I’m… I’m Gonna Kneeeeel! (Ukraine Edition)

Kneeling before Anglo ambassadors seems to be becoming something of a Ukrainian military tradition.

Ukrainian army officer kneeling before the British ambassador to Ukraine Melinda Simmons.

Traditionally, it was the recipient of a honorary sword for acts of valor who knelt. The only exceptions were when defeated parties knelt and presented their weapons to the victor.

Come to think of it, I suppose that’s not an inappropriate analogy.

Ukrainian general presenting a sabre to US Ambassador Tefft.

It’s pretty funny. The svidomy kneel to the Anglos. Who kneel to the Blacks.

The svidomy are begging their way into a foreign hierarchy at rock bottom and are not even getting paid for abasing themselves so. Very cringe to observe.

Open Thread 154


  • Putin-Biden summit in Geneva. No surprises to the upside or the downside (if you credited the theory that Biden wants to curtail the breakdown of US-Russian relations to slow down its drifting alliance with China). $150M in weapons aid to Ukraine canceled, on top of the dropping of sanctions against German companies involved in NS2 construction. Putin says that Biden is not demented after all. Ted Cruz and Nikki Haley are very sad.

  • Paul Robinson’s take on it.

  • Biden: “How would it be if the United States were viewed by the rest of the world as interfering with the elections directly of other countries and everybody knew it? What would it be like if we engaged in activities that he engaged in? It diminishes the standing of a country.” What would it be like?




Corona Babies

We know the effects of Corona on mortality and GDP. As data trickles in, we are now getting an increasingly clear idea of its effects on fertility rates.

(via Twitter demographer @BirthGauge)

We generally see no large-scale effects from Corona. There were usually fertility shocks as the lockdowns first went into effect, but they were quickly smoothed over subsequent months.

That said, there are important regional differences, with Northern Europe actually seeing a substantial increase in fertility. The effects were most striking in Germany:

If this holds until the end of the year, total TFR for 2021 could be 1.61, the highest value since 1973. (And no, the increase was not driven by refugees). This year may in fact see German total number of births exceed Japan’s. And Iran’s.

There are two possible causes here. The proximate one is that generous social welfare policies and moderate lockdowns blunted the impact of the fertility fall in Northern Europe and soon it was outright reversed. However, another possible, longer-term cause that I would propose, and which is suggested by the fact that Germany is the only developed country (with the exception of the few city-states like Qatar) which had a higher TFR in 2020 than in 2021*, is that Germany’s now close to 50 years of low fertility have “pruned away” many of its genotypic anti-natalists while increasing the “breeder” proportion of the population:

If this is accurate, we may expect German TFR to continue climbing up. While French selection for breeders lasted much longer, the German one was more intense, given the extent of its fertility collapse from the 1970s (while France always remained reasonably close to replacement level rates).

In other news, Czechia this year might have the highest TFR in the developed world after Israel:

Czechia is a socially liberal country with the highest percentage of porn stars in Europe. This happens to have no bearing on fertility rates, to the consternation of right-wingers. It’s almost as if this doesn’t matter.

4.7% births fall in Japan this year so far.

Then again, Japan is steadily becoming the fertility “powerhouse” of East Asia – bearing in mind the steep declines observed in South Korea, Taiwan, China, and even Thailand, which is now down to a mere 1.15. (Reminder that everything in life is relative).

As the first East Asian country to undergo the demographic transition, it will also probably be the first one to emerge from it.

I have raised this issue in passing before. But demographic statistics from Central Asia, especially Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan – which have seemingly defied trends towards fertility decrease in almost all the rest of the world – should at this point be treated with extreme skepticism (just like data from Dagestan, Ingushetia, and Chechnya in Russia).

A couple of resources on this topic.

I might write up some of this in English sometime. But the gist of it is that births data are not tallying with population data and some cities are generating crazy and implausibly high TFR figures (e.g. Osh supposed had a TFR of 5.1 by 2019).

The Uzbek figures might ironically be more accurate, but the country is probably on the cusp of an Azeri-like sharp decline, as explained here.

The main socio-political consequence of this is that Russian nationalist trepidations about an unending reservoir of labor pouring in from Central Asia is increasingly divorced from reality. In actuality, large parts of Northern Kazakhstan seem set to remain majority ethnic Russian in perpetuity.


  • h/t Annatar for this observation.

White Antifragility: Wokeism as White Supremacism

A week ago so a minor kerfuffle within the ranks of the “IDW”, with Quillette editor Claire Lehmann attaqing James Lindsay for promoting “White Genocide Theory”.


Is White Genocide happening? Is it likely to happen in a country like the US? Well, as wits such as Roko pointed out, it is surely more likely than aliens visiting our planet within the next couple of decades – a prospect that has recently garnered some mainstream attention (probably helped along by the MIC). On the other hand, it is certainly highly unlikely in absolute terms. The only actual example of a “White Genocide” that could apply in American conditions was Haiti a couple of centuries ago, but whites only constituted 1% of the population there. Similar proportion in Zimbabwe, though it was much less extreme. So it’s replication in the 21C US is quite far-fetched. (Note that refers to “White Genocide” as opposed to “population replacement”, a somewhat separate concept that is arguably applicable right now, though not necessarily indefinitely).

But on a more general level, I have gradually come to realize that debates over “White Genocide” miss the entire point on the most fundamental level.

In reality, any even minimally realistic “White Genocide” scenario in the US will boil down to a White counter-elite challenging or replacing the existing one, probably under the guise of expropriations in service of reparations and general racial leveling. It’s not excluded that it could get very violent, at least in its first one or two decades. But over the long-term, history suggests White Supremacy will unironically win, even under the most extremely scenarios. After all, eras of Bioleninist lunacy are often followed by the restoration of traditional hierarchies, often in forms harsher, more rigid and archaic than what came before.


My basic take is that Lehmann and her supporters like A Radical Centrism, as well as James and his followers, are all barking up the wrong tree. It doesn’t even matter if there’s a full-fledged Bolshevik Revolution in the US. Long-term, White Supremacism wins – since Wokeism, SJWism, CRT, etc. are just a costly (at the social level, not the individual one) means of signaling it, while bearing in mind that at its very core, CRT is basically a White Supremacist humblebrag (association of White culture with “rugged individualism”, intact families, future time orientation, etc). Couched in the language of CRT, what is for all intents and purposes a White Nationalist manifesto becomes dogma to the progressive faithful and in so doing immanentizes White Supremacy.

Incidentally, from this perspective, it is all the more amusing to see POC hype it so much and white rightoids get triggered by it. Though I suppose that’s only to be expected, given that what those two groups have in common is that they’re lower IQ than the White and Jewish liberals who tend to be the most energetic CRT promoters. Those who don’t “get” how this social game is played pay for it with diminished status, becoming “unhandshakeworthy” in respectable society, canceled from its events and deplatformed from its social fora. Not that there’s anything new or even objectionable about this, societies have had “taboos” and “outcasts” for millennia.

One commonly heard rejoinder is that the White promoters of CRT don’t benefit from it. Tell that to Robin DiAngelo – seems to have worked out well for her. Even at a more general level, high status Whites who promote CRT benefit, at least so long as they don’t drink the Kool-Aid and do things like move into Black neighborhoods in solidarity. (This is where “Does it have good schools?” comes in). But that is just another one of life’s myriad IQ tests, high status Whites did not generally become high status by failing them.

Even in the very long-term, we know from Gregory Clark that class is amazingly stable historically, being rooted in biology, even maintaining its internal structure from one political regime to another even as its exterior forms change. I suspect the children and grandchildren of these Woke signaling Whites will be just fine, and if anything, even higher status than their ancestors (“white privilege” being more of an actual thing in, say, Latin America, than the US). Their societies may be less capable and more dysfunctional that would have been the case otherwise, but who cares? Everything in life is relative. Well, status is, at any rate.

It’s quite funny in a way, we actually do, unironically, live within a matrix of White Supremacy, in which the socially “correct” move is to unironically believe in it and condemn it. The higher IQ, socially savvy “get it” and accrue benefits while reinforcing the very system of White Supremacy that privilege them above their co-ethnics who are their only real competitors for apex status.

Furthermore, it is notable, if not surprising, that Wokeism/SJWism is spreading outside the West, and it can be expected to hit many of these regions harder, since they haven’t co-evolved with it and developed some degree of immunity to it (much like how European socialist movements ended up manifesting in their most virulent forms in Russia a century ago). In this respect, Wokeism can be considered to be yet another tool of Western Supremacism and colonial subjugation.

The only conceivable way that this scenario is averted is the one in which the rise of China simply sidelines White Supremacy for good. White elites, counter-elites, and their status games will not have much relevance in a hypothetical world in which China has 3x the GDP of the US and PLAN rules the Pacific. The hammer of the Chinese working class under the paramount leader of the PRC will break free the chains keeping the rest of the world in tow to White Supremacy. It is the iron duty of all true progressives to support them in that endeavor.


Slava Malamud: Ethnostate For Me, Not For Thee

I didn’t know about a certain “sports journalist” and emigre called Slava Malamud until the following amusing exchange with RT journalist Bryan MacDonald came up on my feed.

Out of curiosity, I did a few searches on his feed. He is not completely inconsequential, having 35,000 followers.

So far as the US goes, he repeats the typical pro-BLM and progressive talking points expected of handshakeworthy members of society, while not forgetting to lecture Americans on how they should live:

However, his real venom is reserved for Russia. For instance, he took strong exception to Russian fans booing virtue signaling Belgian football players taking the knee, calling it a joke country.

All well and good.

Curiously, though, for all the very progressive, anti-racist, and pro-immigration stances he adopts, he does seem to have very strong feelings about the necessity of a “Jewish ethnostate” in Israel.

But what’s good for the goose is not so for the gander:

Russian ethnostate: “Isn’t fascism swell now?”

Jewish ethnostate: “The only way to get rid of it is to outnuke it. Wanna try?”

Also, pointing this out makes you a Russian Nazi:

Unsurprisingly, he plugs Julia Ioffe, who has a broadly similar profile – Vice-President of the Israel Public Affairs Committee during her time at Princeton, castigates Putin as an anti-Semite for saying that it wasn’t just Jews who were murdered in the Holocaust.

Since March 2020, his LinkedIn lists him as a “social media manager” for the Khodorkovsky-funded Free Russia Foundation.

Russian Ambassador to China Affirms Strategic Partnership

Biden and Putin will meet in Geneva on June 16. Speculation has been rife that Biden will try to draw Russia away from its deepening relationship with China. This makes patent sense – even American strategists have long realized that China isn’t just a much bigger Mexico, and in fact constitutes the one threat to its global hegemony. This shift was in fact started in the late 2010s under the Trump Administration, but Russiagate as a wedge political issue made any real negotiations on the matter impossible. As someone who is certainly not “Putin’s puppet”, Biden may have greater leeway to offer a deal.

Almost certainly, nothing substantial will come out of it. The observation that the US is “agreement-incapable” has not ceased to be true, at least so far as Russia is concerned. For every small pullback, such as the dropping of US sanctions on German firms involved in Nord Stream 2 construction (but this a favor to Germany, not to Russia), there are more counter-escalations, such as the US ban on American banks purchasing newly issued Russian debt this April.

Meanwhile, there are almost no sources of friction in the Sino-Russian relation and a great deal of scope for productive cooperation. The seething and coping of various neocons and crypto-neocons masquerading as anti-globalists doesn’t change this fundamental reality:


It would appear to be idiotic to give up on all that for the promise of table crumps from the Americans, and the Russian Ambassador to China Andrey Denisov has said as much in a recent interview with The Global Times:

GT: Some analysts suggest the Biden administration may take measures to ease tensions with Russia in order to concentrate on dealing with China. Will this strategy alienate Russia from China and draw it closer to the US?

Denisov: This view is too short-sighted. It can’t happen. I think we’re smarter than what the Americans think.

He was also explicit in stating that Russia and China are much closer on a variety of issues than the US, which has been imposing sanctions on both of them in different spheres.

GT: Competition and confrontation between China and the US are escalating. If one day an armed conflict between China and the US happens, what position would Russia take?

Denisov: There will be no answer to this question because I am convinced that there will be no armed conflict between China and the US, just as there will be no armed conflict between Russia and the US, because such a conflict would exterminate all mankind, and then there would be no point in taking sides. However, if you are asking about the judgment of the international situation and major issues, then Russia’s position is clearly much closer to China’s.

In recent years, the US has imposed sanctions both on Russia and China. Although the areas and content of the US’ dissatisfaction towards Russia and China are different, the goal of the US is the same: to crush the competitor. We clearly cannot accept such an attitude from the US. We hope that the Russia-China-US “tripod” will keep balance.

Last but not least, it is especially notable that the Ambassador explicitly disavows the Wuhan lab leak hypothesis:

GT: The West has been hyping up Russia and China’s so-called “vaccine diplomacy,” claiming that the two countries are pursuing geopolitical interests through vaccine exports and aid. What do you think of it?

Denisov: …

Besides, the West’s fabrication about the virus being a result of “a Chinese laboratory leak” is a classic case of politicizing the pandemic. These are very unfair political statements, which are not the right way to address this devastating human crisis.

Like some other people, I raised the possibility that Corona was a lab leak as early as late January 2020 (assigning it a 20% chance with most of the other 80% being assigned to a more banal zoonotic origin). For more than a year, this lab leak theory was dismissed as conspiracy theory which could get you deplatformed from Big Tech platforms and castigated as an anti-Asian racist by handshakeworthy society. Then, just a month ago, there has been a veritable 180 degree shift, with the Wuhan lab leak theory rapidly becoming the conventional wisdom. These schizoid oscillations in the Official Narrative should not much chance our preexisting probability curve on the origins of Corona, with the much more relevant question being, “why now?”, and “what are the Western elites planning?”

The answer, seemingly confirmed at the G7 meeting earlier today, is a broad Western front against China, possibly eventually escalating to reparations demands – under Trump, confined to neocon publications, but now growing in popularity in normie discourse – for “unleashing Corona” and then “lying” about it. The Chinese refusal to entertain such diktats will consequently be used as the pretext to kickstart the Great Bifurcation, whose ultimate aim is to impose a cordon sanitaire between China and as much of the rest of the world as possible.

Essentially, Russia here is sending a signal that it will not endorse this Western campaign to create a “Black Legend” targeted against China.

Floomerism Endorsement

Is now the correct approach. I mean sure, many/most floomers are people with only a tenuous grasp on reality who don’t understand things like “excess mortality.” That said, with vaccines available now widely available across the First World – certainly to the age groups who are vastly more likely to die from Corona – it is time to lift all restrictions, all lockdowns, all quarantines, all mask mandates, all Corona-related barriers to international travel, and everything else that impinges on quality of life in the name of the anti-epidemic efforts. This is because, unlike in 2020, getting seriously sick or dying from Corona is now a choice in the Anglosphere, in Europe, in Russia, in East Asia, and will soon be in India and Brazil too. “Let the bodies pile up high in their thousands,” as BoJo wisely said.

There is, to be sure, the question of hospital capacity. The correct response would be to deny the non-vaccinated hospital places for Corona treatment in the absence of spare capacity. If there’s empty beds and unoccupied medical staff, great, come in. If not, that’s sad, but it was you who made that choice. This policy should apply irrespective of age. This would be an ethical approach because the non-vaccinated believe that Corona is “just the flu”, or even a “hoax”, and make full suppression impossible. That is their right, but those who disagree should not be forced to subsidize their beliefs (just like we don’t subsidize, say, homeopathic medicine). “No bailouts!” is a slogan that I am sure consistent anti-vaxxers will agree with. They can always pay for a place at a private hospital or build their own hospital at the end of the day. In the great and immortal words of that Texan mayor, “only the strong will survive.”

Another argument against floomerism was that with billions of potential carriers, the door would be open to the emergence of much more dangerous strains. Frankly, that train has long passed. Corona is globally endemic, with low state-capacity regions with billions of people now serving as petri dishes for it. The appearance of new strains that are more infectious is certain (see India), and it is also possible that the new strains will be more virulent. But, again, that’s a done deal at this point.

There should also be a global ban on gain of function virus research, which seems to have an incredible lopsided ROI ratio (grants for virologists vs. millions of dead and trillions USD in lost GDP).

Here is what will actually happen. There will be new strains that will be more resistant against existing vaccines, and vaccination itself will not be universal. But the above proposals, which nobody with a libertarian outlook should have cardinal issues, will be politically unacceptable. The interaction of the bureaucratic obsessions with window-dressing (as opposed to results), rightoid intransigence ruling out herd immunity based total suppression of Corona, and normie Corona-hysteria translating into popular acquiescence to endless lockdown spectacle will massively degrade quality of life for indefinite years to come.

Open Thread 153

The weak should fear the strong.

  • Richard Hanania had a podcast with Sean McMeekin about his new book. (I made some comments on that post).

Incidentally, I have started reading Stalin’s War. Not far in, but my initial impressions are that McMeekin is weak on military realism – he seems to think that Allied Lend-Lease that went to the USSR would have instead translated into the Anglo-Americans freeing the Polish death camps had those resources been devoted to their own war effort instead.

On another note, @devarbol does point out that McMeekin performs a useful service in highlighting that American elite anti-Communism only began after WW2.

  • Claire Lehmann and James Lindsay had a Twitter spat over white genocide. My brief Twitter takes here. (Spoiler: Talk of white genocide misses the point).

  • Paul Robinson on Ukraine’s Bidensliv.

  • Large new IPSOS survey of LGBT attitudes internationally. Summary. Interestingly, if not entirely surprisingly, India has the highest percentage of people who identify as non-heterosexual.

* Adam Tooze on Vasily Grossman.

  • @Nemets speculates that 20C leftist aesthetics would have looked radically different if not for the Latvians.

  • French smart fraction performance in math has plummeted over the past generation. You’d better hope we get to AGI and/or genetic editing for IQ sooner rather than later, or we’re not having much fun the next few centuries.

  • Trump: Time to go back to McDonald’s, anon.

Dying from Corona in Russia Has Long Been “Optional”

I don’t have the reputation of someone who stans for Russia’s record on dealing with Corona. I was writing about how Russian official statistics were massively understating Corona mortality more than a year ago, before Western journalists generally noticed it, and followed that theme up in the subsequent months. Ironically, Russia’s development of one of the world’s most effective vaccines, Sputnik V, which boasts an efficacy rate of >90% and has had as international adoption on a level equal to that of the Big Pharma solutions – despite assiduous efforts by the US State Department to torpedo it – has failed to translate into high vaccination rates.

As of the present time, Russia’s 11% vaccination rate lags far behind the Anglo-American (~50%) and EU (~30%) rate, and is comparable only to Bulgaria (11%) so far as EU countries ago, and Japan and South Korea in East Asia (8-11%), which however have been largely successful at containing Corona with traditional measures. China at 28% is far ahead (although Sinopharm has a lower efficacy rate), Brazil and Turkey are a bit ahead, and even India is level pegging. Serbia has been the undisputed star of the vaccination drive relative to its “non-aligned” and middle income status, leveraging Big Pharma, Russia, and China to get the best deal for its citizens. The provision of a choice between Pfizer, Sputnik V, and Sinopharm in Serbia has ensured high vaccination rates amongst all manner of nutjobs who make these kinds of decisions based on their geopolitical preferences.

So is this a resounding failure of the Putin regime?

It would be if this was indeed a failure of vaccome distribution. But I see very few signs that this has been a problem for months. I know that the elderly in Moscow have been getting calls from the clinics they are attached to for months, in which the nurses literally beg them to come in for a Sputnik V shot. If you don’t want to bother with your clinic, you can drop by any one of dozens of locations in shopping centers and parks in Moscow. All that is required is to provision your passport and you are eligible for a shot on the spot, no questions asked, with the results later appearing on Gosuslugi (the electronic state ID registrar) as a proof of vaccination. If you don’t like Sputnik V for whatever reason, you now get the choice of getting the Vector Institute’s EpiVacCorona instead. You even get a free ice cream for your trouble.

Corona vaccination point in GUM, the central shopping arcade by Red Square. Peeking inside, I noted that queues were non-existent.

And before the usual suspects pipe up that it is Moscow/Saint-Petersburg monopolizing all the vaccines, that is obviously not true either. It was an accurate rejoinder several months ago, but today, Moscow is in 33rd place by vaccination rate (!) across Russia’s regions. It is actually remote places like Chukotka and the Nenets Autonomous Okrug that have some of the highest rates, while many relatively poor regions like Belgorod oblast and Mordovia are also ahead of Moscow. Clearly, vaccination rates are no longer determined by distribution bottlenecks, but by regional policies and local populations’ relative level of anti-vax sentiment.

As such, dying from Corona in Russia is now “optional”, and in many regions, has already been so for months.

The core reason while vaccination rates remain low is now clearly dominated by the fact that the post-Soviet environment is one of the world’s most ideologically anti-vaxx. In anecdotal terms, this became clear to me when the same elderly person whom I know has been receiving calls from his/her clinic to get Sputnik V became convinced that it is a Putin plot to cull Russian pensioners (sic). This seems to be a common view amongst that demographic. Communists tend to be some of the most active anti-vaxx agitators in Russia, so it is morbidly amusing in a way how they are helping kill off what remains of their fading electorate. However, the anti-Putin liberals, who until a few months ago mounted a propaganda campaign against Sputnik V (either on instruction from their Western handlers, or because they feel an uncontrollable urge to smear and malign anything Russian, or possibly a combination of both), have certainly not helped matters either. While most of them ended up vaccinated with Sputnik V anyway – these people might be anti-Russian ideologues, but they are not stupid, and do like to travel with as few problems as possible – the consequences of their black PR campaign probably continue to residually influence those older Russians who are “slower” on the uptake and not wise to their tricks.

Be that as it may, though, there’s clearly a difference between being in the Corona demographic risk group and dying because you do not have access to a vaccine because of state distribution failure, and dying because you are too lazy, paranoid, and/or have had your brain destroyed by conspiracy theories to get vaccinated. These people’s obstinacy makes life modestly more uncomfortable than it has to be (e.g. I resent being vaccinated and still being formally obligated to wear a mask on the Metro and other public indoor places). But the key point is that to the extent they now die of Corona, it is now through their own conscious choices – that is, it is now more of a Darwin Award than a tragedy. If one is of a cynical disposition, one might even salute their unwitting sacrifice for the Russian budget and pensions system.

The Geography Of Ukraine’s IQ

My attention was brought to the following map of Ukraine’s IQ.

I don’t know the methodology behind it, but it seems to be based on what is not an uncommonly cited average (usually low to mid 90s) coupled with the results of the ZNO, which is the nationwide school-leaving exam in Ukraine.

Russia’s equivalent is the EGE. It doesn’t tend to reveal much in the way of regional details, possibly as a result of political correctness considerations around the low results from DICh (Dagestan/Ingushetia/Chechnya), so the best sources of Russian regional IQ estimates are regional PISA results for the years in which regional details are available and, more recently, the results of military-run online proficiency tests for aspiring contract soldiers. I have a lengthy Russian language article on all this here: https://akarlin.ru/2020/04/russian-noosphere/

But anyhow, back to Ukraine. What I can say is that the above map does correlate with the regional maps of ZNO results I have seen. For instance, there are interactive maps available not just at oblast level but even at raion level at this website (which, however, unfortunately seems to be down right now). Nonetheless, here is not an atypical screenshot (this map shows regional results from the 2013 ZNO on Ukrainian history).

There are detailed raion level data at this website testportal.gov.ua/reg/, so all of this can be confirmed/reconstructed for more recent years as well.

Are these results an artifact of western Ukrainians doing better on Ukrainian history? Not really, looking at performance between subjects, there aren’t major differences in regional performance between an ideologically “neutral” subject like Math, and something like Ukrainian Language and Literature (e.g., Lugansk oblast actually did relatively worse on Math, last on the list, relative to Ukrainian language and Ukrainian history).

Here is the “general” rating of Ukrainian oblasts by ZNO performance for 2017.

Місце Область Середній бал ЗНО К-ть випускників
2017 2016 Δ Всього Не здали один
або більше тестів
1 1 Lvov 149.99 13239 2859 21.6%
2 2 Kiev 149.69 22919 3772 16.5%
3 3 Ternopil 146.54 4581 1053 23%
4 7 +3 Sumy 144.71 4918 1051 21.4%
5 4 -1 Kharkov 144.01 11802 2686 22.8%
6 6 Volyn 143.04 6355 1638 25.8%
7 8 +1 Ivano-Frankovsk 142.98 6965 2191 31.5%
8 5 -3 Cherkasy 142.52 6067 1469 24.2%
9 9 Poltava 142.45 6809 1644 24.1%
10 13 +3 Chernigov 142.2 5597 1497 26.7%
11 12 +1 Khmelnitsky 142.05 6586 1673 25.4%
12 10 -2 Vinnitsa 141.88 7387 1924 26%
13 11 -2 Dnepropetrovsk 141.76 14741 3783 25.7%
14 18 +4 Zhitomir 141.3 6516 1857 28.5%
15 14 -1 Donetsk 141.08 8017 2060 25.7%
16 17 +1 Zaporozhye 140.86 7981 2116 26.5%
17 15 -2 Rovno 139.86 8155 2871 35.2%
18 19 +1 Odessa 139.41 11797 3792 32.1%
19 20 +1 Kirovograd 139.15 4668 1337 28.6%
20 16 -4 Lugansk 138.73 3068 786 25.6%
21 21 Nikolaevsk 138.12 5314 1755 33%
22 22 Kherson 137.41 5673 1837 32.4%
23 23 Chernivitsy 136.07 5306 2401 45.3%
24 24 Zakarpatye 134.08 8324 4203 50.5%

All in all, even more than this is a Ukrotriumph, I would describe this more specifically as an APTriumph (in honor of the pro-Habsburg commenter).

After all, Lvov is on the same level as the capital Kiev, while the much more rural Ternopil and Ivano-Frankovsk, the two other major regions to have been within the Austrian-ruled part of Austria-Hungary – and which came to mass literacy a generation earlier than most of the rest of Ukraine – continue to strongly outperform today.

In contrast, Zakarpatye, which was within the more backward Hungarian ruled part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, is instead at the very end.

Other than that, to the extent there exists a geographic pattern, it is that northern Ukrainians tend to do better than southern Ukrainians (Sumy of all places, an economically desolate and depopulating region with a significant Russian minority, does as well as the rural Galician oblasts). Northern Ukraine in this respect covers the territories from Volyn and Rovne, which were part of the Russian Empire but spend 25 years under Polish rule after its collapse, all the way to Kharkov, the much more Russified core of “Sloboda Ukraine” that has been part of Russia since as early as 16C. Meanwhile, perhaps rather surprisingly, classical Novorossiya seems to be the worst performing major region (only caveat is that Donetsk and Lugansk are probably both a bit underrated because since 2014, the LDNR hasn’t been participating in the ZNO, and the breakaway republics contain the more urbanized part of their oblast’s population). I don’t have a good explanation for this, the region had light serfdom, and both numeracy (see below) and literacy during the Russian Empire in this region were actually higher than in northern Ukraine and comparable to north-eastern Russia.

Speculatively, perhaps “internal colonization” selected for stupider (poorer, more desperate) peasants. They acquired more wealth, which even translated into higher human capital, during what remained of the Malthusian era, but then fell behind during the industrial era. Within Russia, IQ tends to fall as you go east beyond the Urals, even though Siberia was (mostly) settled by brighter northern Russians.

From PISA tests, Ukrainians on average ~= southern Russians, so probably what this really means is that the Novorossiyans are a bit below them whereas the northern Ukrainians are similar to Belorussians and most central Russians (northern Russians being higher still). Kiev and Lvov, being half an S.D. above the Ukrainian average, might be quite close to Moscow, Saint-Petersburg, and Yaroslavl oblast.

Here is the map of Russian regional IQ for comparison: https://akarlin.ru/2020/04/russian-noosphere/

Since we also have a good picture of Kazakh regional PISA results, all we need is some regional data for Belarus (their exam is the ЦТ but I have been unable to find regional results) and we would be able to construct a pretty good regional IQ map for the bulk of the ex-USSR, mostly using standardized exams as proxies for the regional IQs and norming the differences in the average to the PISA gaps between them.