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How Putin Created the Russian National State
For the first time in more than a century, the Russians have a state that they can call their own, a state run by and for the Russian people - the hallowed "Russian National State" (RNS) that has been the holy grail of Russian nationalism in the post-Soviet era. At first glance, this seems like... Read More
mal comments on a post from last year: Well, there’s nothing wrong with current Russian commercial space program such – they are launching OneWeb satellites now and there’s a Korean one thats supposed to go on Angara. SpaceX does have more launches but thats because they launch their own Starlink constellation and Russian Sphere is... Read More
Matt Yglesias might want a billion Americans. But there would have been 500 million Russians in the absence of the Bolshevik Revolution, as was predicted by Dmitry Mendeleev in a 1907 book. Putin, who it is now very clear reads my blog and Twitter, recently said as much himself in a meeting with schoolchildren in... Read More
Since the start of this year, the Ukraine has mounted an accelerating campaign to shut down all "pro-Russia" (apostrophes because more often than not they're not so much explicitly pro-Russian, as merely less anti-Russian and more oppositionist than the mainstream) media. Examples include: This February saw the shutdown of three TV channels (112 Ukraine, NewsOne... Read More
Politics is tribal. "Conservatism" is situational. And so you can get some "unlikely comic book crossovers" if looking at the world through country-specific ideological prisms. According to one recent poll, the most pro-vax Russians are United Russia (i.e. the most pro-Putin) voters, presumably reflecting the official state position which is and has always been pro-vaxx.... Read More
These are the results of a recent poll from Rating Group. 41% agree with Putin's position, 55% disagree. Not bad, considering there's now been a generation's worth of state svidomy narratives. But possibly the most startling result (and certainly one that I didn't expect is there there's essentially zero difference across age groups. 44% of... Read More
Chinese protectionism/censorship (they only allow 34 Hollywood movies a year) has helped incubate a domestic film industry. As Richard Hanania points out, citing a study by James McMahon, that as of now, 9 out of 10 of the highest grossing films in Chinese history are domestic, all released in the last few years. Something like... Read More
That's what I counselled people hoping for (or fearing) that a color revolution was imminent a few months ago: Look at the numbers. Well, since then, they have if anything plummeted further. 14% approval vs. 62% disapproval. Down from half a year ago. Furthermore, while young people are relatively more pro-Navalny (this is not surprising:... Read More
I wrote about Woke Capital making inroads into Russia after Netherlands HQ'ed Yandex.Taxi fired a driver who refused service to a rude Black foreign student last year. However, not all such corporate attempts to signal fealty to progressive values are paying off. Vkusvill is a nice chain of grocery stores that are somewhere in between... Read More
This translates to a homicide rate of 7.4/100,000 homicide rate using the US population of 332M as the denominator. I wrote about the history of the Russian homicide rates here. This is how the centennial comparison now looks like between Russia and the US after the latter's embrace of #BLM and community policing. US at... Read More
Yesterday the Levada Center released a new poll on vaccines that tends to confirm my contention that Russia's tawdry pace of vaccinations is not a result of supply constraints, but the banal fact that many Russians (including in older age groups) would simply rather catch Corona than get vaccinated. The first observation is that the... Read More
I didn't know about a certain "sports journalist" and emigre called Slava Malamud until the following amusing exchange with RT journalist Bryan MacDonald came up on my feed. Out of curiosity, I did a few searches on his feed. He is not completely inconsequential, having 35,000 followers. So far as the US goes, he repeats... Read More
Biden and Putin will meet in Geneva on June 16. Speculation has been rife that Biden will try to draw Russia away from its deepening relationship with China. This makes patent sense - even American strategists have long realized that China isn't just a much bigger Mexico, and in fact constitutes the one threat to... Read More
I don't have the reputation of someone who stans for Russia's record on dealing with Corona. I was writing about how Russian official statistics were massively understating Corona mortality more than a year ago, before Western journalists generally noticed it, and followed that theme up in the subsequent months. Ironically, Russia's development of one of... Read More
My attention was brought to the following map of Ukraine's IQ. I don't know the methodology behind it, but it seems to be based on what is not an uncommonly cited average (usually low to mid 90s) coupled with the results of the ZNO, which is the nationwide school-leaving exam in Ukraine. Russia's equivalent is... Read More
Now from the onset, I want to make a few things clear that I made in my last major Ukraine sitrep from 2018: Ukraine hasn't collapsed (desires of more deluded pro-Russians aside) nor has it come closer to it. While Ukraine's economy remains in the gutter, ahead only of Moldova in Europe, it is the... Read More
Cargo traffic through Russian ports has almost doubled over the past decade (only Corona, a temporary factor, prevented a full doubling), after increasing by a factor of three during the previous decade. Here is how it looks like per port/region (h/t genby): The blue section corresponds to Arctic traffic and it had a full doubling.... Read More
The rumors that Roman Protasevich was associated with the Azov Battalion, a Neo-Nazi regiment incorporated into the Ukrainian National Guard, came off as too perfect of a "pro-Kremlin" caricature for me to initially put much faith in them. But over the past couple of days it has been more or less confirmed that those initial... Read More
The US and EU governments are accusing Belarus of "state terrorism" for forcing a RyanAir flight containing Roman Protasevich, an anti-Lukashenko activist, to make an emergency landing after a bomb hoax. He participated in the Euromaidan, although other reports that he worked as a press secretary for the Azov Battalion in the subsequent Donbass War... Read More
It's a little commented fact, but one that is true nonetheless, that Russian relations with Israel are better than with almost any Western country. Open visa regime. No sanctions over Crimea, an attitude largely of mutual studied indifference as regards Ukraine and Palestine, respectively. Open to Sputnik V vaccine. Criticized Biden's comments about Putin as... Read More
I visited the Central Cathedral of the Russian Armed Forces, just slightly less than a year after its consecration. It is quite rare that reality exceeds visual media. But the Fortress-Monastery does so, in spades, and that despite its already superlative neo-Byzantine steampunk aesthetics on screen, which are like something out of a Maxim Bedulenko... Read More
Egor Ligachev, leader of the "conservative" wing of the CPSU under Gorbachev, died yesterday at the age of 100. He was a teetotaller who took good care of his health. The cause of death was bilateral pneumonia, though his son says it wasn't COVID-19. By all accounts, he was a decent and uncorrupt man, e.g.... Read More
You missed the Big Tech explosion because you didn't understand what de facto monopolies wedded to economies of scale can do. You have been deplatformed by Zuck and @jack for being a racist and a white supremacist, and you don't even have their stonks for consolation. You didn't hop aboard the Tesla train because you... Read More
US Embassy in Moscow: Trump - Muslim travel ban. Biden - Russian travel ban. Anyhow, as I keep saying, this "social distancing" from the US and the West in general is a good idea. It blunts the impact of bad Western memes and tars their promoters within Russia by association. Meanwhile, it's not as if... Read More
I have compared the current standoff in Donbass to a poker game. By amassing troops around Ukraine, Putin let it be known that a Ukrainian attack on Donbass would be - well, if not assuredly catastrophic, then at least extremely risky for its continued statehood. Ukraine could raise by going ahead with it anyway. It... Read More
The Navalny campaign is calling for nationwide protests on April 21 after the failure of their campaign to even get half a million people (quick arithmetic: 0.3% of Russia's population) to register and commit to coming out and protesting on their website. I don't see much coming out of it. I correctly said that the... Read More
I sympathize with Navalny's radical weight loss plan, I truly do. Following on from his looksmaxxing Novichok Protocol, like him or not, we have to recognize him as a man truly dedicated to self-improvement. That said, I would strongly recommend supplementation if you plan to fast for more than three days. I wrote a helpful... Read More
I would unironically endorse this, if perhaps not for Ilves Toomas' reasons. I wouldn't have several years ago when I still thought there was some chance of productive relations between Russia and the West, and thought that examining misperceptions about Russia in the Anglosphere was a legitimate and effective way of achieving that. But today,... Read More
There's not much to add now except that we are approaching the moment of maximum danger. (I noted that if it happens, it will probably happen sometime from late April to July). What I think essentially happened is that the Ukrainians wanted to do an Operation Storm on Donbass, which is why movements of military... Read More
In 2015, I attempted to quantify the military power of the world's states with an index of Comprehensive Military Power. You can read the post, including the detailed methodology, here. Since then, its conclusions - broadly speaking, that China and Russia had about a third of US military power in the mid-2010s, while the next-tier... Read More
The blockage of the Suez Canal and the 12% of world cargo trade (1 billion tons of cargo per year) that flows through it raises the profile of an obvious and much shorter alternative that global warming is making increasingly attractive. Arctic sea ice continues to retreat at a very rapid clip (currently running below... Read More
For various reasons I am upping my probability of intense fighting in the Donbass this year (probably this summer) to over 50%. The Ukrainian buildup on the border continues. Wheeling in all those guns and equipment and letting them stand idle is expensive. The Americans have sent a cargo ship which is unloading more equipment... Read More
From a speech yesterday: If you look at our map, our big map, Crimea and Sevastopol look like a small dot, but we are talking about the restoration of historical justice. We are talking about the importance of this land for our country and our people. Why? It is very simple. Our ancestors have been... Read More
New Levada poll shows Russians decreasingly willing to identify Russia as a European country: From 52% in 2008 (vs. 36%) to 29% in 2021 (vs. 64%). However, perhaps even more tellingly, this percentage goes DOWN with age. Just 23% of 18-24 y/o's identify Russia as Europe, vs. 33% of 55%+ y/o's. Could it be that... Read More
There's been reports of a Ukrainian military buildup in the Donbass for several weeks now. The Saker, amongst others, has also reported on them, quoting a Telegram blogger who is claimed to have good sources in Kiev: My main reason for skepticism that the Ukrainians have serious aggressive intentions is that the Ukraine is still... Read More
Been a while since the last Belarus update. It looks like progress towards implementing Union State provisions continues, with some accomplishments including: Mutual recognition of visas from third countries. (So getting a Russian visa will now enable you to visit Belarus as well). Moves towards removing cell phone roaming. Russia to recognize results of the... Read More
There's renewed rumors of war in the Donbass. But I don't think it's happening for a multitude of different reasons: Polls suggest that since around 2019 an outright majority of the LDNR wants direct union with Russia (<10% want independent, 12% want reintegration into Ukraine). The region is increasingly integrated into Russia de facto. The... Read More
Lychakov, N. I., Saprykin, D. L., & Vanteeva, N. (2020). Not Backward: Comparative Labour Productivity In British And Russian Manufacturing, Circa 1908 (WP BRP 199/HUM/2020). National Research University Higher School of Economics. (h/t @devarbol) This recent paper says that the Russian Empire, far from being in a general sense of "economic backwardness", was better viewed... Read More
Leaked documents have unequivocally proven that the United Kingdom has been running a large-scale and well-funded program to plaster the Western media with anti-Russian propaganda and Twitter wants you to know that these materials were obtained through hacking. Meanwhile, just a few weeks ago, the connections between American Big Tech and these sundry programs were... Read More
I have written that Moscow - not to mention the rest of Russia - remains an overwhelmingly (that is, 85%-90% Slavic) megapolis. The Myth of Moskvabad From Russia to Russabia? Not Anytime Soon I don't see the need to reiterate something that only remains an obsession for a few liberal racists masquerading as Russian nationalists,... Read More
There has been a large leak of documents from the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) showing that the UK is sponsoring and providing editorial guidance to anti-Kremlin journalists, media organizations, and YouTubers as part of a £100 million plan to "tackle Kremlin disinformation" during 2018-22. Their aim, forthrightly stated, is to "[weaken] the Russian... Read More
Western media: Angry Russians fed up with Putler's corruption pour into the streets. But now the first post-"palace" video opinion polls are coming in on Putin's approval rating and related questions: Levada: 65%→64% VCIOM: 60%→61% FOM: 61%→60% Levada is a private, opposition-leaning pollster. VCIOM and FOM are state-owned pollsters. Other polls: FOM: Did the actions... Read More
This episode reaches its unsurprising denouement: Small first protest Even smaller second protest Navalny gets jailed So, exactly as I predicted it would go. It didn't require much in the way of unique insight, but Western hacks in Russia have an obligation to spin up fantasies demanded by their editors. This creates a lot of... Read More
Second Free Navalny! protest will take place in 10 hours. The location, Lubyanka Square, is an escalation, being adjacent to both the Lubyanka Building that hosts the FSB HQ: ... and the even more critical "regime object" that is the Presidential Administration. As of the present time, a total of 1,800 people say they are... Read More
There is a lot of rhetoric floating about in the usual Reddit/Blue Check crowd that these were the largest demonstrations in Russia of the Putin. This is not really even true - the Bolotnaya/Prospekt Sakharova "meetings" against electoral fraud in Moscow drew more people, though one may argue this is an unfair comparison since they... Read More
RT journalist Bryan MacDonald collating protest turnout data - mostly from Kommersant, a paper that is marginally opposition-leaning, but by not means pro-regime. Data from Far East and now from the Volga suggests 0.2% of population is protesting in the more "agitated" cities, this tallies with my prediction this will be bigger than ~7,500 at... Read More
Plus ça change... Just like three years ago on March 26, 2017, the protest "Freedom to Navalny!" tomorrow is to start on Pushkin Square (see above) and march down the central Tverskaya Boulevard down to Manezh Square, which is right next to the Kremlin. I attended that prior protest (as an informal observer, not a... Read More
Good taste, not overly tacky (e.g. too much gold like with Trump). I'd probably build something like that as a strongman. There's nothing cardinally new about Navalny's video. The construction of a palace at Gelendzhik in Krasnodar Krai linked to friends of Putin was "leaked" to the world more than a decade by Sergey Kolesnikov,... Read More
Navalny didn't pass through Berlin Airport on his way to Moscow. Sealed train in 1917, sealed airplane in 2021. Plus ça change.
Natasha Bertrand, writing for Politico, says that conspiracy theories promoted by a "former economic policy adviser" to Putin "raise the specter of Russian attempts to sow chaos and doubt in the legitimacy of US elections." Said conspiracy theories refer to a Jan 8, 2021 blog post entitled "Burning of the Reichstag 2021" on his Russian... 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.