Just Wait a Friedman – Then You’ll See/New Comment Thread

Uncle Volodya says, "You can learn a lot from a fool. How much patience you have, for instance. "

Uncle Volodya says, “You can learn a lot from a fool. How much patience you have, for instance. “

Stuffy, pompous New York Times columnist forever Thomas Friedman begins his most recent offering – reprinted in the Kyiv Post, where I saw it – thus: “One thing I learned covering the Middle East for many years is that there is “the morning after” and there is “the morning after the morning after.” Never confuse the two.”

Generally speaking, if you are going to tell porkie pies (“lies”, in the rhyming cockney slang which lends its name to The Porkie Pies News Network, Kremlin Stooge slang for the mainstream media) in your opinion piece, doing so in the first four words of it is starting a little early. Typically, you want to soften up your audience a bit before you trot out the whoppers. So, make yourself comfortable – coffee? Tea, anyone? – while I demonstrate that in reality, Thomas Friedman has learned nothing at all.

Really, I would have been happy with just leaving a comment on “Putin and the Laws of Gravity“, but the New York Times cuts off commentary ridiculously early, so if you didn’t see the piece come out (it’s dated yesterday, or what was yesterday when I began this post) chances are good that comments will be closed before you get the chance to make your own opinion known. So, that’s why we’re going this route, which is all to the good because now I will get to hear your opinions as well.

Anyway, Thomas Friedman has the dubious honour of having a unit of time named after him – a “Friedman”, which represents six months. This unit got its name from his repeated assurances in his NYT columns that “the next six months” would surely see the United States turning the corner in Iraq; the occupation which ground on and on like an Yngwie Malmsteen guitar solo would at last bear fruit, the resistance and sectarian strife would subside and Iraq would settle down to becoming a prosperous, western-oriented market democracy.

Note: This is just a stub, to alleviate loading problems caused by too many comments; the actual post is the story immediately preceding.

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384 Responses to Just Wait a Friedman – Then You’ll See/New Comment Thread

  1. Drutten says:

    After having been browsing Twitter for months I have a acquired a pretty decent grasp of the most prolific Russophobes out there – unsurprisingly many of them are well-known faces also frequenting various blogs, commentary fields on news articles and so on and so forth. This is business as usual, but I also began to notice that Swedish so-called defense experts and such that are often asked comment on Russia in Swedish media were fraternizing with these people and indeed were spending an unhealthy amount of energy relaying their conspiracy theories et cetera.

    This is not all that surprising I suppose, but still worrying. Things are starting to make sense now, though…

  2. kirill says:

    http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/world/europe/article4066601.ece

    Hilarious! The west is preparing to sanction Putin’s fictional $40 billion in Swiss bank accounts. Just wow. Some blogger rumour turns into fact after a few gross embellishments. The original claim was that Putin has billions worth of stocks in various Russian oil companies and not that he has huge Swiss bank accounts.

    • marknesop says:

      He should send another open letter to the New York Times, and tell them they are welcome to it, on the condition that they reveal in open sources exactly what they find. Which means when they find nothing, they have to say “We found nothing”. At the same time, Russian banks should help themselves to the wealth of the Kerry family, estimated at between $750 Million and $1.2 Billion. I mean, if we’re just going to go around freezing bank accounts all over the place, what gives the United States of America God’s mandate to access funds that are not even in the USA and freeze them? If that’s the case, anyone who can find it should be able to do it.

      The threat to substantially raise sanction on Russia “…was one of Mr. Kerry’s main bargaining chips in the Geneva talks”. Comical. Is that why Kerry came out with an agreement that he himself described as “just words on paper” and Obama said he expected to fall apart? Obviously, that threat was a powerful bargaining chip; Russia was obviously terrified. The American people should be humiliated to have such buffoons representing them in an international forum.

      • UCG says:

        They shouldn’t. There are numerous Americans who invest in Russia, and don’t particularly care about Ukraine. Confiscating American wealth isn’t going to benefit Russia, at least not at this stage. However, Putin should do the letter thing, just like you said. It’d be hilarious to see their response.

      • Jen says:

        I agree about the letter but not with the tit-4-tat bank account freezing. That would drive the US further to war. Russia and China should band together and drop the US dollar in all their dealings together and with other countries.

        • marknesop says:

          Yeah, I know; I was just mad. I get so tired of the endless stupid brinksmanship and the smug self-congratulatory high-fiving over such childish behavior – diplomacy is more or less dead in the west, perhaps never to be resurrected, because these people were supposed to be the intellectual cream. What a disappointment. Anyway, you’re both right, and in fact Putin should favour American companies operating in Russia; the American people and public opinion are his best weapon in the USA, and comment forums regularly suggest the electorate is not buying the government’s snake oil.

          • UCG says:

            It’s not that, it’s just that Americans don’t want a war with Russia over Ukraine. If Russia was to invade Georgia, (the state, sorry, couldn’t resist,) then shit’d be on. If Russia was to invade a NATO member, quite possibly. If Russia was to bloodlessly annex Crimea, and conduct pro-Russian policy in Ukraine, who cares? It’s not an American issue. It’s not education reform, or immigration reform, or even Obamacare. Speaking of which, the people constantly say that education and immigration reform are the two biggest issues, and what does the mass media cover? Obamacare.

            As for bad research, here’s the thing: companies hire researchers that tell them what they want to hear. Research is on the decline in the US. Case in point – the recent Geneva Treaty. How many newspapers picked up on the fact that neither US/EU controlled the Right Sector, nor Russia controlled the East Ukrainian militias. So… how exactly is the disarming phase going to go?

            “Yo, I know there’s a possibility of a civil war, and crashing economy, but please turn in your weapon on aisle nine! Thank you!”

            I didn’t initially see that, but when I read and reread the treaty, I realized that it’s worthless. And yet, did any single newspaper point out that discrepancy? It’s really easy to find.

            • Moscow Exile says:

              Yes, but the irrefutable proof of the “fact” that Russia – sorry, Putin – does control the “Russians” in East Ukraine is that Putin denies this.

              The Russians always lie whilst the West, being on the side of Freedom and Democracy, is always good and wholesome.

              It is a given that Russians are malicious liars. The other day I posted a list of stats in the comments to a Grauniad load of shite and someone replied to my posting: “You do realize that your sources are Russian?”

              Telling such retards that the Russian stats need not necessarily be false is like trying to persuade the pope that there is no god.

              • kirill says:

                The sheep like herd mentality of the western media consumers is something to behold. Does anyone ask themselves why the Kiev regime cannot get the Ukrainian army to act? It is clearly not because the regime is being nice. It even accuses Yanukovitch of destroying it (when in fact it was destroyed mostly between 2004 and 2010 by the Orange slime). If all there were in the south-east was a bunch of GRU and Russian sponsored agitators then the millions of loyal Ukrainians including local cops and residents would be defending Ukraine and not waving Russian flags.

              • marknesop says:

                Yes, everyone knows that American statistics on Russia are more reliable than state statistics. That’s how we know Russia is in a demographic death spiral and its economy is in ruins.

            • marknesop says:

              That’s true enough; I suppose the “great breakthrough” was that all parties present favoured de-escalation. But as I pointed out earlier with that comment from The Saker (anonymous, unfortunately, and unverified), U.S. TV originally appeared to be set up for a bigger announcement delivered in a joint statement by Lavrov and Kerry, but in the end the Russian flag was removed and the statement came from Kerry and Ashton. I am curious as to what the original plan was, and what they – presumably – tried to roll Lavrov into accepting.

              Incidentally, the Kiev Kabal quickly announced that Right Sector was not an “illegal armed group”, it having been legitimized as some kind of National Guard, and was therefore exempted from the conditions of the Geneva Agreement. You can see where they were going with that, and they doubtless believe themselves to have been very clever to have so adroitly dodged that bullet. But they were too clever by half, and now atrocities committed by Right Sector which can be proven can be laid directly at the door of the “government”, which has accepted responsibility for their behaviour and refused to disarm them.

              Overall, it was pretty much a waste of everyone’s time, as stated, and contains nothing particularly meaningful, although the Ukrainian papers are full of self-righteous puff about how the Kiev government is scrupulously honouring the agreement – which I suppose implies, since the troubles continue, that Russia is not.

  3. Fern says:

    A weekly Polish journal claims to have eye-witness testimony of members of Ukraine’s Right Sector receiving training in Poland several months before the Maidan protests began:-

    “According to this source, in September 2013, Polish Foreign Minister Radosław Sikorski invited 86 members of the Right Sector (Sector Pravy), allegedly in the context of a university exchange program. In reality, the guests were not students, and many were over 40. Contrary to their official schedule, they did not go to the Warsaw University of Technology, but headed instead for the police training center in Legionowo, an hour’s drive from the capital. There, they received four weeks of intensive training in crowd management, person recognition, combat tactics, command skills, behavior in crisis situations, protection against gases used by police, erecting barricades, and especially shooting, including the handling of sniper rifles.
    Such training took place in September 2013, while the Maidan Square protests were allegedly triggered by a decree suspending preparations for the signing of the Ukraine-European Union Association Agreement, which was issued by Prime Minister Mykola Azarov on November 21, i.e. two months later.”
    http://www.voltairenet.org/article183373.html

    Obviously, no-one at this time could know that Yanukovich would refuse to sign the EU Association Agreement so if the report is accurate, this sort of training must have been in preparation for the 2015 elections to be put into effect if the ‘wrong’ side looked like it was winning. Lithuania has also been mentioned along with Poland (by Putin amongst others) as being involved in training Right Sector – it seems unenviable – at least to me – that NATO has been heavily involved in all of this.

    A month or so back, Alexander Nekrassov was a guest on ‘a Cross Talk’ programme about Ukraine during which he made a very interesting comment which I’ve not seen picked up anywhere. He said it was obvious to him very shortly after the Maidan protests began, that what was happening in Ukraine was not simply a manifestation of public anger and disappointment with the non-signing of the EU Association Agreement. Consequently, he used his contacts to get a message to Yanukovich telling him to go to the UN Security Council because he was facing an externally orchestrated attack. Yanukovich, of course, didn’t do this – interesting to speculate on whether anything would have been different if he had done so.

    I don’t think Russia should be tit-for-tatting on freezing bank accounts or even sanctions, frustrating though it is to have to endure the US’s behaviour. It’s obviously helpful to have western investment in Russia because it raises the costs to the would-be sanctioning countries so Russia doesn’t want to do anything to frighten investors away. I’ve been trying to find out whether Russia is cooperating with the US in still permitting the withdrawal of troops and equipment from Afghanistan via the Russian ‘corridor’. If so, Russia should stop being so obliging – let the US use Pakistan instead. The US now uses sanctions – which are an act of war – at the drop of the proverbial hat and those countries that are currently suffering them or likely to be in the crosshairs in the not-to-distant-future need to cooperate to develop plans and strategies that minimise their exposure. Medium to long-term planning is more important than reacting in the short-term.

    • Jen says:

      Global Research quotes from the same Polish journal “Nie” and also references the work of Andrew Korybko who has compared Poland to Turkey as an intermediary for fomenting unrest in neighbouring states that were once their imperial possessions.
      http://www.globalresearch.ca/polands-role-in-destabilizing-ukraine-polish-military-trained-neo-nazi-militants-for-euromaidan-protests/5378129

      ” … It has thus clearly been demonstratively shown via the aforementioned examples that the destabilizations of both Ukraine and Syria are modelled off … a patterned approach. The US utilizes proxy states with injured imperial legacies in order to advance its ‘Lead from Behind’ strategy, targeting pivotal geostrategic areas where the US prefers to maintain a plausible deniability over its role and is reluctant to get too directly involved. One can also discern a larger trend developing – the use of extreme macro-regional ideological movements to support long-term destabilization. In the Middle East, extreme Islam is the method of choice for application and export, whereas in Ukraine, it is increasingly appearing as though extreme far-right (in some applications, even Neo-Nazi) group fit the ‘Wahhabi role’ for Europe. Ukraine could quite possibly become a training ground for other European far-right militants, or the ones currently in Ukraine can go on to teach the ‘tools of their trade’ to the highest bidder in other European states. Just as Turkey is supporting the extreme Islamists in Syria via its support for the fighters there, Poland can be said to be flirting with extreme far-right nationalists in Ukraine through its statements of support for the violent opposition and its recent decision to evacuate and help the wounded insurgents (not even counting the unreported level of covert involvement already ongoing). And just as the extreme Islamists got out of the control of their handlers and now endanger the entire Middle East, the risk remains that the extreme far-right nationalists may become uncontrollable in Ukraine as well and come to endanger the entire EU. When comparing Poland to Turkey and Ukraine to Syria, it is proven that the Arab Spring has come to Europe in more ways than meet the eye.”
      http://orientalreview.org/2014/02/21/poland-as-the-slavic-turkey-of-nato-destabilization/

      At least in Turkey, there’s been public opposition to the Erdogan government’s interference in Syria. Whether the general public in Poland will start to resist the Tusk government’s meddling in Ukraine, given that the Polish still fear Russia more than the US and might believe that if war comes, then Poland’s possession of full EU membership enables them to escape to other countries, remains to be seen.

      Global Research has an earlier article on the use of Lithuanian mercenaries in Turkey and Syria and the enlistment of Lithuanian fighters who can speak Russian. It would be no surprise if Pravy Sektor people also received training in Lithuania or from Russian-speaking Lithuanian advisors.
      http://www.globalresearch.ca/syria-and-lithuanian-mercenaries-on-the-preparation-of-a-new-provocation/5352446?print=1

      If ever we needed proof that the US State Department is truly sociopathic, the breath-taking and cold-blooded cynicism implied in its manipulation of genuine mass protest and desire for change and to turn such movements into a spearhead for long-term destabilisation and destruction is it.

      • astabada says:

        If ever we needed proof that the US State Department is truly sociopathic, the breath-taking and cold-blooded cynicism implied in its manipulation of genuine mass protest and desire for change and to turn such movements into a spearhead for long-term destabilisation and destruction is it.

        This is a long and “honoured” tradition of the West. I advise you to see Burn! by Gillo Pontecorvo. Marlon Brando is clearly the equivalent of [spoiler] in [spoiler], in that movie.

  4. UCG says:

    When I first heard that Isolation of Russia might be a strategy, I thought that was just someone going off the rails, but then I saw actual analysts support it, so I wrote a response: http://ucgsblog.wordpress.com/

    The gist of it is that asking the BRICS to isolate Russia is like asking them to vote against their own self interest, and I got a bit carried away, and proposed a solution, a part of which I’ll requote here:

    “The solution is to simply fact the facts, and shift to a multipolar World. First, promote debates about a referendum amongst the Ukrainian people, and put it on the ballot, prior to the presidential elections. You need the system before you vote for the candidates. Second, provide a clear demarcation line between EU and Russia. Third, integrate EU with Russia through visa and similar programs, to prevent any further conflicts over the demarcated border. Fourth, push for a Cultural Union to bring the EU and Russia closer together. This is the only way to prevent further hostilities from flaring up in Europe and to complete a pivot to Asia, which is where the action will take place.

    What would such a demarcated line look like? The Caucasian Region will be Russia’s that much is clear. Belarus will be on Russia’s side as well; however, the idiotic isolation of Belarus, such as not allowing them to join the Council of Europe, must end. Ukraine will also be in Russia’s sphere, with Crimea as part of Russia. However, Moldova will be allowed to join the EU, if they let Pridnestrovie hold a referendum on independence. The Baltics will remain with the EU. This would present a clear border between the European Union, and the Eurasian Union, and thus end the conflict in Europe. Further economic integration will follow. Interestingly enough, this will be exactly what Solzhenitsyn suggested, with a more interesting Caucasian Alternative.”

    The solution seems really simple to me, so am I just being unreasonable, or is there a better alternative?

    • astabada says:

      The solution you propose is quite simple and reasonable, but I am afraid the people in charge in the EU and the USA do not want “to avoid conflict in Europe”.

      I understand (even though I disagree with) the American side, but I fail to grasp how sanctions and sabre rattling helps the EU at all.

      • yalensis says:

        EU is not at all following its own interests in this conflict.
        If they went for the peace alternative, they would end up with a nice chunk of territory called “Europe”, free and clear, with a clear boundary between themselves and Eurasia.

        Unfortunately, there is some kind of override in place, which prevents EU leaders from seeing where their true interests lie, and causes them to promote American interests instead.

        Such an override could consist of several factors such as (1) bribery, (2) blackmail, (3) stupidity, or (4) all of the above.

        • kirill says:

          Western Europe became an American protectorate after WWII. De Gaulle tried to keep France independent but he was removed in a Maidan style putsch (i.e. the BS student protests). The Cold War as a great racket for the US. It could meddle around the globe in the name of fighting communism but in reality just colonizing the planet. There was never any real threat of the establishment of Soviet or Chinese style communist states in Latin America (Chile had a *democratic* Marxist government and the Montoneros in Argentina were a response to right wing extremism in the country) but the US installed death squad military juntas in practically every Latin American country. In Europe the US likely has the local elites around its finger and no politician dares to challenge the status quo. This is why the western media endlessly bleats about freedom and democracy. There is almost none in the west, token elections from a palette of parties that act to maintain the status quo and the precious standard of living centered on material possessions notwithstanding.

          • astabada says:

            Your comment raises two fundamental topics, which would deserve a whole PhD to dissect. Just to remark what they are:
            * the Cold War was about Russia, not about Communism. This is proven by the fact that NATO was not disbanded after 1991, but above all this is proven by the fact that the USA supported or even allied with the worst communist regimes (Cambodia, China) against the most progressive ones (USSR, Vietnam).
            * the ruling class in the EU is being latinamericanized (excuse my French). They are more and more detached from their people and their nation, and think about themselves as “citizens of the West” rather than Greek, Italian, French etc. They are happy to be despised at home as long as they are gratified with crumbs of appreciation from Bruxelles and Washington.

        • patient observer says:

          Your list left out the most important factor; organized and self-perpetuating sociopathic behavior throughout the ruling class. This topic deserves a huge amount of research but I suspect getting grant money would be a bit difficult.

      • UCG says:

        Sanctions don’t really help the US either. At this point it’s about an attempt to upkeep unipolarity, after it’s already been lost, but the US/EU doesn’t realize that yet. The US is squandering gepolitical power to upkeep a fantasy.

    • kirill says:

      One of the problems facing the isolation project is that the west was suppressing investment in Russia for the last 14+ years. I recall the steady stream of propaganda about the Russian economy, the horrible corruption and hence the bad, bad, bad investment climate. Well, now those propaganda chickens are coming home to roost. The west has no economic levers on Russia thanks to itself. “Serbs them right”.

    • marknesop says:

      It seems commendably straightforward, and subject to the requisite polling to determine public support for each of the initiatives, fair as well. However, the USA – I’m afraid I blame the USA in this more than the EU, because the USA is goading the EU to do more to punish Russia knowing that it bears little consequence itself while the consequences for the EU might be great indeed – does not want a solution that results in a multipolar world, does not want to go back to competing for influence. It wants to retain “full spectrum dominance”, which it currently holds more through intimidation and cronyism than any moral suitability for the position. And there is no nation on earth more obsessed with spying on and listening in to every other nation so as to be able to turn the course of events to its own advantage through foreknowledge. Sad, really, because it has not been all that many years since it could lead entirely by force of example.

  5. yalensis says:

    Yats [aka Veruca Salt] is eagerly awaiting Joe Biden’s full of pomp and circumstance arrival in Kiev.

    Why is Veruca so excited?
    Because he wants Biden to give him a wad of money that he can spend to “rebuild” his shattered Ukrainian army.

    Чтобы сдержать Россию, наша армия должна быть в лучшем состоянии. Чтобы этого достичь, мы должны получить реальную поддержку от наших западных партнеров”, — проинформировал он.

    “In order to contain Russia, our [Ukrainian] army must be in the best shape possible. In order to achieve that [result], we must receive real [$$$$$] support from our Western partners,” Yats explained.

    P.S. is Yats using the word “partner” in the same sense as in Alexei Pushkov’s joke regarding wolves and hares being “partners” ?

  6. yalensis says:

    American conservative Pat Buchanan tells it like it is on Ukraine, and why majority of American public are not buying the Kerry/Obama bullshit.

  7. yalensis says:

    Video interview with Oleg Tsarev , who is running for President of Ukraine. Good to see that Tsarev is still alive, this was the second time in a month that he got beat up by Banderite Nazis. And the black eye that he is sporting is a REAL one, not like the fake black eyes of certain other people…

    His background: Tsarev has the background of an engineer, graduated from Moscow Engineering Institute. Then worked as the director of a manufacturing company. Then got involved in politics, and became a deputy (from Party of Regions).

    Anyhow, Tsarev represents the Russian speakers and ethnic Russians of East Ukraine, He used to be a member of Party of Regions, but was expelled from Regions a while back. He does not have good relations with Yanukovych.

    Tsarev is currently in Russia, whither he fled after his last beating, and after Ukrainian junta refused to give him a bodyguard, that was his due as a presidential candidate.

    Tsarev says he is going back to Donetsk fairly soon. He doesn’t see much hope for the Geneva agreement, and reminds how those now in power in Kiev treated the earlier, February 21 agreement with Yanukovych. He hopes at a minimum that Geneva agreement will spare the Donetsk people from a certain amount of violence for a certain period of time.

    And even though being a presidential candidate himself (which he says was just a tactic, to allow him to travel freely), Tsarev does not believe in the May 25 presidential elections [yalensis: which, BTW, are being heavily pumped up by USA as a way to legitimize their coup], Tsarev does not believe that the people in Eastern Ukraine will go out to vote.

    Tsarev has a project in mind to set up an independent press center in Eastern Ukraine. He says all the independent dissident journalists have fled from Kiev, because dissidents are being beaten and murdered there.

  8. Moscow Exile says:

    Just got this from Grauniad comments.

    Translation and link posted by a certain Ivan Borisov.

    Interesting reading from Odessa samizdat:

    INTERVIEW WITH A MEMBER OF RIGHT SECTOR FROM ODESSA

    – Hello! What’s best to call you? Dmitriy or Dmytro?
    – As convenient
    – Wait, don’t you ban Russian names and surnames?
    – Ah, what ban… Everyone is Russian in Odessa
    – What you mean, in Odessa’s “Right Sector”?
    – That’s not what I meant. We have Russians, Ukrainians, even Jews. Nobody really pays any attention to nationality.
    – Then what about “Knife the Moskals”?
    – Moskal is not a nationality. Moskal is Ukraine’s enemy
    – Am I a Moskal?
    – If you’re Ukraine’s enemy, then yes, you’re a Moskal. But if you’re for united and inseparable Ukraine, then you’re Russian.
    – And what is “Ukraine’s enemy”? I’m serious, I don’t understand – who’s the enemy, who’s a friend.
    – What’s not to understand? Those who are to break of the country – from Crimea, Donetsk, Kharkov – only moskals there. Moskal is a separatist.
    – Dima, do I get this right, those who are fed up with Kiev are enemies?
    – What does “fed up” mean? Kiev is the capital of Rus, capital of Ukraine, how can you be fed up with it? What a funny question.
    – I mean these never ending Maidans, politicians…
    – When we get into power, Maidans will finish.
    – Have you not taken it yet?
    – Not yet. Power is the hands of traitors. They betrayed our cause, but we will get to them. It is necessary to suppress the separatists now, and then we will get after those in power.
    – Suppress by what means?
    – Physical.
    – Wait, you just now said that those in Crimea, Kharkov, Donetsk, Lugansk, they are all separatists. Do they have to be killed?
    – There is just no other way.
    – But they will be defending themselves
    – It’s war, what to talk about here?
    – So, you’re ready to go under bullet fire and die for current governance in Kiev?
    – For Ukraine. I’m a patriot and have to defend my country from Putin’s fascists.
    – Hold on, I don’t understand, where did you see Putin fascists?
    – Who occupied Crimea? Putin innit.
    – Why then Kiev gave it up to occupants so poorly? Didn’t they promise to go to war over it?
    – They’re traitors, I said it already. They can only talk. They are paid by Moscow, so that they talk and do nothing. This [censored] Lyashko, Avakov, Yatsenuk – they are all traitors of Ukraine.
    – So maybe it’s better to deal with traitors first?
    – First we have to repel external aggression.
    – How did they betray Ukraine, clarify.
    – Well… See yourself, prices are rising, hryvna is losing value. They came to power on our shoulders and dropped us.
    – Did they stop paying?
    – If only paying… Now we have to buy at our own expense ammunition, weapons, bullets, food.
    – Well, yeah.
    – How much?
    – Won’t tell. They paid well.
    – Did you raise enough?
    – Quite.
    – Would it be enough for a flat?
    – Nah. I wanted to buy a car, but…
    – But what?
    – Forced to spend everything now, on ammo stuff…
    – Have you tried working?
    – What’s the point to humpback for pennies?
    – Studied?
    – Haven’t finished yet. College.
    – Which one?
    – Food. Probably expelled already
    – Why so?
    – Well, haven’t attended since November. It’s ok, I’ll come with an
    automatic rifle and get automatically reinstated
    (laughing).
    – Understood. Were you in Kiev since November?
    – Yes, first I went there myself, to overthrow the veg. Then we self-organised into Right Sector. Returned to Odessa in early March, started creating a “hundred” here.
    – Successfully?
    – Quite.
    – Humm, listen, there were a few brawls of Right Sector with volunteers of Kulikov Field and every time you got your ass kicked. True? You’re not going to argue, right?
    – Well, we weren’t prepared, didn’t expect to be attacked by separatists. And police are guilty too – they surrender us to the traitors. They attack 10 on 1 while police look away.
    – What did you expect, weren’t you throwing Molotovs at Berkut?
    – Yes, it was cool.
    – And why should police protect you now?
    – They obliged to. It’s ok, we’ll cuss them all.
    – What do you mean by “cuss”?
    – Execute by shooting.
    – And will you join the special police squad “Storm”?
    – No, don’t want to bother.
    – Why?
    – Well, to follow orders, march in formations, why do I need that stuff?
    – They promise to pay well.
    – Whom? Avakov? He’s a hachik
    [derogatory for Caucasian], he always lies. I don’t trust him. He could’ve dispersed all these federals long time ago, but is only lying.
    – To speak of federals… Are you against federalisation?
    – Of course, it’s separatism.
    – But look, Germany is a federal country, USA, Russia, Switzerland,
    Britain in fact. And it’s ok, they live
    – USA?
    – Of course. United States of America – it’s a state.
    – Nah, what federation… I don’t want there to be borders between Kiev and Odessa, with those customs, visas…
    – Wait, there is no border between Arizona and Nevada. Nor between Bavaria and Westphalia.
    – Then they are not federations.
    – So what is federation then?
    – Umm… it’s like in Africa, own states everywhere.
    – Africa is a federation?
    – Probably…
    – Okay. Africa is a federation and Federative Republic of Germany is not. Let it be so. But why are you personally against a referendum? Someone might vote for federation, but if there is more of you, you will win and there won’t be any federation, right?
    – No, there are less of us, sane people. This is why referendum should not be allowed. They are Putin’s slaves, while there aren’t many free people.
    – Free is good. And why are you now not in Donetsk but in quiet Odessa?
    – That’s the order I have for now, to wait and prepare.
    – Prepare for what? The governor is yours, appointed by Kiev…
    – To kill policemen, then Kulikovo
    – Have you killed anyone yourself?
    – Not yet. We are training.
    – On cats?
    – What? Didn’t get it, what cats have to do with this?
    – Never mind, it was joke. What about your friends? Are you still communicating?
    – My friends are in our Hundred.
    – How many of you there?
    – Won’t tell.
    – Conspiracy?
    – Of course, we were taught well.
    – By whom?
    – Guys from Kiev Maidan. I even had to delete my page in VK
    [Russian facebook]. We’re fined for it.
    – What about friends from your old life?
    – They don’t exist no more.
    – Ok. And who do your parents support?
    – They don’t exist for me anymore.
    – ???
    – They’re moskals, they’re for Russia
    – Do they have to be killed too?
    – No, we will re-educate them…
    – How?
    – Well… I don’t know. Elders probably know.
    – Elders from Odessa?
    – No, from Kiev.
    – So, you’re being directed from Kiev, paid by Kiev…
    – Not paid anymore…
    – Fine, paid before, from Kiev, Odessits you don’t ask…
    – What these slave rednecks to be asked for?
    – Do I get it right, the free are those who think like you?
    – Well yeah
    – Will you kill me?
    – When time comes…

    • astabada says:

      This is very instructive. Everyone here suspected Right Sektor was made of brainless thugs, but it is diffucult to probe the depths of their ignorance.

      It reminds me of the interviews of the Syrian Rebels, which thought the “Emir” (I think they were talking about the Emir of Qatar) was an enemy of Israel and the USA.

      In the end to win a war you need intelligent people, as clearly proven by the Syrian case. Interviews like this are somewhat encouraging.

      • Jen says:

        In this war and the war in Syria, the US and its allies rely on people being ignorant of the true nature of the war, its aims and the real protagonists and antagonists who have involved themselves, hoping to gain something for themselves. Intelligent and informed people won’t tolerate being disposable pawns which in effect the Maidanites, Pravy Sektor thugs and the jihadi fighters in Syria are.

        • Southerncross says:

          Entry-level street goons don’t need to be smart. But it would be a mistake to judge the Pravies by their worst (and most expendable) members. UNA-UNSO is one of the organisations that combined to form Pravy Sektor, so one can assume Yarosh has some really heavy-hitters at his disposal too.

  9. Moscow Exile says:

    Pastor Oleksandr Turchynov, allegedly President of the Ukraine, preaching about Solomon and Herod and Salvation and other such stuff…

    I’m always wary of skypilots, me.

    Just my pagan bias, I suppose.

    Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition!

    • Jen says:

      What about the ice giants? Did Turchynov say anything about fighting ice giants in the ultimate battle of Ragnarok?

      Now if he’d done that, his religion would be worth following!

      • Moscow Exile says:

        It certainly is! Better than walking around in flip-flops and long white nightshirts like in them pictures of Jesus and chums they used to have hanging on the walls at Sunday school and being all cutie-pie nice to one another.

      • yalensis says:

        Sorry, Jen, my Ukrainian isn’t very good.
        [I will fix that at some point in the future, when I have more time.]

        I try to follow along Dr. Evil’s sermon, but just catch a few words here and there:
        “…. clone myself ……. volcano ……. time machine ……mutated sea bass with laser beams ….”
        Nothing about ice giants, that I could tell.
        There was something about Jews, but he did use the nice, Biblical term, “Yudeisky” instead of … [you know what]…

  10. yalensis says:

    Meanwhile, lots of interesting things going on in Luhansk.
    According to KP , Luhansk is now the center of the new Eastern Ukraine autonomy.

    There are massive meetings taking place right now, even as we speak, people singing the Russian national anthem, placing their hands over their hearts, and, amazingly, even knowing all the words (!), and very shortly, Luhansk will declare its independence from Ukraine.

    Luhansk will shortly become the central coordinator for all the regions wishing to break away from Kiev, including Kharkiv, Donetsk, Slav’ansk, and perhaps even Odessa.

    All this latest secessionist fervor came about as a result of Kiev junta deciding to label Eastern Ukrainians as “terrorists”.

    Kiev junta is in the position where everything they do and say is wrong, and only leads to their own destructon.

    Quem deus vult perdere, dementat prius

    • yalensis says:


      EPIMETHEUS.
      The storm is past, but it hath left behind it
      Ruin and desolation. All the walks
      Are strewn with shattered boughs; the birds are silent;
      The flowers, downtrodden by the wind, lie dead;
      The swollen rivulet sobs with secret pain,
      The melancholy reeds whisper together
      As if some dreadful deed had been committed
      They dare not name, and all the air is heavy
      With an unspoken sorrow! Premonitions,
      Foreshadowings of some terrible disaster
      Oppress my heart. Ye Gods, avert the omen!

      PANDORA (coming from the house).
      O Epimetheus, I no longer dare
      To lift mine eyes to thine, nor hear thy voice,
      Being no longer worthy of thy love.

      EPIMETHEUS.
      What hast thou done?

      PANDORA.
      Forgive me not, but kill me.

      EPIMETHEUS.
      What hast thou done?

      PANDORA.
      I pray for death, not pardon.

      EPIMETHEUS.
      What hast thou done?

      PANDORA.
      I dare not speak of it.

      (Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, “The Masque of Pandora”)

  11. yalensis says:

    Meanwhile, in the town of Kramatorsk, on Monday, the day after Easter, Pro-Federalization Rebels seized the local police staion, and the local SBU office.
    Well, “seized” is a strong word. Only one security guard was on duty, and he offered no resistance. “Polite” Rebs easily took the buildings, and helped themselves to all the guns. Then they hung up the flag of the “Donetsk Peoples Republic”.

    • Kulobi says:

      Yalensis, have you seen an interview by the foreign minister of the Donetsk People’s Republic? It’s none other than Ekaterina Gubareva, the wife of Pavel Gubarev.
      http://zavtra.ru/content/view/russkaya-vesna-2/
      I reckon that for a novice she spoke in a measured and articulate manner. NB how she carefully avoided any statements that could be interpreted as separatism:

      “First and foremost, people demand an opportunity to make decisions on their own. Self-determination is our main demand. At present, the Kiev junta refuses to recognise the right of the citizens of the South-East of Ukraine for self-determination. It is trying to subjugate them to its diktat and impose the ideology and practice of Ukrainian nationalism. Regarding further perspectives of the Donetsk People’s Republic, opinions differ – there are adherents of joining Russia, as well as proponents of Ukraine’s federalisation.”
      She mentions that the Republic’s constitution is being written, and makes it patently clear that it is the junta’s mismanagement particularly in the economic sphere that rocks the protestors’ boat.

      I feel that the “it’s economy, stupid” argument will achieve greater salience in explaining unrest in the East as time goes on. There’s a great journalistic report entitled The Slavic-Proletarian Republic (NOT by Tin-Tin, obviously) which captures the mood on the ground in Donetsk http://reporter.vesti.ua/47863-slavjansko-proletarskaja-respublika#.U1XCi_N-9Hg :

      – a coal miner complains that in the wake of Maidan his nominal earnings contracted three-fold, plus “it’s not guaranteed that even this will be disbursed: they say no money, no money, no money … They even tell us to chip in: ‘We need to repair Maidan’. I didn’t wreck it! As a matter of fact, I’ll come up now and finish the bloody wrecking!”
      – a local entrepreneur: “Following regime change, a new police chief was appointed … He’s a super-bent cop [ment-bespredelshchik] who controls illegal coal mines and other sub-rosa businesses; he’s a lazy bugger who doesn’t get up before midday even to pocket a bribe.”

      Vox populi.

      Coming back to Mrs Gubareva’s interview, she says nothing about Pavel’s incarceration by the banderites. Could this be because she fears that raising the issue may jeopardise the delicate effort by Lady Ashton, Human Rights Watch, what’s-his-face Biden and many other bleeding hearts who are working really, really hard to secure his release?

      • yalensis says:

        No, I hadn’t seen that interview! Thanks for link, kulobi.

        Like many others, I am very worried about Pavel Gubarev. I am afraid I fear the worst.

        His wife may also be assuming that he is dead, so she has taken on his role, and is trying to carry on. She makes a lot of good points. A lot of leaders are rising up spontaneously, and they have to keep things going until a time when things sort themselves out, and proper elections can be held, to proper leadership bodies, in the various autonomies.

      • yalensis says:

        In that second piece, about the “Slavic Proletarian Republic”, I particularly love this pagagraph:


        Донецкий протест — это невероятная, смелая и почти безнадежная попытка повторить метод вражеского для них киевского Майдана: как будто на карнавале вам достался костюм жабы. Уловки в общении с прессой, маски, биты, коктейли Молотова и нарочитая, какая-то нерусская трезвость.

        TRANSLATION
        The Donetsk protest – is an unbelievable, bold, and almost hopeless attempt to repeat the methods perfected by the much-hated Kiev Maidan. It’s almost like you went to a carnival and were forced to put on the costume of a toad. …
        END OF TRANSLATION

        I notice in other Western MSM, some of the shills are complaining about the same thing, namely, how the pro-Russian side also read the Gene Sharpe book and learned all the techniques of colour revolutions. They weren’t supposed to read that book, or learn all those techniques. That book, and those techniques, were designed to be used AGAINST the enemies of the Empire, not to be used BY the enemies of the Empire!

  12. Good Jeff says:

    Biden in Kiev to talk with his two puppets Punchiniuk & Judyinov. Grab your popcorn this should be funnier than Anchorman 2. I hope he flew with Malaysian Airlines.

    • Good Jeff says:

      *oops meant to say ‘with’ his two puppets, unfortunately I was crying with laughter when I saw Biden in Kiev.

      Headline in Russia Today should read ‘Send in the Clowns’ with a picture of Biden in Kiev.

  13. Warren says:

    Ukraine: Photos ‘show Russian troops’ in east

    The US State Department has released photos of soldiers in eastern Ukraine, which it says show that some of the fighters are Russian special forces.

    The BBC is unable to verify the pictures, which were provided by Ukrainian diplomats.

    The photos appeared to identify Russian soldiers, and show similarly equipped and armed fighters in different cities in eastern Ukraine.

    There was no immediate response to the pictures from the Russian government.

    Pro-Russian militants are holding official buildings in towns and cities in the east. However, Russia has denied it has any soldiers in Ukraine.

    The photos, provided to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, appeared to show the same man taking part in operations in Kramatorsk and Sloviansk in eastern Ukraine, and in operations in Georgia in 2008

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-27104904

    _____________________________________________________________________________

    Ukraine has released photos purportedly showing evidence of “Russian Special Forces” operating in Eastern Ukraine. This is very strange, because these soldiers don’t look very elite or special to me. Apparently group containing an old man with a beard, a man with a furry hat and a slap-head are running wild and taking over security buildings. Honestly do those fellas look like Spetsnaz GRU?

  14. Kulobi says:

    Oh no! Putin’s trolls have penetrated the heartland of the US of A, as far as Bucks County ( I have no idea where it is – might it be the American equivalent of Woop Woop in Oz?).
    A local rag published an op-ed calling Thomas Friedman, that redoubtable stalwart of Free Press and Universal Values, a ‘shill’ and a ‘presstitute’.
    http://www.buckscountycouriertimes.com/opinion/op-ed/shilling-for-wall-street/article_91716266-fc7a-5efd-b1ee-f631153b2990.html
    T’s the end of the world and a sharp end of the wedge.

  15. Good Jeff says:

    Possible Scenario:

    There’s no way Putin will abandon those pipelines in the Ukraine. As soon as the Ukrainian civil war begins, Russia will have their ‘legal’ pre-text to enter & stabilise Ukraine. In doing so, they’ll protect their pipelines and ensure EU of continued delivery. Perhaps striking a deal to nullify EU involvement. In doing so, Russia will never leave the Ukraine.

    Other possible appeasement overtures to the EU would be to partition off parts of Ukraine to likes of Poland et al.

    ——–

    I’m enjoying the way Lavrov & Putin are asking the US to get more involved in stabilising the Ukraine. Plays extremely well in PR/Spin land. Though the deeper inference here is that Russia has everything in place for a type of ‘ambush’. The Russian army is well drilled & extremely well co-ordinated & prepared. The Americans are ‘paper tigers’. They have nice shiny aircrafts, but blow up a few of those bad boys and it will demoralise the West. Remember, America’s strength is also their greatest weakness.

    ——-

    Anyway, on a more light-hearted note:

    Q) How does an American change a light bulb?

    A) Holds it under the socket and expects the world to revolve around him

    • astabada says:

      I would advise quite the contrary. If Ukraine spirals into civil war, Russia should not intervene directly.

      They should of course defend the Russian speaking population in the East, provided there is enough local support. But Western Ukraine should be left to the West to deal with, which Bruxelles must do.
      If they don’t, Southern Europe (which depends heavily on Ukrainian pipelines) will face harsh gas hikes and shortages. In a moment when its economy is on the verge of collapse, a protracted interruption of gas deliveries could be the final push that drives Southern Europe off the cliff.

      I must admit however that already in the past the USA managed to convince some European countries to accept a severe amount of self mutilation.
      When they want to do so, they usually address the countries one by one, and the EU temporarily ceases to exist.

      • kirill says:

        Russia should do what was common during the Cold War, support its side with military and technical assistance without direct intervention. But Russia should not just let Ukraine slide into NATO’s clutches without inflicting a price on NATO. The removal of Crimea from NATO’s potential loot has been a major achievement already. No need to capitulate on any other part of Ukraine that wants to associate with Russia. Those people will be around 100 years from now but the US and its imperial might will not likely be around to try and rub Russia’s nose in sh*t.

        • Good Jeff says:

          Though I agree with the analysis, another situation is that NATO know (as does Russia of course) they’re not ready for a hot war. It will take a few months, at least, to prepare themselves. And to paraphrase a Private Eye article, perhaps it might be advantageous for Russia if Putin moved Ukraine’s borders away from his troops.

  16. yalensis says:

    This is interesting:

    I found the work of this internet blogger, his name is Pavel Shipilin.
    Shipilin is putting together some circumstantial evidence to back his theory that the Americans planned to move into Crimea and take over the naval base.

    This was back in 2013. We all know that Orange Revolution II was in the works for several years.
    The theory goes something like this: Americans fully expected this new Orange Revolution to succeed and to install their own puppet government in Kiev. Which they did.

    [yalensis: many of us believe this was supposed to happen in 2015, but then Americans had to force the schedule and pull the pin one year early]

    So anyhow, with a junta puppet government in Kiev, Russian navy would be expelled from Sevastopol, American navy would move in, and the Black Sea would become a NATO lake. That was the plan. [But, as we all know, The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men gang aft agley… ]

    Continuing on:
    Circumstantial evidence found by the blogger from open sources:

    American navy put out bids to to building contractors to improve Crimean infrastructure, including this bid to renovate a school in Sevastopol.
    There were many other such projects, including a Children’s Hospital in Simferopol.

    After recent events, these bids were abruptly cancelled.

    Blogger concludes: America planned these infrastructure improvements, on the assumption that Crimea would become THEIRS, and it would be THEIR children (of the navy fleet) going to these schools and hospitals.

    But then stuff happened, America “lost” Crimea, so they cancelled the bids.
    [Add sound effect of Gollum whining: “I LOST MY PRECIOUS!”]

    Although, I suppose pro-American skeptics might counter with:
    “Aw, that so sweet! Nice Pindosi wanted to build schools and children’s hospitals, such nice people…”

    In which case, if they were doing this out of sheer philanthropic goodness, then why did they CANCEL the bids? Nobody would stop them from contributing money to building schools and childrens hospitals, if they felt suh a charitable impulse (?)

    • Fern says:

      yalensis, that is very interesting. I’m not sure it’s slam-dunk evidence of a plan to take-over Crimea – although kicking out Russia’s Black Sea fleet was very much the plan – but it is evidence of a plan to ensure American ‘contractors’ would have been in Crimea in force. All the contracts I’ve taken a quick look at stipulate the work was to be completed within a year so that’s quite a long time to have all sorts of people running around Crimea.

      As well as schools and hospitals, there are also contracts that purport to be part of war-gaming’ – contracts for the provision of field stations, hospitals, fuel supplies etc. These contracts would provide an infrastructure for the operation of external military forces.

      All of this smacks of the US getting its ducks in a row in readiness for the 2015 elections.

      This is quite a find, yalensis. Very well done.

      • yalensis says:

        Thanks, Fern, but all the credit goes to Shipilin!

        Here is the full text of the relevant poem:

        To a Mouse, on Turning Her Up in Her Nest with the Plough, by Robert Burns

        Wee, sleekit, cow’rin, tim’rous beastie,
        O, what a panic’s in thy breastie!
        Thou need na start awa sae hasty
        Wi bickering brattle!
        I wad be laith to rin an’ chase thee,
        Wi’ murdering pattle.

        I’m truly sorry man’s dominion
        Has broken Nature’s social union,
        An’ justifies that ill opinion
        Which makes thee startle
        At me, thy poor, earth born companion
        An’ fellow mortal!

        I doubt na, whyles, but thou may thieve;
        What then? poor beastie, thou maun live!
        A daimen icker in a thrave
        ‘S a sma’ request;
        I’ll get a blessin wi’ the lave,
        An’ never miss’t.

        Thy wee-bit housie, too, in ruin!
        It’s silly wa’s the win’s are strewin!
        An’ naething, now, to big a new ane,
        O’ foggage green!
        An’ bleak December’s win’s ensuin,
        Baith snell an’ keen!

        Thou saw the fields laid bare an’ waste,
        An’ weary winter comin fast,
        An’ cozie here, beneath the blast,
        Thou thought to dwell,
        Till crash! the cruel coulter past
        Out thro’ thy cell.

        That wee bit heap o’ leaves an’ stibble,
        Has cost thee monie a weary nibble!
        Now thou’s turned out, for a’ thy trouble,
        But house or hald,
        To thole the winter’s sleety dribble,
        An’ cranreuch cauld.

        But Mousie, thou art no thy lane,
        In proving foresight may be vain:
        The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men
        Gang aft agley,
        An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain,
        For promis’d joy!

        Still thou are blest, compared wi’ me!
        The present only toucheth thee:
        But och! I backward cast my e’e,
        On prospects drear!
        An’ forward, tho’ I canna see,
        I guess an’ fear!

    • Moscow Exile says:

      KP has just caught onto that Shipilin blog about US plans to set up base in the Crimea:

      США планировали строить в Крыму свою базу

      • Moscow Exile says:

        KP writes :

        USA Planned to Build Its Own Base in the Crimea

        …the Crimea was to be an unsinkable American base. And in Sevastopol would have been based not the Russian Black Sea fleet but the naval forces of the USA. The documents are direct proof of this …

        And here is just one question for the Ukrainians: Is it really possible that you did not know that the Americans were preparing to construct their own base in what was still then your Crimea? Surely an agreement had been made with you about all of this. Did you know of it but just kept quiet about it?

        • yalensis says:

          Putin actually remarked on this, not long after the Crimean “annexation”. In his address to the nation, he made a remark to the effect (don’t have the exact quote) that Sevastopol was planned to become a NATO base, and Russians would have to visit as guests, that was the plan; but now it is better for the NATO “partners” to visit as guests.

    • Fedia Kriukov says:

      Well, the question here is, does this same Navy organization do this sort of “charity” work in other parts of the world? If so, where else? Are they countries where the US has naval bases? If that pattern exists, then this can serve as proof of American designs on Crimea. Otherwise, not really.

      • marknesop says:

        That was my first thought, having been involved in such projects in the past, and in fact the U.S. Navy leads allied navies in its charity work abroad in foreign parts. The reason behind it is that it is excellent public relations, and showcases the human face of the military, reminding those who might be disposed to hostility at a foreign military presence that military forces are made up of people too, just like any other organization, and that they have children just like you do and that those children are first in their hearts as yours are first in yours. Consequently, schools are a favourite fixer-upper, often researched and planned for prior to the ship’s departure from its home port. Orphanages are a close second. Sometimes visiting military tidy and carry out minor repairs to a cemetery for war dead from their own country, to remind the locals that they once fought and died for them. Such projects also serve as PR for the folks back home, too; photographed and the pictures and a short description of the activities sent to the local paper in the town where their base is situated.

        Such charity work, though, is usually carried out by the crew of the ship or military unit that is visiting in that port, in this case Sevastopol, rather than being let for tender by government agency. Do USN ships ever visit Sevastopol? Yes, they do – USS VELLA GULF and USCGC (United States Coast Guard Cutter) DALLAS, to name two.

        The mention of a commemorative plaque in the contract specifications argues that it was such a project – genuine charity work carried out by a generous and unselfish America. Why would a commemorative plaque (probably something like, “This work carried out by the United States Navy in recognition of the warm friendship which exists between the people of Bla Bla and the United States of America) be specified for a facility intended to be used by American children? It would be a pity to throw accusations around when the work was a genuine and selfless charity project.

        However, arguing against it is the long-term tender process by the U.S. government, with the possibility – if not probability – that a foreign contractor would do the work and get the recognition rather than the USA. Also, when military forces carry out such charity work, they often select a repair or maintenance process that will be visible every time the locals pass the building, such as painting the entire outside of the school, or perhaps something which can be seen as distinct from the school such as building a library or even furnishing it with a collection of books. By this template, carrying out repairs to the roof and refurbishing the bathrooms sounds odd and unglamorous. Also, the specifications for the work (such as no water piping to be visible inside the room, all to be enclosed within the walls) sound curious, as you would think the standard for the local area would be fine; it sounds, again, more like the facility was intended to be used by American children. Just for short-term use, though – the American style is just to level it and build a new school from the ground up, probably providing lots of low-level jobs for locals in the process. Hard to say, really; the government contracting sounds funny, because if it is a ship project they usually plan it themselves and confine their work mostly to cosmetics, and if the USN planned to take over the Sevastopol base in a hurry there is no real reason to believe they would involve families until there were suitable facilities for them.

        • Fedia Kriukov says:

          I think Shipilin’s own theory is just too far fetched. I’m going to speculate that this was the start of a charm offensive against the local population, which is vehemently pro-Russian and anti-American. The idea behind it, at the minimum, was to lay the groundwork for appeasing the local population during the inevitable expulsion of the Russian BSF from Sevastopol. At the maximum, during the subsequent takeover of the naval base by NATO forces.

          Obviously, a very long term plan in the works.

          This is the most plausible explanation, in my opinion, and the only way to disprove it is to find other similar tenders from the same naval organization in cities where there was clearly no American strategic interest.

  17. Warren says:

    Last week, Ukraine launched an anti-terror campaign to recapture the cities being occupied by pro-Russia protesters. So far, the campaign hasn’t been going so well.

    On April 16, the second day of the campaign, Ukrainian military moving into Sloviansk — the focal point of the pro-Russia forces — and gave up their equipment. The armory was brought to the center of town where it has become a local amusement.

    Elsewhere, crowds of pro-Russia protesters stopped a column of Ukrainian troops in Kramatorsk and made them disarm. VICE News correspondent Simon Ostrovsky was on the scene as Ukrainian forces disarmed their weapons and vehicles.

    Follow @simonostrovsky on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/SimonOstrovsky

    Watch all of VICE News’ coverage of the conflict in Ukraine here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list

    ___________________________________________________________________________

    Apparently the cocky Ostrovsky has been detained by the Self-Defence forces of Donetsk,

    • marknesop says:

      Why is it entitled “Russian Roulette; The Invasion of Ukraine”? Isn’t this implying that Russia is invading Ukraine? He was not able to find a single Russian in his questioning, and everyone involved was Ukrainian. If everyone there was a Toronto Blue Jays fan (yes, I know that would never happen, Ukrainians are not such slow learners, but humour me), would it be called “Canadian Madness; The Invasion of Ukraine”?

  18. Warren says:

    American Journalist With Vice News Captured in Eastern Ukraine

    Vice journalist Simon Ostrovsky has been taken by militia in Eastern Ukraine, Mashable has learned.

    The reporter for Vice News, who has been filing a series of compelling video dispatches from Ukraine since early March, was “taken” in Sloviansk, Russian media outlet gazeta.ru reports (translation by The Interpreter):

    http://mashable.com/2014/04/22/vice-journalist-captured-ukraine/?utm_cid=mash-com-Tw-main-link

    • yalensis says:

      They should let Ostrovsky go, they should let him go on reporting.
      His dispatches are really good.
      Ideologically, he is pro-Maidan, but he still tells the truth, what he sees.
      That dispatch from Kramatorsk was really good!

  19. Warren says:

    What Will the FBI Do with Stolen Ukrainian Assets?

    Recently the U.S. State Department’s Office of the Spokesperson announced that the U.S. had sent a team of experts from the FBI, the Justice Department and the Treasury Department to assist Kiev in recovering stolen assets located abroad. On April 29 the U.S. and Great Britain will host a multilateral meeting on this issue with the participation of Ukrainian officials. It is expected that the International Centre for Asset Recovery (ICAR), based in Basel, will participate in the meeting.

    Ukraine is on the brink of a massive default and social flare-ups, and even famine. Ukraine needs money to keep the national economy from collapsing altogether. Of course, Washington cares little about what happens to the Ukrainian economy; it is worried about Ukraine’s ability to pay its debts to Western creditors. Currently Ukraine’s foreign debt is estimated at $145 billion. Now no one in the West wishes to give Ukraine new loans. The amounts named in the media figuring in the billions of dollars and euros are nothing but the «verbal interventions» of Ukrainian politicians and Western officials.

    There are clear signs that Ukraine’s banking sector will soon collapse. The National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) is discussing the option of rescuing commercial banks the way they did in Cyprus, that is, by confiscating depositors’ accounts or forcibly turning depositors into the banks’ «investors» («shareholders»). The Kiev regime plans to mobilize several billion dollars this way; such blatant robbery could save several banks, but it cannot save the country from a massive default. This would require tens of billions of dollars.

    When you get down to it, in order to pay its debts to foreign creditors, Ukraine has only two sources of its own. The first is privatizing state property, including the country’s natural resources. The second is Ukraine’s foreign assets.

    Thus the FBI and the U.S. Departments of Justice and the Treasury have decided to help Kiev use the second source.

    * * *

    Ukraine’s foreign assets are made up of several components. The main one is the international reserves of the NBU. They have been continually melting away since mid-2011 (at that point they had reached a record high of $38 billion). Today they are at a level of less than $15 billion; this reserve is insufficient to pay back previously borrowed stated debts or service them even through the end of this year. There are also private foreign assets. It is well known that Ukraine’s accumulated direct private investments abroad do not even amount to $10 billion; however, this is only direct investments. There are also portfolio investments, loans, credits, funds in bank accounts and foreign cash currency. In all, at the end of last year all types of foreign assets came to over $140 billion. This amount is just about equal to the size of Ukraine’s aggregate foreign debt. And about 70% of the assets were in the form of cash currency and funds in foreign bank accounts – a very liquid form of assets.

    However, Ukraine’s official foreign private assets are just the tip of the iceberg. The main part of Ukraine’s assets abroad formed as a result of illegal export of capital by high-ranking officials and oligarchs. They are not accounted for in the statistics of the NBU’s balance of payments at all.

    Last year the Ukrainian media published a rating of the 100 richest citizens of Ukraine (Top-100). The assets of this «top 100» in 2012 equaled $130 billion (80% of the GDP of Ukraine). And the foreign assets of most oligarchs are greater than their domestic ones. However, this data practically does not account for the funds in the oligarchs’ bank accounts. This remains completely in the shadows.

    In recent years undocumented assets of Ukrainian oligarchs and officials in various offshore zones have come to light. Yatsenyuk, in his passion to expose «Yanukovich’s criminal regime», stated that during the years of the latter’s presidency 70 billion dollars were taken out of the country into offshore zones. However, he kept quiet about how much was taken out under Yushchenko and Timoshenko. According to estimates from the Tax Justice Network, an American analytical center, since Ukraine gained its independence a total of $167 billion has been moved from Ukraine into offshore zones. This amount is a little less than the gross domestic product for 2012 and significantly exceeds the size of the country’s aggregate foreign debt. It is on these foreign assets that the Kiev regime, along with its patrons in Washington, is focusing as a potential resource for solving Ukraine’s financial and economic problems.

    * * *

    International experience in the return of foreign assets to their homeland exists. In world practice there have been attempts to recover the money of Saddam Hussein, Muammar Gaddhafi, Hosni Mubarak, Francois Duvalier, Robert Mugabe and others. Such operations almost always used the slogan of «returning stolen riches to the people».

    There is a certain protocol for such operations:

    1. Passing the necessary laws in the victim country for conducting the operation and recovering assets, as well as signing agreements with other countries.

    2. Seeking and finding foreign assets.

    3. Freezing the assets.

    4. Proving the illegal origin of the assets.

    5. Presentation of a program for the use of the recovered assets by the victim country.

    6. Transfer of the assets to the victim country and implementation of the program.

    That is approximately the procedure described in instructions developed by the International Centre for Asset Recovery (ICAR), the World Bank and other organizations. In fact, it usually does not get as far as the last stage. In part this is because it is indeed difficult to untangle the complicated schemes used for exporting assets from victim countries. In part it is because the West, where the assets are located, has an interest in freezing the assets for as long as possible, especially in the case of bank accounts. This side of the issue is hardly ever mentioned. But after all, frozen funds, which often amount to billions of dollars, are a royal gift for the bank where the funds are located. Any bank could only dream of its clients not using the accounts they have opened.

    Even if specialists present the necessary proof of the illegal origin of foreign assets, the government of the country where such assets are hidden will not rush to immediately unfreeze them and return them to the «people» of the robbed country. The reasoning of the country «sheltering» the illegal assets goes something like this: if we return these assets (money), they will just be stolen again. We can only transfer them to the victim country if there are grounds for the proposed expenditures and mechanisms for monitoring the use of the money for the intended purpose. The U.S. uses wording like this in order to keep stolen assets there.

    * * *

    In evaluating the likelihood of Ukraine recovering even a small part of the tens of billions of dollars which were taken from it and exported abroad, it is useful to recall the story of former Prime Minister of Ukraine Pavel Lazarenko. He is serving a prison sentence in the U.S. for money laundering. The U.S. federal court deemed money which was found in bank accounts opened in Lazarenko’s name in various countries to be illicit. The amount has been estimated at up to $1 billion, but it has not yet been proven for all the accounts that the money is associated with the former prime minister or that it is of criminal origin. Currently this has only been indisputably proven for funds amounting to $250 million. 15 years have passed since Lazarenko’s arrest in the U.S., but Ukraine has yet to receive a single dollar of the ex-prime minister’s frozen funds. And it never will…

    Kazakhstan’s experience of cooperation with Washington looks a bit more optimistic. Astana was able to pry $84 million out of the U.S., although experts estimated illegal assets of Kazakhstani origin in the U.S. at many billions of dollars. As they say, the mountain has brought forth a mouse.

    Libya’s experience is interesting as well. After the overthrow of Gaddhafi a broad campaign was launched to seek out assets belonging both to him personally and to his relatives and close associates in banks in various countries. The media has reported various finds which together amount not to billions, but to tens of billions of dollars. However, not a single cent has yet made it to Libya. The Libyan precedent is interesting in that from the very beginning of the aggression against Libya, Washington declared loudly that «the dictator’s assets must be returned to the people». When the assets were found, it was declared that the Libyan people owed Washington large amounts of money spent by the Americans to establish democracy in the country. This refers to U.S. expenses for conducting military operations during which thousands of Libyan civilians were killed. Some experts are convinced that the money of Gaddhafi and other Libyan citizens will simply be transferred into the accounts of the U.S. federal budget. It is entirely likely that the same fate awaits Ukrainian assets when the Americans find them.

    And one more thing. The recent arrest of Ukrainian oligarch Dmitro Firtash is a black spot for the entire offshore aristocracy of Ukraine. Firtash’s foreign accounts have been seized on the grounds that the money in them is of criminal origin, and in the future they may be used for repayment of the debts Firtash owes to Western banks. If anything remains, it will be used to pay back Ukraine’s foreign debts to the IMF and other «priority» creditors. The people of Ukraine will get nothing.

    http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2014/04/22/what-will-the-fbi-do-with-stolen-ukrainian-assets.html

    • marknesop says:

      Actually, Lazarenko is out now and living in his luxurious compound in California. He got out a little while ago; I think, without checking, that it was last winter. I’m curious as to how this will affect the Chocolate Pope and future King Of Ukraine, Pavlo Poroshenko. Is all his considerable fortune in Ukraine? Even if it is, why should he not be expected to put a couple of Billion into the kitty? Isn’t he a Ukrainian patriot?

  20. Good Jeff says:

    ‘The Russian World is Coming To Europe’

    http://izvestia.ru/news/569452

    —–

    Being of Greek origin, my Russian is terrible, I blame Cyril for altering the Greek alphabet. Why did he have to change perfection?

    Anyway love to see this published in the English presses.

  21. Good Jeff says:

    Another US, NATO & Ukraine Rapid Trident Military Exercise planned for June/July this one based in Lviv. Undoubtedly these forces will remain in the Ukraine. http://www.eur.army.mil/RapidTrident/default.htm

    Putin could take over Ukraine within a week or two & stabilise the situation with a minimum of casualties, if he uses the same tactics as he did in Crimea.

    It will probably be on, if the Syria war heats up and Assad’s forces take the offensive. As it will force US/NATO to slow their Ukrainian ‘exercises’.

    And don’t forget the the Russian ‘love boat’ is still in Cuba http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/02/27/us-cuba-russia-ship-idUSBREA1Q21120140227

  22. Good Jeff says:

    Apologies for overwhelming the blog, but this article might be great to archive for future reference. Cyberwar at the ready, I suppose.

    SOCIAL SWARMING

    Asymmetric Effects on Public Discourse in Future Conflict
    by Major David Faggard, U.S. Air Force

    ‘It is widely rumored that Russian-hired “hacktivists” enlisted e-cyber soldiers (everyday citizens) from popular social networks to conduct cyber attacks against the Georgian government’s online infrastructure.’

    http://usacac.army.mil/CAC2/MilitaryReview/Archives/English/MilitaryReview_20130430_art012.pdf

  23. yalensis says:

    New Russian hymn has been written, celebrating the “Polite Men” who helped return Crimea to Mother Russia:

  24. reggietcs says:

    Posted this a short while ago on my Facebook page:

    MY THOUGHTS ON HOW RUSSIA SHOULD DEAL WITH THE US/EU EFFORTS TO CREATE AN INSURGENCY USING RIGHT SECTOR AND MAIDAN THUGS IN UKRAINE:

    Russia WON’T allow Ukraine to devolve into Syria. The potential is simply too explosive and volatile to Russia’s national security for them to allow the west to destabilize the region in this manner. Russia will very likely have to impose an air and naval blockade (Ukraine will be landlocked once Black Sea access is ruptured) of Ukraine to prevent the US/EU from flying in military supplies to the para-military forces being organized by the Kiev junta. Note that the “supplies” are NOT going to the Ukrainian military, which so far is refusing to fight for the junta, but the blossoming para-military forces being created by the US/Kiev junta. Russia still does NOT need to mount an unnecessary full scale invasion with this scenario. They can also co-opt the disgruntled Ukrainian military by supplying them with food and payment (something the junta apparently has failed to do) and allow THEM to act as ground enforcement. NATO will bluster, threaten and likely send drones in to test the efficacy of the blockade and the Russians will shoot them down. The US/NATO will conduct more intrusive Black Sea exercises but will be hesitant to challenge Russia’s blockade. I doubt NATO will take it any further than that and provoke an actual hot war — though I could be wrong (I am still somewhat optimistic that the US is NOT wiling to risk a catastrophic full scale war with Russia over Ukraine). Poland is also a factor here since their Russophobia is boundless and NATO can send supplies through them, though the logistics wouldn’t be ideal. This ultimately wouldn’t work either since Russia will monitor those borders and any unauthorized convoys and shipments can be diverted and/or destroyed once they cross the Ukrainian border.

    The idea here is to cut the snake off at the head. The US KNOWS it has lost Ukraine and will now try to destabilize the situation further with this Syria scenario, but it won’t work for the reasons I just outlined. Thousands of mercenaries would probably be contracted (likely with “loans” provided by the US) to come in and fight for the junta. THE BOTTOM-LINE: I really don’t see anyway that NATO can prevail in Ukraine without provoking an open ended hot war with Russia – something they are unlikely to do as the consequences would threaten civilization itself.

    Just my thoughts.

    • astabada says:

      I reiterate and develope one of my previous post here.

      In the Ukrainian uprising there were two outcomes which the US would have considered a success:
      A – either annexing the Ukraine to NATO, especially Crimea and the East.
      B – provoking an armed intervention from Russia
      The first scenario would have granted the USA a strategic gain (by de facto dislodging the Black Sea Fleet, with its Mediterranean and Central European implications). But it would have provided a Russian speaking population to manipulate and where to recruit from. But that’s history, because as we now know, plan A is not going to happen.
      Enter plan B. If Russia intervenes militarly in Ukraine, this will provide the USA enough working material to offset the loss of Ukraine (which would be inevitable). Graphic material of strikes and deaths would help isolate Russia, deepen the perception of Russia as a bloodthirsty dictatorship and of Putin as the New Hitler ©
      The military intervention will help convince Europe (and the world where applicable) that Russia is the New Soviet Union/Nazi Germany © and the US is there only to protect your country (and democracy ©). There is one thing that Washington needs more than oil and money, and it is a new Enemy that people can be afraid of.

      This framework helps to explain why the US is not afraid of supporting a lame regime and its (this time for real) Nazi friends. Upsetting Romania, Bulgaria and Hungary is worth the risk, all the US needs from Ukraine is a provocation big enough to force Putin into a fork. Either Putin lets the ethnic Russians be slaughtered (a failure, even if Ukraine collapses afterwards) or he must invade (a success for the US, regardless of the results on the field).

      After witnessing the substantial failure of the Ukrainian army to crush the uprising in the East, we are yet to see what the new (para)military units harnessed from the West will be capable of.
      Remember: they don’t need to be successfull to succeed.

  25. yalensis says:

    Meanwhile, KP is reporting that the entire Luhansk region has gone full-on partisan war against the Kiev junta. Locan partisans have taken over summer camps for their training, and even gone into the forests to form partisan brigades.

    The “People’s Governor” of Lugansk is a guy named Valery Bolotov. There is a video clip of him giving an interview.
    Also, the “People’s delegates” are holding a session in the former Ukrainian SBU building in Luhansk center.

    KP goes into more detail about disagreements within the Federalist camp. There is a moderate faction which just wants autonomy within Ukraine; and a more radical faction which is fighting for full independence. Hence, the confusion about the two referenda and the exact wording of the questions on the ballot of the proposed referenda.

  26. yalensis says:

    Also, in Luhansk, miners have gone on strike .

    These 5 mines belong to the company KrasnoDonUgol, an affiliate of “Metinvest” conglomerate owned by oligarch Rinat Akhmetov who, last I checked, is a supporter of the Kiev junta.

    Miners are not offering political demands, however, they are simply striking for better pay.
    These miners are receiving a salary of 6000 hryvnas, and they want a raise up to the average Donbass level of 8-10K.

    The picket around the building consists of around 2000 miners.
    It is said that the strike is around 80% compliant, with the other 20% presumably being scabs.

    • marknesop says:

      They probably were not being paid anyway, so little loss to themselves except that the company sometimes punishes those it perceives to have been the strike organizers, later. But it will be effective – if anyone reports it – because it is another sign of discontent with the regime.

      If this were still Yanukovych, the western papers would be full of it, and gossip about what it might mean.

    • Jen says:

      There are other forms of protest that need not involve strike action. Some of the other 20% may be “working to rule” which basically means turning up to work for the minimum number of hours required and only doing what is required in their job description but no more. That means no working overtime or doing extra work (like going to work meetings) that arise out of the core tasks in your job. Also, people could turn up and clock in but not do any actual work.

      If a full strike has the potential to inconvenience or alienate the public, especially if strike action is being planned by workers in essential industries like electricity and water supply, or in schools, the people planning strike action will usually arrange for most workers to go on strike and a core group of workers working in shifts to keep essential functions like electricity going. Teachers would just baby-sit students or let the kids play during the strike (or even take them to a local park or museum that offered free entry) but they would not engage in any formal instruction.

  27. yalensis says:

    Meanwhile, Yatsis eagerly awaiting response from IMF .
    Yats just sent to the IMF still another schnorring request for a loan, and he says he hopes for a reply before the end of the month. Or maybe 10 days.
    Somebody checked IMF’s internet site, where they post their meeting agendas, and there was nothing on there about Ukraine up through May 2.

    Veruca: I WANT MONEY NOW!!!!
    IMF: [yawn…]

    • marknesop says:

      Another sign that the west fears complete collapse. They know the need is desperate, but the balance sheet at the end of the month is no respecter of histrionics, and there is zero chance under the current political environment that Ukraine could pay it back. Yatsenyuk is asking for a gift, not a loan. Sucks to be him. Whoever provides that money can kiss it goodbye for years to come, no matter how many reforms are made, because Ukraine has just been allowed to get too far behind. If the rest of the Russians’ $15 Billion had been delivered – and the co-incident “great rebellion”, it hardly needs saying, since you can trace the hryvnia’s dive to that moment – there was a probability of avoiding a currency collapse, although Ukraine’s debts overall are far worse than I imagined and there would have had to be a further sell-off of state assets. However, I believe Gazprom was quite interested in the pipeline network….

  28. yalensis says:

    And while this was going on, Dr. Evil was complaining to American Congressperson Ed Royce how Russian agression against Ukraine is a threat to the ENTIRE CIVILIZED WORLD!

    Yeah, you tell him, Evil!

    • marknesop says:

      It will fall on deaf ears unless there is substantiation like Russia making a lunge into Ukraine proper. Driving back and forth on their own side of the border will never cut it, scream as the congressmonkeys might. If running readiness drills in your own country is “aggression”, what are the big NATO exercises like RIMPAC? RIMPAC 2014 (it’s customarily a summer exercise, probably July) will be the last RIMPAC for the carrier RONALD REAGAN before she relocates to Japan. Is Japan a part of the United States? Gee, it’s not. Isn’t basing a massive naval task group in someone else’s country “aggressive”?

      But nobody needs to fear U.S. maneuvering, because they have no track record of attacking other countries.

  29. yalensis says:

    This story is becoming big:

    Maidanites are claiming that Donetsk “separatists” kidnapped, tortured, and murdered a pro-Maidan politician named Volodymyr Rybak. Rybak was a city council member from the town of Horlivka, which is near Slav’ansk. Rybak participated in pro-Maidan demonstrations and opposed the “separatists”. He disappeared and later showed up dead in a local river.

    Pro-Maidan people claim he was kidnapped, tortured, and murdered by “separatists”.
    I hope this narrative isn’t true, but it might be. It could have been a revenge killing.

    Americans are all over this story, it’s a propaganda bonanza for them; and Turchynov is also foaming at the mouth and saying he needs to resume his “anti-terrorist” operation against the East.

    • marknesop says:

      It’s possible, but I think the more likely culprit is Right Sektor. Even bumpkins like country mayors and ad-hoc “Republic” leaders have enough political savvy to know an incident like that is just what the Kiev Kabal is looking for to coalesce a big story around so they can make a hero of him as if he were the reincarnation of Bandera.

      Turchynov knows better than to “resume his anti-terrorist operation”. He doesn’t have any reliable forces to call upon except the goons of Right Sektor and Svoboda, whose presence is all but unknown outside the west of Ukraine. Setting up west-east confrontations like that is a recipe for civil war and is just inviting the east to go on the offensive rather than simply defending their own side of the line.

      • yalensis says:

        According to Lavrov:

        First, Brennan flew to Kiev, met with Veruca and egged him on. That was “Anti-Terrorist Ops Part Uno.”
        Next, Biden flew to Kiev, met with Evil, and egged him on. That was “Anti-Terrorist Ops Parte Deux”

        Pindosi doing a lot of flying, and a lot of egging…
        What a bunch of Schmendricks!

  30. yalensis says:

    Meanwhile, we are starting to see the murky outlines of the way out of this mess, and what the future might hold.
    The concept is the gelling of a new entity called Novo-Rossiya, e.g., “New Russia”, to replace the old concept of “Malo-Rossiya” – Micro-Russia, aka Ukraine. (With the old Greek term Micro not in the sense of “smaller or lesser”, but in the sense of the core: Micro-Graecia was core Greece, then Magna Graecia were the islands and colonies, etc.)
    But anyhow, that’s all water under the bridge. Malo-Rossiya is no more.

    So, back to Novo-Rossiya, this is happening in 2 different ways, one way in Luhansk, and another way in Donetsk. Donetsk proposes to create the core of a new entity called “Novo-Rossiya”, which will either be part of Russia, or an autonomy with ties to Russia.
    In Luhansk, the strategy is for a 2-part referendum, and a 2-step process.
    Step 1 being autonomy within Ukraine, and step 2 independence from Ukraine.

  31. Moscow Exile says:

    ACHTUNG! ACHTUNG! HIER SPRICHT DEUTSCHLAND!

    Ukraine-Krise – ein friedlicher Blog

    Ukraine-crisis – a peaceful Blog

    Joe Biden introduced the world to manipulative and false images from Kiev!

    Wednesday, 23. April 2014

    The Joe Biden proof-pictures; take a closer look!

    The alleged proof-pictures from Kiev that US Vice-President, Joe Biden, had published, showing men who were allegedly active in the Russo-Georgian war and are now engaged in Eastern Ukraine and that’s why they must be from Russia!

    1) Well first of all, there could have been Ukrainians who were active during the Russo-Georgian war and at the end of the day it would not have been unusual that many Ukrainians were active in South-Ossetia.

    2) But even more important than that: is it not unusual that the images are only of a very poor resolution in the media, where every cellphone camera now already has 8 megapixels and more?

    So where were the original pictures of these men?

    You have found them on the Internet!

    [pictures]

    In the top of picture, the specified man has also already been identified.

    In the picture from Kramatorsk (above) is seen 64-Year-old Ivan Aleksandrovich Karchagin-Basorgin. Born in the Ukraine, living in Krasnij Lutch (near Luhansk East Ukraine). He is a retired teacher, a journalist and an active trade unionist in Donetsk. He has never had anything to do with the Russian special forces, which would hardly have been possible because according to the regulations, the wearing of beards in the Russian army is not allowed.

    Here are some articles written by him personally for the Ukrainian workers’ Union in 2008.

    http://obkom.net.ua/articles/2008-01/28.1149.shtml
    http://obkom.net.ua/articles/2008-07/17.1024.shtml

    Source page of the Ukrainian trade Union Federation: http://pdrs.dp.ua/type/type75.html

  32. Moscow Exile says:

    Kerry warns Russia over USA’s deep concern as regards planned Russian military manouevres!

    And where are they to be held?

    The Caspian Sea – for fuck’s sake!!!!

    Does Kerry have any knowledge at all about geography?

    US warns Russia over Ukraine as Moscow announces military exercises

    • Moscow Exile says:

      Last posting gone down the black hole!

    • Fern says:

      “Does Kerry have any knowledge at all about geography?” Is that a rhetorical question, Moscow Exile?

    • marknesop says:

      And the fact that a reconnaissance plane was “hit by gunfire” while flying above Slavyansk argues for a “slip back into violence”? What kind of sensors are on that plane anyway, that he has to fly low enough that he is at risk of being shot down by shoulder-controlled small arms to do his picture compilation? Have things not evolved past taking snapshots out the cockpit window?

      They just like headlines that say “U.S. Warns Russia” or “U.S. Warns Moscow”. Nobody really pays much attention to the rest of it; it could be “…not to leave food made with mayonnaise out on the counter overnight”.

  33. Fern says:

    On ‘Moon of Alabama’ – now back online – poster Demian claims that Thierry Messan has partly retracted his claim that Poland was involved in training Right Sector:-
    “This article is based on information obtained by the Polish opposition. I erroneously cited as my source the satirical weekly Nie, which published a pastiche mixing truths and non-truths. The data it provides needs to be verified. In any case, the matter concerning the training of Pravy Sector members has in the meantime been brought before the Attorney General of Poland. Thierry Meyssan, April 22, 2014.”
    (the reference is post number 126 on the thread “Ukraine: the bloody eastern escalation”.

    I haven’t found this on Messan’s own site but I only took a quick look and may have missed it. The retraction, if true, is curious and I wonder whether he’s received any legal threats. After all, there’s never going to be slam-dunk evidence of this sort of covert operation. Putin has also talked of Polish and Lithuanian involvement in training Ukrainian nationalists and I’d assume he’s basing such statements on Russian intelligence.

    Sergey Lavrov is today’s guest on RT’s ‘SophieCo’ and, as a real bonus to those who don’t speak Russian or whose Russian isn’t very good, the interview is in English. Sophie Shevardnrdze – she of the amazing cheekbones that could hone diamonds – is the granddaughter of Edward Shevardnrdze.

  34. Fern says:

    News from the ‘it never rains but it pours’ front. Hungarians and Rusyns in Zakarpatie Region have announced they also want more autonomy from Kiev and are being supported by the Hungarian government:-
    “Budapest supports such a desire of its compatriots. According to the statement made yesterday by Mihaly Bayer, Hungary’s Ambassador to Ukraine, «the Ukrainian Hungarians would like to create an autonomy and take charge of their own affairs in Ukraine». Bayer did not deny that Hungary was actively handing out passports to the residents of Zakarpatie closing its eyes to the fact that it is prohibited to have double citizenship in Ukraine.”
    http://voiceofrussia.com/news/2014_04_23/Hungarians-Rusyns-in-Zakarpatie-afraid-of-forced-Ukrainization-want-autonomy-3452/

    Humpty-Ukraine-Dumpty seems thoroughly broken – hard to see how it could be put back together again.

    • Kulobi says:

      Yes, things are not going swimmingly for Turnip & Co.
      In addition to the Hungarian headache, more bad news is coming from the Western front http://thekievtimes.ua/society/363899-trebovaniya-rusinov-zakarpatya-k-vlasti.html
      I haven’t heard about the Government of the Republic of Cis-Carpathian Rus’ before.
      Its list of demands is quite extensive:
      – evacuation of buildings by banderite putchists [sic]
      – criminal investigation of the putsch in the region
      – discontinuation of the criminal case launched by Kiev against ‘Rusin separatism’
      – disarming of illegal units, particularly those associated with the Right Sector
      – realisation of the results of the 1991 regional referendum in the ‘banderite-occupied Transcarpathia’, via international guarantees
      – recognition of the cis-Carpathian Rusins as a nationality (narod) with all the accompanying privileges
      – inclusion of Rusins as subjects in all negotiations concerning their region
      – prohibition of Rusins’ persecution by the SBU et al
      – international control by Russian and overseas monitors
      I haven’t seen Turnip’s reaction, but probably ‘if not actually disgruntled, he was far from being gruntled’.

  35. marknesop says:

    It looks as if John “Don’t Get Between Me And The Dessert Tray” Tefft is going to be the next United States Ambassador to Moscow. A Boston Globe article which is cited but not linked here apparently describes him as a “Russia-hater”.

    http://voiceofrussia.com/news/2014_04_21/John-Tefft-US-ex-ambassador-to-Ukraine-to-replace-McFaul-in-Moscow-reports-9190/

    According to a wealth of information, the description is accurate. While U.S. Ambassador to Georgia, he was a Saakashvili devotee and backed up his assertions that Russia was “baiting” him and that the attack on the rebel provinces was all Russia’s fault. According to Tefft, the separatist government in South Ossetia was full of FSB plants, and Russia supplied the South Ossetians with a wide variety of weaponry, including Grad rockets.

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2010/dec/01/wikileaks-cables-russia-georgian-separatists

    He certainly sounds like a winner, doesn’t he? What are the chances Russia will refuse his appointment, which (a) is quite within their purview to do, and (b) would immediately be talked up in the western press as another sign – as if any were needed – of Russia’s intransigence, anti-Americanism and hostility?

    • Fern says:

      Russia should refuse his appointment – let the Ambassador post remain vacant for the time being. Tefft and those like him are going to do nothing to improve the US/Russia relationship so why should Russia welcome a malevolent mischief-maker? Let the western press yap as much as they like.

      • marknesop says:

        Quite right; what does Russia need now with an Ambassador from a country that boasts of severing all its ties with Russia?

        Mind you, that’s likely what the USA is expecting to happen. Maybe it would be more fun to accept him, and then jerk him around with invitations to meetings that never materialize and phony dissidents who tell him fantastic stories, until he quits in disgust.

    • Kulobi says:

      Mark, you may have misjudged Tefft. He could be a charming man with impeccable personal hygiene who knows how to win friends and influence people. Look at how even proud freedom-loving Ukrainians genuflected before him readily

      Then, of course, this special deference to uncle Sam’s corpulent representatives may be in the banderites’ DNA:

  36. marknesop says:

    It looks like no gas for Ukraine starting in May if they do not (a) pay some of their gas bill accumulated up to March, or (b) prepay for May’s gas.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-04-22/ukraine-s-unpaid-gas-bills-dwarf-u-s-aid-offer.html

    And they can do neither, because they are sucking the bottom of the tank on their cash reserves, while Biden’s visit saw him promise a staggering $50 Million. I know that would seem like a lot of money if you or I had it, but set against Ukraine’s enormous debt it would probably have been better to offer nothing. If this is all that can be expected to be coming in the short term, Ukraine is toast. Comically, Biden announced that this U.S. aid would provide the help necessary to ensure that “Russia can no longer use energy as a weapon.”

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-04-22/ukraine-s-unpaid-gas-bills-dwarf-u-s-aid-offer.html

  37. marknesop says:

    Cleverly – in my opinion – the eastern “pro-Russia” protesters have tied their cause to the parallel rebellion in Kiev, at least insofar as evacuation of government buildings goes. Maidanites in Kiev are still in possession of Ukrainian House, City Hall, and several other buildings near Independence Square, and also refuse to disarm. Eastern protesters say they will not relinquish their control over buildings they hold until Kiev protesters are forced to do the same. In other words, Kiev, take care of your own problem first, then we’ll talk.

    http://www.kyivpost.com/content/ukraine/geneva-agreement-crumbles-in-kyiv-and-donetsk-344803.html

    Not much chance of that happening at the moment, since the Maidan protesters are now permanent full-time residents of those buildings, and their position is that ” the post-revolutionary government is no more trustworthy than that of disgraced former President Viktor Yanukovych”. Unfortunately, those protesters acquired “Don’t touch a hair of their heads” status thanks to the western media and western leaders during the Maidan riots, so it presents an irresolvable dilemma to Kiev how to dislodge them if they will not go willingly. Kiev’s compromise has been to just not mention them and hope everyone forgets about them, but by tying their rebellion to the status of the Kiev Maidanites, the East has thrust these protesters back into the spotlight. Surely Kiev should start its anti-terrorist operations a little closer to home?

    • Kulobi says:

      Another good starting point for an ‘anti-terrorist operation’ could be Dnepropetrovsk – Yoooolia’s turf.
      There was a mutiny in the 93rd Independent Mechanised Brigade yonder http://vesti.ua/pridneprove/48839-v-voenoj-chasti-pod-dnepro-ustroili-strelbu
      Mobilised soldiers refused to obey orders and were shot at. The official comment is precious:
      “In fact, it was an exercise. The military were rehearsing a possible scenario of a mutiny, and the mobilised just played along.”
      Ukrainian generals resemble characters from Good Soldier Shveik more and more. They should start publishing ‘Humour in the Haversack for Eyes and Ears” soon.

      • marknesop says:

        Yeah; I guess it would not have been enough to have assembled them all and announced, “If you are given a legitimate order and you refuse to carry it out, you will be shot”. Obviously it was necessary to direct, “You men, pretend to mutiny. I will show what it looks like when mutineers are shot”.

        Reminds me of the ridiculous cover story that the APC’s which displayed the Russian flag were still doing so under the orders of the central government, that they were just tricking the rebels to get information. But at least this one isn’t illegal like that one was.

  38. astabada says:

    I recommend Lavrov’s interview to RT, especially the parallels between the (illegitimate) upcoming elections in Syria and the (legitimate, democratic and pious) upcoming elections in Ukraine.

    During the interview Lavrov states that the USA partners ordered them you must do this, you must do that in Iran – and democracy will flourish. Then the same in Syria, and finally in Ukraine. For a moment I thought Lavrov was going to comment that he was flattered by so much importance the US attributes to Russia!

    He also comments on the missile topic that the US snuck* in the 5+1 talks in Iran.

    * honestly I did not even know that snuck was a word. I only knew sneaked before, but will start practicing my snuck from now on.

  39. marknesop says:

    Mark Galeotti speculates that the case of Russian Special Forces being active in eastern Ukraine, perhaps leading the battle against Kiev’s forces, is a difficult one to prove and that the “evidence” introduced so far is a long way from conclusive. He further speculates – interestingly – that many of those identified as “little green men” are more likely former Berkut members, which makes sense.

    http://www.themoscowtimes.com/opinion/article/moscows-war-in-ukraine-relies-on-local-assets/498851.html

    He appears to base his own assertions as to Russia’s involvement on its own interests in being involved, and the presence of AK-100 series rifles.

    Rifles a lot like the AK-103 the now-dead former President of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, is shown holding here.

    http://www.insightcrime.org/news-briefs/venezuela-set-to-mass-produce-kalashnikovs-sniper-rifles

    Venezuela has been producing the AK-100 series since 2013, and as of that report had turned out 3000 of them and was expecting to produce 25,000 a year.

    Let’s not neglect the various sources who market AK knock-offs, some of which cost more than an AK if you were having trouble acquiring one (legally). The Arsenal SGL series shown here are visually almost indistinguishable from the AK-101 (not legally importable to the USA) except for the magazine, which is easily interchangeable with that of the SAM 7/SAM 5/SLR 100 series.

    https://www.ar15.com/forums/t_4_64/141256_The_AK_Buyer_s_Guide___A_Beginner_s_Guide_to_the_AK_Platform__ask_all_new_AK_questions_in_here_.html

    But why mess about? AK-USA will supply you with a legal exact replica, made from parts supplied by Romania and Bulgaria, which looks exactly like an AK-100 series but is legal because the parts are not Russian.

    http://www.ak-103.com/rifles.html

    The U.S. Army did not have any problem at all acquiring $29 Million worth of AK-47’s for the Iraqi Army, even if it did have to go through a dodgy Chinese company to get them.

    http://www.militaryphotos.net/forums/showthread.php?42577-Chinese-firm-linked-to-smuggled-AK-47s-picked-to-supply-Iraq&s=00ceb6b344f15ce1204b96d0b3e1ca94

    I’m sure they had their own reasons for settling on the ubiquitous AK-47 – but how much more difficult would it be to lay hands on assault rifles which were specifically designed for export?

    Another interesting trend I am noticing is that two of the Kyiv Post’s most respected opinion pundits – Alexander Motyl and Boris Danik – are talking about the Southeast as if it’s already gone, and good riddance because the smaller, more streamlined Ukraine that woud be left once those regions were gone would be much more prosperous and trouble-free.

    http://www.kyivpost.com/opinion/op-ed/boris-danik-ukraine-would-be-better-off-without-donetsk-luhansk-oblasts-344830.html

    • yalensis says:

      Danik has the right attitude. It is time to convene a conference and simply draw a line. Banderastan on one side, Russia on the other.
      Everybody knows where that line is.
      It might be fuzzy in a few places, but that can be bargained.
      Is already too late for a CIVILIZED divorce, but not too late for a DIVORCE period.

      Everybody will be better off: EU and American will be better off knowing exactly where the line is, that they must not cross. Let them take Banderastan and try to swallow that cancerous tumour whole.

      And Russia will also be better off, knowing the line that she must defend.
      Realistically, Russia loses something, by having NATO’s borders encroach a little further. Before, the line was Poland, now it will be somewhere along the Dnipr River.

      But she gains more, by securing Crimea and the Black Sea.
      And in any case, Banderastan will eventually destroy NATO anyhow. To swallow such a tumour is to condemn oneself to a painful death.

  40. UCG says:

    I am wondering just how much the EU lost already, and if it’s really worth it for the EU to continue the fight. For instance, http://eeas.europa.eu/russia/index_en.htm, aside from news about Ukraine, the description is overwhelmingly positive.

    “Russia is the EU’s biggest neighbour and third biggest trading partner, with Russian supplies of oil and gas making up a large percentage of its exports to Europe…Drawn up following the 2010 Rostov Summit, the Partnership for Modernisation deals with all aspects of moderni­sation – economic, technical (including standards and regulations) rule of law and functioning of the judiciary. The Partnership has become a focal point of mutual cooperation, reinforcing dialogue started under the common spaces.”

    The question is whether or not Russia would shift towards Europe or Asia. Putin would like to delay making that choice as long as possible. But if the EU moves to isolate Russia, then Russia will have no choice but to give Asia preference over Europe. Putin already achieved Russian independence from the EU’s PR Machine, he already has Crimea, so the EU has to ask themselves: “is Ukraine worth losing Russian partnership?”

    It’s important to note that the EU, independently of the US, created and funded the UDAR party. This can be seen in UDAR’s cautious stance, willingness to compromise and negotiate, a stance that’s absent from Bakhtivshina. So what was EU’s goal with Ukraine? More land? More cheap labor force? The EU hardly needs that. I think the EU’s goal was to defeat the Eurasian Union by bringing Ukraine into the EU.

    What the EU didn’t realize, is that the Eurasian Union can function with just three countries, that they cannot force either country to leave, and that Ukraine’s not the key to the Eurasian Union as initially predicted. As a result the EU is taking a back seat, and looking for a way out of the conflict, which is why, I think, they’ve been dragging their feet. Or am I way off base?

    • marknesop says:

      WorldPost agrees with you, except from the viewpoint of the USA and how it muffed so many chances when Russia made it clear it was interested in a mutually-beneficial relationship. But you could easily insert “EU” for “USA” and change some of the personalities and the song would be much the same.

      • UCG says:

        Sort of, there are some issues, for instance: “Much of his world view was formed as a KGB officer in the twilight years of the Cold War”

        But Sharon Tennison differs: http://www.russiaotherpointsofview.com/2014/04/russia-report-putin-.html#more

        “I arrived in St.Petersburg. A Russian friend (a psychologist) since 1983 came for our usual visit. My first question was, “Lena what do you think about your new president?” She laughed and retorted, “Volodya! I went to school with him!” She began to describe Putin as a quiet youngster, poor, fond of martial arts, who stood up for kids being bullied on the playgrounds. She remembered him as a patriotic youth who applied for the KGB prematurely after graduating secondary school (they sent him away and told him to get an education). He went to law school, later reapplied and was accepted. I must have grimaced at this, because Lena said, “Sharon in those days we all admired the KGB and believed that those who worked there were patriots and were keeping the country safe. We thought it was natural for Volodya to choose this career. My next question was, “What do you think he will do with Yeltsin’s criminals in the Kremlin?” Putting on her psychologist hat, she pondered and replied, “If left to his normal behaviors, he will watch them for a while to be sure what is going on, then he will throw up some flares to let them know that he is watching. If they don’t respond, he will address them personally, then if the behaviors don’t change–– some will be in prison in a couple of years.” I congratulated her via email when her predictions began to show up in real time.”

        In many ways the West views KGB as central to Putin’s views. However, Putin joined KGB when his views were already formed. That’s a crucial misunderstanding. Another thing: “In August 2008, Putin struck back. After Georgia launched an offensive to regain control of the breakaway, pro-Russian region of South Ossetia, Putin launched a military operation that expanded Russian control of South Ossetia and a second breakaway area, Abkhazia.”

        That’s also incorrect. Putin had no choice but to act the way that he acted on Ossetia. He wasn’t doing it to spite Bush. He was doing it because he had no choice.

        • marknesop says:

          Yes, there are a number of glaring and misinformed – and misinforming – errors, but overall the sentiment is that it could have and should have been done differently, and of somewhat of an understanding for Putin’s position.

  41. marknesop says:

    Interesting graphic from Business Insider, showing who in Europe is most in favour of stronger sanctions on Russia, and who is most dependent on Russian gas. Sometimes the relationships are not the obvious ones, although there will be no real surprises for most of the regular readers as the dyed-in-the-wool Russophobes are well known.

  42. Willard Oaf Duckling Jr says:

    McCain knows about kleptocracy from Bonano, Keating, and Dioguardi. He also steals Jeremiah Denton’s aura – McCain sold us out for cushy treatment at the Hanoi Hilton

  43. MaksSanyaRz says:

    Просьба к администраторам форума не удалять данный пост
    ну или по крайней мере перенести его в более подходящую категорию.
    Просим помощи в распространение информации о похищении ребенка.
    ******************************************************************
    Request to the forum administrators do not delete this post
    well, or at least move it to a more appropriate category.
    Please help us spread information about the kidnapping.
    ******************************************************************
    Cerere pentru administratorii de forum nu ?terge?i acest post
    bine, sau cel pu?in se trece la o categorie mai adecvat.
    Va rugam sa ne ajuta sa raspandit informa?ii despre rapirea.
    ******************************************************************

    Похищен Максимов Александр Евгеньевич, 10 сентября 2006 года рождения, проживал с отцом Максимовым Евгением Александровичем в городе Тирасполь, Молдова.

    29 мая 2014 года ребенок был похищен из спортивной секции в городе Тирасполь, похищен был биологической матерью ребенка Доага (Максимова) Кристина Федоровна, 19 октября 1984 г.р., которая в 2010 году судом была лишена родительских правах в отношении ребенка и практически не появлялась, не виделась и не занималась ребенком, но 29 мая 2014 года, после долгого отсутствия, объявилась в городе Тирасполь и силой выволокла ребенка за шиворот с тренировки.

    С 29 мая 2014 года по настоящее время местонахождение ребенка не известно, не известно даже в какой стране она с ребенком находится. По первой оперативной информации выяснилось что она вывезла ребенка в Тюменскую область, Россия, потом появилась информация что её видели в Москве, а так же в Московской области (в частности в городе Калуга).
    Через несколько недель она устроила скандал и драку в городе Кишинев , Молдова. По последней информации её видели уже в городе Бендеры, Молдова.
    Так же может находится в Молдове в Чимишлийском районе в частности в городе Чимишлия,Порумбрея, Кайнары.

    Внимательными людьми нам были переданны её фотографии в Кишиневе, в Бендерах но к сожалению она везде появлялась без похищенного Максимова Александра, его судьба не известна.

    Правоохранительными органами гражданка Максимова (Девичья Доага) Кристина Федоровна объявлена в официальный розыск, возбужденно розыскное дело в отношении её и в отношении ребенка.
    На сегоднешний день в отношении её уже возбужденно уголовное дело.

    http://maksimovgenya.ru/ – страница похищенного ребенка.

    На данном сайте выложены фото и самого ребенка и самой Максимовой (Доаги) Кристины Федоровны.

    ******************************************************************

    Kidnapped Maksimov Alexander E., September 10, 2006 birth, lived with his father Eugene A. Maximov in Tiraspol, Moldova.

    May 29, 2014 the child was abducted from the sports section in Tiraspol, was kidnapped by the biological mother of the child Doaga (Maximov) Christina F., born October 19, 1984, that in 2010 the court was deprived of parental rights of a child, and almost did not appear , have not seen or dealt with a child, but May 29, 2014, after a long absence, showed up in Tiraspol and strength dragged the child by the neck with a workout.

    From May 29 2014 to the present whereabouts of the child does not know, does not even know what country she is with child. The first operational information revealed that she has taken out the child in the Tyumen Oblast, Russia, then it was reported that she was seen in Moscow as well as in the Moscow region (in particular in the city of Kaluga).
    A few weeks later she made a scandal and a fight in the city of Chisinau, Moldova. According to the latest information it has already seen in Bender, Moldova.
    It can also be located in Moldova Cimislia particularly in Lomita, Porumbreya, Cainari.

    Attentive people we have sent messages of her photos in Chisinau, Bender but unfortunately it always appeared without kidnapped Alexander Maximov, his fate is not known.

    Law enforcement agencies citizen Maximova (Maiden Doaga) Christina F. announced in the official search, excitedly search case against her and the child.
    On segodneshny day against its already a criminal case.

    http://maksimovgenya.ru/ – page abducted child.

    This site and posted photos of the child and the most Maximova (Doagi) Christina Feodorovna.

    *****************************************************************

    Rapit Maksimov Alexander E., 10 septembrie 2006 de na?tere, a locuit cu tatal sau Eugene A. Maximov din Tiraspol, Republica Moldova.
     
    29 mai 2014 copilul a fost rapit de la rubrica de sport de la Tiraspol, a fost rapit de catre mama biologica a copilului Doaga (Maximov) Christina F., nascut 19 ??octombrie 1984, ca, in 2010, Curtea a fost decazuta din drepturile parinte?ti de un copil, ?i aproape nu a fost prezenta , nu s-au vazut sau tratate cu un copil, dar 29 mai 2014, dupa o lunga absen?a, a aparut in Tiraspol ?i puterea tarat copilul de gat cu un antrenament.
     
    De la 29 mai 2014 la actualele unde se afla copilul nu ?tie, nici macar nu ?tie ce ?ara e cu copilul. Primele informa?ii opera?ionale a relevat faptul ca ea a scos copilul din Tyumen Oblast, Rusia, apoi a fost raportat ca ea a fost vazuta la Moscova, precum ?i in regiunea Moscova (in special in ora?ul Kaluga).
    Cateva saptamani mai tarziu, ea a facut un scandal ?i o lupta in ora?ul Chi?inau, Republica Moldova. Potrivit celor mai recente informa?ii care le-a vazut deja in Bender, Republica Moldova.
    Acesta poate fi, de asemenea, localizate in Republica Moldova Cimi?lia in special in Lomita, Porumbreya, Cainari.
     
    Oameni aten?i ne-au trimis mesaje de fotografiile ei din Chi?inau, Bender dar, din pacate intotdeauna a aparut fara rapit Alexandru Maximov, soarta lui nu este cunoscut.
     
    Legea organele de ceta?ean Maximova (Maiden Doaga) Christina F. anun?at in cautare oficial, caz impotriva ei ?i a copilului de cautare emo?ionat.
    In ziua segodneshny impotriva ei deja un caz penal.
     
    http://maksimovgenya.ru/ – pagina rapit copilul.
     
    Acest site ?i a postat fotografii ale copilului ?i cel mai Maximova (Doagi) Christina Fiodovna.

    *****************************************************************

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