Official results: As blogger Ivan Vladimirov noted, and as the above map confirms, Putin has become the President of ethnic Russians. This stands to reason. For instance, it's probably hard for many Dagestanis to see the appeal of Crimea. As opposed to, say, for the peoples of the Kuban. Tatarstan also delivered a pretty low... Read More
Apart from having my phone stolen, I also tried out the phall curry at Aladin Brick Lane - a somewhat more pleasant form of cultural enrichment, if one that I am not eager to repeat anytime soon. However, that's one thing ticked off on my bucket list, and that is the important thing. I am... Read More
You must all be sick of me talking about the Russian elections so this is going to be my last post on it in this series. There is talk amongst my friends of a shift towards Putin amongst the socio-economic elites, which have long been voting against Putin. This is true, but only to the... Read More
Israel Shamir argues that Pavel Grudinin doing relatively well east of the Urals - then declining in the (much more populated) European Russia - constitutes evidence of fraud. This is unlikely to be true, since all the statisticians who regularly analyze Russian electoral fraud - needless to say, virtually all of them anti-Putin - agree... Read More
One of the more significant results of the election was that Putin got 92.2% in Crimea and 90.2% in Sevastopol. Moreover, these results were entirely fair. Here are the relevant graphs from Sergey Shpilkin, who approximates electoral fraud by the extent to which the vote for Putin becomes disproportional relative to the rest of the... Read More
Russia blogger Seva Bashirov made a map of the incidence of "suspicious votes" as per Sergey Shpilkin's method (not necessarily all fraudulent, but there's certainly a correlation) during these elections. And in finer resolution:
This is the startling hypothesis advanced by elections observer Alexander Kireev. Here's the thing. Elections in Chechnya have been completely falsified since 2003, reaching "totalitarian" levels of 99% turnout/99% pro-Kremlin vote by 2011-12 (versus the merely "authoritarian" 90/90 levels of the other Caucasus republics). In line with the reduction of fraud levels in the 2018... 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.
Big surprise. /s Lots of boring and repetitive takes out there, so I'll write about something different; maybe this too will be boring, but at least it's probably unique. Here is how three of the leading lights of the Russian nationalist movement, the Two Egors and Igor Strelkov, reacted to this news.
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
Navalny has just moved the planned June 12 protest from Prospekt Sakharova, a fairly central and very spacious location, to Tverskaya, which is minutes away from the Kremlin, at the last minute. The former event was officially sanctioned by the city authorities. The new one is *not*. Navalny claims that this was done because the... Read More
There have been three significant political protests in Moscow in the past few months, and each in their own way - and in their relation to each other - say a lot about the state of Russia today. It's not that great for the Kremlin. But not for the reasons the Western media would have... Read More
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
Almost two weeks since the street protests against corruption, the first poll results have started to trickle in, and the provide a mixed picture. (1) Politician Approval Ratings Putin's approval rating remains at 82% as of this March, almost unbudged from February's 84%. On the other hand, the approval rating of Prime Minister Medvedev, the... 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.