Dear friends, Christ is Risen!
I hope that those amongst you who are Orthodox Christians had a peaceful and joy-filled celebration of Holy Paskha. My family and I had a wonderful celebration and we are now back at home.
First, I want to share with you a quick “state of the blog” update: the blog is doing *fantastic* with something between 7 and 10 million pages served each month. I don’t even know what the statistics would be for the other language Saker blogs (Italian, Spanish/Portuguese, French, Serbian and Russian) are, but I know that they are all doing very well and are quite visible in their own linguistic regions.
What I can tell you is that we recently broke through the 500’000 comments limit (in spite of our “brutal” and “unfair” “censorship”!). Such numbers are truly phenomenal and I want to thank you all for making this possible!
The Russian language Saker blog ran into a (quite predictable) minor “bump in the road” when the organization which we used to register our domain name (namecheap.com) simply pulled the plug on the blog and, when asked, told us that the account had been “suspended due to abuse” with no further clarifications. How oh so surprising. Not. “Democracy” at work and all that…
No big deal here, we still have our our files and we can restart the Russian Saker blog elsewhere, but not right now since a more important development requires immediate attention and I will deal with that issue when I come back to resume my duties.
Right now I need to deal with another reality: I have some health issues which I now need to take care of and which I cannot continue to try to ignore.
So, after some brainstorming with my family and key collaborators on the blog this is what we have decided and how that will impact you:
- I will personally stop blogging until my health is back where it should be. This will take several months, probably about 3 months.
- During this period, the blog will be run by my assistant Amarynth and our IT guru and chief of moderation Herb who are both trusted friends with whom I have been working for years and who have my full confidence and support.
- Specifically, while my own analyses will be suspended, the rest of the blog will continue to work as usual.
- Starting May 1st, our (superb) guest authors will send their contributions directly to Amarynth who will then schedule them and post them. In truth, she has been doing that upon my request for many months already and I do not expect any problems on that side. Until my return, her editorial decisions will be final.
- Herb has been the head of moderation and he, and his team of moderators, will continue to work, the only difference is that the final decisions will be taken by Herb and our moderators and I won’t be involved in it in any way (my role until now was minimal anyway). Until my return, the decisions of the moderators will be final.
- Our team of translators will continue to provide you with translations including subtitled videos, translated texts and anything else needing translation.
- The Saker staff and others will continue to provide their SITREPs and analyses on a regular basis.
So if you are primarily an author/contributor/translator, there will be very little difference for you, you will be able to continue to contribute just as in the past, but you would be dealing directly with Amarynth. If you don’t already have her email, email me and I will put you in touch with her.
If you are a commentator, then again nothing much will change, really.
And if you are mainly a lurking reader, you will still get plenty of superb guest contributions from our authors.
One last thing: if at all possible, please do not email me, especially not emails requiring me to answer, unless it is BOTH urgent and important.
Over the next few months what I will need most is rest. I have been blogging nonstop for fifteen (15!) years now and that has taken a toll on my health. Taking that much needed time off is the only way for me to keep the blog up and running in the long term.
Lastly, as I have mentioned several times, should it come to an OPEN conflict between US and Russian military personnel, I will immediately “freeze” the blog until the situation is resolved. If other NATO nations get into an open conflict with Russia, the blog will continue to operate simply because no country of NATO has any real agency except the USA. As for NATO itself, it is mostly a pathetic joke, ditto for the EU, of course.
In conclusion, I ask for your understanding. This is a difficult decision for me, one I have pushed back many many times already. That is also the only way to keep the blog up and running in the long term.
Anyway, that’s it on my end. I hope that everything will run smoothly and that by the time I come back to blogging, I will do so in a much better health than today :-)
Hugs and cheers to all,
UPDATE: I want to thank all of you for your kind words of support and best wishes, such an outpouring of support really touches me deeply. Thank you all for your understanding and kindness!!