Izvestia reports that Jarosław Kaczyński now also wants reparations from Russia. In an interview with German tabloid Bild, employer of the famous "Jihadi Julian" Röpcke, the PiS leader said: Though I'd say more, I already pretty much said everything that needs to be said a few days ago. Russia should pay up whenever the Poles... Read More
I have long advocated that Russian political historiography should de-emphasize combatting the Visegrad/Baltic assault on the Soviet interpretation of history ("we liberated Eastern Europe") and move towards counter-guilt tripping them. It's probably not going to happen soon, because Russian officialese is too invested in its WW2 narrative. That is because Victory is the main legitimizing... Read More
The Witcher (Wiedźmin) is a fantasy series by Polish writer Andrzej Sapkowski that was mostly written in the 1990s. It is set in a European-inspired continent riven between constantly feuding kingdoms, ruled behind the scenes by a cabal of mages, while monsters from Indo-European folklore reive on the hapless, mudfooted peasants. A class of specially-trained... Read More
This is one of the main topics of discussion in the endless "Ukraine debates" on this blog, though not one that I usually participate in due to lack of qualification in this subject. That said, I recently saw a very interesting article that I believe definitively answers the question. While supporters of the Ukraine's Polish... Read More
I find the comments on extractive elites to be very plausible and they would form an interesting complement to viewing them in terms of Mancur Olson's roving vs. stationary bandits theory, which is the main prism through which I view the differential development of institutions in the post-Soviet space. Ages ago, I read Jeff Sach's... Read More
There have been some recent debates on this blog's comments threads about human capital in Poland, Russia, and the West Russian lands while they were under Polish rule. While there is a consensus that Poland was more intellectually advanced than Russia, at least during the 17th century, the relative position of the Ukraine and Belorussia... Read More
Pretty impressed at Israel's latest efforts to alienate its allies. Polish Perspective: Now Dmitry suggests that electoral considerations may have played more of a role in the Israeli Foreign Minister claiming Poles are born anti-Semites. But personally, I don't know. Perhaps they just feel too genuinely and strongly about this to control their reactions. Anyh
Here it is in Russian: Вверх-вниз по рейтингу свободы. This translation here is of a longer version at my Russian language blog. A version of it also appears on Voice of Russia: Press freedom - on both sides of the Information Curtain.
Not often that you see Russia in some color other than bloody red on a world map of corruption or institutional quality. But according to the Open Budget Index (2012 results), the Russian budget is actually pretty transparent as far as these things go.
Latest contribution to the US-Russia.org Expert Discussion Panel on the question of which US Presidential candidate is best able to meet the challenges ahead: When predicting election outcomes, I prefer to listen to those who put their money where their mouths are. As of the time of writing, the Intrade predictions market gives a 66%... Read More
At least if you take Michael Bohm's arguments in his latest Moscow Times missive on how Russia Is Turning Into Iran to its logical conclusion. Look, I'm not a fan of blasphemy laws. The First Amendment is a wonderful thing and something that makes the US truly great... even exceptional, to an extent. Although it... Read More
And just as the Guardianistas and K.F. & Co. bury their heads ever deeper in the sand, real world statistics show confirm my thesis from the beginning of this year that Russia's demographic crisis has for all intents and purposes come to an end. As of May there was a y-y increase of 17% (!)... Read More
One might have thought that football is one of those few places where politics can be left at the door. At least that's the position of UEFA who constantly talk of the game's potential to build bridges, etc. However, consider the following litany of attacks. First, it is looking into punishing Russia for displaying the... 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
In a recent post, Mark Adomanis pointed out that the Russian economy has done significantly better than many other East European nations during the recent crisis and is now mounting a strong recovery. He also speculated on the effects of the crisis on the demography of badly-affected countries such as Romania, Bulgaria, and the Baltics,... Read More
On the 70th anniversary of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact of non-aggression between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, signed on August 23, 1939 (also my birthday!), historians, ideologues and everyone in between inevitably fall into a game of recriminations, revisionism and relativism. The anti-Soviet side maintains that the Pact gave Germany a free hand in the... 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
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
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.