Friday, October 26, 2018

Russians Trust the CIA more than the FSB – and 8 More ‘Only in Russia’ Stories This Week

Paul Goble

            Staunton, October 26 – Almost nine out of ten Russians in a completely unrepresentative sample surveyed by a Telegram author says that they trust the US Central Intelligence Agency more than they do their own FSB at least when it comes to being monitored by such institutions (

            That is just one of the continuing flow of such unusual “only in Russia stories” that come out of that country every day. In the last several, there have been at least eight more worthy of note:

1.      Moscow’s Russia-1 channel interviewed a young woman who had already been listed as dead by officials about the Kerch shooting tragedy. Her friends said that the 16-year-old interviewed didn’t sound at all like the girl they remembered.  The Fake News program on YouTube called attention to this intriguing situation, and Russian outlets have had a field day with it (

2.      Russia’s consumer protection agency investigated reports that a favorite kind of Russian sausage had been adulterated. It reported that it didn’t find any dog meat or toilet paper but that it did find DNA suggesting that some horse meat had been mixed in (

3.      Some Russian politicians who don’t like recent poll results have come up with a solution right out of Costa Gavras’s classic film Z: they’ve called for banning sociology and sociologists from Russia (

4.      The Duma  member who wanted to ban sex between Russians and visitors to the World Cup competition has now come up with a new idea: she says that Moscow should ban and then shut down all online acquaintance sites (

5.      Activists in Kazan have symbolically buried what they say are the “victims” of the Putin regime. Among those for whom tombstones have been set up are the constitution, elections, and the independence of the courts (

6.      Many have been struck by the all-too-obvious incompetence of Russian security service operatives in the Skripal case and in issuing passports to GRU officers with sequential numbers. But now they have another target for criticism or laughter. It has been discovered that Google maps can locate nuclear bunkers in Kaliningrad (

7.      At a time when the Russian government is reducing benefits, educational opportunities and medical care for the population, that same government has reported that there are now more officials per capita than at any time in Russia’s history (

8.      And Russians are now drinking more, not only vodka as the regime might prefer given the taxes it collects ( but also less expensive and more dangerous moonshine (samogon). The evidence for that? Sugar prices are soaring, at least in part because it is an important component for making booze (

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