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Russia Elections 2018: Navalny's "Elections Boycott" Protest Fizzles
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guardian-on-russia-protests

Western media: Opposition leader Navalny is “tapping into the anger of a younger generation yearning for change”, and devotes frontline coverage to his “elections boycott” protest.

Reality: Putin is polling 62% amongst young people, versus 76% amongst the elderly (FOM poll, including people who don’t know/don’t intend to vote), and the event was itself boycotted by all but 2,000 of Moscow’s 15 million people.

The people who did come… did not make for an impressive sight:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tdF3Et4ni1s

Graham Phillips had some good time trolling the protesters, though eventually one of them assaulted him and smashed his camera.

In general, things went pretty much as I expected:

In other Russian elections news, Navalny is planning to lead his flock to a new series of protest meetings tomorrow (Jan 28) in Moscow and Saint-Petersburg. I don’t expect anything interesting to happen either now or before the elections in general. Navalny will be arrested, probably before he shows up, and will spend a fortnight in jail. 200 people will get arrested. Turnout will not exceed 10,000, the maximum (realistic) estimate for turnout at the last protests on Tverskaya in March 2017. I probably won’t bother showing up to cover the event.

Navalny was eventually arrested, though at the protest, but was soon released and doesn’t even appear to have been charged yet. There were around 250 people arrested throughout the entire country. Turnout in Moscow was 2,000. And I evidently made the right choice not to bother with going there.

Incidentally, while we’re on this topic, I’d like to address another point. When I cover Russian politics, I do so from what I like to think is a pretty sophisticated angle (e.g. age structure dynamics, Russian elections as referendums, etc.). But the narrative put forwards by the Western media – a Dark Lord of the Kremlin vs. plucky young resistance fighters – is a very primitive one, although one with incredible staying power (the basic schema dates to the early 2000s). Now commenter Mr. Hack believes that I am wasting my time on this “chimera” of an election and he might just have a point, if for rather different reasons than what he posits. Basically the Western media is so completely and consistently wrong on this that it would be much easier – and more popular in terms of pageviews – to just relentlessly demolish them and make fun of them, instead of trying to do in-depth original analysis about what’s really going on. But fortunately, I don’t run this blog for the pageviews.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Alexei Navalny, Color Revolution, Russia 
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  1. That fatty looks like your standard SJW that wants mass immigration, miscegnation, gay pride parades, “diversity” and so on. Most just see it as a joke, but I wouldn’t if I were you, he poses a very serious threat to Russia. You still think I am talking rubbish then look at the enormous power they have in the post Western world.

    Navalny is probably being funded by the CIA in some way, and since the overthrow of the regime is a very high priority for the deep state, these SJWs make excellent infiltrators for regime change plans. Just like the previous big sporting events, I am expecting some kind of colour revolution stunt during the World Cup.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Singh
    With amount of funds around & subcontractors being funded by Cia doesn't have same ring to it that it did 50 years ago.

    Cia funding is also the point, these movements have no staying power without outside support.

    Russian Rodnover have a very high tfr & Ethnic religions are the fastest growing in FSU in general.

    Honestly, only part of world I'm not worried about।।
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  2. Now commenter Mr. Hack believes that I am wasting my time on this “chimera” of an election and he might just have a point, if for rather different reasons than what he posits.

    You don’t see Putin’s term in office as an authoritarian one, characterized by his unassailable position as a ‘President for life’? Between him being president and installing his puppet Medvedev as the president while he was the Premier for a term, he’s been at the top of the heap for 20 years, and add another term or two…well, you’re pretty smart, you can do the math. Joseph Stalin would be envious of Putin’s ‘hard earned’ popularity in Russia. ;-)

    Read More
    • Replies: @neutral
    What precisely would you want to happen Russia if you could have everything go the way exactly how you think it should be? Navalny is not some kind of Mandela that will receive 80% of the votes if only people were allowed to vote for him, even the most virulent anti Russians in America (other than perhaps the complete nuts like Mensch) don't seriously believe this guy can get more than 5% of the vote. So who else, another jew like Poroshenko (that happens to be as popular as the one before him that the CIA ousted). Give me a name, a concrete name, who is this great democratic leader that Russians are yearning to vote for?

    There is nothing that indicates to me that Putin did not win all elections with the most votes. Term limits are another debate, but I doubt you think that Merkel or Kohl, that are also very long termed leaders, should be called "presidents for life".
    , @Beckow

    he’s been at the top of the heap for 20 years...
     
    He has not, more like 17-18 years. In comparison, Merkel is still going strong after 13 years, I believe Chirac ruled for 12-14 years, Thatcher too, etc...

    I get your point, and on a certain level it bothers me too. Longevity in office by itself is not authoritarian, although it is one of the symptoms. Smart analysis looks at each situation as is, on its own terms, and not in generic stereotypes. Given Russia in 2000-2020, given what most people there clearly want, given the resulting undeniable preferences, given the nature of alternatives, what is better? Should they stick to a longevity rule that even in the West has been occasionally broken, or should they optimise for the situation Russia is in?

    We don't know how this story will end. My hunch is that when people look back Putin's staying power and his dominant political presence will not be what they celebrate or denounce. These are clearly unique circumstances. If you don't like Putin, criticise what you don't like, not the process around it.

    , @Daniel Chieh
    Yes, Stalin would have to be, since Stalin essentially slaughtered his way to stay in power and whatever Putin's faults are, he hasn't displayed anywhere close to that murderous nature. This comparison is asinine.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  3. @Mr. Hack

    Now commenter Mr. Hack believes that I am wasting my time on this “chimera” of an election and he might just have a point, if for rather different reasons than what he posits.
     
    You don't see Putin's term in office as an authoritarian one, characterized by his unassailable position as a 'President for life'? Between him being president and installing his puppet Medvedev as the president while he was the Premier for a term, he's been at the top of the heap for 20 years, and add another term or two...well, you're pretty smart, you can do the math. Joseph Stalin would be envious of Putin's 'hard earned' popularity in Russia. ;-)

    What precisely would you want to happen Russia if you could have everything go the way exactly how you think it should be? Navalny is not some kind of Mandela that will receive 80% of the votes if only people were allowed to vote for him, even the most virulent anti Russians in America (other than perhaps the complete nuts like Mensch) don’t seriously believe this guy can get more than 5% of the vote. So who else, another jew like Poroshenko (that happens to be as popular as the one before him that the CIA ousted). Give me a name, a concrete name, who is this great democratic leader that Russians are yearning to vote for?

    There is nothing that indicates to me that Putin did not win all elections with the most votes. Term limits are another debate, but I doubt you think that Merkel or Kohl, that are also very long termed leaders, should be called “presidents for life”.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Ali Choudhury
    The country would have been in much better shape if Alexei Kudrin had been Putin's partner, not Medvedev. Russia is operating considerably far below its potential which is why the best and smartest Russians continue to try to leave the country.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  4. @Mr. Hack

    Now commenter Mr. Hack believes that I am wasting my time on this “chimera” of an election and he might just have a point, if for rather different reasons than what he posits.
     
    You don't see Putin's term in office as an authoritarian one, characterized by his unassailable position as a 'President for life'? Between him being president and installing his puppet Medvedev as the president while he was the Premier for a term, he's been at the top of the heap for 20 years, and add another term or two...well, you're pretty smart, you can do the math. Joseph Stalin would be envious of Putin's 'hard earned' popularity in Russia. ;-)

    he’s been at the top of the heap for 20 years…

    He has not, more like 17-18 years. In comparison, Merkel is still going strong after 13 years, I believe Chirac ruled for 12-14 years, Thatcher too, etc…

    I get your point, and on a certain level it bothers me too. Longevity in office by itself is not authoritarian, although it is one of the symptoms. Smart analysis looks at each situation as is, on its own terms, and not in generic stereotypes. Given Russia in 2000-2020, given what most people there clearly want, given the resulting undeniable preferences, given the nature of alternatives, what is better? Should they stick to a longevity rule that even in the West has been occasionally broken, or should they optimise for the situation Russia is in?

    We don’t know how this story will end. My hunch is that when people look back Putin’s staying power and his dominant political presence will not be what they celebrate or denounce. These are clearly unique circumstances. If you don’t like Putin, criticise what you don’t like, not the process around it.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Swedish Family

    He has not, more like 17-18 years.
     
    There is also the argument that the "Putin era" is made up of at least three distinct periods -- the long 90s (until 2004 or so), the "golden afternoon" (about 2004 to 2012), and the new cold war (2012 to present) -- so in a sense, we have had different Putins over the years. The Medvedev interlude could also be counted as a minor break from Putin's rule. Michael McFaul thought as much in a 2016 interview, where he said that the US made a great mistake in underestimating Medvedev's degree of autonomy.
    , @Mitleser

    In comparison, Merkel is still going strong after 13 years
     
    Merkel has been a part of the ruling elite in Germany since 1991.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  5. My impression from conversations with various Russians – including a Russian girl furiously swiping along Tinder to find an EU boyfriend to help her along an emigration path -

    Is that Vladimir Putin is, a bit crudely, keeping a lid on a number of contradictory political forces that would to some degree balloon in activity and influence if allowed to do so

    Russian nationalists of the Igor Strelkov Girkin variety … a full-blown Western-backed Poz group of SJW gangsters … and a few new-wave red socialists and some Romanov monarchists

    Not that Putin might not remain the plurality choice, but it seems one can imagine a different media etc environment in which Russian politics could be quite different, if the factions were really allowed to battle it out and peddle their wares

    For the Russian girl asking for ideas on meeting EU males, I tried to help her select some of her photos for the dating forums

    She had a picture of herself which she thought was good, skimpy lingerie and heels and holding a plush toy teddy bear … but the look on her face in that pic was quite Russian-tough-hard, a bit of a mis-match with the soft toy ‘girlish’ theme, I advised against it

    Read More
    • Replies: @neutral

    For the Russian girl asking for ideas on meeting EU males, I tried to help her select some of her photos for the dating forums
     
    I am sorry for causing you inevitable anger, but this needs to be said, she is basically whoring herself out, why are you helping out this tart? She clearly has zero self respect and thus you should give her none - unless you also have zero self respect. I also need to raise the fact that guys that look for Russian brides are not normally great men.
    , @Anon
    You should advise her about dating Anglo / Germanic dudes - there is a huge cultural difference there, she may not expect that they'll treat her as a Western woman at the end of the day (expect her to act like a man, etc). There will be a huge cultural shock. She should know before she embarks on a taxing and difficult endeavor such as emigration.
    , @anonymous coward

    Not that Putin might not remain the plurality choice, but it seems one can imagine a different media etc environment in which Russian politics could be quite different, if the factions were really allowed to battle it out and peddle their wares
     
    We had that in the 1990's. Not surprisingly, a group of seven Jews ended up running the country despite the non-stop media flurry of contradictory crud.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  6. @Beckow

    he’s been at the top of the heap for 20 years...
     
    He has not, more like 17-18 years. In comparison, Merkel is still going strong after 13 years, I believe Chirac ruled for 12-14 years, Thatcher too, etc...

    I get your point, and on a certain level it bothers me too. Longevity in office by itself is not authoritarian, although it is one of the symptoms. Smart analysis looks at each situation as is, on its own terms, and not in generic stereotypes. Given Russia in 2000-2020, given what most people there clearly want, given the resulting undeniable preferences, given the nature of alternatives, what is better? Should they stick to a longevity rule that even in the West has been occasionally broken, or should they optimise for the situation Russia is in?

    We don't know how this story will end. My hunch is that when people look back Putin's staying power and his dominant political presence will not be what they celebrate or denounce. These are clearly unique circumstances. If you don't like Putin, criticise what you don't like, not the process around it.

    He has not, more like 17-18 years.

    There is also the argument that the “Putin era” is made up of at least three distinct periods — the long 90s (until 2004 or so), the “golden afternoon” (about 2004 to 2012), and the new cold war (2012 to present) — so in a sense, we have had different Putins over the years. The Medvedev interlude could also be counted as a minor break from Putin’s rule. Michael McFaul thought as much in a 2016 interview, where he said that the US made a great mistake in underestimating Medvedev’s degree of autonomy.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Beckow

    US made a great mistake in underestimating Medvedev’s degree of autonomy
     
    The crucial mistake was also breaking the promises/treaties/UN resolutions, e.g. ABM missiles, Libya, etc... That made pro-West elements in the Russian leadership look like idiots and worse. People like Medvedev lost face.

    This is almost a mental disease among Western elites, including McFaul. They think that agreements are only observed as long as they are useful for the West. But the whole point of any contract is that provides guarantees when things aren't going well, when there are disputes. Otherwise what's the point of even having a treaty?

    We have Russia that West has created with its myopic policies.
    , @Niccolo Salo
    What I noted during that time was the constant flood of thinkpieces in western media trying to create a split between Medvedev and Putin. As we know they all failed.
    , @Dmitry
    If you recall, Putin has had three terms as President. First-term -2000-2004, Second-term 2004-2008, and third-term 2012-2018.

    In the first two terms (2000-2008), he did very well, with few mistakes. In the third-term (2012-2018), he started making mistakes, changing priorities, lack of fresh proposals for the country.

    This can be quite typical of a leader after they have been in power for over a decade or so, and it happens even to ones who were originally very competent.

    As for the current situation, it's not only a popularity issue, but there is really no-one on the scene of the same talent level as Putin, and who have his personal skills (which is one area where he has improved over the years), or even a suitable personality for appealing to the public (Medvedev just demonstrates a consistent personality for pissing off normal-income citizens).

    The current political scene is like a football team with a terrible substitutes bench. So even if your star player is starting to get tired, and started missing some shots - it's still better to keep him on the field.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  7. @Brabantian
    My impression from conversations with various Russians - including a Russian girl furiously swiping along Tinder to find an EU boyfriend to help her along an emigration path -

    Is that Vladimir Putin is, a bit crudely, keeping a lid on a number of contradictory political forces that would to some degree balloon in activity and influence if allowed to do so

    Russian nationalists of the Igor Strelkov Girkin variety ... a full-blown Western-backed Poz group of SJW gangsters ... and a few new-wave red socialists and some Romanov monarchists

    Not that Putin might not remain the plurality choice, but it seems one can imagine a different media etc environment in which Russian politics could be quite different, if the factions were really allowed to battle it out and peddle their wares

    For the Russian girl asking for ideas on meeting EU males, I tried to help her select some of her photos for the dating forums

    She had a picture of herself which she thought was good, skimpy lingerie and heels and holding a plush toy teddy bear ... but the look on her face in that pic was quite Russian-tough-hard, a bit of a mis-match with the soft toy 'girlish' theme, I advised against it

    For the Russian girl asking for ideas on meeting EU males, I tried to help her select some of her photos for the dating forums

    I am sorry for causing you inevitable anger, but this needs to be said, she is basically whoring herself out, why are you helping out this tart? She clearly has zero self respect and thus you should give her none – unless you also have zero self respect. I also need to raise the fact that guys that look for Russian brides are not normally great men.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Dunno, seems like a patriotic thing to do for him to assist Russian thots emigrate, so the country will be comparatively more thot-less. Will that increase the cognitive capability of the remainder?!!
    , @YetAnotherAnon
    Can't have it both ways. Are guys looking for Russian girls losers? Surely in which case they'll deserve her?
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  8. Anatoly,

    There is a simple solution for your Mr Hack problem.

    I do believe you have the authority to ban users?

    Read More
    • LOL: Mr. Hack
    • Replies: @neutral

    I do believe you have the authority to ban users?
     
    Can't say I agree with him, but why would you ban him? Is this now supposed to be SJW type forum where only agreed on opinions are allowed?
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  9. @Swedish Family

    He has not, more like 17-18 years.
     
    There is also the argument that the "Putin era" is made up of at least three distinct periods -- the long 90s (until 2004 or so), the "golden afternoon" (about 2004 to 2012), and the new cold war (2012 to present) -- so in a sense, we have had different Putins over the years. The Medvedev interlude could also be counted as a minor break from Putin's rule. Michael McFaul thought as much in a 2016 interview, where he said that the US made a great mistake in underestimating Medvedev's degree of autonomy.

    US made a great mistake in underestimating Medvedev’s degree of autonomy

    The crucial mistake was also breaking the promises/treaties/UN resolutions, e.g. ABM missiles, Libya, etc… That made pro-West elements in the Russian leadership look like idiots and worse. People like Medvedev lost face.

    This is almost a mental disease among Western elites, including McFaul. They think that agreements are only observed as long as they are useful for the West. But the whole point of any contract is that provides guarantees when things aren’t going well, when there are disputes. Otherwise what’s the point of even having a treaty?

    We have Russia that West has created with its myopic policies.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Swedish Family

    This is almost a mental disease among Western elites, including McFaul. They think that agreements are only observed as long as they are useful for the West. But the whole point of any contract is that provides guarantees when things aren’t going well, when there are disputes. Otherwise what’s the point of even having a treaty?
     
    Yes, I agree, and this "defection strategy" is bad for Russians and Westerners alike, since it also creates instability.
    , @Niccolo Salo
    Hi Beckow, great to see you here. I used to post with you on Russia threads years ago at The Guardian as "Noble Donkey". I imagine that you, like I, had many of your posts deleted and just gave up (when they actually do open a piece for comments).
    , @Singh
    Mohammad also said only follow treaties until it's convenient।।
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  10. @Mr. Hack

    Now commenter Mr. Hack believes that I am wasting my time on this “chimera” of an election and he might just have a point, if for rather different reasons than what he posits.
     
    You don't see Putin's term in office as an authoritarian one, characterized by his unassailable position as a 'President for life'? Between him being president and installing his puppet Medvedev as the president while he was the Premier for a term, he's been at the top of the heap for 20 years, and add another term or two...well, you're pretty smart, you can do the math. Joseph Stalin would be envious of Putin's 'hard earned' popularity in Russia. ;-)

    Yes, Stalin would have to be, since Stalin essentially slaughtered his way to stay in power and whatever Putin’s faults are, he hasn’t displayed anywhere close to that murderous nature. This comparison is asinine.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  11. @neutral

    For the Russian girl asking for ideas on meeting EU males, I tried to help her select some of her photos for the dating forums
     
    I am sorry for causing you inevitable anger, but this needs to be said, she is basically whoring herself out, why are you helping out this tart? She clearly has zero self respect and thus you should give her none - unless you also have zero self respect. I also need to raise the fact that guys that look for Russian brides are not normally great men.

    Dunno, seems like a patriotic thing to do for him to assist Russian thots emigrate, so the country will be comparatively more thot-less. Will that increase the cognitive capability of the remainder?!!

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  12. @neutral
    What precisely would you want to happen Russia if you could have everything go the way exactly how you think it should be? Navalny is not some kind of Mandela that will receive 80% of the votes if only people were allowed to vote for him, even the most virulent anti Russians in America (other than perhaps the complete nuts like Mensch) don't seriously believe this guy can get more than 5% of the vote. So who else, another jew like Poroshenko (that happens to be as popular as the one before him that the CIA ousted). Give me a name, a concrete name, who is this great democratic leader that Russians are yearning to vote for?

    There is nothing that indicates to me that Putin did not win all elections with the most votes. Term limits are another debate, but I doubt you think that Merkel or Kohl, that are also very long termed leaders, should be called "presidents for life".

    The country would have been in much better shape if Alexei Kudrin had been Putin’s partner, not Medvedev. Russia is operating considerably far below its potential which is why the best and smartest Russians continue to try to leave the country.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mitleser
    And Kudrin would kill off the rest of the potential.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  13. @Beckow

    US made a great mistake in underestimating Medvedev’s degree of autonomy
     
    The crucial mistake was also breaking the promises/treaties/UN resolutions, e.g. ABM missiles, Libya, etc... That made pro-West elements in the Russian leadership look like idiots and worse. People like Medvedev lost face.

    This is almost a mental disease among Western elites, including McFaul. They think that agreements are only observed as long as they are useful for the West. But the whole point of any contract is that provides guarantees when things aren't going well, when there are disputes. Otherwise what's the point of even having a treaty?

    We have Russia that West has created with its myopic policies.

    This is almost a mental disease among Western elites, including McFaul. They think that agreements are only observed as long as they are useful for the West. But the whole point of any contract is that provides guarantees when things aren’t going well, when there are disputes. Otherwise what’s the point of even having a treaty?

    Yes, I agree, and this “defection strategy” is bad for Russians and Westerners alike, since it also creates instability.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  14. @Felix Keverich
    Anatoly,

    There is a simple solution for your Mr Hack problem.

    I do believe you have the authority to ban users?

    I do believe you have the authority to ban users?

    Can’t say I agree with him, but why would you ban him? Is this now supposed to be SJW type forum where only agreed on opinions are allowed?

    Read More
    • Agree: reiner Tor, AP, German_reader
    • Replies: @Felix Keverich

    Is this now supposed to be SJW type forum where only agreed on opinions are allowed?
     
    lol I'm pretty sure the entire English-language internet functions like this now!

    Mr Hack's apparent purpose on this forum is to annoy us - that's the very definition of a troll. IMO it is perfectly OK to shut him down.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  15. @neutral

    For the Russian girl asking for ideas on meeting EU males, I tried to help her select some of her photos for the dating forums
     
    I am sorry for causing you inevitable anger, but this needs to be said, she is basically whoring herself out, why are you helping out this tart? She clearly has zero self respect and thus you should give her none - unless you also have zero self respect. I also need to raise the fact that guys that look for Russian brides are not normally great men.

    Can’t have it both ways. Are guys looking for Russian girls losers? Surely in which case they’ll deserve her?

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  16. Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Brabantian
    My impression from conversations with various Russians - including a Russian girl furiously swiping along Tinder to find an EU boyfriend to help her along an emigration path -

    Is that Vladimir Putin is, a bit crudely, keeping a lid on a number of contradictory political forces that would to some degree balloon in activity and influence if allowed to do so

    Russian nationalists of the Igor Strelkov Girkin variety ... a full-blown Western-backed Poz group of SJW gangsters ... and a few new-wave red socialists and some Romanov monarchists

    Not that Putin might not remain the plurality choice, but it seems one can imagine a different media etc environment in which Russian politics could be quite different, if the factions were really allowed to battle it out and peddle their wares

    For the Russian girl asking for ideas on meeting EU males, I tried to help her select some of her photos for the dating forums

    She had a picture of herself which she thought was good, skimpy lingerie and heels and holding a plush toy teddy bear ... but the look on her face in that pic was quite Russian-tough-hard, a bit of a mis-match with the soft toy 'girlish' theme, I advised against it

    You should advise her about dating Anglo / Germanic dudes – there is a huge cultural difference there, she may not expect that they’ll treat her as a Western woman at the end of the day (expect her to act like a man, etc). There will be a huge cultural shock. She should know before she embarks on a taxing and difficult endeavor such as emigration.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Singh
    Russian should be with Russian worse case another Slav।।

    Tell her how gay Western men are explain the concept of wearing mini skirts to protest gangrape & I doubt she'll want to move.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  17. @Beckow

    US made a great mistake in underestimating Medvedev’s degree of autonomy
     
    The crucial mistake was also breaking the promises/treaties/UN resolutions, e.g. ABM missiles, Libya, etc... That made pro-West elements in the Russian leadership look like idiots and worse. People like Medvedev lost face.

    This is almost a mental disease among Western elites, including McFaul. They think that agreements are only observed as long as they are useful for the West. But the whole point of any contract is that provides guarantees when things aren't going well, when there are disputes. Otherwise what's the point of even having a treaty?

    We have Russia that West has created with its myopic policies.

    Hi Beckow, great to see you here. I used to post with you on Russia threads years ago at The Guardian as “Noble Donkey”. I imagine that you, like I, had many of your posts deleted and just gave up (when they actually do open a piece for comments).

    Read More
    • Replies: @Beckow
    Hey, I remember. Good to see you here too. I abandoned The Guardian because of what can only be called their censorship. They have really gone down...
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  18. @Swedish Family

    He has not, more like 17-18 years.
     
    There is also the argument that the "Putin era" is made up of at least three distinct periods -- the long 90s (until 2004 or so), the "golden afternoon" (about 2004 to 2012), and the new cold war (2012 to present) -- so in a sense, we have had different Putins over the years. The Medvedev interlude could also be counted as a minor break from Putin's rule. Michael McFaul thought as much in a 2016 interview, where he said that the US made a great mistake in underestimating Medvedev's degree of autonomy.

    What I noted during that time was the constant flood of thinkpieces in western media trying to create a split between Medvedev and Putin. As we know they all failed.

    Read More
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  19. @Swedish Family

    He has not, more like 17-18 years.
     
    There is also the argument that the "Putin era" is made up of at least three distinct periods -- the long 90s (until 2004 or so), the "golden afternoon" (about 2004 to 2012), and the new cold war (2012 to present) -- so in a sense, we have had different Putins over the years. The Medvedev interlude could also be counted as a minor break from Putin's rule. Michael McFaul thought as much in a 2016 interview, where he said that the US made a great mistake in underestimating Medvedev's degree of autonomy.

    If you recall, Putin has had three terms as President. First-term -2000-2004, Second-term 2004-2008, and third-term 2012-2018.

    In the first two terms (2000-2008), he did very well, with few mistakes. In the third-term (2012-2018), he started making mistakes, changing priorities, lack of fresh proposals for the country.

    This can be quite typical of a leader after they have been in power for over a decade or so, and it happens even to ones who were originally very competent.

    As for the current situation, it’s not only a popularity issue, but there is really no-one on the scene of the same talent level as Putin, and who have his personal skills (which is one area where he has improved over the years), or even a suitable personality for appealing to the public (Medvedev just demonstrates a consistent personality for pissing off normal-income citizens).

    The current political scene is like a football team with a terrible substitutes bench. So even if your star player is starting to get tired, and started missing some shots – it’s still better to keep him on the field.

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    • Replies: @Mitleser

    As for the current situation, it’s not only a popularity issue, but there is really no-one on the scene of the same talent level as Putin, and who have his personal skills (which is one area where he has improved over the years), or even a suitable personality for appealing to the public (Medvedev just demonstrates a consistent personality for pissing off normal-income citizens).
     
    Putin 2.0 is not what the leadership wants, quite the opposite.

    Jacob Heilbrunn: Were you expecting Vladimir Putin to announce once again that he would run for the Russian presidency—or were you surprised?

    Andranik Migranyan: I was not surprised. Even a year or two years ago, I knew that he was going to run. He is a man on a mission. He has not accomplished his mission. I hope that he is going to accomplish it during his next six-year term.

    JH: What is the mission?

    AM: In 2012, right on the eve of the elections, the previous elections, I together with a small group of political scientists had a meeting with him outside of Moscow. He talked a lot about the steering of the governmental machine, and when you are manually steering it. His idea was that in such a large country, you can’t manually steer everywhere. Instead, you need to have well-established and developed institutions. This is my memory of that meeting--he said he’ll be satisfied if institutions will work and he will not have any problems when he leaves. He feels sure everything will work in a proper way when he leaves. That’s why for me it’s not a surprise. This mission he has not yet accomplished. I hope this is the problem he will address in the six years.

    JH: But in Russia today, there isn’t a succession plan. On the contrary, power is centered around Putin with no real plan for the future. How do you alter that?

    AM: He wants to transfer from personalistic to institutional power. How do you do that? This is the most important and difficult task. I think he will try to go in way of redistribution of power between executive and legislative. Who knows? There might be some changes in the constitution.
     
    http://nationalinterest.org/feature/russia-souring-donald-trump-23554
    , @Swedish Family

    As for the current situation, it’s not only a popularity issue, but there is really no-one on the scene of the same talent level as Putin, and who have his personal skills (which is one area where he has improved over the years), or even a suitable personality for appealing to the public (Medvedev just demonstrates a consistent personality for pissing off normal-income citizens).
     
    Yes, the succession to the throne will be a nail-biter. The trouble for Russia is that it desperately needs another excellent executive. No room for error here.
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  20. @Ali Choudhury
    The country would have been in much better shape if Alexei Kudrin had been Putin's partner, not Medvedev. Russia is operating considerably far below its potential which is why the best and smartest Russians continue to try to leave the country.

    And Kudrin would kill off the rest of the potential.

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  21. @Dmitry
    If you recall, Putin has had three terms as President. First-term -2000-2004, Second-term 2004-2008, and third-term 2012-2018.

    In the first two terms (2000-2008), he did very well, with few mistakes. In the third-term (2012-2018), he started making mistakes, changing priorities, lack of fresh proposals for the country.

    This can be quite typical of a leader after they have been in power for over a decade or so, and it happens even to ones who were originally very competent.

    As for the current situation, it's not only a popularity issue, but there is really no-one on the scene of the same talent level as Putin, and who have his personal skills (which is one area where he has improved over the years), or even a suitable personality for appealing to the public (Medvedev just demonstrates a consistent personality for pissing off normal-income citizens).

    The current political scene is like a football team with a terrible substitutes bench. So even if your star player is starting to get tired, and started missing some shots - it's still better to keep him on the field.

    As for the current situation, it’s not only a popularity issue, but there is really no-one on the scene of the same talent level as Putin, and who have his personal skills (which is one area where he has improved over the years), or even a suitable personality for appealing to the public (Medvedev just demonstrates a consistent personality for pissing off normal-income citizens).

    Putin 2.0 is not what the leadership wants, quite the opposite.

    Jacob Heilbrunn: Were you expecting Vladimir Putin to announce once again that he would run for the Russian presidency—or were you surprised?

    Andranik Migranyan: I was not surprised. Even a year or two years ago, I knew that he was going to run. He is a man on a mission. He has not accomplished his mission. I hope that he is going to accomplish it during his next six-year term.

    JH: What is the mission?

    AM: In 2012, right on the eve of the elections, the previous elections, I together with a small group of political scientists had a meeting with him outside of Moscow. He talked a lot about the steering of the governmental machine, and when you are manually steering it. His idea was that in such a large country, you can’t manually steer everywhere. Instead, you need to have well-established and developed institutions. This is my memory of that meeting–he said he’ll be satisfied if institutions will work and he will not have any problems when he leaves. He feels sure everything will work in a proper way when he leaves. That’s why for me it’s not a surprise. This mission he has not yet accomplished. I hope this is the problem he will address in the six years.

    JH: But in Russia today, there isn’t a succession plan. On the contrary, power is centered around Putin with no real plan for the future. How do you alter that?

    AM: He wants to transfer from personalistic to institutional power. How do you do that? This is the most important and difficult task. I think he will try to go in way of redistribution of power between executive and legislative. Who knows? There might be some changes in the constitution.

    http://nationalinterest.org/feature/russia-souring-donald-trump-23554

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    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    Interesting interview, thanks.
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  22. @Beckow

    he’s been at the top of the heap for 20 years...
     
    He has not, more like 17-18 years. In comparison, Merkel is still going strong after 13 years, I believe Chirac ruled for 12-14 years, Thatcher too, etc...

    I get your point, and on a certain level it bothers me too. Longevity in office by itself is not authoritarian, although it is one of the symptoms. Smart analysis looks at each situation as is, on its own terms, and not in generic stereotypes. Given Russia in 2000-2020, given what most people there clearly want, given the resulting undeniable preferences, given the nature of alternatives, what is better? Should they stick to a longevity rule that even in the West has been occasionally broken, or should they optimise for the situation Russia is in?

    We don't know how this story will end. My hunch is that when people look back Putin's staying power and his dominant political presence will not be what they celebrate or denounce. These are clearly unique circumstances. If you don't like Putin, criticise what you don't like, not the process around it.

    In comparison, Merkel is still going strong after 13 years

    Merkel has been a part of the ruling elite in Germany since 1991.

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    • Replies: @Beckow

    Merkel has been a part of the ruling elite in Germany since 1991
     
    ...and she might have been a part of the East German elite before that. I think she said that when the Wall was coming down she went to a sauna.

    But I meant she was elected in 2005, after Washington said that Schroeder had to go...(I think Villepin in France was removed at the same time, neo-cons were settling scores after Iraq.)

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  23. @Niccolo Salo
    Hi Beckow, great to see you here. I used to post with you on Russia threads years ago at The Guardian as "Noble Donkey". I imagine that you, like I, had many of your posts deleted and just gave up (when they actually do open a piece for comments).

    Hey, I remember. Good to see you here too. I abandoned The Guardian because of what can only be called their censorship. They have really gone down…

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  24. @Mitleser

    In comparison, Merkel is still going strong after 13 years
     
    Merkel has been a part of the ruling elite in Germany since 1991.

    Merkel has been a part of the ruling elite in Germany since 1991

    …and she might have been a part of the East German elite before that. I think she said that when the Wall was coming down she went to a sauna.

    But I meant she was elected in 2005, after Washington said that Schroeder had to go…(I think Villepin in France was removed at the same time, neo-cons were settling scores after Iraq.)

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  25. @Dmitry
    If you recall, Putin has had three terms as President. First-term -2000-2004, Second-term 2004-2008, and third-term 2012-2018.

    In the first two terms (2000-2008), he did very well, with few mistakes. In the third-term (2012-2018), he started making mistakes, changing priorities, lack of fresh proposals for the country.

    This can be quite typical of a leader after they have been in power for over a decade or so, and it happens even to ones who were originally very competent.

    As for the current situation, it's not only a popularity issue, but there is really no-one on the scene of the same talent level as Putin, and who have his personal skills (which is one area where he has improved over the years), or even a suitable personality for appealing to the public (Medvedev just demonstrates a consistent personality for pissing off normal-income citizens).

    The current political scene is like a football team with a terrible substitutes bench. So even if your star player is starting to get tired, and started missing some shots - it's still better to keep him on the field.

    As for the current situation, it’s not only a popularity issue, but there is really no-one on the scene of the same talent level as Putin, and who have his personal skills (which is one area where he has improved over the years), or even a suitable personality for appealing to the public (Medvedev just demonstrates a consistent personality for pissing off normal-income citizens).

    Yes, the succession to the throne will be a nail-biter. The trouble for Russia is that it desperately needs another excellent executive. No room for error here.

    Read More
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  26. @Mitleser

    As for the current situation, it’s not only a popularity issue, but there is really no-one on the scene of the same talent level as Putin, and who have his personal skills (which is one area where he has improved over the years), or even a suitable personality for appealing to the public (Medvedev just demonstrates a consistent personality for pissing off normal-income citizens).
     
    Putin 2.0 is not what the leadership wants, quite the opposite.

    Jacob Heilbrunn: Were you expecting Vladimir Putin to announce once again that he would run for the Russian presidency—or were you surprised?

    Andranik Migranyan: I was not surprised. Even a year or two years ago, I knew that he was going to run. He is a man on a mission. He has not accomplished his mission. I hope that he is going to accomplish it during his next six-year term.

    JH: What is the mission?

    AM: In 2012, right on the eve of the elections, the previous elections, I together with a small group of political scientists had a meeting with him outside of Moscow. He talked a lot about the steering of the governmental machine, and when you are manually steering it. His idea was that in such a large country, you can’t manually steer everywhere. Instead, you need to have well-established and developed institutions. This is my memory of that meeting--he said he’ll be satisfied if institutions will work and he will not have any problems when he leaves. He feels sure everything will work in a proper way when he leaves. That’s why for me it’s not a surprise. This mission he has not yet accomplished. I hope this is the problem he will address in the six years.

    JH: But in Russia today, there isn’t a succession plan. On the contrary, power is centered around Putin with no real plan for the future. How do you alter that?

    AM: He wants to transfer from personalistic to institutional power. How do you do that? This is the most important and difficult task. I think he will try to go in way of redistribution of power between executive and legislative. Who knows? There might be some changes in the constitution.
     
    http://nationalinterest.org/feature/russia-souring-donald-trump-23554

    Interesting interview, thanks.

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  27. @neutral
    That fatty looks like your standard SJW that wants mass immigration, miscegnation, gay pride parades, "diversity" and so on. Most just see it as a joke, but I wouldn't if I were you, he poses a very serious threat to Russia. You still think I am talking rubbish then look at the enormous power they have in the post Western world.

    Navalny is probably being funded by the CIA in some way, and since the overthrow of the regime is a very high priority for the deep state, these SJWs make excellent infiltrators for regime change plans. Just like the previous big sporting events, I am expecting some kind of colour revolution stunt during the World Cup.

    With amount of funds around & subcontractors being funded by Cia doesn’t have same ring to it that it did 50 years ago.

    Cia funding is also the point, these movements have no staying power without outside support.

    Russian Rodnover have a very high tfr & Ethnic religions are the fastest growing in FSU in general.

    Honestly, only part of world I’m not worried about।।

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  28. @Beckow

    US made a great mistake in underestimating Medvedev’s degree of autonomy
     
    The crucial mistake was also breaking the promises/treaties/UN resolutions, e.g. ABM missiles, Libya, etc... That made pro-West elements in the Russian leadership look like idiots and worse. People like Medvedev lost face.

    This is almost a mental disease among Western elites, including McFaul. They think that agreements are only observed as long as they are useful for the West. But the whole point of any contract is that provides guarantees when things aren't going well, when there are disputes. Otherwise what's the point of even having a treaty?

    We have Russia that West has created with its myopic policies.

    Mohammad also said only follow treaties until it’s convenient।।

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  29. @Anon
    You should advise her about dating Anglo / Germanic dudes - there is a huge cultural difference there, she may not expect that they'll treat her as a Western woman at the end of the day (expect her to act like a man, etc). There will be a huge cultural shock. She should know before she embarks on a taxing and difficult endeavor such as emigration.

    Russian should be with Russian worse case another Slav।।

    Tell her how gay Western men are explain the concept of wearing mini skirts to protest gangrape & I doubt she’ll want to move.

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    • Replies: @Dmitry

    Russian should be with Russian worse case another Slav।।

     

    Well it's a controversial topic, but (as long as it doesn't involve converting to some nihilistic ideology like Islamism) I cannot see the problem of people marrying different nationalities. The kids are often better looking than the parents in those cases.
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  30. It’s not that Men who go after Russian women are fucked up it’s that they’re the enemy of Russian Men।।

    We have Russian friends they don’t have Indian Girlfriends We don’t have Russian ones।।

    You’ll reject a few whores for the sake of your brothers.

    If they’re worth anything।।

    Jai Shri Perun

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  31. @neutral

    I do believe you have the authority to ban users?
     
    Can't say I agree with him, but why would you ban him? Is this now supposed to be SJW type forum where only agreed on opinions are allowed?

    Is this now supposed to be SJW type forum where only agreed on opinions are allowed?

    lol I’m pretty sure the entire English-language internet functions like this now!

    Mr Hack‘s apparent purpose on this forum is to annoy us – that’s the very definition of a troll. IMO it is perfectly OK to shut him down.

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    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    I think Mr. Hack sincerely holds his opinions, and he comes across as a decent person, even if I don’t quite agree with him. I also think his purpose is to represent his sincerely held opinions, which is different from a troll. I don’t always read what he writes, but that’s my general impression of him.

    I could go on and on naming other commenters who I often disagree with, but I don’t want them banned.

    For what it’s worth, I often disagree with you as well, but I don’t think it’d improve this forum if you were banned from here. It’s better to avoid the echo chamber and at least be aware of other opinions out there.
    , @Mr. Hack
    Apparently Karlin doesn't 'annoy' as easily as you do - he valued my opinion enough to quote me within this thread! Quit your whining you ninny! :-(
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  32. @Felix Keverich

    Is this now supposed to be SJW type forum where only agreed on opinions are allowed?
     
    lol I'm pretty sure the entire English-language internet functions like this now!

    Mr Hack's apparent purpose on this forum is to annoy us - that's the very definition of a troll. IMO it is perfectly OK to shut him down.

    I think Mr. Hack sincerely holds his opinions, and he comes across as a decent person, even if I don’t quite agree with him. I also think his purpose is to represent his sincerely held opinions, which is different from a troll. I don’t always read what he writes, but that’s my general impression of him.

    I could go on and on naming other commenters who I often disagree with, but I don’t want them banned.

    For what it’s worth, I often disagree with you as well, but I don’t think it’d improve this forum if you were banned from here. It’s better to avoid the echo chamber and at least be aware of other opinions out there.

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    • Agree: German_reader
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  33. @Felix Keverich

    Is this now supposed to be SJW type forum where only agreed on opinions are allowed?
     
    lol I'm pretty sure the entire English-language internet functions like this now!

    Mr Hack's apparent purpose on this forum is to annoy us - that's the very definition of a troll. IMO it is perfectly OK to shut him down.

    Apparently Karlin doesn’t ‘annoy’ as easily as you do – he valued my opinion enough to quote me within this thread! Quit your whining you ninny! :-(

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  34. @Brabantian
    My impression from conversations with various Russians - including a Russian girl furiously swiping along Tinder to find an EU boyfriend to help her along an emigration path -

    Is that Vladimir Putin is, a bit crudely, keeping a lid on a number of contradictory political forces that would to some degree balloon in activity and influence if allowed to do so

    Russian nationalists of the Igor Strelkov Girkin variety ... a full-blown Western-backed Poz group of SJW gangsters ... and a few new-wave red socialists and some Romanov monarchists

    Not that Putin might not remain the plurality choice, but it seems one can imagine a different media etc environment in which Russian politics could be quite different, if the factions were really allowed to battle it out and peddle their wares

    For the Russian girl asking for ideas on meeting EU males, I tried to help her select some of her photos for the dating forums

    She had a picture of herself which she thought was good, skimpy lingerie and heels and holding a plush toy teddy bear ... but the look on her face in that pic was quite Russian-tough-hard, a bit of a mis-match with the soft toy 'girlish' theme, I advised against it

    Not that Putin might not remain the plurality choice, but it seems one can imagine a different media etc environment in which Russian politics could be quite different, if the factions were really allowed to battle it out and peddle their wares

    We had that in the 1990′s. Not surprisingly, a group of seven Jews ended up running the country despite the non-stop media flurry of contradictory crud.

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  35. Und ist dabei auch noch gut für Babys Bäuchlein!

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  36. @Singh
    Russian should be with Russian worse case another Slav।।

    Tell her how gay Western men are explain the concept of wearing mini skirts to protest gangrape & I doubt she'll want to move.

    Russian should be with Russian worse case another Slav।।

    Well it’s a controversial topic, but (as long as it doesn’t involve converting to some nihilistic ideology like Islamism) I cannot see the problem of people marrying different nationalities. The kids are often better looking than the parents in those cases.

    Read More
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