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This week’s open thread. I am going to Volokolamsk again today – so there’ll probably be an update. 🙂 I will be staying for a day at the Joseph-Volokolamsk Monastery, will also try to swing by the New Jerusalem Monastery in Istra on my way back.

***

@ak

More notable posts since the last Open Thread in case you missed any of them.

***

Featured

  • Epstein chokes on pizza.
    • Michael Tracey: “The popular media definition of “conspiracy theories” is incoherent. They’ve spent three years pushing a debunked Trump/Russia conspiracy, but now will try to denigrate anyone who suggests a sinister explanation for the suspicious, sudden death of Epstein as a crazy conspiracist
    • NBC: “A guy who had information that would have destroyed rich and powerful men’s lives ends up dead in his jail cell. How predictably…Russian.
    • Jim Hoft: “What Censorship? Twitter Removes #ClintonBodyCount with 84,000 Mentions from Trending List After Epstein Death – Replaces with Trump, Barr Hashtags
  • 1 year bond yields <0% throughout Europe

***

Russia

  • The recent US sanctions: Worth noting US only sanctioned foreign currency denominated Russian debt (which Russia hardly issues), not ruble-denominated OFZs.Many US funds invested into OFZ (foreigners make up ~30% of holders) so probably their lobbying at work.
  • Insomniac Resurrected: Myrotvorets Confirms Georgians Piss in the Wine
  • Post of a Russian nationalist oppositionist – his friend suggested the protesters wear St. George’s ribbons, to which the libs replied, “Why not also smear yourself in shit? Or put on a swastika? It’s horrific to just pick it up, never mind to wear it.”
  • Ivan Tkachev: “In Q1 $6.3bn of Russian exports to China was settled in dollars, CBR data imply, while exports of oil and oil products totaled $9bn. This means a large chunk of petroleum exports was settled in currencies other than USD. For the 1st time USD share of 🇷🇺 exports to 🇨🇳 went < 50%.
  • Female protester “melts down.”
  • Ben Aris: “#Ukraine poultry producer is ending its production of foie gras as part of its efforts to improve its #ESG score. ESG is becoming a theme across whole region
    • Is it even possible to avoid the infiltration of Woke Capitalism without going full autarky?
  • Anders Aslund: “The broader implication of Russia’s rising reserves is that Putin prepares for war rather than taking care of his people. The additional reserves imply less investment & GDP growth. Bad for Russia.
    • Is Aslund… Even half sane these days? If you’re actually preparing for war, you’d be drawing down reserves to import foreign resources & capital. What use are they once war starts? Nazi Germany maintained reserves of just two weeks worth of imports from the late 1930s.
  • RT: Russia declares Atlantic Council think tank an ‘undesirable’ organization – what exactly is it?
  • Remember that brouhaha over Putler’s lesbocide a few weeeks ago? Turns out that Elena Grigoryeva’s murderer was a 38 y/o immigrant from Kyrgyzstan with an existing criminal record who killed her in a “domestic conflict” after drinking spirits.

***

World

  • Paul Poast (powerful surname): “But I found one point by @sarahsunnbush to be particularly revelatory: that the coding, regardless of the coding rule, is not consistently applied — US allies tend to receive better scores.
    • Study confirms what I have long claimed – US based “freedom”/”democracy” indices biased in favor of Washington D.C.’s friends & vassals.
  • Steve Hsu on France’s atomic program:
    • De Gaulle: It’s taking forever! … I want the first experiment to take place before I leave! Do you hear me? It’s of capital importance. Of the five nuclear powers, are we going to be the only one which hasn’t made it to the thermonuclear level? Are we going to let the Chinese get ahead of us? If we do not succeed while I am still here, we shall never make it! My successors, from whatever side, will not dare to go against the protests of the Anglo-Saxons, the communists, the old spinsters and the Church. And we shall not open the gate. But if a first explosion happens, my successors will not dare to stop halfway into the development of these weapons.
    • Atomophilia is like a Rorschach test for patriotism.

***

Coffee Salon

***

Culture War

  • Steve Sailer: “Dept. of Strange Bedfellows Squared: Now @yhazony is teaming up with @nntaleb in teaming up with low-brow Science Denialist @AngelaDSaini.
    • Hazony: “Read this important exchange between @clairlemon and @nntaleb . Ignore the rhetoric and follow the argument. Academic papers on population genetics are fueling the rise of a political theory based on racial determinism. Academic freedom isn’t at all the only pressing issue here.
      • Taleb: “Behavioral genetics is largely an intellectual fraud. Resisting promoting them, @clairlemon , even if you like their message.
  • Leonid Bershidsky blocks me on Twitter – looks like he is really attached to his idea that PUTLER dragged Russians into Crimea against their will. A journalist frand suggests this is a touchy topic for Bershidsky – he used Crimea as his excuse to get out of Russia – but his career hasn’t taken off as he perhaps had hoped it would in the West (went from chief editorship of large Russia media sites to a Bloomberg columnist).
  • *powerful take* The German infinity mirror
 
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  1. This is the current Open Thread, where anything goes – within reason.

    If you are new to my work, start here.

  2. 1 year bond yields <0% throughout Europe…

    I used most of my savings to buy gold in the autumn of 2018 (precisely at the low point before the takeoff) and I feel really smart right now.

  3. Mikhail says: • Website

    A journalist frand suggests this is a touchy topic for Bershidsky – he used Crimea as his excuse to get out of Russia – but his career hasn’t taken off as he perhaps had hoped it would in the West (went from chief editorship of large Russia media sites to a Bloomberg columnist).

    Sheer BS on the part of Bershidsky as I noted from the get go. Yavlinsky is on record for not being in support of Crimea’s reunification with Russia. Yet, Yavlinsky remains in Russia, while seeking the Russian presidency.

    JRL/Bloomberg propped Bershidsky is overrated. Related:

    https://www.eurasiareview.com/12102017-slanting-against-russia-a-us-establishment-pastime-analysis/

    https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2017/10/11/slanting-against-russia-us-establishment-pastime/

    NBC: “A guy who had information that would have destroyed rich and powerful men’s lives ends up dead in his jail cell. How predictably…Russian.“

    To be expected from “Morning Joe”. Related:

    https://www.eurasiareview.com/13022017-bashing-trump-over-his-russia-related-comments-analysis/

    https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2017/02/12/bashing-trump-over-russia-related-comments/

  4. Mikhail says: • Website

    A prime example of US establishment realism:

    https://nationalinterest.org/feature/delusions-about-russia-72321

    Russia is a dangerous adversary.

    Start the article off with a tabloid bit that will not be opposed by neocons and neolibs. In so many words Simes had been called soft on Russia by establishment hack Natasha Bertrand (who JRL promoted “Yalensis” has called a “whore”):

    https://eastwestaccord.com/paul-r-grenier-on-natasha-bertrands-mccarthyite-hit-piece/

  5. @Spisarevski

    Don’t get complacent.

    I don’t mean about gold in particular, but your investing behavior generally.

    Success in investing is dangerous.

    • Replies: @Spisarevski
  6. @Thorfinnsson

    Thanks, but I have zero confidence that I know enough to actually invest (in stocks, etc) and gold is the only exception – I think that it will always go up in the long term, the safest and most conservative option that will always have real value at least until asteroid mining takes off.

    As an American businessman you certainly have a different perspective, but for me a as a 2nd world salaryman who saw his parents’ savings disappear overnight due to hyperinflation and bank closures in the 90s, the height of my ambition is to protect my hard earned savings from inflation and unexpected economic crashes/currency devaluation.

    Interest on bank deposits here is less than 1% (usually significantly less) while the inflation rate is around 3%, so even if one trusts the stability of the financial system, just keeping money in the bank means they will slowly melt away without even being spent.

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  7. Superficial observations from a recent visit to Ukraine

    Kiev

    Mostly I was busy with work and only stayed for a few days, so spent much of my time in the one neighborhood where I was staying.

    At least two things stood out. First, while I heard almost no one speaking Ukrainian, all signs were in Ukrainian. Second, cashiers, security guards, concierges, and taxi drivers seemed too intelligent and too good looking for their jobs.

    Much of the center, especially the area around the Bessarabsky Rynok, is polluted by the worst kind of materialism. In particular, not only were there a number of prominently advertised places where the naked ladies dance, there were in fact a number of not so subtly disguised whorehouses.

    Still, the city has a number of lovely green spaces, and some grand historical buildings, many in poor repair, but some, like the Lavra, lovingly taken care of. I hope to go back soon.

    Small town

    My parents-in-law were born and reared, and my wife was born, in a small regional center about half-way between Poltava and Kursk. Recently, we visited my wife’s relatives there, for the first time in many years. The relatives speak Ukrainian among themselves and spoke Russian to me. To be honest, I found the Ukrainian language, at least as spoken in this small town, rather unattractive, but my wife has warm feelings about it.

    Not much has really changed since last time we visited, but the shops have more to offer, the center of town is fairly tidy, with a well-tended square, and across the street is a new, large schismatic church. Where did the raskolniki get the money and such centrally placed land? No one could tell me, since my wife’s relatives won’t touch the place with a ten-foot pole. For generations they have been baptized, married, and buried in the canonical church, which is further down the road, in the fields. There’s also a small “house of prayer”, which the relatives characterized as “baptist”.

    In Soviet times, there were various local factories in town, which are now mostly gone. The main employers now seem to be the regional hospital and local government. All of my wife’s female cousins work as lab technicians or nurses in the hospital. Her male cousin is a king among proles, welding, drilling wells, installing heating systems. It seems he was always technically minded, his mother telling proudly how as a teenager he built his own snow-mobile with parts scavenged from the kolkhoz. His two sons seem likely to settle in the nearest city, one of them working as a programmer and the other studying engineering.

    Politics didn’t come up much. One babushka watches too much television and gave me an earful about Putin and how she’s glad that America is now friends with Ukraine. I didn’t have the heart to tell her the truth about that latter relationship. Others were rather more circumspect and more concerned about immediate concerns, such as the lack of opportunities for young people.

    Everyone has a large vegetable garden and raises various animals– chickens, ducks, goats, pigs. It seems to keep people sane.

    All in all, I suspect that there is some truth in the stereotype of southern Russians and Ukrainians as a bit less intelligent but more stable and based than their northern cousins. Life goes on and maybe they’ll eventually get themselves sorted.

    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin
    • Replies: @Dmitry
  8. @Spisarevski

    The long-term record of gold is that it maintains its purchasing power rather than growing in value. In the “short” term (which for gold can be decades), it has considerable volatility which is influenced by the commodity cycle, inflation expectations, and geopolitical issues. Gold also pays no interest or dividends.

    You’re correct that I’m not capable of offering financial advice specific to the context of a Bulgarian salaryman. I have no opinion on the prospects of your country’s currency and do not know which assets are available to invest in.

    And yes, obviously with current real interest rates bank deposits are not very attractive.

    • Replies: @IM
    , @Gerard2
  9. @Spisarevski

    I can understand your attraction to gold and your logical fear of fiat government currency losing most of its value quickly in a crisis. But using most of your savings to buy any one type of investment or commodity, or any one property, is an unwise risk to take.

    Diversification actually does make sense.

    Perhaps look into relatively uncomplicated investments, IN ADDITION TO stocks and bonds, that have a proven track record. For example, if these options are available in your country: a real estate investment trust (REIT) such as FundRise, or a peer-to-peer lending outfit like Prosper or LendingClub.

    And what about good old fashioned residential rental property? If you can hire a good, reliable property manager or deal with the hassles of tenants, repairs, and the like yourself.

    Good luck and God bless you.

  10. @Spisarevski

    What would be smart is selling enough of that gold to recoup your original investment (adjusted upwards for inflation in the ensuing years). The rest is “gravy” and can more readily be risked.

  11. Dmitry says:
    @The Big Red Scary

    only were there a number of prominently advertised places where the naked ladies dance, there were in fact a number of not so subtly disguised whoreh

    It’s similar culture shock for me as well, after living some months in Western Europe, to visit my home city, and see giant billboards advertising brothels this summer, displaying in the main shopping street.

    The only similar thing (billboards for the brothels in the center of the city) in Western Europe exists probably in Spain, Netherlands and Germany (maybe there are other countries?).

    In countries like UK and Ireland, it’s not like this. I guess in America it be the main story in Fox News if that happened (outside Las Vegas).

    • Replies: @The Big Red Scary
  12. @Dmitry

    my home city

    You are from St. Petersburg? Upon visiting the imperial capital for the first time a few years ago, I was unpleasantly surprised to find the phone numbers of whores spray-painted on the side walks. Surely there’s no shortage of whores in Moscow, but at least nowadays they are not advertised so prominently.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  13. Dmitry says:

    Russian tourism to Georgia falls in July, year on year – but probably not to the extent that is hyped or predicted by the media.

    Number of Russian tourists in Georgia in July falls 6.4% compared with the same period last year

    July 2018, 169,000 tourists visit Georgia from Russia.

    July 2019, around 159,000 tourists visit Georgia Russia.

    https://ria.ru/20190805/1557170765.html

    However, probably ceteris paribus, compared to theoretical July 2019 without the flight banning – fall is much sharper (as tourism to Georgia was becoming more fashionable this year, otherwise).

    Also we have only one month of data, and flight ban only becomes operative in July 8.

  14. Dmitry says:
    @The Big Red Scary

    Lol I’m not from Saint Petersburg, sadly, and do not know that city much.

    I visited Peter for an extra day last month though (because of my flight arrangement), and that city is doing very well, and I didn’t remember seeing any giant billboards for whores there.

    But in the city where my parents’ live, we have some impressive advertising billboards for the “massages” in the center.

    • Replies: @The Big Red Scary
  15. IM says:

    Sorry i should have posted this here, anyway it looks like somebody’s putting some effort in.

    http://www.anime1.com/watch/dumbbell-nan-kilo-moteru/episode-6

    You kind of have to watch the whole thing to understand.

    Sorry if anime’s not really your thing.

  16. Matra says:
    @Spisarevski

    I started buying gold in 2001 when it was under $400. But I stopped, in part, because being constantly made fun of by normie relatives and friends I started to think I was losing the plot and going crazy. Never listen to normies. They know nothing.

    • Agree: Spisarevski
    • Replies: @silviosilver
    , @Dmitry
  17. IM says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    Actually it’s possible to get interest rates of approximately 2% on deposits of gold depending on where you are last time i checked. That’s basically the swap rate for gold when trading.

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson

  18. Why is it that Finno-Ugric peoples, such as the Sami, Nenets, etc. tend to have much higher average IQs than the indigenous Siberians further east such as the Altai and Buryats? They seem to live in fairly similar environments, so one would think they would have similar average IQs. What sort of selection pressures might have led to this IQ difference?

  19. @Dmitry

    I don’t recall large billboards in Peter, just many, many smaller advertisements, which I don’t notice in Moscow. Maybe they are there and I just don’t spend time in those parts of Moscow.

    But I’m surprised this is a problem outside of St. Petersburg, though, since I imagined that whores advertise mostly to tourists and that certain locals know where to find them when they want them.

    With respect to prostitution, my goal is conservative (minimize it as a social ill) and my method liberal (it’s an empirical question whether regulation is more effective with fewer unintended consequences than criminalization). But at the very least, there’s just no damn reason why a city should tolerate having its public face disfigured by such advertisements.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
    , @Philip Owen
  20. @ImmortalRationalist

    The same argument can be made for Mongolians. Mongolia has an average IQ of ~101, yet the Tuva Republic bordering it the the north has a lower average IQ by almost a full standard deviation.

  21. @IM

    Gold forwards have credit risk.

  22. Dmitry says:
    @The Big Red Scary

    certain locals know where to find them when they want them.

    Principle will be surely same as for a supermarket.

    Need more customers? – make a large billboard in the part of the city, where the most people can see it. I.e. streets with the most pedestrian and automobile traffic.

    I imagined that whores advertise mostly to tourists

    I don’t know anything about the legal framework, or what is the law in general.

    But I guess it’s more in cities with the most tourists (like Peter, as you say), that authorities will be more strict about banning unaesthetic types of advertising. Image and aesthetics in general is enforced much more in cities which are visited by tourists.

    Whenever I read people complaining about “too many tourists”… I wonder if they don’t realize the many little benefits of being a place more visited by tourism.

    at the very least, there’s just no damn reason why a city should tolerate having its public face disfigured by such advertisements.

    It’s not very good for the city image, and now school children are walking under giant billboards for a “massage spa” .

    I wonder what the regulation would be to stop billboards.

    Of course, banning whores themselves in Russia – is about as likely to occur as banning pasta in Italy.

    But cities should be selecting what type of advertising is allowed, especially for billboards (which are part of public space and aesthetics of the city).

    • Replies: @Hyperborean
  23. Dan Hayes says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    Thorfinnson:

    Marco the quintessential Neo Con! What has this country done to deserve such a retarded neotard?

    • Agree: Mikhail
  24. @Matra

    Seasoned investors tend to rely on normie opinions as contrarian indicators. In 2011, I was at a balcony section of a bar which didn’t permit drinks being taken onto it. I got into a conversation with a guy who was feeling rather smart because he’d managed to sneak a drink out. Somehow we got on the topic of investments (I think he was just eager to share his ‘wisdom’). This guy was assuring me silver was going to the moon, and that if I didn’t get in now, I was going to miss out. It’s uncanny that someone so smug was able to proffer this advice at virtually the exact top.

    Anyway, a couple of things for you to consider before you beat yourself up for listening to normies. Do you really think you would have held on all the way to $1800 or whatever? Or do you think you might banked your winnings a bit earlier? On what basis would you decide? What if it had fallen to $250, $200, $150? At what point would you have taken a loss? Again, on what basis? There is a lot more involved in making money in investing than just being right on a directional call (which there is little evidence anyone can do with any great consistency anyway).

  25. melanf says:
    @ImmortalRationalist

    Why is it that Finno-Ugric peoples, such as the Sami, Nenets, etc. tend to have much higher average IQs than the indigenous Siberians further east such as the Altai and Buryats?

    Sami and Nenets make up a very small part of the population (in the regions where they live), on this their IQ can not be estimated on this map (map of average IQ of russian regions).

    • Replies: @ImmortalRationalist
  26. Anonymous[157] • Disclaimer says:

    Wow, amazing animation: Population growth from 10,000 BCE to today.Credit: @RARohde pic.twitter.com/SLjjww0eK9— Steve Stewart-Williams (@SteveStuWill) August 9, 2019

  27. @Thorfinnsson

    I think Marco Rubio has already betrayed their strategy on this.

    They are going to blame this whole Jeffrey Epstein scandal on Russia lol. They are also going to do the same with Pizzagate and every single other conspiracy lulz. Considering the whole “Russia interference” thing has actually worked on many brainwashed normies, I think this angle of the Jeffrey Epstein drama being “Russian interference” could work.

  28. @Dmitry

    Prostitution is illegal in China, yet in Beijing and Tianjin I see constantly little stickers plastered on the streets and walls with phone numbers to call (and a “handy” picture to help catch the attention). I even encountered a small paper advertising services hanging on the door when I was coming home one day.

    Prostitution is not surprising (though there are no open street signs, once I got used to it I can usually guess which women on the street or inside a building are whores).

    But usually people just write phone numbers on the walls for things like changing keys for doors or acquiring a fake degree.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  29. What I really wanted to discuss was not whores, but Ukraine. I guess I wasn’t inflammatory enough.

    Here’s a joke I heard in the village:

    An invading German soldier captures three fleeing peasants:

    German to the 1st peasant: What are you?

    1st peasant: Russian.

    The German shoots him dead.

    German to the 2nd peasant: And what are you?

    2nd peasant: Ukrainian.

    German: You can live… for now.

    German to the 3rd peasant: And you?

    3rd peasant: Rusyn.

    German: What in the hell is that?

    3rd peasant: Like that khokhol there. But wild.

    • Replies: @TheTotallyAnonymous
    , @AP
  30. Nodwink says:

    an interesting blog post from Peter Frost

  31. @The Big Red Scary

    I would’ve put a lol on your joke, but this was literally the first time in my life that I had ever heard of Rusyns. It turns out they are actually the people that I originally thought were pro-Russian Ruthenians or Ukranians in the Carpathians and Galicia. Their numbers are small and they are literally borderline irrelevant. Still, a nice and desirable ethnic minority to have in your country compared to most other groups out of a large number of possible ethnic/racial groups on the whole planet.

    • Replies: @The Big Red Scary
  32. @TheTotallyAnonymous

    pro-Russian Ruthenians or Ukranians in the Carpathians and Galicia.

    I think that’s approximately correct. So far as I can tell, there used to be, and to some extent still are, many finer distinctions among the East Slavic speaking peoples of Carpathia– Boykos, Hutsuls, Lemkos,…. Which is what you expect with mountain folk. I can’t keep track of all the kinds of Caucasians, for example.

  33. AP says:
    @The Big Red Scary

    Welcome back!

    Some of the Russian posters here insist that Ukraine is in freefall, collapsing, another Somalia.

    It’s wonderful that you have miraculously made it out alive.

    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
  34. It seems that Ukraine has essentially the same major problems as Russia, demographic decline and corruption, but apparently even worse. I’ve heard from a number of Anglo-Saxon businessmen who do business in both Ukraine and Russia that the Ukraine is much more corrupt in their experience. And my wife’s relatives claimed that around fifty percent of young Ukrainians go abroad to find work.

    That said, Ukraine is much more like Russia than Somalia, and I don’t see Ukrainian problems as insurmountable. Probably Ukraine needs a silovik rather than a comedian to cut some kind of deal with both the local bandits and the Russians so that life can stabilize.

    In the grand scheme of history, even villagers in Ukraine have it pretty good. The worst case is, I suppose, that they’ll just muddle along, with normal, decent, relatively intelligent people continuing to make ends meet by living out of their gardens.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  35. Dmitry says:
    @The Big Red Scary

    Ukraine needs political stability now, and then incremental improvements in their legal system, trade position, etc.

    There won’t be any economic miracle (they don’t have resources like oil or gas). But considering their geographical position next to rapidly growing economies of the EU, they should have economic growth until they reach middle income level at least in the 2030s.

    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
  36. Dmitry says:
    @Hyperborean

    I think it’s best when they keep it like that and not more mainstream (small stickers on the phone box).

    When there are giant billboards for the “massage spa” in main road of the city where my parents live, then even I feel capitalism is going too far (although I know it’s similar or worse even in “civilized” Germany/Spain/Netherlands).

    • Replies: @Hyperborean
  37. Dmitry says:
    @Matra

    But you surely would have got more profit if you had invested in an index fund tracking S&P or Nasdaq, which has increased by larger amounts in the same time?

    So your friends were probably right, if they told you to invest in that kind of fund.

  38. @Dmitry

    When there are giant billboards for the “massage spa” in main road of the city where my parents live, then even I feel capitalism is going too far (although I know it’s similar or worse even in “civilized” Germany/Spain/Netherlands).

    Interestingly, in Sweden, which is a permissive and yet strongly moralistic society at the time, due to the strong belief in gender equality they have a different policy:

    The laws on prostitution in Sweden make it illegal to buy sex, but not to sell the use of one’s own body for such services. Procuring and operating a brothel remain illegal. The criminalization of the purchase of sex, but not the selling of one’s own body for sex, was unique when first enacted in Sweden in 1999. Since then, this “Nordic model” for sex trade legislation has been adopted in several other nations.

    • Replies: @The Big Red Scary
    , @Dmitry
  39. @Hyperborean

    “Nordic model”

    It’s an empirical question, but it seems this might be the unique thing that contemporary feminists have got right.

    • Replies: @Hyperborean
    , @Dmitry
  40. @The Big Red Scary

    It’s an empirical question, but it seems this might be the unique thing that contemporary feminists have got right.

    Well, I have the impression that feminists in Sweden take the equality between men and women somewhat more literally than in other countries.

    Child custody in Sweden upon divorce is shared automatically and there is a big cultural push to have fathers take out paternity leave at the same amount as mothers take out maternity leave.

    Then there are the quotas and incentives to have not just more females in traditionally male occupations and subjects but also more males in traditionally female occupations and subjects (one of my junior high school teachers was once incentivised because he studied a subject which had a female imbalance).

    Their policies don’t always have the desired effect but it is an indication of their mindset.

    Interestingly, I found an anecdote confirming Swedish Family’s comment that learning a country’s language nudges one towards absorbing their ideology:

    Another paper studying six Iranian divorcees who had arrived in Sweden still married found that men adjusted more slowly to new gender norms than women did. One male interviewee whose wife had left him told interviewers that she started changing once she began attending Swedish for Foreigners, a class in which immigrants learn the local language and customs. “She started behaving like a rival or business partner, trying to confirm her share in everything,” he told an interviewer. Another Iranian immigrant told interviewers that she and her husband started fighting when she began making more money than he did in Sweden, and asked him to start contributing equally in terms of childcare and other household duties, but he refused. “The change in power relations can intensify the problems in bad relationships,” Darvishpour said.

    https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2018/02/when-divorce-is-an-opportunity/552230/

    The statistics, especially concerning the Somalis, are somewhat incredible and should be a strong rebuttal against “natural conservatives” talk:

    In a recent study of women in Sweden who had been married at least once, 28 percent of people born to Swedish parents had divorced within 15 years of first getting married; that share was much higher for immigrant women from more patriarchal countries. (The study looked at women who had first been married between 1983 and 2007.) Nearly 60 percent of women from the countries in the Horn of Africa, 53 percent of women from sub-Saharan Africa, and 48 percent of women from Iran had divorced in Sweden within 15 years of getting married. Overall, women from the Horn of Africa were 2.24 times more likely to get divorced than women born to Swedish parents, and women from Iran were 2.15 times more likely, the study showed. Women from other countries where gender norms are similar to those in Sweden had much lower chances of getting divorced—immigrants from Western Europe living in Sweden were actually less likely to get divorced than Swedes, for example.

    If Liberal Democracy falls, it will be because of all its other faults, not due to “Eurabia” or “conservative Hispanics”.

    • Replies: @Tegnér
  41. Marcus says:

    Are you going to do a post on the White Sea accident?

    • Replies: @AP
  42. Dmitry says:
    @Hyperborean

    Sweden policy against prostitution, seems similar to American policy. I guess the strange thing is they have the same policy, for different reasons.

    In America, prostitution is illegal, presumably because America is still the most religious developed country in the world, and the religious morals are strong enough to influence the secular part of the population on this issue, if not on many others. While Sweden is one of the world’s most secular countries, but feminist ideology apparently has enough political power there to ban prostitution.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  43. Dmitry says:
    @Dmitry

    In America, prostitution is illegal,

    Well, it’s technically illegal even in Ukraine/Russia (which is why the adverts say “massage” on there). But in America, they enforce this law to actually stop it, as far as I can read. So in America they try to actually stop it, which is the internationally unusual part.

  44. Dmitry says:
    @The Big Red Scary

    In Sweden, they also have the state capacity and social consensus to easily stop it (that’s already something which would be difficult in much of the world, even if feminists became powerful in e.g. Mexico).

    • Replies: @(((They))) Live
  45. @Dmitry

    I seriously doubt the Swedes have stopped prostitution, we have similar laws in Ireland and has made no difference

  46. AP says:
    @Marcus

    There have been a number of accidents lately (the submarine, the ammo dump that exploded and killed a few servicemen). When Ukraine had similar tragic mishaps, some anti-Ukrainians were gloating about a failed state, hopeless military, etc.

    • Replies: @Marcus
    , @RadicalCenter
  47. Marcus says:
    @AP

    Russia is ruled by a callous thugocracy, such things aren’t surprising. Does the Ukrainian military have dedovshchina as well?

    • Replies: @AP
  48. AP says:
    @Marcus

    Russia is ruled by a callous thugocracy, such things aren’t surprising.

    That’s an extreme exaggeration…

    Does the Ukrainian military have dedovshchina as well?

    Probably. Though I haven’t heard of it in Ukraine. It may not be as extreme.

    • Replies: @Marcus
  49. Marcus says:
    @AP

    That’s an extreme exaggeration

    How so? I’d say the empire and the post-Stalin USSR were both more concerned for their citizenry. Putin et al have shown their true colors over and over from the Kursk disaster to treatment of “veterans” of the Ukraine war.

    • LOL: Epigon
    • Replies: @Epigon
    , @Korenchkin
  50. https://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/russia-today-lies-about-me/

    Pretty hilarious in parts, with some commenters suggesting that there’s a plot by Russian security services to smear Rod Dreher as an antisemite (the horror!).

    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
  51. This is not a recent piece, but since it’s rumored once again that President Trump may pardon or commute the sentence of former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich (Serbian descent for you Serb commenters) this 2017 interview with him is germane: https://www.chicagomag.com/Chicago-Magazine/October-2017/Blago-His-Life-in-Prison/

    It’s striking how upbeat and optimistic the former Governor is. His wife Patti is also to be commended for standing by her husband even though her social position has been completely destroyed. Nice to see that his powerful father-in-law has since mended fences, though no doubt the political destruction of Blagojevich made that easier.

    Some accuse the former Governor of lacking introspection and remorse. It’s certainly true he lacks introspection, the man is an idiot, but I still don’t see what should be remorseful over. His so-called crime was to call a seat in the United States Senate a valuable thing. Well, yes.

    I hope that President Trump follows his instincts and pardons Blagojevich against the advice of his advisers. The man is a political prisoner and both he and his family have suffered enough.

  52. @AP

    And my acquaintance who has regularly visited and taught at university in western Ukraine for more than a decade — a Catholic who has never been to russia, and tends to adopt anti-Russian sentiment — states that “his” part of Ukraine is continuing to lose population, and overall remains poor, low in social trust, and not particularly hopeful about the future.

    That’s just one man’s assessment, and he’s not Ukrainian, but I place some credence in it because he is highly intelligent, a person of good faith and honesty, and has great affection for the Ukrainian people.

    • Replies: @AP
  53. @Dmitry

    I’d be so happy and relieved for the Ukrainian people if that happens. But can they really achieve sustained economic growth, and a higher standard of living, when their population gets both smaller and older every year?

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  54. AP says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    I agree. I watched him on celebrity apprentice (he appeared when he already had prison ahead of him) and found him to be endearing.

    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
  55. AP says:
    @RadicalCenter

    He has not compared what he saw there, with what is happening in other parts of Ukraine, Russia or eastern Europe.

    Also, western Ukraine is very diverse.

    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
  56. @AP

    Isn’t Ukraine’s military, in fact, rather weak and out-of-date, even for a country with its small population? And even accounting for recent purchases and apparent improvements.

    Isn’t Russia’s military large, modern, and incredibly technologically advanced for a country with its not-huge population? (Russia has fewer people than Pakistan, and far fewer than Brazil, Indonesia, Bangladesh, and Nigeria).

    So, whether or not Ukraine is a failed state, which seems like hyperbole, is it specious to call its military “hopeless”?

    • Replies: @AP
  57. @AP

    Western Ukraine is indeed somewhat ethnically and culturally diverse. It’s also small in land mass and population, and not impossible to comprehend and assess.

    And WE can compare western Ukraine to Russia and Europe, not just my friend: they all have native/core populations that are dwindling in number, reaching dangerously high average age, and already experiencing gradual widespread displacement (eventually, subjugation) by alien peoples. Peoples who are more self-confident, don’t hate or pathologically doubt themselves, are proud of their ancestors and cultures and mores, and actually do the hard and noble work of having children. Boy that’s cheerful, eh? I wish it weren’t so. But Ukraine, and western Ukraine, have no decent future unless things change drastically.

    With the partial exception of Russians and maybe Poles, all the peoples mentioned are, as someone once described “liberals”, “people who won’t take their own side in a fight.”

    Having said all that, I look forward to someday making a second visit to Ukraine, and a first visit to Russia. Right now our hands are full with a large brood of young children, which is a delight but makes long-distance travel quite expensive.

  58. @German_reader

    Dreher is a smart guy, an excellent writer, and I’ll wager truly kind and well-intentioned.

    But he has neither the common sense nor the courage to be, or admit to being, even slightly anti-Jewish, which is presumably what is meant by the inaccurate term “anti-Semitic.”

    • Replies: @German_reader
  59. AP says:

    And WE can compare western Ukraine to Russia and Europe, not just my friend: they all have native/core populations that are dwindling in number, reaching dangerously high average age, and already experiencing gradual widespread displacement (eventually, subjugation) by alien peoples.

    While native population is decreasing in Ukraine, there is no displacement because nobody is moving there. And, unlike Russia, there is no native Muslim population (overt 10% of Russia’s population, not including migrants). So while population decline is bad, there is no replacement at all.

    With the partial exception of Russians and maybe Poles, all the peoples mentioned are, as someone once described “liberals”, “people who won’t take their own side in a fight.

    In what sense are western Ukrainians “liberals?”

  60. @AP

    Endearing or not, he’s indeed a crook. But no more so than our presidents, congressmen, and political-party officials and big donors. Tens of thousands more politicians and movers and shakers should be in prison with him.

  61. @RadicalCenter

    Dreher is a smart guy

    No, he’s profoundly stupid and ignorant, totally driven by his emotions and feelings, in a way stereotypically associated with hysterical women. Also absolutely dishonorable, as shown by his despicable hit piece against Pat Buchanan (because of “racism”), in a magazine founded by Buchanan when Dreher was cheerleading for the Iraq war.
    He’s really beneath contempt. His retard blog is occasionally good for laughs though. I have no doubt that Russian security services run all manner of dubious disinformation schemes, but the idea that they’d concoct a plot to smear Rod Dreher as antisemite is pretty funny.

    • Agree: Marcus
    • Replies: @Hyperborean
  62. @German_reader

    No, he’s profoundly stupid and ignorant, totally driven by his emotions and feelings, in a way stereotypically associated with hysterical women.

    He also trusts news far too much, just like the recent one here: https://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/merciless-america-killed-jimmy-al-daoud/

    When the more rational of his readers call him on it he will sort of kinda not issue an evasive apology.

    But I think his funniest article was when he basically wrote that he personally believed that Steve Sailer was right about HBD, but the truth (or what he perceived as the truth) shouldn’t be allowed because how people might feel and how it would affect society and the perception of racial inferiors.

  63. Matra says:

    Dreher often criticizes Judaism. He blames Jews for the death of Christ. Also, he criticizes Israel, and believes that this state is not the ally, but the enemy of the West. Dreher also thinks that USA has to stop to aid Israel. Also, he thinks the Zionism is pure evil

    This guy sounds pretty interesting. Can’t wait to check out his blog!

  64. AP says:
    @RadicalCenter

    Isn’t Ukraine’s military, in fact, rather weak and out-of-date, even for a country with its small population? And even accounting for recent purchases and apparent improvements.

    It’s no match for Russia but is probably a lot stronger than any other eastern or central European military, other than Poland’s.

    A couple of years ago (2017?) AK mentioned that the level of training accidents resulting in deaths or injuries per capita suffered by Ukrainian troops (probably a decent measure of professionalism) had declined significantly from 2014 and was down to Russian levels circa 2003 (IIRC). It has certainly continued improving since then. In terms of training or troop quality Ukraine’s military is now probably comparable to that of Russia in the mid 2000s.

    Ukraine has gone from 15,000 in 2014 to 200,000 soldiers. Plus 100,000s trained reserves. Ukraine doesn’t have much of an air force or navy and won’t in the near future (these are expensive) so it has focused on missile and rocket development. New ones are at modern standards; mass production has begun and Ukraine should be fully equipped with them within 2-3 years or so.

    Mr. Hack posted this article about Ukraine’s impressive Neptune missile project and the work that made it possible:

    https://www.kyivpost.com/ukraine-politics/neptune-cruise-missiles-can-protect-ukraines-shores.html

    So Ukraine’s military currently, is hardly hopeless. That is just anti-Ukrainian wishful thinking, like the idea of Ukraine being another Somalia.

    :::::::::::::

    Anyways, my point was that when a Ukrainian arms depot blew up, or some soldiers died in training exercises, anti-Ukrainians were all over such news, claiming that it proved that Ukraine was in utter shambles, that the military reforms were meaningless failures, etc.

    Now we see Russia’s military having its own share of debacles and these voices are very silent about it.

    Here is an article summarizing various recent bad news from Russia’s military:

    https://www.businessinsider.com/russian-military-rough-few-weeks-with-fires-explosions-2019-8

    Is this a Ukrainian arms depot?

    Nope, a Russian one.

    • Replies: @melanf
    , @Gerard2
    , @Marcus
    , @Dmitry
  65. melanf says:
    @AP

    Is this a Ukrainian arms depot?
    Nope, a Russian one.

    The picture can be used in anti-Ukrainian propaganda. This Russia (from your picture)

    And this Ukraine

    feel the difference

    But seriously, the army should be evaluated on its combat capabilities. I am absolutely not a fan of the Russian army, but after the “achievements” of the Ukrainian army on the battlefield, my heart is filled with joy – how good that we are not Ukraine.
    Accidents are a questionable criterion – they can be an indicator of collapse, but can also be an indicator that the military is actively taught military Affairs. If I remember correctly recently in the U.S. Navy there were a number of accidents, there was even an article about it on this resource.

    • Replies: @AP
  66. Tegnér says:
    @Hyperborean

    The statistics, especially concerning the Somalis, are somewhat incredible and should be a strong rebuttal against “natural conservatives” talk:

    Among immigrants (especially the chronically unemployed Somalis), divorce is a common social security scam. By getting a formal divorce, they become eligable for more benefits. However they still live together.

  67. @Thorfinnsson

    Yes, hopefully Trump pardons Rod Blagojevich.

    You are right in that it was foolish of Rod to be honest about the Senate seat. Regardless, if Trump actually pardons Blagojevich, that would be a modest win for all ethnic Serbs everywhere. It would somewhat improve our collective prestige.

    Ideally, Trump will also completely withdraw the USA and NATO from Kosovo and Bosnia, but i’m not holding my breath on that one …

    • Replies: @silviosilver
  68. AP says:
    @melanf

    The picture can be used in anti-Ukrainian propaganda. This Russia (from your picture)

    And this Ukraine

    feel the difference

    Russian explosion looks a lot bigger (according to the picture).

    I am absolutely not a fan of the Russian army, but after the “achievements” of the Ukrainian army on the battlefield, my heart is filled with joy

    Do you also believe it is always 2014 in Ukraine?

    Accidents are a questionable criterion – they can be an indicator of collapse, but can also be an indicator that the military is actively taught military Affairs.

    I agree about training accidents and accidents that occur during the development of new weapons (including the recent failed missile launch that cost 7 Russian engineers their lives). Again, my point was that the silly argument that mishaps by the Ukrainian military indicate the army’s uselessness can be applied to Russia’s many recent mishaps.

    If I remember correctly recently in the U.S. Navy there were a number of accidents,

    I think I mentioned that once, when some anti-Ukrainian was making a point about training deaths in the Ukrainian military.

  69. Gerard2 says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    Seriously , without too much intrusion.what is your job?

    I would not normally be interested in that type of thing, but from reading your posts over the months I initially thought you must be a scientist, then a lawyer, then a war historian……now I am thinking maybe that you’re in finance

    If interested – I am a civil engineer

    • Agree: Mr. Hack
    • Replies: @AP
    , @Thorfinnsson
  70. Mr. Hack says:

    Thorfinnsson is the 21 century renaissance man, par excellence! I once dubbed him as the new F Scott Fitzgerald for his abilities to depict the plight of the blue collar worker and other and various sundry proles dotting the American landscape (and also those of the upper classes too) especially in the rural countryside. He really should try his hand at writing a novel...SERIOUSLY.

    • Replies: @Korenchkin
  71. I wonder what does the recent nuclear incident imply regarding the state of the 9M730 Burevestnik program. Does it mean that Russia is actually still far from producing a working prototype like the Americans claimed previously, or was it just one unsuccessful test on the final stretch (last year when Putin unveiled the “superweapons”, he claimed that all are either complete or near completion).

    I really hope it’s the latter, because a breakthrough in nuclear reactor miniaturization has so many promises, including for space travel.
    All the lazy comparisons with Project Pluto (including in the latest thread on Steve Sailer’s blog) are missing that Project Pluto was the size of a bus, while Burevestnik is a cruise missile with the size of a normal cruise missile. And it cannot be an RTG if it’s able to provide power for atmospheric flight.

    • Replies: @Mitleser
  72. Gerard2 says:
    @AP

    Anyways, my point was that when a Ukrainian arms depot blew up, or some soldiers died in training exercises, anti-Ukrainians were all over such news, claiming that it proved that Ukraine was in utter shambles, that the military reforms were meaningless failures, etc.

    Now we see Russia’s military having its own share of debacles and these voices are very silent about it.

    hahahahaha! That’s as retarded as showing a video of a shocking car crash or selfish parking in the UK or Germany and using that video as “evidence” that driving or parking there is weaker than in Russia
    …or showing a snowy day in Barcelona as using that as evidence that Barcelona is colder than Calgary you retarded POS

    Even more so of any attempt to equate the ukrop failure military with Russia’s – a highly professional, successful group backed by a very strong arms industry that exports weapons to a degree Kiev could only dream of.

    that arms depot is also much further away from settlements than any of the ukrop catastrophes were

    the only thing Bandera-Nazi defeats Russia’s is on higher suicide rates you cretin

  73. Anatoly, if you catch some time for gaming, I recommend trying the new Age of Wonders: Planetfall.

    There are Slavic Space Dwarves and Cybernetic Transhumanist Space-Undead among the factions (also dinosaur-riding tree-hugging Amazons, psionic insectoids and a bunch of others).

  74. @TheTotallyAnonymous

    Regardless, if Trump actually pardons Blagojevich, that would be a modest win for all ethnic Serbs everywhere. It would somewhat improve our collective prestige.

    Laugh though people may, this is how actual Serbian nationalists think.

    • Troll: TheTotallyAnonymous
    • Replies: @TheTotallyAnonymous
  75. Marcus says:
    @AP

    Regarding the pre-2014 military, I’ve heard some really funny (we can say it now) stories about how unprofessional Ukrainian, among others e.g. Russian and Canadian, peacekeepers were in the 1990s.

  76. Dmitry says:
    @AP

    Ukraine’s military, is the second main descendant armed forces of the USSR. They inherited part of the military of a superpower.

    So it’s not a special achievement, that it is better than e.g. military of Hungary and Slovenia.

    On the other hand, there has been very significant decline from some of the superpower level of equipment they inherited.

    For example, Ukraine inherited 19 Tu-160 strategic bombers. This equipment suitable for a superpower.

    Due to the lack of material and technical resources for operation, 8 were given to Russia in exchange for natural gas, and 10 were destroyed in 2009 (including in front of visiting American senators). One is only in a museum.

    • Replies: @AP
  77. Mitleser says:
    @Spisarevski

    There was supposed to be a successful test in early 2019.

    MOSCOW, February 16. /TASS/. The tests of the compact nuclear power unit for cruise missile Burevestnik have been successfully competed in Russia, a source in the missile producing industry told TASS.

    “A major stage of trials of the cruise missile of the Burevestnik complex, the tests of the nuclear power unit, were successfully completed at one of facilities in January,” he said.

    The trials “sustained stated specifications of the reactor ensuring the missile’s unlimited range,” the source added.

    https://tass.com/defense/1045012

    • Replies: @Spisarevski
  78. Epigon says:
    @Marcus

    “Let me teach you about your country, your history, your society…”

    • Agree: Marcus
  79. @Mitleser

    Yes, these are the tests that the Americans claimed were not actually successful.

    The cruise missile was tested four times between November and February, each one resulting in a crash, according to people who spoke to CNBC on the condition of anonymity.

    The U.S. assessed that the longest test flight lasted just more than two minutes, with the missile flying 22 miles before losing control and crashing. The shortest test lasted four seconds and flew for five miles.

    • Replies: @Mitleser
  80. Mitleser says:
    @Spisarevski

    If all of them resulted in crashes, someone should have noticed related rad. spikes.

  81. @Marcus

    post-Stalin USSR were both more concerned for their citizenry.

    You mean the USSR whose leadership dissolved it with exactly zero care for what happened to the citizenry?
    It’s like I’m reading Tankie nonsense from Reddit

    The Russian standard of living (such as it is) is the highest it’s ever been, simply looking at the statistics that Karlin and other non-Sovok bloggers post is enough to realize this
    The Kursk incident and unfortunate fate of some fighters from the Ukraine is irrelevant by comparison
    Yes it sucks, but getting overly flustered by these events is a mistake that retard nationalists often make

    The same nationalists who demanded that Putler bomb Kiev in order to avenge Odessa, yes it would’ve been cathartic for them but also a geopolitical disaster
    This is a dirty business and it requires a cool head

    • Replies: @Marcus
    , @Dmitry
  82. @Mr. Hack

    He really should try his hand at writing a novel…

    Preferably, while drunk

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  83. Mr. Hack says:
    @Korenchkin

    I prefer him when he’s sober and much more lucid…

  84. AP says:
    @Gerard2

    If interested – I am a civil engineer

    LOL.

    So a dummy.

    In Sovok-land, engineering (particularly civil engineering) was the equivalent of what a degree in “business administration” or “education” is in the USA. It’s for people sort of smart enough to get a post-secondary degree but not smart enough to pursue something like (in the USA) engineering. Or at best, slackers. There are hordes of such people.

    You probably got your degree at some provincial institute, too.

    • Replies: @Gerard2
  85. AP says:
    @Dmitry

    Ukraine ‘s military had fully degraded by 2014. So the modern improved state is quite an achievement.

    • Replies: @Marcus
  86. @Gerard2

    I’m a senior business executive at an SME in the manufacturing sector.

    I could probably work in the financial sector without much retraining.

  87. NYMOM says:

    BTW Anatoly it just came to my attention from another site that some of the South African white farmers did take the offer from Russia. They had to each raise $100,000 US as the Rand is worth practically nothing now and they purchased leases on farmland in Russia somewhere…not sure of exact location. I don’t think it was anywhere near the 15,000 farmers offered the deal, but even that could change soon as South Africa is quickly imploding and I see it only getting worse before getting better (if ever) for them…

    So only time will tell how many ultimately wind up there; but I think it will be a good thing for both parties…

    Just thought I would let you know!

  88. Marcus says:
    @Korenchkin

    And Russia’s life expectancy before WWI was about 30 years. But the Romanovs, however deluded, did care about the Russian people, a did the later USSR. It was liberals like Yeltsin and co. who pushed to end the USSR, consequences be damned. Sure, things are better than they were in the 1990s, but given Russia’s basically unmatched human capital and natural resources that shouldn’t be a measuring stick (not just in income, but also infrastructure, rule of law, etc.)

    • Replies: @Korenchkin
  89. Interesting assessment of the “atomic archive” which the Israelis claim to have acquired about Iran’s nuclear weapons programme in the late 1990s/early 2000s:
    https://www.belfercenter.org/sites/default/files/files/publication/The%20Iran%20Nuclear%20Archive_0.pdf

    If authentic, it shows:
    – There was a coherent nuclear weapons programme, with the decision taken from the top, including then president Khatami (so not some “rogue” actor like parts of the Revolutionary guards). Goal was an underground nuclear weapons test and building at least five nukes.
    – The programme was more advanced than had been known; while it was detected in outline by foreign intelligence services and the IAEA, apparently Iran was able to completely hide many aspects and sites. There was substantial help by several foreign scientists. In general, this seems to raise some serious questions about the existing non-proliferation regime.
    – Most of the programme was stopped in late 2003; there was some coordinated work though afterwards on specific technical issues, which might indicate an intent of keeping an option to restart the programme. No information exists on what happened after the mid-2000s.

    Unfortunately there don’t seem to be any answers to some of the most important questions, e.g. why did Iran decide on that programme in the late 1990s, what was the strategic raionale behind it, why did they stop in 2003, and what is the current thinking of Iran’s leadership on nuclear weapons.
    Obviously the Israelis pursue their own agenda with publishing those documents (and who knows if they doctored some of it), but interesting material in any case.

    • Replies: @Mitleser
  90. Dmitry says:

    Georgia economy was ok in the first half of year – not counting from end of June, the textbook example of their nationalists damaging their tourist sector.

    Georgia’s economic growth slows to 4.9% year on year in H1

    TBILISI, July 31 (Reuters) – Georgia’s economy expanded 4.9% year-on-year in the first half of 2019, down from 5.7% in the same period of 2018, preliminary data showed on Wednesday.

    Georgia’s economy expanded 4.7% in 2018, down from 5% in 2017.

    The government expects growth this year of at least 5%, although the central bank governor Koba Gvenetadze told Reuters this month that GDP might be reduced by more than 1% this year because of a dispute with neighbouring Russia and amid anti-government protests.

    Fitch Ratings said in June that Russia’s decision to ban flights to Georgia would weigh on Georgia’s growth and current account because of its impact on tourism. Georgia got around $3 billion in revenues from tourism in 2018.

    Armenia with strong growth at the moment.

    In 2018, despite the movements in the street, preventing work and school, and repeated elections, that would seem to indicate economic instability, Avinyan said the gross domestic product of Armenia grew at a rate of 5.2 percent. In the first quarter of 2019, Armenia had a 7.1 percent rate of growth, which is the highest rate of GDP growth in Europe.

    But Ukraine growth, significantly slower than Armenia/Georgia… only for 3%.

    The National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) has improved its 2019 growth forecast to three per cent, Ukrainian news agency UNIAN has reported.

    According to the NBU’s latest report, the growth forecast for 2020 was also raised, from 2.9 per cent to 3.2 per cent.

  91. Gerard2 says:
    @AP

    hahahahahaha……this is like being “attacked” by a hybrid of Phillip Kirkorov and Stephen Hawking!!!

    – this part of your menstrual cycle obviously arising from utter jealousy when I said what I do ( must say I am bemused, to say the least, to hear this fantasist BS “denigrating” civil engineering profession, something I have never seen anybody do )

    In Sovok-land, engineering (particularly civil engineering) was the equivalent of what a degree in “business administration” or “education” is in the USA.

    I had been expecting to make self-deprecating comments about how boring and overrated civil engineering is ,because I am used to people over-praising it – but you’ve almost certainly just probably recycled some spambot garbage directed another person exposing you as vermin, from a different profession ,and ridiculously transposed it on to myself!

    Anyway I won’t say whether I did go to University in Moscow or SP ( with a semester of foreign study)- but to call the rest of the country and it’s academic institutions “provincial” is retarded in the extreme.

    ……and telling any western engineering company or University that I am Russian civil engineer only stirs up positive connotations for westerners you cretin – not as much as subjects as Materials Science or some of the other branches of chemistry and physics or performing arts….. but still very high – much like “Russian woman” stirs up connotations of beautiful.

    Not to mention how moronically thick you would have to be to not think that civil engineering is a vital and highly skilled profession – vital for any country but even more important for Russia in it’s Tsarist and USSR history to survive given it’s size and logistics you idiot! Infrastructure projects were practically the main thing cementing the central asian states as happy and functional in the USSR – and at peace with each other, not to mention how important it was for Banderastan

    But then again, for a (pseudo) Ukrop as yourself engineering, maths or just straightforward literacy is associated with “Russian imperialism” – particularly when all infrastructure in the country is entirely because of Russia – so it “must be destroyed” LOL , Khokholism in the extreme.

    Anyway , given how non-existent/useless your level of Russian language is – I have found somebody to teach you, good guy, used to be the son of the Ukrainian President and subject of this article here:

    https://vz.ru/news/2019/8/13/992163.html

    • Replies: @Dmitry
    , @AP
  92. Dmitry says:
    @RadicalCenter

    their population gets both smaller and older

    Falling population will increase per person income/wealth. So it could be useful from that perspective, as priority for Ukraine should be to attain somehow an acceptable income for existing population.

    However, aging population could create a worse dependency ratio (more pensioners relative to working age population).

    If we look at per capita income, I made a table in IMF website, comparing Ukraine with Latvia, Kazakhstan and Georgia.

    Ukraine is maybe 20 years behind countries like Latvia or Kazakhstan. Latvia is wealthy because it is in the EU, while Kazakhstan is wealthy because it has oil.

    But a more fair comparison is to Georgia. Georgia has a similar situation – no oil/gas and no EU membership, like Ukraine.

    According to IMF, Ukraine is about 4-5 years behind Georgia. In 2024, Ukraine should attain similar income which Georgia has now in 2019. So there is no very good scenario for Ukraine (they will be poor at least into 2030s), but hopefully some kind of incremental improvement for the economy.

    https://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/weo/2019/01/weodata/weorept.aspx?pr.x=40&pr.y=12&sy=2019&ey=2024&scsm=1&ssd=1&sort=country&ds=.&br=1&c=915%2C926%2C916%2C941&s=NGDPDPC%2CPPPPC&grp=0&a=#download

  93. Dmitry says:
    @Gerard2

    https://vz.ru/news/2019/8/13/992163.html

    On YouTube – he was arguing in English about Premier League football games on comments, and subscribed to ordinary popular America/English YouTubers and gaming channels.

    But also was subscribed a few Russian channels like Vecherniy Urgant. Didn’t see anything about Ukraine.

    • Replies: @Gerard2
  94. AP says:
    @Gerard2

    LOL, Pravda glaz kolyt. Your emotional response is very funny 🙂

    civil engineering is a vital and highly skilled profession

    Smart Soviet-era Russians who were inclined towards math or science studied physics, chemistry, math, biology, medicine etc.

    Dumb ones became civil engineers and built crappy Soviet roads and buildings. That would be you.

    In a capitalist country like the USA, people who aren’t terribly bright, or are too busy drinking, study “business administration” if they can’t handle finance, engineering, pharmacy, the hard sciences etc. They end up working in cubicles.

    Something like civil engineering served as a repository for such people in non-capitalist Sovok. This explains Sovok’s rotten infrastructure.

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
    , @Gerard2
  95. @AP

    My understanding is that they just put more aggregate in the concrete mix.

    I believe the rationale was that in the Russian climate concrete cracking was inevitable, so increasing the aggregate ratio would “prematurely” crack the concrete (by Western standards) but in fact increase the longevity of the structure and reduce maintenance requirements. Many more micro-fractures means fewer macro-fractures. Or something.

    This explains much of why the FSU looks terrible, but the infrastructure is in fact functional.

    I’ve heard about the Michigan DOT doing some road building experiments on these lines in the past decade.

    Gerard2, being an actual civil engineer, probably has a more sophisticated take on this.

    • Replies: @AP
    , @Mr. Hack
    , @Gerard2
  96. @silviosilver

    Why are you such a worthless cuck?

    • Replies: @Korenchkin
  97. AP says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    This explains much of why the FSU looks terrible, but the infrastructure is in fact functional.

    It looks terrible and it is barely functional. Roads were awful even in 1990, and even in areas with a mild climate such as Ukraine.

    BTW, here is a ranking of post-secondary in eastern Europe:

    https://www.topuniversities.com/university-rankings/eeca-rankings/2018

    The ones involving civil engineering are near the bottom:

    https://www.topuniversities.com/university-rankings/eeca-rankings/2018

    “Moscow State University of Railway Engineering” and various technical institutes 250-300

    “National Research Moscow State University of Civil Engineering ” is at 181-200.

    ::::::

    Only under Putin is Russia achieving a Western level of road and other construction.

  98. Mr. Hack says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    To each his own Thorfinnsson, and as it’s already been poignantly pointed out within this thread, your propensity to offer consumate opinions on a wide array of different topics points to your eclectic brand of intellectualism. Darn if I don’t derive greater pleasure from your abilities to portray the inner dilemas facing human relations as within the neighboring thread where you touch on why elites fail to deliver when it comes to ethical behavior, rather than on the tensile strength of different sorts of “concrete”. But then again, I guess this is what makes Thorfinnssson, Thorfinnson. 🙂

  99. Dan Hayes says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    Thorfinnsson:

    An engaging portrait of the ex-Gov. I like both the guy and the wife who had been portrayed as the personification of evil by the NYC tabloids! But he still publicly professes the liberal platitudes. Maybe it’s time for them to be dropped since he’ll never again run for public office. But then they might still prove useful if he winds up as a motivational speaker.

    I sincerely hope that Trump will issue his pardon. And make it a double along with Roger Stone!

  100. Dan Hayes says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    Thorfinnsson:

    An engaging portrait of the ex-Gov. I like both the guy and the wife who had been portrayed as the personification of evil by the NYC tabloids! But he still publicly professes the liberal platitudes. Maybe it’s time for them to be dropped since he’ll never again run for public office. But then they might still prove useful if he winds up as a motivational speaker.

    I sincerely hope that Trump will issue his pardon. And make it a double along with Roger Stone!

  101. Dan Hayes says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    Thorfinnsson:

    An engaging portrait of the ex-Gov. I like both the guy and the wife who had been portrayed as the personification of evil by the NYC tabloids! But he still publicly professes the liberal platitudes. Maybe it’s time for them to be dropped since he’ll never again run for public office. But then they might still prove useful if he winds up as a motivational speaker.

    I sincerely hope that Trump will issue his pardon. And make it a double along with Roger Stone!

  102. @Marcus

    It was liberals like Yeltsin and co. who pushed to end the USSR

    The Oligarchy was all ex-party bugmen who didn’t give a rats ass about the people

    but given Russia’s basically unmatched human capital

    Human capital which got skullfucked 3 times in the span of one century, to the point where they’ve developed Stockholm syndrome for some of their tormentors

    that shouldn’t be a measuring stick

    The inability to utilize the resources at hand is testimony to the Communists failure and indifference
    Several plans were suggested that would improve living conditions for the USSRs citizens but all were rejected because those who made the decisions simply had no incentive for it (one of these was supposed to be an early internet)

    but also infrastructure

    There have been huge improvements in infrastructure and more on the way, look up the 13 plans, hell even Karlin wrote about those

    rule of law

    Well homicide has been going down year after year, so theres that

    • Replies: @Marcus
  103. @TheTotallyAnonymous

    Stop getting so easily baited by autists, you’re making us look bad
    You will never change their mind

    • Replies: @TheTotallyAnonymous
  104. @Korenchkin

    Lol. I was never even trying to change the opinion of that worthless autistic cuck on anything.

    Still, you may be right, maybe i do get baited too easily when it comes to certain matters.

  105. Mitleser says:
    @German_reader

    The invasion of their neighbour would explain why a country would bury an alleged nuclear weapon programme that is not advanced enough to defend them, but could be used as an excuse to destroy them.

  106. Serbian posters are as tedious as the Ukrainian ones.

    • Troll: TheTotallyAnonymous
  107. @AP

    The Soviet Union made a deliberate choice not to favor automobiles. The railroads in the USSR routinely handled the heaviest traffic ever run on rails. So these #250-300 ranked MSU grads in railway engineering got the job done.

    Incidentally civil engineering is in North America considered the “softest” of the engineering disciplines, along with industrial engineering.

    That’s not to say they’re dumb or do bad work. The field is simply mostly less demanding than other engineering disciplines.

    • Replies: @Gerard2
  108. https://www.gold.ac.uk/news/carbon-neutral-plan/

    Goldsmiths College of the University of London is banning sales of beef (and bottled water) to fight…climate change.

    There’s a war on beef.

    • Replies: @Kent Nationalist
  109. Dmitry says:
    @AP

    infrastructure

    Soviet engineers designed some of the best and most innovative infrastructure in the world, which is still admired today.

    under Putin is Russia achieving a Western level of road

    Car ownership rate in Russia has increased by more than 100% since 1999.

    As with car ownership rate everywhere, increasing it is not necessarily a good thing. Imagine if more than 20,000 people were killed each year by public transport in Russia – 20,000 people killed while in trams and metro journeys.

    built crappy Soviet roads and buildings

    If you’re talking about the panel buildings from the 1960s-1990s.

    These were extremely intelligent designs, relative to the specifications and requirements of the time. They are designed for a limited life-span, however, which is now generally been exceeded.

    • Replies: @AP
  110. Dmitry says:
    @Korenchkin

    standard of living (such as it is) is the highest it’s ever been

    This is true.

    It’s been 30 years, however, since the twilight days of the Soviet Union – we should expect improvement in this time, especially considering the international technological advancement in this epoch, and growth in price of specific commodities, which are exported.

    Standard of living improvement between 1959-1989 was a lot more significant, than between 1989-2019, however. Even if we exclude the 1990s – improvements between 1999 to 2019, will be less than 1969-89.

    So, the improvements are less than they should have been, or that an optimist would have expected, at least.

    It’s probably inherent to the economic stage though, and the economy of Russia is still in the “middle income trap”.

    • Replies: @AP
  111. @Thorfinnsson

    I’m surprised it’s not pork (kill two birds with one stone).

    What yanks may remember the name Goldsmiths from..
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bahar_Mustafa_race_row

  112. Marcus says:
    @Korenchkin

    The Oligarchy was all ex-party bugmen who didn’t give a rats ass about the people

    Weren’t quite a few of them “dissidents”?

    Human capital which got skullfucked 3 times in the span of one century, to the point where they’ve developed Stockholm syndrome for some of their tormentors

    Not like the current regime is doing much to reverse this

    The inability to utilize the resources at hand is testimony to the Communists failure and indifference

    Communism is shit at anything beyond provide a basic modicum living standard, agreed. and they were shoveling like 40% of GDP into their military-industrial complex. But social capital was pretty high, much less corruption, drug use, etc.

    There have been huge improvements in infrastructure and more on the way, look up the 13 plans, hell even Karlin wrote about those

    I’ll have to look that up, thanks.

    Well homicide has been going down year after year, so theres that

    Russia’s police force ranks between Guyana and Burkina Faso in the WISP index (2016):
    http://www.ipsa-police.org/Images/uploaded/Pdf%20file/WISPI%20Report.pdf

    Russia ranks between Pakistan and DR of Congo in the IEP’s 2019 index
    http://visionofhumanity.org/app/uploads/2019/07/GPI-2019web.pdf

    Basically it’s a country that is still a basket case in many ways after 20 years under the siloviki mobsters (well we could say 30, since only certain oligarchs from the 1990s nadir died out or were removed).

    • Replies: @melanf
    , @melanf
  113. Marcus says:
    @AP

    Switching subjects, do you have any explanation for why Ukrainians were underrepresented in revolutionary parties compared to other minorities? Is it just that most preferred to join the Petliurites or the Green/Black armies?

    • Replies: @AP
  114. melanf says:
    @Marcus

    Russia’s police force ranks between Guyana and Burkina Faso in the WISP index (2016):
    http://www.ipsa-police.org/Images/uploaded/Pdf%20file/WISPI%20Report.pdf

    Russia ranks between Pakistan and DR of Congo in the IEP’s 2019 index
    http://visionofhumanity.org/app/uploads/2019/07/GPI-2019web.pdf

    Why refer to obviously false indexes?

  115. melanf says:
    @Marcus

    Russia’s police force ranks between Guyana and Burkina Faso in the WISP index (2016):
    http://www.ipsa-police.org/Images/uploaded/Pdf%20file/WISPI%20Report.pdf

    Russia ranks between Pakistan and DR of Congo in the IEP’s 2019 index
    http://visionofhumanity.org/app/uploads/2019/07/GPI-2019web.pdf

    Why refer to obviously false indexes?

    • Replies: @Marcus
  116. Epigon says:

    Riiiiiight.
    Now do Global Freedom Index, Democracy Index, Free Media Index and other Western bullshit where Russia and other Western enemies always turn out the worst.

    This Institute for Economics and Peace (?! – the name itself) is staffed by Russia experts of the usual kind – never lived there, never been there, don’t speak the language.

    • Agree: melanf
    • LOL: Marcus
  117. Marcus says:
    @melanf

    So because Russia does poorly, throw it out. Russia ranks a respectable 49 in HDI fwiw

    • Replies: @melanf
    , @Swedish Family
  118. melanf says:
    @Marcus

    So because Russia does poorly, throw it out

    That is, according to GLOBAL PEACE INDEX 2019, Russia on “peacefulnes” at the level of Somalia and Yemen, and much worse than Saudi Arabia.

    Tell me, what level of IQ have people for whom created such propaganda? Probably less than 70?

    • Replies: @melanf
    , @Marcus
  119. melanf says:
    @melanf

    Above is a typo. Here’s 2019

  120. Marcus says:
    @melanf

    ? I see Russia ranked above those two. Saudi Arabia has a near total police state, so not that surprising I suppose

  121. Epigon says:

    There’s an even better gem.
    Freedomhouse list.
    Russian score – 20
    Afghanistan – 26
    Pakistan – 39
    Ukraine – 60!!!
    Egypt – 22
    Qatar – 25
    Turkey – 31
    Iraq – 32
    Kosovo !!! – 52

    • Replies: @Gerard2
  122. @Thorfinnsson

    This ad ran in the NY Post:

    • Agree: AP
    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  123. AP says:
    @Marcus

    Switching subjects, do you have any explanation for why Ukrainians were underrepresented in revolutionary parties compared to other minorities? Is it just that most preferred to join the Petliurites or the Green/Black armies?

    Yes.

    During the Revolution, Ukrainians from the former Russian Empire overwhelmingly fought for various nationalist or anarchist bands. None were with the Whites,* and at times they allied with Bolsheviks (viewing than as a lesser evil than the Whites), although very few were actually part of the Bolshevik movement.

    Part of this was because Bolsheviks were based on urban proles, and Ukrainians were a rural people. So most Bolsheviks from Ukraine were ethnic Russians and Jews.

    *Many ethnic Ukrainians from Kuban were with the Whites, but this was outside Ukrainian territory. Also, although virtually no ethnic Ukrainians from Russian-ruled Ukraine were with the Whites, some ethnic Ukrainians from Galicia were. One of my grandmother’s cousins organized a group of them who fought for Kolchak against the Reds.

  124. AP says:
    @Dmitry

    During Soviet times the USSR did indeed improve, but its rate of improvement was such that it fell behind non-Soviet Western countries.

    After Soviet times Russia has actually been catching up, rather than falling further behind.

  125. AP says:
    @Dmitry

    Soviet engineers designed some of the best and most innovative infrastructure in the world, which is still admired today.

    They built beautiful metros. Predictably, the beautiful stations were from earlier in the Soviet-era by people trained from the time of the Tsars or soon after those times (so, students of pre-Revolutionary engineers). Deeper into Sovok and it went downhill. Now there are many beautiful new stations being built.

    However, anyone visiting the USSR in 1990 was struck by the shabbiness of the buildings and roads.

    The excuse is that the climate is harsher. However these problems were evident in Ukraine also.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
    , @Gerard2
  126. @Marcus

    So because Russia does poorly, throw it out. Russia ranks a respectable 49 in HDI fwiw

    No, because of this:

    ‘America points’ are a useful concept when looking at indexes. They almost always have them: components of index that are only tenuously linked to what the index is supposed to be measuring but ensure a higher score for Westernized countries.

    [Mr. Scientism]

    These things are nearly always shameless propaganda. That’s just the nature of geopolitics.

    • Replies: @Marcus
  127. Marcus says:
    @AP

    Two notable Ukrainian Bolsheviks I can think of:
    He led the storming of the winter palace https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vladimir_Antonov-Ovseyenko

    He was a great tank commander in Hearts of Iron II https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semyon_Timoshenko

    • Replies: @AP
  128. Marcus says:
    @Swedish Family

    Idk, why would they want America’s nation building projects to rank near dead last in most? And the US itself is starting to show slippage

  129. Marcus says:
    @AP

    Sorry, Timoshenko was an “old guard” officer, this is the similarly named, chrome domed (did something about communism cause baldness?) general I was thinking of who actually was an apostle of armored warfare. It doesn’t mention his ethnicity though
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pavel_Rybalko

  130. AP says:
    @Marcus

    Ovseyenko left Ukraine in his late teens and never came back.

    I was discussing within Ukraine itself.

    • Replies: @Marcus
  131. Mr. Hack says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    Take cheer my carnivore friend, the beef industry is fighting back, February 2019:

    They’ve been running these types of adds for decades now. 🙂

  132. Mikhail says: • Website
    @AP

    During the Revolution, Ukrainians from the former Russian Empire overwhelmingly fought for various nationalist or anarchist bands. None were with the Whites,* and at times they allied with Bolsheviks (viewing than as a lesser evil than the Whites), although very few were actually part of the Bolshevik movement.

    Part of this was because Bolsheviks were based on urban proles, and Ukrainians were a rural people. So most Bolsheviks from Ukraine were ethnic Russians and Jews.

    *Many ethnic Ukrainians from Kuban were with the Whites, but this was outside Ukrainian territory. Also, although virtually no ethnic Ukrainians from Russian-ruled Ukraine were with the Whites, some ethnic Ukrainians from Galicia were. One of my grandmother’s cousins organized a group of them who fought for Kolchak against the Reds.

    Actually, the Galician Ukrainian army en masse fought under the command of the Whites after Petliura’s selling out of Galicia to Pilsudski.

    Related:

    https://www.eurasiareview.com/08042016-fuzzy-history-how-poland-saved-the-world-from-russia-analysis/

    https://www.eurasiareview.com/22052011-pavlo-skoropadsky-and-the-course-of-russian-ukrainian-relations-analysis/

    Upon his overtyhrow, a good number of pro-Skoriopadsky Ukriians went over to the White side. bnesides that, the Whites werren;’t without support in former Russian Empire Ukriane.

    Petliura agreed to become Pilsudski’s stooge on account of this reality.

  133. Dmitry says:
    @AP

    Deeper into Sovok and it went downhill.

    That’s not true.

    If you talk about metro, then last one built in all the USSR, is Ekaterinburg metro. Unfortunately, because of the 1990s, it is only one line of about 10 kilometers.

    But it is quite beautiful and excellently constructed.

    roads.

    1 in 20 people had a private automobile in 1990. (50 automobiles per 1000 citizens).

    The optimistically authorities planned for a future rate of one private automobile for every 6-7 citizens.

    So its prioritization should have been lower, than in America, where automobiles per 1000 citizens were 14 times higher.

    these problems were evident in Ukraine also.

    As far as I can see, Ukraine is still in 2019 mostly living from the inherited infrastructure fat of the USSR.

    its rate of improvement was such that it fell behind non-Soviet Western countries.

    After Soviet times Russia has actually been catching up,

    Economic growth by middle 1980s was falling to the 1-2% range.

    But oil prices in 1986 averaged $13 per barrel, and the subsequent result of the oil crash – we know the disaster.

    If oil price falls to $13 per barrel today, then the economic situation will a disaster as well, however.

    • Replies: @AP
    , @Dmitry
  134. AP says:
    @Dmitry

    If you talk about metro, then last one built in all the USSR, is Ekaterinburg metro.

    The worst Moscow metro stations were the ones built in the later Soviet period. The most beautiful ones were the oldest ones and the new ones.

    roads.

    1 in 20 people had a private automobile in 1990. (50 automobiles per 1000 citizens).

    With fewer users the roads should be in better condition. But their condition was terrible despite fewer drivers.

    these problems were evident in Ukraine also.

    As far as I can see, Ukraine is still in 2019 mostly living from inherited infrastructure fat of the Soviet Union.

    I was in Ukraine in 1990. Soviet times. The roads were horrible then, by Western standards. Buildings were shabby and a joke. The nicest things were pre-Soviet ones or early-Soviet ones.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  135. Marcus says:
    @AP

    Gotcha. I switched to wiki’s desktop version, and Pavel Semyonovich Rybalko is in the category “Ukrainian People of WWII,” he definitely had a face for command and a chest for medals
    https://ww2db.com/person_bio.php?person_id=628

  136. @melanf

    A few objections to this:

    1. It still doesn’t explain Mongolia. Russians are almost 0% of the population of Mongolia, yet Mongolians still have a much higher IQ than the peoples to the north.

    2. Richard Lynn apparently conducted a study on the Sámi people, finding that they have an average IQ of 101.

    http://www.unz.com/jthompson/lapps-finns-cold-winters-and/

    • Replies: @melanf
  137. Dmitry says:
    @Dmitry

    last one built in all the USSR

    And in terms of pure aesthetics, some were planned to have been more beautiful than they were completed, but because of the collapse, there was a lack of funds to complete interior decorations.

    For example, Prospekt Kosmonavtov and Uralmash are very cool decorated stations as they were completed before the collapse of the Soviet Union.

    But Uralskaya station was opened in the year after the collapse, and there were not funds available to complete the planned interior decoration.

  138. Gerard2 says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    Incidentally civil engineering is in North America considered the “softest” of the engineering disciplines, along with industrial engineering.

    Seriously? I was under the impression that it has the highest dropout rate of any course in the west.
    I thought something like Geography was considered “dumbass” ,

    From my time at University – the mathematics being taught to civil engineers was at a much harder level than that taught to mechanical and electrical engineers, a much higher level of critical thinking is required for civil engineering…and the civil engineering department gets far more money! Timoshenko, Bernouilli and Euler ( you must have heard of him) are three of the greatest mathematicians of all time and the fathers of Civil Engineering..a subject like electronic engineering has no use for two of them!
    Soil /Foundation Engineering perhaps has a higher degree of empirical study done that is incorporated into it’s modern day practise , which might make it weaker than the purer mathematics in pipes/structural engineering….but still it is nothing particularly weak

    The Soviet Union made a deliberate choice not to favor automobiles. The railroads in the USSR routinely handled the heaviest traffic ever run on rails. So these #250-300 ranked MSU grads in railway engineering got the job done

    The soviets were genius at exploiting the use of prestressed concrete – so this is technology from that was mass used 50-60 years ago ( remember many of these structures are designed for 50-75 years, or if a bridge – 125 years) and hasn’t much needed to be expanded on since ( or wasn’t able to be expanded). As you know, mass car ownership was never an issue for the USSR.

    Much of the plant and machinery in construction operations on site in Russia have made a fortune for excellent foreign companies like JCB and Caterpillar over the last 30 years, any serious tunneling job uses a German or South Korean TBM – all this at the expense of any money being put into subsidies for Russian companies or research at Universities to develop their own ( until recently)- this is all perfectly reasonable given the understandable look to the west, western companies offering their services products, and domestic collapse that took part in the 90’s.

    All these factors explain why the ranking system is just some Anglo-world centric BS of zero relevance …which , if anything, is mostly founded on research( not necessarily the quality of that research, particularly if not in English) which entirely relies on state handouts or companies paying….and absolutely zero to do with the quality of the graduates at the time of completion of their study………it’s basically this fantasist f**up troll AP making up some lies for the purpose of attention-whoring – as befits a nutjob

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  139. Dmitry says:
    @AP

    fewer users the roads should be in better condition.

    That’s not how it works though.

    Nationwide roads in America had a famously bad condition, before America expended $500 billion in the Interstate Highway System, beginning with Eisenhower.

    Considering in 1990, in the USSR, there were 50 automobiles per 1000 citizens – a similar investment would have been difficult and wasteful for that historical epoch.

    Moscow metro

    Something which was designed and built by Soviet engineers.

    he most beautiful ones were the oldest ones and the new ones.

    Because in different times, and in different cities, more or less money is allocated on decorations.

    I was in Ukraine in 1990. Soviet times. The roads were horrible then, by Western standards. Buildings were shabby and a joke. The nicest things were pre-Soviet ones or early-Soviet ones.

    While it is interesting you were visiting Ukraine in 1990, and I would happily read about your impressions of such a historical year.

    You visited during its economic collapse, and it seemed shabby, and you infer therefore that Soviet (civil only?) engineers are bad?

    How many countries today, with GDP per capita of a bit over $3000, have infrastructure like Kiev metro?

    There are countries with GDP per capita of $40,000 today – which would be envious of such metro systems.

    • Replies: @AP
  140. Gerard2 says:
    @Dmitry

    On YouTube – he was arguing in English about Premier League football games on comments, and subscribed to ordinary popular America/English YouTubers and gaming channels.

    But also was subscribed a few Russian channels like Vecherniy Urgant. Didn’t see anything about Ukraine.

    Interesting. Thanks for that!

    Is it clear who he supports, both in the Premier League and in the Ukrop or Russian PL?
    A comment on a video on Youtube at the time of the world cup of him saying how much he loves Golovin, Dzagoev or Dzyuba would be extremely funny.

    BTW on the issue of the population of Ukraine – football attendances in the Ukrainian matches over the last few years are one of the most striking things when thinking about the depopulation Ukraine in the last 5 years……..Karpaty Lvov have basically genocided their fans in the last 5 years LOL. Even taking into account the relocation of Shakhtar Donetsk and Zorya Lugansk teams – the low attendance at matches is shocking and even more direct proof of the depopulation

  141. Gerard2 says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    This explains much of why the FSU looks terrible, but the infrastructure is in fact functional.

    It is the lack of cladding panels ( coupled with lack of funds and gross inefficiency) that is the problem- the building/infrastructure themselves are excellent….and many similar projects were done in the west….albeit with better cladding. Remember the UK, Germany, Italy and France were full of socialist/communist sympathising urban areas that were full of projects that reflected this in urban planning

    The Sydney Opera House is basically a Soviet type building ….but with cladding on , and it is these panels which give it the gloss to make it one of the most positively recognisable buildings in the world

    This explains it – plus any malaise. If these brand new steel-frame/glass clad public buildings around the are not maintained well for a few years…..then they will look like monstrosities in a few years time also

  142. @Gerard2

    Seriously? I was under the impression that it has the highest dropout rate of any course in the west.
    I thought something like Geography was considered “dumbass” ,

    From my time at University – the mathematics being taught to civil engineers was at a much harder level than that taught to mechanical and electrical engineers, a much higher level of critical thinking is required for civil engineering…and the civil engineering department gets far more money! Timoshenko, Bernouilli and Euler ( you must have heard of him) are three of the greatest mathematicians of all time and the fathers of Civil Engineering..a subject like electronic engineering has no use for two of them!
    Soil /Foundation Engineering perhaps has a higher degree of empirical study done that is incorporated into it’s modern day practise , which might make it weaker than the purer mathematics in pipes/structural engineering….but still it is nothing particularly weak

    Note that what I said was:

    Incidentally civil engineering is in North America considered the “softest” of the engineering disciplines, along with industrial engineering.

    Civil engineering is still engineering, so when I say they’re the weakest of the engineers that does not mean that American civil engineers are stupid or can be compared with majors in geography (assuming this is a major). Engineering in North America is renowned as a very difficult, challenging field. It is like stating that Donald Trump is the poorest billionaire.

    And this is my impression from talking with engineers, of whom I know many professionally. Mostly electrical, but also some mechanical and a few aerospace. A good friend of mine from high school also became a civil engineer and commented that it was easy (he is highly intelligent), and after finding out that salaries in the field were modest he changed his career to finance and is today a VP with one of the larger banks.

    Not being an engineer myself I can’t comment on whether or not it is inherently more or less challenging than other forms of engineering, but it’s not an attractive career here relative to some other types of engineering because most civil engineering jobs are with state departments of transportation. These are perfectly reasonable jobs, but in the private sector engineers obviously have better chances of earning much more. Employers like Boeing, nVidia, Caterpillar, etc. are more attractive than the Texas DOT to young students.

    All these factors explain why the ranking system is just some Anglo-world centric BS of zero relevance …which , if anything, is mostly founded on research( not necessarily the quality of that research, particularly if not in English) which entirely relies on state handouts or companies paying….and absolutely zero to do with the quality of the graduates at the time of completion of their study………it’s basically this fantasist f**up troll AP making up some lies for the purpose of attention-whoring – as befits a nutjob

    I obviously can’t comment on Russian university rankings, but in America one should skip the official rankings and simply look at the average test scores (SAT and ACT for undergraduate, GMAT and GRE for graduate) of students to see which schools and programs are serious.

    • Agree: AP
    • Replies: @AP
  143. https://www.city-journal.org/europe-multiculturalism

    Mass immigration leads to replacement. If immigration were limited in number and time span, it might be acceptable, esp if the newcomers are not African. But certainly NOT when it goes on and on.

    If only a limited number of Jews had settled in Palestine, Palestine would still be Palestine. But Jews kept on coming in waves after waves, and they eventually replaced the Palestinians who lost their homeland and are now forced to live under Occupation and apartheid.

    Same will happen to the Europeans. Kosovo was once Serbian, but it is now mostly Albanian. Under Ottoman rule, all those Muslims Albanians were allowed to move into Serbian territory, and this had a devastating effect on the Serbian population.

    Also, it’s primarily not about economics. EVEN IF all new immigrants were good people and worked very hard, TOO MANY of them will alter the character of the nation. I’m sure 30 million Chinese in Kenya will do wonders for the economy, but Kenya will no longer be Kenya. Infusion of Han Chinese have led to economic boom in Tibet, but traditional Tibet is fading away in demographic and cultural terms.

    True national consciousness means attachment and connection to time and land. It’s the understanding that one’s own people have lived and been buried in the soil of the motherland for eons stretching back centuries, millenniums, and even eons when we consider that Europeans lived in Europe even before the rise of civilization and nations.

    • Replies: @sudden death
  144. AP says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    Our nanny was a civil engineer in Russia. Nice lady, and certainly not stupid (otherwise we would not hire her to watch our children), but not as intelligent as typical American engineers. I’m sure that there were brilliant engineers in Soviet Russia, just as there are brilliant teachers in the USA, but in the non-capitalist world engineering seems to have been the catch-all for the people who were not terribly bright, the sort that would be in education departments or study business administration (or geography) in the USA. Office plankton types.

    I know a couple of people who studied physics in the USSR (one of whom became financial director of a large company in the 90s), a chemist (now a big-shot at a pharmaceutical company) and they are brilliant. Engineering doesn’t have that reputation.

    A friend of mine who is an executive of an engineering company recently hired a Russian engineer. He finds him to be mediocre, but acceptable, and preferable to an Indian or Chinese. There’s a problem in the USA in that other fields such as finance and medicine pay much much more than does engineering. So one must sometimes hire mediocre foreigners.

  145. AP says:
    @Dmitry

    Moscow metro

    Something which was designed and built by Soviet engineers.

    First plans were made before the Revolution and its creators were trained by pre-Soviet people. Deeper into the Soviet period, the quality declined.

    Here’s a metro station from the 1930’s:

    Its creator, Kravets, was born in 1891, pre-Soviet.

    A station from 1965:

    (photo doesn’t capture the ugly tiles on the side, that look like they belong in a public restroom)

    While it is interesting you were visiting Ukraine in 1990, and I would happily read about your impressions of such a historical year.

    I was finishing high school. I noticed girls were often unshaved and badly dressed, but feminine and flirtatious. Everything was very shabby. Roads were much wore than even in Detroit. Many Polish (!) traders peddling things (they called them “speculators”) – Poland was poorer than Ukraine, I suspect. “Middle-class” cousins were living like American blacks do in housing projects – that’s how bad Sovok housing was.

    Took a lot of pictures of ugly and bad Sovok public buildings to laugh at them.

    Was impressed by pre-Soviet stuff like Pecherska Lavra, and family hospitality.

    You visited during its economic collapse,

    In 1990 the economic collapse wasn’t so long and and wouldn’t explain the dreadful state everything was in. If roads and buildings were well-built they would’t all be crumbling after 3-5 years of a bad economy.

    • Replies: @Mikhail
    , @melanf
    , @Dmitry
  146. Mikhail says: • Website
    @AP

    Compare Penn Station before its do over in the 1960s. Much of the architecture the world over saw an aesthetic decline.

    Very true of sports facilities built in the 1960s (some exceptions) and 1970s versus what existed beforehand (especially true of MLB parks).

    Since the 1980s, architecture at large has put more of an emphasis on seeking modernity without losing the aesthetic appeal.

    • Replies: @melanf
  147. melanf says:
    @ImmortalRationalist

    It still doesn’t explain Mongolia. Russians are almost 0% of the population of Mongolia, yet Mongolians still have a much higher IQ than the peoples to the north.

    As far as I know there is no reliable unified system of tests that would allow comparing the Mongols with the Yakuts, Evenks, etc. In the tests of PISA Mongolia (as well as Russian Mongols – Kalmyks and Buryats) did not participate. In the comments to one of the posts of Karlin was given a link to a special study of the intelligence of the natives of Eastern Siberia – if I remember correctly their IQ in the conditions of life in the city was about 100

  148. melanf says:
    @AP

    First plans were made before the Revolution and its creators were trained by pre-Soviet people. Deeper into the Soviet period, the quality declined.

    Here’s a metro station from the 1930’s:

    Its creator, Kravets, was born in 1891, pre-Soviet.

    A station from 1965:

    This is clearly a ridiculous statement. Here’s an example of Avtovo in St. Petersburg (1955)

    And this metro station opened in St. Petersburg over the past decade. Its creators, was born in Soviet….

    And this modern station Novoperedelkino in Moscow

    • Replies: @Simpleguest
  149. melanf says:

    Yes here in the company – newest metro of Kazan

    • Replies: @Simpleguest
    , @AP
  150. melanf says:
    @Mikhail

    Much of the architecture the world over saw an aesthetic decline.

    Is there any explanation for that? I (before I began to travel to Western Europe) naively thought that the ugly Soviet cities – from lack of funds and planned economy. But here is a photo of the “modern” quarters of Stockholm (!).

    In appearance – a typical ugly Soviet city. Given Sweden’s GDP, poverty cannot be the reason for this.

  151. Mikhail says: • Website
    @melanf

    A learning curve.

    With some sports facilities, there was an effort to be practical. In the US, the 1960s and 70s saw grotesque stadiums designed to offer the best for baseball and football. They were initially hailed as state of the art improvements.

    One such eyesore still exists, albeit on borrowed time:

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

    It has been rated the worst NFL stadium. Ditto for MLB.

    The result was something that proved ideally imperfect for both. Upon seeing this, the attempt was made for a more old school feel.

  152. @melanf

    It’s cheaper, it’s easier to build and less energy consuming
    I wonder if living in an aesthetically unpleasing city has a psychological effect on people, perhaps a medical justification can be found for buildings not looking like blocky turds

    • Replies: @melanf
  153. melanf says:
    @Korenchkin

    It’s cheaper, it’s easier to build and less energy consuming

    Look at how the apartments look inside (except for the homes of completely degraded alcoholics and drug addicts). On the walls are pasted Wallpaper (although bare concrete walls are cheaper), on the ceiling chandelier (although the bulb hanging on the wire is cheaper), etc. etc. That is, the aesthetic side is also important for people. However, why it is considered (since the mid-20th century) perfectly normal and right to build houses like it’s warehouses or barns for livestock. Here is a new building in St. Petersburg –

    here made a minimal attempt to decorate the house. How much did it make the house more expensive – by 1%? Maybe 1.5%? But in 99.9% of cases, even such modest attempts to make the house better aestheticaly is not done.

  154. AP says:
    @melanf

    I’m glad you agree with me that post-Soviet is good. But High Soviet is bad.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  155. Mikhail already pointed this out, but there was a worldwide decline in the beauty of architecture (and much else) after the war.

    Boston City Hall

    • Replies: @AP
  156. AP says:
    @melanf

    Those buildings, individually, are much better quality than Sovok ones, even if the overall aesthetic is unattractive.

    From googleimage, a Swedish apartment block from the 1970s:

    Sovok ones:

    Night and day difference.

    Also, uglier highrises in Sweden are for poor people usually. In Russia it is for normal people.

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  157. AP says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    Ugly but not shabby.

    Government building in Ukraine:

    • Replies: @Marcus
    , @Thorfinnsson
    , @Mikhail
  158. Marcus says:
    @AP

    The Soviet GUM buildings were not bad looking imo

  159. @AP

    They weren’t built for poor people, of which very few exist in Sweden even today.

    Most of them originate from the ’60s era housing program to construct one million dwellings to insure every urban Swedish family had a modern home.

    The difference in quality is not so much in construction but rather in maintenance and landscaping.

  160. @AP

    The shabbiness is not the result of defective construction, but rather of lackadaisical maintenance and upkeep. No doubt the Sovok mentality contributed to the latter, though Western travelers in the Russian Empire commented on the shabbiness of Russian farmsteads.

    A friend of mine who studied Russian in the Russian Far East commented that the whole country could use a power washing and a fresh coat of paint.

    • Replies: @LondonBob
  161. Mr. Hack says:

    I used to work within this office building. Alhough it looks somewaht impressive from far away, up close it exhibited shabby workmanship and certainly wasn’t worth the exhorbitant office space costs!

    A man made lake in the middle of the desert, no less. 🙂

    • Replies: @AP
  162. Dmitry says:
    @AP

    made before the Revolution and its creators

    Plans, designs and construction, which was made, are all by Soviet engineers, by any description.

    Earlier plans by German companies like Siemens, have no relation to what was constructed.

    were trained by pre-Soviet people.

    Here you have entered some kind of strange circularity of logic.

    Soviet people were trained by pre-Soviet people. And post-Soviet people were trained by Soviet people.

    So the good and bad things of Soviet times, are a responsibility of pre-Soviet people? And likewise the post-Soviet times, are the responsibility of Soviet people?

    Here’s a metro station from the 1930’s:

    You are talking now about architecture, not engineering. In the first image, a luxurious Art Deco station, and in the second a plain one.

    Different times and cities, had more or less luxurious architecture, depending a lot on the budget allocated. Also in different times, some architecture styles is more attractive than other fashions.

    Certainly 1930s art deco architecture is cooler, than the 1960s one, even controlling for budget. But this is not unique in the USSR.

    1930s architecture in New York: Chrysler Building, Empire State, Bank of Manhattan Trust Building, etc.
    1960s architecture in New York: e.g. One New York Plaza

    wouldn’t explain the dreadful state everything was in

    You impression is interesting, as you were actually there in the time, with your own eyes.

    Your visit was in the middle of very painful economic collapse. And GDP per capita was about 7 times lower in Ukraine, than in the USA, in 1990, after it has fallen by 25% from the peak which was in 1983.

    Even then, looking at evidence now, things look quite shabby in many parts of e.g. New York, in 1990, despite the very high comparative income levels.

    It would be interesting how the perception was of other countries in that time though – for example, when I look at videos of Princess Diana’s wealthy London of that epoch, it looks far more shabby than today.

    By your use of a measure of metro stations’s beauty to determine this question, we would infer British engineers are far inferior to Soviet ones.

    • Replies: @AP
  163. Dmitry says:
    @melanf

    There’s technological change – of construction materials and how way that buildings are construction.

    And also old methods of craftsmanship become only affordable for luxury buildings, as a result of vastly higher labour costs, in comparison with 19th century Europe, or even 1930s America.

    ugly Soviet cities – from lack of funds and planned economy

    Ironically, the other way around. In the USSR, it seems possible to continue building beautiful, old style, of buildings, for about 15 years longer than in the Western Europe and America.

    I don’t think it was just a result of Stalin’s taste and prioritization of expenditure, but also more availability of labour than in Western Europe.

    Beautiful buildings of cities like Volgograd are all built after the war, including with huge labour supply and volunteers immediately after liberation.

    If you compare with London – they could not dream of such elegant residential buildings in the immediate post-war years. In Germany, they could, but in many many years, with very large budget – Dresden New Market is reaching completion of reconstruction in 2020, after enormous expenditures and 75 years of works.

    • Replies: @melanf
  164. Dmitry says:
    @AP

    Aside from the circularity of your claims (post-Soviet, are Soviet, while Soviet are pre-Soviet?), It’s not reflecting reality.

    Again, last metro stations opened in the USSR, are very stylish ones.

    Here is Prospekt Kosmonavtov … where the design is influenced by space travel and modernism, but also with local Ural influences in stonework.

    Here the elegant/industrial influenced Uralmash station.

    And neo-Gothic “Uralskaya” – due to the collapse of the USSR, budget was lost for full decorations (which were planned to include beautiful mosaics of the city).

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  165. AP says:
    @Dmitry

    I visited Paris and Brussels that year and had no impression of shabbiness. They were actually very nice at that time.

    The metros seem to have been the showcase of Soviet public projects, and they were good (though still, Toronto or Montreal metros from the 70’s or 80’s are better than are Moscow ones from that time). But overall it was just an experience of shabbiness and squalor. Horrible roads, ugly deteriorating buildings, like if cities were built on the level of the worst American public housing projects such Cabrini green. It was exotic and darkly funny to see regular people having to live in such an environment.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  166. Dmitry says:
    @Dmitry

    Second newest metro station in Ekaterinburg (“Botanicheskaya”) is the most modernist one.

    Chief architect Spartak Ziganshin (“Soviet trained” at Sverdlovsk Architecture Institute, graduating in 1975), was architect also on metro since the 1980s, where he was colleague of rock singer Vyacheslav Butusov who together designed many features of the stations above.

    • Replies: @AP
  167. @melanf

    Mikhail
    Compare Penn Station before its do over in the 1960s. Much of the architecture the world over saw an aesthetic decline.

    Is there any explanation for that? I (before I began to travel to Western Europe) naively thought that the ugly Soviet cities – from lack of funds and planned economy. But here is a photo of the “modern” quarters of Stockholm (!).

    Apartment block neighborhoods are pretty much planned economy projects by city governments with private companies just as contractors for specific tasks (but corruption rules and projects go to whoever has connections). Rapid urbanization, baby boomer generation, peasants turning urban workers, same motivation as in the USSR and from 1950s apartment blocks in Sweden look like Khrushchev buildings, just much better maintained.

    But another thing is ideology and the West went through its own cultural revolution and a lot of institutions since the 1960s have been controlled by leftists who want to destroy everything traditional. Buildings outlive humans so to the left they are an unwanted link to past generations and recently Western architecture has considered its duty to replace the past and the quality of the new design hasn’t mattered as much as destroying the old. Our leftist cultural elites especially hate connections to Christianity and Greco-Roman heritage (the Roman empire was fascist and anti-Semitic or something).

    Example from Helsinki. In this old photo – the Orthodox cathedral on the top left, entrance to the “palace” on the lower left (formerly used by Romanov family on their visits, later made the President’s residence) and a random 19th century neo-renaissance building on the left. This building was fine and didn’t need replacement:

    That neo-renaissance building had no special importance but it was designed to fit the surroundings very well, with red brick matching the Orthodox church and the neo-renaissance style fitting the neo-classical center of Helsinki. It would have been too controversial to blow up the Orthodox church or the “palace” but they demolished the less known building in the 1960s so that famous architect Alvar Aalto could replace it with this stupid box:

    Normal people hate this building but our academic and media elites praise it. The city of Helsinki has declared this horrid building to be a protected cultural landmark. To the new architect elite what’s great about it is that it has no style or ornaments that would link it to a particular tradition or a previous time period and it is a striking mismatch in color and style to the church and the “palace” so it poisons views and photos of those buildings that the cultural elite hates.

    Another example of demolished neo-renaissance center of Helsinki:

    Nothing special about this either, just typical 19th century construction, but the pleasant looking city block was was demolished to build this…
    http://www.google.com/search?q=makkaratalo&tbm=isch

    …as the first part of a plan to demolish all of the 19th century neo-renaissance center of Helsinki and to replace it with these concrete boxes. Of course this box building from the 1960s has been declared a “protected national antiquity” by the government museum board because it “shows belief in progress” hence it can never be demolished unless we somehow manage to get back control of the bureaucracy from leftists.

    Eventually public outcry got loud enough that they stopped demolishing the city center and then ugly boxes were built in new neighborhoods further away.

    I’ve wondered how St Petersburg managed to survive the commies so well. I assumed that communism with no opposition would mean full demolition of everything from before the revolution since that’s what our leftists would do. In 1990s St Petersburg there was a lot of old stuff in disrepair which shows the commies didn’t care but the whole of St Petersburg center hadn’t been razed and replaced with concrete boxes.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
    , @Dmitry
    , @Mikhail
  168. Gerard2 says:
    @Epigon

    There’s an even better gem.
    Freedomhouse list.
    Russian score – 20
    Afghanistan – 26
    Pakistan – 39
    Ukraine – 60!!!
    Egypt – 22
    Qatar – 25
    Turkey – 31
    Iraq – 32
    Kosovo !!! – 52

    The Muscovite kreakl maggots were in hysterics when Mayor Sobyanin said that Russia was not like Zimbabwe…they were quoting all the “Freedom House” and “Democracy Index” or whatever BS raatings which rate Zimbabwe higher

  169. Dmitry says:
    @Jaakko Raipala

    survive the commies so well

    In the Soviet Union, there were people caring about architectural preservation.

    Not in all places or times. But you can certainly see now in some cities, there are more demolitions of historical buildings today, than in the same city in the USSR.

    Also until the 1960s, Soviet architecture was often very traditionalist.

    Even 1920s constructivism in cities like Ekaterinburg – the buildings are more like equivalent of what is called Art Deco architecture in Miami.

    So, in cities like Sverdlovsk in the USSR, there was more de facto architectural preservation than Ekaterinburg today.

    look like Khrushchev buildings, just much better maintained.

    In the Soviet Union from the 1960s, these panel buildings were excellent for their purpose, which was to rapidly increase housing supply, in a way which was with previous construction methods – impossible.

    They are not designed because of any particular aesthetics, or because people think boxes looked cool. They are made to be the quickest and most efficient, prefabricated construction technology.

    These could be built in a few weeks, and repeated with the high standard, thousands of times. These were accompanied usually with excellent infrastructure and planning of the microdistricts.

    Engineers had designed the buildings only for a limited lifespan however (I believe it was 30 years, if I recall correctly), which is now exceeded.

  170. @Priss Factor

    It’s the understanding that one’s own people have lived and been buried in the soil of the motherland for eons stretching back centuries, millenniums, and even eons when we consider that Europeans lived in Europe even before the rise of civilization and nations.

    If we are talking about milleniums and eons, then it needs to be noted that we all modern Europens are nothing but descendents of black African demographic explosion wave which killed off and replaced all original white Europeans – Neanderthals.

    So even if all of Africa will come again into Europe now, then after some forty thousand years they still should become white again 😉

    • LOL: Mr. Hack
    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  171. Dmitry says:
    @Jaakko Raipala

    communism with no opposition would mean full demolition of everything from before the revolution

    There seems misunderstanding of communism’s effect on art and culture here.

    Classical music and literature was more prestigious in Soviet times, than today. Attitude to historical elite culture, was that historical elite culture needed to be accessible to wider circle than elites.

    Contemporary art and literature is more dangerous for them, as artists are often quite subversive and rebellious of current authorities, and it was contemporary culture which was effectively damaged, as it was forced to conform to official views and styles.

    So Pushkin could be promoted as a god in the Soviet Union. But silver age poets basically destroyed by the Soviet Union. Boris Pasternak for example, famous for symbolist poetry – by 1940s writing realist poetry about workers commuting on trains.

    • Replies: @melanf
  172. Mr. Hack says:
    @sudden death

    However I have heard that blacks that take up living in northern climates, with much less sunshine than southern climates, are getting much higher incidents of melanoma. Skin cancer seems more related to diet and lifestyle than to actual overexposure to the sun?…

  173. melanf says:
    @Dmitry

    There’s technological change – of construction materials and how way that buildings are construction.

    This is clearly a false explanation. If it was all about technology, we would have some such architecture (the project of the theater in Kaliningrad)

    But we have this:
    St Bride’s Church, “one of the finest examples of British twentieth-century ecclesiastical architecture” (!)

    And also old methods of craftsmanship become only affordable for luxury buildings, as a result of vastly higher labour costs, in comparison with 19th century Europe, or even 1930s America.

    the first (in Russia) panel house of large concrete blocks of factory production. It was designed by architects Burov and Blokhin in 1941.

    Here’s a residential building of mid-20th century

    – how much more it costs than the “hruschoby”? I am quite sure that at least Sweden could massively build such housing (on standard projects, from blocks manufactured EN masse in factories) – just no desire.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  174. melanf says:
    @Dmitry

    There seems misunderstanding of communism’s effect on art and culture here.
    Classical music and literature was more prestigious in Soviet times, than today. Attitude to historical elite culture, was that historical elite culture needed to be accessible to wider circle than elites.

    This is true for the Stalinist and post-Stalinist era. In 1917-1930 the field of culture was dominated by radical leftists (Kazimir Malevich – a vivid example)

    • Replies: @Dmitry
    , @Gerard2
  175. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Jaakko Raipala

    In the US, Robert Moses and the Levittown processes have “sovok” attributes.

  176. Dmitry says:
    @melanf

    Radical modernist architecture of the 1920s “constructivism” style.

    Here is “Art Deco” style of bourgeois and then conservative Miami, Florida.

    Yes, it is the same style which became fashionable in ideologically opposite places.

    Ideological consideration seems irrelevant, as much as it is for certain fashions in clothes, or the design of automobiles.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    , @melanf
  177. Dmitry says:
    @melanf

    http://img4.tourbina.ru/photos.4/0/8/6/3/8/1283680/big.photo/Zhiloy-Dom-6.jpg

    – how much more it costs than the “hruschoby”?

    This is elegant Stalinist Empire style. In 1940s and 1950s, it was still economically able to build those, although there was a large labour requirement, and such building is not able to fill the housing requirement of the population.

    For example, in Volgograd, 25,000 labourers work to rebuild the city, and also thousands of prisoners were used to construct such an elegant city.

    In comparison, hruschoby were constructed rapidly and economically, without huge labour requirement, and it was able to supply adequate housing for millions of people.

    But we have this:
    St Bride’s Church, “one of the finest examples of British twentieth-century ecclesiastical architecture” (!)

    Architects of different styles – for example, “brutalism”, have expensive “showcase projects”.

    But the majority of buildings in the world, have something more like “no style”.

    If you look even in Tokyo, most buildings in the cheap areas, are boxes with straight line and no decoration.

    This is not because Japanese believe in Le Corbusier, or study the work of Rodchenko and Tatlin, It’s not because of “Zen Buddhism”.

    It’s because this is economical way to construct nowadays. If you want more attractive shapes, you have to pay extra for it.

    This is Ginza in Toyko though, and they still use boxes.

    But here is the Wako Clock Tower of 1932. Building which has survived the bombing of Ginza district.

    Here is Tokyo Station – building which was damaged in the bombing and rebuilt.

    The Japanese have no ideological considerations here, but yet the change in their architecture is the same as in the West, because the technological change was the same.

    • Replies: @melanf
  178. AP says:
    @Dmitry

    Okay, these are nice (if a bit garish). I was basing my judgement on Moscow metro stations – the ones built in the 1960s through 1980s often looked a bit like public toilets, if public toilets were metro stations.

    This one is by Metropolis mall:

    Friends of mine live near this station:

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  179. AP says:
    @Mr. Hack

    Sovok architecture in the desert:

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    , @Mr. XYZ
  180. Dmitry says:
    @AP

    By international standards, those ones of Moscow are still quite attractive and stylish though.

    Something of the Soviet Union and post-Soviet sphere which is distinct from other countries of the world, was building beautiful metro stations. This is a really a luxury and other countries only start to do it recently.

    In Tokyo they all look the same and like
    In London – all of the same style until new ones.
    And New York, can be:

    Meanwhile, in a much poorer city (compared to London, New York, Tokyo) of Ekaterinburg still building them as individual styles

    • Replies: @AP
  181. AP says:
    @Dmitry

    Something of the Soviet Union and post-Soviet sphere which is distinct from other countries of the world, was building beautiful metro stations.

    Because in Sovok housing and public buildings were crap, and Churches (beautiful public buildings) were wrecked and/or not allowed to bring too much beauty to the public, so metros were all that was left. Millions of people went through them and could spend some time in beauty, on their way from their garbage housing to their garbage workplace.

    In normal places people have nicer, more comfortable houses. Subways are just places to get through.

    Now that Russian housing has improved, Russians are fortunate to have this one good legacy of Soviet public works, and normal places to live also.

  182. Mikhail says:
    @AP

    On par with the Nassau County, NY government buildings built in the 1950s thru 70s.

  183. Matra says:

    I don’t pay a lot of attention to architecture but a couple of times I’ve passed through Katowice and been struck by an enormous apartment building in the centre. I just looked it up. It seems to be known as Superjednostka. You beauty!

  184. Mr. Hack says:
    @AP

    Probably functional, but aesthetically…meh! 🙁

  185. Mr. Hack says:
    @Dmitry

    I kinda like this one..kind of a “regal modern”…has some elements of class to it. Not clear what it is and where it’s located?

    The Miami buildings are nice, very similar to other beach type architecture in San Diego…

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  186. Mr. Hack says:

    The Guthrie theater was an example of a beautiful modern thater built in the 1960’s in Minneapolis. It was destroyed and rebuilt in another part of town and the new one has two theaters to heard in the large crowds. The original theater was intimate and featured a 3/4 view of the stage. Where were the city fathers when this one went down?

    Before:

    After:

    Hideous and scarry!

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  187. Dmitry says:
    @AP

    was exotic and darkly funny to see regular people having to live in such an environment.

    But particularly in Ukraine – let’s be honest, all over the post-Soviet sphere -, most people still live from the city planning, buildings and infrastructure from Soviet times.

    If we look at cities in Ukraine like Mariupol – it is clear from photos, they had been intelligently planned in the Soviet times, with attractive, wide avenues and trees, and separation of microdistricts from industrial areas.

    Let’s compare Soviet planning in Ukraine, with Israel in the Middle East (where the budget was perhaps less than the USSR in 1950s -1970s years, but today people have a higher income).

    This is Bat Yam, where my friend lives (these are not my photos though).


    Compare housing density of Bat Yam (Israeli city planning).

    Children of immigrants should even wish they had Soviet city planners and panel buildings, instead of less competent Middle Eastern ones.

  188. Gerard2 says:
    @AP

    Smart Soviet-era Russians who were inclined towards math or science studied physics, chemistry, math, biology, medicine etc.

    hahahahahahaha! FFS – Dissecting this nonsense with a TIMELINE:

    1. I say my job to Thorfinsson, mainly as a form of politeness as I’m asking what his profession is

    2.You get insanely and hilariously jealous – obviously because a qualification in a good job offends a worthless POS lunatic as yourself – & you know that if I lead your type of embarassing life..then I, and 99.9% of the world population, would demand to get euthanized

    3. You then try to recycle some random idiotic troll garbage about another profession in order to make some ridiculous lie and some ridiculous comparison that nobody has made (medicine vs Engineering etc)….worse than a Photoshop image placing the Taj Mahal in Tel Aviv

    4.I almost injure myself from laughter

    5. You then proceed to do 12 hours of “research” such is the lamentable non-life you lead, arguing on this point – Karlin wins because his board gets full of unnecessary comments……and you get to occupy your non-life with more retarded garbage, on a subject you know even less of than on the Russian/Ukrop language or history of anything

    This explains Sovok’s rotten infrastructure.

    Well the Aswan Dam in Egypt is arguably the greatest, most successful infrastructure project of the 20th century you dickhead. Obviously there are a million more examples in the USSR of amazing projects….but what use would it be to discuss them – it’s like arguing with a roasted fish

    Any international civil engineering conference in the 60’s,70’s.80’s places the Soviet Union Engineers very much at or near the top of valued work/valued opinions you idiot – I know this because alot of the academic research published/presented at these conferences are used in alot of the work today around the world.

    Something like civil engineering served as a repository for such people in non-capitalist Sovok

    Literally some scattergun moronic nonsense you have invented out of thin air ( from jealousy), that deifies logic

    • Replies: @AP
  189. Dmitry says:
    @Mr. Hack

    This is the Dzerzhinsky culture palace in Ekaterinburg.

    It was a famous building of constructivism architecture.

    Today there is just a regional museum.

    It’s considered unusual because constructivist interior design aspects have been preserved. Spiral stairs inside with Red Star at the top.

    Constructivism in the USSR, looks almost the same as Art Deco in Miami.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  190. AP says:
    @Gerard2

    You get insanely and hilariously jealous

    No, just really amused. It was quite funny to see that we are dealing with a Sovok “engineer” here.

    You then proceed to do 12 hours of “research”

    Projection. Your long and desperate responses give you away. The truth hurt – you were too dumb to study physics, chemistry, etc. So you completed some third-rate engineering institute.

    One way of examining this is to see if people from which faculties are hired from the Soviet Union. Soviet scientists are often hired by Western universities. Engineers, not so much. So at UMass chemistry:

    https://www.umass.edu/chemistry/faculty-research

    There is a Russian guy.

    Chemical engineering?

    https://che.umass.edu/faculty

    None.

    Three Russians in the physics department:

    https://www.physics.umass.edu/directory/faculty

    Four in Math:

    https://www.math.umass.edu/directory/faculty

    None in electrical engineering:

    https://ece.umass.edu/faculty

    None in civil engineering

    https://cee.umass.edu/faculty-by-area

    None in mechanical engineering either:

    https://mie.umass.edu/faculty

    I’m not gonna spend more than ten minutes on this, but I’m assuming this is a representative sample.

    See, in Russia, smart people studied physics, math, chemistry etc. They were in demand in the West and hired there. Dumb ones, like you, couldn’t study physics or chemistry so you studied engineering.

    They weren’t wanted.

    I say my job to Thorfinsson, mainly as a form of politeness

    You admitted you are not only a Sovok, but a substandard Sovok. 🙂

    • Replies: @AP
  191. Mr. Hack says:
    @Mr. Hack

    The “after” reminds me of a bad trip depicted by Pink Floyd on one of their album jackets:

  192. Mr. Hack says:
    @Dmitry

    Quite a light and airy atmosphere used to commemorate such a dark soul?…

  193. Mr. Hack says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    TOP SECRET:

    Identity of “Television Santa” revealed:

  194. AP says:
    @AP

    One way of examining this is to see if people from which faculties are hired from the Soviet Union. Soviet scientists are often hired by Western universities. Engineers, not so much. So at UMass chemistry:

    https://www.umass.edu/chemistry/faculty-research

    There is a Russian guy.

    Chemical engineering?

    https://che.umass.edu/faculty

    None.

    Three Russians in the physics department:

    https://www.physics.umass.edu/directory/faculty

    Four in Math:

    https://www.math.umass.edu/directory/faculty

    None in electrical engineering:

    https://ece.umass.edu/faculty

    None in civil engineering

    https://cee.umass.edu/faculty-by-area

    None in mechanical engineering either:

    https://mie.umass.edu/faculty

    I’m not gonna spend more than ten minutes on this, but I’m assuming this is a representative sample.

    See, in Russia, smart people studied physics, math, chemistry etc. They were in demand in the West and hired there. Dumb ones, like you, couldn’t study physics or chemistry so you studied engineering.

    I decided to test whether UMass was representative by spending another few minutes by looking at another university, Stanford.

    They hired a Russian physicist, biologist, and a few Russian mathematicians:

    https://physics.stanford.edu/people/faculty

    https://mathematics.stanford.edu/people/faculty-lecturers

    But not a single Russian engineer was worthy of their attention:

    https://engineering.stanford.edu/people/faculty/grid

    Further corroboration that in Sovok-land, engineering was for the people too dumb to get into the physics, mathematics, chemistry etc. institutes or departments. Western universities will eagerly take Russian physicists, chemists, biologists, mathematicians, etc. But they don’t need substandard Sovok engineers like you.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  195. melanf says:
    @Dmitry

    Radical modernist architecture of the 1920s “constructivism” style.

    Here is “Art Deco” style of bourgeois and then conservative Miami, Florida.

    Yes, it is the same style which became fashionable in ideologically opposite places.

    It’s not Art Deco

    Art Deco is:

    Constructivism (in Moscow or Miami) is the complete opposite of art Deco

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  196. Mr. Hack says:
    @AP

    Perhaps Gerard2 really is an outstanding civil engineer? He’s on record stating that he’s a dilettante pianist. Sure, his brand of Ukrainaphobia is a bit advanced (even for this blog), but he seems honest enough. He might even be another polymath like Thorfinnsson?

    • Replies: @AP
  197. Mr. XYZ says:
    @AP

    Are you a fan of Kazakhstan’s architecture in Astana?

  198. melanf says:
    @Dmitry

    But the majority of buildings in the world, have something more like “no style”.
    It’s because this is economical way to construct nowadays. If you want more attractive shapes, you have to pay extra for it.

    At least in rich countries, such a building strategy should be strictly prohibited. Architects should design (and companies should build) aesthetically acceptable buildings for all without exception, even if these buildings will be 10-15% more expensive

    • Agree: AP, reiner Tor
    • Replies: @Dmitry
  199. LondonBob says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    The tragedy of the commons. More private property and securer rights will improve that.

  200. JL says:

    One of the passengers on the A321 that crash landed in a corn field near Moscow filmed the entire flight on his phone. It’s a pretty interesting video, definitely watch with the sound on. I was surprised how no one seemed to panic until the plane had actually landed. Perhaps they didn’t realize what was happening, though I don’t understand how that’s possible.

    https://www.rbc.ru/society/15/08/2019/5d551f649a79478ec78716b8?utm_source=yxnews&utm_medium=desktop

    • Replies: @AP
  201. To German Reader:

    I did find a book on Germany, William Harvey Maehl’s Germany in Western Civilization (1979) which goes from the German tribes to the contemporary division of West and East Germany.

    It is not so easily available, but at least I find the introduction interesting (under the more tag):

    [MORE]

    For a decade after World War II the study of German history was in disrepute. It was the uninformed view of an angry world that Hitler had in fact been the culmination of militaristic and authoritarian tendencies that had lurked in the German mentality from time immemorial. For the victor peoples the fall of the Reich was to be compared with Lucifer’s fall into hell.

    Feeling that heaven had to be on the winning side, the youth of Germany shared this view. They repudiated their national heritage. They believed that a failure of such titanic proportions as represented by the two German wars of the century must in some occult way be attributable to the inheritance of undesirable national characteristics from the past. They therefore wanted to hear no more about the glorious deeds of Germany’s heroes and statesmen from the Middle Ages to modern times. They did not even care to hear much about the cultural contributions of their forefathers. Never had a generation so resolutely lowered the portcullis upon its history. Rejecting all things, including their parents, that had brought the Reich to catastrophe, German youth, like the fool in the Roman proverb (malo “accepto stultus sapit), having suffered great evil, now became improbably wise.

    The total destruction of the balance of power in the Europe of 1945 provoked the post-Nazi generation into turning away from the whole idea of nationalism because it was subversive of German interests. The state could be interred, but the German people must be rescued. The one hope for resurrection lay in merging Germany with old Europe. The fact that as a result of the war the continental states had been reduced to a family of dwarfs beside the Russian colossus encouraged the belief that this could be done. After all, misery likes company. For the sake of reviving a balance of power against the USSR, the other states might very well welcome the integration of German industry, technology, manpower, and military potential with a new, supranational continental polity. Manifestly, in such an intellectual climate the study of German history almost died on the vine.

    […]

    Enough has been said to indicate that, as is the case with all world-historic peoples, there have always been saints as well as devils in Germany. Its political, constitutional, and intellectual development has been a complex phenomenon conditioned by many factors. High among them have been geography, fragmentation, religious schism, the impact of the technological and industrial revolution, a capacity for work, and an inferiority complex that derived from having been for so long the object of the divisive diplomacy and aggression of stronger neighbors.

    A generation has elapsed since the Second German War. It ought now to be possible to eliminate most of the ethnic and nationalist bias that has poisoned assessments of the German contribution to Western civilization. Because this has become possible, there is increasing need for a variety of objective reconstructions of the record of a people who have always been the hub of Europe and whose blood and creativity, in league with Christianity and the Greco-Roman cultural heritage, have been, as James W. Thompson contended, one of the three main components of European civilization.

    It is the more appropriate to offer a new abridgement of German history because the civilization of which the old Germany was the heart has now manifestly come to an end. The cities of that country, as with all others of the world, are now greatly changed in appearance. Urban structure, technology, industry, communications, and transportation, and the role and attitudes of the masses in both present-day Germanies would be unintelligible, if not unrecognizable, to past generations. As Europeans make the agonizing transition from one civilization to another it is imperative that they reappraise their heritage. They must perpetuate a knowledge of historic accomplishments in many fields, even as the Romans did for the total Greek bequest. Such knowledge may help keep alive the conviction that the Germans are one people who by right and reason ought to be united in a single state, even though it may one day become a federated component of a United States of Europe.

    • Replies: @German_reader
  202. I don’t have much to contribute, but I would like to say I really enjoy this eclectic architecture discussion.

  203. AP says:
    @Mr. Hack

    He’s not as dumb as most of the Serbs who contribute here, but is the dumbest of the Russian posters. Non-negligible (5%) chance he is a Ukrainian troll, however.

    This would match his stated career.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  204. AP says:
    @JL

    Probably an example of the advantage of having a very intelligent pilot.

  205. Dmitry says:
    @melanf

    It’s not Art Deco

    Art Deco is:

    Yes, it is the local “Art Deco” style of Miami. (see how similar it is to constructivism built in the same years in Sverdlovsk).

    Read here for description and photos in Miami https://www.fodors.com/world/north-america/usa/florida/miami/experiences/news/photos/10-best-art-deco-buildings-in-miami-beach

    Or video tour:

    It’s more beautiful in Miami than “constructivism” in Ekaterinburg, only because they spend a lot of money to renovate these buildings in Miami.

    My point is not the name used for the style though (same buildings could also be described as Bauhaus, in a different context), but the fact they were building the same style in Miami (a politically conservative city in the 1920s), as in Sverdlovsk in the same epoch.

    Reason is that this building style (constructivism), actually has no inherent relation to political ideology – anymore than different styles of automobile or jeans.

    Republican National Convention has in South Beach, Miami enjoyed the same architecture style, as the NKVD in complex “Gorodok chekistov” in Sverdlovsk.

    This architecture style is more attractive and suitable in Miami because of the climate and beach, of course.

    Art Deco is:

    https://urbanlook.ru/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/62.jpg

    This could be designed by “traditionalist Art Deco” people – but the first two buildings are using “eclecticism”.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eclecticism_in_architecture

    • Replies: @melanf
  206. Dmitry says:
    @melanf

    I think square shapes is also encouraged by higher land value, not just the lower construction costs.

    In areas with the highest land value, square boxes are also maximizing space usage relative to floors you have permission to build.

    I think this is why Ginza in Tokyo just becomes a wall of squares.

    these buildings will be 10-15% more expensive

    However, to build like in Dresden in the 21st century, at the high quality level there (as opposed to Yoshkar-Ola ), is slow and expensive, and probably requires training of a special workers as well.

    It’s not a small cost increase that is why we don’t build like Dresden – but there is ome very significant project to build it, when construction methods, materials, and workforce have changed.

    It’s possible in a rich country, where there is a tourism potential, or investment of wealthy residents.

    They are still building and fundraising in Dresden now.

  207. Mr. Hack says:
    @AP

    So, you think that it might be possible for Gerard2 to be pressed out of the same mold as Professor Janisar (a Ukrainain troll)?…The most interesting of the Ukrainaphobe trolls in my opinion has to be Beckow. He portrays himelf as some sort of cosmopolitan East European “Slovak” and never seems to miss an opportunity to portray Ukraine or its people in a bad light. If he really were a young Slovak, no matter how intelligent, I think that the vast majority of his day would be filled with chasing the allmighty euro, not camped out on this website 24/7 pontificating about why Ukraine is a blight to humanity. The more that I read his spiel, the more I’m convinced that he’s a professional troll.

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
    , @AP
  208. @Mr. Hack

    He simply dislikes the Western empire, which typically leads to antipathy against the contemporary Ukrainian project.

    I doubt very much he gets paid for his posts.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    , @AP
  209. Mr. Hack says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    Why, are you really naieve enough to not believe that there really are paid Russian trolls that are assigned certain websites to monitor and post into? Do you think that there aren’t ones posted to the UNZ blog, especially to the blogs dealing with Russian topical concerns? I mean, I don’t really know about Beckow, maybe he really doesn’t have much of a life and is a committed sovok? And if that’s the case I apologize for making a wrong inference. 🙂

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  210. @Mr. Hack

    There are paid Russian as well as non-Russian commenters on the internet.

    Are they on the Unz Review? Doubtful, especially of the Russian variety. They ought to start by paying Karlin first, who certainly deserves it.

    If there are any paid commenters here (note that it would not necessarily always be trolling), I would suspect our own dweeb state and of course our very special friends between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River.

    One can’t prove if a commenter is paid or not, and even if someone is paid he’s not necessarily even acting in bad faith.

    • Replies: @IM
  211. Gerard2 says:
    @AP

    It looks terrible and it is barely functional. Roads were awful even in 1990, and even in areas with a mild climate such as Ukraine.

    FFS……….roads in Ukraine NOW are awful you retarded POS……..easily the worst of any non-Island country in the world you idiot!

    The University thing is moronic beyond belief as I have debunked this ranking nonsense numerous times

    • Replies: @AP
  212. IM says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    You can’t exactly “prove” per say but you can’t tell from certain patterns of inflexibility in opinions and particularly the manner in which thing’s are rationalised. Obviously this is not definitive proof however let’s just say for my own personal standard of evidence it’s enough to reach a conclusion after long enough, especially when it’s clear people are using advanced methods of manipulation. I notice quite a few of those lurking around.

    Tbh i think paying such commenters provides massive ‘bang for the buck’ per se as people The Saker and whatnot hold massive sway over their individual constituents are quite effective at reaching their target demographic. I know for e.g. he had money troubles a while back, so why not just pay him something and let him write? He would easily outproduce a given RT staff.

    • Agree: Mr. Hack
  213. AP says:
    @Mr. Hack

    I doubt anyone here is paid. Beckow seems to be a sincere Sovok, this explains his hatred of Ukraine and Poland, they played an important role in destroying the Soviet project. He wishes Slovakia still bordered a state ruled by Moscow. A western-oriented Ukraine gets in the way of that.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  214. Gerard2 says:
    @AP

    They built beautiful metros. Predictably, the beautiful stations were from earlier in the Soviet-era by people trained from the time of the Tsars or soon after those times (so, students of pre-Revolutionary engineers). Deeper into Sovok and it went downhill. Now there are many beautiful new stations being built.

    Difficult to know where to start with the idiocy and incorrectness of that paragraph.
    So in other words taking your BS logic as if were “true”…the beautiful stations being built now are because of students of Soviet trained Engineers!

    As if to encapsulate what an attenion-whoring retard you are , you somehow logic-defyingly manage to confuse two entirely separate issues – aesthetics of a metro station…….with building the metro station and the line! That’s even more dumb than usual . Sure , the aesthetics partialy overlap with the design/construction – particularly when we are talking about arches ….but you are blatantly too thick to realise what youa re trying to compare…….beautiful mosaics are slightly different to boring out and lining a shaft/tunnel 10s of metres below ground level !!

    As it is your comments on the aesthetics are moronically informed – as Dmitry points out there were several beautiful metro stations in the USSR.

    As I said before…….amid a million great and successful infrastrucure prokjects in the USSR, the Aswan Dam in Egypt is widely seen as the best in the history of the 20th century you cretin

    • Replies: @AP
  215. Gerard2 says:
    @melanf

    Stalinist-era building alot more “classically” beautiful than the buildings done after him

  216. AP says:
    @Gerard2

    Soviet-built roads are awful in Ukraine now and they were when the USSR still existed.

    And the fact that western universities hire a lot of Russian physicists, mathematicians, chemists but don’t want to bother with engineers proves that smart Soviet people studied in the former fields, while people like you had no choice but to become an engineer. It’s why Russians in the pure sciences are competitive in the west while Russian engineers aren’t. University rankings are just another proof. Your institute was low-ranked and for people who were incapable of getting into a better place.

  217. AP says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    If it were simple dislike of the modern West he wouldn’t hate Poland. He is nostalgic for the communist system, that he defends. This drives his hatred of the Ukrainian project.

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  218. Mikhail says: • Website

    Agree with the doubt about people specifically getting paid to post comments at threads like this one. I know for a fact that some in media periodically, if not frequently, read such matter and will on occasion touch base with some of the participants for scenarios that lead to paid gigs.

    As for who deserves payola the most, there’s a phony, crony, baloney factor, in conjunction with the given predominating biases getting favoritism at the more high profile of venues.

    BS aside, the best sources are those which are well informed and can entertainingly take it and give it right back. This spirit is at times lacking, thereby explaining the low opinion that mass media at large has among a good number.

    Mass media itself is by no means monolithic. RT, Fox and the BBC have varying opinions within their respective entity.

    • Replies: @Hyperborean
    , @Philip Owen
  219. @AP

    That’s a fair point, though it’s perhaps secondary. And some of his antipathy to Poland could relate to Poland’s strong Russophobia.

    The socialist command economies had certain features which were beneficial or at least desirable to a significant fraction of the population. Guaranteed employment, low and fixed housing rents, cheap or free education and healthcare, etc.

    Much of this was lost, and not all of the benefits of the market economy accrue to the entire population.

    A lot of the basic physical infrastructure and industrial base in Eastern Europe also dates to the socialist period.

  220. @Mikhail

    Mass media itself is by no means monolithic. RT, Fox and the BBC have varying opinions within their respective entity.

    It is funny, from Liberal descriptions of Fox News I originally thought that it was some radical source, ot at least equivalent in political viewpoints, if not in intellect, of the UK Spectator.

    However, I found it to be simply a “milder” version of the other alphabet networks with more emphasis of religion, “patriotism” and defending Israel and undeserving Republican politicians. They even have pathetic articles about “racism” and “unnatural beauty standards”.

    https://www.foxnews.com/tech/google-employee-describes-burden-of-being-black

    https://www.foxnews.com/tech/hate-speech-algorithms-biased-against-blacks-researchers-find

    https://www.foxnews.com/lifestyle/fit-mom-maria-kang-apologizes-beauty-standard-breast-implants

    I should not have expected very much, but after all the “Faux News” hysteria that I have heard over the years it is a bit of a disappointment.

    Maybe their television channel is different?

    • Replies: @Mikhail
  221. @AP

    Looking at the products and yes, structures, created by Soviet engineers it’s not plausible that Soviet engineers were of a low caliber. As for modern Russian engineers, isn’t Boeing’s second largest R&D center in Moscow?

    AnonFromTN, who I believe is a Soviet-trained scientist now working in the West, has commented that a lot of funding for researchers dried up following the collapse of the USSR.

    • Replies: @AP
  222. melanf says:
    @Dmitry

    Yes, it is the local “Art Deco” style of Miami.

    Perhaps in Miami it is called Art Deco, but this style corresponds to Soviet constructivism and European functionalism. There’s nothing from European Art Deco in these buildings.

    This architecture style is more attractive and suitable in Miami

    Honestly this “style” is pure garbage. Americans will do some good if they demolish those ugly buildings (I hope also in Russia all the buildings of the constructivism style in the future will be destroyed).

    This could be designed by “traditionalist Art Deco” people – but the first two buildings are using “eclecticism”.

    The first two buildings (Follenweider and Kekushev mansion) are considered as reference examples of Art Deco (in Russia it was called “Modern” not to be confused with European modernism). Follenweider mansion – St. Petersburg Art Deco, kekusheva – Moscow Art Deco.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  223. @Hyperborean

    They therefore wanted to hear no more about the glorious deeds of Germany’s heroes and statesmen

    Bit too much of national pathos, I don’t care much for such hero worship…and it will always founder on the fact that during 33-45 there were precious few German heroes.
    And I don’t even know if there’s that much point at this stage to deconstructing anti-German narratives (though I certainly do resent them). Things already seem to shift to a generalized anti-European attitude anyway which will only increase with African and other non-European immigration.

  224. Film Review.

    Just watched Salyut-7.
    It was fucking good.

  225. AP says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    Looking at the products and yes, structures, created by Soviet engineers it’s not plausible that Soviet engineers were of a low caliber.

    There were low caliber relative to Soviet physicists and other scientists, as evidenced by the worse reputation engineering institutes have vs. places like Phystec, and by the fact that Western universities have been eager to gobble up Russian pure scientists but aren’t trying to hire Russian engineers.

    Of course, these are still European people, it’s not Africa. They still made things. They also really pushed space and military and were barely able to keep up. As Twinkie summarized, “Historically, they competed by making crude (or less complicated), but effective weapons more inexpensively…Russians armaments always had more bang for the buck though usually with much worse human ergonomics.”

    A funny take (albeit with some glaring mistakes):

    https://www.cracked.com/article_19473_5-unintentionally-hilarious-soviet-versions-good-ideas.html

    As for Soviet engineering products – bad roads, some epic disasters (Chernobyl involved a design flaw, not only human error*; Sovoks managed to wipe out the Aral Sea) suggest otherwise.

    Wiki’s summary:

    The Soviet government made the development and advancement of science a national priority, emphasizing science at all levels of education and showering top scientists with honours. Very large numbers of engineers graduated every year. Soviet scientists won acclaim in several fields, marked by a highly developed pure science and innovation at the theoretical level, though interpretation and application fell short. They were at the cutting edge of science in fields such as mathematics and in several branches of physical science, notably theoretical nuclear physics, chemistry, and astronomy. The physical chemist and physicist Nikolay Semenov was the first Soviet citizen to win a Nobel Prize, in 1956 among several other Soviet Nobel Prize winners and the mathematician Sergei Novikov was the first Soviet citizen to win a Fields Medal in 1970 followed by Grigory Margulis in 1978 and Vladimir Drinfeld in 1990.

    As for modern Russian engineers, isn’t Boeing’s second largest R&D center in Moscow?

    Where else would an R & D center be outside the USA? Europe would probably be Airbus territory. But yes there was a legacy of competence in aerospace. Gerard isn’t in aerospace.

    *Because the West very stupidly chose to deemphasize nuclear energy, Russia ironically may be the world leader in this now

    • Replies: @Simpleguest
    , @Thorfinnsson
  226. AP says:
    @Gerard2

    the Aswan Dam in Egypt is widely seen as the best in the history of the 20th

    It fails to make lists of best or most impressive dams, unlike the Hoover Dam.

    https://interestingengineering.com/12-of-the-worlds-most-fascinating-dams

    Here it is at #17:

    https://interestingengineering.com/top-21-dams-in-the-world-that-generate-the-highest-amount-of-electricity

    And indeed it has major problems:

    https://www.nytimes.com/1975/05/11/archives/egypts-aswan-dam-isnt-doing-the-job-it-might-have.html

    Overall Russia is third-rate, compared to USA and China.

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  227. @AP

    “…Russians armaments always had more bang for the buck though usually with much worse human ergonomics.””

    More bang for the back is essence of good engineering.
    And, as the quote says, Russians have ALWAYS managed to accomplish that.

    “There were low caliber relative to Soviet physicists and other scientists, as evidenced by the worse reputation engineering institutes have vs. places like Phystec, and by the fact that Western universities have been eager to gobble up Russian pure scientists but aren’t trying to hire Russian engineers.”

    Nonsense.

    • Replies: @AP
  228. Dmitry says:
    @melanf

    nothing from European Art Deco

    Well, you can write a letter to America and tell the Americans this.

    But this is what in Miami is called “Art Deco” – and it is very similar in Miami, to constructivism in the USSR. (In New York, the style was quite different to Miami).

    Honestly this “style” is pure garbage. Americans will do some good if they demolish those ugly buildings

    With examples from Miami, I couldn’t disagree more. This architecture created the historical character of the Miami. It captures the spirit of the 1920s and 1930s of Miami, in quite a stylish way – to demolish it, would destroy the history of the street.

    first two buildings (Follenweider

    This mansion is constructed in 1904. It is too early for Art Deco, which is from the 1920s-1930s. It can be categorized as Art Nouveau

    and Kekushev mansion) are considered as reference examples of Art Deco

    This is from 1903. So it would be Art Nouveau. Art Deco is 1920s onwards.

  229. Dmitry says:
    @AP

    You were talking about roads above – but it was already explained private automobile ownership rate was 50 automobiles per 1000 citizens in 1990.

    Also you were criticizing city planning and development in Ukraine.

    But I answered above – some aspects of city planning were advanced in the Soviet Union, at least relative to their modest objectives, and can be admired today.

    So, Mariupol is never going to be a beautiful, intricate city like Seville. However, city planning a lot more organized residential buildings, as seen from the air, than e.g. badly planned examples of the same epoch like Bat Yam.

    • Replies: @AP
  230. @The Big Red Scary

    Every lamp post and stairwell in Saratov, a city not known for tourism, used to be plastered with such stickers. It is a huge business throughout the FSU although the police now do enough to make it less visible.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  231. @AP

    On the other hand, ethnic Russians in the Donbass strongly supported the Whites. Gorlivka in particular provided a few thousand volunteers for the White Army. Donetsk, more Ukrainian, was a place where the Bolsheviks conscripted over 10,000 soldiers.

  232. AP says:
    @Simpleguest

    More bang for the back is essence of good engineering.
    And, as the quote says, Russians have ALWAYS managed to accomplish that.

    Well, the Zhiguli was crude but it was cheap and easy to fix. More bang for the buck. So better engineering than a Porsche, Volvo, Ford, etc?

    “There were low caliber relative to Soviet physicists and other scientists, as evidenced by the worse reputation engineering institutes have vs. places like Phystec, and by the fact that Western universities have been eager to gobble up Russian pure scientists but aren’t trying to hire Russian engineers.”

    Those are verifiable facts.

    MIT physics faculty:

    https://web.mit.edu/physics/people/faculty/index.html

    3 Russians

    MIT civil engineering faculty:

    https://cee.mit.edu/people/faculty/

    No Russians

    Sovok produced physicists that were good enough to work at MIT, but not civil engineers that were good enough to work at MIT.

    Here is the ranking of Russian universities:

    https://www.topuniversities.com/university-rankings/eeca-rankings/2018

    Civil engineering ones near the bottom.

    • Replies: @Simpleguest
  233. AP says:
    @Dmitry

    You were talking about roads above – but it was already explained private automobile ownership rate was 50 automobiles per 1000 citizens in 1990.

    1. With fewer cars roads should have been in much better shape.

    2. Or you are using small number of cars as an excuse to build crappy roads (“not many people drive anyways so it’s no big deal to use incompetent people who build crap”).

    Also you were criticizing city planning and development in Ukraine….

    So, Mariupol is never going to be a beautiful, intricate city like Seville. However, city planning a lot more organized residential buildings, as seen from the air, than e.g. badly planned examples of the same epoch like Bat Yam.

    The fact that it is better than a place that looks like a third world ghetto is not praise.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  234. @AP

    When starting a new design, a scientist reaches for a sliderule (this is a old one) and an engineer reaches for a catalogue. Academic science skills are easier to transfer than design engineering, which is standards driven. You also need good language and social skills to influence standards committees (I have been on a couple).

    My first sustained acquaintance ship with Russia was during my days as a technology transfer consultant. One big project was to review 120 inventions proposed by the Russian Academy of Sciences as candidates for EU technology transfer support. This was 1994. I unearthed many weaknesses in the Soviet infrastructure as regards commercialisation For example, ownership of intellectual property, more important for engineers than scientists, was chaotic. My assessment would be:

    Soviet (laser) physics good, a day late and a dollar short but that was the economy,
    Non digital electronic devices, great R&D, poor transfer to volume production.
    Airframe design, good,
    Metallurgy, often world leading,
    Chemistry/new materials disappointing,
    Biology, appalling.
    Electromechanical, trailing edge. Triz is not enough.
    Production engineering, hardly recognized.

    I didn’t go near civil or structural engineering or nukes. I employed a Russian road engineer for a while. She had good project management training.

    The Soviet system of Research Institutes was outstanding at turning academic science into working prototypes built by hand by P.h.Ds. Great for space vehicles. Moving from prototypes to economic production by blue collar workers was an unsolved problem.

    Soviet science was connected with the world. Russian engineering still isn’t (still often different standards). I belong to the IET formerly the IEE (met Anatoly at the London building there once). We have 150,000 members worldwide. 9 in Russia.

    I wouldn’t say Russian engineers are less able than academic scientists give or take a physicist but they are more tied to their own culture. Their skills are harder to transfer abroad.

    My latest project involves magnet wire. Russia is neither a large imported nor exporter but that may be because that previous would be importers were Chinese selling on price rather than my client selling technology. Polyimide insulation was novel when I was an apprentice 40 years ago. Russia still can’t make it.

    • Replies: @Simpleguest
  235. @Mikhail

    Some one who is paid to write anti-Russian and anti-Putin propaganda is Anders Around. It is extremely obvious in his style of writing. I don’t think I have read such obvious paid trolls here.

  236. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Hyperborean

    Concerning that network, right of center Fox News viewers have had issues with hosts Shepard Smith and Chris Wallace. Tucker Carlson offers a more eclectic view on Russia when compared to his peers at that network.

  237. @Philip Owen

    This is exactly what I had in mind.
    I would only add that every (developed) country prefers to import

    a) cheap manual labor
    b) the best and brightest scientists and researchers

    There are plenty of local engineers that are far more familiar with local codes, standards, local design practices etc.

  238. @AP

    “Well, the Zhiguli was crude but it was cheap and easy to fix. More bang for the buck. So better engineering than a Porsche, Volvo, Ford, etc?”

    In design and engineering there is a thing called “statement of work” or “scope of work”.
    This is the most important document for engineers because it tells them what are they supposed to come up with.
    If the statement of work says “design a Porche” then you design one. If it doesn’t, then you don’t.

    • Replies: @AP
  239. Mikhail says: • Website

    Sovok BS from a self described “anti-Communist”:

    https://theduran.com/the-soviet-achievement/

    • Agree: AP
  240. @AP

    Russia indeed “barely kept up” in armaments. It did this with a smaller gross domestic product, a more primitive technological and educational base, and competing against not just the USA but the entire NATO alliance.

    As for the Cracked article…

    BTR

    The original BTR specification issued by the Soviet Army requested a roof. GAZ didn’t include one for reasons not known to me (other manufacturers did), and the BTR design was changed to include a roof in 1963.

    November Class Submarine

    It is indeed true that the nuclear safety record of the Soviet Navy was poor compared to the Western powers. Hyman Rickover is still considered a legendary figure in American naval circles.

    2B1 Oka Nuclear Cannon

    The Soviets sensibly abandoned large caliber field artillery in favor of tactical ballistic missiles.

    Kirov-class Cruiser

    There was nothing in particular wrong with this ship.

    The article rather takes issue with an early homing torpedo, a technology which gave severe trouble to Germany and America as well. The US Navy submarine service’s torpedoes were for instance defective for the first half of the Pacific War.

    Yak-38 Forger

    VTOL/STOVL aircraft are a bad idea, period.

    That said, the successor to the Yak-38 was the Yak-141. The Yak-141’s design data was purchased by Lockheed, and the F-35B’s lifting fan designed is based on the Yak-141.

    I do agree with Twinkie about Soviet weapons generally having poor ergonomics. This is in particular a recurring problem in Soviet tank design. It’s probably fair to attribute that to a Sovok mentality too.

    Obviously not mentioned in Cracked’s insult article is the long list of superb Soviet weapons designs, which began as early as the late 1930s. The T-34 is in my opinion overrated, but still represents good engineering even in the early USSR.

    Philip Owen gave an interesting reason for the absence of Soviet-trained engineers to you. My own explanation would be that demand for engineers was higher in the FSU than demand for scientists, and those engineers who did emigrate tend to work in private industry rather than academia.

    • Replies: @AP
    , @Swarthy Greek
  241. @AP

    Dams of that time period, including the earlier Hoover Dam, more or less all shared the same problem of stopping the flow of silt and its associated nutrients downstream.

    The importance of this silt, as well as its negative effects on future power generation, was not understood at the time.

    More recent dams like China’s Three Gorges Dam incorporate sluice gates in order to release silt downstream.

    https://www.internationalrivers.org/sedimentation-problems-with-dams

    http://www.hydrocoop.org/dams-with-significant-siltation-problems/

  242. Dmitry says:
    @AP

    fewer cars roads should have been in much better shape.

    It does not work like that.

    American roads were famously bad, before investment of $500 billion in the Interstate Highway System beginning with Eisenhower.

    Or you are using small number of cars as an excuse to build crappy roads (“not many people drive anyways so it’s no big deal to use incompetent people who build crap

    Eisenhower invested what would be eventually $500 billion into Interstate Highway System, when automobile ownership rate in America was already around 5 times higher than in the Soviet Union of 1990.

    Also, increase in automobile ownership rate, has had tragic consequences, when around 20,000 a year have been dying from them this decade.

    The fact that it is better than a place that looks like a third world ghetto is not praise.

    Bat Yam is almost a fair comparison, because it is built in the same epoch and with similar rapidity, although with less adequate funding than in the USSR.

    But Soviet city planning was also often better planning than many American cities in that epoch.

    Los Angeles is a problem in the opposite direction, with far too little housing density.

    Soviet city planning was often better than chaotic construction in cities today that is available for average people, and included excellent infrastructure – even though today there should in theory be more money and knowledge available.

    • Replies: @AP
  243. Dmitry says:
    @Philip Owen

    You were living in Saratov? How was your view of the life of Saratov in general?

    Is the city improving in recent years, at least, from an average perspective?

    • Replies: @Philip Owen
  244. AP says:
    @Simpleguest

    If the statement of work says “design a Porche” then you design one. If it doesn’t, then you don’t.

    And if your life’s work and training was geared to designing crude stuff with high bang for buck you are probably not qualified to design Porsches.

  245. AP says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    My own explanation would be that demand for engineers was higher in the FSU than demand for scientists, and those engineers who did emigrate tend to work in private industry rather than academia

    This a fair point but hard to prove or disprove (university faculties are listed on websites and easy to find; employee rosters aren’t). FWIW, my best friend is an executive at a tech company and hires engineers; he has hired only 1 ex-Soviet, considers him okay, nothing special. I know a Soviet Russian engineer who immigrated to the USA, his career is very low level and simple. These are anecdotes but they reinforce the other evidence.

    If an engineer is good, I would guess that he would be as likely to be in academia as in the private sector whether he is from Russia or elsewhere.

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  246. AP says:
    @Dmitry

    fewer cars roads should have been in much better shape.

    It does not work like that.
    American roads were famously bad, before investment of $500 billion in the Interstate Highway System beginning with Eisenhower.

    This doesn’t contradict what I wrote.

    Or you are using small number of cars as an excuse to build crappy roads (“not many people drive anyways so it’s no big deal to use incompetent people who build crap

    Eisenhower invested what would be eventually $500 billion into Interstate Highway System, when automobile ownership rate in America was already around 5 times higher than in the Soviet Union of 1990.

    Again, doesn’t contradict what I wrote.

    Also, increase in automobile ownership rate, has had tragic consequences, when around 20,000 a year have been dying from them this decade.

    Indeed. Freedom comes with a price. If people were forced to stay indoors their entire lives even more lives would be saved.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  247. @AP

    The best Soviet engineers worked in the military-industrial and aerospace sectors. These were better maintained in post-Soviet Russia than civilian industry, let alone academia. So presumably many of them continued working in Russia, even in the wild ’90s (Sukhoi managed to transform itself into a quasi-c0mmercial success in this difficult time).

    This legacy also exists in The Ukraine, which despite far worse conditions than post-Soviet Russia has also built on the same legacy. You’ve previously noted the development of new Ukrainian missiles. There have also been new developments in tank design and in cargo aircraft in the Ukraine since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Even tiny Belarus has apparently made developments in air defense technology and, outside of the military-industrial sector, in heavy equipment (one of the few civilian areas where the USSR was somewhat competitive).

    Earlier you made mention of the USSR graduating large numbers of substandard engineers. This is true according to my knowledge as well. I believe that in order to “compete”, the standard for what was officially an engineer was lower than in Western countries. This allowed the USSR to project an image of racing ahead in science and technology, and it also satisfied party economic ideology of fetishizing the production of material goods. This showed up in other areas such as economic output being calculated as Net Material Product.

    That is not a problem distinct to the Soviet Union incidentally. It exists today in China and India as well.

    • Agree: AP
    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    , @Philip Owen
  248. Mr. Hack says:
    @AP

    Of course I’m not sure, but I would guess that he’s 30-40 years old. Do you really think that it’s normal for somebody in that age group, a “Slovak”, to be carrying such a large torch for Sovok like he does? Aren’t most Slovaks content with their Western orientation?

    • Replies: @Matra
    , @AP
  249. Mr. Hack says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    Earlier you made mention of the USSR graduating large numbers of substandard engineers. This is true according to my knowledge as well.

    I have to admit that I’m a little bit surprised to read AP’s and your condescending opinions about the level and quality of Soviet engineers. I was always under the impression that students throughout the high school level at least had a much better formal education in the sciences than in the US (why would this change at the college level?*). Math, chemistry, physics etc were heavily emphasized and at the head of the school curriculum. I had a cousin that graduated at the top of her class in high school, receiving the highly prestigious “gold medal of Lenin” award (AP would probably recognize the competitiveness involved in winning this award). Surprisingly, after reading AP’s comments, she chose to study in a field related to civil engineering, “city planning”. She obviously was led to believe that she would be in the vanguard, planning and building modern cities within Siberia and Russia’s Far East. Her dreams, however, did not materialize, for after the Soviet Union collapsed, she ended up immigrating to the US and succesfully ended up pursuing a nursing career – she’s gainfully employed to this day at the Mayo Clinic.

    *one also get a much different slant on Soviet education in the hard sciences from Andrei Martyanov.

  250. @Mr. Hack

    I’m defending Soviet engineers. The real ones, and not ones which in Western countries would have been considered technicians. There was an effort to graduate more engineers, which was done by having lower standards for lower caliber students so they could be declared engineers. I think they did something similar with doctors but know less about this.

    Denigrating the quality of American education has been a popular cottage industry for a long time, and not just by foreigners like Martyanov. American education could be better, but by international standards it’s fine once one norms for demographic realities. American whites are no less educated than foreign whites, and often better.

    My public high school offered many demanding courses in math and science (multivariable calculus, linear algebra, AP physics and chemistry, etc.), and bright students took these classes and did well in them. Many of these kids then went on to study demanding fields in university.

    Of course the public high school I attended had a student body that was over 95% white, with most of the rest being oriental and Indian. Median house values and household income were also quite high.

    Where I live now the public high school is “worse”, simply because the local population is of lower quality. But it’s appropriate for the caliber of the students here. If anything a lot of them would be better off entering the work force after completing middle school.

    RE Beckow: I think he’s in his 20s, but who knows. Posting this in this comment because it appears the site has added an irritating restriction on the number of comments you can make per hour. Ron Unz, being old, doesn’t truly understand the internet I suppose.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    , @AP
  251. Dmitry says:
    @Mr. Hack

    had a much better formal education in the sciences than in the US (why would this change at the college level?*). Math, chemistry, physics etc were

    Level in senior school maths is falling today compared to Soviet times, but this is recent.
    If you look at the exams in the 1980ies,they had some very difficult questions. However, until very recently, standards were still ok and not so different than before. It’s quite concretely measurable how there is deterioration in the maths level at senior school only in the last 5 years: simply, now more difficult exam questions became a separate optional exam, and the proportion of students choosing it falls each year since (although the level choosing the exam is still quite good by international standards at the moment, so there is still a chance that the situation will not fall more and Russia will still have better maths education than most countries).

    “city planning”. She

    City planning was usually more balanced in the Soviet times, relative to specifications provided for their tasks and the budget available.

    You still admire now, how residential districts had carefully measured housing density to infrastructure, and used a systematic method for solving these problems.

    While today, in some new residential residential districts, which were most hyped by the authorities and even opened by Medvedev – there can be less than a balance of population density and infrastructure.

    So the new areas look attractive from the air and the high density allows new apartments to be very good value for money.

    But the reality of traffic jams, parking and infrastructure becomes is not balanced….

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  252. Matra says:
    @Mr. Hack

    My Czech in-laws say Slovaks are much more conservative than Czechs. I suppose in some circumstances being conservative could mean not wanting the old communist system to be changed too much.

  253. Mr. Hack says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    RE Beckow: I think he’s in his 20s, but who knows. Posting this in this comment because it appears the site has added an irritating restriction on the number of comments you can make per hour. Ron Unz, being old, doesn’t truly understand the internet I suppose.

    If he’s in his 20s, there’s even less of a foundation for his nostalgia for the “good old days”, for he wouldn’t have known these golden years, and a “Slovak” to boot? 🙂

    As for the recent counting system for comments and Ron Unz being an old man, he probably still communicates via e-mail rather than texting…I’m way old, because I still like to call people up and “chat’ by phone! 🙂

  254. AP says:
    @Mr. Hack

    One can always find people with strange beliefs on the internet.

    • Agree: Mr. Hack
  255. Mr. Hack says:
    @Dmitry

    Yes, I can see the points of view of these various academics and school employees. Not enough schools and parks for the residents and their children. Sooner or later some nutjob will appear as a result of these cramped living quarters, and I shudder to think what may happen. The development of urban landscape including parks for people was wisely taken into consideration in the US. I think that you’ll appreciate this short clip:

  256. AP says:
    @Mr. Hack

    I have to admit that I’m a little bit surprised to read AP’s and your condescending opinions about the level and quality of Soviet engineers.

    I agree with his latest posts. There were some bright people working in aeronautics, space, etc. If Gerard had said he was designing planes I wouldn’t have made fun of him. But there was also a sea of substandard types; when he mentioned civil engineering and got all defensive, his background became clear.

    I was always under the impression that students throughout the high school level at least had a much better formal education in the sciences than in the US (why would this change at the college level?*)

    All statistics concerning America, whether in education, gun violence, life expectancy, have to be looked at with ethnic considerations in mind. America looks “worse” because it insourced its exploited colonial population, and this drags the statistics down. Europe didn’t (although it is now foolishly importing the descendants of its colonized peoples for no good reason).

    Kids of European descent in America perform better on standardized tests than do most Europeans, with regional variations. White kids in New England outperform all Europeans other than Finns, southern whites might be a little below average by European standards. Similarly, Asian Americans outperform people in almost all Asian countries, and American Latinos outperform people from all Latin American countries (as well as the Balkans).

    America has most of the best universities in the world.

    When I myself was finishing my studies in the West, I lectured at a med institute in Moscow (the system is different there – they study medicine right after secondary school). The students in general* were much brighter than American undergraduates but not much different from American medical students.

    *There were notable cases of corruption – dumb kids of rich Armenians getting a degree beause their family will buy them a clinic. They then hire their bright classmates to work for them. I would hate to be the occasional patient of one of those owners.

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
    , @Mr. Hack
  257. @AP

    I’m somewhat skeptical of the standard claim that America has the world’s best universities.

    This is quite obviously not true in the arts, where their principle purpose now seems to be to obfuscate or even destroy knowledge. The raw intellectual ability of the students is high (though not as high as it could be owing to “holistic admissions”), but they come out less educated than when they went in. The academic workload for arts education is also quite low, since American college is about the “experience” (of partying and living in barnyard conditions). It’s of course not much different in Western Europe, so I’m not even sure where the best universities are in this area.

    Who knows, maybe it’s in India. Upper-class Indians (in India itself, not the glorified coolies in the West) seem to have a deep knowledge and appreciation of their culture.

    For science and engineering, it appears to be true, though I wonder how much better MIT and Caltech really are than Tsinghua or Tokyo. And in any case these are increasingly not American institutions. I’ve heard a joke that science higher education in America is now a place where ex-Soviet academics train Chinese students.

    With respect to medical education America’s bizarre system of graduate education (and also legal education) constitutes an unwarranted subsidy to undergraduate colleges which serves to delay adulthood. Doctors in particular generally don’t start earning a decent living until they’re 30. This is also an underappreciated source of high medical costs in America. Physicians here earn much larger salaries than their peers in other industrial countries, and of course their professional association labors to keep supply restricted (which is then used as an excuse for ever more immigration).

  258. AP says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    Earlier you made mention of the USSR graduating large numbers of substandard engineers. This is true according to my knowledge as well. I believe that in order to “compete”, the standard for what was officially an engineer was lower than in Western countries. This allowed the USSR to project an image of racing ahead in science and technology, and it also satisfied party economic ideology of fetishizing the production of material goods. This showed up in other areas such as economic output being calculated as Net Material Product.

    I’m defending Soviet engineers. The real ones, and not ones which in Western countries would have been considered technicians. There was an effort to graduate more engineers, which was done by having lower standards for lower caliber students so they could be declared engineers…

    You made the point I was trying to make, better than I did.

    In America, there is an analogous push to get people university degrees (good money for university administrators, business for institutions that handle student loans, a way to weed out really dumb people, etc.). The reason was different than the Soviet mass production of substandard “engineers” but the product is comparable: mediocre people who really aren’t that educated. These Soviet engineers are the analogues of bachelor’s in business administration, or psychology, or whatever types who occupy American cubicles in the lower levels of business. Generations ago they would have been clerks without more than a year of post-secondary education. Martyanov was rather mediocre himself but his description was perfect – “office plankton.”

    Sovok didn’t have office parks, but it had plenty of factories or public work sites full of such “engineers.”

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  259. Mr. Hack says:
    @AP

    I’m sure that you’re aware of medical clinics being set-up in countries around the world (most notably Mexico, India etc.) designed to perform many sorts of surgeries for Westerners including many Americans who find it less expensive to travel great distances, pay for accomodations, and return back home with a bundle still left in their wallets. I know that this trend was starting to appear in Ukraine too, several years ago. I have a feeling that you’re well aware of this trend and could possibly render an interesting opinion about the viability of this type of thing expanding there. BTW, I’m well aware of a very successful dentist from Lviv who has opened up clinics here in Arizona and in Canada and probably elsewhere, after saturating the maket in Western Ukraine, he also has a prestigious clinic in Kyiv. How’s that for being one step ahead of the curve? 🙂

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  260. @AP

    A BA in business administration is equipped for office work and can handle Microsoft Excel, Intuit Quickbooks, and perhaps Oracle/SAP. Work that really should start right after high school (or even at age 15), but of course in America everyone “must” go to college in order to do white collar work.

    Lower-echelon Soviet engineers were presumably suitable as skilled technicians. In the Cold War, an American equivalent would perhaps be someone who had been a radar technician NCO in the Air Force or Navy. These people are still in the workforce and can typically troubleshoot a printed circuit board down to component level, but they can’t lay out a circuit board. Valuable people, but not engineers.

    As for Gerard2 I cannot speculate and won’t denigrate him. I have a fondness for internet belligerence (and consider efforts to restrict this to be contrary to the true purpose of the internet) and am in any case not subjected to his attacks since I am not Ukrainian.

    Obviously the USSR (and the modern Russian Federation) had available plenty of competent civil engineers for massive projects of the highest level of difficulty. Extremely challenging civil engineering projects, admittedly sometimes of dubious merit, were completed and with less foreign assistance than in the Tsarist period. The Baikal-Amur Mainline was for instance one of the most challenging engineering projects of the 20th century. The development of the Yamal oil and gas fields was one of the biggest energy development projects ever undertaken and involved extreme challenges not just of petroleum engineering but also in construction and metallurgy.

    I don’t agree with the characterization of the Aswan High Dam as flawed, except to the extent that all dams of its era were flawed. The Soviets did indeed destroy the Aral Sea, but this should be placed in context. Around the same time period the Cuyahoga River routinely caught fire and one could develop photographs in Tokyo Bay. London was routinely blanketed in smog that literally killed people. The postwar British government deliberately accepted this in order to improve foreign exchange earnings (by exporting the cleaner, more caloric coal). Even today in America the Colorado River no longer flows into the Gulf of California in most years. The Soviets simply did even more damage owing to their deficient political and economic system.

  261. Mr. Hack says:
    @Mr. Hack

    Стоматологічна клініка Пародент. Стоматологія Львів, Торонто (Канада), Фінікс (США).

    https://www.parodent.com.ua/

    It’s a small world afterall…

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  262. https://defence-blog.com/army/ukrainian-soldiers-obliterates-unique-russian-artillery-reconnaissance-complex.html

    Russian military incompetence. The Zoopark-1 is a tracked vehicle, yet was on a paved road where it was easily spotted.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  263. Mr. Hack says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    It’ good to see that it was one of the original Ukrainian military formations, “Azov” comprised mostly of native Russian speaking Easterners, that took credit for this well executed hit against this Russian supported intrusion. I didn’t know that they were still active.

  264. @Mr. Hack

    It’ good to see that it was one of the original Ukrainian military formations, “Azov”

    That’s the “Nazi unit” though, isn’t it? Maybe not the best pr for Ukraine.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  265. @Thorfinnsson

    In my opinion, Soviet tank philosophy was arguably more forward looking and futuristic than Nato design philosophy. Soviet tanks were cramped because Soviet design philosophy emphasized a very low profile to minimize exposure and small dimensions to transport as many tanks as possible. It was a sensible choice for a large force like the Soviet army that needed to win a land war in a short around of time before american reinforcements came in. Soviet tanks until the 1980s and the introduction of the M1A1 and the Leopard 2A4 were superior to Western equivalents. The T-64 was considered the best tank in the world for a while because when it was introduced because it had better protection (spaced and composite armor while the M60 only had steel armor) than western equivalents as well as better firepower (autoloader, 125mm smoothbore gun vs 100 mm gun). Had the USSR not fallen the soviets would also have introduced tanks which would have leapfrogged western ones (look up objekt 490, most of the concepts used by Armata were imagined at that time)

  266. Mr. Hack says:
    @German_reader

    Perhaps, but it should play well to the German public? I mean “real Germans” not these globo-homo ones that are running around today masquerading as Germans. (Relax, I’m only kidding!) 🙂

    Actually, I think that most (not all, obviously) look favorably on the Ukrainians proteting their own borders, ousting the unwanted Russians. It’s just instinctual to let people alone in their own house. Those intruding best have a good reason to do so, not BS ones like the Russians try to sell to the world. Where do you generally stand on this war?

    • Replies: @German_reader
  267. @Mr. Hack

    Where do you generally stand on this war?

    I’m neutral. Obviously Russia’s actions were a serious breach of international law, and the “Ukrainian nationhood doesn’t exist, it was invented by the Germans in 1918/by the Soviets etc.” claims by Russian nationalists strike me as bizarre and pretty repellent, as does Russian propaganda with all its WW2 throwbacks about “Banderites”.
    On the other hand, I think EU and US interference in Ukraine was highly provocative, things like all that talk about NATO accession for Ukraine would have been alarming to any Russian government. I also can’t see much of an injustice in the annexation of Crimea, since most of the inhabitants there seem to be in favour of it.
    Some of the actions by Ukrainian nationalists (e.g. that Odessa massacre…don’t want to get in a discussion about it, I know your and AP’s views) were also downright criminal; and some of the political initiatives by Ukraine’s government (e.g. language policy) were at least misguided imo.

    Actually, I think that most (not all, obviously) look favorably on the Ukrainians proteting their own borders

    Most people in Western Europe don’t really care much about Ukraine. I doubt Americans do tbh, apart from their delusional quest for global hegemony and the desire to cut Russia down to size.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  268. @Mr. Hack

    “…that took credit for this well executed hit against this Russian supported intrusion.”

    In all likelihood, the unit was not damaged at all.

    https://medium.com/dfrlab/russian-zoopark-1-counter-battery-radar-takes-fire-in-ukraine-ee66c56d5ea7

    Here is a quote from above:

    “According to Azov, they targeted the Zoopark-1 with 122 and 152mm artillery shells. Due to their range, the artillery pieces that these shells originated from would have been in violation of the second Minsk Agreement. Two artillery shells impacted in the forest about 25 meters from the vehicle, while a third impacted closer to the Zoopark, but on a slope further down. Because of these factors, the bombardment shown in the video likely did not damage the Zoopark-1.”

    Zoopark-1 was developed by the former Soviet union at the end of 1980s.
    It is very likely that Ukraine is in possession of some legacy Zoopark-1 units, which indicates that this could be just a staged PR event.

    RF upgraded it to Zoopark-1M standard in 2016, exclusively used by Russian armed forces, but you are discussing the 80s version, as far as I can see.

    • Replies: @AP
  269. @Swarthy Greek

    My general impression of Soviet tank design was that it prioritized the “trinity” (firepower, tactical mobility, armor), production cost, and strategic mobility at the expense of other factors. With the possible exception of the Centurion tank, I agree that Soviet tank design generally led in the “trinity” throughout the Cold War. M1A1 and Leopard 2 were “better” in part because they were 50% heavier than their Soviet antagonists.

    In addition to very poor ergonomics, Soviet tanks were deficient in visibility, sighting systems, and communications. I’ve also heard they were also less reliable, though I don’t know how true that is. During the war when the Germans pressed captured Soviet tanks into service they found it necessary (for their doctrine, that is) to retrofit Soviet tanks with commander’s cupolas and improved radio equipment.

    There’s an incident from Barbarossa which illustrates this well. A PzKw III encountered a T-34 and shot it something like 30+ times (I don’t recall the exact figure). This is ordinarily given as an anecdote to demonstrate the excellent armor of the T-34 and the deficient armament of the PzKw III. But it also illustrates some of the very poor tactical qualities of the T-34 as well as deficiencies in crew training.

    Deficiencies in Soviet tank design might not be because of the “Sovok” mentality either. The doctrine of the Soviet army, other than its commissars, wasn’t the product of communist ideology. The USSR had no hope of prevailing in a long conflict against NATO and thus orienting its army around the concept of winning the land war within a few weeks was quite logical. As you note the design of its tanks, and much other military equipment, reflected this doctrine.

    https://chris-intel-corner.blogspot.com/2013/04/recurring-problems-of-soviet-tank-design.html

  270. @Swarthy Greek

    My general impression of Soviet tank design was that it prioritized the “trinity” (firepower, tactical mobility, armor), production cost, and strategic mobility at the expense of other factors. With the possible exception of the Centurion tank, I agree that Soviet tank design generally led in the “trinity” throughout the Cold War. M1A1 and Leopard 2 were “better” in part because they were 50% heavier than their Soviet antagonists.

    In addition to very poor ergonomics, Soviet tanks were deficient in visibility, sighting systems, and communications. I’ve also heard they were also less reliable, though I don’t know how true that is. During the war when the Germans pressed captured Soviet tanks into service they found it necessary (for their doctrine, that is) to retrofit Soviet tanks with commander’s cupolas and improved radio equipment.

    There’s an incident from Barbarossa which illustrates this well. A PzKw III encountered a T-34 and shot it something like 30+ times (I don’t recall the exact figure). This is ordinarily given as an anecdote to demonstrate the excellent armor of the T-34 and the deficient armament of the PzKw III. But it also illustrates some of the very poor tactical qualities of the T-34 as well as deficiencies in crew training.

    Deficiencies in Soviet tank design might not be because of the “Sovok” mentality either. The doctrine of the Soviet army, other than its commissars, wasn’t the product of communist ideology. The USSR had no hope of prevailing in a long conflict against NATO and thus orienting its army around the concept of winning the land war within a few weeks was quite logical. As you note the design of its tanks, and much other military equipment, reflected this doctrine.

    https://chris-intel-corner.blogspot.com/2013/04/recurring-problems-of-soviet-tank-design.html

    Late Cold War Western tanks can also be credibly accused of suffering from the same sins as late war German tank design (exaggerated, but not imagined) and for similar reasons–the drive to offset numerical inferiority with technical supremacy.

    There was an interesting fad in the 1970s of NATO armies fetishizing the Wehrmacht and feting surviving Wehrmacht veterans at all sorts of very prestigious and important conferences, and this in turn influenced both procurement and doctrine. Designers on the A-10 program were made to read Hans-Ulrich Rudel’s memoirs for instance. At its most ridiculous this resulted in a 1980 “exercise” in which American army generals conducted wargames against 80-something Wehrmacht generals dragged out of the nursing home for one last hurrah.

  271. @Dmitry

    The city has improved but not as much as I would have expected. In 1994 a new airport was three years away. It was finally approved for commercial operation last week. The trams are terrible even though the largest tram manufacturer in Russia is in Engels. In both cases, a big part of the problem was raising money by selling bonds. The Russian municipal bond market is not well developed and Saratov has a poor rating. Both the airport and the teams will be profitable just by cutting out maintenance costs.

    Food is available but many Produkti no longer sell meat because of the impact of 2014. Ruble collapse+sanctions. Snow clearing is not so good. The city bought 30 inferior Russian versions of Bobcats. They do not work out cheaper if they break down. The 7 Bobcats do most of the real work. However, federal money is actually being spent on smartening up the centre. There was a time it would just disappear. I had several friends whose children were mutilated by kidnappers in the early 2000’s. Another lives on an island in the Volga to avoid the same. New wife, 30 years younger is producing babies. The Chief Procurator was shot. The chief witness was killed in jail. It’s not like that now.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  272. @Thorfinnsson

    I agree completely with these points. The engineering faculty at the Classical University in Saratov is invisible. Physics is the high status. The engineers were trained at the Polytechnic (now technical university) and the higher classes at aeronautical and radio technical schools (sticking to what I know well). The best training seems to have been in specialist military schools (for 14 year olds?).

    In the UK, we also had a large base of polytechnic and technical college engineers. However, engineering was also a prestige course at the best universities. I have the feeling that, a school or two in St Pete and Ekaterinburg apart, the same never applied in the SU. That said, someone must be in charge of Russian Railways which is good at what it does. And as I said earlier, aeroframe design was impressive with a solid supply chain of say 400 Hz electrical components of exportable quality, at least to Indonesia. Trouble is the technology was mostly 1970’s or sometimes older. The tram system was using wooden poles pulled by people to operate medium voltage switchgear manually as late as 2000. Shades of Tesla! In the UK that ended in the late 1940’s and was rare then.

  273. @Mr. Hack

    It is my impression that Russia was superb at elite education. The best were selected early and pushed hard. For example, Saratov had schools which specialised in foreign languages. The women from School 42 (now gymnasium 3) spoke with absolutely perfect upper class British accents (Cheltenham Ladies College to be exact). Perfect for spying. I have no idea how they managed this in a closed city.

    I was not so impressed by the middle levels and especially “skilled” manual workers. In the building trades anyone can call himself a “meistr” German style without any obvious skill. pay is good for the skilled though. A large operator I know earned enough in three years to buy a flat. Working hours were not that well observed and everyone seemed entitled to lots of time off. Things are more rigorous now.

    • Replies: @AP
  274. I know this was a few days ago, but this piece of news is absolutely hilarious and amusing, just like everything to do with Monkeydonia:

    https://balkaninsight.com/2019/08/14/north-macedonias-zaev-condemned-for-calling-detainee-faggot/

    The prime minister of Monkeydonia, Zoran Zaev, basically called some random political detainee a faggot lol. I think that’s the first time in my life i’ve ever heard of a country’s prime minister calling someone a faggot, especially in 2019 when the world is saturated with near peak globohomo.

  275. AP says:
    @Philip Owen

    My wife was often mistaken for British in the USA, though I suspect her English wasn’t good enough for a Brit to be fooled.

    • Replies: @Philip Owen
  276. Mr. Hack says:
    @German_reader

    I think EU and US interference in Ukraine was highly provocative, things like all that talk about NATO accession for Ukraine would have been alarming to any Russian government.

    US involvement in Ukraine shouldn’t be considered “provocative” or unwarranted “interference” in Ukraine’s affairs at all. As a gaurantor of Ukraine’s inviolability of its borders, as spelled out in the Budapest Memorandum, the real question should center around why it took as long as it did for the US to turn up its support of Ukraine’s military. I suppose that the whole situation caught the US offguard and it took its time to craft a meaningful and correct response. The whole idea that Nuland and her milk and cookies was behind the whole thing was and is ludicrous.

  277. @Mr. Hack

    There was a push already by Bush II’s administration in 2008 to bring about Ukraine’s NATO accession (which was opposed by Germany and France at the time). That was insanely provocative, and clearly anti-Russian in intent, and imo it would have aroused strong suspicions in any self-respecting Russian government. I don’t think the events of 2014 would have happened without that background.
    I disagree with a lot of the comments made here by Russians about Ukraine. But imo the Ukraine conflict can’t be seen in isolation from the role of the US in Europe. Since I’m hostile to American influence in Europe and more generally to what the US stands for in an ideological sense, that obviously influences my position.

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
    , @Mr. Hack
  278. AP says:
    @Simpleguest

    This source identifies the destroyed Zoopark-1 as not being owned by the Ukrainians, and places it where Azov said it was:

    https://informnapalm.org/en/russian-recon-system-zoopark-1-found-and-destroyed-by-azov-regiment-in-donbas-video-photo/

    Volunteers of InformNapalm conducted the analysis of the video and relevant facts. We analyzed the terrain and established the exact coordinates of the Zoopark-1 engagement. This point is 48.355161, 38.090358 in the outskirts of Horlivka, which confirms the words of the officer in the video.

    Moreover, on April 13, 2019, a drone of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission spotted a Russian artillery reconnaissance and target designation radar station (1L259, part of the Zoopark-1 system) near Horlivka city (39 km north-east of Donetsk). The spotting was reported on April 16.

    It was also in Horlivka that this Russian equipment had been spotted before. Also, in August 2016, Main Directorate of Intelligence of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine reported that militants deployed two radar reconnaissance systems Zoopark-1 on the western outskirts of Horlivka.

    • Replies: @Simpleguest
  279. @AP

    “Volunteers of InformNapalm conducted the analysis of the video and relevant facts. We analyzed the terrain and established the exact coordinates of the Zoopark-1 engagement. This point is 48.355161, 38.090358 in the outskirts of Horlivka,…”

    No doubt, a source like InformNapalm would confirm Russian Zoopark-1 engagement.

    There are a lot of inconsistencies in that video. Crew is nowhere to be seen, no attempts to move the unit from the firing zone, no attempts to escape on foot away from the target area, firing ceased even though the unit was obviously not hit directly and so on.
    It seemed completely abandoned even before shells started falling.

    Therefore, it is “highly likely” this was a staged event.

    • Replies: @AP
  280. Austria’s ÖVP wants to change laws so the Identitarians can be banned and has made such a ban a precondition for any future coalition government:
    https://diepresse.com/home/innenpolitik/5675537/OeVP-macht-IdentitaerenVerbot-zur-Koalitionsbedingung
    I guess that was a major factor in the break-up of the Austrian government earlier this year.
    Christian Democrats really are total scum, beyond despicable.

    • Agree: Thorfinnsson, reiner Tor
  281. @Mr. Hack

    Can you read a map?

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  282. @German_reader

    US foreign policy in past generation has largely been disastrous, but lately the Europeans are quite culpable as well. The EU association agreement offered to the Ukraine in 2014 was incredibly stupid and bound to lead to a reaction by Moscow.

    There’s a distinction of course in that Berlin being involved in the affairs of the Ukraine is a lot more “natural” and appropriate than Washington.

    • Replies: @German_reader
  283. Mr. Hack says:
    @German_reader

    There was a push already by Bush II’s administration in 2008 to bring about Ukraine’s NATO accession (which was opposed by Germany and France at the time). That was insanely provocative, and clearly anti-Russian in intent, and imo it would have aroused strong suspicions in any self-respecting Russian government.

    So whose fault is it that in 2004 support for joining NATO by the Ukrainian people was single digit or perhaps a little bit more, and today it’s somewhere in the vicinity of 46%-51%, depending on the poll taken? The events of 2014 have obviously been a PR nightmare for Russia not only within Ukraine, but throughout the whole world.

    • Replies: @German_reader
  284. Mr. Hack says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    Sure, how about you, can you read a poll or understand the meaning of a street demonstration that lasted for 4 months on the streets of Ukraine’s capital city during the middle of winter by hundreds of thousands of demonstrators, where 100 of them gave up their lives in order to change that “map”?

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  285. @Thorfinnsson

    I mentioned EU interference as well in my original comment, so I agree with you about the EU association agreement, though in general I still think that US culpability for the current confrontation with Russia is higher, e.g. NATO membership for Ukraine and Georgia was something that was promoted by the US and some of the new Eastern European members, it was never something that had real support in Germany, France, Italy etc. And even today there are non-negligible political forces in many European countries who want to see a reduction of the sanctions against Russia, whereas many Americans have become absurdly hysterical with all that “Russia has attacked our democracy” nonsense.

  286. @Mr. Hack

    So whose fault is it that in 2004 support for joining NATO

    The problem is that the idea was ever brought up in the first place, it was absolutely insane, doing nothing for the security of existing members (apart from providing cannon fodder for America’s imperial misadventures in places like Iraq or Afghanistan), but bound to lead to a severe confrontation with Russia. Similarly with Georgia.

    The events of 2014 have obviously been a PR nightmare for Russia not only within Ukraine, but throughout the whole world.

    It’s probably true that most people in Western Europe dislike and distrust Russia, but still, most people just don’t care about Ukraine the way many commenters here do. It hasn’t been a major topic in German media for years (the major issues are the consequences of Merkel’s immigration invasion and climate change hysteria, as manifested in that insufferable autist girl from Sweden), and other European countries are fixated on their own issues as well (e.g. Brexit in the UK, migration and youth unemployment in Italy). There is no general sense of regarding Russia as a threat like during the Cold war.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    , @Thorfinnsson
  287. @Mr. Hack

    The feelings of the Ukrainian people are quite irrelevant in this context.

    The distance from Kiev to Moscow is about the same as the distance from New York to Atlanta, and less than that between New York to Chicago.

    The Ukraine borders a nuclear-armed great power which is faced by a hostile military alliance. Expanding the influence of that alliance to encompass the Ukraine is expansionist and inherently destabilizing.

    Unless one desires conflict with Russia, which actually a lot of lunatics in Washington do, it’s extremely irresponsible to attempt to bring the Ukraine into the orbit of NATO regardless of what the Ukrainians themselves desire.

    Fortunately for the peace of Europe the German electorate itself presents a strong roadblock against this.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    , @sudden death
  288. Mr. Hack says:
    @German_reader

    The problem is that the idea was ever brought up in the first place, it was absolutely insane, doing nothing for the security of existing members

    Even if thi is true (and I disagree) whose fault is it that those in favor of NATO involvement within Ukraine went rom a negligible single digit figure to a meaningful one today in Ukraine? Russia has only itself to blame for playing the game in such a brutal and thuggish manner, when there really wasn’t (and isn’t) a need to do so. Russia made a huge mistake in my opinion when it backed Yanukovych as their man in Ukraine. He severely bit Putin’s hand when he promoted a EU orientation for over a year to the Ukrainian people, and now he lives freely and luxuriously within Russia. Now how dumb is that?

  289. @Mr. Hack

    Even if thi is true (and I disagree) whose fault is it that those in favor of NATO involvement within Ukraine went rom a negligible single digit figure to a meaningful one today in Ukraine?

    To be quite brutally honest, as Thorfinnsson has already written, it doesn’t and shouldn’t matter what Ukrainians think about this. From the point of view of the old members of NATO it’s simply insane to accept a permanent confrontation with Russia that could end in nuclear war by admitting Ukraine into the alliance, a country which does nothing to improve the security of existing members. No Russian government ever that isn’t a total Western vassall would just meekly accept this.
    Do I condone everything Russia has done in Ukraine? No, certainly not. But imo the only way out of the current situation is via negotiations and accepting that not all of Russia’s actions since 2014 will be reversed (Crimea at least will certainly never be given back). NATO membership for Ukraine should definitely be permanently ruled out.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  290. @Mr. Hack

    Russia has only itself to blame for playing the game in such a brutal and thuggish manner, when there really wasn’t (and isn’t) a need to do so. Russia made a huge mistake in my opinion when it backed Yanukovych as their man in Ukraine. He severely bit Putin’s hand when he promoted a EU orientation for over a year to the Ukrainian people, and now he lives freely and luxuriously within Russia. Now how dumb is that?

    Obviously Yanukovich was a mistake, but it sidesteps the issue that ever since inheriting the situation in 1991 Russia has never really had a good option in the Ukraine.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  291. Mikhail says: • Website

    Poroshenko is out with a noticeable change in the Rada – much having to do with the failure of the svidos to significantly win over Ukraine.

    Overall, a good talk on why the West is if anything more responsible than Russia for the mess in Ukraine:

    Some internal dynamics within Ukraine (not directly involving Russia or the West) are at fault as well.

  292. @German_reader

    Russia obviously isn’t the same threat it was in 1985, but the current situation in Europe is in fact dangerous and should be treated seriously.

    As an example the recent American decision to scrap the INF treaty for instance greatly reduces Western European security (but not our security). Russian intermediate-range ballistic missiles with precision-guided warheads could wipe out a lot of European NATO airpower and C4I capability in the first hours of the war. This ought to be a topic of first-order importance in Europe, but it seems to be completely ignored aside from taking another opportunity to snipe at Cheeto Blormf Orange Hitler.

    In this context the unresolved issues between Russia and the Ukraine are destabilizing and dangerous. European politicians should be working hard to resolve this, but instead they’re kicking the can down the road. Which is the same thing they do on everything else as far as I can tell.

    AK: Please inform our fearless overlord that the new limit of three comments per hour per thread is intolerable for your open threads. Perhaps the limit should just be applied to Wally on Ron Unz’s own articles, as I suspect that is what motivated it.

    • Replies: @German_reader
  293. Mikhail says: • Website

    Follow-up on what’s the best kind of physical conditioning:

    https://www.outsideonline.com/2400887/is-it-more-important-run-faster-or-run-longer?utm_source=pocket-newtab

    I prefer the more varied approach.

  294. AP says:
    @Simpleguest

    No doubt, a source like InformNapalm would confirm Russian Zoopark-1 engagement.

    Several non -Russian, non-Ukrainian sources support this. Defense blog is one, here is another one:

    https://defence-point.com/tag/zoopark-1/

    Either everyone was fooled or dishonest, or Russian claims are false.

    Crew is nowhere to be seen, no attempts to move the unit from the firing zone, no attempts to escape on foot away from the target area, firing ceased even though the unit was obviously not hit directly and so on

    Video of the shooting was ~ 3 seconds long and didn’t show the aftermath when surviving crew would run.

  295. @Thorfinnsson

    Russia obviously isn’t the same threat it was in 1985, but the current situation in Europe is in fact dangerous and should be treated seriously.

    I absolutely agree with this, the current situation is very dangerous. What I meant to say is that most people don’t regard present-day Russia as an implacable foe like the Soviet Union was. The Soviet Union occupied half of Europe (yes, yes, I know the Soviets “liberated” those countries from the evil Nazis…too bad they overstayed their welcome) and was animated by a hostile ideology. There really was an irresolvable conflict of interest here. Russia today seems to be more like a traditional great power which wishes to retain some influence in her neighbourhood. Obviously there needs to be a strong European deterrence so Russia doesn’t overstep certain limits (which need to be clearly communicated), but imo there is no fundamental conflict of ideology and systems here.

    European politicians should be working hard to resolve this, but instead they’re kicking the can down the road. Which is the same thing they do on everything else as far as I can tell.

    Europe’s political class is grotesquely incompetent. They’re good at bringing ever more negroes and Muslims to Europe though.

  296. Mr. Hack says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    The feelings of the Ukrainian people are quite irrelevant in this context.

    Well, you see this is where you and I part ways. I was brought up believing that the voice and will of the people are quite important factors in determining how a country is to be formed and governed. Because my parents believed in this as well, they immigrated away from Ukraine where they didn’t have these sorts of rights, and moved to America where they did. You don’t believe in the ideals of democracy and I do. You feel that I’m somehow less an American because I care for Ukraine, yet you consider yourself a first rate American because you shill for Russia? 🙁

  297. @Mr. Hack

    I was brought up believing that the voice and will of the people are quite important factors in determining how a country is to be formed and governed.

    The issue was NATO membership, decision for accepting new members lies with the existing members, not the applicants.
    It’s telling you haven’t made a case what NATO’s existing members would gain from NATO accession of Ukraine, apart from ensuring a permanent antagonism with Russia which actually would lead to a massive deterioriation in European security.

  298. Mr. Hack says:
    @Hyperborean

    Russia’s soft power abilities within Ukraine in 1991 were very developed (it still is). It should have waited things out, and applied utmost soft power pressure to get Ukraine into its camp once again. An association agreement with Europe is far different than complete membership or belonging to NATO. Instead, it decided to flex its muscles in Ukraine, and five years later what has this accomplished? The grand prize of Crimea and half of Donbas – I hope that it’ worth it for Russia.

    • Replies: @Hyperborean
  299. @Mr. Hack

    Because my parents believed in this as well, they immigrated away from Ukraine where they didn’t have these sorts of rights, and moved to America where they did. You don’t believe in the ideals of democracy and I do. You feel that I’m somehow less an American because I care for Ukraine, yet you consider yourself a first rate American because you shill for Russia? 🙁

    Is the true France, the French Republic one and indivisible, or the France of forty kings?

  300. @Mr. Hack

    Russia’s options in the Ukraine were constrained by the political actors present there. The “pro-Russian” alternative simply meant subsidising (bribing) opportunists and fair-weather friends.

    To extend this situation simply meant delaying making a decision. One of the few decisions which could alter the scene would be a political reorganisation directed under direct rule from Moscow. But, well, we know what that would have lead to. It is under this reasoning that I state that Russia was faced with a hopeless and unfixable situation ever since 1991.

  301. @Mr. Hack

    The Ukrainian people don’t get a vote in Germany, America, France, or Britain. Nor should they.

    And yes, you are making a fantastic case against immigration of any sort right now. You’re demonstrating an entirely understandable loyalty to your ethnic homeland, but that loyalty is not necessarily in the interests of the country of which you are now a citizen.

    Probably the original Americans would suggest that my lack of enthusiasm for democracy and world-saving crusades means I’m not a great American either.

    As for shilling for Russia? Yes, I’ve endorsed the triune theory as being beneficial to Russia itself, and my antipathy to barely differentiated nationalities is well known. That doesn’t mean that as an American I support the Ruschluss. America’s interest lies in having good relations with Russia to prevent a Russian-Chinese combination.

    • Replies: @German_reader
    , @Mr. Hack
  302. @Thorfinnsson

    The Ukraine borders a nuclear-armed great power which is faced by a hostile military alliance. Expanding the influence of that alliance to encompass the Ukraine is expansionist and inherently destabilizing.

    Norway borders a nuclear-armed great power which is faced by that military alliance too and expanding the influence of that alliance to encompass the Ukraine is no more expansionist and inherently destabilizing than encompassing Norway.

    Nobody in RF political/military elite really believes and fears NATO attack on RF (brainwashed ordinary folk may be another matter), they hate it basically because NATO membership creates very troublesome institutionalised obstacle for the potential re-expansion in neighbouring lands.

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  303. @Thorfinnsson

    And yes, you are making a fantastic case against immigration of any sort right now.

    It’s the same with AP’s comments and the various Russians commenting from America (iirc Mikhail is a 3rd-generation Russian American, and of course there’s the “sovok” contingent like AnoninTn and Martyanov), really makes one wonder.
    imo it was a great tragedy that the US didn’t stay predominantly Anglo-Saxon, the Ellis Island era immigration and everything that came after was clearly a disaster.

    • Agree: Thorfinnsson
    • Disagree: Mikhail
    • Replies: @AP
    , @Mikhail
  304. Mr. Hack says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    You’re demonstrating an entirely understandable loyalty to your ethnic homeland, but that loyalty is not necessarily in the interests of the country of which you are now a citizen.

    In all actuality, I feel that it’s my position, that the US should back Ukraine, that is the most congruent with US foreign policy, not yours that supports Russia. And this has been the case for a good portion of the 20th century and all of the 21st too!

    Yes, I’ve endorsed the triune theory as being beneficial to Russia itself, and my antipathy to barely differentiated nationalities is well known

    It’s too bad or you that the vast majority of Ukrainians don’t feel this way and feel that the Triune Theorry is nothing more than a veneer for Great Russian chauvinism and imnperialism. You see Thorinnsson, the Triune theory was always promoted incorrectly, at the point of a gun leading non-believers into the Siberian gulag system.

    America’s interest lies in having good relations with Russia to prevent a Russian-Chinese combination.

    Do you really believe that China doesn’t know where its bread gets buttered? To think that somehow China would trade its relatonship with the US for closer ties with Russia is the height of folly. At best (for China) it will continue to play both sides off one another, and will continue marching to the front of the line. The current spat is just raw material to make orange juice for Donald.

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
    , @Hyperborean
  305. @sudden death

    I would ask you the same thing I asked of Mr. Hack, which if you can read a map.

    The Norwegian-Russian frontier is remote from Russia’s center of gravity. The only important interest of Russia’s close to the border is Murmansk. But the terrain and infrastructure in the area is very poor, as demonstrated by the total failure of Operation Silver Fox during Barbarossa.

    During the Cold War Norway also prohibited stationing foreign troops on its soil. In more recent times Russia has repeatedly protested the stationing of American forces at Vaernes.

    It should also be pointed out that for naval reasons the incorporation of Norway into NATO offers security benefits to the alliance. During WW2 the German occupation of Norway made the Battle of the Atlantic substantially more difficult.

    As for Russian expansionism, true enough. In general Russians do not accept the independence of the “Near Abroad”. Most Russian nationalists for instance appear to support the reexpansion of the Russian Galactic Empire into the Baltic states.

    • Replies: @sudden death
  306. @Mr. Hack

    What benefits accrue to America from backing the Ukraine?

    For that matter, which benefits would accrue to Germany from backing the Ukraine?

    Do these benefits offset the negative consequences of a further deterioration in already bad relations with Russia?

    China is clearly not yet willing to sacrifice Chimerica for a combination with Russia for the obvious reason that Russia offers China far fewer economic benefits. The current Chinese posture appears to be hoping that it will be business as usual once Trump leaves the scene.

    This is a possible outcome, but not a guaranteed outcome. Trump is “succeeding” in pushing his trade war with China because there exists substantial backing for his policy in both major American political parties as well as within the military-industrial complex.

    The American strategy with China adopted in the ’90s was to integrate China commercially into the world trade system. It was believed that this would weaken the CCP’s grip on Chinese society and generate a powerful class within China with a vested interest promoting the American world order. This obviously has not happened, which is why Trump has been able to push his confrontational policy. Note how he has had zero success in pushing the rest of his agenda because there is zero institutional support for that.

    China is the only power which can actually challenge and threaten America (outside of a possible nuclear strike from Russia…). Russia is in China’s strategic rear and has most of the resources required for China to survive an American naval blockade. Driving these two powers into combination weakens American security and allows China to expand its power into the Pacific.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  307. @Mr. Hack

    Do you really believe that China doesn’t know where its bread gets buttered? To think that somehow China would trade its relatonship with the US for closer ties with Russia is the height of folly. At best (for China) it will continue to play both sides off one another, and will continue marching to the front of the line. The current spat is just raw material to make orange juice for Donald.

    This is a very cavalierly attitude. It is easier to burn a bridge than to rebuild it. The USA has already alienated Russia, I very much doubt that the Chinese too, unless absolutely forced to, will tolerate a “return to normal” on anything but their terms (of course, if a Democrat enters then this is perhaps a possibility, but the distinction should be noted).

  308. Mr. Hack says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    What benefits accrue to America from backing the Ukraine?

    It was Zbigniew Brzezinski who made a strong case for keeping Ukraine out of Russia’s orbit. He felt that by doing so, Russia could not really aspire to becoming recognized as an empire. I think that he was on to something. Do you really think that a strong and reconstituted Russian empire is in the US best interests?

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  309. @Thorfinnsson

    The Norwegian-Russian frontier is remote from Russia’s center of gravity. The only important interest of Russia’s close to the border is Murmansk. But the terrain and infrastructure in the area is very poor, as demonstrated by the total failure of Operation Silver Fox during Barbarossa.But the terrain and infrastructure in the area is very poor, as demonstrated by the total failure of Operation Silver Fox during Barbarossa.

    Arctic warfare was very hard indeed, but it would be misleading to tell it ended unsucesfully just purely because of military reasons as Finnish command ordered an end to the offensive despite positive feedback from the field commanders that further ground could be taken. The reason for this sudden change in Finnish behavior was the result of diplomatic pressure by the United States. Prior to the cancellation of the offensive, US diplomats warned Finland that a disruption of US deliveries to the Soviet Union would have serious consequences for Finland. Therefore, Finland became no longer interested in spearheading the offensive. With the Finnish refusal to be involved in the offensive, Arctic Fox came to an end in November of 1941 and both sides dug in for several years.

    But all of this WWII ground experience is not that crucially important anyway nowdays because all kinds of ballistic missiles are not that sensitive to cold terrain and in grand scheme of things there is not much difference if those rockets would be launched from Norway or from Ukraine 😉

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  310. @Mr. Hack

    Zbigniew Brzezinski is was a Polish aristocrat. A class which is world-renowned for its great fondness of Russia, as the two countries have such a long history of mutually beneficial cooperation. Very surprising that such a figure has hostile views of Russia.

    Z-big actually went through an interesting evolution in his views in the twilight of his life. In the 1990s he very much had the same views as he did during his time in power and promoted his concept of “the grand chessboard”. The grand chessboard was Eurasia, and America needed to prevent the rise of any hegemonic Eurasian power in order to maintain his own global hegemony.

    This was in line with mainstream “elite” American foreign policy thinking since at least 1940, and was influenced by earlier British authors like Mackinder. Mainly it meant preventing Germany or Russia from gaining hegemony in Europe.

    Towards the end of his life, his views changed. He accepted that America was in decline and that the world was becoming multipolar. He urged caution and preventing misunderstandings and miscalculations in America’s relations with the rising powers of Eurasia. Not just Russia, but also India, China, and even Turkey. See the NYT review of his last book here: https://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/30/books/strategic-vision-by-zbigniew-brzezinski.html

    Zbig’s Republican doppelganger, Henry Kissinger, supports my views. He has suggested that the USA should invert the policy mix than he pursued during his time in power. At that time the Soviet Union was the great threat, so he supported the cultivation of China in order to threaten the USSR’s strategic rear and complicate its defense planning. This was successful, and his successor (Zbig) extended this policy with the destabilization of Afghanistan.

    Today the power differential between Russia and China has completely inverted. Russian maintains strong military forces (especially nuclear), but it is otherwise a dwarf compared to China. It’s not that America has any interest in promoting a reconstituted Russian Galactic Empire, but that America has an interest in driving Russia and China apart. Pursuing this policy requires some accommodation of Russia.

    America’s goal in the Ukraine should be to comprehensively end the destabilizing and dangerous conflict between Russia and the Ukraine. America and its European allies should seek to do the following:

    First, the Russian annexation of Crimea should be accepted provided Russia agrees to pay substantial compensation to the Ukraine.

    Second, the war in the Donets Basin should be terminated. The frontiers of the Donets’ republics should be settled by internationally observed referendums. The republics should be permitted to join the Russian Federation if this is their desire (and is welcomed by Moscow, which it might not be).

    Third, the European treaty security system should be refreshed and updated. New and monitored treaties are required on intermediate range ballistic missiles, tactical nuclear weapons, anti-ballistic missile systems, and conventional armed forces. I would also suggest the planting of a deep “peace belt” forest between the Russian and Western camps.

    Fourth, both the Ukraine and Russia should be integrated into the European economic system. Russia is a European country and despite improving commerce with China the vast majority of its trade is with Europe.

    Ukrainian membership in NATO strikes me as a bad idea, but it could be tolerable with the previous four points accomplished. My fundamental preference would be for a deep neutralization of the Ukraine. If the Ukraine is ever to be a NATO member it should be stipulated by treaty that no other NATO forces are to be stationed in the Ukraine in peacetime. This could be monitored by Swiss and Swedish observers.

    • Agree: German_reader, AP, reiner Tor
  311. AP says:
    @German_reader

    Without the massive influx of non-Anglo Europeans in the 19th and 20th centuries, the USA would probably be about 30%-40% black now.

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  312. @AP

    That assumes that the Ellis Island immigrants had no depressive effects on the fertility of the native stock, which they likely did. In the absence of European mass migration to American Eastern and Midwestern industrial cities there would’ve been higher wages and lower housing prices.

    The downside is that black economic migration to the North would’ve started earlier, and while non-Southern whites did show some inclination for ethnic defense (see for instance California’s own Jim Crowe laws), they were obviously not as proficient in this as Southerners. However Southern whites too would’ve migrated and perhaps would’ve balanced the matter.

    That said the real problem other than the obvious (Jews) were the Irish, who proved to be very proficient in politics and still corrupt Northern municipal politics to this day. Just look at Illinois.

    I suppose we should also add Italians with their proclivity for organized crime.

    There were minor issues with lobbying by other Ellis Island groups, which may have motivated Robert Lansing’s decision to support the dismemberment of Austria-Hungary, but nothing serious.

    The concept of the Hajnal Line didn’t exist back then, but aggressive Protestantism did. Limiting immigration to Protestant Europeans would’ve been almost ideal. May have had negative second order effects like making Canada and Australia more Irish Catholic, but that’s their problem.

  313. Dmitry says:
    @AP

    Freedom comes with a price.

    With the 20,000 deaths each year – the person who pays the price for the deaths (by dying), is very often not the one who has the “freedom” of driving.

    If people were forced to stay indoors their entire lives even more lives would be saved.

    In the USSR, there was greater emphasis on public transportation, compared to the automobiles. As a result, many thousands of lives saved each year.

    Also, if the USSR had not collapsed,cities like Chelyabinsk would have the metro completed by the late 1990s. Whereas with the Russian Federation, the result is now more than 27 years of delay and half built stations, as a result of the refusal of the federal government to prioritize financing of construction of infrastructure in the city.

    Freedom comes with a price. If people were forced to stay indoors their entire lives even more lives would be saved.

    And also some time in the morning and evening, saved. Again “freedom” can be staying in the traffic jam.

  314. Dmitry says:
    @Philip Owen

    I remembered you were living in Saratov and you are involved in a lot of business there (like opening helping to hotel chains there). I have not been in Saratov, although I heard a few things and there is some romantic “disaster porn” about what I hear about this city.

    I have an Israeli friend from Saratov and he says his native city is a disaster. And now he lives in Bat Yam (which is shit to my eyes), and he thinks Bat Yam is great. So I don’t think he has high standards when he says Saratov is shit.

    He had avoided conscription, emigrated to study medical school for free in Israel, and last year has started working as a doctor in Israel, so he has been clever to escape Saratov.

    Why did you choose Saratov as a center of your business? Also I was going to ask you earlier if you had any interesting knowledge about last year’s disaster of Saratov Airlines?

  315. Dmitry says:
    @German_reader

    Ukraine needs to increase its trade relations with the EU, perhaps as the only plausible way to leave third world economic situation within an acceptable time.

    Ukraine are next to some of the fastest growing economies in the developed world (Hungary, Poland, Slovakia), and yet Ukraine is excluded from this economic wealth and fast development of the EU economy, while watching their neighbours becoming decades more economically advanced than they are – it has not been a tolerable situation.

    However, the EU has included a binary clause in their free trade proposal to Ukraine – Kiev had to either choose free trade with the EU, or with the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Armenia.

    This force of decision was not from the Russia side, but from the EU side. And other countries were allowed to negotiate free trade with both the EU and then Customs Union (now Eurasian Economic Union).

    But Ukraine was forced for a decision of one or the other, which was inevitably going to create a crisis.

    The rest of the history we know.

    From any economic analysis, it is rational to prefer free trade with economic powerhouse of the EU, than economically weak Eurasian Economic Union, if you are forced into an exclusionary choice of one or the other.

    But why did Ukraine have to choose one or the other in exclusion? This was the EU which forced this decision, not Russia. Russia was open to Ukraine having open economic relations with both sides. And EU’s forcing of this choice between one or other sides, meant that to some extent a crisis was inevitable.

  316. @Thorfinnsson

    EU with Russia + Ukraine as members or with a Swiss type deep cooperation arrangement will result in an entity self sufficient in natural resources,containing 700 million + well educated whites inhabiting an area 3X+ of the US.Such an entity will likely dwarf the US as the world’s pre eminent superpower in less than a generation. Also post Brexit the US will no longer have it’s most significant Trojan horse at the high table inside the EU.

    I believe the US deep state will never back any reconciliation with Russia to thwart the possibility of just such an outcome.

  317. @Vishnugupta

    This would require Europe not merely to federate politically, but to mentally and spiritually conceive of itself as an independent great power separate and distinct from the United States.

    In addition to Europeans not being prepared at this time to think that way, there’s the fact that “Atlanticism” isn’t just a state of mind in a certain class of European politicians. The existence of NATO itself intertwines the security, diplomatic, and defense policies of Europe with the United States (and Canada).

    Perhaps more importantly, there also exists a shared transatlantic capital market which circulates not just money but also personnel. It is further possible to build on this transatlantic capital market with still deeper trade and economic links.

    That said, if Europe were to free itself from the United States and become an independent great power, that might not be a bad outcome. It would prompt a return to American geopolitics to the pre-1937 period, a time when the country was much better run and blundered into far fewer overseas military debacles.

    If Britain were to remain outside of this European combination and become an outpost of American power, it would also comfortably place the American security periphery very distant from the heartland.

  318. @Vishnugupta

    EU with Russia + Ukraine as members or with a Swiss type deep cooperation arrangement

    That’s a fantasy imo. The EU doesn’t even work all that well between its founding members (e.g. Italy-Germany) and might well break apart due to the Euro issue; and of course there’s the migration problem which will render any dreams of an independent Europe obsolete, if there isn’t a drastic course correction in key countries (which looks unlikely right now).
    Some form of mutually beneficial relations between the EU and Russia would be desirable though.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  319. @sudden death

    Norway has never been in the Russian sphere of influence. Ukraine has never been part of NATO. These things and their perception are path dependent. Changing the status quo is different from trying to preserve it.

    Russia is neither strong nor aggressive enough to start or even risk a war to change the status quo with regards to Norway (or the Baltic states), but it’s probably going to be desperate enough to do that with regards to Ukraine.

  320. @German_reader

    However, Vishnagupta might be onto something regarding US strategic thinking on these issues.

  321. @reiner Tor

    Sort of.

    Historically America has supported European integration and expansion, provided it stopped short of the formation of a European army. And even this was not always true, as the Eisenhower administration had as an eventual objective the departure of American military forces from Europe and supported the formation of the European defense community. Early postwar British governments were advised by America to seek integration with Europe. American pressure was in a way instrumental for the founding of the EU because America flatly rejected French schemes to take over German industry.

    American leaders and economists did caution against the Eurozone, which European leaders assumed was simply sour grapes and a desire to prevent competition with Wall Street, but the American economists turned out to be right. In the ongoing Eurozone crisis of the past decade (!), the US Treasury Dept. and Federal Reserve have consistently weighed in against the lunatic German position, mostly unsuccessfully. There was an amusing incident where China and the USA ganged up against Europe at an IMF conference and got the Mexican finance minister to denounce European pleading and decrepitude while Japan quietly bailed out the Eurozone.

    This has changed in the Trump administration, partly because of traditional Republican antipathy to “multilateralism” and partly simply of an opportunistic desire to exploit BREXIT (held up by American…chicken farming interests–seriously).

    Outside of the period from 2002-2006 when “Old Europe” and America were at odds over America’s idiotic invasion of Iraq, generally I don’t get the impression that America has ever had any problem with the European project. If Europe were to federate, start building (real) aircraft carriers, demand the withdrawal of American military installations, etc. then that would change.

  322. @reiner Tor

    Sure, the US wants European countries to be impotent, obedient vassals (a view that has resonance with a non-trivial part of the American public because Europeans had colonial empires and brought about two world wars, so they’d better submit to America’s wise and benevolent hegemony. They’re also antisemitic and need to be reminded of their obligations towards Jews and Israel). If there ever was any doubt about that, Trump’s administration has removed it, one only has to look at the Twitter account of Trump’s homo ambassador to Germany, or think about farces like Trump’s bullying of Sweden for some moronic American rapper.
    In that regard I also wonder if Brexit should really be considered a positive development, both for Britain and for continental Europe. I don’t buy for one minute that someone like John Bolton is in favour of it because of some principled concern for British sovereignty, there’s some other agenda behind it.

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  323. @German_reader

    Trump’s bullying of Sweden should be understood in the context of American domestic politics. The remaining MAGAtards like to trumpet the concept of BLEXIT. Black Americans will any day now see that their true political interest is in leaving the Democrat welfare plantation and voting for corporate tax cuts. Or something.

    And while that won’t happen, from a purely cynical angle Trump’s bullying might have been wise. Republicans will vote for Trump anyway and moderates will vote on economic concerns. If just a few blacks in a few states either vote Republican or don’t vote at all because of Trump’s bullying then it was a success. Though probably it did nothing and will be totally forgotten by next year anyway.

    BREXIT possibly would’ve been a positive development for continental Europe prior to the Eurozone and “refugee” crises. Now it’s just a distraction and possibly economically harmful. The US for its part sees an opportunity to completely integrate the UK into Wall Street and is acting upon it. Britain is also seen as America’s most loyal military ally, something which a lot of UK politicians enjoy as it gives them a feeling of importance. Witness Britain collaborating not just with American provocations against Iran, but even against China.

    I was excited by BREXIT when it occurred, but realistically it’s hard to see how any good for the UK will come of it. The European Union itself isn’t the problem. European politicians and voters are, and leaving the EU solves neither of those problems.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    , @German_reader
  324. @AP

    Well, without constant practice, the accent will slip but they were good. I cannot two or three sentences in simple Russian and people think I’m local. My grammatical!standard is very low but I learnt my speech from Russians in Saratov, where there is no accent. In Moscow they know I have spent time on the Volga.

  325. @Thorfinnsson

    The function of pro-black utterances is not to woo blacks to vote for Trump (they won’t do that in meaningful numbers), nor even to depress Democratic black turnout (though it might have a little chance). It’s largely directed at whites. A big chunk of white voters need to convince themselves that voting for Trump is not racist, and these things help them. Absent this kind of signaling, their turnout might be lower and they might even vote Democratic.

  326. @Thorfinnsson

    Britain is also seen as America’s most loyal military ally, something which a lot of UK politicians enjoy as it gives them a feeling of importance.

    Yes, but imo participation in a war against Iran would be absolutely disastrous for Britain. More generally, I think it’s clear that Boris “amnesty for 500 000 illegal immigrants” Johnson and his crew of Ayn Rand-worshippers and friends of Zion are intent on using Brexit for purposes which have little to do with what many Brexit voters actually want.
    I agree with you about European politicians and voters, the delusional beliefs held by far too many Europeans are the core problem.

    • Agree: utu
    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  327. @German_reader

    I doubt war with Iran would be disastrous for Britain. Stupid, but not disastrous. It’s hard to see how Iran or its proxies could do much to harm Britain itself, short of some kind of fantasy of war against Iran creating a global alliance against the “Anglo-Zionist Empire” that The Faker imagines will happen Real Soon Now. I suppose he expects Moscow will react to a strike on Tehran by ordering a nuclear strike on London.

    The likely negative consequences for Britain of participating in a war against Iran would be casualties, financial losses, and perhaps hostage taking. Undesirable and obviously best avoided, but not an existential danger to Britain itself. Unless you know something about this I don’t know.

    BREXIT voters seem to mostly want an end to mass immigration, which many Britons have convinced themselves is the fault of the EU and not their own government. Angela Merkel did much to reinforce this mistaken idea in Britain.

    There is also perhaps among older British voters a nostalgia for British industry, global prominence, and empire. You can see this in talk of reviving the commonwealth, ties to the former dominions, etc. Their useless carrier program is a good example of this. Nostalgia is nice but not a basis for policy. I suppose they could revive imperial measurements if they want.

    • Replies: @German_reader
  328. Mikhail says: • Website
    @German_reader

    One of the parents was born on former Russian Empire territory and later became a Soviet citizen, in part because one of his parents was a Soviet citizen. Some white Russians chose to remain in the former Russian Empire. The same holds true of anti-Communist Croats, Serbs, Poles et al, relative to their respective nation.

  329. @Thorfinnsson

    Undesirable and obviously best avoided, but not an existential danger to Britain itself.

    Certainly not existential (I agree that Iran’s options are limited, though terror attacks in Britain itself can’t be excluded imo), but it would deepen the rifts in British society even more, because it would be an especially stupid and unnecessary war. The polarization from Brexit alone is already pretty disturbing, a war with Iran would be traumatizing.

    BREXIT voters seem to mostly want an end to mass immigration, which many Britons have convinced themselves is the fault of the EU and not their own government.

    My father knows people in Lancashire whose relatives voted for Brexit, because they hoped to “get rid of the Pakis”. Similar sentiments, if maybe a bit less extreme, must be quite common (especially in Northern England, where people have felt neglected and abused by the London-based establishment for a long time), iirc there was some study by Eric Kaufmann from the London school of economics which showed immigration – and especially non-European immigration – was a top concern for Brexit voters. But of course that’s denied by Brexit’s official spokesmen who seem quite enthusiastic about that fabulous Commonwealth immigration.

  330. Dmitry says:
    @Vishnugupta

    For all kinds of reasons, such a “reconciliation” would be undesirable in Russia.

    Even a free trade agreement with the EU which would be positive overall, would damage a lot of businessmen.

    More free labour movement between Russia and the EU, is already quite dangerous – if you open labour movement, how will you stop millions of young people (which they will take the suitcase tomorrow) from emigrating to Germany or the UK?

    Visas are a nightmare currently, and there is a very large braindrain problem, including to UK and US. But when the salary of McDonald’s in Germany is more than 5 times higher than McDonald’s in Russia – how will you stop ordinary labour from leaving, if ordinary labour is able to attain visas (as would be likely with any integration to EU)?

    As for oil, gas and other natural resources and commodities? The least “fungible” one, which needs the most infrastructure, is gas, and yet gas goes to the EU market already, and there is no need for political reconciliation for even collaboration with current pipeline projects.

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  331. @Dmitry

    The odds of the EU permitting visa-free migration from a European country (can’t claim “racism” as is done by the Turks) with a population of 150 million are precisely zero. Even if the EU were open to such a scheme, Russian negotiators of any agreement would also flatly reject the idea. There’s no population of idle, troublesome surplus males to export nor any need for remittance income (Russia has a massive trade surplus). Instead large-scale labor emigration would produce labor shortages and upward pressure on wages, as well as further draw in Central Asian guest workers that would undermine the political support of the government.

    On the other hand, inefficient Russian businesses would obviously lobby against true free trade with the European Union as well and probably successfully.

    So improved economic relations between Europe and Russia would take the form of improving existing commercial arrangements and eliminating sanctions. There’s scope for further expansion in some areas, such as more production of machinery and aircraft components in Russia. That’s a modest goal which could be easily achieved in the absence of American Russophobia.

    I don’t understand the byzantine workings of EU politics, so presumably the Poles could shut such a scheme down. But in the absence of American support would the Poles really be able to overcome the united position of France, Germany, and Italy?

  332. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Thorfinnsson

    The Polish aristocracy was by no means of the same mindset towards Russia. They were mostly all anti-Communist (Dzerzhinsky came from a Polish aristocratic background), with some having differing views on Russia. Zbig was clearly of an anti-Russian and anti-Soviet mindset.

    During the so-called Orange Revolution, he romanticized about that movement spilling over to Russia. If I’m not mistaken, in later years, he joined a wing of the US foreign policy establishment, believing that Russia would eventually distance itself from China and move towards the West, because of a weak Russian position, combined with an eventual desire from Russia to counter growing Chinese power.

    Within neocon and neolib leaning circles, this belief includes the notion that because Russia is weak, the West should give the finger to Russian geopolitical concerns like in its near abroad. That’s the kind of mindset keeping Russia away from the West.

    Kind of reminded how many were surprised by the Nazi-Soviet pact. It was assumed that such couldn’t happen. Poland was among those taken by surprise.

    The geopolitical lesson in all this is that it can prove costly to underestimate what a given nation might do, on account of believing that nation has limited options.

    As for Russia giving compensation to Ukraine over Crimea – not until Serbia is offered a mutually agreeable amount for Kosovo.

  333. Mr. Hack says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    Zbigniew Brzezinski is was a Polish aristocrat. A class which is world-renowned for its great fondness of Russia, as the two countries have such a long history of mutually beneficial cooperation. Very surprising that such a figure has hostile views of Russia.

    Obviouly you’re not very well acquainted with Polish/Russian historical dynamics. Poles, if nothing else (whether patrician or plebian) are known for their historic animosity towards Russia and Russians. From early confrontations during the Rus period, to classic wars during the Cossack period, to the partitions of their great state with Russia taking a lead role in it dismemberment in the 18th century, Poles and Russians have not gotten along. Zbig’s father was a Polish diplomat, and he and his son sat by incredulously witnessing the invasion of Poland by both Russia and Germany after the conclusion of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact.

    Zbig got a chance to show his “geat fondness” for his fellow aristocrats in Russia when he lured them into Afghanistan, that really was the beginning of the end of the Soviet Union. He and only Pope John II have left an unsavory taste in the mouths of Sovok, that really was the heart and soul of Russian chauvinists toward the end o the 20th century.

    One thing for sure, Brzezinki was always steadfast in his support for a free and independent Ukraine. He often visited Ukraine even towards the end of his life and his message never waivered as to the necessity of keeping Ukraine free and independent. This short message is very representative of his lifelong support of Ukraine:

    • Replies: @German_reader
  334. @Mr. Hack

    Obviouly you’re not very well acquainted with Polish/Russian historical dynamics. Poles, if nothing else (whether patrician or plebian) are known for their historic animosity towards Russia and Russians.

    Thorfinnsson was being ironic, quite obviously so.

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