Egor Kholmogorov has noted that Constitution of Bashkortostan, where Bashkirs only make up 36% of the population, proudly announces that Bashkortan is for Bashkirs: On looking it up, I found that the preamble of the Constitution of Tatarstan, where Tatars constitute a bare minority at 53%, has similar phrasing: So we have Bashkortostan for the... Read More
Translation: Preamble: "We, citizens of Russia, united by a common historical destiny, confirming the rights and freedoms of the person, democratic values, and civic peace; preserving and developing the centennial traditions of Russian statehood, as established by the Russian [russkie] people in their striving for national self-determination and identity with the help and participation of... Read More
Bryan MacDonald has covered PM Mikhail Mishustin's new Cabinet in detail at his RT blog, so I'll avoid repeating the listings there and widely available elsewhere. *** Despite the heavy import of Putin's proposed Constitutional changes, the actual change in the Cabinet has been negligible. Sergey Shoigu, Sergey Lavrov (contra initial rumors), and Vladimir Kolokoltsev... Read More
In my previous post, I wrote about the broad outlines of the constitutional changes proposed by Putin, but without speculating too much on their import. I will do that now in more detail. *** Putin is looking for a retirement plan that guarantees the security of the system he has built, but in a way... Read More
Major announcements in this State of the Nation speech on Jan 15, 2020. Here is a very brief summary to get the conversation started. Immediate politics: The Medvedev government has resigned The little-known Mikhail Mishustin, former head of the tax service, has been appointed as PM. He is an AI-loving technocrat who reduced uncollected VAT... Read More
All this brouhaha over Russiagate and to think that in the end it was Ukraine that did it... :) Anyhow: I am pretty sure this is a trap (for the Dems), who are initiating impeachment without even knowing what's on the damn transcript. It will be nice to see some questions on how exactly Hunter... Read More
One curious point of agreement between anti-imperialist "Western Russophiles" and the most deranged Russophobes (e.g. Arkady Babchenko, who had called him Russia's "future liberal Fuhrer") is the idea that Navalny is a nationalist. This is despite almost no actual, self-identified Russian nationalists considering him as such, and Navalny himself energetically signalling against Russian identity and... Read More
I did infer that he is redpilled on all of this stuff in my review of his book, though his interpretation - like Pinker's - is strongly liberal/paternalistic. (Which is perfectly fine and internally consistent). He has definitively confirmed that. This has created quite the ruckus, with Angela D. Saini - author of ominous sounding... Read More
This was a very nice livestream in which JF Gariépy gave my the chance to concisely set out my views on the intersection of Russia, the Alt Right, Russian foreign policy, and the Western media (amongst other things).
Leonid Volkov is Navalny's long-standing campaign manager. Translation: "A day of good news: Al-Bashir and Assange have overstayed their welcome, both are in need of a court, and neither deserve a drop of pity." One problem of Russian liberals from Novodvorskaya down to Navalny is that they are not so much liberals as American stooges*.... Read More
Well this was unexpected. But Kazakhstan's President Nazarbayev, who has effectively led the country since 1989, is stepping down and handing over power to the head of the ruling party until a replacement could be found. I wrote about him here: In short, [the secret of his success] is pragmatism over ideology. The narrow-minded nationalist... Read More
The Kremlin "ideologue" Vladislav Surkov has recently written an article for Nezavisimaya Gazeta called "Putin's Long State." It posits that the Putinist system's power stems from its unique ability to "listen and understand" Russia's "deep people" - in contradistinction to the "deep states" that control the West beneath their democratic facades. This means that the... Read More
Who is the only very prominent person in the Russian elites whom Navalny hasn’t gone to great lengths to criticize? Which major state-owned corporation hasn’t had an investigative dossier written about it by the Anti-Corruption Fund (even though an ordinary analyst at Sberbank's investment arm managed to find no shortage of very suspicious things about... Read More
The title is a bit of an exaggeration. Even back in 2010, there was plenty to criticize Putin for, and since then, the details haven't even changed that much so far as I'm concerned (e.g. corruption, bureaucracy, white elephants). And it's not that I have been unremittingly anti-Putin in the past few years, regardless of... Read More
Now that the midterms have panned out as the predictions market expected, here's what we can now expect: *** Good Things: 1. It was mostly GOPe cucks getting slaughtered, not Trumpist nationalists (e.g. Steve King stayed, though on a razor thin margin). At least this means that nationalism has real staying power. 2. Cabinet picks... Read More
Though they remain a solid majority, fewer and fewer Russians are getting their news from TV. . 2009 2013 2018 TV 94% 88% 73% Internet (journals, websites, etc) 9% 21% 37% Friends 26% 24% 18% Social networks 6% 14% 28% Radio 41% 16% 15% Newspapers 37% 20% 13% Journals 8% 4% 3% Other 0% 1%... Read More
1. There were no more than 2,000-3,000 people protesting in Moscow about the raising of the retirement age (at most). This is the definition of "storm in a teacup." 2. Navalny bandwagoning on this issue is particularly implausible, since he is an economic neoliberal. Which, to be sure, is one of the exceeding few good... Read More
Under the measures announced on June 15, in the immediate glowing wake of Russia's 5:0 football victory over Saudi Arabia, the pensions age is to rise from 60 for men/55 for women to 65 for men/63 for women. It will be a gradual increase, with the full increase for men only being attained in 2028,... Read More
I recently had a look at the polling for the Ukrainian Presidential elections in March 2019. They don't look good for him, to put it mildly. While austerity, stymied reforms and continuing corruption, and the lack of a resolution to the War in Donbass have been dragging at Poroshenko's ratings for several years now, since... Read More
Certainly seems so to me. AltRight.com's Vincent Law was pretty optimistic at the start of 2017: "Overall assessment of the situation: Feels great, man." Only problem is - it appears that he either left them or was fired, which means that AltRight.com is no longer even worth following (Greg Hood is good but posts too... Read More
Quick recap of developments since the last update. First half consisted of boring economic and political stuff (e.g. increasing GDP by 50% over the next 6 years, implying 7% growth - as realistic as his promise to create 25 million hi-tech jobs last year). Nobody really cares about this. In the second half, wearing his... Read More
How is the Russian media covering the elections? I don't watch TV, so I can't give any personal impressions, but fortunately there are other people to do that in succinct graphical format. Color scheme is constant: Grudinin, Putin, Zhirinovsky, Yavlinsky, Titov, Baburin, Sobchak. Average number of seconds of TV time per elections segments.
First polls are in with all eight of the official candidates. There are no surprises. Results of VCIOM and FOM polls, both from Feb 11 (adjusting for don't knows, won't votes, etc.): VCIOM FOM Putin 82.3% 84.2% Zhirinovsky 6.3% 6.8% Grudinin 8.4% 6.8% Sobchak 1.2% 1.1% Yavlinsky 0.9% 0.6% Titov 0.2% 0.1% Suraykin 0.1% 0.1%... Read More
I am not aware of any active Russian political predictions markets, apart from "Will Vladimir Putin be president of Russia at the end of 2018?" at PredictIt (currently at 93% FWIW). I suppose there are three main reasons for this: 1. Interesting American fads only reach Russia with a lag time of several times, if... Read More
Navalny claimed that the state-owned pollsters VCIOM were artificially inflating Putin's figures, so his Anti-Corruption Fund will start releasing their own weekly polls, the first of which has just been released in Navalny's latest video address. Reminder that Putin got 66% in the last FOM poll, and 73% in the last VCIOM poll. FBK poll:... Read More
Turnout might be much lower than even the record low (60%) than I posited. Leonid Bershidsky in a recent article: Campaigning from Putin has been lackluster to say the least. Main development is that the campaign website has finally been launched ( ). At the time Bershidsky wrote his post, it didn't even have a... Read More
After the surprise Communist candidacy of Pavel Grudinin, the main question was always going to be whether he would merely inherit Zyuganov's ratings - or climb well above them by invigorating Russians with the prospect of a new face in politics. We had to wait a couple of weeks longer than usual due to the... Read More
Conventional wisdom on the Russian elections: Positive interpretation: Russian elections give Russians more real ideological choice (conservative centrists, Communists, nationalists, liberals) than American ones (conservative neoliberals, liberal neoliberals). Negative interpretation: Putin and the party of power are assured of winning through overwhelming administrative resources, state media, and a side of electoral fraud. The other parties... Read More
Latest development: The KPRF has nominated 57 year old Pavel Grudinin as its candidate. This is the first time that the KPRF has gone with someone other than old warhorse Zyuganov since 2004, when Nikolay Kharitonov got an unimpressive 13.8% in the Presidential elections.
In my opinion, almost certainly yes (quantified: 90%. In line with PredictIt). Just to get that clear off the bat. But neither is it an absolutely foregone conclusion. For instance, see this recent "scoop" from The Independent's Oliver Carroll: The reason "scoop" is in apostrophes is that Putin's tiredness is hardly new to the Moscow... Read More
Recent Rasmussen poll: I wrote about this as a return to pre-Soviet norms back in February: No, this doesn't appear to be on account of Republican/conservative infatuation with Putler, as /r/politics and the Blue Checkmarks would have you believe. Op
Amazing correlation between liberal victories (green) and bike sharing stations, that ultimate SWPL symbol. On the other hand, United Russia did score 76% even in Moscow, gaining 1,150 deputies out 1,500. In contrast, liberal opposition, with 180 deputies, didn't even manage to gather enough mandates to pass the municipal filter for participation in the Mayoral... Read More
The Russia wide protests organized by Navalny on June 12 were a flop. This was not unexpected, given the lack of enthusiasm on social networks - in Moscow, there were 20% fewer people expressing interest in going to this event relative to the March 26th protest on Facebook. The earlier event had translated into 8,000... Read More
An n=8,200 Ipsos poll from May 5 gave Emmanual Macron 63% to Le Pen's 37%. She needs a miracle. The betting markets are likewise gloomy. Macron is 87% favorites on PredictIt, which is bad but not hopeless for Le Pen. However, the picture becomes much worse for the French nationalists when you lo
The other day a Levada poll was released showing an apparently lackluster performance by Navalny in a hypothetical Presidential race against Putin and the other candidates. If there were elections on the coming Sunday, who would you vote for? (The figures below exclude those said they don't know, or don't intend to vote). Apr13 Apr14... Read More
Probably unintentionally, but still. The video, subtly titled "Hitler 1945/Navalny 2018," basically argues that if you oppose Medvedev's corruption and the importation of infinity Moslems into Russia then you are Hitler. Its current Dislikes to Likes ratio is at around 10. According to Navalny himself, the man behind the video is Sergey Kiriyenko, the First... Read More
On March 15, the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, headed by Alexander Turchinov, a hardliner who launched the "Anti-Terrorist Operation" as the interim President after Euromaidan, signed off on the legalization of the Donbass blockade, and transmitted a request to Ukraine's Central Bank to finalize a plan to put sanctions on Russian banks... 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.