Ukraine’s Turn to the East: A Geopolitical Accident

“Imperialist Putin “Steals” Ukraine”… If only all those hysterical newspaper articles were true! In reality, the only thing he stole was Ukraine’s credit card debt. He’s no idiot, of course, and is in no rush to pay it off. The drama certainly hasn’t ended. But a geopolitical pivot on the model of Khmelnitsky’s 1654 decision this […]

What is Ukraine’s Game Plan?

Even a few months ago, it looked as if Ukraine had taken a significant step towards Eurasian integration by signing up as an observer to the Customs Union between Russia, Kazakhstan, and Belarus. However, in the past month, evidence is emerging that it was but a temporary ploy to appease Russia while in reality speeding […]

Translation: Ukraine and Its Monsters

Regnum reports on statements made by Ukraine’s President, Victor Yanukovych, in which he visualizes Ukraine becoming a link between the East and the West as a result of an impending trade deal with the European Union. Yanukovych: Russia and the EU are giant monsters “and we feel it every day” Victor Yanukovych, the President of […]

Russia’s Demographics Continue to Steadily Improve

Here it is, for those who read Russian. The May data also has emigration data, which is not included in the prelimary estimates – that is here. The main points to take away: Births fell 0.3% and deaths fell 0.5%; as a result, the overall natural decrease has fallen from -57,000 in 2012 to -53,000 in […]

Eurasian Integration Is A Liberal Project Opposed By Neocon Bolsheviks

My latest for VoR/US-Russia Experts panel. Hope you like the title. 🙂 The political fragmentation of the Soviet Union was one of the major contributing factors to the “hyper-depression” that afflicted not only Russia but all the other constituent republics in the 1990’s. The Soviet economy had been an integrated whole; an aircraft might have its engines […]

Why De-Russification Isn’t On The Cards

My post last week on the increasing visibility of the Russian language on the Internet provoked a heated counter-attack from commentator Ildar Adi, who asserted (without much in the way of proof) that it is actually in significant retreat in Europe, the Near Abroad, and even Russia itself. He believes that whereas there were almost […]

The Kremlin Does A Very Clever Thing

Lost in the furor and liberal butthurt over Depardieu’s defection has been a development of far greater import: Russia is going to cardinally change its elections system. According to Putin’s directive to the Presidential Administration and the Central Elections Committee, they are to come up with a bill that transforms Russia’s current proportional system to […]

Translation: A Hell Of Their Own Making

Believe it or not but some people call me a Russophobe. Even more shockingly, perhaps, I plead guilty (at least in the sense that I do not have a very high opinion of the Russian people). There are only two logical alternatives: (1) Claims that Russia really is as good as Western Europe and the US […]

Quick Impressions On Ukraine Elections 2012

AP asks: No article about the Ukrainian parliamentary elections? Unfortunately, no, as I’m very busy this week. But some quick impressions: (1) My initial predictions for the elections. We’ll see how I do relative to about 70 other people soon enough. [tweet https://twitter.com/AnatolyKarlin/status/262371694809841666] (2) As the results came in, with PoR getting 37% of the […]

Is The Ukrainian Children Learning?

According to a recent Vzglyad article by Olga Gritsenko titled Universal Stupefaction, no they are not. Here are the cold raw facts: Libraries stock 4% of books published in Ukraine, compared to 18% in Russia and 40% in the US and Canada. The average Ukrainian spends $2.5 on books in one year, compared to $22 in Russia. In 2010/11, […]

Russia’s Demographic Resilience V

In summary, the excess deaths from the once-in-10,000-years heatwave canceled out most of the increase in births, causing the rate of natural decrease to fall by only 7,400 relative to 2009. Adding in the 82,500 drop in net immigration for Jan-Nov 2009, and we can estimate that Russia’s population will fall by about 50,000 this […]

The People’s Choice, or how Ukrainians are Learning to Stop Worrying and Love Eurasia

I enjoyed the egg-throwing scenes from Ukraine’s Rada on the ratification of the gas-for-fleet deal with Russia as much as anyone. It also reflected the polarized commentary on the interwebs. The Ukrainian patriot-bloggers get their knickers in a sweaty twist. The academic beigeocrat Alexander Motyl (he of “Why Russia is Really Weak” fame some four years back) […]

Regathering of the Russian Lands

I have long noted Russia’s resurgence back into the ranks of the leading Great Powers; I predicted that the global economic crisis will not have a long-term retarding impact on the Russian economy; and within the past year I have bought into Stratfor‘s idea that the defining narrative now in play in Eurasia is Russia’s […]

Russia’s Demographic Resilience

In this post I look at the (surprisingly good) Russian demographic data for Jan-Mar 2009 and argue in more depth that the economic crisis is unlikely to have a very major negative impact on short-term fertility, or any but a very minor impact on long-term demographic trends. I make some falsifiable predictions, estimating a birth […]

Ukraine, Georgia and Latvia, Beacons of Freedom

I am being a sarcastic, of course. Ukraine has banned broadcasting of Russian TV channels. Georgia cut access to the .ru domain and banned Russian TV channels (and Euronews!), no doubt to silence any questioning voices over their criminal aggression as opposed to the likes of Fox, CNN or the BBC, which swallowed the psychopathic […]

News 21 July: Expansion amidst Turbulence

Let’s start with two excellent new resources I’ve recently come across. Russia: Other Points of View states its objectives thus: We believe there is need in the public forum for a venue which offers opinions and facts that at times may differ from the prevailing view in western media. Hmm… Sounds quite similar to Da […]

News 30 March: The Paradoxes of Russophobia

Medvedev gives his first foreign media interview (to the Financial Times), in which he charts the bedrock of his presidency. Will continue to pursue primarily Russia’s, not the West’s, interests. Will work in tandem with Putin, to whom he is neither puppet nor rebel. Will strive to root out “legal nihilism” / proizvol in Russia […]