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First thought is that the US spent 20 years and $2 trillion trying to build a democracy in a half-literate country of goatherders that disintegrated within 20 days. Think what you could have done with that (dependent on your preferences). "Green New Deal". Free college. 335 ship Navy. Mars base. This adventure must have set... Read More
[Epistemic status: Low, I don't know much about Afghanistan, nor does it interest me much (except for the fascination multiple empires seem to have in expending their treasure there]. There appears to be a near consensus that the Taliban will take over most of Afghanistan soon after the US withdrawal and that they will do... Read More
Kneeling before Anglo ambassadors seems to be becoming something of a Ukrainian military tradition. Ukrainian army officer kneeling before the British ambassador to Ukraine Melinda Simmons. Traditionally, it was the recipient of a honorary sword for acts of valor who knelt. The only exceptions were when defeated parties knelt and presented their weapons to the... Read More
The rumors that Roman Protasevich was associated with the Azov Battalion, a Neo-Nazi regiment incorporated into the Ukrainian National Guard, came off as too perfect of a "pro-Kremlin" caricature for me to initially put much faith in them. But over the past couple of days it has been more or less confirmed that those initial... Read More
The US and EU governments are accusing Belarus of "state terrorism" for forcing a RyanAir flight containing Roman Protasevich, an anti-Lukashenko activist, to make an emergency landing after a bomb hoax. He participated in the Euromaidan, although other reports that he worked as a press secretary for the Azov Battalion in the subsequent Donbass War... Read More
It's a little commented fact, but one that is true nonetheless, that Russian relations with Israel are better than with almost any Western country. Open visa regime. No sanctions over Crimea, an attitude largely of mutual studied indifference as regards Ukraine and Palestine, respectively. Open to Sputnik V vaccine. Criticized Biden's comments about Putin as... Read More
US Embassy in Moscow: Trump - Muslim travel ban. Biden - Russian travel ban. Anyhow, as I keep saying, this "social distancing" from the US and the West in general is a good idea. It blunts the impact of bad Western memes and tars their promoters within Russia by association. Meanwhile, it's not as if... Read More
I have compared the current standoff in Donbass to a poker game. By amassing troops around Ukraine, Putin let it be known that a Ukrainian attack on Donbass would be - well, if not assuredly catastrophic, then at least extremely risky for its continued statehood. Ukraine could raise by going ahead with it anyway. It... Read More
I would unironically endorse this, if perhaps not for Ilves Toomas' reasons. I wouldn't have several years ago when I still thought there was some chance of productive relations between Russia and the West, and thought that examining misperceptions about Russia in the Anglosphere was a legitimate and effective way of achieving that. But today,... Read More
There's not much to add now except that we are approaching the moment of maximum danger. (I noted that if it happens, it will probably happen sometime from late April to July). What I think essentially happened is that the Ukrainians wanted to do an Operation Storm on Donbass, which is why movements of military... Read More
In 2015, I attempted to quantify the military power of the world's states with an index of Comprehensive Military Power. You can read the post, including the detailed methodology, here. Since then, its conclusions - broadly speaking, that China and Russia had about a third of US military power in the mid-2010s, while the next-tier... Read More
For various reasons I am upping my probability of intense fighting in the Donbass this year (probably this summer) to over 50%. The Ukrainian buildup on the border continues. Wheeling in all those guns and equipment and letting them stand idle is expensive. The Americans have sent a cargo ship which is unloading more equipment... Read More
From a speech yesterday: If you look at our map, our big map, Crimea and Sevastopol look like a small dot, but we are talking about the restoration of historical justice. We are talking about the importance of this land for our country and our people. Why? It is very simple. Our ancestors have been... Read More
There's been reports of a Ukrainian military buildup in the Donbass for several weeks now. The Saker, amongst others, has also reported on them, quoting a Telegram blogger who is claimed to have good sources in Kiev: My main reason for skepticism that the Ukrainians have serious aggressive intentions is that the Ukraine is still... Read More
Been a while since the last Belarus update. It looks like progress towards implementing Union State provisions continues, with some accomplishments including: Mutual recognition of visas from third countries. (So getting a Russian visa will now enable you to visit Belarus as well). Moves towards removing cell phone roaming. Russia to recognize results of the... Read More
There's renewed rumors of war in the Donbass. But I don't think it's happening for a multitude of different reasons: Polls suggest that since around 2019 an outright majority of the LDNR wants direct union with Russia (<10% want independent, 12% want reintegration into Ukraine). The region is increasingly integrated into Russia de facto. The... Read More
The Influence of SJW Commissars Upon History
On paper, the US still has by far the world's strongest military. This is the case whether or not you measure it by military spending, by various indices of military power (e.g. MEU, CAP, or the CMP developed on this blog), or as pertains to the narrower if arguably more relevant naval sphere, by naval... Read More
Saunders, R. J., & Souva, M. (2020). Command of the skies: An air power dataset. Conflict Management and Peace Science, 37(6), 735–755. (h/t whyvert)
Several months ago, I speculated why Twitter would suspend the Valdai Club (a milquetoast discussion group that largely centers around economics issues and has a large component of systemic liberals within in). Now we have an answer. RT: Twitter is an American company and it's long been clear that it is used along with Facebook... Read More
There is a lot of rhetoric floating about in the usual Reddit/Blue Check crowd that these were the largest demonstrations in Russia of the Putin. This is not really even true - the Bolotnaya/Prospekt Sakharova "meetings" against electoral fraud in Moscow drew more people, though one may argue this is an unfair comparison since they... Read More
Good taste, not overly tacky (e.g. too much gold like with Trump). I'd probably build something like that as a strongman. There's nothing cardinally new about Navalny's video. The construction of a palace at Gelendzhik in Krasnodar Krai linked to friends of Putin was "leaked" to the world more than a decade by Sergey Kolesnikov,... Read More
Navalny didn't pass through Berlin Airport on his way to Moscow. Sealed train in 1917, sealed airplane in 2021. Plus ça change.
The GOD DANG CHEETO ORANGE MUSSOLINI will soon be out of the White House. As such, it's now the Chinese taking over from the Russians paying Afghans to kill American soldiers in Afghanistan. It's not something freedom loving Afghans would even think of doing if they weren't getting rubles, yuan, or preferably both for it.
This is how the final UK - EU deal was characterized by Alexander Mercouris in a live stream with Alex Christoforou at The Duran. Main points to take away: The UK stays in the free trade (zero tariff) zone with the EU, but in so doing remains strongly bound by EU regulations (with the latter... Read More
Interesting results of some recent polling: 72% Serbs think Russia's influence in Serbia is positive (+11% relatove to 2017), while 7% think it's bad. 87% think China's influence is positive (+30%). 32% think US influence in Serbia is good, while 59% think it's bad. Of greater relevance, perhaps: 24% think EU influence is good, whereas... Read More
Funnily enough, I was Blocked from commenting on her Facebook page almost exactly a decade ago to the day for sarcastically suggesting to her that she personally hunt down Assange from her helicopter On Assange, as with many other things such as Russian Derangement Syndrome, the traditional lib/con positions have flipped, with the likes of... Read More
I am not much interested in moralizing over this - there are many other "alternate bloggers" happy to do that anyway (though why be particularly outraged if you view Israel as this great fount of evil anyway? A rhetorical question, I know). At the end of the day, Mossad is quite ruthless in pursuing the... Read More
So it emerges that I was justified in posting this graph so often. At the end of the day, the blunt and banal facts of the matter were as follows: In 1992-94, Azerbaijan was a disorganized, demoralized, and dysfunctional state with a <50% advantage in comprehensive military power (CMP) over Armenia. In 2020, Azerbaijan was... Read More
The Karabakh War 2020 (archive) has drawn to an end with a complete Armenian military collapse only averted by a last-minute Russian intervention. Considering the battlefield situation, what is essentially still a return to the Madrid Principles (if on conditions much less favorable to the Armenians than would have been the case otherwise) was by... Read More
In May 2018, Navalny wrote: Here are the latest "developments": The poor guy even had his perfume stolen. *** It is generally America's vassal states that have been tripping over themselves to recognize Biden as President-Elect before the courts or the electors have made their positions known. As did their puppets: But considering Navalny's record,... Read More
The world map of Biden "recognitions" is quite instructive. No surprise that the core BlueGov-aligned vassals are tripping over themselves to congratulate and celebrate, happy at the prospect of the gushing service they are preparing to mete out as opposed to their sullen compliance during the Trump years. More notable, though less remarkable if you... Read More
Other things have occupied our attention, but Karabakh War II - currently by far the world's most intense conflict - continues unabated. Bad news for the Armenians. The Azeris have advanced to the edges of Sushi and the Corridor that connects Armenia to Stepanakert, the capital of its Artsakh enclave. Its capture will mean that... Read More
Here's the predictive record of a certain Russian "pundit" who is constantly quoted as an authority by Western hacks: 2013: "Putin system degenerating and will be swept away". 2016: Russians turn against Putin in 2017. 2016: Putin may be about to quit due to illness. 2017: "The last time I felt like this was at... Read More
So as of today there is an 88% chance on the Metaculus predictions market that Lukashenko remains in power to January 31, 2021, which is up from less than 50% at the lowest points this August. By all indications, Tikhanovskaya's call from her Lithuanian exile for a general strike has resulted in a damp squib.... Read More
FOM poll: 12% with Armenia, 2% with Azerbaijan, 71% with neither/equally. Armenophilia tends to increase with: Higher education Wealth Muscovites But the effects aren't that big. Probably the single most interesting result is that Azerbaijan doesn't enjoy elevated sympathy in neither the North Caucasus (10% pro-Armenia, 0% pro-Azeri) nor in the Volga region (11% pro-Armenian,... Read More
The Azeris appear to have seized large chunks of southern Karabakh, including (Armenian-populated) Artsakh proper. Hopes they'd be slowed down by the mountainous terrain have proven forlorn, the advance has to the contrary accelerated ever since the Armenian lines in the south were broken. It's too soon to call it an Armenian collapse. The retreat... Read More
I'm not a huge YouTube person, but this genre of "day by day"'s for various historical events has become a popular genre and one of my favorites. Certainly a useful visual guide to reading about it. And in this case useful as a comparator to what's happening today. First observation - Armenia started off in... Read More
It's been 16 days since the start of Karabakh War II. 524 Armenian dead As mentioned, the Azeris are keeping their losses under wraps, but 619 have been ID'ed from social media. Since social media analysis isn't going to catch all the Azeri losses, we can conclude that the Azeri losses are twice as high... Read More
Can create a MIRV'ed ICBM to accompany the hydrogen bomb they unveiled in 2017: And even the chassis for it - at least, to the amazement of Western journalists*. It's own MBT*: Some kind of S-300 like system: Even new uniforms, which look quite sturdier than the old ones:   This is what 25 million... Read More
Just like the Balkan Wars before World War I, there are interesting lessons to be drawn from the conflict, and as such I find it rather fascinating - if not surprising, given the quality of our chattering class - that it has receiving such scant journalistic and analytical attention. This is not just an insurgency... Read More
The Virgin HCQ shill vs. the Chad Sputnik V respecter. Anyhow, this might have helped Trump by generating sympathy. But, given his not entirely undeserved reputation as a floomer, probably won't. Rallies are Trump's lifeblood, chances of him winning have surely plummeted just now. He's fat and 18 years older than BoJo, who was hospitalized.... Read More
Who should Russia support in this conflict? By treaty, Russia is not obliged to do anything, at least so long as Azerbaijan (or Turkey) do not violate Armenia's internationally recognized borders, of which Nagorno-Karabakh/Artsakh is not a part. And while neither Azerbaijan nor Turkey can be remotely considered Russia's friends, they both have a substantial... Read More
2020 keeps getting more powerful as the clashes in July have suddenly crescendoed with reports of large-scale Azeri attacks on the Artsakh frontlines and Azeri shelling of the Armenian enclave's capital of Stepanakert. This now seems to be a bigger thing than your typical serious border scuffle, which happens once every few years and kills... Read More
From the start I refrained from speculating too much about what precisely happened to Navalny. Thing is, several weeks on, we are collectively none the wiser. Though Novichok seems to have done him good in the looksmaxxing department: But reality is rarely as important as the narratives around it, and so far as narratives are... Read More
There have been no important developments since the last Belarus Sitrep. The protests continue to periodically simmer, but they are massively down from their peak several weeks ago. The pro-Russian orientation has become progressively clearer: Chairman of the Standing Commission on International Affairs Andrey Savinykh has openly stated that Belarus' prior "multivector" foreign policy no... Read More
So it emerges that the Taliban don't actually need Russian rubles to hate Americans and try to kill them for their freedom. But who cares now. This emerges three months after the original hoax and reached ~100x fewer people. Meanwhile, the important goals were accomplished. The neocons torpedoed plans to end the endless Middle East... Read More
Lukashenko and Putin are meeting today in Sochi to hammer whatever it is they are going to hammer out. I assume that the Kremlin denial that the talks will focus on "mergers" is an obfuscation. There were two valid approaches to Lukashenko's recent problems in Belarus: Non-interference based on sanctity of the (Soviet) state borders,... Read More
This is perhaps the most impressive product in this genre that I have seen to date.
I am not quite sure whether this classifies as a zrada (defeat/betrayal), but it is surely not a peremoga (victory) - to borrow the terms often used by Ukrainian nationalists, but really applicable to anything. As with Russian nationalists, the Serb nationalists fall into two camps regarding the mettle of their leader, some passionately hate... 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.