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The pro-Ukrainian activist masquerading as a journalist Arkady Babchenko has just been assassinated in Kiev. Ironically, as his very last Facebook post makes clear, he regarded today as his "second birthday", on account of having narrowly escaped death four years ago, when he was removed from a Ukrainian military helicopter at the last minute due... Read More
Can't believe it took us so long, but commenter Dmitry has finally put two and two together: The famous antimatter hyperdrives built into the pyramids: ... must have been based on the same technology that powered the spaceships on which Russians' ancestors arrived on this pla
So Roman Abramovich has become an Israeli citizen, a month after the Britbongs gave him the finger. Since every second UHNWI in Russia is considering a second passport, how exactly is this supposed to be interesting or surprising? Anybody who hasn't been under a rock for the past two decades - which excludes most Putin... Read More
This has apparently been getting harder (h/t Betlo): The panel also noted that it is now more difficult to recruit intelligence sources inside Russia than it was during the Soviet era. During the Soviet era, the CIA relied upon “volunteers” who would approach American intelligence officers, Bearden said, but the pool of Russians willing to... Read More
Moscow 2018. Can't believe it has been almost a month since the last Open Thread. Quick updates: Was in the UK for a couple of weeks (as you presumably gathered). Apart from the march in London, I also took the opportunity to tick off Canterbury and the Tank Museum in Bovington. Unfortunately, I was not... Read More
Broke: Russians downed MH17 so Russia must pay reparations, withdraw from the Ukraine, Putler must go to the Hague. Woke: Muh Ukrainian false flag. *scribbles 5,000 words on obscure alt media webzine that no-one will read* Bespoke: Russians downed MH17 and Russia must face up to it like a civilized, Western country (i.e. no apologies,... Read More
I have long been pointing out that one of the clearest electoral patterns in Russia is the inexorable collapse of the KPRF as you go down the age pyramid. This decline is reflected in a FOM poll published on May 5, the 200 year anniversary of Marx's birthday. Whereas there are no major differences between... Read More
666D Checkers, Clever Plan Overclock, Mnogokhodovka Immanentized, etc.
The key problem isn't Washington DC's direct sanctions - Russia's trade with the US is small, any restrictions can be easily substituted for or retaliated against, while harsher measures would require an unrealistic degree of international cooperation to be effective. As I have written, the main problem is American secondary sanctions: It appears that Russia... Read More
Map of the biggest airports in Russia and the ex-USSR by 2017 passenger traffic including transit flights. Source: Seva Bashirov Moscow is clearly a central node, accounting for 89 million passengers in 2017 - up from just 19 million in 2001, near the trough of the post-Soviet collapse. Incidentally, this makes Moscow the world's 13th... Read More
There are some pretty strange ideas floating around that Russia is obligated to help Syria/Iran in their decades-long squabbles with Israel, and that Putin is "betraying his people" by not doing so. Well, last time I checked, Putin is President of Russians, not Syrians/Iranians. Indeed, the term "сирийские братушки" ("Syrian brothers") has long been an... Read More
The idea that the pomp and pageantry around the annual festivities commemorating Victory in the Great Patriotic War constitute a sort of foundational myth of the Russian state is a popular one. There are any number of articles on the Internet making this argument, mostly from the last few years, though come to think of... Read More
So Putin has just entered his fourth and almost certainly last term. Where to now? Putin has a vast, legitimate mandate to leave his final imprint on Russia, but what precisely that involves is still just a black box - as I repeatedly noted during my Russia elections coverage, Putin did not even bother with... Read More
I am not going to comment much on the May 5 protests in Russia because I have already done so many times before and there is nothing new or interesting about this one. There were a few thousand people in Moscow. To repeat the obvious for the nth time, this is: Not any more than... Read More
It's now been about two weeks since Roskomnadzor has started (trying to) block the Telegram messaging app within Russia. Let's review what has been achieved: 1. 15-20 million IPs have been continuously blocked since mid-April, affecting cloud servers used by legitimate enterprises and news sites within Russia. 2. Meanwhile, Telegram itself hasn't been blocked. 3.... Read More
The world's first floating nuclear power plant (FNPP) has just been launched from the Baltiysky Zavod in Saint-Petersburg. It will be towed for fueling in Murmansk, and then go on to provide power to the Arctic town of Bilibino in the Russian Far East, where the local NPP is due for decommissioning in 2019. Autistic... Read More
Revolutionary passions. Then it won't be a big deal for Russia. Now to be sure, I still think my analysis here stands - Armenians genuinely do approve of Russia, and even if they didn't, they certainly approve of Azerbaijan and Turkey far less, and with good reason - but if we do get an anti-Russian... Read More
I have noted that one of the reasons that one of many reasons Putin can't be considered to be a nationalist is that... well, he locks up so many of them under Article 282. See my article Country 282: Avoiding Russia's Hate Speech Laws Since conviction rates are virtually 100%, getting charged with Article 282,... Read More
Almost by necessity, all previous Kholmogorov translations have been those of his older texts, with a “lag” between the original and the translation varying between several days and several months. What you see now is a much rarer treat. Kholmogorov has just finished a long and engrossing article on Alexander Solzhenitsyn, clocking in at 16,000... Read More
The latest in our series of translations of Russian national-conservative intellectual Egor Kholmogorov. For the first part, see: Russians in the 2oth Century. Part I: Origins to WWII. Incidentally, while counter-mainstream commenters in the West are hardly well compensated, this is unfortunately doubly true in Russia. If you have enjoyed our translations of him, a... Read More
Artists' rendition of Roskomnadzor trying to block Telegram. The problem isn't even so much the cack-handed authoritarianism, though that's bad enough. Russian web censor Roskomnadzor's (RKN) blockage of Telegram several days ago will negatively affect the 15 million Russians who use the platform, which combines the functionality of Twitter (public blogs, channels) and WhatsApp (mobile... Read More
Branco Milanovic - When autarky becomes the only solution This post-Cold War idea that corporations are taking over the world always seemed ridiculous to me. Consider the following: Wealthiest individual ~$100 billion (Bezos) Wealthiest corporation ~$1 trillion (Apple) Wealthiest country ~ $100 trillion (USA), of which states typically own 20%-70%. Plus, they have 95%+ of... Read More
So we now finally have some limited clarity on the outcome of this year's first Syria crisis. US frigates, B-1 bombers, and French/UK fighters launched around 100 cruise missiles at Syria, incidentally taking care to launch from far away and stay outside the radius of Russia's A2AD bubbles. Ben Nimmo. There are also disputes over... Read More
I don't think I have a reputation for panicking. But I do think that we are now at probably the most dangerous point in world affairs since Russian and NATO troops faced off at Pristina Airport in 1999, if not since the Cold War. It is now clear that there will almost certainly be strikes... Read More
On April 6, the US Treasury Department extended sanctions against a number of Russian billionaires, including: Heads of state owned energy giants Sechin (Rosneft) and Miller (Gazprom) Putin's circle of silovarch chums and friendly billionaires, e.g. Kirill Shalamov (Putin's former son-in-law), Fursenko, Patrushev, Zolotov, Dyumin (a long rumored successor) The "oligarchs" (which they are not)... Read More
Some headlines since that powerful take: China says relations with Russia at 'best level in history' China applauds Putin’s win, backs Russia on Skripal case, hails China’s ‘strategic partnership’ with Russia Global Times: Russian diplomat expulsions signal crude side of Western intention Russia & China to merge satellite tracking systems into one global navigation giant... Read More
Belated comment on the Kemerovo fire that killed 64 people, including 41 children. 1. Tragedies like this are inevitable and will always happen, the best that could be done is working to minimize and mitigate them (personally I favor legislating exorbitant compensation for victims, since money > ethics so far as almost all businesses are... Read More
The number of horses in the Russian Empire peaked in in 1913 and was around 35 million in 1916 (the US had about 20 million horses in 1915, and the two countries accounted for half the global equine population). At the time, they were almost all used in agriculture. The Soviet horse population plummeted during... Read More
The latest in our series of translations of Russian national-conservative intellectual Egor Kholmogorov. This massive opus, which will be published in two parts, is the closest thing there is to a condensed historiosophy of Kholmogorov's. Translated by Fluctuarius Argenteus Original: *** The modern Russian nation grew out of the Old Rus people, whose identity had... Read More
You must all be sick of me talking about the Russian elections so this is going to be my last post on it in this series. There is talk amongst my friends of a shift towards Putin amongst the socio-economic elites, which have long been voting against Putin. This is true, but only to the... Read More
Israel Shamir argues that Pavel Grudinin doing relatively well east of the Urals - then declining in the (much more populated) European Russia - constitutes evidence of fraud. This is unlikely to be true, since all the statisticians who regularly analyze Russian electoral fraud - needless to say, virtually all of them anti-Putin - agree... Read More
Russia blogger Seva Bashirov made a map of the incidence of "suspicious votes" as per Sergey Shpilkin's method (not necessarily all fraudulent, but there's certainly a correlation) during these elections. Here is a similar map for the 2011 Duma elections (methodology is different, so scale isn't comparable). And in finer resolution: One of the previous... Read More
This is the startling hypothesis advanced by elections observer Alexander Kireev. Here's the thing. Elections in Chechnya have been completely falsified since 2003, reaching "totalitarian" levels of 99% turnout/99% pro-Kremlin vote by 2011-12 (versus the merely "authoritarian" 90/90 levels of the other Caucasus republics). In line with the reduction of fraud levels in the 2018... Read More
Meddling in the Russian elections. I voted for Zhirinovsky on March 18, 2018. Have said all there is to say on that in these articles: An Analysis of Zhirinovsky's Program Russia Elections 2018: Elections as Regime Referendums Putin 2018: The Scorecard With that out of the way, let's move on to the bigger picture. PS.... Read More
Putin Pepe. Once rare, now the market's flooded with them. I suppose this post can also double up as the Russian Elections 2018 thread. See archive: My final prediction: Turnout: 68.0% Baburin: 0.8% Grudinin: 9.7% Zhirinovsky: 7.8% Putin: 76.2% Sobchak: 2.0% Suraykin: 0.5% Titov: 0.5% Yavlinsky: 1.3% Spoiled ballots: 1.2% Putin needs to get his... Read More
Since the Russian election is taking place on the anniversary of Crimea's incorporation into Russia - an intentional play to increase turnout - now is as good a time as any to reflect on the complete failure of the Kremlin's Ukraine policy. The Adepts of Putin's "Clever Plan" have predicted all twelve of the Ukraine's... Read More
In his September 1, 2017 speech to incoming Russian schoolchildren, Putin made waves by proclaiming that whoever becomes the leader in AI will become "ruler of the world." This provoked a variety of reactions, from Elon Musk commenting on his belief that competition for AI superiority will be the likeliest cause of World War III... Read More
So it looks like the British reaction to The Skripal Affair is assuming very serious proportions, especially with the most recent allegations that the nerve agent in question was Novichok. (Incidentally, it is a gas so potent - an order of magnitude more so than VX - that carpet bombing a middle-sized city with it... Read More
Since nobody knows anything, as Alexander Mercouris points out, I haven't bothered following this closely. Still, I suppose it's big enough that I should post something about it. This comment from for-the-record seems not entirely implausible: What seems eminently clear is that whoever did it knew that this would be attributed to the Russians, and... Read More
The latest issue of the Knight Frank World Wealth Report will not make happy reading for those of us who thought they were seeing tentative signs that Putin's Russia was making good progress on "nationalizing" its elites (e.g. multiple wealth amnesties, local Courchevel, local Hogwarts, etc). First, Russia's wealth structure remains extremely lop-sided. While there... Read More
Our resident Kholmogorov translator Fluctuarius Argenteus further develops his Russoshoe Theory: Some examples: A - Soviet nationalists/Prokhanov Unz.com columnists: Israel Shamir, Martyanov B - This blog's erstwhile commenter Lazy Glossophiliac Most Russian neo-Stalinists, Eurasianists The Saker (with caveats) The Spencerian Alt Right (esp. Nina Kouprianova) Tankies C - Mainstream Russian nationalists inc. Fluctuarius,
What are they? Michael Kofman, who does seem to know what he is talking about and has studied the Russian language literature, has a very comprehensive summary. Emerging Russian Weapons: Welcome to the 2020s (Part 1 – Kinzhal, Sarmat, 4202) Emerging Russian Weapons: Welcome to the 2020s (Part 2 – 9M730?, Status-6, Klavesin-2R) How far... Read More
Remarkable consistency. I will be traveling to London as of tomorrow, so poasting will be light for the next 7-10 days. If my flight takes off - a whole bunch of them have been canceled because the Brits don't know what to do about snow. Meanwhile, the North Pole is positively balmy, at above freezing,... Read More
Quick recap of developments since the last update. First half consisted of boring economic and political stuff (e.g. increasing GDP by 50% over the next 6 years, implying 7% growth - as realistic as his promise to create 25 million hi-tech jobs last year). Nobody really cares about this. In the second half, wearing his... Read More
That's Dnepropetrovsk mayor Boris Filatov, close Kolomoisky acolyte and Maidan hardliner: Well, he's not wrong. This pretty much summarizes the whole affair, with these two comments [1, 2] filling in the rest of the details. There are serious questions over whether she actually did commit suicide, or was "helped" with it - she apparently shared... Read More
From the most recent Eurobarometer poll [see also other countries]: Strange patterns, at first glance. Even just a few years ago, this map would have been unrecognizable, with East European countries viewing Russia with relatively greater hostility than Western Europe. So what changed? Well, what I suspect happened is a European version of the return... Read More
So this map has been sitting at the top of /r/MapPorn for the past day, and has been ReTweeted a bunch of times. Of course this is measuring by nominal GDP. Here is how the comparison would look like if you were to measure the Russian economy by PPP-adjusted GDP. Question: Which one should you... Read More
The Maddison Project is probably the world's most comprehensive source of economic history statistics. Begun by British economist Angus Maddison, it was continued after his death in 2010 by an institution at the University of Groningen. Recently, an update for 2018 has been released. Background paper: It was accompanied by a major introductory article at... Read More
Since the US attack on Wagner mercenaries in Deir ez-Zor on February 7, which even the Kremlin has now been forced to admit included Russian casualties, come these stunning revelations from The Washington Post: The intercepted communications show not only that Prigozhin was personally involved in planning the attack but that he had discussed it... Read More
How is the Russian media covering the elections? I don't watch TV, so I can't give any personal impressions, but fortunately there are other people to do that in succinct graphical format. Color scheme is constant: Grudinin, Putin, Zhirinovsky, Yavlinsky, Titov, Baburin, Sobchak. Total number of media mentions in segments about the elections. Average number... Read More
Anatoly Karlin
About Anatoly Karlin

I am a blogger, thinker, and businessman in the SF Bay Area. I’m originally from Russia, spent many years in Britain, and studied at U.C. Berkeley.

One of my tenets is that ideologies tend to suck. As such, I hesitate about attaching labels to myself. That said, if it’s really necessary, I suppose “liberal-conservative neoreactionary” would be close enough.

Though I consider myself part of the Orthodox Church, my philosophy and spiritual views are more influenced by digital physics, Gnosticism, and Russian cosmism than anything specifically Judeo-Christian.