Kamil Galeev Profile picture
Mar 30, 2022 19 tweets 8 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
TikTok troops

Many admired bravery of Kadyrov who personally went to Ukraine and posted a lot of cool photos from the frontline. Consider this: Kadyrov is praying having put his gun lays nearby. It's a shame we see a Pulsar gas station nearby. So it's not Ukraine. It's Russia🧵 Image
Pulsar gas stations belong to the Russian oil company Rosneft (Роснефть) which is led by Igor Sechin, Putin's close aide. Russia has lots of these gas stations but there are none in Ukraine. Kadyrov took tough-guy-photos in Russia and claimed he did it in Ukraine ImageImage
So is Kadyrov lying? Consider Peskov's answers on a press conference. When asked if Kremlin knows about Kadyrov's visit to Ukraine, Peskov responded:

- No, we don't have such data (=he didn't go there)

Peskov also clarified that Kadyrov "didn't directly say he went to Ukraine" Image
Russian TV host Tina Kandelaki wrote a post praising Kadyrov and he reposted it his channel. I'll quote it because it might give an insight into how Russia works:

"Ramzan confidently entered the social media space and immediately realised it is the modern battlefield" Image
"Kadyrov's Telegram grew unprecedentedly: at the start of Special operation it had 60 thousand subscribers and now it has 1 250 thousand. The Head of Chechnya became an absolute headliner in covering the current events - many my journalist colleagues have a lot to learn from him" Image
"Kadyrov's reports are much more interesting, lively, better than those produced by our TV channels. Showing his readers the very frontline, Kadyrov created the best military blog in Telegram. That's amazing. We are a country of content producers, too. We can do it, too" Image
"Elon Musk and Pavel Durov are responding to Ramzan. We are literally in one step from Biden himself starting to publicly react to Kadyrov's Telegram - that's a unique case in political technologies" Image
"The key factor are the endless memes [about Kadyrov], modern folklore. Stars - bloggers, tiktokers, macro and micro influencers exist for few days, being lost in terabytes of new content. But folklore puts you beyond the time & circumstances. That's how true success looks like" Image
Kadyrov shared this post and commented:

"Thank you, Tina. I didn't know I'm so famous 😂🤷🏻‍" Image
Tina Kandelaki's post with praising Kadyrov's PR skills was considered important enough to make an article about it in a Chechen official media Chechnya Today

(also notice the headline on the left they want to show you "Ramzan Kadyrov became the most quoted governor in Russia) Image
Naive Westerners perceive Kadyrov as a premodern person. A true, authentic spirit. In reality he's very postmodern. He's a PRmaxer, attention seeker obsessed with likes and dreaming that one day not only Elon Musk, but also Joe Biden will react to him. That's what defines success Image
Now why is he doing it? Well, because it works. Kadyrov is pursuing a thorough PRmaxing strategy which is entirely based on assumption that you guys are dumb. That you see no difference between the phenomena and noumena, what is perceived and what truly is Image
Kadyrov's troops are very tough. How do we know it? Just watch endless videos they are posting "from the frontline". We see strong, heavily armed and equipped bearded men. What do they do on these videos? Mostly interviewing civilians about and forcing them to shout "Ahmat Sila!" Image
Kadyrov's henchman is interviewing civilians who are fleeing from Mariupol:

- Tell me boys, how did those Bandera criminals torture you? They didn't allow you to leave, yeah? And who did help you out?

- You did

Only after making them yell "Ahmat Sila!" he allows them to leave
Kadyrov's TikTok troops seem to be "real fighters". Meanwhile these lightly equipped, tired and soiled guys don't look that tough. And yet, these Chechen mujahideen smashed Russia in the First Chechen War. A particular case of @nntaleb rule: real warriors don't look like warriors Image
Why do Kadyrov's soldiers take so much stuff to the "battlefield"? Why are the always so fresh, their uniforms so clean, without even a little bit of dirt? Well, because they don't fight. They are TikTok troops of a TikTok warlord. Watch him reading a poem with threats to Ukraine
And you know what? This TikTok warlord has a very high place in Russian dominance hierarchy. Watch this video with the commander of 8th army:

- Ahmat is really strong!
- That's what our commander says, the best commander!

The body language is telling. You see who's a boss here
Technically Kadyrov and 8th army commander Mordvichev have the same army rank: they're both lieutenant generals. And yet, during their meeting a (somewhat) professional military Mordvichev will be reporting to this TikTok warlord Kadyrov as if he were his superior. Because he is
What does incredibly high status of a TikTok warlord Kadyrov in Russian dominance hierarchy tell us about modern Russia? It reflects a general tendency of Russian ruling class to PRmaxing. If Soviet Union was the Evil Empire, than Russian Federation is Bullshit Empire. End of🧵 Image

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More from @kamilkazani

May 27
New Industrial Power + New Industrial Power

is structurally different from:

New Industrial Power + Old Industrial Power

Russia and China are too similar in too many important respects. They share too many chokepoints (though to a different degree). They're kinda the same
If Russia was looking for alternatives to Western Europe, it would look at Japan - the old industrial power. If Japan was politically problematic (as it is), it would look at Taiwan and South Korea, new industrial powers on the very advanced stages of their learning process
Read 4 tweets
May 27
As I said previously, there is a difference between the:

a) argumentative space
b) real space

You can "reorganise and be self-sufficient" in the former, but not in the latter. In reality, the option of "self-sufficiency" just doesn't exist
The USSR was never "self-sufficient". The initial Stalinist industrialisation was planned and managed by Americans, and based on the import of American + to the lesser extent German equipment.

1920-1930s - US + Germany
WIth the start of the Cold War, America semi-excluded itself from the Soviet market. So it was monopolised by the Western Europe. E.g. in the 1970s Western Europe counted for like 90% of Soviet imports, Western Germany alone counting for 45%

1950-1970s - Germany + Rest of Europe
Read 6 tweets
May 22
Opposition Trap

On Twitter, you see not dumb people falling into the Grilling Trap

There are two problems with grilling

1. It gives you cheap dopamine -> very addictive

2. It destroys your brain

In this regard Grilling Trap is just a particular case of the Opposition Trap🧵
Grilling is a social game taking place in the argumentative space. Now the thing about the argumentative space is that it is not identical to the real space. A true zealot of course, believes that his own argumentative space is (more or less) identical to the real space

It's not
There is always a gap between what makes a good argument and what makes a good decision. It may be wider or narrower, depending on circumstances, but it always exists

Making a decision =/= justifying a decision

First is optimised for the real space, second for the argumentative
Read 16 tweets
May 9
Some context for the WWII

Soviet war machine was not created autarkically. It was built by the American businesses through the 1920 - early 1930s. Detroit-based Albert Kahn Associates company was a key organiser of the Soviet military industrial buildup

👇old but relevant🧵
The thing about Soviet military buildup is not that they imported stuff. That's pretty obvious. The thing is that they outsourced the planning. When we are discussing the Stalinist planned economy, we should keep in mind that the planning was done in the US Image
Albert Kahn Associates was the most important *planner* of Soviet industrialisation. They were not alone though. It was conducted by the joint efforts of the US industrialists

"On the way to automobilize the USSR": Henry Ford signing a contract to built a GAZ automative plant Image
Read 5 tweets
May 5
Why Russia is running out of shells?

Whereas the Wagner's shell hunger is real, ascribing it to the ill intentions of bureaucracy may be somewhat simplistic. It reflects the peculiar structure and the peculiar history of the Russian military manufacturing base

(not a 🧵) Image
What you should know of the Russian military industry:

1. After 1991 the output collapsed, often by few orders of magnitude
2. In Putin's era it bounced back, but not to the Cold War era levels
3. Both the collapse and the revival affected various types of weaponry unevenly
It would not be *too* much of a simplification to present the demand on the new weaponry in the following way:

Demand = State Defense Order + Exports

Now the thing is that in the 1990s the State Order was usually non-existent. If it was existent, it was often not paid for
Read 19 tweets
May 1
The managed system more often than not appears as a black box to its upper management. It is not transparent. I do not quite understand how it works. All I have are the output signals of the very uneven quality. And that is all I can base my judgement and my decisions upon🧵 Image
This explains much of the perceived "irrationality" of top decision makers:

a) The system isn't transparent. It produces signals of uneven quality
b) Choose the presumably higher quality signals *you are able to process*
c) Base your decisions upon them

Hence "irrationality" Image
Reality is incomprehensible in all of its complexity (and we tend to very much exaggerate how well we do comprehend it). It is covered by the fog of war. And perhaps nothing else illustrates it so vividly as, well, the war Image
Read 14 tweets

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