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moscow-snow

Rapidly becoming who I am.

So I have fulfilled the demands of some of my most committed detractors and self-deported myself back to Russia.

My first sociological observation on landing in Domodedova this Tuesday, and perhaps the one most germane to Unz.com readers, was that about 100% of the airport cleaning stuff were Uzbeks and Tajiks, and well more than 50% of the black leather jacket-wearing taxi drivers aggressively hustling their services to arrivees were Caucasians. Of course I used Uber. It was twice cheaper – 1,000 rubles versus 2,000 for the shady taxi ride – and most likely considerably safer to boot.

That said, the title of this post is (mainly) exaggeration. Official census statistics say that Moscow remains well more than 90% Russian. This is patently untrue, and nobody argues otherwise. Even so, it’s fair to say that a good nine out of ten faces you see on the streets are Slavic, and I say this as someone who now resides in one of the more “enriched” (and nationalist) areas. The bottom line is that Moskvabad might or might not become a reality by 2050. Londonistan is a reality today.

Since my last visit was more than a decade ago, I needed to make good on a considerable amount of bureaucratic backlog. The general impression amongst informed observers is that the Russian bureaucracy has gone from being atrocious to merely adequate. I concur. What in 2006 would have likely taken me several days to resolve only took half a day. It is still a far cry from North European digital nirvanas but the paperwork has become crisper and more efficient.

One of the main points I have made over and over again on this blog is that while wages in Russia might be low, they are countered by the banal fact that prices are much cheaper, so the gap in living standards between Russia and the developed Western world is not so much the fivefold difference you see in nominal GDP per capita comparisons, but rather the twofold difference you get after a purchasing power adjustment.

DSC_0394

Food is very cheap. Twice cheaper is the general rule of thumb, and that is with respect to Moscow, supposedly one of the most expensive cities in the world (incidentally, this was only ever true for the most clueless expats, and has in any case ceased to be the case since the devaluation). The Big Mac, a classic component of comparison, costs 130 rubles in the Moscow suburbs, which is twice cheaper than in Britain and the US. Salted cucumbers – the real deal, not the vinegar soaked abomination that passes for them in the Anglosphere – cost close to nothing, while in California you can buy a modest bottle produced by “artisan farmer” types from Whole Foods for the princely sum of $5. Ergo for alcohol – pictured above is Massandra Muscat, a Crimean dessert wine that was actually pretty good. (However, I have yet to find a good Russian Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon. Any suggestions?).

Despite fond early childhood memories, I was decidedly underwhelmed by all the Ajika sauces I have sampled thus far. They’re too mild and far too salty – in other words, I guess you can say I’ve been spoiled by Mexican salsas and Indian spices. (Georgian food was traditionally considered to be this cool, exotic cuisine for meat-and-potato Russians in the USSR, but from a global perspective, my opinion is that it’s rather unimpressive). I was surprised to find that the typical Russian supermarket carries Tabasco Original sauce – my favorite hot sauce, luckily enough – and though as an import, it is twice as expensive as in the US, it’s not exactly a daily grocery item. Finding spices much more exotic than cinnamon and turmeric is a challenge. Indian food, unlike Japanese or Korean, never took off in Russia, so I plan to scout Moscow’s specialized spice shops in the coming weeks for my star anise and garam masala.

moscow-internet-speed

My lifeblood, the Internet, is dirt cheap: $8 (500 rubles) for 72Mbps. In terms of upload speed, they don’t even exaggerate, as is typical everywhere.

In London, it was $45 for 10Mbps downloads and 0.5Mbps (!) uploads. In California, it was $80 (!) for 15Mbps downloads and 5Mbps uploads with Concast.

I also got a cell phone plan for $6.5 (400 rubles) with 10GB data- I don’t use anywhere near that much, but why not after paying $35 for 2.5GB from Cricket Wireless and $20 for 2GB from EE?

Ironically, many Russians complain about the high cost of Internet, cell phone plans, and other utilities. Things are always relative.

I will be busy furnishing my office and visiting friends and relatives in the coming days and weeks, so blogging will initially be slow but will gradually pick back up.

 
• Category: Miscellaneous • Tags: Moscow, Open Thread, Russia, The AK, Travel 
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  1. Betlo says:

    Knew that food and basic commodities were cheep in Russia, but never knew that they were so cheep. May I ask what do you pay for rent? What is counted as an good salary in Moscow?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin

    May I ask what do you pay for rent?
     
    I don't rent so can't comment much on this.

    This site (http://www.irn.ru/) has a lot of the data. In general, I think a one room apartment in Moscow runs $500-$1,000 depending on location but don't quote me on this.

    What is counted as an good salary in Moscow?
     
    Probably around $2500 ($4000 before depreciation).
    , @Positive Dennis
    We were looking at a new, large. Nice and 2 story 4 bd penthouse apartment in a town of 100,000 for $95,000.
    , @Boris N
    The median monthly salary in Russia in 2015 was RUR 25,000/$400, but much depends on the region: in Moscow RUR 47,000/$800, in the Moscow Oblast RUR 33,000/$550, in Belgorod, the most prosperous region in Central Russia after Moscow, RUR 22,000/$350. St.-Petersburg and the Northern regions with oil and gas are more like Moscow.
    http://www.gks.ru/free_doc/new_site/population/bednost/tabl/3-1-5.doc

    At the same time the median yearly salary in the USA in 2014 was $29,000 or $2,400 a month.
    http://www.cnbc.com/2015/10/20/the-average-american-made-446k-last-year.html

    So the rule of thumb is the 1 to 10 ratio. RUR 1,000 for a Russian is like $100 for an American and vice versa, it would cost them the same share of their salary. Or one could use the factor 6 or 7 (that is the exchange rate divided by 10) to compare. But the actual prices may vary. It does not seem for me at all that an average American can buy less than an average Russian.
    https://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/compare_cities.jsp?country1=Russia&country2=United+States&city1=Kazan&city2=Chicago%2C+IL
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  2. neutral says:

    Even so, it’s fair to say that a good nine out of ten faces you see on the streets are Slavic

    So if 90% are not Russian but are nine of of ten are Slavic, where are they from, do people from the Caucasus count as Slavic ? When people say Moscow will be Muslim, are they talking about the Middle Eastern/Central Asian type or are they talking about the white looking Albanian type ?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin

    do people from the Caucasus count as Slavic
     
    No.

    So if 90% are not Russian but are nine of of ten are Slavic, where are they from, do people from the Caucasus count as Slavic ?
     
    According to the 2010 Census, Moscow is ~95% Slavic (inc. 92% Russian), about 2% Caucasian (both the Russian Caucasus and South Caucasus), only 1% Central Asians (Uzbeks, Tajiks, etc).

    In reality, in addition to Moscow's 12.3 million official residents, there are 1-2 unregistered/illegals. These are primarily from Central Asia. As such, the true share of the Slavs, I suspect, is more like 85%-90%, while the share of Central Asians is closer to 10%.

    When people say Moscow will be Muslim, are they talking about the Middle Eastern/Central Asian type or are they talking about the white looking Albanian type ?
     
    Presumably the former.
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  3. In California I’m paying $80 for 98.5 Mbps download and 13 Mbps upload (I just benchmarked).

    What’s the crime rate like?

    Is there any southern city where the weather is much milder and the costs similar?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin

    In California I’m paying $80 for 98.5 Mbps download and 13 Mbps upload (I just benchmarked).
     
    I lived in a bad region for Internet access. Concast had a full monopoly there and exploited it.

    What’s the crime rate like?
     
    Moscow is actually pretty safe nowadays - homicide rate at 3.1/100k is lower than in NY with 3.9/100k, though that's still very high by West European standards.

    My cursory impression is that it is a lot less violent than it once was but there are lots of scams going on.

    Is there any southern city where the weather is much milder and the costs similar?
     
    Sochi would be the obvious choice, though prices - especially housing prices - are far higher after the Olympics buildup.

    Maybe Sevastopol (prices are higher than average for Russia due to the blockade but not overwhelmingly so. The bigger issue is that almost no foreign companies/organizations do business there. Even Steam is inaccessible there.)

    One downside to living in the regions, including the south, is that a ridiculous percentage of everything interesting in Russia is concentrated around Moscow.
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  4. Hepp says:

    How are the police? I was in Petersburg 10 years ago, and the message I got from American expats was that they weren’t your friends. Like if something bad happened to you, they’d be more interested in extorting a bribe than solving your problems. Is that how native Russians feel?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    Are you asking about my personal impressions or statistical data?

    Former: No substantive personal experiences. Obviously I'm aware of the negative stereotypes but my impression is that things have slowly tended in the right direction.

    Latter: Here is a blog post about Russian police (and other types of) corruption relative to BRICS and other East European countries:

    http://www.unzcloud.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/cee-corruption-institutions.jpg
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  5. @Betlo
    Knew that food and basic commodities were cheep in Russia, but never knew that they were so cheep. May I ask what do you pay for rent? What is counted as an good salary in Moscow?

    May I ask what do you pay for rent?

    I don’t rent so can’t comment much on this.

    This site (http://www.irn.ru/) has a lot of the data. In general, I think a one room apartment in Moscow runs $500-$1,000 depending on location but don’t quote me on this.

    What is counted as an good salary in Moscow?

    Probably around $2500 ($4000 before depreciation).

    Read More
    • Replies: @Glossy
    Probably around $2500 ($4000 before depreciation).

    I'd just like to say to anyone who might be confused that this is per month. Americans quote pay per hour (blue collar) or per annum (white collar). When Russians talk about earnings, it's always per month.
    , @Boris N


    What is counted as an good salary in Moscow?
     
    Probably around $2500 ($4000 before depreciation).
     
    $2,500 a month (or RUR 160,000) is rather an exceptional salary. The median in Moscow is $700-800. $2,250 is a mean for the upper 80th percentile. So if you make $2,500/month you are doing exceptionally well even for Moscow, for the province you are super rich.
    http://www.gks.ru/free_doc/new_site/population/bednost/tabl/tab-bed1-2-4.htm
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  6. @neutral

    Even so, it’s fair to say that a good nine out of ten faces you see on the streets are Slavic
     
    So if 90% are not Russian but are nine of of ten are Slavic, where are they from, do people from the Caucasus count as Slavic ? When people say Moscow will be Muslim, are they talking about the Middle Eastern/Central Asian type or are they talking about the white looking Albanian type ?

    do people from the Caucasus count as Slavic

    No.

    So if 90% are not Russian but are nine of of ten are Slavic, where are they from, do people from the Caucasus count as Slavic ?

    According to the 2010 Census, Moscow is ~95% Slavic (inc. 92% Russian), about 2% Caucasian (both the Russian Caucasus and South Caucasus), only 1% Central Asians (Uzbeks, Tajiks, etc).

    In reality, in addition to Moscow’s 12.3 million official residents, there are 1-2 unregistered/illegals. These are primarily from Central Asia. As such, the true share of the Slavs, I suspect, is more like 85%-90%, while the share of Central Asians is closer to 10%.

    When people say Moscow will be Muslim, are they talking about the Middle Eastern/Central Asian type or are they talking about the white looking Albanian type ?

    Presumably the former.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AP

    In reality, in addition to Moscow’s 12.3 million official residents, there are 1-2 unregistered/illegals. These are primarily from Central Asia. As such, the true share of the Slavs, I suspect, is more like 85%-90%, while the share of Central Asians is closer to 10%
     
    I find it hard to believe that only 5% of people living in Moscow are Caucasians (not only Muslims but also Georgians and Armenians). I'd guess it would be double that.

    The unofficial estimates of Armenians in Moscow, for example, are more realistic than the official figure:

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

    10% Central Asians, 10% Caucasians, plus some small % eastern Asians would leave a little under 80% Slavs in Moscow.
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  7. @Randall Parker
    In California I'm paying $80 for 98.5 Mbps download and 13 Mbps upload (I just benchmarked).

    What's the crime rate like?

    Is there any southern city where the weather is much milder and the costs similar?

    In California I’m paying $80 for 98.5 Mbps download and 13 Mbps upload (I just benchmarked).

    I lived in a bad region for Internet access. Concast had a full monopoly there and exploited it.

    What’s the crime rate like?

    Moscow is actually pretty safe nowadays – homicide rate at 3.1/100k is lower than in NY with 3.9/100k, though that’s still very high by West European standards.

    My cursory impression is that it is a lot less violent than it once was but there are lots of scams going on.

    Is there any southern city where the weather is much milder and the costs similar?

    Sochi would be the obvious choice, though prices – especially housing prices – are far higher after the Olympics buildup.

    Maybe Sevastopol (prices are higher than average for Russia due to the blockade but not overwhelmingly so. The bigger issue is that almost no foreign companies/organizations do business there. Even Steam is inaccessible there.)

    One downside to living in the regions, including the south, is that a ridiculous percentage of everything interesting in Russia is concentrated around Moscow.

    Read More
    • Replies: @IchSprecheKeinRussisch
    Recommendations on anywhere else to visit as a tourist, besides Moscow and Saint Petersburg, that are in the western part of the country? Would Koenigsberg / Kaliningrad have sites of interest for a tourist (I include local symphony, ballet, and pro hockey teams, all of which are of interest to us. Thanks for the help....
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  8. AlexB says:

    С возвращением, Анатолий! Welcome back to Mother Russia!

    How do you find the urban environment of Moscow? There is a huge reconstruction of the central streets going under Sobyanin. https://www.mos.ru/city/projects/mystreet/ A great improvement in itself, but a small one against all those endless Soviet and post-Soviet depressing microdistricts. Urban problems are really huge in Russia and people start talking more and more about that. Afterall, now we have cars, every type of food, all kind of gadgets and really cheap and good Internet, but the problem is how to rebuild our cities into something more liveable and fitting best European standards.

    Any chance meeting you in Moscow? And are you going to make some public lectures or other interesting events?

    Many topics of your blog, like all that IQ-related stuff, are relatively unknown in Russia. And there is quite huge talk in Runet about the education problems in Russia: communist and leftist public worship “the world’s best Soviet education”, view the Unified State Exam as supreme evil and totally ignore the recent improvements Russia made in PISA and TIMSS.

    Read More
    • Replies: @neutral

    cities into something more liveable and fitting best European standards
     
    If you are reading this site then you should be aware that European standards means having cities ethnically cleansed of whites and replaced with non whites. But if you are the type that thinks this is not important and would rather be concerned about consuming lots of expensive coffee and arugula, which city do you want to emulate London, Paris, Berlin ?
    , @Anatoly Karlin
    Thanks, that is much appreciated.

    I have not yet found time to explore Moscow much beyond my immediate area, so I can't comment much about that yet.

    I do hope to organize some kind of meetup once I'm settled in. I'll post all developements on the blog as well as my Russian language site which I'll publicize in another couple of months. I'm also interested in making inroads into local "Alt Right" (e.g. SiP), nationalist, and futurist circles.

    There is a huge potential market for HBD/IQ ideas in Russia and considering the demographic-psychometric gradient between Russia and Central Asia, comparable in scale to that between the US and Mexico, they are arguably needed rather urgently.
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  9. @Hepp
    How are the police? I was in Petersburg 10 years ago, and the message I got from American expats was that they weren't your friends. Like if something bad happened to you, they'd be more interested in extorting a bribe than solving your problems. Is that how native Russians feel?

    Are you asking about my personal impressions or statistical data?

    Former: No substantive personal experiences. Obviously I’m aware of the negative stereotypes but my impression is that things have slowly tended in the right direction.

    Latter: Here is a blog post about Russian police (and other types of) corruption relative to BRICS and other East European countries:

    Read More
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  10. Jon0815 says:

    That said, the title of this post is (mainly) exaggeration. Official census statistics say that Moscow remains well more than 90% Russian. This is patently untrue, and nobody argues otherwise.

    The census only counted permanent residents (citizens and permanent visa holders), correct?

    In 2015, there were officially estimated to be 12.2 million permanent residents within the limits of Moscow federal city, plus I believe another 2 million migrants (legal and illegal).

    The 2010 census put Slavs at 93.4% of the permanent resident population, and traditionally Muslim ethnics at 2.5% (with Chechens at only 0.1%, which seems too low). But that was out of only 11.5 million, and perhaps the additional 700,000 permanent residents the city has gained since then, were mostly Chechens.

    Even so, it’s fair to say that a good nine out of ten faces you see on the streets are Slavic

    Or white, at least (are Caucasian faces typically distinguishable from Slavic faces)?

    and I say this as someone who now resides in one of the more “enriched” (and nationalist) areas. The bottom line is that Moskvabad might or might not become a reality by 2050. Londonistan is a reality today.

    I wonder if in 2050 Moscow might actually have proportionally fewer Muslims than today, given that the large majority of Moscow’s Muslims are Central Asian temporary migrants, and that if Central Asia continues its rapid per capita GDP growth, by then the differential that provides the economic inventive for such migration may no longer exist.

    And it’s always possible that whoever replaces Putin will be considerably more populist when it comes to guest workers and illegals than Putin has been.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AP

    Or white, at least (are Caucasian faces typically distinguishable from Slavic faces)?
     
    In the same way that Greek faces are distinguishable from Polish ones.

    However Muslim Tatars from the Volga are often indistinguishable from Russians.
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  11. Glossy says: • Website
    @Anatoly Karlin

    May I ask what do you pay for rent?
     
    I don't rent so can't comment much on this.

    This site (http://www.irn.ru/) has a lot of the data. In general, I think a one room apartment in Moscow runs $500-$1,000 depending on location but don't quote me on this.

    What is counted as an good salary in Moscow?
     
    Probably around $2500 ($4000 before depreciation).

    Probably around $2500 ($4000 before depreciation).

    I’d just like to say to anyone who might be confused that this is per month. Americans quote pay per hour (blue collar) or per annum (white collar). When Russians talk about earnings, it’s always per month.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Boris N

    Americans quote pay per hour (blue collar) or per annum (white collar). When Russians talk about earnings, it’s always per month.
     
    I always wondered why it's such. Is it because Americans are used to file a tax return every year? But as I understand most Americans anyway get their paychecks every month or every two weeks. And it is more reasonable to estimate your family budget by month. As for blue collars the per-hour pay is more reasonable for part-time workers, for usual 9-to-5 workers they anyway work steady 40 hours a week.
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  12. Glossy says: • Website

    Salted cucumbers – the real deal, not the vinegar soaked abomination that passes for them in the Anglosphere

    I’m not a foody, so this has to be taken with some grains of salt ( :-) , but my favorite cucumber pickles are made by a Polish company named Vavel.

    Read More
    • Replies: @b.
    tststs....still not doing your own pickles :D
    , @Boris N

    but my favorite cucumber pickles are made by a Polish company named Vavel.
     
    In Russia pickles are mostly imported from the SEA, I consider the Vietnamese ones to be the most palatable.
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  13. Glossy says: • Website

    pictured above is Massandra Muscat, a Crimean dessert wine that was actually pretty good.

    A few months ago I reviewed on my blog a book about the history of Florence. In the Middle Ages and during the Renaissance Florentine politics was dominated by ancient aristocratic families called the grandi.

    While reading that book I was surprised to see a news article about one of those ancient families – the Frescobaldi. 800 years after they first appeared in that volume, they’re still rich. They had a picture of the current head of the family in his Renaissance palace, standing by the fire place. It was really something.

    They’re wine growers, and in the article, when asked about what he was then doing, the modern Frescobaldi said that he had just been approached by the Russian government with a request to help develop Crimean wines.

    This is especially neat because in the Middle Ages Italians (mostly Genoese and Venetians, but Florentines too) were doing business in the Crimea, and that was mentioned in that book too.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dan Hayes
    "The wealthy in Florence today are the same families as 600 years ago": Wall Street Journal, 19 May 2016.
    , @Glossy
    Found the article I was talking about: https://www.ft.com/content/26104f1e-5ef2-11e6-bb77-a121aa8abd95
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  14. AP says:
    @Jon0815

    That said, the title of this post is (mainly) exaggeration. Official census statistics say that Moscow remains well more than 90% Russian. This is patently untrue, and nobody argues otherwise.
     
    The census only counted permanent residents (citizens and permanent visa holders), correct?

    In 2015, there were officially estimated to be 12.2 million permanent residents within the limits of Moscow federal city, plus I believe another 2 million migrants (legal and illegal).

    The 2010 census put Slavs at 93.4% of the permanent resident population, and traditionally Muslim ethnics at 2.5% (with Chechens at only 0.1%, which seems too low). But that was out of only 11.5 million, and perhaps the additional 700,000 permanent residents the city has gained since then, were mostly Chechens.


    Even so, it’s fair to say that a good nine out of ten faces you see on the streets are Slavic
     
    Or white, at least (are Caucasian faces typically distinguishable from Slavic faces)?

    and I say this as someone who now resides in one of the more “enriched” (and nationalist) areas. The bottom line is that Moskvabad might or might not become a reality by 2050. Londonistan is a reality today.
     
    I wonder if in 2050 Moscow might actually have proportionally fewer Muslims than today, given that the large majority of Moscow's Muslims are Central Asian temporary migrants, and that if Central Asia continues its rapid per capita GDP growth, by then the differential that provides the economic inventive for such migration may no longer exist.

    And it's always possible that whoever replaces Putin will be considerably more populist when it comes to guest workers and illegals than Putin has been.

    Or white, at least (are Caucasian faces typically distinguishable from Slavic faces)?

    In the same way that Greek faces are distinguishable from Polish ones.

    However Muslim Tatars from the Volga are often indistinguishable from Russians.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    That is correct.

    I wonder if in 2050 Moscow might actually have proportionally fewer Muslims than today, given that the large majority of Moscow’s Muslims are Central Asian temporary migrants, and that if Central Asia continues its rapid per capita GDP growth, by then the differential that provides the economic inventive for such migration may no longer exist.
     
    I'm not aware of Central Asia being particularly economically successful. Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan certainly are not. Uzbekistan isn't doing badly, but is coming from a very low base. The gradient between Russia and Central Asia will probably remain very high.
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  15. g2k says:

    Adjika actually means salt in whatever language it’s a word in; Abkhaz I think. There’s an expensive brand called Amtsa that’s the closest to the stuff sold by babushkas in the south Caucasus.

    You should be looking for saperavi wine, though at the price points where wine from the rest of the world becomes OK, the Russian stuff is either blended with bulk bought French table wine or worse, made with grape concentrate from Iran and Turkey. They still don’t grow enough of their own. I think Abaru Durso is good. How are the microbreweries?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    Thanks, I'll make sure to try Amtsa out.

    I've tried saperavi a few times in the West. I can't say I'm a fan.

    Incidentally, I did try Abrau Durso "Russian Champagne" brut a couple of days ago. It wasn't entirely bad but I don't see how you can call it brut.

    I've heard much better things about Russian microbreweries than their winemaking efforts, especially wrt to drier sorts.
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  16. “The bottom line is that Moskvabad might or might not become a reality by 2050″
    but in the end the central asian muslim region (not counting Afghanistan) is a region with a relatively low population and, much more important, sub replacement fertility as far as I know. So there is no real demographic pressure and danger coming from that region. The Caucasus region of course is another case. This is just a wild guess, but might it also be that central Asians – in contrast to muslim Caucasians – are not more aggressive, violent, criminal and terrorism-prone than native Russians? Maybe like the Hispanics in the USA?

    Read More
    • Replies: @5371
    [sub replacement fertility as far as I know]

    Far from it, even among Kazakhs.

    [central Asians – in contrast to muslim Caucasians – are not more aggressive, violent, criminal and terrorism-prone than native Russians?]

    I'm afraid there are plenty of them with all those characteristics, especially from Uzbekistan and Tadzhikistan.
    , @Jon0815

    The bottom line is that Moskvabad might or might not become a reality by 2050″
    but in the end the central asian muslim region (not counting Afghanistan) is a region with a relatively low population and, much more important, sub replacement fertility as far as I know. So there is no real demographic pressure and danger coming from that region. The Caucasus region of course is another case.
     
    No, Central Asia has a fairly large population (66 million in 2014) and high fertility which so far is not declining much (oddly, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan are among the very few Muslim countries in the world, that actually have higher fertility today than ten years ago, although both have been flat for the past 5 years or so):

    Kazakhstan: 2.2 in 2004, 2.7 in 2014
    Kyrgyzstan: 2.6 in 2004, 3.2 in 2014
    Tajikistan: 3.6 in 2004, 3.5 in 2014
    Turkmenistan: 2.7 in 2004, 2.3 in 2014
    Uzbekistan: 2.6 in 2004, 2.2 in 2014

    Weighted for population, that gives Central Asia an average TFR of 2.6 in 2014, compared to 1.75 for Russia (2.0 for Russia's majority-Muslim regions, and 1.7 for Russia's majority-Slavic regions).

    However Central Asian migrants don't have much impact on Russia's demographics, aside from the migrants themselves, because nearly all are temporary workers who will eventually return to Central Asia without settling and having children in Russia.

    Chechnya still has high fertility, but it is falling quickly: From 3.45 in 2010 to 2.8 in 2015. The rest of the Caucasus region (Dagestan, Ingushetia) has fertility just slightly below replacement.

    , @Anatoly Karlin

    ...but in the end the central asian muslim region (not counting Afghanistan) is a region with a relatively low population and, much more important, sub replacement fertility as far as I know.
     
    Jon0815 is correct - Central Asia is demographically vigorous, far more so in fact than anywhere in the Caucasus outside Chechnya.

    This is just a wild guess, but might it also be that central Asians – in contrast to muslim Caucasians – are not more aggressive, violent, criminal and terrorism-prone than native Russians? Maybe like the Hispanics in the USA?
     
    They are better than Chechens in that respect but that is not saying very much.

    There was a big scandal recently in which an Uzbek nanny cut off the head of the child she had been charged with looking after and spent 45 minutes walking the streets allah akbaring with the police too scared or stupefied to do anything about it. She has been declared mentally incompetent and deported to Uzbekistan. (Such are the joys of life in the Putinist Altreich /s).

    The Central Asians are relatively moderate (by Muslim standards) for now but whether that will also be the case in another generation is an open question. After all European Muslim immigrants were considerably saner back in the 1960s, now significant percentages of them admit to supporting Islamic State in opinion polls.
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  17. caesar says:

    It depends from which perspective, large parts of the russian GDP are consumed by oligarchs and other criminal organizations, so the leftovers for ordinary russians could be even less than the theoretical five fold difference to the west. Twofold is to Poland which has no natural resources while russia is the wealtiest country on earth in terms of natural resources. And comparing prices without comparing quality is meaningless, you may find that on the same quality standard Moskow is more expensive than any city in the west with the exception of London, New York and Zurich. The murder rate in Russia is 5-10 times greater than in the western EU or eastern EU.

    Read More
    • Replies: @5371
    Butthurt Pole detected.

    [Poland which has no natural resources]
    Silesian coal is surprised.

    [while russia is the wealtiest country on earth in terms of natural resources.]
    Per capita (and what's the point otherwise), certainly not.

    [And comparing prices without comparing quality is meaningless, you may find that on the same quality standard Moskow is more expensive than any city in the west with the exception of London, New York and Zurich.]

    Butthurt Pole lives LARGE.
    , @AP

    It depends from which perspective, large parts of the russian GDP are consumed by oligarchs and other criminal organizations, so the leftovers for ordinary russians could be even less than the theoretical five fold difference to the west.
     
    The Moscow island, with a population (thirteen million or so) about 1/4 of that of all of Poland, lives about as well as any Western country. Yes there is an elite that lives even better, but regular Muscovites are doing well. It isn't just 1% in gated enclaves vs. everyone else, as in the third world.

    Outside Moscow - better than Ukraine, worse than Poland. Probably comparable to Belarus.

    I was last in Russia in 2013, I don't know if there has been a general decline in regular living standards since then, though the people I know live about as well as they did before.


    And comparing prices without comparing quality is meaningless, you may find that on the same quality standard Moskow is more expensive than any city in the west with the exception of London, New York and Zurich
     
    Depends on what. One can easily find wonderful bakeries whose products surpass western ones in quality and are much cheaper. I always found nice Italian shoes to be cheaper in Moscow than in, say, anywhere in North America. Cheaper Russian-made stuff isn't terrible, either.

    The murder rate in Russia is 5-10 times greater than in the western EU or eastern EU.
     
    Correct. Highest among whites in the world. OTOH it's lower than what we from the USA are used to.
    , @Anatoly Karlin

    It depends from which perspective, large parts of the russian GDP are consumed by oligarchs and other criminal organizations, so the leftovers for ordinary russians could be even less than the theoretical five fold difference to the west.
     
    The statistical perspective, please. Any other is barely relevant.

    The Gini index of income inequality in Russia is at around 40, which is somewhat higher than the European average (25-35) but lower than that of the US and China (45) and incomparable to that of typical Latin America (60).

    Twofold is to Poland which has no natural resources while russia is the wealtiest country on earth in terms of natural resources.
     
    Poland gets gibsmedats from West Europeans that are in per capita terms comparable to Russia's oil & gas earnings.

    And comparing prices without comparing quality is meaningless...
     
    A haircut is a haircut is a haircut in Moscow, Munich, or Manila.

    This doesn't even always work in the West's favor. For instance, much less fertilizer and pesticides are used in Russian agriculture, with the result that a lot of food is higher quality than what you get in countries with more "developed" agricultural sectors.
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  18. 5371 says:
    @caesar
    It depends from which perspective, large parts of the russian GDP are consumed by oligarchs and other criminal organizations, so the leftovers for ordinary russians could be even less than the theoretical five fold difference to the west. Twofold is to Poland which has no natural resources while russia is the wealtiest country on earth in terms of natural resources. And comparing prices without comparing quality is meaningless, you may find that on the same quality standard Moskow is more expensive than any city in the west with the exception of London, New York and Zurich. The murder rate in Russia is 5-10 times greater than in the western EU or eastern EU.

    Butthurt Pole detected.

    [Poland which has no natural resources]
    Silesian coal is surprised.

    [while russia is the wealtiest country on earth in terms of natural resources.]
    Per capita (and what’s the point otherwise), certainly not.

    [And comparing prices without comparing quality is meaningless, you may find that on the same quality standard Moskow is more expensive than any city in the west with the exception of London, New York and Zurich.]

    Butthurt Pole lives LARGE.

    Read More
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  19. 5371 says:
    @Erik Sieven
    "The bottom line is that Moskvabad might or might not become a reality by 2050"
    but in the end the central asian muslim region (not counting Afghanistan) is a region with a relatively low population and, much more important, sub replacement fertility as far as I know. So there is no real demographic pressure and danger coming from that region. The Caucasus region of course is another case. This is just a wild guess, but might it also be that central Asians - in contrast to muslim Caucasians - are not more aggressive, violent, criminal and terrorism-prone than native Russians? Maybe like the Hispanics in the USA?

    [sub replacement fertility as far as I know]

    Far from it, even among Kazakhs.

    [central Asians – in contrast to muslim Caucasians – are not more aggressive, violent, criminal and terrorism-prone than native Russians?]

    I’m afraid there are plenty of them with all those characteristics, especially from Uzbekistan and Tadzhikistan.

    Read More
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  20. neutral says:
    @AlexB
    С возвращением, Анатолий! Welcome back to Mother Russia!

    How do you find the urban environment of Moscow? There is a huge reconstruction of the central streets going under Sobyanin. https://www.mos.ru/city/projects/mystreet/ A great improvement in itself, but a small one against all those endless Soviet and post-Soviet depressing microdistricts. Urban problems are really huge in Russia and people start talking more and more about that. Afterall, now we have cars, every type of food, all kind of gadgets and really cheap and good Internet, but the problem is how to rebuild our cities into something more liveable and fitting best European standards.

    Any chance meeting you in Moscow? And are you going to make some public lectures or other interesting events?

    Many topics of your blog, like all that IQ-related stuff, are relatively unknown in Russia. And there is quite huge talk in Runet about the education problems in Russia: communist and leftist public worship "the world's best Soviet education", view the Unified State Exam as supreme evil and totally ignore the recent improvements Russia made in PISA and TIMSS.

    cities into something more liveable and fitting best European standards

    If you are reading this site then you should be aware that European standards means having cities ethnically cleansed of whites and replaced with non whites. But if you are the type that thinks this is not important and would rather be concerned about consuming lots of expensive coffee and arugula, which city do you want to emulate London, Paris, Berlin ?

    Read More
    • Replies: @AlexB
    @neutral

    I was speaking about architecture, urban planning and design and other urbanistics stuff, not about expensive coffee or non-whites.

    which city do you want to emulate London, Paris, Berlin ?
     
    None of those. Due to climate, there is more sense to emulate Northern Europe. Personally, I like Helsinki and Finland in general.
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  21. JL says:

    I recommend trying the Lefkadia/Likuria wines. They’re somewhat overpriced, but consistently quality, from a Russian producer in Krasnodar.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    Thanks for the rec.
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  22. Jon0815 says:
    @Erik Sieven
    "The bottom line is that Moskvabad might or might not become a reality by 2050"
    but in the end the central asian muslim region (not counting Afghanistan) is a region with a relatively low population and, much more important, sub replacement fertility as far as I know. So there is no real demographic pressure and danger coming from that region. The Caucasus region of course is another case. This is just a wild guess, but might it also be that central Asians - in contrast to muslim Caucasians - are not more aggressive, violent, criminal and terrorism-prone than native Russians? Maybe like the Hispanics in the USA?

    The bottom line is that Moskvabad might or might not become a reality by 2050″
    but in the end the central asian muslim region (not counting Afghanistan) is a region with a relatively low population and, much more important, sub replacement fertility as far as I know. So there is no real demographic pressure and danger coming from that region. The Caucasus region of course is another case.

    No, Central Asia has a fairly large population (66 million in 2014) and high fertility which so far is not declining much (oddly, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan are among the very few Muslim countries in the world, that actually have higher fertility today than ten years ago, although both have been flat for the past 5 years or so):

    Kazakhstan: 2.2 in 2004, 2.7 in 2014
    Kyrgyzstan: 2.6 in 2004, 3.2 in 2014
    Tajikistan: 3.6 in 2004, 3.5 in 2014
    Turkmenistan: 2.7 in 2004, 2.3 in 2014
    Uzbekistan: 2.6 in 2004, 2.2 in 2014

    Weighted for population, that gives Central Asia an average TFR of 2.6 in 2014, compared to 1.75 for Russia (2.0 for Russia’s majority-Muslim regions, and 1.7 for Russia’s majority-Slavic regions).

    However Central Asian migrants don’t have much impact on Russia’s demographics, aside from the migrants themselves, because nearly all are temporary workers who will eventually return to Central Asia without settling and having children in Russia.

    Chechnya still has high fertility, but it is falling quickly: From 3.45 in 2010 to 2.8 in 2015. The rest of the Caucasus region (Dagestan, Ingushetia) has fertility just slightly below replacement.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AP

    However Central Asian migrants don’t have much impact on Russia’s demographics, aside from the migrants themselves
     
    Well, that's quite an impact.

    nearly all are temporary workers who will eventually return to Central Asia without settling and having children in Russia.
     
    What's the male/female breakdown for Central Asian migrants? The number of settlers vs. "temporary" workers is probably higher than nearly none.
    , @Erik Sieven
    "Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan are among the very few Muslim countries in the world"
    Egypt is another country which has shown such a trend. And as Egypt is a big country this is a really troubling development
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  23. AlexB says:
    @neutral

    cities into something more liveable and fitting best European standards
     
    If you are reading this site then you should be aware that European standards means having cities ethnically cleansed of whites and replaced with non whites. But if you are the type that thinks this is not important and would rather be concerned about consuming lots of expensive coffee and arugula, which city do you want to emulate London, Paris, Berlin ?

    I was speaking about architecture, urban planning and design and other urbanistics stuff, not about expensive coffee or non-whites.

    which city do you want to emulate London, Paris, Berlin ?

    None of those. Due to climate, there is more sense to emulate Northern Europe. Personally, I like Helsinki and Finland in general.

    Read More
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  24. AP says:
    @caesar
    It depends from which perspective, large parts of the russian GDP are consumed by oligarchs and other criminal organizations, so the leftovers for ordinary russians could be even less than the theoretical five fold difference to the west. Twofold is to Poland which has no natural resources while russia is the wealtiest country on earth in terms of natural resources. And comparing prices without comparing quality is meaningless, you may find that on the same quality standard Moskow is more expensive than any city in the west with the exception of London, New York and Zurich. The murder rate in Russia is 5-10 times greater than in the western EU or eastern EU.

    It depends from which perspective, large parts of the russian GDP are consumed by oligarchs and other criminal organizations, so the leftovers for ordinary russians could be even less than the theoretical five fold difference to the west.

    The Moscow island, with a population (thirteen million or so) about 1/4 of that of all of Poland, lives about as well as any Western country. Yes there is an elite that lives even better, but regular Muscovites are doing well. It isn’t just 1% in gated enclaves vs. everyone else, as in the third world.

    Outside Moscow – better than Ukraine, worse than Poland. Probably comparable to Belarus.

    I was last in Russia in 2013, I don’t know if there has been a general decline in regular living standards since then, though the people I know live about as well as they did before.

    And comparing prices without comparing quality is meaningless, you may find that on the same quality standard Moskow is more expensive than any city in the west with the exception of London, New York and Zurich

    Depends on what. One can easily find wonderful bakeries whose products surpass western ones in quality and are much cheaper. I always found nice Italian shoes to be cheaper in Moscow than in, say, anywhere in North America. Cheaper Russian-made stuff isn’t terrible, either.

    The murder rate in Russia is 5-10 times greater than in the western EU or eastern EU.

    Correct. Highest among whites in the world. OTOH it’s lower than what we from the USA are used to.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AP

    The Moscow island, with a population (thirteen million or so) about 1/4 of that of all of Poland, lives about as well as any Western country.
     
    By this I meant not Poland or Hungary but France or Canada.
    , @Anatoly Karlin

    I was last in Russia in 2013, I don’t know if there has been a general decline in regular living standards since then, though the people I know live about as well as they did before.
     
    That is correct.

    The recession hit the upper middle class and rich people hardest because most of them consume relatively more imports.

    Much of the rest of the population was unaffected, especially since there was hardly any rise in unemployment.

    The tiny but distinct class of people who source the bulk of their income from the West hit the jackpot.
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  25. AP says:
    @Jon0815

    The bottom line is that Moskvabad might or might not become a reality by 2050″
    but in the end the central asian muslim region (not counting Afghanistan) is a region with a relatively low population and, much more important, sub replacement fertility as far as I know. So there is no real demographic pressure and danger coming from that region. The Caucasus region of course is another case.
     
    No, Central Asia has a fairly large population (66 million in 2014) and high fertility which so far is not declining much (oddly, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan are among the very few Muslim countries in the world, that actually have higher fertility today than ten years ago, although both have been flat for the past 5 years or so):

    Kazakhstan: 2.2 in 2004, 2.7 in 2014
    Kyrgyzstan: 2.6 in 2004, 3.2 in 2014
    Tajikistan: 3.6 in 2004, 3.5 in 2014
    Turkmenistan: 2.7 in 2004, 2.3 in 2014
    Uzbekistan: 2.6 in 2004, 2.2 in 2014

    Weighted for population, that gives Central Asia an average TFR of 2.6 in 2014, compared to 1.75 for Russia (2.0 for Russia's majority-Muslim regions, and 1.7 for Russia's majority-Slavic regions).

    However Central Asian migrants don't have much impact on Russia's demographics, aside from the migrants themselves, because nearly all are temporary workers who will eventually return to Central Asia without settling and having children in Russia.

    Chechnya still has high fertility, but it is falling quickly: From 3.45 in 2010 to 2.8 in 2015. The rest of the Caucasus region (Dagestan, Ingushetia) has fertility just slightly below replacement.

    However Central Asian migrants don’t have much impact on Russia’s demographics, aside from the migrants themselves

    Well, that’s quite an impact.

    nearly all are temporary workers who will eventually return to Central Asia without settling and having children in Russia.

    What’s the male/female breakdown for Central Asian migrants? The number of settlers vs. “temporary” workers is probably higher than nearly none.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jon0815

    Well, that’s quite an impact.
     
    In Moscow, yes, but nationwide not so much. Out of a total Russian population of over 150 million (146.4 million permanent residents, plus illegals, guest workers, etc.), the estimated 4 million Central Asian migrants are no more than about 2.5% of the population.

    What’s the male/female breakdown for Central Asian migrants? The number of settlers vs. “temporary” workers is probably higher than nearly none.
     
    According to this link you directed me to earlier, there is a very large gender disparity, with males outnumbering females 2-1.

    http://migrant.ru/rossiya-kolichestvo-grazhdan-uzbekistana-sokrashhaetsya-chislo-priezzhix-iz-drugix-stran-regiona-ras

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  26. AP says:
    @AP

    It depends from which perspective, large parts of the russian GDP are consumed by oligarchs and other criminal organizations, so the leftovers for ordinary russians could be even less than the theoretical five fold difference to the west.
     
    The Moscow island, with a population (thirteen million or so) about 1/4 of that of all of Poland, lives about as well as any Western country. Yes there is an elite that lives even better, but regular Muscovites are doing well. It isn't just 1% in gated enclaves vs. everyone else, as in the third world.

    Outside Moscow - better than Ukraine, worse than Poland. Probably comparable to Belarus.

    I was last in Russia in 2013, I don't know if there has been a general decline in regular living standards since then, though the people I know live about as well as they did before.


    And comparing prices without comparing quality is meaningless, you may find that on the same quality standard Moskow is more expensive than any city in the west with the exception of London, New York and Zurich
     
    Depends on what. One can easily find wonderful bakeries whose products surpass western ones in quality and are much cheaper. I always found nice Italian shoes to be cheaper in Moscow than in, say, anywhere in North America. Cheaper Russian-made stuff isn't terrible, either.

    The murder rate in Russia is 5-10 times greater than in the western EU or eastern EU.
     
    Correct. Highest among whites in the world. OTOH it's lower than what we from the USA are used to.

    The Moscow island, with a population (thirteen million or so) about 1/4 of that of all of Poland, lives about as well as any Western country.

    By this I meant not Poland or Hungary but France or Canada.

    Read More
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  27. LondonBob says:

    In 2012, when I left, I would have called Moscow one of Europe’s great cities, now I would be tempted to call it Eurasia’s greatest city.

    Yes the taxis are worse than ever, try to rip you off even more, Uber is actually a welcome development there. Not sure why all taxis haven’t ever been required to have meters like every other country.

    I would say there have been noticeable improvements in efficiency in general, the city itself is slightly more livable with pedestrian and cycle infrastructure improved and some of Soviet architecture gone.

    Didn’t notice the Rouble drop much, seemed the same prices in the high end clubs and restaurants, of course the Pound isn’t exactly a stellar performer at the moment either.

    Read More
    • Replies: @g2k

    Yes the taxis are worse than ever, try to rip you off even more,
     
    Don't understand why people get so upset by this. They want the maximise their takings. Learn to negotiate the fare. Then they can try, but won't succeed in rippng you off.
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  28. AP says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    do people from the Caucasus count as Slavic
     
    No.

    So if 90% are not Russian but are nine of of ten are Slavic, where are they from, do people from the Caucasus count as Slavic ?
     
    According to the 2010 Census, Moscow is ~95% Slavic (inc. 92% Russian), about 2% Caucasian (both the Russian Caucasus and South Caucasus), only 1% Central Asians (Uzbeks, Tajiks, etc).

    In reality, in addition to Moscow's 12.3 million official residents, there are 1-2 unregistered/illegals. These are primarily from Central Asia. As such, the true share of the Slavs, I suspect, is more like 85%-90%, while the share of Central Asians is closer to 10%.

    When people say Moscow will be Muslim, are they talking about the Middle Eastern/Central Asian type or are they talking about the white looking Albanian type ?
     
    Presumably the former.

    In reality, in addition to Moscow’s 12.3 million official residents, there are 1-2 unregistered/illegals. These are primarily from Central Asia. As such, the true share of the Slavs, I suspect, is more like 85%-90%, while the share of Central Asians is closer to 10%

    I find it hard to believe that only 5% of people living in Moscow are Caucasians (not only Muslims but also Georgians and Armenians). I’d guess it would be double that.

    The unofficial estimates of Armenians in Moscow, for example, are more realistic than the official figure:

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

    10% Central Asians, 10% Caucasians, plus some small % eastern Asians would leave a little under 80% Slavs in Moscow.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    On second thought you're right, this is probably the case, though its harder to distinguish Caucasians from Slavs than Central Asians from Slavs, and the boundaries aren't as clear (e.g. half-Armenians, like Sergey Lavrov).

    On paper (2010 Census), there are only 50K Jews in Moscow. In practice, many more people there have half- and quarter-Jewish roots (e.g. a quarter of the demshiza leadership; Zhirinovsky).
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  29. Dan Hayes says:
    @Glossy
    pictured above is Massandra Muscat, a Crimean dessert wine that was actually pretty good.

    A few months ago I reviewed on my blog a book about the history of Florence. In the Middle Ages and during the Renaissance Florentine politics was dominated by ancient aristocratic families called the grandi.

    While reading that book I was surprised to see a news article about one of those ancient families - the Frescobaldi. 800 years after they first appeared in that volume, they're still rich. They had a picture of the current head of the family in his Renaissance palace, standing by the fire place. It was really something.

    They're wine growers, and in the article, when asked about what he was then doing, the modern Frescobaldi said that he had just been approached by the Russian government with a request to help develop Crimean wines.

    This is especially neat because in the Middle Ages Italians (mostly Genoese and Venetians, but Florentines too) were doing business in the Crimea, and that was mentioned in that book too.

    “The wealthy in Florence today are the same families as 600 years ago”: Wall Street Journal, 19 May 2016.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dan Hayes
    "The wealthy in Florence today are the same families as 600 years ago": Wall Street Journal, 19 May 2016.

    As a general follow-up in the same vein: Gregory Clark's "The Son Also Rises: Surnames and the History of Social Mobility."
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  30. Dan Hayes says:
    @Dan Hayes
    "The wealthy in Florence today are the same families as 600 years ago": Wall Street Journal, 19 May 2016.

    “The wealthy in Florence today are the same families as 600 years ago”: Wall Street Journal, 19 May 2016.

    As a general follow-up in the same vein: Gregory Clark’s “The Son Also Rises: Surnames and the History of Social Mobility.”

    Read More
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  31. g2k says:
    @LondonBob
    In 2012, when I left, I would have called Moscow one of Europe's great cities, now I would be tempted to call it Eurasia's greatest city.

    Yes the taxis are worse than ever, try to rip you off even more, Uber is actually a welcome development there. Not sure why all taxis haven't ever been required to have meters like every other country.

    I would say there have been noticeable improvements in efficiency in general, the city itself is slightly more livable with pedestrian and cycle infrastructure improved and some of Soviet architecture gone.

    Didn't notice the Rouble drop much, seemed the same prices in the high end clubs and restaurants, of course the Pound isn't exactly a stellar performer at the moment either.

    Yes the taxis are worse than ever, try to rip you off even more,

    Don’t understand why people get so upset by this. They want the maximise their takings. Learn to negotiate the fare. Then they can try, but won’t succeed in rippng you off.

    Read More
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  32. Glossy says: • Website
    @Glossy
    pictured above is Massandra Muscat, a Crimean dessert wine that was actually pretty good.

    A few months ago I reviewed on my blog a book about the history of Florence. In the Middle Ages and during the Renaissance Florentine politics was dominated by ancient aristocratic families called the grandi.

    While reading that book I was surprised to see a news article about one of those ancient families - the Frescobaldi. 800 years after they first appeared in that volume, they're still rich. They had a picture of the current head of the family in his Renaissance palace, standing by the fire place. It was really something.

    They're wine growers, and in the article, when asked about what he was then doing, the modern Frescobaldi said that he had just been approached by the Russian government with a request to help develop Crimean wines.

    This is especially neat because in the Middle Ages Italians (mostly Genoese and Venetians, but Florentines too) were doing business in the Crimea, and that was mentioned in that book too.
    Read More
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  33. dmitriev says:

    “Twofold is to Poland which has no natural resources while russia is the wealtiest country on earth in terms of natural resources.”

    Poland has “no” natural resources, but Russia assumed (and paid off) the entire foreign debt of the USSR, while Poland had most of its debt written off in the early 90s. So the “starting conditions” in the early 90s were far from equal in a major macroeconomic aspect. This is on top of the fact that, for decades, resources of the RSFSR had been systematically diverted to support other union republics, as well as many foreign countries.

    Also, if you want to talk about Russia’s natural resources, you should look at the amount of natural resources produced relative to the population size. For example, Saudi Arabia produces about as much oil as Russia does, but its population (despite explosive population growth rates) is still only about 30 million, compared to Russia’s 145 million. Another example: Norway is a major oil and gas producer, but it’s population is only about 5 million.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Boris N
    In Russia most resources are located in the faraway regions with permanent frost and 9-month winter, one must invest much, much more, than in Saudia or Norway to extract and deliver natural resources to the consumer.

    Though, of course, this is hardly an exuse for the oligarchs who are ripping off the Russian national wealth. Russians might live much better with a fair distribution of wealth.
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  34. @AlexB
    С возвращением, Анатолий! Welcome back to Mother Russia!

    How do you find the urban environment of Moscow? There is a huge reconstruction of the central streets going under Sobyanin. https://www.mos.ru/city/projects/mystreet/ A great improvement in itself, but a small one against all those endless Soviet and post-Soviet depressing microdistricts. Urban problems are really huge in Russia and people start talking more and more about that. Afterall, now we have cars, every type of food, all kind of gadgets and really cheap and good Internet, but the problem is how to rebuild our cities into something more liveable and fitting best European standards.

    Any chance meeting you in Moscow? And are you going to make some public lectures or other interesting events?

    Many topics of your blog, like all that IQ-related stuff, are relatively unknown in Russia. And there is quite huge talk in Runet about the education problems in Russia: communist and leftist public worship "the world's best Soviet education", view the Unified State Exam as supreme evil and totally ignore the recent improvements Russia made in PISA and TIMSS.

    Thanks, that is much appreciated.

    I have not yet found time to explore Moscow much beyond my immediate area, so I can’t comment much about that yet.

    I do hope to organize some kind of meetup once I’m settled in. I’ll post all developements on the blog as well as my Russian language site which I’ll publicize in another couple of months. I’m also interested in making inroads into local “Alt Right” (e.g. SiP), nationalist, and futurist circles.

    There is a huge potential market for HBD/IQ ideas in Russia and considering the demographic-psychometric gradient between Russia and Central Asia, comparable in scale to that between the US and Mexico, they are arguably needed rather urgently.

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  35. @AP

    Or white, at least (are Caucasian faces typically distinguishable from Slavic faces)?
     
    In the same way that Greek faces are distinguishable from Polish ones.

    However Muslim Tatars from the Volga are often indistinguishable from Russians.

    That is correct.

    I wonder if in 2050 Moscow might actually have proportionally fewer Muslims than today, given that the large majority of Moscow’s Muslims are Central Asian temporary migrants, and that if Central Asia continues its rapid per capita GDP growth, by then the differential that provides the economic inventive for such migration may no longer exist.

    I’m not aware of Central Asia being particularly economically successful. Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan certainly are not. Uzbekistan isn’t doing badly, but is coming from a very low base. The gradient between Russia and Central Asia will probably remain very high.

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    • Replies: @AP

    I’m not aware of Central Asia being particularly economically successful.
     
    Kazakhstan is very successful. In 2015 its nominal per capita GDP ($10,511) surpassed Russia's ($9,202). In 1992 these numbers were $1,515 and $3,095, respectively.

    It is about 30% European (mostly Russian), however, and Kazakhs are the most Russified of the Central Asian peoples, so it isn't fully Central Asian.
    , @Jon0815

    I’m not aware of Central Asia being particularly economically successful. Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan certainly are not. Uzbekistan isn’t doing badly, but is coming from a very low base. The gradient between Russia and Central Asia will probably remain very high.
     
    It'll be interesting to see if Kyrgyzstan starts doing better, after joining Russia's customs union in 2015.

    Kazakhstan has of course already caught up to and surpassed Russia in per capita GDP. If trends continue it will be joined before long by Turkmenistan, whose PCGDP rose from 27% of Russia's in 1992, to 63% in 2015, and whose PCGDP growth rate from 2011-2015 averaged 9.1% (faster than China, and maybe the fastest in the world).

    Uzbekistan isn't as close to Russia's PCGDP as I thought, at only 23% in 2015 (although that's up from a post-Soviet low of 9% in 2007). But its PCGDP growth has averaged over 6% from 2011-2015, and it seems plausible that it could close the gap to at least 50% of Russia's by 2050.
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  36. @g2k
    Adjika actually means salt in whatever language it's a word in; Abkhaz I think. There's an expensive brand called Amtsa that's the closest to the stuff sold by babushkas in the south Caucasus.


    You should be looking for saperavi wine, though at the price points where wine from the rest of the world becomes OK, the Russian stuff is either blended with bulk bought French table wine or worse, made with grape concentrate from Iran and Turkey. They still don't grow enough of their own. I think Abaru Durso is good. How are the microbreweries?

    Thanks, I’ll make sure to try Amtsa out.

    I’ve tried saperavi a few times in the West. I can’t say I’m a fan.

    Incidentally, I did try Abrau Durso “Russian Champagne” brut a couple of days ago. It wasn’t entirely bad but I don’t see how you can call it brut.

    I’ve heard much better things about Russian microbreweries than their winemaking efforts, especially wrt to drier sorts.

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  37. @Erik Sieven
    "The bottom line is that Moskvabad might or might not become a reality by 2050"
    but in the end the central asian muslim region (not counting Afghanistan) is a region with a relatively low population and, much more important, sub replacement fertility as far as I know. So there is no real demographic pressure and danger coming from that region. The Caucasus region of course is another case. This is just a wild guess, but might it also be that central Asians - in contrast to muslim Caucasians - are not more aggressive, violent, criminal and terrorism-prone than native Russians? Maybe like the Hispanics in the USA?

    …but in the end the central asian muslim region (not counting Afghanistan) is a region with a relatively low population and, much more important, sub replacement fertility as far as I know.

    Jon0815 is correct – Central Asia is demographically vigorous, far more so in fact than anywhere in the Caucasus outside Chechnya.

    This is just a wild guess, but might it also be that central Asians – in contrast to muslim Caucasians – are not more aggressive, violent, criminal and terrorism-prone than native Russians? Maybe like the Hispanics in the USA?

    They are better than Chechens in that respect but that is not saying very much.

    There was a big scandal recently in which an Uzbek nanny cut off the head of the child she had been charged with looking after and spent 45 minutes walking the streets allah akbaring with the police too scared or stupefied to do anything about it. She has been declared mentally incompetent and deported to Uzbekistan. (Such are the joys of life in the Putinist Altreich /s).

    The Central Asians are relatively moderate (by Muslim standards) for now but whether that will also be the case in another generation is an open question. After all European Muslim immigrants were considerably saner back in the 1960s, now significant percentages of them admit to supporting Islamic State in opinion polls.

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    The Central Asians are relatively moderate (by Muslim standards) for now but whether that will also be the case in another generation is an open question. After all European Muslim immigrants were considerably saner back in the 1960s, now significant percentages of them admit to supporting Islamic State in opinion polls.
     
    Saudi funded mosques are one source of that.
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  38. @caesar
    It depends from which perspective, large parts of the russian GDP are consumed by oligarchs and other criminal organizations, so the leftovers for ordinary russians could be even less than the theoretical five fold difference to the west. Twofold is to Poland which has no natural resources while russia is the wealtiest country on earth in terms of natural resources. And comparing prices without comparing quality is meaningless, you may find that on the same quality standard Moskow is more expensive than any city in the west with the exception of London, New York and Zurich. The murder rate in Russia is 5-10 times greater than in the western EU or eastern EU.

    It depends from which perspective, large parts of the russian GDP are consumed by oligarchs and other criminal organizations, so the leftovers for ordinary russians could be even less than the theoretical five fold difference to the west.

    The statistical perspective, please. Any other is barely relevant.

    The Gini index of income inequality in Russia is at around 40, which is somewhat higher than the European average (25-35) but lower than that of the US and China (45) and incomparable to that of typical Latin America (60).

    Twofold is to Poland which has no natural resources while russia is the wealtiest country on earth in terms of natural resources.

    Poland gets gibsmedats from West Europeans that are in per capita terms comparable to Russia’s oil & gas earnings.

    And comparing prices without comparing quality is meaningless…

    A haircut is a haircut is a haircut in Moscow, Munich, or Manila.

    This doesn’t even always work in the West’s favor. For instance, much less fertilizer and pesticides are used in Russian agriculture, with the result that a lot of food is higher quality than what you get in countries with more “developed” agricultural sectors.

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  39. @JL
    I recommend trying the Lefkadia/Likuria wines. They're somewhat overpriced, but consistently quality, from a Russian producer in Krasnodar.

    Thanks for the rec.

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  40. @AP

    It depends from which perspective, large parts of the russian GDP are consumed by oligarchs and other criminal organizations, so the leftovers for ordinary russians could be even less than the theoretical five fold difference to the west.
     
    The Moscow island, with a population (thirteen million or so) about 1/4 of that of all of Poland, lives about as well as any Western country. Yes there is an elite that lives even better, but regular Muscovites are doing well. It isn't just 1% in gated enclaves vs. everyone else, as in the third world.

    Outside Moscow - better than Ukraine, worse than Poland. Probably comparable to Belarus.

    I was last in Russia in 2013, I don't know if there has been a general decline in regular living standards since then, though the people I know live about as well as they did before.


    And comparing prices without comparing quality is meaningless, you may find that on the same quality standard Moskow is more expensive than any city in the west with the exception of London, New York and Zurich
     
    Depends on what. One can easily find wonderful bakeries whose products surpass western ones in quality and are much cheaper. I always found nice Italian shoes to be cheaper in Moscow than in, say, anywhere in North America. Cheaper Russian-made stuff isn't terrible, either.

    The murder rate in Russia is 5-10 times greater than in the western EU or eastern EU.
     
    Correct. Highest among whites in the world. OTOH it's lower than what we from the USA are used to.

    I was last in Russia in 2013, I don’t know if there has been a general decline in regular living standards since then, though the people I know live about as well as they did before.

    That is correct.

    The recession hit the upper middle class and rich people hardest because most of them consume relatively more imports.

    Much of the rest of the population was unaffected, especially since there was hardly any rise in unemployment.

    The tiny but distinct class of people who source the bulk of their income from the West hit the jackpot.

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  41. @AP

    In reality, in addition to Moscow’s 12.3 million official residents, there are 1-2 unregistered/illegals. These are primarily from Central Asia. As such, the true share of the Slavs, I suspect, is more like 85%-90%, while the share of Central Asians is closer to 10%
     
    I find it hard to believe that only 5% of people living in Moscow are Caucasians (not only Muslims but also Georgians and Armenians). I'd guess it would be double that.

    The unofficial estimates of Armenians in Moscow, for example, are more realistic than the official figure:

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

    10% Central Asians, 10% Caucasians, plus some small % eastern Asians would leave a little under 80% Slavs in Moscow.

    On second thought you’re right, this is probably the case, though its harder to distinguish Caucasians from Slavs than Central Asians from Slavs, and the boundaries aren’t as clear (e.g. half-Armenians, like Sergey Lavrov).

    On paper (2010 Census), there are only 50K Jews in Moscow. In practice, many more people there have half- and quarter-Jewish roots (e.g. a quarter of the demshiza leadership; Zhirinovsky).

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    AK: User has made legal threats against me, and is consequently completely banned from my blog.
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  42. @Anatoly Karlin
    On second thought you're right, this is probably the case, though its harder to distinguish Caucasians from Slavs than Central Asians from Slavs, and the boundaries aren't as clear (e.g. half-Armenians, like Sergey Lavrov).

    On paper (2010 Census), there are only 50K Jews in Moscow. In practice, many more people there have half- and quarter-Jewish roots (e.g. a quarter of the demshiza leadership; Zhirinovsky).

    AK: User has made legal threats against me, and is consequently completely banned from my blog.

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  43. Jon0815 says:
    @AP

    However Central Asian migrants don’t have much impact on Russia’s demographics, aside from the migrants themselves
     
    Well, that's quite an impact.

    nearly all are temporary workers who will eventually return to Central Asia without settling and having children in Russia.
     
    What's the male/female breakdown for Central Asian migrants? The number of settlers vs. "temporary" workers is probably higher than nearly none.

    Well, that’s quite an impact.

    In Moscow, yes, but nationwide not so much. Out of a total Russian population of over 150 million (146.4 million permanent residents, plus illegals, guest workers, etc.), the estimated 4 million Central Asian migrants are no more than about 2.5% of the population.

    What’s the male/female breakdown for Central Asian migrants? The number of settlers vs. “temporary” workers is probably higher than nearly none.

    According to this link you directed me to earlier, there is a very large gender disparity, with males outnumbering females 2-1.

    http://migrant.ru/rossiya-kolichestvo-grazhdan-uzbekistana-sokrashhaetsya-chislo-priezzhix-iz-drugix-stran-regiona-ras

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    • Replies: @AP

    "What’s the male/female breakdown for Central Asian migrants? The number of settlers vs. “temporary” workers is probably higher than nearly none. "

    According to this link you directed me to earlier, there is a very large gender disparity, with males outnumbering females 2-1.

    http://migrant.ru/rossiya-kolichestvo-grazhdan-uzbekistana-sokrashhaetsya-chislo-priezzhix-iz-drugix-stran-regiona-ras
     
    Thank you - I was too busy to look that up again at the time I wrote my post. Certainly not every female central Asian migrant will stay in Russia, but if they all did (there being one female for two males) this would suggest that 2/3 of migrants would be couples settling down.

    Obviously this wouldn't be the case. But there are enough females for the number of permanent settlers from Central Asia to be more than next-to-nothing.
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  44. Max Payne says:

    Yes… the West has overtly inflated costs of living and provides less services for what you pay. Not only in civil affairs but in military too.

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  45. AP says:
    @Jon0815

    Well, that’s quite an impact.
     
    In Moscow, yes, but nationwide not so much. Out of a total Russian population of over 150 million (146.4 million permanent residents, plus illegals, guest workers, etc.), the estimated 4 million Central Asian migrants are no more than about 2.5% of the population.

    What’s the male/female breakdown for Central Asian migrants? The number of settlers vs. “temporary” workers is probably higher than nearly none.
     
    According to this link you directed me to earlier, there is a very large gender disparity, with males outnumbering females 2-1.

    http://migrant.ru/rossiya-kolichestvo-grazhdan-uzbekistana-sokrashhaetsya-chislo-priezzhix-iz-drugix-stran-regiona-ras

    “What’s the male/female breakdown for Central Asian migrants? The number of settlers vs. “temporary” workers is probably higher than nearly none. ”

    According to this link you directed me to earlier, there is a very large gender disparity, with males outnumbering females 2-1.

    http://migrant.ru/rossiya-kolichestvo-grazhdan-uzbekistana-sokrashhaetsya-chislo-priezzhix-iz-drugix-stran-regiona-ras

    Thank you – I was too busy to look that up again at the time I wrote my post. Certainly not every female central Asian migrant will stay in Russia, but if they all did (there being one female for two males) this would suggest that 2/3 of migrants would be couples settling down.

    Obviously this wouldn’t be the case. But there are enough females for the number of permanent settlers from Central Asia to be more than next-to-nothing.

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  46. AP says:
    @Anatoly Karlin
    That is correct.

    I wonder if in 2050 Moscow might actually have proportionally fewer Muslims than today, given that the large majority of Moscow’s Muslims are Central Asian temporary migrants, and that if Central Asia continues its rapid per capita GDP growth, by then the differential that provides the economic inventive for such migration may no longer exist.
     
    I'm not aware of Central Asia being particularly economically successful. Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan certainly are not. Uzbekistan isn't doing badly, but is coming from a very low base. The gradient between Russia and Central Asia will probably remain very high.

    I’m not aware of Central Asia being particularly economically successful.

    Kazakhstan is very successful. In 2015 its nominal per capita GDP ($10,511) surpassed Russia’s ($9,202). In 1992 these numbers were $1,515 and $3,095, respectively.

    It is about 30% European (mostly Russian), however, and Kazakhs are the most Russified of the Central Asian peoples, so it isn’t fully Central Asian.

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    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    Wasn't thinking of Kazakhstan (or Turkmenistan - also highly successful, exclusively on account of oil) since neither send many immigrants relative to Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan.
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  47. Some of the Georgian wines I’ve had in Crimea could have passed for a merlot. Never had anything really claret-like. The Georgians have this stuff made in clay amphorae which can be really good (but it is it’s own thing), or really bad, generally depending on how much money you spend.

    Also, Merry Christmas!

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  48. @AP

    I’m not aware of Central Asia being particularly economically successful.
     
    Kazakhstan is very successful. In 2015 its nominal per capita GDP ($10,511) surpassed Russia's ($9,202). In 1992 these numbers were $1,515 and $3,095, respectively.

    It is about 30% European (mostly Russian), however, and Kazakhs are the most Russified of the Central Asian peoples, so it isn't fully Central Asian.

    Wasn’t thinking of Kazakhstan (or Turkmenistan – also highly successful, exclusively on account of oil) since neither send many immigrants relative to Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan.

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  49. Jon0815 says:
    @Anatoly Karlin
    That is correct.

    I wonder if in 2050 Moscow might actually have proportionally fewer Muslims than today, given that the large majority of Moscow’s Muslims are Central Asian temporary migrants, and that if Central Asia continues its rapid per capita GDP growth, by then the differential that provides the economic inventive for such migration may no longer exist.
     
    I'm not aware of Central Asia being particularly economically successful. Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan certainly are not. Uzbekistan isn't doing badly, but is coming from a very low base. The gradient between Russia and Central Asia will probably remain very high.

    I’m not aware of Central Asia being particularly economically successful. Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan certainly are not. Uzbekistan isn’t doing badly, but is coming from a very low base. The gradient between Russia and Central Asia will probably remain very high.

    It’ll be interesting to see if Kyrgyzstan starts doing better, after joining Russia’s customs union in 2015.

    Kazakhstan has of course already caught up to and surpassed Russia in per capita GDP. If trends continue it will be joined before long by Turkmenistan, whose PCGDP rose from 27% of Russia’s in 1992, to 63% in 2015, and whose PCGDP growth rate from 2011-2015 averaged 9.1% (faster than China, and maybe the fastest in the world).

    Uzbekistan isn’t as close to Russia’s PCGDP as I thought, at only 23% in 2015 (although that’s up from a post-Soviet low of 9% in 2007). But its PCGDP growth has averaged over 6% from 2011-2015, and it seems plausible that it could close the gap to at least 50% of Russia’s by 2050.

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  50. b. says:
    @Glossy
    Salted cucumbers – the real deal, not the vinegar soaked abomination that passes for them in the Anglosphere

    I'm not a foody, so this has to be taken with some grains of salt ( :-) , but my favorite cucumber pickles are made by a Polish company named Vavel.

    tststs….still not doing your own pickles :D

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  51. @Betlo
    Knew that food and basic commodities were cheep in Russia, but never knew that they were so cheep. May I ask what do you pay for rent? What is counted as an good salary in Moscow?

    We were looking at a new, large. Nice and 2 story 4 bd penthouse apartment in a town of 100,000 for $95,000.

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  52. Poor Lyt says:
    1704522

    AK: User has made legal threats against me, and is consequently completely banned from my blog.

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  53. fnn says:
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  54. @Jon0815

    The bottom line is that Moskvabad might or might not become a reality by 2050″
    but in the end the central asian muslim region (not counting Afghanistan) is a region with a relatively low population and, much more important, sub replacement fertility as far as I know. So there is no real demographic pressure and danger coming from that region. The Caucasus region of course is another case.
     
    No, Central Asia has a fairly large population (66 million in 2014) and high fertility which so far is not declining much (oddly, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan are among the very few Muslim countries in the world, that actually have higher fertility today than ten years ago, although both have been flat for the past 5 years or so):

    Kazakhstan: 2.2 in 2004, 2.7 in 2014
    Kyrgyzstan: 2.6 in 2004, 3.2 in 2014
    Tajikistan: 3.6 in 2004, 3.5 in 2014
    Turkmenistan: 2.7 in 2004, 2.3 in 2014
    Uzbekistan: 2.6 in 2004, 2.2 in 2014

    Weighted for population, that gives Central Asia an average TFR of 2.6 in 2014, compared to 1.75 for Russia (2.0 for Russia's majority-Muslim regions, and 1.7 for Russia's majority-Slavic regions).

    However Central Asian migrants don't have much impact on Russia's demographics, aside from the migrants themselves, because nearly all are temporary workers who will eventually return to Central Asia without settling and having children in Russia.

    Chechnya still has high fertility, but it is falling quickly: From 3.45 in 2010 to 2.8 in 2015. The rest of the Caucasus region (Dagestan, Ingushetia) has fertility just slightly below replacement.

    “Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan are among the very few Muslim countries in the world”
    Egypt is another country which has shown such a trend. And as Egypt is a big country this is a really troubling development

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  55. @Anatoly Karlin

    In California I’m paying $80 for 98.5 Mbps download and 13 Mbps upload (I just benchmarked).
     
    I lived in a bad region for Internet access. Concast had a full monopoly there and exploited it.

    What’s the crime rate like?
     
    Moscow is actually pretty safe nowadays - homicide rate at 3.1/100k is lower than in NY with 3.9/100k, though that's still very high by West European standards.

    My cursory impression is that it is a lot less violent than it once was but there are lots of scams going on.

    Is there any southern city where the weather is much milder and the costs similar?
     
    Sochi would be the obvious choice, though prices - especially housing prices - are far higher after the Olympics buildup.

    Maybe Sevastopol (prices are higher than average for Russia due to the blockade but not overwhelmingly so. The bigger issue is that almost no foreign companies/organizations do business there. Even Steam is inaccessible there.)

    One downside to living in the regions, including the south, is that a ridiculous percentage of everything interesting in Russia is concentrated around Moscow.

    Recommendations on anywhere else to visit as a tourist, besides Moscow and Saint Petersburg, that are in the western part of the country? Would Koenigsberg / Kaliningrad have sites of interest for a tourist (I include local symphony, ballet, and pro hockey teams, all of which are of interest to us. Thanks for the help….

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    Crimea has no equal in the concentration of natural and historical sites (palaces, parks, ancient cities, scarlet lakes, mountains, caves ) http://aquatek-filips.livejournal.com/1288395.html

    From St. Petersburg it is interesting to visit to Ruskeala (the trip takes one day) http://img-fotki.yandex.ru/get/9059/137106206.362/0_c7850_5b5c23d5_orig.jpg

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  56. anon says: • Disclaimer
    @Anatoly Karlin

    ...but in the end the central asian muslim region (not counting Afghanistan) is a region with a relatively low population and, much more important, sub replacement fertility as far as I know.
     
    Jon0815 is correct - Central Asia is demographically vigorous, far more so in fact than anywhere in the Caucasus outside Chechnya.

    This is just a wild guess, but might it also be that central Asians – in contrast to muslim Caucasians – are not more aggressive, violent, criminal and terrorism-prone than native Russians? Maybe like the Hispanics in the USA?
     
    They are better than Chechens in that respect but that is not saying very much.

    There was a big scandal recently in which an Uzbek nanny cut off the head of the child she had been charged with looking after and spent 45 minutes walking the streets allah akbaring with the police too scared or stupefied to do anything about it. She has been declared mentally incompetent and deported to Uzbekistan. (Such are the joys of life in the Putinist Altreich /s).

    The Central Asians are relatively moderate (by Muslim standards) for now but whether that will also be the case in another generation is an open question. After all European Muslim immigrants were considerably saner back in the 1960s, now significant percentages of them admit to supporting Islamic State in opinion polls.

    The Central Asians are relatively moderate (by Muslim standards) for now but whether that will also be the case in another generation is an open question. After all European Muslim immigrants were considerably saner back in the 1960s, now significant percentages of them admit to supporting Islamic State in opinion polls.

    Saudi funded mosques are one source of that.

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  57. Comrade Anatoly

    The majority of us here at COMRADE UNZ REVIEW don’t want you and Comrade SmothieX1 to self-deport.

    Imagine if the 1965 Immigration Reform Act had not been passed…and America started importing Russians and Germans instead of Chinese…Koreans…Hindus…Mexicans…Nigerians….and Mohammad’s Gang Rape Army.

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    Europe is for Europeans, North America is a dumping ground for everyone.
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  58. melanf says:
    @IchSprecheKeinRussisch
    Recommendations on anywhere else to visit as a tourist, besides Moscow and Saint Petersburg, that are in the western part of the country? Would Koenigsberg / Kaliningrad have sites of interest for a tourist (I include local symphony, ballet, and pro hockey teams, all of which are of interest to us. Thanks for the help....

    Crimea has no equal in the concentration of natural and historical sites (palaces, parks, ancient cities, scarlet lakes, mountains, caves ) http://aquatek-filips.livejournal.com/1288395.html

    From St. Petersburg it is interesting to visit to Ruskeala (the trip takes one day)

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  59. 500 rubles for 72 mbps ? Someone robbed you, I got two providers in Peterburg for 100 rubles each, and they both faster than that. And 8 ping to Moscow server being in Moscow, wth. Always though Beeline trash, but never expect such low perfomance

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  60. @War for Blair Mountain
    Comrade Anatoly


    The majority of us here at COMRADE UNZ REVIEW don't want you and Comrade SmothieX1 to self-deport.

    Imagine if the 1965 Immigration Reform Act had not been passed...and America started importing Russians and Germans instead of Chinese...Koreans...Hindus...Mexicans...Nigerians....and Mohammad's Gang Rape Army.

    Europe is for Europeans, North America is a dumping ground for everyone.

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  61. Recently (August 2015) been to Moscow and Cheljabinsk.

    Moscow is living quite well, but not that much of an improvement from 2009 when I was there last.
    Cheljabinsk had massively improved compared to 2009. Nearly a different country.

    My understanding is that the 2nd tier cities which are not monotowns (so, Cheljabinsk, Novosibirsk, Ekatrinburg, Perm, Tyumen etc.) have been improving quite considerably.

    My aunt is a lieutenant colonel in the Cheljabinsk police, we actually drank a bit with some colleages of her, and then had a discussion on how to make Russian police less corrupt.
    We went at it with a “reverse problem” thing, so, think of how could Russias police be made more corrupt and then do the opposite of that?

    I suggested that Russian police could adopt the American practice of civil asset forfeiture (police claims that your stuff was used for something criminal and then seizes it. You have to prove that your stuff is innocent), and have police forces that only finance themselfs by what they seize and loot.

    The Policemen initially uniformly and totally disbelieved that this is a thing in the USA.
    “The Americans cant be that dumb!” “If this was a thing in Russia, everyone fucking citizen would be fucking shooting us with fucking chainsaws that are on fucking fire!” “Dont they have a bunch of guns in the US? How the fuck do you safely loot the stuff of someone who is armed and watching you loot his shit?” As well as “This is so fucking dumb, Russia today or whatever must have made that out of whole cloth” and finally “Why arent our professional “annoy the USA” persons using this to well, annoy the USA?”.

    It was pretty hard to find Russian sources on US civil asset forfeiture, but google translate managed it.

    Finally, the probably only one who was corrupt started to google how to get a greencard.

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    • Replies: @AP
    I had been to Chelyabinsk a few times in the early 2000s. Very pleasant place. Urals are like the Appalachians, but with pines and birches rather than deciduous trees; lots of nice lakes around. There were Chinese traders, which added an exotic touch to a mostly Russian city. It was interesting to see kids eating ice cream outside in January when the temperature was -20. It was dirt cheap when I was there.

    Anatoly, if you want to sample Russia outside the Moscow/St. Pete's bubble, make an excursion out here for a couple days. But go in late spring or summer.

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  62. JH73 says:

    The Russian Nationals in figure skating just happened in Chelyabinsk. Anatoly you should check out figure skating as it is quite cheap to attend and the Russian ladies look like they will dominate for a generation. Just an example of how competitive it is, the world champion from two years ago didn’t make the Russian European championship team and the only person to beat the current world champion (Evgenia Medvedeva) didn’t make the team either.

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  63. AP says:
    @Mightypeon
    Recently (August 2015) been to Moscow and Cheljabinsk.

    Moscow is living quite well, but not that much of an improvement from 2009 when I was there last.
    Cheljabinsk had massively improved compared to 2009. Nearly a different country.

    My understanding is that the 2nd tier cities which are not monotowns (so, Cheljabinsk, Novosibirsk, Ekatrinburg, Perm, Tyumen etc.) have been improving quite considerably.

    My aunt is a lieutenant colonel in the Cheljabinsk police, we actually drank a bit with some colleages of her, and then had a discussion on how to make Russian police less corrupt.
    We went at it with a "reverse problem" thing, so, think of how could Russias police be made more corrupt and then do the opposite of that?

    I suggested that Russian police could adopt the American practice of civil asset forfeiture (police claims that your stuff was used for something criminal and then seizes it. You have to prove that your stuff is innocent), and have police forces that only finance themselfs by what they seize and loot.

    The Policemen initially uniformly and totally disbelieved that this is a thing in the USA.
    "The Americans cant be that dumb!" "If this was a thing in Russia, everyone fucking citizen would be fucking shooting us with fucking chainsaws that are on fucking fire!" "Dont they have a bunch of guns in the US? How the fuck do you safely loot the stuff of someone who is armed and watching you loot his shit?" As well as "This is so fucking dumb, Russia today or whatever must have made that out of whole cloth" and finally "Why arent our professional "annoy the USA" persons using this to well, annoy the USA?".

    It was pretty hard to find Russian sources on US civil asset forfeiture, but google translate managed it.

    Finally, the probably only one who was corrupt started to google how to get a greencard.

    I had been to Chelyabinsk a few times in the early 2000s. Very pleasant place. Urals are like the Appalachians, but with pines and birches rather than deciduous trees; lots of nice lakes around. There were Chinese traders, which added an exotic touch to a mostly Russian city. It was interesting to see kids eating ice cream outside in January when the temperature was -20. It was dirt cheap when I was there.

    Anatoly, if you want to sample Russia outside the Moscow/St. Pete’s bubble, make an excursion out here for a couple days. But go in late spring or summer.

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    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    Thanks for the recommendation.

    I have been outside Moscow/SPB though primarily only as a tourist making the Golden Ring trip.

    The Urals are probably not the higher priority for me - no relatives or even acquaintances there.

    My current travel priorities within the ex-USSR sphere, based on a combination of interest + relatives/friends + not having been there, go something like:

    1. Moscow by itself is huge and lots of new things have popped up in the years since I was last there.
    2. Samara
    3. Velikiy Novgorod, perhaps Pskov
    4. Crimea
    5. The more prominent Volga cities like Kazan and N. Novgorod.
    6. The Caucasian ethnic republics. Chechnya is safer, but Dagestan represents more of a personal interest (+ far fewer Westerners have heard about it).
    7. A Trans-Siberian trip.
    8. Belarus
    9. The Central Asian states - Uzbekistan in particular.
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  64. @AP
    I had been to Chelyabinsk a few times in the early 2000s. Very pleasant place. Urals are like the Appalachians, but with pines and birches rather than deciduous trees; lots of nice lakes around. There were Chinese traders, which added an exotic touch to a mostly Russian city. It was interesting to see kids eating ice cream outside in January when the temperature was -20. It was dirt cheap when I was there.

    Anatoly, if you want to sample Russia outside the Moscow/St. Pete's bubble, make an excursion out here for a couple days. But go in late spring or summer.

    Thanks for the recommendation.

    I have been outside Moscow/SPB though primarily only as a tourist making the Golden Ring trip.

    The Urals are probably not the higher priority for me – no relatives or even acquaintances there.

    My current travel priorities within the ex-USSR sphere, based on a combination of interest + relatives/friends + not having been there, go something like:

    1. Moscow by itself is huge and lots of new things have popped up in the years since I was last there.
    2. Samara
    3. Velikiy Novgorod, perhaps Pskov
    4. Crimea
    5. The more prominent Volga cities like Kazan and N. Novgorod.
    6. The Caucasian ethnic republics. Chechnya is safer, but Dagestan represents more of a personal interest (+ far fewer Westerners have heard about it).
    7. A Trans-Siberian trip.
    8. Belarus
    9. The Central Asian states – Uzbekistan in particular.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov
    Try Baku, it will eclipse anything in Middle Asia, plus a warm nice sea and a cuisine to die for.
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  65. AP says:

    The Urals are probably not the higher priority for me – no relatives or even acquaintances there.

    It would be like visiting Russia’s Cleveland or Milwaukee or Pittsburgh (I won’t compare it to Detroit)…”real Russia.” Though Nizhny would do!

    I know many ex-Tashkenters and they all have mostly very + things to say about Uzbekistan.

    Given all the Ukraine-related issues you should try to visit Kiev and Lviv. You are intelligent and thoughtful about things (though not unbiased), but it would probably be a good idea to have actually been to a place you write about. I’ll be there this summer (hope to be in Moscow next New Year’s, it’s been too long).

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  66. Andrei Martyanov [AKA "SmoothieX12"] says: • Website
    @Anatoly Karlin
    Thanks for the recommendation.

    I have been outside Moscow/SPB though primarily only as a tourist making the Golden Ring trip.

    The Urals are probably not the higher priority for me - no relatives or even acquaintances there.

    My current travel priorities within the ex-USSR sphere, based on a combination of interest + relatives/friends + not having been there, go something like:

    1. Moscow by itself is huge and lots of new things have popped up in the years since I was last there.
    2. Samara
    3. Velikiy Novgorod, perhaps Pskov
    4. Crimea
    5. The more prominent Volga cities like Kazan and N. Novgorod.
    6. The Caucasian ethnic republics. Chechnya is safer, but Dagestan represents more of a personal interest (+ far fewer Westerners have heard about it).
    7. A Trans-Siberian trip.
    8. Belarus
    9. The Central Asian states - Uzbekistan in particular.

    Try Baku, it will eclipse anything in Middle Asia, plus a warm nice sea and a cuisine to die for.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AP
    Do you have any specific recommendations about what to see in Baku?
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  67. AP says:
    @Andrei Martyanov
    Try Baku, it will eclipse anything in Middle Asia, plus a warm nice sea and a cuisine to die for.

    Do you have any specific recommendations about what to see in Baku?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov

    Do you have any specific recommendations about what to see in Baku?
     
    1.Old City (fortress), Icheri Sheher--ancient town located right in the middle of modern Baku, a collection of architectural masterpieces of the age blended with a very modern artsy atmosphere.

    2. Obviously, the Gis Galasi (Maiden Tower)--a symbol of Baku.

    3. Some museums are really good, especially Carpets' Museum. A lot of history in general, from ancient trade routes going through Baku to Nobel times and industrialization of Soviet times.

    4. The city itself is stunning because unifies in itself several architectural styles from ancient to uber-modern, from Eastern to purely European. Promenade on famous Baku boulevard will give an impression of that.

    5. Cuisine. Just try it. From meats to pastries, believe me--you'll be glad you tried.

    6. In general, Absheron Peninsula has some interesting places to visit and if visitng in Summer--a variety of beaches will be at your disposal.

    7. Really good jazz in Baku.

    https://youtu.be/uyB5JBDRujI
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  68. Andrei Martyanov [AKA "SmoothieX12"] says: • Website
    @AP
    Do you have any specific recommendations about what to see in Baku?

    Do you have any specific recommendations about what to see in Baku?

    1.Old City (fortress), Icheri Sheher–ancient town located right in the middle of modern Baku, a collection of architectural masterpieces of the age blended with a very modern artsy atmosphere.

    2. Obviously, the Gis Galasi (Maiden Tower)–a symbol of Baku.

    3. Some museums are really good, especially Carpets’ Museum. A lot of history in general, from ancient trade routes going through Baku to Nobel times and industrialization of Soviet times.

    4. The city itself is stunning because unifies in itself several architectural styles from ancient to uber-modern, from Eastern to purely European. Promenade on famous Baku boulevard will give an impression of that.

    5. Cuisine. Just try it. From meats to pastries, believe me–you’ll be glad you tried.

    6. In general, Absheron Peninsula has some interesting places to visit and if visitng in Summer–a variety of beaches will be at your disposal.

    7. Really good jazz in Baku.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AP
    Thank you! I will certainly go here. Video is wonderful. It should be noted that Azeris are Shiites rather Sunnis - a big difference in terms of overall safety, I think.

    One of my classmates from university was a close nephew of Aliyev but we lost touch over the years.
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  69. AP says:
    @Andrei Martyanov

    Do you have any specific recommendations about what to see in Baku?
     
    1.Old City (fortress), Icheri Sheher--ancient town located right in the middle of modern Baku, a collection of architectural masterpieces of the age blended with a very modern artsy atmosphere.

    2. Obviously, the Gis Galasi (Maiden Tower)--a symbol of Baku.

    3. Some museums are really good, especially Carpets' Museum. A lot of history in general, from ancient trade routes going through Baku to Nobel times and industrialization of Soviet times.

    4. The city itself is stunning because unifies in itself several architectural styles from ancient to uber-modern, from Eastern to purely European. Promenade on famous Baku boulevard will give an impression of that.

    5. Cuisine. Just try it. From meats to pastries, believe me--you'll be glad you tried.

    6. In general, Absheron Peninsula has some interesting places to visit and if visitng in Summer--a variety of beaches will be at your disposal.

    7. Really good jazz in Baku.

    https://youtu.be/uyB5JBDRujI

    Thank you! I will certainly go here. Video is wonderful. It should be noted that Azeris are Shiites rather Sunnis – a big difference in terms of overall safety, I think.

    One of my classmates from university was a close nephew of Aliyev but we lost touch over the years.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov

    a big difference in terms of overall safety
     
    Baku is, generally, very safe. Couple of areas there, of course, still have a "reputation", but they were always like that in modern history, Soviet period included.
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  70. Andrei Martyanov [AKA "SmoothieX12"] says: • Website
    @AP
    Thank you! I will certainly go here. Video is wonderful. It should be noted that Azeris are Shiites rather Sunnis - a big difference in terms of overall safety, I think.

    One of my classmates from university was a close nephew of Aliyev but we lost touch over the years.

    a big difference in terms of overall safety

    Baku is, generally, very safe. Couple of areas there, of course, still have a “reputation”, but they were always like that in modern history, Soviet period included.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AP
    I suppose I'll find out myself, but one of my favorite drinks is Dagestani cognac. Do Azeris make similarly high quality cognac?
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  71. danvolodar says: • Website

    >However, I have yet to find a good Russian Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon. Any suggestions?

    I have no opinion of my own on such matters since I only drink dessert wine, but I’ve a Master of Wine review of Russian wines here: http://danvolodar.ru/files/Russian%20wines.pdf

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    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    Thanks a bunch, I will check this out.
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  72. @danvolodar
    >However, I have yet to find a good Russian Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon. Any suggestions?

    I have no opinion of my own on such matters since I only drink dessert wine, but I've a Master of Wine review of Russian wines here: http://danvolodar.ru/files/Russian%20wines.pdf

    Thanks a bunch, I will check this out.

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  73. AP says:
    @Andrei Martyanov

    a big difference in terms of overall safety
     
    Baku is, generally, very safe. Couple of areas there, of course, still have a "reputation", but they were always like that in modern history, Soviet period included.

    I suppose I’ll find out myself, but one of my favorite drinks is Dagestani cognac. Do Azeris make similarly high quality cognac?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov

    I suppose I’ll find out myself, but one of my favorite drinks is Dagestani cognac. Do Azeris make similarly high quality cognac?
     
    Yes.
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  74. Andrei Martyanov [AKA "SmoothieX12"] says: • Website
    @AP
    I suppose I'll find out myself, but one of my favorite drinks is Dagestani cognac. Do Azeris make similarly high quality cognac?

    I suppose I’ll find out myself, but one of my favorite drinks is Dagestani cognac. Do Azeris make similarly high quality cognac?

    Yes.

    Read More
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  75. Boris N says:

    The reasons why telecommunications are better/faster and cheaper in Russian than in USA/EU are following.
    1) The penetration of the broadband in the USA/EU started early, as early as 2000, I believe, and most of the comunications and equipment had been set by the mid, at least by the end of the 2000s. Back then 10 Mbps were very impressive. Since then it has not been upgraded and the infrastructure is at least ten years old by now. And most of it is comprised of cable and DSL which are worse than fiber.
    2) The internet providing business in the USA were monopolyzed throughout the last 110 or 15 years, so only several big players remain, who totally controll the market and can set prices whatever they want, while not caring about the quality. Peope simply have left with no choice. Either subscribe or do not use the broadband at all.

    In Russia, on the other hand:
    1) The boom of the broadband started at the end of the 2000s and the infrustructure is relatively new. They still continue to expand and as a result they use only new equipment. Russian providers use mostly fiber.
    2) Although the Russian internet provider market is dominated by few companies, it’s still less monopolized. As a result there are going a very tough competition, they have to constantly lower their prices and raise their speed to attract or entice new customers.

    Though it does not explain why countries like Japan and South Korea or the Netherlands, in spite of also having started early, have more the speediest and cheapest internet. 5% of the USA subcribers still have less then 2 Mbps, what a shame!

    http://www.oecd.org/sti/broadband/oecdbroadbandportal.htm

    Anatoly by the way, I’ll give you an idea for your next article(s), how about a research or a series of researches about internet across countries from the above stats?

    And to be frank, advertised speed may easily be bogus. My provider promises 100 Mbps, and speedtest.net confirms that, but actually using “Stats for nerds” (by right-clicking) at any Youtube video my actual speed is 27 Mbps

    http://www.mjbshaw.com/2013/05/test-your-youtube-internet-speed.html

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  76. Boris N says:
    @Betlo
    Knew that food and basic commodities were cheep in Russia, but never knew that they were so cheep. May I ask what do you pay for rent? What is counted as an good salary in Moscow?

    The median monthly salary in Russia in 2015 was RUR 25,000/$400, but much depends on the region: in Moscow RUR 47,000/$800, in the Moscow Oblast RUR 33,000/$550, in Belgorod, the most prosperous region in Central Russia after Moscow, RUR 22,000/$350. St.-Petersburg and the Northern regions with oil and gas are more like Moscow.

    http://www.gks.ru/free_doc/new_site/population/bednost/tabl/3-1-5.doc

    At the same time the median yearly salary in the USA in 2014 was $29,000 or $2,400 a month.

    http://www.cnbc.com/2015/10/20/the-average-american-made-446k-last-year.html

    So the rule of thumb is the 1 to 10 ratio. RUR 1,000 for a Russian is like $100 for an American and vice versa, it would cost them the same share of their salary. Or one could use the factor 6 or 7 (that is the exchange rate divided by 10) to compare. But the actual prices may vary. It does not seem for me at all that an average American can buy less than an average Russian.

    https://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/compare_cities.jsp?country1=Russia&country2=United+States&city1=Kazan&city2=Chicago%2C+IL

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  77. Boris N says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    May I ask what do you pay for rent?
     
    I don't rent so can't comment much on this.

    This site (http://www.irn.ru/) has a lot of the data. In general, I think a one room apartment in Moscow runs $500-$1,000 depending on location but don't quote me on this.

    What is counted as an good salary in Moscow?
     
    Probably around $2500 ($4000 before depreciation).

    What is counted as an good salary in Moscow?

    Probably around $2500 ($4000 before depreciation).

    $2,500 a month (or RUR 160,000) is rather an exceptional salary. The median in Moscow is $700-800. $2,250 is a mean for the upper 80th percentile. So if you make $2,500/month you are doing exceptionally well even for Moscow, for the province you are super rich.

    http://www.gks.ru/free_doc/new_site/population/bednost/tabl/tab-bed1-2-4.htm

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    • Replies: @Philip Owen
    I pay my PA/Translator R 25 000 a month. She was earning that as a stewardess on the Kaluga-Moscow train, including tips. The shift work was extremely demanding and job turnover very high. She did not have time to pursue better jobs. Anyway, the pay also included a company flat at the Kaluga end so she couldn't afford the Moscow salaries on offer. Back in Saratov her pay is big money for office staff, even ones who speak three foreign languages. My economist gets 35 000 and my Director 65 000, in Saratov.
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  78. Boris N says:
    @Glossy
    Probably around $2500 ($4000 before depreciation).

    I'd just like to say to anyone who might be confused that this is per month. Americans quote pay per hour (blue collar) or per annum (white collar). When Russians talk about earnings, it's always per month.

    Americans quote pay per hour (blue collar) or per annum (white collar). When Russians talk about earnings, it’s always per month.

    I always wondered why it’s such. Is it because Americans are used to file a tax return every year? But as I understand most Americans anyway get their paychecks every month or every two weeks. And it is more reasonable to estimate your family budget by month. As for blue collars the per-hour pay is more reasonable for part-time workers, for usual 9-to-5 workers they anyway work steady 40 hours a week.

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    • Replies: @Glossy
    I think almost everyone in America is paid every two weeks.

    Blue collar workers are more likely to be paid for overtime than white collar workers. If a construction worker does 2 hours of overtime, he can multiply his per hour rate by 2 to find out how much extra pay he'll get. Sometimes the overtime rate is 1.5 times the usual per hour rate, but that's also an easy calculation.

    When white collar workers spend 10 hours in the office instead of the standard 8, they don't normally receive any extra pay for it. So there's little reason for them to know what their per hour rate is.

    Why do many blue collar workers get overtime pay? There was a time when most of them belonged to labor unions. I think that was one of the things that unions won from management. Most of the private sector unions are gone now, but many of their achievements remain. Unions were never as common among office workers, which is probably a reason why office workers don't have paid overtime.
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  79. Boris N says:
    @Glossy
    Salted cucumbers – the real deal, not the vinegar soaked abomination that passes for them in the Anglosphere

    I'm not a foody, so this has to be taken with some grains of salt ( :-) , but my favorite cucumber pickles are made by a Polish company named Vavel.

    but my favorite cucumber pickles are made by a Polish company named Vavel.

    In Russia pickles are mostly imported from the SEA, I consider the Vietnamese ones to be the most palatable.

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  80. Boris N says:
    @dmitriev
    "Twofold is to Poland which has no natural resources while russia is the wealtiest country on earth in terms of natural resources."

    Poland has "no" natural resources, but Russia assumed (and paid off) the entire foreign debt of the USSR, while Poland had most of its debt written off in the early 90s. So the "starting conditions" in the early 90s were far from equal in a major macroeconomic aspect. This is on top of the fact that, for decades, resources of the RSFSR had been systematically diverted to support other union republics, as well as many foreign countries.

    Also, if you want to talk about Russia's natural resources, you should look at the amount of natural resources produced relative to the population size. For example, Saudi Arabia produces about as much oil as Russia does, but its population (despite explosive population growth rates) is still only about 30 million, compared to Russia's 145 million. Another example: Norway is a major oil and gas producer, but it's population is only about 5 million.

    In Russia most resources are located in the faraway regions with permanent frost and 9-month winter, one must invest much, much more, than in Saudia or Norway to extract and deliver natural resources to the consumer.

    Though, of course, this is hardly an exuse for the oligarchs who are ripping off the Russian national wealth. Russians might live much better with a fair distribution of wealth.

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  81. @Boris N


    What is counted as an good salary in Moscow?
     
    Probably around $2500 ($4000 before depreciation).
     
    $2,500 a month (or RUR 160,000) is rather an exceptional salary. The median in Moscow is $700-800. $2,250 is a mean for the upper 80th percentile. So if you make $2,500/month you are doing exceptionally well even for Moscow, for the province you are super rich.
    http://www.gks.ru/free_doc/new_site/population/bednost/tabl/tab-bed1-2-4.htm

    I pay my PA/Translator R 25 000 a month. She was earning that as a stewardess on the Kaluga-Moscow train, including tips. The shift work was extremely demanding and job turnover very high. She did not have time to pursue better jobs. Anyway, the pay also included a company flat at the Kaluga end so she couldn’t afford the Moscow salaries on offer. Back in Saratov her pay is big money for office staff, even ones who speak three foreign languages. My economist gets 35 000 and my Director 65 000, in Saratov.

    Read More
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  82. Glossy says: • Website
    @Boris N

    Americans quote pay per hour (blue collar) or per annum (white collar). When Russians talk about earnings, it’s always per month.
     
    I always wondered why it's such. Is it because Americans are used to file a tax return every year? But as I understand most Americans anyway get their paychecks every month or every two weeks. And it is more reasonable to estimate your family budget by month. As for blue collars the per-hour pay is more reasonable for part-time workers, for usual 9-to-5 workers they anyway work steady 40 hours a week.

    I think almost everyone in America is paid every two weeks.

    Blue collar workers are more likely to be paid for overtime than white collar workers. If a construction worker does 2 hours of overtime, he can multiply his per hour rate by 2 to find out how much extra pay he’ll get. Sometimes the overtime rate is 1.5 times the usual per hour rate, but that’s also an easy calculation.

    When white collar workers spend 10 hours in the office instead of the standard 8, they don’t normally receive any extra pay for it. So there’s little reason for them to know what their per hour rate is.

    Why do many blue collar workers get overtime pay? There was a time when most of them belonged to labor unions. I think that was one of the things that unions won from management. Most of the private sector unions are gone now, but many of their achievements remain. Unions were never as common among office workers, which is probably a reason why office workers don’t have paid overtime.

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  83. […] Anatoly’s objective is to provide a balanced and accurate portrayal of Russia Anatoly’s observations on how Moscow and Russia have changed since he was last there a decade ago How Moscow has become both more civil but also more diverse, […]

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