It's been 16 days since the start of Karabakh War II. 524 Armenian dead As mentioned, the Azeris are keeping their losses under wraps, but 619 have been ID'ed from social media. Since social media analysis isn't going to catch all the Azeri losses, we can conclude that the Azeri losses are twice as high... Read More
Just like the Balkan Wars before World War I, there are interesting lessons to be drawn from the conflict, and as such I find it rather fascinating - if not surprising, given the quality of our chattering class - that it has receiving such scant journalistic and analytical attention. This is not just an insurgency... Read More
Who should Russia support in this conflict? By treaty, Russia is not obliged to do anything, at least so long as Azerbaijan (or Turkey) do not violate Armenia's internationally recognized borders, of which Nagorno-Karabakh/Artsakh is not a part. And while neither Azerbaijan nor Turkey can be remotely considered Russia's friends, they both have a substantial... Read More
2020 keeps getting more powerful as the clashes in July have suddenly crescendoed with reports of large-scale Azeri attacks on the Artsakh frontlines and Azeri shelling of the Armenian enclave's capital of Stepanakert. This now seems to be a bigger thing than your typical serious border scuffle, which happens once every few years and kills... Read More
Map of Greeks and Armenians in Turkey, before and after the genocides/expulsions of the 1910s-20s, and consequent demographic growth (via /r/Mapporn). As I noted before, I can't think of any other major region where the strategic population balance changed so drastically during the course of the past century. Around 1914, there were 15.0 million Muslims... Read More
Revolutionary passions. Then it won't be a big deal for Russia. Now to be sure, I still think my analysis here stands - Armenians genuinely do approve of Russia, and even if they didn't, they certainly approve of Azerbaijan and Turkey far less, and with good reason - but if we do get an anti-Russian... Read More
There is a non-trivial chance of a color revolution in Armenia in the next few days. I don't follow domestic Armenian politics, but the basic gist of it is that the two-term President Serzh Sargsyan - who is highly unpopular due to increases in utilities tariffs - has recently transitioned from the Presidency to the... Read More
Commentator jimmyriddle finds statistics about the ethnic composition of scientific cadres in the Soviet Union in 1973 via Cassad (the original comes via the blogger Burkino Faso). Drawing on earlier statistical data, although on a more limited sample of different ethnicities, we have the following sets of correlations: 1926 Census, literacy amongst 50 years... Read More
Today a ceasefire has been agreed upon between Azerbaijan and the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, which unlike the unilateral ceasefire declared by Azerbaijan three days ago seems to be holding. This allows us to make some more conclusions observations on what happened. Source: via Cassad. First, the Azeris have made gains, but their advance was ultimately quite... Read More
Column of Azeri tanks around the Talis region. Via Cassad. The past two days has seen some of the most intense fighting over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh since the 1994 ceasefire that froze the conflict. It was a typical post-Soviet tale: Illogically drawn up borders, stranded Armenians in the historically Armenian territory of Nagorno-Karabakh,... Read More
In recent days, some Armenians have been up in arms over increases in electricity tariffs by the evil Russian-owned electricity monopoly that will bring them up to... well, a level slightly higher than in Russia and about 2-3x lower than in most EU countries (don't you love comparative context?). Discourse in both Russia and the... Read More
There are some massacres that are clearly genocides, such as the Holocaust, and there are some massacres that are clearly not, such as Katyn, but in between there is a vast, gristly spectrum that in the absence of any strict and universally accepted definition of the term is dominated by quacks and cranks driven more... Read More
Despite the unremitting hostility of its Russian neighbor, which crescendoed in a military occupation of a chunk of its territories, plucky Georgia's commitment to reform and democratic values will ensure its rapid development into a "booming Western-style economy." Under its charismatic Western-trained President, Saakashvili, it has rooted out corruption, ushered in untold prosperity and freedoms,... Read More
One of the staples of the neocon-Russophobe narrative is that Russia is alone in the world, utterly bereft of friends, left only with the likes of Nicaragua and Nauru to indulge it in its anachronistic "imperial fantasies". Not really. Conflating the West with the world won't change the fact that amongst the peoples of China,... Read More
In a recent post, Mark Adomanis pointed out that the Russian economy has done significantly better than many other East European nations during the recent crisis and is now mounting a strong recovery. He also speculated on the effects of the crisis on the demography of badly-affected countries such as Romania, Bulgaria, and the Baltics,... Read More
I have long noted Russia's resurgence back into the ranks of the leading Great Powers; I predicted that the global economic crisis will not have a long-term retarding impact on the Russian economy; and within the past year I have bought into Stratfor's idea that the defining narrative now in play in Eurasia is Russia's... Read More
I would like to wish all Sublime Oblivion readers a very happy and successful New Year. One of my major motivations for writing is getting comments and feedback, so please continue - the more you inflate my ego, the more time I will feel compelled to spend on the blog. ;) All in all, 2009... Read More
The most important development has been Medvedev's election to the Presidency with 70.2% of the vote. While it has not been squeaky clean (and as such, no different from any other Russian election under either Yeltsin or Putin), the more hystryonic claims of voter intimidation are to be treated with a pinch of salt -... 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.