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Western media: Angry Russians fed up with Putler’s corruption pour into the streets.

But now the first post-“palace” video opinion polls are coming in on Putin’s approval rating and related questions:

Levada is a private, opposition-leaning pollster. VCIOM and FOM are state-owned pollsters.

Other polls:

FOM: Did the actions of authorities cause you discontent or indignation in the past month? 39%→38% saying “yes.”

Levada: Are things going in the right direction in this country: 48%→49% saying “in the right direction” (43%→40% disagree).

Don’t waste time on hacks. Look at the numbers.

 

***

EDIT 2021.02.05

The day after I posted this, a new poll from Levada Center about Navalny’s popularity, conducted between Jan 29 and Feb 2 (i.e. both after the video and the first protest).

Navalny’s approval rating is 19%, down from 20% this September. Disapproval is much higher. Nor can you ascribe this to Russians not having heard of him.

Negative net approval even amongst zoomers.

The only demographic that (marginally) supports Navalny are those who primarily get their information from Telegram channels. Amongst the online, it is 26%-27%.

 

***

Putin Approval

Levada

VCIOM

FOM

***

 
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  1. Please keep off topic posts to the current Open Thread.

    If you are new to my work, start here.

    Commenting rules. Please note that anonymous comments are not allowed.

    • Replies: @Michelle
  2. Levada: Are things going in the right direction in this country: 48%→49% saying “in the right direction” (43%→40% disagree).

    Imho, those disagreeing levels may be quite concerning for the kremlins – as I noted in previous thread about Navalny, there is some appearing slight symphaty for Navalny even among the most hardcore vatnik crowd, even if their reasons&motives are not becoming pro-Western at all.

  3. Karlin doesn’t even pretend to be objective anymore. He conveniently forgets to include that Putin’s rating in Levada’s open-ended trust question dropped from 34 to 29. Additional info: even in Levada’s close-ended approval question among 18-24 year olds Putin dropped nearly 20 points.

    And of course, there is the accuracy of polling in authoritarian regimes where people get jailed for retweets: big yikes.

    In summary: Don’t Waste Time on Karlin’s Blog: Read RT instead – You’ll find the very same praise of Putin there.

  4. mal says:
    @sudden death

    As long as they disagree for different reasons, it should be fine.

    US Congress for example has 20% approval rating (on a good day) and reelection rate of 90%+ percent. It is a beautiful example of political technology in action.

    You just don’t want the peons agreeing on something, that spells trouble. Disapproval and complaining is fine.

    • Replies: @216
  5. songbird says:

    Would United Russia fall apart without Putin, or lose popularity?

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  6. Levtraro says:

    It would be interesting to link those few spikes in VCIOM’s poll of Putin’s approval to actual political events, or are they just random?

    • Replies: @mal
  7. @Concerned Citizen

    Would you rather suffer a short prison term, or be made permanently unemployable over a retweet? American system is arguably more vicious: basically only Jews and millionaires are allowed to have opinions. And Europeans combine the worst of both worlds – sucks to be a thinking man in Europe.

    • Replies: @Morton's toes
  8. Levtraro says:
    @Concerned Citizen

    Don’t Waste Time on Karlin’s Blog:

    … and yet here you are.

  9. mal says:
    @Levtraro

    Big jump in 2014 is related to Crimea – its a litmus test in Russia politics kinda like abortion is in the US and all Russians know the correct answer to that question. Big dump in 2018 is pension reform.

    High numbers in the 2000’s due to Putin not being alcoholic like Yeltsin and income growth. Decline in early 2010’s due income stagnation. Surprised that Ossetia war in 2008 is not prominent on here, but oil prices were booming in 2008 before financial crisis, so approval ratings were high – people were happy with oil profits.

    • Replies: @Levtraro
  10. Opinion polls don’t measure opinion.

    I don’t think people should give so much weight to polls

    I am not doubting Putins overall approval rating.

    How can anyone be satisfied with lockdown and the dip in the economy and this is not just in Russia but all over the world.

  11. The numbers are hardly surprising for those who know the reality (as opposed to cucked NYT readers). Yes, “authoritarian” Putin has higher approval in Russia than any “democratic” Western leader in his/her country.

    Just like every cloud has silver lining, every silver lining has an associated cloud. A lot of Russians disapprove of many government actions supported by Putin (pension reform is a good example). The reason this does not affect Putin’s approval much is that people do not see viable alternatives. Only self-deluded Westerners could see intellectual and political midget like Navalny, or anyone of his ilk, as an alternative. Russians despise traitors, so anyone funded and supported by the West has no chance of gaining a significant support in Russia.

    Russia needs genuine leaders besides Putin, and it also needs a credible Putin’s successor. Much smaller fraction of populace in Russia than in the US would fall for a corrupt senile nonentity like Biden. People remember the disaster caused by stupid Gorby and corrupt not particularly bright Yeltsin. People also remember that both were Western darlings.

    Russia needs patriotic leaders not associated with Western hypocrites or domestic thieves (oligarchs). One can only hope they emerge and at least one proves to be fit for the task.

  12. @songbird

    Would United Russia fall apart without Putin, or lose popularity?

    United Russia would be lucky to have half of Putin’s approval on a good day. That’s why he distanced himself from it.

    • Replies: @songbird
  13. Levtraro says:
    @mal

    Thanks. But the plot posted here covered 2020 only, so I was thinking of smaller political events.

  14. @Felix Keverich

    A million dollars is not what it used to be. I estimate you need 40-50 million in 2021 to have your own opinions unless you are courageous as Ron Unz. And I bet he has 10.

    • Agree: Not Raul
  15. Ludwig says:

    As an aside, the advent of the Biden administration’s neoliberal/neocon foreign policy coming together in late December a lot of interesting things have been happening simultaneously:

    1. Within the US itself, a massive propaganda campaign/purge is underway of views and contents not just of the anti-establishment right but that of the anti-establishment left (Eg Wikileaks shop was taken down on Facebook; many alt-left accounts have been flagged on FB/demonetized on YouTube) from the DC/corporate establishment network in power.

    The neoliberal establishment – including propaganda organs like the NYT/WaPo – approves of this censorship.

    2. Navalny is jolted into action to return to Russia to stir up things in Russia along with the palace video and attendant media coverage – which resembles the kind of PR junket for a Hollywood movie release. The protests upon Navalny’s arrest are amplified by US Big Tech coordinated with Western media/diplomats and activist-for-rent like Greta Thunberg weighing in as well.

    The neoliberal establishment decries of attempts to censor / curtail reports of locations of nsanctioned protests and condemns the Russian judicial process.

    Russia condemns all this as a clear orchestration from the Empire.

    3. In Ukraine, Zelenskiy issues a decree banning opposition channels with wide following and sanctioning the Ukrainian owner (also a sitting MP).

    The US embassy – with which this move was not just no doubt coordinated but which was almost certainly the prime instigator – publicly approves of this blatant censorship and lack of even a pretense of judicial process.

    4. The North Indian farmers protests in India – a fairly complex matter which pitch corporate interests with public one; right wing politics with center left ones; separatist sentiments, have taken on an international dimension with the neoliberal establishment in the West highlighting the issue and with rent-a-celebrities like Rihana & Greta Thunberg distributing “toolkits” for now to effectively put pressure on the Indian Government.

    The US embassy has told the Indian Government – which asked some social media accounts that they accused of incitement and even violence to be banned – of “freedom of the Internet and Information”.

    The Indian Govt has lambasted the focus of international actors – especially with the “toolkit” being circulated, inadvertently it appears by activist-for-rent Greta Thunberg – as a clear conspiracy against India and many Indian celebrities – with huge social media followings on US Big Tech platforms – to hit back. What the Indian public impact of this international attention will be remains to be seen.

    5. In the UK, the Govt announces expansion of special passports to HK residents who are interested. China warns it will not recognize any with these passports. Oxfam bans the Chinese global media channel CGTN from a broadcast license even as the BBC airs horrifying stories from alleged former prisoners of re-education camps from China’s Xinjiang province. China flat out condemns both events and calls the people shown in the BBC report as actors and calls the entire thing an orchestration vs China.

    There are many such events in other countries – Venezuela (where the Biden Admin has continued to recognize Guaido though the EU stopped); pressure continued to applied on Iran – which overall show a very active and energized US Empire determined to force the issue in non-Western controlled states.

    How the public in these countries react to these orchestrated pressures from the Empire will be closely watched both by their Governments as well as DC.

    • Replies: @Mulga Mumblebrain
  16. @AnonFromTN

    It appears that more and more people share this sentiment, which is good. Too much attention is devoted to topics such as Putin’s rating and Navalny’s circus. The more fundamental problem facing Russia is that it needs genuine leaders besides Putin. Good approval ratings (even if valid) don’t make up the lack of genuine leaders. Maybe that is too much to ask for and the most one can hope is a credible successor. But is there even a hint of a possible successor within Putin’s circle?

    • Agree: Aedib
    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  17. @sudden death

    That’s actually not too bad numbers. Try looking up polling results for similar questions in other countries. In USA you have to go back two decades to get that good numbers.

  18. @Californian Candidate

    But is there even a hint of a possible successor within Putin’s circle?

    I am not aware of any. Problem is, a successor must be ~ 20 years younger, i.e., in his late forties, early fifties max. Must be more anti-Western than Putin, but as wily as Putin. Would have to deal with Putin’s circle, particularly with “patriotic” oligarchs. Therefore, needs a strong oligarch-independent power base. In reality it means either military or FSB, preferably both.

    It is likely that the same forces brought Putin to power by giving Borka-alkash (Boris the drunkard, for non-Russian speakers) ultimatum: either he resigns voluntarily and gets immunity for his crimes, or he is forced out and tried for all his “achievements”. Remember, the first Putin’s decree was granting Borka and his family immunity.

    • Agree: Jazman
    • Replies: @Ludwig
  19. But…But…NPR said that Russians are rising up against Putin! They’re challenging his legitimacy! The demonstrations are of massive import!

    I just don’t know who to believe anymore since Anatoly is shaking my faith in American media with his tricky Rooskie numbers!

    • LOL: Dan Hayes
  20. songbird says:
    @AnonFromTN

    I don’t think a party will have the same popularity as a national leader – it is just how politics works.

    But I wonder if they would be respectable enough to nominate a strong successor, if Putin either does not, or his successor is weak.

    • Replies: @AnonfromTN
  21. Passer by says:
    @Concerned Citizen

    The US is openly becoming a one party state. One can’t others too?

    • Replies: @Beckow
    , @216
  22. Beckow says:
    @Passer by

    It is easy to fall into the trap of rational analysis – hypocrisy here, there, everywhere. I don’t think people in power are capable of seeing their own hypocrisy – it’s not something that moves them or they would even remotely care for. Most of the public is too conformist to bother with ‘hypocrisy’.

    This is a conflict for all marbles, nobody plays fair.

    • Replies: @AnonfromTN
  23. @songbird

    But I wonder if they would be respectable enough to nominate a strong successor, if Putin either does not, or his successor is weak.

    I think United Russia is not a party in an old European sense, more like a government supply line of cadre. It’s as fake as both American “parties”. It won’t exist w/o Putin. Its official head is Medvedev, that should tell you all you need to know.

    The successor will emerge either thanks to Putin, or despite Putin, but this fake “party” is and will remain impotent in the big game.

  24. @Beckow

    nobody plays fair.

    Nothing is black or white. But there are many shades of gray, and they are very different.

    • Replies: @Beckow
  25. 216 says:
    @mal

    The US system elects from a single member district, and the local incumbent is usually quite popular.

    If the US had a “list system”, the incumbency effect would be reduced, and provide an easier way to ‘throw the bums out’.

    The problem being that the “list system” makes party leadership more powerful.

    • Replies: @mal
  26. 216 says:
    @Passer by

    The US Right has a stronger claim to California, than Russia does to Crimea. Prop 187 was a free and fair vote on self-determination.

  27. Ludwig says:
    @AnonFromTN

    I am not aware of any. Problem is, a successor must be ~ 20 years younger, i.e., in his late forties, early fifties max. Must be more anti-Western than Putin, but as wily as Putin.

    The Chinese post-Deng came up with a fairly efficient conveyor belt of leaders whereby candidates would rise based on merit in governance (and age, as well no doubt on connections and other intangibles) from the provinces to the central bodies to the top politburo to the very top. Meanwhile there was a succession ladder built so that at end of the first 5 year term as President, the candidate for future President at the end of the current President’s second 5 year term from the ruling politburo would be made clear. (Xi seems to have disturbed this succession plan for conceivably extending his rule beyond 10 years.)

    Of course the Russian system is more open, but nevertheless the concept of building a strong bench of candidates with actual governing experience versus being good in feel good rhetoric (as in many cases in the West) is something to be considered.

    • Thanks: AltanBakshi
    • Replies: @AnonfromTN
  28. Michelle says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    So funny, during the last Olympic Games, my leftist co-workers were totally Russian crazy, bemoaning the fact that the American media spent way too much time on stories about American athletes. My co-workers preferred, and rooted for non American athletes. “Putin, is not that bad”, one, leftist, lesbian Latinx lady told me. Then, along came Trump, and then Putin became the epitome of all that is evil! Remember when Bush got in trouble for calling Russia, one of the three members of the “Axis of Evil” ? I do.

    • Replies: @AKAHorace
    , @4Dchessmaster
  29. @Ludwig

    Of course the Russian system is more open, but nevertheless the concept of building a strong bench of candidates with actual governing experience versus being good in feel good rhetoric (as in many cases in the West) is something to be considered.

    That’s a good system in theory. In practice, Xi was able to ditch it because the previous two leaders were unimpressive, to put it mildly (Chinese commenters here can give you a fuller picture). Chinese system appears attractive largely because so-called “representative democracy” is neither representative nor democracy: as American saying puts it, “money talks, bullshit walks”.

    I am not sure how Putin’s successor will emerge, quite likely the same way Putin emerged: ostensibly out of the blue, in reality probably pushed by the military plus secret services. The last time they actually chose the right person, although Putin had to learn on the job (just compare his hesitation and blunders in 2000-2001 with supreme confidence today). We’ll see who and how comes to the top after Putin.

    • Replies: @216
    , @mal
    , @Ludwig
  30. 216 says:
    @AnonfromTN

    Perhaps a triumvirate will emerge, as after Khrushchev. This system is often unstable, as were its Roman Empire origins.

  31. mal says:
    @AnonfromTN

    Almost willing to bet my wisdom teeth it will be somebody from the regional governors. They have been gaining in popularity lately and being a successful regional politician is a good preparation for national play. Of course, running a country is not the same as running a region because it doesn’t give you foreign policy experience but foreign policy is probably best left to deep state anyway like it is in US.

    There has been a major push for competence in Putin administration (Mishustin is excellent tax reformer, Chubais got “retired”, even Rogozin hasn’t blown up a rocket in a while), but technocrats, while excellent at their jobs, are not really inspirational. I would argue the same for military and security services bureaucracy. But a successful regional governor? He knows people, he knows their problems, he can connect on a personal level. It could be just what’s required.

    • Replies: @Ludwig
  32. mal says:
    @216

    Well of course local incumbent is quite popular – you change district borders until you achieve the desired result. It is a more effective vote rigging system compared to simple ballot stuffing as is done in local Russian elections. Russia has much to learn in this area.

  33. AKAHorace says:
    @Michelle

    Remember when Bush got in trouble for calling Russia, one of the three members of the “Axis of Evil” ? I do.

    I thought that the axis of evil was Iraq, Iran and North Korea ? Almost as silly, as the governments or Iran and Iraq loathed each other, and North Korea didn’t have much to do with the other two at all.

  34. Beckow says:
    @AnonfromTN

    …Nothing is black or white.

    Sure, not today. But we rushing towards black-and-white polarization. In that situation concerns for propriety, “hypocrisy”, values, fairness, etc… are meaningless.

  35. Ludwig says:
    @AnonfromTN

    In practice, Xi was able to ditch it because the previous two leaders were unimpressive, to put it mildly (Chinese commenters here can give you a fuller picture).

    Xi came up the ranks just as his predecessors Hu and Jiang did. While these two did not build the cult of personality that Xi has, post-Deng China today for better or worse is due to a collective bureaucracy based on some levels of merit – rather than pure connections and toadying – than a single hero personality, which makes for a more stable system. This is also why the US attacks the CCP as a whole rather than Xi, because even if Xi is deposed, the CCP will remain.

    In Russia on the other hand both supporters and critics of Putin recognize that while there is a system behind Putin – the military/secret services with opportunistic support from key billionaires and elites – he is the lynchpin holding it together and a vacuum in that position might lead to the kind of infighting that might collapse the system. The challenge for Russia is to ensure a leadership continuity that is genuinely popular and capable of dynamic change to both external and internal shocks while not leading to a collapse of key institutions that happened over the last century.

    I am not sure how Putin’s successor will emerge, quite likely the same way Putin emerged: ostensibly out of the blue, in reality probably pushed by the military plus secret services. The last time they actually chose the right person, although Putin had to learn on the job (just compare his hesitation and blunders in 2000-2001 with supreme confidence today). We’ll see who and how comes to the top after Putin.

    As a closer look at the Levada poll shows, the 18-24 and 25-39 support for Putin has fallen year over year. Better or worse, the younger generation seems to put a premium on more transparent leadership and someone “of the people” than someone installed by behind-the-scene factions. In this, the West has mastered the art of promoting candidates who seem to be of the people while being allied/beholden/controlled by powerful factions among the elite.

    The ideal candidate then to succeed Putin would be one with proven governing experience and merit, has a popular base while reliably trusted by Russia’s deep state to maintain Russia’s independence from Western pressures while being able to maximize Russia’s growth and development within the constraints both external and internal.

  36. Ludwig says:
    @mal

    While Shoighu is just a few years younger than Putin, it would seem – based on experience, trust among the deep state and polling among the public – he could be an effective transition candidate for one 6 year term to succeed Putin, to make way for a yet-to-emerge younger, more modern candidate(s) who could be identified and groomed.

    • Agree: AltanBakshi, mal
  37. Max Payne says:

    As long as the budget isn’t impacted too much I don’t think your average Russian will give a damn.

    After the yeltsin era I can imagine most Russians won’t even care if Putin had his own space station in orbit with black jack and hookers… As long as the budget isn’t too impacted.

    Western politicans will never understand that competence in leadership will give you a lot of leeway and understanding. Even in the face of bad decisions, late action or misconstrued corruption.

    As the great street warrior poet 2Pac once said…. Haters gonna hate.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  38. @Concerned Citizen

    “He conveniently forgets to include that Putin’s rating in Levada’s open-ended trust question dropped from 34 to 29”

    That’s since October; there could be numerous factors apart from the recent events with Navalny. Also, this number is not the lowest Putin has ever received, and it still puts him a way ahead of any other politician.

    “Additional info: even in Levada’s close-ended approval question among 18-24 year olds Putin dropped nearly 20 points.”

    That’s a yearly difference, and arguably not something unseen elsewhere. In the UK, for instance, the Tory support among the young has plummeted quite rapidly as well (as well as grown among elderly).

    • Replies: @Not Raul
  39. I must say that I find the practise of Western fakestream presstitutes in declaring that they are the ‘truth-tellers’ and the antidote to misinformation, then lying through their teeth about everything, highly amusing. One such has appeared on the local ABC a couple of times recently, the ‘Russian bounties for dead US troops’ lie. Initially ridiculed, debunked over and over, then seemingly forgotten, these pathological liars have now resurrected it without a moments hesitation.

    • Agree: AltanBakshi, AnonFromTN
  40. @Ludwig

    The Chinese MUST expel the BBC’s lying vermin, hopefully in chains, and cut off economic co-operation with the UK, which is sinking into the shite in any case, rich reward for hundreds of years of genocide and exploitation worldwide. The BBC’s recent hate-crazed lying in regard to China is just English race hatred boiling over, as it did for centuries, resulting in tens of millions of deaths, including in China.

    • Replies: @Astuteobservor II
  41. @Concerned Citizen

    And of course, there is the accuracy of polling in authoritarian regimes where people get jailed for retweets: big yikes.

    Ironic. The United States does exactly that — jailing Ricky Vaughn — and yet its polls have been wildly off for the last two presidential elections.

  42. nice, looks like the Omsk ER doctor who directly managed to treat Navalny the way stayed alive, suddenly died now. Of course, there is pandemic going on and sometimes 56 years olds may really have natural sudden deaths like heart/brain stroke, but…

    • Replies: @sudden death
  43. @sudden death

    tbf, without any more detailed info really hard to say at the moment, guy could have been heavy smoker or something and definetly was not lean:

  44. @Ludwig

    This is also why the US attacks the CCP as a whole rather than Xi, because even if Xi is deposed, the CCP will remain.

    No, they are specifically targeting Xi, not the CCP.

    https://nationalinterest.org/feature/why-%E2%80%98longer-telegram%E2%80%99-won%E2%80%99t-solve-china-challenge-177404

    [MORE]

    According to the author, the challenge the United States faces today from China is almost entirely attributable to the personal leadership and ideological mindset of Xi. “China, under all five of its post-Mao leaders prior to Xi, was able to work with the United States. Under them, China aimed to join the existing international order, not to remake it in China’s own image… In short, China under Xi, unlike under Deng Xiaoping, Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao, is no longer a status quo power.”

    • Replies: @Ludwig
  45. @Michelle

    That’s weird though, because I vividly remember Putin being an international pariah all the way back in 2014. Western media was obsessed with him way before Trump.

    • Replies: @Carlo
  46. @Ludwig

    As a closer look at the Levada poll shows, the 18-24 and 25-39 support for Putin has fallen year over year.

    I mentioned this a lot in previous posts. That said, results are quite encouraging – I didn’t expect Putin to still have absolute majority approval amongst the 18-24 group, more like 30-40%.

    • Replies: @Ludwig
    , @Gerard.Gerard
  47. Ludwig says:
    @AltanBakshi

    No, they are specifically targeting Xi, not the CCP.

    https://nationalinterest.org/feature/why-%E2%80%98longer-telegram%E2%80%99-won%E2%80%99t-solve-china-challenge-177404

    The Republican faction – not just Trump and ideologues like Steve Bannon but the more establishment factions including influential Senators – have cast the CCP, not just Xi, as the villain to fight against eg https://thenewamerican.com/gop-china-task-force-warns-of-threat-posed-by-ccp/

    They have openly allied with Chinese dissidents who are fighting CCP rule not just Xi.

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/ideology-or-interests-china-s-strategy-to-deceive-the-west/ar-BB1criez

    The recent “Long Telegram” author is from the more neoliberal establishment faction of the Empire which and seeks to demonize individuals (whether it be Putin, Xi, Modi, Maduro etc) as an effort to destabilize/contain the countries. It is far easier to attack an individual than an abstract system or idea behind them (though as the critique of the “telegram” you referenced show how simplistic and ultimately self defeating it is).

    In any case the Russian establishment is currently tied far more to one individual than the Chinese one which has post-Mao matured greatly. There is a realization within the US establishment that China is simply too big other than to hope to contain, whereas there is more hope that Russia, with enough mounting economic and social problems and without a clear leadership succession plan, and with a more open society through which to destabilize, can crumble under pressure as it has a few times in the 20th century. And that delegitimizing Putin is the key to that endeavor

    • Thanks: AltanBakshi
  48. Carlo says:
    @4Dchessmaster

    Yes, Putin was hated since the very beginning of this century, at least since the Yukos case back in 2003-2004.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  49. Ludwig says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    I mentioned this a lot in previous posts. That said, results are quite encouraging – I didn’t expect Putin to still have absolute majority approval amongst the 18-24 group, more like 30-40%.

    Fair enough. But the trend reinforces the larger point that Putin will eventually run out of runway unless there are both tangible successes – economic improvement, infrastructure development – and more “feel good” ones so important to the younger set who in any country are often the ones with the energy (and naïveté) to protest/riot against “the man” without knowledge or caring for history (even as recent as 1990).

    For example if Sputnik V were to prove to be a better, longer lasting vaccine to COVID-19 and its various mutations with fewer side effects than the mRNA Pfizer/Moderna vaccines and they could be produced at scale for Russia and the many countries – including India which has a larger current order for Sputnik V at 200M than Russia (see https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/covid-vaccine-tracker-global-distribution/contracts-purchasing-agreements.html) – which allowed Russia to bounce back quicker, that would be a scientific, economic and propaganda win.

    (For criticism/monitoring of the side effects of mRNA vaccines, see https://mobile.twitter.com/AlexBerenson)

    Longer term it is whether Putin’s vaunted National Projects yield even moderate results in a short period of time vs an ever receding end time.

    • Replies: @sudden death
  50. @Ludwig

    Fair enough. But the trend reinforces the larger point that Putin will eventually run out of runway unless there are both tangible successes – economic improvement, infrastructure development – and more “feel good” ones so important to the younger set who in any country are often the ones with the energy (and naïveté) to protest/riot against “the man” without knowledge or caring for history (even as recent as 1990).

    If ratings go completely south, Putin has always another “feel good” option at hand, which he can use from time to time, cause nothing makes more happy about 85% of all voters in RF than a territorial landgrab.

    It doesn’t even have to be that big, something relatively miniscule like Peski or Marinka might be sufficient or just officially joining current de facto controlled part of Donbas would be sufficient with a propper propaganda fanfares. It is not just a coincidence he quickly sent to Doneck his propagandist team led by Simonyan, who from tribune proclaimed “request” to join it to RF, while Navalny protests were happening.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    , @Aedib
  51. Hartnell says:

    We know that when it comes to the protestors, the mindset is “we need to remove Putin so we can become a democracy and have a great quality of life just like the West.”

    So I actually have a question to this. Lets say theoretically speaking, the pro-West faction actually assumes power in Russia. It could be headed by St. Nalvany or someone else. Would life in Russia actually improve for the rank and file or would it just be a return to the Yeltsin years?

    Its a question that has been on my mind recently.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    , @Rahan
    , @Rahan
  52. @Max Payne

    Western politicans will never understand that competence in leadership will give you a lot of leeway and understanding.

    There is a good reason for that. The last competent Western politicians I remember were De Gaulle, Kohl, and Nixon. All were a longish time ago. In terms of leader quality, the West went downhill since then. Corrupt senile half-corpse is the latest achievement, one might say a cherry on the cake.

  53. @sudden death

    It is not just a coincidence he quickly sent to Doneck his propagandist team led by Simonyan, who from tribune proclaimed “request” to join it to RF

    That might be Putin’s plan B. Recent poll by Vzglyad showed that ~60% of the people in Russia approve of accepting Donbass (LNR+DNR) into RF immediately, another 30% approve of eventual acceptance, while fewer than 10% are against it. Those <10% are likely the same “pro-Western” voters who did not learn the lesson of the 1990s. All things considered, having fewer than 10% naïve morons is not a bad statistic for a country at loggerheads with the Empire.

    • Agree: Aedib
  54. @Hartnell

    Would life in Russia actually improve for the rank and file or would it just be a return to the Yeltsin years?

    Considering puny popular support (<10%) of pro-Western faction, their coming to power is highly unlikely. In the theoretical case that it happens, there is no reason to believe that anything different from Yeltsin-era catastrophe happens.

    • Replies: @AP
  55. AP says:
    @AnonFromTN

    In the theoretical case that it happens, there is no reason to believe that anything different from Yeltsin-era catastrophe happens

    Very doubtful.

    Putin cleaned the mess up enough that a complete return to the nineties is unlikely. Also Russian society now has less Sovok amorality, so it would not tolerate 90s excesses.

    • Agree: Shortsword
    • Replies: @Shortsword
  56. @AP

    Agree. The population now would be able to handle change better. The problem of the 90s wasn’t only abysmal governance, it was also that the population was too ingrained in the old system. The people and the economy was too dependent on the system of central planning.

    For example, one major issue in the 90s was the Soviet monocities. Many cities were built around a few large industries that were part of system of central planning. When those industries closed/downsized/reorganized that led to a lot of socioeconomic damage. That wouldn’t happen now (to any comparable extent anyway).

    • Replies: @Simpleguest
    , @AP
  57. Not Raul says:
    @Russian Unionist

    That’s a yearly difference, and arguably not something unseen elsewhere. In the UK, for instance, the Tory support among the young has plummeted quite rapidly as well (as well as grown among elderly).

    I’ve been following UK polls for years.

    Starmer seems to be doing well with Bobos. Enough so that the LibDems are being crushed.

    BJ is still outpolling Labour. I suspect it is due to continuing support among older voters, and rust belt areas where Corbyn picked up support in 2017 due to not being neoliberal, and then lost it in 2019 due to losing pro-Brexit voters to BJ. Elsewhere, Corbyn lost anti-Brexit voters to the LibDems. Corbyn was in a no win situation. He could have been strongly pro-Brexit, and kept more constituencies in the rust belt; but then he would have lost more constituencies around London. That might have been a better strategy; but he could never credibly out-Brexit BJ, considering that his party in parliament was seen as being mainly anti-Brexit.

    The next election might result in a hung parliament, which could give the Scottish nationalists a lot of leverage.

    Among some voters, there is the perception that Starmer is a better manager, and BJ will have to close that gap. BJ hasn’t helped himself on that front by giving senior positions to toadies like Raab and Jenrick, and firing accomplished people like Julian Smith, who restored devolution in Northern Ireland. Calling Starmer “elitist” won’t be enough to avoid a hung parliament, especially when BJ himself is seen as elitist.

  58. @Shortsword

    For example, one major issue in the 90s was the Soviet monocities. Many cities were built around a few large industries that were part of system of central planning. When those industries closed/downsized/reorganized that led to a lot of socioeconomic damage. That wouldn’t happen now (to any comparable extent anyway).

    That is not very different from what is taking place in the, now decaying, US rust belt. Many small US towns had only one or two major employers, small size manufacturing plants or workshops that were part of the supply chain of the, former, US manufacturing giants.

    The main difference between Russia and US, in this respect, is that the post 90s Russian state intervened to help smaller Russian cities, although perhaps there is still plenty of room for improvements. In US there is no one, not counting Trump, to intervene on their behalf.

    Going back to the neo-liberal policies of the 90s will, most likely, bring about the same result.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    , @Shortsword
  59. @Simpleguest

    Going back to the neo-liberal policies of the 90s will, most likely, bring about the same result.

    The defining thing of the 1990s was not neoliberal policies, but large-scale theft of state assets by foreign and domestic thieves. In addition, military was actively degraded and military secrets were leaked to the West. Yeltsin regime was full of compradores and traitors, the thrust of everything they did was the destruction of Russia. Navalnistas are as traitorous as those guys. Their main problem is that the majority of Russian population does not want to make the same blunder again.

    Today Russia has neoliberal economic policies sans massive theft and degradation of the military. Imperial elites are mad at Putin not because of his economic policies, but because he stopped wanton theft and restored the military. Aggrieved thieves like Browder and Khodorkovsky lead the charge.

    • Replies: @Simpleguest
    , @Beckow
    , @Levtraro
  60. Aedib says:
    @sudden death

    Liberation of other chunks of Donbas seems also advisable. E.g. Mariupol and Slaviansk.

    • Agree: AltanBakshi
    • LOL: AP
    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  61. @AnonFromTN

    Today Russia has neoliberal economic policies sans massive theft and degradation of the military.

    I beg to disagree. There are vast segments of the Russian economy that are out of reach of the neo-liberal policies or the neo-liberal elites, like the military-industrial complex, RosAtom, United Aircraft Corporation and so on.

    I don’t have details, but it’s logical to assume that many of the “monocities” would be given a lifeline by incorporating them into one of these systems.

    To be fair, it is very difficult to find competent and fair solution to the main shortcomings of the socialist, central planning, economies: lack of initiative and lack of innovations.

  62. @Aedib

    Liberation of other chunks of Donbas seems also advisable. E.g. Mariupol and Slaviansk.

    It’s cynical from the perspective of people living in long-suffering Donbass, but looks like Putin is playing a bigger game, for the whole Ukraine. He is waiting for it to degrade completely, disintegrate, and fall into his lap. Imperial puppet masters and their Kiev puppets are obliging, but the process would take some years still.

    The precedent was created way back in 2014. History 101: in WWII Soviet troops participating in kicking Germans out of Crimea were awarded medal “For the liberation of Crimea”. There was a joke in 2014 in Russia that Obama should be awarded that medal.

    • Agree: Aedib
    • Replies: @AP
  63. @Simpleguest

    Russia still has a good number of dying cities. In general, a lot of the ones with less than 200k population that located in regions with less hospitable climate aren’t doing so well. The situation has improved but a lot of those type of cities are hard to save.

    Rust belt is a decent comparison but it’s happening much slower there than it did in Russia. US life expectancy has slowly been falling since 2014 on a national level and in some states it’s been going on for as much as two decades. But the national life expectancy is still close to the top, it hasn’t even dropped half a year yet. Russian life expectancy on the other hand fell 5 years in a very short time. The worst off states in US has had a drop between one to two years of life expectancy from the their top. Not counting any COVID-19 effects by the way.

    But, yes, the deaths of despair situation is continually worsening in United States. In general the mortality rate of the middle aged population has been rising. In particular for the ones with low education level. This has been going on for quite some time. The lack of intervention is remarkable.

    One number to look at is the number of drug overdoses. As much as 92k died from drug overdoses last year in United States. That puts US at the highest rate of death from drug overdoses of any country in the world by far. This has been increasing very fast the last few decades. In 2000 the number of deaths wasn’t even 20k.

  64. AP says:
    @Shortsword

    The population now would be able to handle change better. The problem of the 90s wasn’t only abysmal governance, it was also that the population was too ingrained in the old system. The people and the economy was too dependent on the system of central planning.

    This too but a major issue was also amorality. Basic Soviet morality was limited to “don’t snitch, and maybe don’t screw over your family.” Anything else was acceptable, if you could get away with it. When the system collapsed, these amoral people, ruined by the Soviet system, engaged in an orgy of theft, murder, substance abuse, etc. etc. Not everyone was like this, but a very large percentage, enough to set the pace for the entire society.

    If the system collapsed again, I doubt the current Russians would behave the way the Sovoks did in the 1990s. Much of the moral corruption has been repaired.

  65. AP says:
    @AnonFromTN

    It’s cynical from the perspective of people living in long-suffering Donbass, but looks like Putin is playing a bigger game, for the whole Ukraine. He is waiting for it to degrade completely, disintegrate, and fall into his lap

    So Ukraine is safe, he will never try to grab it. But keep dreaming…

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  66. @AP

    I think this is exaggerated. But there is some truth to it. In particular, it applied to many bureaucrats and politicians. Many of them knew the artificial rhetoric used but didn’t believe in it. These people would later be the ones to collapse the country while enriching themselves.

    • Replies: @AP
  67. @AP

    So Ukraine is safe, he will never try to grab it.

    Yea, the mouse always thinks that eating cheese in the mousetrap is safe. It never has a chance for second thoughts.

  68. Beckow says:
    @AnonFromTN

    …Today Russia has neoliberal economic policies sans massive theft

    Thieving is ever-present in most societies. It was very extreme in the 90’s Russia, and it was similarly extreme in 2008-10 in US, and there is something similar going on currently in the West.

    Neo-liberal economics without (massive) theft would still be neo-liberal economics, barely different for most people. It would still have oligarchies, globalized labor force, organised financial rent seeking, housing and other pyamid schemes, etc… The theft and corruption are built into a neo-liberal system, that’s how it works.

    Even assuming that Navalny and his gang are pure like winter snow, the repeat of the 90’s under Navalny would look much like the 90’s. Putin has partially trimmed the external theft of Russian resources, but he has left the 90’s oligarchs mostly in place. That is not sustainable and he probably knows it – the dissatisfaction will grow into anger, something will happen, personalities will change, and you will have another blow-up. The bottom line is that tolerating neo-liberal economics is Russia’s (and Putin’s ) Achilles heel. I don’t see them doing anything about it. The fact that West is not much better is neither here nor there – all politics is local.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  69. @Beckow

    The bottom line is that tolerating neo-liberal economics is Russia’s (and Putin’s ) Achilles heel.

    Agree 100%. As far as I know (from friends and relatives living in Russia), there is mounting dissatisfaction and anger against the oligarchs. Putin culled some of the worst scum (e.g., Berezovsky, Khodorkovsly), but many are still where they’ve got by stealing state assets. The pressure is increasing. At some point it will blow up. In fact, open imperial hostility is one of the things preventing that for now.

    But thing is, the West will rue the day when Putin’s regime is changed by internal Russian forces. What is likely to emerge would be anti-neoliberal and anti-Western government. The loot of “patriotic” oligarchs will likely be nationalized. Everything Russian oligarchs moved to the West will be stolen by Western thieves. But that’s only justice, I have no warm feelings for the shameless thieves, Russian or Western. The main danger to the world is that instead of Putin’s measured responses to imperial provocations new government will start shooting. Unlike Arabs, Russians tend to hit targets they shoot at. At that point all bets would be off.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
    , @Beckow
  70. AP says:
    @Shortsword

    I knew a guy from eastern Ukraine whose father was beaten to death with a hammer in the 90s for about $200 he had stashed in his apartment. The Exile in Moscow had a section of ridiculous and violent crimes. Homicide rate in Russia was 32.26 in 1994, 3 years after the USSR ended. That is higher than modern Mexico and Brazil, and not much lower than Honduras.

    Friends who visited Russia in the 90s told stories about wallets getting grabbed if they were left on the counter for less than 5 minutes.

    The madness was pervasive, not only at upper levels.

  71. I don’t think Vatniks use Telegram. Navalny enjoys Vatnik support because he, in some ways, fills the Nigel Farage role for Russia. He appeals to the left out and those threatened by competition from immigration despite Russia’s structural labour shortages. . In Russia’s case very different groups. And then, there are liberals demonstrating in his support who would never vote for him. The demographically large cohorts are the 50 something’s who remember the 90’s. Putinists. Then there is and listed around 30 who experienced prosperity in their most formative years but have now lost it and had their expectations dashed. This is the potential core of real opposition.

    Everywhere seems to begetting a COVID era protest movement. Part of Russia’s is nervous anticipation about the fading of the old regime. Mishtustin is clearly an able bureaucrat and probably what Russia actually needs but he is not a politician (neither was Putin. It might be seen as a merit). Medvedev has United Thieves to back him up but the FSB have shown their disapproval. Gref, Kudrin, meh! I too would like to see a Provincial Governor coming forward. S/He would have more chance with the 30 year olds than any Fed or indeed Navalny who at the end of the day, is a crook.

    Who funds Navalny? Exactly. Khordokovsky? Smudging by past behaviour in Ukraine 2004, it won’t be the US Embassy. (Read the Cablegate telegrams and emails). Is it someone in Germany?

  72. Dmitry says:
    @AnonFromTN

    There’s far more and richer oligarchs today, than in 1999 (when Putin become president). Although almost all attained their advantageous position in the 1990s, the difference today is that there is 20 years of economic growth in the Russian Federation.

    Whereas in 1999 (when Putin became President), there had been 15 years of economic contradiction, in the context of political instability, and socialcollapse.

    When oligarchs emerge among economic collapse, it is different context than when they are becoming wealthy under economic growth.

    During economic growth, the cake is getting larger, so someone taking a large slice doesn’t necessarily reduce the size of everyone else’s cake slice (except in a ceteris paribus sense, relative to a hypothetically equally divided cake). But when people are cutting huge slices of cake while the cake itself is becoming smaller – this is a more dramatic situation which we saw in the 1990s.

    It’s not that the economy is more equal today than it was 21 years past (it is not); but that the economy has been growing or stable for 20 years under Putin, while in the 1999 there had been 15 years of disastrously collapses under both Yeltsin and Gorbachev.

    Putin culled some of the worst scum (e.g., Berezovsky, Khodorkovsly),

    Their expropriation was not related to whether their wealth was more or less legitimate than the others (from any normal perspective, they were “illegitimate” wealth e.g. Yeltsin sold to Berezovsky Siberian oil company for only $100 million), but because they politically opposed Putin – in both cases as voluntary choice.

    Berezovsky publicly decided to attack Putin in 2000 initially as Putin was adding additional powers to the presidency (superficially this was a justifiable reason to criticize, as the presidency became far too powerful since already Yeltsin 1993), while Khodorkovsky attacked the officials for corruption, in a theatrical meeting with Putin in early 2003.

    These two are expropriated because of their personal choice to politically oppose Putin, and because they were choosing to begin attacking him in the most public ways possible. If they had supported Putin as everyone else had, then they would still have their money today (assuming they hadn’t conflicted with other oligarchs).

    As a result of political opposition, Yukos was force sold (at below market price) to Rosneft, while Berezovsky’s Siberian oil was force sold to Abramovich.

    Even after losing the Siberian oil company, Berezovsky still had enough money to live in luxury in London. However, in 2011, he tried in the British legal system, to sue Abramovich for $5,5 billion, and apparently after losing hundreds of millions of dollars of legal fees – he was bankrupt. Here is predictable example of hubris, in someone with narcissistic personality disorder.

    • Agree: AltanBakshi
  73. Dmitry says:
    @AP

    these amoral people, ruined by the Soviet

    If you talk to anyone who was alive in Soviet years, most of the old people say that life was more moral and well behaved in the Soviet times, than today. So your comments are a little “idiosyncratic”.

    For example, all the old school teachers would typically say “students were behaving much better, not like nowadays”. It’s possible they could be romanticizing their youth in the profession, and that they became more critical as their job went on. (But we can verify that the standards in the education system were significantly higher in Soviet times, by looking at the relatively higher standards in the exams and textbook, which would imply that youth were indeed better behaved in the classroom to reach that level).

    • Replies: @AP
  74. Beckow says:
    @AnonFromTN

    …the West will rue the day when Putin’s regime is changed by internal Russian forces. What is likely to emerge would be anti-neoliberal and anti-Western government.

    The West has all the tools, but they are incredibly inept. Westerners play the same song that they mythologically believe worked before. It is a sad spectacle of old men and miseducated careerists, incl. a few shrieking women and POC’s who totally misunderstand the context. I sometimes think they don’t care if they succeed, they are so focused only on process and perks.

    Putin’s government is vulnerable because of its neo-liberal policies. Kremlin knows it, so having an obvious liberal fraud like Navalny as “opponent” suits them well, that’s why he has been effectively protected all these years. The West bought into it because they are morons and because they cannot even imagine a non-neo-liberal world. It is latter-day ideological disease of mediocre minds who are not capable of critical thought.

    I agree about the danger: this could spin out of control and Russians shoot to kill. They just take a very long time.

    • Replies: @Ludwig
  75. Dmitry says:
    @Carlo

    Despite Western criticism of the second chechen war, Putin was trying to be quite pro-Western in his first term, and into the second term. For example, from 2003, in response to US request, Russia has promised to forgive Iraq’s debt to Russia, which was effectively support of tens of billions of dollars to America’s project to stabilize Iraq after invading it.

    Putin’s relationship with the Bush government breaks only around 2006-2007. (And by 2008, the relations diplomatic with America are crashed).

    This is similar to the pattern with Yeltsin-Clinton. Yeltsin’s government was pro-Western in the first term, and becomes increasingly difficult with the West in the second term, and the relations of Yeltsin’s government with Clinton crashed finally in 1999. That a similar 7-8 year timeline that Putin’s had before finally crashing irreversibly with the USA.

    In 2007, relations of Putin and Bush were finally collapsing, due to the inability of America to compromise in the missile treaty negotiations. After this, there was no recovery since, despite a certain hope promoted by the media in Russia that was optimistic about Obama (and later Trump).

    And earlier, for example, Tony Blair was the first foreign leader to visit Putin in 1999.

    In 2003, still Putin was having honoured dinners with Queen Elizabeth and viewed like a equal royalty in London.

  76. Ludwig says:
    @Beckow

    Putin’s government is vulnerable because of its neo-liberal policies. Kremlin knows it, so having an obvious liberal fraud like Navalny as “opponent” suits them well, that’s why he has been effectively protected all these years. The West bought into it because they are morons and because they cannot even imagine a non-neo-liberal world. It is latter-day ideological disease of mediocre minds who are not capable of critical thought.

    To cover the open corruption that is baked into neoliberalism requires a lot of feel good theater to distract the masses: witness the circus in the US and the West in general at the moment. (The COVID-19 exposed the complete incompetence of the Western neoliberal model to deal with the biggest natural crisis of the last 100 years; let alone the fault lines and deep hypocrises being exposed due to the inner contradictions of this model).

    This is where Navalny and his ilk fully supported by the Western neoliberal establishment, shine over Putin & co. They understand the need for performance art and feel-good sloganeering like “freedom” and “democracy”. The aim is to get a critical mass of elites to defect.

    The neoliberal model also allows for certain types of shady wealth transfers to be legalized and therefore not “corruption”. So for example Western elites get huge monies for “speaking fees”, “book deals”, access to primary market stock markets/options, and various other contracts which are perfectly legal though from any other angle it looks like a pure pay-off. Similarly the media is financially rewarded for spreading the “right” opinions. This is in contrast with Soviet style corruption where money is laundered in various creative ways.

    Whether Putin is himself corrupted or simply that he has been constrained by the system of power that is needed for support from moving left, or whether it’s a tactical move based on current Russian realities, is an open question.

    Ultimately, like in the West, real results on the ground will determine how his support evolves.

  77. AP says:
    @Dmitry

    these amoral people, ruined by the Soviet

    If you talk to anyone who was alive in Soviet years, most of the old people say that life was more moral and well behaved in the Soviet times, than today. So your comments are a little “idiosyncratic”.

    Facts speak for themselves: 90s degradation peaked less than 5 years after USSR collapsed. Soviet Union ended in 1991: by 1994, Russia had a homicide rate of 32.6. In comparison, homicide rate in Mexico is 29. America’s homicide rate during the Great Depression peaked at 9.7. I don’t have time to look up rates for robbery, theft, etc. Do you doubt that they track to homicide?

    So did a new population appear, that replaced the Soviets? Or were all the people who engaged in epic levels of killing, robbing, stealing, corruption – creations of the Soviet system, raised under it, learning under it, living under it for their entire lives? The flower of the Soviet elite robbed the states’ resources and factories while killing each other, and all the way down people were killing and robbing each other, in amounts that matched their influence. Down to the person who used a hammer to kill the father of an acquaintance of mine, for $200 in his apartment.

    Given what Soviets did right after the repressive state was removed, we can conclude that the proper behavior earlier was an expression of coercion rather than morality. When the constraints were removed, Soviet morality was set free.

    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
    , @Dmitry
  78. Rahan says:
    @Hartnell

    So I actually have a question to this. Lets say theoretically speaking, the pro-West faction actually assumes power in Russia. It could be headed by St. Nalvany or someone else. Would life in Russia actually improve for the rank and file or would it just be a return to the Yeltsin years?

    This question implies the conserving of the Russian Federation as a political entity, which is far from a given.

    The underlying plan of Europe and the Anglosphere has always been to collapse Russia into a collection of tiny states, like Germany was before Bismarck, as “self defense” against savages who are too big for their own good.

    So the Russian Federation is highly unlikely to last in that scenario. Half the territory are various Turkic, Finno-Ugric, and Mongoloid “federal republics” and “autonomous regions”–and it’s them that tends to have the oil, the gas, the diamonds, etc. Yakutia alone is like half of Canada size-wise.

    The view of “the civilized world” is that “Russia is too big and thus too dangerous” and also that “It has too many unearned resources, which it squanders, we would be much better stewards of all them gas and diamonds.” And remember that the “unearned resources” also include enormous chunks of the North Pole.

    Back in Yeltsin’s time the process started, the “parade of sovereignties” within Russia itself (as opposed to the USSR republics going their ways), but then Putin reined it all in, being an evil imperialist and all, and now the twenty-thirty would be tinpot glorious leaders have all, at least on the outside, accepted their position within the larger federal framework and publicly pledge allegiance to the Prez.

    If “western democrats” take power, this time the West will react instantly with a coordinated push, to make sure there’s no unfinished business left, to preclude another “imperialist revival”. This, incidentally, is the answer of “why Russia was not absorbed into the western framework”. It’s too big to digest currently. Once it’s broken down into twenty-thirty Latvias and Alabanias, then (so the genius Western planners assume), Eurasia finally becomes a proper anal democracy and perpetual world utopia is achieved. They view China in similar terms as well–something to be broken up for its own good.

    Anyway, should the pro-western democrats win, you’ll likely end up with a former Russia, where:
    1) In the south you have a number of perhaps confederated Muslim republics
    2) Along the Volga a bunch of Tatar and Finno-Ugric republics
    3) In the North and along the Ural–Finno-Ugric and Turkic republics
    4) In Siberia, and the Far East–Shamanic and Buddhist republics
    5) A Slavic Russian part centered around Moscow, either monolithic, and also a confederation of smaller states.

    So in the end, the question about the “quality of life” will be answered on a neo-state by neo-state basis.

    The European mini-states will likely belong to the spectrum of Serbia-Ukraine-Moldova-Latvia; the Muslim states closer to Azerbaijan-Albania-Tajikistan; and Northern, Volga, Uralic, Siberian, and Far Eastern states will be like today, but with the local authorities having unchecked power, and wealth being redistributed not among the local elites and the federal center, but among the local elites and the foreign “investors and backers”.

    Plus skirmishes and wars along the new borders, and attempts of neighbors to absorb some of the newly independent sovereign states. Turkey will go mad trying to quickly craft a Turkic confederacy with them at the head, that would include enormous swaths of Russia, and in turn provide the resources to take over Eurasia.

    (A Turkic Muslim global confederacy is one of the major ways the Oceanic Empires hope to dismantle both Russia and China)

    Other players, near and far, will also pounce.

    A good pro-western democrat will say that this is all for the better in the long term, and better have a few tiny “properly liberal” post-Russias in Eastern Europe and a bunch of satrapies across the remaining 90% of the former federation, than to suffer the current “fascism”.

    • Replies: @AP
    , @Shortsword
  79. Rahan says:

    So I actually have a question to this. Lets say theoretically speaking, the pro-West faction actually assumes power in Russia. It could be headed by St. Nalvany or someone else. Would life in Russia actually improve for the rank and file or would it just be a return to the Yeltsin years?

    This question implies the conserving of the Russian Federation as a political entity, which is far from a given.

    The underlying plan of Europe and the Anglosphere has always been to collapse Russia into a collection of tiny states, like Germany was before Bismarck, as “self defense” against savages who are too big for their own good.

    So the Russian Federation is highly unlikely to last in that scenario. Half the territory are various Turkic, Finno-Ugric, and Mongoloid “federal republics” and “autonomous regions”–and it’s them that tends to have the oil, the gas, the diamonds, etc. Yakutia alone is like half of Canada size-wise.

    The view of “the civilized world” is that “Russia is too big and thus too dangerous” and also that “It has too many unearned resources, which it squanders, we would be much better stewards of all them gas and diamonds.” And remember that the “unearned resources” also include enormous chunks of the North Pole.

    Back in Yeltsin’s time the process started, the “parade of sovereignties” within Russia itself (as opposed to the USSR republics going their ways), but then Putin reined it all in, being an evil imperialist and all, and now the twenty-thirty would be tinpot glorious leaders have all, at least on the outside, accepted their position within the larger federal framework and publicly pledge allegiance to the Prez.

    If “western democrats” take power, this time the West will react instantly with a coordinated push, to make sure there’s no unfinished business left, to preclude another “imperialist revival”. This, incidentally, is the answer of “why Russia was not absorbed into the western framework”. It’s too big to digest currently. Once it’s broken down into twenty-thirty Latvias and Alabanias, then (so the genius Western planners assume), Eurasia finally becomes a proper anal democracy and perpetual world utopia is achieved. They view China in similar terms as well–something to be broken up for its own good.

    Anyway, should the pro-western democrats win, you’ll likely end up with a former Russia, where:
    1) In the south you have a number of perhaps confederated Muslim republics
    2) Along the Volga a bunch of Tatar and Finno-Ugric republics
    3) In the North and along the Ural–Finno-Ugric and Turkic republics
    4) In Siberia, and the Far East–Shamanic and Buddhist republics
    5) A Slavic Russian part centered around Moscow, either monolithic, and also a confederation of smaller states.

    So in the end, the question about the “quality of life” will be answered on a neo-state by neo-state basis.

    The European mini-states will likely belong to the spectrum of Serbia-Ukraine-Moldova-Latvia; the Muslim states closer to Azerbaijan-Albania-Tajikistan; and Northern, Volga, Uralic, Siberian, and Far Eastern states will be like today, but with the local authorities having unchecked power, and wealth being redistributed not among the local elites and the federal center, but among the local elites and the foreign “investors and backers”.

    Plus skirmishes and wars along the new borders, and attempts of neighbors to absorb some of the newly independent sovereign states. Turkey will go mad trying to quickly craft a Turkic confederacy with them at the head, that would include enormous swaths of Russia, and in turn provide the resources to take over Eurasia.

    (A Turkic Muslim global confederacy is one of the major ways the Oceanic Empires hope to dismantle both Russia and China)

    Other players, near and far, will also pounce.

    A good pro-western democrat will say that this is all for the better in the long term, and better have a few tiny “properly liberal” post-Russias in Eastern Europe and a bunch of satrapies across the remaining 90% of the former federation, than to suffer the current “fascism”.

  80. Rahan says:
    @Hartnell

    So I actually have a question to this. Lets say theoretically speaking, the pro-West faction actually assumes power in Russia. It could be headed by St. Nalvany or someone else. Would life in Russia actually improve for the rank and file or would it just be a return to the Yeltsin years?

    This question implies the conserving of the Russian Federation as a political entity, which is far from a given.

    The underlying plan of Europe and the Anglosphere has always been to collapse Russia into a collection of tiny states, like Germany was before Bismarck, as “self defense” against savages who are too big for their own good.

    So the Russian Federation is highly unlikely to last in that scenario. Half the territory are various Turkic, Finno-Ugric, and Mongoloid “federal republics” and “autonomous regions”–and it’s them that tends to have the oil, the gas, the diamonds, etc. Yakutia alone is like half of Canada size-wise.

    The view of “the civilized world” is that “Russia is too big and thus too dangerous” and also that “It has too many unearned resources, which it squanders, we would be much better stewards of all them gas and diamonds.” And remember that the “unearned resources” also include enormous chunks of the North Pole.

    Back in Yeltsin’s time the process started, the “parade of sovereignties” within Russia itself (as opposed to the USSR republics going their ways), but then Putin reined it all in, being an evil imperialist and all, and now the twenty-thirty would be tinpot glorious leaders have all, at least on the outside, accepted their position within the larger federal framework and publicly pledge allegiance to the Prez.

    If “western democrats” take power, this time the West will react instantly with a coordinated push, to make sure there’s no unfinished business left, to preclude another “imperialist revival”. This, incidentally, is the answer of “why Russia was not absorbed into the western framework”. It’s too big to digest currently. Once it’s broken down into twenty-thirty Latvias and Alabanias, then (so the genius Western planners assume), Eurasia finally becomes a proper anal democracy and perpetual world utopia is achieved. They view China in similar terms as well–something to be broken up for its own good.

    Anyway, should the pro-western democrats win, you’ll likely end up with a former Russia, where:
    1) In the south you have a number of perhaps confederated Muslim republics
    2) Along the Volga a bunch of Tatar and Finno-Ugric republics
    3) In the North and along the Ural–Finno-Ugric and Turkic republics
    4) In Siberia, and the Far East–Shamanic and Buddhist republics
    5) A Slavic Russian part centered around Moscow, either monolithic, and also a confederation of smaller states.

    So in the end, the question about the “quality of life” will be answered on a neo-state by neo-state basis.

    The European mini-states will likely belong to the spectrum of Serbia-Ukraine-Moldova-Latvia; the Muslim states closer to Azerbaijan-Albania-Tajikistan; and Northern, Volga, Uralic, Siberian, and Far Eastern states will be like today, but with the local authorities having unchecked power, and wealth being redistributed not among the local elites and the federal center, but among the local elites and the foreign “investors and backers”.

    Plus skirmishes and wars along the new borders, and attempts of neighbors to absorb some of the newly independent sovereign states. Turkey will go mad trying to quickly craft a Turkic confederacy with them at the head, that would include enormous swaths of Russia, and in turn provide the resources to take over Eurasia.

    (A Turkic Muslim global confederacy is one of the major ways the Oceanic Empires hope to dismantle both Russia and China)

    Other players, near and far, will also pounce.

    A good pro-western democrat will say that this is all for the better in the long term, and better have a few tiny “properly liberal” post-Russias in Eastern Europe and a bunch of satrapies across the remaining 90% of the former federation, than to suffer the current “fascism”.

    • Agree: Ludwig, Daniel Chieh
    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
    , @AnonfromTN
  81. AP says:
    @Rahan

    Sorry, this is nonsensical. In order for a country to split there has to be an appetite for that split. Other than Chechnya there is no such wish among people in Russia to split.

    • Replies: @Rahan
    , @Ludwig
  82. Rahan says:

    OK, I see a post by me in triplicate. Any bureaucrat would be proud of me.
    Sorry… Technical issues.
    If Mr. Karlin will oblige and cull two of the posts that’d be great.

  83. Rahan says:
    @AP

    In order for a country to split there has to be an appetite for that split. Other than Chechnya there is no such wish among people in Russia to split.

    That’s overly optimistic IMO.

    It seems to me that if you can get Montenegro to split from Serbia, or Belarus to split from Russia, then you can get anyone to split from anyone else with the right social engineering techniques and provocations.

    In spite of being a hardcore reactionary “Sovok”, comrade Kara-Murza…
    https://bookscafe.net/book/kara_murza_sergey-demontazh_naroda-159110.html
    …has done a superb job in detailing how “separate nations” can be created, and along what potential fault-lines.

    The half a dozen different types of natural processes that lead to this can be modified and harnessed by players who have big enough resources.

    Back in the day Yakutia, Tuva, Tatarstan, Bashkiria, and Buryatia tried to initiate a chain of events that would gradually lead to independence, but this was stopped in 2009.
    https://news.rambler.ru/other/44955786-30-let-nazad-regiony-rossii-odin-za-drugim-obyavlyali-o-nezavisimosti-chego-i-kak-oni-dobivalis/

    It’s highly likely that not only in them are there still enough local elites who want their own kingdom, but also that in a bunch of other similar places local elites look on, trying to see how these games would end, taking notes.

    Cutting to the chase: today’s deconstructers have gotten so good that they’ve learned how to introduce new identity groups even all across the West at the drop of a hat, more obscure and freakish by the year, and yet turn them into real (clandestinely directed) forces that serve their purposes quite well.

    On the more traditional and crude arena of ethnic and quasi-ethnic fault-lines they’ll achieve chaos in under a year in any place in the world, Russia very much included, should they focus their energies on this and not expect painful push-back.

    • Agree: Ludwig
    • Replies: @Simpleguest
    , @128
  84. @Rahan

    Yakutia alone is like half of Canada size-wise.

    It’s not even a third of Canada. Sill big, sure. Almost 18% of Russia’s area.

  85. @AP

    Disagree. Many societies have experienced this after collapse. I guarantee you the USA would be the same if it were to collapse.

    • Replies: @Simpleguest
    , @AP
  86. @Rahan

    The communists were careful to tailor the political map of Russia, which is still in place, in such a way so that ethnics republics especially along the Volga or in the Urals, with very few exceptions, are located far away from the international borders of Russia. The point is, even if they manage to secede, they would still be surrounded on all sides by Russian ethnic areas. As for Sakha (Yakutia), where the hell would Sakha go?

    The real danger for Russia’s integrity, as has always been, is the possibility of its disintegration the way initial Rus disintegrated into countless princedoms, that were latter destroyed one by one. Actually, the separation of modern day Belorussia and Ukraine is just a repetition of what took place back then.

    Even today we can see the rise of resentment towards the central state authority exhibited by the local, Slavic, elites in predominantly Slavic regions e.g. recent events in Habarovsk which are not resolved yet. Similar phenomena are found in Urals, with the not so public but still present, resentment felt in Ekaterinburg towards Moscow or Petrograd . The irony is that without the central Russian authority spending blood and treasure to acquire these territories there would be no local elites to resent the central authorities to begin with.

    This had been identified by the collective West and I am sure they are working relentlessly towards this goal.

    • Thanks: Rahan
  87. @4Dchessmaster

    I guarantee you the USA would be the same if it were to collapse.

    USA, especially the urban areas, would be much worse should it collapse.

    • Agree: RadicalCenter
  88. Levtraro says:
    @AnonFromTN

    The defining thing of the 1990s was not neoliberal policies, but large-scale theft of state assets by foreign and domestic thieves.

    What you are saying is that the problems of the 90s in the RF were not because of neoliberal policies, but because of unfettered neoliberal policies.

    Here is an insight for you, right out from the horse’s mouth (a Jewish economist). The central tenet of neoliberalism: neoliberalism is the economic theory holding that the liberal State must help the rich get richer.

    Which is exactly what has happened since neolib policies started to become widespread following the Chilean experiment, which ended in crashing that country’s economy in the 70s and bailing out the major players.

    The feel-good sugar-coating to the central tenet (intended for use with big shots in the State) is this: the rich have a proven record of creating wealth, so the liberal State must help them in order to create more overall wealth so at the end of the day everyone is better off.

    The technical sugar-coating of the central tenet (intended for use with the wider audience) is this: free markets.

    All major economic trends since the last quarter of the past century right up to the present in the western world, including deregulation, privatization, austerity, mass immigration from 3rd world countries, offshoring industrial capacity to China, facilitation of market manipulation by central planners in central banks, large-scale bail-outs when facing the 2008 crash, rise of the State and private debt, all of that and more, is out of the neoliberal ideology in the mind of statepeople across the western world (with varying degrees of fanatism). The single major command and driving force deep in the core of the mind of neolib statepeople is this: how can I help the rich?

    It is a very sweet theory indeed. Imagine you are very high up in the State hierarchy and your main concern is helping the rich. Of course it is good for you as well. The rich are known to be grateful people, they can pay you big bucks for just talking to them. So you go on in the sweet understanding that helping the rich helps you and at the end of the day, though not just now, it also helps everybody.

    The RF provided the first large-scale opportunity for application of the theory from the ground up. It failed, as it has failed everywhere, because it has not produced widespread wealth. Instead it has produced the largest concentration of wealth into less and less people, impoverishment of the middle classes, dissolution of social cohesion, and contamination with backward cultures.

    The alternative liberal theory, that wealth-creating people appear nearly randomly from among the populace and thus the liberal State must help the larger masses progress or at least must help all equallly, will have a hard time re-gaining a hold among statepeople, perhaps it never will because of some nearly irreversible changes introduced by neoliberal theory (mainly immigration from the 3rd world), so the failure of neoliberalism as the dominant State ideology will lead to widespread social conflict, perhaps even genocide.

    • Agree: Beckow
  89. Ludwig says:
    @AP

    Sorry, this is nonsensical. In order for a country to split there has to be an appetite for that split. Other than Chechnya there is no such wish among people in Russia to split.

    Almost every country in the world has fault lines and these can easily be exploited with enough determination by those intent on stirring up trouble. The West have become experts in breaking countries up into warring factions exploiting every ethnic, economic, class based, historical claim lines to do so especially when the central government becomes weak to enforce authority and legitimacy. Russia is a geographically vast multi-ethnic society with differing levels of development, economic wealth and political power and grievances can be ginned up to break it into smaller more easily controlled pieces if ever the opportunity arose.

    • Agree: Rahan
    • Replies: @AP
  90. @Levtraro

    The feel-good sugar-coating to the central tenet (intended for use with big shots in the State) is this: the rich have a proven record of creating wealth, so the liberal State must help them in order to create more overall wealth so at the end of the day everyone is better off.

    The technical sugar-coating of the central tenet (intended for use with the wider audience) is this: free markets.

    There is another catch-phrase widely used to sugar coat the neo-liberal economy: trickle-down economy.

    Very good insight. Going deeper, however, the real question is how do you reward, and thus stimulate, initiative (investments) and innovation required for development, while maintaining a fair and just society of equal rights human beings.

    Communism tried to do that by appealing to the human “ratio”, attempting to create a new men, motivated solely by the desire to contribute to the common good and betterment of the society as a whole, while obtaining a modest personal material rewards. Obviously, it failed.

    Capitalism, in its most extreme incarnation, neo-liberalism, attempts to do the same by appealing to the human “id” and removes any restraints to human self-interest and greed. It is also failing before our eyes.

    With respect to Russia, I would argue that it can still avoid the worst scenarios thanks to the tempering of the worst impulses of neo-liberalism that took place when Putin came to power.

    • Replies: @Levtraro
  91. @AP

    Still those who murdered and robbed were a small minority of population, not the majority. Most people kept their morals.

    • Replies: @AP
  92. @Rahan

    You are quite lost, and your Turkic “confederacy” map is utter bullshit. Khakassia has a Russian supermajority, and region bordering it, Krasnoyarsk Krai has over 90% Russians. Qinghai? Outside of city if Xining, Qinghai its fully Mongolic and Tibetan, not Salar like your crazy Anatolian “turkish” map suggests, Salars are negligible minority there, anyway half of them live in Gansu, and not in Qinghai. Only Turkic people who feel any real connection with the Anatolians are Azerbaijanis. Altay and Tuvan Türks feel million times closer kinship with Mongols, than with Anatolian Islamised Greeks and Armenians.

    Outside of Chechnya and Tuva, there are no ethnic groups in Russia who desire independence, even Dagestan with their minuscule Slavic population, does not want to be independent. They get lots of federal funding, and theres no dominant ethnic group there, but dozens of different small ethnicities, who belong to different linguistical families. They very well understand that best guarantee for peace and stability, is continuing Russian presence.

    Anyway Russia is 85% Slavic, Muslim groups like Tatars, Bashkirs and people of Western Caucasus are perfectly integrated. Finnic people of Urals and Volga are Orthodox Christians and almost wholly Russified or assimilated culturally.

    • Replies: @Ludwig
    , @AP
    , @Rahan
    , @AltanBakshi
  93. Ludwig says:
    @AltanBakshi

    The entire premise of the Russia break up scenario was in the unlikely case that Moscow was taken over by a pro-Western clique with at least the level of access and influence that they had during the Yeltsin era if not more with the military/secret services unable or unwilling to intervene and the oligarchs fully defected. (Navalny is straight up being fed lines from the West. The video he released which alleges Putin’s Palace was manufactured in Germany possibly under the CIA’s tutelage as per John Helmer for example http://johnhelmer.net/oligarchy-in-russia-alexei-navalnys-telling-mistake/ )

    With that level of influence it would be easy for Western master to pry open even the tiniest fault lines if not create them to tear the country apart. Consider how in a short space of 4 years, neoliberals – not Trump supporters – have succeeded in demonizing not just leaders but whole swatch of the US population as “terrorists” via a concerted information campaign across various channels of the sort that occurs in Color Revolutions (which indeed it was using the same architects of East European color revolutions as TIME magazine just revealed in a boastful piece, and which a pro-Trump outlet warned about before the election in an excellent long-read I’d recommend on precisely what was happening with historical references including color revolutions attempts against Russia. https://www.revolver.news/2020/09/meet-norm-eisen-legal-hatchet-man-and-central-operative-in-the-color-revolution-against-president-trump/)

    So whatever feelings exists today in Russia would be irrelevant. Leaders of various regions can be bought or encouraged to spread separatist sentiment. Controlling information and amplifying propaganda to inflame and turn people against each other is child’s play for Western architects who are now armed with behavioral tools gleaned from willing social media corporations along with AI to study how populations can be manipulated.

    The bigger point is that if the Empire ever got its foot in the door into Russia, they will not stop as they did before but quickly set up carving Russia up so it could never again be put back together. The exact contours along which the break up might happen may differ than what one might predict today. Some regions which are likely to do well may enjoy the kind of independence that most European nations do under the Empire. Others would be outright satrapies like Kosovo, Albania and Ukraine is becoming with resource rich provinces more firmly under imperial control. Still others might be used as launch pads against enemies (in this case China). And so on.

  94. AP says:
    @AltanBakshi

    They were a minority, but not a very small one. There were enough of such people, willing to engage in crimes ranging from murder to demanding bribes, to theft, extortion, etc. that they set the pace for the entire society. Strongly.

  95. AP says:
    @4Dchessmaster

    Nonsense, though it’s good for movie scripts
    ( the sadistic human societies in Walking Dead were about as fantastical as the zombies).

    America is already less tightly controlled than USSR ever was (other than in certain speech issues) yet Americans aren’t robbing and killing each other. Even under the Great Depression when America was no better off than Russia in 90s, American homicide rate was 1/3 of Russia’s in the 90s.

    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
  96. AP says:
    @Ludwig

    Do you also believe the West defeated Germany in World War II? Created and was principally responsible for Maidan? You are too confidant in its abilities.

    Other than Chechnya Russia isn’t going to split up into a lot of different states, no matter how hard the West tries.

  97. So whatever feelings exists today in Russia would be irrelevant. Leaders of various regions can be bought or encouraged to spread separatist sentiment. Controlling information and amplifying propaganda to inflame and turn people against each other is child’s play for Western architects who are now armed with behavioral tools gleaned from willing social media corporations along with AI to study how populations can be manipulated.

    There’s also the fact that the West doesn’t need a pro-Western majority to consider a majority. Anything above 25% is enough. Naturally this fact wouldn’t be mentioned but that’s still enough people to get things going. Give them some flag as a cute symbol of resistance. Fill the media with images of crowded streets and squares with people waving the flag. Behind the scenes arrangements are made with the local politicians and financial elite. Then the Western countries come together and make official statements and demands on the situation…

  98. AP says:
    @AltanBakshi

    Agree completely. I didn’t know there were widespread separatist ideas in Tuva, though.

    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
  99. 128 says:
    @Rahan

    You know that Facebook, Google, and Amazon will likely get broken up into different companies right? Since there is support across the mainstream political spectrum for this, and they are quite unpopular even among their mainstream left and right user base.

  100. @Rahan

    That’s a wet imperial dream. Imperial lackeys inside RF, directly or indirectly funded by imperial money, are working hard to achieve this kind of scenario. If the Empire had the strength of ~40 years ago and maintained that strength for another 100 years, it’s relentless attacks on Russia would have resulted in something like that. But it’s unlikely to happen, especially considering current developments in the Empire and its bootlickers. The US is on the path of self-destruction. Western part of the EU is even further on this path, although the Eastern part puts up some resistance, reluctant to commit liberal suicide.

    Extrapolating current trends, the greatest danger for Russia and China is to catch cold at the funeral of the Empire.

  101. @Levtraro

    The alternative liberal theory, that wealth-creating people appear nearly randomly from among the populace and thus the liberal State must help the larger masses progress or at least must help all equallly, will have a hard time re-gaining a hold among statepeople

    It needs a sexy sci fi packaging. It is a pity that Gene Rodenberry and George Lucas who gave the modern west its mythology were such fascists. Just imagine what an improvement it might be if Star Trek and Star Wars had promoted the Protestant Work Ethic or the Horatio Alger tale of pulling ourselves up by our own bootstraps. Or that croney-ism and nepotism are for losers.

    It ain’t over until it’s over!

  102. Dmitry says:
    @AP

    Russia had a homicide rate of 32.6. In comparison,

    Increase in murder rate likely does not reflect a change in personal morality of normal citizens (after all, only a very small minority of people are responsible for murders), but is more likely a result of objective conditions. In Russia, these were created by an absence of authority, turning upside down of an economic system, and the resulting internal wars between new power centres for control of resources, as well as social collapse.

    A significant portion of “excess murders” in Russia in the 1990s were soldiers of different thieves groups killing each other, as a hidden and informal civil war for control of resources (i.e. informal economy).

    For example, as the Soviet vertical of power collapse, in Sverdlovsk, different criminal groups emerged to rule the informal economy of different segments of the city. From 1991, there are civil war between these different groups, where they are often killing soldiers of rival groups.

    In 2004, there is a famous appearance of a peace agreement, and the groups have some kind of balance of power between each other. Different mafias set up tents next to the opera house, and had a multi-day picnic.

    It could be perhaps seen as like a less stylish version of the “warring states period” of Japan, when rival samurai clans were in constant war with each other for over a century, as a result of the collapse of the previous feudal system.

    In Mexico, there was not a sudden change of morality in – rather, the beginning of the Mexican Drug War. A previous balance of power between Mexican state and drug cartels breaks down in December 2006, and rival cartels entered into a civil war, and the murders spike – almost as much as we saw in the early 1990s in Russia.

    Mexico has had no history in the USSR, but they can experience similar mafia wars that emerged after the collapse of authority and economic chaos.

    Also note that murder rate in Belarus today is only 2 times higher than the United Kingdom, while in 1998 murder rate in Belarus was 7 times higher than the United Kingdom. Over this time, the population of Belarus, has rarely changed.

    Moreover, Belarus has maintained more outward attachment to parts of Soviet ideologies, than in other postsoviet countries.

    In comparison, homicide rate in Mexico is 29. America’s homicide rate during the Great Depression peaked at 9.7. I don’t have time to look up rates for robbery, theft, etc

    So in the Great Depression, homicide peaked at a similar level as 1990s Belarus and Ukraine, without any need for a history in the Soviet Union.

    During the 1930s, the informal economy of New York was divided into five mafia families, who at times entered wars between each other. This process of civil wars for control of the informal economy, was not unique to postsoviet countries.

    • Replies: @Shortsword
    , @AP
  103. @Dmitry

    There’s this really dumb thing about the Russian homicide rates as given by UN. You can see this in how the homicide rates looks almost constant between about 2009 and 2015. UN didn’t get statistics for a year or something so they used some simple estimate instead which resulted in the homicide rates barely changing.

    Later they started receiving Russian statistics again but according to the methodology they use they won’t change immediately to it and instead the statistics will be smoothened out over several years. So the UN homicide rates for Russia has been significantly higher than they really are for a decade and it will continue to be like this for at least a few more years.

    • Replies: @Passer by
  104. Passer by says:
    @Shortsword

    As far as i know the UN uses a different method for estimating the murder rate of many countries than simply using national statistics. For some countries they even estimate it without access to national statistics. I have also seen several studies pointing out that the Rus murder rate is higher than the official one. I think the UN may be having issues with the rus official statistics.

    • Replies: @Shortsword
  105. @Passer by

    No, it’s nothing like that. They do use different methods for estimating statistics for some countries when the given statistics aren’t considered sufficient. But that’s mostly for very poor countries. But then they just use very simplistic methods instead. Besides, you can even see that the UN statistics used to be the same as the official Russian ones.

  106. AP says:
    @Dmitry

    Increase in murder rate likely does not reflect a change in personal morality of normal citizens (after all, only a very small minority of people are responsible for murders), but is more likely a result of objective conditions

    This was exactly my point. Personal morality didn’t change in 3 years, Sovoks always had it in them to behave that way.

    In contrast, under the same changing conditions less Sovietized people in Western Ukraine or the Baltics while experiencing some increase in crime did not go nearly as far as did the ones who had lived under Soviets for more generations.

    I think modern post-Soviet Russians, 30 years removed from the USSR, are better people, they will not engage in an org or murder and looting if their economy were to collapse again.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  107. Dmitry says:
    @AP

    There are two “waves” of violence surges in postsoviet Russia. First wave is 1991-1995, and the second wave is 2000-2004.

    In Belarus, Ukraine and Baltic states, there is the first wave, but they avoid the second wave.

    The second wave of murders in Russia, is corresponding chronologically to a national war between bandit groups, including events like “Second Aluminum War”. That’s why you see a lot of dates of deaths of 2002, 2003, in the cemetery of certain mafia groups, and a lot of 1994 and 1993 in others (some criminal groups like “Central” were completely destroyed and killed in those years, by rival mafia groups). The mafia cemeteries are full of hundreds of murder victims with such dates of death.

    less Sovietized people in Western Ukraine or the Baltics

    Belarus avoids the second wave of violence, and it is more “sovietized”, or less formally “desovietized”, than most other countries in the postsoviet space.

    I think modern post-Soviet Russians, 30 years removed from the USSR, are better people

    The murder rate is not related to “better or worse” people in the general city.

    In terms of geography, the violence is centred primarily today in the hard working cities in Russia, as there was more intense conflict for productive resources and control of labour. That is, the ordinary residents can be “better” in the cities with higher murder rates.

    Today there is the strong situation that in the productive cities where money is produced, there is a high murder rate, while in the cities where money is expended, there is a low murder rate.

    There was a similar pattern in 19th and 20th century America. American mafia clashes of the first and mid 20th century had been centred around the country’s hard working industrial cities and labour unions.

    • Replies: @Shortsword
    , @AP
  108. @Dmitry

    The second wave is also from the 1998 default. That destroyed a lot of people’s faith in the system.

  109. AP says:
    @Dmitry

    There are two “waves” of violence surges in postsoviet Russia. First wave is 1991-1995, and the second wave is 2000-2004.

    In Belarus, Ukraine and Baltic states, there is the first wave, but they avoid the second wave.

    In Ukraine, Baltics and Belarus the first wave was not nearly as bad as in Russia. In Ukraine it was probably comparable to Russia in the most Sovietized parts of Ukraine but the country’s overall statistics were better due to western Ukraine.

    less Sovietized people in Western Ukraine or the Baltics

    Belarus avoids the second wave of violence, and it is more “sovietized”, or less formally “desovietized”, than most other countries in the postsoviet space.

    1. A third (?) of Belarus joined the USSR at the same time as did Western Ukraine and the Baltics. This region was much more backward than western Ukraine and the Baltics, but just as sheltered from Sovietization. Simple but fairly decent people.

    2. Furthermore, Belarus maintained the repressive Sovok system better, so the Sovoks within Belarus were not as free to express their moral nature as they were in Russia or Ukraine. Amoral Sovoks need a repressive regime in order to prevent themselves for killing and robbing each other.

    The killings were not just from gang warfare, though here was plenty of that too. And even this should not be dismissed as irrelevant for morality. The going rate for having someone killed in Russia in the early 90s was something like $2,000. So business partners, inconvenient apartment owners, could be killed. Do you think an American, German, Polish or 2020s Russian would arrange for his restaurant co-owner to be killed over some squabble if he could do so for only $2,000 and no risk of arrest? I doubt it. But for the newly freed Sovoks of 1993, it was a real possibility, it was not outside of the box thinking. Not only were there plenty of willing willing to order such murders, there were lots of people willing to commit such murders. Soviet morality.

    There were plenty of random murders also, from drunkenness, for petty cash, etc.

    And again, such things were far rarer in post-Soviet western Ukraine and Baltics which also experienced economic collapse and government upheaval. In Ukraine, Donbas and Galicia were in the same country, and the difference was stark.

    The murder rate is not related to “better or worse” people in the general city.

    It is not the only factor but a major one.

    There was a similar pattern in 19th and 20th century America. American mafia clashes of the first and mid 20th century had been centred around the country’s hard working industrial cities and labour unions

    US murder rate in those times was 1/3 of in Russia in the early 90s.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  110. Rahan says:
    @AltanBakshi

    Anyway Russia is 85% Slavic

    That’s probably 2010 figures.
    Today ethnic Russians are officially under 77% of the population.
    https://rosinfostat.ru/natsionalnyj-sostav/
    Plus 1.3% Ukrainians, and that’s it.
    Everybody else is Turkic, Finno-Ugric, and Mongoloid.
    And I think like Ossetia were Iranians or something..?

    Not unlike in England and Wales, where it’s 80% British White, allegedly.
    https://www.ethnicity-facts-figures.service.gov.uk/uk-population-by-ethnicity/national-and-regional-populations/population-of-england-and-wales/latest#by-ethnicity
    But that’s also old data from 2010.
    Especially now that they’re going into post-Brexit overdrive importing infinity Hindus, Africans, and all of Hong Kong.

    …A lot of Russia’s “Slavs” are mixed-race “honorary Slavs”, Balkan-style. With the corresponding cheekbones, eye shape, eye and hair color, etc. Not connected to the overall discussion, but slightly related to this post.

    • Replies: @Simpleguest
    , @AltanBakshi
  111. @Rahan

    …A lot of Russia’s “Slavs” are mixed-race “honorary Slavs”, Balkan-style. With the corresponding cheekbones, eye shape, eye and hair color, etc. Not connected to the overall discussion, but slightly related to this post.

    I am not sure what’s your point here.

    Lately, I’ve been following a lot Russian Internet political talk shows. My observation is that these, “mixed” Slavic heritage, individuals tend to be the most patriotic part of the elites, vis-a-vis the West, e.g. “RT” Simonian, Sergey Lavrov, Shoigy etc. There are more, but those persons are probably unknown to you.

    On the other hand, individuals, most European in their appearance, such as Scripals, Navalny, Maria “Lukrezia Borgia” Pevcih or Ushurkov, the star of the recent FSB undercover footage, tend to be the ones most eager to sell Russia to the West.

    It is just my observation. You can do whatever you want with that.

    • Replies: @AnonfromTN
    , @Dmitry
  112. Levtraro says:
    @Simpleguest

    Going deeper, however, the real question is how do you reward, and thus stimulate, initiative (investments) and innovation required for development, while maintaining a fair and just society of equal rights human beings.

    That is indeed the deeper issue at the core of effective governance. However, as Pierre de Fermat said of his never-found proof of Fermat’s Last Theorem: “I have a remarkable solution but it is to big to fit in the margins of this book”.

    • Agree: Simpleguest
  113. @AP

    In 1991, when the Soviet Union fell, there were numerous violent attacks against ethnic Russians in Tuva. 168 Russians were killed, and tens of thousands moved away. One can even claim, that there was an ethnic cleansing of Russians in some Rayons of Tuva. My grandfather has a friend, a Buryatian man, with a Tuvan wife and three children, who run away with his family from Tuva in 1991, fearing for his safety, because he and his family was harassed multiple times.

    Violent nature of Tuvans is a common stereotype among Buryats and Khalkhas(main tribal group of Mongols in Rep. of Mongolia). Still they are culturally just Turkic speaking Mongols, they really dont have any affinity with Muslim Turks(and absolutely as much common with Anatolians as French speaking Cameroonian has with native inhabitant of Bretagne), and they themselves know this, and I have Tuvan acquaintances, so I can speak from experience. Their religion, songs, dress, history are more closely intertwined with Mongols than Scots are with English.

    Anyway Tuva was for a longtime a distant periphery of Qing Empire and Mongolia, so they have had very little civilising influence of Russia, unlike Buryats and Kalmuks.

    Btw academically speaking Buryats have been quite successful as a people.
    http://asiarussia.ru/articles/11846/
    Even though proportionally Buryats and especially Kalmyks suffered more because of Soviet rule than ethnic Russians or Ukrainians (though its hard for some Russian nationalists accept that there were people who suffered more because of Communism than Russians).

    • Thanks: AP, Blinky Bill
  114. @Rahan

    Well, well I was wrong, percentage of Slavs is not about 85%, but 80%, 79% if we are precise. Still it seems that you know nothing about various ethnicities of Russia. Those small Finnic peoples, have no dreams about independence, they are thoroughly Russified, and unlike Welsh and Scots, they have no cultural institutions surviving from the time before the coming of the Russian or Novgorodian state, nor they have any political memory of independent nationhood, nor even written language predating Russian rule(theres one exception). Komis, Maris, Karelians, Udmurts and so on, dont have even sleeping or repressed desire for their own nationhood.

    Ossetians are also extremely loyal to Russian state, they very well know, they would be Muslims, like their neighbours, without Russian interference. They are wholly integrated. Iranic does not mean what you think it means, for there was lnce a time when different groups of Iranic speakers were widely spread, populating almost every part of the great Eurasian steppe, some looking like modern Iranians, and some with fair hair and features.

    97% of native ethnic groups of Russia, are in a genetic continuum with each other, you cant compare it with the situation of UK, with their Africans and Bangladeshis. You cant discern by looks who is a Russian from Vologda and who is Karelian from Petrozavodsk, or who is a Udmurt and who is a Russian from Yekaterinburg, and so on…

    • Replies: @Rahan
  115. @sudden death

    Nonsense. Navalny has had years trying to target regions as Kostroma, Pskov, liberast-potential Perm,Novosibirsk etc……. and made garbage levels of progress.

    He’s scum. Just face the truth, after an unprecedented western intelligence disinformation campaign targeting Russia and particularly Putin in the last few months they have……. f**k all results to show for it. A disaster.

    Now Russia, like most countries, will go into economic growth from the rebound after ending of coronavirus virus pandemic. We will do it quicker because of vaccination and much better than most other serious countries economic performance in 2020. In addition, if not in 2022,then certainly from 2023 for the next 5 years after that – Russia will definitely have years of 3%+ economic growth annually in conjunction with tangible effects from the National Projects.

    So this year and 2023 to after, there will be the economic conditions making Putin’s rating go from very high as now… to very very high as he’s even more comfortable.

  116. Rahan says:
    @AltanBakshi

    You cant discern by looks who is a Russian from Vologda and who is Karelian from Petrozavodsk, or who is a Udmurt and who is a Russian from Yekaterinburg, and so on…

    True, just like Hungarians and Finns also look like completely normal Europeans. The Tatars and the Bashkirs also look like normal Balkan denizens.

    The Caucasus Turkic peoples really do look like Turks and Azeris, but hey.In the USA they count as “non-Hispanic whites”. In South-Eastern “Slavic” Europe up to 20% of most regions look like this, plus another 50% looking like Bashkirs; genetic inheritance from the Ottoman Empire.

    The Russian Mongoloids, both Buddhist and Shamanic, them too I would bang.
    https://cs9.pikabu.ru/post_img/2020/01/15/4/1579066924130988374.webp

  117. @Anatoly Karlin

    In addition to the inherent BS of Levada polls, its important to remember that although our coronavirus restrictions have been far less strict than most countries:

    1.many universities have had remote learning,

    2. the normally exciting period of finishing school and going into university turned into a dull experience
    3.bars and nightclubs closed in many regions before midnight on new year’s eve/ the days at the turn of the year –

    these are all valid reasons to not be enthusiastic (not against it, but nonenthusiastic) about the incumbent government if 18-24. It is entirely transient though and just because of bad luck caused by the pandemic. This would be the same if there was 25% gdp growth but the same social restrictions

    A non University adult is going to rate security – health security from Coronavirus policy and financial security (particularly if having a family) from government support measures …. these important things are totally irrelevant to University student who are having their life experience and social life in university massively reduced.

    With economy recovering as with most other countries this year, the approval rating will become even higher

  118. @Rahan

    The Tatars and the Bashkirs also look like normal Balkan denizens.

    Maybe Crimean Tatars, but not Bashkirs and Tatars of Volga and Siberia.

    The Caucasus Turkic peoples really do look like Anatolian “turks” and Azeris, but hey.

    Depends, Nogais dont look like Anatolians.

    Heh, Kalmuks ethnically cleansed or displaced them from Astrakhan oblast and Western Kazakhstan, once again Kazakhs got lucky and Mongols did all the dirty work. Kazakhs are a nation that has never gotten anything by conquering, just by sheer luck, how irritating…

    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
    , @Rahan
  119. @AltanBakshi

    The Western Kazakhstan/Ural Oblast, was once Kalmyk land, then Catherine restricted Kalmyk autonomy and all Kalmyks east of Volga moved back to Mongolia/Dzungaria, most died on journey, so Kazakhs got free real estate, its even more infuriating how Kazakhs got their most fertile regions, Semipalatinsk and Semiryechye. Infuriating, some gain land by dying and some by just being lucky…

    • Agree: Blinky Bill
    • Replies: @Blinky Bill
  120. Rahan says:
    @AltanBakshi

    Thanks for the info and images.

    The Tatars and the Bashkirs also look like normal Balkan denizens.

    Maybe Crimean Tatars, but not Bashkirs and Tatars of Volga and Siberia.

    They do, they do.

    If you check out for example their political parties in Wikipedia and browse their pages, or conversely look at blogs by tourists, it becomes quite apparent. School graduation pics, sporting events, etc.

    The ones at the tip of the former Yugoslavia, who were mainly parts of the Austrian empire, they’re still pretty Slavic. The rest that spent centuries as Ottoman provinces, they look for all intents and purposes like Bashkirs, Volga Tatars, and even Albanians, LARPing as Slavs.

    Not unlike various Hispanics in the US are now LARPing as American whites.

    Crazy world.

    • Disagree: AltanBakshi
  121. @AltanBakshi

    so Kazakhs got free real estate

    Twice at the expense of the Kalmyk/Dzungars, once when they left and again when they returned to Dzungaria.

  122. @Rahan

    The Russian Mongoloids, both Buddhist and Shamanic, them too I would bang.

    That’s a totally different issue. Mixed-blood chicks tend to be prettier and healthier than pure bloods for simple biological reasons: in all mammals inbreeding is harmful, outbreeding is good, far outbreeding is even better. That’s because animals have many recessive bad alleles that are harmless when heterozygous (i.e., your other allele is perfectly normal), but become harmful when homozygous (i.e., both alleles are bad, you don’t have a good one to fall back onto). This has nothing to do with political or cultural situation.

    • Replies: @Blinky Bill
    , @AP
  123. @Simpleguest

    It is just my observation. You can do whatever you want with that.

    Your conclusions are somewhat skewed by focusing on the names in the news. What really matters is the views of the people who never get into the news, i.e., 99% of the population. A solid majority of those in Russia are pro-Russian and most of these are now anti-West. It was very different in 1991: most people who thought about it had a pretty positive view of the West (confession: myself included). Then the experience of the 1990s and open hostility of the West when Putin curbed the thievery by foreign thieves (e.g., Browder) and some Russian ones (e.g., Berezovsky and Khodorkovsky) turned the view of the West around.

    As a general trend, provincial denizens are more patriotic than Moscowites. The difference is particularly stark if you compare owners of small and midsized businesses. With the exception of a few of the most backward regions (e.g., Tuva, several places in North Caucases), there is no clear correlation between national origin and political position of the individual.

  124. @AnonfromTN


    [MORE]

    There are three main mechanisms for generating outbreeding depression:

    Fixed chromosomal differences resulting in the partial or complete sterility of F1 hybrids.

    Adaptive differentiation among populations.

    Population bottlenecks and genetic drift.

    Some mechanisms may not appear until two or more generations later (F2 or greater), when recombination has undermined vitality of positive epistasis. Hybrid vigor in the first generation can, in some circumstances, be strong enough to mask the effects of outbreeding depression. An example of this is that plant breeders will make F1 hybrids from purebred strains, which will improve the uniformity and vigor of the offspring, however the F2 generation are not used for further breeding because of unpredictable phenotypes in their offspring. Unless there is strong selective pressure, outbreeding depression can increase in further generations as coadapted gene complexes are broken apart without the forging of new coadapted gene complexes to take their place.

    If the outcrossing is limited and populations are large enough, selective pressure acting on each generation can restore fitness. Unless the F1 hybrid generation is sterile or very low fitness, selection will act in each generation using the increased diversity to adapt to the environment. This can lead to recovery in fitness to baseline, and sometimes even greater fitness than original parental types in that environment. However, as the hybrid population will likely to go through a decline in fitness for a few generations, they will need to persist long enough to allow selection to act before they can rebound.

    • Replies: @128
    , @AnonfromTN
  125. 128 says:
    @Blinky Bill

    So why is Honduras and Mexico so dysfunctional is mixed-raced peoples are superior to monoracial ones? Where did the hybrid vigour go? I mean the large majority of Central Americans are a racial mix.

    • LOL: Blinky Bill
  126. @128

    Mexico was about to reach US level homicide rate before the cartel wars started so there’s that.

  127. @AltanBakshi

    Actually there is another Turkic ethnic group which feels close kinship with the Anatolians, Crimean Tatars, no wonder, Crimeans were the procurers and Anatolian “turks” were their loyal clients, during hundreds of years when millions of Slavs were shipped like cattle from the port towns of the Crimean Khanate.

    Then there is the case of Uyghurs, those who have emigrated from China, are quite grateful for Turkeys help, in matters of money, passport and political support.

    • Replies: @Blinky Bill
  128. AP says:
    @AnonfromTN

    in all mammals inbreeding is harmful, outbreeding is good, far outbreeding is even better.

    Which is why mules are sterile?

    For humans, first cousin marriage is harmful but the optimal level of distance seems to be on the level of 3rd and 4th cousins:

    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/when-incest-is-best-kissi/

    It is not quite incest. And though it will increase your chances of birthing a healthy baby, it is a bit unorthodox, to say the least. Still, scientists at Icelandic biotechnology company deCODE genetics say that when third and fourth cousins procreate, they generally have scads of kids and grandkids (relative to everyone else).

    The results of the exhaustive study are constant throughout the generations analyzed. Women born between 1800 and 1824 who mated with a third cousin had significantly more children and grandchildren (4.04 and 9.17, respectively) than women who hooked up with someone no closer than an eighth cousin (3.34 and 7.31). Those proportions held up among women born more than a century later when couples were, on average, having fewer children.

    Despite the general pattern for reproductive success favoring close kinship, couples that were second cousins or more closely related did not have as many children. The most likely reason, scientists say: offspring of such close relatives were likely to have much shorter life spans, because of the chance of inheriting harmful genetic mutations.

    “With close inbreeding—between first cousins—there is a significant increase in the probability that both partners will share one or more detrimental recessive genes, leading to a 25 percent chance that these genes will be expressed in each pregnancy,” says Alan Bittles, director of the Center for Human Genetics at Edith Cowan University in Joondalup, Australia, who was not involved in the study….

    “It may well be that the enhanced reproductive success observed in the Iceland study at the level of third [and] fourth cousins, who on average would be expected to have inherited 0.8 percent to 0.2 percent of their genes from a common ancestor,” Bittles says, “represents this point of balance between the competing advantages and disadvantages of inbreeding and outbreeding.”

    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
  129. @AP

    You really cant compare mules with racially mixed humans, donkeys and horses dont even have same number of chromosomes, so they really are different species unlike dogs and wolves.

    I myself dont agree either with you or AnonfromTN, what is beneficial for survival, varies between different scenarios and circumstances. Like if there would be some kind of supervirulent form of Malaria, spreading though various parasites, from ticks to mosquitoes, with an extremely low survival rate, then West Africans would have best genes, , because they have a mutation which protects from malaria, and if that mutation would be strongly recessive, then best chance for survival of some small western African groups outside of Africa, would be incestuous marriages.

    My point is that world is large, anything can happen, what is beneficial in one moment, is another moments burden and so on.

    Sorry if Im crossing over my boundaries, I dont know much about genetics and economics, so normally Im quiet on topics like these, and in all likelihood you guys know better than I these things. Just my two bits.

    Also Finns have much larger gene pole than Icelanders do, they really do, Finns differ genetically more from each other than English differ from Germans, if I remember correctly, still among them and Samis the risk for hereditary diseases is quite high. So I would not be surprised if some hereditary diseades are prevalent in Iceland.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finnish_heritage_disease

    • Replies: @EldnahYm
    , @AnonfromTN
  130. Dmitry says:
    @Simpleguest

    Lavrov has worked competently for the government for almost 50 years, although the next generation of Lavrov’s family are Israeli citizens, that seem to be millionaires in Monaco; Simonyan is cutting from the budget, while managing one of the world’s most incompetent propaganda projects (RT); Shoigu’s family are also part of the country’s top 0,1% in terms of their economic position, as a result likely of family connections.

    That is not because of a problem of their nationality. But neither are they examples we could select of “altruistic patriotism” and “selfless sacrifices” of the ordinary workers.

    Lavrov is a very competent professional government worker – he doesn’t need patriotism, he goes to the office, and does job, as he has for 50 years, and his family’s fate is rather unrelated to that. Except that, the wealth of his family could be partly helped by the high status of the father.

    Simonyan is an incompetent manager in terms of the job specification, but she and her boyfriend have become wealthy from government projects.

    Shoigu is competent in climbing to the top of government, but it’s not a rise from the slums that demonstrated especial meritocracy – his parents were important regional officials. So three generations of his family represents a climb from both his parents being important regional official, to his being an important national official, to his children managing government projects.

    Navalny is a charismatic opposition blogger. Skripal was a GRU agent, that sold out to the British intelligence in the 1990s.

    These people are not the best representative of larger groups, or most close professionally to normal peoples’ lives, that work in the supermarket, the office or the factory.

    • Replies: @Simpleguest
  131. Dmitry says:
    @AP

    The murder rate is not related to “better or worse” people in the general city.

    It is not the only factor but a major one.

    It does not look like a factor. For example, when we compare cities: in Russia, the higher murder rates are in the hard working cities, and vice-versa.

    If you compare countries, your assumption would imply that Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, et al, has much worse people, than Europe, India, Middle East, and some African countries, let alone to Japan.

    But of course, there is no such simplistic relationship, as society is a complicated system, and murder rates do not occur in vacuum of equal subjective choice being offered to each person to choose between good and evil.

    On average people in poor countries are not necessarily “morally worse”, than people who live in rich countries; people who live in politically unstable countries, are not necessarily “morally worse”, than people in stable countries; likewise people in countries with high crime rates, are not “morally worse” than people living in safe countries.

    American, German, Polish or 2020s Russian would arrange for his restaurant co-owner to be killed

    It must be an interesting laboratory you have built to allow you to know the proportion of restaurant owners that kill their partners, and how this varies according to nationality as the independent variable, while confounding variables are controlled.

    killings were not just from gang warfare, though here was plenty of that

    Of course, the background level of murders in Russia or Mexico, will be higher than countries like Sweden, but the top of the surges on the graph to 30 murders per 100,000, are influenced by a type of informal civil wars.

    In Mexico, this is centred on drug carters, that control billion dollar informal industry of drug trafficking into the USA. In Russia, these spikes match chronologically to wars between criminal groups for control of informal economies, 1991-1994 and 2000-2003/4.

    In Mexico, it matches to the Mexican Drug War, which begins in December 2006.

    • Agree: 4Dchessmaster
    • Replies: @AP
  132. @Blinky Bill

    Humans are animals, not plants, so I am talking about animals. In case of animals F1 can be infertile only if parents belong to different species (horse+donkey, or tiger+lion). If both parents belong to the same species, genetic difference matters. Humans are a relatively young species, genetic variation in humans all over the globe are much smaller than genetic variations in Drosophila melanogaster (one of fruit fly species) population in Los Angeles. This means that humans are not genetically varied enough to ever achieve outbreeding depression. Whereas inbreeding depression is very real: the effect of cousin marriage in the societies where it’s practiced is hugely negative.

    • Thanks: AltanBakshi
    • Replies: @EldnahYm
  133. @128

    So why is Honduras and Mexico so dysfunctional

    Those countries are dysfunctional socially, not biologically. In fact, if they didn’t have biological bonus of outbreeding, considering almost complete lack of health care their disease rates would be much higher than they are.

    • Replies: @Znzn
  134. EldnahYm says:
    @AltanBakshi

    You really cant compare mules with racially mixed humans, donkeys and horses dont even have same number of chromosomes, so they really are different species unlike dogs and wolves.

    That’s exactly what AnonfromTN did:

    “in all mammals inbreeding is harmful, outbreeding is good, far outbreeding is even better.”

    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
  135. @EldnahYm

    But probably AnonfromTN only meant outbreeding inside one species?

    • Agree: AnonfromTN
    • Replies: @EldnahYm
  136. @AltanBakshi

    West Africans would have best genes

    The genetic makeup that protects from malaria is heterozygous sickle cell anemia (a variant of hemoglobin gene). If you are homozygous, you suffer from sickle cell anemia and have poor chances of survival. If you are homozygous for normal hemoglobin gene (like the great majority of humans), you are vulnerable to malaria. You only have an advantage in malaria-prone areas if you are heterozygous. Breeding of two heterozygous animals yields 25% homozygotes for each gene, and 50% heterozygotes. So, half of the progeny either dies of sickle cell anemia or from malaria, and the other half survives and breeds. If you remove malaria from natural selection (which is the case everywhere but in some parts of West Africa), selection pressure would favor conventional hemoglobin gene, because non-mutant hemoglobin carries oxygen more effectively. That’s what most humans have.

    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
  137. @Dmitry

    These people are not the best representative of larger groups, or most close professionally to normal peoples’ lives, that work in the supermarket, the office or the factory.

    I agree. But then, in my comment I referred to “elites”, not ordinary folks.

    But neither are they examples we could select of “altruistic patriotism” and “selfless sacrifices” of the ordinary workers.

    That’s besides the point.
    I am not saying that they don’t steal, nor am I interested in that.
    Let’s be real, all political elites, everywhere, steal. That’s part of the, informal, job description.
    These guys are not saints, we agree on that, and I don’t expect them to be. They are expected to be good professionals, organizers, leaders and to bring results. And, above all, to be loyal to the country.

    Re. Lavrov, it would be a pity if true about his family living in Israel. Could you provide a link or something.

    Anyway, why would anyone want to live in Israel is beyond me.

  138. @AnonfromTN

    Thanks for clarification, but are there any possible scenarios, in which some highly recessive genes are needed, and because of that inbreeding is the best evolutionary choice, at least for momentarily?

    Btw I must say that I now mostly agree with you in regards of outbreeding, but what about intelligence, isnt it partially hereditary, so if a smart Japanese man marries a Khoi San tribeswoman from the deserts of Namibia with an IQ of 68, isnt there then a big chance that the baby is not as smart as fully Japanese babies are on average? If so, then all outbreeding among humans is not beneficial. Khoisans and Japanese are probably as far from each other, as is genetically possible among humans.

    • Replies: @AnonfromTN
  139. EldnahYm says:
    @AnonfromTN

    Humans are a relatively young species, genetic variation in humans all over the globe are much smaller than genetic variations in Drosophila melanogaster (one of fruit fly species) population in Los Angeles. This means that humans are not genetically varied enough to ever achieve outbreeding depression.

    Now you’re claiming there is a constant rate across all species at which outbreeding depression occurs.

    • Replies: @AnonfromTN
  140. EldnahYm says:
    @AltanBakshi

    Having different species is sub-optimal according to AnonfromTN’s logic.

    If I take an animal that requires white fur to avoid predation in its environment, clone it, but add more genetic variation for fur color, that animal is going to be at a distinct disadvantage even though it has (slightly) more genetic variation than its (almost) clone.

  141. @AltanBakshi

    Khoi San tribeswoman from the deserts of Namibia

    Of course, one cannot predict all consequences of breeding two individuals. Say, humans have ~25,000 genes, and each parent contributes half of genes of progeny. So, two humans can potentially produce millions of progeny genomes, each with its own value for survival, intelligence, etc. If a gene is truly beneficial, selection makes sure it is the most probable version. So, in case of a recessive gene being highly beneficial, the population would be virtually homozygous for it (some variety would be always introduced by random mutations).

    Heritability of intelligence (I mean real intelligence, not IQ, which was designed to sort out mentally incapable, and that’s the only thing it’s good for, no matter what IQ sect claims) is way below 50%. There is almost 100% probability that if a genetic copy of that Khoisan woman (an identical twin) grew up in Japan or Russia, the IQ (and real intelligence) of that twin would be a lot higher. Or if identical twin of that Japanese man grew up in Khoisan tribe, his intelligence would be a lot lower.
    The fact that the difference in measured IQ between males and females in human population went from statistically significant just 100 years ago to virtually nothing today shows that whatever IQ measures, it is not intelligence.

    • Thanks: AltanBakshi
    • Replies: @Levtraro
  142. @EldnahYm

    Now you’re claiming there is a constant rate across all species at which outbreeding depression occurs.

    I am not claiming any such thing. This issue was not scientifically studied in most species, including humans. Bottom line: scientific answer is “we don’t know”. Unscientific answer is whatever you prefer to believe. Humans believed all sorts of preposterous things for thousands of years, so don’t be shy.

  143. AP says:
    @Dmitry

    The murder rate is not related to “better or worse” people in the general city.

    It is not the only factor but a major one.

    It does not look like a factor. For example, when we compare cities: in Russia, the higher murder rates are in the hard working cities, and vice-versa.

    In Russia the Siberian Federal District, then Far East, and then Urals had the highest murder rates in 1995. Place with the highest rate was Tyva Republic with 137 – more than double that of EL Salvador, the country with the highest murder rate in the world today (52.02). Other oblasts whose homicide rates in 1995 were in the 60s (higher than El Salvador) include Irkutsk, Altai, Magadan, Kemerovo.

    Were these really the hardest workers?

    Is your identified phenomenon of murders correlated to hardest workers universal or just limited to Russia? Is Detroit the hardest working place in the USA?

    Are El Salvadorans the hardest workers in the world today?

    American, German, Polish or 2020s Russian would arrange for his restaurant co-owner to be killed

    It must be an interesting laboratory you have built to allow you to know the proportion of restaurant owners that kill their partners, and how this varies according to nationality as the independent variable

    There have been upheavals and chaos in periods of time in German and American and Polish history but nowhere was killing so casual as in post-Soviet Russia, right after the USSR collapsed. The variable that differentiates the Russians from the others was 70 years of Soviet demoralization. Not “hard work.”

    • Replies: @Rahan
    , @Dmitry
  144. Rahan says:
    @AP

    There have been upheavals and chaos in periods of time in German and American and Polish history but nowhere was killing so casual as in post-Soviet Russia, right after the USSR collapsed. The variable that differentiates the Russians from the others was 70 years of Soviet demoralization. Not “hard work.”

    The Soviet generalized angst we can see here

    SUICIDE RATE http://900igr.net/up/datas/233487/009.jpg

    It dips seriously during late 1980s Glasnost and first experiments with capitalism and pluralism—which I interpret was people actually starting to believe that there’s hope of meaning and a comfy life somewhere out here.

    Then the whole civilization collapses instead, not being able to take the strain of reforms when everything has already been hollowed out.

    HOMICIDE RATE

    I would hypothesize that one of the differences between South American and African murder rates and post-Soviet murder rates is the extent to which the Soviets managed to wipe out religion and extended family networks. Those are traditional stabilizing safeguards which had been dismantled, with the purpose of the state taking over all of that. Hence, when the state collapsed, the archaic “peaceful” substratum below the modern state was mostly gone and could not soften the eruption of the collective Id, now that “everything was allowed”.
    It’s one thing to lose a hot war or some such. Another thing to simply have to accept your whole life was a lie, and that everything you worked for is gone, including your savings, your plans to wed your daughter, to get your son into some institute, you’re never getting that free apartment you were just three years away in the queue from getting, etc. I would say that’s as demoralizing as the Native Americans (and various other aborigines) seeing their world collapse, but transposed onto a huge modernist society.

    Hence also the *basic longevity crash* around that time.
    I’d think a “will to live” also plays some role, with booze, drugs, and suicide being manifestations of that.

    In the “golden years” of the USSR, the mechanics of the stagnation that was taking place under the surface went mostly along the lines of informal power networks and favor banks. This “gray economy” of relations between different institutions and within them (not to be confused with the black market), allowed for the system to more or less function in spite of the idiocy of the planned economy official objectives, lack of real stimulus for workers, and an enormous class of bureaucrats who felt their purpose in life is to put spikes in your wheels.

    The only way to go around all this relentless “built in self-sabotage” inside the system, without firing squads Stalin-style, was the informal networks built up by factory management, sales management, the army, the KGB, the police—a shadowy informal warped version of Mussolini’s system—at least while these networks took place within an existing superstructure.

    Then the superstructure collapsed. The USSR was no more.

    The aforementioned traditional sub-state safeguards guaranteeing a minimum of social cohesion, had been dismantled previously. Those who dismantled them, had assumed the state superstructure would perform those functions instead, forever.

    All that was left, once the superstructure was gone, was, according to the reformers—the unfettered rational individual diving into free market economy.

    What happened instead, to a large extent, is that once the superstructure of the state collapse, all that was left was two types of networks:
    1) Criminal networks of thugs and thieves
    2) The informal networks of the Soviet “important men”
    Some might say Putin becoming president was the culmination of the “Soviet men of honor in uniforms” beating the “Soviet men of honor with prison tattoos”.

    Although, say what you will about Putin, at least he’s been attempting for a while to regrow the traditional social safeguards that the Soviets had dismantled. Like trying to bring dead reefs back to life, in a sociopolitical sense, and he may have pulled it off, after twenty years.
    https://avatars.mds.yandex.net/get-pdb/2984044/f8b82e8f-8109-44e1-b789-51c268ff34fc/s1200

    Knitting back together some semblance of a living substratum by combining anything at all that works.
    And let this be a lesson to the West. They appear to think that dismantling their traditional sub-state structural safeguards is awesome, liberating, and empowering. That having a mix of state and corporate institutions perform the safeguard structures is not only “better”, but guaranteed to continue forever. All they need to do is destroy or reeducate the obstinate redneck kulaks, and utopia descends.

    Therefore should their current techno-feudalist superstructure start to collapse, after they’ve managed to dismantle the sub-state traditional safeguard layers that provide some functional level of social coherence and in-group trust, a mix of organized crime gangs and deep state groups will also be the only social structures that give shape to the post-collapse society.

    • Agree: AltanBakshi
    • Thanks: AP, Californian Candidate
    • Replies: @Shortsword
    , @AP
  145. Levtraro says:
    @AnonfromTN

    I concocted the following parallelism: measuring intelligence with IQ is like measuring the height of a man from the length of his shadow.

    • Replies: @Blinky Bill
  146. @Levtraro


    If you’d watch the movie, you would understand.

  147. @Rahan

    It dips seriously during late 1980s Glasnost and first experiments with capitalism and pluralism—which I interpret was people actually starting to believe that there’s hope of meaning and a comfy life somewhere out here.

    I think it’s mostly the anti-alcohol campaign.

  148. Znzn says:
    @AnonfromTN

    Before Obrador Mexico actually had a better health care system than the US for the 99 percent.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  149. @Znzn

    Before Obrador Mexico actually had a better health care system than the US for the 99 percent.

    Aren’t you confusing Mexico with Cuba?

    BTW, better than the US is a pretty low plank. The US healthcare is in essence an extortion system, it could not care less about your health. Want to test this? Come to any ER: the first questions always are what insurance do you have and how are you going to pay your portion. Only after that they ask what’s ailing you.

    • Agree: RadicalCenter
  150. AP says:
    @Rahan

    A good description. In areas they controlled since the Revolution, the Soviets managed to almost completely destroy traditional spiritual and moral life and replace it with their own modern creation, which by its nature was shallow and dependent on the state. People probably stooped believing in it by the late 70s, but the repressive State could still enforce some semblance of order. When it broke down, Soviet amoralism was completely let loose and we saw the consequences.

    Areas only coming under control of the Soviets after World War II still had remaining pre-Soviet cultures. Post-Stalin efforts at cultural change were less ruthless. Plenty of people in their 60s were still around in 1991, they had grown up under the old order – and they would still have influenced their children and grandchildren. So those peoples didn’t engage in an orgy of murder, robbery and corruption when the economy and the State broke down.

    • Disagree: 4Dchessmaster
    • Thanks: Rahan
  151. @Rahan

    Where’s Melanf and his photos of wahmen?

  152. Dmitry says:
    @AP

    hardest workers?

    Yes as I wrote above already about this – murder rates are elevated in the most productive and hard working parts of Russia.

    The correlation between the productivity of the area in Russia, and the murder rate, is not co-incidental, as the murder rates are spiked by a type of informal civil war, in which mafia were fighting for a share in the means of production.

    This is in the first stage they saw the industrialists and workers as milk cows, before later they industrialists would also use them. (And the finally the authorities now operate a protection racket on the mafia leaders themselves).

    The territory with the most profitable milk cows, were the most aggressively contested, which is why there was the highest spike in the murder rate in the productive cities. (Just as there are more dead bodies at the point of conflict in war).

    Detroit the hardest working place in the USA?

    In 21st century America, wars between criminal groups, are appearing to be mainly limited to the illegal narcotics trade.

    However, in the 19th and 20th century America, when a source of income was from labour racketeering, then the conflict between organized criminal groups was centred in the most industrially productive cities, such as New York, Chicago, Philadelphia. Even as late the 1980s, the Gambino family has controlled much of the construction industry of Manhattan, as well as labour like Teamsters union.

    El Salvadorans the hardest workers in the world

    Well, likely some of the hardest working nationalities – in the USA.

    German and American and Polish history but nowhere was killing so casual

    America has a longer mafia history than in Russia; in Russia mafia history was a little more time-compressed and accelerated in chaotic circumstances, and the mafia climbed more easily to the top of government. But brutality of 20th century American gangs is not exactly surpassed https://mafiahitters.com/famous-old-mafia-hangouts-today/

  153. @AP

    Good points, but how does the Russian Federation’s homicide rate compare to the USA’s homicide rate in recent years? Apparently in at least a couple recent years, Russia’s homicide rate has been lower than the USA’s.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crime_in_Russia#Murder

    On the other hand, Russia apparently defines homicide more narrowly than the USA. If we could measure Russian deaths at the hands of other people by the same definition the US uses, Russia’s homicide rate could still be substantially higher in recent years including 2019.

    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/276963892_What_is_Russia’s_real_homicide_rate_Statistical_reconstruction_and_the_’decivilizing_process&#8217;

    But there was a surge in homicide in the US in 2020 — especially in NY City, Chicago, and LA, but in dozens of other cities of various sizes as well:

    https://www.usnews.com/news/national-news/articles/2021-02-04/2020-homicide-rates-spike-amid-pandemic-police-protests

    Might the USA be heading for a higher homicide rate than the RF soon under an identical definition?

    Lastly, to refine your excellent comment: Other than African-“Americans”, Americans still aren’t generally robbing or killing each other, thank God. Let’s see if that lasts, though, if we enter a period of sustained hyperinflation and mass unemployment, the collapse of most of the remaining middle class into poverty, accelerated redistribution of land, houses, and wealth upwards to a very small heartless nation-less elite, and possibly supply-chain disruptions and food shortages.

    • Replies: @Shortsword
    , @Dmitry
  154. @RadicalCenter

    The “What is Russia’s real homicide rate?” article is a joke. It’s not statistics. The statistics are entirely taken from some obscure source that I can’t find. The article itself just the author rambling on how “Putin’s regime” has has led to a rise in xenophobia, homophobia and all other forms of “hatred” and this must’ve have lead to an increase in homicides. It’s really retarded.

  155. @Shortsword

    It’s really retarded.

    I don’t think the author is necessarily retarded. He is just a hired hack. But the audience it targets are retards: anyone with above clinically retarded intelligence can easily see through this BS.

  156. @Shortsword

    Yeah it’s obviously written from a reflexively anti-Russian and anti-Putin viewpoint, which you will know by now is not my viewpoint.

  157. Dmitry says:
    @RadicalCenter

    I agree that murder rate is likely undercounted, but a thing to note is that murder rate in Russia varies a lot geographically.

    In cities of Moscow and Saint Peterburg (which are the two most relevant cities for most tourists to Russia), there is a lower official murder rate than in most large American cities. Moscow has more than 5 times lower official murder rate than America’s capital city of Washington DC.

    Russia apparently defines homicide more narrowly than the USA. If we could measure Russian deaths at the hands of other people by the same definition the US uses, Russia’s homicide rate could still be substantially higher in recent years including 2019.

    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/276963892_What_is_Russia’s_real_homicide_rate_Statistical_reconstruction_and_the_’decivilizing_process&#8217;

    But there was a surge in homicide in the US in 2020 — especially in NY City, Chi

    Thanks for the link – although the latter part of article reads a bit like it was written by AP, with anti-Soviet rhetoric, and claims that national murder rates reflect “lower compassion”.

    I assume it is true that the murder rate is undercounted, as a portion of “missing people” will have been murdered – especially in relation to professional gangsters, who might sometimes be able to make bodies “disappear”, and when more powerful can influence investigations themselves.

    But then this claim that they quote seems to be very speculative.

    As they write: “At the same time, it is important to mention potential limitations of the Inshakov estimation of homicide rates. First, Inshakov (2011) provides no detailed information on what the independent indicators were in this model and how exactly they were measured. Also, homicide rates tend to have nonlinear relationships with some of the independent variables in the model. For example, increases in poverty and unemployment, and the severe economic recession (resulting from the foreclosure crisis) in the USA during the 2000s appears to be associated with homicide rates that were lower than they had been in decades.”

    • Thanks: RadicalCenter
    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
  158. Dmitry says:
    @Shortsword

    The data that they post at the beginning is from a chapter of this currently out of stock book, and which the clickbait title of their paper refers
    https://www.ozon.ru/context/detail/id/5691746/#section-description–offset-80

    ^ I don’t know if you can find it in the library.

    And then they seem to have just written a few pages of speculative and not very forceful discussion, about how they think some criminological theory (“decivilizing process theory”) could explain elevated murder rates.

  159. @Dmitry

    I have no doubt that America’s heavily African cities have a higher homicide rate than Russia’s big cities. That is precisely what we should expect.

    Moreover, the gap in Russian versus American urban homicide rates may grow. First, Africans continue to grow in numbers here, while much-less-homicidal white people do not. Second, as you have seen, many jurisdictions in the USA order police to stand by while Africans and “white” and jewish misfits in “the ironically named “antifa” or the racist BLM run riot. People rallying for unapproved causes, especially white or christian people, are allowed to be attacked, intimidated, threatened, and driven off their own streets.

    Even when Africans are apprehended for wanton slaughter of white, hispanic, or asian people here, extremist Soros-funded prosecutors and mayors in some cities make sure they are not executed or even given a life term in prison.

  160. @Mulga Mumblebrain

    Those passports aren’t usable in China already. And BBC has been banned in China as well in response to the CGTN ban.

    Have you guys watched the BBC report telling the Chinese to stop eating meat because of the carbon produce by animal husbandry? I was like what the fuck are the Brits smoking.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  161. @Astuteobservor II

    I was like what the fuck are the Brits smoking.

    Reminds me of old Lavrov’s phrase “who the fuck do you think you are to tell us what to do?”

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