“Pavlovian Bipolar Fantasies”: Le Monde Hammers the West’s Scrotum Flat

Uncle Volodya says, "Hell is a restaurant where the cooks are British, the waiters are French and the customers are Americans. "

Uncle Volodya says, “Hell is a restaurant where the cooks are British, the waiters are French and the customers are Americans. “

It would be understandable if the French were getting a little dizzy these days, what with their lurching back and forth on the U.S. government’s Beloved-Ally Meter between “Shits the Bed, Stupid Frog Surrender Monkeys” and “Most Excellent; I Would Not Even Mind if a Frenchman Moved Into my Neighborhood”. The last time they experienced the latter rating was throughout the reign of Sarko the American, the son of a Hungarian immigrant who rose to become Monsieur le President; admired and envied by fellow European leaders for his taste in expensive watches and beautiful women, and regarded with benevolent affection by that demographic among the American public that knew Europe was not a country (sorry, Mrs. Palin). Sarko knew how to walk the walk and talk the talk, and his eagerness to go straight for the no-fly zone and airdrop weapons to rebels without consulting NATO allies made American policymakers applaud his aggressive audacity. Sarko could be counted upon in the circle of global movers and shakers to support the American Way, because he believed in it. If les imbeciles did not do as they were told, why, you gave them one chance to straighten up and fly right. If they didn’t take it, allons-y, NATO!! (Yes, I know it’s OTAN in French, but too many people would not recognize it) Leaders make people do things they would not always do if the choice were left up to them – which, naturellement, it would be foolish to do – because they are too shortsighted and stupid to act for their own good. Yulia Latynina must have loved Nicolas Sarkozy, although I don’t know that I ever read an opinion of him from her, because he embodies every single quality of leadership that she prizes – wealth, arrogance, sociopathy, indifferent education and huge ears.

Just lately, the French have sunk progressively in western opinion downward past “Throw Them Under the Bus” and toward “Shits the Bed”, mostly due to the unpleasant surprise that is Monsieur Hollande, the current leader and Grave Disappointment. He got off to a good start with some rousing pugnacious talk against Russia during his campaign speeches, and good things were expected of him even though he was supposed to be a socialist (because, face it, nobody who matters really gives a toss what happens to the dozy population so long as they vote the right way and keep the complaining to a manageable level). However, he soon revealed his shortcomings in a variety of ways – chief among them his complete inability to stifle dissent among the proles – and went completely off the reservation with his decision to sell French Assault Carriers of the MISTRAL Class to Russia. He compounded this folly by insisting on going ahead with the sale even when the United States government hinted in terms that even a French socialist blockhead should be able to grasp that they thought it would be best if the sale were canceled in the most dramatic fashion possible, perhaps with a nice speech.

Which brings us to the current state of affairs, in which the happy party has ended tout en larmes, in tears, and American political figures accuse the French of being sneaks who are the world’s second-best at stealing American technological secrets (after The Heathen Chinee) from the laptops of visiting American businessmen, whilst they are tucking into a plate of the buttery merde the French call food, down in the restaurant. I swear, if some enterprising American would just open up a stall that sold decent pork rinds, funnel cakes and deep-fried pickles in Paris, half those poofy Frog joints would have to shut down. But I digress. Anyway, with all the contre-français vitriol blowing Europe-ward from the Last Remaining Superpower, it is small wonder that la République strikes back. And instinctively, she rubs salt in the USA’s wounds by attacking it through a particularly tender weakness – its comical, embarrassing and senseless Russophobia. Read on, as Olivier Zajec skewers the west in Le Monde, with typically Gallic sarcasm and mockery. From the original French,

The Good, The Bad and The Crimea – The Anti-Russian Obsession

April 2014

With the annexation of the Crimea to Russian territory, finalized on the 18th of March by Mr. Vladimir Putin, and the sanctions imposed against the Kremlin, the Ukrainian crisis has taken on the dimensions of a geopolitical earthquake. To understand this conflict involves the integration of all the viewpoints of all the players. But in the embassies of the West, moral proclamations often override analysis.

In the following weeks, the media’s treatment of events in Ukraine brought us confirmation; for western diplomacy’s part, it was not so much an imbalance in interests and perceptions of the actors as it was an historic clash between Good and Evil.

Russia lends itself marvelously to this scenario, which has the merit of simplicity. For many commentators, this is already a barbaric semi-Mongol state governed by Cossacks and run by KGB aspirants in the service of neurotic tsars who dabble in the icy waters of self-centred calculation. Reclusive, cut off from their time, autocrats slowly moving pieces on ivory chessboards instead of reading The Economist. From time to time they run a nuclear submarine, solely for the pleasure of polluting the Barents Sea, and await invention of an illegal referendum in their “near abroad” in pursuit of recreating the Soviet Union.

If we gather such platitudes written on this theme in the western press – not only since the commencement of the Ukrainian crisis, but for the past 15 years – this colourful folktale is what the ordinary reader will internalize about the actual politics of the Russian Federation. This global negative perception devolving into caricature nurtures a well-anchored tradition.

It is sometimes based on analysis which underlines the totalitarian and “false” imperatives of the Russian culture, sometimes on implied equivalencies between Joseph Stalin and Vladimir Putin – a treasured theme of French editorialists and neoconservative American think tanks. It has its roots in the tales of European travelers of the Renaissance, who already fostered a reconciliation between the Russian “barbarians” and the ferocious Scythians of antiquity.

 The events of the Maidan in Kiev offer an example of failed analysis induced by demonization. Divided linguistically and culturally between east and west, Ukraine cannot guarantee its real borders and maintain an ongoing balance between Lviv and Donetsk, respective symbols of its European and Russian poles.

Marrying either would be to deny fundamental roots, while inviting the point of no return of partition like Czechoslovakia. She is an eternal geopolitical fiancée.

Ukraine cannot “choose”. It is, accordingly, pleased to be offered expensive rings – $15 Billion offered by Russia in December 2013, and $3 Billion by the European Union contingent with signing the aborted association agreement. Each suitor offers her revocable assurances: the Kharkov Accord which, in 2010, extended until 2024 the rental of the Sevastpol naval base by Russia, or the rental of arable farmland by European agricultural magnates. In reducing this geocultural ménage à trois  to a forced marriage with Moscow, experts who have succumbed to what can only be called the Anti-Russian Obsession reveal analytical shortfalls. Those who reproach Mr. Putin for reducing everything to the narrow field of power politics showcase their own no less reprehensible paralysis in limiting their narrative horizon to the absorption of Ukraine into the Euro-Atlantic community.

Contrary to what has been written, rupture of the internal balance of this fragile nation did not take place February 27th, the date of seizure of control of the Parliament and government of Crimea by armed men – a piece of theatre which would be replicated in Mr. Putin’s enabling of the flight of Mr. Yanukovych on February 22nd. In fact, the tipping point came between these events, precisely on February 23rd, with the absurd decision of the new management of Ukraine to abolish the status of Russian as a second official language in the eastern regions – a document that the interim president has so far refused to sign. Has anyone ever seen the condemned man whipping on the cart-horses himself?

Mr. Putin could not dream of better than this nonsense to enable his Crimean maneuver. The uprising which set in motion the fall of Yanukovych (elected in 2010) and the departure of Russophone Crimea from the control of Kiev  is only the last demonstration so far of the cultural tragedy that is this Eastern Belgium of Ukraine.

In Donetsk as in Simferopol, Ukrainian Russophones are generally less sensitive than they say to the propaganda of big brother Russia: reading with ironic fatalism has become second nature. Their aspiration to the rule of law and an end to corruption is the same as that of their fellow citizens of Galicia. Mr. Putin is well aware of this. He also knows that these people, who value their language, will not trade Alexander Pushkin and memories of the Great Patriotic War for a subscription to The Rules of the Game, the journal of Bernard-Henri Lévy. In 2011, 38% of Ukrainians spoke Russian at home. But the adventurous and vengeful decision of February 23rd lent Moscow’s speech the ring of truth. For eastern Ukraine, the problem is not so much that the new national government came to power by overthrowing the elected president as it is that its first decision gave the nod to only half its citizens.

Bipolar Fantasies and Spy Novels

 It was that day that the Maidan lost Crimea, which nobody forgot had been “gifted” to Ukraine in 1954 by Nikita Krushchev. Hence the remark by Mikhail Gorbachev on March 17th, following the plebiscite by the Crimean population of a reunion with Russia; “If, at the time, Crimea was joined to Ukraine in accordance with Soviet law without asking the opinion of the people, today the people have decided to correct this error. We should welcome it and not announce sanctions.” This proposal was like a cold shower in Brussels, where in coordination with Washington a series of retaliatory measures had been prepared (right-to-travel restrictions and freezing of assets of Ukrainian and Russian officials).

If what Russia wants is unjustifiable, it would be interesting to know the reasoning before the condemnation, if necessary. Especially considering Ukraine could lose more than Crimea, if by chance the prolonged visits of the so-courteous Victoria Nuland pushed her to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Certain strongmen in the new government, of which four ministers are from the ultranationalist party Svoboda, have seized upon this idea.

Maybe it’s time to ban the use of “cold war” in articles dedicated to Russia. Historically ineffective, this recourse is used mostly to justify hardened Pavlovian bipolar fantasies. John McCain, veteran Republican candidate for the White House and recognized international expert of Arizona, gave a notable example in characterizing Mr. Putin as a “Russian imperialist KGB appartchik” who is emboldened by Mr. Barack Obama’s “weakness”.  Who, doubtless too occupied by the health insurance of his fellow citizens,  does not realize that “Crimean aggression encourages other aggressors, from Chinese nationalists to al Qaeda terrorists and Iranian theocrats”. What to do? “We need to reset ourselves morally and intellectually”, responds former running mate Sarah Palin, to prevent Putin’s overshadowing the world and slaughtering humanity. Speech that denounces the theocrats, that is no less abusive of the theological register.

In Washington and Brussels, in a neighbourly fashion, it seems to be the gossip to blow on the Ukrainian embers in place of making them subside. Apart from these excesses, the fearless Angela Merkel telephones Putin in Russia.

There are a couple of interesting things about this; one, we are getting back to a tone of hauteur on the part of the Europeans where the USA is concerned, and one that mocks their political figures as self-righteous hypocrites. Coupled with the frosty reception Yatsenyuk received in Aachen, where a smallish but very vocal crowd called him a fascist and a terrorist and carried signs which said he was not welcome, this strongly suggests the populations of the major European nations are getting fed up with their leaders’ shameless bootlicking and their support for a government which includes fascist nationalists and cannot even speak politely to Russia. The USA will not dare to continue bullying France and Germany while it relies on the UK to be its anchor in Europe, because England is nowhere near the big noise in European politics its leaders believe it is.

For another, the entire spectrum of backers of the Ukrainian government is willing to stipulate that it was the foolish decision to abolish the protection granted the Russian language which brought the roof down on their heads. Quite apart from that being true, it says a couple of other things; one, if everything was going well in Ukraine, they would not even be making excuses for things going badly. Two, they are happy to go with that as the reason because it was a decision the west had nothing to do with, and was entirely that of the coup government. This suggests they would withdraw their support for the Ukrainian government if a viable alternative which allowed them to save face appeared.

It is unlikely we are looking at the beginnings of a major European alignment, but there is always the chance that the United States in its brashness and overconfidence will overreach and say or do that one wrong thing. I really think that’s all it would take, because the mood is ugly in Europe right now and we have already seen some tectonic shifts.

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563 Responses to “Pavlovian Bipolar Fantasies”: Le Monde Hammers the West’s Scrotum Flat

  1. Al says:

    The daaarling BBC is still on message. Or should that be ‘On Massage’?

    Is Russia orchestrating east Ukraine violence?
    By Patrick Jackson
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-27633117

    First, let me apologise to Alanis Morisette, but re. the above piece “Isn’t it moronic, don’t ya think?”

    Of course, the Beeb doesn’t answer the question but tilts you in the direction they want.

    On a side note, I’ve been seeing the name Mark Galeotti popping up quite a lot quite recently. I heard of him a long time ago, but I think the deaf, dumb and mute PPNN are so desperate for someone with a modicum of common sense cannot be considered pro-Russian in any way, the are latching on to him. Is this an admission that even the PPNNs have run out of the usual BS artists they present as networks and are facing a credibility crisis of their own viewers???

    • Warren says:

      • marknesop says:

        Just for fun, all the BRIC countries should have a conference and decide which country is the world’s biggest asshole, and then lobby hard for Femen to form the entire government of that country for a year so that they could show the world how strict abstinence from war combined with militant feminism could turn a country’s fortunes around. After two months of Femen rule – during which time no bets would be entertained, have to give the girls time to get their shit together – countries could bet on a national level which month remaining of the year would see the heaviest migration from that country. Minimum bet, say, 200 million rubles. The winner would see a pretty nice little nest egg. Fifty per cent of the winnings would have to go to rebuilding the country, though, and into incentives to return for its migrants.

        What do you say, Femen? Are you in?

    • marknesop says:

      I propose we start an organization called “Masculen”, and we will all walk around with our dicks hanging out in public and simulating sex with inflatable sheep (I’ve seen them; the stokers on a ship in which I served had one which was affectionately known as “The Party Ewe”). We would have to have a political statement, or else we might get arrested or something, so I’ll throw that open to the prospective membership. How about we start by demanding the public paddling of all western leaders caught telling a lie?

  2. Warren says:

    Активистка Femen участвовала в бойне у Дома профсоюзов в Одессе

    http://lifenews.ru/news/134460

    The story linking Femen to the Odessa massacre is finally getting some traction.

  3. Warren says:

    Is it me or does Life News look similar to Sky news?

    http://lifenews.ru/

    http://news.sky.com/

  4. cartman says:

    Voice of Russia is reporting that Porochoco’s regional campaign manager was killed in Nemirov (the place named after the vodka). That region is his base.

  5. yalensis says:

    Putting a face and a name to the horror of victimhood:
    Her name was Inna Vladimirovna Kukurudza.

    Scroll down about halfway in this piece .
    Past the picture of the horribly mangled woman in the red shirt, who died in the ambulance on the way to the hospital.
    There is a photo of her as she was in life, an attractive red-head with a strong face and intelligent eyes, wearing nice clothes and sitting in what looks to be an impeccably clean and well-ordered home.

    • cartman says:

      Western propaganda always focuses on individuals (Khodorkovsky, Magnitsky) because no one ever gets to see the piles of dead bodies. It is important to make this woman’s life known around the world.

      • marknesop says:

        Here’s another video that also shows the poor woman while she was still alive, briefly. It starts earlier than the others I’ve seen, and from further away so that you can see huge tree branches lying in the road where groups of lumberjack Russian titushki cut them down in perfect synchronization at the same time as setting off stun grenades to make an explosion, so they could simulate an air attack and blame it on nice western Ukrainians. Devastating, and a sobering example of why use of unguided weapons in civilian population centres is a war crime. One for which I very much doubt anyone will be punished; if they are unable to blame it on titushki provocateurs (I was being sarcastic but nothing surprises me any more), they will say there was a malfunction in the aircraft’s weapons system, so sorry, but what can you expect from that junk we bought from the Russians, so unreliable. And the west will let them away with it – will even supply them with an excuse if they look like they cannot come up with one themselves.

        Better view it soon, because the YouTube cops will yank it just as soon as they see it’s there. It’s proof, though, that there’s lots of footage out there and YouTube cannot suppress it completely, they can take it down but they can’t make it disappear. You’re not allowed to see that stuff, but I bet you can still find plenty of that maudlin Kony 2012 shit.

        • moscowexile says:

          The Saker says that the pilot who pushed the button has been identified – not that anything will come out of this revelation.

          • kirill says:

            Someone can put a hit out on this turd later. I hope Saaki, Yuschenko, Timoshenko and the current regime gets a bullet ticket to oblivion as well. NATO should have settled down after 2008 instead of going on a crack binge.

  6. yalensis says:

    Vesti is reporting it too:

    http://www.vesti.ru/doc.html?id=1656383

    They don’t even bother to report the guy’s name, though. They just say he was Chocco’s campaign manager, and that he was found yesterday shot in the head in his own car, in the town of Nemirov, which is in Vinnitsa, the west-central part of Ukraine.

    • yalensis says:

      Okay, I did some more research and found the guy’s name here : Sergei Vakarov.

      Vakarov was one of the local leaders of Chocco’s presidential campaign.
      In charge of the campaign in Vinnitsia.
      He was found lying dead in his own car, with a bullet in his brain.
      Police have deemed this a “suspicious homicide”.

      Here is more info , in Ukrainian, plus a video.
      Vakarov was 48 years old.
      He leaves behind him a 13-year-old daughter, and a 17-year-old son (and presumably a widow).

      Video shows forensic investigators processing the car and apparently measuring the angle between the front and the back seat.
      .
      Vakarov allegedly drove a red 4-door sedan with standard transmission and bucket seats.
      The cabin of the automobile was splattered with blood stains, and also bits of brain matter. (Салон автомобіля був залитий кров’ю вбитого, а місцями було видно рештки мозкових тканин.)
      Neighbours say they didn’t hear any shots. (Проте ані сусіди, ані випадкові перехожі не чули пострілів, лише констатували, що машина простояла кілька годин біля стовпа, а о сьомій ранку тут нічого не було.)
      My Ukrainian is not so great, but I think the next sentence says that Vakarov was probably shot from behind:
      Судячи зі слідів крові та слідів на машині, Сергія Вакарова було вбито пострілом у потилицю з обрізу рушниці тим, хто був на задньому сидінні його автомобіля. А постріл ніхто не чув тому, що вистріл з обрізу не має великої гучності й можна його прийняти за удар ногою по пластиковій пляшці.

      In other words, this is just my speculation, the alleged attacker was probably lurking and waiting for Vakarov to get in the car, then he wihpped out his gun and whacked him.

      The license plate of Vakarov’s car is “AB 5325 AM”

      That’s it, for today’s crime report.

        • marknesop says:

          Speaking of PoroChocco, I read that he has gone on a bit of a shopping spree since his big win, buying up the Factory of Experimental Design in Kiev (I’m sure there’s a better translation than that). What of his promise to divest himself of all his assets if he won the election? Does he not realize he won? I wouldn’t be surprised, he seems a bit dozy.

          • cartman says:

            Is it this place?

            Maybe there’s money coming for new armaments. Guess’s whose bank account that is going into?

            • marknesop says:

              Holy shit. I don’t know; the translation is not very specific, but can you imagine? The entire core of the jumped-up coup government has identified the rearmament of Ukraine as a top priority. Would it not be fortuitous for someone who wanted to make a lot of money – and would be in a position to steer funds towards defense procurement – to own a company that manufactured military equipment?? This would profit from further investigation!

      • Fern says:

        A new branch of the CSI franchise perhaps – after Las Vegas (original), Miami, NYC and Los Angeles, yalensis Productions now brings you CSI Ukraine.

        • Southerncross says:

          S1 E1: ‘Boar hunt’

          At night, by a roadside in Rovno oblast, there lies a big, fat, dead Nazi in an Oakland Raiders shirt. His hands are cuffed, and he has two bullet holes where his heart should be. A knot of police officers are milling about.

          Officer #1: And I thought he was bloated before.

          Officer #2: He’s still trimmer than you, asshole.

          Officer #3: What a frigging mess. How the hell are we going to explain this?

          Interior minister Arsen Avakov emerges from the gloom.

          Avakov: *Putting on a pair of sunglasses* “Looks like a case of self-inflicted Porkicide”

          • yalensis says:

            Episode 1, Scene 2 of “CSI Rovno” – excuse me, I mean “CSI Rivno”:

            Labtech: “Sir, despite the fact that I am not a real detective, but just a lowly CSI Labtech specializing in blood spatters…”

            Avakov: Cut the bullshit, Sparky. Just tell me what you know.

            Labtech: …So, I took the liberty of interrogating the vic’s widow. It took a couple of chops to the jaw, but eventually she opened up…

            Avakov: Yeah, yeah? So what did the broad say?

            Labtech: She claims hubby used to hire Italian prostitutes to kick him in the face… and then in the nuts… followed by regular sexual intercourse, in the missionary position…

            Avakov: I knew it! Wifey dunnit. It’s always the wife. Take a squad car, go bring her in.

            Labtech: Me? I’m just a lab tech…

            Avakov: ARE YOU QUESTIONING MY ORDERS, YOU MOSKAL SWINE?

            Labtech: No sir! I mean, Yes sir! I’m off. [rushes to the door] Heil Hitler!

      • Johan Meyer says:

        Judging from traces of blood (dat/loc instead of gen??), and traces in the car, Serge Vakarov was murdered by a shot to the back of his head from the barrel of a gun, [by a person] who was sitting in the back seat of his car. The shot wasn’t heard by anyone, the report lacking a large noise and may have engaged with a blow using a leg/foot on a plastic bottle.

        The last clause is a bit odd—one could use a bottle as a silencer if one uses small subsonic rounds—assassination with 22s was allegedly popular in the late 90s in Bulgaria…

        • yalensis says:

          Dear Johan, thanks for help with translation!
          My intrepretation of the crime is as follows:
          The perp was hiding in the back seat of Mr. Vakarov’s car, holding a handgun, the handgun was equipped with a home-made silencer made of a plastic bottle.
          The vic got into the car, all unsuspecting, just like in a Hollywood movie.

          Then the perp sat straight up from the back seat, put his piece against the back of the vic’s head and pulled the trigger, thus putting a cap in the vic’s brain.

          While helping the Vinnitsia CSI to solve this egregious crime, the public should keep in mind that it is not necessarily political. In other words, not to jump to conclusions that Vakarov’s death had anything to do with his political activities on behalf of Mr. Poroshenko.

          One should keep in mind that Chocco, in addition to being the President of Ukraine, is also an old-school Ukrainian gangster. Everybody who works for him is also probably a gangster, and Vakarov could have been one his capos.

          Hence, the murder could be an old-style gangland slaying, not necessarily connected with Chocco’s Presidential campaign.

          .

  7. Al says:

    Reading the international headlines, either the West is reading Putin the riot act or giving him one last chance to make the right decision. The WSJ rips the Europeans for rewarding Putin with dinners with heads of state. Meanwhile Frau Merkel says that dialogue and not threats are the way forward. All I can say is that Putin has the only game plan in town that is working. The allies are fighting each other, the US ripping the Europeans, and Germany still holding the financial whip hand which I suspect they will be reluctant, but eventually forced to flex and lay down rules. Then all hell will break loose. I’m also reading that western papers are now reporting that the Russians ‘claim thousands are fleeing the fighting in Ukraine’. Not so long ago, the same papers would have jumped on this to demand that their leaders ‘DO SOMETHING!’, i.e humanitarian military intervention. It is almost full brass monkey: See no evil, hear no evil, but speak much evil. Das vorm is certainly turning. Fascinating.

  8. Fern says:

    The Saker’s latest post has an update from ‘Juan’ who claims that in Krasni Liman (? probably wrong spelling), Right Sector gunmen entered a hospital and shot dead 37 wounded Donbas fighters. If true, this is a massive war crime. There are also reports of Kiev’s militias shooting civilians at random – again a war crime. Shocking stuff.

    • kirill says:

      The same scum perpetrated the Odessa atrocity. These reports are factual. It is quite clear that the regime in Kiev is trying to terrorize the east into submission. But they are discovering that the task is more than they can handle. I think that Putin is waiting for the NATO idiots to move in and try and prop up their pet regime militarily. We will then see a direct military intervention from Russia.

      • marknesop says:

        Academi is reportedly already there, which is a direct violation of international law on the procurement and use of mercenaries. Even Germany was shopping that around. However, in trying to brutalize the east into either submission or depopulation, all they have done is harden its resolve. There is no chance at all now for a united Ukraine.

        • yalensis says:

          The East is not submitting to the junta; the depopulation thing might just be working, though.
          Already there are thousands of refugees from Donbass, fleeing the fighting, mostly into Russia.
          It is said that the number of refugees into Rostov oblast are as many as 12,000 PER DAY.

          Of course, once the Kiev junta is overthrown, presumably most of these people will return to their homes in Ukraine. For now they are temporary refugees.

          Also, a key point, most of the children have been evacuated from the hot spots where civilians are most under attack from the junta. The children have been moved to summer camps, mostly in Crimea, but also in areas around Odessa. This is not a burdensome process in itself, since Russia/Ukraine have a well-formed infrastructure for summer camps, and the kids would have been going away anyhow for the summer.

          • Jen says:

            I think it was Voice of Russia that said a state of emergency has been declared in Rostov oblast to cope with the influx of refugees.

    • marknesop says:

      I read 20-something, but I notice the denials of this are particularly vehement and the western media immediately mocks anyone who mentions it as if they read it in Weekly World News, reported by Bat Boy or something. If there’s anything to it and – critically – if it can be substantiated with real evidence, I think Kiev is in trouble at last.

  9. Fern says:

    It’s rumoured Jen Psaki has resigned – Vitaly Churkin has said it’s a pity since he always enjoyed listening to her talk. Russians eh? What are they like?

    • marknesop says:

      I think she was just told to keep a low profile for a little while, after some of her shocking gaffes, because she was starting to become a cult figure for amusement; definitely not the impression the state department likes to create. I think Churkin just asked if she had resigned or something, and it sort of sprang up from that, but there is certainly no supporting evidence of a resignation. But I could see them telling her this might be a good time to take a little vacation, since the giggles start now as soon as she comes out.

  10. moscowexile says:

    Of possible interest:

    M: Lost and Found in Ukraine

    Putin’s Refreshing Rationality

    Luhn, who wrote the first of the above linked articles, also writes for the Grauniad. It was Luhn who reported the aerial attack on Lugansk, whereas his colleague Tin-Tin reported that the explosions may have been caused by the separatists.

    I should imagine that the Grauniad would not have been willing to publish the Luhn article linked above even if he had presented it to that rag, which I presume he didn’t, realizing to have done so would have been a waste of his time.

    • moscowexile says:

      From Luhn above:

      On the other hand, I knew they were right [to complain about the Western media] to a certain extent, given Western media’s tendency to vilify Russia and, by extension, the pro-Russian protesters. The ubiquitous use of the word separatist, for instance, ignored the fact that the majority of protesters said they wanted to remain part of Ukraine. Meanwhile, although statements made by the Ukrainian president and interior minister usually diverged wildly from what I was seeing on the ground, my editors seemed to treat them like the word of God.

      I tried to present a balanced view, but the headlines and redacted ledes of my articles sometimes seemed overly simplified and made me wonder if I wasn’t just as bad as some of the hacks working in the field, if I wasn’t just an unwitting foot soldier in the information war. One day, I snapped at the editors of a radio station I was freelancing for when they repeatedly asked me to talk about an announced military blockade of Slavyansk, which I knew was not actually in place. What did they want me to do, make it up?

  11. moscowexile says:

    From geldofrocks, a Grauniad commenter:

    IKEA, the well-known Swedish company, is supporting Ukrainian troops involved in the genocide in Donetsk region. National Guard and Right Sector troops received sleeping bags, waterproof flashlights, furniture and utensils from IKEA in the north of Donetsk region. Besides, the Swedish company provided a large amount of diesel fuel oil. A representative of IKEA stated that the company will continue providing for the Ukrainian army, Right Sector and National Guard troops involved in the military operation in the east. IKEA has made several unsuccessful attempts to open stores near Kiev and Odessa. The company’s representative stated he hopes that the situation will change now, with the new “pro-European politicians” being in power.
    It’s worth mentioning that the founder of IKEA Ingvar Kamprad was involved in fascism. In 1994, the personal letters of the Swedish fascist activist Per Engdahl were made public after his death, and it was revealed that Kamprad had joined Engdahl’s pro-fascist New Swedish Movement in 1942, at the age of 16. Kamprad had raised funds for and recruited members to said group at least as late as September 1945. When Kamprad quit the group is unknown, but he remained a friend of Engdahl until the early 1950s. In 2011, journalist Elisabeth Åsbrink revealed that the Swedish secret service created a file on Kamprad already in 1943 titled “Nazi” and that Kamprad in an interview in 2010 told her: “Per Engdahl is a great man, and I will maintain that as long as I live”.

    Clearly the work of a Putinbot!

    • Jen says:

      Here are some other fascinating tidbits about IKEA including some articles from 2011 that say IKEA employed political prisoners in sweatshop and other dangerous conditions in the old GDR to make furniture. Some prisoners still carry physical and psychological scars from making furniture:
      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/sweden/8742172/Ikea-used-political-prisoners-in-GDR-as-slave-labour.html
      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/12/ikea-forced-labor-report_n_2116176.html

      IKEA France paid and bribed police investigators with store vouchers to spy on 200 employees and “difficult” customers:
      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/france/9190652/Ikea-in-France-says-sorry-for-spying-on-staff.html

      IKEA is headquartered in The Netherlands as a tax-exempt non-profit charity with a legal structure that gives Ingvar Kamprad full de facto control of the company. Let The Economist (no less!) spell it all out:
      http://www.economist.com/node/6919139

      The Rolling Stones and U2, both also registered in The Netherlands for tax reasons, would be jealous.

    • marknesop says:

      It might be true, I suppose, but to me it just sounds like somebody with a big hate on for Ikea. At least the part about we-hope-if-we-help-you-exterminate-the-easterners-our-stores-will-be-successful. It’s unusual for furniture stores to take a position that eliminating a large share of the customer base and wrecking the economy is good for business. Oh, I had my first comment “removed because it did not abide by our community standards” or whatever, yesterday. I can’t imagine what he trigger could have been – perhaps the word “untermenschen” – but could not forbear noticing that the Graun will allow the most vitriolic profanity to remain (such as Go home you FUCKEN YANKIE) so long as it and the remainder of the message are badly spelled and hysterical in tone. This helps foster the impression that those who disagree with the Graun’s editorial line are poorly-educated, overly emotional children as opposed to the cool pragmatists who support the “new government”.

    • Warren says:

      The Swedes have never gotten over the loss of their Baltic possessions in the Great Northern War with Russia. Remember the Russians and Swedes fought each other in Poltava “Ukraine” in 1709. In fact legend has it the reason why the “Ukrainian” flag contains yellow and blue, was in recognition to the Swedes whose national flag contains yellow and blue, and the Cossacks that fought for Sweden in that battle.

      The Swedes have “re-colonized” the Baltic States, especially Estonia & Latvia economically and now politically. Lithuania remains Poland’s sphere of influence as in the past.

      .

      • Drutten says:

        As a Swede, I must disagree somewhat. While some people may feel a bit patrotic after a few drinks and regret the loss of Livonia and Finland (largely in jest I’m sure) and do see Russia as something of an eternal enemy (even though this isn’t really supported by history contrary to popular belief – we did have some significant quarrels but for the most part we provoked them and in fact Russia was our ally in our last proper military campaign) I think the overall sentiment is that we couldn’t care less. Too long ago, simply put.

        Five years ago, in an act of national masochism it seems, we even celebrated the 200th anniversary of the loss of Finland. Ironically to Russia and ironically the Finns were arguably given greater autonomy under Russian rule. Case in point is the language question – Russia never attempted to russify Finland to any meaningful extent while Sweden really shoved swedification down their throats. Of course, there were and are “naturally” Swedish areas of Finland, but in the rest of the country they’re not all that jolly about it. I’ve noticed that Finns tend to regard the Swedish language as some kind of annoying upperclass holier-than-thou phenomenon, and the mandatory Swedish classes that remain today are often described by people as nothing short of a vile injustice.

        At any rate, the “re-colonization” you speak of is more of a result of the complete and utter abandonment of our sovereign state, funnily enough. Swedish foreign policy does not represent Sweden anymore and that old Swedish territories like Livonia (ie the Baltics) happened to “align” themselves with us in the course of this is largely coincidental and not connected with any tangible aspirations originating in Stockholm, I’m sure. The aspirations stem from Brussels and Washington.

        • kirill says:

          Thanks for the useful context. Geopolitics is not driven by the masses but by the elites and their politician and media mouthpieces. Old conflicts and nationalism are used to obscure the machinations of people who could care less about them. Unfortunately, the masses can be whipped up into following the wishes of the elites with assorted propaganda about the present and the past. I am hoping the masses resist the current attempt to ignite a major conflict.

          • Drutten says:

            I feel like adding something funny to this. Recall my mentioning of the naturally Swedish areas of Finland, since hundreds of years populated by Swedish-speaking Finns who regard themselves as Swedes or Finland-Swedes (finlandssvenskar, a recognized minority of Finland). One region of Finland stands out, namely the archipelago of islands called Åland, where indeed you’ll have a hard time finding anybody who speaks Finnish, and the Swedish-speakers don’t even have the distinct Finnish accent of mainland Finland-Swedes.

            Åland was the subject to a lot of diplomacy and treaties during the 1800’s, both between Sweden and the Finnish Grand Duchy of Russia, and between other Western powers and Russia, eventually resulting in the complete demilitarization of the region and so on. As Finland gained independence from Russia in 1917 and Åland happened to end up under Finnish rule, it immediately wanted to secede to Sweden. By 1919 a referendum was held on secession, with 95.48% of the Åland population voting for reunification with Sweden. However, international players moved in to prevent it from happening and a compromise was reached – the Swedes of Åland became largely autonomous and had a number of rights recognised by the Finnish government, Finland is not allowed to station armed forces or anything there and Ålanders are exempt from Finnish general conscription.

            Some interesting analogies to things that are happening today, and definitely something Bildt should read up on.

  12. moscowexile says:

    U.S. Department of State Daily Press Briefing, June 5:

    QUESTION: Would the United States support calls for an investigation of alleged use of military aviation for bombings on the Ukrainian cities? We talked about it in the previous days you talked that you don’t have information on that. I’m referring to such alleged bombings in Luhansk which had led to civilian casualties and alleged use of bomb plot units and the military seizure of Slovyansk and other alleged crimes.
    MS. HARF: You’re talking about by the Ukrainian Government?
    QUESTION: Excuse me?
    MS. HARF: Is that what you’re asking about? By the Ukrainian Government?
    QUESTION: Yes.
    MS. HARF: So I think – and I – look, I’ve gotten a lot of questions on this over the past few days, and yesterday I did a little bit of – we have no credible evidence to back up any reports about human rights violations by the Ukrainian Government. I also think that it’s really unacceptable to try to draw moral equivalence here between a country defending itself and its people and its buildings and its land and its territory from armed separatists backed by another government who are trying to sow chaos. There is just not an equivalence here, and to try to equate them I think is just fundamentally misreading the situation.

    • According to this source an Ukrainian fighter jet entered Russia’s airspace yesterday while conducting a bombing mission to a seps controlled border post: http://donnews.ru/V-TSRB-Kuybyshevskogo-rayona-dostavleny-ranenye-na-granitse-ukraintsy_15636

      A quote through a translator:
      “Today, June 5, in the Central District Hospital Kuibyshev district of Rostov region medics brought the wounded citizens of Ukraine who were found in the border hamlet Repihovatom. This donnews.ru said the head of the Kuibyshev district Alexander Krivorotov.
      – Wounded several people. In the morgue, and delivered one corpse. Who are these people, I will now say with certainty will not undertake. I suppose that is wounded officers Ukrainian checkpoint, which today bombed Ukrainian aviation. However, now it does not matter who they are, the main thing – to save people – said Krivorotov.
      Beyond that, as airstrike occurred, residents watched Kujbyshevo.
      – We had seen the plane bombed the town. After his shock there is white smoke, then black clouded. And what is important: the plane space invaded Russia, it is for the next approach point unfolded over our fields. Why is no one on our side has not responded, it is unclear – said Alexander Krivorotov.”

      While I am past the “Putin is a wimp” phase I still have to ask wtf Russia!?! If the report is true a junta fighter jet entered Russia’s airspace. Russia’s air defense system (S-400?) must have detected the jet but it was not shot down, but it was rather let continue it’s bombing mission against pro-Russian seps at Russia-Ukraine border.

      I would like to know the reason for the extreme, bizarre restraint by Russia. Maybe Putin does not want to upset his western partners even more?

    • Jen says:

      Ms Harfabrain trained by Ms Psakipath in the art of answering questions.

    • marknesop says:

      This is the same state department that believed with a high degree of certainty that Assad had fired chemical munitions at sleeping citizens just as a western chemical investigation team arrived in Damascus, despite considerable exculpatory evidence which had been thrust upon them because they had not yet done any kind of an investigation at all. A theatre of the absurd.

    • Al says:

      May I suggest an official change of name for the United States Department of State Press Briefing to…

      ..The United States Department of State of Breast Feeding?

      Nothing to do with Romulus or Remus obviously.

  13. Warren says:

    RFE/RL Propaganda podcast!

    Podcast: The Gangs Of Crimea And Donbas

    Russia may be threatening to cut off Ukraine’s gas supply. But it is busy exporting other things to Ukraine.

    With Crimea about to turn into the most lucrative business opportunity for organized crime groups since the Sochi Olympics, major Russian mafia groups are gearing up to get their cut — setting the stage for a potential gang war.

    And meanwhile, the conflict in Donbas is attracting Russian ultranationalsts, paramilitary groups, and neo-Nazis of various stripes.

    In the latest Power Vertical Podcast, we discuss these phenomena and their implications.

    Joining me, Brian Whitmore, are co-host Mark Galeotti, a professor at New York University, an expert on post-Soviet organized crime and Russia’s security services, and author of the blog “In Moscow’s Shadows;” and guest Merhat Sharipzhan, a senior correspondent and analyst for RFE/RL’s Central Newsroom.

    Enjoy…

    http://www.rferl.org/content/podcast-the-gangs-of-crimea-and-donbas/25413092.html

  14. Fern says:

    Victoria Nuland is due to attend Poroshenko’s inauguration as part of a 3 day visit to Ukraine so I guess we can kiss even the merest possibility of de-escalation goodbye and no doubt we’ll be seeing an intensification of the violence next week. Interestingly, she’s due to visit Odessa – I hope its citizens give her a cordial welcome.
    http://voiceofrussia.com/news/2014_06_06/Victoria-Nuland-to-attend-inauguration-of-president-elect-Poroshenko-in-Kiev-3584/

    • yalensis says:

      All the bad guys are going to be there in one spot: Nuland, McCain, Joe Biden, all standing alongside Poroshenko on the podium.

      And speaking of assassination attempts, I read elsewhere that Chocco is so paranoid, that he has hired an elite guard of 5,000 snipers to protect him as he ascends the podium to take his oath of office.
      Meanwhile, this video gives a fortaste of what might happen:
      Chocco arrives on the red carpet, accompanied by his goose-stepping capos; then one of the hapless Uke honour guards drops his rifle and faints.
      This is for real, not a satire:

      (Or maybe the soldier just dropped his rifle, and then pretended to faint. That’s what I would do, it’s really the only way to extricate oneself from such a colossal fail.)

      http://www.vzgliad.ru/news/2014/6/7/690417.html

      • yalensis says:

        Oops, just realized that I have been speaking about Chocco’s inauguration in the future tense, ’cause I thought it was going to be tomorrow (Sunday).
        Turns out it was today (Saturday), and already happened.

      • Southerncross says:

        One second sooner and it would have gone straight into his ghoulies.

        • yalensis says:

          To-do list of fainting soldier:

          (1) Purchase new identity
          (2) Flee the country
          (3) Plastic surgery to change face
          (4) Start a new life in some remote corner of the planet – maybe Bora Bora
          (5) Marry a native woman who doesn’t ask any questions about shameful past

          Alternatively, he could do like Conrad’s Lord Jim and pull off some amazing feat of courage, thus redeeming himself in the eyes of his people.

          For example, he could single-handedly re-conquer Crimea and then Greco-Roman wrestle Vladimir Putin into submission, in a televised transmission to the world.
          Nothing short of that could ever redeem such public shame…

          (I am only teasing him, it wasn’t really that bad…)
          .

          • patient observer says:

            A more likely explanation is that the solider did something to displease his Master who obviously has achieved mastery of the Dark Side powers of a Darth Vader.

  15. Fern says:

    A very good article from Diane Johnstone in the weekend edition of ‘Counterpunch” that sheds light of the early days of the planned coup:-

    “In September 2013, one of Ukraine’s richest oligarchs, Viktor Pinchuk, paid for an elite strategic conference on Ukraine’s future that was held in the same Palace in Yalta, Crimea, where Roosevelt, Stalin and Churchill met to decide the future of Europe in 1945.  The Economist, one of the elite media reporting on what it called a “display of fierce diplomacy”, stated that: “The future of Ukraine, a country of 48m people, and of Europe was being decided in real time.” The participants included Bill and Hillary Clinton, former CIA head General David Petraeus, former U.S. Treasury secretary Lawrence Summers, former World Bank head Robert Zoellick, Swedish foreign minister Carl Bildt, Shimon Peres, Tony Blair, Gerhard Schröder, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Mario Monti, Lithuanian president Dalia Grybauskaite, and Poland’s influential foreign minister Radek Sikorski.  Both President Viktor Yanukovych, deposed five months later, and his recently elected successor Petro Poroshenko were present. Former U.S. energy secretary Bill Richardson was there to talk about the shale-gas revolution which the United States hopes to use to weaken Russia by substituting fracking for Russia’s natural gas reserves.  The center of discussion was the “Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement” (DCFTA) between Ukraine and the European Union, and the prospect of Ukraine’s integration with the West.  The general tone was euphoria over the prospect of breaking Ukraine’s ties with Russia in favor of the West……
    Facing a dozen or so American VIPs and a large sampling of the European political elite was a Putin adviser named Sergei Glazyev, who made Russia’s position perfectly clear.
    Glazyev injected a note of political and economic realism into the conference.   Forbes reported at the time  on the “stark difference” between the Russian and Western views “not over the advisability of Ukraine’s integration with the EU but over its likely impact.”  In contrast to Western euphoria, the Russian view was based on “very specific and
    pointed economic criticisms” about the Trade Agreement’s impact on Ukraine’s economy, noting that Ukraine was running an enormous foreign accounts deficit, funded with foreign borrowing, and that the resulting substantial increase in Western imports ccould only swell the deficit.  Ukraine “will either default on its debts or require a sizable bailout”.
    The Forbes reporter concluded that “the Russian position is far closer to the truth than the happy talk coming from Brussels and Kiev.”
    As for the political impact, Glazyev pointed out that the Russian-speaking minority in Eastern Ukraine might move to split the country in protest against cutting ties with Russia, and that Russia would be legally entitled to support them, according to The Times of London.
    In short, while planning to incorporate Ukraine into the Western sphere, Western leaders were perfectly aware that this move would entail serious problems with Russian-speaking Ukrainians, and with Russia itself. 

    I couldn’t agree more withMs Johnstone’s conclusions:-

    “Perhaps the most extraordinary aspect of the current charade is the servility of the “old” Europeans.  Apparently abandoning all Europe’s accumulated wisdom, drawn from its wars and tragedies, and even oblivious to their own best interests, today’s European leaders seem ready to follow their American protectors to another D-Day … D for Doom.”
    http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/06/06/washingtons-iron-curtain-in-ukraine/

  16. yalensis says:

    Highlights from Chocco’s inauguration speech :
    1. No federalization of Ukraine
    2. No Russian as official second language
    3. Sign EU Association agreement as soon as possible, and then join EU as soon as the Masters permit.
    4. Work with EU on economic revitalizatino of Donbass [yalensis: he means removing the people and fracking the hell out of it for shale gas]
    5. Doesn’t recognize Crimea as part of Russia.
    (etc etc etc)

    Hail the new king, same as the old king…

    • Southerncross says:

      So it’s war until Ukraine is destroyed. I knew it – they’re too scared of their Brown Battalions to do anything else.

      • kirill says:

        They are too greedy. The Kiev regime is operating under the delusion that it can win in Donetsk and Lugansk. It does not have enough men to do this. Their operation in Slaviansk is a rolling failure. The number of civilians killed and refugees does not contradict this point. The only hope for the regime is if NATO does its fighting for it. But that ain’t gonna happen. Any military intervention by NATO will be met with a Russian military response. NATO and its Kiev pets could end up losing much more than Donetsk and Lugansk. I am actually hoping that NATO does something idiotic like this. Half of Ukraine is against NATO. Kharkov, Odessa and other regions need to be liberated as well.

        • Southerncross says:

          It’s all of Ukraine or none of it, because Ukraine minus Novorossiya equals Chechnya in the 90s. Western Ukraine’s maladies stem in no small part from its long isolation from the rest of historic Rus’. Russia will never know peace on its western borders until the lost sheep are returned to the flock.

          It would be very foolish of NATO to force any kind of armed confrontation with Russia – That would risk a stinging defeat, which would be as likely to splinter NATO as solidify it.

          • kirill says:

            Banderites do not have the character of Chechens. They would run off to the west if left cut off from welfare. It is a historic mistake to try and keep the artificial state called Ukraine intact. We have the last 23 years as confirmation. The rabid hate Banderites have for “russified” Ukrainians and Russians is straight out of the Twilight Zone. They need to be cordoned off.

            • Southerncross says:

              Oh Ukraine has to disappear, no doubt about that. But once Ukraine is defeated, and the hardcore Banderites have gone to hell or Canada, new opportunities will present themselves. One decade without drivel like ‘140,000 years of Ukrainian history’ being taught in west Ukrainian schools, one decade without the local mass media uniformly promoting anti-Russian hatred and one decade without the Uniates or Denisenko’s mob being free to seize churches and monasteries – combine that with real improvement in living standards and think what could be achieved.

              • kirill says:

                I can only dream of this. Perhaps Ukrainians will get a break and the vermin that makes their lives miserable while promising them prosperity suffer total defeat.

          • marknesop says:

            I am very afraid that is exactly what they will do. Poroshenko’s bold and aggressive inauguration speech signaled there will be no further attempts at reconciliation, only subjugation, and the east will never accept subjugation willingly after the atrocities and insult heaped upon them by their western counterparts. But the Ukrainian forces lack the will foremost and the capability second to carry out the subjugation or extermination of the east. The unacceptable alternative is a grinding war of attrition which might last a decade.

            Since this is unacceptable, it will prove terribly tempting to NATO to provide the Ukrainian government with some high-tech war toys to help them in their mission to either force its will on the east or exterminate its people. If that happens, it is most unlikely to go undetected. When it is, Russia will respond in kind. And it is all too easy to see how that could escalate to troop deployments responded to by counter-deployment and onward to full-scale ground war with Ukraine as a battleground. Those in Kiev who remember what Grozny looked like are invited to consider what it might mean to see Kiev in a similar state, because in the event of escalation the west and centre would lose their free pass. It is important to remember the prime mover in this is the United States, because it bears no risk itself.

        • colliemum says:

          I seem to remember that there will be a joint NATO-Ukraine military exercise around July 5th this year, apparently something long planned, and something which happened last year as well.
          I think it was reported earlier this year, in April perhaps.

    • kirill says:

      CNN claims he said he does not want revenge. As they say, actions are louder than words. The current punitive operation in Donetsk and Lugansk is clearly all about revenge. “Revenge” for daring to defy the regime in Kiev.

  17. yalensis says:

    On Friday 6 June, at 17:04 insurgents shot down Uke reconnaissance plane AN-30 over Slav’ansk. There is lots of video out there showing the incident. The plane was buzzing over Slav’ansk for hours, its job was to help ground artillery by correcting their coordinates from the air. (Recall that Slav’ansk is under full bombardment now for several days, from Grad rockets, and even tanks now.)
    So, anyhow, insurgents started shooting at the plane, using ПЗРК shoulder-fired zenith rocket complexes .
    The second shot managed to hit the right engine. The pilot turned his flaming aircraft around and flew away. Soon the AN-30 fell to the ground and burned up in the region called “Mayak – Svatogorsk”.
    The crew catapulted out of the plane before it crashed down.

    Anyhow, of even more interest is the accompanying video clip, which contains the dialogue of the pilots as they are buzzing over Slav’ansk doing their reconnaisance bit. Dialogue, which is in Russian, consists of reading out coordinates to assist ground fire, also identifying geographic landmarks.
    To their credit, the pilots are attempting to identify rebel blockposts and military targets. Then the plane is hit, and they say, “Fuck, we’ve been hit”, the usual response to that event.
    The final scene of the vid shows the 2 pilots parachuting out of their plane, which I guess they just leave to its own devices, to crash wherever.

    This video clip is important for 2 reasons:
    (1) In the propaganda war, Uke government claimed the plane was a civilian aircraft carrying humanitarian cargo, [yeah- right!] and thus insurgents were horrid bullies to shoot it down. The taped radio communications prove otherwise; and
    (2) Not to bury the lede, which is that INSURGENTS CAN TAPE UKRAINIAN AIRFORCE SECRET COMMUNCIATIONS. We have seen this phenomenon before, and it has been hitherto unexplained how they do it. Certainly not without a little help from Russian radar who, presumably, can hear everything that happens in Uke air space??

    • yalensis says:

      Ohe of the commenters to the piece, Larisa Bilousova, comments on a bit of dialogue where one of the pilots identifies a school. She sarcastically assumes he wants to bomb the school with Roshen chocolates.

      I listened to that clip about 10 times The pilot does mention a school, also a church, but I don’t necessarily read something sinister in that. I think they’re saying stuff like: “Well, it’s down over there, you see where I’m pointing, near that school, etc…” I am charitably giving them the benefit of the doubt that they are identifying coordinates of rebel blockposts and artillery stations. Not deliberately picking schools and churches to bomb. Also, they’re not bombers, just intel gathering.

    • yalensis says:

      Another commenter, named Aleksei Medvedev, gives the official report of the loss of the plane from Uke aviation agency, this is in English:

      Date: Friday 6 June 2014
      Type: Antonov 30
      Operator: Ukraine Air Force
      Registration: registration unknown
      C/n / msn:
      First flight:
      Crew: Fatalities: 6 / Occupants: 8
      Passengers: Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 0
      Total: Fatalities: 6 / Occupants: 8
      Airplane damage: Damaged beyond repair
      Location: near Sloviansk ( Ukraine)
      Phase: En route (ENR)
      Nature: Military

      If this account is correct, then there were 8 crew in the plane, of which 2 safely ejected, and the other 6 were left to die in a hellish fireball?
      Maybe they didn’t have enough parachutes for everybody?

      • kirill says:

        I would say that the fact they did not have enough parachutes is pretty clear. The plane was intact aside from the burning engine and there was enough time for everyone on board to jump.

        • marknesop says:

          There’s also the possibility that the two who did jump were not the pilot and co-pilot, and that those stayed with the plane to ride it down and ensure it did not crash in a populated area. There is a monument (consisting of the tailplane of the actual aircraft) just outside Arseneev in the Russian Far East which pays tribute to the crew of a Tupolev T-22 Bomber who remained with their disabled aircraft in order to ensure it did not hit the town, and were killed in the crash as a result. I saw it because we had stopped by the roadside for a pee break, and I walked closer to take a look and read the plaque (after peeing, of course, I would never be so disrespectful). I paid for it in blood, too; I was nearly carried aloft by mosquitoes which would have made the Luftwaffe salivate. The mosquitoes in the Russia Far East are ferocious in summer.

          Anyway, if some or all of the dead men rode the plane down out of humanitarian concerns, they were brave and deserving of respect. I’m not saying that was the case. I’m saying if.

          • kirill says:

            Your scenario is plausible. If the two who jumped were RS commissars then this is yet another sample of the grotesque US orchestrated Maidan revolution.

    • marknesop says:

      Just a minor quibble. Radar cannot hear or record anything to do with communications. That is the job of specialized communications-intercept equipment, usually assisted by computer which enables it to scan large bands of frequencies quickly and lock on transmitters which might be missed if you were scanning manually because the signal did not last that long.

      Interestingly, under western law you are not allowed to record personal communications – especially for later use in a prosecution – unless at least one party in the exchange is aware they are being recorded, except under very narrow national-security applications. At least, that’s the way it is here.

  18. yalensis says:

    Meanwhile, while Chocco’s coronation was taking place (preceded by that very bad omen of the fainting honour guard soldier), while this was taking place in Kiev, insurgents were busy destroying Ukrainian military hardware amassed outside of Slav’ansk, one after the other.

    Just in the course of that one day , 20 items of Uke heavy hardware were destroyed. This from a total of 80, that have been brought up around Slav’ansk. The units destroyed by insurgents include such items as: tanks, APC’s, and БМД’s , which are tanks that can swim.

    To summarize: out of 80 of these things, 20 have been destroyed, leaving 60 to go.

    • kirill says:

      This is excellent news. Basically the only advantage of the regime paramilitaries is that they got access to heavy equipment. Without it they are nothing. The An-30 shot down over a day ago was also a great achievement.

  19. kirill says:

    https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20131205/07061525466/unarmed-man-charged-with-assault-because-nyc-police-shot-him-hit-random-pedestrians.shtml

    The USA is getting a free ride from the rest of the world. The above is a sample of the bizarre police state behaviour rampant in almost every state. Meanwhile, any Maidanut specimen arrested in Russia is some sort of dissident when they block traffic or make other illegal marches. Following the US example, they would all be shot and charged with armed assault.

    • Jen says:

      This would be hilarious if it weren’t for real. From Interfax-Ukraine comes news that John Kerry had asked Willy Wonka before his inauguration to fabricate … err, provide evidence that Russia is aiding separatists in eastern Ukraine in order to hit Moscow with … something, ANYTHING!

      “U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in a private talk with Ukrainian President-Elect Petro Poroshenko urged him to provide evidence of Russian involvement with separatists in the east of Ukraine, The New York Times reported on Thursday.

      According to the newspaper, Kerry asked Poroshenko for the information so as ‘to know what to confront Russian officials with’.”
      http://en.interfax.com.ua/news/general/208027.html

      If Kerry had to ask WW, what’s the point of having the NSA and of sending Geoff Pyatt to Kyiv in the first place?

      • astabada says:

        Hi Jen,

        I would look at Kerry’s request under a different light: how can a mere Secretary of State ask something like that to a Head of State?
        That sounds like a boss asking his subordinate to provide some paperwork.

        Isn’t it ironic that the supposed nationalist, so eager to pry Ukraine free from the suffocating hug of the Russian bear, are running into the grip of the Bald Eagle?

        Even admitting that they were right regarding Ukraine being subordinate to Russia (which they aren’t) they should have known that it is much much easier to free yourself from the Russian yoke than from the USA.

        History clearly demonstrates this. If we admit that NATO was created to confront the risk of Communist onslaught (which it wasn’t) then, after the fall of Communism, we have more than ten states who have freed themselves from Russian control, but not a single state has been able to exit NATO.

        • marknesop says:

          I would look at it in still a third light – that of asking Kiev again to provide evidence of Russian culpability after the event of the phony Russian Army Colonel briefing his law-enforcement troops in Kiev, the fake photos of grizzled bearded Russian paramilitaries allegedly in both Georgia and Ukraine and the unblinking passing-on of Kiev’s account of the air attack in Lugansk being a clear signal that the United States will officially accept any trumped-up rubbish as evidence, doesn’t matter how thin or contrived or reeking of bullshit. There was no give me some evidence and it had better not be like that last pack of lies, mind. It was more like give me something, anything, and if it is sufficiently inflammatory we might be able to do something with it to break the deadlock and get this show on the road.

          Your point that no state has been able to extricate itself from NATO despite the repugnance much of the population of some states feels for it is well taken.

        • Jen says:

          Hi Astabada,

          I put up the link to show (as Mark says in his comment and next post) that the US is pushing Poroshenko to provide anything that can be blown up into “proof” of Russian involvement in eastern Ukraine. This is even after the US (presumably) has had opportunities over the past several years, a decade even, to install a surveillance network including staff in its embassy in Kyiv and in other Ukrainian institutions.

          I take your point about no country being able to exit NATO nor any other military alliance dominated by the US. The only way to leave is to do something that offends the US so much that you get thrown out and this is more or less what happened to New Zealand some time back in the 1980s when it declared itself a nuclear-free zone. It’s still a member of sorts of ANZUS but the military partnership is only with Australia. The punishment extends to trade links as well: as far as I can tell, NZ is still subject to some pressure to lift the nuclear-free zone and the country has no free trade agreement with the US.
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ANZUS

  20. kirill says:

    http://www.sdelanounas.ru/blogs/50303/

    A rather large “military exercise” in Russia’s south-west. It includes 1500 pieces of equipment including tanks and artillery.

  21. Oddlots says:

    Jesus, Snyder’s got a new piece out and it is unhinged (like they all are): http://bit.ly/1llz0FD

    • marknesop says:

      Dear God, what a nutbox. I would love to see Moscow Exile do a post in response to this, if he could ever find the time. Snyder just makes shit up.

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