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The Sarmatian Review Data

January 2009

Volume XXIX, No. 1

Why learning used to be a privilege of the few

Average price of printed books in sixteenth-century Europe: 2 florins (1 florin=3.5 g of gold).

Amount of this federal debt per American: $175,000.

Source: Stanisław Mossakowski, Kaplica Zygmuntowska, 1515-1533 (Warsaw, 2008), p. 33n.

Books and war in Poland

Estimated number of books destroyed in Poland from 1939 through 1941: 15,000,000.

Source: John Leonard, review of A Universal History of the Destruction of Books,

Gazprom facing gas underproduction

Gazprom President Alexei Miller's assessment of gas output between 2007-2009: no change.

Actual gas output from 2005 on: in 2005, 555 billion cubic meters; in 2006, 556 billion cubic meters; in 2007, 548.5 billion cubic meters; no data for 2008 and no data on the previously announced plans for increasing production between 2008-2011.

Price of gas in Russia: Russian government continues to subsidize internal gas consumption and appears to be backtracking on its previous promise to discontinue it by 2011.

Possible outcome: increasing internal and external demand for gas and dwindling capacity to extract gas from the Russian Federation's territory will make Russia more aggressive in appropriating Central Asian gas and selling it as “Russian” gas.

Source: Vladmir Socor, “Gazprom hit by gas shortfall,” Eurasia Daily Monitor, vol. 5, no. 136 (17 July 2008).

Losses of American investors in Russia

Amount of dollars American citizens lost when the Russian government nationalized Yukos: 12 billion dollars.

Source: Anders Aslund, “Russia's Capitalist Revolution: Why Market Reform Succeeded and Democracy Failed,” Kennan Institute Meeting Report, vol. XXV, no. 17 (2008).

Russia and Ukraine

Estimate of the number of Russian passports held illegally by inhabitants of the Crimea: up to 100,000.

Status of the inhabitants of Ukraine who hold dual citizenship (Ukrainian and Russian): illegal. Ukraine does not allow dual citizenship.

Results of a recent investigation of dual citizenship in Sevastopol, Crimea: 1,595 cases of dual citizenship were discovered.

Reason Ukraine does not allow dual citizenship with Russia: it is afraid it will serve as a pretext for a possible future Russian invasion of the Crimea.

Source: Taras Kuzio in Eurasia Daily Monitor, vol. 5, no. 176 (15 September 2008).

Opinions of Ukrainians about Russia and NATO after Russia-Georgia conflict

Percentage of Ukrainians who blame Russia for the conflict and consider Russians to be aggressors: 44.3 percent.

Percentage of Ukrainians who consider Russian actions to be a “peacekeeping operation”: 41.4 percent.

The undecided vote: 14.3 percent.

Breakdown by region: Russia is perceived as aggressor by 72.9 percent of western Ukrainians, 62.5 percent of respondents in the Kyiv region, 58 percent of residents of central Ukraine, 56.3 percent in the east, and 53.5 percent in the south.

Percentage of Ukrainians who think Russia's reaction to Georgia's actions was unjustified: 57.4 percent.

Percentage of Ukrainians opposed to Ukrainian membership in NATO: 63 percent.

Percentage of Ukrainians opposed to Russian claims to the port of Sevastopol and the Crimea: 73.1 percent.

Source: Opinion polls by the Taylor Nelson Soifrez Ukraine, conducted 19-22 August 2008; and by Institute for Strategic Research, conducted 21-26 August 2008, as reported by Roman Kupchinsky in Eurasia Daily Monitor, vol. 5, no. 173 (10 September 2008).

Ecological value of Polish agriculture

Number of varieties of apple trees still cultivated in Polish orchards: about 200.

Names of some varieties now cultivated only in Poland: malinówki, antonówki, papierówki, renety gwiazdkowe. kosztele (the favorite of King Jan III Sobieski)-all tall trees, in contrast to the commercial dwarf varieties.

Number of new growers persuaded to grow old apple varieties by the Ecological Institute: about 100.

Number of old fruit orchards in Poland in the 1990s and in 2008: about 2,000 and about 500, respectively.

Source: Grzegorz ¸yÊ, “Niech znowu zakwitnà kosztele,” Rzeczpospolita (Plus-Minus), 4 October 2008.

Organic farming in Poland

Number of organic farms in Poland in 1996 and 2008: 300 and 13,500, respectively.

Average farm size in Poland: 17 acres, ideally suited for organic farming according to Bernhard Jansen, head of EkoConnect. a German nonprofit think tank that studies organic farming.

Source: Marynia Kruk, “Poland's organic farms prove to be fruitful ventures,” Christian Science Monitor, 9 October 2008.

Turkmen gas reserves and their strategic implications

Estimated amount of gas reserves in the South Yoloten-Osman gas fields: between 6 and 14 trillion cubic meters, none of it committed to any gas or oil company, Eastern or Western.

Estimated amount of gas reserves in the Russian Shtokman gas field: four trillion cubic meters.

Estimated output of gas from the South Yoloten-Osman fields after develoment: from 10 to 70 billion cubic meters per year.

Name of company that has conducted an audit on the potential of these fields: Gaffney, Cline and Associates of Great Britain.

Amount of gas Turkmenistan produced in 2007: 70 billion cubic meters.

Countries that compete for the right to explore and develop Turkmen gas fields: Russia (through Gazprom), China, and several European countries.

Source: Vladimir Socor, “New Turkmen gas fields change the strategic gas export picture,” Eurasia Daily Monitor,

Russian attitudes toward immigrants

Number of racially motivated attacks in Russia in 2007: 73 attacks resulting in death, 580 resulting in body injury.

Number of such attacks between January 1 and November 5, 2008: 81 attacks resulting in death and 320 resulting in body injuries.

Percentage of Russians opposed to ethnic migration to Russia: 68 percent, 75 percent in Moscow and St.Petersburg.

Source: Yuri Zarakhovich in Eurasia Daily Monitor, vol. 5, no. 219 (14 November 2008).

Polish mission in Iraq 2003-2008

Number of Polish soldiers serving in Iraq in ten shifts: 15,000.

Casualties: 22 dead, 116 wounded.

Activities: conducting 88,000 patrols and convoys, checking 3,000,000 vehicles, disarming 3,600,000 explosives and mines; paticipating in 3,000 reconstruction projects costing 172 million dollars (such as rebuilding of schools, water and electricity systems, and training 31,000 Iraqis for military and police service).

Cost for the Polish budget of maintaining this mission: 800,000 zloties, or approximately 400,000 million dollars.

Source: Rzeczpospolita, 16 September 2008.

Jews in the United States Congress

Number of Jewish members in the 111th U.S. Congress: 31, and 13 Senators in the Senate.

Breakdown of the Jewish vote in the 2008 presidential election, according to the initial polling data: 78 percent for Obama, 22 percent for McCain.

Source: The Global News Service of the Jewish People, 5 November 2008 (

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Last updated 2/16/09