I was under the impression this particular meme was played out, and replaced by the "Russian Hackers" one, but it appears not. By request of the Latvian Ministry of Defense, courtesy of NATO's Strategic Communications Centre for Excellence, and in all likelihood paid for by your tax dollars, we have the following report: Stratcom Laughs:... Read More
Just a collection of completely random, not very important news snippets. (1) Diplomats’ Dissent Bolsters Calls for U.S. Assault on Assad: For now, the Obama administration seems inclined to agree. A U.S. official who did not sign the memo but read it told Foreign Policy that the document was unlikely to influence Oval Office policy... Read More
The purpose of NATO has always been to keep the Americans in, the Russians out, and the Germans down, according to its own first Secretary General. If any one leg of this tripod fails - the whole thing comes tumbling down. At least as the imperialist, anti-national, anti-Orthodox, and Russophobic project it was always construed... Read More
My latest for US-Russia.org Expert Discussion Panel on whether to view the recent Georgian elections, in which Saakashvili's United National Movement lost a lot of power, as a Kremlin coup or a triumph of democracy. My view that it isn't really either: Two dominant themes prevailed in media coverage of the 2012 Georgian elections (1)... 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
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
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
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
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
Whispers of war are heard in the Caucasus, as the anniversary of last year's South Ossetian War approaches. Will the guns of August be fired in anger to mark the occasion? Here are some things we need to keep in mind when analyzing this: It was Georgia that attacked South Ossetia last year, mere hours... 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
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
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
America's desire to have Ukraine and Georgia accede to MAP foundered on European opposition from Germany, France and (somewhat surprisingly) the UK, despite Saakashvili's implicit comparison of this to Nazi appeasement. Nonetheless, this is good for NATO as an alliance (as we've covered previously, the European desire for a rapprochement is linked to Russian logistical... Read More
Medvedev gives his first foreign media interview (to the Financial Times), in which he charts the bedrock of his presidency. Will continue to pursue primarily Russia's, not the West's, interests. Will work in tandem with Putin, to whom he is neither puppet nor rebel. Will strive to root out "legal nihilism" / proizvol in Russia... 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
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 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
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
Saakashvili wins Georgian elections in first round (January 6th) This normally wouldn't matter much, but bearing in mind the narrowness of Saakashvili's final score (52.21 as of 8 Jan) this can be significant. The perception of the fairness of the vote was important because the Bush administration has cited Saakashvili's government as an example of... 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.