Vladimir Avdeev (1962-2020) was probably the foremost exponent of what we may very loosely term “HBD” in Russia, if we may treat phrenology-based Nordic/Dinaric race theories from a 1930s time capsule as such.
He did contribute some useful things, most notably through arranging translations of more modern Western literature on the subject (e.g. many of Richard Lynn’s books), as well as collecting a comprehensive anthology of articles by old Russian eugenists (Русская Евгеника), which at a minimum has some historical value. His own most famous book, “Racialogy” (Расология), was first published in the late 1990s. From what I heard and have read about that book, it largely recycles late 19th century/early 20th century race theories, with its overbearing focus on Nordicism and phrenology; though they are not 100% wrong, they have been superseded by much better methodologies from the world of population genetics. It was eventually ruled “extremist” and banned in Russia, though not before spawning a couple of major Vkontakte groups (Rasantro; Rasology), whose several 10,000’s of subscribers alternate between “racially classifying” each other for fun and discussing modern population genetics papers, while having rules that ban questioning the superior status of the “Nordic” race. Curious places, on the edge between quirky and cringe, obscurantist and darkly enlightened.
Which happens to perfectly describe Avdeev himself, whose charlatanry ranged beyond antiquated racialism into telegony and strange esoterica. As you might gather by now, I consider his overall input to be ambiguous. He was clearly in it more for the politics and the drama, becoming a minor pundit/”thought leader” within the Russian nationalist constellation, more specifically its more WN, racialist, ne0-pagan, anti-Christian part. He was mostly ignored, though not as I gather persecuted, by mainstream scientists or the scientific or political establishment (the ban on his book aside). Thanks partly to him, the nationalist-sphere was at least somewhat aware of the “race differences in IQ” topic, largely thanks to the Lynn translations, so that when I began expounding on the topic myself, in articles and as a guest on various podcasts, I was not starting from absolute scratch.
Many Russian nationalists considered him a dubious character, if an entertaining one. For instance, in his own obituary, Egor Kholmogorov recounted how Avdeev interpreted the conflict in the Ukraine as a racial one between “Nordic” Russians and noisy, disorganized “Dinarics”. This naturally generated some spicy within-community memes, with the late Konstantin Krylov once calling a crowd to order by joking, “People, don’t Dinaricize, behave Nordicly!” (“господа, не динарствуйте, ведите себя нордически!”). As Kholmogorov describes it, those two terms entered their lexicon during the Ukrainian conflict (edited Google Translate):
I listened with great interest to Avdeev’s hypothesis about the conflict in Ukraine as a racial one – between the “westerners” belonging to the Dinaric race (and in fact, judging by the racial scheme handed out by Avdeev, any “Cossack ” type is a Dinar) and prone to irrational affectation, and the “easterners” to the North Baltic race, inclined to a sullen rationality. I mentally calculated this scheme and realized that it works, as well as the fact that Belarus is an obvious enclave of a pure North Baltic type. The term “to Dinaricize” became a working one meaning to “jump and buzz around like in a bazaar/Maidan”. But Avdeev’s proposal, to bring cans of German sperm in order to fertilize women from them not from our [Russian] alcoholics, was perceived by the audience, to put it mildly, without enthusiasm, and the raciologist and “radical polytheist” had to recognize it as a bad joke.
Nonetheless, I ultimately cannot make too definitive a judgment since I only ever just exchanged a couple of emails with him (he was looking for more Western race/HBD thinkers to promote in Russia). And it does need to be said that the translation work he organized was genuinely useful and in need of wider and broader expansion. Indeed, one of the reasons that much of Russian “political HBD” is stuck in a 1930s time warp is that very little of the relevant literature has been translated – for instance, even the very milquetoast and mainstream books, such as Pinker’s Blank Slate or Wade’s Before the Dawn, were only translated into Russian last year. So much if not all of the Russian “conversation” on this topic consists of really old and quite outdated stuff together with equally fossilized Soviet-era tropes against “eugenics” and “Social Darwinists”. This is coupled with a steady, growing, and one-sided flood of “woke” racialist discourse (CRT, #BLM, structural racism, etc.) from the Vices and Vogues of America, which has already infected a distinct if as yet marginal demographic of local Bioleninists. Perhaps the only uplifting thing about this is that the situation in many European nationalist movements is in a similar rut, while the Great Awokening is more advanced.
It might, for now, be a marginal phenomenon, and one that Russia has some degree of natural immunity to – “herd immunity” from the Communist experiment, coupled with American geopolitical hostility that taints ideas and memeplexes associated with it – but the lack of an organic intellectual pushback it is a long-term concern. But should Russia’s defensive ideological matrix of “sovok conservatism” and anti-Americanism crumble, the “raciology” of a century yore is not going to stem the incoming tide of Bantu doctors and engineers. It needs something more solid.