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Ukraine

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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
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
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
Kneeling before Anglo ambassadors seems to be becoming something of a Ukrainian military tradition. Ukrainian army officer kneeling before the British ambassador to Ukraine Melinda Simmons. Traditionally, it was the recipient of a honorary sword for acts of valor who knelt. The only exceptions were when defeated parties knelt and presented their weapons to the... 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
This post sums up the coronavirus epidemic in Russia in 2020. There will subsequently be a larger post surveying the world at large and prospects for its containment before the New Year.   The observation that Russia is massive understating its COVID-19 mortality rate was first noticed by bloggers around May, when they noticed that... Read More
Your tax dollars (as an American), hard at work supporting yet another grifter NGO: Just a few factual problems: The idea of putting beetroots into soups is hardly some great accomplishment. It is a "Ukrainian" dish only to the extent that they chose to emphasize that part of East Slavic cuisine. There are approximately zero... 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
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
Kievan Rus was a historiographic term invented by 19th century historians in the Russian Empire. The people in Rus' ("na Rusi"), or the Russian lands ("Russkaya zemlya"), from Galicia to Vladimir-Suzdal called themselves "Rus." "Rossiya" is nothing more than than Greek for Rus' ("Ruthenia" in Latin). That cleared up, I really don't really understand what... Read More
The standard narrative is that the 1920s policy of korenizatsiya - the promotion of "national cultures" over the Russian one across the non-Russian republics of the USSR - was reversed in favor of Russification from the mid-1930s. However, at least so far as the book publications goes, this really seems to have been more of... Read More
Night in Novogrudok, Belarus (2017) by Pavel Gamburg. Even though we tend to take it as a given, it isn't exactly obvious why Belarus should be so much more "Russophile" than the Ukraine. The lands of White Russia were "regathered" into the Russian Empire well more than a century after Left-Bank Ukraine (the lands east... Read More
Didn't blog about it at the time, but just a bit more than a week ago, Putin formally signed Russia's new immigration law easing citizenship requirements for Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, and Kazakhstan nationals (something that I long advocated). It's not an open borders project (the kneejerk hysterics of a few anti-Putin Russian nationalists aside). It's... Read More
The action, in which LGBT activists draped their rainbow flag over the Motherland statue in Kiev, is called "Mother Understands and Supports." Ukrainians are about as homophobic as Russians, according to polls. But the cargo cult is more important. The wars in the comments - or khokhlosrach, as they are known in our parts -... Read More
Ol' Terrell J. Starr's... star... is shining bright! No doubt he deserves his six figure book deal, his struggles with elementary geography regardless. Because yes, Ukrainians now confirm, they were oppressed POC too. The face of the oppressed: Nor were Ukrainians the only othered POC in the former USSR. Why hello, fellow POC! Hello hello!... Read More
Some Ukrainian fact-checker website - these are a dime a dozen, sustained by the usual Western NGO/Atlantic Council money - has been spreading the take that Antifa is a "hierarchical" Russian organization that has been propeling the George Floyd riots. Isn't it embarrassing when your hirelings don't get the memo that Antifa are actually the... Read More
This Bogdan Vechirko story is just perfect on so many levels of "meme convergence": > Be Ukrainian nationalist from Vinnytsia. > Leave for work in a Western country, just like any Ukrainian nationalist would given the chance. > Work intermittently as truck driver in US since 2015. > Become #MAGA chud. > Launch your very... Read More
Of being breeding stock to foreigners. Except now they're doing it of their own volition. 46 babies stuck in a Kiev hotel because the foreigners can't collect thanks to Corona-chan and something like 500 in the country as a whole. So it seems to be a substantial "industry". Since they're apparently happy to abase themselves... Read More
Russia has excluded Ukrainians registered in the LDNR from foreigner status so far as coronavirus-related right of entry into Russia is concerned. The LDNR was going to be in quite a pickle due to coronavirus, having been blockaded by both the Ukraine and Russia when these countries closed their borders on March 16 and March... Read More
The stream of articles suggesting that Russia is covering up its Corona numbers has increased from a stream to a veritable flood: CBC: Russia’s coronavirus count under scrutiny as Putin government denies hiding cases Moscow Times: Russia Says It Has Very Few Coronavirus Cases. The Numbers Don’t Tell the Full Story. Reuters: Sharp increase in... Read More
Russia's still quite low, though now rapidly expanding, number of cases has predictably provoked the Western media into a slew of headlines about how the Putler regime is supposedly suppressing information on what must, by now, be a raging epidemic: Russia's coronavirus count under scrutiny as Putin government denies hiding cases Russia Says It Has... Read More
Time for this year's update, now that 2019 preliminary stats are out. I am not going to write much for this one, since there's nothing new or interesting. For the most part, updating the graphs should suffice. For extended commentary, you'd be better off reading the last one. None of the main trends have changed:... Read More
EDIT 2020/03/03: Original video deleted - here's another one. I try to avoid cheap jokes about Ukraine is like Africa. But I do sometimes wonder. This is how doctors and nurses at a Lvov hospital reacted to finding out that they wouldn't be hosting potential coronavirus infectees evacuated from China. By singing the ще не... Read More
The call to revise the Russian Constitution has given Russian nationalists in Moscow an opportunity to clarify what they stand for. At a meeting the other day, a list of preliminary suggestions were drawn up, discussed, and broadly agreed upon. Translation: Preamble: "We, citizens of Russia, united by a common historical destiny, confirming the rights... Read More
New census finds that there are 37.3M people in the Ukraine, down by almost 30% relative to their Soviet era peak of 52M. This means that at least semi-officially, the Ukraine now has a lower population than Poland for the first time in recorded history. In reality, even this is probably a significant overestimate: Official... Read More
I will be in Polska on Dec 17-30 (itinerary: three days Krakow; pass through Oswiecim, Katowice, Wroclaw; the rest in Warsaw). Will be happy to meet up with Poland based readers. szopen? Polish Perspective? I will need to get myself this powerful Jew talisman. It is ironic how I planned to do the Habsburg Reunion,... Read More
Some interesting estimates of the numbers of foreign fighters that participated in the Donbass War from 2014-2019 from a report [PDF] by the Soufan Center. (h/t Kholmogorov) The claim that 13,372 foreigners fought for the LDNR sounds like a lot, considering that the NAF numbers ~40k troops and that not more than 10% of them... Read More
All this brouhaha over Russiagate and to think that in the end it was Ukraine that did it... :) Anyhow: I am pretty sure this is a trap (for the Dems), who are initiating impeachment without even knowing what's on the damn transcript. It will be nice to see some questions on how exactly Hunter... Read More
This is yet another question that excites much heated commentary in the "Ukraine debates." There is a "school" of thought amongst the more ideological Russophiles that the Ukraine has completely emptied out. Here is an article by Andrey Fomin in which he argues that it only has 22-24 million people versus the official figure of... Read More
This is one of the main topics of discussion in the endless "Ukraine debates" on this blog, though not one that I usually participate in due to lack of qualification in this subject. That said, I recently saw a very interesting article that I believe definitively answers the question. While supporters of the Ukraine's Polish... Read More
Albeit with a minor adjustment for reality that was not to the advantage of our unfortunate patient. Dmitry Tymchuk was a svidomy activist and "information warrior" whose Facebook postings were followed by 270,000 people. He was also a friend of the obese toad Anton Gerashchenko, who set up a website hosting a hit list that... Read More
Five years since the referenda in Donetsk and Lugansk about joining the Russian Federation. By early February 2014, numerous regional administrative offices (OGAs) had been seized by Maidan forces in Far West Ukraine, with attempts at storming them elsewhere in the West and Center. Some city and regional councils made autonomy- or even independence-sounding proclamations.... Read More
Guardian: Ukraine president offers Russians citizenship in snub to Putin I take back everything bad I ever wrote about Zelensky - not when it emerges that he is my faithful reader! I strongly approve of the Ukraine giving out passports to Russians. No oppressed Russian should be denied the opportunity to participate in Ukraine's vibrant... Read More
RT is now reporting that Putin said Russia may offer fast-track citizenship to all Ukrainians at the Belt and Road summit in Beijing. He has also reacted forcefully to critics of giving Donbass residents citizenship: So what did I tell you? This as good as confirms that PUTLER reads my blog. Back in October 2018,... Read More
Putin has just signed a law on simplified citizenship for residents of the LDNR. Any person with LDNR residency documents now has the right to apply for Russian citizenship, and can expect an answer within three months. Citizenship is immediately conferred upon a positive decision. Comments: 1. Fundamentally, this is the humanitarian thing to do,... Read More
Prokudin-Gorsky. Malorossiya, c.1905-1915. In the 24 hours since the results of the second round of the Ukrainian Presidential elections became known, there has been a strange convergence of views on Ukraine's course under President-Elect Zelensky from opposite sides of the barricades. Many "svidomy" Ukrainians are in tears over their "hoodwinked" or "stupid" compatriots electing a... Read More
Zelensky [green] vs. Poroshenko [red] via @vybory_91 Raw results here. With 99.74% of votes counted as of the time of writing, Zelensky is at 73.22% to 24.46% to Poroshenko. The sole region where Poroshenko won was in Lvov oblast. Zelensky [green] vs. Poroshenko [red] abroad via @vybory_91. Raw results here. Poroshenko's best performance: Canada, where... Read More
The second round of the Ukrainian elections are this Sunday. * Zelensky is almost certainly going to win (PredictIt has had him at ~95% for weeks now). It looks like he is going to blow Poroshenko out, probably something like Zelensky 67% vs. Poroshenko 30%. * Unless plans change I'll be discussing the Ukrainian elections... Read More
Alexander Chalenko. There are many forms of Ukrainian identity. The svidomy believe that the Ukraine is a purely autochthonous entity, whose "Russian" achievements were stolen by Muscovy (Richard Sakwa, more politely, calls them "monists"). There are "pluralists" who believe that they share a common cultural and genetic ancestry with Russia and Belorussia in the medieval... Read More
I looked at this question in depth in 2016 (see "Trump Is Factually Right on Crimea"). TLDR: Yes, the did, and overwhelmingly so. I am not going to go over this again, since I'd mostly just be repeating the older post. Suffice to say that since 2016, nothing has changed. In a VCIOM poll this... Read More
It seems to be the one *major* country where the more intelligent - on average, and adjusting for the east/west gradient - vote for the "nationalist" candidate, Poroshenko. And just to be clear, he has for all intents and purposes captured the nationalist niche, however unlikely. His slogan: "Army, Language, Faith." Meanwhile, Zelensky talks of... 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.