Kamil Galeev Profile picture
Galina Starovoitova Fellow @TheWilsonCenter. MLitt in Early Modern History, St Andrews. MA in China Studies, Peking University. DMs are open
LittleGravitas 🇺🇦 🌻 🇪🇺 💙 #FBPE Profile picture otaria123 Profile picture 🇺🇦🇺🇲☕️Coffee&Robots🤖🌊🇺🇦🇺🇲 Profile picture Michael Hood Profile picture Homac Profile picture 926 added to My Authors
May 16 27 tweets 10 min read
On April 20, Russian MP from the Liberal-Democratic Party Sergey Leonov suggested forcing the Ukrainian POWs to donate their blood.

His exact framing is very interesting:

"There is an offer for the Ukrainian POWs to become the compulsory (в обязательном порядке) blood donours" It's quite possible that the Liberal Democratic Party MPs are disoriented after the death of their leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky and try to keep relevance with the face of their party gone. Many perceived Zhirinovsky as "clown". And yet, Putin personally attended his funerals Image
May 15 24 tweets 10 min read
Who stands behind Z? (a hypothesis)

Invasion of Ukraine revolutionised the Russian symbolics introducing a new, previously unknown symbol Z. What does Z even mean? Neither Russians, nor foreigners have any idea. It is clearly a forced meme. And I have a guess on who forced it🧵 Image The choice of Z-letter looks weird. First, it doesn't look like anything Russian or Soviet propaganda used before, making it hard to understand. Second, it's not a Cyrillic, but a foreign looking Latin letter. Which makes its choice as a symbol for the "patriotic" war problematic Image
May 13 44 tweets 12 min read
How do I make predictions?

It may be worth outlining some general principle I use when making prognoses. Let me show it on example of this thread. On February 27 I predicted Russia gonna lose the war in Ukraine. How did I come up to this conclusion?🧵

Did I have the full information on how the war was going on, on February 27? Not at all. Information I had was often biased, misleading, incomplete or simply wrong. Even in those cases when I was pretty sure about the accuracy of my data, it would still be rife with holes
May 10 69 tweets 15 min read
Very good question. I would however separate it to two different topics:

1. Why was the Russian army so much overrated?

2. Why was the Ukrainian army so much underrated?

Let's try to briefly discuss both. This is far from a complete answer however🧵

First of all, saying that analysts failed to see the hollowness of the Russian military might be an overgeneralisation. Some noticed some aspects of that hollowness. Here is a brilliant analysis of a Russian westward invasion scenario from the Nov 2021

May 10 8 tweets 2 min read
When discussing the future of Russia, many rule out this or that scenario as "impossible". But how do they know what is possible and what is not? The main reason why people are so bad in prognosing the future is that they can't conceive how different is the present from the past Most people underestimate how different is the present from the (recent) past. And that lack of historical thinking leads to underestimating how different the things will be in the (near) future. That's why people presumptuously rule out possibility of sudden and abrupt changes
May 9 5 tweets 3 min read
Today is May 9. My friend had a walk around Moscow and noticed an interesting pattern. Shop, restaurant, pub owners in Moscow all cover their property with posters and St George ribbons demonstrating their adherence to the state cult of the Great Victory

You know who doesn't? ImageImageImageImage Halal restaurants. Here you see three Chayhanas run be Central Asian immigrants and predominantly for other Gastarbeiters. They have no May 9 symbolics at all. The fourth is the restaurant of Vaynakh (=Chechen & Ingush) cuisine. It doesn't have any Victory symbolics either ImageImageImageImage
May 5 46 tweets 16 min read

As May 9 is the major symbolic date for the Russian state cult of the "Great Victory", it also serves as a psychological benchmark for Z-war. Thus on May 9 Putin will feel pressure to declare either:

1. A tactical victory
2. A rapid escalation

Let's discuss both🧵 Image Why would Putin declare a tactical victory? Well, because he can't declare a strategic one. Russian people are not that stupid. What Putin could do is achieve some tactical success and present it as a major symbolic victory which would show that the war is going somewhat okayish Image
May 4 65 tweets 15 min read
May 9, the Victory Day is a crucial symbolic date. We should expect the Victory Parade and Putin's speech to the nation on that day. What is he gonna say? Many are pondering whether he will:

1. Declare war on Ukraine
2. Declare mass mobilisation in Russia

Let's discuss both🧵 Image Let's start with the question - why Putin didn't declare the war on Ukraine yet? Well, probably because he didn't expect any serious resistance. Kremlin planned for another Czechoslovakia 1968 and was very much surprised it didn't happen. Hence the "Special Operation" terminology Image
May 2 75 tweets 29 min read
Who is fighting for Russia? Part 1. Russians

Much of misunderstanding regarding the composition of forces fighting for Russia in Ukraine results from perceiving Russia as a monolith

We can classify Russian forces into three main categories:

1. Russians
2. Chechens
3. Donbass🧵 Image Russian army is an authority-based bureaucratic organisation run through formal procedures. Cadres are interchangeable and don't matter much, while procedures and formal rank mean everything. Interchangeability of cadres makes army easier to control and minimises political risks Image
Apr 27 16 tweets 6 min read
I've already posted a few videos, often cropped and hard subbed on Twitter. And yet, it may be difficult to navigate through them or to verify their sources. Thus I created a Telegram channel where I will be posting them adding descriptions and links

t.me/galeev_visuals So far I've only posted 10 videos there, but I'll be adding more. The ones I would recommend the most:

1. Interview with Russian Wagner Mercenary from Feb 26
2. Zhirinovsky speech on Jan 18 on the goals of Z-war
3. TV program on Zvezda channel
4. Sermon by Artemy Vladimirov
Apr 25 6 tweets 2 min read
Russian oil base "Druzhba" (Friendship) near Bryansk was burning this night. Bryansk is a region directly bordering Ukraine Bryansk Oblast (red) on the map of Russia. As you see it is a border region which has already served and may serve again as a base for attacking Ukraine from the northeastern direction Image
Apr 24 59 tweets 22 min read
On April 21 the official channel of Belarus border control complained that Poland & Lithuania hamper the truck flows from the EU to Belarus. The question is - why would Poland and Lithuania allow any traffic at all? Belarus is *the* main Russian smuggling channel and trade proxy Image For years Belarus has been the main hole in Russian customs system. It's common knowledge in Russia. Consider the meme about the Belarusian octopuses Image
Apr 21 99 tweets 35 min read
Siege of Mariupol

Putin announced his decision to stop further assaults on Azovstal: the last remaining Ukrainian stronghold in Mariupol. Siege of Mariupol started on Feb 25, by March 3 the city was completely surrounded. Two months later its defenders still stand their ground🧵 Image Mariupol is a city on the Azove Sea shore. It is located about 50 km from the Russian border (grey). Since the start of the war 2014, it has been a frontline city. No wonder that with the full-scale Z-invasion it was surrounded almost immediately and now is in deep Russian rear Image
Apr 20 37 tweets 12 min read
What to read about Russia?

In this short thread I'll list some materials that would help to understand Russia better


If you want to learn more about Russian history, read Dominic Lieven's "Empire". Literally the best crash course on a national history I've read🧵 Image Although Lieven is British, his ancestors belonged to the Baltic German aristocracy. Lieven's forefathers were some of the largest landowners of the Russian Empire and occupied top positions at the St Petersburg court. See their coat of arms:

"To the God and the Sovereign" Image
Apr 18 109 tweets 37 min read
War of memes: why Z-war won't end with peace

Some Western analysts unfamiliar with Eastern European cultural context perceive Z-war as an accident. They presume that Russian invasion results from some sort of "misunderstanding" or mistake which can be resolved via negotiations🧵 Image That's a textbook example of wishful thinking. Why would such a renowned analyst as Luttwak argue that "the war need not continue"? Because *he* doesn't need it to continue. I don't need it -> Nobody needs it -> A peaceful settlement is possible. But that's not how it works Image
Apr 12 39 tweets 15 min read
Vladislav Surkov is reportedly arrested. For years he ran Russian domestic politics and later Kremlin's policy in Ukraine. On Feb 15 he published an article calling for the war to reannex Ukraine, Belarus and Baltics. Today I'll discuss his role in Putin's rise to Presidency🧵 Image Surkov has mixed heritage. His dad is Chechen - Andarbek Dudaev, his mom is Russian - Zoya Surkova. He spent his childhood in a Chechen village where he was known as Aslanbek Dudaev. But then his parents divorced and his mom took him to Russia proper, where he turned to Vladislav Image
Apr 9 6 tweets 2 min read
In this thread I'll be collecting podcasts and broadcasts where I have presented my position on the current war. I'm including here both English and Russian language talks in a chronological order, so they will be easier to navigate through🧵 On Noah Smith's podcast we discussed why Putin's Russia is *way* more personalist than the USSR ever was. I argued that sanctions are efficient, and that Putin can't back off in Ukraine or he is done (= and thus appeasement strategy won't work out) podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/pod…
Apr 6 87 tweets 28 min read
Why Russia is losing this war?

First I'll discuss why Russia *is* losing. Then I'll give my version of how it could happen. The key to understanding lies in the Soviet/Russian military doctrine. It gives context for current events and helps to predict further Russian actions🧵 Image Maps of Russian Federal News Agency show a massive retreat. Apparently, Russia abandoned its initial plans to capture Kyiv and take control of Ukraine. Thus political goals of Z-operation can't be achieved. Regime change and (partial?) annexation of Ukraine are not gonna happen Image
Apr 1 103 tweets 41 min read
Imperial Reboot

In a previous thread I outlined three scenarios for the Russian future:

1. North Korea
2. Imperial Reboot
3. National Divorce

Last time I discussed North Korea (Putin stays in power). Now I'll reiterate its main points and then outline the Imperial Reboot🧵 Image When I said that should Putin stay in power, Russia becomes North Korea I referred to its foreign policy. It'd be highly militarised, aggressive and isolationist nation that will have no other major partners but China. It will be obsessed with revenge against Ukraine and the West Image
Mar 30 19 tweets 8 min read
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
Mar 28 60 tweets 21 min read
I see three plausible scenarios for the Russian future:

1. North Korea
2. Imperial Reboot
3. Jubilee

Since Ukraine is resolved to fight, the choice of a Russian historical track ultimately depends upon the resolve of the West. Today I'll outline the North Korea scenario 🧵 Image If the West deescalates and Putin stays in power, he will become much stronger and Russia will become more like North Korea. You shouldn't delude yourself, there's no way back to February 23. As a result of "deescalation", Russia won't return to the status quo Image