The Business of Disinformation – The West Gets Ready to Roll the Bones: continued/new comment thread


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

This is a continuation of the previous post, added just to address the problem of slow loading due to the number of comments.

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81 Responses to The Business of Disinformation – The West Gets Ready to Roll the Bones: continued/new comment thread

  1. marknesop says:

    Whoo HOO!!! Eric Posner of the University of Chicago Law School goes OFF!!!

    It’s always nice to have the opinion of a law prof when he says the Crimea referendum is “completely legitimate”. Unfortunately, Mr. Posner is as crazy as a busload of Jonas Brothers fans. Although he acknowledges there is little the west can do about it, and seems a rare voice of rationality when he suggests if the west opposes the referendum it will only appear to be overriding the will of the people, he flies into a rage in the closing paragraphs and says to let Putin have Crimea because it is a worthless shitsplat anyway and Russia is falling apart, let the baby have his toy. I’m not sure how this was received by Kyiv Post readers, which is where I first saw it.

    “We can take some comfort in the fact that, for all his cleverness, Putin’s long-term prospects are bleak. Russia is a corrupt, stagnant country. Its economy, which is essentially a giant pool of oil, is the size of Italy’s. It has steadily lost influence in the border regions of Europe, which long for the embrace of NATO and the European Union. Its vast neighbor, China, poses a long-term threat in the east. Along the south, weak states offer nothing but the prospect of endless ethnic strife.

    In the end, Crimea—a poor, tiny region with a potentially unruly minority population of unhappy Tatars and resentful Ukrainians—is a booby prize in the contest over Ukraine. And in fact, Russia has lost that larger fight; Ukraine, more populous than Poland, is now permanently outside its orbit. Russia has no friends and only a handful of allies of convenience. Back in 2008, when Russia tried to persuade the world to recognize Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent states, only Nicaragua, Venezuela, Nauru (population 9,000), Vanuatu (population 262,000), and Tuvalu (population 11,000) heeded the call (and Vanuatu later changed its mind). By contrast, the United States’ illegal military intervention in Serbia, a Russian client state, enabled Kosovo to break away and form a state with the support of the United States and more than 100 other countries. Today, Russia can call on Syria, Belarus, and Cuba for diplomatic support. It is a declining state that can do little more than bully a few impoverished and geopolitically insignificant neighbors. Let it.”

  2. Of course, given what China and India have been saying…. maybe this time it will be Nauru (pop 9000) and China (pop 1 billion plus).

    • yalensis says:

      Especially if China should come to find out that Western-sponsored jihadists are responsible for the crashed plane…

  3. marknesop says:

    Well, the Crimean adventure was fun while it lasted, but Putin may as well call in the troops and negotiate the best deal he can from the position of crushing defeat. Not just one or two, or even ten, but dozens of protesters marched in Vancouver to show their disapproval of Russia’s actions. This took place on March 2nd – I don’t know how we all missed such a game-changer, but now that we know about it we cannot un-know it. Fate has intervened.

    I think I see the root of the problem, though; protesters who feel a keen affinity for the action in Kiev but who are physically far from it are being sold a bill of goods by their relatives in Kiev, who are occasionally, I am sorry to say, fucking liars. Consider the example of Canadian protester Juri Jatsjevich – his sister and her niece have told him they barely escaped the Kiev Trades Union Building with their lives, getting out “only 30 minutes before the police set it on fire”.

    What’s wrong with that account? Peaceful protesters set the building on fire, not the police, and account after account reflects that.….0…1ac.1.34.heirloom-hp..6.19.1544.W9-eDjuFhDk

    I don’t know how any progress is supposed to be made toward kicking out the neo-nazi-enabled putsch government when not even ordinary Ukrainians who were there can be trusted to tell the truth and instead blame the deposed government for everything in more or less a knee-jerk reaction. No wonder there is such a fever of hatred in the west for poor boob Yanukovych. Whatever part of Ukraine the EU ends up with, I sincerely hope Kiev is included.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      I forgot to post this information over the weekend, but I found an article somewhere or other that claimed that the “conservative-nationalists”, whom Kremlin apologists such as we happy band of brothers (and at least one sister) here call fascists, have been urging people to make alterations to Wiki entries concerning “Svoboda”, “Right Sector” etc. that describe them in unflattering terms.

      I think the article must have been on a Russian blog somewhere or in a Russian newspaper and I had no time to translate it. Anyway, it must have been Kremlin propaganda in view of the fact that this information comes from a Moskal source.

  4. yalensis says:

    Sergei Aksonov, head of Crimean Autonomous Republic government, has proposed a power-sharing arrangment with Crimean Tatars. Under his plan, Tatars (who are 15% of Crimean poulation) would get the Deputy Premiere post in the new government, plus two other ministerial portfolios, plus significant representation in the “powerful” ministries (e.g., police and army).

    Aksonov also proposes to double the amount of reparations for Crimean Tatars (deported by Stalin) who returned to the peninsula and received reparations in 1989.

    Some Tatars are opposed to the new pro-Russian government of Crimea and continue to support the Orange faction of Kiev. Other Tatars are intrigued by Aksonov’s proposals.

    The Tatar ethnic community is split about the upcoming referendum to join Russia. One of the major anti-Russian forces is former mejlis leader Mustafa Jamilev. He is a former Soviet dissident who is anti-Russia inclined and has appealed to Turkey to oppose Russia and support Ukraine.

    Turkish government is playing a well-known anti-Russian role here. However, Erdogan is having domestic problems of his own, with his government mired in corruption scandals.

    In summary, the Tatar community of Crimea will probably go along with the referendum and get their stake in the new government, even though they are not all in agreement.

    • yalensis says:

      And along those same lines, Aksonov is proposing a bilingual Crimea .

      In the case that Crimea enters into Russian Federation, Aksonov proposes that there will be 2 official languages: Russian and (Crimean) Tatar.
      Aksonov’s right-hand man, Rusam Temirgaliev, is busy explaining to his fellow Tatars why they should support the referendum and take part in the voting.

      Aksonov has also promised Crimean Tatars that they will not have to give up their Ukrainian passports. Each person on the peninsula can decide if he or she wants a Russian or Ukrainian passport.
      Maybe they will even permit dual citizenship. The details are still being worked out.

      Aksonov has also said that state enterprises such as energy and extraction companies, will NOT be privatized. They will become the collective property of the Crimean Autonomy.
      It is also possible that Crimea will become a special free-trade zone within Russia and be given preferences in that direction.

      • marknesop says:

        I think we can all agree this is the right way to do it, from the first, and it only highlights the unstatesmanlike behaviour of the Kiev Kabal, with their instant gleeful pandering to a tiny part of the population. Quite a few media sources are striking the tone now that Ukraine has lost the Crimea and might as well start getting used to it. But that does not mean the west will stop trying to ruin it, and the way it likes to do such things is to find a dissatisfied or disenfranchised group, and then flatter and cajole and empower it and pit it against the governing body. The Tatars naturally suggest such a weakness.

      • Moscow Exile says:

        I tell you, if you should ever go to the Crimea, you’ll only hear Russian most of the time and the Tatars will speak to you in Russian: they, the Crimean Tatars with whom I conversed (taxi drivers mostly), only spoke to me in Russian when I was there because I can’t speak Tatar and they thought I was Russian (or a Russian-speaking Crimean) and, in any case, they couldn’t speak English. And nobody but nobody has ever spoken to me in Ukrainian in the Crimea. In fact, apart from on Ukrainian language TV channels, whenever I have ever been to the Crimea, I have only heard Russian spoken.

        Consider the situation in that part of the UK known as the Principality of Wales:

        The 2011 UK Census counted almost 3 million residents of Wales. Of these, 73% (2.2 million) reported having no Welsh language skills. Of the residents of Wales aged three and over, 19% (562,000) reported being able to speak Welsh, and 77% (431,000) of these (that is, 15% of the total population) were able to speak, read, and write the language. This can be compared with the 2001 Census, in which 20.8% of the population (582,000) reported being able to speak Welsh. In surveys carried out between 2004 and 2006, 57% (315,000) of Welsh speakers described themselves as fluent in the written language.” (Wiki)

        However, because of pressure from a minority of Welsh nationalists, a Welsh Language Act was passed in 1993 that provides “that the Welsh and English languages be treated equally in the public sector, as far as is reasonable and practicable. Each public body is required to prepare for approval a Welsh Language Scheme, which indicates its commitment to the equality of treatment principle“. (Wiki)

        Everywhere in Wales now all signs are bi-lingual, including traffic signs, e.g. on curves on the mountain roads you see “Slow” in both English and Welsh painted on the road surface.

        Don’t get me wrong: Wales is a fine place with its own culture and history and the Welsh are a fine, cultured and civilized people whose language should be preserved as far as is possible. However, painting road signs in Welsh won’t do this.

        Also, if they try to push forward this bilingualism in the Crimea, you can guarantee that there’ll almost certainly be pressure for Ukrainian to be given “equality” with Russian and Tartar in an independent Crimean Republic, so you’ll then have a trilingual Crimea, which it already is, of course, but how many people use these languages all the time; how many there are only monolingual in Russian, Ukrainian or Tatar; and how many of them are fluent in Russian?

        This “equality” liberal crap screws me! For sure, all living languages are equal in the sense that they have an equal functionality that they serve well, namely oral and written communication: my English is “equal” in this sense to the Russian that I hear and see all around me. However, if I demand that I be addressed in English all the time by Russian speakers and that signs here should be written for my benefit because, even though I live here, Russian is not my mother tongue, the majority here, the native Russian speakers, would laugh at me. In short, my minority language defers to the majority language: coercion by the majority, if you will, namely “democracy”. However, nobody in this majority is forbidding me to speak English; it’s just simply a matter of society imposing upon me the necessity to speak Russian.

        In the Crimea, there is no law forbidding Tatars speaking their own tongue. However, if you stroll through the markets in Bakhchysarai, Tatars will call out to you in Russian asking you to buy their wares.

        • marknesop says:

          That’s a fair point, and something that is rarely reckoned in is expense. In Canada, for example, although few speak French outside Quebec and New Brunswick, language laws dictate that every can of soup and each box of cereal be labeled and have its ingredients and any other product information recorded in both official languages; the sole exception is those products designed strictly for export. This, although it seems a trivial point, makes each can of soup slightly more expensive to manufacture because of the labeling requirements. I am a proponent of the French language in Canada and its use, and I understand why it is an official language because if it were not it would be slowly squeezed out in favour of English, which is strongly dominant. However, you are right to urge caution although there should be some official protections built in. The main criterion, I think, is that those who speak only Tatar or Ukrainian be able to get service in that language.

  5. kirill says:

    Not bad rhyming. But beware, overwhelming Russia stronggggg sentiment.

  6. yalensis says:

    Eastern Ukraine continues to rise up against Kievan usurpers:

    In Luhansk, residents rose up against Kiev-appointed governor Mikhail Bolotskikh.
    Police came over to the side of pro-Russian protesters, and Bolotskikh was forced to submit his resignation. While this was happening, pro-Russian protesters, chanting for a “referendum” drove away a smaller pro-Maidan demonstration led by politicians from Batkivshchina (Turchykov’s party) and neo-nazi Svoboda. The Batkivshchina and Svoboda activists were forced to flee in disarray.

    Meanwhile, the Russian flag is flying not just over Lukhansk, but also over Donetsk.
    Crowd chanting “Russia! Putin! Gubarev! The police is on the side of the people!” and waving the flags of Russia and the USSR.

    In Kharkov, things are more complicated, and power continues to shift back and forth between pro-Russian and pro-Orange forces. However, a massive demonstration took place which expressed solidarity with Donbass and Crimea, and demonstrators demanded the resignation of the “illegitimate governor” Igor Baluta.
    Demonstrators also demanding a referendum and more autonomy for the region.

  7. Fern says:

    The Daily Telegraph seems to be investing big-time in the Sikorski/Applebaum household’s finances since, in addition to Sikorski’s piece linked to above, it’s also carrying an article by Applebaum who seems to be cross that RT and other Kremlin mouthpieces in the west are doing a reasonably competent job in explaining Russia’s position on Crimea and Ukraine and that the ‘west’ better get its act together to counter Putin’s propaganda.

    I did start to count the lies and misrepresentations in her article but ran out of fingers pretty quickly. Her most outrageous comment, however, is this on the Ashton/Paet tape:-
    “During the call, made at the height of the violence in Kiev, the Estonian repeated a garbled theory he’d heard about the identity of the snipers who were shooting demonstrators.
    His garbled theory didn’t prove to be remotely true: the BBC Ukrainian service investigated, and spoke to the doctor who was the alleged source of the gossip. No one who was there has any doubt that the Ukrainian government, with Russian support, ordered the men to fire. But the seed of suspicion has been planted. The conversation is now being cited by Russian parliamentarians and used to spread the outrageous story that the demonstrators themselves organised snipers to kill fellow demonstrators.”
    “…the Ukrainian government, with Russian support, ordered the men to fire”. No mentioning that Paet also reported on the fact (not garbled theory) that the current governing authorities in Kiev were reluctant to investigate the Maidan shootings (odd really, you’d have thought they would jump at the chance of getting slam-dunk evidence against Yanukovich and, even better, Russian involvement); no mentioning of the various videos (including one by the BBC) filmed by people who were there, showing shots being fired from a hotel under Maidan control and no mentioning that the EU has belatedly announced an investigation into the killings, stung, no doubt, by criticism of Ashton’s sociopathic response to Paet. Seems the EU doesn’t think BBC Ukraine’s rebuttal is adequate.

    Applebaum, ever the warrior for truth, justice and the American way.

  8. reggietcs says:

    You folks MUST SEE this.

    Just another pleasant day in the Banderite controlled parliament………………

  9. Moscow Exile says:

    Kharkov citizens throw eggs at Vitalii Klitschko

    In the clip linked below, shot from the ranks of pro-Maidanites accompanied by red Udar Party flags fluttering, there can be seen assembled to the left distance and behind the rostrum a large crowd that backs up into a side street. They’re anti-Maidanites. It is from these people that eggs are pitched at Klitschko, who urges his supporters not to react to the “provocation”.

    Klitschko promised his supporters in Kharkov that he would do everything for “the Ukraine to be a modern state that had living standards the same as exist in other modern states”.

    No doubt he was thinking of the modern state he loves so well and where he was officially resident for so long.

  10. Moscow Exile says:

    Luhansk,10th March, 2014: The chasing-off of Maidanites
    Channel 5 won’t show you this.

    According to Wiki, Channel 5 is the only TV channel that gives “independent and fair TV news coverage”.

    Clearly, those who made the above linked clip would disagree with that assessment.

  11. Moscow Exile says:

    In today’s Grauniad:

    When things turned nasty in Kiev as armed protesters, some of them with fascist insignia, seized control of government buildings, the police cracked down, and snipers gunned down police and protesters in the streets. But who exactly were these snipers? The Estonian foreign minister, Urmas Paet, not a natural ally of Moscow, thought it was at least credible that they belonged to the anti-government Maidan protesters. “Gosh!” said the EU’s Lady Ashton in a leaked phone call.

    Hey,hang on old thing! That’s just not done round here – y’know, insinuating that many of the peaceful protesters weren’t all that peaceful. All this fascist poppycock comes directly from the Kremlin and its hired stooges, doncha know!

    See: Ukraine and the west: hot air and hypocrisy

    Oh, hang on! The jolly old thing that wrote the article states:

    I am no fan of Vladimir Putin, who is, in my opinion, a loathsome, anti-democratic tyrant with physique issues.”

    Right,! Gotcha! Youre still on our side, old girl!

    Phew, you had us all worried for a tick!

    The Crimean peninsula itself had been ruled by Russia for centuries“, says the writer, a certain Marina Lewycka, who is British by the way. Well, since 1783, actually.

    Rings a bell that date! Let me just think….

    Got it!

    I wonder if she thinks the United States has existed “for centuries”.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      Bloody italics!

      Should’ve ended after “physique issues”.

      This keyboard of mine is buggered.

      Anyway, the reaction to the above article:

      From a Guardianista:

      “The fact that Ms Lewycka gives any credence to what is one of the most blatant products of Kremlin propaganda we’ve seen yet (Catherine Ashton acts surprised – it must be true! Never mind the video footage!) pretty much discredits everything else she says.”

      Kremlin propaganda!


  12. yalensis says:

    Pepe Escobar on the Saudis and whatever game they are playing in Crimea.

    • Fern says:

      I suspect Pepe Escobar is right – Crimea is probably looking at some sort of terrorist campaign in the near future. Economic development is unlikely to head this off since it’s ideology rather than poverty that drives such campaigns.

  13. yalensis says:

    Crimea currently has no money in her budget. This is due to the fact that Kiev froze $110 million in accounts that Crimean autonomy held in central banks. That money was budgeted for pensions and payroll.

    That’s okay. I don’t blame Kiev for freezing the money. I would do it too, if I were them. After all, Crimea is getting ready to break away and become part of Russia. I am not one of those people who believe that people should not only pay for their own funerals but even dig their own graves in preparation. (Like certain Ukrainians who believe that Russia should supply them with free gas so that they can join NATO and attack Russia!)

    Anyhow, the good news is that Crimea will be receiving $1 billion in emergency aid from Russia
    That should cover immediate needs.

    Next, after the referendum, assuming it goes the way expected, Crimea will receive an additional $40 billion from Russia.

    Hence, they can afford to spit on Ukraine paltry $110 million!

    • yalensis says:

      P.S. I forgot to mention that today (11 March), Crimea is initiating plan to switch over to the Russian ruble.

      I am glad I am not a software developer in Crimea. I can imagine there will be a lot of glitches in all the software systems. It’s a big project to switch over the currency, and it all has to be done in a hurry. Not to mention, switching over payrolls, banking systems, etc.

      Normally these things take years of planning. The software developers will be working day and night to get these systems switched over!

      • Jen says:

        @ yalensis: You work in the IT area, don’t you? Have you heard that of the 239 people on that doomed Malaysian Airlines jet flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, 20 of them were employees for Freescale Semiconductor? They were mostly engineers and technicians involved in redesigning and streamlining facilities for testing and packing microchips in the company’s China and Malaysia plants.,0,5769466.story

        A conspiracy theory might already be developing that the plane was forced to crash to get rid of these guys.

        • yalensis says:

          That’s very interesting. But could also be a coincidence.
          If it WAS a terrorist attack, then the terrorists (aboard) would have been willing to commit suicide (unless they had parachutes).
          Normally, this would mean they were religious types (?)
          Like jihadis (?)

          • sinotibetan says:

            Hi yalensis and Jen,

            Been a long time since I last commented. Yup – many conspiracy theories here in Malaysia regarding flight MH370. I don’t think it was an act of terrorism at the moment though.


    • yalensis says:

      P.P.S. – as for the rest of Ukraine, well, not to worry, they get some money too.
      The European Union has announced a whopping 1.6 billion EUROS for Western Ukraine.
      They’ll get the money right away, no?
      Not exactly…
      They will be getting the “first tranche” of it at some point … in the not too distant future… “as soon as they have reached an agreement with the IMF,” lisps Euro-commissioner Ollie Rehn.

  14. yalensis says:

    Meanwhile, right now, EVEN AS WE SPEAK, legitimate Ukrainian President (and overall Dickhead) Viktor Yanukovych is speaking at a press conference in Rostov-na-Donu:

    “I’m ALIVE!” Yanuk bellows to the world. “They tried to kill me, oh they tried! But they failed! Mwa ha hahahah!”

    (Followed by: “Yeah, and I would have gotten away with it too, if it weren’t for those pesky neo-nazis and their big goofy dog…”)

    Oh, wait, I’m a couple of minutes late, the press conference just ended.
    Never mind. Yanuk said basically: “I’m alive. I’m still Prez. I’m the Commander in Chief. Those other guys are jerks. You WILL obey me!” Then he goes on to criticize the usupers and the whole gang of False Dmitries that has seized power in Kiev.

    Yanuk ended in fine pathos with that stirring line from Uke national anthem:
    «Ще не вмерла Україна!»

    which also basically translates to: “We’re not dead YET…” [with emphasis on that word “yet”]

    • Moscow Exile says:

      In my opinion, the most pertinent turn of phrase as regards the relationship between Russia and that state that claims itself to be the inheritor of that territory that was first created by the Russian Empire and then expanded through the addition of territories ceded to it by the Soviet Union, namely the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, which now likes to be known in English as “Ukraine”, runs as follows:

      Я тебя породил, я тебя и убью!

      “I gave you your life and I will take it away!”

      A Ukrainian wrote those words as well.

      Literally, the Russian translates as: “I gave birth to you and I will kill you”, but you can’t say that in English if you are a man, and these are the words that the Cossack Taras Bulba said to his traitorous son who had taken up arms with the Poles against him.

      A work of fiction, of course, but to push the metaphor further, perhaps it would be better to picture Taras Bulba as having divorced his Polish wife and he says to his son, who prefers his Polish inheritance: “Bugger off across the Dnieper to your mum! You were always her favourite. The rest of your brothers are coming with me and we’re going to live with our cousins this side of the river”.

    • Fern says:

      Yanukovich’s point about US law prohibiting the funding of governments that have come to power by way of a coup against their democratically elected predecessors was interesting, though. Again, as with asset freezes, appropriations and the like directed against private individuals, I wonder if a legal challenge in the US to prevent it funding the regime in Kiev would prove tricky for Obama.

  15. Moscow Exile says:


    After the referendum, the Crimea, as a sovereign independent state will ask Russian authorities to join the Russian Federation.

      • Moscow Exile says:

        Декларация о независимости Крыма и Севастополя, принятая 11 марта, необходима, чтобы обеспечить правовую процедуру вхождения региона в состав России, сообщил спикер Верховного Совета Крыма Владимир Константинов.

        Мы приняли необходимый процедурный документ, чтобы вся процедура реализации результатов референдума (о статусе Крыма и Севастополя) прошла легитимно и прозрачно и не вызывала никаких сомнений у экспертов.”

        [A Declaration of Independence of the Crimea and Sevastopol, adopted March 11, is required to provide a legal procedure for the entry of the region into Russia”, said the Speaker of the Supreme Council of the Crimea, Vladimir Konstantinov.

        “We have drawn up the necessary procedural documentation so that the whole process of implementing the referendum (on the status of Crimea and Sevastopol) be held legitimately and transparently, and that there rise no doubts about it whatsoever amongst the experts”, said Konstantinov.]

        See: Спикер: декларация о независимости Крыма нужна для правовой процедуры

        [Speaker: A declaration of independence is necessary for the procedure to be legal]

        • yalensis says:

          It’s like I said a few days ago (seems like a lifetime):
          Crimea needs to go through 2 distinct stages: first independence; and then incorporation into Russia. It’s just that they are speeding up the stages so that they are almost concurrent. (I thought at the time that there might be a lag between the 2 stages.)

          (South Ossetia BTW is still stuck in Phase #1.)

      • yalensis says:

        Ha ha! I love the fact that they invoke Kosovo as a precedent.
        It’s perfect.

    • SFReader says:

      We , the deputies of the Verkhovna Rada of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol City Council , based on the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations and many other international instruments recognizing the right of peoples to self-determination , as well as taking into account the reaffirmation by the international Court of Justice on Kosovo from July 22, 2010 the fact that the unilateral declaration of independence part of the state does not violate any rules of international law, have taken together a following decision:

      1. If as a result of the upcoming referendum on March 16, 2014, the people of Crimea will decide to join Crimea, including the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol with Russia, the Crimea after the referendum will be declared an independent and sovereign state with a republican form of government.

      2 . Republic of Crimea is a democratic, secular and multi-ethnic state, which is obliged to keep the peace, inter-ethnic and inter-confessional accord in its territory.

      3 . Republic of Crimea as an independent and sovereign state in the case of the relevant results of the referendum will appeal to the Russian Federation with a proposal for the inclusion of the ARC based on the relevant international agreement of the Russian Federation as a new subject of the Russian Federation. ”

      Declaration approved by the Resolution of the Verkhovna Rada of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea at the extraordinary plenary session of March 11, 2014 (signed by the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea Konstantinov ) and the decision of the Sevastopol City Council at an extraordinary plenary session of March 11, 2014 (signed by the chairman of the Sevastopol city council Yuri Doynikov)

  16. SFReader says:

    I am not sure if this was covered or not, but the “acting defense minister of Ukraine” Mr. Tenyukh has made an extraordinary statement to the Parliament.

    He said that mobilization has failed and that after the Ukrainian army was called to arms, it turned out that out of 41 thousand soldiers, only 6000 could be called battle-ready.

    He contrasted this state of affairs to Russian army which after recent wargames has some 220 thousand troops at the borders of Ukraine.

    6 thousand against 220 thousand?

    I think I was being overcautious saying to AP that Belarus could overrun Ukraine.

    It appears that even tiny Transdniester Moldovan Republic would be up to the task…

    In any case, I think we can safely assume that Kiev ruled out war in Crimea.

    They don’t have the troops, the guns and the money too….

  17. Moscow Exile says:

    And two hours after the declaration of independence by the Crimean parliament, not one word of it in the British papers. There are articles, however, of threats made by the Kiev regime against the Crimea if it holds its referendum.

    • kirill says:

      The western media loves to ignore the rights of the “umimportant”. But in this case the “unimportant” have, thanks to Russia, established irrevocable facts on the ground. NATO and its pathetic, cheeseball media can bleat all it wants.

  18. Moscow Exile says:

    Ukrainian regime “cabinet” member Balashov on the Maidan:

    He’s telling them that Crimeans, amongst others, should be shot. To applause he’s telling those nice, friendly, peaceful Maidanites that they should stop being controlled by gas oligarchs, that these foreigners on their territory who live in Kharkov and Donetsk etc. (he means those Russian speakers who want out) should be shot or thrown into the Kiev central prison; he talks about Russians on their territory (Ukrainian citizens who are anti-Maidan) who wear the George Ribbon; he says that they should be shot in the head because they are the enemy [applause cries of “Well said! Good man!”]; however, he says that their “government” shouldn’t be provoked, and tells them that they must realize that this is a real war situation.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      And here is the same man just over a week ago (8th March) telling Ukrainians that they should under no circumstances shoot at Russian soldiers in the Crimea because they’ve only been put there by the mad Putin so that this might happen and to up the stakes.

      Those lads with masked faces, he reminds viewers, have mothers in Russia, and he talks about blood ties with Russia and that he himself is Russian and has many relatives in Russia, that he has forefathers who fought against Napoleon, that he could never imagine himself firing upon Russians – at Tadzhiks and other such people maybe, if they had been posted there – but at Russians who, whilst carrying their automatics, throw threatening looks at people…

      And he goes on about how modern war is decided by economic factors (a suggestion that the Ukraine is too hopelessly broke even to afford a pillow fight?) and how Putin squanders his resources, not just gas, but his soldiers as well…

      And he goes on and on saying that the Russian army is as poorly equipped and as weak as the Ukranian one is and says that the advanced technology of the NATO and US forces would run rings round Russian armed forces. He says the Russian fleet is crap as well. The only thing that the crazy Putin has, he says, is nuclear weapons and his finger on the button, and he goes on with the memes that Putin has lost touch with reality and that he’s on the wrong side of history.

      But we Ukrainians, he says, must take the side of peace and ignore what is happening in the Crimea. Basically he says, the people could easily disarm Putin’s forces in the Crimea, and the Russian soldiers in the Crimea, he says, can see how the Crimeans live and how the Crimean parliamentarians who wave Russian banners have lost their wits. They’re probably old, retired Soviet officers, he suggests, and unemployed people. And don’t forget,he says, that that same Yanukovich who robbed Ukrainians now finances this seperatism.

      And so he tells them that nobody under any circumstances at all, either there in Kiev or in the Crimea, should open fire on Russian soldiers. [Russian soldiers in Kiev???] He reckons the pressure on the mad Putin will be sufficient to solve this problem but he warns once again of his belief that Putin is out of his mind and still has he finger on the button. Maybe he can be cured, he asks [he’s really pushing this Putin-is-crazy meme!] and after all, Ukrainians got shut of Yanukovich and maybe the Russians will get rid of Putin, he opines.

      But, he concludes, all the dead will be on the conscience of this mad dictator Putin who thinks he can do everything he wants. Addressing Putin, he then says “in this modern world, dear President, you can’t do anything”. He says to Putin: “You won’t go down in history as the man who liberated the Crimea and returned it to the Russian Empire… You’ve misjudged history because nobody’s going to fight with you: there’s no point in killing your soldiers simply to satisfy your ambition”.

      And the grand finale:

      “Putin – you dog’s dick – clear off from our country and take with you your soldiers, who have mothers, and don’t deprive their children of their fathers – you crazy fucking bastard!”

      Interestingly, where he sings a different tune on the Maidan (as posted previously), he’s got a black eye.

      Maybe that shiner is partly a result of the persuasion he received in order that he change his tune?

      • Moscow Exile says:

        Further to Balashov.

        From the Russian Wiki:

        In 1987 he graduated from the Dnepropetrovsk State University (Department of Economics, specialty: ” Labour Economics ”

        Political activities and views
        Leader of the the movement “Ukraine without taxes”.
        Back in 2001, called on people to refuse the introduction of VAT and sales tax .
        In 2010, urged people not to pay taxes and conduct illegal business and other ways of civil disobedience .
        Recommended that Ukrainian citizens leave the country at every opportunity and move to, for example, the United States.
        In late April 2013, after a change in Ukrainian law to “improve procedures on financial bills” (law ​​number 2845 ), urged people to take money out of banks and make cash transfers in hard currency; also announced that the state was an enemy of the people.

    • kirill says:

      This is actually a Rwanda level of excess from a regime minister. Yet we have no coverage of this. This sort of thing is no joke. Mass killings can be triggered without actually having to implement them as a state program. This sick freak needs to be brought up on charges of instigating genocide.

  19. Al says:

    Sikorski interviewed by Der Spiegel:

    Polish Foreign Minister Sikorski: ‘Moscow Needs Our Money’


    All the growth markets are in Asia. Transport and shipment of energy East is increasing rapidly, with Japan very keen to buy Russian gas and invest in Russia’s far east. We’ll see what comes out of upcoming Russo-Japanese talks. I would find it hard to imagine that Japan would nix these to please the US and EU.

    • kirill says:

      Clearly it is the Kiev regime that needs the west’s money. But of course they would rather yap about Russia.

  20. Fern says:

    Michael McFaul, the former Ambassador to Russia has broken cover to reveal a couple of things. Firstly, that the US has a ‘worst case scenario’ plan for Ukraine but he declined to give any further details. Secondly – and this must be a front-runner in any ‘most highly deluded individual about their workplace contribution’ competition – he asked Obama to reinstate him as Ambassador. He felt the situation between the US and Russia over Ukraine was so grave, it needed his diplomatic presence. Petrol, bonfire, a, on, throw. First task on return to Moscow, meet with Russian opposition figures to explore how the crisis can best be milked.

    • Jen says:

      Second task on return to Moscow, work out his share of the cut with the US ambassador to Ukraine Geoff Pyatt for milking the crisis.

      Third task on return to Moscow, make sure the ‘worst case scenario’ plan is not challenged by any ‘best case scenario’ plans and to keep milking the ‘Putin is emotional / Putin is irrational’ paradigm. Black, pot, kettle, call.7

  21. Moscow Exile says:

    I wonder how much coverage in Western rags this will get this Friday? Will it be reported as a non-spontaneous event, I wonder? Will the numbers attending be described as “large” or “thousands”?

  22. Moscow Exile says:

    Western media objectivity: “The most Dangerous Man in the World – Putin?” and “Vladimir Putin – The World Enemy”

    Mit herzlichen Glückwünschen aus Deutschland!

  23. Al says:

    FYI, Dostum was visiting the ‘stans recently.

    Jamestown Foundation – Will ‘Dostumistan’ Be Established Near Afghanistan’s Border With Uzbekistan?
    If this is the case, then I’d expect the Russians to pitch in, like they did with Massoud.

  24. marknesop says:

    In keeping with this month’s theme of “Political Leaders Who Have Gone Crazy”, Exhibit A – Dmytro Yarosh, whackjob leader of Right Sector and Presidential hopeful. Here, his role appears to be legitimizing and de-scarifying Oleg Tiahnybok and Svoboda.

    This report suggests that Svoboda and Batkivschyna are now allied, and I would not be surprised to see them form a coalition that would blur the far-right nature of Svoboda – which Yarosh has already successfully made to appear moderate.

    Mr. Yarosh – AKA Bughouse Crazyman – calls for a European embargo on Russian oil and gas. I, for one, think it is a great idea. It would provide an excellent incentive for Russia to redirect all of its energy sales to Asia, so that when Europe wanted to “force Russia to the negotiating table” to say, see here, now, you brute; those prices just don’t go; if you are prepared to sell at a substantial price discount, we might be…ummm…interested, then Russia could respond with, bore it and stroke it and shove it up your ass just as far as you can reach, your former share has already been reallocated. In the meantime, after calling for a complete boycott of Russian energy exports, Mr. Crazyman “took pains to reach out to Russian speakers and to convey a message of moderation. He said that Right Sector was “against xenophobia and against anti-Semitism,” and that about 40 percent of its members are native speakers of Russian, and many of those from eastern Ukraine, just as he is.” I know – let’s have a referendum: In your opinion, is Mr. Yarosh – AKA Bughouse Crazyman – listening to himself? Yes/No.

    Also, according to this report, Petro Poroshenko the Kandy King is still leading in the polls for President, despite there being no prior announcement whatsoever that he had political ambitions and he seems to be standing completely on his status as an oligarch, being allied only peripherally with Yulia Tymoshenko.

    • kirill says:

      This piece of NY spin starts ladling it thick and rich at the beginning with “it’s Russian state media propaganda claiming that neo-Nazis staged a coup”. Form there on, nothing this article says has any value. The lemming brain has been conditioned: it ain’t so bad.

    • Fern says:

      Dimitry Babich, the Russian analyst and commentator, had a article a short while back suggesting that a number of Svoboda party members had left to join both the Batkivschyna and UDAR parties – not because they no longer agreed with or supported Svoboda’s ideology but because it was easier to get into the Rada as representatives of other parties. So, the penetration of Ukraine’s political establishment by nationalistic or far right elements might be significantly greater than the numbers represented by the openly nationalistic groups such as Svoboda or the Right Sector.

      And yes, I’d really hope that Russia starts to reorient its economic interests away from the West – it will be perpetually in the crosshairs and there really is no point in trying to be conciliatory and reach accommodations with western governments. They will never be honoured.

      • marknesop says:

        Yes, I remember you or someone else making reference to it earlier, and it is actually a pretty sound political strategy; it both changes the western perception of those individuals from extremists to members of a respected party, and prewashes their ideological leanings to make them seem more mainstream Ukrainian. I think Ukraine is in for a hard row to hoe, and if elections (a) do not take place as scheduled, and/or (b) do not reflect a turn toward a more moderate and conciliatory status as regards the Russian-speaking majority in the Southeast, those areas will become more restive still and may well become ungovernable without force. That would be another terrible mistake, because those regions now are unlikely to be cowed – knowing there is a possible alternative – and because violent pogroms by the government can only be whitewashed by the west for so long before they begin to affect Ukraine’s acceptability as a potential European partner.

        All of which, of course, will be Putin’s fault.

  25. cartman says:

    Does Alisher Usmanov (British citizen and owner of Vkontakte) get to keep his riches in London or Russia? This is odd timing for an article such as this since ownership of the site will be determined by whatever Cameron decides. Pavel Durov has been quite giddy lately, so will the site be going back to him?

    • cartman says:

      I screwed up the link. Here it is.

      • marknesop says:

        “Now the state has more direct access, whenever it wants, to the personal information, correspondence, locations and movements of tens of millions of Russians — not to mention data on their emotions and intentions.”

        How is that different from the NSA watching everything you do in the United States by using your iphone – which you paid for – against you as a surveillance tool, to watch you using your camera, browse through your contacts list, listen to you through your microphone and read your text messages and email?

        Got a password on it so at least you’re not sharing your info with anyone other than the topnotch spooks of the NSA? The cops can crack it in as little as two minutes. When they do, though, aren’t your messages at least private, so they can’t be used against you by the prosecution in a court of law, on the grounds that they were meant only for the person to whom they were addressed? Dream on.

        I’ll see your oppressive state surveillance, and raise you zero privacy.

  26. Warren says:

    Sanctions, what sanctions? barring something dramatic, Putin's won this round— Edward Lucas (@edwardlucas) March 11, 2014

    Edward Lucas is flying the white flag!

    • marknesop says:

      I love how that British bint in The Grauniad said Putin has “physique issues”. Look at the two men in the picture. Which one has shoulders like a garter snake?

      • Moscow Exile says:

        She’s second generation Ukrainian, by the way – “the “British Bint” I mean. She’s from Yorkshire.

        There’s a lot of them around in the North of England former mill and mining towns of Lancashire and Yorkshire. I’ve met quite a few of them in my time. In Manchester there’s a large Ukrainian community – big balalaika band and social club and all that. But I tell you, since the end of the Soviet Union and since that day when it became fashionable to kick a Russian metaphorically at each and every opportunity and to laugh at and ridicule constantly all things Russian, many of these Ukrainians, those born there, now mostly dead of course, “came out” and were not shy of admitting that they were on the “other side”, namely they had been “Hilfswilliger”, Soviet prisoners of war or civilians who had donned German uniforms and served in the German army as (often highly unreliable) reservists or mostly as logistics personnel – truck drivers mainly.

        The author of that Guardian article, in fact, states that her grandfather was one of Bandera’s mob. In fact, it is likely that he he went one step further and did not keep up his noble fight against the wicked Reds in his homeland but went West with the retreating Wehrmacht and became one of the Osttruppen and had very probably been lucky enough to have been captured by the British in Normandy and ended up in Halifax or Huddersfield or Manchester or wherever in the North of England and out of harm’s way.

        And then he had gone to ground for 30 years or so.

        As I have said, I knew several such persons: they all worked in the coal mines of the Lancashire coalfield. Occasionally, investigative reporters in the UK (when such a breed actually existed there) used to unearth some of these people, but only the ones who had not simply been kids in the mid-40s (the ones I worked with must have been barely 18 when they were captured in France) and who had had the choice of facing either certain death as a POW or possible survival as a Wehrmacht truck driver, but who had gone the whole hog and become members of SS-legions. If I remember rightly, the last of such gone-to-earth-in-the-UK SS murderers from the Ukraine that I remember being exposed was an apparently nice, kind and gentle old man living in happy retirement in Edinburgh.

        I once worked with one of these Ukrainians who had “come out” after the fall of the Soviet Union and who for years had passed himself off as a Pole. When I worked with him I always believed he was a Pole. I chanced upon him at the Russian Orthodox church in Manchester about a year before I went into exile. He was chuffed to death seeing me there and amazed that I had been to Russia and had studied Russian. He was even more chuffed about the fact that I was with “Natasha №1”, my first Russian girlfriend whom I had “liberated” and with whom he was overjoyed to to meet and to chat away with – in Russian, of course.

        So after mass we had a drink. Later on, he let it all come out. He had served in three armies, he told me: the Red Army, the German Army and the British Army and in each of which he had been a truck driver. He was Ukrainian,of course. He told me where he had been born but I can’t remember the name of the place now. He told me this in English as he was giving us a lift to the railway station.

        I told Natasha №1 of this when we got back home. She was shocked. I think he must have told me of his military past in English so as not to upset Natasha №1.

  27. yalensis says:

    And a separate White Feather must be postmarked and mailed to Turchynov:

    “We cannot move troops into Crimea,” Turcnynov frets timidly. “For, if we did that, then alas our eastern border would become vulnerable.”

    I would say, your eastern border is more, like, fluid, than vulnerable….

    Come on, Turch, send your neo-nazi brigades to take back Crimea, I dare yuz!

  28. yalensis says:

    And per the topic of the 6,000 -man Ukrainian army, here is a complete inventory of Ukraine’s military assets.

    This tells a horrific tale of a 20-year degeneration, to the point where this nation literally nas no army left.

    And whatever troops they had, have zero interest in fighting for this new regime.
    What were the thinking??

    • marknesop says:

      It’s not a good idea to mock the Ukrainians in print, though. That’s too western, crowing and strutting are totally uncalled-for when you have military superiority and it should speak silently for you. Obviously if Ukraine had the military wherewithal to attack, they would, so also obviously, they do not. Making fun of them is going for the cheap laugh and I don’t like to see Russia do it. They’ve done a good job of taking the high road thus far despite any amount of western yapping and Ukrainian puffing and blowing. It would be a shame to see them abandon their dignity now, no matter how good things look, because as soon as you go for the cheap laugh, some of your audience stops rooting for you.

  29. Jen says:

    There’s been some extraordinary news that last Friday under cover of darkness, an unmarked plane took off from Boryspil Airport with cargo bound for the US. The cargo was delivered to the airport under heavy guard (some men armed with machine guns) in unlicensed trucks and minibuses. This cargo is purported to be Ukraine’s gold reserves.

    The source is Iskra news.

    • kirill says:

      Even if not true, it fits the plot of this Hollywood production. Where is all the money from the west for this new regime? Really, where is it? Is NATO expecting the regime to fold any day? May as well loot what hasn’t been looted yet. Also, a lot of NATO members appear desperate for money. Recall what happened to Qaddafi’s money.

      • Jen says:

        If the story is true, at least we now know how Ukraine would have had to pay for the US$5 billion “reconstruction” investment or at least the interest it would have owed on the principal. Nuland may as well recoup the investment now before things go belly up.

    • marknesop says:

      If true, it makes sense, because the present shambles of a government is not likely long for this world, but it’s still possible they could cock things up even worse. It’s not likely Yanukovych will ever make a comeback, but if he did or if a radical government was elected and Ukraine fell apart, there are lots of people the USA would not like to see get their hands on that kind of gold.

    • cartman says:

      Then the $5 billion investment was worth it.

  30. marknesop says:

    Uh oh. Somebody in the unelected theatre of the absurd that is the Kiev government has caught onto the vulnerability someone brought up here something like 2 days ago – doesn’t Crimea rely on Ukraine for its domestic services? Why, yes; it does – up to 85% of its water, 82% of its electricity and 35% of its gas, reports the Kyiv Post.

    The report just manages to avoid sounding exultant at having discovered this possible point of exploitation, going for grimly determined instead. That’s probably because it would sound extremely hypocritical to slobber that Crimea is being legislated at gunpoint by Russia, and then attempt to coerce the Crimean populace to go the opposite way and remain with its fraternal Ukrainian brothers by cutting off its services. Kind of…hard to defend.

    They have settled for announcing smugly that “access to these vital resources will loom prominently amid diplomatic discussions this week ahead of the so-called referendum.” Fairly warned be thee, says I; Ahrrrr. Notice they refer to the self-determination vote as the “so-called referendum” – because to acknowledge it is to legitimize it. Yet they pretend they do not understand why Russia will not engage with them formally, government to government.

    Well done to whoever thought of it – was it Karl? – long before the bright sparks in Turchynov’s clown show. Hopefully Russia has thought of it as well, and if it has not, that it can react quickly to ensure there are no major disruptions resulting from the Turchynov “government’s” idea of coaxing.

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