New monument to the Soviet soldiers who perished in the Battles of Rzhev (1942-43) during the Great Patriotic War. Putin and Lukashenko attended the opening ceremony in Rzhev yesterday. The lower half of the statue dissipates into a flock of cranes, referencing a famous song that is based on a poem by Dagestani writer Rasul... Read More
Here it is: Vladimir Putin: The Real Lessons of the 75th Anniversary of World War II It is a translation from the Russian on Rossiyskaya Gazeta. Summary from Bryan MacDonald at RT. It's TL;DR for me. But quick perusal, seems like a standard modern Russian attempt to reconcile the Soviet version of history, including battling... Read More
I have long advocated that Russian political historiography should de-emphasize combatting the Visegrad/Baltic assault on the Soviet interpretation of history ("we liberated Eastern Europe") and move towards counter-guilt tripping them. It's probably not going to happen soon, because Russian officialese is too invested in its WW2 narrative. That is because Victory is the main legitimizing... Read More
I have long been in the Krivosheev camp, but this sounds like very plausible: *** The casualty estimates of Overmans and Krivosheev are off by significant amounts. On the German side, the first estimate of military losses was produced by Gregory Frumkin of the, editor of the Yearbook of the League of Nations, unlikely to... Read More
Greg Cochran's recent post on the topic reminded me of a post I began writing but then abandoned ages ago (like in 2012). I can't find whatever I wrote (no big loss; there wasn't much) but I did come across this graph I had quickly and messily compiled back then: Population figures are taken from... Read More
Izvestia (Dec 13, 1941) honors Vlasov amongst eight other heroes of the Battle of Moscow. Anybody who has spent any amount of time questioning the standard Soviet narratives about the first half of the 20th century will invariably be called a Vlasovite at some point. So far as neo-Stalinists are concerned, the turncoat general is... Read More
Transylvanian Morning. I have been unable to follow most of the last week's comments, and probably won't catch up. But FWIW, I enjoyed the gearhead debates at Thorfinnsson's Take on Tesla, the Dmitry vs. Polish Perspective debate on who was or was not in Israel, and reiner Tor's instructions on cold showers. Now that I... Read More
The idea that the pomp and pageantry around the annual festivities commemorating Victory in the Great Patriotic War constitute a sort of foundational myth of the Russian state is a popular one. There are any number of articles on the Internet making this argument, mostly from the last few years, though come to think of... Read More
I have already written about the Russian government's blocking of Sputnik i Pogrom, Russia's foremost nationalist resource. Two politicians have taken a clear stance on this. Zhirinovsky was one. I have been weighing whether to vote for him or Putin (if only to "reward" him for Crimea) in March 2018. Well, the decision is vastly... Read More
The USSR played the leading role in the defeat of Nazi Germany, which the majority of Europeans recognized in 1945 even if half a century of Hollywood propaganda successfully displaced it in the public imagination in favor of the USA. But what about within the USSR itself? Back in January 2015, during his brief nationalist... Read More
About two thirds of the USSR's 27 million casualties were civilians - that is, almost 10% of its prewar population. Had those percentages been applied to Nazi Germany, it would lost 8 million people - an order of magnitude than the 400,000 civilians it lost due to Allied strategic bombing, and the 600,000 who died... Read More
Here's a map from the May 16, 1941 edition of the St. Petersburg Times showing the results of a Gallup poll on support for declaring war against Germany: And here is a map of percentage German ancestry from the 1890 Census: Lingering cultural ties to Germany? Ethnic genetic interests? Something related to the American... Read More
A few months ago, I wrote the following: Well, now we do have such polls, not only for the US and Britain but also for some other countries of interest like Germany and Finland, all thanks to two big recent polls by YouGov and ICM Research. Updated with an additional IFOP poll for France, and... Read More
Xi Jinping (pictured right, meeting the Patriarch Kirill) penned an op-ed in a Russian newspaper on May 6th in which, in stark contrast to the typical Western bile and hostility, he acknowledges the role of the Soviet Union in defeating Nazism and warns off against attempts to revise that outcome, be it on paper or... Read More
I do swear this is my last post on Auschwitz this year. But the followup to Putin's disinvitation is too juicy to resist writing about. Following in the Polish footsteps, Ukrainian PM Arseny Yatsenyuk has literally claimed that it was the Ukrainians, in particular soldiers from Zhytomyr and Lvov, who liberated Auschwitz. Here is a... Read More
Title got your attention? No, it's not going to be... that. Read on. While the rest of the world (or a few Europeans, anyway) is obsessed with yet another "Polish death camps" episode, this time on CNN, a somewhat more significant historical scandal brewed between Poland and Russia. Explaining away Poroshenko's status as a guest... Read More
Then you might get something like Peter Turchin's War and Peace and War, which I've finally read on the recommendations of Kolya and TG. Ranging from Ermak's subjugation of the Sibir Khanate to the rise of Rome, Turchin makes the case that the rise and fall of empires is reducible to three basic concepts: 1)... Read More
This post is about the future of military technology and war strategy in a world of informatization, resource scarcity, and renewed ideological turbulence. Be forewarned: while some of what I write here corresponds to the conventional wisdom, some is well off the beaten tracks, and some will sound like it's straight out of a sci-fi... Read More
This is my second follow-up post to The Belief Matrix, in which I attempted to advance a universal model for civilizational responses to subsistence crises (The Malthusian Loop) and the Western challenge (The Sisyphean Loop). This time I will look at Germany, a nation that was always torn between its hard-assimilated Roman / Western identity,... 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.