Kamil Galeev Profile picture
Mar 1, 2022 50 tweets 18 min read Read on X
The War in Ukraine in American context

In such a polarised country as the U.S., Russian invasion of Ukraine was immediately weaponised by the opposing political forces and became a basis for mutual accusations. Some of these accusations sound very reasonable 🧵 Image
Critics of current administration often accuse it of naïveté. Which might be true. Consider this NYT article. If true, it's horrifying. That would mean they view China as a constructive partner rather than as a malevolent adversary who would do *anything* to topple the U.S. down Image
And yet, position of this critics, all around the Anglosphere, is way crazier. They admit there are powerful, violent and malevolent forces who pose risks to their countries. And what do they suggest? They suggest pandering them. Because if you don't pander, you might get hurt Image
That's the single most suicidal logic in the world. It may be unclear on the international level, but it's obvious on individual one. Let me tell you about social structure and dynamics of Russian prison. The lowest position in the hierarchy is reserved for pariahs, the "cocks" Image
What defines a cock? First, he must sleep by the toilet, parasha. Hence a punchline "I hear a voice from parasha" you use to destroy your opponent's argument, by suggesting he's a cock. Ofc, a cock will be raped by anyone. There's other stuff Twitter might block me for describing Image
Now, how do you become a cock? Largely by consenting to it. Ofc nobody would ask you directly "wanna be a cock?" and nobody would ever agree. Agreement is given implicitly, step by step, by acting nicely, reasonably and avoiding confrontation. Which "moves you down" in hierarchy Image
Formally, the process is very legalistic. The Law of Thieves, gives a looooong list of taboos (sexual, etc) and if you ever broke them, that's a reason to be moved down. But - there are two problems. First, *everyone* in prison broke them systematically. And everyones know that Image
Second, how can they know what you did before jail? They can't. Unless you tell them yourself, admit it. Then you're done. So they'll use schemes, threats, pressure to get you confession and move you done. Hence nice friendly talks in prison are not friendly, they're malevolent Image
So, if your cellmate asks you about your life, great answer is:

- With which purpose are you asking? С какой целью интересуешься?

That's great cuz:

1. You show you're aware of his malevolent intentions
2. You refuse to cooperate or to show your cards
3. You counterattack Image
You're not only refusing to explain yourself, but demanding HIM to explain himself. If you explain yourself at his demand, you accept that he has right to question you. You made a concession. And he'll demand new one, by asking additional questions. Then others join
Every concession you made, every question you responded to, marks the new boundary you *yourself* recognised. You make a retreat. And why would you retreat, if you were not stupid, craven and absolutely guilty? A 100% cock Image
There are two valid theoretical frameworks for the cock problem: idealism, and realpolitik. In idealistic paradigm, the more you explain yourself, the stronger evidence they collect to move you down. Realpolitik-wise however, concessions = sign of weakness and thus the way down Image
If you just made a counterattack: "With which purpose are you asking?", you would not only reject his right to question you, but assert *your* right to question him. He can back off. Your status up, his down. Or if he's dumb, he'll start explaining himself. A certain way down Image
Then why don't people make this strong, obvious counterattack? Well, exactly because it is a counterattack. It *is* escalation and they don't want an escalation. Are they insane to quarrel with this violent, unpredictable guy? It's a prison after all, he can hurt them Image
The way done is usually consensual. You act nicely, reasonably as a responsible stakeholder in the prison community. And this is exactly how you end up a cock. Meanwhile, the guy who toppled you, doesn't want to look rational. He will project violent impulsive unpredictable image Image
Proponents of "reason" forget that every theory and every approach has its limits of applicability. The same with presumed "reason". It works only as long as your rivals want a constructive partnership. But if they're malevolent and strive to topple you down, that's suicidal Image
Do they want to work out a constructive partnership or to destroy you? Let's be honest, you know the answer. This guy didn't *really* believe his cellmates are his friends. He was scared and rationalised his fear through self-delusions. His niceness was another name for cowardice Image
How is relevant to the ongoing conflict. To start with, Russian ruling class is no stranger to this culture. They actively hang out and do "business" with mafia Image
They act like mafia - here you see a parade of alumni of the FSB academy. Federal Security Service is as their chief told "the new nobility" of Russia and the very elite core of the regime. They own the country Image
And they are mafia: that's an attorney of the city of Obninsk. Nobody really hides anything Image
Furthermore. If we think in higher orders, every violent, chaotic society developed a culture of irrationality also called a "honour culture". In Appalachians, Scottish Highland, Caucasus, people were absolutely ready to kill and die for abstract concepts such as honour. Why? Image
Because it's evolutionary stable. Idiots dismiss the culture of honour as "irrational". Meanwhile in given circumstances that's not only the most rational, but the only possible course of action. There are tons of malevolent actors around and you *must* scare them off to survive Image
Cultures of honor naturally develop *wherever* there's no higher power to impose the rule of law. That proves it's the only evolutionary stable strategy under these circumstances. The more unpredictable image you project, the more cautious the malevolent actors will be Image
There is a fundamental flaw with this "reasonable approach" when dealing with malevolent actors. Let's assume you prioritise not getting hurt and everyone knows it. Then malevolent actors know you'll make any concession. Because at every single moment standing up is too risky Image
If every single confrontation is too risky and thus a concession from you is guaranteed, then a malevolent actor will purposefully design a confrontation and get a concession. Which you will give because otherwise you can get hurt. Then again. And again. Until you are moved down Image
The honour isn't a burden. It's a shield that protects you from the malevolent actors. If your honour prohibits you to give concessions and the malevolent one truly thinks so, he won't make demands. Furthermore, if he thinks you are unpredictable, he'll be afraid to provoke you Image
The confrontation is not a kinetic conflict. It is a social game built on mythos, beliefs and psyops. Malevolent powers purposefully project unpredictable image to scare you into submission. They pretend to be determined, unbending, uncompromising so there's no point in resisting Image
That's just a compensation for the most part. Consider this invasion of Ukraine. Putin declared he's launching this attack to do a regime change and "denazify" it and called for negotiations the next day. He didn't expect resistance and started to looking for way out immediately Image
Russian social media look pretty funny. One of my favourite comments with tons of likes is kinda "keep calm, you don't really think Putin would do this without clearly understanding the consequences and what to do next?". That's the unironically loyalist position right now
In a sense Putin made a mistake declaring his invasion of Ukraine. In Georgia and in Chechnya he claimed to be beating off the aggression or the "provocation". That was BS ofc, but he denied responsibility for the escalation. And now he admitted it himself, publicly, willingly Image
That will be disastrous for him not regarding the world public opinion, but regarding his reputation in Russia. Why did he declare it's *he* who started the war? Because he expected 100% win and was PR-maxing. Thus he proudly assumed responsibility for the guaranteed victory Image
But now the victory doesn't look that guaranteed. And even the loyalists are telling each other to keep calm, cuz the national leader surely knew what he was doing. But with every day, with every new sanction, with inevitable hyperinflation, they'll be questioning this assumption Image
Consider the following. Typically such regimes fall after a small victorious war they initiated and lost. Again, typically they were absolutely certain they would win and thus attacked. For this reason the defeat brings huge disillusionment and destroys the legitimising mythos
For example the key factor of the fall of Russian Empire was the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905. That's how Japan was portrayed in the war propaganda. A tiny country, puppet of foreigners, no match to our great forces Image
Imperial hubris looks striking. Japanese were portrayed as subhumans, yellow slant-eyed macaques who will 100% be beaten both on land Image
And on sea. Just trust the plan, emperor surely knows what he's doing Image
After all rationally speaking a tiny Japan can't be a match for the great Russia Image
But the effect of this propaganda was double-edged. The more effort was invested, the more people believed in the assured victory of this lower race, the greater was the disillusionment from Russian defeats, both on land, and on sea Image
Konstantin Balmont's poem "Our Tsar" shows how a defeat in small victorious war delegitimised the monarchy

It starts with "Our Tsar is Mukden, our Tsar is Tsushima", locations of the lost battles and ends with the prophecy of Tsar's execution. Which is exactly what would happen Image
Interestingly enough, Russia didn't technically suffer a military defeat. Yes it lost battles, but it could carry on very long - Japan would run out of people first. But in order to carry on, you need a mythos. And it was destroyed. Tsar became weak, ridiculous, "a cleaning rag" Image
Firstly, unrests with socio-economic demands started. Of course they were suppressed (see the Bloody Sunday of 1905) Image
This sparked armed rebellions all around the country, most importantly in Moscow which was the second biggest city after St Petersburg. Moscow totally went out of control Image
Worst of all Potemkin battleship rebelled. Navy was the most loyal force and now it started going out of control. This makes sense. Power is mythical in nature and once the mythos is gone, power is gone too. Any misconvenience (in this case rotten meat in soup) can spark a revolt Image
Although the army and most importantly the Imperial Guard didn't rebel, Tsar wasn't quite sure for how long. Officers are reliable but are the soldiers? He had to work out a compromise. 17 October 1905 he agreed for the Parliament and for Constitution. Absolute monarchy was over Image
But it was too late. These reforms could potentially lead to a compromise if they were done willingly and much, much earlier. At this point it became crystal clear that Tsar was weak and pathetic. He would never allow ant border political participation unless forced to it Image
Meanwhile, when forced he backed off and gave concessions. What does it mean? It means anyone can scare him to whatever. He's timid, fearful, pathetic. He shouldn't rule. In 12 years empire was gone, because both army and the Guards refused to suppress another revolt Image
Let's sum up. International conflict is not a kinetic clash of inanimate powers. It's a confrontation of two human collectives consisting of animate creatures united by a mythos. Doing whatever you find convenient and ignoring how it affects your mythos isn't smart. It's suicidal Image
One should care not only of inner but also of outer mythos, a reputation. International relations are sometimes quite similar to the prison relations. In both cases you are locked with malevolent actors who want and can hurt you. And you can't get anywhere. Don't give concessions Image
Concept of honour isn't stupid. It is an evolutionary stable strategy which independently co-evolved in dangerous stateless societies. It's not a burden, it's a shield. Not only against others but also against your own cowardice, stupidity and delusions which would 100% kill you Image
Finally, the malevolents forces you face are animate. They are human institutions coordinated by a mythos. If the mythos is gone, they're gone too. Fortunately with time passing, their hubris grows and they start acting stupidly. If you don't fall for a psyop, they lose. End of🧵 Image

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More from @kamilkazani

Jun 17
Rocket Science

As I have already pointed out, general audience, analysts, strategists & decision makers included holds unrealistic notions of how the global economy is organised. Now that is because they never see the back end of industrial civilisation

So let me show you some
There is a major delusion of seeing Europe as a sort of retired continent that "lags in tech" or even "doesn't produce anything". To some extent, it is just American hubris. Image
But there is more in there than just hubris. There is also some honest, sincere ignorance. The thing with most people is that they see only facade of industrial civilisation. They never ever had a chance to look behind the curtains

Whatever there is behind, is a total mysteryImage
Read 26 tweets
Jun 1
Tu-160M, the "White Swan" is the largest, the heaviest and the fastest bomber in the world. Originally a Soviet design, the plane you see today has limited continuity with the USSR. It was created in late 2010s, as a combined project of Putin's Russia and Siemens Digital Factory Image
Original Tu-160 was created as a domesday weapon of the Cold War. Designed in the 1970s, it was officially launched into production in 1984. And yet, with the collapse of the Soviet Union the project was aborted. In 1992, their production ceased.

No Nuclear War, no White Swans. Image
With the fall of USSR, Russia suffered a catastrophic drop in military expenditures. As the state was buying little weaponry (and paying for it highly erratically), entire production chains were wiped out. That included some ultra expensive projects such as strategic bombers.Image
Read 21 tweets
May 19
I have repeatedly pointed out that the modern Russian military industry has little continuity with the Soviet one. Destroyed in the 1990s, it was effectively created anew in the Putin's era. Still, it may sound too abstract, so I will zoom in on one specific example:

Stankomash Image
Located in Chelyabink, Stankomash industrial park hosts major producers for the nuclear, shipbuilding, oil & gas and energy industries. It also produces weaponry, including mine trawls and artillery ammunition (based on the open sources)

All under the umbrella of Konar company Image
Some examples of the Stankomash manufacture. These photos well illustrate the philosophy of Soviet/Russian dual use industry. In the peace time, you focus primarily on civilian products, in the war time you convert it all to the production of weaponry.

Read 27 tweets
May 17
No offence, but this is a completely imbecile, ignorant, ridiculous framing. I have no explanation for all this debate except for a complete & determined ignorance of the foreign policy making class, and their refusal to learn literally anything about the material world.
"Components" framing makes sense when we are discussing drones. Why? Because drones are literally made from the imported components. You buy like 90% of them in China, and may be you make like 10% domestically. For the most part, you just assemble what you bought in China.
Not the case with missiles. Most of what the missile consists of, including its most critical, hard to make parts is produced domestically. Why? Because you cannot buy it abroad. More often than not, you cannot buy it in China. You can only make it yourself, domestically.
Read 9 tweets
May 12
Contrary to the popular opinion, Andrey Belousov's appointment as a Minister of Defense makes perfect sense. From the Kremlin's perspective, war is primarily about industry & economy. Now Belousov is the central economic & industrial thinker (and planner) in the Russian gov.
Born into a Soviet Brahmin economist family, Belousov is an exceedingly rare case of an academician making a successful career in the Russian gov. Even more noteworthy, he rose to the position of power through his academic work and publications.

This is unique, ultra rare.Image
Belousov's career track:

1976-1981 Moscow State University ("economic cybernetics"). Basically, economics, but with the heavy use of then new computers.
1981-1986 Central Economic Mathematical Institute
1986-2006 Instutute of Economic Forecasting
2006-2024 Government
Read 8 tweets
May 7
If you want to imagine Russia, imagine a depressive, depopulating town. Now on the outskirts of a town, there is an outrageously over-equipped, overfunded strategic enterprise that has literally everything money can buy in the world. It feels like a spaceship from another planet
Strategic industry is extremely generously equipped. Western companies look scoundrels in comparison. That’s why I am so sceptical about the whole “corruption” narrative. Not that it’s wrong. It’s just that it is the perspective of a little, envious bitch.
What needs to be funded, will be funded. It will actually be overfunded and most literally drowned in money. Obviously, overfunding the strategic sector comes at the cost of underfunding almost everything else (like urban infrastructure). That’s why the town looks so grim.
Read 4 tweets

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