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Putin's Inauguration
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putin-inauguration-2018

So Putin has just entered his fourth and almost certainly last term.

Where to now?

Putin has a vast, legitimate mandate to leave his final imprint on Russia, but what precisely that involves is still just a black box – as I repeatedly noted during my Russia elections coverage, Putin did not even bother with a campaign as such, (correctly) betting that riding on the Crimean tailwinds would be more than sufficient to ensure him a dominating victory.

For now, the main indication is that there will be less military spending – even if the real size of the decline is exaggerated by a pure accounting issue – with the money saved from that, as well as proceeds from a new sales tax, financing considerably increasing spending on infrastructure, healthcare, and education. Russia certainly could do with the former two, even if the benefits of more education spending (as opposed to elite science research) are dubious. However, we can hardly expect him to challenge the prevailing global orthodoxy.

Personnel is key, so we will need to wait for the Ministerial appointments before we can seriously speculate about foreign policy course in an period during which Russia’s options are increasingly narrowing down to capitulation vs. increased autarky.

It is pretty clear that Medvedev will stay on as PM. There have been rumors spread by someone in The Financial Times that Kudrin is being considered for a high position – maybe even a newly created Vice Presidential one, according to John Helmer. As the latter argues, this would in effect translate to the capitulation option, i.e. “a policy of withdrawal from the Ukraine and Syrian fronts on the terms demanded by Washington.” I don’t buy this. While I have certainly made it clear that I don’t consider the kremlins to be geniuses, I don’t think they’re that stupid either. Moreover, the personal relationship between Medvedev and Kudrin is toxic, so it’s hard to see both of them on the same team let alone coordinating such a scheme.

It is also near certain that longtime warhorse Sergey Lavrov is leaving his post as Foreign Minister. He is not in Putin’s “inner circle” and this should be viewed as a conventional retirement of a bureaucrat. There are rumors in the Russian press that he is slated to be replaced by Anton Vaino, the little-known Chief of State of the Presidential Administration. Since Vaino is even less qualified to lead the Foreign Ministry than he is for his current position, hopefully this will not be the case.

The main challenge, apart from foreign policy and mounting Western sanctions, is the political transition after Putin. In particular, it’s worth seeing if Dyumin – the eternal “dark horse” successor candidate to Putin – gets promoted from his Tula governorship, because the window for building him up as the successor will otherwise start closing. Putin might be greatly popular now, but Crimea is going to start wearing off sooner rather later – I have observed it has already been doing so amongst the cognitive elites (e.g. the forums of MIPT alumni), and it’s only a matter of time before it spreads to the rest of society. So quietly sitting on his laurels, as Putin has been doing for most of the past year and counting, is not a viable option.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Russia, Vladimir Putin 
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  1. Mitleser says:

    The one thing about the inauguration I liked.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  2. 5371 says:

    [it has already been doing so amongst the cognitive elites ... and it’s only a matter of time before it spreads to the rest of society]

    I suppose the “and” here is a way of writing “therefore” without quite daring to. Anyway, whatever “it” is, this is an irrational belief system rather than an observation or a judgement based on facts.

  3. Medvedev staying on as prime minister is something I don’t understand. The way I see it, his main accomplishment was not appearing threatening to Putin while holding a nominally higher position.

    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
    , @Dmitry
  4. A bit off topic, but the Israeli government is threatening to kill Bashar Assad again:

    Nice people! Putin will be welcoming Netanyahoo for a Victroy Day parade in Moscow on May 9th.

    • Replies: @Greasy William
  5. OT

    Here’s the first foreign policy challenge:

    https://m.jpost.com/Breaking-News/Israeli-minister-threatens-Assad-over-any-Iranian-attacks-from-Syria-553669

    The Israelis keep attacking Iranian forces in Syria, but any retaliation is seen by them as a red line. I think it’s getting clear that the uneasy coexistence with Israel in Syrian airspace is getting increasingly difficult to maintain. Israeli warplanes need to be shot down. Several S-300 batteries need to be delivered to Syria (with Russian crews).

    • Replies: @utu
  6. @reiner Tor

    That’s not his only accomplishment: Medvedev has continued to be non-threatening to Putin in his new capacity as a prime-minister of Russia. The entire government is full of “non-threatening” people, because Putin is that insecure.

    Here’s the first foreign policy challenge:

    https://m.jpost.com/Breaking-News/Israeli-minister-threatens-Assad-over-any-Iranian-attacks-from-Syria-553669

    heh

    Israeli warplanes need to be shot down. Several S-300 batteries need to be delivered to Syria (with Russian crews).

    We’re talking about a man who lets Ukrainian artillery pound Donetsk every day. That’s probably isn’t going to happen.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  7. @Mitleser

    It’s good if it can be sold in numbers. Perhaps even exported. Otherwise it’s an expensive and unnecessary prestige project. Designed by the Germans…

    • Replies: @Mitleser
  8. @Felix Keverich

    Stop with this shit. Israel isn’t going to harm Assad and all these statements are being coordinated with Putin.

    If you want to be mad at somebody, be mad at your own President.

    Anatoly: Did you see that Mueller’s case against the 13 “Russian hackers” looks like it is going to get tossed? The presiding judge made a big ruling against him on Friday.

    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
  9. @Greasy William

    Why are the ministers in Israeli government talking about killing Assad every other week? I can guarantee you that these macabre threats weren’t pre-approved by Putin. Putin was deeply disturbed at the way Gaddafi was murdered.

    • Replies: @Greasy William
  10. @Felix Keverich

    The entire government is full of “non-threatening” people

    This is jolly and good until Putin dies or retires. Not having any formidable subordinates is an illness of all leaders with too much power for too long. Orbán is increasingly having a similar situation.

    Regarding the lack of resolve, against Israel or anyone else, I agree.

  11. @Felix Keverich

    Why are the ministers in Israeli government are talking about killing Assad every other week?

    They are doing it to raise their own profiles. Do you hear Lieberman, Eshkionot or Bibi saying anything about killing Assad? Those are the only opinions that matter. The rest is just clownish ministers blowing off steam, as has undoubtedly been explained to Putin by the aforementioned 3.

    Don’t get me wrong, Assad has become so symbolic to the Resistance Axis that I fully support killing him, his hot ass wife and his kids. But certainly not now and what I want doesn’t matter anyway as I have limited influence with the Israeli government. We might even have to wait for King Mosiach before we kill Assad.

    If Israel really wanted Assad dead, they had 4 years to do it before Russia stepped in.

    As long as Russia is in Syria, Assad is safe. Worry about something that could actually happen, like a killer asteroid striking the earth.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
    , @Spisarevski
  12. Mitleser says:
    @reiner Tor

    Is importing cars from Germany preferable?

    That is supposed to be a whole new brand named Aurus and available for civilian market next year, with full lineup being presented at Moscow Car Show latter this year.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  13. @Mitleser

    As I wrote, my opinion was conditional on it being commercially viable. If yes, then it’s good. If not, then it’s just an expensive prestige project.

  14. Jon0815 says:

    It is pretty clear that Medvedev will stay on as PM. There have been rumors spread by someone in The Financial Times that Kudrin is being considered for a high position – maybe even a newly created Vice Presidential one, according to John Helmer. As the latter argues, this would in effect translate to the capitulation option, i.e. “a policy of withdrawal from the Ukraine and Syrian fronts on the terms demanded by Washington.” I don’t buy this. While I have certainly made it clear that I don’t consider the kremlins to be geniuses, I don’t think they’re that stupid either.

    Though it’s telling that no one seems willing to confidently rule out Putin doing this. He did talk about the importance of getting Russia’s GDP growth rate back to the global average or above, and how towards that end he planned major privatization reforms after the election. If he’s decided that Kudrin is the best person to carry out that effort, and Kudrin has told him he won’t accept the job without wide authority to negotiate with the West, I can see something like this crazy VP scheme happening.

    However, such a capitulation at this time, after Russia has already weathered the worst of the West’s response, would be so nonsensical, that it would indicate senility and justify a coup (so maybe nationalists should hope that it happens). In the many past instances where Putin has shown weakness, it was usually possible to make some at least semi-plausible argument that he had chosen the least bad option (though not regarding his failure to remove Ukrainian forces from artillery range of Donetsk, there is no excuse for that). And in the case of Russian inaction in response to the US attacks on Syria, I think criticism of Putin is unfair: It’s clear that without the Russian presence and warnings of potential military retaliation, the attacks would have been far more serious than the very limited and largely symbolic affair that they were.

    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
  15. A22 says:

    From my readings about the project it is not limited to the limo itself. A sedan and a mini van are also included. But most importantly, three internal combustion engines were developed for the project also: an inline 4, a V8 and a V12. The V8 is designed with the help of Porsche while the other two are Russian designs.You could see the benefit for automotive industry in the country.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  16. The flag could not be raised. Russian liberals find newly discovered respect for the flag.

  17. Beckow says:

    capitulation vs. increased autarky

    It is neither that dire nor that clear-cut. Instead of that dichotomy the current compromise-driven status quo might continue. Russia has too many economic partners to be forced into autarky (China, Asia in general, Germany,…). And compromising in contentious situations (Ukraine, Syria) is hardly a capitulation, although with Ukraine it could come pretty close. I think there are two salient points:

    - who has time on their side
    - all analogies are false, this is a new situation with a unique dynamic

    Time seems to be on Russia’s side: resources + nukes + newly loyal population. West is increasingly wobbly: they cannot fight wars since casualties are not allowed. West has a real debt problem with most assets double counted by creditors and debtors, how much higher can that go? West is also internally divided by insane open-borders policies and cultural absurdism. Lashing out at Russia for causing it is a sign of desperation (and incredible stupidity).

    The second point is that none of this will play out based on past analogies: this is not WWII, this is not Soviet Union, and it definitely is not the Roman Empire. It will be fun to watch, I hope we get few overtimes, maybe Putin could become a PM again. It would be worth it to see the hysteria…

    And I hope Lavrov stays…

  18. Dmitry says:
    @Greasy William

    They are saying it as a threat to Iran.

    Iran is threatening to retaliate for two airstrikes in the last month on Iranian forces in Syria.

    So in return Israel says they will do some things to hurt Iran (one of which would be killing Assad).

    Assad itself has become more of a figurehead used between conflicting powers since 2011, so it’s not clear exactly how large this threat is.

  19. Dmitry says:
    @reiner Tor

    He’s not so bad, as he has some ideas in the right direction (i.e. business friendly ideas).

    But he lacks some personal skills or rapport with ordinary (non-rich) people, and makes certain stupid comments when the economy was in recession.

    In terms of height, he also not making Putin look bad standing next to him.

  20. Mitleser says:
    @Beckow

    newly loyal population

    Not as loyal as they look like.

  21. Dmitry says:
    @Beckow

    I hope we get few overtimes, maybe Putin could become a PM again. It would be worth it to see the hysteria…

    You mean in 2024.

    I could imagine that is what happens – he becomes Prime Minister (if instead of changing the constitution again, which will look awkward).

    And then the question would be who will be President. The easier or safer choice is Medvedev, but before then he needs to recover his reputation a little.

    • Replies: @Beckow
  22. Mitleser says:

    Change?

    What change?

    • Replies: @Spisarevski
  23. @Mitleser

    It’s all so tiresome..

    • Replies: @Greasy William
  24. Dmitry says:

    Aside from the déjà vu in watching this – the speech is a little more adequate and mentions a couple of times stuff about technology and infrastructure which wasn’t part of last time’s speech.

  25. @Jon0815

    Though it’s telling that no one seems willing to confidently rule out Putin doing this.

    We’re all doing Kremlinology here: trying to predict future Putin’s behavior based on rumors, hearsay and the past Putin behavior.

    In the many past instances where Putin has shown weakness, it was usually possible to make some at least semi-plausible argument that he had chosen the least bad option

    I propose a simple rule of thumb: when asessing probability of a certain action by the regime, we should always ask, is this action going to strengthen or weaken the regime’s chances of survival in the short-run (Kremlin thinkers cannot plan more than a few steps ahead)

    Starting WW3 with US in Syria obviously reduces the regime’s chances of survival, which is why Putin won’t go there. On the other hand, taking Crimea helped the regime distract Russian public from the loss of the Ukraine (and economic problems at home), which is why Putin did it. Putin didn’t feel the need to go any futher in the Ukraine, as it would increase the risks for regime, and because propaganda effect from Crimea proved sufficient.

    Ending confrontation with the West (via total capitulation) would be a suicidal move for Putin, as it would deprive the regime of its raison d’etre. If the goal for Russia is integration with the West, it will be much easier to accomplish without Putin. He would find himself in the position of Miloshevic in no time. Which is why we think capitulation is unlikely. But as usual one can never be 100% certain while doing Kremlinology.

    • Replies: @Philip Owen
    , @Dmitry
  26. Jon0815 says:

    I propose a simple rule of thumb: when asessing probability of a certain action by the regime, we should always ask, is this action going to strengthen or weaken the regime’s chances of survival in the short-run (Kremlin thinkers cannot plan more than a few steps ahead)

    An exception to this rule might be Putin’s decision to intervene directly in Syria.

    Assad being overthrown and Russia losing its naval semi-base in Tartus, would have been mildly embarrassing, but trivial compared to the previous loss of influence in Ukraine, and would not have posed much of a threat to the regime. Most Russians didn’t care about Syria. Virtually nobody, probably including Putin himself, expected the intervention to be nearly as successful as it turned out to be. And there were multiple ways it could have gone terribly wrong (and theoretically still could) in a manner that seriously threatened the regime. It seems like there was a lot more potential downside than upside.

    I wonder if Putin might simply have been goaded into intervention by Obama’s taunts about Russia being only a “regional power” etc., similar to how Trump was allegedly goaded into running for president by Obama mocking him at the WHCD.

    If so, that would it make all the more bizarre, if just a few years later Putin decided to essentially surrender to the West, after having achieved success in Syria. But some people who are well-informed about Russian politics seem to think that Putin is actually giving this Kudrin scheme serious consideration.

  27. @Felix Keverich

    Yes. Since he despatched Kasyanov in a soft coup in 2004, Putin’s strategy has been a false confrontation with the world – Goering style – to build very strong nationalism short of Mussolini but well ahead of De Gaulle (I used to compare him with De Gaulle but DG recognized his limits in Algeria without great damage to France). Putin’s economy was lifted by oil. His positive contribution has been better law and anti-corruption efforts. On foreign and defence matters he’s been a disaster.

  28. @Jon0815

    Without Tartus, Sebastapol is pointless. The Turks can close the Bosporous at any time. Even with Tartus, Russia still needs to be (is being) very, very nice to Morocco to get a base on the Atlantic. The blowback from Syria is that, although Assad is still there, the Turks now control Idlib, within artillery range of Tartus. In a provocation against NATO, Tartus would be very vulnerable. Not much gain for increasingly large and stupid political and economic losses. On the plus side, the humiliation of the cruise missile overflights last month gives Putin some leverage against the Stavka when cutting their budgets in accordance with co-President Kudrin, if appointed. Gref to come back too or is he already in a critical role at Sberbank?

  29. @Jon0815

    It appears that the decision to intervene in Syria was based on a miscalculation. The Kremlin approached Syria purely as a terrorism problem, while overlooking great power conflict around it. Think about it: Russian plane was shot down by Turkey while bombing Turkish-backed rebels near the Turkish border and Putin called it “a stab in the back”. WTF? He expected Erdogan to be happy at the destruction of his Syria proxies, or what? Why was the Russian bomber operating near Turkish border without fighter escort?

    It appears they simply neglected to think how Turkey would react to Russian intervention in Syria. They certainly didn’t expect to find themselves in a conflict with Israel. They had this idea that they could form an anti-ISIS coalition with Western countries, thus bringing Russia out of relative isolation following events in the Ukraine. I know it’s hard to believe that somebody can be so naive and stupid, but this was the narrative I heard in pro-Kremlin media, so it must have been their thinking at the time.

    • Replies: @5371
    , @Dmitry
    , @utu
  30. They had this idea that they could form an anti-ISIS coalition with Western countries

    They did. US and Russia worked together to stamp out ISIS.

  31. @Philip Owen

    ^^
    This post should be featured on Karlin’s twitter account as one of the reader’s “hottakes”. It’s hillarious!

    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin
    • Replies: @Mitleser
  32. @Beckow

    Time seems to be on Russia’s side: resources + nukes + newly loyal population. West is increasingly wobbly: they cannot fight wars since casualties are not allowed. West has a real debt problem with most assets double counted by creditors and debtors, how much higher can that go? West is also internally divided by insane open-borders policies and cultural absurdism.

    I must agree with you there. Certainly a case of Fortune favouring the cautious.
    Put it another way: what if Trump had been President of Russia, rather than America. How would that have panned out……

    • Replies: @Beckow
    , @RadicalCenter
  33. Mitleser says:
    @Felix Keverich

    Seconded.

    The naval facility in Tartus was not used much, hardly relevant to the Kremlin.
    Thinking that it was some sort of strategic centerpiece is so wrong that it is amusing.

    • Replies: @Philip Owen
  34. @Philip Owen

    Without Tartus, Sebastapol is pointless. The Turks can close the Bosporous at any time. Even with Tartus, Russia still needs to be (is being) very, very nice to Morocco to get a base on the Atlantic. The blowback from Syria is that, although Assad is still there, the Turks now control Idlib, within artillery range of Tartus.

    Poor old Phil. Still mentally living in the early C20th. Yes the Turks can close the Bosporus, but the Russians can bomb Constantinople from their new-fangled aeroplanes. Kaiser Bill tried being very, very nice to Morocco, but it didn’t work. It didn’t stop U-boats sinking massive amounts of Allied ships in the Med during WWI, though.
    And, shockerooni, Tartus is now within artillery range of Turkish forces in Ad Lib. As Prime Minister Baldwin said, ” The cannon will always get through.” Or was that the Bomber…….
    I am not here to mock the afflicted. You do it so much better yourself.

    • Replies: @Philip Owen
  35. Jon0815 says:

    They had this idea that they could form an anti-ISIS coalition with Western countries, thus bringing Russia out of relative isolation following events in the Ukraine. I know it’s hard to believe that somebody can be so naive and stupid, but this was the narrative I heard in pro-Kremlin media, so it must have been their thinking at the time.

    That doesn’t necessarily mean it was actually their thinking, it might just have been the rationale that they thought would most appeal to the Russian public. If Putin really does make Yeltsin 2.0 his co-president/presumed successor, I’ll believe he really is *that* naive and stupid. Otherwise I do have great difficulty believing it.

  36. Jon0815 says:

    AK said:

    In particular, it’s worth seeing if Dyumin – the eternal “dark horse” successor candidate to Putin – gets promoted from his Tula governorship, because the window for building him up as the successor will otherwise start closing

    The average Russian defense minister has served four years, the record is six years. Shoygu will have held that office for seven years in November 2019. If Putin wants Dyumin to be his successor, he seems like the logical choice to replace Shoygu.

  37. 5371 says:
    @Felix Keverich

    No, it was based on an absolutely correct calculation. Namely, that for Erdy job one would always be stopping the Kurds, not achieving any lasting change in Syria. So Putin promised not to use the Kurds against him from the beginning. And after a brief period of confrontation following the stab in the back, the Turk proved Putin right by pulling in his horns and becoming closer to Russia than ever, especially after the July 14 coup. That’s how Russia was able to win in Syria.

    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
  38. A22 says:

    Will Putin continue his backwards economic model of selling cheap energy to Germany? Not only is it very low added value but it should also be interpreted as helping an adversary growing wealthiereven though they have been slapping sanctions on you for 4 years. Pushing so hard for NS2 is a very bad signal and probably means that nothing will change in the economic sphere for the years to come.

    • Agree: reiner Tor
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    , @RadicalCenter
  39. Beckow says:
    @Dmitry

    You mean in 2024

    Yes, of course. Become a PM again to mess with the masters of the universe, it drives them crazy. If Putin is PM, it doesn’t matter who is the President. Could be Medvedev, or some honourable figure-head.

    Point is that when one is making history, to worry about ‘process’ is silly. Who cares?

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  40. @A22

    And the Germans then behave as if they were doing Putin a favor.

    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
  41. Beckow says:
    @Verymuchalive

    case of Fortune favouring the cautious

    Cautious, or I would say rational. Rationality is not a philosophy, it is what aids in survival. Russia has been the more rational player globally in the last 10-15 years. Fortune favours rationality, usually.

    Trump is constrained by accumulated Western irrational behaviours, and by an out-of-control hubris among Western elites. Gods frown on hubris.

  42. @Beckow

    Putin is tired and old, he’s also weak. It’d have been best if he had already groomed a successor by 2018 and it would have been the successor’s inauguration.

    • Disagree: RadicalCenter
    • Replies: @Dmitry
  43. @5371

    And after a brief period of confrontation following the stab in the back, the Turk proved Putin right by pulling in his horns

    How is this a “stab in the back” when Russia and Turkey have always been on the opposite sides?

    btw, another Russian helicopter crashed in Syria. These crashes happen way too often.

    • Replies: @5371
    , @Mitleser
  44. @A22

    So will it be a luxury car brand with only the most expensive models? Competitors to the Mercedes-Benz S-Class?

    Why is there no English language material available about this new car brand? Is it intended for the domestic Russian market only? Is the Russian market large enough for this?

  45. @reiner Tor

    Not only that, lately they’ve been making a new condition, that transit through the Ukraine must continue. This would defeat the very purpose of NS2.

    Putin is tired and old, he’s also weak. It’d have been best if he had already groomed a successor by 2018 and it would have been the successor’s inauguration.

    I agree. Though conditions in 2014-2018 weren’t ideal to implement a succession.

  46. Dmitry says:
    @Felix Keverich

    At the beginning of the intervention in Syria in September 2015, I remember many analysts saying intervention would improve relations with the West and could increase the chances of lifting sanctions, or at least leverage to do so.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    , @Mitleser
  47. @Dmitry

    What kind of analysts were these? Pro-Kremlin Russian analysts?

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  48. @Mitleser

    It wasn’t used because Russia didn’t have Sebastapol or an active fleet. The point was to upgrade it to justify taking over the Crimea.

    • Replies: @Mitleser
  49. @Verymuchalive

    Does a naval support action in the Med justify starting a war with Turkey, the implication of bombing.

    • Replies: @Verymuchalive
  50. Dmitry says:
    @reiner Tor

    He’s in a stronger position politically than six years ago. He is not particularly old (6 years younger than Trump, who has just began with presidency in America). He seems to be healthy still and has no drinking problem. In terms of interviews – he is quite self-indulgent and often speaking in tangents, but this is another display of power.

    I would predict the next 6 years he should be able to do no problems – the question is about 2024. I’m sure he might become Prime Minister in 2024. In which case Medvedev needs to recover some popularity, if he will take the President position again.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    , @Johnny Rico
  51. Dmitry says:
    @reiner Tor

    Just the standard people talking on television.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  52. @Dmitry

    In Russia? I can’t remember having read such predictions in English or Hungarian.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  53. @Dmitry

    6 years younger than Trump, who has just began with presidency in America

    Trump is not the gold standard among presidents. He’s too old, though admittedly that’s not the biggest issue with him.

  54. 5371 says:
    @Felix Keverich

    As I explained, it was a stab in the back because they discussed the Russian intervention beforehand, Erdy made a strong request not to support the Kurdish schemes and Putin stuck to his promise not to do that.
    Planes will crash occasionally even without coming under fire, random events tend to bunch up more than one would naively expect, otherwise they wouldn’t be random.

  55. Dmitry says:
    @Felix Keverich

    Ending confrontation with the West (via total capitulation) would be a suicidal move for Putin, as it would deprive the regime of its raison d’etre. If the goal for Russia is integration with the West, it will be much easier to accomplish without Putin. He would find himself in the position of Miloshevic in no time. Which is why we think capitulation is unlikely. But as usual one can never be 100% certain while doing Kremlinology.

    I think it’s an accurate comment.

    But not something only specific to Putin, but to the best interest of the country, even regardless of the current kind of government.

    The position of too much hostility with the West is a negative one, and equally a position of no hostility with the West is a negative one.

    The optimal position is a mild hostility or tension with the West, which prevents being integrated or subsumed under the economically dominant powers, but also does not have the costs of actual conflict.

    To be integrated by alien, but dominant, cultures – is not ideal. The ideal angle is an adaptation of aspects of the alien culture from position of independence – something like Japan has aimed for during Meiji Restoration.

  56. Dmitry says:
    @reiner Tor

    The operation originally was discussed (at least unofficially – by analysts) as a move that could improve relations with the West and increase leverage in both the West and the Middle East, and that there would be a lot of gratitude, etc, and that maybe, maybe this could also help as well in the sanctions situation.

    By the way, the not entirely false when it comes to the Middle East, where Putin is worshipped nowadays by local rulers and Arab populations, in the way teenage girls worship to Justin Bieber.

  57. @Dmitry

    that there would be a lot of gratitude, etc, and that maybe, maybe this could also help as well in the sanctions situation.

    And now in the eyes of Western public, Russia is firmly tied to Assad’s “brutality”, including his use of “chemical weapons”. There is talk of sanctioning Russia over its support for the “regime”, and we must contend with periodic Western missile strikes against our ally.

    Hillarious, how it all went!

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  58. Dmitry says:
    @Felix Keverich

    There were probably some inaccuracis in the original ‘cost-benefit analysis’. And now sunk costs have given logic of their own.

    That said, the sunk costs have a long history there.

    Note date of the story (2005):

    http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2005/Jan-26/71201-russia-writes-off-98-billion-of-syrian-debt.ashx

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  59. utu says:
    @Felix Keverich

    It appears that the decision to intervene in Syria was based on a miscalculation. The Kremlin approached Syria purely as a terrorism problem, while overlooking great power conflict around it.

    They did the right thing. Terrorism was used as justification but the goal was to restore the integrity of Syria and derailing the Yinon plan locomotive. They should have done it sooner and should have been more forceful.

    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
  60. utu says:
    @reiner Tor

    Come on, let them bomb Syria. Isn’t it a part of your deep and cunning strategy for Russia?

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  61. Mitleser says:
    @Felix Keverich

    This is the first Ka-52 crash.

  62. Mitleser says:
    @Philip Owen

    Russia had a base in Sevastopol and an active fleet.
    The naval facility in Tartus was old, outdated and just did not matter much.
    That is why the main base in Syria is elsewhere.

  63. Mitleser says:
    @Dmitry

    Kremlin seems to have thought the same, hence they tried to made a deal with the USA until USA & friends bombed the defense forces of DEZ city and nearly caused the fall of the main SAA base in eastern Syria to Daesh.

  64. @utu

    Better than your master plan to start a nuclear war against them.

    • Replies: @utu
  65. @Dmitry

    What I read is that these were corrupt schemes. Usually there was a chance of getting more (sometimes way more) money back, but instead the Russian delegation included businessmen who were intent on doing some business with the local leaders. In exchange for the business the Russian businessmen arranged for the debt to be canceled. The diplomats and officials involved in the writing off of the debt were, of course, richly rewarded. The Russian taxpayers usually got a bad deal, because the profits were private, the benefits to the wider economy dubious, while the Russian government could usually have gotten way more by simply selling the claims to a hedge fund, and even better by negotiating. And very often the debtor governments were not even in default. But the officials in charge were simply not interested in getting the money (or as much of it as possible) back. At least that’s what I read, and it sounds plausible.

    For example they canceled Libyan debt in 2008, when Gaddafi was still alive and well.

    https://www.rt.com/news/russia-writes-off-libyas-debt

    It’s good to see Kudrin was part of such corrupt deals. So that I can reference it when my liberal friends and acquaintances will be fawning over the new democratic reforms of President Kudrin.

  66. @utu

    That’s some silly fantasy you’re having. Kremlin’s goal was to sell out Syria as part of new reset with the West. Now they cannot sell, since the West isn’t buying. Syria has emerged as a dead weight and a sunk cost for the Kremlin. I can almost guarantee Putin wouldn’t have intervened if he knew how that would turn out.

    • Replies: @Mitleser
  67. Mitleser says:
    @Felix Keverich

    More correctly, West is not willing to buy it for an acceptable price.

  68. @Philip Owen

    You’re probably right on that one – though who would have thought that Turkey would be buying Russian defence systems or that Russian-Turkish relations would be the best in many decades.
    It probably would have been better if Yeltsin had given up Tartus in the 1990s . The Russian Government could then have concentrated its efforts on the much more pressing and important matter of Ukraine.

    To return to my early C20th analogy. If Russia had obtained Tartus as a Treaty Port in the late C19th or early C20th, it would have been a very considerable prize. The heavily fortified city – think Port Arthur, which the Japs only captured after great effort- would have had a large army as well as naval detachment. Before WWI, the base could have helped protect the pilgrim traffic to the Holy Land as well as local Christians subject to Ottoman persecution or sectarian massacre.
    During WWI, a Port Arthur on the Med would have been difficult to take, especially as the Royal Navy would help supply it from Cyprus and Egypt. The Japs only captured Port Arthur in 1904 because the Russian Far East Fleet had been destroyed and the City had no hope of resupply. Even then the Russians resisted ferociously. ( The Siege of Port Arthur portended both WWI trench warfare and Stalingrad ) I suspect that for the duration of the War the Turks would enforce a land blockade but not a siege. No doubt Russian forces would have broken out in 1918 and joined up with Allenby.
    All this presupposes no Bolshevik Revolution. I agree with AK that, without it, Russia would have been one of WWI’s victors. It could have obtained the League of Nations mandates for Syria and Armenia. End of Turkish Problem, or, at least, a much more confined one.
    Thank you for your courteous response. There are very few commenters – think Tiny Duck or Greasy William – who deserve mockery. You are definitely not one of them, even if I thought your comment about Sevastopol et al was misconceived.
    Pax vobiscum.

  69. Lol at all the so called Russian Nationalists criticizing the Syria op. Even the western media admits it was a huge success for Putin.

    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
  70. @Greasy William

    How is this a success for Putin? Every time there is an Israeli airstike on Syria, Putin ends up with an egg on his face. You can talk about “secret deals” with Israel all you want, the public at large is unaware of these deals. Putin just looks like a weakling unable to protect his ally.

    We expended billions of dollars and hundreds of good men in Syria to gain what exactly, combat experience? We could have gained it in the Ukraine.

    • Replies: @Greasy William
  71. @Felix Keverich

    Ukraine was a dead end. You need to forget about the Ukraine. It isn’t happening without starting WWIII.

    Putin prevented western backed regime change of an important ally and increased Iran’s dependency on Russia. For the first time since the end of the Cold War, the West respects Russian power.

    Israel has only once directly attacked the Syrian regime; back in February. Putin stopped the Israeli attack in minutes with a single phone call. Sorry that he didn’t launch a nuclear war like you wanted.

  72. @Greasy William

    It isn’t happening without starting WWIII.

    Remarkable convergence. :)

    The people most actively propagating this meme about not falling into the Ukrainian WW3 trap were precisely the Western Russophiles and Starikovs (who however are fine with fighting a nuclear war with Israel over the desert training arena).

    Of course it would not lead to WW3. Just massively greater sanctions, cutting off Swift, anti-Russian info war, and intensified NATO military buildup at Russia’s borders. All of which is happening anyway, if a bit more gradually.

    • Agree: Felix Keverich
    • Replies: @Greasy William
    , @inertial
  73. @Anatoly Karlin

    You’re saying that the US would let Russia conquer the Ukraine? I think they’d allow a nuclear strike on Israel before they’d tolerate a Russian annexation of Ukraine or even Belarus.

    Israel has no real strategic value, whereas Ukraine is crucial to European security.

    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
  74. I support a solution for Russia in the Ukraine, but it can’t be done via force.

    Instead Russia should use a mixture of diplomacy and bribery. The Ukraine can’t be conquered, but it’s corrupt leaders can be bought. The US will relent if Russia can peel off Finland, Poland, Germany and France.

  75. @Greasy William

    You need to forget about the Ukraine.

    We will never forget about the Ukraine! And “Belarus”. These territories rightly belong to us.

    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin
    • Replies: @Greasy William
    , @AP
    , @DFH
  76. Dmitry says:
    @Greasy William

    Ukraine was a dead end.

    It’s higher priority, and there would be an actual potential benefit, along with such costs.

    Donbass is geographically contiguous territory. It contains the potential gain and loss of actual territory and peoples, many Russians. There’s also moral issues involved and people actually care and talk about it (whereas who in real life do you know who even follows events in Syria?).

    I’m not supporting to a more aggressive policy to Ukraine, but there is not a comparison to a part of the Middle East so far none of us has yet visited (I imagine) even on holiday, and will probably 99% of us die in old age without visiting – and which will not contribute to making any us richer, more powerful, having a larger population or territory, etc.

    Aside from killling terrorists, the latter mission could be and was justified due to its minimalness (the mission in Syria was also a good training exercise, and improved status in the Middle East, leading to actual weapons sales, with relatively few costs).

    But in a longer term (from Russian governmental perspective) scenario for Syria in 2020s or 2030s? There’s vague possibility of gas-deals (for offshore gas which has not yet been discovered and doesn’t necessarily exist) and military contracts, a navy repair point, and the lease of an airfield. Maybe Prigozhin will make some money.

    In terms of overall costs, though, actually it is the EU which is most negatively impacted by the War in Syria, as it is the EU countries which were flooded millions of Syrian refugees, and which are probably going to have its own Syrian population now for eternity.

  77. @Felix Keverich

    We will never forget about the Ukraine! And “Belarus”. These territories rightly belong to us.

    Fine with me. But how do you plan on getting them without war with the US?

    • Replies: @Jon0815
    , @RadicalCenter
  78. @Greasy William

    I support a solution for Russia in the Ukraine, but it can’t be done via force.

    Instead Russia should use a mixture of diplomacy and bribery

    What Russia should do is always do the opposite of what the jews like you say.

  79. Dmitry says:

    at all the so called Russian Nationalists criticizing the Syria op.

    I am not a nationalist, but rather quite liberal. Neither I would write in favour of further intervention in Ukraine.

    The point is to take a step back and explain to me what are the potential benefits and how is this ‘cashed in the bank’.

  80. Jon0815 says:
    @Greasy William

    Fine with me. But how do you plan on getting them without war with the US?

    The chances of the USA going to war with Russia over Ukraine or Belarus are literally zero.

    Even the neocon lunatics who advocate attacking Russian forces in Syria, have never supported military intervention in Ukraine. The USA only fights wars of choice when it has an overwhelming military advantage, which it would not have in a war fought on Russia’s border.

    • Replies: @Greasy William
  81. @Greasy William

    Don’t get me wrong, Assad has become so symbolic to the Resistance Axis that I fully support killing him, his hot ass wife and his kids

    Nobody doubts that, you greasy semitic psychopath.

    You know, as much as I hate you people, I have never fantasized about killing jewish kids, or any kids in general. You “people” however have no limits in your depravity. I guess one cannot expect any less from the followers of Saturn and Moloch.

    As long as Russia is in Syria, Assad is safe. Worry about something that could actually happen, like a killer asteroid striking the earth.

    Why worry? Maybe we’ll be lucky and it will hit Israel or Yellowstone.

    • Replies: @Greasy William
  82. @Spisarevski

    I have never fantasized about killing jewish kids, or any kids in general.

    1. We do a lot more than just “fantasize” about it.

    2. They kill one of our kids, we kill 100 of theirs. Judaism isn’t Christianity. But if it upsets you so much, tell your Syrians to pay reparations to the Syrian Jews and all the Jewish victims of terrorist attacks that they have supported, and we may yet allow some of them to live.

    I guess one cannot expect any less from the followers of Saturn and Moloch.

    Saturn?

    • Replies: @German_reader
  83. @Jon0815

    Yeah maybe. I dunno. At the very least Russia would have to deal with a Western backed insurgency and a complete cut off from the western world and have a new Cold War.

    Syria was a much safer choice and was more important for Russian security.

  84. @Greasy William

    Saturn?

    Saturn supposedly ate children (his own):

    Maybe it’s Spisarevski’s way of referring to the blood libel?
    In any case, an interesting allusion to classical mythology.

  85. AP says:
    @Felix Keverich

    We will never forget about the Ukraine! And “Belarus”. These territories rightly belong to us.

    Says someone with a proven track record of knowing nothing about them :-)

    You have already lost Ukraine, with the consolation prize of Crimea (though getting Crimea came first and contributed to the loss of Ukraine). Donbas is yours for the taking, if you are willing to pay for it.

    Belarus has 50/50 odds of being lost to your side, too. It is maybe as Donbas was, before Kiev bombed it into Russia’s arms, but drifting towards the West.

    Belarusians are starting to come in Poland in large numbers. When these people come to Western Europe, they see the problems (migrants, extreme progressivism) and want to avoid them even more at home. It is an advertisement against the West.

    But when they come to Poland they see a model.

  86. @reiner Tor

    Weak, why are they doing this? They can’t really believe there’s a way to accommodate the Americans on this issue.
    The Iranian public seems to be in favour of a hard reaction:

    https://lobelog.com/new-iran-polling-data-provides-vital-background-for-trumps-pending-announcement/

    • Replies: @Mitleser
    , @Dmitry
  87. Mitleser says:
    @Greasy William

    Instead Russia should use a mixture of diplomacy and bribery.

    That was tried. It failed.
    Russophobes Ukrainians have no respect for Russian diplomacy and prefer Western bribes.

    • Replies: @Greasy William
  88. Mitleser says:
    @German_reader

    The next SPIEF is in a few weeks.
    Macroni will be one of the guests.

  89. @Dmitry

    “He seems to be healthy still and has no drinking problem.”

    You have to love the high standards Russians set for their Presidents. Kidding. I hear ya.

    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
  90. @Mitleser

    In the long run it can work, and Syria can be part of it.

    It needs to be kept in mind that the US public is becoming increasingly amicable to rapprochement with Russia and Europe is realizing that the US is abandoning them so they also need a deal with Russia.

    The US is 100% dependent on a deal with Russia in Syria to ensure that Syria doesn’t just become an Iranian base/client.

    Now Putin just needs to sell off the SOE’s to juice economic growth and innovation while causing the Western business community to demand the sanctions be dropped. More growth means bigger bribes can be offered to Ukraine and Ukraine will want tighter integration with Russia because their own (Ukraine’s) economy is such a wreck. If there is more growth in Russia, then Putin can sell the Russian public on returning Crimea to Ukraine in exchange for bringing Ukraine back into the Russian camp. This way everybody gets what they want.

    The people of the West want peace, but Putin needs to help us help him.

    re Iran: I’m just as disappointed as you guys are with how the US and Russia are handling it, but I do think it is worth keeping an open mind. Trump ended up getting a good deal with N Korea so Iran may end up working out.

  91. DFH says:
    @Felix Keverich

    If they belong to anyone else, they belong to Poland

    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
  92. @Greasy William

    Now Putin just needs to sell off the SOE’s to juice economic growth and innovation while causing the Western business community to demand the sanctions be dropped. More growth means bigger bribes can be offered to Ukraine and Ukraine will want tighter integration with Russia

    Yes, Russia, listen to this guy, he sounds like he has your best interests in mind.

    Sell all the remaining state enterprises (repeating the 90s is the way to prosperity, democracy and the western “partners” approval) so that there are enough money to send to Ukraine (!!!) in the hope that this will buy you some love from them.

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
  93. @DFH

    Polish people were saved from Nazi genocide and given a homeland by Joseph Stalin. That’s more than they deserved to be honest.

    • Replies: @iffen
  94. Dmitry says:
    @German_reader

    Weak, why are they doing this? They can’t really believe there’s a way to accommodate the Americans on this issue.

    It will annoying on a personal level for Putin, as he spent a lot of his own personal time to help build and write the original agreement with the Americans and the EU in 2015.

    However, the interests of those countries on nuclear proliferation are all the same – it’s an area even where they are unusually less conflicted with each other in the meetings.

    • Replies: @German_reader
  95. Yes, Russia, listen to this guy, he sounds like he has your best interests in mind.

    I’m glad you agree. When Putin appoints me Finance Minister I will be expecting your support.

    I’m a Jewish American and both America and Israel need a strong and prosperous Russia. An isolated and stagnating Russia, on the other hand, plays into the hands of the Resistance Axis.

    Sell all the remaining state enterprises (repeating the 90s is the way to prosperity, democracy and the western “partners” approval)

    It doesn’t have to be a 90s redux. I’m looking at how Czechia did it as a model.

    Here is my proposal:

    1. Ideally all the SOE’s are sold off but I can’t see Russia agreeing to sell it’s weapons industries, even though it should. I will generously allow Russia to keep the weapons sector state owned (for the time being), in exchange immediate privatization of all the other SOEs, particularly the energy sector.

    2. 100% of the proceeds of the sales will be distributed directly to the Russian public via tax refunds. Should add up to 1000 USD per Russian.

    3. The energy sector will pay an indemnity of 1% of all revenues (not profits) a year directly to the Russian public in perpetuity. Should be about 100 USD per Russian. Probably more as the privately owned sector would produce a lot more.

    4. The auctions will be open to companies from all over the world, not just Russian citizens as was done in the 90s. This is crucial because it will bring in hundreds of billions of dollars of foreign investment and foreign technology while also breaking the back of the sanctions by making them politically nonviable for the West (American can’t sanction Russia if it’s going to devastate Exxon).

    5. The goal is to triple GDP per capita while tying the Western economy to the Russian one. Without firing a shot, these two things together will give Russia an entirely free hand in the Russian near abroad while making Russia into the undisputed 2nd strongest global power.

    win-win-win

    so that there are enough money to send to Ukraine

    It’s not about the Ukraine, it’s about creating the conditions where Russian industry can compete with Western industry. However, it just so happens that doing so will provide the money to out bribe the West while also increasing Ukrainian desire to join their economy to Russia’s.

    in the hope that this will buy you some love from them

    What’s the alternative? Conquer the Ukraine by force and be stuck with an endless insurgency and a new Cold War with the West?

    But Russia doesn’t need Ukraine to love Russia. It only needs Ukraine to need Russia.

  96. Sean says:

    https://oilprice.com/Energy/Crude-Oil/Trump-Tears-Up-The-Iran-Deal.html

    Prices soar. Trump’s congratulatory gift to Putin. And a little something for the Saudis, who hate Qatar and its share of the world’s largest giant natural gas field that the Iranians have also part of. The price of Qatar’s energy will go up, so they will not be too unhappy with Iran’s facilities being wrecked. Long term moderately high cost energy for the foreseeable future, thereby giving Putin’s Russia the wherewithal to continue diverging from the West.

    The main challenge, apart from foreign policy and mounting Western sanctions, is the political transition after Putin. In particular, it’s worth seeing if Dyumin – the eternal “dark horse” successor candidate to Putin – gets promoted from his Tula governorship, because the window for building him up as the successor will otherwise start closing. Putin might be greatly popular now, but Crimea is going to start wearing off sooner rather later – I have observed it has already been doing so amongst the cognitive elites (e.g. the forums of MIPT alumni), and it’s only a matter of time before it spreads to the rest of society. So quietly sitting on his laurels, as Putin has been doing for most of the past year and counting, is not a viable option.

    Not so much a transition as scorched earth against his own successors: a doubling down on the deliberately antagonistic policy that I think Putin is set on making sure continues long after he is gone. The method is by, ahem, poisoning relations with the West alienating them from Russia for a generation,. It doesn’t matter what Putin’s successor does, the West will remember being repeatedly being burned. I expect more subtle provocations by Putin, who will walk the West into doing things that Russia can seem to be reacting to.

  97. @Dmitry

    However, the interests of those countries on nuclear proliferation are all the same – it’s an area even where they are unusually less conflicted with each other in the meetings

    Obviously the interests aren’t the same, since the Americans just chose to torpedo a non-proliferation agreement that all the other participants agree is working, just to please their Israeli and Saudi-Arabian clients over issues that don’t have anything to do with the nuke issue.
    If American governments now don’t feel bound anymore by agreements signed by previous US governments, who in his right mind should trust the US? It’s clearly an unreliable and irresponsible actor with a dysfunctional political culture.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  98. @Spisarevski

    The Jew is correct on money matters.

    The SOEs are much less effective than privately owned enterprises – one need to just compare Lukoil (which has plenty of its own cockroaches) to the endless money pit that is Rosneft.

    Off the top of my head I can only think of one major enterprise that is well managed by the stste: Rosatom.

    Main challenge and priority is to insulate politics from the much greater private wealth, which will by necessity lean Atlanticist (so on long as the US remains the premier superpower, anyway). Far from a minor one, admittedly.

    • Replies: @Mitleser
    , @Sean
    , @Philip Owen
  99. Dmitry says:
    @German_reader

    The P5+1 – (China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, United States—plus Germany) all want a nuclear non-proliferation to Iran, and then containment or control over Iran in some other areas. This is why they are unusually friendly and non-conflicted in these meetings.

    So, there is an overlapping interest (perhaps ‘same’ is not the refined way to write it).

    The interesting issue is to look at the economic losses the new move creates, or ‘winners and losers’.

    The first loser is France and to the French business community, with Total and Airbus deals inside Iran (of many tens of billions of dollars).

    Overall, the EU will lose the most in the immediate situation.

    In terms of Russia, the large military sales to Iran will not be under-threat, as there is no re-imposition of UN sanctions multilateral, but rather of US sanctions which is unilateral.

    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
  100. More bombing of Syria. Pray for regional war.

    Israel v Hezbollah/Iran/Syria/Jordan/Iraq/Turkey/Egypt. Let’s do this!

    • Replies: @utu
  101. inertial says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    The difference between Ukraine and Syria is that — as we’ve been told a million times — Russia is in Syria at the invitation of the legitimate, internationally recognized government. These legal niceties may not matter to you; and it certainly doesn’t matter to US/Europe; but it matters to Putin. Most likely because it matters to China. Seriously, have you ever thought about how China would react to Russian invasion of Ukraine?

    The only legal way Russia could intervene in Ukraine was by giving support to the legitimately elected President Viktor Yanukovich. But the downside of this plan was that you’d be giving support to Viktor Yanukovich. So Putin passed.

    At any rate, Greasy is right. This problem can only be solved through peaceful means. Any violence will eventually come back and bite you in the ass.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
  102. Mitleser says:
    @Sean

    a doubling down on the deliberately antagonistic policy

    If only, if only this was true.

    Instead there will be more Dmitry “Reset” Medvedev.

    ;_;

    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
  103. Mitleser says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    The SOEs are much less effective than privately owned enterprises – one need to just compare Lukoil (which has plenty of its own cockroaches) to the endless money pit that is Rosneft.

    Rosneft pays more than twice as many taxes as Lukoil.

    В топ-10 рейтинга вошли семь компаний ТЭК. Абсолютным лидером стала «Роснефть» (1,36 трлн руб.), на втором месте «Газпром» (1,17 трлн руб.). Замыкает тройку с двукратным отставанием ЛУКОЙЛ (565 млрд руб.). В десятку крупнейших налогоплательщиков также попали по одной компании из таких отраслей, как финансы, транспорт и энергетика.

    Подробнее на РБК:

    https://www.rbc.ru/economics/15/08/2017/598dada59a7947c1dc4133ad?from=main

  104. Sean says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    The private wealth is being driven back to Russia by the sanctions. There, it is not secure from the government, and the oligarchs come with it, and submit to the government or lose everything. If the City Of London do business with Russians in dollars they come under the hand of the US. All these oligarchs are losing their most prestigious British advisers, who are in fear the long arm of America. Right at the begining of the Skirpal case a Russian emigre writer said Putin had did it to provoke sanctions and frighten Russian capital fight money back where he can control it, which is obviously where he wants it. Putin is going to use the West’s sanctions to burn out the oligarch’s foreign connections, offshore accounts, and bolt hole foreign residences for a rainy day.

  105. @A22

    Russia should stop any below-market-price sales of energy supplies to Germany and any other European country that is slandering and threatening Russia and aiding in the US sanctions.

    Let the Muslims, I mean Germans, freeze or pay more for another energy source until they come around.

  106. @Verymuchalive

    “Newly loyal population” is great, but the number of actual Russians in that population is still stagnant at best. It appears that Muslims in Russia have a higher total fertility rate than non-Muslims, which cannot bode well even in the medium term.

  107. @Dmitry

    “In the way LINDSEY GRAHAM worships Justin Bieber.” Fixed it for you.

  108. @Greasy William

    At the rate the Ukrainian population is declining, there won’t be many people to conquer in the former Ukraine within 25 years.

    Since 1991, the population of the Ukraine has declined every year without exception, often by more than 200,000 people and sometimes by more than 300,000 people in a single year.

    Population of Ukraine in past ten years
    2007 – 46.6 million
    2008 – 46.3 million
    2009 – 46.1 million
    2010 – 45.9 million
    2011 – 45.8 million
    2012 – 45.6 million
    2013 – 45.5 million
    2014 – 43.3 million (Crimea returned to Russia)
    2015 – 42.8 million
    2016 – 42.6 million
    2017 – 42.3 million

    Given that Ukrainians had an estimated total fertility rate of 1.37 in 2017, and haven’t had a TFR above 1.56 in the past quarter century, they are probably toast as a nation able to defend its territory and maintain its culture. Not sure Russia will avoid population decline, either, but we will see. Ukraine’s fate is almost sealed. If it’s not Russia scooping up an aged, destitute, rapidly declining Ukraine, it will be Muslims or China or even Turkey, ultimately.

    Russia need only maintain its own population — especially its ethnic Russian non-Muslim population — to have an increasing ground-force / mobilization advantage over its generally dwindling eastern European neighbors.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
    , @Dmitry
    , @AP
    , @AP
  109. @Greasy William

    Russia can wait for the US to collapse into riots based on increasing racial tension, multi-cultural incompatibility, and widespread poverty, drug addiction, underemployment, sloth, and hopelessness.

    Or, if not collapse, the US will simply become unable to project force far abroad because our military — active and National Guard — will be needed at home in massive numbers just to keep civil peace.

    That could also be the time for China to finally make its move for Taiwan more aggressively. And perhaps Australia and New Zealand, in time, as the Chinese population Down Under grows steadily (albeit from a low base) and the Australian military is a joke.

    • Replies: @Greasy William
  110. @Johnny Rico

    Given Reagan’s obvious senility, Clinton’s distraction with philandering and possible drug use, Obama’s simply mediocre intellect and ignorance, and Trump’s about-faces and reckless comments, I’m not sure that we Americans are in a position to claim high presidential standards recently.

    • Replies: @Philip Owen
  111. @Greasy William

    It would be asininely stupid for Russia to give back Crimea. The US will eventually have a naval base, ground forces, and missile launchers there if Russia is foolish enough to relinquish it, no matter what the Ukraine or the US may promise.

    I don’t trust my government (US) for a second, and Russia shouldn’t either.

  112. @Greasy William

    Let’s hope. But there’s no Korean deal yet.

    Moreover, I wonder what people expect Kim to do: stand down his armed forces, give up nuke capability, and wait to be assassinated, invaded, or outside-engineered “color-revolution” regime-changed? He’s a sick son of a bitch, but how can he possibly trust the US government?

  113. @RadicalCenter

    Yeah I agree. That’s what I’ve been advocating. Time is on Russia’s side so why are people demanding that Russia take rash actions? Better to play the long game.

    As for Crimea, if Russia doesn’t give it back to Ukraine I don’t know if Ukraine will be willing to normalize relations. Certainly Russia would prefer a friendly Ukraine to holding on to Crimea.

    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
  114. @Greasy William

    You seem right to assume that a friendly Ukraine is important to Russia and worth paying something for if possible.

    But giving up Crimea, again, would ensure that US forces rush in to fill the void and further encircle and threaten Russia. Far too high a price for sensible Russians to consider it as a viable option.

    • Replies: @Philip Owen
  115. @Sean

    “The West” doesn’t seem to need any provocations to lie about Russia daily, sanction Russia, move troops right up to Russia’s borders (nowhere near the USA) constantly for exercises, and then act surprised Russians are offended, angered, and worried.

  116. @Dmitry

    Why does anyone care what Islamic shithole France, Islamic shithole Germany, or Islamic shithole formerly-great formerly-Britain think about anything?

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  117. @Mitleser

    From what I’m learning about Medvedev, it sounds like perhaps Putin should not have kept Medvedev on as Prime Minister again. Even if Putin intends to possibly run for PM in 2024 when he’s term-limited out of the presidency, he could start grooming a nationalist successor by putting him in the PM spot. Who should that be? Russians?

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  118. @Anatoly Karlin

    Despite corruption, Russian Railways is well run at the operational level and state owned. At the strategic level it’s is not so well run. The reversals over Chinese investment illustrate the problem.

  119. @RadicalCenter

    Give back Crimea but not Sebastopol.

    • Replies: @Mitleser
  120. Dmitry says:
    @RadicalCenter

    This is the scary picture which could be portrayed.

    On another hand, falling population could contribute, or at least be accompanied with, increasing significantly in GDP per capita.

    This is what is happening in countries like Lithuania and Latvia – who (even before joining the EU) had an ‘economic miracle’ accompanied by ‘demographic collapse’.

    I would actually hope for Ukraine above all an increase in GDP per capita, because the current low level is not sustainable for a society.

  121. Dmitry says:
    @RadicalCenter

    Because they are the permanent members of the UN Security Council.

    Germany was added because it is the key trading partner of Iran.

    Actually on Wikipedia, there is an explanation of German’s role:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P5%2B1

    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
  122. Dmitry says:
    @RadicalCenter

    Ukrainians had an estimated total fertility rate of 1.37 in 2017, and haven’t had a TFR above 1.56

    I think it might be 1,38 for the year,

    Although it had been lower eighteen years ago – falling to 1,07 in Ukraine.

    There will likely be a continue in the decline over the next several years as an echo effect of the 1990s. This is an echo of lower birth numbers in past decades.

    I don’t know exactly for Ukraine.

    But in Russia, average age for a woman of having their first child was recently 27 years old (it may have increased now to 28).

    In other words, women born in 1990, have already reached the average age for having the first child.

    Yet in Russia, from 1987 to 1990, there was a decrease in total fertility rate from 2,2 to 1,87 (which decline continued, eventually falling to 1,20 by 2000).

    So the echo of the 1990s effect is starting to impact now, as there are less women now reaching the average childbirthing age.

    Similarly, the total fertility rate had increased in Russia earlier, due to women who had delayed their childbirth decisions in the 1990s – and possible due to an echo of the larger cohort of the early 1980s

  123. Dmitry says:
    @RadicalCenter

    Strangely Medvedev managed to stay somewhat popular in 2008-2012.

    It seems really in the last few years he has become much more unpopular – maybe Navalny’s campaign against him has worked, and also his lack of personal skills and popular rapport has shown during the economic recession.

    At least on the internet, everyone hates Medvedev nowadays.

  124. AP says:
    @RadicalCenter

    Given that Ukrainians had an estimated total fertility rate of 1.37 in 2017, and haven’t had a TFR above 1.56 in the past quarter century, they are probably toast as a nation able to defend its territory and maintain its culture

    Because the decline is strongest in the more Russified East (western Ukraine’s TFR is a reasonably low one, not a catastrophically low one) cultural maintenance is more assured. It may surprise you that some nationalists are not displeased by the low average TFR for this reason. TFR is close to 2.0 in 3 western Ukrainian provinces, regions that are 99% or so native.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
    , @RadicalCenter
  125. utu says:
    @Greasy William

    More bombing of Syria. Pray for regional war.

    Israel v Hezbollah/Iran/Syria/Jordan/Iraq/Turkey/Egypt. Let’s do this!

    You are really disgusting. I can see why AK banned Wally even though he was obsessed with the past only and its interpretation but I begin to wonder about AK’s prerogatives by putting up with a scum like you.

    • Replies: @AaronB
  126. Dmitry says:
    @AP

    I would be surprised of these regions, because surrounding countries (Slovakia, Poland, Hungary, Moldova, Romania) have so much lower fertility rates at the national level (perhaps they have higher fertility regions within them).

    • Replies: @AP
  127. AaronB says:
    @utu

    I have to agree and take back my somewhat kind words about him. He’s bloodthirsty.

    You have to realize Greasy chose Judaism as an adult – I have known some converts in the Jewish community, and the incentives that lead them to choose specifically Judaism have little to do with peace and love, I can tell you that. People who grew up Jewish and had no choice in the matter, are often less committed to the bloodthirsty side of Judaism and can sometimes let their humanity shine through.

    Interestingly, converts are viewed with disdain and extreme suspicion by orthodox Jews, even though it’s permitted. I think on some level Jews know that while people of peaceful and loving dispositions may grow up Jewish, such people are unlikely to choose specifically Judaism to convert to. Greasy alludes to this when he disdainfully rejects peaceful attitudes as Christian.

    (Greasy’a mom was Jewish, so he wouldn’t be viewed as a convert).

    • Replies: @utu
  128. OT: I believe that I may have witnessed the most Current Year comment yet, as part of the NYT “selected picks” for “Intellectual Dark Web.”

    I’m a middle-aged gay man who was born before Stonewall and grew up admiring (and appreciating) traditional broad-minded American liberalism. I agreed with Bill Clinton’s characterization of social progress as a perennial tension between the envelope pushers and the line drawers. But that metaphor implies an engagement between two camps, with at least minimal respect and mutual recognition. I now worry that self-satisfied arrogance too often characterizes “progressives,” my putative allies. The example of children transitioning is a good one: there must be many happy, adjusted gay adults who might have had their lives upended by a misguided transgender effort in response to grade-school gender play. Gay “conversion therapy” for minors (and adults) is clearly nuts, but I have similar suspicions about childhood transitioning.

    A gay man is worried that the transgender rush will deprive him of the sweet, sweet behinds of other gay boys – a terrible outrage!

    • Replies: @German_reader
  129. @inertial

    Seriously, have you ever thought about how China would react to Russian invasion of Ukraine?

    China could possibly react with near complete indifference. The Chinese ambassador explicitly stated during the Crimea referendum in support of the Russian position:

    Qu Xing, the Chinese ambassador to Belgium publically supported Russia and Putin’s policy. He also suggested that the root of the crisis was “game between Russia and western powers” and called upon the west to “Abandon its zero-sum mentality” and to “take real security concerns of Russia into consideration.”

    • Replies: @inertial
  130. @Daniel Chieh

    Seems like a rather harsh interpretation of that comment to me, I actually find it commendable when even homos take a stand against this transgender crap, especially regarding “transitioning” of minors which is just child abuse imo.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
  131. AP says:
    @Dmitry

    TFR by oblast in Ukraine:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Ukraine#Total_fertility_rate_by_oblast

    Natural growth rate by rayon in Ukraine:

    http://datatowel.in.ua/natural/raion-natural-growth

    Note that a several western raions have more births than deaths (as does the city of Kiev). Only one rayon, outside Odessa, has more births than deaths.

    The best rayon, in Riven oblast (western Ukraine), had 1,064 births and 593 deaths in 2017; the worst (in Luhansk oblast) had 1,488 births and 4,717 deaths.

    As a result of this trend Ukraine’s demographic center is shifting westward and in favor of the more nationalistic and less Sovietized population within the country.

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

    For some reason Polish TFR or natural growth rate by region isn’t easy to find. However in Belarus the regions bordering western Ukraine (as well as those around Minsk) are among the best demographically:

  132. utu says:
    @AaronB

    Whether Greasy is Jewish or not is irrelevant for me and ultimately not verifiable on internet. The entity that hides behind his handle is despicable mostly because of its primitivism. For example look at this what he wrote here:

    I have never fantasized about killing jewish kids, or any kids in general.

    1. We do a lot more than just “fantasize” about it.

    2. They kill one of our kids, we kill 100 of theirs. Judaism isn’t Christianity.

    Only a really primitive character can be so shortsighted. And if it comes from a Jew it is much much worse. Because it makes all pogroms and even Holocaust justified. Might makes right. Who ever has power defines the rules and if one can set the retaliation coefficient k=100 one should not cry when somebody else sets it to k=1,000,000 or 6,000,000.

    • Replies: @Greasy William
  133. AP says:
    @RadicalCenter

    Given that Ukrainians had an estimated total fertility rate of 1.37 in 2017

    Where did you get this figure?

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

    Depending on source, it is 1.5 or 1.54 for 2017. About the same or slightly better than Germany, but with zero migrants.

    In the western half of the country, it’s probably around 1.6 to 1.65, which is the EU average, except western Ukraine has no migrants.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
    , @RadicalCenter
  134. @German_reader

    As said by many a great man: why can’t they both lose?

    • Replies: @German_reader
  135. @Daniel Chieh

    I find transgenders much worse than homos, it’s 2+2=5 stuff how the left tries to reeducate all of society into believing such insanity that men are really women and should be treated as such. It seems to me they’ve chosen this as their new hot issue so they can show their power in an especially humiliating way (“See, we can force you even to believe in such obvious lunacy!”).
    I’m personally willing to tolerate homos to some extent, but transgenders should be bullied into suicide imo.

  136. Dmitry says:

    Greasy is a troll, but his crazy commenting provides entertainment. And the same of the people who dislike him. I have to say Karlin is a good moderator as he does not seem to have ‘authoritarian personality disorder’ when it comes to every kind of commentator.

    • Agree: Greasy William
  137. Dmitry says:
    @AP

    Where did you get this figure?

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

    Depending on source, it is 1.5 or 1.54 for 2017. About the same or slightly better than Germany, but with zero migrants.

    In the western half of the country, it’s probably around 1.6 to 1.65, which is the EU average, except western Ukraine has no migrants.

    The site for 2017 went offline since I posted it – but the cache is here:

    https://hghltd.yandex.net/yandbtm?fmode=inject&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.nakanune.ru%2Fnews%2F2018%2F02%2F28%2F22499627%2F&tld=ru&lang=ru&la=1525053568&tm=1525840827&text=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.nakanune.ru%2Fnews%2F2018%2F02%2F28%2F22499627%2F&l10n=ru&mime=html&sign=eb5e40cef5324d29ac86868ca70ba93f&keyno=0

    -

    Here is sources where the 2016 figure seems to be in the 1,4 ranges.

    http://newsep.com.ua/new/1081

    https://www.segodnya.ua/ukraine/nizkaya-rozhdaemost-ne-glavnaya-demograficheskaya-problema-ukrainy-intervyu-s-sociologom-1115497.html

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

    Oh you were talking to radical center. My source is for 1,38.

  139. Dmitry says:
    @German_reader

    I’m personally willing to tolerate homos to some extent, but transgenders should be bullied into suicide imo.

    Some people are born intersex (between two genders physically). To a figure of between 40-100 million around the world depending on definitions.

  140. @Dmitry

    Its inevitable that as the contamination of the world increases, an increasing number of birth defects are to be expected. With the lowering of barriers from natural forms of genetic hygiene, I am certain that there can be modern solutions for those problems.

  141. AP says:
    @Dmitry

    Here is sources where the 2016 figure seems to be in the 1,4 ranges.

    http://newsep.com.ua/new/1081

    https://www.segodnya.ua/ukraine/nizkaya-rozhdaemost-ne-glavnaya-demograficheskaya-problema-ukrainy-intervyu-s-sociologom-1115497.html

    Top site stated 1.46 (so can be rounded to 1.5), bottom one said “closer to 1.4″ (so 1.4 something) in 2016.

  142. @Dmitry

    On another hand, falling population could contribute, or at least be accompanied with, increasing significantly in GDP per capita.

    “We went extinct as a people, but at least our banking system’s fundamentals were in good order while we were dying out!”

    Far and away the dumbest thing one could say.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  143. Mitleser says:
    @Philip Owen

    Yes, more opportunities for blackmailing.

  144. Mitleser says:

    Good news

    • Replies: @DFH
  145. DFH says:
    @Mitleser

    If you remember Qaddafi was deposed and killed by the West for similar intentions

    This is one of the stupidest memes out there.

  146. utu says:
    @reiner Tor

    Better than your master plan to start a nuclear war against them.

    You yourself argued that Russia by being a wimp and not standing up to America in Syria a chance of nuclear war may only increase because it encourages the US to push Russia too far. I did not argue for nuclear war. I argued for making a threat of nuclear war so credible that it would stop Israel violating Syria sovereignty. Yes, it would lead to nuclear war of some kind but only if Israel did not stop. Whether this war would escalate to the full blown exchange between the US and Russia would be up to the US to decide.

    Kill the chicken to scare the monkey.

    In this scenario it would be up to the monkey to start the full blown war. In your approach it would be up to Russia w/o the intermediate step of having Israel (the chicken) being taught a lesson and w/o the US having time to think what to do next. Your strategy guarantees a shorter path to the full blown nuclear war unless you are sure that Russia will wimp out and give up and go home.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  147. @Dmitry

    I know, but real intersex people are something different from those trans types who biologically clearly belong to one sex.
    And I very much doubt the figure of 40-100 million intersex people.

  148. LondonBob says:
    @German_reader

    Steve Sailer predicted trans would be the next thing after gay ‘marriage’, surrendering on one issue leads only on to the next, that is why I am a counter revolutionary rather than conservative.

  149. iffen says:
    @Felix Keverich

    Polish people were saved from Nazi genocide

    Only by killing as many as he could before they had a chance at them.

    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
  150. @utu

    How should the Jewish people respond to the murder of their children?

    Greasy alludes to this when he disdainfully rejects peaceful attitudes as Christian.

    I have nothing but respect for Christianity. I find Christian theology much more interesting than Jewish or Muslim theology. I read more Christian works than Jewish works.

    However, “turn the other cheek” and “love your enemies” are Christian concepts that are totally alien to Judaism. It is true that G-d does not play favorites: He loves Assad’s children no less than he loves any Jewish child. But as great as I am, I am not G-d so I have no connection to Assad’s kids. Any who dare harm the Jews bring cataclysmic reprisals on themselves. It has been this way since Egypt and it will be so always.

    BTW, there is no “resigning” from being a member of the Jewish people. You remain a Jew whether you like it or not and nothing you ever say or do will change that. Neither in this world nor in the World to Come.

    Only a really primitive character can be so shortsighted.

    Says the guy who has repeatedly called for the murder of all 5 million Jews in the Land of Israel and for such murder to be carried out with nuclear weapons which would also kill the 6 million non Jews in the Land.

    I don’t hate antisemitism. I usually understand it and sometimes even agree with it. But I hate hypocrisy and Jew haters tend to have a real problem on that score.

    More bombing of Syria. Pray for regional war.

    Israel v Hezbollah/Iran/Syria/Jordan/Iraq/Turkey/Egypt. Let’s do this!

    You are really disgusting. I can see why AK banned Wally even though he was obsessed with the past only and its interpretation but I begin to wonder about AK’s prerogatives by putting up with a scum like you.

    Now this is interesting.

    First of all, this is coming from a guy who wants a nuclear exchange between Israel and Russia, the fallout of which would kill more Syrians and Lebanese than Israel could ever hope to. But let’s just forget about that for a minute.

    What’s more interesting is that for years now, years, we’ve heard the Russophiles beating the drums of war against Israel. First they put their hopes behind Hamas. Then Turkey. When both proved to be paper tigers they created a new fantasy of Iran, Syria and Lebanon stealing the Land of Israel from it’s rightful Jewish owners.

    After the Syrian air defenses scored with a lucky shot and took down an F-16i, the rhetoric reached a fever pitch. Magnier, who has a direct line to the highest levels of Hezbollah and the Syrian gov, said that the combined Resistance Axis forces were now stronger than the IDF and that the Resistance Axis was ready for war with Israel. Twitter, SouthFront, Unz, ZeroHedge were all filled with articles and comments celebrating the imminent Resistance Axis invasion of Israel.

    Then came T4. All of a sudden, literally overnight, destroying Israel was now the responsibility of Russia, not the holy Resistance Axis. After the bombing of the Iranian missile base last week the demands for Russian retaliation got louder, but few suggested the Resistance Axis itself retaliate.

    Another bombing last night, and what do we hear from the Russophiles this time? A demand that the Resistance Axis not retaliate! SyrianGirl got shouted down by her own followers for suggesting that Syria and Iran strike back. SouthFront, ZeroHedge and r/SyrianCivilWar are filled with exhortations for the Resistance Axis to stand down and just to continue to allow themselves to be blown up and to avoid “giving Israel what it wants” by engaging in war. Now they insist that there not be war and that the Jews are barbarians for wanting one.

    And this brings us to the most obnoxious thing about Israel haters. They all want to destroy Israel, but when you ask them who should do it, the answer is always “someone else”. The Egyptians and Turks hate Israel but refuse to fight it. The Russophiles are willing to sacrifice any amount of Russian lives to destroy Israel, but G-d forbid one of their precious Lebanese, Syrians or Iranians get hurt; Russian blood only, not holy Resistance Axis blood. Say what you want about the Palestinians, but at least they make an effort which is way more than you can say for their utterly worthless supporters.

    You have no idea how frustrating this is for us Jews. We want to kill Turks, Iraqis, Lebanese, Syrians, Iranians and Egyptians but we can’t because they just refuse to fucking fight us. It’s like, what do we have to do? Do we need to detonate the Al Asqua mosque or something? How do you defeat an enemy that won’t fight back?

    So yes, pray for war because only war will bring the Redemption*.

    *The problem with the Redemption is that it will bring world peace, which means no more cool weapons systems. Talk about a catch 22!

  151. The new Armenian Prime Minister has confirmed the alliance with Russia, which he claims is essential to Armenian security.

  152. @utu

    I saved it at the time, so here you can read what you wrote:

    http://www.unz.com/akarlin/ww3/#comment-2287849

    699. utu says:
    April 14, 2018 at 3:28 pm GMT • 100 Words

    Let me explain.

    It became pretty obvious that the experiment of Israel creation failed. Israel was created at great expense to solve the so-called Jewish problem. Unfortunately it did not because majority of Jews still remains in diaspora. At the same time Israel existence created new problems not just in its neighborhood but for the whole world. The world peace became permanently threatened.

    There is no other conclusion than that that Israel must be destroyed. Preferably with all Israelis because their repatriation to Europe and America only will exacerbate the pressure of the Jewish question there.

    So when you predicted the clash between Russia and Israel in the near future which I imagined would be nuclear I have naturally rejoiced.

    Essentially, the difference between us is that I’d be prepared to wage a nuclear war if some red lines were crossed, but I’d set the red lines so that a rational enemy (I’m not saying the US is rational, but assuming some semblance of rationality is left in them) would not want to cross them. It’s a kind of Golden Rule. So the demands would need to be reasonable.

    I wouldn’t use nuclear blackmail so that they give up something they have, because I wouldn’t cave in to nuclear blackmail were the situation reversed. However, I wouldn’t dare attack a country or try to grab something I don’t have, were the situation reversed. So that is how I’d set my red lines not to be crossed: you don’t take something from me I have and you don’t, or else. But I wouldn’t use nuclear blackmail trying to stop long established behaviors, especially if their costs were relatively low for my country (like Israel’s bombing campaign in Syria has so far been relatively low cost for Russia, but that cost analysis seems to be changing recently). For those, you definitely need sub-nuclear responses. One such response (which I had hoped already started in February this year) would be to start shooting down Israeli airplanes. The air defense systems shooting them down need to be nominally Syrian, so as to avoid a general Russo-Israeli war, which is not in Russia’s interest. (A nuclear conflagration is a different issue. Then Israel obviously needs to be targeted, moreover, Bibi needs to be let known of this. The neocons need to know that their stupid designs on a war on Syria will result in the nuclear destruction of Israel.)

    You seem to not know human psychology if you think that your threats of a nuclear war over Israel’s bombing campaign would actually reduce the chance of a nuclear war. It’s different from threatening with a nuclear war over something which my enemies don’t have.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
    , @utu
  153. Sean says:

    NETANYAHU MEETS PUTIN IN MOSCOW, ATTENDS VICTORY DAY CEREMONY
    “In light of what is happening in Syria at this moment, it is necessary to ensure the continued security coordination between the Russian army and the Israel Defense Forces.”

    http://images.jpost.com/image/upload/424843

    Putin is no fool.

    • Replies: @neutral
  154. @iffen

    Are you kidding? Hitler’s plan for Poland was total genocide. Polish people exist today only because of us. These damn ingrates!

    • Agree: Greasy William
    • Replies: @Anon
  155. Aschwin says:
    @Greasy William

    So you say there is a “America First” pentagon which does not care about lobbyists financing their pensions and basing there foreign policy decisions on demands of the highest(or most assertive) bidders?

  156. Anon[198] • Disclaimer says:
    @Felix Keverich

    Two people, John and Robert, are confronted by serial killer. Robert joins in as serial killer beats up John with a lead pipe. Then killer turns on Robert who defends himself with a knife (he had a gun but is out of ammo) and they fight, while John though bleeding and half-conscious tries to help Robert. Some guy passing by gives Robert some ammunition and Robert manages to shoot the serial killer. Then he turns the gun on John and says “Okay, you’re now my personal servant. Do whatever I say or I shoot you”.

    • Replies: @DFH
  157. Yeah I’d say that’s accurate although I wouldn’t necessarily call them “America First”. The US military brass and even most of the junior officers have a very imperialist (and I don’t mean that in a negative way) mindset. Their goal is no so much US security as US dominance. You don’t have to take my word for it, go to some message boards where junior US officers hang out like F-16.net or r/military.

    When Russia, Iran and China refuse to willingly play the junior partner role that the UK, France, Germany, Japan and Australia have taken on, the Pentagon regards that as a threat.

    Russia can’t go it alone. If Russia wants Ukraine and Belarus it will need the support of Poland, Finland, Germany, France and the UK. But Russia doesn’t understand soft power whereas the US is a master of it. Even Anatoly wants to use force to solve everything instead of building relationships with Europe.

    I just realized that when you “Agree” with a post, the browser loads a new page. Time to hire some real programmers, Ron.

    • Replies: @neutral
  158. neutral says:
    @Sean

    No he is a fool, anyone who does thinks for one second that one can make any deals with the jews is deluded.

  159. neutral says:
    @Greasy William

    Their goal is no so much US security as US dominance. You don’t have to take my word for it, go to some message boards where junior US officers hang out like F-16.net or r/military.

    Their goal is really just jewish dominance, easily proven by the fact that any mention of who their true masters are gets one banned from such patriotard hangouts.

  160. DFH says:
    @Anon

    Robert then ruthlessly beats and exploits another person, let’s call him Felix, who he’s enslaved. Sixty years later, Felix goes around telling everyone about how great and noble Robert was in his treatment of John.

    • Agree: AP
    • Replies: @AP
  161. AP says:
    @DFH

    Interesting logic – you save someone’s life, therefore you are allowed to enslave them or do what you want with them, and they have to be grateful to you because otherwise they’d be dead.

    And in this case John’s life wasn’t even saved on purpose, it was a side effect of the serial killer attacking Robert and being killed by him.

    If this claim by the historian Beevor is true – it is completely in line with Felix’s logic and morality:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rape_during_the_occupation_of_Germany#Soviet_troops

    “Soviet troops also raped Soviet and Polish girls and women that were liberated from Nazi concentration camps as well as those who were held for forced labour at farms and factories”

    They should be grateful, right? Their lives were saved, after all.

    I don’t know how accurate Beevor was, whether or to what extent he exaggerated – Russians claim he was smearing the Red army troops who bravely defeated the Nazis. But it’s interesting that Felix shows a similar mentality.

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

    Anyways, not the best thing to bring up on May 9th, when people ought to celebrate their heroic grandparents or great-grandparents, though mine was a reaction to a stupid and immoral claim.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @neutral
  162. Dmitry says:
    @reiner Tor

    For those, you definitely need sub-nuclear responses. One such response (which I had hoped already started in February this year) would be to start shooting down Israeli airplanes. The air defense systems shooting them down need to be nominally Syrian, so as to avoid a general Russo-Israeli war, which is not in Russia’s interest. (A nuclear conflagration is a different issue. Then Israel obviously needs to be targeted, moreover, Bibi needs to be let known of this. The neocons need to know that their stupid designs on a war on Syria will result in the nuclear destruction of Israel.)

    I follow your text, but not really what it is supposed to achieve in international relations.

    Israel and Russia relationship is still feeling friendly (at least to the external public), even if it is turning more negative (to the external view) in the last six or seven years.*

    Israel does bombing of Iran in Syria which embarrasses Russia’s power projection, but not affecting vital national security interests of Russia on most interpretations (unless they fuck up and hit the wrong people).

    Continuation of the Israeli actions, is a continuation of embarrassment in an image of power-projection, but not related to vital national security interests.

    I would say the rational response from Russia’s view, will be something proportionate – i.e. something that embarrasses without does not impact vital national security interests of Israel.

    Your idea is to extend umbrella to (Iranian and Syrian positions) in Syria and Middle East in general, and see it like it is vital national security interest – such as has not happened for the Donbass, – and then expect that the other sides (such as Israel) will believe you and step down.

    This might work with America (who are thousands of kilometers away), but why would this bluff work with local Middle Easterner states like Israel, Iran and Turkey?

    Looking at it in the most dispassionate way, local states are much more committed, since they are the ones for which there is ‘something to win or lose’.

    International superpowers can even seem largescale commitment, such as in Afghanistan, Vietnam, Iraq. But a few years later that commitment is reduced to nothing. Local states know this nowadays and are really ‘waiting their time’ until the international superpowers leave.

    Finally who is the winner and loser of this umbrella? The cost is to Russia who carries the risk, and the benefit will be to Iran mainly. Even in the best case scenario, there is not so much on the table to win in exchange for some additional risk.

    *Noticeable falling in public opinion since the beginning of Syria war and tensions with America – in 2011, 70% had positive of Russia relations with Israel, by December 2014 more like 60%

    https://www.levada.ru/2014/12/08/otnoshenie-rossiyan-k-drugim-stranam-8/

    • Replies: @utu
  163. Anonymous[164] • Disclaimer says:
    @AP

    Yes, yes, the alternative of oblivion was clearly much better. This lack of understanding of social contract – which is yes, I get to have more influence in your life because without me, you wouldn’t exist at all is fundamental to the traditional functioning of humanity. Your argument is akin to that of a feminist claiming that saving the princess from the dragon demands no gratitude because it is a “human right” to be saved and to risk one’s life to do so.

    Jews are always the first step down the road to liberalism. The fact that DFH supports this logic shows the infection of the West is already fatal and unredeemable without Orthodoxy.

    • Replies: @AP
  164. Dmitry says:
    @anonymous coward

    Not exactly. If the per capita increased at the same time as the falling population, as happened in Lithuania and Latvia, this is a scenario in which the country goes from great poverty, to developed world level – while at the same time becoming less populated.

    The current extreme poverty situation in Ukraine is the really bad thing there anyway (which is also accelerating emigration). (Not the fact that they will have less conscripts for their army or whatever).

    This said, relationship between falling population and increasing GDP per capita in countries like Lithuania and Latvia is not necessarily any causal one.

    Falling (or particularly ‘aging’) population can have negative long-term economic impact even on per capita level, as – combined with increasing life expectancy – increases the dependency ratio between working age and retired populations.

    • Replies: @anonymous coward
  165. inertial says:
    @Daniel Chieh

    China always affects indifference but one gets an impression that they found this situation quite disturbing. After a period of not saying much they grudgingly recognized Russia’s takeover of Crimea as a “special case,” but at the same time they gave a clear signal, “this far and no further.”

    From an April 2014 editorial in Global Times, which is as close as we can get to the official Chinese position:

    Ukraine’s eastern region is different from the Crimea. Secession of the region from Ukraine strikes a direct blow to territorial integrity guaranteed by international law.

    China needs to secure a balance between not supporting the independence of Ukraine’s eastern region and avoiding isolating Moscow with the West.

    It’s as clear as it can be.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
  166. utu says:
    @reiner Tor

    Good that you brought up what I wrote because I kind of forgot about it. It is really unfortunate I did write it. I must have been really upset while writing it. The truth is that the world would be in a better shape if Israel was never created. And it won’t be if Israel is destroyed now because most likely it would lead to non-negligible apocalypse.

    As far as your argument

    For those, you definitely need sub-nuclear responses.

    there is one weak point here that Russia is going to lose in prolonged exchange or escalation of conventional responses which will bring her to the point of nuclear response or retreat.

    Would using Syria as a proxy be better? It would delay Russia’s insolvent and it would let Russia to bail out with a pretense of saved face (that nobody would believe except for the die hard Russia fans.) when Syria would be allowed to collapse.

    All calculus leads to the same solution: nuclear response or retreat. Only putting all cards on the table and making a credible nuclear threat can avoid the retreat and does not necessarily imply nuclear response.

  167. @inertial

    But a lot has changed since 2014, too, I would say. Back in 2014, the West could still be seen as mildly agreement-capable.

  168. neutral says:
    @AP

    Anyways, not the best thing to bring up on May 9th, when people ought to celebrate their heroic grandparents or great-grandparents

    Their “heroic” grandparents were mass rapists, so when they are marching with their “immortal regiment” pictures they should instead be calling it the rapist regiment.

    • Replies: @AP
  169. utu says:
    @Dmitry

    Continuation of the Israeli actions, is a continuation of embarrassment in an image of power-projection, but not related to vital national security interests.

    Let me unpack it for you. It is like when the assailant does not take your 10,000 ruble sneakers but just bitch-slap your girlfriend in front of others. So why would you agree to it? Because you love your sneakers that much or because you are secretly in love with the assailant? Anyway, poor girl that circumstances forced her on you. Anyway, in your case you are on the side of the assailant for which you are ready to accept Russia’s embarrassments and humiliations.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  170. AP says:
    @Anonymous

    Yes, yes, the alternative of oblivion was clearly much better

    Who said it was.

    The leap from “it’s better to be alive than dead” to “we are alive thanks to this guy, therefore it’s okay for him to enslave and torture us (but leave us alive) and we must be grateful to him” is one of Sovok-logic, I suppose.

    Your argument is akin to that of a feminist claiming that saving the princess from the dragon demands no gratitude because it is a “human right” to be saved and to risk one’s life to do so.

    I don’t remember those stories ending in gang rape of the princess by the knight and his buddies.

    Moreover, the prince set out to save the princess. Sovoks were attacked by the Nazis and their salvation of Poland was incidental.

    The Sovok version of the fairytale would be a dragon attacked a knight, he killed it, found a princess in its cave, and enslaved/raped her for many years. And after the ordeal was over he whined that she complained about how he treated her and how ungrateful she was.

    • Agree: RadicalCenter
    • Replies: @iffen
  171. AP says:
    @neutral

    I think even in the worst case scenario it was maybe one in five were rapists (and that is hard to believe).

    • Replies: @neutral
  172. Dmitry says:
    @utu

    “you are secretly in love with the assailant”

    “slap your girlfriend”

    “you are on the side of the assailant”

    “embarrassments and humiliations”

    Reads like a 16 year old drama at school. And someone was criticizing me earlier for liking sneakers:)

    Countries don’t have girlfriends and boyfriends. And in Russia’s case, as we all know, there are only these real friends at all – her army and navy.

    As for secret or not so secret loves of random internet commentators – our opinions and loves are irrelevant to what the leaders of state will or will not do in the future.

    But we can say if these leadership made better and worse decisions (judgeable if the nation gets richer/poorer, or more powerful/less powerful, or wasted resources/gained resources) .

    • Replies: @neutral
  173. A.A. says:
    @Greasy William

    then Putin can sell the Russian public on returning Crimea to Ukraine in exchange for bringing Ukraine back into the Russian camp.

    That’s not going to happen for the obvious strategic reasons we all know. But there are other, more psychological reasons if you will. Giving up a region that has internally been recognised as a part of Russia and is full of ethnic Russians would be extremely demoralising to the Russian psyche. Seriously, this would have extremely negative internal consequence for Russia.

    On the other hand, the moral boost this would give to Ukrainians can not be overstated. They would correctly interpret this a huge win over Russia. No, thanks! Right now Ukrainians are downtrodden, pessimistic and don’t believe in their future. Lots of active people are moving abroad or looking for ways to that (others are just dying off). Which is good, since Russia benefits nicely from this Ukrainian migration stream and pretty much every Ukrainian who permanently moves to Russia will end up having ethnic Russian offspring.

    It’s also wrong to assume that giving up Crimea would somehow bring Ukraine closer to Russia. People don’t respect losers. Capitulating before Ukraine would naturally give them the idea that Russia is beneath them. What would be the point of that?

  174. neutral says:
    @AP

    2 million were raped, there something like 6 million soldiers on the eastern front, so that means 1 in 3 were rapists.

  175. @neutral

    I’m personally convinced that Soviet forces did commit significant war crimes in 1944/45 (and not just rapes though that’s obviously an especially emotive issue), but I don’t think there’s any reliable way of quantifying this, nor can anybody know how many Soviet soldiers committed such acts. It may well have been only a (small? large?) minority.
    And in any case, the many millions of Red army soldiers who had died at Stalingrad, Kursk and many other places in the Soviet Union obviously couldn’t have been guilty of such crimes.
    Your view is too black-and-white.

  176. @neutral

    2 million were raped, there something like 6 million soldiers on the eastern front, so that means 1 in 3 were rapists.

    Not really. If each rapist committed 10 rapes (say), then there would have been 200,000 rapists, or 1 out of 30 were rapists.

  177. @Dmitry

    Agree with your last point, certainly. But here’s what Lithuania and Latvia have in common with Ukraine: their populations are already steadily falling, and they likely will fall so fast and so far that there won’t be many of them left in existence within two more generations.

  178. @Dmitry

    Thank you, Dmitry. I learn from your comments, and this one was no exception.

    I’m aware of extensive trade ties between Germany and Iran, I’m just being snarky about the self-inflicted dismal near future of western European countries and the deserved decline in influence they are going to suffer.

    What I meant, more fully, was that those countries increasingly are poor candidates to be permanent members of the UN Security Council because of their steadily declining native populations, their increasing sociocultural balkanization, increasing racial and religious tension, increasing day-to-day violence and harassment and intimidation with no efforts at meaningful self-defense, increasing taxes to pay for higher giveaways to the invaders/colonists, and simply ZERO future because of their demographics, their cowardice, and their self-hatred.

    France and the “UK” are members of the Security Council, alright, but that will need to change. We will soon be arguing about whether those countries can even survive as reasonably safe, tolerant, civilized places, let alone whether they can ever be worthy of respect and consultation.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  179. @AP

    Fair point about eastern Ukraine having an even lower TFR than western Ukraine.

    But a TFR below 2.1 is not enough to replace the people dying and perpetuate the nation near its current size and form longer-term.

    “Close to 2.0″ TFR in the whole country wouldn’t be enough to stave off insignificance and then extinction. Close to 2.0 in just a few oblasty, even less adequate.

    I’m sad to see the Ukrainians dying out as a people before our eyes in fairly short order, but that seems to be what’s happening. Then again, as you said, Russians’ TFR is not impressive either.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  180. @German_reader

    I’m personally willing to tolerate homos to some extent, but transgenders should be bullied into suicide imo.

    Ekh. Now we know how to trigger even German_reader.

    I don’t follow the question closely, but all the evidence that I’ve seen suggests that gender dysphoria is a real affliction, having some affinities with autism and schizophrenia. Bearing that in mind, I can simultaneously have compassion on someone suffering from this condition and be adamantly opposed to the excesses of
    transgender activists. One should frame this not as a leftist versus traditionalist issue, but as a question of mental and societal health. Somebody has to produce a compelling satire about a gang of schizoids who want to get their hands on every child exhibiting some unusual behavior and subject them to electroshock therapy.

    • Replies: @German_reader
    , @Talha
  181. @Dmitry

    this is a scenario in which the country goes from great poverty, to developed world level – while at the same time becoming less populated.

    “We went extinct as a people, but at least for a short while we were at a ‘developed world level’ in the process.”

    Still not any better.

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

    Well, admittedly my statement about “bullying into suicide” was rather harsh. On some level those suffering from gender dysphoria are certainly deserving of sympathy, like other mentally ill people. I do object strongly though how this cause has been taken up in recent years by lefties in their attempt to reeducate society, that’s downright totalitarian imo.

    • Replies: @The Big Red Scary
  183. @German_reader

    I do object strongly though how this cause has been taken up in recent years by lefties in their attempt to reeducate society, that’s downright totalitarian imo.

    Indeed. When even the bra-burners and the flamers are running scared, you know the pozcalypse has come.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
  184. neutral says:
    @Dmitry

    Countries don’t have girlfriends and boyfriends.

    I don’t know about that, USA, UK, Germany, France, etc all behave like submissive whores to Israel.

  185. @The Big Red Scary

    Pozcalypse.

    You win this thread, sir.

    • Replies: @Talha
  186. Dmitry says:
    @RadicalCenter

    Thanks.

    I understand your original post, but I just wished to list the reasons anyway.

    As for a situation of France and UK.

    I would agree that their immigration policy is suicidal. But I would disagree about time-frames. With current trends, the cultural/social Balkanization scenario are likely – but still some years into the future.

    I was visiting in Paris in Autumn, and in London this Spring. The demographic situation in particularly Paris, I find quite crazy. At the same time, these places are still functioning well and civilized (for now), and in particular I am a fan of London (even as I wish there would be more moderation in the number of non-English people).

    The Muslim population of the UK, for example, is 4.4% of the total population as measured in 2011. Surely if the proportion would rise past 10%, or let alone goes over 20% (as it is in Israel) – then it will become a balkanizing situation as in the Middle East.

    It would be bad for the world to lose these civilizations, and definitely is in the world interest to hope or encourage a restriction of immigration to these countries. But I don’t think it ‘happened already’ that they are no longer important civilizations.

    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
  187. Dmitry says:
    @anonymous coward

    Well the current situation in Ukraine is developing world GDP per capita (in nominal terms, below Angola and Sudan), and at the same time having lower total fertility rates than most of the developed world.

    The first priority of the country is clearly economic – there is not an acceptable standard of living in Ukraine, and currently most people of now are hardly able to give the basic living standard to their children. This is the reason for a significant emigration as well.

    Metrics like fertility rates are more relevant in that context (that they could have an impact on the GDP per capita, by increasing the dependency ratio). But a scenario like Latvia/Lithuania, would still be more preferable than what happened in Ukraine – they had an economic miracle accompanied by a demographic collapse.

  188. Dmitry says:
    @RadicalCenter

    Sure, but when you arrive at fertility rate numbers slightly below 2.1, the change in population size (and age profile) will at least be occurring very slowly and potentially quite easy to reverse.

    It’s not scary in the way it is when it drops down to the lower numbers.

    Ukraine had actually dropped to a total fertility rate of 1,07 in the year 2000. (It may have been the lowest in the world).

    Another issue for Ukraine is emigration.

    On the positive side, Ukraine still has a large population (42 and a half million people), so the issue is not quite so scary in the way falling population is for small population countries like Lithuania and Latvia. To say the obvious, the primarily depressing thing about Ukraine is the economy.

    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
    , @Mitleser
  189. Talha says:
    @The Big Red Scary

    One should frame this not as a leftist versus traditionalist issue, but as a question of mental and societal health.

    Big time! How a recognized mental disorder suddenly became a “human right” that needs public advocacy is an astounding feat.

    What you are advocating is the best route forward; to bring it back to basics in helping people with these proclivities by:
    1) recognizing that this is a mental health issue that should be cared for with compassion
    2) not spreading the thing by confusing children and giving them mixed signals about what is normal and healthy

    It is interesting because my daughter is involved heavily in the theater department at her high school, she comes across people like this (it happens to be a field that tends to attract certain personalities – kind of like marines or prison guards do for other personalities). As I’ve talked to her about them, it becomes clear that they are not normal people – there are plenty of other issues going on; bipolar, autism spectrum, unstable home environment, etc.

    Peace.

  190. @Dmitry

    Ukraine still has a large population (42 and a half million people)

    This number comes from Maidanist regime and includes the estimated population of LDNR. It’s probably closer to 32 million in real life.

  191. Talha says:
    @Daniel Chieh

    Amen…hands down. I would have settled for Apozcalypse, but this was definitely treading into territory that needed to be explored.

    I am going to do my part to see it gets added to American vernacular.

    Peace.

    • Replies: @The Big Red Scary
  192. iffen says:
    @AP

    Sovoks were attacked by the Nazis and their salvation of Poland was incidental.

    Winner! Winner! Chicken Dinner!

  193. @AP

    A TFR that is “the same or slightly better than Germany” is still a recipe for insignificance and then extinction when it’s far below replacement level every year for decades.

    In short, eastern Ukraine may depopulate faster than western Ukraine, but they are both shrinking and aging and there is no end in sight.

    • Replies: @AP
  194. @Dmitry

    The Muslim population of the “UK” is already nearing ten percent. Big change from 2011 to now.

    Pew and other establishment sources intentionally understate the number of Muslims in formerly western countries.

    UK, France, Germany, and Italy are still important civilizationally and economically, but they are headed into chaos, violence, division, and insignificance faster than most of them realize or admit.

    If we look at the statistics for residents of those countries under the age of 18, or even under the age of 30, we see that the countries and their native people will start to pick up speed heading down the hill into Hell.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  195. @German_reader

    All they need to do is stay the Hell away from our children, physically and through the schools and media. Otherwise, parents need to rise up and keep them and their enablers away.

  196. AP says:
    @RadicalCenter

    No, eventually the people left will be the breeders and then the population will rebound. The important thing is to not let outsiders come in and outnumber the natives before rock bottom is reached. Ukraine has no danger of that happening.

    • Agree: Talha
  197. @AP

    No, eventually the people left will be the breeders and then the population will rebound.

    This is a theoretical (if logical) event that will take many generations (centuries) to occur.

    For instance, the breeding phenomenon element – if that is what it is – only became noticeable in France from 1945, approximately two centuries after the start of its fertility transition (the world’s first).

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  198. Talha says:
    @AP

    For the record, I actually like Ukraine. They present (at least currently) one of the most even-handed approaches to the Muslim world from a European country. Whether it is supplying tanks engines or other high-end components for Muslim military industries or having fairly friendly relations in which both sides respect each other (I think Turkey and Ukraine have a free-travel short-term visit agreement between them) – it’s a model that others can learn from based on mutual benefit.

    A local Ukrainian church used to let us hold Eid prayers in their facilities until we got a big enough space of our own.

    Hope they are able to get their country on track for the future. Sane policies will help; learn what not to do from Western Europe.

    Peace.

    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
  199. Mitleser says:
    @Dmitry

    The population of the Ukraine is more likely on the same level as Poland’s (less than 39 million).
    Their last census was in 2001 and the official numbers include the LDPR population.

  200. @Talha

    Apozcalypse

    So let it be written, so let it be done.

    • LOL: Talha
    • Replies: @Anon
    , @RadicalCenter
  201. peterAUS says:

    Agree.

    This sums up everything related to Russia, IMHO:

    I propose a simple rule of thumb: when assessing probability of a certain action by the regime, we should always ask, is this action going to strengthen or weaken the regime’s chances of survival in the short-run (Kremlin thinkers cannot plan more than a few steps ahead)

    Simple and to the point.

    Nice.

  202. @The Big Red Scary

    Are you quoting METALLICA again? ;)

    • Replies: @The Big Red Scary
  203. @RadicalCenter

    It’s from the Ten Commandments:

    I’ve always preferred gangsta rap to metal. But either way:

    Cash rules everything around me. Dolla dolla bill y’all.

    • LOL: Talha
  204. @The Big Red Scary

    Yes, I know that Metallica was quoting the Bible. Lame attempt at humor.

  205. @The Big Red Scary

    I wonder when a US President will just get honest and release a rap video bragging that he’s getting paid in “thousand-shekel bills, y’all.”

  206. @Talha

    Yes, learn not to import millions of Muslims, for one thing.

    So surprising to see you praising Ukraine for foolishly selling military equipment to Muslims.

    As for Turkey, they will gladly finish the job of genocide on the Armenians, and throw in the Ukrainians too, if they’re not deterred or countered by Russia (or, less likely, China). Those are some fine people to whom an upstanding Ukrainian can sell weapons, sure.

    • Replies: @Talha
  207. @AP

    And how will the dwindling, aged population of the Ukraine fight off an invasion by, say, Turkey 20 years from now?

    Turkey’s population is 81 million (about the same as Germany), with as many people under 31 as over, and is growing more than 1% every year.

    By contrast, Ukraine’s population is supposedly 42 million (probably a bit less), with as many people over 41 as under, and has shrunk just about every year in the past quarter century.

    MEDIAN AGE
    Ukraine 40.6 and rising
    Turkey 30.9

    TOTAL FERTILITY RATE
    Turkey 2.01
    Ukraine 1.50

    SOURCES

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

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

    It’s highly naïve to expect that younger, more populous, more militarily powerful countries will sit by and leave the ever-weaker ever-fewer Ukrainians in peace while waiting for them to supposedly start having children again.

    (Even more so is this true of Greece, which is closer to Turkey, far smaller and less populous than the Ukraine, and a virulent longtime enemy of the Turks.)

    Ukrainians, Greeks, and other Europeans will find their elderly and middle-aged citizens slaughtered or subjugated en masse by the unopposed young men of Turkey or whichever country decides to take them.

  208. Dmitry says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    It doesn’t make any sense, because having children or not is not something that is selected for genetically. We are all descended from people who had lots of children (just 100 years ago very large families) – but that doesn’t imply that within countries the fertility rates will keep increasing with further generations (worldwide the opposite is happening with each generation).

  209. Dmitry says:
    @RadicalCenter

    UK, France, Germany, and Italy are still important civilizationally and economically, but they are headed into chaos, violence, division, and insignificance faster than most of them realize or admit.

    It’s possible, but I do not think (hope) certain.

    Of course, they should have never ventured the risk of unfiltered immigration. But I don’t think we can be sure they will collapse because of it. Currently, I’m still impressed by how rich the countries are, and how effective everything operates, when I visit UK and France.

    For the future though, who can say.

  210. Talha says:
    @RadicalCenter

    So surprising to see you praising Ukraine for foolishly selling military equipment to Muslims.

    Why – it works out well for both parties – the same with China.

    they will gladly finish the job of genocide on the Armenians

    Possibly – I don’t know what the anti-Armenian sentiment is in Turkey these days.

    and throw in the Ukrainians too

    Nonsense, Turks have no beef with Ukraininans – and welcome Ukrainian visitors with as little hassle as possible – something that they don’t do with other nationalities:
    “Turkey-Ukraine relations ‘extremely well,’ Ukrainian FM says…Klimkin also highlighted that Turkey is one of the countries which allows Ukrainian citizens to travel without passports by using identity cards, contributing to favorable relations between the two countries. The Passport-free travel deal between Turkey and Ukraine entered into force in June 1, 2017.”

    https://www.dailysabah.com/diplomacy/2017/10/26/turkey-ukraine-relations-extremely-well-ukrainian-fm-says

    Peace.

    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
  211. @Talha

    Yes, I’m sure that visa-free travel arrangement means that the Turks can be trusted to change their fundamental nature.

    I’m confident that Turks will leave the Ukrainians and their incredibly fertile land alone once the power balance favors them overwhelmingly. (Or will China get to it first, like most everything else?)

    • Replies: @Talha
  212. Talha says:
    @RadicalCenter

    Thanks for your opinion – I guess we’ll see if that ever happens. And maybe the English will make an attempt to reconstitute their previous empire as well…and the Spanish…and the French…

    For now, the arrangements seem to be of mutual benefit to both parties and conducted with mutual respect and cooperation – why that bothers you so much is beyond me.

    Peace.

    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
  213. @Talha

    Because history suggests that we shouldn’t trust that that situation will persist as the power balance shifts further towards Turkey.

    As a Muslim, it’s not hard to understand why you pretend to find the Turks trustworthy and humane in this regard. Just another part of your trying to convince the frogs, “Don’t worry, the water’s not that hot, and certainly nowhere near boiling, no need to get out of the pot.” But it’s another matter as to why any non-Muslim would be so naive as to share your alleged assessment and trust the Turks or any of your other brethren.

    As for your derisive reference to the obviously impractical reclamation of the British, Spanish, or French colonial holdings, you know you’re comparing apples to oranges.

    Compared to those dwindling, aging, self-hating British and Europeans reclaiming empire, the Turkish conquest of Armenia, Greece, or eventually even Ukraine is far more feasible, and rather obviously so — absent some intervention or deterrent threat by some world power like China, the USA, or Russia, or the reform or neutralization of Turkey

    Your odd and phony wishes of “peace” after every comment notwithstanding, we will have no lasting peace until Islam is eradicated, reduced to insignificance, or so thoroughly reformed as to be almost unrecognizable.

    (And even then, admittedly, people who profess adherence to the comparatively more peaceful and tolerant New Testament — Christians — will be hypocritical and morally fallen enough to flout the NT’s words and keep a certain amount of violence and tension going. But we know what the Koran says. One can follow the New Testament and not be a threat to people with different belief systems and ways of life, but it’s hard to see how to follow the Koran and do the same. So, even apart from Turkey’s specific history, it’s not sensible for any non-Muslims — Ukraine or whoever — to trust you individually, “you” collectively, or Turkey.

    Best wishes from the Dar al-Harb —

    • Replies: @Talha
    , @German_reader
  214. Talha says:
    @RadicalCenter

    we will have no lasting peace until Islam is eradicated

    Oh OK – makes sense why you’re perturbed – you want the conflict to go on.

    Best wishes from the Dar al-Harb —

    And back at you from Dar al-Aman.

    Peace.

    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
  215. @RadicalCenter

    Compared to those dwindling, aging, self-hating British and Europeans reclaiming empire, the Turkish conquest of Armenia, Greece, or eventually even Ukraine is far more feasible

    It’s probably not really feasible for Turkey either, birth rates for ethnic Turks aren’t that great. They’re higher for Kurds, but that’s something that might rather tear Turkey apart than make possible any expansion.
    I agree though that people of Erdogan’s ilk probably would like to recreate something like the Ottoman empire if they could, they certainly talk that way.

    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
  216. @Talha

    No, I don’t want the conflict to go on, and I doubt you sincerely perceive such a desire on my part. I’d like people of all backgrounds to find a modus vivendi.

    There are many decent, sane, reasonable people in the world who call themselves Muslims — I’ll wager including you — but my point was that they are disobeying koranic injunctions in order to be such.

    Similarly, Talha, there are plenty of sane, decent, reasonable people who call themselves Christian, but they/we arguably effectively disclaim some of the bloodier, more savage language in the Old Testament in order to be such.

    Truth.

  217. @German_reader

    You’re right that the Turks have a potential problem with Kurdish birthrates being systematically higher than Turkish birthrates in Turkey itself.

    But if ethnic Turks can even maintain a replacement level of fertility, like 2.1 TFR, their numerical superiority and age superiority over the Armenians, Greeks, and Ukrainians will persist and grow larger as those latter peoples dwindle faster and faster.

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