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Russian moves to ban tobacco advertising About time, considering that 70% of men and 30% of women smoke in Russia, one of the highest rates in the world, and that 300,000 people die from smoking every year in Russia. India could become largest Kamaz truck maker outside Russia - illustrates the recent phenomenom of how... Read More
Net capital inflow into Russia hit $82.3 bln in 2007 This is around 6% of Russian (nominal) GDP. Foreign investors are rushing in to buy into Russian IPO's. Russian carmaker AvtoVAZ raised exports 7.9% y-o-y in 2007 Foreign car manufacturers aim to raise car production up to 1mn by 2012. This means that around about... Read More
Rally against Georgia poll result And time and time again, consistently, there surface allegations of fraud. This is not to say Georgia is a failure at democracy, but that there were serious problems in the conduct of these elections is in no doubt. Georgia protesters give poll icy reception Facing the demonstrators across the river... Read More
President Putin's visit to Bulgaria to bring pipeline deal, NPP contract A new company is being created, in which Russia will own a 51% stake, to build a pipeline to carry Russian oil via the Bulgarian Black Sea port of Burgas and Greece's Alexandroupolis on the Aegean, so as to bypass the congested Bosporus. It... Read More
The conventional wisdom seems to be that Russia, due to its strong macroeconomic fundamentals and relative isolation from the world economy, will weather the oncoming credit crisis well. In fact, Kudrin (the Finance Minister) suggested 'Russia and other countries with large gold and currency reserves can...can support the global economy by flexing the financial might... Read More
The Western media has begun to whine about the Russian presidential elections five weeks in advance. Their beef is that Kasyanov was barred from running, ostensibly because above 5% of his required signatures were rigged, but actually to undercut the last independent candidate - Russia's last and only hope of salvation from the 'slippery slope... Read More
Bertelsmann Stiftung has released Who Rules the World?, a very interesting survey where people from different countries are asked: what are the Great Powers today?, what makes a country a Great Power? and which countries will be Great Powers in 2020? Now the title of Great Power is something that is given to a country,... Read More
The most important development has been Medvedev's election to the Presidency with 70.2% of the vote. While it has not been squeaky clean (and as such, no different from any other Russian election under either Yeltsin or Putin), the more hystryonic claims of voter intimidation are to be treated with a pinch of salt -... Read More
The US State Department has released its latest human rights report - as usual, a veritable list of America's bugbears (North Korea, Myanmar, Iran, Syria, Zimbabwe, Cuba, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Eritrea and Sudan are the 'top ten'). It is true that the majority of the above are pretty odious regimes, with the partial exception of Belarus... Read More
For all the noise being made this month about Georgia, about NATO, about Tibet, etc, possibly the most portentous is that it seems Russia hit its oil peak (strictly speaking, its second - the first happened in 1987), well in line with peakist predictions. Production increases via application of new technology, as seen in the... Read More
Let's start with two excellent new resources I've recently come across. Russia: Other Points of View states its objectives thus: Hmm... Sounds quite similar to Da Russophile, in fact, and makes a substantial part of our News posts redundant. As such I'll be referring to it frequently. The other is the Moscow Defence Brief, an... Read More
It's official. Wiki even has an article on it (2008 War in South Ossetia). It's quite balanced and always updated, so I recommend reading it over any news source. I admit that I was under the impression that this conflict would yet simmer for a few years, as they already have been, a spectacle of... Read More
Russian cartoonist Sergei Elkin believes Saakashvili doesn't have a clue. 3:00 – Attack! 6:00 – Blitzkrieg! 7:00 – Breakfast 12:00 – Victory accomplished! 17:00 – Beg for help
War is the ultimate crucible where ideas, theories, etc, prove their worth based on outcomes. Russia's brilliant performance in Georgia, documented by uncompromisable UPI military analyst Martin Seiff, demolished the grounds for the pessimism espoused by the likes of Pavel Felgenhauer or Aleksandr Golts regarding Russia's real military strength. The mini-war between Russia and the... Read More
In an interview in Spiegel, former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder states the obvious, something that Washington and its British and east European lackies seem to have difficulty grasping. 'Serious Mistakes by the West' Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder discusses the war in the Caucasus, the possibility of Germany serving as an intermediary in the conflict... Read More
Will Russia acquire Keflavik without the need for an amphibious invasion, as in the Clancy-verse? Potentially, they could neutralize the SOSUS (a long unrealized Soviet ambition) and reinforce their position in the Arctic-Atlantic region for just 5bn $. This is compared to the 700bn $+ the US has spent in Iraq to little discernible effect.... Read More
The ludicrous claims spouted by Saakashvili continue falling apart as soon as his febrile mind makes them, forcing even the most ardent Cold Warriors to temper their uncompromising narrative of "Russian aggression against the 'fledgling' Georgian democracy". And despite the impressive achievements of Georgian infowar, after many tribulations the truth came out. OCSE monitors confirmed... Read More
The Western MSM (mainstream media) was abuzz the last few weeks about how Obama's apparent extension of a hand to Russia did not make them willing to unclench their fist, citing the closure of the Manas airbase in Kyrgyzstan. This was linked to Russia's announcement of 150mn $ in aid and 2bn $ of credit... Read More
Chinese in Russia number in the hundreds of thousands, so the Far East is not in danger of demographic domination by the...
One of the staples of alarmist, pessimistic and/or Russophobic (not to mention Sinophobic) commentary on Russian demography* is a reworking of the yellow peril thesis. In their fevered imaginations Chinese supposedly swim across the Amur River in their millions, establish village communes in the taiga and breed prolifically so as to displace ethnic Russians and... Read More
It is a pity that foreigners are not privy to the wild and wacky world of LiveJournal, Russia's premier blogging site - many prominent people have accounts there and traditions of opposition and kompromat makes for a lively stream of scandal. One recent case involved Tatyana Korchevnaya, who used to be a prominent member of... Read More
За нас за вас и за десант и за спецназ! The Red Army was the single greatest contributor to the defeat of Nazi Germany sixty-four years ago, a truly evil empire based on slavery and oppression, and responsible for the genocide of millions of Slav civilians, Jews, Soviet POW's and Roma by gas, bullets and... Read More
This is a list of common Russophobe myths about Russia and its people, and the successor to a March 2008 post on a similar theme. Please be sure to check the supporting notes at the bottom before dismissing this as neo-Soviet propaganda. Also partially available en français & на русском thanks to Alexandre Latsa's translation.... Read More
Rosefielde, Steven – Russia in the 21st Century: The Prodigal Superpower (2004) Category: political economy, Russia, transition, military; Rating: 4/5 Summary: Google books; Introduction This is a book about Russia's past, and its alleged return to the future. Rosefielde outlines his theory that the Soviet Union was a "prodigal superpower", exchanging Spartan living standards for... Read More
Three interesting stories, all tied with Russia and water. 1. The explosion at the Sayano-Shushenskaya dam in Siberia. Though the official Russian version is that it was a blown transformer, the Chechen separatists / terrorists are claiming that it's their work: [...talks about their recent militant attacks in Ingushetia & threatens those who cooperate with... Read More
This is the second article of a three-part series about the Iranian Question - that is, the question of how the world is going to deal with the Islamic regime's pursuit of a nuclear bomb, which is likely to be one of the defining processes of global geopolitics in the next five years. The first... Read More
I have always been fascinated by nuclear war. Mountain bunkers, missile gaps, MAD, - what is there not to like? So this post will be devoted to the doomsday weapons which continue tantalizing us with visions of post-nuclear nirvana. Because yes, despite the post-Cold War reduction in the Russian and US arsenals (consisting mostly of... Read More
This is a summary of opinion polls conducted by the Levada-Center, Russia's Gallup, since February 2009, and continues on from the first post. Along with the original post Lovely Levada, this series constitutes a unique English-language reference for social trends under late Putinism as expressed by the Russian people themselves, rather than the limousine liberals,... Read More
I have long noted Russia's resurgence back into the ranks of the leading Great Powers; I predicted that the global economic crisis will not have a long-term retarding impact on the Russian economy; and within the past year I have bought into Stratfor's idea that the defining narrative now in play in Eurasia is Russia's... Read More
This post is about the future of military technology and war strategy in a world of informatization, resource scarcity, and renewed ideological turbulence. Be forewarned: while some of what I write here corresponds to the conventional wisdom, some is well off the beaten tracks, and some will sound like it's straight out of a sci-fi... Read More
The recent sinking of a South Korean (ROK) corvette, with the probable deaths of several dozen sailors, brings to focus the fraught situation on the Korean peninsula. Now the cause of this incident - North Korean (DPRK) torpedo or tragic accident - is not yet clear. Moreover, the two sides have a long history of... Read More
A few days ago, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates fired a warning shot across the bow of the US Navy, questioning its "need" to maintain 11 carrier strike groups. He justified this on the basis of 1) "the massive over-match the U.S. already enjoys", 2) "the growing anti-ship capabilities of adversaries", and 3) the huge... Read More
I enjoyed the egg-throwing scenes from Ukraine's Rada on the ratification of the gas-for-fleet deal with Russia as much as anyone. It also reflected the polarized commentary on the interwebs. The Ukrainian patriot-bloggers get their knickers in a sweaty twist. The academic beigeocrat Alexander Motyl (he of "Why Russia is Really Weak" fame some four... Read More
In this installment of my series on future war, I'll be taking a holistic view of ground combat. Unlike the case for naval warfare, which is going to be revolutionized by new weapons platforms - railguns, battle lasers, and submersible arsenal ships - developments on the ground are slated to be more low-key, albeit no... Read More
This is a reprint of a post from Arctic Progress. Back when Iceland tipped over into financial collapse during 2008 and the UK seized Icelandic banks’ assets using anti-terrorist laws as fig cover, Icelandic President Olafur Ragnar stated that Russia could make use of the Keflavik air base in return for a $5bn loan to... Read More
Sorry for not posting on either of my blogs for almost a week now and being slow on responding to the emails. I've been rediscovering the pleasures of old-fashioned book reading after purchasing a Kindle. I'm very happy with it. When faced between the choice of surfing the interwebs or reading a paper book, the... Read More
As you may have noticed, posting has slowed down in the past few days, mostly thanks to a combination of (1) Kindle, (2) 中文 and (3) the natural periods of apathy that afflict most non-pro bloggers. I don't really see that changing until the end of the year... 1. Sayonara, Luzhkov. Props to Jesse Heath... Read More
Every so often there appear claims, not only in the Western press but the Russian one, that (rising but overpopulated) China is destined to fight an (ailing and creaking) Russia for possession of its resources in the Far East*. For reasons that should be obvious, this is almost completely implausible for the next few decades.... Read More
This is a reprint of a post from Arctic Progress. This is a TRANSLATION of an article by Jules Dufour published September 7th, 2010 at Mondialisation.ca ("Le Canada: un plan national pour la militarisation de l'Arctique et de ses ressources stratégiques"). In my opinion its a tad too alarmist over the scope of Canada's military... Read More
Another Wikileaks cable - a secret one, not merely confidential - from our Caucasus ethnologist and bestest bud at the State Department, William Burns. Dated October 2007, it describes America's perception of Russia's global arms trade and emphasizes its concerns that many of its partners are "rogue" or "anti-American" states like Syria, Iran and Venezuela.... Read More
Though I originally meant to write my own analysis of what the Wikileaks cables have contributed to our understanding of the 2008 South Ossetia War, I realized that I would essentially be trying to duplicate the excellent efforts of Patrick Armstrong. (See also the New York Times article Embracing Georgia, U.S. Misread Signs of Rifts).... 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
I always thought it weird China had the smallest arsenal of the world's five NPT nuclear-weapons states. In broad strategic terms, this would make it very vulnerable to the US, especially given the latter's development of ABM technologies, which would potentially give it the choice of an annihilating first strike. In late 2009, China went... Read More
It might happen this June or later, reports RT citing Israeli media. Obama and Netanyahu are at least discussing the prospect. In previous years I was sure that it would happen eventually, probably before year end 2012. That is because that was the most convenient window between the fielding of the Massive Ordnance Penetrator (early... Read More
The Victory Parade on May 9th in Moscow to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War 2 will be accompanied by the display of an impressive amount of new military hardware. The centerpiece will be the Armata combat chassis, which will form the basis not just for what is likely to be... Read More
Alternate link.
In recent days, some Armenians have been up in arms over increases in electricity tariffs by the evil Russian-owned electricity monopoly that will bring them up to... well, a level slightly higher than in Russia and about 2-3x lower than in most EU countries (don't you love comparative context?). Discourse in both Russia and the... Read More
Source: Wikipedia. Click to enlarge. I admit to not having been following the Syrian Civil War anywhere near as closely the war in the Donbass. But with recent rumors of stepped up Russian involvement now being confirmed by videos - and even talk of China possibly sending troops (crazy, but a year ago you'd have... Read More
They can, just not for nation-states. (The Arabs are an extreme case, but really, it applies to virtually all Muslims). Latest case in point: Taliban Fighters Capture Kunduz City as Afghan Forces Retreat No matter how many gazillions of dollars the US pours into training them, no matter how many shiny toys they get from... Read More
It is in some ways remarkable that there is still no commonly agreed method on quantifying and ranking national military power. There is one such for economics, for instance. It is called the GDP. You can make somewhat different arguments on relative economic size or living standards based on various ways of measuring GDP -... Read More
Another (possibly abortive) North Korean nuclear test, another round of hyperbolic headlines about how Kim Jong Un is going off his rockers. Admittedly, this is an impression North Korea's state media - perhaps the closest approximation we have to a Real Life troll - is always happy to feed. But hystrionics aside, the reason for... 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.