Red-Pilled War Realists That AE Reads and You Can Too
Everyone's a Strelkovite (realist) now. (In Russia)
Everyone's a Strelkovite (realist) now. (In Russia)
If waiting for the next AE article to drop ever gets too much you could always visit some of the same sources I use. Here is some of the stuff I pay attention to and recommend.
Ukraine Russia Report is a good subreddit to follow just because they have pro-Russian and pro-Ukrainian posters and content alike. It’s good to be exposed to both to keep yourself honest. And the participants are far smarter than the posters on the Ukrainian Conflict subreddit which is far bigger, but a giant circle-jerk and just deranged. (The pro-Ukrainian version of our 5D imbeciles.)
We laughed at Strelkov while he was right
— ZOKA (@200_zoka) September 8, 2022
Moving on to Telegram. The pickings in English are scarce, the biggest channels remain cringe. I would recommend Zoka, who was perhaps the first of the pro-Russian battlefield updates people to get red-pilled. Starting out actively dismissive of Strelkov he later admitted that Strelkov Was Right.
The other one is Ghost who somehow manages to be both low-brow and a huge snowflake at the same time, but after Liman and Kherson he has become a lot more red-pilled himself now, so that’s something.
In the Russian language, the best channel is Strelkov’s own. But since he has left for the front (he’s a deputy commander in a merc battalion) he has stopped updating it. However, he left us with a prophecy:
"If I am called to serve as a PMC, it means that the patriotic group of authorities has won, if I am imprisoned, then the liberal oligarchic group has won. If I am imprisoned, forget about the victory, if they call me to the front, we will win"
Igor Ivanovich Strelkov pic.twitter.com/G73BoQyw7d
— ДражаМ (@DrazaM33) October 18, 2022
He offered the kremlins a way to shut him up, and they finally took it. Right after they had delivered the fiascos he had been warning about for months. Good luck legend, and watch your back. Don’t end up like Stremousov.
The Russian Telegram channels are numerous, with different focuses, and the big ones are also extremely active so that it’s impossible to fully follow more than a few. Sladkov and WarGonzo are the two best battlefield correspondents, there’s the Greyzone and Reverse Side of the Medal if you want to know what low-level Wagnerites are thinking, there’s the POW/gore channel Chub Detection, there’s the black piller El Murid… there are all kinds and it’s impossible to monitor them all.
Of the general war channels, Rybar is the most interesting because there now exists a project on Twitter to translate parts of it:
I was critical of Rybar in the past, mercilessly (and deservedly) so, but over time it has gotten considerably better and more red-pilled. It started out very uncritically but after one disillusionment after another, it is now a soft-Strelkovite channel.
Actually, this gradual shift from cheerleading to becoming sharply critical of how the kremlins are running the war effort has marked the entire Russian military blogosphere (including the Telegram microblogs). The only exceptions are the very few who were realists from the very start. (Only in the English language can you still find Kremlin apologists.)
Moving onto HTML. Military Review is the big one. A hangout of former servicemen and military buffs with 30 million monthly views. It was home to some outspoken realist voices from the start, chiefly the irrepressible Viktor Biryukov (from LNR).
But early on much of the publication and its stable of authors had escapist tendencies. Perhaps out of a sense of loyalty they avoided being openly critical. Instead of pointing out problems with the running war they were churning out irrelevant off-topic material on old history and hardware. That is all over now. They’ve had a ton of fantastic stuff recently, and now most everyone there is a Strelkov reincarnate.
Kenigtiger is another Russian LiveJournal blogger, who is well-regarded in the realist (reality-based) community. He is a LNR veteran.
Another valuable resource is the Yaplakal forum. This is just a giant general message board with a news/events section as one of many. Why it is so valuable is that you can see what stories Russian “normies” are reading and how they feel about things.
Not what they are being served by the boomer state TV, but how they actually feel.
It was interesting to observe that Yaplakal posters when the war broke out switched from anti-Covidianism and government-hating typical of ordinary Russians, to uncritical hurrah patriotism, but which lasted only weeks. The “normie” Russian internet users actually came down to earth much faster than did the military blogosphere like Rybar. In Russia it was the “normies” who instinctively recognized something was going terribly wrong and that Shoigu was full of shit before the specialists did. (Or at least before the specialists spoke up.)
Check it out. Maybe you’ll be surprised by the level of cynicism and realism on the ground in Russia. You think I’m too critical of Putin/Kremlin? Every Russian I have ever spoken to got annoyed with me within 10 minutes for being too pro-Putin and sounding too much like their boomer TV for their taste. And that’s just the gopniks I was drinking 2-liter plastic beers with on a Moscow Khrushchyovka rooftop at 3 am. (There was a 9-pm liquor ban but they knew an Uzbek shop that would sell it anyway.)
Finally, in the English language, Daniel L Davies is interesting. He is a retired US Army lieutenant colonel but who was critical of US strategies and wars in Afghanistan and Syria. He remains moderately bullish on Russia’s prospects.
His is the most Russia-bullish take that I still find credible and could conceivably buy.
If you’re on Twitter you can follow some of the accounts below:
A mix of Russians, Balkanics, Syrians and Westerners. They don’t post much to their timelines but they make realist comments under stuff so it should make the algorithm serve you up realist discussions from time to time.
Girkin compares Russian authorities with gargoyles from Diablo. pic.twitter.com/L4y1GhbWEh
— Dmitri (@wartranslated) October 7, 2022