Earlier this month, in anticipation of my trip to Russia, I asked here whether anyone knew of legal bloggers in Russia. No one did, apparently. While there last week, I investigated this question for myself, and likewise came up empty-handed.
My investigation consisted of asking everyone I could. I was hampered by the fact that our translators had never heard the word “blog” and their attempts to convey the concept often seemed to meet only blank stares. Still, I was able to speak with a handful of English-speaking Russian lawyers, law students and journalists about the topic.
On my flight to Russia from New York, I had the good fortune to meet Alexander Christophoroff, a Moscow patent lawyer. He was well-acquainted with the concept of blogging and familiar with some U.S. legal blogs, but could identify no Russian legal bloggers.
On our first day there, we met with a group of local reporters together with law students and journalism students. I asked the group as a whole about blogs and here is where I met my first set of blank stares. Later, however, a radio reporter from the audience approached me. He was fluent in English and had recently spent time in the U.S. He said that blogging in Russia so far is pretty much limited to the more personal, journal-like form more commonly found on sites such as LiveJournal and MySpace. He was aware of no Russian blogs either specifically focused on law or more generally used for news and social or political commentary.
Another day, we met with another group of students (pictured above) from the Law Institute at Tomsk State University, many of whom had studied English. Again, I asked several about blogs. Again, none were aware of legal blogs.
No doubt, my inquiry is hampered by my inability to speak or read Russian. Search Google for “Russian blog,” and a number of results come up. Search for “Russian legal blog,” and the top result I get is my own post asking about them. If I search Russian Google, I get mostly U.S. blogs as results.
So from this admittedly unscientific survey, I have been unable to find any Russian legal blogs. If anyone knows otherwise, please let me know.