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putler-hears-all

From a recent report by the arch-neocon Henry Jackson Society:

As well as assassinations, Russia’s agencies are engaged in all manner of activities associated with active measures – the subversive, political warfare originally employed by the KgB during the cold War. This includes espionage. According to well-placed intelligence sources, Russia has as many as 200 case officers in the uK, handling upwards of 500 agents. in addition, the agencies can call upon informants; these are found within the Russian expatriate community, which is estimated to number up to 150,000 people in London alone, as well as within British society as a whole.

Those Russian informants would presumably be the 52% of Russians in Britain who voted for Puter in 2018. Congratulations to the Dark Lord of the Kremlin, Who Sees and Hears All, on raising this percentage from 28% in 2012.

This was sarcasm, BTW.

You would struggle to find a more oppositionist community of ethnic Russians anywhere in the world relative to British Russians. Though as Paul Robinson points out in his dissection of the report, this may indeed be how the people interviewed for the report think. Bill Browder, for instance, considers anyone who questions or doubts his version of events to be an FSB agent.

That said, the days when I concerned myself with “Russophobia” are long past.

In reality, Russophobia is a very good thing, and I hope it stays high and even increases further in the West. It’s good for Russia, disincentivizing offshorization, potentially reversing brain drain, etc. This goes double for the UK, which is particularly favored as a destination for Russia’s rich, including many who earned it dubiously. In this sense, I agree with commenter Dmitry, who also argues that some moderate level of background anti-Semitism in Europe is good for Israeli demographics.

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Espionage, Russia, Russophobes, United Kingdom 
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  1. Hello Anatoly, Thor, German Reader, and others…

    I am finally back here. Have been busy making much $ these past 3 months, and have decided to take a break from it, and resume more interesting (albeit less profitable) activities, such as participating in the world’s greatest comments section, namely the present one :)

    I will try to browse through the article, all the way where I left off. But at the same time I would like to know which ones are the most important, like the top 3 of the past 3 months. If someone were kind enough to make the suggestion, that would be greatly appreciated.

    A great deal of interesting political events have occurred over this past trimester. I find the US mid-terms actually quite re-assuring, as they demonstrate, in my view at least, the incredible resilience of the Trumpman’s base despite an overwhelmingly hostile super- and infra-structure that controls all “places of high command”, from academia to media, from intelligence agencies to government bureaucracies, from Jewllywood to Jew Street.

    A side note: 3 months of frantic work, with just about an hour or so per day of exercise and a couple of hours with the family in the evening, completely ignoring whatever happens in the world, is a very interesting experience indeed. An incredible mood-booster, I have noticed.

    Best to all.

    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin
  2. LondonBob says:

    Neocons projecting again, probably accurate for the sayanim, but a little high on the active agents, with the number of sayanim officers aren’t needed so much.

  3. The amazing thing was that the estimate was that 75 000 Russians living in London were informants.

    According the the UK’s Office of National Statistics, there were 39 000 Russian citizens in the UK at the last census in 2011. Such a figure would include business travelers passing through. The ONS projects that there could be 66 000 in the entire UK now.

    Is this a bot thing? I hope that the professor who wrote this travesty is severely mocked on social media. It might scare some others into honesty.

    On the other hand, Russian Embassy complaints that visitors are being discouraged and it doesn’t happen to the British in Russia is not my experience of reality. In Moscow, I have to show my passport and visa to a Russian police patrolman (absolutely not part of Consulate security). The private road on which the Russian Embassy stands has always been guarded by police. It leads to a Royal Palace not to mention London’s most expensive row of houses.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  4. Dmitry says:

    For clever and/or rich Russians in London, it’s going to be not more than 1.5 generations (and already all dating local people) before they are dissolved into the local environment.

    I remember the Facebook of Abramovich’s daughter. She posts a French flag with her father when there is terrorist attack in Paris, but there is no Russian flag posted when there is a terrorist attack over the Sinai Peninsula.

    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1071162826247779&set=pb.100000622160037.-2207520000.1541630045.&type=3&theater

    In reality, Russophobia is a very good thing, and I hope it stays high and even increases further in the West. It’s good for Russia, disincentivizing offshorization, potentially reversing brain drain, etc.

    It’s probably true overall, although is also the sad situation where people try to assimilate too much in response to.

    https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/russia-expat-britain-living-corrupt-evil-trashy-putin-spy-poisoning-a8299361.html

    “My name is Valerie Stark. But that’s not my real name. In fact, I don’t use the last name that I was given at birth for two reasons. First, it’s hard to spell and pronounce for non-Russian speakers. Second, after a few years of living in UK, I got tired of getting frowned upon or getting that commiserative look.

    I quickly realised that acknowledging that you’re Russian in the UK is like admitting that you have a deadly disease and you have only few weeks to live. And it’s contagious. “Oh…” as a response to me talking about my national identity became the norm. I started to use my last name less and less. And eventually I completely dropped it.”

  5. @Guillaume Tell

    Thanks.

    I am probably not the best person to assess this, but the one article that really went viral is this one: http://www.unz.com/akarlin/stupid-people/

    • Replies: @Guillaume Tell
  6. @Dmitry

    I think that’s the case for Russian Jews (as is Sofia).

    While emigre ethnic Russian attitudes towards Russia are ambivalent, you don’t really meet extreme Russophobes amongst them as you amongst Jews and other ethnic minorities. At least that has been my experience (with quite a high n).

    • Replies: @Mikhail
    , @Dmitry
  7. neutral says:

    I just want to know what exactly are they all supposed to be spying on? What are these unfathomable super secrets that MI6 and others are holding on to that will make a difference to the fate of Russia?

  8. Mikhail says: • Website

    In reality, Russophobia is a very good thing, and I hope it stays high and even increases further in the West. It’s good for Russia, disincentivizing offshorization, potentially reversing brain drain, etc. This goes double for the UK, which is particularly favored as a destination for Russia’s rich, including many who earned it dubiously. In this sense, I agree with commenter Dmitry, who also argues that some moderate level of background anti-Semitism in Europe is good for Israeli demographics.

    Anti-Semitism” (more accurately put anti-Jewish sentiment) gets condemned in Western mainstream (especially US) circles, in a way that’s not so with anti-Russian prejudices. For people of Russian background, who like living in a Western country, this situation is understandably displeasing.

    Too much confrontation with the West isn’t such “a very good thing” for Russia as well. Specifically, the kind that’s based on negatively inaccurate characterizations about Russia/Russians, that encourage confrontational action against it, which leads to a counter-response that (in some instances) can be better put elsewhere.

    The unfair discrimination Russian athletes have faced (especially in track and field) is on account of extreme anti-Russian biases, coupled with some major sports structures that are heavily Western influenced. Russian athletes and to a certain extent, Russia at large, ends up paying the price. A better informed Western public wouldn’t be as willing to accept that kind of discrimination.

    The way Germany was treated after WW I has been used as an example of what can happen when a country and its people face unfair consequences.

    • Replies: @Mikhail
  9. JLK says:

    It would be interesting know how much financial backing the Russian oligarchs had from British banks and how much of their money is held in the City of London.

  10. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Anatoly Karlin

    While emigre ethnic Russian attitudes towards Russia are ambivalent, you don’t really meet extreme Russophobes amongst them as you amongst Jews and other ethnic minorities. At least that has been my experience (with quite a high n).

    Certainly among establishment neolib and neocon leaning circles, that image of Jews towards Russia is evident.

    By no means do all Jews fit that category, as is true with other groups. There’re left, right and centrist Jews who don’t. No surprise that their views are typically muted in Western mass media. Consider the kind of Ukrainian views favored in Western mass media. As a result, a good number get duped into thinking that Ukrainians on the whole hate Russia/Russians. That inaccurate impression has existed for a good deal of time.

    Whether with Jewish and/or non-Jewish participation, RT hasn’t really done much in terms of having shows which debate the merits of unfairly despising Russia in a point-counterpoint situation.

    That kind of show can note offering the Gessens and Ioffes airtime, in the event that such individuals punk out.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  11. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Mikhail

    Correction:

    For people of Russian background, who like living in a Western country, this situation is understandably displeasing.

    For pro-Russian people, (whether of Russian background or otherwise), who like living in the US and/or UK….

    • Agree: RadicalCenter
  12. Dmitry says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    I don’t think she’s so interesting as what happens specifically to a Jew. E.g. the opposite happened to Oxxxymiron?

    What I thought was interesting in this case, is she the child of Putin’s favorite son, who owns a proportion of Russia’s national industry as a personal property. Yet all he has to do is send his children to England, and they became English. They didn’t seem outwardly Jews or Russians, but just English – even though the father can’t even receive visas for entering the UK.

    What you could consider sad for longterm Russian residents of London, is not that they will be ambivalent to Russia, but more that their families could become English in 1.5 generations, and all the money with them.

    Religious Muslims or Jews, can remain their identity for more than a generation, as they carry more of “travelling circus” designed to keep them separate from the local people over more than one generation. But children of Russians will dissolve their identity outside Russia in the next 20 years – most Russians who live as singles outside Russia, are already dating other nationalities.

    Russophobia on Russian immigrants could seem to be like antisemitism on Jews. But Russians of London are either high skilled or wealthy people, that there is still no real barrier to assimilation in the next generation.

    As for recommendations for national policy, it is probably not to fund “travelling circuses” for immigrants outside Russia, but to have more high-income jobs for smart people and more policy to keep wealthy people inside the country (although Western governments are already helping in the latter area).

  13. Dmitry says:
    @Mikhail

    Russian citizens who live in London, are not so much just Jews. Jews might be 20% of the Russian citizens of London? Also Russians in London mostly apolitical people, a lot working in normal jobs and paying normal taxes, so it’s ridiculous for British media to target them as Putin informers for this reason (what “secret information” would so many little people even inform Putin about?).

    • Replies: @Mikhail
  14. Mikhail says: • Website

    Just airing from the BBC, this piece on Orthodox Christianity in Ukraine, serves as an example of anti-Russian propaganda:

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/n3ct4f28

    Have yet to see it. The opening promo is clearly slanted.

  15. Dmitry says:
    @Philip Owen

    The amazing thing was that the estimate was that 75 000 Russians living in London were informants.

    Lol, but how do you even become a “Putin informant”? And what kind of illegal information can you give him? Maybe, he is desperate for information about what is the best pub in Primrose Hill, or where is the school that guarantees your children can go into Oxford or Cambridge?

  16. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Dmitry

    Some (not me) will say that an extreme minority among them as spies is enough of a base to be apprehensive of that whole group.

    Anti-Russian sentiment had of course been in the UK prior to the Soviet breakup. It has since increased with the presence of more Russians there. From some pro-Russian sources (some of Russian background), there’s agreement with the image that the new Russians , include a repulsive element that has the worst elements of a Soviet upbringing and nouveau riche.

    At the same time, there’re plenty of fairly recent Russian emigres, who don’t fit that image. In terms of being accurate, the stereotyping of ethnic groups can have fair and unfair and unfair aspects.

  17. Yevardian says:

    That said, the days when I concerned myself with “Russophobia” are long past.

    Lol. You were whining about it just a few months ago, somehow fitting it into your demented argument in favour of the Atomic Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
  18. @Yevardian

    Russians who whine about America’s nuking of Japan are Russophobe cucks who wanted even more Russians to die in WW2, that’s correct. Russian Russophobia is quite a bit more objectionable than foreign Russophobia, I allow that you think otherwise.

    • Replies: @Jon0815
  19. @Guillaume Tell

    I tried a two week hiatus, unfortunately my former primary school classmates started organizing a reunion on Facebook, so I spent a lot of time there instead. (Yeah, it’s impossible to restrict myself to just the reunion group…)

    Anyway, good to see you back.

    • Replies: @Guillaume Tell
  20. @Anatoly Karlin

    Thank you Anatoly. I understand why it went viral. It’s a very good. I loved the tests, and, of course, I am relieved to find out that I am part of the top 3% :)

    One factor that is even harder to quantify than ability to solve logical problems, is mental stability. We all know individuals who are very intelligent and would most likely (or did actually) score very high on an IQ test, but are so impaired by mental challenges (maladive anxiety, tendency to depression and/or addictions, etc.) that their intellectual abilities are all but ruined. I personally know some in my family.

    • Replies: @Bukephalos
  21. Sean says:

    Any stick will do to beat a dog

    https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/08/20/how-bill-browder-became-russias-most-wanted-man

    The old Senator From Boeing’s sanctions against Russia were coming to an end and his sucessors found Browder handy. The Magnitsky Act was passed just to keep sanctions on Russia, which has become a habit for Americans ( a bit like selling out to Chinese economic aggression). https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-boeing/boeings-china-plant-to-start-operations-in-december-idUSKCN1N7157

    Discouraging attitudes to Russians abroad is the best way because the real awkward squad can still leave, but I don’t know that Putin is made more secure by trying to keep the elite at home. Elite overproduction is probably the greatest danger, a overthrown and reaction to Putin would see the business class licking Chinese boots.

  22. @Dmitry

    The 66,ooo the ONS postulated for the whole of Britain is very much lower than the 100,000 that AK was claiming recently just for London. Has the increased hostility, especially since 2014, already had an effect ?
    I appreciate that many Russian citizens in Britain are hard working professionals without taint of criminality. Would they not be better moving somewhere else where the political climate is more agreeable ?
    Some “oligarchs” would find it difficult to find refuge elsewhere, given their obviously criminal taint. But many others surely have much wider options.
    The question is why Britain and why London in particular ? Would Spain, Portugal or Australia or elsewhere not be more appealing? Much better climate, cheaper real estate and the opportunity to keep a much lower profile. Are the British Government’s Asylum policies uniquely appealing to these people that they can’t be matched by other Western States ? I am dubious. Is there some special deal the City of London has which can’t be beaten by other financial centres ? Ditto.

    • Replies: @g2k
    , @Dmitry
    , @Philip Owen
  23. Russophobia would only fuel self hating Russians living abroad.

  24. g2k says:
    @Verymuchalive

    The London tech sector is booming and everyone appreciates a change of scenery from time to time. Techies and other professionals will likely be working alongside Chinese, Indians and other people from round the world, and native techied are probably the least “right on” so unless they follow news quite closely, they’ll be able to shut out most of the most virulent russophbia most of the time. Of course a good percentage are likely to be russophobes themselves, at least publicly, which is why this report is complete bs.

    Anecdotally, I’d say that about 40% of uk russians (including ethnic russians: sorry to say ak) are anti at an ed lucas/novodvorskaya level, a further 20% are anti Kremlin (but not absolutely anti-Russian all of the time), 20% are completely apolitical (tgough that might mean that they’re closeted pro) and 20%are openly pro. I suspect that those who are russophobic are sincere and not just telling westerners what they think they want to hear, because they’re mostly non-pc on a level that would make the average commenter here baulk.

  25. Jon0815 says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Russians who whine about America’s nuking of Japan are Russophobe cucks who wanted even more Russians to die in WW2, that’s correct.

    This assumes that Japan would not have surrendered prior to a Soviet invasion (not even a conditional surrender with a pledge that they could keep their Emperor) without the atomic bombings, which is at best a very dubious premise.

    Moreover, you are arguing that Russians should become apologists for war crimes committed by their country’s greatest enemy, voluntarily relinquishing a propaganda weapon against the USA- why? Out of historical gratitude for supposedly preventing Russian WWII casualties from being <1% higher? Even if the bombings did save some relatively small number of Russian lives (highly questionable), that was just an incidental by-product of the USA pursuing its own interests, and Russia owes the USA absolutely nothing for it. To the extent that Russia benefited from the USA's acts of mass murder, that would just lend Russia additional moral credibility in it's righteous bashing of the USA for those atrocities.

    • Replies: @g2k
  26. Dmitry says:
    @Verymuchalive

    The question is why Britain and why London in particular ? Would Spain, Portugal or Australia or elsewhere not be more appealing? Much better climate, cheaper real estate and the opportunity to keep a much lower profile.

    Ireland/UK are the best place to apply for a good job, if you have the masters of science educational level. (There’s also America, but that is a huge lifechange and you will be very distant from your family).

    Besides convenience, I think Ireland/UK is much nicer and more normal countries than the USA.

    In Spain, there are very few jobs even for native Spanish people. Spanish young people are almost in a similar position as Russians.

    I have a Spanish colleague who was previously working in ticket selling company which was bought by Ebay in Northern Spain. He said there were about fifty of them in the office and yet he claims they were the only hi-tech company in his city (major city of Northern Spain), and definitely the only one with multinational dimensions.

    Personally, I am also eligible and also have the backup opportunity to go to Israel, which has a growing number of jobs. But people I know who even studied in Israel, are now applying for places like Canada. (In some ways development level in Israel is lower than parts of Russia).

    The question is why Britain and why London in particular ?

    For the really wealthy people in particular (which is another dimension of the Russian-speaking community), London is perhaps the best city in the world.

    • Replies: @Verymuchalive
  27. Dmitry says:
    @g2k

    Anecdotally, I’d say that about 40% of uk russians (including ethnic russians: sorry to say ak)

    Yes, nationality is really no predictor at all of what people’s political views abroad. Generally, the higher someone’s educational level, the more they are complaining about everything in society – and politics is just a subdivision of that.

  28. Dmitry says:

    Poor parts of London, can be a bit less perfect though:

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-46083736

  29. g2k says:
    @Jon0815

    One thing to consider is that the present day Japanese are a lot less russophobic than eastern Europeans who had communism forced on them at the end of wwii. So assuming that the ussr fought alongside the us for a conventional victorily against the Japanese and dragged a chunk of Japan into its orbit, not ony would more soldiers have died needlessly, but when communism eventually did collapse, you’d have a load of resentful, vindictive Japanese to add to the poles, balts et al.

  30. g2k says:

    Ive said this before and will say it again: Within the north/south circulars in London, poor neighborhoods are now dispersed islands totally surrounded by rich neighborhoods , small in area and not long for this world. London’s poor either live in some of the remaining council estates not sold off by Mrs thatcher or are private tenants whose rent is paid for by the government. The former are sitting on land of absolutely astronomical value and the latter consume a huge amount of tax money. Eventually they’ll be teased out to somewhere else.

    Rent in London is now so high that, without inherited wealth, you need an almost elite income just to rent a kommunalka/hmo, and, by any measure other than dollar income, you’d be poor. Nevertheless, your neighbors and housemates in such a situation won’t “shank you for disrispektin me, innit”.

  31. @g2k

    Thanks for the information re Russian Tech workers and London. It is always good to have one’s knowledge widened..

  32. @Dmitry

    Ireland/UK are the best place to apply for a good job, if you have the masters of science educational level.

    I have an M Sc and all I would say is that you have an absurdly unrealistic view. Manufacturing industry has shrunk hugely, as has R & D. Are there lots of “techie” jobs ancillary to ( principally ) the financial sector? Yes indeed. Do lax immigration laws let foreigners like you in to compete for these jobs with native workers ? Yes indeed.

    For the really wealthy people in particular (which is another dimension of the Russian-speaking community), London is perhaps the best city in the world.

    If I had $1 billion in my name, I would not be living anywhere near London. These people are not only criminals, they’re saddoes as well.

    • Replies: @Verymuchalive
    , @Dmitry
  33. @g2k

    I broadly agree with those figures though I’d quibble with some of them. And I don’t think our views differ. I did say that you’d be hard-pressed to find a more oppositionist demographic of ethnic Russians outside Londongrad.

    However, I still disagree with you and Dmitry that ethnicity doesn’t play a part in that.

    My assessment:

    Ethnic Russians: 20% Novodvorskaya level, 40% anti-Kremlin, 20% apolitical, 20% pro-Russia.

    Russian Jews: 40% Novodvorskaya level, 30% anti-Kremlin, 20% apolitical, 10% pro-Russia (latter mostly out of Soviet nostalgia, not Russophilia as such).

    I spent 12 years in the UK (and then 10 years in the Bay Area, which has a broadly comparable Russian demographic). I wasn’t “deep” into the local Russian communities – which in reality can be more accurately described as ex-sovok communities – but obviously I did interact with them quite a bit. The most virulent “Russian” Russophobes I met during this period – a Russian Jew; a Mordovian; a gay Ukrainian Jew; a Georgian Communist (also female Jews are much less well disposed to Russia than Jewish men). Obviously lots of Russians who were skeptical of and even disliked Russia, but none in a really pathological way.

    • Replies: @g2k
    , @Dmitry
  34. @Verymuchalive

    Until 1939 the centre for émigré Russians was Paris, as it had been since the C19th. Now it seems to be London. I’m sure there are a few books that could be written on the subject, as well as Ph D theses.

  35. g2k says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    I never said that ethnicity doesn’t play a part. Amongst russian jews, id say 60% Novodvorskaya, 20% anti Kremlin, 10% apolitical and 10%pro. Quite a lot of Russian jews though are pro Israel on a completely bokers level, which actually makes them less russophobic as they’re indifferent to both Russia and the west. My background is stem though, so there’s going to be a bias there.

    • Replies: @g2k
  36. g2k says:
    @g2k

    I would just add to that theat there was an extremely sharp Capitals/provinces divide. Ethnic Russians whos background was moscow perestroika era intellgencia tended to divide as above, those from thre provinces, even million+, tended to be much more pro, no matter how talented, cultured, wealthy, etc. so maybe I’m less sure about the ethnic element.

  37. @Verymuchalive

    The last accurate figure was 40,000, including transients, at the 2011 census. At the 2001 census, the comparable figure was 15,000. 66,000 is a projection. I suspect the actual number is lower. The Russian economy collapsed in 2014 so fewer could afford to move to London. They are overwhelmingly self supporting and living in London. Outside they tend to be academics and mail order brides. There are British citizens descended from earlier waves of Russian immigration. Nick Clegg’s mother was a White Russian princess. The 150,000 figure seems to have come from the Guardian. I have heard people at the Pushkin Institute claim, in private conversation, 250,000. Both these figures are ridiculous.

    Special deal – investors visas.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
    , @Verymuchalive
  38. Dmitry says:
    @Verymuchalive

    you have an absurdly unrealistic view. Manufacturing industry has shrunk hugely, as has R & D. Are there lots of “techie” jobs ancillary to ( principally ) the financial sector?

    I hear people talk like this. But situation is great now, to the extent there are “more jobs than people” and more investments to spend than things to spend money on.

    I was looking up the CV of a cute Irish girl who works nearby. She studied in university “media studies” where writing about post-colonialism. Then she studied a masters degree in creative digital media, learning some C# script only. Now she is working for a famous company as ux designer. In Russia, there are tens of thousands of people with PhDs in hard disciplines, that would obtain half her salary.

    If she was reincarnated in Russia, her career would be painting someone’s nails, because the ratio of high salary jobs (although even high salaries also exist) to qualified people is quite different, and becomes very competitive.

    If I had $1 billion in my name, I would not be living anywhere near London. These people are not only criminals, they’re saddoes as well.

    London is really nice. Not if you walk in Oxford Street on Saturday. But for people living in wealthy areas of the city, you would have everything you would want, apart from a beach and tropical sun.

    • Replies: @Verymuchalive
  39. Dmitry says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    It sounds like a small sample, and of people who have probably gone to America in the 1990s. Their experience and viewpoint is less relevant than people in London, since they have not lived in the country in recent years.

    I think people’s viewpoint is only relevant if they have lived at least in the last 10-15 years. In London, most of the Russian-speakers were coming from around 2000 onwards it seems.

  40. Dmitry says:
    @Philip Owen

    I suspect the actual number is lower. The Russian economy collapsed in 2014 so fewer could afford to move to London. They are overwhelmingly self supporting and living in London.

    It’s more transient and cosmopolitan. If you add the school and university students, it will become higher. Then add that some proportion are citizens of Cyprus.

    Some are going to school in the UK, then go to university in Russia, then trying to apply for jobs in the West afterwards. I’m not sure political events is really effecting this idea.

  41. @Dmitry

    I was looking up the CV of a cute Irish girl who works nearby. She studied in university “media studies” where writing about post-colonialism. Then she studied a masters degree in creative digital media, learning some C# script only. Now she is working for a famous company as ux designer.

    25 years ago, I was working in IT and getting paid a lot more in real terms than people like her are earning now. I hope she enjoys it while she can, because the real economy which supports such nonsense is about to bomb.

    As for my comments about wealthy Russian in London. they still stand.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  42. @Philip Owen

    The Russian economy collapsed in 2014 so fewer could afford to move to London.

    What rubbish ! The Russian economy went into a mild recession, from which it since recovered. If you want collapse, look at Venezuela or Greece. Phylip from Cardiff, you often come over as a complete idiot.

    • Replies: @Philip Owen
    , @Philip Owen
  43. @Guillaume Tell

    I also found them easy but I see your point. At 15 I was quite stressed out at school and that might have messed with the results. Also most adults reading the piece found the examples easy but it seems commenters rarely account for the fact it was designed for 15 years old. Aren’t we supposed to be slightly duller at 15 than 18 and above?

    • Replies: @Guillaume Tell
  44. @Verymuchalive

    In the terms used in political comment, a shrinking economy is collapse. That happened to the UK too after 2008. I agree that Russia has recovered due to excellent macroeconomic management, a skill in which Russian officials have been faultless for some time.

  45. @Verymuchalive

    I look for fact based opportunities to deviate from either sides narrative (most discussions become bipolar) as a matter of principle. Doesn’t make me popular, I admit.

  46. inertial says:

    In reality, Russophobia is a very good thing, and I hope it stays high and even increases further in the West. It’s good for Russia, disincentivizing offshorization, potentially reversing brain drain, etc.

    Up to a point. Too much Russophobia may lead to war, which tends to cause literal brain drain.

    Russian Jews: 40% Novodvorskaya level, 30% anti-Kremlin, 20% apolitical, 10% pro-Russia (latter mostly out of Soviet nostalgia, not Russophilia as such).

    Most “Russian” Jews were born in the Ukraine, so their attitudes should be compared with those of the non-Jewish Ukrainians, not Russians as a whole.

    Same with Jewish & non-Jewish Belorussians, Balts, Georgians, etc. I would consider Muscovites and Peterburgians separately as well.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  47. Dmitry says:
    @inertial

    Date of emigration is also one of the main predictors of the opinions.

    Jews who emigrated to America in the 1980s and 1990s, will often talk (I know from reading their discussions on Facebook last year, before they banned me from their Facebook group) like they were escaping prison. Soviet Union was prison for them. And a lot talk like part of their youth was “stolen” by it – as they arrived in America with many disadvantages compared to American natives of equal intelligence. Their standards of life increased in America, and value system has changed, and the result is jealously that Americans had a better childhood than they.

    I don’t think opinions from these old people are even relevant, as specific national conditions that “stole” their youth, only now exists in memory. They are a capsule of time, who write mostly sarcastically, good jokes, have interesting stories, but are extremely angry if you disagree with them, and will try to get your account deleted.

    People who emigrate now, complain almost as much, but with very different things to complain (even people who emigrate in e.g. 2000 had different things to complain about). Problems and shit things now are not eliminated, but are quite different to what they were in 1980 or in 1990 or in 2000.

  48. Dmitry says:
    @Verymuchalive

    As for my comments about wealthy Russian in London. they still stand.

    Love of London and even wider British Isles, is very serious.

    We know a girl who studied for some time in Scotland, and then lived in China (her father has business in China). And now only wants to come back to the UK again (even though her education was related to China). At the same time, she spams about patriotic things and how the West is persecuting Russia – yet she’s going to UK again.

    And another girl who was in school in London, then now in university in Russia – and right now also planning to go back to London again.

    This is not going to change, even if the British people don’t like it. Maybe it’s like some tragic one-sided relationship, where the more someone doesn’t like you, the more you like them.

    • Replies: @Verymuchalive
  49. Collapse: Fail Suddenly and Completely

    Your ability to discover and elucidate factual matter is much appreciated not only by me, but I am sure by others too.
    It is the inferences that you draw from these facts that often seem bizarre or ridiculous. Indeed, I can only call some of your inferences anti-Sherlockian. I am sure that you are used to being in a minority of one. And Wales has a long tradition of Non-Conformism. Keep it up.

    • Replies: @Verymuchalive
  50. @Verymuchalive

    The above is a reply to Philip Owen #45

  51. @Dmitry

    This is not going to change, even if the British people don’t like it. Maybe it’s like some tragic one-sided relationship, where the more someone doesn’t like you, the more you like them.

    As I mentioned previously, the great cultural magnet before WWII was Paris, as it had been since the C19th. Bunin, Glazunov and others all went there to die. It was a magnet not only for Russians but for many others, even Americans – think Cole Porter or Edith Wharton for example.
    Now the magnet for some Russians is London. However, hundreds of thousands of French people are of Russian descent, maybe much more. The number of Russians in Britain seems to be of the order of 50,000 people, as Mr Owen has demonstrated. So you have much more of niche market – more like a cult than a mass movement.
    The Anglophile ( or Anglo-Death ) Cult needs a sufficient number of recruits each year to maintain its strength. These are usually young Russians of affluent background. When this drops, the Cult will start to fade. Hopefully, some of them will do something useful with their lives. But, as you imply, some may be too far gone.
    Which brings me to an apposite story. For part of the 1980s, I was working in London, and living in a nice area ( West Hampstead ). You would quite often meet people in pubs who would tell you: “London, it’s the greatest city in the world, man.” Invariably, they were Glaswegian men in their forties or fifties. When you questioned them closely, you discovered they were living in bedsits or, quite often,” safe sleeping zones “. Thankfully, these sad people seemed to have died out.
    I would hate to see a Ludmilla or Svetlana end up in a similar situation because she thinks London is the greatest city in the world.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  52. Dmitry says:
    @Verymuchalive

    For part of the 1980s, I was working in London, and living in a nice area ( West Hampstead ). You would quite often meet people in pubs who would tell you: “London, it’s the greatest city

    In West Hampstead, quite a lot of apartments are owned by Russian people already now. This is where you can buy an apartment at a relatively lower price. Prices are high, but not in the extreme levels like some places. I guess it is like “upper-middle class” can still buy an apartment here.

    the great cultural magnet before WWII was Paris,

    In the 1920s, Berlin has also a very large Russian community.

  53. @Bukephalos

    Indeed and we are also in general much less balanced at age 15 than at age 45 (which is, as we all know, the apex of life… it’s all downhill afterwards :) ).

    Joking aside, the mental instability problem is, in my view, lacking crucially in those intelligence assessment tests: what good does it do if you can understand Evariste Galois at age 17, but need to spend 4 hours a day to wash your hands because of neurotic fear of disease? I am asking because I met a guy like that in my first year of college. At some point he broke down and had to spend some time in the psy ward. I’m
    not sure whether he eventually came back to normal, FB did not exist back then :) But in any event my point is that this guy no doubt had a towering IQ but was nonetheless FUBAR.

  54. @reiner Tor

    Sorry, I had not seen your answer. This is an open problem of the comments sections of weblogs: what’s the best way to keep discussions somewhat alive as new articles appear on the blog, hereby quickly extinguishing threads as articles get relegated farther and farther in the historical queue?

    Even if automated emails can help a user keep track of responses, the tree with keeps expanding resulting in two many nodes.

    I don’t have a good answer.

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