Who To Follow On All Things Russia
I’ve been researching and writing about Russia in the security space since 2008 including two editions of my book Inside Cyber Warfare, have produced more written reports on Russian R&D labs than anyone in my field, and continue to provide due diligence to clients about Russian firms to this day, and I’m not a Russia expert. That’s why I follow people who know more than me; especially when it comes to Russia.
Having worked with, hired, spoken to, and argued with many so-called experts, I’ve developed my own method for determining who is worth my time and who isn’t.
If they are Westerners who don’t speak Russian and have never stepped foot in Russia EVER, but claim expertise on this subject, I move on.
If they are Westerners who speak Russian, have frequently visited the country, and lived there, I’m eager to hear what they have to say with the caveat that Westerners cannot truly know Russia. At least these individuals have some first-hand knowledge.
My gold standard for Russia experts, however, is that they are Russian, well-educated and well-traveled with first-hand experience in dealing with the Russian government, military, banking, or commercial concerns. Finding sources like these makes you feel like you have just won the lottery; their insights are that refreshing and honest.
At least that’s how I felt when I first met Professor Anna Vassilieva at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in Monterey. I wish she was on social media so that I could share her feed.
My Recommended Follows On Russia
Here’s a short list of Russia experts in no particular order that I enjoy following and/or corresponding with. I’ll add to it as more names come to mind. You may have your own favorites. Please feel free to share your recommendations in the Comments section.
If anyone knows if Professor Vassilieva is on Twitter or Facebook, please let me know and I’ll add her to this list.
Carnegie Russia: @CarnegieRussia (Twitter)