10 Years of Blogging

It has now been three years since I moved to the Unz Review, and ten years since I started blogging. Retrospective: http://www.unz.com/akarlin/10-years-of-blogging/ There is a more complete account of my writing history, including lists of my best posts, at this page: http://akarlin.com/start/ My main hope for 2018 is to wrap up my Russia watching career – or […]

A Short Guide to Lazy Russia Journalism

To commemorate the final closure of the Da Russophile blog and its permanent transfer and redirection to this site, here is a reprint of an excellent article by Nils van der Vegte (with a little editing from myself) that appeared in Jon Hellevig’s and Alexandre Latsa’s 2012 anthology on Putin’s New Russia. Truly Will Rogers’ […]

On Russia Insider

Preliminaries (1) Full disclosure: My personal involvement in the Russia Insider project is minimal. I donated $40 during the 2015 summer Kickstarter campaign, and until recently, they have been republishing my articles. I got no recompense for that, but I have always been okay with that. I want Russia Insider to succeed and I get free publicity […]

I Will Now be Blogging at The Unz Review

Tomorrow the Russian Reaction blog at http://www.unz.com/akarlin/ will go live, so please reorient your bookmarks and feed subscriptions. The Unz Review is a webzine dedicated to publishing “interesting, important, and controversial perspectives that are largely excluded from the American mainstream media.” You may know Ron Unz, its owner and chief editor, from my old discussions with him at this blog about […]

Ukraine Predictions

Reprinted from Facebook (2017/12/31): Geopolitically, 2015 will be crunch time for the Poroshenko regime. Short of massive Western support, a fiscal crisis is virtually certain. How will Poroshenko deal with it? A new assault against Novorossiya can’t be excluded; military spending is rising to 5% of GDP. That’s higher than any industrialized nation bar Israel. […]

On the Crimean Sanctions

Reprinted from Facebook (2018/02/15): There can only be two “justifications” for it: (1) If the Crimean referendum was rigged and illegitimate, as Kiev and the West have repeatedly argued, on what grounds are ordinary Crimeans getting punished for what is in fact Russian aggression? Sounds rather whimsical and arbitrary, if that is so. (2) The Crimean referendum […]

The “Normalization” of Russia’s Demographics

This is the first of my promised Last Three Posts on DR. It’s been a bit more than a year since my last update on Russia’s demographic turnaround, and believe it or not, the cause of this was more than just laziness and lack of time on my part. A different question started bugging me: […]

The End of Da Russophile

I feel the time has come to bid a dignified farewell to this blog that I have lovingly labored on for many a year. Between the dopamine-fueled attractions of 140 character quickfire tweets, and the chronic lack of time for writing the far more detailed posts demanded as part and parcel of writing not one but two blogs in an era […]

Why Asia Won’t Sanction Russia for MH17

Reprinted from Facebook (2018/02/15): This map is instructive: Relations with China and India are excellent. China is fast becoming a semi-ally. Korea relations are fine. Relations with Japan are frosty, but even they are less enthusiastic about serious sanctions than the West. The main reason for this is Japan’s not unfounded fear that Russia will get too […]

Was MH17 Terrorism?

Reprinted from Facebook (2018/02/15): Let’s say that the SBU recordings are genuine and the NAF was directly responsible for shooting down MH77 on the mistaken impression that it was a (valid) military target. Should this then be classed as terrorism? Would it invoke NATO’s Article 5, as some of the most heated rhetoric is suggesting? (See http://www.spitsnieuws.nl/…/nederland-en-vs-bereiden-invasi…) Well, […]

The Fall of Slavyansk

Reprinted from Facebook (2018/02/15): 1) The fall of Slavyansk is mainly a political problem, not a military one. In military terms, it is, if anything, a success, with Strelkov managing to successfully exfiltrate the great bulk of his forces from encirclement. 2) Donetsk has almost ten times the population of (pre-war) Slavyansk. Having aquired the great bulk […]

Islamic State Rises

Reprinted from Facebook (2018/02/15): Admit I was surprised to see ISIS take over a major Iraqi city as the Iraqi Army fled. I realize the corruption there is gargantuan, but surely at least some of the $18 billion that it spends yearly on its military must have gone somewhere useful? Anyhow, while Mosul and Tikrit might have […]

On Ukraine/Syria

Reprinted from Facebook (2018/02/14): It struck me a while ago that what Russia is doing so far as the Ukrainian borders in the east are concerned is essentially the same as what Turkey and Jordan are doing in relation to Syria’s borders. Both Turkey and Jordan keep the borders open, allowing jihadists from across the world and […]

Russian Liberals and China

Reprinted from Facebook (2018/02/15): Russian liberals (Vladimir Milov this time) continue claiming the China gas deal is disastrous for Russia. His argument this time? That Japan pays $200/mcm more for gas than what China gave Russia. http://www.echo.msk.ru/blog/milov/1330024-echo/ He is either ignorant of or ignoring the fact that Japan imports gas as LNG, because it’s an island LOL. […]

A Very Brief History of China-Russia Relations

The response of much western commentary to the Russia China agreements has been scepticism that they can ever burgeon into an outright partnership because of the supposedly long history of mutual suspicion and hostility between the two countries. The Economist for example refers to the two countries as “frenemies”. To see whether these claims are […]

Impressions of the Saint-Petersburg International Economic Forum

I am currently in St. Petersburg where I have attended the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. Before saying anything further I wish to thank Peter Lavelle of RT TV for very kindly and very generously arranging my invitation to the Forum. At the Forum I attended three roundtables: (1) On the InfoWars brilliantly hosted and […]

The “Anti-Terrorist Operation” in the Ukraine has been a Disaster

In a short piece I wrote on 11th April 2014 on my Facebook page under the the title “More evidence of the Ukrainian security forces’ refusal to carry out Kiev’s orders” I said: “A report I read on Novosti citing an anonymous but apparently senior source in Kiev suggested that the force deployed today in […]

The Donbass Referendum

Reprinted from Facebook (2018/02/14): Preliminary reports turnout is going to be high in Donetsk and Lugansk, with most people voting Yes to independence (though I’ve seen photos with a few No’s). I expected this (https://twitter.com/akarlin88/status/465366857189310465) and it seems to have turned out correctly. Independence enjoyed 33% support in Donetsk and 25% support in Lugansk in opinion polls […]

Ukrainians on Federalism

Reprinted from Facebook (2018/02/14): Comprehensive, very important PEW poll on attitudes in Ukraine towards federalism, Russia, Crimea (after Crimean referendum, but before the Odessa massacre): http://www.pewglobal.org/…/despite-concerns-about-governan…/ Two critical points can be made: (1) There is virtually unanimous support in Crimea for recognizing the results of its own referendum (only 4% are against). This indicates that that referendum […]

Massacre in Odessa

Russia’s Channel Odessa has done a real piece of investigative journalism on the Odessa massacre. It appears to show that the street fighting in Odessa that preceded the massacre bore the hallmarks of a carefully staged provocation in which sections of the police and of the local authorities were actively involved. It shows that the […]