The last election I watched with a Russian friend at the London School of Economics student room in 2016. The cope and seethe amongst those rootless cosmopolitans was out of this world, as the only Trump supporters in the room it was like being the physical embodiment of trollface.jpg. I don't expect to see a... Read More
The US has a problem. It has too many statues of evil white men, such as the Confederate generals, the Founding Fathers, Columbus, and even the first governor of Russian Alaska, Alexander Baranov. You may not personally consider it a problem, but plenty of your compatriots do, and they're usually more influential than you. Sucks... Read More
Interesting poll from the Center for Polish-Russian Dialogue. Causes of discord: History 74% Economics 34% Current politics 21% Current culture 11% This suggests that the impasse in Polish-Russian relations may be resolvable, if Russia was to adopt my suggestion to adopt a "politics of memory" on the victims of Bolshevism. It's not like Warszawa, unlike... Read More
As of this February, there is a 90% chance that the US President come 2021 will be Trump, Bernie, or Bloomberg. One of whom has been branded a Russian "asset" for the past 5 years. One of whom spent his honeymoon in the USSR. One of whom publicly sympathized with Russia's incorporation of Crimea back... Read More
This is not meant so much to be an "editorial" post as a set of notes for future reference purposes, although it is hoped that my readers may find them useful as well. Summary of a couple of FOM polls of Russians on China: Russian Interest Towards China (2015) China (2018) (1) As of 2015,... Read More
The last Open Thread was a while ago, so there's quite a backlog. As I said at the beginning of the year, I am thinking of doing more video for my YouTube channel, which is currently largely dormant. If I go ahead with this, it will mostly be in Russian. I don't intend to do... Read More
So Russiagate 2017 ends in Muellergate 2019. As was pretty clear at the start - as people such as Glenn Greenwald, Aaron Mate, Robert Parry, and Alexander Mercouris have been writing all these years. Manafort, its most prominent casualty, had worked to draw the Ukraine in the West's orbit (hilariously, he kind of belatedly succeeded).... Read More
The latest polls, jointly conducted by KIIS (Ukraine) and Levada (Russia), show that the collapse in Ukrainian sentiment towards Russia may be turning a corner. Legend: Ukrainian attitudes towards Russia [blue]; Russian attitudes towards Ukraine [orange] For the first time since April 2014, more Ukrainians have a positive impressive of Russia than the converse. Attitudes... Read More
China is well known for denying visas to overly critical and/or hostile journalists. Write too many bad and unfair things about it and you quietly get the boot, while China maintains plausible deniability. "Oops, your visa application seems to have gotten lost yet again, sorry." Meanwhile, your employer loses its "on the ground presence" and... Read More
Gallup: Majority of Americans Now Consider Russia a Critical Threat It has also, for the second time since February 2015, become America's "greatest enemy." But if the percentage of Americans saying that was 18% back then, now it is at 32%. Relative to average Russia disapproval of 73%, this reaches 80% amongst Democrats, 84% amongst... Read More
I have already mentioned that there is virtually zero popular support for handing over the Kurils to Japan, so current hopes (and histrionics) on this topic are almost certainly nothing but hot air. I wouldn't even be making this post if not for a new development in this saga - the appearance of concrete numbers... Read More
From a Twitter summary by @PyotrNemets of Xi Jinping's The Governance of China [download]. Now while I realize such official tracts are most often just mainstream political pablum in any country, I think highlighting 19th century Russian literature - and this selection isn't exactly very congruent with official Chinese ideology - is quite telling. His... Read More
I wrote why giving away the Kurils (even just two of the islands) to Japan in exchange for fuzzy and unenforceable investment commitments is a really bad idea back in 2010 and I see no cause to change any of that. One big problem, then as now, is that ordinary Russians are against it. The... Read More
I am by no means a Serbia expert, and have to rely on other, more informed people - e.g., a couple of Serbian nationalist acquaintances - to tell me what is really going on there. Anyhow, here's the critical part which they are all agreed upon. Despite his "reputation" in the West, Vucic is not... Read More
The main popular article on this topic that I am familiar with is Patrick Chovanec's The Nine Nations of China (written in the spirit of Garreau's and Woodard's work on North America). Commenter AquariusAnon provides an update with a focus on China's major cities and their ideological outlooks. His series of comments are reprinted below.... Read More
Latest via Alexander Gabuev, who is one of the best Russian China watchers. Highlights include: Sanctions busting trade & investment innovations; manufacturing, inc. civil aircraft (CR929) and heavy lift helicopters; Glonass/Beidou integration; experience exchange in AI, surveillance, social credit; replacing US as China's soybeans supplier, with investment in agriculture in the Russian Far East. Russia... Read More
Via Alexander Gabuev. Incidentally, Gabuev has long been skeptical about the possibility of a strong Russia-China relationship, especially on account of Russia's weak understanding of China (see my article on The State of Russian Sinology, where I cover his arguments). So it means something when he says that China and Russia are moving closer to... Read More
PEW: Russians Say Their Government Did Not Try to Influence U.S. Presidential Election On US/Russian electoral interference in other countries. (This seems broadly correct). Not so keen on intervention. In the previous PEW poll, it emerged there are some countries that are more Russian nationalist (e.g. Serbia and Armenia) than Russia itself, at least on... Read More
So I was at World Russia Forum 2018 today: I was a panelist at WRF 2012 and WRF 2013 in Washington D.C. It is a semi-annual event, alternately hosted in Washington D.C. and Moscow, meant to bring together Russian and American experts, academics, journalists, and policy-makers in an effort to improve relations between these two... Read More
So I know everyone is in a GET HYPE mood for this, fueled by loony interpretations ranging from THE RESISTANCE's idea that Trump is going there to receive his annual performance review from DARK LORD OF THE KREMLIN, to Trump having chosen Helsinki specifically for Finland's symbolic value as having played a role in the... Read More
I am a blogger, thinker, and businessman in the SF Bay Area. I’m originally from Russia, spent many years in Britain, and studied at U.C. Berkeley.
One of my tenets is that ideologies tend to suck. As such, I hesitate about attaching labels to myself. That said, if it’s really necessary, I suppose “liberal-conservative neoreactionary” would be close enough.
Though I consider myself part of the Orthodox Church, my philosophy and spiritual views are more influenced by digital physics, Gnosticism, and Russian cosmism than anything specifically Judeo-Christian.