Kamil Galeev Profile picture
Jul 3, 2022 34 tweets 12 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
Correct. But it lacks the context. On the same day, June 30 the Donetsk People's Republic ruler Pushilin signed the order № 338 prohibiting the free entrance of humanitarian aid from Russia to the DPR. NB: Much (most?) of this aid was not really humanitarian, but army supplies🧵
DPR introduced the "accreditation" of humanitarian aid. Previously Russian citizens could purchase in Russia whatever and ship it to the DPR as "humanitarian aid". That was a legal way to supply the pro-Russian militias in Ukraine with arms/equipment by individual contributions Image
Now the DPR introduced the accreditation so shipping there anything gonna be harder. Besides, the order № 338 prohibits importing:

1. guns & ammo
2. lots of modern radio sets
3. quadcopter (technically)

to DPR from Russia as "humanitarian aid" for pro-Russian militias ImageImageImage
The DPR restricted/prohibited much of the supplies for the pro-Russian militias in Donbass. Previously they were collected in Russia by various nationalist activist groups, pro-Z officials an oligarchs, etc. and shipped to Donbass. Now you can't do that

Why would they do that? Well, it perfectly illustrates the logic of the Russian state which may be counterintuitive for Westerners. The Russian government are total control freaks and are determined to extirpate *any* agency and activism. Including the pro-Kremlin activism
When the Donbass War only started, many pro-Russian militias there were not fully controlled by Kremlin. Some pro-Russian warlords in Donbass were genuine believers, some adventurers, some mix of both. Motorola used to wash cars in Russia, but left to Donbass and became a warlord Image
Whether they were adventurers or genuine Russian nationalists, most of these guys were upstarts, alien to the Russian political regime. Kremlin used them, but would never tolerate them

Every single pro-Russian warlord in Donbass was assassinated. Some in Donbass, some in Russia Image
Except for one. There's only one early Donbass warlord who's not only alive, but still in power. Khodakovsky. Why Kremlin didn't cleanse him like others?

Because he's different from them. Others used to wash cars. Khodakovsky used to serve in the Ukrainian state security - SBU Image
Every single of pro-Russian warlords in Donbass died under the mysterious circumstances, some in Donbass, others in Russia. Kremlin cleansed everyone. The only one they left alive and in power is the former Ukrainian intelligence officer. That makes perfect sense Image
First, he is tainted. He's a turn cloak and everyone knows that. So it's super easy to control him. Most probably Kremlin has Kompromat on him that would absolutely destroy his reputation. He knows that and will never trespass or object to Kremlin under any circumstances Image
Even more importantly, he is from pre-2014 SBU. Let's be honest, Ukraine did its dramatic breakup with the Soviet tradition and model of governance only in 2014. Before 2014, it was much like Russia and SBU was much like the FSB. They were not *that* different as many presume
The meaning of Maidan is *vastly* underrated. It was the 2014 when the USSR died for real. Before 2014 Ukrainian military, intelligence and even more importantly the military industrial complex kept the same ties with their Russian colleagues as before. That was Soviet continuity
Russia is FSB-run state and the FSB openly call themselves "the new nobility". This should be taken literally. They *are* the new nobility. So it makes total sense that during the conquest of Ukraine they'll rely on noblemen like Khodakovsky rather than on peasants like Motorola Image
Kremlin is genuinely and sincerely horrified of where Ukraine is drifting after 2014. Before 2014, they perceived the Ukrainian elite as similar to them, may be somewhat inferior. Soviet community and Soviet continuity didn't finish in 1991. It finished in 2014 Image
Maidan, Crimea and the Donbass War - that's what killed the USSR. How? Before 2014 Ukrainian security apparatus was largely Soviet. After 2014 they had quick and massive cadre change. It seems that in the state security it was especially massive and profound. It was a revolution
When we are discussing the popular support of revolutions, we typically miss the elephant in the room. Namely, the cadre change. Almost every revolution decreases the general quality of life for years. But they still generate tons of staunch supporters through the cadre change Image
Yes, social collapse makes the life worse. But it allows *tons* of ambitious upstarts to rise. Would a simple Cossack NCO, Semyon Budyonnyy have any chance to be the Commander of Cavalry under the old regime? No. But Soviets cleansed the upper ranks and opened him the way Image
The White propaganda depicted the revolution as "Jewish". In reality though, with most of nobility and officer corpse cleansed, it were mostly young Great Russian peasants who were quickly trained to take their places. They were absolutely happy and would fight for the new regime Image
Revolutions almost always decrease the general quality of life for years to come. Also the purges may be very cruel. But with the old elites purged, you need to recruit someone else on their places. You must do a cadre change. Accelerated social mobility generates a mass support Image
French or even more so Russian revolutions are extreme cases, which I chose because they are so well-known and illustrative. What is important here is the causal link:

Regime change -> Purges -> Cadre change -> Tons of new upstarts -> Tons of staunch supporters for the new order Image
Maidan was not as radical as 1789 or 1914. But Russia was so much appalled with it that it escalated the armed conflict. And the armed conflict led to the cadre change. Much of the old army establishment was not that reliable. And much of state security absolutely wasn't Image
War with Russia brought the cadre change in the state security and intelligence. First, it expanded. Second, it was cleansed from the old cadres creating a social elevator. Yesterday you'd catch fish and cook it in a bucket on open fire. Tomorrow you'd be a Special Forces officer
It's quite typical for Ukrainian intelligence officers to be much younger than their Western colleagues they meet with. Why? Well, largely because the old Soviet cadres were cleansed. That's what changed the face of regime and that's what generated mass of staunch supporters
2014 killed the Soviet Union. Cadre change in Ukraine broke the former community between the Russian and Ukrainian state security. Old Soviet cadres were gradually cleansed, breaking the continuity. And those that came to their places would not like the old order to return
Honestly, I think that if Putin did a massive invasion in 2014, he would succeed. First of all, many East Ukrainians still thought of themselves as Soviet/Russian. But by 2022 many of them just died or turned too old to make any real effect. History moves one death at a time Image
Second, he absolutely would be able to make a horse trade with much of the Ukrainian military and state security. Yes, many would refuse. But there would be enough of collaborators to secure a quick victory. "People's revolt" in Donbass were largely local Siloviki changing colors Image
Putin's decision to keep a small scale war for 8 years and then do a mass invasion was insane. First, identity of East Ukraine changed over these years. Many of those who held old Soviet identity were just too old now. Second, security apparatus went through a cadre change, too Image
In 2014 Putin could realistically expect that many powerful interest groups in Ukraine would assist in his invasion. But then he for some reason took a pause of 8 years. By February 2022 most of them were fired, dead on under arrest. Medvedchuk is the best known example of course Image
So let's return to the initial question. Why would Kremlin restrict supply of the "humanitarian aid" making supplies of its own militias in Ukraine harder? Because even Russian imperialist activism is still activism. And the Kremlin never ever allows any type of activism. Ever Image
If nationalist and imperialist circles in Russia continue shipping the valuable aid to the Russian/Donbass troops ad they did before, they may establish too many valuable horizontal connections. Fighters on the frontline may like those guys and even start depending upon them Image
That's exactly what many Russian imperialists hoped for. Consider Chadayev. He writes that collecting and shipping the valuable equipment to Donbass, we build our own, patriotic, civil society

What he didn't said is that we establish direct connections with guys on the frontline Image
Kremlin would never allow it. Any genuine believer, even Russian imperialist, is suspicious. Now you may stand for the Tsar, because of your views. But that implies that tomorrow you may stand against the Tsar, because of your views. Strong personal opinions are problematic Image
Russian imperialists who thought they would be allowed to build a "real civil society" by organising the supply the Russian troops in Ukraine were naive. That's 1) personal initiative 2) collective action. And Kremlin is strongly determined to uproot your capacity for either Image
Irrespectively of Putin, Russian political system depends upon uprooting the ability for personal initiative and collective action. Any ruler in Kremlin will be forced to uproot them to save the empire. Dismantling the empire is the only way to enfranchise its people. End of🧵 Image

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More from @kamilkazani

Sep 22
Yes, certainly. Our decisions are primarily guided by impressions

1. Russian defeat makes an *impression* that one can hardly win a war of conquest anymore

2. Russian victory makes an *impression* that one absolutely can

The cost of (2) will be enormous
The first order effect is that it will encourage the wars of conquest, and encourage globally. There are perhaps few nations in this world that do not believe that a piece of their neighbor’s land belongs to them by right

There will be way more attempts for territorial conquest
The second order effect is that states will have to adapt to the now unsafe world. Even if their neighbors do not seem to plan a war of conquest right now, they may be considering it in the future. One must prepare for this scenario

You can say goodbye to the non-proliferation
Read 4 tweets
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 21
Even if we have the blueprints, executing their design may be difficult to impossible. What we lack is the:

1. Material culture
2. Knowledge ecosystem

these blueprints had been created within

They are essentially relics of a lost (alien and incomprehensible) civilisation
This applies to the seemingly mundane stuff. For example, even though Russian tanks are based on the Soviet blueprints, Russian tank barrels are of lower quality & durability than Soviet ones. Design may be the same, but details of the original production processes are lost
The nearly absolute reliance of the Russian war machine on the imported metal-cutting machines should be considered in the light of the qualified manual labour pool having shrunk and degraded
Read 5 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

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