Kamil Galeev Profile picture
Jul 19, 2022 13 tweets 5 min read Read on X
Many wondered: why during the Chechen wars many families opposed the war, while now almost nobody does? Well, one answer is that during the Chechen wars monetary compensations to families were negligible, while now the "coffin money" (гробовые) are quite good. You can buy a car
Also notice the location. It's Saratov. There is a major gap between more successful Middle Volga regions like Tatarstan, Samara and Ulyanovsk (green) and much poorer Lower Volga such as Saratov (yellow) or Volgograd (red). Socioeconomic situation in the latter is *way* worse Image
The gap is not only economic, but also cultural. In some respects the Middle vs Lower Volga dichotomy resembles the nanfang vs beifang dichotomy in China. Saratov and Volgograd are paradoxically much more "beifang", Muscovite and Great Russian than regions to the north of them Image
Strange it may sound, around 1900 Saratov was the third biggest city of Russia proper after Moscow and St Petersburg. It was a big and rich merchant city that still has the memory of its former glory and a certain imperial vibe. It also has a nice old city, horribly maintained Image
If Saratov is mentally stuck in the age of Russian empire, in terms of local identity and public imagination, then Volgograd is stuck in the WWII era. There is probably no other city or region where the Victory-worshipping (победобесие) cult takes such exaggerated forms Image
Volgograd doesn't have much of history. In the imperial era it was a relatively small and unimportant Tsaritsyn city, way less relevant than Saratov. After the revolution it was renamed as the Stalingrad and then completely razed during the Stalingrad battle Image
As a result of subsequent population change, nothing of the old city remained either in terms of culture or in terms of identity. While later renamed to Volgograd in the process of de-Stalinization, the city fully identifies itself with the WWII. It has no memory of the past Image
Stuck-in-the-USSR Volgograd is repeatedly earning the title of the poorest large (over a million population) city in Russia. Stuck-in-the-empire Saratov is doing not much better having very low salaries or quality of life for a large regional centre

There's a big contrast between poorer beifang Lower Volga and richer nanfang Middle Volga. Tatarstan, Samara and Ulyanovsk form one economic cluster, both in terms of commercial ties and in terms of pursuing a successful FDI-oriented industrial policy. Well, till February 24 Image
In fact, after February 24 the Middle Volga industrial cluster has some of the worst economic prospects in the entire European Russia, at least in terms of employment. They all three get obliterated because in economic (and partially in institutional) terms they were very similar Image
With this richer Middle Volga cluster going down, some of the neighbouring poorer regions that depended upon the former economically will go down, too. In the previous era, Moscow would act as an arbiter redistributing from winners to losers. Now it won't do that
Kremlin will invest all available resources in maintaining the economy in Moscow. In such a hypercentralized country, Moscow is the only city that truly matters. Economic collapse of Moscow created revolutionary risks, while collapse of province has no risks to regime at all
This however, makes the imperial structure much more fragile. For decades provinces had a big grudge on the imperial metropoly which lived so much wealthier. Now the gap gonna only increase, with the provincials seeing less and less benefits in staying within the empire. The end

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More from @kamilkazani

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
Apr 29
We have successfully documented the entire Russian missiles industry, mapping 28 of its key enterprises. Read our first OSINT sample focusing on the Votkinsk Plant, a major producer of intercontinental ballistic missiles. How does it make weaponry?

The strategic missiles industry appears to be highly secretive and impenetrable to the observers. And yet, it is perfectly OSINTable, based on the publicly available sources. This investigation sample illustrates our approach and methodology (31 p.)

Step 1. State Propaganda.

Our first and invaluable source is the state propaganda, such as the federal and regional TV channels, corporate media, social media and so on. It provides abundant visual evidence, particularly on the hardware used in the production of weaponry.Image
Read 9 tweets
Mar 22
In August 1999, President Yeltsin appointed his FSB Chief Putin as the new Prime Minister. Same day, he named him as the official successor. Yet, there was a problem. To become a president, Putin had to go through elections which he could not win.

He was completely obscure.Image
Today, Putin is the top rank global celebrity. But in August 1999, nobody knew him. He was just an obscure official of Yeltsin's administration, made a PM by the arbitrary will of the sovereign. This noname clerk had like 2-3% of popular support

Soon, he was to face elections Image
By the time of Putin's appointment, Russia already had its most favoured candidate. It was Primakov. A former Yeltsin's Prime Minister who broke with Yeltsin to contest for power. The most popular politician in Russia with massive support both in masses and in the establishment. Image
Read 20 tweets
Mar 17
In Russia, the supreme power has never ever changed as a result of elections. That simply never happened in history. Now that is because Russia is a (non hereditary) monarchy. Consequently, it doesn't have any elections. It has only acclamations of a sitting rulerImage
Obviously, there has been no elections of Putin in any meaningful sense. There have been only acclamations. And that is normal. His predecessor was successfully acclaimed with an approval rate of about 6%. Once you got the power, you will get your acclamation one way or another
Contrary to the popular opinion, Russia doesn't have any acclamation ("election") problem. It has a transition of power problem. Like Putin can get acclaimed again, and again, and again. But sooner or later, he dies. What next?
Read 7 tweets

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