DISCLAIMER- I returned to the US in September of 2017. I still closely follow news out of Russia and Ukraine. I do plan to do more traveling in the future and hopefully I will return to Ukraine once again on a permanent basis (more permanent than last time!).
ADDITIONAL DISCLAIMER- As of 6 December 2018, I decided to make this blog entirely dedicated to satire and humor related to Russia and Ukraine. You can find all satirical articles by clicking on the ‘satire’ category near the top of the menu on the right side of the page. What follows is the original introduction to the site, first written in 2013 and modified over the years.
Welcome dear reader, to Russia Without BS, the foreigner-in-Russia blog that strives to give all those interested in Russia an insight into life in the capital from the perspective of an ordinary working-class American. If you’re interested in Russian life and politics without the bias and sensationalism of Western journalism or the farcical propaganda of the Putin fan club, you’ve come to the right blog. If you’re interested in living and working in Russia and you’re skeptical of the expat literature that’s full of embellished, exaggerated, and occasionally fabricated tales of nightly debauchery or James Bond fantasies, read on. This blog is definitely for you. Chances are you probably already have an opinion about Russia even if you’ve never been here, and I can’t promise that I won’t piss you off, but even if you choose not to take my word for it at least this blog is offering you a second opinion.
When I moved to Russia permanently in 2006, I never imagined I’d be writing one of those “foreigner-in-Russia” blogs. However, over the years it became increasingly apparent that there is a huge disconnect between the perception of Russia outside the country and reality. I am certainly not alone in this sentiment. Many of us foreigners here complain about the media distortions about Russia both inside and outside the country. Eventually I decided to stop complaining and start doing something about it. I wanted to give people a realistic, balanced view of life in Russia. I also make a distinction between the Russian people and the Russian government.
In recent years I’ve also had the opportunity to work in Ukraine, which is a country that needs publicity even more than Russia. Ukraine’s history and politics are obscure to much of the world, a fact which makes it even easier for charlatans from both Russia and Ukraine to manipulate the narrative of the critical situation there. This would also be a good time to note that this blogger unapologetically supports the territorial integrity of Ukraine according to the Budapest Memorandum of 1994 and the Russian-Ukrainian Friendship Treaty of 1997.
In general I strive to educate readers with analysis based on my years of reading, experience, and contacts with experts, as well as entertain with humor and satire. Every once in a while I like to do off-topic posts about pop culture or American politics as well.
I have been published in The Guardian, The Moscow Times, Open Democracy, RUSSIA! Magazine, Voice of America and Cracked.com. I have also been featured as a guest on Sky News, France 24, CBC, Stopfake, TRT World, CBS radio, BBC radio, and The History Channel.
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