How to Stop Yelling

(how to stop yelling)

I see that Andrey [Loshak] and some other folks possessed of nice faces want Russians to begin distinguishing between breeds. We are elves, they are Orcs. We are professors, they are Sharikovs. “I do not want and cannot live in a country where medals are awarded and salaries are paid for killing civilians,” writes Andrey as is leaving the country (possibly forever). There are nice Russian faces at [anti-war] rallies in Tbilisi, just like in Moscow.

Dear Andrey Loshak! I’m younger than you and so it’s strange for me to remind you that our country has been through the First Chechen War, the Second Chechen War, a five-day war with Georgia, Donbas, and Syria. Nord-Ost happened, Beslan happened, and Chechnya is still happening. In our country, 177 thousand people with disabilities live in psycho-neurological residential treatment facilities (concentration camps). In our country, LGBT people have been “socially unequal” since 2013. Jehovah’s Witnesses are imprisoned for their religion. In our country, people are tortured and killed while being tortured in police stations, penal colonies, and prisons. We have a president for life, a cult of personality, a church that has fused with the state, political terror, and state propaganda. There is fascism in our country — and it didn’t happen a month ago.

Did you not know that Russia was fascist? The world says it didn’t know. Maybe you didn’t know either?

You are bashful about saying the word “intelligentsia,” so I’ll say it. Some people are doubly lucky at birth: they are born a little smarter than average and to families in which it is appreciated. Life gives them the opportunity and motivation to read books, study, and think. While our peers in Rubtsovsk, Altai Krai, are cutting nonferrous metals, working at gas stations, or adapting to society as it is for the sake of survival, we are learning, learning, and learning. They go to the army, we go to universities. Do you know why society affords us this opportunity? So that we look back and forth, paving the way, and if the way turns out to be wrong, we pull our country back from the edge of the abyss.

How did we fight fascism? Oh, we described its advent and progress.

(no, if fascism has dawned, it’s not enough just to do your job. and peaceful rallies against fascism, it turns out, do not work either)

But now, when the monster has grown and begun eating so much that the whole world has noticed, you can just leave, disavowing the murderers who send parcels of loot back home to their poor villages, and isolating them into another, separate breed — “not-us.”

They will be held accountable. But what about you? What about me?

Source: Elena Kostyuchenko, Facebook, 6 April 2022. Ms. Kostyuchenko and Mr. Loshak are well-known liberal Russian journalists. See the social media post by Mr. Loshak that occasioned Ms. Kostyuchenko’s philippic, below. Translated by the Russian Reader


18+. The video contains a description of murder scenes and footage of the war’s effects and is not recommended for viewing by persons with fragile mental health.

Elena Kostyuchenko traveled to Ukraine as a correspondent for Novaya Gazeta. Her reports from Kherson and Mykolaiv were published in the newspaper with censorship restrictions.

Despite complying with Russian federal law, the articles were deleted at the request of the Prosecutor General’s Office and Roskomnadzor, and Novaya Gazeta was forced to suspend operations.

Specially for the channel Novaya Gazeta Europe, Kostyuchenko talked about what she saw in the war in Ukraine.

Novaya Gazeta Europe will tell the world about what is happening in Russia in several languages. It will cover world and Russian news for people who read Russian and espouse European values.

Please subscribe to our channel!

Translated by the Russian Reader


I look at the footage and think about the stiffened bodies of the residents of Bucha, shot at point-blank range near their homes. I do not want and cannot live in a country where they award medals and pay salaries for murdering and robbing civilians. When I was leaving Moscow, perhaps forever, I was amazed at the faces of the passengers heading to Yerevan, clearly not out of a suddenly awakened interest in ancient Armenian culture. I would call those faces refined [intelligentnymi], but for several centuries a lot of rubbish has stuck to this word, so let’s just call them intelligent [osmyslennymi]. I saw the same faces at rallies in Moscow, and now I continue to encounter them in Tbilisi; there are probably no other Russians here now. But now look at the degenerates who piled into the Belarusian office of [the Russian express delivery service] CDEK. They’re really orcs. Led by their president, they have declared war on civilization and are marching in tight ranks into a new barbarism. Should these lowlifes be considered heroes now? Will the same degenerate teachers make our children proud of Bucha and Mariupol? It is not difficult to guess to what condition this gang of Sharikovs will reduce Russia in the shortest possible time. And nothing will stop them in this frenzy of self-destruction.

Source: Andrey Loshak, Facebook, 5 April 2022. Translated by the Russian Reader

The Asch Conformity Experiments

Back in the 1950s, experiments were conducted that purported to demonstrate how difficult it is for one person to resist the opinion of a group. These were [Solomon] Asch’s famous [conformity] experiments.

The subjects were asked to compare the length of lines. The correct answer was obvious, but it was “decoys” in the group who answered first, and they all pointed to another line as the right one. Consequently, most people conformed with group’s opinion and answered the question incorrectly. But if at least one of the decoys had been instructed to answer differently than the others (although not necessarily correctly), most of the subjects were able to assert their own opinion.

A friend told me how she had unwittingly found herself inside an Asch experiment. She was an independent observer on an elections commission in which all the other members were attempting to falsify the results. They put the ballots for one candidate into a stack with the other candidate’s ballots. My acquaintance tried in vain to protest. She said that her principal emotion was not indignation, but the terrible thought that, maybe, there was something wrong with her. It seemed to her that she was going crazy: it could not be that all these people were doing “wrong” so calmly and confidently.

That is why the authorities are going after pro-peace posters and anti-war quotes by Leo Tolstoy, and that is why draconian fines and criminal penalties have been introduced for voicing opinions other than the official ones. That is why all the opposition media have been shuttered. Because the existence of even one public voice contradicting the “unanimous choir” enables thousands of other people to maintain their own common sense. (For those of you who do not like the opposition and opposition politicians, remember that this holds true even if the contradictory voice is “wrong.”)

Many people are now afraid to speak out publicly, not only because of the possible punishments, but also because of the effect demonstrated by Asch’s experiments. It’s scary to stand alone against everyone. That is why it is so important to support each other (“a like is also a help” :) and, at least, voice one’s opinion in private conversations with each other, if not publicly. It will help someone not to go crazy.

Source: Natalia Vvedenskaya, Facebook, 8 April 2022. Image courtesy of Wikipedia Translated by the Russian Reader


Marina Dubrova, an English teacher on the Russian island of Sakhalin in the Pacific, showed an uplifting YouTube video to her eighth-grade class last month in which children, in Russian and Ukrainian, sing about a “world without war.”

After she played it, a group of girls stayed behind during recess and quizzed her on her views.

“Ukraine is a separate country, a separate one,” Ms. Dubrova, 57, told them.

“No longer,” one of the girls shot back.

A few days later, the police came to her school in the port town of Korsakov. In court, she heard a recording of that conversation, apparently made by one of the students. The judge handed down a $400 fine for “publicly discrediting” Russia’s Armed Forces. The school fired her, she said, for “amoral behavior.”

“It’s as though they’ve all plunged into some kind of madness,” Ms. Dubrova said in a phone interview, reflecting on the pro-war mood around her.

With President Vladimir V. Putin’s direct encouragement, Russians who support the war against Ukraine are starting to turn on the enemy within.

The episodes are not yet a mass phenomenon, but they illustrate the building paranoia and polarization in Russian society. Citizens are denouncing one another in an eerie echo of Stalin’s terror, spurred on by vicious official rhetoric from the state and enabled by far-reaching new laws that criminalize dissent.

Source: Anton Troianovski, New York Times, 9 April 2022. Read the rest of this disturbing article by clicking on the link. Thanks to Comrade SG for the timely heads-up.