The mean wage in Hong Kong not much more than $2,000 per month (a Croatian acquaintance who works there cited the same numbers half a year ago). Its surprising come to think of it, but that means that Muscovites - where salaries are $1,500 per month but multiplied by almost twice - are substantially more... Read More
Recently, the Russian government published its 25.7 trillion ruble ($390 billion) plan for the years 2019-2024 [pdf] - Putin's fourth Presidential term - for socio-economic development. This is a quick summary on the request of a reader. PS. Numbers are given using one USD = 60 rubles conversion. All end dates, unless otherwise indicates, refer... Read More
At least according to "journalist" Lizzy Saxe: However, at least she is not a "former Soviet-American" (was he that triggered by Drumpf?) politics professor in Canada: / Implying that champagne was a luxury good even in the late USSR (to say nothing of Russia today). Though it seems that some people lapped it up. Profile:... Read More
This is the conclusion of recent Higher School of Economics study on researcher salaries in Russia. Here are the details for Jan-Jun 2018: All workers in scientific organizations: 64,000 rubles ($1,000), up 40% y/y Researchers: 86,000 rubles ($1,300), up 70% y/y Academic staff: 94,000 rubles ($1,500), up 100% (!) y/y Average salary of all workers... Read More
Some data on this topic. 1. Via Egor Kholmogorov's eponymous article for Komsomolskaya Pravda, source given as "Sovetskaya Rossiya 1992", according to which the RSFSR and Belarus were the only net donors. Russia, Belarus, and Estonia only net donors, if marginal ones; Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan massively subsidized. Armenia was massively subsidized, but... Read More
RSFSR/RF (red) and Russian Empire/USSR (dark red) coal production 1897-2005. This would place it ahead of the all time peak of RSFSR coal production of 420 million tons, reached in 1988. Some 200 million of this is exported, up from a couple of tens of millions of tons in the late 1990s. This is accompanied... Read More
Map of the biggest airports in Russia and the ex-USSR by 2017 passenger traffic including transit flights. Incidentally, this makes Moscow the world's 13th biggest city airport system (London is first, with 171 million), having risen up from obscurity in the 1990s (see comparison right). Growth continues to be vigorous into 2018 - as of... Read More
The number of horses in the Russian Empire peaked in in 1913 and was around 35 million in 1916 (the US had about 20 million horses in 1915, and the two countries accounted for half the global equine population). At the time, they were almost all used in agriculture.
The Maddison Project is probably the world's most comprehensive source of economic history statistics. Begun by British economist Angus Maddison, it was continued after his death in 2010 by an institution at the University of Groningen. Recently, an update for 2018 has been released. Background paper: It was accompanied by a major introductory article at... Read More
Typical Moscow sleeper suburb. Although Russian prices are 2x cheaper than America's, the blunt fact is that wages are also 4x-5x lower. Consequently, the standard of living in the US relative to Russia is at least twice higher. This gap widens to almost an order of magnitude so far as professionals in the state sphere,... Read More
Nearly every other day brings another scary headline about Russia's economic apocalypse. Inflation is robbing Russians of buying power and Putin propagandists are denying it. The "wheels are coming off" the regime according to our friends at the RFERL, the end of the regime is nigh according to Bill Browder, and Putin's days are numbered,... Read More
One of the most reliable indicators of influence is access to cars. They are the standard symbol of affluence and middle-class status the world over. They are also far more understandable at the everyday level than things like the PPP GDP per capita, or the number of burgers your national McWage will buy. Following on... Read More
One of the most common arguments made to explain why Russians don't finally overthrow the evil Putin in a bloody bunt is that they are brainwashed by the regime's TV propaganda stations. This isn't actually very accurate at all. Russian TV isn't any more propagandistic than in the West, and on some issues, less so;... Read More
Sergey Zhuravlev is a Russian economist who runs a wonky but eminently readable and very useful, interesting blog and writes for Expert (author profile), which I may add is an excellent publication. You have met him previously on my blog as the inventor of a clever - if, in my opinion, flawed - argument that... Read More
In the wake of Putin's article on national security for Rossiyskaya Gazeta, there has been renewed interest in Russia's ambitious military modernization plans for the next decade. I am not a specialist in this (unlike Dmitry Gorenberg and Mark Galeotti, whom I highly recommend), but I do think I can bring much-needed facts and good... Read More
Russia has a long and proud drinking culture; according to the chronicle of its founding, the main reason it chose Christianity over Islam was the latter’s prohibition of booze. Vodka has been distilled there since at least the 12th century. As of the time of writing, it is the world’s largest spirits market by volume... Read More
In terms of new cars, they now are. According to 2011 statistics, Russians bought 17.6 new automobiles per 1000 people. This indicator is still quite a bit below most of Western Europe, such as Germany's 38.5, France's 33.4, Britain's 31.9, Italy's 30.1, and Spain's 20.0. However, it has already overtaken most of East-Central Europe, whose... 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.