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Today Russia had its voting rights restored at PACE, the parliamentary arm of the Council of Europe – a separate structure from the EU that focuses on democracy and human rights.

Russia’s voting rights were suspended in March 2014 over Crimea. It took Russia three years to stop paying into an organization where it didn’t even have a voice. By May 2019, its payments boycott raised the risk of Russia being ejected from the Council of Europe, joining Belarus as the only outsider on the European continent. So this issue had to be resolved in a hurry.

Reinstatement of Russia’s voting rights was driven by practical concerns:

  • Russia’s payments amounted to $33 million Euros per year, or 7% of the organization’s budget. Not a critical consideration, but “nice to have.”
  • The Europeans don’t want to drive Russia away from Europe, and as Macron warned, potentially sidle up even closer to China.
  • Bryan Macdonald argues that many EU states are not so keen on the Ukraine (“seen as a US/NATO project”) and “Ukraine’s election of Zelensky/rejection of hardline Poroshenko path.”

I am personally not a huge fan of the Council of Europe, and question the utility of Russia’s membership in it. Russia cedes massive judicial authority and considerable cultural influence to a foreign body that answers to states whose geopolitical stances are not aligned with, and often opposed to, Russia’s (though the Russian Constitutional Court has at least made it clear that it retains ultimate judicial sovereignty in Russia). While one might argue that Russia benefits from European institutional influence in countering its own problems with human rights and a corrupt judiciary, there is nothing stopping Russia from solving those problems through pressure from its own civil society and by leaning on its (pre-Soviet) liberal-conservative philosophical traditions, which are fully compatible with rule of law and human rights. Meanwhile, it is absolutely irrelevant to the actually important question of European sanctions, which are completely outside the remit of the Council of Europe.

Yet if there is one silver lining to this, it is that the usual democratists are besides themselves, accusing the Europeans of “selling out” to PUTLER. While the Ukrainians were so triggered that they actually fulfilled their promise to suspend their own participation in PACE. The mad lads.

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

    If you are new to my work, start here.

    • Replies: @Mr. XYZ
    Anatoly, you misspelled PUTLER! here. It's PUTLER!, not PUTLER. As in, there needs to be an exclamation point at the end. It's like with Jeb! Bush. In Jeb!'s case, the exclamation point was supposed to symbolize his low energy--though apparently no one actually noticed this until Trump in 2015 even though Jeb! had an exclamation point on his various campaign slogans and logos ever since his first campaign back in 1994.
  2. I must say it would have been very boring without retarded khokhol shenanigans.

  3. Typo: “I am personally not a huge fan of the Council of Russia”

    By the way, what’s the root cause of the difference between Sweden and Finland?

    • Replies: @Mitleser
    Sweden is more Russophobic than Finland and wants to minimize Russian influence.
    , @WHAT
    Sweden is still butthurt about that Poltava thing. Finland gets a lot of business from Russia.
    , @Jaakko Raipala
    Swedish national identity is all about being the arch-enemy of Russia and the rightful ruler of Eastern Europe (they waz vikangz). Somehow they're extremely nationalistic about that but nothing else. It gets out of control because Russia doesn't actually notice its "arch-enemy" much anymore and Sweden doesn't deal with Russia that much since it's not a direct neighbor.

    For Finns the Romanov period was overall an improvement over being part of Sweden except for the end - but then basically all Russians agree that Nikolai II was awful, even the ones that think he is a martyr. Nationalistic Finns tend to have focused, intense but limited grievances of lost lands instead of an obsession over crusading against Russian culture. Finland deals with Russia all the time and a lot of people are losing money due to the sanctions killing trade and it's rather frustrating that we were getting close to negotiating visa freedom and easy travel when St Petersburg is so close and then after 2014 the EU crushed all that.
    , @Yevardian
    Finland was avowedly neutral during the Cold War, they weren't Communist but nonetheless did all they could to maintain friendly relations with Russia, to the point of importing postponing elections for years, because the USSR trusted Kekkonen and didn't want the uncertainty of new leadership.

    Unlike the Balts, Ukrainians or Poles, Finns have been very realistic about their Geopolitical position and the empty promises of Western allies since they lost Viipuri (their 2nd city and industrial centre) in the Winter War. It's one of the few Western countries that consistently keeps warm relations with Russia.

  4. @The Big Red Scary
    Typo: "I am personally not a huge fan of the Council of Russia"

    By the way, what's the root cause of the difference between Sweden and Finland?

    Sweden is more Russophobic than Finland and wants to minimize Russian influence.

    • Replies: @LondonBob
    Finns hate Swedes more than they do the Russians.
    , @melanf

    Sweden is more Russophobic than Finland
     
    What surprised me - judging by this map Norway more Russophile than Finland
    , @Medvedev
    Swedes are bitter cause they lost to Russians many times attempting to build Swedish empire.
  5. That map shown here is a perfect depiction of the different levels of cuckdom in terms of foreign policy. Red being the most severe and green the least.

    • Replies: @Not Raul
    You have a point.

    It is likely that, sometime in the not too distant future, France will be the strongest power in Europe.

    The second largest political faction is led by Le Pen, and even Macron is quite based relative to the UK and Germany.
  6. The map makes sense from a historical perspective.

    Between the fall of Napoleon and the rise of Lenin, France and Russia were allies a vast majority of the time.

    Germany and Russia were allies about 70% of the time between the unification of Germany and the rise of Lenin.

    Irish ties with France, in opposition to Britain, go back hundreds of years.

    The whole point of “Ukrainian nationalism”, literally frontier nationalism, was to weaken Russia.

    And I can’t blame Georgia for being pissed at Russia for helping the Northwest to secede.

    • Replies: @Mr. XYZ

    Germany and Russia were allies about 70% of the time between the unification of Germany and the rise of Lenin.
     
    Actually, the relevant figure for Germany and Russia is less than 50%. Russia was allied to France between 1891 and 1917. Plus, Russia wasn't a German ally for the entirety of the 1871-1891 time period. The Three Emperors' League only lasted from 1873 to 1878 and then again from 1881 to 1887. That's 5 years plus 6 years, which means a total of 11 years.

    11 years out of 46 years (1871 to 1917) is less than 25%. Thus, your calculations here are way wrong in regards to this.
  7. @The Big Red Scary
    Typo: "I am personally not a huge fan of the Council of Russia"

    By the way, what's the root cause of the difference between Sweden and Finland?

    Sweden is still butthurt about that Poltava thing. Finland gets a lot of business from Russia.

  8. @neutral
    That map shown here is a perfect depiction of the different levels of cuckdom in terms of foreign policy. Red being the most severe and green the least.

    You have a point.

    It is likely that, sometime in the not too distant future, France will be the strongest power in Europe.

    The second largest political faction is led by Le Pen, and even Macron is quite based relative to the UK and Germany.

    • Replies: @AquariusAnon
    I can actually somehow see this happening: France has most of the ingredients to be a geopolitically independent second-tier power. Jokes aside, it's actually quite strong in military tech and heavy industries.

    Their main problems are that its really not a business-friendly country, and its demographics are in pretty bad shape. As far as I know, it is only about 75-80% white overall, and around 60% of its newborns are white.

    Germany has a powerful industrial base, but its sadly not exactly independent, and unlike France, doesn't have a long history of being a powerful unified independent nation state. The cultural pride that France still somehow has seems to be lacking in Germany.

  9. Any reasons Hungary and Bulgaria didn’t vote?

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    I don’t know and I’m lazy to check it out right now, but Orbán is in a precarious position himself, on his way being kicked out of the EPP.
    , @Beckow
    Interesting, but in line with what we know: the two most pro-Russian - or maybe least anti-Russian? - countries in Eastern Europe are Serbia and Slovakia. With Czechs, Croats, Slovenes and Romanians hedging their bets.

    It would be nice to see Hungary and Bulgaria.
    , @reiner Tor
    Okay.

    So, it’s not a very big news item, most news stories didn’t even mention the Hungarian opinion, or only mentioned the opinion of one of the three Hungarians in the Council. There was hardly any analysis (so, why does he think so, when Fidesz is normally against the sanctions?), but I can give you a little background.

    There are three Hungarians in the Council of Europe:

    Zsolt Németh from Fidesz supports letting the Russians back, however, he didn’t support the full reinstatement of their voting rights. It must be noted that he also cited some unspecified human rights concerns, but the first thing he mentioned was Ukraine. While this might be driven by the problems of Fidesz in the EPP, it must be noted that Zsolt Németh has always been a very committed Atlanticist. It’s possible that Orbán would’ve ordered him to vote yes, but due to his problems he let him do what he wanted anyway.

    Márton Gyöngyösi from Jobbik just resigned from the Council last (?) Tuesday, and so he just happened to have lost his voting rights (he is just about to become an MEP, and only national MPs can be members of the Council), but otherwise he reiterated the long held opinion of Jobbik that the sanctions have always been mistaken and would have voted yes.

    Zita Gurmai from the Socialists (the former communist party, which is on its way to irrelevance) also supported the measure, while still pointing out the problems in Ukraine and human rights, nevertheless it was a little difficult to understand her reasoning for abstention. She literally cited every possible argument for and against the measure (including that the Western Europeans keep doing business with Russia, while Hungary is losing on the sanctions), but ultimately she failed the Turing test, so I concluded that she might be an android, who was prevented from voting (which, as she made it clear, or not, would have been a yes vote), either because only humans are allowed to vote, or because she was malfunctioning.

    It was difficult to find the opinions of Gyöngyösi (probably because he was no longer a member anyway) and Gurmai (little wonder, since it’s a robot), but I checked several articles only for you.

    I hope this helps.

    , @AnonFromTN
    Did not get their marching orders in time?
  10. @Anonymoose
    Any reasons Hungary and Bulgaria didn't vote?

    I don’t know and I’m lazy to check it out right now, but Orbán is in a precarious position himself, on his way being kicked out of the EPP.

  11. The mad lads.

    Anatoly – what do they need to do to become the ‘glad lads’ that you fervently see them becoming?

  12. @Mitleser
    Sweden is more Russophobic than Finland and wants to minimize Russian influence.

    Finns hate Swedes more than they do the Russians.

  13. @Not Raul
    You have a point.

    It is likely that, sometime in the not too distant future, France will be the strongest power in Europe.

    The second largest political faction is led by Le Pen, and even Macron is quite based relative to the UK and Germany.

    I can actually somehow see this happening: France has most of the ingredients to be a geopolitically independent second-tier power. Jokes aside, it’s actually quite strong in military tech and heavy industries.

    Their main problems are that its really not a business-friendly country, and its demographics are in pretty bad shape. As far as I know, it is only about 75-80% white overall, and around 60% of its newborns are white.

    Germany has a powerful industrial base, but its sadly not exactly independent, and unlike France, doesn’t have a long history of being a powerful unified independent nation state. The cultural pride that France still somehow has seems to be lacking in Germany.

  14. @Anonymoose
    Any reasons Hungary and Bulgaria didn't vote?

    Interesting, but in line with what we know: the two most pro-Russian – or maybe least anti-Russian? – countries in Eastern Europe are Serbia and Slovakia. With Czechs, Croats, Slovenes and Romanians hedging their bets.

    It would be nice to see Hungary and Bulgaria.

    • LOL: Mr. Hack
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    How many representatives does Slovakia have in the Council of Europe? Hungary had three, all three I wrote about it in detail in #15, but Slovakia has only half the population, so maybe you only have two? Or maybe just one? It's easiest to be unanimous with just one.
  15. @Anonymoose
    Any reasons Hungary and Bulgaria didn't vote?

    Okay.

    So, it’s not a very big news item, most news stories didn’t even mention the Hungarian opinion, or only mentioned the opinion of one of the three Hungarians in the Council. There was hardly any analysis (so, why does he think so, when Fidesz is normally against the sanctions?), but I can give you a little background.

    There are three Hungarians in the Council of Europe:

    Zsolt Németh from Fidesz supports letting the Russians back, however, he didn’t support the full reinstatement of their voting rights. It must be noted that he also cited some unspecified human rights concerns, but the first thing he mentioned was Ukraine. While this might be driven by the problems of Fidesz in the EPP, it must be noted that Zsolt Németh has always been a very committed Atlanticist. It’s possible that Orbán would’ve ordered him to vote yes, but due to his problems he let him do what he wanted anyway.

    Márton Gyöngyösi from Jobbik just resigned from the Council last (?) Tuesday, and so he just happened to have lost his voting rights (he is just about to become an MEP, and only national MPs can be members of the Council), but otherwise he reiterated the long held opinion of Jobbik that the sanctions have always been mistaken and would have voted yes.

    Zita Gurmai from the Socialists (the former communist party, which is on its way to irrelevance) also supported the measure, while still pointing out the problems in Ukraine and human rights, nevertheless it was a little difficult to understand her reasoning for abstention. She literally cited every possible argument for and against the measure (including that the Western Europeans keep doing business with Russia, while Hungary is losing on the sanctions), but ultimately she failed the Turing test, so I concluded that she might be an android, who was prevented from voting (which, as she made it clear, or not, would have been a yes vote), either because only humans are allowed to vote, or because she was malfunctioning.

    It was difficult to find the opinions of Gyöngyösi (probably because he was no longer a member anyway) and Gurmai (little wonder, since it’s a robot), but I checked several articles only for you.

    I hope this helps.

  16. To be honest, considering stupid song and dance of PACE in the last few years, Russia should have left this useless organization and not pay a penny. Putin is way too soft and accommodating to Europeans. The only strengths they have is infinite hypocrisy and the ability to lie through their teeth with straight face. Russia has more than enough its own hypocrites and liars.

  17. @Anonymoose
    Any reasons Hungary and Bulgaria didn't vote?

    Did not get their marching orders in time?

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    I wrote in detail in #15.
  18. @The Big Red Scary
    Typo: "I am personally not a huge fan of the Council of Russia"

    By the way, what's the root cause of the difference between Sweden and Finland?

    Swedish national identity is all about being the arch-enemy of Russia and the rightful ruler of Eastern Europe (they waz vikangz). Somehow they’re extremely nationalistic about that but nothing else. It gets out of control because Russia doesn’t actually notice its “arch-enemy” much anymore and Sweden doesn’t deal with Russia that much since it’s not a direct neighbor.

    For Finns the Romanov period was overall an improvement over being part of Sweden except for the end – but then basically all Russians agree that Nikolai II was awful, even the ones that think he is a martyr. Nationalistic Finns tend to have focused, intense but limited grievances of lost lands instead of an obsession over crusading against Russian culture. Finland deals with Russia all the time and a lot of people are losing money due to the sanctions killing trade and it’s rather frustrating that we were getting close to negotiating visa freedom and easy travel when St Petersburg is so close and then after 2014 the EU crushed all that.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    I guess Sweden is still sore about Poltava battle in 1709, when Peter the Great wiped out their army, along with pathetic handful of troops of Ukrainian traitor Mazepa. Sweden stopped being a significant power then and there. Now it may be a tad more important than Latvia or Estonia, but not by much. Maybe they are still butt-hurt, who knows. None of the ‘Swedes” I know personally was born in Sweden.

    But Swedes should take heart: the flags of Ukraine and Down syndrome awareness have the same colors as theirs. Maybe they are butt-hurt about that, as well.
    , @melanf
    Russian-Swedish relations over the last 400 years

    1590-1595 Russia attacked Sweden, Russia's victory
    1610-1617 Sweden attacked Russia, Sweden's victory
    1656-1658 Russia attacked Sweden, Sweden's victory
    1700-1721 Russia attacked Sweden, Russia's victory
    1741-1743 Sweden attacked Russia, Russia's victory
    1788-1790 Sweden attacked Russia,Russia's victory
    1808-1809 Russia attacked Sweden Russia's victory
    1942 war without a clear result, several dozen killed on each side
  19. @Not Raul
    The map makes sense from a historical perspective.

    Between the fall of Napoleon and the rise of Lenin, France and Russia were allies a vast majority of the time.

    Germany and Russia were allies about 70% of the time between the unification of Germany and the rise of Lenin.

    Irish ties with France, in opposition to Britain, go back hundreds of years.

    The whole point of “Ukrainian nationalism”, literally frontier nationalism, was to weaken Russia.

    And I can’t blame Georgia for being pissed at Russia for helping the Northwest to secede.

    Germany and Russia were allies about 70% of the time between the unification of Germany and the rise of Lenin.

    Actually, the relevant figure for Germany and Russia is less than 50%. Russia was allied to France between 1891 and 1917. Plus, Russia wasn’t a German ally for the entirety of the 1871-1891 time period. The Three Emperors’ League only lasted from 1873 to 1878 and then again from 1881 to 1887. That’s 5 years plus 6 years, which means a total of 11 years.

    11 years out of 46 years (1871 to 1917) is less than 25%. Thus, your calculations here are way wrong in regards to this.

    • Replies: @Not Raul
    Thank you.

    Your knowledge of 19th Century German-Russian diplomacy appears to be superior to mine.

    My larger point still stands: historical relationships correlate with current ones.

    The relationship between the UK and Russia was largely hostile between 1840 and 1907. During the 34 years between the Franco-Prussian War of 1870 and 1914, the UK and Russia were allies for only 7 years, about 21% of the time.

  20. @Anatoly Karlin
    Please keep off topic posts to the current Open Thread.

    If you are new to my work, start here.

    Anatoly, you misspelled PUTLER! here. It’s PUTLER!, not PUTLER. As in, there needs to be an exclamation point at the end. It’s like with Jeb! Bush. In Jeb!’s case, the exclamation point was supposed to symbolize his low energy–though apparently no one actually noticed this until Trump in 2015 even though Jeb! had an exclamation point on his various campaign slogans and logos ever since his first campaign back in 1994.

  21. @Jaakko Raipala
    Swedish national identity is all about being the arch-enemy of Russia and the rightful ruler of Eastern Europe (they waz vikangz). Somehow they're extremely nationalistic about that but nothing else. It gets out of control because Russia doesn't actually notice its "arch-enemy" much anymore and Sweden doesn't deal with Russia that much since it's not a direct neighbor.

    For Finns the Romanov period was overall an improvement over being part of Sweden except for the end - but then basically all Russians agree that Nikolai II was awful, even the ones that think he is a martyr. Nationalistic Finns tend to have focused, intense but limited grievances of lost lands instead of an obsession over crusading against Russian culture. Finland deals with Russia all the time and a lot of people are losing money due to the sanctions killing trade and it's rather frustrating that we were getting close to negotiating visa freedom and easy travel when St Petersburg is so close and then after 2014 the EU crushed all that.

    I guess Sweden is still sore about Poltava battle in 1709, when Peter the Great wiped out their army, along with pathetic handful of troops of Ukrainian traitor Mazepa. Sweden stopped being a significant power then and there. Now it may be a tad more important than Latvia or Estonia, but not by much. Maybe they are still butt-hurt, who knows. None of the ‘Swedes” I know personally was born in Sweden.

    But Swedes should take heart: the flags of Ukraine and Down syndrome awareness have the same colors as theirs. Maybe they are butt-hurt about that, as well.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack

    the flags of Ukraine and Down syndrome awareness have the same colors as theirs. Maybe they are butt-hurt about that, as well.
     
    https://images.assetsdelivery.com/compings_v2/siridhata/siridhata1702/siridhata170200067.jpg

    Hey Professor, your Ukrainaphobic rants are sick. Stick to commenting about the lack of culinary delights in your new home.

    , @Pericles
    More like the Finnish War of 1809 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finnish_War). I'm reading some Swedish blogs that are almost parodically anti-Russian and anti-Putin (of course), so the sentiment still lives on.
    , @Swedish Family

    I guess Sweden is still sore about Poltava battle in 1709, when Peter the Great wiped out their army, along with pathetic handful of troops of Ukrainian traitor Mazepa. Sweden stopped being a significant power then and there. Now it may be a tad more important than Latvia or Estonia, but not by much. Maybe they are still butt-hurt, who knows. None of the ‘Swedes” I know personally was born in Sweden.
     
    I have laid out Sweden's queer case of Russophobia before, but here is a quick summary:

    As melanf's timeline makes clear, and as you no doubt learned in school, Sweden and Russia were at each other's throats for much of Sweden's era of absolute monarchy (1521-1809) [1]. But to seek the answer here is frivolous, I think. Unlike our eastern neighbors, Sweden holds no grudges against Russia that I know of, and the loss of Finland, which was indeed a national trauma at the time, nearly every Swede will recall with a shrug, if indeed he even knows of it. This historylessness, as the popular Swedish term goes, has obvious downsides, but centuries of bad blood is not among them [2].

    LondonBob is nearer the mark by tracing Swedish Russophobia back to the Cold War. Our position in that conflict is well known: we sought a "third way" beyond communism and capitalism, and our political life was marked by an uneasy balance between the heavily Atlantist security services and socialists in media, culture and academia. We should not make too much of this socialist opposition, however, and this is where many analysts get Sweden wrong. Sweden was already on a strong Atlantist track no later than the 1960s, and the gestures of disobedience that we did make are better seen as "internal" dissent than as attempts at staking out an independent course. This sounds puzzling to an outsider, I'm sure, but Hendrik Hertzberg gives us a glimpse of this state of mind in his obituary of Olof Palme, written in late February 1986.

    Olof Palme was more than “pro-American,” he was “American”—as American as apple pie with lingonberry sauce. He spent what he always described as the most formative year of his life, the year he turned twenty-one, in the United States. He got his bachelor’s degree in politics and economics from Kenyon College, a small Episcopal college in the incorrigibly American environs of Columbus, Ohio, in 1948. He wrote his senior honors thesis on the United Automobile Workers union. He then hit the road, hitchhiking all over the country for three months, meeting hundreds of citizens along the way and learning something about their wealth and their poverty. He ended up in Detroit, where he spent hours talking with one of his heroes, Walter Reuther.

    [...]

    When Palme began to speak against the war in Vietnam, beginning in 1965, he did so with the special passion, the outraged indignation, of an American. Unlike certain other European leftists, he did not greet the war with the smug satisfaction of one who has at last been proved right about those nasty Americans. He thought more highly of us than that (and in this sense he did indeed have a “double standard”). Unlike certain other European Socialist statesmen—Harold Wilson comes to mind—he did not regard silence on Vietnam as an act of friendship to the United States. And unlike many other “moderate” protesters on both sides of the Atlantic, he did not consider that he had anything to prove where anticommunism was concerned.
     
    Note that bolded part. Palme protests the war in Vietnam, he feels, not as an outsider looking in, but as an insider. America's war is his war. America is him, is Sweden. This is very, very key, and if you understand this, you are halfway toward understanding the modern Swede, who — very deeply and earnestly — believes that the United States and Sweden, and so American and Swedish interests, are one and the same. I'm laying it on a little thick to put the point across, yes, but this warped psychology matters.

    The other key to understanding modern Swedish Russophobia is to recall that some time in the 00s or early 10s, the foreign policy goals of that old "socialist" opposition and the Atlantist security services somehow aligned. I shan't dwell on this since it's well enough known by Unz Review readers, but very broadly speaking, the militarist-imperialist goals of the security-services set (aka the MIC, aka the neocons, and so on) became also the goals of self-styled social liberals (the "socialist" opposition of old), the only thing that stood between them and the wholesale loss of everything they held dear (equality between the sexes, marriage equality, the freedoms of the French Revolution) and, more than that, a promise that these "human rights" could and would spread across the planet. Some refer to this messianic take on global affairs as GloboHomo, but I prefer the term Woke Imperialism.

    So there you have it. The modern Swede thinks of himself as American, and so sees America's interests as his own, and he sees belligerence toward Russia as a basically moral position.

    [1] Speaking of Vyborg, one of my ancestors was wounded at the battle of Vyborg Bay, where our (fairy) king Gustav III very nearly lost his life. I believe this is my one link to Russia. (Another ancestor of mine was from Swedish Livonia, where in the mid-1600s he joined the Swedish army, but we are fairly sure he was Baltic German, or maybe Latvian).

    [2] It's also, I sometimes think, the logical endpoint of successful nation-building. Ernest Renan: "[if] the essential element of a nation is that all its individuals must have many things in common ... [they] must also have forgotten many things. Every French citizen must have forgotten the night of St. Bartholomew and the massacres in the 13th century in the South."
  22. @The Big Red Scary
    Typo: "I am personally not a huge fan of the Council of Russia"

    By the way, what's the root cause of the difference between Sweden and Finland?

    Finland was avowedly neutral during the Cold War, they weren’t Communist but nonetheless did all they could to maintain friendly relations with Russia, to the point of importing postponing elections for years, because the USSR trusted Kekkonen and didn’t want the uncertainty of new leadership.

    Unlike the Balts, Ukrainians or Poles, Finns have been very realistic about their Geopolitical position and the empty promises of Western allies since they lost Viipuri (their 2nd city and industrial centre) in the Winter War. It’s one of the few Western countries that consistently keeps warm relations with Russia.

    • Replies: @Jaakko Raipala
    Kekkonen kept up the image that he was trying to buy back Vyborg and the West shore of Ladoga. There were over 400 000 people evacuated from the lost territories and resettled to hastily built houses and tiny farms subdivided from appropriated lands. A lot of them were clinging to the hope of Kekkonen's friendly Soviet relations somehow getting them their homes back, either by buying back some territory or by trying to turn the USSR nicer so that people could move back there even if the border didn't change (sponsoring Helsinki Accords etc).

    Kekkonen offered Khrushchev a lot more integration of Finland into the Soviet sphere in exchange for Vyborg but they never took the offer.

    That's all irrelevant now that almost everyone who lived in those lands pre-WWII is dead or dying. If the present government got Vyborg back they'd just fill it with Africans...
  23. I am presently in your beautiful city of St Petersburg as a complete outsider I have no hesitation in stating that it is superior to any major Western European city and 100X better than London.

    This was the sentiment of quite of few Western European tourists too…

    I realize not all of Russia is Moscow/ St Petersburg but I don’t see what these US colonies have to teach you…Western Europe’s ‘superior’ institution s are demonstrably unable to keep their cities this clean and safe and as far as I can see nuisance free. Prices also seem very reasonable my room in St Petersburg hotel overlooking the Neva is only RUB 3500 in peak tourist season which means good regulations achieving balance between preserving the existing look and feel of the city without artificially restricting supply of prime real estate. Other things like restaurants etc are also high quality and affordable. There seems to be some sort of a baby boom happening here (more so in Moscow) which is also a good sign for the country.

    • Replies: @melanf

    St Petersburg ... 100X better than London
     
    St. Petersburg has preserved its historical appearance much better than London. This is the case when the lack of money was a boon

    https://s2.best-wallpaper.net/wallpaper/1600x900/1706/London-Thames-river-bridge-ship-city-buildings_1600x900.jpg

    http://kibotour.by/content/images/%D0%93%D0%BE%D1%80%D0%BE%D0%B4%D0%B0/%D0%9F%D0%B0%D0%BD%D0%BE%D1%80%D0%B0%D0%BC%D0%B0%20%D0%9F%D0%B8%D1%82%D0%B5%D1%80%20(12).jpg
    , @Anatoly Karlin
    Glad to hear you liked it!

    Personally, I like Moscow more than SPB, but the latter certainly has its charms.
  24. @Mitleser
    Sweden is more Russophobic than Finland and wants to minimize Russian influence.

    Sweden is more Russophobic than Finland

    What surprised me – judging by this map Norway more Russophile than Finland

    • Replies: @Adam
    Russia holds territories many Finns hold to be theirs, the same can't be said for Norway. You can see they lack the messianic liberalism of Sweden too.
  25. @AnonFromTN
    I guess Sweden is still sore about Poltava battle in 1709, when Peter the Great wiped out their army, along with pathetic handful of troops of Ukrainian traitor Mazepa. Sweden stopped being a significant power then and there. Now it may be a tad more important than Latvia or Estonia, but not by much. Maybe they are still butt-hurt, who knows. None of the ‘Swedes” I know personally was born in Sweden.

    But Swedes should take heart: the flags of Ukraine and Down syndrome awareness have the same colors as theirs. Maybe they are butt-hurt about that, as well.

    the flags of Ukraine and Down syndrome awareness have the same colors as theirs. Maybe they are butt-hurt about that, as well.


    Hey Professor, your Ukrainaphobic rants are sick. Stick to commenting about the lack of culinary delights in your new home.

    • Replies: @melanf
    Is this picture supposed to represent a Ukrainian? Hmm, the European essence of Ukraine is depicted very well
    , @AnonFromTN
    As could be expected from a Ukie sympathizer, no substantive argument. Then again, what can be said: the flags of Ukraine and Down awareness syndrome are carbon-copies of each other, yellow and blue. Look on the bright side: maybe that’s self-parody.

    BTW, your pic of a Turk in “defense” of Ukraine adds insult to injury.
  26. @Mr. Hack

    the flags of Ukraine and Down syndrome awareness have the same colors as theirs. Maybe they are butt-hurt about that, as well.
     
    https://images.assetsdelivery.com/compings_v2/siridhata/siridhata1702/siridhata170200067.jpg

    Hey Professor, your Ukrainaphobic rants are sick. Stick to commenting about the lack of culinary delights in your new home.

    Is this picture supposed to represent a Ukrainian? Hmm, the European essence of Ukraine is depicted very well

    • Replies: @Adam
    He's too dumb to tell a Turk from a Ukrainian. Then again, what's the difference.
    , @Epigon
    He is referring to him as a Janissary.

    As opposed to original Rumelian Christian boys raised to serve as Sultan's Stormtroopers, he is implying our AnonFromTN was born a Ukrainian and then indoctrinated into Russian Imperialism to fight and opress his Ukrainian kin.
    , @Mr. Hack
    It's a cartoonish depiction of a janissar. Janissars were an elite Ottoman military formation made up mostly of child age Slavic conscripts caught during wartime and trained in very strict surroundings. They were often used in future battles and skirmishes against their own peoples and lands. Professor Tennessee is even worse than these unfortunate historic figures, because he chooses to put down the people and country that he is from with no coercion from anybody. His disdain for Ukraine's political leadership (that I can understand) has transcended to include the whole nation, quite a dumb association to make.
  27. @melanf
    Is this picture supposed to represent a Ukrainian? Hmm, the European essence of Ukraine is depicted very well

    He’s too dumb to tell a Turk from a Ukrainian. Then again, what’s the difference.

    • LOL: WHAT
  28. @melanf

    Sweden is more Russophobic than Finland
     
    What surprised me - judging by this map Norway more Russophile than Finland

    Russia holds territories many Finns hold to be theirs, the same can’t be said for Norway. You can see they lack the messianic liberalism of Sweden too.

  29. @AnonFromTN
    I guess Sweden is still sore about Poltava battle in 1709, when Peter the Great wiped out their army, along with pathetic handful of troops of Ukrainian traitor Mazepa. Sweden stopped being a significant power then and there. Now it may be a tad more important than Latvia or Estonia, but not by much. Maybe they are still butt-hurt, who knows. None of the ‘Swedes” I know personally was born in Sweden.

    But Swedes should take heart: the flags of Ukraine and Down syndrome awareness have the same colors as theirs. Maybe they are butt-hurt about that, as well.

    More like the Finnish War of 1809 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finnish_War). I’m reading some Swedish blogs that are almost parodically anti-Russian and anti-Putin (of course), so the sentiment still lives on.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    Interesting idea. So, Swedes are not three centuries behind the times, only a bit over 200 years.
  30. @Beckow
    Interesting, but in line with what we know: the two most pro-Russian - or maybe least anti-Russian? - countries in Eastern Europe are Serbia and Slovakia. With Czechs, Croats, Slovenes and Romanians hedging their bets.

    It would be nice to see Hungary and Bulgaria.

    How many representatives does Slovakia have in the Council of Europe? Hungary had three, all three I wrote about it in detail in #15, but Slovakia has only half the population, so maybe you only have two? Or maybe just one? It’s easiest to be unanimous with just one.

    • Replies: @Beckow
    5 representatives. Hungary has 7 listed, including the 3 you named. I am not sure how they vote, it is summer in Strasbourg, maybe they job-share?

    Slovakia's delegates are from across the spectrum: socialist (very nationalist), conservatives, liberals, nationalist, Hungarian party. At home we fight like cats and dogs, I mean almost Kiev levels of dysfunction. But when it comes to Russia there is a shared consensus to be friendly. I am not sure why that is, maybe deep history, maybe pragmatism. We, of course, get a few noisy Atlanticist NGO types occasionally screaming in the media about the horrors of 'zemljanky', but they are paid for it.
  31. @AnonFromTN
    Did not get their marching orders in time?

    I wrote in detail in #15.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    Duly noted. In general, Hungarian authorities behave sensibly in most cases, in sharp contrast to some butt-hurt monkeys nursing an outsized inferiority complex that is bigger than their pathetic “countries”. Then again, some larger countries, like Poland and Ukraine, behave as if they are even smaller than those pygmies.
  32. @melanf
    Is this picture supposed to represent a Ukrainian? Hmm, the European essence of Ukraine is depicted very well

    He is referring to him as a Janissary.

    As opposed to original Rumelian Christian boys raised to serve as Sultan’s Stormtroopers, he is implying our AnonFromTN was born a Ukrainian and then indoctrinated into Russian Imperialism to fight and opress his Ukrainian kin.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    What Ukie sympathizers think is immaterial. The important thing is that nobody did more damage to Ukraine than its greedy thieving elites. The fact that the people put up with this for ~28 years does not reflect well on the populace.

    As Ukrainian political analyst Rostislav Ishchenko says, Ukrainians with any brains and abilities call themselves Russians and compete on the huge Russian scene, whereas good-for-nothing nonentities strive to be the biggest frog in a pathetically small pond.
  33. I remember reading a detailed account by a Finn – Swedes disproportionately conscripted Finns for their wars, instituted assimilation and discrimination policies.
    As opposed to Russian rule during most of Grand Duchy period, except near the end when Russification and centralization efforts intensified.

    Swedish anti-Russianes is a historic constant – Russian prisoners were executed by Swedes in the wars of 17th and 18th century (Fraustadt battle, for example).

    On one hand, I admire the Swedes for their tenacity, innovation and achievements in Early Modern period. On the other, vast majority of Swedes I have met are obnoxious, emanate smugness and have a sense of entitlement.

  34. One thing we’d need to know to better understand the map. If Márton Gyöngyösi wouldn’t have been elected an MEP and as a result wouldn’t have resigned his seat in the Council, then he would’ve voted yes. Now, with one Yes vote, and two abstentions, what would that mean on the map? Would it mean that Hungary voted unanimously (with two abstentions) for, or that it was majority for (one out of three is hardly a majority, but then again, with two abstentions and one for, it’s hardly majority against either), or would it still be gray?

    It’d be better if more details were available, because that way it’s not very accurate.

    Is this the vote?

    http://assembly.coe.int/nw/xml/Votes/DB-VotesResults-EN.asp?VoteID=37964&DocID=18997&MemberID=&Sort=2

    Here you can check all the members. Apparently even Hungary has many more members, not just the three I mentioned in #15.

    http://www.assembly.coe.int/nw/xml/AssemblyList/MP-Alpha-EN.asp

    I now think that the Council of Europe should be abolished, and its members summarily executed. Such a complicated institution for nothing.

  35. One of the Yes votes came from the representative of the Hungarian party in Serbia, Ms. Elvira Kovács, Alliance of Vojvodina Hungarians.

  36. Sweden also the most lax surveillance laws in the world, their security services can do what they like. The Swedish security services are very close to the Americans and it is an important place to intercept Russian data. Sweden is a very controlled society but there has always been a clash between the Atlantacist security services and the far left politicians like the assassinated Olof Palme. There might be actual Swedes who have a better understanding of this but that is what I understand of it.

    • Replies: @Pericles
    It seems fairly clear by now that we had a discreet cooperation with the US and NATO during the Cold War. For example, see Mikael Holmström's book 'Den dolda alliansen' (The concealed alliance). Not sure if it's been translated.

    As far as I'm concerned, Holmström has for a while been perhaps the sole credible journalist in Sweden, with defense and political affairs as his main topic. Though he moved to (((Dagens Nyheter))) a few years ago so who knows by now.
  37. @Vishnugupta
    I am presently in your beautiful city of St Petersburg as a complete outsider I have no hesitation in stating that it is superior to any major Western European city and 100X better than London.

    This was the sentiment of quite of few Western European tourists too...

    I realize not all of Russia is Moscow/ St Petersburg but I don't see what these US colonies have to teach you...Western Europe's 'superior' institution s are demonstrably unable to keep their cities this clean and safe and as far as I can see nuisance free. Prices also seem very reasonable my room in St Petersburg hotel overlooking the Neva is only RUB 3500 in peak tourist season which means good regulations achieving balance between preserving the existing look and feel of the city without artificially restricting supply of prime real estate. Other things like restaurants etc are also high quality and affordable. There seems to be some sort of a baby boom happening here (more so in Moscow) which is also a good sign for the country.

    St Petersburg … 100X better than London

    St. Petersburg has preserved its historical appearance much better than London. This is the case when the lack of money was a boon

  38. Russia’s money contribution is among the biggest of all member countries, so when Russia stopped paying it left a hole in PACE budget the Eurocracts couldn’t plug. And there is no way the Eurocrats would downsize their lifestyle! So it’s really all about money. No reason to overthink it, Anatoly.

    • Agree: melanf, Mr. Hack
  39. @melanf
    Is this picture supposed to represent a Ukrainian? Hmm, the European essence of Ukraine is depicted very well

    It’s a cartoonish depiction of a janissar. Janissars were an elite Ottoman military formation made up mostly of child age Slavic conscripts caught during wartime and trained in very strict surroundings. They were often used in future battles and skirmishes against their own peoples and lands. Professor Tennessee is even worse than these unfortunate historic figures, because he chooses to put down the people and country that he is from with no coercion from anybody. His disdain for Ukraine’s political leadership (that I can understand) has transcended to include the whole nation, quite a dumb association to make.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    See #44. Maybe that would give you a clue. Every nation has the government it deserves. Unfortunately, this fully applies to the US.
    , @melanf

    Professor Tennessee is
     
    Well, in my opinion Janissaries are those who are now in power in Ukraine,
    https://b.radikal.ru/b30/1906/8a/4480d3321ecd.jpg
    but not a Professor from Tennessee
    , @anonymous coward

    Professor Tennessee is even worse than these unfortunate historic figures, because he chooses to put down the people and country that he is from with no coercion from anybody.
     
    The so-called "Ukraine" is not a nation and not a people.

    "Ukraine" is a no-man's land situated on the geographic confluence of the Eurasian plain, the Balkans, Western Europe and Anatolia.

    It's populated by mystery-meat people mixed from Russian, Turkic, Balkan and unknown Caucasian stock. (In order of significance.)

    Its culture is Russian but without the support of higher education and high arts.

    There's nothing to "put down" here.

    P.S. Galicia and Transcarpathia are a different story, they're not related to "Ukraine" geographically, ethnically, culturally or historically. But they really want that "Ukrainian" clay, since it's their only chance of being a semi-normal European country instead of an off-grade Albania.

  40. @Vishnugupta
    I am presently in your beautiful city of St Petersburg as a complete outsider I have no hesitation in stating that it is superior to any major Western European city and 100X better than London.

    This was the sentiment of quite of few Western European tourists too...

    I realize not all of Russia is Moscow/ St Petersburg but I don't see what these US colonies have to teach you...Western Europe's 'superior' institution s are demonstrably unable to keep their cities this clean and safe and as far as I can see nuisance free. Prices also seem very reasonable my room in St Petersburg hotel overlooking the Neva is only RUB 3500 in peak tourist season which means good regulations achieving balance between preserving the existing look and feel of the city without artificially restricting supply of prime real estate. Other things like restaurants etc are also high quality and affordable. There seems to be some sort of a baby boom happening here (more so in Moscow) which is also a good sign for the country.

    Glad to hear you liked it!

    Personally, I like Moscow more than SPB, but the latter certainly has its charms.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    Haven’t been to SPB since 1991, so can’t judge. Was in Moscow just last Fall. Moscow looks majestic, grander, cleaner, and more beautiful, both day and night, than any European capital. Rome comes close second in terms of scale, but it’s too dirty and public transportation there, compared to Moscow, is pathetic. In London and Berlin public transportation is better, but too much of Berlin was ruined in WWII and too much of London was destroyed by Queen Victoria. Paris is dirty and full of Arabs. Madrid, Lisbon (Lisboa by rights), Athens, and Barcelona are quaint provincial cities, a bit oversized for comfort. In terms of everything you can think of being available 24/7, only New York can compete with Moscow, but what they call old in the US would be called fairly new in Europe and Russia.
    , @Yevardian
    What does Moscow have over Peter other than scale, really?
  41. @Pericles
    More like the Finnish War of 1809 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finnish_War). I'm reading some Swedish blogs that are almost parodically anti-Russian and anti-Putin (of course), so the sentiment still lives on.

    Interesting idea. So, Swedes are not three centuries behind the times, only a bit over 200 years.

    • Replies: @Pericles
    Well, countries tend to hang on to their history; ask your countrymen about the Civil War sometime. It was our last real war (so far) and a pretty big disaster as far as we were concerned. After such a resounding loss, the less than competent King Gustav IV Adolf got fired and the Bernadottes were enrolled instead. They've been lovers rather than fighters, you might say, but the turn to industrialization worked out quite well in the end.
  42. @Mr. Hack

    the flags of Ukraine and Down syndrome awareness have the same colors as theirs. Maybe they are butt-hurt about that, as well.
     
    https://images.assetsdelivery.com/compings_v2/siridhata/siridhata1702/siridhata170200067.jpg

    Hey Professor, your Ukrainaphobic rants are sick. Stick to commenting about the lack of culinary delights in your new home.

    As could be expected from a Ukie sympathizer, no substantive argument. Then again, what can be said: the flags of Ukraine and Down awareness syndrome are carbon-copies of each other, yellow and blue. Look on the bright side: maybe that’s self-parody.

    BTW, your pic of a Turk in “defense” of Ukraine adds insult to injury.

    • LOL: Mr. Hack
  43. @reiner Tor
    I wrote in detail in #15.

    Duly noted. In general, Hungarian authorities behave sensibly in most cases, in sharp contrast to some butt-hurt monkeys nursing an outsized inferiority complex that is bigger than their pathetic “countries”. Then again, some larger countries, like Poland and Ukraine, behave as if they are even smaller than those pygmies.

  44. @Epigon
    He is referring to him as a Janissary.

    As opposed to original Rumelian Christian boys raised to serve as Sultan's Stormtroopers, he is implying our AnonFromTN was born a Ukrainian and then indoctrinated into Russian Imperialism to fight and opress his Ukrainian kin.

    What Ukie sympathizers think is immaterial. The important thing is that nobody did more damage to Ukraine than its greedy thieving elites. The fact that the people put up with this for ~28 years does not reflect well on the populace.

    As Ukrainian political analyst Rostislav Ishchenko says, Ukrainians with any brains and abilities call themselves Russians and compete on the huge Russian scene, whereas good-for-nothing nonentities strive to be the biggest frog in a pathetically small pond.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack

    The fact that the people put up with this for ~28 years does not reflect well on the populace.
     
    Two Maydans wasn't enough? Perhaps a third one will be to your satisfaction?
  45. @Mr. Hack
    It's a cartoonish depiction of a janissar. Janissars were an elite Ottoman military formation made up mostly of child age Slavic conscripts caught during wartime and trained in very strict surroundings. They were often used in future battles and skirmishes against their own peoples and lands. Professor Tennessee is even worse than these unfortunate historic figures, because he chooses to put down the people and country that he is from with no coercion from anybody. His disdain for Ukraine's political leadership (that I can understand) has transcended to include the whole nation, quite a dumb association to make.

    See #44. Maybe that would give you a clue. Every nation has the government it deserves. Unfortunately, this fully applies to the US.

  46. @Mr. Hack
    It's a cartoonish depiction of a janissar. Janissars were an elite Ottoman military formation made up mostly of child age Slavic conscripts caught during wartime and trained in very strict surroundings. They were often used in future battles and skirmishes against their own peoples and lands. Professor Tennessee is even worse than these unfortunate historic figures, because he chooses to put down the people and country that he is from with no coercion from anybody. His disdain for Ukraine's political leadership (that I can understand) has transcended to include the whole nation, quite a dumb association to make.

    Professor Tennessee is

    Well, in my opinion Janissaries are those who are now in power in Ukraine,

    but not a Professor from Tennessee

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    They both are Janissaries. Both lauding and worshiping foreign powers. One the old imperial power (Russia) the other the new imperial power (US). It's time that the leadership of Ukraine put Ukraine's interests first.
    , @AnonFromTN
    For those who might miss the nuances and not see why this is so shameful. By tradition, when someone becomes an honorary Cossack and is presented with a saber, that someone kneels, whereas the presenter of the saber stands. It is also a tradition throughout Europe and Asia that a representative of conquered people kneels while presenting a symbolic weapon to a representative of a conqueror.

    In this case the recipient is the master (the US Ambassador), whereas the presenter is a lowly slave (Ukrainian general), so you see in the pic who is kneeling. This pic symbolizes the subservience to the US and boot-licking characteristic of the Ukrainian “leadership” after 2014, brought to power by the Maidan organized by the CIA and directly supervised by Nuland and McCain (may he rot in Hell).
    , @AP
    LOL, another fake:

    https://www.stopfake.org/en/fake-ukrainian-general-kneels-before-the-ex-ambassador-of-the-us/

    First Anon from TN believed the internet prank about some cafe in Lviv devoted to sluts, and now this. Otherwise intelligent Russians and Sovoks can get really deranged when it comes to Ukraine.
  47. @Jaakko Raipala
    Swedish national identity is all about being the arch-enemy of Russia and the rightful ruler of Eastern Europe (they waz vikangz). Somehow they're extremely nationalistic about that but nothing else. It gets out of control because Russia doesn't actually notice its "arch-enemy" much anymore and Sweden doesn't deal with Russia that much since it's not a direct neighbor.

    For Finns the Romanov period was overall an improvement over being part of Sweden except for the end - but then basically all Russians agree that Nikolai II was awful, even the ones that think he is a martyr. Nationalistic Finns tend to have focused, intense but limited grievances of lost lands instead of an obsession over crusading against Russian culture. Finland deals with Russia all the time and a lot of people are losing money due to the sanctions killing trade and it's rather frustrating that we were getting close to negotiating visa freedom and easy travel when St Petersburg is so close and then after 2014 the EU crushed all that.

    Russian-Swedish relations over the last 400 years

    1590-1595 Russia attacked Sweden, Russia’s victory
    1610-1617 Sweden attacked Russia, Sweden’s victory
    1656-1658 Russia attacked Sweden, Sweden’s victory
    1700-1721 Russia attacked Sweden, Russia’s victory
    1741-1743 Sweden attacked Russia, Russia’s victory
    1788-1790 Sweden attacked Russia,Russia’s victory
    1808-1809 Russia attacked Sweden Russia’s victory
    1942 war without a clear result, several dozen killed on each side

    • Replies: @melanf
    Short history of Russian-Swedish relations

    12 century (note the Negro among the Swedes)
    https://fabulae.su/images/authors/4364/foto_35201.jpg
    13 century
    https://66.media.tumblr.com/14be5948fabfccf58fca3e7265deb0e0/tumblr_piyw6kPfhO1s7e5k5o1_1280.jpg
    14 century
    https://fabulae.su/images/authors/4364/foto_35196.jpg
    17 century
    https://topwar.ru/uploads/posts/2016-12/1480883377_005.jpg
    18 century
    http://lemur59.ru/sites/default/files/images/rF4I6viBH3g.jpg
    20 century
    http://lemur59.ru/sites/default/files/images/%D0%B0%D1%82%D0%B0%D0%BA%D0%B0%20%D0%BF%D0%BB.png

    , @Jaakko Raipala

    1590-1595 Russia attacked Sweden, Russia’s victory
     
    In our history writing 1570-1595 Sweden attacked Russia, Sweden's victory. We call this the Long War or 25-years-war. Sweden stopped Russian expansionism in the north (Finnish warlord hero Pekka Vesainen burned down all the Orthodox monasteries and killed all the monks from Pechenga to an attempt at Solovetsky which was too hard to attack), captured roughly what's now Estonia and gained more territory than in the north than in any war ever since. Previous border:

    https://fi.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suomen_aluemuutokset#/media/Tiedosto:Border_changes_in_Finland_1323.jpg

    New border:

    https://fi.wikipedia.org/wiki/T%C3%A4yssin%C3%A4n_rauha#/media/Tiedosto:Border_changes_in_Finland_1595.jpg

    There was a truce in the middle of it which ended in 1590 and Russia immediately resumed the war but this is hardly Russian aggression as the Russian push merely recaptured lands that Sweden had taken previously (all south shore of Gulf of Finland from Ivangorod to Neva, north half of Karelian isthmus / west shore of Ladoga). By land area it was the most successful Swedish conquest, though much of the land was arctic no mans land.
  48. @reiner Tor
    How many representatives does Slovakia have in the Council of Europe? Hungary had three, all three I wrote about it in detail in #15, but Slovakia has only half the population, so maybe you only have two? Or maybe just one? It's easiest to be unanimous with just one.

    5 representatives. Hungary has 7 listed, including the 3 you named. I am not sure how they vote, it is summer in Strasbourg, maybe they job-share?

    Slovakia’s delegates are from across the spectrum: socialist (very nationalist), conservatives, liberals, nationalist, Hungarian party. At home we fight like cats and dogs, I mean almost Kiev levels of dysfunction. But when it comes to Russia there is a shared consensus to be friendly. I am not sure why that is, maybe deep history, maybe pragmatism. We, of course, get a few noisy Atlanticist NGO types occasionally screaming in the media about the horrors of ‘zemljanky‘, but they are paid for it.

  49. @Anatoly Karlin
    Glad to hear you liked it!

    Personally, I like Moscow more than SPB, but the latter certainly has its charms.

    Haven’t been to SPB since 1991, so can’t judge. Was in Moscow just last Fall. Moscow looks majestic, grander, cleaner, and more beautiful, both day and night, than any European capital. Rome comes close second in terms of scale, but it’s too dirty and public transportation there, compared to Moscow, is pathetic. In London and Berlin public transportation is better, but too much of Berlin was ruined in WWII and too much of London was destroyed by Queen Victoria. Paris is dirty and full of Arabs. Madrid, Lisbon (Lisboa by rights), Athens, and Barcelona are quaint provincial cities, a bit oversized for comfort. In terms of everything you can think of being available 24/7, only New York can compete with Moscow, but what they call old in the US would be called fairly new in Europe and Russia.

    • Replies: @DreadIlk
    NYC has turned to shit, tourists would be wasting their time here.
    , @Dmitry
    I just don't think it is fair to compare a city of 12,6 million people (Moscow), to a city less than 5 and a half million (Peter).

    Moscow is Europe's megapolis. And, well, Saint Petersburg just Europe's third largest city.

    -

    By the way, do you have an explanation why does America have no very large city apart from New York?
    , @JL
    I've lived in both NYC and Moscow and can confidently declare that NYC doesn't even come close to Moscow in terms of services offered 24/7. Russians seem to be night owls by nature. NYC is "the city that never sleeps" only relative to other American cities. If you see someone on the street in NYC at 5 in the morning, chances are they are on their way to work, or getting something done before work. In Moscow, they're heading home from partying.

    I don't understand how it makes economic sense, but here is a very partial list of things you can do in the middle of the night in Moscow:

    Get your car serviced (Unit)
    Shop at a big box grocery/hardware/home improvement store (Tvoy Dom)
    Get a hair cut, manicure, massage, etc.
    Buy a fur coat
    Eat at one of Moscow's most storied restaurants (Pushkin)
    Hit the gym, swim in a pool
    Notarize documents
    Pawn jewelry

    I could go on, but you get the point.
    , @RadicalCenter
    For the 24/7 everything available list, add Los Angeles, no?
  50. @melanf

    Professor Tennessee is
     
    Well, in my opinion Janissaries are those who are now in power in Ukraine,
    https://b.radikal.ru/b30/1906/8a/4480d3321ecd.jpg
    but not a Professor from Tennessee

    They both are Janissaries. Both lauding and worshiping foreign powers. One the old imperial power (Russia) the other the new imperial power (US). It’s time that the leadership of Ukraine put Ukraine’s interests first.

    • Replies: @Beckow

    ...time that the leadership of Ukraine put Ukraine’s interests first.
     
    Well, we should all agree on that. But does that Ukraine include its Russian speakers? Because the crux of the matter is the deep division that exists among citizens of Ukraine. Bombing one part (Donbass) because people there have different political views, and worshipping another part (Galicia) because it has good coffee shops is no way to create a unified country.

    And eagerly acting as a battering ram against Russia to please some people in Washington and Warsaw is a dead end. We can change a lot about ourselves, but trying to change who we are and where we live is a fool's errand.
  51. @AnonFromTN
    What Ukie sympathizers think is immaterial. The important thing is that nobody did more damage to Ukraine than its greedy thieving elites. The fact that the people put up with this for ~28 years does not reflect well on the populace.

    As Ukrainian political analyst Rostislav Ishchenko says, Ukrainians with any brains and abilities call themselves Russians and compete on the huge Russian scene, whereas good-for-nothing nonentities strive to be the biggest frog in a pathetically small pond.

    The fact that the people put up with this for ~28 years does not reflect well on the populace.

    Two Maydans wasn’t enough? Perhaps a third one will be to your satisfaction?

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    Reality trumps appearances. The first Maidan brought to power Yushchenko, who was even worse than preceding Kuchma. The second Maidan brought to power the worst scum Ukraine had to offer: Porky, certified retard Parubiy, and the company. Porky is much worse than pathetic Yanuk: the latter is a shameless thief, while Porky is a thief, traitor, mass murderer, and promoter of Banderites. Now Ukrainians voted in a clown (in every sense of the word), best described by Ukrainian human rights defender Montian as a “hologram”. I am not sure Ukraine can survive as it is, but with another Maidan, it is certainly doomed.
    , @Gerard2

    Two Maydans wasn’t enough? Perhaps a third one will be to your satisfaction?
     
    I am full of admiration for you.

    For you to come here on this blog and comment, despite the immense pain your ass must be in after the Gay parade in Kiev last week - that takes real fortitude.

    You've had the gay parade - congratulations. You are now a fully western country - it doesn't matter that you don't have the good roads, the good governance, the good money or the low crime rate associated with the west - you have the gay parades which we "all" know are the cornerstone of democracy these last 250 years.

    the debilitating ass paincoupled with the debilitating cretinism you have suffered from for decades helps explain the situation now -where the western conmen must be laughing themselves into injury at just how gullible the ukrops are.
  52. @Yevardian
    Finland was avowedly neutral during the Cold War, they weren't Communist but nonetheless did all they could to maintain friendly relations with Russia, to the point of importing postponing elections for years, because the USSR trusted Kekkonen and didn't want the uncertainty of new leadership.

    Unlike the Balts, Ukrainians or Poles, Finns have been very realistic about their Geopolitical position and the empty promises of Western allies since they lost Viipuri (their 2nd city and industrial centre) in the Winter War. It's one of the few Western countries that consistently keeps warm relations with Russia.

    Kekkonen kept up the image that he was trying to buy back Vyborg and the West shore of Ladoga. There were over 400 000 people evacuated from the lost territories and resettled to hastily built houses and tiny farms subdivided from appropriated lands. A lot of them were clinging to the hope of Kekkonen’s friendly Soviet relations somehow getting them their homes back, either by buying back some territory or by trying to turn the USSR nicer so that people could move back there even if the border didn’t change (sponsoring Helsinki Accords etc).

    Kekkonen offered Khrushchev a lot more integration of Finland into the Soviet sphere in exchange for Vyborg but they never took the offer.

    That’s all irrelevant now that almost everyone who lived in those lands pre-WWII is dead or dying. If the present government got Vyborg back they’d just fill it with Africans…

  53. @AnonFromTN
    Haven’t been to SPB since 1991, so can’t judge. Was in Moscow just last Fall. Moscow looks majestic, grander, cleaner, and more beautiful, both day and night, than any European capital. Rome comes close second in terms of scale, but it’s too dirty and public transportation there, compared to Moscow, is pathetic. In London and Berlin public transportation is better, but too much of Berlin was ruined in WWII and too much of London was destroyed by Queen Victoria. Paris is dirty and full of Arabs. Madrid, Lisbon (Lisboa by rights), Athens, and Barcelona are quaint provincial cities, a bit oversized for comfort. In terms of everything you can think of being available 24/7, only New York can compete with Moscow, but what they call old in the US would be called fairly new in Europe and Russia.

    NYC has turned to shit, tourists would be wasting their time here.

    • Replies: @Anonymoose
    I've been to NYC never liked it ever. Nowadays its just a hodgepodge of different ethnic enclaves, rude drivers and the public transportation looks ugly and depressing. I was last there in 2013, I'm sure its become much worse under Bill de Blasio.
    , @LondonBob
    NYC is awful. So many Hispanics, ultra aggressive blacks, terrible taxis, rundown subway. Only place I have been mugged.

    There isn't anything to see there really either except for that museum and Central Park. Boston is a preferable destination.
  54. @Mr. Hack

    The fact that the people put up with this for ~28 years does not reflect well on the populace.
     
    Two Maydans wasn't enough? Perhaps a third one will be to your satisfaction?

    Reality trumps appearances. The first Maidan brought to power Yushchenko, who was even worse than preceding Kuchma. The second Maidan brought to power the worst scum Ukraine had to offer: Porky, certified retard Parubiy, and the company. Porky is much worse than pathetic Yanuk: the latter is a shameless thief, while Porky is a thief, traitor, mass murderer, and promoter of Banderites. Now Ukrainians voted in a clown (in every sense of the word), best described by Ukrainian human rights defender Montian as a “hologram”. I am not sure Ukraine can survive as it is, but with another Maidan, it is certainly doomed.

  55. @melanf
    Russian-Swedish relations over the last 400 years

    1590-1595 Russia attacked Sweden, Russia's victory
    1610-1617 Sweden attacked Russia, Sweden's victory
    1656-1658 Russia attacked Sweden, Sweden's victory
    1700-1721 Russia attacked Sweden, Russia's victory
    1741-1743 Sweden attacked Russia, Russia's victory
    1788-1790 Sweden attacked Russia,Russia's victory
    1808-1809 Russia attacked Sweden Russia's victory
    1942 war without a clear result, several dozen killed on each side

    Short history of Russian-Swedish relations

    12 century (note the Negro among the Swedes)13 century14 century17 century18 century20 century

    • Replies: @Beckow
    There are historical reasons for Swedish hatred of anything Russian, lost empire in the east, same with Poles, Germans, even Turks and Lithuanians.

    But with Swedes there is also a psychological reason - they love everybody, it is their official ideology that they push everywhere: Nigerians, Papuans, cross-gender unicorns, you name it, Swedes are told that it is all equal and must be loved. They are also deep in the English-Hollywood admiration society - and aspiring provincials always overdo the devotion (see the insane Galician worship of the Habsburgs for another example).

    It doesn't work, one has to have something to dislike. Russia - and to some extent anything too white and European like stubborn Swedes who cling to their 'European' culture - are there as an approved thing to hate. What I find interesting is that when one presses Swedes their response is 'well, Russia dislikes us, so we have to be careful'. It is a projection and a bit of megalomania. This will not end well for traditional Swedes, in being taught to 'hate Russia' they are effectively hating a big part of who they used to be. Any Swede thinking that a Somali clan in Malmo is a friend, and Russians across the Baltic are the real enemy is deluding himself into an eventual oblivion.

  56. @Mr. Hack
    They both are Janissaries. Both lauding and worshiping foreign powers. One the old imperial power (Russia) the other the new imperial power (US). It's time that the leadership of Ukraine put Ukraine's interests first.

    …time that the leadership of Ukraine put Ukraine’s interests first.

    Well, we should all agree on that. But does that Ukraine include its Russian speakers? Because the crux of the matter is the deep division that exists among citizens of Ukraine. Bombing one part (Donbass) because people there have different political views, and worshipping another part (Galicia) because it has good coffee shops is no way to create a unified country.

    And eagerly acting as a battering ram against Russia to please some people in Washington and Warsaw is a dead end. We can change a lot about ourselves, but trying to change who we are and where we live is a fool’s errand.

    • Agree: melanf
    • Replies: @Mr. Hack

    We can change a lot about ourselves, but trying to change who we are and where we live is a fool’s errand.
     
    If you hadn't noticed, your native Slovakia is also in the same neighborhood, and successively jumped at the opportunity to join the EU and seems to be doing quite well. Or do you think that that was a mistake and things would have worked out better for Slovakia had it joined the CIS or whatever other Moscow dominated Soyuz that the Russians' control?
  57. @melanf
    Short history of Russian-Swedish relations

    12 century (note the Negro among the Swedes)
    https://fabulae.su/images/authors/4364/foto_35201.jpg
    13 century
    https://66.media.tumblr.com/14be5948fabfccf58fca3e7265deb0e0/tumblr_piyw6kPfhO1s7e5k5o1_1280.jpg
    14 century
    https://fabulae.su/images/authors/4364/foto_35196.jpg
    17 century
    https://topwar.ru/uploads/posts/2016-12/1480883377_005.jpg
    18 century
    http://lemur59.ru/sites/default/files/images/rF4I6viBH3g.jpg
    20 century
    http://lemur59.ru/sites/default/files/images/%D0%B0%D1%82%D0%B0%D0%BA%D0%B0%20%D0%BF%D0%BB.png

    There are historical reasons for Swedish hatred of anything Russian, lost empire in the east, same with Poles, Germans, even Turks and Lithuanians.

    But with Swedes there is also a psychological reason – they love everybody, it is their official ideology that they push everywhere: Nigerians, Papuans, cross-gender unicorns, you name it, Swedes are told that it is all equal and must be loved. They are also deep in the English-Hollywood admiration society – and aspiring provincials always overdo the devotion (see the insane Galician worship of the Habsburgs for another example).

    It doesn’t work, one has to have something to dislike. Russia – and to some extent anything too white and European like stubborn Swedes who cling to their ‘European’ culture – are there as an approved thing to hate. What I find interesting is that when one presses Swedes their response is ‘well, Russia dislikes us, so we have to be careful‘. It is a projection and a bit of megalomania. This will not end well for traditional Swedes, in being taught to ‘hate Russia‘ they are effectively hating a big part of who they used to be. Any Swede thinking that a Somali clan in Malmo is a friend, and Russians across the Baltic are the real enemy is deluding himself into an eventual oblivion.

    • Replies: @Pericles

    But with Swedes there is also a psychological reason – they love everybody, it is their official ideology that they push everywhere: Nigerians, Papuans, cross-gender unicorns, you name it, Swedes are told that it is all equal and must be loved. They are also deep in the English-Hollywood admiration society – and aspiring provincials always overdo the devotion (see the insane Galician worship of the Habsburgs for another example).

     

    Our Bilderberg Party leader, Annie Lööf, could see nothing wrong with inviting 30 million immigrants into a country of less than 10 million. In other words, let's just bulldoze the country and culture and be done with it. She would probably still balk if someone asked "so 30 million Russians is okay?".

    By tradition there has thus been suspicion and the ruling leftwing Social Democrats kept clear of the actual Soviet-supported Communists. However, the Swedish cultural elites turned extremely sharply left in the 1960s (Leninism, Maoism, etc) and have more or less remained there since then.

    , @AnonFromTN
    News sources say that along with usual village idiots (Ukraine, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Georgia, and Poland) the delegation of Slovakia also left PACE session. Is this true?
  58. @DreadIlk
    NYC has turned to shit, tourists would be wasting their time here.

    I’ve been to NYC never liked it ever. Nowadays its just a hodgepodge of different ethnic enclaves, rude drivers and the public transportation looks ugly and depressing. I was last there in 2013, I’m sure its become much worse under Bill de Blasio.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
    AaronB says he lives in New York this year, and he was arguing that New York improved a lot in the last year or more, since Trump became president (his views switch over quite dramatically though).


    Edit - his comment was here:
    https://www.unz.com/akarlin/based-putler/#comment-3248205

  59. @melanf

    Professor Tennessee is
     
    Well, in my opinion Janissaries are those who are now in power in Ukraine,
    https://b.radikal.ru/b30/1906/8a/4480d3321ecd.jpg
    but not a Professor from Tennessee

    For those who might miss the nuances and not see why this is so shameful. By tradition, when someone becomes an honorary Cossack and is presented with a saber, that someone kneels, whereas the presenter of the saber stands. It is also a tradition throughout Europe and Asia that a representative of conquered people kneels while presenting a symbolic weapon to a representative of a conqueror.

    In this case the recipient is the master (the US Ambassador), whereas the presenter is a lowly slave (Ukrainian general), so you see in the pic who is kneeling. This pic symbolizes the subservience to the US and boot-licking characteristic of the Ukrainian “leadership” after 2014, brought to power by the Maidan organized by the CIA and directly supervised by Nuland and McCain (may he rot in Hell).

    • Replies: @AP
    LOL, you are wrong as usual.

    This pic symbolizes the subservience to the US and boot-licking characteristic of the Ukrainian “leadership” after 2014
     
    Picture actually taken in 2013, under Yanukovich.

    whereas the presenter is a lowly slave (Ukrainian general),
     
    Presenter was not a general, but representative of some Cossack organization.

    By tradition, when someone becomes an honorary Cossack and is presented with a saber, that someone kneels
     
    The US ambassador represented an American from 200+ years ago who had helped Russia and had become a rear admiral in the Russian navy.

    Some Russian nationalist troll used a picture and made up a fake story story about it, and naturally you believed it because you will believe any nonsense.
  60. @Mr. XYZ

    Germany and Russia were allies about 70% of the time between the unification of Germany and the rise of Lenin.
     
    Actually, the relevant figure for Germany and Russia is less than 50%. Russia was allied to France between 1891 and 1917. Plus, Russia wasn't a German ally for the entirety of the 1871-1891 time period. The Three Emperors' League only lasted from 1873 to 1878 and then again from 1881 to 1887. That's 5 years plus 6 years, which means a total of 11 years.

    11 years out of 46 years (1871 to 1917) is less than 25%. Thus, your calculations here are way wrong in regards to this.

    Thank you.

    Your knowledge of 19th Century German-Russian diplomacy appears to be superior to mine.

    My larger point still stands: historical relationships correlate with current ones.

    The relationship between the UK and Russia was largely hostile between 1840 and 1907. During the 34 years between the Franco-Prussian War of 1870 and 1914, the UK and Russia were allies for only 7 years, about 21% of the time.

    • Replies: @Not Raul
    Sorry. Math error. There are 44 years between 1870 and 1914. So the UK and Russia were allies for about 16% of that period.

    You used the period between 1870 and 1917, 47 years. During that period, the UK and Russia were allies between 1907 and 1917, 10 years, about 21% of that period.

  61. @AnonFromTN
    Haven’t been to SPB since 1991, so can’t judge. Was in Moscow just last Fall. Moscow looks majestic, grander, cleaner, and more beautiful, both day and night, than any European capital. Rome comes close second in terms of scale, but it’s too dirty and public transportation there, compared to Moscow, is pathetic. In London and Berlin public transportation is better, but too much of Berlin was ruined in WWII and too much of London was destroyed by Queen Victoria. Paris is dirty and full of Arabs. Madrid, Lisbon (Lisboa by rights), Athens, and Barcelona are quaint provincial cities, a bit oversized for comfort. In terms of everything you can think of being available 24/7, only New York can compete with Moscow, but what they call old in the US would be called fairly new in Europe and Russia.

    I just don’t think it is fair to compare a city of 12,6 million people (Moscow), to a city less than 5 and a half million (Peter).

    Moscow is Europe’s megapolis. And, well, Saint Petersburg just Europe’s third largest city.

    By the way, do you have an explanation why does America have no very large city apart from New York?

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    The US does have other large cities (large by European standards, not by Chinese), but they are smaller than NY: NY (population ~8.5 million), LA (~4 million), Chicago (~2.7 million), Houston (~2.3 million), Philadelphia, PA and Phoenix, AZ (both ~ 1.6 million), etc. Chicago and Philly have some cultural institutions worth visiting, like NY.
  62. @Anonymoose
    I've been to NYC never liked it ever. Nowadays its just a hodgepodge of different ethnic enclaves, rude drivers and the public transportation looks ugly and depressing. I was last there in 2013, I'm sure its become much worse under Bill de Blasio.

    AaronB says he lives in New York this year, and he was arguing that New York improved a lot in the last year or more, since Trump became president (his views switch over quite dramatically though).

    Edit – his comment was here:
    https://www.unz.com/akarlin/based-putler/#comment-3248205

    • Replies: @DreadIlk
    He is mostly correct but I guess his spin on it I would disagree with. NYC has gotten worse not better over the last 15 years.

    More crowding in public, more traffic, public transport (train + bus) much dirtier. Constant infrastructure patching up and improvement(late + money pits).

    Gentrification results are still crap. They turn a complete shit neighborhood into mostly shit neighborhood. I can't stand artsy hipster neighborhoods they simply move into industrial places.

    Crime I can't speak about because in big cities you can avoid bad areas and not deal with any crime. Obviously I avoid those areas. For work capacity I do go into bad neighborhoods but again they tend to go after residents instead of people doing their job. But the neighborhoods do look like 3rd world. Every second house is abandoned. Some roads reverted to dirt. Piles of rubbish as high as 2nd floor. People that look half dead.
  63. @Dmitry
    I just don't think it is fair to compare a city of 12,6 million people (Moscow), to a city less than 5 and a half million (Peter).

    Moscow is Europe's megapolis. And, well, Saint Petersburg just Europe's third largest city.

    -

    By the way, do you have an explanation why does America have no very large city apart from New York?

    The US does have other large cities (large by European standards, not by Chinese), but they are smaller than NY: NY (population ~8.5 million), LA (~4 million), Chicago (~2.7 million), Houston (~2.3 million), Philadelphia, PA and Phoenix, AZ (both ~ 1.6 million), etc. Chicago and Philly have some cultural institutions worth visiting, like NY.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
    Los Angeles doesn't feel like a real big city, to me.

    It seems more like a lot of suburbs - which were originally created for the automobile - had been merged together.

    I remember in even one of the most famous streets of Los Angeles (Melrose Avenue), how it still feels like you are in a provincial cowboy town. (And even the shopkeepers, in their little shops, are talking to customers like they are small city people).

  64. @Not Raul
    Thank you.

    Your knowledge of 19th Century German-Russian diplomacy appears to be superior to mine.

    My larger point still stands: historical relationships correlate with current ones.

    The relationship between the UK and Russia was largely hostile between 1840 and 1907. During the 34 years between the Franco-Prussian War of 1870 and 1914, the UK and Russia were allies for only 7 years, about 21% of the time.

    Sorry. Math error. There are 44 years between 1870 and 1914. So the UK and Russia were allies for about 16% of that period.

    You used the period between 1870 and 1917, 47 years. During that period, the UK and Russia were allies between 1907 and 1917, 10 years, about 21% of that period.

    • Replies: @Not Raul
    I see that you used 1871 as the starting point, rather than 1870. So, it appears that my reading comprehension is as bad as my arithmetic. So, 46 years total, ten as allies: about 22%.
  65. @melanf
    Russian-Swedish relations over the last 400 years

    1590-1595 Russia attacked Sweden, Russia's victory
    1610-1617 Sweden attacked Russia, Sweden's victory
    1656-1658 Russia attacked Sweden, Sweden's victory
    1700-1721 Russia attacked Sweden, Russia's victory
    1741-1743 Sweden attacked Russia, Russia's victory
    1788-1790 Sweden attacked Russia,Russia's victory
    1808-1809 Russia attacked Sweden Russia's victory
    1942 war without a clear result, several dozen killed on each side

    1590-1595 Russia attacked Sweden, Russia’s victory

    In our history writing 1570-1595 Sweden attacked Russia, Sweden’s victory. We call this the Long War or 25-years-war. Sweden stopped Russian expansionism in the north (Finnish warlord hero Pekka Vesainen burned down all the Orthodox monasteries and killed all the monks from Pechenga to an attempt at Solovetsky which was too hard to attack), captured roughly what’s now Estonia and gained more territory than in the north than in any war ever since. Previous border:

    New border:

    There was a truce in the middle of it which ended in 1590 and Russia immediately resumed the war but this is hardly Russian aggression as the Russian push merely recaptured lands that Sweden had taken previously (all south shore of Gulf of Finland from Ivangorod to Neva, north half of Karelian isthmus / west shore of Ladoga). By land area it was the most successful Swedish conquest, though much of the land was arctic no mans land.

    • Replies: @melanf

    In our history writing 1570-1595 Sweden attacked Russia, Sweden’s victory. We call this the Long War or 25-years-war.
     
    This is an arbitrary combination of two different wars. On this logic all war with Sweden can be unite in one war


    1570-1595 Sweden attacked Russia, Sweden’s victory. We call this the Long War or 25-years-war. Sweden stopped Russian expansionism

     

    Sweden stopped nothing . The war (in 1570-1583) was against the coalition from Turkey, Poland and Sweden


    By land area it was the most successful Swedish conquest though much of the land was arctic no mans land.
     
    In the "Arctic" lands most likely there was only demarcation of the border. No changes in the "Arctic" borders are observed on the Russian maps
    https://geographyofrussia.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/20_1.jpg
  66. @AnonFromTN
    The US does have other large cities (large by European standards, not by Chinese), but they are smaller than NY: NY (population ~8.5 million), LA (~4 million), Chicago (~2.7 million), Houston (~2.3 million), Philadelphia, PA and Phoenix, AZ (both ~ 1.6 million), etc. Chicago and Philly have some cultural institutions worth visiting, like NY.

    Los Angeles doesn’t feel like a real big city, to me.

    It seems more like a lot of suburbs – which were originally created for the automobile – had been merged together.

    I remember in even one of the most famous streets of Los Angeles (Melrose Avenue), how it still feels like you are in a provincial cowboy town. (And even the shopkeepers, in their little shops, are talking to customers like they are small city people).

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    Well, most US cities look and feel like a huge suburban sprawl, sometimes with what Europeans or Asians would call a city in the middle, occupying let than 10% of the city area. In contrast to other countries, this city-like part is usually uninhabited: there are mostly offices, and it looks deserted on weekends. Manhattan in NY feels more like an inhabited city than most.
  67. @LondonBob
    Sweden also the most lax surveillance laws in the world, their security services can do what they like. The Swedish security services are very close to the Americans and it is an important place to intercept Russian data. Sweden is a very controlled society but there has always been a clash between the Atlantacist security services and the far left politicians like the assassinated Olof Palme. There might be actual Swedes who have a better understanding of this but that is what I understand of it.

    It seems fairly clear by now that we had a discreet cooperation with the US and NATO during the Cold War. For example, see Mikael Holmström’s book ‘Den dolda alliansen’ (The concealed alliance). Not sure if it’s been translated.

    As far as I’m concerned, Holmström has for a while been perhaps the sole credible journalist in Sweden, with defense and political affairs as his main topic. Though he moved to (((Dagens Nyheter))) a few years ago so who knows by now.

  68. @Not Raul
    Sorry. Math error. There are 44 years between 1870 and 1914. So the UK and Russia were allies for about 16% of that period.

    You used the period between 1870 and 1917, 47 years. During that period, the UK and Russia were allies between 1907 and 1917, 10 years, about 21% of that period.

    I see that you used 1871 as the starting point, rather than 1870. So, it appears that my reading comprehension is as bad as my arithmetic. So, 46 years total, ten as allies: about 22%.

  69. @AnonFromTN
    Interesting idea. So, Swedes are not three centuries behind the times, only a bit over 200 years.

    Well, countries tend to hang on to their history; ask your countrymen about the Civil War sometime. It was our last real war (so far) and a pretty big disaster as far as we were concerned. After such a resounding loss, the less than competent King Gustav IV Adolf got fired and the Bernadottes were enrolled instead. They’ve been lovers rather than fighters, you might say, but the turn to industrialization worked out quite well in the end.

  70. @Beckow
    There are historical reasons for Swedish hatred of anything Russian, lost empire in the east, same with Poles, Germans, even Turks and Lithuanians.

    But with Swedes there is also a psychological reason - they love everybody, it is their official ideology that they push everywhere: Nigerians, Papuans, cross-gender unicorns, you name it, Swedes are told that it is all equal and must be loved. They are also deep in the English-Hollywood admiration society - and aspiring provincials always overdo the devotion (see the insane Galician worship of the Habsburgs for another example).

    It doesn't work, one has to have something to dislike. Russia - and to some extent anything too white and European like stubborn Swedes who cling to their 'European' culture - are there as an approved thing to hate. What I find interesting is that when one presses Swedes their response is 'well, Russia dislikes us, so we have to be careful'. It is a projection and a bit of megalomania. This will not end well for traditional Swedes, in being taught to 'hate Russia' they are effectively hating a big part of who they used to be. Any Swede thinking that a Somali clan in Malmo is a friend, and Russians across the Baltic are the real enemy is deluding himself into an eventual oblivion.

    But with Swedes there is also a psychological reason – they love everybody, it is their official ideology that they push everywhere: Nigerians, Papuans, cross-gender unicorns, you name it, Swedes are told that it is all equal and must be loved. They are also deep in the English-Hollywood admiration society – and aspiring provincials always overdo the devotion (see the insane Galician worship of the Habsburgs for another example).

    Our Bilderberg Party leader, Annie Lööf, could see nothing wrong with inviting 30 million immigrants into a country of less than 10 million. In other words, let’s just bulldoze the country and culture and be done with it. She would probably still balk if someone asked “so 30 million Russians is okay?”.

    By tradition there has thus been suspicion and the ruling leftwing Social Democrats kept clear of the actual Soviet-supported Communists. However, the Swedish cultural elites turned extremely sharply left in the 1960s (Leninism, Maoism, etc) and have more or less remained there since then.

    • Replies: @Beckow

    ...Swedish cultural elites turned extremely sharply left in the 1960s
     
    I have always wondered why that happened, and why was this turn most pronounced in relatively nice, developed places like Canada and Sweden. As if once humans reach a certain level of comfort and peace they simply lose any sense of self-preservation. They also seem to lose any ability for critical thinking, so when you point out to them that 30 million Africans in Sweden could be a few too many, they are unable to even comprehend the point.

    One hope is that eventually most remaining natives (actual Swedes) will be of the breeding stock, those having children, and they tend to be different and forced to live in a real world. But I have met Swedes with kids who are also deluded, so it might be a forlorn hope. Well, at least they have the evil Russian submarines, whales and Pinterest posts to worry about...

  71. @Dmitry
    AaronB says he lives in New York this year, and he was arguing that New York improved a lot in the last year or more, since Trump became president (his views switch over quite dramatically though).


    Edit - his comment was here:
    https://www.unz.com/akarlin/based-putler/#comment-3248205

    He is mostly correct but I guess his spin on it I would disagree with. NYC has gotten worse not better over the last 15 years.

    More crowding in public, more traffic, public transport (train + bus) much dirtier. Constant infrastructure patching up and improvement(late + money pits).

    Gentrification results are still crap. They turn a complete shit neighborhood into mostly shit neighborhood. I can’t stand artsy hipster neighborhoods they simply move into industrial places.

    Crime I can’t speak about because in big cities you can avoid bad areas and not deal with any crime. Obviously I avoid those areas. For work capacity I do go into bad neighborhoods but again they tend to go after residents instead of people doing their job. But the neighborhoods do look like 3rd world. Every second house is abandoned. Some roads reverted to dirt. Piles of rubbish as high as 2nd floor. People that look half dead.

    • Agree: Anonymoose
    • Replies: @Dmitry

    public transport (train + bus) much dirtier.
     
    That's interesting to hear another person from New York.

    It's something sad, but characteristically American - that such a rich city as New York, cannot invest (maybe something like $10 billion?) to upgrade the metro system to the 21st century?

    New York's shabby trains, is seems too much of an example of traditional America crisis of -“public poverty and private wealth”.*

    In relation to the homeless flooding, I guess this is a result of internal immigration? There's a similar situation of homeless flooding in California? I was told this is because in California, better conditions and more liberal laws for homeless people than other American states. So as a result homeless people from around America, are emigrating to California.

    -

    * Even medium Spanish cities, where you do not see any expensive cars in the streets - can somehow afford to buy modern and hi-tech metro system with newest, shiny, Siemens metro trains, while billionaire New York has a dirty old metro system.

  72. @Mr. Hack
    It's a cartoonish depiction of a janissar. Janissars were an elite Ottoman military formation made up mostly of child age Slavic conscripts caught during wartime and trained in very strict surroundings. They were often used in future battles and skirmishes against their own peoples and lands. Professor Tennessee is even worse than these unfortunate historic figures, because he chooses to put down the people and country that he is from with no coercion from anybody. His disdain for Ukraine's political leadership (that I can understand) has transcended to include the whole nation, quite a dumb association to make.

    Professor Tennessee is even worse than these unfortunate historic figures, because he chooses to put down the people and country that he is from with no coercion from anybody.

    The so-called “Ukraine” is not a nation and not a people.

    “Ukraine” is a no-man’s land situated on the geographic confluence of the Eurasian plain, the Balkans, Western Europe and Anatolia.

    It’s populated by mystery-meat people mixed from Russian, Turkic, Balkan and unknown Caucasian stock. (In order of significance.)

    Its culture is Russian but without the support of higher education and high arts.

    There’s nothing to “put down” here.

    P.S. Galicia and Transcarpathia are a different story, they’re not related to “Ukraine” geographically, ethnically, culturally or historically. But they really want that “Ukrainian” clay, since it’s their only chance of being a semi-normal European country instead of an off-grade Albania.

    • Agree: WHAT
    • Disagree: Mr. Hack
    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    Largely correct, except that Galicia (plus Volhynia) and Transcarpathia are two different stories. If anything, natives of Transcarpathia hate Galician Nazis with a lot more passion than Russians do. General Russian attitude to present-day “Ukraine” is not that they hate it, they just despise it, many dismiss as irrelevancy. Those who have relatives in Ukraine pity them. A lot of people in Russia would prefer that the US and EU fed those leeches, but there is no chance of that: neither the US nor Western Europe ever fed any aborigines. They extract whatever they can from their conquests and then throw them away, like used condoms. A recent example: most of the forests in Western Ukraine are already gone (illegally to Europe), even though officially Ukraine did not even allow legal exports of timber. The greatest mistake the Ukrainian population made is believing that the collective West will help their unfortunate country. The vultures will only pick the bones dry and leave the useless parts (including inhabitants). Europe uses Ukrainians as cheap workforce for dirty jobs (including prostitution) and as organ donors, it does not give a hoot about them otherwise. This PACE decision illustrates that.
  73. @Dmitry
    Los Angeles doesn't feel like a real big city, to me.

    It seems more like a lot of suburbs - which were originally created for the automobile - had been merged together.

    I remember in even one of the most famous streets of Los Angeles (Melrose Avenue), how it still feels like you are in a provincial cowboy town. (And even the shopkeepers, in their little shops, are talking to customers like they are small city people).

    Well, most US cities look and feel like a huge suburban sprawl, sometimes with what Europeans or Asians would call a city in the middle, occupying let than 10% of the city area. In contrast to other countries, this city-like part is usually uninhabited: there are mostly offices, and it looks deserted on weekends. Manhattan in NY feels more like an inhabited city than most.

  74. @DreadIlk
    NYC has turned to shit, tourists would be wasting their time here.

    NYC is awful. So many Hispanics, ultra aggressive blacks, terrible taxis, rundown subway. Only place I have been mugged.

    There isn’t anything to see there really either except for that museum and Central Park. Boston is a preferable destination.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    There is Metropolitan Opera, the best in the US. There are several good museums worth visiting, even though Venice has more high-quality art than the whole of North America.
  75. @anonymous coward

    Professor Tennessee is even worse than these unfortunate historic figures, because he chooses to put down the people and country that he is from with no coercion from anybody.
     
    The so-called "Ukraine" is not a nation and not a people.

    "Ukraine" is a no-man's land situated on the geographic confluence of the Eurasian plain, the Balkans, Western Europe and Anatolia.

    It's populated by mystery-meat people mixed from Russian, Turkic, Balkan and unknown Caucasian stock. (In order of significance.)

    Its culture is Russian but without the support of higher education and high arts.

    There's nothing to "put down" here.

    P.S. Galicia and Transcarpathia are a different story, they're not related to "Ukraine" geographically, ethnically, culturally or historically. But they really want that "Ukrainian" clay, since it's their only chance of being a semi-normal European country instead of an off-grade Albania.

    Largely correct, except that Galicia (plus Volhynia) and Transcarpathia are two different stories. If anything, natives of Transcarpathia hate Galician Nazis with a lot more passion than Russians do. General Russian attitude to present-day “Ukraine” is not that they hate it, they just despise it, many dismiss as irrelevancy. Those who have relatives in Ukraine pity them. A lot of people in Russia would prefer that the US and EU fed those leeches, but there is no chance of that: neither the US nor Western Europe ever fed any aborigines. They extract whatever they can from their conquests and then throw them away, like used condoms. A recent example: most of the forests in Western Ukraine are already gone (illegally to Europe), even though officially Ukraine did not even allow legal exports of timber. The greatest mistake the Ukrainian population made is believing that the collective West will help their unfortunate country. The vultures will only pick the bones dry and leave the useless parts (including inhabitants). Europe uses Ukrainians as cheap workforce for dirty jobs (including prostitution) and as organ donors, it does not give a hoot about them otherwise. This PACE decision illustrates that.

  76. @LondonBob
    NYC is awful. So many Hispanics, ultra aggressive blacks, terrible taxis, rundown subway. Only place I have been mugged.

    There isn't anything to see there really either except for that museum and Central Park. Boston is a preferable destination.

    There is Metropolitan Opera, the best in the US. There are several good museums worth visiting, even though Venice has more high-quality art than the whole of North America.

  77. @Beckow

    ...time that the leadership of Ukraine put Ukraine’s interests first.
     
    Well, we should all agree on that. But does that Ukraine include its Russian speakers? Because the crux of the matter is the deep division that exists among citizens of Ukraine. Bombing one part (Donbass) because people there have different political views, and worshipping another part (Galicia) because it has good coffee shops is no way to create a unified country.

    And eagerly acting as a battering ram against Russia to please some people in Washington and Warsaw is a dead end. We can change a lot about ourselves, but trying to change who we are and where we live is a fool's errand.

    We can change a lot about ourselves, but trying to change who we are and where we live is a fool’s errand.

    If you hadn’t noticed, your native Slovakia is also in the same neighborhood, and successively jumped at the opportunity to join the EU and seems to be doing quite well. Or do you think that that was a mistake and things would have worked out better for Slovakia had it joined the CIS or whatever other Moscow dominated Soyuz that the Russians’ control?

    • Replies: @Beckow
    You simply don't understand the choices here. It is about having peaceful - even friendly - relationships with all neighbours. This is not either-or, who-whom. It is dictated by our geography, who we are, and the complex history of the region.

    The problem are two groups:
    1) Washington - and sometimes also Brussels, London, Berlin - geo-political games that obsessively desire hostility with Russia at any cost. In that ideological world Russian speakers have no rights, Russian borders can be surrounded by 'defensive' missiles, lies rule supreme, etc...

    2) Ethnic lobbies with historical grievances and anti-Russian hatreds driving them mad. Among them are many Ukrainians, Poles, Balts, plus the usual assortment of forever bitter German, Swedish and British revanchist losers.

    EU and Russia are perfectly compatible, even complementary. There is no reason to have a war or permanent hostilities. Are you by any chance a member of one, or two, of the groups listed above?

  78. The countries of the EU realize that forcing Russia and China into each other’s arms is not good geopolitics. Integrating Russia into the EU is a much better option. Engage Russia! is the order of the day.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    Too late. As they say in Russia, the train has already left the station.

    Funny thing is, so-called sanctions benefited the Russian economy a lot more than Putin’s rule from 2000 to 2014. Agriculture and food processing are booming. The results are very impressive: I was there last Fall, and must say that the food got a lot better, most dramatically in Moscow, where it used to be imported, but now is mostly local. There are high quality pretty fancy cheeses, which used to be imported, but now are produced domestically (I suspect in part by smarter French and Italian cheesemakers that started production in Russia to make themselves immune to any political stupidity). The variety of really good smoked fish increased, etc.

    Many industries also benefited: Russia now produces its own engines for helicopters, high-power electric generator turbines, power plants for ships, etc. Shipbuilding is rapidly developing. Whatever machinery Russia used to buy from Germany is now supplied by South Korea, that jumped at the opportunity to gain a huge market, taking advantage of others’ stupidity. So, when the sanctions are finally lifted, Europe won’t get much back. As the Russian saying has it, “that’s how you teach the fools”.
    , @Gerard2

    The countries of the EU realize that forcing Russia and China into each other’s arms is not good geopolitics. Integrating Russia into the EU is a much better option. Engage Russia! is the order of the day.
     
    I don't see how this PACE thing contributes to that, either way.
  79. @DreadIlk
    He is mostly correct but I guess his spin on it I would disagree with. NYC has gotten worse not better over the last 15 years.

    More crowding in public, more traffic, public transport (train + bus) much dirtier. Constant infrastructure patching up and improvement(late + money pits).

    Gentrification results are still crap. They turn a complete shit neighborhood into mostly shit neighborhood. I can't stand artsy hipster neighborhoods they simply move into industrial places.

    Crime I can't speak about because in big cities you can avoid bad areas and not deal with any crime. Obviously I avoid those areas. For work capacity I do go into bad neighborhoods but again they tend to go after residents instead of people doing their job. But the neighborhoods do look like 3rd world. Every second house is abandoned. Some roads reverted to dirt. Piles of rubbish as high as 2nd floor. People that look half dead.

    public transport (train + bus) much dirtier.

    That’s interesting to hear another person from New York.

    It’s something sad, but characteristically American – that such a rich city as New York, cannot invest (maybe something like $10 billion?) to upgrade the metro system to the 21st century?

    New York’s shabby trains, is seems too much of an example of traditional America crisis of -“public poverty and private wealth”.*

    In relation to the homeless flooding, I guess this is a result of internal immigration? There’s a similar situation of homeless flooding in California? I was told this is because in California, better conditions and more liberal laws for homeless people than other American states. So as a result homeless people from around America, are emigrating to California.

    * Even medium Spanish cities, where you do not see any expensive cars in the streets – can somehow afford to buy modern and hi-tech metro system with newest, shiny, Siemens metro trains, while billionaire New York has a dirty old metro system.

    • Replies: @DreadIlk
    I don't know how much budget is sunk into metro but it is a fuck ton. 10 billion won't make a difference. At this point it turned into a welfare program. One project was drawing several billion and was at a stand still. They audited and found out something like 702 people on payroll that did no work. Keep in mind all numbers from memory so they are not accurate but the idea is correct.

    New York is a poor city if you look at the quality of its government with relation to it's population size. Homeless flooding in California vs NY is different. In Cali climate is good to them. NY climate is a little harsher. We have a winter. Homeless in NY is mostly because government stopped harassing them.

    Btw rich neighborhoods are as if it's a different world. But that is always the case no matter where you are.
  80. @Beckow
    There are historical reasons for Swedish hatred of anything Russian, lost empire in the east, same with Poles, Germans, even Turks and Lithuanians.

    But with Swedes there is also a psychological reason - they love everybody, it is their official ideology that they push everywhere: Nigerians, Papuans, cross-gender unicorns, you name it, Swedes are told that it is all equal and must be loved. They are also deep in the English-Hollywood admiration society - and aspiring provincials always overdo the devotion (see the insane Galician worship of the Habsburgs for another example).

    It doesn't work, one has to have something to dislike. Russia - and to some extent anything too white and European like stubborn Swedes who cling to their 'European' culture - are there as an approved thing to hate. What I find interesting is that when one presses Swedes their response is 'well, Russia dislikes us, so we have to be careful'. It is a projection and a bit of megalomania. This will not end well for traditional Swedes, in being taught to 'hate Russia' they are effectively hating a big part of who they used to be. Any Swede thinking that a Somali clan in Malmo is a friend, and Russians across the Baltic are the real enemy is deluding himself into an eventual oblivion.

    News sources say that along with usual village idiots (Ukraine, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Georgia, and Poland) the delegation of Slovakia also left PACE session. Is this true?

    • Replies: @Beckow
    There was one loser named Poliacik - literally means a 'little Pole'. He belongs to what we call a 'park bench' party, since their members can fit on a single park bench. For some unfathomable reason these non-entities keep on geeting sent to foreign assignments (maybe brother-in-law?) and embarrasing themselves.

    We had an ambassador to Washington few years back who was famous for submitting a formal complaint to UN (under commies) for lack of hot water in his apartment that he blamed on government chicanery. He was known as 'they-turned-off-my-hot-water-call-UN!!! Butora'. It takes all kinds.
  81. @Philip Owen
    The countries of the EU realize that forcing Russia and China into each other's arms is not good geopolitics. Integrating Russia into the EU is a much better option. Engage Russia! is the order of the day.

    Too late. As they say in Russia, the train has already left the station.

    Funny thing is, so-called sanctions benefited the Russian economy a lot more than Putin’s rule from 2000 to 2014. Agriculture and food processing are booming. The results are very impressive: I was there last Fall, and must say that the food got a lot better, most dramatically in Moscow, where it used to be imported, but now is mostly local. There are high quality pretty fancy cheeses, which used to be imported, but now are produced domestically (I suspect in part by smarter French and Italian cheesemakers that started production in Russia to make themselves immune to any political stupidity). The variety of really good smoked fish increased, etc.

    Many industries also benefited: Russia now produces its own engines for helicopters, high-power electric generator turbines, power plants for ships, etc. Shipbuilding is rapidly developing. Whatever machinery Russia used to buy from Germany is now supplied by South Korea, that jumped at the opportunity to gain a huge market, taking advantage of others’ stupidity. So, when the sanctions are finally lifted, Europe won’t get much back. As the Russian saying has it, “that’s how you teach the fools”.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
    It's all nice, but it costs money from ordinary shoppers, exactly as Kudrin says: import substitution, to the extent it is voluntary policy from a country (and it was not voluntary in 2014, but some of it now is voluntary), is a luxury good.

    Food prices have slowly but steadily increased every year since 2014, and despite record harvests, accelerated in 2018 - 5% increase in fruit and vegetable prices. At the same time, incomes do not increase in the same years. Proportion of income expended on food increases since 2015, which is not a common trend. And poorer people are complaining about food prices, even if not reported much in media (as industrialists and important local businessmen all benefiting from this).

    , @Philip Owen
    Import substitution comes at the cost of living standards. Maybe there are hard cheeses in Moscow buy in Saratov most cheese looks suspiciously based on palm oil rather than milk.
  82. @AnonFromTN
    I guess Sweden is still sore about Poltava battle in 1709, when Peter the Great wiped out their army, along with pathetic handful of troops of Ukrainian traitor Mazepa. Sweden stopped being a significant power then and there. Now it may be a tad more important than Latvia or Estonia, but not by much. Maybe they are still butt-hurt, who knows. None of the ‘Swedes” I know personally was born in Sweden.

    But Swedes should take heart: the flags of Ukraine and Down syndrome awareness have the same colors as theirs. Maybe they are butt-hurt about that, as well.

    I guess Sweden is still sore about Poltava battle in 1709, when Peter the Great wiped out their army, along with pathetic handful of troops of Ukrainian traitor Mazepa. Sweden stopped being a significant power then and there. Now it may be a tad more important than Latvia or Estonia, but not by much. Maybe they are still butt-hurt, who knows. None of the ‘Swedes” I know personally was born in Sweden.

    I have laid out Sweden’s queer case of Russophobia before, but here is a quick summary:

    As melanf’s timeline makes clear, and as you no doubt learned in school, Sweden and Russia were at each other’s throats for much of Sweden’s era of absolute monarchy (1521-1809) [1]. But to seek the answer here is frivolous, I think. Unlike our eastern neighbors, Sweden holds no grudges against Russia that I know of, and the loss of Finland, which was indeed a national trauma at the time, nearly every Swede will recall with a shrug, if indeed he even knows of it. This historylessness, as the popular Swedish term goes, has obvious downsides, but centuries of bad blood is not among them [2].

    LondonBob is nearer the mark by tracing Swedish Russophobia back to the Cold War. Our position in that conflict is well known: we sought a “third way” beyond communism and capitalism, and our political life was marked by an uneasy balance between the heavily Atlantist security services and socialists in media, culture and academia. We should not make too much of this socialist opposition, however, and this is where many analysts get Sweden wrong. Sweden was already on a strong Atlantist track no later than the 1960s, and the gestures of disobedience that we did make are better seen as “internal” dissent than as attempts at staking out an independent course. This sounds puzzling to an outsider, I’m sure, but Hendrik Hertzberg gives us a glimpse of this state of mind in his obituary of Olof Palme, written in late February 1986.

    Olof Palme was more than “pro-American,” he was “American”—as American as apple pie with lingonberry sauce. He spent what he always described as the most formative year of his life, the year he turned twenty-one, in the United States. He got his bachelor’s degree in politics and economics from Kenyon College, a small Episcopal college in the incorrigibly American environs of Columbus, Ohio, in 1948. He wrote his senior honors thesis on the United Automobile Workers union. He then hit the road, hitchhiking all over the country for three months, meeting hundreds of citizens along the way and learning something about their wealth and their poverty. He ended up in Detroit, where he spent hours talking with one of his heroes, Walter Reuther.

    […]

    When Palme began to speak against the war in Vietnam, beginning in 1965, he did so with the special passion, the outraged indignation, of an American. Unlike certain other European leftists, he did not greet the war with the smug satisfaction of one who has at last been proved right about those nasty Americans. He thought more highly of us than that (and in this sense he did indeed have a “double standard”). Unlike certain other European Socialist statesmen—Harold Wilson comes to mind—he did not regard silence on Vietnam as an act of friendship to the United States. And unlike many other “moderate” protesters on both sides of the Atlantic, he did not consider that he had anything to prove where anticommunism was concerned.

    Note that bolded part. Palme protests the war in Vietnam, he feels, not as an outsider looking in, but as an insider. America’s war is his war. America is him, is Sweden. This is very, very key, and if you understand this, you are halfway toward understanding the modern Swede, who — very deeply and earnestly — believes that the United States and Sweden, and so American and Swedish interests, are one and the same. I’m laying it on a little thick to put the point across, yes, but this warped psychology matters.

    The other key to understanding modern Swedish Russophobia is to recall that some time in the 00s or early 10s, the foreign policy goals of that old “socialist” opposition and the Atlantist security services somehow aligned. I shan’t dwell on this since it’s well enough known by Unz Review readers, but very broadly speaking, the militarist-imperialist goals of the security-services set (aka the MIC, aka the neocons, and so on) became also the goals of self-styled social liberals (the “socialist” opposition of old), the only thing that stood between them and the wholesale loss of everything they held dear (equality between the sexes, marriage equality, the freedoms of the French Revolution) and, more than that, a promise that these “human rights” could and would spread across the planet. Some refer to this messianic take on global affairs as GloboHomo, but I prefer the term Woke Imperialism.

    So there you have it. The modern Swede thinks of himself as American, and so sees America’s interests as his own, and he sees belligerence toward Russia as a basically moral position.

    [1] Speaking of Vyborg, one of my ancestors was wounded at the battle of Vyborg Bay, where our (fairy) king Gustav III very nearly lost his life. I believe this is my one link to Russia. (Another ancestor of mine was from Swedish Livonia, where in the mid-1600s he joined the Swedish army, but we are fairly sure he was Baltic German, or maybe Latvian).

    [2] It’s also, I sometimes think, the logical endpoint of successful nation-building. Ernest Renan: “[if] the essential element of a nation is that all its individuals must have many things in common … [they] must also have forgotten many things. Every French citizen must have forgotten the night of St. Bartholomew and the massacres in the 13th century in the South.”

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    Thanks! Interesting. I believe Ulof Palme was mostly right. That’s why he was killed by the US Deep State, the greatest enemy the US ever had.
  83. @Swedish Family

    I guess Sweden is still sore about Poltava battle in 1709, when Peter the Great wiped out their army, along with pathetic handful of troops of Ukrainian traitor Mazepa. Sweden stopped being a significant power then and there. Now it may be a tad more important than Latvia or Estonia, but not by much. Maybe they are still butt-hurt, who knows. None of the ‘Swedes” I know personally was born in Sweden.
     
    I have laid out Sweden's queer case of Russophobia before, but here is a quick summary:

    As melanf's timeline makes clear, and as you no doubt learned in school, Sweden and Russia were at each other's throats for much of Sweden's era of absolute monarchy (1521-1809) [1]. But to seek the answer here is frivolous, I think. Unlike our eastern neighbors, Sweden holds no grudges against Russia that I know of, and the loss of Finland, which was indeed a national trauma at the time, nearly every Swede will recall with a shrug, if indeed he even knows of it. This historylessness, as the popular Swedish term goes, has obvious downsides, but centuries of bad blood is not among them [2].

    LondonBob is nearer the mark by tracing Swedish Russophobia back to the Cold War. Our position in that conflict is well known: we sought a "third way" beyond communism and capitalism, and our political life was marked by an uneasy balance between the heavily Atlantist security services and socialists in media, culture and academia. We should not make too much of this socialist opposition, however, and this is where many analysts get Sweden wrong. Sweden was already on a strong Atlantist track no later than the 1960s, and the gestures of disobedience that we did make are better seen as "internal" dissent than as attempts at staking out an independent course. This sounds puzzling to an outsider, I'm sure, but Hendrik Hertzberg gives us a glimpse of this state of mind in his obituary of Olof Palme, written in late February 1986.

    Olof Palme was more than “pro-American,” he was “American”—as American as apple pie with lingonberry sauce. He spent what he always described as the most formative year of his life, the year he turned twenty-one, in the United States. He got his bachelor’s degree in politics and economics from Kenyon College, a small Episcopal college in the incorrigibly American environs of Columbus, Ohio, in 1948. He wrote his senior honors thesis on the United Automobile Workers union. He then hit the road, hitchhiking all over the country for three months, meeting hundreds of citizens along the way and learning something about their wealth and their poverty. He ended up in Detroit, where he spent hours talking with one of his heroes, Walter Reuther.

    [...]

    When Palme began to speak against the war in Vietnam, beginning in 1965, he did so with the special passion, the outraged indignation, of an American. Unlike certain other European leftists, he did not greet the war with the smug satisfaction of one who has at last been proved right about those nasty Americans. He thought more highly of us than that (and in this sense he did indeed have a “double standard”). Unlike certain other European Socialist statesmen—Harold Wilson comes to mind—he did not regard silence on Vietnam as an act of friendship to the United States. And unlike many other “moderate” protesters on both sides of the Atlantic, he did not consider that he had anything to prove where anticommunism was concerned.
     
    Note that bolded part. Palme protests the war in Vietnam, he feels, not as an outsider looking in, but as an insider. America's war is his war. America is him, is Sweden. This is very, very key, and if you understand this, you are halfway toward understanding the modern Swede, who — very deeply and earnestly — believes that the United States and Sweden, and so American and Swedish interests, are one and the same. I'm laying it on a little thick to put the point across, yes, but this warped psychology matters.

    The other key to understanding modern Swedish Russophobia is to recall that some time in the 00s or early 10s, the foreign policy goals of that old "socialist" opposition and the Atlantist security services somehow aligned. I shan't dwell on this since it's well enough known by Unz Review readers, but very broadly speaking, the militarist-imperialist goals of the security-services set (aka the MIC, aka the neocons, and so on) became also the goals of self-styled social liberals (the "socialist" opposition of old), the only thing that stood between them and the wholesale loss of everything they held dear (equality between the sexes, marriage equality, the freedoms of the French Revolution) and, more than that, a promise that these "human rights" could and would spread across the planet. Some refer to this messianic take on global affairs as GloboHomo, but I prefer the term Woke Imperialism.

    So there you have it. The modern Swede thinks of himself as American, and so sees America's interests as his own, and he sees belligerence toward Russia as a basically moral position.

    [1] Speaking of Vyborg, one of my ancestors was wounded at the battle of Vyborg Bay, where our (fairy) king Gustav III very nearly lost his life. I believe this is my one link to Russia. (Another ancestor of mine was from Swedish Livonia, where in the mid-1600s he joined the Swedish army, but we are fairly sure he was Baltic German, or maybe Latvian).

    [2] It's also, I sometimes think, the logical endpoint of successful nation-building. Ernest Renan: "[if] the essential element of a nation is that all its individuals must have many things in common ... [they] must also have forgotten many things. Every French citizen must have forgotten the night of St. Bartholomew and the massacres in the 13th century in the South."

    Thanks! Interesting. I believe Ulof Palme was mostly right. That’s why he was killed by the US Deep State, the greatest enemy the US ever had.

  84. Thanks! Interesting. I believe Ulof Palme was mostly right. That’s why he was killed by the US Deep State, the greatest enemy the US ever had.

    Oh, the Palme assassination … This gets us into murky waters. As every Swede, I have followed this story for decades, but it’s been a few years since I last caught up with it. Still, I think I can lay out the case against a conspiracy theory.

    From memory, the strongest evidence by far against a conspiracy is that it was basically blink luck that the bullet killed Palme. Had it hit even an inch or two left or right, he would have survived. As it was, it hit his spine (as I remember) and he died pretty much right away. I also seem to remember that the murder weapon wasn’t at all suitable for an assassination job. To this we might add: (1) The murderer did not finish off Palme’s wife, who turned around and got a full look of his face, and (2) It was blind luck, again, that he managed to get away. The place was teeming with cops, and there were no good escape routes. (This was smack dab in the middle of Stockholm’s nightlife district, on a Friday night — my oldest brother, who was working the nightshift at a nearby McDonald’s, even heard the gunshots).

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    I go by the Roman rule: ask “cui bono”, and you know the criminal. It is correct 99.9% of the time (nothing is ever correct 100% of the time).
    , @Not Raul
    It’s suspicious that Palme’s assassin had to have so much luck.
  85. @Swedish Family

    Thanks! Interesting. I believe Ulof Palme was mostly right. That’s why he was killed by the US Deep State, the greatest enemy the US ever had.
     
    Oh, the Palme assassination ... This gets us into murky waters. As every Swede, I have followed this story for decades, but it's been a few years since I last caught up with it. Still, I think I can lay out the case against a conspiracy theory.

    From memory, the strongest evidence by far against a conspiracy is that it was basically blink luck that the bullet killed Palme. Had it hit even an inch or two left or right, he would have survived. As it was, it hit his spine (as I remember) and he died pretty much right away. I also seem to remember that the murder weapon wasn't at all suitable for an assassination job. To this we might add: (1) The murderer did not finish off Palme's wife, who turned around and got a full look of his face, and (2) It was blind luck, again, that he managed to get away. The place was teeming with cops, and there were no good escape routes. (This was smack dab in the middle of Stockholm's nightlife district, on a Friday night -- my oldest brother, who was working the nightshift at a nearby McDonald's, even heard the gunshots).

    I go by the Roman rule: ask “cui bono”, and you know the criminal. It is correct 99.9% of the time (nothing is ever correct 100% of the time).

    • Replies: @Gerard2
    BTW, did you know that for the Litvinenko, Polonium case, the British have it on record that they "believe" the fatal ingestion of Polonium came when he drank the tea he was having in a restaurant with Lugovoi ( who Litvinenko believed he was casually meeting as old colleagues reminiscing or business) ......the same Lugovoi who also happened to have brought his 8 year old son to the assassination.

    So Lugovoi on a family holiday in London ( him , girlfriend, his daughter, her boyfriend/husband, his son) is supposed to have partaken in a state-directed murder.....casually in the presence of his 8 year old son right next to him in this London restaurant!

    Meanwhile Berezovsky is at the same time healing the blind of caring for sick goats or whatever.......under the patronage of western states and intelligence agencies.
    , @Swedish Family

    I go by the Roman rule: ask “cui bono”, and you know the criminal. It is correct 99.9% of the time (nothing is ever correct 100% of the time).
     
    Yes, the question of motive is the mystery here. Had only the violent alcoholic who was first charged with the murder had one, I think most people would have left it at that, but as it is, all possible motives we know of (he is long since dead) bring more questions than answers. One popular theory holds that he mistook Palme for a buddy of his, a drug pusher he might have owed some money (he was a compulsive gambler). This motive, of course, feels underwhelmingly banal, so it's natural that the case has bred conspiracy theories.

    A parallel can be drawn to the Kennedy assassination, where I now believe, from what I have read and seen, that Lee Harvey Oswald was indeed the killer. Oswald, too, seems something of an anticlimax. How could this lowlife take down a great American president? But I think we must allow for such freak happenstances. Sometimes "making sense" of things is the wrong way to go: they just happened to be, however unlikely their occurence, and that was all there was to it. Here is Martin Amis, in his review of Norman Mailer's book on Oswald, making a similar argument:


    During the winter of 1959, Lee Harvey Oswald went and did something interesting. After a lonely and fatherless childhood, a morosely politicized adolescence, and a stint in the Marines (where his nicknames were Mrs Oswald, Oswaldskovich and ‘Shit-bird’), Oswald defected to the USSR. As he probably saw it, the Soviet Union stood up for the little guy – and Oswald was certainly little. It worked out, too, in a way. Fortuitously, ominously and instantly, he elevated himself from mediocrity to exotic. He was ‘a real American, and unmarried’, one of his minders observed: ‘Young women even came to the hotel and said, “How do we meet this guy?” ’ Being American had never cut so much ice in New Orleans or the Bronx.

    The authorities – the ‘Organs’ – soon got him out of Moscow and parked him in Minsk, a city he had never heard of. They gave him a flat and a job and light surveillance: Oswald would have been mortified to learn that his KGB handler regarded him as ‘primitive – a basic case’, of ‘zero’ political value. And yet he blundered along, dependably feisty, incurious and obtuse. One morning at seven, he was roused by election workers (it was the day of some obligatory vote) ‘and Lee wouldn’t open up. He kept yelling, “This is a free country.” ’ He fell for a girl called Ella, and was spurned. He married a girl called Marina (‘to hurt Ella’, according to his diary), and soon settled into a husbandly regime of bickering, fist-flexing, and premature ejaculation. He liked the Russian summers but he didn’t like the Russian winters. Ever since Ella he had been trying to wheedle his way back to America (he did have the knack of outwitting, or outlasting, titanic bureaucracies). With his wife and daughter he sailed for New York in the summer of 1962, and then made for Texas. He flunked a series of cheesy jobs. He bought a cockroach spraygun. He acquired a rifle. He had a year to go.

    Whereas the American Oswaldiana is porous and bloated from constant exposure, the Russian material has been hermetically sealed. It is thirty-five years old, but it is pristine. In these cogent and artistic pages, Oswald is no longer the spectral, hangdog examinee of various hearings and post-mortems. He comes alive. And he looks horribly familiar. From a KGB transcript of a bugging (‘for Object LHO-2983’):

    LHO: Shut up. Take your baby (baby is crying) …
    WIFE: (sobbing) Don’t look at me that way – nobody is afraid of you. Go to hell, you bastard!
    LHO: You’re very good.
    WIFE: You can go to your America without me, and I hope you die on the way.

    Oswald did indeed go back to his America. And at Dealey Plaza he duly ruptured its history in 6.9 seconds.

    What we seem to be contemplating, then, is a tale of egregious disproportion. Simply put, the most potent and promise-crammed figure on earth had his brains blown out by a malevolent Charlie Chaplin with a wonky rifle and a couple of Big Ideas. Now, everything in Mailer rebels against this reading. If Oswald was a nonentity, acting alone, all we are left with is absurdity – more garbage, more randomness and rot. Clearly, there are only two ways out of the bind. Either Oswald wasn’t acting alone – or he wasn’t a nonentity. He was complex, tortured; he was tinged by the ‘tragic’.

    To our initial surprises, Mailer rejects conspiracy. According to Oliver Stone’s feverish movie, JFK, the assassination involved practically 50 per cent of the American populace. The unlikelihood of a pan-national cover-up would seem to outweigh the more local lacunae – Oswald’s marksmanship, the ‘magic bullet’, Jack Ruby – which are merely ‘evidentiary’, and subject to the ping-pong of rival advocacies. More crucially, all conspiracies founder on the crags of Oswald’s character, as here established. No concerted effort, however harebrained, could have placed Oswald at its leading edge. Even as a patsy he was unemployable.
     

  86. @Mr. Hack

    We can change a lot about ourselves, but trying to change who we are and where we live is a fool’s errand.
     
    If you hadn't noticed, your native Slovakia is also in the same neighborhood, and successively jumped at the opportunity to join the EU and seems to be doing quite well. Or do you think that that was a mistake and things would have worked out better for Slovakia had it joined the CIS or whatever other Moscow dominated Soyuz that the Russians' control?

    You simply don’t understand the choices here. It is about having peaceful – even friendly – relationships with all neighbours. This is not either-or, who-whom. It is dictated by our geography, who we are, and the complex history of the region.

    The problem are two groups:
    1) Washington – and sometimes also Brussels, London, Berlin – geo-political games that obsessively desire hostility with Russia at any cost. In that ideological world Russian speakers have no rights, Russian borders can be surrounded by ‘defensive‘ missiles, lies rule supreme, etc…

    2) Ethnic lobbies with historical grievances and anti-Russian hatreds driving them mad. Among them are many Ukrainians, Poles, Balts, plus the usual assortment of forever bitter German, Swedish and British revanchist losers.

    EU and Russia are perfectly compatible, even complementary. There is no reason to have a war or permanent hostilities. Are you by any chance a member of one, or two, of the groups listed above?

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    Don't cloud the issue with your monotonous roll call of your own perceived 'problems'. The point is, most countries prefer associating with the West than with Russia, including your own Slovakia. This is a fact. Even the Central Asian republics who take part in CIS formations, always keep one eye on Moscow and the other on China or Turkey (or maybe even the West). Just look at Kazakhstan for example. Russia is not really capable of leading many countries into the promised land - they have a very poor record to show for it in the past. Leading at the point of a gun (as in Ukraine today) is no way to manage a successful union of any sort.
  87. @Beckow
    You simply don't understand the choices here. It is about having peaceful - even friendly - relationships with all neighbours. This is not either-or, who-whom. It is dictated by our geography, who we are, and the complex history of the region.

    The problem are two groups:
    1) Washington - and sometimes also Brussels, London, Berlin - geo-political games that obsessively desire hostility with Russia at any cost. In that ideological world Russian speakers have no rights, Russian borders can be surrounded by 'defensive' missiles, lies rule supreme, etc...

    2) Ethnic lobbies with historical grievances and anti-Russian hatreds driving them mad. Among them are many Ukrainians, Poles, Balts, plus the usual assortment of forever bitter German, Swedish and British revanchist losers.

    EU and Russia are perfectly compatible, even complementary. There is no reason to have a war or permanent hostilities. Are you by any chance a member of one, or two, of the groups listed above?

    Don’t cloud the issue with your monotonous roll call of your own perceived ‘problems’. The point is, most countries prefer associating with the West than with Russia, including your own Slovakia. This is a fact. Even the Central Asian republics who take part in CIS formations, always keep one eye on Moscow and the other on China or Turkey (or maybe even the West). Just look at Kazakhstan for example. Russia is not really capable of leading many countries into the promised land – they have a very poor record to show for it in the past. Leading at the point of a gun (as in Ukraine today) is no way to manage a successful union of any sort.

    • Replies: @Gerard2
    They started orientating towards the west when Russia was in chaos during the 90's you dimwit. You are giving a false comparison
    Most western countries do alot more trade with Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan then they do with Moldova, Gruzia or Ukraine you dimwit ( including the Baltics)

    After a disastrous decade and a bit - Ukraine was the fastest growing economy in 2004 - until the retard west faked Yanukovich "faking" the results and also faked Yushchenko ( the scumbag) poisoning ( which still hasn't been properly explained)
    , @Beckow
    I actually have no idea what you are talking about with your 'leading to a union' and similar cliches. It is much simpler, most countries in eastern Europe will have an economic relationship with both EU and Russia. And they should. We are in EU and yet we have no problem getting along for things that benefit us with Russia. Ukraine is neither in EU (and probably never will be), nor it knows how to manage a civilized relationship with Russia. That is two failures, and it shows on the ground in Ukraine.

    I suspect you grew up in the Hollywood world of simple stories and make-believe history. You are unable to overcome that upbringing, so the world will pass you by.

  88. @Mr. Hack

    The fact that the people put up with this for ~28 years does not reflect well on the populace.
     
    Two Maydans wasn't enough? Perhaps a third one will be to your satisfaction?

    Two Maydans wasn’t enough? Perhaps a third one will be to your satisfaction?

    I am full of admiration for you.

    For you to come here on this blog and comment, despite the immense pain your ass must be in after the Gay parade in Kiev last week – that takes real fortitude.

    You’ve had the gay parade – congratulations. You are now a fully western country – it doesn’t matter that you don’t have the good roads, the good governance, the good money or the low crime rate associated with the west – you have the gay parades which we “all” know are the cornerstone of democracy these last 250 years.

    the debilitating ass paincoupled with the debilitating cretinism you have suffered from for decades helps explain the situation now -where the western conmen must be laughing themselves into injury at just how gullible the ukrops are.

    • LOL: Anonymoose, WHAT
  89. @Mr. Hack
    Don't cloud the issue with your monotonous roll call of your own perceived 'problems'. The point is, most countries prefer associating with the West than with Russia, including your own Slovakia. This is a fact. Even the Central Asian republics who take part in CIS formations, always keep one eye on Moscow and the other on China or Turkey (or maybe even the West). Just look at Kazakhstan for example. Russia is not really capable of leading many countries into the promised land - they have a very poor record to show for it in the past. Leading at the point of a gun (as in Ukraine today) is no way to manage a successful union of any sort.

    They started orientating towards the west when Russia was in chaos during the 90’s you dimwit. You are giving a false comparison
    Most western countries do alot more trade with Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan then they do with Moldova, Gruzia or Ukraine you dimwit ( including the Baltics)

    After a disastrous decade and a bit – Ukraine was the fastest growing economy in 2004 – until the retard west faked Yanukovich “faking” the results and also faked Yushchenko ( the scumbag) poisoning ( which still hasn’t been properly explained)

  90. @Philip Owen
    The countries of the EU realize that forcing Russia and China into each other's arms is not good geopolitics. Integrating Russia into the EU is a much better option. Engage Russia! is the order of the day.

    The countries of the EU realize that forcing Russia and China into each other’s arms is not good geopolitics. Integrating Russia into the EU is a much better option. Engage Russia! is the order of the day.

    I don’t see how this PACE thing contributes to that, either way.

  91. @Swedish Family

    Thanks! Interesting. I believe Ulof Palme was mostly right. That’s why he was killed by the US Deep State, the greatest enemy the US ever had.
     
    Oh, the Palme assassination ... This gets us into murky waters. As every Swede, I have followed this story for decades, but it's been a few years since I last caught up with it. Still, I think I can lay out the case against a conspiracy theory.

    From memory, the strongest evidence by far against a conspiracy is that it was basically blink luck that the bullet killed Palme. Had it hit even an inch or two left or right, he would have survived. As it was, it hit his spine (as I remember) and he died pretty much right away. I also seem to remember that the murder weapon wasn't at all suitable for an assassination job. To this we might add: (1) The murderer did not finish off Palme's wife, who turned around and got a full look of his face, and (2) It was blind luck, again, that he managed to get away. The place was teeming with cops, and there were no good escape routes. (This was smack dab in the middle of Stockholm's nightlife district, on a Friday night -- my oldest brother, who was working the nightshift at a nearby McDonald's, even heard the gunshots).

    It’s suspicious that Palme’s assassin had to have so much luck.

  92. @AnonFromTN
    I go by the Roman rule: ask “cui bono”, and you know the criminal. It is correct 99.9% of the time (nothing is ever correct 100% of the time).

    BTW, did you know that for the Litvinenko, Polonium case, the British have it on record that they “believe” the fatal ingestion of Polonium came when he drank the tea he was having in a restaurant with Lugovoi ( who Litvinenko believed he was casually meeting as old colleagues reminiscing or business) ……the same Lugovoi who also happened to have brought his 8 year old son to the assassination.

    So Lugovoi on a family holiday in London ( him , girlfriend, his daughter, her boyfriend/husband, his son) is supposed to have partaken in a state-directed murder…..casually in the presence of his 8 year old son right next to him in this London restaurant!

    Meanwhile Berezovsky is at the same time healing the blind of caring for sick goats or whatever…….under the patronage of western states and intelligence agencies.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    British secret services love to spin fairy tales. The myths of Litvinenko and Skripal poisoning are among them. Too bad their tales are so clumsy that only a brainwashed moron can believe them.

    However, when they need to eliminate someone, they get efficient. They “suicided” Berezovsky (may he rot in Hell) and promptly called his murder suicide. They are good within the limits of their professional competency: murder. Spinning tales is not their strong suit.
  93. Meanwhile in America, this is the calamity some hohol managed to unleash. Drove his pickup truck on the wrong side of the road and killed 7 bikers who have no chance to avoid getting run over and killed.

    https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2019/06/26/massachusetts-official-resigns-after-failing-strip-license-refugee-accused-killing-u-s-marines/

    Not only that but also this:

    This Volodymyr hohol should be deported to the frontlines of the LDNR.

    • Replies: @WHAT
    Many will perceive this situation as alien vs predator situation. Or nothing of value was lost, if you will.
    , @JL
    The US has incredibly relaxed immigration laws. This clown got busted for possession of a crack pipe, plus two arrests for DUI. Yet, only now, after he killed seven people, are they considering deporting him. In Russia, any non-citizen with more than one administrative infraction (this could be something as minor as an $8 speeding fine, or littering) over the course of a year is automatically put on an FSB list for refusal of entry to the country, coupled with a five year ban.
    , @AP
    He's from the community of protestant refugees, many of them live in western Massachusetts.
  94. @Gerard2
    BTW, did you know that for the Litvinenko, Polonium case, the British have it on record that they "believe" the fatal ingestion of Polonium came when he drank the tea he was having in a restaurant with Lugovoi ( who Litvinenko believed he was casually meeting as old colleagues reminiscing or business) ......the same Lugovoi who also happened to have brought his 8 year old son to the assassination.

    So Lugovoi on a family holiday in London ( him , girlfriend, his daughter, her boyfriend/husband, his son) is supposed to have partaken in a state-directed murder.....casually in the presence of his 8 year old son right next to him in this London restaurant!

    Meanwhile Berezovsky is at the same time healing the blind of caring for sick goats or whatever.......under the patronage of western states and intelligence agencies.

    British secret services love to spin fairy tales. The myths of Litvinenko and Skripal poisoning are among them. Too bad their tales are so clumsy that only a brainwashed moron can believe them.

    However, when they need to eliminate someone, they get efficient. They “suicided” Berezovsky (may he rot in Hell) and promptly called his murder suicide. They are good within the limits of their professional competency: murder. Spinning tales is not their strong suit.

  95. @Mr. Hack
    Don't cloud the issue with your monotonous roll call of your own perceived 'problems'. The point is, most countries prefer associating with the West than with Russia, including your own Slovakia. This is a fact. Even the Central Asian republics who take part in CIS formations, always keep one eye on Moscow and the other on China or Turkey (or maybe even the West). Just look at Kazakhstan for example. Russia is not really capable of leading many countries into the promised land - they have a very poor record to show for it in the past. Leading at the point of a gun (as in Ukraine today) is no way to manage a successful union of any sort.

    I actually have no idea what you are talking about with your ‘leading to a union’ and similar cliches. It is much simpler, most countries in eastern Europe will have an economic relationship with both EU and Russia. And they should. We are in EU and yet we have no problem getting along for things that benefit us with Russia. Ukraine is neither in EU (and probably never will be), nor it knows how to manage a civilized relationship with Russia. That is two failures, and it shows on the ground in Ukraine.

    I suspect you grew up in the Hollywood world of simple stories and make-believe history. You are unable to overcome that upbringing, so the world will pass you by.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    I never wrote 'leading to a union'. What I did write was:

    Russia is not really capable of leading many countries into the promised land – they have a very poor record to show for it in the past. Leading at the point of a gun (as in Ukraine today) is no way to manage a successful union of any sort.
     
    As far as the 'world passing me by' make sure it doesn't pass an old sovok like you by first: -)

    https://i.ytimg.com/an_webp/UmIwcu9AoxQ/mqdefault_6s.webp?du=3000&sqp=CLj60OgF&rs=AOn4CLBwxOmCSnn2oactAb0O9AHH-QzE-w
  96. @Beckow
    I actually have no idea what you are talking about with your 'leading to a union' and similar cliches. It is much simpler, most countries in eastern Europe will have an economic relationship with both EU and Russia. And they should. We are in EU and yet we have no problem getting along for things that benefit us with Russia. Ukraine is neither in EU (and probably never will be), nor it knows how to manage a civilized relationship with Russia. That is two failures, and it shows on the ground in Ukraine.

    I suspect you grew up in the Hollywood world of simple stories and make-believe history. You are unable to overcome that upbringing, so the world will pass you by.

    I never wrote ‘leading to a union’. What I did write was:

    Russia is not really capable of leading many countries into the promised land – they have a very poor record to show for it in the past. Leading at the point of a gun (as in Ukraine today) is no way to manage a successful union of any sort.

    As far as the ‘world passing me by’ make sure it doesn’t pass an old sovok like you by first: -)

    https://i.ytimg.com/an_webp/UmIwcu9AoxQ/mqdefault_6s.webp?du=3000&sqp=CLj60OgF&rs=AOn4CLBwxOmCSnn2oactAb0O9AHH-QzE-w

  97. @Jaakko Raipala

    1590-1595 Russia attacked Sweden, Russia’s victory
     
    In our history writing 1570-1595 Sweden attacked Russia, Sweden's victory. We call this the Long War or 25-years-war. Sweden stopped Russian expansionism in the north (Finnish warlord hero Pekka Vesainen burned down all the Orthodox monasteries and killed all the monks from Pechenga to an attempt at Solovetsky which was too hard to attack), captured roughly what's now Estonia and gained more territory than in the north than in any war ever since. Previous border:

    https://fi.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suomen_aluemuutokset#/media/Tiedosto:Border_changes_in_Finland_1323.jpg

    New border:

    https://fi.wikipedia.org/wiki/T%C3%A4yssin%C3%A4n_rauha#/media/Tiedosto:Border_changes_in_Finland_1595.jpg

    There was a truce in the middle of it which ended in 1590 and Russia immediately resumed the war but this is hardly Russian aggression as the Russian push merely recaptured lands that Sweden had taken previously (all south shore of Gulf of Finland from Ivangorod to Neva, north half of Karelian isthmus / west shore of Ladoga). By land area it was the most successful Swedish conquest, though much of the land was arctic no mans land.

    In our history writing 1570-1595 Sweden attacked Russia, Sweden’s victory. We call this the Long War or 25-years-war.

    This is an arbitrary combination of two different wars. On this logic all war with Sweden can be unite in one war

    1570-1595 Sweden attacked Russia, Sweden’s victory. We call this the Long War or 25-years-war. Sweden stopped Russian expansionism

    Sweden stopped nothing . The war (in 1570-1583) was against the coalition from Turkey, Poland and Sweden

    By land area it was the most successful Swedish conquest though much of the land was arctic no mans land.

    In the “Arctic” lands most likely there was only demarcation of the border. No changes in the “Arctic” borders are observed on the Russian maps

    • Replies: @Jaakko Raipala

    In the “Arctic” lands most likely there was only demarcation of the border. No changes in the “Arctic” borders are observed on the Russian maps
     
    There was no known border in the arctic before this war so if you have any on maps they're just assuming one based on modern ones. The border before 1595 was this

    https://fi.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suomen_aluemuutokset#/media/Tiedosto:Border_changes_in_Finland_1323.jpg

    and there's no surviving document that proves any demarcated border between Sweden and Novgorod in the arctic actually existed. The old border marker stones only exist in east Finland / lost territories near Vyborg. What we do know is that Novgorod owned the northwest coast of what's now Finland north of this border but they were so far from their military strength that Sweden was pushing into the area.

    Northwestern coast of Finland was recognized as Russian land even before any border existed and before Sweden had taken any land:

    https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%9F%D1%80%D0%B8%D0%B1%D0%BE%D1%82%D0%BD%D0%B8%D1%8F

    (Sum = Suomi = "Finn" tribe that was apparently always aligned with Swedes, Yem = independent tribe that fought Novgorod but later lost to Swedish crusaders) Notice how rivers make it easy to go from Ladoga and White Sea river systems to about where this town is now

    https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/Оулу

    This river mouth was a Novgorod trade outpost. The Swedes kept pushing against this river mouth, though, and ended up ruling on the ground on the coast long before 1595 but the land was formally Russian until 1595 and the inland and the north was not similarly Swedish dominated.

    Russia was expanding its influence by preaching Orthodoxy to Saamis and Finns in the north and east. At this time the practical arrangement was that Orthodox = part of Russia, West Christian = part of Sweden. That's why the war was a brutal matter of going after monks, priests etc since they were the agents of the other state.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pechenga_Monastery

    The Russians were far ahead in the north and much of the Saami and north Finnish population had been exposed to Orthodoxy even far to the west of Pechenga. Even the westernmost Finnic languages have Russian/Greek names for Christian things. Most of what's now Finland and Lapland shows more Russian influence than Scandinavian before 1595.

    The treaty of 1595 was a huge loss for Russians in the north but this war coincides with Russian victories over Tatars so loss of arctic shrubberies doesn't sting much I guess.


    This is an arbitrary combination of two different wars. On this logic all war with Sweden can be unite in one war
     
    The war never actually stopped in Finland and Kola/Karelia despite the truce and raiding with significant casualties and whole towns burned continued, though much of it was Finnic tribes vs. Finnic tribes (mostly Orthodox White Sea Karelians vs northwestern West-Christian Finns). It was one continuous war in the north.
  98. As indicated below, many Ukrainians aren’t buying into the incessant anti-Russian propaganda:

    http://kiis.com.ua/?lang=eng&cat=reports&id=831&page=1

    Somewhat related, this link includes a great informal discussion, with several point-counterpoint exchanges on the church situation in Ukraine and some other tangential matters:

    https://irrussianality.wordpress.com/2019/06/21/splitter/

  99. @AquariusAnon
    Meanwhile in America, this is the calamity some hohol managed to unleash. Drove his pickup truck on the wrong side of the road and killed 7 bikers who have no chance to avoid getting run over and killed.

    https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2019/06/26/massachusetts-official-resigns-after-failing-strip-license-refugee-accused-killing-u-s-marines/

    Not only that but also this:

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/D-AMjVZXsAYGfYa.jpg:large

    This Volodymyr hohol should be deported to the frontlines of the LDNR.

    Many will perceive this situation as alien vs predator situation. Or nothing of value was lost, if you will.

  100. JL says:
    @AquariusAnon
    Meanwhile in America, this is the calamity some hohol managed to unleash. Drove his pickup truck on the wrong side of the road and killed 7 bikers who have no chance to avoid getting run over and killed.

    https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2019/06/26/massachusetts-official-resigns-after-failing-strip-license-refugee-accused-killing-u-s-marines/

    Not only that but also this:

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/D-AMjVZXsAYGfYa.jpg:large

    This Volodymyr hohol should be deported to the frontlines of the LDNR.

    The US has incredibly relaxed immigration laws. This clown got busted for possession of a crack pipe, plus two arrests for DUI. Yet, only now, after he killed seven people, are they considering deporting him. In Russia, any non-citizen with more than one administrative infraction (this could be something as minor as an $8 speeding fine, or littering) over the course of a year is automatically put on an FSB list for refusal of entry to the country, coupled with a five year ban.

  101. @AnonFromTN
    Too late. As they say in Russia, the train has already left the station.

    Funny thing is, so-called sanctions benefited the Russian economy a lot more than Putin’s rule from 2000 to 2014. Agriculture and food processing are booming. The results are very impressive: I was there last Fall, and must say that the food got a lot better, most dramatically in Moscow, where it used to be imported, but now is mostly local. There are high quality pretty fancy cheeses, which used to be imported, but now are produced domestically (I suspect in part by smarter French and Italian cheesemakers that started production in Russia to make themselves immune to any political stupidity). The variety of really good smoked fish increased, etc.

    Many industries also benefited: Russia now produces its own engines for helicopters, high-power electric generator turbines, power plants for ships, etc. Shipbuilding is rapidly developing. Whatever machinery Russia used to buy from Germany is now supplied by South Korea, that jumped at the opportunity to gain a huge market, taking advantage of others’ stupidity. So, when the sanctions are finally lifted, Europe won’t get much back. As the Russian saying has it, “that’s how you teach the fools”.

    It’s all nice, but it costs money from ordinary shoppers, exactly as Kudrin says: import substitution, to the extent it is voluntary policy from a country (and it was not voluntary in 2014, but some of it now is voluntary), is a luxury good.

    Food prices have slowly but steadily increased every year since 2014, and despite record harvests, accelerated in 2018 – 5% increase in fruit and vegetable prices. At the same time, incomes do not increase in the same years. Proportion of income expended on food increases since 2015, which is not a common trend. And poorer people are complaining about food prices, even if not reported much in media (as industrialists and important local businessmen all benefiting from this).

    • Replies: @Mitleser
    If import substitution is so bad, why did the inflation (rate) decline so much in the last two decades and reach its record low in January/2018?

    https://d3fy651gv2fhd3.cloudfront.net/charts/russia-inflation-cpi.png?s=rucpiyoy&v=201906061327a1&d1=20000101&d2=20190627

    , @DreadIlk
    I used to think that way. Think of it as population being forced to invest in their future. It hurts in short term but works out long term. You should rely on your self anyways, trade should be beneficial for the nation not some individuals in the nation.
  102. JL says:
    @AnonFromTN
    Haven’t been to SPB since 1991, so can’t judge. Was in Moscow just last Fall. Moscow looks majestic, grander, cleaner, and more beautiful, both day and night, than any European capital. Rome comes close second in terms of scale, but it’s too dirty and public transportation there, compared to Moscow, is pathetic. In London and Berlin public transportation is better, but too much of Berlin was ruined in WWII and too much of London was destroyed by Queen Victoria. Paris is dirty and full of Arabs. Madrid, Lisbon (Lisboa by rights), Athens, and Barcelona are quaint provincial cities, a bit oversized for comfort. In terms of everything you can think of being available 24/7, only New York can compete with Moscow, but what they call old in the US would be called fairly new in Europe and Russia.

    I’ve lived in both NYC and Moscow and can confidently declare that NYC doesn’t even come close to Moscow in terms of services offered 24/7. Russians seem to be night owls by nature. NYC is “the city that never sleeps” only relative to other American cities. If you see someone on the street in NYC at 5 in the morning, chances are they are on their way to work, or getting something done before work. In Moscow, they’re heading home from partying.

    I don’t understand how it makes economic sense, but here is a very partial list of things you can do in the middle of the night in Moscow:

    Get your car serviced (Unit)
    Shop at a big box grocery/hardware/home improvement store (Tvoy Dom)
    Get a hair cut, manicure, massage, etc.
    Buy a fur coat
    Eat at one of Moscow’s most storied restaurants (Pushkin)
    Hit the gym, swim in a pool
    Notarize documents
    Pawn jewelry

    I could go on, but you get the point.

    • Replies: @LondonBob
    Personally I disliked the Russian habit of partying like they do in the Mediterranean. Get home by three am and you can get enough sleep to do something the next day, get back at seven am and you spend the whole day in bed.
    , @Anatoly Karlin
    Though the metro is closed 1-5am, while NY's is one of the few open all day. Would happily trade that for the opportunity to pawn jewelry or buy a fur coat.
    , @DreadIlk
    Very true. This is in contrast to NJ where everything is closed by 8pm and no shopping other than essentials on Sunday(blue laws).
  103. @Dmitry
    It's all nice, but it costs money from ordinary shoppers, exactly as Kudrin says: import substitution, to the extent it is voluntary policy from a country (and it was not voluntary in 2014, but some of it now is voluntary), is a luxury good.

    Food prices have slowly but steadily increased every year since 2014, and despite record harvests, accelerated in 2018 - 5% increase in fruit and vegetable prices. At the same time, incomes do not increase in the same years. Proportion of income expended on food increases since 2015, which is not a common trend. And poorer people are complaining about food prices, even if not reported much in media (as industrialists and important local businessmen all benefiting from this).

    If import substitution is so bad, why did the inflation (rate) decline so much in the last two decades and reach its record low in January/2018?

    • Replies: @Dmitry

    in the last two decades

     

    Overall reality of last two decades has been cosmically rise in imports - imports to Russia increase incredibly fast until the devaluation crisis 2014 (with very temporary fall in 2008 as a result of recession).

    This creates some geopolitical vulnerability and future exposure to sanctions, but rapid increase in imports in Russia, reflected improvement in life and economy in most ways.


    each its record low in January/2018?

     

    If we want to talk about inflation, we need to look at graph including interest rates and economic growth.

    In 2010-2012, there is strong economic growth and interest rates around 5% - so the inflation rate was acceptable.

    In late 2014, devaluation induces ("cost push") spike in inflation, which is at least well managed, but with significant cost to the economy (very high interest rates).

    At the end of 2014, interest rate is raised to 17% and economic growth goes into recession. It's the high interest rate and recession, and the low economic growth, which eventually lowered inflation below 5%.

    Every year since 2014, incomes are either falling or almost flat. This is less problem in 2017, when inflation is still low (2017 was a balance of low inflation and low growth). But in 2018, inflation is becoming a problem for peoples' income - inflation was 4,7% for goods and services and 4,9% for fruit and vegetables in 2018.* Between 2015 and 2018, proportion of income expended on food even increases according to RIA index (which is a contrary trend for Russia of previous 15 years, when proportion of income expended on food was always falling, and there was trend to convergence to EU average economies in this measure).


    -
    *
    https://www.cbr.ru/Collection/Collection/File/19714/Infl_01042019.pdf

  104. @Mitleser
    If import substitution is so bad, why did the inflation (rate) decline so much in the last two decades and reach its record low in January/2018?

    https://d3fy651gv2fhd3.cloudfront.net/charts/russia-inflation-cpi.png?s=rucpiyoy&v=201906061327a1&d1=20000101&d2=20190627

    in the last two decades

    Overall reality of last two decades has been cosmically rise in imports – imports to Russia increase incredibly fast until the devaluation crisis 2014 (with very temporary fall in 2008 as a result of recession).

    This creates some geopolitical vulnerability and future exposure to sanctions, but rapid increase in imports in Russia, reflected improvement in life and economy in most ways.

    each its record low in January/2018?

    If we want to talk about inflation, we need to look at graph including interest rates and economic growth.

    In 2010-2012, there is strong economic growth and interest rates around 5% – so the inflation rate was acceptable.

    In late 2014, devaluation induces (“cost push”) spike in inflation, which is at least well managed, but with significant cost to the economy (very high interest rates).

    At the end of 2014, interest rate is raised to 17% and economic growth goes into recession. It’s the high interest rate and recession, and the low economic growth, which eventually lowered inflation below 5%.

    Every year since 2014, incomes are either falling or almost flat. This is less problem in 2017, when inflation is still low (2017 was a balance of low inflation and low growth). But in 2018, inflation is becoming a problem for peoples’ income – inflation was 4,7% for goods and services and 4,9% for fruit and vegetables in 2018.* Between 2015 and 2018, proportion of income expended on food even increases according to RIA index (which is a contrary trend for Russia of previous 15 years, when proportion of income expended on food was always falling, and there was trend to convergence to EU average economies in this measure).


    *
    https://www.cbr.ru/Collection/Collection/File/19714/Infl_01042019.pdf

    • Replies: @Mitleser
    In the last years, less was imported than in the first half of the 2010s or pre-crisis 2008 yet inflation rate was lower (or the same).

    https://d3fy651gv2fhd3.cloudfront.net/charts/russia-imports.png?s=rutbim&v=201906111319a1&d1=20000101&d2=20190627

    , @DreadIlk
    We like to order a lot of stuff from AliExpress. Shipping to Russia for heavy things is free vs US it can be upwards to 200$. And this was before tariffs. So imagine my surprise when I was checking prices out on Yandex and the prices in Russian stores for imported goods are 20-30% cheaper then here in US.

    You can do this for your self. Just pull up similar goods on yandex and amazon.

    edit: also don't expect everything in the economy to be good while you are at war. There is a cost to everything.

  105. @Dmitry

    in the last two decades

     

    Overall reality of last two decades has been cosmically rise in imports - imports to Russia increase incredibly fast until the devaluation crisis 2014 (with very temporary fall in 2008 as a result of recession).

    This creates some geopolitical vulnerability and future exposure to sanctions, but rapid increase in imports in Russia, reflected improvement in life and economy in most ways.


    each its record low in January/2018?

     

    If we want to talk about inflation, we need to look at graph including interest rates and economic growth.

    In 2010-2012, there is strong economic growth and interest rates around 5% - so the inflation rate was acceptable.

    In late 2014, devaluation induces ("cost push") spike in inflation, which is at least well managed, but with significant cost to the economy (very high interest rates).

    At the end of 2014, interest rate is raised to 17% and economic growth goes into recession. It's the high interest rate and recession, and the low economic growth, which eventually lowered inflation below 5%.

    Every year since 2014, incomes are either falling or almost flat. This is less problem in 2017, when inflation is still low (2017 was a balance of low inflation and low growth). But in 2018, inflation is becoming a problem for peoples' income - inflation was 4,7% for goods and services and 4,9% for fruit and vegetables in 2018.* Between 2015 and 2018, proportion of income expended on food even increases according to RIA index (which is a contrary trend for Russia of previous 15 years, when proportion of income expended on food was always falling, and there was trend to convergence to EU average economies in this measure).


    -
    *
    https://www.cbr.ru/Collection/Collection/File/19714/Infl_01042019.pdf

    In the last years, less was imported than in the first half of the 2010s or pre-crisis 2008 yet inflation rate was lower (or the same).

    • Replies: @Dmitry
    Notice this graph of import level matches quite accurately the good times and the less good times of the economy.

    Fall of inflation and fall of imports in the graph, were responding mainly to the decrease in economic growth, although the mechanisms can be different. For example, currency crisis at end of 2014 causes spike of initial inflation, which is partly expression of increased cost of imports - response to this (interest rate raised to 17%), then contributes to decrease of economic growth, and it's overall decrease of economic growth that further contributes to fall in inflation.

    -

    But inflation in boom years, when income is growing, is rather tolerable - unlike inflation still happening or rising when the economy is slow like 2018.

  106. @Mitleser
    In the last years, less was imported than in the first half of the 2010s or pre-crisis 2008 yet inflation rate was lower (or the same).

    https://d3fy651gv2fhd3.cloudfront.net/charts/russia-imports.png?s=rutbim&v=201906111319a1&d1=20000101&d2=20190627

    Notice this graph of import level matches quite accurately the good times and the less good times of the economy.

    Fall of inflation and fall of imports in the graph, were responding mainly to the decrease in economic growth, although the mechanisms can be different. For example, currency crisis at end of 2014 causes spike of initial inflation, which is partly expression of increased cost of imports – response to this (interest rate raised to 17%), then contributes to decrease of economic growth, and it’s overall decrease of economic growth that further contributes to fall in inflation.

    But inflation in boom years, when income is growing, is rather tolerable – unlike inflation still happening or rising when the economy is slow like 2018.

    • Replies: @Mitleser
    It used to match it quite accurately, but that is no longer the case in the most recent years.
  107. @Dmitry
    Notice this graph of import level matches quite accurately the good times and the less good times of the economy.

    Fall of inflation and fall of imports in the graph, were responding mainly to the decrease in economic growth, although the mechanisms can be different. For example, currency crisis at end of 2014 causes spike of initial inflation, which is partly expression of increased cost of imports - response to this (interest rate raised to 17%), then contributes to decrease of economic growth, and it's overall decrease of economic growth that further contributes to fall in inflation.

    -

    But inflation in boom years, when income is growing, is rather tolerable - unlike inflation still happening or rising when the economy is slow like 2018.

    It used to match it quite accurately, but that is no longer the case in the most recent years.

  108. @AnonFromTN
    Too late. As they say in Russia, the train has already left the station.

    Funny thing is, so-called sanctions benefited the Russian economy a lot more than Putin’s rule from 2000 to 2014. Agriculture and food processing are booming. The results are very impressive: I was there last Fall, and must say that the food got a lot better, most dramatically in Moscow, where it used to be imported, but now is mostly local. There are high quality pretty fancy cheeses, which used to be imported, but now are produced domestically (I suspect in part by smarter French and Italian cheesemakers that started production in Russia to make themselves immune to any political stupidity). The variety of really good smoked fish increased, etc.

    Many industries also benefited: Russia now produces its own engines for helicopters, high-power electric generator turbines, power plants for ships, etc. Shipbuilding is rapidly developing. Whatever machinery Russia used to buy from Germany is now supplied by South Korea, that jumped at the opportunity to gain a huge market, taking advantage of others’ stupidity. So, when the sanctions are finally lifted, Europe won’t get much back. As the Russian saying has it, “that’s how you teach the fools”.

    Import substitution comes at the cost of living standards. Maybe there are hard cheeses in Moscow buy in Saratov most cheese looks suspiciously based on palm oil rather than milk.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    No doubt. But it’s a short-term loss and a long-term gain. Not to mention that developing internal production creates jobs and extra income for the people. Of course, the state has to invest in it, likely at the expense of other things, and will recoup its investment only over a number of years. However, considering that Western Europe and the US were always hostile to Russia in any incarnation (Russian Empire, USSR, Russian Federation), which means that this is a constant that does not depend on the nature of Russian state or its behavior, it is a smart move. Should have been made long before 2014, though.
    , @Swedish Family

    Maybe there are hard cheeses in Moscow buy in Saratov most cheese looks suspiciously based on palm oil rather than milk.
     
    Russia 24 last month ran a segment on some Italian cheese maestro who married a local girl and now makes cheese for the Russian market. Should be more than fine. And if Russia has lax pasteurization laws, as I expect, it might even be better than most Western European cheese.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QHLAERJNywo
    , @joni
    Comparative advantage has been proven bunk since it has been revealed that the West will consistently use gaps in what other nations produce to create shortages to literally starve populations into submission.

    Look at how Russia decided not to produce turbines because they could be purchased from Siemens, and then Siemens pulled the out the rug using the excuse of "sanctions." This is a lesson to the world to always buy locally and to stay away from any US products and companies that could be blackmailed by the US.
  109. @JL
    I've lived in both NYC and Moscow and can confidently declare that NYC doesn't even come close to Moscow in terms of services offered 24/7. Russians seem to be night owls by nature. NYC is "the city that never sleeps" only relative to other American cities. If you see someone on the street in NYC at 5 in the morning, chances are they are on their way to work, or getting something done before work. In Moscow, they're heading home from partying.

    I don't understand how it makes economic sense, but here is a very partial list of things you can do in the middle of the night in Moscow:

    Get your car serviced (Unit)
    Shop at a big box grocery/hardware/home improvement store (Tvoy Dom)
    Get a hair cut, manicure, massage, etc.
    Buy a fur coat
    Eat at one of Moscow's most storied restaurants (Pushkin)
    Hit the gym, swim in a pool
    Notarize documents
    Pawn jewelry

    I could go on, but you get the point.

    Personally I disliked the Russian habit of partying like they do in the Mediterranean. Get home by three am and you can get enough sleep to do something the next day, get back at seven am and you spend the whole day in bed.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    The majority does not party all night, and goes to work in the morning. But in a huge megapolis like Moscow there are enough people who are up all night (say, 1% of 12.5 million people is 125,000) to make keeping things open 24/7 profitable.
  110. @Philip Owen
    Import substitution comes at the cost of living standards. Maybe there are hard cheeses in Moscow buy in Saratov most cheese looks suspiciously based on palm oil rather than milk.

    No doubt. But it’s a short-term loss and a long-term gain. Not to mention that developing internal production creates jobs and extra income for the people. Of course, the state has to invest in it, likely at the expense of other things, and will recoup its investment only over a number of years. However, considering that Western Europe and the US were always hostile to Russia in any incarnation (Russian Empire, USSR, Russian Federation), which means that this is a constant that does not depend on the nature of Russian state or its behavior, it is a smart move. Should have been made long before 2014, though.

  111. @LondonBob
    Personally I disliked the Russian habit of partying like they do in the Mediterranean. Get home by three am and you can get enough sleep to do something the next day, get back at seven am and you spend the whole day in bed.

    The majority does not party all night, and goes to work in the morning. But in a huge megapolis like Moscow there are enough people who are up all night (say, 1% of 12.5 million people is 125,000) to make keeping things open 24/7 profitable.

  112. The chorus of idiots just got smaller: Lithuania and Georgia stated that their delegates will continue working at PACE. Normal village has only one idiot. As of today, Europe have five. Are the other four prepared to play this role along with the one who certainly is, Ukraine?

  113. @AnonFromTN
    I go by the Roman rule: ask “cui bono”, and you know the criminal. It is correct 99.9% of the time (nothing is ever correct 100% of the time).

    I go by the Roman rule: ask “cui bono”, and you know the criminal. It is correct 99.9% of the time (nothing is ever correct 100% of the time).

    Yes, the question of motive is the mystery here. Had only the violent alcoholic who was first charged with the murder had one, I think most people would have left it at that, but as it is, all possible motives we know of (he is long since dead) bring more questions than answers. One popular theory holds that he mistook Palme for a buddy of his, a drug pusher he might have owed some money (he was a compulsive gambler). This motive, of course, feels underwhelmingly banal, so it’s natural that the case has bred conspiracy theories.

    A parallel can be drawn to the Kennedy assassination, where I now believe, from what I have read and seen, that Lee Harvey Oswald was indeed the killer. Oswald, too, seems something of an anticlimax. How could this lowlife take down a great American president? But I think we must allow for such freak happenstances. Sometimes “making sense” of things is the wrong way to go: they just happened to be, however unlikely their occurence, and that was all there was to it. Here is Martin Amis, in his review of Norman Mailer’s book on Oswald, making a similar argument:

    During the winter of 1959, Lee Harvey Oswald went and did something interesting. After a lonely and fatherless childhood, a morosely politicized adolescence, and a stint in the Marines (where his nicknames were Mrs Oswald, Oswaldskovich and ‘Shit-bird’), Oswald defected to the USSR. As he probably saw it, the Soviet Union stood up for the little guy – and Oswald was certainly little. It worked out, too, in a way. Fortuitously, ominously and instantly, he elevated himself from mediocrity to exotic. He was ‘a real American, and unmarried’, one of his minders observed: ‘Young women even came to the hotel and said, “How do we meet this guy?” ’ Being American had never cut so much ice in New Orleans or the Bronx.

    The authorities – the ‘Organs’ – soon got him out of Moscow and parked him in Minsk, a city he had never heard of. They gave him a flat and a job and light surveillance: Oswald would have been mortified to learn that his KGB handler regarded him as ‘primitive – a basic case’, of ‘zero’ political value. And yet he blundered along, dependably feisty, incurious and obtuse. One morning at seven, he was roused by election workers (it was the day of some obligatory vote) ‘and Lee wouldn’t open up. He kept yelling, “This is a free country.” ’ He fell for a girl called Ella, and was spurned. He married a girl called Marina (‘to hurt Ella’, according to his diary), and soon settled into a husbandly regime of bickering, fist-flexing, and premature ejaculation. He liked the Russian summers but he didn’t like the Russian winters. Ever since Ella he had been trying to wheedle his way back to America (he did have the knack of outwitting, or outlasting, titanic bureaucracies). With his wife and daughter he sailed for New York in the summer of 1962, and then made for Texas. He flunked a series of cheesy jobs. He bought a cockroach spraygun. He acquired a rifle. He had a year to go.

    Whereas the American Oswaldiana is porous and bloated from constant exposure, the Russian material has been hermetically sealed. It is thirty-five years old, but it is pristine. In these cogent and artistic pages, Oswald is no longer the spectral, hangdog examinee of various hearings and post-mortems. He comes alive. And he looks horribly familiar. From a KGB transcript of a bugging (‘for Object LHO-2983’):

    LHO: Shut up. Take your baby (baby is crying) …
    WIFE: (sobbing) Don’t look at me that way – nobody is afraid of you. Go to hell, you bastard!
    LHO: You’re very good.
    WIFE: You can go to your America without me, and I hope you die on the way.

    Oswald did indeed go back to his America. And at Dealey Plaza he duly ruptured its history in 6.9 seconds.

    What we seem to be contemplating, then, is a tale of egregious disproportion. Simply put, the most potent and promise-crammed figure on earth had his brains blown out by a malevolent Charlie Chaplin with a wonky rifle and a couple of Big Ideas. Now, everything in Mailer rebels against this reading. If Oswald was a nonentity, acting alone, all we are left with is absurdity – more garbage, more randomness and rot. Clearly, there are only two ways out of the bind. Either Oswald wasn’t acting alone – or he wasn’t a nonentity. He was complex, tortured; he was tinged by the ‘tragic’.

    To our initial surprises, Mailer rejects conspiracy. According to Oliver Stone’s feverish movie, JFK, the assassination involved practically 50 per cent of the American populace. The unlikelihood of a pan-national cover-up would seem to outweigh the more local lacunae – Oswald’s marksmanship, the ‘magic bullet’, Jack Ruby – which are merely ‘evidentiary’, and subject to the ping-pong of rival advocacies. More crucially, all conspiracies founder on the crags of Oswald’s character, as here established. No concerted effort, however harebrained, could have placed Oswald at its leading edge. Even as a patsy he was unemployable.

    • Replies: @Beckow

    ...Even as a patsy he was unemployable (Oswald).
     
    Great piece by Martin Amis. As I was reading it, an analogy occurred to me of Oswald and his mindless meandering with poor Ukraine: same unrequited yearning, same self-hatred projected on others, possibly similar tragic ending. (Georgia fits the same pattern, although they seem more focused, self-confident, with more self-preservation.)

    I generally dislike analogies snce they confuse clear thinking. The Oswald-Ukraine analogy is also wobbly, but still, Ukraine's eclectic behavior, its cargo cult revolutions, lashing out and subservience (kneeling in front of its masters!), the general confusion in their thinking, well, Oswald changed America, maybe Kiev will manage to change the world in the same way. Can't wait for the next Maidan.
    , @AnonFromTN
    Well, maybe, but in both cases there are too many coincidences. They are not impossible, but remarkably unlikely. Let me tell you a Russian joke about a 90-year old guy who came to the doctor and said: I married a 20-year old girl, and nine months later she delivered a baby. Is it possible that the child is mine? The doctor answers: anything is possible, but let me tell you a story about my recent adventure in Africa. In the middle of the night I got out of my tent to pee, and saw a lion. I had nothing except my walking stick, so I pointed it at the lion and said “bang!” The lion dropped dead. I turned around and saw a real hunter behind me.

    As for “magic bullet” theory, it is as contrived and unbelievable as British fairy tale about Skripal poisoning. Although Brits gave the game away by changing the story too many times within a few days.

    Let me conclude with another Russian joke, this one about explanation how a guy fell from church bell tower and remained alive. The first time – random occurrence. The second time – coincidence. The third time – habit.
    , @LondonBob
    Victor Marchetti had this to say.

    At the time, in 1959, the United States was having real difficulty in acquiring information out of the Soviet Union; the technical systems had, of course, not developed to the point that they are at today, and we were resorting to all sorts of activities. One of these activities was an ONI (Office of Naval Intelligence) program which involved three dozen, maybe forty, young men who were made to appear disenchanted, poor, American youths who had become turned off and wanted to see what communism was all about. Some of these people lasted only a few weeks. They were sent into the Soviet Union, or into eastern Europe, with the specific intention the Soviets would pick them up and 'double' them if they suspected them of being US agents, or recruit them as KGB agents. They were trained at various naval installations both here and abroad, but the operation was being run out of Nag's Head, North Carolina.
     
    Oswald's biggest concern when he was arrested was his cover had been blown. Although he realised the bigger predicament he was in when he was charged with murdering the President and his phone call to his ONI handler in North Carolina went unanswered. Unfortunately Jewish mobster Jacob Leon Rubinstein tied up that loose end.

    https://spartacus-educational.com/JFKoswald.htm

    Not really a fan of Norman Mailer or Martin Amis, neither have any knowledge of the intelligence world. Colonel John Hughes Wilson does know what he is talking about.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eoYXgPGgpQY
  114. @JL
    I've lived in both NYC and Moscow and can confidently declare that NYC doesn't even come close to Moscow in terms of services offered 24/7. Russians seem to be night owls by nature. NYC is "the city that never sleeps" only relative to other American cities. If you see someone on the street in NYC at 5 in the morning, chances are they are on their way to work, or getting something done before work. In Moscow, they're heading home from partying.

    I don't understand how it makes economic sense, but here is a very partial list of things you can do in the middle of the night in Moscow:

    Get your car serviced (Unit)
    Shop at a big box grocery/hardware/home improvement store (Tvoy Dom)
    Get a hair cut, manicure, massage, etc.
    Buy a fur coat
    Eat at one of Moscow's most storied restaurants (Pushkin)
    Hit the gym, swim in a pool
    Notarize documents
    Pawn jewelry

    I could go on, but you get the point.

    Though the metro is closed 1-5am, while NY’s is one of the few open all day. Would happily trade that for the opportunity to pawn jewelry or buy a fur coat.

    • Agree: JL
    • Replies: @DreadIlk
    First problem that comes to mind is maintenance.
  115. @Philip Owen
    Import substitution comes at the cost of living standards. Maybe there are hard cheeses in Moscow buy in Saratov most cheese looks suspiciously based on palm oil rather than milk.

    Maybe there are hard cheeses in Moscow buy in Saratov most cheese looks suspiciously based on palm oil rather than milk.

    Russia 24 last month ran a segment on some Italian cheese maestro who married a local girl and now makes cheese for the Russian market. Should be more than fine. And if Russia has lax pasteurization laws, as I expect, it might even be better than most Western European cheese.

    • Replies: @Philip Owen
    I had one of the best Russian dairy farms (in terms of protein content of milk-required for cheese) for sale on my books for two years. No one was interested in buying it. They sold about 50 tonnes of milk a week for cheese making and made about 10 tonnes into cheese themselves. They sell it at a market near Khamovniki. They are one of the bigger local hard cheese makers. Still artisans though.
  116. @melanf

    In our history writing 1570-1595 Sweden attacked Russia, Sweden’s victory. We call this the Long War or 25-years-war.
     
    This is an arbitrary combination of two different wars. On this logic all war with Sweden can be unite in one war


    1570-1595 Sweden attacked Russia, Sweden’s victory. We call this the Long War or 25-years-war. Sweden stopped Russian expansionism

     

    Sweden stopped nothing . The war (in 1570-1583) was against the coalition from Turkey, Poland and Sweden


    By land area it was the most successful Swedish conquest though much of the land was arctic no mans land.
     
    In the "Arctic" lands most likely there was only demarcation of the border. No changes in the "Arctic" borders are observed on the Russian maps
    https://geographyofrussia.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/20_1.jpg

    In the “Arctic” lands most likely there was only demarcation of the border. No changes in the “Arctic” borders are observed on the Russian maps

    There was no known border in the arctic before this war so if you have any on maps they’re just assuming one based on modern ones. The border before 1595 was this

    and there’s no surviving document that proves any demarcated border between Sweden and Novgorod in the arctic actually existed. The old border marker stones only exist in east Finland / lost territories near Vyborg. What we do know is that Novgorod owned the northwest coast of what’s now Finland north of this border but they were so far from their military strength that Sweden was pushing into the area.

    Northwestern coast of Finland was recognized as Russian land even before any border existed and before Sweden had taken any land:

    https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%9F%D1%80%D0%B8%D0%B1%D0%BE%D1%82%D0%BD%D0%B8%D1%8F

    (Sum = Suomi = “Finn” tribe that was apparently always aligned with Swedes, Yem = independent tribe that fought Novgorod but later lost to Swedish crusaders) Notice how rivers make it easy to go from Ladoga and White Sea river systems to about where this town is now

    https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/Оулу

    This river mouth was a Novgorod trade outpost. The Swedes kept pushing against this river mouth, though, and ended up ruling on the ground on the coast long before 1595 but the land was formally Russian until 1595 and the inland and the north was not similarly Swedish dominated.

    Russia was expanding its influence by preaching Orthodoxy to Saamis and Finns in the north and east. At this time the practical arrangement was that Orthodox = part of Russia, West Christian = part of Sweden. That’s why the war was a brutal matter of going after monks, priests etc since they were the agents of the other state.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pechenga_Monastery

    The Russians were far ahead in the north and much of the Saami and north Finnish population had been exposed to Orthodoxy even far to the west of Pechenga. Even the westernmost Finnic languages have Russian/Greek names for Christian things. Most of what’s now Finland and Lapland shows more Russian influence than Scandinavian before 1595.

    The treaty of 1595 was a huge loss for Russians in the north but this war coincides with Russian victories over Tatars so loss of arctic shrubberies doesn’t sting much I guess.

    This is an arbitrary combination of two different wars. On this logic all war with Sweden can be unite in one war

    The war never actually stopped in Finland and Kola/Karelia despite the truce and raiding with significant casualties and whole towns burned continued, though much of it was Finnic tribes vs. Finnic tribes (mostly Orthodox White Sea Karelians vs northwestern West-Christian Finns). It was one continuous war in the north.

    • Replies: @Philip Owen
    The first people to navigate the north of Norway and Karelia were the English in 1535. They established a sea route to Murmansk. No formal state had any real presence that far north at the time.
  117. @Swedish Family

    I go by the Roman rule: ask “cui bono”, and you know the criminal. It is correct 99.9% of the time (nothing is ever correct 100% of the time).
     
    Yes, the question of motive is the mystery here. Had only the violent alcoholic who was first charged with the murder had one, I think most people would have left it at that, but as it is, all possible motives we know of (he is long since dead) bring more questions than answers. One popular theory holds that he mistook Palme for a buddy of his, a drug pusher he might have owed some money (he was a compulsive gambler). This motive, of course, feels underwhelmingly banal, so it's natural that the case has bred conspiracy theories.

    A parallel can be drawn to the Kennedy assassination, where I now believe, from what I have read and seen, that Lee Harvey Oswald was indeed the killer. Oswald, too, seems something of an anticlimax. How could this lowlife take down a great American president? But I think we must allow for such freak happenstances. Sometimes "making sense" of things is the wrong way to go: they just happened to be, however unlikely their occurence, and that was all there was to it. Here is Martin Amis, in his review of Norman Mailer's book on Oswald, making a similar argument:


    During the winter of 1959, Lee Harvey Oswald went and did something interesting. After a lonely and fatherless childhood, a morosely politicized adolescence, and a stint in the Marines (where his nicknames were Mrs Oswald, Oswaldskovich and ‘Shit-bird’), Oswald defected to the USSR. As he probably saw it, the Soviet Union stood up for the little guy – and Oswald was certainly little. It worked out, too, in a way. Fortuitously, ominously and instantly, he elevated himself from mediocrity to exotic. He was ‘a real American, and unmarried’, one of his minders observed: ‘Young women even came to the hotel and said, “How do we meet this guy?” ’ Being American had never cut so much ice in New Orleans or the Bronx.

    The authorities – the ‘Organs’ – soon got him out of Moscow and parked him in Minsk, a city he had never heard of. They gave him a flat and a job and light surveillance: Oswald would have been mortified to learn that his KGB handler regarded him as ‘primitive – a basic case’, of ‘zero’ political value. And yet he blundered along, dependably feisty, incurious and obtuse. One morning at seven, he was roused by election workers (it was the day of some obligatory vote) ‘and Lee wouldn’t open up. He kept yelling, “This is a free country.” ’ He fell for a girl called Ella, and was spurned. He married a girl called Marina (‘to hurt Ella’, according to his diary), and soon settled into a husbandly regime of bickering, fist-flexing, and premature ejaculation. He liked the Russian summers but he didn’t like the Russian winters. Ever since Ella he had been trying to wheedle his way back to America (he did have the knack of outwitting, or outlasting, titanic bureaucracies). With his wife and daughter he sailed for New York in the summer of 1962, and then made for Texas. He flunked a series of cheesy jobs. He bought a cockroach spraygun. He acquired a rifle. He had a year to go.

    Whereas the American Oswaldiana is porous and bloated from constant exposure, the Russian material has been hermetically sealed. It is thirty-five years old, but it is pristine. In these cogent and artistic pages, Oswald is no longer the spectral, hangdog examinee of various hearings and post-mortems. He comes alive. And he looks horribly familiar. From a KGB transcript of a bugging (‘for Object LHO-2983’):

    LHO: Shut up. Take your baby (baby is crying) …
    WIFE: (sobbing) Don’t look at me that way – nobody is afraid of you. Go to hell, you bastard!
    LHO: You’re very good.
    WIFE: You can go to your America without me, and I hope you die on the way.

    Oswald did indeed go back to his America. And at Dealey Plaza he duly ruptured its history in 6.9 seconds.

    What we seem to be contemplating, then, is a tale of egregious disproportion. Simply put, the most potent and promise-crammed figure on earth had his brains blown out by a malevolent Charlie Chaplin with a wonky rifle and a couple of Big Ideas. Now, everything in Mailer rebels against this reading. If Oswald was a nonentity, acting alone, all we are left with is absurdity – more garbage, more randomness and rot. Clearly, there are only two ways out of the bind. Either Oswald wasn’t acting alone – or he wasn’t a nonentity. He was complex, tortured; he was tinged by the ‘tragic’.

    To our initial surprises, Mailer rejects conspiracy. According to Oliver Stone’s feverish movie, JFK, the assassination involved practically 50 per cent of the American populace. The unlikelihood of a pan-national cover-up would seem to outweigh the more local lacunae – Oswald’s marksmanship, the ‘magic bullet’, Jack Ruby – which are merely ‘evidentiary’, and subject to the ping-pong of rival advocacies. More crucially, all conspiracies founder on the crags of Oswald’s character, as here established. No concerted effort, however harebrained, could have placed Oswald at its leading edge. Even as a patsy he was unemployable.
     

    …Even as a patsy he was unemployable (Oswald).

    Great piece by Martin Amis. As I was reading it, an analogy occurred to me of Oswald and his mindless meandering with poor Ukraine: same unrequited yearning, same self-hatred projected on others, possibly similar tragic ending. (Georgia fits the same pattern, although they seem more focused, self-confident, with more self-preservation.)

    I generally dislike analogies snce they confuse clear thinking. The Oswald-Ukraine analogy is also wobbly, but still, Ukraine’s eclectic behavior, its cargo cult revolutions, lashing out and subservience (kneeling in front of its masters!), the general confusion in their thinking, well, Oswald changed America, maybe Kiev will manage to change the world in the same way. Can’t wait for the next Maidan.

    • Replies: @Swedish Family

    As I was reading it, an analogy occurred to me of Oswald and his mindless meandering with poor Ukraine: same unrequited yearning, same self-hatred projected on others, possibly similar tragic ending. (Georgia fits the same pattern, although they seem more focused, self-confident, with more self-preservation.)

    I generally dislike analogies snce they confuse clear thinking. The Oswald-Ukraine analogy is also wobbly, but still, Ukraine’s eclectic behavior, its cargo cult revolutions, lashing out and subservience (kneeling in front of its masters!), the general confusion in their thinking, well, Oswald changed America, maybe Kiev will manage to change the world in the same way. Can’t wait for the next Maidan.
     

    I must admit I feel a little protective of Ukrainians when you put it like that. They are some of the nicest people around -- most of them -- and not nearly as unhinged as their officials make them out. And brighter and more intellectually curious too. A girl I dated, who was a strong Maidan supporter [1], happily listened to my stories of Western skulduggery, and once, on the recommendation of one of her coworkers, even bought a book by Oles Buzina. (She liked it a lot.)

    That said, you are right to think that there is something confused and disjointed about Ukrainian nationalism. A theory of mine is that much of the ideological split between Russian and Ukrainian nationalists comes from the stories nations tell themselves about their pasts -- how they think of their place in history. It's a rather involved argument, and I will have to think of it some more before I put it down in words, but very broadly speaking, I think that a seductive feature of Ukrainian nationalism is that it neatly sidessteps the agony of having to "integrate" Ukraine's Soviet years into its sense of self. To Ukrainian nationalist eyes, the Soviet years are alien to what Ukraine is, a horror visited from abroad, and so a legacy that can be done away with by decree and dissociation [2]. Russians do not have this option, so their nationalism must seek to come to terms with the Soviet years. This, I would argue, is a blessing as much as a curse, for if they succeed in this, their "national idea" will be so much better grounded and rounded for it.

    [1] And I do mean strong Maidan supporter -- she even had friends from Lviv stay in her apartment when they came by to demonstrate; the main reason we stopped seeing each other was that she couldn't stand my sovietophilia (some of her family died in the Holodomor).

    [2] There is a striking parallel here with those Russian nationalists who try to portray Bolshevism as a Western (or Jewish) import.

  118. @AnonFromTN
    News sources say that along with usual village idiots (Ukraine, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Georgia, and Poland) the delegation of Slovakia also left PACE session. Is this true?

    There was one loser named Poliacik – literally means a ‘little Pole’. He belongs to what we call a ‘park bench‘ party, since their members can fit on a single park bench. For some unfathomable reason these non-entities keep on geeting sent to foreign assignments (maybe brother-in-law?) and embarrasing themselves.

    We had an ambassador to Washington few years back who was famous for submitting a formal complaint to UN (under commies) for lack of hot water in his apartment that he blamed on government chicanery. He was known as ‘they-turned-off-my-hot-water-call-UN!!! Butora‘. It takes all kinds.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    Blaming everything on crazy Poles is a good one. Russian government uses this trick pretty often. What’s more, it’s believable: Poland had several unhinged governments in a row, with a number of clinically certifiable ministers. A few Poles I know personally are quite sane and heartily despise all Polish governments of the last 15-20 years. Then again, none of them lives in Poland.
  119. @Swedish Family

    I go by the Roman rule: ask “cui bono”, and you know the criminal. It is correct 99.9% of the time (nothing is ever correct 100% of the time).
     
    Yes, the question of motive is the mystery here. Had only the violent alcoholic who was first charged with the murder had one, I think most people would have left it at that, but as it is, all possible motives we know of (he is long since dead) bring more questions than answers. One popular theory holds that he mistook Palme for a buddy of his, a drug pusher he might have owed some money (he was a compulsive gambler). This motive, of course, feels underwhelmingly banal, so it's natural that the case has bred conspiracy theories.

    A parallel can be drawn to the Kennedy assassination, where I now believe, from what I have read and seen, that Lee Harvey Oswald was indeed the killer. Oswald, too, seems something of an anticlimax. How could this lowlife take down a great American president? But I think we must allow for such freak happenstances. Sometimes "making sense" of things is the wrong way to go: they just happened to be, however unlikely their occurence, and that was all there was to it. Here is Martin Amis, in his review of Norman Mailer's book on Oswald, making a similar argument:


    During the winter of 1959, Lee Harvey Oswald went and did something interesting. After a lonely and fatherless childhood, a morosely politicized adolescence, and a stint in the Marines (where his nicknames were Mrs Oswald, Oswaldskovich and ‘Shit-bird’), Oswald defected to the USSR. As he probably saw it, the Soviet Union stood up for the little guy – and Oswald was certainly little. It worked out, too, in a way. Fortuitously, ominously and instantly, he elevated himself from mediocrity to exotic. He was ‘a real American, and unmarried’, one of his minders observed: ‘Young women even came to the hotel and said, “How do we meet this guy?” ’ Being American had never cut so much ice in New Orleans or the Bronx.

    The authorities – the ‘Organs’ – soon got him out of Moscow and parked him in Minsk, a city he had never heard of. They gave him a flat and a job and light surveillance: Oswald would have been mortified to learn that his KGB handler regarded him as ‘primitive – a basic case’, of ‘zero’ political value. And yet he blundered along, dependably feisty, incurious and obtuse. One morning at seven, he was roused by election workers (it was the day of some obligatory vote) ‘and Lee wouldn’t open up. He kept yelling, “This is a free country.” ’ He fell for a girl called Ella, and was spurned. He married a girl called Marina (‘to hurt Ella’, according to his diary), and soon settled into a husbandly regime of bickering, fist-flexing, and premature ejaculation. He liked the Russian summers but he didn’t like the Russian winters. Ever since Ella he had been trying to wheedle his way back to America (he did have the knack of outwitting, or outlasting, titanic bureaucracies). With his wife and daughter he sailed for New York in the summer of 1962, and then made for Texas. He flunked a series of cheesy jobs. He bought a cockroach spraygun. He acquired a rifle. He had a year to go.

    Whereas the American Oswaldiana is porous and bloated from constant exposure, the Russian material has been hermetically sealed. It is thirty-five years old, but it is pristine. In these cogent and artistic pages, Oswald is no longer the spectral, hangdog examinee of various hearings and post-mortems. He comes alive. And he looks horribly familiar. From a KGB transcript of a bugging (‘for Object LHO-2983’):

    LHO: Shut up. Take your baby (baby is crying) …
    WIFE: (sobbing) Don’t look at me that way – nobody is afraid of you. Go to hell, you bastard!
    LHO: You’re very good.
    WIFE: You can go to your America without me, and I hope you die on the way.

    Oswald did indeed go back to his America. And at Dealey Plaza he duly ruptured its history in 6.9 seconds.

    What we seem to be contemplating, then, is a tale of egregious disproportion. Simply put, the most potent and promise-crammed figure on earth had his brains blown out by a malevolent Charlie Chaplin with a wonky rifle and a couple of Big Ideas. Now, everything in Mailer rebels against this reading. If Oswald was a nonentity, acting alone, all we are left with is absurdity – more garbage, more randomness and rot. Clearly, there are only two ways out of the bind. Either Oswald wasn’t acting alone – or he wasn’t a nonentity. He was complex, tortured; he was tinged by the ‘tragic’.

    To our initial surprises, Mailer rejects conspiracy. According to Oliver Stone’s feverish movie, JFK, the assassination involved practically 50 per cent of the American populace. The unlikelihood of a pan-national cover-up would seem to outweigh the more local lacunae – Oswald’s marksmanship, the ‘magic bullet’, Jack Ruby – which are merely ‘evidentiary’, and subject to the ping-pong of rival advocacies. More crucially, all conspiracies founder on the crags of Oswald’s character, as here established. No concerted effort, however harebrained, could have placed Oswald at its leading edge. Even as a patsy he was unemployable.
     

    Well, maybe, but in both cases there are too many coincidences. They are not impossible, but remarkably unlikely. Let me tell you a Russian joke about a 90-year old guy who came to the doctor and said: I married a 20-year old girl, and nine months later she delivered a baby. Is it possible that the child is mine? The doctor answers: anything is possible, but let me tell you a story about my recent adventure in Africa. In the middle of the night I got out of my tent to pee, and saw a lion. I had nothing except my walking stick, so I pointed it at the lion and said “bang!” The lion dropped dead. I turned around and saw a real hunter behind me.

    As for “magic bullet” theory, it is as contrived and unbelievable as British fairy tale about Skripal poisoning. Although Brits gave the game away by changing the story too many times within a few days.

    Let me conclude with another Russian joke, this one about explanation how a guy fell from church bell tower and remained alive. The first time – random occurrence. The second time – coincidence. The third time – habit.

  120. @Beckow
    There was one loser named Poliacik - literally means a 'little Pole'. He belongs to what we call a 'park bench' party, since their members can fit on a single park bench. For some unfathomable reason these non-entities keep on geeting sent to foreign assignments (maybe brother-in-law?) and embarrasing themselves.

    We had an ambassador to Washington few years back who was famous for submitting a formal complaint to UN (under commies) for lack of hot water in his apartment that he blamed on government chicanery. He was known as 'they-turned-off-my-hot-water-call-UN!!! Butora'. It takes all kinds.

    Blaming everything on crazy Poles is a good one. Russian government uses this trick pretty often. What’s more, it’s believable: Poland had several unhinged governments in a row, with a number of clinically certifiable ministers. A few Poles I know personally are quite sane and heartily despise all Polish governments of the last 15-20 years. Then again, none of them lives in Poland.

  121. @Swedish Family

    Maybe there are hard cheeses in Moscow buy in Saratov most cheese looks suspiciously based on palm oil rather than milk.
     
    Russia 24 last month ran a segment on some Italian cheese maestro who married a local girl and now makes cheese for the Russian market. Should be more than fine. And if Russia has lax pasteurization laws, as I expect, it might even be better than most Western European cheese.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QHLAERJNywo

    I had one of the best Russian dairy farms (in terms of protein content of milk-required for cheese) for sale on my books for two years. No one was interested in buying it. They sold about 50 tonnes of milk a week for cheese making and made about 10 tonnes into cheese themselves. They sell it at a market near Khamovniki. They are one of the bigger local hard cheese makers. Still artisans though.

    • Replies: @Swedish Family

    I had one of the best Russian dairy farms (in terms of protein content of milk-required for cheese) for sale on my books for two years. No one was interested in buying it. They sold about 50 tonnes of milk a week for cheese making and made about 10 tonnes into cheese themselves. They sell it at a market near Khamovniki. They are one of the bigger local hard cheese makers. Still artisans though.
     
    What a pity. I suppose Russia still hasn't gone through the "gentrification" of local food that the West saw in the 00s (at least in Sweden; maybe a little earlier in the English-speaking world). But it will get there any day now, I'm sure. Already two summers ago, at MegaMarket in Kiev, I picked up and A/B-tested some half a dozen locally-produced smetanas, all of which were excellent [1]. So the craft is there. All it takes is for Russians to understand that good cheese — indeed, superior cheese — can be easily made at home.

    [1] But very unlike. In Sweden, smetana is marketed as this exotic product with a taste of its own — like kefir, say — but this shoot out I did convinced me that there is no uniform "smetana" taste aside from the tart that all smetanas share (from fermentation or — God forbid! — some industrial process).
  122. @Jaakko Raipala

    In the “Arctic” lands most likely there was only demarcation of the border. No changes in the “Arctic” borders are observed on the Russian maps
     
    There was no known border in the arctic before this war so if you have any on maps they're just assuming one based on modern ones. The border before 1595 was this

    https://fi.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suomen_aluemuutokset#/media/Tiedosto:Border_changes_in_Finland_1323.jpg

    and there's no surviving document that proves any demarcated border between Sweden and Novgorod in the arctic actually existed. The old border marker stones only exist in east Finland / lost territories near Vyborg. What we do know is that Novgorod owned the northwest coast of what's now Finland north of this border but they were so far from their military strength that Sweden was pushing into the area.

    Northwestern coast of Finland was recognized as Russian land even before any border existed and before Sweden had taken any land:

    https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%9F%D1%80%D0%B8%D0%B1%D0%BE%D1%82%D0%BD%D0%B8%D1%8F

    (Sum = Suomi = "Finn" tribe that was apparently always aligned with Swedes, Yem = independent tribe that fought Novgorod but later lost to Swedish crusaders) Notice how rivers make it easy to go from Ladoga and White Sea river systems to about where this town is now

    https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/Оулу

    This river mouth was a Novgorod trade outpost. The Swedes kept pushing against this river mouth, though, and ended up ruling on the ground on the coast long before 1595 but the land was formally Russian until 1595 and the inland and the north was not similarly Swedish dominated.

    Russia was expanding its influence by preaching Orthodoxy to Saamis and Finns in the north and east. At this time the practical arrangement was that Orthodox = part of Russia, West Christian = part of Sweden. That's why the war was a brutal matter of going after monks, priests etc since they were the agents of the other state.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pechenga_Monastery

    The Russians were far ahead in the north and much of the Saami and north Finnish population had been exposed to Orthodoxy even far to the west of Pechenga. Even the westernmost Finnic languages have Russian/Greek names for Christian things. Most of what's now Finland and Lapland shows more Russian influence than Scandinavian before 1595.

    The treaty of 1595 was a huge loss for Russians in the north but this war coincides with Russian victories over Tatars so loss of arctic shrubberies doesn't sting much I guess.


    This is an arbitrary combination of two different wars. On this logic all war with Sweden can be unite in one war
     
    The war never actually stopped in Finland and Kola/Karelia despite the truce and raiding with significant casualties and whole towns burned continued, though much of it was Finnic tribes vs. Finnic tribes (mostly Orthodox White Sea Karelians vs northwestern West-Christian Finns). It was one continuous war in the north.

    The first people to navigate the north of Norway and Karelia were the English in 1535. They established a sea route to Murmansk. No formal state had any real presence that far north at the time.

    • Replies: @melanf

    The first people to navigate the north of Norway and Karelia were the English in 1535. They established a sea route to Murmansk. No formal state had any real presence that far north at the time
     
    .

    It's from the history of the alternate universe. The shores of the white sea were inhabited by Russians in the middle ages. Here is for example

    "In 1349 the Black Death reached Sweden and made it impossible to
    avenge the loss of Orekhov for the time being, at least by military
    action.... The Norwegians were attacked by a Russian raiding force during the plague year- it reached the steward's own estate at Bjarkey
    . "
    The Northern Crusades_ The Baltic and the Catholic Frontier 1100–1525

    It was a typical route of Russian pirates to attack Scandinavia from the Arctic ocean. And who was the first Navigator? Alfred the Great ordered to record the story of a Viking (Ohthere of Hålogaland) about a trip to the white sea.

    , @Beckow

    The first people to navigate the north of Norway and Karelia were the English in 1535. They established a sea route to Murmansk. No formal state had any real presence that far north at the time.
     
    Is that what it says in your history books? Because it is a great example of a completely narcissistic and delusional Western 'scholarship'. It is so self-centered that you describe others by using your own very limited historical resources. It also lacks basic logic.

    No, the first people didn't navigate 'north of Norway and Karelia' only in the 16th century. People living there, Vikings, Russians, probably Finns, navigated around there for centuries before that.

    And what is a 'formal state presence'? Maybe something like being registered with London, or Rome? Do we still have to register with you?

  123. @Pericles

    But with Swedes there is also a psychological reason – they love everybody, it is their official ideology that they push everywhere: Nigerians, Papuans, cross-gender unicorns, you name it, Swedes are told that it is all equal and must be loved. They are also deep in the English-Hollywood admiration society – and aspiring provincials always overdo the devotion (see the insane Galician worship of the Habsburgs for another example).

     

    Our Bilderberg Party leader, Annie Lööf, could see nothing wrong with inviting 30 million immigrants into a country of less than 10 million. In other words, let's just bulldoze the country and culture and be done with it. She would probably still balk if someone asked "so 30 million Russians is okay?".

    By tradition there has thus been suspicion and the ruling leftwing Social Democrats kept clear of the actual Soviet-supported Communists. However, the Swedish cultural elites turned extremely sharply left in the 1960s (Leninism, Maoism, etc) and have more or less remained there since then.

    …Swedish cultural elites turned extremely sharply left in the 1960s

    I have always wondered why that happened, and why was this turn most pronounced in relatively nice, developed places like Canada and Sweden. As if once humans reach a certain level of comfort and peace they simply lose any sense of self-preservation. They also seem to lose any ability for critical thinking, so when you point out to them that 30 million Africans in Sweden could be a few too many, they are unable to even comprehend the point.

    One hope is that eventually most remaining natives (actual Swedes) will be of the breeding stock, those having children, and they tend to be different and forced to live in a real world. But I have met Swedes with kids who are also deluded, so it might be a forlorn hope. Well, at least they have the evil Russian submarines, whales and Pinterest posts to worry about…

  124. @Philip Owen
    The first people to navigate the north of Norway and Karelia were the English in 1535. They established a sea route to Murmansk. No formal state had any real presence that far north at the time.

    The first people to navigate the north of Norway and Karelia were the English in 1535. They established a sea route to Murmansk. No formal state had any real presence that far north at the time

    .

    It’s from the history of the alternate universe. The shores of the white sea were inhabited by Russians in the middle ages. Here is for example

    In 1349 the Black Death reached Sweden and made it impossible to
    avenge the loss of Orekhov for the time being, at least by military
    action…. The Norwegians were attacked by a Russian raiding force during the plague year- it reached the steward’s own estate at Bjarkey
    . ”
    The Northern Crusades_ The Baltic and the Catholic Frontier 1100–1525

    It was a typical route of Russian pirates to attack Scandinavia from the Arctic ocean. And who was the first Navigator? Alfred the Great ordered to record the story of a Viking (Ohthere of Hålogaland) about a trip to the white sea.

  125. @Philip Owen
    The first people to navigate the north of Norway and Karelia were the English in 1535. They established a sea route to Murmansk. No formal state had any real presence that far north at the time.

    The first people to navigate the north of Norway and Karelia were the English in 1535. They established a sea route to Murmansk. No formal state had any real presence that far north at the time.

    Is that what it says in your history books? Because it is a great example of a completely narcissistic and delusional Western ‘scholarship‘. It is so self-centered that you describe others by using your own very limited historical resources. It also lacks basic logic.

    No, the first people didn’t navigate ‘north of Norway and Karelia’ only in the 16th century. People living there, Vikings, Russians, probably Finns, navigated around there for centuries before that.

    And what is a ‘formal state presence‘? Maybe something like being registered with London, or Rome? Do we still have to register with you?

    • Replies: @Jaakko Raipala
    Formal state presence would be a government other than purely tribal kinship relations. That is a big bunch of oral traditions that state if you're related to someone in such and such a way you have such and such responsibilities. Languages like Finnish that were used by recently tribal people have way more words for kinships, for example there's a different word for "uncle from fathers side" (setä) and "uncle from mother's side" (eno) because there would be different responsibilities.

    No courts or laws or such, instead you have tradition that if someone gets killed it's the duty of brothers and cousins to go and kill someone from the family of the killer, if someone's honor is insulted it's the duty of such and such relatives to do such and such things, if someone is orphaned it's the duty of such and such relatives to take over first, then others in the chain etc. Web of kinship duties.

    Non-tribal states in the north were built with literate Christian elites who were either Englishmen or Germans imported by the Swedes starting in the 14th century or Russians or recently russified Finnic people (the Russians were better at getting Finnic locals to speak their language and converting to become priests etc). Christianity basically carried the Roman form of government to the north.

    There was a long mixed period when Russians were moving into Finnic areas where the Finnic locals would remain tribal and slowly get brought into the church and under law. Russians who were moving north were already Christian so they were "pioneers" who brought literate elites and government with them when they moved in. Scandinavians were tribal in the Viking Age (there was some literacy but it wasn't used to craft a full government of laws) but moved on with the Christian conversion.

    The Swedish settlers who took over coasts in Finland moved in as Christians, not Viking tribals. The Norwegians Christianized rapidly and the northern coast was under civilized Christian government centuries earlier than 1535. But inland Lapland (and much of inland Finland) was filled with tribal Finns and Saamis who were up for grabs and the Russians and the Swedes were competing in conversion / state building.
  126. @Beckow

    The first people to navigate the north of Norway and Karelia were the English in 1535. They established a sea route to Murmansk. No formal state had any real presence that far north at the time.
     
    Is that what it says in your history books? Because it is a great example of a completely narcissistic and delusional Western 'scholarship'. It is so self-centered that you describe others by using your own very limited historical resources. It also lacks basic logic.

    No, the first people didn't navigate 'north of Norway and Karelia' only in the 16th century. People living there, Vikings, Russians, probably Finns, navigated around there for centuries before that.

    And what is a 'formal state presence'? Maybe something like being registered with London, or Rome? Do we still have to register with you?

    Formal state presence would be a government other than purely tribal kinship relations. That is a big bunch of oral traditions that state if you’re related to someone in such and such a way you have such and such responsibilities. Languages like Finnish that were used by recently tribal people have way more words for kinships, for example there’s a different word for “uncle from fathers side” (setä) and “uncle from mother’s side” (eno) because there would be different responsibilities.

    No courts or laws or such, instead you have tradition that if someone gets killed it’s the duty of brothers and cousins to go and kill someone from the family of the killer, if someone’s honor is insulted it’s the duty of such and such relatives to do such and such things, if someone is orphaned it’s the duty of such and such relatives to take over first, then others in the chain etc. Web of kinship duties.

    Non-tribal states in the north were built with literate Christian elites who were either Englishmen or Germans imported by the Swedes starting in the 14th century or Russians or recently russified Finnic people (the Russians were better at getting Finnic locals to speak their language and converting to become priests etc). Christianity basically carried the Roman form of government to the north.

    There was a long mixed period when Russians were moving into Finnic areas where the Finnic locals would remain tribal and slowly get brought into the church and under law. Russians who were moving north were already Christian so they were “pioneers” who brought literate elites and government with them when they moved in. Scandinavians were tribal in the Viking Age (there was some literacy but it wasn’t used to craft a full government of laws) but moved on with the Christian conversion.

    The Swedish settlers who took over coasts in Finland moved in as Christians, not Viking tribals. The Norwegians Christianized rapidly and the northern coast was under civilized Christian government centuries earlier than 1535. But inland Lapland (and much of inland Finland) was filled with tribal Finns and Saamis who were up for grabs and the Russians and the Swedes were competing in conversion / state building.

    • Replies: @melanf

    Formal state presence would be a government other than purely tribal kinship relations.
     
    "Dvina land" (i.e. the territory with state administration) is mentioned in Russian documents of the 13th century. The first mention of Kola (settlement about the place of Murmansk) in 1517, the monastery in Pechenga - 1532. English (and Dutch) seafarers reached these lands in the second half of the 16th century.
    , @Beckow
    Thank you for the scholastic explanation. I understand that Christianity and record keeping have made states more defined.

    Still who are we to call the societies previous to that as 'lacking in a state structure'. For all we know, some of them might have been more tightly organised, with more 'laws', rules, etc, the informaton simply wasn't preserved. People are territorial (or used to be), and state is nothing else than an expression of that territoriality by a self-conscious group. It used to be tribes, then aristocratic elites, then 'Christians', then citizens, today more like a random collection of anyone from anywhere who manage to park themselves in a particular territory. Eventually the ideology of no borders will result in no states - a much worse situation than what we have now.

    My point about a 'formal state' is more generic. For example if one would ask a tribal member 2,000 years ago if they lived in a state, they would probably say yes, if the concept of 'state' was explained to them. Why do we have British busy-bodies tell us that they were only discovered by the English in the 16th century'? That seems awfully self-centered and narcissistic.

  127. @Philip Owen
    Import substitution comes at the cost of living standards. Maybe there are hard cheeses in Moscow buy in Saratov most cheese looks suspiciously based on palm oil rather than milk.

    Comparative advantage has been proven bunk since it has been revealed that the West will consistently use gaps in what other nations produce to create shortages to literally starve populations into submission.

    Look at how Russia decided not to produce turbines because they could be purchased from Siemens, and then Siemens pulled the out the rug using the excuse of “sanctions.” This is a lesson to the world to always buy locally and to stay away from any US products and companies that could be blackmailed by the US.

  128. @Beckow

    ...Even as a patsy he was unemployable (Oswald).
     
    Great piece by Martin Amis. As I was reading it, an analogy occurred to me of Oswald and his mindless meandering with poor Ukraine: same unrequited yearning, same self-hatred projected on others, possibly similar tragic ending. (Georgia fits the same pattern, although they seem more focused, self-confident, with more self-preservation.)

    I generally dislike analogies snce they confuse clear thinking. The Oswald-Ukraine analogy is also wobbly, but still, Ukraine's eclectic behavior, its cargo cult revolutions, lashing out and subservience (kneeling in front of its masters!), the general confusion in their thinking, well, Oswald changed America, maybe Kiev will manage to change the world in the same way. Can't wait for the next Maidan.

    As I was reading it, an analogy occurred to me of Oswald and his mindless meandering with poor Ukraine: same unrequited yearning, same self-hatred projected on others, possibly similar tragic ending. (Georgia fits the same pattern, although they seem more focused, self-confident, with more self-preservation.)

    I generally dislike analogies snce they confuse clear thinking. The Oswald-Ukraine analogy is also wobbly, but still, Ukraine’s eclectic behavior, its cargo cult revolutions, lashing out and subservience (kneeling in front of its masters!), the general confusion in their thinking, well, Oswald changed America, maybe Kiev will manage to change the world in the same way. Can’t wait for the next Maidan.

    I must admit I feel a little protective of Ukrainians when you put it like that. They are some of the nicest people around — most of them — and not nearly as unhinged as their officials make them out. And brighter and more intellectually curious too. A girl I dated, who was a strong Maidan supporter [1], happily listened to my stories of Western skulduggery, and once, on the recommendation of one of her coworkers, even bought a book by Oles Buzina. (She liked it a lot.)

    That said, you are right to think that there is something confused and disjointed about Ukrainian nationalism. A theory of mine is that much of the ideological split between Russian and Ukrainian nationalists comes from the stories nations tell themselves about their pasts — how they think of their place in history. It’s a rather involved argument, and I will have to think of it some more before I put it down in words, but very broadly speaking, I think that a seductive feature of Ukrainian nationalism is that it neatly sidessteps the agony of having to “integrate” Ukraine’s Soviet years into its sense of self. To Ukrainian nationalist eyes, the Soviet years are alien to what Ukraine is, a horror visited from abroad, and so a legacy that can be done away with by decree and dissociation [2]. Russians do not have this option, so their nationalism must seek to come to terms with the Soviet years. This, I would argue, is a blessing as much as a curse, for if they succeed in this, their “national idea” will be so much better grounded and rounded for it.

    [1] And I do mean strong Maidan supporter — she even had friends from Lviv stay in her apartment when they came by to demonstrate; the main reason we stopped seeing each other was that she couldn’t stand my sovietophilia (some of her family died in the Holodomor).

    [2] There is a striking parallel here with those Russian nationalists who try to portray Bolshevism as a Western (or Jewish) import.

  129. @Philip Owen
    I had one of the best Russian dairy farms (in terms of protein content of milk-required for cheese) for sale on my books for two years. No one was interested in buying it. They sold about 50 tonnes of milk a week for cheese making and made about 10 tonnes into cheese themselves. They sell it at a market near Khamovniki. They are one of the bigger local hard cheese makers. Still artisans though.

    I had one of the best Russian dairy farms (in terms of protein content of milk-required for cheese) for sale on my books for two years. No one was interested in buying it. They sold about 50 tonnes of milk a week for cheese making and made about 10 tonnes into cheese themselves. They sell it at a market near Khamovniki. They are one of the bigger local hard cheese makers. Still artisans though.

    What a pity. I suppose Russia still hasn’t gone through the “gentrification” of local food that the West saw in the 00s (at least in Sweden; maybe a little earlier in the English-speaking world). But it will get there any day now, I’m sure. Already two summers ago, at MegaMarket in Kiev, I picked up and A/B-tested some half a dozen locally-produced smetanas, all of which were excellent [1]. So the craft is there. All it takes is for Russians to understand that good cheese — indeed, superior cheese — can be easily made at home.

    [1] But very unlike. In Sweden, smetana is marketed as this exotic product with a taste of its own — like kefir, say — but this shoot out I did convinced me that there is no uniform “smetana” taste aside from the tart that all smetanas share (from fermentation or — God forbid! — some industrial process).

  130. @Anatoly Karlin
    Glad to hear you liked it!

    Personally, I like Moscow more than SPB, but the latter certainly has its charms.

    What does Moscow have over Peter other than scale, really?

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    I think I write about it, but to summarize:

    1) Climate.

    2) Moscow is more walkable.

    3) Scale matters. 70% of the most interesting and influential people in Russia are concentrated in Moscow or its environs (whether in politics, business, science, or culture). SPB - around 10%.

    I believe SPB is not so much the "northern capital" as merely the biggest millionik.
  131. @Jaakko Raipala
    Formal state presence would be a government other than purely tribal kinship relations. That is a big bunch of oral traditions that state if you're related to someone in such and such a way you have such and such responsibilities. Languages like Finnish that were used by recently tribal people have way more words for kinships, for example there's a different word for "uncle from fathers side" (setä) and "uncle from mother's side" (eno) because there would be different responsibilities.

    No courts or laws or such, instead you have tradition that if someone gets killed it's the duty of brothers and cousins to go and kill someone from the family of the killer, if someone's honor is insulted it's the duty of such and such relatives to do such and such things, if someone is orphaned it's the duty of such and such relatives to take over first, then others in the chain etc. Web of kinship duties.

    Non-tribal states in the north were built with literate Christian elites who were either Englishmen or Germans imported by the Swedes starting in the 14th century or Russians or recently russified Finnic people (the Russians were better at getting Finnic locals to speak their language and converting to become priests etc). Christianity basically carried the Roman form of government to the north.

    There was a long mixed period when Russians were moving into Finnic areas where the Finnic locals would remain tribal and slowly get brought into the church and under law. Russians who were moving north were already Christian so they were "pioneers" who brought literate elites and government with them when they moved in. Scandinavians were tribal in the Viking Age (there was some literacy but it wasn't used to craft a full government of laws) but moved on with the Christian conversion.

    The Swedish settlers who took over coasts in Finland moved in as Christians, not Viking tribals. The Norwegians Christianized rapidly and the northern coast was under civilized Christian government centuries earlier than 1535. But inland Lapland (and much of inland Finland) was filled with tribal Finns and Saamis who were up for grabs and the Russians and the Swedes were competing in conversion / state building.

    Formal state presence would be a government other than purely tribal kinship relations.

    “Dvina land” (i.e. the territory with state administration) is mentioned in Russian documents of the 13th century. The first mention of Kola (settlement about the place of Murmansk) in 1517, the monastery in Pechenga – 1532. English (and Dutch) seafarers reached these lands in the second half of the 16th century.

  132. @Swedish Family

    I go by the Roman rule: ask “cui bono”, and you know the criminal. It is correct 99.9% of the time (nothing is ever correct 100% of the time).
     
    Yes, the question of motive is the mystery here. Had only the violent alcoholic who was first charged with the murder had one, I think most people would have left it at that, but as it is, all possible motives we know of (he is long since dead) bring more questions than answers. One popular theory holds that he mistook Palme for a buddy of his, a drug pusher he might have owed some money (he was a compulsive gambler). This motive, of course, feels underwhelmingly banal, so it's natural that the case has bred conspiracy theories.

    A parallel can be drawn to the Kennedy assassination, where I now believe, from what I have read and seen, that Lee Harvey Oswald was indeed the killer. Oswald, too, seems something of an anticlimax. How could this lowlife take down a great American president? But I think we must allow for such freak happenstances. Sometimes "making sense" of things is the wrong way to go: they just happened to be, however unlikely their occurence, and that was all there was to it. Here is Martin Amis, in his review of Norman Mailer's book on Oswald, making a similar argument:


    During the winter of 1959, Lee Harvey Oswald went and did something interesting. After a lonely and fatherless childhood, a morosely politicized adolescence, and a stint in the Marines (where his nicknames were Mrs Oswald, Oswaldskovich and ‘Shit-bird’), Oswald defected to the USSR. As he probably saw it, the Soviet Union stood up for the little guy – and Oswald was certainly little. It worked out, too, in a way. Fortuitously, ominously and instantly, he elevated himself from mediocrity to exotic. He was ‘a real American, and unmarried’, one of his minders observed: ‘Young women even came to the hotel and said, “How do we meet this guy?” ’ Being American had never cut so much ice in New Orleans or the Bronx.

    The authorities – the ‘Organs’ – soon got him out of Moscow and parked him in Minsk, a city he had never heard of. They gave him a flat and a job and light surveillance: Oswald would have been mortified to learn that his KGB handler regarded him as ‘primitive – a basic case’, of ‘zero’ political value. And yet he blundered along, dependably feisty, incurious and obtuse. One morning at seven, he was roused by election workers (it was the day of some obligatory vote) ‘and Lee wouldn’t open up. He kept yelling, “This is a free country.” ’ He fell for a girl called Ella, and was spurned. He married a girl called Marina (‘to hurt Ella’, according to his diary), and soon settled into a husbandly regime of bickering, fist-flexing, and premature ejaculation. He liked the Russian summers but he didn’t like the Russian winters. Ever since Ella he had been trying to wheedle his way back to America (he did have the knack of outwitting, or outlasting, titanic bureaucracies). With his wife and daughter he sailed for New York in the summer of 1962, and then made for Texas. He flunked a series of cheesy jobs. He bought a cockroach spraygun. He acquired a rifle. He had a year to go.

    Whereas the American Oswaldiana is porous and bloated from constant exposure, the Russian material has been hermetically sealed. It is thirty-five years old, but it is pristine. In these cogent and artistic pages, Oswald is no longer the spectral, hangdog examinee of various hearings and post-mortems. He comes alive. And he looks horribly familiar. From a KGB transcript of a bugging (‘for Object LHO-2983’):

    LHO: Shut up. Take your baby (baby is crying) …
    WIFE: (sobbing) Don’t look at me that way – nobody is afraid of you. Go to hell, you bastard!
    LHO: You’re very good.
    WIFE: You can go to your America without me, and I hope you die on the way.

    Oswald did indeed go back to his America. And at Dealey Plaza he duly ruptured its history in 6.9 seconds.

    What we seem to be contemplating, then, is a tale of egregious disproportion. Simply put, the most potent and promise-crammed figure on earth had his brains blown out by a malevolent Charlie Chaplin with a wonky rifle and a couple of Big Ideas. Now, everything in Mailer rebels against this reading. If Oswald was a nonentity, acting alone, all we are left with is absurdity – more garbage, more randomness and rot. Clearly, there are only two ways out of the bind. Either Oswald wasn’t acting alone – or he wasn’t a nonentity. He was complex, tortured; he was tinged by the ‘tragic’.

    To our initial surprises, Mailer rejects conspiracy. According to Oliver Stone’s feverish movie, JFK, the assassination involved practically 50 per cent of the American populace. The unlikelihood of a pan-national cover-up would seem to outweigh the more local lacunae – Oswald’s marksmanship, the ‘magic bullet’, Jack Ruby – which are merely ‘evidentiary’, and subject to the ping-pong of rival advocacies. More crucially, all conspiracies founder on the crags of Oswald’s character, as here established. No concerted effort, however harebrained, could have placed Oswald at its leading edge. Even as a patsy he was unemployable.
     

    Victor Marchetti had this to say.

    At the time, in 1959, the United States was having real difficulty in acquiring information out of the Soviet Union; the technical systems had, of course, not developed to the point that they are at today, and we were resorting to all sorts of activities. One of these activities was an ONI (Office of Naval Intelligence) program which involved three dozen, maybe forty, young men who were made to appear disenchanted, poor, American youths who had become turned off and wanted to see what communism was all about. Some of these people lasted only a few weeks. They were sent into the Soviet Union, or into eastern Europe, with the specific intention the Soviets would pick them up and ‘double’ them if they suspected them of being US agents, or recruit them as KGB agents. They were trained at various naval installations both here and abroad, but the operation was being run out of Nag’s Head, North Carolina.

    Oswald’s biggest concern when he was arrested was his cover had been blown. Although he realised the bigger predicament he was in when he was charged with murdering the President and his phone call to his ONI handler in North Carolina went unanswered. Unfortunately Jewish mobster Jacob Leon Rubinstein tied up that loose end.

    https://spartacus-educational.com/JFKoswald.htm

    Not really a fan of Norman Mailer or Martin Amis, neither have any knowledge of the intelligence world. Colonel John Hughes Wilson does know what he is talking about.

    • Replies: @Swedish Family

    Not really a fan of Norman Mailer or Martin Amis, neither have any knowledge of the intelligence world. Colonel John Hughes Wilson does know what he is talking about.
     
    I half suspected my claim wouldn't go unchallenged.

    The weakness with this John le Carré theory of yours is that it would make him, if true, possibly the greatest CIA plant the world has ever known. Among other things, it would have him

    (1) Go through a miserable stint in the Marines just to build up his cover.
    (2) Consort with the arch enemy to the point where he even marries and fathers a daughter with one of its women. (To strengthen his cover? Even KGB agents weren't asked to go that far, as Yuri Bezmenov exaplained.)
    (3) Habitually beat up his new wife. (Again, to strengthen his cover? What disciplined professional sinks this low, and for so little gain?)
    (4) Continue this miserable life on returning to the States before, after another 12+ months of misery, killing President Kennedy, the leader of the country he has now basically given all his life.

    I don't see the psychology of the person who would pull all this off. Or even half of it.

  133. @Yevardian
    What does Moscow have over Peter other than scale, really?

    I think I write about it, but to summarize:

    1) Climate.

    2) Moscow is more walkable.

    3) Scale matters. 70% of the most interesting and influential people in Russia are concentrated in Moscow or its environs (whether in politics, business, science, or culture). SPB – around 10%.

    I believe SPB is not so much the “northern capital” as merely the biggest millionik.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
    It's also simply a far greater quantity of money in Moscow.

    Peter still can feel slightly shabby and normal even in the most beautiful parts.


    not so much the “northern capital” as merely the biggest millionik.
     
    Saint Petersburg is a very different (much higher) dimension - in terms of size, wealth, architecture and history (I won't say "cultural level" or has the "best football team", although I'll agree at least with the latter).
    , @melanf

    (advantages of Moscow over St. Petersburg)
    1) Climate.
     
    In this option, St. Petersburg has an absolute superiority. The climate is initially about the same (Moscow is more continental, St. Petersburg-more oceanic) but:
    Moscow is hotter, stuffy and polluted because of its size.
    Moscow is losing because it is landlocked.
    St. Petersburg has (within the city) magnificent forests and lakes

    Here is the district of St-Petersburg where I live

    https://aff.bstatic.com/images/hotel/max1280x900/510/51088468.jpg

    http://rasfokus.ru/images/photos/medium/da0667f72dc2326373c789870073dbd0.jpg
    Moscow in comparison - complete shit


    2) Moscow is more walkable.
     
    This is very controversial as St. Petersburg is smaller

    Scale matters. 70% of the most interesting and influential people in Russia are concentrated in Moscow or its environs (whether in politics, business, science, or culture). SPB – around 10%.
     
    About culture is 100% wrong (you can count the winners of the prizes in the field of fantasy/science fiction, or the winners of the theater award "Golden mask", etc., etc.) In relation to science - also very much doubt. In the field of business - Yes 90% of the money in Moscow
  134. @Dmitry

    public transport (train + bus) much dirtier.
     
    That's interesting to hear another person from New York.

    It's something sad, but characteristically American - that such a rich city as New York, cannot invest (maybe something like $10 billion?) to upgrade the metro system to the 21st century?

    New York's shabby trains, is seems too much of an example of traditional America crisis of -“public poverty and private wealth”.*

    In relation to the homeless flooding, I guess this is a result of internal immigration? There's a similar situation of homeless flooding in California? I was told this is because in California, better conditions and more liberal laws for homeless people than other American states. So as a result homeless people from around America, are emigrating to California.

    -

    * Even medium Spanish cities, where you do not see any expensive cars in the streets - can somehow afford to buy modern and hi-tech metro system with newest, shiny, Siemens metro trains, while billionaire New York has a dirty old metro system.

    I don’t know how much budget is sunk into metro but it is a fuck ton. 10 billion won’t make a difference. At this point it turned into a welfare program. One project was drawing several billion and was at a stand still. They audited and found out something like 702 people on payroll that did no work. Keep in mind all numbers from memory so they are not accurate but the idea is correct.

    New York is a poor city if you look at the quality of its government with relation to it’s population size. Homeless flooding in California vs NY is different. In Cali climate is good to them. NY climate is a little harsher. We have a winter. Homeless in NY is mostly because government stopped harassing them.

    Btw rich neighborhoods are as if it’s a different world. But that is always the case no matter where you are.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
    Something which seems visible about New York metro, is that although it is bad today, it looks incredibly worse in the 1980s.

    Here is video of New York subway in the 1980s (wtf, is this!). I would be surprised you could take a journey without getting AIDs.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JN4ATDfCYmo


    And in 1990, it was this nightmare, the presenter is trying to sound happy about.


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5LFxrPhNGAk


    It was somewhere at a third world level in the 1980s? So now what we see today kind of makes sense, and it's surely improved quite by 2000.

    , @Dmitry

    budget is sunk into metro
     
    They're buying some new trains at least.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xb1VEm6Tk1g


    What will happen though - the homeless people will destroy these shiny trains and make them shabby in a few months. (And you can't ban those homeless people from living in the metro, or buy them a ticket to relocate to California or Canada?)

    https://www.facebook.com/thisis5boros/videos/286552778916878/

  135. @Dmitry
    It's all nice, but it costs money from ordinary shoppers, exactly as Kudrin says: import substitution, to the extent it is voluntary policy from a country (and it was not voluntary in 2014, but some of it now is voluntary), is a luxury good.

    Food prices have slowly but steadily increased every year since 2014, and despite record harvests, accelerated in 2018 - 5% increase in fruit and vegetable prices. At the same time, incomes do not increase in the same years. Proportion of income expended on food increases since 2015, which is not a common trend. And poorer people are complaining about food prices, even if not reported much in media (as industrialists and important local businessmen all benefiting from this).

    I used to think that way. Think of it as population being forced to invest in their future. It hurts in short term but works out long term. You should rely on your self anyways, trade should be beneficial for the nation not some individuals in the nation.

  136. @JL
    I've lived in both NYC and Moscow and can confidently declare that NYC doesn't even come close to Moscow in terms of services offered 24/7. Russians seem to be night owls by nature. NYC is "the city that never sleeps" only relative to other American cities. If you see someone on the street in NYC at 5 in the morning, chances are they are on their way to work, or getting something done before work. In Moscow, they're heading home from partying.

    I don't understand how it makes economic sense, but here is a very partial list of things you can do in the middle of the night in Moscow:

    Get your car serviced (Unit)
    Shop at a big box grocery/hardware/home improvement store (Tvoy Dom)
    Get a hair cut, manicure, massage, etc.
    Buy a fur coat
    Eat at one of Moscow's most storied restaurants (Pushkin)
    Hit the gym, swim in a pool
    Notarize documents
    Pawn jewelry

    I could go on, but you get the point.

    Very true. This is in contrast to NJ where everything is closed by 8pm and no shopping other than essentials on Sunday(blue laws).

  137. @Dmitry

    in the last two decades

     

    Overall reality of last two decades has been cosmically rise in imports - imports to Russia increase incredibly fast until the devaluation crisis 2014 (with very temporary fall in 2008 as a result of recession).

    This creates some geopolitical vulnerability and future exposure to sanctions, but rapid increase in imports in Russia, reflected improvement in life and economy in most ways.


    each its record low in January/2018?

     

    If we want to talk about inflation, we need to look at graph including interest rates and economic growth.

    In 2010-2012, there is strong economic growth and interest rates around 5% - so the inflation rate was acceptable.

    In late 2014, devaluation induces ("cost push") spike in inflation, which is at least well managed, but with significant cost to the economy (very high interest rates).

    At the end of 2014, interest rate is raised to 17% and economic growth goes into recession. It's the high interest rate and recession, and the low economic growth, which eventually lowered inflation below 5%.

    Every year since 2014, incomes are either falling or almost flat. This is less problem in 2017, when inflation is still low (2017 was a balance of low inflation and low growth). But in 2018, inflation is becoming a problem for peoples' income - inflation was 4,7% for goods and services and 4,9% for fruit and vegetables in 2018.* Between 2015 and 2018, proportion of income expended on food even increases according to RIA index (which is a contrary trend for Russia of previous 15 years, when proportion of income expended on food was always falling, and there was trend to convergence to EU average economies in this measure).


    -
    *
    https://www.cbr.ru/Collection/Collection/File/19714/Infl_01042019.pdf

    We like to order a lot of stuff from AliExpress. Shipping to Russia for heavy things is free vs US it can be upwards to 200$. And this was before tariffs. So imagine my surprise when I was checking prices out on Yandex and the prices in Russian stores for imported goods are 20-30% cheaper then here in US.

    You can do this for your self. Just pull up similar goods on yandex and amazon.

    edit: also don’t expect everything in the economy to be good while you are at war. There is a cost to everything.

  138. @Anatoly Karlin
    Though the metro is closed 1-5am, while NY's is one of the few open all day. Would happily trade that for the opportunity to pawn jewelry or buy a fur coat.

    First problem that comes to mind is maintenance.

  139. @DreadIlk
    I don't know how much budget is sunk into metro but it is a fuck ton. 10 billion won't make a difference. At this point it turned into a welfare program. One project was drawing several billion and was at a stand still. They audited and found out something like 702 people on payroll that did no work. Keep in mind all numbers from memory so they are not accurate but the idea is correct.

    New York is a poor city if you look at the quality of its government with relation to it's population size. Homeless flooding in California vs NY is different. In Cali climate is good to them. NY climate is a little harsher. We have a winter. Homeless in NY is mostly because government stopped harassing them.

    Btw rich neighborhoods are as if it's a different world. But that is always the case no matter where you are.

    Something which seems visible about New York metro, is that although it is bad today, it looks incredibly worse in the 1980s.

    Here is video of New York subway in the 1980s (wtf, is this!). I would be surprised you could take a journey without getting AIDs.

    And in 1990, it was this nightmare, the presenter is trying to sound happy about.

    It was somewhere at a third world level in the 1980s? So now what we see today kind of makes sense, and it’s surely improved quite by 2000.

    • Replies: @DreadIlk
    It is not better than those pictures now. Also something to keep in mind. The transit system in NYC the trains are probably the best part of it. The stations are worse and so are the buses. I have first hand knowledge about the air quality inside the train system, believe me I don't spend more than 5 minutes in there if I have to go in.

    I hear the argument often in the 70s 80s it was a nightmare. Sure but the trend for the last 15 years has been very bad.
  140. @Anatoly Karlin
    I think I write about it, but to summarize:

    1) Climate.

    2) Moscow is more walkable.

    3) Scale matters. 70% of the most interesting and influential people in Russia are concentrated in Moscow or its environs (whether in politics, business, science, or culture). SPB - around 10%.

    I believe SPB is not so much the "northern capital" as merely the biggest millionik.

    It’s also simply a far greater quantity of money in Moscow.

    Peter still can feel slightly shabby and normal even in the most beautiful parts.

    not so much the “northern capital” as merely the biggest millionik.

    Saint Petersburg is a very different (much higher) dimension – in terms of size, wealth, architecture and history (I won’t say “cultural level” or has the “best football team”, although I’ll agree at least with the latter).

  141. @DreadIlk
    I don't know how much budget is sunk into metro but it is a fuck ton. 10 billion won't make a difference. At this point it turned into a welfare program. One project was drawing several billion and was at a stand still. They audited and found out something like 702 people on payroll that did no work. Keep in mind all numbers from memory so they are not accurate but the idea is correct.

    New York is a poor city if you look at the quality of its government with relation to it's population size. Homeless flooding in California vs NY is different. In Cali climate is good to them. NY climate is a little harsher. We have a winter. Homeless in NY is mostly because government stopped harassing them.

    Btw rich neighborhoods are as if it's a different world. But that is always the case no matter where you are.

    budget is sunk into metro

    They’re buying some new trains at least.

    What will happen though – the homeless people will destroy these shiny trains and make them shabby in a few months. (And you can’t ban those homeless people from living in the metro, or buy them a ticket to relocate to California or Canada?)

    🤢 wow!!!Credit @boyboi_tru_

    Posted by This is NYC on Tuesday, May 7, 2019

    • Replies: @LondonBob
    A ticket for the NYC subway is far too cheap. In London it is double the price which means they can maintain it better and it keeps the riffraff off.
  142. @Jaakko Raipala
    Formal state presence would be a government other than purely tribal kinship relations. That is a big bunch of oral traditions that state if you're related to someone in such and such a way you have such and such responsibilities. Languages like Finnish that were used by recently tribal people have way more words for kinships, for example there's a different word for "uncle from fathers side" (setä) and "uncle from mother's side" (eno) because there would be different responsibilities.

    No courts or laws or such, instead you have tradition that if someone gets killed it's the duty of brothers and cousins to go and kill someone from the family of the killer, if someone's honor is insulted it's the duty of such and such relatives to do such and such things, if someone is orphaned it's the duty of such and such relatives to take over first, then others in the chain etc. Web of kinship duties.

    Non-tribal states in the north were built with literate Christian elites who were either Englishmen or Germans imported by the Swedes starting in the 14th century or Russians or recently russified Finnic people (the Russians were better at getting Finnic locals to speak their language and converting to become priests etc). Christianity basically carried the Roman form of government to the north.

    There was a long mixed period when Russians were moving into Finnic areas where the Finnic locals would remain tribal and slowly get brought into the church and under law. Russians who were moving north were already Christian so they were "pioneers" who brought literate elites and government with them when they moved in. Scandinavians were tribal in the Viking Age (there was some literacy but it wasn't used to craft a full government of laws) but moved on with the Christian conversion.

    The Swedish settlers who took over coasts in Finland moved in as Christians, not Viking tribals. The Norwegians Christianized rapidly and the northern coast was under civilized Christian government centuries earlier than 1535. But inland Lapland (and much of inland Finland) was filled with tribal Finns and Saamis who were up for grabs and the Russians and the Swedes were competing in conversion / state building.

    Thank you for the scholastic explanation. I understand that Christianity and record keeping have made states more defined.

    Still who are we to call the societies previous to that as ‘lacking in a state structure‘. For all we know, some of them might have been more tightly organised, with more ‘laws’, rules, etc, the informaton simply wasn’t preserved. People are territorial (or used to be), and state is nothing else than an expression of that territoriality by a self-conscious group. It used to be tribes, then aristocratic elites, then ‘Christians’, then citizens, today more like a random collection of anyone from anywhere who manage to park themselves in a particular territory. Eventually the ideology of no borders will result in no states – a much worse situation than what we have now.

    My point about a ‘formal state’ is more generic. For example if one would ask a tribal member 2,000 years ago if they lived in a state, they would probably say yes, if the concept of ‘state’ was explained to them. Why do we have British busy-bodies tell us that they were only discovered by the English in the 16th century’? That seems awfully self-centered and narcissistic.

  143. …feature of Ukrainian nationalism is that it neatly sidessteps the agony of having to “integrate” Ukraine’s Soviet years into its sense of self.

    I think that’s very true. It is also true about others e.g.: one can say that Latvians literally put Bolsheviks in power in 1917-18, Poland had 3 million domestic communists, Czechs have the historical record of actually electing communists to power in a free election, Georgians have the whole Stalin-Beria thing.

    I have a lot of sympathy for Ukrainians that I know personally, and I have actually not yet met anyone who is a classical ‘Maidanista’. Even very pro-EU Ukrainians I know are a lot more nuanced. I have less sympathy for avoiding reality because it never works.

    I think of the socialist-Soviet era as just another time in our history. It wasn’t great before that, and it hasn’t been all bed of roses since. If one tries to evaluate it objectively – based on simple data – the achievements between 1945-1990 were very substantial: all nations there grew quite a bit, became much more homogenized, prosperous, healthier, better educated, etc… The two arguments against are that it would had happend anyway and that it was achieved at too high a cost. In reality the costs were comparable to what happened previously in that region, and there is no way to know if the elites (including in the West) would had done the positive things after 1945 without a threat of socialism-communism. Ukraine, by the way, prospered enormously under Soviets and reached an apogee if its development roughly around 1990 (50 million+, industry…).

    • Agree: Yevardian
    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    Nations that deny their past have no future. This denial is false, anyway, as nobody can change the past. Of course, you can tell lies about it, but the only one you deceive is yourself. When individuals create a fantasy to deny their past, we call in psychiatrists. When nations do that, for whatever reason, they commit suicide, and no hotlines or psychiatrists can help.

    As far as Ukraine goes, it went way down since 1990, and no light at the end of the tunnel is in sight. A pity, it could have been a country.
    , @Swedish Family

    If one tries to evaluate it objectively – based on simple data – the achievements between 1945-1990 were very substantial: all nations there grew quite a bit, became much more homogenized, prosperous, healthier, better educated, etc… The two arguments against are that it would had happend anyway and that it was achieved at too high a cost. In reality the costs were comparable to what happened previously in that region, and there is no way to know if the elites (including in the West) would had done the positive things after 1945 without a threat of socialism-communism. Ukraine, by the way, prospered enormously under Soviets and reached an apogee if its development roughly around 1990 (50 million+, industry…).
     
    Very true. Especially the part about the Red Scare having a moderating effect on capitalism's worst tendencies. It's common knowledge that this was true in Sweden, and everything I have read about Roosevelt suggests a similar development in the United States. We might also add Anatoly's "freezer" theory, which might prove to have been a blessing in hindsight.
  144. @Beckow

    ...feature of Ukrainian nationalism is that it neatly sidessteps the agony of having to “integrate” Ukraine’s Soviet years into its sense of self.
     
    I think that's very true. It is also true about others e.g.: one can say that Latvians literally put Bolsheviks in power in 1917-18, Poland had 3 million domestic communists, Czechs have the historical record of actually electing communists to power in a free election, Georgians have the whole Stalin-Beria thing.

    I have a lot of sympathy for Ukrainians that I know personally, and I have actually not yet met anyone who is a classical 'Maidanista'. Even very pro-EU Ukrainians I know are a lot more nuanced. I have less sympathy for avoiding reality because it never works.

    I think of the socialist-Soviet era as just another time in our history. It wasn't great before that, and it hasn't been all bed of roses since. If one tries to evaluate it objectively - based on simple data - the achievements between 1945-1990 were very substantial: all nations there grew quite a bit, became much more homogenized, prosperous, healthier, better educated, etc... The two arguments against are that it would had happend anyway and that it was achieved at too high a cost. In reality the costs were comparable to what happened previously in that region, and there is no way to know if the elites (including in the West) would had done the positive things after 1945 without a threat of socialism-communism. Ukraine, by the way, prospered enormously under Soviets and reached an apogee if its development roughly around 1990 (50 million+, industry...).

    Nations that deny their past have no future. This denial is false, anyway, as nobody can change the past. Of course, you can tell lies about it, but the only one you deceive is yourself. When individuals create a fantasy to deny their past, we call in psychiatrists. When nations do that, for whatever reason, they commit suicide, and no hotlines or psychiatrists can help.

    As far as Ukraine goes, it went way down since 1990, and no light at the end of the tunnel is in sight. A pity, it could have been a country.

  145. @Dmitry
    Something which seems visible about New York metro, is that although it is bad today, it looks incredibly worse in the 1980s.

    Here is video of New York subway in the 1980s (wtf, is this!). I would be surprised you could take a journey without getting AIDs.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JN4ATDfCYmo


    And in 1990, it was this nightmare, the presenter is trying to sound happy about.


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5LFxrPhNGAk


    It was somewhere at a third world level in the 1980s? So now what we see today kind of makes sense, and it's surely improved quite by 2000.

    It is not better than those pictures now. Also something to keep in mind. The transit system in NYC the trains are probably the best part of it. The stations are worse and so are the buses. I have first hand knowledge about the air quality inside the train system, believe me I don’t spend more than 5 minutes in there if I have to go in.

    I hear the argument often in the 70s 80s it was a nightmare. Sure but the trend for the last 15 years has been very bad.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
    I was in New York 13 years ago for vacation, and I remember a shabby metro, but not that the metro was particularly scary (it was a lot better than how it looks like in those videos of the 1980s).

    So there must have been improvement in the years before (1990s-2000s).


    -

    In general, I read that New York was a kind of third world jungle of the 1980s. During the 1990s, they had a very strict mayor, and the situation has improved.

    However, you're saying New York as a city has deteriorated in the last 15 years (and we can read about rapid increase in population of homeless people, which could contribute to that). Still, I'm sure it's a lot better than its 1980s situation?
    , @AP

    I hear the argument often in the 70s 80s it was a nightmare. Sure but the trend for the last 15 years has been very bad.
     
    Nonsense. There has predictably been some decline under de Blasio but it is a different world from the 1980s. A couple of years ago after a party I took a subway at 2 AM to Brooklyn from Manhattan and it was full of white party-goers, rather calm and totally safe.
  146. @Anatoly Karlin
    I think I write about it, but to summarize:

    1) Climate.

    2) Moscow is more walkable.

    3) Scale matters. 70% of the most interesting and influential people in Russia are concentrated in Moscow or its environs (whether in politics, business, science, or culture). SPB - around 10%.

    I believe SPB is not so much the "northern capital" as merely the biggest millionik.

    (advantages of Moscow over St. Petersburg)
    1) Climate.

    In this option, St. Petersburg has an absolute superiority. The climate is initially about the same (Moscow is more continental, St. Petersburg-more oceanic) but:
    Moscow is hotter, stuffy and polluted because of its size.
    Moscow is losing because it is landlocked.
    St. Petersburg has (within the city) magnificent forests and lakes

    Here is the district of St-Petersburg where I live
    Moscow in comparison – complete shit

    2) Moscow is more walkable.

    This is very controversial as St. Petersburg is smaller

    Scale matters. 70% of the most interesting and influential people in Russia are concentrated in Moscow or its environs (whether in politics, business, science, or culture). SPB – around 10%.

    About culture is 100% wrong (you can count the winners of the prizes in the field of fantasy/science fiction, or the winners of the theater award “Golden mask”, etc., etc.) In relation to science – also very much doubt. In the field of business – Yes 90% of the money in Moscow

    • Replies: @AP

    In this option, St. Petersburg has an absolute superiority. The climate is initially about the same (Moscow is more continental, St. Petersburg-more oceanic) but:

    1.Moscow is hotter, stuffy and polluted because of its size.
     
    Some people like real, hot summers and real, cold winters. St. Petersburg winters are much more unpleasant than those in Moscow. Climate in St. Pete is wetter, it sucks the heat out of you more, and cold rain at +1 C is much worse than snow at -10.

    St. Petersburg has (within the city) magnificent forests and lakes

    Here is the district of St-Petersburg where I live
     
    Your district is very nice indeed, but the city is a lot smaller. My in-laws have a nice dacha in a very pretty pine forest, only an hour by elektrichka from Moscow.

    About culture is 100% wrong (you can count the winners of the prizes in the field of fantasy/science fiction, or the winners of the theater award “Golden mask”, etc., etc.) In relation to science – also very much doubt.
     
    Well, out of top 10 Russian universities, 6 are in Moscow, including number 1 and by far the one with the best reputation. Only one (the second ranked one) is in St. Petersburg.
  147. From resident Russians any advice for someone thinking of moving to Russia. Mainly pro/con list for relocating with family to somewhere in Moscow region vs Krasnodar.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    It depends what you are looking for. If you want a vibrant megapolis with a lot of cultural things (especially high culture, like opera or high-class drama theater), that looks good during the day and at night – Moscow is your place. Also, if you want a decent probability that people would understand English, Moscow and SPB are the only places to consider. Downside: everything (including apartments) is at least twice as expensive as in any provincial city. If you want an affordable apartment, that would be far from downtown, so you’d commute ~1 h each way. Public transportation is excellent, but make sure your apartment is near one of the metro stations, otherwise your commute might take longer and be a lot less pleasant.

    If your Russian is fluent and you don’t need much culture, Krasnodar (or other regional capital) might be better: it’s quieter and a lot cheaper. However, Krasnodar might not be the best pick – there are lots of Cossacks living there, and to give you an idea what that means, the closest thing to a Cossack is an American redneck. Something like Nizhni Novgorod would be better in every way – more beauty and civilization than Krasnodar, but no Moscow rush (think NY – it is very similar in some ways, except Moscow does not look rundown and dirty, and is a lot safer).

    Disclaimer: I did not live in Russia since 1991, but visited Moscow and a few other cities, including Nizhni, last year.
    , @Yevardian
    Vladivostok is very peaceful, scenic and well governed for a provincial city if you don't mind things slightly on the boring side. Avoid provincial towns in Southern Russia, even they are only a small minority, any amount of 'Cossacks', Georgians or Northern Caucasians can make the city a lot rougher at night. Sochi, despite its small size and idyllic location, is still a hotbed of organised crime and shitty people.

    Yekaterinburg is probably the best city for general culture outside Peter or Moscow. Ditto Crimea, I have no idea what daily life is like there nowadays.

  148. @DreadIlk
    From resident Russians any advice for someone thinking of moving to Russia. Mainly pro/con list for relocating with family to somewhere in Moscow region vs Krasnodar.

    It depends what you are looking for. If you want a vibrant megapolis with a lot of cultural things (especially high culture, like opera or high-class drama theater), that looks good during the day and at night – Moscow is your place. Also, if you want a decent probability that people would understand English, Moscow and SPB are the only places to consider. Downside: everything (including apartments) is at least twice as expensive as in any provincial city. If you want an affordable apartment, that would be far from downtown, so you’d commute ~1 h each way. Public transportation is excellent, but make sure your apartment is near one of the metro stations, otherwise your commute might take longer and be a lot less pleasant.

    If your Russian is fluent and you don’t need much culture, Krasnodar (or other regional capital) might be better: it’s quieter and a lot cheaper. However, Krasnodar might not be the best pick – there are lots of Cossacks living there, and to give you an idea what that means, the closest thing to a Cossack is an American redneck. Something like Nizhni Novgorod would be better in every way – more beauty and civilization than Krasnodar, but no Moscow rush (think NY – it is very similar in some ways, except Moscow does not look rundown and dirty, and is a lot safer).

    Disclaimer: I did not live in Russia since 1991, but visited Moscow and a few other cities, including Nizhni, last year.

    • Replies: @LondonBob
    I was very impressed by Nizhny Novgorod during the WC and intend to stay there again at some point, a lot bigger city than I thought it would be.
    , @Dmitry
    He is from New York (I guess with Russian passport?), so prices of Moscow apartments will not be scary for him, but even Moscow property will be quite cheap and good value, for a New Yorker.

    If you compare with purchase/rent of an apartment in a mediocre area of New York, he could afford to live/rent in a good area of Moscow - it sounds very attractive, and the standard of living would be higher.

    However, in Moscow, salary will not be nearly comparable with New York for most professions, so it might just balance in the end.

  149. As I am sure MSM will never report either of these events, here are two news items that won’t make it into Western news.

    One. Lugansk and Donetsk People’s Republics unilaterally released four Ukrainian prisoners of war. They were flown to Minsk, transferred to Ukrainian representatives there, then flown to Kiev.

    Two. By way of expressing gratitude, Ukrainian military hit with an anti-tank missile a nursing home in Yasinovataya (DPR), address: Nekrasov street, 11A.

    Anybody proud that your country supports current Ukrainian government? For those who like to focus on the Jews: Israel does not have a monopoly on heinous crimes against civilians. Current Ukrainian authorities do their best not to lag behind.

  150. @DreadIlk
    From resident Russians any advice for someone thinking of moving to Russia. Mainly pro/con list for relocating with family to somewhere in Moscow region vs Krasnodar.

    Vladivostok is very peaceful, scenic and well governed for a provincial city if you don’t mind things slightly on the boring side. Avoid provincial towns in Southern Russia, even they are only a small minority, any amount of ‘Cossacks’, Georgians or Northern Caucasians can make the city a lot rougher at night. Sochi, despite its small size and idyllic location, is still a hotbed of organised crime and shitty people.

    Yekaterinburg is probably the best city for general culture outside Peter or Moscow. Ditto Crimea, I have no idea what daily life is like there nowadays.

  151. @Dmitry

    budget is sunk into metro
     
    They're buying some new trains at least.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xb1VEm6Tk1g


    What will happen though - the homeless people will destroy these shiny trains and make them shabby in a few months. (And you can't ban those homeless people from living in the metro, or buy them a ticket to relocate to California or Canada?)

    https://www.facebook.com/thisis5boros/videos/286552778916878/

    A ticket for the NYC subway is far too cheap. In London it is double the price which means they can maintain it better and it keeps the riffraff off.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
    It's good that you can see a benefit, from the price-gorging of metro tickets in London.

    It could also be because New York don't close the metro at night, so homeless people can just live there across days. Whereas in London the metro is closed every night and people are cleared away.

    -

    It seems New York's population of homeless people was at the highest level last year though.


    New York City’s homeless population is ticking down in 2019 for the first time after a decade of nearly uninterrupted growth, dropping to 58,150 this week, officials disclosed Wednesday.

     

    https://nypost.com/2019/05/22/nyc-homeless-population-drops-from-historic-high/
  152. @AnonFromTN
    It depends what you are looking for. If you want a vibrant megapolis with a lot of cultural things (especially high culture, like opera or high-class drama theater), that looks good during the day and at night – Moscow is your place. Also, if you want a decent probability that people would understand English, Moscow and SPB are the only places to consider. Downside: everything (including apartments) is at least twice as expensive as in any provincial city. If you want an affordable apartment, that would be far from downtown, so you’d commute ~1 h each way. Public transportation is excellent, but make sure your apartment is near one of the metro stations, otherwise your commute might take longer and be a lot less pleasant.

    If your Russian is fluent and you don’t need much culture, Krasnodar (or other regional capital) might be better: it’s quieter and a lot cheaper. However, Krasnodar might not be the best pick – there are lots of Cossacks living there, and to give you an idea what that means, the closest thing to a Cossack is an American redneck. Something like Nizhni Novgorod would be better in every way – more beauty and civilization than Krasnodar, but no Moscow rush (think NY – it is very similar in some ways, except Moscow does not look rundown and dirty, and is a lot safer).

    Disclaimer: I did not live in Russia since 1991, but visited Moscow and a few other cities, including Nizhni, last year.

    I was very impressed by Nizhny Novgorod during the WC and intend to stay there again at some point, a lot bigger city than I thought it would be.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    To be honest, last year was my first visit to Nizhni. I also did not expect the grandeur, beauty, and amazing cleanliness of the city. The old Kremlin (most Europeans associate this word with Moscow, but in reality every old Russian city has a Kremlin, which is basically the defendable part within city walls), old churches, the houses of traders, including the ones where Peter the Great once celebrated his birthday and the other where he and his retinue slept on that occasion, are in excellent repair. I also liked numerous eateries in any price range. Some serve traditional (pre-1917) Russian foods and drinks of excellent quality. If I had to settle in Russia outside of Moscow, Nizhni would be high on my list.
  153. @LondonBob
    I was very impressed by Nizhny Novgorod during the WC and intend to stay there again at some point, a lot bigger city than I thought it would be.

    To be honest, last year was my first visit to Nizhni. I also did not expect the grandeur, beauty, and amazing cleanliness of the city. The old Kremlin (most Europeans associate this word with Moscow, but in reality every old Russian city has a Kremlin, which is basically the defendable part within city walls), old churches, the houses of traders, including the ones where Peter the Great once celebrated his birthday and the other where he and his retinue slept on that occasion, are in excellent repair. I also liked numerous eateries in any price range. Some serve traditional (pre-1917) Russian foods and drinks of excellent quality. If I had to settle in Russia outside of Moscow, Nizhni would be high on my list.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
    If you read about their bad city finances, it seems clear more tourism needs to be directed to that city .

    They need as much fast money as possible, which perhaps tourism can give them - the municipality is reported a lot in the media for its debts of billions of rubles.
  154. Another piece of news Western MSM would never report.

    One of the Ukrainian POWs returned by Lugansk and Donetsk people’s Republics to Ukraine, Dmitry Velikiy, was almost immediately arrested by the Ukrainian Gestapo (Ukraine security service, Ukrainian abbreviation “СБУ”) in Pavlograd (Dnepropetrovsk region). In the process arresting agents knocked his father off his feet. He was held virtually all night by “СБУ”, then military prosecution office, then the police.

    • Replies: @Anonymoose
    You have any sources for these news stories?
  155. @LondonBob
    Victor Marchetti had this to say.

    At the time, in 1959, the United States was having real difficulty in acquiring information out of the Soviet Union; the technical systems had, of course, not developed to the point that they are at today, and we were resorting to all sorts of activities. One of these activities was an ONI (Office of Naval Intelligence) program which involved three dozen, maybe forty, young men who were made to appear disenchanted, poor, American youths who had become turned off and wanted to see what communism was all about. Some of these people lasted only a few weeks. They were sent into the Soviet Union, or into eastern Europe, with the specific intention the Soviets would pick them up and 'double' them if they suspected them of being US agents, or recruit them as KGB agents. They were trained at various naval installations both here and abroad, but the operation was being run out of Nag's Head, North Carolina.
     
    Oswald's biggest concern when he was arrested was his cover had been blown. Although he realised the bigger predicament he was in when he was charged with murdering the President and his phone call to his ONI handler in North Carolina went unanswered. Unfortunately Jewish mobster Jacob Leon Rubinstein tied up that loose end.

    https://spartacus-educational.com/JFKoswald.htm

    Not really a fan of Norman Mailer or Martin Amis, neither have any knowledge of the intelligence world. Colonel John Hughes Wilson does know what he is talking about.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eoYXgPGgpQY

    Not really a fan of Norman Mailer or Martin Amis, neither have any knowledge of the intelligence world. Colonel John Hughes Wilson does know what he is talking about.

    I half suspected my claim wouldn’t go unchallenged.

    The weakness with this John le Carré theory of yours is that it would make him, if true, possibly the greatest CIA plant the world has ever known. Among other things, it would have him

    (1) Go through a miserable stint in the Marines just to build up his cover.
    (2) Consort with the arch enemy to the point where he even marries and fathers a daughter with one of its women. (To strengthen his cover? Even KGB agents weren’t asked to go that far, as Yuri Bezmenov exaplained.)
    (3) Habitually beat up his new wife. (Again, to strengthen his cover? What disciplined professional sinks this low, and for so little gain?)
    (4) Continue this miserable life on returning to the States before, after another 12+ months of misery, killing President Kennedy, the leader of the country he has now basically given all his life.

    I don’t see the psychology of the person who would pull all this off. Or even half of it.

    • Replies: @LondonBob
    John Newman was in Military Intelligence then the NSA. He wrote a whole book on the documentary evidence linking Oswald to the CIA, his background means he can understand the jargon in intelligence files and reports.

    Based on the examination of 250,000 pages of government documents, Newman's 1995 book Oswald and the CIA presents the narrative that the "CIA had a keen operational interest in Lee Harvey Oswald from the day he defected to the Soviet Union in 1959 until the day he was murdered in the basement of the Dallas Police Department." Kirkus Reviews summarized it as: "Exhaustive, tedious, and diffuse, this study eschews sensationalism but threatens death by minutiae." Calling it a "meticulously documented expose" and a "heavily annotated tome", Publishers Weekly said Oswald and the CIA "reads like an intricate spy thriller [and] serves as a corrective to Norman Mailer's Oswald's Tale."
     
    Anyway I used to have an interest the JFK assassination. I feel Colonel John Hughes-Wilson did a Good job in summarising everything that is and can be known, building on Michael Collins Piper's seminal book, so my interest is much diminished these days.
  156. @Beckow

    ...feature of Ukrainian nationalism is that it neatly sidessteps the agony of having to “integrate” Ukraine’s Soviet years into its sense of self.
     
    I think that's very true. It is also true about others e.g.: one can say that Latvians literally put Bolsheviks in power in 1917-18, Poland had 3 million domestic communists, Czechs have the historical record of actually electing communists to power in a free election, Georgians have the whole Stalin-Beria thing.

    I have a lot of sympathy for Ukrainians that I know personally, and I have actually not yet met anyone who is a classical 'Maidanista'. Even very pro-EU Ukrainians I know are a lot more nuanced. I have less sympathy for avoiding reality because it never works.

    I think of the socialist-Soviet era as just another time in our history. It wasn't great before that, and it hasn't been all bed of roses since. If one tries to evaluate it objectively - based on simple data - the achievements between 1945-1990 were very substantial: all nations there grew quite a bit, became much more homogenized, prosperous, healthier, better educated, etc... The two arguments against are that it would had happend anyway and that it was achieved at too high a cost. In reality the costs were comparable to what happened previously in that region, and there is no way to know if the elites (including in the West) would had done the positive things after 1945 without a threat of socialism-communism. Ukraine, by the way, prospered enormously under Soviets and reached an apogee if its development roughly around 1990 (50 million+, industry...).

    If one tries to evaluate it objectively – based on simple data – the achievements between 1945-1990 were very substantial: all nations there grew quite a bit, became much more homogenized, prosperous, healthier, better educated, etc… The two arguments against are that it would had happend anyway and that it was achieved at too high a cost. In reality the costs were comparable to what happened previously in that region, and there is no way to know if the elites (including in the West) would had done the positive things after 1945 without a threat of socialism-communism. Ukraine, by the way, prospered enormously under Soviets and reached an apogee if its development roughly around 1990 (50 million+, industry…).

    Very true. Especially the part about the Red Scare having a moderating effect on capitalism’s worst tendencies. It’s common knowledge that this was true in Sweden, and everything I have read about Roosevelt suggests a similar development in the United States. We might also add Anatoly’s “freezer” theory, which might prove to have been a blessing in hindsight.

  157. @AnonFromTN
    Another piece of news Western MSM would never report.

    One of the Ukrainian POWs returned by Lugansk and Donetsk people’s Republics to Ukraine, Dmitry Velikiy, was almost immediately arrested by the Ukrainian Gestapo (Ukraine security service, Ukrainian abbreviation “СБУ”) in Pavlograd (Dnepropetrovsk region). In the process arresting agents knocked his father off his feet. He was held virtually all night by “СБУ”, then military prosecution office, then the police.

    You have any sources for these news stories?

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    Sticking to English-language sources
    POW release
    https://www.rferl.org/a/four-ukrainian-prisoners-released-by-russia-backed-separatists-arrive-in-minsk/30026121.html
    Ukrainian shelling of the nursing home in Yasinovataya and other civilian targets
    https://www.tellerreport.com/news/2019-06-26---%22due-to-the-lack-of-elementary-security%22--in-the-lc-told-about-the-retreat-of-the-ukrainian-armed-forces-from-the-line-of-demarcation-.Byel9Y9elS.html
    Released POW arrest. Western MSM really don’t want to report this one, so here is a link In Russian
    https://rusvesna.su/news/1561816488
  158. @Anonymoose
    You have any sources for these news stories?

    Sticking to English-language sources
    POW release
    https://www.rferl.org/a/four-ukrainian-prisoners-released-by-russia-backed-separatists-arrive-in-minsk/30026121.html
    Ukrainian shelling of the nursing home in Yasinovataya and other civilian targets
    https://www.tellerreport.com/news/2019-06-26—%22due-to-the-lack-of-elementary-security%22–in-the-lc-told-about-the-retreat-of-the-ukrainian-armed-forces-from-the-line-of-demarcation-.Byel9Y9elS.html
    Released POW arrest. Western MSM really don’t want to report this one, so here is a link In Russian
    https://rusvesna.su/news/1561816488

  159. @Swedish Family

    Not really a fan of Norman Mailer or Martin Amis, neither have any knowledge of the intelligence world. Colonel John Hughes Wilson does know what he is talking about.
     
    I half suspected my claim wouldn't go unchallenged.

    The weakness with this John le Carré theory of yours is that it would make him, if true, possibly the greatest CIA plant the world has ever known. Among other things, it would have him

    (1) Go through a miserable stint in the Marines just to build up his cover.
    (2) Consort with the arch enemy to the point where he even marries and fathers a daughter with one of its women. (To strengthen his cover? Even KGB agents weren't asked to go that far, as Yuri Bezmenov exaplained.)
    (3) Habitually beat up his new wife. (Again, to strengthen his cover? What disciplined professional sinks this low, and for so little gain?)
    (4) Continue this miserable life on returning to the States before, after another 12+ months of misery, killing President Kennedy, the leader of the country he has now basically given all his life.

    I don't see the psychology of the person who would pull all this off. Or even half of it.

    John Newman was in Military Intelligence then the NSA. He wrote a whole book on the documentary evidence linking Oswald to the CIA, his background means he can understand the jargon in intelligence files and reports.

    Based on the examination of 250,000 pages of government documents, Newman’s 1995 book Oswald and the CIA presents the narrative that the “CIA had a keen operational interest in Lee Harvey Oswald from the day he defected to the Soviet Union in 1959 until the day he was murdered in the basement of the Dallas Police Department.” Kirkus Reviews summarized it as: “Exhaustive, tedious, and diffuse, this study eschews sensationalism but threatens death by minutiae.” Calling it a “meticulously documented expose” and a “heavily annotated tome”, Publishers Weekly said Oswald and the CIA “reads like an intricate spy thriller [and] serves as a corrective to Norman Mailer’s Oswald’s Tale.”

    Anyway I used to have an interest the JFK assassination. I feel Colonel John Hughes-Wilson did a Good job in summarising everything that is and can be known, building on Michael Collins Piper’s seminal book, so my interest is much diminished these days.

    • Replies: @Swedish Family

    John Newman was in Military Intelligence then the NSA. He wrote a whole book on the documentary evidence linking Oswald to the CIA, his background means he can understand the jargon in intelligence files and reports.
     
    Interesting, thanks.

    One more thing before we leave the subject of political assassinations. In the Palme case, I forgot to mention that what also points to the guilt of the junkie-alcoholic is that he actually did confess to the murder on his deathbed. Or so claims his friend, the journalist Gert Fylking. The confession was never recorded, so we must take Fylking's word for it, but it's something.
  160. @AnonFromTN
    To be honest, last year was my first visit to Nizhni. I also did not expect the grandeur, beauty, and amazing cleanliness of the city. The old Kremlin (most Europeans associate this word with Moscow, but in reality every old Russian city has a Kremlin, which is basically the defendable part within city walls), old churches, the houses of traders, including the ones where Peter the Great once celebrated his birthday and the other where he and his retinue slept on that occasion, are in excellent repair. I also liked numerous eateries in any price range. Some serve traditional (pre-1917) Russian foods and drinks of excellent quality. If I had to settle in Russia outside of Moscow, Nizhni would be high on my list.

    If you read about their bad city finances, it seems clear more tourism needs to be directed to that city .

    They need as much fast money as possible, which perhaps tourism can give them – the municipality is reported a lot in the media for its debts of billions of rubles.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    Tourism, like everything productive, requires pretty hefty investments before any profits and benefits come your way.

    In fact, the hotel we stayed in was she lowest point of our whole trip to Nizhni. The only good thing about it was that we were able to book it online from the US. But when we arrived they pretended that their machine does not read our American credit card (which worked everywhere else in Nizhni and the rest of Russia), so I paid cash. This wasn’t a problem, as our American debit cards worked everywhere in Russia, just gave them a demerit in my eyes.
  161. @LondonBob
    A ticket for the NYC subway is far too cheap. In London it is double the price which means they can maintain it better and it keeps the riffraff off.

    It’s good that you can see a benefit, from the price-gorging of metro tickets in London.

    It could also be because New York don’t close the metro at night, so homeless people can just live there across days. Whereas in London the metro is closed every night and people are cleared away.

    It seems New York’s population of homeless people was at the highest level last year though.

    New York City’s homeless population is ticking down in 2019 for the first time after a decade of nearly uninterrupted growth, dropping to 58,150 this week, officials disclosed Wednesday.

    https://nypost.com/2019/05/22/nyc-homeless-population-drops-from-historic-high/

  162. @DreadIlk
    It is not better than those pictures now. Also something to keep in mind. The transit system in NYC the trains are probably the best part of it. The stations are worse and so are the buses. I have first hand knowledge about the air quality inside the train system, believe me I don't spend more than 5 minutes in there if I have to go in.

    I hear the argument often in the 70s 80s it was a nightmare. Sure but the trend for the last 15 years has been very bad.

    I was in New York 13 years ago for vacation, and I remember a shabby metro, but not that the metro was particularly scary (it was a lot better than how it looks like in those videos of the 1980s).

    So there must have been improvement in the years before (1990s-2000s).

    In general, I read that New York was a kind of third world jungle of the 1980s. During the 1990s, they had a very strict mayor, and the situation has improved.

    However, you’re saying New York as a city has deteriorated in the last 15 years (and we can read about rapid increase in population of homeless people, which could contribute to that). Still, I’m sure it’s a lot better than its 1980s situation?

    • Replies: @Dreadilk
    I was not alive in the 80s so I can only speak about now.
    , @Mikhail

    In general, I read that New York was a kind of third world jungle of the 1980s.
     
    More like the 1970s. Things were starting to turn around in the 1980s. On this subject, there's this aired in US cable TV docudrama series centering around the Times Square area:

    https://www.google.com/search?source=hp&ei=vvsYXcCLD42o_QbZw4yQBQ&q=the+deuce&oq=the+deuce&gs_l=psy-ab.1.0.0l10.758.6347..7983...0.0..0.77.547.9......0....1..gws-wiz.....0..0i131j0i10.uz_5-ECh7TQ

    Dramatic change in that area. Likewise with nearby Bryant Park in back of the famed main New York Public library building. Harlem has become very much gentrified. Ditto other areas once considered seedy like Washington Heights.

    Public transportation is quite pricey, along with insensitive acts like closing two of four lanes at high noon on Saturday, along a major roadway for construction.
  163. @AnonFromTN
    It depends what you are looking for. If you want a vibrant megapolis with a lot of cultural things (especially high culture, like opera or high-class drama theater), that looks good during the day and at night – Moscow is your place. Also, if you want a decent probability that people would understand English, Moscow and SPB are the only places to consider. Downside: everything (including apartments) is at least twice as expensive as in any provincial city. If you want an affordable apartment, that would be far from downtown, so you’d commute ~1 h each way. Public transportation is excellent, but make sure your apartment is near one of the metro stations, otherwise your commute might take longer and be a lot less pleasant.

    If your Russian is fluent and you don’t need much culture, Krasnodar (or other regional capital) might be better: it’s quieter and a lot cheaper. However, Krasnodar might not be the best pick – there are lots of Cossacks living there, and to give you an idea what that means, the closest thing to a Cossack is an American redneck. Something like Nizhni Novgorod would be better in every way – more beauty and civilization than Krasnodar, but no Moscow rush (think NY – it is very similar in some ways, except Moscow does not look rundown and dirty, and is a lot safer).

    Disclaimer: I did not live in Russia since 1991, but visited Moscow and a few other cities, including Nizhni, last year.

    He is from New York (I guess with Russian passport?), so prices of Moscow apartments will not be scary for him, but even Moscow property will be quite cheap and good value, for a New Yorker.

    If you compare with purchase/rent of an apartment in a mediocre area of New York, he could afford to live/rent in a good area of Moscow – it sounds very attractive, and the standard of living would be higher.

    However, in Moscow, salary will not be nearly comparable with New York for most professions, so it might just balance in the end.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    Every person I know in Moscow and NY has a job. Then again, all of them have college education, most have PhDs in real sciences (biology/biochemistry). I know that the competition for unskilled jobs is pretty fierce in both cities. Besides, there is a lot of hidden unemployment in the US, so official stats significantly underestimate unemployment. In the US you are entitled to unemployment benefits (and to being counted) for 26 weeks, with all possible extensions it never lasts more than a year. To register and get benefits again you need to hold a job for some time. So, those unemployed in the US for longer periods of time aren’t counted. I also know that in Russia, including Moscow, engineers, or even skilled workers who operate machinery well, have a choice of jobs and are paid much more than “office plankton”. Basically, Edison’s expression “opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work” describes both cities equally well.

    But I mean skill, not the diploma – these are two different things. Good thing in the US is that everyone (except the government) appreciates that, in sharp contrast to Europe. In my >28 years in the US my diplomas were required once: INS (now US CIS) wanted them when they changed my visa from J1 to H1B. None of the Universities I worked for, ever wanted to see any diplomas, they were only interested in the reality (papers published and grants received).
  164. @Dmitry
    If you read about their bad city finances, it seems clear more tourism needs to be directed to that city .

    They need as much fast money as possible, which perhaps tourism can give them - the municipality is reported a lot in the media for its debts of billions of rubles.

    Tourism, like everything productive, requires pretty hefty investments before any profits and benefits come your way.

    In fact, the hotel we stayed in was she lowest point of our whole trip to Nizhni. The only good thing about it was that we were able to book it online from the US. But when we arrived they pretended that their machine does not read our American credit card (which worked everywhere else in Nizhni and the rest of Russia), so I paid cash. This wasn’t a problem, as our American debit cards worked everywhere in Russia, just gave them a demerit in my eyes.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
    I was not in Nizhni Novgorod, so it pleasant to hear the city is attractive, from people who visited it.

    Did you see Chinese tourism yet- and do you think they have much potential for the Chinese tourists?

    -

    By the way, another city with quite a bit of tourist potential - Tyumen. It's a beautiful city in its historical centre, with cool architecture.

    Really, I believe there is potential to receive a lot of tourists in the future in Tyumen, perhaps from China.

  165. @Dmitry
    He is from New York (I guess with Russian passport?), so prices of Moscow apartments will not be scary for him, but even Moscow property will be quite cheap and good value, for a New Yorker.

    If you compare with purchase/rent of an apartment in a mediocre area of New York, he could afford to live/rent in a good area of Moscow - it sounds very attractive, and the standard of living would be higher.

    However, in Moscow, salary will not be nearly comparable with New York for most professions, so it might just balance in the end.

    Every person I know in Moscow and NY has a job. Then again, all of them have college education, most have PhDs in real sciences (biology/biochemistry). I know that the competition for unskilled jobs is pretty fierce in both cities. Besides, there is a lot of hidden unemployment in the US, so official stats significantly underestimate unemployment. In the US you are entitled to unemployment benefits (and to being counted) for 26 weeks, with all possible extensions it never lasts more than a year. To register and get benefits again you need to hold a job for some time. So, those unemployed in the US for longer periods of time aren’t counted. I also know that in Russia, including Moscow, engineers, or even skilled workers who operate machinery well, have a choice of jobs and are paid much more than “office plankton”. Basically, Edison’s expression “opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work” describes both cities equally well.

    But I mean skill, not the diploma – these are two different things. Good thing in the US is that everyone (except the government) appreciates that, in sharp contrast to Europe. In my >28 years in the US my diplomas were required once: INS (now US CIS) wanted them when they changed my visa from J1 to H1B. None of the Universities I worked for, ever wanted to see any diplomas, they were only interested in the reality (papers published and grants received).

    • Replies: @Dreadilk
    I guess you get that with age that skills is the only thing that matters. I'm a bit pissed my parents never passed down that to me.

    Then again they never seen US uni system maybe it was different in Soviet times but somehow I doubt it.

    I did some research for Moscow jobs. It seems to be a lot more dynamic than the jobs back home but the salaries are super low compared to what I am used to.
  166. Another piece of news Western MSM won’t report. June 30 is the 78th anniversary of a huge Jewish and Polish pogrom in Lvov, where up to 100,000 people were murdered by Ukie Nazis. Curiously, the pogrom was stopped by Hitler’s army. On the same day Hitler’s Ukie bootlicker Yaroslav Stetsko proclaimed the creation of Ukrainian state allied with Nazi Germany.

    To commemorate these “glorious” achievements, modern Ukie Nazis are conducting a big march in Lvov today.

    Before anyone asks for the source, here is a link in English
    https://en.news-front.info/2019/06/30/lviv-hosts-neo-nazi-rally/

    • Replies: @AP

    June 30 is the 78th anniversary of a huge Jewish and Polish pogrom in Lvov, where up to 100,000 people were murdered by Ukie Nazis.
     
    I'm back and see more nonsense from TN.

    Number of victims on June 30 was 4,000:

    https://web.archive.org/web/20120307103305/http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10005171

    Another 2,000 were murdered a few weeks later.
  167. @Dmitry
    I was in New York 13 years ago for vacation, and I remember a shabby metro, but not that the metro was particularly scary (it was a lot better than how it looks like in those videos of the 1980s).

    So there must have been improvement in the years before (1990s-2000s).


    -

    In general, I read that New York was a kind of third world jungle of the 1980s. During the 1990s, they had a very strict mayor, and the situation has improved.

    However, you're saying New York as a city has deteriorated in the last 15 years (and we can read about rapid increase in population of homeless people, which could contribute to that). Still, I'm sure it's a lot better than its 1980s situation?

    I was not alive in the 80s so I can only speak about now.

  168. @AnonFromTN
    Every person I know in Moscow and NY has a job. Then again, all of them have college education, most have PhDs in real sciences (biology/biochemistry). I know that the competition for unskilled jobs is pretty fierce in both cities. Besides, there is a lot of hidden unemployment in the US, so official stats significantly underestimate unemployment. In the US you are entitled to unemployment benefits (and to being counted) for 26 weeks, with all possible extensions it never lasts more than a year. To register and get benefits again you need to hold a job for some time. So, those unemployed in the US for longer periods of time aren’t counted. I also know that in Russia, including Moscow, engineers, or even skilled workers who operate machinery well, have a choice of jobs and are paid much more than “office plankton”. Basically, Edison’s expression “opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work” describes both cities equally well.

    But I mean skill, not the diploma – these are two different things. Good thing in the US is that everyone (except the government) appreciates that, in sharp contrast to Europe. In my >28 years in the US my diplomas were required once: INS (now US CIS) wanted them when they changed my visa from J1 to H1B. None of the Universities I worked for, ever wanted to see any diplomas, they were only interested in the reality (papers published and grants received).

    I guess you get that with age that skills is the only thing that matters. I’m a bit pissed my parents never passed down that to me.

    Then again they never seen US uni system maybe it was different in Soviet times but somehow I doubt it.

    I did some research for Moscow jobs. It seems to be a lot more dynamic than the jobs back home but the salaries are super low compared to what I am used to.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    What matters is PPP. Depending on the job, the real salary might be by PPP similar to NY or several times lower.

    In science it is way lower. But that’s not my main problem. There are a few more important ones for me. One, in Russian science you always have a boss, like in an army or in industry here. In American academic science, if you are funded, you have no boss, your department chair or a dean are just your colleagues. Two, there are very few high-class scientists in my area (biochemistry, cell biology) even in Moscow. Collaborating with colleagues abroad is harder than in the US: FedEx takes a lot longer, and there are all sorts of red tape. Three, I am used to getting things I order within a day, max two, and I can get many things like restrictases and many common reagents within minutes from our core. There is no such thing in Russia. Finally, you have to pay publication fees in most journals in US dollars or Euros, so you need a non-Russian source of funding to do that. Besides, there would be hostility driven by envy. I have more papers and citations than most members of Russian academy of sciences in my field, and I don’t think they would take it kindly. Yet the “generals” hold the purse strings. So, I will keep working in the US, or, if the Congress succeeds in totally emasculating the US science in my lifetime (they are doing their level best to achieve that goal, pumping resources into MIC, where they get direct and indirect kickbacks), there is big China, or little Singapore.
    , @AP
    I had the opportunity to get a job at a hospital in Moscow in the mid 2000s. Unfortunately, the salary was about 1/12 what I could get in the USA. If it were half it would be worth it to settle in Moscow, but that was too much.
  169. @AnonFromTN
    Tourism, like everything productive, requires pretty hefty investments before any profits and benefits come your way.

    In fact, the hotel we stayed in was she lowest point of our whole trip to Nizhni. The only good thing about it was that we were able to book it online from the US. But when we arrived they pretended that their machine does not read our American credit card (which worked everywhere else in Nizhni and the rest of Russia), so I paid cash. This wasn’t a problem, as our American debit cards worked everywhere in Russia, just gave them a demerit in my eyes.

    I was not in Nizhni Novgorod, so it pleasant to hear the city is attractive, from people who visited it.

    Did you see Chinese tourism yet- and do you think they have much potential for the Chinese tourists?

    By the way, another city with quite a bit of tourist potential – Tyumen. It’s a beautiful city in its historical centre, with cool architecture.

    Really, I believe there is potential to receive a lot of tourists in the future in Tyumen, perhaps from China.

    • Replies: @AquariusAnon
    Chinese tourism in Nizhny Novgorod and Tyumen? Are you crazy?

    Keep in mind that Chinese tourists only want to see the main sights, especially ones that everyone else has saw. There are no famous landmarks in Nizhny Novgorod or Tyumen that's famous worldwide.

    And Chinese tourists aren't even profitable for the economy as its a closed loop business: They are bused to special designated hotels, and are taken on forced shopping trips in Chinese-owned stores and eat at Chinese restaurants. This is how the tour operators make money even though they might charge for just the plane ticket.
    , @AnonFromTN
    In sharp contrast to Moscow, where you see Chinese tourists everywhere, I hardly saw any in Nizhni. I guess they don’t know that there is a lot outside of Moscow and SPB.
  170. @Dmitry
    I was in New York 13 years ago for vacation, and I remember a shabby metro, but not that the metro was particularly scary (it was a lot better than how it looks like in those videos of the 1980s).

    So there must have been improvement in the years before (1990s-2000s).


    -

    In general, I read that New York was a kind of third world jungle of the 1980s. During the 1990s, they had a very strict mayor, and the situation has improved.

    However, you're saying New York as a city has deteriorated in the last 15 years (and we can read about rapid increase in population of homeless people, which could contribute to that). Still, I'm sure it's a lot better than its 1980s situation?

    In general, I read that New York was a kind of third world jungle of the 1980s.

    More like the 1970s. Things were starting to turn around in the 1980s. On this subject, there’s this aired in US cable TV docudrama series centering around the Times Square area:

    https://www.google.com/search?source=hp&ei=vvsYXcCLD42o_QbZw4yQBQ&q=the+deuce&oq=the+deuce&gs_l=psy-ab.1.0.0l10.758.6347..7983…0.0..0.77.547.9……0….1..gws-wiz…..0..0i131j0i10.uz_5-ECh7TQ

    Dramatic change in that area. Likewise with nearby Bryant Park in back of the famed main New York Public library building. Harlem has become very much gentrified. Ditto other areas once considered seedy like Washington Heights.

    Public transportation is quite pricey, along with insensitive acts like closing two of four lanes at high noon on Saturday, along a major roadway for construction.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
    1980s Bronx though? looks like scenes from the zombie apocalypse.


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8AVzkTd9R44

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B4aX6ZE6Aj8


    Harlem has become very much gentrified. Ditto other areas once considered seedy like Washington Heights.
     
    Harlem was also zombie apocalypse. Actual architecture of the buildings is quite beautiful though, like 1:22

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qU1z5SGMdQE

  171. @Mikhail

    In general, I read that New York was a kind of third world jungle of the 1980s.
     
    More like the 1970s. Things were starting to turn around in the 1980s. On this subject, there's this aired in US cable TV docudrama series centering around the Times Square area:

    https://www.google.com/search?source=hp&ei=vvsYXcCLD42o_QbZw4yQBQ&q=the+deuce&oq=the+deuce&gs_l=psy-ab.1.0.0l10.758.6347..7983...0.0..0.77.547.9......0....1..gws-wiz.....0..0i131j0i10.uz_5-ECh7TQ

    Dramatic change in that area. Likewise with nearby Bryant Park in back of the famed main New York Public library building. Harlem has become very much gentrified. Ditto other areas once considered seedy like Washington Heights.

    Public transportation is quite pricey, along with insensitive acts like closing two of four lanes at high noon on Saturday, along a major roadway for construction.

    1980s Bronx though? looks like scenes from the zombie apocalypse.

    Harlem has become very much gentrified. Ditto other areas once considered seedy like Washington Heights.

    Harlem was also zombie apocalypse. Actual architecture of the buildings is quite beautiful though, like 1:22

  172. @LondonBob
    John Newman was in Military Intelligence then the NSA. He wrote a whole book on the documentary evidence linking Oswald to the CIA, his background means he can understand the jargon in intelligence files and reports.

    Based on the examination of 250,000 pages of government documents, Newman's 1995 book Oswald and the CIA presents the narrative that the "CIA had a keen operational interest in Lee Harvey Oswald from the day he defected to the Soviet Union in 1959 until the day he was murdered in the basement of the Dallas Police Department." Kirkus Reviews summarized it as: "Exhaustive, tedious, and diffuse, this study eschews sensationalism but threatens death by minutiae." Calling it a "meticulously documented expose" and a "heavily annotated tome", Publishers Weekly said Oswald and the CIA "reads like an intricate spy thriller [and] serves as a corrective to Norman Mailer's Oswald's Tale."
     
    Anyway I used to have an interest the JFK assassination. I feel Colonel John Hughes-Wilson did a Good job in summarising everything that is and can be known, building on Michael Collins Piper's seminal book, so my interest is much diminished these days.

    John Newman was in Military Intelligence then the NSA. He wrote a whole book on the documentary evidence linking Oswald to the CIA, his background means he can understand the jargon in intelligence files and reports.

    Interesting, thanks.

    One more thing before we leave the subject of political assassinations. In the Palme case, I forgot to mention that what also points to the guilt of the junkie-alcoholic is that he actually did confess to the murder on his deathbed. Or so claims his friend, the journalist Gert Fylking. The confession was never recorded, so we must take Fylking’s word for it, but it’s something.

  173. @Dmitry
    I was not in Nizhni Novgorod, so it pleasant to hear the city is attractive, from people who visited it.

    Did you see Chinese tourism yet- and do you think they have much potential for the Chinese tourists?

    -

    By the way, another city with quite a bit of tourist potential - Tyumen. It's a beautiful city in its historical centre, with cool architecture.

    Really, I believe there is potential to receive a lot of tourists in the future in Tyumen, perhaps from China.

    Chinese tourism in Nizhny Novgorod and Tyumen? Are you crazy?

    Keep in mind that Chinese tourists only want to see the main sights, especially ones that everyone else has saw. There are no famous landmarks in Nizhny Novgorod or Tyumen that’s famous worldwide.

    And Chinese tourists aren’t even profitable for the economy as its a closed loop business: They are bused to special designated hotels, and are taken on forced shopping trips in Chinese-owned stores and eat at Chinese restaurants. This is how the tour operators make money even though they might charge for just the plane ticket.

    • Replies: @Dmitry

    Chinese tourism in... Tyumen? Are you crazy?

     

    Why not? It could be interesting for Chinese bus tourists, to tour this route, if it's not too far for them: Tyumen - Tobolsk - Ekaterinburg. (Including visits to hot springs, etc).

    as its a closed loop business: They are bused to special designated hotels
     
    This is a known problem, but it is caused by insufficient regulations, as well as low development of current Chinese tourism sector. How difficult is it to spread them into normal hotels and normal shops.
    , @melanf

    Chinese tourism in Nizhny Novgorod and Tyumen? Are you crazy?
     
    In Vladimir (when I was there) the town was Packed with huge crowds of Chinese tourists
    https://a.radikal.ru/a21/1907/a7/3c42243825c0.jpg

    Vladimir is very close to Nizhny Novgorod

    Although the meaning of such tourism (for the Chinese) is not very clear to me. When it is necessary to fly half of the globe, it makes sense only for the pearls of world civilization (Northern Italy, the Rhine valley, etc. In Russia, such places - St. Petersburg and (to a lesser extent) Moscow. There are natural pearls - Kamchatka, Baikal, etc . There is also Crimea where natural and architectural attractions are located so densely that it is potentially an excellent place for world tourism. But Nizhny Novgorod or Vladimir? In my opinion, a strange choice for Chinese tourists.
  174. @AquariusAnon
    Chinese tourism in Nizhny Novgorod and Tyumen? Are you crazy?

    Keep in mind that Chinese tourists only want to see the main sights, especially ones that everyone else has saw. There are no famous landmarks in Nizhny Novgorod or Tyumen that's famous worldwide.

    And Chinese tourists aren't even profitable for the economy as its a closed loop business: They are bused to special designated hotels, and are taken on forced shopping trips in Chinese-owned stores and eat at Chinese restaurants. This is how the tour operators make money even though they might charge for just the plane ticket.

    Chinese tourism in… Tyumen? Are you crazy?

    Why not? It could be interesting for Chinese bus tourists, to tour this route, if it’s not too far for them: Tyumen – Tobolsk – Ekaterinburg. (Including visits to hot springs, etc).

    as its a closed loop business: They are bused to special designated hotels

    This is a known problem, but it is caused by insufficient regulations, as well as low development of current Chinese tourism sector. How difficult is it to spread them into normal hotels and normal shops.

    • Replies: @Mitleser

    Why not?
     
    Because Iran needs them more badly.

    https://twitter.com/yarbatman/status/1145653689249619968
  175. @Dreadilk
    I guess you get that with age that skills is the only thing that matters. I'm a bit pissed my parents never passed down that to me.

    Then again they never seen US uni system maybe it was different in Soviet times but somehow I doubt it.

    I did some research for Moscow jobs. It seems to be a lot more dynamic than the jobs back home but the salaries are super low compared to what I am used to.

    What matters is PPP. Depending on the job, the real salary might be by PPP similar to NY or several times lower.

    In science it is way lower. But that’s not my main problem. There are a few more important ones for me. One, in Russian science you always have a boss, like in an army or in industry here. In American academic science, if you are funded, you have no boss, your department chair or a dean are just your colleagues. Two, there are very few high-class scientists in my area (biochemistry, cell biology) even in Moscow. Collaborating with colleagues abroad is harder than in the US: FedEx takes a lot longer, and there are all sorts of red tape. Three, I am used to getting things I order within a day, max two, and I can get many things like restrictases and many common reagents within minutes from our core. There is no such thing in Russia. Finally, you have to pay publication fees in most journals in US dollars or Euros, so you need a non-Russian source of funding to do that. Besides, there would be hostility driven by envy. I have more papers and citations than most members of Russian academy of sciences in my field, and I don’t think they would take it kindly. Yet the “generals” hold the purse strings. So, I will keep working in the US, or, if the Congress succeeds in totally emasculating the US science in my lifetime (they are doing their level best to achieve that goal, pumping resources into MIC, where they get direct and indirect kickbacks), there is big China, or little Singapore.

  176. @Dmitry
    I was not in Nizhni Novgorod, so it pleasant to hear the city is attractive, from people who visited it.

    Did you see Chinese tourism yet- and do you think they have much potential for the Chinese tourists?

    -

    By the way, another city with quite a bit of tourist potential - Tyumen. It's a beautiful city in its historical centre, with cool architecture.

    Really, I believe there is potential to receive a lot of tourists in the future in Tyumen, perhaps from China.

    In sharp contrast to Moscow, where you see Chinese tourists everywhere, I hardly saw any in Nizhni. I guess they don’t know that there is a lot outside of Moscow and SPB.

    • Replies: @AP
    I was in Vienna for a few days. I saw very few Arabs or other non-Europeans - Vienna is no Paris. Vienna (at least the first district in the center where I rented an apartment) has a higher percentage of Europeans than does central Moscow, where one sees Caucasians and Central Asians. This surprised me. I saw one refugee begging for money on a shopping street and one outside St. Stephen's, but there was no indication of a migrant onslaught.

    Overall Vienna was very pleasant, with very pleasant locals, nice laid-backed atmosphere, seemed like a great place to live but not spectacular as a tourist destination.

    In central Vienna I heard almost as much Russian as I heard German. I suspect that France's third worldification has made Vienna a substitute for Paris, for Russian tourists. I did come across a family of Ukrainian-speaking tourists, at a table in an overpriced and mediocre quality tourist-trap cafe.

    Hiking at 7,000 feet in the Alps was a good way of escaping the heat wave. As was swimming in some lakes in the Salzkammergut. These places were more interesting than Vienna and surprisingly had almost no Russians.

    Reiner Tor is one of my favorite commenters here, so it pains me to say that Budapest left a poor impression. Taxis try to rip you off as if it is a Caucasian republic - this doesn't happen in Moscow, or Poland, or on that scale even Ukraine. Castle district in Buda looks nice, but across the river, much of Pest is rather shabby (shabbier than Polish cities, shabbier than Lviv), I saw a middle-aged guy urinating in public on a main street at night, local people are rather poorly dressed, like in provincial Ukrainian city like Ternopil, though Budapest is much larger and obviously wealthier city than anywhere in Ukraine. Overall, the impression was worse than that of any large modern Russian city I've seen, and worse than Kiev, Lviv, Warsaw, Krakow. What's going on in Hungary?

    Pluses: surprisingly few gypsies, at least (I've seen more in Moscow), indeed few non-tourist foreigners (even the maids, at least at my hotel, were locals), the baths were great on hot days (Gellert has a wave pool that kids love), and the architecture was stunning. Women were attractive. Some people were nice and went out of their way to be helpful. I heard (and believe) that the nightlife is great, but I didn't go out.

    I was only there for 2 days so I surely missed a lot, but I doubt my impression was completely weird.

    Anyways, I have to unpack and catch up on things so will write lightly for several days.
  177. @AquariusAnon
    Chinese tourism in Nizhny Novgorod and Tyumen? Are you crazy?

    Keep in mind that Chinese tourists only want to see the main sights, especially ones that everyone else has saw. There are no famous landmarks in Nizhny Novgorod or Tyumen that's famous worldwide.

    And Chinese tourists aren't even profitable for the economy as its a closed loop business: They are bused to special designated hotels, and are taken on forced shopping trips in Chinese-owned stores and eat at Chinese restaurants. This is how the tour operators make money even though they might charge for just the plane ticket.

    Chinese tourism in Nizhny Novgorod and Tyumen? Are you crazy?

    In Vladimir (when I was there) the town was Packed with huge crowds of Chinese tourists

    Vladimir is very close to Nizhny Novgorod

    Although the meaning of such tourism (for the Chinese) is not very clear to me. When it is necessary to fly half of the globe, it makes sense only for the pearls of world civilization (Northern Italy, the Rhine valley, etc. In Russia, such places – St. Petersburg and (to a lesser extent) Moscow. There are natural pearls – Kamchatka, Baikal, etc . There is also Crimea where natural and architectural attractions are located so densely that it is potentially an excellent place for world tourism. But Nizhny Novgorod or Vladimir? In my opinion, a strange choice for Chinese tourists.

    • Replies: @Mitleser
    Could have been part of a Golden Ring tour which includes Vladimir, but not Nizhny Novgorod.

    https://www.rusalia.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Anillo-de-Oro-ruta-8-fotos.png
    , @Dmitry

    When it is necessary to fly half of the globe, it makes sense only for the pearls of world civilization (Northern Italy, the Rhine valley, etc. In Russia, such places – St. Petersburg and (to a lesser extent) Moscow.
     
    I'm not sure I agree with this.

    Anywhere in the world can be interesting to visit, depending where you visited from, and what are your interests.

    I found it very interesting two years ago, even visiting culturally uninteresting places like Tijuana (in Mexico), or San Jose (in California).


    In Russia, such places – St. Petersburg and (to a lesser extent) Moscow.
     
    But for a Chinese person, they might find it interesting in less culturally essential areas in Russia, in the same way it was very interesting for me, even walking around such a very boring (for Americans) city like San Jose.
  178. @Mitleser
    Sweden is more Russophobic than Finland and wants to minimize Russian influence.

    Swedes are bitter cause they lost to Russians many times attempting to build Swedish empire.

  179. @melanf

    Chinese tourism in Nizhny Novgorod and Tyumen? Are you crazy?
     
    In Vladimir (when I was there) the town was Packed with huge crowds of Chinese tourists
    https://a.radikal.ru/a21/1907/a7/3c42243825c0.jpg

    Vladimir is very close to Nizhny Novgorod

    Although the meaning of such tourism (for the Chinese) is not very clear to me. When it is necessary to fly half of the globe, it makes sense only for the pearls of world civilization (Northern Italy, the Rhine valley, etc. In Russia, such places - St. Petersburg and (to a lesser extent) Moscow. There are natural pearls - Kamchatka, Baikal, etc . There is also Crimea where natural and architectural attractions are located so densely that it is potentially an excellent place for world tourism. But Nizhny Novgorod or Vladimir? In my opinion, a strange choice for Chinese tourists.

    Could have been part of a Golden Ring tour which includes Vladimir, but not Nizhny Novgorod.

  180. Will this give the liberals at the ECHR rule in Russia? i dont think so but with gay liberals around you can never be safe

  181. @Dmitry

    Chinese tourism in... Tyumen? Are you crazy?

     

    Why not? It could be interesting for Chinese bus tourists, to tour this route, if it's not too far for them: Tyumen - Tobolsk - Ekaterinburg. (Including visits to hot springs, etc).

    as its a closed loop business: They are bused to special designated hotels
     
    This is a known problem, but it is caused by insufficient regulations, as well as low development of current Chinese tourism sector. How difficult is it to spread them into normal hotels and normal shops.

    Why not?

    Because Iran needs them more badly.

    • Replies: @LondonBob
    Chinese don't really drink alcohol either.
    , @Dmitry
    There are surely more than enough Chinese tourists, for every country to receive hundreds of thousands of them.

    This said, I imagine mainstream millions of Chinese tourists prefer to visit white or yellow countries, than brown countries.

    And that it's only a minority of adrenaline addicted Chinese tourists, who are visiting third world countries.

    Many Chinese tourists don't seem necessarily very competent in navigating even when they are visiting well regulated European countries. So I'm not sure how they will avoid trouble in more adventuring regions of the world.

  182. I saw Chinese tourists in Crimea. Not in big numbers though but I didn’t exactly go around looking for them.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    I was there in 2015. Did not see any Chinese. But the total number of people (in Feodosia, Yalta, Bakhchisaray, etc.) was close to what I’m prepared to tolerate. Crimeans keep clamoring for more, I guess because they are greedy and want to rent out every pigsty they have. They have to get used to the idea that pigsties are only good for the Ukrainians. Russians want decent comfort, which is not particularly cheap in Crimea.

    Some services were OK in 2015 – we rented apartments in both places (one near Feodosia, the other near Yalta) and a car with automatic transmission (which was delivered to Simferopol airport to the arrival of our flight) via Internet from the US. However, all three wanted payment in cash and exclusively in rubles. They warned us about that, so we were prepared. Major roads were already repaired by the summer of 2015, but side roads remained in their Ukrainian state. We managed, but we’d be better off with a 4-wheel drive.
  183. @AnonFromTN
    Haven’t been to SPB since 1991, so can’t judge. Was in Moscow just last Fall. Moscow looks majestic, grander, cleaner, and more beautiful, both day and night, than any European capital. Rome comes close second in terms of scale, but it’s too dirty and public transportation there, compared to Moscow, is pathetic. In London and Berlin public transportation is better, but too much of Berlin was ruined in WWII and too much of London was destroyed by Queen Victoria. Paris is dirty and full of Arabs. Madrid, Lisbon (Lisboa by rights), Athens, and Barcelona are quaint provincial cities, a bit oversized for comfort. In terms of everything you can think of being available 24/7, only New York can compete with Moscow, but what they call old in the US would be called fairly new in Europe and Russia.

    For the 24/7 everything available list, add Los Angeles, no?

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    You may be right for all I know. I was in LA only twice, for a couple of days each time, both times visiting a collaborator, so can’t judge.
  184. @Dreadilk
    I saw Chinese tourists in Crimea. Not in big numbers though but I didn't exactly go around looking for them.

    I was there in 2015. Did not see any Chinese. But the total number of people (in Feodosia, Yalta, Bakhchisaray, etc.) was close to what I’m prepared to tolerate. Crimeans keep clamoring for more, I guess because they are greedy and want to rent out every pigsty they have. They have to get used to the idea that pigsties are only good for the Ukrainians. Russians want decent comfort, which is not particularly cheap in Crimea.

    Some services were OK in 2015 – we rented apartments in both places (one near Feodosia, the other near Yalta) and a car with automatic transmission (which was delivered to Simferopol airport to the arrival of our flight) via Internet from the US. However, all three wanted payment in cash and exclusively in rubles. They warned us about that, so we were prepared. Major roads were already repaired by the summer of 2015, but side roads remained in their Ukrainian state. We managed, but we’d be better off with a 4-wheel drive.

    • Replies: @melanf

    I was there (in Crimea) in 2015. But the total number of people (in Feodosia, Yalta, Bakhchisaray, etc.) was close to what I’m prepared to tolerate.
     
    from May to September Crimea has a resort center of rednecks (sea/barbecue/pop). Tourists should go to Crimea in late autumn or early spring (or winter)when there are few tourists in Crimea. Crimea is a poor seaside resort, but in terms of concentration of architectural/natural attractions it can compete with Austria or the Czechia

    https://crimeahomesrealty.ru/images/djmediatools/livadiya%20zimoj%204.jpg

    https://cont.ws/uploads/posts2/597361.jpg

    https://img3.foto.by/photos/42dce/22504/09f77/6dcd655ad4c47c0cb.jpg

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/D4aonH8X4AA8nPt.jpg

    https://clubtavrida.ru/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/02-1-1-1024x682.jpg

    https://a.d-cd.net/710f39as-960.jpg

    http://ametist.rfarus.ru/images/files/company/news/1/1492140187068_Image00001.jpg

  185. @RadicalCenter
    For the 24/7 everything available list, add Los Angeles, no?

    You may be right for all I know. I was in LA only twice, for a couple of days each time, both times visiting a collaborator, so can’t judge.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
    Los Angeles has very good restaurants (of where I visited), and things seem to be open in the evening.

    But I don't think Los Angeles has a "big city" atmosphere in the night, and it's difficult to walk between areas even in the day there.

    I remember quite abandoned and empty atmosphere in the city in the night, when I visited - and that was in summer.

  186. AP says:
    @AnonFromTN
    Another piece of news Western MSM won’t report. June 30 is the 78th anniversary of a huge Jewish and Polish pogrom in Lvov, where up to 100,000 people were murdered by Ukie Nazis. Curiously, the pogrom was stopped by Hitler’s army. On the same day Hitler’s Ukie bootlicker Yaroslav Stetsko proclaimed the creation of Ukrainian state allied with Nazi Germany.

    To commemorate these “glorious” achievements, modern Ukie Nazis are conducting a big march in Lvov today.

    Before anyone asks for the source, here is a link in English
    https://en.news-front.info/2019/06/30/lviv-hosts-neo-nazi-rally/

    June 30 is the 78th anniversary of a huge Jewish and Polish pogrom in Lvov, where up to 100,000 people were murdered by Ukie Nazis.

    I’m back and see more nonsense from TN.

    Number of victims on June 30 was 4,000:

    https://web.archive.org/web/20120307103305/http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10005171

    Another 2,000 were murdered a few weeks later.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    Typical Ukie logic: murdering 4,000 is not a crime when committed by Ukies, but the murder of one Ukie Bandera (may he rot in Hell) is a crime. The number of victims (even is I agree with your source, which I don’t) clearly shows a massive crime, committed by… Any answer?
    This crime certainly calls for a celebration by... Any answer?
  187. @AP

    June 30 is the 78th anniversary of a huge Jewish and Polish pogrom in Lvov, where up to 100,000 people were murdered by Ukie Nazis.
     
    I'm back and see more nonsense from TN.

    Number of victims on June 30 was 4,000:

    https://web.archive.org/web/20120307103305/http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10005171

    Another 2,000 were murdered a few weeks later.

    Typical Ukie logic: murdering 4,000 is not a crime when committed by Ukies, but the murder of one Ukie Bandera (may he rot in Hell) is a crime. The number of victims (even is I agree with your source, which I don’t) clearly shows a massive crime, committed by… Any answer?
    This crime certainly calls for a celebration by… Any answer?

    • Replies: @Adam
    Even if the real number was double that, 12000 is just a weeks work for the Nazis or the NVKD. It would be better if we just forgot that cursed century rather than endless grievance mongering.

    Btw Bandera worship is just a way to stick it to the moskali. The real historical Bandera was a retarded yokel bandit that achieved nothing, but he is useful as a symbol - much like how Stalin can be reinterpreted as a modern Ivan Grozny that led Russia to greatness.

    , @AP

    Typical Ukie logic: murdering 4,000 is not a crime when committed by Ukies
     
    Who said it wasn't a crime?

    However inflating 4,000 to 100,000 is rather extreme dishonesty.

    The number of victims (even is I agree with your source, which I don’t) clearly shows a massive crime, committed by… Any answer?
     
    Massive crime committed by Bandera's followers. Though by the standards set by Hitler and your Stalin, a mild event.

    The circumstances were tragic. The Germans opened up the NKVD prisons, where thousands of people had been brutally murdered. Many of the people killing Jews were relatives of survivors who were in a frenzy to avenge that atrocity and were taking it out on Jews who were seen as supporters and collaborators of Bolsheviks.

    Nice to see you use those dead Jews as a prop to score points against Ukrainians.
  188. Adam says:
    @AnonFromTN
    Typical Ukie logic: murdering 4,000 is not a crime when committed by Ukies, but the murder of one Ukie Bandera (may he rot in Hell) is a crime. The number of victims (even is I agree with your source, which I don’t) clearly shows a massive crime, committed by… Any answer?
    This crime certainly calls for a celebration by... Any answer?

    Even if the real number was double that, 12000 is just a weeks work for the Nazis or the NVKD. It would be better if we just forgot that cursed century rather than endless grievance mongering.

    Btw Bandera worship is just a way to stick it to the moskali. The real historical Bandera was a retarded yokel bandit that achieved nothing, but he is useful as a symbol – much like how Stalin can be reinterpreted as a modern Ivan Grozny that led Russia to greatness.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    Bandera was not only that. He was passive homosexual (PC badge of honor, right?) and stated that Ukrainian solders must f… each other. He was also a midget (height 5’4”), Nazi collaborator, and many other unpleasant things (see https://www.jacobinmag.com/2015/09/stepan-bandera-nationalist-euromaidan-right-sector/)

    As for forgetting, “"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” (George Santayana).
  189. @Adam
    Even if the real number was double that, 12000 is just a weeks work for the Nazis or the NVKD. It would be better if we just forgot that cursed century rather than endless grievance mongering.

    Btw Bandera worship is just a way to stick it to the moskali. The real historical Bandera was a retarded yokel bandit that achieved nothing, but he is useful as a symbol - much like how Stalin can be reinterpreted as a modern Ivan Grozny that led Russia to greatness.

    Bandera was not only that. He was passive homosexual (PC badge of honor, right?) and stated that Ukrainian solders must f… each other. He was also a midget (height 5’4”), Nazi collaborator, and many other unpleasant things (see https://www.jacobinmag.com/2015/09/stepan-bandera-nationalist-euromaidan-right-sector/)

    As for forgetting, “”Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” (George Santayana).

    • Replies: @Adam
    Manlets. . . when will they learn
  190. AP says:
    @AnonFromTN
    In sharp contrast to Moscow, where you see Chinese tourists everywhere, I hardly saw any in Nizhni. I guess they don’t know that there is a lot outside of Moscow and SPB.

    I was in Vienna for a few days. I saw very few Arabs or other non-Europeans – Vienna is no Paris. Vienna (at least the first district in the center where I rented an apartment) has a higher percentage of Europeans than does central Moscow, where one sees Caucasians and Central Asians. This surprised me. I saw one refugee begging for money on a shopping street and one outside St. Stephen’s, but there was no indication of a migrant onslaught.

    Overall Vienna was very pleasant, with very pleasant locals, nice laid-backed atmosphere, seemed like a great place to live but not spectacular as a tourist destination.

    In central Vienna I heard almost as much Russian as I heard German. I suspect that France’s third worldification has made Vienna a substitute for Paris, for Russian tourists. I did come across a family of Ukrainian-speaking tourists, at a table in an overpriced and mediocre quality tourist-trap cafe.

    Hiking at 7,000 feet in the Alps was a good way of escaping the heat wave. As was swimming in some lakes in the Salzkammergut. These places were more interesting than Vienna and surprisingly had almost no Russians.

    Reiner Tor is one of my favorite commenters here, so it pains me to say that Budapest left a poor impression. Taxis try to rip you off as if it is a Caucasian republic – this doesn’t happen in Moscow, or Poland, or on that scale even Ukraine. Castle district in Buda looks nice, but across the river, much of Pest is rather shabby (shabbier than Polish cities, shabbier than Lviv), I saw a middle-aged guy urinating in public on a main street at night, local people are rather poorly dressed, like in provincial Ukrainian city like Ternopil, though Budapest is much larger and obviously wealthier city than anywhere in Ukraine. Overall, the impression was worse than that of any large modern Russian city I’ve seen, and worse than Kiev, Lviv, Warsaw, Krakow. What’s going on in Hungary?

    Pluses: surprisingly few gypsies, at least (I’ve seen more in Moscow), indeed few non-tourist foreigners (even the maids, at least at my hotel, were locals), the baths were great on hot days (Gellert has a wave pool that kids love), and the architecture was stunning. Women were attractive. Some people were nice and went out of their way to be helpful. I heard (and believe) that the nightlife is great, but I didn’t go out.

    I was only there for 2 days so I surely missed a lot, but I doubt my impression was completely weird.

    Anyways, I have to unpack and catch up on things so will write lightly for several days.

    • Replies: @Beckow

    ...Vienna for a few days. I saw very few Arabs or other non-Europeans
     
    I don't know how you define 'very few', Vienna has roughly 10-15% non-Europeans. It is still a great city, but there are bezirks that are more than half Middle-Eastern/African. The school population is already half almost non-European - a lot of locals are older people.

    Budapest has always been poor and a bit shabby, but its attractions make up for it. And I can't believe you didn't stop by Bratislava to experience what Europe once was and could still be...

    , @AnonFromTN
    Vienna (Wien, by rights) is nice, but it feels oversized as a capital of puny Austria. It has a world-lass opera, though. I was there way before “refugees”, so only saw decent civilized people. Did a car trip Munich (Munchen, by rights), Vienna, Budapest, north shore of Balaton, Zagreb, back to Austria, and then back to Munich. BTW, Munich opera is essentially as good as Vienna one. My hotel in Vienna was near the center, and when I booked it online I was surprised that their parking was “links” and “rechts”. When we arrived, I found why: the hotel has two essentially broom closets for parking, one on the right, one on the left. It was a good thing that we had a shitty B-class Mercedes that was small enough to fit into one. Vienna is a good place to visit after you saw all the main tourist attractions in the world: very relaxing, pleasant, and civilized. Vienna schnitzel is also something: they call an acre of meet “small”. Beer is good, but their sachertorte is over-rated.

    Budapest is a lot poorer. An unmistakable sign: prices in touristy areas are several times higher than where the locals eat. Also, their local grocery stores have very little high quality sausage, we usually bought the last half-pound. Buda has an funicular built by Franz-Josef that still works (in sharp contrast to funicular in Zagreb with the sign “Ne vozi” (does not go). The metro in Pest was also built by Franz-Josef, and also works. Budapest does not have an opera worth visiting, but it has operetta. While you cannot book tickets online, when you buy them locally, they are dirt-cheap. Operetta was full of locals, many of whom sang along with the singers. Pretty nice, except that they sang in Hungarian and the theater provided translation into German, neither of which I understand.
    , @Dmitry
    Yes, Vienna is just paradise - at least as far as such a big city can be paradise.

    I was there many years ago though, and it was paradise then. So nice to hear people still enjoy it there.

    Actually I wrote a few weeks ago about Vienna of the past.
    https://www.unz.com/akarlin/technomedievalism/#comment-2698558


    third worldification has made Vienna a substitute for Paris,
     
    I'm not sure this is, because since we can remember, Paris has been "third world" for its demographics.

    My earliest memory of visiting Paris, was we were walking outside our hotel in the evening in summer, and seeing that all brown and black people, and as a child imagined I was in a tropical country.

    I'm kind of doubting African/Arab demographics even have a negative effect on tourism numbers to Paris though. Even despite the terrorist attacks - Paris nowadays receives 40 million tourists a year. 40 million! - it's even four times more tourists than Rome.

    , @Matra
    Taxis try to rip you off as if it is a Caucasian republic – this doesn’t happen in Moscow, or Poland, or on that scale even Ukraine.

    Randomly taking taxis is the most common way to get ripped off almost everywhere in Europe. I only ever get one if it has a relationship to my hotel or if I've thoroughly researched the company ahead of arrival in the city. In many countries (not just infamously bad Romania!) it is a daily occurrence for tourists to be taken to locations where gangs take everything they've got. You mentioned Poland. Read almost any online tourist advice for any Polish city and it will be full of warnings about taxi scams and rip-offs. Prague used to be (maybe still is) notorious for this kind of thing too.

    Castle district in Buda looks nice, but across the river, much of Pest is rather shabby (shabbier than Polish cities, shabbier than Lviv)

    Buda is nicer, that's true, but I'd put Pest slightly ahead of Lviv. The latter is nice in the centre but once you venture out towards the train station or even the streets leading to Forum Lviv (10 minutes walk from the centre) the streets are in pretty bad shape, even quite dangerous to walk down at night due to lack of light and poor paving. Pest is quite a bit bigger than Lviv so there's more variety - a lot of good areas but also a lot of shabby areas. Lviv does seem to be improving though whereas Pest looked shabbier to me in 2018 than it did in 2010, especially near Keleti station. Which area did you stay in?

    I saw a middle-aged guy urinating in public on a main street at night

    I've seen people literally doing shits in busy streets in Paris and Dublin. Those two cities also have lots of street pissers. Travelling from Milan to Bergamo airport earlier this year I saw two different truckers pulled over and doing a piss on the highway/autostrada or whatever they call it. Don't be so bourgeois!
  191. AP says:
    @AnonFromTN
    Typical Ukie logic: murdering 4,000 is not a crime when committed by Ukies, but the murder of one Ukie Bandera (may he rot in Hell) is a crime. The number of victims (even is I agree with your source, which I don’t) clearly shows a massive crime, committed by… Any answer?
    This crime certainly calls for a celebration by... Any answer?

    Typical Ukie logic: murdering 4,000 is not a crime when committed by Ukies

    Who said it wasn’t a crime?

    However inflating 4,000 to 100,000 is rather extreme dishonesty.

    The number of victims (even is I agree with your source, which I don’t) clearly shows a massive crime, committed by… Any answer?

    Massive crime committed by Bandera’s followers. Though by the standards set by Hitler and your Stalin, a mild event.

    The circumstances were tragic. The Germans opened up the NKVD prisons, where thousands of people had been brutally murdered. Many of the people killing Jews were relatives of survivors who were in a frenzy to avenge that atrocity and were taking it out on Jews who were seen as supporters and collaborators of Bolsheviks.

    Nice to see you use those dead Jews as a prop to score points against Ukrainians.

  192. AP says:
    @DreadIlk
    It is not better than those pictures now. Also something to keep in mind. The transit system in NYC the trains are probably the best part of it. The stations are worse and so are the buses. I have first hand knowledge about the air quality inside the train system, believe me I don't spend more than 5 minutes in there if I have to go in.

    I hear the argument often in the 70s 80s it was a nightmare. Sure but the trend for the last 15 years has been very bad.

    I hear the argument often in the 70s 80s it was a nightmare. Sure but the trend for the last 15 years has been very bad.

    Nonsense. There has predictably been some decline under de Blasio but it is a different world from the 1980s. A couple of years ago after a party I took a subway at 2 AM to Brooklyn from Manhattan and it was full of white party-goers, rather calm and totally safe.

    • Replies: @Dreadilk
    A couple of years ago you took a subways once. Ok.

    Also NYC current problems where white people hang out has to do more with migrants invading their spaces, over crowding and deterioration. You won't find violent crime there, it is concentrated in the hood.

    Btw there is only one line that runs through East NY.
  193. @AnonFromTN
    Bandera was not only that. He was passive homosexual (PC badge of honor, right?) and stated that Ukrainian solders must f… each other. He was also a midget (height 5’4”), Nazi collaborator, and many other unpleasant things (see https://www.jacobinmag.com/2015/09/stepan-bandera-nationalist-euromaidan-right-sector/)

    As for forgetting, “"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” (George Santayana).

    Manlets. . . when will they learn

  194. AP says:
    @melanf

    (advantages of Moscow over St. Petersburg)
    1) Climate.
     
    In this option, St. Petersburg has an absolute superiority. The climate is initially about the same (Moscow is more continental, St. Petersburg-more oceanic) but:
    Moscow is hotter, stuffy and polluted because of its size.
    Moscow is losing because it is landlocked.
    St. Petersburg has (within the city) magnificent forests and lakes

    Here is the district of St-Petersburg where I live

    https://aff.bstatic.com/images/hotel/max1280x900/510/51088468.jpg

    http://rasfokus.ru/images/photos/medium/da0667f72dc2326373c789870073dbd0.jpg
    Moscow in comparison - complete shit


    2) Moscow is more walkable.
     
    This is very controversial as St. Petersburg is smaller

    Scale matters. 70% of the most interesting and influential people in Russia are concentrated in Moscow or its environs (whether in politics, business, science, or culture). SPB – around 10%.
     
    About culture is 100% wrong (you can count the winners of the prizes in the field of fantasy/science fiction, or the winners of the theater award "Golden mask", etc., etc.) In relation to science - also very much doubt. In the field of business - Yes 90% of the money in Moscow

    In this option, St. Petersburg has an absolute superiority. The climate is initially about the same (Moscow is more continental, St. Petersburg-more oceanic) but:

    1.Moscow is hotter, stuffy and polluted because of its size.

    Some people like real, hot summers and real, cold winters. St. Petersburg winters are much more unpleasant than those in Moscow. Climate in St. Pete is wetter, it sucks the heat out of you more, and cold rain at +1 C is much worse than snow at -10.

    St. Petersburg has (within the city) magnificent forests and lakes

    Here is the district of St-Petersburg where I live

    Your district is very nice indeed, but the city is a lot smaller. My in-laws have a nice dacha in a very pretty pine forest, only an hour by elektrichka from Moscow.

    About culture is 100% wrong (you can count the winners of the prizes in the field of fantasy/science fiction, or the winners of the theater award “Golden mask”, etc., etc.) In relation to science – also very much doubt.

    Well, out of top 10 Russian universities, 6 are in Moscow, including number 1 and by far the one with the best reputation. Only one (the second ranked one) is in St. Petersburg.

    • Replies: @melanf

    Some people like real, hot summers
     
    Hot summer in the big city - a pleasure for the masochist

    St. Petersburg winters are much more unpleasant than those in Moscow
     
    Perhaps, but summer in many times more important

    My in-laws have a nice dacha in a very pretty pine forest, only an hour by elektrichka from Moscow
     
    Ha ha ha. Here is a district of St. Petersburg where I live from the air

    http://s3.ptmap.ru/original/2159.jpg

    Through the pine forest, starting in St. Petersburg, the red squirrel, can reach the Pacific ocean without getting down from the trees. In Moscow, nothing like this

    And we have a sea shore (here is my photo from the walk). I can swim there before and after work. Moscow is losing hopelessly.
    https://d.radikal.ru/d43/1906/49/dde4e57e76cb.jpg


    Well, out of top 10 Russian universities, 6 are in Moscow
     
    https://www.unz.com/akarlin/russian-programmers-are-good/

    If you count the highest awards in science, winners of international scientific competitions, etc. achievements of St. Petersburg per capita will probably be higher than in Moscow.

  195. @AquariusAnon
    Meanwhile in America, this is the calamity some hohol managed to unleash. Drove his pickup truck on the wrong side of the road and killed 7 bikers who have no chance to avoid getting run over and killed.

    https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2019/06/26/massachusetts-official-resigns-after-failing-strip-license-refugee-accused-killing-u-s-marines/

    Not only that but also this:

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/D-AMjVZXsAYGfYa.jpg:large

    This Volodymyr hohol should be deported to the frontlines of the LDNR.

    He’s from the community of protestant refugees, many of them live in western Massachusetts.

  196. @melanf

    Professor Tennessee is
     
    Well, in my opinion Janissaries are those who are now in power in Ukraine,
    https://b.radikal.ru/b30/1906/8a/4480d3321ecd.jpg
    but not a Professor from Tennessee

    LOL, another fake:

    https://www.stopfake.org/en/fake-ukrainian-general-kneels-before-the-ex-ambassador-of-the-us/

    First Anon from TN believed the internet prank about some cafe in Lviv devoted to sluts, and now this. Otherwise intelligent Russians and Sovoks can get really deranged when it comes to Ukraine.

    • Replies: @Mikhail

    Otherwise intelligent Russians and Sovoks can get really deranged when it comes to Ukraine.
     
    Like the two svidos at this thread really got the better of the intelligent Russians and Sovoks:

    https://irrussianality.wordpress.com/2019/06/21/splitter/#comments
  197. AP says:
    @AnonFromTN
    For those who might miss the nuances and not see why this is so shameful. By tradition, when someone becomes an honorary Cossack and is presented with a saber, that someone kneels, whereas the presenter of the saber stands. It is also a tradition throughout Europe and Asia that a representative of conquered people kneels while presenting a symbolic weapon to a representative of a conqueror.

    In this case the recipient is the master (the US Ambassador), whereas the presenter is a lowly slave (Ukrainian general), so you see in the pic who is kneeling. This pic symbolizes the subservience to the US and boot-licking characteristic of the Ukrainian “leadership” after 2014, brought to power by the Maidan organized by the CIA and directly supervised by Nuland and McCain (may he rot in Hell).

    LOL, you are wrong as usual.

    This pic symbolizes the subservience to the US and boot-licking characteristic of the Ukrainian “leadership” after 2014

    Picture actually taken in 2013, under Yanukovich.

    whereas the presenter is a lowly slave (Ukrainian general),

    Presenter was not a general, but representative of some Cossack organization.

    By tradition, when someone becomes an honorary Cossack and is presented with a saber, that someone kneels

    The US ambassador represented an American from 200+ years ago who had helped Russia and had become a rear admiral in the Russian navy.

    Some Russian nationalist troll used a picture and made up a fake story story about it, and naturally you believed it because you will believe any nonsense.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    It's great seeing you back in top form Sherlock! Your sleuthing skills employed in order to debunk all manner of sovok myths help make this blog quite an interesting one. Glad to see that you had a successful trip. :-)

    https://media.dyvys.info/2016/12/41e099532f-696x435.jpg
    , @AnonFromTN
    Excuses, excuses… A picture is worth a thousand words. This picture tells it all. I would have pitied Ukies if they were human.
    , @Gerard2

    Picture actually taken in 2013, under Yanukovich.

     

    ......but it still perfectly encapsulates the hilariously demeaning Ukropia/US relationship, just as AnonfromTM said you idiot......during a time when Yanukovich was about as popular in Moscow as Valtsman/Poroshenko is now you cretin ( Ukraine than at it's optimum level of European integration , Russia banning imports of key products, not forgetting that Tefft is synonymous with this garbage in Ukraine and Gruzia for over a decade you idiot)


    Not to mention other "stories" like coal-rich Ukraine IMPORTING American coal at great cost , or the chief prosecutor in ukropia admitting that the Americans tell him who to prosecute and who not to prosecute, or bizarrely still having some hippy nazi bitch American as it's Health Minister - even though she is, by far, the worst rated official in the country.........................or a million and one demeaning , embarassing, bootlicking photographs of Ukrainian politicians, military or "activists" with Americans that are all over the internet.

    Presenter was not a general, but representative of some Cossack organization.
     
    errr..no - a general

    The US ambassador represented an American from 200+ years ago who had helped Russia and had become a rear admiral in the Russian navy.
     
    - A complete lie in relation to that photograph
  198. @AP
    I was in Vienna for a few days. I saw very few Arabs or other non-Europeans - Vienna is no Paris. Vienna (at least the first district in the center where I rented an apartment) has a higher percentage of Europeans than does central Moscow, where one sees Caucasians and Central Asians. This surprised me. I saw one refugee begging for money on a shopping street and one outside St. Stephen's, but there was no indication of a migrant onslaught.

    Overall Vienna was very pleasant, with very pleasant locals, nice laid-backed atmosphere, seemed like a great place to live but not spectacular as a tourist destination.

    In central Vienna I heard almost as much Russian as I heard German. I suspect that France's third worldification has made Vienna a substitute for Paris, for Russian tourists. I did come across a family of Ukrainian-speaking tourists, at a table in an overpriced and mediocre quality tourist-trap cafe.

    Hiking at 7,000 feet in the Alps was a good way of escaping the heat wave. As was swimming in some lakes in the Salzkammergut. These places were more interesting than Vienna and surprisingly had almost no Russians.

    Reiner Tor is one of my favorite commenters here, so it pains me to say that Budapest left a poor impression. Taxis try to rip you off as if it is a Caucasian republic - this doesn't happen in Moscow, or Poland, or on that scale even Ukraine. Castle district in Buda looks nice, but across the river, much of Pest is rather shabby (shabbier than Polish cities, shabbier than Lviv), I saw a middle-aged guy urinating in public on a main street at night, local people are rather poorly dressed, like in provincial Ukrainian city like Ternopil, though Budapest is much larger and obviously wealthier city than anywhere in Ukraine. Overall, the impression was worse than that of any large modern Russian city I've seen, and worse than Kiev, Lviv, Warsaw, Krakow. What's going on in Hungary?

    Pluses: surprisingly few gypsies, at least (I've seen more in Moscow), indeed few non-tourist foreigners (even the maids, at least at my hotel, were locals), the baths were great on hot days (Gellert has a wave pool that kids love), and the architecture was stunning. Women were attractive. Some people were nice and went out of their way to be helpful. I heard (and believe) that the nightlife is great, but I didn't go out.

    I was only there for 2 days so I surely missed a lot, but I doubt my impression was completely weird.

    Anyways, I have to unpack and catch up on things so will write lightly for several days.

    …Vienna for a few days. I saw very few Arabs or other non-Europeans

    I don’t know how you define ‘very few’, Vienna has roughly 10-15% non-Europeans. It is still a great city, but there are bezirks that are more than half Middle-Eastern/African. The school population is already half almost non-European – a lot of locals are older people.

    Budapest has always been poor and a bit shabby, but its attractions make up for it. And I can’t believe you didn’t stop by Bratislava to experience what Europe once was and could still be…

    • Replies: @AP

    I don’t know how you define ‘very few’, Vienna has roughly 10-15% non-Europeans.
     
    They must be segregated somewhere outside the center, I saw fewer of them than I see in central Moscow (which itself is full of mostly Europeans). There were more in the Prater but overall the impression was of a European populated city. I was expecting much worse.

    The school population is already half almost non-European – a lot of locals are older people.
     
    This is surprising. Are the stats only for state schools?

    Budapest has always been poor and a bit shabby, but its attractions make up for it.
     
    Yes, it has much more to offer than, say, Lviv (baths, museums, etc.). But I was surprised by its shabbiness relative to the various places I've visited in Poland, Ukraine and Russia. Balkan influence?

    And I can’t believe you didn’t stop by Bratislava
     
    Just had 2 weeks, not enough time...
  199. @Dreadilk
    I guess you get that with age that skills is the only thing that matters. I'm a bit pissed my parents never passed down that to me.

    Then again they never seen US uni system maybe it was different in Soviet times but somehow I doubt it.

    I did some research for Moscow jobs. It seems to be a lot more dynamic than the jobs back home but the salaries are super low compared to what I am used to.

    I had the opportunity to get a job at a hospital in Moscow in the mid 2000s. Unfortunately, the salary was about 1/12 what I could get in the USA. If it were half it would be worth it to settle in Moscow, but that was too much.

  200. @AP
    I was in Vienna for a few days. I saw very few Arabs or other non-Europeans - Vienna is no Paris. Vienna (at least the first district in the center where I rented an apartment) has a higher percentage of Europeans than does central Moscow, where one sees Caucasians and Central Asians. This surprised me. I saw one refugee begging for money on a shopping street and one outside St. Stephen's, but there was no indication of a migrant onslaught.

    Overall Vienna was very pleasant, with very pleasant locals, nice laid-backed atmosphere, seemed like a great place to live but not spectacular as a tourist destination.

    In central Vienna I heard almost as much Russian as I heard German. I suspect that France's third worldification has made Vienna a substitute for Paris, for Russian tourists. I did come across a family of Ukrainian-speaking tourists, at a table in an overpriced and mediocre quality tourist-trap cafe.

    Hiking at 7,000 feet in the Alps was a good way of escaping the heat wave. As was swimming in some lakes in the Salzkammergut. These places were more interesting than Vienna and surprisingly had almost no Russians.

    Reiner Tor is one of my favorite commenters here, so it pains me to say that Budapest left a poor impression. Taxis try to rip you off as if it is a Caucasian republic - this doesn't happen in Moscow, or Poland, or on that scale even Ukraine. Castle district in Buda looks nice, but across the river, much of Pest is rather shabby (shabbier than Polish cities, shabbier than Lviv), I saw a middle-aged guy urinating in public on a main street at night, local people are rather poorly dressed, like in provincial Ukrainian city like Ternopil, though Budapest is much larger and obviously wealthier city than anywhere in Ukraine. Overall, the impression was worse than that of any large modern Russian city I've seen, and worse than Kiev, Lviv, Warsaw, Krakow. What's going on in Hungary?

    Pluses: surprisingly few gypsies, at least (I've seen more in Moscow), indeed few non-tourist foreigners (even the maids, at least at my hotel, were locals), the baths were great on hot days (Gellert has a wave pool that kids love), and the architecture was stunning. Women were attractive. Some people were nice and went out of their way to be helpful. I heard (and believe) that the nightlife is great, but I didn't go out.

    I was only there for 2 days so I surely missed a lot, but I doubt my impression was completely weird.

    Anyways, I have to unpack and catch up on things so will write lightly for several days.

    Vienna (Wien, by rights) is nice, but it feels oversized as a capital of puny Austria. It has a world-lass opera, though. I was there way before “refugees”, so only saw decent civilized people. Did a car trip Munich (Munchen, by rights), Vienna, Budapest, north shore of Balaton, Zagreb, back to Austria, and then back to Munich. BTW, Munich opera is essentially as good as Vienna one. My hotel in Vienna was near the center, and when I booked it online I was surprised that their parking was “links” and “rechts”. When we arrived, I found why: the hotel has two essentially broom closets for parking, one on the right, one on the left. It was a good thing that we had a shitty B-class Mercedes that was small enough to fit into one. Vienna is a good place to visit after you saw all the main tourist attractions in the world: very relaxing, pleasant, and civilized. Vienna schnitzel is also something: they call an acre of meet “small”. Beer is good, but their sachertorte is over-rated.

    Budapest is a lot poorer. An unmistakable sign: prices in touristy areas are several times higher than where the locals eat. Also, their local grocery stores have very little high quality sausage, we usually bought the last half-pound. Buda has an funicular built by Franz-Josef that still works (in sharp contrast to funicular in Zagreb with the sign “Ne vozi” (does not go). The metro in Pest was also built by Franz-Josef, and also works. Budapest does not have an opera worth visiting, but it has operetta. While you cannot book tickets online, when you buy them locally, they are dirt-cheap. Operetta was full of locals, many of whom sang along with the singers. Pretty nice, except that they sang in Hungarian and the theater provided translation into German, neither of which I understand.

    • Replies: @AP

    I was there way before “refugees”, so only saw decent civilized people.
     
    I only saw two. They were genuinely pathetic not scary people - some very skinny Arab guy in rags quietly saying "bitte" outside a sausage stand on a shopping street before being chased away, and a guy sitting silently outside St. Stephan's.

    I guess most of them ended up in Germany.

    Vienna is a good place to visit after you saw all the main tourist attractions in the world: very relaxing, pleasant, and civilized. Vienna schnitzel is also something: they call an acre of meet “small”. Beer is good, but their sachertorte is over-rated.
     
    We have identical impressions.

    Vienna food was good, but the best food I had in Austria was in Innsbruck.
  201. AP says:
    @Beckow

    ...Vienna for a few days. I saw very few Arabs or other non-Europeans
     
    I don't know how you define 'very few', Vienna has roughly 10-15% non-Europeans. It is still a great city, but there are bezirks that are more than half Middle-Eastern/African. The school population is already half almost non-European - a lot of locals are older people.

    Budapest has always been poor and a bit shabby, but its attractions make up for it. And I can't believe you didn't stop by Bratislava to experience what Europe once was and could still be...

    I don’t know how you define ‘very few’, Vienna has roughly 10-15% non-Europeans.

    They must be segregated somewhere outside the center, I saw fewer of them than I see in central Moscow (which itself is full of mostly Europeans). There were more in the Prater but overall the impression was of a European populated city. I was expecting much worse.

    The school population is already half almost non-European – a lot of locals are older people.

    This is surprising. Are the stats only for state schools?

    Budapest has always been poor and a bit shabby, but its attractions make up for it.

    Yes, it has much more to offer than, say, Lviv (baths, museums, etc.). But I was surprised by its shabbiness relative to the various places I’ve visited in Poland, Ukraine and Russia. Balkan influence?

    And I can’t believe you didn’t stop by Bratislava

    Just had 2 weeks, not enough time…

    • Replies: @Beckow
    City center is very touristy, this time of year probably more than half of the people you see there are tourists. Prater is quite non-European (and a bit dangerous), Mitte almost as much. One way you get a sense for the demographic is to take the subway (that is otherwise quite excellent). There are catholic schools in Vienna, probably less than 10%. The half non-European pupils is true about state schools.

    Budapest is not as much Balkan as too big and kind of old. The shabby feel comes from a certain disregard for maintenance and upkeep. So you get great architecture next to a half-abandoned ruin. Hungarians have a lot of gifts but due diligence is not one of them, I think it bores them.

    Just had 2 weeks, not enough time…
     
    We always have time for things we put first :)... well, maybe next time, Christmas markets are particularly good with cooked wine, music everywhere and Jesus lording it over the city, true Europe that drives Western liberals bonkers.
  202. AP says:
    @AnonFromTN
    Vienna (Wien, by rights) is nice, but it feels oversized as a capital of puny Austria. It has a world-lass opera, though. I was there way before “refugees”, so only saw decent civilized people. Did a car trip Munich (Munchen, by rights), Vienna, Budapest, north shore of Balaton, Zagreb, back to Austria, and then back to Munich. BTW, Munich opera is essentially as good as Vienna one. My hotel in Vienna was near the center, and when I booked it online I was surprised that their parking was “links” and “rechts”. When we arrived, I found why: the hotel has two essentially broom closets for parking, one on the right, one on the left. It was a good thing that we had a shitty B-class Mercedes that was small enough to fit into one. Vienna is a good place to visit after you saw all the main tourist attractions in the world: very relaxing, pleasant, and civilized. Vienna schnitzel is also something: they call an acre of meet “small”. Beer is good, but their sachertorte is over-rated.

    Budapest is a lot poorer. An unmistakable sign: prices in touristy areas are several times higher than where the locals eat. Also, their local grocery stores have very little high quality sausage, we usually bought the last half-pound. Buda has an funicular built by Franz-Josef that still works (in sharp contrast to funicular in Zagreb with the sign “Ne vozi” (does not go). The metro in Pest was also built by Franz-Josef, and also works. Budapest does not have an opera worth visiting, but it has operetta. While you cannot book tickets online, when you buy them locally, they are dirt-cheap. Operetta was full of locals, many of whom sang along with the singers. Pretty nice, except that they sang in Hungarian and the theater provided translation into German, neither of which I understand.

    I was there way before “refugees”, so only saw decent civilized people.

    I only saw two. They were genuinely pathetic not scary people – some very skinny Arab guy in rags quietly saying “bitte” outside a sausage stand on a shopping street before being chased away, and a guy sitting silently outside St. Stephan’s.

    I guess most of them ended up in Germany.

    Vienna is a good place to visit after you saw all the main tourist attractions in the world: very relaxing, pleasant, and civilized. Vienna schnitzel is also something: they call an acre of meet “small”. Beer is good, but their sachertorte is over-rated.

    We have identical impressions.

    Vienna food was good, but the best food I had in Austria was in Innsbruck.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
    I also guess a lot of new immigrants which are unfortunately flooding in Vienna in recent years, can appear European externally.

    But they are from poor and more backward countries (Balkan?) and can damage atmosphere in schools there - behaviour in video below, is not my stereotype of how an Austrian school should be:


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H-wWZqOLl4o

  203. @AP

    I don’t know how you define ‘very few’, Vienna has roughly 10-15% non-Europeans.
     
    They must be segregated somewhere outside the center, I saw fewer of them than I see in central Moscow (which itself is full of mostly Europeans). There were more in the Prater but overall the impression was of a European populated city. I was expecting much worse.

    The school population is already half almost non-European – a lot of locals are older people.
     
    This is surprising. Are the stats only for state schools?

    Budapest has always been poor and a bit shabby, but its attractions make up for it.
     
    Yes, it has much more to offer than, say, Lviv (baths, museums, etc.). But I was surprised by its shabbiness relative to the various places I've visited in Poland, Ukraine and Russia. Balkan influence?

    And I can’t believe you didn’t stop by Bratislava
     
    Just had 2 weeks, not enough time...

    City center is very touristy, this time of year probably more than half of the people you see there are tourists. Prater is quite non-European (and a bit dangerous), Mitte almost as much. One way you get a sense for the demographic is to take the subway (that is otherwise quite excellent). There are catholic schools in Vienna, probably less than 10%. The half non-European pupils is true about state schools.

    Budapest is not as much Balkan as too big and kind of old. The shabby feel comes from a certain disregard for maintenance and upkeep. So you get great architecture next to a half-abandoned ruin. Hungarians have a lot of gifts but due diligence is not one of them, I think it bores them.

    Just had 2 weeks, not enough time…

    We always have time for things we put first :)… well, maybe next time, Christmas markets are particularly good with cooked wine, music everywhere and Jesus lording it over the city, true Europe that drives Western liberals bonkers.

    • Replies: @AP

    City center is very touristy, this time of year probably more than half of the people you see there are tourists.
     
    Correct, I heard almost as much Russian as I did German.

    Prater is quite non-European (and a bit dangerous)
     
    I was there in the evening (7:00 PM - 8:30 PM, before heading out to dinner in the center), I felt no edge there. Lots of families, some well-behaved teenagers, there were couples getting dinner on the Ferris wheel. More non-Europeans than in the center but it was hardly non-Europe.

    One way you get a sense for the demographic is to take the subway (that is otherwise quite excellent).
     
    Did that. Also, there were lots of Arabs selling stuff in the naschmarkt, as Azeris do in Moscow. Overall Vienna looked no darker than Moscow, which is not dark at all.

    My Viennese relatives love their city and don't ever go to Paris anymore, for the same Russians Russians have stopped going to Paris.

    There are catholic schools in Vienna, probably less than 10%. The half non-European pupils is true about state schools.
     
    Still, if non-Europeans are only 10% to 15% of the population, for them to be about 50% of kids that would mean they are 3.5 or 4 times more fertile than natives. I may be wrong, but that is hard to believe. One doesn't see hordes of little Arab or African kids running around Vienna, even in Prater.
    , @AP

    Budapest is not as much Balkan as too big and kind of old. The shabby feel comes from a certain disregard for maintenance and upkeep. So you get great architecture next to a half-abandoned ruin. Hungarians have a lot of gifts but due diligence is not one of them, I think it bores them.
     
    In Lviv, which in 1990 was shabbier than Budapest, Ukrainians have lovingly restored the city. Bars and restaurants frequently have elaborate themes, foe example the "mining cafe" among many:

    https://tripkitproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/Lviv-Lvov-Ukraine-cafe-mining02-768x432.jpg

    The city is well cared for , as I saw in Poland or Moscow. At times, they try too hard I suppose.

    Whereas in Budapest buildings have often been left in their state of Soviet decay and this itself is the theme (the "ruin bars").

    Fortunately, the Hungarians were not shabby with their food - it was excellent.
  204. @Mitleser

    Why not?
     
    Because Iran needs them more badly.

    https://twitter.com/yarbatman/status/1145653689249619968

    Chinese don’t really drink alcohol either.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    But they do. I had a Chinese grad student who could hold her drink very well. We even named her an honorary Russian. I have a Chinese collaborator (from Taiwan, though), who at one of the meetings drank as much as Russians and an Israeli guy, and was reasonably sober in the end. We also named him honorary Russian, and he was proud of that. Then I had a Chinese post-doc who at our lab party tried to drink as much as me and my Ukrainian (not Ukie) post-doc. In the end his wife loaded him into their car like luggage, and he was too sick the next day to come to work. So, Chinese do drink, but some have normal levels of alcohol dehydrogenase, whereas others don’t.
  205. AP says:
    @Beckow
    City center is very touristy, this time of year probably more than half of the people you see there are tourists. Prater is quite non-European (and a bit dangerous), Mitte almost as much. One way you get a sense for the demographic is to take the subway (that is otherwise quite excellent). There are catholic schools in Vienna, probably less than 10%. The half non-European pupils is true about state schools.

    Budapest is not as much Balkan as too big and kind of old. The shabby feel comes from a certain disregard for maintenance and upkeep. So you get great architecture next to a half-abandoned ruin. Hungarians have a lot of gifts but due diligence is not one of them, I think it bores them.

    Just had 2 weeks, not enough time…
     
    We always have time for things we put first :)... well, maybe next time, Christmas markets are particularly good with cooked wine, music everywhere and Jesus lording it over the city, true Europe that drives Western liberals bonkers.

    City center is very touristy, this time of year probably more than half of the people you see there are tourists.

    Correct, I heard almost as much Russian as I did German.

    Prater is quite non-European (and a bit dangerous)

    I was there in the evening (7:00 PM – 8:30 PM, before heading out to dinner in the center), I felt no edge there. Lots of families, some well-behaved teenagers, there were couples getting dinner on the Ferris wheel. More non-Europeans than in the center but it was hardly non-Europe.

    One way you get a sense for the demographic is to take the subway (that is otherwise quite excellent).

    Did that. Also, there were lots of Arabs selling stuff in the naschmarkt, as Azeris do in Moscow. Overall Vienna looked no darker than Moscow, which is not dark at all.

    My Viennese relatives love their city and don’t ever go to Paris anymore, for the same Russians Russians have stopped going to Paris.

    There are catholic schools in Vienna, probably less than 10%. The half non-European pupils is true about state schools.

    Still, if non-Europeans are only 10% to 15% of the population, for them to be about 50% of kids that would mean they are 3.5 or 4 times more fertile than natives. I may be wrong, but that is hard to believe. One doesn’t see hordes of little Arab or African kids running around Vienna, even in Prater.

    • Replies: @Matra
    Vienna has plenty of diversity just not so much in the tourist areas. In 2018 I stayed for two nights in the area south of Wien Hbf by Keplerplatz. It looked to be about 50% non-white, virtually all Turkish-looking in appearances with plenty of headscarves. There were still plenty of bars and restaurants, food stalls, etc, selling pork products, and at least one strip club, so the Muslims don't seem to be laying down the law, so to speak. But things change fast.
  206. @AP
    I was in Vienna for a few days. I saw very few Arabs or other non-Europeans - Vienna is no Paris. Vienna (at least the first district in the center where I rented an apartment) has a higher percentage of Europeans than does central Moscow, where one sees Caucasians and Central Asians. This surprised me. I saw one refugee begging for money on a shopping street and one outside St. Stephen's, but there was no indication of a migrant onslaught.

    Overall Vienna was very pleasant, with very pleasant locals, nice laid-backed atmosphere, seemed like a great place to live but not spectacular as a tourist destination.

    In central Vienna I heard almost as much Russian as I heard German. I suspect that France's third worldification has made Vienna a substitute for Paris, for Russian tourists. I did come across a family of Ukrainian-speaking tourists, at a table in an overpriced and mediocre quality tourist-trap cafe.

    Hiking at 7,000 feet in the Alps was a good way of escaping the heat wave. As was swimming in some lakes in the Salzkammergut. These places were more interesting than Vienna and surprisingly had almost no Russians.

    Reiner Tor is one of my favorite commenters here, so it pains me to say that Budapest left a poor impression. Taxis try to rip you off as if it is a Caucasian republic - this doesn't happen in Moscow, or Poland, or on that scale even Ukraine. Castle district in Buda looks nice, but across the river, much of Pest is rather shabby (shabbier than Polish cities, shabbier than Lviv), I saw a middle-aged guy urinating in public on a main street at night, local people are rather poorly dressed, like in provincial Ukrainian city like Ternopil, though Budapest is much larger and obviously wealthier city than anywhere in Ukraine. Overall, the impression was worse than that of any large modern Russian city I've seen, and worse than Kiev, Lviv, Warsaw, Krakow. What's going on in Hungary?

    Pluses: surprisingly few gypsies, at least (I've seen more in Moscow), indeed few non-tourist foreigners (even the maids, at least at my hotel, were locals), the baths were great on hot days (Gellert has a wave pool that kids love), and the architecture was stunning. Women were attractive. Some people were nice and went out of their way to be helpful. I heard (and believe) that the nightlife is great, but I didn't go out.

    I was only there for 2 days so I surely missed a lot, but I doubt my impression was completely weird.

    Anyways, I have to unpack and catch up on things so will write lightly for several days.

    Yes, Vienna is just paradise – at least as far as such a big city can be paradise.

    I was there many years ago though, and it was paradise then. So nice to hear people still enjoy it there.

    Actually I wrote a few weeks ago about Vienna of the past.
    https://www.unz.com/akarlin/technomedievalism/#comment-2698558

    third worldification has made Vienna a substitute for Paris,

    I’m not sure this is, because since we can remember, Paris has been “third world” for its demographics.

    My earliest memory of visiting Paris, was we were walking outside our hotel in the evening in summer, and seeing that all brown and black people, and as a child imagined I was in a tropical country.

    I’m kind of doubting African/Arab demographics even have a negative effect on tourism numbers to Paris though. Even despite the terrorist attacks – Paris nowadays receives 40 million tourists a year. 40 million! – it’s even four times more tourists than Rome.

    • Replies: @AP

    Yes, Vienna is just paradise – at least as far as such a big city can be paradise.
     
    My cousin explained how Germans want everything fast and disciplined, while Austrians just want to enjoy life. Even the German they speak is softer, less harsh. But Austrian relaxation is not slovenly in nature: their cities have a slower pace, but are not at all shabby.

    I’m kind of doubting African/Arab demographics even have a negative effect on tourism numbers to Paris though. Even despite the terrorist attacks – Paris nowadays receives 40 million tourists a year. 40 million! – it’s even four times more tourists than Rome.
     
    From places like Russia, first-time travelers who want to see Paris once in their life, but will not come again.
  207. @AnonFromTN
    You may be right for all I know. I was in LA only twice, for a couple of days each time, both times visiting a collaborator, so can’t judge.

    Los Angeles has very good restaurants (of where I visited), and things seem to be open in the evening.

    But I don’t think Los Angeles has a “big city” atmosphere in the night, and it’s difficult to walk between areas even in the day there.

    I remember quite abandoned and empty atmosphere in the city in the night, when I visited – and that was in summer.

  208. @Mitleser

    Why not?
     
    Because Iran needs them more badly.

    https://twitter.com/yarbatman/status/1145653689249619968

    There are surely more than enough Chinese tourists, for every country to receive hundreds of thousands of them.

    This said, I imagine mainstream millions of Chinese tourists prefer to visit white or yellow countries, than brown countries.

    And that it’s only a minority of adrenaline addicted Chinese tourists, who are visiting third world countries.

    Many Chinese tourists don’t seem necessarily very competent in navigating even when they are visiting well regulated European countries. So I’m not sure how they will avoid trouble in more adventuring regions of the world.

  209. AP says:
    @Dmitry
    Yes, Vienna is just paradise - at least as far as such a big city can be paradise.

    I was there many years ago though, and it was paradise then. So nice to hear people still enjoy it there.

    Actually I wrote a few weeks ago about Vienna of the past.
    https://www.unz.com/akarlin/technomedievalism/#comment-2698558


    third worldification has made Vienna a substitute for Paris,
     
    I'm not sure this is, because since we can remember, Paris has been "third world" for its demographics.

    My earliest memory of visiting Paris, was we were walking outside our hotel in the evening in summer, and seeing that all brown and black people, and as a child imagined I was in a tropical country.

    I'm kind of doubting African/Arab demographics even have a negative effect on tourism numbers to Paris though. Even despite the terrorist attacks - Paris nowadays receives 40 million tourists a year. 40 million! - it's even four times more tourists than Rome.

    Yes, Vienna is just paradise – at least as far as such a big city can be paradise.

    My cousin explained how Germans want everything fast and disciplined, while Austrians just want to enjoy life. Even the German they speak is softer, less harsh. But Austrian relaxation is not slovenly in nature: their cities have a slower pace, but are not at all shabby.

    I’m kind of doubting African/Arab demographics even have a negative effect on tourism numbers to Paris though. Even despite the terrorist attacks – Paris nowadays receives 40 million tourists a year. 40 million! – it’s even four times more tourists than Rome.

    From places like Russia, first-time travelers who want to see Paris once in their life, but will not come again.

  210. AP says:
    @Beckow
    City center is very touristy, this time of year probably more than half of the people you see there are tourists. Prater is quite non-European (and a bit dangerous), Mitte almost as much. One way you get a sense for the demographic is to take the subway (that is otherwise quite excellent). There are catholic schools in Vienna, probably less than 10%. The half non-European pupils is true about state schools.

    Budapest is not as much Balkan as too big and kind of old. The shabby feel comes from a certain disregard for maintenance and upkeep. So you get great architecture next to a half-abandoned ruin. Hungarians have a lot of gifts but due diligence is not one of them, I think it bores them.

    Just had 2 weeks, not enough time…
     
    We always have time for things we put first :)... well, maybe next time, Christmas markets are particularly good with cooked wine, music everywhere and Jesus lording it over the city, true Europe that drives Western liberals bonkers.

    Budapest is not as much Balkan as too big and kind of old. The shabby feel comes from a certain disregard for maintenance and upkeep. So you get great architecture next to a half-abandoned ruin. Hungarians have a lot of gifts but due diligence is not one of them, I think it bores them.

    In Lviv, which in 1990 was shabbier than Budapest, Ukrainians have lovingly restored the city. Bars and restaurants frequently have elaborate themes, foe example the “mining cafe” among many:

    The city is well cared for , as I saw in Poland or Moscow. At times, they try too hard I suppose.

    Whereas in Budapest buildings have often been left in their state of Soviet decay and this itself is the theme (the “ruin bars”).

    Fortunately, the Hungarians were not shabby with their food – it was excellent.

  211. @AP

    I was there way before “refugees”, so only saw decent civilized people.
     
    I only saw two. They were genuinely pathetic not scary people - some very skinny Arab guy in rags quietly saying "bitte" outside a sausage stand on a shopping street before being chased away, and a guy sitting silently outside St. Stephan's.

    I guess most of them ended up in Germany.

    Vienna is a good place to visit after you saw all the main tourist attractions in the world: very relaxing, pleasant, and civilized. Vienna schnitzel is also something: they call an acre of meet “small”. Beer is good, but their sachertorte is over-rated.
     
    We have identical impressions.

    Vienna food was good, but the best food I had in Austria was in Innsbruck.

    I also guess a lot of new immigrants which are unfortunately flooding in Vienna in recent years, can appear European externally.

    But they are from poor and more backward countries (Balkan?) and can damage atmosphere in schools there – behaviour in video below, is not my stereotype of how an Austrian school should be:

    • Replies: @Beckow

    ...flooding in Vienna in recent years, can appear European externally
     
    That could be a slippery slope :).

    But you are right, a lot of them are Gypsies and Albanians (esp. from Kosovo), plus an assortment of borderland types from the Balkans, Turkey, Middle East, N Africa, even some Latin Americans and Asians.

    What they create is a melange of unassimilated cultures, a simmering anxiety and hatred. In small numbers it works, in large numbers it doesn't. Nobody knows exactly where the red line is, but Paris-London-Brussels have crossed it, Vienna has not. Yet.

    And to AP's point above: yes, they do have a lot more offspring, they are younger, having kids pays in benefits and visa status, and some see it as self-preservation. Elementary schools are flooded with them, often showing up as the school year starts and claiming to be 'residents'. It is hard to challenge because Viennese byrocrats are hopelessly human-loving. And there is simply no process that can address it without ugly media scenes. That's how societies slowly disintegrate.
  212. @AP
    LOL, you are wrong as usual.

    This pic symbolizes the subservience to the US and boot-licking characteristic of the Ukrainian “leadership” after 2014
     
    Picture actually taken in 2013, under Yanukovich.

    whereas the presenter is a lowly slave (Ukrainian general),
     
    Presenter was not a general, but representative of some Cossack organization.

    By tradition, when someone becomes an honorary Cossack and is presented with a saber, that someone kneels
     
    The US ambassador represented an American from 200+ years ago who had helped Russia and had become a rear admiral in the Russian navy.

    Some Russian nationalist troll used a picture and made up a fake story story about it, and naturally you believed it because you will believe any nonsense.

    It’s great seeing you back in top form Sherlock! Your sleuthing skills employed in order to debunk all manner of sovok myths help make this blog quite an interesting one. Glad to see that you had a successful trip. 🙂

  213. @AP

    I hear the argument often in the 70s 80s it was a nightmare. Sure but the trend for the last 15 years has been very bad.
     
    Nonsense. There has predictably been some decline under de Blasio but it is a different world from the 1980s. A couple of years ago after a party I took a subway at 2 AM to Brooklyn from Manhattan and it was full of white party-goers, rather calm and totally safe.

    A couple of years ago you took a subways once. Ok.

    Also NYC current problems where white people hang out has to do more with migrants invading their spaces, over crowding and deterioration. You won’t find violent crime there, it is concentrated in the hood.

    Btw there is only one line that runs through East NY.

    • Replies: @AP
    I live less than 2 hours from NYC, on the edge of commuter train access, and visit regularly. As a kid in the early 1980s I lived far away but visited the city twice. It's a world of difference, and the current decline is minor and trivial in nature compared to how the city used to be.
  214. @Dmitry
    I also guess a lot of new immigrants which are unfortunately flooding in Vienna in recent years, can appear European externally.

    But they are from poor and more backward countries (Balkan?) and can damage atmosphere in schools there - behaviour in video below, is not my stereotype of how an Austrian school should be:


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H-wWZqOLl4o

    …flooding in Vienna in recent years, can appear European externally

    That could be a slippery slope :).

    But you are right, a lot of them are Gypsies and Albanians (esp. from Kosovo), plus an assortment of borderland types from the Balkans, Turkey, Middle East, N Africa, even some Latin Americans and Asians.

    What they create is a melange of unassimilated cultures, a simmering anxiety and hatred. In small numbers it works, in large numbers it doesn’t. Nobody knows exactly where the red line is, but Paris-London-Brussels have crossed it, Vienna has not. Yet.

    And to AP’s point above: yes, they do have a lot more offspring, they are younger, having kids pays in benefits and visa status, and some see it as self-preservation. Elementary schools are flooded with them, often showing up as the school year starts and claiming to be ‘residents’. It is hard to challenge because Viennese byrocrats are hopelessly human-loving. And there is simply no process that can address it without ugly media scenes. That’s how societies slowly disintegrate.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
    Yes, I am sure this immigration will be destructive, even if it was only from those Balkan countries which had been part of Austro-Hungarian Empire.

    But my point was just that a tourist might not notice all these immigrants in Vienna, as some proportion of Balkans' people look not so different from Austrians externally, or from the other side of the street.

    Anyway, hopefully Vienna will survive. It's not just the historical gateway to Europe, but one of its pinnacles.

  215. @AP
    LOL, you are wrong as usual.

    This pic symbolizes the subservience to the US and boot-licking characteristic of the Ukrainian “leadership” after 2014
     
    Picture actually taken in 2013, under Yanukovich.

    whereas the presenter is a lowly slave (Ukrainian general),
     
    Presenter was not a general, but representative of some Cossack organization.

    By tradition, when someone becomes an honorary Cossack and is presented with a saber, that someone kneels
     
    The US ambassador represented an American from 200+ years ago who had helped Russia and had become a rear admiral in the Russian navy.

    Some Russian nationalist troll used a picture and made up a fake story story about it, and naturally you believed it because you will believe any nonsense.

    Excuses, excuses… A picture is worth a thousand words. This picture tells it all. I would have pitied Ukies if they were human.

    • Replies: @AP

    Excuses, excuses
     
    It's a picture of a Yanukovich-era Cossack guy kneeling before an American who represents a Russian admiral.

    You repeated the fake story that it was a post-Maidan guy kneeling before an American, in order to prove something about Maidan.

    A picture is worth a thousand words. This picture tells it all.
     
    Okay, since facts don't matter we can pretend its a picture of a Russian general kneeling before an Israeli ambassador, or something A picture is worth a thousand words, who cares what is actually pictured.
  216. @LondonBob
    Chinese don't really drink alcohol either.

    But they do. I had a Chinese grad student who could hold her drink very well. We even named her an honorary Russian. I have a Chinese collaborator (from Taiwan, though), who at one of the meetings drank as much as Russians and an Israeli guy, and was reasonably sober in the end. We also named him honorary Russian, and he was proud of that. Then I had a Chinese post-doc who at our lab party tried to drink as much as me and my Ukrainian (not Ukie) post-doc. In the end his wife loaded him into their car like luggage, and he was too sick the next day to come to work. So, Chinese do drink, but some have normal levels of alcohol dehydrogenase, whereas others don’t.

  217. @Beckow

    ...flooding in Vienna in recent years, can appear European externally
     
    That could be a slippery slope :).

    But you are right, a lot of them are Gypsies and Albanians (esp. from Kosovo), plus an assortment of borderland types from the Balkans, Turkey, Middle East, N Africa, even some Latin Americans and Asians.

    What they create is a melange of unassimilated cultures, a simmering anxiety and hatred. In small numbers it works, in large numbers it doesn't. Nobody knows exactly where the red line is, but Paris-London-Brussels have crossed it, Vienna has not. Yet.

    And to AP's point above: yes, they do have a lot more offspring, they are younger, having kids pays in benefits and visa status, and some see it as self-preservation. Elementary schools are flooded with them, often showing up as the school year starts and claiming to be 'residents'. It is hard to challenge because Viennese byrocrats are hopelessly human-loving. And there is simply no process that can address it without ugly media scenes. That's how societies slowly disintegrate.

    Yes, I am sure this immigration will be destructive, even if it was only from those Balkan countries which had been part of Austro-Hungarian Empire.

    But my point was just that a tourist might not notice all these immigrants in Vienna, as some proportion of Balkans’ people look not so different from Austrians externally, or from the other side of the street.

    Anyway, hopefully Vienna will survive. It’s not just the historical gateway to Europe, but one of its pinnacles.

  218. @AP
    I was in Vienna for a few days. I saw very few Arabs or other non-Europeans - Vienna is no Paris. Vienna (at least the first district in the center where I rented an apartment) has a higher percentage of Europeans than does central Moscow, where one sees Caucasians and Central Asians. This surprised me. I saw one refugee begging for money on a shopping street and one outside St. Stephen's, but there was no indication of a migrant onslaught.

    Overall Vienna was very pleasant, with very pleasant locals, nice laid-backed atmosphere, seemed like a great place to live but not spectacular as a tourist destination.

    In central Vienna I heard almost as much Russian as I heard German. I suspect that France's third worldification has made Vienna a substitute for Paris, for Russian tourists. I did come across a family of Ukrainian-speaking tourists, at a table in an overpriced and mediocre quality tourist-trap cafe.

    Hiking at 7,000 feet in the Alps was a good way of escaping the heat wave. As was swimming in some lakes in the Salzkammergut. These places were more interesting than Vienna and surprisingly had almost no Russians.

    Reiner Tor is one of my favorite commenters here, so it pains me to say that Budapest left a poor impression. Taxis try to rip you off as if it is a Caucasian republic - this doesn't happen in Moscow, or Poland, or on that scale even Ukraine. Castle district in Buda looks nice, but across the river, much of Pest is rather shabby (shabbier than Polish cities, shabbier than Lviv), I saw a middle-aged guy urinating in public on a main street at night, local people are rather poorly dressed, like in provincial Ukrainian city like Ternopil, though Budapest is much larger and obviously wealthier city than anywhere in Ukraine. Overall, the impression was worse than that of any large modern Russian city I've seen, and worse than Kiev, Lviv, Warsaw, Krakow. What's going on in Hungary?

    Pluses: surprisingly few gypsies, at least (I've seen more in Moscow), indeed few non-tourist foreigners (even the maids, at least at my hotel, were locals), the baths were great on hot days (Gellert has a wave pool that kids love), and the architecture was stunning. Women were attractive. Some people were nice and went out of their way to be helpful. I heard (and believe) that the nightlife is great, but I didn't go out.

    I was only there for 2 days so I surely missed a lot, but I doubt my impression was completely weird.

    Anyways, I have to unpack and catch up on things so will write lightly for several days.

    Taxis try to rip you off as if it is a Caucasian republic – this doesn’t happen in Moscow, or Poland, or on that scale even Ukraine.

    Randomly taking taxis is the most common way to get ripped off almost everywhere in Europe. I only ever get one if it has a relationship to my hotel or if I’ve thoroughly researched the company ahead of arrival in the city. In many countries (not just infamously bad Romania!) it is a daily occurrence for tourists to be taken to locations where gangs take everything they’ve got. You mentioned Poland. Read almost any online tourist advice for any Polish city and it will be full of warnings about taxi scams and rip-offs. Prague used to be (maybe still is) notorious for this kind of thing too.

    Castle district in Buda looks nice, but across the river, much of Pest is rather shabby (shabbier than Polish cities, shabbier than Lviv)

    Buda is nicer, that’s true, but I’d put Pest slightly ahead of Lviv. The latter is nice in the centre but once you venture out towards the train station or even the streets leading to Forum Lviv (10 minutes walk from the centre) the streets are in pretty bad shape, even quite dangerous to walk down at night due to lack of light and poor paving. Pest is quite a bit bigger than Lviv so there’s more variety – a lot of good areas but also a lot of shabby areas. Lviv does seem to be improving though whereas Pest looked shabbier to me in 2018 than it did in 2010, especially near Keleti station. Which area did you stay in?

    I saw a middle-aged guy urinating in public on a main street at night

    I’ve seen people literally doing shits in busy streets in Paris and Dublin. Those two cities also have lots of street pissers. Travelling from Milan to Bergamo airport earlier this year I saw two different truckers pulled over and doing a piss on the highway/autostrada or whatever they call it. Don’t be so bourgeois!

    • Replies: @AP

    Randomly taking taxis is the most common way to get ripped off almost everywhere in Europe.
     
    Sure, but Hungary was exceptional in that regard, in my experience.

    I only ever get one if it has a relationship to my hotel or if I’ve thoroughly researched the company ahead of arrival in the city.
     
    Yes, I did this when I could. But when I arrived by train at 10:00 PM in a city with no uber it's another story.

    I've taken taxis in Baku, Lviv, Kiev, Moscow, Warsaw, Vienna and Budapest. Hungary had the most scammers, Baku was second worst. I had to flag down a few taxis to get a decent one in Budapest (best drivers: older bearded guys with glasses who chat about the history of places as they drive by, perhaps declassed intelligentsia).

    The latter is nice in the centre but once you venture out towards the train station or even the streets leading to Forum Lviv (10 minutes walk from the centre) the streets are in pretty bad shape, even quite dangerous to walk down at night due to lack of light and poor paving.
     
    Streets might not have been fixed properly yet, but buildings are mostly taken care of and cleaned. It was also the shabbiness of how people were dressed in Budapest - a major capital city, much wealthier than Lviv or anywhere in Ukraine, yet a lot of folks were dressed as if they were from some place in Ukraine like Ternopil. It was a striking, holistic effect.

    Lviv does seem to be improving though whereas Pest looked shabbier to me in 2018 than it did in 2010, especially near Keleti station. Which area did you stay in?
     
    I stayed by the huge mall but got good looks at the area when driving in from the airport and when coming in from Keleti station.

    I saw a middle-aged guy urinating in public on a main street at night

    I’ve seen people literally doing shits in busy streets in Paris and Dublin. Those two cities also have lots of street pissers. Travelling from Milan to Bergamo airport earlier this year I saw two different truckers pulled over and doing a piss on the highway/autostrada or whatever they call it. Don’t be so bourgeois!
     
    I once saw an old lady pee right off Tverskaya in Moscow, about 15 years ago. But I lived there. Two days in Budapest and I could see such a thing, not from some binge-drinking 20-something tourists but a regular local.
  219. @melanf

    Chinese tourism in Nizhny Novgorod and Tyumen? Are you crazy?
     
    In Vladimir (when I was there) the town was Packed with huge crowds of Chinese tourists
    https://a.radikal.ru/a21/1907/a7/3c42243825c0.jpg

    Vladimir is very close to Nizhny Novgorod

    Although the meaning of such tourism (for the Chinese) is not very clear to me. When it is necessary to fly half of the globe, it makes sense only for the pearls of world civilization (Northern Italy, the Rhine valley, etc. In Russia, such places - St. Petersburg and (to a lesser extent) Moscow. There are natural pearls - Kamchatka, Baikal, etc . There is also Crimea where natural and architectural attractions are located so densely that it is potentially an excellent place for world tourism. But Nizhny Novgorod or Vladimir? In my opinion, a strange choice for Chinese tourists.

    When it is necessary to fly half of the globe, it makes sense only for the pearls of world civilization (Northern Italy, the Rhine valley, etc. In Russia, such places – St. Petersburg and (to a lesser extent) Moscow.

    I’m not sure I agree with this.

    Anywhere in the world can be interesting to visit, depending where you visited from, and what are your interests.

    I found it very interesting two years ago, even visiting culturally uninteresting places like Tijuana (in Mexico), or San Jose (in California).

    In Russia, such places – St. Petersburg and (to a lesser extent) Moscow.

    But for a Chinese person, they might find it interesting in less culturally essential areas in Russia, in the same way it was very interesting for me, even walking around such a very boring (for Americans) city like San Jose.

  220. @AP

    City center is very touristy, this time of year probably more than half of the people you see there are tourists.
     
    Correct, I heard almost as much Russian as I did German.

    Prater is quite non-European (and a bit dangerous)
     
    I was there in the evening (7:00 PM - 8:30 PM, before heading out to dinner in the center), I felt no edge there. Lots of families, some well-behaved teenagers, there were couples getting dinner on the Ferris wheel. More non-Europeans than in the center but it was hardly non-Europe.

    One way you get a sense for the demographic is to take the subway (that is otherwise quite excellent).
     
    Did that. Also, there were lots of Arabs selling stuff in the naschmarkt, as Azeris do in Moscow. Overall Vienna looked no darker than Moscow, which is not dark at all.

    My Viennese relatives love their city and don't ever go to Paris anymore, for the same Russians Russians have stopped going to Paris.

    There are catholic schools in Vienna, probably less than 10%. The half non-European pupils is true about state schools.
     
    Still, if non-Europeans are only 10% to 15% of the population, for them to be about 50% of kids that would mean they are 3.5 or 4 times more fertile than natives. I may be wrong, but that is hard to believe. One doesn't see hordes of little Arab or African kids running around Vienna, even in Prater.

    Vienna has plenty of diversity just not so much in the tourist areas. In 2018 I stayed for two nights in the area south of Wien Hbf by Keplerplatz. It looked to be about 50% non-white, virtually all Turkish-looking in appearances with plenty of headscarves. There were still plenty of bars and restaurants, food stalls, etc, selling pork products, and at least one strip club, so the Muslims don’t seem to be laying down the law, so to speak. But things change fast.

  221. @AnonFromTN
    I was there in 2015. Did not see any Chinese. But the total number of people (in Feodosia, Yalta, Bakhchisaray, etc.) was close to what I’m prepared to tolerate. Crimeans keep clamoring for more, I guess because they are greedy and want to rent out every pigsty they have. They have to get used to the idea that pigsties are only good for the Ukrainians. Russians want decent comfort, which is not particularly cheap in Crimea.

    Some services were OK in 2015 – we rented apartments in both places (one near Feodosia, the other near Yalta) and a car with automatic transmission (which was delivered to Simferopol airport to the arrival of our flight) via Internet from the US. However, all three wanted payment in cash and exclusively in rubles. They warned us about that, so we were prepared. Major roads were already repaired by the summer of 2015, but side roads remained in their Ukrainian state. We managed, but we’d be better off with a 4-wheel drive.

    I was there (in Crimea) in 2015. But the total number of people (in Feodosia, Yalta, Bakhchisaray, etc.) was close to what I’m prepared to tolerate.

    from May to September Crimea has a resort center of rednecks (sea/barbecue/pop). Tourists should go to Crimea in late autumn or early spring (or winter)when there are few tourists in Crimea. Crimea is a poor seaside resort, but in terms of concentration of architectural/natural attractions it can compete with Austria or the Czechia

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    I am sure it’s good advice, but I wanted to swim in the Black Sea, like when I was young. I never visited Crimea since ~1980, and did not even want to visit when it became part of Ukraine, so I wanted to get there after it broke free. It was a great vacation. We visited a lot of cultural and architectural attractions, and spent maybe 10 days total swimming. The sea was unusually warm (we are spoiled by the Gulf), the food (mostly prepared by Tatars) was excellent, Crimean wines (on the expensive side) were great, Sevastopol, Bakhchisaray, imperial palaces, Aivasovsky Museum in Feodosia, Ayu-Dag, Chekhov museum in Yalta, and numerous other places were certainly worth visiting. What’s more, the sun was tolerable even in summer, a lot less fierce than on the Gulf. The only drawback was crowds.
  222. @AP

    In this option, St. Petersburg has an absolute superiority. The climate is initially about the same (Moscow is more continental, St. Petersburg-more oceanic) but:

    1.Moscow is hotter, stuffy and polluted because of its size.
     
    Some people like real, hot summers and real, cold winters. St. Petersburg winters are much more unpleasant than those in Moscow. Climate in St. Pete is wetter, it sucks the heat out of you more, and cold rain at +1 C is much worse than snow at -10.

    St. Petersburg has (within the city) magnificent forests and lakes

    Here is the district of St-Petersburg where I live
     
    Your district is very nice indeed, but the city is a lot smaller. My in-laws have a nice dacha in a very pretty pine forest, only an hour by elektrichka from Moscow.

    About culture is 100% wrong (you can count the winners of the prizes in the field of fantasy/science fiction, or the winners of the theater award “Golden mask”, etc., etc.) In relation to science – also very much doubt.
     
    Well, out of top 10 Russian universities, 6 are in Moscow, including number 1 and by far the one with the best reputation. Only one (the second ranked one) is in St. Petersburg.

    Some people like real, hot summers

    Hot summer in the big city – a pleasure for the masochist

    St. Petersburg winters are much more unpleasant than those in Moscow

    Perhaps, but summer in many times more important

    My in-laws have a nice dacha in a very pretty pine forest, only an hour by elektrichka from Moscow

    Ha ha ha. Here is a district of St. Petersburg where I live from the air

    Through the pine forest, starting in St. Petersburg, the red squirrel, can reach the Pacific ocean without getting down from the trees. In Moscow, nothing like this

    And we have a sea shore (here is my photo from the walk). I can swim there before and after work. Moscow is losing hopelessly.

    Well, out of top 10 Russian universities, 6 are in Moscow

    https://www.unz.com/akarlin/russian-programmers-are-good/

    If you count the highest awards in science, winners of international scientific competitions, etc. achievements of St. Petersburg per capita will probably be higher than in Moscow.

    • Replies: @AP

    Some people like real, hot summers

    Hot summer in the big city – a pleasure for the masochist
     
    Many women enjoy wearing short skirts, and many men enjoy seeing them. A nice hot normal summer is necessary for this. Average summer temperature is only 73 (23) degrees in July and 69 (21) degrees in August in Saint Petersburg. This is too cold, not a real summer.

    If you count the highest awards in science, winners of international scientific competitions, etc. achievements of St. Petersburg per capita will probably be higher than in Moscow.
     
    Maybe, but certainly not in total - Moscow offers more.
  223. AP says:
    @melanf

    Some people like real, hot summers
     
    Hot summer in the big city - a pleasure for the masochist

    St. Petersburg winters are much more unpleasant than those in Moscow
     
    Perhaps, but summer in many times more important

    My in-laws have a nice dacha in a very pretty pine forest, only an hour by elektrichka from Moscow
     
    Ha ha ha. Here is a district of St. Petersburg where I live from the air

    http://s3.ptmap.ru/original/2159.jpg

    Through the pine forest, starting in St. Petersburg, the red squirrel, can reach the Pacific ocean without getting down from the trees. In Moscow, nothing like this

    And we have a sea shore (here is my photo from the walk). I can swim there before and after work. Moscow is losing hopelessly.
    https://d.radikal.ru/d43/1906/49/dde4e57e76cb.jpg


    Well, out of top 10 Russian universities, 6 are in Moscow
     
    https://www.unz.com/akarlin/russian-programmers-are-good/

    If you count the highest awards in science, winners of international scientific competitions, etc. achievements of St. Petersburg per capita will probably be higher than in Moscow.

    Some people like real, hot summers

    Hot summer in the big city – a pleasure for the masochist

    Many women enjoy wearing short skirts, and many men enjoy seeing them. A nice hot normal summer is necessary for this. Average summer temperature is only 73 (23) degrees in July and 69 (21) degrees in August in Saint Petersburg. This is too cold, not a real summer.

    If you count the highest awards in science, winners of international scientific competitions, etc. achievements of St. Petersburg per capita will probably be higher than in Moscow.

    Maybe, but certainly not in total – Moscow offers more.

    • Replies: @Jaakko Raipala
    I've rarely seen a shortage of short skirts in St Petersburg, not even when I've visited in late fall in the middle of sleet and slush.

    If you don't like hot weather the coastal weather is good. I can't deal with anything over 25 C without shutting down completely so the east Baltic summer is really great. Of course it sucks for much of the year when it's wet, chilly and windy but not solidly cold enough to not go above freezing every once in a while - the inland is preferable in the winter because cold is more tolerable when it's dry and not windy and when it stays below freezing.
    , @melanf

    Hot summer in the big city .....Many women enjoy wearing short skirts, and many men enjoy seeing them. A nice hot normal summer is necessary for this.
     
    From this point of view, the presence of the beach in itself gives St. Petersburg a huge advantag

    https://cdn.fishki.net/upload/post/2016/06/01/1968327/3524273-large.jpg


    Average summer temperature is only 73 (23) degrees in July and 69 (21) degrees in August in Saint Petersburg. This is too cold, not a real summer.
     
    23 degrees and 21 degrees this is an excellent temperature for relaxing by the sea or lake. It's too hot for a big city. In addition, due to the "White nights" on the beach of St. Petersburg in June-July, you can sunbathe at 20.00 PM
  224. AP says:
    @Dreadilk
    A couple of years ago you took a subways once. Ok.

    Also NYC current problems where white people hang out has to do more with migrants invading their spaces, over crowding and deterioration. You won't find violent crime there, it is concentrated in the hood.

    Btw there is only one line that runs through East NY.

    I live less than 2 hours from NYC, on the edge of commuter train access, and visit regularly. As a kid in the early 1980s I lived far away but visited the city twice. It’s a world of difference, and the current decline is minor and trivial in nature compared to how the city used to be.

    • Replies: @Mikhail
    Less than two hours from NYC, I had the pleasure of being at this facility:

    https://www.araa-otrada.org/rent-our-facilities

    , @DreadIlk
    So how is Grand Central or Penn station to your liking? Smell of humanity all over you.

    Also visit regularly you wouldn't know about total collapse during rush hour train traffic.

    I am starting to get the idea about you. You seem to invent reality in your head and then play it out. Qualifications like minor and trivial is a dead giveaway.
  225. @AP

    Some people like real, hot summers

    Hot summer in the big city – a pleasure for the masochist
     
    Many women enjoy wearing short skirts, and many men enjoy seeing them. A nice hot normal summer is necessary for this. Average summer temperature is only 73 (23) degrees in July and 69 (21) degrees in August in Saint Petersburg. This is too cold, not a real summer.

    If you count the highest awards in science, winners of international scientific competitions, etc. achievements of St. Petersburg per capita will probably be higher than in Moscow.
     
    Maybe, but certainly not in total - Moscow offers more.

    I’ve rarely seen a shortage of short skirts in St Petersburg, not even when I’ve visited in late fall in the middle of sleet and slush.

    If you don’t like hot weather the coastal weather is good. I can’t deal with anything over 25 C without shutting down completely so the east Baltic summer is really great. Of course it sucks for much of the year when it’s wet, chilly and windy but not solidly cold enough to not go above freezing every once in a while – the inland is preferable in the winter because cold is more tolerable when it’s dry and not windy and when it stays below freezing.

  226. AP says:
    @Matra
    Taxis try to rip you off as if it is a Caucasian republic – this doesn’t happen in Moscow, or Poland, or on that scale even Ukraine.

    Randomly taking taxis is the most common way to get ripped off almost everywhere in Europe. I only ever get one if it has a relationship to my hotel or if I've thoroughly researched the company ahead of arrival in the city. In many countries (not just infamously bad Romania!) it is a daily occurrence for tourists to be taken to locations where gangs take everything they've got. You mentioned Poland. Read almost any online tourist advice for any Polish city and it will be full of warnings about taxi scams and rip-offs. Prague used to be (maybe still is) notorious for this kind of thing too.

    Castle district in Buda looks nice, but across the river, much of Pest is rather shabby (shabbier than Polish cities, shabbier than Lviv)

    Buda is nicer, that's true, but I'd put Pest slightly ahead of Lviv. The latter is nice in the centre but once you venture out towards the train station or even the streets leading to Forum Lviv (10 minutes walk from the centre) the streets are in pretty bad shape, even quite dangerous to walk down at night due to lack of light and poor paving. Pest is quite a bit bigger than Lviv so there's more variety - a lot of good areas but also a lot of shabby areas. Lviv does seem to be improving though whereas Pest looked shabbier to me in 2018 than it did in 2010, especially near Keleti station. Which area did you stay in?

    I saw a middle-aged guy urinating in public on a main street at night

    I've seen people literally doing shits in busy streets in Paris and Dublin. Those two cities also have lots of street pissers. Travelling from Milan to Bergamo airport earlier this year I saw two different truckers pulled over and doing a piss on the highway/autostrada or whatever they call it. Don't be so bourgeois!

    Randomly taking taxis is the most common way to get ripped off almost everywhere in Europe.

    Sure, but Hungary was exceptional in that regard, in my experience.

    I only ever get one if it has a relationship to my hotel or if I’ve thoroughly researched the company ahead of arrival in the city.

    Yes, I did this when I could. But when I arrived by train at 10:00 PM in a city with no uber it’s another story.

    I’ve taken taxis in Baku, Lviv, Kiev, Moscow, Warsaw, Vienna and Budapest. Hungary had the most scammers, Baku was second worst. I had to flag down a few taxis to get a decent one in Budapest (best drivers: older bearded guys with glasses who chat about the history of places as they drive by, perhaps declassed intelligentsia).

    The latter is nice in the centre but once you venture out towards the train station or even the streets leading to Forum Lviv (10 minutes walk from the centre) the streets are in pretty bad shape, even quite dangerous to walk down at night due to lack of light and poor paving.

    Streets might not have been fixed properly yet, but buildings are mostly taken care of and cleaned. It was also the shabbiness of how people were dressed in Budapest – a major capital city, much wealthier than Lviv or anywhere in Ukraine, yet a lot of folks were dressed as if they were from some place in Ukraine like Ternopil. It was a striking, holistic effect.

    Lviv does seem to be improving though whereas Pest looked shabbier to me in 2018 than it did in 2010, especially near Keleti station. Which area did you stay in?

    I stayed by the huge mall but got good looks at the area when driving in from the airport and when coming in from Keleti station.

    I saw a middle-aged guy urinating in public on a main street at night

    I’ve seen people literally doing shits in busy streets in Paris and Dublin. Those two cities also have lots of street pissers. Travelling from Milan to Bergamo airport earlier this year I saw two different truckers pulled over and doing a piss on the highway/autostrada or whatever they call it. Don’t be so bourgeois!

    I once saw an old lady pee right off Tverskaya in Moscow, about 15 years ago. But I lived there. Two days in Budapest and I could see such a thing, not from some binge-drinking 20-something tourists but a regular local.

  227. AP says:
    @AnonFromTN
    Excuses, excuses… A picture is worth a thousand words. This picture tells it all. I would have pitied Ukies if they were human.

    Excuses, excuses

    It’s a picture of a Yanukovich-era Cossack guy kneeling before an American who represents a Russian admiral.

    You repeated the fake story that it was a post-Maidan guy kneeling before an American, in order to prove something about Maidan.

    A picture is worth a thousand words. This picture tells it all.

    Okay, since facts don’t matter we can pretend its a picture of a Russian general kneeling before an Israeli ambassador, or something A picture is worth a thousand words, who cares what is actually pictured.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    If you sincerely believe that post-Maidan Ukraine is not subservient to the US, I have a bridge to sell you. If you believe that in the eyes of the master it’s at the level of senior servants, like Germany, UK, or Japan, I have another bridge to sell you. But hurry: as they say in the US, there is a sucker born every minute.
  228. @melanf

    I was there (in Crimea) in 2015. But the total number of people (in Feodosia, Yalta, Bakhchisaray, etc.) was close to what I’m prepared to tolerate.
     
    from May to September Crimea has a resort center of rednecks (sea/barbecue/pop). Tourists should go to Crimea in late autumn or early spring (or winter)when there are few tourists in Crimea. Crimea is a poor seaside resort, but in terms of concentration of architectural/natural attractions it can compete with Austria or the Czechia

    https://crimeahomesrealty.ru/images/djmediatools/livadiya%20zimoj%204.jpg

    https://cont.ws/uploads/posts2/597361.jpg

    https://img3.foto.by/photos/42dce/22504/09f77/6dcd655ad4c47c0cb.jpg

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/D4aonH8X4AA8nPt.jpg

    https://clubtavrida.ru/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/02-1-1-1024x682.jpg

    https://a.d-cd.net/710f39as-960.jpg

    http://ametist.rfarus.ru/images/files/company/news/1/1492140187068_Image00001.jpg

    I am sure it’s good advice, but I wanted to swim in the Black Sea, like when I was young. I never visited Crimea since ~1980, and did not even want to visit when it became part of Ukraine, so I wanted to get there after it broke free. It was a great vacation. We visited a lot of cultural and architectural attractions, and spent maybe 10 days total swimming. The sea was unusually warm (we are spoiled by the Gulf), the food (mostly prepared by Tatars) was excellent, Crimean wines (on the expensive side) were great, Sevastopol, Bakhchisaray, imperial palaces, Aivasovsky Museum in Feodosia, Ayu-Dag, Chekhov museum in Yalta, and numerous other places were certainly worth visiting. What’s more, the sun was tolerable even in summer, a lot less fierce than on the Gulf. The only drawback was crowds.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack

    The only drawback was crowds.
     
    Are you sure that you went swimming there for 10 days? I nearly ruined my feet walking on the stony laiden beaches there. Never again.
  229. @AP

    Excuses, excuses
     
    It's a picture of a Yanukovich-era Cossack guy kneeling before an American who represents a Russian admiral.

    You repeated the fake story that it was a post-Maidan guy kneeling before an American, in order to prove something about Maidan.

    A picture is worth a thousand words. This picture tells it all.
     
    Okay, since facts don't matter we can pretend its a picture of a Russian general kneeling before an Israeli ambassador, or something A picture is worth a thousand words, who cares what is actually pictured.

    If you sincerely believe that post-Maidan Ukraine is not subservient to the US, I have a bridge to sell you. If you believe that in the eyes of the master it’s at the level of senior servants, like Germany, UK, or Japan, I have another bridge to sell you. But hurry: as they say in the US, there is a sucker born every minute.

  230. @AP
    LOL, another fake:

    https://www.stopfake.org/en/fake-ukrainian-general-kneels-before-the-ex-ambassador-of-the-us/

    First Anon from TN believed the internet prank about some cafe in Lviv devoted to sluts, and now this. Otherwise intelligent Russians and Sovoks can get really deranged when it comes to Ukraine.

    Otherwise intelligent Russians and Sovoks can get really deranged when it comes to Ukraine.

    Like the two svidos at this thread really got the better of the intelligent Russians and Sovoks:

    https://irrussianality.wordpress.com/2019/06/21/splitter/#comments

  231. @AP
    I live less than 2 hours from NYC, on the edge of commuter train access, and visit regularly. As a kid in the early 1980s I lived far away but visited the city twice. It's a world of difference, and the current decline is minor and trivial in nature compared to how the city used to be.

    Less than two hours from NYC, I had the pleasure of being at this facility:

    https://www.araa-otrada.org/rent-our-facilities

  232. @AnonFromTN
    I am sure it’s good advice, but I wanted to swim in the Black Sea, like when I was young. I never visited Crimea since ~1980, and did not even want to visit when it became part of Ukraine, so I wanted to get there after it broke free. It was a great vacation. We visited a lot of cultural and architectural attractions, and spent maybe 10 days total swimming. The sea was unusually warm (we are spoiled by the Gulf), the food (mostly prepared by Tatars) was excellent, Crimean wines (on the expensive side) were great, Sevastopol, Bakhchisaray, imperial palaces, Aivasovsky Museum in Feodosia, Ayu-Dag, Chekhov museum in Yalta, and numerous other places were certainly worth visiting. What’s more, the sun was tolerable even in summer, a lot less fierce than on the Gulf. The only drawback was crowds.

    The only drawback was crowds.

    Are you sure that you went swimming there for 10 days? I nearly ruined my feet walking on the stony laiden beaches there. Never again.

    • Replies: @melanf
    In Crimea there are (along with pebble) sandy beaches.
    http://ametist.rfarus.ru/images/files/company/news/1/1494906174194_Image00001.jpg

    Besides, it's a matter of taste - my wife would prefer pebble beaches as she hates sand (in hair, clothes, etc.)
    , @AnonFromTN
    Had no problem for a week in Ordzhonikidze (near Feodosia) – the pebbles were small. Had no problem for another week in the other place near Yalta; there the “shore” was artificial, poured concrete. In addition, in Feodosia the shore is sand, in Yalta – small pebbles, neither created any problems. There are a lot of “wild” shores in many places, where it is inadvisable to swim because of rocks all over the beach and beyond. It’s the same everywhere (Greece, Turkey, France, Spain, Italy, Malaysia, Indonesia, or both coasts and the Gulf in the US) – there are beaches where you swim, and other “wild” beaches where you don’t want to.
    , @DreadIlk
    You get used to stones.
  233. @AP

    Some people like real, hot summers

    Hot summer in the big city – a pleasure for the masochist
     
    Many women enjoy wearing short skirts, and many men enjoy seeing them. A nice hot normal summer is necessary for this. Average summer temperature is only 73 (23) degrees in July and 69 (21) degrees in August in Saint Petersburg. This is too cold, not a real summer.

    If you count the highest awards in science, winners of international scientific competitions, etc. achievements of St. Petersburg per capita will probably be higher than in Moscow.
     
    Maybe, but certainly not in total - Moscow offers more.

    Hot summer in the big city …..Many women enjoy wearing short skirts, and many men enjoy seeing them. A nice hot normal summer is necessary for this.

    From this point of view, the presence of the beach in itself gives St. Petersburg a huge advantag

    Average summer temperature is only 73 (23) degrees in July and 69 (21) degrees in August in Saint Petersburg. This is too cold, not a real summer.

    23 degrees and 21 degrees this is an excellent temperature for relaxing by the sea or lake. It’s too hot for a big city. In addition, due to the “White nights” on the beach of St. Petersburg in June-July, you can sunbathe at 20.00 PM

    • Replies: @AP
    21 C is weather for long sleeves, not bikinis or short skirts. One can find crazy people anywhere and perhaps locals have no choice so some do this. One cans even find crazy people diving into snow-filled swimming pools, after all. But a bad wet winter and lack of real summer means climate in St. Pete';s is awful.
  234. @Mr. Hack

    The only drawback was crowds.
     
    Are you sure that you went swimming there for 10 days? I nearly ruined my feet walking on the stony laiden beaches there. Never again.

    In Crimea there are (along with pebble) sandy beaches.

    Besides, it’s a matter of taste – my wife would prefer pebble beaches as she hates sand (in hair, clothes, etc.)

    • Replies: @Anonymoose
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2tLf1JO5bvE
    , @AP

    Besides, it’s a matter of taste – my wife would prefer pebble beaches as she hates sand (in hair, clothes, etc.)
     
    Your wife is correct. Sandy beaches are for kids to make sand castles.
  235. @melanf
    In Crimea there are (along with pebble) sandy beaches.
    http://ametist.rfarus.ru/images/files/company/news/1/1494906174194_Image00001.jpg

    Besides, it's a matter of taste - my wife would prefer pebble beaches as she hates sand (in hair, clothes, etc.)

  236. AP says:
    @melanf

    Hot summer in the big city .....Many women enjoy wearing short skirts, and many men enjoy seeing them. A nice hot normal summer is necessary for this.
     
    From this point of view, the presence of the beach in itself gives St. Petersburg a huge advantag

    https://cdn.fishki.net/upload/post/2016/06/01/1968327/3524273-large.jpg


    Average summer temperature is only 73 (23) degrees in July and 69 (21) degrees in August in Saint Petersburg. This is too cold, not a real summer.
     
    23 degrees and 21 degrees this is an excellent temperature for relaxing by the sea or lake. It's too hot for a big city. In addition, due to the "White nights" on the beach of St. Petersburg in June-July, you can sunbathe at 20.00 PM

    21 C is weather for long sleeves, not bikinis or short skirts. One can find crazy people anywhere and perhaps locals have no choice so some do this. One cans even find crazy people diving into snow-filled swimming pools, after all. But a bad wet winter and lack of real summer means climate in St. Pete’;s is awful.

    • Replies: @melanf

    But a bad wet winter and lack of real summer means climate in St. Pete’;s is awful.
     
    This quite funny (if to compare SPb with Moscow, not with Hawaii): https://realsolar.ru/article/solnechnye-batarei/kolichestvo-solnechnoy-energii-v-regionah-rossii/

    daily amount of solar radiation kWh/m^2 horizontal area
    Moscow May 4.49 , June 5.54, July 5.51, August 4.26, September 2.34
    St. Petersburg May 5.46 , June 5.71 , July 5.61 , August 4.31, September 2.6

    As you can see the stuffy dark Moscow hopelessly loses to Sunny St. Petersburg

    http://www.frontnews.eu/contents/news/7711/images/resize_AwZGs97CicqSEepkjzDOtWmXlyKThQLR_980x590.jpg

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/D58WjBkW4AA12Dq.jpg

    , @Dmitry
    Both Peter and Moscow have a relatively good climate. It's not Hawaii or Miami. But I don't believe it is usually cold enough in either of their winters, to rapidly freeze cats dead so they stick overnight to the road.

    So in neither case, should they complain. They are two cities which are lucky that they have relatively good climates.

  237. @melanf
    In Crimea there are (along with pebble) sandy beaches.
    http://ametist.rfarus.ru/images/files/company/news/1/1494906174194_Image00001.jpg

    Besides, it's a matter of taste - my wife would prefer pebble beaches as she hates sand (in hair, clothes, etc.)

    Besides, it’s a matter of taste – my wife would prefer pebble beaches as she hates sand (in hair, clothes, etc.)

    Your wife is correct. Sandy beaches are for kids to make sand castles.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    And to bring out the kid in some adults:

    https://ugc-02.cafemomstatic.com/gen/constrain/740/1500/75/2015/07/30/20/c8/a1/ph1332sso41.jpg


    https://ugc-02.cafemomstatic.com/gen/constrain/740/1500/75/2015/07/30/22/6z/qo/phuwy0b8ws1.jpg
    , @Mikhail
    Sandy beaches are also for people who like running and/or walking by the water, where the air tends to be fresher.
  238. @AP

    Besides, it’s a matter of taste – my wife would prefer pebble beaches as she hates sand (in hair, clothes, etc.)
     
    Your wife is correct. Sandy beaches are for kids to make sand castles.

    And to bring out the kid in some adults:

  239. @AP
    21 C is weather for long sleeves, not bikinis or short skirts. One can find crazy people anywhere and perhaps locals have no choice so some do this. One cans even find crazy people diving into snow-filled swimming pools, after all. But a bad wet winter and lack of real summer means climate in St. Pete';s is awful.

    But a bad wet winter and lack of real summer means climate in St. Pete’;s is awful.

    This quite funny (if to compare SPb with Moscow, not with Hawaii): https://realsolar.ru/article/solnechnye-batarei/kolichestvo-solnechnoy-energii-v-regionah-rossii/

    daily amount of solar radiation kWh/m^2 horizontal area
    Moscow May 4.49 , June 5.54, July 5.51, August 4.26, September 2.34
    St. Petersburg May 5.46 , June 5.71 , July 5.61 , August 4.31, September 2.6

    As you can see the stuffy dark Moscow hopelessly loses to Sunny St. Petersburg

    • Replies: @Dmitry
    And its problem air pollution in Petersburg has improved recently?
    , @AP
    Why don't you just look at sunshine hours?

    1,000 hours in St. Petersburg:

    https://weather-and-climate.com/average-monthly-hours-Sunshine,saint-petersburg,Russia

    1,740 in Moscow:

    https://weather-and-climate.com/average-monthly-hours-Sunshine,Moscow,Russia

    So Moscow has almost twice as many hours of sunshine as St. Petersburg.

    I don't know why you even argue this, it's well known that St. Petersburg is cloudier.

    :::::::::::::::::

    Moscow does have occasional terrible heat waves and bitterly cold waves. But these anomalies are worth it, compared to St. Petersburg's overall miserable climate.
  240. @AP
    I live less than 2 hours from NYC, on the edge of commuter train access, and visit regularly. As a kid in the early 1980s I lived far away but visited the city twice. It's a world of difference, and the current decline is minor and trivial in nature compared to how the city used to be.

    So how is Grand Central or Penn station to your liking? Smell of humanity all over you.

    Also visit regularly you wouldn’t know about total collapse during rush hour train traffic.

    I am starting to get the idea about you. You seem to invent reality in your head and then play it out. Qualifications like minor and trivial is a dead giveaway.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
    Is he wrong when he says 1980s New York was a third world jungle compared to today's New York?

    Did you see the videos I added above of New York of the 1980s? Parts of it looked like a zombie apocalypse in the 1980s?

    , @AP

    So how is Grand Central or Penn station to your liking? Smell of humanity all over you.
     
    My train comes to Grand Central, which is a very beautiful station, perhaps the only piece of public transportation that can compare to what Moscow has.

    You seem to invent reality in your head
     
    No, that would be the nonsense you write about New York City.

    I'm not even a fan of the place, yet statements like "NYC has turned to shit, tourists would be wasting their time here" are utterly ridiculous.
  241. @Mr. Hack

    The only drawback was crowds.
     
    Are you sure that you went swimming there for 10 days? I nearly ruined my feet walking on the stony laiden beaches there. Never again.

    Had no problem for a week in Ordzhonikidze (near Feodosia) – the pebbles were small. Had no problem for another week in the other place near Yalta; there the “shore” was artificial, poured concrete. In addition, in Feodosia the shore is sand, in Yalta – small pebbles, neither created any problems. There are a lot of “wild” shores in many places, where it is inadvisable to swim because of rocks all over the beach and beyond. It’s the same everywhere (Greece, Turkey, France, Spain, Italy, Malaysia, Indonesia, or both coasts and the Gulf in the US) – there are beaches where you swim, and other “wild” beaches where you don’t want to.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    All that I remember is that I seriously punctured the bottom of a foot while in Gurzev near Yalta. It made it difficult to walk for the remainder of my vacation. But generally, I found the Crimea to be a beauttful area and I enjoyed the ambience there.
  242. @Mr. Hack

    The only drawback was crowds.
     
    Are you sure that you went swimming there for 10 days? I nearly ruined my feet walking on the stony laiden beaches there. Never again.

    You get used to stones.

  243. @AP
    21 C is weather for long sleeves, not bikinis or short skirts. One can find crazy people anywhere and perhaps locals have no choice so some do this. One cans even find crazy people diving into snow-filled swimming pools, after all. But a bad wet winter and lack of real summer means climate in St. Pete';s is awful.

    Both Peter and Moscow have a relatively good climate. It’s not Hawaii or Miami. But I don’t believe it is usually cold enough in either of their winters, to rapidly freeze cats dead so they stick overnight to the road.

    So in neither case, should they complain. They are two cities which are lucky that they have relatively good climates.

  244. @DreadIlk
    So how is Grand Central or Penn station to your liking? Smell of humanity all over you.

    Also visit regularly you wouldn't know about total collapse during rush hour train traffic.

    I am starting to get the idea about you. You seem to invent reality in your head and then play it out. Qualifications like minor and trivial is a dead giveaway.

    Is he wrong when he says 1980s New York was a third world jungle compared to today’s New York?

    Did you see the videos I added above of New York of the 1980s? Parts of it looked like a zombie apocalypse in the 1980s?

    • Replies: @AP

    Did you see the videos I added above of New York of the 1980s? Parts of it looked like a zombie apocalypse in the 1980s?
     
    A friend of mine commuted from his place in East Village to Bronx Science (he was a student) in the late 80s. He was robbed multiple times, in the middle of the day. A black guy shows you a razor blade and says "nice hat", he gave him his hat. It was part of life there.

    Just a different world.
    , @Dreadilk
    I did not watch the video but yes we have parts of the city that are just like that now. Go to any NYCHA run apartment building and the area around it would resemble a concrete jungle.

    I am not claiming it is as bad as the 80s. All I am saying is that it got a lot worse in 15 years. The trend is not likely to improve.

    As far as AP if he lives 2 hrs away he is in dirt cheap red neck area of NY. He wouldn't know how the city is in large parts.
  245. @melanf

    But a bad wet winter and lack of real summer means climate in St. Pete’;s is awful.
     
    This quite funny (if to compare SPb with Moscow, not with Hawaii): https://realsolar.ru/article/solnechnye-batarei/kolichestvo-solnechnoy-energii-v-regionah-rossii/

    daily amount of solar radiation kWh/m^2 horizontal area
    Moscow May 4.49 , June 5.54, July 5.51, August 4.26, September 2.34
    St. Petersburg May 5.46 , June 5.71 , July 5.61 , August 4.31, September 2.6

    As you can see the stuffy dark Moscow hopelessly loses to Sunny St. Petersburg

    http://www.frontnews.eu/contents/news/7711/images/resize_AwZGs97CicqSEepkjzDOtWmXlyKThQLR_980x590.jpg

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/D58WjBkW4AA12Dq.jpg

    And its problem air pollution in Petersburg has improved recently?

    • Replies: @melanf

    And its problem air pollution in Petersburg has improved recently?
     
    What's the problem? In St. Petersburg usually blows the wind that ventilates the city.
  246. @AP

    Besides, it’s a matter of taste – my wife would prefer pebble beaches as she hates sand (in hair, clothes, etc.)
     
    Your wife is correct. Sandy beaches are for kids to make sand castles.

    Sandy beaches are also for people who like running and/or walking by the water, where the air tends to be fresher.

  247. @Dmitry
    And its problem air pollution in Petersburg has improved recently?

    And its problem air pollution in Petersburg has improved recently?

    What’s the problem? In St. Petersburg usually blows the wind that ventilates the city.

  248. @AnonFromTN
    Had no problem for a week in Ordzhonikidze (near Feodosia) – the pebbles were small. Had no problem for another week in the other place near Yalta; there the “shore” was artificial, poured concrete. In addition, in Feodosia the shore is sand, in Yalta – small pebbles, neither created any problems. There are a lot of “wild” shores in many places, where it is inadvisable to swim because of rocks all over the beach and beyond. It’s the same everywhere (Greece, Turkey, France, Spain, Italy, Malaysia, Indonesia, or both coasts and the Gulf in the US) – there are beaches where you swim, and other “wild” beaches where you don’t want to.

    All that I remember is that I seriously punctured the bottom of a foot while in Gurzev near Yalta. It made it difficult to walk for the remainder of my vacation. But generally, I found the Crimea to be a beauttful area and I enjoyed the ambience there.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    Too bad. I haven’t been in Gurzuf since I was a kid (back in USSR).
  249. AP says:
    @DreadIlk
    So how is Grand Central or Penn station to your liking? Smell of humanity all over you.

    Also visit regularly you wouldn't know about total collapse during rush hour train traffic.

    I am starting to get the idea about you. You seem to invent reality in your head and then play it out. Qualifications like minor and trivial is a dead giveaway.

    So how is Grand Central or Penn station to your liking? Smell of humanity all over you.

    My train comes to Grand Central, which is a very beautiful station, perhaps the only piece of public transportation that can compare to what Moscow has.

    You seem to invent reality in your head

    No, that would be the nonsense you write about New York City.

    I’m not even a fan of the place, yet statements like “NYC has turned to shit, tourists would be wasting their time here” are utterly ridiculous.

    • Replies: @Dreadilk
    PATH trains and the like is not what I meant when I said the train system is shit. It's clear you are retarded.
  250. AP says:
    @Dmitry
    Is he wrong when he says 1980s New York was a third world jungle compared to today's New York?

    Did you see the videos I added above of New York of the 1980s? Parts of it looked like a zombie apocalypse in the 1980s?

    Did you see the videos I added above of New York of the 1980s? Parts of it looked like a zombie apocalypse in the 1980s?

    A friend of mine commuted from his place in East Village to Bronx Science (he was a student) in the late 80s. He was robbed multiple times, in the middle of the day. A black guy shows you a razor blade and says “nice hat”, he gave him his hat. It was part of life there.

    Just a different world.

  251. AP says:
    @melanf

    But a bad wet winter and lack of real summer means climate in St. Pete’;s is awful.
     
    This quite funny (if to compare SPb with Moscow, not with Hawaii): https://realsolar.ru/article/solnechnye-batarei/kolichestvo-solnechnoy-energii-v-regionah-rossii/

    daily amount of solar radiation kWh/m^2 horizontal area
    Moscow May 4.49 , June 5.54, July 5.51, August 4.26, September 2.34
    St. Petersburg May 5.46 , June 5.71 , July 5.61 , August 4.31, September 2.6

    As you can see the stuffy dark Moscow hopelessly loses to Sunny St. Petersburg

    http://www.frontnews.eu/contents/news/7711/images/resize_AwZGs97CicqSEepkjzDOtWmXlyKThQLR_980x590.jpg

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/D58WjBkW4AA12Dq.jpg

    Why don’t you just look at sunshine hours?

    1,000 hours in St. Petersburg:

    https://weather-and-climate.com/average-monthly-hours-Sunshine,saint-petersburg,Russia

    1,740 in Moscow:

    https://weather-and-climate.com/average-monthly-hours-Sunshine,Moscow,Russia

    So Moscow has almost twice as many hours of sunshine as St. Petersburg.

    I don’t know why you even argue this, it’s well known that St. Petersburg is cloudier.

    :::::::::::::::::

    Moscow does have occasional terrible heat waves and bitterly cold waves. But these anomalies are worth it, compared to St. Petersburg’s overall miserable climate.

    • Replies: @melanf

    1,000 hours in St. Petersburg (per year) :
    https://weather-and-climate.com/average-monthly-hours-Sunshine,saint-petersburg,Russia
    1,740 in Moscow:
    https://weather-and-climate.com/average-monthly-hours-Sunshine,Moscow,Russia
    So Moscow has almost twice as many hours of sunshine as St. Petersburg.
     
    This is just absurd, because right on your link in the chart for the period Apr+May+June+July in St. Petersburg has about 1000 hours of sunshine.
    https://d.radikal.ru/d28/1907/9d/727083366b31.png

    Here (2017) is a typical ratio of complete Sunny days (Moscow - red, St. Petersburg - green).
    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DRjtAIlWsAAvyaj.jpg
    But in St. Petersburg in the summer the day is much longer. Data on sun exposure, I already gave
    the average number of cloudy days in St. Petersburg 180 days Moscow - 172 days. (data from the Russian state hydrometeorological University)

    But that's not the main thing. Residents of St. Petersburg have (in transport accessible surroundings) two orders of magnitude more forests per capita and three orders of magnitude more beaches per capita than residents of Moscow. On this every summer there is a flow of Muscovites who came to the neighborhood of St. Petersburg for swimming, sunbathing, fishing, mushroom picking.

    Therefore, in relation to the climatic conditions Moscow is complete shit compared to SPb

  252. @Mr. Hack
    All that I remember is that I seriously punctured the bottom of a foot while in Gurzev near Yalta. It made it difficult to walk for the remainder of my vacation. But generally, I found the Crimea to be a beauttful area and I enjoyed the ambience there.

    Too bad. I haven’t been in Gurzuf since I was a kid (back in USSR).

  253. @AP
    Why don't you just look at sunshine hours?

    1,000 hours in St. Petersburg:

    https://weather-and-climate.com/average-monthly-hours-Sunshine,saint-petersburg,Russia

    1,740 in Moscow:

    https://weather-and-climate.com/average-monthly-hours-Sunshine,Moscow,Russia

    So Moscow has almost twice as many hours of sunshine as St. Petersburg.

    I don't know why you even argue this, it's well known that St. Petersburg is cloudier.

    :::::::::::::::::

    Moscow does have occasional terrible heat waves and bitterly cold waves. But these anomalies are worth it, compared to St. Petersburg's overall miserable climate.

    1,000 hours in St. Petersburg (per year) :
    https://weather-and-climate.com/average-monthly-hours-Sunshine,saint-petersburg,Russia
    1,740 in Moscow:
    https://weather-and-climate.com/average-monthly-hours-Sunshine,Moscow,Russia
    So Moscow has almost twice as many hours of sunshine as St. Petersburg.

    This is just absurd, because right on your link in the chart for the period Apr+May+June+July in St. Petersburg has about 1000 hours of sunshine.
    Here (2017) is a typical ratio of complete Sunny days (Moscow – red, St. Petersburg – green). But in St. Petersburg in the summer the day is much longer. Data on sun exposure, I already gave
    the average number of cloudy days in St. Petersburg 180 days Moscow – 172 days. (data from the Russian state hydrometeorological University)

    But that’s not the main thing. Residents of St. Petersburg have (in transport accessible surroundings) two orders of magnitude more forests per capita and three orders of magnitude more beaches per capita than residents of Moscow. On this every summer there is a flow of Muscovites who came to the neighborhood of St. Petersburg for swimming, sunbathing, fishing, mushroom picking.

    Therefore, in relation to the climatic conditions Moscow is complete shit compared to SPb

    • Replies: @AP
    Number of pure sunny days doesn't tell the whole story - there is also hours of sunshine per day. So while Moscow may have only 8 more days of pure sunny days than St. Petersburg, it has almost twice as many sunshine hours per year. That is, when Muscovites see some sun in the afternoon some days, in St. Petersburg it's relentlessly gray without breaks.

    But that’s not the main thing. Residents of St. Petersburg have (in transport accessible surroundings) two orders of magnitude more forests per capita and three orders of magnitude more beaches per capita than residents of Moscow
     
    The city is 1/4 the size or so of Moscow, of course nature will be more accessible for its residents. This has nothing to do with climate, however.
  254. JL says:

    I understand it’s summer and news flow, along with the blog’s output, have slowed to a trickle, but this Moscow vs. SPb discussion is a bit puerile. It’s really just a matter of taste and both cities have their charms. I personally much prefer Moscow, I just think that you will find more of interest where the money is concentrated. Crass, I realize, but true. Peter just feels like a large provincial city to me, though clearly it’s much more aesthetically pleasing, and I agree with melanf when he says the nature is far superior to Moscow. But I don’t need beaches and forests in my city, that’s what the countryside is for.

    • Replies: @AP

    I understand it’s summer and news flow, along with the blog’s output, have slowed to a trickle, but this Moscow vs. SPb discussion is a bit puerile
     
    In itself, of course. However it reveals propensity to deny the obvious by melanf, a lesson that can be applied in more serious discussions.

    Peter just feels like a large provincial city to me,
     
    I don't get that impression. Boston doesn't feel provincial, compared to New York.

    though clearly it’s much more aesthetically pleasing,
     
    It is prettier, overall.

    I agree with melanf when he says the nature is far superior to Moscow
     
    Lakes and forests, sure. But not climate. Cold and rainy winters and cold summers suck.

    But I don’t need beaches and forests in my city, that’s what the countryside is for.
     
    Agree completely.
  255. Delete

  256. AP says:
    @melanf

    1,000 hours in St. Petersburg (per year) :
    https://weather-and-climate.com/average-monthly-hours-Sunshine,saint-petersburg,Russia
    1,740 in Moscow:
    https://weather-and-climate.com/average-monthly-hours-Sunshine,Moscow,Russia
    So Moscow has almost twice as many hours of sunshine as St. Petersburg.
     
    This is just absurd, because right on your link in the chart for the period Apr+May+June+July in St. Petersburg has about 1000 hours of sunshine.
    https://d.radikal.ru/d28/1907/9d/727083366b31.png

    Here (2017) is a typical ratio of complete Sunny days (Moscow - red, St. Petersburg - green).
    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DRjtAIlWsAAvyaj.jpg
    But in St. Petersburg in the summer the day is much longer. Data on sun exposure, I already gave
    the average number of cloudy days in St. Petersburg 180 days Moscow - 172 days. (data from the Russian state hydrometeorological University)

    But that's not the main thing. Residents of St. Petersburg have (in transport accessible surroundings) two orders of magnitude more forests per capita and three orders of magnitude more beaches per capita than residents of Moscow. On this every summer there is a flow of Muscovites who came to the neighborhood of St. Petersburg for swimming, sunbathing, fishing, mushroom picking.

    Therefore, in relation to the climatic conditions Moscow is complete shit compared to SPb

    Number of pure sunny days doesn’t tell the whole story – there is also hours of sunshine per day. So while Moscow may have only 8 more days of pure sunny days than St. Petersburg, it has almost twice as many sunshine hours per year. That is, when Muscovites see some sun in the afternoon some days, in St. Petersburg it’s relentlessly gray without breaks.

    But that’s not the main thing. Residents of St. Petersburg have (in transport accessible surroundings) two orders of magnitude more forests per capita and three orders of magnitude more beaches per capita than residents of Moscow

    The city is 1/4 the size or so of Moscow, of course nature will be more accessible for its residents. This has nothing to do with climate, however.

    • Replies: @melanf

    Moscow may have only 8 more days of pure sunny days than St. Petersburg, it has almost twice as many sunshine hours per year
     
    This statement is pure nonsense, what you can easily verify if you check this data
  257. AP says:
    @JL
    I understand it's summer and news flow, along with the blog's output, have slowed to a trickle, but this Moscow vs. SPb discussion is a bit puerile. It's really just a matter of taste and both cities have their charms. I personally much prefer Moscow, I just think that you will find more of interest where the money is concentrated. Crass, I realize, but true. Peter just feels like a large provincial city to me, though clearly it's much more aesthetically pleasing, and I agree with melanf when he says the nature is far superior to Moscow. But I don't need beaches and forests in my city, that's what the countryside is for.

    I understand it’s summer and news flow, along with the blog’s output, have slowed to a trickle, but this Moscow vs. SPb discussion is a bit puerile

    In itself, of course. However it reveals propensity to deny the obvious by melanf, a lesson that can be applied in more serious discussions.

    Peter just feels like a large provincial city to me,

    I don’t get that impression. Boston doesn’t feel provincial, compared to New York.

    though clearly it’s much more aesthetically pleasing,

    It is prettier, overall.

    I agree with melanf when he says the nature is far superior to Moscow

    Lakes and forests, sure. But not climate. Cold and rainy winters and cold summers suck.

    But I don’t need beaches and forests in my city, that’s what the countryside is for.

    Agree completely.

    • Replies: @JL

    Boston doesn’t feel provincial, compared to New York.
     
    It's interesting you chose this particular example, it's the exact comparison I use to describe the difference between Moscow/SPb and NYC/Boston, depending on my audience. I grew up in MA and have lived in NYC, these are the two US cities I know best. Boston feels very provincial to me compared to NYC, especially when you consider the native accents and jargon. But this is, of course, highly subjective. Generally speaking, I like my cities large and hardcore, same with nature, the whole best of both worlds thing never works out.
  258. @AP
    Number of pure sunny days doesn't tell the whole story - there is also hours of sunshine per day. So while Moscow may have only 8 more days of pure sunny days than St. Petersburg, it has almost twice as many sunshine hours per year. That is, when Muscovites see some sun in the afternoon some days, in St. Petersburg it's relentlessly gray without breaks.

    But that’s not the main thing. Residents of St. Petersburg have (in transport accessible surroundings) two orders of magnitude more forests per capita and three orders of magnitude more beaches per capita than residents of Moscow
     
    The city is 1/4 the size or so of Moscow, of course nature will be more accessible for its residents. This has nothing to do with climate, however.

    Moscow may have only 8 more days of pure sunny days than St. Petersburg, it has almost twice as many sunshine hours per year

    This statement is pure nonsense, what you can easily verify if you check this data

  259. @AP

    So how is Grand Central or Penn station to your liking? Smell of humanity all over you.
     
    My train comes to Grand Central, which is a very beautiful station, perhaps the only piece of public transportation that can compare to what Moscow has.

    You seem to invent reality in your head
     
    No, that would be the nonsense you write about New York City.

    I'm not even a fan of the place, yet statements like "NYC has turned to shit, tourists would be wasting their time here" are utterly ridiculous.

    PATH trains and the like is not what I meant when I said the train system is shit. It’s clear you are retarded.

    • Replies: @AP

    PATH trains and the like is not what I meant when I said the train system is shit.
     
    You mentioned Grand Central, that's where the commuter train comes in. So you didn't mean trains when you discussed trains? IS that how your mind "works"?
  260. @Dmitry
    Is he wrong when he says 1980s New York was a third world jungle compared to today's New York?

    Did you see the videos I added above of New York of the 1980s? Parts of it looked like a zombie apocalypse in the 1980s?

    I did not watch the video but yes we have parts of the city that are just like that now. Go to any NYCHA run apartment building and the area around it would resemble a concrete jungle.

    I am not claiming it is as bad as the 80s. All I am saying is that it got a lot worse in 15 years. The trend is not likely to improve.

    As far as AP if he lives 2 hrs away he is in dirt cheap red neck area of NY. He wouldn’t know how the city is in large parts.

    • Replies: @AP

    Go to any NYCHA run apartment building and the area around it would resemble a concrete jungle.
     
    Why do you lie about your city so much?

    Here are some. They looks better than Sovok housing:

    https://imgs.6sqft.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/20233115/Ingersoll-NYCHA.jpg

    https://frankellawfirm.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/nycha-april-article.jpg

    I'm sure bad ones also exist, but you are just being dishonest.

    As far as AP if he lives 2 hrs away he is in dirt cheap red neck area of NY.
     
    Naw, I live in an upscale place off the commuter rail, mostly populated by upper middle class people. But you are right that all places 2 hours away from NYC are dirt cheap compared to Manhattan (unless you have a rent controlled place, as some friends do).
  261. @AP
    LOL, you are wrong as usual.

    This pic symbolizes the subservience to the US and boot-licking characteristic of the Ukrainian “leadership” after 2014
     
    Picture actually taken in 2013, under Yanukovich.

    whereas the presenter is a lowly slave (Ukrainian general),
     
    Presenter was not a general, but representative of some Cossack organization.

    By tradition, when someone becomes an honorary Cossack and is presented with a saber, that someone kneels
     
    The US ambassador represented an American from 200+ years ago who had helped Russia and had become a rear admiral in the Russian navy.

    Some Russian nationalist troll used a picture and made up a fake story story about it, and naturally you believed it because you will believe any nonsense.

    Picture actually taken in 2013, under Yanukovich.

    ……but it still perfectly encapsulates the hilariously demeaning Ukropia/US relationship, just as AnonfromTM said you idiot……during a time when Yanukovich was about as popular in Moscow as Valtsman/Poroshenko is now you cretin ( Ukraine than at it’s optimum level of European integration , Russia banning imports of key products, not forgetting that Tefft is synonymous with this garbage in Ukraine and Gruzia for over a decade you idiot)

    Not to mention other “stories” like coal-rich Ukraine IMPORTING American coal at great cost , or the chief prosecutor in ukropia admitting that the Americans tell him who to prosecute and who not to prosecute, or bizarrely still having some hippy nazi bitch American as it’s Health Minister – even though she is, by far, the worst rated official in the country…………………….or a million and one demeaning , embarassing, bootlicking photographs of Ukrainian politicians, military or “activists” with Americans that are all over the internet.

    Presenter was not a general, but representative of some Cossack organization.

    errr..no – a general

    The US ambassador represented an American from 200+ years ago who had helped Russia and had become a rear admiral in the Russian navy.

    – A complete lie in relation to that photograph

  262. JL says:
    @AP

    I understand it’s summer and news flow, along with the blog’s output, have slowed to a trickle, but this Moscow vs. SPb discussion is a bit puerile
     
    In itself, of course. However it reveals propensity to deny the obvious by melanf, a lesson that can be applied in more serious discussions.

    Peter just feels like a large provincial city to me,
     
    I don't get that impression. Boston doesn't feel provincial, compared to New York.

    though clearly it’s much more aesthetically pleasing,
     
    It is prettier, overall.

    I agree with melanf when he says the nature is far superior to Moscow
     
    Lakes and forests, sure. But not climate. Cold and rainy winters and cold summers suck.

    But I don’t need beaches and forests in my city, that’s what the countryside is for.
     
    Agree completely.

    Boston doesn’t feel provincial, compared to New York.

    It’s interesting you chose this particular example, it’s the exact comparison I use to describe the difference between Moscow/SPb and NYC/Boston, depending on my audience. I grew up in MA and have lived in NYC, these are the two US cities I know best. Boston feels very provincial to me compared to NYC, especially when you consider the native accents and jargon. But this is, of course, highly subjective. Generally speaking, I like my cities large and hardcore, same with nature, the whole best of both worlds thing never works out.

    • Replies: @AP

    It’s interesting you chose this particular example, it’s the exact comparison I use to describe the difference between Moscow/SPb and NYC/Boston
     
    I use that too.

    However the best analogy (albeit more complicated) would be New York (St. Petersburg) vs. Chicago (Moscow), if history had turned out differently and Chicago had eclipsed New York in population and economic might, as seemed probable in the early 20th century. Moscow, like Chicago, is a more heartland, less "international" city at its core.


    Boston feels very provincial to me compared to NYC, especially when you consider the native accents and jargon.
     
    I think they are about equally non-provincial. Sure, southies seem provincial, but so do people from Queens or Long Island with their thick accents. Academics affiliated with Harvard/MIT or in the tech corridor are no more provincial than Manhattanites.
  263. AP says:
    @JL

    Boston doesn’t feel provincial, compared to New York.
     
    It's interesting you chose this particular example, it's the exact comparison I use to describe the difference between Moscow/SPb and NYC/Boston, depending on my audience. I grew up in MA and have lived in NYC, these are the two US cities I know best. Boston feels very provincial to me compared to NYC, especially when you consider the native accents and jargon. But this is, of course, highly subjective. Generally speaking, I like my cities large and hardcore, same with nature, the whole best of both worlds thing never works out.

    It’s interesting you chose this particular example, it’s the exact comparison I use to describe the difference between Moscow/SPb and NYC/Boston

    I use that too.

    However the best analogy (albeit more complicated) would be New York (St. Petersburg) vs. Chicago (Moscow), if history had turned out differently and Chicago had eclipsed New York in population and economic might, as seemed probable in the early 20th century. Moscow, like Chicago, is a more heartland, less “international” city at its core.

    Boston feels very provincial to me compared to NYC, especially when you consider the native accents and jargon.

    I think they are about equally non-provincial. Sure, southies seem provincial, but so do people from Queens or Long Island with their thick accents. Academics affiliated with Harvard/MIT or in the tech corridor are no more provincial than Manhattanites.

  264. @Dreadilk
    PATH trains and the like is not what I meant when I said the train system is shit. It's clear you are retarded.

    PATH trains and the like is not what I meant when I said the train system is shit.

    You mentioned Grand Central, that’s where the commuter train comes in. So you didn’t mean trains when you discussed trains? IS that how your mind “works”?

    • Replies: @DreadIlk
    I mention Grand Central precisely because commuter train arrives there. But all you need to do is walk five feet and you are in the subway. However why the F would a NYC resident be concerned at all about the quality of the commuter train vs local subway? What kind of retard would assume someone who lives in NY and mentioning trains is talking about the commuter trains?

    My mind works fine. Yours is a convoluted redneck mess.
  265. AP says:
    @Dreadilk
    I did not watch the video but yes we have parts of the city that are just like that now. Go to any NYCHA run apartment building and the area around it would resemble a concrete jungle.

    I am not claiming it is as bad as the 80s. All I am saying is that it got a lot worse in 15 years. The trend is not likely to improve.

    As far as AP if he lives 2 hrs away he is in dirt cheap red neck area of NY. He wouldn't know how the city is in large parts.

    Go to any NYCHA run apartment building and the area around it would resemble a concrete jungle.

    Why do you lie about your city so much?

    Here are some. They looks better than Sovok housing:

    I’m sure bad ones also exist, but you are just being dishonest.

    As far as AP if he lives 2 hrs away he is in dirt cheap red neck area of NY.

    Naw, I live in an upscale place off the commuter rail, mostly populated by upper middle class people. But you are right that all places 2 hours away from NYC are dirt cheap compared to Manhattan (unless you have a rent controlled place, as some friends do).

    • Replies: @DreadIlk
    Yes you live there because you can't afford to live in the city who's dick you are trying to suck. It's not a bad choice but stay in your lane because you have no idea what you are talking about.

    As far as two random pictures what is that supposed to prove?
  266. @AP

    PATH trains and the like is not what I meant when I said the train system is shit.
     
    You mentioned Grand Central, that's where the commuter train comes in. So you didn't mean trains when you discussed trains? IS that how your mind "works"?

    I mention Grand Central precisely because commuter train arrives there. But all you need to do is walk five feet and you are in the subway. However why the F would a NYC resident be concerned at all about the quality of the commuter train vs local subway? What kind of retard would assume someone who lives in NY and mentioning trains is talking about the commuter trains?

    My mind works fine. Yours is a convoluted redneck mess.

    • Replies: @AP

    What kind of retard would assume someone who lives in NY and mentioning trains is talking about the commuter trains?
     
    Let me explain to you again:

    1. You mention a train system.

    2. You mention Grand Central, where the commuter trains end up.

    Somehow in your mind when you discussed trains and Grand Central, you didn't mean commuter trains but the subway.
  267. @AP

    Go to any NYCHA run apartment building and the area around it would resemble a concrete jungle.
     
    Why do you lie about your city so much?

    Here are some. They looks better than Sovok housing:

    https://imgs.6sqft.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/20233115/Ingersoll-NYCHA.jpg

    https://frankellawfirm.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/nycha-april-article.jpg

    I'm sure bad ones also exist, but you are just being dishonest.

    As far as AP if he lives 2 hrs away he is in dirt cheap red neck area of NY.
     
    Naw, I live in an upscale place off the commuter rail, mostly populated by upper middle class people. But you are right that all places 2 hours away from NYC are dirt cheap compared to Manhattan (unless you have a rent controlled place, as some friends do).

    Yes you live there because you can’t afford to live in the city who’s dick you are trying to suck. It’s not a bad choice but stay in your lane because you have no idea what you are talking about.

    As far as two random pictures what is that supposed to prove?

    • Replies: @Anonymoose
    A very interesting taste in architecture. Those horrific red pile of bricks is what constitutes good apartment housing in his mind. Any other person would just objectively regard them as red brick jungles fit for use only as mental asylums.
    , @AP

    Yes you live there because you can’t afford to live in the city
     
    I could afford it but I'd rather have a yard and a house in a place with good schools, as would any normal person with kids.

    who’s dick you are trying to suck
     
    You shouldn't be so transparent about your proclivities.

    I simply pointed out that the city wasn't some dystopian nightmare as you falsely claim.

    Since you clearly lied about the place you live, you are obviously capable about lying about anything else you write about.

    you have no idea what you are talking about.
     
    You claimed every housing project was surrounded by wasteland. This was false.

    As far as two random pictures what is that supposed to prove?
     
    That you are dishonest.

    Remember that you wrote:

    "Go to any NYCHA run apartment building and the area around it would resemble a concrete jungle."

    Reality:

    https://imgs.6sqft.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/20233115/Ingersoll-NYCHA.jpg

    https://i.ytimg.com/vi/LcM9d_pW9Wk/maxresdefault.jpg

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/9/9f/Window_view.JPG/1200px-Window_view.JPG

    Yeah, a concrete jungle everywhere.
  268. @DreadIlk
    Yes you live there because you can't afford to live in the city who's dick you are trying to suck. It's not a bad choice but stay in your lane because you have no idea what you are talking about.

    As far as two random pictures what is that supposed to prove?

    A very interesting taste in architecture. Those horrific red pile of bricks is what constitutes good apartment housing in his mind. Any other person would just objectively regard them as red brick jungles fit for use only as mental asylums.

    • Replies: @Dreadilk
    Also it so upclose for a reason because there may be a garbage pile couple of steps away. The pictures cover around 5% of the area of a standard project.
  269. @Anonymoose
    A very interesting taste in architecture. Those horrific red pile of bricks is what constitutes good apartment housing in his mind. Any other person would just objectively regard them as red brick jungles fit for use only as mental asylums.

    Also it so upclose for a reason because there may be a garbage pile couple of steps away. The pictures cover around 5% of the area of a standard project.

  270. AP says:
    @DreadIlk
    I mention Grand Central precisely because commuter train arrives there. But all you need to do is walk five feet and you are in the subway. However why the F would a NYC resident be concerned at all about the quality of the commuter train vs local subway? What kind of retard would assume someone who lives in NY and mentioning trains is talking about the commuter trains?

    My mind works fine. Yours is a convoluted redneck mess.

    What kind of retard would assume someone who lives in NY and mentioning trains is talking about the commuter trains?

    Let me explain to you again:

    1. You mention a train system.

    2. You mention Grand Central, where the commuter trains end up.

    Somehow in your mind when you discussed trains and Grand Central, you didn’t mean commuter trains but the subway.

    • Replies: @DreadIlk
    Listen gama boy go back and look at the conversation. I know you want to be a secret king and to win. But the reality is you fucked up. The discussion is of NYC subway system. Commuter trains arrive in grand-central and then people go into the subway system. If you can't follow along it's not my fault but GTFO with this technicality bs.
  271. AP says:
    @DreadIlk
    Yes you live there because you can't afford to live in the city who's dick you are trying to suck. It's not a bad choice but stay in your lane because you have no idea what you are talking about.

    As far as two random pictures what is that supposed to prove?

    Yes you live there because you can’t afford to live in the city

    I could afford it but I’d rather have a yard and a house in a place with good schools, as would any normal person with kids.

    who’s dick you are trying to suck

    You shouldn’t be so transparent about your proclivities.

    I simply pointed out that the city wasn’t some dystopian nightmare as you falsely claim.

    Since you clearly lied about the place you live, you are obviously capable about lying about anything else you write about.

    you have no idea what you are talking about.

    You claimed every housing project was surrounded by wasteland. This was false.

    As far as two random pictures what is that supposed to prove?

    That you are dishonest.

    Remember that you wrote:

    “Go to any NYCHA run apartment building and the area around it would resemble a concrete jungle.”

    Reality:

    Yeah, a concrete jungle everywhere.

    • LOL: Anonymoose
    • Replies: @DreadIlk
    I looked up NYCHA housing and the pics you dropping are from first page of google. I give you that for some reason they scrubbed the NYCHA images. But unless you work around NYCHA you wouldn't know what I am talking about. I work for hazmat so I see all this shit daily. And yes it is a concrete jungle.

    Also I like how you keep talking about your self redneck. No one cares. You don't live in the city.

    Also you can't afford to live here so no amount of hand wringing is going to change that. No one gives a shit that you want a yard and a good school. The fact that you want those things is good but again no one gives a shit why you can't afford them here.
  272. @AP

    What kind of retard would assume someone who lives in NY and mentioning trains is talking about the commuter trains?
     
    Let me explain to you again:

    1. You mention a train system.

    2. You mention Grand Central, where the commuter trains end up.

    Somehow in your mind when you discussed trains and Grand Central, you didn't mean commuter trains but the subway.

    Listen gama boy go back and look at the conversation. I know you want to be a secret king and to win. But the reality is you fucked up. The discussion is of NYC subway system. Commuter trains arrive in grand-central and then people go into the subway system. If you can’t follow along it’s not my fault but GTFO with this technicality bs.

    • Replies: @AP

    go back and look at the conversation
     
    Okay.

    The discussion is of NYC subway system.
     
    I wrote:

    "I live less than 2 hours from NYC, on the edge of commuter train access,"

    You responded:

    "So how is Grand Central or Penn station to your liking"

    :::::

    So discussion shifted to commuter trains. You knew that, you wrote "I mention Grand Central precisely because commuter train arrives there"

    You fail here like you fail at life, project-cleaner who lives in a city he views as disgusting.

  273. @AP

    Yes you live there because you can’t afford to live in the city
     
    I could afford it but I'd rather have a yard and a house in a place with good schools, as would any normal person with kids.

    who’s dick you are trying to suck
     
    You shouldn't be so transparent about your proclivities.

    I simply pointed out that the city wasn't some dystopian nightmare as you falsely claim.

    Since you clearly lied about the place you live, you are obviously capable about lying about anything else you write about.

    you have no idea what you are talking about.
     
    You claimed every housing project was surrounded by wasteland. This was false.

    As far as two random pictures what is that supposed to prove?
     
    That you are dishonest.

    Remember that you wrote:

    "Go to any NYCHA run apartment building and the area around it would resemble a concrete jungle."

    Reality:

    https://imgs.6sqft.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/20233115/Ingersoll-NYCHA.jpg

    https://i.ytimg.com/vi/LcM9d_pW9Wk/maxresdefault.jpg

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/9/9f/Window_view.JPG/1200px-Window_view.JPG

    Yeah, a concrete jungle everywhere.

    I looked up NYCHA housing and the pics you dropping are from first page of google. I give you that for some reason they scrubbed the NYCHA images. But unless you work around NYCHA you wouldn’t know what I am talking about. I work for hazmat so I see all this shit daily. And yes it is a concrete jungle.

    Also I like how you keep talking about your self redneck. No one cares. You don’t live in the city.

    Also you can’t afford to live here so no amount of hand wringing is going to change that. No one gives a shit that you want a yard and a good school. The fact that you want those things is good but again no one gives a shit why you can’t afford them here.

    • Replies: @AP

    I looked up NYCHA housing and the pics you dropping are from first page of google
     
    So, you are a liar when you claimed every housing project has a concrete jungle around it.

    This will be recalled whenever you make claims - that you are dishonest.

    I like how you keep talking about your self redneck.
     
    Since you brought it up first..

    It's funny how you keep bringing up rednecks. New York is full of rednecks from small towns who want to live in the big city (some Chicago writer observed that Chicago is full of native urban people, New York gets people from Iowa). Not only Americans - the specimens ones sees in Brighton Beach appear to be the "worst" representation of Sovok provinicial towns.

    Also you can’t afford to live here
     
    You said "no one cares" about personal details but here you go mentioning your fantasies about my personal details.

    Were you lying then or are you lying now?
  274. AP says:
    @DreadIlk
    I looked up NYCHA housing and the pics you dropping are from first page of google. I give you that for some reason they scrubbed the NYCHA images. But unless you work around NYCHA you wouldn't know what I am talking about. I work for hazmat so I see all this shit daily. And yes it is a concrete jungle.

    Also I like how you keep talking about your self redneck. No one cares. You don't live in the city.

    Also you can't afford to live here so no amount of hand wringing is going to change that. No one gives a shit that you want a yard and a good school. The fact that you want those things is good but again no one gives a shit why you can't afford them here.

    I looked up NYCHA housing and the pics you dropping are from first page of google

    So, you are a liar when you claimed every housing project has a concrete jungle around it.

    This will be recalled whenever you make claims – that you are dishonest.

    I like how you keep talking about your self redneck.

    Since you brought it up first..

    It’s funny how you keep bringing up rednecks. New York is full of rednecks from small towns who want to live in the big city (some Chicago writer observed that Chicago is full of native urban people, New York gets people from Iowa). Not only Americans – the specimens ones sees in Brighton Beach appear to be the “worst” representation of Sovok provinicial towns.

    Also you can’t afford to live here

    You said “no one cares” about personal details but here you go mentioning your fantasies about my personal details.

    Were you lying then or are you lying now?

    • Replies: @DreadIlk
    Honestly the trees is a nice thing. I did not notice them with all the bad bs that goes on around. It does not change the overall score for these areas. And again these are pictures of one complex. It's lower east side. Probably the best NYCHA place you can pick. They represent 5% (I'm guessing) of NYCHA? They are still rife with crime, they are still badly maintained by objective standards.

    I like how you try to talk shit about Brighton. Shows the depths of your ignorance. Brighton is full of Russia haters they got out of ex-SSR republics instead of going to Russia. Also jews. If you find any sovok people there are old people who's kids brought them there.

    Also I don't know what NY is full of but the one thing that is thrown in your face is brown tide. I have my doubts anyone from small town is coming to NYC nowadays.

    You can't afford to live here. It's fact. If you could afford to live in NYC you would live an hour away not two. There are houses near the city. AP you are a sad liar. The only reason I engage you is to publicly humiliate you. You came in here claiming to know NYC. All you demonstrated is that you are a keyboard warrior who can't afford to live here.

    edit: I just realized 1/3 the time the trees are not in bloom.

  275. AP says:
    @DreadIlk
    Listen gama boy go back and look at the conversation. I know you want to be a secret king and to win. But the reality is you fucked up. The discussion is of NYC subway system. Commuter trains arrive in grand-central and then people go into the subway system. If you can't follow along it's not my fault but GTFO with this technicality bs.

    go back and look at the conversation

    Okay.

    The discussion is of NYC subway system.

    I wrote:

    “I live less than 2 hours from NYC, on the edge of commuter train access,”

    You responded:

    “So how is Grand Central or Penn station to your liking”

    :::::

    So discussion shifted to commuter trains. You knew that, you wrote “I mention Grand Central precisely because commuter train arrives there”

    You fail here like you fail at life, project-cleaner who lives in a city he views as disgusting.

    • Replies: @DreadIlk
    I explained my self I will leave it at that. Anyone who wants to know how life is here will find what I say helpful. And will find what you say as BS of someone who does not live here.

    You are a secret king AP.
  276. @AP

    I looked up NYCHA housing and the pics you dropping are from first page of google
     
    So, you are a liar when you claimed every housing project has a concrete jungle around it.

    This will be recalled whenever you make claims - that you are dishonest.

    I like how you keep talking about your self redneck.
     
    Since you brought it up first..

    It's funny how you keep bringing up rednecks. New York is full of rednecks from small towns who want to live in the big city (some Chicago writer observed that Chicago is full of native urban people, New York gets people from Iowa). Not only Americans - the specimens ones sees in Brighton Beach appear to be the "worst" representation of Sovok provinicial towns.

    Also you can’t afford to live here
     
    You said "no one cares" about personal details but here you go mentioning your fantasies about my personal details.

    Were you lying then or are you lying now?

    Honestly the trees is a nice thing. I did not notice them with all the bad bs that goes on around. It does not change the overall score for these areas. And again these are pictures of one complex. It’s lower east side. Probably the best NYCHA place you can pick. They represent 5% (I’m guessing) of NYCHA? They are still rife with crime, they are still badly maintained by objective standards.

    I like how you try to talk shit about Brighton. Shows the depths of your ignorance. Brighton is full of Russia haters they got out of ex-SSR republics instead of going to Russia. Also jews. If you find any sovok people there are old people who’s kids brought them there.

    Also I don’t know what NY is full of but the one thing that is thrown in your face is brown tide. I have my doubts anyone from small town is coming to NYC nowadays.

    You can’t afford to live here. It’s fact. If you could afford to live in NYC you would live an hour away not two. There are houses near the city. AP you are a sad liar. The only reason I engage you is to publicly humiliate you. You came in here claiming to know NYC. All you demonstrated is that you are a keyboard warrior who can’t afford to live here.

    edit: I just realized 1/3 the time the trees are not in bloom.

    • Replies: @AP

    Honestly the trees is a nice thing. I did not notice them with all the bad bs that goes on around. It does not change the overall score for these areas. And again these are pictures of one complex. It’s lower east side. Probably the best NYCHA place you can pick.
     
    You can't stop lying.

    The Bronx:

    https://www.nydailynews.com/resizer/RXP3OPTrhHQayTZGY1Bt10hN9EM=/800x532/top/arc-anglerfish-arc2-prod-tronc.s3.amazonaws.com/public/4CQU2KAKJJBUDND4L4RXIHVUEM.jpg

    Queens:

    https://ak4.picdn.net/shutterstock/videos/9000544/thumb/1.jpg

    This one is next to a park, moreover.

    Yeah, every one is a concrete jungle according to Dreadilk.


    I like how you try to talk shit about Brighton. Shows the depths of your ignorance. Brighton is full of Russia haters they got out of ex-SSR republics instead of going to Russia.
     
    Exactly. Got out of some villages, just like the rest of New York's inhabitants. It's a city full of small town folk pretending to be urbanites. Madonna, the girl from Michigan, is typical. There is something quaint in that and it's funny that the Russians there are like the rest of New York's inhabitants.

    You can’t afford to live here.
     
    I agree. To live like a normal adult human being in New York City one needs to have a household income of at least $700,000 or so, or to have inherited a fortune.

    If you could afford to live in NYC you would live an hour away not two.
     
    An hour away isn't living in NYC.

    If I was going to live an hour away I might as well live two hours away. Either way I'd be in the city about as often. While I can afford a small house that costs 600k in Westchester or Fairfield County, I'd rather pay 300k for a much nicer one.


    The only reason I engage you is to publicly humiliate you
     
    If that's what you call being publicly proven a liar good for you.

    You came in here claiming to know NYC.
     
    Either I know it better than you do, or you deliberately lie about it.

    And then you live in the place you hate. So a liar and a failure at life.

  277. @AP

    go back and look at the conversation
     
    Okay.

    The discussion is of NYC subway system.
     
    I wrote:

    "I live less than 2 hours from NYC, on the edge of commuter train access,"

    You responded:

    "So how is Grand Central or Penn station to your liking"

    :::::

    So discussion shifted to commuter trains. You knew that, you wrote "I mention Grand Central precisely because commuter train arrives there"

    You fail here like you fail at life, project-cleaner who lives in a city he views as disgusting.

    I explained my self I will leave it at that. Anyone who wants to know how life is here will find what I say helpful. And will find what you say as BS of someone who does not live here.

    You are a secret king AP.

  278. AP says:
    @DreadIlk
    Honestly the trees is a nice thing. I did not notice them with all the bad bs that goes on around. It does not change the overall score for these areas. And again these are pictures of one complex. It's lower east side. Probably the best NYCHA place you can pick. They represent 5% (I'm guessing) of NYCHA? They are still rife with crime, they are still badly maintained by objective standards.

    I like how you try to talk shit about Brighton. Shows the depths of your ignorance. Brighton is full of Russia haters they got out of ex-SSR republics instead of going to Russia. Also jews. If you find any sovok people there are old people who's kids brought them there.

    Also I don't know what NY is full of but the one thing that is thrown in your face is brown tide. I have my doubts anyone from small town is coming to NYC nowadays.

    You can't afford to live here. It's fact. If you could afford to live in NYC you would live an hour away not two. There are houses near the city. AP you are a sad liar. The only reason I engage you is to publicly humiliate you. You came in here claiming to know NYC. All you demonstrated is that you are a keyboard warrior who can't afford to live here.

    edit: I just realized 1/3 the time the trees are not in bloom.

    Honestly the trees is a nice thing. I did not notice them with all the bad bs that goes on around. It does not change the overall score for these areas. And again these are pictures of one complex. It’s lower east side. Probably the best NYCHA place you can pick.

    You can’t stop lying.

    The Bronx:

    Queens:

    This one is next to a park, moreover.

    Yeah, every one is a concrete jungle according to Dreadilk.

    I like how you try to talk shit about Brighton. Shows the depths of your ignorance. Brighton is full of Russia haters they got out of ex-SSR republics instead of going to Russia.

    Exactly. Got out of some villages, just like the rest of New York’s inhabitants. It’s a city full of small town folk pretending to be urbanites. Madonna, the girl from Michigan, is typical. There is something quaint in that and it’s funny that the Russians there are like the rest of New York’s inhabitants.

    You can’t afford to live here.

    I agree. To live like a normal adult human being in New York City one needs to have a household income of at least $700,000 or so, or to have inherited a fortune.

    If you could afford to live in NYC you would live an hour away not two.

    An hour away isn’t living in NYC.

    If I was going to live an hour away I might as well live two hours away. Either way I’d be in the city about as often. While I can afford a small house that costs 600k in Westchester or Fairfield County, I’d rather pay 300k for a much nicer one.

    The only reason I engage you is to publicly humiliate you

    If that’s what you call being publicly proven a liar good for you.

    You came in here claiming to know NYC.

    Either I know it better than you do, or you deliberately lie about it.

    And then you live in the place you hate. So a liar and a failure at life.

  279. I don’t like NYC, it’s obvious. I am moving back out to NJ. NYC has good things about it too but that is overshadowed by the bad. The trend is indisputable.

    You shit talking residents of NYC is hilarious because I could care less about them.

    I already told you you got a point about the trees but I also said those pictures are not representative of how those projects are. When you standing in front of NYCHA housing complex you smell piss, see garbage and steel slats. Those trees look nice as you pass them from the highway and only when they are in bloom.

    AP you have a hard time with logic. Of course being an hour out from the city is not living in the city. But someone who can afford to live in the city could afford to live an hour away and have land and good schools for their kids. You live with red necks because you can’t afford to live in the city or an hour away.

    You also projecting by shitting on NYC denizens by calling them small town. For example I don’t like NYC because of immigrants, crowding and failing infrastructure. You dont like NYC because of small town people moving in. Last I checked immigrants outnumber small town people 20 to 1. Shows where your mind is.

    • Replies: @AP

    I don’t like NYC, it’s obvious. I am moving back out to NJ.
     
    NJ - a shitty version of CT.

    I already told you you got a point about the trees but I also said those pictures are not representative of how those projects are.
     
    I'm sure the people who live in them make them roach infested or whatever. That's on them. The point is that many of them are not some concrete jungle warzone.

    Of course being an hour out from the city is not living in the city. But someone who can afford to live in the city could afford to live an hour away and have land and good schools for their kids.
     
    You are wrong. A normal family with kids needs at least 4 bedrooms and 1500 square feet (that's kind of small but I guess minimally acceptable). In New York that's around $900,000 in decent areas, but usually higher:

    https://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-search/New-York_NY/beds-4/type-single-family-home/sqft-1500

    But they are not quick to Manhattan, they are Staten Island.

    In Manhattan it is probably in the millions for a 4 bedroom condo in a nice neighborhood, not Spanish Harlem.

    An hour away, like in Norwalk CT, it's $450k to $600k or on Katonah $550k.

    Two hours away you can get an equivalent house for $350k.

    I cannot afford to buy a 4 bedroom place in NYC - nor can you, I imagine. I can afford an hour away. But I'd rather live an hour further away and keep the $150k.

    Also you don't get it. If I lived an hour away I would also work an hour away (I don't do long commutes, no normal person would). So I would go to the city several times a year, to visit friends, see a show, maybe for shopping (though I prefer Moscow for that). For that purpose I could live an hour further away, I'd be in NYC just as often.


    You live with red necks because you can’t afford to live in the city or an hour away.
     
    You in NYC live with more rednecks than I do in my town 2 hours away. NYC is full of rednecks from the USA and from other countries. Brighton Beach is full of Russian rednecks, for example. Not to mention Puerto Ricans and Dominicans from their island villages. And those white "sophisticated" New Yorkers wearing black are just people who moved from Iowa and are playing "big city," gay refugees from the Deep South, etc. Google says only 48% of US-born New Yorkers are from New York state, and many of those are from upstate.

    You dont like NYC because of small town people moving in.
     
    I didn't say that. I just thought it was very funny that you claimed I live among rednecks, and pointed out that NYC has more rednecks than does the place where I live. I suspect my town may have as many multigenerational natives of the City here than you do, as a % of the population.
  280. How long ago we started this a week ago? Not a week has passed and the train system just took a shit on a Saturday. No trains moving on a c e lines.

    Also what a beauty I seen a mosquito for the second time now in two weeks in Penn Station.

  281. AP says:
    @Dreadilk
    I don't like NYC, it's obvious. I am moving back out to NJ. NYC has good things about it too but that is overshadowed by the bad. The trend is indisputable.

    You shit talking residents of NYC is hilarious because I could care less about them.

    I already told you you got a point about the trees but I also said those pictures are not representative of how those projects are. When you standing in front of NYCHA housing complex you smell piss, see garbage and steel slats. Those trees look nice as you pass them from the highway and only when they are in bloom.

    AP you have a hard time with logic. Of course being an hour out from the city is not living in the city. But someone who can afford to live in the city could afford to live an hour away and have land and good schools for their kids. You live with red necks because you can't afford to live in the city or an hour away.

    You also projecting by shitting on NYC denizens by calling them small town. For example I don't like NYC because of immigrants, crowding and failing infrastructure. You dont like NYC because of small town people moving in. Last I checked immigrants outnumber small town people 20 to 1. Shows where your mind is.

    I don’t like NYC, it’s obvious. I am moving back out to NJ.

    NJ – a shitty version of CT.

    I already told you you got a point about the trees but I also said those pictures are not representative of how those projects are.

    I’m sure the people who live in them make them roach infested or whatever. That’s on them. The point is that many of them are not some concrete jungle warzone.

    Of course being an hour out from the city is not living in the city. But someone who can afford to live in the city could afford to live an hour away and have land and good schools for their kids.

    You are wrong. A normal family with kids needs at least 4 bedrooms and 1500 square feet (that’s kind of small but I guess minimally acceptable). In New York that’s around $900,000 in decent areas, but usually higher:

    https://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-search/New-York_NY/beds-4/type-single-family-home/sqft-1500

    But they are not quick to Manhattan, they are Staten Island.

    In Manhattan it is probably in the millions for a 4 bedroom condo in a nice neighborhood, not Spanish Harlem.

    An hour away, like in Norwalk CT, it’s $450k to $600k or on Katonah $550k.

    Two hours away you can get an equivalent house for $350k.

    I cannot afford to buy a 4 bedroom place in NYC – nor can you, I imagine. I can afford an hour away. But I’d rather live an hour further away and keep the $150k.

    Also you don’t get it. If I lived an hour away I would also work an hour away (I don’t do long commutes, no normal person would). So I would go to the city several times a year, to visit friends, see a show, maybe for shopping (though I prefer Moscow for that). For that purpose I could live an hour further away, I’d be in NYC just as often.

    You live with red necks because you can’t afford to live in the city or an hour away.

    You in NYC live with more rednecks than I do in my town 2 hours away. NYC is full of rednecks from the USA and from other countries. Brighton Beach is full of Russian rednecks, for example. Not to mention Puerto Ricans and Dominicans from their island villages. And those white “sophisticated” New Yorkers wearing black are just people who moved from Iowa and are playing “big city,” gay refugees from the Deep South, etc. Google says only 48% of US-born New Yorkers are from New York state, and many of those are from upstate.

    You dont like NYC because of small town people moving in.

    I didn’t say that. I just thought it was very funny that you claimed I live among rednecks, and pointed out that NYC has more rednecks than does the place where I live. I suspect my town may have as many multigenerational natives of the City here than you do, as a % of the population.

    • Replies: @Dreadilk
    Haha no fucking trains again. AP you are such a loser. Life proves you wrong non stop.
  282. @AP

    I don’t like NYC, it’s obvious. I am moving back out to NJ.
     
    NJ - a shitty version of CT.

    I already told you you got a point about the trees but I also said those pictures are not representative of how those projects are.
     
    I'm sure the people who live in them make them roach infested or whatever. That's on them. The point is that many of them are not some concrete jungle warzone.

    Of course being an hour out from the city is not living in the city. But someone who can afford to live in the city could afford to live an hour away and have land and good schools for their kids.
     
    You are wrong. A normal family with kids needs at least 4 bedrooms and 1500 square feet (that's kind of small but I guess minimally acceptable). In New York that's around $900,000 in decent areas, but usually higher:

    https://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-search/New-York_NY/beds-4/type-single-family-home/sqft-1500

    But they are not quick to Manhattan, they are Staten Island.

    In Manhattan it is probably in the millions for a 4 bedroom condo in a nice neighborhood, not Spanish Harlem.

    An hour away, like in Norwalk CT, it's $450k to $600k or on Katonah $550k.

    Two hours away you can get an equivalent house for $350k.

    I cannot afford to buy a 4 bedroom place in NYC - nor can you, I imagine. I can afford an hour away. But I'd rather live an hour further away and keep the $150k.

    Also you don't get it. If I lived an hour away I would also work an hour away (I don't do long commutes, no normal person would). So I would go to the city several times a year, to visit friends, see a show, maybe for shopping (though I prefer Moscow for that). For that purpose I could live an hour further away, I'd be in NYC just as often.


    You live with red necks because you can’t afford to live in the city or an hour away.
     
    You in NYC live with more rednecks than I do in my town 2 hours away. NYC is full of rednecks from the USA and from other countries. Brighton Beach is full of Russian rednecks, for example. Not to mention Puerto Ricans and Dominicans from their island villages. And those white "sophisticated" New Yorkers wearing black are just people who moved from Iowa and are playing "big city," gay refugees from the Deep South, etc. Google says only 48% of US-born New Yorkers are from New York state, and many of those are from upstate.

    You dont like NYC because of small town people moving in.
     
    I didn't say that. I just thought it was very funny that you claimed I live among rednecks, and pointed out that NYC has more rednecks than does the place where I live. I suspect my town may have as many multigenerational natives of the City here than you do, as a % of the population.

    Haha no fucking trains again. AP you are such a loser. Life proves you wrong non stop.

    • Replies: @AP

    Haha no fucking trains again.
     
    Some of the many subway lines were shut down for some time and you think it means a lot.

    AP you are such a loser. Life proves you wrong non stop.
     
    You are the one living in a city that you hate and that for some reason you are desperate to lie about, to create a fantasy that it is some sort of dystopian nightmare. And contemplating fleeing to New Jersey (LOL).
  283. AP says:
    @Dreadilk
    Haha no fucking trains again. AP you are such a loser. Life proves you wrong non stop.

    Haha no fucking trains again.

    Some of the many subway lines were shut down for some time and you think it means a lot.

    AP you are such a loser. Life proves you wrong non stop.

    You are the one living in a city that you hate and that for some reason you are desperate to lie about, to create a fantasy that it is some sort of dystopian nightmare. And contemplating fleeing to New Jersey (LOL).

    • Replies: @Anon
    What do you have against NJ?
    , @DreadIlk
    I don't contemplate, I lived/live in both states. It's very telling by the areas you name what you are used to. Btw North Jersey and Central are way better then NYC. Entire North East is very different town by town. So obviously you can have good areas and bad. I don't judge upstate by Peekskill or NJ by Paterson.

    NYC is a dystopian nightmare for most people who live there. And if you lived in NYC you would not be able to afford to live in good parts.

    Some of the many subway lines were 1/3 of Subway lines(and probably more by actual volume) and it is happening on weekly basis in the summer.

    AP you are out of your depth. It is obvious you invent fantasies and then try to fit facts to them.
  284. @AP

    Haha no fucking trains again.
     
    Some of the many subway lines were shut down for some time and you think it means a lot.

    AP you are such a loser. Life proves you wrong non stop.
     
    You are the one living in a city that you hate and that for some reason you are desperate to lie about, to create a fantasy that it is some sort of dystopian nightmare. And contemplating fleeing to New Jersey (LOL).

    What do you have against NJ?

    • Replies: @AP
    Parts are okay, but generally it has bad traffic, tolls everywhere, and is kind of ugly. Some nice (if overcrowded) beaches, good sushi in Fort Lee.
  285. @Anon
    What do you have against NJ?

    Parts are okay, but generally it has bad traffic, tolls everywhere, and is kind of ugly. Some nice (if overcrowded) beaches, good sushi in Fort Lee.

  286. @AP

    Haha no fucking trains again.
     
    Some of the many subway lines were shut down for some time and you think it means a lot.

    AP you are such a loser. Life proves you wrong non stop.
     
    You are the one living in a city that you hate and that for some reason you are desperate to lie about, to create a fantasy that it is some sort of dystopian nightmare. And contemplating fleeing to New Jersey (LOL).

    I don’t contemplate, I lived/live in both states. It’s very telling by the areas you name what you are used to. Btw North Jersey and Central are way better then NYC. Entire North East is very different town by town. So obviously you can have good areas and bad. I don’t judge upstate by Peekskill or NJ by Paterson.

    NYC is a dystopian nightmare for most people who live there. And if you lived in NYC you would not be able to afford to live in good parts.

    Some of the many subway lines were 1/3 of Subway lines(and probably more by actual volume) and it is happening on weekly basis in the summer.

    AP you are out of your depth. It is obvious you invent fantasies and then try to fit facts to them.

  287. Hey AP did you hear the part where NYPD are being doused with water in NYC and the cops are not doing anything. That a good city to you? I think I saw four separate videos now.

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