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LEVIATHAN (2014) Rating: 2/5   Finally watched this major Cannes hit, and understood why it was so popular with the "professional" critics, if not quite as much with normies (Metacritic: 92% vs. 73%; Rotten Tomatoes: 98% vs. 80%). No redeeming characters. Main "hero" is a boorish, highly unlikable, impulsive, and violent alcoholic. His wife is... Read More
Credit where credit is due - Navalny has come out against Trump's deplatforming. (He posted the same thing in Russian). The brighter Blue Checks RT'ed this, saying, OK, good points, though I respectfully disagree. Some of the duller Blue Checks and Russiagaters in the replies attacked Navalny, calling him a Russian nationalist, expressing "disappointment" in... Read More
This post sums up the coronavirus epidemic in Russia in 2020. There will subsequently be a larger post surveying the world at large and prospects for its containment before the New Year.   The observation that Russia is massive understating its COVID-19 mortality rate was first noticed by bloggers around May, when they noticed that... Read More
«Ромир»/GlobalNR poll with n=7,100 respondents across nine countries has some interesting if broadly unsurprising results. (Extra coverage). Percentage that agree with: "Traditional gender roles for girls and boys are better suited for society." China - 82% Russia - 71% India - 69% Thailand - 48% USA - 47% Italy - 43% UK - 37% Brazil... Read More
Credibly deniable assassinations are a complex O-ring task (everything in a long chain of procedures has to go right). So is covering up failed ones. FSB graduation parade.
I wasn't able to watch it yesterday, but I was amused to see its main highlight: BBC hack Steve Rosenberg getting owned with facts and logic by PUTLER! There wasn't much new or interesting: Navalny is a tool of American intelligence services, his investigations are a way of laundering their findings... "Our security services keep... Read More
Vladimir Avdeev (1962-2020) was probably the foremost exponent of what we may very loosely term "HBD" in Russia, if we may treat phrenology-based Nordic/Dinaric race theories from a 1930s time capsule as such. He did contribute some useful things, most notably through arranging translations of more modern Western literature on the subject (e.g. many of... Read More
This is largely an update to my 2018 post Overview of Russian Airports & Aircraft Construction. Narrow-body airliner for 211 passengers and a competitor to the Airbus 320/Boeing 727 has now made its maiden flight with the Russian-made PD-14 engines, which replaced the American Pratt & Whitney 1400G engines. This marks the biggest step forwards... Read More
Navalny has released a video in which he has the gall to complain some more about the "Novichok" accelerated weight loss program and multiple rounds of beauty treatments that PUTLER! provided him with for absolutely free. But I just realized something rather more interesting and politically relevant. He has 4.3M subscribers on his YouTube. Dmitry... Read More
Russian Duma to consider law on blocking foreign social media that censor the free speech of Russian citizens: Blogging about this a bit late - it was introduced three weeks ago - but this is partially Even though I have long conclusively confirmed that PUTLER reads my blog, he is still a boomer at heart,... Read More
Forgot to blog about it at the time, but latest version of the Maddison Project was released a month ago. In my last post (on the MDP 2018), I noted that many of the results for Russia were very strange: The new figures make a lot more sense, to be frank. USSR/RSFSR-RF GDPcc as %... Read More
Your tax dollars (as an American), hard at work supporting yet another grifter NGO: Just a few factual problems: The idea of putting beetroots into soups is hardly some great accomplishment. It is a "Ukrainian" dish only to the extent that they chose to emphasize that part of East Slavic cuisine. There are approximately zero... Read More
The Karabakh War 2020 (archive) has drawn to an end with a complete Armenian military collapse only averted by a last-minute Russian intervention. Considering the battlefield situation, what is essentially still a return to the Madrid Principles (if on conditions much less favorable to the Armenians than would have been the case otherwise) was by... Read More
This post probably isn't going to make me many friends. Then again, if catering to various echo chambers was my main concern in life, I wouldn't be running this blog. So, did Biden win thanks to electoral fraud? My general impression is that many, if not all, electoral fraud arguments have been rather simplistic and... Read More
Here's the predictive record of a certain Russian "pundit" who is constantly quoted as an authority by Western hacks: 2013: "Putin system degenerating and will be swept away". 2016: Russians turn against Putin in 2017. 2016: Putin may be about to quit due to illness. 2017: "The last time I felt like this was at... Read More
The last election I watched with a Russian friend at the London School of Economics student room in 2016. The cope and seethe amongst those rootless cosmopolitans was out of this world, as the only Trump supporters in the room it was like being the physical embodiment of trollface.jpg. I don't expect to see a... Read More
Well, good for Snowden on making use of Russia's reformed citizenship laws, which as of April 2020 no longer obligate you to give up your previous citizenship in return for a Russian one. It also legally rules out the possibility of Russia extraditing him back to the US, remote as the possibility may be right... Read More
Now one common objection, often made by Trump supporters, is that the overwhelmingly pro-Democrat class of hacks and data analysts is biased and ignorant of sentiment in the "Real America" and this colors their judgment, as it purportedly did in 2016*. Conversely, their liberal counterparts rejoinder that popular prediction markets, which are strongly out of... Read More
So a Chechen refugee who was brutally persecuted by evil Russian occupiers and forced to flee to France recently beheaded a French teacher for triggering him with Mohammed cartoons. Difficult to care much. The French cultural elites, more so even than usual in the West, have long portrayed Chechens as noble freedom fighters against Russian... Read More
The WSJ on the latest revelations (paywalled version) in the neverending RussiaGate Saga: Quoting the most relevant parts: Olga Galkina's Facebook profile is still up. She has something of a "reputation" in Moscow hack circles. https://twitter.co
FOM poll: 12% with Armenia, 2% with Azerbaijan, 71% with neither/equally. Armenophilia tends to increase with: Higher education Wealth Muscovites But the effects aren't that big. Probably the single most interesting result is that Azerbaijan doesn't enjoy elevated sympathy in neither the North Caucasus (10% pro-Armenia, 0% pro-Azeri) nor in the Volga region (11% pro-Armenian,... Read More
Just like the Balkan Wars before World War I, there are interesting lessons to be drawn from the conflict, and as such I find it rather fascinating - if not surprising, given the quality of our chattering class - that it has receiving such scant journalistic and analytical attention. This is not just an insurgency... Read More
RT: Could they be blocked? Russia refuses to grant extension to Facebook & Twitter over demand to store citizens’ data inside country In related news: (1) Twitter has gone from labeling Russian (and Chinese) state news channels "state affiliated media" (while failing to extend the same standards to Western state-owned outlets such as RFERL, or... Read More
Who should Russia support in this conflict? By treaty, Russia is not obliged to do anything, at least so long as Azerbaijan (or Turkey) do not violate Armenia's internationally recognized borders, of which Nagorno-Karabakh/Artsakh is not a part. And while neither Azerbaijan nor Turkey can be remotely considered Russia's friends, they both have a substantial... Read More
If Russiagate fantasies were real and they had the vote in US elections - at least as suggested by this FOM poll. This is not to say that Russians like Trump - their short post-elections honeymoon was soon after undermined by Russiagate sanctions and foreign policy erraticism, such as the strikes on Russian mercenaries in... Read More
KMIS poll on Ukrainian attitudes to Lukashenko vs. protesters from: It was carried out on 12-16 September, i.e. after the breakdown of Belorussian-Ukrainian relations following Lukashenko's about turn on extraditing the Russian mercs to Ukraine. Across the Ukraine, 31% support Lukashenko while 45% support the protesters. I would actually probably similar to figures for Belarus... Read More
2020 keeps getting more powerful as the clashes in July have suddenly crescendoed with reports of large-scale Azeri attacks on the Artsakh frontlines and Azeri shelling of the Armenian enclave's capital of Stepanakert. This now seems to be a bigger thing than your typical serious border scuffle, which happens once every few years and kills... Read More
From the start I refrained from speculating too much about what precisely happened to Navalny. Thing is, several weeks on, we are collectively none the wiser. Though Novichok seems to have done him good in the looksmaxxing department: But reality is rarely as important as the narratives around it, and so far as narratives are... Read More
As the protests become more marginal and zmagar-dominated, they are also drawing an ever increasing mass of Russian Bioleninists. Not very important in the grand scheme of things, but it's amusing to observe. *** The Encounter: The liberal hipster Yuri Dud', who was recently in Poland, also ran into some Based Polish Nationalists there: But... Read More
There have been no important developments since the last Belarus Sitrep. The protests continue to periodically simmer, but they are massively down from their peak several weeks ago. The pro-Russian orientation has become progressively clearer: Chairman of the Standing Commission on International Affairs Andrey Savinykh has openly stated that Belarus' prior "multivector" foreign policy no... Read More
Today I have been granted the GREAT OPPORTUNITY and PRIVILEGE of serving Russia and President PUTIN as guinea pig for Gam-COVID-Vac, that is, the SPUTNIK V vaccine. Accounting for Phase I-II participants, I calculated I'm the 503rd person in the world (officially) testing it, out of perhaps hundreds of millions to come. Assuming, that is,... Read More
This has not been a good year for Russian nationalists mortality-wise. The NazBol Eduard Limonov died in March, while the natsdem (liberal nationalist) Konstantin Krylov passed away in May. And now, the OG of Russian Neo-Nazism, "Tesak" (lit. "Hatchet", real name: Maxim Martsinkevich), a skinhead of Polish-Russian ancestry who can be said to have invented... Read More
h/t "Horace Finkelstein" for the meme What I think is a major missed market opportunity: Bring poutine to Russia. Cheap, satiating calories Latitudinal compatibility (Canada) - as with technologies and many other things, it's often been observed that culinary foodways tend to spread most successfully across latitudes Fast food Can make Putin-related puns There are... Read More
Lukashenko and Putin are meeting today in Sochi to hammer whatever it is they are going to hammer out. I assume that the Kremlin denial that the talks will focus on "mergers" is an obfuscation. There were two valid approaches to Lukashenko's recent problems in Belarus: Non-interference based on sanctity of the (Soviet) state borders,... Read More
At any rate, the paper in question was published in The Lancet, which isn't exactly the most obscure medical journal. Logunov, Denis Y., Inna V. Dolzhikova, Olga V. Zubkova, Amir I. Tukhvatullin, Dmitry V. Shcheblyakov, Alina S. Dzharullaeva, Daria M. Grousova, et al. 2020. “Safety and Immunogenicity of an rAd26 and rAd5 Vector-Based Heterologous Prime-Boost... Read More
People want me to comment on Navalny. I have avoided doing so because I just don't know. There are plenty of other people who don't know either but are writing about it anyway so why would I waste my time and your time on this. I don't know what the poison was. It probably was... Read More
Toews, Gerhard, and Pierre-Louis Vézina. 2018. “Enemies of the People.” Working Paper. (h/t Emil) The presence of Gulag prisoners - especially concentrations of "enemies of the people", i.e. "politicals" who overwhelmingly hailed from the Tsarist-era educated elites in the professions, aristocracy, and kulaks - had positive long-run effects on development in those regions. This is... Read More
This is a quick addendum to this post about Poland's cultural/electoral geography. Everybody who has spent time in our corner of the Internet is familiar with the basics, in which the territories formerly controlled by Russia and Austria-Hungary vote conservative while the Prussian-controlled areas vote liberal. (With adjustment for liberal tilt in big cities). However,... Read More
From Gerard Toal and John O’Loughlin in The Washington Post, who have in general done some very useful and objective (at least, quantitative) work on geopolitical attitudes in Russia's Near Abroad over the years. Here is the key observation: While allowances may be made for youngsters drifting towards more conservative positions with age, the divide... Read More
There's some people who seem to believe that displaying or posting the white-red-white flag commonly used in Belorussian opposition protests is supposed to "trigger" Russians and/or Russian nationalists, or something. But really, why should even - or especially - Russian nationalists prefer one larp flag - that of the BSSR from 1951-1991... ... over another... Read More
The centrality of "pipeline diplomacy"/"energy blackmail" to Russian FP is a common trope amongst journalists and "geopolitics analysts", alongside more recent buzzwords ("hybrid war", "Gerasimov doctrine", dezinformatsiya...). But it's always useful to pin down some hard facts/stats. (1) Share of natural gas as percentage of Russian exports: 6%. Historically hovers between 5%-10%. This isn't altogether... Read More
Now to preface this, I have argued extensively that many factors make it unlikely that Belarus institutes a hard anti-Russian zmagarist regime in the event of a successful color revolution against Lukashenko. However, there are also some arguments to that effect which are if not outright false then significantly flawed. Perhaps the biggest one is... Read More
Stunning age differential on Russian view of events in Belarus, according to VCIOM poll. 33% of 60+ y/o's believe Lukashenko's 80% result was fully authentic, vs. just 3% of 18-24% y/o's. General background note: The past couple of years have seen an awning divide in chronological terms. While Putin was actually marginally more popular amongst... Read More
Any Russian policy towards Belarus should take into account the following considerations: Lukashenko is not an ally or a friend. This does not describe a person who has accepted $100 billion worth of Russian oil/gas subsidies over the past decade, to end up doing military exercises with the Brits while denying Russian an airbase it... Read More
It's become glaringly evident that Western societies (unfortunately, Russia "qualifies") do not have the state capacity or social discipline to contain Corona. Not high IQ enough to solve it through technological silver bullets like ubiquitous testing. Not imaginative enough to do large-scale variolation, as Robin Hanson proposed. Nor do they have the fortitude to "power... Read More
"Listva" Bookshop Opens Up in Russian Capital
Black Hundreds CEO Dmitry Bastrakov giving the opening speech. On August 8, 2020 Moscow saw the opening of the bookshop Listva in Moscow. This is their first expansion outside the original Listva bookshop in Saint-Petersburg, where - incidentally - I had been invited to give a lecture on dysgenics last November. There will now be... Read More
I have said most of what I wanted to say about Belarus in two recent threads, which have since been enriched by many informative comments: The Belarus Horseshoe Why Belarus Isn't Ukraine Hopefully this constitutes a useful background what looks to a pretty dramatic turn in Belorussian politics, as voters head to the polls on... Read More
Night in Novogrudok, Belarus (2017) by Pavel Gamburg. Even though we tend to take it as a given, it isn't exactly obvious why Belarus should be so much more "Russophile" than the Ukraine. The lands of White Russia were "regathered" into the Russian Empire well more than a century after Left-Bank Ukraine (the lands east... Read More
Protest meeting in Minsk on July 30. The images of massive protests coming in from Belarus on the eve of their Presidential elections on August 9, in which Alexander Lukashenko is widely expected to rubber stamp himself another term, have provoked talk of a new color revolution/Maidan. The original social contract offered by Lukashenko since... Read More
Belarus was being used as a transport hub by Wagner - in this case, to Sudan - because Russian airports are currently closed to most international foreign travel, with the Belarus leadership and KGB was appraised of it. The arrest of the 32 Wagner mercenaries and publication of their identities is a very hostile move... 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.