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I do not dispute all the points in The Saker’s recent piece Russia’s “Civilizational Choice.” The malevolent influence of Saudi-sponsored Wahhabism on traditional Islam throughout the world is a real phenomenon that is indeed much better known in Russia than in the West. That is because Western elites view it as a useful geopolitical tool whose goals largely align with their own and thus tend to pressure their mainstream media to portray Islamic fundamentalists in non-Western countries from Syria to Egypt to Chechnya as “democrats” and/or “freedom fighters.” So far as conspiracy theories go, this is one of the most credible ones.

Nor, of course, do I at all mean to imply that Russian and “Muslim” interests (Muslim being a very wide group) are always opposed. The Russian Empire reached accomodations with the elites of annexed Muslim territories, leaving them in place, unchanged, in return for them pledging fealty to the Tsar. In the Middle East today, generally speaking, Shi’ite Islam, Orthodox Christianity, and secular forces are in an alliance of convenience against the Sunni Islamist wave. So long as Kadyrov remains Putin’s faithful vassal, the Chechens probably make a net positive contribution to the Russian state, contributing troops to Russian foreign adventures in return for big subsidies from the federal center (a perennial bugbear for Russian nationalists). But would any of this hold in the currently remote but not impossible prospect that the “checkerboard geopolitics” that currently favor a Russian-Shi’ite alliance vanish (as Putin himself said, Assad before his current troubles visited Paris more frequently than he did Moscow), or if the Russian state weakens to such an extent that whoever rules Chechnya becomes free to go rogue? History and common sense suggest “no,” which invalidates the whole idea that there is some kind of civilizational “special relationship” between Russia and Islam.

There is a relationship there, alright. Ultimately, all countries, religions, and ideological factions have some sort of relationship to each other. Russia and Judaism also have a relationship, though I don’t suspect someone who uses the term “AngloZionist” half a dozen times in each of his articles is going to wax poetically on it anytime soon. To take an even more extreme example, there are a few women in the West who seriously argue that wearing the niqab is an expression of feminism; if you say so, dear, but I doubt many Muslims would agree with you.

In short, just the mere existence of some loosely defined civilizational “relationship” or “affinity” does not necessarily mean that it is deep, positive, or sustainable.

To illustrate why its worth taking the time to “fisk” that article in some detail:

This event, however, has a significance which much exceeds just the local lack of space. The truth is that most Muslims who prayed in the Moscow city center wanted more than just a bigger building – they wanted an official acknowledgement of their existence and of their importance for Russia.

They have had this since 1904.

Historically, Russia has been the product of three main factors: Russians take most of their ethnic stock from the ancient Slavic people who lived in what is today called the Ukraine, their religion and worldview from the Orthodox Christianity inherited from the Eastern Roman Empire (mistakenly called “Byzantium” in the West), and their statehood from the Tatar occupation which unified various small principalities into one unified state.

This brings to mind a witticism I heard once:

Russian liberals, “Russophobes,” and svidomy Ukrainian nationalists: The Muscovite Russian state is an outgrowth of Tatar despotism… and it’s awful!

Russian “Eurasianists” and “Russophiles”: The Muscovite Russian state is an outgrowth of Tatar despotism… and it’s great!

Unfortunately, the actual theory on which both positions are based has nothing to do with reality. Russian literary tradition traces its origins exclusively to Rus, or the “Russian Land” (otherwise known as “Kievan Rus,” a literary term that appeared much later and has been ideologically hijacked by Ukrainian nationalists). The centralizing impulse, which reached an apogee in Muscovy, had antecedents as early as the 12th century, when “democratic” veches were replaced by strong princely rule across the Russian principalities. The Golden Horde’s system of kurultays, involving the “elections” of new khans – typically with many different candidates, with no guarantee that all of them would accept the decision – differed cardinally from the centralizing processes ongoing across contemporaneous Rus’, and which happened to be occuring most intensively in the principality, Vladimir-Suzdal’, that would later became Muscovy.

Still, less than 20 years after two wars in the Balkans (Bosnia, Kosovo) and two wars inside Russia (both in Chechnia) very few had predicted that Muslim Chechens would fight in defense of Orthodox Christians in the Donbass, while Putin would inaugurate the biggest mosque in Europe just a mile away from the Kremlin. The reality, of course, is that these wars did not pitch Russia against Islam, but Russia against a very specific form of Saudi-backed Wahabi Islam which, itself, was organized and controlled by the AngloZionist Empire.

Islamic radicalism remains a big problem in the Balkans, most recently in Macedonia. And Chechnya is mostly kept loyal through cash infusions (not that I’m a “Stop Feeding the Caucasus” type: I acknowledge its the least worst of all possible policy options).

Note that even while Chechens did fight in Donbass (they have since withdrawn), there are at least just as many of them fighting for the Ukrainian junta – so much so that even the New York Time has acknowledged their presence in a full feature article. And this is to say nothing of the hundreds of Chechens fighting for the Islamic State, where they have acquired an impressive reputation for cruelty and fanaticism even by ISIS standards.

In contrast, relations between Orthodox Christians and Muslims have by and large been peaceful. The notable exception to this was the Ottoman Empire which has always viciously persecuted Orthodox Christianity, but that kind of behavior was always an Ottoman characteristic, not a Muslim one.

So far as “exceptions” go that is a pretty damn big one. Like, a cardinal one.

Nor have relations with Shi’ites always been quiescent. Russian diplomats to Persia were butchered by a mob in 1829, the victims including the brilliant Russian writer Alexander Griboyedov. Soviet diplomats to Lebanon were the victims of Hezbollah assassinations in the 1980s.

Sure, in gross terms Muslims have killed much fewer Russians than did Western Christian Europeans, but this was merely a function of distance and technological competency.

In fact, the two religions share a lot of common views, especially on daily social issues. It is not a coincidence that the same city which now will host the biggest mosque in Europe also banned “gay pride” parades for the next 100 years.

Russians are basically 1970s-era Americans on LGBT issues. They don’t want gay marriage, homo parades, or any other cultural Marxist crap from the West. But otherwise they just don’t care all that much.

In most Muslim countries, pluralities or outright majorities support the death penalty for homosexuals, as well as for apostasy and adultery.

I would not describe that as “a lot of common views.”

In Chechnia most Muslims are Sunni, Iranians and Hezbollah are Shia while the regime in Syria is Alawi. As for the country closest to Russia – Kazakhstan – most of its people are Sunni Muslims. Russia is even exploring, albeit with difficulty, the possibilities of forging closer contacts with Turkey, even though the Ottomans used be the second worst enemy of Orthodox Christianity (after the Papacy, of course).

This is inane. The theological and doctrinal differences between Catholicism and Orthodoxy are minor, an order of magnitude less even than those between Catholicism and Protestantism. The differences between Christianity and Islam are fundamental and unbridgeable.

Kazakhstan’s friendliness towards Russia has zilch to with Islam and is, in any case, overstated. Commerce-focused neutrality predominates there, and Russian nationalism is repressed.

While in the West most political leaders chose to deny that the West’s current conflict is one pitting the “West” against “Islam”, the western propaganda machine (Hollywood, TV, print media, etc.) is clearly demonizing Islam and Muslims in general.

bin-laden-really

Orlly.

Of course when Islamists are bombing your cities every other year and more British Muslims fight for the Islamic State than the British Army it’s hard to maintain a 100% positive outlook. Though that doesn’t prevent them from trying.

Nonetheless, the West has (all else equal) been far more friendly to Islamism than to secular Arab nationalism or even Arab Communists.

French racists chose to blame it all on “Islam” completely overlooking that Christian Romanians and Gypsies also could not integrate the French society either.

Dem wacists. Christian RomaNIANS integrate in France just fine. Gypsies don’t integrate anywhere because of their low IQs and propensity towards petty criminality.

In fact, the rules of modesty are almost the same ones in Islam and Orthodox Christianity, as is the preference for men to have beards. What you will never see amongst Orthodox Christians are the Niqabs or Burkas, not even for monastics. But that is not a practice amongst Russian Muslims either.

Yes, traditional Russian society (i.e. in decline for 100 years, and now close to non-existent) isn’t all that cardinally different from traditional Muslim society.

The key problem is one of divergence under modernity. The Saker can fume against Saudi and AngloZionist sponsored Wahhabis all he wants. I even agree with most of it. But Wahhabi infiltration and its success is an actually existing reality and elegant proclamations of Russian-Muslim brotherhood are not going to make it go away.

We know from the Balkans that even Slavic groups who convert to Islam effectively become lost to the wider Slavic Christian civilization. They start claiming themselves to be their own archaic ethnic groups, or to be Turks who had merely become linguistically Slavicized. In the absence of a strong, self-confident state to manage them, their loyalties naturally drift towards Istanbul or Riyadh.

The inauguration of the new Cathedral Mosque in Moscow is a symbol of a much larger and deeper phenomenon – the slow but steady rapprochement between the Orthodox and the Islamic world, it is the expression of a Russian civilizational choice which has finally given up any illusion about being part of the “West” and which is turning south (Middle-East), east (Siberia and China) and north (Siberia and the Arctic) and, in doing so, returning to the true historical roots of what I call the “Russian civilizational realm” – those parts of the Eurasian continent which were affected and influenced by the Russian culture and people.

I think this really strikes to the root of what drives such commentaries: The fear of being alone.

Disguised in the language of geopolitics, at least amongst more sophisticated commentators, very bizarre ideas about who should be “friends” and who should be “enemies” are advanced across the political spectrum. Dugin wants to ally with Iran, Germany, and Japan – the latter two somehow enticed in by giving them back Kaliningrad and the Kurils – against the US and its Atlantic allies, and to break up China (how? why?). The Russian nationalist Egor Prosvirnin, for all his dislike of Duginists, wants to reconcile with Europe because that is where Russia truly belongs (even if that’s the case, and it’s not because “Europe” is just a geographical expression, – how?), break off support to Armenia so as to gain Azerbaijan’s favor (why would they return it?), and – yes – break up China as well (some very vague and bizarre allusions to Manchurian separatists). I suspect The Saker is following similar lines, proposing absolute alliances and civilizational commonalities and contrasting them against eternal, not very well defined enemies like “AngloZionists” and “The Papacy” on the basis of muh feelz over realz.

That will not get him anywhere.

To the extent that Russia has any sort of big, semi-friendly, and actually useful “partner” on the international arena, it is China. It is not outright hostile like most of the West, nor is it parasitic on its money and energies like those friendlier-for-now sorts of Muslims. But even China is very far from being an ally, let along being some kind of pillar of Russian civilization.

The only really solid pillars of Russian civilization are Orthodoxy and nationality, and its only reliable allies are its Army and Navy.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Civilization, Islam, Russian Society, The Saker 
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  1. Yes. Allies are based on common interests, not on feelings. Feelings come from doing stuff together, not the other way around.

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  2. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Great article Anatoly!

    Can you write more about China and Russia, and how you see their relationship will play out going forward?

    What do their people really think of each other? Do you think the partnership is just temporary or will it be the beginning of a much stronger partnership going forward.

    While I do not see China as being a civilizational pillar to Russia, I do think it is interesting how each country complements the other so well. Almost like the two countries are a jigsaw puzzle that fits perfectly when placed next to each other.

    Everything China needs, if it is cut off from the west, Russia can supply and vice versa.

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  3. It is not outright hostile like most of the West, nor is it parasitic on its money and energies like those friendlier-for-now-sorts-of Muslim.

    There are liberals and nationalists who disagree with that and insist that China wants to subordinate Russia and exploit its energies and territories.

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  4. Ultimately ideology has to submit to reality as always.

    And of course, ultimately, both Islam and Orthodox christianity will disappear from the Earth, just like Zeus, Osiris, and Amaterasu disappeard. Doctrinal differences don’t really matter as much as ethnic ones I would say (and there is considerable overlap between the two).

    I would even say which civilization you belong to doesn’t fucking matter one bit.

    The most important thing is increasing your IQ to create bombs, and sophisticated weapons systems in order to defeat the white race. That is the only thing that matters.

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    • Replies: @neutral
    I am curious what kind of world you envisage once all the whites are gone ? There will be billions of Africans that will still continue coming into other lands other than their own, and don't forget the Indians and their billion plus, then there are the East Asians that don't really have that much love for the others either.

    Is everyone going get along happily ?
    , @Erik Sieven
    building bombs is worthless. USA, Russia, and maybe some other countries with nuclear bombs have enough bombing power to destroy the whole world. Still the winners are subsaharan Africans who cannot yet build a bomb (but probably be able to do so soon, when the technology will be sold international with decreasing prizes) but simply have more children.
    , @Mitleser

    And of course, ultimately, both Islam and Orthodox christianity will disappear from the Earth, just like Zeus, Osiris, and Amaterasu disappeard.
     
    They have not disappeared from Earth, only the cults who worshipped them.
    And even that is only mostly true.
    , @Anatoly Karlin

    The most important thing is increasing your IQ to create bombs, and sophisticated weapons systems in order to defeat the white race. That is the only thing that matters.
     
    I am really liking this commentator. Wants to get right down to business instead of whining about muh oppressions!

    *tips fedora*
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  5. @Kamran
    Ultimately ideology has to submit to reality as always.

    And of course, ultimately, both Islam and Orthodox christianity will disappear from the Earth, just like Zeus, Osiris, and Amaterasu disappeard. Doctrinal differences don't really matter as much as ethnic ones I would say (and there is considerable overlap between the two).

    I would even say which civilization you belong to doesn't fucking matter one bit.

    The most important thing is increasing your IQ to create bombs, and sophisticated weapons systems in order to defeat the white race. That is the only thing that matters.

    I am curious what kind of world you envisage once all the whites are gone ? There will be billions of Africans that will still continue coming into other lands other than their own, and don’t forget the Indians and their billion plus, then there are the East Asians that don’t really have that much love for the others either.

    Is everyone going get along happily ?

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  6. I fear that the world is headed toward a period even worse than now of ethnic and religious strife. I hope I am proven wrong.

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  7. @Kamran
    Ultimately ideology has to submit to reality as always.

    And of course, ultimately, both Islam and Orthodox christianity will disappear from the Earth, just like Zeus, Osiris, and Amaterasu disappeard. Doctrinal differences don't really matter as much as ethnic ones I would say (and there is considerable overlap between the two).

    I would even say which civilization you belong to doesn't fucking matter one bit.

    The most important thing is increasing your IQ to create bombs, and sophisticated weapons systems in order to defeat the white race. That is the only thing that matters.

    building bombs is worthless. USA, Russia, and maybe some other countries with nuclear bombs have enough bombing power to destroy the whole world. Still the winners are subsaharan Africans who cannot yet build a bomb (but probably be able to do so soon, when the technology will be sold international with decreasing prizes) but simply have more children.

    Read More
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  8. ‘To the extent that Russia has any sort of big, semi-friendly, and actually useful “partner” on the international arena, it is China.’ – What of India? Russian military supplies to India are quite significant. Supersonic cruise missiles are provided, which in the context of India’s nuclear capability is quite a thing. India has also been sold a very substantial number of T-90s. These weapons are primarily aimed at China and its ally Pakistan, which is mostly a threat because of China fostering their nuclear capability.

    I do not think Russia is well served by thinking that ties with China, or indeed India are cardinally important in the realm of foreign policy. I don’t think wartime alliances between big countries are as big a thing in the nuclear age, since no country will get nuked for another country’s sake. The correct thing to do is to try to be friendly to – and sell to – just about everyone who is willing to reciprocate. If that’s just China, fair enough, but that’s far from the case.

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    • Replies: @Mitleser
    You are talking about war and trade.
    What about everything in between?
    Peace-time partnerships between big countries are essential.
    , @Anonymous
    Ikarnal is prob an Indian national lol.

    India is a lapdog to the west. The kind of trade India has with Russia is mainly transactional and just moves on a chess board.

    Long term, Pakistan is more of a reliable ally. So why would Russia see India as a long term partner?
    , @Anatoly Karlin

    What of India? Russian military supplies to India are quite significant.
     
    India is certainly very good as well. Another billion+ country that has good relations with and a good opinion of Russia. Also unlike with China there is not even the theoretical possibility of clashes over territorial frictions since Russia and India are separated by all of Central Asia.

    But unfortunately at least for now it is nowhere near as useful as China because it does not have the financial reserves to provide investment (China has become Russia's single biggest foreign investor this year) and possibly loans should Russia's fiscal situation become critical (which it shouldn't but still). The Chinese economy is also far more technologically advanced than is India's. Should Western sanctions on Russia tighten a lot, Russia would be able to continue buying a lot of leading edge techs from China.
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  9. @Kamran
    Ultimately ideology has to submit to reality as always.

    And of course, ultimately, both Islam and Orthodox christianity will disappear from the Earth, just like Zeus, Osiris, and Amaterasu disappeard. Doctrinal differences don't really matter as much as ethnic ones I would say (and there is considerable overlap between the two).

    I would even say which civilization you belong to doesn't fucking matter one bit.

    The most important thing is increasing your IQ to create bombs, and sophisticated weapons systems in order to defeat the white race. That is the only thing that matters.

    And of course, ultimately, both Islam and Orthodox christianity will disappear from the Earth, just like Zeus, Osiris, and Amaterasu disappeard.

    They have not disappeared from Earth, only the cults who worshipped them.
    And even that is only mostly true.

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  10. @ilkarnal
    'To the extent that Russia has any sort of big, semi-friendly, and actually useful “partner” on the international arena, it is China.' - What of India? Russian military supplies to India are quite significant. Supersonic cruise missiles are provided, which in the context of India's nuclear capability is quite a thing. India has also been sold a very substantial number of T-90s. These weapons are primarily aimed at China and its ally Pakistan, which is mostly a threat because of China fostering their nuclear capability.

    I do not think Russia is well served by thinking that ties with China, or indeed India are cardinally important in the realm of foreign policy. I don't think wartime alliances between big countries are as big a thing in the nuclear age, since no country will get nuked for another country's sake. The correct thing to do is to try to be friendly to - and sell to - just about everyone who is willing to reciprocate. If that's just China, fair enough, but that's far from the case.

    You are talking about war and trade.
    What about everything in between?
    Peace-time partnerships between big countries are essential.

    Read More
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  11. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @ilkarnal
    'To the extent that Russia has any sort of big, semi-friendly, and actually useful “partner” on the international arena, it is China.' - What of India? Russian military supplies to India are quite significant. Supersonic cruise missiles are provided, which in the context of India's nuclear capability is quite a thing. India has also been sold a very substantial number of T-90s. These weapons are primarily aimed at China and its ally Pakistan, which is mostly a threat because of China fostering their nuclear capability.

    I do not think Russia is well served by thinking that ties with China, or indeed India are cardinally important in the realm of foreign policy. I don't think wartime alliances between big countries are as big a thing in the nuclear age, since no country will get nuked for another country's sake. The correct thing to do is to try to be friendly to - and sell to - just about everyone who is willing to reciprocate. If that's just China, fair enough, but that's far from the case.

    Ikarnal is prob an Indian national lol.

    India is a lapdog to the west. The kind of trade India has with Russia is mainly transactional and just moves on a chess board.

    Long term, Pakistan is more of a reliable ally. So why would Russia see India as a long term partner?

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  12. China will inevitably become an enemy of Russia. At the rate China is growing Russia, Japan and India will have to decide whether to join a coalition against China or FALL UNDER ITS SWAY.The great unknown in all this is what the US will do.

    http://thediplomat.com/2015/03/mearsheimers-war-with-china/
    Mearsheimer ignores that if one does not follow the kind of real politik analysis for which he is famous – that is, an analysis that looks at security rather than at sentiments, beliefs, and loyalties – a rather different conclusion emerges. First, the United States and China both have enormously pressing domestic problems. China’s slowing economic growth and the United States’ slow economic growth make it impossible for either country to – without neglecting these domestic demands – invest many taxpayer dollars in their military. Second, a military confrontation is very likely to be exceedingly costly for both sides. China cannot reasonably expect to war with the United States without suffering serious, lasting damage – at best. Third, the United States did not fare particularly well in four of its last five wars, as Henry Kissinger delicately pointed out, and it has a hard time dealing even with ISIS, which has at most 35,000 fighters and lacks a navy, air force, nuclear weapons, or significant cyber capabilities. Fourth and most importantly, the United States and China share many important shared and complementary interests. These include slowing nuclear proliferation, curbing Islamic extremism, protecting the environment, preventing climate change, and fostering economic growth and stability.

    http://www.nti.org/gsn/article/should-ukraine-have-gotten-rid-its-nukes/
    The East European country actually held the world’s third-largest nuclear arsenal after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. But Kiev in 1994 agreed to transfer all its atomic arms to Russia for elimination, shortly thereafter joined the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty as a non-nuclear nation, and within two years was weapons-free.

    At the time, John Mearsheimer was one of very few who saw it as an unwise move.

    http://mearsheimer.uchicago.edu/pdfs/A0020.pdf It may be remembered that Mearsheimer said Ukraine should keep nuclear weapons so as to prevent Russia trying to conquer it. The Ukrainians preferred to accept Western security guarantees, and they paid the price.

    Mearsheimer was prescient. He will be proven right about China, and who Russia’s future friends will be.

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    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    Didn't Mearsheimer also predict that Germany would be trying to take over Europe again by the 2000s?

    Though come to think of it not that he's wrong LOL just not right quite in the way he imagined it would be.
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  13. Russian literary tradition traces its origins exclusively to Rus, or the “Russian Land” (otherwise known as “Kievan Rus,” a literary term that appeared much later and has been ideologically hijacked by Ukrainian nationalists).

    Russian and Ukrainian pretensions to Rus are equally silly. For most of its unified history the state was a trade enterprise run by Scandinavians who exploited locals Slavs and Finns. Helga/Olga was a typical example: after her husband was killed by Slavs while trying to force them to give him tribute, she massacred their settlement (burning it to the ground). And now Ukrainian and Russian Slavs fight over whether she was a Ukrainian or a Russian. An analogue would be a Mayan Mexican or a Puerto Rican black arguing over Cortes.

    The purely Scandinavian background of Rus rulers lasted for a a very long time. Sviatoslav (aka Sveinald Ingvarsson) was the product of Helga/Olga and Ingvar/Igor. With Málfríðr he had a son Vladimir (aka Valdamarr Sveinaldsson), who married Ragnhild, a Scandinavian girl from Polotsk. Their son Yaroslav the Wise spent a few years living in Swedish exile where he married Swedish princess Ingegerd Olofsdotter. Guess what language they spoke with their kids? Their son Vsevolod (aka Vissivald) ruled until 1093. Rather remarkable that for about 250 years Rus’ Scandinavian rulers maintained Scandinavian “purity.”

    Vsevolod married a Greek princess and thus broke the chain of pure Scandinavian rulers. Vsevolod’s son Vladimir Monomakh was the first non-Scandinavian ruler of Rus. His son Mstslav (who reverted to family tradition by marrying a Swedish princess) was the last ruler of a united Rus; after 1132 the state broke apart into competing principalities de facto.

    The centralizing impulse, which reached an apogee in Muscovy, had antecedents as early as the 12th century, when “democratic” veches were replaced by strong princely rule across the Russian principalities. The Golden Horde’s system of kurultays, involving the “elections” of new khans – typically with many different candidates, with no guarantee that all of them would accept the decision – differed cardinally from the centralizing processes ongoing across contemporaneous Rus’, and which happened to be occuring most intensively in the principality, Vladimir-Suzdal’, that would later became Muscovy.

    Vernadsky, the Eurasianist, noted the following: 15% of 17th century Russian noble families had Tatar or oriental origins* (such as Godunov, Chaadaev, Bulgakov families); Tatar speech was fashionable in 15th century royal court; Russia got its advanced postal network and census system from the Horde (allowing organized conscription, leaving Russia centuries ahead of Europe); military organization was in the Mongol style, etc. So the impact of Mongol rule on the political/ruling class was quite substantial.

    *Note that Asian impact on Russian overall DNA is negligible, so it was a mixed Asian-European ruling class presiding over an overwhelming European (Slavic, Finnic) population

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    • Replies: @5371
    Google has again not served you well.
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  14. FWIW when I lived in Russia it became obvious rather quickly that average Russians have no great love for their Muslims neighbors, something which would prove a rather great stumbling block for a grand alliance between Islam and Orthodoxy.

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  15. @AP

    Russian literary tradition traces its origins exclusively to Rus, or the “Russian Land” (otherwise known as “Kievan Rus,” a literary term that appeared much later and has been ideologically hijacked by Ukrainian nationalists).
     
    Russian and Ukrainian pretensions to Rus are equally silly. For most of its unified history the state was a trade enterprise run by Scandinavians who exploited locals Slavs and Finns. Helga/Olga was a typical example: after her husband was killed by Slavs while trying to force them to give him tribute, she massacred their settlement (burning it to the ground). And now Ukrainian and Russian Slavs fight over whether she was a Ukrainian or a Russian. An analogue would be a Mayan Mexican or a Puerto Rican black arguing over Cortes.

    The purely Scandinavian background of Rus rulers lasted for a a very long time. Sviatoslav (aka Sveinald Ingvarsson) was the product of Helga/Olga and Ingvar/Igor. With Málfríðr he had a son Vladimir (aka Valdamarr Sveinaldsson), who married Ragnhild, a Scandinavian girl from Polotsk. Their son Yaroslav the Wise spent a few years living in Swedish exile where he married Swedish princess Ingegerd Olofsdotter. Guess what language they spoke with their kids? Their son Vsevolod (aka Vissivald) ruled until 1093. Rather remarkable that for about 250 years Rus' Scandinavian rulers maintained Scandinavian "purity."

    Vsevolod married a Greek princess and thus broke the chain of pure Scandinavian rulers. Vsevolod's son Vladimir Monomakh was the first non-Scandinavian ruler of Rus. His son Mstslav (who reverted to family tradition by marrying a Swedish princess) was the last ruler of a united Rus; after 1132 the state broke apart into competing principalities de facto.

    The centralizing impulse, which reached an apogee in Muscovy, had antecedents as early as the 12th century, when “democratic” veches were replaced by strong princely rule across the Russian principalities. The Golden Horde’s system of kurultays, involving the “elections” of new khans – typically with many different candidates, with no guarantee that all of them would accept the decision – differed cardinally from the centralizing processes ongoing across contemporaneous Rus’, and which happened to be occuring most intensively in the principality, Vladimir-Suzdal’, that would later became Muscovy.
     
    Vernadsky, the Eurasianist, noted the following: 15% of 17th century Russian noble families had Tatar or oriental origins* (such as Godunov, Chaadaev, Bulgakov families); Tatar speech was fashionable in 15th century royal court; Russia got its advanced postal network and census system from the Horde (allowing organized conscription, leaving Russia centuries ahead of Europe); military organization was in the Mongol style, etc. So the impact of Mongol rule on the political/ruling class was quite substantial.

    *Note that Asian impact on Russian overall DNA is negligible, so it was a mixed Asian-European ruling class presiding over an overwhelming European (Slavic, Finnic) population

    Google has again not served you well.

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  16. Islamic radicalism remains a big problem in the Balkans, most recently in Macedonia.

    If it’s the KLA you’re referring to here, Anatoly, I think that would definitely fall into Saker’s category of a terrorist group “organized and controlled by the AngloZionist Empire.”

    The theological and doctrinal differences between Catholicism and Orthodoxy are minor, an order of magnitude less even than those between Catholicism and Protestantism. The differences between Christianity and Islam are fundamental and unbridgeable.

    That’s exactly how I see it too. But Saker just can’t seem to let the Crusader sacking of Constantinople go–even though the Turks did a lot a worse a few centuries later. Nevertheless, for Saker the Vatican will always be enemy #1. I just see this as one of his inherent limitations. Saker himself is an Orthodox reactionary, so for him, life is 50% or more about religion. I think that’s why he tends to overstate its importance in some of his analyses.

    But, Anatoly, let me ask you something: How widespread are such attitudes in modern Russia toward the Roman Catholic Church? Is Saker typical? Or is he–as I suspect–an outlier on this issue?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin

    How widespread are such attitudes in modern Russia toward the Roman Catholic Church? Is Saker typical?
     
    Not typical. Though the vast majority of Russians are nominally Orthodox, they are either Lukashenko-like atheist-but-Orthodox-atheist or hew to a very loose and informal interpretation of it that limits itself to having a small icon in their car and visiting the Church once a year. Religion has little bearing on their political/foreign policy attitudes.

    There are few Russians who are deeply Orthodox. I am not knowledgeable on these issues in any great detail but my cursory impression is that Catholic and R. Orthodox positions on social issues align the great majority of the time. The Vatican also (again in my impression) attempts to steer clear of overtly political issues issues when dealing with the Orthodox, which differentiates it from the Western world at large, both secular and Protestant. The main stumbling block it appears to me is the Catholic insistence on is taking the "primus inter pares" principle and running amok with it. But this is literally a millennial issue.
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  17. Czar had to sell the Alaska, when will Putin sell Far East to Chinese?

    By the way, can you understand me? I am writing Russian — leaving out all the definite articles and sticking one in where it does not belong — but am not sure that it’s correct?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mitleser
    The sale of Alaska was not forced at all.
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  18. @Kamran
    Ultimately ideology has to submit to reality as always.

    And of course, ultimately, both Islam and Orthodox christianity will disappear from the Earth, just like Zeus, Osiris, and Amaterasu disappeard. Doctrinal differences don't really matter as much as ethnic ones I would say (and there is considerable overlap between the two).

    I would even say which civilization you belong to doesn't fucking matter one bit.

    The most important thing is increasing your IQ to create bombs, and sophisticated weapons systems in order to defeat the white race. That is the only thing that matters.

    The most important thing is increasing your IQ to create bombs, and sophisticated weapons systems in order to defeat the white race. That is the only thing that matters.

    I am really liking this commentator. Wants to get right down to business instead of whining about muh oppressions!

    *tips fedora*

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  19. I shall assume that everyone else got the reference in your closing sentence but simply didn’t want to comment on it. I appreciated the reference!

    Read More
    • Replies: @SFG
    'A language is a dialect with an army and a navy'?

    True, and both speak to an eternal truth--a nation is nothing without force of arms.

    Still, it's not technically correct as written--American and British English are not considered separate languages, but both the USA and UK have an army and a navy--quite impressive ones, in fact.
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  20. @ilkarnal
    'To the extent that Russia has any sort of big, semi-friendly, and actually useful “partner” on the international arena, it is China.' - What of India? Russian military supplies to India are quite significant. Supersonic cruise missiles are provided, which in the context of India's nuclear capability is quite a thing. India has also been sold a very substantial number of T-90s. These weapons are primarily aimed at China and its ally Pakistan, which is mostly a threat because of China fostering their nuclear capability.

    I do not think Russia is well served by thinking that ties with China, or indeed India are cardinally important in the realm of foreign policy. I don't think wartime alliances between big countries are as big a thing in the nuclear age, since no country will get nuked for another country's sake. The correct thing to do is to try to be friendly to - and sell to - just about everyone who is willing to reciprocate. If that's just China, fair enough, but that's far from the case.

    What of India? Russian military supplies to India are quite significant.

    India is certainly very good as well. Another billion+ country that has good relations with and a good opinion of Russia. Also unlike with China there is not even the theoretical possibility of clashes over territorial frictions since Russia and India are separated by all of Central Asia.

    But unfortunately at least for now it is nowhere near as useful as China because it does not have the financial reserves to provide investment (China has become Russia’s single biggest foreign investor this year) and possibly loans should Russia’s fiscal situation become critical (which it shouldn’t but still). The Chinese economy is also far more technologically advanced than is India’s. Should Western sanctions on Russia tighten a lot, Russia would be able to continue buying a lot of leading edge techs from China.

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  21. @Sean
    China will inevitably become an enemy of Russia. At the rate China is growing Russia, Japan and India will have to decide whether to join a coalition against China or FALL UNDER ITS SWAY.The great unknown in all this is what the US will do.

    http://thediplomat.com/2015/03/mearsheimers-war-with-china/
    Mearsheimer ignores that if one does not follow the kind of real politik analysis for which he is famous – that is, an analysis that looks at security rather than at sentiments, beliefs, and loyalties – a rather different conclusion emerges. First, the United States and China both have enormously pressing domestic problems. China’s slowing economic growth and the United States’ slow economic growth make it impossible for either country to – without neglecting these domestic demands – invest many taxpayer dollars in their military. Second, a military confrontation is very likely to be exceedingly costly for both sides. China cannot reasonably expect to war with the United States without suffering serious, lasting damage – at best. Third, the United States did not fare particularly well in four of its last five wars, as Henry Kissinger delicately pointed out, and it has a hard time dealing even with ISIS, which has at most 35,000 fighters and lacks a navy, air force, nuclear weapons, or significant cyber capabilities. Fourth and most importantly, the United States and China share many important shared and complementary interests. These include slowing nuclear proliferation, curbing Islamic extremism, protecting the environment, preventing climate change, and fostering economic growth and stability.
     

    http://www.nti.org/gsn/article/should-ukraine-have-gotten-rid-its-nukes/
    The East European country actually held the world's third-largest nuclear arsenal after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. But Kiev in 1994 agreed to transfer all its atomic arms to Russia for elimination, shortly thereafter joined the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty as a non-nuclear nation, and within two years was weapons-free.

    At the time, John Mearsheimer was one of very few who saw it as an unwise move.

     

    http://mearsheimer.uchicago.edu/pdfs/A0020.pdf It may be remembered that Mearsheimer said Ukraine should keep nuclear weapons so as to prevent Russia trying to conquer it. The Ukrainians preferred to accept Western security guarantees, and they paid the price.

    Mearsheimer was prescient. He will be proven right about China, and who Russia's future friends will be.

    Didn’t Mearsheimer also predict that Germany would be trying to take over Europe again by the 2000s?

    Though come to think of it not that he’s wrong LOL just not right quite in the way he imagined it would be.

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    • Replies: @Sean
    Mearsheimer was proved wrong over Ukraine in the same way he was proved right over Germany. Mearsheimer predicted countries like Ukraine and Poland would do something in their national interest. Ukraine chose a different path, one that ended in catastrophe at the hands of its overbearing neighbour. Poland initially was worried about Germany claiming back lost territory, and in effect Poland capitulated to Germany.

    http://www.socialaffairsunit.org.uk/blog/archives/001975.php
    Choosing Mr Rompuy over the much-discussed and incomparably more dynamic Tony Blair, and Ms Ashton over Peter Mandelson, sends an unmistakable signal that it is business as usual at the European Union. For all his federalist enthusiasms Mr van Rompuy, in particular, is unlikely to push forward the vital military reforms needed to make Europe a factor to be reckoned with globally. As Belgian prime minister he cut the military budget to a record low: the Russians are hardly quaking in their boots.

    Europe has made the choice which the President of the Commission, Mr Barroso, demanded in September, and it has chosen irrelevance. Valery Giscard d'Estaing, the former French President, beheld the results and bewailed the "limited ambition for Europe". It was a far cry from the heady days when he had launched the European constitutional convention and told the putative founding fathers that they would be immortalised by "statues of you on horseback in the village you all come from".

    This is a very German outcome. The decisive voice in the appointment was that of the Chancellor, Angela Merkel. Her opposition to Mr Blair served to swing the French President, Mr Sarkozy, away from Tony Blair when his candidature was beginning to seem unstoppable. The appointment of Mr van Rompuy also epitomises a huge and underappreciated shift in German attitudes towards the European project and their conception of security. Since the creation of the Federal Republic in 1949, Bonn and then Berlin had sought to embed German security in an irreversible process of European political integration on the one side, and the maintenance and later expansion of NATO on the other.

    All that changed with the inclusion of Poland in both organisations. With a substantial buffer to the east, Germany reckons itself much less in need of the American security umbrella and the support of allies. In short, far from demanding a world role since the fall of the wall as many had feared - the Federal Republic has retreated into a geopolitical cocoon. She is so swaddled by friendly neighbours that future conflicts appear to be matters of choice, not desperate struggles for survival.
     

    For the first time in history Germany is cocooned within friendly states. No reason to pursue politics by other means, it has won. Like the French imposition of Senegalese and north Africans on post WW2 Rhineland (and parts of Bavaria) Germany humiliates its humbled neighbours. The Germans have a habit of coming up with ways to wipe the floor with the rest of Europe, and more. This is soft, but it is power.
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  22. @Seamus Padraig

    Islamic radicalism remains a big problem in the Balkans, most recently in Macedonia.
     
    If it's the KLA you're referring to here, Anatoly, I think that would definitely fall into Saker's category of a terrorist group "organized and controlled by the AngloZionist Empire."

    The theological and doctrinal differences between Catholicism and Orthodoxy are minor, an order of magnitude less even than those between Catholicism and Protestantism. The differences between Christianity and Islam are fundamental and unbridgeable.
     
    That's exactly how I see it too. But Saker just can't seem to let the Crusader sacking of Constantinople go--even though the Turks did a lot a worse a few centuries later. Nevertheless, for Saker the Vatican will always be enemy #1. I just see this as one of his inherent limitations. Saker himself is an Orthodox reactionary, so for him, life is 50% or more about religion. I think that's why he tends to overstate its importance in some of his analyses.

    But, Anatoly, let me ask you something: How widespread are such attitudes in modern Russia toward the Roman Catholic Church? Is Saker typical? Or is he--as I suspect--an outlier on this issue?

    How widespread are such attitudes in modern Russia toward the Roman Catholic Church? Is Saker typical?

    Not typical. Though the vast majority of Russians are nominally Orthodox, they are either Lukashenko-like atheist-but-Orthodox-atheist or hew to a very loose and informal interpretation of it that limits itself to having a small icon in their car and visiting the Church once a year. Religion has little bearing on their political/foreign policy attitudes.

    There are few Russians who are deeply Orthodox. I am not knowledgeable on these issues in any great detail but my cursory impression is that Catholic and R. Orthodox positions on social issues align the great majority of the time. The Vatican also (again in my impression) attempts to steer clear of overtly political issues issues when dealing with the Orthodox, which differentiates it from the Western world at large, both secular and Protestant. The main stumbling block it appears to me is the Catholic insistence on is taking the “primus inter pares” principle and running amok with it. But this is literally a millennial issue.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AP
    Is the Saker Russian? I suspect he is a Serb. That would explain his anti-Catholic fixation, his vicarious thrills at Russian successes vs. the West and how he seemingly understands Russia but then writes bizarre stuff like his Islam article.
    , @Seamus Padraig
    Thanks for your reply, Anatoly. That's about what I was thinking. I have never been to Russia, but pretty much all of the Russian émigrés I have dealt with are secular or atheist--that goes for both the Christians and the Jews. I guess Saker's worldview is a function of his White/Czarist heritage.
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  23. @Stubborn in Germany
    Czar had to sell the Alaska, when will Putin sell Far East to Chinese?

    By the way, can you understand me? I am writing Russian -- leaving out all the definite articles and sticking one in where it does not belong -- but am not sure that it's correct?

    The sale of Alaska was not forced at all.

    Read More
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  24. and their statehood from the Tatar occupation which unified various small principalities into one unified state.

    This isn’t true. The Tatar-Mongol occupation of Russia started in the 1237 – 1240 period. At that time both the Mongols and the Russians (and Italians, French, Germans, English, etc.) understood statehood in the medieval way, pretty much as the property of a ruling family. For example a monarch could divide the state among his sons.

    The modern understanding of statehood developed during the 15th and 16th centuries in France, England, Spain and Russia. Well, there were real states in antiquity, but like a lot of other classical achievements they died during the Dark Ages and had to be revived later.

    Ivan III created the centralized Russian state in the late 15th century. Why did such a state arise in several European countries at the same time? Developments in artillery might have had somethig to do with it. Petty feudal lords couldn’t hide in their castles and behind their armor anymore. General civilizational progress could have had something to do with it – a bureaucratic state is impossible without a lot of literate people. The Roman, Byzantine and Chinese Empires were real states before the development of firearms, but they had large literate populations.

    Anyway, the Tatars couldn’t have bequeathed the centralized, bureaucratic state to Russia because they never created one themselves. In fact they split up into lots of small khanates in the typical medieval manner. And these khanates were picked off one-by-one by the unified Russian state which was largely created by Ivan III and his grandson Ivan IV.

    The idea that the Tatars created the Russian state comes from old cross-border taunting. “You’re half-savages, ha, ha, ha.” It has nothing to do with the historical record. There was a general European trend towards absolutism in the 15th and 16th centuries. Russia was a part of it. The Tatars missed it completely. And this is why they were ultimately conquered by Russia.

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  25. To the extent that Russia has any sort of big, semi-friendly, and actually useful “partner” on the international arena, it is China.

    I agree. If the neocons weren’t obsessed with Russia, they’d be spending more resources on fighting China. If the neocons ever “get” Russia in the way that they “got” it in the Yeltsin years and in the way that they “got” the Ukraine through the Maidan, the Chinese will be their next big target. The CCP surely understands this. So it’s in their self-interest to support Russia in its conflict with the West.

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  26. Russian and Ukrainian pretensions to Rus are equally silly.

    What’s silly is your claim that nationalism was born in the 19th century. You’re not the only nationalist I’ve known who denied being a nationalist. Many do. But you’re the only one that I’ve known who has claimed that nationalism is a recent invention. This idea is usually promoted by lefty universalists instead.

    First, nationalism really is as old as history. Second, even the nationalists who don’t know much history usually claim that it’s ancient because that makes their movement sound more important, more elemental. Your current, particular nationalism was born recently. But that’s rare.

    Sviatoslav (aka Sveinald Ingvarsson)

    Sviatoslav’s contemporary Constantine Porphyrogenitos called him “Σφενδοσθλάβος” (Sfendosthlavos) in his book On Administering the Empire. The Byzantine Emperor could not have cared the slightest bit about either Scandinavian or Slavic bragging rights. And neither do I. Constantine must have used a Greek mangling of “Sviatoslav” because that’s how the man was generally known in his time.

    With Málfríðr he had a son Vladimir (aka Valdamarr Sveinaldsson)

    You’ve made this claim before. It’s not supported by the historical record. All we know about Vladimir’s mother is contained in this sentence from the Primary Chronicle:

    “Володимер был от Малуши, ключницы Ольгиной, та же была сестра Добрыне; отец же им был Малък Любечанин”.

    “Vladimir was from Malusha [Slavic name], the household servant of Olga. She was a sister of Dobrynya [Slavic name]. Their father was Malk [Slavic name] from Lyubech.”

    There is a separate record of someone named Malfried dying in 1000 AD and some have jumped on that as “evidence” that Malusha (Slavic name) was really Malfried (Germanic name), but that’s flimsy.

    And more importantly, why would the women of a tiny military elite be employed as household servants? Did the British employ female British servants in India? What do you think is the point of conquest? With this enormous land teeming with potential servants and concubines, they were going to bring one from Sweden? The mind boggles.

    When these kinds of military elites married their own women, it was strictly for dynastic purposes. If she was the daughter of some important chieftain back in Scandinavia whose support you needed in future military campaigns, it made sense. Making your own women do menial work is the opposite of what conquest is for.

    “Guess what language they spoke with their kids?”

    Probably the one in which they named most of them.

    In summary, the Rus elite went native earlier than you claim it did. Ironically, the Maidan elite shows no signs of wanting to go native. How many members of the Ukrainian government are Ukrainian now?

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    • Disagree: Glossy
    • Replies: @Glossy
    OK, I found the Greek text of On Administering the Empire.

    Second line of chapter 9. I think he's talking about Nemogardas (probably Novgorod) where Sphendosthlavos, the son of Ingor, the ruler of Rosia, lives. This was written during their lifetimes.
    , @AP

    Russian and Ukrainian pretensions to Rus are equally silly.

    What’s silly is your claim that nationalism was born in the 19th century. You’re not the only nationalist I’ve known who denied being a nationalist. Many do.
     

    You have no evidence that I am any sort of "nationalist." I suspect you will deny that you are a Russian nationalist?

    First, nationalism really is as old as history.
     
    You are placing modern concepts into the past. You confuse "nationalism" with recognition that some people are different from one's own people (speak a different language, worship different gods) and preference for one's own clan or people. So sure, Romans saw Germanic tribes as barbarian people inferior to themselves, but they were not Roman nationalists.

    This idea is usually promoted by lefty universalists instead.
     
    Reactionary historian John Lukacs is hardly a leftist, and I pretty much accept his views about nationalism.

    Sviatoslav (aka Sveinald Ingvarsson)

    Sviatoslav’s contemporary Constantine Porphyrogenitos called him “Σφενδοσθλάβος” (Sfendosthlavos) in his book On Administering the Empire.
     

    And? He, the child of Scandinavian parents, had a Scandinavian name and a Slavic counterpart.

    About Málfríðr:

    Little is known about her, but according to Alexi Shakhmatov she was the daughter of Scandanavian warlord. The theory that she was a Slav seems to pushed by Ukrainian and Russian nationalists and is not widely accepted.


    And more importantly, why would the women of a tiny military elite be employed as household servants? Did the British employ female British servants in India?
     
    If she served the queen in her household she may not have been a commoner. If her father was prominant such as a warlord she may have been a lady-in-waiting type.

    With this enormous land teeming with potential servants and concubines, they were going to bring one from Sweden?
     
    A household servant might come from the homeland. They also employed a Varangian to tutor their son Sviatoslav.

    “Guess what language they spoke with their kids?”

    Probably the one in which they named most of them.
     

    So in your opinion a marriage consisting of a guy with two Scandinavian parents and a princess from Sweden, was Rus-speaking? This was Yaroslav (Jarizleifr) who ruled Kiev until 1054. I've known American-born or raised Russians and Ukrainians who have married people from the homeland; they don't speak English at home, even if they name their kids Jennifer (Zhenya).

    In summary, the Rus elite went native earlier than you claim it did.
     
    You claim this, but your claim isn't supported by the facts. You've got a pure Scandinavian bloodline until the half-Scandinavian, half-Greek Vladimir Monomakh , who ruled 1113-1125 - and then he married a Swedish princess. They are supported by a steady stream of Varangians coming in from the historical homeland. And no Slavs here, the murky origins of "Malusha" is the only hope on that score.

    But the myth of these people having been Slavicised is very dear to Ukrainian and Russian nationalists who want to stretch their nations as far back as possible.


    Ironically, the Maidan elite shows no signs of wanting to go native. How many members of the Ukrainian government are Ukrainian now?
     
    Ukraine's cabinet of ministers:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Government_of_Ukraine#Cabinet

    Out of 21 people, one is a Georgian, one is a Lithuanian married to a Ukrainian woman and living in Ukraine since 2008, and one is an Armenian from Baku who came to Ukriane in 1966 when he was 2 years old. Oh - and the finance minister is a nationalistic diaspora Ukrainian from the USA.

    Want to compare to the previous government? Ethnic Russian-Belarussian president born in Ukraine; Russian-Estonian PM from Kaluga, Russia who came to Ukraine in 1984 when he was about 40 years old; ethnic Russian Defense Minister from Krasnodar, Russia who moved to Ukraine as a 22 year old after finishing military college

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  27. @Hunsdon
    I shall assume that everyone else got the reference in your closing sentence but simply didn't want to comment on it. I appreciated the reference!

    ‘A language is a dialect with an army and a navy’?

    True, and both speak to an eternal truth–a nation is nothing without force of arms.

    Still, it’s not technically correct as written–American and British English are not considered separate languages, but both the USA and UK have an army and a navy–quite impressive ones, in fact.

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  28. @Glossy
    Russian and Ukrainian pretensions to Rus are equally silly.

    What's silly is your claim that nationalism was born in the 19th century. You're not the only nationalist I've known who denied being a nationalist. Many do. But you're the only one that I've known who has claimed that nationalism is a recent invention. This idea is usually promoted by lefty universalists instead.

    First, nationalism really is as old as history. Second, even the nationalists who don't know much history usually claim that it's ancient because that makes their movement sound more important, more elemental. Your current, particular nationalism was born recently. But that's rare.

    Sviatoslav (aka Sveinald Ingvarsson)

    Sviatoslav's contemporary Constantine Porphyrogenitos called him "Σφενδοσθλάβος" (Sfendosthlavos) in his book On Administering the Empire. The Byzantine Emperor could not have cared the slightest bit about either Scandinavian or Slavic bragging rights. And neither do I. Constantine must have used a Greek mangling of "Sviatoslav" because that's how the man was generally known in his time.

    With Málfríðr he had a son Vladimir (aka Valdamarr Sveinaldsson)

    You've made this claim before. It's not supported by the historical record. All we know about Vladimir's mother is contained in this sentence from the Primary Chronicle:

    "Володимер был от Малуши, ключницы Ольгиной, та же была сестра Добрыне; отец же им был Малък Любечанин".

    "Vladimir was from Malusha [Slavic name], the household servant of Olga. She was a sister of Dobrynya [Slavic name]. Their father was Malk [Slavic name] from Lyubech."

    There is a separate record of someone named Malfried dying in 1000 AD and some have jumped on that as "evidence" that Malusha (Slavic name) was really Malfried (Germanic name), but that's flimsy.

    And more importantly, why would the women of a tiny military elite be employed as household servants? Did the British employ female British servants in India? What do you think is the point of conquest? With this enormous land teeming with potential servants and concubines, they were going to bring one from Sweden? The mind boggles.

    When these kinds of military elites married their own women, it was strictly for dynastic purposes. If she was the daughter of some important chieftain back in Scandinavia whose support you needed in future military campaigns, it made sense. Making your own women do menial work is the opposite of what conquest is for.

    "Guess what language they spoke with their kids?"

    Probably the one in which they named most of them.

    In summary, the Rus elite went native earlier than you claim it did. Ironically, the Maidan elite shows no signs of wanting to go native. How many members of the Ukrainian government are Ukrainian now?

    OK, I found the Greek text of On Administering the Empire.

    Second line of chapter 9. I think he’s talking about Nemogardas (probably Novgorod) where Sphendosthlavos, the son of Ingor, the ruler of Rosia, lives. This was written during their lifetimes.

    Read More
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  29. @Anatoly Karlin

    How widespread are such attitudes in modern Russia toward the Roman Catholic Church? Is Saker typical?
     
    Not typical. Though the vast majority of Russians are nominally Orthodox, they are either Lukashenko-like atheist-but-Orthodox-atheist or hew to a very loose and informal interpretation of it that limits itself to having a small icon in their car and visiting the Church once a year. Religion has little bearing on their political/foreign policy attitudes.

    There are few Russians who are deeply Orthodox. I am not knowledgeable on these issues in any great detail but my cursory impression is that Catholic and R. Orthodox positions on social issues align the great majority of the time. The Vatican also (again in my impression) attempts to steer clear of overtly political issues issues when dealing with the Orthodox, which differentiates it from the Western world at large, both secular and Protestant. The main stumbling block it appears to me is the Catholic insistence on is taking the "primus inter pares" principle and running amok with it. But this is literally a millennial issue.

    Is the Saker Russian? I suspect he is a Serb. That would explain his anti-Catholic fixation, his vicarious thrills at Russian successes vs. the West and how he seemingly understands Russia but then writes bizarre stuff like his Islam article.

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    • Replies: @Matra
    So Serbs have an anti-Catholic fixation but are favourably disposed towards Muslims? Virtually zero possibility of you being right about that.
    , @Glossy
    The Saker has said that he's descended from Russiaans who fled to Western Europe after 1917. I think he grew up in France, though I may be misremembering that last part. He certainly knows French.
    , @Mark Eugenikos
    By his own admission, Saker is Russian who was born in Western Europe to Russian White emigrant parents. His only writings related to Serbia have been about the war in Bosnia, which he covered professionally as a NATO analyst. I've also heard Saker's voice in his podcasts, and his accent doesn't sound like any Serb I've ever met.
    , @neutral
    With a name like that he surely is jewish.
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  30. @AP
    Is the Saker Russian? I suspect he is a Serb. That would explain his anti-Catholic fixation, his vicarious thrills at Russian successes vs. the West and how he seemingly understands Russia but then writes bizarre stuff like his Islam article.

    So Serbs have an anti-Catholic fixation but are favourably disposed towards Muslims? Virtually zero possibility of you being right about that.

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    • Agree: Seamus Padraig
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  31. @AP
    Is the Saker Russian? I suspect he is a Serb. That would explain his anti-Catholic fixation, his vicarious thrills at Russian successes vs. the West and how he seemingly understands Russia but then writes bizarre stuff like his Islam article.

    The Saker has said that he’s descended from Russiaans who fled to Western Europe after 1917. I think he grew up in France, though I may be misremembering that last part. He certainly knows French.

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    • Replies: @AP
    Thanks!
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  32. @AP
    Is the Saker Russian? I suspect he is a Serb. That would explain his anti-Catholic fixation, his vicarious thrills at Russian successes vs. the West and how he seemingly understands Russia but then writes bizarre stuff like his Islam article.

    By his own admission, Saker is Russian who was born in Western Europe to Russian White emigrant parents. His only writings related to Serbia have been about the war in Bosnia, which he covered professionally as a NATO analyst. I’ve also heard Saker’s voice in his podcasts, and his accent doesn’t sound like any Serb I’ve ever met.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AP
    Thanks. I haven't followed him terribly closely.
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  33. @Glossy
    Russian and Ukrainian pretensions to Rus are equally silly.

    What's silly is your claim that nationalism was born in the 19th century. You're not the only nationalist I've known who denied being a nationalist. Many do. But you're the only one that I've known who has claimed that nationalism is a recent invention. This idea is usually promoted by lefty universalists instead.

    First, nationalism really is as old as history. Second, even the nationalists who don't know much history usually claim that it's ancient because that makes their movement sound more important, more elemental. Your current, particular nationalism was born recently. But that's rare.

    Sviatoslav (aka Sveinald Ingvarsson)

    Sviatoslav's contemporary Constantine Porphyrogenitos called him "Σφενδοσθλάβος" (Sfendosthlavos) in his book On Administering the Empire. The Byzantine Emperor could not have cared the slightest bit about either Scandinavian or Slavic bragging rights. And neither do I. Constantine must have used a Greek mangling of "Sviatoslav" because that's how the man was generally known in his time.

    With Málfríðr he had a son Vladimir (aka Valdamarr Sveinaldsson)

    You've made this claim before. It's not supported by the historical record. All we know about Vladimir's mother is contained in this sentence from the Primary Chronicle:

    "Володимер был от Малуши, ключницы Ольгиной, та же была сестра Добрыне; отец же им был Малък Любечанин".

    "Vladimir was from Malusha [Slavic name], the household servant of Olga. She was a sister of Dobrynya [Slavic name]. Their father was Malk [Slavic name] from Lyubech."

    There is a separate record of someone named Malfried dying in 1000 AD and some have jumped on that as "evidence" that Malusha (Slavic name) was really Malfried (Germanic name), but that's flimsy.

    And more importantly, why would the women of a tiny military elite be employed as household servants? Did the British employ female British servants in India? What do you think is the point of conquest? With this enormous land teeming with potential servants and concubines, they were going to bring one from Sweden? The mind boggles.

    When these kinds of military elites married their own women, it was strictly for dynastic purposes. If she was the daughter of some important chieftain back in Scandinavia whose support you needed in future military campaigns, it made sense. Making your own women do menial work is the opposite of what conquest is for.

    "Guess what language they spoke with their kids?"

    Probably the one in which they named most of them.

    In summary, the Rus elite went native earlier than you claim it did. Ironically, the Maidan elite shows no signs of wanting to go native. How many members of the Ukrainian government are Ukrainian now?

    Russian and Ukrainian pretensions to Rus are equally silly.

    What’s silly is your claim that nationalism was born in the 19th century. You’re not the only nationalist I’ve known who denied being a nationalist. Many do.

    You have no evidence that I am any sort of “nationalist.” I suspect you will deny that you are a Russian nationalist?

    First, nationalism really is as old as history.

    You are placing modern concepts into the past. You confuse “nationalism” with recognition that some people are different from one’s own people (speak a different language, worship different gods) and preference for one’s own clan or people. So sure, Romans saw Germanic tribes as barbarian people inferior to themselves, but they were not Roman nationalists.

    This idea is usually promoted by lefty universalists instead.

    Reactionary historian John Lukacs is hardly a leftist, and I pretty much accept his views about nationalism.

    Sviatoslav (aka Sveinald Ingvarsson)

    Sviatoslav’s contemporary Constantine Porphyrogenitos called him “Σφενδοσθλάβος” (Sfendosthlavos) in his book On Administering the Empire.

    And? He, the child of Scandinavian parents, had a Scandinavian name and a Slavic counterpart.

    About Málfríðr:

    Little is known about her, but according to Alexi Shakhmatov she was the daughter of Scandanavian warlord. The theory that she was a Slav seems to pushed by Ukrainian and Russian nationalists and is not widely accepted.

    And more importantly, why would the women of a tiny military elite be employed as household servants? Did the British employ female British servants in India?

    If she served the queen in her household she may not have been a commoner. If her father was prominant such as a warlord she may have been a lady-in-waiting type.

    With this enormous land teeming with potential servants and concubines, they were going to bring one from Sweden?

    A household servant might come from the homeland. They also employed a Varangian to tutor their son Sviatoslav.

    “Guess what language they spoke with their kids?”

    Probably the one in which they named most of them.

    So in your opinion a marriage consisting of a guy with two Scandinavian parents and a princess from Sweden, was Rus-speaking? This was Yaroslav (Jarizleifr) who ruled Kiev until 1054. I’ve known American-born or raised Russians and Ukrainians who have married people from the homeland; they don’t speak English at home, even if they name their kids Jennifer (Zhenya).

    In summary, the Rus elite went native earlier than you claim it did.

    You claim this, but your claim isn’t supported by the facts. You’ve got a pure Scandinavian bloodline until the half-Scandinavian, half-Greek Vladimir Monomakh , who ruled 1113-1125 – and then he married a Swedish princess. They are supported by a steady stream of Varangians coming in from the historical homeland. And no Slavs here, the murky origins of “Malusha” is the only hope on that score.

    But the myth of these people having been Slavicised is very dear to Ukrainian and Russian nationalists who want to stretch their nations as far back as possible.

    Ironically, the Maidan elite shows no signs of wanting to go native. How many members of the Ukrainian government are Ukrainian now?

    Ukraine’s cabinet of ministers:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Government_of_Ukraine#Cabinet

    Out of 21 people, one is a Georgian, one is a Lithuanian married to a Ukrainian woman and living in Ukraine since 2008, and one is an Armenian from Baku who came to Ukriane in 1966 when he was 2 years old. Oh – and the finance minister is a nationalistic diaspora Ukrainian from the USA.

    Want to compare to the previous government? Ethnic Russian-Belarussian president born in Ukraine; Russian-Estonian PM from Kaluga, Russia who came to Ukraine in 1984 when he was about 40 years old; ethnic Russian Defense Minister from Krasnodar, Russia who moved to Ukraine as a 22 year old after finishing military college

    Read More
    • Replies: @Glossy
    I suspect you will deny that you are a Russian nationalist?

    I'm neither Russian nor a nationalist.

    "So sure, Romans saw Germanic tribes as barbarian people inferior to themselves, but they were not Roman nationalists."

    The original Romans saw themselves as a community sharing descent from Romulus, Remus and their followers. It was a simplification of the truth. And obviously, by late Republican times Rome became really, really multiethnic. The typical Germanic tribe saw itself as being descended from a particular founder. The Greeks traced their descent from Hellen, the early Slavs from Lech, Chech and Rus, the Jews traced their descent from Old Testament patriarchs, etc. The story of Noah's flood goes on to describe how all the known peoples of the earth descended from Noah's various grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

    The point here is that since the dawn of history most peoples saw themselves as communities bound by common descent. In politics and war people tended to side with the other members of such a community and against outsiders. There were exceptions. Some Greeks for example fought for Persians against fellow Greeks. And they were shamed by the other Greeks for it. Such behavior was always seen as abnormal.

    And? He, the child of Scandinavian parents, had a Scandinavian name and a Slavic counterpart.

    Constantine VII, a contemporary neutral observer, neither a Slav nor a Scandinavian, called him Sphendosthlavos.

    "The theory that she was a Slav seems to pushed by Ukrainian and Russian nationalists and is not widely accepted."

    This story was "pushed" by the authors of the Primary Chronicle, Повесть временных лет, the earliest Russian history that has come down to us. It was written in the 11th and 12th centuries. The Primary Chronicle admits that Riurik and company were foreigners "from across the sea". It's not a Slavophile document. Actually, its story of the calling of Riurik to Novgorod is shockingly pro-Scandinavian. "Our land is rich, but there is no order in it. Come rule over us" - I'm paraphrasing. It's THIS document that names Vladimir's mother Malusha. It's this document (actually a modern Russian translation) that I quoted above. And it's the main primary source on her.

    "I’ve known American-born or raised Russians and Ukrainians who have married people from the homeland; they don’t speak English at home, even if they name their kids Jennifer (Zhenya).

    These people would have spoken Russian because they lived their whole lives in Russia. The wives who came from abroad as adults would have had an accent. The ones who were born and raised in Novgorod, Kiev, Chernigov, etc. would have spoken medieval Russian. The Scandinavians were always a small elite who had to communicate with the locals. The inflow of new Scandinavians, except for a few dynastic marriages, stopped around 1000 AD. They went native.

    " You’ve got a pure Scandinavian bloodline until the half-Scandinavian, half-Greek Vladimir Monomakh"

    Which reminds me that Monomakh left some Russian-language writings of his own.

    , @5371
    Nicholas II had only one Russian great-great-great-great-grandfather. That doesn't mean he couldn't speak Russian, idiot.
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  34. @Mark Eugenikos
    By his own admission, Saker is Russian who was born in Western Europe to Russian White emigrant parents. His only writings related to Serbia have been about the war in Bosnia, which he covered professionally as a NATO analyst. I've also heard Saker's voice in his podcasts, and his accent doesn't sound like any Serb I've ever met.

    Thanks. I haven’t followed him terribly closely.

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  35. @Glossy
    The Saker has said that he's descended from Russiaans who fled to Western Europe after 1917. I think he grew up in France, though I may be misremembering that last part. He certainly knows French.

    Thanks!

    Read More
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  36. @AP

    Russian and Ukrainian pretensions to Rus are equally silly.

    What’s silly is your claim that nationalism was born in the 19th century. You’re not the only nationalist I’ve known who denied being a nationalist. Many do.
     

    You have no evidence that I am any sort of "nationalist." I suspect you will deny that you are a Russian nationalist?

    First, nationalism really is as old as history.
     
    You are placing modern concepts into the past. You confuse "nationalism" with recognition that some people are different from one's own people (speak a different language, worship different gods) and preference for one's own clan or people. So sure, Romans saw Germanic tribes as barbarian people inferior to themselves, but they were not Roman nationalists.

    This idea is usually promoted by lefty universalists instead.
     
    Reactionary historian John Lukacs is hardly a leftist, and I pretty much accept his views about nationalism.

    Sviatoslav (aka Sveinald Ingvarsson)

    Sviatoslav’s contemporary Constantine Porphyrogenitos called him “Σφενδοσθλάβος” (Sfendosthlavos) in his book On Administering the Empire.
     

    And? He, the child of Scandinavian parents, had a Scandinavian name and a Slavic counterpart.

    About Málfríðr:

    Little is known about her, but according to Alexi Shakhmatov she was the daughter of Scandanavian warlord. The theory that she was a Slav seems to pushed by Ukrainian and Russian nationalists and is not widely accepted.


    And more importantly, why would the women of a tiny military elite be employed as household servants? Did the British employ female British servants in India?
     
    If she served the queen in her household she may not have been a commoner. If her father was prominant such as a warlord she may have been a lady-in-waiting type.

    With this enormous land teeming with potential servants and concubines, they were going to bring one from Sweden?
     
    A household servant might come from the homeland. They also employed a Varangian to tutor their son Sviatoslav.

    “Guess what language they spoke with their kids?”

    Probably the one in which they named most of them.
     

    So in your opinion a marriage consisting of a guy with two Scandinavian parents and a princess from Sweden, was Rus-speaking? This was Yaroslav (Jarizleifr) who ruled Kiev until 1054. I've known American-born or raised Russians and Ukrainians who have married people from the homeland; they don't speak English at home, even if they name their kids Jennifer (Zhenya).

    In summary, the Rus elite went native earlier than you claim it did.
     
    You claim this, but your claim isn't supported by the facts. You've got a pure Scandinavian bloodline until the half-Scandinavian, half-Greek Vladimir Monomakh , who ruled 1113-1125 - and then he married a Swedish princess. They are supported by a steady stream of Varangians coming in from the historical homeland. And no Slavs here, the murky origins of "Malusha" is the only hope on that score.

    But the myth of these people having been Slavicised is very dear to Ukrainian and Russian nationalists who want to stretch their nations as far back as possible.


    Ironically, the Maidan elite shows no signs of wanting to go native. How many members of the Ukrainian government are Ukrainian now?
     
    Ukraine's cabinet of ministers:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Government_of_Ukraine#Cabinet

    Out of 21 people, one is a Georgian, one is a Lithuanian married to a Ukrainian woman and living in Ukraine since 2008, and one is an Armenian from Baku who came to Ukriane in 1966 when he was 2 years old. Oh - and the finance minister is a nationalistic diaspora Ukrainian from the USA.

    Want to compare to the previous government? Ethnic Russian-Belarussian president born in Ukraine; Russian-Estonian PM from Kaluga, Russia who came to Ukraine in 1984 when he was about 40 years old; ethnic Russian Defense Minister from Krasnodar, Russia who moved to Ukraine as a 22 year old after finishing military college

    I suspect you will deny that you are a Russian nationalist?

    I’m neither Russian nor a nationalist.

    “So sure, Romans saw Germanic tribes as barbarian people inferior to themselves, but they were not Roman nationalists.”

    The original Romans saw themselves as a community sharing descent from Romulus, Remus and their followers. It was a simplification of the truth. And obviously, by late Republican times Rome became really, really multiethnic. The typical Germanic tribe saw itself as being descended from a particular founder. The Greeks traced their descent from Hellen, the early Slavs from Lech, Chech and Rus, the Jews traced their descent from Old Testament patriarchs, etc. The story of Noah’s flood goes on to describe how all the known peoples of the earth descended from Noah’s various grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

    The point here is that since the dawn of history most peoples saw themselves as communities bound by common descent. In politics and war people tended to side with the other members of such a community and against outsiders. There were exceptions. Some Greeks for example fought for Persians against fellow Greeks. And they were shamed by the other Greeks for it. Such behavior was always seen as abnormal.

    And? He, the child of Scandinavian parents, had a Scandinavian name and a Slavic counterpart.

    Constantine VII, a contemporary neutral observer, neither a Slav nor a Scandinavian, called him Sphendosthlavos.

    “The theory that she was a Slav seems to pushed by Ukrainian and Russian nationalists and is not widely accepted.”

    This story was “pushed” by the authors of the Primary Chronicle, Повесть временных лет, the earliest Russian history that has come down to us. It was written in the 11th and 12th centuries. The Primary Chronicle admits that Riurik and company were foreigners “from across the sea”. It’s not a Slavophile document. Actually, its story of the calling of Riurik to Novgorod is shockingly pro-Scandinavian. “Our land is rich, but there is no order in it. Come rule over us” – I’m paraphrasing. It’s THIS document that names Vladimir’s mother Malusha. It’s this document (actually a modern Russian translation) that I quoted above. And it’s the main primary source on her.

    “I’ve known American-born or raised Russians and Ukrainians who have married people from the homeland; they don’t speak English at home, even if they name their kids Jennifer (Zhenya).

    These people would have spoken Russian because they lived their whole lives in Russia. The wives who came from abroad as adults would have had an accent. The ones who were born and raised in Novgorod, Kiev, Chernigov, etc. would have spoken medieval Russian. The Scandinavians were always a small elite who had to communicate with the locals. The inflow of new Scandinavians, except for a few dynastic marriages, stopped around 1000 AD. They went native.

    ” You’ve got a pure Scandinavian bloodline until the half-Scandinavian, half-Greek Vladimir Monomakh”

    Which reminds me that Monomakh left some Russian-language writings of his own.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AP

    I suspect you will deny that you are a Russian nationalist?

    I’m neither Russian nor a nationalist.
     

    You are from Russia and repeat Russian nationalist myths.

    The original Romans saw themselves as a community sharing descent from Romulus, Remus and their followers. It was a simplification of the truth. And obviously, by late Republican times Rome became really, really multiethnic. The typical Germanic tribe saw itself as being descended from a particular founder. The Greeks traced their descent from Hellen, the early Slavs from Lech, Chech and Rus, the Jews traced their descent from Old Testament patriarchs, etc. The story of Noah’s flood goes on to describe how all the known peoples of the earth descended from Noah’s various grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
     
    This is a very broad definition of "nationalism", conflating it with some sort of tribalism.

    Constantine VII, a contemporary neutral observer, neither a Slav nor a Scandinavian, called him Sphendosthlavos.
     
    This also demonstrates that a Scandinavian had a Slavic name as well as a Scandinavian one. Note that such names were popular among Scandinavians:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waldemar

    Sviatoslav had two Scandinavian parents, a Scandinavian tutor as a child (suggesting active attempts by the parents to maintain his ethnic identify despite choosing a Slavic name). His son Vladimir was (likely) with a Scandinavian woman. Vladimir lived in exile in the North (suggesting he could speak his ancestors' language) and seized power using Varangian troops. His child Yaroslav was with a Scandinavian woman, Ragnhild; Yarsolav himself married a princess from Sweden.

    The idea that these people had a Slavic rather than Scandinavian identity is absurd.


    “The theory that she was a Slav seems to pushed by Ukrainian and Russian nationalists and is not widely accepted.”

    This story was “pushed” by the authors of the Primary Chronicle, Повесть временных лет, the earliest Russian history that has come down to us. It was written in the 11th and 12th centuries. The Primary Chronicle admits that Riurik and company were foreigners “from across the sea”. It’s not a Slavophile document. Actually, its story of the calling of Riurik to Novgorod is shockingly pro-Scandinavian. “Our land is rich, but there is no order in it. Come rule over us” – I’m paraphrasing. It’s THIS document that names Vladimir’s mother Malusha. It’s this document (actually a modern Russian translation) that I quoted above. And it’s the main primary source on her.
     

    And yet other than for a few Ukrainian and Russian nationalists with a story to tell, consensus is that Malusha was a Slavicised version of a Scandinavian name. Primary Chronicle also referred to Ingvar as Igor, did it not?

    The Scandinavians were always a small elite who had to communicate with the locals. The inflow of new Scandinavians, except for a few dynastic marriages, stopped around 1000 AD. They went native.
     
    According to Russian wiki the last mention of Varangian newcomers was in 1036 (which doesn't mean nobody ever came later). The small elite was somewhat insular and replenished with people from the homeland. British in India were probably more outnumbered than Scandinavians in Rus, yet I suspect most didn't even speak Hindi. We know the Scandinavians in Rus spoke the Slavic language of the natives as well as their own language.

    ” You’ve got a pure Scandinavian bloodline until the half-Scandinavian, half-Greek Vladimir Monomakh”

    Which reminds me that Monomakh left some Russian-language writings of his own.
     

    Sure. He ruled in the 12th century. And yet, the guy was half Scandinavian and married to a princess from Sweden. I suspect even his identity and that of his children wasn't fully Slavic.
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  37. @AP

    Russian and Ukrainian pretensions to Rus are equally silly.

    What’s silly is your claim that nationalism was born in the 19th century. You’re not the only nationalist I’ve known who denied being a nationalist. Many do.
     

    You have no evidence that I am any sort of "nationalist." I suspect you will deny that you are a Russian nationalist?

    First, nationalism really is as old as history.
     
    You are placing modern concepts into the past. You confuse "nationalism" with recognition that some people are different from one's own people (speak a different language, worship different gods) and preference for one's own clan or people. So sure, Romans saw Germanic tribes as barbarian people inferior to themselves, but they were not Roman nationalists.

    This idea is usually promoted by lefty universalists instead.
     
    Reactionary historian John Lukacs is hardly a leftist, and I pretty much accept his views about nationalism.

    Sviatoslav (aka Sveinald Ingvarsson)

    Sviatoslav’s contemporary Constantine Porphyrogenitos called him “Σφενδοσθλάβος” (Sfendosthlavos) in his book On Administering the Empire.
     

    And? He, the child of Scandinavian parents, had a Scandinavian name and a Slavic counterpart.

    About Málfríðr:

    Little is known about her, but according to Alexi Shakhmatov she was the daughter of Scandanavian warlord. The theory that she was a Slav seems to pushed by Ukrainian and Russian nationalists and is not widely accepted.


    And more importantly, why would the women of a tiny military elite be employed as household servants? Did the British employ female British servants in India?
     
    If she served the queen in her household she may not have been a commoner. If her father was prominant such as a warlord she may have been a lady-in-waiting type.

    With this enormous land teeming with potential servants and concubines, they were going to bring one from Sweden?
     
    A household servant might come from the homeland. They also employed a Varangian to tutor their son Sviatoslav.

    “Guess what language they spoke with their kids?”

    Probably the one in which they named most of them.
     

    So in your opinion a marriage consisting of a guy with two Scandinavian parents and a princess from Sweden, was Rus-speaking? This was Yaroslav (Jarizleifr) who ruled Kiev until 1054. I've known American-born or raised Russians and Ukrainians who have married people from the homeland; they don't speak English at home, even if they name their kids Jennifer (Zhenya).

    In summary, the Rus elite went native earlier than you claim it did.
     
    You claim this, but your claim isn't supported by the facts. You've got a pure Scandinavian bloodline until the half-Scandinavian, half-Greek Vladimir Monomakh , who ruled 1113-1125 - and then he married a Swedish princess. They are supported by a steady stream of Varangians coming in from the historical homeland. And no Slavs here, the murky origins of "Malusha" is the only hope on that score.

    But the myth of these people having been Slavicised is very dear to Ukrainian and Russian nationalists who want to stretch their nations as far back as possible.


    Ironically, the Maidan elite shows no signs of wanting to go native. How many members of the Ukrainian government are Ukrainian now?
     
    Ukraine's cabinet of ministers:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Government_of_Ukraine#Cabinet

    Out of 21 people, one is a Georgian, one is a Lithuanian married to a Ukrainian woman and living in Ukraine since 2008, and one is an Armenian from Baku who came to Ukriane in 1966 when he was 2 years old. Oh - and the finance minister is a nationalistic diaspora Ukrainian from the USA.

    Want to compare to the previous government? Ethnic Russian-Belarussian president born in Ukraine; Russian-Estonian PM from Kaluga, Russia who came to Ukraine in 1984 when he was about 40 years old; ethnic Russian Defense Minister from Krasnodar, Russia who moved to Ukraine as a 22 year old after finishing military college

    Nicholas II had only one Russian great-great-great-great-grandfather. That doesn’t mean he couldn’t speak Russian, idiot.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AP
    Nobody claimed Yaroslav couldn't speak Rus.
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  38. @5371
    Nicholas II had only one Russian great-great-great-great-grandfather. That doesn't mean he couldn't speak Russian, idiot.

    Nobody claimed Yaroslav couldn’t speak Rus.

    Read More
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  39. @Glossy
    I suspect you will deny that you are a Russian nationalist?

    I'm neither Russian nor a nationalist.

    "So sure, Romans saw Germanic tribes as barbarian people inferior to themselves, but they were not Roman nationalists."

    The original Romans saw themselves as a community sharing descent from Romulus, Remus and their followers. It was a simplification of the truth. And obviously, by late Republican times Rome became really, really multiethnic. The typical Germanic tribe saw itself as being descended from a particular founder. The Greeks traced their descent from Hellen, the early Slavs from Lech, Chech and Rus, the Jews traced their descent from Old Testament patriarchs, etc. The story of Noah's flood goes on to describe how all the known peoples of the earth descended from Noah's various grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

    The point here is that since the dawn of history most peoples saw themselves as communities bound by common descent. In politics and war people tended to side with the other members of such a community and against outsiders. There were exceptions. Some Greeks for example fought for Persians against fellow Greeks. And they were shamed by the other Greeks for it. Such behavior was always seen as abnormal.

    And? He, the child of Scandinavian parents, had a Scandinavian name and a Slavic counterpart.

    Constantine VII, a contemporary neutral observer, neither a Slav nor a Scandinavian, called him Sphendosthlavos.

    "The theory that she was a Slav seems to pushed by Ukrainian and Russian nationalists and is not widely accepted."

    This story was "pushed" by the authors of the Primary Chronicle, Повесть временных лет, the earliest Russian history that has come down to us. It was written in the 11th and 12th centuries. The Primary Chronicle admits that Riurik and company were foreigners "from across the sea". It's not a Slavophile document. Actually, its story of the calling of Riurik to Novgorod is shockingly pro-Scandinavian. "Our land is rich, but there is no order in it. Come rule over us" - I'm paraphrasing. It's THIS document that names Vladimir's mother Malusha. It's this document (actually a modern Russian translation) that I quoted above. And it's the main primary source on her.

    "I’ve known American-born or raised Russians and Ukrainians who have married people from the homeland; they don’t speak English at home, even if they name their kids Jennifer (Zhenya).

    These people would have spoken Russian because they lived their whole lives in Russia. The wives who came from abroad as adults would have had an accent. The ones who were born and raised in Novgorod, Kiev, Chernigov, etc. would have spoken medieval Russian. The Scandinavians were always a small elite who had to communicate with the locals. The inflow of new Scandinavians, except for a few dynastic marriages, stopped around 1000 AD. They went native.

    " You’ve got a pure Scandinavian bloodline until the half-Scandinavian, half-Greek Vladimir Monomakh"

    Which reminds me that Monomakh left some Russian-language writings of his own.

    I suspect you will deny that you are a Russian nationalist?

    I’m neither Russian nor a nationalist.

    You are from Russia and repeat Russian nationalist myths.

    The original Romans saw themselves as a community sharing descent from Romulus, Remus and their followers. It was a simplification of the truth. And obviously, by late Republican times Rome became really, really multiethnic. The typical Germanic tribe saw itself as being descended from a particular founder. The Greeks traced their descent from Hellen, the early Slavs from Lech, Chech and Rus, the Jews traced their descent from Old Testament patriarchs, etc. The story of Noah’s flood goes on to describe how all the known peoples of the earth descended from Noah’s various grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

    This is a very broad definition of “nationalism”, conflating it with some sort of tribalism.

    Constantine VII, a contemporary neutral observer, neither a Slav nor a Scandinavian, called him Sphendosthlavos.

    This also demonstrates that a Scandinavian had a Slavic name as well as a Scandinavian one. Note that such names were popular among Scandinavians:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waldemar

    Sviatoslav had two Scandinavian parents, a Scandinavian tutor as a child (suggesting active attempts by the parents to maintain his ethnic identify despite choosing a Slavic name). His son Vladimir was (likely) with a Scandinavian woman. Vladimir lived in exile in the North (suggesting he could speak his ancestors’ language) and seized power using Varangian troops. His child Yaroslav was with a Scandinavian woman, Ragnhild; Yarsolav himself married a princess from Sweden.

    The idea that these people had a Slavic rather than Scandinavian identity is absurd.

    “The theory that she was a Slav seems to pushed by Ukrainian and Russian nationalists and is not widely accepted.”

    This story was “pushed” by the authors of the Primary Chronicle, Повесть временных лет, the earliest Russian history that has come down to us. It was written in the 11th and 12th centuries. The Primary Chronicle admits that Riurik and company were foreigners “from across the sea”. It’s not a Slavophile document. Actually, its story of the calling of Riurik to Novgorod is shockingly pro-Scandinavian. “Our land is rich, but there is no order in it. Come rule over us” – I’m paraphrasing. It’s THIS document that names Vladimir’s mother Malusha. It’s this document (actually a modern Russian translation) that I quoted above. And it’s the main primary source on her.

    And yet other than for a few Ukrainian and Russian nationalists with a story to tell, consensus is that Malusha was a Slavicised version of a Scandinavian name. Primary Chronicle also referred to Ingvar as Igor, did it not?

    The Scandinavians were always a small elite who had to communicate with the locals. The inflow of new Scandinavians, except for a few dynastic marriages, stopped around 1000 AD. They went native.

    According to Russian wiki the last mention of Varangian newcomers was in 1036 (which doesn’t mean nobody ever came later). The small elite was somewhat insular and replenished with people from the homeland. British in India were probably more outnumbered than Scandinavians in Rus, yet I suspect most didn’t even speak Hindi. We know the Scandinavians in Rus spoke the Slavic language of the natives as well as their own language.

    ” You’ve got a pure Scandinavian bloodline until the half-Scandinavian, half-Greek Vladimir Monomakh”

    Which reminds me that Monomakh left some Russian-language writings of his own.

    Sure. He ruled in the 12th century. And yet, the guy was half Scandinavian and married to a princess from Sweden. I suspect even his identity and that of his children wasn’t fully Slavic.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Glossy
    This is a very broad definition of “nationalism”, conflating it with some sort of tribalism.

    I neither know nor care how po-mo deconstuctivist "historians" define nationalism, but in the real word it's mostly just another word for tribalism. The key feature is preferring one's own kin.

    , @Glossy
    "Primary Chronicle also referred to Ingvar as Igor, did it not?"

    Unlike Sviatoslav, Vladimir, Malusha, Dobrynya, Yaroslav, etc. the name Igor means nothing in the Russian language. It's just a local mangling of Inger (not Ingvar). This is an important difference. The Primary Chronicle made no claims, implicit or explicit, about the Slavic background of Igor or of his name. Its authors and readers would have understood it as a foreign name because it had no meaning for them.
    , @SWSpires
    A brief point about assimilation of elites and the Rus situation. Often the minority conqueror assimilates to the much larger conquered population. This was the case in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, where the official language was not Lithuanian but a form of East Slavic (sometimes called Ruthenian), and where the pagan Lithuanian elite gradually merged with the Orthodox Slavic one. It was also the case in Imperial China, where the Manchu conquerors adopted Chinese culture (while maintaining some records in Manchu language), and in Norman England (where French was the elite language for a couple of centuries, eventually replaced by English).

    As far as I know, all the literature surviving from medieval Rus is in the East Slavic language. Is there even a single document from Rus in early Swedish or any form of Norse? There is also very little provable Norse influence on Old East Slavic, beyond a few loanwords. This suggests that, even if the leaders of Rus were Scandinavian by origin, they assimilated to the local culture rather quickly. The influence of Orthodox Christianity was certainly a decisive factor, as was the case in Lithuania.
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  40. @AP
    Is the Saker Russian? I suspect he is a Serb. That would explain his anti-Catholic fixation, his vicarious thrills at Russian successes vs. the West and how he seemingly understands Russia but then writes bizarre stuff like his Islam article.

    With a name like that he surely is jewish.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Glossy
    "The Saker" is a pen-name (well, keyboard-name), not a personal name. Sakers are a type of birds of prey.
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  41. @neutral
    With a name like that he surely is jewish.

    “The Saker” is a pen-name (well, keyboard-name), not a personal name. Sakers are a type of birds of prey.

    Read More
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  42. @AP

    I suspect you will deny that you are a Russian nationalist?

    I’m neither Russian nor a nationalist.
     

    You are from Russia and repeat Russian nationalist myths.

    The original Romans saw themselves as a community sharing descent from Romulus, Remus and their followers. It was a simplification of the truth. And obviously, by late Republican times Rome became really, really multiethnic. The typical Germanic tribe saw itself as being descended from a particular founder. The Greeks traced their descent from Hellen, the early Slavs from Lech, Chech and Rus, the Jews traced their descent from Old Testament patriarchs, etc. The story of Noah’s flood goes on to describe how all the known peoples of the earth descended from Noah’s various grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
     
    This is a very broad definition of "nationalism", conflating it with some sort of tribalism.

    Constantine VII, a contemporary neutral observer, neither a Slav nor a Scandinavian, called him Sphendosthlavos.
     
    This also demonstrates that a Scandinavian had a Slavic name as well as a Scandinavian one. Note that such names were popular among Scandinavians:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waldemar

    Sviatoslav had two Scandinavian parents, a Scandinavian tutor as a child (suggesting active attempts by the parents to maintain his ethnic identify despite choosing a Slavic name). His son Vladimir was (likely) with a Scandinavian woman. Vladimir lived in exile in the North (suggesting he could speak his ancestors' language) and seized power using Varangian troops. His child Yaroslav was with a Scandinavian woman, Ragnhild; Yarsolav himself married a princess from Sweden.

    The idea that these people had a Slavic rather than Scandinavian identity is absurd.


    “The theory that she was a Slav seems to pushed by Ukrainian and Russian nationalists and is not widely accepted.”

    This story was “pushed” by the authors of the Primary Chronicle, Повесть временных лет, the earliest Russian history that has come down to us. It was written in the 11th and 12th centuries. The Primary Chronicle admits that Riurik and company were foreigners “from across the sea”. It’s not a Slavophile document. Actually, its story of the calling of Riurik to Novgorod is shockingly pro-Scandinavian. “Our land is rich, but there is no order in it. Come rule over us” – I’m paraphrasing. It’s THIS document that names Vladimir’s mother Malusha. It’s this document (actually a modern Russian translation) that I quoted above. And it’s the main primary source on her.
     

    And yet other than for a few Ukrainian and Russian nationalists with a story to tell, consensus is that Malusha was a Slavicised version of a Scandinavian name. Primary Chronicle also referred to Ingvar as Igor, did it not?

    The Scandinavians were always a small elite who had to communicate with the locals. The inflow of new Scandinavians, except for a few dynastic marriages, stopped around 1000 AD. They went native.
     
    According to Russian wiki the last mention of Varangian newcomers was in 1036 (which doesn't mean nobody ever came later). The small elite was somewhat insular and replenished with people from the homeland. British in India were probably more outnumbered than Scandinavians in Rus, yet I suspect most didn't even speak Hindi. We know the Scandinavians in Rus spoke the Slavic language of the natives as well as their own language.

    ” You’ve got a pure Scandinavian bloodline until the half-Scandinavian, half-Greek Vladimir Monomakh”

    Which reminds me that Monomakh left some Russian-language writings of his own.
     

    Sure. He ruled in the 12th century. And yet, the guy was half Scandinavian and married to a princess from Sweden. I suspect even his identity and that of his children wasn't fully Slavic.

    This is a very broad definition of “nationalism”, conflating it with some sort of tribalism.

    I neither know nor care how po-mo deconstuctivist “historians” define nationalism, but in the real word it’s mostly just another word for tribalism. The key feature is preferring one’s own kin.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AP
    Why do you insist that I'm relying on some sort of po-mo deconstructivist view of nationalism?

    I encourage you to read John Lukacs sometime. He's a great writer:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Lukacs

    in the real word it’s mostly just another word for tribalism
     
    So for example the Indian chieftain "King Phillip" who fought the English colonists was a Pequot Nationalist?

    How bizarre.
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  43. @AP

    I suspect you will deny that you are a Russian nationalist?

    I’m neither Russian nor a nationalist.
     

    You are from Russia and repeat Russian nationalist myths.

    The original Romans saw themselves as a community sharing descent from Romulus, Remus and their followers. It was a simplification of the truth. And obviously, by late Republican times Rome became really, really multiethnic. The typical Germanic tribe saw itself as being descended from a particular founder. The Greeks traced their descent from Hellen, the early Slavs from Lech, Chech and Rus, the Jews traced their descent from Old Testament patriarchs, etc. The story of Noah’s flood goes on to describe how all the known peoples of the earth descended from Noah’s various grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
     
    This is a very broad definition of "nationalism", conflating it with some sort of tribalism.

    Constantine VII, a contemporary neutral observer, neither a Slav nor a Scandinavian, called him Sphendosthlavos.
     
    This also demonstrates that a Scandinavian had a Slavic name as well as a Scandinavian one. Note that such names were popular among Scandinavians:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waldemar

    Sviatoslav had two Scandinavian parents, a Scandinavian tutor as a child (suggesting active attempts by the parents to maintain his ethnic identify despite choosing a Slavic name). His son Vladimir was (likely) with a Scandinavian woman. Vladimir lived in exile in the North (suggesting he could speak his ancestors' language) and seized power using Varangian troops. His child Yaroslav was with a Scandinavian woman, Ragnhild; Yarsolav himself married a princess from Sweden.

    The idea that these people had a Slavic rather than Scandinavian identity is absurd.


    “The theory that she was a Slav seems to pushed by Ukrainian and Russian nationalists and is not widely accepted.”

    This story was “pushed” by the authors of the Primary Chronicle, Повесть временных лет, the earliest Russian history that has come down to us. It was written in the 11th and 12th centuries. The Primary Chronicle admits that Riurik and company were foreigners “from across the sea”. It’s not a Slavophile document. Actually, its story of the calling of Riurik to Novgorod is shockingly pro-Scandinavian. “Our land is rich, but there is no order in it. Come rule over us” – I’m paraphrasing. It’s THIS document that names Vladimir’s mother Malusha. It’s this document (actually a modern Russian translation) that I quoted above. And it’s the main primary source on her.
     

    And yet other than for a few Ukrainian and Russian nationalists with a story to tell, consensus is that Malusha was a Slavicised version of a Scandinavian name. Primary Chronicle also referred to Ingvar as Igor, did it not?

    The Scandinavians were always a small elite who had to communicate with the locals. The inflow of new Scandinavians, except for a few dynastic marriages, stopped around 1000 AD. They went native.
     
    According to Russian wiki the last mention of Varangian newcomers was in 1036 (which doesn't mean nobody ever came later). The small elite was somewhat insular and replenished with people from the homeland. British in India were probably more outnumbered than Scandinavians in Rus, yet I suspect most didn't even speak Hindi. We know the Scandinavians in Rus spoke the Slavic language of the natives as well as their own language.

    ” You’ve got a pure Scandinavian bloodline until the half-Scandinavian, half-Greek Vladimir Monomakh”

    Which reminds me that Monomakh left some Russian-language writings of his own.
     

    Sure. He ruled in the 12th century. And yet, the guy was half Scandinavian and married to a princess from Sweden. I suspect even his identity and that of his children wasn't fully Slavic.

    “Primary Chronicle also referred to Ingvar as Igor, did it not?”

    Unlike Sviatoslav, Vladimir, Malusha, Dobrynya, Yaroslav, etc. the name Igor means nothing in the Russian language. It’s just a local mangling of Inger (not Ingvar). This is an important difference. The Primary Chronicle made no claims, implicit or explicit, about the Slavic background of Igor or of his name. Its authors and readers would have understood it as a foreign name because it had no meaning for them.

    Read More
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  44. @Anatoly Karlin
    Didn't Mearsheimer also predict that Germany would be trying to take over Europe again by the 2000s?

    Though come to think of it not that he's wrong LOL just not right quite in the way he imagined it would be.

    Mearsheimer was proved wrong over Ukraine in the same way he was proved right over Germany. Mearsheimer predicted countries like Ukraine and Poland would do something in their national interest. Ukraine chose a different path, one that ended in catastrophe at the hands of its overbearing neighbour. Poland initially was worried about Germany claiming back lost territory, and in effect Poland capitulated to Germany.

    http://www.socialaffairsunit.org.uk/blog/archives/001975.php
    Choosing Mr Rompuy over the much-discussed and incomparably more dynamic Tony Blair, and Ms Ashton over Peter Mandelson, sends an unmistakable signal that it is business as usual at the European Union. For all his federalist enthusiasms Mr van Rompuy, in particular, is unlikely to push forward the vital military reforms needed to make Europe a factor to be reckoned with globally. As Belgian prime minister he cut the military budget to a record low: the Russians are hardly quaking in their boots.

    Europe has made the choice which the President of the Commission, Mr Barroso, demanded in September, and it has chosen irrelevance. Valery Giscard d’Estaing, the former French President, beheld the results and bewailed the “limited ambition for Europe”. It was a far cry from the heady days when he had launched the European constitutional convention and told the putative founding fathers that they would be immortalised by “statues of you on horseback in the village you all come from”.

    This is a very German outcome. The decisive voice in the appointment was that of the Chancellor, Angela Merkel. Her opposition to Mr Blair served to swing the French President, Mr Sarkozy, away from Tony Blair when his candidature was beginning to seem unstoppable. The appointment of Mr van Rompuy also epitomises a huge and underappreciated shift in German attitudes towards the European project and their conception of security. Since the creation of the Federal Republic in 1949, Bonn and then Berlin had sought to embed German security in an irreversible process of European political integration on the one side, and the maintenance and later expansion of NATO on the other.

    All that changed with the inclusion of Poland in both organisations. With a substantial buffer to the east, Germany reckons itself much less in need of the American security umbrella and the support of allies. In short, far from demanding a world role since the fall of the wall as many had feared – the Federal Republic has retreated into a geopolitical cocoon. She is so swaddled by friendly neighbours that future conflicts appear to be matters of choice, not desperate struggles for survival.

    For the first time in history Germany is cocooned within friendly states. No reason to pursue politics by other means, it has won. Like the French imposition of Senegalese and north Africans on post WW2 Rhineland (and parts of Bavaria) Germany humiliates its humbled neighbours. The Germans have a habit of coming up with ways to wipe the floor with the rest of Europe, and more. This is soft, but it is power.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mitleser
    What did Poland do against its national interests?
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  45. Correction: ‘Like the French imposition of Senegalese and north Africans on post WW1 Rhineland (and parts of Bavaria)…’

    Read More
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  46. Karlin is brilliant in his utter, ruthless, fact based and logic and methodical refutation of The Saker´s downright bizarre article on “Russia´s civilizational choice”. What a beating, I hope The Saker is not hurting too much.

    Make no mistake: I actually am a fan of The Saker, who is a good read even when he is wrong. But when I read his article on Russia´s civilizational choice, I had the very distinct feeling I had just read a load of bullshit. Why would a very intelligent man write such sheer nonsense?

    Well, Karlin confirms my intuition: “feelz over realz”. The saker is emotional about mother Russia.

    But I would add, to the fear of being alone advanced by Karlin, the (totally justified) feeling of being spurned and treated badly by the West. An urge to say: “you can´t isolate me, I have friends”. When kids have this feeling, they at least have the good sense of inventing an “imaginary friend”. It sure beats believing Muslims are your friends…

    Two other problems with the saker:

    (1) He seems to be totally ignorant of HBD. A blank slatist.

    (2) He keeps speaking about “racists” in France (and Europe). Who is he talking about? Sure, the NPD and Jobbik are racist. But the Front National? For god´s sake, the French are a European people that will become a minority on its own soil (in births) in less than 8 years. French nationalists don´t hate anyone, they want to keep their country and their way of life, and they get massive flak from the globalist elites in their country for doing so (who collaborate with the Saker´s beloved AngloZionists). And the Saker keeps calling them racists. On and on. This is worst than his cognitives failings caused by understandable emotion. This is a moral failing, possibly a wicked attempt to “triangulate”. Shame on him on that one.

    Read More
    • Agree: Deduction
    • Replies: @Seamus Padraig
    I've been following Saker for nearly two years, so I can probably answer your questions:

    (1) He seems to be totally ignorant of HBD. A blank slatist.

     

    He has never mentioned HBD while I've been following him, and does not seem to be a racialist. I would described him more as a culturalist or a civilizationalist.

    (2) He keeps speaking about “racists” in France (and Europe). Who is he talking about? Sure, the NPD and Jobbik are racist. But the Front National?
     
    He's OK with Front National, because they're opposed to/by the NWO. But his real favorites are Alain Soral (dissident rightist) and Dieudonné Mbala-Mbala (the black comedian who has been banned for Israel-bashing and his 'quenelle' gesture). He really hates Charlie Hebdo ('Je ne suis pas Charlie!' was his motto) and points out that their magazine spends most of its time bashing Moslems and Christians. One cartoonist who made of fun of Jews was fired. He would probably characterize the Charlie Hebdo people as racist.

    He has never mentioned Jobbik, Golden Dawn or any of the rest. I think it's safe to say he's not into HBD. All of this fits in well with his Orthodox reactionary worldview. Christian reactionaries typically give short shrift to genetics and emphasize culture/upbringing instead.

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  47. @Sean
    Mearsheimer was proved wrong over Ukraine in the same way he was proved right over Germany. Mearsheimer predicted countries like Ukraine and Poland would do something in their national interest. Ukraine chose a different path, one that ended in catastrophe at the hands of its overbearing neighbour. Poland initially was worried about Germany claiming back lost territory, and in effect Poland capitulated to Germany.

    http://www.socialaffairsunit.org.uk/blog/archives/001975.php
    Choosing Mr Rompuy over the much-discussed and incomparably more dynamic Tony Blair, and Ms Ashton over Peter Mandelson, sends an unmistakable signal that it is business as usual at the European Union. For all his federalist enthusiasms Mr van Rompuy, in particular, is unlikely to push forward the vital military reforms needed to make Europe a factor to be reckoned with globally. As Belgian prime minister he cut the military budget to a record low: the Russians are hardly quaking in their boots.

    Europe has made the choice which the President of the Commission, Mr Barroso, demanded in September, and it has chosen irrelevance. Valery Giscard d'Estaing, the former French President, beheld the results and bewailed the "limited ambition for Europe". It was a far cry from the heady days when he had launched the European constitutional convention and told the putative founding fathers that they would be immortalised by "statues of you on horseback in the village you all come from".

    This is a very German outcome. The decisive voice in the appointment was that of the Chancellor, Angela Merkel. Her opposition to Mr Blair served to swing the French President, Mr Sarkozy, away from Tony Blair when his candidature was beginning to seem unstoppable. The appointment of Mr van Rompuy also epitomises a huge and underappreciated shift in German attitudes towards the European project and their conception of security. Since the creation of the Federal Republic in 1949, Bonn and then Berlin had sought to embed German security in an irreversible process of European political integration on the one side, and the maintenance and later expansion of NATO on the other.

    All that changed with the inclusion of Poland in both organisations. With a substantial buffer to the east, Germany reckons itself much less in need of the American security umbrella and the support of allies. In short, far from demanding a world role since the fall of the wall as many had feared - the Federal Republic has retreated into a geopolitical cocoon. She is so swaddled by friendly neighbours that future conflicts appear to be matters of choice, not desperate struggles for survival.
     

    For the first time in history Germany is cocooned within friendly states. No reason to pursue politics by other means, it has won. Like the French imposition of Senegalese and north Africans on post WW2 Rhineland (and parts of Bavaria) Germany humiliates its humbled neighbours. The Germans have a habit of coming up with ways to wipe the floor with the rest of Europe, and more. This is soft, but it is power.

    What did Poland do against its national interests?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sean
    I already gave the link

    Since the creation of the Federal Republic in 1949, Bonn and then Berlin had sought to embed German security in an irreversible process of European political integration on the one side, and the maintenance and later expansion of NATO on the other.

    All that changed with the inclusion of Poland in both organisations. With a substantial buffer to the east, Germany reckons itself much less in need of the American security umbrella and the support of allies.
     

    Poland was out for what it could get. Well now it will be the victim of Germany's second Generalplan Ost

    http://www.foxnews.com/world/2015/09/29/refugee-crisis-stokes-anti-muslim-fervor-in-poland-eastern-europe/

    Poland hasn't a leg to stand on as it took hardly any Ukrainian refugees. Now suddenly "Poland's prime minister says her government will take steps to bring in tens of thousands of ethnic Poles now living in Kazakhstan and Ukraine." http://www.fox10tv.com/story/30138088/the-latest-poland-to-host-refugees-from-ukraine-kazakhstan

    Too bloody late for that now, everyone knows Poland has plenty of room, because hundreds of thousands of their best people have left.

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  48. @Mitleser
    What did Poland do against its national interests?

    I already gave the link

    Since the creation of the Federal Republic in 1949, Bonn and then Berlin had sought to embed German security in an irreversible process of European political integration on the one side, and the maintenance and later expansion of NATO on the other.

    All that changed with the inclusion of Poland in both organisations. With a substantial buffer to the east, Germany reckons itself much less in need of the American security umbrella and the support of allies.

    Poland was out for what it could get. Well now it will be the victim of Germany’s second Generalplan Ost

    http://www.foxnews.com/world/2015/09/29/refugee-crisis-stokes-anti-muslim-fervor-in-poland-eastern-europe/

    Poland hasn’t a leg to stand on as it took hardly any Ukrainian refugees. Now suddenly “Poland’s prime minister says her government will take steps to bring in tens of thousands of ethnic Poles now living in Kazakhstan and Ukraine.” http://www.fox10tv.com/story/30138088/the-latest-poland-to-host-refugees-from-ukraine-kazakhstan

    Too bloody late for that now, everyone knows Poland has plenty of room, because hundreds of thousands of their best people have left.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mitleser
    Poland did greatly benefit from joining the EU.
    It would have been against national interest not to join the EU.
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  49. @AP

    I suspect you will deny that you are a Russian nationalist?

    I’m neither Russian nor a nationalist.
     

    You are from Russia and repeat Russian nationalist myths.

    The original Romans saw themselves as a community sharing descent from Romulus, Remus and their followers. It was a simplification of the truth. And obviously, by late Republican times Rome became really, really multiethnic. The typical Germanic tribe saw itself as being descended from a particular founder. The Greeks traced their descent from Hellen, the early Slavs from Lech, Chech and Rus, the Jews traced their descent from Old Testament patriarchs, etc. The story of Noah’s flood goes on to describe how all the known peoples of the earth descended from Noah’s various grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
     
    This is a very broad definition of "nationalism", conflating it with some sort of tribalism.

    Constantine VII, a contemporary neutral observer, neither a Slav nor a Scandinavian, called him Sphendosthlavos.
     
    This also demonstrates that a Scandinavian had a Slavic name as well as a Scandinavian one. Note that such names were popular among Scandinavians:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waldemar

    Sviatoslav had two Scandinavian parents, a Scandinavian tutor as a child (suggesting active attempts by the parents to maintain his ethnic identify despite choosing a Slavic name). His son Vladimir was (likely) with a Scandinavian woman. Vladimir lived in exile in the North (suggesting he could speak his ancestors' language) and seized power using Varangian troops. His child Yaroslav was with a Scandinavian woman, Ragnhild; Yarsolav himself married a princess from Sweden.

    The idea that these people had a Slavic rather than Scandinavian identity is absurd.


    “The theory that she was a Slav seems to pushed by Ukrainian and Russian nationalists and is not widely accepted.”

    This story was “pushed” by the authors of the Primary Chronicle, Повесть временных лет, the earliest Russian history that has come down to us. It was written in the 11th and 12th centuries. The Primary Chronicle admits that Riurik and company were foreigners “from across the sea”. It’s not a Slavophile document. Actually, its story of the calling of Riurik to Novgorod is shockingly pro-Scandinavian. “Our land is rich, but there is no order in it. Come rule over us” – I’m paraphrasing. It’s THIS document that names Vladimir’s mother Malusha. It’s this document (actually a modern Russian translation) that I quoted above. And it’s the main primary source on her.
     

    And yet other than for a few Ukrainian and Russian nationalists with a story to tell, consensus is that Malusha was a Slavicised version of a Scandinavian name. Primary Chronicle also referred to Ingvar as Igor, did it not?

    The Scandinavians were always a small elite who had to communicate with the locals. The inflow of new Scandinavians, except for a few dynastic marriages, stopped around 1000 AD. They went native.
     
    According to Russian wiki the last mention of Varangian newcomers was in 1036 (which doesn't mean nobody ever came later). The small elite was somewhat insular and replenished with people from the homeland. British in India were probably more outnumbered than Scandinavians in Rus, yet I suspect most didn't even speak Hindi. We know the Scandinavians in Rus spoke the Slavic language of the natives as well as their own language.

    ” You’ve got a pure Scandinavian bloodline until the half-Scandinavian, half-Greek Vladimir Monomakh”

    Which reminds me that Monomakh left some Russian-language writings of his own.
     

    Sure. He ruled in the 12th century. And yet, the guy was half Scandinavian and married to a princess from Sweden. I suspect even his identity and that of his children wasn't fully Slavic.

    A brief point about assimilation of elites and the Rus situation. Often the minority conqueror assimilates to the much larger conquered population. This was the case in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, where the official language was not Lithuanian but a form of East Slavic (sometimes called Ruthenian), and where the pagan Lithuanian elite gradually merged with the Orthodox Slavic one. It was also the case in Imperial China, where the Manchu conquerors adopted Chinese culture (while maintaining some records in Manchu language), and in Norman England (where French was the elite language for a couple of centuries, eventually replaced by English).

    As far as I know, all the literature surviving from medieval Rus is in the East Slavic language. Is there even a single document from Rus in early Swedish or any form of Norse? There is also very little provable Norse influence on Old East Slavic, beyond a few loanwords. This suggests that, even if the leaders of Rus were Scandinavian by origin, they assimilated to the local culture rather quickly. The influence of Orthodox Christianity was certainly a decisive factor, as was the case in Lithuania.

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    • Replies: @AP
    Of course, they assimilated eventually. The question is when, and the likely answer isn't what Russian or Ukrainian nationalists want to hear: sometime in the 11th century. After Vladimir and after Yaroslav.

    As far as I know, all the literature surviving from medieval Rus is in the East Slavic language. Is there even a single document from Rus in early Swedish or any form of Norse?
     
    I'm not sure if the Scandinavians were producing much of the literature; they didn't seem to be dominant among churchmen. Yaroslav's laws, written for the people and the state, were in Slavic but the content of the laws was typically Scandinavian.

    However a lot of runes have been found, some dating to as late as the 11th century:

    http://www.arild-hauge.com/ru-e-rusland.htm

    There is also very little provable Norse influence on Old East Slavic, beyond a few loanwords. This suggests that, even if the leaders of Rus were Scandinavian by origin, they assimilated to the local culture rather quickly.

     

    Well, we know that they maintained a largely pure Scandinavian bloodline for ~150 years, were regularly bringing in Varangians until the 11th century, sometimes going into exile in Scandinavia, finding wives there, created a set of laws that were Scandinavian in type, etc. These facts suggest that a Scandinavian identity did exist at least until 1100 or so, which is most of the period of Old Rus.

    You are correct that these rulers, who were mostly focused on trade (Old Rus has been compared to a sort of Hudson's Bay company whose purpose was facilitating Scandinavians trading stuff taken from Slavs in exchange for things from Byzantium or the Arab world), left little of their own cultural impact on the natives. The biggest impact of these Scandinavian invaders/rulers was that they forced the Orthodox faith on the Slavs whom they ruled.
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  50. @Bartolo
    Karlin is brilliant in his utter, ruthless, fact based and logic and methodical refutation of The Saker´s downright bizarre article on "Russia´s civilizational choice". What a beating, I hope The Saker is not hurting too much.

    Make no mistake: I actually am a fan of The Saker, who is a good read even when he is wrong. But when I read his article on Russia´s civilizational choice, I had the very distinct feeling I had just read a load of bullshit. Why would a very intelligent man write such sheer nonsense?

    Well, Karlin confirms my intuition: "feelz over realz". The saker is emotional about mother Russia.

    But I would add, to the fear of being alone advanced by Karlin, the (totally justified) feeling of being spurned and treated badly by the West. An urge to say: "you can´t isolate me, I have friends". When kids have this feeling, they at least have the good sense of inventing an "imaginary friend". It sure beats believing Muslims are your friends...

    Two other problems with the saker:

    (1) He seems to be totally ignorant of HBD. A blank slatist.

    (2) He keeps speaking about "racists" in France (and Europe). Who is he talking about? Sure, the NPD and Jobbik are racist. But the Front National? For god´s sake, the French are a European people that will become a minority on its own soil (in births) in less than 8 years. French nationalists don´t hate anyone, they want to keep their country and their way of life, and they get massive flak from the globalist elites in their country for doing so (who collaborate with the Saker´s beloved AngloZionists). And the Saker keeps calling them racists. On and on. This is worst than his cognitives failings caused by understandable emotion. This is a moral failing, possibly a wicked attempt to "triangulate". Shame on him on that one.

    I’ve been following Saker for nearly two years, so I can probably answer your questions:

    (1) He seems to be totally ignorant of HBD. A blank slatist.

    He has never mentioned HBD while I’ve been following him, and does not seem to be a racialist. I would described him more as a culturalist or a civilizationalist.

    (2) He keeps speaking about “racists” in France (and Europe). Who is he talking about? Sure, the NPD and Jobbik are racist. But the Front National?

    He’s OK with Front National, because they’re opposed to/by the NWO. But his real favorites are Alain Soral (dissident rightist) and Dieudonné Mbala-Mbala (the black comedian who has been banned for Israel-bashing and his ‘quenelle’ gesture). He really hates Charlie Hebdo (‘Je ne suis pas Charlie!’ was his motto) and points out that their magazine spends most of its time bashing Moslems and Christians. One cartoonist who made of fun of Jews was fired. He would probably characterize the Charlie Hebdo people as racist.

    He has never mentioned Jobbik, Golden Dawn or any of the rest. I think it’s safe to say he’s not into HBD. All of this fits in well with his Orthodox reactionary worldview. Christian reactionaries typically give short shrift to genetics and emphasize culture/upbringing instead.

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  51. @Anatoly Karlin

    How widespread are such attitudes in modern Russia toward the Roman Catholic Church? Is Saker typical?
     
    Not typical. Though the vast majority of Russians are nominally Orthodox, they are either Lukashenko-like atheist-but-Orthodox-atheist or hew to a very loose and informal interpretation of it that limits itself to having a small icon in their car and visiting the Church once a year. Religion has little bearing on their political/foreign policy attitudes.

    There are few Russians who are deeply Orthodox. I am not knowledgeable on these issues in any great detail but my cursory impression is that Catholic and R. Orthodox positions on social issues align the great majority of the time. The Vatican also (again in my impression) attempts to steer clear of overtly political issues issues when dealing with the Orthodox, which differentiates it from the Western world at large, both secular and Protestant. The main stumbling block it appears to me is the Catholic insistence on is taking the "primus inter pares" principle and running amok with it. But this is literally a millennial issue.

    Thanks for your reply, Anatoly. That’s about what I was thinking. I have never been to Russia, but pretty much all of the Russian émigrés I have dealt with are secular or atheist–that goes for both the Christians and the Jews. I guess Saker’s worldview is a function of his White/Czarist heritage.

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  52. To the extent that Russia has any sort of big, semi-friendly, and actually useful “partner” on the international arena, it is China.

    China will dwarf Russia in a generation. Russia could choose to accept Chinese overlordship, or join an anti China western alliance, but Russia can not maintain its current situation in relation to China.

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    • Replies: @Mitleser
    Why not do the same as India and do neither?
    Especially the latter is quite unappealing.
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  53. Seriously it sounds like Russia has a similar relationship with Islam as China or any other society that has had Muslims for a long time does with Islam – okay with the moderate kind but not with the Wahhabi stuff.

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  54. @SWSpires
    A brief point about assimilation of elites and the Rus situation. Often the minority conqueror assimilates to the much larger conquered population. This was the case in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, where the official language was not Lithuanian but a form of East Slavic (sometimes called Ruthenian), and where the pagan Lithuanian elite gradually merged with the Orthodox Slavic one. It was also the case in Imperial China, where the Manchu conquerors adopted Chinese culture (while maintaining some records in Manchu language), and in Norman England (where French was the elite language for a couple of centuries, eventually replaced by English).

    As far as I know, all the literature surviving from medieval Rus is in the East Slavic language. Is there even a single document from Rus in early Swedish or any form of Norse? There is also very little provable Norse influence on Old East Slavic, beyond a few loanwords. This suggests that, even if the leaders of Rus were Scandinavian by origin, they assimilated to the local culture rather quickly. The influence of Orthodox Christianity was certainly a decisive factor, as was the case in Lithuania.

    Of course, they assimilated eventually. The question is when, and the likely answer isn’t what Russian or Ukrainian nationalists want to hear: sometime in the 11th century. After Vladimir and after Yaroslav.

    As far as I know, all the literature surviving from medieval Rus is in the East Slavic language. Is there even a single document from Rus in early Swedish or any form of Norse?

    I’m not sure if the Scandinavians were producing much of the literature; they didn’t seem to be dominant among churchmen. Yaroslav’s laws, written for the people and the state, were in Slavic but the content of the laws was typically Scandinavian.

    However a lot of runes have been found, some dating to as late as the 11th century:

    http://www.arild-hauge.com/ru-e-rusland.htm

    There is also very little provable Norse influence on Old East Slavic, beyond a few loanwords. This suggests that, even if the leaders of Rus were Scandinavian by origin, they assimilated to the local culture rather quickly.

    Well, we know that they maintained a largely pure Scandinavian bloodline for ~150 years, were regularly bringing in Varangians until the 11th century, sometimes going into exile in Scandinavia, finding wives there, created a set of laws that were Scandinavian in type, etc. These facts suggest that a Scandinavian identity did exist at least until 1100 or so, which is most of the period of Old Rus.

    You are correct that these rulers, who were mostly focused on trade (Old Rus has been compared to a sort of Hudson’s Bay company whose purpose was facilitating Scandinavians trading stuff taken from Slavs in exchange for things from Byzantium or the Arab world), left little of their own cultural impact on the natives. The biggest impact of these Scandinavian invaders/rulers was that they forced the Orthodox faith on the Slavs whom they ruled.

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    • Replies: @Glossy
    The region of Russia that Scandinavians affected the most was the Novgorodian land. There's a unique window into medieval Novgorodian society: birch bark documents. Fragments of more than a thousand private letters from the 1000 AD - 1450 AD period were extracted from Novgorod's soil in the 20th century. The vast majority were in Russian. Some were in Old Church Slavonic.

    Here's a Russian wiki about the few that were written in other languages.

    Out of 1,065 documents from Novgorod 1 was in Karelian, 1 in Greek, 1 in Latin and 1 in German. About 100 birch bark documents were found outside of Novgorod. One of those was written in runes in Old Norse. It was found in Smolensk.

    So there you have it: less than 0.1% overall.

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  55. @Glossy
    This is a very broad definition of “nationalism”, conflating it with some sort of tribalism.

    I neither know nor care how po-mo deconstuctivist "historians" define nationalism, but in the real word it's mostly just another word for tribalism. The key feature is preferring one's own kin.

    Why do you insist that I’m relying on some sort of po-mo deconstructivist view of nationalism?

    I encourage you to read John Lukacs sometime. He’s a great writer:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Lukacs

    in the real word it’s mostly just another word for tribalism

    So for example the Indian chieftain “King Phillip” who fought the English colonists was a Pequot Nationalist?

    How bizarre.

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    • Replies: @Glossy
    So for example the Indian chieftain “King Phillip” who fought the English colonists was a Pequot Nationalist?

    Yes. He fought for his people.
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  56. @AP
    Of course, they assimilated eventually. The question is when, and the likely answer isn't what Russian or Ukrainian nationalists want to hear: sometime in the 11th century. After Vladimir and after Yaroslav.

    As far as I know, all the literature surviving from medieval Rus is in the East Slavic language. Is there even a single document from Rus in early Swedish or any form of Norse?
     
    I'm not sure if the Scandinavians were producing much of the literature; they didn't seem to be dominant among churchmen. Yaroslav's laws, written for the people and the state, were in Slavic but the content of the laws was typically Scandinavian.

    However a lot of runes have been found, some dating to as late as the 11th century:

    http://www.arild-hauge.com/ru-e-rusland.htm

    There is also very little provable Norse influence on Old East Slavic, beyond a few loanwords. This suggests that, even if the leaders of Rus were Scandinavian by origin, they assimilated to the local culture rather quickly.

     

    Well, we know that they maintained a largely pure Scandinavian bloodline for ~150 years, were regularly bringing in Varangians until the 11th century, sometimes going into exile in Scandinavia, finding wives there, created a set of laws that were Scandinavian in type, etc. These facts suggest that a Scandinavian identity did exist at least until 1100 or so, which is most of the period of Old Rus.

    You are correct that these rulers, who were mostly focused on trade (Old Rus has been compared to a sort of Hudson's Bay company whose purpose was facilitating Scandinavians trading stuff taken from Slavs in exchange for things from Byzantium or the Arab world), left little of their own cultural impact on the natives. The biggest impact of these Scandinavian invaders/rulers was that they forced the Orthodox faith on the Slavs whom they ruled.

    The region of Russia that Scandinavians affected the most was the Novgorodian land. There’s a unique window into medieval Novgorodian society: birch bark documents. Fragments of more than a thousand private letters from the 1000 AD – 1450 AD period were extracted from Novgorod’s soil in the 20th century. The vast majority were in Russian. Some were in Old Church Slavonic.

    Here’s a Russian wiki about the few that were written in other languages.

    Out of 1,065 documents from Novgorod 1 was in Karelian, 1 in Greek, 1 in Latin and 1 in German. About 100 birch bark documents were found outside of Novgorod. One of those was written in runes in Old Norse. It was found in Smolensk.

    So there you have it: less than 0.1% overall.

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    • Replies: @AP
    1000 - 1450 AD is a long period of time. The Scandinavians Slavicized by around 1100. How many of the birch bark documents were from before 1100?
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  57. @AP
    Why do you insist that I'm relying on some sort of po-mo deconstructivist view of nationalism?

    I encourage you to read John Lukacs sometime. He's a great writer:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Lukacs

    in the real word it’s mostly just another word for tribalism
     
    So for example the Indian chieftain "King Phillip" who fought the English colonists was a Pequot Nationalist?

    How bizarre.

    So for example the Indian chieftain “King Phillip” who fought the English colonists was a Pequot Nationalist?

    Yes. He fought for his people.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AP
    And the Drevlians who killed Ingvar/Igor and were slaughtered by Helga/Olga were Drevlian nationalists?
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  58. @Glossy
    The region of Russia that Scandinavians affected the most was the Novgorodian land. There's a unique window into medieval Novgorodian society: birch bark documents. Fragments of more than a thousand private letters from the 1000 AD - 1450 AD period were extracted from Novgorod's soil in the 20th century. The vast majority were in Russian. Some were in Old Church Slavonic.

    Here's a Russian wiki about the few that were written in other languages.

    Out of 1,065 documents from Novgorod 1 was in Karelian, 1 in Greek, 1 in Latin and 1 in German. About 100 birch bark documents were found outside of Novgorod. One of those was written in runes in Old Norse. It was found in Smolensk.

    So there you have it: less than 0.1% overall.

    1000 – 1450 AD is a long period of time. The Scandinavians Slavicized by around 1100. How many of the birch bark documents were from before 1100?

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  59. @Glossy
    So for example the Indian chieftain “King Phillip” who fought the English colonists was a Pequot Nationalist?

    Yes. He fought for his people.

    And the Drevlians who killed Ingvar/Igor and were slaughtered by Helga/Olga were Drevlian nationalists?

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    • Replies: @Glossy
    Yes.
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  60. @AP
    And the Drevlians who killed Ingvar/Igor and were slaughtered by Helga/Olga were Drevlian nationalists?

    Yes.

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    • Replies: @AP
    Well, at least you are consistent.
    , @AP
    For a more accurate view you can also read Hayes:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carlton_J._H._Hayes

    The founder of the study of nationalism was a reactionary Catholic, not some kind of post-modernist leftist.

    This essay is a nice one:

    http://www.panarchy.org/hayes/nationalism.html

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  61. @Sean
    I already gave the link

    Since the creation of the Federal Republic in 1949, Bonn and then Berlin had sought to embed German security in an irreversible process of European political integration on the one side, and the maintenance and later expansion of NATO on the other.

    All that changed with the inclusion of Poland in both organisations. With a substantial buffer to the east, Germany reckons itself much less in need of the American security umbrella and the support of allies.
     

    Poland was out for what it could get. Well now it will be the victim of Germany's second Generalplan Ost

    http://www.foxnews.com/world/2015/09/29/refugee-crisis-stokes-anti-muslim-fervor-in-poland-eastern-europe/

    Poland hasn't a leg to stand on as it took hardly any Ukrainian refugees. Now suddenly "Poland's prime minister says her government will take steps to bring in tens of thousands of ethnic Poles now living in Kazakhstan and Ukraine." http://www.fox10tv.com/story/30138088/the-latest-poland-to-host-refugees-from-ukraine-kazakhstan

    Too bloody late for that now, everyone knows Poland has plenty of room, because hundreds of thousands of their best people have left.

    Poland did greatly benefit from joining the EU.
    It would have been against national interest not to join the EU.

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  62. @Sean

    To the extent that Russia has any sort of big, semi-friendly, and actually useful “partner” on the international arena, it is China.
     
    China will dwarf Russia in a generation. Russia could choose to accept Chinese overlordship, or join an anti China western alliance, but Russia can not maintain its current situation in relation to China.

    Why not do the same as India and do neither?
    Especially the latter is quite unappealing.

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  63. @Glossy
    Yes.

    Well, at least you are consistent.

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  64. @Glossy
    Yes.

    For a more accurate view you can also read Hayes:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carlton_J._H._Hayes

    The founder of the study of nationalism was a reactionary Catholic, not some kind of post-modernist leftist.

    This essay is a nice one:

    http://www.panarchy.org/hayes/nationalism.html

    Read More
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