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? 🧵
"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
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
Business owners put "Z" - showing their support of invasion on their trucks. Here you see a funeral service fully endorsing Z message
Russian military makes Z letters out of badges of killed Ukrainian soldiers
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
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
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
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
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
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).
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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:
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
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
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
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
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?
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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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