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Color Revolution

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KMIS poll on Ukrainian attitudes to Lukashenko vs. protesters from: It was carried out on 12-16 September, i.e. after the breakdown of Belorussian-Ukrainian relations following Lukashenko's about turn on extraditing the Russian mercs to Ukraine. Across the Ukraine, 31% support Lukashenko while 45% support the protesters. I would actually probably similar to figures for Belarus... Read More
As the protests become more marginal and zmagar-dominated, they are also drawing an ever increasing mass of Russian Bioleninists. Not very important in the grand scheme of things, but it's amusing to observe. *** The Encounter: The liberal hipster Yuri Dud', who was recently in Poland, also ran into some Based Polish Nationalists there: But... Read More
There have been no important developments since the last Belarus Sitrep. The protests continue to periodically simmer, but they are massively down from their peak several weeks ago. The pro-Russian orientation has become progressively clearer: Chairman of the Standing Commission on International Affairs Andrey Savinykh has openly stated that Belarus' prior "multivector" foreign policy no... Read More
Lukashenko and Putin are meeting today in Sochi to hammer whatever it is they are going to hammer out. I assume that the Kremlin denial that the talks will focus on "mergers" is an obfuscation. There were two valid approaches to Lukashenko's recent problems in Belarus: Non-interference based on sanctity of the (Soviet) state borders,... Read More
I was saying from the beginning that managing Belarus in the next few months will be a delicate balancing game for Russia, consisting as it does of the following components: Weakening Lukashenko, which is happening of its own accord, which strengthens Russian negotiating positions in pushing for reintegration. But preferably not so much that he... Read More
Lukashenko's situation has stabilized - key observation is that siloviks are still not peeling away - while the crowds remain, large and peaceful but leaderless. So we're now at a stalemate. * Overall, I am again increasingly confident (>50%) that Lukashenko will survive as President this year. The pro-regime rallies in places like Gomel have... Read More
This young woman of mixed heritage (Ethiopian father, Belorussian mother) is on the "Coordinating Council" set up by the Belarusian opposition to manage the transition from Lukashenko until new Presidential Elections. "Alana Gebremariam is an activist of the Youth Bloc" according to her bio on the official site. She was at one point arrested for... Read More
Not really sure about Lukashenko's strategy at this point. In the morning, he was telling booing factory workers that they would have to "kill him" if they wanted new elections. Which is admittedly a very Chad move, if tempting of fate. A few hours later, he was promising elections after a nationwide referendum on a... Read More
From the beginning I have stressed that the opposition protesters in Belarus - the masses of people out on the streets because they have issues with electoral fraud, economic stagnation, and/or Lukashenko having overstayed his welcome - are not anti-Russian ideologues. These "zmagars" do exist, and their influence has grown since 2014, thanks in significant... Read More
Despite Westernist hopes that the Lukashenko rally would end like Ceausescu's last one, where the unexpected booing of the masses signaled the end of the regime, there was no such reaction here. Despite claims of many of them being state workers who had been coerced into turning up, there was even some limited enthusiasm. You... Read More
In his domestic rhetoric, Lukashenko is blaming forces from Poland, Holland, Ukraine, and various liberal groups from Russia (Open Russia and Navalny were named) for using "Belorussian children as cannon fodder" to carry out a color revolution. The Belorussian elites remain consolidated for now, but there are now signs that many of them are hedging... Read More
General Strike: Ironically, this wouldn't have happened if Lukashenko had pursued neoliberal reforms. ~90% of the Belarus economy is state-owned. Prediction Market: The only prediction market I'm aware of on whether Lukashenko remains President of Belarus (as of Jan 31, 2020) is on Metaculus, it is now at 60% (down from an initial 75-80% until... Read More
Stunning age differential on Russian view of events in Belarus, according to VCIOM poll. 33% of 60+ y/o's believe Lukashenko's 80% result was fully authentic, vs. just 3% of 18-24% y/o's. General background note: The past couple of years have seen an awning divide in chronological terms. While Putin was actually marginally more popular amongst... Read More
I have said most of what I wanted to say about Belarus in two recent threads, which have since been enriched by many informative comments: The Belarus Horseshoe Why Belarus Isn't Ukraine Hopefully this constitutes a useful background what looks to a pretty dramatic turn in Belorussian politics, as voters head to the polls on... Read More
Protest meeting in Minsk on July 30. The images of massive protests coming in from Belarus on the eve of their Presidential elections on August 9, in which Alexander Lukashenko is widely expected to rubber stamp himself another term, have provoked talk of a new color revolution/Maidan. The original social contract offered by Lukashenko since... Read More
Belarus was being used as a transport hub by Wagner - in this case, to Sudan - because Russian airports are currently closed to most international foreign travel, with the Belarus leadership and KGB was appraised of it. The arrest of the 32 Wagner mercenaries and publication of their identities is a very hostile move... Read More
What happened: Russia arrested the popular LDPR governor of Khabarovsk oblast, Sergey Furgal. He won against United Russia's Salva Schport in 2018 and has been governor since, making it one of the few (nationalist) opposition-ruled regions in Russia. He is alleged to have ordered hits on local businessmen in 2004, when Russia was still rife... Read More
I am not an uncritical supporter of Venezuela. Asserting sovereignty is good, at least for Venezuelans - the following, presumably, is not: Financing the budget by printing money Asset stripping your state oil company and replacing everyone competent there with cronies. Ad hoc nationalizations of supermarkets. All of which led to hyperinflation and a GDP... Read More
Underreported in the Western media, in the past few weeks there have been massive protests in Montenegro, involving as many as 150,000 people (that is, a quarter of its population). What are they protesting about? Late last December, the Montenegrin parliament approved an EU-supported law allowing the state to seize church property in the absence... Read More
Some people on here and Twitter were sure they'd succeed. But they seem to have vanished off the radar in the past couple of days. Few news stories, no updates on /r/worldnews. What happened? In reality, as I pointed out, they were almost certain to fail. To get a color revolution going, you need a... Read More
To do a color revolution, you generally need: Significant proportion of the population going out into the streets (not just university students and office plankton). Some degree of elite defection. Trump's bombast regardless - congratulations to him on learning Farsi and becoming an Iran expert in the past 48 hours - I don't see either... Read More
The mean wage in Hong Kong not much more than $2,000 per month (a Croatian acquaintance who works there cited the same numbers half a year ago). Its surprising come to think of it, but that means that Muscovites - where salaries are $1,500 per month but multiplied by almost twice - are substantially more... Read More
So apparently the Hong Kong authorities have had the Galaxy Brain idea of unleashing their equivalent of titushki against the Hong Kong demonstrators. It is extremely bad optics. An article about the assaults is the top headline on /r/worldnews, probably the world's single biggest international politics forum. A pregnant woman had a miscarriage as a... Read More
So protesters have stormed the Georgian Parliament in Tbilisi after a protest over Russian MP Sergey Gavrilov being allowed to address an international assembly of Orthodox Christian MPs there. The local svidomy came out with placards demanding that "Russian occupiers" go home. And soon after Georgia's President Salome Zurabishvili has called Russia an "enemy and... Read More
As I have made clear, I am not any sort of fan of Maduro/Caballo's regime. When you have the empty shelves of the late Soviet Union, the inflation rate of Zimbabwe, and the murder rate of Honduras, it's safe to say that things have gone wrong somewhere. Nor am I blaming the US for it.... Read More
Source: Wikipedia. China has finally come out (functionally) in support of Maduro. With tens of billions of invested in Venezuela, it has more absolutely (if not relatively) at stake there than Russia. It is good to see China taking a more assertive stance. The EU hasn't overtly supported Guaido, but it has called for new... Read More
I suppose we will now see whether the failings of half-assed socialism and the tried and tested techniques of color revolution by way of Uncle Sam will win out over Cuban intelligence officers and a nascent social credit system by way of Uncle Chang. Idiot Sechin has trouble getting back money even now (unlike the... Read More
1. There were no more than 2,000-3,000 people protesting in Moscow about the raising of the retirement age (at most). This is the definition of "storm in a teacup." 2. Navalny bandwagoning on this issue is particularly implausible, since he is an economic neoliberal. Which, to be sure, is one of the exceeding few good... 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
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
Freedom in the World 2018 is out now: "Democracy in Crisis." This makes the deep state neocon goons who run that outfit very sad. My prediction from 2017: Last minute misgivings aside, this has indeed happened. While FH still thinks Civil Rights in the US are at 1/7 (where 1 is best and 7 is... Read More
Commenter German_reader summarizes an anonymous Iranian journalist about the protests there. Hilarious if true. And it just might be: Comment from an Iranian on Patrick Lang's blog: Evidently, the protests were initiated by political enemies of Rouhani in Mashhad. That city is referred to in Iran as a "hizbollahi city" - "Party of God City".... Read More
Epistemic status: Low. I don't know Farsi. I don't particularly follow Iran. That said, I am hardly alone in this. Bryan MacDonald: "Even I’m kinda astonished by how many American “Russian experts” have suddenly become “Iran experts” in the past 48 hours. молодцы товарищи!! #ачтивмеасурес" 1. Widely divergent reports about how many people are protesting.... Read More
Though it is Catalonia and Iraqi Kurdistan that have dominated the news these past two weeks, this month also saw a flare-up in separatist sentiment in Brazil. This region apparently has a have a fleeting historical experience of independence: They are the the whitest states:
Final results: YES: 90.1% NO: 7.9% Turnout: ~42% of those counted (2,262,424), ~56% if including the confiscated ballot boxes (~770,000) out of 5,343,358 registered voters. Assuming that the vote in "repressed" polling stations was similar, you can turnout * YES = ~51% support for independence, which tallies exactly with the last poll on the basis... Read More
The American Interest's Karina Orlova writes: (Original). His protestations of his "innocence" in the police van went unheeded. Predictably, this video evokes a gushing flood of Schadenfreude amongst anti-Putinists, while pro-Putinists experience a jittery "there but for the grace of God go I" feeling. But from a neutral perspective, how exactly does this reflect badly... 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
As one of the world's leading activists against the Putin regime, I had no choice but to show up on Tverskaya Street today, to fight for your freedom and mine. As expected, turnout wasn't particularly high. Although the area around the Pushkin Monument was crowded, it only extended to half a block in every direction.... 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
Russian human rights lawyer Matthew Tszen speculates: I still think it was organized largely after the fact by a panicking Soros, but this is an interesting theory. It would tie in well with my speculations that a great deal of fireworks - both literal and figurative - were painstakingly choreographed to go off on Hillary... Read More
I noticed a very interesting trend in recent days. Kenneth "Russians bombed the last hospital in Aleppo" Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch: Julia "people who disagree with me are cattle" Ioffe, professional Soviet refugee and Ivanka Trump's secret admirer: The New York Times: It's like they're all working from the same script: Nobody... Read More
... Well, it doesn't have quite the ring of the better known poem that, having once landed Erdogan in jail, has now ensured his survival. So people are now asking: Without Erdogan's closer ties to a religion far more passionary than Orthodox Christianity, without his allegedly superior democratic credentials, would anyone actually bother out to... Read More
Turkey has a proud and rich history of military coups. As analysts tirelessly point out, they are even sanctioned by the Constitution as a means of preserving secularism. However, those days have come to an end. The abortive coup of the past few days was in all likelihood the dying gasp of 20th century Turkey.... Read More
Three hours after this story began to break it's increasingly clear that we are seeing the biggest Happening of 2016 to date, far overshading the Nice terrorist attacks yesterday. As Lenin purportedly said, "Sometimes decades pass and nothing happens; and then sometimes weeks pass and decades happen." The initial regime response was to blame the... 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
Anatoly Karlin
About Anatoly Karlin

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.