Forum FAQ

The Basics

Who are you guys?

Just a multinational group of people who are interested in Russian politics, history, and its place in the world.

When was The Russia Debate launched?

The domain name was registered on April 29th, 2013, and it was publicly unveiled one week later on May 6.

Who do you think would be most interested in participating here?

Presumably, people like you, who are interested in Russia (how else did you get here?). They tend to fall into several major categories:
  • Bloggers, journalists, and academics specializing in Russia.
  • People with a view to traveling to Russia, studying or working there.
  • Students of Russian history, political science, and/or the Russian language.
  • Western expats in Russia.
  • Businesspeople and investors.
  • Ethnic Russians in the West.
  • People with a deep interest in Russian politics, history, and culture in general.

Ranks and Trophies

What are these Soviet-like "trophies" I'm getting?

They are awarded, much like their namesakes, to signify our appreciation to you for positively contributing to our country forum. They fall into a few broad categories: Anniversaries since joining (loyalty), post count (perseverance), number of "Likes" you've been given (popularity), and your Likes to post ratio (overall indicator of excellent). There are also special trophies, such as what you get for serving as a moderator Commissar.

So, erm, what do these trophies do?

Apart from serving as visual acknowledgements of your contributions, they also give you "trophy points." As you accumulate trophy points, your symbolic "rank" here increases according to a progression inspired by the Tsarist-era Table of Ranks for bureaucrats. As was the case in real life, very few forumers - if any - will ever achieve the coveted highest rank, that of Chancellor.

Table of RanksTrophy Points
1Dead Soul0
2Citizen1
3Collegiate Registrar (14th class)3
4Office Registrar (13th class)5
5Gubernial Secretary (12th class)9
6Ship Secretary (11th class)13
7Collegiate Secretary (10th class)18
8Titular Councilor (9th class)24
9Collegiate Assessor (8th class)31
10Court Councilor (7th class)38
11Collegiate Councilor (6th class)46
12State Councilor (5th class)56
13Actual State Councilor (4th class)65
14Privy Councilor (3rd class)76
15Actual Privy Councilor (2nd class)88
16Chancellor (1st class)100

Forum Mechanics and Moderation

Why is there a minimum time restriction between new posts? Will you reduce it?

I have yet to meet a single person who can consistently make high quality, net positive value added contributions to a forum thread at a rate of more than one post per minute. I don't think such people exist. As such, no, the one minute break between posts isn't going to be removed. This is not to mention the value of this measure as an insurance against spammers.

Moderator "Insert moderator's name" is being really nasty and unfair to me!

Don't panic or freak out. It's only the Internet. Consult the Moderation Policy for guidelines on what to do next.

Why are moderators called Commissars? Why do you call yourself a Generalissimo?
No, it's not that we are Stalinists. The titles sound cool, plus the fact of our general narcissism.

Supporting Us


Can I help with moderation?

The sentiment is appreciated, but we are unlikely to be needing additional Commissars any time soon. You see, in this respect we work much like the KGB: You don't approach us, we approach you.

Is there anything else I can do to support you?

Why, thanks for asking! As a matter of fact, yes, you can... Please go here

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