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OK, So Abramovich Is An Israeli Agent. At Least He Doesn't Head a State-Owned Bank.
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So Roman Abramovich has become an Israeli citizen, a month after the Britbongs gave him the finger.

Since every second UHNWI in Russia is considering a second passport, how exactly is this supposed to be interesting or surprising?

Anybody who hasn’t been under a rock for the past two decades – which excludes most Putin personality cultists, who believe that he is (eternally) on the verge of finally liquidating the Atlanticist fifth column – knows that relations between the Kremlin and Abramovich are in fact splendid. Indeed, even in the pro-Putin eponymous book by Hutchins and Korobko, Abramovich is named as a personal banker to the Kremlin, and almost as close to them as the Rotenbergs.

But let me for a moment defend Abramovich. At least he doesn’t run any state-owned corporations.

Unlike, say, this very… well fed fellow:

andrey-kostin

Andrey Kostin is the CEO of state-owned VTB bank, the second largest bank in Russia after Sberbank. Here he was recently commiserating about the sanctions the US has imposed on him:

I love skiing in Colorado, now I can no longer do this. This is very sad, there is great snow in Colorado, wonderful mountains, the people are very nice and friendly… Of course I will miss New York, I love this city.

These sanctions were imposed in spite of his very intensive effort to avoid them:

… The head of VTB Andrey Kostin arrived in Washington D.C. two years ago to urge the US to remove sanctions against the bank. Echo of Moscow accidentally learned of this visit from an indignant American official. In closed meetings with Congressmen and US administration staff, the head of VTB argued that the bank is independent of the Kremlin, conducts business in the Ukraine and helps the economy of that country, and consequently the United States should stop sanctioning it. Kostin’s tales didn’t impress anyone, and consequently, he fell under personal sanctions this year.

If there is a better metaphor for the incompetence and daily treason of the Russian comprador regime I have yet to encounter it.

  1. Beg the Washington Obkom to lift sanctions against your bank because you’re actually a good guy who’s helping out democratic Ukraine – an avowed enemy of the Russian people.
  2. Washington Obkom laughs, refuses, punishes you further to drive the point in.
  3. Openly whine about THE UNFAIRNESS OF IT ALL in the safe and secure knowledge that your job isn’t under threat because you’re smart enough to avoid criticizing the Kremlin.

In the wonderful Russia of the future (to borrow Navalny’s) term, in the Russian National State, both Abramovich and Kostin will get generously subsidized trips to enjoy the wonderful mountains and great snow of Magadan oblast.

 
• Category: Economics • Tags: Elites, Millionaires, Russia 
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  1. Randal says:

    Just another reminder of the sheer scope of global power that US wealth brings – there is probably no country in the world that doesn’t have its share of dual loyalty (at best) types amongst its elites and even its very government, motivated by the desire for access to US and US sphere money. In this aspect, Britain was merely a few decades ahead of the rest of the world.

    Makes the advantages the USSR gained from its communist fifth columns look like chump change.

    The jewish dual loyalty issue is a separate, if related, one.

    It is amusing that these people (Abramovich) thought they could protect their wealth from their own government by stashing it in places controlled by its enemies and are now finding out that policy has some disadvantages….

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mitleser
    It is no less smart than what Kazakhstan did.

    Kazakhstan has asked an appeals court to overturn a decision that saw BNY Mellon freeze assets worth more than $22 billion held in the bank by the country’ sovereign wealth fund.

    The bank seized the assets as part of a dispute between Kazakhstan and a Moldovan businessman who sued the Central Asian country for the nationalization of his oil business in the country.

    The businessman, Anatolie Stati, won a case against Kazakhstan at the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce, which awarded it compensation of $520 million, but Kazakhstan refused to pay up and appealed the Swedish court’s decision in the United States.

    The US District Court of the District of Columbia, however, also ruled in favor of the businessman, as did two courts in Belgium and the Netherlands, giving Stati powers to freeze Kazakh oil fund assets.

    After BNY Mellon froze the assets, the Kazakh government sued it in a UK court, but the court dismissed the case.

    The assets also include a $5.2-billion interest in Kazakhstan’s largest oil field, Kashagan, and earlier this year the Moldovan businessman demanded that the stake be sold by the sovereign wealth fund if they were not going to pay his compensation. A Dutch court froze that stake, too.

    Taken together, the frozen assets constitute 40 percent of Kazakhstan’s National Fund, so the lack of access to them is making life difficult for the government and the central bank of the oil-rich nation.
     
    https://www.rt.com/business/427943-kazakhstan-frozen-assets-us/
    , @neutral

    The jewish dual loyalty issue is a separate, if related, one.
     
    There was never a real dual loyalty, jews are loyal to nobody but themselves, anyone who for a second thinks there is a sincere loyalty from jews towards Russia, Germany, UK, France, America is a fool.
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  2. Mitleser says:

    Which mountains in Russia would you like to visit, Kavkaz, Altai or another mountain?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Pericles
    The mountains often seen in the background during the Sochi olympics were beautiful.
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  3. Mitleser says:
    @Randal
    Just another reminder of the sheer scope of global power that US wealth brings - there is probably no country in the world that doesn't have its share of dual loyalty (at best) types amongst its elites and even its very government, motivated by the desire for access to US and US sphere money. In this aspect, Britain was merely a few decades ahead of the rest of the world.

    Makes the advantages the USSR gained from its communist fifth columns look like chump change.

    The jewish dual loyalty issue is a separate, if related, one.

    It is amusing that these people (Abramovich) thought they could protect their wealth from their own government by stashing it in places controlled by its enemies and are now finding out that policy has some disadvantages....

    It is no less smart than what Kazakhstan did.

    Kazakhstan has asked an appeals court to overturn a decision that saw BNY Mellon freeze assets worth more than $22 billion held in the bank by the country’ sovereign wealth fund.

    The bank seized the assets as part of a dispute between Kazakhstan and a Moldovan businessman who sued the Central Asian country for the nationalization of his oil business in the country.

    The businessman, Anatolie Stati, won a case against Kazakhstan at the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce, which awarded it compensation of $520 million, but Kazakhstan refused to pay up and appealed the Swedish court’s decision in the United States.

    The US District Court of the District of Columbia, however, also ruled in favor of the businessman, as did two courts in Belgium and the Netherlands, giving Stati powers to freeze Kazakh oil fund assets.

    After BNY Mellon froze the assets, the Kazakh government sued it in a UK court, but the court dismissed the case.

    The assets also include a $5.2-billion interest in Kazakhstan’s largest oil field, Kashagan, and earlier this year the Moldovan businessman demanded that the stake be sold by the sovereign wealth fund if they were not going to pay his compensation. A Dutch court froze that stake, too.

    Taken together, the frozen assets constitute 40 percent of Kazakhstan’s National Fund, so the lack of access to them is making life difficult for the government and the central bank of the oil-rich nation.

    https://www.rt.com/business/427943-kazakhstan-frozen-assets-us/

    Read More
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  4. This story has a continuation:

    Kazakhstan has opened two of its ports on the Caspian Sea as transit points for the delivery of non-military goods from the United States to Afghanistan.

    Lawmakers approved a draft law March 7 to ratify the move.

    Access to the ports of Aktau and Kuryk will allow the United States to set up an alternative route to Afghanistan, bypassing Russia.

    The renewed co-operation envisages not only greater economic ties between Astana and Washington but closer political and military co-operation as well, particularly regarding the conflict in Afghanistan.

    Kazakhstan is demonstrating its friendly relations and readiness for a close partnership with the United States by opening its ports on the Caspian Sea to US cargo, said Islam Kurayev, a political scientist from Almaty.

    http://central.asia-news.com/en_GB/articles/cnmi_ca/features/2018/03/29/feature-01

    It has become customary to say that Russia’s problem is its lack of soft power, but seriously, how the heck Russia is supposed to compete with that??

    Read More
    • Replies: @Randal
    Find a way to implement some old school Swiss banking rules and create some Swiss-style banks, and actually make them stick for a few decades....

    You didn't specify that it had to be easy.
    , @Ron Unz

    It has become customary to say that Russia’s problem is its lack of soft power, but seriously, how the heck Russia is supposed to compete with that??
     
    I'd be the first to grant that *today* America possesses absolutely enormous superiority in "soft power" and this gives it enormous advantages over Russia, disgruntled EU leaders, and even to some extent over China. But I also believe this situation is quite fragile.

    Consider the gigantic "soft power" of France towards the end of the 18th Century. As I recall, the Russian and Prussian courts generally spoke French, and the cultural hegemony of that country's elites was very considerable. But once the country collapsed in revolution, and those ruling elites were all being guillotined, things probably changed.

    Today, a large fraction of the American citizenry has become totally impoverished, as has the country overall based on unprecedented fiscal and trade deficits, while we also are suffering one of our worst "mainstream" drug epidemics on record plus an extremely bizarre "Cultural Revolution." Consider also that until many other countries around the world, such impoverishment is absolutely unprecedented in the last 80 years of American history. I think the victory of Donald Trump against the ferocious and near-universal opposition of all our political and media elites is a strong suggestion of this "pre-revolutionary" situation.

    When the music stops and if/when the dollar collapses, the wholesale guillotining of much of America's ruling elites---especially of the "soft power" variety---would really not astonish me.

    "Soft power" should not be discounted but it may be as fragile as a soap bubble or a hypnotic trance...
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  5. Randal says:
    @Felix Keverich
    @Mitleser
    This story has a continuation:

    Kazakhstan has opened two of its ports on the Caspian Sea as transit points for the delivery of non-military goods from the United States to Afghanistan.

    Lawmakers approved a draft law March 7 to ratify the move.

    Access to the ports of Aktau and Kuryk will allow the United States to set up an alternative route to Afghanistan, bypassing Russia.

    The renewed co-operation envisages not only greater economic ties between Astana and Washington but closer political and military co-operation as well, particularly regarding the conflict in Afghanistan.

    Kazakhstan is demonstrating its friendly relations and readiness for a close partnership with the United States by opening its ports on the Caspian Sea to US cargo, said Islam Kurayev, a political scientist from Almaty.
     

    http://central.asia-news.com/en_GB/articles/cnmi_ca/features/2018/03/29/feature-01

    It has become customary to say that Russia's problem is its lack of soft power, but seriously, how the heck Russia is supposed to compete with that??

    Find a way to implement some old school Swiss banking rules and create some Swiss-style banks, and actually make them stick for a few decades….

    You didn’t specify that it had to be easy.

    Read More
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  6. Mr. Hack says:

    Ukraine – an avowed enemy of the Russian people.

    It wasn’t so until 2014, when Russia decided to invade Ukraine, rip of the Crimea and foment war in the Donbas. What was Ukraine to do, sit idly bye and condone this type of aggressive behavior?

    At that time, most Ukrainians looked favorably upon Russians and were against joining NATO. You reap what you sow.

    Read More
    • Disagree: Dan Hayes
    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    You don't believe that Ukrainians looked favorably upon Russians prior to 2014? Or that the majority weren't favorably disposed to joining NATO, Mr.Hayes? I wonder what changed to make their opinions differ so much today??...
    , @Anatoly Karlin

    What was Ukraine to do, sit idly bye and condone this type of aggressive behavior?
     
    Correct.

    Ukrainians are separatists by definition. Good to see you're learning.
    , @anonymous coward

    It wasn’t so until 2014
     
    Yes it was. Ukraine was always envisaged as an 'anti-Russia', right from the start.

    The idea made sense back in the 1920's, when the Communist Party was under a real risk of becoming a Russian Nationalist Party. Creating an anti-Russia "Ukraine" fixed their Russian nationalism problem.

    The idea doesn't make sense in 2018, when even the braindead USA Deep State doesn't want to bankroll an 'anti-Russia'.

    This is why the Ukrainian project is doomed.

    Get ready for the Ruin 2.0.
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  7. Mr. Hack says:
    @Mr. Hack

    Ukraine – an avowed enemy of the Russian people.
     
    It wasn't so until 2014, when Russia decided to invade Ukraine, rip of the Crimea and foment war in the Donbas. What was Ukraine to do, sit idly bye and condone this type of aggressive behavior?

    At that time, most Ukrainians looked favorably upon Russians and were against joining NATO. You reap what you sow.

    You don’t believe that Ukrainians looked favorably upon Russians prior to 2014? Or that the majority weren’t favorably disposed to joining NATO, Mr.Hayes? I wonder what changed to make their opinions differ so much today??…

    Read More
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  8. What a filthy peasant.

    Everyone knows Utah has better snow than Colorado.

    Aspen is a hellhole for foreign arrivistes (like Kostin) and foul-mouthed Brazilians burdened by vast quantities of luggage.

    Two of the three remaining ski resorts in the United States which ban subhuman snowboarders are also located in Utah.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    I liked Wyoming best, but Park City was ok.

    https://i.imgur.com/VjxcgaI.jpg

    I was amused with the slope names at Big Sky, Montana:

    https://i.imgur.com/yXFj41V.jpg

    The commie slopes led directly to an elite resort that banned the snowboarders. Impressive passive aggressiveness.
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  9. @Thorfinnsson
    What a filthy peasant.

    Everyone knows Utah has better snow than Colorado.

    Aspen is a hellhole for foreign arrivistes (like Kostin) and foul-mouthed Brazilians burdened by vast quantities of luggage.

    Two of the three remaining ski resorts in the United States which ban subhuman snowboarders are also located in Utah.

    https://i.pinimg.com/originals/aa/13/8d/aa138dde911c288ba0f4742b578dd977.jpg

    https://prodimage.images-bn.com/pimages/9780972482707_p0_v1_s550x406.jpg

    I liked Wyoming best, but Park City was ok.

    I was amused with the slope names at Big Sky, Montana:

    The commie slopes led directly to an elite resort that banned the snowboarders. Impressive passive aggressiveness.

    Read More
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  10. @Mr. Hack

    Ukraine – an avowed enemy of the Russian people.
     
    It wasn't so until 2014, when Russia decided to invade Ukraine, rip of the Crimea and foment war in the Donbas. What was Ukraine to do, sit idly bye and condone this type of aggressive behavior?

    At that time, most Ukrainians looked favorably upon Russians and were against joining NATO. You reap what you sow.

    What was Ukraine to do, sit idly bye and condone this type of aggressive behavior?

    Correct.

    Ukrainians are separatists by definition. Good to see you’re learning.

    Read More
    • Disagree: Dan Hayes
    • Replies: @Mr. Hack

    Ukrainians are separatists by definition
     
    'Separatists'? By what definition?...And what exactly have I learned?
    , @reiner Tor
    You are using a bad model of reality. Though I’m somewhat far from the place, and could be wrong, but it appears to me that the overwhelming majority of Ukrainians perceive themselves to be of a different nationality. That the majority of them speak Russian doesn’t make it any easier to assimilate them. I’m agnostic about assimilating some border regions like Kharkov (a good argument against it is Andriy Parubiy), but most of Ukraine will be a disloyal, hostile population for the foreseeable future. Especially their educated classes. The supposed benefits due to economies of scale will be actually small due to its being much poorer than the rest of Russia, and especially the educated classes will be prone to leaving it for other parts of Ukraine. Deprived of much of the human capital, these regions will need to be subsidized (also to bribe the population to a semblance of loyalty), forever.

    The annexation of Ukraine thus would probably make Russia weaker, not stronger. I fail to see how you can think otherwise.

    Meanwhile, there are much lower hanging fruits in strengthening Russia (for example working on the loyalty of the elites), even increasing the size (and thus economies of scale) of the Russian economy seems easier. You can move the country in an overly nationalistic direction, thus over time increasing its cohesion.

    The annexation of the whole (or even just half) of Ukraine would be an imperial project, regardless of Russian nationalist fantasies about Ukrainians being Russians. These fantasies are not going to be good predictors of Ukrainians’ behavior. So you’d gain a large but dirt poor and hostile population, whose elites would either work to undermine you from inside or (best case) would leave and thus deprive the place of any hope of improvement.

    It would also result in an anti-Russian hysteria across the eastern regions of the EU, and perhaps even in places like Sweden or Germany. It would definitely make it easier for the Atlanticist elites to sell their anti-Russian propaganda.

    Just my two cents.
    , @Chuck
    Karlin cucking for jews and shitting on whites.
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  11. Betlo says:

    Always felt an infinite revulsion for fat people. In my experience fatties lack strengthen of character. Which is understandable; If you cannot control your body and your appetite there is lot of other lusts and wants under whose spell you will succumb.

    Fat tissue generates oestrogen by the way…

    Putin seems to be quite slim and fit… I am sure an unorthodox and extremely un PC way to cut down corruption in Russia would be to pass a law firing and prevention anyone with an BMI over 25 to work in the service of the state in any capacity.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Polish Perspective

    In my experience fatties lack strengthen of character. Which is understandable; If you cannot control your body and your appetite there is lot of other lusts and wants under whose spell you will succumb.
     
    As a formerly fat person who lost quite a lot of weight, I disagree, though I am tempted to agree because it would make me look better. One of my best friends is skinny as a stick despite eating much worse than I do, simply because he has a great metabolism which burns through calories like no tomorrow. There are downsides to that too: he can't build muscles easily while I can go to the gym just a few months and be pretty ripped.

    If everyone had the same metabolism, I'd agree with you. But the reality is, while we certainly have a responsibility for our weight, some people have it substantially easier to be slim (like my friend) despite having bad eating discipline. Also, I find that some people use foot as an outlet for emotional control the way some people use alcohol or drugs. There are certainly successful alcoholics and I wouldn't be surprised if people who used food - or sex, or drugs - the same way are also represented among the successful class.

    , @bartok

    Always felt an infinite revulsion for fat people. ... Fat tissue generates oestrogen by the way…
     
    Kostin has a wide face, is he particularly fat? A wide face has to do with high T and social dominance.
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  12. Mr. Hack says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    What was Ukraine to do, sit idly bye and condone this type of aggressive behavior?
     
    Correct.

    Ukrainians are separatists by definition. Good to see you're learning.

    Ukrainians are separatists by definition

    ‘Separatists’? By what definition?…And what exactly have I learned?

    Read More
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  13. Help me understand what accounts for the passivity of the kremlins in tolerance of rats like Kostin. Is he extraordinarily skilled, so there isn’t an easy replacement? Somehow I have a hard time believing that. What else could it be? The fact that he is chummy with the elites in of itself wouldn’t explain it: everyone likes being in proximity to power and influence. There must be a thousand people waiting to replace him. So if they got rid him, I doubt that they’d struggle to find replacement.

    It doesn’t make sense to me.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dmitry
    The top of the government are sending their kids and family to be educated, to buy property,* to have half of their friends, etc, in the West, and even a lot of the kids are marrying Western wives/husbands and taking Western citizenships.

    That's why sometimes the rhetoric can seem a bit exaggerated or aimed for the cattle. (At the same time, I see some benefits - for the country - and support that there is some hostility with the West that prevents integration and total domination by the Western countries that would occur if there was further integration than now).


    -


    * E.g.


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3H1kjApSIuQ

    , @utu

    in tolerance of rats like Kostin
     
    Probably they are all like that. They are members of the Masters of Universe class who found themselves inconvenienced by American sanctions which shrinks the Universe they wanted to be the Masters of of. I doubt that Russia has a pool of cadres that have some ideological commitment for the Russia's doctrine. Actually what is Russia's doctrine? It seems that Russia is reactive like a fire brigade that responds to fires as the happen. They do not have anymore true Chekists who would lead a Spartan life and carry out Party's objectives regardless of their self-interests. There is no party, no ideology. All that is left is the kleptocratic class. It is a norm. American pressure and sanctions are to inconvenience these people so they realize that there is no other way. You want to be a part of the Universe it will happen only on American terms.
    , @anonymous coward

    Help me understand what accounts for the passivity of the kremlins in tolerance of rats like Kostin.
     
    Sure, I will.

    The riddle is easily solved: these clowns don't actually wield any power or influence.

    Russia is a place where the mercantile class was always despised and ridiculed. Some have been able to get rich, but the wealth would never stick and would be always wasted on something clownish or other.

    These are very old archetypes being played out.

    As long as people like this don't actually commit some treasonous deed, the real influencers will let them be.
    , @Mitleser

    Help me understand what accounts for the passivity of the kremlins in tolerance of rats like Kostin.
     
    The average member of the Russian establishment is more of a Kostin than a patriot, even if they claim the opposite.

    Andrei Yakunin, 40, the older son (below, left), holds a British passport and lives and works in London. His London home is reportedly registered to a Panama entity. His work is managing hotels and investor money through his vehicle, Venture Investment and Yield Management (VIYM). He and the asset management business started with low-cost privatization of state property in St. Petersburg. Lead projects in the firm’s current portfolio remain in St. Petersburg, where Victor Yakunin (right) is in charge. Swiss sources deny Russian reports that Victor continues to maintain residential property in Geneva.

    A Russian source well-known in the transportation sector says Yakunin Senior’s downfall was all his own doing. “It’s Yakunin’s fault because his public announcements about the patriotic and ascetic life caused irritation in the Kremlin. If he’s a crook, he should have kept silent, like others. If he’s not, how to explain his son’s preference to be British. Did Vladimir Ivanovich consider London to be his safe harbour also?”

    In private Yakunin has intimated that Putin isn’t forthright enough towards the US-led war against Russia, and unwilling to see the conflict from Yakunin’s view that this is also a war of civilizations; that’s to say, of Orthodoxy and Russian morality against licentious barbarians.
     
    http://johnhelmer.net/vladimir-yakunin-got-the-chop-from-vladimir-putin-why/

    So if they got rid him, I doubt that they’d struggle to find replacement.
     
    And that is what the Russian elite does not want to be, to appear replaceable.
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  14. @Betlo
    Always felt an infinite revulsion for fat people. In my experience fatties lack strengthen of character. Which is understandable; If you cannot control your body and your appetite there is lot of other lusts and wants under whose spell you will succumb.

    Fat tissue generates oestrogen by the way...

    Putin seems to be quite slim and fit... I am sure an unorthodox and extremely un PC way to cut down corruption in Russia would be to pass a law firing and prevention anyone with an BMI over 25 to work in the service of the state in any capacity.

    In my experience fatties lack strengthen of character. Which is understandable; If you cannot control your body and your appetite there is lot of other lusts and wants under whose spell you will succumb.

    As a formerly fat person who lost quite a lot of weight, I disagree, though I am tempted to agree because it would make me look better. One of my best friends is skinny as a stick despite eating much worse than I do, simply because he has a great metabolism which burns through calories like no tomorrow. There are downsides to that too: he can’t build muscles easily while I can go to the gym just a few months and be pretty ripped.

    If everyone had the same metabolism, I’d agree with you. But the reality is, while we certainly have a responsibility for our weight, some people have it substantially easier to be slim (like my friend) despite having bad eating discipline. Also, I find that some people use foot as an outlet for emotional control the way some people use alcohol or drugs. There are certainly successful alcoholics and I wouldn’t be surprised if people who used food – or sex, or drugs – the same way are also represented among the successful class.

    Read More
    • Agree: reiner Tor
    • Replies: @Anon
    Myfitnesspal
    , @Yevardian
    'Fast/slow metabolism' has been proved to vary only negligibly in healthy people of the same age, it's an old excuse. Anybody serious about representing any institution of idea in his person has a responsibility not to live and dress like a slob. Appearance matters, there is no simpler way to appeal to the normie. Dressing like a fop was probably the only thing Spencer did right.
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  15. @Anatoly Karlin

    What was Ukraine to do, sit idly bye and condone this type of aggressive behavior?
     
    Correct.

    Ukrainians are separatists by definition. Good to see you're learning.

    You are using a bad model of reality. Though I’m somewhat far from the place, and could be wrong, but it appears to me that the overwhelming majority of Ukrainians perceive themselves to be of a different nationality. That the majority of them speak Russian doesn’t make it any easier to assimilate them. I’m agnostic about assimilating some border regions like Kharkov (a good argument against it is Andriy Parubiy), but most of Ukraine will be a disloyal, hostile population for the foreseeable future. Especially their educated classes. The supposed benefits due to economies of scale will be actually small due to its being much poorer than the rest of Russia, and especially the educated classes will be prone to leaving it for other parts of Ukraine. Deprived of much of the human capital, these regions will need to be subsidized (also to bribe the population to a semblance of loyalty), forever.

    The annexation of Ukraine thus would probably make Russia weaker, not stronger. I fail to see how you can think otherwise.

    Meanwhile, there are much lower hanging fruits in strengthening Russia (for example working on the loyalty of the elites), even increasing the size (and thus economies of scale) of the Russian economy seems easier. You can move the country in an overly nationalistic direction, thus over time increasing its cohesion.

    The annexation of the whole (or even just half) of Ukraine would be an imperial project, regardless of Russian nationalist fantasies about Ukrainians being Russians. These fantasies are not going to be good predictors of Ukrainians’ behavior. So you’d gain a large but dirt poor and hostile population, whose elites would either work to undermine you from inside or (best case) would leave and thus deprive the place of any hope of improvement.

    It would also result in an anti-Russian hysteria across the eastern regions of the EU, and perhaps even in places like Sweden or Germany. It would definitely make it easier for the Atlanticist elites to sell their anti-Russian propaganda.

    Just my two cents.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anon
    I don’t know much about the situation . what you said makes sense to me.
    , @Mitleser

    You are using a bad model of reality.
     
    Separatists are separatists.

    Though I’m somewhat far from the place, and could be wrong, but it appears to me that the overwhelming majority of Ukrainians perceive themselves to be of a different nationality.
     
    Just like the Austrians right next to your Hungary.
    They are separatists too.

    https://abload.de/img/sterreich99sdy.jpg
    , @Anatoly Karlin
    Military solutions are currently unfeasible for obvious reasons, I don't know where I said otherwise.

    However, the Ukraine should be declared a separatist state.
    , @iffen
    (for example working on the loyalty of the elites

    If some of us knew how to accomplish this we wouldn't be writing comments. :)

    The "natural" loyalty of the elite is to the elite. Cultivation of the loyalty of the proles is on an as needed basis when it seems beneficial to the elite. The coincidence of what passes for elite concern for the proles with economic growth and prosperity clouds the picture.
    , @Felix Keverich

    The annexation of the whole (or even just half) of Ukraine would be an imperial project, regardless of Russian nationalist fantasies about Ukrainians being Russians. These fantasies are not going to be good predictors of Ukrainians’ behavior. So you’d gain a large but dirt poor and hostile population, whose elites would either work to undermine you from inside or (best case) would leave and thus deprive the place of any hope of improvement.
     
    The good news about Ukrainian population is that it's disappearing quickly. The Ukraine leads the world in terms of depopulation, war and occupation will likely accelerate that.

    IMO, the imperative for Russia in the Ukraine should be simple control of territory. Other objectives can take a back seat for now. If annexing the Ukraine right now is going to break the budget, well that's an argument against annexing it at this time. We can still occupy it though. AP has argued that the costs will be prohibitive, because Russia would then have to rebuild the country while under Western sanctions, but who says that Ukraine has to be rebuilt? Who says it has to be rebuilt now?

    We can rebuilt the Ukraine when Russia has the money for it, in the meantime just leave it as it is, a depopulating wasteland, but with Russian military bases.


    What we should be doing is encouraging Ukrainian migration into Russian mainland. It is cheaper and easier, than rebuilding Ukrainian economy. Those who hate us will migrate to Poland.
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  16. Dmitry says:

    Abramovich’s daughter just became English?

    https://www.facebook.com/sofia.abramovich.73

    Read More
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  17. Dmitry says:
    @Polish Perspective
    Help me understand what accounts for the passivity of the kremlins in tolerance of rats like Kostin. Is he extraordinarily skilled, so there isn't an easy replacement? Somehow I have a hard time believing that. What else could it be? The fact that he is chummy with the elites in of itself wouldn't explain it: everyone likes being in proximity to power and influence. There must be a thousand people waiting to replace him. So if they got rid him, I doubt that they'd struggle to find replacement.

    It doesn't make sense to me.

    The top of the government are sending their kids and family to be educated, to buy property,* to have half of their friends, etc, in the West, and even a lot of the kids are marrying Western wives/husbands and taking Western citizenships.

    That’s why sometimes the rhetoric can seem a bit exaggerated or aimed for the cattle. (At the same time, I see some benefits – for the country – and support that there is some hostility with the West that prevents integration and total domination by the Western countries that would occur if there was further integration than now).

    -

    * E.g.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Felix Keverich

    That’s why sometimes the rhetoric can seem a bit exaggerated or aimed for the cattle.
     
    Do you think that anti-Russian rhetoric in the West is also aimed for the cattle, and they all secretly love Russia at heart? lol

    As a Russian I find this behavior perplexing. I'd like to know psychoanalytical reasons for this behavior: why would Putin's spokesman want to be photographed wearing $800.000 watch for example?

    I have a theory of my own. In Russia the difference between the "elite" and the "cattle" is often happening to be in the right place at the right time. A person, who rises to the top by lucky accident, devotes his life to acquiring visible trappings of success. To distinguish himself from the bydlo from which he came.

    Owning homes in the West is a part of it, another status symbol - this is not something that an ordinary person in Russia can ever afford, therefore they (the "elite") MUST have it. They need dozens of them.

    kids are marrying Western wives/husbands and taking Western citizenships.
     
    A wealthy offspring of Russian "elite" can marry some Western prole. But he or she won't be able to marry into Western elite, because elite in the West is more of a real thing.
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  18. utu says:
    @Polish Perspective
    Help me understand what accounts for the passivity of the kremlins in tolerance of rats like Kostin. Is he extraordinarily skilled, so there isn't an easy replacement? Somehow I have a hard time believing that. What else could it be? The fact that he is chummy with the elites in of itself wouldn't explain it: everyone likes being in proximity to power and influence. There must be a thousand people waiting to replace him. So if they got rid him, I doubt that they'd struggle to find replacement.

    It doesn't make sense to me.

    in tolerance of rats like Kostin

    Probably they are all like that. They are members of the Masters of Universe class who found themselves inconvenienced by American sanctions which shrinks the Universe they wanted to be the Masters of of. I doubt that Russia has a pool of cadres that have some ideological commitment for the Russia’s doctrine. Actually what is Russia’s doctrine? It seems that Russia is reactive like a fire brigade that responds to fires as the happen. They do not have anymore true Chekists who would lead a Spartan life and carry out Party’s objectives regardless of their self-interests. There is no party, no ideology. All that is left is the kleptocratic class. It is a norm. American pressure and sanctions are to inconvenience these people so they realize that there is no other way. You want to be a part of the Universe it will happen only on American terms.

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  19. Chuck says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    What was Ukraine to do, sit idly bye and condone this type of aggressive behavior?
     
    Correct.

    Ukrainians are separatists by definition. Good to see you're learning.

    Karlin cucking for jews and shitting on whites.

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    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    Just a note that in these people's minds "cucking for jews" = opposing a nuclear war with Israel just because the Jews are being real mean to the Palestinians.

    Get bent.
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  20. @Mr. Hack

    Ukraine – an avowed enemy of the Russian people.
     
    It wasn't so until 2014, when Russia decided to invade Ukraine, rip of the Crimea and foment war in the Donbas. What was Ukraine to do, sit idly bye and condone this type of aggressive behavior?

    At that time, most Ukrainians looked favorably upon Russians and were against joining NATO. You reap what you sow.

    It wasn’t so until 2014

    Yes it was. Ukraine was always envisaged as an ‘anti-Russia’, right from the start.

    The idea made sense back in the 1920′s, when the Communist Party was under a real risk of becoming a Russian Nationalist Party. Creating an anti-Russia “Ukraine” fixed their Russian nationalism problem.

    The idea doesn’t make sense in 2018, when even the braindead USA Deep State doesn’t want to bankroll an ‘anti-Russia’.

    This is why the Ukrainian project is doomed.

    Get ready for the Ruin 2.0.

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    • Replies: @AP

    Yes it was. Ukraine was always envisaged as an ‘anti-Russia’, right from the start.
     
    Non-Russia is not anti-Russia, but your cluelessness is well known.
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  21. @Polish Perspective
    Help me understand what accounts for the passivity of the kremlins in tolerance of rats like Kostin. Is he extraordinarily skilled, so there isn't an easy replacement? Somehow I have a hard time believing that. What else could it be? The fact that he is chummy with the elites in of itself wouldn't explain it: everyone likes being in proximity to power and influence. There must be a thousand people waiting to replace him. So if they got rid him, I doubt that they'd struggle to find replacement.

    It doesn't make sense to me.

    Help me understand what accounts for the passivity of the kremlins in tolerance of rats like Kostin.

    Sure, I will.

    The riddle is easily solved: these clowns don’t actually wield any power or influence.

    Russia is a place where the mercantile class was always despised and ridiculed. Some have been able to get rich, but the wealth would never stick and would be always wasted on something clownish or other.

    These are very old archetypes being played out.

    As long as people like this don’t actually commit some treasonous deed, the real influencers will let them be.

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  22. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:
    @reiner Tor
    You are using a bad model of reality. Though I’m somewhat far from the place, and could be wrong, but it appears to me that the overwhelming majority of Ukrainians perceive themselves to be of a different nationality. That the majority of them speak Russian doesn’t make it any easier to assimilate them. I’m agnostic about assimilating some border regions like Kharkov (a good argument against it is Andriy Parubiy), but most of Ukraine will be a disloyal, hostile population for the foreseeable future. Especially their educated classes. The supposed benefits due to economies of scale will be actually small due to its being much poorer than the rest of Russia, and especially the educated classes will be prone to leaving it for other parts of Ukraine. Deprived of much of the human capital, these regions will need to be subsidized (also to bribe the population to a semblance of loyalty), forever.

    The annexation of Ukraine thus would probably make Russia weaker, not stronger. I fail to see how you can think otherwise.

    Meanwhile, there are much lower hanging fruits in strengthening Russia (for example working on the loyalty of the elites), even increasing the size (and thus economies of scale) of the Russian economy seems easier. You can move the country in an overly nationalistic direction, thus over time increasing its cohesion.

    The annexation of the whole (or even just half) of Ukraine would be an imperial project, regardless of Russian nationalist fantasies about Ukrainians being Russians. These fantasies are not going to be good predictors of Ukrainians’ behavior. So you’d gain a large but dirt poor and hostile population, whose elites would either work to undermine you from inside or (best case) would leave and thus deprive the place of any hope of improvement.

    It would also result in an anti-Russian hysteria across the eastern regions of the EU, and perhaps even in places like Sweden or Germany. It would definitely make it easier for the Atlanticist elites to sell their anti-Russian propaganda.

    Just my two cents.

    I don’t know much about the situation . what you said makes sense to me.

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  23. Mitleser says:
    @reiner Tor
    You are using a bad model of reality. Though I’m somewhat far from the place, and could be wrong, but it appears to me that the overwhelming majority of Ukrainians perceive themselves to be of a different nationality. That the majority of them speak Russian doesn’t make it any easier to assimilate them. I’m agnostic about assimilating some border regions like Kharkov (a good argument against it is Andriy Parubiy), but most of Ukraine will be a disloyal, hostile population for the foreseeable future. Especially their educated classes. The supposed benefits due to economies of scale will be actually small due to its being much poorer than the rest of Russia, and especially the educated classes will be prone to leaving it for other parts of Ukraine. Deprived of much of the human capital, these regions will need to be subsidized (also to bribe the population to a semblance of loyalty), forever.

    The annexation of Ukraine thus would probably make Russia weaker, not stronger. I fail to see how you can think otherwise.

    Meanwhile, there are much lower hanging fruits in strengthening Russia (for example working on the loyalty of the elites), even increasing the size (and thus economies of scale) of the Russian economy seems easier. You can move the country in an overly nationalistic direction, thus over time increasing its cohesion.

    The annexation of the whole (or even just half) of Ukraine would be an imperial project, regardless of Russian nationalist fantasies about Ukrainians being Russians. These fantasies are not going to be good predictors of Ukrainians’ behavior. So you’d gain a large but dirt poor and hostile population, whose elites would either work to undermine you from inside or (best case) would leave and thus deprive the place of any hope of improvement.

    It would also result in an anti-Russian hysteria across the eastern regions of the EU, and perhaps even in places like Sweden or Germany. It would definitely make it easier for the Atlanticist elites to sell their anti-Russian propaganda.

    Just my two cents.

    You are using a bad model of reality.

    Separatists are separatists.

    Though I’m somewhat far from the place, and could be wrong, but it appears to me that the overwhelming majority of Ukrainians perceive themselves to be of a different nationality.

    Just like the Austrians right next to your Hungary.
    They are separatists too.

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    I think it’d be easier to convince Austrians that they are Germans than convincing Ukrainians that they are Russians. Austria wouldn’t cost money, since it’s as rich as Germany. (Nominally slightly richer.) I’m a quarter Austrian, and I’d support it wholeheartedly. But I don’t know if it’d be possible. You first needed a nationalist government in Germany. Then remove kebab. Then, maybe, get Austria.
    , @AP

    Just like the Austrians right next to your Hungary.
    They are separatists too.
     
    And Irish.

    Although most Ukrainians speak Russian (just as most Germans speak English), most Ukrainians do not speak Russian as a first language, at home. It was about 50/50 before Crimea and Donbas left, now it's mostly Ukrainian.

    Massive survey involving 10,000s of participants over several years; when asked which language to use, it was about 44% Russian, 41% Ukrainian, rest no preference:

    http://www.kiis.com.ua/materials/articles_HVE/16_linguaethnical.pdf

    In contrast, of course, German is Austria's native language.

    Ukrainians are genetically closely related to Russians, but even closer to Belarusians and to Slovaks. Ukrainians are genetically distinct enough from Russians that even an ethnic Ukrainian from Belgorod oblast in modern Russia is closer to one from Lviv than he is to his Russian neighbors:

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26419068

    As for mutual history - most of Ukraine was ruled by the West longer than ruled by Russia.
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  24. Kostin is pathetic, if he likes skiing so much why doesn’t he just go to Sochi? I agree, if he likes snow and mountains so much lets give him a one-way trip to Kolyma.

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  25. @Mitleser

    You are using a bad model of reality.
     
    Separatists are separatists.

    Though I’m somewhat far from the place, and could be wrong, but it appears to me that the overwhelming majority of Ukrainians perceive themselves to be of a different nationality.
     
    Just like the Austrians right next to your Hungary.
    They are separatists too.

    https://abload.de/img/sterreich99sdy.jpg

    I think it’d be easier to convince Austrians that they are Germans than convincing Ukrainians that they are Russians. Austria wouldn’t cost money, since it’s as rich as Germany. (Nominally slightly richer.) I’m a quarter Austrian, and I’d support it wholeheartedly. But I don’t know if it’d be possible. You first needed a nationalist government in Germany. Then remove kebab. Then, maybe, get Austria.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mitleser

    I think it’d be easier to convince Austrians that they are Germans than convincing Ukrainians that they are Russians. Austria wouldn’t cost money, since it’s as rich as Germany. (Nominally slightly richer.)
     
    Not convincing.
    The states of the former GDR did join the FRG precisely because they were much poorer and wanted FRG prosperity ASAP.
    , @ERM
    I don't really see what would be in it for Austria, which already has a strong claim to being the all around nicest country in the world. If anything, their distaste for Germany deems to be growing: a Viennese friend told me the other day, "The problem with the Germans is that they have no balls." (Vienna is a story on its own; while the rest of Austria is tolerably similar to Bavaria, Vienna, culturally and otherwise, bears no resemblance whatsoever to anywhere in Germany, and the local vernacular can only be called German with a certain generosity of spirit.) Indeed, Austrians lately seem to be showing signs of renewing their attractive old Habsburg self-interested amorality in total contradiction to whatever madness is sweeping through Germany.
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  26. The Kulak says:

    As much as I’m inclined to discount the everything in Lviv is awesome posts made here and downplaying of the Galicia centric nature of Ukrainian nationalism, I agree with Reiner Tor that Russia annexing Ukraine besides Crimea or Donetsk/Lugansk would be a huge mistake. I am not even sure given the porousness of the Donbass borders (forget ‘build a wall’) with Ukraine Putin could have pulled off the swift operation that Anatoly seems to think he could have in 2014 without Russian not Donbass native soldiers dying from regular IEDs and ambushes in 2015-18.

    Yes of course the UAF were in a lousy state in 2014 and probably couldn’t have kept the Russian Army from taking Kiev in three weeks or less, and yes Ukrainian nationalists here tend to overestimate the number of actual ‘vacationers’ involved in the 2014-15 fighting to downplay the staggering incompetence of the Kiev high command…which is harder to explain regarding Donetsk airport and Debaltsevo than perhaps the opening battles where pro-Russian infiltration or payoffs to UAF generals and colonels to surrender arms could have or most likely did happen. UAF suppporters starting with the Stop Fake video ‘debunking’ the presence of mercenaries in March 2014 Donetsk also downplay the ‘NATO Foreign Legionnaires’ who were definitely observing if not directly fighting so much in the high scores to low hundreds. Azov Battalion in particular had the stench of the Gladio networks including ‘out of my face please’ guy who was definitely not the British de mining volunteer Chris ‘Swampy’ Garrett and didn’t even look like him. There is ample evidence that the significant foreign percentage of fighters is precisely why Azov mostly stayed in sitzkrieg and parade mode in Mariupol while UAF units did the actual fighting. And don’t even get me started on systemic Ukrainian lying about the scale of their casualties supported by the Pentagon and even the cognitive dissonance of the Potomac Foundation’s Phil Karber, who admitted in a West Point talk to a single night of Russian barrages incinerating two UAF battalions — but won’t connect the dots between the border battles to 8,000 UAF KIA by the Ilovaisk aftermath in August 2014. I think UAF KIA are now north of 12,000 and that’s a conservative estimate with NAF deaths approximately 4,000.

    That all being said, there are still millions of Ukrainians who are by no means ‘Banderites’ who would understandably not wish to be Russian in the same sense that Canadians despite their common language and origins with the USA would not wish to be annexed by the U.S. And I respect that choice and believe Putin and the majority of the Russian people respect it too, hence no T90s rolling into Mariupol much less Kiev by July/August 2014.

    I am not sure what the solution is…but I do think once Turkstream and Nordstream 2 are finished if not several months before the issue will come to a head. If the USD continues to be dumped as world reserve currency and the EU falls apart then Ukraine will accept a cold peace with Belorussian and Kazakh peacekeepers coming in to stop the shelling. But that is only likely after another painful and crushing UAF defeat I’m not sure the NAF are capable of inflicting alone, even if the Operation Storm in Donbass idea overstates UAF capabilities. At best if NAF screw up badly the UAF might achieve a breakthrough to partially encircle Gorlovka or break into Debaltseve at a cost in high hundreds KIA and thousands of WIA.

    Actually encircling Donetsk and Lugansk would require the UAF’s NATO trainers and commanders to provide competency if not direct fire support to the operation, thereby risking the 1st Guards Tank Army or at least spetsnaz units killing Canucks and Americans along for the UAF ride. And as I’ve said to Anatoly many times, his overestimation of Western and Israeli militaries is mostly due to overlooking their unwillingness to bleed and die in sufficient numbers to achieve the goals their political masters set out.

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  27. Mitleser says:
    @Polish Perspective
    Help me understand what accounts for the passivity of the kremlins in tolerance of rats like Kostin. Is he extraordinarily skilled, so there isn't an easy replacement? Somehow I have a hard time believing that. What else could it be? The fact that he is chummy with the elites in of itself wouldn't explain it: everyone likes being in proximity to power and influence. There must be a thousand people waiting to replace him. So if they got rid him, I doubt that they'd struggle to find replacement.

    It doesn't make sense to me.

    Help me understand what accounts for the passivity of the kremlins in tolerance of rats like Kostin.

    The average member of the Russian establishment is more of a Kostin than a patriot, even if they claim the opposite.

    Andrei Yakunin, 40, the older son (below, left), holds a British passport and lives and works in London. His London home is reportedly registered to a Panama entity. His work is managing hotels and investor money through his vehicle, Venture Investment and Yield Management (VIYM). He and the asset management business started with low-cost privatization of state property in St. Petersburg. Lead projects in the firm’s current portfolio remain in St. Petersburg, where Victor Yakunin (right) is in charge. Swiss sources deny Russian reports that Victor continues to maintain residential property in Geneva.

    A Russian source well-known in the transportation sector says Yakunin Senior’s downfall was all his own doing. “It’s Yakunin’s fault because his public announcements about the patriotic and ascetic life caused irritation in the Kremlin. If he’s a crook, he should have kept silent, like others. If he’s not, how to explain his son’s preference to be British. Did Vladimir Ivanovich consider London to be his safe harbour also?”

    In private Yakunin has intimated that Putin isn’t forthright enough towards the US-led war against Russia, and unwilling to see the conflict from Yakunin’s view that this is also a war of civilizations; that’s to say, of Orthodoxy and Russian morality against licentious barbarians.

    http://johnhelmer.net/vladimir-yakunin-got-the-chop-from-vladimir-putin-why/

    So if they got rid him, I doubt that they’d struggle to find replacement.

    And that is what the Russian elite does not want to be, to appear replaceable.

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    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin
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  28. Mitleser says:
    @reiner Tor
    I think it’d be easier to convince Austrians that they are Germans than convincing Ukrainians that they are Russians. Austria wouldn’t cost money, since it’s as rich as Germany. (Nominally slightly richer.) I’m a quarter Austrian, and I’d support it wholeheartedly. But I don’t know if it’d be possible. You first needed a nationalist government in Germany. Then remove kebab. Then, maybe, get Austria.

    I think it’d be easier to convince Austrians that they are Germans than convincing Ukrainians that they are Russians. Austria wouldn’t cost money, since it’s as rich as Germany. (Nominally slightly richer.)

    Not convincing.
    The states of the former GDR did join the FRG precisely because they were much poorer and wanted FRG prosperity ASAP.

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    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    Austrians hate North Germans. They usually like South Germans. They speak the same language, and in the 1950s they still considered themselves to be Germans (something like 80% of them).

    But as you write, there'd be no material motivation, and probably there'd be no emotional motivation either, since no one wants to join the German Holocaust Guilt suicide cult. Austrians now ludicrously claim their country to be the "first victim of Hitler," which I guess is better than being responsible for its deeds forever and ever.

    What they'll do is eventually Germany will convert to Islam, and then it'll be renamed. The unconverted Germans will be held guilty for eternity, but that will only provide motivation for them to convert. So eventually they'll all convert. Or a nationalist revival. I'm hoping for the latter, but the former now seems more likely.

    Anyway, after removing the holocaust baggage (which will remove basically all historical baggage, including the cultural heritage itself), they might then conquer Austria, too, because Austria will then be held more guilty of Nazism than the Islamic Federal Republic of Almaniya, which will have nothing to do with the previous state known as "Germany."
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  29. @Mitleser

    I think it’d be easier to convince Austrians that they are Germans than convincing Ukrainians that they are Russians. Austria wouldn’t cost money, since it’s as rich as Germany. (Nominally slightly richer.)
     
    Not convincing.
    The states of the former GDR did join the FRG precisely because they were much poorer and wanted FRG prosperity ASAP.

    Austrians hate North Germans. They usually like South Germans. They speak the same language, and in the 1950s they still considered themselves to be Germans (something like 80% of them).

    But as you write, there’d be no material motivation, and probably there’d be no emotional motivation either, since no one wants to join the German Holocaust Guilt suicide cult. Austrians now ludicrously claim their country to be the “first victim of Hitler,” which I guess is better than being responsible for its deeds forever and ever.

    What they’ll do is eventually Germany will convert to Islam, and then it’ll be renamed. The unconverted Germans will be held guilty for eternity, but that will only provide motivation for them to convert. So eventually they’ll all convert. Or a nationalist revival. I’m hoping for the latter, but the former now seems more likely.

    Anyway, after removing the holocaust baggage (which will remove basically all historical baggage, including the cultural heritage itself), they might then conquer Austria, too, because Austria will then be held more guilty of Nazism than the Islamic Federal Republic of Almaniya, which will have nothing to do with the previous state known as “Germany.”

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    • Agree: RadicalCenter
    • Replies: @German_reader

    Austrians hate North Germans.
     
    honestly, who doesn't, can't stand those Prussians either.
    You don't really think that Germany will become fully Islamic? Pesssimistic as I am, this seems unlikely to me.
    It might even be possible that Islam eventually fades among Muslims in Europe, except in some superficial ghetto thug style. It would still be a multiethnic/multiracial low-trust dystopia, but more of a consumerist than of a jihadi kind.
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  30. @Chuck
    Karlin cucking for jews and shitting on whites.

    Just a note that in these people’s minds “cucking for jews” = opposing a nuclear war with Israel just because the Jews are being real mean to the Palestinians.

    Get bent.

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    • Replies: @neutral
    Israel is bombing Syria (which is supposed to a Russian ally) at will, they are clearly not that concerned about nuclear retaliation so why should Russia? Russia should at the very least not invite the head of state that is openly attacking its allies.
    , @iffen
    the Jews are being real mean to the Palestinians

    Being mean?

    I thought they were helping them access multitudes of virgins.
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  31. @reiner Tor
    You are using a bad model of reality. Though I’m somewhat far from the place, and could be wrong, but it appears to me that the overwhelming majority of Ukrainians perceive themselves to be of a different nationality. That the majority of them speak Russian doesn’t make it any easier to assimilate them. I’m agnostic about assimilating some border regions like Kharkov (a good argument against it is Andriy Parubiy), but most of Ukraine will be a disloyal, hostile population for the foreseeable future. Especially their educated classes. The supposed benefits due to economies of scale will be actually small due to its being much poorer than the rest of Russia, and especially the educated classes will be prone to leaving it for other parts of Ukraine. Deprived of much of the human capital, these regions will need to be subsidized (also to bribe the population to a semblance of loyalty), forever.

    The annexation of Ukraine thus would probably make Russia weaker, not stronger. I fail to see how you can think otherwise.

    Meanwhile, there are much lower hanging fruits in strengthening Russia (for example working on the loyalty of the elites), even increasing the size (and thus economies of scale) of the Russian economy seems easier. You can move the country in an overly nationalistic direction, thus over time increasing its cohesion.

    The annexation of the whole (or even just half) of Ukraine would be an imperial project, regardless of Russian nationalist fantasies about Ukrainians being Russians. These fantasies are not going to be good predictors of Ukrainians’ behavior. So you’d gain a large but dirt poor and hostile population, whose elites would either work to undermine you from inside or (best case) would leave and thus deprive the place of any hope of improvement.

    It would also result in an anti-Russian hysteria across the eastern regions of the EU, and perhaps even in places like Sweden or Germany. It would definitely make it easier for the Atlanticist elites to sell their anti-Russian propaganda.

    Just my two cents.

    Military solutions are currently unfeasible for obvious reasons, I don’t know where I said otherwise.

    However, the Ukraine should be declared a separatist state.

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    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    I'm not talking about military solutions. Just assume away the Ukrainian armed forces. Let's say Russia occupied Ukraine in 2014. Would all of the Ukrainians be assimilated right away? Of course not. My contention is that obviously the majority of the Ukrainian population would become very hostile to Russia after that, and even in the more Russia-friendly parts of the country it'd take at least one, but probably two generations to stomp that out. In the meantime, Russia would actually be weaker because it would need to subsidize these regions while suppressing their discontent.

    I think it's a much better model of reality than the "muh svidomites, they'd be assimilated easily, and pay for themselves" model. They'd be a hostile and poor minority within Russia for the foreseeable future.

    the Ukraine should be declared a separatist state
     
    And that would accomplish what, exactly?
    , @Yevardian
    Every state in history has an origin as a separatist state at some point, so I fail to see your point. Similarly, every embryonic national culture has been 'fake and gay' compared to more established neighbors.

    You are a funny sort of nationalist.
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  32. neutral says:
    @Randal
    Just another reminder of the sheer scope of global power that US wealth brings - there is probably no country in the world that doesn't have its share of dual loyalty (at best) types amongst its elites and even its very government, motivated by the desire for access to US and US sphere money. In this aspect, Britain was merely a few decades ahead of the rest of the world.

    Makes the advantages the USSR gained from its communist fifth columns look like chump change.

    The jewish dual loyalty issue is a separate, if related, one.

    It is amusing that these people (Abramovich) thought they could protect their wealth from their own government by stashing it in places controlled by its enemies and are now finding out that policy has some disadvantages....

    The jewish dual loyalty issue is a separate, if related, one.

    There was never a real dual loyalty, jews are loyal to nobody but themselves, anyone who for a second thinks there is a sincere loyalty from jews towards Russia, Germany, UK, France, America is a fool.

    Read More
    • Replies: @utu
    "Dual loyalty would be a huge improvement."
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  33. @Anatoly Karlin
    Military solutions are currently unfeasible for obvious reasons, I don't know where I said otherwise.

    However, the Ukraine should be declared a separatist state.

    I’m not talking about military solutions. Just assume away the Ukrainian armed forces. Let’s say Russia occupied Ukraine in 2014. Would all of the Ukrainians be assimilated right away? Of course not. My contention is that obviously the majority of the Ukrainian population would become very hostile to Russia after that, and even in the more Russia-friendly parts of the country it’d take at least one, but probably two generations to stomp that out. In the meantime, Russia would actually be weaker because it would need to subsidize these regions while suppressing their discontent.

    I think it’s a much better model of reality than the “muh svidomites, they’d be assimilated easily, and pay for themselves” model. They’d be a hostile and poor minority within Russia for the foreseeable future.

    the Ukraine should be declared a separatist state

    And that would accomplish what, exactly?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin

    They’d be a hostile and poor minority within Russia for the foreseeable future.
     
    Today, yes. In 2014, probably not, at least in the eight Novorossiya oblasts. But we're had this debate before, and it's immaterial now anyway.

    And that would accomplish what, exactly?
     
    In legal and spiritual terms, it will be a statement on the historical continuity of the Russian Empire, and a rejection of the Ukrainian frame that the LDNR are separatists.

    In practical terms, nothing more than the Ukraine labelling Russia as an aggressor state. But it will trigger the right people and hopefully provoke more sanctions. This will associate the imperial narrative with patriotism and Western opposition, which will help further marginalize liberalism and Communism.
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  34. neutral says:
    @Anatoly Karlin
    Just a note that in these people's minds "cucking for jews" = opposing a nuclear war with Israel just because the Jews are being real mean to the Palestinians.

    Get bent.

    Israel is bombing Syria (which is supposed to a Russian ally) at will, they are clearly not that concerned about nuclear retaliation so why should Russia? Russia should at the very least not invite the head of state that is openly attacking its allies.

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    If the only reason for the warm relations is that the Jewish oligarchs like it, then, were I Russian President, I wouldn’t invite Netanyahu. However, it’s also possible there are other benefits, because Israel is still trading with Russia, so it might function as a hole on the wall of sanctions. Israel has a track record of selling (ultimately American) military technologies to China and also at least once to Russia, so maybe Putin is getting something from it. Technologies, financial help, to bypass American sanctions one way or the other.
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  35. @neutral
    Israel is bombing Syria (which is supposed to a Russian ally) at will, they are clearly not that concerned about nuclear retaliation so why should Russia? Russia should at the very least not invite the head of state that is openly attacking its allies.

    If the only reason for the warm relations is that the Jewish oligarchs like it, then, were I Russian President, I wouldn’t invite Netanyahu. However, it’s also possible there are other benefits, because Israel is still trading with Russia, so it might function as a hole on the wall of sanctions. Israel has a track record of selling (ultimately American) military technologies to China and also at least once to Russia, so maybe Putin is getting something from it. Technologies, financial help, to bypass American sanctions one way or the other.

    Read More
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  36. @reiner Tor
    I'm not talking about military solutions. Just assume away the Ukrainian armed forces. Let's say Russia occupied Ukraine in 2014. Would all of the Ukrainians be assimilated right away? Of course not. My contention is that obviously the majority of the Ukrainian population would become very hostile to Russia after that, and even in the more Russia-friendly parts of the country it'd take at least one, but probably two generations to stomp that out. In the meantime, Russia would actually be weaker because it would need to subsidize these regions while suppressing their discontent.

    I think it's a much better model of reality than the "muh svidomites, they'd be assimilated easily, and pay for themselves" model. They'd be a hostile and poor minority within Russia for the foreseeable future.

    the Ukraine should be declared a separatist state
     
    And that would accomplish what, exactly?

    They’d be a hostile and poor minority within Russia for the foreseeable future.

    Today, yes. In 2014, probably not, at least in the eight Novorossiya oblasts. But we’re had this debate before, and it’s immaterial now anyway.

    And that would accomplish what, exactly?

    In legal and spiritual terms, it will be a statement on the historical continuity of the Russian Empire, and a rejection of the Ukrainian frame that the LDNR are separatists.

    In practical terms, nothing more than the Ukraine labelling Russia as an aggressor state. But it will trigger the right people and hopefully provoke more sanctions. This will associate the imperial narrative with patriotism and Western opposition, which will help further marginalize liberalism and Communism.

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    I think the reasons Ukraine became wildly unpopular in the LDNR is that

    - the Ukrainians were dicks with them by repeatedly firing at their city centers with artillery.
    - the Ukrainians were dicks with them by making it difficult to collect their salaries and pensions.
    - the Ukrainians were dicks with them by putting it under economic blockade.
    - probably a large fraction of the committed pro-Ukrainian portion of the population (which was the smallest in Ukraine outside the Crimea to begin with) left the area for other parts of Ukraine.
    - probably some pro-Russians from other parts of Ukraine (or maybe also from Russia itself?) have moved in.

    The reasons why Russia became unpopular in the rest of Ukraine is that

    - Russia grabbed territory from them (taking half their territory or altogether their independence would've made things worse in that department)
    - Russia started a civil war inside their territory, the victims of which were probably all blamed on Russia (maybe it'd have been better if half of Novorossiya was swiftly annexed)

    I don't think that a swift and competent annexation of half (or the whole) of Ukraine would've eliminated the Ukrainian national feeling (which was to some extent already present a century ago), or the factors making Russia unpopular, while it would've eliminated all of the factors making Ukraine unpopular.

    Therefore, huge subsidies the annexed part would need to happen.

    In legal and spiritual terms, it will be a statement on the historical continuity of the Russian Empire
     
    I think legally the Russian Federation is already the successor state of the USSR, which was (after some vacillation) mostly accepted for legal purposes to be the successor state of the Russian Empire. Yeltsin anyway made some noises to the effect I think.

    Anyway, basing your identity on Ukraine being part of Russia or Ukrainians being misguided Russians is basing it on a fantasy. I think Russia is a strong and successful enough country not to base its identity on some kind of we wuz kangz fantasies.

    You defeated La Grande Armée. (Formidable achievement.) You defeated the Wehrmacht. (Ditto.) You sent the first artificial object to outer space. You sent the first human to outer space. You built (and continue to build) impressive military technologies. You created a splendid high culture with great literature, classical music, etc. These are thing you can be proud of, and could serve as the basis of identity.

    Why the factually incorrect claim that Ukrainians are Russians?

    Anyway, I just don't understand it.
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  37. @Dmitry
    The top of the government are sending their kids and family to be educated, to buy property,* to have half of their friends, etc, in the West, and even a lot of the kids are marrying Western wives/husbands and taking Western citizenships.

    That's why sometimes the rhetoric can seem a bit exaggerated or aimed for the cattle. (At the same time, I see some benefits - for the country - and support that there is some hostility with the West that prevents integration and total domination by the Western countries that would occur if there was further integration than now).


    -


    * E.g.


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3H1kjApSIuQ

    That’s why sometimes the rhetoric can seem a bit exaggerated or aimed for the cattle.

    Do you think that anti-Russian rhetoric in the West is also aimed for the cattle, and they all secretly love Russia at heart? lol

    As a Russian I find this behavior perplexing. I’d like to know psychoanalytical reasons for this behavior: why would Putin’s spokesman want to be photographed wearing $800.000 watch for example?

    I have a theory of my own. In Russia the difference between the “elite” and the “cattle” is often happening to be in the right place at the right time. A person, who rises to the top by lucky accident, devotes his life to acquiring visible trappings of success. To distinguish himself from the bydlo from which he came.

    Owning homes in the West is a part of it, another status symbol – this is not something that an ordinary person in Russia can ever afford, therefore they (the “elite”) MUST have it. They need dozens of them.

    kids are marrying Western wives/husbands and taking Western citizenships.

    A wealthy offspring of Russian “elite” can marry some Western prole. But he or she won’t be able to marry into Western elite, because elite in the West is more of a real thing.

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    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin

    A wealthy offspring of Russian “elite” can marry some Western prole.
     
    Reminds one of Peskov's chav son.
    , @for-the-record
    why would Putin’s spokesman want to be photographed wearing $800.000 watch

    Fake news! It was only worth $620,000. :)

    https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2015-08-03/where-did-putin-s-spokesman-get-a-620-000-watch-
    , @Randal

    As a Russian I find this behavior perplexing. I’d like to know psychoanalytical reasons for this behavior: why would Putin’s spokesman want to be photographed wearing $800.000 watch for example?

    I have a theory of my own. In Russia the difference between the “elite” and the “cattle” is often happening to be in the right place at the right time. A person, who rises to the top by lucky accident, devotes his life to acquiring visible trappings of success. To distinguish himself from the bydlo from which he came.
     
    I agree - for me it's absolutely incomprehensible and mostly contemptible, as is all "bling" culture.

    I've heard a similar argument to yours made in a more general form in my country about it being a characteristic difference between the nouveau riche and old money. In that case often it's clearly not a matter of "lucky chance" (except inasmuch as all success in life depends to a degree on a degree of luck, or at the least an absence of serious bad luck), but hard work and focussed ability, but the need to distinguish oneself from the masses remains.

    These are of course generalisations and there are many to whom they will not apply.
    , @Dmitry
    Look about what happens with the 'stpelligrino' account.

    Originally when she got attention, she deleted half her photos, like her dad gives a shit that she is embarrassing and doing holidays in Nice instead of Vladivostok.

    So then she now is supposedly helping her father, she decided to be even more annoying than before.


    https://www.instagram.com/p/BUzXIxrgwYY/

    https://www.instagram.com/p/BjKw6zijmur/

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  38. @Felix Keverich

    That’s why sometimes the rhetoric can seem a bit exaggerated or aimed for the cattle.
     
    Do you think that anti-Russian rhetoric in the West is also aimed for the cattle, and they all secretly love Russia at heart? lol

    As a Russian I find this behavior perplexing. I'd like to know psychoanalytical reasons for this behavior: why would Putin's spokesman want to be photographed wearing $800.000 watch for example?

    I have a theory of my own. In Russia the difference between the "elite" and the "cattle" is often happening to be in the right place at the right time. A person, who rises to the top by lucky accident, devotes his life to acquiring visible trappings of success. To distinguish himself from the bydlo from which he came.

    Owning homes in the West is a part of it, another status symbol - this is not something that an ordinary person in Russia can ever afford, therefore they (the "elite") MUST have it. They need dozens of them.

    kids are marrying Western wives/husbands and taking Western citizenships.
     
    A wealthy offspring of Russian "elite" can marry some Western prole. But he or she won't be able to marry into Western elite, because elite in the West is more of a real thing.

    A wealthy offspring of Russian “elite” can marry some Western prole.

    Reminds one of Peskov’s chav son.

    Read More
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  39. iffen says:
    @Anatoly Karlin
    Just a note that in these people's minds "cucking for jews" = opposing a nuclear war with Israel just because the Jews are being real mean to the Palestinians.

    Get bent.

    the Jews are being real mean to the Palestinians

    Being mean?

    I thought they were helping them access multitudes of virgins.

    Read More
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  40. @reiner Tor
    Austrians hate North Germans. They usually like South Germans. They speak the same language, and in the 1950s they still considered themselves to be Germans (something like 80% of them).

    But as you write, there'd be no material motivation, and probably there'd be no emotional motivation either, since no one wants to join the German Holocaust Guilt suicide cult. Austrians now ludicrously claim their country to be the "first victim of Hitler," which I guess is better than being responsible for its deeds forever and ever.

    What they'll do is eventually Germany will convert to Islam, and then it'll be renamed. The unconverted Germans will be held guilty for eternity, but that will only provide motivation for them to convert. So eventually they'll all convert. Or a nationalist revival. I'm hoping for the latter, but the former now seems more likely.

    Anyway, after removing the holocaust baggage (which will remove basically all historical baggage, including the cultural heritage itself), they might then conquer Austria, too, because Austria will then be held more guilty of Nazism than the Islamic Federal Republic of Almaniya, which will have nothing to do with the previous state known as "Germany."

    Austrians hate North Germans.

    honestly, who doesn’t, can’t stand those Prussians either.
    You don’t really think that Germany will become fully Islamic? Pesssimistic as I am, this seems unlikely to me.
    It might even be possible that Islam eventually fades among Muslims in Europe, except in some superficial ghetto thug style. It would still be a multiethnic/multiracial low-trust dystopia, but more of a consumerist than of a jihadi kind.

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    • Replies: @Mitleser
    Consumerist Euro(pean) dystopia is far more likely than some strong Islamic Republic of Germany.

    Our elites opened the gates, but they pray toward Brüssel, not Mecca.
    That is not going to change.
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  41. iffen says:
    @reiner Tor
    You are using a bad model of reality. Though I’m somewhat far from the place, and could be wrong, but it appears to me that the overwhelming majority of Ukrainians perceive themselves to be of a different nationality. That the majority of them speak Russian doesn’t make it any easier to assimilate them. I’m agnostic about assimilating some border regions like Kharkov (a good argument against it is Andriy Parubiy), but most of Ukraine will be a disloyal, hostile population for the foreseeable future. Especially their educated classes. The supposed benefits due to economies of scale will be actually small due to its being much poorer than the rest of Russia, and especially the educated classes will be prone to leaving it for other parts of Ukraine. Deprived of much of the human capital, these regions will need to be subsidized (also to bribe the population to a semblance of loyalty), forever.

    The annexation of Ukraine thus would probably make Russia weaker, not stronger. I fail to see how you can think otherwise.

    Meanwhile, there are much lower hanging fruits in strengthening Russia (for example working on the loyalty of the elites), even increasing the size (and thus economies of scale) of the Russian economy seems easier. You can move the country in an overly nationalistic direction, thus over time increasing its cohesion.

    The annexation of the whole (or even just half) of Ukraine would be an imperial project, regardless of Russian nationalist fantasies about Ukrainians being Russians. These fantasies are not going to be good predictors of Ukrainians’ behavior. So you’d gain a large but dirt poor and hostile population, whose elites would either work to undermine you from inside or (best case) would leave and thus deprive the place of any hope of improvement.

    It would also result in an anti-Russian hysteria across the eastern regions of the EU, and perhaps even in places like Sweden or Germany. It would definitely make it easier for the Atlanticist elites to sell their anti-Russian propaganda.

    Just my two cents.

    (for example working on the loyalty of the elites

    If some of us knew how to accomplish this we wouldn’t be writing comments. :)

    The “natural” loyalty of the elite is to the elite. Cultivation of the loyalty of the proles is on an as needed basis when it seems beneficial to the elite. The coincidence of what passes for elite concern for the proles with economic growth and prosperity clouds the picture.

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    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    If I were Vlad Putin, I'd have a few ideas to increase the elite's loyalty.
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  42. @iffen
    (for example working on the loyalty of the elites

    If some of us knew how to accomplish this we wouldn't be writing comments. :)

    The "natural" loyalty of the elite is to the elite. Cultivation of the loyalty of the proles is on an as needed basis when it seems beneficial to the elite. The coincidence of what passes for elite concern for the proles with economic growth and prosperity clouds the picture.

    If I were Vlad Putin, I’d have a few ideas to increase the elite’s loyalty.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dmitry

    If I were Vlad Putin, I’d have a few ideas to increase the elite’s loyalty.

     

    The thing is, if you were Putin you would have been head of the elite for 18 years, and would be inside their head and their life - as you would be the most important one of them.

    He understands how to manage them probably as well as anyone could, although it's not like we can test the hypothesis that someone else would do a better job.
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  43. @reiner Tor
    You are using a bad model of reality. Though I’m somewhat far from the place, and could be wrong, but it appears to me that the overwhelming majority of Ukrainians perceive themselves to be of a different nationality. That the majority of them speak Russian doesn’t make it any easier to assimilate them. I’m agnostic about assimilating some border regions like Kharkov (a good argument against it is Andriy Parubiy), but most of Ukraine will be a disloyal, hostile population for the foreseeable future. Especially their educated classes. The supposed benefits due to economies of scale will be actually small due to its being much poorer than the rest of Russia, and especially the educated classes will be prone to leaving it for other parts of Ukraine. Deprived of much of the human capital, these regions will need to be subsidized (also to bribe the population to a semblance of loyalty), forever.

    The annexation of Ukraine thus would probably make Russia weaker, not stronger. I fail to see how you can think otherwise.

    Meanwhile, there are much lower hanging fruits in strengthening Russia (for example working on the loyalty of the elites), even increasing the size (and thus economies of scale) of the Russian economy seems easier. You can move the country in an overly nationalistic direction, thus over time increasing its cohesion.

    The annexation of the whole (or even just half) of Ukraine would be an imperial project, regardless of Russian nationalist fantasies about Ukrainians being Russians. These fantasies are not going to be good predictors of Ukrainians’ behavior. So you’d gain a large but dirt poor and hostile population, whose elites would either work to undermine you from inside or (best case) would leave and thus deprive the place of any hope of improvement.

    It would also result in an anti-Russian hysteria across the eastern regions of the EU, and perhaps even in places like Sweden or Germany. It would definitely make it easier for the Atlanticist elites to sell their anti-Russian propaganda.

    Just my two cents.

    The annexation of the whole (or even just half) of Ukraine would be an imperial project, regardless of Russian nationalist fantasies about Ukrainians being Russians. These fantasies are not going to be good predictors of Ukrainians’ behavior. So you’d gain a large but dirt poor and hostile population, whose elites would either work to undermine you from inside or (best case) would leave and thus deprive the place of any hope of improvement.

    The good news about Ukrainian population is that it’s disappearing quickly. The Ukraine leads the world in terms of depopulation, war and occupation will likely accelerate that.

    IMO, the imperative for Russia in the Ukraine should be simple control of territory. Other objectives can take a back seat for now. If annexing the Ukraine right now is going to break the budget, well that’s an argument against annexing it at this time. We can still occupy it though. AP has argued that the costs will be prohibitive, because Russia would then have to rebuild the country while under Western sanctions, but who says that Ukraine has to be rebuilt? Who says it has to be rebuilt now?

    We can rebuilt the Ukraine when Russia has the money for it, in the meantime just leave it as it is, a depopulating wasteland, but with Russian military bases.

    What we should be doing is encouraging Ukrainian migration into Russian mainland. It is cheaper and easier, than rebuilding Ukrainian economy. Those who hate us will migrate to Poland.

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    • Replies: @German_reader

    If annexing the Ukraine right now is going to break the budget, well that’s an argument against annexing it at this time. We can still occupy it though.
     
    Why would occupation be cheaper than annexation?
    Your objectives regarding Ukraine seem to be purely destructive, what's the point of that?
    , @reiner Tor

    in the meantime just leave it as it is, a depopulating wasteland, but with Russian military bases.
     
    But this will make Russia even more unpopular there. You need to win hearts and minds if you want to make them proper Russians. You would cut off even the long term possibility.
    , @AP

    The good news about Ukrainian population is that it’s disappearing quickly
     
    For the most part, the pro-Russian parts. The ones whose help you would use.

    Birth rates by oblast, 2015:

    http://datatowel.in.ua/wp-content/uploads/birth/birth-rate-2015.png

    The other parts are declining in the manner of central Europeans, but without being replaced.

    We can rebuilt the Ukraine when Russia has the money for it, in the meantime just leave it as it is, a depopulating wasteland, but with Russian military bases.
     
    Bases in a hostile population are expensive and incur a steady rate of casualties. Unless you plan to go full Stalin, kill a couple million people to really subdue them. In which case you demonstrate, as with the mid 20th century degenerates, that European nationalism taken to an extreme becomes a European-killer.
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  44. @Anatoly Karlin

    They’d be a hostile and poor minority within Russia for the foreseeable future.
     
    Today, yes. In 2014, probably not, at least in the eight Novorossiya oblasts. But we're had this debate before, and it's immaterial now anyway.

    And that would accomplish what, exactly?
     
    In legal and spiritual terms, it will be a statement on the historical continuity of the Russian Empire, and a rejection of the Ukrainian frame that the LDNR are separatists.

    In practical terms, nothing more than the Ukraine labelling Russia as an aggressor state. But it will trigger the right people and hopefully provoke more sanctions. This will associate the imperial narrative with patriotism and Western opposition, which will help further marginalize liberalism and Communism.

    I think the reasons Ukraine became wildly unpopular in the LDNR is that

    - the Ukrainians were dicks with them by repeatedly firing at their city centers with artillery.
    - the Ukrainians were dicks with them by making it difficult to collect their salaries and pensions.
    - the Ukrainians were dicks with them by putting it under economic blockade.
    - probably a large fraction of the committed pro-Ukrainian portion of the population (which was the smallest in Ukraine outside the Crimea to begin with) left the area for other parts of Ukraine.
    - probably some pro-Russians from other parts of Ukraine (or maybe also from Russia itself?) have moved in.

    The reasons why Russia became unpopular in the rest of Ukraine is that

    - Russia grabbed territory from them (taking half their territory or altogether their independence would’ve made things worse in that department)
    - Russia started a civil war inside their territory, the victims of which were probably all blamed on Russia (maybe it’d have been better if half of Novorossiya was swiftly annexed)

    I don’t think that a swift and competent annexation of half (or the whole) of Ukraine would’ve eliminated the Ukrainian national feeling (which was to some extent already present a century ago), or the factors making Russia unpopular, while it would’ve eliminated all of the factors making Ukraine unpopular.

    Therefore, huge subsidies the annexed part would need to happen.

    In legal and spiritual terms, it will be a statement on the historical continuity of the Russian Empire

    I think legally the Russian Federation is already the successor state of the USSR, which was (after some vacillation) mostly accepted for legal purposes to be the successor state of the Russian Empire. Yeltsin anyway made some noises to the effect I think.

    Anyway, basing your identity on Ukraine being part of Russia or Ukrainians being misguided Russians is basing it on a fantasy. I think Russia is a strong and successful enough country not to base its identity on some kind of we wuz kangz fantasies.

    You defeated La Grande Armée. (Formidable achievement.) You defeated the Wehrmacht. (Ditto.) You sent the first artificial object to outer space. You sent the first human to outer space. You built (and continue to build) impressive military technologies. You created a splendid high culture with great literature, classical music, etc. These are thing you can be proud of, and could serve as the basis of identity.

    Why the factually incorrect claim that Ukrainians are Russians?

    Anyway, I just don’t understand it.

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    • Replies: @Randal

    Why the factually incorrect claim that Ukrainians are Russians?

    Anyway, I just don’t understand it.
     
    I think part of the problem is that the assertion that Ukrainians are not Russians is itself false, or rather, that it is an oversimplification of a much more fungible and flexible reality.

    You can make strong arguments on both sides, and they will apply on each side with differing force according to where in the Ukraine you apply them because of the very different long term histories of, say, Ukrainian Galicia versus Donbas.

    That said, I tend to agree with you about the realistic prospects for Russian occupation by force, even back in 2014, as I've argued before with Anatoly. In that case it seemed to me that Putin made the right (cautious) decision. That the outcome hasn't been great reflects more the generally disadvantaged position Russia is in versus US sphere aggression and the sheer wealth advantage that empowers it and that, as we can see from the above, often renders even your own elite class unreliable.
    , @Thorfinnsson


    You defeated La Grande Armée. (Formidable achievement.) You defeated the Wehrmacht. (Ditto.) You sent the first artificial object to outer space. You sent the first human to outer space. You built (and continue to build) impressive military technologies. You created a splendid high culture with great literature, classical music, etc. These are thing you can be proud of, and could serve as the basis of identity.
     
    Don't forget that the Ancient Russians of Egypt built the pyramids.
    , @Mr. Hack

    Why the factually incorrect claim that Ukrainians are Russians?

    Anyway, I just don’t understand it.
     

    Don't hold your breath waiting for Karlin to answer these questions. He often seems to skirt these types of questions, the really important and interesting ones. He prefers to voice his Russian nationalism in general terms. He's either unsure of himself or embarrassed to share with his readers his true opinions.
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  45. AP says:
    @anonymous coward

    It wasn’t so until 2014
     
    Yes it was. Ukraine was always envisaged as an 'anti-Russia', right from the start.

    The idea made sense back in the 1920's, when the Communist Party was under a real risk of becoming a Russian Nationalist Party. Creating an anti-Russia "Ukraine" fixed their Russian nationalism problem.

    The idea doesn't make sense in 2018, when even the braindead USA Deep State doesn't want to bankroll an 'anti-Russia'.

    This is why the Ukrainian project is doomed.

    Get ready for the Ruin 2.0.

    Yes it was. Ukraine was always envisaged as an ‘anti-Russia’, right from the start.

    Non-Russia is not anti-Russia, but your cluelessness is well known.

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  46. So now some extra money needs to be allocated to finishing the development of the Su-57…

    https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-05-28/turkey-may-purchase-russian-stealth-fighters-if-delivery-us-f-35s-halted

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    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    No one paid attention to my fantastic OT news item about a possible Russian weapons export success, where success breeds success. (Turkey buys S-400, in turn F-35 deal gets blocked by US, so Turkey might buy Su-57...)

    Here's another about a budding nuclear arms race:

    http://www.scmp.com/news/china/society/article/2147304/china-steps-pace-new-nuclear-arms-race-us-and-russia-experts-warn
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  47. @Felix Keverich

    The annexation of the whole (or even just half) of Ukraine would be an imperial project, regardless of Russian nationalist fantasies about Ukrainians being Russians. These fantasies are not going to be good predictors of Ukrainians’ behavior. So you’d gain a large but dirt poor and hostile population, whose elites would either work to undermine you from inside or (best case) would leave and thus deprive the place of any hope of improvement.
     
    The good news about Ukrainian population is that it's disappearing quickly. The Ukraine leads the world in terms of depopulation, war and occupation will likely accelerate that.

    IMO, the imperative for Russia in the Ukraine should be simple control of territory. Other objectives can take a back seat for now. If annexing the Ukraine right now is going to break the budget, well that's an argument against annexing it at this time. We can still occupy it though. AP has argued that the costs will be prohibitive, because Russia would then have to rebuild the country while under Western sanctions, but who says that Ukraine has to be rebuilt? Who says it has to be rebuilt now?

    We can rebuilt the Ukraine when Russia has the money for it, in the meantime just leave it as it is, a depopulating wasteland, but with Russian military bases.


    What we should be doing is encouraging Ukrainian migration into Russian mainland. It is cheaper and easier, than rebuilding Ukrainian economy. Those who hate us will migrate to Poland.

    If annexing the Ukraine right now is going to break the budget, well that’s an argument against annexing it at this time. We can still occupy it though.

    Why would occupation be cheaper than annexation?
    Your objectives regarding Ukraine seem to be purely destructive, what’s the point of that?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mitleser
    No more destructive than China's objectives regarding Taiwan.
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  48. Mitleser says:
    @German_reader

    Austrians hate North Germans.
     
    honestly, who doesn't, can't stand those Prussians either.
    You don't really think that Germany will become fully Islamic? Pesssimistic as I am, this seems unlikely to me.
    It might even be possible that Islam eventually fades among Muslims in Europe, except in some superficial ghetto thug style. It would still be a multiethnic/multiracial low-trust dystopia, but more of a consumerist than of a jihadi kind.

    Consumerist Euro(pean) dystopia is far more likely than some strong Islamic Republic of Germany.

    Our elites opened the gates, but they pray toward Brüssel, not Mecca.
    That is not going to change.

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    So, the percentage of Muslims is growing next year. It will grow the following year. Then the year after that. And so on, and so on.

    Some Muslims will become nonreligious, but they will have few children. The most devout Muslims will have the most children. So the number of devout Muslims will grew much faster than the number of nonreligious Muslims. And so on, year after year. Meanwhile, the elite's opinion is that Islam is a holy religion, and criticizing it is a crime. Muslims also tend to kill those who criticize it. So, not much criticism of it will happen in the public space.

    What's the endgame? Maybe there'll be a nationalist revival, which makes life very hard for Muslims, perhaps to the point of genocide or ethnic cleansing. Or there's a full conversion of the demoralized remnants of the white German (French etc.) populations.

    Of course, something unexpected might happen, but lapsed Muslims have a tendency to still view Islam as the holiest religion, and sometimes later go full jihadi to repent for their sins. Anyway, I have seen a number of lapsed Muslims (for example Albanians), and in my experience they still retain a very strong cultural Muslim identity. So I just don't think that Muslims will abandon their religion en mass.
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  49. @Felix Keverich

    The annexation of the whole (or even just half) of Ukraine would be an imperial project, regardless of Russian nationalist fantasies about Ukrainians being Russians. These fantasies are not going to be good predictors of Ukrainians’ behavior. So you’d gain a large but dirt poor and hostile population, whose elites would either work to undermine you from inside or (best case) would leave and thus deprive the place of any hope of improvement.
     
    The good news about Ukrainian population is that it's disappearing quickly. The Ukraine leads the world in terms of depopulation, war and occupation will likely accelerate that.

    IMO, the imperative for Russia in the Ukraine should be simple control of territory. Other objectives can take a back seat for now. If annexing the Ukraine right now is going to break the budget, well that's an argument against annexing it at this time. We can still occupy it though. AP has argued that the costs will be prohibitive, because Russia would then have to rebuild the country while under Western sanctions, but who says that Ukraine has to be rebuilt? Who says it has to be rebuilt now?

    We can rebuilt the Ukraine when Russia has the money for it, in the meantime just leave it as it is, a depopulating wasteland, but with Russian military bases.


    What we should be doing is encouraging Ukrainian migration into Russian mainland. It is cheaper and easier, than rebuilding Ukrainian economy. Those who hate us will migrate to Poland.

    in the meantime just leave it as it is, a depopulating wasteland, but with Russian military bases.

    But this will make Russia even more unpopular there. You need to win hearts and minds if you want to make them proper Russians. You would cut off even the long term possibility.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Felix Keverich

    You need to win hearts and minds
     
    This may be true for US occupation of Afghanistan, but Ukraine's depopulation problem turns this dynamic on its head. We can basically outlast them inside their own country. lol
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  50. Mitleser says:
    @German_reader

    If annexing the Ukraine right now is going to break the budget, well that’s an argument against annexing it at this time. We can still occupy it though.
     
    Why would occupation be cheaper than annexation?
    Your objectives regarding Ukraine seem to be purely destructive, what's the point of that?

    No more destructive than China’s objectives regarding Taiwan.

    Read More
    • Replies: @German_reader
    I meant to refer specifically to Felix Keverich's comment.
    Wanting to turn Ukraine into a "depopulating wasteland" doesn't seem very constructive, I don't even see what Russia would gain from that (except some spiteful satisfaction).
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  51. @Mitleser
    No more destructive than China's objectives regarding Taiwan.

    I meant to refer specifically to Felix Keverich’s comment.
    Wanting to turn Ukraine into a “depopulating wasteland” doesn’t seem very constructive, I don’t even see what Russia would gain from that (except some spiteful satisfaction).

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  52. AP says:
    @Mitleser

    You are using a bad model of reality.
     
    Separatists are separatists.

    Though I’m somewhat far from the place, and could be wrong, but it appears to me that the overwhelming majority of Ukrainians perceive themselves to be of a different nationality.
     
    Just like the Austrians right next to your Hungary.
    They are separatists too.

    https://abload.de/img/sterreich99sdy.jpg

    Just like the Austrians right next to your Hungary.
    They are separatists too.

    And Irish.

    Although most Ukrainians speak Russian (just as most Germans speak English), most Ukrainians do not speak Russian as a first language, at home. It was about 50/50 before Crimea and Donbas left, now it’s mostly Ukrainian.

    Massive survey involving 10,000s of participants over several years; when asked which language to use, it was about 44% Russian, 41% Ukrainian, rest no preference:

    http://www.kiis.com.ua/materials/articles_HVE/16_linguaethnical.pdf

    In contrast, of course, German is Austria’s native language.

    Ukrainians are genetically closely related to Russians, but even closer to Belarusians and to Slovaks. Ukrainians are genetically distinct enough from Russians that even an ethnic Ukrainian from Belgorod oblast in modern Russia is closer to one from Lviv than he is to his Russian neighbors:

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26419068

    As for mutual history – most of Ukraine was ruled by the West longer than ruled by Russia.

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    • Replies: @Mitleser

    And Irish.
     
    Separatist against what?

    Rejecting UK does not makes them national separatist.

    The true Irish separatists are Ulster loyalists, Irish who prefer the British crown to Irish unity.

    As for mutual history – most of Ukraine was ruled by the West longer than ruled by Russia.
     
    What West? There was no West (or the Ukraine) in medieval history.
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  53. @Mitleser
    Consumerist Euro(pean) dystopia is far more likely than some strong Islamic Republic of Germany.

    Our elites opened the gates, but they pray toward Brüssel, not Mecca.
    That is not going to change.

    So, the percentage of Muslims is growing next year. It will grow the following year. Then the year after that. And so on, and so on.

    Some Muslims will become nonreligious, but they will have few children. The most devout Muslims will have the most children. So the number of devout Muslims will grew much faster than the number of nonreligious Muslims. And so on, year after year. Meanwhile, the elite’s opinion is that Islam is a holy religion, and criticizing it is a crime. Muslims also tend to kill those who criticize it. So, not much criticism of it will happen in the public space.

    What’s the endgame? Maybe there’ll be a nationalist revival, which makes life very hard for Muslims, perhaps to the point of genocide or ethnic cleansing. Or there’s a full conversion of the demoralized remnants of the white German (French etc.) populations.

    Of course, something unexpected might happen, but lapsed Muslims have a tendency to still view Islam as the holiest religion, and sometimes later go full jihadi to repent for their sins. Anyway, I have seen a number of lapsed Muslims (for example Albanians), and in my experience they still retain a very strong cultural Muslim identity. So I just don’t think that Muslims will abandon their religion en mass.

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    • Replies: @Mitleser

    What’s the endgame?
     
    European super police state which is more demanding of Muslim residents.

    There is an interesting article from Spiegel about the Belgian city Mechelen (1/5 Muslim population) and how their mayor is dealing with problems: more policemen, law and order policy, more CCTV, more governance and social workers, more cleaning of the city, contracts with (Muslim) parents who have to prevent the criminal behavior of their kids or pay for it, etc..

    Singapore is not just a model for China.

    http://cdn1.spiegel.de/images/image-1244164-640_panofree-xmjq-1244164.jpg
    , @Hyperborean
    But that is assuming that their cultural-religious views don't change over time. While more religious muslims have higher birthrates they are also subject to the same secularising societal pressures as non-religious muslims.

    Of course secularisation is not the inevitable course as the contrasting pictures of Shahist and Islamic Revolutionary Iran show, but differential birthrates are not the only factor in determining who will prevail.

    Not that a Europe filled with hedonist, gangster muslims is exactly a good outcome but I think the most likely future for Europe if we continue in the current course will likely be a reflection of the worst traits of America.
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  54. @Felix Keverich

    That’s why sometimes the rhetoric can seem a bit exaggerated or aimed for the cattle.
     
    Do you think that anti-Russian rhetoric in the West is also aimed for the cattle, and they all secretly love Russia at heart? lol

    As a Russian I find this behavior perplexing. I'd like to know psychoanalytical reasons for this behavior: why would Putin's spokesman want to be photographed wearing $800.000 watch for example?

    I have a theory of my own. In Russia the difference between the "elite" and the "cattle" is often happening to be in the right place at the right time. A person, who rises to the top by lucky accident, devotes his life to acquiring visible trappings of success. To distinguish himself from the bydlo from which he came.

    Owning homes in the West is a part of it, another status symbol - this is not something that an ordinary person in Russia can ever afford, therefore they (the "elite") MUST have it. They need dozens of them.

    kids are marrying Western wives/husbands and taking Western citizenships.
     
    A wealthy offspring of Russian "elite" can marry some Western prole. But he or she won't be able to marry into Western elite, because elite in the West is more of a real thing.

    why would Putin’s spokesman want to be photographed wearing $800.000 watch

    Fake news! It was only worth $620,000. :)

    https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2015-08-03/where-did-putin-s-spokesman-get-a-620-000-watch-

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  55. Randal says:
    @reiner Tor
    I think the reasons Ukraine became wildly unpopular in the LDNR is that

    - the Ukrainians were dicks with them by repeatedly firing at their city centers with artillery.
    - the Ukrainians were dicks with them by making it difficult to collect their salaries and pensions.
    - the Ukrainians were dicks with them by putting it under economic blockade.
    - probably a large fraction of the committed pro-Ukrainian portion of the population (which was the smallest in Ukraine outside the Crimea to begin with) left the area for other parts of Ukraine.
    - probably some pro-Russians from other parts of Ukraine (or maybe also from Russia itself?) have moved in.

    The reasons why Russia became unpopular in the rest of Ukraine is that

    - Russia grabbed territory from them (taking half their territory or altogether their independence would've made things worse in that department)
    - Russia started a civil war inside their territory, the victims of which were probably all blamed on Russia (maybe it'd have been better if half of Novorossiya was swiftly annexed)

    I don't think that a swift and competent annexation of half (or the whole) of Ukraine would've eliminated the Ukrainian national feeling (which was to some extent already present a century ago), or the factors making Russia unpopular, while it would've eliminated all of the factors making Ukraine unpopular.

    Therefore, huge subsidies the annexed part would need to happen.

    In legal and spiritual terms, it will be a statement on the historical continuity of the Russian Empire
     
    I think legally the Russian Federation is already the successor state of the USSR, which was (after some vacillation) mostly accepted for legal purposes to be the successor state of the Russian Empire. Yeltsin anyway made some noises to the effect I think.

    Anyway, basing your identity on Ukraine being part of Russia or Ukrainians being misguided Russians is basing it on a fantasy. I think Russia is a strong and successful enough country not to base its identity on some kind of we wuz kangz fantasies.

    You defeated La Grande Armée. (Formidable achievement.) You defeated the Wehrmacht. (Ditto.) You sent the first artificial object to outer space. You sent the first human to outer space. You built (and continue to build) impressive military technologies. You created a splendid high culture with great literature, classical music, etc. These are thing you can be proud of, and could serve as the basis of identity.

    Why the factually incorrect claim that Ukrainians are Russians?

    Anyway, I just don't understand it.

    Why the factually incorrect claim that Ukrainians are Russians?

    Anyway, I just don’t understand it.

    I think part of the problem is that the assertion that Ukrainians are not Russians is itself false, or rather, that it is an oversimplification of a much more fungible and flexible reality.

    You can make strong arguments on both sides, and they will apply on each side with differing force according to where in the Ukraine you apply them because of the very different long term histories of, say, Ukrainian Galicia versus Donbas.

    That said, I tend to agree with you about the realistic prospects for Russian occupation by force, even back in 2014, as I’ve argued before with Anatoly. In that case it seemed to me that Putin made the right (cautious) decision. That the outcome hasn’t been great reflects more the generally disadvantaged position Russia is in versus US sphere aggression and the sheer wealth advantage that empowers it and that, as we can see from the above, often renders even your own elite class unreliable.

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor

    the assertion that Ukrainians are not Russians is itself false, or rather, that it is an oversimplification
     
    Well, if, say, 80% of Ukrainians feel so, than it's 80% true. After all, all that matters is the subjective feeling of people - do they feel loyal to the Russian national idea, or to the Ukrainian national idea?

    And I'd think the numbers are roughly like that. For example I remember that when in 2004 during the Orange Revolution Yanukovich supporters kept having rallies in Eastern Ukraine, and they started using Ukrainian flags during those rallies. This made the impression in me that people over there felt the need to prove that they were "good Ukrainians," too. Overall, I think the 80% number might be an underestimate.
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  56. AP says:
    @Felix Keverich

    The annexation of the whole (or even just half) of Ukraine would be an imperial project, regardless of Russian nationalist fantasies about Ukrainians being Russians. These fantasies are not going to be good predictors of Ukrainians’ behavior. So you’d gain a large but dirt poor and hostile population, whose elites would either work to undermine you from inside or (best case) would leave and thus deprive the place of any hope of improvement.
     
    The good news about Ukrainian population is that it's disappearing quickly. The Ukraine leads the world in terms of depopulation, war and occupation will likely accelerate that.

    IMO, the imperative for Russia in the Ukraine should be simple control of territory. Other objectives can take a back seat for now. If annexing the Ukraine right now is going to break the budget, well that's an argument against annexing it at this time. We can still occupy it though. AP has argued that the costs will be prohibitive, because Russia would then have to rebuild the country while under Western sanctions, but who says that Ukraine has to be rebuilt? Who says it has to be rebuilt now?

    We can rebuilt the Ukraine when Russia has the money for it, in the meantime just leave it as it is, a depopulating wasteland, but with Russian military bases.


    What we should be doing is encouraging Ukrainian migration into Russian mainland. It is cheaper and easier, than rebuilding Ukrainian economy. Those who hate us will migrate to Poland.

    The good news about Ukrainian population is that it’s disappearing quickly

    For the most part, the pro-Russian parts. The ones whose help you would use.

    Birth rates by oblast, 2015:

    The other parts are declining in the manner of central Europeans, but without being replaced.

    We can rebuilt the Ukraine when Russia has the money for it, in the meantime just leave it as it is, a depopulating wasteland, but with Russian military bases.

    Bases in a hostile population are expensive and incur a steady rate of casualties. Unless you plan to go full Stalin, kill a couple million people to really subdue them. In which case you demonstrate, as with the mid 20th century degenerates, that European nationalism taken to an extreme becomes a European-killer.

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  57. Randal says:
    @Felix Keverich

    That’s why sometimes the rhetoric can seem a bit exaggerated or aimed for the cattle.
     
    Do you think that anti-Russian rhetoric in the West is also aimed for the cattle, and they all secretly love Russia at heart? lol

    As a Russian I find this behavior perplexing. I'd like to know psychoanalytical reasons for this behavior: why would Putin's spokesman want to be photographed wearing $800.000 watch for example?

    I have a theory of my own. In Russia the difference between the "elite" and the "cattle" is often happening to be in the right place at the right time. A person, who rises to the top by lucky accident, devotes his life to acquiring visible trappings of success. To distinguish himself from the bydlo from which he came.

    Owning homes in the West is a part of it, another status symbol - this is not something that an ordinary person in Russia can ever afford, therefore they (the "elite") MUST have it. They need dozens of them.

    kids are marrying Western wives/husbands and taking Western citizenships.
     
    A wealthy offspring of Russian "elite" can marry some Western prole. But he or she won't be able to marry into Western elite, because elite in the West is more of a real thing.

    As a Russian I find this behavior perplexing. I’d like to know psychoanalytical reasons for this behavior: why would Putin’s spokesman want to be photographed wearing $800.000 watch for example?

    I have a theory of my own. In Russia the difference between the “elite” and the “cattle” is often happening to be in the right place at the right time. A person, who rises to the top by lucky accident, devotes his life to acquiring visible trappings of success. To distinguish himself from the bydlo from which he came.

    I agree – for me it’s absolutely incomprehensible and mostly contemptible, as is all “bling” culture.

    I’ve heard a similar argument to yours made in a more general form in my country about it being a characteristic difference between the nouveau riche and old money. In that case often it’s clearly not a matter of “lucky chance” (except inasmuch as all success in life depends to a degree on a degree of luck, or at the least an absence of serious bad luck), but hard work and focussed ability, but the need to distinguish oneself from the masses remains.

    These are of course generalisations and there are many to whom they will not apply.

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    • Replies: @Dmitry

    I agree – for me it’s absolutely incomprehensible and mostly contemptible, as is all “bling” culture.
     
    It's a display of social dominance, and it's very old human behaviour - the same reason Queen of England's family built a palace.

    And sure in Russia, the top of the top elite are not such idiots, as they appear - anymore than Trump is an idiot when he displays his wealth.

    If you make some rules and ideology, then the real show of dominance is the people who are breaking them.
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  58. Mitleser says:
    @AP

    Just like the Austrians right next to your Hungary.
    They are separatists too.
     
    And Irish.

    Although most Ukrainians speak Russian (just as most Germans speak English), most Ukrainians do not speak Russian as a first language, at home. It was about 50/50 before Crimea and Donbas left, now it's mostly Ukrainian.

    Massive survey involving 10,000s of participants over several years; when asked which language to use, it was about 44% Russian, 41% Ukrainian, rest no preference:

    http://www.kiis.com.ua/materials/articles_HVE/16_linguaethnical.pdf

    In contrast, of course, German is Austria's native language.

    Ukrainians are genetically closely related to Russians, but even closer to Belarusians and to Slovaks. Ukrainians are genetically distinct enough from Russians that even an ethnic Ukrainian from Belgorod oblast in modern Russia is closer to one from Lviv than he is to his Russian neighbors:

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26419068

    As for mutual history - most of Ukraine was ruled by the West longer than ruled by Russia.

    And Irish.

    Separatist against what?

    Rejecting UK does not makes them national separatist.

    The true Irish separatists are Ulster loyalists, Irish who prefer the British crown to Irish unity.

    As for mutual history – most of Ukraine was ruled by the West longer than ruled by Russia.

    What West? There was no West (or the Ukraine) in medieval history.

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    • Replies: @reiner Tor

    Ulster loyalists, Irish who prefer the British crown to Irish unity.
     
    It's questionable how Irish they are. Do they feel anything in common with the Catholic Irish? If no, on what basis can you say they are "Irish"? Not to mention that from what I read they are even genetically mostly descendants of later settlers, and are not closely related to the Catholic Irish.
    , @German_reader

    There was no West
     
    There was Latin Christendom under the papacy.
    , @AP

    And Irish.

    Separatist against what?

     

    England. Or Britain.

    Irish speak English, so by your logic ought to be English. They were also ruled by England much longer than Ukrainians were ruled by Russia.


    As for mutual history – most of Ukraine was ruled by the West longer than ruled by Russia.

    What West? There was no West (or the Ukraine) in medieval history.
     
    There were a people speaking the Ukrainian language, living in a certain area, who were ancestors of Ukrainians. These people were ruled by a combination of Poland, Lithuanian and Austria longer than by Moscow.
    , @DFH

    The true Irish separatists are Ulster loyalists, Irish who prefer the British crown to Irish unity.
     
    But Ulster protestants are not ethnically Irish
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  59. @Randal

    Why the factually incorrect claim that Ukrainians are Russians?

    Anyway, I just don’t understand it.
     
    I think part of the problem is that the assertion that Ukrainians are not Russians is itself false, or rather, that it is an oversimplification of a much more fungible and flexible reality.

    You can make strong arguments on both sides, and they will apply on each side with differing force according to where in the Ukraine you apply them because of the very different long term histories of, say, Ukrainian Galicia versus Donbas.

    That said, I tend to agree with you about the realistic prospects for Russian occupation by force, even back in 2014, as I've argued before with Anatoly. In that case it seemed to me that Putin made the right (cautious) decision. That the outcome hasn't been great reflects more the generally disadvantaged position Russia is in versus US sphere aggression and the sheer wealth advantage that empowers it and that, as we can see from the above, often renders even your own elite class unreliable.

    the assertion that Ukrainians are not Russians is itself false, or rather, that it is an oversimplification

    Well, if, say, 80% of Ukrainians feel so, than it’s 80% true. After all, all that matters is the subjective feeling of people – do they feel loyal to the Russian national idea, or to the Ukrainian national idea?

    And I’d think the numbers are roughly like that. For example I remember that when in 2004 during the Orange Revolution Yanukovich supporters kept having rallies in Eastern Ukraine, and they started using Ukrainian flags during those rallies. This made the impression in me that people over there felt the need to prove that they were “good Ukrainians,” too. Overall, I think the 80% number might be an underestimate.

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    • Replies: @Randal

    Well, if, say, 80% of Ukrainians feel so, than it’s 80% true. After all, all that matters is the subjective feeling of people – do they feel loyal to the Russian national idea, or to the Ukrainian national idea?
     
    But that's exactly the point - it's mostly a matter of subjective feeling, which means it is subject to change as circumstances change. Give Russia a sustained period of economic and cultural superiority over the US sphere and Ukraine, and pretty soon you'll find most people living in Ukraine prefer to speak Russian and identify as Russians manqué.

    I don't think occupation is a good way to bring that about, but it's imo a fundamental reality which explains why decent people can disagree about the prospects.
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  60. @Mitleser

    And Irish.
     
    Separatist against what?

    Rejecting UK does not makes them national separatist.

    The true Irish separatists are Ulster loyalists, Irish who prefer the British crown to Irish unity.

    As for mutual history – most of Ukraine was ruled by the West longer than ruled by Russia.
     
    What West? There was no West (or the Ukraine) in medieval history.

    Ulster loyalists, Irish who prefer the British crown to Irish unity.

    It’s questionable how Irish they are. Do they feel anything in common with the Catholic Irish? If no, on what basis can you say they are “Irish”? Not to mention that from what I read they are even genetically mostly descendants of later settlers, and are not closely related to the Catholic Irish.

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    • Replies: @Mitleser
    Ulster is a Irish-Scottish mix.
    , @Randal

    It’s questionable how Irish they are.
     
    More Irish than any non-Amerind is "American", certainly. I have known quite a few Ulster Prots, and probably as many identify as Irish in at least some contexts or senses, mostly on the political left, as identify solely as British. Mind you, my experience is skewed towards more educated Ulster Prots living in England, which might be relevant.

    Again, though, national loyalty is a flexible thing and when the economic and cultural advantage is seen as lying with being British you will find more catholic Irish in the north supporting the continuation of the Union (if not necessarily openly).

    Do they feel anything in common with the Catholic Irish? If no, on what basis can you say they are “Irish”? Not to mention that from what I read they are even genetically mostly descendants of later settlers, and are not closely related to the Catholic Irish.
     
    The way I have come to look at it is that there are two nations living on the island of Ireland, just as there is more than one nation living on mainland Britain. The reality is that neither has greater claim to the name "Irish" or to rule over the other.
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  61. @Mitleser

    And Irish.
     
    Separatist against what?

    Rejecting UK does not makes them national separatist.

    The true Irish separatists are Ulster loyalists, Irish who prefer the British crown to Irish unity.

    As for mutual history – most of Ukraine was ruled by the West longer than ruled by Russia.
     
    What West? There was no West (or the Ukraine) in medieval history.

    There was no West

    There was Latin Christendom under the papacy.

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  62. AP says:
    @Mitleser

    And Irish.
     
    Separatist against what?

    Rejecting UK does not makes them national separatist.

    The true Irish separatists are Ulster loyalists, Irish who prefer the British crown to Irish unity.

    As for mutual history – most of Ukraine was ruled by the West longer than ruled by Russia.
     
    What West? There was no West (or the Ukraine) in medieval history.

    And Irish.

    Separatist against what?

    England. Or Britain.

    Irish speak English, so by your logic ought to be English. They were also ruled by England much longer than Ukrainians were ruled by Russia.

    As for mutual history – most of Ukraine was ruled by the West longer than ruled by Russia.

    What West? There was no West (or the Ukraine) in medieval history.

    There were a people speaking the Ukrainian language, living in a certain area, who were ancestors of Ukrainians. These people were ruled by a combination of Poland, Lithuanian and Austria longer than by Moscow.

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    • Replies: @Mitleser

    England. Or Britain.
     
    It is called United Kingdom of Great Britain and (Northern) Ireland.
    Ireland did not secede from England or Britain.

    Irish speak English, so by your logic ought to be English.
     
    Irish and English have distinct roots and never merged into one nation.

    These people were ruled by a combination of Poland, Lithuanian and Austria longer than by Moscow.
     
    Of course, after all, Moscow was for centuries not the capital of Russia.
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  63. Mitleser says:
    @reiner Tor
    So, the percentage of Muslims is growing next year. It will grow the following year. Then the year after that. And so on, and so on.

    Some Muslims will become nonreligious, but they will have few children. The most devout Muslims will have the most children. So the number of devout Muslims will grew much faster than the number of nonreligious Muslims. And so on, year after year. Meanwhile, the elite's opinion is that Islam is a holy religion, and criticizing it is a crime. Muslims also tend to kill those who criticize it. So, not much criticism of it will happen in the public space.

    What's the endgame? Maybe there'll be a nationalist revival, which makes life very hard for Muslims, perhaps to the point of genocide or ethnic cleansing. Or there's a full conversion of the demoralized remnants of the white German (French etc.) populations.

    Of course, something unexpected might happen, but lapsed Muslims have a tendency to still view Islam as the holiest religion, and sometimes later go full jihadi to repent for their sins. Anyway, I have seen a number of lapsed Muslims (for example Albanians), and in my experience they still retain a very strong cultural Muslim identity. So I just don't think that Muslims will abandon their religion en mass.

    What’s the endgame?

    European super police state which is more demanding of Muslim residents.

    There is an interesting article from Spiegel about the Belgian city Mechelen (1/5 Muslim population) and how their mayor is dealing with problems: more policemen, law and order policy, more CCTV, more governance and social workers, more cleaning of the city, contracts with (Muslim) parents who have to prevent the criminal behavior of their kids or pay for it, etc..

    Singapore is not just a model for China.

    Read More
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  64. utu says:
    @neutral

    The jewish dual loyalty issue is a separate, if related, one.
     
    There was never a real dual loyalty, jews are loyal to nobody but themselves, anyone who for a second thinks there is a sincere loyalty from jews towards Russia, Germany, UK, France, America is a fool.

    “Dual loyalty would be a huge improvement.”

    Read More
    • Replies: @Randal
    I think "dual loyalty" does not necessarily imply 50/50.
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  65. Mitleser says:
    @AP

    And Irish.

    Separatist against what?

     

    England. Or Britain.

    Irish speak English, so by your logic ought to be English. They were also ruled by England much longer than Ukrainians were ruled by Russia.


    As for mutual history – most of Ukraine was ruled by the West longer than ruled by Russia.

    What West? There was no West (or the Ukraine) in medieval history.
     
    There were a people speaking the Ukrainian language, living in a certain area, who were ancestors of Ukrainians. These people were ruled by a combination of Poland, Lithuanian and Austria longer than by Moscow.

    England. Or Britain.

    It is called United Kingdom of Great Britain and (Northern) Ireland.
    Ireland did not secede from England or Britain.

    Irish speak English, so by your logic ought to be English.

    Irish and English have distinct roots and never merged into one nation.

    These people were ruled by a combination of Poland, Lithuanian and Austria longer than by Moscow.

    Of course, after all, Moscow was for centuries not the capital of Russia.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AP

    England. Or Britain.

    It is called United Kingdom of Great Britain and (Northern) Ireland.
    Ireland did not secede from England or Britain.
     
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irish_Republic

    The Irish Republic (Irish: Poblacht na hÉireann or Saorstát Éireann)[1] was a revolutionary state that declared its independence from the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland in January 1919.

    Irish speak English, so by your logic ought to be English.

    Irish and English have distinct roots and never merged into one nation.
     
    Ukrainians and Russians (as peoples) have distinct roots and have never merged into one nation.

    Individuals have of course done so in both Ukrainians and Irish:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KKoS5X4SMrY

    These people were ruled by a combination of Poland, Lithuanian and Austria longer than by Moscow.

    Of course, after all, Moscow was for centuries not the capital of Russia.
     
    And St. Petersburg.
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  66. Randal says:
    @reiner Tor

    the assertion that Ukrainians are not Russians is itself false, or rather, that it is an oversimplification
     
    Well, if, say, 80% of Ukrainians feel so, than it's 80% true. After all, all that matters is the subjective feeling of people - do they feel loyal to the Russian national idea, or to the Ukrainian national idea?

    And I'd think the numbers are roughly like that. For example I remember that when in 2004 during the Orange Revolution Yanukovich supporters kept having rallies in Eastern Ukraine, and they started using Ukrainian flags during those rallies. This made the impression in me that people over there felt the need to prove that they were "good Ukrainians," too. Overall, I think the 80% number might be an underestimate.

    Well, if, say, 80% of Ukrainians feel so, than it’s 80% true. After all, all that matters is the subjective feeling of people – do they feel loyal to the Russian national idea, or to the Ukrainian national idea?

    But that’s exactly the point – it’s mostly a matter of subjective feeling, which means it is subject to change as circumstances change. Give Russia a sustained period of economic and cultural superiority over the US sphere and Ukraine, and pretty soon you’ll find most people living in Ukraine prefer to speak Russian and identify as Russians manqué.

    I don’t think occupation is a good way to bring that about, but it’s imo a fundamental reality which explains why decent people can disagree about the prospects.

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    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    Well yes, it's subjective. But for example popularity is also subjective, and incidentally it can change a lot in a short time. Yet is it correct to describe Vlad Putin as a "highly unpopular" president? You see, it's all subjective, but still objectively you can measure his popularity, and notice that Russians on average think that he's doing a reasonably good job and that he's better than anyone else currently on offer. So I think similarly to how popularity is subjective, yet one can objectively measure it, it's also possible to objectively know if the Ukrainian nation or ethnic group exists or not. And it does, it's just factually incorrect to say otherwise. A wrong model of reality. I can base predictions based on that reality, so it does matter whether you think Ukraine exists or not.

    Now let's move on from the popularity analogy. Ethnicity or nationality are malleable to a certain extent, but it takes a lot of time, at the very least a couple generations, and probably more. So, highly unlike popularity, it's a much more fixed thing. It can change, but rarely if ever in adulthood (Ukrainian kids might grow up to be Russian adults), and because people and generations interact with each other (most people wouldn't want to totally disown their parents' ethnicity, or that of their peer group, etc.), there's a lot of stickiness in it. Also initially there's some anti-fragility at work here - at first, when trying to break the national feelings of a group, it will only get hardened. For example several decades ago Hungarians in the neighboring countries started to choose first names like Attila or Csaba for their children, which had no translations in those languages.

    Later on you can wear it down. For example Hungarians in Slovakia have largely accepted the status quo, and they will often be pretty much pro-Slovak when among Hungarians, and will openly boast about Slovakia being so much better governed than Hungary. (Which happens to be true, but isn't exactly nationalistic.) They will also often use the Slovakized version of their names. In Hungarian, Mrs. Randal would be called Randalné, but in Slovak, it's Randalová. Now Hungarians in Slovakia have to use the Slovak version in official documents. Interestingly, they now often use it on Facebook, too, where no one is forcing them to do so. While a not insignificant portion of Hungarians there still resist it, but over time these tended to move to Hungary (or recently, simply to Western Europe). But it's now a century since they came under Slovak (originally Czechoslovak) rule, so even after a century, Slovaks have a large foreign and probably, on average, disloyal element there. (The majority of them are now also fluent speakers of Slovak, so I'm not sure if language is the main issue here. But Hungarian national feeling is often centered on the language, so if you could force them to learn Slovak and forget Hungarian, you can essentially make them Slovaks. It's not so for the Irish, or for the Ukrainians, so after you forced them to lose their languages - which they already did - there's no obvious followup. What can you do with them now to assimilate them?) Probably Ukrainians will be easier to assimilate for Russians (though Slovak and Hungarian cultures are very similar - both are mostly secularized/lapsed/no longer religious catholics, find similar things funny, will get offended for the same things, etc.), but at the very least it takes several generations.

    Iffen might be correct here, that it's simply a shibboleth of being a "proper" Russian nationalist. But I don't understand why nationalism has to be based on such a factually incorrect idea. Especially from someone who is so rational that he is opposed to celebrating Victory Day. (Which was probably the largest scale military victory in history. Yes, they achieved it via enormous sacrifice, but normally I'm more proud of things which I achieved by sacrifice than of things which I did effortlessly. Yes, many of the fruits of victory have been lost after giving up the empire. But Russia is still a permanent member of the UN, still has the largest nuclear arsenal in the world, and, most importantly, still exists - all this would be impossible without WW2 victory. So why not celebrate it? I agree with him that it needs to be somewhat scaled down and put into context, for example Russia could start celebrating the victory over Napoleon, another awesome military victory. But still.)
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  67. Randal says:
    @utu
    "Dual loyalty would be a huge improvement."

    I think “dual loyalty” does not necessarily imply 50/50.

    Read More
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  68. Mitleser says:
    @reiner Tor

    Ulster loyalists, Irish who prefer the British crown to Irish unity.
     
    It's questionable how Irish they are. Do they feel anything in common with the Catholic Irish? If no, on what basis can you say they are "Irish"? Not to mention that from what I read they are even genetically mostly descendants of later settlers, and are not closely related to the Catholic Irish.

    Ulster is a Irish-Scottish mix.

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  69. AP says:
    @Mitleser

    England. Or Britain.
     
    It is called United Kingdom of Great Britain and (Northern) Ireland.
    Ireland did not secede from England or Britain.

    Irish speak English, so by your logic ought to be English.
     
    Irish and English have distinct roots and never merged into one nation.

    These people were ruled by a combination of Poland, Lithuanian and Austria longer than by Moscow.
     
    Of course, after all, Moscow was for centuries not the capital of Russia.

    England. Or Britain.

    It is called United Kingdom of Great Britain and (Northern) Ireland.
    Ireland did not secede from England or Britain.

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

    The Irish Republic (Irish: Poblacht na hÉireann or Saorstát Éireann)[1] was a revolutionary state that declared its independence from the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland in January 1919.

    Irish speak English, so by your logic ought to be English.

    Irish and English have distinct roots and never merged into one nation.

    Ukrainians and Russians (as peoples) have distinct roots and have never merged into one nation.

    Individuals have of course done so in both Ukrainians and Irish:

    These people were ruled by a combination of Poland, Lithuanian and Austria longer than by Moscow.

    Of course, after all, Moscow was for centuries not the capital of Russia.

    And St. Petersburg.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mitleser

    The Irish Republic (Irish: Poblacht na hÉireann or Saorstát Éireann)[1] was a revolutionary state that declared its independence from the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland in January 1919.
     
    A Republican state fighting for independence from a supranational monarchic union.

    Ukrainians and Russians (as peoples) have distinct roots and have never merged into one nation.
     
    They have a central root, the Rus and lived as Russian Slavs* centuries in the same Russian states.

    *with the exception of the westernmost Rus
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  70. DFH says:
    @Mitleser

    And Irish.
     
    Separatist against what?

    Rejecting UK does not makes them national separatist.

    The true Irish separatists are Ulster loyalists, Irish who prefer the British crown to Irish unity.

    As for mutual history – most of Ukraine was ruled by the West longer than ruled by Russia.
     
    What West? There was no West (or the Ukraine) in medieval history.

    The true Irish separatists are Ulster loyalists, Irish who prefer the British crown to Irish unity.

    But Ulster protestants are not ethnically Irish

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  71. Randal says:
    @reiner Tor

    Ulster loyalists, Irish who prefer the British crown to Irish unity.
     
    It's questionable how Irish they are. Do they feel anything in common with the Catholic Irish? If no, on what basis can you say they are "Irish"? Not to mention that from what I read they are even genetically mostly descendants of later settlers, and are not closely related to the Catholic Irish.

    It’s questionable how Irish they are.

    More Irish than any non-Amerind is “American”, certainly. I have known quite a few Ulster Prots, and probably as many identify as Irish in at least some contexts or senses, mostly on the political left, as identify solely as British. Mind you, my experience is skewed towards more educated Ulster Prots living in England, which might be relevant.

    Again, though, national loyalty is a flexible thing and when the economic and cultural advantage is seen as lying with being British you will find more catholic Irish in the north supporting the continuation of the Union (if not necessarily openly).

    Do they feel anything in common with the Catholic Irish? If no, on what basis can you say they are “Irish”? Not to mention that from what I read they are even genetically mostly descendants of later settlers, and are not closely related to the Catholic Irish.

    The way I have come to look at it is that there are two nations living on the island of Ireland, just as there is more than one nation living on mainland Britain. The reality is that neither has greater claim to the name “Irish” or to rule over the other.

    Read More
    • Replies: @German_reader

    I have known quite a few Ulster Prots, and probably as many identify as Irish in at least some contexts or senses
     
    There's also the curious issue that historically some prominent Irish republicans/nationalists had a Protestant Anglo-Irish background (e.g. Wolfe Tone, Roger Casement, Erskine Childers).
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  72. ERM says:
    @reiner Tor
    I think it’d be easier to convince Austrians that they are Germans than convincing Ukrainians that they are Russians. Austria wouldn’t cost money, since it’s as rich as Germany. (Nominally slightly richer.) I’m a quarter Austrian, and I’d support it wholeheartedly. But I don’t know if it’d be possible. You first needed a nationalist government in Germany. Then remove kebab. Then, maybe, get Austria.

    I don’t really see what would be in it for Austria, which already has a strong claim to being the all around nicest country in the world. If anything, their distaste for Germany deems to be growing: a Viennese friend told me the other day, “The problem with the Germans is that they have no balls.” (Vienna is a story on its own; while the rest of Austria is tolerably similar to Bavaria, Vienna, culturally and otherwise, bears no resemblance whatsoever to anywhere in Germany, and the local vernacular can only be called German with a certain generosity of spirit.) Indeed, Austrians lately seem to be showing signs of renewing their attractive old Habsburg self-interested amorality in total contradiction to whatever madness is sweeping through Germany.

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor

    I don’t really see what would be in it for Austria
     
    After the breakup of the EU, it might get economically difficult for small countries without access to large markets. Also, if NATO was to break up, too, there'd be the issue of safety. Greater Germany (possibly with some nukes) might be a safer place. (Austrians might still oppose it due to historical memories.) I know Austria is not a NATO member, only EU, but NATO together with the EU provide security to them as well.

    But it'd all need to start with a nationalist Germany.
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  73. @Randal

    It’s questionable how Irish they are.
     
    More Irish than any non-Amerind is "American", certainly. I have known quite a few Ulster Prots, and probably as many identify as Irish in at least some contexts or senses, mostly on the political left, as identify solely as British. Mind you, my experience is skewed towards more educated Ulster Prots living in England, which might be relevant.

    Again, though, national loyalty is a flexible thing and when the economic and cultural advantage is seen as lying with being British you will find more catholic Irish in the north supporting the continuation of the Union (if not necessarily openly).

    Do they feel anything in common with the Catholic Irish? If no, on what basis can you say they are “Irish”? Not to mention that from what I read they are even genetically mostly descendants of later settlers, and are not closely related to the Catholic Irish.
     
    The way I have come to look at it is that there are two nations living on the island of Ireland, just as there is more than one nation living on mainland Britain. The reality is that neither has greater claim to the name "Irish" or to rule over the other.

    I have known quite a few Ulster Prots, and probably as many identify as Irish in at least some contexts or senses

    There’s also the curious issue that historically some prominent Irish republicans/nationalists had a Protestant Anglo-Irish background (e.g. Wolfe Tone, Roger Casement, Erskine Childers).

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  74. @reiner Tor
    I think the reasons Ukraine became wildly unpopular in the LDNR is that

    - the Ukrainians were dicks with them by repeatedly firing at their city centers with artillery.
    - the Ukrainians were dicks with them by making it difficult to collect their salaries and pensions.
    - the Ukrainians were dicks with them by putting it under economic blockade.
    - probably a large fraction of the committed pro-Ukrainian portion of the population (which was the smallest in Ukraine outside the Crimea to begin with) left the area for other parts of Ukraine.
    - probably some pro-Russians from other parts of Ukraine (or maybe also from Russia itself?) have moved in.

    The reasons why Russia became unpopular in the rest of Ukraine is that

    - Russia grabbed territory from them (taking half their territory or altogether their independence would've made things worse in that department)
    - Russia started a civil war inside their territory, the victims of which were probably all blamed on Russia (maybe it'd have been better if half of Novorossiya was swiftly annexed)

    I don't think that a swift and competent annexation of half (or the whole) of Ukraine would've eliminated the Ukrainian national feeling (which was to some extent already present a century ago), or the factors making Russia unpopular, while it would've eliminated all of the factors making Ukraine unpopular.

    Therefore, huge subsidies the annexed part would need to happen.

    In legal and spiritual terms, it will be a statement on the historical continuity of the Russian Empire
     
    I think legally the Russian Federation is already the successor state of the USSR, which was (after some vacillation) mostly accepted for legal purposes to be the successor state of the Russian Empire. Yeltsin anyway made some noises to the effect I think.

    Anyway, basing your identity on Ukraine being part of Russia or Ukrainians being misguided Russians is basing it on a fantasy. I think Russia is a strong and successful enough country not to base its identity on some kind of we wuz kangz fantasies.

    You defeated La Grande Armée. (Formidable achievement.) You defeated the Wehrmacht. (Ditto.) You sent the first artificial object to outer space. You sent the first human to outer space. You built (and continue to build) impressive military technologies. You created a splendid high culture with great literature, classical music, etc. These are thing you can be proud of, and could serve as the basis of identity.

    Why the factually incorrect claim that Ukrainians are Russians?

    Anyway, I just don't understand it.

    You defeated La Grande Armée. (Formidable achievement.) You defeated the Wehrmacht. (Ditto.) You sent the first artificial object to outer space. You sent the first human to outer space. You built (and continue to build) impressive military technologies. You created a splendid high culture with great literature, classical music, etc. These are thing you can be proud of, and could serve as the basis of identity.

    Don’t forget that the Ancient Russians of Egypt built the pyramids.

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  75. Mitleser says:
    @AP

    England. Or Britain.

    It is called United Kingdom of Great Britain and (Northern) Ireland.
    Ireland did not secede from England or Britain.
     
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irish_Republic

    The Irish Republic (Irish: Poblacht na hÉireann or Saorstát Éireann)[1] was a revolutionary state that declared its independence from the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland in January 1919.

    Irish speak English, so by your logic ought to be English.

    Irish and English have distinct roots and never merged into one nation.
     
    Ukrainians and Russians (as peoples) have distinct roots and have never merged into one nation.

    Individuals have of course done so in both Ukrainians and Irish:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KKoS5X4SMrY

    These people were ruled by a combination of Poland, Lithuanian and Austria longer than by Moscow.

    Of course, after all, Moscow was for centuries not the capital of Russia.
     
    And St. Petersburg.

    The Irish Republic (Irish: Poblacht na hÉireann or Saorstát Éireann)[1] was a revolutionary state that declared its independence from the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland in January 1919.

    A Republican state fighting for independence from a supranational monarchic union.

    Ukrainians and Russians (as peoples) have distinct roots and have never merged into one nation.

    They have a central root, the Rus and lived as Russian Slavs* centuries in the same Russian states.

    *with the exception of the westernmost Rus

    Read More
    • Replies: @DFH

    A Republican state fighting for independence from a supranational monarchic union.

     

    It wasn't just a personal union though, they had been part of the same state with the same central government etc. since the Act of Union in 1801
    , @AP

    They have a central root,
     
    Do they? They come from different Slavic tribes. They were ruled by Vikings for a few centuries. The Vikings got Slavicised, a century or so after that the state they ruled split up into warring principalities. The Mongols ended the various warring principalities a century after that.

    This "central root" was rather shallow and ephemeral, in reality. For obvious reasons Russians nationalists constructed strong myths out of it,

    There was and is a real Russian state. Ukraine spent less time as part of this state than it did as part of Poland, Lithuania and/or Austria. And when Ukraine was a part of this Russian state, it was autonomous more than fully integrated into it for much of this time (if you consider the USSR as a Russian state, for a majority of the time).

    the Rus and lived as Russian Slavs* centuries in the same Russian states.
     
    Not if by Russian you mean the Russian people and culture.

    *with the exception of the westernmost Rus
     
    The different between Galicia and the Right Bank (central Ukraine west of the Dnipro river) comes down to about 150 years of Austrian rule and 20 years of Polish rule after that.
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  76. @reiner Tor

    in the meantime just leave it as it is, a depopulating wasteland, but with Russian military bases.
     
    But this will make Russia even more unpopular there. You need to win hearts and minds if you want to make them proper Russians. You would cut off even the long term possibility.

    You need to win hearts and minds

    This may be true for US occupation of Afghanistan, but Ukraine’s depopulation problem turns this dynamic on its head. We can basically outlast them inside their own country. lol

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    • Replies: @reiner Tor

    Ukraine’s depopulation problem turns this dynamic on its head. We can basically outlast them inside their own country. lol
     
    And you'd like to accelerate the process. This is basically genocidal intention.

    By the way Russians are also decreasing, so Talha will win.
    , @AP

    but Ukraine’s depopulation problem turns this dynamic on its head. We can basically outlast them inside their own country.
     
    On the contrary - the pro-Russian East depopulates faster.

    You will overtaken by Muslims faster than the western Ukrainians depopulate.
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  77. DFH says:
    @Mitleser

    The Irish Republic (Irish: Poblacht na hÉireann or Saorstát Éireann)[1] was a revolutionary state that declared its independence from the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland in January 1919.
     
    A Republican state fighting for independence from a supranational monarchic union.

    Ukrainians and Russians (as peoples) have distinct roots and have never merged into one nation.
     
    They have a central root, the Rus and lived as Russian Slavs* centuries in the same Russian states.

    *with the exception of the westernmost Rus

    A Republican state fighting for independence from a supranational monarchic union.

    It wasn’t just a personal union though, they had been part of the same state with the same central government etc. since the Act of Union in 1801

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    • Replies: @AP
    Correct, and Ukraine had not lost its own autonomous status until 1764:

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

    But Ireland was ruled by the English crown for centuries before Ukraine came under Russia.
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  78. @Felix Keverich

    You need to win hearts and minds
     
    This may be true for US occupation of Afghanistan, but Ukraine's depopulation problem turns this dynamic on its head. We can basically outlast them inside their own country. lol

    Ukraine’s depopulation problem turns this dynamic on its head. We can basically outlast them inside their own country. lol

    And you’d like to accelerate the process. This is basically genocidal intention.

    By the way Russians are also decreasing, so Talha will win.

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    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
    My idea is for Russia to effectively assert control of the Ukraine while using the minimum amount of resources. The reason I talk about occupation, not annexation is that annexing the territory means taking full responsibily for the welfare of its population - an unbearable burden for the Russian budget. I would rather have a "People's Republic" government in Kiev, which would maintain order and provide a bare minimun of social services, while the Russian forces focus on purely military aspects of control.

    Think of how the US operates in Afghanistan for example. Afghanistan is a terrible mess. It's the 17th year of US occupation, and the country remains basically medeval, Americans have done nothing to improve the lives of the people, and there is an ongoing Taleban insurgency. But for the US the cost of this occupation has become fairly low (by the usual American standards). It can continue for a very, very long time.

    Now, once we've acquired control of the territory, we could then decide (depending on the state of the Russian economy, depending on the amount of resistance we face in the Ukraine) what we're going to do with it. Make it a puppet state, partition, annex all or some parts of it, or even withdraw completely if the cost of occupation proves unbearable, but I don't agree with Karlin that military solution is no longer feasible in the Ukraine - that's needlessly pessimistic.
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  79. Mr. Hack says:
    @reiner Tor
    I think the reasons Ukraine became wildly unpopular in the LDNR is that

    - the Ukrainians were dicks with them by repeatedly firing at their city centers with artillery.
    - the Ukrainians were dicks with them by making it difficult to collect their salaries and pensions.
    - the Ukrainians were dicks with them by putting it under economic blockade.
    - probably a large fraction of the committed pro-Ukrainian portion of the population (which was the smallest in Ukraine outside the Crimea to begin with) left the area for other parts of Ukraine.
    - probably some pro-Russians from other parts of Ukraine (or maybe also from Russia itself?) have moved in.

    The reasons why Russia became unpopular in the rest of Ukraine is that

    - Russia grabbed territory from them (taking half their territory or altogether their independence would've made things worse in that department)
    - Russia started a civil war inside their territory, the victims of which were probably all blamed on Russia (maybe it'd have been better if half of Novorossiya was swiftly annexed)

    I don't think that a swift and competent annexation of half (or the whole) of Ukraine would've eliminated the Ukrainian national feeling (which was to some extent already present a century ago), or the factors making Russia unpopular, while it would've eliminated all of the factors making Ukraine unpopular.

    Therefore, huge subsidies the annexed part would need to happen.

    In legal and spiritual terms, it will be a statement on the historical continuity of the Russian Empire
     
    I think legally the Russian Federation is already the successor state of the USSR, which was (after some vacillation) mostly accepted for legal purposes to be the successor state of the Russian Empire. Yeltsin anyway made some noises to the effect I think.

    Anyway, basing your identity on Ukraine being part of Russia or Ukrainians being misguided Russians is basing it on a fantasy. I think Russia is a strong and successful enough country not to base its identity on some kind of we wuz kangz fantasies.

    You defeated La Grande Armée. (Formidable achievement.) You defeated the Wehrmacht. (Ditto.) You sent the first artificial object to outer space. You sent the first human to outer space. You built (and continue to build) impressive military technologies. You created a splendid high culture with great literature, classical music, etc. These are thing you can be proud of, and could serve as the basis of identity.

    Why the factually incorrect claim that Ukrainians are Russians?

    Anyway, I just don't understand it.

    Why the factually incorrect claim that Ukrainians are Russians?

    Anyway, I just don’t understand it.

    Don’t hold your breath waiting for Karlin to answer these questions. He often seems to skirt these types of questions, the really important and interesting ones. He prefers to voice his Russian nationalism in general terms. He’s either unsure of himself or embarrassed to share with his readers his true opinions.

    Read More
    • Replies: @iffen
    Don’t hold your breath waiting for Karlin to answer these questions.

    I think this answers it for me:


    And that would accomplish what, exactly?
     
    In legal and spiritual terms, it will be a statement on the historical continuity of the Russian Empire, and a rejection of the Ukrainian frame that the LDNR are separatists.
    In practical terms, nothing more than the Ukraine labelling Russia as an aggressor state. But it will trigger the right people and hopefully provoke more sanctions. This will associate the imperial narrative with patriotism and Western opposition, which will help further marginalize liberalism and Communism.
     
    It's a touchstone, a shibboleth for determining who is a Russian nationalist and who isn't.
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  80. AP says:
    @DFH

    A Republican state fighting for independence from a supranational monarchic union.

     

    It wasn't just a personal union though, they had been part of the same state with the same central government etc. since the Act of Union in 1801

    Correct, and Ukraine had not lost its own autonomous status until 1764:

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

    But Ireland was ruled by the English crown for centuries before Ukraine came under Russia.

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    • Replies: @Mikhail
    In line with your faulty biases, you conveniently omit the Rus period prior to the Mongol subjugation.

    Touching a bit on what you said - Russia, Ukraine and Belarus to England, Scotland and Wales, is the more accurate analogy to Russia-Ukraine with Britain-Ireland.

    Poland and Russia are more analogous to Ireland and English dominated Britain (albeit Ireland never coming close to threatening Britain in the manner of Poland towards Russia) than Russia-Ukraine with Britain-Ireland.

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  81. AP says:
    @Mitleser

    The Irish Republic (Irish: Poblacht na hÉireann or Saorstát Éireann)[1] was a revolutionary state that declared its independence from the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland in January 1919.
     
    A Republican state fighting for independence from a supranational monarchic union.

    Ukrainians and Russians (as peoples) have distinct roots and have never merged into one nation.
     
    They have a central root, the Rus and lived as Russian Slavs* centuries in the same Russian states.

    *with the exception of the westernmost Rus

    They have a central root,

    Do they? They come from different Slavic tribes. They were ruled by Vikings for a few centuries. The Vikings got Slavicised, a century or so after that the state they ruled split up into warring principalities. The Mongols ended the various warring principalities a century after that.

    This “central root” was rather shallow and ephemeral, in reality. For obvious reasons Russians nationalists constructed strong myths out of it,

    There was and is a real Russian state. Ukraine spent less time as part of this state than it did as part of Poland, Lithuania and/or Austria. And when Ukraine was a part of this Russian state, it was autonomous more than fully integrated into it for much of this time (if you consider the USSR as a Russian state, for a majority of the time).

    the Rus and lived as Russian Slavs* centuries in the same Russian states.

    Not if by Russian you mean the Russian people and culture.

    *with the exception of the westernmost Rus

    The different between Galicia and the Right Bank (central Ukraine west of the Dnipro river) comes down to about 150 years of Austrian rule and 20 years of Polish rule after that.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mikhail
    Same recycled BS from you. Ukraine (at least most of it) has spent more time with Russia than Poland, thereby explaining why Poland doesn't feel historically connecte4de to Rus in the same way as Russia, Ukraine and Belarus.
    , @iffen
    AP, you may have stated this in previous comments, but save me searching time and tell us how much territory (Russian or otherwise) does Ukraine need to be happy?
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  82. AP says:
    @Felix Keverich

    You need to win hearts and minds
     
    This may be true for US occupation of Afghanistan, but Ukraine's depopulation problem turns this dynamic on its head. We can basically outlast them inside their own country. lol

    but Ukraine’s depopulation problem turns this dynamic on its head. We can basically outlast them inside their own country.

    On the contrary – the pro-Russian East depopulates faster.

    You will overtaken by Muslims faster than the western Ukrainians depopulate.

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    • Replies: @Gerard2

    On the contrary – the pro-Russian East depopulates faster.

     

    Pro-Russian east the most populous, most economically important part of "Ukraine" you insidious troll excrement fucktard

    You will overtaken by Muslims faster than the western Ukrainians depopulate
     
    Bizarre comment for an adult. The North Caucasus is basically Russia's equivalent ( except on many issue those in the muslim North Caucasus areas have much superior living stats to western Ukraine) of most of western Ukraine.......to the rest of Ukraine.

    Moscow own population is probably close to the REAL population of Ukraine, so to compare the total collapse of Ukraine to some fantasist Muslim takeover of Russia shows what a retarded sack of shit you are.
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  83. @reiner Tor

    Ukraine’s depopulation problem turns this dynamic on its head. We can basically outlast them inside their own country. lol
     
    And you'd like to accelerate the process. This is basically genocidal intention.

    By the way Russians are also decreasing, so Talha will win.

    My idea is for Russia to effectively assert control of the Ukraine while using the minimum amount of resources. The reason I talk about occupation, not annexation is that annexing the territory means taking full responsibily for the welfare of its population – an unbearable burden for the Russian budget. I would rather have a “People’s Republic” government in Kiev, which would maintain order and provide a bare minimun of social services, while the Russian forces focus on purely military aspects of control.

    Think of how the US operates in Afghanistan for example. Afghanistan is a terrible mess. It’s the 17th year of US occupation, and the country remains basically medeval, Americans have done nothing to improve the lives of the people, and there is an ongoing Taleban insurgency. But for the US the cost of this occupation has become fairly low (by the usual American standards). It can continue for a very, very long time.

    Now, once we’ve acquired control of the territory, we could then decide (depending on the state of the Russian economy, depending on the amount of resistance we face in the Ukraine) what we’re going to do with it. Make it a puppet state, partition, annex all or some parts of it, or even withdraw completely if the cost of occupation proves unbearable, but I don’t agree with Karlin that military solution is no longer feasible in the Ukraine – that’s needlessly pessimistic.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    This is all that you can offer? What a bunch of horseshit! No wonder Karlin is hesitant to jump on this bandwagon! (Or is he?)...

    You and your fellow Russian nationalists are sounding more and more like a bunch of sickos!
    , @German_reader
    That seems pretty pointless, why should Russia do something like that? Entering a war of choice without a clear political strategy and a set of defined goals is really dumb.
    The Americans have had more than 2000 of their soldiers killed in Afghanistan, for a stupid project that's never going to be successful...really odd that you regard that as a positive model to imitate.
    , @Mikhail
    It's possible that the situation might change in the way that you suggest. At least for now, that scenario isn't on the horizon.

    Polling continuously shows that the population in Kiev regime controlled Ukraine isn't pleased with the kind of leaders likely to get the Ukrainian presidency.

    The EU isn't likely going to take Ukraine in as a full fledged member anytime soon, if ever.

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  84. @reiner Tor
    So now some extra money needs to be allocated to finishing the development of the Su-57...

    https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-05-28/turkey-may-purchase-russian-stealth-fighters-if-delivery-us-f-35s-halted

    No one paid attention to my fantastic OT news item about a possible Russian weapons export success, where success breeds success. (Turkey buys S-400, in turn F-35 deal gets blocked by US, so Turkey might buy Su-57…)

    Here’s another about a budding nuclear arms race:

    http://www.scmp.com/news/china/society/article/2147304/china-steps-pace-new-nuclear-arms-race-us-and-russia-experts-warn

    Read More
    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson

    “There is tremendous hesitancy (about) transferring sensitive F35 planes and technology to a nation who has purchased a Russian air defense system designed to shoot these very planes down,” said Senator Shaheen.
     
    This sounds like b.s. to me.

    The S-400 entered service a decade ago and is already deployed in Syria, where it obviously routinely tracks CENTCOM and IAF warplanes. F-35s are being delivered to Norway and thus will presumably be tracked by Russia whenever they operate at all.

    Unless the Turks were planning on shooting down one of their new F-35s, just to see if they can.

    The Saudis and Greeks have acquired some Russian defense hardware, and South Korea's rocketry and SAM programs are developed from Russian technology.

    Likewise India is intending to acquire the S-400, and Washington is pushing our arms on India hard.

    Obviously this has to do with some sort of displeasure over Turkey's independent and erratic foreign policy. Or perhaps something even stupider, like the idiotic Armenian lobby's obsession with having their genocide "officially recognized", whatever the hell that means.

    Turkey's immediate suggestion that it will acquire the Su-57 instead is part and parcel of the same game. The ordinary response would be to declare an open competition. Even if the Eurocanards decline to participate that still leaves Chinese products (J-20 appears to be in serial production now, unlike Su-57) and older technology Russian fighters.

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  85. Mr. Hack says:
    @Felix Keverich
    My idea is for Russia to effectively assert control of the Ukraine while using the minimum amount of resources. The reason I talk about occupation, not annexation is that annexing the territory means taking full responsibily for the welfare of its population - an unbearable burden for the Russian budget. I would rather have a "People's Republic" government in Kiev, which would maintain order and provide a bare minimun of social services, while the Russian forces focus on purely military aspects of control.

    Think of how the US operates in Afghanistan for example. Afghanistan is a terrible mess. It's the 17th year of US occupation, and the country remains basically medeval, Americans have done nothing to improve the lives of the people, and there is an ongoing Taleban insurgency. But for the US the cost of this occupation has become fairly low (by the usual American standards). It can continue for a very, very long time.

    Now, once we've acquired control of the territory, we could then decide (depending on the state of the Russian economy, depending on the amount of resistance we face in the Ukraine) what we're going to do with it. Make it a puppet state, partition, annex all or some parts of it, or even withdraw completely if the cost of occupation proves unbearable, but I don't agree with Karlin that military solution is no longer feasible in the Ukraine - that's needlessly pessimistic.

    This is all that you can offer? What a bunch of horseshit! No wonder Karlin is hesitant to jump on this bandwagon! (Or is he?)…

    You and your fellow Russian nationalists are sounding more and more like a bunch of sickos!

    Read More
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  86. @Felix Keverich
    My idea is for Russia to effectively assert control of the Ukraine while using the minimum amount of resources. The reason I talk about occupation, not annexation is that annexing the territory means taking full responsibily for the welfare of its population - an unbearable burden for the Russian budget. I would rather have a "People's Republic" government in Kiev, which would maintain order and provide a bare minimun of social services, while the Russian forces focus on purely military aspects of control.

    Think of how the US operates in Afghanistan for example. Afghanistan is a terrible mess. It's the 17th year of US occupation, and the country remains basically medeval, Americans have done nothing to improve the lives of the people, and there is an ongoing Taleban insurgency. But for the US the cost of this occupation has become fairly low (by the usual American standards). It can continue for a very, very long time.

    Now, once we've acquired control of the territory, we could then decide (depending on the state of the Russian economy, depending on the amount of resistance we face in the Ukraine) what we're going to do with it. Make it a puppet state, partition, annex all or some parts of it, or even withdraw completely if the cost of occupation proves unbearable, but I don't agree with Karlin that military solution is no longer feasible in the Ukraine - that's needlessly pessimistic.

    That seems pretty pointless, why should Russia do something like that? Entering a war of choice without a clear political strategy and a set of defined goals is really dumb.
    The Americans have had more than 2000 of their soldiers killed in Afghanistan, for a stupid project that’s never going to be successful…really odd that you regard that as a positive model to imitate.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
    You are confusing means and ends. Occupation would be a means to an end: the destruction of hostile Ukrainian regime and control of territory. For me it's better to have Russian troops in the Ukraine, than the American ones. I also happen think that Russification is better than de-Russification.

    While Russia lacks the resources to annex the Ukraine at this time, this may change in the future. Keeping that territory firmly under our thumb will keep that option open.


    The Americans have had more than 2000 of their soldiers killed in Afghanistan
     
    That's less than the Soviets lost in Afghanistan. Big mistake USSR made was trying to uplift the local society: they were building schools and hospitals, instead of training reliable local proxies. They bankrupted themselves and lost more men than they had to, trying to hold the country. Americans in Afghanistan have shown us how occupations must be done.
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  87. Mikhail says: • Website
    @AP
    Correct, and Ukraine had not lost its own autonomous status until 1764:

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

    But Ireland was ruled by the English crown for centuries before Ukraine came under Russia.

    In line with your faulty biases, you conveniently omit the Rus period prior to the Mongol subjugation.

    Touching a bit on what you said – Russia, Ukraine and Belarus to England, Scotland and Wales, is the more accurate analogy to Russia-Ukraine with Britain-Ireland.

    Poland and Russia are more analogous to Ireland and English dominated Britain (albeit Ireland never coming close to threatening Britain in the manner of Poland towards Russia) than Russia-Ukraine with Britain-Ireland.

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  88. Mikhail says: • Website
    @AP

    They have a central root,
     
    Do they? They come from different Slavic tribes. They were ruled by Vikings for a few centuries. The Vikings got Slavicised, a century or so after that the state they ruled split up into warring principalities. The Mongols ended the various warring principalities a century after that.

    This "central root" was rather shallow and ephemeral, in reality. For obvious reasons Russians nationalists constructed strong myths out of it,

    There was and is a real Russian state. Ukraine spent less time as part of this state than it did as part of Poland, Lithuania and/or Austria. And when Ukraine was a part of this Russian state, it was autonomous more than fully integrated into it for much of this time (if you consider the USSR as a Russian state, for a majority of the time).

    the Rus and lived as Russian Slavs* centuries in the same Russian states.
     
    Not if by Russian you mean the Russian people and culture.

    *with the exception of the westernmost Rus
     
    The different between Galicia and the Right Bank (central Ukraine west of the Dnipro river) comes down to about 150 years of Austrian rule and 20 years of Polish rule after that.

    Same recycled BS from you. Ukraine (at least most of it) has spent more time with Russia than Poland, thereby explaining why Poland doesn’t feel historically connecte4de to Rus in the same way as Russia, Ukraine and Belarus.

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  89. Mikhail says: • Website

    The history of Rus, relative to Russia and Ukraine, is a matter that has been periodically distorted. One example is Crimea. It has been periodically suggested that the Tatars settled there before any type of a Russian presence in Crimea.

    On the issue of Crimea and its history, activist Mustafa Dzhemilev spouts BS, which RFE/RL uncritically presents:

    https://www.rferl.org/a/ukraine-charges-moscow-has-brought-up-to-1-million-russians-into-crimea/29253575.html

    Excerpt –

    Dzhemilev told Ukrinform on May 27 that Moscow is bringing ‘large numbers’ of people from various regions of Russia to Crimea, which Russia annexed in 2014.
    ‘But this is held as a military secret because they know perfectly well that it is a crime,’ Dzhemilev said.

    He estimated that the total number of Russians brought into the disputed region was between 850,000 and 1 million.

    ‘Russia is now roughly repeating the same strategy that was used during the first occupation [of Crimea] under [Empress] Catherine [the Great],’ he said. ‘At that time it wasn’t possible to deport people since there were no railroads. So they simply created impossible living conditions for people in order to force them to migrate. As a result, Crimean Tatars very quickly became a minority people’.

    ****

    Where is his proof? Why should Russia feel a need to hide such on account of a “crime” (sic)? Russia very openly built a bridge connecting Crimea to the rest of Russia.

    As for the comments about the past, the Tatars didn’t predominate Crimea before Rus, which modern day Russia, Ukraine and Belarus are descended from. If anything, the Tatars came in as latter day occupiers, involved in a slave trade against Slavs and others. Tatar raids from Crimea into Russian territory was a reason for why Catherine the Great took back Crimea. Within reason, many see Russia as the legit heir to Rus. Following the Mongol subjugation, the territory of Russia emerges as the strongest and most independent of Rus land. prior to the Mongol subjugation, the territory of Russia was showing signs of having greater influence.

    Independent polling show a clear well over 2/3 majority in Crimea supporting the area’s reunification with Russia. This includes the majority of Crimea’s ethnic Ukrainians. The Tatars are under 15% of Crimea’s population.

    Putin has condemned the Soviet WW II era collective punishment against the Tatars, in conjunction with his support for a multiethnic/multilingual Crimea – recognizing that Russian is the overall preferred language there. In comparison, Dzhemilev is on record for essentially advocating the ethnic cleansing of Russians from Crimea:

    https://www.rferl.org/a/ukraine-crimea-tatars-dzhemilev/25374059.html

    Russians must leave Crimea. There is no other choice.

    Related:

    https://www.eurasiareview.com/09062016-enhanced-russia-bashing-at-the-new-york-times-analysis/

    Excerpt –

    Christina Paschyn’s May 19 op-ed ‘Russia is Trying to Wipe Out Crimea’s Tatars’, is the exact opposite of a relatively objective fact based political history. The article’s title is factually contradicted by post-Soviet Russia’s acknowledgement of the Soviet WW II era collective wrong done to the Crimean Tatars and Crimean Tatar being one of three official languages recognized in Crimea (along with Russian and Ukrainian), since Crimea’s reunification with Russia.

    (In response to this observation, some anti-Russian propagandists have noted that Russian remains the most commonly spoken of the three main languages in Crimea. What they’re reluctant to add is that Russian is by choice, the most popular language in Crimea, thereby making it disrespectful to advocate a restriction of that language. Try getting the English speaking majority in Saskatchewan and most of the rest of Canada to change their linguistic preference to French.)

    Paschyn’s cherry picked historical accounting omits the slave trade perpetuated by the Crimean Tatar Khanate against Slavs and others. She erroneously suggests that the Crimean Tatars predominated in Crimea before the Rus era Slavs (the descendants of modern day Russians, Ukrainians and Belarusians). The Russian Empire’s takeover of Crimea was partly motivated by the persistent threat posed by the Turkish aligned Crimean Tatar Khanate. Within reason, the Russian Empire can be seen as the historical/cultural successor to Rus, prior to its getting subjugated by the Mongols.

    Paschyn joins Nechepurneko in ignoring the valid reasons for believing the 2016 Eurovision to be a politically motivated farce. Jamala’s first place song ’1944′, concerns an action that happened as WW II was drawing to a close. The May 10 Vineyard Saker blog post ‘Tell Eurovision in 1944 Stalin Deported Crimean Tatars to protect Them From Punishment for Nazi War Crimes’, offers a counter to Paschymnay’s slant. I don’t agree with everything said in that Vineyard Saker post. IMO, its valid points are clouded by some faultily inappropriate comments.

    As that blog piece notes, there’s a reasoned basis to believe that a disproportionate number of Crimean Tatars had collaborated with the Nazis, who treated that community better than others in Crimea. Stalin was no angel. at the same time, he didn’t want to risk a civil war in his country as WW II was still being fought. Hence, the collective deportation of the Crimean Tatars to Soviet Central Asia – an act that arguably prevented a settling of scores. The dire wartime conditions in the USSR and brutish manner of Stalin, best explain the horrid circumstances that led to many Crimean Tatar deaths during their deportation experience.

    Post-Soviet Russia has condemned the collective WW II era deportation of the Crimean Tatars, while committing itself to a multi-lingual/multi-cultural Crimea. This compares better to Turkey’s treatment of the Armenian Genocide (a more gruesome act than what the Crimean Tatars experienced) and the Kiev regime’s attitude towards Stepan Bandera and his supporters.

    Paschyn’s referenced claim that Stalin had designs on Turkey appear far fetched. His troop movements indicated that he had other priorities. For whatever one negatively thinks of Stalin, he did leave Austria as promised and didn’t actively support the Greek Communists (at the end of WW II), in line with his understanding with the West. As WW II was drawing to a close, Turkey wasn’t in the cards for any noteworthy Soviet influence.

    Paschyn mentions the Crimean Tatar activist Mustafa Dzhemilev. No mention is made of his opposition to recognizing the Armenian Genocide and his ethnic cleansing call for having the Russians leave Crimea altogether. Dzhemilev getting banned from entering Crimea is part of a tit for tat process that sees a travel ban against some Russian citizens by Kiev regime controlled Ukraine and the EU.

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  90. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Felix Keverich
    My idea is for Russia to effectively assert control of the Ukraine while using the minimum amount of resources. The reason I talk about occupation, not annexation is that annexing the territory means taking full responsibily for the welfare of its population - an unbearable burden for the Russian budget. I would rather have a "People's Republic" government in Kiev, which would maintain order and provide a bare minimun of social services, while the Russian forces focus on purely military aspects of control.

    Think of how the US operates in Afghanistan for example. Afghanistan is a terrible mess. It's the 17th year of US occupation, and the country remains basically medeval, Americans have done nothing to improve the lives of the people, and there is an ongoing Taleban insurgency. But for the US the cost of this occupation has become fairly low (by the usual American standards). It can continue for a very, very long time.

    Now, once we've acquired control of the territory, we could then decide (depending on the state of the Russian economy, depending on the amount of resistance we face in the Ukraine) what we're going to do with it. Make it a puppet state, partition, annex all or some parts of it, or even withdraw completely if the cost of occupation proves unbearable, but I don't agree with Karlin that military solution is no longer feasible in the Ukraine - that's needlessly pessimistic.

    It’s possible that the situation might change in the way that you suggest. At least for now, that scenario isn’t on the horizon.

    Polling continuously shows that the population in Kiev regime controlled Ukraine isn’t pleased with the kind of leaders likely to get the Ukrainian presidency.

    The EU isn’t likely going to take Ukraine in as a full fledged member anytime soon, if ever.

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  91. @reiner Tor
    No one paid attention to my fantastic OT news item about a possible Russian weapons export success, where success breeds success. (Turkey buys S-400, in turn F-35 deal gets blocked by US, so Turkey might buy Su-57...)

    Here's another about a budding nuclear arms race:

    http://www.scmp.com/news/china/society/article/2147304/china-steps-pace-new-nuclear-arms-race-us-and-russia-experts-warn

    “There is tremendous hesitancy (about) transferring sensitive F35 planes and technology to a nation who has purchased a Russian air defense system designed to shoot these very planes down,” said Senator Shaheen.

    This sounds like b.s. to me.

    The S-400 entered service a decade ago and is already deployed in Syria, where it obviously routinely tracks CENTCOM and IAF warplanes. F-35s are being delivered to Norway and thus will presumably be tracked by Russia whenever they operate at all.

    Unless the Turks were planning on shooting down one of their new F-35s, just to see if they can.

    The Saudis and Greeks have acquired some Russian defense hardware, and South Korea’s rocketry and SAM programs are developed from Russian technology.

    Likewise India is intending to acquire the S-400, and Washington is pushing our arms on India hard.

    Obviously this has to do with some sort of displeasure over Turkey’s independent and erratic foreign policy. Or perhaps something even stupider, like the idiotic Armenian lobby’s obsession with having their genocide “officially recognized”, whatever the hell that means.

    Turkey’s immediate suggestion that it will acquire the Su-57 instead is part and parcel of the same game. The ordinary response would be to declare an open competition. Even if the Eurocanards decline to participate that still leaves Chinese products (J-20 appears to be in serial production now, unlike Su-57) and older technology Russian fighters.

    Read More
    • Replies: @iffen
    The S-400 entered service a decade ago and is already deployed in Syria

    Where it has devastated the IDF air force.
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  92. Pericles says:
    @Mitleser
    Which mountains in Russia would you like to visit, Kavkaz, Altai or another mountain?

    The mountains often seen in the background during the Sochi olympics were beautiful.

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    • Replies: @JL
    They're not just beautiful, they offer some of the best skiing in the world. Among Sochi's positive attributes are convenience (35 minute drive from the airport), mild climate, high quality and quantity of snow due to its maritime location, varied terrain (both alpine and trees), vertical drop (>1500m), brand new gondolas to the peaks at all four resorts, and, since 2014, value. It would be great if they banned snowboarding, but that's probably asking a bit too much. Russians who leave the country to ski are not doing so for the quality of the skiing, but for other reasons.
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  93. Chuck says:

    The real threat to Mother Russia is the Russian guy because he’s fat!

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  94. Dmitry says:
    @reiner Tor
    If I were Vlad Putin, I'd have a few ideas to increase the elite's loyalty.

    If I were Vlad Putin, I’d have a few ideas to increase the elite’s loyalty.

    The thing is, if you were Putin you would have been head of the elite for 18 years, and would be inside their head and their life – as you would be the most important one of them.

    He understands how to manage them probably as well as anyone could, although it’s not like we can test the hypothesis that someone else would do a better job.

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    • Replies: @Gerard2

    although it’s not like we can test the hypothesis that someone else would do a better job
     
    Of course we can test this hypothesis multiple amount of times.......Ukraine, Moldova,Georgia,Armenia have all had these problems of oligarchic control and a corrupt elite.....Russia has managed these problems far better, even though the vary nature of Russia should make it much harder to be the case. Plus the Yeltsin era
    They've all had US appointees,'nationalists', security services-linked personal in President,PM positions and fared badly every time in comparison to Russia.


    Not only in the issue of oligarchs but other areas like bad roads....Russia has the better roads (much to improve still) of all those countries mentioned ( because the other countries are thoroughly corrupt)...this even though with Russia's scale,winters, different regions this should not be the case

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  95. Ron Unz says:
    @Felix Keverich
    @Mitleser
    This story has a continuation:

    Kazakhstan has opened two of its ports on the Caspian Sea as transit points for the delivery of non-military goods from the United States to Afghanistan.

    Lawmakers approved a draft law March 7 to ratify the move.

    Access to the ports of Aktau and Kuryk will allow the United States to set up an alternative route to Afghanistan, bypassing Russia.

    The renewed co-operation envisages not only greater economic ties between Astana and Washington but closer political and military co-operation as well, particularly regarding the conflict in Afghanistan.

    Kazakhstan is demonstrating its friendly relations and readiness for a close partnership with the United States by opening its ports on the Caspian Sea to US cargo, said Islam Kurayev, a political scientist from Almaty.
     

    http://central.asia-news.com/en_GB/articles/cnmi_ca/features/2018/03/29/feature-01

    It has become customary to say that Russia's problem is its lack of soft power, but seriously, how the heck Russia is supposed to compete with that??

    It has become customary to say that Russia’s problem is its lack of soft power, but seriously, how the heck Russia is supposed to compete with that??

    I’d be the first to grant that *today* America possesses absolutely enormous superiority in “soft power” and this gives it enormous advantages over Russia, disgruntled EU leaders, and even to some extent over China. But I also believe this situation is quite fragile.

    Consider the gigantic “soft power” of France towards the end of the 18th Century. As I recall, the Russian and Prussian courts generally spoke French, and the cultural hegemony of that country’s elites was very considerable. But once the country collapsed in revolution, and those ruling elites were all being guillotined, things probably changed.

    Today, a large fraction of the American citizenry has become totally impoverished, as has the country overall based on unprecedented fiscal and trade deficits, while we also are suffering one of our worst “mainstream” drug epidemics on record plus an extremely bizarre “Cultural Revolution.” Consider also that until many other countries around the world, such impoverishment is absolutely unprecedented in the last 80 years of American history. I think the victory of Donald Trump against the ferocious and near-universal opposition of all our political and media elites is a strong suggestion of this “pre-revolutionary” situation.

    When the music stops and if/when the dollar collapses, the wholesale guillotining of much of America’s ruling elites—especially of the “soft power” variety—would really not astonish me.

    “Soft power” should not be discounted but it may be as fragile as a soap bubble or a hypnotic trance…

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    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    Actually it seems to me that soft power is far more durable - or perhaps the more appropriate word is "residual" - than economic or military.

    European elites continued writing in Latin for more than a millennium after the Roman Empire's collapse. The language of diplomacy remained French for a century and a half after France's Napoleonic heyday. Etc, etc.

    But yes, obviously if the US was to collapse in a sudden way, its capability to actually benefit from its reserves of soft power would largely go with it.
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  96. Dmitry says:
    @Randal

    As a Russian I find this behavior perplexing. I’d like to know psychoanalytical reasons for this behavior: why would Putin’s spokesman want to be photographed wearing $800.000 watch for example?

    I have a theory of my own. In Russia the difference between the “elite” and the “cattle” is often happening to be in the right place at the right time. A person, who rises to the top by lucky accident, devotes his life to acquiring visible trappings of success. To distinguish himself from the bydlo from which he came.
     
    I agree - for me it's absolutely incomprehensible and mostly contemptible, as is all "bling" culture.

    I've heard a similar argument to yours made in a more general form in my country about it being a characteristic difference between the nouveau riche and old money. In that case often it's clearly not a matter of "lucky chance" (except inasmuch as all success in life depends to a degree on a degree of luck, or at the least an absence of serious bad luck), but hard work and focussed ability, but the need to distinguish oneself from the masses remains.

    These are of course generalisations and there are many to whom they will not apply.

    I agree – for me it’s absolutely incomprehensible and mostly contemptible, as is all “bling” culture.

    It’s a display of social dominance, and it’s very old human behaviour – the same reason Queen of England’s family built a palace.

    And sure in Russia, the top of the top elite are not such idiots, as they appear – anymore than Trump is an idiot when he displays his wealth.

    If you make some rules and ideology, then the real show of dominance is the people who are breaking them.

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    • Replies: @for-the-record
    And sure in Russia, the top of the top elite are not such idiots, as they appear – anymore than Trump is an idiot when he displays his wealth.

    There is a huge difference there. Trump accumulated his wealth privately, Peskov has spent his whole career in government service. For a mid-level government employee to flaunt such ill-acquired wealth would be totally impossible in any "real" country, and is really quite a sad commentary on Russia's "development".
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  97. iffen says:
    @Mr. Hack

    Why the factually incorrect claim that Ukrainians are Russians?

    Anyway, I just don’t understand it.
     

    Don't hold your breath waiting for Karlin to answer these questions. He often seems to skirt these types of questions, the really important and interesting ones. He prefers to voice his Russian nationalism in general terms. He's either unsure of himself or embarrassed to share with his readers his true opinions.

    Don’t hold your breath waiting for Karlin to answer these questions.

    I think this answers it for me:

    And that would accomplish what, exactly?

    In legal and spiritual terms, it will be a statement on the historical continuity of the Russian Empire, and a rejection of the Ukrainian frame that the LDNR are separatists.
    In practical terms, nothing more than the Ukraine labelling Russia as an aggressor state. But it will trigger the right people and hopefully provoke more sanctions. This will associate the imperial narrative with patriotism and Western opposition, which will help further marginalize liberalism and Communism.

    It’s a touchstone, a shibboleth for determining who is a Russian nationalist and who isn’t.

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    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    Are you kidding? What statement of 'historical continuity? You can't have something be continuous if more than a century has passed since the things you're trying to connect have disappeared. Last, I checked, the Russian Empire ceased to exist around 1917.
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  98. iffen says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    “There is tremendous hesitancy (about) transferring sensitive F35 planes and technology to a nation who has purchased a Russian air defense system designed to shoot these very planes down,” said Senator Shaheen.
     
    This sounds like b.s. to me.

    The S-400 entered service a decade ago and is already deployed in Syria, where it obviously routinely tracks CENTCOM and IAF warplanes. F-35s are being delivered to Norway and thus will presumably be tracked by Russia whenever they operate at all.

    Unless the Turks were planning on shooting down one of their new F-35s, just to see if they can.

    The Saudis and Greeks have acquired some Russian defense hardware, and South Korea's rocketry and SAM programs are developed from Russian technology.

    Likewise India is intending to acquire the S-400, and Washington is pushing our arms on India hard.

    Obviously this has to do with some sort of displeasure over Turkey's independent and erratic foreign policy. Or perhaps something even stupider, like the idiotic Armenian lobby's obsession with having their genocide "officially recognized", whatever the hell that means.

    Turkey's immediate suggestion that it will acquire the Su-57 instead is part and parcel of the same game. The ordinary response would be to declare an open competition. Even if the Eurocanards decline to participate that still leaves Chinese products (J-20 appears to be in serial production now, unlike Su-57) and older technology Russian fighters.

    The S-400 entered service a decade ago and is already deployed in Syria

    Where it has devastated the IDF air force.

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  99. @Dmitry

    I agree – for me it’s absolutely incomprehensible and mostly contemptible, as is all “bling” culture.
     
    It's a display of social dominance, and it's very old human behaviour - the same reason Queen of England's family built a palace.

    And sure in Russia, the top of the top elite are not such idiots, as they appear - anymore than Trump is an idiot when he displays his wealth.

    If you make some rules and ideology, then the real show of dominance is the people who are breaking them.

    And sure in Russia, the top of the top elite are not such idiots, as they appear – anymore than Trump is an idiot when he displays his wealth.

    There is a huge difference there. Trump accumulated his wealth privately, Peskov has spent his whole career in government service. For a mid-level government employee to flaunt such ill-acquired wealth would be totally impossible in any “real” country, and is really quite a sad commentary on Russia’s “development”.

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    • Replies: @Gerard2

    There is a huge difference there. Trump accumulated his wealth privately, Peskov has spent his whole career in government service. For a mid-level government employee to flaunt such ill-acquired wealth would be totally impossible in any “real” country, and is really quite a sad commentary on Russia’s “development”.
     
    Not particularly. Peskov has a rich wife, could have received these things as gifts, and the so-called "half a million dollar" cost of his watch could just be more bollocks on the internet and not a statement based on fact. Mugabe could have given Putin a watch, and Putin gave it to Peskov.
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  100. iffen says:
    @AP

    They have a central root,
     
    Do they? They come from different Slavic tribes. They were ruled by Vikings for a few centuries. The Vikings got Slavicised, a century or so after that the state they ruled split up into warring principalities. The Mongols ended the various warring principalities a century after that.

    This "central root" was rather shallow and ephemeral, in reality. For obvious reasons Russians nationalists constructed strong myths out of it,

    There was and is a real Russian state. Ukraine spent less time as part of this state than it did as part of Poland, Lithuania and/or Austria. And when Ukraine was a part of this Russian state, it was autonomous more than fully integrated into it for much of this time (if you consider the USSR as a Russian state, for a majority of the time).

    the Rus and lived as Russian Slavs* centuries in the same Russian states.
     
    Not if by Russian you mean the Russian people and culture.

    *with the exception of the westernmost Rus
     
    The different between Galicia and the Right Bank (central Ukraine west of the Dnipro river) comes down to about 150 years of Austrian rule and 20 years of Polish rule after that.

    AP, you may have stated this in previous comments, but save me searching time and tell us how much territory (Russian or otherwise) does Ukraine need to be happy?

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    • Replies: @AP
    Ukraine needs no Russian territory to be happy. Some Russian nationalists apparently would be happy if Russia had Ukrainian territory.
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  101. Mr. Hack says:
    @iffen
    Don’t hold your breath waiting for Karlin to answer these questions.

    I think this answers it for me:


    And that would accomplish what, exactly?
     
    In legal and spiritual terms, it will be a statement on the historical continuity of the Russian Empire, and a rejection of the Ukrainian frame that the LDNR are separatists.
    In practical terms, nothing more than the Ukraine labelling Russia as an aggressor state. But it will trigger the right people and hopefully provoke more sanctions. This will associate the imperial narrative with patriotism and Western opposition, which will help further marginalize liberalism and Communism.
     
    It's a touchstone, a shibboleth for determining who is a Russian nationalist and who isn't.

    Are you kidding? What statement of ‘historical continuity? You can’t have something be continuous if more than a century has passed since the things you’re trying to connect have disappeared. Last, I checked, the Russian Empire ceased to exist around 1917.

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    • Replies: @iffen
    Last, I checked, the Russian Empire ceased to exist around 1917.

    The USSR was the Russian Empire under a name change.
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  102. Dmitry says:
    @Felix Keverich

    That’s why sometimes the rhetoric can seem a bit exaggerated or aimed for the cattle.
     
    Do you think that anti-Russian rhetoric in the West is also aimed for the cattle, and they all secretly love Russia at heart? lol

    As a Russian I find this behavior perplexing. I'd like to know psychoanalytical reasons for this behavior: why would Putin's spokesman want to be photographed wearing $800.000 watch for example?

    I have a theory of my own. In Russia the difference between the "elite" and the "cattle" is often happening to be in the right place at the right time. A person, who rises to the top by lucky accident, devotes his life to acquiring visible trappings of success. To distinguish himself from the bydlo from which he came.

    Owning homes in the West is a part of it, another status symbol - this is not something that an ordinary person in Russia can ever afford, therefore they (the "elite") MUST have it. They need dozens of them.

    kids are marrying Western wives/husbands and taking Western citizenships.
     
    A wealthy offspring of Russian "elite" can marry some Western prole. But he or she won't be able to marry into Western elite, because elite in the West is more of a real thing.

    Look about what happens with the ‘stpelligrino’ account.

    Originally when she got attention, she deleted half her photos, like her dad gives a shit that she is embarrassing and doing holidays in Nice instead of Vladivostok.

    So then she now is supposedly helping her father, she decided to be even more annoying than before.

    https://www.instagram.com/p/BUzXIxrgwYY/

    https://www.instagram.com/p/BjKw6zijmur/

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    • Replies: @Dmitry
    The little brother has future potential to be annoying people as well - already the photos with Dzhigan, Timati and Kadyrov.

    https://www.instagram.com/p/BTmrvS8FC0R/

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  103. Dmitry says:
    @Dmitry
    Look about what happens with the 'stpelligrino' account.

    Originally when she got attention, she deleted half her photos, like her dad gives a shit that she is embarrassing and doing holidays in Nice instead of Vladivostok.

    So then she now is supposedly helping her father, she decided to be even more annoying than before.


    https://www.instagram.com/p/BUzXIxrgwYY/

    https://www.instagram.com/p/BjKw6zijmur/

    The little brother has future potential to be annoying people as well – already the photos with Dzhigan, Timati and Kadyrov.

    https://www.instagram.com/p/BTmrvS8FC0R/

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    • Replies: @Dmitry
    Lol Dzhigan's official account ("iamgeegun") writes smileys under the kid's photo with him.

    Rappers sucking up to government official's kids.

    https://www.instagram.com/p/BcxotKUluMI/

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  104. iffen says:
    @Mr. Hack
    Are you kidding? What statement of 'historical continuity? You can't have something be continuous if more than a century has passed since the things you're trying to connect have disappeared. Last, I checked, the Russian Empire ceased to exist around 1917.

    Last, I checked, the Russian Empire ceased to exist around 1917.

    The USSR was the Russian Empire under a name change.

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    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    No it wasn't. According to the common knowledge at this website, the Soviet Union was a creation that was invented to destroy the Russian Empire, Russian culture, Russian religiosity. Heck, from what I've learned at this website, those damn Commies even created a Ukrainian state to help fragment the Russian Empire and destroy its Russian culture. Sorry, you can't have it both ways. :-)
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  105. AP says:
    @iffen
    AP, you may have stated this in previous comments, but save me searching time and tell us how much territory (Russian or otherwise) does Ukraine need to be happy?

    Ukraine needs no Russian territory to be happy. Some Russian nationalists apparently would be happy if Russia had Ukrainian territory.

    Read More
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  106. Mr. Hack says:
    @iffen
    Last, I checked, the Russian Empire ceased to exist around 1917.

    The USSR was the Russian Empire under a name change.

    No it wasn’t. According to the common knowledge at this website, the Soviet Union was a creation that was invented to destroy the Russian Empire, Russian culture, Russian religiosity. Heck, from what I’ve learned at this website, those damn Commies even created a Ukrainian state to help fragment the Russian Empire and destroy its Russian culture. Sorry, you can’t have it both ways. :-)

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  107. Dmitry says:
    @Dmitry
    The little brother has future potential to be annoying people as well - already the photos with Dzhigan, Timati and Kadyrov.

    https://www.instagram.com/p/BTmrvS8FC0R/

    Lol Dzhigan’s official account (“iamgeegun”) writes smileys under the kid’s photo with him.

    Rappers sucking up to government official’s kids.

    https://www.instagram.com/p/BcxotKUluMI/

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dmitry
    And so, they're friends with Sobchak as well.

    https://www.instagram.com/p/BGKHDDoj94o
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  108. Dmitry says:
    @Dmitry
    Lol Dzhigan's official account ("iamgeegun") writes smileys under the kid's photo with him.

    Rappers sucking up to government official's kids.

    https://www.instagram.com/p/BcxotKUluMI/

    And so, they’re friends with Sobchak as well.

    https://www.instagram.com/p/BGKHDDoj94o

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  109. Anon[110] • Disclaimer says:
    @Polish Perspective

    In my experience fatties lack strengthen of character. Which is understandable; If you cannot control your body and your appetite there is lot of other lusts and wants under whose spell you will succumb.
     
    As a formerly fat person who lost quite a lot of weight, I disagree, though I am tempted to agree because it would make me look better. One of my best friends is skinny as a stick despite eating much worse than I do, simply because he has a great metabolism which burns through calories like no tomorrow. There are downsides to that too: he can't build muscles easily while I can go to the gym just a few months and be pretty ripped.

    If everyone had the same metabolism, I'd agree with you. But the reality is, while we certainly have a responsibility for our weight, some people have it substantially easier to be slim (like my friend) despite having bad eating discipline. Also, I find that some people use foot as an outlet for emotional control the way some people use alcohol or drugs. There are certainly successful alcoholics and I wouldn't be surprised if people who used food - or sex, or drugs - the same way are also represented among the successful class.

    Myfitnesspal

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  110. Dmitry says:

    I had a couple of passing pictures of Abramovich’s property in Tel Aviv (I was there in the end of January).

    He bought block of a small road, but it’s just some modest cottage buildings, little gardens and a carpark. It’s in an area which will be upcoming in the future, but now still has a lot of old garages and junkyards around it.

    There’s no way that he will live there. (There is no security there and no building work).

    He probably just bought it as a long-term investment, assuming how the area will develop in 10-20 years.

    It is right near to the sea-side Disco where lots of Russian-Israeli teenagers were killed in 2001.

    https://i.imgur.com/8NfF9Rt.jpg

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  111. @reiner Tor
    So, the percentage of Muslims is growing next year. It will grow the following year. Then the year after that. And so on, and so on.

    Some Muslims will become nonreligious, but they will have few children. The most devout Muslims will have the most children. So the number of devout Muslims will grew much faster than the number of nonreligious Muslims. And so on, year after year. Meanwhile, the elite's opinion is that Islam is a holy religion, and criticizing it is a crime. Muslims also tend to kill those who criticize it. So, not much criticism of it will happen in the public space.

    What's the endgame? Maybe there'll be a nationalist revival, which makes life very hard for Muslims, perhaps to the point of genocide or ethnic cleansing. Or there's a full conversion of the demoralized remnants of the white German (French etc.) populations.

    Of course, something unexpected might happen, but lapsed Muslims have a tendency to still view Islam as the holiest religion, and sometimes later go full jihadi to repent for their sins. Anyway, I have seen a number of lapsed Muslims (for example Albanians), and in my experience they still retain a very strong cultural Muslim identity. So I just don't think that Muslims will abandon their religion en mass.

    But that is assuming that their cultural-religious views don’t change over time. While more religious muslims have higher birthrates they are also subject to the same secularising societal pressures as non-religious muslims.

    Of course secularisation is not the inevitable course as the contrasting pictures of Shahist and Islamic Revolutionary Iran show, but differential birthrates are not the only factor in determining who will prevail.

    Not that a Europe filled with hedonist, gangster muslims is exactly a good outcome but I think the most likely future for Europe if we continue in the current course will likely be a reflection of the worst traits of America.

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    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    There is a dynamic within Islam where the Talhas are losing out long term and the most extreme are gaining ground. The most extreme didn’t even exist a few centuries ago. In the 20th century it was masked by a secularizing middle class in Muslim countries, but it didn’t affect the lower classes.

    I don’t know if it’s inevitable, but I wouldn’t dismiss it out of hand.

    The hedonists also support some kind of Islamism (for example death penalty or terrorism against those insulting the Prophet Muhammad), and I get the feeling it’s because that’s the only way they can claim to be proper Muslims. I mean, they drink, have sex before marriage, etc., but they still respect the Prophet so much that they support ISIS. Even the terrorists themselves are hedonists and they engage in terrorism as atonement for their sins.

    If they were properly religious and understood theology better, then they wouldn’t be so murderous. Though they like this “theology” more, because it lets them be hedonistic while still claiming to be Muslim. It’s easier for a lazy person to spend years drinking and having sex and then go out in a blaze of glory than to live the proper Muslim life the way Talha does. But the majority don’t even do that, they just passively support terrorism while being hedonistic.

    “Islamism” is not really Islamism for the majority of its sympathizers. It’s just lip service to an ideology which is the only thing to provide some meaning to their hedonistic lives. But in a civil war they will support the Islamists.

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  112. @Hyperborean
    But that is assuming that their cultural-religious views don't change over time. While more religious muslims have higher birthrates they are also subject to the same secularising societal pressures as non-religious muslims.

    Of course secularisation is not the inevitable course as the contrasting pictures of Shahist and Islamic Revolutionary Iran show, but differential birthrates are not the only factor in determining who will prevail.

    Not that a Europe filled with hedonist, gangster muslims is exactly a good outcome but I think the most likely future for Europe if we continue in the current course will likely be a reflection of the worst traits of America.

    There is a dynamic within Islam where the Talhas are losing out long term and the most extreme are gaining ground. The most extreme didn’t even exist a few centuries ago. In the 20th century it was masked by a secularizing middle class in Muslim countries, but it didn’t affect the lower classes.

    I don’t know if it’s inevitable, but I wouldn’t dismiss it out of hand.

    The hedonists also support some kind of Islamism (for example death penalty or terrorism against those insulting the Prophet Muhammad), and I get the feeling it’s because that’s the only way they can claim to be proper Muslims. I mean, they drink, have sex before marriage, etc., but they still respect the Prophet so much that they support ISIS. Even the terrorists themselves are hedonists and they engage in terrorism as atonement for their sins.

    If they were properly religious and understood theology better, then they wouldn’t be so murderous. Though they like this “theology” more, because it lets them be hedonistic while still claiming to be Muslim. It’s easier for a lazy person to spend years drinking and having sex and then go out in a blaze of glory than to live the proper Muslim life the way Talha does. But the majority don’t even do that, they just passively support terrorism while being hedonistic.

    “Islamism” is not really Islamism for the majority of its sympathizers. It’s just lip service to an ideology which is the only thing to provide some meaning to their hedonistic lives. But in a civil war they will support the Islamists.

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    • Replies: @Anon
    Seems to be a result of modernity but this is a very good way to put it tbh,
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  113. @Ron Unz

    It has become customary to say that Russia’s problem is its lack of soft power, but seriously, how the heck Russia is supposed to compete with that??
     
    I'd be the first to grant that *today* America possesses absolutely enormous superiority in "soft power" and this gives it enormous advantages over Russia, disgruntled EU leaders, and even to some extent over China. But I also believe this situation is quite fragile.

    Consider the gigantic "soft power" of France towards the end of the 18th Century. As I recall, the Russian and Prussian courts generally spoke French, and the cultural hegemony of that country's elites was very considerable. But once the country collapsed in revolution, and those ruling elites were all being guillotined, things probably changed.

    Today, a large fraction of the American citizenry has become totally impoverished, as has the country overall based on unprecedented fiscal and trade deficits, while we also are suffering one of our worst "mainstream" drug epidemics on record plus an extremely bizarre "Cultural Revolution." Consider also that until many other countries around the world, such impoverishment is absolutely unprecedented in the last 80 years of American history. I think the victory of Donald Trump against the ferocious and near-universal opposition of all our political and media elites is a strong suggestion of this "pre-revolutionary" situation.

    When the music stops and if/when the dollar collapses, the wholesale guillotining of much of America's ruling elites---especially of the "soft power" variety---would really not astonish me.

    "Soft power" should not be discounted but it may be as fragile as a soap bubble or a hypnotic trance...

    Actually it seems to me that soft power is far more durable – or perhaps the more appropriate word is “residual” – than economic or military.

    European elites continued writing in Latin for more than a millennium after the Roman Empire’s collapse. The language of diplomacy remained French for a century and a half after France’s Napoleonic heyday. Etc, etc.

    But yes, obviously if the US was to collapse in a sudden way, its capability to actually benefit from its reserves of soft power would largely go with it.

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    • Agree: reiner Tor
    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
    Power is defined as the ability to influence or control behavior.

    The persistence of (written) Latin as a lingua franca did not bolster Rome's power, because Rome no longer existed. At most you can state that this bolstered the power of the Roman Catholic Church, which for a long time maintained a quasi-monopoly on literacy.

    Likewise, what did the fact that Bismarck conversed with Napoleon III at Biarritz do to bolster the fortunes of the Second French Empire? A few years later the allied Germans routed the entire French Army at Sedan and captured the Emperor, where Bismarck again conversed with him in French.

    Universalist, messianic ideologies such as Catholicism, Islam, Communism, and Liberalism represent genuine soft power. But they can also rot the powers espousing such views.

    Beyond this much of the benefit of soft power seems to be inertia. It takes time for people's perceptions of power to catch up with reality, which privileges already powerful states at the expense of rising powers. Rising powers inevitably have revisionist aspirations which in turn lead existing states adapted to the current world order to enter into alliances with established powers.

    Current international institutions also privilege historical powers. Russia, a much weaker state today than it was from 1945-1991, enjoys the same privileges in international institutions it did then. China, ten times larger than Britain and France combined with a nominal GDP two or three times larger than both combined, is outmatch by them in international institutions.
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  114. @Randal

    Well, if, say, 80% of Ukrainians feel so, than it’s 80% true. After all, all that matters is the subjective feeling of people – do they feel loyal to the Russian national idea, or to the Ukrainian national idea?
     
    But that's exactly the point - it's mostly a matter of subjective feeling, which means it is subject to change as circumstances change. Give Russia a sustained period of economic and cultural superiority over the US sphere and Ukraine, and pretty soon you'll find most people living in Ukraine prefer to speak Russian and identify as Russians manqué.

    I don't think occupation is a good way to bring that about, but it's imo a fundamental reality which explains why decent people can disagree about the prospects.

    Well yes, it’s subjective. But for example popularity is also subjective, and incidentally it can change a lot in a short time. Yet is it correct to describe Vlad Putin as a “highly unpopular” president? You see, it’s all subjective, but still objectively you can measure his popularity, and notice that Russians on average think that he’s doing a reasonably good job and that he’s better than anyone else currently on offer. So I think similarly to how popularity is subjective, yet one can objectively measure it, it’s also possible to objectively know if the Ukrainian nation or ethnic group exists or not. And it does, it’s just factually incorrect to say otherwise. A wrong model of reality. I can base predictions based on that reality, so it does matter whether you think Ukraine exists or not.

    Now let’s move on from the popularity analogy. Ethnicity or nationality are malleable to a certain extent, but it takes a lot of time, at the very least a couple generations, and probably more. So, highly unlike popularity, it’s a much more fixed thing. It can change, but rarely if ever in adulthood (Ukrainian kids might grow up to be Russian adults), and because people and generations interact with each other (most people wouldn’t want to totally disown their parents’ ethnicity, or that of their peer group, etc.), there’s a lot of stickiness in it. Also initially there’s some anti-fragility at work here – at first, when trying to break the national feelings of a group, it will only get hardened. For example several decades ago Hungarians in the neighboring countries started to choose first names like Attila or Csaba for their children, which had no translations in those languages.

    Later on you can wear it down. For example Hungarians in Slovakia have largely accepted the status quo, and they will often be pretty much pro-Slovak when among Hungarians, and will openly boast about Slovakia being so much better governed than Hungary. (Which happens to be true, but isn’t exactly nationalistic.) They will also often use the Slovakized version of their names. In Hungarian, Mrs. Randal would be called Randalné, but in Slovak, it’s Randalová. Now Hungarians in Slovakia have to use the Slovak version in official documents. Interestingly, they now often use it on Facebook, too, where no one is forcing them to do so. While a not insignificant portion of Hungarians there still resist it, but over time these tended to move to Hungary (or recently, simply to Western Europe). But it’s now a century since they came under Slovak (originally Czechoslovak) rule, so even after a century, Slovaks have a large foreign and probably, on average, disloyal element there. (The majority of them are now also fluent speakers of Slovak, so I’m not sure if language is the main issue here. But Hungarian national feeling is often centered on the language, so if you could force them to learn Slovak and forget Hungarian, you can essentially make them Slovaks. It’s not so for the Irish, or for the Ukrainians, so after you forced them to lose their languages – which they already did – there’s no obvious followup. What can you do with them now to assimilate them?) Probably Ukrainians will be easier to assimilate for Russians (though Slovak and Hungarian cultures are very similar – both are mostly secularized/lapsed/no longer religious catholics, find similar things funny, will get offended for the same things, etc.), but at the very least it takes several generations.

    Iffen might be correct here, that it’s simply a shibboleth of being a “proper” Russian nationalist. But I don’t understand why nationalism has to be based on such a factually incorrect idea. Especially from someone who is so rational that he is opposed to celebrating Victory Day. (Which was probably the largest scale military victory in history. Yes, they achieved it via enormous sacrifice, but normally I’m more proud of things which I achieved by sacrifice than of things which I did effortlessly. Yes, many of the fruits of victory have been lost after giving up the empire. But Russia is still a permanent member of the UN, still has the largest nuclear arsenal in the world, and, most importantly, still exists – all this would be impossible without WW2 victory. So why not celebrate it? I agree with him that it needs to be somewhat scaled down and put into context, for example Russia could start celebrating the victory over Napoleon, another awesome military victory. But still.)

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  115. Anon[110] • Disclaimer says:
    @reiner Tor
    There is a dynamic within Islam where the Talhas are losing out long term and the most extreme are gaining ground. The most extreme didn’t even exist a few centuries ago. In the 20th century it was masked by a secularizing middle class in Muslim countries, but it didn’t affect the lower classes.

    I don’t know if it’s inevitable, but I wouldn’t dismiss it out of hand.

    The hedonists also support some kind of Islamism (for example death penalty or terrorism against those insulting the Prophet Muhammad), and I get the feeling it’s because that’s the only way they can claim to be proper Muslims. I mean, they drink, have sex before marriage, etc., but they still respect the Prophet so much that they support ISIS. Even the terrorists themselves are hedonists and they engage in terrorism as atonement for their sins.

    If they were properly religious and understood theology better, then they wouldn’t be so murderous. Though they like this “theology” more, because it lets them be hedonistic while still claiming to be Muslim. It’s easier for a lazy person to spend years drinking and having sex and then go out in a blaze of glory than to live the proper Muslim life the way Talha does. But the majority don’t even do that, they just passively support terrorism while being hedonistic.

    “Islamism” is not really Islamism for the majority of its sympathizers. It’s just lip service to an ideology which is the only thing to provide some meaning to their hedonistic lives. But in a civil war they will support the Islamists.

    Seems to be a result of modernity but this is a very good way to put it tbh,

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  116. @German_reader
    That seems pretty pointless, why should Russia do something like that? Entering a war of choice without a clear political strategy and a set of defined goals is really dumb.
    The Americans have had more than 2000 of their soldiers killed in Afghanistan, for a stupid project that's never going to be successful...really odd that you regard that as a positive model to imitate.

    You are confusing means and ends. Occupation would be a means to an end: the destruction of hostile Ukrainian regime and control of territory. For me it’s better to have Russian troops in the Ukraine, than the American ones. I also happen think that Russification is better than de-Russification.

    While Russia lacks the resources to annex the Ukraine at this time, this may change in the future. Keeping that territory firmly under our thumb will keep that option open.

    The Americans have had more than 2000 of their soldiers killed in Afghanistan

    That’s less than the Soviets lost in Afghanistan. Big mistake USSR made was trying to uplift the local society: they were building schools and hospitals, instead of training reliable local proxies. They bankrupted themselves and lost more men than they had to, trying to hold the country. Americans in Afghanistan have shown us how occupations must be done.

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    • Replies: @reiner Tor

    Russification is better than de-Russification
     
    Military occupation after a destructive war is not the best strategy if your goal is "Russification." People will resent the occupiers, especially if things in their country get destroyed and their living standards noticeably drop as a result. This will not result in them wanting to join the occupiers' tribe.

    Americans in Afghanistan have shown us how occupations must be done.
     
    That's quite a bizarre conclusion. Americans in Afghanistan have achieved nothing, and certainly have not Americanized the place. If anything, by their continued presence, they made the place more Islamist and tribalist than it had been before.

    As an analogy, if you go into Ukraine using the same methods, you will get the place even more Ukrainian nationalist than it is now.
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  117. Gerard2 says:
    @AP

    but Ukraine’s depopulation problem turns this dynamic on its head. We can basically outlast them inside their own country.
     
    On the contrary - the pro-Russian East depopulates faster.

    You will overtaken by Muslims faster than the western Ukrainians depopulate.

    [MORE]

    On the contrary – the pro-Russian East depopulates faster.

    Pro-Russian east the most populous, most economically important part of “Ukraine” you insidious troll excrement fucktard

    You will overtaken by Muslims faster than the western Ukrainians depopulate

    Bizarre comment for an adult. The North Caucasus is basically Russia’s equivalent ( except on many issue those in the muslim North Caucasus areas have much superior living stats to western Ukraine) of most of western Ukraine…….to the rest of Ukraine.

    Moscow own population is probably close to the REAL population of Ukraine, so to compare the total collapse of Ukraine to some fantasist Muslim takeover of Russia shows what a retarded sack of shit you are.

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    • Replies: @AP

    Pro-Russian east the most populous
     
    For now. This is changing rapidly, thanks to the Eastern demographic collapse that some ignorant Russian nationalists are happy about for some reason.

    most economically important part
     
    Not anymore. Pro-Russian areas are Kharkiv, Luhansk and Donetsk. This was from January 2016:

    https://insiders.com.ua/spravochnik/valovoj-vnutrennij-produkt

    Already Donetsk and Luhansk were at the bottom. It is now two years later, trends have continued (i.e., Lviv has eclipsed Kharkiv).

    to compare the total collapse of Ukraine to some fantasist Muslim takeover of Russia
     
    Both are fantasies so they are comparable. What will happen is eastern Ukraine will continue to depopulate rapidly, western Ukrainian slowly, so the population of the country becomes more and more Western. This trend comes along with western Ukrainian economic growth and eastern stagnation. It's been happening already for 4 years.

    But by all means cheer for the process by bragging about Ukraine's demographic "collapse" - in reality, the demographic collapse of your allied part of Ukraine :-)
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  118. Yevardian says:
    @Polish Perspective

    In my experience fatties lack strengthen of character. Which is understandable; If you cannot control your body and your appetite there is lot of other lusts and wants under whose spell you will succumb.
     
    As a formerly fat person who lost quite a lot of weight, I disagree, though I am tempted to agree because it would make me look better. One of my best friends is skinny as a stick despite eating much worse than I do, simply because he has a great metabolism which burns through calories like no tomorrow. There are downsides to that too: he can't build muscles easily while I can go to the gym just a few months and be pretty ripped.

    If everyone had the same metabolism, I'd agree with you. But the reality is, while we certainly have a responsibility for our weight, some people have it substantially easier to be slim (like my friend) despite having bad eating discipline. Also, I find that some people use foot as an outlet for emotional control the way some people use alcohol or drugs. There are certainly successful alcoholics and I wouldn't be surprised if people who used food - or sex, or drugs - the same way are also represented among the successful class.

    ‘Fast/slow metabolism’ has been proved to vary only negligibly in healthy people of the same age, it’s an old excuse. Anybody serious about representing any institution of idea in his person has a responsibility not to live and dress like a slob. Appearance matters, there is no simpler way to appeal to the normie. Dressing like a fop was probably the only thing Spencer did right.

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    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    I don't know if it's metabolism or something else (like genetic predisposition to feel hungrier or whatever), but there's definitely some difference.

    And I'm thin, especially in younger age when I had neither muscles nor adipose tissue to speak of at all. I never felt I ate less than others (though probably it was so), anyway I never went hungry. It's certainly the case that some people find it harder to stay lean than others.
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  119. Gerard2 says:
    @for-the-record
    And sure in Russia, the top of the top elite are not such idiots, as they appear – anymore than Trump is an idiot when he displays his wealth.

    There is a huge difference there. Trump accumulated his wealth privately, Peskov has spent his whole career in government service. For a mid-level government employee to flaunt such ill-acquired wealth would be totally impossible in any "real" country, and is really quite a sad commentary on Russia's "development".

    There is a huge difference there. Trump accumulated his wealth privately, Peskov has spent his whole career in government service. For a mid-level government employee to flaunt such ill-acquired wealth would be totally impossible in any “real” country, and is really quite a sad commentary on Russia’s “development”.

    Not particularly. Peskov has a rich wife, could have received these things as gifts, and the so-called “half a million dollar” cost of his watch could just be more bollocks on the internet and not a statement based on fact. Mugabe could have given Putin a watch, and Putin gave it to Peskov.

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    • Replies: @Hyperborean
    Are Peskov's daughter's foreign trips also just a gift?
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  120. @Yevardian
    'Fast/slow metabolism' has been proved to vary only negligibly in healthy people of the same age, it's an old excuse. Anybody serious about representing any institution of idea in his person has a responsibility not to live and dress like a slob. Appearance matters, there is no simpler way to appeal to the normie. Dressing like a fop was probably the only thing Spencer did right.

    I don’t know if it’s metabolism or something else (like genetic predisposition to feel hungrier or whatever), but there’s definitely some difference.

    And I’m thin, especially in younger age when I had neither muscles nor adipose tissue to speak of at all. I never felt I ate less than others (though probably it was so), anyway I never went hungry. It’s certainly the case that some people find it harder to stay lean than others.

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  121. Yevardian says:
    @Anatoly Karlin
    Military solutions are currently unfeasible for obvious reasons, I don't know where I said otherwise.

    However, the Ukraine should be declared a separatist state.

    Every state in history has an origin as a separatist state at some point, so I fail to see your point. Similarly, every embryonic national culture has been ‘fake and gay’ compared to more established neighbors.

    You are a funny sort of nationalist.

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  122. Gerard2 says:
    @Dmitry

    If I were Vlad Putin, I’d have a few ideas to increase the elite’s loyalty.

     

    The thing is, if you were Putin you would have been head of the elite for 18 years, and would be inside their head and their life - as you would be the most important one of them.

    He understands how to manage them probably as well as anyone could, although it's not like we can test the hypothesis that someone else would do a better job.

    although it’s not like we can test the hypothesis that someone else would do a better job

    Of course we can test this hypothesis multiple amount of times…….Ukraine, Moldova,Georgia,Armenia have all had these problems of oligarchic control and a corrupt elite…..Russia has managed these problems far better, even though the vary nature of Russia should make it much harder to be the case. Plus the Yeltsin era
    They’ve all had US appointees,’nationalists’, security services-linked personal in President,PM positions and fared badly every time in comparison to Russia.

    Not only in the issue of oligarchs but other areas like bad roads….Russia has the better roads (much to improve still) of all those countries mentioned ( because the other countries are thoroughly corrupt)…this even though with Russia’s scale,winters, different regions this should not be the case

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  123. @Felix Keverich
    You are confusing means and ends. Occupation would be a means to an end: the destruction of hostile Ukrainian regime and control of territory. For me it's better to have Russian troops in the Ukraine, than the American ones. I also happen think that Russification is better than de-Russification.

    While Russia lacks the resources to annex the Ukraine at this time, this may change in the future. Keeping that territory firmly under our thumb will keep that option open.


    The Americans have had more than 2000 of their soldiers killed in Afghanistan
     
    That's less than the Soviets lost in Afghanistan. Big mistake USSR made was trying to uplift the local society: they were building schools and hospitals, instead of training reliable local proxies. They bankrupted themselves and lost more men than they had to, trying to hold the country. Americans in Afghanistan have shown us how occupations must be done.

    Russification is better than de-Russification

    Military occupation after a destructive war is not the best strategy if your goal is “Russification.” People will resent the occupiers, especially if things in their country get destroyed and their living standards noticeably drop as a result. This will not result in them wanting to join the occupiers’ tribe.

    Americans in Afghanistan have shown us how occupations must be done.

    That’s quite a bizarre conclusion. Americans in Afghanistan have achieved nothing, and certainly have not Americanized the place. If anything, by their continued presence, they made the place more Islamist and tribalist than it had been before.

    As an analogy, if you go into Ukraine using the same methods, you will get the place even more Ukrainian nationalist than it is now.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
    To be honest, I don't fully understand what America's goals in Afghanistan are. The country is strategically located in the center of Eurasia, between Russia, China and Iran - perhaps, they are hoping to make Afghanistan a part of their Containment strategy, once they manage to stabilise it...

    But for the moment, Americans are succeding at holding the country, both against the internal challengers and other great powers, and they are doing it at an acceptable cost. That's the part of Afghanistan model, that I would like to emulate.

    As an analogy, if you go into Ukraine using the same methods, you will get the place even more Ukrainian nationalist than it is now.
     
    Who cares? They will have to cooperate or get "droned". I know for a fact that if we keep killing Ukrainian nationalists, eventually they will run out of Ukrainian nationalists - Ukraine's pathetic demographics will see to it.

    Between 2001 and 2018 Afghanistan's population grew from 20 milliom to 35 million. The fact that Americans have managed to maintain control in this environment is quite impressive. The Ukraine's population could well decline by 15 million in the next 20 years.
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  124. AP says:
    @Gerard2

    On the contrary – the pro-Russian East depopulates faster.

     

    Pro-Russian east the most populous, most economically important part of "Ukraine" you insidious troll excrement fucktard

    You will overtaken by Muslims faster than the western Ukrainians depopulate
     
    Bizarre comment for an adult. The North Caucasus is basically Russia's equivalent ( except on many issue those in the muslim North Caucasus areas have much superior living stats to western Ukraine) of most of western Ukraine.......to the rest of Ukraine.

    Moscow own population is probably close to the REAL population of Ukraine, so to compare the total collapse of Ukraine to some fantasist Muslim takeover of Russia shows what a retarded sack of shit you are.

    Pro-Russian east the most populous

    For now. This is changing rapidly, thanks to the Eastern demographic collapse that some ignorant Russian nationalists are happy about for some reason.

    most economically important part

    Not anymore. Pro-Russian areas are Kharkiv, Luhansk and Donetsk. This was from January 2016:

    https://insiders.com.ua/spravochnik/valovoj-vnutrennij-produkt

    Already Donetsk and Luhansk were at the bottom. It is now two years later, trends have continued (i.e., Lviv has eclipsed Kharkiv).

    to compare the total collapse of Ukraine to some fantasist Muslim takeover of Russia

    Both are fantasies so they are comparable. What will happen is eastern Ukraine will continue to depopulate rapidly, western Ukrainian slowly, so the population of the country becomes more and more Western. This trend comes along with western Ukrainian economic growth and eastern stagnation. It’s been happening already for 4 years.

    But by all means cheer for the process by bragging about Ukraine’s demographic “collapse” – in reality, the demographic collapse of your allied part of Ukraine :-)

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  125. @Anatoly Karlin
    Actually it seems to me that soft power is far more durable - or perhaps the more appropriate word is "residual" - than economic or military.

    European elites continued writing in Latin for more than a millennium after the Roman Empire's collapse. The language of diplomacy remained French for a century and a half after France's Napoleonic heyday. Etc, etc.

    But yes, obviously if the US was to collapse in a sudden way, its capability to actually benefit from its reserves of soft power would largely go with it.

    Power is defined as the ability to influence or control behavior.

    The persistence of (written) Latin as a lingua franca did not bolster Rome’s power, because Rome no longer existed. At most you can state that this bolstered the power of the Roman Catholic Church, which for a long time maintained a quasi-monopoly on literacy.

    Likewise, what did the fact that Bismarck conversed with Napoleon III at Biarritz do to bolster the fortunes of the Second French Empire? A few years later the allied Germans routed the entire French Army at Sedan and captured the Emperor, where Bismarck again conversed with him in French.

    Universalist, messianic ideologies such as Catholicism, Islam, Communism, and Liberalism represent genuine soft power. But they can also rot the powers espousing such views.

    Beyond this much of the benefit of soft power seems to be inertia. It takes time for people’s perceptions of power to catch up with reality, which privileges already powerful states at the expense of rising powers. Rising powers inevitably have revisionist aspirations which in turn lead existing states adapted to the current world order to enter into alliances with established powers.

    Current international institutions also privilege historical powers. Russia, a much weaker state today than it was from 1945-1991, enjoys the same privileges in international institutions it did then. China, ten times larger than Britain and France combined with a nominal GDP two or three times larger than both combined, is outmatch by them in international institutions.

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    • Agree: Ron Unz
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    Part of the US soft power comes from its economic power.

    When sanctioning third parties trading with Cuba or Iran or Russia (or possibly China), the inevitable question for these third parties will come down to "which is more harmful, losing the Iran business or the US business," and as long as the US is the largest economy, it will always be the US. Here, too, perceptions matter a great deal (so for example taking into account future economic growth, the fact that China will be bigger after, say, 2030, means that it "should" be more important for forward-looking actors. But it isn't, because people just don't really think in those terms.

    The US ability to sanction third parties will get greatly diminished when it will stop being the #1 economy in the world, probably within two decades.

    There's also the perception of institutions. The US and its allies benefit from being perceived to be even-handed arbitrators and the perceived rule of law. If you read about the story with Kazakhstan (and similar stories like the one a few years ago Argentina with Elliot Management), you'll realize that the "rule of law" provides much less safety to investors perceived as "hostile" by the US elite than is generally assumed. Especially with the arbitrary sanctions involving individuals. Yanukovich was done in when the US and the EU started sanctioning Akhmetov and the other oligarchs.

    But trust takes time to erode, and in the meantime people will keep investing in the US and its Western European allies, which will afford them the ability to sanction those individuals at will and thus influence their behavior. Basically as long as stupid Russian investors keep investing in the US and UK etc. and keep asking Swedish or British arbitration panels to arbitrate in their disputes, they will easily be pressured by the US.
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  126. @reiner Tor

    Russification is better than de-Russification
     
    Military occupation after a destructive war is not the best strategy if your goal is "Russification." People will resent the occupiers, especially if things in their country get destroyed and their living standards noticeably drop as a result. This will not result in them wanting to join the occupiers' tribe.

    Americans in Afghanistan have shown us how occupations must be done.
     
    That's quite a bizarre conclusion. Americans in Afghanistan have achieved nothing, and certainly have not Americanized the place. If anything, by their continued presence, they made the place more Islamist and tribalist than it had been before.

    As an analogy, if you go into Ukraine using the same methods, you will get the place even more Ukrainian nationalist than it is now.

    To be honest, I don’t fully understand what America’s goals in Afghanistan are. The country is strategically located in the center of Eurasia, between Russia, China and Iran – perhaps, they are hoping to make Afghanistan a part of their Containment strategy, once they manage to stabilise it…

    But for the moment, Americans are succeding at holding the country, both against the internal challengers and other great powers, and they are doing it at an acceptable cost. That’s the part of Afghanistan model, that I would like to emulate.

    As an analogy, if you go into Ukraine using the same methods, you will get the place even more Ukrainian nationalist than it is now.

    Who cares? They will have to cooperate or get “droned”. I know for a fact that if we keep killing Ukrainian nationalists, eventually they will run out of Ukrainian nationalists – Ukraine’s pathetic demographics will see to it.

    Between 2001 and 2018 Afghanistan’s population grew from 20 milliom to 35 million. The fact that Americans have managed to maintain control in this environment is quite impressive. The Ukraine’s population could well decline by 15 million in the next 20 years.

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    • Replies: @reiner Tor

    I don’t fully understand what America’s goals in Afghanistan are.
     
    I doubt they understand them either.

    if we keep killing Ukrainian nationalists, eventually they will run out of Ukrainian nationalists
     
    So, genocide.
    , @German_reader

    To be honest, I don’t fully understand what America’s goals in Afghanistan are.
     
    They don't have any realistic or achievable goals there (obviously Afghanistan, with its horrible people, will never turn into a stable pro-Western democracy). It's just that they are unable to find a way of leaving without losing face.
    All the stranger that you see this as a model for Russia's dealings with Ukraine. No offense, but that doesn't really seem rational.
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  127. @Thorfinnsson
    Power is defined as the ability to influence or control behavior.

    The persistence of (written) Latin as a lingua franca did not bolster Rome's power, because Rome no longer existed. At most you can state that this bolstered the power of the Roman Catholic Church, which for a long time maintained a quasi-monopoly on literacy.

    Likewise, what did the fact that Bismarck conversed with Napoleon III at Biarritz do to bolster the fortunes of the Second French Empire? A few years later the allied Germans routed the entire French Army at Sedan and captured the Emperor, where Bismarck again conversed with him in French.

    Universalist, messianic ideologies such as Catholicism, Islam, Communism, and Liberalism represent genuine soft power. But they can also rot the powers espousing such views.

    Beyond this much of the benefit of soft power seems to be inertia. It takes time for people's perceptions of power to catch up with reality, which privileges already powerful states at the expense of rising powers. Rising powers inevitably have revisionist aspirations which in turn lead existing states adapted to the current world order to enter into alliances with established powers.

    Current international institutions also privilege historical powers. Russia, a much weaker state today than it was from 1945-1991, enjoys the same privileges in international institutions it did then. China, ten times larger than Britain and France combined with a nominal GDP two or three times larger than both combined, is outmatch by them in international institutions.

    Part of the US soft power comes from its economic power.

    When sanctioning third parties trading with Cuba or Iran or Russia (or possibly China), the inevitable question for these third parties will come down to “which is more harmful, losing the Iran business or the US business,” and as long as the US is the largest economy, it will always be the US. Here, too, perceptions matter a great deal (so for example taking into account future economic growth, the fact that China will be bigger after, say, 2030, means that it “should” be more important for forward-looking actors. But it isn’t, because people just don’t really think in those terms.

    The US ability to sanction third parties will get greatly diminished when it will stop being the #1 economy in the world, probably within two decades.

    There’s also the perception of institutions. The US and its allies benefit from being perceived to be even-handed arbitrators and the perceived rule of law. If you read about the story with Kazakhstan (and similar stories like the one a few years ago Argentina with Elliot Management), you’ll realize that the “rule of law” provides much less safety to investors perceived as “hostile” by the US elite than is generally assumed. Especially with the arbitrary sanctions involving individuals. Yanukovich was done in when the US and the EU started sanctioning Akhmetov and the other oligarchs.

    But trust takes time to erode, and in the meantime people will keep investing in the US and its Western European allies, which will afford them the ability to sanction those individuals at will and thus influence their behavior. Basically as long as stupid Russian investors keep investing in the US and UK etc. and keep asking Swedish or British arbitration panels to arbitrate in their disputes, they will easily be pressured by the US.

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    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin
    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
    Economic power is hard power.

    "Trust" however, is soft power. And the US, despite everything, still has that in spades.

    Developing good institutions for litigating or arbitrating commercial disputes seems like a real challenge for non-Anglos, though has anyone really even tried?

    I suppose Singapore and Hong Kong have had some success here...former British colonies.
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  128. @Felix Keverich
    To be honest, I don't fully understand what America's goals in Afghanistan are. The country is strategically located in the center of Eurasia, between Russia, China and Iran - perhaps, they are hoping to make Afghanistan a part of their Containment strategy, once they manage to stabilise it...

    But for the moment, Americans are succeding at holding the country, both against the internal challengers and other great powers, and they are doing it at an acceptable cost. That's the part of Afghanistan model, that I would like to emulate.

    As an analogy, if you go into Ukraine using the same methods, you will get the place even more Ukrainian nationalist than it is now.
     
    Who cares? They will have to cooperate or get "droned". I know for a fact that if we keep killing Ukrainian nationalists, eventually they will run out of Ukrainian nationalists - Ukraine's pathetic demographics will see to it.

    Between 2001 and 2018 Afghanistan's population grew from 20 milliom to 35 million. The fact that Americans have managed to maintain control in this environment is quite impressive. The Ukraine's population could well decline by 15 million in the next 20 years.

    I don’t fully understand what America’s goals in Afghanistan are.

    I doubt they understand them either.

    if we keep killing Ukrainian nationalists, eventually they will run out of Ukrainian nationalists

    So, genocide.

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    • Replies: @AP
    An this is why it is best for Ukraine to stay away from Russia. We don't need a union of any kind with a country in which a certain non-insignificant % of the population has such views.

    The last few years have clarified the situation for most Ukrainians.
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  129. @Felix Keverich
    To be honest, I don't fully understand what America's goals in Afghanistan are. The country is strategically located in the center of Eurasia, between Russia, China and Iran - perhaps, they are hoping to make Afghanistan a part of their Containment strategy, once they manage to stabilise it...

    But for the moment, Americans are succeding at holding the country, both against the internal challengers and other great powers, and they are doing it at an acceptable cost. That's the part of Afghanistan model, that I would like to emulate.

    As an analogy, if you go into Ukraine using the same methods, you will get the place even more Ukrainian nationalist than it is now.
     
    Who cares? They will have to cooperate or get "droned". I know for a fact that if we keep killing Ukrainian nationalists, eventually they will run out of Ukrainian nationalists - Ukraine's pathetic demographics will see to it.

    Between 2001 and 2018 Afghanistan's population grew from 20 milliom to 35 million. The fact that Americans have managed to maintain control in this environment is quite impressive. The Ukraine's population could well decline by 15 million in the next 20 years.

    To be honest, I don’t fully understand what America’s goals in Afghanistan are.

    They don’t have any realistic or achievable goals there (obviously Afghanistan, with its horrible people, will never turn into a stable pro-Western democracy). It’s just that they are unable to find a way of leaving without losing face.
    All the stranger that you see this as a model for Russia’s dealings with Ukraine. No offense, but that doesn’t really seem rational.

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    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    His idea is that by killing at most a few thousand Ukrainians a year he can keep his troops there, and that Ukraine will automatically cease to exist due to demography. I think his view of Ukrainian demographics is totally not realistic (if Russia had an ethnically Russian tfr of 3.0 it'd be rational to wait for the dying out of a people with 1.4 tfr), but as it is it's not very practicable.

    In reality, if he wants Ukrainians to disappear (while their living standards drop off a cliff due to a hostile Russian occupation), he'd need to exterminate them, but I doubt he understands it.
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  130. @German_reader

    To be honest, I don’t fully understand what America’s goals in Afghanistan are.
     
    They don't have any realistic or achievable goals there (obviously Afghanistan, with its horrible people, will never turn into a stable pro-Western democracy). It's just that they are unable to find a way of leaving without losing face.
    All the stranger that you see this as a model for Russia's dealings with Ukraine. No offense, but that doesn't really seem rational.

    His idea is that by killing at most a few thousand Ukrainians a year he can keep his troops there, and that Ukraine will automatically cease to exist due to demography. I think his view of Ukrainian demographics is totally not realistic (if Russia had an ethnically Russian tfr of 3.0 it’d be rational to wait for the dying out of a people with 1.4 tfr), but as it is it’s not very practicable.

    In reality, if he wants Ukrainians to disappear (while their living standards drop off a cliff due to a hostile Russian occupation), he’d need to exterminate them, but I doubt he understands it.

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    • Replies: @German_reader

    In reality, if he wants Ukrainians to disappear
     
    I don't even really see what Russia would gain from that. I have to agree with your general impression, it's striking how Russian nationalists in this blog - who on other issues often come across as quite intelligent - get totally deranged on the Ukraine issue. This seems to be more about visceral emotionalism and spite than about any clear recognition of Russian interests.
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  131. @reiner Tor
    His idea is that by killing at most a few thousand Ukrainians a year he can keep his troops there, and that Ukraine will automatically cease to exist due to demography. I think his view of Ukrainian demographics is totally not realistic (if Russia had an ethnically Russian tfr of 3.0 it'd be rational to wait for the dying out of a people with 1.4 tfr), but as it is it's not very practicable.

    In reality, if he wants Ukrainians to disappear (while their living standards drop off a cliff due to a hostile Russian occupation), he'd need to exterminate them, but I doubt he understands it.

    In reality, if he wants Ukrainians to disappear

    I don’t even really see what Russia would gain from that. I have to agree with your general impression, it’s striking how Russian nationalists in this blog – who on other issues often come across as quite intelligent – get totally deranged on the Ukraine issue. This seems to be more about visceral emotionalism and spite than about any clear recognition of Russian interests.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Duke of Qin
    It maybe difficult for a German reader to comprehend because of the "re-education" of Germany, but the pull of blood and soil is still strong among some peoples. Germany's historic fragmentation as various Kingdoms, Duchies, Imperial Free cities, etc prior to the late 19th century is quite different than the Russian nation building experience (or French for that matter). It's visceral on both sides because Ukrainian nationalism is explicitly anti-Russian in a similar way that the Irish Republicans are anti-English. The difference is that the English obviously didn't regard the Irish as "one of us" while the Russians do see the Ukrainians, i.e. Malorussians as kin and thus see their political betrayal as the basest type of treason, race betrayal. The Svidomites have delivered Malorossiya into the hands of her historic enemies with nothing more than empty lies that cargo culting Pindostan will magically make them rich even as their country disintegrates under their continued misrule. Honor demands that this blood treason be avenged even if rationality suggests it is more prudent to forgive and forget.
    , @Yevardian
    As hinted at before, unhinged hatred of Ukrainians/Baltics/Caucasians etc. is a shibboleth for such pseudo-nationalists, allowing themselves to think of themselves as 'authentic' Russian nationalists, despite the fact they look up to America as their model, have no interest in Russia's traditions, literature or culture, and almost entirely consume American television, films and news, whilst despising their non-elite countrymen as dumb proles unworthy of their attention. To ignore the fact the fact they're ashamed of their own nationality, they look to a mythologised pre-1917 past, skipping Russia's superpower century as an embarrassment, selectively focusing on all the worst moments of that era (as if the Tsardom contained no abuses). Just the 'Westernisers/Slavophiles' split in a different guise.

    Hysterical crying about border regions is for pipsqueak nationalisms like Ireland or India, most Russians don't give a damn about Ukraine's existence, everyone knows it will eventually return to Russia's orbit 'like an apple from a tree' as Quincy Adams said about Cuba.

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  132. AP says:
    @reiner Tor

    I don’t fully understand what America’s goals in Afghanistan are.
     
    I doubt they understand them either.

    if we keep killing Ukrainian nationalists, eventually they will run out of Ukrainian nationalists
     
    So, genocide.

    An this is why it is best for Ukraine to stay away from Russia. We don’t need a union of any kind with a country in which a certain non-insignificant % of the population has such views.

    The last few years have clarified the situation for most Ukrainians.

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  133. @ERM
    I don't really see what would be in it for Austria, which already has a strong claim to being the all around nicest country in the world. If anything, their distaste for Germany deems to be growing: a Viennese friend told me the other day, "The problem with the Germans is that they have no balls." (Vienna is a story on its own; while the rest of Austria is tolerably similar to Bavaria, Vienna, culturally and otherwise, bears no resemblance whatsoever to anywhere in Germany, and the local vernacular can only be called German with a certain generosity of spirit.) Indeed, Austrians lately seem to be showing signs of renewing their attractive old Habsburg self-interested amorality in total contradiction to whatever madness is sweeping through Germany.

    I don’t really see what would be in it for Austria

    After the breakup of the EU, it might get economically difficult for small countries without access to large markets. Also, if NATO was to break up, too, there’d be the issue of safety. Greater Germany (possibly with some nukes) might be a safer place. (Austrians might still oppose it due to historical memories.) I know Austria is not a NATO member, only EU, but NATO together with the EU provide security to them as well.

    But it’d all need to start with a nationalist Germany.

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  134. @Gerard2

    There is a huge difference there. Trump accumulated his wealth privately, Peskov has spent his whole career in government service. For a mid-level government employee to flaunt such ill-acquired wealth would be totally impossible in any “real” country, and is really quite a sad commentary on Russia’s “development”.
     
    Not particularly. Peskov has a rich wife, could have received these things as gifts, and the so-called "half a million dollar" cost of his watch could just be more bollocks on the internet and not a statement based on fact. Mugabe could have given Putin a watch, and Putin gave it to Peskov.

    Are Peskov’s daughter’s foreign trips also just a gift?

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  135. @German_reader

    In reality, if he wants Ukrainians to disappear
     
    I don't even really see what Russia would gain from that. I have to agree with your general impression, it's striking how Russian nationalists in this blog - who on other issues often come across as quite intelligent - get totally deranged on the Ukraine issue. This seems to be more about visceral emotionalism and spite than about any clear recognition of Russian interests.

    It maybe difficult for a German reader to comprehend because of the “re-education” of Germany, but the pull of blood and soil is still strong among some peoples. Germany’s historic fragmentation as various Kingdoms, Duchies, Imperial Free cities, etc prior to the late 19th century is quite different than the Russian nation building experience (or French for that matter). It’s visceral on both sides because Ukrainian nationalism is explicitly anti-Russian in a similar way that the Irish Republicans are anti-English. The difference is that the English obviously didn’t regard the Irish as “one of us” while the Russians do see the Ukrainians, i.e. Malorussians as kin and thus see their political betrayal as the basest type of treason, race betrayal. The Svidomites have delivered Malorossiya into the hands of her historic enemies with nothing more than empty lies that cargo culting Pindostan will magically make them rich even as their country disintegrates under their continued misrule. Honor demands that this blood treason be avenged even if rationality suggests it is more prudent to forgive and forget.

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    • Replies: @AP

    The difference is that the English obviously didn’t regard the Irish as “one of us” while the Russians do see the Ukrainians, i.e. Malorussians as kin and thus see their political betrayal as the basest type of treason, race betrayal.
     
    Correct.

    You do realize this is based on myths?

    The Svidomites have delivered Malorossiya into the hands of her historic enemies
     
    Whose historic enemies? Not Malorossiya's.

    Moscow rule meant expansion of serfdom and destruction of traditional liberties in the Tsarist version, and genocide in the Soviet version.

    with nothing more than empty lies that cargo culting Pindostan will magically make them rich
     
    Nonsense.

    This is what Russian nationalists sometimes tell themselves when they don't want to accept the truth that Ukrainians are not Russians and therefore naturally tend to orient themselves with people they have more in common with politically.

    You seem to have the mistaken idea that Ukraine is Russia's Taiwan or something.

    Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, which preceded Moscow's rule:

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/4f/Polish-Lithuanian_commonwealth_1619_map.png

    Ukrainian voting patterns. Typical election result for pro-Western parties:

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/2/28/Ukrainian_parliamentary_election%2C_2007_%28first_place_results%29.PNG/300px-Ukrainian_parliamentary_election%2C_2007_%28first_place_results%29.PNG
    , @Yevardian

    It maybe difficult for a German reader to comprehend because of the “re-education” of Germany...
     
    Oh come off it, your country hardly has anything to boast about in that respect. China is not exactly famous for a spirit of free inquiry.
    , @Mr. Hack

    The difference is that the English obviously didn’t regard the Irish as “one of us” while the Russians do see the Ukrainians, i.e. Malorussians as kin and thus see their political betrayal as the basest type of treason, race betrayal.
     
    'Race betrayal' is a ridiculous notion as is your wholly over dramatized rendition of historical facts. Historic MaloRosija has shown separatist tendencies since at least the mid 17th century, as was evident during the period under the Hetman's mace of Vyhovsky, leading up to the famous 'betrayal' of Hetman Mazepa in the early 18th century, enshrined in music, poetry and prose throughout Europe, So, the 'race' war has been going on now for close to four centuries, and is nothing new. Ukraine breaking away from Russian imperial control is a classic example of a foreign colony, with its own language, history and folk customs, breaking away from its imperial and heavy handed center. Nothing more and nothing less.
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  136. @reiner Tor
    Part of the US soft power comes from its economic power.

    When sanctioning third parties trading with Cuba or Iran or Russia (or possibly China), the inevitable question for these third parties will come down to "which is more harmful, losing the Iran business or the US business," and as long as the US is the largest economy, it will always be the US. Here, too, perceptions matter a great deal (so for example taking into account future economic growth, the fact that China will be bigger after, say, 2030, means that it "should" be more important for forward-looking actors. But it isn't, because people just don't really think in those terms.

    The US ability to sanction third parties will get greatly diminished when it will stop being the #1 economy in the world, probably within two decades.

    There's also the perception of institutions. The US and its allies benefit from being perceived to be even-handed arbitrators and the perceived rule of law. If you read about the story with Kazakhstan (and similar stories like the one a few years ago Argentina with Elliot Management), you'll realize that the "rule of law" provides much less safety to investors perceived as "hostile" by the US elite than is generally assumed. Especially with the arbitrary sanctions involving individuals. Yanukovich was done in when the US and the EU started sanctioning Akhmetov and the other oligarchs.

    But trust takes time to erode, and in the meantime people will keep investing in the US and its Western European allies, which will afford them the ability to sanction those individuals at will and thus influence their behavior. Basically as long as stupid Russian investors keep investing in the US and UK etc. and keep asking Swedish or British arbitration panels to arbitrate in their disputes, they will easily be pressured by the US.

    Economic power is hard power.

    “Trust” however, is soft power. And the US, despite everything, still has that in spades.

    Developing good institutions for litigating or arbitrating commercial disputes seems like a real challenge for non-Anglos, though has anyone really even tried?

    I suppose Singapore and Hong Kong have had some success here…former British colonies.

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    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    A Swedish arbitration panel was chosen for a natural gas trade dispute between Ukraine and Russia. It decided in favor of Ukraine.
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  137. @Thorfinnsson
    Economic power is hard power.

    "Trust" however, is soft power. And the US, despite everything, still has that in spades.

    Developing good institutions for litigating or arbitrating commercial disputes seems like a real challenge for non-Anglos, though has anyone really even tried?

    I suppose Singapore and Hong Kong have had some success here...former British colonies.

    A Swedish arbitration panel was chosen for a natural gas trade dispute between Ukraine and Russia. It decided in favor of Ukraine.

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  138. AP says:
    @Duke of Qin
    It maybe difficult for a German reader to comprehend because of the "re-education" of Germany, but the pull of blood and soil is still strong among some peoples. Germany's historic fragmentation as various Kingdoms, Duchies, Imperial Free cities, etc prior to the late 19th century is quite different than the Russian nation building experience (or French for that matter). It's visceral on both sides because Ukrainian nationalism is explicitly anti-Russian in a similar way that the Irish Republicans are anti-English. The difference is that the English obviously didn't regard the Irish as "one of us" while the Russians do see the Ukrainians, i.e. Malorussians as kin and thus see their political betrayal as the basest type of treason, race betrayal. The Svidomites have delivered Malorossiya into the hands of her historic enemies with nothing more than empty lies that cargo culting Pindostan will magically make them rich even as their country disintegrates under their continued misrule. Honor demands that this blood treason be avenged even if rationality suggests it is more prudent to forgive and forget.

    The difference is that the English obviously didn’t regard the Irish as “one of us” while the Russians do see the Ukrainians, i.e. Malorussians as kin and thus see their political betrayal as the basest type of treason, race betrayal.

    Correct.

    You do realize this is based on myths?

    The Svidomites have delivered Malorossiya into the hands of her historic enemies

    Whose historic enemies? Not Malorossiya’s.

    Moscow rule meant expansion of serfdom and destruction of traditional liberties in the Tsarist version, and genocide in the Soviet version.

    with nothing more than empty lies that cargo culting Pindostan will magically make them rich

    Nonsense.

    This is what Russian nationalists sometimes tell themselves when they don’t want to accept the truth that Ukrainians are not Russians and therefore naturally tend to orient themselves with people they have more in common with politically.

    You seem to have the mistaken idea that Ukraine is Russia’s Taiwan or something.

    Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, which preceded Moscow’s rule:

    Ukrainian voting patterns. Typical election result for pro-Western parties:

    Read More
    • Agree: Mr. Hack
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  139. Yevardian says:
    @German_reader

    In reality, if he wants Ukrainians to disappear
     
    I don't even really see what Russia would gain from that. I have to agree with your general impression, it's striking how Russian nationalists in this blog - who on other issues often come across as quite intelligent - get totally deranged on the Ukraine issue. This seems to be more about visceral emotionalism and spite than about any clear recognition of Russian interests.

    As hinted at before, unhinged hatred of Ukrainians/Baltics/Caucasians etc. is a shibboleth for such pseudo-nationalists, allowing themselves to think of themselves as ‘authentic’ Russian nationalists, despite the fact they look up to America as their model, have no interest in Russia’s traditions, literature or culture, and almost entirely consume American television, films and news, whilst despising their non-elite countrymen as dumb proles unworthy of their attention. To ignore the fact the fact they’re ashamed of their own nationality, they look to a mythologised pre-1917 past, skipping Russia’s superpower century as an embarrassment, selectively focusing on all the worst moments of that era (as if the Tsardom contained no abuses). Just the ‘Westernisers/Slavophiles’ split in a different guise.

    Hysterical crying about border regions is for pipsqueak nationalisms like Ireland or India, most Russians don’t give a damn about Ukraine’s existence, everyone knows it will eventually return to Russia’s orbit ‘like an apple from a tree’ as Quincy Adams said about Cuba.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mr. Hack

    pipsqueak nationalisms like Ireland or India, most Russians don’t give a damn about Ukraine’s existence, everyone knows it will eventually return to Russia’s orbit ‘like an apple from a tree’ as Quincy Adams said about Cuba.
     
    Is Cuba clamoring for US protection? Like Puerto Rico?

    Is India supposed to return to Great Britain?
    , @Anatoly Karlin
    Yevardian is a good example of why Russia needs to stop subsidizing Armenia and build a Great Wall along its Caucasian borders.

    Despite being an assimilated Armenian and Russian patriot, his interests are not ethnic Russian interests, which he countersignals at every opportunity (and at least in this case, with the most bizarre arguments - As Mr. Hack in this one case correctly points out, Cuba is not the example I'd use to make this point).

    Moreover, this is bearing in mind that Armenia is itself (if only of necessity) pro-Russian, and promotion of Armenian ethnic genetic interests requires a strong Russian state. This does not apply to any other people in the Caucasus apart from the Ossetians.
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  140. Yevardian says:
    @Duke of Qin
    It maybe difficult for a German reader to comprehend because of the "re-education" of Germany, but the pull of blood and soil is still strong among some peoples. Germany's historic fragmentation as various Kingdoms, Duchies, Imperial Free cities, etc prior to the late 19th century is quite different than the Russian nation building experience (or French for that matter). It's visceral on both sides because Ukrainian nationalism is explicitly anti-Russian in a similar way that the Irish Republicans are anti-English. The difference is that the English obviously didn't regard the Irish as "one of us" while the Russians do see the Ukrainians, i.e. Malorussians as kin and thus see their political betrayal as the basest type of treason, race betrayal. The Svidomites have delivered Malorossiya into the hands of her historic enemies with nothing more than empty lies that cargo culting Pindostan will magically make them rich even as their country disintegrates under their continued misrule. Honor demands that this blood treason be avenged even if rationality suggests it is more prudent to forgive and forget.

    It maybe difficult for a German reader to comprehend because of the “re-education” of Germany…

    Oh come off it, your country hardly has anything to boast about in that respect. China is not exactly famous for a spirit of free inquiry.

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  141. Mr. Hack says:
    @Duke of Qin
    It maybe difficult for a German reader to comprehend because of the "re-education" of Germany, but the pull of blood and soil is still strong among some peoples. Germany's historic fragmentation as various Kingdoms, Duchies, Imperial Free cities, etc prior to the late 19th century is quite different than the Russian nation building experience (or French for that matter). It's visceral on both sides because Ukrainian nationalism is explicitly anti-Russian in a similar way that the Irish Republicans are anti-English. The difference is that the English obviously didn't regard the Irish as "one of us" while the Russians do see the Ukrainians, i.e. Malorussians as kin and thus see their political betrayal as the basest type of treason, race betrayal. The Svidomites have delivered Malorossiya into the hands of her historic enemies with nothing more than empty lies that cargo culting Pindostan will magically make them rich even as their country disintegrates under their continued misrule. Honor demands that this blood treason be avenged even if rationality suggests it is more prudent to forgive and forget.

    The difference is that the English obviously didn’t regard the Irish as “one of us” while the Russians do see the Ukrainians, i.e. Malorussians as kin and thus see their political betrayal as the basest type of treason, race betrayal.

    ‘Race betrayal’ is a ridiculous notion as is your wholly over dramatized rendition of historical facts. Historic MaloRosija has shown separatist tendencies since at least the mid 17th century, as was evident during the period under the Hetman’s mace of Vyhovsky, leading up to the famous ‘betrayal’ of Hetman Mazepa in the early 18th century, enshrined in music, poetry and prose throughout Europe, So, the ‘race’ war has been going on now for close to four centuries, and is nothing new. Ukraine breaking away from Russian imperial control is a classic example of a foreign colony, with its own language, history and folk customs, breaking away from its imperial and heavy handed center. Nothing more and nothing less.

    Read More
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  142. Mr. Hack says:
    @Yevardian
    As hinted at before, unhinged hatred of Ukrainians/Baltics/Caucasians etc. is a shibboleth for such pseudo-nationalists, allowing themselves to think of themselves as 'authentic' Russian nationalists, despite the fact they look up to America as their model, have no interest in Russia's traditions, literature or culture, and almost entirely consume American television, films and news, whilst despising their non-elite countrymen as dumb proles unworthy of their attention. To ignore the fact the fact they're ashamed of their own nationality, they look to a mythologised pre-1917 past, skipping Russia's superpower century as an embarrassment, selectively focusing on all the worst moments of that era (as if the Tsardom contained no abuses). Just the 'Westernisers/Slavophiles' split in a different guise.

    Hysterical crying about border regions is for pipsqueak nationalisms like Ireland or India, most Russians don't give a damn about Ukraine's existence, everyone knows it will eventually return to Russia's orbit 'like an apple from a tree' as Quincy Adams said about Cuba.

    pipsqueak nationalisms like Ireland or India, most Russians don’t give a damn about Ukraine’s existence, everyone knows it will eventually return to Russia’s orbit ‘like an apple from a tree’ as Quincy Adams said about Cuba.

    Is Cuba clamoring for US protection? Like Puerto Rico?

    Is India supposed to return to Great Britain?

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    • Replies: @Yevardian
    So much so that over half the population of Puerto Rico has left for the states, with the other 25% wishing they could join them. Same for Cuba, if not for its legacy government. Neither of these peoples have anything against Americans as such.

    Russia's interests (ethnic or otherwise) are served fine by not engaging in risky gambits that would alienate neighbors and simply wait for America and its satellites to implode on their own accord. Donbass situation is ugly, but intervention is not practical without provoking hysterical reactions and can't be covered with a plausible fig-leaf of international 'respectability' like in Syria. American reputation in the near-east is in free fall, eastern Euros are still loyal yankee lapdogs.

    Armenians have been loyal and voluntary allies of Russia since the 18th century. That loyalty was even a key rationalisation used for the genocide. Seriously though, I'm not sure what you suggest to do with that area. Vacating it would leave it in constant internecine warfare between self-declared statelets in no time, which would naturally spill over the border as lawless regions attracted international terrorism and gangsterism. So believe it or not, it's ultimately cheaper in the long run to subsidise, autonomise and leave out one's hands.
    Not ideal, but I doubt you can propose anything better.

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  143. @Yevardian
    As hinted at before, unhinged hatred of Ukrainians/Baltics/Caucasians etc. is a shibboleth for such pseudo-nationalists, allowing themselves to think of themselves as 'authentic' Russian nationalists, despite the fact they look up to America as their model, have no interest in Russia's traditions, literature or culture, and almost entirely consume American television, films and news, whilst despising their non-elite countrymen as dumb proles unworthy of their attention. To ignore the fact the fact they're ashamed of their own nationality, they look to a mythologised pre-1917 past, skipping Russia's superpower century as an embarrassment, selectively focusing on all the worst moments of that era (as if the Tsardom contained no abuses). Just the 'Westernisers/Slavophiles' split in a different guise.

    Hysterical crying about border regions is for pipsqueak nationalisms like Ireland or India, most Russians don't give a damn about Ukraine's existence, everyone knows it will eventually return to Russia's orbit 'like an apple from a tree' as Quincy Adams said about Cuba.

    Yevardian is a good example of why Russia needs to stop subsidizing Armenia and build a Great Wall along its Caucasian borders.

    Despite being an assimilated Armenian and Russian patriot, his interests are not ethnic Russian interests, which he countersignals at every opportunity (and at least in this case, with the most bizarre arguments – As Mr. Hack in this one case correctly points out, Cuba is not the example I’d use to make this point).

    Moreover, this is bearing in mind that Armenia is itself (if only of necessity) pro-Russian, and promotion of Armenian ethnic genetic interests requires a strong Russian state. This does not apply to any other people in the Caucasus apart from the Ossetians.

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    • Replies: @Mr. Hack

    Cuba is not the example I’d use to make this point).
     
    And India is? That example is the strangest of all, as ar as I'm concerned.
    , @German_reader
    Yevardian isn't wrong though that you come across as quite Americanized. It's really noticeable. Whether that's a good or a bad thing, depends on one's own views of course.
    , @Mr. Hack
    I'm just curious. Do any of AP's cogent remarks, that he's been posting here for several years, regarding how Ukraine's differing foreign policy to Russia's and its right to exist as a separate nation/state, based on historical and cultural differences between it and Russia, like in comments #132 & #138, have any effect at all on your own brand of Russian nationalism? I don't ever see you challenge him on these types of comments (and there have been quite a few of them), and I can only conclude that you find his argumentation to be unassailably too strong, or.....?
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  144. Yevardian says:
    @Mr. Hack

    pipsqueak nationalisms like Ireland or India, most Russians don’t give a damn about Ukraine’s existence, everyone knows it will eventually return to Russia’s orbit ‘like an apple from a tree’ as Quincy Adams said about Cuba.
     
    Is Cuba clamoring for US protection? Like Puerto Rico?

    Is India supposed to return to Great Britain?

    So much so that over half the population of Puerto Rico has left for the states, with the other 25% wishing they could join them. Same for Cuba, if not for its legacy government. Neither of these peoples have anything against Americans as such.

    Russia’s interests (ethnic or otherwise) are served fine by not engaging in risky gambits that would alienate neighbors and simply wait for America and its satellites to implode on their own accord. Donbass situation is ugly, but intervention is not practical without provoking hysterical reactions and can’t be covered with a plausible fig-leaf of international ‘respectability’ like in Syria. American reputation in the near-east is in free fall, eastern Euros are still loyal yankee lapdogs.

    Armenians have been loyal and voluntary allies of Russia since the 18th century. That loyalty was even a key rationalisation used for the genocide. Seriously though, I’m not sure what you suggest to do with that area. Vacating it would leave it in constant internecine warfare between self-declared statelets in no time, which would naturally spill over the border as lawless regions attracted international terrorism and gangsterism. So believe it or not, it’s ultimately cheaper in the long run to subsidise, autonomise and leave out one’s hands.
    Not ideal, but I doubt you can propose anything better.

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    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    You speak about 'tiny little statelets' that would war amongst themselves in the Caucuses, but for Russsia's role asa peacemaker. But the situation is not analogous to Ukraine. actually it's just the opposite. Instead of a peacemaker within Ukraine, Russia is a direct aggressor trying the old 'divide and conquer' routine. Also, as far as I know, Russia isn't trying to totally rusify Armenia (as it does in Ukraine), and leaves its cultural patterns pretty much alone. Ukraine is at least 10 times larger than Armenia and the two countries situation are far from analogous.
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  145. bartok says:
    @Betlo
    Always felt an infinite revulsion for fat people. In my experience fatties lack strengthen of character. Which is understandable; If you cannot control your body and your appetite there is lot of other lusts and wants under whose spell you will succumb.

    Fat tissue generates oestrogen by the way...

    Putin seems to be quite slim and fit... I am sure an unorthodox and extremely un PC way to cut down corruption in Russia would be to pass a law firing and prevention anyone with an BMI over 25 to work in the service of the state in any capacity.

    Always felt an infinite revulsion for fat people. … Fat tissue generates oestrogen by the way…

    Kostin has a wide face, is he particularly fat? A wide face has to do with high T and social dominance.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mr. Hack

    A wide face has to do with high T and social dominance.
     
    Tell me more? I'm interested. I have acquired a bit of the old, round Slavic chubby 'morda', over time. :-)
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  146. Mr. Hack says:
    @Yevardian
    So much so that over half the population of Puerto Rico has left for the states, with the other 25% wishing they could join them. Same for Cuba, if not for its legacy government. Neither of these peoples have anything against Americans as such.

    Russia's interests (ethnic or otherwise) are served fine by not engaging in risky gambits that would alienate neighbors and simply wait for America and its satellites to implode on their own accord. Donbass situation is ugly, but intervention is not practical without provoking hysterical reactions and can't be covered with a plausible fig-leaf of international 'respectability' like in Syria. American reputation in the near-east is in free fall, eastern Euros are still loyal yankee lapdogs.

    Armenians have been loyal and voluntary allies of Russia since the 18th century. That loyalty was even a key rationalisation used for the genocide. Seriously though, I'm not sure what you suggest to do with that area. Vacating it would leave it in constant internecine warfare between self-declared statelets in no time, which would naturally spill over the border as lawless regions attracted international terrorism and gangsterism. So believe it or not, it's ultimately cheaper in the long run to subsidise, autonomise and leave out one's hands.
    Not ideal, but I doubt you can propose anything better.

    You speak about ‘tiny little statelets’ that would war amongst themselves in the Caucuses, but for Russsia’s role asa peacemaker. But the situation is not analogous to Ukraine. actually it’s just the opposite. Instead of a peacemaker within Ukraine, Russia is a direct aggressor trying the old ‘divide and conquer’ routine. Also, as far as I know, Russia isn’t trying to totally rusify Armenia (as it does in Ukraine), and leaves its cultural patterns pretty much alone. Ukraine is at least 10 times larger than Armenia and the two countries situation are far from analogous.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Yevardian
    Sorry, that response was meant for Akarlin vis-a-vis 'feeding the caucasus'. I don't touch the Ukrainian mess as there's no good answers there.
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  147. Mr. Hack says:
    @Anatoly Karlin
    Yevardian is a good example of why Russia needs to stop subsidizing Armenia and build a Great Wall along its Caucasian borders.

    Despite being an assimilated Armenian and Russian patriot, his interests are not ethnic Russian interests, which he countersignals at every opportunity (and at least in this case, with the most bizarre arguments - As Mr. Hack in this one case correctly points out, Cuba is not the example I'd use to make this point).

    Moreover, this is bearing in mind that Armenia is itself (if only of necessity) pro-Russian, and promotion of Armenian ethnic genetic interests requires a strong Russian state. This does not apply to any other people in the Caucasus apart from the Ossetians.

    Cuba is not the example I’d use to make this point).

    And India is? That example is the strangest of all, as ar as I’m concerned.

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  148. @Anatoly Karlin
    Yevardian is a good example of why Russia needs to stop subsidizing Armenia and build a Great Wall along its Caucasian borders.

    Despite being an assimilated Armenian and Russian patriot, his interests are not ethnic Russian interests, which he countersignals at every opportunity (and at least in this case, with the most bizarre arguments - As Mr. Hack in this one case correctly points out, Cuba is not the example I'd use to make this point).

    Moreover, this is bearing in mind that Armenia is itself (if only of necessity) pro-Russian, and promotion of Armenian ethnic genetic interests requires a strong Russian state. This does not apply to any other people in the Caucasus apart from the Ossetians.

    Yevardian isn’t wrong though that you come across as quite Americanized. It’s really noticeable. Whether that’s a good or a bad thing, depends on one’s own views of course.

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    • Replies: @Yevardian
    I don't even hold that against him considering he didn't grow up in Russia. What's annoying is the representation of anyone with a non-Western worldview as 'Sovok dinosaurs' or Saker fans when really the points he critiques are just the opinions of the vast majority of the population. Then having the gall to claim to be nationalist.
    I have plenty of liberasts in my circles and get along with them fine, though I don't discuss politics with them obviously. It's the disingenuousness of it that irks me.
    , @Dmitry
    I think Karlin (or his blog at least) has a Russian personality (personality type demographically common within boundaries of the Russian Federation to say precisely).

    The thing which are more Western are some of his ideas like about the importance of looking at IQ scores.

    However, I'm sure that if he had been raised in Russia, his politics would be a little different. I'd predict main interests of man with this personality would be anti-government and libertarian stuff, and he would be less interested in Russia.

    That said, the variance would not be as large as for some people.

    For example, if Julia Ioffe's parents had not taken her to America, she would not now be Kristina Potupchik, but she would be one of the writers that Potupchik is appointing to write for Lenta.

    (Ioffian existential project is to predict, and skillfully reproduce exactly what is required by existing power structures that appoint the prestigious journalism jobs within your particular country. It's evolutionarily adaptive, but highly variant to time and place of birth.)

    Richard Spencer is another hypothetical that is funny to place in relation to this topic - in relation to his Georgian wife. If Richard Spencer was raised in Russia - he would be something like a more gay version of Navalny right now. But for literary symmetry, you would have to imagine him with a Mexican wife, who propounds theories of 'Americanism' (that North and South America are a single civilizational plateau, and that all peoples of America, North and South, are part of an Aztec superethnos).

    The issue of invariance of views to time and place of birth or re-incarbation is quite interesting. People with high invariance under re-incarnation conditions, would be evolutionarily maladaptive, but at the same time it seems the level of invariance in these counter-factuals is tracking some noble personality trait like 'authenticity'. Maybe only Jesus and the Buddha would have invariant views under all re-incarnations across different societies and all historical periods.

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  149. Mr. Hack says:
    @Anatoly Karlin
    Yevardian is a good example of why Russia needs to stop subsidizing Armenia and build a Great Wall along its Caucasian borders.

    Despite being an assimilated Armenian and Russian patriot, his interests are not ethnic Russian interests, which he countersignals at every opportunity (and at least in this case, with the most bizarre arguments - As Mr. Hack in this one case correctly points out, Cuba is not the example I'd use to make this point).

    Moreover, this is bearing in mind that Armenia is itself (if only of necessity) pro-Russian, and promotion of Armenian ethnic genetic interests requires a strong Russian state. This does not apply to any other people in the Caucasus apart from the Ossetians.

    I’m just curious. Do any of AP’s cogent remarks, that he’s been posting here for several years, regarding how Ukraine’s differing foreign policy to Russia’s and its right to exist as a separate nation/state, based on historical and cultural differences between it and Russia, like in comments #132 & #138, have any effect at all on your own brand of Russian nationalism? I don’t ever see you challenge him on these types of comments (and there have been quite a few of them), and I can only conclude that you find his argumentation to be unassailably too strong, or…..?

    Read More
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  150. Yevardian says:
    @Mr. Hack
    You speak about 'tiny little statelets' that would war amongst themselves in the Caucuses, but for Russsia's role asa peacemaker. But the situation is not analogous to Ukraine. actually it's just the opposite. Instead of a peacemaker within Ukraine, Russia is a direct aggressor trying the old 'divide and conquer' routine. Also, as far as I know, Russia isn't trying to totally rusify Armenia (as it does in Ukraine), and leaves its cultural patterns pretty much alone. Ukraine is at least 10 times larger than Armenia and the two countries situation are far from analogous.

    Sorry, that response was meant for Akarlin vis-a-vis ‘feeding the caucasus’. I don’t touch the Ukrainian mess as there’s no good answers there.

    Read More
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  151. Yevardian says:
    @German_reader
    Yevardian isn't wrong though that you come across as quite Americanized. It's really noticeable. Whether that's a good or a bad thing, depends on one's own views of course.

    I don’t even hold that against him considering he didn’t grow up in Russia. What’s annoying is the representation of anyone with a non-Western worldview as ‘Sovok dinosaurs’ or Saker fans when really the points he critiques are just the opinions of the vast majority of the population. Then having the gall to claim to be nationalist.
    I have plenty of liberasts in my circles and get along with them fine, though I don’t discuss politics with them obviously. It’s the disingenuousness of it that irks me.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    The opinions of the "vast majority of the population" are shit.

    Considering the failures of said population, most especially its boomer (that is, more sovok) cohorts.

    My opinions are very much in line with what young non-liberasts are thinking.

    If/when we fail, feel free to make fun of as us as much as you want.
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  152. @Yevardian
    I don't even hold that against him considering he didn't grow up in Russia. What's annoying is the representation of anyone with a non-Western worldview as 'Sovok dinosaurs' or Saker fans when really the points he critiques are just the opinions of the vast majority of the population. Then having the gall to claim to be nationalist.
    I have plenty of liberasts in my circles and get along with them fine, though I don't discuss politics with them obviously. It's the disingenuousness of it that irks me.

    The opinions of the “vast majority of the population” are shit.

    Considering the failures of said population, most especially its boomer (that is, more sovok) cohorts.

    My opinions are very much in line with what young non-liberasts are thinking.

    If/when we fail, feel free to make fun of as us as much as you want.

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    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    You're still here?...will you respond to comment #149, or should I just make my conclusion based on the obvious:

    that you find his [AP's] argumentation to be unasailably too strong.
     
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  153. Mr. Hack says:
    @bartok

    Always felt an infinite revulsion for fat people. ... Fat tissue generates oestrogen by the way…
     
    Kostin has a wide face, is he particularly fat? A wide face has to do with high T and social dominance.

    A wide face has to do with high T and social dominance.

    Tell me more? I’m interested. I have acquired a bit of the old, round Slavic chubby ‘morda’, over time. :-)

    Read More
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  154. Mr. Hack says:
    @Anatoly Karlin
    The opinions of the "vast majority of the population" are shit.

    Considering the failures of said population, most especially its boomer (that is, more sovok) cohorts.

    My opinions are very much in line with what young non-liberasts are thinking.

    If/when we fail, feel free to make fun of as us as much as you want.

    You’re still here?…will you respond to comment #149, or should I just make my conclusion based on the obvious:

    that you find his [AP's] argumentation to be unasailably too strong.

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    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    What do I have to address? I did that quite comprehensively here: http://www.unz.com/akarlin/ukrotriumph/
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  155. JL says:
    @Pericles
    The mountains often seen in the background during the Sochi olympics were beautiful.

    They’re not just beautiful, they offer some of the best skiing in the world. Among Sochi’s positive attributes are convenience (35 minute drive from the airport), mild climate, high quality and quantity of snow due to its maritime location, varied terrain (both alpine and trees), vertical drop (>1500m), brand new gondolas to the peaks at all four resorts, and, since 2014, value. It would be great if they banned snowboarding, but that’s probably asking a bit too much. Russians who leave the country to ski are not doing so for the quality of the skiing, but for other reasons.

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  156. @Mr. Hack
    You're still here?...will you respond to comment #149, or should I just make my conclusion based on the obvious:

    that you find his [AP's] argumentation to be unasailably too strong.
     

    What do I have to address? I did that quite comprehensively here: http://www.unz.com/akarlin/ukrotriumph/

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    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    In the piece that you cite all that you’re doing is pointing out the obvious nature of things in Ukraine today: currently, Ukraine has withstood the worst aggressive moves that Russia is willing to make, a sort of reaffirmation of the present status quo. You’re still anticipating a day, however, when this will change in hopes of saving Russian civilization (an extremely weak and unimaginative prescription for a problem that does not, nor will not exist):

    As a Russian nationalist, I remain unwaveringly committed to the idea of the triune Russian nation, just like Ivan Ilyin and Alexander Solzhenitsyn. There will come a day when the dismemberment of the Russian nation will be but a bad memory in the Russian historical consciousness. This will almost certainly not happen under the current occupants of the Kremlin. But happen it will, or Russia will cease to exist as a civilizational entity.
     
    AP, on the other hand, very systematically has been showing that Ukraine does not belong to a ‘Russian civilizational entity’ but to a Western one (Lithuania, Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Austrian, most importantly it’s own state formations starting with the autonomous Hetmanate in the 17th century and culminating in its own modern state formations at the beginning of the 20th century). You’re reticent to take on his ideological arguments, therefore, you quite clearly lose the intellectual battle:

    And this is why it is best for Ukraine to stay away from Russia. We don’t need a union of any kind with a country in which a certain non-insignificant % of the population has such views. The last few years have clarified the situation for most Ukrainians.
     

    This is what Russian nationalists sometimes tell themselves when they don’t want to accept the truth that Ukrainians are not Russians and therefore naturally tend to orient themselves with people they have more in common with politically.

    You seem to have the mistaken idea that Ukraine is Russia’s Taiwan or something.
     

    Aren't you one of those mistaken Russian nationalists that AP has in mind?
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  157. Mr. Hack says:
    @Anatoly Karlin
    What do I have to address? I did that quite comprehensively here: http://www.unz.com/akarlin/ukrotriumph/

    In the piece that you cite all that you’re doing is pointing out the obvious nature of things in Ukraine today: currently, Ukraine has withstood the worst aggressive moves that Russia is willing to make, a sort of reaffirmation of the present status quo. You’re still anticipating a day, however, when this will change in hopes of saving Russian civilization (an extremely weak and unimaginative prescription for a problem that does not, nor will not exist):

    As a Russian nationalist, I remain unwaveringly committed to the idea of the triune Russian nation, just like Ivan Ilyin and Alexander Solzhenitsyn. There will come a day when the dismemberment of the Russian nation will be but a bad memory in the Russian historical consciousness. This will almost certainly not happen under the current occupants of the Kremlin. But happen it will, or Russia will cease to exist as a civilizational entity.

    AP, on the other hand, very systematically has been showing that Ukraine does not belong to a ‘Russian civilizational entity’ but to a Western one (Lithuania, Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Austrian, most importantly it’s own state formations starting with the autonomous Hetmanate in the 17th century and culminating in its own modern state formations at the beginning of the 20th century). You’re reticent to take on his ideological arguments, therefore, you quite clearly lose the intellectual battle:

    And this is why it is best for Ukraine to stay away from Russia. We don’t need a union of any kind with a country in which a certain non-insignificant % of the population has such views. The last few years have clarified the situation for most Ukrainians.

    This is what Russian nationalists sometimes tell themselves when they don’t want to accept the truth that Ukrainians are not Russians and therefore naturally tend to orient themselves with people they have more in common with politically.

    You seem to have the mistaken idea that Ukraine is Russia’s Taiwan or something.

    Aren’t you one of those mistaken Russian nationalists that AP has in mind?

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    • Replies: @AP

    Ukraine does not belong to a ‘Russian civilizational entity’ but to a Western one (Lithuania, Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Austrian, most importantly it’s own state formations starting with the autonomous Hetmanate in the 17th century and culminating in its own modern state formations at the beginning of the 20th century)
     
    Ukraine's ethnogenesis began with Polish rule; it is not as young as Russian nationalists claim (19th or early 20th century "invention") but not as old as Ukrainian nationalists claim (neither Ukraine nor Russia are Rus. Just as neither Germany nor France are the Frankish Empire) - Ukrainians became a recognizable people as they are today probably in the 15th century. Some of the pre-national ingredients - Eastern Christianity and the name "Rus" - preceded the ethnogenesis and have been shared with Russia. But Ukraine's development occurred later and within a western context. It's the only predominantly Orthodox country to have done so.

    ::::::::::

    I'll add that in adhering to the triune idea* AK is far more realistic than most Russian nationalists, who tend to the idealistic and fantastical view that Ukrainians are simply a sub-branch of Russians. His idea lost and the chances of it being resurrected are very close to zero, but it lost due to historical circumstances and errors rather than due to it being flawed or unrealistic by its nature.

    *the Triune idea as held by Little Russian and AFAIK Great Russian Rus nationalists is that both Ukrainians and Russians are separate "children of Rus" and equal heirs to its legacy, who ought to be united in a large state and to confront their mutual enemies together. There are no European analogues to such an idea. But if Italy and Spain were to unite in an attempt to recreate the Western Roman Empire, under one Emperor with one army but while recognizing each part as equal and respecting the historical and cultural differences (i.e, "Iberian Roman" [Spanish] schools in Spain, Italian Roman ones in Italy, retaining local legal traditions) it would be sort of like that.
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  158. AP says:
    @Mr. Hack
    In the piece that you cite all that you’re doing is pointing out the obvious nature of things in Ukraine today: currently, Ukraine has withstood the worst aggressive moves that Russia is willing to make, a sort of reaffirmation of the present status quo. You’re still anticipating a day, however, when this will change in hopes of saving Russian civilization (an extremely weak and unimaginative prescription for a problem that does not, nor will not exist):

    As a Russian nationalist, I remain unwaveringly committed to the idea of the triune Russian nation, just like Ivan Ilyin and Alexander Solzhenitsyn. There will come a day when the dismemberment of the Russian nation will be but a bad memory in the Russian historical consciousness. This will almost certainly not happen under the current occupants of the Kremlin. But happen it will, or Russia will cease to exist as a civilizational entity.
     
    AP, on the other hand, very systematically has been showing that Ukraine does not belong to a ‘Russian civilizational entity’ but to a Western one (Lithuania, Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Austrian, most importantly it’s own state formations starting with the autonomous Hetmanate in the 17th century and culminating in its own modern state formations at the beginning of the 20th century). You’re reticent to take on his ideological arguments, therefore, you quite clearly lose the intellectual battle:

    And this is why it is best for Ukraine to stay away from Russia. We don’t need a union of any kind with a country in which a certain non-insignificant % of the population has such views. The last few years have clarified the situation for most Ukrainians.
     

    This is what Russian nationalists sometimes tell themselves when they don’t want to accept the truth that Ukrainians are not Russians and therefore naturally tend to orient themselves with people they have more in common with politically.

    You seem to have the mistaken idea that Ukraine is Russia’s Taiwan or something.
     

    Aren't you one of those mistaken Russian nationalists that AP has in mind?

    Ukraine does not belong to a ‘Russian civilizational entity’ but to a Western one (Lithuania, Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Austrian, most importantly it’s own state formations starting with the autonomous Hetmanate in the 17th century and culminating in its own modern state formations at the beginning of the 20th century)

    Ukraine’s ethnogenesis began with Polish rule; it is not as young as Russian nationalists claim (19th or early 20th century “invention”) but not as old as Ukrainian nationalists claim (neither Ukraine nor Russia are Rus. Just as neither Germany nor France are the Frankish Empire) – Ukrainians became a recognizable people as they are today probably in the 15th century. Some of the pre-national ingredients – Eastern Christianity and the name “Rus” – preceded the ethnogenesis and have been shared with Russia. But Ukraine’s development occurred later and within a western context. It’s the only predominantly Orthodox country to have done so.

    ::::::::::

    I’ll add that in adhering to the triune idea* AK is far more realistic than most Russian nationalists, who tend to the idealistic and fantastical view that Ukrainians are simply a sub-branch of Russians. His idea lost and the chances of it being resurrected are very close to zero, but it lost due to historical circumstances and errors rather than due to it being flawed or unrealistic by its nature.

    *the Triune idea as held by Little Russian and AFAIK Great Russian Rus nationalists is that both Ukrainians and Russians are separate “children of Rus” and equal heirs to its legacy, who ought to be united in a large state and to confront their mutual enemies together. There are no European analogues to such an idea. But if Italy and Spain were to unite in an attempt to recreate the Western Roman Empire, under one Emperor with one army but while recognizing each part as equal and respecting the historical and cultural differences (i.e, “Iberian Roman” [Spanish] schools in Spain, Italian Roman ones in Italy, retaining local legal traditions) it would be sort of like that.

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    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    I think that the exact start date of the ethnogenesis of the Ukrainian nation is subject to one's views and interpretation. There is nothing that absolutely refutes Hrushevsky's thesis that it began with the Slavic Polyanin tribe in the Central Dnieper river area. They were, after all the largest and most influential Slavic tribe in the Ukrainian part of the Rus Empire, and certainly gave the greatest Slavic character to what we know of today as the Ukrainian nation. But again, I try to keep an open mind here.

    Nothing that I wrote above contradicts anything that you wrote above, and all that I see that you've embellished is your own interpretation of when exactly one can start to perceive the beginnings of a separate Ukrainian nationality. I hope that Karlin doesn't think that your comment here acts as some sort of conclusion and doesn't require his input. After all, you do state quite unequivocally that:


    His idea lost and the chances of it being resurrected are very close to zero, but it lost due to historical circumstances and errors rather than due to it being flawed or unrealistic by its nature.
     
    With which I'll have to agree. How do you react to his silly plea for the 'reconstruction' of Russia, built upon false premises and harking back to a medieval Russia that never really existed? Strange how he seems to exchange intellectual arguments for a faulty type of pathos?
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  159. Mr. Hack says:
    @AP

    Ukraine does not belong to a ‘Russian civilizational entity’ but to a Western one (Lithuania, Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Austrian, most importantly it’s own state formations starting with the autonomous Hetmanate in the 17th century and culminating in its own modern state formations at the beginning of the 20th century)
     
    Ukraine's ethnogenesis began with Polish rule; it is not as young as Russian nationalists claim (19th or early 20th century "invention") but not as old as Ukrainian nationalists claim (neither Ukraine nor Russia are Rus. Just as neither Germany nor France are the Frankish Empire) - Ukrainians became a recognizable people as they are today probably in the 15th century. Some of the pre-national ingredients - Eastern Christianity and the name "Rus" - preceded the ethnogenesis and have been shared with Russia. But Ukraine's development occurred later and within a western context. It's the only predominantly Orthodox country to have done so.

    ::::::::::

    I'll add that in adhering to the triune idea* AK is far more realistic than most Russian nationalists, who tend to the idealistic and fantastical view that Ukrainians are simply a sub-branch of Russians. His idea lost and the chances of it being resurrected are very close to zero, but it lost due to historical circumstances and errors rather than due to it being flawed or unrealistic by its nature.

    *the Triune idea as held by Little Russian and AFAIK Great Russian Rus nationalists is that both Ukrainians and Russians are separate "children of Rus" and equal heirs to its legacy, who ought to be united in a large state and to confront their mutual enemies together. There are no European analogues to such an idea. But if Italy and Spain were to unite in an attempt to recreate the Western Roman Empire, under one Emperor with one army but while recognizing each part as equal and respecting the historical and cultural differences (i.e, "Iberian Roman" [Spanish] schools in Spain, Italian Roman ones in Italy, retaining local legal traditions) it would be sort of like that.

    I think that the exact start date of the ethnogenesis of the Ukrainian nation is subject to one’s views and interpretation. There is nothing that absolutely refutes Hrushevsky’s thesis that it began with the Slavic Polyanin tribe in the Central Dnieper river area. They were, after all the largest and most influential Slavic tribe in the Ukrainian part of the Rus Empire, and certainly gave the greatest Slavic character to what we know of today as the Ukrainian nation. But again, I try to keep an open mind here.

    Nothing that I wrote above contradicts anything that you wrote above, and all that I see that you’ve embellished is your own interpretation of when exactly one can start to perceive the beginnings of a separate Ukrainian nationality. I hope that Karlin doesn’t think that your comment here acts as some sort of conclusion and doesn’t require his input. After all, you do state quite unequivocally that:

    His idea lost and the chances of it being resurrected are very close to zero, but it lost due to historical circumstances and errors rather than due to it being flawed or unrealistic by its nature.

    With which I’ll have to agree. How do you react to his silly plea for the ‘reconstruction’ of Russia, built upon false premises and harking back to a medieval Russia that never really existed? Strange how he seems to exchange intellectual arguments for a faulty type of pathos?

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    • Replies: @AP

    There is nothing that absolutely refutes Hrushevsky’s thesis that it began with the Slavic Polyanin tribe in the Central Dnieper river area.
     
    It is certainly an important ingredient and it is ancient, but the product is not the same as the ingredients. Neither Gauls nor Franks were Frenchmen; French as an ethnicity did not exist until the Roman-Gauls and Franks fused.
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  160. Dmitry says:
    @German_reader
    Yevardian isn't wrong though that you come across as quite Americanized. It's really noticeable. Whether that's a good or a bad thing, depends on one's own views of course.

    I think Karlin (or his blog at least) has a Russian personality (personality type demographically common within boundaries of the Russian Federation to say precisely).

    The thing which are more Western are some of his ideas like about the importance of looking at IQ scores.

    However, I’m sure that if he had been raised in Russia, his politics would be a little different. I’d predict main interests of man with this personality would be anti-government and libertarian stuff, and he would be less interested in Russia.

    That said, the variance would not be as large as for some people.

    For example, if Julia Ioffe’s parents had not taken her to America, she would not now be Kristina Potupchik, but she would be one of the writers that Potupchik is appointing to write for Lenta.

    (Ioffian existential project is to predict, and skillfully reproduce exactly what is required by existing power structures that appoint the prestigious journalism jobs within your particular country. It’s evolutionarily adaptive, but highly variant to time and place of birth.)

    Richard Spencer is another hypothetical that is funny to place in relation to this topic – in relation to his Georgian wife. If Richard Spencer was raised in Russia – he would be something like a more gay version of Navalny right now. But for literary symmetry, you would have to imagine him with a Mexican wife, who propounds theories of ‘Americanism’ (that North and South America are a single civilizational plateau, and that all peoples of America, North and South, are part of an Aztec superethnos).

    The issue of invariance of views to time and place of birth or re-incarbation is quite interesting. People with high invariance under re-incarnation conditions, would be evolutionarily maladaptive, but at the same time it seems the level of invariance in these counter-factuals is tracking some noble personality trait like ‘authenticity’. Maybe only Jesus and the Buddha would have invariant views under all re-incarnations across different societies and all historical periods.

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    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin
    • Replies: @German_reader

    I think Karlin (or his blog at least) has a Russian personality
     
    I can't judge that, since I don't know what a "Russian personality" is. I just notice that he seems to be very influenced by the American alt-right. Just take his mention of "boomers" as an example. This strikes me as very odd because the life experience of the so-called baby boomers in the US and in Western Europe is radically different from that of people of the same age in the former Soviet Union and former Eastern bloc. Whereas the former can with some plausibility be presented as selfish assholes who had great opportunities and f**ked everything up for succeeding generations, the latter didn't have that high a living standard or that many opportunities when young, and they also suffered through the traumatic collapse of communism. It just feels very strange to me that AK transfers the "boomer" meme to Russia without considering the many differences. That's just a minor example, but I do see how one can get the impression that he's quite Americanized.
    , @Jayce
    Spencer's a blue checkmark at heart anyway. He's just one that's frustrated that "his people" are making such a big deal pretending to be egalitarian rather than having the fun of being openly elitist. With a few minor tweaks, he'd be one of the people mocking "flyover country" and stuff like that. I still wouldn't rule out some heel turn in the future where he's writing middlebrow thought pieces recanting his days on the right and what it can teach us about confronting the darkness in the human heart or something.
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  161. @Dmitry
    I think Karlin (or his blog at least) has a Russian personality (personality type demographically common within boundaries of the Russian Federation to say precisely).

    The thing which are more Western are some of his ideas like about the importance of looking at IQ scores.

    However, I'm sure that if he had been raised in Russia, his politics would be a little different. I'd predict main interests of man with this personality would be anti-government and libertarian stuff, and he would be less interested in Russia.

    That said, the variance would not be as large as for some people.

    For example, if Julia Ioffe's parents had not taken her to America, she would not now be Kristina Potupchik, but she would be one of the writers that Potupchik is appointing to write for Lenta.

    (Ioffian existential project is to predict, and skillfully reproduce exactly what is required by existing power structures that appoint the prestigious journalism jobs within your particular country. It's evolutionarily adaptive, but highly variant to time and place of birth.)

    Richard Spencer is another hypothetical that is funny to place in relation to this topic - in relation to his Georgian wife. If Richard Spencer was raised in Russia - he would be something like a more gay version of Navalny right now. But for literary symmetry, you would have to imagine him with a Mexican wife, who propounds theories of 'Americanism' (that North and South America are a single civilizational plateau, and that all peoples of America, North and South, are part of an Aztec superethnos).

    The issue of invariance of views to time and place of birth or re-incarbation is quite interesting. People with high invariance under re-incarnation conditions, would be evolutionarily maladaptive, but at the same time it seems the level of invariance in these counter-factuals is tracking some noble personality trait like 'authenticity'. Maybe only Jesus and the Buddha would have invariant views under all re-incarnations across different societies and all historical periods.

    I think Karlin (or his blog at least) has a Russian personality

    I can’t judge that, since I don’t know what a “Russian personality” is. I just notice that he seems to be very influenced by the American alt-right. Just take his mention of “boomers” as an example. This strikes me as very odd because the life experience of the so-called baby boomers in the US and in Western Europe is radically different from that of people of the same age in the former Soviet Union and former Eastern bloc. Whereas the former can with some plausibility be presented as selfish assholes who had great opportunities and f**ked everything up for succeeding generations, the latter didn’t have that high a living standard or that many opportunities when young, and they also suffered through the traumatic collapse of communism. It just feels very strange to me that AK transfers the “boomer” meme to Russia without considering the many differences. That’s just a minor example, but I do see how one can get the impression that he’s quite Americanized.

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    • Replies: @Jayce
    The eternal boomer takes many forms, but he is the enemy wherever he's found.
    , @Anatoly Karlin
    I think I have consistently made the case for boomer (burger version)/boomer (sovok version) ideological kinship.

    Recognize that Communism = cuckservatism in Russia, and it all slides into place.

    Well yes, Russian boomers had the misfortune to actually have to live through the consequences of their stupidity. I would have more sympathy if they didn't continue to insist on trying to fuck everything up.
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  162. Jayce says:
    @German_reader

    I think Karlin (or his blog at least) has a Russian personality
     
    I can't judge that, since I don't know what a "Russian personality" is. I just notice that he seems to be very influenced by the American alt-right. Just take his mention of "boomers" as an example. This strikes me as very odd because the life experience of the so-called baby boomers in the US and in Western Europe is radically different from that of people of the same age in the former Soviet Union and former Eastern bloc. Whereas the former can with some plausibility be presented as selfish assholes who had great opportunities and f**ked everything up for succeeding generations, the latter didn't have that high a living standard or that many opportunities when young, and they also suffered through the traumatic collapse of communism. It just feels very strange to me that AK transfers the "boomer" meme to Russia without considering the many differences. That's just a minor example, but I do see how one can get the impression that he's quite Americanized.

    The eternal boomer takes many forms, but he is the enemy wherever he’s found.

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    • LOL: German_reader
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  163. Jayce says:
    @Dmitry
    I think Karlin (or his blog at least) has a Russian personality (personality type demographically common within boundaries of the Russian Federation to say precisely).

    The thing which are more Western are some of his ideas like about the importance of looking at IQ scores.

    However, I'm sure that if he had been raised in Russia, his politics would be a little different. I'd predict main interests of man with this personality would be anti-government and libertarian stuff, and he would be less interested in Russia.

    That said, the variance would not be as large as for some people.

    For example, if Julia Ioffe's parents had not taken her to America, she would not now be Kristina Potupchik, but she would be one of the writers that Potupchik is appointing to write for Lenta.

    (Ioffian existential project is to predict, and skillfully reproduce exactly what is required by existing power structures that appoint the prestigious journalism jobs within your particular country. It's evolutionarily adaptive, but highly variant to time and place of birth.)

    Richard Spencer is another hypothetical that is funny to place in relation to this topic - in relation to his Georgian wife. If Richard Spencer was raised in Russia - he would be something like a more gay version of Navalny right now. But for literary symmetry, you would have to imagine him with a Mexican wife, who propounds theories of 'Americanism' (that North and South America are a single civilizational plateau, and that all peoples of America, North and South, are part of an Aztec superethnos).

    The issue of invariance of views to time and place of birth or re-incarbation is quite interesting. People with high invariance under re-incarnation conditions, would be evolutionarily maladaptive, but at the same time it seems the level of invariance in these counter-factuals is tracking some noble personality trait like 'authenticity'. Maybe only Jesus and the Buddha would have invariant views under all re-incarnations across different societies and all historical periods.

    Spencer’s a blue checkmark at heart anyway. He’s just one that’s frustrated that “his people” are making such a big deal pretending to be egalitarian rather than having the fun of being openly elitist. With a few minor tweaks, he’d be one of the people mocking “flyover country” and stuff like that. I still wouldn’t rule out some heel turn in the future where he’s writing middlebrow thought pieces recanting his days on the right and what it can teach us about confronting the darkness in the human heart or something.

    Read More
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  164. AP says:
    @Mr. Hack
    I think that the exact start date of the ethnogenesis of the Ukrainian nation is subject to one's views and interpretation. There is nothing that absolutely refutes Hrushevsky's thesis that it began with the Slavic Polyanin tribe in the Central Dnieper river area. They were, after all the largest and most influential Slavic tribe in the Ukrainian part of the Rus Empire, and certainly gave the greatest Slavic character to what we know of today as the Ukrainian nation. But again, I try to keep an open mind here.

    Nothing that I wrote above contradicts anything that you wrote above, and all that I see that you've embellished is your own interpretation of when exactly one can start to perceive the beginnings of a separate Ukrainian nationality. I hope that Karlin doesn't think that your comment here acts as some sort of conclusion and doesn't require his input. After all, you do state quite unequivocally that:


    His idea lost and the chances of it being resurrected are very close to zero, but it lost due to historical circumstances and errors rather than due to it being flawed or unrealistic by its nature.
     
    With which I'll have to agree. How do you react to his silly plea for the 'reconstruction' of Russia, built upon false premises and harking back to a medieval Russia that never really existed? Strange how he seems to exchange intellectual arguments for a faulty type of pathos?

    There is nothing that absolutely refutes Hrushevsky’s thesis that it began with the Slavic Polyanin tribe in the Central Dnieper river area.

    It is certainly an important ingredient and it is ancient, but the product is not the same as the ingredients. Neither Gauls nor Franks were Frenchmen; French as an ethnicity did not exist until the Roman-Gauls and Franks fused.

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    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    Also, the Gauls and Franks morphed into several later West European nationalities, whereas, the Polianins only evolved into the Ukrainian ethnos, certainly an important difference that Hrushevsky's theory took into account. The White Croat Tribe, in the Western parts of what is today Ukraine, especially Galicia and Transcarpathia, had also settled in the eastern portions of Poland, Bohemia and Croatia itself. So this tribe was involved in the development of several later nations, not so of the Polianins. Although its an interesting theory that nobody has ever been able to prove, that the Polianins in the Dnieper area were related to the Polianins of Poland - it seems that their shared name is just a coincidence.
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  165. @German_reader

    I think Karlin (or his blog at least) has a Russian personality
     
    I can't judge that, since I don't know what a "Russian personality" is. I just notice that he seems to be very influenced by the American alt-right. Just take his mention of "boomers" as an example. This strikes me as very odd because the life experience of the so-called baby boomers in the US and in Western Europe is radically different from that of people of the same age in the former Soviet Union and former Eastern bloc. Whereas the former can with some plausibility be presented as selfish assholes who had great opportunities and f**ked everything up for succeeding generations, the latter didn't have that high a living standard or that many opportunities when young, and they also suffered through the traumatic collapse of communism. It just feels very strange to me that AK transfers the "boomer" meme to Russia without considering the many differences. That's just a minor example, but I do see how one can get the impression that he's quite Americanized.

    I think I have consistently made the case for boomer (burger version)/boomer (sovok version) ideological kinship.

    Recognize that Communism = cuckservatism in Russia, and it all slides into place.

    Well yes, Russian boomers had the misfortune to actually have to live through the consequences of their stupidity. I would have more sympathy if they didn’t continue to insist on trying to fuck everything up.

    Read More
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  166. Mr. Hack says:
    @AP

    There is nothing that absolutely refutes Hrushevsky’s thesis that it began with the Slavic Polyanin tribe in the Central Dnieper river area.
     
    It is certainly an important ingredient and it is ancient, but the product is not the same as the ingredients. Neither Gauls nor Franks were Frenchmen; French as an ethnicity did not exist until the Roman-Gauls and Franks fused.

    Also, the Gauls and Franks morphed into several later West European nationalities, whereas, the Polianins only evolved into the Ukrainian ethnos, certainly an important difference that Hrushevsky’s theory took into account. The White Croat Tribe, in the Western parts of what is today Ukraine, especially Galicia and Transcarpathia, had also settled in the eastern portions of Poland, Bohemia and Croatia itself. So this tribe was involved in the development of several later nations, not so of the Polianins. Although its an interesting theory that nobody has ever been able to prove, that the Polianins in the Dnieper area were related to the Polianins of Poland – it seems that their shared name is just a coincidence.

    Read More
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