Time to move to…Russia?


Boy, Russian propaganda isn’t subtle at all. Move to Russia because they have Christianity, beautiful women, fertile soil, no cancel culture, and vodka.

I approve of this message. All right-wingers who love Putin — move to Russia now. You won’t regret it, and neither will we.

Meanwhile, back in reality, Russia has been successful in taking the Eastern parts of Ukraine, but the steamroller seems to have stalled out and is facing renewed combat from Western-supplied forces.

It’s the perfect time to move to Russia and help replenish their invasion forces! Their propaganda seems to be targeted explicitly at stupid young men, you know. Winter is coming.

Comments

  1. Reginald Selkirk says

    0:07 Beautiful women

    Video of two girls who can’t be more than 10 years old.
    Apparently the target audience is pedophiles.

  2. says

    If that’s a real advertizement, it’s a bizarrely bad one. “Beautiful women” while showing two underage girls? And “don’t delay, winter is coming” sounds a lot like “be sure to get here in time for our famous Russian winter!”

    Either it’s aimed at really stupid right-wing men — you know, the kind who voted for a child-rapist with an East-European trophy-wife — or it’s a mocking invitation to INVADE Russia and see what happens.

  3. birgerjohansson says

    It is time for the left to take over the slogan “America- love it or leave it”.
    We should subsidise emigration to Belarus and Russia.

  4. René says

    The only person I know of defecting to Russia, is Gérard Dupardieu, for übercapitalist reasons.

  5. Reginald Selkirk says

    @6 – Don’t forget Steven Seagal. Probably also for tax avoidance reasons.

  6. René says

    I’m within my claimed one spelling mistake per post. The (ugly) bastard is still googlable though.

  7. raven says

    In Realityland, Russia is a terrible place where the Russian people themselves are leaving.
    Since the start of the Russian invasion, 300,000 Russians have left. They tend to be the young and well educated who can actually leave for better places.

    Wikipedia

    Following the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, more than 300,000 Russian citizens and residents are estimated to have left Russia by mid-March 2022 as political refugees and economic migrants, due to a desire to evade criminal prosecution for exercising free speech regarding the invasion.

  8. René says

    @7, Reginald. I have seen the name Steven Seagal pass my screen. Never knew who he was, or is. Should I be interested?

  9. raven says

    Since Putin took power, 5 million Russians have emigrated.
    The number of Americans who have immigrated to the dysfunctional dictatorship is low. It appears to be…Steven Seagal, a right wingnut former actor. This was a win-win for both the USA and Russia.

    5 Million Russian Citizens Left Russia Under Putin https://www.themoscowtimes.com › News

    Oct 13, 2021 — Five million people have left Russia during the 20 years of President Vladimir Putin’s rule, according to a study published by the …

  10. Artor says

    René, only if you have a morbid fascination with train wrecks. Seagal used to be a martial arts action movie “star.” He’s a bad, bloated joke these days, and a close friend of Putin.

  11. René says

    Thanks, Artor. Definitely (one of the most difficultly-spelled words of the lingo) not interested.

  12. raven says

    Until Russia invaded Ukraine, it was as far as many or most of us were concerned, nowheresvile. We rarely thought about it and didn’t care about it. This whole idea that NATO was going to invade Russia was just cuckoo wrong. The problem with Russia is that it is full of Russians. No one wants it.

    Since then, a lot of us have learned a lot about both modern Russia and Ukraine, out of both necessity and watching the current major world event, the Russian attempted genocide of Ukraine. I don’t see much good about Russia.

    .1. It’s a Soviet Union style dictatorship. The secret police, Gulags, executions, Siberia exile, etc.
    .2. Human life is cheap and meaningless there.
    If it is convenient for someone with money and power that you die, you are dead.
    .3. Their education system for children has collapsed.
    When they became a Petro oil and gas state, the leadership decided they didn’t need very many educated people who might vote against the ruling party so they stopped paying attention or spending money on children.
    .4. Drug and alcohol use is very high.
    A large percentage of the population is born with fetal alcohol syndrome, which among other problems causes low IQ problems.
    .5. Fascist economic model (limited access, oligarchies) and no Rule of Law.
    These can be stable but they don’t go anywhere.

    I could document these assertions but am not going to bother. It would take up too much time and room for a blog like this.
    Objectively, Russia is a terrible place to live with huge numbers of problems that they have no interest or ability to solve.

  13. Tethys says

    I strongly suspect that anyone who whinges about supposed cancel culture is not a person who would be interested in ballet. The cars don’t have spare parts, due to those sanctions, but it’s great that Russia has plenty of fuel.

    Come to Galts Gulch, where gas is cheap, winter lasts 6 months, and we just love vodka and leering at girl children.

    Of course, all over Russia you can find statues of Lenin that alter his eyes to hide his Asian ancestry, so its telling that the photo of the three girls (with obvious non- Russian appearance in traditional ethnic dresses) was chosen to illustrate ‘cancel culture’.

  14. raven says

    I could say something similar about Ukraine.
    “Until Russia invaded Ukraine, it (Ukraine) was as far as many or most of us were concerned, nowheresvile”
    I could find Ukraine on a map and that was about it.

    Since then, I’ve learned a lot about Ukraine.
    They come off looking far better than the Russians.

    .1. Ukraine has an ancient, deep, and varied culture. It varies within the country by a lot.
    .2. Ukraine is a modern westernized nation, with indoor plumbing, electricity, computers, cars, internet, etc.
    They get much of their electricity from 15 nuclear reactors. We in the USA still struggle to get nuclear power to work well.
    A lot of the accomplishments of the old USSR were actually Ukrainian.
    .3. They have a long history of suffering from Russian aggression and massacres.
    During the Holodomor, Stalin’s famine, 4 million died of starvation.
    The Russians always say they lost 25 million during WW II. 7 million of those were Ukrainians.
    Plus more massacres here and there.
    .4. The Russian soldiers are guilty of countless war crimes and crimes against humanity. Last night they uploaded a video of them castrating a Ukrainian soldier prisoner.
    The Ukrainians soldiers seem to be following the Geneva convention a lot more closely
    .5. Ukrainians seem to have a fondness for companion animals, that is cats and dogs.
    The current saying is:
    Ukrainians rescue cats and dogs.
    Russian soldiers eat cats and dogs.
    (During the invasion, the Russians ran out of food and started killing and eating people’s pets.)

    I’m sure there are negatives as well but my overall impression of Ukraine and Ukrainians is positive.
    The slang name for Russia these days is “Mordor” and their soldiers are “Orcs”.

    .

  15. F.O. says

    Adam Something mentions that the ad is not what it seems to be:

    This of course isn’t a real promo for prospective immigrants. This is an attempt to appeal to far-right oriented isolationist voters, to put pressure on Western governments in order to ease sanctions.

    https://www.youtube.com/post/UgkxQvl_gIACit9HX_AiaZ3Izpy0WVOZt14T

    I think it makes far more sense than Russia actually using it to encourage immigration.

    (Then again, if someone reads it and likes it enough to move there, I’m all for it…)

  16. Tethys says

    I note that the ‘fertile land’ appears to be treeless steppe, which is best suited to growing horses and other arid grassland grazing animals.

  17. heffe7 says

    They forgot to add “Freedom of speech”! Haha. Meanwhile their police arrest people holding up blank posters to protest the Ukraine war (ahem.. special operation).
    I think F#cker Carlson from Fox news should take advantage of this opportunity to move! He loves the fascists in Hungary… he might as well sleep in Putin’s bed!

  18. raven says

    Russian soldiers branded ‘cannibals over video ‘of Ukrainian …https://uk.news.yahoo.com › russian-soldiers-cannibals-…

    2 hours ago — Footage of a Ukrainian solider being castrated by Russian soldiers has emerged online as the war continues. (Telegram/Reuters).

    Latest news from Russia, uploaded by Russian soldiers. (I’m not going to watch it, fair warning.)

    The classic move that sums up Russia was their occupation of Chernobyl. The soldiers dug trenches in the Red forest, called the Red forest because most of the fallout from the reactor meltdown landed there. It is a dangerously radioactive place.

    The soldiers had never heard of Chernobyl despite it being known worldwide for its nuclear disaster. They had no idea of what a nuclear reactor meltdown was or what radioactivity is. Mostly their soldiers are from the hinterlands, almost illiterate, and might have an excuse for their ignorance.
    Their officers didn’t know either though.
    Reportedly after a few weeks they left and many of them are suffering from…radiation sickness.

  19. drew says

    Why move to Russia? Well if you’re an American, the US empire is on the decline. And it looks to be a sharp decline. Russia is the R in BRICS, the alliance of countries with about half the world’s population and about half the world’s GDP. It looks like the 21st century is their century.

    But those details were probably cut to include little girls instead.

  20. Tethys says

    I wonder how many Westerners recognize their example of “delicious cuisine”? Boiling something outdoors over a fire is usually classified as camping in America. Cuisine requires a kitchen stove.

    I’ve been eating Russian pancakes (blini/crepes) my whole life, though never with salmon caviar.
    It’s a common peasant farmer food wherever chickens and dairy cattle are raised, since they are mostly eggs and milk with a bit of flour.

  21. Reginald Selkirk says

    @22 Why move to Russia? Well if you’re an American, the US empire is on the decline. And it looks to be a sharp decline…

    That’s right, the USA is becoming more like Russia. Partially due to the efforts of Russia.

  22. sprocket says

    I’m actually disappointed it’s real. I would have thought that was the second coming of SCTV.

  23. says

    I enjoyed my brief visit to Russia in 2007, especially my encounter with “freelance police” who shook me down for $100 – an AK-47 and a kind word, etc.
    Cop: “if you do not pay fine we throw you in Lubyanka”
    Me: “you can arrange a tour? I’m excited!”

    Apparently the cops don’t get paid so they just shake down tourists, which doesn’t bother the other Russians because they hate tourists.

    Meanwhile, I was staying at the Hyatt regency, and the lobby was draped with expensive whores, and the sushi bar was full of gangsters pigging out while guarded by big guys in leather coats, buying champagne for the women. There were 2 pro forma Lamborghinis parked out front blocking the traffic.

    At the conference the next day they had a fancy luncheon for the speakers and journalists and the food was immediately devoured by the mob of journalists. It was an impressive scene.

    I had some of the worst food I have ever seen at Moscow airport. It was inedible and I survived on peanut m&ms for 2 days until I got to Zurich.

  24. Tethys says

    What US empire is the troll referring to? We haven’t annexed any country by force since Hawaii sometime in the mid 1800’s.

    The economy is doing well, despite the minor issues we are having due to dependence on foreign oil supplies. Thank Russian attempts to extort the west via fuel supply for pushing the US into investing in modern green power generation infrastructure and (hopefully) better mass transit.

  25. raven says

    Russia decriminalised some forms of domestic violence in 2017, with supporters saying this allowed parents to discipline their children and cut state meddling in family life. Today, beating a family member in Russia is classified as an administrative offence and generally punished with a fine.Apr 14, 2021

    Crime and what punishment? Russian women pin hope on domestic …https://www.reuters.com › article › us-russia-women-dom..

    Russia abolished a lot of laws against domestic violence against children and women in 2017 for no apparent reason.
    They also have…a domestic violence problem, no surprise.
    It doesn’t look like a good place to be a woman or child.

    Russia also has a high rate of human trafficking, both for labor and sex purposes.

  26. says

    Why move to Russia? Well if you’re an American, the US empire is on the decline.

    So what? It’s not like Russia is on the rise.

  27. flex says

    @27 Tethys,

    cough Philippines cough 1898 to 1946. It didn’t take, but we certainly tried as hard as the other imperialist powers to make it stick.

    Not that I agree with the troll, but American imperialism isn’t that long ago.

  28. springa73 says

    Russia seems to me to be a country with enormous potential that has always been cursed by corrupt and authoritarian governments, regardless of their official ideology. On the other hand, Putin’s government seems to be genuinely popular with the majority of the Russian population, so sometimes the bad governments get a lot of support (something that’s hardly unique to Russia).

  29. Tethys says

    @31flex

    True, but I’m limiting the comparison to invading Hawaii, and using force to remove its actual head of state in order to declare ownership.

    Getting Spain’s colonial territories as part of restitution for the Spanish-American War is an entirely different form of imperialism. Political imperalism?

    The Philippines does provide a stark example of the xtian white male supremacy which underlies Imperialism and Colonialism. Silly heathens always need to be saved from hell, and coincidentally, controlling or profiting from their own natural resources.

  30. birgerjohansson says

    OT
    The “successful” deal with Manchin is just 25% of the build back better plan.
    So in Democratspeak, a 75% defeat is a “success”.
    .
    Check out coverage of Jon Stewart reacting to the Republicans blocking the PACT act.
    We need politicians with that kind of passion.

  31. hemidactylus says

    Steven Seagull is no actor. He specialized in brutal aikido moves and dissing Jean Claude van Damme. van Damme was slightly less worse of an actor and made two more movies worth watching than Seagull: Cyborg and Bloodsport (featuring Forest Whitaker). At one point van Damme had a physique. Seagull never did. Neither were all that great. But Seagull hated him some van Damme. van Damme was mostly indifferent about the beef.

  32. says

    “име́ем картошка”

    Russian self-promoting propaganda in one sentence. “We have potatoes.”

    A thing that in itself is ordinary, made to sound extraordinary. I suspect the propaganda is not meant for non-Russians, but for Russians.

  33. Matt G says

    It used to be that getting sent to the Russian Front was a powerful threat. I see that hasn’t changed….

    I remember reading a statistic ~20 years ago that 50% of Russians die drunk. Not that they necessarily died FROM being drunk, just that they were drunk at the time of their death.

  34. birgerjohansson says

    Van Damme was capable of introspection, like in the film JCVD.
    I can respect him for that.
    .
    Russia?
    Poland is sending tanks to Ukraine, and the points that make them better than the Russian ones.
    https://youtu.be/T_m5Bvb1rD0

  35. birgerjohansson says

    The Russian military has a very brutal hazing system that cobtributes to the corruption- the senior soldiers beat and shake down the younger ones for money to vodka and drugs, and do the same to the civilians, often kidnapping locals in Chechenya for money, often selling their own equipment to the guerrilla.
    The brutality extends to the upper ranks, it is like the Imperial Japanese army that way.

  36. birgerjohansson says

    OT
    The actor Bernhard Cribbins – well known by British TV viewers- passed away yesterday at 93.
    He is the guy who gave Basil Fawlty a beating, among other things.

  37. Allison says

    Helge @37:

    “име́ем картошка”

    Russian self-promoting propaganda in one sentence. “We have potatoes.”

    (My cut-and-paste apparently fixed one problem with the Russian.)

    Is this really a saying from Russia? The grammar is, to say the least, odd. It would have to be “картошкы” (картошка is nominative singular, not accusative plural.)

    IANAR (I Am Not A Russian), but AFAIK, the idiomatic way to say this would be: “У нас есть картошкы”

  38. Allison says

    (It looks like something doesn’t understand combining accents characters.)

    име́ем is actually имеем with an (unnecessary) acute accent.

  39. Tethys says

    I admit that Russian style borscht and pan fried potatoes with dill are both delicious. Neither one of them would induce me to move to Russia, since recipes work no matter where you live. It seems like a fairly self-deprecating claim if it really is a Russian saying.

  40. pwdm says

    Interestingly Russia is already in 4th place worldwide for the number of immigrants it accepts (USA is still #1). [See the World Population Review]

  41. raven says

    Search only for list of countries by number of emigrants world population review

    Top 10 Countries with the Highest Number of Emigrants (Former Residents living Internationally) – United Nations 2020:
    India — 17.9 million.
    Mexico — 11.1 million.
    Russia — 10.8 million.
    China — 10.5 million.
    Syria — 8.5 million.
    Bangladesh — 7.4 million.
    Pakistan — 6.3 million.
    Ukraine — 6.1 million.

    Russia is #3 in the world in the number of emigrants leaving the country.

    A lot of Russian immigrants are…Russians. As part of the Russian strategy to take over the other SSR’s, they would move out the native population and move in Russians. (Which is exactly what they are doing now in Ukraine by the millions.)
    Now that the other countries are independent, the Russian population has been filtering back to Russia.

  42. Reginald Selkirk says

    Many Russians are recently immigrating from Ukraine to Russia – in body bags and medical transports.

  43. laurian says

    How do we get this video aired in every Evangelical church in America? Perhaps we should subsidize those who want to go. Sort of an American Colonization Society program for white people.

    A fellow can always dream…

  44. Alverant says

    Oh there’s cancel culture all right. Talk about how awful the war in Ukraine is going and how Russia is committing war crimes by targeting civilians. That will get you canceled faster than posting the meme of gay Putin.

  45. John Morales says

    Every instinct I have indicates this is probably a parody, though maybe just trolling.

  46. says

    Fyi, on yt there are some very funny reviews of Seagal’s latest movies, including the super sniper movie in which he does not move during the entire movie. They appear to have a stunt double go down 2 flights of stairs. Also, Seagal cannot hold a rifle correctly. And the dialogue sounds like someone jabbed Trump with meth and had him write a script. It’s so bad it’s almost good – but, unfortunately for Seagal it achieves “bad” and is too lazy to move from that position.

  47. ondrbak says

    Allison @42
    I am a Russian speaker.
    “Картошка” doesn’t really have a plural form in Russian. Hence “У нас есть картошка”. If you want to refer to a single potato the word is “картофелина”, which has a plural form “картофелины”. But nobody would say “У нас есть картофелины” to mean “we have potatoes”.
    And even if you wanted to construct a plural form of “картошка” it would be “картошки”, not “картошкы”. I don’t think the “кы” combination of sounds appears in any Russian word. That’s one of the differences between Russian and Ukrainian. Ukrainian has plenty of words with the “кы” sounds.

  48. lasius says

    @Tethys

    “I note that the ‘fertile land’ appears to be treeless steppe, which is best suited to growing horses and other arid grassland grazing animals.”

    Look up “Chernozem”, that steppe soil is about the most fertile soil you can imagine. Incidentally Ukraine is also covered in it. Ever wonder why so much grain comes from there?

    @raven

    “A large percentage of the population is born with fetal alcohol syndrome, which among other problems causes low IQ problems.”

    Nothing like dehumanising your enemies.

  49. raven says

    @raven

    “A large percentage of the population is born with fetal alcohol syndrome, which among other problems causes low IQ problems.”

    Nothing like dehumanising your enemies.

    Nothing like ignoring the truth.
    Russians dehumanize themselves. You haven’t even bothered to read this thread or much of anything about this war.

    Russian soldiers branded ‘cannibals over video ‘of Ukrainian …https://uk.news.yahoo.com › russian-soldiers-cannibals-…

    2 hours ago — Footage of a Ukrainian solider being castrated by Russian soldiers has emerged online as the war continues. (Telegram/Reuters).

    This is what dehumanizing looks like.
    This video was produced and uploaded by…Russians.

  50. raven says

    How common is fetal alcohol syndrome in Russia?
    According to published data, the prevalence of FASD in children from Russian orphanages is estimated to be between 30% and 66% [7]. A total of 90% of Russian women at fertile age consume alcohol and up to 20% continue to consume it during pregnancy.Feb 3, 2021

    Prevalence of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD … – NCBI

    Here is another fact for Lasius to ignore.
    About 50% of the children in Russian orphanages show Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Disease. This data is from Russian sources. This is very high. And, Russia has a high number of children in orphanages for social and cultural dysfunction reasons.

    This is a subset of children, those in orphanages. But it is still a reflection of the population at large.
    It is not a stereotype that Russians drink a lot.

  51. lasius says

    I do not deny that fetal alcohol syndrom is a problem in Russia (although that rate is higher in orphanages than in the general population everywhere in the world). However, your points are used by right-wingers across the net to basically depict Russians as slant-eyed subhuman orcs (hey you even used the term yourself). I don’t think you want to be associated with those people.

  52. indianajones says

    It was that last bit ‘Hurry up cos Winter is Coming’ that got me. I mean an obvious GoT reference, and even there it refers to an inevitable coming of something that is gonna be damn near apocalyptic. What other wintery type apocalypses could we be referring to here? One that could solely be caused by one Vladimir with an itchy trigger finger? That read as a pretty explicit threat to me….

  53. hemidactylus says

    Sadly the Russian people are as much a victim of Putin’s kleptocracy as Ukraine. Tropes about drinking problems have been used against Irish. I too enjoy drinking so…

    Not much into vodka (not shaming) or liquor in general. I prefer Canadian whiskey if I do drink liquor.

    The US has an opiate problem as perhaps does Russia. I had seen something horrific about krokodil in Siberia years ago.

  54. raven says

    For those few fans of reality and data.

    What Research Is Being Done on Prenatal Alcohol Exposure and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders in the Russian Research Community?
    Svetlana Popova, Aleksandra Yaltonskaya, Vladimir Yaltonsky, Yaroslav Kolpakov, Ilya Abrosimov, Kristina Pervakov, Valeria Tanner, Jürgen Rehm
    Alcohol and Alcoholism, Volume 49, Issue 1, January/February 2014, Pages 84–95, https://doi.org/10.1093/alcalc/agt156
    Published: 23 October 2013 Article history

    Abstract
    Aims: Although Russia has one of the highest rates of alcohol consumption and alcohol-attributable burden of disease, little is known about the existing research on prenatal alcohol exposure (PAE) and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASDs) in this country. The objective of this study was to locate and review published and unpublished studies related to any aspect of PAE and FASD conducted in or using study populations from Russia. Methods: A systematic literature search was conducted in multiple English and Russian electronic bibliographic databases. In addition, a manual search was conducted in several major libraries in Moscow. Results: The search revealed a small pool of existing research studies related to PAE and/or FASD in Russia (126: 22 in English and 104 in Russian).

    Existing epidemiological data indicate a high prevalence of PAE and FASD, which underlines the strong negative impact that alcohol has on mortality, morbidity and disability in Russia. High levels of alcohol consumption by women of childbearing age, low levels of contraception use, and low levels of knowledge by health and other professionals regarding the harmful effects of PAE put this country at great risk of further alcohol-affected pregnancies. Conclusions: Alcohol preventive measures in Russia warrant immediate attention. More research focused on alcohol prevention and policy is needed in order to reduce alcohol-related harm, especially in the field of FASD.

    The tl;dr version.

    PAE= Prenatal Alcohol Exposure FASD= Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorders
    .1. Although Russia has one of the highest rates of alcohol consumption and alcohol-attributable burden of disease,..
    .2. Existing epidemiological data indicate a high prevalence of PAE and FASD, which underlines the strong negative impact that alcohol has on mortality, morbidity and disability in Russia.

    Those who like to throw trivial insults around should feel free to call the authors of this paper anti-Russian bigots.
    They are…Svetlana Popova, Aleksandra Yaltonskaya, Vladimir Yaltonsky, Yaroslav Kolpakov, Ilya Abrosimov, Kristina Pervakov, Valeria Tanner, and Jürgen Rehm. I’m sure they will find it amusing.

  55. Tethys says

    Lasius

    Look up “Chernozem”, that steppe soil is about the most fertile soil you can imagine. Incidentally Ukraine is also covered in it. Ever wonder why so much grain comes from there?

    What a stupid comment. Ukraine is far south and west of the treeless Russian steppe. I’m sure they grow wonderful grain, which is why rat bastards in Russia want their land.

    Incidentally, my farming ancestors immigrated from near Melitipol, so I’m well aware of what we grew there.

  56. raven says

    From the paper above FYI.

    Russia has one of the highest rates of alcohol consumption in the world. According to the Global Burden of Disease Study (2010), alcohol use is the second leading risk factor contributing to the disease burden in Russia (Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, 2012).
    and
    To conclude, the existing PAE and FASD research underlines the strong negative impact that alcohol has on mortality, morbidity and disability in Russia (Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, 2012; Lim et al., 2012; Neufeld and Rehm, 2013).

    The medical researchers in Russia know they have problems with alcohol.
    They need more money and attention to deal with this that they aren’t going to get. It all got spent on tanks sent to Ukraine to get blown up a few days later.

  57. hemidactylus says

    @59- raven

    Who is denying the tragedy of fetal alcohol syndrome in Russia? People have problems there not least of which is their poster boy for term limits. But: “The problem with Russia is that it is full of Russians. No one wants it.” …seems a wee bit over the top.

  58. birgerjohansson says

    If we are talking about bad news, be aware the new omricon variant is spreading despite yhe summer.

  59. lasius says

    @Tethys
    “What a stupid comment. Ukraine is far south and west of the treeless Russian steppe.”

    The “Wild Fields” of southern Ukraine after which the entire country is named is just the westernmost extension of the Ponto-Caspian steppe, most of which is located in Russia. There is no division between the two except for a man-made border. It is the same biome as the “treeless Russian steppe”. It also has the same soil. In fact, the treelessness is what produced these high quality soils. Check the interesting map in this article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chernozem

    “which is why rat bastards in Russia want their land.”

    That might be one of the reasons, yes.

  60. HidariMak says

    René at 10: “I have seen the name Steven Seagal pass my screen. Never knew who he was, or is. Should I be interested?”

    ‘Citation Needed’ is a podcast which takes a humourous deep dive into some of the content from Wikipedia, and they did cover Steven Seagal in one of their episodes. As bad as you heard Seagal is in all aspects, in reality, he’s an even bigger joke. https://www.citationpod.com/steven-seagal

  61. Tethys says

    The treelessness of the shot with horses which they chose to illustrate Russian fertile land is the crucial detail. You might note that there are no fields of grain. Just hills and grass because it’s semi-desert, and the growing season is too short.

  62. lasius says

    Those treeless steppes have the most valuable soils in the world and are extensively used for agriculture. So the clip was completely right in that regard. The growing seasing is also not particularly short, it’s just a bit dry. Imagine the Great Plains of North America which were also largely converted to farmland.

  63. KG says

    A large percentage of the population is born with fetal alcohol syndrome – raven@15

    Your link @59 doesn’t really support this claim:

    The reviewed studies suffer multiple methodological limitations and weaknesses outlined in the results section and thus, should be viewed with appropriate caution. Despite the limitations, these studies demonstrate a high level of alcohol consumption among Russian women of childbearing age, a low level of contraception usage and an especially high proportion of pregnant women with a pattern of heavy drinking. Based on these findings, it is conceivable that the prevalence of FASD is likely to be high in the general population of Russia.

    The present systematic literature review revealed that only a few epidemiological studies reporting the prevalence of FASD exist. However, the reported figures are not generalizable to the general Russian population due to the methodological limitations of the studies (e.g. conducted in small communities with small sample sizes, or conducted among special populations). Valid population-based epidemiological studies are needed to examine the prevalence of FASD in both the general population and populations likely to be at high risk of PAE in Russia.

    tl;dr: “More research is needed”.

    Russia is the R in BRICS, the alliance of countries with about half the world’s population and about half the world’s GDP. It looks like the 21st century is their century. – drew@22

    “Up to a point, Lord Copper.” According to this source, most of the BRICS’ GDP is China’s. Combined, the BRICS have a little more GDP than the USA – which is a long way short of half that of the world (the EU’s GDP is not far short of the USA’s). Figures differ somewhat according to whether you measure nominal GDP, of PPP (Purchasing Power Parity) GDP; according to the latter, both China and the EU have higher GDP than the USA, but in either case, the BRICS are currently well short of 50% of global GDP. The IMF has apparently projected that the BRICS will have over 50% of global GDP by 2030, but it’s pretty obvious most of that will be China’s, and a large slice of the rest, India’s. Russia’s GDP will remain piddling in global terms.

  64. René says

    I was tempted to post:

    I’m glad I do not live in Ravenvile, I’d be embarrassed for life.

    I decided against it.

  65. StevoR says

    FWIW. Alcohol abuse by, y’know, people and its impacts including fetal alcohol syndrome is a thing in most nations globe wide. Yes, some are worse than others but I don’t think it helps to single any one nation out as particularly unique in that regard.

    Of course, when your country is in economic,political and cultural trouble and life is hard and future gloomy & where (maybe parts of Europe aside) isn’t that the case these days. Escape and self-medication through booze is pretty much a human constant and very understandable if unwise.

  66. StevoR says

    @ ^ René :isn’t allvodka made from potatos by definition?

    Like all sake is rice “wine” .. ?

  67. hemidactylus says

    Oh dear gods I’m rethinking my abstention from liquor now thanks to that podcast about Seagull that HidariMak posted. I warn you not to click on this. Some things cannot be unheard:
    https://youtu.be/PLZY7WufOwA

    If Sly Stallone is to be believed van Damme had finally had enough of Seagull’s crap and confronted him twice in one night. van Damme corroborates and does an impersonation of Sly:
    https://youtu.be/xMo7Ip8bjQ4

  68. Rich Woods says

    @Marcus Ranum #26:

    Cop: “if you do not pay fine we throw you in Lubyanka”
    Me: “you can arrange a tour? I’m excited!”

    I spent four days in Moscow in 2005, doing the usual tourist thing. I was careful to always carry a couple of ten-dollar bills in one back pocket and a couple of ten-euro notes in the other, in case I got hassled by the police.

    I visited the Kremlin and Red Square one day, then went into GUM to grab a meal. Going out the front I wandered around the back streets then turned into another square, facing an impressive building made from red and yellow stone. I stood there for a few seconds before I realised what it was: the Lubyanka, the notorious Cheka/KGB/FSB headquarters. I wish I’d known they did tours, but all I did was take a photo and leave.

  69. birgerjohansson says

    Maybe the Russian leader should not be regarded as Putler.
    As all the Russian military victories under his rule have been against much smaller, weaker adversaries I suggest we rename him Puttolini.

  70. birgerjohansson says

    “A true gravy seal ”
    “I love how he never puts the stock against his shoulder when he shoots”
    Also, there is an 80 year old colonel.
    Wearing sunglasses is good for looking through an optical scope.

  71. lumipuna says

    indianajones at 57,

    I think PZ meant that any young man sympathetic to Putin/Russia should personally join to reinforce the Russian army, which is being slowly ground to mincemeat in Ukraine, both physically and psychologically. If the war grinds on into next winter (as seems increasingly possible), conditions in the field will soon be even more miserable and demoralizing than currently in summer, and any fresh cannon fodder will be sorely needed.

    Meanwhile, us EU folks are nervously preparing to get through the next winter’s cold without energy imports from Russia, as it seems Putin may try to extort us with an energy embargo. We should really quit paying for Russian gas and oil anyway, but we apparently can’t unless Russia forces us to do so.

  72. Tethys says

    Lasius-The growing seasing is also not particularly short, it’s just a bit dry. Imagine the Great Plains of North America which were also largely converted to farmland.

    I don’t need to imagine the Great Plains, as that’s where my family (Swabians who were experts at dry land farming) immigrated to after being evicted from the Molatschna, Kherson, and Bessarabia. I was born there and spent every childhood summer at the family farmstead.

    Latitude is key to the length of your growing season. Moscow (and the treeless region where those horses were filmed) are significantly farther north than Kherson and North Dakota.

    Regardless of fertility, you don’t grow wheat on semi-arid hilly grasslands, you practice animal husbandry. The Great Plains and Russian steppe are both too cold for viticulture.

  73. lasius says

    Moskow is far north of the Eurasian steppe belt, which is at about the same latitude as Ukraine or Germany, with Kherson being located in the southern area of the steppe belt. Bessarabia is part of the steppe too on that note and check all the agriculture they’re doing there.

    The Russian Ponto-Caspic Steppe, just like the Steppes of Ukraine, are extensively used for agriculture as you can easily check on google maps.

    https://www.google.de/maps/@47.8044911,42.1304546,277043m/data=!3m1!1e3

    They would be fools not to do this as this is, as I have repeatedly said, the most fertile soil on our planet. Some more hilly regions are not suitable for agriculture (though the soil is still amazing and often removed to be spread elsewhere) and used for animal husbandry as you said.

    Once again you have no idea what you are talking about but keep doubling down.

  74. lasius says

    And yes, the steppes of Russia are at about the same latitude as the Dakotas. And as far as I know in the eastern parts of the Dakotas, within the Great Planes they do extensive agriculture.Am I wrong?

  75. Tethys says

    My ancestors were specifically invited to come to the Russian Empire to raise their new German wheat that resisted blight, and German red cattle. I really have no interest in arguing over Russian propaganda, the finer points of sustainable agriculture, or geography at 55 degrees north latitude.

    There are zero fields of any crop in that shot of horses running on treeless land, no matter it’s fertility.

  76. Tethys says

    The northern border of the USA is at 49 degrees, except for a chunk of Minnesota.

  77. Tethys says

    @lasius
    Moscow is @ 55 degrees north. Since latitude determines the length of your growing season and the cold determines what plants you can grow, it’s pretty easy to figure out that Ukraine (and the eastern Dakotas) have better fertile land and a climate that yields three crops of grain or oilseed per season, rather than one.

    Those horses aren’t running on land that is suitable for growing crops, so I don’t see why anyone would repeatedly defend propaganda about the fertility of said land. The hilly terrain with very few stunted trees is typical of far northern latitudes like Estonia.

    Sure Russia has fertile land that can grow crops, but Ukraine, Canada and the US all have better land with longer growing seasons, higher yields, and far less fascism.

  78. indianajones says

    Lumipuna @ 81. I was only talking about what the last few frames of the video said ‘Don’t delay, Winter is coming’.

  79. indianajones says

    Anyway, I am kind of reminded of the best tourist song ever produced by my home land. Won’t put a link cos trigger alert for spiders and snakes and stuff but Come to Australia by the Scared Weird Little Guys is a fun 70 seconds on youtube.

  80. lasius says

    Seriously Tethys. I think I am about done with you. Your uninformed opinions make me think you are a troll. This will be my last post.

    The treeless steppes shown in the video are in the southern part of Russia, far south of Moscow. Even though the hilly terrain may prevent agriculture, which it might not do and they just showed a protected area for the beauty of the landscape, the soils are still the most fertile on the planet, which is all they said in the clip. Maybe you are confusing the fertile steppes show in the clip with the frigid tundra to the far north, but the two couldn’t be more different, except for the lack of trees in both biomes.

    Estonia and similar northern latitudes are covered in lush forest, which gives way to boreal taiga (imagine the forests of Canada) a bit further to the north. I know this since I just was in Estonia two weeks ago and by actually knowing shit about the biomes of Eurasia since I do biogeographical research in the area.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eurasian_Steppe#/media/File:Vegetation-no-legend.PNG

    Check this map of Russia and see the yellow parts in the south? That’s the treeless steppe you keep talking about. It’s south of Moskow or Estonia and at the same latitude as Ukraine or the Dakotas. Due to the Gulf Stream it has longer growing seasons than North Dakota and the better soil. Which is why it’s extensively used for agriculture. The yields are among the highest in the world. These are all easily checked facts which I have told you again and again, yet you keep spouting your uniformed crap.

    The treeless steppes ouf southern Russia are incredibly fertile land, the intent of the clip nonwithstanding. The Pontic steppes of Russia are biologically no different from the steppes right across the border in Ukraine and are equally suitabe for crops. Russia produces about twice the amount of wheat as the US or Canada, thanks to their fertile chernozem, and it’s all grown in the steppe as you can see on this map:

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/10/WheatYield.png

    You don’t counter propaganda by lying about facts yourself.

  81. Tethys says

    @lasius
    I would appreciate it if you would stop posting multiple paragraphs, prattling at me about fertile land. I don’t care how fertile it is, it’s in fascist frozen Russia.

  82. beholder says

    The repeated insistence that chernozem does not exist really made my day.

    The reality-impaired could do with a quick overview on Wikipedia, but you know they won’t bother.

  83. KG says

    WTF do some people feel the need to inist that everythnig about Russia is, and always has been, utterly useless/hopeless/depraved/incompetent/whatever? There’s plenty that’s actually wrong with Russian political culture, economy, environmental irresponsibility etc., quite apart from the murderous, fascistic invasion of Ukraine, so there’s really no need to invent stuff, or double down on your ignorance when it’s pointed out. I’ve come across quite a bit of this on Daily Kos, with idiots insisting that Russian military history consists entirely of failure against any but the smallest of enemies, and that nothing worthwhile has ever come out of Russian culture, and now it crops up here. sigh

  84. says

    @Tethys – On the subject of the U.S. as an empire, I think you’re being confused by a change in tactics.

    It’s not a “traditional” empire (i sometimes call it a pseudo-empire), but i think it still counts.

    It has military bases in other countries around the world, for one thing. For another, it has followed the model of Colonial empires in forcing poor countries to produce raw materials for the benefit of wealthy nations.

    This economic domination(backed by military domination) has been obfuscated in two ways.

    First, Capitalism shifted political power to Capitalists, protecting it from democracy and and making it less transparent. This is where you get ahit like Coca Cola hiring death squads to deal with unionized factory workers.

    Second, the U.S. doesn’t clothe its regional security forces in its own uniforms. It props up local authoritarians who can claim to represent tgeir people, and who guarantee the flow of goods as well as – or better than- an occupying force. We also train and equip their personnel (see SOA/WHINSEC, Iran/Contra, etc.)

    The U.S. is and empire. It functions to control territory and economies for the benefit of its ruling class, and it will brutally crush any challenge to its interests.

    It only seems different because it’s operating within a context and ruleset that hide what it’s doing.

  85. KG says

    #96
    On this theme, I recommend Daniel Immerwhar’s How to Hide an Empire: A Short History of the Greater United States. The last section explains how changes in transport and communication technologies make a traditional empire in which large foreign territories are conquered and held an unnecessary political and economic expense: an extensive network of military bases, underpinned both by those technologies and by cultural hegemony, works much better.

    Of course, up to the turn of the 20th century, the USA was a traditional imperial power, conquering territory from American Indian and Pacific nations and communities, Mexico, and Spain (as well as buying it from France and Russia). Immerwahr also explains how this expansion came to an end not for military reasons, but because only two out of the three political desiderata of republicanism, white supremacy and imperial expansion could be combined – as the problems of dealing with the territories taken from Spain demonstrated.

  86. F.O. says

    As all the Russian military victories under his rule have been against much smaller, weaker adversaries I suggest we rename him Puttolini.

    I approve of “Puttolini”.

  87. KG says

    Further to #98, the American Empire is however not quite as innovative as Immerwahr suggests. Both the Portuguese and Dutch empires initially consisted of multiple small bases underpinned by new transport technology (ships capable of open-ocean travel) and communication technology (printing of texts and maps); and the British Empire in India was founded by the capitalists of the East India Company – and early capitalists also played important parts in the growth of other European empires.

  88. birgerjohansson says

    China is following the lead of USA, striking deals with third-world dictatorships in Africa and Asia.
    Note how the deal-making made the Saudis, Pakistanis and other muslim places totally sell out the people of Xinjiang as their millennia-old mosques are bulldozed and the people sent to concentration camps.
    China is simultanously a traditional empire and a pseudo-empire.
    .
    It differs from the domain of Puttolini because 1:Although the corruption is immense it has not been allowed to increase to a scale where it threatens the Party.
    2: The scale of violence is very stalinist- totally overwhelming. While there are pockets of relative freedom, groups that are seen as a threat simply cease to exist.

  89. Tethys says

    I never said chernozem doesn’t exist sock puppet. Dumbass people trying to turn a joking comment into a running argument is just weird. I am weary of hearing about the wonders of fertile soil and Russia.
    I. Do. Not. Care

    The only thing Russia has that I want are the village records, family books and the titles to our farms, which they still hold after 120 years.

    @Abe Drayton

    It’s not a “traditional” empire (i sometimes call it a pseudo-empire), but i think it still counts.

    No, it doesn’t count because America isn’t invading anybody to take their country.

  90. says

    @Tethys – The US has invaded MULTIPLE countries in recent history, for the purpose of installing governments that would do as they were told.

    Is it really that different just because the land isn’t controlled by the US on paper? All it is, is a more efficient way to get the same results – the country you conquered serves the interests of the ruling class of the empire. Why do you think countries like Iran and Venezuela have been under siege for years? Because the capitalist puppet governments were overthrown, and the oil rights and refineries those puppets virtually gave away were taken back.

    This feels like saying something doesn’t “count” as war because it wasn’t officially declared.

  91. Tethys says

    While I agree that America has done plenty of sketchy things under ‘foreign policy’, that simply isn’t the same as the empire building era of Britain. Spain, France, etc

    Russia is currently attempting to take Ukraine via a brutal invasion. America’s history in the Philippines is not particularly relevant to the current situation, though the justifications for colonialism have not changed since Rome introduced the concept to Europe. It’s always racism and greed.

  92. says

    So – the US invades countries and chooses governments for them, for all the reasons traditional empires were formed, but because it’s not literally U.S. uniforms on the forces of those countries, you think it’s wrong to call it an empire?

    Again, that seems like an odd thing to insist on.

  93. beholder says

    @102 Tethys

    sock puppet

    I’m flattered that you think some other person wants to boost their message with my shitty hot takes, but I can assure you I subconsciously repeat propaganda and stale memes on my own, thank you very much.

  94. jrkrideau says

    That clip is so good that the producer did not notice that it says “Ukraine” on the Hammer and Sickle. The rest seems to meet this same exacting standard.

    @ 42 Allison
    I wonder where whoever-it-was got got that “Russian”. Even Google Translate gives me
    у нас есть картошка.

  95. KG says

    While I agree that America has done plenty of sketchy things under ‘foreign policy’, that simply isn’t the same as the empire building era of Britain. Spain, France, etc – Tethys@104

    The USA did its empire-building in the last part of the 18th century and through the 19th century, in the guise of “manifest destiny”. This involved dispossessing and often slaughtering the existing inhabitants of much of the current contiguous US territory, as well as grabbing considerable chunks of Mexico, bits of the Spanish empire, and the independent state of Hawai’i (which, BTW, was annexed in 1898, hardly “the mid-1800s” as you suggested @26). I’d say the main way in which this differed from the contemporary imperialist expansion of Britain and France (Spain’s period of imperial expansion had mostly ended by the start of the USA’s) is that the USA still holds most of the territory it conquered.

  96. consciousness razor says

    On this theme, I recommend Daniel Immerwhar’s How to Hide an Empire: A Short History of the Greater United States.

    Adding to that, although it hardly covers everything, you can get a decent sense of US imperialism just from glancing at the table of contents on pages 3-4 of Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War IIthe whole text in PDF, 472 pages. The first edition was in 1995, but there have been a few more revisions up to 2014.

    Over fifty chapters covering different foreign policy episodes, which were “sketchy” (to put it way too mildly). We could hardly be more imperialistic unless we finally caved and gave someone the title of emperor.

  97. hemidactylus says

    If we think we have it better than the besieged democracy loving Russian oppositionists (who we should cherish) wait until after the midterms. Things may go south quickly for us too. They are a canary in a coal mine. For me Putin’s reaction to the Kukly puppet parody versus how our SNL and other shows have plenty of space says it all.

    The biggest difference may have been how Putin was able to parlay the apartment bombings given Russia’s fragility then. Dubya/Cheney surely coopted 9-11 but even after the previous Bush v Gore fiasco we still had some resilience. And term limits plus truish oppositional elections. Now given the precedence of Jan 6th and a rogue SCOTUS perhaps not so much. Slip sliding away…

  98. NitricAcid says

    I think the “Winter Is Coming” bit might be meant to reinforce the “cheap gas” comment earlier. “We’ve cut off the gas to Europe, so Europe should get ready to freeze, while we stay toasty warm!”

  99. says

    “I really have no interest in arguing over Russian propaganda, the finer points of sustainable agriculture, or geography at 55 degrees north latitude.”

    You did until you lost the argument.

    “I never said chernozem doesn’t exist sock puppet. ”

    Fuck but you’re an intellectually dishonest asshole.

  100. unclefrogy says

    the objection to europe and NATO helping out Ukraine is kind of weird and maybe just a little bit disingenuous , What kind of friends would we be if a friend asked us for help repelling an invasion and we said gee that’s tough your on your own?
    Some day and I hope to see that day there will no longer be this old rotting Russian empire which has always been led by corrupt often brutal autocrats will be gone and replaced by some number of messy some times chaotic democracies.

Leave a Reply