Recently I was thinking about how radically life has changed since I started this blog back in 2013. Hell, things changed so much just in the past six months. There was a time when I thought Euromaidan was the worst thing that could happen to Ukraine. In a matter of weeks, Moscow managed to actually make things immeasurably worse, not only for Ukraine, but also for Russia as well.
I remember how one of my first articles was supposed to be a sober, balanced look at Vladimir Putin Since much of the internet and particularly the Russian population seems to have a blatantly homoerotic obsession with him, I figured that would be a good first topic to post about. I characterized Putin as a stone-cold realist who doesn’t actually buy into the kooky geopolitical theories of his underlings. This year, however, it seems that he has definitely lost touch with reality and he has certainly started to believe his own propaganda with disastrous results.
When I started this blog I expected to be dealing primarily with scare-mongers like Luke Harding or fantasy-laden expat tales. Obviously I had planned to deal with the claims of Russophiles like Kirby and his ilk, but I figured things would naturally balance out These days though, most of the bullshit Russia Without BS deals with is produced right here in Russia, mainly by RT or sympathetic outlets. I could dig up ridiculous “anti-Russian” articles, but I’m swamped by pro-Kremlin bullshit. The former takes effort, the latter is everywhere.
As I’ve written before, I don’t like to go back through my work and redact things for the sake of consistency. For example, I was initially skeptical about Russian troops in Eastern Ukraine(though never in Crimea), and therefore I wrote about why I wasn’t convinced by the evidence that was being presented at the time. A short while later, I began to see more and more evidence of Russian involvement(I never really doubted the presence of volunteers or logistical support). I leave these articles alone because even if I was wrong, a reader can get a feel for how rapidly and radically the situation can change in this part of the world. If I’m behind the curve at times, it’s mainly because I’m not a professional journalist with the kind of access and connections that would entail.
The FAQ, on the other hand, definitely needed updating, especially on the matter of RT. Long gone are the days when I can say RT holds something of value. I can’t even say it is salvageable. The regime is inexplicably pouring more money into both RT and a new service called Sputnik(expect something on that soon). I get why they are beefing up their domestic propaganda budget but I don’t see how Johnny “Can’t shut the fuck up about gold” Pickens from Methtown, Alabama or Samir al-Qliqfarmi in Cairo are going to rush to the Kremlin’s aid when the people finally grow spines and start standing up for themselves. I would not put it past Russia’s “geopolitics” hacks to actually believe that this increased propaganda could somehow speed the collapse of the West they’ve been predicting since the 1990’s. Whatever the case, RT is shit. It’s literally worse than Fox News. Hence I updated the FAQ.