AW: 2014-#166-Johnson’s Russia List [Adomeit’s first note][re: editorial policies, Putin, Soviet collapse, translation]

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

Subject: AW: 2014-#166-Johnson’s Russia List [Adomeit’s first note]
Date: Thu, 31 Jul 2014
From: Hannes Adomeit (

From a senior German Russia expert: I completely agree with the observation expressed in yesterday’s issue of the senior U.S. official and the senior U.S. academic about JRL’s loss of impartiality. The bias is also amply reflected in the inclusion of those poisonous grapes from “The Vineyard of the Saker” and the Kremlin’s international propaganda instrument “Russia Today” — which tells you hardly anything about Russia and, therefore, should more aptly be called “Evil America Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow.”

Well, I was just about to leave the matter as it is until I came upon what is clearly the confirmation of your unacceptable bias. I was outraged to see that you included yet another piece from that “alternative” interpreter of Russia, Patrick Armstrong, at “” In that entry #6 of yours, Armstrong is running an attack on Anders Åslund and, by implication, many other analysts, for allegedly “mis-quoting” Putin….

WHAT SOPHISTRY!!!!! Åslund DOES CORRECTLY TRANSLATE PUTIN!!! He refers to what Putin said in the RUSSIAN ORIGINAL. Someone in the presidential administration apparently realized that for Putin to say крупнейший was too strong, particularly for consumption abroad. That it was bad propaganda. So the English-language “translation” is not at all a translation of what Putin actually said but a deliberate dilution for foreign consumption. Armstrong should have realized that. It is disingenuous for him to use the diluted English “translation” rather than the Russian original to attack Åslund.

I do hope that you point that shabby sophistry out to your readers. If you wish, you can do so by including my letter to you in tomorrow’s JRL.

Best regards,
Hannes Adomeit
(Prof. Dr.)