That there is no perfect defense. There is no protection. Being alive means being exposed; it’s the nature of life to be hazardous—it’s the stuff of living.

  • 11 Posts
Joined 1 month ago
Cake day: June 9th, 2024


  • Apologies for bringing that up, it was indeed uncalled for. You were being tactful and respectful.

    I strongly disagree with the notion that hate is not inherently inside russia’s population. I would even go as far saying russia, as conceptualized by the overwhelming majority of the population, cannot exist without imperialism, chauvinism and genocide (i.e. extermination of local culture/language in any occupied territory as well as physically killing and torturing those who disagree).

    Earlier in our thread you brought up a sociological report on a small town (on the eastern side of the Urals?), I read a preview article (in russian) about this report. The findings in the preview are damning for russian society. Even those who are not committed supporters of the invasion still believe the invasion should continue and they support “their boys” as a matter of patriotism and national pride. They also don’t think the full scale invasion was a mistake (let alone the annexation of Crimea and invasion of Donbas - although this my speculation). Furthermore, they also support making the war effort more efficient.

    And this is supposed to be the more moderate wing of russians society. Something like 1.1 million russian men have directly taken part in the invasion of Ukraine (since 2014). Maybe 1.5-1.7 million civilians have personally taken part in the occupation of Ukrainian territories (I am excluding say “tourists” visiting occupied Crimea for the sake of argument). You also have 10s of million of russians who hold openly genocidal views (I believe 30% of russian think Ukraine should be nuked).

    Russians will be hated in Ukraine for at least two generations (if not for far longer) because russian society as it is today is largely supportive of their government’s imperialist and genocidal aims. More so, there is no reason to believe this will change (even on the basis of a conceptual model).

    How exactly would there be any political change in “five to twenty years”? What specifically can happen (on a purely theoretical level)? Why would it happen? What are the roots of this change?

    And why do you say no longer than putin’s lifetime? What would stop someone similar (or worse) from taking over after putin dies? The russian people aren’t going to do anything and they show no interest in changing anything. You might say this is because of threats to their livelihood (fair, but who is responsible for this state of affairs?) or propaganda. I would say it’s because fundamentally the overwhelming majority of the russian population are aligned with imperialist and openly genocidal goals of the government.

    What of the russian opposition? Have they started a campaign to develop a military strike force consisting of russian nationals? Sabotage programs? Assassination campaigns against senior enablers and admin of the regime? Of course not, instead they make stupid youtube videos trying to scapegoat the current situation on some people in the 90s. Why would the average russian choose what is essentially “putinism lite” (I will note that the “liberal” opposition largely supported the annexation of Crimea, even if they tried to put a spin on it for western audiences) when they can choose the real thing?

    I will go back to my original OP. The qualitative and quantitative evidence very much supports the notion that the overwhelming majority of russians are authoritarian, chauvinistic and support imperialism and to some degree genocide too. This is not because of historical essentialism or some of “bad gene”; these are bunk theories best left for crude jokes (fully justified considering the situation). It is because as things stand now (and I will speculate this won’t change in the next ~50 years), the vast majority of russians have a made a choice; they believe invading neighbouring countries and genociding the local population (both direct violence and to turn them into “russians”) is a good thing.

  • What other states have recognized NK/Artsakh as independent or part of Armenia? What’s Armenia take on this specific issue?

    I am going by memory, but hasn’t Armenia itself not recognized Artsakh as independent and legally they consider it to be part of Azerbaijan? If this is correct, does that mean the Armenian government is also complicit in genocide of Artsakh Armenian, or how does this work? Or did I get this wrong?

    Ukraine wants to invade NK/Artsakh? Come on now…

    You have a completely wrapped perception of the Ukrainian government’s and public’s view on NK/Artsakh.

    I just hope you just aren’t aware of reality and are not wasting my time with this…

  • I of course didn’t mean to imply that a strong majority of russians are interested in the destruction of only Ukrainians. The russians hate the Baltic nations with a passion (particularly “liberal opposition-mind” emigre russians) and others nations too of course. There is enough hate to go around.

    Regarding, the quantitative side, I have read several Russian Field reports, for the latest one that I can access (May 23 to June 2) the results speak for themselves. Regarding non-response, there are methodologies such as list-based polling that can at least partially address this issue. The results once again align with what I mentioned earlier, albeit with a relatively small estimate for preference falsification (~10%) that moves the spectrum from an overwhelming majority (70-80%) to a strong majority (60-70%). To be honest I’ve given up using quantitative results as an argument, I find that any and all polling (no matter what methodology, topical focus) will always be dismissed unless it portrays russians in an innocent light.

    History does not define a group of people. But there is also the matter of the timescales. 100 years? Sure, but almost everyone alive today is likely going to be dead by then. 30 years? 50 years? I have a life to live. Historical essentialism is the domain of professors living in NATO countries who do not have to deal with russians outside of sociological research, conferences and the academic equivalent of shitposting online.

    A complex evil can indeed happen anywhere; there is nothing unique about russia in that sense. It can and has happened in Ukraine too (and not only in the 20th century). However, there are also practical consideration; reality if I may call it so. Uruguay is not going to land its marines in southern India and force locals to eat their steaks and send them to a torture basement if they refuse. Botswana is not going to send its navy to blockade Malaysia in order to strangle their economy.

    And with respect to russia, the reality is that the non-central city that you reference will always (in our “collective” lifetimes, not necessarily for the next trillion years) choose the path of evil. Some might do it because they need money, other might do it due to conformism, another group might be very excited about seeing their country expand and exterminate the local language and culture. Some might simply not really care, they have their own things to worry about, right? But the practical, on-the-ground outcome will be that this town (just like all russian towns/cities/villages) will always be a source of evil for the countries that have the misfortune having russians as their neighbours.

    And if you think I am being emotional or whatever (I’ve held these views since 2014, many Ukrainians were uncomfortable with my argumentation; all before Feb 24th of course), I will ask you to answer the following question:

    Since my argumentation is allegedly based on historical essentialism, a misinterpretation of quantitative data, a biased view of qualitative data, a lack of empathy for russians (perhaps even understandable in your view), how and when will russia change from its current state?

    With respect to the “when?” question, I will literally take anything other than “sometime in the future”, next 10 years? next 50 years? next million years?

    The “how?” is the more impactful question. If a strong majority of russians are not genocidal imperialists, then it would make logical sense that russia would stop with its genocidal invasions, no? So how will we get to that point?

  • Outside of the political sphere, life in russia is nothing like in NK.

    I am aware of the such protests and of public condemnations that result in jail sentences and even acts for sobotage.

    Realistically, there are three options 1. Do nothing (understandable) 2. Leave the country (not available to all) 3. Join rebel forces and/or engage in sabotage (this takes a lot of bravery, and people have dependents). [1] is the only realistic option for most.

    That being said, I never claimed that the situation for those russians who oppose the full scale invasion (and genocidal imperialism in general) is not dire. Nor did I claim that every single russian is a genocidal imperialism.

    I did claim that at least a strong majority (if not an overwhelming majority) are genocidal imperialist and provided some high level points with respect to quantitative and qualitative approaches.

    I strongly disagree that my statement is a simplification and I tried to explain why.

    Your welcome to say I am wrong or claim that the current situation is influencing my thinking (don’t forget, in my OP I did mention that I lived in russia for 10 years, this was before the invasion of Georgia) but you can’t say this is just a quick simplification; “a stereotype driven by a stressful situation” or something like that.

  • I disagree. While my statement did not include any kind of elaboration. This is not a simplification.

    At the very least a strong majority (and I am being conservative) support the annexation of Ukrainian territories and elimination of Ukrainian culture and language in areas under occupation. On the quantitative side this is confirmed by various polling initiatives that use different methodologies (including in-direct polling with attempts to estimate preference falsification).

    On the qualitative side, you can look at genocides committed in the last ~100 years by the russians (and there are several, includes less well known ones) and review the attitudes towards these crimes among various socio-political groups (not necessarily in a purely quantitative manner).

    I have one interesting anecdote. Currently among the “liberal” russian opposition there is a big debate around a 3 hour YT series about the 90s in russia.

    One bit topic that was completely excluded was the actions of russians in Chechnya; the creators (Navalniy’s organization) said it was out of scope.

    During their intervention in Chechnya in the 90s, they killed approximately 5% of the civilian population; it would be like if 7.5 million russian civilians were killed.

    Don’t get me wrong, a relatively small % of russians would openly admit to that they support extermination of Ukrainian identity (still 10s of millions). But even among the reminder, there is a strong undercurrent of supremacism, a desire of expansion that de facto is support for genocide.

  • There is different people in different countries. No question about that. And free information channels are definitely very important. My argument is that in the case of russia, this factors don’t really come into play in a meaningful way.

    Information channels even after the full scale invasion are available and easy to access, it was less restrictive before Feb 24 2022, but the difference is somewhat marginal. Access to information isn’t going to magically change the imperialist, supremacist mindset of the overwhelming majority of russians.

    It’s not an access to information problem, it’s a social and cultural problem. I’ve lived there for 10 years (in addition to living a decade in north america and many years in asia), the imperialist/genocidal mindset has survived 3 regimes (Tsarism, USSR, authoritarian capitalism) with very different technological currents and economic structure profiles. It’s not going away just like that.

    Full disclosure: I am Ukrainian, but I would argue you can come to the same conclusions by taking a critical look at their history, current attitudes (even among the “liberal” opposition) and broad worldview.

    Just wanted to share my thoughts. Re-reading my posts, I think I come off a bit more pushy than I wanted to.