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Foreign Policy

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The Azeris appear to have seized large chunks of southern Karabakh, including (Armenian-populated) Artsakh proper. Hopes they'd be slowed down by the mountainous terrain have proven forlorn, the advance has to the contrary accelerated ever since the Armenian lines in the south were broken. It's too soon to call it an Armenian collapse. The retreat... Read More
I'm not a huge YouTube person, but this genre of "day by day"'s for various historical events has become a popular genre and one of my favorites. Certainly a useful visual guide to reading about it. And in this case useful as a comparator to what's happening today. First observation - Armenia started off in... Read More
It's been 16 days since the start of Karabakh War II. 524 Armenian dead As mentioned, the Azeris are keeping their losses under wraps, but 619 have been ID'ed from social media. Since social media analysis isn't going to catch all the Azeri losses, we can conclude that the Azeri losses are twice as high... Read More
Can create a MIRV'ed ICBM to accompany the hydrogen bomb they unveiled in 2017: And even the chassis for it - at least, to the amazement of Western journalists*. It's own MBT*: Some kind of S-300 like system: Even new uniforms, which look quite sturdier than the old ones:   This is what 25 million... Read More
Just like the Balkan Wars before World War I, there are interesting lessons to be drawn from the conflict, and as such I find it rather fascinating - if not surprising, given the quality of our chattering class - that it has receiving such scant journalistic and analytical attention. This is not just an insurgency... Read More
The Virgin HCQ shill vs. the Chad Sputnik V respecter. Anyhow, this might have helped Trump by generating sympathy. But, given his not entirely undeserved reputation as a floomer, probably won't. Rallies are Trump's lifeblood, chances of him winning have surely plummeted just now. He's fat and 18 years older than BoJo, who was hospitalized.... Read More
Who should Russia support in this conflict? By treaty, Russia is not obliged to do anything, at least so long as Azerbaijan (or Turkey) do not violate Armenia's internationally recognized borders, of which Nagorno-Karabakh/Artsakh is not a part. And while neither Azerbaijan nor Turkey can be remotely considered Russia's friends, they both have a substantial... Read More
2020 keeps getting more powerful as the clashes in July have suddenly crescendoed with reports of large-scale Azeri attacks on the Artsakh frontlines and Azeri shelling of the Armenian enclave's capital of Stepanakert. This now seems to be a bigger thing than your typical serious border scuffle, which happens once every few years and kills... Read More
From the start I refrained from speculating too much about what precisely happened to Navalny. Thing is, several weeks on, we are collectively none the wiser. Though Novichok seems to have done him good in the looksmaxxing department: But reality is rarely as important as the narratives around it, and so far as narratives are... Read More
There have been no important developments since the last Belarus Sitrep. The protests continue to periodically simmer, but they are massively down from their peak several weeks ago. The pro-Russian orientation has become progressively clearer: Chairman of the Standing Commission on International Affairs Andrey Savinykh has openly stated that Belarus' prior "multivector" foreign policy no... Read More
So it emerges that the Taliban don't actually need Russian rubles to hate Americans and try to kill them for their freedom. But who cares now. This emerges three months after the original hoax and reached ~100x fewer people. Meanwhile, the important goals were accomplished. The neocons torpedoed plans to end the endless Middle East... Read More
Lukashenko and Putin are meeting today in Sochi to hammer whatever it is they are going to hammer out. I assume that the Kremlin denial that the talks will focus on "mergers" is an obfuscation. There were two valid approaches to Lukashenko's recent problems in Belarus: Non-interference based on sanctity of the (Soviet) state borders,... Read More
This is perhaps the most impressive product in this genre that I have seen to date.
I am not quite sure whether this classifies as a zrada (defeat/betrayal), but it is surely not a peremoga (victory) - to borrow the terms often used by Ukrainian nationalists, but really applicable to anything. As with Russian nationalists, the Serb nationalists fall into two camps regarding the mettle of their leader, some passionately hate... Read More
Some researchers (Collin Meisel, Jonathan D. Moyer and Sarah Gutberlet) have recently published a "Military Equipment Index" (MEI) that seeks to provide a comprehensive, quantified, and internationally comparable tally of the military equipment at each country's disposal: “The ultimate yardstick of national power is military capability.” So declared RAND analysts in a monograph on measuring... Read More
So in the past few hours Luka has basically leveled up from Virgin sovok collective farm manager to Chad people's republic warlord. Sure, it's a larp, but it's still cooler than how Yanukovych just... ran away. Or how the USSR croaked, for that matter. Those "hardliners" behind the August coup gave up after just three... Read More
Lukashenko's situation has stabilized - key observation is that siloviks are still not peeling away - while the crowds remain, large and peaceful but leaderless. So we're now at a stalemate. * Overall, I am again increasingly confident (>50%) that Lukashenko will survive as President this year. The pro-regime rallies in places like Gomel have... Read More
The centrality of "pipeline diplomacy"/"energy blackmail" to Russian FP is a common trope amongst journalists and "geopolitics analysts", alongside more recent buzzwords ("hybrid war", "Gerasimov doctrine", dezinformatsiya...). But it's always useful to pin down some hard facts/stats. (1) Share of natural gas as percentage of Russian exports: 6%. Historically hovers between 5%-10%. This isn't altogether... Read More
In his domestic rhetoric, Lukashenko is blaming forces from Poland, Holland, Ukraine, and various liberal groups from Russia (Open Russia and Navalny were named) for using "Belorussian children as cannon fodder" to carry out a color revolution. The Belorussian elites remain consolidated for now, but there are now signs that many of them are hedging... Read More
Stunning age differential on Russian view of events in Belarus, according to VCIOM poll. 33% of 60+ y/o's believe Lukashenko's 80% result was fully authentic, vs. just 3% of 18-24% y/o's. General background note: The past couple of years have seen an awning divide in chronological terms. While Putin was actually marginally more popular amongst... Read More
Any Russian policy towards Belarus should take into account the following considerations: Lukashenko is not an ally or a friend. This does not describe a person who has accepted $100 billion worth of Russian oil/gas subsidies over the past decade, to end up doing military exercises with the Brits while denying Russian an airbase it... Read More
Surprising as it is (but not really), but some of the more zealous/lower IQ Putinists and "Western Russophiles" are actually taking Lukashenko's official 80.1% result at face value. I wonder if they stop to reflect what that implies about Putin, who "only" got 76.7% in the 2018 elections, at a time when: His approval rating... Read More
I have said most of what I wanted to say about Belarus in two recent threads, which have since been enriched by many informative comments: The Belarus Horseshoe Why Belarus Isn't Ukraine Hopefully this constitutes a useful background what looks to a pretty dramatic turn in Belorussian politics, as voters head to the polls on... Read More
Protest meeting in Minsk on July 30. The images of massive protests coming in from Belarus on the eve of their Presidential elections on August 9, in which Alexander Lukashenko is widely expected to rubber stamp himself another term, have provoked talk of a new color revolution/Maidan. The original social contract offered by Lukashenko since... Read More
I collected some official polls about Russian opinion towards China last year here. But what do Russian nationalists in particular think? Well, back around May 24-25, when it became clear that the Cold War was going to get a reboot with a major change in cast, a couple of us - myself, and Kirill Kaminets... Read More
Didn't blog about it at the time, but just a bit more than a week ago, Putin formally signed Russia's new immigration law easing citizenship requirements for Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, and Kazakhstan nationals (something that I long advocated). It's not an open borders project (the kneejerk hysterics of a few anti-Putin Russian nationalists aside). It's... Read More
What freedom can there possibly be while there's A GOD DANG CHEETO in the White House!? They only kill Americans because Putler pays them to.
Soon after my shadowbanning on Twitter, I made some comments on this issue to Artyom Alexandrov, a journalist for a Russian news website: As I also told the journalist, Russia doesn't have any principled position on Internet freedom of speech - Roskomnadzor already blocks bookmakers (including predictions markets like PredictIt), some political websites (mostly nationalist),... Read More
According to my CMP index, China should currently outclass India by a factor of more than three (figures for after 2015 are based on projections but this index don't change cardinally over the course of a few years). That's almost comparable to the fivefold differential between Pakistan and India. Both countries are effectively islands relative... Read More
You thought I was "joking" about Hungary's intention to revise Trianon - and then some. Keep "laughing". Orban's commemoration speech from Thursday: Just... powerful. The world is
I didn't comment the story at the time because it seemed so absurd on the face of it, but who knows? Anyhow: Fact of the matter is, Russian intelligence services are not cool enough (and perhaps not competent enough, either) to take out hits on foreign Russophobes. Who are a dime a dozen, anyway.
There is one, up until now relatively Sinophile, major European nation that will likely receive a massive influx of Chinese immigrants over the next decade - possibly as many a million - and radically transform as a consequence. I am talking, of course, about Britain. While there are currently 300,000 active BN(O)'s in Hong Kong,... Read More
In the absence of serious wars between serious countries since 1945, it's difficult to approximate the "combat efficiency" of the various national militaries. All that's available, it seems, are reference to history, national IQ, and anecdotal observations. Nonetheless, I think there's a couple of events that could be considered "international standardized tests" for this. Results:... Read More
In my review of Kroeber's book on The Chinese Economy, I identified why the CPC was treating the Hong Kongers with kid gloves (relatively speaking): Now it appears that China has taken the decision to reintegrate Hong Kong ahead of schedule; in the process, it will lose its position as a privileged entrepot within the... Read More
I am not an uncritical supporter of Venezuela. Asserting sovereignty is good, at least for Venezuelans - the following, presumably, is not: Financing the budget by printing money Asset stripping your state oil company and replacing everyone competent there with cronies. Ad hoc nationalizations of supermarkets. All of which led to hyperinflation and a GDP... Read More
This, at least, is the insistent suggestion of Hu Xijin, chief editor of The Global Times: Here's a Twitter thread on this: The Global Times represents the more nationalistic faction of the CPC to the world's Anglophone audience, and it would be strange if it hasn't been gaining ascendancy within the past few months. This... Read More
N. Korean tests positive for COVID-19 in China There were reports of Corona-chan slithering its way through the northern part of the country and the Korean People's Army back in early March. No way to be sure, since reports from Best Korea are usually speculative and north worth the bytes they occupy on a hard... Read More
The Hungarian Parliament just passed an extremely based and corona-pilled bill that, as summarized by journalist Balazs Csekö, gives Viktor Orban unlimited power and establishes: State of emergency Rule by decree Parliament suspended No elections Spreading fake news & rumors: up to 5 years in prison Leaving quarantine: up to 8 years in prison No... Read More
Broke: Globalism Broke: MAGA Woke: 14 Principles of Xi Jinping Thought *** Xi Jinping has just hurt the feelings of 6 billion world citizens: China is
Russia has excluded Ukrainians registered in the LDNR from foreigner status so far as coronavirus-related right of entry into Russia is concerned. The LDNR was going to be in quite a pickle due to coronavirus, having been blockaded by both the Ukraine and Russia when these countries closed their borders on March 16 and March... Read More
This, at least, is the result of an instructive poll carried out recently amongst Turks. Here's the three main takeaways: 1. Erdogan's popularity is at a relative low point. 2. 49% of Turks don't want their military in Idlib, vs. 31% who do. 3. 60% don't think refugees will return home after the war, 71%... Read More
EDIT 2020/03/03: Original video deleted - here's another one. I try to avoid cheap jokes about Ukraine is like Africa. But I do sometimes wonder. This is how doctors and nurses at a Lvov hospital reacted to finding out that they wouldn't be hosting potential coronavirus infectees evacuated from China. By singing the ще не... Read More
Underreported in the Western media, in the past few weeks there have been massive protests in Montenegro, involving as many as 150,000 people (that is, a quarter of its population). What are they protesting about? Late last December, the Montenegrin parliament approved an EU-supported law allowing the state to seize church property in the absence... Read More
Egor Kholmogorov has noted that Constitution of Bashkortostan, where Bashkirs only make up 36% of the population, proudly announces that Bashkortan is for Bashkirs: On looking it up, I found that the preamble of the Constitution of Tatarstan, where Tatars constitute a bare minority at 53%, has similar phrasing: So we have Bashkortostan for the... Read More
The call to revise the Russian Constitution has given Russian nationalists in Moscow an opportunity to clarify what they stand for. At a meeting the other day, a list of preliminary suggestions were drawn up, discussed, and broadly agreed upon. Translation: Preamble: "We, citizens of Russia, united by a common historical destiny, confirming the rights... Read More
Bryan MacDonald has covered PM Mikhail Mishustin's new Cabinet in detail at his RT blog, so I'll avoid repeating the listings there and widely available elsewhere. *** Despite the heavy import of Putin's proposed Constitutional changes, the actual change in the Cabinet has been negligible. Sergey Shoigu, Sergey Lavrov (contra initial rumors), and Vladimir Kolokoltsev... Read More
Some people on here and Twitter were sure they'd succeed. But they seem to have vanished off the radar in the past couple of days. Few news stories, no updates on /r/worldnews. What happened? In reality, as I pointed out, they were almost certain to fail. To get a color revolution going, you need a... Read More
The data points keep getting better and better. We now know that 10/11 missiles hit (up from the initial estimate of 6/11). The damage they did has also been upgraded, with a Danish soldier speaking of many helicopters destroyed (as opposed to the US claim of one damaged) and 11 US soldiers reported injured. More... Read More
To do a color revolution, you generally need: Significant proportion of the population going out into the streets (not just university students and office plankton). Some degree of elite defection. Trump's bombast regardless - congratulations to him on learning Farsi and becoming an Iran expert in the past 48 hours - I don't see either... Read More
Anatoly Karlin
About Anatoly Karlin

I am a blogger, thinker, and businessman in the SF Bay Area. I’m originally from Russia, spent many years in Britain, and studied at U.C. Berkeley.

One of my tenets is that ideologies tend to suck. As such, I hesitate about attaching labels to myself. That said, if it’s really necessary, I suppose “liberal-conservative neoreactionary” would be close enough.

Though I consider myself part of the Orthodox Church, my philosophy and spiritual views are more influenced by digital physics, Gnosticism, and Russian cosmism than anything specifically Judeo-Christian.