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Color Revolution in Georgia
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So protesters have stormed the Georgian Parliament in Tbilisi after a protest over Russian MP Sergey Gavrilov being allowed to address an international assembly of Orthodox Christian MPs there.

The local svidomy came out with placards demanding that “Russian occupiers” go home. And soon after Georgia’s President Salome Zurabishvili has called Russia an “enemy and an occupant.”

The idea that post-Saakashvili Georgia had come to its senses with respect to relations with Russia is an appealing and not entirely inaccurate one. Georgian culture and cuisine has managed to extend its influence from cultural sovoks to the new generation of SWPL Moscow hipsters, for whom weekend flights to Tbilisi are not something out of the ordinary. Though in two weeks time, they will no longer be able to take Russian airlines there.

But as I have pointed out, this comes amidst a geopolitical cleft that is almost certainly permanent. The Georgian elites have a bipartisan Atlanticist orientation, and NATO integration enjoys much greater support than even in the Ukraine, where attitudes towards it are 50/50. Leonid Bershidsky has called this a “NATO of the mind.” So even as these Moscow hipsters flooded into Georgia – Russians provided it with 1.3 million tourists in 2017, or more an order of magnitude more than any single Western country – it was recently discovered that Georgian border control were supplying their passport details to the United States (as well as extraditing at least one Russian who fell afoul of America extraterritorial laws on “espionage”).

The BBC says the protests were spontaneous. The word “spontaneous” is used four times in their article. But according to Matt Forney, who is based in Tbilisi, the protest outside Parliament was “tiny”, and was not accompanied by protests anywhere else in the city. It appeared strongly astroturfed. Coincidentally, he points out, there is a gay pride march planned for tomorrow, and the gays aren’t happy that they won’t be receiving much in the way of special protection from the nationalists and Orthodox activists who have vowed to disrupt their festivities. While they may not much like Russia, they like GloboHomo even less. Meanwhile, which institution has been rather local about pushing that LGBT agenda on Georgia? Why, the US Embassy.

So from what I can make out things look something like this. While the current government is solidly Atlanticist, it still wants to sell overpriced saperavi wine to Russia, fleece Russian hipsters, and make money from offshore banking services. Have the tanks on call to take back Abkhazia should Russia collapse or something, but play it cool otherwise. Meanwhile, accommodate the local svidomy, the LGBT-USG, and the Orthodox/nationalists to the extent possible. Very reasonable strategy, certainly more effective than the national radicalism of Saakashvili (or Gamsakhurdia). However, managing the clashes amongst those groups was always going to be challenging – and is going to come to a head in the following days. In this situation, it is the relationship with Russia that was the most expendable.

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Color Revolution, Georgia, Russia 
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  1. Please keep off topic posts to the current Open Thread.

    If you are new to my work, start here.

  2. I think it has become clear after Thursday’s Pathetic TV performance that PUTLER is in dire need of a black swan to ensure high ratings and a good regime transition. The us attacking Iran and a quick swoop to Tbilisi of T-90 tanks in the meantime to teach russophones a lesson should do the trick.

    Note: i’m Being sarcastic right now, but Putin really looked tired the other day

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  3. Epigon says:

    How many Georgians have citizenship of Russian Federation, and how many work and live in Russia at least part-time?

    I fail to see the logic in Russian stance towards Georgia – no Russian influence whatsoever, no Russian interests are at stake.
    Pretending that everything is OK and cool in relations with an enemy from a recent war while the other side is indulging in svidomism and extreme displays of revanchism is odd. More so if Georgian exports to Russia are not curtailed.

    Oderint, dum metuant might be relevant here, but I would say that deportations, embargo and doubling of military forces deployed near Abkhazia and Ossetia would be healthier and more in line with long-term Russian interests.
    Russian tards getting beat up in Georgia is an added bonus, the same for Serbs who go on a holiday in Croatia.

  4. Matt Forney says: • Website

    The timing of all this is also to create maximum havoc for the Moscow-Beijing-Tehran axis at the same time that the U.S. is rattling sabers with Iran. The flareup in Hong Kong, Islamist activity in Xinjiang, and this are all designed to disrupt Russia and China and keep them from projecting power abroad.

    There will almost certainly be something happening in Ukraine in the near future, too, with Zelensky holding snap parliamentary elections next month. I would also bank on some color revolution shenanigans in Central Asia (Kyrgyzstan? it’s the least stable of the ‘stans). There may also be some screwing around in Moldova, which recently had a constitutional crisis: the Supreme Court wouldn’t allow a coalition helmed by a pro-EU prime minister to take office due to the fact that it was formed one day after the deadline. Armenia is also a possibility, though Pashinyan thus far has not adopted the Maidan Mindset. I also wouldn’t be shocked if the U.S. uses Azeribaijan as a wedge against Iran (I’m surprised they haven’t done it already, given the Azeri population in northwestern Iran, the poor relationship between Baku and Tehran, and Azerbaijan’s alignment with Israel and the U.S.).

    The State Department is activating all its sleeper cells in the Chinese and Russian spheres of influence to cause as much havoc as possible in the hopes that they’ll be forced to let Iran twist in the wind. It also helps reinforce the PUTLER narrative for lefties back home, getting them on-side with the liberating tide of FREEDOM that Uncle Sam will be splattering all over the Iranians’ faces.

    Thing is, in concert with Tbilisi’s lukewarm position on gay rights, this could turn out to be short-term gain for long-term pain. Even if the State Department twists Georgian Dream’s arm into rolling out the welcome mat for the gays in the face of mass opposition from the people, other governments are going to increasingly see the price of U.S. investment/support as being too high. China right now is making friends and influencing people by NOT getting involved in the politics of its satellite states: so long as the money flows, Beijing doesn’t care how you run things. Neither does Russia: PUTLER isn’t imposing ideological purity tests on Belarus and Kazakhstan as the price of EAEU integration.

    This was how Britain and the U.S. ran things during the 19th century: as long as you made money for them, they left you alone. Ever since the Cold War ended, however, the U.S. won’t help you unless you submit to the poz, and they’re getting increasingly strident about it, particularly with Trump now making decriminalizing homosexuality worldwide a cornerstone policy of his administration.

    If the choice is between an empire that shoves Drag Queen Story Hour down your kids’ throats and an empire that doesn’t, countries are increasingly going to side with the latter. If the State Department keeps it up, they might engender a backlash even among their own satellite states: despite over a decade of Western integration, Georgians are still firmly Christian and anti-homo. USG might be pushing its luck here.

  5. Mitleser says:
    @Epigon

    doubling of military forces deployed near Abkhazia and Ossetia

    What is the point of that? There are already enough military forces there.

    If you want to send a strong message, let South Ossetia join RF.

  6. @Epigon

    Soviet nostalgia + Eurasianist ideology?

    Official propaganda says that Russophobia in ex-USSR is caused by Western influence. The Kremlins must be holding out hope that “real Georgians” want to befriend them.

    • Replies: @Anonymoose
  7. Beckow says:

    The timing of all this is also to create maximum havoc…

    Precisely. But there is a potential issue with it: activating one’s weak minions to confront and annoy Russia or China – in order to weaken their support for Iran or to distract them – could backfire. If something happens in the Persian Gulf, these minions will be in a no-win situation because US will be focused elsewhere and world’s public will be in an anti-Yankee mood (to put it mildly). Minions could be rolled up.

    A cynical view would be that Washington is stirring it up intentionally as part of a deal with Russia – after all there must a trigger for Russia to reassert itself, why not do a few silly demos. The suggestion that this is ‘Russia provocation’ might not be that crazy this time.

  8. The events show that Russia does not need to do anything. One Russian MP goes there, and they wreck their whole country themselves.

    Now Putin ordered to stop flights to Georgia. Considering that last year more than 1.3 million Russian tourists visited it, and considering that Georgian economy is a joke on the brink of tragedy, they shot themselves in both feet. Let them bleed: stupidity must be punished. If this was indeed arranged by the US, American leadership is dumber than I thought.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  9. Beckow says:
    @Epigon

    Oderint…, well let them hate. It takes a long time for hatreds to burn out, e.g. Poland is still hating after all this time. It is only rational not to deal with people who hate you.

    The tools that Russia has to squeeze the neighboring hating countries are plentiful. These tools are like a sword of Damocles, but once used – or used too early – the threat is less. This way the local economic activity fails to reorient and the boom could be dropped any time. Putin allowed Turkey back on the vegetable markets – it makes Turkey more dependent.

    Retaliation has its place, but it has be timed well. A used bullet doesn’t scare anyone.

    • LOL: Mr. Hack
    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  10. @Swarthy Greek

    Maybe it’s tiring to be the only adult in the room? However, Xi also behaves like an adult, and the US is forcing Indian Modi to grow up, as well. The Empire is shooting itself in the foot so consistently that if Putin wishes its demise, he only needs to stock up on popcorn.

    • Replies: @Swarthy Greek
  11. @Beckow

    Yes, as the Brits say, revenge is the dish best served cold.

  12. Blah-blah-blah.

    First, they don’t make land anymore. This is why Russians took away South Ossetia, and this is why Georgians wantt it back. Sure, it’s nice to make wine, but it’s nicer when you have even more land for more vineyards. Expecting Georgians to get with the program is to assume they are imbeciles.

    Second, I don’t think tourism and wine make a country great. They make it equal to India. Georgians could, in theory, expand textiles / shoemaking, car manufacturing, and even game development. The fact that Russians see as a great, or even not-so-great, expendable, wine maker can’t make the Georgians grateful.

    In fact, it’s worse. Russians would drink almost anything containing ethanol. I don’t know what things are bought selectively by Russians, but I am 100% certain alcohol isn’t one of them. The thought that “Russians love our wine” is probably triggering the Georgians. It’s not like they faced off Bordeaux. It’s just making it obvious their wine is likely crap. Are they still growing hybrid vines?

  13. Dmitry says:

    Off topic – but something which might be interesting for this blog.

    Georgia has unpredictably, recovered its reported “total fertility rate” to more or less replacement figure in recent years.

    (With warning that annual “total fertility” data trends is often more noise rather than signal – which you can see sometimes looking later at completed fertility).


    However, divergence of the last decade between Georgia and Armenia, in this topic, still seems almost significant.

    Until 2005, Armenia had a slightly higher annual total fertility rates than Georgia. But then they subsequently split after 2005 in different directions.

    • Replies: @Epigon
    , @Passer by
  14. Epigon says:
    @Dmitry

    *Georgian fertility rise centered around 2008*

    Yep, getting fucked raises fertility.

  15. @Felix Keverich

    What does Tina Kandelaki think?

  16. Dmitry says:
    @AnonFromTN

    But this is just Russian airlines which will not be let fly there, not Russian tourists – so it is a more strange policy, which seems like it will just reduce the revenue for Russian airlines, as same tourists will use foreign airlines if they want to do the same journey.

    You will be able to still fly from Russian cities to Tbilisi, just using foreign airlines.

    However, tourists will use instead the flights of Georgian Airways, Turkish airlines, Air Astana, etc – depending on your city from which you fly.

    • Replies: @Anonymoose
    , @g2k
  17. https://www.rferl.org/a/georgian-police-control-tbilisi-after-night-protest-russia-speaker-parliament/30011695.html

    Found this gem at the bottom of the page:

    RFE/RL’s Georgian Service is widely regarded as the only objective and unbiased source of information in Georgia, where the government still retains a firm grip on media.

  18. Anonymous[344] • Disclaimer says:

    Sorry this is too funny.

  19. Where did you get that graph from? Do you really trust Georgian population stats. The Gov’t probably inflates the total population and include South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Which is what, 300000 people.

  20. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Matt Forney

    If the choice is between an empire that shoves Drag Queen Story Hour down your kids’ throats and an empire that doesn’t, countries are increasingly going to side with the latter.

    But that isn’t happening is it? More and more countries are submitting to the Poz. And it’s happening because the U.S. looks strong and pro-active and aggressive and the alternative (Russia) looks weak and defeatist.

    You can’t win by defending and retreating and surrendering. You can’t win unless you seem to have something to offer that is positive and dynamic. Russia isn’t offering that. All Russia is offering is slow gradual but inevitable submission to the American Empire. Nobody is going to side with a power that is clearly losing.

    • Disagree: RadicalCenter
  21. @Dmitry

    But flights would be more expensive with foreign airlines no? And probably less availability as well. Majority of Russians are frequent flyers of domestic airlines so that would also make it more difficult to use miles or loyalty awards for cheaper flights wouldn’t it? After all Georgia is considered a cheap imitation of France for Moscow liberals for a cheaper price.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    , @Dmitry
  22. @Anonymoose

    As far as I know (haven’t been there since 1981), the key selling point of Georgia is that it’s cheap. But it’s certainly not France: French women don’t have moustache or sideburns.

  23. @dfordoom

    That’s not why countries are siding with the U.S. and the poz

    Most of them are siding with the U.S. and the poz because the U.S. has a lot more money. It’s hard to fight against the super-rich. Only when you have the right circumstances, and a bit of autarky, can you stand up to it. Which is basically no one except the Russians (nukes) and the Chinese (also nukes).

    And, anyway, human nature is to take the easy way out.

  24. @AnonFromTN

    Another key selling point is the over sugared fake ‘wine’ that elderly russians are fond of. What was your impression of Georgian SSR when you last visited in 1981. Georgians allegedly lived very luxurious, comfortable lives like millionaires that was all heavily subsidised.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  25. @Dacian Julien Soros

    Russians, in fact, have reduced their hard-liquor (“spirits”) consumption drastically compared to either soviet times or the 1990s. They’ve moved massively away from vodka and the like (40% alcohol) towards beer (4-8%) and wine.

    This article from a year and a half ago reports from a NON-Russian source (World Health Org.) that Russians drink less alcohol per capita than French and Germans:

    https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2018/01/16/russian-alcohol-consumption-falls-80percent-in-5-years-says-minister-a60196

    Also, it seems that many non-elderly Russians are more into craft beers and they may be selective regarding beer nowadays?

    • Replies: @hgw
  26. @AnonFromTN

    No, but increasingly they have hijabs,

  27. g2k says:
    @Dmitry

    A connecting flight doubles the flight time to somewhere like that and makes short breaks impractical. Especially since ukraine can’t be used for this; their choices are minksk or istanbul.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  28. g2k says:
    @AnonFromTN

    It’s cheap, exotic-ish; more Italian-like than french (pre-khruschev commie architecture looks a bit Italian), Russaphone (if you’re white there, they’ll automatically speak to you in Russian) and has a liberal visa regime.

  29. Russians should be sorry for drinking all the Georgians’ wine and supporting their one industry. Evil Mongolian hordes!

  30. @g2k

    It’s cheap, exotic-ish; more Italian-like than french (pre-khruschev commie architecture looks a bit Italian), Russaphone (if you’re white there, they’ll automatically speak to you in Russian) and has a liberal visa regime.

    Also, most beautiful women pretty much anywhere outside Ukraine.

    • Replies: @melanf
  31. Is Georgian wine worth it? I found Georgian wines (incidentally some of them with Dzhugashvili’s smiling visage on them) in a upper-scale Japanese-owned supermarket in China once, in the price scale of 350-500 yuan.

    Personally I might be a bit wary of drinking it due to safety concerns, but does it actually taste good or are Chinese consumers ripped off?

    • Replies: @g2k
    , @AnonFromTN
  32. g2k says:
    @Hyperborean

    There’s a few large, trustworthy winehouses where safety shouldn’t be a concern, as long as they’re not fake; Marani, Tblivino, Teliani valley etc. Georgian spices are a different matter entirely (full of lead: either 19th century style adulteration or useing lead-solder to bodge-repair grinding mills). It’s a matter of taste as to whether they’re any good or not; a lot of them are aimed at russians and very sweet, some aren’t. They have some unique and, exotic to westerner, grape varieties though. Georgian wines in Georgia are no cheaper than French wines in France though and very expensive, for what they are, abroad. Saperavi is sold in eastern European shops in Britain for abot $15.

  33. melanf says:
    @Marshall Lentini

    Also, most beautiful women pretty much anywhere outside Ukraine.

    This is definitely not true (for both Georgia and Ukraine). Of course if for you ideal of beauty are Spanish/Sicilian girls (dark hair/eyes, low high, big humpback nose) the Georgian girls, too, ideal.

    But the generally accepted European ideals of beauty (promoted by Hollywood and Anime) is more consistent with North-Western Europe

    And Ukrainian girls – a worse version of Russian/Belarusian/Polish girls

  34. 216 says:
    @dfordoom

    The physical US is in absolute and relative decline, but the “soft power” via Hollywood and transnational corporations is more powerful than it has ever been. The power of the elite universities in the US is also unprecedented on a global scale.

    This is something that the US Right has been willfully complicit and ignorant of. Red state legislators tripped over themselves to subsidize Hollywood and Big Tech. Conservative talk radio is despised, but still dependent on coastal ad dollars. Conservatives can gulp down a chicken sandwich, but can’t be bothered to cancel their cable.

    • Agree: RadicalCenter
    • Replies: @dfordoom
  35. @Matt Forney

    In real world not everyone is making anti/pro gay obsession a center of their universe, especially if antigay side is actually shooting at and landgrabbing you, so any gayness is actually laughable nuisance compared with that.

    • Replies: @Epigon
    , @sudden death
  36. @AnonFromTN

    Putin is completely washed up and Russian domestic policy is in complete limbo. National projects are not being implemented, the Siloviks are robbing businesses at gunpoint and Putin does nothing but yawn.

    • Replies: @melanf
    , @AnonFromTN
  37. Epigon says:
    @sudden death

    landgrabbing you

    As part of the decommunization and national sovereignity effort the Georgians predominantly adopted in 1989-1991 Abkhazia and South Ossetia decided to nullify the arbitrary Communist annexation to Georgian SSR.

    You see, you can’t dismantle USSR and SSR legal system AND keep the territory annexed during Communism.

    Ukraine learned it as well. Toppling Communism and Communist monuments, insisting on self-determination while fervently demanding Communist-drawn borders which trampled other’s self-determination is the definition of svidomism.

    • Replies: @sudden death
  38. @sudden death

    Also, it would be more correct to write “antigay” side in this case, with all of their kirkorovs and moiseevs on state TV’s, lol 🙂

  39. @Epigon

    This line of argumentation is absolutely meaningless cause landgrabbing state is not doing anyhow (or even just declaring) some kind of antisoviet crusade, on the contrary it is still glorifying and associating itself with it.

    • Replies: @Epigon
  40. Epigon says:
    @sudden death

    No, it isn’t.
    Abkhazia and Ossetia didn’t want to suffer Georgian re-awoken svidomism and results of Georgian settlement and encroachment during communist times.

    Russia jumped on board to further its interests, because Russian interests are in line with the self-determination of locals. Punishing local Atlanticist whores and crime-prone minority was an added bonus.

    Your line of thought would give Russia rightful claim to restore Russian Imperial borders.

    Let me guess, you are Ukrainian?

    • Agree: Adam, Anatoly Karlin
  41. melanf says:
    @Swarthy Greek

    Putin is completely washed up and Russian domestic policy is in complete limbo. National projects are not being implemented

    This is not true

    Life expectancy in Russia

    Life expectancy in Russia

    The number of murders per 100 000 people in Russia

    The number of murders per 100 000 people in Russia

    Annual Meat Consumption per capita in Russia (kg)

    Annual Meat Consumption per capita in Russia (kg)

    the Siloviks are robbing businesses at gunpoint

    It’s a propaganda legend.

    • Replies: @Adam
  42. Dmitry says:
    @g2k

    It does not always have to be a connecting flight.

    For example, I can see Georgian Airways with nonstop flights to Tbilisi from Pulkovo, Vnukovo, etc airports.

    So, now Georgian Airways flights will receive all the customers.

    From other airports like Koltsovo, it seems there have not been direct flights anyway, so there will be not many changes to switch to foreign airline.

    For Batumi though, all the direct flights from Moscow are only Russian airlines. So now people will have to go on a long, connecting flight. And it’s also Batumi where a lot of people in Moscow, were recently buying holiday apartments. (Russian holiday buyers are apparently, an important part of real estate investment there).

  43. Dmitry says:
    @Anonymoose

    How is Georgia like France?

    I have never been in Georgia, but people say to me that it is a crazy, disorganized, third-world country.

    Someone said to me, that the reason Tbilisi is a great place to be, is that there is always some crazy, third-world things to see there, and this is part of why people think it is entertaining there (although obviously, it would more usually to say to go for delicious food, wine, etc).

    Georgians I’ve talked to are very sympathetic people, and usually said something about the disorganized chaos their country is, even as they sound patriotic for it.

    • Replies: @Anonymoose
  44. @Dmitry

    For Batumi though, all the direct flights from Moscow are only Russian airlines. So now people will have to go on a long, connecting flight. And it’s also Batumi where a lot of people in Moscow, were recently buying holiday apartments.

    Don’t have much sympathy for Russians who make RE acquisitions in Georgia of all places.

    Looks like their “hospitable” Georgian hosts aren’t so fond of them either. 🙂

    Батумское кафе «Гарденс» приняло решение своеобразно ответить России за оккупацию 20% грузинских территорий и присоединилось к тбилисским коллегам – отныне российским туристам в кафе придется платить на 20% больше.

    “Друзья, мы, наверно, единственное кафе в Батуми, которое не имеет меню на русском языке. Это был наш сознательный акт. После последний событий хотим присоединиться к нашим коллегам в Тбилиси и повысить стоимость обслуживания для российских туристов на 20%”, – говорится в заявлении кафе “Гарденс”

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  45. melanf says:

    Looks like their “hospitable” Georgian hosts aren’t so fond of them either. 🙂

    Батумское кафе «Гарденс» приняло решение своеобразно……

    A typical example of parasitism on the “Patriotic” theme. The owners of the cafe decided to make an advertisement. For Georgia as a whole it is harmful anti-advertizing, but parasites can’t be pressed because they mimic as “patriots”

    • Agree: Dmitry
  46. Dmitry says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    By the way, I’m surprised from YouTube, about the scale of apartment construction in Batumi.

    Presumably, majority of foreign investment in Batumi is Russian. I wonder what other foreign nationalities like to buy apartments there – perhaps just Armenians and Ukrainians? I assume Armenians will want to buy apartments there for the beach.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
    , @A.A.
  47. Dmitry says:
    @Dmitry

    perhaps just Armenians and Ukrainians?

    And I read, Turks are investing there as well, and are even buildings mosques there that anger the local citizens.

    One advantage, ironically – allowing casinos in Batumi, which are illegal in Turkey.

  48. @Epigon

    Russia jumped on board to further its interests, because Russian interests are in line with the self-determination of locals.

    Being in line with self-determination of locals would be uniting South&North Ossetia and recognizing their full independence, which is clearly not case.

    Your line of thought would give Russia rightful claim to restore Russian Imperial borders.

    It would be no more rightful than UK claims on owning India or US, but certainly more consistent than those convoluted referals to “USSR and SSR legal system”.

    >Let me guess, you are Ukrainian?

    No, also I don’t know where from AK is getting ideas about me as a Pole, but I’m not.

    Not that it would be anything wrong with being Ukrainian or Polish.

  49. Dmitry says:
    @Dmitry

    it is a more strange policy, which seems like it will just reduce the revenue for Russian airlines… I can see Georgian Airways with nonstop flights to Tbilisi

    Lol and it seems chaotically this afternoon, they realized this problem, and will suspend Georgian airlines for their debts.

    https://www.mintrans.ru/press-center/news/9162

  50. dfordoom says: • Website
    @216

    The physical US is in absolute and relative decline, but the “soft power” via Hollywood and transnational corporations is more powerful than it has ever been.

    The US might be declining economically in relative terms but its military strength is greater than ever. It is highly likely that the US will use its military power to prop up its economic position by destroying (literally destroying) its economic rivals.

    It’s not like the Americans haven’t done this before. They deliberately and consciously and ruthlessly destroyed the British as an economic rival.

    As the US declines economically in relation to China the US will become more rather than less dangerous. And as the US continues to decline morally it will also become more rather than less dangerous.

    This will put China in a difficult position, to say the least.

    It will also put Russia in a difficult position. If the US intends to destroy China the logical first step is to destroy any potential allies of China. That means destroying Russia.

    You might think that this is complete insanity. Even the Americans are not that crazy and reckless. But history tends to suggest that the Americans are indeed that crazy and reckless. And increasingly the US government will see itself as having nothing to lose – if they lose their paramount position in the world they’ve lost everything so why not take insane risks that could destroy us all?

    • Replies: @melanf
    , @AnonFromTN
  51. melanf says:
    @dfordoom

    And increasingly the US government will see itself as having nothing to lose – if they lose their paramount position in the world they’ve lost everything so why not take insane risks that could destroy us all?

    It’s the distilled quintessence of absolute madness.

  52. Adam says:
    @sudden death

    South&North Ossetia and recognizing their full independence

    Following their self determination would be uniting Ossetia as a subject of the Russian Federation. The Ossetians are russophiles, and Russian citizenship brings obvious benefits in that impoverished and undeveloped region.

    I don’t know about Abkhazia but I suspect it’s similar.

    There’s nothing wrong with being Polish (whether being Ukrainian is ok is debatable) but their ethnic grudges limit their ability to think rationality about Russia. It’s just important to know where someone is coming from, nobody is an unbiased observer.

    • Replies: @sudden death
  53. @Dacian Julien Soros

    In fact, it’s worse. Russians would drink almost anything containing ethanol. I don’t know what things are bought selectively by Russians, but I am 100% certain alcohol isn’t one of them. The thought that “Russians love our wine” is probably triggering the Georgians. It’s not like they faced off Bordeaux. It’s just making it obvious their wine is likely crap. Are they still growing hybrid vines?

    This used to be true, but it is much less true today, and continues becoming less true with every year.

    Georgian wines are held in prestige by elderly Soviet people for whom Georgia was their ersatz France/Italy. But at the same price point, there are far superior Russian wines (e.g. any Likuria), and any number of French, Italian, Chilean, and Australian wines (for some reason, Russia doesn’t really import much Californians). Georgian “culture” in Russia is coasting along almost entirely on the Soviet legacy.

    Once that “clientele” dies off, Georgian wine sales will collapse across the ex-USSR.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
    , @Matra
  54. @sudden death

    Not that it would be anything wrong with being Ukrainian or Polish.

    I had thought you said that somewhere. Anyhow, your preoccupations (e.g. the Chinese conquering Siberia) seem very Polish.

  55. @Adam

    Being Russophiles is not synonimous with wishing to have not their own nation state and be landgrabbed by RF. So it would be reasonable at least to give them that option and ask about it.

  56. Adam says:
    @melanf

    Putin was a great leader for stabilizing Russia after the chaotic 90’s, but now that Russia is stable his deficiencies can be seen more clearly. For example the failure to do much of anything about corruption, failure to diversify the economy, his delusional ‘brotherhood of nations’ ideology and weak foreign policy.

  57. It’s just important to know where someone is coming from, nobody is an unbiased observer.

    If that is important, I have no any shame of myself being Lithuanian, but no nation on Earth is absolutely monolithic. There may be some dominating trends, but there are also russophile Poles and Ukrainians, also even some Russians which are not obsessed by landgrabbing 🙂

  58. @Anonymoose

    Georgia looked better than Russia in Soviet times. They didn’t strike me as really wealthy, though. Considering how little Georgia produced then and produces now, I am pretty sure it was subsidized. They lost these subsidies, and from Russian standpoint, this was good riddance.

    Good thing about Georgians was that they weren’t greedy (unlike Georgians in Moscow markets). When you bought something for 3 rubles and gave them 5, they asked whether you want your change in money or goods. I usually said “goods”, and they gave you for those 2 rubles at least as much as for the 3 you paid, the goods being fruits in the market or wine in small shops.

    Bad thing about Georgians was that they did not have mentality compatible with modern civilization. I remember riding a trolley bus through the central avenue of Tbilisi. Our trolley, when we met the trolley moving in opposite direction, stopped, and the drivers chatted for 5-7 minutes, totally blocking traffic in both directions and quite oblivious to the fact. Also, nothing ever started on time in Georgia. You were lucky when they were just 30 min late, they could be late by an hour or more. There was quite a contrast with Ossetia (where we went right after Georgia, crossing the mountains on a bus), where everything started on the dot. Ossetians were almost as punctual as Swiss or Japanese, certainly more punctual than Germans (I visited all those countries much later, so couldn’t compare back then).

    Generally speaking, Georgians made an impression of good-natured kids in need of adults to supervise them. So, I was not surprised by the events after 1991: the adults were gone, kids took over the kindergarten, all hell broke loose. You can’t blame them, they cannot help themselves.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  59. @g2k

    The funniest thing is, even though Russia and Georgia do not have diplomatic relations since 2008, Georgia started letting Russians in w/o visas. Russia did not reciprocate.

  60. @Hyperborean

    Most of Georgian wine now is counterfeit. But even real Georgian wine is not in the same league as French, Italian, or Spanish: it’s OK the first year (young wine), but cannot be kept for many years. They used to make it and drink all before the next harvest.

  61. @melanf

    Georgian women are reasonably pretty until 20-22 (if you like dark girls and don’t mind hooked nose). Later they acquire moustaches and sideburns, like Indian women.

    Ukrainian women are mostly pretty, like Russian or Belorussian, but a lot darker (I guess Turkish blood shows). They certainly don’t look like Slavs, unless you consider Bulgarians (also with a huge admixture of Turkish blood) Slavs.

    • Agree: Adam
    • Replies: @melanf
    , @jbwilson24
  62. @Swarthy Greek

    Where did you get this idea? I visited Russia last Fall, and saw a lot of construction in the cities. Moscow looks many times more magnificent than it ever looked in Soviet times, provincial cities I visited look way better than back then, the inter-city roads (thousands of kilometers of them, Europeans with their handkerchief-sized countries cannot even imagine the scale) are in good repair and constantly renovated. I don’t know whether it’s Putin or just the fact that Russia got rid of bloodsucking parasites (“brotherly” republics and “brotherly” Eastern European countries), but the progress is obvious and very impressive.

  63. @Dmitry

    Russia just prohibited Georgian airlines fly to Russia. There goes your argument.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  64. @Anatoly Karlin

    As my American grad student used to say, same difference.

  65. Dmitry says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    This coasting along is also outside Russia.

    Georgian restaurants opened in places like Kensington (in London). And Georgian wine in selling in some British supermarkets.

    It had some good reviews and bad reviews, so difficult to know if it is good.
    https://www.waitrose.com/ecom/products/orovela-saparavi-red-wine/583035-82645-82646

    You can buy the orange wine as well, in UK: the supermarket claim it will be good with Indian food.
    https://www.marksandspencer.com/tblvino-quevris/p/p60053880?&pdpredirect

  66. @sudden death

    Ukrainians are #1 in always backing the wrong horse. Poles are #3 (#2 being Kurds).

  67. Dmitry says:
    @AnonFromTN

    Lol, which I reported hours before you.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  68. @dfordoom

    The US military strength is a paper tiger. American brass knows it. Hence backing down after a profusion of ridiculous threats against NK and Venezuela. My bet is, it will be the same with Iran. American brass prefers adversary like Grenada in 1983 – victories are good for promotions.

    • Replies: @216
    , @dfordoom
  69. Dmitry says:
    @Dmitry

    It had some good reviews and bad reviews, so difficult to know if it is good.
    https://www.waitrose.com/ecom/products/orovela-saparavi-red-wine/583035-82645-82646

    Funny, this is Georgian wine which is created for export only, and likely improved specifically for US/UK tastes:

    If you want to see what the future of Georgian export wines in the international style might look like consider Orovela. But don’t look for these wines in Georgia — they are strictly for export and are essentially unknown in their country of origin.

    Current exports to the U.K., the U.S. and other markets are fairly small at 40,000 bottles, but there are plans to ramp up quickly to 200,000 bottles and then a million bottles in a few years. That’s big by Georgian standards.

    The name, Orovela comes from a traditional plowing song, but the project is as contemporary as can be. Brothers Giorgi and Vasili Sulkhanishvili saw an opportunity for Georgian wine exports, began investment in 2000, and rolled out the brand in 2004. There is one red wine, a Orovela Saperavi, and Oro chacha, which is Georgia’s signature grape spirit (think grappa).

    Quality was a key factor right from the start and this has paid off. Jancis Robinson declared the 2004 Orovela the best Georgian wine she ever tasted, for example. A search of the Waitrose website reveals that the Saperavi is a “buyer’s choice” selling for £16.79. Vasili told us that the wine is available in selected East Coast markets in the U.S. and sells for $30-$35 in shops and perhaps $100 in restaurants.

    https://wineeconomist.com/2016/10/

  70. @Dmitry

    Sure, it’s morning in TN, whereas the morning was many hours earlier in Russia.

    I am surprised that Western propaganda missed its chance to blame Putin personally for the fact that the sun rises in the East and sets in the West. Clearly, it’s Putin’s trick to discredit the West, right?

  71. Dmitry says:
    @AnonFromTN

    riding a trolley bus through the central avenue of Tbilisi. Our trolley, when we met the trolley moving in opposite direction, stopped, and the drivers chatted for 5-7 minutes, totally blocking traffic in both directions and quite oblivious to the fact. Also, nothing ever started on time

    This exactly genre of story I heard from everyone who has been in Georgia, in recent years.

    From tourists, this kind of story is reported as one reason why it’s an entertaining country to visit.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  72. A.A. says:
    @Dmitry

    Presumably, majority of foreign investment in Batumi is Russian. I wonder what other foreign nationalities like to buy apartments there – perhaps just Armenians and Ukrainians? I assume Armenians will want to buy apartments there for the beach.

    Почему я решил продать недвижимость в Батуми? (https://puerrtto.livejournal.com/1088214.html)

    В былые годы 80% всех покупателей недвижимости составляли украинцы, белорусы и россияне. В 2018 году наших людей среди покупающих стало уже около 30%, а остальные 70% это Турция, Ирак, Иран и Эмираты. Эти люди буквально заполонили Батуми. Не хочу сказать, что они плохие, нет. Просто из некогда знаменитой здравницы СССР город превратился в сплошную стройку и арабский базар. Турки скупают жилье чтобы приезжать и играть в казино, плюс снимать недорогих грузинок. Арабы по той же причине.

    It’s mostly Turks, Iranians and Arabs nowadays.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    , @Dmitry
  73. @Dmitry

    You can call it charm, but it’s more like pervasive third-worldishness.

    BTW, Malaysia or Indonesia are a lot more exotic, but the locals are more organized. I understand that for the people living in Russia Georgia is way cheaper than these countries, which also do not require Russians to get visas, but you get what you pay for (sometimes less, never more).

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  74. @A.A.

    It’s polite to translate into a language all visitors of this site understand. I’ll do it for you:

    Why did I decide to sell my real estate in Batumi (https://puerrtto.livejournal.com/1088214.html)

    Earlier 80% of real estate buyers were Ukrainians, Belorussians, and Russians. In 2018 this dropped to ~30%, whereas the other 70% were Turks, Iraqis, Iranians, and Arabs from the Emirates. These people predominate in Batumi now. I am not saying that they are bad. But Batumi, which was once a famous health-restoring vacation place in the USSR, now became all construction site and Arab bazaar. Turks buy real estate to come and play at casinos, plus pick up cheap Georgian women. Arabs come for the same reasons.

    Here, did it for you.

    • Replies: @Mitleser
    , @Thumbhead
  75. Matra says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Do you still get Algerian wine in Russia or did they stop importing it after the Cold War? People laugh but Algeria, formerly part of France, is pretty important in the history of wine.

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
  76. @Dmitry

    Georgian restaurants opened in places like Kensington (in London). And Georgian wine in selling in some British supermarkets.

    Irrelevant. Almost any podunk culture will have a restaurant or two in a cosmopolitan emporium like London.

    Get back to me when a Safeways in Leeds has at least a shelf dedicated to Georgian wines.

  77. @Matra

    Haven’t noticed any. The most “exotic” wine I have ever seen was on the shelves was from Uzbekistan (it’s a cheap, sweet red so have no interest in trying it out).

  78. melanf says:
    @AnonFromTN

    Ukrainian women are mostly pretty, like Russian or Belorussian, but a lot darker (I guess Turkish blood shows). They certainly don’t look like Slavs

    Today’s Ukrainian girls lose to Russian/Belarusian not because they are darker. The level of education and general intellectual level in Ukraine (thanks to the “Patriotic” multicultural elite) is much lower than in neighboring countries.
    A girl to be really beautiful must be bright. There are (quite often ) a smart but ugly girls, but girls can’t be dumb and beautiful. With a beautiful face and figure stupidity will appear and spoil the impression. Because of this, under otherwise identical options for girls with an IQ of 100 will be more beautiful than a girl with an IQ of 92.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  79. @melanf

    I agree, the quality of Ukrainian education dropped precipitously. It is only natural: the authorities want “patriots”, meaning russophobs (as in Strugatsky’s “It’s hard to be a God”: “we don’t need them smart, we need them faithful”). Naturally, an intelligent person in Ukraine cannot be russophobic – that would be self-hatred, a very unhealthy condition.

    What you say is true about “beautiful”. That’s why I used the word “pretty”.

  80. Dmitry says:
    @A.A.

    Lol ^

    In the video driving through city, all adverts are written in Russian still this year however.

    Construction there looks chaotic like he says. You can imagine this oversupply, resulting in falling price for apartments, which are all advertised as investments.

    Another weird thing is half of the cars in that video, are Toyota Prius.

  81. Dmitry says:
    @AnonFromTN

    Third-world countries are not interchangeable.

    Sometimes third-world can be charming, and sometimes the opposite.

    Obviously, Georgia is mainly considered charming kind of third-world – beloved by such large numbers of tourists, who enjoy their holiday there. I cannot say more as I was not there.

    BTW, Malaysia

    Isn’t Malaysia almost a developed country now?

    • Replies: @Thumbhead
    , @AnonFromTN
  82. @Matt Forney

    … particularly with Trump now making decriminalizing homosexuality worldwide a cornerstone policy of his administration.

    Really? Is that true? You mean the same Trump administration that won’t let its own embassies fly the globo-homo flag this month?

    https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/national-security/trump-admin-tells-u-s-embassies-they-can-t-fly-n1015236

  83. Mitleser says:
    @AnonFromTN

    Bazar?

    Sounds more like a brothel town.

    Batumi…wtf.
    Jul 6, 2018, 11:06 AM

    I have to be excrutiatingly honest, but..wtf. This is a new level of sleeze to me and I have visited over 100 countries. Evry city block has 2 brothels (they call them Thai masage parlors 🙂 , 2-3 gaming dens and a couple of pawn brokers…its unbelievable…sorry.

    https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g297576-i10680-k11725545-Batumi_wtf-Batumi_Adjara_Region.html

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  84. g2k says:
    @Dmitry

    You’re massively overestimating the availability here. You can buy it in some of the the larger stores of the chains that stock it, with a limited choice, on the bottom shelf, next to wines from other non-mainstream (for the uk) producers. Outside of the home counties, it’s never available. It’s actually quite reasonably priced, compared to the stuff sold in east European shops, abou £6 per bottle. The last M&S i went to which stocked it had two, the yellow one and a not-terrible, but otherwise quite forgettable white. I liked the yellow one.

  85. 216 says:
    @AnonFromTN

    New US carrier delayed several years. Rumors are that the new catapult will not allow the daily sortie increase promised.

    Theoretical “drone swarms” could shut down carriers.

    Zumwalt class has guns that don’t work, massively overbudget.

    No rival in submarines yet, but China could make sub drones.

    US is slowly but surely adopting the authoritarian system of “two armies”. As Iran has the regular army and the IRGC, so the US is diverging between the regular military and the increasingly out of control SOCOM.

    During the peak of Iraq, the US became increasingly dependent on mercs (Blackwater), as Russia is currently experiencing in Syria. In a war with Iran, mercs may be used on both sides, at levels not seen in centuries.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  86. Thumbhead says:
    @Dmitry

    I lived in Chiang Mai, northern Thailand, for about one year. It has exactly the same “third-worldishness” that’s amusing to tourists but infuriating when you live there.

    Bus drivers stopping in mid-traffic to chat, dads piling up their whole families on one single motorbike, you name it. One of their less charming third-world habits is the traditional burning of leftover crops in the dry season, producing smoke clouds all over SE Asia, causing great irritation for westerners and lung-cancer for their own kids. Do they ever stop doing that? Fuck no.

    I can’t imagine Georgia is worse than this.

  87. Thumbhead says:
    @AnonFromTN

    There really should be a travel ban on everything between the Euphrates and the Ganges.

    Arabs and Iranians are really the worst kinds of tourists, and it’s a shame the Georgians are having these swine inflicted on them. Wherever these “people” travel for recreation, it’s always the same – filth and rape, sex tourism, combined with smug attitudes of superiority.

    The “Chutzpah Belt” is real.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  88. @Dmitry

    Yea, each has its flavor. BTW, Malaysia is developed only if you compare it to Indonesia, where there is a noticeable gradient of skin color and civilization from Java to Papua. In Malaysia I was only on Borneo (the same island is called Kalimantan in Indonesia), and I was told that this is the most civilized part of Malaysia, way ahead of peninsula. Mexico and Argentina are way above Malaysia in terms of civilization (maybe because they are not Moslem). Malaysia is funny: you see girls in headscarves and shops selling halal stuff, and next to it you see Chinese shops with all pork products. BTW, all tours are organized by the Chinese, but the drivers are sometimes local.

  89. @Mitleser

    I never was in Batumi, but I wouldn’t be surprised. Georgia is so desperately in the hole that prostitution might be the best way for their women to make a living. Their education system crashed after 1991, so most don’t have any useful skills. There are no jobs. Younger people don’t speak Russian, which prevents them from being gainfully employed in Russia. They don’t speak any other useful languages, either. As far as Europe goes, all low-grade dirty jobs that do not require language skills (BTW, including prostitution) are already taken by Ukrainians, Balts, and Poles.

    • Replies: @Beckow
  90. @216

    Just shows that 95% of the US “defense” budget is stolen by fat cats, whereas in Russia the steal rate is likely closer to 20%. It might be even lower in China: cannot judge, as I never lived there, just visited for a few days a couple of times.

  91. @Thumbhead

    Tell you what, the only way to “rape” a prostitute is to refuse to pay. As to filth, Georgians can compete with Arabs any day of the week. I don’t know what Georgians had in mind (if anything) this time, but they clearly showed to Europe how “European” they are.

    Like I said before, if Putin wishes everybody ill, as Western propaganda tries to convince people, he does not need to do anything. He can just watch others self-destruct. As the folk wisdom has it, when you see your enemy committing suicide, do not interfere.

    • Replies: @Sam Haysom
  92. Beckow says:
    @AnonFromTN

    …Their education system crashed after 1991, so most don’t have any useful skills. There are no jobs.

    That’s the key, and somehow the locals all over eastern Europe stubbornly refuse to accept it. They keep on dreaming about being a part of ‘the West’. Learning English is a low-level basic skill (and most are really bad at that too), and not having their own economy with skills that would make it work is a disaster.

    It is very much a cargo cult – with different levels of subservience and yearning. In places like Batumi it must be quite extreme because there is close to zero chance that things can improve. That leaves servility, begging and crime. So that’s what they do.

    Dismantling their own economy (production!!!) and substituting it with different ways to get something out of the rich West, from throw-away call centers to prostitutes, from remittances to NGO fake jobs, has left them in an unreal situation where any attempts to rebel against the miserable reality actually make it worse – because they highlight the idiocy of the underlying choice these societies made a generation ago. But they are unwilling to question the basic setup: divine, rich West against their own low esteem and mutual dislikes, so nothing can improve.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  93. @Beckow

    Mostly agree, except about language: learning language is arguably the most intellectually challenging thing we ever do. But I mean really learning the language, not a pidgin version of it that janitors and prostitutes need. I know from personal experience that today waiters in most Prague restaurants know enough Russian, English, and German to serve clients in those languages, but they don’t really speak either of them. My experience with Chinese post-docs and grad students in the US shows that the most intelligent ones become fluent within a couple of years (pronunciation often remains horrible, though), whereas dumber ones get stuck at low levels and do not progress.

    In terms of production, it is the key strength of any society. But Eastern Europe is not the only area that stupidly lost production capabilities: the US made the same mistake (because of blind greed of fat cats, who shifted production to low-wage countries to maximize their profits), and it will pay for it dearly. It became a colossus on clay legs. The Empire keeps up appearances for now, but within 10 years everyone will know that the king has no clothes.

    Big chunks of Western Europe are moving in the same direction, unwittingly destroying their future. But Germany clings to its industry, so, if it wouldn’t have been for the hordes of savages they invited, Germans could be OK. I don’t know about Slovakia, but Czechia retained some industry. It’s German-owned now, but it exists. Functional industry requires a certain level of mass education, so the elites cannot have a horde of morons swallowing up their propaganda without questioning this BS. So, industry limits how much you can dumb down the populace. Maybe that’s why financial elites want to get rid of it in their home countries.

    Georgia was never strong in that regard, and now it’s so deep in the hole that there are no prospects of it getting out for the next 30-50 years. Then again, Ukraine had a lot of industrial base in the USSR, and lost most of it. As Russian joke has it, Russia did not drop a single bomb, but Ukrainian industry is in ruins.

    I guess it’s a cargo cult. But you need really dumb people to believe in it, so deindustrialization helps the US to create countries largely populated by pro-US morons. Naturally, the Empire does not care about their future. Sad thing is, American elites do not care about the future of the US, either.

    • Replies: @Beckow
    , @anon
  94. That’s not true, come on. I haven’t been to Georgia yet, but the Georgians I’ve known were far more likeable people than any Arabs, who really are in an awful category of their own. This is just your Russian patriotism speaking.

  95. Beckow says:
    @AnonFromTN

    My point about languages was that learning a language shouldn’t substitute for learning a skill. It is a complementary skill, not something a society can survive on. The pathetic 500-word English that all try to learn in eastern Europe (and elsewhere) is largely a waste of time. All that prepares them for is serving coffee in London or cleaning up bed pans.

    Yes, deindustrialization is a worldwide problem – and it is not just the plutocrats who engineered it, the escape from real work is rather tempting for most people. Slovakia produces more cars per capita than any other country in the world (and not just German cars), but that is an exception. We also have the NGO class sipping machiattos and doing something that they can’t explain – mostly something to do with holding symposia, emails, fundraising and planning travel. Once you strip out the layers of process, it is a cargo cult pure and simple – money for nothing meta-work. As you go east it gets much worse and all that is left are scams and bordellos. And call centers. Just think about an economy that prides itself on employing its people to answer phone calls all day long, what exactly are they producing for their home country other than some meager fiat foreign currency?

    The whole setup is idiotic, imagine explaining it to our ancestors: “we sit here in this small room and talk to people about how to fix their stuff, then they send us ‘money‘ that they created in their money-creating institutions”.
    “Why don’t you just cut them out and create your own fiat money?”
    “Well, we are not worthy.”
    “Why?”
    “They told us, something to do with our ‘totalitarian‘ past.”

    Yes, some are dumb, but most are simply lazy.

  96. dfordoom says: • Website
    @AnonFromTN

    The US military strength is a paper tiger.

    Wishful thinking.

    You have to remember that the purpose of the US military is not so much conquest as destruction. The purpose of the Iraq war was to destroy Iraq. Mission accomplished. The US military is capable of destroying any nation on Earth.

    • Agree: utu
    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  97. @dfordoom

    The purpose of the US military is creation of the smokescreen for rampant thievery in the MIC and promotion of generals (who then retire and move on to the boards of MIC companies). If the US military were capable of destroying any country on Earth, why no action followed heated rhetoric about NK or Venezuela? Why almost 18 years of impotence in Afghanistan? Why song and dance around Russian troops in Syria? Why clumsy maneuvers around Chinese installations in the South China Sea?

    The US military exists as a fig leaf to “justify” to sheeple wholesale theft of their tax money. Everything else is a lie.

  98. @Dmitry

    That’s what I said. That it was a cheap, third world imitation of France during Soviet times and now for people who don’t have enough money to take holidays to Paris. Of course it’s nothing like France with regards to food, history, cultural accomplishments but people pretend it is. It’s sort of a cargo cult. And it’s economy is certainly overrated. A lot of it is boosted by FDI(Foreign direct investments), tourism, energy transit fees and export of overrated foods and counterfeit wines. It produce much technologically or scientifically.

    • Replies: @anonymous coward
  99. @AnonFromTN

    “Ukrainian women are mostly pretty, like Russian or Belorussian, but a lot darker ”

    What, on average? Depends on the area. You’ll find the girls in Odessa look different from the girls in Kiev. I’ve met Ukrainians with obvious asian ancestry, perhaps left over from the Mongol occupation, and others who look quite like anyone you’ll see from Moscow.

    You’ll note that on a map, Belgorod and Kharkov are a short drive away.

    In my experience the Ukrainians are much less intelligent when it comes to politics, particularly the threat that the EU represents. When I was there last, I asked about 100 people about the EU. They all were in favour of it. I then asked them what the EU Commission is, and not a single one could tell me. Pathetic beyond belief. One even challenged me, saying that the Parliament made all the decisions.

    They also seem to be completely clueless about Jews and which of their leaders is Jewish. Unreal, given the participation of Jews in the Holodomor.

    • Replies: @melanf
    , @AnonFromTN
  100. melanf says:
    @jbwilson24

    I’ve met Ukrainians with obvious asian ancestry, perhaps left over from the Mongol occupation

    They are not descendants of Mongols. In the 12th century, the Kievan princes settled Turkic tribes near Kiev (Вlack caps and Berendey) who carried out military service in exchange for land. These tribes eventually assimilated .
    Mongolian rule had no genetic influence (Russian princes recognized the Supreme suzerainty of the Khan and paid tribute to him, but the Mongols did not settle in Russia )

  101. @Anonymoose

    Georgia is a) white, b) Christian, and c) exotic.

    It’s a rare combination and thus it will always be an interesting tourist destination.

    (No, people don’t want to visit brown and/or Muslim countries given the choice.)

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    , @Dmitry
  102. Gerad1234 says:

    Reply to Dmitry comment 16

    Just because they can make alternative arrangements doesn’t mean there still won’t be a huge drop off in tourism – particularly with other kavkaz places, southern Russia and Crimea around. An excellent decision by the authorities, gruzian parasitism must be eradicated. Also they said they would fully compensate passengers and tour operators. Lastly – you could say the exact same thing for when Turkey and Egyptian direct flights were banned–but there was a real and gigantic drop in Russian tourists despite alternative routes being easy to come by

    • Replies: @Anonymoose
    , @Anonymoose
  103. anon[422] • Disclaimer says:
    @AnonFromTN

    Functional industry requires a certain level of mass education, so the elites cannot have a horde of morons swallowing up their propaganda without questioning this BS. So, industry limits how much you can dumb down the populace. Maybe that’s why financial elites want to get rid of it in their home countries.

    There are many highly educated, highly skilled people believing complete bullshit. Remember that stereotypical American young earth creationist or Islamic fundamentalist is electrical or chemical engineer. Remember all the world class scientists and mathematicians who were true believing Communists.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  104. hgw says:
    @RadicalCenter

    Russians stop drinking…what is this world becoming?

  105. Gerad1234 says:
    @Dmitry

    Russians buy 65-70% of gruzian wine exports. 80-85% exported wine is ex USSR, maybe 10% or slightly less is south/east Asia, then a few pc is ex Warsaw pact.
    So as you can see, without the Russian Market then the gruzian wine industry is destroyed. There is no chance of the west mass importing gruzian wine. Places like the UK have only relatively recently been mass importing American, Australian and New Zealand wines…. to go with the longstanding imports of French, Spanish, Italian and South African wines. No real need or desire for gruzian wine

    • Replies: @Anonymoose
  106. @Gerad1234

    Gruzian wine is also overrated and over sugared. Have you tried crimean wines. I hear they becoming better than georgian wines.

  107. @Gerad1234

    Travel will naturally become more costly if you ban direct flights to a country like Georgia where flights are very cheap. I don’t tourists want to pay so much money to travel to a country like Georgia.

  108. @jbwilson24

    I mean the core Ukraine (the area Khmelnitsky joined to the Russian Empire), which is ~1/6th of current territory.

    Of course, in Odessa you can meet girls of any type. Odessa is not Ukraine. That’s why Nazis had to burn a few dozen people alive there on May 2, 2014 – nothing less would suffice to scare the populace into tolerating current regime.

    BTW, in Moscow you can also see girls and women of every type imaginable. The great majority would be Russian citizens (with the exception of black Africans, Chinese tourists, and gastarbeiters from former Soviet republics).

    As Beckow wrote several times here, EU is a cargo cult in Ukraine. Naturally, the less you know about the cargo, the easier it is to adhere to that cult. So, their ignorance is good for the Ukrainian elites: if the populace knew even half of the truth, they would have hung their “leaders” on lampposts. Not to mention that the chances of Ukraine joining the EU are about the same as my chances of becoming the Pope. Russian joke describes it best:
    – When Ukraine is going to join the EU?
    – Right after Turkey.
    – When Turkey is going to join the EU?
    – Never.
    Their elites want them to be ignorant about that, so they are. The ones that know the score have run away already from that sinking ship, some to Russia, some to the EU.

    The same about Jews: their Jewish elites don’t want them to think about it, as Ukraine traditionally is more antisemitic than Nazi Germany. If you look into the history of Jewish pogroms in the Russian Empire, practically all of them happened in Ukraine. In a way, it’s poetic justice that now Ukraine is lead into the abyss largely by Jews. That does not justify those Jews and Shabbos goys (like Porky), who robbed Ukraine blind since 1991, leading Ukraine to ruin. But I don’t think that can be stopped now: they made Russia angry, while nobody else gives a hoot about Ukraine, least of all the Empire. Poland would like some of the land with “bydlo” back, but that’s the extent of Polish interest.

  109. @anon

    You are right, and I never understood that. From my perspective, an intelligent and educated person cannot sincerely believe in any religion, be it Islam, PC, or Communism. Then again, educated does not necessarily mean intelligent.

  110. @Anonymoose

    There are excellent Crimean wines, including champagne, but good stuff isn’t cheap. Cheap Crimean wines have the same horsepiss quality as Georgian wines (gruzian, if you prefer Russian).

  111. @anonymous coward

    If Georgians are white, Spaniards and Italians are albinos. LOL.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  112. @Gerad1234

    What happened to your old username Gerard 2?

    AK: He is not currently banned FWIW.

    • Replies: @Gerard2
  113. @Anonymoose

    In fairness, there are some nice Georgian saperavis, but they are costlier than equivalent quality West European and Russian wines.

    The best Russian wines are from the Kuban (e.g. Taman peninsula). The Crimea is catching up, but I estimate that they still have 2-3 years to go before they converge.

    • Replies: @Anonymoose
  114. How popular is Saprevi in Russian wine production? A lot of Russian wine is produced from Rsketali grapes.

  115. @Anatoly Karlin

    How popular is Saperevi in Russian wine production? A lot of Russian wine is produced from Rsketali grapes.

  116. Dmitry says:
    @anonymous coward

    Georgians have an appearance of a mixture of races.

    Maybe 70-80% (or maybe more) of Georgians are brown/Middle Eastern people. Maybe 20-30% are white people?

    Not sure exactly distribution. But surely, browns are more common than the whites in the general population.

  117. Dmitry says:
    @AnonFromTN

    Georgians are just a mixture of races.

    Most Georgians are brown people. But there is also a proportion which are white people. Someone who has been there will know the proportions better than I (although some Georgians I’ve met were just white people).

  118. Gerard2 says:
    @Anonymoose

    What happened to your old username Gerard 2?

    1.Used different device and couldn’t remember the details
    2. Gerard1234 only eats kosher and is a radical feminist – the same can’t be said for Gerard 2

  119. Gerard2 says:
    @Anonymoose

    Gruzian wine is also overrated and over sugared. Have you tried crimean wines. I hear they becoming better than georgian wines.

    Correct – but oversugaring has been a problem with Crimean wines too. I’ve heard the same about them getting better – but I don’t know – I’m quite fussy on this type of thing

    Forgetting about gruzian horshit – One thing that is a genuinely world class product is Armenian cognac – as far as I am concerned it is superior or equal to any western cognac. Any western friends I have given a bottle of Ararat or any other cognac have been very enthusiastic about it .
    Cognac though would need to have the same “revolution” that gin has had in western Europe for the Armenian ones to get any decent money – just not popular enough

  120. @AnonFromTN

    It always amuses me when Russians start calling people filth. Understand that every decent white European thinks of Russians the way you do of Georgians. Pure disgusting trash that got railed out by mongol hordes for centuries. Your “emperors” were petty tax collectors for Mongol trash.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  121. @Sam Haysom

    Let’s assume you are right. Then explain why two of your emperors who managed to unite pretty much all “decent Europeans”, monsignor Napoleon and parteigenosse Hitler, were beaten to pulp by Russians.

    Sorry to offend an “exalted” European, but your comment is typical sour grapes. Inferiority complex runs deep. Not surprising in people with handkerchief-sized “countries”. Don’t worry, though, Muzzies will put you in your proper place.

    • Agree: melanf
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  122. Dmitry says:

    Children in Tbilisi – are learning to speak English mainly now?

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  123. @Dmitry

    Sounds like silly propaganda.

    Let me tell you are true story. Back in Soviet times (around 1990) I was in a train smoking by the open window in the corridor (it was allowed back then), and heard a guy arguing with a girl from one of the Baltic micro-states (don’t remember which) about the language suitable for communication between different nations. The guy was arguing that in the USSR it’s Russian, while the girl was foaming in the mouth trying to convince him that it should be English. I started speaking English to her (by that time I had an excellent Longman dictionary, purchased in Moscow, for a few years, so I could read Dickens or Tolkien w/o a dictionary), and within a few minutes she switched to Russian: it turned out that her English was remarkably poor. I strongly suspect that Georgians, young and old, are in the same league.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  124. @AnonFromTN

    To my knowledge this Sam Haysom guy is American.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  125. @reiner Tor

    Well, there are stupid people everywhere. As Einstein once said, ‘Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe.”

    I met quite a few morons in the US, even in the areas where you expect people to be reasonably smart: cell biology and biochemistry. Most Americans wouldn’t talk about “decent Europeans”, smarter ones out of decency, dumber ones out of hubris.

  126. Dmitry says:
    @AnonFromTN

    Thanks for the story – surely.

    But this report is current schoolchildren of 2019 Tbilisi.

    Sounds like silly propaganda.

    He and his wife are maybe the best promoters of Russia all over the internet. For example, his wife’s channel was the best channel reporting on last year about the World Cup from Ekaterinburg. They were filming all the fans’ reaction videos.

    It seems they were filming this month in Tbilisi. The complete video on his wife’s channel – you can see the charming atmosphere of Tbilisi.

    But at 13:00 in the video shows the problems there – they film nationalist march. Also see the signs at 4:45 in the video:

  127. @melanf

    My mistake.

    All women but Nordic women are ugly, hairy beasts with no redeeming value.

    How could I forget?

    • Replies: @melanf
  128. melanf says:
    @Marshall Lentini

    Well, that’s a matter of taste. You can only count what preferences meet more or less often

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