Aug 5 • 1HR 18M

Problematic Russians

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A podcast by Yasha Levine and Evgenia Kovda, two Soviet immigrants living through American decline.
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In this ep Evgenia and I talk about our trip to Fort Ross — Russia’s old colonial outpost just north of San Francisco — and the ridiculous recent attempts here in America to cancel “Russian” authors and poets like Dostoevsky, Pushkin, Solzhenitsyn, Bulgakov, and Brodsky for spreading the cultural bacillus of Russian anti-Ukranianism. Yes, Bulgakov is Ukrainian. But that apparently doesn’t save him. Because, you know, being Russian is state of mind — a mind full of bad thoughts — it’s not about your ethnicity or where you were born.

Being Soviet Jews it’s funny for us to see people suddenly try to sideline Russian authors for their racism and chauvinism — in this case their supposed anti-Ukrainianism. If we had cancel them for, say, their hate of Jews, we’d have to get rid of not just most Russian literature but pretty much the whole western canon.

—Yasha Levine


Want to know more? Check out previous episodes of The Russians.


A couple of notes.

There has been a steady stream of articles on the same theme. Two of the best examples: “The Ally of Executioners: Pushkin, Brodsky, and the Deep Roots of Russian Chauvinism” and “Russia’s Long Disdain for Ukrainian Nationhood.” I wrote a bit about this topic a few months ago.

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