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
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]. Russian Presidential elections abroad in 2012: Blue = Putin; Green = Prokhorov. However, while Putin failed to get an absolute majority even in Germany... 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
Big surprise. /s Lots of boring and repetitive takes out there, so I'll write about something different; maybe this too will be boring, but at least it's probably unique. Here is how three of the leading lights of the Russian nationalist movement, the Two Egors and Igor Strelkov, reacted to this news. Egor Kholmogorov approves,... Read More
Assuming that it will be just between these four, I think it's going to go something like this: Note that Sobchak and any [liberal candidate] can be substituted for Navalny. (Also TBH, I think Navalny has a chance of getting 10% - see below). If other candidates (but not Navalny) run, for instance, Grigory Yavlinsky... Read More
In my opinion, almost certainly yes (quantified: 90%. In line with PredictIt). Just to get that clear off the bat. But neither is it an absolutely foregone conclusion. For instance, see this recent "scoop" from The Independent's Oliver Carroll: The reason "scoop" is in apostrophes is that Putin's tiredness is hardly new to the Moscow... Read More
* The legendary Major General Issam Zahreddine was blown up by a land mine in Deir ez-Zor. What damn bad luck. Surviving an ISIS siege for three years, only to go like that. * Iraq takes back Kirkuk. Seemingly prearranged return to the status quo of 2014. * Haaretz: White Nationalist Richard Spencer Gives Israel... Read More
Western journalists have this weird habit of making fun of Putin for his yearly marathon phone-ins with the Russian public. It's populism. It's all staged. Well, sure, it's all that. I can see how a class that writes articles with titles such as "It’s Time for the Elites to Rise Up Against the Ignorant Masses"... Read More
The other day a Levada poll was released showing an apparently lackluster performance by Navalny in a hypothetical Presidential race against Putin and the other candidates. If there were elections on the coming Sunday, who would you vote for? (The figures below exclude those said they don't know, or don't intend to vote). Apr13 Apr14... Read More
... Well, it doesn't have quite the ring of the better known poem that, having once landed Erdogan in jail, has now ensured his survival. So people are now asking: Without Erdogan's closer ties to a religion far more passionary than Orthodox Christianity, without his allegedly superior democratic credentials, would anyone actually bother out to... Read More
Based on a December 22, 2015 WIN/Gallup International poll: [Click to enlarge]. Note that this indicates net approval, that is, the percentage of people with a favorable view of Putin minus the percentage of people with an unfavorable view of him. One immediately striking thing is just how how uniform Western attitudes are. Note how... Read More
According to Forbes, yes he is, for the third time in a row. A natural question would be - how on Earth do you actually quantify such things? Forbes relies on an index consisting of a political/demographic component (control over people), a financial component (wealth), prominence in various spheres (e.g. automative, space, financial, etc.), and... Read More
Pumpkin Person (PP), an up and coming IQ blogger, has estimated Putin's IQ to be about 127. He derives this based on a z-factor analysis of Putin's status as the most powerful White person in the world (135), based on the 0.4 correlation between IQ and income (and presumably, power), minus an adjustment for his... Read More
After a week-long absence, the Internet is growing rife with rumors about Putin's health and whereabouts. Has he produced a heir with Alina Kabaeva? Is he plotting nuclear war with the West from his bunker at Mount Yamantau? Has he been abducted by aliens? Or is the Mausoleum about to get a new occupant?? Let's... Read More
(1) Just as with Manning, it is beyond dispute that Snowden broke US law. As such, the US government is perfectly entitled to try to apprehend him (on its own soil), request his extradition, and prosecute him. This is quite perpendicular to whether Snowden's leaks were morally "justified" or not. In some sense, they were.... Read More
Okay, I promise this will be the last post on the matter. But some of the tropes that come up time and time again in coverage of Chavez's legacy, from neocons and faux-leftists alike, just have to be addressed for me to rest easy. Note that this is NOT meant to be comprehensive; just some... Read More
It's been a great year! To recap, in rough chronological order, 2011 saw: The most popular post (with 562 comments and counting; granted, most of them consisting of Indians and Pakistanis flaming each other); Visualizing the Kremlin Clans (joint project with Kevin Rothrock of A Good Treaty); my National Comparisons between life in Russia, Britain,... Read More
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.