In recent days, Russia has arrested the American spy Paul Whelan. This is widely viewed as retribution for the prosecution of Maria Butina. Perhaps the kremlins were finally cajoled into action by China's example. (Main theory making the rounds in Russiagate circles is that it is a ploy to arrange an exchange with Butina back... Read More
* Bolsonaro is now 90% likely to become Brazil Prez according to latest PredictIt numbers. * Brian Winter: Who is Mr. Bolsonaro? (h/t Polish Perspective) * Glenn Greenwald: The Stunning Rise of Brazil’s Far Right and What It Shows About Western Democracies. As in the West, it is centrist collapse that has opened up space... Read More
The Guardian on September 23: Russian passport leak after Salisbury may reveal spy methods Just a complete coincidence I am sure. We all know that modern Russian spy agencies accept only the crème de la crème of Russian society. Only the very best.
Transcript here. On a more serious note, this is a PR disaster. Even Margarita Simonyan herself visibly realizes as the interview goes on. Their tourism story reaches levels of implausibility that should not even be possible: We are just heterosexual business partners - but no, we won't go into any details; our first sightseeing tour... Read More
Government erred in claiming accused Russian spy Maria Butina offered to trade sex for political access The entire case is one big error, as I pointed out mere hours after Butina's arrest. Ironically, the Americans are prosecuting a Russian citizen who has helped spread American values in - or in the current rhetoric, exerted "foreign... Read More
So one of my commenters keeps urging me to write something about the Skripal case, even hinting at a conspiracy to keep "bad news" from Unz.com denizens. I was going to briefly mention in my weekly Open Thread, but not anything more, because I don't see this news are either important or unexpected. But given... Read More
This has apparently been getting harder (h/t Betlo): The panel also noted that it is now more difficult to recruit intelligence sources inside Russia than it was during the Soviet era. During the Soviet era, the CIA relied upon “volunteers” who would approach American intelligence officers, Bearden said, but the pool of Russians willing to... Read More
My latest for Experts Panel/Voice of Russia: The Panel states, "On future occasions, Russia might well require Washington to cooperate in similar circumstances; and if such is the case, its handling of the Snowden affair could prove decisive as to how Washington chooses to respond." Well, let's imagine this scenario. One fine day, an FSB... Read More
Mark Adomanis thinks Russia should extradite - or at least expel - Edward Snowden because... get this, it's current stance (i.e. leaving him in at Sheremetyevo Airport, an international territory) constitutes "trolling" of the US. This is, to be quite frank, a rather strange argument. Would the US extradite a Russian Snowden? To even ask... Read More
Russian blogger Anton Nossik speculates on why Ryan Fogle's attempts to recruit Russian intelligence officers seemed to be so amateurish. In Soviet times, there was the following anecdote: An American spends 15 years at spying school getting ready to infiltrate the deep Soviet rear. He studies the Black Earth dialects, memorizes local maps, the manner... Read More
Sergei Tretyakov, the Russian traitor / US patriot (whatever you prefer), died June 13, 2010, at the age of 53. The Russian "illegals" were rounded up on June 27. The two week gap is exactly the same as the amount of time President Obama is said to have known of the Russian spy ring. What... Read More
In the post with A Good Treaty's interview, the commentator peter recommended this book, ВЛАСТЬ-2010: 60 биографий (Power in 2010: 60 biographies) by Vladimir Pribylovsky, as a "useful primer on who's who in the Kremlin". I happen to agree - with many qualifications, which are discussed below - which is why I translated its introductory... Read More
For all the noise being made this month about Georgia, about NATO, about Tibet, etc, possibly the most portentous is that it seems Russia hit its oil peak (strictly speaking, its second - the first happened in 1987), well in line with peakist predictions. Production increases via application of new technology, as seen in the... Read More
In this blog, I have documented how a) corruption in Russia is similar to the average for middle-income countries and b) it has improved slightly under Putin. This is backed by data from the World Bank's Governance Indicators, Transparency International's Global Corruption Barometer and World Bank statistics on problems with corruption and bureaucracy. Nonetheless, the... Read More
Bertelsmann Stiftung has released Who Rules the World?, a very interesting survey where people from different countries are asked: what are the Great Powers today?, what makes a country a Great Power? and which countries will be Great Powers in 2020? Now the title of Great Power is something that is given to a country,... 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.