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Ukraine Shuts Down Independent Media
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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 and ZIK) linked to Viktor Medvedchuk, an opposition leader, in a move that was praised by the US Embassy in Kiev. He is now under house arrest under treason charges based on undisclosed evidence from the security agencies.
  • Popular anti-Maidan blogger Anatoly Shariy was charges with treason and hate speech and now has political asylum in the EU.
  • The foremost opposition website strana.ua was shut down in August (chief editor Igor Guzhva now has asylum in Austria), which is the 4th most popular news site in Ukraine. Next to zero Western attention, while a ton of ink was spilt over the Russian news site TV Rain merely having to declare its status as a “foreign agent.”
  • Most recently, Zelensky signed a decree ordering ISPs to block access to the websites of 12 Russian news organizations, including Vedomosti and Moskovskiy Komsomolets (which ironically sooner lean liberal). This extends Ukrainian restrictions beyond Russian state media organizations like RT, which were banned long ago, as well as blocks on Russian social media from 2017.
  • There are now discussions about shutting down the TV channel Nash, which is considered to be the last opposition Ukrainian channel.

This of course comes on the heels of the decree blanket banning Russian language schooling across Ukraine in September 2020.

I don’t suppose any of this is too surprising. President Biden has signaled that the US will be retreating from its imperial commitments, at least outside the West Pacific, giving the Ukrainian elites an additional impetus to accelerate the consolidation of the Ukrainian nation as an anti-Russian project.

 

 
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  1. Please keep off topic posts to the current Open Thread.

    If you are new to my work, start here.

    Commenting rules. Please note that anonymous comments are not allowed.

    • Replies: @Passer by
  2. Svevlad says:

    Oh boy, they really are going full Croatia.

    Of course, zmagarist agitation can also be expected now to increase as well.

  3. Mr. Hack says:

    Viktor Medvechuk an “opposition leader”? What’s the name of his political party, “Godchildren of Putler”? Last I remember he was “Putler’s man in Ukraine” a rapacious apparatchik Russian fifth columnist. Hopefully, he’ll soon disappear into Russia like his soulmate Yanukovych and be forgotten about. Didn’t AP once uncover his evil father’s past as a Nazi Collaborator?

    • Replies: @iffen
    , @mulga mumblebrain
  4. Tom67 says:

    It seems the same everywhere only in differing degrees. Here in Germany there is a unanamity in official media like in a one – party-state. In social media there is rampant censorship. In Russia the situation is much like in Germany. TV is firmly under control but social media is relatively free. Also Novaya Gazeta is still available everywhere. Ukraine seems to be much the worse.
    China – unbelievable. There they really control things. Apart from automatic controls (keywords) they have tens or hundreds of thousands of human controlers. (In Germany they are called fact checkers). I have no doubt that our betters in the West greedily eye the Chinese model.

    • Replies: @Rahan
    , @Beckow
    , @showmethereal
  5. Passer by says:

    The foremost opposition website strana.ua was shut down

    Funny that they recently moved into anti-Putin/anti-Russia direction and still got shut down. Lol

    https://colonelcassad.livejournal.com/7004397.html

    • Replies: @AnonfromTN
  6. GMC says:

    My 2 rubles – The Russian people with family ties to Ukraine are stuck in the Soviet times – they are our brothers and sister Slavs. That’s granted, but these Russians { my wife being one } don’t understand that this is not Soviet times and that the high level programing and propaganda that the West and Kyiv will use against the Ukies has been worked perfectly on the citizens of the USA for decades. Yes these Ukrainian folks are family but the Kiev Gov. owns the military, the POlice, the Neo Nazis, the media moguls, and the West owns the rest. Many of the the Ukrainians are being programmed against Russia and Belarus.
    It’s 2020 and we have to understand how the Western game is played. Those of us that have lived in the west , need to show Russians how the west turns even your family – against you. Don’t get me wrong , I have friends and the wifes family in Odecca, Zaporozia, Marganese etc. but I’m not allowed past the border. Prior to 2014 no problem . President Putin, I think, is betting that the rest of the Ukies will wake up someday , and I think many have already, but they have No leader to bring them back to reality. Putin is the only leader that can bring them back . But the West and bought off Zelinsky’s need to be excommunicated from Russia. This doesn’t seem to be happening.

    • Disagree: Mikhail
    • Replies: @Mikhail
  7. Rahan says:
    @Tom67

    It seems the same everywhere only in differing degrees. Here in Germany there is a unanamity in official media like in a one – party-state. In social media there is rampant censorship.

    Yup. The rate things are going the freest media environments in 2023 will be in places like Indonesia and Nigeria.

    • Replies: @Old Brown Fool
  8. Who needs Ukrainian “Neo-Nazis”, whom Kalantaryan was recently fulminating against, when small Jewish comedians can do it for you even more effectively. This is exactly what would have happened to America if Woody Allen had become President. So far Zelensky hasn’t taken to molesting young Korean girls, but give him time. ( Also, there may not be many young Korean girls in the Ukraine, so he may have to hire an Epstein-type character to smuggle them in.)

  9. Russia should increase pressure in some way.

    Of course the dismantling and destruction of the Ukrainian nation must be one of it’s primary geopolitical goals. There can be no hesitation when it comes with an entity with this level of inherent hostility and parasitic nature (to say nothing it’s support of every globo-homo movement currently in existence).

    Thankfully since 2014 the Ukie elites as well as their US and EU masters have failed to deliver on most of their promises, this ought to make the job for Russia easier.

    Hopefully Russia will forever learn the lesson that retreats on this frontier will never be rewarded, an Operation Storm-like attack on Donbass cannot be permitted and that earlier game of chicken seems to have proven that Moscow won’t allow it.

    • Agree: GMC
  10. Ukie regime is authoritarian. Water is wet. What else is new?

  11. @Passer by

    Funny that they recently moved into anti-Putin/anti-Russia direction and still got shut down.

    Nobody respects traitors. Including those who use their services.

    • Agree: Aedib
  12. Aedib says:

    This outcome was the main objective of the Maidan experiment from the start. The Bandera project always was totalitarian in its conception. Current-borders Ukraine has entered into an oppressive stage with people living into an Orwellian atmosphere somewhere in the middle between the relatively mild Franco´s Spain and the nightmare of PolPot’s Cambodia. This in turn provides another argument to the Donbass people: the uprising was the right choice and they can live now more free than under Banderist yoke.
    Ironically this scenario can be favorable for Russia, because encourage the emigration to the Big Brother of Ukrainians and help to alleviate its demographics problems by “sucking” population from the south and the east. It would allow also forming a Diaspora of free thinking Ukrainians along the lines of the Galician Diaspora in Canada to keep some sort of pressure tool in the long term.

  13. Beckow says:
    @Tom67

    In the hundred years after the invention of the Gutenberg’s printing press censorship was formally introduced everywhere in Europe – Pope and the local potentates started to track what was published and ban or punish offending speech. They claimed it was heretic, offensive and untrue – people had to be protected. The controls lasted for hundreds of years, time moved slower. Previous to that, when books were produced manually by copying them in monasteries nobody much cared, occasionally the offended would kill someone, but systematic censorship was unnecessary.

    There was a time when the press in the West had a free and rambunctious period and society got dramatically better. Towards the end of the free press period it was politically useful to put up with the free press as a cudgel to use against more morose institutional press in the commie-socialist east. After 1990 there was no longer the need to showpiece free press; it was quickly consolidated and centralised. The Western free press effectively died other than for the few aspirational mid-wits who like to be validated.

    Internet started out in the same free mode, it was sold as the freest media possible. Then the problems started: the media monopolies were gone and others started to get in on it. Even – God forbid – media from the Western enemies who were successfully blocked during the heyday of free press in the West after WWII. And worse, the evil populists had access too. So the same pattern that happened post-Gutenberg repeated: fact checkers, blocked websites, managed news streams…the pope would be proud of it. It happened much faster, but the mentality is the same. Anyone who thinks that the elites will reopen the web hasn’t been paying attention to how it has always worked.

  14. kzn says:

    Only “Ukrainian” gold medal for “Ukraine” at the Olympics won by an African…… who shouldn’t have even been allowed to go because, even though I know rada is a freakshow at the best of times – WTF is the point in him being elected MP in their Parliament if he is a competitive wrestler competing internationally? LOL

    “Ukrainians” representing Russia defeat all of Ukraine in the Toyko Olympics medal table

    BTW did anybody notice which nobody the US sent to represent them at Banderastan’s 30th anniversary? I looked around but can’t find him. The US Minister of Transport was supposed to be attending ( not a sign of respect).. but had to cancel because of private business with HIS boyfriend/husband (no, seriously). Normally not too important who attends, but Ukronazis are obsessed with status so this has to be viewed as an insult.

    Biggest news is the British film director (though he sounds American) Terry Gilliam receiving a lifetime achievement award at the Odessa International Film Festival……..on stage he thanks Russia! Great man, exposing just how fake the Ukraine scam is

    • Replies: @AnonfromTN
    , @Mikhail
  15. @kzn

    Ukronazis are obsessed with status

    In the same vein: Ukie clown’s meeting with Biden has been first postponed to August 31. Now it was postponed again to September 1st. This clearly shows the US views on the place in the pecking order of a “country” that elects a clown “President”.

  16. iffen says:
    @Mr. Hack

    Do you pay A. K. to feed you these posts?

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  17. Mr. Hack says:
    @iffen

    No I don’t, but I have thought about sending him a bill once in a while for all of the high quality comments that I leave at his blog. 🙂

    • LOL: iffen
  18. Mr. Hack says:

    A “toxic and evil Kremlin Stooge working for Putin for many, many years”

    “What’s treason in Ukraine today? the case against Victor Medvechuk.” The Naked Pravda:


    Zelensky has shown more balls than any of his predecessors by going up against this criminal oligarch in Ukraine. If he succeeds in bringing him down completely, his popularity in Ukraine will grow exponentially. He’s not clowning around any more!

    • LOL: Mikhail
    • Replies: @AnonfromTN
    , @Seraphim
  19. @Mr. Hack

    by going up against this criminal oligarch in Ukraine

    Can you name a non-criminal oligarch in Ukraine? I can’t think of a single one.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  20. Mersaux says:

    Zelensky is much more based than I’ve thought. He first striked me as a run of the mill neoliberal but he seems to be a real nationalist.

    • Replies: @mulga mumblebrain
  21. Seraphim says:
    @Mr. Hack

    Hey yes, we all know how Zelenski played the piano!

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  22. Mr. Hack says:
    @AnonfromTN

    They’re very similar to their peers in Russia, wouldn’t you say? 🙂

    • Replies: @kzn
    , @AnonfromTN
  23. Mr. Hack says:
    @Seraphim

    I didn’t know till now, not being a huge fan of his. Too bad you weren’t there, you could have played the piano along side him? 🙂

    • Replies: @Seraphim
  24. kzn says:
    @Mr. Hack

    Officially you know nothing about either country, stupid idiot. Russia does alot against oligarchs over 17 years you cretin…… Ukraine does f**k all for 30 years, even now only going against a very small number of them ONLY if they are interfering with an American objective.

    It’s why the old joke of the only Ukrainian official going to jail for corruption since euromaidan is…….. Paul Manafort. Only in 404 does “going after oligarchic control” actually increase it.

    Russia fined one of the main oligarchs about 2 billion dollars a few months before, quite rightly because of environmental disaster – a fairly important step in post-Soviet space – such a thing impossible in Banderastan.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  25. @Mr. Hack

    They’re very similar to their peers in Russia, wouldn’t you say?

    Absolutely. What’s more, they are just as criminal as their peers in the US, any Western European country, Japan, Australia, etc.

    • Agree: Mr. Hack
    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  26. Seraphim says:
    @Mr. Hack

    For sure I would have not been able to compete. It is assumed that circumcision enhance the erectile function. I guess that his co-player was Kolomoisky (typical kind of ‘humor’ – birds of a feather…). Besides, I was much older than him even then.

    • LOL: Mr. Hack
  27. Mr. Hack says:
    @AnonfromTN

    So why the big crocodile tears over Medvechuk?

  28. Mr. Hack says:
    @kzn

    Calm down Liberace. I can see that you’ve grown attached to your own Russian oligarchs which is Okay. Take your meds now and calm down.

  29. It is somehow true, yet remarkably unlikely that the Ukraine government is Jewish and its soldiers are Neo-Nazis.

    I am being serious.

    The censorship just confirms they are ruled by Jews. It is a common theme with those people.

  30. @Mr. Hack

    So why the big crocodile tears over Medvechuk?

    Did I ever shed any tears for Medvedchuk? He certainly belongs in jail for thievery, like Ahmetov, Pinchuk, Yanukovich, and many others.

    However, some oligarchs, such as Kolomoisky and Poroshenko, by rights should be hanged for murder, as murder is a graver crime than thievery. Some non-oligarchs equally deserve to be hanged for murder, including current clown.

    • Agree: GMC
  31. @Stoic_seeker

    It is somehow true, yet remarkably unlikely that the Ukraine government is Jewish and its soldiers are Neo-Nazis.

    What’s so paradoxical about it? The essence of Nazi ideology is “my tribe is better than yours”. Israeli leaders since its creation were all Jews, and Israeli actions since creation were 100% Nazi.

  32. @Mr. Hack

    Someone turned over a rock, in a sewer, and out scuttled a Ukronazi.

  33. @Stoic_seeker

    Yes, and opposition is ‘antisemitic’. The totalitarian xenophobia of the Judaic cult eventually manifests in suppression of all non-groveling goyim, if only to ‘prevent another Holocaust’. Which, of course, makes the next pogrom or expulsion, or worse, that much more probable. They seem utterly incapable of shaking the habit.

  34. @Mersaux

    A real fascist, translating from the gibberish. He does what his owner, Kolomoisky, dictates.

    • Replies: @Mersaux
  35. Mikhail says: • Website
    @GMC

    My 2 rubles – The Russian people with family ties to Ukraine are stuck in the Soviet times – they are our brothers and sister Slavs. That’s granted, but these Russians { my wife being one } don’t understand that this is not Soviet times and that the high level programing and propaganda that the West and Kyiv will use against the Ukies has been worked perfectly on the citizens of the USA for decades. Yes these Ukrainian folks are family but the Kiev Gov. owns the military, the POlice, the Neo Nazis, the media moguls, and the West owns the rest. Many of the the Ukrainians are being programmed against Russia and Belarus.
    It’s 2020 and we have to understand how the Western game is played. Those of us that have lived in the west , need to show Russians how the west turns even your family – against you. Don’t get me wrong , I have friends and the wifes family in Odecca, Zaporozia, Marganese etc. but I’m not allowed past the border. Prior to 2014 no problem . President Putin, I think, is betting that the rest of the Ukies will wake up someday , and I think many have already, but they have No leader to bring them back to reality. Putin is the only leader that can bring them back . But the West and bought off Zelinsky’s need to be excommunicated from Russia. This doesn’t seem to be happening.

    Russo-Ukrainian relationship goes back for a period much longer than the Soviet era. An alternative:

    https://www.eurasiareview.com/22052011-pavlo-skoropadsky-and-the-course-of-russian-ukrainian-relations-analysis/

    Zelensky won a a platform less nationalistic than Poroshenko – the latter getting the svido vote.

    What’s at play with (among other things) Zelensky’s change:

    https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2021/07/18/getting-putin-intentions-wrong-again-on-russia-ukraine/

    As Yogi said, it aint over til it’s over.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    , @GMC
    , @Mr. Hack
  36. @Rahan

    Soon Russia may have a freer media than the West.

    • Replies: @Rahan
    , @AnonFromTN
  37. Mikhail says: • Website

    Another Shortsighted RFE/RL Ukraine Article

    https://www.rferl.org/a/biden-zelenskiy-ukraine-meeting/31433599.html

    Excerpt –

    Shortly after Joe Biden won the U.S. presidential election last November, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy expressed optimism the incoming occupant of the White House would be a better fit for his country than his predecessor.

    Zelensky ran as president on a campaign platform, suggesting Ukraine have better relations with Russia, thereby explaining why Ukrainian nationalists preferred Poroshenko over him.

    Excerpt –

    Afterall, Biden oversaw Ukraine policy while serving as vice president from 2009-17, visited the country six times during that period, and knew firsthand its struggles against Russian aggression and domestic corruption.

    If true and fully comprehended, he knows the latter to be something that has been downplayed, with the former being quite exaggerated.

    Excerpt –

    That background contrasted sharply with outgoing President Donald Trump, who had expressed reservations about Ukraine during his turbulent four-year term. Trump accused Kyiv of interfering in the 2016 election on behalf of his opponent, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and pressured Zelenskiy in 2019 to dig up dirt on Biden’s work in Kyiv, triggering an impeachment trial that all but brought bilateral relations to a standstill for the rest of Trump’s term.

    Truth be told, the evidence of Kiev regime meddling against Trump is greater than the faulty claims of Russian government interference in support of him. In its overview of Trump, Biden and Ukraine, the above linked RFE/RL article makes no mention of Biden’s quid pro quo to the Kiev regime, on a matter concerning the Ukrainian company, which was paying his son a hefty amount.

    https://thehill.com/opinion/campaign/463307-solomon-these-once-secret-memos-cast-doubt-on-joe-bidens-ukraine-story

    Excerpt –

    Meanwhile, Ukraine has been frustrated by a perceived lack of military support from the United States in the face of an existential threat from Russia, as well as by the Biden administration’s decision to waive sanctions on a Kremlin-backed natural gas pipeline that could deprive Kyiv of \$2 billion a year in gas-transit revenues starting in 2025.

    The so-called “existential threat from Russia” is an anti-Russian talking point, which misrepresents reality.

    https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2021/07/18/getting-putin-intentions-wrong-again-on-russia-ukraine/

    https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2021/05/22/bbc-limits-and-related-censorship-on-russia-coverage/

    https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2021/04/14/cnn-blatant-disinformation-about-russia-ukraine-activity/

    Excerpt –

    Biden doesn’t want Ukraine to be on the front burner,” said William Pomeranz, deputy director of the Kennan Institute in Washington. “He has a lot on his plate, and I don’t think he wants to be entangled in another foreign policy situation.”

    Pomeranz said it appears Biden wants “to be a domestic president.”

    Events concerning Syria, Ukraine and Afghanistan, reveal that the neocon/neolib leaning foreign policy slants have to a good extent failed, with the US facing growing domestic concerns.

    Excerpt –

    Russian Aggression

    The Biden administration expressed support for Ukraine when Russia amassed more than 100,000 troops on its border and in the annexed Ukrainian region of Crimea in March and April in what Washington called an attempt to intimidate Kyiv.

    However, it dropped plans to send two U.S. destroyers to the Black Sea in April amid fears that doing so could escalate already high tensions in the region.

    Russia seized Crimea and began backing fighters in parts of two eastern provinces in Ukraine after months-long protests in Kyiv caused Kremlin-leaning President Viktor Yanukovych to flee in February 2014.

    Analysts say Putin is seeking to destabilize the country because he fears a successful, democratic, and Western-oriented Ukraine.

    The seven-year war in parts of eastern Ukraine has taken the lives of more than 13,200 people and — along with the annexation of Crimea — devastated the nation’s economy.

    Ukraine has expressed a desire to join NATO to protect itself against further Russian aggression, a move the Kremlin recently called a “red line.”

    Biden in June said Ukraine is not ready for NATO, pointing to the high level of corruption, but he did not offer any guidance on how the country’s progress would be measured, leaving Kyiv frustrated.

    Pomeranz said the United States “just doesn’t want to take the geostrategic responsibility for defending Ukraine” against Russian aggression.

    Analysts say the Biden administration wants to stabilize relations with Russia in order to focus on China, which it perceives to be the bigger threat to the United States and the liberal world order. That would mean tiptoeing around the issue of Ukraine.

    Faulty pro-Kiev regime talking points that are quite easy to refute.

    https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2021/07/18/getting-putin-intentions-wrong-again-on-russia-ukraine/

    Regarding Crimea, Andreas Umland posted the below, without offering any rebuttal. Umland isn’t shy when expressing disagreement. It’s accurate to say that his overall takes don’t jive with mine:

    https://www.academia.edu/37358188/Michael_Averko_Consistency_and_Reality_Lacking_on_Crimea

  38. Mikhail says: • Website
    @kzn

    For openly congratulating Jesse Owens, Lutz Long didn’t get anywhere near the flack as Yaroslava Mahuchikh, for doing likewise with Mariya Lasitskene:

    https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2021/08/10/olympic-afterthoughts/

  39. Mr. Hack says:
    @Mikhail

    As Yogi said, it aint over till it’s over.

    When are you going to get it through your thick head that Skoropadsky and his program for Ukraine is way over? Nobody in Ukraine, much less the whole world, thinks of him as some sort of a magic talisman to help Ukraine out. You’re like a broken record Mickey, time to move into the end of the first quarter of the 21st century. Did you know that after the war, Skoropadky became chummy with some of OUN’s leadership and according to his daughter:

    As World War Two was drawing to a close, Skoropadsky helped release from prisons such OUN figures as Bandera, Melnyk, Stetsko, and others.

    https://day.kyiv.ua/en/article/society/olena-ott-skoropadska-father-believed-independence-was-only-way-out-ukraine

    • Replies: @Mikhail
  40. I can understand this from a HK perspective since Svidomy is admired among the broad pro-American crowd here:

    Basically, what the discourse “influencers” are thinking is, no matter how divergent or irrelevant the ideology in any media is from the state’s actual propaganda viewpoints, as far as it is produced by anyone living under your foe’s rule, it is no different from the temptations from your foe and hence forbidden. Their citizens “don’t have free thought” and so their creations can never be independent. They are out fighting a war waged thru (pop) culture where any inroad of China/Russia’s softpower represents tactical victories on the road to total societal control by ChiCom/Putler, and they must be cancelled at the very first sprouting of the cultural seeds, before they can take root. For this to happen, the first impression of Chinese cultural exports has to be changed from mere imitation (as recent as Azur Lane) to agents of cultural invasion, which is already strong in HK & Taiwan and starting to be felt in Japan & Singapore.

    Or in short, you can just apply how Christian cultural conservatives see the intrusion of Islamic culture into the formerly Christian civilizational sphere, but replace it with “culture that is nearly identical to yours except you have been pozzed up and they have ‘hostile’ authoritarian ideologies”.

  41. JL says:

    Ah, nothing brings out the quality comments like a Ukraine post. Not even 50 comments in and we’re treated to the customary Hack/Mikhail khokholsrach.

    I don’t suppose any of this is too surprising. President Biden has signaled that the US will be retreating from its imperial commitments, at least outside the West Pacific, giving the Ukrainian elites an additional impetus to accelerate the consolidation of the Ukrainian nation as an anti-Russian project.

    I don’t understand this conclusion, if the US is withdrawing from its colonial commitments, wouldn’t this be a signal to its colonies that their projects will receive less support? Shouldn’t the impetus be to lighten up on the anti-Russian nature of the project? I would interpret Ukrainian actions as more of desperation or simply not getting the memo.

    • Replies: @AP
  42. GMC says:
    @Mikhail

    As a foreigner to Russia , this is what I see and of course it is difficult to explain but this is 2021, not 1867, and in order to survive , Russians needs to be very aware of the snakes that are at their borders and some could slip in and cause serious damage. I agree with what you are saying , my point is that the one world order will do anything to sabotage Russians and their country, Ukraine Georgia, Poland etc. are all good examples. Spacbo Mikhail.

    • Replies: @Mikhail
  43. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Mr. Hack

    When are you going to get it through your thick head that Skoropadsky and his program for Ukraine is way over? Nobody in Ukraine, much less the whole world, thinks of him as some sort of a magic talisman to help Ukraine out. You’re like a broken record Mickey, time to move into the end of the first quarter of the 21st century. Did you know that after the war, Skoropadky became chummy with some of OUN’s leadership and according to his daughter

    Doesn’t say much on the motivation. Some of their friends and relatives might’ve pestered him.

    The purpose of my referencing him and his proposed All Russian Federation is to show that there was a non-Communist proposal for a post-WW I Russo-Ukrainian togetherness.

    The pro Russo-Ukrainian togetherness slant isn’t necessarily sovok. It goes back for a period longer than the Soviet era.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  44. Mikhail says: • Website
    @GMC

    As a foreigner to Russia , this is what I see and of course it is difficult to explain but this is 2021, not 1867, and in order to survive , Russians needs to be very aware of the snakes that are at their borders and some could slip in and cause serious damage. I agree with what you are saying , my point is that the one world order will do anything to sabotage Russians and their country, Ukraine Georgia, Poland etc. are all good examples. Spacbo Mikhail.

    https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2021/08/10/olympic-afterthoughts/

    I am a patriot of my country. I don’t like a lot of things inside the country. But in which country is everything good? It’s especially bad that Russia does not know how to professionally deal with the misinformation of foreign media. Russia must learn to defend and attack in the media. Your help is huge. Thanks. I hope that many will change their negative perception of Russia.

    • Thanks: GMC
  45. AP says:
    @JL

    It is understood that the US is useless so they are tying up loose ends

  46. Below is a translation of the “Reciprocal Tomos” presented by the Ukrainian Orthodox Church to Patriarch Bartholomew. Perhaps off topic, but then again, it’s the kind of thing that is less likely to be reported by government agreeable Ukrainian media:

    http://www.monomakhos.com/the-reciprocal-tomas/

    • Replies: @AP
  47. AP says:

    The article is based on some wishful thinking that posits that the main opposition in Ukraine is the pro-Russian opposition. In reality, Zelensky’s most important opponent in Poroshenko. The pro-Russians have a ceiling of support around 30% and these are acts of populism made to take support from Poroshenko, not attempts to prevent the pro-Russians from getting power. Without Crimea and Donbas they have no chance of doing that.

    It’s like how the West pretends and hopes that the main opposition to Putin are pro-Westerners when in reality it is either nationalists or communists. And if Putin decided to head off an increase in support for nationalists or communists by cracking down on pro-Western oligarchs and their media empires. In the Ukrainian context someone like Medvedchuk is more like Gusinsky of the Russian 90s rather than a legitimate threat or alternative.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    , @Levtraro
  48. AP says:
    @The Big Red Scary

    A document, if real, written by marginals and not representative of the OCU faithful.

    • Replies: @The Big Red Scary
  49. Rahan says:
    @Old Brown Fool

    The comment sections even on state media Russian websites are much freer than in the West, that’s for certain.

    However, there’s a convergence happening, with the Great Rest covid thing, so it rather looks like both Russia and the West are on the verge of having identical political systems and media environment. Identical structurally, not in the explicit ideology sense.

    If globohomo manages to swing it, the opposition in the US, UK, Germany, France, Sweden, and the rest will be a “hand-fed” opposition like in Russia, with a few loud-mouths saying it how it is, but the rest simply playing the role of a mild corrective to the central course. With the central course being personified in Russia by United Russia, in the US by the Dems and the Neocons, in France by anyone who isn’t Le Pen, and so on.

    • Replies: @showmethereal
  50. @AP

    When I was a grad student, I had friendly relations with Greek Orthodox, and sometimes attended their services. The Greek yayas at first were intensely interested me, until they found out that I was already married.

    As I’ve mentioned before, my godfather was born in Ukraine to Ukrainian nationalists, though he later became Americanized when the family moved to the US. While he was Orthodox first and Ukrainian second, Ukrainian language and food remained very important to him.

    All of this is to say that I don’t bear any bias against churches under Constantinople or against Ukrainians.

    However, it has become increasingly and sadly clear that Constantinople is the source of much discord and degeneracy in Orthodoxy. Just look at Archbishop Elpidophoros visiting shrines to Athena, celebrating liturgy in openly pro-homosexual Episcopalian churches, and implicity rejecting Christ as the Way, the Truth, and the Life:

    https://ocl.org/for-whom-does-ab-elpidophoros-speak/

    Constantinople still has a lot of catching up to do relative to Rome, but a reunion between the two would close that gap.

    Schismatic groups in Ukraine joining Constantinople will do themselves no good, and has been objectively damaging to wider Orthodox unity, causing divisions within the Churches of Greece and of Cyprus, and on Mount Athos itself, not to mention the break down of communion between churches under Moscow and Constantinople.

    • Agree: Mikhail
    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    , @AP
  51. Passer by says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    OT

    Vkusvill 2 scandal: Company forced to apologise for ad with slavic women feeding a black guy.

    https://www.russiapost.su/archives/260699

  52. Mr. Hack says:
    @Mikhail

    A “pro-Russian togetherness” program was on the table even with the UNR at first, but by the fourth Universal had been totally eliminated. Most Ukrainians and their various political leaders had by then felt that Ukraine would be better off pursuing its own goals as a totally full fledged independent country. There’s no indication that these feeling of independence held by a vast majority of Ukrainians has changed any in the 21st century. Even the old Hetman’s version of “togetherness” with Russia was slanted towards Ukraine’s independence and only hinted at a very loose confederation. If you had read the article that I had previously cited, the interview with his daughter, you’d realize this:

    In that difficult period, many politicians favored, one way or another, the idea of a Russian-Ukrainian federation. Even the Central Rada included a clause on a federative link with the former Russian state’s republics into its 4th Universal. Father viewed a federation as a union of separate states with totally autonomous structures, equal rights, etc.

    Because Skoropadsky’s document favoring this loose union with Russia was written at the very end of his 7.5 month reign, its looked at somewhat cynically by historians as a last ditch effort to help keep him at the reigns of power. I’ve always maintained that Pavlo Skoropadsky was the chameleon man, all things to all people. I wont try to denigrate his motivations, because I think that he did indeed care for Ukraine, but like most politicians he was filled with a bit too much of megalomania.
    .

    • Replies: @Mikhail
  53. Mr. Hack says:
    @The Big Red Scary

    Just look at Archbishop Elpidophoros visiting shrines to Athena, celebrating liturgy in openly pro-homosexual Episcopalian churches, and implicity rejecting Christ as the Way, the Truth, and the Life:

    You seem to be conflating several different things that just don’t add up. Archbishop Elpidophoros is a member of the Greek Orthodox (or American Orthodox) church, not of the Orthodox Church in Ukraine, that has absolutely no influence over this man and his ideas. As far as “schizmatic groups in Ukraine” joining Constantinople or becoming a part of the new “canonical” Ukrainian church, I think that these are matters for the various churches to decide for themselves.

    • Disagree: Mikhail
    • Replies: @The Big Red Scary
  54. @Old Brown Fool

    Soon Russia may have a freer media than the West.

    It already has much freer media that the West. However, considering the “freedom” of Western MSM today, it’s not such a great accomplishment. Still, in Russian media, including TV, you can hear all sorts of opinions. In sharp contrast to the West, where due to heavy censorship the “opinions” are as unanimous as in Hitler’s Germany and Stalin’s USSR in the 1930s. Big brother is watching you, making sure that your “opinions” don’t stray from the party line.

    • Replies: @Francis Miville
    , @Levtraro
  55. @AP

    In the Ukrainian context someone like Medvedchuk is more like Gusinsky of the Russian 90s rather than a legitimate threat or alternative.

    Not exactly. Gusinsky was smart enough to escape with much of his loot to Israel and shut up. In contrast to another Jewish grand thief of the 1990s Beresovsky, whose continuing loud BS resulted in him being hanged by the MI6 in the UK.

    If Medvedchuk were as smart as Yatsenyuk, he would have escaped Ukraine long ago with his loot. However, he is either dumb, or greedy to the point of stupidity, like Kolomoisky.

  56. @Beckow

    No, no, no. Internet didn’t start as a refuge for free speakers but with trolls first and foremost. For instance antisemitic sites such as Jew Watch were all false flag opposition and anyway religious sectarian, off-mainstream media have always been allowed to wallow into it by the deep state provided it is as stupid and religious as possible. The aim of the enterprise what right from the start world mass surveillance of the whole spectrum of opinions, and from day one heavy duty censorship was practiced mostly against the traditional pro-worker left by dereferencing from all navigators and by trolling, mostly religious. Internet inherited mostly, at the beginning, the clientele that used to throng the New Age esoteric bookstores and boutiques, together with the literature sold there which mostly consists of alternate rightist ideas of the kind that always bar you from universities. Internet under Clinton and Bush was used mostly to spot anti-American anarchists and non-cultural marxists so as to destroy them in the real world (banking…) not on-line, as well as to detect anti-American competition as regards the economy proper, as it encouraged everybody to expose themselves. Internet proved to be an unmitigated catastrophe for all the popular movements of India and well as for all non-corporate versions of Hinduism and Buddhism. All good sites could be easily destroyed by swarming them with trolls while bad ones are teflon. It contributed to engulf Hinduism into New Age, Islam into Salafism, and all Left into Trotskysm. There was no golden age of Internet : wherever it spread popular resistance was replaced with fatalism all the more. France lost its freedom of press (on paper) right at the moment when internet came, for one simple reason : a free lance journalist had to compete with too much free labour offered by Internet to make a living while before resistant people took up the physical task of mounting new press from scratch for the use of their own group at any time the big papers all acted like so many Pravdas. Internet gives the corporate world a panopticon and once they spot you as a real danger the means they take to destroy you are outside Internet, it is not Youtube censorship. Denouncing the Jews for being Jewish rather than for what they do without consideration for their identity is what the corporate world wants, is what Zionism asks for : the nearly all Jewish organized New Age movement already did that.

    The invention of print was not an unmitigated blessing. It was actually the invention that ended up terminating the Italian Renaissance as the latter was based upon the art of free lively debate revived from ancient Athenian times while printed books were exclusively a tool for religious indoctrinators and censors. As you say it took centuries for peoples to imagine that the press could also serve their cause if they proceeded to proper revolutions and political demands : novels that took up the cause of common people became an important genre only during the Romantic Era. Like in our times the greater weight of censorship was exerted through the established private publishing houses and interests themselves, not by governments (who were then relatively more balanced) and up to the end of the 18th century they were busy condemning all ideas stemming from the common people and in particular from inherited European tradition as wrong for that very reason alone. Constantinople was not interested in having an Arabic printed press up to 1800 : Western journalists and historians all too rapidly incriminated Ottoman obscurantism and fear for mass literacy. Actually a constant in the history of Ottoman Constantinople was the far greater percentage of literate people than in any big European city and also the Sultans’ concern that as much people as possible be literate in Islamic matters as the best form of social control he could exert to avoid riotous conduct from urban masses : people who indulged in Islamic calligraphy were safest from heresy. They were maybe control-freaks, but they were not obscurantist. They did not prohibit the use of the printing press as there were many Greeks, Italians and Jews living in that city that were fully licensed to use it for their own literature : there was no printing press in Arabic or Arabic-written languages because a Qur’an was supposed to be a work of art so as also a love poem : it had to be carefully manuscripted to be worth the price and there was a glut of all the best calligraphers. There was no very precise prohibition of the invention but only opinions emitted by muftis that Islamic scripture in printed form as Venice already produced was just ugly and even more expensive and would lead to spiritual standardization of opinion.

  57. @AnonFromTN

    That is not a good point of comparison : literature and cinema were far more diverse and less aligned onto one general line in the Third Reich than in America from 1930 to 1950. All book and film industry in the US had to comply with one line and also had to help the American empire in its battles. Visitors from Europe to America were frightened by the enforced uniformity of opinion. The Third Reich only demanded that its country and regime be safe from attack. But you could write anything that did not involve it. In America humanistic culture that didn’t serve propaganda for private or public interests was judged immoral by the prevailing Calvinistic ethic, and you had to make good money from corporate sources otherwise you were as good as a hobo.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  58. Levtraro says:
    @Beckow

    After 1990 there was no longer the need to showpiece free press; it was quickly consolidated and centralised.

    Agree. It should be noted though that the West did not entirely adopt the Soviet model of centralization for its “communication and information” needs. Rather, the West kept the press in private hands. It has in fact outsourced “communication and information” to private branches while controlling the editorial lines resulting in nearly complete uniformity while keeping the appearance of the press having an independent power.

    Another factor to take into account is that out-of-line editorial lines in the Western press have died out due to the collapse of the Soviet Union, and thus large numbers of readership started to not care anymore, turned to other topics (environment, sexual deviance, blacks and brows), easily gobbled up by mainstream outlets.

  59. @Francis Miville

    You may be right. In fact, in the USSR the movies made in 1930s were also a lot less straightjacketed than the newspapers (which I had in mind).

  60. Levtraro says:
    @AP

    The pro-Russians have a ceiling of support around 30% …

    30% is very high support. With that kind of support countries like Italy, Spain, or Belgium form governments, but they have a parliamentary system, not a presidential one. Still, with 10% in the other camp getting disillusioned and 10% more finding more to gain with the pro-Russian 30%, you will have a new pro-Russian govt elected, which will then rejoin with the Donbass. Sounds like Russia just needs to wait.

    • Replies: @Aedib
    , @AP
  61. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Mr. Hack

    A “pro-Russian togetherness” program was on the table even with the UNR at first, but by the fourth Universal had been totally eliminated. Most Ukrainians and their various political leaders had by then felt that Ukraine would be better off pursuing its own goals as a totally full fledged independent country. There’s no indication that these feeling of independence held by a vast majority of Ukrainians has changed any in the 21st century. Even the old Hetman’s version of “togetherness” with Russia was slanted towards Ukraine’s independence and only hinted at a very loose confederation. If you had read the article that I had previously cited, the interview with his daughter, you’d realize this:

    No polls substantially verifying such. His daughter isn’t him. She’s saying this with the understanding of what the interviewer prefers.

    Because Skoropadsky’s document favoring this loose union with Russia was written at the very end of his 7.5 month reign, its looked at somewhat cynically by historians as a last ditch effort to help keep him at the reigns of power. I’ve always maintained that Pavlo Skoropadsky was the chameleon man, all things to all people. I wont try to denigrate his motivations, because I think that he did indeed care for Ukraine, but like most politicians he was filled with a bit too much of megalomania.

    Much unlike how Zelensky carries on. I recall the late Mark von Hagen saying that Skoro remained suspect of Poles and the Greek Catholics, while liking non-Communist Russia. The entity he favored was a stated “All Russian Federation” with autonomy – something that post-Soviet Ukraine would’ve benefited from. That belief includes Ukraine itself having regional autonomy.

    • LOL: Mr. Hack
    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    , @Mr. Hack
    , @Mr. Hack
  62. Levtraro says:
    @AnonFromTN

    Also, Russian news in Russia are more interesting, with lots more nuance, data references, and viewpoints. Here in the EU on any one day you tune in and all mainstream news channels, newspapers and websites are reporting nearly exactly the same thing, often with the same words and terms and obfuscatory introductions. Even in local and regional news, uniformity prevails at the smaller scale of their localities. The current Western elites ooze out mediocrity and it spills over and down through the cracks.

  63. @Mr. Hack

    Archbishop Elpidophoros is a Phanariot, as is often the case for the head of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, the latter being the current demographic base of the churches under Constantinople. In fact, he’s a plausible candidate for the future Patriarch of Constantinople. My point is that a larger schism is likely in the not distant future, and the Ukrainian schismatics will find themselves on the wrong side of that.

    As far as “schizmatic groups in Ukraine” joining Constantinople or becoming a part of the new “canonical” Ukrainian church, I think that these are matters for the various churches to decide for themselves.

    No. The canons are clear on this point. There can be no communion with schismatics without repentance.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  64. Aedib says:
    @Levtraro

    But Italy, Spain and Belgium are democratic countries. This condition do not apply to current Ukraine.

  65. Tom67 says:
    @Beckow

    I am a journalist myself and cannot agree totally with you. Yes, there was never a “free” press in the true sense of the word and yes, there were always opinions you better not mentioned. But the last ten years have seen an incredibly lowering of standards. Basically traditional journalism is being squeezed by the dumbing effect online media have had on the audience (attention span of a squirrel) and the disappearance of advertising revenue. More accurately revenue has disappeared into the pockets of Google et al. Between thos two forces traditional journalism has disappeared. At least in the West. In the East the effect is not as felt as there has never been good jornalism in the first place. But now Russia is in a better state as 70 years of communism has taught people to be sceptics. I just read that China has greatly restricted gaming for teenagers. A very smart move that will help Chinese industry in the long run. But bad for the Communist party as gaming and internet addiction help to keep the population quiet. Still I am heartened by this news. The truth will out!!!!

    • Disagree: mulga mumblebrain
  66. Mr. Hack says:
    @The Big Red Scary

    Maybe the Russian church is the one full of schizmatics, not the one headed by the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew? Maybe its time for the Russian church to repent for obstructing the development of the Ukrainian church? Let’s all pray that it doesn’t go that far…

  67. Pure fantasies.

    Ukrainian nation is here to stay, and it will be governed, mostly, by Ukrainians. Beside the now sovereign Ukraine, it will contain most, or at least much of Donbass, and virtually no Crimea.

    The well being of that country mostly depends on their own people, their capability and their talent for organization of a functioning society.

    • Agree: Mr. Hack
    • Replies: @AnonfromTN
    , @GMC
    , @Levtraro
  68. Mr. Hack says:
    @Mikhail

    No polls substantially verifying such. His daughter isn’t him. She’s saying this with the understanding of what the interviewer prefers.

    Poll after poll shows that the vast majority of Ukrainians are content with an independent Ukraine, minus any strings from the Kremlin. I’m surprised that you don’t seem to be acquainted with the research done in this area, you being so very interested in Ukraine? This polling information just came out about a week ago. There’s plenty like it to be found elsewhere:

    In general, 80% of respondents would support the proclamation of Ukraine’s independence if this process took place today. Only 15% would not support the idea, and 5% were undecided. The highest level of support for Ukraine’s Independence was recorded among respondents born after 1991 – 87%. There are also more pro-independence among residents of the western and central regions and among more well-off people. Despite the differences, at least two-thirds of each of the demographic groups would support Ukraine’s declaration of independence today.

    https://www.ukrinform.net/rubric-society/3300613-over-60-support-idea-of-ukraines-accession-to-eu.html

    As far as what Skoropadsky’s daugher has to say, she seems in line with everything else that I’ve read on the subject matter. Is there anything in specific that you disagree with her on?

    • Replies: @Mikhail
  69. Mr. Hack says:
    @Mikhail

    She’s saying this with the understanding of what the interviewer prefers.

    No, I think that it’s you who can’t handle the truth and don’t like to hear something that contradicts your unsupportable opinions. There’s an old Ukrainian saying:

    Часами правда в очі коле

    Sometimes, the truth can make your eyes sore. 🙂

  70. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Mr. Hack

    You’re confusing things from what was said. I’m coherently referring to Skoro’s time period as opposed to the present.

    Just came across this:

    https://getpocket.com/explore/item/borscht-recipe-with-meat?utm_source=pocket-newtab

  71. Mersaux says:
    @mulga mumblebrain

    So you think he’s even more based than I said

  72. @Bardon Kaldian

    The well being of that country mostly depends on their own people, their capability and their talent for organization of a functioning society.

    Absolutely correct. What’s more, that capability was unambiguously demonstrated by the last 30 years. My condolences.

    • Replies: @Bardon Kaldian
  73. Seraphim says:
    @Mr. Hack

    A clear stance on who is ‘schizmatic’ or not was taken by the Laity of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in the ”Tomos of the Laity of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church to Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople”:

    “You have approached the mountains of Kyiv, where the Holy Apostle Andrew the First-Called preached the Logos, fulfilling the commandment of the Savior, our Lord Jesus Christ: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19). In fulfillment of this commandment, the Holy Prince Vladimir of Kyiv baptized Rus 1033 years ago. In fulfillment of this commandment, your predecessor, Patriarch Nicholas II Chrysovergis (10th century), sent a bishop and presbyters to our country to baptize and enlighten the people.
    The Patriarchate of Constantinople brought the Orthodox faith to Rus. The Thessalonian brothers, Cyril and Methodius Equal-to-the-Apostles, gave the Slavic peoples the Gospel in their native language. The Greek metropolitans of Kyiv carried out their apostolic labors and planted true worship of God in our country. The Holy Mount Athos brought up the ancestor of Russian monasticism, the Monk Anthony of the Caves, from whom all monasteries in modern Ukraine, Russia, Belarus and other countries originated. The holy relics of another predecessor of yours, Patriarch Athanasios III Patellarios (17th century), the Wonderworker of Lubensk, who is known to us as Athanasios the “Sitting”, rest in Kharkiv. There are innumerable spiritual gifts that our country received from Constantinople, for which our people will forever be grateful to the Greek people.
    However, what did you personally bring to our country, to Ukraine? You recognized the schismatics, excommunicated from the Church, and accepted them without their repentance! You concelebrated the Divine Liturgy with the persons without holy dignity! You gave the schismatics a tomos on flawed autocephaly, which the Orthodox people of Ukraine did not request of you! You brought enmity, hatred and violence to our country! In your name, cruel militants seize churches, drive families of priests out of church houses, beat believers and commit other iniquities! Ukraine is plunged into tear- and bloodshed from what you brought to our country!
    But the worst of all is that you are doing all this within the framework of the approval of a new heresy which the Patriarchate of Constantinople is spreading today. This is the heresy of Constantinople papism. You declared yourself as the earthly head of the Church, as the “first without equal,” as a primate with special and exclusive powers. Moreover, you are leading all your followers to union with the Catholics, as you have repeatedly stated. Many of your predecessors fought against the heresy of papism when Rome was infected with it. Patriarch Michael I Cerularius (XI century) excommunicated the Roman legates and, in their person, all those who’d contracted this heresy. The Monk Mark of Ephesus (XV century) taught us not to make any compromises and not to agree with the heresy of papism. A lot of saints and monks, both Greek and Slavic, testified with their lives and their preaching to the need of preserving the purity of the Orthodox faith, for there can be no salvation of the soul without this.
    Therefore, since the pious and God-saved land of Ukraine is strengthened in Orthodoxy and taught to remain faithful to the Gospel, we reject your claim to be the earthly head of the Church and confess instead that only “Christ is the head of the Church, his body, of which He is the Savior” (Eph. 5:23). We reject the possibility of unity with Rome without the repentance of Catholics in all their heretical delusions.
    You “abolished” the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, we remain faithful to Her! You rejected His Beatitude Onuphry, we recognize him as our Primate and Archpastor! Due to your actions, 144 temples have been forcibly seized in our country, but we are building new ones next to them! We testify before the entire world that despite your decisions, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and Her Primate, His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry, are carrying out their saving mission on our land.
    We call you to repentance for the encroachment on the leadership in the Church, which belongs solely to our Lord Jesus Christ, for the desire to unite with the Catholics, for the recognition of Ukrainian schismatics, for the seizure of our churches, for the beating of our believers, for the enmity and hatred that you brought to our land!
    But in the event that you do public penance for all the above, we, the believers of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, agree to continue to honor you as the Primate of the Orthodox Church of Constantinople, as the first in honor among equal primates, as the heir to the saints, who shone forth on the Throne of Constantinople, and as God’s bishop.
    In view of this, the present Tomos is issued for you to permanent value, written and handed to you in the God-saved city of Kyiv for your admonition and repentance.
    August 21st, 2021.
    @https://russian-faith.com/news-anti-ecumenism-church-politics/reciprocal-tomos-n5828

    • Replies: @AP
  74. @AnonfromTN

    So has been the case with the Romanians and Bulgarians, who have risen from the ashes due to the EU assistance. They’ve shown in past 5-8 years how one can progress after 20-25 years of incompetence and retrogression.

    • Replies: @AnonfromTN
  75. @Bardon Kaldian

    who have risen from the ashes due to the EU assistance

    So, what’s the probability of EU assistance on that scale to Ukraine? Or anybody else’s assistance, for that matter?

    Mind you, I am not saying that Ukraine should turn to Russia. That advance would be repelled with disgust. As they say in Russia, the train has already left the station.

    • Replies: @Seraphim
    , @Bardon Kaldian
  76. AP says:
    @Levtraro

    30% is very high support…with 10% in the other camp getting disillusioned and 10% more finding more to gain with the pro-Russian 30%

    When I said the ceiling is around 30% that is what I meant. Currently they are polling at around 25%.
    They are not going to get another 10% or whatever. Disillusionment by the non pro-Russian majority will involve changing to other non pro-Russian parties.

    Back when Crimea and Donbas were still in Ukraine, the pro-Russian ceiling was around 45%. This enabled Yanukovich to eke out a victory with 48% of the vote due to the perfect storm of the recent 2009 economic crash plus bitter feuding between the two anti-Yanukovich candidates.

    They are not capable of gaining enough from the 30% to pull that off. Losing Crimea and Donbas (areas that had voted 90% pro-Russian) has its effect.

    • Agree: Mr. Hack
    • Replies: @Levtraro
  77. AP says:
    @Seraphim

    Isn’t lying a sin? You really think this letter represents the beliefs of OCU laity?

    • Replies: @Seraphim
  78. Seraphim says:
    @AnonfromTN

    Romania (I don’t know much about Bulgaria) has ‘risen from the ashes’ of its economy wreaked and plundered by the EU. ‘Assistance’ meant the take over of its economy by the same (and beyond). And the remittances by the 2 million expats who slave in the EU.

    • Replies: @Bardon Kaldian
    , @Mr. Hack
  79. AP says:
    @The Big Red Scary

    Just look at Archbishop Elpidophoros visiting shrines to Athena, celebrating liturgy in openly pro-homosexual Episcopalian churches

    The hierarchs who oppose Constantinople are typically collaborators of the genocidal atheistic Communist regime that murdered millions of faithful Orthodox and tens of thousands of Orthodox priests. Celebrating a liturgy in an Episcopalian church pales in comparison to that.

    The struggle over Ukraine is basically a struggle between the Orthodox hierarchs who were untouched by service to the Bolshevist state versus those who were corrupted by their close collaboration with the Communist regime such the last two Russian Patriarchs and of their supporters, such as the head of the Polish Orthodox Church Sawa who also denounced the Tomos (it’s interesting that Filaret, himself a KGB snitch, has turned against the Tomos):

    https://www.rp.pl/artykul/247370-Przeszlosc-arcybiskupa-Sawy.html

    [MORE]

    From 1965, the head of the Polish Orthodox Church was a conscious and secret collaborator of the Security Service with the pseudonym Jurek, according to the files preserved at the Institute of National Remembrance.

    The operation against Polish Orthodoxy was conducted by the Security Service under the code name “Byzantium”. Her files have been partially preserved.

    There is also a work file of TW “Jurek” with handwritten denunciations and notes about accepting remuneration from the SB. Although the second folder, the so-called personnel, in which the obligation to cooperate and receipts for the money accepted were kept, the content of the job file leaves no doubt that the Orthodox Metropolitan of Warsaw and All Poland was a conscious and secret collaborator of the SB.

    The files of the Institute of National Remembrance show that the secret collaborators of the SB were also almost all post-war heads of Polish Orthodoxy and most of today’s archbishops – heads of the diocese. The Soviet KGB also participated in the investigation of the Polish Church, sending its agents who penetrated the Orthodox community. Information obtained from colleagues from Poland was transferred to Moscow.

    This does not mean, however, that the Orthodox Church was fully taken over by the SB. In the files of the SO (the so-called object-oriented case) of “Byzantium” there are information about clergy, bishops and lay people who are rebellious to the authorities. One of them was the Archbishop of Łódź and Jerzy of Poznań (Aleksy Korenistow) – a Russian aristocrat by origin. Although he was the guardian of the metropolitan throne twice after the death of the Orthodox metropolitans, considered as an introduction to his appointment as the head of the Church, the Security Service effectively blocked his election.

    The Security Service recruited Archbishop Sawa (secular name Michał Hrycuniak) on May 31, 1965. It was registered under the registration number 12348. The personal file of TW “Jurek”, in which the recruitment process should be described, has not survived. However, we know from the preserved work file that he had contacts with the Security Service before he was formally recruited. “During the period (to be obtained), 70 meetings were held, which allow to state that the secret collaborator is loyal, honest and indifferent towards the SB organs” – wrote the first officer in charge of Colonel Zygmunt Siellawa.

    The acquisition was related to Sawa assuming the function of the Metropolitan Chancellery, corresponding to the position of the chancellor of the curia. “The purpose of the acquisition was the need for current information on changes taking place in Orthodoxy, with particular emphasis on foreign contacts and negative socio-political phenomena among the clergy and believers” – wrote in the introductory note to the file of TW “Jurek”.

    TW “Jurek” has become one of the most important security agents in the Orthodox Church. Many surviving notes show that he repeatedly initiated meetings to convey information. He informed the Security Service both verbally (so-called dictates) and he wrote denunciations himself. He also provided internal documents of the Church, and even letters written to the metropolitan with complaints about individual Orthodox priests. He also reported on Catholics and Protestants.

    • Replies: @The Big Red Scary
  80. @AnonfromTN

    Everybody who is not completely self-delusional knows that EU is the cultural circle of riches, rights, weaknesses & hope. It is a complex where, apart from much advertised decadence and bureaucracy, the real hope for those who are lagging behind and are capable for modern life (unlike Islamic, let alone African countries) lies.

    Because- nothing can come out of authoritarianism & zombification, which is the way of the East. Only temporary flashes of power and ultimately, despair. Far East is another matter, too complex to address.

    If EX ORIENTE LUX is both a statement on physical reality & a scream of those self-willingly left behind in self-imposed isolation, IN OCCIDENTE OPES ET SPES is the beacon for those who had passed many historical opportunities- but not all, and not forever.

    • Replies: @Svevlad
  81. @Seraphim

    There was not much to plunder in Romania. That was for more than 20 years a horror of Ceausescu cronies who are now being in the process of replacement by a more mature and less corrupt other Romanian elite groups. Although still poor, the country is light years ahead of what had been before 20, 30 or 50 years ago and possesses hope.

    • Replies: @Seraphim
  82. Mr. Hack says:
    @Mikhail

    No polls substantially verifying such.

    Polling wasn’t in use yet as far as I know. I think that these photos taken in Kyiv speak louder than any polls, anyway:

    Looks like a quorum to me?…

    • LOL: Mikhail
    • Replies: @Mikhail
  83. Seraphim says:
    @AP

    Yes, I do and I fully and unreservedly agree with it.

    • Replies: @AP
  84. Seraphim says:
    @Bardon Kaldian

    What do you know about Romanian economy of 40 years ago? You have no idea.

  85. GMC says:
    @Bardon Kaldian

    If I may add – since I’m rather new to Ukraine politics – I worked there in 2008 and was a resident until 2015, I would have to say that Ukraine is run by a Jewish Ukrainian Crime Syndicate with a population that has little say so – no matter how they vote. The only semi democratic area in Ukraine would have been the recent Donbass and Crimea areas , and I say this because they got together and escaped that Kyivian Crime Syndicate, with the help from Russian Federation. But then Kyiv Gov. had all the help from the US/ Israel Neocons/ Globalists , so the Ukie game was – Even. Of course, in the past, Western Ukraine was another area that was far away from Kyiv to have your vote count – locally.

    Ukraine is a total mess , with no one in the political arena to help straighten it out and run like a normal country – I liked the people, but they have been forced fed propaganda from the West – against the only neighbor they had, that could help. Pravda.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  86. Levtraro says:
    @Bardon Kaldian

    The well being of that country mostly depends on their own people, their capability and their talent for organization of a functioning society.

    Ukraine is the poorest country in Europe in terms of wages (see IMF’s World Economic Outlook Databases). Nearly all Latin American countries have higher average wages, including those sending their losers north to the USA. In terms of average wages Ukraine is poorer than Honduras, a white country poorer than a nearly completely brown country, a shame to the White race.

    Close to two thirds of Ukrainian MPs are businessmen with complete legal immunity that don’t pay back their loans and the judiciary supports them in their delinquency. Non-performing loans are close to 50% of all loans in banks portfolio. Over 50% of the commercial banks have been closed since 2014. Those bank owners were the main recipients of loans by their own banks, didn’t pay back, and run away with people’s deposits with the support of “judges” in the supreme court. A functioning society? One in which I would invest? With that kind of chicanery at the highest political and judicial levels? No way jose.

    Ukrainian people need to do something radical to show they have any capacity to organize a modern European functioning society. Otherwise they will keep being an African insertion in the middle of Eurasia.

  87. Levtraro says:
    @AP

    They are not going to get another 10% or whatever. Disillusionment by the non pro-Russian majority will involve changing to other non pro-Russian parties.

    I read your reply and I found it wanting. You are just guessing things that you would like to happen.

    There is very high support for the pro-Russian faction in Ukraine, as you admitted (25 to 30%), after taking out the Donbass and Crimea. In the EU many parties would like to have that kind of support as it is often enough to form government in coalitions, given the flickery nature of most voters.

    Ukrainian voters probably are even more flickery than other European voters because their country is the poorest in Europe, so would very often just change hearts and vote the opposite or simply stay home disillusioned, thinking their €190 average wage is a done deal.

    Just the fact that they voted for a comedian that pretended to be a president as their real president is the strongest testament to the extremely flickery nature of Ukrainina voters. So yeah, Russia just needs to wait.

    • Replies: @utu
    , @AP
  88. Smith says:

    Yo, the world is becoming like this, Karlin, it’s a worldwide trend.

  89. @Levtraro

    Man does not live by bread alone. Ukrainians are a people on the safe road to integrity, individuality and self-governance. It will take time; they will suffer for some time- but they will, at the end, live independently and freely.

    Although these things are hard to compare, Ukrainian future is brighter than, say, French.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  90. utu says:
    @Levtraro

    It sometimes feels as if TPTB (whoever they are and if they are at all) decided that Ukraine is slated for destruction. Neither the EU nor the US show any initiative or vision for Ukraine.

    • Agree: Levtraro
  91. @Mr. Hack

    Schism or unity is defined by consensus among the autocephalous Orthodox churches. If I am not mistaken, of the 15 autocephalous churches commonly recognised before the creation of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, so far four (Constantinople, Alexandria, Greece, and Cyprus) have recognized the newly created Orthodox Church of Ukraine. And even then, the issue has been highly divisive within those churches. See the discussion here:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reactions_of_the_Eastern_Orthodox_churches_to_the_2018_Moscow–Constantinople_schism#Albanian_Orthodox_Church

    In particular, some Athonite monasteries have said they would welcome Epiphany, while others have said that if he comes to the Holy Mountain, they will shut their gates in his face.

    I hope that the issue can be resolved in a pan-Orthodox council, but given the rapid degeneration of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, I am not optimistic.

  92. Svevlad says:
    @Bardon Kaldian

    Such hubris, what a grand and intoxicating innocence!

    Indeed I am correct in supporting mass dumping of Islamo-Africans via cargo ships to the west by the billions – the faster their century of humiliation comes, the better off the collective humanity.

    Of course, I wouldn’t mind also taking their land, but we’re currently a little constrained in the population department. For the time being.

    • Agree: sher singh
    • Replies: @Bardon Kaldian
  93. AP says:
    @Seraphim

    Thank you for your confession. The letter writers indicate they follow the Russian Church in Ukraine (the Ukrainian Orthodox Church – Moscow patriarchate) but falsely represent themselves as Orthodox Church in Ukraine. A dishonest trick written by liars, that some decent people could fall for. You, on the other hand, are too well informed not to know better.

    Your morality is understandable given that you are a product of Communist upbringing. You have also revealed yourself, in your posts about post-Communist Romania and how bad you feel
    it has become after the atheistic regime was destroyed. No wonder you support its collaborators and employees in their struggle against parts of the Church that hadn’t been immersed in Bolshevik filth.

    (There are many decent Russian Orthodox priests and lay people. Not so many among the hierarchy.)

    • Replies: @Seraphim
  94. AP says:
    @Levtraro

    Ukraine is the poorest country in Europe in terms of wages (see IMF’s World Economic Outlook Databases).

    False.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_European_countries_by_average_wage

    Otherwise they will keep being an African insertion in the middle of Eurasia.

    LOL.

    “Africa” in Lviv:

    “Africa” in Vynnytsia (a provincial oblast center):

    Thanks for demonstrating your level of understanding.

  95. @AP

    I know the history and many who were personally touched by it. In particularly, the grandfather of my closest colleague in Moscow was a priest and shot by the Bolsheviks, while my godfather’s grandfather was also a priest and came home from the prison camp castrated. And for all that, the churches oppressed by the godless authority (as my White Russian prayer book puts it) produced many holy witnesses and martyrs throughout Soviet times and are now thriving.

    Meanwhile, the Phanariot cooperation with Anglo-American intelligence, which might have made sense in the context of the Cold War, is now bearing bitter fruit. As a Galician Catholic, the unity of the Orthodox Church is of naturally of no interest to you, but if you really are a Ukrainian patriot, then I recommend you spend less time burning the effigy of Brezhnev and more time worrying about the bio-Leninists coming to bugger your sons and nephews.

    • Replies: @AP
  96. AP says:
    @Levtraro

    You are just guessing things that you would like to happen.

    It’s a guess like – the people of Berkeley in the USA would not vote for Trump.

    There is very high support for the pro-Russian faction in Ukraine, as you admitted (25 to 30%), after taking out the Donbass and Crimea

    The problem is that the other 75% to 70% are not pro-Russian.

    In the EU many parties would like to have that kind of support as it is often enough to form government in coalitions

    Again, the problem is that the other 75% to 70% are opposed. With whom will the 25% to 30% form a coalition?

    Ukrainian voters probably are even more flickery than other European voters because their country is the poorest in Europe, so would very often just change hearts and vote the opposite or simply stay home disillusioned

    Now this is wishful thinking. The 70% of Ukrainians who are not pro-Russians will just vote for other Euro-oriented parties. A lot of them voted for Zelensky and he still remains the most popular choice. But Poroshenko has been gaining support.

    The effect on the pro-Russian cause in Ukraine of losing Donbas and Crimea is comparable to the effect on the Democratic Party of the USA to losing California and New England. It means no more Democratic presidents or congressional majorities.

    thinking their €190 average wage is a done deal.

    Inevitably the anti-Ukrainians are stuck in 2015. Ukrainian wages are more than double that.

    That chart is outdated btw. In July 2021 Ukrainian wages were 452 Euros:

    https://tradingeconomics.com/ukraine/wages#:~:text=Wages%20in%20Ukraine%20averaged%203107.89,Month%20in%20January%20of%201996.

    • Replies: @Levtraro
  97. @Svevlad

    This is what comes from misinfo & projections. Islamic peoples are few & far between in the affluent Europe, and won’t become anything more than a nuisance in any foreseeable future. It is true that zombified elites have made stupid mistakes, along with their native peoples- there is no grand plan behind it, only civilizational stasis & paralysis, something which will have evaporated when the delusion balloon of human equality blows out.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islam_in_Europe

    • Replies: @Beckow
  98. Aedib says:

    As expected, the dead cat bouncing is coming to an end. There will not be a collapse of current Ukraine as predicted by Saker and there will not be an economic miracle that Svidos wish to see. The most like scenario is happening: endless stagnation with steady shrinking of population.

    https://tradingeconomics.com/ukraine/gdp-growth

    • Replies: @AP
  99. AP says:
    @The Big Red Scary

    And for all that, the churches oppressed by the godless authority (as my White Russian prayer book puts it) produced many holy witnesses and martyrs throughout Soviet times and are now thriving.

    Yes, but the people in charge of those Churches are not the victims of the oppression (nor even quiet dissidents) but active collaborators with those regimes. And it is precisely those collaborators who are standing against Constantinople. It’s uncanny – even Filaret, the KGB snitch who adopted a Ukrainian nationalist position, goes against Constantinople.

    As a Galician Catholic, the unity of the Orthodox Church is of naturally of no interest to you

    One of my grandparents was Orthodox and I have many Orthodox cousins and aunts in Ukraine. I also have a priests/martyr from that side of the family, albeit a distant one (cousin of my grandparent). I am very happy that they my Orthodox relatives no longer belong to an independent Church but are in communion with Constantinople. And this is true for millions of souls in Ukraine – a number that exceeds the population of several Orthodox countries such as Serbia. It is very telling that the very hierarchs who would happy to have these souls in some sort of limbo are the same ones who demonstrated that they were rotten to the core by working with the security organs if the murderous atheistic regime.

    And it also means something that precisely those Orthodox parts of Ukraine who have embraced Constantinople and whom the KGB Judases have deemed “schismatics” are those with the least Soviet influence and those whose people are least likely to abort unborn children, who attend church weekly, and who generally live the most virtuous and Christian lives. One need not be an expert on theology to guess who is on the right side here.

    • Agree: Mr. Hack
    • Replies: @The Big Red Scary
  100. AP says:
    @Aedib

    Not per capita.

    • Replies: @Aedib
  101. Aedib says:
    @AP

    Off course. If the GDP shows a slight negative slope and the population shows a more negative slope, the percapita GDP shows a slightly positive slope. That’s what’s happening. No implosion. No growth.

    • Replies: @AP
  102. Mr. Hack says:
    @Seraphim

    And yet throughout all of this Romania is doing much better today. Or are you foolish enough to believe that had Romania somehow tied its fate to that of Russia, it would have somehow been less”plundered” than it was, and would be doing better today?

    I still find it very difficult to wrap my mind around the idea that you’re a “Russophile Romanian”. You must be the only one within all of Romania? I’m not saying that you’re not a bright guy. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m thinking that you must have been singled out at a very young age and were the recipient of some sort of commie scholarship and spent a few years studying in Moscow?

    • LOL: Mikhail
    • Replies: @Mikhail
    , @Seraphim
  103. Beckow says:
    @Bardon Kaldian

    And how is it going to evaporate? The delusion of human equality originated in the West, lately it has been growing at an incredible speed, how will it stop? Too many quasi-retarded bought into it, many are polite, many are fearful, the stasis could last for a long time. Historically, wounded civilizations don’t get of the ground without an external catastrophe. It can get worse.

    You are right about the large point: Western civilization, in spite of its mistakes, still has momentum and appeal, there has not appeared a viable alternative.

    But the truth is in details: London-Paris-Brussels overrun by the endless migrants is one of those details. Another detail is that EU has stopped expanding by buying its neighbours. EU may still expand but they don’t think they have to pay. That’s Ukraine’s dilemma: too big, too backward, and the previous generosity is lacking.

    Ukraine made a fatal mistake by not making itself into an attractive place. EU is fussy, Ukraine’s internal discord, weird politics, media and other extremes can be explained but are too visible. Kiev and AP/Mr.Hack brigade can blame Russia all they want, it changes nothing. Who cares who is to blame when things don’t work? Instead of making its unique geography and access to huge Russian markets a benefit, post-Maidan Kiev managed to make it into a headache.

    It was a fatal error no matter how good it made some feel. Ukraine is heading toward a status of a half-ass Turkey: prickly, too big to ignore, some good and lots of problems. Unlike Turkey it has neither the demography not the cultural reach to grow out of it. I am betting a two-bit general will be in charge of Kiev next. Then we will see.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    , @Showmethereal
  104. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Mr. Hack

    Also reminded of the pro-Euromaidan Kiev street throng after Yanukovych’s overthrow. As if they represent everyone throughout the former Ukrainian SSR.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  105. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Mr. Hack

    And yet throughout all of this Romania is doing much better today. Or are you foolish enough to believe that had Romania somehow tied its fate to that of Russia, it would have somehow been less”plundered” than it was, and would be doing better today?

    I still find it very difficult to wrap my mind around the idea that you’re a “Russophile Romanian”. You must be the only one within all of Romania? I’m not saying that you’re not a bright guy. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m thinking that you must have been singled out at a very young age and were the recipient of some sort of commie scholarship and spent a few years studying in Moscow?

    Of course, seeing that he doesn’t march lock step with you. Wouldn’t surprise if there’re more Romanian Russophiles than Ukrainephiles.

    BTW, the anti-Russian BS among some (not all) Romanians is influenced in part by the pro-Nazi and last Commie regimes in that country. Romania was very bad off in its last years under Communism. It got into the EU at an opportune time.

    Ukraine is another story.

    https://www.rt.com/russia/533520-zelensky-biden-meeting-worst-time/

  106. @GMC

    they have been forced fed propaganda from the West

    In and of itself, this is not a decisive factor. Afghans were force-fed the same propaganda for 20 years, and treated it like it deserves – as 100% BS. The tragedy of Ukraine is that enough people believed this propaganda to allow current crime syndicate seize power and keep it. Subservience to the Globohomo is suicidal. This applies to the Empire and all of its willing sidekicks. Personally, I regret that Ukraine effectively committed suicide: it could have been a decent country.

    • Agree: GMC
  107. Levtraro says:
    @AP

    If you want to argue about the voting patterns of the 70-75% not pro-Russian (which you mistakenly assume are anti-Russian) you need to argue against these voters being flickery or solid. It is just enough to have 10% disillusioned and 10% joining the pro-Russians, and the pro-Russians will form a government. The fact that these non pro-Russia voters voted for a comedian (using a bit of rhetoric: let that sink in, they voted for a COMEDIAN), strongy undermine your assumption that they are solid.

    Also, Ukraine is the poorest country in Europe according to the latest data. Check the IMF database (World Economic Outlook, updated to April 2021). Since 2018 the Ukraine overtook Moldova at the botttom of the list.

    Perhaps you should know I am not anti-Ukraine. I love Ukrainian women. IMO Russian and Ukrainian women are the most beautiful women in the world and they have the best personality, on average. But the country is a shambles, Jew-infested (starting with the comedian servant of the people turned servant of the people with a frown to act serious, lol!) banana republic in the heart of Eurasia. You are in a very unconfortable position defending those that have brought the Ukraine to these lows.

    • Replies: @AP
  108. AP says:
    @Aedib

    Ukraine’s per capita GDP declined 1.15% in 2014 and 9.44% in 2015.

    It grew 2.65% in 2016, 2.92% in 2017, 3.93% in 2018, and 3.82% in 2019. In constant US dollars, by 2019 Ukraine’s per capita GDP exceeded what it had been during the Yanukovich years and was the highest it had been since the 2009 crash.

    It declined 3.37% in 2020.

    https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GDP.PCAP.KD.ZG?locations=UA

    It may indeed be stagnant in this, an ongoing Covid year. Don’t know why that is a big deal.

    Interestingly, wages have continued to climb significantly. I wonder if per capita GDP growth may be an underestimate because it doesn’t take into account enough missing people.

    • Replies: @Aedib
  109. AP says:
    @Levtraro

    If you want to argue about the voting patterns of the 70-75% not pro-Russian (which you mistakenly assume are anti-Russian

    I was careful to avoid the term anti-Russian. They rather prefer the West over Russia. Probably around 40% could be considered anti-Russian, 30% not anti-Russian but prefer West to Russia, 25% to 30% pro-Russian. Back when Ukraine included Donbas and Crimea the country was about evenly split but that is no longer the case.

    These patterns have been evident for at least 20 years. Only someone living in a fantasy world would think that they will change any time soon. But you admit that you compare Ukraine to Africa, so you live in a fantasy world.

    Since 2018 the Ukraine overtook Moldova at the botttom of the list

    It depends on the measure. Moldova has integrated more with EU so it had higher nominal GDP per capita. It’s GDP PPP is still lower. I’ve posted wages several times. Ukraine’s are higher than those of Moldova and Belarus and are approaching those of the poor Balkan countries. They have spiked since the EU association agreement.

  110. Aedib says:
    @AP

    https://tradingeconomics.com/ukraine/gdp-per-capita-ppp

    That’s what I’m saying. The “strong growth” of the period 2016-2019, was just a recovery from the big fall from 2014-2015. Once reached the roof, the growth fades. It is called “death-cat bounce”. There are no secrets here. No investment in the real economy, then, no growth. This applies to all countries. No just Ukraine. The slow Russian growth is due to the fact that investment is hovering around 20% GDP.

    • Replies: @AP
  111. AP says:
    @Aedib

    It was more than mere recovery, it surpassed the economy of the Yanukovich years and until Covid approached the post-Soviet peak of 2008. And this is likely an underestimate because per capita figures seem to undercount the number of Ukrainians who are abroad (this is suggested by the wage growth rate surpassing the per capita GDP growth rate).

    • Replies: @Aedib
  112. Aedib says:
    @AP

    We are going back to my anterior post:

    If the GDP shows a slight negative slope and the population shows a more negative slope, the percapita GDP shows a slightly positive slope. That’s what’s happening.

    • Replies: @AP
  113. AP says:
    @Aedib

    If you meant during Covid times, sure. If you meant post-Maidan, it depends on how you want to define “slight.” Three percent or so growth while not explosive is better than “slight.”

    • Replies: @Aedib
    , @Levtraro
  114. @Tom67

    China in many ways models its current censoring of media off of Singapore (though more 30 years ago than today).
    South Korea is just about to pass laws regarding opposing news views. None of it is frankly new nor surprising. It’s just some westerners love to harp about freedom of press and freedom of choice. It’s nonsense. It’s always been about “manufacturing consent”.

    My problem is that Ukraine will face no backlash in the west for blocking Russia – but if it was the other way around we would be told how “oppressive” Russia is. In the same way on Taiwan they greatly stifle media from Mainland China going into the island – including children’s books (yes really). it’s actually easier to get Taiwan media on Mainland China. Where is the west condemnation??? it’s hypocrisy.

    I actually follow DW news from Germany and I find it highly biased. It narrates EU and NATO objectives. it doesn’t report the news with balance if it goes against either of those narratives.

  115. @Rahan

    Yeah I have seen that on RT and Sputnik. The comments sections are far “freer” than on western major news. Same with China’s Global Times. Read the disqus comments on there… Some of them are obvious trolls – but point is they let them put up comments cursing the Chinese government. On the editorials the anti China trolls call the writers all kinds of names. The NY Times or Wall St Journal would remove most of those comments.

    • Thanks: Rahan
  116. Aedib says:
    @AP

    Again, you can have a “non-slight” rebound of 3% after a big fall. What you can’t have is a sustained “non-slight” growth without inversion in the real economy (financial “inversion” doesn´t matter because it is exchange of already produced goods and assets). That’s because Russia will not grow over 3% in a sustained way. Inversion is only the 20% of the Russian GDP. Inversion in China was over 40% and now is over 30%. There is no magic.

  117. Mr. Hack says:
    @Mikhail

    They didn’t represent everyone in Ukraine, only the majority of Ukrainians. If you have any photos to share with us showing Ukrainians in either period of larger crowds clamoring for a pro-Russian course, don’t hesitate and show them here. Otherwise, you’re just blowing hot air as usual!

    • LOL: Mikhail
    • Replies: @Mikhail
  118. Who does Ukraine think they are? Twitter?

  119. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Mr. Hack

    The UOC-MP gatherings in Kiev have drawn more folks than the pro-OUN/UPA variants.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  120. Seraphim says:
    @Mr. Hack

    You are probably unaware that in the 90s there was much talk about the pipeline from Constanta to Trieste for the transit of Russian oil and gas to Europe. It is not hard to imagine what the economic windfall for Romania would have been.
    OTOH, I have given already part of the reasons why there is in Romania a latent sympathy for Russia and Russian Orthodox Church in particular. The vast majority of Romanians have been opposed to Unia (including the ‘Ukrainian’) and resisted its assaults. In that struggle they had the support of the Russians and spiritual relations have been very active (e.g. Saint Paisy Velichkovsky), not to count their support against the Ottomans). It is that simple.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  121. Mr. Hack says:
    @Beckow

    Ukraine made a fatal mistake by not making itself into an attractive place. EU is fussy, Ukraine’s internal discord, weird politics, media and other extremes can be explained but are too visible.

    Once again proving that you’re locked into very old memes regarding Ukraine. If Ukraine is so unattractive, how come so many rich Arabs have been vacationing here this summer? Why do they give Ukraine such high marks?

  122. Mr. Hack says:
    @Mikhail

    We were discussing the crowds of Ukrainians gathered to support Ukraine’s independence in the 1920’s and during the Maidan period. I’m not sure about the pro-MP crowds vs pro-OUN/UPA gatherings. Do you have any figures to back-up your claims?

    • Replies: @Mikhail
  123. Mr. Hack says:
    @Seraphim

    You didn’t answer either of the two questions that I posed in my last comment to you (#103). You seem like quite a literate individual, so I’ll let you reread my comment and try again. Good luck!

    • Replies: @Seraphim
  124. @Levtraro

    I saw a Ukrainian say they had a higher standard of living working in Jamaica. I didn’t think they were serious. I just thought they were trying to fit in with the locals. But after reading your comment (and others on this site over time) – I’m starting to believe she was telling the truth.

  125. Seraphim says:
    @AP

    You certainly read my response to the innuendos of Mr.Hack. I must stress to you as well that Romanians have no reason to join the religion of the ‘evul Russians’, the more that their experiences with the Cossacks were not conducive to view them in the glorious light you see them.
    They have been aware that the ‘Communists’ were not Russians in the first place. As a matter of fact, the ‘Communist Party of Rumania – Section of the Comintern’, was initially staffed by Ukrainians and ‘Ukrainians’ of the Zelenski/Kolomoisky sort who behaved towards Romanians in the same way as they behaved towards Russians. Ukrainians are part and parcel of the ‘Bolshevik filth’ that submerged Russia (and Romania). Zelenski, Kolomoyski, Yatseniuk, Groisman are the spawn of that filth.
    Romanian royal house was related to the Imperial Family (Queen Marie was the grand-daughter of Tsar Alexander II, assassinated by the ‘Ukrainian’ narodniks).
    They knew that Stalin was not Russian, but there was a sympathy towards Gruzins (Iverians as they were known in Romania, who gave Romanians a Saint and Neo-Martyr – the Metropolitan of Valachia Antim Ivireanu/ Antimoz Iverieli).
    So, if ‘perception’ plays a role in political options, Stalin was a handsome man (Gruzins are handsome people, their women are of stupendous beauty) and not deprived of a certain stateliness. Contrast that with the porcine face of the shoe-banging Khrushchev (Ukrainian ‘trough and trough’) who was derided by Romanians.

    • LOL: Mr. Hack
    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    , @AP
    , @LatW
  126. Mr. Hack says:
    @Seraphim

    Are you serious?? 🙂

    Really imaginative conspiracy theories where the Ukrainians controlled all of Eastern Europe. Keep on writing more, this is really imaginative kooky stuff! You really are the gatekeeper to some incredible knowledge. You should write a book including all of your well researched esoteric knowledge.

    • Replies: @Seraphim
  127. @Mr. Hack

    You guys just post back and forth banter

    That video is also pure cringe. Do you really think those Arabs are there to visit…oh I dont know the Pecherska Lavra?

    no, they’re just disgusting sex tourists and PUAs. Of course in a more self respecting country a mob would’ve already formed dealt with the mess but tbh there are far more pressing issues which can be summed up in 3 sentences and are nothing new

    Yes Russians are retarded subhumans

    Yes Jews have too much power and have strangehold on US foreign policy

    Yes US wants to fucking destroy and reshape Europe and has plenty of compradors there

    The question is how to get out of this mess. All I want is a Russianfree Ukraine. Correction. Minorityfree.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  128. Beckow says:
    @Mr. Hack

    Good one :)…I can see that you are now into self-parody. Hell, why not, high marks from the swarthy guys. Now, that is a meme any self-respecting country can go with…

    Where did the comrades make a mistake?

  129. Levtraro says:
    @AP

    The poorest country in Europe (Ukraine, according to IMF databases) with access to the EU market (EU-Ukraine Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area) should grow at Chinese rates, ~7%. But FDI is just 1% of GDP and capital flows are negative and close to 5%. Why? Poor institutionality. Systemic corruption. Politicized judiciary. The country is a shambles and everybody knows that and that’s why FDI is so low, despite inmense opportunities. But you seem to be happy with that.

  130. Levtraro says:
    @Mr. Hack

    Once again proving that you’re locked into very old memes regarding Ukraine. If Ukraine is so unattractive, how come so many rich Arabs have been vacationing here this summer? Why do they give Ukraine such high marks?

    I am sad to report this but the answer to your questions is: good whores. Women from Ukraine are common in places like Bahrain, Qatar, the UAE and Kuwait. Saudis cross the bridge to Bahrain to fuck Ukrainian (and Philippino) whores. Wealthy Arabs go to the Ukraine for the same reason, but hoping to find them in greater numbers and younger. Glory to Ukraine right?

    • Replies: @AP
  131. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Mr. Hack

    Offhand and regarding Kiev, the largest pro UOC-MP crowds have been put over the largest 10 to 15 thousand of the OUN/UPA. I’d have to check back. The former have been bigger.

  132. @Mr. Hack

    Mr. Hack, surely you can use your imagination as to why Arab and Turkish men like to visit Ukraine, but if not, then take a walk around the Bessarabia market area of Kiev and look at the neon advertisements. That said, so long as you stay away from those sad parts of town, Kiev is also a fine place to visit as a family man.

    • Replies: @AP
  133. GMC says:

    You have to look at Ukraine from 2005 to 2012 also . It had a whole lot of foreign investors knocking on the door . I first noticed it in 2008 when I would meet other westerners at Borispol {sp} airport and in Kiev itself. I met representatives from the states and other countries – train parts companies, University Agriculture departments, Bechtel, Turkish construction companies and found out about others during my time in country.
    Yanukovych was mimicking Bill Clinton’s pay to play scheme and parts of Ukraine was looking like it was for sale. We are talking everyone from Monsanto, Dupont, and even the Chinese had a deal with him to lease up to 300,000 hectares of farmland , hell they even started to build a port in Crimea and they were going to start the infrastructure to the farmland. This most likely gave the western globalists a wake up call.

    Look up what senator Obama was doing in 2005 in Donetsk with 35 million dollars . He was trying to get the East Ukies to disarm all the Ukrainian military – notice he didn’t go to Lviv and try that on the Azov battalion. Enter – 1st phase of Maidan – 2005 . The Maidan just wasn’t about Russia , it was a globalist move on the breadbasket, some industry , the Black Sea, and to kick China out of Ukraine – among other things. The propaganda media is always set up in order to keep the public from thinking about the whole picture.

  134. Seraphim says:
    @Mr. Hack

    What’s so ‘esoteric’ about Trotsky (Bronstein), Zinoviev (Apfelbaum), Radek (Sobelsohn), Kaganovitch…? Pinchas Rutenberg?

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  135. Mr. Hack says:

    Sex tourism in Ukraine and in many other countries has existed for a long time. There’s been huge uptick in tourism this year because of pandemic issues. Arabs don’t need special visas to visit Ukraine. A lot of the videos show Arabic families traveling to Ukraine and enjoying a host of other amenities that Ukraine has to offer. Just because a few strange apples like Beckow have their imaginations warped with sexy girls, doesn’t mean that that’s the only reason that people vacation in Ukraine.

  136. Mr. Hack says:
    @Seraphim

    Well for starters, none of these men were Ukrainians. You clearly single out “Ukrainians” that first dominated the Communist party in Romania as being heavy handed in their dealings with Romanians?…

  137. AP says:
    @Levtraro

    The increase in Arab tourism involves Gulf Arab families with money who are locked out of Europe so they take their kids to Ukraine instead, to experience European cities and nature. I saw almost no such people when I was last in Ukraine in 2017, but there are a lot of them this year, it’s a Covid thing.

    Sex tourism hasn’t increased.

    • Replies: @LatW
  138. AP says:
    @The Big Red Scary

    According to my relatives and confirmed by media accounts the huge increase in Arab tourists involves not hordes of lone men but families with kids who can’t access Europe so they come to Ukraine to experience stuff like misty Carpathian mountains and tourist ranches there , Lviv’s old city, etc. Locals think it’s funny and exotic to see these veiled women around. Veiled women aren’t sex tourists.

  139. AP says:
    @Seraphim

    I must stress to you as well that Romanians have no reason to join the religion of the ‘evul Russians’, the more that their experiences with the Cossacks were not conducive to view them in the glorious light you see them.

    So you like and support the KGB snitch hierarchs running the Russian Orthodox Church and demand that Constantinople submits to their will, but dislike the regular Russian people. Noted.

    As a matter of fact, the ‘Communist Party of Rumania – Section of the Comintern’, was initially staffed by Ukrainians and ‘Ukrainians’ of the Zelenski/Kolomoisky sort who behaved towards Romanians

    Like many Sovoks, you have a taste for the 1970s and 1980s Soviet system (the one of your youth?). You have already implicitly confessed to a regret for the fall of the regime and Romania’s turn westward, and repeated dishonest nonsense about Romania now being worse off as a result (refuted by Karlin’s description of the place based on his visit there).

    I was wondering about your use of significant theological and historical knowledge in the service of malevolence, combined with dishonesty. Thanks to your confessions here it turns out to just be banal Soviet influence. Behold the Romanian subspecies of Homo Sovieticus internet crank.

    Your blasphemous nom de plume is the icing on the cake.

    Ukrainians are part and parcel of the ‘Bolshevik filth’ that submerged Russia

    An interesting way of playing with the truth. Russian-speaking Jews from Ukraine who came to power over Ukraine due to invasion from Russia are described as Ukrainians because they are from Ukraine. I guess Sikorsky and Bulgakov must have been Ukrainians also, or does this only apply to Jews?

    So, if ‘perception’ plays a role in political options, Stalin was a handsome man (Gruzins are handsome people, their women are of stupendous beauty) and not deprived of a certain stateliness

    So now we dig further into your morality.

    Contrast that with the porcine face of the shoe-banging Khrushchev (Ukrainian ‘trough and trough

    Khrushchev was, of course, an ethnic Russian from both sides of his family. He was bad, but not as bad as was the Georgian gangster who preceded him, the one you seem to have some ambivalent feelings for (rather than revulsion as would a decent person).

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    , @Mikhail
  140. Mr. Hack says:
    @Svidomyatheart

    The question is how to get out of this mess. All I want is a Russianfree Ukraine. Correction. Minorityfree.

    Ukraine has pretty much always been a land of new waives of immigration. Before the formation of Rus, during the “great migration of peoples” period we see the spread of the Indo-European peoples throughout Europe starting in Ukraine and moving westward. A little later, we see large groupings like the Trypillians, Scythians, Sarmatians live within the Ukrainian lands (and in other neighboring areas too) and leave their imprint too. Huns, Pechenegs, Cumins (Polovtsi), Cherkassy, Avars, Kipchaks and others all came and went. A Slavic veneer undoubtedly started to assimilate all of these people into an Ukrainian ethnos. All these groups left their genetic imprint within Ukraine. Did you know that in the pre-Modern era up to 1/10 of Ukraine included new Polish colonists? Russians, that you seem to dislike so much, began, moving to Ukrainian territories in the 17th century, quit a few in the eastern “Sloboda” area.

    Did you know that such notable Ukrainian icons like Ivan Franko and Lesia Ukrainka actually had Germanic family roots? So the answer is to slowly assimilate these minorities organically, not somehow displace them with any sort of a program of extinction, like you seem to be interested in seeing. As Ukraine begins to be more prosperous, it will attract even more outlanders. This will present even more issues. Keep your eye on what develops within Hungary and Poland, countries that already face these issues today.

    • Replies: @Mikhail
  141. Mr. Hack says:
    @AP

    Behold the Romanian subspecies of Homo Sovieticus internet crank.

    I agree, this is an accurate way to describe our Romanian commenter here. I suppose that somehow his “Homo Sovieticus” soul also morphed into some kind of a Russophile too, however it’s not quite clear how this transformation took place? I imagine that there were plenty of Romanian sovoks in Romania at one time, but the vast majority did not morph into Russophiles?….A Romanian Russophile is indeed a “strange kettle of fish”. 🙂

    • Replies: @AP
  142. AP says:
    @Mr. Hack

    I think he explained that he looks down on the Russian people, he just likes the Soviet collaborator Church hierarchs.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  143. Mr. Hack says:
    @AP

    He’s even more incoherent than I thought, if what you say is true. Sometimes, he likes to come off as some sort of an Orthodox theologian? We’ll probably never know, for he has a tendency of disappearing at those junctures where his thoughts and persona don’t quite add up. But then he’ll show up again in a few months, when he feels that “the coast is clear”. 🙂

  144. @Beckow

    What ks the mood in Europe and what do you think the future of the EU will be? I recall years back hearing the EU was thinkoing of breaking up because western europeans did not like subsidizing central amd eastern europe. I havent heard that talk lately – even after Brexit. What is the real deal? Is the EU now completely subservient to NATO (basically US) policy?

  145. Passer by says:

    There is no way out when you join the Empire. : )

    Ukraine’s LGBT army

    Viktor Pilipenko is an officer who served in the infamous nationalist Donbass Batallion. He publicly confessed his homosexuality. Having gained popularity and money from American “partners”, he called on gays all over the country to join LGBT troops.

    “Every day we prepare for an attack of the enemy” (in the forest) lol

    https://southfront.org/ukrainian-military-propaganda-patriots-training-to-fight-enemies-in-kiev-forests-photos-18/

  146. @Passer by

    Dude if gays serve in the army, its excellent, even better if that fag can recruit every one of them into the army, and its best if they’re sent to the ​frontlines and as such in a way they’re kind of like Russian nazis, Chechen Muslims that fight on our side, little Russian mischlings that live in Eastern Ukraine, etc

    Nothing of value is lost when they disappear

    They shouldn’t be anywhere near Kiev though, but near Donetsk…

  147. Mikhail says: • Website
    @AP

    So you like and support the KGB snitch hierarchs running the Russian Orthodox Church and demand that Constantinople submits to their will, but dislike the regular Russian people. Noted.

    As if the svido pro-UPA/OUN UGCC kind are ethically better.

    Khrushchev was, of course, an ethnic Russian from both sides of his family. He was bad, but not as bad as was the Georgian gangster who preceded him, the one you seem to have some ambivalent feelings for (rather than revulsion as would a decent person).

    A southern Russky sharing similar traits with Ukes. Reminded of the DNA bit.

    In his case, some other factors to consider as well. In his youth, he spent a good deal of time in MaloRossiya – later heading the Uke SSR.

    He was bad, but not as bad as was the Georgian gangster who preceded him, the one you seem to have some ambivalent feelings for (rather than revulsion as would a decent person).

    Overall, Joe was worse. On religion and with the OC specifically in mind, K was worse.For Machiavellian morale reasoning, Joe became more lenient to the OC during WW II. K noticeably clamped down on them.

    • Replies: @Seraphim
  148. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Mr. Hack

    Did you know that such notable Ukrainian icons like Ivan Franko and Lesia Ukrainka actually had Germanic family roots?

    So much for the suggestion by some svidos that Ukes are more Slavic than Russkys.

  149. LatW says:
    @AP

    I saw almost no such people when I was last in Ukraine in 2017, but there are a lot of them this year, it’s a Covid thing.

    Yes, apparently the Emiratis in the streets of Kyiv is a recent trend. Could be partly Covid, partly the results of the outreach that’s been happening in the recent years towards various, more “exotic” export markets. I noticed that the President has taken great interest in Qatar.

    It looks like there has been a new wave of globalization that’s been ongoing even despite Covid and that seems to be benefitting Central Europe, including Ukraine (in some aspects). Ecommerce has been growing a lot. So this new tourist trend could be a part of this wave of opening up to more exotic markets, opening of direct flights with Dubai. Hopefully, it’s a higher level of tourist (it appears so).

    This is actually interesting because both Ukraine and Russia started sending more grain to that region recently. And the Baltic States, too, have started cooperating more with the Gulf states for the last 5 years or so. Lithuania got a permission to export grain to Saudi Arabia directly at the same time as Russia did.

    All these countries are competing in the food marketplace (and potentially elsewhere… and btw it’d be awesome to create niche products together with Ukrainians). But it looks like it’s working out well for everyone.

    Although I did hear on a Ukrainian podcast that the Gulf states have been a little worried about the situation in the Black Sea region because they’re receiving a lot of grain from Ukraine through the southern ports (Mariupol, Berdyansk).

    It would probably be helpful to elevate these concerns to show on a diplomatic level how important Ukraine is for global food security.

    • Thanks: GMC
    • Replies: @Beckow
  150. @Passer by

    Queer fascists!! Humanity marches on!!!!

  151. Seraphim says:
    @Mikhail

    You have ‘noted’ the logic of AP: I am a Russophile who dislikes Russian people!

    • Replies: @AP
    , @Mr. Hack
  152. @AP

    We can discuss the history of Orthodoxy in the Soviet Union (or in the Ottoman Empire) another time, since it is a distraction from my two main points, which are independent of one’s attitude toward the ROC. First, the process by which the OCU was created is uncanonical and causing major dissension even in those churches that recognize it. Second, the Church of Constantinople in particular is degenerating rapidly and I’m afraid that there will be a major schism even just within the Mediterranean Orthodox world, regardless of the relation to the Eastern European churches.

    To make my points, let us suppose as a thought experiment that the position of the late ROCOR Metropolitan Anastassy Gribanovsky was correct and that moreover it applies to the current ROC and UOC until such time as a full investigation and condemnation of past sins has been carried out:

    As regards the Moscow Patriarchate and its hierarchs, then, so long as they continue in close, active and benevolent cooperation with the Soviet Government, which openly professes its complete godlessness and strives to implant atheism in the entire Russian nation, then the Church Abroad, maintaining Her purity, must not have any canonical, liturgical or even simply external communion with them whatsoever, leaving each one of them at the same time to the final judgment of the Council (Sobor) of the future free Russian Church.

    (This, by the way, is more or less the position of the “Russian Orthodox Church in Exile”, with which that colorful character the Saker is involved, last time I heard, but I digress.)

    Under this assumption, it would make perfect sense for the priests and bishops in Ukraine who were excommunicated by the ROC to seek protection under the omophorion of another autocephalous church. Also, it might make sense for a council representing all autocephalous churches to decide upon the creation of a new autocephalous church in Ukraine.

    Since unity in communion is as a matter of principle supposed to be a transitive relation, this course of action could only be canonical if a number of other autocephalous churches had broken communion with the ROC. So let’s suppose we live in some parallel universe in which the churches of Alexandria, Antioch, Cyprus, Constantinople, Greece, and Jerusalem have broken communion with the ROC (these are precisely the universally recognized autocephalous churches which have been free from interference of an explicitly atheist government). In this case, it is rather unclear what would happen, since so far only four of those six has recognized the autocephaly unilaterally granted by Constantinople, and in all of those four, the decision was top-down and is causing major internal dissension, with various hierarchs, abbots, and priests objecting.

    That brings me to my second point, the degeneration of the Church of Constantinople. The Ecumenical Patriarch has for many generations misinterpreted his name, and the hierarchs of the Church of Constantinople have regularly held “ecumenical prayer services” with churches in which they are not in communion, a practice forbidden by the canons. So far, there has not been an explicit denial of the Orthodox faith, or an equating of it with other religions, but it seems only a matter of time. In particular, Archbishop Elpidophoros (a plausible candidate for future Patriarch) has implicitly denied that Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life:

    When you elevate one religion above all others, it is as if you decide there is only one path leading to the top of the mountain. But the truth is you simply cannot see the myriads of paths that lead to the same destination, because you are surrounded by boulders of prejudice that obscure your view.

    Maybe as a Catholic, and therefore a subject of Pope Francis who has made more explicit denials, you agree with this. Here is the Pope and the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar:

    The pluralism and the diversity of religions, colour, sex, race and language are willed by God in His wisdom, through which He created human beings.

    https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2019-02/pope-francis-uae-declaration-with-al-azhar-grand-imam.html

    Not to mention the whole pachamama scandal, which makes Elpidophoros’s visit to Athena look harmless in comparison.

    But while Catholics might agree with such goings-on, most Orthodox emphatically do not, and I presume that includes almost all Orthodox in Ukraine, on either side of the Russian-Ukrainian schism, which will seem rather minor compared to the ruptures that would follow a reunion of Constantinople and Rome.

    (By the way, it is perhaps not a coincidence that those hierarchs of the ROC most guilty of excessive collaboration with the Soviet government are precisely those who were most involved in the “ecumenical” movement.)

    Go ahead and reply. I have said what I’m going to say for now. I would only add that I think you are so concerned about the sins of the past that you are in danger of being oblivious to present threats, either within the Orthodox church, or within your own Catholic church. In particular, you would do well to be concerned about the “homosexual clique” within the Church of Rome, as the Pope Emeritus puts it:

    https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/41013/full-text-of-benedict-xvi-essay-the-church-and-the-scandal-of-sexual-abuse

    • Agree: Seraphim
    • Replies: @AP
    , @Mikhail
  153. awry says:

    The latest news from Svidomy: Ukrainian nationalists now want to rename Ukraine to “Rus-Ukraine” because “Russia had stolen the history of Ukraine and appropriated Ukrainian achievements. Therefore, Ukraine must fight for the heritage of Kievan Rus and is already winning at the international level.” Oleksiy Arestovych, the speaker of the Ukrainian delegation to the Tripartite Contact Group on Donbass, said that Ukraine needed to be renamed in order to deprive Russia of the right to the history and heritage of Kievan Rus.

    Arestovych stated this during an interview with journalist Roman Tsymbalyuk:
    “They need to take away the brand of “Russian” in the end. I am struggling to call the war correctly, for example, the Russian-Russian war. Now there is a Russian-Russian war. So for real, Rus-Russian. Rus is us. Rus, Rusyns. I would change the name of the state, call us Rus-Ukraine, make a double name. We are working on it. That would close the topic in the end , ”

    Wuz kangs and sheet… It reminds of Slovaks and Romanians claiming that Hungary stole “their heritage”.

    • LOL: Anatoly Karlin
    • Replies: @Seraphim
    , @Aedib
    , @AnonFromTN
    , @AP
    , @LatW
  154. Svevlad says:
    @Mikhail

    Haha, go ahead!

    As a matter of fact, they should be given holy natostan status immediately (direct rule from Washington, like Kosovo) and be fast tracked to EU. Infinite funding, with total loss of autonomy, so we can’t have another Poland/Hungary on our hands. Literally turn the whole place into ultrawoke cesspit, throw enough money to bankrupt half the planet to do so. Gay public orgy quotas, weekly pride marches, and so on and so forth. Then the populace will become pissed, and the whole world shall laugh at the American autism given form in it’s latest cultural colonization victim, and then the eternal troll happens.

    I call this, “indirect suicide of an entire civilization.”

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  155. AP says:
    @Seraphim

    You have ‘noted’ the logic of AP: I am a Russophile who dislikes Russian people!

    Your words about the Russian people:

    “Romanians have no reason to join the religion of the ‘evul Russians’, the more that their experiences with the Cossacks were not conducive to view them in the glorious light you see them.”

    Your words about Stalin, the ethnic Georgian who murdered millions of Russians, versus the ethnic Russian Khrushchev:

    “So, if ‘perception’ plays a role in political options, Stalin was a handsome man (Gruzins are handsome people, their women are of stupendous beauty) and not deprived of a certain stateliness. Contrast that with the porcine face of the shoe-banging Khrushchev (Ukrainian ‘trough and trough’) who was derided by Romanians”

    ::::::::::::

    You clearly have more sympathy for Soviets than for the Russian people. Your attitude towards theological claims stems from this.

    • Replies: @Seraphim
  156. Seraphim says:
    @awry

    Romanians claim that Hungarians stole the land that was their inheritance.

  157. Mr. Hack says:
    @Seraphim

    It’s a good thing that I see you clearly for what you are, a “Romanian Russophile”. You standout like a dark cloud in the midst of blue skies.

  158. Mr. Hack says:
    @Svevlad

    You’re preaching to the wrong guy, Svevlad. I think that Mikhail is one of those complacent Americans who has no problem in accepting the “ultrawoke cesspit, Gay public orgy quotas, weekly pride marches, and so on and so forth” that you write about. I could be wrong?….

    • LOL: Mikhail
    • Replies: @Mikhail
    , @Svevlad
  159. Aedib says:
    @awry

    They also want to ask the United Nations to rename Russia as “Big Mongolia because Russians are not Russians, they are Mongols”. What’s funny is that svidos doesn’t only want to rewrite the history of Ukraine. They also want to rewrite the history of other countries.
    1984’sIngSoc would be very proud of svidos.

  160. @awry

    Ukrainian nationalists now want to rename Ukraine to “Rus-Ukraine” because “Russia had stolen the history of Ukraine and appropriated Ukrainian achievements.

    The operating logic is, if you don’t have any heritage, someone must have stolen it. Svidos should move this logic one step further: if you don’t have any brains, someone must have stolen them.

  161. AP says:
    @awry

    The funny thing is that Russian claims to Rus are as fake as Ukrainian ones. It is a case of black Cubans fighting with Guatemalan Indians over who is the real Spanish Conquistador. If Ukrainians succeed in renaming their county they will achieve Muscovite levels of LARPing

    • Disagree: Anatoly Karlin, Mikhail
  162. AP says:
    @The Big Red Scary

    First, the process by which the OCU was created is uncanonical

    This is certainly the claim of the KGB-collaborator hierarchy. The untainted Church claims the action is canonical:

    https://www.patheos.com/blogs/ecperson/2016/08/04/for-archbishop-job-of-telmessos-the-question-of-ukraine-comes-down-to-what-a-canon-is/3/

    the Church of Constantinople in particular is degenerating rapidly

    It has not fallen nearly enough to equal the depths of the one whose hierarchy consists of leaders hand-picked by an atheist regime with blood of 100,000s of martyrs on its hands.

    In particular, Archbishop Elpidophoros (a plausible candidate for future Patriarch) has implicitly denied that Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life:

    “When you elevate one religion above all others, it is as if you decide there is only one path leading to the top of the mountain. But the truth is you simply cannot see the myriads of paths that lead to the same destination, because you are surrounded by boulders of prejudice that obscure your view.”

    This seems too broad. The position of the ROC is far more ridiculous in its narrowness, however. It in essence maintains that the gatekeepers to salvation are hierarchs appointed by godless Communists, literal Judases who obtained privilege and power from the same blood-soaked hands that murdered 100,000s of martyrs and millions of Orthodox Christians. Whoever should oppose these Alexeis, Filarets, Kirrils – be they Rome, or Constantinople itself – are denied salvation. What a silly and evil idea, worthy of the Stalin- sympathizing blasphemer “Serephim.”

    so far only four of those six has recognized the autocephaly unilaterally granted by Constantinople

    One of the ones who has not, Antioch, literally depends on Russia and it’s ally for its very survival. But yes, the strong majority of Churches untainted by Bolshevism side with Constantinople.

    I think you are so concerned about the sins of the past

    The past affects the present. The Tomos brought into communion with Constantinople millions of devout Christian souls. The same hierarchs whose sponsoring state had murdered millions of these peoples compatriots reject this solution. Within Ukraine, the devout virtuous and Church going population is on the side of Constantinople, the parts of the country that is AIDS infested on African levels, and otherwise does not live as Christians, opposes. This fact probably reflects the real truth more so than do competing theological claims.

  163. LatW says:
    @awry

    “I am struggling to call the war correctly, for example, the Russian-Russian war. Now there is a Russian-Russian war. So for real, Rus-Russian. Rus is us. Rus, Rusyns.”

    This is more accurately translated as “The war between Rusyns and Russia” (or should probably be called “Russia’s war on Rusyns”). Rusyns being not the Carpathian minority, but the original Ukrainian nationality (“Ruthenians”). What Ukrainians used to be called in medieval times.

    It is the Rus’ with the so called “softening character” (мягкий знак) – “руська – российска война”.

    He’s basically saying that Ukraine and Russia are in an existential, civilizational conflict similar to the one that Arabs and Jews have over Jerusalem. The fight over who has the “birthright” (первородство).

    And this is not the first time “Rus-Ukraina” is used, it’s been around since at least Poroshenko years. The band Shyrokiy Lan used it in their songs years ago.

    Btw, Arestovych is not even a Ukrainian nationalist, but more of a statist, patriot. He’s a very philosophical guy with a long history of identity formation (he even used to hang out with Dugin 20 years ago but now he’s a conservative democrat). He is a Russophone, too, who recently switched to Ukrainian. He gets all kinds of criticism from real Ukrainian nationalists and the Poroshenko group (“European Solidarity”). From nationalists because he still speaks Russian occasionally and his vision is a pluralistic Ukraine with many nationalities included (with Ukrainian being the core nationality), although he’s strictly against Finlandization. Btw, real nationalists call Russia “Moskovia” (with straight faces).

    And the Poroshenko crowd criticizes him for not being fully onboard with the pro-Western agenda, as he wants a more sovereign Ukraine. He even has this funny idea of “Future Sich”. He could be future Hetman if he had institutional / financial backing. Anyway, they should stop bickering because it can be used from the outside.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  164. LatW says:
    @Seraphim

    So, if ‘perception’ plays a role in political options, Stalin was a handsome man (Gruzins are handsome people, their women are of stupendous beauty) and not deprived of a certain stateliness. Contrast that with the porcine face of the shoe-banging Khrushchev (Ukrainian ‘trough and trough’) who was derided by Romanians.

    LOL, a young Stalin was indeed insanely handsome, but have you seen a young Yushchenko? Super stud.

    “Certain stateliness…”? There’s different kinds of stateliness. There’s Gru Harlem Brundtland and there’s Pol Pot.

    And most Ukrainians don’t look like Krushchev at all. You could see in the Independence Day parade what they look like — super lean, with elongated, skinny faces.

  165. Beckow says:
    @LatW

    I am not (yet) sure about those particular tourists, but any diversification for Central-Eastern Europe is a huge plus. Our countries are in the middle of everything and also surrounded by larger players. Historically that has led to constant invasions, meddling, and encouraging internal disputes by outsiders. Like right now.

    This is a good article from Fin Times:
    https://www.ft.com/content/4d925bae-fa89-4e64-9063-0c01e3b5690c

    It signals fatalistic acceptance by the Western elites that they will have to deal with Russia as it is, with its strength and power. It is a kind of progress. They are sobering up. With the Kabul fiasco the old men (and women) of the West will try for a safer assisted-living policy. Kiev may want to think about that before all they have left are a few Qatari tourists and lots of armed militias that nobody can pay for.

    The article mentions how Turkey stepped in after Bulgaria refused to transit Russian gas to Europe – McCain visited Sofia and Bulgaria shot itself in the foot to please him. That will be forever used as an example how compradors can be bullied at high cost to their countries. Good one, Bulgarians, I am sure McCain’s 15 minutes with you was worth the billions you are losing on this idiocy. Latvia’s transit is a similar disaster story of fools mostly hurting themselves.

    • Replies: @LatW
  166. LatW says:

    I am not (yet) sure about those particular tourists, but any diversification for Central-Eastern Europe is a huge plus.

    Even if there are obligations to the EU, it doesn’t mean there can’t be diversification (btw, diversification includes the US which from the POV of EE business is still an “exotic” market) and it’s been going on for a few years already (noticed it really kicking in around 2016, at first I thought that it was because of Trump and the wealth expansion that he started or some EU financial moves but it seems it could be something larger). It’s really mostly a matter of your own competitiveness. Best is, of course, if our men go overseas to make money there and do not bring foreign men over, but.. this is an archaic idea and nothing is ideal.

    As to exotic tourists, if all is kept in balance and not overdone, it could work ok, but it could also permanently change the urban landscape. Also, some locals might like it. Kyiv is a metropolis and all large European cities are that way, but whether one wants it that way is a different question. If one can bring his stuff to Kyiv and sell it to Qataris, it’s awesome. If not booze, then cosmetics, experiences, etc. In that video, Arestovych actually brought up some of the problems that Lithuanian investors were experiencing and what Zelensky might do to tackle that. We’ll see. Maybe it’s worth being patient if the results could be really rewarding?

    Kiev may want to think about that before all they have left are a few Qatari tourists and lots of armed militias that nobody can pay for.

    The Gulf tourists are just a tiny drop in the ocean, a recent curiosity. There are startups, etc. Agro, as mentioned. As to paying for m**itias…. the guys in the parade seemed pretty well equipped. That doesn’t solve the general armament problems, but it’s not like they have nothing. Ehem.. does the Slovak army have even a fraction of what they have? Rhetorical question. Well, you guys probably don’t even need it, you’re very nicely tucked away there.

    Latvia’s transit is a similar disaster story of fools mostly hurting themselves.

    The original pipe was shut down already in Yeltsin’s time, so it’s a long story. It has less to do with the US than you think. Political demands are attached to it that cannot be fulfilled, Americans or no Americans. Yes, the transit issue is not great, but remember that in a free market it is competitiveness and private companies not government mandate that will decide things. Yes, Russia can move the large chemical processing companies, etc, back to Russia which is painful but there will be other companies in Russia who will need more convenient and better serviced transit anyway.

    Transit is important and definitely should be worked on (I genuinely feel for those who work in that industry) but it should not be relied on too much. There should be industrial hubs around the ports with new production – that is very hard to build, but it is the ideal model. And, btw, trade with Russia has never really gone down and probably can’t. Paradoxically, right after 2014, trade with Russia dropped, but then in a couple of years bounced back to higher than it’s ever been. You’ll probably say “Oh, but it could be even better if you guys were like Belarus!”. Yea, sure. But it’s a bit like… if you have a woman who tries to look nice and you compare her to a model on a magazine cover and say “Oh, how come you’re not that beautiful?”. That’s kind of mean.

  167. Mikhail says: • Website
    @The Big Red Scary

    Is the ROCOR the same as the “Russian Orthodox Church in Exile”. As you might know, the ROCOR has become a willing loose affiliate with the ROC-MP.

    • Replies: @AP
  168. LatW says:
    @Beckow

    P.s. I don’t have an FT subscription so I’ll wait until this very interesting article becomes public. But it’s kind of what I was alluding to above re: Ukraine & food security. Btw, Lithuania is the second biggest grain exporter in the EU, after France. I remember a video with Putin from like 10 years ago when he was told that klyukva (cranberries) were imported from Latvia and I actually had sympathy for him. You could import avocados, but not cranberries… haha. But the market is cruel. It’s like “Polish apples”.

    • Replies: @LatW
  169. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Mr. Hack

    You’re preaching to the wrong guy, Svevlad. I think that Mikhail is one of those complacent Americans who has no problem in accepting the “ultrawoke cesspit, Gay public orgy quotas, weekly pride marches, and so on and so forth” that you write about. I could be wrong?….

    Interesting in that I recall you getting some heat (not from me) for disagreeing with previous anti-Black and anti-Hispanic comments.

    Regarding PC woke, snowflake types:

    https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2021/08/03/anti-russian-bigotry-and-western-woke-manner/

    I don’t care about the sexual preferences of others. I just don’t like being force fed certain views. Related to that are the hypocrites who lecture on bigotry, while allowing such manner towards some others.

    I’m probably in the majority in terms of opposing going after someone strictly on their ethnic and-or religious background as well as sexual preference. I don’t think that stance necessarily makes one to be the PC, woke, snowflake category.

  170. Seraphim says:
    @AP

    The ‘religion of the evul Russian’ to which I was alluding (perhaps too cryptically, which induced the confusion in your mind) is your own ‘Russophobia’: Russians are evil no matter what, you must hate them, hatred of Russians is a mark of your ‘identity’ (more pure ‘aryan-european’ than the mongrel Moskali?), sympathy for them is a flaw of character which excludes you from the civilized society, whoever has any good words for them is an enemy, who is with them is against us. Romanians have no reasons to be Russophobes. They had more reasons to be weary of the Cossack bandits, all too often allied with the Tartars bandits.

    • Replies: @AP
  171. LatW says:
    @LatW

    @Beckow,

    So the FT article is quite interesting. Especially about the climate differences among Russia’s regions.

    These trends have been around for a few years now. Back during the oil boom they thought they’d just sell oil and import everything and had the attitude to go with it. There was a lot of partying. 🙂 Those days are ancient history now and it looks like there’s been a change in attitude. Time to do some farming. It’ll be like in the Tsar’s days. 🙂

    Both Russian and Ukrainian soil is quite clean compared to overworked Western soil. The soil should be preserved for the children so that the children can both have clean soil and cash in big.

    But otherwise not much new in this article except this little piece of data:

    The UN calculates that the world will want to produce an additional 40 per cent extra meals by 2050 merely to hold tempo with a world inhabitants that’s anticipated to rise by 2bn folks over the following 30 years.

    Uh oh. Is that even doable? Looks like there will more than enough mouths to feed. Both Russia and Ukraine, as well as the Baltic States, will do very well out of this.

    • Replies: @Beckow
    , @Levtraro
  172. AP says:
    @Seraphim

    The ‘religion of the evul Russian’ to which I was alluding (perhaps too cryptically, which induced the confusion in your mind) is your own ‘Russophobia’ Russians are evil no matter what, you must hate them, hatred of Russians is a mark of your ‘identity’ (more pure ‘aryan-european’ than the mongrel Moskali?), sympathy for them is a flaw of character which excludes you from the civilized society, whoever has any good words for them is an enemy, who is with them is against us.

    Now you lie about me. I have no Russophobia and none of those statements apply to me.

    Scratch a liar, find a Soviet sympathizer.

  173. AP says:
    @Mikhail

    Is the ROCOR the same as the “Russian Orthodox Church in Exile”

    The Russian Orthodox Church in Exile split from the ROCOR when the latter accepted Moscow.

  174. Dmitry says:
    @Bardon Kaldian

    Ukraine is a tragedy for its average citizens compared to other European countries, mainly because it has a very low GDP per capita (GDP per capita 4 times lower than poor European countries like Poland whose citizens you can hear describing their homeland as “depressing, difficult to survive shithole”).

    Unlike the Russia Federation, Ukraine doesn’t have much of “big money” industries of hydrocarbons, minerals. metals, mining (well the latter was mainly focused in Donbass).

    Business development in Ukraine will require that their companies can access the larger markets with free trade and other kinds of integration.

    Although ten times larger than Ukraine’s economy, Russia still has a very small GDP by comparison to Western countries. Russia’s GDP is \$1,7 trillion – by comparison Italy’s economy is much larger with \$2,1 trillion GDP. Russia’s economy is closer to the size of Spain’s economy (\$1,45 trillion) than Italy’s GDP.

    So it’s inevitable for long term economic in Ukraine that they require at least free trade and access to the EU’s circa \$23 trillion GDP. Ukraine won’t develop if it loses access to the large economy.

    Optimally, Ukraine’s leadership should have aimed to have good relations with both Russia and the EU, and “multivector” between both their neighbours. However, their political life is more like an idiocracy, and anyway the chaos, political instability, coup, and civil war has destroyed the relationship with Russia’s politics.

    This includes that the oligarch clans that are the final address of a lot of industry in Russia, are now hating oligarchs in Ukraine – which latter has likely stolen much of Russian oligarchs’ Ukrainian investments. Before 2014, oligarchs in both sides had been mutually investing, with Russia particularly investing in Ukraine (for anecdote of their interaction, before 2014 Timchenko was funding the construction of Kolomoisky’s expensive Jewish community centre project in Dnipro – to bond business ties, postsoviet oligarchs can often be seen wasting money on each other’s multinational religious infrastructure; overproduction of different religious infrastructure becoming one of the eccentric symbols of the wasteful spending priorities of postsoviet political elites).

    Ideally Ukraine would have tried multivector external policy. Although even if they had enough organization to attempt this, it is not always a successful strategy. Lukashenko’s attempts to ally with the EU, has more resulted in enraging them. Nobody hates Moscow politicians more than Lukashenko (if you listen to his interviews where he speaks in more relaxed way), and yet in the end it is EU politicians which is trying to remove him.

    Gaddafi had actually been attempting to become friends with the EU and the USA, in the years before they had betrayed him.

    So we can probably accept Ukraine’s geopolitical alignment is somehow inevitable. Even if they had attempted to multivector to good relations with both EU and the Russian Federation, it wouldn’t necessarily have been achieved. Even such diplomatically nimble, multivectoring Aliyev, is hardly achieving a great relation with EU.

    Unfortunately, with that said, geopolitical alignment with the EU is also not guarantee that Ukraine’s economy will climb to acceptable GDP per capita levels.

    EU is only lightly integrating Ukraine. Even very deeply integrated Greece has learned the lesson of noncovergence.* Meanwhile Bulgaria is full EU member for 14 years and yet Bulgaria is still a poor and corrupt country, not far from Belarus, and moreover with a large part of its young population has emigrated to the wealthy EU countries – creating the world’s “fastest shrinking country”.**

    *

    **

  175. Beckow says:
    @LatW

    The whole region will do very well out if this…and that includes Russia. Given that Russia is just bigger …. it is big!!!! … it is stupid not to take advantage of it, not to have some integration and trade. Of course, for resentful outsiders from Brussels and Berlin to Washington and London it would be much preferable to turn the Central-Eastern Europe region into a no-man ‘s land of constant instability and fighting. A buffer zone where nobody wants to invest, where the locals run away and take their money with them, with cheap exotic tourism (women?) and a cheap reservoir of labor. Maybe even empty lands to settle at least some of the Third World surplus heading to Europe. Ukraine has lost 10 million people and Latvia about 25% of its 1990 population.

    …woman who tries to look nice and you compare her to a model on a magazine cover and say “Oh, how come you’re not that beautiful?”. That’s kind of mean.

    Survival is mean, it just is, we need to work with that. But that woman on a magazine cover is what seems to bewitch the local populations in the CE region – they yearn for the fake magazine, even when they finally meet the rather sh..tty looking reality, they still prefer the fake magazine cover – something in the water or whatever, maybe just libido in the wrong place.

    The world is heading into a resources crunch: too many people piled into smaller places who will need food, water, energy – or just some open space that is not a desert or a jungle. There is literally no better geography than the CE region – with a relatively small and smart population. Also the swarthiness is manageable. The West knows this (trust me, they study it) – they either want it or they would prefer to destroy it. It helps the West and local morons who help for a small handout or a cookie are the real problem. Russia is symbolically at the heart of it: getting the locals to fight and hate Russia is the easiest way for the West to control the place. But this is about emotions and I sometimes think that rationality loses out to emotions for a reason – the world is not and never will be a rational place. So there you have it, it could still go to hell – another sh..le region full of resentment, yearning and swarthy outsiders.

  176. LatW says:

    The whole region will do very well out if this…and that includes Russia.

    Yes, that’s exactly what I wrote. All of what Putin calls “historical Russia” will do well, based at least on this article you posted. If food output needs to be doubled in 28 years, that’s just a lot of future food production. All these countries will do well, even separately.

    Given that Russia is just bigger …. it is big!!!! … it is stupid not to take advantage of it, not to have some integration and trade.

    Yes, it is big. But it’s all relative. Have you seen the map of Russia at night? No offense. Of course, that might be good actually. Lots of free virginal soil for future generations to cash in on. Has anyone even measured how much untouched chernozem Russia might have? But what I mean is that, while Russia is big, other places are big, too. EU is over twice that population and much richer, Ukraine + Poland together are big, China is even bigger, Scandinavia is smaller but has rich customers, Qataris are loaded, etc, etc. It’s all relative.

    And, as I wrote, trade with Russia has actually increased. Even for Ukraine they are one of the main trade partners. Would it be nice to have more trade with Russia? Yes. But even with the best relationship, you still have to offer them a niche product that they want and still compete with their local producers. There are no handouts. It doesn’t look like they will be giving out any oil discounts, not even to their friends, why should they?

    CE… A buffer zone where nobody wants to invest

    Are you kidding? There’s been a ton of investment. The only issue is that when they started investing, they picked up the best industries / assets and pushed out the locals (although they brought over decent business culture, too). But that’s improving now since there are successful local EE companies as well. Investment in Ukraine, that’s a separate issue. They’re working on it.

    [MORE]

    with cheap exotic tourism (women?)

    The xxx tourism is mostly taking place in Odessa, but this new tourism is looking better, that’s why I’m curious as to what these Gulf tourists do in Ukraine. Who is catering to their wishes and how. Chinese tourists, for example, travel not only to EE capitals, but they seem to be going even to more obscure places on the country side, small towns, etc. In the Baltic States, they would go on little apple cider tasting tours on the country side. Or open air opera near Teutonic castle ruins. Obviously, the more “unchaste” types of tourism bring in some good money (e.g., the booze tourism in Estonia from Finland was really lucrative), so the trick for Ukraine is to craft services where they can charge just as much or more (conferences, spas, experiences).

    There’s the Danish concept of “hygge” – coziness. This “hygge” can be created anywhere for anybody. Slavic women are very caring and aesthetically focused, they can create these places where all these Emiratis could hang out and pay nicely for it. It doesn’t have to be as negative as you paint.

    and a cheap reservoir of labor

    That’s over. The cheap reservoir of labor has been depleted, except maybe Ukraine, but then it’s over, and they have to source from Vietnam, etc. Did you read about what’s happening with the labor shortages in the UK?

    Ukraine has lost 10 million people and Latvia about 25% of its 1990 population.

    Yea, it’s not great, but remember that in 1990 Latvia had about 200,000 (!!!) Soviet troops stationed. I don’t remember exactly if that’s just the soldiers and navy themselves or with all the families, but still, that’s an insanely high number. Latvia was the centre of the Baltic military region, that’s why. The number of Russophones has dropped faster than Latvian. You may say that it doesn’t matter, but for many people it does. Had the Baltic States never been annexed in the first place, there would not have been such fluctuations and disruptions in the core economy. During the Russian Empire and in the 1930s, our economy did very well.

    But that woman on a magazine cover is what seems to bewitch the local populations in the CE region

    I actually meant something else, namely, one can always wish for more, but you have to work with what you have. If you can’t find agreement with Russia, then it is what it is and move on. But again, as I said, things on the ground are much, much better than in the news.

    But I remember that you have touched on the topic of CE folks being fascinated with Western materialism. It’s still the case, people are materialistic and love comfort and shiny things. But those things are changing now.

    There is literally no better geography than the CE region – with a relatively small and smart population.

    I know. Trust me, if the people are smart, they’ll take advantage of it. Ask for top dollar in the future. Prepare for the future now.

    So there you have it, it could still go to hell – another sh..le region full of resentment, yearning and swarthy outsiders.

    Who knows. But maybe all of the bigger players will retreat eventually? America is having a rough time now, with its own problems, America needs to soothe itself, have some “me time”. And Russia, too, could focus on itself — did you hear that Shoigu wants to move Russia’s pivot to Siberia and create more administrative centers there?

    But if Russia ever becomes a nationstate – I believe that we will meet again, we will be waiting for Russia…

    • Replies: @Seraphim
    , @Beckow
  177. Seraphim says:
    @LatW

    Europe might have been waiting ‘for the Cossacks and the Holy Ghost’ in the past (Leon Bloy), but now you might be ‘waiting for Godot’.
    Russia doesn’t need Europe, its ‘values’, she never really did, hence her ‘pivot to Siberia’, which was the policy of the ‘bloody Tsars’ since Ivan the Terrible, Peter the Great, the sainted Nicholas II, Stalin, Putin… Euramerica needs Siberia, but that is sour grapes for long.

    • Agree: AnonFromTN
    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    , @LatW
    , @VVV
  178. Mr. Hack says:
    @LatW

    And this is not the first time “Rus-Ukraina” is used, it’s been around since at least Poroshenko years. The band Shyrokiy Lan used it in their songs years ago.

    Actually, I think that it was Ukraine’s prolific historian Mikhailo Hrushevsky that first floated the term “Ukraine Rus” when he wrote his magnum opus “The History of Ukraine-Rus” that was first published in a serialized form in 1898. I think that it was first published in a book form (10 volumes) sometime in the 1930’s. This monumental work is considered to be the intellectual basis for Ukrainian history and its ability to stand alone as a separate school of history, not as a subset of Russian history. It’s been mostly published in the English language starting in 1997.

  179. Mr. Hack says:
    @Seraphim

    Russia doesn’t need Europe?

    Of course it does! What do you think the NS2 is all about??

    And if Russia doesn’t, then certainly Romania does. Unfortunately, the fear of being assaulted by Romanian criminals has kept many European travelers away in droves. People are especially afraid to travel throughout Romania by rail.

    • Replies: @Seraphim
  180. LatW says:
    @Seraphim

    hence her ‘pivot to Siberia’, which was the policy of the ‘bloody Tsars’ since Ivan the Terrible, Peter the Great,

    Er… excuse me? Lol… Ivan the Terrible razed Livonia. Peter the Great “carved a window to Europe”.

    • Agree: Mr. Hack
    • Replies: @The Big Red Scary
  181. Beckow says:
    @LatW

    Yes, it is big. But it’s all relative.

    Anything can be called relative. But Russia’s size is not relative. Not in a world of data. Russia has about 1/4 of world’s material resources, and about 2 % of its people. By far the best ratio. These things matter over time.

    Regarding hygge, as with physical discomfort it only matters when the mood is right – the mood of Ukraine is dark, gloomy and volatile, not a good place to enjoy hygge.

    It doesn’t have to be as negative as you paint.

    For some reason when it comes to swarthy guys visiting Europe it is almost always that negative. I also wonder why, but it just is. Hope springs eternal, but I would keep an eye on it, it tends to go south in more ways than one rather quickly.

    If you can’t find agreement with Russia, then it is what it is and move on.

    An agreement requires accepting the other side. Most CE-EE complaints are exactly about their inability to accept Russia as it is – screams into the darkness by people obsessed with minutia of history, or too bewitched by that model from Hollywood on the magazine cover. I have been to Hollywood (and more) and there are no models worth looking at there. Fake is fake, people wishing it was all real, people wishing it was the solution to their yearning are just fools living fake lives.

    The key question is whether CE-EE and Russia actually need each other. Theoretically they can go their own way and live as if the one didn’t exist – but that is just theory. In reality there are costs and the costs are higher than you think. Barren borderlands tend to be underdeveloped. At some point we can literally put a number on how much worse living standards and economy are in CE-EE without trade with Russia – is it 2% worse, or 5%? could it be more? We do know that it is not zero.

    Russia has moved east. Maybe that was inevitable, but the way it happened hurt CE-EE economies. And the costs are accumulating, it is like sitting on an under-utilized resource. Only fools do that.

    • Replies: @LatW
  182. Seraphim says:
    @Mr. Hack

    NS2 is needed by Germany.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  183. Seraphim says:
    @Mr. Hack

    There were no ‘questions’.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  184. @LatW

    The based Ivan vs. the cringe Peter.

    • Replies: @LatW
  185. Levtraro says:
    @LatW

    But otherwise not much new in this article except this little piece of data:

    The UN calculates that the world will want to produce an additional 40 per cent extra meals by 2050 merely to hold tempo with a world inhabitants that’s anticipated to rise by 2bn folks over the following 30 years.

    Uh oh. Is that even doable? Looks like there will more than enough mouths to feed. Both Russia and Ukraine, as well as the Baltic States, will do very well out of this.

    It is doable. There is a large resource we haven’t tapped yet. I will leave it at that (hint: the Japanese have been doing it since the end of the 19th century, when their population was 35 million; in the West there are few successful cases here and there).

  186. VVV says:
    @Seraphim

    There never was such a “pivot to Siberia”, or at least not before the late XIXth century and Alexander III. The initial conquest of Siberia by Ermak was financed by private merchants, the Stroganovs, not by the Tsar, and was mostly motivated by the expansion of the fur trade. AS others noted why did the Tsars fight so many wars against the poles, lithuanians, ottomans, prussians and french if they had “pivoted” to Siberia? Besides as i said before there was nothing of value to be found there before the industrial era except fur.

    • Agree: Mr. Hack
    • Replies: @Seraphim
  187. Mr. Hack says:
    @Seraphim

    “No questions”??

    So, how do you explain Romania’s image as a European backwater where one best sit on ones luggage while traveling throughout the country?

    • Replies: @AP
  188. Mr. Hack says:
    @Seraphim

    NS2 is needed by Germany.

    Do you even know who’s bearing all of the costs for the construction of NS2? Do you realize how vapid you’re sounding? You should stick to reading books about the early Slavic colonization of Romania. 🙂

    • Replies: @Passer by
    , @Simpleguest
  189. Svevlad says:
    @Mr. Hack

    Hey, I’m merely amplifying the intentions of thoughts of those many Ukrainians consider their friends, for easy comprehension – hyperbole is truly the most politically useful tool!

    Frankly, the Ukraine has a big rock versus hard place problem. A new problem, most countries of the world now face. Their continued existence dubious, and the options being reduced to whether or not there will be dignity in the doom, or none.

    Going neutral would be wise – the Russians tolerate this. The problem is, the Americans have lost their mind, and do not. You either completely suck up to them – which always leads to what I described, with the quotas and weekly parades, or you’re their super duper mortal enemy even if allied with them nominally and they’ll literally try to regime change you sneakily (see: Poland, Hungary)

    • Thanks: Showmethereal
    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  190. Mr. Hack says:
    @Svevlad

    If I understand him correctly, I’m pretty much in accord with Mikhail above #172 when it comes to dealing with gays etc. It’s when the acceptance of the gay lifestyle becomes the pivotal backbone of forming a country’s cultural inheritance and the requirement that this be done by all of the world that I find questionable. Some very respectable historians have included the spread and acceptance of the homosexual lifestyle as being one of the reasons that Roman society eventually fell to its demise.

    • Agree: Showmethereal
  191. Passer by says:
    @Mr. Hack

    Have you seen the explosion of gas prices in Europe to all time highs? Russia now refuses to sell via Ukraine’s GTS, causing shortages. “You want cheap gas – then book the NS-2 spare capacity”. There will be no low prices in Europe anymore unless NS-2 is online, that’s for sure.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  192. AP says:
    @Mr. Hack

    That’s probably because of Roma, not actual ethnic Romanians. Did anyone ask Romanians if it was okay for Gypsies to name themselves Roma? Eastern Europeans, Western Europeans and Russians already sometimes struggle to differentiate between the two peoples.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  193. Mr. Hack says:
    @AP

    Many people in Europe don’t struggle to differentiate between the Roma and the Romanian people, and just lop them all into one. Certainly that’s the case in Ukraine. I’m pretty sure that’s the case in the cartoon depiction in #190. What seems to differentiate crime in Romania from other neighboring countries is the rate at which it is perpetrated against visitors and vacationers:

    Crimes against tourists
    The United States Department of State Bureau of Diplomatic Security stated in the Romania 2017 Crime & Safety Report that “Most crimes against visitors are limited to crimes of opportunity or scams.” The report describes crimes such as individuals posing as plainclothes police officers, approaches of “quick friendship”, pick-pocketing in crowded areas and public transportation, aggressive panhandlers, fraudulently charging exorbitant prices, and crimes against train passengers which cross rural areas. It also warned about avoiding areas with a higher frequency of crime such as the neighborhood of Ferentari in Bucharest. However, the report argued that it was driving which was “perhaps the biggest safety concern that visitors will encounter”, due to disregard of driving laws.[8]

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crime_in_Romania

    It’s a shame, because it’s physically a very beautiful country!

    Have you returned yet from your vacation. Where did you end up going? See any interesting crime?

    • Replies: @Pericles
  194. Mr. Hack says:
    @Passer by

    I really thought that a big part of the US opposition towards NS2 was because the US has plenty of excess energy exports that it could send to Europe, not really some altruistic reasons to help Ukraine out. It really doesn’t seem that this scenario played out for the US, I don’t understand why?

    • Replies: @Passer by
    , @Vishnugupta
  195. Passer by says:
    @Mr. Hack

    Because corporations have huge influence in the US, and they are run for profit. Asian gas prices are higher than in Europe, ergo US gas goes to Asia, instead of “european allies”. Additionally, the shale oil/gas sector was hit hard by the Covid crisis and several projects for LNG gas terminals did not materialise.

    • Replies: @Beckow
  196. Pericles says:
    @Mr. Hack

    Many people in Europe don’t struggle to differentiate between the Roma and the Romanian people, and just lop them all into one.

    Many of us see far more gypsies (who are begging in our streets) than Romanians (who are haunting Transylvania or something, at any rate being far away), so it’s not so trivial.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    , @AP
  197. Beckow says:
    @Passer by

    US shale/gas is cheaper to ship to Asia. Russia’s gas is cheaper to ship to Europe – even as LNG. That is simply a business reality.

    Trying to go against it is like swimming upstream: it is exhausting and you eventually give up. The idiocy of Trump-Biden-Ukraine-Poland trying to stop NS2 was mind-boggling: it achieved nothing because the numbers were so stacked in favour of NS2. No smart person ever picks a fight that they will inevitably lose – and then makes sure that it becomes top news so their losing is highlighted.

    It is cheaper for Russia to ship via NS, NS2, and South Stream. It is even cheaper to fill any extra demand with Russian LNG gas. That makes the pipelines through Ukraine and Poland the high-cost alternative only used if demand in Europe is very high and the capacity is needed. Any way you look at it, this is a win-win for Russia.

    Kiev should had made a better deal quietly early on – they could have, but their emotions and false hopes and faith in Washington kept them from doing it. Hopefully the Qatari tourists can make up for the loss :)…

    • Thanks: Mr. Hack
    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  198. Mr. Hack says:
    @Pericles

    Sure, I understand what you’re saying, however, this doesn’t fully explain the crimes mostly of theft that visitors experience while in Romania. It’s rather convenient to assess all blame for crime in Romania to the gypsy element? Organized crime in Romania is quite high, I’m not convinced that the majority of it is run or inspired by the Roma.

  199. AP says:
    @Pericles

    Romanians (who are haunting Transylvania or something

    The Romanians of Transylvania are mixed with Hungarians, Slavs and Germans. This former Hapsburg region is the best and most civilized in the country and it’s inhabitants are much less likely to be confused with Roma than are other Romanians. Although their obsession with Dracula can be rather ridiculous.

    • Replies: @Seraphim
  200. Mr. Hack says:
    @Beckow

    During his recent trip to the US, Zelensky couldn’t help taking a swipe at Russian gas supplies slated for Europe, by stating that Russian gas was the “dirtiest” alternative around. He was probably implying that there were implicit costs involved in purifying it for European consumption, that aren’t taken into consideration when estimating the true costs of Russian product. Any opinions as to the truth of his assertion?

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    , @Beckow
  201. Dmitry says:

    With some of Zelensky’s lifestyle, he can appear an “outside candidate” almost not as much as Donald Trump. For example, in daily property purchasing habits, the postsoviet political class can be regarded as a single entity. He is another person with a villa in Forte dei Marmi – the city in Italy where more than half of the properties were purchased by Russians including many politicians and officials. He could have bought anywhere in Europe, but their was a choice to buy where most everyone else is a politician.

    As was even more well publicized, Poroshenko his main villa is in Marbella, a few kilometres from where international journalists had alleged to be one of Putin’s villas a decade ago (which was not Putin’s in the end but just a typical United Russia senator https://navalny.com/p/4059/ )

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    , @LatW
  202. @Mr. Hack

    Not really.LNG gas is many times more expensive than pipeline gas per BTU and is non competitive in scenarios where it has to compete with Gas pipelines.

    Gas based power is sold per KWh in Japan at over twice the rate as the US despite Japanese power producers operating more efficient gas turbine plants.

    There is no way German industry remains competitive using LNG gas shipped all the way from the US which is why there is near unanimity about the necessity of the NS 2 in Germany especially in the backdrop of phasing out of nuclear power and the inability to construct new coal plants for environmental reasons.

    LNG exports to Europe are mostly confined to countries like Spain which are not connected to gas flowing from Russia.

  203. Mr. Hack says:
    @Dmitry

    So where did Yanukovych build his home away from home? He was actually at the government trough for quite a few years and certainly had accumulated a lot of valuable items, if his exit Ukraine films are to be believed. Rostov may be a nice town, but I’m pretty sure it’s nobody’s first choice for building ones retirement home? I understand that he didn’t have enough time to abscond with his famous gold plated toilet. 🙂

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  204. @Mr. Hack

    Ze is an idiot, period. That stands regardless whether Russian gas is dirty or clean. If Russian natural gas is as dirty as he says, why is he insisting on transporting this “dirty” gas to Europe via Ukraine that he pretends to love? Why Ukraine is buying the same “dirty” Russian gas by “reverse transport”, which everyone knows is a fiction, and accounting gimmick that costs Ukraine huge price markups.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    , @Seraphim
    , @Jazman
  205. Mr. Hack says:
    @AnonFromTN

    You bring up some good points…

  206. LatW says:
    @Beckow

    Regarding hygge, as with physical discomfort it only matters when the mood is right – the mood of Ukraine is dark, gloomy and volatile, not a good place to enjoy hygge.

    The tourist may not care about the mood as they are not directly involved, and most of the country is peaceful. It looks like places such as Lviv have a very relaxed, chill atmosphere. I brought up hygge because it is something that can be created relatively quickly and with relatively minimal investment. And it looks like they’re on it — there are quite a few cozy vacation places. You may know more about the Carpathians, but some of the resorts there, such as Bukovel, look very nice. And Kyiv has world class hotels, of course.

    people obsessed with minutia of history

    But we see how that’s just a tool that can be used by either side. For instance, 10 or so years ago, when the Baltic people were bringing up 1940, Russia said, “That’s history, let’s leave it to the historians and not mix it with current affairs”. But look at what’s going on now – they’re pulling up stuff that’s a 100 years old. It’s as if Putin really has been reading this site. It works to create a narrative that alters perceptions, justifies political goals. And you can pull up whichever narrative at any given time, depending on your audience and your goals, and use it (to the reds you can talk about the “evil oppression” in the 19th century, to the Allies and Israel you can talk about the brave Soviet victors, to the Russian nationalists you can lament over the “Russia we have lost”, to Ukrainians you can say “you left with our lands”). So it’s very convenient and applicable.

    And in Ukraine’s case it’s even more significant. Because, while they have previously dabbled in the politics of memory, it is only now that it’s getting into full bloom. Let’s say, something that after 1991 would be known about but wouldn’t be highlighted much, is now becoming the central national narrative. The society was well aware of these things (and of course in the exile they were the centre of everything), but only now they are clearly formulated and being cemented into the public discourse. They’re doing now what we did in 1989.

    [MORE]

    And, sadly, in Ukraine’s case we’re not even talking about “historical minutia”. The war is very much on and there are casualties as we speak. It’s not history, it’s present. Just the other day was the anniversary of Illovaisk and after Illovaisk I don’t believe there is much left to discuss.

    This whole talk about how Ukraine should pull itself up by the bootstraps, how Ukraine should compromise (on things that no normal country would ever compromise on) reminds me of the Cold war salon communists in the West who would discuss “world progress” with a glass of champagne without a real clue about how it is for people who actually live under communism.

    without trade with Russia – is it 2% worse, or 5%? could it be more? We do know that it is not zero.

    Definitely not zero, it’s hard to say. Again, as I said, there IS trade and it all really boils down to how much work you’re able to put in – at least back in the day, it used to be hard to penetrate Russia due to bureaucracy. It looks like the institutional part has improved but now the political situation is much worse. It used to be a place that requited a bit of aggression, but these days all that startup culture might be much better and Russia has developed a lot.

    Also, purely hypothetically, looking in retrospect, we don’t know how much access to the European market we’d get if we were closer integrated with Russia, Belarus, etc. And that’s 70% of our trade. And if you mix that with politics you may also lose the NATO clearance and then that creates additional hassle. It’s better to work with what we have and there is also some interest on their side. Btw, their export structure recently changed slightly — they’re sending more food products, just as we talked above (btw, Pskov used to be a Hanseatic town).

    And, please, remember that even the friendliest countries compete fiercely and nothing will for free, like you seem to imply.

    Btw, for Ukraine, Russia was the #1 trade partner until recently, now it has dropped to #5.

  207. LatW says:
    @Dmitry

    villa in Forte dei Marmi – the city in Italy

    Is Solovyov’s villa there too, by any chance (the TV host)? Because it would be really, really weird if they lived next door.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  208. Seraphim says:
    @AP

    Anglo-Saxons are obsessed with Dracula, not the Romanians. Romanians used this obsession to boost tourism in a joint venture with British and American tourism operators ever since Ceausescu – ‘Programul Dracula’. Otherwise they see their obsession as ridiculous, when not downright offensive to Romanians (which was the intention of ‘Dracula’ in the first place – a piece of political ‘perception management’ at a very sensitive political situation).

    • Replies: @AP
  209. Seraphim says:
    @AnonFromTN

    An idiot, but a virtuoso piano player!

    • Replies: @AnonfromTN
  210. LatW says:
    @The Big Red Scary

    The based Ivan

    Way. This basedness was beautifully depicted in Eisenstein’s “Ivan Grozny”. Such menacing eyebrows.

    “Неможно царю царство без грозы держати! Как конь под царем без узды, так и царство без грозы!”

    (“A tsar cannot control his kingdom without menace! As an unbridled horse under the tsar, so is a kingdom without menace!”)

    Anyway, it’s just art, I’m not admiring this destroyer of beautiful and prosperous Livonia. Apparently he witnessed a lot of violence as a child, that might have turned him into a violent nut. Btw, his name doesn’t come from his deeds but from his stature — he was quite tall and robust.

    vs. the cringe Peter.

    Peter brought over Rastrelli, cringe all you want, I’ll admire the architecture. 🙂

    • Replies: @The Big Red Scary
  211. AP says:
    @Seraphim

    Anglo-Saxons are obsessed with Dracula, not the Romanians.

    Nonsense (at least when it comes to Americans). Dracula is no Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, LOTR or whatever. It’s a fairly obscure topic. Romanians care more than do Anglos. I had university classmates from Timișoara who were fond of throwing Dracula parties and talked too much about him, as if he were their local national hero. We non-Romanians didn’t care about Dracula (a mediocre book) but were amused by the obsession with the hometown hero.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    , @Seraphim
  212. Mr. Hack says:
    @AP

    I’ve read some books about the real, historical Dracula, Vlad Tsepitch, and although he does come off as a very cruel and ruthless ruler, his story is quite interesting. I was mostly interested in his dealings with his cousin Stephen the Great, whose career was quite a bit more wholesome, and was thought of quite highly by his Rusyn (Ukrainian) subjects.

    • Replies: @Seraphim
  213. Seraphim says:
    @AP

    Were your university classmates from Timisoara Hungarians or Germans? Which university BTW? The Soros CEU- Budapest? That would explain a lot where your knowledge of Romania and Romanian history comes from. Timisoara was not the ‘hometown’ of Dracula (neither was ‘Transylvania’).
    OTOH, the Anglospeaking entertainment scene detains the absolute record in producing ‘Dracula’ and vampires films, TV series, cartoons, T-shirts, whatever, to feed an insatiable appetite, mostly of the Anglosphere for this crap. The Dracula theme remains a huge business.

    • Replies: @AP
  214. @Seraphim

    An idiot, but a virtuoso piano player!

    As Russian joke puts it, “do not shoot the piano player, he plays with what he can”.

    • Replies: @Seraphim
  215. Dmitry says:
    @LatW

    His villa is on the other side of Italy in Lake Como, but he is a small fish.

    I haven’t visited it, but Forte dei Marmi is apparently somekind of a Russian-speaking ghetto according to the journalists. Zelensky’s neighbours there include Kudrin, Leonid Reiman, German Khan, Deripaska, Khloponin, Tinkov, Yumashev. And there will be hundreds of others like that.

    So it is indeed full of Russia and Ukraine’s political power at the highest level, if you judged by its residents. However, I guess most of the year only family members will be passing through those villas.

    Also a lot of politicians have villas in Sardinia (and tens of thousands of Russian-speaking wealthy people have properties in Côte d’Azur, including much of the people who are at the highest levels of power). Even as far as Sardinia would be convenient for people with yachts, within one day of sailing from Monaco, which is another social centre for them.

    • Replies: @LatW
  216. Dmitry says:
    @Mr. Hack

    Yanukovich’s property in Europe hasn’t been reported, and he wouldn’t be allowed to visit there anymore with being wanted as arrested by Ukraine or Interpol. A lot of Yanukovych’s friends and associates were in Marbella in Spain, and it’s one (former energy minister Stavitsky) lives safely in Israel.

    Yanukovich now living in former mansion of Boris Gromov (another Forte dei Marmi resident) outside Moscow. The only visit reported abroad was that he was planning to visit Israel for a medical tourism, but Ukraine then said it would demand that Israel extradited him. So Yanukovich has some limited options for vacationing.

    Last week by the way, Yanukovich said that Ukraine needed to operate a multivector external policy – which is what he had been aiming for (unsuccessfully in the end of course).

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  217. LatW says:
    @Dmitry

    His villa is on the other side of Italy in Lake Como, but he is a small fish.

    As Kremlin’s main propagandist, I wouldn’t call him a small fish, although he’s obviously not from the moneyed class. The reason I asked was because it’s almost literally every day now that he trashes Zelensky, it’d be really awkward if they were in the same neighborhood.

    Judging from those names those are the more “liberal” or corporate types. Remember that Zelensky used to hang out with that crowd. Pyotr Aven from Alfa Group used to visit Latvia a lot (he’s actually a grandson of a rifleman) and I know that Zelensky performed at one of the “New Wave” (or KVN) events that some of those guys used to attend. After 2014, it had to move to a different location. Anyway, when people call Zelensky a comedian, that’s actually a bit misguided, because he’s actually a businessman (Kvartal 97 was commercially successful).

    Wasn’t this known a long time ago though that he has this villa?

    • Replies: @AnonfromTN
    , @Dmitry
  218. Seraphim says:
    @Mr. Hack

    You should have understand then why the part of ‘Ukraine’ between the Prut and Dniester was always called Basarabia. And why Vlad Tsepesh was and remained in Romanians memory a hero for his uncompromising resistance against the Ottomans (practically betrayed by the ‘more wholesome’ Stephen who compromised the fight of Vlad against the Ottomans).

    • Replies: @LatW
    , @Mr. Hack
  219. Seraphim says:
    @AnonfromTN

    Very true. The trouble seems to be that he thinks with the same organ.

  220. AP says:
    @Seraphim

    It was an American university, one that recruited people from throughout the former Eastern bloc right after the Cold War ended. They were foreign students. Both of them were Romanians but had some German and Hungarian great-grandparents. They spoke Romanian, not German or Hungarian. I saw some faces not unlike theirs when I was recently in Lombardy
    – a mixture of German and Mediterranean features.

    They (as you) had an exaggerated view of how popular Dracula is in the Anglo world but unlike in your case this was a source of pride for them and they were eager to repeat that they were from his homeland.

    • Replies: @Seraphim
  221. LatW says:
    @Seraphim

    Speaking of Romanian icons….

    [MORE]

    … and speaking from a purely historic POV… there’s an interesting coincidence re: Cornelius Zelea Codreanu who’s father came from that area. His father’s name was Zelinski, so that’s what Zelea comes from. It’s a strange coincidence how he has the same name as Ukraine’s current president.

    • Replies: @Seraphim
  222. Seraphim says:
    @AP

    I’d rather think that it was a way to explain to Americans where Transylvania was. I know much more about the ‘Dracula Program’ than you could imagine. But let’s leave it at that.

    • Replies: @AP
  223. AP says:
    @Seraphim

    I’d rather think that it was a way to explain to Americans where Transylvania was.

    It was more than that – they threw Dracula parties (where red wine was jokingly referred to as blood) and spoke 0f him in conversations. The reactions of the non-Romanians (including Americans) was “why are these people so strangely obsessed by Dracula?”

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
  224. Mr. Hack says:
    @Seraphim

    From what I remember, it was Stephen who was able to create a very large patrimony of his own, the original Moldavia, where Bukovina was the center of his country, whereas Vlad was always on the move, moving hither and tither. Stephen was accorded the honor of being remembered as “the Great”, whereas Vlad acquired the quite apt title “the Impaler” as his patrimony within Romanian history. I can see how his psychopathic personality might appeal to you, as you seem to have acquired a soft spot even for Stalin. Keep on talking, we’ll soon find out who some of the other “heroes” are that you admire.
    The monument to Stephen the Great was designed by architect Alexandru Plămădeală in 1923. It was erected near the main entrance of the Stephen the Great Park in Central Chișinău. The monument was completed in 1927 and opened on 29 April 1928 (to replace the monument to Alexander II of Russia, destroyed by the Romanian authorities in 1918).

    being a “Romanian Russophile” (it hurts my ears to try an put these two incongruous terms together) I now see why you try to cast aspersion to St. Stephen’s name. Question: Didn’t St. Stephen actually create many more churches and monasteries than Vlad the Impaler? He certainly didn’t slaughter nearly as many of his own. I know, it’s because the Ukrainian element within his fighting contingents thought quite highly of him.

    • Replies: @Seraphim
  225. Seraphim says:
    @Mr. Hack

    You should remember then that Stephen was installed on Moldova’s throne by Vlad. The shadow on his personality is his attack against Vlad in alliance with the Turks, in the middle of his fight against the Turks. He created more monasteries and churches than Vlad because he reigned 44 years, whereas Vlad just 8.
    If that ‘hurts your ears’ you may shut them (and your mouth too).

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  226. Mr. Hack says:
    @Seraphim

    I still think that Vlad was a despicable human being. His notoriety for cruelty exceeded even the norms of that time. There are good reasons why his persona was the basis for Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

    What really surprises me though, is your inability to comment on the fact that your Romanian co-nationals felt compelled to destroy the monument to the Russian Emperor Alexander II in 1918 and replace it with one of St. Stephen the Great. Actually, I can understand their actions quite easily, but it’s your own self identification and masquerading here at this blog as some sort of a “Romanian Russophile” hard to understand? You don’t even have the good sense to explain this apparent dichotomy about your “unorthodox” political persuasion. 🙂

    • Replies: @Seraphim
  227. Mr. Hack says:
    @Dmitry

    I thought that Yanukovych was taken off of Interpol’s watch list several years back?

  228. Seraphim says:
    @Mr. Hack

    Give me a reason why I should ‘explain’ again and again a thing that I did several times? As if I am guilty of not having your point of view.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  229. Jazman says:
    @AnonFromTN

    Ukie logic is amazing , Ze is comedian he likes to make fool of himself

    • Replies: @AnonfromTN
  230. @LatW

    Your thorough knowledge of Solovyev’s exploits on TV amazes me. You seem to have very different views. Even though I might have agreed with more of his points, I hardly ever watch his show. From what little I saw, he is way too full of himself to be taken seriously.

    As far as villas and yachts are concerned, these are real interests of the elites. All their political grandstanding and opposition to each other is a cheap show for the gullible.

    • Replies: @LatW
    , @Dmitry
  231. @Jazman

    Ze is comedian he likes to make fool of himself

    I think he is lucky. He does not need any effort to make a fool of himself: he is a genuine fool.

    • LOL: Jazman
    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  232. Mr. Hack says:
    @Seraphim

    I’ve been avidly reading this blog for several years now, and I don’t recall reading anything that you’ve written here explaining your incongruous beliefs regarding being a “Romanian Russophile”? If you’ve already written about this, and I’ve somehow missed it, I apologize for the bother. On the other hand, I think that you should feel proud to express your views and slants here at this blog, there probably are other Romanians that read this blog that would find your persuasions to be of interest too. There’s no need to spend time rewriting something that you’ve already written, just direct me to the thread where you’ve already done so and I’ll find the comment myself. I’m genuinely interested.

    • Replies: @Seraphim
  233. Mr. Hack says:
    @AnonfromTN

    He may indeed be a fool, as you like to point out, but he’s no dullard and undoubtedly possesses a high IQ. I was recently reading his biography within Wikipedia, and found out some interesting details about his background:

    Volodymyr’s father, Oleksandr Zelensky [uk], is a professor and head of Department of Cybernetics and Computing Hardware at the Kryvyi Rih Institute of Economics; his mother, Rymma Zelenska, used to work as an engineer.[9][10][11]… At age 16, he passed the TOEFL and received an education grant to study in Israel…Zelensky earned a law degree from the Kryvyi Rih Institute of Economics, then a department of Kyiv National Economic University and now part of Kryvyi Rih National University,

    Also, I’ve read somewhere that it’s usually in the providence of high IQ individuals to be successful in different fields. He’s been quite successful in the entertainment field and now has capitalized on his skills and risen to the highest ranks in the political world. So recapping, Zelensky may be a “fool” but he doesn’t at all resemble being a dummy. 🙂

    • Replies: @AnonfromTN
  234. @Mr. Hack

    risen to the highest ranks in the political world

    I did not know that a puppet is the highest rank in the political world. Then again, looking at Western politics, you might have a point here.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  235. Mr. Hack says:
    @AnonfromTN

    Not all “puppets” get invited to Washington to meet with the top brass. Other so called “puppets” meet with Zalensky too. I’m sure that you have your own puppet master that you have to report too once in a while. 🙂

  236. @AP

    Not a diss, but I think you’re wrong about this, and a quick check of “Dracula” on ngram viewer confirmed this.

    Frankenstein is the archetypical “monster” of Western sci-fi. Xenomorphs (Aliens) are the most recognizable modern sci-fi monsters. Godzilla is by some distance the most famous “foreign” (non-Western) modern monster.

    Dracula has outstripped all of them since the 1970s.

  237. Beckow says:
    @Mr. Hack

    All gas is dirty in different ways. It depends on how you process it. By far the dirtiest is the shale gas, but if you put enough \$ into processing, it will do. Transportation can be very dirty – LNG ships and ports are potentially a nightmare if not maintained well – and that is expensive. Pipelines leak and are expensive to maintain. NS2 is new so it will be very profitable for a while, but these under-water pipes will also be expensive (and potentially polluting) in the long run. Hydrogen is unstable and volatile, energy is hard to store and dissipates when transported. There are no ideal solutions, this is physics.

    The real issue is what is the gas replacing. In Germany and CE it is replacing dirty coal and unreliable solar/wind energy. France invested massively in nuclear and use less. Water dams are ideal but unreliable and seasonal – Slovakia gets up to 15% of its energy from a single dam on Danube south of Bratislava. EU is obsessed with lowering energy consumption. (They will fail unless they add energy dictatorship to the current medical one.)

    There are no solutions, only trade-offs. Russia simply offers the best deal in many areas: energy, minerals, arable land, potentially water supplies, etc… That is not changeable, the world is what it is. Leaders don’t really make decisions – realities around us dictate what happens. A leader can either embrace it and be considered successful, or can fight it and look like a fool – enter Ze. and his clueless crew. But I don’t think they plan to hang around Ukraine in the long run. (See what Ghani did for how it works.)

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  238. Mr. Hack says:
    @Beckow

    So far, only Yanukovych has permanently moved his residence to a neighboring country. The other retired presidents remain satisfied by maintaining their main digs in Ukraine. It’s really a nice country. You should visit it sometime. The Arabs seem to like it. 🙂

    • Replies: @Beckow
  239. @Mr. Hack

    Do you even know who’s bearing all of the costs for the construction of NS2?

    The offshore (undersea) section of NS2 was financed by a consortium of Gazprom and several Western European companies that subsequently had to sell their shares to Gazprom. The overall cost of the offshore section (currently being completed) is estimated at \$10B and will be covered by Gazprom.

    However, less known is that there is also an onshore section of this pipeline also nearing completion, that is built mostly in Germany, with one branch going south, briefly traversing the Czech Republic and ending in Austria while another branch goes to western Germany and connects to the existing gas infrastructure there. The cost of this onshore infrastructure is estimated at some \$15B, entirely provided by Western private companies.

    It’s essential to mention that the onshore parts do not serve any purpose other than to complement the NS2 (and NS1). It makes no sense whatsoever to build the inland sections without NS2 up and running.

    So to answer your question, the total cost of offshore and onshore sections of NS2 is around \$25B, \$10B provided by Gazprom and \$15B by several Western European, all private, energy companies.

  240. Beckow says:
    @Mr. Hack

    That is not true. Among the previous leaders – not only presidents – quite a few moved abroad, Yatsenyuk moved to Brussels, many are in US, UK…

    I will visit. This reorientation on Turkey and Arabs is very odd. Kiev should remember that when they come, they scope it, and then they like to stay. What happened to the EU dream?

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  241. Mr. Hack says:
    @Beckow

    I wrote about “presidents” not all of the nomenklatura. So, I stand by my original statement. Sure, former Ukrainian presidents (excluding Yanukovych) travel abroad and may even own some property abroad, but for the most part they maintain their main residences within Ukraine, AFAIK.

  242. Seraphim says:
    @Mr. Hack

    As far as I remember we had discussions (and with AP) about this subject several times. Check my comments. I have neither the time nor the energy to do it.

    • LOL: Mr. Hack
  243. LatW says:
    @AnonfromTN

    Your thorough knowledge of Solovyev’s exploits on TV amazes me.

    Why? He’s well known. He’s not even the main focus of my interest, I mostly watch alternative channels. I understand his views but do not support them, of course.

    I hardly ever watch his show

    Yea, but millions of Russians do. Is that how they feel? This vitriol between the two nations has gone very very far.

    From what little I saw, he is way too full of himself to be taken seriously.

    Yea, he’s a little cocky, but it’s part of his image and as a propagandist he’s trying to project a slightly intimidating persona. He acts like a patsan (even though he’s not even a Slav), it is at times amusing, at times really off-putting (he makes open threats on every other show). I understand that he wouldn’t resonate with someone like you, but he’s watched by many. And he’s not the only one.

    As far as villas and yachts are concerned, these are real interests of the elites.

    It’s normal for corporate elites to have that, but not really for bureaucrats.

    • Replies: @AnonfromTN
  244. @LatW

    I watched too little of Solovyev’s show to have definitive opinion, but my feeling is that his function is the same as Zhirik’s: to say things that more respectable people won’t. BTW, the only official Kremlin propagandist is Peskov. Solovyev is self-appointed Kremlin propagandist, like “Colonel Cassad” (who is no more colonel than “colonel Sanders” of the KFC fame).

    I can’t judge his real popularity, as I didn’t live in Russia for 30+ years. I can only extrapolate from Zhirik: LDPR popularity in the last 30 years hovered between 10 and 15%. I think that’s about how popular Solovyev is. Smarter people tend to have more nuanced views, dumber people don’t give a hoot.

    This vitriol between the two nations has gone very very far.

    If you mean Ukraine, you have to understand that in Russian culture traitors are considered just a notch above child molesters at best. So, it’s not vitriol, it’s contempt. To the best of my knowledge, this contempt is shared by more than half of Russian population. For a good reason, if you ask me.

    • Replies: @LatW
  245. Seraphim says:
    @LatW

    It is an unfortunate coincidence indeed. Codreanu was often accused by his detractors of being ‘Ukrainian’, looking like a “Ukrainian Hetman’, etc. But the coincidence stops at the name, the ethnic origin being, as you know, completely different. His father, Ion Zelea was a Romanian from Austrian Bukovina, and a Romanian irredentist and anti-semite at that. Many Romanian names have been transformed by the authorities, in school or army, in ones sounding Polish.
    And since you talk about ‘icons’ just compare the portrait of Corneliu Codreanu with the mug of Zelenski (especially in his piano performance).

  246. LatW says:
    @AnonfromTN

    I watched too little of Solovyev’s show to have definitive opinion, but my feeling is that his function is the same as Zhirik’s: to say things that more respectable people won’t.

    That is exactly my perception of him. Exactly, that’s his job. The question is how many “respectable people” feel that way and what is their demographic. Notice also that they both have the same nationality. Real Russians that we know and like don’t have that kind of a demeanor and they are not as loud and brash.

    BTW, the only official Kremlin propagandist is Peskov. Solovyev is self-appointed Kremlin propagandist

    You don’t think Solovyov checks in with the Kremlin people? They probably agree on a lot of things anyway.

    LDPR popularity in the last 30 years hovered between 10 and 15%.

    Well, LDPR is a niche nationalist party. Most such parties even in a real democracy don’t get more than 10% or so under normal circumstances. That’s where the Latvian nationalist parties hover, too – around 7-10%. I’ve long accepted that they will never get more.

    I think that’s about how popular Solovyev is.

    I don’t know what his rating is but he is on the main channel. I doubt the under 35 watch him but over 40 or so is a large audience in Russia.

    Smarter people tend to have more nuanced views, dumber people don’t give a hoot.

    Of course, I don’t think his purpose is very deep analysis, it’s just a “bazar”. But it’s very widely spread. That’s why I thought would be pretty funny that he and Zelensky ran into each other somewhere in Tuscony.

    So, it’s not vitriol, it’s contempt.

    I understand. It’s just unseemly. The whole picture. And it will go on for years.

    Btw, appreciate your humor. Lol.

    • Replies: @AnonfromTN
  247. Dmitry says:
    @LatW

    Kremlin’s main propagandist

    In terms of their position in the court, the propagandists are quite low, definitely below the musicians and pop singers. Even the famous ones are something on the margins of the court. Unless through who the “journalist” might be are sleeping with, which is more of an option for beautiful Azeri women than Solovyov i.e. Nailya Vagif kyzy Asker-zade.

    It’s predictable Solovyov will some few millions dollar villa in Lake Como, but not any \$60 million house in Belgravia, or Nailya Asker-zade style of superyachts and private airliner.

    “liberal” or corporate types… Pyotr Aven from Alfa Group used to visit Latvia

    Be careful though, as their alleged “liberal” trend is rather of a theatre, however, or a luxury of hyper privilege. Those fellows are right on the top of power and closely mixed in with the most important politicians’ families.

    Zelensky a comedian, that’s actually a bit misguided, because he’s actually a businessman (Kvartal 97 was commercially successful).

    Wasn’t this known a long time ago though that he has this villa

    Sure he was posting from there on Instagram already in some 2018-2019.

    • Replies: @LatW
    , @LatW
  248. Dmitry says:
    @AnonfromTN

    villas and yachts are concerned, these are real interests of the elites

    The creation of a protected, comfortable, warm bubble for friends and family (which is what villas and yachts are just part of the infrastructure for, as well as being long term stores of laundered money), can be characterized as more than interest, but as raison d’être of the political theatre.

    However, many people won’t accept it until they see some of the process with their eyes; and even then we only see small postcards, rather than a comprehensive diagram of the system. I’d suspect that the reality is a lot more extreme than even the funny things we do see.

    For postsoviet elites it is a particularly well designed system, as much of the private life can be lived in different countries than the public life, or even with assets re-routed through different countries when living in the homecountry.

    When you move money through a few countries (which do not have mutual information sharing), then the money rapidly becomes untraceable, and the assets are safely diversified. They are living like the equivalent of someone browsing the internet through 2 or 3 VPNs.

    Co-operation between countries with information sharing agreements, could reduce this issue. But precisely for that reason, it is going to be opposed by the elite (even with economic benefits for Ukraine of legal integration to the EU, it is not easy how the upper class would ever welcome such a situation).

    If Ukraine was integrated in the EU, then the upper class might even have to re-route some of their assets through even again Russia (as Azerbaijan’s upper class still does currently).

  249. Seraphim says:
    @VVV

    ‘Eurocentrism’ continues to weight heavily in the perception and interpretation of greater historical movements. There were actually the poles, lithuanians, ottomans, prussians and french who fought against Russia. And why you forget the Mongols?

  250. LatW says:
    @Dmitry

    Be careful though, as their alleged “liberal” trend is rather of a theatre, however, or a luxury of hyper privilege. Those fellows are right on the top of power and closely mixed in with the most important politicians’ families.

    Yea, I’m aware of that, but he has family roots and he’s been visiting already since 1990.

  251. LatW says:
    @Dmitry

    In this link you can see a unique looking manor that Pyotr Aven built on the Latvian countryside (scroll down for pictures).

    https://interiormagazine.lv/laikmetiga-muiza/

    It won an architecture prize in Moscow. The architect used Latvian ethnographic themes, ancient symbols are carved in the wood. In one of the rooms you can see an imitation of an oak tree which is sacred in Latvian mythology. From every room you can see either a lake or beautiful trees – no landscaping was done, the tree covered landscape was left intact to create the feeling of togetherness with nature.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  252. @LatW

    I prefer Naryshkin baroque of Moscow, which aimed at a synthesis of Italian and Russian styles, to Petrine baroque, a mediterranean tree uprooted and transplanted into a northern swamp.

  253. @LatW

    That’s where the Latvian nationalist parties hover, too – around 7-10%.

    That sounds like maybe I should consider visiting Latvia. However, maybe not. We (myself and my wife) were there last in Soviet times. Rode an overnight bus from Kaliningrad to Riga, which arrived in the morning. I needed evening overnight bus back. I came to the bus station ticket office and asked for the tickets in Russian. The girl issued me correct tickets (meaning that she understood what I said), and then talked for a minute or so presumably in Latvian (I wouldn’t know, as I don’t understand it and this should have been clear to her). I left with an impression that she is an idiot with Hutu-Tutsi mentality. This impression was further reinforced by the fact that in all cafes and restaurants in Riga waiters asked whether you want to be served in Russian or Latvian first, and then proceeded accordingly.

    I witnessed something on these lines only one other time. In Zagreb we asked someone in English and discovered that this person’s command of English equaled my command of Chinese (Russian joke: – Do you speak Chinese? – I don’t know, never tried). Then we asked in Russian, and the person answered that he does not understand Serbian. Considering that Serbian and Croatian are closer than Russian and Ukrainian, that answer identified him as an idiot with Hutu-Tutsi mentality, too.

    I am generally curious, but current apartheid (what else one can call the institute of “non-citizens”?) in Estonia and Latvia makes these countries unattractive to me.

    My perspective was quite different in Soviet times. In the USSR you felt penned in, and Baltics were perceived as Europe. Indeed, both Riga and Tallinn looked different from everything else in the USSR (I never was in Vilnius, now likely never will). I was for the independence of Baltics, had the flags of all three (pre-Soviet ones). I even demonstrated in Russia with Lithuanian flag after Vilnius events. To set the record straight, today I am also for their independence, but for very different reasons.

    After moving from the USSR (I left in May 1991, about six months before the USSR was dissolved) I remained curious and travelled a lot. I visited every major Western European country several times, going to different places, usually in a rental car (once I even drove three weeks on the wrong side of the road in the UK). I even visited some of the European midgets, like Switzerland, Denmark, and Portugal, as well as quite a few Eastern European countries. With this experience, I can only say that the expression “European backyard” in Serbian (Evropska zadnitsa) sounds the most apt for a Russian speaker. If this sounds offensive, I did not mean to offend. It’s just that the reality is a bitch.

    Notice also that they both have the same nationality.

    Yes, that might be a factor. Their behavior is a textbook illustration of Jewish arrogance and aggressiveness (Zhirik once described his nationality very aptly: my mother is a Russian, my father – an attorney). Both are smart in a weaselly way, another trait that is commonly considered Jewish. Yet neither is very high in the pecking order, for all their efforts.

    I don’t think either Zhirik or Solovyev checks with the Kremlin. My impression is that Kremlin prefers plausible deniability. I am not sure too many RF officials share their views. I think Russian big shots just use these odious personages, especially Zhirik, as a backdrop to look reasonable. They do succeed in this.

    Speaking of democracy, Western variety was a huge disappointment to me even before blatant election fraud in the US in 2020. Earlier Princeton purely scientific study (https://scholar.princeton.edu/sites/default/files/mgilens/files/gilens_and_page_2014_-testing_theories_of_american_politics.doc.pdf) made correct conclusion: the US is an oligarchy, not a democracy. The same applies to all other self-appointed “democracies” among imperial vassals.

    I am not saying that RF or PRC are democracies. Far from it. But in both the authorities are a lot more responsive to people’s wishes and opinions. The comparison of the response to covid in “democracies” and RF further confirms this impression.

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    , @Dmitry
    , @LatW
  254. @AnonfromTN

    Although I generally had very pleasant experiences in Ireland, the one time that I didn’t was on account of a waiter – who, it emerged, as an ethnic Latvian – who ignored our Russian-speaking table. Pointedly, it progressively became clear. All other considerations apart, this makes me extremely loth to ever visit the Baltics. If they retain their surly, extreme Russophobic attitudes even when working abroad as Gastarbeiters to Western Europe, it makes me wonder how self-loathing a Russian has to be to willingly vacation in those places. My impression is that it is mostly Russian crooks (offshore banking services), Western agents (all those “Free Russia Forums” etc.) and White Nationalist types (who love the Balts… not that the favor is reciprocated, haha) who go to Latvia.

    This makes them highly distinct from Romanians and even Poles, who tend to be friendly at a personal level.

  255. @Anatoly Karlin

    This makes them highly distinct from Romanians and even Poles, who tend to be friendly at a personal level.

    All Romanians and Poles I know personally are not only friendly, but also very normal and rational. Then again, my selection is probably not representative: they all have PhDs in Biochemistry and related fields.

    I interacted with Balts only twice since 1991. One was an Estonian I knew because he was a graduate student of my former trainee. He does not do science any more, lives in Finland now, and complained that Finnish is very different from Estonian, so he had to learn it almost from scratch. The other was a Latvian we met in the hotel lobby in Patagonia (Argentina). He heard us speaking Russian and asked whether he can join and practice his Russian, as he is a tourist guide and wants to keep his skills in every language he knows. He was nice, but he obviously had an axe to grind.

    I don’t think I will ever go to Baltic countries: my father fought Nazis, so I will never go to any country where Waffen SS veterans march every year with support from current governments. The same applies to rump Ukraine.

  256. Dmitry says:
    @LatW

    I’m sure his investment in Latvia is sincere and very strategic diversification he is doing (e.g. like Timchenko’s investments in Finland, Altushkin family’s British nationalities, etc).

    These are very intelligent people, that diversify to increase their leverage and improve their positions, and .

    Alfa-Group oligarchs are the second most close oligarch group to the Kremlin (for example, multiple politicians’ children are employed by them like Lavrov’s son in law and Putin’s daughter), while being some of the most diplomatically sophisticated and diversifying, and presenting a civilized and “liberal” public face.

    One of the cleverest vectors they had tried to diversify on was the Jewish one, and this would allow them to improve their public image outside Russia, and to not simply be viewed as representatives of Russia’s informal state capacity.

    You can see they tried to “impersonally” network with the American Jewish “cool kids”, by establishing things like a prize – that they then give to the fashionable American Jewish community members. ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genesis_Prize )

    But this is likely to be a failure, as the wealthy American Jewish elites are not going to be easily impressed with being given some of Putin’s headed informal state capacity money (unlike countries like UK, which actually seem to be easily persuaded by financial incentives). I doubt that the Jewish “cool kids” in America like Larry Ellison or Steven Spielberg need to be awarded any money, or will become more friendly with you on that basis.

    Aven et al, attempt to connect to American elites, also created much of the Trump-Russia conspiracy, because of their obvious attempts to charm the Trump clan has been interpreted as a Russian government conspiracy by the US media.

    So their diplomatic skills of these old dudes, were not quite adaptable to understanding modern American culture, and their attempts to become friends with Trump’s family has appeared quite clumsy (even when you discount the conspiracy thinking of the American journalists https://time.com/5592739/donald-trump-petr-aven-alfa-bank )

    • Replies: @LatW
  257. Dmitry says:
    @AnonfromTN

    My parents loved to vacation recently in Lithuania/Vilnius/Kaunas, and it sounds like their new favourite country. I haven’t been there, but from what I heard about why they recommended Vilnius. Kind of less population not too flooded with cars. It’s not flooded too much with tourists, compared to Prague, etc. Historical atmosphere place you can walk everywhere. And they said something about helpful “naive” seeming people.

    But don’t you live in America? Surely it cannot justify flying thousands of kilometres to visit Lithuania or Latvia. I would be in the Caribbean. When the Caribbean is nearer to you to Riga, what kinds of masochists will go to the latter.

    • Replies: @AnonfromTN
  258. Seraphim says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Thank you, you respond indirectly to these people who cannot wrap their mind around the fact that there might be Romanians who do not believe that Russians are the impure race of ‘Gog and Magog’.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  259. @Dmitry

    When the Caribbean is nearer to you to Riga, what kinds of masochists will go to the latter.

    Caribbean has limited attraction to a curious person. We had one vacation on St. John. We lucked out: there were very few people, because (as we discovered later) it was a hurricane season, but there were no hurricanes. It has nice bays all over the shoreline, all different, with coral reefs full of all sorts of life for the enjoyment of a snorkeler. When we were there, there weren’t more than two-three other people in every bay, so it was as nice as a long ago vacation in Soviet times in the Far East on a biostation on the Southern end of Primorsky Krai (you could see China and North Korea at the same time from some sopkas).

    However, I do not like to spend more than a day or two at the beach, except for snorkeling in life-rich places, like St. John or Hawaii. That’s why in two weeks in Crimea in 2015 we spent maybe 3-4 days on the beach (in two very different places; we spent a week in each), while traveling to various interesting places in our rental car. Main roads were fully repaired even back then, but side roads were still in their Ukrainian state, so I had to drive carefully. We want to drive over Crimean bridge for the fun of it and spend some time in Kerch, which we did not visit. There are interesting archeological sites around, that are now properly protected.

    We travel to various countries to see local monuments (which means countries with history) and culture (which means countries with distinct cultures). Baltics have neither, except for Lithuania, which at least existed for several hundred years as a state founded by locals.

    Various European, Asian, and Latin American countries we visited are a lot more attractive. Say, a very long flight to Japan, China, Malaysia, South Korea, Indonesia, Argentina, or shorter flights to Mexico, Peru, Egypt, or Western Europe appear justified considering what you get at the destination. Not to mention a flight (usually a combination of several) to Moscow in recent years. Baltics pale in comparison to Moscow, Petersburg, Madrid, Lisboa, Paris, London, Rome, Vienna, Munich, Berlin, Prague, Leipzig, Athens, and many other places. Even Budapest or Lyublyana win hands down. Maybe Helsinki or Zagreb feel as second-rate, but that’s what you’d expect from capitals of third-rate totally inconsequential countries.

    So, curiosity took us all over the globe, but we do not go to places that have nothing first-rate to offer, be it nature or culture.

    • Replies: @LatW
    , @Dmitry
  260. LatW says:
    @AnonfromTN

    The girl issued me correct tickets

    She may have assumed that you’re local or bilingual. Also, even in Riga there used to be kids that didn’t speak Russian, I had a friend from a small coastal town who barely understood basic Russian but couldn’t speak it. In Estonia it’s even more common.

    In the touristy locations, the menus are typically in 3 languages (including Russian), sometimes even in German. And in the supermarket, the clerks have a pin on their front pocket with flags showing which languages they can communicate in (including the Russian tricolor, if they can). It’s working somewhat ok even with the younger generations, although I don’t think it’s fair to expect the kids to be fluent in Russian. If they want to be in the hospitality industry or in business, they should probably learn basic Russian. But they shouldn’t be forced to learn it to get a simple retail job. Not for political reasons, but because I remember what it took me and my mother to teach me Russian (I had several teachers afterwards, too).

    institute of “non-citizens”

    Most of the Russophones are naturalized by now and this will disappear probably within the next 10-20 years, as the older Russians depart. But I understand your bitterness.

    You left very early, the worst came later and 1993 was probably the hardest year. Because I was still young, I took it lightly but it was hard for the parents. They did well eventually, but it was very, very tough for everyone. It wasn’t just the Russians who suffered, trust me. But the Russian speakers were hit with a triple whammy — loss of status for the USSR, economic hardship and what they felt was cultural disfranchisement but what the Baltic people felt was moving away from the privileges that the Russians had. Unfortunately, innocent people suffered but do remember that some Russophones actually moved up very quickly.

    Indeed, both Riga and Tallinn looked different from everything else in the USSR

    Yes, they do look different, their origin is not Slavic. But some buildings look a bit similar to St Pete. And ofc there are churches.

    Do you remember the Sherlock Holmes series they filmed in the Old town of Riga?

    I even demonstrated in Russia with Lithuanian flag after Vilnius events.

    Thank you very much for this. That’s very special. I was recently browsing through some old footage and came across a video of a demo in Russia that was full of Lithuanian flags. It was really, really touching, the demo was big, too. I hope the parents’ generation at least saw that. Even though the events were very tragic in Vilnius (we had victims, too), I believe we dodged a major bullet, given what happened across the periphery of the USSR and even in Moscow (and now in Ukraine). Пролетело, as they say.

    [MORE]

    Last month there was commemoration of the events of August 1991 (the coup). The Lutheran Archbishop shared the following thoughts:

    “How did Latvia become independent during these hopeless days of August? It would be tempting to credit our braveness, but the witnesses of those days know that that’s not the whole truth. A lot was not in our hands. The Bible mentions several events when a nation or a city finds itself in dire danger. The enemy army approaches with an overwhelming force. The city is surrounded and starvation slowly sets in. There is no way out. But then God sends confusion into the enemy camp and he is either beaten or leaves his camp and retreats. Reading these lines from the Bible one may think — could this really have happened? But God did the same thing for us. Things kept falling out of hand for the organizers of the coup. In the meanwhile, in Riga nothing could have stopped the armored vehicles of OMON from breaking into the parliament area. But surprisingly, they turned around and rushed away. Just like in the psalms – You, Lord, command them to turn around and to flee. But things could’ve turned out completely differently. We regained our freedom thanks to God.

    Another decisive thing, which wasn’t in our hands, was that the Russian soldiers near the White House in Moscow refused to open fire on their fellow Russians. Maybe the Orthodox roots of their people spoke to their soul. They refused to shoot at their own and sided with Yeltsin. They chose a humane, moral action. It’s an important lesson for us – to not turn against your own as if they are enemies. It is important not to just achieve your goal, but also who you become on your way to it. For our freedom, we can thank humanism that is rooted in the Christian tradition”.

    Regardless of what one may thing of Yeltsin, the Archbishop is acknowledging the far reaching actions of the Russian people. This is not talked about often, but as you see, those who are ethical, will bring it up occasionally.

  261. LatW says:
    @AnonfromTN

    So, curiosity took us all over the globe, but we do not go to places that have nothing first-rate to offer, be it nature or culture.

    I absolutely understand and I do not expect you to visit the Baltic States, and that’s totally ok. It is not the goal of the Baltic States to compete with all those locations. The goal is to try to improve the living standards and offer something nice to those who are interested. Besides… it’s good to keep some places not too crowded.

    There are Russians who vacation there regularly, have semi-permanent homes there or have moved there permanently: the blond guy from the show “Наша Раша”, Alla Borisovna & Maxim Galkin (with their beautiful daughter), film director Vitaliy Manski (produced a very interesting documentary about North Korea), goalie Tretyak, hockey player Panarin (I know someone who’s friends used to hang out with him), the St Pete junior hockey team regularly vacation at one of the spas, Ovechkin has been there too, Navalny. Etc. Before Covid, a lot of Russians used to come in the summer and many in January during the Orthodox Christmas holidays.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  262. LatW says:
    @Dmitry

    I’m sure his investment in Latvia is sincere and very strategic diversification he is doing

    Well, he has a special situation because of his roots, he started researching his family history a long time ago. So some of it is probably sincere (charities, etc, he is also a patron of a nice little classical music festival). Even though he obviously loves his grandpa, he spoke very negatively of the red riflemen (saying that most of them met their just end in 1937 anyway). There were people who tried to talk the riflemen out of going to Russia (family members, officers), but there was a lot of turbulence (during WWI most factories were evacuated so they were left with nothing and pushed out of their normal space) but there should’ve been some stronger men who should’ve yanked them back into their place.

    I don’t judge his choices, but I do not embrace them, some of these pet projects are obviously meant to leverage their assets. And one can’t help but wonder why they are so compelled to move their money out of Russia. Do they fear that their assets could be confiscated in the future? That property in the woods is basically just an empty museum. And that money could have been used to build something for Russian children in Russia. From what I understand, he was also one of Gaidar’s reformers. So he should’ve paid back to the Russian people at least some. However, these individuals act like private individuals now, and that property was actually envisioned by his wife, Yelena, who later passed away. So it is a bit like a memorial to his wife and his Latvian grandfather. It is meant to display a reminiscence of a patriarchal time with the wooden decorations and the ancient oak, while the warmth and the delicateness of the surfaces reminds of a woman’s touch.

    Yes, he had to go to court for the Trump conspiracy thing. And, yes, instead of trying to charm some circles in the US, they should create something in Russia. Alas…

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  263. LatW says:

    Alfa-Group oligarchs are the second most close oligarch group to the Kremlin (for example, multiple politicians’ children are employed by them like Lavrov’s son in law and Putin’s daughter), while being some of the most diplomatically sophisticated and diversifying, and presenting a civilized and “liberal” public face.

    Agreed, they are indeed very sophisticated. I know someone from the Alfa Group, on a much, much lower rung, but still quite affluent and originally from the diplomatic circles (and northern Russian, too). I was very impressed by how cultured he was. A little materialistic though. It’s really lame that there are these political problems and the Ukraine situation. It holds away from potentially open and friendly communication.

  264. @Anatoly Karlin

    My experience in both the Anglo-sphere and Western Europe is that all Slavs get along pretty well with each other–including Lech, Czech, and Rus– except Galician nationalists, who don’t play well with others. Also, Romanians are honorary Slavs.

    • Replies: @AP
  265. Mr. Hack says:
    @Seraphim

    This makes them highly distinct from Romanians and even Poles, who tend to be friendly at a personal level.

    And from this you’ve been able to extrapolate:

    Thank you, you respond indirectly to these people who cannot wrap their mind around the fact that there might be Romanians who do not believe that Russians are the impure race of ‘Gog and Magog’.

    ??

    You really do have a bizarre imagination! 🙂

    • Replies: @Seraphim
  266. AP says:
    @The Big Red Scary

    Poles and Galicians generally get along fine in the USA. In smaller cities they have parties in each other’s community centers and church halls. I’ve seen Poles drinking and having a good time in a place with a portrait of Bandera (!) on a wall. The Ukrainian contractor who does my home renovation projects has quite a few Polish off the boaters on his crew.

    Galicians (unlike Ukrainians from other parts of Ukraine, even nationalistic ones), usually don’t mix with Russians though.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  267. AP says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    As an English-speaking table in Quebec City we have been treated worse than as a Russian-speaking table in Lviv.

    • LOL: Anatoly Karlin
  268. @LatW

    I lived in the USSR for >30 years. Even if I dismiss 1985-91, when the elites were deliberately destroying the system to get a chance to steal a lot more than the “socialism” allowed (they sure achieved that), Moscow, Petersburg, and the rest of Russia looked uninspiring, to put it mildly.

    I visited Moscow three times in the last four years, as well as several provincial Russian cities. Today Moscow looks magnificent, more impressive than any other European capital, and even provincial cities (in the European part of Russia) look pretty good. The roads in the cities and between them are in a lot better shape than ever in the USSR. What’s more, cities and inter-city roads are now user-friendly: you can get good food everywhere, a huge variety of it, including many types of ethnic foods from former USSR. There are lots of gas stations everywhere. Even the problem of public restrooms seems to be solved.

    My conclusion: despite initial problems (some natural, some artificial, due to traitorous actions of thieving Yeltsin regime in the 1990s), current thieves cost Russia a lot less than “brotherly” republics and “brotherly” “socialist” countries costed it in Soviet times. In the long run getting rid of those parasites was good for Russia.

    Besides, now, as they say in Russia, everyone is carrying his own suitcase, which is only fair. The reality check ruined a lot of myths about who feeds who. E.g., Ukraine believed that it feeds Russia. After 30 years of its independence the “i”s are dotted and the “t”s are crossed: Ukraine is the poorest country in Europe, closely followed by Moldova. Dozens of beautiful new metro stations are built in Moscow (we visited quite a few new ones this year on purpose), but not a single one in Kiev. Thousands of miles of new roads, many new airports are built, quite a few huge projects, like Crimean bridge or Yamal LNG plant, are done or on the way to being done. Innumerable new apartment buildings and shopping centers are built, practically all much better than those built in Soviet times.

    To summarize: everyone is welcome to achieve the best they can, but nobody should get any freebies from Russia ever again. Good relations and mutually beneficial trade should be the norm, but today that ball is not in Russia’s court.

    • Agree: sher singh, Aedib
    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    , @LatW
  269. Mr. Hack says:
    @AnonFromTN

    everyone is welcome to achieve the best they can,

    Everyone except you, it appears, all holed up in backwoods Tennessee. It’s too bad that Russia can’t afford to keep its technical people gainfully employed at home. Looks like you’ll be using that “suitcase” you write about for quite a few more years, going back and forth from the awful US to magnificent Russia. 🙂

    The flag to which Professor Tennessee pledges his allegiance!

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  270. Mr. Hack says:
    @AP

    When I first moved to Phoenix, we used to have two large “icons’ of Ivan Franko and Taras Chuprinka on the banquet walls. The Polish community would also rent out the hall for some of their larger parties. Nobody ever squawked and since then those relics of the past have been taken down, and nobody is still squawking, neither Polish nor Ukrainian. The guys who run the hall today are younger Galician transplants. “The times, they are a changing”. 🙂

    • Agree: AP
    • Replies: @LatW
  271. @Mr. Hack

    Like all muh Ukraine larpers, you are so behind the times. FYI, Ray Dalio of Bridgewater Associates says that keeping assets in US dollars and US Treasuries today is madness.
    https://fortune.com/2020/09/16/ray-dalio-us-dollar-global-reserve-currency/

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  272. Mr. Hack says:
    @AnonFromTN

    And yet you still rationalize in your own mind that it’s better to remain in the US and work for the almighty US dollar rather than for the Russian ruble. Unbelievable!

    Being such an astute investor, you do realize that the US dollar has a long history of up and down fluctuations? But yes, I would definitely hedge against its current volatility by investing in gold. Speaking of gold, with all the big bucks that you’ve already made in the US, isn’t it time to at least gold plate your flag pole, pictured above? 🙂

    [MORE]

  273. Dmitry says:
    @LatW

    That property in the woods is basically just an empty museum. And that money could have been used to build something for Russian children in

    His children are in New York. But it’s probably they would come back to Russia to manage their father’s businesses eventually .

    You can see they are developing business experience in New York companies first. This is a quite typical.

    They both copied each other going to Yale and then Harvard.

    https://www.linkedin.com/in/daria-aven-b36177120/

    https://www.linkedin.com/in/denis-aven-6b8b95a4/

    why they are so compelled to move their money out of Russia

    It seems to be a universal behaviour of the hundred-million dollar plus+ people in Russia, and it’s not that the money is just moving outside Russia – but that the money is then moved back into Russia.

    So the money they spend in Russia, is being spent from outside, to inside.

    This is like using a few VPNs, as the money becomes untraceable, and more easily fungible. It also insulated massively the upper class from events like the ruble devaluation in 2014.

    Years before 2014, I know someone from a very rich father, and was confused about her cards (Deutsche Bank, HSBC); even though for me I thought it was very difficult and strange to pay everything from abroad. Think about the money travelling across different countries from thousands of kilometres away, just to buy you a cake in the cafe. How much paperwork you need to do to move your money to Germany and Singapore, just do ordinary shopping in your home.

    But I’m lower-middle class, and how was person of my background to understand how you are supposed to run all your money through different countries, and have your money travelling around electronically from thousands of kilometres away. There’s no textbook where you can learn this in the bookshop, and nobody in my family would ever understand how to move your assets through the Seychelles (it’s still pretty mysterious to me).

    Maybe there is some secret night school inside a bank vault, where they learned these skills. Of course, already in Soviet time they were many not ordinary citizens, but people who were trained for their profession in exactly these skills.

    his roots, he started researching his family history a long time ago. So some of it is probably sincere

    Yes some motivation will be sincere sentimentality, but a lot is strategy, and even part of their work.

    This is exactly what is seen with the Jewish vector. For example, Abramovich has been partly instructed by the government to manage and fund the education infrastructure of part of the Jewish community. This is part of his job is to extended an informal government control over the Jewish community education and religious leaders’ infrastructure in Russia.

    At the same time Abramovich promotes Jewish education for the youth in Russia, you can see that his children doesn’t show either Jewish or Russian identity (from their appearance, they seem to have converted into English aristocrats). https://www.instagram.com/sofiaabramovich97

    Abramovich is an example where it’s partly his government job to extend control or funding on the Jewish community infrastructure in Russia.

    By comparison Fridman’s family seems to have developed some sentimental Jewish identity (e.g. Star of David symbols https://www.instagram.com/alexander_fridman/ )

    While Fridman also is patron and closest ally of his schoolfriend Vladislav Surkov, and Surkov’s (Jewish nationalist) protege Kristina Potupchikwas was operating an antisemitic internet campaigns against an opposition figure.

    In the postsoviet elite, these nationalities are very much things you can instrumentalize and exploit, and they have postmodern lack of seriousness – as things you take on and off like pair of shoes. This does reflect the Soviet history and the use of these topics in the security services.

    However, these individuals act like private individuals now, and that property was actually envisioned by his wife, Yelena

    It’s like semi-private, semi-notprivate. It’s becoming almost like in old royal families.

    For example, when Lavrov’s son in law has married his daughter, then he is thrown immediately to be president of investments at Alpha-Group. The way journalists politely write about the topic is a little comical. https://www.rbc.ru/business/15/05/2017/58fdd2159a79479653d4567f

    A young man marries a royal daughter in London, and immediately after his royal marriage he has to be thrown over to Russia to become the head of investments of Russia’s largest investment consortium. It’s like “Game of Thrones”.

    https://www.rbc.ru/business/15/05/2017/58fdd2159a79479653d4567f

    • Thanks: Mr. Hack
    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    , @LatW
  274. Mr. Hack says:
    @Dmitry

    Years before 2014, I know someone from a very rich father, and was confused about her cards (Deutsche Bank, HSBC); even though for me I thought it was very difficult and strange to pay everything from abroad. Think about the money travelling across different countries from thousands of kilometers away, just to buy you a cake in the cafe. How much paperwork you need to do to move your money to Germany and Singapore, just do ordinary shopping in your home.

    I don’t quite understand why any “paperwork” is necessary to make a purchase inside of Russia, if you’re using well established debit cards from other countries? I remember once, it’s been a long while now, being the furthest physically that I’ve ever found myself away from home, spotting an ATM machine actually in some far reaches of Kerch. I didn’t really need any cash at the time, but couldn’t resist making a withdrawal, to satisfy my curiosity and just to verify if it would work this far away (in my head, I somehow knew that it would). So I stuck my card in, looked around to see if there might possibly be any crooks in the vicinity, and made a withdrawal of about \$100. After about half a minute, the money came out, all perfectly exchanged for comparable Ukrainian hryvnias. “Ka Ching” – international electronic banking proved to be wonderfully efficient. 🙂

    Interesting comment, all around.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  275. Dmitry says:
    @Mr. Hack

    This isn’t a young person who is from Germany or Hong Kong, etc. Yet that’s where their local bank account is.

    Now obviously the financial maneuvers involved required some paperwork (from peoples’ parents), which is beyond normal peoples’ abilities to manage, as well as unusual thinking (for middle class, not upper class people though) of their family.

    For normal people (with Russian citizenship), in terms of visas and paperwork, it’s difficult and stressful to maneuver basic life in Western Europe and people have to rely on an employer to manage the paperwork and allow them to get visas, which allows access to banking services, etc.

    But to be skillful with paperwork – this is one of the features of the postsoviet upper class and they were already doing many skillful maneuvers in Europe in the 1990s, .

  276. Dmitry says:
    @AnonfromTN

    I’d agree the natural world is more interesting to explore for vacation, than most cities.

    But the issue for me is that it is more difficult to do such a vacation. Whereas visiting or exploring a city is the easiest thing in the world nowadays, and I’m confident for arranging that kind of vacation.

    Explore the Sahara Desert or the Amazon Rainforest, will be a bit more difficult than booking some airbnb and following Google maps around the streets.

    I’m planning vacation in New York next year, and just finding what area of that city will be convenient is already around the limit of my organization skill.

    feel as second-rate, but that’s what you’d expect from capitals of third-rate totally inconsequential countries.

    Even more “nonspecial” places can be interesting, if they are sufficiently different from your own culture, though.

    That’s why I don’t think there is some objective interesting or not interesting places.

    That’s superficial lack of attraction of visiting Riga or Minsk, is that you doubt it will be much of culture shock to create sense of being somewhere exotic; but for a Chinese or Jamaican tourist it could be culture shock and seem exotic to them.

    If it’s an exotic enough culture, it becomes interesting even to visit a supermarket or a garage. I’m sure a day of even just visiting supermarkets in Nigeria could be interesting for me.

    • Agree: Mr. Hack
    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    , @AnonFromTN
  277. Mr. Hack says:
    @Dmitry

    I’ll definitely be interested in hearing about your travels to New York. A Ukrainian-Jewish friend of mine stayed with me for 6 weeks this year. He used to live in AZ before moving back to New York, so it’s now my turn to come and visit him sometime. I’ve been to New York many years ago, there’s certainly a lot of things to see and do there, especially now if you have a Russian background. I think that AaronB lives there currently, at least when he’s not sleeping underneath the stars somewhere in the SouthWest, US. 🙂

  278. @Dmitry

    Explore the Sahara Desert or the Amazon Rainforest, will be a bit more difficult than booking some airbnb and following Google maps around the streets.

    As a matter of fact, it is not always that difficult. We explored upper Amazonia from Iquitos (Peru). You can fly there from Lima or Cusco. In Iquitos you can easily find all sorts of tours by locals, visit the forest, butterfly farm, swim in the river, go to the monkey island, etc. Similarly, we booked a tour from Cairo to Egyptian part of the Sahara with two nights in the desert. There are lots of operators that do that (just make sure they were in business for many years, because if the car breaks down in the desert and your guides don’t have satellite communications to call for help, you are done for).

    Even more “nonspecial” places can be interesting, if they are sufficiently different from your own culture, though.

    That depends. Say, Riga and Tallinn were interesting to us in the USSR, but after seeing real Europe our perspective changed. Basically, the originals (say, Paris, Madrid, or even Berlin that suffered a lot in WWII) are more interesting than attempts to copy “big boys” (like Riga, Lvov, or Tallinn). Minsk was totally raised in WWII, so everything there was built in the last 75 years, like in Stalingrad (both are German “achievements”, not the locals’ fault).

    I’m planning vacation in New York next year

    Good luck. I’ve been there several times, and I am not sure I want to go there again. BLM bandits did a lot of damage to the city (except for Russian-inhabited parts, but these are boring), and I don’t trust its “blue” leadership an inch. The main attraction in NY for me is Metropolitan Opera, but you can get the same quality in Bolshoi Theater in Moscow and in Mariinsky Theater in Piter. Their museums are pretty good, though, and BLM did not trash them (for the same reason those thugs never loot book shops, LOL). However, if you like art, any mid-size European city has more art than the whole of North America. Hermitage, Tretyakovka (now in two buildings) or Russian Museum can successfully compete with Louvre or British Museum. If you like smaller museums where you can see everything they have, Prado in Madrid, El Greco museum in Toledo, Uffizi in Florence, or Pinacoteca in Venice are great.

  279. LatW says:
    @AnonFromTN

    I visited Moscow three times in the last four years, as well as several provincial Russian cities. Today Moscow looks magnificent, more impressive than any other European capital, and even provincial cities (in the European part of Russia) look pretty good.

    You won’t find anyone here who will deny that Moscow has developed tremendously. You don’t even have to physically go there to see that, you can see everything on YouTube. It’s very obvious that regional cities, too, have developed. Those areas that are emptying out, it is because of urbanization which is still very much happening. Good or bad, that’s a different question.

    One thing I have always liked about the Russian culture is how they create art, design, architecture that reaches great opulence but doesn’t cross the line into exaggeration and tackiness. It goes very far and then it stops just barely at that line. The result can be quite stunning. This is not common in other Northern European cultures where design is much more subdued or functional. An example of this is the Yeliseyevsky grocery store in Moscow. Literally, one more shiny lamp or decoration and it would be too much. Another such example – the Decembrist houses in Irkutsk that were built by exiled nobles and have been very nicely remodeled. Not all, of course, because, unfortunately, it costs more to remodel them than to build a brand new house… there’s one house I’m literally in love with, the Lace House. OMG. Also, Trubetzkoy House.

    [MORE]

    Dozens of beautiful new metro stations are built in Moscow (we visited quite a few new ones this year on purpose), but not a single one in Kiev.

    I wouldn’t say Kyiv looks bad. It looks like a pretty livable place with a big city feel. Ofc, not everything is ideal and, ofc, much depends on one’s income, but in general it offers a lot.

    The whole Eastern bloc has recovered. The living standards have risen significantly, especially since 2016. Personally, I think Poland looks great.

    The next step is to expand consumer brands. One thing I noticed about Moscow’s GUM is that it’s too filled with Italian et al designer brands. I know that that’s what women there like, but they would be real winners if they replaced at least some of those names with their own. It requires a slight attitude adjustment. There are some high end fashion and cosmetics brands at the boutique level (e.g., there’s a beautiful spa called Natura Siberica). As I said, these would be in direct competition with other EE and Western brands, but it’s a way to break into the next level.

    To summarize: everyone is welcome to achieve the best they can, but nobody should get any freebies from Russia ever again.

    Totally fair. For Ukrainians, they just don’t want to be shot at. But I’m not gonna go there with you.

    • Replies: @AnonfromTN
  280. LatW says:
    @Mr. Hack

    Interesting. Meet any men from the woods of Volhynia back in the day?

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  281. LatW says:
    @Dmitry

    His children are in New York. But it’s probably they would come back to Russia to manage their father’s businesses eventually

    You misunderstood me, Dima. Ofc, the children can inherit one day, etc. I didn’t mean his biochildren, but Russian children in Russia who might need resources, scholarships, etc. I’m not implying that he should dish out his “private” money, rather that he has spent quite lavishly in Latvia. Why not in Russia itself? Even if you want to hedge against the devaluation of the ruble, you can do it by creating a little factory or shop in Russia. He does have art collections, too, btw.

    Of course, already in Soviet time they were many not ordinary citizens, but people who were trained for their profession in exactly these skills.

    From what I know, the ways to have business skills / connections in the Soviet days was through Komsomol, this is probably how these bankers got their connections right before the collapse of the USSR and then were able to jump into private banking. The other way was private small scale entrepreneurship – you could grow gladiolas and other flowers and sell them in St Pete. No, seriously, there were people who did well.

    While Fridman also is patron and closest ally of his schoolfriend Vladislav Surkov

    Er… so do you know if Aven has ever been involved with Surkov in any way?

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  282. @LatW

    One thing I have always liked about the Russian culture is how they create art, design, architecture that reaches great opulence but doesn’t cross the line into exaggeration and tackiness.

    There are exceptions, like Stalin’s “vysotkas” in Moscow. In my view, that hyper-imperial style is going too far (BTW, Stalin’s architectural tastes were similar to Hitler’s). But today they are historic monuments with the esthetics of the ugly, like New York or Egyptian pyramids.

    I wouldn’t say Kyiv looks bad.

    Last time I was in Kiev was before 2014 coup. It looked shabby. I saw the pics of what maidanista crowd did to the center. It was a crime, but it wasn’t the only one they committed. I have no idea what Kiev looks now: won’t go there, even though my cousin lives in Kiev.

    Natura Siberica

    There was a very recent attempt of hostile takeover of Natura Siberica. According to its founder, it was foiled, but they closed all their shops and plants for some time.

    For Ukrainians, they just don’t want to be shot at.

    Then why are they shooting at civilian targets? The school I went to in Lugansk was bombed by Ukies. The library where I used to borrow books when in school was shelled by Ukies. I had to evacuate my mother from Lugansk because Ukie shell exploded close to her apartment building and broke her windows. After all, Donbass people did not come West to shoot svido scum, svido scum came to Donbass to shoot its people.

  283. Seraphim says:
    @Mr. Hack

    And you again display your blissful ignorance.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  284. LatW says:

    There are exceptions, like Stalin’s “vysotkas” in Moscow. In my view, that hyper-imperial style is going too far (BTW, Stalin’s architectural tastes were similar to Hitler’s).

    Oh, I don’t consider that Russian, but Soviet. I meant more like the traditional Russian wooden architecture, pre-Soviet architecture and such. And, yea, Riga, too, has one of those Stalinist eye sores. It’s almost like a scarlet letter, when Westerners see those spires, they think “Oh, you’re one of those…”. My wish has always been that they should paint those in pristine white or metallic white. That way it would at least glisten in the sun and maybe look better. Like Saruman’s castle or similar.

    It’s totalitarian architecture. Don’t know about Stalin, but Albert Speer’s vision is more Roman looking. One thing that was done well during Stalin’s time, though, is those houses that were built in the 1950s were somewhat sturdier than, let’s say, Hrushchovkas. I wouldn’t credit Stalin himself for it, though, it’s possible that those who built them leaned more on the older pre-Soviet way of building. All these homes need is a paint job, inside and out, some landscaping, a rose garden and they’re ok. And they will stand for decades or more. All those anthills, however, will probably have to be demolished.

    There was a very recent attempt of hostile takeover of Natura Siberica.

    Yea, that’s very lame, raiderism is so nasty and primitive. And very dangerous, it can ruin the whole company and the brand that took years to create. It looks like the second wife is fighting the older one. There is a similar situation in LV with a big pharmaceuticals company, it’s a horrible mess (but at least they had the paperwork done). The owner passed away and the second, much younger wife after a short lived relationship is fighting the real heirs. In a traditional society there was a hierarchy between the wives. Because, if the man goes, everything can go to crap. That’s why the rich in the West don’t like to change wives. Poor woman, her husband should have written a testament a long time ago. She’s still grieving and being attacked at the same time. The boomer culture used to be trust based between husband and wife and she didn’t see it coming.

    [MORE]

    I had to evacuate my mother from Lugansk because Ukie shell exploded close to her apartment building and broke her windows.

    It’s a horrific tragedy altogether and there is way too much pain on both sides. There was a grandmother who lost her daughter and her grandchild at once. She wakes up in hell every morning, for the 8th year now. I watched a video of an elderly mother leaning over her dead son near a broken window, she was going “Сыночек, сыночек”. I can’t imagine bigger hell.

    It should never have happened. I don’t want to argue with you about it because I do support Ukraine as a nation (even though I should probably not meddle). It should never have been allowed to go that far. Remember the lies about the crucified boy, you don’t say that kind of sh**t on TV. Because younger men will go crazy and take up arms. It was thrown in there on purpose to rile up the men. It is like the Kolovrat that when it starts spinning you can’t stop it or control it anymore.

    Ukraine was forced to defend itself. Nobody in Europe realized there is so much Soviet era heavy artillery left over in Ukraine and that that kind of arsenal would be used in an urban setting. Nobody expected that Russia would fire across from the border. It is utterly shocking, I’m still very shocked. The other day another 27 yo Ukrainian soldier died, somebody’s son or husband. It needs to stop, it destroys the quality of all our lives and hinders communication with Russia. Unfortunately, it is a dead end right now.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    , @Dmitry
  285. Mr. Hack says:
    @LatW

    I actually have, however, because of the age difference never pressed them about their activities then. Now, I wish I had, most of them, however, have passed on.

    • Replies: @LatW
  286. Mr. Hack says:
    @Seraphim

    And you your prowess of spreading BS. 🙁

    • Replies: @Seraphim
  287. LatW says:
    @Mr. Hack

    Now, I wish I had, most of them, however, have passed on.

    Understood. 🌹

    What state did most of them move to? They may have left some journals or photos behind.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  288. Seraphim says:
    @Mr. Hack

    Hey, kiddo, you are a naughty boy. That’s no way to talk to your more knowledgeable seniors. But manners don’t count anymore.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  289. Mr. Hack says:
    @Seraphim

    I thought that you get all of the respect that you deserve from passerbyers all day long:

  290. Mr. Hack says:
    @LatW

    Members of OUN/UPA can (could?) be located in most any large city community where Ukrainians live in the US & Canada. A lot of “Diviziniki” ended up living in England, some in Canada too. I did meet one of these guys in AZ, he related some of his story to me. After his bout with the Nachtigal guys, he went into the French Foreign Legion, and then married a local immigrant’s daughter and raised a family with two boys. During his stint with the Legionnaires he fought in Viet Nam. I don’t have any special desire to pursue these sorts of individuals today.

    I’ll relate one other story to you that happened quite unexpectedly. I was invited over for lunch to a woman’s house who used to live in Minnesota. Her father had been a big wig in some emigre political group, from a Melnykite faction. After a great Ukrainian lunch, she brought out some family photos that she wanted to share with me. In one of the photos was a picture of her father graduating from high school. She pointed out a young Stepan Bandera within the photo too, clear as day. Her father was not a fan of Bandera’s at all, but it made for some interesting after dinner commentary.

  291. @LatW

    It needs to stop, it destroys the quality of all our lives and hinders communication with Russia.

    There is a simple recipe for that: svido scum goes back where it came from and leaves Donbass alone. Unrealistic, considering what svido scum is and the lies its elites have to tell to the Ukrainian populace to remain near the trough. Ukies committed too many war crimes in Donbass to list them, although both LPR and DPR do their best to keep track of their crimes for future tribunal.

    Unfortunately, it is a dead end right now.

    It is, largely because Russia never showed up for the war. There is a joke in Russian segment of the Internet:
    – How do you know Russian Army is in Donbass?
    – Because all Ukie cell phone batteries suddenly become uncharged.

    There is also a Ukrainian joke about the matter:
    – You say that Crimea belongs to Ukraine, so why don’t you fight for it?
    – We are not stupid, there is Russian Army there.
    – But you say that there is Russian Army in Donbass, and yet you fight.
    – That’s what we say, but there really is Russian Army in Crimea.

    On the one hand, as a person who grew up in Donbass I disapprove of Putin’s minimal interference policy. Russia arms and trains Donbass freedom fighters, supports them financially, sometimes sends anti-artillery units to suppress criminals’ artillery firing at civilians, but that’s about it. The prevalent feeling in Russia is that Donbass deserves a lot more, that it earned the right to get out of the Ukrainian madhouse. On the other hand, I understand that Putin is the president of Russia, not of Donbass, so that well-being of Russia must be his prime concern.

    • Replies: @Aedib
    , @AP
  292. AP says:
    @AnonFromTN

    There is a simple recipe for that: svido scum goes back where it came from and leaves Donbass alone

    The problem with your argument that the Ukrainian government is exclusively to blame for the bloodshed in Donbas is that there are lots of places in Ukraine including in next door Kharkiv and Dnipropetrovsk that have lots of Ukrainian troops and yet no bloodshed. So the independent variable that determined whether civilians died by the thousands was not the presence of the Ukrainian military but rather the presence of violent anti-government militants, about 10% of whom have not even been Ukrainian citizens, fighting the government from populated areas that serve as cover for them.

    While you are correct that the Russian army has not openly or massively intervened in Donbas it has sent weapons and troops (you think those captured Russian paratroopers really got lost?) and leadership. It made the rebellion possible and sustainable over the years. Russia should take responsibility for the mess it made possible and just formally annex the territory it’s proxies now hold. However for strategic purposes it would rather continue bleeding Ukraine (at the expense of Donbasers) and ideally force these territories back into Ukraine on terms favorable to Russia.

    • Agree: Mr. Hack, Mr. XYZ
    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    , @Mr. XYZ
  293. Dmitry says:
    @LatW

    Russian, but Soviet

    That academy added in Riga is not Russian, Soviet, or Stalinist (except that the latter allowed a scope of eclecticism and a desire for monumentalism).

    It’s just a copy of New York, that was repeated too many times.

    This is “Manhattan Municipal Building” which had inspired them.

    Stalinist architecture (actually just architects allowed during Stalin’s time) is generally unoffensive and visually attractive. There were of course many problems, like very limited supply of housing during Stalin’s time.

    Another issue is too much monumentalism in more important cities, including in the city planning. For example, there is usually far too much space between buildings for ordinary citizens’ convenience.

    Elite apartment buildings are the better aspects of Stalinist architecture (but arrived in a context of insufficient housing supply).

    Whereas public buildings in classical style was where there became too much inhuman monumentalism (halfway to the buildings that desired in Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy).

    A problem of the Stalinist planning is too much space in the city centre, which emphasizes too much of the priority for monumentalism.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    , @AP
  294. @AP

    the presence of violent anti-government militants, about 10% of whom have not even been Ukrainian citizens

    An interesting slip of tongue. What about the other 90% (!)? The participation of non-citizens in Russian war usually called “Civil” (1918-1922) was actually higher.

    • Replies: @AP
  295. @Dmitry

    My two cents about Stalin’s architecture. I have a feeling that the main purpose was to make you feel small and insignificant, same as in Gothic cathedrals in Europe. Even though I graduated from the Biological Faculty of Moscow State and have fond memories of my student years (I was a lot younger back then), I always felt that architecturally the Biological Faculty most resembles a prison. The main building (one of Stalin’s “vysotkas”) where I lived in the dorm for two years is also far from beautiful. Today these buildings, however unpretty, are historic monuments, like Egyptian pyramids, and should remain exactly where they are. Because people who do not remember history are doomed to repeat it.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  296. Dmitry says:
    @LatW

    Aven has ever been involved with Surkov

    Fridman, Surkov and Solovyov were all college friends together, living in the same dorm.

    Everyone knows Fridman and Surkov are still close friends (and their wives vacation together, Surkov stays in Fridman’s house, etc). There isn’t so much information about Solovyov connection to them, or whether he is still friends with those two – although he went in different direction of becoming academic in the 1990s.

    In 1996, Fridman installed Surkov as chairman of “Alpha-Bank”, using his old friend to chair in the bank. At that time Aven was President, so they Surkov and Aven must be knowing each other for 25 years. But from what I could see of the journalists’ articles, it’s only really known the close bromance of Fridman and Surkov.

    Presumable Aven is more distant than those two. But I’m just inferring from the biographical articles.

    that he has spent quite lavishly in Latvia. Why not in Russia itself? Even if you want to hedge against the devaluation of the ruble

    Because they are diversifying and securing their assets, as well as laundering them, and making them untraceable.

    One of the issues people talk about is “capital flight” from Russia. But this isn’t really what is happening with the upper class. Rather the money leaves Russia, travels through different countries, changing its form, and then can re-enter Russia from strong and diverse positions outside.

    business skills / connections in the Soviet days was through Komsomol, this is probably how these bankers

    Skill in international travel, identity change, anonymization, creation of political theory, exploitation of national identity, laundering through modern art, purchase of media branches – all these features of the 1990s, is more something of the people trained in security services.

    Of course, many of the wealthy people are not so skilled in these ways, and you can see this – e.g. how Elena Baturina/Yury Luzhkov have been often committing to clumsy mistakes in the UK, by not trying to influence the media sphere before the political sphere. As a result, they became very badly viewed by the UK journalism. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7506519/Russias-richest-woman-introduced-City-Hall-Boris-Johnson-quits-London-mayors-charity.html

    By comparison, KGB graduated Lebedev and “Lord Lebedev” (his son), bought the main newspapers in London, years before they were trying to influence in politics of the UK.

    misunderstood me, Dima. Ofc, the children can inherit one day, etc. I didn’t mean his biochildren

    I wasn’t arguing with, rather I just wanted to write about those different topics. Lol apologies for the offtopic, but I always post in this self-indulgent way. To answer your original post better, there is YouTube below:

    I understand, he was also one of Gaidar’s reformers. So he should’ve paid back to the Russian people at least some. However, these individuals act like private individuals now,

    You can see his opinions in his interview to the expensively desired Nailya Vagif kyzy Asker-zade

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=74avMWthO-0

    • Replies: @LatW
  297. AP says:
    @AnonFromTN

    No slip. 10% is a lot. Moreover they were the next troops (experience in the Chechen wars) and included most of the main military leaders such as Girkin and “Motorola.” These adventurers used Donbas ad their playground, with civilians getting hit in the crossfire.

    • Replies: @AnonfromTN
  298. AP says:
    @Dmitry

    My in laws have a flat in a Stalin building on a very busy street in central Moscow where my wife and I spent summers when we were students. The walls are made of such thick stone or concrete that the place is incredibly quiet despite its location (it does face a courtyard); it is so well insulated that it feels cool in summer and toasty warm in winter. It has very high ceilings so it does not feel stuffy at all inside. A marvel of urban construction. I heard that it was built using the slave labor of captured German soldiers but don’t know if that is true.

  299. Dmitry says:
    @AnonFromTN

    Looking at a picture, to me it has a sense of impersonal “imperial power”. My intuition feel like a impersonal, (almost “Roman”?) monumentalism.

    But it could have been constructed equally as a government building of Washington DC in the 20th century.

    It’s excessive for a university to have such monumentalist building for its students to work there.

    For comparisons, State Department Building (Harry S Truman Building) of 1940s America.

    It’s not as aggressive as some of the famous Nazi or fascist architecture. The most famous example of the Nazi architecture is probably the Aviation Ministry in Berlin

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  300. @Dmitry

    Looking at a picture, to me it has a sense of impersonal “imperial power”.

    This pic does not include long side wings. With them the courtyard looks exactly like a prison yard (just needs a fence on the fourth side). Even when you are young, it feels oppressive.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  301. @AP

    FYI, Girkin plays no role in DPR since 2014, i.e., for the last seven (!) years. Motorola was from Russia, whereas Givi and Zakharchenko were locals in DPR. Ukrainian terrorists murdered all three just the same.

    • Replies: @AP
  302. AP says:
    @AnonfromTN

    Thanks for confirming that half of the significant military leadership were from Russia. Now look at the initial political leadership. First PM Borodai was a man from Moscow. He had two vice PMs. One was (Purgin) a local, the other (Antyufeyev) was another Russian, who had experience previously setting up the republic in Trasnistria.

    So Russia supplied 2/3 of the initial political leadership, half the significant military leadership, 10% of the troops (and the best and most experienced troops), the weapons and the money to get this project going. I can imagine what you would be saying if there were similar ratios on Kiev’s side. The result of this work is that Donetsk became a battleground with thousands of dead civilians. Unlike next door Kharkiv that was not blessed with the presence of these Russians and their weapons, which has been peaceful and safe.

    The most decent thing to do would be for Russia to take responsibility for its project and to annex those lands. But it’s calculations are colder and more cynical.

    Btw you haven’t mentioned the “lost” Russian paratroopers that Ukrainians captured lol.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    , @Mr. XYZ
  303. @AP

    you haven’t mentioned the “lost” Russian paratroopers that Ukrainians captured

    LOL indeed. Ukrainian fakers should work better. If that pussy was a paratrooper, I am the Pope.

    BTW, you did not address the issue of who were those who murdered Motorola, Givi, and Zakahrchenko. By all rational definitions they were terrorists. I wonder how svido mind would twist itself to call those bandits something else.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    , @AP
  304. Mr. Hack says:
    @AnonFromTN

    A poor, poor refutation of AP’s haymaker launched in comment #306. I thought that he put you out for the full count, yet you come back whimpering with some stupid side issues. I’m disappointed with you, Professor. Is this all that you’ve really got? 🙁

  305. Mr. Hack says:

    So Russia supplied 2/3 of the initial political leadership, half the significant military leadership, 10% of the troops (and the best and most experienced troops), the weapons and the money to get this project going. I can imagine what you would be saying if there were similar ratios on Kiev’s side. The result of this work is that Donetsk became a battleground with thousands of dead civilians. Unlike next door Kharkiv that was not blessed with the presence of these Russians and their weapons, which has been peaceful and safe. The most decent thing to do would be for Russia to take responsibility for its project and to annex those lands. But it’s calculations are colder and more cynical.

    Hey Mr. Karlin, may I suggest that you include this quote of AP’s in your next open thread as a “powerful take”? Even better, use it as a “powerful take” and then critique it – this would be quite interesting. Unless, of course, you agree with him?

    • Agree: Mr. XYZ
  306. AP says:
    @AnonFromTN

    LOL indeed. Ukrainian fakers should work better. If that pussy was a paratrooper, I am the Pope

    Your record of cluelessness continues.

    Russia itself admitted that a bunch of its paratroopers were captured by Ukrainian forces. It claimed they wandered in by accident lol:

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-ukraine-crisis-paratroopers-idUSKBN0GR1KF20140827

    “Kiev has accused the servicemen of conducting a “special mission” in support of a separatist pro-Russian insurgency in its eastern regions. Moscow denies the charge, saying the troops had strayed across the border by mistake.”

    BTW, you did not address the issue of who were those who murdered Motorola, Givi, and Zakahrchenko. By all rational definitions they were terrorists

    Could have been Ukraine. Less likely, but possible internal criminal elements or even Russia tying up loose ends who no longer had a purpose. Wasn’t some Donbas warlord killed in Moscow?

    Do you think that Russians who killed the Chechen leader in Dubai were also terrorists?

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    , @Mr. XYZ
  307. Dmitry says:
    @AnonFromTN

    How was your experience of American universities in comparison? I recall you are working for a university in Southern United States.

    I know the American universities have far more money for the infrastructure and buildings, rather than the paint falling from walls experience. I’ve superficially toured around a few universities in the US.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  308. LatW says:
    @Dmitry

    Presumable Aven is more distant than those two

    He is, and, as I said, he came to LV a long time ago. That he may have known Surkov at some point in the past, doesn’t really connect him to the Ukrainian events, although it’s a bit slippery for LV from the ethical pov, if they indeed are from the same group (as Surkov’s up to his elbows in Ukrainian blood).

    Rather the money leaves Russia, travels through different countries, changing its form, and then can re-enter Russia from strong and diverse positions outside.

    Oh, strong and diverse indeed, hahahaha. Not sure all money returns. There is straight up money that stays in LV and that is just a drop in a bucket, that means there is way, way more money out there.

    “Lord Lebedev” (his son)

    Another case in point. These newly minted “lords” will probably assimilate into Western society. They will not be “Russian lords” and will not form the new elite in Russia. Not sure if it’s good or bad.

    Regarding the video you posted…
    Ай, Россия матушка, чего же ты только не перенесла… sigh.

    He does mention though that it was a “moral mistake” not to compensate the population for the removal of price controls. Yea, I guess, after 30 years one can safely state that…
    It is not my place to judge, who knows what should’ve been done back then. I can tell you though that with some work, more massive food production in the Baltic States could’ve been initiated that could’ve alleviated what happened in 1991-1994. But maybe I’m wrong.

    Btw, you can see a glimpse in the video of the biggest Russian Silver Age painting collection in the world. Interesting.

    I don’t know which pieces those are, but, personally, I believe pieces such as “Bogatyr on the Crossroads” shouldn’t change private hands. That particular piece is somewhere in a national museum in Russia, but there may be other pieces out there, from that era, which probably should belong to the Russian people.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  309. @Dmitry

    I work for a university in TN. The buildings are maintained OK. Some paint is peeling, but not much of it. They invest in buildings many times more than in research. Shows their priorities.

    As far as the rest of the American infrastructure goes, it used to be good, but I see appalling decline in the last 5-10 years. There are numerous potholes on the roads (including highways) similar to those in the late Soviet Union circa 1990-91. I’ve learned to drive in the USSR, so the technique of avoiding potholes while driving I learned back then came in handy now. The inter-city roads I drove on in Russia a few years ago are in a lot better shape. Even main roads in Crimea in 2015 were brought into better shape (although side roads still were Ukrainian quality, so I had to drive carefully).

    As far as I can tell, the US is doggedly committing suicide. I saw one Empire dying, and I hate to see the same signs all over again. If things keep going in this direction, I’d have to get the heck out for retirement. BTW, there are a lot of adepts of various conspiracy theories on this site. I think you don’t need elaborate conspiracy theories to explain what is happening in the West, woeful stupidity of the elites suffices.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  310. @AP

    Do you think that Russians who killed the Chechen leader in Dubai were also terrorists?

    Whoever killed Yamadayev in Dubai were terrorists. There is no proof that those bastards were Russians.

  311. Dmitry says:
    @AnonFromTN

    There is a culture of “private wealth; public squalor (relatively)” in the USA. It’s probably related partly to colonial culture, as Latin America has the same problem (although at lower parameters for both).

    I mean Apple could expend \$5 billion construct a circular office building – it’s not difficult to fix potholes that would benefit millions of people, with this money would only benefit a few thousand workers.

    technique of avoiding potholes while driving I learned back then came in handy now. The inter-city roads I drove on in Russia a few years ago are in a lot better shape.

    As you know of course, Soviet Union until the end the priority spending for the authorities was rail transport. In Russia now there are vast disparities from different places, as these highly prioritized modern 21st century road developments, and then inherited vast amount of inadequate two-lane roads which were constructed for light use in the 1960s, and which result in many traffic deaths today as they are overloaded.

    US is doggedly committing suicide. I saw one Empire dying, and I hate to see the same

    Aside from the topic of underinvestment in the public sphere (which is very noticeable about the USA), I wonder if some of the infrastructure problems in the USA, can be related to timing of construction of this infrastructure?

    On Quora, there is response on this line about the reason Italy’s infrastructure is worse than Spain’s, which I could imagine is relevant for the USA?

    “The infrastructures are newer in Spain : Spain was shackled by a fascist dictatorship until 1975, and was a poor and backward country at that time. Italy had already become industrialized in 1950’s and 60’s. Since then, Spain has received massive amount of funds and investment from the European Union and that has led to modern roads, buildings, airports and trains.

    Even in Spain, those areas that have been historically underdeveloped (like Andalusia) do look more modern than areas that were relatively prosperous (like Catalonia – which is very similar to Northern Italy).”

    https://www.quora.com/Why-does-Italy-look-like-a-third-world-country-dirty-streets-decaying-buildings-horrible-infrastructure-compared-to-Spain-despite-being-similar-in-many-aspects/answers/198276595

    happening in the West, woeful stupidity of the elites suffices

    Although it’s not necessarily stupidity. Let’s say elites in Brazil have very nice roads inside the gated housing community, and very bad roads outside their elite spaces; is it stupidity, when they don’t want to spend expend this money for the people outside their elite community, or rather instead a kind of unrestrained self-interest, or lack of prioritization for the public sphere.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  312. Dmitry says:
    @LatW

    Financial Times of London has interviewed Surkov a few months. It’s quite a stereotypical conversation
    https://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/europe/interview-an-overdose-of-freedom-is-lethal-to-a-state-says-former-key-putin-adviser-1.4598641

    “lords” will probably assimilate into Western society. They will not be “Russian

    Perhaps Abramovich’s children this looks like they are really committed to their new identity as English aristocrats. Fridman and Aven will probably re-install their children to manage the local financial services industries, when those children are in the 30s.

    However, there is no need for them to choose, and the most convenient position for the upper class is to have feet in divergent countries.

    That is, the conflict with the West, created the most comfortable situation for the ruling class.

    shouldn’t change private hands. That particular piece is somewhere in a national museum in

    It’s at least this century old art is not as suitable for money laundering in the way that contemporary art can be – it doesn’t multiply its value in the same way dependent on contemporary judgements.

    For example, Lord Lebedev shows how to play this game with the contemporary art.

    “Lebedev collects modern British art, and owns pieces by Tracey Emin, Antony Gormley, Damien Hirst, Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud and Jake and Dinos Chapman.[30]”

    The “value” of “art” of Tracey Emin or Dinos Chapman, is purely based on to what extent you and your friends can hypebeast it in the recent years.

    Lebedev owns the main newspaper in London (“Evening Standard”), which can be one of the organs that provides reviews of the exhibitions of these London “artists”.

    And once the “art” has been hypebeasted to a higher enough value by a syndicate of influential people, it becomes the perfect stream for cleaning your money and moving it across borders.

  313. @Dmitry

    I wonder if some of the infrastructure problems in the USA, can be related to timing of construction of this infrastructure?

    Well, it was not much newer 5 years ago, but recent decline is palpable.

    it’s not necessarily stupidity.

    American elites spend trillions on Pentagon, military bases, and wars all over the globe. The whole US deficit is the sum total of this spending over many years. Then again, maybe this is not stupidity, but greed: they spend taxpayers’ money, most of which they actually steal.

    However, the way they are killing the dollar by annual multi-trillion deficits can only be explained by stupidity: after all, their assets are all denominated in the US dollars.

  314. Mr. Hack says:
    @Mikhail

    You’re still trying to push Skoropadsky down everybody’s throat, Mickey?

    The problem with Skoropadsky is that you never know which one you’re dealing with:

    1) the Ukrainian nationalist Skoropadsky?

    2) the Russian Imperialist Skoropadsky?

    3) the German collaborationist Skoropadsky?

    Take your pick, he’s the universal Skoropadsky, “all things to all people”. 🙂

    • Replies: @Insomniac Resurrected
  315. Mr. XYZ says:
    @AP

    The interesting thing is that I don’t think that any Ukrainian leader would ever actually be willing to reintegrate the Donbass back into Ukraine on Russia’s terms. Even a perpetual cold, sometimes slightly hot, war with Russia is superior to that from a Ukrainian nationalist point of view.

    I think that the best move for Russia would have been to invest a lot of money into the Donbass Republics over the last several years in order to build up more local goodwill towards Russia. A Russian annexation of the Donbass could have subsequently occurred in either 2015 or later–or possibly at some future point in time. But at least this way the Donbass wouldn’t have actually had its economy wrecked. (AFAICT, support for a Russian annexation of the Donbass was insufficiently high back in 2014 for Russia to immediately attempt such a move back then.)

  316. Mr. XYZ says:
    @AP

    Yep, Russia certainly made the Donbass rebellion possible. It tapped into existing local sentiments, no doubt (I can refer you to some polling if you’re interested), but I don’t think that pro-Russian Donbassers would have actually been sufficiently organized to stage a separatist uprising without Russian support. At the very worst, it would have quickly been crushed just like in Kharkiv and Odessa. Even Igor Girkin himself admitted this later on.

  317. Mr. XYZ says:
    @AP

    FWIW, I think that Ukrainian assassinations of Donbass separatist leaders is counterproductive since they did Ukraine a favor with their secession and since they are in large part Russian tools anyway. Of course, I do understand why exactly Ukraine is severely pissed off by the events of the last 7.5 years.

    Honestly, how about a deal: No more Russian snipers killing Ukrainian troops in the Donbass in exchange for no more Ukrainian assassinations of Donbass separatist leaders?

    And FWIW, I don’t like Russia’s various assassinations either.

  318. @Mr. Hack

    So why the big crocodile tears over Medvechuk?

    Typical Mr. Hack comment. Unfortunately, it is not just Medvedchuk, who is being censored in Ukraine.

  319. @Mr. Hack

    You’re still trying to push Skoropadsky down everybody’s throat, Mickey?

    The problem with Skoropadsky is that you never know which one you’re dealing with:

    1) the Ukrainian nationalist Skoropadsky?

    2) the Russian Imperialist Skoropadsky?

    3) the German collaborationist Skoropadsky?

    LMAO, Skoropadsky was an Ukr. A type that was tasked with creating Ukraine where it wasn’t by his Western masters. Strangely though, he was not very successful in this endeavour. It is striking how anyone that tries to create Ukraine is met with resistance and failure. Why is the hell is that? Is it because they are trying to peddle a lie?

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