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From Lebanon To Iraq: We’re In Deep Shia Now

Iraq Police Academy 6: Doin’ The Mosul Shuffle! FRESNO, CA — OK, we’ve just gone through a really exciting time in world military moves, so let’s test your strategic IQ. What’s the relation between these three recent developments: 1. On…

May 15, 2008 | Leave Comment

War Nerd: Russia's Other Great Victory

A map of Zhukov’s attack on Japan’s Imperial Army bears a strange resemblance to the inner jaws of those giant sandworms in Dune Everybody knows about the Fall of Berlin. You Russians will be out in the streets next week…

May 4, 2008 | Leave Comment

Issue #288 Cover

This is the cover of The eXile Issue #288, published in May 2008.

May 1, 2008 | Leave Comment

War Nerd: Tibet: Five to One Against

Photographic evidence of Tibet’s military, circa 1950 FRESNO, CA — Writing a column on the military history of Tibet seemed like a good idea in the good old days, a week ago, before I started actually trying to research it….

Apr 17, 2008 | Comments (5)


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Issue #287 Cover

This is the cover of Issue #287 of The eXile, published in April of 2008.

Apr 17, 2008 | Leave Comment

And The Wall Carpets Come Tumbling Down

This article was first published in The eXile, April 2008 Last summer, The eXile took a safari journey in search of the legendary Gopniki, Russia’s underworld answer to the OGs of South Central, Long Beach, and the Bronx. Those notorious…

Apr 11, 2008 | Comments (3)

Yair Klein: Russia's "Other" Viktor Bout

Klein on Columbian TV a few months before his arrest in Moscow Two weeks ago, while all eyes were focused on the case of international arms dealer Viktor Bout, I spent about five hours at the Moscow City Court watching…

Mar 28, 2008 | Comments (3)

Driving Russia's Dangerous Roads: Risking life and limb on Russia's decrepit highway system

This article was first published by The eXile in March 2008 Two weeks ago I sat in a GAI patrol car drinking whiskey with an on-duty traffic cop. The pudgy officer had flagged down my friend’s Nissan for a routine “document…

Mar 10, 2008 | Leave Comment

Boning For Medvedev

This was first published in The eXile in March 2008 On Friday, a group of Russian performance artists stripped off their clothes and started fucking in the middle of Moscow’s Biology Museum in an act they called “Fuck For Medvedev!”…

Mar 3, 2008 | Comments (8)

Feature Story: Russia's Sex Slave Graveyard

The guy on the left in the Santa suit is responsible for up to fifty murdered sex slaves, including his own daughter. A version of this article first appeared in the February 2008 issue of Penthouse magazine. NIZHNY TAGIL — Last…

Feb 6, 2008 | Comments (5)

Winter Fashion Guide: Shapka Shopping

(a.k.a. Yakov Borisovich Levandovsky) I came back from vacation this week and found myself urgently in need of a warm winter shapka. I lost my last one after I gave it to some guy in exchange for a bottle of…

Jan 14, 2008 | Comments (1)

Two Cities, Two Protests, One Arrest

ST. PETERSBURG — The morning air was icy and the mood tense as people gathered for Other Russia’s pre-protest press conference outside the Yabloko office and it was obvious that something was going to go down, and soon…

Dec 11, 2007 | Leave Comment

Taxi Driver: Gypsy Cab Confessions in Moscow

This article was first published on November 21, 2007 in The eXile. It was just after 1 a.m. on Monday morning when I pulled my rental car up to my apartment building. I’d just spent the last 48 hours working as…

Nov 21, 2007 | Comments Off on Taxi Driver: Gypsy Cab Confessions in Moscow

A Letter To Putin From Moscow's Foreign Press Corps

To: President Vladimir Putin From: The Moscow Foreign Press Corps We, the Moscow Foreign Press Corps, wish to directly address you, the esteemed Russian President, concerning an affront you committed against our profession, and against our careers. Last week, you…

Oct 22, 2007 | Leave Comment

Hack Watch: Did Guardian Journalist Hack Again? OH NO HE DIDN’T!

Just when we thought we could forget about Guardian Moscow correspondent Luke Harding’s hackburgling habit, along comes the following juxtaposition from a reader in London. Is Harding unaware that his stuff sounds like everyone else’s, or does he just not care?…

Sep 14, 2007 | Leave Comment

Toxoplasma: The Obscure Cat-Shit Parasite That Explains Europe

They get in your mind… They make you do things! – General Owen referring to the Brain Bug in Starship Troopers. This isn’t a movie, kids. The Brain Bug is real. It doesn’t look anything like those big fat brain worms…

Aug 21, 2007 | Comments Off on Toxoplasma: The Obscure Cat-Shit Parasite That Explains Europe

The Kingdom of OMON

I started hearing about OMON before I ever saw them. I’d only been in Moscow a few weeks when a bar debate erupted over the authenticity of a YouTube clip purporting to capture an OMON deathblow. During an arrest an…

May 18, 2007 | Comments (1)

Enter the OMON: Russia's Enforcers Meet the Press

OMON’s first ever meet-the-press event, organized to change the special force’s image from brutal and incompetent to professional and deadly.

May 10, 2007 | Leave Comment

The H-Bomb: Everything You Never Wanted to Know About the Herpes Epidemic

Which chick scares you more from a public health perspective? Spring is here and so are migrant birds. That means another bout of bird-flu media-frenzy. H5N1 was supposed to be a pandemic, remember? The Bubonic Plague without borders. Millions would…

Apr 20, 2007 | Comments (8)

Feature Story: Platzkart Hell

I boarded my platzkart wagon heading out of Izhevsk feeling like I could die. And that was BEFORE entering platzkart–the infamous Russian third-class railway carriage. The train car, packed to the brim with foul-smelling Izhevsk hicks, was like one giant…

Dec 15, 2006 | Leave Comment