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The latest polls, jointly conducted by KIIS (Ukraine) and Levada (Russia), show that the collapse in Ukrainian sentiment towards Russia may be turning a corner. Legend: Ukrainian attitudes towards Russia [blue]; Russian attitudes towards Ukraine [orange] For the first time since April 2014, more Ukrainians have a positive impressive of Russia than the converse. Attitudes... Read More
One persistent criticism of Russia's decision to annex the Crimea/support its people's right to national self-determination [cross out as per your ideological preferences] is that it has had dubious benefits not just for Russia, but for Putin himself. This is a common take. For instance, as the 5th anniversary of Crimea's incorporation into Russia approached,... Read More
Well this was unexpected. But Kazakhstan's President Nazarbayev, who has effectively led the country since 1989, is stepping down and handing over power to the head of the ruling party until a replacement could be found. I wrote about him here: In short, [the secret of his success] is pragmatism over ideology. The narrow-minded nationalist... Read More
This is a very good summary and syncs with how I view things. *** To be fair, I respect Mr. Martyanov’s views and also read his blog regularly. It’s true as well that China’s SSN fleet remains a relative weakness, so even in my opinion he’s certainly correct there to an extent. However, I do... Read More
Hardly a surprise, but just to confirm that India massively outguns Pakistan: India's advantage on my CMP index, an attempt to objectively quantify military power, has increased from 60% in 1988 to almost fivefold today by 2015. Military spending (2017): India - $60 billion; Pakistan - $10 billion This is reinforced by a quick look... Read More
Found this actively updated map on UOC-MP defections to the (schismatic) Orthodox Church of the Ukraine, which was granted its tomos by Istanbul Bart this January. (h/t Insomniac) Commenter AP has predicted that UOC-MP will become the near exclusive province of Ukraine's Russians in the coming years. But that doesn't seem to be coming along... Read More
As I have made clear, I am not any sort of fan of Maduro/Caballo's regime. When you have the empty shelves of the late Soviet Union, the inflation rate of Zimbabwe, and the murder rate of Honduras, it's safe to say that things have gone wrong somewhere. Nor am I blaming the US for it.... Read More
I have already mentioned that there is virtually zero popular support for handing over the Kurils to Japan, so current hopes (and histrionics) on this topic are almost certainly nothing but hot air. I wouldn't even be making this post if not for a new development in this saga - the appearance of concrete numbers... Read More
From a Twitter summary by @PyotrNemets of Xi Jinping's The Governance of China [download]. Now while I realize such official tracts are most often just mainstream political pablum in any country, I think highlighting 19th century Russian literature - and this selection isn't exactly very congruent with official Chinese ideology - is quite telling. His... Read More
I just made my debut on Strategic Culture foundation with an article on US suspension of the INF Treaty. Here is what it boils down to, IMO: However, it is with respect to the balance of power in the West Pacific that the restrictions imposed by the INF on the US – but not on... Read More
I wrote why giving away the Kurils (even just two of the islands) to Japan in exchange for fuzzy and unenforceable investment commitments is a really bad idea back in 2010 and I see no cause to change any of that. One big problem, then as now, is that ordinary Russians are against it. The... Read More
Mitleser points to an interesting take on the Huawei Kidnapping: A great explanation of the Huawei Kidnapping, written by a comrade in the Deng Gang Central discord There may be a lot more than meets the eye in Canada’s shock arrest, at US behest, of Huawei’s CFO and heir apparent Meng Wanzhou (link below). Chinese... Read More
Source: Wikipedia. China has finally come out (functionally) in support of Maduro. With tens of billions of invested in Venezuela, it has more absolutely (if not relatively) at stake there than Russia. It is good to see China taking a more assertive stance. The EU hasn't overtly supported Guaido, but it has called for new... Read More
I suppose we will now see whether the failings of half-assed socialism and the tried and tested techniques of color revolution by way of Uncle Sam will win out over Cuban intelligence officers and a nascent social credit system by way of Uncle Chang. Idiot Sechin has trouble getting back money even now (unlike the... Read More
Financial Times: This looks like a minor growing trend. The Soviet Union sunk untold billions in development aid to the Third World, for questionable gain, and was rewarded with a knife in its back every so often. Bu
A few months ago Ron Unz, suggested I write an article about Bill Browder and the Magnitsky Act. I said I would think about it, but that I was not the most qualified person for the job. I have never investigated this affair deeply myself, so unless I was to spend a few days if... Read More
spandrell [Korean link]: Deep history in action? Vietnam: Rebelling against China since before Christ - turns commie (if with a marked nationalist brand, as Linh Dinh will tell you); hates China anyway, and building defense ties with the US. Korea: Near always a loyal vassal to China - gets bifurcated thanks largely to China, becomes... Read More
I am by no means a Serbia expert, and have to rely on other, more informed people - e.g., a couple of Serbian nationalist acquaintances - to tell me what is really going on there. Anyhow, here's the critical part which they are all agreed upon. Despite his "reputation" in the West, Vucic is not... Read More
In recent days, Russia has arrested the American spy Paul Whelan. This is widely viewed as retribution for the prosecution of Maria Butina. Perhaps the kremlins were finally cajoled into action by China's example. (Main theory making the rounds in Russiagate circles is that it is a ploy to arrange an exchange with Butina back... Read More
Come to think of it, the Huawei Affair - an entirely transparent power play against China, as Jeffrey Sachs convincingly shows - is returning the world to the medieval era of hostage taking. It's been a long way building up to it. Still, Meng Wenzhou is a much bigger fish than the victims of previous... Read More
Latest reports that Kiev is planning to impose martial law. Anyhow. Poroshenko's only real hope of getting reelected is by having a short victorious war (as I suggested back in May). Though the "victorious" part will be really hard.
Latest via Alexander Gabuev, who is one of the best Russian China watchers. Highlights include: Sanctions busting trade & investment innovations; manufacturing, inc. civil aircraft (CR929) and heavy lift helicopters; Glonass/Beidou integration; experience exchange in AI, surveillance, social credit; replacing US as China's soybeans supplier, with investment in agriculture in the Russian Far East. Russia... Read More
From a recent report by the arch-neocon Henry Jackson Society: 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... Read More
Here are some basic things worth bearing in amidst the various powerful takes floating around. Campaign rhetoric is one thing - the reality of navigating international geopolitics is another. It is worth noting that while Americanophilia started off high at the start of many Brazilian right-wing administrations, it never consistently stayed high - not even... Read More
You can discuss the Brazilian elections in this thread. The polls say that it will almost certainly be Bolsonaro. PredictIt is giving him a 95% chance. *** Brazil seems to be an exception to the pattern in the rest of the world where the richest and most intelligent reject the Far Right. But is this... Read More
Khashoggi wasn't some sort of dissident or human rights activist; he wasn't even your run of the mill neoliberalism.txt crusader. He was a Muslim Brotherhood supporter, palled around with Osama bin Laden, and served as media advisor to Turki al-Faisal, one time-head of the Saudi Mukhabarat and so not a nice guy by definition. Nor... Read More
The INF Treaty was signed at a time when the US and the USSR were the world's dominant military powers and nobody else even came close. Today, it is China that is undoubtedly the world's second strongest conventional military Power. And while the US still retains dominance in the South China Sea according to reputable... Read More
From the latest DoJ indictment of Russian trolls [pdf]: LOL. Anyhow, the excerpts suggest that Russian trolls have a surprisingly sophisticated understanding of American trigger points. That said, I don't quite see how this kind of "Internet research" qualifies as conspiring to "commit offense against" or "defraud" the United States (18 U.S. Code § 371).
Kiev Pechersk Lavra. This is what Nicetas, Archbishop of Nicomedia, wrote in the 12th century about the Great Schism (1054) between Catholicism and Orthodoxy: Difference between then and now? A millennium ago, the Vicar of Christ presided over a flock that was about as demographically predominant within Christendom as the Russian Orthodox Church is within... Read More
Sergey Prokudin-Gorsky: Kiev in 1905. I suppose that if superintelligence is developed soon, or the entire world melts together into a post-historical open borders dystopia/utopia, or some existential risk does as all in, then these considerations will become rather irrelevant. However, if the 21st century continues on a more or less "business as usual" path,... Read More
Bolsonaro's 46% is just shy of the 50% he needed to win the Brazilian Presidency, while Workers' Party candidate Haddad is at just 29%. While most or all of the rest of the candidates are against Bolsonaro, I still find it difficult to see Haddad winning with these numbers. PredictIt is giving Bolsonaro almost 80%... Read More
Today I was at the presentation of Alexander Zhuchkovsky's new book 85 Days in Slavyansk [buy]. The author is a Novorossiya activist and humanitarian help coordinator who is based long-term in the DNR. Many of the big names in Russian nationalism were there: On the far left is Egor Kholmogorov (see our translations of his... Read More
Although I hardly have the highest opinion about the competence of Russia's spy agencies, I thought this MUST be a fake when I saw it. Is there anyone who still uses TAXIS in Moscow in 2018? (apart from people over 60 who d0n't know there are better, more reliable services such as Yandex Taxi or... Read More
The Guardian on September 23: Russian passport leak after Salisbury may reveal spy methods WaPo on September 24: All over Europe, suspected Russian spies are getting busted Just a complete coincidence I am sure. We all know that modern Russian spy agencies accept only the crème de la crème of Russian society. Only the very... Read More
It appears evident that it was the Syrians who took down the Russian Il-20 surveillance plane. Russian MoD claims that Israelis misinformed Russia about the target of their strikes, whose fighters used the hapless Il-20 for cover. This would make it a combination of Arab incompetence and Jewish mendacity. A most stereotypical combination. Now Russia... Read More
WaPo: Why Russia is wooing South Africa’s white farmers Certainly, as I keep pointing out, this would come as a great surprise to Russian nationalists themselves. As one wit on Le Reddit put it: "Add to that the unease among some white South African Russian farmers as the country the Bolshevik government debates possible land... Read More
The Russian MOD seems to have agreed with the Americans that it was Syrian friendly fire. Probably this wouldn't have happened but for the recent Israeli bombings of Syria. Elijah Magnier says it was to Syria's and Iran's advantage. Glad to hear that! /s PS. In other news, the long-assault on Idlib has been indefinitely... Read More
Transcript here. On a more serious note, this is a PR disaster. Even Margarita Simonyan herself visibly realizes as the interview goes on. Their tourism story reaches levels of implausibility that should not even be possible: We are just heterosexual business partners - but no, we won't go into any details; our first sightseeing tour... Read More
Wei Geisheing (2013). Aerial Shanghai by Crane Operator 2. Let's take the standard assumption that national power consists of three main elements: Economic, military, and cultural ("soft"). Why can we be confident that China is on its way to superpowerdom? China has already overtaken the US in terms of GDP (PPP) in the mid-2010s at... Read More
So one of my commenters keeps urging me to write something about the Skripal case, even hinting at a conspiracy to keep "bad news" from denizens. I was going to briefly mention in my weekly Open Thread, but not anything more, because I don't see this news are either important or unexpected. But given... Read More
Donbass is the heart of Russia. 1921 poster. Or so some people seem to believe and hope. So let's tally up these reasons: The Russian economy is getting increasingly desperate. Two percent GDP growth isn't anything to write home about, but neither is it particularly catastrophic. The budget is balanced, inflation is at record lows,... Read More
Alexander Zhuchkovsky reports that there has been an explosion at the "Separ" [separatist] restaurant in Donetsk, killing DNR head Alexander Zakharchenko. DNR Income and Collections Minister Alexander Timofeev has also been seriously injured. He had come under increasing criticism in recent years for making loud pronouncements that went unfulfilled, such as promising that the Ukraine... Read More
Looks like we are seeing the final preparations for the Syrian offensive on Idlib. Couple of noteworthy things: 1. Masses of Russian ships in the Mediterranean off Syria, with many dozens of Kalibr cruise missiles and hundreds of Tor anti-air missiles between them: Also some reports of Mig-31's patrolling the Caspian with the new Kinzhal... Read More
AK: This is a guest post from a friend of mine who... let's just say has spent a lot of time in both Russia and the United States. I can personally vouch for almost of all of these observations. *** Scholars variously assign responsibility for the political demise of the Soviet Union to different world... Read More
Via Alexander Gabuev. Incidentally, Gabuev has long been skeptical about the possibility of a strong Russia-China relationship, especially on account of Russia's weak understanding of China (see my article on The State of Russian Sinology, where I cover his arguments). So it means something when he says that China and Russia are moving closer to... Read More
PEW: Russians Say Their Government Did Not Try to Influence U.S. Presidential Election On US/Russian electoral interference in other countries. (This seems broadly correct). Not so keen on intervention. In the previous PEW poll, it emerged there are some countries that are more Russian nationalist (e.g. Serbia and Armenia) than Russia itself, at least on... Read More
* NBC: Trump administration to hit Russia with new sanctions for Skripal poisoning The sanctions are directly based on
Buzzfeed recently had an article in which they reveal how Henry Kissinger has been lobbying Trump and Jared Kushner about cooperating with Russia to box in China. The idea is to pull of the reverse of what Nixon accomplished in the 1970s, patching up relations with Red China to exert more pressure on the more... Read More
So I was at World Russia Forum 2018 today: I was a panelist at WRF 2012 and WRF 2013 in Washington D.C. It is a semi-annual event, alternately hosted in Washington D.C. and Moscow, meant to bring together Russian and American experts, academics, journalists, and policy-makers in an effort to improve relations between these two... Read More
As I suspected, Trump's meeting with Putin did indeed turn out to be a damp squib, at least relative to the unrealistic expectations that all sorts of strongly ideological camps had built up around it. Putin repeated his insistence that Russia did not meddle in the US elections, congratulated Trump on North Korea, acknowledged that... 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.