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
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
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
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
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 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
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
Freedom House publishes its 2008 report on Freedom in the World. Russia scored a 6 for Political Rights and and 5 for Civil Rights (1 is best, 7 is worst). According to their figures, Russia is no different from Algeria, Azerbaijan, Bhutan, Brunei, Egypt, Kazakhstan, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar and the UAE, and less free than... 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
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
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
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
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.