Monthly Archives: October 2015

Kremlin’s Dubious Opinion Polls

If one is to believe VTsIOM, Russia’s state-run polling agency, public support for Vladimir Putin has reached “a new record height” and currently stands at 89.9 percent—a figure obligingly trumpeted by official television channels. “I am waiting for the day when VTsIOM puts Putin’s poll standing at 101 percent, and this, I think, will happen if not tomorrow, then the day after tomorrow,” remarked opposition politician Lev Shlosberg, commenting on the news.

Putin’s supposed “popularity” is the chief argument his apologists both inside and outside Russia use when responding to Kremlin critics. Too often, this “fact” is also accepted at face value—if with regret—by informed and unbiased commentators.

It should not be. Continue reading

Terrorist youth camp set up at a Russian Orthodox Monastery near Moscow

"The winners of the competition received valuable prizes" - snapshot from video“The winners of the competition received valuable prizes” – snapshot from video 

Article by: Alex L. Leonor

A Russian Orthodox monastery outside of Moscow is openly cooperating in a youth indoctrination camp run by one of the irregular units that recently fought in eastern Ukraine. When Hamas or ISIS does these kind of things, people often get upset.

Check out this video of the training camp. The training took place in late September and was run by the Russian irregular outfit calling itself ENOT Continue reading

The Nobel Prize in Literature


Svetlana Alexievich: ‘Reality has always attracted me like a magnet’

The Nobel Prize in Literature has been awarded to Svetlana Alexievich. The Belarusian writer and investigative journalist is lauded for her unique, and often harrowing, insights into life behind the Iron Curtain.

Watch video 02:13

Svetlana Alexievich wins Nobel Literature Prize

If there ever was a stark manifesto of intent, it came with Svetlana Alexievich’s debut novel “War’s Unwomanly Face.” Released in 1985 and set during World War II, the novel ties together a series of moving and often stark monologues on the brutality and hopelessness of war – all told by women and children. Alexievich made no illusions: she was going to toe no one else’s line.

For those new to Alexievich’s work, the Swedish Academy said Thursday after announcing that she’d been selected for this year’s Nobel Prize for Literature, that “War’s Unwomanly Face” was the one to start with. The innovative writer has “mapped the soul” of the Soviet and post-Soviet people, said the Academy.

First-hand account of Soviet Union’s disintegration

It’s this audacious determination to tell such brutally real stories that had Alexievich on the run for a decade. She was born in 1948 in the Ukrainian town of Stanislav – now the city of Ivano-Frankivsk, in the country’s central-eastern Continue reading

House Numbers in Galician Records

When researching birth, marriage, and death records in the former Austrian province of Galicia, now in Poland and Ukraine, one frequently encounters house numbers.  The same house numbers can also be found in Cadastral land records and maps.  These house numbers are significant and can be a useful clue for connecting families.

House numbers in the Austrian Empire pre-date the partitions of Poland. They were established by the Austrian Crown primarily in order to be able to identify men for the Austrian Military but were also used in land, vital, and other records. The house numbers essentially functioned as the address of each particular Continue reading