Update on Navalny & Nord Stream 2

From the start I refrained from speculating too much about what precisely happened to Navalny. Thing is, several weeks on, we are collectively none the wiser.

Though Novichok seems to have done him good in the looksmaxxing department:

But reality is rarely as important as the narratives around it, and so far as narratives are concerned, there are two big ones.

  • The effects of Navalny’s novichok treatment on domestic Russian politics.
  • On international relations, esp. the fate of Nord Stream.

Let’s consider each of these in turn.

Russian domestic politics – as I wrote:

Navalny’s big problem is that his entire image is built on him being a “man of the people” revealing how Russia’s oligarchs and regime insiders preach solidarity and “spiritual values” (духовные скрепы) within while maintaining Italian villas and holidaying in Courchevel and getting treated at elite European clinics without. … But here’s the problem. No ordinary Russian is ever going to be airlifted out of a run down hospital in a Siberian rustbelt city into one of Germany’s top clinics, paid for by a tycoon telecoms family (the Zimins) and at the personal invitation of Chancellor Merkel herself. And not just any ordinary Russian – not even any Russian high official. The closest example from amongst the Russian “elites” that would come to mind is… the DNR supporter and washed out Soviet-era crooner Kobzon. Hilariously, Navalny has de facto ended up far more “apatride” than any of the big targets of his political invective in the past decade.

… and, indeed, there has been no discernible effect on Putin’s ratings.

This Levada poll was conducted on Aug 20-26 (Navalny was poisoned on Aug 20). If Russian Presidential elections were to be held next Sunday, of those who’d vote, 56% of Russians would vote Putin & 2% for Navalny (Zhirik #2 with 5%).

Ранг апр.
1 Владимир Putin 60 66 62 70 55 54 53 56
2 Владимир Zhirinovsky 5 3 4 5 6 4 6 5
3 Алексей Navalny <1 1 1 <1 1 1 2 2
4-5. Геннадий Zyuganov 5 5 3 1 2 1 3 2
4-5. Михаил Мишустин 2
6 Павел Грудинин 6 5 4 4 2
7-8. Сергей Фургал 1
7-8. Сергей Шойгу 1 2 1 <1 1 1 1 1
9. Николай Платошкин 1
Other 3 2 3 2 4 2 3 3
Don’t know 26 21 25 15 25 31 27 27

Sidenote: Indeed, the one notable result I would point out – already strongly in evidence during 2020 Constitution referendum, which I blogged about – is the collapse of support for Putin amongst youth. 64% of participating 55+ y/o’s would vote for Putin, while only 36% of 18-24 y/o’s say they would. There are otherwise no significant class or regional differences, though women (60%) are more likely to support Putin than men (50%).

Following that was a VCIOM poll, conducted Aug 24-30 – former date is four days after Navaly poisoning – shows no change in Putin’s ratings either. An indeed a marginal increase a week after that.

In the meantime, there is talk in the EU of “Navalny Sanctions.” If they do actually go ahead with that, that would constitute the final nail in Navalny’s political coffin. Imagine normies voting for sanctions person.

Nord Stream. And while there has been a boycott of insurers due to US pressure, and opposition to it in the European Parliament, it looks like Germany is not willing to torpedo it.

However, one thing this affair has helpfully clarified is precisely why the Germans are in no rush to cancel NS2. It’s not because Merkel particularly values a “special relationship” with Russia, or can’t do with a more diversified energy supply (as I pointed out, Germany is much less dependent on Russian gas than is much of East-Central Europe – which doesn’t stop it from being much more hardline towards Russia), or that it threatens Siemens contracts in Russia, or whatever.

But because of two rather concrete political and energy realities (as explained in this article by Dmitry Lekukh):

(1) Half of the financing for NS2 is provided for by European (primarily German) companies, not Russian ones. And the insurers are European companies. The bulk of the losses from this $10 billion project will be swallowed by them.

(2) Even more to the point, Germany would still be buying Russian gas, just as LNG sourced from the Yamal field and liquified in Saint-Petersburg. A pipeline would just make it less expensive, but Russian LNG would still be cheaper than American (distance from SPB to to Hamburg is 2,000 km; from the US East Coast to Hamburg it is 5,500 km). Short of banning German companies from sourcing Russian gas period, the market choice would still be to buy Russian, just at a higher price than if delivered from a pipeline much of which has already been built anyway.

So we can expect NS2 to be completed and go into exploitation, short of much more serious crises that threaten to derail EU-Russia trade in general, something that never happened even during the Cold War.

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. Please keep off topic posts to the current Open Thread.

    If you are new to my work, start here.

  2. there has been a boycott of insurers due to US pressure

    If a ship is not insured, then it cannot operate at sea. When Denmark authorized North Stream 2 work in its waters, one of the conditions was that ships building NS2 would have a valid insurance.

    How are they going to complete the work if they have no insurance?

    Can they use a Russian insurance, instead of an international one?

  3. Thulean Friend says

    It can all be boiled down to one thing: the US wants to push its more expensive gas to Europe. Rest is propaganda and noise.

    I’ve seen various EE govts claim that US gas is “cheaper” than Russian gas to their own domestic electorates as well as to the international press. Yet, curiously, not a single one has committed to a number for comparison. Interesting, isn’t it? We’re just supposed to take their vague statements at face value.

    Of course, the long-term game must be to liquidate all fossil fuels completely from our energy grids. Gas is better than coal or oil, but it’s still bad. It’s telling that of the three major power blocs – EU, China and US – only the US has thus far refused to commit to a carbon-neutral plan. The EU has 2050 as its date and China shocked the world at the recent UN virtual summit to announce a 2060 plan. This American laggard mentality is a disease and its commercial clutches should no longer ensnare Europe. Russia is of course the terminal laggard as well, but who has any expectations of them?

  4. Trump has given Merkel several opportunities to tell the US to get the hell out of Germany. 70 years of occupation should be quite enough.

    NATO is a cold war relic and without the US couldn’t fight its way out of a paper bag. It’s essentially a welfare and retirement vehicle for the military types.

    Why does German always bend over when the US makes demands? She grovels and offers to purchase over priced US LNG. Why? What has the deep state got on her?

  5. Germany wants NS2 not only because of the price, but because of politics. Russia is a reliable and close source of gas that is not and will never be under American political control. Through NS2, Germany will be able to have a more independent foreign policy, because NS2 is beyond the reach of US Navy,unlike gas brought by sea from elsewhere. Ofcourse, not having to worry again about transit countries is a plus.

  6. Quoting comment #4
    It can all be boiled down to one thing: the US wants to push its more expensive gas to Europe. Rest is propaganda and noise.

  7. Sanctions will continue to increase because West has no other tools. Destabilising Russia or Belarus is a fool’s errand, unlikely to work for at least a generation. Russia is getting relatively stronger, so time is on their side. I have seen the sanctions seriously described as an ‘orange light‘ – a symbolic message to Russia to slow down to avoid danger.

    We have two sides:
    – West: has-been chaotic melange of multi-cultures with attractive living standards way beyond actual useful work performed. Living of ‘soft power‘ and accumulated beauty.
    – Russia (plus): resources rich, underdeveloped, but largely homogeneous with sufficient technology and willpower to defend itself.

    As the conflict escalates who is going to break first? History suggests that the more focused power, no matter how much smaller and more backward, can withstand the pressure and thus in a way at the end wins. That’s what happened with the Persian Empire against Greece, Holland against Spanish Empire (16th century), and Russia when it fought off the previous combined European attacks led by Napoleon and Hitler. But it wasn’t pretty and the losses can be horrendous – Persians burnt Acropolis, etc…

    The itinerant, Navalny-like clowns always pop-up on the side of the empire. That is not a sign of strength, just the opposite, it signals desperation. The assorted ‘Guidados’ are a joke, a late-in-the-game joke.

    NS2 is not that important. What matters is that now there will be no NS3, it is a downward slide. Which one of the multiple chutes will the West choose to self-destruct? (My money is still on the family destruction and the associated demographic replacement, but what do I know?)

  8. Very concerned citizen says


    Can I ask if there has been a change in attitude to Germany because they have proved to be aS treacherous as Great Britain /UK or whatever they call themselves.

    Regarding Navalny the behaviour of his team and his subsequent behaviour posting on Instagram – shows this was a false flag and the Russian government know.

    Navalny and his gang really are paid by the west and Germany let the cat out of the bag along with the BBC interviewing this woman no one had heard of – giving her free time to say what she wanted on TV.

  9. The Alarmist says

    … something that never happened even during the Cold War.

    This is not your father’s Cold War.

  10. I thoroughly understand that Merkel is a political operative and part of the world wide globalist agenda. I keep wondering what happened to the German people to put up with this nonsense of purposely importing welfare recipients to trash their economy, their culture, increase crime, increase costs to the working stiffs, etc.

    Is it because the Germans have largely been disarmed and lack the effective weaponry to change the country’s course?

    The same complaint can be made of the US. Whites have been put upon for decades to support initiatives that most never wanted but are forced to pay for, like welfare for black baby factories, welfare for illiterates that graduate from the public school propaganda mills, laws that blatantly discriminate against the workers and producers in the society to support the useless eaters of every race, etc. But the US is full of weaponry and still nothing has managed to change the course that TPTsB are determined to pursue.

    The US’s economy is in ruins, as are the economies of the rest of the world because of politics, not medical issues. At some point I expect individuals as flawed as Merkel to finally realize that they are being used and will be tossed aside in some future psyop when their useful idiot status no longer protects them. I expect US governors to eventually figure out they’re in the same boat and sooner or later one will pull the plug on this conspiracy, not because they are decent human beings, but because they are scum but see a more lucrative self interest potential to declare secession and become an emperor in their domain as opposed to just a lackey in the current system.

    I keep waiting for the fracturing of this conspiracy because all the players are self interested sociopaths but so far it’s holding together. What will it take to light the fuse on some change to upset the status quo, even if it makes matters materially worse in the short term?

    All the money printing, imprisonment of the world’s populations without charges or trial, the endless wars, the rigged markets, the obviously fraudulent climate and pandemic hoaxes, etc – where is the push back and why isn’t there any?

  11. sudden death says

    Lately there was one quite amusing episode in this saga, probably leaked by Macron camp – Putin on the phone told him that Navalny indeed might have poisoned himself, which angered French president, cause “he can tell such tales to his Russian peasants but not to me” 🙂

    The funny thing here is that actual antiNavalny talking points (e.g. being poisoned by his US/EUmasters in order to to sow some internal unrest coupled with Belarus situation) being pushed on figurative RF “peasantry” are less dumb than the one which was told to Macron, lol 🙂

    Guess that can be interpreted as Putin having a higher regard for his own peasantry than for French presidency, which no doubt would be a plus for him internally. At least from those who do really think that there is actually nothing much wrong with all that particular poisoning of supposed “Western agent”, differently than killing some “patriotic” skinhead in prison.

  12. When Putin talks to Macron he should always address him in a proper and ceremonial manner as befits Macron’s status. Although I am sure Russian Foreign Ministry has some appropriate diplomatic vocabulary to use in such occasions, I would personally suggest calling Macron “la petite frappe à Rothschild“. But “la petite frappe à Soros” would probably also do because in fine it amounts to same.


    Every country has the leaders it deserves (and I am no fan of Putin)…

  13. WUHAN-19 was created and released by China.

    Any proof of that? I’ve heard a lot of hot air, but not a shred of proof was ever offered.

  14. The US economy was circling the bowl well before Covid. All the Fed money printing to supply the world with the ‘reserve currency’ they need to trade will eventually come back to US shores as de-dollarization accelerates. A Wiemar hyperinflation is baked into the cake.

    Although manufacturing returning to the US would be a good thing, it won’t happen to any significant degree. The US cost of labor is way too high because the Fed Gov consumes too much of the average workers income for useless wars and bribes to foreign gov’ts. The primary other reason is that the average citizen wants no part of a job where he/she gets dirt under their fingernails, preferring to become stock brokers or Internet Influencers, etc.

    Trump has begun the work of raising the prices of foreign made goods (tariffs) that will simply cost the citizenry more of their hard earned income at a time when they can least afford it.

  15. What “Jewish workers” are you talking about?

    There are very few Jews in blue collar jobs in Germany.

    Jews in Germany tend to be among the elite, or in the heavily subsidized Orthodox sector.

    Merkel sends massive amounts of resources to Israel, including billions of dollars worth of submarines, weapons, and other technologies.

    It’s ok to be sentimental about Jews; but have some self respect.

    You sound like a Freeper.

  16. Even more to the point, Germany would still be buying Russian gas, just as LNG sourced from the Yamal field and liquified in Saint-Petersburg.

    This left me scratching my head.
    Russia operates (or will shortly operate) at least 2 huge LNG plants at or near the Yamal peninsula with more being in pipeline.

    Russia’s largest private natural gas producer, Novatek, reports that it is “slightly ahead of schedule” for opening Arctic LNG 2 by the end of 2022. The facility will consist of three production lines, or trains, and is designed to produce 19.8 million tons of LNG annually. The Arctic LNG 2 plant will utilize natural gas from the nearby Utrennoye field. The project is located across the Ob Bay from the existing Yamal LNG plant which opened in 2017.



    The advantages are obvious: proximity to the source and low ambient temperatures that make liquifying much more energy efficient and the product cheaper even when we factor in the more expensive investment, engineering and maintenance.

  17. prime noticer says

    Soviets really needed the money from energy exports during Cold War. that’s my take on it. less so than they were reliable trading partners who could always be counted on in general.

    this situation will continue. political tumult won’t stop them from selling resources for money. it’s one of their main sources of cash, and they need it.

  18. So, I am supposed to believe the words of a woman with an obvious ax to grind, and disregard sequence-based evidence that evolution trees of covid all show that Chinese version was not the original one? I should also disregard the evidence that various strains of covid were found in samples from way back in 2019 in Europe? If posting this BS is your gainful employment, it’s shameful, but at least you have an excuse. If you really believe what you write, I have a bridge to sell you.

  19. His online columns aside, why isn’t MacDonald ever on RT?


  20. See also the Update at


    re the entry into service of the Arktika icebreaker. Presumably cargoes of LNG from Yamal sailing along the Northern Sea Route will become another factor militating against opting for LNG from the USA.

  21. Regarding Navalny the behaviour of his team and his subsequent behaviour posting on Instagram – shows this was a false flag

    What kind of false flag do you have in mind?

    One where he poisoned himself so badly that the doctors in Omsk had to put him in induced coma? Or one where he didn’t really poison himself but somehow tricked the doctors to put him in induced coma, his life pending from breathing subconscious through a ventilator?

    Or did his blood sugar simply go low, which provoked (perhaps for the first time in history) the emergency landing of a plane and his being put in induced coma, after which the Western secret services were the ones who poisoned him while being still in coma in Berlin but he managed to recover nevertheless?

    Please elaborate.

  22. Northern Sea Route

    What’s really galling for the Empire, Northern Sea Route is all in Russian territorial waters. To make sure that no one has any stupid ideas, Russia built quite a few military bases along the route, and even produces special military vehicles for very low temperatures. As this route is also shorter and cheaper than currently used one for transporting goods from China to Europe, and is 100% verboten to the imperial navy, Chinese are also big enthusiasts of it.

  23. Eliminating the “reserve currency premium” implies the dollar is no longer welcome in foreign exchange and therefore there wouldn’t be much in the way of cross border trade until a trusted unit of account is reestablished.

    I’ve long held that the US should default on every last nickle of its debt. That might, just might teach the world a lesson to never lend money to a profligate gov’t. The US had better have those 8000 tons of gold readily at hand.

    Your use of exploiters and predators isn’t accurate IMO. US corporations freely gave away their tech for access to the Chinese market, for example. No one put a gun to their heads. That the US Fed Gov allowed this to happen and encouraged it means it is responsible for the current situation. Foreigners simply took advantage of what the US gov’t and corporations put on offer; hardly predatory.

    The primary burden for the entire country is a Fed Gov that spends too much on things the productive population doesn’t want – wars, boondoggles, welfare, inane laws that try to micro manage every facet of life, etc. We need to jettison the entire mill stone that is the Fed Gov and allow the states to set their own courses and within a short time winners and losers would be obvious. The only vote that counts is one made with the feet and the monopoly of the Fed Gov prevents healthy competition in ideas on how to govern.

    — U.S. Workers make very little.
    — U.S. Workers buy things using debt.
    — Net the value of things purchased from abroad versus the value of things exported is the ever expanding trade deficit.

    The US is in lousy shape to weather any kind of financial turmoil and is why the Fed is trying desperately to prevent the wheels from falling off the economy.

  24. Of course, the long-term game must be to liquidate all fossil fuels completely from our energy grids.

    Point and laugh, people.

  25. The Dutch were assisted by Jews, Britain (ewige Anglo pirates raided Mediterranean Catholic shipping in close cooperation with Barbary pirates and Turks) , Protestants, France (Ottoman Alliance and basing of Ottoman fleet) and Ottoman Empire during their conflict with the Habsburg Catholic Empire.

    Habsburgs basically stopped Ottomans at the height of their power – from Szigetvar and Lepanto to Siscia and Vienna.
    Arguably, Ottoman onslaught saved the (German) Protestants in the key early decades as the Emperors were pre-occupied with the Turks and damages they incurred, not to mention the case of Hungarian Lutherans and Calvinists who sides with Turks during Counter-Reformation.

    I always find myself pittying the Spaniards when looking at the 1500-1800 period and comparing it to the 1800-2020.

  26. The simplest answer to this farce could just be that this regular international air-travelling tramp Navalny was desperate to arrive in the west for either business or leisure reasons, after months of air travel restrictions .

    The western states must have been desperate to take him in – either to feed him more BS for “investigations” or just as a favour to their guy. So he either faked his symptoms ( the squealing on the plane seemed overdramatic and loud ) or him and his team may have got something to give him short term symptoms of something.

    That seems at least more logical to me than the non-possibility that Russia “poisoned ” him or that the west or Germany did it to use as a pretext to stop NS2 – because he is alive now and should “recover”(although of course they participating in the post”poisoning” stages of this farce) – a suitable pretext would only be if he was dead.

    He could still have flown normally to Britain ( I dont think Switzerland routes were back at that time) but maybe that was a non-possibility for him because of all the noise made about the Skripal incidents or 14 day quarantine. Remember that Germany have opened their border to Russia, just for this d*ckhead and his friends,since coronavirus outbreak

  27. Screw-it. Putin should cut his “trust” losses with the krazy krauts and set a deadline of Nov. 1 for the Nord-2 pipe. If it doesn’t happen, it’s time for Russia to turn off all the gas except Nord-1 and renegotiate all the gas contracts with all prices revised well upward. Russia needs to stop feeding the dogs that keep biting them. There’s money and respect in biotech…f**kin germans man.

  28. Please elaborate.

    Of course, we don’t know much, as German authorities did not provide any info for two weeks. Maybe the doctors don’t want to sign off on obvious lies, or maybe whoever organized that did not bother to invent a plausible story. Remember, in Skripals’ case the story changed several times within a week. After publications of the picture of two clowns in space suits next to a perfectly happy bobby without any protective gear British authorities did not bother inventing stories any more.

    Some things are clear, though. He was not in a coma for two weeks. Judging by his new pics, he walks and wears sneakers. Anyone who saw people after two weeks in a coma knows that the patient walks barefoot, as s/he cannot even wear slippers: anything feels too heavy. After two weeks in a coma the person’s knees don’t bend, and s/he has in essence to relearn how to walk. Thus, his prolonged coma was a deliberate lie of Charite and German authorities. Either that, or his pics are fake, and he is dead, like Skripals. Either way, the story about two weeks in a coma and those pics cannot be true at the same time.

    He was most likely poisoned on the order of his masters by one of his coterie. The first suspect in a normal criminal investigation would be that woman who lives in UK, had key to his room (lived with him there?), flew with him on the plane to Berlin, which didn’t even take his wife, and refused to answer any questions.

    Another thing is crystal clear: whatever he was poisoned with could not have been military grade poison. When chemical weapon is used, there are many dead bodies. One person can be targeted with this kind of poison only through injection. No poison was discovered in his bio-samples taken in Russia. So, most likely he was poisoned with something natural-looking. E.g., a high dose of insulin would drop your blood sugar and make you faint. There are many other things like that.

    I don’t think he knowingly participated in this charade. First, if he faked his poisoning, the doctors in Russia would have uncovered this. Second, he is too dumb to be trusted with an elaborate plot. Third, airlift to Germany (at the invitation of Kanzlerin Mutti, no less) ruined his credibility even among Russian libtards, and he has no other way of making a living.

  29. Sure, some others always assist. But at the end it is the second power itself that has to defend itself. The same pattern seems to repeat.

    There are no “Hungarian Lutherans“, none. Lutherans in the eastern half of Habsburg Empire (Hungary if you prefer) were all German and Slovak. Magyar Protestants are Calvinist. It’s true that Protestants allied themselves with Ottomans – something not to be proud off, but instead learn from.

  30. Navalny was indicted for embezzelment, fraud and money laundering and he got a suspended sentence. What if the noose was tightening again around his neck? Many other (like Browder) fled the country in time. All the circus was arranged in order to extricate him from Russia and from the perspective to spend 10 years vacationing in a state facility in Siberia, like Khodorkovsky. Plus the bonus to expand the ‘Magnitsky Act’ into a”Magnitsky-Navalny Act’.
    That would better explain the unspeakable insolence of Macron at the UNO virtual when he “warned Moscow of consequences if it fails to provide “swift and flawless” explanation on the poison attack”, like Napoleon talking to the ‘Russian peasant’ Tsar (“This clarification must be swift and flawless, as we will enforce our red lines”).
    Putin more likely warned Macron of the consequences of his insolence. You don’t talk to Russia like that.

  31. Daniel Chieh says
  32. You mean apart from the occupation troops and armed-up “neighbors”?

    Well, there is the Enemy States Clause (Art. 53, 107 and (77) of the UN Charter).
    In layperson´s terms it says Germany and Austria are not sovereign and if they do not pay through their noses (pensions for 8 million hollowcause survivors, among other things) or do anything else USrael don´t like, USrael don´t even have to go through the security council motions.

    Nord Stream 2 not inconsiderably raises the cost of holding them down 😛

  33. Putin more likely warned Macron of the consequences of his insolence. You don’t talk to Russia like that.

    A lot of people do. **** em

  34. Yep, Russians let this happen, because the West might think bad things about Russia, so Russia rather shut up. The best example of this “North Crimean Canal”. Ukraine stops drinking water for Crimea. Just for the giggles. And Russia, well it is bad, but we will make an adjustment and we will cope with this. And nothing less. Just imagine if Russia stopped water flow to Ukraine. Shouting about genocide would be nonstop.

  35. Don’t be misled, the Germans very much wanted Belarus in the EU camp, even if they don’t go about the same way the Americans do.

  36. from the same source, LifeSiteNews,

    Archbishop Viganò: Trump is ‘preparing to fight against the demonic forces of the deep state’

    looks like junk news for the Trump voting low info retards …

    if you check the doc, who “defected” she was a postgraduate student in Hong Kong University … who had “heard” things, HKU:s statement:

    Dr Yan Limeng was a post-doctoral fellow at HKU. She has left the University.

    While HKU respects freedom of expression, Dr Yan’s past or present opinions and views do not represent those of the University.

    HKU notes that the content of the said news report does not accord with the key facts as we understand them. Specifically, Dr Yan never conducted any research on human-to-human transmission of the novel coronavirus at HKU during December 2019 and January 2020, her central assertion of the said interview.

    We further observe that what she might have emphasised in the reported interview has no scientific basis but resembles hearsay.


  37. The Weimar risk can be greatly reduced by cancelling 100% of debt held by the CCP and other “trade surplus” exploiters. There is no reason that U.S. has to take any pain before the predators are 100% wiped out.

    The Chinese are hardly predators. US corporations freely entered into agreements with them to mass produce products sold by those corporations in the US and around the world – those same corporations keeping most of the value added.

    If the US simply cancels the more than 1 trillion dollars it owes China (US Treasuries) then it brings the Weimar risk closer – not reducing it. The loss of confidence would make US Treasuries harder to sell = higher interest rates, or the FED would just take new debt onto its books (printing money) which wouldn’t help confidence much either. US dollar reserve status was fully justified in the 1950’s (world’s leading manufacturer, exporter and creditor nation) but not at all in 2020.

  38. The strangest thing is this farce? For actions by the US/west on NS2/South Stream , superficially, supposed to stop Russia from eliminating Ukropia as a gas transit route and depriving it of billions of dollars in gas transit income, after all this………..Ukraine’s gas transit to Europe will be less than 25% of what it was in 1991!

    Gas transit was just over half of it’s true capability before Maidan, since 2014 western governments could easily have shown some strategic thinking and already started and finished by now organising the urgent and essential upgrading of Ukrops dilapidated Gas-transit infrastructure, they have done absolutely nothing. In a market of increased demand for natural gas, this would have given Ukrop a much better negotiating position with Russia

    Of course you can understand the west doing f**k all- Ukraine is the dumbest creature for them to exploit, these western governments suffer zero direct electoral consequences from decisions on gas policy and the economics are relatively irrelevant in scale for the GDP of western states, although the difference between revenues from reduced and maximum gas transit for Ukraine is life-changing for the population, even accounting for mass corruption.

    For Russia government, it would be impossible to wish for a better freakshow.

    Ironically, Russian government is the type that is capable of tolerating Khokholism, AND sending the maximum volume of gas to give maximum revenue to Ukrop government ( effectively funding even more Khokholism) …if the Khokhol government at least shows the ability for some practical considerations that even the Baltic states and Gruzia have shown the aptitude for.

  39. A woman who works for Bannon.

    Why am I not surprised? A liar who works for a liar. Birds of a feather.

  40. Looking at the ranking chart I am puzzled why the FSB chose to poison Navalny (1-2% approval) and not Other who has 3%. Perhaps they had serious doubts about the quality and reliability of Novichok after it failed to kill the Skripals, and decided to practice on Navalny first.

  41. Although manufacturing returning to the US would be a good thing, it won’t happen to any significant degree. The US cost of labor is way too high

    Curiously, Germany hasn’t had much of a problem holding on to manufacturing jobs despite having a labor cost at least 10% higher than the USA.

    Germany $43.18 per hour average, US $39.03 per hour average.

    Got another explanation?

  42. Of course, the long-term game must be to liquidate all fossil fuels completely from our energy grids.

    Long term game must be to liquidate laws of thermodynamics completely from our Universe

  43. So actually investing in workers can lead to their being, you know, WORTH high labor prices. That requires physical and social capital. Germany was wealthy in both but seems to be strip-mining social capital to convert, briefly, into financial capital.

  44. I’m not sure that paying a high financial price to build Wind and solar (in Germany? With no sunshine in the winter but endless clouds?) would necessarily not build some form of social capital: sacrificing material benefits for the good of “society.”

    “wir schaffen das” by contrast exploits the high social capital of a high trust society to build… a higher trust society? Do they have evidence that that works, or does it just supply more renters for the houses of German landlords?

    Germany should be a paradise for young people in terms of getting ahead.

    According to estimates by Destatis, the birth deficit, which is the difference between births and deaths, had been around 150,000 to 180,000 in 2018. In 2017, the birth deficit in Germany had been 147,000.
    A long-term decline of Germany’s population was set off by more people moving to Germany. The difference of new arrivals and departures from Germany is estimated to be between 340,000 and 380,000 additional people in 2018.
    After the extremely strong net immigration in 2015, the migration balance declined for the third year in a row and roughly reached the level of 2012, according to Destatis. In 2017, 416,000 more people moved to Germany than left Germany.

    If 180,000 more people die than are born, eventually housing opens up for them, and they can thrive by living on the capital left by ancestors. Of course, if you invite in outsiders so the population doesn’t actually decline, then here’s MORE competition for housing, further pressuring the young not to have children until they can “afford” them.