The Business of Disinformation – The West Gets Ready to Roll the Bones

Uncle Volodya says, "A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep. "

Uncle Volodya says, “A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep. “


It’s up to you how you wanna live: go out and have your fun
You don’t wanna be a fugitive from the things you never done;
Ain’t nobody gonna throw you a bone, to keep your hopes alive:
You got to walk like a big dog, baby, ’cause only the strong survive

Roll of the dice, put ‘em in motion
Where they stop, nobody knows
Just a roll of the dice – ain’t nothin’ for certain

But if you feel lucky….go ahead and roll them bones

From “Roll of the Dice”, by The Fabulous Thunderbirds

The west plainly does not like its chances in the event that it confronts Russia militarily in the Crimea. So it is going to settle, for the moment, for making the presence of Russian troops look like a massive invasion that has left poor, decent Ukraine violated and sobbing with its skirts shredded around its thighs, just as democracy was about to flower. Don’t you believe it.

As a classic of disinformation, it’s hard to beat the work of professional obfuscators, and the BBC does not disappoint. Its maundering “Moscow’s Ukraine Gamble”  is a best-of-British effort to wrench things back on track to where the west dictates to Russia rather than the other way round.

Before we dig into it, let’s start from an anchor point few are exploring - the present government in Ukraine is illegal and illegitimate. Thanks to Natalie at Fluent Historian and a handful of other sites like Moon of Alabama, it is clear that the Patronage-Seats-to-the-Revolutionary-Soldiers “transitional Government” in Kiev did not come anywhere near following the rules to impeach Yanukovych, and he is consequently still the legal and elected President of Ukraine. Therefore any moves by the current McGovernment in Kiev to make bold decisions like signing the EU Association Agreement before the Presidential elections take place are null and void and no international body should be so foolish as to accept them as legally binding.

Well, let’s take a look at it. This, we learned, is in many ways like the last time Russia launched a brutal invasion – against peaceful Georgia, in 2008. They don’t come straight out and say it exactly like that, instead drawing the comparison and leaving you to conclude both actions were unprovoked invasions. The west, they say, was left largely on the sidelines in both instances. Is that so? Ha, ha; no. In both cases the west was fully involved beforehand, stroking and cuddling with the leaders and urging them on, which in Georgia’s case was sufficient to convince the sociopath Saakashvili that the west would ride to support him if he only got the ball rolling. In this case, too, the glorious revolutionaries who have awarded themselves plum postings in Kiev also appealed to NATO right away, perhaps believing the rush of billing and cooing from Foreign Ministers, diplomats, U.S. State Department officials and EU bigwigs to coax the revolution in to being and support its onjectives so vociferously in the press constituted a promise to send in the tanks should their shooting their mouths off result in Russia throwing a beer in their face.

There can be little doubt that western and EU elites encouraged this from a long time back. When they were still sure that Yanukovych was caught between a rock and a hard place and would sign the association agreement even though it meant freeing and pardoning Tymoshenko, the west growled at Russia like a dog with a bone between its paws, and made a lot of high-minded freedom-to-decide statements to the effect that sovereign nations must be left free from interference to make their own decisions, and that anything, anything Russia did that might affect that, even to musing that it might have to impose tariffs on some Ukrainian products in order to discourage dumping of products the EU would not buy would constitute bullying, and that if Russia knew what was good for it, it would just be supportive or else the EU and USA would find ways of punishing it for its reluctance to accept the new world order.

Well. Then Yanukovych executed a complete reversal, squibbed the agreement and threw it in the trash, and went to Moscow to strike a better deal, which he did in very short order. This was nothing more than a sovereign nation making its own decision, but right away the western elites swung into action to undermine, sabotage and ultimately re-reverse it.

Which brings us to the deployment of an augmentation of Russian troops to the Crimea, and widespread pro-Russia revolt throughout the East and South of Ukraine proper, while the Transition Circus Troupe in Kiev squeals belatedly for unity. The whole thing, according to the Beeb, is a battle of wills between Moscow and Kiev (in which the USA and EU are apparently uninvolved and blameless) which could turn into a civil war in Ukraine. Why, yes; it might. Whose fault is that? Russia’s? Are you kidding me?

But the west so saw it coming, because Russia’s moves were all right out of the “post-Soviet play-book”.

Just as if the west has not engineered a series of regime changes in quick succession, using the “Regime-Change Play-Book”. Seize on an incident, blow it out of proportion and cast it as a rebel group struggling for freedom against an apocalyptic dictator, promise the support of all those who love freedom while reminding all those people that freedom isn’t free and it is their duty to help their brothers achieve it, demonize the government beyond all recognition and blithely make up incidents of it firing into crowds of peaceful protesters, announce the invocation of the Right to Protect Civilians and the imposition of humanitarian corridors – which coincide with all the government’s possible defensive moves – for the purpose of evacuating fleeing civilians and then let mission creep do the rest. Badda-bing, badda-boom, new leader, new government, move on.

And now, although he has stuck to the letter of the law thus far and even gone along with all the ridiculous artificial anchors the west has attempted to tie to his legs, Putin “risks losing all that goodwill” if he will not withdraw his forces and leave the Crimea to the tender mercies of the phony government in Kiev, so that they can deliver a complete trussed package to the EU. Because if he doesn’t, the EU might, you know, find its oil and gas supplies somewhere else. Just sayin’.

Tell you what; you do that, Sunshine.

Anybody believe Russia has brought in additional forces until the total in the region surpasses 25,000 troops (remember, we’re just talking Russian forces; the some 50,000 troops loyal to the Crimean Autonomous Region do not count), 161 aircraft and 388 warships? Oh, wait; do Ukrainian navy ships which have deserted and gone over to Russia count against their total?

I was being sarcastic – the total strength of the Russian navy including auxiliaries and submarines is less than 388 warships.

But wait; here comes my favourite part. “Any economic solution must draw in international financial institutions and Western governments too. That is going to involve some kind of partnership with Moscow and there is not currently going to be much good will towards the Kremlin.”

Got that? If Moscow does not immediately stop this fannying about, which is impeding the global recognition of an illegal and illegitimate government imposed by a violent coup, Moscow might not be invited to contribute financially to the goal of a united and Russia-intolerant Ukraine as an EU and NATO member!!

I have to stop here, because I can’t go on. I’m speechless.

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819 Responses to The Business of Disinformation – The West Gets Ready to Roll the Bones

  1. kirill says:

    There must be some belief amongst the elites and their media mouthpieces that chutzpah and wishful thinking will result in reality bending their way. We had Karl Rove pretty much assert this during the Bush W. presidency. The Rovians make reality through force of their will, while all of us in the reality based community just flail about. But reality fails to bend to their will. The invasion of Iraq is now basically a failure (no more talk about pumping 12 million barrels per day of oil while Iraq buys billions of dollars worth of Russian military equipment). Ukraine is also not working out. I get the sense that the coup was rushed. We may yet see this illegal regime completely disintegrate.

    • patient observer says:

      Absolutely agree, the coup was rushed. The key missing piece was an alternate source of gas for the EU. If that Qatar/Nabucco pipeline was in the works if not already completed, the West’s Ukraine grab could have worked. However, Syria’s resistance to the empire threw a huge spanner into that plan. If Syria had gone quietly and quickly 2-3 years ago, the the West would be smirking and gloating as they turned on the pure-burning Qatari gas and the Ukraine fell into their hands like an over-ripe orange.

      I don’t think even the West thought fracked gas was a realistic option. That bubble was meant just to frack the suckers to extract money that was locked in otherwise impervious investments by the application of high pressure hype. The frack bubble also gave Poland a hit of political crack cocaine so needed to maintain a high level of superiority and smugness.

      So, the West has pumped billions in Ukraine in its takeover bid. It was too late to turn back. They muddled ahead but with a mixed agenda. The US’s objective was to screw Russia. The EU had a more nuanced objective involving cheap labor, new markets and the ever-present need of all Empires to expand so their main goal with the EU association agreement.

      If China and Russia develop a coordinated economic strategy to push back hard, the West as we know it will soon be no more. Buy gold.

  2. Alex says:

    The situation in Ukraine is quite complex. 20+ years of relentless propoganda by the media totally under control of oligarchs made an impact and it still does. There are Ukranians who hate Russia, there are Ukranians who love Russia, there are Russians who loves Russia and there are Russians who hate Russia! Take a look at Ukranian section of Internet. It is full of war drums! Gosh! What a BS they post here. They claim in general that Russia wants to keep them in her world of corruption, poverty and cruelty. That would be so funny if it wouldn’t be so horrible. Country that stucked in 90th by all accounts with rampaging corruption and inequality, low incomes (at least two times lower than in Rusia) and where the best they have for law and order is masked boys with bats and AKs can claim that! And they claim they are against corruption! I love this part most of all! The oligarchs has destroyed Ukrainian state at the first sign of free will on the part of the state using national-socialist gangs who attracts their followers by anti-oligarchical preaching! And now they want to get these gangs being sent to war where they should be killed by Russian intruders to became the martyrs in the new state where the oligarchs will rule by the iron fist of their own private armies (ЧОП). What a joke!
    The Ukranian oligarchs are the main enemy of Ukranian people and now to avoid payback for their evel deeds they want this propogandistic war with Russia. It might turn out that the war would became more personal than they anticipate! In short words, get rid of Pinchuck, Kolomoysky, Akhmetov! They are the root of the war!

    • Moscow Exile says:

      And the best of it is that those bandits and shitehawks in Kiev that calls itself a government have appointed as governors of Novaya Rossiya a pair of oligarchs, who will be as welcome there as the proverbial turd in a swimming pool.

      see: Rule by oligarchs: Kiev appoints billionaires to govern east

      Of course, this could all be Kremlin propaganda.

      • marknesop says:

        I saw Kolomoisky’s appointment announced yesterday, although its significance escaped me as I did not realize who he was; also, I got the impression (incorrect, as it turns out) that he had been appointed by the regional council rather than the central government, which would not have been particularly noteworthy as officials thought to be in the pocket of the central government are getting chucked out all over. Never heard of the other guy.

        There are moments in every campaign that are later pointed to and identified in the chronology of the event as the moment things started to go wrong. There have been so many such moments in this piece of history that it would be difficult to identify the one which revealed the hastily-formed government does not even know what governance means, and believes it is sufficient just to put people in charge. But this decision would have to be on a par with that of the USA to disband the Iraqi Army without collecting their weapons.

        It appears to not be an invention of RT, although it looks like RT is beginning to get a feel for this propaganda thing.

  3. reggietcs says:


    Having lost 26.6 million dead fighting fascists during World War II, it is not in Russia’s political DNA to allow fascists to rise to power right in the Slavic heartland. Nor is a newly resurgent Russia, whose team just came in first at the winter Olympics in Sochi, beating the old Soviet record for the number of medals, is likely to strike a relaxed pose with regard to a fascist takeover of Ukraine. And so, on March 1, the Russian parliament approved Putin’s request for the use of the armed forces in Ukraine. Right now in Western Ukraine they are busy demolishing World War II memorials and celebrating Nazi collaborators as national heroes, but my guess is that, as events unfold, Western Ukraine will finally be de-Nazified, 70 years late.

    In light of all this, some people might wonder: were the people in Washington and in Brussels always eager to favor fascists, or is this a new thing for them? I believe the answer is that it doesn’t matter. Their assigned job is to destroy countries, and this they do well. They have destroyed Iraq, Libya and Syria, but these are small, and the beast is still hungry. They would love to destroy Iran, but that has turned out too tough a nut to crack. And so they have now set their sights on larger prey: Venezuela and Ukraine. And the reason they have to continue destroying countries is so that the process of wealth destruction, which is inevitable as the world runs short of critical resources, can run its course some place other than the West’s economic heartlands in the US and Northern Europe. It matters very little to them whether they have to support al Qaeda fighters in Libya and Syria or fascists in Ukraine; it’s all the same to them.

    • yalensis says:

      Thanks for link Reggie, Kuczyński is really good. I must definitely start reading his blog.

      • yalensis says:

        P.S. – as to the question whether Washington/Brussels always supported fascists, or just started doing so – I believe the answer is clear.
        Barely had WWII ended, with European cities still in rubble, when Washington turned on a dime and began to spirit Nazis to safety. Not just rocket scientists, but also major war criminals, SS, etc. They were helped in this by the Catholic Church.
        This has been documented by Jewish historians of the Holocaust.
        In particular, there was a Jewish official hired by the American government to prosecute Nazi war criminals. (I apologize that I can’t recall this guy’s name now, and a quick google search does not give me the results I seek.) Anyhow, this guy discovered very early in the game that his post was just supposed to be a fig-leaf for what was actually happening, with American government desperately trying to save as many high-ranking Nazis as possible. But he plowed on, and continued to expose and prosecute Nazis. He wrote a book about it, which I read, several years ago. (again, apologize for not remembering his name, and I don’t have the book any more either)

        As for the Europeans, the vast majority of European governments and population supported Hitler and his goals. When Hitler lost the war, they all switched sides and pretended they had been anti-Nazi all along.

        In concusion, both America and Europe were always very pro-fascist and pro-Nazi. To them, WWII was just a temporary detour, and then they quickly returned to their proclivities.

        It’s all about the geo-political realities, and their attitude to Russia, obviously…

        • marknesop says:

          The military effort to hoover up and transplant as many Nazi technical and medical researchers as possible ahead of the overall Allied advance was Operation Paperclip. The names of those scientists and specialists who were identified by their own government as vital to the war effort were helpfully compiled in a document called the Osenberg List, which fell into the hands of the Americans after being discovered by a Polish lab technician in a jammed toilet, by which means somebody had likely been trying to get rid of it. I know; you can’t make this stuff up.

    • Jen says:

      George W Bush’s grandfather Prescott Bush had some business connections with Nazi Germany. Until 1942, Poppy was shareholder of a company that had a factory close to the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp complex and it is possible some of the factory’s employees came from that complex.

      Then of course when Germany was on the ropes in 1944 – 1945, the US enticed a lot of scientists and engineers to leave Germany to work in its own science and technology fields. Of course lot of these professionals had had no choice but to work for the Nazis if they wanted jobs but some of these guys had no qualms in switching loyalties and a good number of them had knowledge and experience in areas like biological and chemical warfare that the US was keen to use.

      Likewise, those Japanese scientists and medics who had done research in biological and chemical warfare for the Japanese Imperial Army during WW2 (using civilians and POWs as guinea pigs in various experiments) were given an amnesty by the US after the war.

      I’ve also heard the British were partial to pardoning German military officers during their administration of northern Germany after WW2. The British and the CIA also collaborated with Stepan Bandera after the war to run agents into the Ukrainian SSR to undermine Communist rule.

      I’ve seen a Mike Billington interview on the Press TV website in which he stated that because of this collaboration, Nikita Khrushchev while he was regional Party Secretary there made special efforts to persuade Ukrainians to turn away from Bandera to the extent that after succeeding Stalin as leader, he gifted Crimea to Ukraine in January 1954.

      So the fascist connections go back a long way.

      • yalensis says:

        That’s a very interesting sidebar about Khrushchev gifting Crimea to Ukraine as a way of winning over Ukes from Banderites. I never realized that, or thought of it that way. I just assumed Nikita did it for ethnic/nefarious reasons.

        Your explanation actually makes more sense.

  4. yalensis says:

    Donbass in rebellion against illegal putschist government in Kiev:

    Demonstrators waving banners reading: “Donbass – is Russia” and “Russians are our brothers”.
    I saw another placard in one of the photos somewhere that, to me, expressed it best, it read:

    “In EU we are slaves. In Russia we are brothers.”

    • marknesop says:

      Of course this will be put down to Russian aggression and provocation, but it would be helpful if Ukrainians remembered that they brought this upon themselves, and that it is the direct example of a popular uprising in which people who do not wish to wait for the cumbersome legalities of democracy decide to violently change their government which has inspired the people of the Crimea to do the same. Of course when Kiev did it, it was patrician and noble; long-suffering serfs casting off the yoke of bondage. But Crimeans who do the same are ungrateful rebels. Our own behaviour is ever unlovely when we see it mirrored in the actions of others, regardless how recent the example, and it is always impossible for us to see ourselves as oppressors.

  5. yalensis says:

    Russian troops take over the last hold-outs of Ukrainian border posts in Crimea.

    These are the headquarters of the Azov-Black Sea regional offices and also the Simferopol one.
    This happened yesterday afternoon (Sunday).

    To my knowledge, this completes Russian control over every last HQ and border post in Crimea.
    And speaking of Crimea, people there have already come up with the new name for the Peninsula, assuming it becomes an independent country after the referedum:

    It will be called the “Republic of Crimea”. Very original…

    • Moscow Exile says:

      What’s wrong with Таврическая губернiя? [Taurida Governorate]

      That’s what that fat frau Ekaterina Velikaya had it called it – after the name the Greeks had used, namely: Ταυρικὴ Χερσόνησος (Taurike Khersonesos) or Χερσoνησος Ταυρική (Khersonesos Taurike), “Tauric peninsula”.

      And that kicks into touch all this “the Tatars were the original inhabitants” bollocks as well. The Greek name comes from the inhabitants Jason and his Argonaut chums came across, the Tauri, who were Scythians.

      According to Wiki, the inhabitants of the Crimea were in chronological order: Cimmerians, Bulgars, Greeks, Scythians, Goths, Huns, Khazars, the Rus’, Byzantine Greeks, Kipchaks, Ottoman Turks, Golden Horde Tatars and the Mongols.

      Then came those slab-faced Russian goons.

      These Guardianistas that keep on giving this “the Tatars were there first” crap should therefore hand over the bulk of the United Kingdom to those whose blood lines go back to the Brythonic Celts, who were amongst the earliest inhabitants of mainland Britain and whose modern descendants are the Welsh.

      Cymru am byth!

      • cartman says:

        Most of these new Tatar experts keep referring to the sauce.

        • Moscow Exile says:

          Or that French delicacy “Steak Tartare“.

          That’s one thing I won’t touch: too bloody dangerous! I read that there’s a high proportion of Frenchmen that has worms through eating steak tartare. When I took Mrs. Exile to La Belle France on honeymoon.she was gobsmacked when I pointed out to her that a French bloke at the next table was scoffing raw meat.

          • yalensis says:

            Okay, okay! Enough of this Tatar bashing, my friends!

            It’s not like I am defending raw meat.
            However, historians are now discovering that Tatar-Mongols were not nearly as bad as they were cracked up to be!
            Above source claims that nomadic peoples were everybit as civilized as Europeans.

            I believe that. After all, Europeans of that time were burning witches at the stake!

  6. yalensis says:

    Interesting military analysis of capabilities of Russian and Ukrainian armies, respectively. Author interviews various military experts from both sides, including Viktor Murakhovsky, editor of the military journal “Arsenal of the Fatherland”.

    Russia has big military advantage, obviously. Murakhovsky adds that the Russian experiences in fighting the Caucasus wars, the war in South Ossetia, and also peacekeeping experiences in Yugoslavia — all this has really helped the Russian army know what to do with Crimea. Due to this, the men are well trained in all possible scenarios.

    Ukrainian military expert Viacheslav Tselujko sees Russian troops fanning out into the Northeast and East of Ukraine, for example in Luhansk.
    According to Tselujko, the Ukrainian army will grow significantly in the next few days, as universal conscription kicks in. [yalensis note: not in this piece, but I read elsewhere that illegal putschist government in Kiev has allocated the last few hryvnas left in the budget to build her army; and Americans will also help them by funding more army]

    Tselujko says that loyalty to Kiev is more pronounced in the west than in the east, and one should not expect significant defections to the Russian side, unlike what was seen in Crimea.

    [yalensis: that's okay, nobody expects Western Ukraine to come over to Russian side; many of us just expect this to end in semi-civilized partition, with pro-Nazi government in the west; and anti-Nazi governmenet in the east]

    Tselujko also reckons, optimistically, that the Ukrainian army could easily occupy the northern “steppe” part of Crimea, because Russian forces are over-extended in the southen part of the peninsula. The Ukrainian army still has Soviet systems of firepower such as the “Smerch” (“Tordano”) system, which can really clear out an area, did they decide to employ them against Russian troops.

    Another military expert, Igor Korotchenko, points out that Turkey most likely will not risk attackiing Russian ships in the Black Sea. If they did, they could be nuked (News Flash: Russia has nukes!)
    and this should serve as a deterrent to the Turks.

    • marknesop says:

      This had better not actually escalate to a war between Russia and Ukraine, because the west will be pathologically incapable of sitting on the sidelines and calling for calm – it aches to prove the superiority of its technology and firepower against the lumbering Slav. All the western powers would eventually be drawn in, and we would end up with another World War, as I don’t believe China would sit on the sidelines either. As each World War has been more destructive than the last, I don’t know that the planet could recover from another. So long as it stops with Crimea, Ukraine will bitch but will have little choice but to let it go. If partition of the rest of Ukraine came about through civil war, so be it, but western and central Ukraine would bitterly oppose partition imposed by a Russian intervention. I’m sure Putin knows this well. It will become a case of whether the East and South can prevail against the West and Centre. Curiously, though, it is the mark of this unbelievably hamfisted government that it always chooses to act without thinking, and then demands that those who oppose it negotiate. Why should those who oppose it choose negotiation when the government plainly is contemptuous of negotiation? Are all the mirrors in Kiev broken, and is there no means left for this crowd of collaborators to see itself as others see it?

  7. yalensis says:

    Meanwhile, Russia’s Investigative Committee has opened a criminal case against Dmitry Yarosh, leader of the Ukrainian “Right Sector” party, which now has significant representation in illegal Ukrainian government in Kiev.

    This criminal case is in connection with Yarosh connections with Doku Umarov, and his (Yarosh) calls for jihadists to launch terrorist attacks on Russian territory.

    Mark Sleboda pointed out that the ties between Ukrainian radicals and Chechen separatists is well known. «Эти боевики воевали в Ираке и Сирии, они являются международной угрозой, а не просто национальным сепаратистским движением, каковым оно, возможно, было в девяностые. Совершенно неудивительно, что западно-украинские ультранационалисты из «Правого сектора» обратились к Доку Умарову с просьбой активизировать войну с Россией», “These militants fought in Iraq and in Syria, they are an international threat…” Sleboda pointed out.

    It is expected that investigation launched today will result in Russia putting out international warrant for Yarosh arrest.
    [yalensis: In theory, this could lead to Russian commandos going to Kiev to arrest Yarosh?]

    Meanwhile, in Crimea, the process continues of officers and troops voluntarily defecting and going over to the side of the ARK (=Autonomous Republic of Crimea). Just in the last couple of days, an additional 5086 soldiers belonging to various types of units: Interior, Border, and regular army troops.
    A separate battalion in Yalta also pledged loyalty oath to ARK.
    Also rocket-launching troops in Evpatoria and Theodosia.
    [yalensis: I prefer to use Greek spellings like "Sebastopol" (instead of Russian "Sevastopol") and "Theodosia" (instead of Russian "Feodosia") because I simply love the Greek language, it looks and sounds so cool....]

    Anyhow, to continue, over the weekend, the ARK put together its own Ministry of Defense.
    “Crimeans proved that they are able to defend themselves,” declared Sergei Aksonov, the Prime Minister of ARK.

  8. yalensis says:

    Angela Merkel questions Putin’s sanity?
    “He is living in another world,” she sadly told Western media. “He is out of touch with reality.”

    American media immediately picked this up triumphantly as proof that Putin is a madman. He is completely out of control, and therefore needs to be put down like the mad dog that he is (Just like Saddam Hussein and Gaddafi before him, who were also madmen who opposed American foreign policy!)

    For Merkel’s own sake, I hope she is wrong about Putin being a madman. Because she is supposed to travel to Moscow in a day or so to meet with him personally. How could she risk this?
    If Putin were truly a madman, completely out of touch with reality, then who knows what he could do to her? For example, he could kidnap her, rape her multiple times, and then put her in his Kremlin harem! Angela might face horrors that she could not possibly even imagine!

    • Jen says:

      A real case of the pot calling the kettle black. Merkel should have put 5 billion euros towards promoting Viktor Klitschko as capo di capi in Kyiv if she’d been in touch with reality.

      Yes, she will find that she looks an absolute dog next to supposed Putin pet Alina Kabaeva in the harem.

      • yalensis says:

        Poor Angela will have to take dancing lessons. All Asiatic tyrants like Putin expect their harem girls to do sexy dances on demand.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      He should stick the head on her when she reaches out to shake his hand, giving her the dubious of pleasure of realizing that her diagnosis was correct.

    • marknesop says:

      Hey!! Putin is living in a bubble, just like us!! Welcome to the bubble, Mr. President!! Moscow Exile, see if we have any more of that sun-dried fish, will you? I’m sure the President would like some; here, you can have my seat.

      Luckily Merkel’s genderless appearance is ample protection against her inclusion in the Putin harem.

      • Moscow Exile says:

        “Luckily Merkel’s genderless appearance is ample protection against her inclusion in the Putin harem.”

        What a cheeky grin!

        • yalensis says:

          Wow! Angela was actually quite attractive back in the day! Nice curvy body, cute mischievous smile, good muscle tone.
          German Fräuleins are the best!
          I think I am falling in love, except that I also hate her… :)

        • marknesop says:

          Dear me; she was quite the free spirit in her younger days, what? And I have to say; not bad. I could never have imagined it. There have been several tectonic shifts since those days, though, I’m afraid, and she now reminds me of nothing so much as Quasimodo, having had the wen in his eye healed by Pastor James Bakker.

      • Sam says:

        Ed Lucas, always one to go the extra mile, has posted in his twitter that his “source”, a Russian oligarch, has told him that Putin has a brain tumor, which is why he is acting so oddly. So that’s the latest thing they are trying to stick to him: Putin, he so cray-zay!!!

        • Moscow Exile says:

          Is the proposition that he is behaving oddly true?

          There are many millions who do not believe he is behaving oddly at all.

          • Sam says:

            To anyone who’s been following the events in Ukraine, of course there is nothing odd in Putin’s actions. But with Merkel reportedly saying that Putin is living in another world and has lost touch with reality, and with Lucas’ latest “revelation”, I feel that’s the spin they are trying to put on it.

            Notice that even Merkel’s alleged characterization of Putin is only a rumor as far as I know. Various reports mention It was started by the German newpaper Bild which claimed it had gained inside information on the telephone exchange between the US and German leaders from American sources. Not a very solid source if you ask me.

        • marknesop says:

          Reminds me of that guy at Open Democracy who diagnosed Putin’s loneliness issues from reading a story about him in the newspaper. There’s no limit to the services a dicator can obtain remotely these days, without ever meeting the service providers or paying a penny. It’s a powerful argument for dictatorship, when you think about it.

          So….give. How was the Olympics?? Good to see you back after your adventure.

          • Sam says:

            It was beyond great! A perfectly organized event with absolutely gorgeous venues. From the locals to the volunteers to the tourists, it felt just like we were all in one giant festive party. I wanted to write about it, but events in Ukraine unfolded so quickly and dramatically that Sochi’s complete success conveniently became old news.

            One thing I wanted to mention though, were foreign journalists. I mean at some point it became so funny, that we (visitors) started having inside jokes about them. For anyone there in Sochi, getting “interviewed” was one of the most hilarious part of the day. And you would get “interviewed” A LOT. in the time I stayed, I got stopped by BBC radio, CBS (3 times), RTB and ORF correspondents just to name a few, and their questions were always in such a way that they would somehow have the wanted answer in it. Now just to clarify, that was not all reporters. There was in fact a clear divide in the behavior of the interviewers and the quality of the questions: Sports reporters were very enthusiastic, happy and full of praise for the Games’ organization, whereas news reporters had only “Bad Russia” related questions, and there was no way they would care to hear about our positive experience. Anything we would be asked would have a negative connotation, whether we’ve seen stray dogs and thought the city dirty, or whether we’ve not seen stray dogs and thought of the city officials as heartless pet killers. Whether we feared a terrorist attack because of the incompetent Russian security, or whether we felt restrained because of the strict Russian security. There was no way to win whatever answer you’ll give. And if you had the audacity to in fact praise the Olympics, the reporter will right there in front of you rephrase your answer to make it sound bad. As an example, here is how my interview with the BBC radio correspondent went, on the night of the Opening Ceremony:

            – Reporter: ” So, can you tell us whether you found the ceremony disappointing?”
            – Me: ” Not at all! It was magical. I really showcased Russia’s treasures and contributions to the world. The Ballet, the Winter charm, War and Peace, the alphabet portion… It was fairytale-like and went way beyond my expectations”.
            – Reporter: ” So you’re saying you had low expectations for the ceremony organization. Is that because Russians are known for a cold and grey view of the world? “.
            – Me: ” No?! I’m saying I had very high expectations, and they were exceeded. Again, if anything, Russia’s literature, ballet, music,scientific contribution and art show that it’s the opposite of grey. It is deep, whimsical, romantic and tragic at the same time”.
            – Reporter: ” So you are saying a lot of tragic things happen in Russia. Are you talking about its human right records?”.
            – Me: “…”

            It was very caricatural, and by the end it became a farce. People were openly laughing at journalists faces. I overheard an American couple tell a journalist: ” Now that you mention it, There was a stray dog. In our hotel room. In the closet. And then it came out of the closet, and Russian police arrested it. Do you like it now?”. The journalist left grumbling.

            There were also reports from some ATHLETES that were completely untrue, like the bobsleigher Heather Moyse who posted on twitter that there were no bathtubs in the Olympic Village so she had to use a garbage bin. That was wrong on so many levels: Not only there were bathtubs in the rooms, but most importantly, it a very common practice for athletes to use the big bins for baths. The thing is you need to have icy cold water up to a certain level (right above the knees) after a hard training to aid with muscle relaxation, and bathtubs don’t go that high. It was debunked later – here’s a story about it in kommersant – but the fact that an athlete had just blatantly lied was neither widely reported nor condemned. I can understand the journalists having an agenda, but I was really disappointed by Moyse.

            Anyway, all in all, the Sochi Winter Olympics have been a beautiful and generous gift from Russia to everyone who visited. The only time I’ve been sad there was when it ended.

      • Al says:

        Let’s make it a bubblebath! It’s fun, it’s sexy, it’s us! Last one in brings the rubber duckie!

      • Ali Cat says:

        The guardian posted this, obviously the guardian didnt allow comments but on another news I saw a post from a user saying that Merkel did not say such thing and he gave this link since DW is german I tend to belive it more. I dotn speak german so I cant look for the confimation, but like Yalensis said I dont think Merkel said that, if she is going to Moscow in a couple of days. Also the same guy posted this link I cant read russian I only knw a couple of phrases, so I have no idea what it says and the google traslator web page doesnt work.

        Im no russian expert like you guys, you certainly have infinitve knodledge of Russia unlike me, But I cant help to think that it wasnt a good idea for the russians to enter crimea, at least not that fast, Also this wont be like Georgia, at the time Shaakasvili provoked the russians and they only reacted, but this time I think the russians are in disadvantage, in my opinion now its the other way around, Moscow can not provoke the ukranians or this will be a bloodbath and posibly WW3. I also cant stop thinking that this was a trap for the russians, in Washington or the EU they knew perfectly well that Putin will go in for Crimea, and Im sure Putin knew that russias economy was going to be hit hard, good thing that they have the 3rd largets reserves. Putin is no person who acts without thinking, although when he acts he is pityless. So knowing all those things why acting so fast I dont get it, or maybe I know nothing of geopolitics. I know Putins hand doesnt shake when his country is in danger, but I dont know, maybe this time he made a mistake, well at least we can be certain that he is human after all.

        I think Merkel has an oportunity to end this madness or at least calm it down, I dont see another solution other than breaking Ukraine, but I dont think Russia will annex those regions and I dont think its a good idea, but again Im no expert.

        On another note, I keep reading editorials and post on the conflict and I my blood boils, cuz if i remeber well when the US was going to invade Irak, although there was a veto of 3 countries in the UN Security Council, no one was speaking of economic sanctions on them or the UK, where was the public outrage for what was going to happend. Kerry saying you dont invade countries with “phony excuses” is beyond cinicism. Lybia needed “humanitarian aid”? now they are in the middle of a civil war!!!! Violating internacional laws they armed the rebels in Syria and who punishes them? But again the russians are the bad guys for supying weapons to an evil dictator, although international law permits the selling of weapons to legitimate goverments.

        And lastly I found this aparently The ecnomist is saying this: “It is time for the West to stand up to this gangsterism. Confronting a country that has the spoiling power of a seat on the UN Security Council, huge hydrocarbon reserves and lots of nuclear weapons is difficult, but it has to be done. At a minimum, the diplomatic pretense that Russia is a law-abiding democracy should end. It should be ejected from the G8.” I cant find the link to the site of the economist, but if indeed this was written, I dont know what the american stablishment is thinking, but they are totally crazy. Just the thought of a nuclear war is just beyond my imagination and if they cant see it, god help us all. Sorry for the long post, I was loosing some steam, and if I had some grammar mistakes again Im sorry, I was never good at it.

        • Moscow Exile says:

          When has Putin been pitiless in his actions?

          Does he kick puppies or something?

          • Moscow Exile says:

            From Die Welt: Merkels Drahtseilakt zwischen Putin und Obama

            [Merkel's Tightrope Act Between Putin and Obama]

            Sie habe Obama vielmehr gesagt, Putin habe eine andere Wahrnehmung der Lage auf der Krim. Deshalb drängt Merkel ja auf eine “Fact-Finding-Mission”.

            Bei dieser möglicherweise von der OSZE-geleiteten Mission würde weniger das Finden von Fakten im Vordergrund stehen als das Finden einer gemeinsamen Wahrnehmung dieser Fakten. Die Idee dahinter ist, dass Europäer, Amerikaner und Russen wieder in den Dialog darüber kommen, was auf der Krim tatsächlich geschieht.

            [She said much more to Obama, that Putin had a different point of view as regards the situation in the Crimea. Merkel is therefore pushing for a "Fact-Finding-Mission".

            This might possibly be an OSCE-led mission in which the finding of facts would play a less prominent role than that of finding a common perception of these facts. The idea behind this is that Europeans, Americans and Russians get back into a dialogue about what has actually happened in the Crimea.]

            (Note how in German there is also a definite article before the noun “Crimea”, as there was in the standard English that I learnt to speak before Canadian Ukrainians started saying “You don’t say ‘the Canada’ so why say ‘the Ukraine’? Both English and German are West Germanic languages: Ukrainian ain’t!)

            • yalensis says:

              Thanks for German to English translation, Exile.
              It is noteworthy that Merkel’s remark sounds completely different in her native German than it does in the (botched) English translation. “Putin habe eine andere Wahrnehmung der Lage auf der Krim…” (“Putin has a different point of view about the situation in the Crimea.”) And somehow ill-wishers ended up translating this as “Putin lives in a different world…” implying that he is deluded and lives in a bubble!

              • Moscow Exile says:

                Yeah, old Fritz uses the subjunctive mood in reported speech, whereas English uses a tense change. So when you report someone else’s words in German, there’s always this objective sense of якобы.

              • marknesop says:

                Yes, well done. But it sounds to me like deliberate rephrasing in a manner similar to what Sam experienced at the hands of western reporters – “So, you’re saying….”

          • Ali Cat says:

            No, I meant, maybe pitty wasnt the word I should have used, that he doesnt retract when he does something, he can have all the international pressure and still he is firm in his decision. I apologice, english is not my frist language.

        • kirill says:

          Russia got involved preemptively in Crimea to stop the import of jihadi Tatars from Turkey and Right Sector militants who were and still are trying to move in and disrupt the existing government and initiate armed conflict. Waiting for bodies to pile up just to have more justification in the eyes of Russophobes in NATO is immoral and pointless. Why let a foothold situation develop when you can nip it in the bud and save people’s lives? Russia has robbed the western propagandists of a valuable latch onto Tatar aspirations. If the flights from Turkey had succeeded in landing there would have been instigation of Tatar vs. Russian violence and Obama would be yapping about Russia imposing a regime in Crimea not supported by its inhabitants. Any fighting would be produced as evidence of lack of support for Russian “occupation”.

          Russia needs to support pro-Russian Ukrainians will all the resources it can short of direct military assistance. This means helping organize effective armed resistance against Right Sector militants who are clearly very well organized. Too well organized for some random militant group. They obviously have serious backing in terms of money, intel and weapons.

        • marknesop says:

          I think if anything Putin has a stronger hand than he had in Georgia – the Russian military was invited in at the behest of the head of government of an autonomous republic, based on his apprehension that elements in Ukraine meant to do his people harm, and he had their absurdly stupid action of rewriting the language laws when they were drunk with power in the giddy days after their victory to frame their intent. Moreover, the government which is not legal or legitimate cannot even control its rogue elements under the Svoboda and Right Sector leaders – they remain armed in the streets after having been told it is all over, put the guns away and go back to your peaceful lives. They obviously serve their own leaders and pay no attention to the “government” in Kiev. Some are led by a leader who vows to kill Jews and Russians so long as there is breath in his body. I don’t know how much clearer the threat would need to be. That the central government is worried is indicated by their sudden rediscovery of how to speak Russian, and the most hardcore of the western Ukrainians – Lviv – reaching out, in Russian, for unity. They know very well they are on the brink of losing it, and Putin does not have to lift a finger or hurt a soul – they will ask him to take them in and protect them. I still doubt anything is going to go bu the Crimea and perhaps not even that, but the footprint of the Crimea is increasing, and if none of these regions breaks away you had better believe the central government will be washing their dishes and kissing their asses to show how much they love them. It’s all fake, of course, and the westerners hate the easterners as much as they ever did for being Yanukovych loyalists and for speaking Russian, but it was brought home to them hard that they are on the cusp of being the government that lost the country, and they know how bad that would make them look – they were supposed to be the intellectual government whose big brains would convince the EU they were both ready and worthy, and the whole thing is turning to shit in their hands.

          The west will, as usual, vote its wallet. If it perceives it will lose moneymaking opportunities by booting Russia from the G8, or that people will laugh afterward and say “What the fuck did you do that for?”, they will not do it. All the democracy rhetoric is for the rubes, and they know full well they are supporting an illegal government. They’re just hoping to make it through until elections so that the government can be legitimized overnight through public acclaim. But that can’t take place too soon, because if there is not a candidate the south and east can vote for, they will not vote, and the turnout will be beyond embarrassing. If it knows Putin does not care in the least if Russia is expelled from the G8 – and he doesn’t, it is only a notional group anyway – they will not do it because it will not have any punitive value. If I were Putin I would dare them to do it – he prefers the G20 anyway, which includes all the same countries, while the G8’s ability to get anything done without Russia would be cut in half. If there were threats to expel Russia from the G20, half those countries would leave with Russia.

          • yalensis says:

            Russian troops moving into Crimea is DOUBLY legitimate:

            (1) Russian assistance was requested by the head of the Autonomous government. (Western pundits are just now discovering that Crimea was/is an Autonomy, and they are squeaking in outrage: “Who said that Crimea got to be autonomous?” Well, dudes, it’s been that way forever…)
            (2) Even more legitimacy: Russian assistance was requested by the LEGITIMATE PRESIDENT of Ukraine, Viktor (“I’m not dead yet!”) Yanukovych.

            It doesn’t get any more legitimate than that!
            Check and mate, NATO!

        • yalensis says:

          Dear Ali Cat: Thanks for your comment, you make a lot of good points.
          Just a couple of retorts:

          (1) On the tvrain (Dozhd) piece that you had problems translating in google, basically it just repeats the news that Putin has agreed to talk to Merkel, and it seems she will help put together some kind of “observer” mission whereby some OSCE types go to observe what is taking place in Crimea. The context is that Putin complained to Angela that neo-Nazis were threatening the lives and property of ethnic Russian in Crimea, and Angela suggested, “Well, let’s send some observers there on a fact-finding mission,” and Putin replied, “Sure, why not.”
          (2) As to your point that this could end up being a strategic defeat for Russia, well, there is always that risk. Russia’s national epic (medieval) poem, “The Tale of Igor’s Regiment” is precisely a story of a Russian prince who went to war, for what he thought were very good reasons (=Russian towns being attacked by Polovtsi nomadic hordes), and lost. As a result of which, Prince Igor was wounded and taken captive, his town was burned to the ground, and his son ended up marrying his enemy’s daughter. So, in other words, this is a cautionary tale of all the things that can go wrong in the chaos of war. This is why Russia is usually super-cautious and will end up taking enormous amounts of crap from her enemies, before finally reacting. Which is what happened here.
          (3) Having said that, and with the caveat that this action DOES entail a lot of risk, and that things could end badly, I doubt it in this case. The Russian government really throught this one through, it seems, and planned this chess game several hundred moves in advance, allowing for every possible ramification they could think of. It clearly wasn’t done just willy-nilly.
          (4) I don’t buy any conspiracy theory that the West “provoked” Russia’s invasion of Crimea, in the way that Saakashvili provoked his conflict in 2008. Two completely different scenarios. Proof of this is that the entire West was genuinely SHOCKED when this happened. They truly believed that Russia would just roll over, allow herself to be raped by the West, and accept a fascist pro-NATO regiime in neighbouring Ukraine. And not only accept it, but even continue to fund it!
          (5) Lastly, Russia doesn’t give a hoot about the G8 any more. And in fact, Russian government just doubled down, announced that if the West even thinks of imposing any financial incentives, then they will call in all their loans and bring the dollar down. I will post that link in a separate comment, below.

          • Ali Cat says:

            Thanks, I thought Putin didnt give a damn about the G8 thing and like Mark said, if Russia is not on the G20 then China wont be there and maybe their other bric friends, good luck with achieving something there. I was just worried about the economic side for Russia, yesterday the stock market took a big hit and also the ruble. But today started to recover so I dont know if it could get worse or better, hopefully better. On the calling of the loans, I think I heard in Al jazeera once, although I cant find the link, that if the chinese or the russians one day will call for the loans in a massive way, the tresury will block them and that would be interpreted as a financial attack on the americans.

            • marknesop says:

              If that were the case the result would be almost as damaging, because it would wreck the “we’re good for it” credibility that lets America borrow far beyond the limit most other countries would be allowed. The USA would be admitting that the outstanding balance was more than it can pay; this of course would be true and even unsurprising, but the illusion is allowed to prevail that it could. It would also have the perfectly pedestrian effect, just as it would be for you if you refused to pay when the bank called in its note, of providing a reasonable basis founded on credit history of denying further loans.

              • yalensis says:

                Also, I just read that the international stock market soared back up today.
                Supposedly because Putin gave a press conference Tuesday night, didn’t slur his words, and appeared sane and well groomed.

                I don’t understand how stock markets work, that’s why I am not rich

                • marknesop says:

                  Well, that’s one reason. Another is that it’s God’s plan, because He knows being rich would make you slothful and indolent, and your otherwise sunny and optimistic outlook would be replaced by greed and corruption. It’s God’s plan for me, too; doubtless He has remarked that I am already slothful and indolent, and put special measures in place to ensure that I am never rich, which would ruin me altogether.

                  Markets – especially the energy market – are built on futures, which can be profoundly affected by skittishness on the part of investors based on potential events. War is a big one.

        • Al says:

          Notch another one up for the PPNN (Pork Pie News Network).

  9. Moscow Exile says:

    Shit! I’ve received my call-up papers.

    I’m going to serve as an assistant orderly in the 14th (reserve) mobile pox clinic.

    • Al says:

      Now don’t be tempted to go all Švejk! ;)

      • Moscow Exile says:

        Nah, no chance! Wrong team: Švejk was on the K und K team, not that he felt any loyalty to Emperor Franz Josef when the shit hit the fan. My team’s on the side of Autocracy, Orthodoxy and National Identity.

        • Jen says:

          Don’t you, erm, have a … criminal record in the UK though?

          • Al says:

            Wham’s Greatest Hits perchance?

            • Moscow Exile says:

              I’ve made more records than Elvis…BUT I’ve got a clean sheet here. Furthermore, in his magnanimity, when I was going through the lengthy process of getting a full residency as a foreign national permit, Her Majesty’s Consul here told the Russkies that butter wouldn’t melt in my mouth.

              In any case, the FSB, on the urging of my wife’s daft as a brush great-uncle, checked me out before we got wed and told him that I was kosher and he told her and she told me.

              I think the silly old goat thought I was a British agent who had seduced an innocent Russian maiden so as to be a sleeper here until the time came.

              I was a bit bloody annoyed about that at the time – I mean about uncle Misha whispering about me to the slab-faced goons.

              • Al says:

                I think the silly old goat thought I was a British agent who had seduced an innocent Russian maiden so as to be a sleeper here until the time came.”

                Maybe it was the other way around?! We can only take your word for it, Exile, Moscow Exile…

                • Moscow Exile says:

                  “Exile, Moscow Exile…”

                  Reminds me of my favourite James Bond gag:

                  Bond approaches a beautiful woman who is sitting alone at the bar of a posh cocktail lounge. He says to her in his usual suave style:

                  – Bond, James Bond.

                  – Off, Fuck off!

    • marknesop says:

      I must say it was prescient of them to choose someone who has already had it; therefore, you will not be able to catch it or carry it.

  10. Al says:

    Balls! Didn’t notice the new post.
    I’ll just pop in my last 1.5:

    The Indy’s Mary Djevsky has surfaced again to point out the basics to the screaming herodians:

    Ukraine crisis: Nato ‘betrayal’ and Brussels rhetoric pushing Vladimir Putin to act

    What goes around, comes around. Roosting bears etc..


    Vis ‘Russia and China reach agreement’, I wonder what the Chinese cost is for having Russia’s back, i.e. if the West threats to Russia amount to more than a few pinpricks, will the Chinese ‘give a quick tug on the economic rug’ (I’m lovin’ that phrase) to remind the West who holds the eggs?


    The Indy: ‘Russia and China reach agreement’

    “…Earlier today, as Russia sought to draw support from the international community, the Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, said that he had discussed Ukraine with his Chinese counterpart and that the two veto-wielding UN Security Council members had “broadly coinciding points of view” and would stay in close contact on the issue…”

    Or as I would succinctly sum it up in the tabloid newspaper in my head:

    ‘Ding dong, It’s Ping Pong!’
    China supports Russia in standoff with West

    Re Mark’s new post, it is clear that the Big Wigs in the West suffer from reverse anal feedback. They stuff so much down their throats (non stop superiority buffet) and everyone else that there is nowhere for it to go but back up. That’s a trip to the dry cleaners in itself.

  11. Al says:

    TiMH (Tabloid in My Head) update:

    Baklava on the Water, No Fire in the Sky,
    Russian Forces take over Ukranian Coastguard Base

  12. SFReader says:

    Crimean self-defense forces took control over former Ukrainian airforce base in Belbek today.

    Now independent Crimea becomes a regional military power of note with some 45 MiG-29 fighters.

    • Rublev says:

      Apparently, only 4 aircraft out of 45 were operational at the time of the take over, in a base with 800 servicemen. That interesting bit is a giveaway of the sorry state of the Ukrainian military.

  13. I like that Russia has finally responded with true force and not only words..
    I just hope that the economical fallout will not be too hard for Russia.

    • SFReader says:

      Russian economy suffered a terrible blow today.

      As a result of Putin’s agression, today the Russian rouble fell by 19 kopeks, from 36 roubles 18 kopeks to 36 roubles 37 kopeks.

      19 kopeks for Crimea is surely a bargain!

      • cartman says:

        Brzezinski’s plan was to have the oligarchy control ex-Soviet politics, and control the oligarchs by giving them wide access to Western banking services. Bringing Batkivshchyna and putting oligarchs in charge of the most productive regions were the only choices.

    • yalensis says:

      Dear Karl:
      Don’t worry, my friend, it will all turn out okay!

  14. Fern says:

    I suspect that the ‘other world’ Putin is living in is the one where all the parties that signed the February EU Foreign Minister brokered compromise agreement actually honour it. And the refusal to accept ‘reality’ is because he (and Sergey Lavrov) keep asking pesky questions about the legal status of Kiev’s current governing authorities.

  15. Al says:

    Is this ‘Putin out of his mind’ actually true, said or implied? It seems like a remarkably dumb thing to say by Russia’s most reliable partner in Europe. I have my concerns about the accuracy of such reports.

  16. Moscow Exile says:

    Kharkov, March 1st:

    Rounded up “Right sector” activists on display to an enraged public who have been shown the weapons they were carrying. They’re being asked to beg for forgiveness whilst on their knees. Some look terrified and plead their innocence. They are regularly receiving blows and are being spat upon and called sonsofbitches etc. Not pleasant.

    However they were ordered there. They obeyed their orders to build a better Ukraine for Ukrainians. Who knows what their fate will be? No sign of any cops anywhere.

    Some smartarse has written beneath the You Tube clip:

    Nothing new in this video – russians behaving like animals. There’s a reason every country that has a border with Russia hates that corrupt shithole, and the reason isn’t the USA or EU. The nation consists of zombified, retarded fascists like seen in this video (who ironically call everyone else a “fascist”) and the leadership is one totalitarian wannabe Hitler.

    It’s not Russia, though: it’s a country bordering “shithole ” Russia – the Ukraine. And the “zombified, retarded fascists” in the video “who ironically call everyone else a ‘fascist'” are, in fact calling people who are, in fact, fascist – totally. And one of the persons whom they respect, one of their “leaders” is the delightful Sashko Byliy.

    As some other poster has commented in response to the moron quoted above:

    Since there is obviously no police forces to stop some group of teenage far-right “revolutionaries” (which EU says defend European values) what do you think the people of that city should do?

  17. Al says:

    More PPN (Porkie Pie News)

    Russia’s navy has reportedly ordered Ukrainian forces in Crimea to surrender amid a major escalating of the crisis gripping the region.

    The ultimatum told Ukraine’s military to surrender by 4am CET or face assault, according to the Interfax news agency.

    It’s been widely reported.


    Russia dismisses Crimea ultimatum as ‘utter nonsense’

  18. Al says:

    Well at least it is not ‘liberated’ Iraq. 1,705 killed & 2,045 wounded in February alone.

    Father Ted tried to explain to Dougal in a caravan whilst on holiday together, the difference between small and far away, and failed.

    In one sense Dougal is right. Once western bodies stop dropping in far away places, then those places become small too.

  19. Warren says:

    The arrogant Brits blinked, as I expected!

    Perfidious Albion once more reveals itself! lol

    And the new Banderite regime in Kiev thought they could rely on the Brits? lol

    • cartman says:

      Without this money, the City will collapse again. Most global financial crises start in London, so all of the intervention (TARPS, QE, bailouts) of the last few years could be undone when the contagion spreads.

      • Warren says:

        True, the AIG bailout was because the fraud committed by its London based derivative traders. Same with JP Morgan’s London Whale fiasco. The reason why London is the financial capital of the world, is the simple reason “light touch” regulation means that fraud is ALLOWED, and fraudster never held to account.

        London is the place to be to launder your ill-gotten money, on this issue I agree with Edward Lucas.

        However it hilarious how the Brits contort themselves, on the one hand they HATE Russia and will jump on any opportunity to hurt and humiliate Russia. At the same time Brits are incredibly dependent and addicted to Russian capital in flows in their economy and stock market.

        It’s going to be hilarious watching how the Brits spin this, simultaneously being threatening economic “costs and consequences” while touting for more Russian business and investment! lol

        Perfidious Albion will figure out a way to talk both sides of their mouths at the same time!

    • Al says:

      Perfidious Albion? Rather ‘Limp Albatross’. This is not to mean that they won’t try and get their revenge at some point in the future?

      • marknesop says:

        Absolutely if the EU and USA are forced to accept a solution which is less than what The Grand Plan forecast, they will blame Russia for it and exact a punishment for their own failure. However, on the bright side, they would have done that anyway and just found a different excuse. So attempts to kick Russia’s feet from under it so the pack can tear it to pieces will continue, but since they are probably built into the budget, as it were, there is no real need to take any notice of them.

        If partition of Ukraine results of this, of course it will be Russia’s fault, but nobody will remember the west rushed to recognize a government that a college student and Google were able to verify was illegitimate and illegal in less time than it took to type this sentence. And it is that government which is completely responsible for the current situation – that government and its western backers.

        • Al says:

          I don’t really see partition but more a ‘hands off’ agreement and some sort of semi-federalization, i.e. if one side decides to come and swing its balls over the fence, then secession is an real option. Ukraine has no future split in to two, but we see over and over again that the West always offers unconditional support to their favorites rather than behaving like a good lawyer and telling them to stop f93ing about and threaten to drop them.

          It’s funny to look at much of the Western media claiming to represent ‘the world’ when the world itself has been mostly silent, or more accurately, ignored because they suspect that these other countries might have somewhat different opinions.

          All this talk about Russia damaging its international reputation, frightening away investors etc.,being ‘isolated’ are totally overblown and mostly for domestic consumption as there is nothing much they actually can do except declare war against Russia. Are any of the Asian, African or LatAm growth states that will join? It seems like ‘isolation’ has now been redefined by the West and members of the PPNN to mean something entirely different.

          We have all noticed how so many people openly say that while I do not like nor agree with Putin, at least he does what he says in comments under rabid anti-Russian articles. If anything, I think it likely that Putin’s reputation has grown in many parts of the world such as the developing world and it has been rather more damaging to the West’s reputation as they have been caught openly carrying out a coup and doing exactly the kinds of things that they have condemned so many other states of doing, and most stupidly doing it in again in their own back yard (rule no.1). All this also would, I think, feed back in to the general disillusionment of the european voter, in a continent so mired in economic crisis who sees the big wigs still swanning about in comfort and essentially oblivious to the massive impact of the financial crisis and their leader’s failure to deal with it, let alone represent their own people, just following dicktats (deliberate misspelling) from pricks in Brussels, Berlin and other so called respected decision centers.

          There is such a storm of bullshit being thrown ‘professionally’ about ,deliberately encouraged to draw attention away from the stark bollock naked Emperors. I’m still stunned that people get paid (badly) to be bad journalists who simply don’t make even the basic grade.


          • yalensis says:

            “All this talk about Russia damaging its international reputation, frightening away investors etc.,being ‘isolated’ …”

            You forgot to mention that “Russia is on the wrong side of history.” O’Bomber actually employed that lame meme today, LOL.

            • Al says:

              Ooh, he missed a good one there, he should have said,

              “Russia, is on the wrong side of history AND the border”. O’Bomber must be kicking himself for that! Fire the speech writer I say!

          • Moscow Exile says:

            Don’t forget the much referred to “International community”, to which Putin must be answerable and little shits like Hague always appeals.

    • yalensis says:

      O god, English elite are total whores!

      • Moscow Exile says:

        Hope you don’t include me in such whoredom.

        • yalensis says:

          Didn’t realize you were a member of the elite.
          So, who are you, anyhow? Illegitimate bastard son of Lord Nib-Nobs and his chambermaid? :)

          • Moscow Exile says:

            I should like to inform you, sir, that my mater and pater were bound in holy wedlock 10 months before I graced this Vale of Tears with my appearance.

            I eschewed my hereditary rights in order to be with the common folk, whose plain common-sense and pragmatism I have never ceased to admire.

  20. cartman says:

    I was right. Give me a cookie.

  21. Warren says:

    Ukraine: UK rules out Russia trade curbs?

    The government will not curb trade with Russia or close London’s financial centre to Russians as part of any possible package of sanctions against Moscow, according to an official document.

    The document, which was photographed as a senior official carried it into a meeting in Downing Street, says that “the UK should not support for now trade sanctions or close London’s financial centre to Russians”, while it confirms that ministers ARE considering – along with other EU countries – visa restrictions and travel bans on key Russian figures.

    It also says that ministers should “discourage any discussion (eg at Nato) of contingency military preparations” and support “contingency EU work on providing Ukraine with alternative gas” and oil supplies “if Russia cuts them off”.

    Until now ministers have made no specific threats of action against Russia and Downing Street have stressed the need to keep open the possibility of de-escalating the crisis.

    The prime minister said this afternoon that Russia would face “diplomatic, political, economic and other pressures” to send a “clear message” about its actions in the Ukraine.

    ‘Significant costs’
    The reason for this form of words is clear. Public statements should for now be kept “generic”, the document says, whereas specific threats should be “contingent and used for private messaging.”

    This is in stark contrast to the specific hardline threats made by US Secretary of State John Kerry yesterday.

    One senior government source told me: “We prefer to speak softly and carry a big stick.”

    They stressed that European countries were pursuing a deliberate policy of showing to Russia that de-escalation was still possible whilst being clear that “significant costs” would follow if Moscow does not seek a peaceful conclusion to its dispute with Ukraine.

    I understand that the prime minister hopes to speak to Germany’s Chancellor Merkel tonight. The German attitude is regarded as crucial since they are traditionally in favour of a less confrontational approach to Russia and are heavily dependent on Russian gas and oil.

    Downing Street is refusing to comment on a secret document though I understand that other scenarios were considered at a meeting of the National Security Council today

  22. Moscow Exile says:

    Начальник Днепропетровского УСБУ отказался подчиняться Киеву
    [Chief of Ukrainian State Security Service Dnepropetrovsk Refuses to Obey Kiev]

    Руководство УСБУ в Днепропетровской области, а также весь личный состав считает, что в стране произошёл государственный переворот. Власть захватили неофашистские формирования по своей сути, являющиеся преступниками и подпадают под определение экстремистов и террористов.

    [The leadership of the Ukrainian State Security Service in the Dnipropetrovsk region, as well as its entire personnel, believes that there has been a state coup in this country. The authorities have been taken over by groups that are neo-fascist in nature and are criminals that fall within the definition of extremists and terrorists.]

    • Moscow Exile says:

      It might be that the Praetorian Guard will soon arrest the “government”.

      • marknesop says:

        It does look like the groundwork might be being laid for exactly that. If so, what an embarrassment it would be for the organization to have to arrest its own first civilian leader.

        Oh, well; perhaps he was never that popular. I could see that. He’s certainly all the way across town from charismatic.

        The trouble with a wrenching-back-to-reality solution like that is that while it would quiet the east and south and possibly result in a Russian withdrawal from Crimea, it would bring a scream of rage and open revolt from the west and parts of the centre. Ukraine’s divisions stand exposed to the world, and whipsawing back and forth with band-aid fixes would eventually lead to civil war anyway. For better or worse, once set in motion, this has to play out.

      • Al says:

        What about the Ivorian Guard, acting under the aegis of the UN? No, not very likely.

  23. Moscow Exile says:

    Here’s a thing that’s just come up in a debate here about which I had until now quite forgotten but which shows the unbelievable hypocrisy of NATO and the West:

    Remember Turkey occupying the Turkish part of Cyprus in order to defend Turks? It was bloody years ago and there was a big outcry over it.

    The Turks are still there.

    Nobody, apart from Turkey, recognizes Turkish Cyprus.

    Turkey was a member of NATO when it occupied Turkish Cyprus.

    Turkey is still a member of NATO now.

    • kirill says:

      Indeed, the hypocrisy has reached escape velocity. The Turks got soft treatment of their suppression of the Kurdish uprising. Whole Kurd villages got bulldozed into history and Kurds were internally ethnically cleansed into populated regions where they would be a minority. Nothing like this happened in Chechnya but NATO was howling with outrage for years.

  24. marknesop says:

    Interestingly, it is said here that Yulia Tymoshenko is participating in all the high-level meetings, and will be flying to Moscow to participate in the meetings with the Russian government, all with no government status or position whatsoever except that of recently-disincarcerated celebrity prisoner.

    As Mr. Holmov points out, this is exactly the sort of backroom-dealing the Maidan assembled to stop. Although our views of the acceptability of violently overthrowing the government just as long as you did it for the right reasons differ sharply from there on out, I agree with him that it hardly exemplifies transparency to allow participation as an equal in the negotiating process by Yulia I’ll-Do-Anything-For-A-Buck Tymoshenko the wealthy energy oligarch.

    A few sources, like the Kyiv Post (predictably, I suppose) seem to think the crisis has reached its peak and that prompt western intervention against Russia’s currency to cause economic turmoil will squeeze Putin’s balls until he has to let go. I guess everyone has forgotten that the Nabucco Pipeline never even got started and now never will. Perhaps getting nothing when they open the gas tap but a hoarse cough would remind them.

    • Al says:

      Tymo to Moscow? It reminds me of Shirley Bassey singing ‘Goldfinger’.

      “Golden words he will pour in your ear
      But his lies can’t disguise what you fear
      For a golden girl knows when he’s kissed her
      It’s the kiss of death from Mister Goldfinger
      Pretty girl, beware of his heart of gold
      This heart is cold”

      Failing that, Putin should get a long haired white cat. While we’re here:

      • Southerncross says:

        Putin is now unattached, is he not? Perhaps Timoshenko has another kind of conquest in mind…

        • Al says:

          You’ve not heard the rumours? He and former olympic gymnast and Total Babe Alina Kabayeva are supposedly on very very friendly terms. I’m feeling faint.

          • Southerncross says:

            Timoshenko, Merkel, Kabayeva – I’m sure Vladimir Vladimirovich is man enough for all of them.

          • reggietcs says:

            Don’t get me started on Kabaeva Al!

            “Babe” is definitely an understatement (and she’s VERY flexible to boot).

            If those rumors were true, that would be another major victory Putin could add to his string of “diplomatic” victories.

    • yalensis says:

      Yulia is flying to Moscow to meet with Putin. Her ace in the hole is that Putin always had a soft spot for her. Whenever he was with her, he would get kind of goofy in the eyes. Like a schoolboy, he would try to impress her by mocking other people. And she in turn would giggle girlishly at his inappropriate jokes, especially when he was making fun of her nemesis Viktor Dioxinovich.

      Sadly, since those times, Putin has come down with a brain tumor, this has turned him into a madman, according to CNN. Hence, it is likely that instead of handing Yulia a bouquet of roses, he will brutally abduct her, then confine her in his harem, alongside Angele Merkel. Soon his harem will be filled with female European diplomats.
      Each time one of them flies to Moscow to rescue the others, wham bam! and into his harem they go….

      • Moscow Exile says:

        I don’t think he’s got a soft spot for her, just that he knows that she knows that he knows he’s got her number.

        • yalensis says:

          Yes, but that could also be the basis for a kind of cynical love story. A film noir love story, where each knows that the other is evil. Like a Dashiell Hammett kind of story.

          She was statuesque and blonde. Had a braid the size of a towing rope twisted around that big, gorgeous head. Eyes as cold and blue as a snake’s, if a snake had big blue eyes. She slinked into my office with a tinkling laugh that sounded like a combination of murder and money… “Privit,” she uttered, in a tone full of smoke and mirrors. “I need to hire a private dick…”

  25. Al says:

    Beeb is STILL reporting the now dismissed ‘ultimatum’ by the Russians. Do they have internet at the BBC or does the connection just stop outside their ears? The British license payers should get some money back for this blatant waste of air time, so like the Chris Morris ‘IT’S WAR!’ clip linked in the other thread. On the plus side, I’m glad to see the locals getting their moment of fame. No streakers or photobombing yet unfortunately.

    • marknesop says:

      This is in keeping with the BBC’s recently-introduced “no waste” policy. Words that are already said or printed in support of a BBC story are the property of the BBC, and it has come to the attention of auditors that when a story is found to be incorrect, not only are many words wasted, additional words must be generated in the form of a retraction, none of it reflecting any credit on the BBC. New BBC policy to this end therefore directs that in the case where an employee has generated words to forecast a given event that does not and will not occur, the proper course of action is to redirect the story. In this instance, the new protocol will be to wait until the fictional deadline expires without incident, and then speculate that the Russians could not meet it; obviously they have muffed it for some reason, perhaps because their military equipment is such rusted junk. Ha, ha; the joke’s on them. And no words wasted.

      • Al says:

        Hmm, masters of hot air. I’ve been watching Euronudes. All european stock markets are down, the German main trade DAX hitting it’s lowest point since 2012, dropping by 3.44 somethings. Are these the sanctions the west have been talking about? Good time to buy Russian stocks and good for exports at least.

  26. Ilya says:

    Here in Canada there is a constant stream of propaganda which will strike the poorly read as quite correct: according to Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Putin is a colonial dictator grasping at Crimea just as Hitler sought the Sudetenland; Russia invaded Georgia in 2008; non-entities without Slavic accents reporting from Kiev via Skype that the Ukrainian military will be able to check Russia’s designs; the convenient airing on Saturday of a documentary/hagiography on the plight of gays in Russia; muted video showing Russia’s UN ambassador talking while pundits tell Canada’s lemmings “what it all means”; pro-Russian crowds in eastern Ukrainian cities referred to as “activists”, blah, blah, blah.

    When’s the hockey game on, eh?

    • kirill says:

      Canada is of no consequence.

      • marknesop says:

        Which is a shame, because it could be. Unfortunately, it is always run by a lawyer who can’t get out of his own way or a businessman who can’t get his nose out of the USA’s ass. It certainly doesn’t have a big enough population to be a superpower, but it has a fairly sound economy and economic policies, and could exercise a lot of influence as a coalition-builder were it not for its sad habit of sitting panting by Uncle Sam’s chair, waiting to have its ears rubbed. There’s nothing wrong with supporting the United States when it makes good decisions, but Canada seems to have stopped caring about the “good” qualifier some time ago. Right around the time a Conservative government was elected, by my reckoning, although the liberals promptly drowned themselves in a sack and I would sooner vote for Avigdor Lieberman as Prime Minister of Canada than another Trudeau.

      • Moscow Exile says:

        Goddam RCMP homophobes!

      • yalensis says:

        “Canada is of no consequence!”
        What a horrible thing to say! Wash your mouth out with soap, young man.
        Why, Canada has given the world many notable heroes, for example Dudley Do-Right:

  27. Ilya says:

    Oh yeah, I almost forgot: really, you know, Crimea actually belongs, you know, to the Tatars, you know?

    And this just in: Russia will actually use the protection of Russian speakers as a pretext to take back the whole of Central Asia.

    I think it might be time to fashion a tinfoil hat….

    • marknesop says:

      Incredible. Of course when the west throws a country against the wall on some trumped up pretext, it’s not actually a “pretext” at all; they were misled, they got it wrong, but acted out of the very best intentions, so cannot be held accountable for the clusterfuck it turned out to be. Bad guys use “pretexts”, shady, made-up reasons for doing things they wanted to do but needed a good reason to do in order to get away with. You know – like when they want to shoot you in the back so they make you run and say you were “trying to escape”.

      The west has its cookie-cutter narratives for every situation, and always portrays itself as good even when it makes terrible mistakes that hurt others, while the baddies always have a sugary reason for doing evil things, but they were always evil just the same. And the west always exaggerates the scope of the threat to include as many as possible – you should join us, because they want to mess you up. Isn’t it a little late in the game for adults to still be believing in fairy tales?

      This is the same as how your protesters are always “drawn from all walks of life and all regions of this great country, brave people yearning to breathe free air”, while theirs are always “bussed in, made to show up by their employers or face firing, and paid to demonstrate”.

  28. kirill says:

    The two-bit regime in Kiev is trying to purge the Ukrainian MVD. Great timing. Are they going to replace them with Right Sector militants? I think we are seeing these clowns slowly shoot themselves in the head.

    Also note the pathetic salaries being paid to the MVD; at most $300 per month.

  29. kirill says:

    There is some BS being spread around the Right Sector, etc. are just mainstream radicals. The above link indicates otherwise.

    • marknesop says:

      Yes, but it’s pretty consistent for Jonathan Steele, who is always the rational voice speaking from the basket of nutjobs. I would pay $100.00 to watch him beat up Luke Harding.

  30. kirill says:

    Right Sector thugs are terrorizing people in Odessa. Naturally not a squeak about this in the western media.

  31. yalensis says:

    Odessites desperate for help against Banderite threats, as above clip shows. But there is a possible remedy:
    Representatives of Kherson, Odessa and Nikolaev have declared their wish to enter into Republic of Crimea.
    They are demanding that Crimean referendum be broadened to include them. This way, the citizens of these 3 cities can decide democratically if they wish to stay as part of Ukraine, or join the new entity, the Republic of Crimea.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      Time was when Odessa and its environs was called “Little Bessarabia” and the rest of the Black Sea and Sea of Azov coastal area and their hinterland, together with the Crimea and South East Ukraine and the Donbas and the Kharkov Region and the territory that was populated by the Zaporozhian Cossacks – the :Wild Field” before it was rid of its Tatar slavers – was “New Russia”, to which not only Russian peasants were invited to move and to work the land, but also Greeks and, Bulgarians and Romanians and many others who were living under the Ottoman yoke.

      That was over 200 years ago, when the cities of Odessa and Sevastopol were founded during the reign of Empress Catherine the Great and before that territory that now calls itself “Ukraina” was created by the Soviet Union as the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic and when most of what is now Western Ukraine was part of the Austrian Hapsburg Empire and some 60 or so years before it became the Austro-Hungarian Empire..

      All this happened, in fact, about the time as the Treaty of Paris in 1783, when the USA was recognized as a sovereign state. So, as regards this argument that the Tatars are the original inhabitants, how about giving Manhattan and New England and Virginia and the Carolinas and Georgia back to the “Indians”?

      They were the original inhabitants before Europeans – mostly English,Irish, Scots, Welsh and Scots-Irish – began their colonies there, weren’t they?

      What, the original folk, the “Redskins”, have long gone?

      Where did they go?

  32. patient observer says:

    Regarding the level of the Vatican’s psychopathology and just what a sick fuck Pope John Paul II was:

    Least we forget the fundamental role of Catholicism (in its “Greek” variety) plays in fueling Nazi hatred in Ukraine:

    The above gives a hint of the root cause of the West’s hate-based reality and in particular its hatred of Russia and Serbia.

    To help reduce the size of the download on this blog, I replaced the first letter of each URL with an “x” in hopes that it will prevent recognition of the character string as a URL. Hope it works.

  33. Moscow Exile says:

    “Boots on the ground” Bayer in today’s MT: Putin’s Pandora’s Box in Ukraine

  34. Fern says:

    Poland is doing its bit for world peace – it’s invoked Article 4 of the NATO treaty which says:-
    “The Parties will consult together whenever, in the opinion of any of them, the territorial integrity, political independence or security of any of the Parties is threatened.”
    The government of Poland seems to be taking John McCain’s “we are all Ukrainians now” a bit too literally. The result is that the Naked Aggression Treaty Organisation is meeting on Tuesday to co-ordinate a response.
    This is, of course, how wars start.

    Ideological state fragmentation specialist Zbigniew Brzezinski has advised the US on a course of action in an article entitled “formally recognise Ukraine, prepare NATO troops” The actual article seems more nuanced but he’s an evil b*****d and no doubt up to his neck in Beltway plotting and schemings.

    On Angela Merkel’s alleged comments about Putin – I suspect this is part of the US’s attempt to prevent any EU influence on Ukraine. After all, the final, violent push to topple the government in Kiev only came after the EU-brokered compromise agreement was signed on 21st February. To misquote Bush Senior “this non-aggression shall not stand”. One of the outcomes of the phone call between Putin and Merkel was an agreement between them to to set up a contact group to look for a political solution to the Ukraine crisis and so this must be sabotaged at all costs. Both leaders have been around long enough to know the sort of games that get played but it probably doesn’t help the key Russia/Germany relationship if there’s a niggling doubt on the Russian side about what Merkel may have said.

    • kirill says:

      NATO is going to have to occupy Ukraine to force the current regime on it. Given previous poll results the hard core support for the regime is about 30% of the population. Russia is doing the right thing and only involving itself in Crimea with a limited and peaceful operation. It is not enough to rile up Ukrainian fence sitters and turn them into Banderites. The new regime is desperately trying to rally Ukrainians around itself with the nationalism ploy as evidenced from the treatment of people in Odessa (from the video I linked). But it is at best only partially succeeding. If NATO deploys then it will achieve the exact opposite of what it wants. This is why all this prattle from Brzezinsky is so much hot air.

      • marknesop says:

        More importantly, if NATO got its pecker up high enough to actually lunge at Russia, it would have to not only defeat but occupy Russia as well, and get the oil turned on again just as fast as possible or we would have gone back to donkey carts. Wars are big wasters of energy, and Europe could not afford to be without oil and gas for long.

        Russia holds all the good cards in this poker game. Just as long as they are played carefully and nobody gets too insulted, there’s not much likelihood of war.

      • yalensis says:

        Brzezinski has suggested to Obama 3 concrete responses:

        (1) Immediate deployment of $15 billion to Ukraine of IMF money WITHOUT any strings attached (as were before);
        (2) Immediate acceptance of Ukraine into NATO
        (3) Immediate acceptance of Gruzia into NATO

        That is Zbig’s big plan. (1) actually sounds like a respectable tactic… if IMF will go for it.

    • marknesop says:

      The real risk is that Putin will become a victim of his own success. He has backed the west down hard a couple of times now, and made it look easy, and they are acutely aware of what big girls’ blouses it made them all look. The risk is that someone will do something foolish in their chagrin and determination to restore to the west its reputation as an alliance of warriors.

      Brzezinski is indeed a pain in the anachronism – what is keeping that man alive, for God’s sake? If you ever needed a visible validation of the precept that only the good die young, he’s it.

  35. Ilya says:

    An interesting exchange on the CBC this evening and a testimony to the uphill battle Russia is currently facing: Host Evan Solomon brings up the very inconvenient truth that Yanukovych was democratically elected through a process which was deemed fair by Canadian and other international observers; ergo, the recent past was technically a coup. Some cipher who used to be the assistant ambassador to NATO’s Plenipotentiary of Dildo Inspectors (or whatever his title was), states, glibly, that, “Well, many Ukrainians felt there were irregularities.”

    Cold and incontrovertible fact, in the public record, swept under the carpet with an emotional assertion.

    • kirill says:

      Many Ukrainians I am sure felt an itch in their crotch, so I guess that should be the basis of politics in Ukraine.

    • SFReader says:

      The ignorance is astonishing!

      Yanukovich was an opposition candidate and won presidential election of 2010 running against ruling president Yushenko! (and ruling prime minister Yulia Timoshenko!)

      Do they accuse Yushenko and Timoshenko that they stole the election from themselves and gave it to Yanukovich?

      • Al says:

        It’s not ignorance. They simply don’t care.

        To badly misquote a Dire Straits seminal hit

        ‘Get your money for nothing and you’re a dick for free..”

      • marknesop says:

        Yes, because we certainly would not want people to get the idea that the opposition candidate could steal the election. Were they to get such an idea, they might look harder at how both Yushchenko and Saakashvili came to power in the first place.

      • Jen says:

        Perhaps Tymoshenko really did find a way of stealing the election from herself and Yushchenko and then throwing it to Yanukovych, and there is just cause for charging her with corrupt conduct against the state and sending her to jail for another seven years. There she can wonder how her life keeps repeating itself.

  36. Moscow Exile says:

    “Right Sector” in action:

    Hammer-wielding nationalists storm town council meeting in Kiev suburbs (VIDEOS)

    The people have spoken?


    What do yo say, AP?

    Minority group, right?

    Minimal support?

    Do you think these goons care about their lack of support?

    Why do you think that kid’s carrying a sledge hammer? Do you think he’s found himself a job on a demolition site? If so, it might be the first job he’s ever had, because the hammer is spanking new.

    The delegates at the council don’t seem all that pleased with events, do they?

    Where’s the silent majority?

    I wonder what O’Bummer and McCain and all the rest of the warmongering filth think of such events?

    Let the Liberty Bell ring loud and clear?

  37. Moscow Exile says:

    Konflikt mit Russland: Die fatalen Fehler der Regierung in Kiew

    [Conflict with Russia: The fatal errors of the Kiev government]

    That it has come so far is due to fatal errors made by the new Kiev government and Ukrainian Parliament. Under pressure from right-wing street fighters who were “guarding” the Parliament in a threatening manner, the Verkhovna Rada repealed a law that guaranteed the status of the Russian language in the east and south of the country.

    An agreement signed on 21 February by the foreign ministers of Germany, France and Poland – Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Laurent Fabius and Radoslaw Sikorski – provided for the formation of a “transitional government of national unity”, which would have logically had to involve representatives from the Russian-speaking regions, which comprise more than one-third of the country.

    Instead, members of the extreme right-wing Svoboda party became ministers. This party, which, when founded, was called the Ukrainian Social-National Party, maintains friendly relations with the NPD [Nationalist Party of Germany: a far-right, neo-nazi party - ME]. In May 2013 a three-man Svoboda delegation was a guest of the Dresden State Parliament far-right faction.

    The enthusiasm of the NPD for Svoboda is understandable, as the party has defined “the nation” as a “community that is connected by blood and spirit” and praises Ukrainian collaborators that fought on the side of Hitler’s troops . The Waffen- SS Division ” Galicia” , recruited from Western Ukrainian nationalists had, Svoboda said, “only fought against the Bolsheviks”.

    The fact that acceptance of right-wing extremists was not a contribution to national reconciliation in the government was recognized faster in the Russian-speaking regions of the Ukraine than it was by Western foreign ministries.

    You don’t say!

    Of course, these Ukrainian extreme right-wingers have minimal support and will play an insignificant role in the Ukrainian government and politics in general.

    The brown ["brown" in German politics means "extreme right", as in "Brownshirts", the Nazi SA or "Sturmabteilung", namely "Stormtroopers" - ME] Swoboda party has provided several Ministers, and a deputy prime minister and the Attorney General, Oleg Makhnitzkiy, in the Kiev Cabinet. Makhnitzkiy was legal counsel for his party chairman, Oleg Tyahnibok, in court. Tyahnibok had been charged with making an inflammatory speech against “the Moscow Jewish mafia”. The trial ended in 2007 with an acquittal. Tyahnibok is also one of the signatories of the agreement with the three European foreign ministers.

    Yeah, of no influence at all because they have minimal support.

  38. yalensis says:

    I love the headline:
    Russians fire warning shots in Crimea as Kerry flies in !
    (makes it sound like Russians are firing AT that windbag Kerry)

    Anyhow, most of this guardian piece is propaganda, but this bit jumped out at me:

    (…)Several EU states, including the UK, have said they are considering economic sanctions against Russia.

    A Kremlin aide said on Tuesday that if the US were to impose sanctions, Moscow could be forced to drop the dollar as a reserve currency and refuse to pay off any loans to American banks.

    Sergei Glazyev, an adviser to the Kremlin – often used by the authorities to stake out a hardline stance but does not make policy – added that if Washington froze the accounts of Russian businesses and individuals, Moscow would recommend that all holders of US treasuries sell them

    Sounds like a plan…

    • Moscow Exile says:

      You should take a look at Lebedev’s Independent!

      The main article reports the Russians making an ultimatum to a Ukrainian base.

      At the end of the article, the Ukrainian deputy commander says there was no attempt to storm the base and no official ultimatum.

      • marknesop says:

        You mean Lebedev the proud KGB spy?

        • Moscow Exile says:

          His son runs/owns the rag now. Rumour is he’s looking for a buyer. Apart from Dejevsky’s articles there’s nothing worth reading in it: many of the articles are thinly disguised ads. I think they keep Mary Dejevsky on so as to give the appearance that it’s a real newspaper with real journalists.

          • Jen says:

            Didn’t Alexander Lebedev literally buy The Independent for one quid? (Aside from a few conditions that might have attached to the purchase.) Should have no problems making some money off the sale.

            Oh, I geddit: no-one will buy The Independent for less than a quid.

      • marknesop says:

        I can’t see it because the ignorant pop-up that forces you to buy a subscription always gets there before I can get to the story, but it sounds typical of Brit journalism – just make it up if it doesn’t sound exciting enough. The headline is inflammatory as well, Russia fires first shots of Ukraine War or something like that. British readers have grown jaded on a steady diet of scandal and starlets’ titties, and the truth just does not get it up for them any more; everything must be infused with breathless excitement like one is living in a movie.

    • marknesop says:

      Ha, ha!! Let’s get it out in the open!! Russia is drawing a clear line in the sand on this one – posture and prance as you love to do, westerners, but the buck literally stops here. If you try any of that shit like you did on Iran, we’re done. Don’t expect to bring out puff pieces later about how Moscow has reformed and is now being reasonable and peaceful and quite good, ecktually, because making up will not fly. Declare yourself here and now, and if it’s quits, it’s quits forever. No more of this bending me over one day and shaking my hand the next. It’d be nice if we could be friends, but if we can’t, know that it was entirely your decision, and fuck you sideways.

      • Al says:

        Obama draws the line with an Etch-a-sketch while his team are playing Grand Theft Ukraine (Orange edition). Unlike DukeNukem, Putin is real.

  39. Drutten says:

    Uncle Volodya is trolling the entire world, it seems like. Listening to press conference right now. It’s like a carbon copy of your everyday US presidential statement. Russia’s learning?

    Meanwhile, Russian stock market is skyrocketing.

  40. Moscow Exile says:

    Latest from live press conference:

    Putin: “Russia does not consider adding the Crimea to its territory”.

    Roll on the Crimea referendum March 30!

    • yalensis says:

      It’s just semantics. There will be an independent “Republic of Crimea” just like there is an independent “South Ossetia”. Both are a farce, because both are de-facto autonomies within the Russian Federation. (I don’t count Abkhazia, that is a separate case…)

  41. Al says:

    Just seen that Adomanis has totally lost the plot in his most recent posts, why isn’t the PPNN (Pork Pie News Network) reporting this? It’s based in fact unlike the widely reported yet false assertion that Merkel said Putin was out of his mind. Some very good commenters on Adomanis’s blog, like ‘Floating Dessert’.

    • reggietcs says:

      Yes, he certainly has.

      Patrick Armstrong has taken him to task on Facebook for claiming that Ukraine has been “invaded” by Russian troops – an overblown meme in the MSM. One would think with all of the hysteria being generated in the MSM over this supposed “invasion”, that Russia was subjecting all of Ukraine to a shock and awe type operations with tens of thousands of troops occupying the country – oh wait! that sounds a lot like Iraq!?!!?

      Adomanis seems certain that Russia will “lose” – but that’s what Kerry, McCain and every other loud mouth pundit has said and been saying about everything since Putin returned in 2012, only to see him rise to every challenge and prevail.

      They also said Sochi would be an embarrassing disaster and that Russia would be lucky to finish 5th in the medal count. These people NEVER seem to learn do they?

      What’s so baffling about Adomanis, is that he actually does provide some good objective data when discussing Russia, but when it’s time to insert his opinion, he goes completely off the rails. I remember his reaction to the Snowden asylum was completely comical, especially when he claimed that Russia should stop trolling a much larger and much more powerful country like the USA. But power is shifting and the world is becoming more multi-polar, and I have the feeling that this is something that Adomanis’ own neo-liberal philosophy won’t allow him to grasp. History, in fact the very fabric of nature, would be a lot different if every time someone/something encountered a larger more powerful opponent simply cowered and ran away.

      • marknesop says:

        Adomanis is at heart a conservative, and as a former student writer for The Harvard Crimson when he was there spoke glowingly of Bush’s invasion of Iraq. He claimed afterward to have misread the situation and trotted out the excuse that people change from what they believed when they were in their late teens. That’s acceptable, I guess, because few of us see the world the same as we did 15 years ago. But nonetheless I have the feeling that Mark Adomanis believes deep in his heart in the fundamental goodness of America, and that the bad things it sometimes does are the work of a small cabal who are hoodwinking the great mass of good people. There’s some truth in that as well, but at what point can you no longer excuse your own delusion because you do not take the trouble to inform yourself of contrarian opinion and simply suck up the official line? It should be well-established by now that governments lie in the most barefaced manner to their electorates all the time, and that the primary instrument of transmission is the mainstream media.

        • Al says:

          “…Mark Adomanis believes deep in his heart in the fundamental goodness of America…”


          “…Mark Adomanis believes deep in his heart in the fundamental godness of America…”

          Sorry, couldn’t help myself.

      • I’ve been slack in checking these comments so forgive me if someone else has already said this.
        Russia has “Invaded” Crimea says all — Gen Dempsey (US Ch of Staff) says he DOESN’T KNOW WHO THE SOLDIERS IN CRIMEA ARE. In short the senior military man in the USA has bno info to contradict Gerasimov who says they are local militia!

        This from a US Senate hearing shows neither Hagel nor Dempsey has real evidence that the people we see are Russian troops. Pathetic.

        This from ABC — note how careful Dempsey is in his quoted comments (ie not what the reporter says he said.) “My judgment is they are soldiers,” said Dempsey… He said Gerasimov told him “that they were not regular forces; they were well-trained militia forces responding to threats to ethnic Russians in the Crimea.” “My military judgment is that these are soldiers who have been taken out of their traditional uniforms, repurposed for placement in the Crimea as a militia force,” said Dempsey. ”But my judgment is, they are soldiers.” “We don’t have any evidence as yet,” he said. “I think evidence could likely become available over time.” Note how careful he seems to be to avoid saying “Russian soldiers”.

        There is no real evidence and we’re making decisions based on no real evidence.

        • Alex says:

          I’ve just read a story about USSR being in effective control of North West China during WWII via White Guards Army (who in fact were Red Army soldiers).
          I guess it’s within the reach of Mr.Putin to maintain plausible deniability concerning self-defence squads in Crimea. It takes just minimal organizational effort to remove certain individuals or even complete detachments from active service.

        • Moscow Exile says:

          Something that has always puzzled me as regards the stationing of troops on foreign territory is the policy of the US to have uniformed US Marines on duty in their embassies. There’s a a US marine barracks on the US embassy territory here in Moscow.

          Yes, technically speaking, US embassy territory is a little piece of the Good ol’ US of A in the middle of Sauron’s capital, but I know of no other state that bases detachments of its uniformed military at its embassies. For sure, there are “military aides” at embassies who are serving officers in their respective armies, but they’re always in civvies.

          I always think this posting of US marines at foreign embassies is an expression of US exceptionalism, the myth that the US is a uniquely “free” nation leading to the notion that the US is free to do whatever it wants because it is immune to criticism since all its actions are on the side of “freedom” and “democracy”.

    • marknesop says:

      That brings up an instructive point – all translations into the English language for the purpose of featuring them in a western newspaper should have to be done by a certified translator who is completely fluent in both languages, their continued very lucrative employment should be dependent on their proven accuracy, and their translation work should be done absent the presence of the journalist writing the story, to forestall pressure (“Yes, I know, Ahmed, but could he have said it like this?”). Because this bullshit of deliberately mistranslating statements so as to put an entirely different spin on them has gone on long enough. Perhaps the best example is Ahmadinejad’s alleged statement that Israel must be wiped off the map, which he never said but which has persisted for something like a decade now and is still referred to regularly by academics seeking to miscast Iran as a warlike power that can’t wait to beat them up some helpless Jews. The way it is now, or so it appears to me, anyone who claims to be able to speak the target language regardless of displayed ability is quoted and their translation is assumed to be accurate. You can’t do that in English; you can’t make, “We’re just here to protect private property” into “We expect to kill them all if they do not surrender by teatime”. But English-speaking newspapers of the PPN routinely make up what the locals say into the most dire threats imaginable, tales of catastrophe and anguished drama that leave the locals pop-eyed with wonder afterward and saying to one another, “That’s not what I said at all”.

      A few years ago a landmark case in the USA, in which a newspaper was sued for deliberately misrepresenting a situation by reporters who had been forced to rewrite the story (if I remember the outlines of the case correctly – there’s a link to it somewhere on the blog but I’d have to look for it), found in favour of the newspaper in a verdict which said that newspapers have no legal obligation to tell the truth. That might well be the paper’s policy, and they might on their own initiative fire you for lying (as some have, Jayson Blair comes to mind), but if it gets as far as court the newspaper has no legal obligation to tell the truth, and the only thing that makes them do it is fear of losing subscribers due to a perceived lack of integrity.

      There is little risk of that when you are telling the people exactly what they want to hear. And rubbish is plainly what British readers want.

      • Al says:


        From my experience and view it’s been going on for years as anyone who knows a bit of Serbo-croat (or any language fairly close) can tell you. At the risk of repeating some of the things you’ve already said, I’ve heard/read the classic is to repeat a sarcastic reply to a journalists question who then repeat this as a statement of fact and totally out of context. This has been explained over and over again at the ICTY who’s own press service and prosecutors have repeatedly and deliberately give out of context quotes to the media. These are never corrected.

        Re: the outright lying. You don’t need to be a cunning linguist (just have a reasonable level of slavic language knowledge and a dictionary) to spot total fabrication or at least some ‘massaging’, either by the journalists fixer or the shitbag biased translators back at base. I wonder if it has something to do with cut backs and refusing to pay for proper translators, just dodgy in-house jobs?

        Remember, those were the mostly days before the Internet where now, thank god, millions of eyes and brains and quickly check assertions made on our behalf and point it out publicly. The PPNN and their handlers have had to up their game, the usual trick is to just throw more news stories on top of it so that it is quickly superceded and by the time a correction is made, it has already spread far and wide and is taken as gospel truth and almost nobody bothers to check back. It’s like property, possession is 9/10ths of the law – considered truth is 9/10th the amount of times it is repeated.

        I also find it quite tough listening to the original when there is a translation over the top, but it is possible, at the cost of a headache. It’s not really a comparison, but if you watch a film with subtitles, say you are learning a language or you are just a bit mental, you can quite easily spot were either the dialogue just hasn’t been translated, but very loosely translated, and every now and then simply wrong.

  42. patient observer says:

    A geat RT Crosstalk including Alexander Mercouris, and Nebojsa Malic (of the ReISS Institute). I realize that Nebojsa is not AP-approved which is the best endorsement he could have.

    • yalensis says:

      Nebojsa makes an extremely interesting point: That he believes the U.S. State Dept. is basically making up its own foreign (and military) policy, completely separate from Obama; and basically Obama is just forced to go along with whatever they do.

      If this is true (and I think it is), this confirms my hunch that the American State Dept is ruled by Clilntinoids, and that Obama is basically their vassal.
      I always wondered exactly what the Clintons had on Obama. Or, is he just so incompetent that he felt he could not establish his own foreign policy without them?

      P.S. nice to see Mercouris in fine fettle! You go, Alexander!

      • IMO Obama just isn’t present most of the time. I believe that, when the stories come out, it will be revealed that, on many occasions, he was known to be in the building but just couldn’t be found. Look up the presidential schedule on the White House page. Not very full days.

      • Reading the American defense blogs it would seems that there is also a disconnect between the State Dept / NED / USAID side and the military, who seem to have been caught unprepared and unwilling to get involved in this.

  43. Moscow Exile says:

    Latest News: Russian markets recovering on Putin’s speech

    “Curses!” they hiss in unison in the City and on Wall St.

  44. Al says:

    Asia Times: Ukrainian blood on Kerry’s hands
    By M K Bhadrakumar

    “…Kerry warned Russia that the US and its allies would boycott the G8 summit in Sochi in June and even doubted Russia’s eligibility to be a G8 country. Big deal. Niall Ferguson has a fine blog in the Spectator what the G8 has come to be. Yes, based on last year’s GDP figures, the BRICS is slated to overtake the top four guns of the G8 — the US, Japan, Germany and the UK. …”


  45. Al says:

    Ok, last post for a while but what about the effect of this on US domestic policy? It surely suits Obama that ‘Fruitcake’ McCain is all over the media because it further ingrains the worry that the Republicans are still falling out of trees.

    If US citizens are truly tired of foreign adventures, then the Democrats should get a small bump from this, or at least a small gain from Republican losses. Or, far, far more likely such considerations will simply not figure much at all in voters’ minds – ‘It’s the economy, Stupid’.

    I can imagine that if US NATO partners in Europe request further US ‘assistance’, then a further pull out of US forces from Europe would at least be put on hold. Then there is a money/economy penalty to be paid for this whilst they are struggling to cut their military budget. What will the US actually do apart from sell more weapons or offer stuff second hand to NATO partners? Either way, the rationale for NATO is further damaged that I expect to see at least a new ‘position paper’ or proposed new amendments

  46. Drutten says:

    Well, the Kremlin trolled everyone, the Russian troops are pulling back, the brief Russian stock backlash is recovering, nobody in the West knows what to do, Kiev has agreed to look into the matter of increased autonomy for Crimea and according to several economical analysts this whole maneuver might actually benefit Russia greatly in the long run.

    The cost? Some angries in Poland, Western Ukraine, Washington etc? From crowds that already hated Russia anyway.

    Really, is this it? Putler wins again?

    • SFReader says:

      It’s not over yet. We’ll be witnessing very soon Ukrainian default, hryvna devaluation, another Ukrainian gas crisis and continued unrest all over the country.

      Likelihood of civil war and foreign intervention (not just Russian) is very high.

    • SFReader says:

      By the way, many of you recall that there was a discussion of Russian military capabilities in a hypothetic war against Ukraine a couple of months ago.

      And I maintained that Ukrainian army is a joke and would be overrun by Belarus, let alone by Russia.

      I think the issue is settled now.

  47. Warren says:

    Amanpour getting her stained knickers in a twist and fighting with her colleague!

    • yalensis says:

      Cohen has done the world a great service in throwing ideological pie into Amanpour’s face. He literally reduces her to sullen silence, which is saying something, given her big yapping, lying mouth.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      Yes, some Ukrainians “may well be nationalists and anti-Semites….” [my stress]

      Why does she doubt the abundant evidence that some Ukrainians are “nationalists and anti-Semites”?

  48. Warren says:

    Russia Today presenter goes off-script over Ukraine crisis

    35 minutes ago

    A presenter on the Kremlin-sponsored TV channel Russia Today has used her show to condemn Russian military action in Crimea, Ukraine.

    Abby Martin, who presents a programme from America called Breaking The Set for Russia Today, told viewers she was “strongly against any state intervention in sovereign nations’ affairs”.

    Nick Childs reports.


    State-controlled BBC is making a big deal of the opinions of a single RT journalist, apparently Abby Martin expressing her opinion is going “off-script”. Unlike the BBC where EVERYONE is “on-script”!

    The UK Gov is hostile Russia, so the BBC’s coverage is hostile to Russia. The rhetoric from state-controlled BBC has been ratcheted up! John Simpson in his latest report is using the words occupation and occupation forces to refer to Russia presence in Crimea.

    • Warren says:

      As of yet no presenter from the Downing Street-sponsored TV channel BBC has used their show to support the people of Crimea’s right of self-determination or condemned the violence and intimidation that is being committed by Banderites in Kiev!

      I wonder what conclusions can be drawn from this? The arrogance, mendacity and hypocrisy of the Perfidious Albion has no limits!

    • Drutten says:

      This happens every now and then, on all networks. Nothing to see here. People go nuts over it now because they think she enraged The Evil Network and Vlad “The Impaler” Putler himself, signing her own death warrant or at the very least secured a one way ticket to the Gulags. Or something along those lines.

      In fact, RT correspondents such as Yaroshevskiy said of the nuttery in Western media “Stop this please, Abby will not be fired for speaking her mind” and RT editor-in-chief said “Contrary to the popular opinion, RT doesn’t beat its journalists into submission, and they are free to express their own opinions, not just in private but on the air. This is the case with Abby’s commentary on the Ukraine. We respect her views, and the views of all our journalists, presenters and program hosts, and there will be absolutely no reprimands made against Ms. Martin.

      Really, business as usual. The reaction in Western media really is telling.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      This VTsIOM poll has been causing a lot of noise over at the Grauniad as well:

      Большинство россиян (73%) считает, что Россия не должна вмешиваться в конфликт между властями и оппозицией в Украине, поскольку это внутреннее дело народа этой страны.

      A majority of Russian citizens (73%) consider that Russia should not interfere in a conflict between the authorities and the opposition in the Ukraine because it is an internal matter for the people of this country.


      And then…

      THE DATE!

      Somebody noticed the date!

      24th February 2014

      This was before Yanukovich had fled and fears of Banderovtsy actions against the south-east and the Crimea had arisen.

      Furthermore, the wording of the poll has to be considered: it speaks only of the authorities and the opposition, namely the circus in Kiev.

    • cartman says:

      Phil Donahue was notable for openly opposing the Iraq war on his cable network show. MSNBC fired him for that. That’s where Ms. Julia “Freddie Lounds” Ioffe likes to make appearances.

  49. Moscow Exile says:

    Tin-Tin mark 2?

    From today’s Grauniad, one of the comments that appears below breathless on-line reporting from the seat of war:

    Ref to post above Shaun Walker now tweets 26 mins ago:

    Having been out all day at Belbek, only just seeing video of the initial warning shots, which happened before I got there.

    Why does Walker need to tell us this now? The Guardian above claim he ‘filed’ this report (12:42 above). Giving the impression that he was there at the time. So it appears he wasn’t there and the whole report is third hand but from who? The Guardian also lie about them being Russian soldiers in the video. He’s written a report and only just seen the video now?
    This is what purports to be journalism, folks.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      BBC spots SNIPERS!!! when Walker of the Grauniad wasn’t there.

      And there are boots on the ground there as well.

      • Moscow Exile says:

        Here’s the warning shot shown in an embedded video in a Frankfurter Rundschau page:

        Warnschüsse auf ukrainische Soldaten

        [Warning shots at Ukrainian soldiers]

        Only saw and heard one shot being fired in the air.

        No mention of snipers.

        • Drutten says:

          Seems to me a set-up of sorts. Russians are keeping Belbek under lockdown, a group of Ukrainian military hotheads (clearly in cranky and provocative mood, yelling “America is with us!” and so on, having to be shushed up by their commanding officer not to escalate things further) are walking on the Russian perimeter. They’re followed by a massive entourage of Ukrainian and Western reporters… Russian soldier fires a shot in the air, but his commanding officer tells him to keep cool.

          The Ukrainian commander probably has goodwill in mind, keeping with him a banner that both Russians and Ukrainans fought under against the Nazis, but the entire scene seems to be underpinned by a journalistic wish, if you will.

          • Moscow Exile says:

            Aye, just like that news programme spoof I posted above: the journalists make the news -or at least try to.

            – Yes! Yes! I can hear shots. The Russians are firing and yes! The Ukranians (whom we tanked up in a café an hour ago) are returning fire. One down! And another – both Ukrainians. Now a Russian! Yes! Yes! It’s WAR!!!

            • yalensis says:

              Western MSM desperately want Ukrainian soldiers to shoot at Russians, and then be mowed down, so they can crow to the world how brutal are Russians. To further this goal, they are trying to move things along….

              • kirill says:

                For some reason Right Sector goons are not taking on the Russian army. Strange.

                • Jen says:

                  I did say earlier in this comments thread that at their rate of (d)evolutionary development, the fascists can only fight with primitive weapons.

      • yalensis says:

        Western MSM is currently pursuing 2 main propaganda memes:

        (1) Kiev Maidanuts continue to mourn obsessively over the 100-some “protesters” who were supposedly killed by Berkut. Shedding crocodile tears, John Kerry laid flowers on their pathos-filled shrines to the fallen Banderites;

        (2) Valiant Ukrainian units continue to defy Russian bear. This is all that nonsense about Russians “surrounding” Ukrainian units in Crimea, threatening to shoot them in the kneecaps, etc. The reality is that the Russian and Ukrainian troops at that particular base were busy working together to find additional fuel for Russian vehicles.

        • kirill says:

          I see the revisionism has cranked up. There were about 70 dead including 16 Berkut police officers. Now it is 100 dead protestors. Tomorrow it will be 1000. Of course the fact that these dead “protestors” were mostly militants shooting at police is omitted.

    • Jen says:

      If you follow the Tintin Harding school of journalism, you’ll find things happen when your back is turned, such as when you’re hiding under your tinfoil hat or at the Belbek airport duty-free shops.

      The Vineyard of the Saker guy was more on the ball than Shaun of the Dead Walker:

  50. Al says:

    When ‘is’ suddenly becomes conditional. I just popped over to the Guardian, vis

    Obama: Russia may be breaking international law
    “There is a strong belief [around the world] that Russian action is violating international law.”

    Is this Obama going all Tony Blair? Convictions and believe trump fact?

    Poor journalists and hamsters must be confused. Damned facts getting in the way of a good fake story.

  51. Moscow Exile says:

    And here’s the warning shots incident from a Ukrainian source:

    Plenty of rounds shot.

    But when the Ukrainian officer approaches his Russian counterpart, after having turned round to tell his men to calm down as some of them had got very angry over the shots being fired and had shouted “Sonsofbitches”, he turns again to face the Russians and says: “Would you fire on a Soviet flag?”

    It turns out that as well as the Ukrainian national flag that they were carrying, they also had a Soviet air-regiment flag that is normally displayed in the room where the Yalta conference was held in 1945 and apparently was there during the conference itself.

    Blood is thicker than water, as they say.

    The Russians do as well:

    Родная кровь – не водица

    If you go to You Tube, you’ll see the venomous comments from the Ukrainian diaspora, or descendants thereof, for example:

    Slava Ukraine! We are canadians support your soldiers and all ukranian ppls from whole our hearts! Brave soldiers they are heros! God save Ukraina!

    Apart from his poor spelling, grammar and punctuation, for some strange reason the Canadian “Ukrainian” transliterates “Слава Україні” into Latin letters thus: “Slava Ukraine”, using the indeclinable English word “Ukraine” rather than “Ukraini” (Україні), namely the transliterated word for “Ukraine” with the dative case ending, since in Ukrainian that word follows the exhortation “Glory!” (Glory to the Ukraine), whereas he writes “God save Ukraina!” using the correct transliteration of the nominative of the Ukrainian word for “Ukraine” (Українa); however, in this instance, the transliterated noun meaning “Ukraine” should have been transliterated with the accusative case ending, thus “Ukrainu” (Україну).

    Perhaps the Canadian is a native speaker of Ukrainian, an immigrant to Canada, but has not mastered English well and his mother tongue and his Canadian English are suffering from mutual grammar interference, eh?

  52. Fern says:

    Ladies and gentlemen, please have a small brown paper bag ready. Proof that British journalism is probably the worst in the world. This is from one of the BBC’s ‘stars’, Mark Mardell, displaying the informed, balanced tone demanded by the Beeb:-
    ‘Putin and Obama are such different characters.
    One is a small, strutting hard man with a passion to re-create an old empire, the other the professorial president – concerned not to repeat the mistakes that happen when America behaves like an empire – ever-hesitant to use the massive brute force his country can muster.’

    Such rhetoric would be absurd but understandable from the pen of an American but a Brit?

    • Al says:

      Thinking about future career prospects?

      Oana Lungescu, NATO spokeswoman formerly European Affairs correspondent at the BBC, also Mark Laity was a NATO spokesman and former Defense correspondent of the BBC.

    • marknesop says:

      I could have sworn public fellatio was not allowed in the UK, but apparently I was wrong. Don’t forget that Mr. Obama is a smoker; I know it’s not exactly post-coital, but if you really want the experience to be memorable you should go the extra mile.

  53. Al says:

    U.S. Suspends Trade Talks, Military Ties With Russia

    Oh good! Maybe they’ll stop taking Russian rocket engines to power US launches of Defense satellites.

    “The US Air Force is studying the possibility of launching the licensed production of Russian RD-180 rocket engines in the United States. According to the Space News weekly, the US will begin assessing the licensed production of such engines in the next few weeks….

    …But Russia considered the cessation of deliveries of RD-180 engines to the United States in summer 2013 since the US has been using its Atlas-V launch systems to place defence-related devices into orbit. Although no decision was made to that end, the very fact that Russia considered the stopping of supplies prompted the US to overhaul its space launch programme…”

    There are other things the US isn’t doing, i.e. blocking the launch of commercial satellites with ITAR components from launch in Russia… Both Boeing and Airbus employ hundreds of Russians in Moscow and have a long term agreement for titanium and much more. It would all be rather messy. I wonder if the German idea of sanctions would be to close down the VW factory in Kaliningrad? Bla bla bla.

    • marknesop says:

      Dear me; the west really is gettings its panties in a bunch over this, isn’t it? Is it prepared to tip the world into another global financial crisis over a country that regularly scored lower on the corruption index than its nemesis, Russia, and which is now so stony-broke that it will take Billions upon Billions of dollars in free money which it cannot be asked to pay back just to restore living to normality? Evidently it is, which can only mean Ukraine has become merely symbolic, and that the west sees this as the clash of wills toward which the world has been building – that if it does not back Russia down on this one, that its own credibility will not survive. Literally overnight, this has evolved into a must-win.

    • yalensis says:

      Would this not be a good time for Russia to stop supplying pindosi troops in Afghanistan? Cut them off, dude!

  54. Al says:

    Yanukovych Asked For Troops, Russia Says

    “Ukraine’s ousted President Viktor Yanukovych asked Russia to deploy its troops across the border to establish “peace, law and order” and “defend the people of Ukraine,” Russia’s ambassador to the UN has said.

    Faced with calls from almost all UN Security Council members to pull Russian forces out of the Crimea, Ambassador Vitaly Churkin on Monday read out a letter that he said was signed by Yanukovych, whom Moscow considers to be Ukraine’s legitimate leader, asking Russian President Vladimir Putin for help.

    In the letter, Putin was asked “to use the armed forces of the Russian Federation to restore legitimacy, peace, law and order, stability and to defend the people of Ukraine,” as the country was “on the brink of civil war,” Itar-Tass reported.

    Churkin also showed the council a copy of the letter, which was dated Saturday…”

    • kirill says:

      Putin made a direct threat to the regime in Kiev at during his interview. He basically stated Russia would use military force if the Right Sector and the rest of the Banderite goons tried to shoot their way into control of parts of Ukraine where the people resist their “authority”. This is very, very good. Russia does not need Yanuk’s letter to justify action against the militants if they try to use force against civilians pursuing their democratic rights.

    • marknesop says:

      Notice that when pressed as to whether he thought the document was a fake, France’s UN Ambassador dissembled with “It’s not a fake letter. It’s a fake President”. Zut alors, mon ami, je pense que vous avez faire une erreur la-bas. I wish someone would cut through the bullshit and submit this to a constitutional court, because the current self-appointed government in Kiev most certainly did not take the proper steps to depose Yanukovych. He is therefore still the duly-elected leader, and laws and policies generated by the current administration in Kiev are not binding because they were issued by an illegal government. And the reasoning the United States used – that because Biden could not reach him by telephone, he was considered to have abdicated his position – is an insult to everyone over the age of 10.

  55. Al says:

    There’s something wrong over at the Indy. There’s a second good article!

    Britain is responding to the crisis in Ukraine without a coherent foreign policy. And that’s a very good thing

    So the Germans (Siemens) and the French (Alstom) won’t be wanting a piece of this pie either?

    Potential Investors Get Preview of Moscow-Kazan High-Speed Rail Project

    I think it is called cutting your nose off to spite your face, no? In this case it is the West’s castration complex as some claim is at the core of Gogol’s ‘The Nose’? Their unchallenged role in the world to act unilaterally is slipping away and the more they fight it, the faster it slips away, but deep down they know it is true.

    From the case notes of Dr. Al (no, I’m not a doctor).

  56. Al says:

    $1 billion in U.S. aid to Ukraine? Who are we, Santa Claus?,0,866718.story

    “Congratulations, Ukraine, you just won the lottery! Though, on this side of the world, it looks like we just gave $1 billion in aid to a country most Americans couldn’t find on a map….

    …Now, I’m no math wizard, but if we’re giving Ukraine $1 billion, and it owes $1.5 billion just to Russia’s Gazprom, that’s, hmm, lemme see, 1.5 minus 1, uh, don’t carry the 1, uh: Yep, still broke.

    Or, as they say in Kiev: Please, sir, I want some more….

    …Across the pond, we’ll be rooting for you guys.

    We just won’t be paying you too.”

    Is that Ernst Stavro Blofeld & Moby with Kerry? New Defense & Cultural Ministers in Kiev?

    • kirill says:

      Ukraine imported 27 billion cubic meters of natural gas in 2013. At $430 per thousand cubic meters this is $11.6 billion worth of gas. So the $1 billion overs about one month of natural gas imports.

      Either the US and its NATO pals expect the Kiev regime to implode soon, or they feeding it many more billions in secret.

    • yalensis says:

      This is crazy! Zbig said USA must give Ukes $15 billion pronto, just to get them through the week.
      So, they give them only $1 billion? chump chage….

      • cartman says:

        $5 billion for regime change, then you get to watch it all over again when the economy collapses. The Department of Revolutions knows what its priorities are.

    • yalensis says:

      sorry, my computer went nuts, and that one got away from me.
      So, basically, Berkut have sworn loyalty to the new Republic of Crimea.
      Berkut says they fought “not for Yanukovych”, but for Ukraine, and for that HALF of the Ukrainian people who do not support the fascist thugs who illegally seized power in Kiev.

      Crimean government have promised to pay Berkut salaries and benefits starting March 20, promptly.

      This is good news. Berkut deserves the salaries, they should be paid promptly and given all benefits that they deserve for everything they endured.
      In return, Republic of Crimea will get an excellent and well-trained police force.

  57. yalensis says:

    From Putin press conference:

    “Мы считаем и будем считать, что Украина не только наш близкий сосед, но и братская республика. А наши Вооруженные силы – это товарищи по оружию, друзья, многие из них знают друг друга лично. И я уверен, что российские и украинские военнослужащие будут не по разные стороны баррикад, а по одну сторону баррикад. Кстати говоря, примерно это самое, о чем я говорю, происходит и в Крыму. Ведь обратите внимание, что, слава богу, там нет ни одного выстрела”, – констатировал Путин.

    “We feel that Ukraine is not only our near neighbour, but also a brotherly republic. And our [Ukrainian and Russian] armed forces – these are comrades in arms, friends, many of them know each other personally. And I am convinced, that Russian and Ukrainian soldiers will NOT be on opposite sides of the barricades, but on the same side of the barricades. This, by the way, is exactly what is happening in Crimea. Pay attention to the fact that, thank god, not one shot was fired,” Putin remarked.

  58. Fern says:

    There are reports lurking around the internet of a massive fire at an oil refinery in Tatarstan but no mainstream outlet has confirmed this news. Any idea if this is true?
    Dimitry Babich has made an interesting assertion in his latest ‘Voice of Russia’ interview – that a number of Svoboda party members left to join either the ‘Fatherland’ party or UDAR in order to get into the Rada. So, if this is true, it suggests that support for Svoboda’s ideology or, at least sympathy towards its main aims and policies, might be much more widespread in the current governing authorities than the numbers of Svoboda party members in cabinet posts might suggest.

    • yalensis says:

      I did a brief check of Russian MSM and don’t see anything about the refinery fire at Neftekamsk in Tatarstan. Which I believe is a subsidiary of Rosneft, which as we all know is the bête noire company of the Americans and their Navalnyites, because it supplies so many revenues to the Russian treasury.

      I guess the fear is the fire, if it exists, might be the work of jihadi Tatar terrorists, on the orders of Turkey, attempting to create some kind of diversion, or at least strong statement about what is happening in Crimea?
      Also, could just be an internet rumor, but I will continue to poke around…

      Two points:
      (1) first need to confirm that the fire exists,
      (2) and sometimes a fire is just a fire… (These refineries are always prone to fires.)

  59. Moscow Exile says:

    So they’re docking the wages of the workers in the East so as to pay for the vandalism perpetrated by the “peaceful Maidan protesters” from the West, many of whom, clearly, do not work:

    [Miners have 10% of their wages docked so as to pay for restoration of Kiev]

    A number of enterprises in the Luhansk region have made wages deductions in the pretext of “restoring Independence Square in Kiev” – agency “Ukrinform”.

    In particular, the miners at the collieries “Partisan” and ” Komsomol” are complaining about the deduction of 10% of their salary, stressing that there are no legal grounds for such deductions.

    The colliery accounts department has confirmed that the funds were earmarked for the restoration of Kiev, but has promised that the deducted money will be returned later.

    The deductions have been factually confirmed by local human rights activists.

  60. Moscow Exile says:

    Oh wow, golly gosh!

    Michelle Obama awards Ukrainian singer Ruslana Lyzhychko with the title “International Woman of Courage”.

    Ruslana courageously spoke on the stage on the Maidan.

    Here she is – accompanied by some of her future Maidan pals, I presume – courageously singing in Ukrainian the song “Wild Dances”, with which she won the 2004 Eurovision Song Competition, only she courageously sang it in English then.

  61. reggietcs says:

    Russia tested a RS-12M Topol ICBM today. It carries a single warhead (usually 550 kilotons).

    Probably a reminder from Putin of what NATO can expect should they lose their minds and attack the Russian military.

    Also, Something I didn’t know:

    Someone named “Mr Pragma” on the Moon of Alabama blog pointed out that an international treaty with Russia forbids NATO/US from placing aircraft carriers and submarines in the Black sea via Bosporus. Naturally, the US could give a fig about International law but Pragma pointed out this is one that they would likely not violate because of the consequences. Russian attack subs pretty much patrol around Bosporus round the clock to deter any shenanigans.

    • yalensis says:

      Also, Black Sea has been described as “a giant bath-tub with only one point of entry and egress”.
      So, any ship entering could literally be a sitting duck.

      On the other hand, I would be more worried about Turkey. Russia and Turkey basically share the Black Sea, enforced by elaborate treaties. But the Turks are playing a bad game here, and have been consistently playing a bad game, ever since Erdogan came to power.

      Maybe it’s time for regime change in Ankara?

    • marknesop says:

      Yes, that’s true; aircraft carriers are not allowed through the Bosporus by reason of international agreement; Russia got around this when it built the KIEV Class (long gone now) and designated the finished product a “Large ASW Cruiser” rather than a carrier, specifically for that reason. But the KIEVs were small for a carrier, only about 45,000 tons whereas one of the American NIMITZ Class are twice that, and the FORD Class even heavier. India still operates one of the KIEV Class.

      The Black Sea is small enough that a carrier could effectively control a lot of the airspace from outside the Bosporus anyway; from, say, the Med. NATO has 24 bases in Turkey, and USAFE (United States Air Forces Europe) is at Irmiz, with 40 aircraft.

      • reggietcs says:

        Ah, but then there’s the problem of all of those advanced missiles from the Russian mainland not to mention the Black Sea Fleet. I would imagine the sheer firepower from the Russian mainland would probably make attempting to control the Black Sea airspace near impossible.

        NATO attempting to control the Black Sea would be easier said than done. I would think that with the outbreak of nuclear hostilities, one of the first things targeted with tactical nukes would be those NATO bases in Europe, Turkey and the US 6ft fleet.

  62. yalensis says:

    A couple of new Crimean developments since yesterday:
    (1) Much-feared Chechen Vostok Battalion spotted in Crimea. (These are the pro-Russian Chechens, known as fierce fighters.)
    (2) The President of Tatarstan has arrived in Crimea to meet with various political leaders in the Autonomy, including speaker of Crimean Parliament, and also the leaders of the mejlis and local Tatar communes. His goal is to ensure peace between the 2 major ethnic communities — Russians and Tatars. Tatar Prez will also make a well-publicized visit to major mosque in Simferopol, to emphasize the fact that one can be a Muslim and also pro-Russian. Now, please don’t giggle when I tell you the name of this Tatarstan President:
    Rustam Mini-khanov. (ha ha, he’s a “mini-Khan” – get it?)

    • yalensis says:

      More on Minikhanov’s trip to Simferopol: He (Rustam) and Crimean P.M. Sergei Aksonov, signed many agreements for future bi-lateral dealings between the 2 governments, Tatarstan and CR (=Crimean Republic).

      I don’t see details about these deals, but I am guessing there will be a lot of cultural and economic aid for the Crimean Tatars. Many financial incentives, and there is talk of Russia paying reparations to Crimean Tatars (because of that little kerfuffle with Stalin).
      Small price to pay, to keep Crimean Tatars out of the hands of Turkish jihadists.

      Okay, so hopefully this will create peace between the 2 major ethnic groups in Crimea, Russians and Tatars. Next on the menu: need to find a way to settle down the Ukrainian minority. That might be a harder nut to crack. Nobody knows exactly how many of them are secret Orange supporters. Probably best way is to create flourishing economy so that everybody is warm and has a job. Meanwhile, Orange symps in Western Ukraine will freeze and starve next winter, in the tender arms of the EU.

  63. yalensis says:

    Alexander Turchynov and Sergei Naryshkin chat over the telephone.
    Turchynov = illegal President of illegal Orange putsch government in Kiev.
    Naryshkin = fully legal speaker of Russian Parliament.

    Naryshkin’s press secretary, Evegenia Chugunova, was asked by reporters what the two enemies chatted about.

    “I can’t tell you,” she replied, in a thick Russian accent. “Is BEEG secret…”

  64. yalensis says:

    Russia threatens:

    If any Western econonic sanctions against Russia, then Russia will respond by confiscating Western property and assets held in Russia.

    • marknesop says:

      This will make Mark Adomanis laugh; that seems to be his standard response to any threats from Russia, as if there is nothing the flea could do to affect the placid repose of the giant. That is actually a pretty typical American attitude; no matter how much we owe, no matter how overextended we are, we are still basically un-hurtable because we are so big and so powerful and so rich. According to him, the reaction from more or less the whole English-speaking community to the threat to dump the dollar as reserve currency was laughter.

  65. yalensis says:

    Meanwhile, In Donetsk, power switches back and forth between pro- and anti-Orange forces.

    On Monday pro-Russian activists seized government building in Donetsk, elected by acclamation a new Governor named Pavel Gubarev, and raised the Russian flag.
    Then yesterday or today, pro-Orange forces re-took the building, by using a clever ruse, the equivalent of “Hey, look over there!” As a result of which (=fake bomb threat), anti-Oranges had to evacuate the building, pro-Oranges re-took it, and re-raised Ukrainian flag. Nobody was killed or hurt in this exchange.

    Western propaganda media seized on this one incident as proof that the tide is turning and pro-Oranges are turning back the Red Tide in Eastern Ukraine.

    [yalensis note: Nothin' to see here, folks. Everybody stipulates that there are 2 sides in South-east Ukraine: some support Oranges, some oppose Oranges. It is normal that the ebb and flow will favor, now one side, now the other. Some analysts have noted that, after all the dust has settled, some areas might be left in Orange Ukraine and anti-Oranges left behind in the shuffle might then be subject to prosecution for, e.g., seizing buildings. Therefore, it is important for pro-Russian elements to stipulate, as part of the overall settlement of the conflict, that these activists be promised amnesty in advance, for whatever things they are going to be doing in the course of the conflict.]

  66. Moscow Exile says:

    True Russian Patriot that she is, Latynina goes through the options that she thinks may prove useful in economically crippling her mother country. Here’s one of her helpful suggestions:

    The West could boost shale gas production in Ukraine and Poland. Chevron has plans to start shale gas production in western Ukraine by the end of 2014. Even Yanukovych claimed that Ukraine would end its dependence on Russian gas by 2020.

    This would not only deprive Gazprom of about $14 billion in annual revenues, but also oust Russia from the European gas market. The same strategy would also work in Poland.

    The same is also true of shale oil. The U.S. not only surpassed Russia in 2009 as the world’s leading producer of natural gas, but in 2013 also overtook Russia in combined oil and gas production. As a result, U.S. oil imports have fallen by 15 percent over the past five years.

    See: Why Russia Is Out of This World

    As regards “other worlds”, which is the theme of her latest artistry, namely unreal worlds in which some people imagine they live, how about her final paragraph to the above article as an example of her otherworldliness:

    It turns out that it is the West, not Putin, that is living “in another world.” This is a world in which good-natured, civilized people argue that the use of force has no place in international relations and are therefore powerless to cope with those who believe otherwise.

    By “good-natured, civilized people”, I presume she is referring to the present and not so distant past US administrations.

    • marknesop says:

      Every one of her articles always causes me to raise my gaze to the ceiling and ask once again, rhetorically, why she continues to live in Russia when she plainly considers it peopled by demons and imps, and longs for the company of Americans. Just move there – don’t you know how the internet works? You can criticize Russia non-stop from outside the country; get Alexei Bayer and Julia Ioffe to show you.

      I normally do not even read her nonsense any more, because I know it will only make me choleric with no prospect of satisfaction in sight. But it’s comical how they all reach for the shale-gas stick, and Yulia especially appears ignorant of what a bust it was in Poland, as if there was plenty of usable gas there but the west simply chose not to exploit it because they were too good-natured and civilized and knew it would upset Russia to lose its energy toy.

      I think she is just trolling for death threats so she can feel like she’s important to the war effort. Someone should tell her America has launched an attack; then she would put on her coal-scuttle helmet and go out into the streets to kill Russians and do her bit for the American advance. Then they could throw her lunatic ass in jail.

    • marknesop says:

      I love how they always insist that what Russia is doing is unacceptable and insist on a return to “dialogue and diplomacy”. And then nobody pays any attention to Russia at all, the place is stiff with foreign diplomats working deals with the opposition (which is now the self-appointed government), and the only time Russia is seen not to be “bullying” and is actually invited to participate is when they want Russia’s signature on a pro-western deal. And that is the only goal which is “acceptable” – total full-spectrum dominance and victory for the west. They condemn the use of force because they cannot do it themselves, and insist on a return to the methods that have always served them sell in getting their own way.

      • Southerncross says:

        This is New Zealand. We believe ourselves to be a worldly and gutsy country that “punches above our weight”. We seldom know anything much about the foreign matters we mouth off on. Probably nobody in our government could tell you who Oleg Tyahnibok or Dimitro Yarosh are. Our intelligence services – when they aren’t snooping on fat Germans – are probably still trying to confirm the break-up of the USSR. So now we stand ready to throw away a perfectly good trade deal, just so we can show our solidarity with a gang of Nazi murderers and with the Americans – who will send men to Jupiter before they grant us any kind of FTA.

        We aren’t the mouse that roared. We’re the obnoxious parrot perched on the American President’s shoulder – and we don’t even get a cracker!

  67. Drutten says:

    Just in, more leaked tapes… Very damning material. Eagerly awaiting the MSM response.

    • kirill says:

      Politics is based on ignorance. The media will just pretend it’s a fake. Everyone and his dog thinks you can cut and paste random conversations from random audio samples (including getting the intonation just right). Everyone and his dog are totally ignorant.

  68. dershaggyion says:

    hey mark!

    could you post a future article detailing your thoughts on this lecture by Anne Applebaum on ”Putinism”?

  69. patient observer says:
    • kirill says:

      I listened to it and it is obviously legit. No technology exists to simulate a conversation of any significant duration. Even the pronunciation of a single word is a challenge. It is also nearly impossible to string together a 10 minute conversation with so much coherence by cutting and pasting phrases from other conversations. People these days think that because they saw some CGI in the theater that you can fake video and audio. I have never seen CGI which is not totally obvious and am surprised when some tell me they can’t distinguish it from reality. No CGI character moves like a real person or animal. Again, it is just too difficult to simulate all the twitching, jerkiness, complexity of expressions and these CGI characters always have overly fluid movement and expressions. This is aside from the failure to photorealistically reproduce the details of the face down to every wrinkle, etc.

      It all boils down to the complexity of real world entities. Even one-dimensional variables like voices are produced by complex processes and there are no models that you can use to reproduce them.

      Also, if Russia was able to fake audio at this level then the west should be grovelling in supplication before its technological capacity. Even the bloody western ubermenschen cannot produce such fakes. (Imagine if this was possible what politics and business would be like, opponents could be destroyed with ease).

      • marknesop says:

        Not only that, the story is believable. Is it far-fetched that the opposition would invent provocateurs – titushki – to cover their own rioting and destruction on the grounds that they were fake protesters working for the government? How could Yanukovych – or the mystery retired Colonel or whatever he was hiding out in the Kiev Hotel – coordinate the activities of titushki so brilliantly that they were hitting everywhere, unstoppable, wrecking ambulances and setting fires and throwing Molotov cocktails at police and destroying public property, and yet be so incompetent with the control of the police so that they would make little probing, hesitant attacks and then withdraw? Did Yanukovych want the protesters to win? Did he deliberately sabotage his own efforts by brilliant manipulation of titushki and dithering, contradictory employment of the Berkut?

        I find it totally believable that “snipers” (more likely just regular long-gun shooters, snipers are not necessary to randomly hit people in a crowd) would be used by the opposition to fire on their own people in order to turn the tide of public opinion. And it would work again in the same place two weeks from now, because people are stupid and tend to believe and react to what they are told.

    • marknesop says:

      I don’t think the idea of opposition-supporting gunmen will surprise anyone here; it is all of a piece with the titushki and all the rest of the image management, all ends-justify-the-means politics out of the regime-change playbook. I will be frankly surprised if this goes anywhere except down the memory hole, and Ashton’s disinterest in it is plain to see. I’m sure the EU crowd just hopes the issue dies without ever becoming big. Hopefully Putin or someone will demand an investigation so that they can’t just sweep it under the rug. But tactics like this are now commonplace and unsurprising – what is surprising is that it is still so easy to stampede the mob in a given direction with the same old tactics.

      • patient observer says:

        The Nazis have updated the tried and true burning the Reichstag. They really don’t have much imagination but it seems not much is needed with a zombified population.

    • yalensis says:

      To me, it is astounding that the Estonians would admit the authenticity of this whammy of a revelation.

      They report that “a member of the Opposition” [whom they do not name] ordered the snipers to shoot the Orange protesters as well as police. Who is the guy?

      They don’t say whom they are accusing of these murders, but they show images of Klichko while they are saying this. Are they implying that it was Klichko??

  70. Fern says:

    The full leaked conversation between Urmas Paet (Estonian Foreign Minister) and Catherine Ashton is here

    On a visit to Ukraine, Mr Paet met with a number of Maiden activists and mentions ‘Olga’, a doctor who’s seen as a future Minister of Health. She told Paet that she’d seen a number of the bodies of those shot by snipers, both police and civilians, and she’d noted “the same handwriting’ – i.e. the bullets used were identical. She also reported that the new coalition didn’t want to investigate these killings and, increasingly, there was the feeling that these deaths were not Yanukovich’s handiwork but ordered by people now in the new coalition. I don’t buy Ashton’s reaction to this news – it’s hard to know whether someone is lying in the absence of visual signals but her “Gosh, I hadn’t heard that’ is (as Mark would say) way across town from convincing.

    What is also of great interest is the disenchantment (already) of the Maidan activists with the coalition government. Paet was told that many in the new governing authorities had a ‘dirty past’ whereas the Maidan wanted genuine reformers. That hasn’t happened while the uprising has produced the increased problems of security, territorial integrity and Crimea. Members of all parties told Paet of intimidation, “uninvited visitors during the night” and of one member of the Rada who was beaten by guys with guns on the street in broad daylight.

    I think these EU big-shots know they’ve ‘midwifed’ a real mess and that there’s no peaceful way of disarming and disempowering the ultra-nationalists.

      • Al says:

        I posted about her before in a rant about the crap media coverage and her ‘playing her part’ telling tv news that snipers had deliberately targeted the head and hearts of protesters even though the tv showed people hit in the legs.

        Well, I apologized then, but why have they been holding on to this? This is unacceptable especially with the West screaming blue murder. A giant bag of poo has just exploded!

        • yalensis says:

          Olga actually comes off in this conversation as a person with a conscience. Olga’s conscience and professional integrityas a doctor bothered her, she had to tell the truth to Paet about what she saw, even though it was an “inconvenient” truth from her POV.

          Paet himself in this conversation sounds extremely uncomfortable, like his conscience is tormenting him with inappropriate thoughts.

          Only Lady Ashton sounds completely serene and comfortable with all the bloody murders and crimes she is committing. She is that rarity, an actual female serial killer and sociopath!

          (So, after listening to the full tape, I have to retract my above comparison between Lady Ashton and Lady Mac-Scottish person, who went mad with so much blood on her hands…)

          Out out! Damned Spot!

    • yalensis says:

      Another interesting tidbit is that Lady Ashton (around 7:00 minutes in) appears to be insinuating to Paet that if this Olga person wants a post in the new government, then she had better toe the party line. In other words, she should keep her mouth shut about these inconvenient truths re the sniper bullets, etc.
      Lady Ashton comes off as a total Machiavellian type. She should change her name to Lady Macbeth!
      [quickly toss salt over shoulder and spin around several times...]

      • marknesop says:

        Hot potato, orchestra stalls, Puck will make amends!

        • yalensis says:

          Once upon a time, Lady Mac-Scottish-Person had a dog named Spot.
          Spot was generally a good dog, but he was lazy and didn’t like to go out for walkies.
          So, Lady Mac-Scottis-Person had to shooh him crossly to get out more.

  71. SFReader says:

    Estonian Foreign Minister has just confirmed the leaked conversation

    Conversation took place on February 26 after Paet’s visit to Kiev

    • patient observer says:

      The illegitimate government has just added mass murder to its credentials. I hate to pound on AP but he has it coming for the time and energy he wasted with his sanctimonious BS.

      • Hunter says:

        Where IS AP? What happened to him? Was he banned?

        • kirill says:

          No. He is apparently over at other blogs dedicating his attention. He left this particular bubble for now :)

          • Hunter says:

            Oh, well that’s not surprising. When things didn’t ultimately turn out like he was predicting (with the moderate Oranges being in control and there being no popular backlash in the south and east) it must have been embarrassing and a little difficult to keep up the “everything will be better and fine” line of argument. And to be honest I had noticed that AP tended towards avoidance whenever a point came up that he couldn’t seriously dispute with facts. I remember weeks earlier he initially disputed my assessment that the east of Ukraine was subsidizing the west of Ukraine but seemed to avoid my response where I provided was generally more productive with higher salaries and would thus pay more taxes. Subsequently Fedia did a similar analysis along a different track which showed that the east and south was generally less subsidized than the west and centre of Ukraine but AP went about disputing the nitty gritty, all the while ignoring the fact that for all regions of Ukraine to be subsidized the subsidy must come from somewhere and only place such subsidies can come from outside of the IMF, Russia and the EU is from the more productive Ukrainians in society who generally end up paying more in income taxes due to higher incomes – western Ukrainians might have a lot of disposable wealth thanks to remittances, but remittances are not counted as income for the purposes of income tax anywhere in the world as far as I know, so it would seem that most likely the east and south have a generally higher tax burden than the centre (except Kiev) and the west.

            Ultimately Ukraine seems to be hurtling full-speed ahead towards State Failure much like Haiti in the 1990s and 2004-2006, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia, the Central African Republic and Albania in 1997-1998. Instead of a re-flowering of democracy we seem to be seeing the emergence of a bankrupt ochlocracy but tipping towards anarchy. If Ukraine becomes in essence the Haiti or Somalia of Europe, life definitely won’t be better for the vast majority of Ukrainians. And like those countries we would eventually see a lot of refugees and economic migrants trying to escape the bad economic conditions and dysfunctional society. A lot has been written already about thousands of Ukrainians already going to Russia, but if that outflow increased then much like the Haitian and Somali diasporas in the West, this Ukrainian diaspora in Russia will have an effect on Russian policy towards Ukraine and ultimately on Ukrainian policy towards Russia (because those Ukrainians who would have crossed the border legally could still be legally entitled to vote in elections in Ukraine unless the nationalists attempt to change this law – so it would seem unlikely that the Ukrainian diaspora in Russia would be voting in parties that are openly hostile to Russia and aim to worsen relations with Russia).

    • kirill says:

      My respect to this man. He could have kept quiet and the audio could have been fobbed off as fake.

      • marknesop says:

        Agreed, very much so.

      • astabada says:

        Then we wonder how come all of our rulers are d***s. I think his career is not going to benefit from this spur of honesty.

      • yalensis says:

        Yes, I agree. To my surprise, Paet comes across in the conversation as a man with a conscience who feels extremely uncomfortable with what is going on. Whereas Lady Ashton comes across as a sociopath completely without conscience.

  72. patient observer says:

    Its so on!

    But lets hope sanity quietly slips into the heads of western politicians. These sanction threats could escalate out of control sort of like a WW I scenario but without the shooting and if China gets involved, its WW III without the bombs.

    • kirill says:

      I always found the timing of the global financial collapse in 2008 to be just too coincidental. In August we have Russia putting the tie eater in his place and in September we have the financial nuke detonation. I suspect that the people who run the show (not some mythical stochastic process market) decided to bring Russia down. They believe the BS spewed by their media and “academics” and thought that Russia would implode like 1998. But Russia had developed so much that it rebounded literally within a year in terms of various economic metrics.

      You may ask why would the west damage itself in the process of trying to hurt Russia. Perhaps they under-appreciated how rotten their own finances were. The subprime mortgage CDS racket was not supposed to implode.

      This resilience of Russia to financial shocks surprised the west and it changed its tune. I highly doubt that Syria would be spared bombing if the west knew Russia was a weak as in 1998. The current threats are not going to achieve anything. NATO cannot embargo Russia. And the tough talk from Russia is the right approach. The people behind the steering wheel in the west are drunk on their delusions.

      • cartman says:

        Interesting. Maybe the condition for Russia’s loans to Ukraine should involve confiscation of Western assets there.

  73. kirill says:

    The USA is run by lunatics. They actually want to stage joint military exercises with the illegal regime in Kiev.

  74. kirill says:

    Yatsenyuk wants a loan from Russia. Seriously. I guess it is dawning on them that their western “friends” are not friends at all.

  75. Al says:

    The Telegraph reports Bogomolets on their live feed @15:17

    Olga Bogomolets said she had not told Mr Paet that policemen and protestors had been killed in the same manner.

    “Myself I saw only protesters. I do not know the type of wounds suffered by military people,” she told The Telegraph. “I have no access to those people.”

    But she said she had asked for a full forensic criminal investigation into the deaths that occurred in the Maidan. “No one who just sees the wounds when treating the victims can make a determination about the type of weapons. I hope international experts and Ukrainian investigators will make a determination of what type of weapons, who was involved in the killings and how it was done. I have no data to prove anything.

    “I was a doctor helping to save people on the square. There were 15 people killed on the first day by snipers. They were shot directly to the heart, brain and arteries. There were more than 40 the next day, 12 of them died in my arms.

    “Our nation has to ask the question who were the killers, who asked them to come to Ukraine. We need good answers on the basis of expertise.”

    Mr Paet’s assertion that an opposition figure was behind the Maidan massacre was not one she could share.

    “I think you can only say something like this on the basis of fact,” she said. “Its not correct and its not good to do this. It should be based on fact.”

    She said the new government in Kiev had assured her a criminal investigation had begun but that she had not direct contact with it so far.

    “They told me they have begun a criminal process and if they say that I believe them. The police have not given me any information on it.”

    • kirill says:

      Obvious backpedalling. The Estonian Foreign Minister would not have made such simple mistakes in understanding. BTW, the UK offered to investigate the incident but the Madianut regime refused. That says it all.

      • patient observer says:

        I would hope Russia would be requested by Yanukovich to participate in the investigation.

        • kirill says:

          This is probably why the Kiev Maidanut regime is not in a hurry to have such an investigation done. All their dirty tricks would have the light of day shined on them.

          Russia needs to starve this regime out. Let NATO sponsor it. So far NATO is all talk.

          • reggietcs says:

            I would be VERY disappointed if Russia gave them a dime.

            The neo-Nazi’s in Kiev are openly hostile to Russia and now they’re talking about joint NATO exercises????. I really hope the Duma are the one’s to decide instead of Putin, because I’m pretty certain the Russian Parliament would overwhelmingly vote NO as would the Russian public.

      • And the poor woman has to live in Kiev where the baseball bats patrol.

        • kirill says:

          That’s what I thought as well. But you never know, maybe she is a true believer. Everyone I know in Toronto is.

          • yalensis says:

            The diaspora are true believers, no doubt about that.
            But my hunch is that Olga is a skeptic, she shared her skepticism with Paet, who has a conscience, even though he is Estonian.
            Then somebody probably threatened Olga and her family, and she had to backpedal. She is after all living in a lawless city ruled by fascist mobs with baseball bats and hatchets.

  76. Al says:

    There’s a rash of good posts over at the Asia times, this one to do with US strategic interests:

    Asia Times: Putin’s army salutes a Nulandized Kiev

    Meanwhile, Greenwald on RT Host Abby Martin’s ad libbing

    BTW, since claiming not to know much about the Crimea, her bosses said, ‘Fine, to Crimea you shall go”. “No” she replied. Tut tut!

  77. Warren says:

    Fascinating, and disturbing discussion. What how the Western media will ignore this!

    • kirill says:

      Olga is already claiming she never said the same guns were used against both. There is no way that the Estonian Foreign Minister would have brain lapsed so much that he would have confused her original statements. This is pure damage control. Anyway, snipers shooting “peaceful protestors” is a routine and boring ploy (but which seems to work every time). They did the same thing in Venezuela during the temporary ousting of Hugo Chavez. It’s all false flag operations of the Syrian chemical weapons variety.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      Definitely Ashton’s voice! Although she’s modulated her original accent – turned it a bit posh – I can still recognize it creeping through. She’s was brought up only about 3 miles from where I spent the first two-thirds of my life.

    • Jen says:

      This leaked conversation between Catherine Ashton and the Estonian Foreign Minister goes some way to confirming F William Engdahl’s reporting that UNA-UNSO snipers shot at EuroMaidan protesters on 22 February 2014 just after President Yanukovych, Viktor Klitschko, Arseny Yatseniuk and Oleg Tyanibok met with the Foreign Ministers from France, Germany and Poland and agreed on a deal in which elections would be held in December 2014, Ukraine would return to the 2004 Constitution and Yulia Tymoshenko would be set free.

      From Engdahl’s report at

      ” … A secretive neo-nazi military organization reported linked to NATO played a decisive role in targeted sniper attacks and violence that led to the collapse of the elected government. But the West is not finished with destroying Ukraine. Now comes the IMF with severe conditionalities as prerequisite to any Western financial help.

      After the famous leaked phone call of US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland with the US Ambassador in Kiev, where she discussed the details of who she wanted in a new coalition government in Kiev, and where she rejected the EU solutions with her “Fuck the EU” comment, the EU went it alone.

      Germany’s Foreign Minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier proposed that he and his French counterpart, Laurent Fabius, fly to Kiev and try to reach a resolution of the violence before escalation. Polish Foreign Minister, Radoslaw Sikorski was asked to join. The talks in Kiev included the EU delegation, Yanukovich, the three opposition leaders and a Russian representative. The USA was not invited.

      Once again we find the heavily infiltrated US State Dept having pro Israeli assets involved in regime change operations.

      The EU intervention without Washington was extraordinary and reveals the deeping division between the two in recent months. In effect it was the EU saying to the US State Department, “F*** the US,” we will end this ourselves.

      After hard talks, all major parties including the majority of protesters, agreed to new presidential elections in December, return to the 2004 Constitution and release of Julia Tymoshenko from prison.

      The compromise appeared to end the months long chaos and give a way out for all major players. The diplomatic compromise lasted less than twelve hours. Then all hell broke loose.

      Snipers began shooting into the crowd on February 22 in Maidan or Independence Square. Panic ensued and riot police retreated in panic according to eyewitnesses. The opposition leader Vitali Klitschko withdrew from the deal, no reason given. Yanukovich fled Kiev.

      The question unanswered until now is who deployed the snipers? According to veteran US intelligence sources, the snipers came from an ultra-right-wing military organization known as Ukrainian National Assembly – Ukrainian People’s Self-Defense (UNA-UNSO) …”

      Further down the report:

      ” … If true that UNA-UNSO is not “Ukrainian” opposition, but rather a highly secret NATO force using Ukraine as base, it would suggest that the EU peace compromise with the moderates was likely sabotaged by the one major player excluded from the Kiev 21 February diplomatic talks—Victoria Nuland’s State Department.

      Both Nuland and right-wing Republican US Senator John McCain have had contact with the leader of the Ukrainian opposition Svoboda Party, whose leader is openly anti-semitic and defends the deeds of a World War II Ukrainian SS-Galicia Division head …”

      So Nuland and Insane McCain didn’t just jet into Kyiv to offer cookies and rousing speeches to the EuroMaidanuts and we now know where some of that US$5 billion “reconstruction” money went towards.

      • kirill says:

        UNA-UNSO would be a CIA asset just based on the history of Ukraine after WWII. There was a guerrilla war in western Ukraine after 1945 and going into the early 1950s. This was the CIA acting out its global dirty war against communism. It did exactly the same thing in Latin America, South-East Asia, Africa and around the globe. I wouldn’t call UNA-UNSO secret. They were pretty open about their existence during the 1990s. Then they seemed to go into the background.

        Ukraine needs a solution to its UPA problem. I think partition is the only way to go. Trying to accommodate these freaks is pointless and they will forever be the stooges of Russia’s enemies. And the enemies of most Ukrainians as well. Russia should make sure to economically sabotage the Kiev regime. The best way is to not use the military since the 20% of Ukraine’s population who are fence-sitters cannot be allowed to join the Banderites. But covert operations to secure Donbass and prevent the payment of tribute to Kiev is vital. Just like NATO used some militants to stage the coup, Russia needs to assist locals to prevent the enforcement of the regime’s authority.

        • kirill says:

          I forgot to mention that the US actually parachuted guerrillas into Soviet “occupied” Ukrainian territory after WWII. The meddling was quite direct.

  78. Moscow Exile says:

    And the Turks have allowed a US warship to enter the Black Sea.

    No one knows what type of vessel it is.

    Turkey grants US warship permission to enter Black Sea

    I should hope that as a result of this the Turks will soon kiss the arse of the sizeable Russian tourist trade there goodbye.

    • kirill says:

      They tried to send over Tatar jihadis but that failed. Now they are left with 19th century gunboat “diplomacy”. I wonder what this warship will accomplish? Is it going to send missiles at Crimea and Donetsk?

    • Moscow Exile says:

      Fucking “fibs”!!!!

      Grow up, you stupid English Guardian big soft-kid of journalist twat!

      (Written by an Englishman – that ain’t no fib! :-))

      • kirill says:

        Well, when you lie it helps to accuse your accusers of lying. The NATO media is one big lie factory. They are not as ham-fisted about it as the North Koreans, but it’s still cheese.

  79. kirill says:

    WTF was Serry doing in Crimea?

    From one poster:

    “In his last posting, Mr. Serry served as the Dutch Ambassador to Ireland. His previous professional experiences have included diplomatic postings in Bangkok, Moscow, New York (United Nations) and Kiev. In addition, he has also held the position of Deputy Assistant Secretary-General for Crisis Management and Operations at NATO.

    Serry is an expert on Middle Eastern Affairs and has served as liaison between the PLO and Israel concerning Palestinian issues.

    As recently as 2/14/2014 Serry was posted in Gaza. “

  80. marknesop says:

    Just a headline so far, but “Ukraine Court Rules to Detain Crimean Premier Aksenov”.

    The new unelected government just keeps on doubling down.

  81. Moscow Exile says:

    Hillary Clinton, has compared Vladimir Putin’s actions in Ukraine to those of Hitler in the 1930s, the Pasadena Star News reports:

    Now if this sounds familiar, it’s what Hitler did back in the 30s,” she said. “All the Germans that were … the ethnic Germans, the Germans by ancestry who were in places like Czechoslovakia and Romania and other places, Hitler kept saying they’re not being treated right. I must go and protect my people and that’s what’s gotten everybody so nervous.

    • marknesop says:

      Who’s Hillary Clinton? Except for not having done a stretch in a boutique prison – which on reflection might have been an oversight – there is little difference between Clinton and Tymoshenko. Why not dig up Ronald Reagan, see if he has anything to say on the subject?

      They must all get together in a big room with their pet journalists, and thrash out their talking points and the theme they want to build. Right now they seem torn between whether Putin is the reincarnation of Hitler, or having some kind of mental breakdown.

      Israel constantly monitors the status and well-being of Jewish diasporas throughout the world, and has shown in the past that military intervention is a little bit of a hobby. Does that make everyone “so nervous”?

    • Moscow Exile says:

      So what do you suggest the USA should do, Mrs. Clinton, for despite reminding the good folks of Pasadena of Hitler’s nefariousness, which you compare with the policies followed by the Russian government, you fail to mention that despite the moral high ground that USA claims as its own, the military might of the United States was only directed against the Nazi regime (and it certainly was a “regime”),after Hitler had declared war on the USA and not vice-versa.

    • Al says:

      Guess what Albright has been saying?

      Crimea not Kosovo.

      “…Asked if the US is using double standards, given that they allowed Kosovo to separate from former Yugoslavia, while Crimea is not allowed to separate from Ukraine, Albright said that such an analogy cannot be made….”

      Along with Hillary, she’s the other Wicket ‘itch of the West.

      • kirill says:

        These infantile arguments are getting tiresome. Albright can stick her fingers in her ears and yell neener, neener, neener for all I care. Being from a science background I accept the existence of objective reality and facts. The NATO action in Kosovo is patently relevant.

        The initial pretext for the meddling in Kosovo was because supposedly 2000 people had died. They omitted to note that this included 700 Serbs and most of the rest were KLA militants. Then NATO proceeded to use the refugee exodus after its bombing started as a justification for its intervention. Much like going up to someone, slapping them upside the head and then if they fight back claiming it was they who attacked you. This humanitarian “catastrophe” which NATO triggered itself is what NATO drones now invoke as the “special case conditions” of Kosovo secession. But objectively, it was nothing more than enforced session predicated on a local Albanian majority in Kosovo.

        So the rotten maggot Albright can keep yapping all she wants. Facts are facts. If NATO can enforce secession of a local ethnic majority province of Serbia, then Russia can do the same in the case of Crimea. It is only thanks to Russian intervention that the Right Sector goons and imported Tatar jihadis did not a get a chance to slaughter some Russians and Tatars who opposed them. Russia did the morally correct thing of preempting the bloodshed. In addition, Russia is not in the process of severing the Crimea from Ukraine. NATO mouthpieces who claim otherwise are liars. It is up to Crimeans to decide what they want.

  82. marknesop says:

    Testify, Sean Collins!!! This actually looks like I remember journalism – report what happened, what decisions were made as a result of what happened, and then what happened as a result of those decisions. Bring in all the actors and the parts they played. Politically-incorrect reporting.

  83. reggietcs says:

    Well, I’ve been saying on this blog for a year now that a military confrontation between Russia and NATO was coming. People were split on it, but I’ve got a feeling that some of you probably are starting to see that the lunatics are running the asylum and it really looks like we’re all in trouble. I mean Francis Boyle, Peter Hitchens, Stephen Cohen, Brendan O’ Neill and some really reputable writers on foreign affairs all seem to be resigned to the fact that this is going to happen. Even Mark Adomanis feels that this might be it. I live in California (where several installations certainly are targets, especially the ICBM repository at Vandenberg air-force base in Santa Barbara) so I will soon start undertaking emergency preparations with my family – just in case.

    I watched the British nuclear war film “threads” on YouTube two nights ago. The very idea that they would risk something like this is beyond insane. I really wonder if many people in generation Y – who missed the cold war – have a grasp of what this actually means because when I see US politicians calling for open war with Russia I don’t see journalists calling them out on this insanity. I also just read threat Russia will be carrying out more ICBM tests this month.

    I wonder if Russia has any civil defense programs to evacuate Moscow, St. Petersburg and other cities? The US has them for the government only. I think US leaders have accepted the fact that there’s no way to realistically evacuate that many people or unfortunately save them after the attack occurs. Where would they go?

  84. Al says:

    The US ‘just wants’ Russia to talk to Kiev. Yeah, right. Russia says it came to power in a coup so the moment they talk to it at the behest of another power or at some conference it will be claimed that it has recognized the coup. That’s exactly what happened to Serbia (which has no nukes). How fçé’éng stupid does the US think Russia is? Unless it is designed to fail so that they can say they tried ‘all diplomatic means’ as an excuse to do something very, very nasty.

    The way it is being presented to the Western media is the West is giving Russia the chance to back off or be punished, i.e. the West is being magnanimous and strong, Russia is being weak and stubborn. I guess they are just praying Russia will be stupid enough to believe any promises they make but will refuse to keep (as they did with Serbia, again). Just rank hypocrisy, but on the other hand, there’s really not much else they can do. Lots of noise from the West, very little action.

    • kirill says:

      NATO wants Russia to fund the illegal regime in Kiev. Makes me wonder where the $32 trillion dollar US+EU economies are. On Mars? They can’t pony up more than $1 billion in loan guarantees (not cash)? Is there an extra zero in the claimed size of the west’s economy?

  85. Al says:

    The only point that counts (from today’s BBC live feed)


    The BBC’s Berlin correspondent, Steve Evans, says German business is speaking through its powerful collective voice to stress it fears that sanctions against Russia would lead to retaliation, with Western property being confiscated.

    The industry association representing a large section of the German economy warns that sanctions against Russia would cause sustained damage to the European economy. The Eastern Committee of German Industry, which contains some of the biggest corporate names from Deutsche Bank to Volkswagen, fears a spiral of damage if Russia then retaliates with economic measures.

    The Beeb has of course treated the leaked call as a minor story. They spent more time reporting the ‘siege’ of two disarmed Ukrainian ship who funnily enough were being resupplied by small boats. Not a ‘siege’ then. Just like Sarajevo which was regularly resupplied by the UN and the media still reports it as the longest Siege in Europe since the Nazis besieged Leningrad. You would think the british media and diplomats would know their own language by now but it only gets in the way of ‘a good story’. Fu!ewits.

  86. Al says:

    I’s just like to congratulate the Kremlin and organs on an amazing Russian propaganda effort. They’ve finally caught up with the West! It was a long slog but they can now proudly claim to have a world class propaganda outfit that can match the Western gold standard. This is absolutely brilliant.

    • kirill says:

      You mean the leaked tapes? That is not really an indication of Russian PR skill, more an indication of sloppy diplomats. Loose lips sink ships.

      • yalensis says:

        Somebody is good at technology. Maybe Snowden taught them how to tap tap tap?

        • kirill says:

          Russia most likely has all the capacity for remote reconnaissance that the US has. They can tap phone conversations from satellites like the Keyhole series. These days this is easier since everyone uses cell phones and hence over the air transmission. Perhaps Snowden helped with some codes. But I would not attribute everything to him. Russia has been strong in mathematics and code breaking is a pure mathematics activity even if in the west they would throw tons of computer resources to “solve” the problem.

          • marknesop says:

            Not to mention tapping an unencrypted cell phone is no great feat; quite a few private companies can do it, and if you know the back doors to get into the software (like the U.S. government does) you can do anything with it; turn it on and off remotely, check messages and root through the address book, turn on the camera and use it to spy on the owner, and so on.

          • Jen says:

            It probably is no big deal for even moderately skilled phone hackers to hack phone conversations made by US government department or agency employees. If organisations like the CIA, the FBI, the NSA or the US Defense Department are typical of how the wheels of US bureaucracy trundle along wasting money on over-surveillance or expensive toys that end up sitting in the Arizona desert, and having employees like Nuland pursuing fantasies of running their own little fiefdoms in faraway countries, they might be so inefficient that the notion of safeguarding all communications among their staff and between their staff and outsiders with proper encryption and procedures that protect the security of phone, email and other communications has never occurred to them.

            • marknesop says:

              Oh, there are plenty of directives in place reminding all employees about basic OpSec (Operational Security) at every level, from ensuring you do not leave any classified material on your desk at the end of the day to never discussing classified information over an open line; to assume that all such networks are monitored – if not by “the enemy”, by your own surveillance apparatus, and it is a toss-up which it would be worse to be caught by. The trouble with that policy is the unbelievable sense of entitlement that diplomats and high-ranking government figures develop, to the point that they believe themselves a higher order who need not be governed by the ordinary laws and regulations which inform the activities of their subordinates. They are too smart to get caught, because they operate on a different level of communication from the common herd.

    • patient observer says:

      The best propaganda is the truth. The Russians are becoming the masters of that form of propaganda.

    • Al says:

      Nope. Just generally how they have handled the media campaign, very adeptly and professionally. They have got their voice across effectively and have not struggled as they had before, generally being reactive than active to events. Rather than reactive, they have pushed and actually changed the narrative so the Western media actually takes some note, even if it is to denigrate Russian claims.

  87. Fern says:

    French and German ministers have announced that they are working on a ‘road map’ to resolve the Ukraine crisis that will involve disarming the militants, early presidential and parliamentary elections, adherence to the Constitution and the withdrawal to their bases of any Russian troops in Crimea. They have said they intend to work with Russia on this deal. Now, just sit back and watch how quickly the US moves to crush this diplomatic effort to resolve the crisis peacefully.

  88. patient observer says:

    From the transcripts of a press conference held by V. Putin ( ):

    “… look how well trained the people who operated in Kiev were. As we all know they were trained at special bases in neighbouring states: in Lithuania, Poland and in Ukraine itself too. They were trained by instructors for extended periods. They were divided into dozens and hundreds, their actions were coordinated, they had good communication systems. It was all like clockwork. Did you see them in action? They looked very professional, like special forces. ”

    State sponsored terrorism anyone?

    The transcripts are a very good read on many levels.

    • kirill says:

      Yes, some of those sotniki were responsible for the sniping of both protestors and police around the Conservatory building. It is by now clear that Right Sector (UNA-UNSO, UPA, whatever it wants to call itself) is US operation. The total lack of condemnation from NATO for its participation in the Kiev regime is quite telling. The western media also shows what a total mouthpiece of NATO governments it is. Some neo-nazis in a Russian government would be a point of hysteria.

    • Jen says:

      I had seen something on Global Research or similar about Russian-speaking mercenaries being trained in Lithuania for various operations last year. At the time, the suggestion was that these mercenaries would be working in Syria and be filmed speaking Russian. The videos that would then be released by the FSA “rebels” would be taken to show that Russia was actively assisting the Syrian government in violating human rights.

  89. yalensis says:

    Above I reported on “back and forth” in Donetsk, as the war wages on.
    Yesterday Oranges took minor tactical victory there.
    Now anti-Oranges are back in charge:

    • kirill says:

      Note how civilized the demonstrators are. No Molotov cocktails and no rocks. Just pushing and shoving. Expect the f*cking western media to paint them as Russian backed militants. LIke I replied to Moscow Exile, when you lie make sure to accuse others of lying.

    • yalensis says:

      P.S. I realize video is confusing.

      What it shows is pro-Russian crowd driving out Kiev-appointed fascists from government administrative building. Crowd chants: “Ross-i-a! Ross-i-a!”
      Near the end of video, crowd chants approvingly: “Berkut ! Berkut! Berkut!”

      Old Russian proverb:
      “One should not deliberately awaken a sleeping dragon.”

  90. Pingback: A Follow-Up to the Viktor Yanukovych Post (Or, More Thoughts on Ukraine) | Fluent Historian

  91. Fern says:

    NATO has announced that it is suspending all contacts – civil and military – with Russia. No doubt Putin will be devastated. In another oil-on-troubled-waters moment, Secretary-General Rasmussen has said that NATO will increase its activities with the Ukrainian military, including joint training exercises. Setting aside the question of what, precisely, at this point, constitutes the ‘Ukrainian military’, isn’t this a perfect cover story to host NATO forces on Ukrainian soil? They’re only there as trainers, instructors, guides? Rasmussen plans to meet with, as he put it, “the Prime Minister of Ukraine” tomorrow to express NATO’s support.

    I would imagine that the baseball-bat wielders of Kiev will be swopping their weapons of choice for new, nice NATO hardware soon.

    • marknesop says:

      By a coincidence, I just got finished posting a response on Mark Adomanis’s blog regarding cessation of the USA-Russia trade relationship. A flyer from Caterpillar pointed out that when the USA applied unilateral sanctions to the Soviet Union in the 1980’s, Caterpillar lost its 85% market share to the Japanese overnight, along with 12,000 man-years of work. The company pointed out it can take decades to build up your relationship with your foreign customers, but only days to wipe it out. Bring it on – U.S. businesses will not be so chuffed as their government apparently is. But once again, this is not the sort of thing that can be easily reversed once the decision is made.

      Who is inviting NATO in? The unelected government, which has no legal authority to do so? The west is going to have a hard time citing the rule of law after this, because it is plain the law means what they say it means.

      • patient observer says:

        Not that NATO is proposing Ukraine to join the club yet, but if it were, wouldn’t a Crimea succession make it a moot point given the NATO requirement of no unresolved territorial disputes? Just as Georgia could not proceed with its hoped ascension to NATO heaven, Ukraine would be similarly thwarted. If this is part of the Russian strategy (albeit a small part), nicely played.

        • marknesop says:

          So long as it remained unresolved, yes. But if Crimea secedes there should be no unresolved border dispute; its previous border with Ukraine would remain only beyond it would be Russia rather than the Autonomous Republic of Crimea. Unless Ukraine wanted to argue different borders, allthough they seem pretty well-established.

          Joining the EU is years away, if ever. Joining NATO further yet. But if Ukraine wanted to do it – and NATO would love to do it, that’s why it wants a compliant government in place – the border thing would be a sticking point unless they just accepted it and let it go.

          I don’t see why NATO and the west has their shit in a knot anyway. I mean, I thought all of Ukraine was rejoicing that the demon Yanukovych was gone and now they are free. Surely all this talk of secession is just the babbling of a few hotheads, what?

      • Hunter says:

        Sanctions are tool of the 1980s and 1990s that haven’t been updated to fit the new century’s changed landscape. Sanctions on Myanmar for years had no effect and ultimately Aung San Suu Kyi (a quite admirable woman I think) wasn’t freed from house arrest because of sanctions and her National League for Democracy was not re-installed as the rightfully democratically elected majority party (as should have happened in 1990). Instead the military junta weathered the sanctions and did its best to mould the society so that by the time it gave up power it’s preferred candidates would be able to actually win power.

        Sanctions on Russia in 2014 are unlikely to have the same effect as sanctions would have had on Russia in 1994. Russia is no longer under mountains of debt (in fact it is now a creditor nation); for the foreseeable future oil and gas prices will remain buoyant (unlike the 1990s); the West is now under a mountain of debt and Russian adherence to capitalism and democracy means that it’s rulers have real legitimacy for their actions AND that Russia is now tied in such a way to the West that many businesses in the West are genuinely worried about sanctions and it might be that enough businesses and enough important and big western businesses are tied to Russia that they can lobby for only the most cosmetic of sanctions (since apparently the UK, Germany and France aren’t considering financial sanctions).

        Within a few years time (2015 or 2016) when South Stream comes online Russian gas exports to Europe via Ukraine will probably fall from the current 80+ billion cubic metres per year (around 49% of the total shipped to Europe) to around 20 billion cubic metres per year (probably around 12-13%). This will remove a lot of the leverage Ukraine currently enjoys with regards to Russia and Europe. By then construction might have started on a second line for the Yamal pipeline to bypass Ukraine through Poland. I’ve read that the intended date for such a second pipeline (if it got started) would be 2019. It might well be later (like 2020 or 2021). But it means that within 8 years time it might be entirely possible for Russia to export gas to Europe without needing Ukraine’s gas pipelines at all. At which point the European public will not feel the pinch of any Russo-Ukrainian gas disputes and so will lose a lot of interest in what happens in Ukraine. This in turn may feed back into the European media (which might then only cover Ukraine as one of those countries where instability reigns and that make for interesting news coverage as a result – much like the Central African Republic or Haiti) and political class (which might be less inclined to engage with Ukraine because then 12-15% of their gas supplies would not be dependent on Ukraine as it is now (Europe generally gets a quarter to 30% of its gas from Russia and just under half of this is shipped through the Ukraine). In fact we might begin to see the beginnings of this in a few years time when South Stream comes online because then instead of 12-15% of European gas supplies being dependent on Ukraine it would only be 1.25-4% of European gas supplies being dependent on Ukraine. And of the 10.75-11% now shipped through South Stream, the price could be as much as 10% cheaper. So in essence the European countries would be getting 11% of their gas at a cost of what they would normally pay for 9.9% of the gas. Thereby saving enough money to source supplies from other places in the event that there is a disruption in supply through Ukraine without necessarily incurring any costs above and beyond what they do now.

        So Ukraine’s energy isolation would have already begun by 2016 and it means that going forward any Ukrainian government is going to find it doesn’t have the attention (well not the full attention by 2016 and probably hardly any attention by 2021) of the European (and world) media and European politicians in any future dispute with Gazprom over gas payments because such disputes will hardly have the kind of effects on European consumers as past disputes did in the 2000s.

        By then we could well be looking at a vastly changed situation from now. As different from the present situation is to 1994. By 2024, Ukraine could be such an unstable and poor place with no leverage over European gas consumers that the West may take a much more disinterested approach to the prospect of Ukraine joining the Eurasian Customs Union or to Ukraine splitting into two (or even three or so) states.

        • marknesop says:

          The initial round of sanctions is announced, and thus far consists of visa restrictions for Russians who are “impeding Ukraine’s free exercise of sovereignty”. Yes, if you hadn’t had your daily howler already, not only is the USA now completely absorbed in the exercise of free will by the self-appointed government in Kiev – after moving in to Kiev when Yanukovych blew off the Association Agreement and selecting the future government – it immediately announced that the results of any referendum held by Crimea would be illegitimate because it must have the permission of the Ukrainian government (unelected, self-appointed) to secede or it is a violation of “international law”.

          The main thrust of the largely symbolic sanctions appears to be to push the Russian government into recognizing the puppet Ukrainian regime. U.S. diplomats and reporters have tried several times in the last couple of days to trick the Russians into officially recognizing the Turchynov collection of numpties, and this makes it clearer: “The officials also indicated that the penalties could be ratcheted down if Russia pulls back its troops in Crimea and recognizes Ukraine’s new government. ‘We call on Russia to take the opportunity before it to resolve this crisis through direct and immediate dialogue with the government of Ukraine,’ the White House statement read.”

    • kirill says:

      NATO is losing so it needs to rush and save the Kiev regime’s ass. But they will get the exact opposite of what they desire. Once they start openly arming the Right Sector goons (who, I am sure, will be wearing uniforms) Russia will start its arming of forces in the east. The epic failure of the conscription (remember the 3 million signed up claim?) means that the Right Sector is going to have to bear the burden. And there are not enough of them to make an army to fight off any force that can be created from army, SBU, Berkut and volunteers that is not loyal to the regime.

      NATO will have to intervene directly to cover for the human resource gap of its proxies. Then we will see who is really invading Ukraine.

      • yalensis says:

        Hi, Kirill. Do you happen to have any links for the conscription failure? A couple of days ago, Western MSM were crowing how Uke conscription centers couldn’t handle the volume, they were so over-run by eager volunteers. Then they quietly dropped this meme, but I didn’t see any actual numbers.
        (Note to others: Turchynov had basically demanded instantaneous universal male conscription to fight against Russkies.)
        And yes, obviously, with no military of its own able to fight, then Orange Ukraine will expect NATO to do the actual fighting for them. Not unlike the Libyan “rebels”.

        • kirill says:

          Unfortunately I don’t have any links. Just the “1.5% showed up” claim being thrown around. I think it is credible since the parents of conscripts tried to block their deployment from a base near Kiev. Ukrainians do not want to fight with Russians and Russia is not giving them any reason to do so. NATO’s neo-nazi proxies will have to do all the pulling.

        • marknesop says:

          I remember an article in Gazeta or Lenta reporting that the “military mobilization” saw only 1.5% report for duty on the first full day. So perhaps they will have to think about replacing a sizable proportion of their armed forces as well, and you can’t replace trained men with conscripts fresh off the farm. Although it makes for great political theatre – and that’s all media is nowadays, an accomplished tech squad on hand to record and retransmit a desired performance – this process will take a long time and there is no danger of Ukraine developing a 4-million-man army overnight. However, I would not rule out some sort of dramatic citizen-army attempt to take back Crimea. It would not be expected to succeed – the aim would be to get clearly-identifiable Russian troops to fire on civilians. I fully expect that to happen, because the west – inveigling behind the scenes as always – will provoke it.

          • yalensis says:

            Which is why Russian troops are blocking every possible entry and egress onto the peninsula, in order to prevent such a thing from happening.

            Fortunately, it’s a peninsula.

  92. kirill says:

    The above two parts are a good compilation of video evidence about what happened on February 20th. The footage is not montaged like what was shown by various media outlets trying to push propaganda BS. It is clear that the SBU were not mowing down armed Right Sector militants near the metal bridge over Institutskaya from their positions near the October Palace but trying to push them back. If they were mowing them down then there would be bodies everywhere. In fact it was the SBU that got the casualties and had to retreat. This was not the sniper incident near the Conservatory but was spun as the “regime is killing innocent peaceful protestors”.

  93. Fern says:

    The attached clip shows an interview with Dr Olga Bogomolets (the ‘Olga’ mentioned in the Ashton/Paet tape) where she states she was treating injuries inflicted all sorts of people in and around Maidan, including police officers. Now, in response to the tape’s release, she is claiming she only ‘had access’ to protestors. Curious, eh?

    • kirill says:

      Coercion is the name of the game. The UNA-UNSO militants are deathsquad material and not freedom loving humanitarians. It is the western media that ignores this and creates a bubble of ignorance. It does the same thing in every case where western interests are involved. There was no condemnation of Saakashvili’s sneak artillery and MLRS barrage in the middle of the night on Tskhinval in South Ossetia. This was a war crime but Human Rights Watch was busy trying to lowball death estimates and spent its time trying to claim Israeli cluster bomb canisters were actually Russian.

      I got burned out on the grotesque hypocrisy of NATO during the 1990s Yugoslavia campaigns. Nothing has changed and NATO is trying to push this imperialistic meddling to Russia’s doorstep. Russians and Ukrainians are the same ethic people. They come from the same region and there was no distinction 1000 years ago whatsoever. If Cantonese and Mandarin speakers are Chinese then there is no question of any real difference between Russians and Ukrainians. The only differences are the pseudo-assimilated western Ukrainians who have a different religion, culture and genes thanks to being part of Poland, Lithuania, Austro-Hungary for centuries. It really would have been better if Stalin left western Ukraine as part of Poland. It does not belong with the rest of Ukraine and is obsessed with its cultural difference from the rest of Ukraine and not just Russia. NATO’s meddling in Ukraine in the name of Ukrainians is sick and obscene.

    • marknesop says:

      Indeed it is. But she quite clearly said she was treating military and Berkut (I don’t think there actually were any military, so she must have meant just the police) as well as demonstrators; everyone who was injured.

      • astabada says:

        The wrong assumption here is that the two are the same Olga.

        Most likely the one mentioned by the Estonian FM had not been advised to shut up. A gun barrel up your nose can change you into a different person altogether.

        • yalensis says:

          The Olga in the clip above was probably the one who was promised a post (=Minister of Health) in the new faux government. As part of the process of rewarding Maidanuts with posts in the government. (Like, e.g., giving Chornovil a ministry.)

          I believe that this is one and the same same Olga, and later she blew her chance of getting the post. Because she told the truth to Paet, and then Paet passed along what she said to Lady Ashton. And Lady Ashton makes it clear that Olga will have to keep her mouth shut if she wants to get that cabinet position. But then the tape got leaked, so Olga’s silence became moot.

          P.S. kudos to whoever is tapping these high-level encrypted conversations… great technological feat of spycraft.

          • marknesop says:

            Yes, astabada meant that it is physically the same person with the same face and identity, but that threatening her has changed her – metaphorically speaking – into someone else.

        • astabada says:

          Hi yalensis,
          I agree the two are the same person. I was just differentiating (based on an educated guess) between an Olga before the leak, and a “different” Olga after leak. She must have had some lifechanging experience in the meantime, so as to come out as a “different” person.

          Given that this is the third time somebody does not get my humour, I must sadly conclude that I don’t do it right.

  94. Al says:

    A quick tech note. If all the Youtube and other videos are causing you page load problems, look for click to play extensions or addons for you browser. At least in Mozilla Firefox, click to play will become default in version 29 but it can be activated in current versions.

    It is easiest just to google chrome (firefox /ie) click to play and install it that way. On restart, you should get a nice gray box replacing all the youtube and other vids.

    I hope this helps some of you.

  95. Moscow Exile says:

    Pussy Riot duo Tolokonnikova and Alekhina put on a performance with actors playing the role of wicked Cossacks, but in Nizhni-Novgorod yesterday this was no acting: Толоконникову и Алехину в Нижнем Новгороде облили зеленкой
    [In Nizhny Novgorod Tolokonnikova and Alekhina get soaked in green dye]

    I suppose they’ll say that Putin personally hired those youths to assault them.

    Fact is, very many Russians loathe the two media-whores.

    Verzilov slightly off screen right starts shouting for security.

    Note Tolokonnikova’s reaction to dye sprayed in her face and compare that to her reaction to “pepper spray” off “Cossacks” in Sochi, when she just held her hand over her eyes for 5 seconds then continued to jump up and down and “sing”.

    The hooligans’ sign reads: “Filthy sluts get out of the city!”

    • Moscow Exile says:

      The linked-above article about PR still says that they were attacked by Cossacks in Sochi.

      They weren’t!

      Again,here’s the blog that exposes this sham attack and which was linked earlier by Anatole Kaplin:

      Google translating the blog is a waste of time. I’ve only partly translated it (about two-thirds, maybe more), but this what I’ve done so far:

      Scourging women with whips and spraying them with gas is not a manly thing to do. It is wrong. Who could doubt that? But on a film-set anything can happen.

      This story began with a strange telephone call. On February 18th, exactly one day before the “Cossacks” attacking “Pussy Riot” film clip was shot in Sochi, a friend called me from Adler. Knowing that I had already written the “Pussies”, he talked about the fact that a certain representative of a creative arts company was hiring locals to take part as extras in a video shoot. He was paying $500 and more. They were looking for middle-aged men of Slavic appearance – ten or twelve people in all. The applicants made an agreement with some man from St. Petersburg and some 30-40-year-old blond woman. It seemed like it was nothing out of the ordinary but why not give them a call – nothing to lose: just a normal film shoot.

      More interesting, however, was the theme of the video: extras dressed in Cossack gear were to simulate an attack on “Pussy Riot” while they were performing. Whips lashing out, fighting and the unmasking of the “Pussies” and so on was to be shown in the film. Warning was given that at the shoot there would be a lot of journalists and that we should therefore act realistically but should try not to hurt anyone taking part. And then suddenly the “hiring party” refused the services of local “actors”, saying “this decision had been made elsewhere to choose other applicants”.

      And so on February 19th the whole media exploded with the story that Tolokonnikova, Alekhina and other “Pussy Riot” participants had been attacked in Sochi by Cossacks who were amongst a group of ten to twelve people. They (the “Cossacks”) attacked the performers, lashing out with their whips, tearing off and so on. Everything had happened according to the previously announced scenario. Within minutes, the news “Cossacks attack Pussy Riot” appeared in all the Western news media and agencies – “The Independent”, the BBC, CNN and so on.
      Here’s how the performance appeared on the Internet:

      And now, going through this clip from the first until the last of its frames, I propose to look closely at what was happening, all the more so because we now have the opportunity of looking at it in detail using high quality ( images.

      So, in the first seconds “Pussy Riot” appears, accompanied by “fans” with cameras and video equipment and a few approaching journalists come on the scene.

      As we wind forward, we see “Cossack № 1″, peacefully walking in a group. No one is keeping his distance from him:


      A little closer to Tolokonnikova and Alekhine follows “Cossack № 2″, who which actively amongst the accompanying persons:


      And at the end of the procession follows “Cossack № 3″, quietly chatting with a blonde woman in a red jacket and who accompanies “Pussy Riot” practically everywhere. It seems that this woman together with a certain Peter (Verzilov?) had organized the extras for the “video shoot”:


      Also this mysterious “lady in red” is present at other moments of the “Pussy” recording when there are still no “Cossacks” there:


      Next. Six “Pussy Riot” members (five girls and one “male Pussy”) remove their jackets, put on their masks and begin:


      After the first few words, the small “Cossack” with aerosol cans sprays them. He cannot have been more than 30 metres from the place of action so as to approach them during those few seconds while they were getting changed. His aerosol can was already in his hand and ready for action. The video clearly shows (21st second) that a good quantity of the spray of the so-called gas goes straight into Tolokonnikova’s face while her eyes and mouth are wide open. However, she only covers her eyes with her hand for about 5 seconds and does not stop jumping and shouting the words. After 5 seconds all is forgotten and she takes her hand away from her eyes.

      Here is an expert evaluation of the real effect that sprays from cans of the lachrymatory agent “Cheryomukha 10m”, “4-11 m”, “Rio com-250″, “PUNCH”, etc:
      “After an aerosol cloud has been released from them towards someone there is a temporary loss of the ability to move, which loss of movement leaves no residual effects on a person’s health; a pronounced irritation of the upper respiratory tract, which manifests itself in coughing, sneezing and shortness of breath; on the mucous membranes of the eyes – if the spray gets onto the eyes – there is a very strong burning sensation and instant blepharospasm, excessive tear production, irritation and severe burning of the skin. When exposed to the aerosol, inhalation of it causes sneezing, a runny nose and a strong, painful cough. The neutralization of a sprayed person lasts 5-10 minutes”. Here are examples of the consequences of getting the gas on the eyes:


      As can be seen in the video, nothing like this happened in the first seconds or afterwards. The alleged “Pussy” victims only theatrically pressed their hands to their eyes for 3-5 seconds without interrupting their movements and shouting the lyrics, which, basically, would have been impossible. And after moving their hands from their faces, they continued their actions, clearly seeing what was happening around them.
      Conclusion: it was not gas, but a sham.

      We continue. Together with the small “Spray Cossack”, two others appear in the frame between 22 and 24 seconds. Before 22 seconds they were all behind the correspondents and standing in readiness but out of the frame. Then, as if on command, they all rush forwards, but only at the beginning of the “singing”. Rushed forwards? Well one of them had an aerosol spray: the other two just simulated an attack. There were a few brisk “threatening” steps forwards, and then they moved straight back without having done anything. Look carefully! One of them even has one hand in his pocket:


      And the other has both hands in his pockets:


      It really is strange “attacking” with both hands in his pockets.

      And here is quite a remarkable moment that one should pay attention to: at 25 seconds is distinctly heard the cry: “Now! Here we go!” Listen carefully. Moreover, this cry is not a call to start the song (they had already started shouting the song out five seconds previously) it is a signal to start the action, the “beatings”, and draws the attention of the cameramen to start shooting the climax of the production. The voice that shouts out: “Now! Here we go!” seems to be similar to that of Tolokonnikova’s spouse, Peter Verzilov. However, I cannot be one hundred percent sure of that; I cannot say that it is Verzilov. We shall have to follow through with a phonoscopic examination, which has an accuracy of 95 %.

      28th second. Into the frame comes the jacketed “Cossack” carrying a whip. He beats the first “singer”:


      His first blow is from the inside, from his stomach, and not from over his shoulder. Clearly a mild shock. And he while doing this, he is moving back. If you strike out while backing off, then it’s retreating – either through fear or because of a subconscious unwillingness to towards making this action.

      His second lash – after a very strange pause. Too weak a strike from the inside, but doesn’t moved back. The “Pussy” in white got it. She did not try to defend herself or move away, although she clearly sees it coming:


      Now how to really use a whip and what the consequences of doing this might be.

      “The ‘nagayskaya’ or Tatar whip consists of a lanyard, a flag, a lash, a butt, a connecting ring and sometimes at the end of the whip a pocket attachment for pellets or sinkers. Cossack whips were used in equestrian events and also to knock an enemy from his saddle. Young Cossacks during “domestic games” were taught how to chop a straw man with a whip or lash whilst galloping. The whip lashes are directed at particularly sensitive places so as to paralyze an enemy’s actions: the arm, above the elbow, the neck, the wrist, the kneecap. In battle – the head is beaten. Such blows were perfected during one’s workaday life – when hunting on horseback and whilst protecting oneself from grazing herds. In capable hands it became a terrible weapon and one blow from an experienced person can snap a wolf’s spine. Whips are hung on racks that resemble a sword or knife rack. With the body relaxed, chest expanded, pelvis forward, one leg (right) in a forward position as in a lengthy stride, and with one’s hand holding whip in front of oneself, the lash hangs loosely down. The hand holding the whip can also be positioned behind the forward placed leg so that it cannot be seen by one’s opponent.”

      All strokes can be carpal, elbow, the shoulder. Details here about the technique of delivering a blow. And here’s a video of what the consequences could be after hitting whip:

      Now let’s compare the results:


      And in this picture it can clearly be seen how the “Cossack” has his left hand holding the end of the lash, causing the blow to be weakened and thereby losing its bite. Doing this causes all the blows to be feeble ones:


      Let’s go now to the 34th second. To the left of the “stage” are moving two people: one is taking out his telephone, the other, is the first of three small “Cossacks” of stunted growth. One little “Cossack” tries not to enter the scene that is being shot and passes behind the others, generally trying not to get in the way of and spoiling the action of his fellow actors:


      This bald fellow with the mobile phone and in a dark sweater with patches on the shoulders will take part in the game later on.

      Look at him. This manoeuvre took part in the background. He did not just happen to move there – in fact it was better to shoot from the front. A small “Cossack” has accompanied him. The next thing that happens is engaged in a simulated fight between the tall “Cossack” and the “Pussy” man. He takes a quick snapshot:


      What’s he doing that for? Here’s why:


      He has run there only so as to carefully unplug the power cord from the guitar-man “Pussy”. Why? This is a mystery, since there is no logical follow-up to this “unplugging”. There is only one possible option: baldy is providing technical assistance in preparing for a rapid getaway of the “Pussies” after their having been assaulted by the “Cossacks”. It seems that everything goes according to script with strictly marked out features.
      And this is some erotic games between small “Cossack” and the “singer” in red. It doesn’t smack of a real act of violence:


      And at the same time:


      A “Pussy” provides a standard squeal, clearly aiming it at the camera. And throughout the process of cinematic “beatings” all the participants very much picturesquely scream and moan. Just look closely and carefully: no real obscenities; no attempts to protect them; no call for help. And they are, after all, next to a lot of men, including colleagues, husbands, friends and associates who can (and should) help! And they do nothing.

      Two new characters:



      The Russian text then describes how Tolokonnikova lies on the ground and baldy throws his coat over her, whereupon a “Cossack” begins to flog – the coat. And true actress that she is, whilst still lying under the heavy coat, she who likes to fuck in museums duly squeals in “pain”.

      Another still shows a “Cossack” walking past Verzilov, who seems to be giving directions whilst taking not a blind bit of notice of the man who has just assaulted his wife. Pete the Pedo next appears in a “struggle” with another “Cossack”.

      Also included in the text is a photo of two genuine Cossacks who acted as auxiliary cops in Sochi. In between the beasts from the steppes is a young woman, who seems unperturbed by the close proximity of such monsters.

      And the real Cossacks are wearing badges.

      It seems that those “Cossacks” that “assaulted” PR don’t need no steenking badges!

      • Moscow Exile says:

        The inserted clip is not the “Pussy-Cossack” performance, which I’m sure you’ve all watched with relish many times already, but one about the Cossack or Tartar whip.

        • yalensis says:

          The scene in the MacDonalds also looks staged to me.

          If it was for real, then I disapprove. I don’t condone a gang of men (wearing St. George ribbons) attacking 2 women who are just going about their business, however creepy and objectionable those women might be.

          I have a feeling it was staged, though. Just another performance art piece.

          • Sam says:

            If they had “only” been beaten, I may have believed it. But this way, I think it’s staged. How would these men know that the Pussy Riot women were sharing a meal at that McDonalds in particular? Or are we supposed to believe it was a chance encounter and that they just happened to be carrying green dye and wearing St.George ribbons as part of their everyday getup?

          • patient observer says:

            If they ordered Chicken McNuggets with ranch dressing, definitely performance art. Lovin’ it!

  96. Sam says:

    So far there has been very few mentions of the Paet/Ashton tape. Most US and EU media are just ignoring it as if it never happened. Same thing on twitter, people/journalists/bloggers who have been twitting up a storm these past days about the slightest rumor or change of events in Ukraine have been keeping completely silent on the leaked tape.

    Crazily enough, the leading news is the RT anchor resignation. As Simonyan puts it: “A rival media anchor’s resignation is certainly much more important and sensational and more closely connected to the Ukraine crisis than two European leaders saying some of their henchmen may have been killing people.”

    • reggietcs says:

      It’s been reported that the Russian Duma will be opening an investigation into this.

      I’m not surprised the western media isn’t covering this. If they can ignore the neo-Nazi makeup of the Ukrainian regime and ignore the laws the faux parliament have passed under duress, then this is probably small potato’s by comparison.

      This ex RT anchor Liz Wahl is a fuc**ng retard. How the hell can someone honestly make an analogy between the over-hyped non-existent “invasion of Crimea” with the Soviet invasion of Hungary in 1956 as she did in her Anderson Cooper video?

      if she’s that dense, then RT should be lucky to have her off their hands. I’m sure she’ll fit right in at CNN or MSNBC – and the pay will be much better too – which is probably what this is all about anyway.

      • yalensis says:

        “Faux parliament” – I like that phrase!

        Along those lines, I read today that some Western reporter asked Serge Lavrov if he planned to meet with his “Ukrainian counterpart”, and Mr.Lavrov replied: “And who might that be?”

        • Moscow Exile says:

          Yeah, a journalist tried the same trick with Putin yesterday, asking him when he is going to talk to some high up in the Ukrainian government:

          QUESTION: Can I add about contacts? The way I see it, you consider the Prime Minister of Crimea Mr Aksyonov to be a legitimate representative of government authorities. Are you ready to have any contacts with those who consider themselves the legitimate authorities in Kiev?

          VLADIMIR PUTIN: I have just spoken about it. You must have missed it.

          QUESTION: I mean, at the top level for a political solution.

          VLADIMIR PUTIN: I do not have a partner at the top level there. There is no president there, and there cannot be one until the general elections.

          As for Crimea, the Parliament there was formed in 2010, in December 2010 if I remember correctly. There are 100 MPs representing six political parties. After the previous Prime Minister resigned, the Crimean Parliament, in compliance with the existing legislation and procedures elected a new Prime Minister at a session of the Crimean Supreme Council. He is definitely legitimate. They have complied with all the procedures envisaged by the law; there is not a single violation. However, when a few days ago a group of armed men tried to occupy the building of the Crimean Supreme Soviet, this caused the concern of the local residents. It seemed as though someone wanted to apply the Kiev scenario in Crimea and to launch a series of terrorist attacks and cause chaos. Naturally, this causes grave concern among the local residents. That is why they set up self-defence committees and took control over all the armed forces.

          • Sam says:

            Contrast the very smart and measured answers of Putin in the press-conference with the way Julia Ioffe reported it:


            (” You’re not listening to me. I’ve already said, that yesterday, I met with three colleagues. Colleagues, you’re not listening. It’s not that Yanukovich said he’s not going to sign the agreement with Europe. What he said was that, based on the content of the agreement, having examined it, he did not like it. We have problems. We have a lot of problems in Russia. But they’re not as bad as in Ukraine. The Secretary of State. Well. The Secretary of State is not the ultimate authority, is he?)

            She essentially took unrelated sentences together, mashed-them up, removed the questions, and made it seem like one long random rambling. Of course, if one removes whole words and sentences in a speech and jams them together, then the speech and the person giving it would seem completely incoherent. Which is the point of the article: You see, Ladies and Gentlemen, Putin has completely lost his mind.

            I also likes this part: ” Putin was nervous, angry, cornered, and paranoid, periodically illuminated by flashes of his own righteousness. Here was an authoritarian dancing uncomfortably in his new dictator shoes, squirming in his throne. “. We clearly have not been watching the same interview, people. Any of you spotted Putin dancing in his new shoes? I sadly did not.

            • marknesop says:

              Yes, they seem to be slowly settling on the meme that Putin has gone crazy; that his edicts and reasoning cannot be taken seriously because the pressure has caused him to crack up. It would not surprise me if they all get together with somebody from the government and go over their talking points, what is going to be the daily mindfuck. It is getting to the point that nothing you see on the news can be believed any more because it’s all spin and staged performances. And Ioffe is only the worst of a bad lot.

        • Moscow Exile says:

          “Scheindemokratie” as the Germans labelled the Bismarckian system.

        • marknesop says:

          I love Lavrov; he doesn’t miss a trick, and he knows very well that to even mention the individual by name or acknowledge that such a position exists will be seized on by the western media as recognition of the self-appointed Kiev government. Something along the lines of “although they refuse to formally recognize it for their own reasons, it is clear the Russian government knows there is a new authority in Kiev”.

  97. reggietcs says:

    Great news:

    The referendum has been moved ahead AGAIN to March 16th. I’m pretty certain that Ukraine and the west will probably refuse to recognize it but they can do little about it. Lavrov/Putin haven’t budged on this issue which saw talks break down with NATO yesterday. Lavrov also refused to meet with his Ukrainian counterpart and joked “who?” when asked about it. The EU/US want Russia to recognize the Kiev junta and to negotiate over Crimea.


    A referendum on the status of Crimea will be held March 16, the region’s deputy prime minister announced. Crimean’s will be asked to decide if the autonomous republic stays part of Ukraine or joins Russia.

    “The referendum will take place March 16,” said the autonomous region’s First Deputy-Premier Rustam Temirgaliev, according to ITAR-TASS.

    The new date is two weeks earlier than the one announced last week.

    There will be two questions on the ballots.

    “The first one: Are you in favor of Crimea becoming a constituent territory of the Russian Federation. The second one: Are you in favor of restoring Crimea’s 1992 constitution,” Temirgaliev said.

    According to the 1992 constitution, the autonomous republic is part of Ukraine but has relations with Kiev, defined on the basis of mutual agreements.

    Sevastopol residents will take part in the referendum, despite the city enjoying a special status and not officially being a part of Crimea, according to Sergey Shuvainikov, a Crimean MP.

    “We will give Sevastopol an opportunity to have its say,” he said, as cited by RIA Novosti.

    Meanwhile the Crimean MPs have unanimously voted for the region to become a part of Russia.

    “To become part of the Russian Federation as its constituent territory,” says the text of the Crimean parliament’s statement, obtained by RIA Novosti.

    When the decision was announced to the people outside the parliament building, they welcomed the news with cheers and screams of “Russia!”

    The Crimean authorities have denounced the coup-imposed government in Kiev and declared that all Ukrainian law enforcement and military deployed in the peninsula must take orders from them.

    Crimeans began protesting after the new self-proclaimed government in Kiev introduced a law abolishing the use of other languages for official purposes in Ukraine.

    More than half the Crimean population is Russian and uses only this language for their communication. The residents announced they are going to hold a referendum to determine the fate of the Ukrainian autonomous region.

    • kirill says:

      Looks like RT is becoming like English RIAN. “More than half” implies 50% + some small number and not 70%. The correct phrasing would be: more than two-thirds. A clear majority in any situation.

      You will note that there is also no discussion as to what happened to the 1992 constitution. It was illegally revoked by the Kuchma regime.

      • kirill says:

        The ethnic mix according to the 2001 census is: 58% Russian, 24% Ukrainian and 12% Tatar although these days these numbers are different with 15% being Tatar. Anyway, I am quite sure that the Ukrainians in Crimea use Russian and not the western Ukrainian dialect as their main language. I bet the Tatars are not using Tatar exclusively.

  98. Moscow Exile says:

    Serdyukov’s been given an amnesty.

    Always said someone up above likes him.

    Could be worse, though: he could still be minister of Defence.

    • Al says:

      That can’t be right at all. Maybe the headline is suppose to be ‘Serdyukov has joined Amnesty International’? Otherwise it doesn’t make sense.

      I thought he started some good reforms from his time in office, i.e. setting up the first professional and full rapid response equipped brigades and chopped out a lot of top heavy brass?

  99. yalensis says:

    Ukrainian “Right Sector” fascists threaten to launch revolution within Russia herself.
    Igor Mosiychuk of Right Sector says they have same-thinking comrades within Russia (= groups of fascist type nationalists) who are prepared to launch a massive Fifth Column revolution within Russia, in the case of Crimea seceding from Ukraine to Russia.

    I suppose Mosiychuk is talking about some of the Bolotnaya/Navalnyite types in Russia? Nobody doubts that the Navalnyites and other neo-nazi groups have some cells in Russia. They have cells in Moscow, Petersburg, Ekaterinburg, and a couple of other cities. But dubious they have enough firepower to take on the Russian state.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      Or the Russian public for that matter.

      • Moscow Exile says:

        Read a funny the other day.

        Apparently, some of the Maidanuts have been suggesting that in the Ukraine they still have the capability of assembling a nuclear device and that in about three months’ time, they will be able to detonate one in Moscow.

        Klitschko, they say, mouthed this off as well the other day.

        So word is that yesterday the former pugilist received a parcel that had been mailed from the Kremlin. Inside, there was a kid’s 10-piece jigsaw puzzle and the following message:

        Try assembling this first!

        Signed: Vadimir Vladimirovich Putin

        • patient observer says:

          Reminds me of an old ethnic joke which may be paraphrased as:
          “Ukraine became the 103rd state with a nuclear weapon when it successfully tested a 25 megaton device at its laboratory in Kiev”

        • marknesop says:

          But Ukraine is turning out to be a dream come true for NATO, because the leaders of the unrecognized and unelected government in Kiev seem actually to want to take on Russia on a national level. Why should they not? They have been in office five minutes, know nothing about nothing (except for Yats the scary-smart idiot savante, of course) and think they can be ready to go in a few months with a gigantic standing army. As well, they have NATO whispering in their ear, which may well think, why wait? Russia intends to build up its armed forces, but it hasn’t done it yet, and it is never going to get easier than it will be right now. As crazy as it sounds, perhaps NATO actually does intend to throw Ukraine at Russia and see how much damage they could do, because you know it is the dream of NATO to take Russia off the board militarily.

          I still find it hard to believe they will actually press ahead with sanctions, knowing the damage to trade relations would last a decade, never mind actual war. But just the right combination of crazies has seized power in Kiev, and NATO seems very reluctant to stop hugging them even despite their scary press. It seems plain that if ordinary Ukrainians do not stop them, the west certainly will not. Meanwhile, anything that delays elections plays to NATO’s desires, and I have no doubt that when the time comes for elections the west will be in full fiddle as well.

      • patient observer says:

        I would think that the refuse collection service would be the appropriate organization to deal with this trash.

    • kirill says:

      Yapping chihuahua which feels bold because it has NATO on its side. But this is not going to follow the script of the former Yugoslavia and NATO will learn its limits.

    • Warren says:

      I suppose that explains the Black and Red flag of the UPA appearing in Bolotnaya!

  100. yalensis says:

    The photograph says it all:

    Lady Mac-Scottish-Person convinces her ambitious but hapless partner that it is necessary to resort to BLOODY MURDER !!!!

    But screw your courage to the sticking-place,
    And we’ll not fail. When Duncan is asleep–
    Whereto the rather shall his day’s hard journey
    Soundly invite him–his two chamberlains
    Will I with wine and wassail so convince
    That memory, the warder of the brain,
    Shall be a fume, and the receipt of reason
    A limbeck only: when in swinish sleep
    Their drenched natures lie as in a death,
    What cannot you and I perform upon
    The unguarded Duncan? what not put upon
    His spongy officers, who shall bear the guilt
    Of our great quell?

    Because murder most foul is the only way that Yats can ascend the throne!

    • yalensis says:

      And P.S. look at those red fingernails on the witch:
      Fingers Red with blood!
      Blood that can never be washed away…. alas!

  101. patient observer says:

    “Geo-political engineering” seems to be taking on a new meaning as of late. Rather than the “engineering” of political factors that affect a large region (the “geo” part), the Russians seems to be putting real “engineering” into geo-political engineering. For example, the proposed Russia/Crimea bridge overcomes a “geographical” barrier to solve a political problem. Apparently the bridge needs to span about 3 miles of water and has an estimated cost of $8 billion, which presumably includes considerable related infrastructure development. No word so far on a completion schedule. Certainly this project is comfortably within the expertize and capacity of Russian engineering companies.

    Similarly, the North Stream and South Stream mega-engineering pipelines projects overcame “political” barriers.

    Such projects have the nice benefit of avoiding violent/subversive intervention with the locals (the cheaper and preferred strategy by the West) to secure passage or resources,

    Other mega-engineering projects such as the Panama Canal or the English Channel tunnels can be viewed similarly but with a much smaller political aspect – these are more like “geo-economic” projects.

    Perhaps engineers will be the new peacemakers:)

  102. Al says:

    My apologies to the amazing (late) Nilsson, I made a quick parody of the Coconut song vis Fruitcake McCain, floppy mouth for hire:

    Media wanna coconut, tha’ do’ cost ‘em too much,
    Fin’ John McCain who said he do it for a crime,

    You put McCain in the Coconut and you shake ‘em all toegedder x3
    You put McCain in the Coconut, you pray he do’ speak up

    Said, “Doctor, you gotta lock this nut up”
    I said, “Doctor, he got de belly ache’
    I said, “Doctor, ain’t there nothin’ he can take?”
    I said, “Doctor, to relieve the nut McCain”
    Now lemme get this straight,


  103. Moscow Exile says:

    What was I reading in the previous thread about Banderovtsy being a minority in the Ukraine?

    See: Нынешняя власть на Украине – симбиоз нацистов с олигархами
    [The present political power in the Ukraine is a symbiosis of Nazis and Oligarchs]

    And so it was in 1930s Germany. The “Socialist” and “Workers” bits of die Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (NSDAP – the National Socialist German Workers’ Party) was quickly dropped when it got the support of capitalist millionaires Kruppps and Stimmes and many others, after the Nazis had successfully played on their fears of Bolshevism. The Stormtrooper working class Brownshirts wit their thuggish street- and bar-brawling revolutionary zeal were soon kicked into touch when the fat cats’ money started to roll into the party coffers.

    Same in Kiev: no doubt many on the Maiden wanted a fairer society than that which filthy stinking rich corrupt swine such as Yanukovich and Timoshenko had created: all they’ve got in return is another gang of parasites with a bully-boy army at their behest. A major difference between the Nazi regime and that in Kiev now is that many Ukrainian oligarchs are Jews. The Nazis quickly dispossessed the German Jewish millionaires, though, after they had passed their enabling acts following the Reichstag fire.

    In the article linked above is a picture showing a poster on the Maidan with Bandera’s shrewish mug on it. No one seems bothered about it.

    Only a minority party.

  104. Al says:

    I have a small concern about the US military ship that Turkey is allowing to pass the Bosphorus (next to Phosphorus in the periodic table!).

    Let’s put it this way, Russia denies sending extra troops beyond its legal obligation of the Crimea/Black Sea Fleet treaty. Doesn’t this leave the guys who are there, i.e. private kontraknie from some private security firm under some vulnerability? If the US did something stupid (or ‘when’) then they would claim they are not targeting Russian forces and any other casualties are ‘unfortunate’ but not planned.

    Either way, I hop that as soon as said US ship pops back in to the uterus which is the Black Sea,
    that at least one Russian Navy ship will be very closely tailing it much as the Chinese ship did last december to the American USS Cowpens which was shadowing the Chinese aircraft carrier group on manoeuvers not so long ago.*

    Giving the US ship too much space gives it latitude to do something stupid. With a Russian ship right up is ass (and a couple of subs too hopefully), it would immediately negates any advantage/threat this ship might bring (i.e. if it is one of those fully fueled up cruise missile/stand off missile carriers or Aegis ships). Simply any US vessel must be boxed in. The Russians can also throw in a couple of Tu-95 Bear (and maybe some Tu-22M3 Backfire) trips down the US coast, sightseeing.


    • Al says:

      From today’s Beeb live feed:

      The USS Truxtun, a US Navy guided-missile destroyer, is heading to the Black Sea for what the US military has described as a “routine” deployment that was scheduled well before the crisis in Ukraine began, Reuters reports.

      DDG-103 Arleigh Burke-class destroyer (Aegis), launched 2009, 5th Truxtun since 1799. Cruise and air defense missiles, anti-submarine suite. Recently repaired (Jacksonville sept. 2012), sailed from Souda Bay, Crete 20 14 feb. after 3 day port call.

      Who exactly are they going to exercise with?

    • marknesop says:

      It’s an ARLEIGH BURKE; nice ships. Although their designed specialization is Anti-Air Warfare (AAW), she could be carrying some cruise missiles. But even if that was her entire loadout – crazy, because it would leave her defenseless against air attack except for guns – she would not be carrying enough to appreciably affect the balance of power in the region. And since cruise missiles are not defensive weapons, launching them is never at the discretion of on-scene authority such as the Commanding Officer, but rests at the national level. Warships at sea, especially in an area of potential hostrilities, operate under strict Rules Of Engagement (ROE), and may only break them in self-defense. You do not launch cruise missiles in self-defense, and their targeting makes their firing a pre-planned event since they are programmed.

      All that firepower following a single American ship around would only validate their belief that one American is worth a dozen slab-faced goons. The deployment probably was planned months ago and has nothing to do with the current situation, although it is doubtless being used to maximum advantage.

      The likely intended message is “the United States Navy goes where it wants”. The appropriate Russian response should be “Yawn. So what?”

      • Al says:

        A couple of speedy tugs could do the job I suppose. Tugs are very toughly built and powerful. Who are they exercising with if not exercising with themselves (isn’t that a euphemism)??

        • marknesop says:

          Good Lord. I had no idea what you were talking about at first, with that “couple of speedy tugs could do the job”. I was going to say Sir, this is a family blog. But I get you now.

          Although there are annual tug races here (in Seattle, between Canadian and American boats), tugs are by no stretch of the imagination fast. They are powerful, but would not be well-suited to an exercise which required TRUXTUN to be matched against a comparable combatant.

          However, there are all manner of exercises they can do on their own. Most modern warships have an embedded trainer facility which allows them to run realistic computer-generated attacks against themselves, including the artificial enabling of all weapons and engagements that are just like the real thing with the exception of the weapon actually firing.

          Still, the obvious oddity with that is they could do it anywhere, including 10 miles from home port, and do not need to be where they are. I am sure it’s just a regular show-the-flag visit, and it is totally believable that it was arranged some time ago.

          • Al says:

            I learn something new everyday! I was just thinking of regular harassment like the chinese do, i.e. the 2009 USNS Impeccable incident:


            I have little reason to doubt that it is a pre-arranged exercise, but a significant US military naval asset is now in the Black Sea and should be kept a very close eye on.

            • marknesop says:

              IMPECCABLE is a TAGOS ship, though; she streams a towed-array sonar – essentially a thick cable full of hydrophones for passively monitoring underwater signals – that is extremely long and which severely limits her maneuverability when it is fully out. It’s easy to interfere with her course in those circumstances because sharp turns are impossible and she is limited to the gentlest of course alterations; ideally, just straight ahead. They are also not armed.

              TRUXTUN is a fast and heavily-armed destroyer with an impressive array of sensors over and above an underwater capability, and is likely collecting whatever intelligence she can of whatever is going on in the area; it would be naive to expect less, as that is what warships of every nation do wherever they go.

              I remember when a couple of Russian ships visited Victoria years ago, I think it was in the late 1970’s. They used local pilots to take them in, as foreign warships typically do, and one of them remarked afterward that the Russian charts – of our own local waters – included soundings every quarter-mile rather than every half-mile which was our own standard. Those readings would likely have been accomplished by the Oceanographic Research Ships (AGOR) and Intelligence Collection vessels (AGI) which used to accompany every Soviet fishing fleet. Know your enemy. And if you’re not sure who might be your enemy in future, know everybody.

              • Al says:


                Russia Reacts to US Warship’s Arrival in Black Sea


                “..Citing previous U.S.-Russian naval faceoffs in the Black Sea, RT reported that the “American battleship is highly unlikely to get anywhere near the Crimea shores, let alone Sevastopol, without a risk of repeating a hasty exit.”

                That was a reference to the Cold War incident in 1988 in which the cruiser Yorktown and the destroyer Caron were sideswiped by Russian ships in the Black Sea, causing minor damage.””

                • marknesop says:

                  Yeah, see, now, my reaction to that would have been “Meh”. Big deal. As I’ve said before, in all probability that deployment was planned months ago, especially with the sequester and money so tight; although they could have switched units around at the last minute, that’s unlikely. If they were trying to make a point, they’d have sent at minimum an LHA (if it could get through any restricted waterways – I’m not sure of the ruling on helo carriers). Mmm..the Montreux Convention says that non-Black Sea nations are not allowed to transit warships which were designed solely to carry airplanes, and nothing over 45,000 tons. So a TARAWA Class LHA is 5000 tons under the limit, and might be argued is a troop carrier although it was designed with a flight deck which can accommodate helicopters and V/STOL aircraft. In the view of some, the Montreux Convention is only a guideline anyway, it depends how militant Turkey wants to be about it.


                  But whatever the case, the USN has plenty of units to make a real show of muscle if that were its intent. The deployment of TRUXTUN is likely just what they say it is, and although it is keeping an eye on developments in the region, you would expect no less from any navy. A lot of bluster about it just feeds the American view that their navy terrifies everyone. There is no need for that in this case.

  105. Fern says:

    Sergey Lavrov does a very nice line in finely-honed sarcasm. When he last met with Catherine (“80+ maybe killed by our side? Gosh,did I tell you my holiday in Australia has been delayed? Yeah, total bummer”) Ashton, he offered her a plate of cookies saying “These are not from the Maidan, obviously, but still”. Baroness (“call me a sociopath) Ashton was not amused.

  106. Moscow Exile says:

    Here’s a tantalizing legal question

    In today’s Grauniad, Shaun Walker writes:

    The de facto authorities of Crimea have announced that they consider the territory to be part of Russia after a swift vote in the local parliament.

    See: Ukraine crisis: Crimea now part of Russia, local parliament declares

    Surely, the legislative body that Walker writes of, namely the legislature of the Autonomous Republic of the Crimea, is de jure the governing authority in the Crimea, especially so as there is no de jure government in Kiev?

    • kirill says:

      Since the actions of Kiev governments from Kuchma onward in stripping Crimea of its autonomy (leaving it only in name) were illegal Walker is just spewing propaganda. He is appealing to the notion that the government of Crimea is supposedly totally subservient to whoever is in charge in Kiev. This is an aesthetic preference and not a legal fact.

      We now see the parade of foaming at the mouth hypocrisy from NATO and its media mouthpieces. While the obviously illegal regime in Kiev is being recognized as legitimate by NATO we have yapping about Crimean illegality on all fronts. The inane propaganda is that the local authorities are acting illegally for asserting the rights they had in 1991 which could not be revoked on the whim of Kiev governments whether they were democratically elected or not. NATO needs to spew the narrative that the Russian action is Crimea is some invasion and not a humanitarian intervention which is actually further legalized by being requested by the legitimate local authorities. You will note that the 70% ethnic Russian majority (in fact even the Tatars and Ukrainians are on side so it is really over 90%) is never mentioned. The usual ploy to make it seem that Russia is forcing its will on reluctant people.

    • Hunter says:

      On one hand I can see why any nationalist-controlled/intimidated (even if it is not a nationalist majority) government in Kiev would not want to simply let the Crimea go….that would be abandoning most of Ukraine’s Exclusive Economic Zone with it and it would encourage other regions who didn’t like the way things were run in Kiev to agitate for a possible split as well.

      But letting Crimea (and Sevastopol) go would work out in their favour after all since it would remove a very large section of the traditionally anti-Orange electoral base, thus making it easier for the Orange parties to collectively gain near permanent and significant majorities in parliament even if half the time they tend to fight among themselves. But then again maybe some of them want to keep the Crimea precisely for this reason – in order to retain enough electoral support for the anti-Orange parties so that the Orange parties can have a bogeyman to rally together against.

  107. Al says:

    Russia Today TV presenter Liz Wahl quits on air

    TiMH (Tabloid in My Head) suggest and alternative title:

    Russia Today TV presenter Liz Wahl quits breathing air
    Says she will live on milk & honey and only report real facts, like forever

    Journalists aren’t exactly held in great esteem (down there with politicians and ladies of the night) or known for their intelligence, but she really fluffed her dramatic departure, having to finally explain herself fully to the Daily Beast. How can cognitive dissonance be spun as a positive attribute, even for a journalist? I know some very good western journalists (a bolshie lot – I don’t mean political here to be clear), unfortunately there are not anywhere near enough of them and they will tell you privately of the same complaints they have of their employers as those made by the wobbly bird in question. They’re just not dumb enough to air it in public.

    To follow up on what was posted earlier about Peter Arnett being fired from NBC News, MSNBC & National Geographic Explorer, apparently was hired by the Daily Mirror, VTM & NET Television after he was fired. We forgot about he Baby Milk factory story too!

    He was attacked by Walter Kronkite, John Podhoretz from the New York Post & Senator Jim Bunning, calling him a ‘traitor’& “However,” he said, “no U.S. citizen should be allowed to provide aid, and comfort, through false information, to the enemy during wartime. Of course the media doesn’t mention the word ‘treason” like many of us have over Mr. Arnett’s comments. That would be an indictment of one of their own and a pox on their profession.”

    “I am still in shock and awe at being fired”

    Since then he taught journalism as a guest professor at Shantou Univeristy in Guangdon province since 2007.

    Took a trip to Saigon in 2009

    also 2009

    Controversial Ex-CNN Journalist Peter Arnett as Keynote Speaker at Saigon Hotel Caravelle’s 50th

    Where he gets a dig in against the Russians.

    And just over a week ago in NY

    Pete Hamill, Peter Arnett and Kimberly Dozier
    Vietnam: Defining Images
    Pete Hamill, Peter Arnett and Kimberly Dozier will be present at New York on February 27 to view and discuss these images of war.

    As for Phil Donahue, he was co-director for Body of War about disabled Iraq war vets and showed support for Chelsea Manning in 2013 along with others.

    Phil Donahue On MSNBC Firing: Chris Matthews Was ‘Threatened’ By Me (VIDEO)

  108. Al says:

    ‘Your comment is awaiting moderation’? WTF? Is it because of all the linx?

    • kirill says:

      Oh, so there is a moderation filter. I thought it was just the spam box. Now that I recall a long time ago I got a similar message.

      • Al says:

        I think it is just a general message and it is in fact the spam box.* I had lots of links in the post.

        What an opportunity to post:

        • marknesop says:

          Well, it’s kinda-sorta. While there is no moderation on the blog, in the sense that I have not directed that all comments sit in a queue awaiting approval by me before they are displayed, some do not appear instantly. But it is a form of moderation, I guess, in where they go. Those which are falsely assessed as spam go straight to the spam filter. These are never automatically deleted; they sit in the spam filter until ordered for deletion or “un-spammed”. This is a two-step process, in which the comment is selected as “not spam”, and it moves to the “pending” box. From there, I select “approve”, and the comment is displayed. Sometimes such a comment goes straight to the “pending” box, and when that happens I get a little alert to tell me there’s something in there. That was the case with the comment we are discussing; it went into the “pending” box and was flagged for attention. But what I mean by “kinda-sorta” is that whether the message is shunted to “spam” or “pending” is completely automatic and I have no idea what criteria it uses. However, while by far the majoriy of what goes to the spam filter actually is spam, I have never seen a comment which turned out to be spam make it into the “pending” box. So perhaps it recognizes that although the comment contains a lot of links, it is from a known and repeat sender. I don’t know. I just fish the stuff out of the filters.

  109. kirill says:

    May be of interest, the IMF’s conditions on the new Ukraine. Bend over and take it with a smile.

  110. kirill says:

    The above is proof that Yets is allied with the Right Sector militants at the core and not just using them for convenience. As I predicted, they are going to make the Right Sector the new army of Ukraine.

    • yalensis says:

      According to above, linked by Kirill, Yats has been firing Ukrainian generals and deputy defense ministers who dared to question that he (Yats) has been giving juicy military commissions to Right Sector bully-boys. And treating these Nazis as if they were real soldiers and officers in the Ukrainian army.

      • Al says:

        Indeed. That’s how Stalin got in to power, boring but essential ‘management’. It needs a certain level of terror and extreme loyalist behavior to function though.

        • yalensis says:

          I imagine the Right Sector goons will act like quasi-“commissars” in Ukrainian army, making sure the real officers toe the neo-nazi political line.

          • kirill says:

            That is actually on the mark. There are indications that the Right Sector militants will be given commissar posts in the army. There are not enough of them to put together an army and their only military skill are irregular tactics.

  111. kirill says:

    Yats throwing Russia a couple of crumbs to “pacify it”. LOL. “Ukraine is not raising the issue of NATO membership”. Big fucking wow. It’s not like NATO would take that basket case as a member. Neither would the EU. But the Yats regime is a loyal bootlick of its NATO masters nonetheless.

  112. Moscow Exile says:

    The Grauniad kills me!

    At the head of their live up-date on the “Ukraine Crisis” there is this photograph, under which is written:

    A view of the Russian navy Frigate “Pytlivyy” docked in the port of Sevastopol, where a Ukrainian navy base is located, on March 6, 2014.


    Those Russian bastards really have invaded!

    No mention whatsoever,of course, that the Russian Black Sea Fleet home port is also Sevastopol.

    Is the journalist or copy editor really ignorant of this fact, or are they just cynically playing on the abysmal ignorance of their readers?

  113. Al says:

    I can’t find the link, but I saw a post today showing a recent poll that 18% of Americans support intervention in the Ukraine.

  114. Al says:

    Telegraph live feed of today. The only important point is made by an American:

    “16.21 More from Peter Foster in Washington, who says:

    A senior US official with close knowledge of the internal deliberations expressed exasperation at the divisions in the EU, but also cautioned over the complexity of sanctioning Russia in a globally interconnected economy.

    “Russia is now a two-trillion dollar economy, if you’re going to sanction them across the board you have to be very careful not to kill yourself while doing it,” the official said.

    He added that the administration was drawing up contingencies for three eventualities – an extended status quo, a Russian intrusion into Ukraine and the worst case “shots fired” scenario, but was seeking a de-escalation of the crisis, not a confrontation with Moscow.”

    • marknesop says:

      Oh, I don’t know; there is an embarrassment of riches in that post, no end of eye-openers and jaw-droppers. For one, it makes clear that although the EU is reluctant to apply sanctions, the U.S. is pushing hard. Of course, the U.S. will suffer little in the way of consequences if Russia shuts off Europe’s gas. But I guess it’s true there are no hard feelings in politics, because everyone seems to have forgotten that “Fuck the E.U.”, not to mention the revelation before that that nobody’s private communications are actually private and that Uncle Sam is always listening in. Why is this so important to the United States? Ukraine is a long way away, it’s never been a particularly noteworthy U.S. ally, and when the west did have a stooge government in power – following the Orange Revolution – it did nothing with it and basically let the IMF run it into the ground. There’s someting here that isn’t obvious.

      Yes, Obama keeps going on and on about violation of international law. Uh….what law, exactly? Cite it, and let’s have a look. If Russia is violating international law, why is it so important that Russia recognize the unelected government in Kiev? Who cares? If Russia is breaking the law, it’s still breaking the law without the fig leaf of recognizing the Turchynov regime. And I notice Obama has suddenly become Mr. International Law, whereas he actually begged for consensus in letting him violate it when he asked the UN to let him conduct just a very, very little cruise missle attack against Damascus. Only breaking international law a little, I promise you won’t even notice.

      I see also in there that the Ukrainian Prime Minister (there isn’t one, but Yatsenyuk appointed himself to keep the office warm until one is elected) has announced Ukraine is ready to sign the Association Agreement immediately. That would be immediately, before elections, signed by an unelected and illegal government. That signature ought to be worth a lot, although of course the EU will honour it. But nobody in Ukraine need consider themselves bound by it. Anyway, I seem to sense a reluctance on the EU’s part that was not there a few months ago. Could it be that they are a little worried about chaining themselves to the village madman? Knowing full well that the pleading country they take on is going to lose its biggest export market in less time than it takes to say it and is going to require huge cash subsidies just to keep breathing, money the EU is never going to get back.

      But apparently fear of America is stronger than common sense.

      I saw in there somewhere as well that the Ukrainian unelected appointed Parliament is taking steps to dissolve the elected Crimean Parliament, because it doesn’t like the decisions it makes. This is rapidly deteriorating into a finger-poking yelling match – “You’re illegitimate!!” “No, YOU’RE illegitimate, you bastard!!!”

      Look at this wowser from Turchynov: “The authorities in Crimea are totally illegitimate, both the parliament and the government. They are forced to work under the barrel of a gun and all their decisions are dictated by fear and are illegal.” Never a dickie-bird about Sashko Biliy and his sledgehammer-wielding goons being present in the Rada when the votes to reassign the offices of President and Prime Minister and so on took place. It is, seriously, incredible to me that the west is going to back this ridiculous sham and continue to pretend it is perfectly all right to overthrow your government by force and assign a new government based on an illegal vote, but that a legitimate vote on self-determination is unacceptable because it does not have the permission of the unelected and illegitimate national government. I wish a genuine constitutional lawyer would weigh in on this, because so far all we have is the word of the EU and USA’s leaders that everything is on the up-and-up, and I would not trust them if they told me there was cold shit in a dead pig.

      What, in the name of God, is the relevance of Dalia Grybauskaite as a “karate black belt”? Is she going to go head to head with Putin, slam him to the mat, whip out her pen and make him sign an apology?

      The whole lower section then returns to discussion of the “key demand” for direct talks between Russia and the “government of Ukraine”, which, once again, will imply recognition of its status as the legitimate government of Ukraine. So far Russia continues to avoid the trap. I wonder what it will be next – Cameron inviting Lavrov home for dinner, and then Turchynov popping out of the bathroom?

      • Al says:

        Again, and this is a point I insist on hammering home, there is a lot of noise, very little action. It is very easy to be distracted but what is happening on the ground. Gas weapon? Nope – most European states have built extensive storage facilities that hold several months worth of supplies, winter now essentially over in Europe. Sanctions? The logic of globalization means that as time goes on, sanctions will be less and less effective precisely because of deeper economic integration between states – there are no clean and effective sanctions

        So much hot air! It’s descending in to a playground ‘I said, you said’ and ‘because me and my friends are more than yours, we win’. It is so basic.

        Here’s my take, and pleas excuse me for sounding like a broken mp3.

        Why is this important for the US?

        a) It is self proclaimed leader of the free world. It must ‘do something';
        b) Despite Euro NATO not paying up, NATO is the last organization in Europe that the Americans control and their last means of influence on the level of primal fear;
        c) Face. Yup, it’s not just the Chinese and the asians who take loss of face very importantly;
        d) Because they can;
        e) Institutional scelrosis (whatever the word is) – decades of operating on one wavelength and simply being unable to adapt intelligently to a completely different world. Whole systems are in place to produce hamsters for the Department of State, military etc. God forbid if these people have to make it in the real world and actually prove their worth;

        For the EU, simply it is divided and forever will it be so. The pressure is simply political to show and prove to EU citizens it worth. To quote the old shampoo advert ‘Because I’m worth it’. After the disaster of taking in new member states who simply did not adopt or implement basic EU rules, to the pigs ear they delt with the economic crisis, they need to ‘stand firm’. Gypsies, like the Russians are a simple, very easy to understand bogeyman that works on a primal level. Most of the work is done except mass communications allow everybody to revisit every fu83 up like it was yesterday and refresh the memory.

        What is going at the moment is the propaganda organs of the west simply seeking to change the narrative of possible murder of ukranian police and protesters by the same people, the coup and ignoring anything they have signed. Almost the whole western media is onboard to try and divert people (most of whom don’t really give a shit) from these fundamental questions.

        How has Russia so far avoided the trap? Because we have seen this all before over the last 25 years. The West is out of ideas and so deeply discredited from its epic foreign policy failures in most voter’s eyes, but they are simply running on empty. BTW, I just saw on CNN that the State Department has put out a fact sheet of ten points that Putin is simply wrong.

        Fear of the US?
        Well lots of itty bitty countries have given the US the finger. I think Europe has some sort of Stockholm Syndrome relationship with the US (maybe someone else mentioned this on this blog before). It is more likely an action of habit, because it has always been thus.

        Lawyers? No screaming is allowed in court (contempt). It hasn’t even got close to that stage. We all recognize that it is a full on propaganda war and Russia is holding its own, very, very well. Hurrah! Maybe all the actors should be invited on to a special edition of the Jerry Springer show? Incest. Betrayal. Hypocrisy. Back stabbing. It would be marvelous tv.

        Anyway, the above is my impression.

        While I’m here.
        The Five stages of Loss and Grief:
        1: Denial and Isolation
        2: Anger
        3: Bargaining
        4: Depression
        5: Acceptance

        The Russians have already been though it. Guess who’s turn it is now? ;)

        Before I forget, let me quote Ronnie ‘Who am I again’ Regan. Any agreement should be based on ‘Trust, but verify’. The West has shown a non stop propensity to shit on any agreement they have been part of since the end of the Cold War simply because they can. The consequences were negligible. Bear+woods=anywhere it likes.

        USDOS ‘F’ct Sheet’

        President Putin’s Fiction: 10 False Claims About Ukraine

        Fact Sheet
        Office of the Spokesperson
        Washington, DC
        March 5, 2014

        As Russia spins a false narrative to justify its illegal actions in Ukraine, the world has not seen such startling Russian fiction since Dostoyevsky wrote, “The formula ‘two times two equals five’ is not without its attractions.”

        Below are 10 of President Vladimir Putin’s recent claims justifying Russian aggression in the Ukraine, followed by the facts that his assertions ignore or distort.

        1. Mr. Putin says: Russian forces in Crimea are only acting to protect Russian military assets. It is “citizens’ defense groups,” not Russian forces, who have seized infrastructure and military facilities in Crimea.

        The Facts: Strong evidence suggests that members of Russian security services are at the heart of the highly organized anti-Ukraine forces in Crimea. While these units wear uniforms without insignia, they drive vehicles with Russian military license plates and freely identify themselves as Russian security forces when asked by the international media and the Ukrainian military. Moreover, these individuals are armed with weapons not generally available to civilians.

        2. Mr. Putin says: Russia’s actions fall within the scope of the 1997 Friendship Treaty between Ukraine and the Russian Federation.

        The Facts: The 1997 agreement requires Russia to respect Ukraine’s territorial integrity. Russia’s military actions in Ukraine, which have given them operational control of Crimea, are in clear violation of Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.

        3. Mr. Putin says: The opposition failed to implement the February 21 agreement with former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.

        The Facts: The February 21 agreement laid out a plan in which the Rada, or Parliament, would pass a bill to return Ukraine to its 2004 Constitution, thus returning the country to a constitutional system centered around its parliament. Under the terms of the agreement, Yanukovych was to sign the enacting legislation within 24 hours and bring the crisis to a peaceful conclusion. Yanukovych refused to keep his end of the bargain. Instead, he packed up his home and fled, leaving behind evidence of wide-scale corruption.

        4. Mr. Putin says: Ukraine’s government is illegitimate. Yanukovych is still the legitimate leader of Ukraine.

        The Facts: On March 4, President Putin himself acknowledged the reality that Yanukovych “has no political future.” After Yanukovych fled Ukraine, even his own Party of Regions turned against him, voting to confirm his withdrawal from office and to support the new government. Ukraine’s new government was approved by the democratically elected Ukrainian Parliament, with 371 votes – more than an 82% majority. The interim government of Ukraine is a government of the people, which will shepherd the country toward democratic elections on May 25th – elections that will allow all Ukrainians to have a voice in the future of their country.

        5. Mr. Putin says: There is a humanitarian crisis and hundreds of thousands are fleeing Ukraine to Russia and seeking asylum.

        The Facts: To date, there is absolutely no evidence of a humanitarian crisis. Nor is there evidence of a flood of asylum-seekers fleeing Ukraine for Russia. International organizations on the ground have investigated by talking with Ukrainian border guards, who also refuted these claims. Independent journalists observing the border have also reported no such flood of refugees.

        6. Mr. Putin says: Ethnic Russians are under threat.

        The Facts: Outside of Russian press and Russian state television, there are no credible reports of any ethnic Russians being under threat. The new Ukrainian government placed a priority on peace and reconciliation from the outset. President Oleksandr Turchynov refused to sign legislation limiting the use of the Russian language at regional level. Ethnic Russians and Russian speakers have filed petitions attesting that their communities have not experienced threats. Furthermore, since the new government was established, calm has returned to Kyiv. There has been no surge in crime, no looting, and no retribution against political opponents.

        7. Mr. Putin says: Russian bases are under threat.

        The Facts: Russian military facilities were and remain secure, and the new Ukrainian government has pledged to abide by all existing international agreements, including those covering Russian bases. It is Ukrainian bases in Crimea that are under threat from Russian military action.

        8. Mr. Putin says: There have been mass attacks on churches and synagogues in southern and eastern Ukraine.

        The Facts: Religious leaders in the country and international religious freedom advocates active in Ukraine have said there have been no incidents of attacks on churches. All of Ukraine’s church leaders, including representatives of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Moscow Patriarchate, have expressed support for the new political leadership, calling for national unity and a period of healing. Jewish groups in southern and eastern Ukraine report that they have not seen an increase in anti-Semitic incidents.

        9. Mr. Putin says: Kyiv is trying to destabilize Crimea.

        The Facts: Ukraine’s interim government has acted with restraint and sought dialogue. Russian troops, on the other hand, have moved beyond their bases to seize political objectives and infrastructure in Crimea. The government in Kyiv immediately sent the former Chief of Defense to defuse the situation. Petro Poroshenko, the latest government emissary to pursue dialogue in Crimea, was prevented from entering the Crimean Rada.

        10. Mr. Putin says: The Rada is under the influence of extremists or terrorists.

        The Facts: The Rada is the most representative institution in Ukraine. Recent legislation has passed with large majorities, including from representatives of eastern Ukraine. Far-right wing ultranationalist groups, some of which were involved in open clashes with security forces during the EuroMaidan protests, are not represented in the Rada. There is no indication that the Ukrainian government would pursue discriminatory policies; on the contrary, they have publicly stated exactly the opposite.

        Nighty night, ladies!

        • kirill says:

          No. 3 is a bald faced lie. Yanukovich had 48 hours and the Right Sector and associated militants had 24 hours to leave the streets and disarm. When Yanukovich upheld his part of the deal and the police retreated, the militants stormed and took over the parliament and other buildings.

  115. Moscow Exile says:

    O’Bummer says that a referendum in the Crimea would be in violation of international law.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      Merkel says it would be illegal as well.

      Funny, that! Yet on the other hand both the German Chancellor and the US Persident recognise the legitimacy of the present Kiev “government”.

    • kirill says:

      Obama and the rest of the NATO clowns are not emperors of the planet. These pronouncements are legally worthless. Again, Kosovo.

  116. Moscow Exile says:

    US navy confirms missile destroyer USS Truxton approaching the Black Sea.

    Hope they remember this:


  117. kirill says:;_ylt=AwrBEiJ_uBhT4EkA1RLQtDMD

    NATO sponsored “legitimacy”. The kangaroo Rada is going to dissolve the elected legislature of Crimea. And supposedly Russia is causing a crisis. May NATO and all its sick lying fuck hypocrite mouthpieces rot in Hell.

    • Southerncross says:

      Hopefully this idiot will live long enough to write his memoirs. It would be fascinating to know just what the hell he thought he was doing this entire time. Did he think he had the situation in hand, that he could ride to power on the backs of the Nazis and jump off afterwards?

      He can’t possibly imagine that he’s in control now. Apparently he comes from a Jewish family! Newsflash Yats, when Doc Tyahnibok talks about the Jewish mafia ruling Ukraine HE MEANS YOU! If the man has one shred of sense he will looking at arranging a one-way flight to Monaco – how long before the Nazis decide that he’s outlived his usefulness?

      • marknesop says:

        Yatsenyuk may indeed come from a Jewish family, but he and his sister are Scientologists. I’m not sure what the far-right extremist position is on Scientologists.

      • Moscow Exile says:

        Some of the anti-Maidan crowd make a big thing about the fact that not only Yatsanyuk, but also Klitschko and Tyahnibok have Jewish antecedents (grandmothers, if I correctly recall) and the two newly appointed by Yatsenyuk oligarch governors of Eastern Ukraine are Jewish.

        I don’t give a monkey’s what a man’s ethnicity or religion are, just as long as he doesn’t give a monkey’s about what mine are. However, the power behind “Yat’s” throne certainly seems to be very bothered about the Ukraine being for Ukrainians and have a thing about Jews and Russians, as they so pithily say in their own tongue:

        Бий жидів та москалів – Україна для українців!

        (Beat the Jews and the Russians – the Ukraine for the Ukrainians)

        • Southerncross says:

          Is it confirmed that Tyahnibok has Jewish ancestors? Nazis are always accusing each other of being Jews – Most contemporary Nazi organisations must resemble the blood test scene from “The Thing”, repeated ad nauseam until the would-be Fuhrer is left with a Reich of one.

          • Moscow Exile says:

            Tyahnibok’s grandmother’s name was Frotman.


            Девичья фамилия его бабушки – Фротман (у евреев национальность передается по женской линии).

            Klitschko’s paternal grandmother was Tamara Yefimovna Etison.

            Yatsenyuk’s mother’s maiden name was Bakai: she comes from a very long and respected line of Talmud scholars and rabbis.

            I wonder if the above Troika ever has interesting and intellectually stimulating soirées with “Sashko Biliy” – you know, he who says he’ll be fighting Jews and Russians till he dies?

            • Moscow Exile says:

              Wonder if the “Yats” clan is related to the Nudelman one?

            • kirill says:

              This seems to confirm some sort of self-hating inadequacy syndrome. Didn’t Hitler also have Jewish ancestors? I am not making any swipe at Jews here. It’s just too much coincidence.

              I wonder if some people who have Russian ancestors in their bloodline become foaming at the mouth Russophobes as well. Perhaps that is the case with specimens like Julia Ioffe? Does this apply to any group? A desire to be pure?

              • Moscow Exile says:

                Khryshchev’s granddaughter is a rabid example.

                That tale concerning Hitler’s possible ancestry has been debunked in several modern biographies of the dictator. If I recall rightly, the story went that his grandma Schickelgruber, who in 1837 gave birth, unwed, to Hitler’s father Alois, had been humped by a Jewish doctor’s son in the city of Graz when she was working as a live-in maid tfor the Jewish family, Frankenberger by name. This theory was disproved when it was discovered that when Hitler’s grandmother was living and working in Graz, the city had long previously been made “Judenfrei”: the Jews had been expelled from Graz in the 15th century and were only allowed to resettle there again in 1860s.

                Anti-Semitism was alive and kicking in Austria long before Adolf was a twinkle in his father’s eye.

                Hitler’s father kept the name Schickelgruber until Georg Heidler acknowledged his paternity when Alois was 39 years of age. (Spelling rules were pretty iffy then.)

                If Heidler had not done that, I reckon Hitler might never have risen to power.

                Can you really imagine the massed ranks of Nazis at Nuremberg shouting in unison “Heil Schickelgruber”?

                • kirill says:

                  Thanks for the clarification. I picked the claim about Hitler’s lineage from the background noise (one reason why there is so much ignorance out there). The “Heil Schickelgruber” salute would be something out of a Mel Brooks parody.

          • yalensis says:

            Back in Hitler’s time, Nazis were always accusing people of being Jewish, or half-Jewish, or whatever. But the only tools they had were crude cranial calipers.
            Seems anachronistic that neo-nazis are still doing the same thing today. See, these morons don’t realize that science has advanced since those times.
            Nowadays, you could do a DNA test, and know for sure, at the chromosomal level , before hurling accusations. Then you could be on solid ground, e.g.,
            “This sequence in your DNA is clearly CCC TGT GGA GCC ACA CCC TAG, this proves that you are 1/8 Jewish! You swine!”

  118. kirill says:

    Borys Filatov the just appointed regime governor of Dnepropetrovsk:

    “And the last. No airborn from the Maidan. No extremist statements. Need to give any promises, guarantees to the scum, agree to any concessions. * And to hang … * We should hang them later.”

    What a piece of work this turd is.

    Grab it from the above link before it is gone. The original facebook post has been deleted.

  119. marknesop says:

    I am a little concerned that the discussion is getting too heated and heavy, and I think we all need to just take a break. Accordingly, here is an item for your amusement.

    “Self-appointed” new pro-Russia regional governor Pavel Gubarev has been arrested by agents of the SBU, following a press conference with journalists. Want to hear what he is charged with?

    “According to the SBU, Gubarev was charged with committing crimes under Part 2, Article 110 (encroachment on the territorial integrity and inviolability of Ukraine), Part 1, Article 109 (actions aimed at the forcible change or overthrow of the constitutional order, or the seizure of state power) and Article 341 (seizure of state or public buildings or structures) of the Criminal Code of Ukraine.”

    “During one of the seizures Gubarev put forward a number of demands to the local authorities, including the holding of a referendum on the status of the region. These actions are considered as an unconstitutional grab of state power.”

    On the bright side, the Ukrainian Constitution apparently means something again, having been suspended for the last couple of months while an armed rabble seized power in the capital. Reminds me of one of my favourite Lily Tomlin quotes: no matter how cynical you get, you can never keep up.

  120. marknesop says:

    Aaaaaannnd the laughs just keep on coming. Guess who is the polling front-runner for new President of Ukraine? I have to tell you, because you’ll never, ever get it from just guessing.

    Why, Petro Poroshenko, of course, mega-oligarch and owner of the Russia-boycotted Roshen Candies! Obviously he has the John Kerry Stuffed-Shirt Stamp of Approval.

    A millionaire? Don’t be so modest, Petro Poroshenko whose net worth is $1.3 Billion!!!

  121. The only thing that matters is that is “seizing” Crimea worth the hindrance that it will cause for the economy and how great the hindrance will be? Russia can take Crimea and nobody can stop that, but what will the sanctions eventually be and how much it will impact the economy?

    And what will be the effects on the international status for Russia. Does Russia’s position improve or get worse in international scene?

    • This is a good analysis from Stratfor:
      I know it is a western source but I like how Stratfor is presenting things without usual “democracy/human rights” stuff with just cold facts.

    • marknesop says:

      What is going to happen if Russia backs down? If the United States can impose economic sanctions on a member of the WTO who has Permanent Normal Trade Relations with the other members, and back them down to a position of capitulation, then it can and will any time it gets in a snit over something it doesn’t like. Of course it will always be Russia, maybe occasionally a Russian ally, but the rest of the world will at least tolerate it if not celebrate it because they know it will never be them. History suggests that when the USA discovers an effective tool for getting what it wants – like regime change – it uses it every time until it is made to stop.

      • I don’t think Russia can back down anymore without losing face. Russia has to go all the way and take Crimea (either by integrating it directly with Russia or by making it a puppet state for Russia).
        If Russia backs down and lets the current Kiev regime have Crimea it will make Russia a laughing stock of the World. Russia will lose its credibility and reputation.
        Yes, Russia will suffer economically but if Russia survived WWII it will survive this too.

        • kirill says:

          The local authorities in Crimea are democratically elected. Crimea is not a puppet state. Clearly the Kiev regime controlled part of Ukraine is in every sense a NATO puppet state.

          • By puppet state I meant that Crimea will be 100% dependent of Russia militarily, economically and politically. Without Russian support a state like Crimea could not function.

            • Moscow Exile says:

              It should get swamped with tourists if Russians fuck Turkey off as their favourite summer holiday resort,which I think they should do.

              • marknesop says:

                Friends of ours from Vladivostok are visiting Hawaii. The lady in the couple is a college friend of my wife’s. She called yesterday and said that along with the more-detailed-than-usual questioning from the U.S. border authorities, the agent asked “Why does Putin want Ukraine?”

    • patient observer says:

      The West is playing with fire if they try serious economic sanctions. Beyond the obvious control of European gas, Russia controls access to the ISS, provides advanced rocket engines for US military space launchers, nuclear fuels, critical components for Western aircraft, advanced materials, heavy airlift capability, etc. But, their biggest threat is to stop accepting US dollars for oil and gas exports. That would be a potential stake in the heart of the vampire.

      • Jen says:

        Doesn’t Russia also hold a lot of US dollars in Treasury bonds and debt holdings? Russia could start dumping US dollars and force a slide in its value on global financial markets. China could do the same too in support of Russia (although the Chinese can’t afford to support Russia too openly because of its own issues with secessionists in Xinjiang, Tibet and probably Inner Mongolia).

      • marknesop says:

        That’s funny, because western economists say it would not, and it is this component of Russia’s response that makes chuckleheads like Mark Adomanis laugh loudest. The very idea, that anything Russia could do would hurt the mighty greenback, which is so strong that it makes puny challengers weep with frustration.

        But the Yuan has already superseded the Euro, by some estimates, as the second-most-used currency and it is closing in on the dollar. Many traders and analysts say the Yuan’s victory is inevitable, and it may not be far away. More ominously – for Americans – China has called for a “de-Americanized world”.

        This is an important question, and a difficult issue to understand, and the laughers and howlers who consider the dollar impregnable benefit from this ignorance. Therefore, if anyone could come up with a decent explanation in easy-to-understand terms, they’d be doing a lot of people a service.

        We already know that being the holder of the world’s reserve currency allows that country to borrow long after another country’s credit would have been stopped, and its biggest benefit to the USA specifically is that it keeps domestic interest rates low, which keeps dollars circulating.

        Here are a couple of sources which may stimulate further discussion; one, Martin Feldstein thinks that the currency in which oil is denominated is of little relevance. And that’s true, because many banks will automatically convert it; that’s a big part of its appeal, it is probably the most convertible currency in the world, while others used by burgeoning economies – like the Yuan and the Rupee – are not. This logic also points to the fact that oil is a fungible commodity and cannot effectively be embargoed, because it can always be sold onward through middlemen. However, if energy producers refused to accept dollars for transactions, countries would have to pay using something else – one alternative that has seen a little use is gold – and would not need to maintain large stocks of dollars. As this source points out, that’s a double whammy because if the payment is made in Yuan, that currency can be used to purchase Chinese goods so the USA loses out on mercantile sales as well. Another key vulnerability, which Feldstein highlights in his report, is that so long as the price of oil remains high, it widens the USA’s current account deficit.

        Adomanis and his crowd are giggling over the shitkicking the ruble is taking, but I don’t think that is ultimately very important and I believe Russia will be able to shrug it off. In any case, I would appreciate it if someone who is knowledgeable on the subject and can explain complicated things simply would explain how sanctions imposed by Russia would affect the USA – outside destroying company relations that took a long time to build, we a.lready know that to our satisfaction, but especially the effect of pricing oil in currencies other than dollars. Although some top analysts say it would have no effect at all, I remain skeptical just because of the extreme reaction of the USA against any country that starts making noises about ceasing to accept the dollar.

        • Hunter says:

          But didn’t Adomanis write a post earlier saying that the ruble could actually undergo more devaluation? That it had room to devalue and this would probably benefit the Russian economy?

          How then is it now that a ruble devaluation is a bad thing?

          (Note: Yes he did write such a post:

          • kirill says:

            The current account surplus has gone up by 14% for January-February compared the same period last year. Western pundits cannot help projecting all sorts of BS at Russia. This is a striking pathology of western culture and its innate hate for Russia. Given the history of western meddling around the world, it is the west that needs to have hate directed at it.

        • kirill says:

          Everyone forgets that there was a decision made by the Russian Central Bank to stop “propping” up the national currency late last year. It has nothing to do with Ukraine. The lack of CB interventions are leading to a drop in the rouble value vs. other currencies and not just the Crimea “crisis”.

          • marknesop says:

            Here is what Mr. Adomanis had to say on the subject.

            “Yeah man, his currency got routed his central bank had to hike interest rates (something which will probably cause a recession later this year) and his stock market is still down more than 5% over just the past few days. Everything is going according to plan!”

            Did the Central Bank actually spend from the reserves to prop up the ruble, or did the market come back to a partial recovery on its own?

            Don’t forget, Mark Adomanis was educated at Harvard AND Oxford and has a really, really big brain, so be careful about challenging his reasoning.

        • Jen says:

          The global economic context in which Russia engages in any retaliation against the US influences the impact of that retaliation. If Russia were to start dumping the dollar by offloading its debt and picks up the yuan or some other currency, the loss in value against other currencies that the US dollar suffers makes the United States’ own debt harder to manage and reduce. Given that the US has hollowed out its manufacturing and has had to fall back on exporting shale oil and other essentially Third World commodities, and hacking into people’s pension and super funds and other money set aside for social welfare, the US is not in a position to suffer major falls in the value of its currency against other currencies. Once Russia switches to a different currency to denominate the inflows and outflows of its economy, other countries (especially China) may follow and that precipitates even greater falls in the value of the US dollar. US power to prevent more countries from following suit weakens.

          Should China also follow Russia in dumping US dollars, the US would really be in trouble. Eventually the Americans will end up like Greece and put up property for sale. Maybe Alaska will be up for sale again and Russia or China can buy it at a price they can dictate.

          • patient observer says:

            Interesting possibilities. China would likely not want a weaker dollar in normal circumstances but as part of a strategic plan (likely coordinated with Russia) to “deAmericanize” the world, it may make sense. Some export-oriented American manufacturers would prosper in your scenario but the overall impact on the American economy could be very adverse especially if interest rates must rise to maintain sale of US governmental debt as the dollar value falls.

            I don’t see much potential for exporting frac oil as the only favorable geology will soon play out, As for frac gas, it is quite expensive when priced on a sustainable basis (versus the bubble driven prices from speculation on drilling rights).

            Greece is an apt analogy but it would be a Greece with nuclear weapons and a deranged ruling class. As I think about it, the leaders of Russia and China must factor such a consideration in their strategy hence may be hesitant to pursue. I like the analogy that Russia is trying to defuse a bomb surrounded by screaming nut jobs (i.e. the MSM, western politicians and their minions). It would take steely nerves for sure and I hope V. Putin is up to the job,

          • marknesop says:

            See, this is what I think, too. But there is a class of American pundit – of which Admomanis is one – that believes the greenback is virtually invincible. Not forever; oh, no, they all allow as how the dollar will probably lose its status as reserve currency in, oh, maybe 25 to 50 years. But right now, Russia does not have the power to even make a dent in the mighty U.S. economy, and fevered threats to do so by Russian politicians just meet with gentle amusement.

            What is coming that is going to happen then which could not happen now? Is the U.S. economy rock-solid? No, it certainly isn’t. But every time there is a suggestion the yuan could displace the dollar, you get a lot of bafflegab about how it does not have sufficient liquidity across all levels, like the dollar has, bla, bla. Ditto any common currency which does not presently exist but which might be floated by the BRICS. nobody of any consequence would accept it, because America is just too popular and everybody loves the dollar too much.

  122. Foppe says:

    Evening. I just ran across this blog post, and I was wondering if y’all have any opinions on how believable this sounds to you (as well as what it says precisely, as I can only ‘read’ it courtesy of google translate..)
    The post seems to be saying Turchinov has signed a prelim agreement to sell the whole of the Ukraine’s gas pipes to Chevron, as well as 50% of its steel mills to some German company, and that these things were demanded by the EU+IMF in exchange for a loan (apparently these are corporate lobbies? It would be utterly bizarre if true). Besides that, there’s the standard list of labor market and tax “reforms”.. And then there’s a weird claim about the US wanting to place cruise missiles in/around Kharkov, which sounds rather less believable (because simply too utterly retarded) than the rest of the things mentioned.

    • marknesop says:

      Moscow Exile, if you have the time, could you have a look at this, please? Does it appear to contain the conditions Foppe describes? I can’t imagine Chevron would want to acquire a pipeline network which carries Russian gas when they are well aware a backup is being constructed which will render the entire Ukrainian network vulnerable to simple disconnection.

    • yalensis says:

      Dear Foppe:
      You got the gist of it right.

      02.03.2014 господин Турчинов в присутствии послов США, Германии и Польши на Украине подписал предварительное соглашение с МВФ о предоставлении финансовой помощи Украине, согласно которому вся газотранспортная система Украины с момента подписания итогового основного соглашения о фин.помощи безвозмездно передается в собственность американской компании Chevron, владельцы Мариупольского, Запорожского, Днепропетровского металлургических комбинатов обязаны передать 50% акций компаний в собственность немецкой компании Ruhr, угольное производство Донбасса также передается финской дочке компании Ruhr! Также помимо политических требований в подписанном документе есть пункт о предоставлении блоку НАТО территорий под Харьковом для размещения систем американской противоракетной обороны, звена американской истребительной авиациии для прикрытия объектов ПРО!!!

      Источник – первый заместитель посла Чехии в Польше.

      Depends on the source, is this rumor or fact? i don’t know the answr to that question.

      2-MAR-2014, Mr. Turchynov, in the presence of the ambassadors (to Ukraine) of USA, Germany and Poland, signed a preliminary agreement with the IMF in regard to financial aid to Ukraine, according to which the entire gas-transport system of Ukraine, from the moment of the signing of the detailed agreement for financial aid, will be handed over, without compensation, to the American company Chevron. The private owners of the Mariupol, Zaporozhsy, and Dnipropetrovsky metallurgical factories will be obliged to hand over 50% of their shares to the German company Ruhr; also, the coal industry of Donbass will be handed over to the Finnish filial of Ruhr. In addition to the political agreements in the signed document, there is also a point about handing over to NATO some territory near Kharkiv in order to place American anti-air system…

      The source is the First Deputy Ambassador of the Czech ambassador to Poland.

      The piece goes on to list in details the 10 points of the agreement, which Turchynov/Yatsenuk have supposedly signed off on, they encompass austerity measures such as raising taxes, raising the age of pension, etc.

      Again, I have no idea if this is fact, leak, or rumor. It all rings true, except maybe for the Chevron thing…

      • Jen says:

        Good golly, the looting and privatisation of Ukraine’s industries by American and EU companies and the movement of NATO missiles up close to the Russian border can’t happen fast enough. The construction of a US military base the size of the Vatican City somewhere in eastern Ukraine or Crimea can’t be far off …

      • Moscow Exile says:

        Isn’t that what St. Mikhail of the Gulag was planning to do – selling off pipelines to Chevron?

        • marknesop says:

          Yes, but he wanted to sell the pipelines to China, from Russia, where the gas originates. I could see Chevron being in a sweat to get hold of the pipelines if they also had the source and not just the transit, but that is not the situation.

      • Foppe says:

        Thanks. Too bad I can’t call the first deputy to the Cz ambassador to Poland to ask for confirmation; it sounds utterly bizarre.. (Specifically that the IMF/EU would demand for companies/industries to be donated to specific companies. How the fuck do they intend to spin that to seem “in the public interest”?)

      • Foppe says:

        After some more digging via google, I think I’ve found the site where this was first published, and it now features a fairly prominent disclaimer along the bottom of the article:

        Внимание! Администрацией сайта был сделан запрос к автору публикации относительно источника информации и её правдивости. Автор не смог подтвердить достоверность иформации в связи с чем просим не верить данной публикации!

        Автор публикации будет немедленно наказан баном.

        Приносим свои извинения.

        Oh well.

          • yalensis says:

            I like the little photo on the right, though. Where an ebullient Yats is bending over to give a sombre Turch a much-needed cuddle…

            • marknesop says:

              If you squeeze your eyes shut just a little bit and look at it, Yats’ bald spot and the tips of his ears form a plucked frozen chicken just like the Voina training aid.

              • yalensis says:

                OMG you’re right! Yatsie’s bald head does look like a raw plucked chicken!

                His ears look like little stumpy chicken drumsticks.
                And his nose looks like that little bit of thing that sticks up in the neck-hole. You know, when the butcher cuts the chicken’s head off and puts the neck in cellophane and stuffs it down the neck-hole, but a little piece of it sticks out?

      • Hunter says:

        That can’t be true.

        How can private owners of factories be obliged to hand over 50% of their shares to another private company by the government?

        If the factories were publicly owned that would be a different story but this is illogical and couldn’t stand up in any court, not even a kangaroo one.

        • Foppe says:

          if those private “owners” are of the “billionaires since 1991″ variety, it shouldn’t be too much of an issue. The fact that you can pay fractions of a cent on every dollar of value of whatever you are buying, and still become the “legitimate owner” is pretty ridiculous, in my book.

        • Foppe says:

          that said, the report does seem to be a hoax.

  123. yalensis says:

    The new government of Crimean Republic has promised to expropriate/nationalize Ukrainian assets in Crimea in favor of the people of Crimea.

    Deputy P.M. Rustam Temirgaliev also announced today that private property on the peninsula will henceforth be subjected to the laws of the Russian Federation. Property and assets will switch to the ruble. Social entitlements will be paid promptly, he promised.

    Russian Minister of Finances Anton Silulanov is preparing a financial package for Crimean Republic. He estimates Crimean budgetary deficit as as 10 billion hryvnas (= 35 billion rubles) – yikes! that’s almost as much as the Olympics cost!

    Sergei Aksonov, the new P.M. of Crimean Republic, confirmed that his government has signed an agreement with Russia for the aid package.

    • marknesop says:

      But of course you know that vote is completely illegal, because the Russian Finance Minister threatened to shoot Aksonov’s family if he didn’t take the money. All the Crimean Parliament’s decisions are made in an atmosphere of fear, I have it on the very best authority from unelected President Turchynov. The Ukrainian ersatz Parliament will be burning the midnight oil tonight, busily dissolving the Crimean Parliament to spare them from making any more decisions in fear.

      Well, no going back now. If the Crimea has that kind of money, the central unelected government in Kiev will be drooling and scheming how to get its hands on it, for its own use. How is it going to look if people in Kiev are eating rats while the swine on the peninsula are living it up with shashlik coming out their ears? Also, how is it going to look when Odessa, Nikolayev and Kherson remind Crimea that they asked to be on board, too?

      Better deny a few more Russian visas, boys – it doesn’t seem to be working! I know! Nobody from the Russian Federation, or their grand-children or their grand-children’s pets are allowed to come to the USA. Oh, or to own property there. So there.

  124. yalensis says:

    Ukraine is screwed :
    Jose said Ukraine will get 11 billion euro, but only if they agree to harsh IMF austerity measures.

    Americans will toss in a paltry $1 billion. That’s enough to pay off approx. half of what Ukraine owes to Gazprom.

    Ukraine’s total debt is %60 billion, one third of the country’s GDP.

    • marknesop says:

      Is it just me, or did it sound as if that “find new export markets and adjust to trade pressures” that John Kerry’s $1 Billion was supposed to go toward means the loss of the Russian market for Ukrainian goods? If so, he obviously flunked economics or just can’t add.

      Let us bear in mind that the Russian offer came in conjunction with an offer to cut gas prices buy about a third, and came – so far as I know – without strings. So it does not “match the EU offer” in anything but cash up front, and when the cut in gas rates is included the Russian offer was significantly more. Some have speculated that if Ukraine could not pay it back, that Russia might strike a deal for part-ownership of its pipeline network. But that is just speculation and nothing like that was written into the deal. The IMF deal will come with enough strings to knit yourself a sweater.

  125. Fern says:

    A number of the points in the USDOS Fact Sheet ’10 false claims about Ukraine’ could be categorised under the heading ‘bare-faced lie’. The Ashton/Paet tape clearly refutes the idea of a free and fair Rada going about its legislative business in an atmosphere of calm since Paet described in a lot of detail the high levels of violence and intimidation faced by anyone who’s suspected of not being totally on-side with the new regime. And Paet also made clear that the new governing authorities are not willing to conduct an investigation into who was responsible for the deaths of protestors and police. As the US must know, members of ultra-nationalist groups hold key posts in the new administration.

    A government that was intent on ‘national reconciliation’ would not, as its first legislative task, have removed a) the official status of Russian and other languages and b) the ban on fascist symbols and regalia. And if Ukraine’s new governing authorities have acted with restraint and sought dialogue with Russia over Crimea, then whose forces attempted an armed attack on Crimea in the night of 27/28 February?

    • kirill says:

      This whole crisis tells me the west is desperate. I don’t know why. This level of foaming at the mouth hate and lies you would normally get if there was some existential threat. Do the NATO string pullers think they will win a war on Russia? Do they have no choice but to start a war? Is the western financial system so rotten that a war is needed to break out of the hole?

      • Moscow Exile says:

        I don’t know, but I know what some of those bastards in Kiev might very well try to do: start a shooting war, possibly using a nuclear device, in the hopes that the NATO 7th Cavalry will ride in to the rescue so that their wet-dream may be fulfilled: the destruction of Russia. I read the bastards regular outpourings on razing Moscow and destroying Russia.

    • marknesop says:

      Stuff like that just makes my blood boil. Especially to know that we are doing it only to suck up to the United States. Regime change begins at home, they say.

      • Ilya says:

        It really is enraging. Just shameless pandering to the US. John Baird has a frightfully low cranium-to-mouth volume ratio.

        Canada honoured its NATO obligation in Afghanistan and justifiably wouldn’t touch Iraq with a 10-foot pole without UN sanction. But Harper rode some coattails in Libya, willingly tonsured himself and genuflected for the Israelis, and now he thinks he’s “leading the charge” with regards to the West’s flaccid response to Crimea so as to curry favour as America’s favourite castrato.

        I wouldn’t be surprised in the least if all this posturing is simply as means of getting Keystone approved; it’s hard to imagine any so pathetic otherwise….

        • marknesop says:

          Yes, it’s very disheartening; I can see easily why, because our trading relationship with the USA is the single most important pillar of our economy. But things have sunk to a dismal low when we are viewed in the same context to the USA as Britain – as “special” arse-lickers who will sit up and beg on command and can be counted on to parrot opinion as fact in perfect synch with our American masters. I would normally vote Liberal because I despise the Conservatives, but I voted Conservative in the last-but-one election because the guy from my riding had a good reputation and because the Liberals had imploded that year. I would have voted for my own guy regardless of the party leadership if he had been available because he was the only one in the country who offered to help me with my immigration problems and did the best he could, but he unfortunately retired from politics. Now the Liberals are hyping Justin Trudeau as the Great White Hope, but I remember his father too well.

          When you think about it, we are in a political crisis of our own, in which the political class is so full of yes-men and self-entitled grifters that it really does not matter who you vote for. I suppose Mr. Harper is following his own instincts and protecting our trade relationship with our biggest partner, and that’s likely just the way the world is nowadays. But some of the things we have to do to remain comfortable are too high a price for me.

  126. Fern says:

    Putin, in his press conference a couple of days ago, made an interesting comment in response to a question about whether Russia would reassume payments of the original $15 billion loan. He said that Russia’s ‘western partners’ had asked him to withhold payment, that they wanted everything to be done through the IMF. So, elderly person who’s just had your pension halved, no Russian money for you.

    Given the dire state of the Ukrainian economy and that IMF rule will see the privatisation of anything not nailed down, why don’t the current governing authorities get a head start and sell Crimea to Russia? This would solve the political crisis and head-off the immediate economic one at a stroke.

    • Jen says:

      I doubt Kyiv would want to sell Crimea in case Odesa, Kherson, Donetsk and Luhansk want to join the fire sale as well.

      • reggietcs says:

        Why would Russia need to spend money on purchasing Crimea when they’re about to get it free via referendum?

    • Foppe says:

      IMF rule will see the privatisation of anything not nailed down

      This is neither here nor there, but the IMF is always most interested in the things that are nailed down.

  127. Al says:

    Here’s the real relationship between Russia and the Ukraine over gas:

  128. How dependent is Crimea of Ukraine on electricity and energy? Does Crimea have a gas pipeline that links it directly to Russia?

    • yalensis says:

      That’s an excellent question.
      The map shows that Crimea is dependent on a main pipe in Dnepropetrovsk.
      However, in a pinch, I would guess that Russia can supply Crimea directly with oil from tankers.

      • SFReader says:

        Plenty of offshore oil and gas is available in Crimean waters.

        Frankly speaking, Crimea has incredible potential to become one of the richest places in Europe. Only Ukrainian mismanagement was a problem

        • yalensis says:

          Yeah, obviously Crimea has a lot of future potential to be an oil and gas exporter. But the immediate question is what happens when illegal Uke govt cuts off their gas pipeline tomorrow? This could be a problem. I assume Russian govt has thought this through.

          In order to survive a gas blockade, I would imagine that Russian oil tankers might need to supply the peninsula with energy, at least on a short-term basis, until they can re-route some pipes (?)

      • According to that map Ukraine can cut gas supply for Crimea if they decide. If a big portion of Crimean households use gas it gives the Kiev regime some leverage against Russia.
        Russia should start building a new gas pipeline to Crimea.

        • patient observer says:

          It the situation deteriorates to a gas shutoff to Crimea, Russia has the option of turning off the gas to Ukraine. That won’t sit well with the EU so it seems an unlikely development unless the EU/NATO is really pursuing war.

          • kirill says:

            At this stage the EU aka NATO can go and eat shit. Their brazen intervention in Ukraine including military and economic threats against Russia as part of propping up an illegal coup regime merit a strong response. Ukraine has 45 million people, even if 1 million demonstrated against the elected government in Kiev it would mean fuck all. There were actually at best 100,000 and the militants who took over didn’t even number a few thousand. Now NATO is treating this as the real government of Ukraine and preparing to sign various agreements with it. Ludicrous.

            Russia will avoid shutting off gas to Ukraine because it will alienate local supporters. Instead we are likely to see some sort of takeover of the pipeline network in eastern Ukraine to prevent the Kiev regime from terrorizing Crimea. So some fighting over pumping control hubs will occur.

      • marknesop says:

        I am not sure Dnepropetrovsk would comply with an instruction to shut it off, but I doubt the unelected puppet government would do it anyway. There has to be a point somewhere at which sheer weight of irony will stay their hand, and their constant crying and ki-yiing about Russia using energy as a political weapon cannot have been so easily wiped from their memory. If it has, there are still plenty of others who remember. However, we should remember we live in a world where Ukraine’s Billionaire candy oligarch is the front-runner for President. Where’d they take that poll – on the shop floor at Roshen? But John Kerry appears to approve. Of course; a greedy Billionaire with no political experience – what’s not to like?

  129. yalensis says:

    More on the upcoming referendum in Crimea.
    The Deputy Speaker of Crimean Parliament is a guy named Grigoriy Ioffe. He is the guy in charge of the working group which is preparing the plebiscite that will take place in 10 days.

    Ioffe said that preparations are going well: The lists of voters are all ready and in place in the various localities. The voting will take place will all the latest technology that people have come to expect.

    Meanwhile, the Central Election Committee (led by a guy named Andrei Magera) of the illegal faux government in Kyiv, has denounced the Crimean referendum and made some attempts to hinder it, by blocking centralized voter lists, etc. They say they will not release voter lists to the Crimean authorities.

    But Ioffe dismisses that as bluster, he says the guys in Kyiv are not possessed of their full faculties.
    He says he doesn’t need their stinking voting lists, because Crimeans have copies of all the lists. He says they have elections in Crimea all the time, and they don’t need no stinking help from Kyiv.

    • marknesop says:

      I remain very interested in the alleged illegality of this decision by Crimea. Of course we know the USA and its western allies care little to nothing for the legality of something if they have decided to do it, and conduct themselves very much after the fashion of tax lawyers – do a little research, find out where people are putting their money, and then write legislation that empowers you to seize it. Kosovo stands as the best example that the west cares nothing for legality, morality or any other “ity” when it has the bit in its teeth and can see its goal.

      However, I noticed a snippet in NBC news yesterday which makes reference to “a 1988 law that allowed for self-determination for Soviet Republics”. Any constitutional scholars in the group? I believe those who say it is illegal are relying on the Ukrainian Constitution, which goes on at great length about the territory and borders of Ukraine being inviolable. Mind you, the Constitution also contains rules for impeachment and law on usurping the power of the state as well, which the conquering heroes treat as “nice to know” when it restricts what they want to do and “the rule of law” when they want to arrest someone who opposes them. So I would suggest that if they insist on holding Crimea by a point of law then they must all submit themselves to arrest and detention for usurping the power of the state. Like all dictators, they appear to be promising to break the law just this once, because it was so important that the people really couldn’t wait for due process, but from here on out everything is going to be straight arrow. Uhh…it doesn’t work that way.

      • cartman says:

        It’s rather dicey, because Yeltsin, Kravchuk, and Shushkevich wiped their butts with the constitution when they divided up the Soviet Union. Autonomous republics within the fifteen republics were supposed to be given a vote on whether to stay with the Soviet Union or secede with the rest of the republic. (I think independence was also an option, though I am not sure.)

        I’m pretty sure South Ossetia was upgraded to autonomous republic within the Republic of Georgia shorty before the Soviet Union was dissolved.

        • marknesop says:

          Well, according to an impressive slate of academics from many fields of endeavour, the UDI (Unilateral Declaration of Independence) on the part of Kosovo was anything ranging from a complete flouting of international law to a very creative interpretation of it.

          These essays and this collected commentary support the conclusion that the west stands on international law when it needs it to do something it wishes to do but which is not sufficiently popular to get away with it without invoking law as a justification, and basically ignores it when it gets in the way of such actions. It’s been a little while now, so some of the quotes from the period are particularly enjoyable from the standpoint of who and where the commenters are now.

          Kosovo is a European crossroad. The EU is being creative on a crossroad. You can imagine that the EU is in a car, and that the lights show red. But the EU says it’s not red, it’s pink, maybe we should go. Ok, go, but don’t be disappointed or surprised if something comes in front of you from the right side.

          – Dmitry Rogozin, Russian Ambassador to NATO

          The west’s recognition of Kosovo’s independence has given fresh impetus to other separatist movements. Consider Abkhazia.”

          – Shaun Walker, The Prospect, UK

          Calling it a ‘special case’ won’t stop others from trying to follow its independence example.

          – Timothy Garton Ash, Los Angeles Times, USA

          Meanwhile, this pretty much sums up the overall thrust of this beautiful collection:

          The international community preached principles and law – and broke it in terms of simple fairness, minority protection, bombings in Bosnia and Serbia, and the recognition of Kosovo as an independent state in gross violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1244, the European Charter and a series of other norms and texts“.

          Jan Oberg is director of the Transnational Foundation for Peace and Future Research (TFF) in Lund, Sweden.

  130. Al says:

    The British state sponsored news channel, the BBC, tying itself in knots about the relative importance of ukranian fascists:

    If any of you have seen the British comedy series ‘Little Britain’, there is a character called Vicky Pollard who represents the article above with her famous catch phrase “No bu’, yeah bu’, no bu’, yeah bu’…”

    • marknesop says:

      Hmmm.. I guess it’s OK, then, to strut around in jackboots and wear a swastika on my cap, because these symbols have largely lost their original meaning and now are just a synonym for German patriotism.

      • yalensis says:

        Which reiterates a point somebody made, that Putin is NOT playing the Nazi card hard enough with Merkel.
        “Angela, your country committed unspeakable acts back in the day, The entire world condemned you and questioned your very essence as a people. In summary, Nazis were super-bad people. And now you actually condone them coming to power in Kiev?”

        Putin should try to guilt-trip her, by invoking German national guilt that can never be washed clean! Maybe she will be susceptible to this call to agonized national conscience!

        (on the other hand, maybe she will just yawn…)

  131. yalensis says:

    Ukraine and EU will sign the political part of the Association Agreement as soon as possible, even before any legitimizing elections in Kyiv.
    The thrust of the “poltical” portion is to include Ukraine in Europe’s “free-trade” zone as soon as possible. Even within the next few days. This will be coupled with IMF conditions, which Yatsenuk says he is working on with the IMF and will sign as soon as humanly possible.

    Conclusion: Europe is jumping onto Ukraine (or at least the rump of Ukraine) with unseemly haste, like a starving dog onto a scrap of bone.
    Just how desperate are these Europeans? Did they already spend all that $50 billion that they stole from Libya’s gold reserves?

    • marknesop says:

      Yes, this is being pitched as the EU’s effort to start fixing Ukraine’s money problems right away, whereby it is going to introduce trade incentives and the like to boost Ukrainians’ money-making opportunities. What it really is is the intent to get a deal on the books and signed while a compliant puppet government is in office, so that subsequent governments can be told, sorry – we already have a deal, and you are bound by it. President Poroshenko would adhere to it anyway, since it would just mean more wealth for him, but there is no particular reason to assume it is legal and binding no matter how often they triple-stamp it and pinky-swear, because it will be signed by an illegal government which illegally usurped state power.

  132. yalensis says:

    Ex-Foreign Minister of Moldavia Anatoly Plugaru says that Moldavia should also take some chunks of Ukraine back.
    In the event of Ukraine falling apart and being partitioned (which seems likely), Plugaru says there are some chunks that should go back to Kishinev.
    Plugaru blames Nikita Khrushchev, an ethnic Ukrainian, who in 1940 took some juicy chunks of Moldavia and gave them to Ukraine. This deprived Moldavia of an outlet to the Black Sea. In particular, Plugaru names the Chernigov region, the Left Bank of the Dnistr River, and other areas.

    He wants them back!

  133. yalensis says:

    Chinese government warns U.S.: Cool down your hot heads and stop threatening Russia with sanctions.
    This came from Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Tsin Gan.
    Another Chinese guy, Yan Tsechi, spoke on the phone with Susan Rice. Rice tried to bullshit Yan over the phone. Tsechi told Susan that she needed to take into account the feelings of ALL the various peoples and ethnic groups living in Ukraine.

    yalensis: This tells me that the Chinese, in their own subtle way, are supporting Russia. Even though, as Jen points out, they have to be a little bit careful when supporting secession somewhere else, because of their own secessionists. The difference is that Chinese secessionists are small and unpopular groups. Crimean secessionists are huge and popular.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      The Chinese should ‘phone Kiev and ask Yatsenyuk when he’s going to have an erection.

      • kirill says:

        Funny, but I can’t resist nitpicking. It’s the Japanese who have no “L” in their language and not the Chinese.

      • Jen says:

        @ Moscow Exile: Mandarin Chinese has both “L” and “R” sounds. The “R” is a retroflexed sound (pronounced with the tongue curled up and pointing towards the throat) and can be heard in the words for “two”, “meat”, “people” and “Japan” :-). Cantonese and Taishanese don’t have the “R” sound and most Chinese living in North America, Australia and New Zealand before 1990 (at the very latest) had these languages as their mother tongues. These are the “Chinese” languages most Westerners aged 30+ years think of.

        @ Warren: It’s in China’s interests to support Russia because the Chinese have by now connected the recent Kunming knife attacks with Uyghur separatism and they suspect also that the Uyghurs have a link to the Erdogan government in Turkey. The US is also pushing Japan and South Korea into confrontations with China over marine territories in the western Pacific. The Chinese just want to keep quiet because the Uyghurs could turn around and claim that their status is comparable to the status of Russians in Crimea who want to leave Ukraine; the Uyghurs could say they are legitimate in wanting to leave China.

        • Moscow Exile says:

          My son and his chums are always chuckling over Chinese video clips like this posted on the Russian web:

          The Chinese bloke (who, in my opinion, is speaking great Russian) is explaining the various intonations of the sound “hoo-ee” in Chinese, which various intonations changes the meanings of the sounds, some of which are represented by the following Chinese symbols:

          茴, 蛔, 彗, 诙, 隳, 洄, 虺, 恚, 缋, 蕙, 蟪, 喙, 灰, 回, 讳, 恢, 晦, 烩, 辉, 麾, 悔, 贿, 秽, 慧, 徽, 毁, 绘, 卉, 晖, 汇, 诲, 挥, 惠, 会, 荟.

          They are all pronounced hui (huī, huí, huǐ, huì), and mean, amongst other things, beak, grey, ash, to turn, taboo, vast, dark, cooked, to shine, banner, bribe, dirty, wise, symbol, to destroy, to paint, herbs, sunlight, to converge, to teach, to direct, meeting.

          The Vietnamese verb meaning to mobilise also bears a bilingual humourous potential: huy động; while the verb hủy means to destroy.

          Whatever. In the clip you can hear a Russian girl, to whom the Chinese man is explaining the various intonations of that sound in Chinese, giggling because whatever the intonation and meaning of that sound in Chinese, it sounds bloody rude to Russian ears.

          The usual English transcription (not the scientific one used by philologists) of that extremely vulgar and obscene Russian word which the Chinese bloke in the clip above would seem to be saying when heard by Russians is “huy”, which explains why the town Huy (province Liège) is an endless source of amusement for dirty minded Russian speakers.

          • Moscow Exile says:

            The thing is, these expressions that sound like variously stressed versions of хуй in Russian, are regularly heard in Chinese movies with Russian subtitles, all of which causes great mirth here. One of the Chinese intonations of what seems to be a very rude word in Russian means, as the Chinese man so admirably explains above, “grey”; another means “Hell’s bells!” or “Bugger it!” or “What the hell!” etc, (ёлки-палки [yolkee- palkee] in Russian); another means “to go back”; and another means “to know how to do something”.

            • Moscow Exile says:

              This kills Russians!

              Шинима хуйня

              It kills me as well. Must have turned native.

              • yalensis says:

                I swore an oath not to laugh, but I couldn’t help myself! Still have tears streaming down my face.

                It’s simply the incongruity between these beautiful, delicate, stylized people and the raw sailor talk spewing from their pretty mouths!

                хуйня, indeed!
                Thanks for that, I needed a good belly laugh.

          • kirill says:

            The origin of the word in Russian likely is from eastern languages. It is morphologically consistent with several of the meanings in Chinese. (The action makes the word even if it describes an object.) I don’t like people laughing at words in other languages which are similar to something like hui in Russian. It is childish.

            Such people would probably laugh if you told them there are some striking similarities between Russian and Japanese vocabulary beyond random chance repetition of sounds humans can produce. They are so alien with respect to each other after all. But there is a good deal of evidence that Japanese originated from Asia and is related to Turkic.


            In my view there is nothing controversial about this at all. It’s only controversial to western-centric linguists and historians.

            • yalensis says:

              In American slang there is a word “hooey” which means “nonsense”.

              I haven’t researched, and can’t prove, but I suspect this word must have come from Russian Jews who emigrated to U.S. and brought the Russian word “xuj” with them.
              In American slang, this word is not considered obscene. But that is congruent with other Jewish/Yiddish vocabulary which was obscene to start with, but got watered down and lost its pungency. For example, words such as “putz”, etc.

              • marknesop says:

                Yes, I remember using that word – in exactly that context, something to the effect of “what a bunch of hooey” meaning ridiculous nonsense, it is the same in Canadian slang – when I was visiting Vladivostok and catching the quick glance that shot between my wife (not yet my wife, at that point) and her girlfriend (the one who is now a federal judge, in fact). I could tell the word meant something else, probably shocking and not fit for public discussion, and she explained later. Since I didn’t use the word much, it was no problem for me to just drop it altogether. But there are other pitfalls; the Japanese term which means a very common drink of warmed rice wine – Sake – means the impolite word for urine in Russian.

            • Moscow Exile says:

              From my Russian Dirty Words Dictionary:

              хуй (m) [huj]: 1. Cock, dick, prick – in short, a strong word for the penis, that you should be cautious not to repeat in public.
              2. Pejorative synecdoche for a man in general.

              В круг вошел, взмахнул рукой.
              – Ты откуда, хуй такой?

              3. Idiot, moron.
              4. Almost every remotely phallus-shaped thing.
              5. This word is so widely used, that it can have almost any meaning, depending on the context.

              The etymology of хуй is Slavic and stems from a Slavonic root that has also given the words хвоя (“needle, branches of conifers”) and хвост (“tail”). The term хуй or chuj has the same meaning in Ukrainian, Polish and Slovak as in Russian; the first written occurrences in Russia are to be found on old Novgorodian birch bark documents, and pre-date the Mongol invasion. Therefore the popular etymologies claiming the word is of Tatar origin can safely be disregarded as an attempt to blame foreigners for the perceived vulgarity of one aspect of Russian language. This of course also applies to the ludicrous Latin etymology suggested by some (deriving the word from huic).

              • yalensis says:

                Yeah, some patriotic Russian historians used to claim that medieval Russians were so polite and refined, Russia was this paradise of civilized behavior where seldom was heard a discouraging word. And then wham-bam the “yoke” of vulgar Mongol-Tatars introduced obscenity and bad behavior.

                And then they discovered the Novgorod birch-bark writings and correspondence, pre-dating the “yoke”, which proved, on the plus side, that ordinary Russians were highly literate; and on the other hand, half of the scribblings was something like “xuj to you” and “fuck this” and “yo momma”, and similar…

    • Warren says:

      China is supporting separatist movement already! All this nonsense I hear in the media that China doesn’t want to support Russia on Crimea/Ukraine because of its own concerns and “principled stance” towards separatism citing China’s refusal to recognise Kosovo, Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Belies the recent fact that China is now tacitly supporting separatists in Myanmar/Burma! Now that Burma/Myanmar has “opened” to the West, the Chinese are no longer so “principled”! lol

  134. yalensis says:

    Dmitry Yarosh, head of the neo-nazi Right Sector Party, plans to run for President of Ukraine.

    Right Sector is planningn their party congress in Kyiv. They will rename their party and then prepare lists of candidates to run in all possible elections, including Prez.

    And you better vote for them too! Otherwise, they’ll beat you over the hea