PUTLER, President for Life?

Russia’s Constitutional reforms, which I have been actively covering on this blog, took yet another turn for the unexpected yesterday.

Now my initial take had been that Putin, probably tired of 20 years at the helm*, was moving to “institutionalize” Putinism by doing things like forbidding future Presidents and senior officials from having foreign citizenships, enshrining the supremacy of Russian over international law, and creating a “senior statesman” position for himself (e.g. chairman of a more powerful State Council – though Putin ruled that out a few days ago).

However, yesterday, United Russia MP Valentina Tereshkova (first woman in space) threw a spanner into the works by proposing that once the Constitutional amendments come into force, the number of times that a President could be reelected in a row should be reset to zero. A few hours later, speaking before the Duma, Putin as good as consented, proposing to take the matter to the Constitutional Court.

So what are we seeing here? The final “Central Asianization” of Putinism? All six of those countries, as well as Azerbaijan and Belarus, have used various mechanisms to extend Presidential limits… Putin, at least up until now, had bypassed direct Constitutional interference, relying instead on the famous “castling” (rokirovka) maneuver with Medvedev during 2008-12 to “reset” his count.

Personally, I am not even against it. Across multiple issues such as free speech (decriminalization of Article 282), immigration, science funding, even the Ukraine, he has performed much better in the past couple of years than he did in 2015-18. I no longer get the impression that an upgrade to Eternal Leader status would usher in a long period of neo-Brezhnevite corruption and stagnation. As long as he continues with performing at this higher “power” level, which has recently extended to acknowledging Russians as the “state-forming people” in the new Russian Constitution, then I will be quite OK with having him at the helm indefinitely.

Ordinary Russians probably won’t have problems either. After the shock of the pensions reform, Putin’s approval rating has stabilized around mid-60% (down from 80%). Current opinion on whether he should withdraw from the governance of the country after 2024 is basically split 50/50 (46% believe he should, while 45% disagree). People are not going to be unambiguously happy about this rule change, especially since Putin has previously signaled his opposition to fiddling with the Constitution to prolong his hold on power. But the “castling” with Medvedev wasn’t exactly popular either, but it didn’t lead to a revolution or anything close to it, Western media shrieking regardless; the number of protesters never substantially broke the ~100,000 level in Moscow (a city of 15 million). Probably we will see a similar protest intensity should Putin decide to stay on past 2024.

That said, this doesn’t mean that Putin necessarily intends to rule after 2024. It merely gives him the option of doing so.

This makes sense sense for a couple of reasons:

(1) As multiple analysts have noted, including noted politologist Evgeny Minchenko, this frees up Putin to govern the country for the next three years until the eve of the next Presidential elections without political discussions being dominated by discussions and under the carpet power struggles over his successor.

(2) The “World Tension” meter has been creeping up in the past few years, and there’s no reason to think it will stop anytime soon. The 2020s look set to be a decade of radical transitions in the global balance of power, including the likely breakdown of Chimera and the Great Bifurcation, the continued rise of Far Right populism in Europe, and continuously depressed oil prices – currently by the pandemic, in a few more years, by the EV revolution. This will present both dangers and opportunities. It could well be that the international situation come 2024 will be too fraught and unstable to make a transition of power advisable. This Constitutional amendment would untie Putin’s hands in a crisis.

Putin in 2024 will still be a year younger than Trump today, and will be only a year older than Biden today come 2030. Both of his parents lived into their late 80s, as did his both of his paternal grandfathers, and almost all of their other children. Between that and elite healthcare, I wouldn’t put much weight on the probability that actuarial factors will cut his reign short, even if it were to extend all the way to 2036.

  • People who follow me will know that this has been rumored for years. OTOH, I am now beginning to suspect that it may have consciously seeded by the Presidential Administration.

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. another anon says


    According to well informed sources, Russian robotic technology advances in leaps and bouds.


    Soon, Putin’s brain will be moved to new, shiny, indestructible and unstoppable robotic body.



  3. Russia has to figure out how to transition power and repeatedly playing with the rules is not a good way to do it. Merkel has been in power since 2005, almost as long as Putin, but at least there is a transition process. A long-term dependency on a particular person makes a country weaker, not stronger.

    I do see some arguments on the other side:
    – each country should be 100% concerned only with what its people want, if Russians prefer it that way, it’s nobody’s else business
    – we are heading into turbulence, maybe having a stable point in Russia is beneficial not just for Russia, but for the world.

    But the best reason to keep Putin around is the insane hysteria he triggers in so many Russia-haters. He is more deadly than corona. Watching the likes of Fiona Hill with her pure hatred drop into despair and sadness is priceless. Plus, didn’t Zelensky just say he will invade Russia in a year? He might chicken out if he thinks Putin will stick around – that kind of entertainment only comes along every 50 years or so, let’s not discourage it.

  4. Lars Porsena says

    Unless there is a Nuclear Revolution or a Coal Revolution the EV Revolution will still have to be powered with oil.

    But crucially, Not Under My Car Hood and Not In My Back Yard.

  5. I was going to post this news in the previous thread.

    This comes after comments, I think that by Putin himself (I read it in passing) that the presidential office should indeed remain the most powerful, which I agree with. Russia must preserve the vertical power structure, or else it would open itself to exploitation by the (((West))) via grants, media buyouts, NGOs, and the like. Social division would amplify, and you would see candidates on both sides attacking each other’s ideology, and the population would split along ideological lines. After that, it’s goodbye to your country’s sovereignty.

    The Frankfurt School’s revisionism of classical Marxism proved decisive, though ultimately this will backfire and weaken the countries now promoting it worldwide (it’s already happening).

    The transatlantic mafia likes to operate in divided societies, hence why they oppose Erdogan (they are backing him now just because they fear a Turkey friendly to Russia), they oppose Orban, Putin, the PiS and anyone who builds a vertical power structure.

    I’m extremely happy with this news!

    In another news, NYT, citing “anonymous intel officials”, says Putler is weaponizing 4chan’s nationalists (“white supremacists”) to attack US democracy, LOL.

  6. LondonBob says

    Biden’s chances of becoming President have increased greatly, the senile dupe is surrounded by ardent new cold warriors. This keeps options open.

  7. Philip Owen says

    My transition from a fan to a sceptic to a critic of Putin is now complete. Even the Putler tag no longer sems ridiculous. Indeed, in terms of gathering in of the German/Russian lands, he is ahead of Hitler in terms of number of territories if not population nor proportion of the lost lands. Now add the racist terminology of the constitution and the gap closes further. Once he was a model civic nationalist. Now we are heading for blood and soil. Drang nach osten!

  8. for-the-record says

    Putin in 2024 will still be a year younger than Trump today, and will be only a year older than Biden today come 2030.

    Should be: “Putin in 2024 will still be (nearly) two years younger than Trump today, and will be only six weeks older than Biden today come 2030.”

    Trump’s age today: 73 years, 8 months, 26 days

    Biden’s age today: 77 years , 3 months, 20 days

    Putin’s age on date of 2024 elections (17 March): 71 years 5 months, 10 days

    Putin’s age on date of 2030 elections (presumably 17 March): 77 years, 5 months 10 days

  9. I wonder if it would be possible to plasticize Merkel after she dies so that “refugees” can still take selfies with her.

  10. Putin is a reasonably effective leader and it wouldn’t be the end of the world if he stuck around after 2024.

    That said I would recommend against it. Not because Putin is doing something wrong, but because he needs to demonstrate the ability to transfer power reliably and still continue on with his vision and reforms of the country. It is easier to do while you are younger – keep the new guy in line and show him (or her I guess) the ropes. I still think this will happen and somebody from the governors will get Putin’s endorsement in 2024.

    If not, Putin can grow a stem cell clone in a vat, and have him run in elections. 🙂

  11. Russian Wolfhound will protect your family against rampaging Pit Bulls:


  12. china-russia-all-the-way says

    If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself. A dependence on the people is, no doubt, the primary control on the government; but experience has taught mankind the necessity of auxiliary precautions.


    Men aren’t angels. Putin has performed well in the last 2 years. That could change drastically. Betting the country on one man is unwise. There must be a process for handing over power to create a durable system for the very long term.

  13. Swarthy Greek says

    In China coal fired power plant capacity keeps rising unabated despite the fact that Chinese ppl are leading the way in terms of EV use and travel very often by using HSR. Oil, coal and gas will keep going strong until we can get to sustained nuclear fusion. In fact I believe that once Shale goes bankrupt oil prices will skyrocket and Russia will be in a position of strength.

  14. The dilemma Russia has, as Putin stated in his Duma speech, is that Russia has had a history of – and functions best – with a powerful central leadership but that historically there was little accountability to the public which led to Revolutions which inevitably caused as much harm as progress.

    What Putin claimed to be trying to do is create a strong leader that Russia is used to, but who is popularly elected in an election with clear choices. And he wants change to come – specifically for Russia to move beyond a personality based and to a more institutional Presidency – but in an evolutionary, not revolutionary, way.

    The problem Putin has is to when you get off the carousel. Too early and the whole system may collapse, and too late and the whole may ossify leading to a bigger collapse when he inevitably steps down/dies.

    What China tried with its authoritarian model (before Xi extended it) after the Deng era (tho he himself officially was never head of state) is to set up a leadership pipeline with a 2-term 10 year limit. So while the Communist Party remained supreme, the leadership changed with regularity and was relatively transparent (compared to the Soviet Politburo). Even now Xi is not supremely powerful as is assumed: he has to negotiate with the Standing Committee. Even if something were to happen to Xi, there are capable stewards who can relatively seamlessly take over.

    Putin though has no credible number 2s. He has failed either deliberately or through circumstances, to build/promote credible successors. This is by no means unique to Russia: look at the mess Germany is in with Merkel long obsolete but yet surviving because of no credible successor.

    But Russia is far less stable, as Putin himself noted in his speech. Ideally Putin – a once in a lifetime leader (for better or worse) – would find/mentor/promote a decent successor and step out and play the role of senior statesman/mentor with clout (much as Deng Xiaoping did till up until almost his death). The excuse that Putin needs to be in charge to see through the various crises – including the escalating anti-Russian actions by the US and its vassals (which will never stop until either the US empire collapses or Russia capitulates and breaks up into easily managed chunks) – is ultimately a weak one. There will ALWAYS be crises. The US establishment and its powerful vassals will never stop in trying to undermine Russia: it’s part of the US geopolitical imperative. (The US ironically has a similar problem globally as Putin has domestically. Once the US stops trying to be an empire, it may collapse – like the USSR did. To survive, it can’t give up trying to control the world. It too is stuck on a carousel with no safe way to exit).

    Russia will be best served if Putin sets up a leadership succession pipeline like China was able to do.

  15. Regarding the subject of this thread:


  16. NYT is not amused:

    Putin Endorses Brazen Remedy to Extend His Rule, Possibly for Life

    A New ‘Emperor’: Russia Girds for 16 More Years of Putin

    Second article mentions Konstantin Malofeev, the “anti-Soros” businessman who funds monarchist-nationalist organizations.

    All the right people are whining, and that’s good.

  17. My take is that it doesn’t matter how power transfers go. In the end no matter what system you have it will either survive or fall due to quality of human capital you leave behind. And a lot of that is not up to the leader.

    Look at any great nation. They all have their share of bad and good leaders. Bad leaders come along at best of times randomly and good leaders raise national as they fall. There is no explanation outside of qualities of the people from where the leaders are drawn. So for Russians you get bad leaders and good leaders from the general pool. I haven’t seen a nation that does better.

  18. Max Payne says

    Ayatollah Putin. PBUH.

  19. Belarusian Dude says

    Imo the biggest issue with this is the ambiguity amongst “intellectuals”. Many centrist slightly liberal but very productive normies who were previously fine with or at least tolerated Putin will see the agitation of their more liberal friends as come true. Its a massive “I told you so” moment, and while I don’t think it will make true the “only low IQ boomers are left” meme pushed by Western tabloids I believe a bare minimim of 1,000 highly educated and productive individuals will leave as a result. Developers, doctors, scoentists, etc.

  20. jbwilson24 says

    ” my initial take had been that Putin, probably tired of 20 years at the helm*, was moving to “institutionalize” Putinism by doing things like forbidding future Presidents and senior officials from having foreign citizenships”

    I am quite curious about the working group discussing immigration and residency, for purely self centered reasons. (Plus I don’t want to see Russia importing third world refuse ala the EU).

    Nixing dual citizens from positions of power is a good move, one that will irk the (((goblin faced))) people greatly. Contrast Ukraine, where just about everyone in power has Israeli citizenship.

  21. jbwilson24 says

    “now add the racist terminology of the constitution and the gap closes further. Once he was a model civic nationalist”

    Oh boo hoo.

    Pakistan for Pakistanis, Saudi Arabia for Arabs, Japan for Japanese, China for Chinese… but lest a white person try to do the same thing, we have the wilting daisies coming out of the woodwork foaming at the mouth about Hitler 2.0. Yawn. Go chill out with Sebastian Gorka and the rest of the losers.

    Civic nationalism is a contradiction. Look at the etymology of the word ‘nation’; you’ll find it inherently involves common genetic ancestry. That’s why the Jews regard themselves as a ‘nation’ even though they are distributed globally. That’s why the Canadian First NATIONS use that term.

    Civic nationalism is the idiotic belief that different peoples of different ethnicities can form a stable state. Brazil, India, the late Ottoman Empire… take your pick.

    The one point I will grant you is that Russia is not really a nation. It’s an empire that spans Asia, so it is inherently multicultural. I see nothing wrong with officially recognizing the primacy of Russian culture (cough cough Israeli Jewish nation state law), but in reality it’s a multi-ethnic empire and has been so for a long long time.

  22. Putin should ban pitbulls and make wolfhounds mandatory, to cement his power, as pitbulls are the dogs of degenerates, but borzoi are the breed of nationalists.

    I’ve always been fascinated by wolfhounds, but I was reading some old annals the other day that did make me a bit squeamish of them. Some Irish chieftain died because a wolfhound ran into his leg and broke it in some horrible way.

    Of course, the Russian wolfhound is smaller than the Irish, which is probably smaller than the medieval Irish breed.

  23. There’s been some very nice developments on that front which I’ll soon blog about, but right now I’m occupied with Corona stuff.

  24. Is anybody here really surprised? This was all predicted years ago…


  25. This is not wise, if he does not plan a succession then once he is gone it will cause a big power struggle. The jews are obviously going to take advantage of this and install your typical ZOG style politician in Russia.

  26. Who would be your ideal head of state of Russia? Navalny, Yeltsin, Soros?

  27. anonymous coward says

    …historically there was little accountability to the public which led to Revolutions which inevitably caused as much harm as progress.

    To who exactly is the supreme power in the land supposed to be “accountable”?

    Before you say “the people” – your own Anglo political philosophers have pointed out that “accountability to the people” is just revolution by another name. (“Blood of patriots”, etc.)

    No, to Anglo cucks like you, “accountability” really means “accountability to special interest oligarchic groups”. Think Trump reporting to AIPAC like a naughty schoolboy at detention.

  28. Of the three that you’ve listed, only Navalny is viable (Yeltsin is dead, Soros is American). He’s certainly a tough politician whose paid the price to stand up for what he believes in. He’d be a welcome change from the current “president for life.” Relations with Ukraine would improve too, as he doesn’t hold any unresolvable bad feelings towards Ukraine, as the current schemer does.

  29. sudden death says

    In the light of current events it is completely irrelevant, but it’s not central asianiation just straight out mugabization of putinism, which is good news without a doubt. The only question remains whether chekists in RF degraded to Iranian levels of insanity and will they try to downplay epidemic in order to get voting done for those constitutional changes just as Iranians ignored their epidemic before their elections.

  30. anonymous coward says

    …a tough politician whose paid the price to stand up for what he believes in.

    A what now?

    Please do tell,

    a) What exactly did he pay?
    b) What exactly does he believe in?

  31. Jaakko Raipala says

    Maybe Putin should combine president-for-life ambition and corona virus crisis response. Set a home quarantine example by vowing to never leave the kremlin.

  32. Hello Illiterate Moron (since obviously this is the only kind of gratuitously abusive language you appreciate and no doubt get off on) – I was pretty much paraphrasing what Putin said in his speech about prior leaders not having accountability to, yes, the people. See http://thesaker.is/vladimir-putin-speech-at-state-duma-plenary-session-amendments-to-constitution/

    I said then that I did not wish to return to Soviet times. I will be straight, this remark was inappropriate because there were no elections in Soviet times. Everything was done behind the scenes, or as a result of some inter-party procedures or intrigues. There were no real elections then. Now the situation is very different. This is true. It is necessary to go and vote. This is a different situation.

    So perhaps you should go and complain to Putin that he is as you delicately put it an “Anglo cuck”.

    (I’m not “Anglo” by the way tho I’m familiar with many of the philosophical arguments. I wouldn’t presume to know where you’re from – vulgarian idiots abound everywhere: even in the highest IQ country some people have to make up the tail and evidently it’s guys like you.)

    To reiterate, Putin gave a statement to the Duma as to his rationale at to why, given his view of Russia’s history, expectation and stability he was in favor of referring to the constitutional court the idea of zero-ing out the presidential term. (In truth, he knows and everyone knows that the court will say Go Ahead.)

    MY opinion is that it’s a mistake for Putin to carry on for too long since given Putin’s OWN apparent concern for leaving Russia too soon because it may lead to instability, leaving it too late would potentially lead to a worse instability when he has to leave (by death or otherwise.). I am suggesting that if Putin was truly concerned about Russian stability he groom a successor and remain an elder statesman/mentor/backroom player while still healthy. Now it’s still possible he may do that in 2024 (provided he identify/groom/promote a successor in the next 4 years) but he just wants an option in case it doesn’t work out.

  33. I was not asking about the most practical, if you could pick anyone in world (an in the past if you want). Since you picked Navalny then why not go straight to his master Soros as the Russian leader?

  34. Rattus Norwegius says

    You mean if shale goes bankrupt. In the case that shale does go bankrupt, that is no guarantee that oil prices will skyrocket, atleast above 60$ a barrel.

  35. This doesn’t make Putin a Stalin. Not everyone ruling for life is a Stalin. Or even a Mugabe.

    The comparisons to Nazarbayev and Lukashenka are much more on point.

  36. Haruto Rat says

    The final “Central Asianization” of Putinism? All six of those countries, as well as Azerbaijan and Belarus, have used various mechanisms to extend Presidential limits…

    On a nitpicking note, even with Kazakhstan there are just five countries in xSU Central Asia.

  37. anonymous coward says

    I’m not “Anglo” by the way tho I’m familiar with many of the philosophical arguments.

    If it walks like an Anglo and quacks the Anglo duckspeak, then what is it?

    Right, a “European” cuckold!

    So perhaps you should go and complain to Putin that he is as you delicately put it an “Anglo cuck”.

    You’re right, Putin is a master of duckspeak like the best of them. He managed a long-ass speech to the Duma and didn’t actually answer the question of whether he will run for another term as President or not. A true maestro.

  38. Vaterland says

    For the real “libtard” version, it misses a Hitler inside the Babuschka with Stalin, which then Andrew Anglin and/or the Alt-Right can reblog and celebrate how “based” Russia is, because some Jews at the New York Times or Atlantic hate Major Putin. And completely ignore how much he has systematically sponsored Jewish oligarchs who back his rule. Not only the husband of his daughter, whom he made a billionaire


    but also including Roman Abramovich who was already part of the Berezhovsky and Milner cabal which looted Russia in the Yeltsin era. And replacing atheist Jewish oligarchs with Chabad oligarchs is not an improvement in my book. Maybe even worse. Although I concede that wealth is relatively more diversified and in actual Russian hands under Putin than Yeltsin.

    But if red and blue Zog finally duke it out, I am rooting for the reaper. And we are off to a great start since both AIPAC and CPAC catched the great coof.

  39. And completely ignore how much he has systematically sponsored Jewish oligarchs who back his rule. Not only the husband of his daughter, whom he made a billionaire

    They are no longer a couple, and although I initially took your view of the Jewish oligarchs still operating in Russia, I came to the view that Russia actually uses them as a life-line to the West, serving the useful purpose of allowing Russian capital and influence, and although world Jewry would no doubt welcome the toppling of Putin — their proxies are working on it but are rather impotent — they also hedge their bets carefully: because Russia is stronk, friendly with Jewry, and on good terms with Israel, I believe there will never be a major war between the West and Russia.

    Russia could even become overtly white-centric nationalistic (while still respecting indigenous Russian communities, which is a no-brainer) and recognise white democide, call it deliberate — which it is, endless talking points can be used here and they’ll resonate with a large segment of the white population — and offer refuge to e.g. Americans, and Jewry would still not let a war or serious escalation happen, as long as Russia don’t touch the JQ. Sanctions and demonization, sure, but no war.

    Think of it this way: how long will the US be able to influence global events? Could a nationalistic Russia be a long-term rival? Why would Jewry alienate a potential future host? Bear in mind that Russia already can influence events in some regions of the world, and the US is declining, with miscegenation and mass low-IQ immigration ‘eating’ the country’s potential from the margins.

    Of course, Putin & Co must be aware as to not let happen to Russia what happened to the core West, and that means keeping Jews on a leash, because Jewish outgroup hostility is real and the consequences are clear for all to see.

  40. Sure, he’s not as visible or responsible for the deaths of millions as Stalin was, so perhaps he should be viewed as a “Stalin-Light.” But certainly his lust for political power isn’t much less diminished than Stalin’s. Between “president for life” and the masquerade of being Prime Minister since 2000 he’s been either directly or indirectly running Russia already for 20 years, and now there’s talk of him ruling even beyond 2024. And there’s the matter of so many of his political opponents and journalists that have been killed or have mysteriously disappeared? I think it’s fair if I compare him to Stalin if Karlin gets a green light to constantly refer to the man as “Putler” and even in this thread refers to his authoritarian system as “Putinism.” Fair enough?


    This fellow knew exactly who Putin was and what he stood for, I’m surprised that you don’t?

  41. You can check Wikipedia for a complete short bio of him. BTW, I’m not starting a Navalny fan club nor am I heading his election committee.

  42. Oh, I suppose if my back was pressed against the wall, I’d choose Napoleon. It would be an interesting “alternative history” if Bonaparte had actually conquered Russia – what would the world and Europe be like today?

  43. anonymous coward says

    You can check Wikipedia for a complete short bio of him.

    Thanks, my man, but I’m not some sort of intertubes cook who gets all his information from the Pedowikia.

    It’s pretty obvious to any person with a functioning brain that Navalny is a paid stooge of the Kremlin, so I’m genuinely curious to hear what you think his ‘payment’ is.

    Did he miss out on a lucrative ministerial post because he got shuffled into the ‘sheeple wrassler comandante’ career track?

  44. Who will last longer Putin or Erdogan?

    On paper, Erdogan seems to have less support, but it doesn’t seem like it has stopped him so far.

  45. Lars Porsena says

    Shale oil, as far as I can tell, is just not all that expensive to operate the rigs once you have the investments already sunk. A lot of those operations can run a profit on $30/barrel or less.

    You still have all the investments to recoup, which is why a lot of shale companies are buried in a mountain of debt, and they have to pay interest too.

    But if those companies go bankrupt and are wiped out, the infrastructure and equipment does not vanish into smoke. Maybe the investors take massive losses and the companies go bankrupt, but those assets still exist and somebody is going to acquire them, and they will still be producing anyway. Bankrupting the companies that created them will not make them go away.

  46. My initial impulse is to answer more like modern France, which of course, would be a bad thing, but I’m honestly not certain if or how France would be different, if Napoleon had merely been content to rule France, without delving into the rest of Europe. My gut feeling is that it would not be any different.

  47. Swarthy Greek says

    Shale oil is a Ponzi. The fields deplete much faster than coventional oil fields and thus constant drilling is necessary to maintain production flat. Most shale firms including large operators, such as Anadarko or Occidental, have never paid dividends despite operating for more than a decade. Shale operators weren’t making money when WTI was selling at 50 $ per barrel, why would they make any now? If you believe that already unprofitable firms facing sky high capital costs and interest payments can compete with low-cost conventional West Siberian and Arabian oil, you’re deluding yourself.

  48. Incidentally, PUTLER!, who definitely reads my blog, has just used these very arguments to explain the nullification of Presidential terms.


    “The situation in the world has become less stable,” spokesman Dmitry Peskov told a conference call Thursday. He cited the coronavirus pandemic, the risks of “global recession,” numerous “acute regional conflicts” and western sanctions as among the factors that led to Putin’s decision.

    “In these difficult years, the stability of the authorities, the firmness and consistency of government have huge significance,” he told reporters. “In such hard years, some countries have taken decisions to allow the incumbent president to remain on his path into the future.”

  49. That anti white cockroach deserved what was coming to him, he sold out his nation to serve international jews such as Berezovsky. I hope this treasonous scum suffered immensely at the end.

  50. Navalny is a paid stooge of the Kremlin, so I’m genuinely curious to hear what you think his ‘payment’ is.

    Since you’re the one claiming that Navalny is being paid by the Kremlin, perhaps it’s you who should explain his exact contractual obligations and remuneration for his services? It’s too bad that Nemtsov wasn’t offered a similar contract?


  51. @Mr. Hack

    and the masquerade of being Prime Minister


    Now tell me with straight face that Medvedev wasn’t de facto president. There were plenty of cases when Medvedev openly on public dismissed Putin’s advices or objections.

    And Litvinenko death have nothing to do with Putin, you don’t know much about Russia affairs, do you?

  52. He has to stay in power or they will kill him and take his 60 to 100 billion dollars of pirated wealth.
    “President for Life” just took on a new meaning.

  53. Nobody in Russia, including fiercest opposition, believe that Putin killed Nemtsov. Stop embarrassing yourself with your knowledge on Russia. It’s painful to read

  54. Putler’s cover up reporting has little effected my opinions on the matter. The whole official Kremlin story was a sham attempt to try and deflect the real culprits of this crime from the public eye. Many within Russia mourned his tragic demise:


  55. …he’s not as visible or responsible for the deaths of millions as Stalin was

    You are a master of false analogies. It is – to put it politely – simple-minded to come up with ‘analogies’ that to any rational person make no sense. How about comparing Macron to young Hitler? If you look hard enough I am sure some ‘similarities’ exist, for one a weird sex life…we can all play this game, try to be serious…

    I am not sure what happened to that bold former bodyguard in London, but it is not what you think it was – otherwise British media would publish every detail of it after 14 years. They haven’t, that says it all, it is the dog that didn’t bark (a Sherlock analogy for you)…

  56. racist terminology of the constitution

    There is no “racist terminology of the constitution”.

    Perhaps Karlin was trolling people on this blog last week, or perhaps his relation to his new ideology, is like some wanderer of the desert, that starts to see mirages from lack of water.

    Now we are heading for blood and soil. Drang nach osten!

    Putin’s reason for “constitution amendments” (that seem to be meaningless re-arrangements of some words) was just distraction for the public, or more for journalists, so he can reset his terms, and has a potential option for avoiding a risky exit after 2024.

    The only amendment which anyone was interested about, was adding the word “god” to the constitution. So there was one amendment that was successful in distracting people from the purpose of amending the constitution (resetting Putin’s terms).

    This isn’t even real distraction – anymore than extending pension age during the World Cup – but it provided journalists on television with something they can discuss.

    Banal reality of this story or non-story, is that Putin is worried he cannot exit. Putin protected all Yeltsin, Yeltsin’s family and Yeltsin’s team, and their wealth and secrets. (Putin was part of the Yeltsin team).

    Probably the next president will do the same for Putin – however, it’s a good insurance policy to have the option not to risk this.

  57. Lars Porsena says

    Again, all the figures I have seen say they are able to cover operating costs and profit between $20-$40/barrel. That may not be actual profit, because they need to pay back the loans, and they also like to reinvest the money in new production, but it covers operating costs and then some.

    That is the biggest reason why they were not making money when oil was over $50, because they were paying down their debts and reinvesting like crazy to max out growth of production. This gets ignored by people who like to mau-mau shale, but it’s not because they couldn’t cover operating cost on the wells, it’s because they kept sinking all the profits into more new wells. The growth in production has been insane because their investors were totally on board with that.

    And again, the infrastructure is in place, the drilling machines are already manufactured, etc. So a lot of those sky high capital costs are already sunken and can’t be un-sunk. Capital might get screwed but the machinery, once manufactured, can not be disassembled and scrapped back into cash (at least not more than a few pennies on the dollar). It’s truly sunk. And it’s not like there is other uses for the equipment. So there is no capital barrier on continuing to use what, for better or for worse, capital has already payed for.

    And whether it can compete with West Siberian and Arabian oil is kind of irrelevant unless West Siberia and Arabia can produce enough to exceed total global demand.

    They certainly can compete with Venezuelan socialism, corruption and incompetence. They are not going to force Russia or Saudi Arabia out of the market but a lot of other OPEC countries are already screwed.

    The price of oil being over $100/barrel with nothing but upward trajectory at the time is what created shale oil and made those investments possible. Otherwise it would not have existed. The entry of shale oil (as well as arctic Siberian oil and to a lesser extent, tar sands) is what reformed the market and drove the price down below $50. The thing is, genies don’t go back into bottles.

  58. anonymous coward says

    This one’s easy. Navalny has a get-out-of-jail-free card, uniquely in Russian politics.

    Not even upper-level ministers are as Teflon-coated as Navalny.

  59. “Drang nach Osten” I guess would require a trans-Bering tunnel or bridge, and a change in track gauge, as well as a substantial change in the Russian fertility rate, and some way to neutralize nuclear weapons.

  60. Curmudgeon says

    Many within Russia mourned his tragic demise:

    And your point would be what?
    Millions “mourned his tragic demise” also applies to POSs like John Belushi, Prince, or Bush 41.

    In the (((Western))) press the process is the same for any event:
    1) Establish the narrative;
    2) Keep repeating the narrative;
    3) Ignore anything that detracts from the narrative;
    4) If forced to acknowledge anything that detracts from the narrative, deride the information.
    5) Repeat.

    For example, it doesn’t matter how much science or testimony from experts has come forward, Osama bin Laden ordered 19 Arabs to do 9/11.

  61. Curmudgeon says

    otherwise British media would publish every detail of it after 14 years.

    At the time of the Liventenko poisoning, Dr. Gordon Prather, a weapons testing nuclear physicist and former Reagan advisor, stated that Polonium was a proscribed material which had a fingerprint. All that needed to be done was for the UK to send a sample of the Polonium to the IAEA to identify the reactor. The UK never did that. They did however pronounce, a year or so later, that the fingerprint was from a Russian reactor.
    Most of the nuclear hysteria is just that – hysteria.

  62. I know that others said it before, but it must be said 1000 times if possible: a system dependent on only one man is inherently unstable. And speaking about a Brezhnev type stagnation:it is already here. Even if we would double the economic growth rate that Russia achieved since 2013 (sanctions came in 2014), they would not be that great,and they would not be enough to catch up with Western Europe. When US manages to grow 3% annually,from a much higher base and with tens of millions of useless mouths to feed,then you have a huge problem. It is amaizing that a country with top human capital still has a political system dependent on only one man. No matter how great that man is, he is still just a man.

  63. If you take most of the profit out of a business it has consequences. It starts with cost cutting, fewer bonuses, limiting maintenance, etc…It is also harder to take risks and expand because there is no buffer. The investors and debt-holders want to get paid, some will start bailing and cashing out. Because of fear and limited upside it will get worse. Instead of a growth industry, you end up being among the high-cost producers always worried about the next downturn. That changes things.

    I agree that by far the most hurt will be the higher-cost producers, both US shale and Canada are among them. So is Norway, UK, Indonesia, Mexico,…tons of stuff will leave the market because the costs don’t justify potential gains. But it is a slow process because of sunk costs.

    US would naturally love to force Russia out of the market. Since economic means won’t do it, they will do more and more crazy stuff, and it still probably won’t work. It never makes sense to start and escalate a fight that you eventually lose, that’s why the last 10 years US policies make no sense, other than as an emotional outburst of hatred that is slowly turning into a meltdown. It has happened before, hatred blinds people.

    The genie doesn’t have to go back into a bottle, it can shrivel up on the outside. The result is the same.

  64. In this case the hysteria is a tool. All these cases have common characteristics: an emotional set-up, highly accusatory narratives fed through the media – for all practical purposes government run when it comes to most foreign policy. Then there is a gap in evidence, witholding obvious ‘proofs’, hiding ‘witnesses’, etc… Then it gets dropped as an actual case but remains as an emotional incoherent narrative that is referred to by all the paid propagandists and generally misinformed public.

    It is not that complicated, this has existed since time immemorial, that’s how one demonizes an enemy. But referring to it, as Hack does, in the most ignorant and conformist way, really is below what I would consider Unz standards. Some people just move in very shallow water.

  65. Lars Porsena says

    I’m not sure I get your point. The US Government didn’t create fracking of shale oil, private businesses did.

    And again anyone who thinks this is going to undercut Russian oil is an idiot. They don’t have to undercut Russian oil to make a profit though. They don’t care about Russia. My point is that they are not going away under the current market dynamics.

    And yes, the highest cost producers get hit hardest by downturns. Canada with it’s oil sands pretty much falls in that basket, they are struggling right now. Some shale producers are too, there is a wide variance in the cost of shale production. But some of those producers, like I have said, can make money with a barrel of oil in the $20’s. They are not going anywhere.

    And the genie is out of the bottle because, these novel production methods are now already tested and no longer novel. A large deal of risk is gone, the output is more certain and has been established, the method is established and not experimental, and they have already engineered numerous performance gains that increase efficiency and decrease costs from where they started. In the past, shale oil, which was thought to be (hypothetically) doable in the $60-80 range, would not have ever happened if we didn’t have $100 – $160/barrel oil. But now that it’s been done, even if it was stopped, in the future it will not take more than $40 oil to restart doing it, because it’s been established and can be done in the $20-30 range. In that sense it’s out of the bottle. The other sense that it is also out of the bottle is that you already have all the infrastructure and equipment and trained personnel, so the initial capital costs are magnitudes lower as well.

    I am not arguing this with a geopolitical axe to grind, it’s not about Russia. I’m just talking realities of the oil business here. Russian production isn’t going anywhere anytime soon and neither is shale oil production.

    You may be missing my point about the profits. These companies are profitable, they just are not recording profits because they reinvesting the profits back into the businesses. In the current environment, with $32 oil, and for the last few years anyway, they haven’t been expanding as quickly and some of their investors have been finally looking to get their money back, so they’re paying back investors instead of expanding. But when we had $50 oil, the investors were all on board with the expansion. They are absolutely making money they just aren’t recording corporate profits as profits. We are talking about 10 year old companies that are either reinvesting to expand or else paying down their startup loans.

  66. Ms Karlin-Gerard says

    That is total nonsense Beckow. Does Russia need a 10.1 scale earthquake in Ekaterinburg just so to prove that it can deal with it and keep people happy?

    Russia can easily transition power- they don’t need to make a show of it whilst dumb retards like Zelensky or the possibility of the psychopathically-dumb Joe Biden come into power in other countries because of this “healthy transition” garbage.

    We have just had the exit of a guy who has been president or PM of Russia for 12 years. A largely new government. All the long serving governers replaced and mostly serving as senators now.
    Why the f**k do you not see any transition in that?
    Most importantly these are not fake, irrelevant, placebo effect changes in sh*thole countries as Ukraine…. these are highly qualified and successful state officials replacing other qualified officials who in a few cases were doing excellent jobs. Mishustin as PM from FNS, a top manager at Sberbank now governor of Lipetsk, the new Minzdrav head and many others. Ukropia is zero transition, just a new name for a freakshow circus, half controlled by the same oligarchs and their prostitutes and half by the US State department.

    Putin is in great shape and is doing an amount of work in public that shames any head of state (ignore this dumb “tired” BS and look at the work he has done since 4 hour annual press conference on december 21st upto now)

  67. Lars Porsena says

    As an old quip in the contracting business goes, when you get a job, there is good news and bad news. The good news is you got the job. The bad news is, you got the job. (Now you have to do the work).

    The point is when you are in business there is always problems. But as problems go, being too busy is the best problem to have. You say ” However, the gas industry dug its own grave with over development.” That is the best problem to have. The problem of having grown too much is better than the problem of not growing.

    I don’t see how you can think they dug their grave. They dug the grave of their growth potential? Maybe, sure. But not the grave of their business. Some people are only looking for growth. But if the issue with shale is it’s filled up all it’s pipeline capacity, it may not be able to expand, but it can continue to fill all the pipelines. That’s not dead. It’s just not growing anymore. They are still in business moving as much product as the infrastructure can handle.

    And that is the point. They are doing so well the problem is they keep maxing out the infrastructure. They can’t grow past that point without new infrastructure, but with the infrastructure already built they are not going anywhere. The pipes will stay full, they will not go empty. “Dead” is empty pipes and abandoned infrastructure, and that is not in the forecast. They have the exact opposite problem.

    There is also the fact that all these interlocking variables are dynamic. You say “Without a pipeline for delivery, gas transport costs are not viable” and “There will be very little motivation to add capacity at that price, so rigs will start going idle if the price stays low.”

    Sure, but as rigs go idle pipes have additional capacity which lowers transport costs, and if that capacity is not filled then the price of oil starts to rise as well, which stimulates new drilling.

    My point was never that they were going to grow until they consume the entire world and drive everything else before them out of business. It is simply that they are not going to collapse and disappear. They will be around, still filling those pipes and producing at least as much as they are currently already producing.

  68. Ms Karlin-Gerard says

    What are you talking about?

    Tereshkova was literally making these same points about Coronovirus and geopolitical tensions when she introduced the Bill about resetting term limits – so did some of the Duma committee heads.

    Gerard2 was saying for years that if VVP was doing a great job (clarity of what is a great job further amplified by his last FA speech and the very precisely targeted National projects)…. BUT the country was still under external threat from sanctions–of course he should carry on.

  69. another anon says

    Napoleon’s empire was one man show only, and would go down with his death, regardless of how many brilliant victories on battle field.

    Look what happened when, 1812, people for few hours believed that Napoleon was dead.



    In the small hours of Friday October 23, 1812, a man arrived, with just two companions and a wad of official-looking papers, at the Barracks of the Paris National Guard. His name was Claude-Francois Malet, and he was engaged on a project anticipating Eric Frank Russell’s “Wasp” (read my review of that if you don’t know what I mean) – to bring down an Empire single-handed.


    But it was not to be. One of Malet’s henchmen got drunk and failed to carry out his assignment, while one officer (smelling a rat because he happened to know the Senate hadn’t met) saw through the deception and managed to capture Malet rather than vice versa. From here on, it was all downhill, essentially over by midday with order restored and Empress Marie-Louise, legally Regent in Napoleon’s absence, or for his son if he had really died, finally told what was afoot. Till now, she and her child had been totally ignored by all concerned.


    But the joke quickly turned sour as the last remnants were mopped up, and the whole thing ended with fourteen executions. Even innocent officers who had acted in good faith were shot, on the grounds that even had Malet been telling the truth, it was all still treasonable as Napoleon’s son was his lawful successor. Their duty had been to cry “Vive Napoleon II”.

    This, of course, was precisely what nobody, of whatever sympathies, had made the slightest attempt to do. The Empire’s own succession laws had been totally ignored by everyone. Napoleon’s reprisals were in vain, against the knowledge that all his efforts to solidify his regime, even divorcing Josephine in order to get an heir, had been energy wasted. Even should he escape military defeat, the moment he died, even of natural causes, all his work was doomed to vanish in a puff of smoke. The Emperor, in fact, had no clothes.

  70. Well, I just threw Napoleon’ name out there to get folks to think about it. Often times at this site, I’ve read people’s opinions regarding “alternative histories”, but I’ve never seen this one broached here before? Of course all of Napoleon’s efforts in the long term were in vain and time wasted. Who was it that said:

    And I set my mind to seek and explore by wisdom all that is done under heaven. What a heavy burden God has laid on the sons of men to keep them occupied! 14I have seen all the things that are done under the sun, and have found them all to be futile, a pursuit of the wind. 15What is crooked cannot be straightened, and what is lacking cannot be counted.…


  71. Putin noticeably more tolerant than your aforementioned Lukashenko and Nazarbaev

  72. Erdogan has active opposition from liberals, as well as those who think he has mishandled Syria, Some of the latter are pro-NATO enthusiasts.

    The proposal to have Putin continue on as president has included a reference to having a popular vote on that specific. Should that vote occur in support, look for the caricature of Russians being sheep in need of a strong man.

    As the US has Trump and Biden as primary choices.

  73. Good piece on what Erdogan is facing, including a noticeable opposition to militarily opposing the Syrian government.


  74. There are many genie out-of-the-bottle all around, my point was that after the initial shock, there is an adjustment and the genie shrinks in importance.

    US Government didn’t create fracking of shale oil, private businesses did.

    True. But it is not that clear-cut, there has been a lot of support and encouragement for about 10 years by Washington. Private business takes its clues from the rulers and I am sure they were reassured that investing in shale is ‘safe’. The problem is that that reassurance can’t be honored if the markets push prices too far down.

    This is not a all or nothing, there will always be shale oil production in US, the question is how much. As of today, it looks like less than one would estimate 6 months ago. Unless Russia blinks or Saudis are told to tow the line, there will be losses in the shale industry. One can see it from the silly belly-aching articles in the business media saying that all will suffer, that Russia is open to a deal. What if they are not?

  75. Boswald Bollocksworth says

    “ It could well be that the international situation come 2024 will be too fraught and unstable to make a transition of power advisable.“

    Vladimir Vladimirovich is healthy, he’s at the top of his game in my opinion, despite your blasphemies that he’s “senile”. Maybe his reaction time is a little longer than it was 25 years ago, but his crystallized intelligence at playing the game of “Boss of Russia” is probably near all-time high. Russia will not be able to reliably find a better national CEO than Mr.Putin. He should stay on for one more term anyway and take it from there. This is the lowest risk move. He’s really done a brilliant job.

  76. Digital Samizdat says
  77. another anon says



    Boomers love to say that they were “promised” flying cars, by some shit science fiction they were reading in childhood, and love to whine that they were somehow “cheated”.

    I was promised giant robots.

    It is year 2020. We are in the future. Where are giant robots?

    Keep your shit flying cars, i want giant robots!

    Because what can be more cool than GIANT ROBOT?




  78. another anon says


    Hitler’s brain is gone for good, but Soviet scientists preserved Lenin’s brain.


    Mayakovsky’s brain was taken to a brick building called the Brain Institute, which was founded by the Bolsheviks in 1928 as part of the effort to canonize Lenin. Lenin’s brain joined those of other proclaimed geniuses in a “Pantheon of Brains,” which displayed the Soviet Union’s finest minds in glass cases. The institute went on to dissect the brains of dozens of famous Soviets, including those of Sergei Eisenstein, Maxim Gorky, and Joseph Stalin. The brain-cataloging continued all the way until 1989, when the fall of the USSR put an end to this peculiar experiment.

  79. Karlin might be able to complete the picture as to the viability of freezing Putin’s brain? I’ve been able to locate a map of his brain that might shed some light on some of his questionable moves:


  80. another anon says

    Karlin might be able to complete the picture as to the viability of freezing Putin’s brain?

    Freezing brains is state of art, well understood practice.
    The minor details of unfreezing, reviving and installing them into gigantic robot bodies still need some work.

    But Russians keep their enthusiasm for transhumanism and brains, and are working on it.



    First cryonics corporation in Eurasia, where you can get your brain frozen for mere 28,000$.
    Its a bargain!


    How it works in practice (10 years ago, I hope today the procedure is more advanced)


    Trigger warning: death of family member, brains

  81. Outside events are the driver

    Does W Europe go into recession/stagnation, elect Le Pen in 2022 and maybe another nationalist gov’t in Core Europe?

    Does a Democrat in the White House massively increase the NED subversion budget, and directs Silicon Valley to assist.

    Do Venezuela and Iran erupt into full scale insurrection given the virus and oil collapse?

    The deciding battle isn’t in the Kremlin, it’s in the American Midwest.

  82. Cornelius says

    Let’s hope so. Dimitri couldn’t be trusted. He wasn’t from Russian intelligence. And he loved product. I’ve seen pictures of him with tacky running shoes, expensive watches. Putin seems somewhat disinterested in this. He has a nice watch. I believe Putin is likely a zealot. I don’t believe Dmitri is a zealot.