Media Room


Svetlana 01 17.11.2019    Aye Write - Introduction

     Gangs of Russia 08 (2)                         9780754618133_frontcover

In The Media

22 January 2023 – Novaya Gazeta

Novaya Gazeta published my opinion piece Далеко не идиоты  (English title: Far from being idiots) in Russian and English versions. The article discusses a recent interview with Oskar Kuchera, a well-known Russian actor who runs a “patriotic” Telegram channel, by Yury Dud, a popular YouTube blogger, has sparked massive debate on Russian social media. The interview titled A talk with a supporter of the Russian army had registered 17 million views by the morning of 22 January, and is a valuable source of data, helping us to understand what it means to be ‘Putin’s person’ in today’s Russia and why such people support the Kremlin but wish the war was over,

22 December 2022 – The Moscow Times

My recent Novaya Gazeta article was republished in an edited form as an opinion piece in The Moscow Times under the headline, Putin’s Idealization of Death Reflects Russia’s Growing Nazification.

6 December 2022 – Novaya Gazeta

Novaya Gazeta published my latest article В стуже собственной крови  (English title: In Cold Blood) in Russian and English versions. The article discusses how, with defeats on the frontline of Russia’s war in Ukraine and the mobilisation of thousands to fill the places of those already killed, the messages from the the Russian authorities, and in popular media, to the general population, including the mothers of those being sent into battle, are changing from the carnivalesque tone previously adopted by state television to a more somber note, with calls for  acts of heroism and sacrifice. However, the language being used about the meaning of a human life is at odds with the long-term Russian traditions it purports to represent, and is more reminiscent of the National Socialism doctrines of Hitler’s Germany, illustrating the gap in empathy between those at the top and their citizens.

22 September 2022 – Novaya Gazeta

Novaya Gazeta published my article Чего произволите? (English title: Autocracy as a curse) in Russian and English versions. The article discusses how, instead of trying to explain the current actions of the Russian authorities in terms of some fascist ideological project or as a replication of European colonial wars for territories and resources, these can be better described in more ancient and familiar categories for Russia – autocracy and arbitrariness (proizvol). I discuss how such pursuit and exercise of power for the sake of power, without need for ideology and morality, is illustrated, for example, in Shakespeare’s vision of autocratic power as a curse in his portrayal of Richard III. 

31 July 2022 – Sapere Aude 

In an interview with Julia Tarkovski of Sapere Aude (“a project about events, trends and phenomena of the global world”) I discuss the development of bandit groups in the post-Soviet space and their relationships with power structures; how the gangs’ honour culture has influenced, and is often reflected in, the language and attitudes of the state authorities; how Russian society has developed in the five months since the current war began; and the prospects for change after the current regime. Our discussion can be watched on Sapere Aude’s YouTube channel under the title, O российской власти и культуре чести, or listened to in podcast form as От хамства – к войне.

26 July 2022 – Холод

My opinion piece Не смотреть, не видеть, не знать (English title: Don’t Look, Don’t See, Don’t Know), which analyses public support in Russia for the war in Ukraine, and the justifications offered for this, from a sociological and criminological perspective was published in Russian on the politics blog “Kholod” (“Cold”)

9 July 2022 – После

My article Пацан сказал — пацан сделал (English title: The Lad Said, The Lad Did), which discusses the relationship between Russia’s street gang culture and moral code and the Russian state’s policy and use of language, was published in Russian and English on the politics blog, “Posle” (“After”)

20 June 2022 – Novaya Gazeta

Novaya Gazeta published my article Умри ты сегодня, а мы – никогда (English title: We Invite you to die) in Russian and English versions. The article discusses the influence of necropolitics in Russian politics.

12 May 2022 – Холод

My article Кремлевская феня (English title: Kremlin Jive-talk), which discusses how the Russian authorities use the language of the street, was published in Russian on the politics blog “Kholod” (“Cold”)

12 April 2022 – Radio Free Europe

My op-ed The Present is not forever was published in Russian on Radio Free Europe’s website. An English translation is available here.

20 February 2018 – Current Sociology

I was named as Current Sociology’s “Sociologist of the Month” for my article “It takes two to tango: The state and organized crime in Russia

9 March 2017 – Deutsche Welle

I was interviewed about Russian Parliamentarian Igor Lebedev ‘s suggestion that hooligans clashing could become a spectator sport on Deutsche Welle’s international service on Sunday 19 June. Audio available here and the text of the interview is available here.

3 March 2017 – BASEES

“Gangs of Russia” wins Alexander Nove Prize for scholarly work of high quality in Russian, Soviet and post-Soviet studies

19 June 2016 – Inside Europe, Deutsche Welle

I was interviewed about Russian football hooligans on “Inside Europe” on Deutsche Welle’s international service on Sunday 19 June.

18 May 2016 – Thinking Allowed, BBC Radio 4

I was invited to take part in “Thinking Allowed” with Professor Laurie Taylor on BBC Radio 4 on Wednesday 18 May.

29 March 2016 – Sean’s Russia Blog Podcast

I discuss my book with Sean Guillory of the Center for Russian and East European Studies at the University of Pittsburgh in a podcast titled The Gangs of Russia on his “Sean’s Russia Blog” website.

2 February 2016 – International Business Times

My work is featured in Inside Russian Street Gangs by Tom Porter of the International Business Times.

14 January 2016 – Times Higher Education Book of the Week

My latest book, Gangs of Russia: From the Streets to the Corridors of Power, was selected as “book of the week” in  Times Higher Education’s 14-20 January 2016 issue. The full text of the review and and an interview can be found on THE’s website.

In a related Times Higher Education podcast, I speak with THE Books Editor Karen Shook, about my  life as a university student in the USSR, summer as a visiting fellow in 1990 in the “paradise” of the University of Kent, changes in society and the academy ushered in by Mikhail Gorbachev’s reforms, and research for my latest book, “Gangs of Russia: From the Streets to the Corridors of Power”, including interviews with members (“the lads”) of Kazan gangs about criminality, masculinity, social mobility and the code of the street.