a curious Yankee in Europe's court

blog about living in Europe, and Italy

Did you know President Dmitry Medvedev has a blog? Cool!

Posted on the February 11th, 2010

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev not only has a blog, he has a video blog (vlog).  I mean, dude!

Latest entry is yesterday. Topic is photography, a passion of his apparently. More interesting, I think, is the vlog below that he posted last July. He reviews the Russian-American relationship (English translation).

UPDATE: (July 3, 2011): Sorry — the link to the video posted at the time this post was written is now invalid. The video is no longer posted on President Medvedev’s blog.

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East-West gap in gay rights?

Posted on the February 2nd, 2010

In Russia and post-communist countries, tolerance for gay rights is much lower than in the West, according to a short piece last week at Transitions Online (“Not So Happy and Gay” Jan 29, 2010).

The article goes on to explore why this might be so. Excerpt:

Anyone old enough to have lived through the civil rights movement in the United States or the advent of feminism or even more recent leaps forward, such as legalization of civil partnerships for same-sex couples, likely believes that even the last dominoes of resistance in places like Moscow will fall eventually.

And they likely will, but how long will it take and why does this East-West split on this issue persist, like some muggles-wizards culture clash?

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The Russian people and the NY Times have a chat

Posted on the February 25th, 2008

Yesterday, the ways and means President Vladimir Putin uses to govern Russia was the subject of a New York Times article (“Putin’s Iron Grip on Russia Suffocates Opponents” by Clifford J. Levy, Feb 24, 2008). The piece, including quotes from several Russians interviewed, offers a glimpse into Russia’s inner world these days.

Equally or, perhaps, of even greater interest is that the NY Times editors decided to translate their article into Russian and post it, according to the Times, on Russia’s most popular blogging website, www.livejournal.ru. The Times editors also solicited comments about the article from the blog platform’s Russian readers.

So what happened?

Today, a follow-up article ran in the NY Times, analyzing the Russian public’s response (“An Article Brings Sharp Responses From Russians” by Clifford J. Levy, Feb 25, 2008). The talkback was sizable, spirited and varied. By the end of yesterday, almost 3,000 comments had been logged in, the Times editors reported:

“The Moscow bureau of The Times reviewed the comments in Russian and translated scores that were representative of the strains of opinion on the site. The translations in English were then posted in the comments section that accompanied the article on www.nytimes.com.”

The primary motivation behind the Times editors asking translators to do all this back and forth translating between English and Russian, they said, was “to give readers a better feel for Russian opinion.”

UPDATE: Questo post in italiano

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A Russian take on Super Tuesday

Posted on the February 5th, 2008

Starting off my day, as I usually do, with a quick visit to news.google.com to see the latest headlines, today I clicked on a video from Russia Today about Super Tuesday. The video (below) recaps what’s happening in the race for the White House. It includes short commentary from some U.S. political reporters, some campaign footage, candidate info and general trivia about the election.

Russia Today, if you don’t know about it, is a Russian news channel in English (also online). It offers round-the-clock coverage by a team of 700 — Russian and foreign journalists and support staff — on what’s happening in Russia and across the globe, according to the website. The channel has been broadcasting since 2005, it reports, and is run by the Russian news agency RIA-Novosti.

The news channel also has its own YouTube page here.

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