of Unreality,” a look at contemporary Kremlin disinformation and propaganda, and “An Invasion by Any Other Name,” a near-comprehensive history of the Kremlin’s “dirty war” in Ukraine that relied heavily on what Russian investigators and activists had uncovered about their own government’s deception. Then, in October 2015, Russia intervened in Syria. Under the pretense of going to war against ISIS, Vladimir Putin has tried to prop up a flailing ally in the regime of Bashar al-Assad, targeting mostly non-ISIS targets and killing scores of civilians. So The Interpreter launched another news channel dedicated to covering yet another ambiguous Russian war, in three different languages. The Interpreter was funded by Radio Liberty/Radio Free Europe from 2016-2017. We lost our funding with the start of the Trump Administration. Since then, our writers have worked on a volunteer basis, so we appreciate your donations. We have been fortunate to have some media partners who have helped distribute our material; currently we are partnered with CodaStory, a single-issue web platform that puts a team of journalists on one crisis at a time and stays with it, providing unique depth, continuity and understanding to events.

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Bringing the stories out of Russian backwaters...
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