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Putin did poorly in 2012 against Prokhorov in the Far Abroad, with the billionaire liberal candidate level outright beating Putin in the US, Canada, Britain, and France [full list in Russian].

russia-2012-elections-abroad

Russian Presidential elections abroad in 2012: Blue = Putin; Green = Prokhorov.

However, while Putin failed to get an absolute majority even in Germany in 2012 – a country where most Russian dual citizens are ordinary Volga German, not the SWPLs and bobos who populate London – this time round, there was not a single country where he got less than 50%.

Here is the full list of results courtesy of Oleg Lisowski:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/18Eo-tMXseviXZUu0AotBks8Eww1NfD9Vq_4Xb-wrGVs/

Putin got 80% in Germany, 78% in Italy, 74% in Canada, 63% in the US, and 52% in Great Britain.

. Turnout Grudinin Zhirinovsky Putin Sobchak Yavlinsky
Germany 9,948 6.7% 3.8% 80.1% 4.6% 2.0%
Italy 4,422 10.4% 5.1% 77.7% 2.8% 1.7%
Canada 2,187 6.4% 5.2% 74.1% 7.9% 2.9%
Israel 14,874 10.3% 1.9% 70.5% 9.8% 3.9%
China 2,407 13.9% 2.8% 66.8% 10.2% 2.6%
USA 19,822 12.8% 7.6% 62.7% 9.2% 3.5%
France 12,064 12.3% 6.5% 62.6% 10.3% 4.0%
Britain 3,746 8.9% 1.4% 51.8% 23.4% 7.8%

Even the Washington Post noticed this, with Anton Troianovski and Matthew Brodner noting that not only Putin’s share of the vote, but Russian diaspora turnout, were all up.

A Washington Post analysis of precinct-level data from Russia’s Central Election Commission shows support for Putin surged in Sunday’s election among Russians voting in the West. Russian embassies and consulates in the 29 countries of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization reported a total of 129,231 votes cast for Putin at their ballot boxes, according to the Post analysis. In the last presidential election, in 2012, Putin got just two-thirds that amount of votes in those countries.

In Germany, the number of votes for Putin nearly tripled from 2012 to more than 27,000 in Sunday’s election. In the voting precinct run by the Russian Embassy in Washington, votes for Putin roughly doubled to 1,531. The overall rise in Putin votes in NATO countries is about double the rate in the Russian election as a whole, in which Putin’s vote tally increased by about 24 percent from 2012.

putin-2018-vote-abroad

In all fairness – and as they themselves note – this doesn’t necessarily equate to a major turnaround in the Russian diaspora’s anti-Putin sentiments.

For instance, it is estimated there are at least 100,000 Russians in London. Even a doubling of the number of the number of votes for Putin still only reflects about 2% of the Russian community in Great Britain.

Meanwhile, since Navalny – who told his supporters to boycott the vote – has by far his strongest constituency abroad, it is likely that a lot of the hardcore anti-Putinists stayed at home.

As in 2012, the largest and most pro-Putin bastions were countries and regions where many Russians were stranded after the collapse of the USSR – Russians in the Baltics, in Abkhazia, and in Transnistria all gave Putin more than 90% of the vote.

Finally, the results from Syria are interesting, in that they reflect the views of the Russian military. The 3,839 voters there gave Putin 84.4%, Zhirinovsky 3.6%, Grudinin 2.4%, Sobchak 1.2%, and Yavlinsky 0.1%.

Considering that in Russia itself Grudinin beat Zhirinovsky by a factor of 2, while Putin got 77%, this confirms my point about the conservative-nationalist tilt of the military.

From the Duma elections of 2016:

Syria – Had 4,571 voters total, which incidentally gives one a pretty good idea of the magnitude of the Russian military presence there (i.e., probably around 5,000, since turnout is close to 100% at military bases). United Russia got 63%, LDPR got 20%, KPRF got 6%, Fair Russia got 1.6%, and Yabloko and PARNAS got 0.5% between them. This is a good proxy for the political views of the Russian military.

Incidentally, the lower numbers of voters in 2018 relative to 2016 may imply that Russia has indeed marginally drawn down its military presence in Syria.

Finally, all this goes to show to what extent Russia really is a normal country.

1. Liberal elites/globalists abroad tend to vote against the conservative/nationalist vector in their country’s politics [Putin, Zeman, Le Pen, Trump, anti-Brexit].

2. Ordinary people who ended up or were stranded abroad vote FOR the conservative/nationalist vector in their countries’ politics [see Poles in Chicago voting for PiS, Hungarians in Romania voting for Orban, etc].

3. The military has a strong conservative-nationalist tilt [2/3 of US military voting for Trump, half of French siloviks voting for National Front].

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Russian Elections 2018, Vladimir Putin 
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  1. Just an anecdote.

    I once met a German guy (he’s still a Facebook friend) who I learned was actually a Russian immigrant. (Now I suspect he’s a Volga German. He arrived in Germany as a small child.)

    I first noticed his political opinions only after a few years. (He started posting political stuff maybe around 2014.) His political positions are:

    - #RussiaAlwaysRight
    - #Putin<3
    - #RefugeesNotWelcome
    - #RefugeesGoHome
    - #MerkelDestroysGermany

    Read More
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  2. A Washington Post analysis of precinct-level data from Russia’s Central Election Commission shows support for Putin surged in Sunday’s election among Russians voting in the West. Russian embassies and consulates in the 29 countries of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization reported a total of 129,231 votes cast for Putin at their ballot boxes, according to the Post analysis. In the last presidential election, in 2012, Putin got just two-thirds that amount of votes in those countries.

    In Germany, the number of votes for Putin nearly tripled from 2012 to more than 27,000 in Sunday’s election. In the voting precinct run by the Russian Embassy in Washington, votes for Putin roughly doubled to 1,531. The overall rise in Putin votes in NATO countries is about double the rate in the Russian election as a whole, in which Putin’s vote tally increased by about 24 percent from 2012.

    Is it my imagination, or is this wording a subtle hint that these Putin voters make up a possible fifth column? Why not just go with “The West”?

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    Yes, that sounds like that. Though I didn’t notice at first, this wording is strange, to say the least.
    , @ussr andy
    uh-oh. sh*** just got real (didn't vote, for Vladimir Putin or otherwise, but am russophone.) wonder what they will do.


    OT the thing in Germany may have to do with the "Lisa" affair.

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  3. Cuckland (formerly known as UK) voted for Sobchak in disturbingly high numbers, I am guessing that the ultra leftist ideology is starting to influence Russians living there.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    It has always been like that (e.g. see 2012).

    Who are the people who live in the Far Abroad? Students, businessmen, exiles, etc. I.e. globalists with IQ = 115.

    Who lives in the UK? Especially London? That x 10.

    And this pattern isn't specific to Russia but seems to be universal.
    , @reiner Tor
    Or self-selection. Liberals (or people with a predisposition to become liberals) left Russia for London, and now they are voting liberal.
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  4. @Swedish Family

    A Washington Post analysis of precinct-level data from Russia’s Central Election Commission shows support for Putin surged in Sunday’s election among Russians voting in the West. Russian embassies and consulates in the 29 countries of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization reported a total of 129,231 votes cast for Putin at their ballot boxes, according to the Post analysis. In the last presidential election, in 2012, Putin got just two-thirds that amount of votes in those countries.

    In Germany, the number of votes for Putin nearly tripled from 2012 to more than 27,000 in Sunday’s election. In the voting precinct run by the Russian Embassy in Washington, votes for Putin roughly doubled to 1,531. The overall rise in Putin votes in NATO countries is about double the rate in the Russian election as a whole, in which Putin’s vote tally increased by about 24 percent from 2012.
     
    Is it my imagination, or is this wording a subtle hint that these Putin voters make up a possible fifth column? Why not just go with "The West"?

    Yes, that sounds like that. Though I didn’t notice at first, this wording is strange, to say the least.

    Read More
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  5. @neutral
    Cuckland (formerly known as UK) voted for Sobchak in disturbingly high numbers, I am guessing that the ultra leftist ideology is starting to influence Russians living there.

    It has always been like that (e.g. see 2012).

    Who are the people who live in the Far Abroad? Students, businessmen, exiles, etc. I.e. globalists with IQ = 115.

    Who lives in the UK? Especially London? That x 10.

    And this pattern isn’t specific to Russia but seems to be universal.

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  6. @neutral
    Cuckland (formerly known as UK) voted for Sobchak in disturbingly high numbers, I am guessing that the ultra leftist ideology is starting to influence Russians living there.

    Or self-selection. Liberals (or people with a predisposition to become liberals) left Russia for London, and now they are voting liberal.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dmitry
    In London, it's more rich and well connected people, as well as children of rich and well connected people, as well as some number of professionals/researchers.

    The Sobchak voters in London, I guess will be including quite a few children of rich and politically well connected people.

    (i.e. People like Sobchak herself, whose father was Putin's former master).

    Another issue is that when you are overseas you are getting your political knowledge more from youtube videos, rather than watching federal television channels. Sobchak was mainly campaigning, only on the internet.
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  7. OT:

    Trump Names John Bolton As National Security Adviser

    Read More
    • Replies: @German_reader
    lol, but I guess Trump cultists will explain even this away as some clever plan or a concession Trump just has to make.
    The truly retarded ones will of course cheer once bombing of Iran commences.
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  8. @for-the-record
    OT:

    Trump Names John Bolton As National Security Adviser

    lol, but I guess Trump cultists will explain even this away as some clever plan or a concession Trump just has to make.
    The truly retarded ones will of course cheer once bombing of Iran commences.

    Read More
    • Replies: @German_reader
    http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/why-a-john-bolton-appointment-is-scarier-than-you-think-mcmaster-trump/
    , @Dmitry
    I think Trump's idea is to put the most scary people in the position, in order to make America more threatening in the negotiation with other countries.

    Originally, he chose military generals for that reason. But he didn't realize generals as a professional class are generally bit liberal in their personal views (in all countries).
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  9. @German_reader
    lol, but I guess Trump cultists will explain even this away as some clever plan or a concession Trump just has to make.
    The truly retarded ones will of course cheer once bombing of Iran commences.
    Read More
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  10. Bonkers Bolton.

    The end of the line for any defence of Trump.

    The only way I could see this not finishing off any rational defence of Trump on foreign policy issues is if Trump is just setting a trap for Bolton and will be parachuting him into Iran alone with a “secret super weapon” to destroy the mullahs. “Don’t worry John. It’ll be like the ending of the film Raiders of the Lost Ark. You remember – opening the Ark and all those Nazis getting dissolved and leaving the good guys untouched. Nazis and Iranians are the same thing, right? Just walk up to the nearest Iranian guards, shout something noble for the history books – “Israel forever”, or something like that, squeeze your eyes tight shut and open the box. You’re going to be a hero of Biblical proportions afterwards. You sure about keeping the moustache?”

    Still at least he’ll be too busy now to keep trolling Unz as “Quartermaster”.

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  11. @German_reader
    lol, but I guess Trump cultists will explain even this away as some clever plan or a concession Trump just has to make.
    The truly retarded ones will of course cheer once bombing of Iran commences.

    I think Trump’s idea is to put the most scary people in the position, in order to make America more threatening in the negotiation with other countries.

    Originally, he chose military generals for that reason. But he didn’t realize generals as a professional class are generally bit liberal in their personal views (in all countries).

    Read More
    • Replies: @German_reader

    I think Trump’s idea is to put the most scary people in the position, in order to make America more threatening in the negotiation with other countries.
     
    I think America is already threatening enough, the idea US nationalists have that the US isn't feared enough, derided as a paper tiger etc. has no relation to reality.
    But it's wishful thinking imo to look for some explanation that makes Trump look like a thoughtful statesman with some grand plan...he's just a belligerent American nationalist, and not an especially intelligent or intellectually-minded one, so it wouldn't be surprising if he agrees with Bolton on most issues.
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  12. Turnout is also extremely low in a few of these places.

    I wonder what percentage that is in America and Canada.

    For Israel the turnout seems under 6%? . They should have around 250,000 passport holders.

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  13. @reiner Tor
    Or self-selection. Liberals (or people with a predisposition to become liberals) left Russia for London, and now they are voting liberal.

    In London, it’s more rich and well connected people, as well as children of rich and well connected people, as well as some number of professionals/researchers.

    The Sobchak voters in London, I guess will be including quite a few children of rich and politically well connected people.

    (i.e. People like Sobchak herself, whose father was Putin’s former master).

    Another issue is that when you are overseas you are getting your political knowledge more from youtube videos, rather than watching federal television channels. Sobchak was mainly campaigning, only on the internet.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dmitry

    The Sobchak voters in London, I guess will be including quite a few children of rich and politically well connected people.

     

    For a celebrity example of liberal children.

    Alyona Minkovski, daughter of Irina Rodnina (famous in the West for the photo of Obama with the banana) - is leading presenter the left-wing American Huffington Post.
    , @reiner Tor

    Sobchak herself, whose father was Putin’s former master
     
    Are her political views that much different from the views of her father? He was a 1990s liberal himself. And a cleptocrat, but I guess Ksenia is enjoying that wealth herself.
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  14. @Dmitry
    I think Trump's idea is to put the most scary people in the position, in order to make America more threatening in the negotiation with other countries.

    Originally, he chose military generals for that reason. But he didn't realize generals as a professional class are generally bit liberal in their personal views (in all countries).

    I think Trump’s idea is to put the most scary people in the position, in order to make America more threatening in the negotiation with other countries.

    I think America is already threatening enough, the idea US nationalists have that the US isn’t feared enough, derided as a paper tiger etc. has no relation to reality.
    But it’s wishful thinking imo to look for some explanation that makes Trump look like a thoughtful statesman with some grand plan…he’s just a belligerent American nationalist, and not an especially intelligent or intellectually-minded one, so it wouldn’t be surprising if he agrees with Bolton on most issues.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dmitry

    I think America is already threatening enough, the idea US nationalists have that the US isn’t feared enough, derided as a paper tiger etc. has no relation to reality.
    But it’s wishful thinking imo to look for some explanation that makes Trump look like a thoughtful statesman with some grand plan…he’s just a belligerent American nationalist, and not an especially intelligent or intellectually-minded one, so it wouldn’t be surprising if he agrees with Bolton on most issues.
     
    Yes he probably agrees with the views himself.

    And - he wants to be scary. And feels safer with the more scary people around him, or on his team selection.

    The two things are complements.

    He wants the foreigners to be in fear of him, rather than mockery.

    That's why he added originally all these military generals (I think he was ignorant, that military generals in all countries, are often very moderate and non-scary in their non-military life).
    , @Matra
    I think America is already threatening enough, the idea US nationalists have that the US isn’t feared enough, derided as a paper tiger etc. has no relation to reality.

    It doesn't look very threatening to me, in fact it looks weak and divided with a leader who is publicly insulted even by a weak British PM whose country he can't even visit. Judging by a lot of what I've read from Middle East and Asian commentators there seems to be mixed views on whether the US is truly threatening or an all bluster paper tiger. I remember Germans being bedwetters in the 80s. Maybe they still are.

    We don't know whether he's fighting the Deep State or has thrown in his lot with them. I think Dmitry is right in that this is about up-coming negotiations with numerous countries, not just North Korea. The 4D chess advocates can be ridiculous but I'm guessing foreign states are less certain of his intentions than Unz commentators who watch RT all day.
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  15. @Dmitry
    In London, it's more rich and well connected people, as well as children of rich and well connected people, as well as some number of professionals/researchers.

    The Sobchak voters in London, I guess will be including quite a few children of rich and politically well connected people.

    (i.e. People like Sobchak herself, whose father was Putin's former master).

    Another issue is that when you are overseas you are getting your political knowledge more from youtube videos, rather than watching federal television channels. Sobchak was mainly campaigning, only on the internet.

    The Sobchak voters in London, I guess will be including quite a few children of rich and politically well connected people.

    For a celebrity example of liberal children.

    Alyona Minkovski, daughter of Irina Rodnina (famous in the West for the photo of Obama with the banana) – is leading presenter the left-wing American Huffington Post.

    Read More
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  16. @German_reader

    I think Trump’s idea is to put the most scary people in the position, in order to make America more threatening in the negotiation with other countries.
     
    I think America is already threatening enough, the idea US nationalists have that the US isn't feared enough, derided as a paper tiger etc. has no relation to reality.
    But it's wishful thinking imo to look for some explanation that makes Trump look like a thoughtful statesman with some grand plan...he's just a belligerent American nationalist, and not an especially intelligent or intellectually-minded one, so it wouldn't be surprising if he agrees with Bolton on most issues.

    I think America is already threatening enough, the idea US nationalists have that the US isn’t feared enough, derided as a paper tiger etc. has no relation to reality.
    But it’s wishful thinking imo to look for some explanation that makes Trump look like a thoughtful statesman with some grand plan…he’s just a belligerent American nationalist, and not an especially intelligent or intellectually-minded one, so it wouldn’t be surprising if he agrees with Bolton on most issues.

    Yes he probably agrees with the views himself.

    And – he wants to be scary. And feels safer with the more scary people around him, or on his team selection.

    The two things are complements.

    He wants the foreigners to be in fear of him, rather than mockery.

    That’s why he added originally all these military generals (I think he was ignorant, that military generals in all countries, are often very moderate and non-scary in their non-military life).

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jaakko Raipala

    That’s why he added originally all these military generals (I think he was ignorant, that military generals in all countries, are often very moderate and non-scary in their non-military life).
     
    Even in a functional country where they're not just promoting sycophants, the top officer class is going to get ideologically and politically vetted. You go through all sorts of de facto loyalty trials and background examinations before promotion to general and that's deep state work.

    The top of the officer class in the US is extremely pozzed and completely aligned with the deep state. They've been vetted against having sympathies with Iran, Russia, North Korea, anything the deep state views as a rival or an enemy of the US. Enlisted men are not similarly vetted (can't turn down cannon fodder) and there seems to be a huge divergence of opinion in the US military where Trump is extremely popular among enlisted white men but extremely unpopular with the career officers.

    There is of course a perfect comparison in Russian history around the revolution. America right now is pretty far from street battles between conscripts and officers but a divergence that may get bigger in the future exists and the relationship with Russia is a big potential rupture - the average patriotic man was eager to oppose communism but today an enlisted man likely joined because he wanted to fight Muslim radicals, not to export poz to Eastern Europe.

    And regarding London, I wonder how much wealthy anti-Putin Russian émigrés are contributing to Britain's zealous propaganda push against Russia. They may be the minority but they're likely the most wealthy since the most anti-Putin wealthy were the most likely people to move their money out of the country. Of course we will never see the Western press examining whether this kind of "Russian interference" is influencing British politics.
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  17. these military generals (I think he was ignorant, that military generals in all countries, are often very moderate and non-scary in their non-military life).

    Higher intelligence and education, combined with professional knowledge and responsibility.

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  18. @Dmitry
    In London, it's more rich and well connected people, as well as children of rich and well connected people, as well as some number of professionals/researchers.

    The Sobchak voters in London, I guess will be including quite a few children of rich and politically well connected people.

    (i.e. People like Sobchak herself, whose father was Putin's former master).

    Another issue is that when you are overseas you are getting your political knowledge more from youtube videos, rather than watching federal television channels. Sobchak was mainly campaigning, only on the internet.

    Sobchak herself, whose father was Putin’s former master

    Are her political views that much different from the views of her father? He was a 1990s liberal himself. And a cleptocrat, but I guess Ksenia is enjoying that wealth herself.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dmitry

    Are her political views that much different from the views of her father? He was a 1990s liberal himself.

     

    Yes that's true, but neither is the ideology much different from Putin.

    Her ideas are just all over the place in a womanly way (Putin is also like this, and has kind of a stereotypical woman's muddle headedness, although he makes up for that with his good personal skills and flexibility).

    Her programs - just mentioning the problems - and then as solutions, to bring in some more shiny new things from the West - by talking about women's representation in the workforce, fight sexism, or cutting state funding for churches, or the idea of an independent media, or to ban laws against hate speech.

    (Russia being like a primitive African tribe receiving its first can of coca cola, or pack of Marlboro cigarettes)

    She wants to repeal Article 282, which is what is used to prosecute people for hate-speech, racism and - potentially sexism. But then a couple paragraphs later she talks about fighting sexism. (How does this program even fit together?)


    https://www.vedomosti.ru/politics/articles/2017/09/30/736005-sobchak-viborah-prezidenta


    Sobchak's father, of course, if he had not died, he would have be appointed to the highest positions by Putin, and be now at the apex of Kremlin.

    As such, she would likely be in London, - like many children of the Kremlin top.

    And a cleptocrat, but I guess Ksenia is enjoying that wealth herself.

     

    She is clever at getting money by herself, but doing it in way typical of celebrities with narcissistic personality disorder. She creates attention for herself, which is probably real motive for joining opposition in the first place (while carefully not 'going too far'), and then cashes in - more recently on the internet - millions of dollars a year in advertising contracts.
    , @Mitleser

    Are her political views that much different from the views of her father? He was a 1990s liberal himself.
     
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D5W8G2la9Cs

    ...expressing his view of Ukraine state as "close union of former communist party bureaucrats and hardline nationalists" that will end up in big war one day, saying it is nonsense to consider Crimea Ukraine,...
     
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  19. Is there no limit to the evils of Russia?

    Russia ‘arming the Afghan Taliban’, says US

    Actually, the arguments for Russia backing the Taliban now are pretty strong.

    It was always a conservative force with sympathy but little real interest in global jihadism, and the experience of what Al Qaeda brought upon them probably cured them completely of what there was of that.

    It’s even more likely to resist global jihadist ideas now that ISIS is making that case its own in Afghanistan.

    These points tend to emphasise the literal stupidity of the US campaign to rebuild Afghanistan to be safe for feminism and homosexuals, but that said a Taliban government would still probably be friendlier to islamism generally than the current collaborationist one. However, US policy makes causing problems for the US a much higher priority than such distant concerns and if the US is stupid enough to try to keep hold of Afghanistan whilst simultaneously aggressively attacking Russian interests on multiple fronts, and it does appear the Washington elite are that stupid (and the regime’s collective IQ just got significantly lower with the introduction of John Bolton to the team), then building up the Taliban certainly makes sense for Russia.

    So tis could be just more pure propaganda, or there could be some truth in it.

    Read More
    • Agree: dfordoom
    • Replies: @Dmitry
    It seems a genuine case of, bullshit fake news, from the Americans.

    Actually, the arguments for Russia backing the Taliban now are pretty strong.

     

    No Russia has not interest to backing the Taliban.

    Actually there was even some about preventative bombing them in 2000 when they were training Chechen rebels.

    Towards end of video at 2:00

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7QVlsb9nm7g
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  20. @Swedish Family

    A Washington Post analysis of precinct-level data from Russia’s Central Election Commission shows support for Putin surged in Sunday’s election among Russians voting in the West. Russian embassies and consulates in the 29 countries of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization reported a total of 129,231 votes cast for Putin at their ballot boxes, according to the Post analysis. In the last presidential election, in 2012, Putin got just two-thirds that amount of votes in those countries.

    In Germany, the number of votes for Putin nearly tripled from 2012 to more than 27,000 in Sunday’s election. In the voting precinct run by the Russian Embassy in Washington, votes for Putin roughly doubled to 1,531. The overall rise in Putin votes in NATO countries is about double the rate in the Russian election as a whole, in which Putin’s vote tally increased by about 24 percent from 2012.
     
    Is it my imagination, or is this wording a subtle hint that these Putin voters make up a possible fifth column? Why not just go with "The West"?

    uh-oh. sh*** just got real (didn’t vote, for Vladimir Putin or otherwise, but am russophone.) wonder what they will do.

    OT the thing in Germany may have to do with the “Lisa” affair.

    Read More
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  21. @reiner Tor

    Sobchak herself, whose father was Putin’s former master
     
    Are her political views that much different from the views of her father? He was a 1990s liberal himself. And a cleptocrat, but I guess Ksenia is enjoying that wealth herself.

    Are her political views that much different from the views of her father? He was a 1990s liberal himself.

    Yes that’s true, but neither is the ideology much different from Putin.

    Her ideas are just all over the place in a womanly way (Putin is also like this, and has kind of a stereotypical woman’s muddle headedness, although he makes up for that with his good personal skills and flexibility).

    Her programs – just mentioning the problems – and then as solutions, to bring in some more shiny new things from the West – by talking about women’s representation in the workforce, fight sexism, or cutting state funding for churches, or the idea of an independent media, or to ban laws against hate speech.

    (Russia being like a primitive African tribe receiving its first can of coca cola, or pack of Marlboro cigarettes)

    She wants to repeal Article 282, which is what is used to prosecute people for hate-speech, racism and – potentially sexism. But then a couple paragraphs later she talks about fighting sexism. (How does this program even fit together?)

    https://www.vedomosti.ru/politics/articles/2017/09/30/736005-sobchak-viborah-prezidenta

    Sobchak’s father, of course, if he had not died, he would have be appointed to the highest positions by Putin, and be now at the apex of Kremlin.

    As such, she would likely be in London, – like many children of the Kremlin top.

    And a cleptocrat, but I guess Ksenia is enjoying that wealth herself.

    She is clever at getting money by herself, but doing it in way typical of celebrities with narcissistic personality disorder. She creates attention for herself, which is probably real motive for joining opposition in the first place (while carefully not ‘going too far’), and then cashes in – more recently on the internet – millions of dollars a year in advertising contracts.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin

    ... or to ban laws against hate speech.
     
    However, she does want to criminalize praising Stalin. So our poor Israel will go to jail.

    Anyhow, hardly a principled proponent of free speech. I suspect she'll do away with Article 282 but replace it something more specifically aligned with neoliberalism.txt (i.e. illegalizing racism, Stalinism, etc., while decriminalizing Russophobia).

    And a cleptocrat, but I guess Ksenia is enjoying that wealth herself.
     
    Was Anatoly Sobchak really a kleptocrat though? The big scandal surrounding him was over irregularities over a few apartment privatizations in SPB. But even had he outright stolen them, that would still be ridiculously small change by the standards of 1990's Russia (or modern Russia, for that matter).
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  22. @Randal
    Is there no limit to the evils of Russia?

    Russia 'arming the Afghan Taliban', says US

    Actually, the arguments for Russia backing the Taliban now are pretty strong.

    It was always a conservative force with sympathy but little real interest in global jihadism, and the experience of what Al Qaeda brought upon them probably cured them completely of what there was of that.

    It's even more likely to resist global jihadist ideas now that ISIS is making that case its own in Afghanistan.

    These points tend to emphasise the literal stupidity of the US campaign to rebuild Afghanistan to be safe for feminism and homosexuals, but that said a Taliban government would still probably be friendlier to islamism generally than the current collaborationist one. However, US policy makes causing problems for the US a much higher priority than such distant concerns and if the US is stupid enough to try to keep hold of Afghanistan whilst simultaneously aggressively attacking Russian interests on multiple fronts, and it does appear the Washington elite are that stupid (and the regime's collective IQ just got significantly lower with the introduction of John Bolton to the team), then building up the Taliban certainly makes sense for Russia.

    So tis could be just more pure propaganda, or there could be some truth in it.

    It seems a genuine case of, bullshit fake news, from the Americans.

    Actually, the arguments for Russia backing the Taliban now are pretty strong.

    No Russia has not interest to backing the Taliban.

    Actually there was even some about preventative bombing them in 2000 when they were training Chechen rebels.

    Towards end of video at 2:00

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    • Replies: @Randal

    Actually there was even some about preventative bombing them in 2000 when they were training Chechen rebels.
     
    2018 is not 2000.

    No Russia has not interest to backing the Taliban.
     
    That's clearly incorrect, as I pointed out above.

    Whether the balance of interests favours such a policy is another matter, as is whether this particular story is pure US black propaganda or has a basis in reality
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  23. @Dmitry
    It seems a genuine case of, bullshit fake news, from the Americans.

    Actually, the arguments for Russia backing the Taliban now are pretty strong.

     

    No Russia has not interest to backing the Taliban.

    Actually there was even some about preventative bombing them in 2000 when they were training Chechen rebels.

    Towards end of video at 2:00

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7QVlsb9nm7g

    Actually there was even some about preventative bombing them in 2000 when they were training Chechen rebels.

    2018 is not 2000.

    No Russia has not interest to backing the Taliban.

    That’s clearly incorrect, as I pointed out above.

    Whether the balance of interests favours such a policy is another matter, as is whether this particular story is pure US black propaganda or has a basis in reality

    Read More
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  24. The Canadian numbers are off. According to the Russian Embassy, 4141 people voted and Putin got 76.86%. Sobchak 8.54%, Grudinin 7.7%, Yavlinsky 3.35%, Zhirinovsky 1.23% (he’s even behind one of the 3 guys no one heard of).

    https://canada.mid.ru/-/o-vyborah-prezidenta-rossijskoj-federacii-v-kanade

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    Thanks.

    The figure in the Google Doc is now at 4,191 for Canada. I assume foreign polling station took the longest to process data.

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/18Eo-tMXseviXZUu0AotBks8Eww1NfD9Vq_4Xb-wrGVs/
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  25. @Dmitry

    Are her political views that much different from the views of her father? He was a 1990s liberal himself.

     

    Yes that's true, but neither is the ideology much different from Putin.

    Her ideas are just all over the place in a womanly way (Putin is also like this, and has kind of a stereotypical woman's muddle headedness, although he makes up for that with his good personal skills and flexibility).

    Her programs - just mentioning the problems - and then as solutions, to bring in some more shiny new things from the West - by talking about women's representation in the workforce, fight sexism, or cutting state funding for churches, or the idea of an independent media, or to ban laws against hate speech.

    (Russia being like a primitive African tribe receiving its first can of coca cola, or pack of Marlboro cigarettes)

    She wants to repeal Article 282, which is what is used to prosecute people for hate-speech, racism and - potentially sexism. But then a couple paragraphs later she talks about fighting sexism. (How does this program even fit together?)


    https://www.vedomosti.ru/politics/articles/2017/09/30/736005-sobchak-viborah-prezidenta


    Sobchak's father, of course, if he had not died, he would have be appointed to the highest positions by Putin, and be now at the apex of Kremlin.

    As such, she would likely be in London, - like many children of the Kremlin top.

    And a cleptocrat, but I guess Ksenia is enjoying that wealth herself.

     

    She is clever at getting money by herself, but doing it in way typical of celebrities with narcissistic personality disorder. She creates attention for herself, which is probably real motive for joining opposition in the first place (while carefully not 'going too far'), and then cashes in - more recently on the internet - millions of dollars a year in advertising contracts.

    … or to ban laws against hate speech.

    However, she does want to criminalize praising Stalin. So our poor Israel will go to jail.

    Anyhow, hardly a principled proponent of free speech. I suspect she’ll do away with Article 282 but replace it something more specifically aligned with neoliberalism.txt (i.e. illegalizing racism, Stalinism, etc., while decriminalizing Russophobia).

    And a cleptocrat, but I guess Ksenia is enjoying that wealth herself.

    Was Anatoly Sobchak really a kleptocrat though? The big scandal surrounding him was over irregularities over a few apartment privatizations in SPB. But even had he outright stolen them, that would still be ridiculously small change by the standards of 1990′s Russia (or modern Russia, for that matter).

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dmitry

    However, she does want to criminalize praising Stalin. So our poor Israel will go to jail.

     

    Israel does not even have to praise Stalin. He will be anyway enjoying his retirement of forced labor camp in Siberia, for some article he wrote about her.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hFivRDR4hdo
    , @reiner Tor

    Was Anatoly Sobchak really a kleptocrat though?
     
    I don’t know. I remember having read over a decade ago how Ksenia was the Russian equivalent to Paris Hilton, i.e. a rich heiress who became a reality star. I also read at the time (in a Hungarian article I think, obviously not very well researched) that the source of her wealth was what she inherited from her father. I also vaguely remember that her wealth was described as running into the hundreds of millions. Since her father was only a mayor of a big city, and he fled the country to avoid being prosecuted on corruption charges, it became firmly entrenched in my consciousness that he must have been extremely corrupt. Reading through his Wikipedia page it no longer seems so obvious.
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  26. @Toronto Russian
    The Canadian numbers are off. According to the Russian Embassy, 4141 people voted and Putin got 76.86%. Sobchak 8.54%, Grudinin 7.7%, Yavlinsky 3.35%, Zhirinovsky 1.23% (he's even behind one of the 3 guys no one heard of).
    https://canada.mid.ru/-/o-vyborah-prezidenta-rossijskoj-federacii-v-kanade

    Thanks.

    The figure in the Google Doc is now at 4,191 for Canada. I assume foreign polling station took the longest to process data.

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/18Eo-tMXseviXZUu0AotBks8Eww1NfD9Vq_4Xb-wrGVs/

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dmitry
    Putin got almost 70% of the vote in ultra-liberal, far-leftist city of Tel Aviv?

    This has to be a strange effect of the incredibly low voter turn-out.

    And he even wins 59% in Seattle? (Famously one of the most leftist paradises in America).

    -

    I think the main story here though, is the ultra-low turnout of Russian passport holders in the Western countries. Most of these places are going to be under 10% voter turnout, some under 5%.
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  27. @Anatoly Karlin

    ... or to ban laws against hate speech.
     
    However, she does want to criminalize praising Stalin. So our poor Israel will go to jail.

    Anyhow, hardly a principled proponent of free speech. I suspect she'll do away with Article 282 but replace it something more specifically aligned with neoliberalism.txt (i.e. illegalizing racism, Stalinism, etc., while decriminalizing Russophobia).

    And a cleptocrat, but I guess Ksenia is enjoying that wealth herself.
     
    Was Anatoly Sobchak really a kleptocrat though? The big scandal surrounding him was over irregularities over a few apartment privatizations in SPB. But even had he outright stolen them, that would still be ridiculously small change by the standards of 1990's Russia (or modern Russia, for that matter).

    However, she does want to criminalize praising Stalin. So our poor Israel will go to jail.

    Israel does not even have to praise Stalin. He will be anyway enjoying his retirement of forced labor camp in Siberia, for some article he wrote about her.

    Read More
    • LOL: Anatoly Karlin
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  28. @Anatoly Karlin
    Thanks.

    The figure in the Google Doc is now at 4,191 for Canada. I assume foreign polling station took the longest to process data.

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/18Eo-tMXseviXZUu0AotBks8Eww1NfD9Vq_4Xb-wrGVs/

    Putin got almost 70% of the vote in ultra-liberal, far-leftist city of Tel Aviv?

    This has to be a strange effect of the incredibly low voter turn-out.

    And he even wins 59% in Seattle? (Famously one of the most leftist paradises in America).

    -

    I think the main story here though, is the ultra-low turnout of Russian passport holders in the Western countries. Most of these places are going to be under 10% voter turnout, some under 5%.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    Turnout is very low - but as WaPo points out, about 2x higher than in 2012.

    Putin supporters abroad must have mobilized even harder.
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  29. @German_reader

    I think Trump’s idea is to put the most scary people in the position, in order to make America more threatening in the negotiation with other countries.
     
    I think America is already threatening enough, the idea US nationalists have that the US isn't feared enough, derided as a paper tiger etc. has no relation to reality.
    But it's wishful thinking imo to look for some explanation that makes Trump look like a thoughtful statesman with some grand plan...he's just a belligerent American nationalist, and not an especially intelligent or intellectually-minded one, so it wouldn't be surprising if he agrees with Bolton on most issues.

    I think America is already threatening enough, the idea US nationalists have that the US isn’t feared enough, derided as a paper tiger etc. has no relation to reality.

    It doesn’t look very threatening to me, in fact it looks weak and divided with a leader who is publicly insulted even by a weak British PM whose country he can’t even visit. Judging by a lot of what I’ve read from Middle East and Asian commentators there seems to be mixed views on whether the US is truly threatening or an all bluster paper tiger. I remember Germans being bedwetters in the 80s. Maybe they still are.

    We don’t know whether he’s fighting the Deep State or has thrown in his lot with them. I think Dmitry is right in that this is about up-coming negotiations with numerous countries, not just North Korea. The 4D chess advocates can be ridiculous but I’m guessing foreign states are less certain of his intentions than Unz commentators who watch RT all day.

    Read More
    • Replies: @German_reader

    but I’m guessing foreign states are less certain of his intentions than Unz commentators who watch RT all day.
     
    I've never watched RT and my sympathies for Russia are rather limited on the whole. I certainly don't have any illusions about the potential threat Russia represents and find conservative Western Russophiles babbling on about Holy Russia pathetic. But I see absolutely no reason why there needs to be a new Cold war with Russia, or why I should regard such a development as positive.

    It doesn’t look very threatening to me,
     
    Bizarre statement given how militarized and aggressive US foreign policy has become over the last 25 years.

    I remember Germans being bedwetters in the 80s.

     

    It isn't the 1980s anymore, and your statement about Germans being "bedwetters" back then is massive exaggeration, Schmidt and Kohl pushed through the NATO double-track policy, and West Germany maintained large conscription-based armed forces. There was a stupid peace movement that was probably influenced by Moscow, but you had much the same in Britain with CND.
    Problem with you Anglo types is you get so easily manipulated by appeals to patriotic sentiment, standing firm against foreign threats (always a new Hitler around), white man's burden through wars in far-away places etc. So Trump with his blatant selling out to Zionist lobbyists and Islamic Gulf state autocrats (both groups whose influence in the West needs to be reduced to zero) can still be spun as a patriot who's on "our" side (he just can't say so openly!)...just bizarre.
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  30. @Dmitry
    Putin got almost 70% of the vote in ultra-liberal, far-leftist city of Tel Aviv?

    This has to be a strange effect of the incredibly low voter turn-out.

    And he even wins 59% in Seattle? (Famously one of the most leftist paradises in America).

    -

    I think the main story here though, is the ultra-low turnout of Russian passport holders in the Western countries. Most of these places are going to be under 10% voter turnout, some under 5%.

    Turnout is very low – but as WaPo points out, about 2x higher than in 2012.

    Putin supporters abroad must have mobilized even harder.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dmitry

    Turnout is very low – but as WaPo points out, about 2x higher than in 2012.

    Putin supporters abroad must have mobilized even harder.
     
    And you need an up-to-date passport. Not everyone (with more than one other citizenship) bothers to renew the passport - i.e. those which never bother to go home (less patriotically interested citizens).

    And of course, it's only people following politics in the home country, that will remember and/or bother to turn up, when the voting day is - and that's naturally people who are more 'patriotically' feeling.

    And from the regions with the lowest numbers of voters, there will be a strong impact of the presence of government employees/embassy staff.
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  31. @Matra
    I think America is already threatening enough, the idea US nationalists have that the US isn’t feared enough, derided as a paper tiger etc. has no relation to reality.

    It doesn't look very threatening to me, in fact it looks weak and divided with a leader who is publicly insulted even by a weak British PM whose country he can't even visit. Judging by a lot of what I've read from Middle East and Asian commentators there seems to be mixed views on whether the US is truly threatening or an all bluster paper tiger. I remember Germans being bedwetters in the 80s. Maybe they still are.

    We don't know whether he's fighting the Deep State or has thrown in his lot with them. I think Dmitry is right in that this is about up-coming negotiations with numerous countries, not just North Korea. The 4D chess advocates can be ridiculous but I'm guessing foreign states are less certain of his intentions than Unz commentators who watch RT all day.

    but I’m guessing foreign states are less certain of his intentions than Unz commentators who watch RT all day.

    I’ve never watched RT and my sympathies for Russia are rather limited on the whole. I certainly don’t have any illusions about the potential threat Russia represents and find conservative Western Russophiles babbling on about Holy Russia pathetic. But I see absolutely no reason why there needs to be a new Cold war with Russia, or why I should regard such a development as positive.

    It doesn’t look very threatening to me,

    Bizarre statement given how militarized and aggressive US foreign policy has become over the last 25 years.

    I remember Germans being bedwetters in the 80s.

    It isn’t the 1980s anymore, and your statement about Germans being “bedwetters” back then is massive exaggeration, Schmidt and Kohl pushed through the NATO double-track policy, and West Germany maintained large conscription-based armed forces. There was a stupid peace movement that was probably influenced by Moscow, but you had much the same in Britain with CND.
    Problem with you Anglo types is you get so easily manipulated by appeals to patriotic sentiment, standing firm against foreign threats (always a new Hitler around), white man’s burden through wars in far-away places etc. So Trump with his blatant selling out to Zionist lobbyists and Islamic Gulf state autocrats (both groups whose influence in the West needs to be reduced to zero) can still be spun as a patriot who’s on “our” side (he just can’t say so openly!)…just bizarre.

    Read More
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  32. @reiner Tor

    Sobchak herself, whose father was Putin’s former master
     
    Are her political views that much different from the views of her father? He was a 1990s liberal himself. And a cleptocrat, but I guess Ksenia is enjoying that wealth herself.

    Are her political views that much different from the views of her father? He was a 1990s liberal himself.

    …expressing his view of Ukraine state as “close union of former communist party bureaucrats and hardline nationalists” that will end up in big war one day, saying it is nonsense to consider Crimea Ukraine,…

    Read More
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  33. @Dmitry

    I think America is already threatening enough, the idea US nationalists have that the US isn’t feared enough, derided as a paper tiger etc. has no relation to reality.
    But it’s wishful thinking imo to look for some explanation that makes Trump look like a thoughtful statesman with some grand plan…he’s just a belligerent American nationalist, and not an especially intelligent or intellectually-minded one, so it wouldn’t be surprising if he agrees with Bolton on most issues.
     
    Yes he probably agrees with the views himself.

    And - he wants to be scary. And feels safer with the more scary people around him, or on his team selection.

    The two things are complements.

    He wants the foreigners to be in fear of him, rather than mockery.

    That's why he added originally all these military generals (I think he was ignorant, that military generals in all countries, are often very moderate and non-scary in their non-military life).

    That’s why he added originally all these military generals (I think he was ignorant, that military generals in all countries, are often very moderate and non-scary in their non-military life).

    Even in a functional country where they’re not just promoting sycophants, the top officer class is going to get ideologically and politically vetted. You go through all sorts of de facto loyalty trials and background examinations before promotion to general and that’s deep state work.

    The top of the officer class in the US is extremely pozzed and completely aligned with the deep state. They’ve been vetted against having sympathies with Iran, Russia, North Korea, anything the deep state views as a rival or an enemy of the US. Enlisted men are not similarly vetted (can’t turn down cannon fodder) and there seems to be a huge divergence of opinion in the US military where Trump is extremely popular among enlisted white men but extremely unpopular with the career officers.

    There is of course a perfect comparison in Russian history around the revolution. America right now is pretty far from street battles between conscripts and officers but a divergence that may get bigger in the future exists and the relationship with Russia is a big potential rupture – the average patriotic man was eager to oppose communism but today an enlisted man likely joined because he wanted to fight Muslim radicals, not to export poz to Eastern Europe.

    And regarding London, I wonder how much wealthy anti-Putin Russian émigrés are contributing to Britain’s zealous propaganda push against Russia. They may be the minority but they’re likely the most wealthy since the most anti-Putin wealthy were the most likely people to move their money out of the country. Of course we will never see the Western press examining whether this kind of “Russian interference” is influencing British politics.

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    • Replies: @Dmitry

    wealthy anti-Putin Russian émigrés are contributing to Britain’s zealous propaganda push against Russia. They may be the minority but they’re likely the most wealthy since the most anti-Putin wealthy were the most likely people to move their money out of the country. Of course we will never see the Western press examining whether this kind of “Russian interference” is influencing British politics.
     
    But very wealthy people (i.e. people wealthy enough to buy apartments in Knightsbridge London), are usually pro-Putin.
     It's their children, which are usually our generation - millenials/generation Y, who are often less enthusiastic.

    It goes back to the 'six-degrees' of separation game.

    Arguably strongest inverse correlate of wealth is degrees of separation from Putin.

    The wealthier you are, higher chance that your number of degrees of separation from Putin is low (with 1 being the ideal number - well not quite true, the best is 0 degrees of separation, but the honour of 0 degrees of separation from Putin is reserved only for Putin himself).

    Relatedly, lower the number of degrees of separation from Putin you have (again 1 being the ideal), the higher your chance of being wealthy.

    But although wealth is transferable relationship from source, to parents to children (a to b, b to c), the affection is not (most kids have no special affection for their parents' friends, and quite often opposite emotion).
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  34. @Jaakko Raipala

    That’s why he added originally all these military generals (I think he was ignorant, that military generals in all countries, are often very moderate and non-scary in their non-military life).
     
    Even in a functional country where they're not just promoting sycophants, the top officer class is going to get ideologically and politically vetted. You go through all sorts of de facto loyalty trials and background examinations before promotion to general and that's deep state work.

    The top of the officer class in the US is extremely pozzed and completely aligned with the deep state. They've been vetted against having sympathies with Iran, Russia, North Korea, anything the deep state views as a rival or an enemy of the US. Enlisted men are not similarly vetted (can't turn down cannon fodder) and there seems to be a huge divergence of opinion in the US military where Trump is extremely popular among enlisted white men but extremely unpopular with the career officers.

    There is of course a perfect comparison in Russian history around the revolution. America right now is pretty far from street battles between conscripts and officers but a divergence that may get bigger in the future exists and the relationship with Russia is a big potential rupture - the average patriotic man was eager to oppose communism but today an enlisted man likely joined because he wanted to fight Muslim radicals, not to export poz to Eastern Europe.

    And regarding London, I wonder how much wealthy anti-Putin Russian émigrés are contributing to Britain's zealous propaganda push against Russia. They may be the minority but they're likely the most wealthy since the most anti-Putin wealthy were the most likely people to move their money out of the country. Of course we will never see the Western press examining whether this kind of "Russian interference" is influencing British politics.

    wealthy anti-Putin Russian émigrés are contributing to Britain’s zealous propaganda push against Russia. They may be the minority but they’re likely the most wealthy since the most anti-Putin wealthy were the most likely people to move their money out of the country. Of course we will never see the Western press examining whether this kind of “Russian interference” is influencing British politics.

    But very wealthy people (i.e. people wealthy enough to buy apartments in Knightsbridge London), are usually pro-Putin.

    It’s their children, which are usually our generation – millenials/generation Y, who are often less enthusiastic.

    It goes back to the ‘six-degrees’ of separation game.

    Arguably strongest inverse correlate of wealth is degrees of separation from Putin.

    The wealthier you are, higher chance that your number of degrees of separation from Putin is low (with 1 being the ideal number – well not quite true, the best is 0 degrees of separation, but the honour of 0 degrees of separation from Putin is reserved only for Putin himself).

    Relatedly, lower the number of degrees of separation from Putin you have (again 1 being the ideal), the higher your chance of being wealthy.

    But although wealth is transferable relationship from source, to parents to children (a to b, b to c), the affection is not (most kids have no special affection for their parents’ friends, and quite often opposite emotion).

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dmitry

    But very wealthy people (i.e. people wealthy enough to buy apartments in Knightsbridge London), are usually pro-Putin.

     

    Footnote:

    To check how much money, the people who are talking about their apartment in Knightsbridge are actually wasting on this:

    One English £ is equal to around 1.4 American $

    https://www.onthemarket.com/for-sale/property/knightsbridge/?sort-field=price&view=grid
    , @Anatoly Karlin

    But very wealthy people (i.e. people wealthy enough to buy apartments in Knightsbridge London), are usually pro-Putin.
     
    Well, since 80% of Russia is currently pro-Putin, of course there'll be many pro-Putinists amongst those too.

    But far fewer than in the population at large.

    If 51% of Russian voters voted for Putin (turnout * Putin), then only a third did so in Tverskaya, the most elite district of Moscow, which abuts the Kremlin.

    Percentage amongst Russians with mansions in London would be far lower still.

    No surprise about the age gap too - if 82% of elderly Russians supported Putin according to the VCIOM polls, only 65% did amongst the 18-24 year olds, amongst whom Sobchak claimed almost 10% support (rising from negligible figures amongst the other age groups). No reason for this pattern not to be replicated across social groups, including the elites.

    Relatedly, lower the number of degrees of separation from Putin you have (again 1 being the ideal), the higher your chance of being wealthy.
     
    Implies that familiarity = affection, which is not the case anywhere. For instance, Trump is famously loathed by America's socio-economic elites. Was so even before becoming President. But they were all a great deal closer to him than average Joe, regardless.
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  35. @Dmitry

    wealthy anti-Putin Russian émigrés are contributing to Britain’s zealous propaganda push against Russia. They may be the minority but they’re likely the most wealthy since the most anti-Putin wealthy were the most likely people to move their money out of the country. Of course we will never see the Western press examining whether this kind of “Russian interference” is influencing British politics.
     
    But very wealthy people (i.e. people wealthy enough to buy apartments in Knightsbridge London), are usually pro-Putin.
     It's their children, which are usually our generation - millenials/generation Y, who are often less enthusiastic.

    It goes back to the 'six-degrees' of separation game.

    Arguably strongest inverse correlate of wealth is degrees of separation from Putin.

    The wealthier you are, higher chance that your number of degrees of separation from Putin is low (with 1 being the ideal number - well not quite true, the best is 0 degrees of separation, but the honour of 0 degrees of separation from Putin is reserved only for Putin himself).

    Relatedly, lower the number of degrees of separation from Putin you have (again 1 being the ideal), the higher your chance of being wealthy.

    But although wealth is transferable relationship from source, to parents to children (a to b, b to c), the affection is not (most kids have no special affection for their parents' friends, and quite often opposite emotion).

    But very wealthy people (i.e. people wealthy enough to buy apartments in Knightsbridge London), are usually pro-Putin.

    Footnote:

    To check how much money, the people who are talking about their apartment in Knightsbridge are actually wasting on this:

    One English £ is equal to around 1.4 American $

    https://www.onthemarket.com/for-sale/property/knightsbridge/?sort-field=price&view=grid

    Read More
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  36. @Anatoly Karlin
    Turnout is very low - but as WaPo points out, about 2x higher than in 2012.

    Putin supporters abroad must have mobilized even harder.

    Turnout is very low – but as WaPo points out, about 2x higher than in 2012.

    Putin supporters abroad must have mobilized even harder.

    And you need an up-to-date passport. Not everyone (with more than one other citizenship) bothers to renew the passport – i.e. those which never bother to go home (less patriotically interested citizens).

    And of course, it’s only people following politics in the home country, that will remember and/or bother to turn up, when the voting day is – and that’s naturally people who are more ‘patriotically’ feeling.

    And from the regions with the lowest numbers of voters, there will be a strong impact of the presence of government employees/embassy staff.

    Read More
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  37. @Dmitry

    wealthy anti-Putin Russian émigrés are contributing to Britain’s zealous propaganda push against Russia. They may be the minority but they’re likely the most wealthy since the most anti-Putin wealthy were the most likely people to move their money out of the country. Of course we will never see the Western press examining whether this kind of “Russian interference” is influencing British politics.
     
    But very wealthy people (i.e. people wealthy enough to buy apartments in Knightsbridge London), are usually pro-Putin.
     It's their children, which are usually our generation - millenials/generation Y, who are often less enthusiastic.

    It goes back to the 'six-degrees' of separation game.

    Arguably strongest inverse correlate of wealth is degrees of separation from Putin.

    The wealthier you are, higher chance that your number of degrees of separation from Putin is low (with 1 being the ideal number - well not quite true, the best is 0 degrees of separation, but the honour of 0 degrees of separation from Putin is reserved only for Putin himself).

    Relatedly, lower the number of degrees of separation from Putin you have (again 1 being the ideal), the higher your chance of being wealthy.

    But although wealth is transferable relationship from source, to parents to children (a to b, b to c), the affection is not (most kids have no special affection for their parents' friends, and quite often opposite emotion).

    But very wealthy people (i.e. people wealthy enough to buy apartments in Knightsbridge London), are usually pro-Putin.

    Well, since 80% of Russia is currently pro-Putin, of course there’ll be many pro-Putinists amongst those too.

    But far fewer than in the population at large.

    If 51% of Russian voters voted for Putin (turnout * Putin), then only a third did so in Tverskaya, the most elite district of Moscow, which abuts the Kremlin.

    Percentage amongst Russians with mansions in London would be far lower still.

    No surprise about the age gap too – if 82% of elderly Russians supported Putin according to the VCIOM polls, only 65% did amongst the 18-24 year olds, amongst whom Sobchak claimed almost 10% support (rising from negligible figures amongst the other age groups). No reason for this pattern not to be replicated across social groups, including the elites.

    Relatedly, lower the number of degrees of separation from Putin you have (again 1 being the ideal), the higher your chance of being wealthy.

    Implies that familiarity = affection, which is not the case anywhere. For instance, Trump is famously loathed by America’s socio-economic elites. Was so even before becoming President. But they were all a great deal closer to him than average Joe, regardless.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AP

    If 51% of Russian voters voted for Putin (turnout * Putin), then only a third did so in Tverskaya, the most elite district of Moscow, which abuts the Kremlin.
     
    My old home (though my in-laws live there now). I will finally be back next month. Is there a way to contact you privately? Facebook private message? Would be nice to meet, although I will only be in town for 6 days and I have a packed schedule.
    , @Dmitry

    Well, since 80% of Russia is currently pro-Putin, of course there’ll be many pro-Putinists amongst those too.

    But far fewer than in the population at large.

    If 51% of Russian voters voted for Putin (turnout * Putin), then only a third did so in Tverskaya, the most elite district of Moscow, which abuts the Kremlin.

    Percentage amongst Russians with mansions in London would be far lower still.
     
    It depends on where the cut-off is.

    If we put something like the top twentieth wealthiest people, then the support for Putin will above the level of the national average of around 70%. In the top ten, you would expect 100% vote for Putin.

    The demographic who are buying property in London, though, is of course expanding outwards somewhere to the top 1000 richest in the country. And the inhabitants, often the children of those top 1000, not the parents themselves.

    Jaako's observation, will be only relating to parents however.



    Implies that familiarity = affection, which is not the case anywhere. For instance, Trump is famously loathed by America’s socio-economic elites. Was so even before becoming President. But they were all a great deal closer to him than average Joe, regardless.
     
    But Trump had - prior to become president in 2017 - no role in their fortunes, and was possibly seen as embarrassing to their class-interests (undermining the class strategy to try not to be too ostentatious and create a peasant [or hippie - more likely for America] revolt).

    There is no causal relationship between familiarity with Trump, and increasing fortunes.

    The familiarity, or causal relationship to wealth, correlation, was working in the other direction (Trump has more affection for rich people, than non-rich people - as this is what correlates with his own wealth).

    The issue where we could see relationship here, is after the passage of tax reform ('cut, cut, cut' policy - mainly aimed at cutting taxes for the top 0.1%) in December 2017.

    But in this case, the causality was in the other direction. Trump loves and is familiar only with other rich people (he is a man completely invested and in love with his own social/economic class), and this leads to his desire for increasing their fortunes.
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  38. OT:

    Anyone else noted this remarkable coincidence?

    Russian spy: Skripal asked Putin if he could return home

    Boris Berezovsky ‘sought Putin’s permission’ to return to Moscow

    http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-43523923

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destinations/europe/russia/9966671/Boris-Berezovsky-sought-Putins-permission-to-return-to-Moscow.html

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    But why would the Kremlin deny that such a letter exists? They’d have every incentive to release it. Wouldn’t this help them?
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  39. @Anatoly Karlin

    ... or to ban laws against hate speech.
     
    However, she does want to criminalize praising Stalin. So our poor Israel will go to jail.

    Anyhow, hardly a principled proponent of free speech. I suspect she'll do away with Article 282 but replace it something more specifically aligned with neoliberalism.txt (i.e. illegalizing racism, Stalinism, etc., while decriminalizing Russophobia).

    And a cleptocrat, but I guess Ksenia is enjoying that wealth herself.
     
    Was Anatoly Sobchak really a kleptocrat though? The big scandal surrounding him was over irregularities over a few apartment privatizations in SPB. But even had he outright stolen them, that would still be ridiculously small change by the standards of 1990's Russia (or modern Russia, for that matter).

    Was Anatoly Sobchak really a kleptocrat though?

    I don’t know. I remember having read over a decade ago how Ksenia was the Russian equivalent to Paris Hilton, i.e. a rich heiress who became a reality star. I also read at the time (in a Hungarian article I think, obviously not very well researched) that the source of her wealth was what she inherited from her father. I also vaguely remember that her wealth was described as running into the hundreds of millions. Since her father was only a mayor of a big city, and he fled the country to avoid being prosecuted on corruption charges, it became firmly entrenched in my consciousness that he must have been extremely corrupt. Reading through his Wikipedia page it no longer seems so obvious.

    Read More
    • Replies: @JL
    I can't really comment on her father, but the daughter made a lot of money herself having at one point one of the most popular shows on television. She's a professional celebrity, but that can be a lucrative business. I also seriously doubt her wealth runs into nine figures, eight no doubt.
    , @Dmitry

    I don’t know. I remember having read over a decade ago how Ksenia was the Russian equivalent to Paris Hilton, i.e. a rich heiress who became a reality star. I also read at the time (in a Hungarian article I think, obviously not very well researched) that the source of her wealth was what she inherited from her father. I also vaguely remember that her wealth was described as running into the hundreds of millions. Since her father was only a mayor of a big city, and he fled the country to avoid being prosecuted on corruption charges, it became firmly entrenched in my consciousness that he must have been extremely corrupt. Reading through his Wikipedia page it no longer seems so obvious.
     
    She is often talking about her own wealth, or lack of it.

    I remember hearing her a few years ago talking about how she was considering moving to Israel.

    Her reasoning was that - she'd like to move to London. But her friends in London, have houses with a dozen servants, and she could not afford that. She could afford to buy a good house there - but not to keep it up, or live the lifestyle she does in Moscow (where she has a driver, etc).

    She's a talented self-promoter and makes a lot of money by her own hard-work or narcissistic personality. But it's some few million dollars a year.
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  40. JL says:
    @reiner Tor

    Was Anatoly Sobchak really a kleptocrat though?
     
    I don’t know. I remember having read over a decade ago how Ksenia was the Russian equivalent to Paris Hilton, i.e. a rich heiress who became a reality star. I also read at the time (in a Hungarian article I think, obviously not very well researched) that the source of her wealth was what she inherited from her father. I also vaguely remember that her wealth was described as running into the hundreds of millions. Since her father was only a mayor of a big city, and he fled the country to avoid being prosecuted on corruption charges, it became firmly entrenched in my consciousness that he must have been extremely corrupt. Reading through his Wikipedia page it no longer seems so obvious.

    I can’t really comment on her father, but the daughter made a lot of money herself having at one point one of the most popular shows on television. She’s a professional celebrity, but that can be a lucrative business. I also seriously doubt her wealth runs into nine figures, eight no doubt.

    Read More
    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    Again, my source is an unsourced Hungarian article I read over a decade ago.
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  41. @for-the-record
    OT:

    Anyone else noted this remarkable coincidence?

    Russian spy: Skripal asked Putin if he could return home

    Boris Berezovsky 'sought Putin's permission' to return to Moscow
     
    http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-43523923

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destinations/europe/russia/9966671/Boris-Berezovsky-sought-Putins-permission-to-return-to-Moscow.html

    But why would the Kremlin deny that such a letter exists? They’d have every incentive to release it. Wouldn’t this help them?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mitleser

    Mr Skripal was "shunned" after being convicted of treason and his old classmates felt he had betrayed his country, said Mr Timoshkov - a school friend of Mr Skripal's.

    He told the BBC he had reconnected with Mr Skripal through his daughter Yulia after the conviction and in 2012 spoke to his old friend on the telephone for half an hour.
     

    It does not seem that the source saw the letter with his own eyes, just that Skripal said to him that there was a letter.
    It is possible that there was no letter or that it was intercepted and disappeared.
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  42. @JL
    I can't really comment on her father, but the daughter made a lot of money herself having at one point one of the most popular shows on television. She's a professional celebrity, but that can be a lucrative business. I also seriously doubt her wealth runs into nine figures, eight no doubt.

    Again, my source is an unsourced Hungarian article I read over a decade ago.

    Read More
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  43. @reiner Tor
    But why would the Kremlin deny that such a letter exists? They’d have every incentive to release it. Wouldn’t this help them?

    Mr Skripal was “shunned” after being convicted of treason and his old classmates felt he had betrayed his country, said Mr Timoshkov – a school friend of Mr Skripal’s.

    He told the BBC he had reconnected with Mr Skripal through his daughter Yulia after the conviction and in 2012 spoke to his old friend on the telephone for half an hour.

    It does not seem that the source saw the letter with his own eyes, just that Skripal said to him that there was a letter.
    It is possible that there was no letter or that it was intercepted and disappeared.

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    Okay, that makes sense.
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  44. @Mitleser

    Mr Skripal was "shunned" after being convicted of treason and his old classmates felt he had betrayed his country, said Mr Timoshkov - a school friend of Mr Skripal's.

    He told the BBC he had reconnected with Mr Skripal through his daughter Yulia after the conviction and in 2012 spoke to his old friend on the telephone for half an hour.
     

    It does not seem that the source saw the letter with his own eyes, just that Skripal said to him that there was a letter.
    It is possible that there was no letter or that it was intercepted and disappeared.

    Okay, that makes sense.

    Read More
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  45. AP says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    But very wealthy people (i.e. people wealthy enough to buy apartments in Knightsbridge London), are usually pro-Putin.
     
    Well, since 80% of Russia is currently pro-Putin, of course there'll be many pro-Putinists amongst those too.

    But far fewer than in the population at large.

    If 51% of Russian voters voted for Putin (turnout * Putin), then only a third did so in Tverskaya, the most elite district of Moscow, which abuts the Kremlin.

    Percentage amongst Russians with mansions in London would be far lower still.

    No surprise about the age gap too - if 82% of elderly Russians supported Putin according to the VCIOM polls, only 65% did amongst the 18-24 year olds, amongst whom Sobchak claimed almost 10% support (rising from negligible figures amongst the other age groups). No reason for this pattern not to be replicated across social groups, including the elites.

    Relatedly, lower the number of degrees of separation from Putin you have (again 1 being the ideal), the higher your chance of being wealthy.
     
    Implies that familiarity = affection, which is not the case anywhere. For instance, Trump is famously loathed by America's socio-economic elites. Was so even before becoming President. But they were all a great deal closer to him than average Joe, regardless.

    If 51% of Russian voters voted for Putin (turnout * Putin), then only a third did so in Tverskaya, the most elite district of Moscow, which abuts the Kremlin.

    My old home (though my in-laws live there now). I will finally be back next month. Is there a way to contact you privately? Facebook private message? Would be nice to meet, although I will only be in town for 6 days and I have a packed schedule.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    Yes, it would be great to meet you as well. (Though it so happens that April will be a bit packed - I will be in Portugal and in London during part of this month - hopefully we can still intersect).

    My Facebook profile is here.
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  46. @reiner Tor

    Was Anatoly Sobchak really a kleptocrat though?
     
    I don’t know. I remember having read over a decade ago how Ksenia was the Russian equivalent to Paris Hilton, i.e. a rich heiress who became a reality star. I also read at the time (in a Hungarian article I think, obviously not very well researched) that the source of her wealth was what she inherited from her father. I also vaguely remember that her wealth was described as running into the hundreds of millions. Since her father was only a mayor of a big city, and he fled the country to avoid being prosecuted on corruption charges, it became firmly entrenched in my consciousness that he must have been extremely corrupt. Reading through his Wikipedia page it no longer seems so obvious.

    I don’t know. I remember having read over a decade ago how Ksenia was the Russian equivalent to Paris Hilton, i.e. a rich heiress who became a reality star. I also read at the time (in a Hungarian article I think, obviously not very well researched) that the source of her wealth was what she inherited from her father. I also vaguely remember that her wealth was described as running into the hundreds of millions. Since her father was only a mayor of a big city, and he fled the country to avoid being prosecuted on corruption charges, it became firmly entrenched in my consciousness that he must have been extremely corrupt. Reading through his Wikipedia page it no longer seems so obvious.

    She is often talking about her own wealth, or lack of it.

    I remember hearing her a few years ago talking about how she was considering moving to Israel.

    Her reasoning was that – she’d like to move to London. But her friends in London, have houses with a dozen servants, and she could not afford that. She could afford to buy a good house there – but not to keep it up, or live the lifestyle she does in Moscow (where she has a driver, etc).

    She’s a talented self-promoter and makes a lot of money by her own hard-work or narcissistic personality. But it’s some few million dollars a year.

    Read More
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  47. @Anatoly Karlin

    But very wealthy people (i.e. people wealthy enough to buy apartments in Knightsbridge London), are usually pro-Putin.
     
    Well, since 80% of Russia is currently pro-Putin, of course there'll be many pro-Putinists amongst those too.

    But far fewer than in the population at large.

    If 51% of Russian voters voted for Putin (turnout * Putin), then only a third did so in Tverskaya, the most elite district of Moscow, which abuts the Kremlin.

    Percentage amongst Russians with mansions in London would be far lower still.

    No surprise about the age gap too - if 82% of elderly Russians supported Putin according to the VCIOM polls, only 65% did amongst the 18-24 year olds, amongst whom Sobchak claimed almost 10% support (rising from negligible figures amongst the other age groups). No reason for this pattern not to be replicated across social groups, including the elites.

    Relatedly, lower the number of degrees of separation from Putin you have (again 1 being the ideal), the higher your chance of being wealthy.
     
    Implies that familiarity = affection, which is not the case anywhere. For instance, Trump is famously loathed by America's socio-economic elites. Was so even before becoming President. But they were all a great deal closer to him than average Joe, regardless.

    Well, since 80% of Russia is currently pro-Putin, of course there’ll be many pro-Putinists amongst those too.

    But far fewer than in the population at large.

    If 51% of Russian voters voted for Putin (turnout * Putin), then only a third did so in Tverskaya, the most elite district of Moscow, which abuts the Kremlin.

    Percentage amongst Russians with mansions in London would be far lower still.

    It depends on where the cut-off is.

    If we put something like the top twentieth wealthiest people, then the support for Putin will above the level of the national average of around 70%. In the top ten, you would expect 100% vote for Putin.

    The demographic who are buying property in London, though, is of course expanding outwards somewhere to the top 1000 richest in the country. And the inhabitants, often the children of those top 1000, not the parents themselves.

    Jaako’s observation, will be only relating to parents however.

    Implies that familiarity = affection, which is not the case anywhere. For instance, Trump is famously loathed by America’s socio-economic elites. Was so even before becoming President. But they were all a great deal closer to him than average Joe, regardless.

    But Trump had – prior to become president in 2017 – no role in their fortunes, and was possibly seen as embarrassing to their class-interests (undermining the class strategy to try not to be too ostentatious and create a peasant [or hippie - more likely for America] revolt).

    There is no causal relationship between familiarity with Trump, and increasing fortunes.

    The familiarity, or causal relationship to wealth, correlation, was working in the other direction (Trump has more affection for rich people, than non-rich people – as this is what correlates with his own wealth).

    The issue where we could see relationship here, is after the passage of tax reform (‘cut, cut, cut’ policy – mainly aimed at cutting taxes for the top 0.1%) in December 2017.

    But in this case, the causality was in the other direction. Trump loves and is familiar only with other rich people (he is a man completely invested and in love with his own social/economic class), and this leads to his desire for increasing their fortunes.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dmitry

    But in this case, the causality was in the other direction. Trump loves and is familiar only with other rich people (he is a man completely invested and in love with his own social/economic class), and this leads to his desire for increasing their fortunes.

     

    Although Trump's real class identity, is with the super-wealth New York real estate people. But he likes to imagine affiliation with Wallstreet and banking people (with whom he shares geographical proximity) - which is the people he most aimed the 'cut, cut, cut' tax reform for.

    The appointment of John Bolton can be interpreted (one possible novel, interpretation I would introduce), as an attempt to expand outwards to the people who own companies like Raytheon and Lockheed - which must be another social circle that is actually distant to him, but which will have for him another kind of glamor.
    , @Anatoly Karlin
    Good point.

    That said, many of the people in the Forbes 100 for Russia did not so much make their fortunes under Putin as increase them.

    Another candidate - one that promises to make amends with the West, for instance - I suspect would be more preferable for many or most of them.

    Within just the top 10, I doubt that Fridman votes for (or at least supports) Putin. Alfa Bank's Ukraine/Crimea policy is glaringly at odds with Russia's: https://life.ru/t/%D1%84%D0%B8%D0%BD%D0%B0%D0%BD%D1%81%D1%8B/998105/alfa-bank_obiavil_krym_i_donbass_okkupirovannymi_rossiiei_tierritoriiami

    Prokhorov is 13th. He won't vote for Putin I am reasonably sure.

    Even someone like Gennady Timchenko, a "regime loyalist" but who lives in Switzerland, might well ditch Putin if he feels safe doing so and if it means Western security agencies would lay the heat off investigating how he makes his money.

    The first genuine Russian billionaire who genuinely made his own money on that list is Sergey Galitsky (18th). In another timeline he might have been become a leading representative of a Russian national bourgeoisie. Except that he was strong-armed into selling Magnit to VTB. Not sure that he is so happy with Putinism now.
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  48. @Dmitry

    Well, since 80% of Russia is currently pro-Putin, of course there’ll be many pro-Putinists amongst those too.

    But far fewer than in the population at large.

    If 51% of Russian voters voted for Putin (turnout * Putin), then only a third did so in Tverskaya, the most elite district of Moscow, which abuts the Kremlin.

    Percentage amongst Russians with mansions in London would be far lower still.
     
    It depends on where the cut-off is.

    If we put something like the top twentieth wealthiest people, then the support for Putin will above the level of the national average of around 70%. In the top ten, you would expect 100% vote for Putin.

    The demographic who are buying property in London, though, is of course expanding outwards somewhere to the top 1000 richest in the country. And the inhabitants, often the children of those top 1000, not the parents themselves.

    Jaako's observation, will be only relating to parents however.



    Implies that familiarity = affection, which is not the case anywhere. For instance, Trump is famously loathed by America’s socio-economic elites. Was so even before becoming President. But they were all a great deal closer to him than average Joe, regardless.
     
    But Trump had - prior to become president in 2017 - no role in their fortunes, and was possibly seen as embarrassing to their class-interests (undermining the class strategy to try not to be too ostentatious and create a peasant [or hippie - more likely for America] revolt).

    There is no causal relationship between familiarity with Trump, and increasing fortunes.

    The familiarity, or causal relationship to wealth, correlation, was working in the other direction (Trump has more affection for rich people, than non-rich people - as this is what correlates with his own wealth).

    The issue where we could see relationship here, is after the passage of tax reform ('cut, cut, cut' policy - mainly aimed at cutting taxes for the top 0.1%) in December 2017.

    But in this case, the causality was in the other direction. Trump loves and is familiar only with other rich people (he is a man completely invested and in love with his own social/economic class), and this leads to his desire for increasing their fortunes.

    But in this case, the causality was in the other direction. Trump loves and is familiar only with other rich people (he is a man completely invested and in love with his own social/economic class), and this leads to his desire for increasing their fortunes.

    Although Trump’s real class identity, is with the super-wealth New York real estate people. But he likes to imagine affiliation with Wallstreet and banking people (with whom he shares geographical proximity) – which is the people he most aimed the ‘cut, cut, cut’ tax reform for.

    The appointment of John Bolton can be interpreted (one possible novel, interpretation I would introduce), as an attempt to expand outwards to the people who own companies like Raytheon and Lockheed – which must be another social circle that is actually distant to him, but which will have for him another kind of glamor.

    Read More
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  49. OT

    “Trump Plans Expulsion of Russian Envoys Over U.K. Attack” (Instead of copying a URL to their article, the stupid Bloomberg app copies the title…)

    Also probably other European countries are going to expel Russian diplomats over this.

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    And apparently the Europeans are recalling their ambassadors from Moscow for consultations, so the response is greater than that of the British. Apparently Tsipras of Greece was the only leader to mention that perhaps a dinner (!) was not a place to discuss a criminal investigation. I guess he doubts the British assessment, but how can you question it over dinner..?

    How can you say to the “there is no other plausible explanation” line that, well, there could be a few... They will ask you what it would be? To which you cannot even propose anything, because the possibilities are endless, and one big possibility is that it was a false flag by a country in conflict with Russia... but then you’d have to accuse some country. So basically it’s very difficult to argue against it in a diplomatic setting.

    The Bloomberg article says May shared some secret evidence with the EU leaders. Then tells us that the secret evidence was the exact type of the Novichok agent used. Mmkay.

    Then it goes on to the weasel line “no other plausible explanation.” Which was designed to make it impossible for anyone in the public space to oppose it, because a politician (or even a journalist) cannot just idly throw in some possibilities the way commenters here can (“it could have been Israel” “or the US” “or Ukraine or even the UK services” “perhaps even a non state actor like Christopher Steele”) without basically accusing a bunch of countries and people.
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  50. @AP

    If 51% of Russian voters voted for Putin (turnout * Putin), then only a third did so in Tverskaya, the most elite district of Moscow, which abuts the Kremlin.
     
    My old home (though my in-laws live there now). I will finally be back next month. Is there a way to contact you privately? Facebook private message? Would be nice to meet, although I will only be in town for 6 days and I have a packed schedule.

    Yes, it would be great to meet you as well. (Though it so happens that April will be a bit packed – I will be in Portugal and in London during part of this month – hopefully we can still intersect).

    My Facebook profile is here.

    Read More
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  51. @Dmitry

    Well, since 80% of Russia is currently pro-Putin, of course there’ll be many pro-Putinists amongst those too.

    But far fewer than in the population at large.

    If 51% of Russian voters voted for Putin (turnout * Putin), then only a third did so in Tverskaya, the most elite district of Moscow, which abuts the Kremlin.

    Percentage amongst Russians with mansions in London would be far lower still.
     
    It depends on where the cut-off is.

    If we put something like the top twentieth wealthiest people, then the support for Putin will above the level of the national average of around 70%. In the top ten, you would expect 100% vote for Putin.

    The demographic who are buying property in London, though, is of course expanding outwards somewhere to the top 1000 richest in the country. And the inhabitants, often the children of those top 1000, not the parents themselves.

    Jaako's observation, will be only relating to parents however.



    Implies that familiarity = affection, which is not the case anywhere. For instance, Trump is famously loathed by America’s socio-economic elites. Was so even before becoming President. But they were all a great deal closer to him than average Joe, regardless.
     
    But Trump had - prior to become president in 2017 - no role in their fortunes, and was possibly seen as embarrassing to their class-interests (undermining the class strategy to try not to be too ostentatious and create a peasant [or hippie - more likely for America] revolt).

    There is no causal relationship between familiarity with Trump, and increasing fortunes.

    The familiarity, or causal relationship to wealth, correlation, was working in the other direction (Trump has more affection for rich people, than non-rich people - as this is what correlates with his own wealth).

    The issue where we could see relationship here, is after the passage of tax reform ('cut, cut, cut' policy - mainly aimed at cutting taxes for the top 0.1%) in December 2017.

    But in this case, the causality was in the other direction. Trump loves and is familiar only with other rich people (he is a man completely invested and in love with his own social/economic class), and this leads to his desire for increasing their fortunes.

    Good point.

    That said, many of the people in the Forbes 100 for Russia did not so much make their fortunes under Putin as increase them.

    Another candidate – one that promises to make amends with the West, for instance – I suspect would be more preferable for many or most of them.

    Within just the top 10, I doubt that Fridman votes for (or at least supports) Putin. Alfa Bank’s Ukraine/Crimea policy is glaringly at odds with Russia’s: https://life.ru/t/%D1%84%D0%B8%D0%BD%D0%B0%D0%BD%D1%81%D1%8B/998105/alfa-bank_obiavil_krym_i_donbass_okkupirovannymi_rossiiei_tierritoriiami

    Prokhorov is 13th. He won’t vote for Putin I am reasonably sure.

    Even someone like Gennady Timchenko, a “regime loyalist” but who lives in Switzerland, might well ditch Putin if he feels safe doing so and if it means Western security agencies would lay the heat off investigating how he makes his money.

    The first genuine Russian billionaire who genuinely made his own money on that list is Sergey Galitsky (18th). In another timeline he might have been become a leading representative of a Russian national bourgeoisie. Except that he was strong-armed into selling Magnit to VTB. Not sure that he is so happy with Putinism now.

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    In the West there seems to be a near consensus that the oligarchs are not very happy with nationalism or Putinism. Putin publicly humiliated some of them. I suspect that any of them living abroad doesn’t trust Putin at all. And some living in Russia would also prefer someone else, but they cannot leave the country, either because their business interests are there and cannot just leave them, or because their shady dealings in or out of Russia make them personae non gratae outside Russia.
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  52. @reiner Tor
    OT

    “Trump Plans Expulsion of Russian Envoys Over U.K. Attack” (Instead of copying a URL to their article, the stupid Bloomberg app copies the title...)

    Also probably other European countries are going to expel Russian diplomats over this.

    And apparently the Europeans are recalling their ambassadors from Moscow for consultations, so the response is greater than that of the British. Apparently Tsipras of Greece was the only leader to mention that perhaps a dinner (!) was not a place to discuss a criminal investigation. I guess he doubts the British assessment, but how can you question it over dinner..?

    How can you say to the “there is no other plausible explanation” line that, well, there could be a few… They will ask you what it would be? To which you cannot even propose anything, because the possibilities are endless, and one big possibility is that it was a false flag by a country in conflict with Russia… but then you’d have to accuse some country. So basically it’s very difficult to argue against it in a diplomatic setting.

    The Bloomberg article says May shared some secret evidence with the EU leaders. Then tells us that the secret evidence was the exact type of the Novichok agent used. Mmkay.

    Then it goes on to the weasel line “no other plausible explanation.” Which was designed to make it impossible for anyone in the public space to oppose it, because a politician (or even a journalist) cannot just idly throw in some possibilities the way commenters here can (“it could have been Israel” “or the US” “or Ukraine or even the UK services” “perhaps even a non state actor like Christopher Steele”) without basically accusing a bunch of countries and people.

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    • Replies: @German_reader
    Pathetic, stupid Merkel is of couse totally going along with it and not even waiting for the results of the OPCW investigation.
    Don't really see why there even should be much EU solidarity with the UK given Brexit.
    Starting to worry me, this deliberate escalation of tensions by Western leaders (over issues of no fundamental importance compared to the Cold war) isn't rational.
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  53. @reiner Tor
    And apparently the Europeans are recalling their ambassadors from Moscow for consultations, so the response is greater than that of the British. Apparently Tsipras of Greece was the only leader to mention that perhaps a dinner (!) was not a place to discuss a criminal investigation. I guess he doubts the British assessment, but how can you question it over dinner..?

    How can you say to the “there is no other plausible explanation” line that, well, there could be a few... They will ask you what it would be? To which you cannot even propose anything, because the possibilities are endless, and one big possibility is that it was a false flag by a country in conflict with Russia... but then you’d have to accuse some country. So basically it’s very difficult to argue against it in a diplomatic setting.

    The Bloomberg article says May shared some secret evidence with the EU leaders. Then tells us that the secret evidence was the exact type of the Novichok agent used. Mmkay.

    Then it goes on to the weasel line “no other plausible explanation.” Which was designed to make it impossible for anyone in the public space to oppose it, because a politician (or even a journalist) cannot just idly throw in some possibilities the way commenters here can (“it could have been Israel” “or the US” “or Ukraine or even the UK services” “perhaps even a non state actor like Christopher Steele”) without basically accusing a bunch of countries and people.

    Pathetic, stupid Merkel is of couse totally going along with it and not even waiting for the results of the OPCW investigation.
    Don’t really see why there even should be much EU solidarity with the UK given Brexit.
    Starting to worry me, this deliberate escalation of tensions by Western leaders (over issues of no fundamental importance compared to the Cold war) isn’t rational.

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    As I wrote elsewhere, it feels like the runup to the Iraq or Kosovo wars. Except this time it’s more sustained, more hysterical, and the target of the campaign has a strong military and thousands of nukes.
    , @reiner Tor
    In the Bloomberg article somewhere they mentioned Orbán among the skeptics, but then in the detailed description his name never came up, only Tsipras, Kurz, and the Italian premier. I don’t think Orbán will talk much against Merkel. We’re a German colony and he knows it.

    The proper response is to say that there should be an international investigation, or at least we have to wait for the results of the British investigation, whose results should be put into the public domain, or at least shared (properly, in writing, not over dinner) with any country which they wish to join in the punitive measures.
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  54. @Anatoly Karlin
    Good point.

    That said, many of the people in the Forbes 100 for Russia did not so much make their fortunes under Putin as increase them.

    Another candidate - one that promises to make amends with the West, for instance - I suspect would be more preferable for many or most of them.

    Within just the top 10, I doubt that Fridman votes for (or at least supports) Putin. Alfa Bank's Ukraine/Crimea policy is glaringly at odds with Russia's: https://life.ru/t/%D1%84%D0%B8%D0%BD%D0%B0%D0%BD%D1%81%D1%8B/998105/alfa-bank_obiavil_krym_i_donbass_okkupirovannymi_rossiiei_tierritoriiami

    Prokhorov is 13th. He won't vote for Putin I am reasonably sure.

    Even someone like Gennady Timchenko, a "regime loyalist" but who lives in Switzerland, might well ditch Putin if he feels safe doing so and if it means Western security agencies would lay the heat off investigating how he makes his money.

    The first genuine Russian billionaire who genuinely made his own money on that list is Sergey Galitsky (18th). In another timeline he might have been become a leading representative of a Russian national bourgeoisie. Except that he was strong-armed into selling Magnit to VTB. Not sure that he is so happy with Putinism now.

    In the West there seems to be a near consensus that the oligarchs are not very happy with nationalism or Putinism. Putin publicly humiliated some of them. I suspect that any of them living abroad doesn’t trust Putin at all. And some living in Russia would also prefer someone else, but they cannot leave the country, either because their business interests are there and cannot just leave them, or because their shady dealings in or out of Russia make them personae non gratae outside Russia.

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    • Replies: @Mitleser

    In the West there seems to be a near consensus that the oligarchs are not very happy with nationalism or Putinism.
     
    Meanwhile in Russia, he is considered a supporter of them and their interests.

    http://johnhelmer.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/снимок-1.png
    , @Anatoly Karlin
    I do think you are very correct on this.

    It is in fact a perennial fantasy at places like /r/politics that the "Russian oligarchs" will finally get tired of Putin if they put up enough sanctions/seize enough assets/ban some critical percentage of them from visiting Nice/London/Miami, and that they will then feed Putin his own polonium tea or some similar revenge fantasy.

    Obviously that is a fantasy - Russian oligarchs, are oligarchs in name only. However, the idea that the vast majority of them like/support Putin, let alone constitute "the regime," is also a fantasy. (In reality, Russia is run by a narrow circle of "silovarchs" who cluster around Putin, and most of whose assets I believe are in Russia).
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  55. @German_reader
    Pathetic, stupid Merkel is of couse totally going along with it and not even waiting for the results of the OPCW investigation.
    Don't really see why there even should be much EU solidarity with the UK given Brexit.
    Starting to worry me, this deliberate escalation of tensions by Western leaders (over issues of no fundamental importance compared to the Cold war) isn't rational.

    As I wrote elsewhere, it feels like the runup to the Iraq or Kosovo wars. Except this time it’s more sustained, more hysterical, and the target of the campaign has a strong military and thousands of nukes.

    Read More
    • Replies: @German_reader
    I'm afraid you might be right.
    The Western political class of the last 30 years or so must be some of the greatest failures and traitors in history, they wasted all the opportunities after the end of the Cold war, both for securing their own societies' future and for better relations with Russia. Maybe some of them are really deluded enough to regard war as a possible way out? Scary thought.
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  56. @reiner Tor
    As I wrote elsewhere, it feels like the runup to the Iraq or Kosovo wars. Except this time it’s more sustained, more hysterical, and the target of the campaign has a strong military and thousands of nukes.

    I’m afraid you might be right.
    The Western political class of the last 30 years or so must be some of the greatest failures and traitors in history, they wasted all the opportunities after the end of the Cold war, both for securing their own societies’ future and for better relations with Russia. Maybe some of them are really deluded enough to regard war as a possible way out? Scary thought.

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    There’s the Trump 666D chess idea that he wants to destroy left-voting immigrants in the cities by provoking a nuclear war with Russia, like Skynet, which also wanted to destroy its enemies in the USA through a nuclear war.

    Anyway, last year I threw it in as a joke, but now Trump seems to think it’s a genuinely good idea.
    , @Dmitry

    I’m afraid you might be right.
    The Western political class of the last 30 years or so must be some of the greatest failures and traitors in history, they wasted all the opportunities after the end of the Cold war, both for securing their own societies’ future and for better relations with Russia. Maybe some of them are really deluded enough to regard war as a possible way out? Scary thought.
     
    A too friendly or close relationship with the West was never possible, or desirable from the Russian side.

    A low and managed level of conflict/disagreement with the West is the desirable situation.

    Friendly relations (like Ukraine want), would mean loss of sovereignty, loss of independent position, subjugation, and also some loss of civilizational integrity - towards the economically dominant powers.

    Currently, Russia benefits a lot from semi-friendly, semi-unfriendly position.

    Not so many, Russian women are flooding into brothels to work in higher income Western countries (like .e.g Polish women are). Russian cheese industry ( to take a funny example) is not anymore flooded by Western imports. Leaders do not have to always care what Western partners want, when making up their foreign adventures (this can be for better or for worse).

    There's some countries which need more of their own sovereignty and independence in order to prosper. Russia is one of these. China, and American. But even a couple of small countries like Israel and Qatar have this desire - which actually leads to some intentional distance from their neighbours.

    On the other hand, you have countries like Australia, Sweden and Canada, which have a much more integrationalist spirit.
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  57. @German_reader
    Pathetic, stupid Merkel is of couse totally going along with it and not even waiting for the results of the OPCW investigation.
    Don't really see why there even should be much EU solidarity with the UK given Brexit.
    Starting to worry me, this deliberate escalation of tensions by Western leaders (over issues of no fundamental importance compared to the Cold war) isn't rational.

    In the Bloomberg article somewhere they mentioned Orbán among the skeptics, but then in the detailed description his name never came up, only Tsipras, Kurz, and the Italian premier. I don’t think Orbán will talk much against Merkel. We’re a German colony and he knows it.

    The proper response is to say that there should be an international investigation, or at least we have to wait for the results of the British investigation, whose results should be put into the public domain, or at least shared (properly, in writing, not over dinner) with any country which they wish to join in the punitive measures.

    Read More
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  58. The proper response is to say that there should be an international investigation, or at least we have to wait for the results of the British investigation, whose results should be put into the public domain, or at least shared (properly, in writing, not over dinner) with any country which they wish to join in the punitive measures.

    I agree. While I don’t exclude some form of Russian culpability (though I have difficulty imagining Putin himself ordering the assassination), the behaviour of the British government and their European allies is rather dubious and irresponsible imo.

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    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    I can imagine many things, even Putin personally OK’ing such an action. (Probably without much details, I guess his only request was that it should not leave a huge radioactive trail all the way to Russia.) I don’t find it the most likely explanation, but sometimes stupid things are done by otherwise smart leaders. Or there might be a rationale which we cannot imagine because we don’t know something which Putin knows. Again, I don’t find it terribly likely.
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  59. @German_reader
    I'm afraid you might be right.
    The Western political class of the last 30 years or so must be some of the greatest failures and traitors in history, they wasted all the opportunities after the end of the Cold war, both for securing their own societies' future and for better relations with Russia. Maybe some of them are really deluded enough to regard war as a possible way out? Scary thought.

    There’s the Trump 666D chess idea that he wants to destroy left-voting immigrants in the cities by provoking a nuclear war with Russia, like Skynet, which also wanted to destroy its enemies in the USA through a nuclear war.

    Anyway, last year I threw it in as a joke, but now Trump seems to think it’s a genuinely good idea.

    Read More
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  60. @German_reader

    The proper response is to say that there should be an international investigation, or at least we have to wait for the results of the British investigation, whose results should be put into the public domain, or at least shared (properly, in writing, not over dinner) with any country which they wish to join in the punitive measures.
     
    I agree. While I don't exclude some form of Russian culpability (though I have difficulty imagining Putin himself ordering the assassination), the behaviour of the British government and their European allies is rather dubious and irresponsible imo.

    I can imagine many things, even Putin personally OK’ing such an action. (Probably without much details, I guess his only request was that it should not leave a huge radioactive trail all the way to Russia.) I don’t find it the most likely explanation, but sometimes stupid things are done by otherwise smart leaders. Or there might be a rationale which we cannot imagine because we don’t know something which Putin knows. Again, I don’t find it terribly likely.

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    • Replies: @German_reader

    Probably without much details, I guess his only request was that it should not leave a huge radioactive trail all the way to Russia
     
    Using this Novichok substance only makes sense though if you want it to be known that Russia did it...only "explanations" I can think of for something like that would be deliberate humiliation of Britain, or aiming at some sort of destabilization. It's of course possible that some over-zealous people in the Russian security services want something like this and are actually happy about increasing tensions.
    I guess we can't exclude anything though, we just don't know.
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  61. @reiner Tor
    I can imagine many things, even Putin personally OK’ing such an action. (Probably without much details, I guess his only request was that it should not leave a huge radioactive trail all the way to Russia.) I don’t find it the most likely explanation, but sometimes stupid things are done by otherwise smart leaders. Or there might be a rationale which we cannot imagine because we don’t know something which Putin knows. Again, I don’t find it terribly likely.

    Probably without much details, I guess his only request was that it should not leave a huge radioactive trail all the way to Russia

    Using this Novichok substance only makes sense though if you want it to be known that Russia did it…only “explanations” I can think of for something like that would be deliberate humiliation of Britain, or aiming at some sort of destabilization. It’s of course possible that some over-zealous people in the Russian security services want something like this and are actually happy about increasing tensions.
    I guess we can’t exclude anything though, we just don’t know.

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    • Replies: @reiner Tor

    Using this Novichok substance only makes sense though if you want it to be known that Russia did it…
     
    Yes, but actually other countries can make it, too. Maybe they expected a similar reaction as to the Litvinenko case, where they actually waited for the conclusion of the investigation before publicly declaring Putin to be a murderer.
    , @for-the-record
    only “explanations” I can think of for something like that would be deliberate humiliation of Britain, or aiming at some sort of destabilization.

    I can think of another, although I don't subscribe to it: if he was looking for a way to secretly poison relations with the West in order to reorient Russian policy to a more inward-looking one, feeling that this was the only way he could accomplish this. But again, I am not suggesting this as a serious possibility, and I am 99.9% sure that Putin himself had nothing to do with it.
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  62. @reiner Tor
    In the West there seems to be a near consensus that the oligarchs are not very happy with nationalism or Putinism. Putin publicly humiliated some of them. I suspect that any of them living abroad doesn’t trust Putin at all. And some living in Russia would also prefer someone else, but they cannot leave the country, either because their business interests are there and cannot just leave them, or because their shady dealings in or out of Russia make them personae non gratae outside Russia.

    In the West there seems to be a near consensus that the oligarchs are not very happy with nationalism or Putinism.

    Meanwhile in Russia, he is considered a supporter of them and their interests.

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    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    By a third of the population, if your numbers are to be believed. It doesn’t mean that that’s what the oligarchs believe themselves.
    , @Anatoly Karlin
    But curiously enough a plurality of Russians have the correct opinion (namely, that Putin represents the interests of security officials). Oligarch, etc. interests are considered, but they do come a distinct second.

    In the US, I suspect that most Americans would say the US President (any President) most represents the interests of the "oligarchs, bankers, business leaders." And the Americans would actually be correct in doing so, too: https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/perspectives-on-politics/article/testing-theories-of-american-politics-elites-interest-groups-and-average-citizens/62327F513959D0A304D4893B382B992B
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  63. @German_reader

    Probably without much details, I guess his only request was that it should not leave a huge radioactive trail all the way to Russia
     
    Using this Novichok substance only makes sense though if you want it to be known that Russia did it...only "explanations" I can think of for something like that would be deliberate humiliation of Britain, or aiming at some sort of destabilization. It's of course possible that some over-zealous people in the Russian security services want something like this and are actually happy about increasing tensions.
    I guess we can't exclude anything though, we just don't know.

    Using this Novichok substance only makes sense though if you want it to be known that Russia did it…

    Yes, but actually other countries can make it, too. Maybe they expected a similar reaction as to the Litvinenko case, where they actually waited for the conclusion of the investigation before publicly declaring Putin to be a murderer.

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  64. @Mitleser

    In the West there seems to be a near consensus that the oligarchs are not very happy with nationalism or Putinism.
     
    Meanwhile in Russia, he is considered a supporter of them and their interests.

    http://johnhelmer.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/снимок-1.png

    By a third of the population, if your numbers are to be believed. It doesn’t mean that that’s what the oligarchs believe themselves.

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    • Replies: @Mitleser
    He is president of the Russian Federation because the Russian elite which includes them want him to be the president.

    Of course, some would certainly prefer more convenient policies, but pushing for another president would mean conflict within ruling elite, a conflict they could lose.
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  65. @reiner Tor
    In the West there seems to be a near consensus that the oligarchs are not very happy with nationalism or Putinism. Putin publicly humiliated some of them. I suspect that any of them living abroad doesn’t trust Putin at all. And some living in Russia would also prefer someone else, but they cannot leave the country, either because their business interests are there and cannot just leave them, or because their shady dealings in or out of Russia make them personae non gratae outside Russia.

    I do think you are very correct on this.

    It is in fact a perennial fantasy at places like /r/politics that the “Russian oligarchs” will finally get tired of Putin if they put up enough sanctions/seize enough assets/ban some critical percentage of them from visiting Nice/London/Miami, and that they will then feed Putin his own polonium tea or some similar revenge fantasy.

    Obviously that is a fantasy – Russian oligarchs, are oligarchs in name only. However, the idea that the vast majority of them like/support Putin, let alone constitute “the regime,” is also a fantasy. (In reality, Russia is run by a narrow circle of “silovarchs” who cluster around Putin, and most of whose assets I believe are in Russia).

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    • Replies: @Mitleser
    It is a fantasy because the richest have neither the guns nor the popular support to pull that off.
    Again.

    https://img.rt.com/files/news/20/a2/70/00/october-crisis-political-background.si.jpg
    , @Dmitry

    I do think you are very correct on this.

    It is in fact a perennial fantasy at places like /r/politics that the “Russian oligarchs” will finally get tired of Putin if they put up enough sanctions/seize enough assets/ban some critical percentage of them from visiting Nice/London/Miami, and that they will then feed Putin his own polonium tea or some similar revenge fantasy.

    Obviously that is a fantasy – Russian oligarchs, are oligarchs in name only. However, the idea that the vast majority of them like/support Putin, let alone constitute “the regime,” is also a fantasy. (In reality, Russia is run by a narrow circle of “silovarchs” who cluster around Putin, and most of whose assets I believe are in Russia).
     
    I would say this is half true and half false.

    Oligarchs/super rich are an essential part of governing the country and deeply enmeshed in every level with Kremlin policy. They increase state capacity and therefore act like boyars (in medieval Europe, Kings exercise most of their power, only over the lower ranking nobility - it's the lower ranking nobility which were running much of the economy. King itself had limited state capacity, except through its control over nobility).

    -

    To think a bit more about state capacity. Consider something like Google or Facebook - or their respective owners - in America.

    Google and Facebook indeed provided a huge leap forward in American state capacity over information.
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  66. @Mitleser

    In the West there seems to be a near consensus that the oligarchs are not very happy with nationalism or Putinism.
     
    Meanwhile in Russia, he is considered a supporter of them and their interests.

    http://johnhelmer.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/снимок-1.png

    But curiously enough a plurality of Russians have the correct opinion (namely, that Putin represents the interests of security officials). Oligarch, etc. interests are considered, but they do come a distinct second.

    In the US, I suspect that most Americans would say the US President (any President) most represents the interests of the “oligarchs, bankers, business leaders.” And the Americans would actually be correct in doing so, too: https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/perspectives-on-politics/article/testing-theories-of-american-politics-elites-interest-groups-and-average-citizens/62327F513959D0A304D4893B382B992B

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  67. @reiner Tor
    By a third of the population, if your numbers are to be believed. It doesn’t mean that that’s what the oligarchs believe themselves.

    He is president of the Russian Federation because the Russian elite which includes them want him to be the president.

    Of course, some would certainly prefer more convenient policies, but pushing for another president would mean conflict within ruling elite, a conflict they could lose.

    Read More
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  68. @German_reader

    Probably without much details, I guess his only request was that it should not leave a huge radioactive trail all the way to Russia
     
    Using this Novichok substance only makes sense though if you want it to be known that Russia did it...only "explanations" I can think of for something like that would be deliberate humiliation of Britain, or aiming at some sort of destabilization. It's of course possible that some over-zealous people in the Russian security services want something like this and are actually happy about increasing tensions.
    I guess we can't exclude anything though, we just don't know.

    only “explanations” I can think of for something like that would be deliberate humiliation of Britain, or aiming at some sort of destabilization.

    I can think of another, although I don’t subscribe to it: if he was looking for a way to secretly poison relations with the West in order to reorient Russian policy to a more inward-looking one, feeling that this was the only way he could accomplish this. But again, I am not suggesting this as a serious possibility, and I am 99.9% sure that Putin himself had nothing to do with it.

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    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    I don’t think intelligence services are under direct control by the politicians. Already Stalin had difficulties controlling his security services (apparently the anti-Zionist campaign was so slow because the security officials didn’t want to commit mass murder for which they might be held responsible after the soon expected death of Stalin), and don’t even get me started on how little control western politicians have over their deep states.

    I think it’s just general policy which a political leader controls, and perhaps Putin OK’d several years ago some policy changes, which among many other more important points contained the minor issue that exchanged spies could now be murdered if they kept doing intelligence work against Russian interests. Maybe some security officials decided a couple years ago that Skripal was in that category, and then started organizing his murder. (Of course, without thinking much about the World Cup or any such issues.) Putin had already forgotten that he kinda authorized killing exchanged spies in some hypothetical situations, and was reminded of it earlier this month.

    I’m not saying that’s what happened, just throwing in a hypothetical. It’s not impossible that something like this happened.

    Of course, Boris Johnson is absolutely (okay, just 99%) sure that it was Putin who personally ordered the use of a chemical agent on British soil.
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  69. @Anatoly Karlin
    I do think you are very correct on this.

    It is in fact a perennial fantasy at places like /r/politics that the "Russian oligarchs" will finally get tired of Putin if they put up enough sanctions/seize enough assets/ban some critical percentage of them from visiting Nice/London/Miami, and that they will then feed Putin his own polonium tea or some similar revenge fantasy.

    Obviously that is a fantasy - Russian oligarchs, are oligarchs in name only. However, the idea that the vast majority of them like/support Putin, let alone constitute "the regime," is also a fantasy. (In reality, Russia is run by a narrow circle of "silovarchs" who cluster around Putin, and most of whose assets I believe are in Russia).

    It is a fantasy because the richest have neither the guns nor the popular support to pull that off.
    Again.

    Read More
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  70. @for-the-record
    only “explanations” I can think of for something like that would be deliberate humiliation of Britain, or aiming at some sort of destabilization.

    I can think of another, although I don't subscribe to it: if he was looking for a way to secretly poison relations with the West in order to reorient Russian policy to a more inward-looking one, feeling that this was the only way he could accomplish this. But again, I am not suggesting this as a serious possibility, and I am 99.9% sure that Putin himself had nothing to do with it.

    I don’t think intelligence services are under direct control by the politicians. Already Stalin had difficulties controlling his security services (apparently the anti-Zionist campaign was so slow because the security officials didn’t want to commit mass murder for which they might be held responsible after the soon expected death of Stalin), and don’t even get me started on how little control western politicians have over their deep states.

    I think it’s just general policy which a political leader controls, and perhaps Putin OK’d several years ago some policy changes, which among many other more important points contained the minor issue that exchanged spies could now be murdered if they kept doing intelligence work against Russian interests. Maybe some security officials decided a couple years ago that Skripal was in that category, and then started organizing his murder. (Of course, without thinking much about the World Cup or any such issues.) Putin had already forgotten that he kinda authorized killing exchanged spies in some hypothetical situations, and was reminded of it earlier this month.

    I’m not saying that’s what happened, just throwing in a hypothetical. It’s not impossible that something like this happened.

    Of course, Boris Johnson is absolutely (okay, just 99%) sure that it was Putin who personally ordered the use of a chemical agent on British soil.

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    However, major foreign operations may require authorization by the top leader. For example the Bin Laden operation was personally OK’d by Obama. Especially in the wake of the Litvinenko scandal I don’t think murders in important or first world countries (or especially important first world countries) were given blank authorization by the Russian government. But who knows, incompetence goes a long way.
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  71. @reiner Tor
    I don’t think intelligence services are under direct control by the politicians. Already Stalin had difficulties controlling his security services (apparently the anti-Zionist campaign was so slow because the security officials didn’t want to commit mass murder for which they might be held responsible after the soon expected death of Stalin), and don’t even get me started on how little control western politicians have over their deep states.

    I think it’s just general policy which a political leader controls, and perhaps Putin OK’d several years ago some policy changes, which among many other more important points contained the minor issue that exchanged spies could now be murdered if they kept doing intelligence work against Russian interests. Maybe some security officials decided a couple years ago that Skripal was in that category, and then started organizing his murder. (Of course, without thinking much about the World Cup or any such issues.) Putin had already forgotten that he kinda authorized killing exchanged spies in some hypothetical situations, and was reminded of it earlier this month.

    I’m not saying that’s what happened, just throwing in a hypothetical. It’s not impossible that something like this happened.

    Of course, Boris Johnson is absolutely (okay, just 99%) sure that it was Putin who personally ordered the use of a chemical agent on British soil.

    However, major foreign operations may require authorization by the top leader. For example the Bin Laden operation was personally OK’d by Obama. Especially in the wake of the Litvinenko scandal I don’t think murders in important or first world countries (or especially important first world countries) were given blank authorization by the Russian government. But who knows, incompetence goes a long way.

    Read More
    • Replies: @for-the-record
    However, major foreign operations may require authorization by the top leader.

    If it was done by Russians they were almost certainly "rogue" (intelligence services, Mafia, disgruntled oligarchs, Putin opponents, etc.).

    Just as with the JFK assassination -- it is not at all implausible that this was a "rogue" CIA operation (Angleton, David Phillips, etc.) but I can assert with 100% certainty that it would not have been authorised at the highest level (JFK)!
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  72. From The Telegraph in 2010

    Vladimir Putin: Russian secret services don’t kill traitors

    The “swine” who exposed the 10 Russian sleeper spies in the United States will not be tracked down and killed, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said on Thursday, saying Russia has abandoned the Soviet-era practice of killing turncoats. . .

    Russia’s special services don’t do that,” he said during a televised call-in show. “As for the traitors, they will croak all by themselves. Whatever equivalent of 30 pieces of silver they get, it will get stuck in their throats.”

    From The Telegraph (March 2018) reporting on the same interview:

    Traitors will kick the bucket’: Vladimir Putin swore revenge on poisoned Russian spy Sergei Skripal

    Vladimir Putin vowed to kill the Russian double agent who was poisoned on British soil and has been left fighting for his life.

    President Putin issued the death threat that “traitors will kick the bucket” as Colonel Sergei Skripal, who was convicted of working for MI6, was being sent to the UK in a spy exchange.

    This second interpretation was featured in numerous other reports (BBC, etc.). Winston Smithis alive and well.

    Read More
    • Agree: reiner Tor
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    Do you have URLs still open?
    , @Mitleser

    “As for the traitors, they will croak all by themselves. Whatever equivalent of 30 pieces of silver they get, it will get stuck in their throats.”
     

    Mr Skripal was "shunned" after being convicted of treason and his old classmates felt he had betrayed his country, said Mr Timoshkov - a school friend of Mr Skripal's.

    ...

    He regretted being "a double agent" because his life had become "all messed up", his friend claimed.
     
    So, it seems VVP knew what he was talking about.
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  73. @for-the-record
    From The Telegraph in 2010

    Vladimir Putin: Russian secret services don't kill traitors

    The "swine" who exposed the 10 Russian sleeper spies in the United States will not be tracked down and killed, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said on Thursday, saying Russia has abandoned the Soviet-era practice of killing turncoats. . .

    Russia's special services don't do that," he said during a televised call-in show. "As for the traitors, they will croak all by themselves. Whatever equivalent of 30 pieces of silver they get, it will get stuck in their throats."
     
    From The Telegraph (March 2018) reporting on the same interview:

    Traitors will kick the bucket': Vladimir Putin swore revenge on poisoned Russian spy Sergei Skripal

    Vladimir Putin vowed to kill the Russian double agent who was poisoned on British soil and has been left fighting for his life.

    President Putin issued the death threat that “traitors will kick the bucket” as Colonel Sergei Skripal, who was convicted of working for MI6, was being sent to the UK in a spy exchange.

     

    This second interpretation was featured in numerous other reports (BBC, etc.). Winston Smithis alive and well.

    Do you have URLs still open?

    Read More
    • Replies: @for-the-record
    Do you have URLs still open?

    Note that his comments in the 2010 interview -- that traitors would "choke" on their 30 pieces of gold (an obvious biblical reference) were not even directed at Skripal but at those who had betrayed Anna Chapman & Co. But now they are reported as a personal threat to eliminate Skripal.
    2010

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/russia/8207750/Vladimir-Putin-Russian-secret-services-dont-kill-traitors.html

    2018

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/03/06/traitors-will-kick-bucket-vladimir-putin-swore-revenge-poisoned/
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  74. @for-the-record
    From The Telegraph in 2010

    Vladimir Putin: Russian secret services don't kill traitors

    The "swine" who exposed the 10 Russian sleeper spies in the United States will not be tracked down and killed, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said on Thursday, saying Russia has abandoned the Soviet-era practice of killing turncoats. . .

    Russia's special services don't do that," he said during a televised call-in show. "As for the traitors, they will croak all by themselves. Whatever equivalent of 30 pieces of silver they get, it will get stuck in their throats."
     
    From The Telegraph (March 2018) reporting on the same interview:

    Traitors will kick the bucket': Vladimir Putin swore revenge on poisoned Russian spy Sergei Skripal

    Vladimir Putin vowed to kill the Russian double agent who was poisoned on British soil and has been left fighting for his life.

    President Putin issued the death threat that “traitors will kick the bucket” as Colonel Sergei Skripal, who was convicted of working for MI6, was being sent to the UK in a spy exchange.

     

    This second interpretation was featured in numerous other reports (BBC, etc.). Winston Smithis alive and well.

    “As for the traitors, they will croak all by themselves. Whatever equivalent of 30 pieces of silver they get, it will get stuck in their throats.”

    Mr Skripal was “shunned” after being convicted of treason and his old classmates felt he had betrayed his country, said Mr Timoshkov – a school friend of Mr Skripal’s.

    He regretted being “a double agent” because his life had become “all messed up”, his friend claimed.

    So, it seems VVP knew what he was talking about.

    Read More
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  75. @reiner Tor
    Do you have URLs still open?

    Do you have URLs still open?

    Note that his comments in the 2010 interview — that traitors would “choke” on their 30 pieces of gold (an obvious biblical reference) were not even directed at Skripal but at those who had betrayed Anna Chapman & Co. But now they are reported as a personal threat to eliminate Skripal.
    2010

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/russia/8207750/Vladimir-Putin-Russian-secret-services-dont-kill-traitors.html

    2018

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/03/06/traitors-will-kick-bucket-vladimir-putin-swore-revenge-poisoned/

    Read More
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  76. @reiner Tor
    However, major foreign operations may require authorization by the top leader. For example the Bin Laden operation was personally OK’d by Obama. Especially in the wake of the Litvinenko scandal I don’t think murders in important or first world countries (or especially important first world countries) were given blank authorization by the Russian government. But who knows, incompetence goes a long way.

    However, major foreign operations may require authorization by the top leader.

    If it was done by Russians they were almost certainly “rogue” (intelligence services, Mafia, disgruntled oligarchs, Putin opponents, etc.).

    Just as with the JFK assassination — it is not at all implausible that this was a “rogue” CIA operation (Angleton, David Phillips, etc.) but I can assert with 100% certainty that it would not have been authorised at the highest level (JFK)!

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    But it’s not so easy for rogues to do this without Putin finding out. Would he not punish them? I would imagine Putin has way more leverage over his own deep state than Trump. I also don’t get the impression his security services are keen on creating unnecessary extra problems for him.

    Crazy things of course do happen, but that’s not the way to bet. At least that’s what I think.

    Regarding Kennedy, again, many things could have happened, but my money is still on Oswald.
    , @reiner Tor
    Even if JFK was killed by the CIA, it wouldn’t prove that they were allowed to kill without authorization. Machiavelli wrote that if you strike someone, better kill him, or else he’ll be thinking of revenge. So even if the services can actually kill the president doesn’t necessarily mean that they are also able to kill some other person in a highly visible way, thereby causing enormous problems for him. Because then he will punish those who caused him the problems.
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  77. @for-the-record
    However, major foreign operations may require authorization by the top leader.

    If it was done by Russians they were almost certainly "rogue" (intelligence services, Mafia, disgruntled oligarchs, Putin opponents, etc.).

    Just as with the JFK assassination -- it is not at all implausible that this was a "rogue" CIA operation (Angleton, David Phillips, etc.) but I can assert with 100% certainty that it would not have been authorised at the highest level (JFK)!

    But it’s not so easy for rogues to do this without Putin finding out. Would he not punish them? I would imagine Putin has way more leverage over his own deep state than Trump. I also don’t get the impression his security services are keen on creating unnecessary extra problems for him.

    Crazy things of course do happen, but that’s not the way to bet. At least that’s what I think.

    Regarding Kennedy, again, many things could have happened, but my money is still on Oswald.

    Read More
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  78. @German_reader
    I'm afraid you might be right.
    The Western political class of the last 30 years or so must be some of the greatest failures and traitors in history, they wasted all the opportunities after the end of the Cold war, both for securing their own societies' future and for better relations with Russia. Maybe some of them are really deluded enough to regard war as a possible way out? Scary thought.

    I’m afraid you might be right.
    The Western political class of the last 30 years or so must be some of the greatest failures and traitors in history, they wasted all the opportunities after the end of the Cold war, both for securing their own societies’ future and for better relations with Russia. Maybe some of them are really deluded enough to regard war as a possible way out? Scary thought.

    A too friendly or close relationship with the West was never possible, or desirable from the Russian side.

    A low and managed level of conflict/disagreement with the West is the desirable situation.

    Friendly relations (like Ukraine want), would mean loss of sovereignty, loss of independent position, subjugation, and also some loss of civilizational integrity – towards the economically dominant powers.

    Currently, Russia benefits a lot from semi-friendly, semi-unfriendly position.

    Not so many, Russian women are flooding into brothels to work in higher income Western countries (like .e.g Polish women are). Russian cheese industry ( to take a funny example) is not anymore flooded by Western imports. Leaders do not have to always care what Western partners want, when making up their foreign adventures (this can be for better or for worse).

    There’s some countries which need more of their own sovereignty and independence in order to prosper. Russia is one of these. China, and American. But even a couple of small countries like Israel and Qatar have this desire – which actually leads to some intentional distance from their neighbours.

    On the other hand, you have countries like Australia, Sweden and Canada, which have a much more integrationalist spirit.

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor

    A too friendly or close relationship with the West was never possible, or desirable from the Russian side.
     
    Putin nevertheless seemed to want it until quite recently. Even now, he seems to want better relations with the West.
    , @German_reader

    A low and managed level of conflict/disagreement with the West is the desirable situation.
     
    I disagree with that, imo some form of mutually beneficial cooperation between Russia and some kind of European community would be highly desirable, if sufficient trust could be established. Unfortunately this would probably only be possible by dismantling the West as it currently is (that is Europe breaking off from the Americans with their delusional projects of global hegemony), and the political class in Europe doesn't seem to be capable of that.
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  79. @Dmitry

    I’m afraid you might be right.
    The Western political class of the last 30 years or so must be some of the greatest failures and traitors in history, they wasted all the opportunities after the end of the Cold war, both for securing their own societies’ future and for better relations with Russia. Maybe some of them are really deluded enough to regard war as a possible way out? Scary thought.
     
    A too friendly or close relationship with the West was never possible, or desirable from the Russian side.

    A low and managed level of conflict/disagreement with the West is the desirable situation.

    Friendly relations (like Ukraine want), would mean loss of sovereignty, loss of independent position, subjugation, and also some loss of civilizational integrity - towards the economically dominant powers.

    Currently, Russia benefits a lot from semi-friendly, semi-unfriendly position.

    Not so many, Russian women are flooding into brothels to work in higher income Western countries (like .e.g Polish women are). Russian cheese industry ( to take a funny example) is not anymore flooded by Western imports. Leaders do not have to always care what Western partners want, when making up their foreign adventures (this can be for better or for worse).

    There's some countries which need more of their own sovereignty and independence in order to prosper. Russia is one of these. China, and American. But even a couple of small countries like Israel and Qatar have this desire - which actually leads to some intentional distance from their neighbours.

    On the other hand, you have countries like Australia, Sweden and Canada, which have a much more integrationalist spirit.

    A too friendly or close relationship with the West was never possible, or desirable from the Russian side.

    Putin nevertheless seemed to want it until quite recently. Even now, he seems to want better relations with the West.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dmitry

    Putin nevertheless seemed to want it until quite recently. Even now, he seems to want better relations with the West.

     

    The ideal position is a little conflict (not a lot of conflict).

    If the West is too unfriendly, then it will be desirable to improve relations.

    If the West is too friendly, then it will be desirable to worsen relations.

    The West - as a huge conglomeration - has can seem to have a different end goal. Either subjugation through friendliness or the opposite.
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  80. @Anatoly Karlin
    I do think you are very correct on this.

    It is in fact a perennial fantasy at places like /r/politics that the "Russian oligarchs" will finally get tired of Putin if they put up enough sanctions/seize enough assets/ban some critical percentage of them from visiting Nice/London/Miami, and that they will then feed Putin his own polonium tea or some similar revenge fantasy.

    Obviously that is a fantasy - Russian oligarchs, are oligarchs in name only. However, the idea that the vast majority of them like/support Putin, let alone constitute "the regime," is also a fantasy. (In reality, Russia is run by a narrow circle of "silovarchs" who cluster around Putin, and most of whose assets I believe are in Russia).

    I do think you are very correct on this.

    It is in fact a perennial fantasy at places like /r/politics that the “Russian oligarchs” will finally get tired of Putin if they put up enough sanctions/seize enough assets/ban some critical percentage of them from visiting Nice/London/Miami, and that they will then feed Putin his own polonium tea or some similar revenge fantasy.

    Obviously that is a fantasy – Russian oligarchs, are oligarchs in name only. However, the idea that the vast majority of them like/support Putin, let alone constitute “the regime,” is also a fantasy. (In reality, Russia is run by a narrow circle of “silovarchs” who cluster around Putin, and most of whose assets I believe are in Russia).

    I would say this is half true and half false.

    Oligarchs/super rich are an essential part of governing the country and deeply enmeshed in every level with Kremlin policy. They increase state capacity and therefore act like boyars (in medieval Europe, Kings exercise most of their power, only over the lower ranking nobility – it’s the lower ranking nobility which were running much of the economy. King itself had limited state capacity, except through its control over nobility).

    -

    To think a bit more about state capacity. Consider something like Google or Facebook – or their respective owners – in America.

    Google and Facebook indeed provided a huge leap forward in American state capacity over information.

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  81. @reiner Tor

    A too friendly or close relationship with the West was never possible, or desirable from the Russian side.
     
    Putin nevertheless seemed to want it until quite recently. Even now, he seems to want better relations with the West.

    Putin nevertheless seemed to want it until quite recently. Even now, he seems to want better relations with the West.

    The ideal position is a little conflict (not a lot of conflict).

    If the West is too unfriendly, then it will be desirable to improve relations.

    If the West is too friendly, then it will be desirable to worsen relations.

    The West – as a huge conglomeration – has can seem to have a different end goal. Either subjugation through friendliness or the opposite.

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor

    If the West is too friendly, then it will be desirable to worsen relations.
     
    Putin never actually did anything to deliberately worsen relations with the West, except as a reaction to an unfriendly western move. He constantly tried to improve relations.

    While I understand that what you write might be objectively true (i.e. that for Russia this neither too friendly nor too hostile relations are optimal), but I don’t think it reflects Putin’s thinking.
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  82. @Dmitry

    Putin nevertheless seemed to want it until quite recently. Even now, he seems to want better relations with the West.

     

    The ideal position is a little conflict (not a lot of conflict).

    If the West is too unfriendly, then it will be desirable to improve relations.

    If the West is too friendly, then it will be desirable to worsen relations.

    The West - as a huge conglomeration - has can seem to have a different end goal. Either subjugation through friendliness or the opposite.

    If the West is too friendly, then it will be desirable to worsen relations.

    Putin never actually did anything to deliberately worsen relations with the West, except as a reaction to an unfriendly western move. He constantly tried to improve relations.

    While I understand that what you write might be objectively true (i.e. that for Russia this neither too friendly nor too hostile relations are optimal), but I don’t think it reflects Putin’s thinking.

    Read More
    • Agree: Randal
    • Replies: @Dmitry

    Putin never actually did anything to deliberately worsen relations with the West, except as a reaction to an unfriendly western move. He constantly tried to improve relations.

    While I understand that what you write might be objectively true (i.e. that for Russia this neither too friendly nor too hostile relations are optimal), but I don’t think it reflects Putin’s thinking.
     
    This kind of 'middle way' approach is definitely one of Putin's 'multiple personalities' to desire this. It's expressed a lot in the concept of 'sovereignty'.

    This was mainly developed and advocated a lot by Primakov.
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  83. @reiner Tor

    If the West is too friendly, then it will be desirable to worsen relations.
     
    Putin never actually did anything to deliberately worsen relations with the West, except as a reaction to an unfriendly western move. He constantly tried to improve relations.

    While I understand that what you write might be objectively true (i.e. that for Russia this neither too friendly nor too hostile relations are optimal), but I don’t think it reflects Putin’s thinking.

    Putin never actually did anything to deliberately worsen relations with the West, except as a reaction to an unfriendly western move. He constantly tried to improve relations.

    While I understand that what you write might be objectively true (i.e. that for Russia this neither too friendly nor too hostile relations are optimal), but I don’t think it reflects Putin’s thinking.

    This kind of ‘middle way’ approach is definitely one of Putin’s ‘multiple personalities’ to desire this. It’s expressed a lot in the concept of ‘sovereignty’.

    This was mainly developed and advocated a lot by Primakov.

    Read More
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  84. @Dmitry

    I’m afraid you might be right.
    The Western political class of the last 30 years or so must be some of the greatest failures and traitors in history, they wasted all the opportunities after the end of the Cold war, both for securing their own societies’ future and for better relations with Russia. Maybe some of them are really deluded enough to regard war as a possible way out? Scary thought.
     
    A too friendly or close relationship with the West was never possible, or desirable from the Russian side.

    A low and managed level of conflict/disagreement with the West is the desirable situation.

    Friendly relations (like Ukraine want), would mean loss of sovereignty, loss of independent position, subjugation, and also some loss of civilizational integrity - towards the economically dominant powers.

    Currently, Russia benefits a lot from semi-friendly, semi-unfriendly position.

    Not so many, Russian women are flooding into brothels to work in higher income Western countries (like .e.g Polish women are). Russian cheese industry ( to take a funny example) is not anymore flooded by Western imports. Leaders do not have to always care what Western partners want, when making up their foreign adventures (this can be for better or for worse).

    There's some countries which need more of their own sovereignty and independence in order to prosper. Russia is one of these. China, and American. But even a couple of small countries like Israel and Qatar have this desire - which actually leads to some intentional distance from their neighbours.

    On the other hand, you have countries like Australia, Sweden and Canada, which have a much more integrationalist spirit.

    A low and managed level of conflict/disagreement with the West is the desirable situation.

    I disagree with that, imo some form of mutually beneficial cooperation between Russia and some kind of European community would be highly desirable, if sufficient trust could be established. Unfortunately this would probably only be possible by dismantling the West as it currently is (that is Europe breaking off from the Americans with their delusional projects of global hegemony), and the political class in Europe doesn’t seem to be capable of that.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dmitry
    A ‘friendlier’ relationship would have both benefits and costs, like most of these things.

    Sometimes the costs can be disguised as ‘benefits’. For example, with more friendly relations with foreign investment, the level of capital flight (of domestic capital leaving the country) only accelerates.

    Overall, I would say ideal is some tensions with the West, but a question of not too much and not too little. Although in case of people like Primakov, this is seen more in the level only of foreign policy. But there is some economic and human resources, and also less quantifiable cultural aspects to this.

    Increasing cultural isolationism would have all kinds of benefits, although also with cost of exacerbating some inherent negative traits of the culture. Currently there are much more heavily culturally isolated countries than Russia – for example, Japan. (The Japanese obtain the cultural isolation inadvertently through the intrinsic difficulty and difference of their language, in a way which doesn't even require the lack of political integration with the West.)
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  85. @German_reader

    A low and managed level of conflict/disagreement with the West is the desirable situation.
     
    I disagree with that, imo some form of mutually beneficial cooperation between Russia and some kind of European community would be highly desirable, if sufficient trust could be established. Unfortunately this would probably only be possible by dismantling the West as it currently is (that is Europe breaking off from the Americans with their delusional projects of global hegemony), and the political class in Europe doesn't seem to be capable of that.

    A ‘friendlier’ relationship would have both benefits and costs, like most of these things.

    Sometimes the costs can be disguised as ‘benefits’. For example, with more friendly relations with foreign investment, the level of capital flight (of domestic capital leaving the country) only accelerates.

    Overall, I would say ideal is some tensions with the West, but a question of not too much and not too little. Although in case of people like Primakov, this is seen more in the level only of foreign policy. But there is some economic and human resources, and also less quantifiable cultural aspects to this.

    Increasing cultural isolationism would have all kinds of benefits, although also with cost of exacerbating some inherent negative traits of the culture. Currently there are much more heavily culturally isolated countries than Russia – for example, Japan. (The Japanese obtain the cultural isolation inadvertently through the intrinsic difficulty and difference of their language, in a way which doesn’t even require the lack of political integration with the West.)

    Read More
    • Replies: @German_reader

    Increasing cultural isolationism would have all kinds of benefits
     
    Like keeping out the Anglosphere poz? That would of course be a major benefit.
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  86. @Dmitry
    A ‘friendlier’ relationship would have both benefits and costs, like most of these things.

    Sometimes the costs can be disguised as ‘benefits’. For example, with more friendly relations with foreign investment, the level of capital flight (of domestic capital leaving the country) only accelerates.

    Overall, I would say ideal is some tensions with the West, but a question of not too much and not too little. Although in case of people like Primakov, this is seen more in the level only of foreign policy. But there is some economic and human resources, and also less quantifiable cultural aspects to this.

    Increasing cultural isolationism would have all kinds of benefits, although also with cost of exacerbating some inherent negative traits of the culture. Currently there are much more heavily culturally isolated countries than Russia – for example, Japan. (The Japanese obtain the cultural isolation inadvertently through the intrinsic difficulty and difference of their language, in a way which doesn't even require the lack of political integration with the West.)

    Increasing cultural isolationism would have all kinds of benefits

    Like keeping out the Anglosphere poz? That would of course be a major benefit.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dmitry

    Like keeping out the Anglosphere poz? That would of course be a major benefit.

     

    Well I didn’t know this word before – it means to be infected with AIDs/HIV.

    Historically, Russia is particularly susceptible to infection by extremes of Western idealism. This danger was understood in 19th century, even by the most intelligent advocate of Western revolutionary ideas himself – Herzen.

    The West catches a cold, and a few decades later Russia comes down with some kind of pneumonia from it.

    Under current leadership, Russia is taking a median path, about exactly half-way between the right-wing and the left-wing ideologies. It is perfect centrist citizen.

    The secret is to stay on the well-lit path, and not fall into darkness on all sides. That is darkness for Russia – other countries have better nightvision, and can wonder a little off the lighted path without becoming lost in those 74 year-long detours that Russia has experienced.
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  87. @German_reader

    Increasing cultural isolationism would have all kinds of benefits
     
    Like keeping out the Anglosphere poz? That would of course be a major benefit.

    Like keeping out the Anglosphere poz? That would of course be a major benefit.

    Well I didn’t know this word before – it means to be infected with AIDs/HIV.

    Historically, Russia is particularly susceptible to infection by extremes of Western idealism. This danger was understood in 19th century, even by the most intelligent advocate of Western revolutionary ideas himself – Herzen.

    The West catches a cold, and a few decades later Russia comes down with some kind of pneumonia from it.

    Under current leadership, Russia is taking a median path, about exactly half-way between the right-wing and the left-wing ideologies. It is perfect centrist citizen.

    The secret is to stay on the well-lit path, and not fall into darkness on all sides. That is darkness for Russia – other countries have better nightvision, and can wonder a little off the lighted path without becoming lost in those 74 year-long detours that Russia has experienced.

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    • Agree: AP, Anatoly Karlin
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin

    Демократия, либерализм — это все слова на вывеске, она правильно сказала. А реальность похожа, извините за выражение, на микрофлору кишечника. У вас на Западе все микробы уравновешивают друг друга, это веками складывалось. Каждый тихо вырабатывает сероводород и помалкивает. Все настроено, как часы, полный баланс и саморегуляция пищеварения, а сверху — корпоративные медиа, которые ежедневно смачивают это свежей слюной. Вот такой организм и называется открытым обществом — на фиг ему закрываться, он сам кого хочешь закроет за два вылета. А нам запустили в живот палочку Коха — еще разобраться надо, кстати, из какой лаборатории, — против которой ни антител не было, ни других микробов, чтобы хоть как-то ее сдержать. И такой понос начался, что триста миллиардов баксов вытекло, прежде чем мы только понимать начали, в чем дело. И вариантов нам оставили два — или полностью и навсегда вытечь через неустановленную жопу, или долго-долго принимать антибиотики, а потом осторожно и медленно начать все заново. Но уже не так.
     
    – Victor Pelevin.
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  88. @Dmitry

    Like keeping out the Anglosphere poz? That would of course be a major benefit.

     

    Well I didn’t know this word before – it means to be infected with AIDs/HIV.

    Historically, Russia is particularly susceptible to infection by extremes of Western idealism. This danger was understood in 19th century, even by the most intelligent advocate of Western revolutionary ideas himself – Herzen.

    The West catches a cold, and a few decades later Russia comes down with some kind of pneumonia from it.

    Under current leadership, Russia is taking a median path, about exactly half-way between the right-wing and the left-wing ideologies. It is perfect centrist citizen.

    The secret is to stay on the well-lit path, and not fall into darkness on all sides. That is darkness for Russia – other countries have better nightvision, and can wonder a little off the lighted path without becoming lost in those 74 year-long detours that Russia has experienced.

    Демократия, либерализм — это все слова на вывеске, она правильно сказала. А реальность похожа, извините за выражение, на микрофлору кишечника. У вас на Западе все микробы уравновешивают друг друга, это веками складывалось. Каждый тихо вырабатывает сероводород и помалкивает. Все настроено, как часы, полный баланс и саморегуляция пищеварения, а сверху — корпоративные медиа, которые ежедневно смачивают это свежей слюной. Вот такой организм и называется открытым обществом — на фиг ему закрываться, он сам кого хочешь закроет за два вылета. А нам запустили в живот палочку Коха — еще разобраться надо, кстати, из какой лаборатории, — против которой ни антител не было, ни других микробов, чтобы хоть как-то ее сдержать. И такой понос начался, что триста миллиардов баксов вытекло, прежде чем мы только понимать начали, в чем дело. И вариантов нам оставили два — или полностью и навсегда вытечь через неустановленную жопу, или долго-долго принимать антибиотики, а потом осторожно и медленно начать все заново. Но уже не так.

    – Victor Pelevin.

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  89. @for-the-record
    However, major foreign operations may require authorization by the top leader.

    If it was done by Russians they were almost certainly "rogue" (intelligence services, Mafia, disgruntled oligarchs, Putin opponents, etc.).

    Just as with the JFK assassination -- it is not at all implausible that this was a "rogue" CIA operation (Angleton, David Phillips, etc.) but I can assert with 100% certainty that it would not have been authorised at the highest level (JFK)!

    Even if JFK was killed by the CIA, it wouldn’t prove that they were allowed to kill without authorization. Machiavelli wrote that if you strike someone, better kill him, or else he’ll be thinking of revenge. So even if the services can actually kill the president doesn’t necessarily mean that they are also able to kill some other person in a highly visible way, thereby causing enormous problems for him. Because then he will punish those who caused him the problems.

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    • Replies: @for-the-record
    I am not suggesting that there was a real possibility that JFK was killed by "the" CIA. Just that there is a possibility that a "rogue" group within the CIA (which would almost certainly have included David Phillips and perhaps Angleton) might have been directly involved.
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  90. @reiner Tor
    Even if JFK was killed by the CIA, it wouldn’t prove that they were allowed to kill without authorization. Machiavelli wrote that if you strike someone, better kill him, or else he’ll be thinking of revenge. So even if the services can actually kill the president doesn’t necessarily mean that they are also able to kill some other person in a highly visible way, thereby causing enormous problems for him. Because then he will punish those who caused him the problems.

    I am not suggesting that there was a real possibility that JFK was killed by “the” CIA. Just that there is a possibility that a “rogue” group within the CIA (which would almost certainly have included David Phillips and perhaps Angleton) might have been directly involved.

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    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    I have very little knowledge of the JFK murder, but the field has been completely taken over by cranks, and it’s basically impossible to find any real knowledge of the case.

    Regarding your point.

    Could they have hidden their tracks from their colleagues within the CIA as well as investigators in other agencies (especially the FBI), and if not, could they have been protected by those other men in the CIA or those other agencies? And if so, then wouldn’t they also be complicit in the crime itself? And if they were, then wouldn’t it be fair to characterize the whole affair as having been committed by “the” CIA or even by “the” intelligence services?
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  91. @for-the-record
    I am not suggesting that there was a real possibility that JFK was killed by "the" CIA. Just that there is a possibility that a "rogue" group within the CIA (which would almost certainly have included David Phillips and perhaps Angleton) might have been directly involved.

    I have very little knowledge of the JFK murder, but the field has been completely taken over by cranks, and it’s basically impossible to find any real knowledge of the case.

    Regarding your point.

    Could they have hidden their tracks from their colleagues within the CIA as well as investigators in other agencies (especially the FBI), and if not, could they have been protected by those other men in the CIA or those other agencies? And if so, then wouldn’t they also be complicit in the crime itself? And if they were, then wouldn’t it be fair to characterize the whole affair as having been committed by “the” CIA or even by “the” intelligence services?

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    • Replies: @Bill Jones
    Just about everything that happens in American politics is a conspiracy facy, not theory.

    For the JFK murder there are no end of inconsistencies That can be tugged upon.

    lets look at one very simple one.

    When JFK first got in the car at the airport, there were two Secret Agents standing on the step, designed for such purpose, behind the President. Pictures are available.

    The agents were not there at the Plaza.

    When were they removed and by whom?

    Never answered, never even asked afaik by the Warren Commission.
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  92. The five eyes mafia versus the world.

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  93. @reiner Tor
    I have very little knowledge of the JFK murder, but the field has been completely taken over by cranks, and it’s basically impossible to find any real knowledge of the case.

    Regarding your point.

    Could they have hidden their tracks from their colleagues within the CIA as well as investigators in other agencies (especially the FBI), and if not, could they have been protected by those other men in the CIA or those other agencies? And if so, then wouldn’t they also be complicit in the crime itself? And if they were, then wouldn’t it be fair to characterize the whole affair as having been committed by “the” CIA or even by “the” intelligence services?

    Just about everything that happens in American politics is a conspiracy facy, not theory.

    For the JFK murder there are no end of inconsistencies That can be tugged upon.

    lets look at one very simple one.

    When JFK first got in the car at the airport, there were two Secret Agents standing on the step, designed for such purpose, behind the President. Pictures are available.

    The agents were not there at the Plaza.

    When were they removed and by whom?

    Never answered, never even asked afaik by the Warren Commission.

    Read More
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