From the start I refrained from speculating too much about what precisely happened to Navalny. Thing is, several weeks on, we are collectively none the wiser. Though Novichok seems to have done him good in the looksmaxxing department: But reality is rarely as important as the narratives around it, and so far as narratives are... Read More
People want me to comment on Navalny. I have avoided doing so because I just don't know. There are plenty of other people who don't know either but are writing about it anyway so why would I waste my time and your time on this. I don't know what the poison was. It probably was... Read More
Posting the Open Thread a day earlier than the usual (Friday) to provide a space to avoid cluttering up the Belarus threads with discussions about the alleged Navalny poisoning. I have no particular "takes" to dish out atm given that it's breaking news and we know barely any details.
As I wrote in my post on the Moscow Duma elections, which took place on September 8, the electoral strategy of the Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) - the main pro-Western opposition front to Putin headed by Navalny and his campaign manager Leonid Volkov - was the so-called "Smart Vote." Claiming that many of their candidates had... Read More
One curious point of agreement between anti-imperialist "Western Russophiles" and the most deranged Russophobes (e.g. Arkady Babchenko, who had called him Russia's "future liberal Fuhrer") is the idea that Navalny is a nationalist. This is despite almost no actual, self-identified Russian nationalists considering him as such, and Navalny himself energetically signalling against Russian identity and... Read More
Leonid Volkov is Navalny's long-standing campaign manager. Translation: "A day of good news: Al-Bashir and Assange have overstayed their welcome, both are in need of a court, and neither deserve a drop of pity." One problem of Russian liberals from Novodvorskaya down to Navalny is that they are not so much liberals as American stooges*.... Read More
Who is the only very prominent person in the Russian elites whom Navalny hasn’t gone to great lengths to criticize? Which major state-owned corporation hasn’t had an investigative dossier written about it by the Anti-Corruption Fund (even though an ordinary analyst at Sberbank's investment arm managed to find no shortage of very suspicious things about... Read More
I am not going to comment much on the May 5 protests in Russia because I have already done so many times before and there is nothing new or interesting about this one. There were a few thousand people in Moscow. To repeat the obvious for the nth time, this is: Not any more than... Read More
Meddling in the Russian elections. I voted for Zhirinovsky on March 18, 2018. Have said all there is to say on that in these articles: An Analysis of Zhirinovsky's Program Russia Elections 2018: Elections as Regime Referendums Putin 2018: The Scorecard With that out of the way, let's move on to the bigger picture. PS.... Read More
Western media: Opposition leader Navalny is "tapping into the anger of a younger generation yearning for change", and devotes frontline coverage to his "elections boycott" protest. Reality: Putin is polling 62% amongst young people, versus 76% amongst the elderly (FOM poll, including people who don't know/don't intend to vote), and the event was itself boycotted... Read More
Navalny claimed that the state-owned pollsters VCIOM were artificially inflating Putin's figures, so his Anti-Corruption Fund will start releasing their own weekly polls, the first of which has just been released in Navalny's latest video address. Reminder that Putin got 66% in the last FOM poll, and 73% in the last VCIOM poll. FBK poll:... Read More
Conventional wisdom on the Russian elections: Positive interpretation: Russian elections give Russians more real ideological choice (conservative centrists, Communists, nationalists, liberals) than American ones (conservative neoliberals, liberal neoliberals). Negative interpretation: Putin and the party of power are assured of winning through overwhelming administrative resources, state media, and a side of electoral fraud. The other parties... Read More
H/t Eduard-456. Navalny has accepted Strelkov's call for a debate from June 15. Get hype? At any rate, this is probably the closest things to politics that has happened in Russia this year. There are going to be the main topics of discussion in the debate next week, which may be hosted by Echo of... Read More
The Russia wide protests organized by Navalny on June 12 were a flop. This was not unexpected, given the lack of enthusiasm on social networks - in Moscow, there were 20% fewer people expressing interest in going to this event relative to the March 26th protest on Facebook. The earlier event had translated into 8,000... Read More
Navalny has just moved the planned June 12 protest from Prospekt Sakharova, a fairly central and very spacious location, to Tverskaya, which is minutes away from the Kremlin, at the last minute. The former event was officially sanctioned by the city authorities. The new one is *not*. Navalny claims that this was done because the... Read More
There have been three significant political protests in Moscow in the past few months, and each in their own way - and in their relation to each other - say a lot about the state of Russia today. It's not that great for the Kremlin. But not for the reasons the Western media would have... Read More
The other day a Levada poll was released showing an apparently lackluster performance by Navalny in a hypothetical Presidential race against Putin and the other candidates. If there were elections on the coming Sunday, who would you vote for? (The figures below exclude those said they don't know, or don't intend to vote). Apr13 Apr14... Read More
Probably unintentionally, but still. The video, subtly titled "Hitler 1945/Navalny 2018," basically argues that if you oppose Medvedev's corruption and the importation of infinity Moslems into Russia then you are Hitler. Its current Dislikes to Likes ratio is at around 10. According to Navalny himself, the man behind the video is Sergey Kiriyenko, the First... Read More
Almost two weeks since the street protests against corruption, the first poll results have started to trickle in, and the provide a mixed picture. (1) Politician Approval Ratings Putin's approval rating remains at 82% as of this March, almost unbudged from February's 84%. On the other hand, the approval rating of Prime Minister Medvedev, the... Read More
Instead of speculating about what Navalny's program involves, let's just look at his website: I summarize the main points and provide some brief comments on each of them: Oligarchs that live on reselling oil and resources should pay a windfall tax (as in the UK in 1997). Massively reduce bureaucracy Individual entrepreneurs with small incomes... Read More
With a bit less than a year left to Russia's Presidential elections in 2018, the general contours of this cycle's protest movement against Putin are already coalescing. Alexey Navalny has called a march for tomorrow along Tverskaya Street, a central boulevard that leads to the Kremlin. The Moscow mayoralty refused to allow it, and Navalny... Read More
According to a roundup of all the major exit polls by Kommersant, it appears that although Navalny's performance was massively better than expected, Acting Mayor Sobyanin still managed to avoid a second tour. In Moscow, voting has finished for the new Mayor. According to exit polls carried out at the doors of the election stations... Read More
It is wrong to glamorize a political hustler with five criminal cases against him, says the National Bolshevik leader - who claims street cred on account of having done real time. Eduard Limonov on why Navalny became a hero of the bourgeoisie. I pay a lot of attention to Navalny. I do. In so far... Read More
Battle of the hacks! In response to Alexei Pankin calling him an anti-Semite in The Moscow Times, Oleg Kashin pens a tongue in cheek response telling him to imagine a kitten dying every time he abuses an overworn cliche. In which Oleg Kashin gives some advice to the politologists. The editors asked me to reply... Read More
There has been some confusion about Navalny's poll ratings due to the varying timing, phrasing, and options in the polls on the matter. The Russian Spectrum tries to clear things up. Below is a summary of comparable polls on this subject by date from two of Russia's three biggest polling agencies: The private Levada Center,... Read More
With the registration period over, there are now six candidates left to compete for the position of Mayor of Moscow in the coming city elections. Who will Muscovites vote for? Which of the following candidates are you prepared to vote for in the upcoming Moscow elections on 8 September? Out of all Muscovites ...who intend... Read More
Moskovsky Komsomolets' Dmitry Katorzhnov takes a walk around Moscow to ask people what they feel about Navalny. The impressions he gets don't promise anything good for his campaign. Half of the respondents do not intend to go to the polls anyhow. On Wednesday, July 10 Alexey Navalny will carry a Moscow City Election Committee paper... Read More
It's been a great year! To recap, in rough chronological order, 2011 saw: The most popular post (with 562 comments and counting; granted, most of them consisting of Indians and Pakistanis flaming each other); Visualizing the Kremlin Clans (joint project with Kevin Rothrock of A Good Treaty); my National Comparisons between life in Russia, Britain,... Read More
I am a blogger, thinker, and businessman in the SF Bay Area. I’m originally from Russia, spent many years in Britain, and studied at U.C. Berkeley.
One of my tenets is that ideologies tend to suck. As such, I hesitate about attaching labels to myself. That said, if it’s really necessary, I suppose “liberal-conservative neoreactionary” would be close enough.
Though I consider myself part of the Orthodox Church, my philosophy and spiritual views are more influenced by digital physics, Gnosticism, and Russian cosmism than anything specifically Judeo-Christian.