Kamil Galeev Profile picture
Mar 6, 2022 74 tweets 22 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
Let's discuss what's happening in Russia. To put it simply, it's going full fascist. Authorities launched a propaganda campaign to gain popular support for their invasion of Ukraine and they're getting lots of it. You can see "Z" on these guys' clothes. What does it mean? 🧵 Image
"Z" is a letter that Russian Military are putting on their vehicles departing to Ukraine. Some interpret "Z" as "Za pobedy" (for victory). Others - as "Zapad" (West). Anyway, this symbol invented just a few days ago became a symbol of new Russian ideology and national identity Image
It found a lot of supporters. Many Russians are putting "Z" on their cars - that's totally voluntary and to my best knowledge nobody's forcing them Image
Business owners put "Z" - showing their support of invasion on their trucks. Here you see a funeral service fully endorsing Z message Image
Russian military makes Z letters out of badges of killed Ukrainian soldiers Image
Here you see terminally ill children from hospice and their parents making a Z formation. Yes, Russians are forcing terminally ill children dying from cancer, and their families to declare their support to Russian invasion of Ukraine. See letters Детский хоспис? Hospice for Kids Image
And of course all of this is being done in the name of Russian Orthodox Church. Shelling of residential districts, carpet bombings, launching ballistic missiles upon Ukrainian cities. All in the name of Orthodoxy Image
Some argue that Russian people don't support this invasion and this is all Putin's responsibility. Yes, decision was taken by Putin and was a surprise even for his ministers. But once it was taken, it found huge popular support. People are cheering, they're proud and enthusiastic Image
Russian media and social media accounts that stand for the invasion often put Z in their names or logos. That's how you can detect them Image
These Z channels and Z bots in Telegram make a lot of work for Russian intelligence. For example via this bot RSOTM_Z_BOT one can report to Russians on the location and movement of Ukrainian troops. That's how Russians collect information Image
Through Telegram Russians collect information on Ukrainian military, on the territorial defense troops. They'll be used by the "people's levy" (=pro-Russian collaborators) to kill Ukrainian patriots and their families once Russians take over their town (I blurred personal info). Image
There's entire ecosystem of Russian intelligence channels, groups, bots. Some collect data on Ukrainian troops movement, others - personal info of Ukrainian fighters to kill them later. I made a very, very incomplete "Z-list" here. There are *many* more

Pavel Durov @durov owner of Telegram has long collaborated with Russian state security. When managing Vkontakte he would give personal info of opposition to the FSB. He's probably helping Russia now. Pressure him. He's now a French + Saint Kitts and Nevis citizen living in Dubai Image
Putin took a decision to start this war. But he got a wide support of the Russian people. Nobody's forcing them to participate in these shows of support, they could totally skip it. But they cheer. They cheer, because they feel good, they feel proud. Russia became great again
Russian social media are cheering, too. Here you see a viral video: recording of Ukrainian cities being bombed, of Ukrainians killed by Russian shells, combined with an audio of church sermon, singing anathema. Russia's launching an Orthodox crusade and massacring Ukrainians
Different vibe, same message. Russian chicks singing how God supports Russia in its holy endeavour of cleansing Ukraine Image
Ethnic Russians abroad are cheering, too. Here you Russians in Kazakhstan putting Z on their car, while Russian ballistic missiles level Ukrainian residential districts to the ground. When confronted by Kazakhs, they complain about Russophobia of course Image
Meanwhile, Russians are going full Syria mode in Ukraine. That's how Ukrainian city of Chernihiv loos after the raid of Russian bombers. Residential buildings burnt with all the people who lived there. Debris and corpses lie on what used to be the city streets
That's unsurprising. Here you see a Russian major, a bomber pilot whose jet was shot and who was captured by the Ukrainian military Image
And here you see him in Syria in company of Putin and Bashar al Assad. The same Russian military who fought in Syria now fight in Ukraine and use the same methods of indiscriminate carpet bombings. What happened in Aleppo is happening in Chernihiv right now Image
Fortunately, while Syrians were completely defenceless against Russian jets bombing them to the ground, Ukrainians have some anti air defence. Here you see a shot Russian jet falling and pilots catapulting out of it
Fortunately, Russian war plan failed. That's a Russian meme from mid-February - paratroopers schedule:

08:00 breakfast
09:00 invasion of Ukraine
12:00 lunch
13:00 capture of Kyiv
18:00 concert

V. Putin.

That's a meme but it reflected a convction that Ukrainians wouldn't fight Image
That conviction was shared by all sorts of Russian collaborators all around the West. Ukraine is a fake country, it's a Russian province, of course its people will stop pretending and just kneel the moment first Russian troops enter their country Image
Putin shared this belief. That's why he sent forward the paratroopers. These "legendary" VDV guys aren't soldiers, they're glorified riot police. Bullies, promoted and supported by the state. Their entire strategy is to look scary and violent so that people would stop resisting Image
Surprisingly for them, Ukrainians did open fire. That's what remained of the Russian airborne who disembarked in Hostomel airport near Kyiv. Their entire plan was that Ukrainians would run or surrender. But they fought back
And after they fought back, Russians had to start mobilising. Here you see a Ukrainian soldier with a СОБР (SOBR) t shirt taken from a Russian invader. It's often misinterpreted as a shirt of some "elite spetsnaz" soldier. BS. СОБР aren't soldiers, they're cops Image
СОБР are the part of Russian national guard aimed to "fight the organised crime" (and to suppress protests ofc). They're warrior cops aimed to fight with unarmed or with poorly armed and disorganised adversary. They aren't supposed to fight in a real war against a regular army Image
And why would be Russia sending cops to the Ukraine? Well, it's running out of people. The first echelon of invasion had no idea where they are going and why. Many thought Ukrainians would just surrender and they gonna have a nice foreign vacation. They imagined war like this: Image
But once they realised that there will be resistance and the war looks like this, their enthusiasm started declining. Which means it will be much harder to find new volunteers to go fight to Ukraine. But you need them. What are you gonna do?
Well, Russian propaganda gives an answer. They are shooting videos with explanations that they're not gonna launch mobilisation and draft people by force. They give a lot of arguments why they don't need it. Which means they absolutely fucking will. They're already preparing
That's an order of a principal of vocational school for late teens in Moscow. She collects info on all the male students including their home address and the name of military commissariat (recruiting station) they're registered in. If they aren't registered for draft, explain why Image
Russia prepares a mass mobilisation of teens to send them to Ukraine. There are problems however. First, teens aimed to dodge the draft even during the peace. Second, there aren't so many teens in Russia. The country's depopulating quickly, especially its ethnic Russian heartland Image
So what are you gonna do? First, mobilise Central Asians. Many immigrants acquired Russian citizenship legally or through shady schemes. Now authorities try to persuade/pressure them to join the army. They don't know much of Russian law and may even not understand their rights Image
Most Central Asian immigrants don't hold Russian citizenship and that creates a legal problem. Technically they aren't allowed to serve in the Russian army. So they're tricking them to join armies of Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics through the offer of Russian passport Image
But Russia has demographic reserves. Consider a recent speech of Putin.

"I'm a Russian man, I have only Ivans and Marias in my family. But when I hear of heroism on this war, I wanna say, I'm Dagestani, I'm Chechen, I'm Ingush, Tatar, Jew, Mordva"

Putin suddenly turning woke? Image
Nope. If you look at the demographic map in Russia it makes total sense. He tells 1) I'm Dagestani 2) I'm Chechen 3) I'm Ingush. Look where they're located - I encircled. This is a region with high natural fertility and thus abundance of young males to send to war Image
Putin shows truly entrepreneurial thinking, startup mindset. If he can find demographic resources in Caucasus, he'll lure, scheme, persuade them to fight his wars and will use whatever propaganda necessary. Even if it goes against his real convictions - Russian ethnonationalism Image
Chechnya has a special place within Putin's order. It's a vassal kingdom with independent army. You see as Kadyrov's troops have to take personal oath of fealty to Kadyrov. On paper they could be enlisted into the "Russian army", "police" etc. BS. That's personal army of Kadyrov Image
When Chechen defeat in a war against Russia became clear, many former rebels switched to Putin. Including Kadyrov. Kadyrov quickly made a career, pacifying Chechnya and submitting it to Putin's will by whatever means necessary Image
Kadyrov and his henchmen like Patriot (left) launched a reign of terror. Many were killed for disobedience. Many were killed randomly. Patriot would come to a village, choose random guys and shoot them as terrorists. Just to show that he can and get awards for his War on Terror Image
And yet, the true benchmark of Kadyrov's regime was the bottle. They captured a Chechen author of anti-Kadyrov's telegram channel, forced him to sit on a bottle, recorded it and distributed on social media. Breaking religious and traditional taboos aimed to show Kadyrov's power Image
But it was a point of no return. Kadyrov made too many enemies among other Chechens. And their culture obliges them to take revenge. Even now Kadyrov takes a lot of precautions. His vast palaces with moats and walls are guarded as Putin's and he *never* sleeps outside of them Image
That explains special relations between Putin and Kadyrov. Consider how he talks to Kadyrov and to Russian generals - Shoygu, etc. He doesn't fully trust his generals, because they still could have a way out. Kadyrov couldn't. He's tied by blood. If Putin falls, he dies slowly Image
Dear friendship between Putin and Kadyrov already made them heroes in China. Indeed, in this war Chinese "public opinion" (= state propaganda) unequivocally took the Russian side. The West now faces a de facto Chinese-Russian alliance, you should be delusional to ignore it Image
Chinese police is already approaching Ukrainians living in China. China doesn't want a "deescalation". It wants escalation and it sees Ukraine as an enemy power, belonging to the opposing camp Image
That's totally understandable. China is now launching the enormous warmongering campaign. In 2021 they produced the most expensive Chinese movie ever, The Battle at Lake Changjin, on the battle of Korean War against the US Image
If you watch recent Chinese movies like the Wolf Warrior, you'll see that China is preparing its public opinion for the war with the US. China may not say it to the US but they're absolutely saying this to their citizens. You can't fool yourself about it

And ofc Russia will be reorienting its economy to China. It will sell its natural resources to China at dump prices, buy Chinese technologies at high prices. Since China is the only major industrial power that will agree to trade with Russia, Chinese'll use their leverage fully Image
This alliance won't benefit Russia. But it'll allow China to buy Russian resources at dump prices. It will also force Russians to use Chinese technologies, and join Chinese ecosystems. Like major Russian banks are already switching to the Union Pay from Visa and Mastercard Image
As a result position of China in the class with the US, which is unavoidable will be much, much stronger. Provided that Russian regime still exists. The problem with Chinese-Russian integration is not that it's impossible, but that it takes time
There are many things in this world that just take time, no matter how urgently you need them. You can't get a baby in a month even if you impregnate nine women. It still takes 9 months. The same with the economic integration
Now most of Russian industry uses Western machines, Western technologies, Western IT products. It is integrated to Western ecosystems and production chains. Could it potentially integrate to Chinese instead? Probably, yes. But it takes time, a lot of time. Does Russia have it?
Russia's not doing well. First, its initial plan of war failed. Idiots who post impressive maps of Russian advance and claim Russia's winning forget that the wars are not launched for military goals. They're launched for political goals. What were the political goals of Putin?
Well, that's clear. Overthrowal of existing Ukrainian power and political takeover. Russian invading forces included tons of "politruks" who had to assume power and become the new administration preparing Ukraine for the imminent annexation with the Motherland
These politruks could be Russians or officials of Yanukovich's administration, who left Ukraine after the overthrow of pro Russian president in 2014. Some of them were from pro-Russian Donbass government. Others - simply Russian nationalists. Let's consider one of them, Dimitriev
Igor Dimitriev is from Odessa, Ukraine. In 2014 Russian nationalists tried to launch political takeover over much of East and South Ukraine. In Donbass they succeeded cuz of Russian invasion. In Kharkiv, Odessa etc they were slaughtered or made to leave. Dimitriev left to Russia Image
In Russia he cooperated with intelligence and state security, reportedly working in Syria and in other theatres. But he was preparing to return to Ukraine as a triumphant, take revenge and assume power. He waited for 8 years, constantly writing about it in his Telegram channel
In 2022 he had a chance. He came with a victorious as he thought Russian army and sincerely believed that locals will greet them as liberators. Instead Ukrainians opened fire and refused any cooperation with Russian invaders. He was shocked. Other politruks were shocked too
Only two weeks've passed since Russian invasion, and all these politruks already made back to Russia. Why? Cuz the plan failed. Nobody would greet them as liberators, nobody listened to them, Ukrainians perceived them as traitors. Assumption of Ukrainian Russianness was wrong
This guy is especially funny, because he renamed his telegram channel and is now diligently cleaning it from any incriminating content. That's understandable, his situation is especially bad, because he's a public person. But all these collaborators are now in shock and disbelief
Much of Russian administration is in shock too. Same officials who just a week ago claimed (in private talk) that Kyiv will be taken in a day or two, now quietly seek the way out. It's very important to understand. Putin doesn't have a way out, but mid-ranked officials might have
They are so lost not only because the assumption that Ukrainians would just embrace Russia was wrong. They're lost because they didn't expect such strong sanction regime and now Russian economy is facing an imminent collapse
Russia does have industrial production. But it doesn't have independent technological chains. They're closely integrated with the Western markets. Factories work on Western machines with Western technologies, using Western IT, etc. You can't just switch to China overnight
The first signs of collapse are already visible. Avtovaz, the largest Russian car factory in Tolyatti stopped production cuz of "shortage of electronic details". A petrochemical plant in Nizhnekamsk is striking cuz hyperinflation destroyed the wages. And inflation will only rise
Let's be honest, all somewhat smart Russians understand what will follow next. That's why Russia's now facing the largest brain drain of Putin's era. Overall whoever can leave, lives. Tbilisi, Yerevan, Baku are already flooded by Russian refugees, Central Asia's being flooded too
In social media they already noticed the irony: Russians are now googling immigration laws of Kazakhstan, life in Kyrgyzstan, how to relocate to Uzbekistan. That sounds like the opposite world. A month ago Central Asians wanted to move to Russian, now it's the other way around Image
In Kremlin they know it. That's why just four days ago Putin decreased the taxes on IT and most importantly relieved them from the draft. Putin knows what they're afraid of. But honestly that not gonna help. Russia's now facing enormous losses in human capital, its best engineers Image
I know it myself. Lots of my social circle just moved to Uzbekistan. Why to Uzbekistan? Because that was the only destination where you could fly cheaply. Look at the prices for flights Moscow-Tbilisi. More than 1000 bucks, while normally it costed a 100. That's an exodus Image
My next thread will be on Russian economy with a specific focus on its technological dependence and the most efficient sanction policy. For now I want to sum up:

- Russia's going full Nazi
- Regime must be broken. If it's not broken, China'll get its best and most devoted ally
- Regime absolutely can be broken, and well-designed sanctions will contribute to it greatly. They're already doing their work - factories are stopping production, workers leaving their job because of inflation. Russia already faces a point of failure
- Many mid-ranked officials are very shocked, very afraid, very disappointed (they expected a quick victory) and desperately looking for the way out. That's where the focus has to be made instead of a way out for Putin. Many of them are actively looking for a way to cooperate
- Another focus should be made on relocation of Russian emigres, especially qualified emigres in some countries further away from Russian border and not in danger of potential invasion. The shortage of engineers is already visible, give a way out and a brain drain will skyrocket
The regime already crossed the point of no return. Aa return to the status quo is neither possible nor desirable. In fact deescalation could potentially lead to its evolution, to something much ore efficient and threatening. Existential threat does trigger institutional evolution
However evolution be it the increase in institutional efficiency or economic integration with China, can be only gradual. It requires time. Give them no time. Increase pressure via sanctions, brain drain and negotiations with mid-ranked officials to break them quickly. End of🧵

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More from @kamilkazani

Sep 21
Why fund Ukraine?

1. This world consists of states

2. That are war machines optimised for war purposes

3. Allowing the war machines optimised for war purposes to make territorial conquests and get away with this, makes the world unsafe

The unsafe world will cost you more 🧵
4. Many in the US take their current material prosperity as granted

5. It is not

6. Unprecedented in the world history, it became possible only in the unprecedentedly safe world

7. When the world becomes less safe, you will have to say goodbye to the current prosperity
8. The unprecedented safety of this world is based upon it being dominated by a single war machine (US)

9. That has severely limited the incentives for other war machines to fight each other

10. The US made it very difficult for a war machine to annex a new territory

11. Effectively impossible to legalise such an annexation

12. And straight out impossible to cash out from it
Read 14 tweets
Sep 20
On the chokepoints of the military production, I strongly recommend reading this. It gives a sufficiently good first introduction into the problem

No military industrial complex in the world can execute the mechanical design of weaponry other than based on the CNC technology*
Therefore, supply chain for the quality CNC equipment (including both mechanical and electronic components) being controlled by the US allies is of major and under appreciated strategic significance
* Exceptions exist of course, but they are less common and significant than one could presume. As a general rule, every or almost every economy has to deal with the constantly shrinking pool of the qualified manual labour -> alternatives gradually become impossible to execute
Read 4 tweets
Sep 18
I think that a military conflict between China and the US is highly probable. I also think that China will lose it. While the US hard power (& the quality of strategic thinking) may have substantially deteriorated since 1991, China:

1. Is much weaker
2. Won't catch up
China is overall much more backward in terms of technology & manufacturing than almost anyone in the US foreign policy establishment is ready to admit. Beijing knows it, DC doesn't

Which, again, shows how much did the American strategic thinking deteriorate since 1991
PS I believe that the end of the Cold War had a corrupting effect on the US strategists. With the real and credible threat gone, too many started exaggerating (or making up?) BS threats. Consequently, the skills and competences for dealing with a real threat have atrophied
Read 4 tweets
Sep 3
1. Time exists

2. Things change with time

3. In 2014, Russia could reasonably expect a fairly high level of acceptance

4. Which was not the case in 2022

5. This invasion was planned based upon the picture of how it *used* to be

6. Which became completely outdated by 2022
7. As time exists, you should not presume that the opportunities you have now will last forever

8. They probably won’t

9. In 2014-2015, Russia had a high chance to launch a successful full scale invasion

10. But it did not

11. I think this was due to the crash in oil prices Image
12. By the time Russia decided to invade (I have a reason to believe it was 2019) things changed

13. The popular sentiments changed

14. On the Ukrainian held territory, you could hardly find *young* supporters of Russia

15. The Russian fanbase had been reduced to the elderly Image
Read 8 tweets
Aug 24
François Guizot defined feudalism as perhaps the only form of tyranny that will be never accepted by the ruled. The theocratic despotism, the monarchic despotism can be genuinely loved and voluntarily accepted by their subjects. In contrast, the feudal despotism is always hated
What makes the difference is that a monarch/theocrat does NOT act on his own behalf. To the contrary, he represents something larger, superior to himself. It may be God. It may be an idea. Anyway, he is only a representative of something bigger, making his rule more acceptable Image
Consider Stalin. He does NOT act on his own behalf. He is merely a representative of something bigger. It's not all about Stalin. It's not all focused on Stalin. There is a divine, super-human institution of which Stalin is only a temporary executive

That's how he borrows power Image
Read 11 tweets
Aug 23
Prigozhin was a junior member of the St Petersburg gang. A vassal of Putin's vassal. Still, a rightful member of the gang that constitutes the core of the ruling elite. Consequently, his death will make an impression of the regime killing its previously untouchable core members
If the regime has indeed killed one of its core members, then the St Petersburg gang is probably not as united as it seemed to be. The death of Prigozhin reflects the depth of divisions in the narrow circle of upper elite.

This is the impression it makes on the outsiders
Even worse, this raises a question of how secure the other members of the gang should feel. In particular, how much of their previous untouchability will remain
Read 7 tweets

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