The Unz Review - Mobile
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
 TeasersRussian Reaction Blog
Russia Elections 2018: The Political Compass
🔊 Listen RSS
Email This Page to Someone

 Remember My Information



=>

Bookmark Toggle AllToCAdd to LibraryRemove from Library • BShow CommentNext New CommentNext New Reply
Search Text Case Sensitive  Exact Words  Include Comments
List of Bookmarks

russia-elections-2018-official-bulletin So the final official bulletin was confirmed a few days ago. Here are the candidates:

Sergey Baburin (Russian All-People’s Union)

Has an interesting history: Was elected a people’s deputy in the Supreme Soviet of Russia in 1990, and by early 1991 had become the leading contender to become its Chairman, beating out Ruslan Khasbulatov in the first round; then came the abortive August Coup, and he was sidelined as a hardliner (he was later one of only seven deputies to vote against the ratification of the Belavezha Accords in December 1991, and played a critical role in getting the Russian parliament to recognize the transfer of Crimea to the Ukraine as having been unconstitutional in 1992). But if things had gone differently in 1991, he might have played a central role in 1990s Russian politics. As it is, he faded away and is now merely “widely known in narrow circles.”

Constituency*: National-patriots, nationalists, White Guardists

Predicted share of the vote: Would do well to get 1% and beat Titov and Suraykin.

Pavel Grudinin (Communist Party)

Wrote about him here, here.

Latest development is him calling Stalin the “greatest leader in the past 100 years” in an interview with Russian YouTube star Yury Dud.

Constituency: Old Communists, Red bourgeoisie, national-patriots

Predicted share of the vote: As I expected, he seems to have capped out at around 7% in VCIOM and FOM polls (would be higher after adjusting for undecideds). Remains slightly but consistently ahead of Zhirinovsky, so will probably come second. Would do well to get 10%.

Vladimir Zhirinovsky (Liberal Democratic Party)

His platform.

Constituency: Nationalists, trolls

Predicted share of the vote: Probably around 6-7%. Would do well to beat Grudinin to second place, and is obviously trying to do so (e.g. lavishing praise on Suraykin, since he is an obvious spoiler to Grudinin).

Vladimir Putin (Independent)

No idea who this guy is, or what he’s doing here.

zog-necklace Ksenia Sobchak (Civil Initiative)

Safe stand-in for Navalny, because she has an even higher anti-rating. She has said some things that are very unpopular with ordinary people (Crimea is Ukrainian under international law; Russia is a nation of genetic refuse). But this is par for the course for Russian liberals, who do constitute a distinct voting bloc – after all, around 10% of Russians genuinely didn’t support the Crimean takeover – so this is hardly going to dent her numbers. Supports gay marriage, weed legalization. Has spent the past week doing a literal apology tour in the US.

Constituency: Young SWPL liberals, SJWs

Predicted share of the vote: Would do very well to get 4%. Still, virtually guaranteed to be fourth.

Maxim Suraykin (Communists of Russia)

Boring Komsomol activist. Not clear what his views actually are – his main shtick seems to be that Grudinin only pretends to be a Communist but is actually a capitalist fat cat who is not even a KPRF member.

Constituency: Young Communists, Euroleftists

Predicted share of the vote: He might have had a chance to eke out 1-2% if he was above Grudinin in the list, since babushkas would see the “Communist” next to his name and vote for him out of reflex. As it is, he’ll do great not to be dead last.

Boris Titov (Party of Growth)

Business rights activist, friendly with Putin. Supports Crimea, but against incorporating the LDNR into Russia.

Constituency: Too patriotic to appeal to liberals, too liberal to appeal to patriots.

Predicted share of the vote: Would do extremely well to get 1%. Will probably come sixth, but it’s ultimately a toss-up between him, Baburin, and Suraykin.

Grigory Yavlinsky (Yabloko)

A Jew from Lvov, Ukraine, he emerged from the Soviet dissident movement to become lifelong Fuhrer of Russia’s leading liberal party Yabloko, which he has headed since 1993 (no term limits for him). Expelled Navalny from the party in 2007 for being too nationalist (!). Advocates the unconditional return of Crimea to the Ukraine, decries Russia’s “imperialist” pursuit of Great Power ambitions, and came out against Putin’s recent directive to stop the mandatory teaching of the Tatar language to Russian schoolchildren in Tatarstan.

Constituency: Old liberals, dissidents

Predicted share of the vote: Will probably come fifth – would do extremely well to beat Sobchak.

***

Political Compass

My ballpark estimates:

Social Liberalism vs. Conservatism: Sobchak, Yavlinsky < (Navalny) << Grudinin < Putin, Zhirinovsky (curiously, Zhirinovsky has criticized the gay propaganda law, so he’s somewhat of a mixed quantity)

Economic Left vs. Right: Grudinin < Yavlinsky < Putin, Sobchak, Titov < Navalny. (Zhirinovsky has an eclectic mix of socialist, market, and even libertarian ideas and can’t really be classified)

Internationalism vs. Nationalism: Yavlinsky, Sobchak < Grudinin (has criticized “Russian World” concept as akin to fascism) < Putin, Navalny, Titov < Zhirinovsky, Baburin

Ukrainophilia vs. Revanchism: Yavlinsky (half-Ukrainian; wants to give Crimea back unconditionally) < (Navalny) (half-Ukrainian; insists on a second referendum in Crimea) < Sobchak (has merely said that Crimea was illegal) << Titov < Grudinin < Putin < Zhirinovsky, Baburin

Opinion Polls: Suraykin, Baburin, Titov < Yavlinsky, Sobchak < Zhirinovsky, Grudinin < Putin

* “Constituency” is considerably influenced by Natalia Kholmogorova’s schema.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Politics, Russia, Russian Elections 2018 
Show 94 CommentsLeave a Comment
Commenters to Ignore...to FollowEndorsed Only
Trim Comments?
  1. Assuming the elections-as-referenda model is valid, my own order of electoral preferences goes something like this:

    Zhirinovsky > Baburin* > Putin > abstention, because any of the other candidates would help tilt things in a direction I don’t like (liberal, sovok).

    Even though abstention by itself also tilts things in a way I don’t entirely like (that is, in Navalny’s direction, who is calling for a boycott).

    Theoretically, though, the list would continue as follows: > Grudinin > Suraykin > Sobchak > [Navalny if he was participating] > Yavlinsky.

    * Possibly Baburin might be in front of Zhirinovsky – I just don’t know his views all that well (he has done basically zero campaigning – Zhirik, at least, has been outspoken as usual). However, since he will almost certainly not even get 1% of the vote, I think it is basically pointless for Russian nationalists to vote for him.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  2. What is wrong with wearing pearls?

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  3. But this is par for the course for Russian liberals, who do constitute a distinct voting bloc – after all, around 10% of Russians genuinely didn’t support the Crimean takeover

    You keep repeating this statement even after I questioned you on it, and you failed to provide the evidence to support it. I understand, we all have our prejudices and preconceptions, but this particular idea of yours is especially silly, so I cannot understand how you came to be to so attached to it, since you can’t support it anyway.

    @DFH
    it’s exactly the same necklace, that all these Zio-whores are wearing. It must signify something…

    Read More
    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh

    it’s exactly the same necklace, that all these Zio-whores are wearing. It must signify something…


     

    Perhaps urbandictionary.com can help solve this mystery.
    , @Anatoly Karlin
    Don't recall where/when that happened.

    But here are the polls: https://www.levada.ru/2017/10/30/rossijsko-ukrainskie-otnosheniya-2/

    Do you support incorporating Crimea into Russia? Sooner no and certainly no = 11% (with 5% not answering).

    Considering that Russian pollsters tend to be biased in favor of pro-Putin positions - because these are the people more likely to respond to polls - if anything the 10% is an underestimate.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  4. Sobchak gave an interview in Washington where she struggled with the Crimea question. She is one of those people with multiple, mutually exclusive and inconsistent views. She tried to cover it up with a smile and lots of words, in other words a ‘talker’. Her answer was a ‘story’, not an answer.

    That verbal fluidity appeals to liberals in countries where Western policies are obviously against them. They try to stay relevant with endless empty talk and confusion, changing topics, talking about other things, denying the obvious, etc… It doesn’t work as well as few years back.

    A party named after a fruit is step too far, maybe the Yavlinsky guy should try running in Ukraine. And who is ‘Putin‘?

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  5. @Felix Keverich

    But this is par for the course for Russian liberals, who do constitute a distinct voting bloc – after all, around 10% of Russians genuinely didn’t support the Crimean takeover
     
    You keep repeating this statement even after I questioned you on it, and you failed to provide the evidence to support it. I understand, we all have our prejudices and preconceptions, but this particular idea of yours is especially silly, so I cannot understand how you came to be to so attached to it, since you can't support it anyway.

    @DFH
    it's exactly the same necklace, that all these Zio-whores are wearing. It must signify something...

    it’s exactly the same necklace, that all these Zio-whores are wearing. It must signify something…

    Perhaps urbandictionary.com can help solve this mystery.

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

    But this is par for the course for Russian liberals, who do constitute a distinct voting bloc – after all, around 10% of Russians genuinely didn’t support the Crimean takeover
     
    You keep repeating this statement even after I questioned you on it, and you failed to provide the evidence to support it. I understand, we all have our prejudices and preconceptions, but this particular idea of yours is especially silly, so I cannot understand how you came to be to so attached to it, since you can't support it anyway.

    @DFH
    it's exactly the same necklace, that all these Zio-whores are wearing. It must signify something...

    Don’t recall where/when that happened.

    But here are the polls: https://www.levada.ru/2017/10/30/rossijsko-ukrainskie-otnosheniya-2/

    Do you support incorporating Crimea into Russia? Sooner no and certainly no = 11% (with 5% not answering).

    Considering that Russian pollsters tend to be biased in favor of pro-Putin positions – because these are the people more likely to respond to polls – if anything the 10% is an underestimate.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
    Russian pollsters are not all alike, you know. Levada in particular is a Jewish-run outlet, and virulently anti-Russian. Its director is giving interviews to Western media describing Putin's Russia as a "toxic society"! So nobody could accuse Levada of pro-Putin bias.

    Here is a poll from VTSIOM, that says 95% of Russians supported the return of Crimea. https://www.gazeta.ru/social/news/2016/03/17/n_8381111.shtml

    Most polls on the issue show support for the reunification well over 90%. An intellectually consistent approach would be to calculate the average between polls, instead you've cherry-picked one extreme data point.

    Futhermore, believing that taking Crimea back was maybe, probably a mistake is by itself not an indication of pro-Western liberal views. I'm surprised you didn't consider it, but various kinds of arguments can be put forward against the reunification, not all of them are liberal.

    Another VTSIOM poll says that only 2% of Russians refuse to recognise Crimea as a part of Russia - and that in my opinion is a much better estimate of the size of hardcore liberal electorate.
    https://iz.ru/news/670910

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  7. The last classification needs at least a “<<<< " before Putin to be representative.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  8. @Anatoly Karlin
    Don't recall where/when that happened.

    But here are the polls: https://www.levada.ru/2017/10/30/rossijsko-ukrainskie-otnosheniya-2/

    Do you support incorporating Crimea into Russia? Sooner no and certainly no = 11% (with 5% not answering).

    Considering that Russian pollsters tend to be biased in favor of pro-Putin positions - because these are the people more likely to respond to polls - if anything the 10% is an underestimate.

    Russian pollsters are not all alike, you know. Levada in particular is a Jewish-run outlet, and virulently anti-Russian. Its director is giving interviews to Western media describing Putin’s Russia as a “toxic society”! So nobody could accuse Levada of pro-Putin bias.

    Here is a poll from VTSIOM, that says 95% of Russians supported the return of Crimea. https://www.gazeta.ru/social/news/2016/03/17/n_8381111.shtml

    Most polls on the issue show support for the reunification well over 90%. An intellectually consistent approach would be to calculate the average between polls, instead you’ve cherry-picked one extreme data point.

    Futhermore, believing that taking Crimea back was maybe, probably a mistake is by itself not an indication of pro-Western liberal views. I’m surprised you didn’t consider it, but various kinds of arguments can be put forward against the reunification, not all of them are liberal.

    Another VTSIOM poll says that only 2% of Russians refuse to recognise Crimea as a part of Russia – and that in my opinion is a much better estimate of the size of hardcore liberal electorate.

    https://iz.ru/news/670910

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    Well, you could say that VCIOM and FOM have the opposite problem (and indeed liberals consistently allege that they skew their polls in favor of the regime).

    I, non-ideologue, see that Levada and VCIOM/FOM tend to almost always correlate quite well, so my default position is that they all do their work conscientiously.

    It is possible that only 5% of Russians are against Crimea, though I still suspect it is closer to 10% than to 5% after adjusting for the pro-Putin people more likely to respond to polls phenomenon. Still, this hardly matters, so I don't know why you make a big deal out of it. More than 90% of Crimeans support joining Russia so that's all that matters anyway.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  9. Imagine for a moment that Sobchak did win the election, with say 40% of the vote, what would happen? Lets say she fulfilled all the neocon desires such as given back Crimea, allowing for US army bases inside Russia and doing a Merkel and inviting over a million third worlders. Would the Russian deep state try to get rid of her, like the US deep state is trying to do with Trump, or would they be compliant to whoever is head of state. Would the rest of the population accept her or would there be an uprising?

    An even thornier question, lets say she won with 51%, would Russian nationalists still be willing to start a civil war to try keep Crimea or stop Russia becoming a US puppet?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    Very hard to imagine the sort of shock Russia needs to experience for a Sobchak win to become even imaginable, but let's entertain this sci-fi scenario.

    Even if Putin croaks a week before the election, then - well, actually I suspect elections will be canceled, as the system scrambles to put up another candidate from his circle, so the point is moot anyway - then it is almost certain that Grudinin will win (plurality in the first round, decisive ~60% vs. Zhirinovsky in the second round).

    If against all odds Sobchak actually does beat Zhirinovsky into second place, and scrapes out a win against all odds in the runoff, then... well, yes, she'll have the Putinist deep state to contend with. The likes of Sechin aren't going to go quietly into the night.

    The only way she can establish dominance is by forming alliances with some of the clans in the deep state. Considering her background, that could only be the civiliki. They are the sorts of people who would be very eager to restore good relations with the West, including by ceasing support to the LDNR, but even they are not going to agree to give up Crimea. In fact, even Sobchak herself isn't radical enough to support giving away Crimea unilaterally.

    If against all odds and political realities Sobchak ceases absolute power and institutes some kind of weird ultra-liberal dictatorship, then no, I don't see the Army doing anything - the Russian Army has remarkably low traditions of political activism for the past 200 years.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  10. You have to have the occidental world’s most disagreeable political spectrum. No church-and-country conservatives, no Christian democrats, factions most inclined to get the state to stay in its lane in economic life addled by a mess of unsightly Eurotrash attitudes, and ‘patriots’ who make stomping on the Ukraine’s instep a non-negotiable component of patriotism. It’s a pity they all can’t lose.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    Christian Democrats are the biggest cucks on the planet. They are not missed. (Possibly apart from Ukrainophile Russian "nationalists", who are certainly not missed either).

    The correlation of liberal scumbags with sane economic views is however a big problem.

    Fortunately the Putin regime itself isn't half-bad at economic policy, even though there are a great many things that could be done better.
    , @neutral

    No church-and-country conservatives, no Christian democrats, factions most inclined
     
    I am curious which countries specifically you are talking about, on the top of my head they don't exist in USA, Canada, Germany, France, Britain, Italy, Spain, Ireland, Australia, all the Scandinavian states. Some of these even have "Christian democrat" parties, but it basically as valid as calling North Korea the "Democratic Peoples Republic".
    , @Gerard2


    Russia has the most diverse and intellectually stimulating political ideology landscape on the planet you demented retard.

    Compare this to the Baltic freakshows where there has been no left-wing party in power since after the 1st elections after independence
    , @Randal

    You have to have the occidental world’s most disagreeable political spectrum
     
    Coming from an American, where the political spectrum runs in practice from self-hating globalist lefties worshipping every minority they can find and when in office pursuing mass murderous, lawless "humanitarian" and pro-Israeli military intervention policies, to globalist big business flunkies pursuing when in office mass murderous, lawless, pro-Israeli and openly militarist military intervention policies, that's quite some chutzpah!
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  11. “Russia is a nation of genetic refuse”

    Of course that’s essentially what Jews David Brooks and Bret Stephens say about fly-over country whites in the US. They leave out the “genetic” part, but everybody knows what they mean.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  12. @Felix Keverich
    Russian pollsters are not all alike, you know. Levada in particular is a Jewish-run outlet, and virulently anti-Russian. Its director is giving interviews to Western media describing Putin's Russia as a "toxic society"! So nobody could accuse Levada of pro-Putin bias.

    Here is a poll from VTSIOM, that says 95% of Russians supported the return of Crimea. https://www.gazeta.ru/social/news/2016/03/17/n_8381111.shtml

    Most polls on the issue show support for the reunification well over 90%. An intellectually consistent approach would be to calculate the average between polls, instead you've cherry-picked one extreme data point.

    Futhermore, believing that taking Crimea back was maybe, probably a mistake is by itself not an indication of pro-Western liberal views. I'm surprised you didn't consider it, but various kinds of arguments can be put forward against the reunification, not all of them are liberal.

    Another VTSIOM poll says that only 2% of Russians refuse to recognise Crimea as a part of Russia - and that in my opinion is a much better estimate of the size of hardcore liberal electorate.
    https://iz.ru/news/670910

    Well, you could say that VCIOM and FOM have the opposite problem (and indeed liberals consistently allege that they skew their polls in favor of the regime).

    I, non-ideologue, see that Levada and VCIOM/FOM tend to almost always correlate quite well, so my default position is that they all do their work conscientiously.

    It is possible that only 5% of Russians are against Crimea, though I still suspect it is closer to 10% than to 5% after adjusting for the pro-Putin people more likely to respond to polls phenomenon. Still, this hardly matters, so I don’t know why you make a big deal out of it. More than 90% of Crimeans support joining Russia so that’s all that matters anyway.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Felix Keverich

    I don’t know why you make a big deal out of it.
     
    You argue that 10% of Russia's adult population are essentially traitors to their country, who agree with Sobchak/Navalny program. Your evidence for this is a poll from a registered foreign agent organisation, which says 11% of Russians are less than enthusiastic about Crimea being incorporated into Russia.

    These statements are controversial enough to merit debunking. Not only do the Levada's figures on Crimea sceptics appear suspect, opposing reunification doesn't necessarily mean you're a committed Western-oriented liberal and ready to vote for someone like Navalny.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  13. @Art Deco
    You have to have the occidental world's most disagreeable political spectrum. No church-and-country conservatives, no Christian democrats, factions most inclined to get the state to stay in its lane in economic life addled by a mess of unsightly Eurotrash attitudes, and 'patriots' who make stomping on the Ukraine's instep a non-negotiable component of patriotism. It's a pity they all can't lose.

    Christian Democrats are the biggest cucks on the planet. They are not missed. (Possibly apart from Ukrainophile Russian “nationalists”, who are certainly not missed either).

    The correlation of liberal scumbags with sane economic views is however a big problem.

    Fortunately the Putin regime itself isn’t half-bad at economic policy, even though there are a great many things that could be done better.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Philip Owen
    United Russia has made considerable efforts to become Christian Democrat rather than slump into its natural Gaullism. The Orthodox Church is given a considerable political voice thereby.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  14. @neutral
    Imagine for a moment that Sobchak did win the election, with say 40% of the vote, what would happen? Lets say she fulfilled all the neocon desires such as given back Crimea, allowing for US army bases inside Russia and doing a Merkel and inviting over a million third worlders. Would the Russian deep state try to get rid of her, like the US deep state is trying to do with Trump, or would they be compliant to whoever is head of state. Would the rest of the population accept her or would there be an uprising?

    An even thornier question, lets say she won with 51%, would Russian nationalists still be willing to start a civil war to try keep Crimea or stop Russia becoming a US puppet?

    Very hard to imagine the sort of shock Russia needs to experience for a Sobchak win to become even imaginable, but let’s entertain this sci-fi scenario.

    Even if Putin croaks a week before the election, then – well, actually I suspect elections will be canceled, as the system scrambles to put up another candidate from his circle, so the point is moot anyway – then it is almost certain that Grudinin will win (plurality in the first round, decisive ~60% vs. Zhirinovsky in the second round).

    If against all odds Sobchak actually does beat Zhirinovsky into second place, and scrapes out a win against all odds in the runoff, then… well, yes, she’ll have the Putinist deep state to contend with. The likes of Sechin aren’t going to go quietly into the night.

    The only way she can establish dominance is by forming alliances with some of the clans in the deep state. Considering her background, that could only be the civiliki. They are the sorts of people who would be very eager to restore good relations with the West, including by ceasing support to the LDNR, but even they are not going to agree to give up Crimea. In fact, even Sobchak herself isn’t radical enough to support giving away Crimea unilaterally.

    If against all odds and political realities Sobchak ceases absolute power and institutes some kind of weird ultra-liberal dictatorship, then no, I don’t see the Army doing anything – the Russian Army has remarkably low traditions of political activism for the past 200 years.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  15. For those who don’t know, Zhirik is a homosexual himself.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Gerard2
    You're talking about his son, the MP?
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  16. @Art Deco
    You have to have the occidental world's most disagreeable political spectrum. No church-and-country conservatives, no Christian democrats, factions most inclined to get the state to stay in its lane in economic life addled by a mess of unsightly Eurotrash attitudes, and 'patriots' who make stomping on the Ukraine's instep a non-negotiable component of patriotism. It's a pity they all can't lose.

    No church-and-country conservatives, no Christian democrats, factions most inclined

    I am curious which countries specifically you are talking about, on the top of my head they don’t exist in USA, Canada, Germany, France, Britain, Italy, Spain, Ireland, Australia, all the Scandinavian states. Some of these even have “Christian democrat” parties, but it basically as valid as calling North Korea the “Democratic Peoples Republic”.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  17. @Anatoly Karlin
    Well, you could say that VCIOM and FOM have the opposite problem (and indeed liberals consistently allege that they skew their polls in favor of the regime).

    I, non-ideologue, see that Levada and VCIOM/FOM tend to almost always correlate quite well, so my default position is that they all do their work conscientiously.

    It is possible that only 5% of Russians are against Crimea, though I still suspect it is closer to 10% than to 5% after adjusting for the pro-Putin people more likely to respond to polls phenomenon. Still, this hardly matters, so I don't know why you make a big deal out of it. More than 90% of Crimeans support joining Russia so that's all that matters anyway.

    I don’t know why you make a big deal out of it.

    You argue that 10% of Russia’s adult population are essentially traitors to their country, who agree with Sobchak/Navalny program. Your evidence for this is a poll from a registered foreign agent organisation, which says 11% of Russians are less than enthusiastic about Crimea being incorporated into Russia.

    These statements are controversial enough to merit debunking. Not only do the Levada’s figures on Crimea sceptics appear suspect, opposing reunification doesn’t necessarily mean you’re a committed Western-oriented liberal and ready to vote for someone like Navalny.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  18. @5371
    For those who don't know, Zhirik is a homosexual himself.

    You’re talking about his son, the MP?

    Read More
    • Replies: @5371
    No, Vladimir Volfovich himself.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  19. @Art Deco
    You have to have the occidental world's most disagreeable political spectrum. No church-and-country conservatives, no Christian democrats, factions most inclined to get the state to stay in its lane in economic life addled by a mess of unsightly Eurotrash attitudes, and 'patriots' who make stomping on the Ukraine's instep a non-negotiable component of patriotism. It's a pity they all can't lose.

    [MORE]

    Russia has the most diverse and intellectually stimulating political ideology landscape on the planet you demented retard.

    Compare this to the Baltic freakshows where there has been no left-wing party in power since after the 1st elections after independence

    Read More
    • Replies: @DFH

    Compare this to the Baltic freakshows where there has been no left-wing party in power since after the 1st elections after independence
     
    Now whose fault could that be.......
    , @Art Deco
    there has been no left-wing party in power since after the 1st elections after independence

    You say that like it's a bad thing.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  20. @Gerard2


    Russia has the most diverse and intellectually stimulating political ideology landscape on the planet you demented retard.

    Compare this to the Baltic freakshows where there has been no left-wing party in power since after the 1st elections after independence

    Compare this to the Baltic freakshows where there has been no left-wing party in power since after the 1st elections after independence

    Now whose fault could that be…….

    Read More
    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
    The problem with the Baltic statelets is that they hate their Russian populations more than they love themselves. Russian people are known to have communitarian/socialist leanings, so the Balts dismantled their own welfare states and subjected everyone to brutal neoliberal "reforms" in part hoping it would cause Russians to leave. Instead, it was Baltic youth that left en masse. Latvia lost 15% of its population since joining the EU in 2004, 30% since gaining independence in 1991, and the process of depopulation continues unabated.

    Yet the share of Russians in Latvia remained stable since independence! In other words, their plan didn't work. Riga is still a majority-Russian town. They have not been able to get rid of Russians, but they did manage to destroy their country's future.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  21. @DFH

    Compare this to the Baltic freakshows where there has been no left-wing party in power since after the 1st elections after independence
     
    Now whose fault could that be.......

    The problem with the Baltic statelets is that they hate their Russian populations more than they love themselves. Russian people are known to have communitarian/socialist leanings, so the Balts dismantled their own welfare states and subjected everyone to brutal neoliberal “reforms” in part hoping it would cause Russians to leave. Instead, it was Baltic youth that left en masse. Latvia lost 15% of its population since joining the EU in 2004, 30% since gaining independence in 1991, and the process of depopulation continues unabated.

    Yet the share of Russians in Latvia remained stable since independence! In other words, their plan didn’t work. Riga is still a majority-Russian town. They have not been able to get rid of Russians, but they did manage to destroy their country’s future.

    Read More
    • Replies: @neutral
    Can you tell the difference between a Nigerian and a Ghanian? Probably not, the same applies to Russians and Latvians. If Latvians are declining, that is nothing to celebrate, even if you are a hardened Russian nationalist. The usual "food is rotting in the fields" or "we need third world immigration to pay for future pensions" arguments apply to Latvia as well, unless you really don't care about sub Saharan Africans becoming the new Latvians, you should not treat them as enemies.
    , @Art Deco
    but they did manage to destroy their country’s future.


    MBITRW, Latvia's at least as affluent as Russia, it isn't dependent on natural-resource rents; has a diversified export sector, not one dominated by fuel; and has a total fertility rate which is average for Europe (but increasing). Its homicide rate is about 1/3 that of Russia. It's resolutely non-destroyed, the wishcasting of malevolent Russian nationalists notwithstanding.

    , @AP

    Yet the share of Russians in Latvia remained stable since independence! In other words, their plan didn’t work. Riga is still a majority-Russian town.
     
    In 2017 Riga was 44% Latvian and 38% Russian.

    In 1989 Riga was 37% Latvian.

    In 1989 Latvians were 52% of Latvia's population; in 2017 they are 60% of Latvia's population.

    In Latvia:

    The number of Latvians declined from 1,387,757 in 1989 to 1,273,062 in 2017.

    But the number of Russians has declined from 905,515 in 1989 to 551,988 in 2017.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  22. @Felix Keverich
    The problem with the Baltic statelets is that they hate their Russian populations more than they love themselves. Russian people are known to have communitarian/socialist leanings, so the Balts dismantled their own welfare states and subjected everyone to brutal neoliberal "reforms" in part hoping it would cause Russians to leave. Instead, it was Baltic youth that left en masse. Latvia lost 15% of its population since joining the EU in 2004, 30% since gaining independence in 1991, and the process of depopulation continues unabated.

    Yet the share of Russians in Latvia remained stable since independence! In other words, their plan didn't work. Riga is still a majority-Russian town. They have not been able to get rid of Russians, but they did manage to destroy their country's future.

    Can you tell the difference between a Nigerian and a Ghanian? Probably not, the same applies to Russians and Latvians. If Latvians are declining, that is nothing to celebrate, even if you are a hardened Russian nationalist. The usual “food is rotting in the fields” or “we need third world immigration to pay for future pensions” arguments apply to Latvia as well, unless you really don’t care about sub Saharan Africans becoming the new Latvians, you should not treat them as enemies.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
    But they have done it to themselves, driven by hate. This is what makes it so ironic.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  23. @neutral
    Can you tell the difference between a Nigerian and a Ghanian? Probably not, the same applies to Russians and Latvians. If Latvians are declining, that is nothing to celebrate, even if you are a hardened Russian nationalist. The usual "food is rotting in the fields" or "we need third world immigration to pay for future pensions" arguments apply to Latvia as well, unless you really don't care about sub Saharan Africans becoming the new Latvians, you should not treat them as enemies.

    But they have done it to themselves, driven by hate. This is what makes it so ironic.

    Read More
    • Replies: @A22
    If Russia were to grow its economy at a faster pace, say 4%, which it should be doing right now instead of the 1.5% !!, I think the Baltic states would start seeing that they will lose more than win with their alienation of Russia. This probably applies even to wealthier EU economies.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  24. @Felix Keverich
    But they have done it to themselves, driven by hate. This is what makes it so ironic.

    If Russia were to grow its economy at a faster pace, say 4%, which it should be doing right now instead of the 1.5% !!, I think the Baltic states would start seeing that they will lose more than win with their alienation of Russia. This probably applies even to wealthier EU economies.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  25. @Anatoly Karlin
    Christian Democrats are the biggest cucks on the planet. They are not missed. (Possibly apart from Ukrainophile Russian "nationalists", who are certainly not missed either).

    The correlation of liberal scumbags with sane economic views is however a big problem.

    Fortunately the Putin regime itself isn't half-bad at economic policy, even though there are a great many things that could be done better.

    United Russia has made considerable efforts to become Christian Democrat rather than slump into its natural Gaullism. The Orthodox Church is given a considerable political voice thereby.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  26. Titov has an organization representing most small businesses in Russia behind him. It is not, at the moment time for Poujadism in Russia. It is probably one election too early but he is not a trivial contender. A German style Free Democrat.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  27. @Art Deco
    You have to have the occidental world's most disagreeable political spectrum. No church-and-country conservatives, no Christian democrats, factions most inclined to get the state to stay in its lane in economic life addled by a mess of unsightly Eurotrash attitudes, and 'patriots' who make stomping on the Ukraine's instep a non-negotiable component of patriotism. It's a pity they all can't lose.

    You have to have the occidental world’s most disagreeable political spectrum

    Coming from an American, where the political spectrum runs in practice from self-hating globalist lefties worshipping every minority they can find and when in office pursuing mass murderous, lawless “humanitarian” and pro-Israeli military intervention policies, to globalist big business flunkies pursuing when in office mass murderous, lawless, pro-Israeli and openly militarist military intervention policies, that’s quite some chutzpah!

    Read More
    • Agree: RadicalCenter
    • Replies: @Art Deco
    Try posting something coherent when you've sobered up.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  28. @Felix Keverich
    The problem with the Baltic statelets is that they hate their Russian populations more than they love themselves. Russian people are known to have communitarian/socialist leanings, so the Balts dismantled their own welfare states and subjected everyone to brutal neoliberal "reforms" in part hoping it would cause Russians to leave. Instead, it was Baltic youth that left en masse. Latvia lost 15% of its population since joining the EU in 2004, 30% since gaining independence in 1991, and the process of depopulation continues unabated.

    Yet the share of Russians in Latvia remained stable since independence! In other words, their plan didn't work. Riga is still a majority-Russian town. They have not been able to get rid of Russians, but they did manage to destroy their country's future.

    but they did manage to destroy their country’s future.

    MBITRW, Latvia’s at least as affluent as Russia, it isn’t dependent on natural-resource rents; has a diversified export sector, not one dominated by fuel; and has a total fertility rate which is average for Europe (but increasing). Its homicide rate is about 1/3 that of Russia. It’s resolutely non-destroyed, the wishcasting of malevolent Russian nationalists notwithstanding.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mitleser

    It’s resolutely non-destroyed, the wishcasting of malevolent Russian nationalists notwithstanding.
     
    The depopulation is real, just like in neighboring Lithuania, ergo the wishcasting of the just Russian nationalists must be working.
    , @Gerard2

    MBITRW, Latvia’s at least as affluent as Russia
     
    ...errmmm Russians are twice as affluent as Latvians you dumb pri*k..........Muscovites about 4 times more. As a micro-state Latvia should be doing MUCH better you idiot. Take out the 8 million from the particularly poor regions in the North Caucasus, and also take out the regions in Russia that are subjected to -20C to -30c for 2 or 3 months+ of the year and monoindustry post-soviet problems ( that's the genius of Russians making a success of life in impossible places unlike talentless, gutless prostitute states like the imaginary Latvia that has been nothing but a toy of Germany and Russia for centuries), ...that's about 30 million, the 2 million in Crimea suffering from years of living under Ukrainian mismanagement....that's about 40 million people who shouldn't be expected to be earning $25-30000 GDP (PPP), yet despite that 40 million number ,Russia is still officially, equal to the EU prostitute state latvia ( that barely spends anything on it's defence budget) in earnings. Then add in the shadow economy for Russia and the general great cultural life in Russia......it's an annihilation you dumb prick against the dying Baltic nation of Latvia.
    Go to Moscow,Saint Petersburg,Kazan....not one westerner would say any city in Latvia or the Baltics is anywhere near the same level of living standard or to visit as a tourist . Those 3 cities ( and I could add many more great Russian cities) total together 3 times the population of the entire Baltics combined

    it isn’t dependent on natural-resource rents;
     
    Russians natural resources are less than 20%, plus the word "dependent" is retarded you idiot because Russia, much like it did with latvia, educated people to create local jobs and research at all stages in the processing of these natural resources, making it different to the likes of Saudi Arabia.

    Its homicide rate is about 1/3 that of Russia
     
    ....it's homicide rate is about the same as Moscow and Saint Petersburg....cities that unlike the ghosttown cities in Latvia...have millions of people ( including criminals) want to live, work and go on holiday there. Latvia have exported scores of criminals ( the biggest benefit of EU membership to them)....all of them ethnic Latvians committing numerous despicable murders in Britain.


    has a diversified export sector,
     
    ...errrmmm no it doesn't you clown...and anyway it's biggest export partner is.....Russia.


    It's a destroyed,failing prostitute country, lucky that it has 30% Russians/slav or russophile ex-Soviet people living there
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  29. @Randal

    You have to have the occidental world’s most disagreeable political spectrum
     
    Coming from an American, where the political spectrum runs in practice from self-hating globalist lefties worshipping every minority they can find and when in office pursuing mass murderous, lawless "humanitarian" and pro-Israeli military intervention policies, to globalist big business flunkies pursuing when in office mass murderous, lawless, pro-Israeli and openly militarist military intervention policies, that's quite some chutzpah!

    Try posting something coherent when you’ve sobered up.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Randal
    I do sympathise somewhat if it was too complicated for you to follow, but not enough to bother dumbing down for you.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  30. @Gerard2


    Russia has the most diverse and intellectually stimulating political ideology landscape on the planet you demented retard.

    Compare this to the Baltic freakshows where there has been no left-wing party in power since after the 1st elections after independence

    there has been no left-wing party in power since after the 1st elections after independence

    You say that like it’s a bad thing.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  31. @Art Deco
    Try posting something coherent when you've sobered up.

    I do sympathise somewhat if it was too complicated for you to follow, but not enough to bother dumbing down for you.

    Read More
    • LOL: Hibernian
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  32. I don’t know how it will affect the final vote tallies, but Ksenia Sobchak definitely gets the highest score for f___ability. If only Russia were voting for Playmate of the Year, Vlad would be toast.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jaakko Raipala

    If only Russia were voting for Playmate of the Year, Vlad would be toast.
     
    I don't know about that, I think with female suffrage Putin might be surprisingly competitive.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zk_VszbZa_s
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  33. @Tulip
    I don't know how it will affect the final vote tallies, but Ksenia Sobchak definitely gets the highest score for f___ability. If only Russia were voting for Playmate of the Year, Vlad would be toast.

    If only Russia were voting for Playmate of the Year, Vlad would be toast.

    I don’t know about that, I think with female suffrage Putin might be surprisingly competitive.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  34. Ksenia Sobchak (Civil Initiative)

    Safe stand-in for Navalny, because she has an even higher anti-rating. She has said some things that are very unpopular with ordinary people (Crimea is Ukrainian under international law; Russia is a nation of genetic refuse). But this is par for the course for Russian liberals, who do constitute a distinct voting bloc – after all, around 10% of Russians genuinely didn’t support the Crimean takeover – so this is hardly going to dent her numbers. Supports gay marriage, weed legalization. Has spent the past week doing a literal apology tour in the US.

    Good grief, your self-hating, national suicide advocating politicians are even more openly treasonous than ours in the US sphere. I didn’t think that was actually possible.

    On the other hand, of course, ours are actually both in government and in control of the main opposition parties, whereas the people of your country seem mostly to have the sense not to vote for your traitors, so we suffer more as a result than you do. I suppose that’s what you get as a nation for being stupid enough to let lefties and identity lobbies make you internalise an overdose of apologetics about colonialism, racism, patriarchy, homophobia etc.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  35. @Felix Keverich
    The problem with the Baltic statelets is that they hate their Russian populations more than they love themselves. Russian people are known to have communitarian/socialist leanings, so the Balts dismantled their own welfare states and subjected everyone to brutal neoliberal "reforms" in part hoping it would cause Russians to leave. Instead, it was Baltic youth that left en masse. Latvia lost 15% of its population since joining the EU in 2004, 30% since gaining independence in 1991, and the process of depopulation continues unabated.

    Yet the share of Russians in Latvia remained stable since independence! In other words, their plan didn't work. Riga is still a majority-Russian town. They have not been able to get rid of Russians, but they did manage to destroy their country's future.

    Yet the share of Russians in Latvia remained stable since independence! In other words, their plan didn’t work. Riga is still a majority-Russian town.

    In 2017 Riga was 44% Latvian and 38% Russian.

    In 1989 Riga was 37% Latvian.

    In 1989 Latvians were 52% of Latvia’s population; in 2017 they are 60% of Latvia’s population.

    In Latvia:

    The number of Latvians declined from 1,387,757 in 1989 to 1,273,062 in 2017.

    But the number of Russians has declined from 905,515 in 1989 to 551,988 in 2017.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Beckow
    ...chase to the bottom. Latvia lost 30% of its population in one generation. That's not good, no matter how you spin it.

    There was an initial departure of a couple hundred thousand mostly Russians who lived in Latvia and worked for central government, military, and their families. There has also been substantial inter-marriage and many of the 60% Latvians are mixed heavily with Russians. Russians also had to compulsory change their names to 'Latvian' equivalents (I am not kidding, the Latvian nationalists actually demanded that they change their names so it doesn't look so 'Russian'. And EU said nothing.)

    In any case, Latvia is a multi-ethnic country with 40% or so of its population that is not ethnically Latvian, and its capital Riga that has a very distinctive Russian character. The second city, Dvinsk, is almost completely Russian.

    How much longer can Latvians keep this silly ethnic apartheid going? How much longer before EU notices that Latvia has no intention to observe even most basic minority rights? How much longer before Latvia has about 1.5 million people left there?

    It has been a rather sad decline. You can paint it positively all you want, it is not a pretty picture.

    , @Swedish Family

    In 2017 Riga was 44% Latvian and 38% Russian.
     
    This is true, but it's presumably still majority Russian-speaking. Ethnic data for Rīga (2017):

    Ethnic Latvians 44.03%
    Ethnic Russians 37.88%
    Belarusians 3.72%
    Ukrainians 3.66%
    Poles 1.83%
    Other ethnicities 9.10%

    http://www.pmlp.gov.lv/lv/assets/documents/Iedzivotaju%20re%C4%A3istrs/07022017/ISPN_Pasvaldibas_pec_TTB.pdf
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  36. @AP

    Yet the share of Russians in Latvia remained stable since independence! In other words, their plan didn’t work. Riga is still a majority-Russian town.
     
    In 2017 Riga was 44% Latvian and 38% Russian.

    In 1989 Riga was 37% Latvian.

    In 1989 Latvians were 52% of Latvia's population; in 2017 they are 60% of Latvia's population.

    In Latvia:

    The number of Latvians declined from 1,387,757 in 1989 to 1,273,062 in 2017.

    But the number of Russians has declined from 905,515 in 1989 to 551,988 in 2017.

    …chase to the bottom. Latvia lost 30% of its population in one generation. That’s not good, no matter how you spin it.

    There was an initial departure of a couple hundred thousand mostly Russians who lived in Latvia and worked for central government, military, and their families. There has also been substantial inter-marriage and many of the 60% Latvians are mixed heavily with Russians. Russians also had to compulsory change their names to ‘Latvian’ equivalents (I am not kidding, the Latvian nationalists actually demanded that they change their names so it doesn’t look so ‘Russian’. And EU said nothing.)

    In any case, Latvia is a multi-ethnic country with 40% or so of its population that is not ethnically Latvian, and its capital Riga that has a very distinctive Russian character. The second city, Dvinsk, is almost completely Russian.

    How much longer can Latvians keep this silly ethnic apartheid going? How much longer before EU notices that Latvia has no intention to observe even most basic minority rights? How much longer before Latvia has about 1.5 million people left there?

    It has been a rather sad decline. You can paint it positively all you want, it is not a pretty picture.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AP

    …chase to the bottom. Latvia lost 30% of its population in one generation. That’s not good, no matter how you spin it.
     
    If one is a Latvian who wants to live in a Latvian country this would be not necessarily bad.

    If all Muslims left France there would be a population decline of 15% or so. Would that be a tragedy for French nationalists?
    , @LatW
    "its capital Riga that has a very distinctive Russian character"

    It depends on what you look at. Having lived in the old town of Riga for decades, I'd suggest you not cherry pick, Beckow. Certainly the old town, and large parts of the center do not have a "Russian" character, and are in fact very distinctly Latvian. Cobbled streets, pre-war and recent architecture, Lutheran churches, many bars and stores styled in the ancient Baltic style, various art and culture that is uniquely Baltic, not to mention the many Latvians who live and work there. You are probably one of the smartest commenters here, Beckow, and you do have some real pearls coming out on and off, even funny ones, but occasionally you take your confirmation bias a bit too far (such as implying that the Poles want to march on Moscow (beyond absurd!) or that Europeans think of Ukrainians the same as Nigerians (absurd!) - I don't know if you believe those things yourself, but they are simply exaggerations). Same with Riga - you deliberately avoid the obvious fact that Riga, despite of Russification that is unprecedented in the history of the region (a million Russians (et al) were plopped on top of a million Latvians over a couple of generations - I'm not even going to count the war losses), in many ways is Latvian in its very character. The Russians who we've known over the years, keep stating that over and over. That's what they like! That's why they visit. And, while there is intermarriage (and so what - you can't dictate to the heart), most Latvians are not "heavily" mixed as you say, most Latvians marry other Latvians. You are right that many Russian parents file their kids as "Latvian" (many Russians also choose Latvian preschools), but the birth rate is slightly higher in the Latvian population (not by much, but the effects would accumulate over decades, the thing with Russians is that they have a lousy age structure and I suspect there is something in their mating pattern that makes it harder for women to feel stable - it's not their fault as a people, it's just a sum of unfortunate factors, I've even read that in Estonia, once they move into the Estonian parts of society, their birth rates improve).

    The last three years the births have exceeded deaths in the native Latvian population (even if not by much). The blatant disrespect for human life that was characteristic of the "socialist era" - abortion - has been on the way down for years now, infant mortality is down, a year long maternal leave (80% paid - I know of no other country that offers that), expensive fertility treatments paid for by the state (small but nice to have), fertility rate in the 30+ group approaching that of the 1980s levels, etc. Of course the fight for the second child is still very much on, but the numbers of families with a third and second child are up, I have a lot of data like this and could go on and on -- I'm sure it is similar to some of the recent Russian and Belorussian data as it is a regional trend (but also due to social and state initiated improvements).

    You also mention that "things are getting worse", I would disagree -- in many ways, things are getting better. Year after year, people are getting more affluent. The Baltic states are as rich as they've ever been (with the exception of 1930s or certain times before the 13th century).

    Re: what you said about the EU borders - agreed completely! I would suggest that it might be more fruitful for us from countries such as ours to, instead of trying to have a competition about who's less of a loser based on our geopolitical outlook - would be to think and strategize on how to close the borders. Everything starts with public discourse. Possibly, the "open border" labor mobility within the EU will need to be rolled back in the future. It's a good time to start talking about that.

    And why are we talking about Latvia under this blog post anyway? It'd be more interesting to figure out why there are so many attacks against Grudinin.
    , @LatW

    How much longer before EU notices that Latvia has no intention to observe even most basic minority rights?
     
    Oh, gosh, don't be silly - it is 2018, not 2002.
    , @Art Deco
    How much longer can Latvians keep this silly ethnic apartheid going? How much longer before EU notices that Latvia has no intention to observe even most basic minority rights?

    You're not denied a thing you are due. You fancy it's your right to be a member of the body politic without language proficiency. It is not.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  37. @Beckow
    ...chase to the bottom. Latvia lost 30% of its population in one generation. That's not good, no matter how you spin it.

    There was an initial departure of a couple hundred thousand mostly Russians who lived in Latvia and worked for central government, military, and their families. There has also been substantial inter-marriage and many of the 60% Latvians are mixed heavily with Russians. Russians also had to compulsory change their names to 'Latvian' equivalents (I am not kidding, the Latvian nationalists actually demanded that they change their names so it doesn't look so 'Russian'. And EU said nothing.)

    In any case, Latvia is a multi-ethnic country with 40% or so of its population that is not ethnically Latvian, and its capital Riga that has a very distinctive Russian character. The second city, Dvinsk, is almost completely Russian.

    How much longer can Latvians keep this silly ethnic apartheid going? How much longer before EU notices that Latvia has no intention to observe even most basic minority rights? How much longer before Latvia has about 1.5 million people left there?

    It has been a rather sad decline. You can paint it positively all you want, it is not a pretty picture.

    …chase to the bottom. Latvia lost 30% of its population in one generation. That’s not good, no matter how you spin it.

    If one is a Latvian who wants to live in a Latvian country this would be not necessarily bad.

    If all Muslims left France there would be a population decline of 15% or so. Would that be a tragedy for French nationalists?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
    There fewer ethnic Latvians today than in 1920s. This is what Latvian nationalism achieved. It's an angry, little people, that is destined to disappear.
    , @Art Deco
    If all Muslims left France there would be a population decline of 15% or so. Would that be a tragedy for French nationalists?

    About 8% per Pew. France as we speak has adequate fertility rates and can get along without much immigration.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  38. @AP

    …chase to the bottom. Latvia lost 30% of its population in one generation. That’s not good, no matter how you spin it.
     
    If one is a Latvian who wants to live in a Latvian country this would be not necessarily bad.

    If all Muslims left France there would be a population decline of 15% or so. Would that be a tragedy for French nationalists?

    There fewer ethnic Latvians today than in 1920s. This is what Latvian nationalism achieved. It’s an angry, little people, that is destined to disappear.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AP

    There fewer ethnic Latvians today than in 1920s.
     
    There were never as many Latvians as there were in 1935. The big drop came between 1935-1959.

    Again, for a Latvian who wants a country dominated by people his own ethnicity, a modest decrease in the number of Latvians combined with a large decrease in the number of non-Latvians is not the worst thing. Increase in percentage of total population from 52% to 60% is probably seen as a wonderful development.

    It’s an angry, little people, that is destined to disappear.
     
    I don't know enough Latvians to determine if they are angry. Latvia's homicide rate is fairly low by post-Soviet standards, so they aren't particularly violent. Eventually the population will come down to breeders and start to slowly rise.

    As for disappearing - "“Statistics also indicate that ethnic Latvians have a significantly higher birth rate than ethnic Russians. In 2010 ethnic Latvians were 59.5% of total population, but about 68% of all children born were ethnic Latvians. Russians make 28% of Latvian population, but only 23% of all children born were ethnic Russians.”
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  39. @Felix Keverich
    There fewer ethnic Latvians today than in 1920s. This is what Latvian nationalism achieved. It's an angry, little people, that is destined to disappear.

    There fewer ethnic Latvians today than in 1920s.

    There were never as many Latvians as there were in 1935. The big drop came between 1935-1959.

    Again, for a Latvian who wants a country dominated by people his own ethnicity, a modest decrease in the number of Latvians combined with a large decrease in the number of non-Latvians is not the worst thing. Increase in percentage of total population from 52% to 60% is probably seen as a wonderful development.

    It’s an angry, little people, that is destined to disappear.

    I don’t know enough Latvians to determine if they are angry. Latvia’s homicide rate is fairly low by post-Soviet standards, so they aren’t particularly violent. Eventually the population will come down to breeders and start to slowly rise.

    As for disappearing – ““Statistics also indicate that ethnic Latvians have a significantly higher birth rate than ethnic Russians. In 2010 ethnic Latvians were 59.5% of total population, but about 68% of all children born were ethnic Latvians. Russians make 28% of Latvian population, but only 23% of all children born were ethnic Russians.”

    Read More
    • Replies: @Beckow
    It is not as much about 'disappearing', as about shrinking to the point of irrelevancy. I hope the breeders step up, but it hasn't happened yet. Some of the ethnic identification among newborns is a simple political consequence of forced Latvianization - many mixed couples choose to register babies as Latvian to avoid trouble. You really think those mixed children are going to grow up hating their heritage?

    Latvians have miscalculated. Instead of creating a Swiss like society with mutual tolerance and good relations among all people living there, they chose to go with 'revenge', hysteria and hostility. In the process, Latvia has become much weaker. And as the inevitable economic consequences of cutting of trade between Latvia and Russia work their way through its economy, it will be a smaller and poorer Latvia. Quite a trade-off.

    A small country with few resources chose to separate itself from a huge, resource rich neighbour with the largest consumer market in Europe. Why the hell is that a good idea?

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  40. @AP

    There fewer ethnic Latvians today than in 1920s.
     
    There were never as many Latvians as there were in 1935. The big drop came between 1935-1959.

    Again, for a Latvian who wants a country dominated by people his own ethnicity, a modest decrease in the number of Latvians combined with a large decrease in the number of non-Latvians is not the worst thing. Increase in percentage of total population from 52% to 60% is probably seen as a wonderful development.

    It’s an angry, little people, that is destined to disappear.
     
    I don't know enough Latvians to determine if they are angry. Latvia's homicide rate is fairly low by post-Soviet standards, so they aren't particularly violent. Eventually the population will come down to breeders and start to slowly rise.

    As for disappearing - "“Statistics also indicate that ethnic Latvians have a significantly higher birth rate than ethnic Russians. In 2010 ethnic Latvians were 59.5% of total population, but about 68% of all children born were ethnic Latvians. Russians make 28% of Latvian population, but only 23% of all children born were ethnic Russians.”

    It is not as much about ‘disappearing’, as about shrinking to the point of irrelevancy. I hope the breeders step up, but it hasn’t happened yet. Some of the ethnic identification among newborns is a simple political consequence of forced Latvianization – many mixed couples choose to register babies as Latvian to avoid trouble. You really think those mixed children are going to grow up hating their heritage?

    Latvians have miscalculated. Instead of creating a Swiss like society with mutual tolerance and good relations among all people living there, they chose to go with ‘revenge’, hysteria and hostility. In the process, Latvia has become much weaker. And as the inevitable economic consequences of cutting of trade between Latvia and Russia work their way through its economy, it will be a smaller and poorer Latvia. Quite a trade-off.

    A small country with few resources chose to separate itself from a huge, resource rich neighbour with the largest consumer market in Europe. Why the hell is that a good idea?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    This brings me no joy, but AP is essentially correct.

    The RSFSR had 120 million Russians in 1989, the RF had 111 million Russians in 2010; excluding Crimea, there's now be perhaps 110 million of them. Decline of 8%.

    Russians as share of Russian population: Slightly declined.

    Latvia: 1,387,757 Latvians in 1989, 1,273,062 by 2017. Decline of... 8% (despite open borders with the EU).

    Latvians as share of Latvian population: Greatly increased.

    The second is obviously a much better result from a nationalist perspective, or even one that views - and not without basis - the Baltic Russians as a potential fifth column.

    I suspect the mixed Latvian-Russians will primarily identify as either Latvian or post-national homo europaeus, though it would be good to have data on that.
    , @Art Deco
    Latvians have miscalculated. Instead of creating a Swiss like society with mutual tolerance and good relations among all people living there, they chose to go with ‘revenge’, hysteria and hostility.

    If that actually had happened, the ethnic Russians would have left. Which they didn't. (Central Asia saw an exodus of ethnic Russians). Someone telling you you have to pass a language proficiency test 'ere you qualify for citizenship is exercising good sense, not engaging in 'revenge', 'hysteria', or 'hostility'.
    , @Swedish Family

    Latvians have miscalculated. Instead of creating a Swiss like society with mutual tolerance and good relations among all people living there, they chose to go with ‘revenge’, hysteria and hostility. In the process, Latvia has become much weaker.
     
    It's more harmonious than you think on the ground. Most Latvians I meet prefer to moan about Scandinavians and the EU. You should also remember that places like Daugavpils aren't exactly Saint Petersburg, so Latvians may be excused for associating ethnic Russians with thugs and alcoholics.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  41. @Beckow
    It is not as much about 'disappearing', as about shrinking to the point of irrelevancy. I hope the breeders step up, but it hasn't happened yet. Some of the ethnic identification among newborns is a simple political consequence of forced Latvianization - many mixed couples choose to register babies as Latvian to avoid trouble. You really think those mixed children are going to grow up hating their heritage?

    Latvians have miscalculated. Instead of creating a Swiss like society with mutual tolerance and good relations among all people living there, they chose to go with 'revenge', hysteria and hostility. In the process, Latvia has become much weaker. And as the inevitable economic consequences of cutting of trade between Latvia and Russia work their way through its economy, it will be a smaller and poorer Latvia. Quite a trade-off.

    A small country with few resources chose to separate itself from a huge, resource rich neighbour with the largest consumer market in Europe. Why the hell is that a good idea?

    This brings me no joy, but AP is essentially correct.

    The RSFSR had 120 million Russians in 1989, the RF had 111 million Russians in 2010; excluding Crimea, there’s now be perhaps 110 million of them. Decline of 8%.

    Russians as share of Russian population: Slightly declined.

    Latvia: 1,387,757 Latvians in 1989, 1,273,062 by 2017. Decline of… 8% (despite open borders with the EU).

    Latvians as share of Latvian population: Greatly increased.

    The second is obviously a much better result from a nationalist perspective, or even one that views – and not without basis – the Baltic Russians as a potential fifth column.

    I suspect the mixed Latvian-Russians will primarily identify as either Latvian or post-national homo europaeus, though it would be good to have data on that.

    Read More
    • Replies: @melanf

    The RSFSR had 120 million Russians in 1989, the RF had 111 million Russians in 2010; excluding Crimea, there’s now be perhaps 110 million of them. Decline of 8%.
     
    The table to which you referred earlier https://zemfort1983.livejournal.com/989988.html
    Russian in Russia 2017 - 120 million (1.4 million in Crimea). In addition, 3 million Ukrainians and Belarusians, and about 2-3 million other peoples indistinguishable from Russian
    , @Philip Owen
    I routinely meet Baltic Russians who have come to Bridgend and Cardiff to work. I have meet one ethic Estonian, who incidentally has troubled to learn Welsh. Working age Baltic Russians are clearly emigrating preferentially and not to Russia. I don't meet them in Saratov or Moscow. During the European Cup a couple of years ago, there were two pubs full of Poles supporting their preferences and one full of Russians, all Baltic so far as I know.

    From 1880 to 1913, South Wales with about a million people was flooded by a million English and Irish immigrants. Their descendants consider themselves Welsh although some still can't pronounce the names of their villages and they transformed South Wales from a place of largely Welsh speaking, teetotal, socially aspirant Non Conformist Protestants to a largely English speaking place with a reputation for alcoholic excess and socialism. I imagine the same will happen in Latvia without strong protection for the language. That said, the Russians were often more deliberately planted into place in Latvia, a process that creates division and makes language boundaries clearer. The million and a half people in the rest of Wales are still much more traditionally Welsh in character and provide a cultural reference point for older values. I imagine this is the same in the Baltics.
    , @Beckow
    It must be cold and gloomy where you reside, you should cheer up. Spring is coming.

    Comparable misery could be a long game. The only point I would make is that for a small nation of 1.5-2 million a 8 % decline is more significant than for a 100-million plus nation. But it has been rough for everyone.

    Assimilation takes 2-3 generations. There is also an inevitable backlash among mixed kids and grandkids against those who hated their ancestors (even partial ones). So I would not be so blissfully optimistic about how the future generations of people living in Latvia will look back at these times. I think hysteria, revenge and hostility always come back to bite those who practised it.

    I know Latvia, and it is quite harmonious. But there is suppressed anger under the surface and things are simply not getting better. At some point as population continues to drop, Latvia might be repopulated, possibly on Brussels orders with 'refugees'. If not the larger surrounding nations might do it - Ukrainians, Belorussians, Poles, Russians. This ethnic purity state for a very small nation with no breeding mentality is a fool's errand. But the fish is good.
    , @Jaakko Raipala
    I haven't found one for Latvia but Estonia has been publishing opinion surveys in English that track the divergence of opinions on some interesting questions:

    http://www.kaitseministeerium.ee/sites/default/files/elfinder/article_files/public_opinion_and_national_defence_2017_march.pdf

    On figure 12 Estonians and Russians mostly agree on all questions about threats except whether "Russian activities in restoring its authority" are dangerous - only 6 % of Russians but 48 % of Estonians agree. On the other hand, the gap between stated willingness to personally defend the country is nowhere near as large, in figure 20 it's 66 % for Estonians, 51 % for citizen Russians and 43 % even for non-citizen Russians.

    It is in line with my anecdotal impression from visits that Baltic Russians are mostly not anti-independence but that they have a wild divergence of views with the natives on the question of whether or not Russia can be trusted to not attempt re-annexation with some flimsy excuse. Whether or not they'd actually fight for Estonia or Latvia is unknown but many Baltic Russians would be surprised and unhappy if Russia suddenly put them in that situation.

    Support for NATO membership is at 31 % among Russians, 91 % among Estonians, and judging by figure 49 it seems to have bottomed among Russians due to the current Ukraine crisis. (In the nearest comparison, support for NATO in Finland in the latest survey was 22 %, so Baltic Russians are not particularly anti-NATO. It's just that Balts are very pro-NATO.)
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  42. @Anatoly Karlin
    This brings me no joy, but AP is essentially correct.

    The RSFSR had 120 million Russians in 1989, the RF had 111 million Russians in 2010; excluding Crimea, there's now be perhaps 110 million of them. Decline of 8%.

    Russians as share of Russian population: Slightly declined.

    Latvia: 1,387,757 Latvians in 1989, 1,273,062 by 2017. Decline of... 8% (despite open borders with the EU).

    Latvians as share of Latvian population: Greatly increased.

    The second is obviously a much better result from a nationalist perspective, or even one that views - and not without basis - the Baltic Russians as a potential fifth column.

    I suspect the mixed Latvian-Russians will primarily identify as either Latvian or post-national homo europaeus, though it would be good to have data on that.

    The RSFSR had 120 million Russians in 1989, the RF had 111 million Russians in 2010; excluding Crimea, there’s now be perhaps 110 million of them. Decline of 8%.

    The table to which you referred earlier https://zemfort1983.livejournal.com/989988.html
    Russian in Russia 2017 – 120 million (1.4 million in Crimea). In addition, 3 million Ukrainians and Belarusians, and about 2-3 million other peoples indistinguishable from Russian

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  43. Anatoly explain (if there is time) to an uneducated person – this article https://www.kommersant.ru/doc/3541266
    presents the results of the IMF study: in Russia (according to the IMF) underground, shadow economy is more than 30% of GDP. Does this mean that, according to the IMF, Russia’s economy is one third larger than official figures? Then (per capita PPP) Russia should be at the level of the Czech Republic (in Europe, according to the IMF is a very small shadow economy ).

    Read More
    • Replies: @Philip Owen
    Interesting point. Illegal immigrants are "badly" paid in cash. Russians default mode is to evade official, taxable earnings. Bonuses get paid in brown envelopes to top up low official pay. This is gradually ending as credit cards are increasingly used especially for contactless payment for small amounts. This starts moderating the cash in circulation. Money laundering businesses such as gambling have been made illegal. Again this puts pressure on the black and grey economy. Rules and licencing on businesses such as motor car repair have also channelled cash into legitimate routes. 30% seems very large at the moment. During a construction boom I might believe it.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  44. @Gerard2
    You're talking about his son, the MP?

    No, Vladimir Volfovich himself.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  45. @Anatoly Karlin
    This brings me no joy, but AP is essentially correct.

    The RSFSR had 120 million Russians in 1989, the RF had 111 million Russians in 2010; excluding Crimea, there's now be perhaps 110 million of them. Decline of 8%.

    Russians as share of Russian population: Slightly declined.

    Latvia: 1,387,757 Latvians in 1989, 1,273,062 by 2017. Decline of... 8% (despite open borders with the EU).

    Latvians as share of Latvian population: Greatly increased.

    The second is obviously a much better result from a nationalist perspective, or even one that views - and not without basis - the Baltic Russians as a potential fifth column.

    I suspect the mixed Latvian-Russians will primarily identify as either Latvian or post-national homo europaeus, though it would be good to have data on that.

    I routinely meet Baltic Russians who have come to Bridgend and Cardiff to work. I have meet one ethic Estonian, who incidentally has troubled to learn Welsh. Working age Baltic Russians are clearly emigrating preferentially and not to Russia. I don’t meet them in Saratov or Moscow. During the European Cup a couple of years ago, there were two pubs full of Poles supporting their preferences and one full of Russians, all Baltic so far as I know.

    From 1880 to 1913, South Wales with about a million people was flooded by a million English and Irish immigrants. Their descendants consider themselves Welsh although some still can’t pronounce the names of their villages and they transformed South Wales from a place of largely Welsh speaking, teetotal, socially aspirant Non Conformist Protestants to a largely English speaking place with a reputation for alcoholic excess and socialism. I imagine the same will happen in Latvia without strong protection for the language. That said, the Russians were often more deliberately planted into place in Latvia, a process that creates division and makes language boundaries clearer. The million and a half people in the rest of Wales are still much more traditionally Welsh in character and provide a cultural reference point for older values. I imagine this is the same in the Baltics.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  46. @AP

    …chase to the bottom. Latvia lost 30% of its population in one generation. That’s not good, no matter how you spin it.
     
    If one is a Latvian who wants to live in a Latvian country this would be not necessarily bad.

    If all Muslims left France there would be a population decline of 15% or so. Would that be a tragedy for French nationalists?

    If all Muslims left France there would be a population decline of 15% or so. Would that be a tragedy for French nationalists?

    About 8% per Pew. France as we speak has adequate fertility rates and can get along without much immigration.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  47. @Beckow
    It is not as much about 'disappearing', as about shrinking to the point of irrelevancy. I hope the breeders step up, but it hasn't happened yet. Some of the ethnic identification among newborns is a simple political consequence of forced Latvianization - many mixed couples choose to register babies as Latvian to avoid trouble. You really think those mixed children are going to grow up hating their heritage?

    Latvians have miscalculated. Instead of creating a Swiss like society with mutual tolerance and good relations among all people living there, they chose to go with 'revenge', hysteria and hostility. In the process, Latvia has become much weaker. And as the inevitable economic consequences of cutting of trade between Latvia and Russia work their way through its economy, it will be a smaller and poorer Latvia. Quite a trade-off.

    A small country with few resources chose to separate itself from a huge, resource rich neighbour with the largest consumer market in Europe. Why the hell is that a good idea?

    Latvians have miscalculated. Instead of creating a Swiss like society with mutual tolerance and good relations among all people living there, they chose to go with ‘revenge’, hysteria and hostility.

    If that actually had happened, the ethnic Russians would have left. Which they didn’t. (Central Asia saw an exodus of ethnic Russians). Someone telling you you have to pass a language proficiency test ‘ere you qualify for citizenship is exercising good sense, not engaging in ‘revenge’, ‘hysteria’, or ‘hostility’.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  48. @melanf
    Anatoly explain (if there is time) to an uneducated person - this article https://www.kommersant.ru/doc/3541266
    presents the results of the IMF study: in Russia (according to the IMF) underground, shadow economy is more than 30% of GDP. Does this mean that, according to the IMF, Russia's economy is one third larger than official figures? Then (per capita PPP) Russia should be at the level of the Czech Republic (in Europe, according to the IMF is a very small shadow economy ).

    Interesting point. Illegal immigrants are “badly” paid in cash. Russians default mode is to evade official, taxable earnings. Bonuses get paid in brown envelopes to top up low official pay. This is gradually ending as credit cards are increasingly used especially for contactless payment for small amounts. This starts moderating the cash in circulation. Money laundering businesses such as gambling have been made illegal. Again this puts pressure on the black and grey economy. Rules and licencing on businesses such as motor car repair have also channelled cash into legitimate routes. 30% seems very large at the moment. During a construction boom I might believe it.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  49. @AP

    Yet the share of Russians in Latvia remained stable since independence! In other words, their plan didn’t work. Riga is still a majority-Russian town.
     
    In 2017 Riga was 44% Latvian and 38% Russian.

    In 1989 Riga was 37% Latvian.

    In 1989 Latvians were 52% of Latvia's population; in 2017 they are 60% of Latvia's population.

    In Latvia:

    The number of Latvians declined from 1,387,757 in 1989 to 1,273,062 in 2017.

    But the number of Russians has declined from 905,515 in 1989 to 551,988 in 2017.

    In 2017 Riga was 44% Latvian and 38% Russian.

    This is true, but it’s presumably still majority Russian-speaking. Ethnic data for Rīga (2017):

    Ethnic Latvians 44.03%
    Ethnic Russians 37.88%
    Belarusians 3.72%
    Ukrainians 3.66%
    Poles 1.83%
    Other ethnicities 9.10%

    http://www.pmlp.gov.lv/lv/assets/documents/Iedzivotaju%20re%C4%A3istrs/07022017/ISPN_Pasvaldibas_pec_TTB.pdf

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  50. @Beckow
    It is not as much about 'disappearing', as about shrinking to the point of irrelevancy. I hope the breeders step up, but it hasn't happened yet. Some of the ethnic identification among newborns is a simple political consequence of forced Latvianization - many mixed couples choose to register babies as Latvian to avoid trouble. You really think those mixed children are going to grow up hating their heritage?

    Latvians have miscalculated. Instead of creating a Swiss like society with mutual tolerance and good relations among all people living there, they chose to go with 'revenge', hysteria and hostility. In the process, Latvia has become much weaker. And as the inevitable economic consequences of cutting of trade between Latvia and Russia work their way through its economy, it will be a smaller and poorer Latvia. Quite a trade-off.

    A small country with few resources chose to separate itself from a huge, resource rich neighbour with the largest consumer market in Europe. Why the hell is that a good idea?

    Latvians have miscalculated. Instead of creating a Swiss like society with mutual tolerance and good relations among all people living there, they chose to go with ‘revenge’, hysteria and hostility. In the process, Latvia has become much weaker.

    It’s more harmonious than you think on the ground. Most Latvians I meet prefer to moan about Scandinavians and the EU. You should also remember that places like Daugavpils aren’t exactly Saint Petersburg, so Latvians may be excused for associating ethnic Russians with thugs and alcoholics.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Beckow
    Nice stereotype, very 'European'. In Central Europe thuggish alcoholics are associated with British, Irish and even Swedes. Although in my experience nobody can drink like the Finns.
    , @LatW

    You should also remember that places like Daugavpils aren’t exactly Saint Petersburg, so Latvians may be excused for associating ethnic Russians with thugs and alcoholics.
     
    Our people are not thugs. In fact, the people in the eastern part of Latvia - of different nationalities - are some of the kindest and nicest around.

    Yes, Russians had (have?) a higher criminality but it's because they're less timid and, also, as relatively recent immigrants, many of them used to not feel as attached to the core society (it's a universal psychological phenomenon). They are not one grey "proletariat" mass, but people of various backgrounds. Yes, many that came were working class. But there are also plenty of skilled and cultivated people.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  51. @Anatoly Karlin
    This brings me no joy, but AP is essentially correct.

    The RSFSR had 120 million Russians in 1989, the RF had 111 million Russians in 2010; excluding Crimea, there's now be perhaps 110 million of them. Decline of 8%.

    Russians as share of Russian population: Slightly declined.

    Latvia: 1,387,757 Latvians in 1989, 1,273,062 by 2017. Decline of... 8% (despite open borders with the EU).

    Latvians as share of Latvian population: Greatly increased.

    The second is obviously a much better result from a nationalist perspective, or even one that views - and not without basis - the Baltic Russians as a potential fifth column.

    I suspect the mixed Latvian-Russians will primarily identify as either Latvian or post-national homo europaeus, though it would be good to have data on that.

    It must be cold and gloomy where you reside, you should cheer up. Spring is coming.

    Comparable misery could be a long game. The only point I would make is that for a small nation of 1.5-2 million a 8 % decline is more significant than for a 100-million plus nation. But it has been rough for everyone.

    Assimilation takes 2-3 generations. There is also an inevitable backlash among mixed kids and grandkids against those who hated their ancestors (even partial ones). So I would not be so blissfully optimistic about how the future generations of people living in Latvia will look back at these times. I think hysteria, revenge and hostility always come back to bite those who practised it.

    I know Latvia, and it is quite harmonious. But there is suppressed anger under the surface and things are simply not getting better. At some point as population continues to drop, Latvia might be repopulated, possibly on Brussels orders with ‘refugees’. If not the larger surrounding nations might do it – Ukrainians, Belorussians, Poles, Russians. This ethnic purity state for a very small nation with no breeding mentality is a fool’s errand. But the fish is good.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Art Deco
    The only point I would make is that for a small nation of 1.5-2 million a 8 % decline is more significant than for a 100-million plus nation. But it has been rough for everyone.

    No, its significance is the same because the proportions are the same. That's what "%" means.

    But there is suppressed anger under the surface and things are simply not getting better.

    Normal for any ethnically cleaved society. There's nothing to be done about that that improves on ignoring it.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  52. @Anatoly Karlin
    This brings me no joy, but AP is essentially correct.

    The RSFSR had 120 million Russians in 1989, the RF had 111 million Russians in 2010; excluding Crimea, there's now be perhaps 110 million of them. Decline of 8%.

    Russians as share of Russian population: Slightly declined.

    Latvia: 1,387,757 Latvians in 1989, 1,273,062 by 2017. Decline of... 8% (despite open borders with the EU).

    Latvians as share of Latvian population: Greatly increased.

    The second is obviously a much better result from a nationalist perspective, or even one that views - and not without basis - the Baltic Russians as a potential fifth column.

    I suspect the mixed Latvian-Russians will primarily identify as either Latvian or post-national homo europaeus, though it would be good to have data on that.

    I haven’t found one for Latvia but Estonia has been publishing opinion surveys in English that track the divergence of opinions on some interesting questions:

    http://www.kaitseministeerium.ee/sites/default/files/elfinder/article_files/public_opinion_and_national_defence_2017_march.pdf

    On figure 12 Estonians and Russians mostly agree on all questions about threats except whether “Russian activities in restoring its authority” are dangerous – only 6 % of Russians but 48 % of Estonians agree. On the other hand, the gap between stated willingness to personally defend the country is nowhere near as large, in figure 20 it’s 66 % for Estonians, 51 % for citizen Russians and 43 % even for non-citizen Russians.

    It is in line with my anecdotal impression from visits that Baltic Russians are mostly not anti-independence but that they have a wild divergence of views with the natives on the question of whether or not Russia can be trusted to not attempt re-annexation with some flimsy excuse. Whether or not they’d actually fight for Estonia or Latvia is unknown but many Baltic Russians would be surprised and unhappy if Russia suddenly put them in that situation.

    Support for NATO membership is at 31 % among Russians, 91 % among Estonians, and judging by figure 49 it seems to have bottomed among Russians due to the current Ukraine crisis. (In the nearest comparison, support for NATO in Finland in the latest survey was 22 %, so Baltic Russians are not particularly anti-NATO. It’s just that Balts are very pro-NATO.)

    Read More
    • Replies: @inertial
    Here are some results from a Latvian opinion poll - the parts that they are willing to show us. This poll was conducted by something called Defense Academy of Latvia's Center for Security and Strategic Research.

    The study was presented to the Latvian Government in a closed session, with one part of it being presented to public.
     
    And other parts secret. Have you ever heard of classified opinion polls in a democracy? Anyway, here are (some of) the results (keep in mind that Latvia has 26% Russian residents.)

    According to the open part of the study, 30.9 percent of the Latvian population would agree or partially agree with the statement that Nazism is being revived in Latvia. The survey also revealed that 12.7 percent of respondents said they feel they 'belong' to Russia and 21.4 percent positively assessed Russian symbols...

    The study also revealed that 21.7 percent of respondents believe that the rights and interests of Russian people in Latvia are being violated to an extent which requires Russian intervention, and 27 percent of respondents said that Latvia actively discriminates against people who do not speak the Latvian language.
     
    These results and whatever it was in the classified part jolted the government so much that the prime minister said that they are in a "struggle for the soul" of the Russian-speaking population. Took only 25 years for them to realize that.

    When this news first came out I followed the link to the Latvian Russian news portal Delfi.lv. This story had thousands of comments by Latvian Russians. I read many of them. It was eye opening. I am pretty sure the Latvian government lost the "struggle for the soul" before they started.
    , @Anatoly Karlin
    Thanks, that's a pretty interesting poll, lots of interesting data.

    My general impression is that the Baltic Russians to have attitudes similar to those in Russia. Putin gets more votes on average than in Russia proper. Russians in Estonia are uniformly opposed to gay marriage across age groups, whereas amongst Estonians, it monotonically increases as you move into the younger cohorts.

    Also, while its easy (and socially expected) to say you will defend the country, etc., but I also notice that ~45% of non-Estonians want to spend less on the military, versus no more than 10% of Estonians (pp. 40). This syncs with the responses to whether “Russian activities in restoring its authority” are dangerous. Perhaps while Baltic Russians are theoretically ready to defend their host country in the abstract, enthusiasm ebbs away when more concretely realistic (if unlikely) scenarios are presented.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  53. @Swedish Family

    Latvians have miscalculated. Instead of creating a Swiss like society with mutual tolerance and good relations among all people living there, they chose to go with ‘revenge’, hysteria and hostility. In the process, Latvia has become much weaker.
     
    It's more harmonious than you think on the ground. Most Latvians I meet prefer to moan about Scandinavians and the EU. You should also remember that places like Daugavpils aren't exactly Saint Petersburg, so Latvians may be excused for associating ethnic Russians with thugs and alcoholics.

    Nice stereotype, very ‘European’. In Central Europe thuggish alcoholics are associated with British, Irish and even Swedes. Although in my experience nobody can drink like the Finns.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh

    Although in my experience nobody can drink like the Finns.
     
    This is what I found to be true as well.
    , @Swedish Family

    Nice stereotype, very ‘European’. In Central Europe thuggish alcoholics are associated with British, Irish and even Swedes.
     
    Sure, and all these stereotypes exist for a reason. If a small minority of your population misbehaves, it reflects badly on everyone.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  54. @Beckow
    Nice stereotype, very 'European'. In Central Europe thuggish alcoholics are associated with British, Irish and even Swedes. Although in my experience nobody can drink like the Finns.

    Although in my experience nobody can drink like the Finns.

    This is what I found to be true as well.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  55. @Art Deco
    but they did manage to destroy their country’s future.


    MBITRW, Latvia's at least as affluent as Russia, it isn't dependent on natural-resource rents; has a diversified export sector, not one dominated by fuel; and has a total fertility rate which is average for Europe (but increasing). Its homicide rate is about 1/3 that of Russia. It's resolutely non-destroyed, the wishcasting of malevolent Russian nationalists notwithstanding.

    It’s resolutely non-destroyed, the wishcasting of malevolent Russian nationalists notwithstanding.

    The depopulation is real, just like in neighboring Lithuania, ergo the wishcasting of the just Russian nationalists must be working.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Art Deco
    Significant net outmigration absent an ethnic Russian population has been seen only in the last 3 years in Lithuania. The projected 'depopulation' is largely driven by fertility deficits which are present all over the continent. Those deficits are about average for Europe and they were at least as severe in Russia up until about five years ago. The question at hand is whether recent improvements in fertility rates will be sustained enough to bring the three Baltic states back to replacement level.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  56. @Beckow
    Nice stereotype, very 'European'. In Central Europe thuggish alcoholics are associated with British, Irish and even Swedes. Although in my experience nobody can drink like the Finns.

    Nice stereotype, very ‘European’. In Central Europe thuggish alcoholics are associated with British, Irish and even Swedes.

    Sure, and all these stereotypes exist for a reason. If a small minority of your population misbehaves, it reflects badly on everyone.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Beckow

    all these stereotypes exist for a reason
     
    I agree. There is always something to learn from stereotypes. Or myths. But I disagree that it reflects 'badly', or much of anything. The drunk, vomiting Englishmen are not representative of England. Or Swedes who can't handle a small beer without losing it. Extrapolating from it is lazy, but why is it so easy for Westerners to do it about everything? Is it an unconscious desire for order and categorisation?

    And we are back to stereotyping....:)

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  57. @Swedish Family

    Nice stereotype, very ‘European’. In Central Europe thuggish alcoholics are associated with British, Irish and even Swedes.
     
    Sure, and all these stereotypes exist for a reason. If a small minority of your population misbehaves, it reflects badly on everyone.

    all these stereotypes exist for a reason

    I agree. There is always something to learn from stereotypes. Or myths. But I disagree that it reflects ‘badly’, or much of anything. The drunk, vomiting Englishmen are not representative of England. Or Swedes who can’t handle a small beer without losing it. Extrapolating from it is lazy, but why is it so easy for Westerners to do it about everything? Is it an unconscious desire for order and categorisation?

    And we are back to stereotyping….:)

    Read More
    • Replies: @Swedish Family

    I agree. There is always something to learn from stereotypes. Or myths. But I disagree that it reflects ‘badly’, or much of anything. The drunk, vomiting Englishmen are not representative of England. Or Swedes who can’t handle a small beer without losing it. Extrapolating from it is lazy, but why is it so easy for Westerners to do it about everything? Is it an unconscious desire for order and categorisation?
     
    Yes, I think stereotypes are simply rules of thumb that help us navigate a complex reality -- and highly useful ones at that. Where it gets nasty is when you mistake them for the real thing, the unique person before you.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  58. @Jaakko Raipala
    I haven't found one for Latvia but Estonia has been publishing opinion surveys in English that track the divergence of opinions on some interesting questions:

    http://www.kaitseministeerium.ee/sites/default/files/elfinder/article_files/public_opinion_and_national_defence_2017_march.pdf

    On figure 12 Estonians and Russians mostly agree on all questions about threats except whether "Russian activities in restoring its authority" are dangerous - only 6 % of Russians but 48 % of Estonians agree. On the other hand, the gap between stated willingness to personally defend the country is nowhere near as large, in figure 20 it's 66 % for Estonians, 51 % for citizen Russians and 43 % even for non-citizen Russians.

    It is in line with my anecdotal impression from visits that Baltic Russians are mostly not anti-independence but that they have a wild divergence of views with the natives on the question of whether or not Russia can be trusted to not attempt re-annexation with some flimsy excuse. Whether or not they'd actually fight for Estonia or Latvia is unknown but many Baltic Russians would be surprised and unhappy if Russia suddenly put them in that situation.

    Support for NATO membership is at 31 % among Russians, 91 % among Estonians, and judging by figure 49 it seems to have bottomed among Russians due to the current Ukraine crisis. (In the nearest comparison, support for NATO in Finland in the latest survey was 22 %, so Baltic Russians are not particularly anti-NATO. It's just that Balts are very pro-NATO.)

    Here are some results from a Latvian opinion poll – the parts that they are willing to show us. This poll was conducted by something called Defense Academy of Latvia’s Center for Security and Strategic Research.

    The study was presented to the Latvian Government in a closed session, with one part of it being presented to public.

    And other parts secret. Have you ever heard of classified opinion polls in a democracy? Anyway, here are (some of) the results (keep in mind that Latvia has 26% Russian residents.)

    According to the open part of the study, 30.9 percent of the Latvian population would agree or partially agree with the statement that Nazism is being revived in Latvia. The survey also revealed that 12.7 percent of respondents said they feel they ‘belong’ to Russia and 21.4 percent positively assessed Russian symbols…

    The study also revealed that 21.7 percent of respondents believe that the rights and interests of Russian people in Latvia are being violated to an extent which requires Russian intervention, and 27 percent of respondents said that Latvia actively discriminates against people who do not speak the Latvian language.

    These results and whatever it was in the classified part jolted the government so much that the prime minister said that they are in a “struggle for the soul” of the Russian-speaking population. Took only 25 years for them to realize that.

    When this news first came out I followed the link to the Latvian Russian news portal Delfi.lv. This story had thousands of comments by Latvian Russians. I read many of them. It was eye opening. I am pretty sure the Latvian government lost the “struggle for the soul” before they started.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Art Deco
    Take a look at this bit of lunacy:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A33695-2005Jan24.html



    You're not alone.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  59. @Beckow
    It must be cold and gloomy where you reside, you should cheer up. Spring is coming.

    Comparable misery could be a long game. The only point I would make is that for a small nation of 1.5-2 million a 8 % decline is more significant than for a 100-million plus nation. But it has been rough for everyone.

    Assimilation takes 2-3 generations. There is also an inevitable backlash among mixed kids and grandkids against those who hated their ancestors (even partial ones). So I would not be so blissfully optimistic about how the future generations of people living in Latvia will look back at these times. I think hysteria, revenge and hostility always come back to bite those who practised it.

    I know Latvia, and it is quite harmonious. But there is suppressed anger under the surface and things are simply not getting better. At some point as population continues to drop, Latvia might be repopulated, possibly on Brussels orders with 'refugees'. If not the larger surrounding nations might do it - Ukrainians, Belorussians, Poles, Russians. This ethnic purity state for a very small nation with no breeding mentality is a fool's errand. But the fish is good.

    The only point I would make is that for a small nation of 1.5-2 million a 8 % decline is more significant than for a 100-million plus nation. But it has been rough for everyone.

    No, its significance is the same because the proportions are the same. That’s what “%” means.

    But there is suppressed anger under the surface and things are simply not getting better.

    Normal for any ethnically cleaved society. There’s nothing to be done about that that improves on ignoring it.

    Read More
    • Replies: @anonymous

    No, its significance is the same because the proportions are the same. That’s what “%” means.
     
    You’re an idiot.
    , @Philip Owen
    "No, its significance is the same because the proportions are the same. That’s what “%” means."

    Can't agree. An ethnic group with 200 members that loses 100 is placed in more danger than one with 20 million that loses 10 million. The impact of loss is non linear.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  60. @inertial
    Here are some results from a Latvian opinion poll - the parts that they are willing to show us. This poll was conducted by something called Defense Academy of Latvia's Center for Security and Strategic Research.

    The study was presented to the Latvian Government in a closed session, with one part of it being presented to public.
     
    And other parts secret. Have you ever heard of classified opinion polls in a democracy? Anyway, here are (some of) the results (keep in mind that Latvia has 26% Russian residents.)

    According to the open part of the study, 30.9 percent of the Latvian population would agree or partially agree with the statement that Nazism is being revived in Latvia. The survey also revealed that 12.7 percent of respondents said they feel they 'belong' to Russia and 21.4 percent positively assessed Russian symbols...

    The study also revealed that 21.7 percent of respondents believe that the rights and interests of Russian people in Latvia are being violated to an extent which requires Russian intervention, and 27 percent of respondents said that Latvia actively discriminates against people who do not speak the Latvian language.
     
    These results and whatever it was in the classified part jolted the government so much that the prime minister said that they are in a "struggle for the soul" of the Russian-speaking population. Took only 25 years for them to realize that.

    When this news first came out I followed the link to the Latvian Russian news portal Delfi.lv. This story had thousands of comments by Latvian Russians. I read many of them. It was eye opening. I am pretty sure the Latvian government lost the "struggle for the soul" before they started.

    Take a look at this bit of lunacy:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A33695-2005Jan24.html

    You’re not alone.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  61. AnonFromTN [AKA "Anon"] says:

    Anon from TN
    Boring cud chewing continues. Bottom line is, by design or not, there is no one who has a chance against Putin. This is sad: a country the size of Russia should have more than one decent presidential candidate.
    Then again, the same is true for the States, with more than twice the population (330 million vs 146 million), but what presidential candidates did we have lately? 2016: 70-year old teenager vs corrupt to the core Hillary. 2012: Fraud Obama vs non-personality Romney (Mormon is not a personality, sorry). 2008: Obama (soon to be exposed as fraud, all hat and no cattle, as they say in Texas) vs mad McCain. One can continue, but suffice it to say that the last semi-decent person running for president was Al Gore in 2000. He won, even in Florida (as subsequent unbiased recount showed), but what good did it do us? It is said that two things hurt politicians in the US most: being intelligent and being honest. Gore’s example shows that if you are relatively honest and somewhat intelligent at the same time, you lose even the election you won.
    For the curious: I did not vote in 2016. There is no need in TN: if the Republican party nominates a horse, church-going God-fearing good people of Tennessee would vote for a horse. Nobody ever campaigns in TN, as it’s pointless under the indirect election system we have.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    I, too, would vote for a horse over Hillary. At least the horse lacks opposable thumbs by which he can stab me in the back with.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  62. @Beckow

    all these stereotypes exist for a reason
     
    I agree. There is always something to learn from stereotypes. Or myths. But I disagree that it reflects 'badly', or much of anything. The drunk, vomiting Englishmen are not representative of England. Or Swedes who can't handle a small beer without losing it. Extrapolating from it is lazy, but why is it so easy for Westerners to do it about everything? Is it an unconscious desire for order and categorisation?

    And we are back to stereotyping....:)

    I agree. There is always something to learn from stereotypes. Or myths. But I disagree that it reflects ‘badly’, or much of anything. The drunk, vomiting Englishmen are not representative of England. Or Swedes who can’t handle a small beer without losing it. Extrapolating from it is lazy, but why is it so easy for Westerners to do it about everything? Is it an unconscious desire for order and categorisation?

    Yes, I think stereotypes are simply rules of thumb that help us navigate a complex reality — and highly useful ones at that. Where it gets nasty is when you mistake them for the real thing, the unique person before you.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  63. @Mitleser

    It’s resolutely non-destroyed, the wishcasting of malevolent Russian nationalists notwithstanding.
     
    The depopulation is real, just like in neighboring Lithuania, ergo the wishcasting of the just Russian nationalists must be working.

    Significant net outmigration absent an ethnic Russian population has been seen only in the last 3 years in Lithuania. The projected ‘depopulation’ is largely driven by fertility deficits which are present all over the continent. Those deficits are about average for Europe and they were at least as severe in Russia up until about five years ago. The question at hand is whether recent improvements in fertility rates will be sustained enough to bring the three Baltic states back to replacement level.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Philip Owen
    I've been meeting Baltic Russians doing working class jobs in the UK for more than 10 years. Russian speaking history teachers do cleaners jobs and like it. Their children face less difficulty in getting to University than in Klaipeda/Memel and income is higher than in Russia. See my comments to Anatoly above. (Search in the page using "Wales").
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  64. @AnonFromTN
    Anon from TN
    Boring cud chewing continues. Bottom line is, by design or not, there is no one who has a chance against Putin. This is sad: a country the size of Russia should have more than one decent presidential candidate.
    Then again, the same is true for the States, with more than twice the population (330 million vs 146 million), but what presidential candidates did we have lately? 2016: 70-year old teenager vs corrupt to the core Hillary. 2012: Fraud Obama vs non-personality Romney (Mormon is not a personality, sorry). 2008: Obama (soon to be exposed as fraud, all hat and no cattle, as they say in Texas) vs mad McCain. One can continue, but suffice it to say that the last semi-decent person running for president was Al Gore in 2000. He won, even in Florida (as subsequent unbiased recount showed), but what good did it do us? It is said that two things hurt politicians in the US most: being intelligent and being honest. Gore’s example shows that if you are relatively honest and somewhat intelligent at the same time, you lose even the election you won.
    For the curious: I did not vote in 2016. There is no need in TN: if the Republican party nominates a horse, church-going God-fearing good people of Tennessee would vote for a horse. Nobody ever campaigns in TN, as it’s pointless under the indirect election system we have.

    I, too, would vote for a horse over Hillary. At least the horse lacks opposable thumbs by which he can stab me in the back with.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    Anon from TN
    I agree, a horse is better than Hillary. At least you can be sure that a horse did not take Saudi money. My point is, a horse might have been better than what we have now. Isn’t it sad?
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  65. @Daniel Chieh
    I, too, would vote for a horse over Hillary. At least the horse lacks opposable thumbs by which he can stab me in the back with.

    Anon from TN
    I agree, a horse is better than Hillary. At least you can be sure that a horse did not take Saudi money. My point is, a horse might have been better than what we have now. Isn’t it sad?

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  66. @Beckow
    ...chase to the bottom. Latvia lost 30% of its population in one generation. That's not good, no matter how you spin it.

    There was an initial departure of a couple hundred thousand mostly Russians who lived in Latvia and worked for central government, military, and their families. There has also been substantial inter-marriage and many of the 60% Latvians are mixed heavily with Russians. Russians also had to compulsory change their names to 'Latvian' equivalents (I am not kidding, the Latvian nationalists actually demanded that they change their names so it doesn't look so 'Russian'. And EU said nothing.)

    In any case, Latvia is a multi-ethnic country with 40% or so of its population that is not ethnically Latvian, and its capital Riga that has a very distinctive Russian character. The second city, Dvinsk, is almost completely Russian.

    How much longer can Latvians keep this silly ethnic apartheid going? How much longer before EU notices that Latvia has no intention to observe even most basic minority rights? How much longer before Latvia has about 1.5 million people left there?

    It has been a rather sad decline. You can paint it positively all you want, it is not a pretty picture.

    “its capital Riga that has a very distinctive Russian character”

    It depends on what you look at. Having lived in the old town of Riga for decades, I’d suggest you not cherry pick, Beckow. Certainly the old town, and large parts of the center do not have a “Russian” character, and are in fact very distinctly Latvian. Cobbled streets, pre-war and recent architecture, Lutheran churches, many bars and stores styled in the ancient Baltic style, various art and culture that is uniquely Baltic, not to mention the many Latvians who live and work there. You are probably one of the smartest commenters here, Beckow, and you do have some real pearls coming out on and off, even funny ones, but occasionally you take your confirmation bias a bit too far (such as implying that the Poles want to march on Moscow (beyond absurd!) or that Europeans think of Ukrainians the same as Nigerians (absurd!) – I don’t know if you believe those things yourself, but they are simply exaggerations). Same with Riga – you deliberately avoid the obvious fact that Riga, despite of Russification that is unprecedented in the history of the region (a million Russians (et al) were plopped on top of a million Latvians over a couple of generations – I’m not even going to count the war losses), in many ways is Latvian in its very character. The Russians who we’ve known over the years, keep stating that over and over. That’s what they like! That’s why they visit. And, while there is intermarriage (and so what – you can’t dictate to the heart), most Latvians are not “heavily” mixed as you say, most Latvians marry other Latvians. You are right that many Russian parents file their kids as “Latvian” (many Russians also choose Latvian preschools), but the birth rate is slightly higher in the Latvian population (not by much, but the effects would accumulate over decades, the thing with Russians is that they have a lousy age structure and I suspect there is something in their mating pattern that makes it harder for women to feel stable – it’s not their fault as a people, it’s just a sum of unfortunate factors, I’ve even read that in Estonia, once they move into the Estonian parts of society, their birth rates improve).

    The last three years the births have exceeded deaths in the native Latvian population (even if not by much). The blatant disrespect for human life that was characteristic of the “socialist era” – abortion – has been on the way down for years now, infant mortality is down, a year long maternal leave (80% paid – I know of no other country that offers that), expensive fertility treatments paid for by the state (small but nice to have), fertility rate in the 30+ group approaching that of the 1980s levels, etc. Of course the fight for the second child is still very much on, but the numbers of families with a third and second child are up, I have a lot of data like this and could go on and on — I’m sure it is similar to some of the recent Russian and Belorussian data as it is a regional trend (but also due to social and state initiated improvements).

    You also mention that “things are getting worse”, I would disagree — in many ways, things are getting better. Year after year, people are getting more affluent. The Baltic states are as rich as they’ve ever been (with the exception of 1930s or certain times before the 13th century).

    Re: what you said about the EU borders – agreed completely! I would suggest that it might be more fruitful for us from countries such as ours to, instead of trying to have a competition about who’s less of a loser based on our geopolitical outlook – would be to think and strategize on how to close the borders. Everything starts with public discourse. Possibly, the “open border” labor mobility within the EU will need to be rolled back in the future. It’s a good time to start talking about that.

    And why are we talking about Latvia under this blog post anyway? It’d be more interesting to figure out why there are so many attacks against Grudinin.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Beckow
    Agree with some, disagree with some. My general point is that you assign many generic evils to Russians specifically. That 'implies' certain predisposition or bias on your part. But i agree that we have bigger issues than nit-picking each other's complicated histories. Riga was a multi-ethnic city before WWI, Germans, Russians (already 12%), Jews, Poles, Latvians, ... not uncommon in that part of the world.

    But this is inaccurate on many levels:


    implying that the Poles want to march on Moscow (beyond absurd!) or that Europeans think of Ukrainians the same as Nigerians (absurd!)
     
    I said that Poles have marched on Moscow in the past. They did, it is simply a fact - they enthusiastically joined or led many Western attacks on Russia. I don't know if they want to do it again. But turning Poland into a military staging ground for confronting Russia seems to have no rational reason today. Maybe they would like to march again, maybe not. In any case, it is beyond stupid what they are doing.

    Most educated - liberal - Western Europeans display a lot more sympathy for Nigerians than for Ukrainians. Just read the public sphere, watch what they say, the cult of the 'African' is everywhere. Ukrainians on the other hand are lumped together with despised Russians, they look the same, talk the same, and in most liberal minds, they might as well be the same. Just observe the difficulty Poland has had making the case that they are helping Ukrainians, so they should be exempted from accepting Africans. They want Ukrainians only as far as it helps in the eternal Drang nach Osten - Russia's resources are tempting. But they will help a Nigerian swindler over an engineer from Kiev every time. It is part of liberal Western DNA. Ukrainians are fooling themselves. After all is said and done, they are the wrong colour, religion and ethnicity for liberals in Brussels, Paris and London.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  67. @Beckow
    ...chase to the bottom. Latvia lost 30% of its population in one generation. That's not good, no matter how you spin it.

    There was an initial departure of a couple hundred thousand mostly Russians who lived in Latvia and worked for central government, military, and their families. There has also been substantial inter-marriage and many of the 60% Latvians are mixed heavily with Russians. Russians also had to compulsory change their names to 'Latvian' equivalents (I am not kidding, the Latvian nationalists actually demanded that they change their names so it doesn't look so 'Russian'. And EU said nothing.)

    In any case, Latvia is a multi-ethnic country with 40% or so of its population that is not ethnically Latvian, and its capital Riga that has a very distinctive Russian character. The second city, Dvinsk, is almost completely Russian.

    How much longer can Latvians keep this silly ethnic apartheid going? How much longer before EU notices that Latvia has no intention to observe even most basic minority rights? How much longer before Latvia has about 1.5 million people left there?

    It has been a rather sad decline. You can paint it positively all you want, it is not a pretty picture.

    How much longer before EU notices that Latvia has no intention to observe even most basic minority rights?

    Oh, gosh, don’t be silly – it is 2018, not 2002.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  68. @Swedish Family

    Latvians have miscalculated. Instead of creating a Swiss like society with mutual tolerance and good relations among all people living there, they chose to go with ‘revenge’, hysteria and hostility. In the process, Latvia has become much weaker.
     
    It's more harmonious than you think on the ground. Most Latvians I meet prefer to moan about Scandinavians and the EU. You should also remember that places like Daugavpils aren't exactly Saint Petersburg, so Latvians may be excused for associating ethnic Russians with thugs and alcoholics.

    You should also remember that places like Daugavpils aren’t exactly Saint Petersburg, so Latvians may be excused for associating ethnic Russians with thugs and alcoholics.

    Our people are not thugs. In fact, the people in the eastern part of Latvia – of different nationalities – are some of the kindest and nicest around.

    Yes, Russians had (have?) a higher criminality but it’s because they’re less timid and, also, as relatively recent immigrants, many of them used to not feel as attached to the core society (it’s a universal psychological phenomenon). They are not one grey “proletariat” mass, but people of various backgrounds. Yes, many that came were working class. But there are also plenty of skilled and cultivated people.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Swedish Family

    Our people are not thugs. In fact, the people in the eastern part of Latvia – of different nationalities – are some of the kindest and nicest around.
     
    I'm sorry if I made you think that is my view. It's not. I simply related attitudes that I have met in Rīga and pointed out that misbehavior from a few bad apples often gives rise to steretypes.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  69. @Art Deco
    but they did manage to destroy their country’s future.


    MBITRW, Latvia's at least as affluent as Russia, it isn't dependent on natural-resource rents; has a diversified export sector, not one dominated by fuel; and has a total fertility rate which is average for Europe (but increasing). Its homicide rate is about 1/3 that of Russia. It's resolutely non-destroyed, the wishcasting of malevolent Russian nationalists notwithstanding.

    MBITRW, Latvia’s at least as affluent as Russia

    …errmmm Russians are twice as affluent as Latvians you dumb pri*k……….Muscovites about 4 times more. As a micro-state Latvia should be doing MUCH better you idiot. Take out the 8 million from the particularly poor regions in the North Caucasus, and also take out the regions in Russia that are subjected to -20C to -30c for 2 or 3 months+ of the year and monoindustry post-soviet problems ( that’s the genius of Russians making a success of life in impossible places unlike talentless, gutless prostitute states like the imaginary Latvia that has been nothing but a toy of Germany and Russia for centuries), …that’s about 30 million, the 2 million in Crimea suffering from years of living under Ukrainian mismanagement….that’s about 40 million people who shouldn’t be expected to be earning $25-30000 GDP (PPP), yet despite that 40 million number ,Russia is still officially, equal to the EU prostitute state latvia ( that barely spends anything on it’s defence budget) in earnings. Then add in the shadow economy for Russia and the general great cultural life in Russia……it’s an annihilation you dumb prick against the dying Baltic nation of Latvia.
    Go to Moscow,Saint Petersburg,Kazan….not one westerner would say any city in Latvia or the Baltics is anywhere near the same level of living standard or to visit as a tourist . Those 3 cities ( and I could add many more great Russian cities) total together 3 times the population of the entire Baltics combined

    it isn’t dependent on natural-resource rents;

    Russians natural resources are less than 20%, plus the word “dependent” is retarded you idiot because Russia, much like it did with latvia, educated people to create local jobs and research at all stages in the processing of these natural resources, making it different to the likes of Saudi Arabia.

    Its homicide rate is about 1/3 that of Russia

    ….it’s homicide rate is about the same as Moscow and Saint Petersburg….cities that unlike the ghosttown cities in Latvia…have millions of people ( including criminals) want to live, work and go on holiday there. Latvia have exported scores of criminals ( the biggest benefit of EU membership to them)….all of them ethnic Latvians committing numerous despicable murders in Britain.

    has a diversified export sector,

    …errrmmm no it doesn’t you clown…and anyway it’s biggest export partner is…..Russia.

    It’s a destroyed,failing prostitute country, lucky that it has 30% Russians/slav or russophile ex-Soviet people living there

    Read More
    • Replies: @Art Deco
    …errmmm Russians are twice as affluent as Latvians you dumb pri*k………

    I, like most people with basic literacy, have a skill you lack: I can read descriptive statistics on the economy and understand their import. You cannot, and respond to data which contradicts your rancid worldview with excesses of verbiage and bouts of vulgarity.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  70. @Gerard2

    MBITRW, Latvia’s at least as affluent as Russia
     
    ...errmmm Russians are twice as affluent as Latvians you dumb pri*k..........Muscovites about 4 times more. As a micro-state Latvia should be doing MUCH better you idiot. Take out the 8 million from the particularly poor regions in the North Caucasus, and also take out the regions in Russia that are subjected to -20C to -30c for 2 or 3 months+ of the year and monoindustry post-soviet problems ( that's the genius of Russians making a success of life in impossible places unlike talentless, gutless prostitute states like the imaginary Latvia that has been nothing but a toy of Germany and Russia for centuries), ...that's about 30 million, the 2 million in Crimea suffering from years of living under Ukrainian mismanagement....that's about 40 million people who shouldn't be expected to be earning $25-30000 GDP (PPP), yet despite that 40 million number ,Russia is still officially, equal to the EU prostitute state latvia ( that barely spends anything on it's defence budget) in earnings. Then add in the shadow economy for Russia and the general great cultural life in Russia......it's an annihilation you dumb prick against the dying Baltic nation of Latvia.
    Go to Moscow,Saint Petersburg,Kazan....not one westerner would say any city in Latvia or the Baltics is anywhere near the same level of living standard or to visit as a tourist . Those 3 cities ( and I could add many more great Russian cities) total together 3 times the population of the entire Baltics combined

    it isn’t dependent on natural-resource rents;
     
    Russians natural resources are less than 20%, plus the word "dependent" is retarded you idiot because Russia, much like it did with latvia, educated people to create local jobs and research at all stages in the processing of these natural resources, making it different to the likes of Saudi Arabia.

    Its homicide rate is about 1/3 that of Russia
     
    ....it's homicide rate is about the same as Moscow and Saint Petersburg....cities that unlike the ghosttown cities in Latvia...have millions of people ( including criminals) want to live, work and go on holiday there. Latvia have exported scores of criminals ( the biggest benefit of EU membership to them)....all of them ethnic Latvians committing numerous despicable murders in Britain.


    has a diversified export sector,
     
    ...errrmmm no it doesn't you clown...and anyway it's biggest export partner is.....Russia.


    It's a destroyed,failing prostitute country, lucky that it has 30% Russians/slav or russophile ex-Soviet people living there

    …errmmm Russians are twice as affluent as Latvians you dumb pri*k………

    I, like most people with basic literacy, have a skill you lack: I can read descriptive statistics on the economy and understand their import. You cannot, and respond to data which contradicts your rancid worldview with excesses of verbiage and bouts of vulgarity.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  71. @Beckow
    ...chase to the bottom. Latvia lost 30% of its population in one generation. That's not good, no matter how you spin it.

    There was an initial departure of a couple hundred thousand mostly Russians who lived in Latvia and worked for central government, military, and their families. There has also been substantial inter-marriage and many of the 60% Latvians are mixed heavily with Russians. Russians also had to compulsory change their names to 'Latvian' equivalents (I am not kidding, the Latvian nationalists actually demanded that they change their names so it doesn't look so 'Russian'. And EU said nothing.)

    In any case, Latvia is a multi-ethnic country with 40% or so of its population that is not ethnically Latvian, and its capital Riga that has a very distinctive Russian character. The second city, Dvinsk, is almost completely Russian.

    How much longer can Latvians keep this silly ethnic apartheid going? How much longer before EU notices that Latvia has no intention to observe even most basic minority rights? How much longer before Latvia has about 1.5 million people left there?

    It has been a rather sad decline. You can paint it positively all you want, it is not a pretty picture.

    How much longer can Latvians keep this silly ethnic apartheid going? How much longer before EU notices that Latvia has no intention to observe even most basic minority rights?

    You’re not denied a thing you are due. You fancy it’s your right to be a member of the body politic without language proficiency. It is not.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  72. @Art Deco
    The only point I would make is that for a small nation of 1.5-2 million a 8 % decline is more significant than for a 100-million plus nation. But it has been rough for everyone.

    No, its significance is the same because the proportions are the same. That's what "%" means.

    But there is suppressed anger under the surface and things are simply not getting better.

    Normal for any ethnically cleaved society. There's nothing to be done about that that improves on ignoring it.

    No, its significance is the same because the proportions are the same. That’s what “%” means.

    You’re an idiot.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Art Deco
    You’re an idiot.

    No, I can do simple arithmetic. Sorry that bothers you.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  73. @Jaakko Raipala
    I haven't found one for Latvia but Estonia has been publishing opinion surveys in English that track the divergence of opinions on some interesting questions:

    http://www.kaitseministeerium.ee/sites/default/files/elfinder/article_files/public_opinion_and_national_defence_2017_march.pdf

    On figure 12 Estonians and Russians mostly agree on all questions about threats except whether "Russian activities in restoring its authority" are dangerous - only 6 % of Russians but 48 % of Estonians agree. On the other hand, the gap between stated willingness to personally defend the country is nowhere near as large, in figure 20 it's 66 % for Estonians, 51 % for citizen Russians and 43 % even for non-citizen Russians.

    It is in line with my anecdotal impression from visits that Baltic Russians are mostly not anti-independence but that they have a wild divergence of views with the natives on the question of whether or not Russia can be trusted to not attempt re-annexation with some flimsy excuse. Whether or not they'd actually fight for Estonia or Latvia is unknown but many Baltic Russians would be surprised and unhappy if Russia suddenly put them in that situation.

    Support for NATO membership is at 31 % among Russians, 91 % among Estonians, and judging by figure 49 it seems to have bottomed among Russians due to the current Ukraine crisis. (In the nearest comparison, support for NATO in Finland in the latest survey was 22 %, so Baltic Russians are not particularly anti-NATO. It's just that Balts are very pro-NATO.)

    Thanks, that’s a pretty interesting poll, lots of interesting data.

    My general impression is that the Baltic Russians to have attitudes similar to those in Russia. Putin gets more votes on average than in Russia proper. Russians in Estonia are uniformly opposed to gay marriage across age groups, whereas amongst Estonians, it monotonically increases as you move into the younger cohorts.

    Also, while its easy (and socially expected) to say you will defend the country, etc., but I also notice that ~45% of non-Estonians want to spend less on the military, versus no more than 10% of Estonians (pp. 40). This syncs with the responses to whether “Russian activities in restoring its authority” are dangerous. Perhaps while Baltic Russians are theoretically ready to defend their host country in the abstract, enthusiasm ebbs away when more concretely realistic (if unlikely) scenarios are presented.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  74. @anonymous

    No, its significance is the same because the proportions are the same. That’s what “%” means.
     
    You’re an idiot.

    You’re an idiot.

    No, I can do simple arithmetic. Sorry that bothers you.

    Read More
    • Agree: AP
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  75. @LatW
    "its capital Riga that has a very distinctive Russian character"

    It depends on what you look at. Having lived in the old town of Riga for decades, I'd suggest you not cherry pick, Beckow. Certainly the old town, and large parts of the center do not have a "Russian" character, and are in fact very distinctly Latvian. Cobbled streets, pre-war and recent architecture, Lutheran churches, many bars and stores styled in the ancient Baltic style, various art and culture that is uniquely Baltic, not to mention the many Latvians who live and work there. You are probably one of the smartest commenters here, Beckow, and you do have some real pearls coming out on and off, even funny ones, but occasionally you take your confirmation bias a bit too far (such as implying that the Poles want to march on Moscow (beyond absurd!) or that Europeans think of Ukrainians the same as Nigerians (absurd!) - I don't know if you believe those things yourself, but they are simply exaggerations). Same with Riga - you deliberately avoid the obvious fact that Riga, despite of Russification that is unprecedented in the history of the region (a million Russians (et al) were plopped on top of a million Latvians over a couple of generations - I'm not even going to count the war losses), in many ways is Latvian in its very character. The Russians who we've known over the years, keep stating that over and over. That's what they like! That's why they visit. And, while there is intermarriage (and so what - you can't dictate to the heart), most Latvians are not "heavily" mixed as you say, most Latvians marry other Latvians. You are right that many Russian parents file their kids as "Latvian" (many Russians also choose Latvian preschools), but the birth rate is slightly higher in the Latvian population (not by much, but the effects would accumulate over decades, the thing with Russians is that they have a lousy age structure and I suspect there is something in their mating pattern that makes it harder for women to feel stable - it's not their fault as a people, it's just a sum of unfortunate factors, I've even read that in Estonia, once they move into the Estonian parts of society, their birth rates improve).

    The last three years the births have exceeded deaths in the native Latvian population (even if not by much). The blatant disrespect for human life that was characteristic of the "socialist era" - abortion - has been on the way down for years now, infant mortality is down, a year long maternal leave (80% paid - I know of no other country that offers that), expensive fertility treatments paid for by the state (small but nice to have), fertility rate in the 30+ group approaching that of the 1980s levels, etc. Of course the fight for the second child is still very much on, but the numbers of families with a third and second child are up, I have a lot of data like this and could go on and on -- I'm sure it is similar to some of the recent Russian and Belorussian data as it is a regional trend (but also due to social and state initiated improvements).

    You also mention that "things are getting worse", I would disagree -- in many ways, things are getting better. Year after year, people are getting more affluent. The Baltic states are as rich as they've ever been (with the exception of 1930s or certain times before the 13th century).

    Re: what you said about the EU borders - agreed completely! I would suggest that it might be more fruitful for us from countries such as ours to, instead of trying to have a competition about who's less of a loser based on our geopolitical outlook - would be to think and strategize on how to close the borders. Everything starts with public discourse. Possibly, the "open border" labor mobility within the EU will need to be rolled back in the future. It's a good time to start talking about that.

    And why are we talking about Latvia under this blog post anyway? It'd be more interesting to figure out why there are so many attacks against Grudinin.

    Agree with some, disagree with some. My general point is that you assign many generic evils to Russians specifically. That ‘implies‘ certain predisposition or bias on your part. But i agree that we have bigger issues than nit-picking each other’s complicated histories. Riga was a multi-ethnic city before WWI, Germans, Russians (already 12%), Jews, Poles, Latvians, … not uncommon in that part of the world.

    But this is inaccurate on many levels:

    implying that the Poles want to march on Moscow (beyond absurd!) or that Europeans think of Ukrainians the same as Nigerians (absurd!)

    I said that Poles have marched on Moscow in the past. They did, it is simply a fact – they enthusiastically joined or led many Western attacks on Russia. I don’t know if they want to do it again. But turning Poland into a military staging ground for confronting Russia seems to have no rational reason today. Maybe they would like to march again, maybe not. In any case, it is beyond stupid what they are doing.

    Most educated – liberal – Western Europeans display a lot more sympathy for Nigerians than for Ukrainians. Just read the public sphere, watch what they say, the cult of the ‘African’ is everywhere. Ukrainians on the other hand are lumped together with despised Russians, they look the same, talk the same, and in most liberal minds, they might as well be the same. Just observe the difficulty Poland has had making the case that they are helping Ukrainians, so they should be exempted from accepting Africans. They want Ukrainians only as far as it helps in the eternal Drang nach Osten – Russia’s resources are tempting. But they will help a Nigerian swindler over an engineer from Kiev every time. It is part of liberal Western DNA. Ukrainians are fooling themselves. After all is said and done, they are the wrong colour, religion and ethnicity for liberals in Brussels, Paris and London.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Swedish Family

    Most educated – liberal – Western Europeans display a lot more sympathy for Nigerians than for Ukrainians.
     
    No doubt, but for the opposite reason you put forward: it's precisely because they view Ukrainians as essentially European that they care more about Nigerians. I always have trouble explaining this to Slavs, but such is the psychology of Western liberals.
    , @AP

    Riga was a multi-ethnic city before WWI, Germans, Russians (already 12%), Jews, Poles, Latvians, … not uncommon in that part of the world.
     
    I could be wrong, but I seem to remember that Russians who could prove descent from pre-World War II Russians were exempted from language requirements for citizenship in Latvia.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  76. @Art Deco
    The only point I would make is that for a small nation of 1.5-2 million a 8 % decline is more significant than for a 100-million plus nation. But it has been rough for everyone.

    No, its significance is the same because the proportions are the same. That's what "%" means.

    But there is suppressed anger under the surface and things are simply not getting better.

    Normal for any ethnically cleaved society. There's nothing to be done about that that improves on ignoring it.

    “No, its significance is the same because the proportions are the same. That’s what “%” means.”

    Can’t agree. An ethnic group with 200 members that loses 100 is placed in more danger than one with 20 million that loses 10 million. The impact of loss is non linear.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Art Deco
    Can’t agree. An ethnic group with 200 members that loses 100 is placed in more danger than one with 20 million that loses 10 million. The impact of loss is non linear.

    A true, but inconsequential, point. Even with the losses you have a sufficient number of Latvians to maintain a living language and (within national boundaries) every sort of service bar two: a full-service bourse and a full-spectrum research university. Both would be a challenge even at current demographic dimensions, though, so I'm not seeing a qualitative difference. Neither is inbreeding an issue at current dimensions.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  77. @Art Deco
    Significant net outmigration absent an ethnic Russian population has been seen only in the last 3 years in Lithuania. The projected 'depopulation' is largely driven by fertility deficits which are present all over the continent. Those deficits are about average for Europe and they were at least as severe in Russia up until about five years ago. The question at hand is whether recent improvements in fertility rates will be sustained enough to bring the three Baltic states back to replacement level.

    I’ve been meeting Baltic Russians doing working class jobs in the UK for more than 10 years. Russian speaking history teachers do cleaners jobs and like it. Their children face less difficulty in getting to University than in Klaipeda/Memel and income is higher than in Russia. See my comments to Anatoly above. (Search in the page using “Wales”).

    Read More
    • Replies: @Art Deco
    Their children face less difficulty in getting to University than in Klaipeda/Memel

    I should hope so. Enrollments in your higher education sector are awfully bloated.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  78. @Philip Owen
    "No, its significance is the same because the proportions are the same. That’s what “%” means."

    Can't agree. An ethnic group with 200 members that loses 100 is placed in more danger than one with 20 million that loses 10 million. The impact of loss is non linear.

    Can’t agree. An ethnic group with 200 members that loses 100 is placed in more danger than one with 20 million that loses 10 million. The impact of loss is non linear.

    A true, but inconsequential, point. Even with the losses you have a sufficient number of Latvians to maintain a living language and (within national boundaries) every sort of service bar two: a full-service bourse and a full-spectrum research university. Both would be a challenge even at current demographic dimensions, though, so I’m not seeing a qualitative difference. Neither is inbreeding an issue at current dimensions.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  79. @Philip Owen
    I've been meeting Baltic Russians doing working class jobs in the UK for more than 10 years. Russian speaking history teachers do cleaners jobs and like it. Their children face less difficulty in getting to University than in Klaipeda/Memel and income is higher than in Russia. See my comments to Anatoly above. (Search in the page using "Wales").

    Their children face less difficulty in getting to University than in Klaipeda/Memel

    I should hope so. Enrollments in your higher education sector are awfully bloated.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  80. @LatW

    You should also remember that places like Daugavpils aren’t exactly Saint Petersburg, so Latvians may be excused for associating ethnic Russians with thugs and alcoholics.
     
    Our people are not thugs. In fact, the people in the eastern part of Latvia - of different nationalities - are some of the kindest and nicest around.

    Yes, Russians had (have?) a higher criminality but it's because they're less timid and, also, as relatively recent immigrants, many of them used to not feel as attached to the core society (it's a universal psychological phenomenon). They are not one grey "proletariat" mass, but people of various backgrounds. Yes, many that came were working class. But there are also plenty of skilled and cultivated people.

    Our people are not thugs. In fact, the people in the eastern part of Latvia – of different nationalities – are some of the kindest and nicest around.

    I’m sorry if I made you think that is my view. It’s not. I simply related attitudes that I have met in Rīga and pointed out that misbehavior from a few bad apples often gives rise to steretypes.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  81. @Beckow
    Agree with some, disagree with some. My general point is that you assign many generic evils to Russians specifically. That 'implies' certain predisposition or bias on your part. But i agree that we have bigger issues than nit-picking each other's complicated histories. Riga was a multi-ethnic city before WWI, Germans, Russians (already 12%), Jews, Poles, Latvians, ... not uncommon in that part of the world.

    But this is inaccurate on many levels:


    implying that the Poles want to march on Moscow (beyond absurd!) or that Europeans think of Ukrainians the same as Nigerians (absurd!)
     
    I said that Poles have marched on Moscow in the past. They did, it is simply a fact - they enthusiastically joined or led many Western attacks on Russia. I don't know if they want to do it again. But turning Poland into a military staging ground for confronting Russia seems to have no rational reason today. Maybe they would like to march again, maybe not. In any case, it is beyond stupid what they are doing.

    Most educated - liberal - Western Europeans display a lot more sympathy for Nigerians than for Ukrainians. Just read the public sphere, watch what they say, the cult of the 'African' is everywhere. Ukrainians on the other hand are lumped together with despised Russians, they look the same, talk the same, and in most liberal minds, they might as well be the same. Just observe the difficulty Poland has had making the case that they are helping Ukrainians, so they should be exempted from accepting Africans. They want Ukrainians only as far as it helps in the eternal Drang nach Osten - Russia's resources are tempting. But they will help a Nigerian swindler over an engineer from Kiev every time. It is part of liberal Western DNA. Ukrainians are fooling themselves. After all is said and done, they are the wrong colour, religion and ethnicity for liberals in Brussels, Paris and London.

    Most educated – liberal – Western Europeans display a lot more sympathy for Nigerians than for Ukrainians.

    No doubt, but for the opposite reason you put forward: it’s precisely because they view Ukrainians as essentially European that they care more about Nigerians. I always have trouble explaining this to Slavs, but such is the psychology of Western liberals.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Beckow

    No doubt, but for the opposite reason you put forward
     
    Motivations are impossible to determine; people lie. It is better to focus on what we can observe. You say that Western liberals have a screwed up self-hating psychology. Maybe, but that hatred seem to acquire an almost pathological level when it comes to 'Russkies' and any 'Russkies' suspected relations. I doubt this is all about self-hatred of white, European people.

    Take the Dutch foreign minister and his pathetic lies - how can it come so easy for an educated Dutchmen (and his Prime Minister) to make up stories about Russian 'menace'? Can you for a second imagine similar nonsense about any other group? It is a small window into a very sick mentality. To say that he 'hates all Europeans' is simply not true. No, the hatred is quite specific, this is more than messed-up liberal 'psychology'.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  82. @Beckow
    Agree with some, disagree with some. My general point is that you assign many generic evils to Russians specifically. That 'implies' certain predisposition or bias on your part. But i agree that we have bigger issues than nit-picking each other's complicated histories. Riga was a multi-ethnic city before WWI, Germans, Russians (already 12%), Jews, Poles, Latvians, ... not uncommon in that part of the world.

    But this is inaccurate on many levels:


    implying that the Poles want to march on Moscow (beyond absurd!) or that Europeans think of Ukrainians the same as Nigerians (absurd!)
     
    I said that Poles have marched on Moscow in the past. They did, it is simply a fact - they enthusiastically joined or led many Western attacks on Russia. I don't know if they want to do it again. But turning Poland into a military staging ground for confronting Russia seems to have no rational reason today. Maybe they would like to march again, maybe not. In any case, it is beyond stupid what they are doing.

    Most educated - liberal - Western Europeans display a lot more sympathy for Nigerians than for Ukrainians. Just read the public sphere, watch what they say, the cult of the 'African' is everywhere. Ukrainians on the other hand are lumped together with despised Russians, they look the same, talk the same, and in most liberal minds, they might as well be the same. Just observe the difficulty Poland has had making the case that they are helping Ukrainians, so they should be exempted from accepting Africans. They want Ukrainians only as far as it helps in the eternal Drang nach Osten - Russia's resources are tempting. But they will help a Nigerian swindler over an engineer from Kiev every time. It is part of liberal Western DNA. Ukrainians are fooling themselves. After all is said and done, they are the wrong colour, religion and ethnicity for liberals in Brussels, Paris and London.

    Riga was a multi-ethnic city before WWI, Germans, Russians (already 12%), Jews, Poles, Latvians, … not uncommon in that part of the world.

    I could be wrong, but I seem to remember that Russians who could prove descent from pre-World War II Russians were exempted from language requirements for citizenship in Latvia.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  83. @Swedish Family

    Most educated – liberal – Western Europeans display a lot more sympathy for Nigerians than for Ukrainians.
     
    No doubt, but for the opposite reason you put forward: it's precisely because they view Ukrainians as essentially European that they care more about Nigerians. I always have trouble explaining this to Slavs, but such is the psychology of Western liberals.

    No doubt, but for the opposite reason you put forward

    Motivations are impossible to determine; people lie. It is better to focus on what we can observe. You say that Western liberals have a screwed up self-hating psychology. Maybe, but that hatred seem to acquire an almost pathological level when it comes to ‘Russkies’ and any ‘Russkies’ suspected relations. I doubt this is all about self-hatred of white, European people.

    Take the Dutch foreign minister and his pathetic lies – how can it come so easy for an educated Dutchmen (and his Prime Minister) to make up stories about Russian ‘menace’? Can you for a second imagine similar nonsense about any other group? It is a small window into a very sick mentality. To say that he ‘hates all Europeans’ is simply not true. No, the hatred is quite specific, this is more than messed-up liberal ‘psychology’.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Art Deco
    You say that Western liberals have a screwed up self-hating psychology.

    He's not saying that. The Peter Sutherlands of this world despise their domestic vernacular population and side with all sorts of exotic elements contra that population. That's because they identify with professional-managerial people generally without regard to the nation-state. The task the general public faces in each country is to line up behind the patriotic residue in the professional-managerial population and strip the cosmopolitans of any political influence. There will be blood.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  84. @Beckow

    No doubt, but for the opposite reason you put forward
     
    Motivations are impossible to determine; people lie. It is better to focus on what we can observe. You say that Western liberals have a screwed up self-hating psychology. Maybe, but that hatred seem to acquire an almost pathological level when it comes to 'Russkies' and any 'Russkies' suspected relations. I doubt this is all about self-hatred of white, European people.

    Take the Dutch foreign minister and his pathetic lies - how can it come so easy for an educated Dutchmen (and his Prime Minister) to make up stories about Russian 'menace'? Can you for a second imagine similar nonsense about any other group? It is a small window into a very sick mentality. To say that he 'hates all Europeans' is simply not true. No, the hatred is quite specific, this is more than messed-up liberal 'psychology'.

    You say that Western liberals have a screwed up self-hating psychology.

    He’s not saying that. The Peter Sutherlands of this world despise their domestic vernacular population and side with all sorts of exotic elements contra that population. That’s because they identify with professional-managerial people generally without regard to the nation-state. The task the general public faces in each country is to line up behind the patriotic residue in the professional-managerial population and strip the cosmopolitans of any political influence. There will be blood.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Swedish Family

    He’s not saying that. The Peter Sutherlands of this world despise their domestic vernacular population and side with all sorts of exotic elements contra that population. That’s because they identify with professional-managerial people generally without regard to the nation-state. The task the general public faces in each country is to line up behind the patriotic residue in the professional-managerial population and strip the cosmopolitans of any political influence. There will be blood.
     
    I'm not sure I follow, but I sense a Jewish theme in there. That wasn't exactly what I had in mind, but carry on ... :-)
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  85. You say that Western liberals have a screwed up self-hating psychology. Maybe, but that hatred seem to acquire an almost pathological level when it comes to ‘Russkies’ and any ‘Russkies’ suspected relations. I doubt this is all about self-hatred of white, European people.

    I didn’t quite go that far (“self-hating”), since I suspect that there might be more to it than self-hate. But no matter.

    Russian Derangement Syndrome (RDS) is a very real thing — I don’t disagree with you here — but this, too, is actually a sign that the Western elites view Russians as functional equals. Not ideologically or politically, of course, but culturally, cognitively and militarily.

    What is RDS all about, then, if it’s not about ethnicity and culture? Could it be a psy-op to pave the ground for imperial ambitions? Well, everything is possible, but I find that idea too conspiratorial.

    My suggestion is that we take the elite at their word. They say that they fear the spread of illiberalism (not uncalled for if you believe that gay marriage is a human right) and they say that they fear Russian irredentism (not uncalled for given the policies that Mr. Karlin and other nationalists favor), so I will assume for now that these two motivations lie at the heart of their RDS. (There are some minor ones also, but these two greatly eclipse the others.)

    Read More
    • Replies: @Beckow
    I thought that your reference to 'psychology of western liberals' in that context implied their self-hatred. But you are right, it is more complicated. I agree that listening to what people say should be the first place to determine motivations, and Western liberals are visibly concerned about Russia's irredentism and illiberalism.

    Those two reasons are plausible, but have some holes. It would be hard to describe the Third World migrants' attitudes as anything other than 'illiberalism', and yet they are worshipped by the Western liberals (the original Nigerians over Ukrainians argument). Russia is actually quite socially liberal by any standards, certainly more than e.g. Turkey.

    Irredentism is a more real concern, but the level of exaggeration and demonisation of some very pedestrian disputes suggests that there is more to this. Who really cares whether 150k Ossetians in some remote mountains are rules from Tbilisi or reunite with their North Ossetian cousins? And Crimea is just like Kosovo, almost identical, but done in a more civilised way. Mr. Karlin doesn't make Russia's policy, he would be the first one to say so. And we have just had the 'Great Russia' lie from Holland.

    No, there is more to it. It is a self-feeding pathology. In a chess game when one side knows that they will lose, they can prolong it by crazy, in-your-face moves. It distracts and creates the right (although false) impression among one's fans. In this case, I am afraid in the long run the losing side is the globalist West. I think the main objective of RDS is to slow down Russia's development, to buy some time. Hell, maybe an asteroid will hit, or Yeltsin will come back from dead.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  86. @Art Deco
    You say that Western liberals have a screwed up self-hating psychology.

    He's not saying that. The Peter Sutherlands of this world despise their domestic vernacular population and side with all sorts of exotic elements contra that population. That's because they identify with professional-managerial people generally without regard to the nation-state. The task the general public faces in each country is to line up behind the patriotic residue in the professional-managerial population and strip the cosmopolitans of any political influence. There will be blood.

    He’s not saying that. The Peter Sutherlands of this world despise their domestic vernacular population and side with all sorts of exotic elements contra that population. That’s because they identify with professional-managerial people generally without regard to the nation-state. The task the general public faces in each country is to line up behind the patriotic residue in the professional-managerial population and strip the cosmopolitans of any political influence. There will be blood.

    I’m not sure I follow, but I sense a Jewish theme in there. That wasn’t exactly what I had in mind, but carry on … :-)

    Read More
    • Replies: @Art Deco
    I’m not sure I follow, but I sense a Jewish theme in there. T

    Joo obsession is a common source of malice-infested addlement in these parts, but not my problem. (Peter Sutherland was Irish, not Jewish, btw; likely very few Jews in the EU apparat).

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  87. @Swedish Family

    You say that Western liberals have a screwed up self-hating psychology. Maybe, but that hatred seem to acquire an almost pathological level when it comes to ‘Russkies’ and any ‘Russkies’ suspected relations. I doubt this is all about self-hatred of white, European people.
     
    I didn't quite go that far ("self-hating"), since I suspect that there might be more to it than self-hate. But no matter.

    Russian Derangement Syndrome (RDS) is a very real thing -- I don't disagree with you here -- but this, too, is actually a sign that the Western elites view Russians as functional equals. Not ideologically or politically, of course, but culturally, cognitively and militarily.

    What is RDS all about, then, if it's not about ethnicity and culture? Could it be a psy-op to pave the ground for imperial ambitions? Well, everything is possible, but I find that idea too conspiratorial.

    My suggestion is that we take the elite at their word. They say that they fear the spread of illiberalism (not uncalled for if you believe that gay marriage is a human right) and they say that they fear Russian irredentism (not uncalled for given the policies that Mr. Karlin and other nationalists favor), so I will assume for now that these two motivations lie at the heart of their RDS. (There are some minor ones also, but these two greatly eclipse the others.)

    I thought that your reference to ‘psychology of western liberals‘ in that context implied their self-hatred. But you are right, it is more complicated. I agree that listening to what people say should be the first place to determine motivations, and Western liberals are visibly concerned about Russia’s irredentism and illiberalism.

    Those two reasons are plausible, but have some holes. It would be hard to describe the Third World migrants’ attitudes as anything other than ‘illiberalism’, and yet they are worshipped by the Western liberals (the original Nigerians over Ukrainians argument). Russia is actually quite socially liberal by any standards, certainly more than e.g. Turkey.

    Irredentism is a more real concern, but the level of exaggeration and demonisation of some very pedestrian disputes suggests that there is more to this. Who really cares whether 150k Ossetians in some remote mountains are rules from Tbilisi or reunite with their North Ossetian cousins? And Crimea is just like Kosovo, almost identical, but done in a more civilised way. Mr. Karlin doesn’t make Russia’s policy, he would be the first one to say so. And we have just had the ‘Great Russia’ lie from Holland.

    No, there is more to it. It is a self-feeding pathology. In a chess game when one side knows that they will lose, they can prolong it by crazy, in-your-face moves. It distracts and creates the right (although false) impression among one’s fans. In this case, I am afraid in the long run the losing side is the globalist West. I think the main objective of RDS is to slow down Russia’s development, to buy some time. Hell, maybe an asteroid will hit, or Yeltsin will come back from dead.

    Read More
    • Replies: @dfordoom

    It would be hard to describe the Third World migrants’ attitudes as anything other than ‘illiberalism’, and yet they are worshipped by the Western liberals
     
    Because they believe that those Third Worlders will be transformed into good obedient atheist liberals. They will become part of the Liberal Borg. All those Muslim immigrants will soon be genderfluid polyamorous lesbian social justice warriors.
    , @Swedish Family

    Those two reasons are plausible, but have some holes. It would be hard to describe the Third World migrants’ attitudes as anything other than ‘illiberalism’, and yet they are worshipped by the Western liberals (the original Nigerians over Ukrainians argument). Russia is actually quite socially liberal by any standards, certainly more than e.g. Turkey.
     
    True, but as dfordoom observes, the assumption is that this won't last long. Russia, by contrast, presents a terrifying prospect: it tasted the fruits of social liberalism and is now trending in the opposite direction. No wonder they are all up in arms.

    Irredentism is a more real concern, but the level of exaggeration and demonisation of some very pedestrian disputes suggests that there is more to this. Who really cares whether 150k Ossetians in some remote mountains are rules from Tbilisi or reunite with their North Ossetian cousins? And Crimea is just like Kosovo, almost identical, but done in a more civilised way. Mr. Karlin doesn’t make Russia’s policy, he would be the first one to say so. And we have just had the ‘Great Russia’ lie from Holland.

     

    I agree, especially about the bolded part (presence doesn't equal influence), and I think these irredentism fears are the easiest to dispel.

    No, there is more to it. It is a self-feeding pathology.
     
    Again, I agree. But you leave out here a hugely important factor: their fear of nationalist movements on their home turf.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  88. @Beckow
    I thought that your reference to 'psychology of western liberals' in that context implied their self-hatred. But you are right, it is more complicated. I agree that listening to what people say should be the first place to determine motivations, and Western liberals are visibly concerned about Russia's irredentism and illiberalism.

    Those two reasons are plausible, but have some holes. It would be hard to describe the Third World migrants' attitudes as anything other than 'illiberalism', and yet they are worshipped by the Western liberals (the original Nigerians over Ukrainians argument). Russia is actually quite socially liberal by any standards, certainly more than e.g. Turkey.

    Irredentism is a more real concern, but the level of exaggeration and demonisation of some very pedestrian disputes suggests that there is more to this. Who really cares whether 150k Ossetians in some remote mountains are rules from Tbilisi or reunite with their North Ossetian cousins? And Crimea is just like Kosovo, almost identical, but done in a more civilised way. Mr. Karlin doesn't make Russia's policy, he would be the first one to say so. And we have just had the 'Great Russia' lie from Holland.

    No, there is more to it. It is a self-feeding pathology. In a chess game when one side knows that they will lose, they can prolong it by crazy, in-your-face moves. It distracts and creates the right (although false) impression among one's fans. In this case, I am afraid in the long run the losing side is the globalist West. I think the main objective of RDS is to slow down Russia's development, to buy some time. Hell, maybe an asteroid will hit, or Yeltsin will come back from dead.

    It would be hard to describe the Third World migrants’ attitudes as anything other than ‘illiberalism’, and yet they are worshipped by the Western liberals

    Because they believe that those Third Worlders will be transformed into good obedient atheist liberals. They will become part of the Liberal Borg. All those Muslim immigrants will soon be genderfluid polyamorous lesbian social justice warriors.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  89. @Swedish Family

    He’s not saying that. The Peter Sutherlands of this world despise their domestic vernacular population and side with all sorts of exotic elements contra that population. That’s because they identify with professional-managerial people generally without regard to the nation-state. The task the general public faces in each country is to line up behind the patriotic residue in the professional-managerial population and strip the cosmopolitans of any political influence. There will be blood.
     
    I'm not sure I follow, but I sense a Jewish theme in there. That wasn't exactly what I had in mind, but carry on ... :-)

    I’m not sure I follow, but I sense a Jewish theme in there. T

    Joo obsession is a common source of malice-infested addlement in these parts, but not my problem. (Peter Sutherland was Irish, not Jewish, btw; likely very few Jews in the EU apparat).

    Read More
    • Replies: @Swedish Family

    Joo obsession is a common source of malice-infested addlement in these parts, but not my problem. (Peter Sutherland was Irish, not Jewish, btw; likely very few Jews in the EU apparat).
     
    Aha, my apologies. You are right about the danger of a self-serving managerial class, by the way, and yes, it's not a very Jewish phenomenon, and neither is the EU.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  90. @Beckow
    I thought that your reference to 'psychology of western liberals' in that context implied their self-hatred. But you are right, it is more complicated. I agree that listening to what people say should be the first place to determine motivations, and Western liberals are visibly concerned about Russia's irredentism and illiberalism.

    Those two reasons are plausible, but have some holes. It would be hard to describe the Third World migrants' attitudes as anything other than 'illiberalism', and yet they are worshipped by the Western liberals (the original Nigerians over Ukrainians argument). Russia is actually quite socially liberal by any standards, certainly more than e.g. Turkey.

    Irredentism is a more real concern, but the level of exaggeration and demonisation of some very pedestrian disputes suggests that there is more to this. Who really cares whether 150k Ossetians in some remote mountains are rules from Tbilisi or reunite with their North Ossetian cousins? And Crimea is just like Kosovo, almost identical, but done in a more civilised way. Mr. Karlin doesn't make Russia's policy, he would be the first one to say so. And we have just had the 'Great Russia' lie from Holland.

    No, there is more to it. It is a self-feeding pathology. In a chess game when one side knows that they will lose, they can prolong it by crazy, in-your-face moves. It distracts and creates the right (although false) impression among one's fans. In this case, I am afraid in the long run the losing side is the globalist West. I think the main objective of RDS is to slow down Russia's development, to buy some time. Hell, maybe an asteroid will hit, or Yeltsin will come back from dead.

    Those two reasons are plausible, but have some holes. It would be hard to describe the Third World migrants’ attitudes as anything other than ‘illiberalism’, and yet they are worshipped by the Western liberals (the original Nigerians over Ukrainians argument). Russia is actually quite socially liberal by any standards, certainly more than e.g. Turkey.

    True, but as dfordoom observes, the assumption is that this won’t last long. Russia, by contrast, presents a terrifying prospect: it tasted the fruits of social liberalism and is now trending in the opposite direction. No wonder they are all up in arms.

    Irredentism is a more real concern, but the level of exaggeration and demonisation of some very pedestrian disputes suggests that there is more to this. Who really cares whether 150k Ossetians in some remote mountains are rules from Tbilisi or reunite with their North Ossetian cousins? And Crimea is just like Kosovo, almost identical, but done in a more civilised way. Mr. Karlin doesn’t make Russia’s policy, he would be the first one to say so. And we have just had the ‘Great Russia’ lie from Holland.

    I agree, especially about the bolded part (presence doesn’t equal influence), and I think these irredentism fears are the easiest to dispel.

    No, there is more to it. It is a self-feeding pathology.

    Again, I agree. But you leave out here a hugely important factor: their fear of nationalist movements on their home turf.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Beckow

    you leave out here a hugely important factor: their fear of nationalist movements on their home turf
     
    That fear is very visible today and it feeds into the Russia Derangement behaviour, but:

    - Russia demonisation started 10-15 years ago when there was barely any sign of nationalism in Europe. It has accelerated, but even around 2010 it was already in full swing. 'Invasion' of Georgia was in 2008. The liberals lied then, and they still lie.
    - The identity politics by Third World migrants are the most visible expressions of nationalism one can see in Europe. It is often violent, it gets enormous publicity, it is celebrated by Western liberals.

    To me it doesn't add up, unless we are dealing with incoherent people who don't think stuff through. I know the liberals are like that, but the demonisation is too well organised to be just some silly aging spinsters worried about second coming of 'Hitler'.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  91. @Art Deco
    I’m not sure I follow, but I sense a Jewish theme in there. T

    Joo obsession is a common source of malice-infested addlement in these parts, but not my problem. (Peter Sutherland was Irish, not Jewish, btw; likely very few Jews in the EU apparat).

    Joo obsession is a common source of malice-infested addlement in these parts, but not my problem. (Peter Sutherland was Irish, not Jewish, btw; likely very few Jews in the EU apparat).

    Aha, my apologies. You are right about the danger of a self-serving managerial class, by the way, and yes, it’s not a very Jewish phenomenon, and neither is the EU.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  92. @Swedish Family

    Those two reasons are plausible, but have some holes. It would be hard to describe the Third World migrants’ attitudes as anything other than ‘illiberalism’, and yet they are worshipped by the Western liberals (the original Nigerians over Ukrainians argument). Russia is actually quite socially liberal by any standards, certainly more than e.g. Turkey.
     
    True, but as dfordoom observes, the assumption is that this won't last long. Russia, by contrast, presents a terrifying prospect: it tasted the fruits of social liberalism and is now trending in the opposite direction. No wonder they are all up in arms.

    Irredentism is a more real concern, but the level of exaggeration and demonisation of some very pedestrian disputes suggests that there is more to this. Who really cares whether 150k Ossetians in some remote mountains are rules from Tbilisi or reunite with their North Ossetian cousins? And Crimea is just like Kosovo, almost identical, but done in a more civilised way. Mr. Karlin doesn’t make Russia’s policy, he would be the first one to say so. And we have just had the ‘Great Russia’ lie from Holland.

     

    I agree, especially about the bolded part (presence doesn't equal influence), and I think these irredentism fears are the easiest to dispel.

    No, there is more to it. It is a self-feeding pathology.
     
    Again, I agree. But you leave out here a hugely important factor: their fear of nationalist movements on their home turf.

    you leave out here a hugely important factor: their fear of nationalist movements on their home turf

    That fear is very visible today and it feeds into the Russia Derangement behaviour, but:

    - Russia demonisation started 10-15 years ago when there was barely any sign of nationalism in Europe. It has accelerated, but even around 2010 it was already in full swing. ‘Invasion’ of Georgia was in 2008. The liberals lied then, and they still lie.
    - The identity politics by Third World migrants are the most visible expressions of nationalism one can see in Europe. It is often violent, it gets enormous publicity, it is celebrated by Western liberals.

    To me it doesn’t add up, unless we are dealing with incoherent people who don’t think stuff through. I know the liberals are like that, but the demonisation is too well organised to be just some silly aging spinsters worried about second coming of ‘Hitler’.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Swedish Family

    - Russia demonisation started 10-15 years ago when there was barely any sign of nationalism in Europe. It has accelerated, but even around 2010 it was already in full swing. ‘Invasion’ of Georgia was in 2008. The liberals lied then, and they still lie.
     
    Modern European nationalism dates back to the early 00s at the latest (France, the Netherlands, Austria, Norway, Denmark), and it has been a constant in European politics ever since. This example you give, the brouhaha around the war in South Ossetia, was more about fear of irredentism, however.

    To me it doesn’t add up, unless we are dealing with incoherent people who don’t think stuff through. I know the liberals are like that, but the demonisation is too well organised to be just some silly aging spinsters worried about second coming of ‘Hitler’.
     
    It seems well organized, all right, but that is because everyone reads from the same page. Make no mistake, they really do believe this stuff. It's not an act.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  93. @Beckow

    you leave out here a hugely important factor: their fear of nationalist movements on their home turf
     
    That fear is very visible today and it feeds into the Russia Derangement behaviour, but:

    - Russia demonisation started 10-15 years ago when there was barely any sign of nationalism in Europe. It has accelerated, but even around 2010 it was already in full swing. 'Invasion' of Georgia was in 2008. The liberals lied then, and they still lie.
    - The identity politics by Third World migrants are the most visible expressions of nationalism one can see in Europe. It is often violent, it gets enormous publicity, it is celebrated by Western liberals.

    To me it doesn't add up, unless we are dealing with incoherent people who don't think stuff through. I know the liberals are like that, but the demonisation is too well organised to be just some silly aging spinsters worried about second coming of 'Hitler'.

    - Russia demonisation started 10-15 years ago when there was barely any sign of nationalism in Europe. It has accelerated, but even around 2010 it was already in full swing. ‘Invasion’ of Georgia was in 2008. The liberals lied then, and they still lie.

    Modern European nationalism dates back to the early 00s at the latest (France, the Netherlands, Austria, Norway, Denmark), and it has been a constant in European politics ever since. This example you give, the brouhaha around the war in South Ossetia, was more about fear of irredentism, however.

    To me it doesn’t add up, unless we are dealing with incoherent people who don’t think stuff through. I know the liberals are like that, but the demonisation is too well organised to be just some silly aging spinsters worried about second coming of ‘Hitler’.

    It seems well organized, all right, but that is because everyone reads from the same page. Make no mistake, they really do believe this stuff. It’s not an act.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  94. …they really do believe this stuff. It’s not an act.

    You are probably right, although there is a core group of career opportunists who drive this. For them it is who-whom, belief in their own supremacy thinly covered with silly globo-liberalist ideology. The argument now seems to be ‘we are right because of who we are‘ – that is an outright tribal supremacy with ugly historical precedents.

    And he gullible believing masses are worrisome. We will march of the cliff if this gets out of hand.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments

Comments are closed.

Subscribe to All Anatoly Karlin Comments via RSS