Dies the Fire (in Russia)

Belated comment on the Kemerovo fire that killed 64 people, including 41 children.

  1. Tragedies like this are inevitable and will always happen, the best that could be done is working to minimize and mitigate them (personally I favor legislating exorbitant compensation for victims, since money > ethics so far as almost all businesses are concerned).

  2. Russia’s high rates of deaths from fires are, like its high mortality in general, part of its Soviet legacy of mass alcoholization.

Moreover, it has been going DOWN under Putin, just like suicide, murders, deaths from alcohol poisoning. Tragic as it is, Kemerovo wouldn’t even have been a big scandal in 2000s, whereas today, it provokes a large local protest (which Western journalists rushed to portray as yet another failure of and challenge to Putin).


Mortality from fires in Russia [blue – total deaths; red – total hospitalized; green – deaths / 100,000], via genby and Ministry of Emergency Situations.


Mortality from fires in the USSR, 1946-1990 [orange – total deaths].

  1. There were claims of 300-400 deaths early on, which Western journalists eagerly latched onto.

Said “Moscow sources” turned out to be some random Ukrainian scumbag.

A more relevant point is that in the modern, inter-connected world, it is exceedingly difficult to conspire to hide away deaths. Russia didn’t even manage to do this with respect to the Wagner mercenaries murdered by the US in Syria, while Western propaganda about hundreds of deaths was also eventually disproven, as social media reports trickled in and gradually confirmed the most realistic estimates of a few dozen deaths.

Anatoly Karlin is a transhumanist interested in psychometrics, life extension, UBI, crypto/network states, X risks, and ushering in the Biosingularity.


Inventor of Idiot’s Limbo, the Katechon Hypothesis, and Elite Human Capital.


Apart from writing booksreviewstravel writing, and sundry blogging, I Tweet at @powerfultakes and run a Substack newsletter.


  1. Kind of funny how the negative media attention only comes after you’ve improved upon said problem.

    Ie you’re no longer dysfunctional & have become a real threat to AZ empire

  2. with respect to the Wagner mercenaries murdered by the US in Syria

    I’m no fan of US policies in Syria, but this is very strange language and lends one losing credibility on the matter.

    In what way can the killings of an armed mercenary unit in active war zone be described as “murder”? Sure, you can describe an action as excessive or underhanded, etc. but this…

    It sounds a lot like the language Israel uses when its soldiers get taken captive in an internationally disputed and occupied territory as “kidnapping”.


  3. There needs to be a table of fire deaths per capita, or mass fire deaths, relative to in other countries.

    Because (even if they are not so common – like deaths from terrorism, etc) they are preventable/needless deaths, that can be over ten times lower in other countries.

    There does not seem to be a correlation to alcohol consumption.

    All it needs, is to find the countries with the lowest rates, and copying their fire regulations.





    So Germany has a consistently (multi-year) level below 13 times less fire deaths per capita.

    How difficult would it be just to copy their fire regulations into law?

  4. Copying German habits will take much longer.


  5. Russia is not at war with the US, it was not a case of friendly fire, Wagner did not attack the US troops [who are in Syria in illegally], they (Wagner) were not even warned they were intruding into (what the US claims as) its sphere of influence in Syria.

    So no, I don’t think calling it murder is inappropriate, which has to be avenged (too bad that Putin is too much of a cuck for that).

  6. I remember now that one of my mother’s friends (he was a successful journalist), had died in a fire in the 1990s. They said he had fallen asleep with a burning cigarette.

    This is one of the deadly combination – cigarette + drunk + sofa.

  7. I don’t blame you for showing these photos, Anatoly. You’re still young and presumably have strong healthy legs. What does one do as he reaches his 50’s, 60’s or beyond? Squatting down low for a couple of minutes during such a delicate operation can be quite trying. You’ll get sick of it all and move back to the states, where you can sit for 15 minutes or longer (if need be) and read a book or contemplate the other amenities of the good life, back ‘home’. 🙂

    BTW, why don’t you do a film review of ‘The Death of Stalin’. It’s currently being shown in the US and is getting great reviews. Oh that’s right, Putler, the new party chief, has banned the showing of the film in Russia? Nothing like censorship starting at the top and working its way down. But hey, you’re above average in intelligence and should be able to view a bootlegged version somewhere out there within the internet.

  8. OK – so your conclusions are based on the assumption that the US completely lied about its side of the story. Which is fine I guess, it’s not like they have high credibility anyway.

    If Putin avenges it, he’s likely not going to do it without plausible denial or do something like give the Turks more leeway to smash US allied forces on the ground or the sort…


  9. Diversity Heretic says

    Fire fatalities in buildings with working sprinklers are very rare, save for Twin Towers situations. Sprinklers rarely put out fires, but they suppress them, prevent flashover, give people time to escape, and firemen time to arrive. They’re pretty much mandatory for new commercial construcction in the U.S.

  10. songbird says

    Germans use a lot of concrete because of a relative lack of timber.

    Still sort of surprising because of their craziness regarding Christmas trees and Easter fires.

  11. OK – so your conclusions are based on the assumption that the US completely lied about its side of the story. Which is fine I guess, it’s not like they have high credibility anyway.

    I don’t think you even have to assume the US is lying to reasonably call it murder. According to the reporting by Der Spiegel, the (10-20) Wagner personnel killed were not even part of the group advancing toward the oilfield, but rather were at the SAA base back by the river. I don’t think the US has ever specified that its attack was limited to the advancing forces, and didn’t also target the location they came from.

    In any case, this was not a battle, but a massively one-sided massacre, with no warning shots fired, perpetrated by illegal invaders. Murder seems like a better description than combat.