TEN YEARS ON THE INTERNET - Interactive Bibliography of the Electronic Journal Russkii Vopros
When we were considering ways how to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the Internet journal www.russkiivopros.com, the idea to prepare a bibliography sprang to our mind. To prepare a bibliography of the journal with its own archive and with a possibility to find any article with the help of a search engine could seem to be a bit like superfluous work. It can be true to some extent but a certain added value can also originate here.
First of all a prepared bibliography enables a better orientation in the existing production of the journal and creates clear thematic groups providing us with a possibility to gain various views on particular topics. At the same time we have an opportunity to study some issues in their development because they were discussed several times in various periods. Certainly there is also a possibility to learn whether created predictions have come true or not.
However, the journal does not have an ambition to react on current affairs, it rather tries to catch more general tendencies; it is evident that the interest in particular CIS countries has its ups and downs. The mentioned low or high tide of interest depends on the development in these countries. The journal was established as a peridical focused predominantly on Russia but the recent development in this country caused that new priorities have gradually emerged.
Putin’s coming into power after a very contradictory Yeltin’s period aroused a certain hope. His construction of the famous vertical of power was possible to take as an effort to prepare effective means for the realization of reforms. These hopes died very soon and bizarre expressions like limited democracy or managed democracy have shown us where Putin and his clone Medvedev have been leading Russia. A coveted stability gradually turned into an authoritarian regime and the interest in Russia declined because the country has lost its dynamics and the established system has not provided our authors with new impulses. A greater interest in Russia by the end of the first decade of the 21st century was caused by some anniversaries or extraordinary steps made by either Putin or Medvedev. The fact that these two men are predominantly the protagonists of published articles is further evidence of the nature of the current regime in Russia.
Similar development can also be observed in the case of Ukraine. The first special articles devoted to domestic affairs in this country were published in 2005 when the Orange Revolution aroused a lot of expectations. A quip then that the Orange revolution was a revolt of the millionaires against billionaires came very soon true with all its consequences. For a certain time authors described some peripetia of the Ukrainian domestic politics but the Ukraine fatigue overpowered not only the EU but also them.
To sum up we could say that the development in the majority of post-Soviet countries regularly goes through the phase of expectations and hopes followed by the phase of disappointment. This process is mirrored in the journal pretty exactly. However, in the blazon of www.russkiivopros.com there is an old slogan sine ira et studio, it is neccessary to acknowledge that one can very quickly discover that the journal is a bit biased. Its sympathy with the democratic forces is evident and particularly articles devoted to the representatives of analyzed countries are rather ironical. On the other hand, exact analyses do not exclude irony and vice versa.
Occasional decline of interest in current development of countries, where the so-called stability reigns or has been being built, has born interesting fruits in the shape of a large amount of historical articles. They are characterized by two substantial features: They come back to various anniversaries or famous historical events and they also look for various historical parallels. It can be also a very interesting way, according to the well-known old slogan Magistra historia vitæ, how to address current reality and consider possible scenarios.
The bibliography demonstrates a raising interest of www.russkiivopros.com in South Caucasus countries and a full absence of articles focused on Central Asia. It should be other direction where the journal should concentrate its attention.
It is not a secret that several authors hide their real names and write under pseudonyms. There are several reasons for that but the saddest of them is the fear that consequences for the author could be fatal in his/her country. As long as such a practise will be necessary, the existence of the journal like www.russkiivopros.com will be needed.