English translation: confusion, row, muddle, mess, hurly-burly
Login or register (free and only takes a few minutes) to participate in this question.
You will also have access to many other tools and opportunities designed for those who have language-related jobs (or are passionate about them). Participation is free and the site has a strict confidentiality policy.
Of course, it is virtually impossible to find a specific English word for Russian "катавасия"; although "katabasis" does exist, it applies to religion and the military/ where it means "retreat". As a matter of fact, this is the implication, and even the background, if you will, of the Russian "катавасия" as well, for the word WAS used by the Russian military in the meaning of "беспорядочное отступление"... some 200 years ago!
Thus, some of the implications and allusions are lost in translation, indeed. But as for "мешанина", "оказия", "пассаж" (in the meaning of Griboedov's "Какой пассаж!"), HURLY-BURLY is definitely your best bet.