The High Cost of Leaving – Russia and the EU Sign Divorce Papers

Uncle Volodya says, "Divorce isn't such a tragedy. A tragedy's staying in an unhappy marriage, teaching your children the wrong things about love. Nobody ever died of divorce. "

Uncle Volodya says, “Divorce isn’t such a tragedy. A tragedy’s staying in an unhappy marriage, teaching your children the wrong things about love. Nobody ever died of divorce. “

When two people decide to get a divorce, it isn’t a sign that they don’t understand each other, but a sign that they have at last begun to.

Helen Rowland

James Nixey has been doing a considerable bit of compositional prancing lately over at The Moscow Times, and since it has been a long time since we visited that American rag, let’s drop in for a bit. James Nixey is head of Chatham House’s Russia and Eurasia Program, and the current British passion for sanctions based on the supposition that Russia is masterminding – not to mention extending – the war in eastern Ukraine should tell you quite a bit about his position on Russia. But if you’d like to form an opinion yourself, by all means check out his latest effort, published at The Moscow Times:  “Russia and EU are Signing Their Divorce Papers“.

Those who are regular readers will know I rarely write of an opinion on Russia which is approving and supportive, both because it hardly ever happens in the English-speaking press and because I naturally prefer an adversarial role. You might therefore presuppose I view James Nixey as a pretentious toad and pompous British windbag, and his learned scrivening as the polar opposite of the gritty realism he obviously fancies it to be. And you’d be right. All in favour? Carried. Shortest post ever, for me.

No, seriously; it’s true that among those who know me even peripherally, my distaste for those who slag Russia day in and day out based on non-facts and silly prejudices is a given, but I like to have a go at convincing those with whom I engage, to try and make a case. So let’s see if I can make a case that James Nixey is full of tightly-compacted dung.

This is an opinion piece, of course, and James Nixey is certainly entitled to his opinion. However, it is presented as the high-intellect musings of one who knows Russia from muzzle to buttplate, in a tone that suggests not only the most self-evident moral superiority, but an air that one should be grateful for the free life-lesson. Condescending British smugosity, with a soupçon of patronization to season it withal, in other words. And that just makes me mad.

But there’s no need to take my word for it; let’s have a look. Oh, dear; right away, we learn that Russia has not turned out as Europe had hoped. I was surprised to learn that Europe had hopes for Russia over and above their status as slab-faced goons who supply its gas: you’d certainly never know otherwise from the British press, or the eagerness with which European leaders jumped on the sanctions bandwagon even though the loudest shouter about Russian culpability – the United States – could not and cannot offer any proof at all.

“The EU, with its usual schizophrenia, hoped that there was a mini-Gorbachev reformist lurking somewhere within Vladimir Putin’s soul, but at the same time was embarrassed to sit at the same table while Russia contravened internationally accepted rules and norms of behavior.”

Mmm, yes, the stuffy old EU, what? Bound up in its silly antiquated notions of humanity and justice for all, fair play and decency, what, what? While those bounders, the Russians, steal and lie and cheat and have no respect whatever for “internationally-accepted rules and norms of behavior”.

All right, Nixey – there goes your ass.

Internationally-accepted rules like you’re not allowed to shut off fresh water to a civilian population as a means of extortion or punishment, you mean? When Ukraine did it to Crimea, what did you say, Mr. Internationally-Accepted Rules? Fuck all, is what you said; not a dickie bird.

Starvation of civilians as a method of warfare is prohibited. It is prohibited to attack, destroy, remove or render useless objects indispensable for the survival of the civilian population, such as foodstuffs, agricultural areas for the production of foodstuffs, crops livestock, drinking water installations and supplies and irrigation works, for the specific purpose of denying them for their sustenance value to the civilian population or to the adverse party, whatever the motive, whether in order to starve out civilians, to cause them to move away, or for any other motive.

Did you know that using international insignia to protect against being shot at which you have no entitlement to wear pertinent to your current mission is a war crime? True story – it’s called perfidy. What’d you say when Ukraine was caught using a UN-painted helicopter in local combat operations against “separatists”? I’ll help you – fuck all. Zip; you said not a word in demurral.

It is prohibited to kill, injure or capture an adversary by resort to perfidy. Acts inviting the confidence of an adversary to lead him to believe that he is entitled to, or is obliged to accord, protection under the rules of international law applicable in armed conflict, with intent to betray that confidence, shall constitute perfidy. Examples of perfidy are…the feigning of protected status by the use of signs, emblems or uniforms of the United Nations or of neutral or other states not parties to the conflict.

What about indiscriminate attack, like when a jet fighter flies through downtown and shoots the place up with anti-tank ammunition, causing horrible casualties? Illegal as can be. What’d you say when the Ukrainians did it to downtown Lugansk? Not a squeak: never a peep.

Russia hammered on the United Nations to do something to end the slaughter. Warhag Samantha Power ensured that nothing happened. What’d you say, Mr. Norms of Behavior? Nothing.

Little things like values and the rule of law were ignored in the quest for healthy profit margins.

Oh, yes, ‘pon my soul, values. Yes, the EU is just stiff with values. Like what? Well, family, for starters.  “The family is one of the domains where the greatest changes have taken place over recent generations. The traditional nuclear European family consisted of a married father and mother with a several children but today this is only one option among many. Declining marriage rates, an increased number of divorces, the wide acceptation of co-habitation, the legalization of same-sex marriage and dropping fertility rates have caused the size of the average household within the European Union to drop to 2.4 people.”

The EU enthusiastically put its shoulder to the wheel of the gay agenda forged by the United States in the run-up to the Olympics in Sochi, to see if it could help ruin the games for Russia, or – most motivational of goals – get them moved someplace else. After the Olympics was over, Europe lost interest in the Worldwide Plight Of Homosexuals, and you hear nothing about it now. It was all just a stick to beat Russia with, while Russia defended traditional family values. What was the EU’s position? If you didn’t educate your children in a positive, gay-friendly way about alternative lifestyles, you were stifling their natural development. Don’t talk to me about values.

How about work? That’s a value, surely? Well, less so in Britain, these days. “The conviction that work is a virtue is predominantly found today in the countries of Eastern Europe, namely Kosovo, Bulgaria and Turkey. The weakest sense of work ethic is currently to be found in Iceland, Great Britain, Sweden and the Netherlands. Maybe it is time to consign the concept of “Protestant work ethic” to the history books. Interestingly, there has also been a notable decline in work ethic in Poland over the past twenty years, despite their reputation as hard and skilled workers.”

Society. That’s a value – we all need to feel like we’re part of something. “This summer’s riots, together with the immoral behaviour of City bankers and Premiership footballers, were seen by journalists as evidence of a widespread moral decay in Britain. What indicators are there in the European Values Study that morality is breaking down?…Most Europeans consider that it is (almost) never justified to cheat on your tax return but the unreliability of this statistic is highlighted by the fact that the country which is most willing to countenance tax evasion is the Netherlands! This says more about the honesty of the Dutch (even when they are confessing to dishonesty) than it does about the rest of Europe.”

I think that’s all I want to say about that, if I may borrow from Forrest Gump.

“Europe’s leaders are just as bad. Most chalk up poor relations with Russia to their predecessors’ ignorance or incompetence, and egotistically believe that their administration will be different. But over the course of their term in office, they eventually realize that “it’s not us; it’s them.” But by then it’s too late: Either the presidency or prime ministership is almost at an end, or the relationship has degraded to the point of no return. European leaderships refresh themselves. Putin and his cronies stay on and stand tall.”

Yes, poor good Europeans; hobbled by their essential humanity, they care too much. It’s not us – it’s them. I wonder if current Ambassador of the UK to Russia Tim Barrow subscribes to that worldview? He very well might, considering he was a compatriot of former British diplomat David Manning, whose most stirring memories of foreign service in Russia, together with his good friend Tim Barrow, were those of Boris Yeltsin ushering in a new age of freedom and joy for all Russians. We all know how that turned out. Life expectancy for Russian men fell by six years almost in less time than it takes to say it, alcoholism and despair intersected in a perfect storm, and the savings of a generation – including those of my wife’s parents – were wiped out as the nation’s wealth was transferred to a handful of venal oligarchs. Good times – provided you were from Europe and not Russia.

In the next breath, Putin and Russia are blamed for the murder of western Europeans, aboard MH-17. Even if Russia shot them down “unintentionally”. In fact, Russia had nothing whatsoever to do with it, and the analysis is trending more and more toward Ukraine’s having done it, perhaps even deliberately. I tell you candidly, that’s a case I can’t wait to see solved. I’d be interested, in a sort of detached academic way, to see if there are going to be any apologies for the gusto with which Europe took up the “Russia dunnit” narrative – including, obviously, James Nixey.

It’s only a matter of time before they come crawling back, though, Jim tells us – and Europe, the much put-upon, loving and munificent spouse, will forgive Russia provided it is prepared to buckle down and do as it’s told.

No, you were right in the earlier passage I quoted above, Jim: the relationship has degraded to the point of no return. So thanks for the memories, Europe: fuck you, and I’m lookin’ forward to lookin’ back. Let’s talk again in, say, six months, and see who’s crying.

Words have a way of hidin’ what’s real; I’ll let my actions tell you just how I feel:

I’m lookin’ forward to lookin’ back – got my ticket to ride and my bags are packed…


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794 Responses to The High Cost of Leaving – Russia and the EU Sign Divorce Papers

  1. kirill says:

    I see lots of talk in various fora that Donbas would be a “black hole” for Russian budget money if it were to join Russia. This is BS. The Donbas was not a black hole for the Ukrainian budget and Donetsk was the biggest source of Ukrainian export revenues. Of course now that it has been messed up it will take billions of dollars to rebuild, but the claim was being made since before the war.

    • marknesop says:

      But raising it to Russian living standards would be immensely expensive – Ukraine’s average monthly wage is half what it is in the Russian Federation according to the International Labour Organization (ILO). And that was in 2009, before the bottom fell out of the economy.

      • kirill says:

        Russian living standards are not uniform and by a wide margin. Moscow has twice the standard of living of most of the rest of the country. Absorbing a region which is richer and more productive than the Caucuses is not a loss.

        I am beginning to think that the regime in Kiev expects Donbas to leave and join Russia. So they are trashing it to make it a burden. If they manage to ethnically cleanse the locals and win, then that is a bonus.

        • yalensis says:

          I agree with this analysis.
          Donbass has to join Russia eventually. Ukraine did not leave it any other option.
          Under normal situation, Donbass would be a money-maker. Labour force is used to working at substandard wages, and yet being extraordinarily productive. They would not expect to have same living standard as, say, Moscow, not right away.
          The idea that Donbass citizens are drunken, slovenly, unproductive “vatniki” is a myth. They are advanced, educated, and productive people.
          Just used to low wages and modest living standards.

          Due to destruction of war, there will be more investment, and it will take more time to bring them up to speed.
          But in a decade or so, Donbass will be highly productive asset for Russian Federation, both in terms of people, manufacturing, and also agricultural breadbasket.

          It’s all good. Just need to get them free from abusive from Ukrainian fascist dictatorship.
          Liberation is right around the corner.

  2. Warren says:

    After Magnitsky: Dead lawyer’s boss Browder and his legal hurdles – now in US

    William Browder is a former Magnitsky boss and a vocal anti-Kremlin campaigner whose claims are believed to be the only evidence in a Russian money laundering case in NY. However, he is “fighting hard” to avoid testifying in US court, lawyers say.

    Browder is a US-born national with UK citizenship and a co-founder and CEO of Hermitage Capital Management investment advisory firm.

    The businessman was summoned to a New York court as the principal witness to testify in the US government case against a Prevezon Holdings, a company owned by Russian citizen Denis Katsyv.

    The company is accused of laundering a portion of money from $230 million stolen through a tax fraud scheme from Russian treasury. The court hearing is scheduled for August 15.

    US prosecutors earlier demanded that all the company’s assets in the New York be seized.

    The lawsuit against Prevezon Holdings was launched after being lobbied by Browder in September 2013, four years after Hermitage Capital lawyer Sergey Magnitsky died in pre-trial custody in Moscow.

    Browder’s statements and unsigned articles on the internet were the main sources the Russian money laundering case was based on, according to Prevezon Holdings. That is why the firm insisted on summoning the Hermitage Capital CEO to court to testify.

    However, Prevezon lawyers say, Browder does not want to appear in court and has been doing everything to avoid being served with a subpoena.

  3. yalensis says:

    Here is another one of those human interest stories about an altruistic animal. I think colliemum will like this one, because it’s about a kindly dog.

    In the video, which was shot in Thailand, a dog is hanging out at a fish market. Several live fish are just lying around on the pavement, waiting to die.

    The dog tries to save some of the fish by nosing water onto them.
    Once again, debunkers try to pooh pooh this, claiming the dog is “only acting on instinct” to bury its stash.
    But that is clearly not the case. All of us know what it looks like when dogs paw at the ground, dig holes, and try to bury something. That is NOT what is going on here.

    Watch especially at :39 seconds in. The dog comes nose to nose with one of the fish, sniffs at it, gently nudges it, apparently trying to tell if it’s still alive. It does not try to bite or harm the fish in any way.
    On the contrary, the dog seems to know instinctively that the fish is ailing and needs water to breathe. But, just being a dog, he doesn’t know how to effectively save the fishes, so he just splahes water on them.

    • colliemum says:

      You bet I loved that!
      No dog would try and bury their prey (or a favourite bone) by using their nose. That’s what paws are for! And the gentle sniff shows that dog wasn’t trying to eat it.
      I wouldn’t be surprised if that dog was aware of the gasping sounds from those fish, dogs do have a very good sense of sound, and some are very sensitive to the emotions conveyed with those sounds. All my collies can’t and couldn’t stand shouting or angry voices, and the present one will come any time I watch a video where puppies are squealing – only puppies, mind, no other sqeals interest her.
      Yeah – I loved it.

  4. colliemum says:

    All right, one swallow does not a summer make, but I noticed this weekend in my forays through the German online papers that one is now moderating out most comments which are pro-Putin (SPIEGELOnline), whereas the other ( has disallowed any comments on the reports about the ‘Russian incursion’. Here, in the most conservative German paper, the dissonance between report and opinion pieces on the one hand and the opinion as expressed by the readers in their comments was remarkable. It looks as if the editors have had enough of being called to task by their readers – and freedom of speech be damned!

  5. ThatJ says:

    Reuters is not even trying to be impartial anymore. They are resorting to “the end is nigh” mantra, which preaches that Russia is falling apart:

    Putin’s Ukraine gamble hastens exodus of Russian money and talent

    * Russia forecasts $100 bln outflows, others say much more

    * Big rise in Russian emigration, more expected

    * Losing most educated, active, entrepreneurial -pollster

    By Guy Faulconbridge, Shadi Bushra and Jack Stubbs

    LONDON, Aug 14 (Reuters) – The Kremlin’s worst clash with the West since the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union has accelerated the outflow of two of Russia’s most prized assets: money and brains.

    Vladimir Putin’s annexation of Crimea and support for rebels accused of shooting down a passenger plane over Ukraine then hindering the recovery of the 298 bodies have shredded Western hopes of a lasting alliance with Moscow.

    Sanctioned by the United States and European Union, Putin’s courtiers are under fire, Russia’s $2 trillion economy is threatened with isolation and millions of Russians across the world are wondering what next.

    Russia is still earning much-needed revenues from pipelines carrying oil and gas to the West, but, less happily for the Kremlin, capital and talent are flowing in the same direction.

    • They are right about the emigration. In 2012-2013 emigration from Russia rose sharply. Hopefully things will chance in that department.

      • cartman says:

        “In particular, emigration has been rising fast from very low levels since December 2011, and has since plateaued at a monthly 10,000 by March 2012 (when Putin was reelected). The narrative of massive Russian emigration was a myth but perhaps that is no longer the case? Doubt it. Most of the increase in emigrants accrued to the Near Abroad, from 9,000 in 2011 to 44,000 in 2012. I doubt Uzbeks are going back to Karimov in protest against Putin. 🙂 The number of emigrants to the Far Abroad increased much more modestly from 6,000 to 11,000 during the first six months of 2011 and 2012, respectively. The number of emigrants to the US and Canada increased only modestly, while the outflow to Germany and Israel actually fell. In fact in that category most of the increase accrued to China and Georgia who have long provided Russia with net migrants. So hard to make a case that it is ethnic Russian professionals are are now fleeing Putin in massively greater numbers. For the most part, I think the figures now just better reflect cross-border population flows.”

        • ThatJ says:

          “In fact in that category most of the increase accrued to China and Georgia who have long provided Russia with net migrants.”

          Do you know whether they are temporary or permanent immigrants? Israel has a perculiar system for immigrants. They come, get their job done for a period of time, and then fuck off. If only European countries followed this model…

          • Jen says:

            I’ve heard there are a lot of guest workers in Israel and they number about 300,000. Most are from Asia (China, Philippines, Thailand) and there are several thousand from Romania and some African countries. The ones from the Philippines often work as maids or in nursing homes and private households as carers.

            Guest workers are expected to go home when their contracts expire but the problem is when: they could end up working in Israel for 10, 20, maybe more years during which time either their children are back home being raised by relatives or they are raising children in Israel who learn to speak Hebrew and make friends with Jewish kids but receive no education or other preparation in their parent’s language for the day when they’re expected to leave Israel forever. Germany has a similar problem with its Turkish Gastarbeiter: the Turks were expected to go home after finishing their jobs in the factories or wherever and so the German government didn’t encourage or require Turkish workers to learn the German language, the culture or history. For their part, the Turks also expected they’d be working a short time in Germany so didn’t see the need to learn German. As a result, there are now several generations of Germans of Turkish background who are not very well integrated into German society and who suffer from high levels of unemployment and socioeconomic disadvantage.

            • ThatJ says:

              There needs to be a rotation scheme in place. A foreign worker is replaced by another but he will be able to come back again after, say, 2 years.

              Work some 2 years and then take 2 years off. In this way you don’t get the permanent worker problem, who get ‘accustomed’ to thinking they are part of the nation whereas in reality they came to make some buck and then leave.

              Also the enforcement of the law must be firm. If the workers disappear among the population so that he or she can continue to work despite the visa expiration, the worker will be jailed for visa violation.

              This is the first thing they must learn when arriving in the country.

              • Jen says:

                Rotation schemes would have to be organised by the firms that employ the workers or by the agencies that recruit the workers on behalf of the ultimate employers. Such schemes would be regulated by a third party to ensure that the employers and the recruitment agencies aren’t just bringing over illegal workers on fake visas or passports for the sake of bypassing industrial relations and OH&S laws, and laws governing pay in the host countries. Trade unions in host countries would have a role in periodic inspections of workplaces employing guest workers to ensure these people have been hired legally, are being paid and treated fairly, and know that when their work visas expire, these must either be renewed or the workers must go home.

      • marknesop says:

        Let’s see some figures. And if this took place in 2012-13, what has it got to do with sanctions or the current crisis in Ukraine?

        • patient observer says:

          The 2013 rate was about 186,000 with no indication of where they were going or who they were. Expats are counted in this number. This number is about 0.12% of the population. Russian has a very respectable net rate of migration (i.e. positive growth) and seems to be in the middle of the developed countries per 2014 data:

          The Reuters story was awash in negative narratives and poorly made arguments. It assumed that all emigrants were from the middle class and the heart and soul of Russian intelligentsia. Proof? Why none other than Gary Kasparov emigrated! Yes, that was their proof! And lets no forget Khodorkovsky, another stellar human being to be sorely missed by Russia.

          Its a pleasure to poke holes in Karl’s doom-and-gloom scenarios but he needs to step up his game to keep it sporting.

          • kirill says:

            I would rejoice if liberasts are running away from Russia in droves. This report is drivel of course, but getting rid of the liberast toxin would be good for Russia. No, they are not some dissident voice, they are a 5th column. We have seen what such 5th columns can do in Ukraine.

          • marknesop says:

            As I have often said before, there must be nobody left in Russia but octogenarians and idiots, because it’s years now they have been singing the same old song – the young and the brilliant are leaving Russia for the greener pastures of the west. This is demonstrably not so and will be even less likely to be so in future, after that graphic lesson that the west will seize your business and assets because of your nationality, in order to put economic pressure on your country.

            • cartman says:

              The commentator to that article knew where to find the data, so I’ll repost his post:

              Guy Faulconbridge, Shadi Bushra and Jack Stubbs (authors of this hysterical anti-Russian article) please tell me, why, when you mentioned “186,382 moved abroad in 2013 and 122,751 in 2012, compared with 36,774 in 2011 and 33,578 in 2010”, apparently taken from Russian State Statistic Service, you didn’t mention that 482,241 moved in 2013 from abroad into Russia, compared with 417,681 in 2012 etc.? Also, why didn’t you point out that 147,853 (out of 186,382) immigrated into former USSR countries, which has nothing to do with “Ukraine gamble”, and only 38,529 moved into other countries? When at the same time, in 2013, 59,503 moved from these other countries into Russia.
              Is it your so-called “journalistic objectivity”?
              The source of the official statistics:
              With more details (in Russian): ->
              Миграция -> Международная миграция
              With less details (in English):
     -> Indicators of International Migration

              • kirill says:

                LOL. But if we have Shaun Walker making up some Russian invasion of Ukraine, why should anyone expect any factual articles from the western media. It is just 100% hate propaganda.

  6. NorthernStar says:

    According to commenter Robert on Yahoo news as of 3:45 Pm EST August 16:

    “Robert 17 minutes ago
    1 2 Overall, the widely publicized offensive on Donetsk has failed. The Kiev Regime Forces do not have any more strength and are facing several simultaneous catastrophes on the local scale, which can become operational-tactical in nature and then strategic.

    – The Saur-Mogila Area: … The counter-offensive of the DPR forces that began on August 11, 2014 resulted in the DPR army taking control of Stepanovka on August 12, 2014 and then of Marinovka in the morning of August 13, 2014. The Marinovka border crossing checkpoint (“KPP”) was taken over in the afternoon of August 13, 2014. Thereby, the Southern Cauldron 2.0 was formed. As a result, three more armoured-tank groups of the Ukrainian Armed Forces ended up being encircled.

    – Snezhnoye-Miusinsk-Krasniy Luch: … The situation is under the complete control of the Militia.

    – South of Donetsk: … In the last few days, fierce battles were fought in the Ilovaisk area. Throughout the area, the Kiev Regime Forces have been driven back and in the last day showed no signs of activity.

    – West of Donetsk: … Destruction of 11 Right Sector militants.

    – North of Donetsk, Gorlovka, Debaltsevo: … Fierce battles were fought here in all the previous days. Yesterday, the Militia commenced its counter-offensive. Yasinovataya in the direction of Panteleimonovka to cut off the Kiev forces. Near Gorlovka the enemy has lost dozens of armoured vehicles, essentially losing its strike capabilities. The Kiev Forces are no longer advancing, but rather is doing its best not to end up encircled in new cauldrons.

    – South of Lugansk: … The Kiev Regime’s goal of derailing the humanitarian convoy prompted them to organize an attack on Novosvetlovka-Khryashchevatoye. The goal was to cut off the remaining open road that enabled the supply of the Lugansk garrison. However, it turned into a complete rout. As of this morning, the units of Battalion Aidar were crushed in the area of Khryashchevatoye (the Junta has admitted 22 dead and 36 wounded). In the area of Novosvetlovka, the units of the Ukrainian Armed Forces (totaling up to a company of tanks and a company of motorized infantry) sustained significant losses (losing up to half of the tanks). Right now, the LPR Army is engaged in artillery suppression and elimination of the entrenched grouping. A day or two, and here also everything will be over.


    The most battleworthy units of the Kiev Regime have either already been exterminated (the 72nd, the 79th, the 51st, and parts of the 24th Brigades), or are currently blockaded in cauldrons (the 80th, the 95th, the 30th, and parts of the 24th Brigade). At the same time, the militarized battalions (Right Sector N@zi’s) that were left holding the front cannot compare to the regular army despite all their patriotic zealotry.

    … In other words, we may have already seen the culmination point of the Kiev Forces. ”

    BS?…Accurate??……..What’s up with this synopsis of the battlefield situation??????

    • hoct says:

      This seems to be a summary of of this report at the Vineyard of the Saker. Probably fairly accurate, if rebel-centric, we will know in a few days if things panned out as predicted.

    • PvMikhail says:

      Southern pocket 2.0 is true, because we have seen the videos as Pavel Gubarev and his friends are dismantling the border post at Marinovka. Krasniy Luch is behind this front, so we can assume, that if Gubarev had the balls to go there it can be considered as safe. This is what we KNOW. I have also read about the other things mentioned here, however we don’t have proof, so we have to BELIEVE it. Obviously it should be true, because I don’t see any other reasons why the junta hasn’t managed to make any singificant progress to any directions.

      One move left out: militia of LPR did a smaller counterattack to the direction of northwest from Lugansk. This could result in easing the pressure on Lugansk and opening the way to Pervomaysk through Stakhanov.

      I am not sure about the scope of success against the idiots blocking Lugansk from south. In theory they are fvcked, because they are cut from their friends in Lugansk airport and they will be destroyed. However on militia-friendly sites they say, that Lugansk is still under blockade. This should be the first and most important objective of LPR militia (next to holding Lugansk) to destroy these idiots and protect the Russian convoy until it reaches Lugansk. Maybe they could go to the border and drive the trucks themselves to Lugansk and then they should paint them to green and use them in the war. This is the most sensible outcome.

      In my humble opinion, the worst and most dangerous place on the front is Yasinovataya – Yenakiyevo – Gorlovka triangle. Here the militia has to flex every muscle to survive, because the main forces are attacking here. The problem is that the idiots are continously bombarding this area from the Donetsk airport. I hope that the miners will survive and will be able to release the pressure from this area, Other fronts should destroy the pockets as fast as possible and help with the counterattack to take that airport. This could be the turning point in this war.

    • kirill says:

      On a scale of BS I would it at 20 out 100. Meanwhile the BS scale from the west, parroting Kiev regime, lies is 200 out 100. In the video posted below the regime troops are talking about the loss of 4500 men in three brigades during cauldron 1.0. Recall that cauldron 1.0 did not have any official acknowledgment until the last days. The same incompetent sock puppets are pushing the same tactics now. So we get cauldron 2.0 as almost a trivial result. I don’t expect version 2.0 to be as devastating since they could break out at any moment. But we are seeing a consistent picture of regime force incompetence and rebel competence. This is not bias.

  7. Warren says:

    English subtitles available.

    The fella being interview doesn’t take any sh;t! That’s how you deal with Banderites – give no quarter to these thugs.

    • Max says:

      @Warren, please post links to vids. marknesop takes forever to load and by the time it does the plugin has crashed. Don’t have this problem anywhere else.

      Yes, hovering reveals the link, but the right mouse button won’t let me copy it ;(

      using Firefox browser on a Ubuntu box

  8. ThatJ says:

    Israel’s Unsurprising Response to Crimean Annexation

    I swear this comment could have been made by me:

    “It’s obvious that Russia has become the US media’s new whipping boy. It could pick on China or Saudi Arabia but it has chosen to vilify Russia. The Western media’s absurdly biased tone against Russia is to the pro Israel tone — never clearly report any fact that goes against the narrative. I think Israel is using America, and so NATO, as a proxies to torment Russia and so has no reason to stick its own neck out. …”

    • yalensis says:

      Another comment that I liked:
      Not only should US foreign policy makers not be surprised that Israel’s interests diverge from U.S. interests in the case of the Ukraine, but, were they not busy being arrogant and ignorant (especially historically), they would understand that a nation of Jews has every reason to be skeptical of Ukrainian nationalism. It was Ukrainian nationalists in WWII, anxious to ingratiate themselves with the invading Nazis, who initiated a vicious pogrom in Lvov, and aided the SS in finding Jews as well. There were no Russian pogroms in WWII. Did they think the Israelis would want the Ukrainians to taste such “freedom” again?

      Despite the passage of time, you gotta believe there are still some Jews who care about what happened in Lviv in 1941.

      I read a lot about this event. In one account, it was a 10-year-old Ukrainian boy who provided the trigger for the pogrom. The Nazis had demanded that the Lviv Jews abandon their homes and move into a ghetto that had been prepared for them. Local Ukrainian citizens were asked to assist with driving the Jews out of their homes and flats.
      A group of ordinary Ukrainians first went to some tenement house where lived an old Jewish tailor.
      On encountering the tailor, the mob initially hesitated, not sure if they should actually attack him. There was a moment when maybe a voice of reason could have told them to stop.

      Instead, the ice was broken when a 10-year-old Ukrainian boy suddenly piped up and exclaimed, “Time for you to go, old Jew!” (“stary Zhid”).

      That broke the ice, the mob went wild, what ensued was the horrific pogrom, of which we have seen images, with special attention lavished on the sexual torture of Jewish women and children.

      Jews know, maybe even cynical Zionists, that the Ukrainian people bear a collective guilt for this event, this collective guilt persists to this very day.

      • ThatJ says:

        Abe Foxman of the ADL criticised Russia for using the anti-semitic card in attacking the junta back in the days.

        The ADL know their stuff and have nothing to worry about. The goyim will be remolded into model liberasts in the future if the junta fully prevails. Their co-ethnics already own the majority of TV channels and the NGOs are in place. The junta is a Zionist project of the US Deep State, and thus the ADL has nothing to fear — otherwise they’d be screaming bloody murder and the US rhetoric would be totally different. The stupid nationalists are cannon fodder against Russia, nothing more, nothing less.

        Here’s what you would hear from the usual suspects if the Ukrainian ‘revolution’ was the real deal:

        In my view, the ADL may talk about Ukraine’s anti-semitism, after all this is its job, to stir up paranoia among the Jews and make the goyim feel guilt for existing or for not sucking up to the Jews enough. But it’s just because they are ‘concerned’, they always scream anti-semitism in order to sensitize the targeted subjects.

        • Warren says:

          Arab Israelis fired from jobs for criticizing Gaza offensive on Facebook – NGO

          Arab Israelis are being sacked from their jobs for criticizing their country’s actions in Gaza on Facebook. There is no exact number, but it is thought that dozens have been affected, according to to a local NGO.

          The New Israel Fund made the claim after Palestinian workers came to them after requesting assistance after they had been fired for posting negative comments about Israel’s offensive in Gaza, the i100 news website reports.

          “This has been a real problem since the start of the conflict, and it is completely illegal. Israeli employment law does not allow employees to be terminated for expressing their political views. This is about private opinions expressed outside the workplace,” said Steven Beck, who is the director of international relations at the Association for Civil Rights in Israel.

          At least 25 pages on Facebook have been set up to try and punish unpatriotic Israelis. With names such as ‘Exposing the Traitors” and “Not in our Schools”, names, photos and the places of work are posted of those who do not agree with Israel’s policy. It is also asked that their employees sack them.

          Beck added that since Israel started its campaign in Gaza, those who oppose it are seen as traitors “by certain segments of the population”, making it hard for dissenters to make their voices heard.

          “There are many in Israel who do not want to get painted this way so as a result there is very little space for debate. Employers might be trying to avoid larger problems in their organizations or even seeing it as a way of protecting employees from themselves, but at the end of the day it is illegal. Freedom of expression is the foundation of any democracy and as a principle it needs to be strong enough to withstand even speech that is difficult to hear,” Beck stated, speaking to the i100.

          Last month a municipal worker Isra Gara –an Arab – was fired for welcoming the death of 13 Israeli soldiers in Gaza. Three other Israeli Arabs – a doctor and nurse at two different hospitals and an employee of the Safed municipality – have been suspended for critical comments on social media, Haaretz reported.

          Despite making up a fifth of Israel’s population, many Arab Israeli’s say they experience discrimination, despite having exactly the same rights as Israeli Jews.

          So much for freedom of speech in the Middle East’s “only true Democracy”.

  9. Southerncross says:

    The MPnet gremlins think this is a Russian BTR-82A. Let us hope so.

    • kirill says:

      I have my doubts. Dribbling in some BTR or even a dozen of them isn’t going to do squat to change the course of this war. Sending in serious amounts of MLRS, artillery, tanks, ATGMs and electronic warfare equipment would make a difference.

      If they actually do have one inside Ukraine then it looks like some sort of private initiative. That is, someone stole a BTR and drove it into Ukraine. They could have stolen it from the Russian forces near the border. It would be interesting to know if any thefts occurred of this sort.

      Speaking of tanks they are arguing whether one of the tanks is a rebel T-72. The Kiev regime actually sent in some T-72s after it fixed them up. Nothing says that it is a Russian T-72.

      If Hungary did indeed send tanks to Ukraine on August 2nd, then the gloves should come off. NATzO will lie even if Jesus Himself shows up and gives an interview after healing some terminally ill patients. They will deny He healed anyone and call all of his words lies. There is no room for dialogue with NATzO lunatics. Of course, Russia needs to be careful, but giving signs of capitulation or accommodation are the definitely not the ones you send to a rabid wild animal. The only thing it reacts to is fear.

  10. ThatJ says:


    Charred junta loyalist goyim:

  11. ThatJ says:

    Stubb to CNN: Russia may face more EU sanctions

    Prime Minister Alexander Stubb told the US-based news channel CNN Friday that the EU may impose more sanctions against Russia if that country does not change its policy of support for separatists in eastern Ukraine.

    Is he bipolar?

    • kirill says:

      So where is the incentive for Russia to “deescalate”? These lunatics are acting on total fiction. I guess they expect Russia to pee its pants and submit. Perhaps it is they who need to pee their pants and run away.

    • Fern says:

      Actually, I think people like Stubb represent an astonishing victory for diversity – should it not be celebrated that so many folk with learning difficulties have been appointed to key positions in European countries?

      European leaders have been hoisted by their own petard – they now can’t back away from the absurd positions they’ve taken on Ukraine without massive loss of face. They have to continue with the pretence that those who’ve taken up arms in the east are witless victims of Russian propaganda, incapable of agency, who would be Kiev’s most loyal subjects if it were not for their being misled by Russia. The reality – that those in eastern Ukraine had legitimate objections to a coup government which have now been compounded to the power 10 by months of bombing, shelling and attempted sieges of major towns and cities involving daily war crimes – cannot be admitted. So on we go with the sanctions rhetoric. They keep calling on Russia to ‘de-escalate’ but beyond the endless repetition of that word, they are unable to articulate what they want Russia to do. The way to de-escalate a civil war is to call for a ceasefire so why don’t European leaders do that?

  12. ThatJ says:

    “Anti-Putin” Alliance Fraying: Germany, Slovakia, Greece, Czech Republic Urge End To Russian Sanctions

  13. ThatJ says:


    Right Sector threatens Poroshenko: “we will leave the ATO zone and come to Kiev if you do not drop criminal cases of our members”

    I reported about two days, maybe three days ago, that Bezler had destroyed a ukie unit called “Sotnya of Jesus Christ”, and was not believed. Well, seems, yet again, that raccoons were correct, and more information is received. This ukie unit contained members who were involved in the Odessa massacre, so justice catches up with them, as it will with all of those responsible for that massacre…..

    [note: take it with a grain of salt]

  14. ThatJ says:

    Tochka missile near Lugansk:

    Old shit isn’t even working anymore! Or the faulty could lie in the production line. That’s why I think testing one or two missiles, from any type, from different batches, is important.

    • marknesop says:

      Well, of course you have to test missiles regularly; but the TOCHKA remains a very capable system when properly maintained, although it was designed in the 60’s, and there is not a lot of depth in the short-range market because most planners want to hit stuff which is far, far away. The things that have to be maintained in a missile are the warhead, the fuel supply and the batteries. Fuel is only effective for so long, and that appears to be the problem here. We don’t know if the warhead functioned properly because this missile never reached its target, but the batteries must have been OK in order to get ignition of the rocket motor. I’d bet on outdated propellant. That happens in all military forces, and de-militarizing a missile so there are no hazardous materials remaining and nothing of any value to an enemy is nearly as expensive as the new missile was in the first place. I’m betting the Ukies did not maintain them because nobody expected they would ever need them, and they would not be able to get any more propellant from Russia.

  15. yalensis says:

    More evidence that Russia is preparing herself for (gasp!) a Novorossiya military victory : Donetsk Peoples Republic now has a Minister of Foreign Affairs who is somebody other than the wife of the local warlord’s second banana.

    His name is Alexander Karaman, and he hails from Transnistria, where he was a minister in the govenment of the (unrecognized) Transnistrian Republic.

    Karaman’s appointment (by whom??) was announced today by Moscow’s new Golden Boy Alexander Zakharchenko.

    Karaman replaces Yekaterina Gubareva, wife of Pavel Gubarev.
    Another indication that professionals are being brought in (by Moscow??) to replace amateurs.

    Despite my sarcastic tone, I believe this is a good development. My prognosis is that Moscow is girding its loins to recognize Novorossiya as an independent entity, and these are all signs and portents of that future event.
    Given that the Ukrainian army is simply swirling down the toilet at a rapid rate.

    • Fern says:

      yalensis, I don’t like to rain on your parade but I feel the need to forecast damp weather. Kiev’s western backers, particularly the US, will not (that’s ‘will not’ as in WILL NOT) permit it to fail. Kiev’s failure = Russia wins and that’s just not an option. If the Ukrainian army looks like it’s really collapsing, then I think we’ll see a NATO intervention under some pretext or another.

      On the subject of pretexts, I can’t help thinking this aid convoy is a bad idea. The guys driving the trucks are very vulnerable to attacks as are any ICRC workers accompanying the convoy. A false flag killing ICRC people could provide a timely justification for intervention. And how much of the aid will ever find its way to civilians as opposed to being appropriated for the Ukrainian army’s use?

    • marknesop says:

      Even if the Ukrainian army has to withdraw, beaten beyond all doubt, the west will never ever recognize Novorossiya as a separate state, never mind as a part of the Russian Federation. Its very best hope lies in federalization as a part of Ukraine, which was always Russia’s proposal and which even the Ukie government looked like getting ready to agree with in the first stages of their military campaign, when it was going so poorly.

      A federalized Donbass would still be able to maintain fraternal and commercial ties with Russia regardless what Kiev liked or did not like, and Russia could carry out favoured trade with it and otherwise irritate the Galicians, and eventually it might very well move closer to Russia. But right now the west is livid over the loss of Crimea, and knows there is no legal way to demand it back; it must either be taken by force, or left as part of Russia, and that was the part the west wanted most. The west will not allow Kiev to agree to another chunk of Ukraine becoming Russian. Federalization is the only face-saving compromise that could possibly work, and if Kiev waits too long to offer it, it will be too late because Kiev itself will be on the defensive.

      • kirill says:

        Western recognition is overrated. When we are talking about 7+ million people of the Donbas, that is the population of a country. Unless there are plans to exterminate these people their descendants will be there 100 years from now. I do not see NATO being there 100 years from now playing its retarded games. I think yalensis is on to something in describing a Palestinian type situation. There will be a Novorossian entity whether the USA and its minions like it or not.

        • marknesop says:

          I devoutly hope so. Once peace is established, the best revenge would be for the region to become prosperous while the west of Ukraine languished in poverty and promises from its love interest, the EU.

      • Al says:

        There’s one problem with federalization. Brussels. Whatever agreement is signed, you can be sure that from day one Brussels (and by this I mean the usual suspects) and the US will try to unravel it by one means or another. The Brussels way is death by a thousand slices. They will say with a straight face that Association with the EU etc. will require this or that. This is the game they have been playing in the Balkans. What they won’t tell you is that the famouse EU rule of law is more of a guideline to be bent by diplomatic winds which is why three countries from the Balkans have made it in despite not even fulfilling the EU basics.

        Any agreement as such will have to be signed in blood and probably with the UN or some sort of vaguely trusted third party. In public. At least symbolically as of course most of the details will be worked out behind closed doors with each side going public with their interpretation of the deal, if they ever admit they have ever done a deal.

        If the EU can get Russia to impose EU standards without the EU paying for it, then they will be happy too as they will always hold out on billions and billions of euros of EU structural funds from whatever the federalized part of south and eastern Ukraine is ultimately called.. We have seen this in Bosnia where by far the lion’s share of free money has gone to the ‘multi-cultural’ Bosnian Moslems (where the Izetbegoviċ family is permanently installed) and sweet FA to the Bosnian Serbs. Fortunately on that front the Bosnian Serbs are far more mercantile and energetic in trying to improve the local economy than the Moslem-Croat Federation that has diverted EU money into the companies of well connected politicians (stolen, if I am being too subtle). It’s been well over a billion € from Brussels and at least that from freedom loving gulf states.

        I can’t really see anything tidy coming out of this rather than a gradual alignment with the south and east as the buffer state. Of course it is early days and the truth of the catastrophic handling of the war by Kiev has yet to come home to roost. Whether or not this will translate in to Banderists coming to power, who knows, but if they did I don’t see how even Brussels could cover this up.

  16. ThatJ says:

    A question to Russians:

    Why do so many of you end sentences with “)))))”? This curiosity has bothered me for some time.

  17. yalensis says:

    Several military developments in the war:

    In the area of the Luhansk airport, Rebels destroyed a column of Ukrainian 95th Aeromobile Brigade. Ukes were trying to break out of encirclement and simultaneously close off the highway connecting Luhansk with Russian border; but they failed in this goal, and fell into a trap.

    The punitive battalion “Goryn” from Western Ukraine, was destroyed by Grad fire.

    (3) Igor Kolomoisky’s right-hand man Yury Pizn’ak was killed in battle.

  18. Erebus says:

    Thanks for that clarifying fly-by of the possible Strelkov scenarios you provided above.
    I always considered Strelkov’s “retired Colonel” meme as a bit of sarcastic humor. I know one should stay busy after retirement, but … 🙂

    “…Moscow is girding its loins to recognize Novorossiya as an independent entity…”
    Agreed, though half-heartedly. There are far more wheels within wheels spinning than I can ever know.
    Carrying the speculation forward…
    – there have been hints of a major shift in the military situation was in the offing.
    – Strelkov was reportedly given a choice – “Strelkov, or Novorussya”. Strelkov chose NR.

    Putting 2 & 2 together, I came up with “5”.
    I “believe” Ukrainian commanders (regular army) have made a deal to flip their regular forces to the NR side. For that to happen, NR must have a native political structure, with natives in (at least) the high visibility offices. With Russians in charge, their act would be treason. They may be incompetent, but they aren’t traitors.

    With the regular army on its side, NR’s independence becomes a fact-on-the-ground, and the legitimacy of the Kiev Junta disappears. Imagine the Shock ‘n Awe, from Warsaw to Washington.
    We’ll see.

    • marknesop says:

      Wow. That implies a degree of Machiavellian maneuvering I would not credit anyone in Ukraine with having conceived – but imagine if you were right. Literally nobody in the west would ever be expecting that scenario, because if Kiev even had an inkling of it, it would conceal it in hopes that it might not come off or they might somehow survive it. And the beautiful thing about it is that there would be absolutely no defense against it. NATO can covertly supply a little bit of equipment, a few mercenaries, but it could not take the step of ringing Kiev with NATO armies to prevent it being taken by angry Ukrainians: it just got done cheering for angry Ukrainians who took Kiev. I’m sure the west could try pretending it was an invading “Russian terrorist” force, or that everyone in the east had turned into titushki, but I just don’t think it would play.

      It’s a scenario I don’t think anyone – except you, obviously – ever imagined. But there’s no reason it couldn’t work and it probably would.

      • yalensis says:

        Erebus scenario actually quite plausible.
        What fits in are those reports of entire Uke units switching sides.
        That by itself doesn’t mean much (lots of soldiers quitting the fight), but couple that with the omnipresent speculation that entire swaths of the Ukrainian General Staff are seriously considering military coup to remove Banderite junta.

        That could just be speculation too,except what we know as a fact is that Poroshenko and his team have opened up literally hundreds of criminal cases against Uke army soldiers and officers. (I will try to find link.)

        It’s like 1936 all over again in Kiev.
        And Porky’s paranoia is perhaps warranted, even if he is unfairly accusing some innocent people along the way.

      • Erebus says:

        Who says it was conceived in the Ukraine?
        UA & RU military must have lots of contacts through the officer ranks. Offers similar to those made to UA’s Crimean military would look awfully attractive right about now.
        “Get whacked in a cauldron fighting for a Mafioso who doesn’t give a shit, or keep your rank and help build the new Novorossyan military. BTW, there’s 4x the pay and a good pension to be considered.
        You’ll note the “brotherly” treatment UA troops received whenever they surrendered and crossed into Russia. Info of their treatment spread. All altruism on RU’s part? Maybe some, but looked like groundwork for something else to me.

        Still, it’s really just an idyll of mine. I’m notoriously un-prescient.

        • Southerncross says:

          Treachery runs deep in the Ukraine. You can’t even take a nap in a verdant meadow without blades of grass trying to stab you in the back.

          It would not be at all surprising if this does end with the Ukraine’s military commanders fighting for the privilege of handing Yatsenyuk’s kamikaze cabinet to Moscow.

          The only difficulty is that the Ukrainian soldiery hate and despise the senior officers. I doubt the ATO HQ officers could convince their men to follow them in such a course, but battalion-level commanders may be a different matter.

          • Erebus says:

            I think it would be more appropriate to hand them over to a Novorossian tribunal.

            The senior officers are hated because they fed their inadequately trained & equipped men into a meat grinder for no valid cause. Reverse that, and at least some of their men would follow. The point is that if only 40-50% of the officer corps took the NR deal, the UA military command structure would collapse, and most of the rest would melt back to wherever they came from. The troops would disappear in a flash, and some may follow their field commanders to the NR side. UA military would basically never recover.

            One thing puzzling me is who does NATO think it’s going to be exercising with in Sept? The whole UA military is in Donbass, with almost no prospect of pulling any of them away for fun ‘n games in Galicia.
            Surely that’ll become obvious, even to NATO. Look for hints of postponement “until the situation stabilizes”.

            • Al says:

              I like your reading of the tea leaves but feel that it is a stretch at the least. The situation is such a mess that there are all sorts of permutations that could grow out of this. I share your skepticism.

              On your point One thing puzzling me is who does NATO think it’s going to be exercising with in Sept?

              May I proffer a musical response:

              They’d just switch it to a ‘Ukraine support exercise’.

            • marknesop says:

              It would be an excuse to hold “European Partners” or something like that, and bring in Poland and France and the UK and perhaps some of the Balts; Ukraine would merely play host, and would supply only a token military presence. We all know the whole thing would be an excuse to get NATO troops on the ground in Ukraine, and hope that something would happen which could be construed as inflammatory, an excuse to keep them there and escalate. Of course it is stupid to hold NATO exercises in a country which is paralyzed by civil war, but NATO is running out of things to do which look reasonable.

        • marknesop says:

          Brilliant, though. What a plan. If it worked – and the incentives you have enumerated are undeniable – Russia would be even more hated by the west than it is now, but it would gain a reputation of being able to turn any situation to its advantage.

  19. kirill says:

    Interesting information via militaryphotos:

    We are seeing T-72s in the hands of the rebels and by extension deployed by Kiev regime forces. This indicates that the stock of T-64s is being depleted. One should take the figure of 600 Ukrainian T-64s at the start of the conflict with a grain of salt. They sold off most of their useful tanks over the last 20 years. A lot of those 600 T-64s were rusting, non-functional units in open air lots. So the presence of the T-72s is a clear indication of depletion of T-64s. It is also no accident that Hungary shipped at least a trainload of T-72s on August 2nd to Ukraine. The timing is just too convenient. They planned to have these T-72s masquerade as Ukrainian units but got busted (not that the precious “free” western media would even report about it).

    The stock of T-72s at the start of the war was much smaller than that of the T-64s and according to the discussion at militaryphotos, these are unmodified variants and potentially worse than the T-64s. But the T-72 seems safer because the shells in the turret are arranged horizontally instead of vertically so they are less likely to get hit by penetrating projectiles.

    The conclusion is that the war is hard core and the rebels are grinding down the regime advantage in armour. Without the armour advantage the “ATO” is over. The sock puppets in Kiev cannot hope to win with human wave attacks. It seems that new tanks are not rolling off Ukrainian production lines. This in itself is big news since it indicates that regime controlled Kharkov is either not following or does not have the capacity carry out orders. Recall the fretting by Sergey Glazyev that Ukraine would crank up production and assemble am army of 300,000? Looks like that is not happening.

    • Southerncross says:

      On a related note, whatever happened to the Kiev army helos?

      Seriously, I haven’t even heard about any Hinds in combat for weeks.

      • kirill says:

        They probably gave up using them after losing too many. If the rebels can bring down SU-25s with MANPADs they can take out the helos and they did. I get the strong impression that the combat helos they did deploy initially were not able to attack targets from the 7 km away like the Apache and the new Mi-28s. If they had such helos, they would have used them all the time as they would be hard to take out with MANPADs when they are sitting on the horizon.

    • Rublev says:

      The T-64 is also much more demanding in terms of maintenance and fuel consumption, and with the recent attacks on their logistics, most of their remaining tanks might be just stuck somewhere in their deployment areas, unable to move, as they turn to cheaper and more desperate measures.

  20. marknesop says:

    Just a statistical and off-topic note; we are within striking distance of our next milestone, three-quarters of a million hits. Our traffic is picking up nicely, as well; in the first couple of years after I started this blog, it was a rarity to ever get more than 1,000 hits per day and a real kick when it happened. My record, 1,364 if I recall correctly, stood for at least 2 years. Well, we demolished that a few weeks ago (Sunday, July 20th, to be exact) and the new high is 1,724. More significantly, though – as I said, 1000-hit days used to be a rarity, maybe every 4 or 5 months. As of today there were only 2 days in the last 30 that did not break 1000, and they were both over 900.

    For a small blog, we’re doing good.

    • colliemum says:

      That you’re doing so well is because of your posts and the community of commenters BTL – I know because that’s what got me hooked not so long ago.

    • yalensis says:

      Congrats on a great blog,Mark!

    • Fern says:

      Congratulations, Mark, on a really great blog. You’ve created a rare thing – a blog that’s both genuinely erudite – I’ve learned a huge amount just through reading the archives – and very, very funny – I swear I’ve damaged some vital internal organs through laughing so much while reading said archive. You’ve also attracted a good community here. These are not minor achievements so don’t be modest. Really fine work, well done, sir.

    • Congrats.

      When you finally get around to keeping each page to a limit of 300-350 comments so that it loads in less than 200 seconds without crashing your entire browser you will double your readership in one month. I promise. WordPress allows for the use of multiple pages for comments (it is a very easy setting to adjust, one administrative click), so you can click from page one to page two, etc.. (moonofalabama, for instance, sets a limit of 100 comments per page, and this is without the use of plug-ins) Most popular blogs use this feature. When you reach three full pages, simply make a second thread. Just post the title + “second thread.” No need to post the entire text again. Most comments don’t directly address the post anyway.

      You have a nice tight group of very intelligent, knowledgeable, insightful, and humorous commenters. It is the best blog around, hands down, on your area of focus. Please take the next step and make this blog readable. When even your die-hard loyal readers have to warn you every thread that their browsers no longer are loading your website properly due to the size of the page, and institute kluges like not loading plug-ins — what do you think that does to potential new readers? (I always thought you ran such ridiculously long threads because you did NOT want any more readers, and you wanted to keep the hoi polloi away.)

      PS I usually don’t come here after 500-600 comments because my old computer will not handle it, but today I was at the library where the computers can.

      From: an anonymous sometimes reader just trying to be helpful, who would take the next step and post here if you ever showed that you care about your readership and demonstrated one tenth the effort to institute basic website usability standards that you put into your many very insightful comments. By the way, this comment box sucks too: I can only see three lines, and there is no preview feature.

      • Erebus says:

        Hear! hear! At this point, Opera is barely loading the page. The reason I’m using it is that at the current 748 responses I can expect Firefox to either crash or abort halfway. It is a small matter to correct this problem.

      • marknesop says:

        Thanks; as I think I mentioned before, I always intend to have a new post up quickly so that the comment thread does not get so long, but this is not what I do for a living and I have to take time out for family, so I don’t get to spend as much time at it as I like despite my best intentions. In this instance I have little excuse – I have received Jen’s next guest post, a feature on the economy of Ukraine, and only need to write a one-paragraph or so lead-in and publish it, which I will do shortly if I am not distracted.

        The comment box is a WordPress feature, and so far as I know there is nothing I can do to alter it.

    • PvMikhail says:

      I don’t want to be left ot… Congratulation for your results and thank you for your efforts keeping this alive. This blog is the last beacon of reason in the sea of retarded hateful idiocy. I myself could not do it what you and some other commenters are doing. I read this blog every day for years, even if I don’t always have the strenght to make a comment.

    • Al says:

      Congrats to Mark from me too and a collective pat on the back all around!

      I also get the feeling that there are legions of normal people out there who are either disgusted with current coverage of the Ukraine that they have given up on the Pork Pie News Network and the fact that they take so long to report stuff that has been in the blogs for sometimes days, only to give it the thumbs up from a verified journalist.

      I can’t think of a better way of it shooting itself in the foot. I hope some of them go bust after they professionally ignored open neo-nazis fighting on behalf of Kiev for so long and rehashing NATO & Kiev press releases as fact.

      And we now, we see crowd funding of journalists to report in Ferguson on the heavily militarized small town America’s police treating its citizens like Al Queda or enemies of America because the PPNN simply sucks a** (to quote a certain character from South Park).

      But thank gott for the Stooge! Mark’s broad church of intelligent and inquisitive posters who post and translate links – which I think is something fundamental that sets this blog apart.

      To Mr. Anonymous and his erudite tips for the blog, we’ve been around the block a few times already with the comments drama that are longer than and Imperial Destroyer from Star Wars. I hope Mark takes you up on your comments, like a beautiful butterfly emerging from a chrysalis and taking flight…. On the plus side, ‘click to play’ is now becoming a standard on browsers which is great for posting video clips….

    • Jen says:

      Aye, seconding all the praise here for your blog, Mark. Arrh, arrh, ARRRRH!
      -‘cos it were only a couple of days ago we was discussing Hollywood pirate talk and its connection to th’ Mother Country in Dorset and Bristol.

    • patient observer says:

      1,000 hits per day and growing. that my friend is making a difference.

  21. marknesop says:

    Is it just me, or does this have the flavour of…desperation? Reiterating all the tired tropes in case any well-wishers have forgotten, it insists there is “solid evidence” that MH-17 was shot down by “Russia aided rebels” as well as that Russia has been supplying the rebels with heavy artillery, and the couple of paragraphs I did read are full of superlatives and exaggerations. It revisits the Ukie army’s glorious victory at Slaviyansk, because it has had none since, although it insists they are making steady gains and are “pounding the last two strongholds”. Well, it’s almost in the bag, then, innit?

    But according to the authors, the west is finally taking Moscow’s predatory behaviour seriously, and is about to put its foot down. The next couple of days will tell if the west is actually going to take the Ukie story of a Russian armored convoy “racing towards Kiev”, but stopped cold by the iron trotter of Porkoshenko, seriously. They would love an excuse to escalate before circumstances can stop them, because here we are again at the point of the whole ATO falling apart.

    • yalensis says:

      “the iron trotter of Porkoshenko”

      that’s brilliant turn of phrase!
      I had to look up word “trotter”, it is synonym for pig’s hoof.
      And it fits him perfectly!

  22. davidt says:

    To Mark: the main reason that I highlighted the Ben Aris article yesterday was that it seemed to have quite a different emphasis to most of the articles that BNE has been posting lately, and although I agree with most of your points I am not sure how relevant some are. In fact, we don’t really know what Aris thinks about “Russia versus Ukraine”- certainly he often seems well disposed towards Russia and its problems. We need remember that his constituency is the international business community and that is why I thought his article was important.(If you want to stop your career in the West stone dead, then wear an “I love Putin” t-shirt.) I agree that it’s a good idea for Russia to produce its own food as much as possible, and Putin’s response to the sanctions so far has been brilliant. However, there is no doubt that Obama believes that he doing serious harm to the Russian economy and that has to be a worry. One concern for Putin must be that he cannot allow Russia to be isolated from Western, and other, science and technology for no single country can compete effectively on its own. One comment that I have seen Aris make is that Russian GDP should be increasing at a greater rate- he has mentioned 5 or 6%. I have some sympathy for this view… perhaps, unreasonably. I quite admire Michael Hudson and he seems to be more in your camp about the effect of sanctions on Russia: watch the 2nd half of the following video
    I especially noticed his comments about Russia, and the BRICS countries, having access to electronic money and their own IOQs. Let’s hope that this is possible now or very soon.

  23. yalensis says:

    One commenter to militaryphotos claims to have discovered the whereabouts of Igor Strelkov – apparently he is in Ferguson, Missouri protesting against racism. That guy just doesn’t know how to take a proper vacation!


    • Southerncross says:

      This is why he was recalled from Novorossiya.

      The next uprising is ready to go.


    • Fern says:

      If I was in the Russian government, I might be wondering about messin’ in Obama’s back yard, maybe fund a few racial equality, police accountability NGOs – you know, just strengthen civil society and all that good stuff.

      • marknesop says:

        I agree and have said for some time that destabilization efforts in the world are very one-sided. Putin once pointed out to a badgering journalist – this was around the time they were hammering on him for the NGO law (which was, naturally, “the death knell for Russia’s nascent democracy”) – that Russia has one NGO in the USA (I think, I’d have to check), against which the west has about 2,000 in Russia. But Russia seems loathe to use that tactic. God knows there would be a response if Russia were to try stirring up, say, the immigration issue.

        • patient observer says:

          I recall the same numbers. NGO’s seem to be an invasions of national sovereignty so Russia may not wish to promote such activities even if it is already a victim. But it would be sweet if they did such in the US. A war of NGO’s – imagine that.

        • ThatJ says:

          If the West is able to turn Ukrainians against Russians, people who basically belong to the same stock, Russia should have little trouble in stirring the pot in the US with immigration or racial issues. Also note that the US speaks its mind freely about other countries, so I believe Russia should do the same and criticise European/North American countries and their laws or conduct.

          Liberasts often assume — correctly — that Americans’ opposition to amnesty or desire to deport illegal aliens is racial in origin.

          But these Americans who want the flow to stop and the illegals deported will never tell you this. Instead, they will frame the argument in terms of legalism (‘they are illegals’) and whatnot.

          No wonder they never win. Americans did a better job controlling immigration before the 60s than they do now. Before the 60s when you controlled it, the argument that it was all because of race didn’t exist because the immigrants came mostly from Europe. After the 60s, immigration was never controlled and keeps increasing, and any argument for more control of legal immigrants is taken as racially charged.

  24. yalensis says:

    Meanwhile, in Ukrainian political feuds, Avakov goes medieval on Yarosh.

    This is what Avakov wrote in his Facebook page about the Right Sektor chief:
    “And so it begins… the usual propaganda stream from the half-forgotten Right Sektor. This time around they conceived the notion of the “ultimatum” to the President. There is a whiff of elections in the air, and it was time to distract people. And all the same, is Yarosh able to account for those 32 men who, due to the stupidity and incompetence of his command skills, carelessly strolled onto that post near Donetsk and got themselves killed or taken prisoner? Maybe it is time to stop building this mythical legend on the blood and grief of other people?”

    Avakov goes on to accuse Yarosh of spreading empty PR about his own accomplishments and those of his mythical troops. He says Yarosh creates photos and videos of non-existent units supposedly battling at the front.

    “Yarosh, Yarosh, your problem is that, under the fig leaf image of a brutal patriot, you have deceived many people into joining what are essentially illegal armed formations – without rules or charters, without law and order. In essence, turning people who trusted you, into mindless cannon fodder for your own disorganization. There is no war that justifies this (type of behavior)…”


    • yalensis says:

      P.S. I forgot to mention the context:
      This is Avakov response to a threat by Yarosh.
      Yarosh threatened to gather his troops and “march on Kiev”, due to the fact that there “a whiff of elections in the air”.

      Not sure what he means by that, Porky HAS called for snap Rada elections, but I thought that was for the purpose of expelling the remnants of Regions.
      But maybe Right Sektor feels threatened by it too, not sure…(?)

    • marknesop says:

      If only he believed – not to mentioned followed – all that high-minded tosh. The Ukrainian “government” has been all about creating illegal armed formations, trampling on the constitution and on international law, and use of brutal and deadly force to get its way, and Avakov has been among the worst offenders. I agree Yarosh is a cancer that needs to be removed, but the same scalpel should out the vile jelly of Avakov in the same instant. There should be a lot of people going to the scaffold for this grotesque episode in history.

  25. Warren says:

    Ukraine crisis: Fighter jet shot down near Luhansk

    The military in Ukraine has said that separatists have shot down a government fighter jet near the rebel-held city of Luhansk in the east of the country.

    A military spokesman said the pilot had ejected and was safe.

    Meanwhile lorries from a Russian convoy carrying aid to eastern Ukraine have set off towards the border.

    It is not clear whether the Red Cross has given the cargo clearance. Earlier reports said security issues were still outstanding.

    Later the Russian, Ukrainian, German and French foreign ministers are scheduled to hold talks on the eastern Ukraine crisis in Berlin.

    • marknesop says:

      It was wise of them to carry non-perishable goods like kasha and bottled water, because the mean-spiritedness of Ukraine and its NATO partners knows no bounds and they would be happy if they could stall until the cargo was all spoiled.

  26. yalensis says:

    In aviation news:

    Ukrainian junta themselves announced that one of their MIG-29’s had been shot down by insurgents over Luhansk.

    They say the pilot was able to catapult himself out of the plane successfully.

    • patient observer says:

      It’s amazing that MANPADs, presumably Iglas (or “needles” – cool name) can bring down fighter aircraft. The MIG pilot certainly was aware of the threat and presumably took appropriate precautions. The fact that the pilots safely eject most times is likely due to the relatively small warhead on the missile and a hit toward the back of the plane.

      A general comment – I can’t shake the feeling that Ukraine is unfolding pretty much according to Russia’s plan. Not that they can predict the exact flow of events but rather they were ready with well-thought out responses to whatever the unhinged berserkers would do. Clarity of purpose versus games of bluff, rage and hubris.

      • colliemum says:

        I’m not in any shape or form an expert in military matters, never mind military hardware, so allow me to ask a stupid question:
        could it be that the Ukie pilots bail out when they see they’re under attack? So of course their plane crashes, and there’s an explosion – but perhaps, if they were better pilots, they could fly evasive manoeuvres and thus save the plane and themselves?
        I just find it odd that the Ukie pilots always seem to bail out.

        • marknesop says:

          I don’t think they bail out unless they are hit, and even then pilots do not necessarily eject so long as they have control of the aircraft, and will attempt to land it so it can be repaired so long as there is not some other obvious problem (such as it’s on fire). They expect to be shot at, and there’s no reason to believe Ukie pilots are any less courageous than those of any other air force.

          However, fighters are used to operating as part of a strike group with a common target, and sending lone fighters up to patrol for targets of opportunity is a recipe for disaster. The pilot cannot take advantage of mutual defense and is spending as much time looking around and checking his threat boards as he is in pressing home the attack. As well, the aircraft are not being well maintained and he never knows when it will come to pieces underneath him if it is hit. Lastly, there are no companion aircraft to radio the position where he went down and mobilize immediate rescue while his mates keep the ground troops off him: waiting too long to eject likely means he may be injured and in all probability captured by people who have no reason to treat him gently.

      • marknesop says:

        It’s amazing to me as well, because MANPADS was devised as an anti-helicopter weapon and perhaps slow, low-flying cargo aircraft. It was never designed to take a target with a high crossing rate such as a fighter typically has, the seeker simply cannot follow anything changing that quickly, and it would be lost in a tail-chase. They must have evolved a tactic that brings them greater success, but I’m at a loss to think what it could be. The great majority of MANPADS are IR seekers, and a fighter has its smallest IR signature from head-on, as you know, but that’s the only course from which it is not changing its rate rapidly or headed away in a tail-chase. Perhaps they have gotten hold of some of the laser-designator MANPADS, in which you paint the target with the laser and it simply follows the beam. In that case, again, head on would be the only course in which the operator could physically hold the beam on it.

        • patient observer says:

          Per Wikipedia:

          “The full-capability 9K38 Igla with its 9M39 missile was finally accepted into service in the Soviet Army in 1983. The main improvements over the Igla-1 included much improved resistance against flares and jamming, a more sensitive seeker, expanding forward-hemisphere engagement capability to include straight-approaching fighters (all-aspect capability) under favourable circumstances, a slightly longer range, a higher-impulse, shorter-burning rocket with higher peak velocity (but approximately same time of flight to maximum range).” The article mentions some impressive velocities with engagements of planes flying at over 800 mph. The sensor is cooled (how?) and is very sensitive allowing head-on engagements.

          Seems like the Russians provide even small units with autonomous capability (distributed war fighting capability?). RPGs and Iglas can allow platoons to act independently and with effectiveness when cut off from centralized command and support. Perhaps this reflects lessons of real war which the West has not had the opportunity to learn (yet).

          NATO and its lumbering bureaucracy could dissolve into chaos when faced with an opponent capable of attacking its command and control. Serbia was certainly able to handle so-called “decapitating” efforts of NATO and its army suffered only “scratches” after 70 days of all-out bombing. The Serb army was ready for a fight with NATO until NATO, much like the Ukes of today, shifted the attack to civilians when they couldn’t defeat the military. That tactic and the Russians’ unwillingness or inability to help saved NATO from a likely humiliating outcome in Serbia. Needless to say, the situation in Ukraine is entirely different. Sorry for mixing several topics but they all seem to be related.

          • marknesop says:

            Hmmmm. Thanks for posting that; it’s much more capable than I thought. It’s still an IR seeker (although not all of them are, but most), but it seems to include a flare discriminator (probably linked to a speed gate, since flares are free-fall and slow, on purpose so as to be as persistent as possible). Still, the aircraft stands its best chance of decoying such a missile from dead ahead, when it is not showing a rapid transit rate, although the literature says the seeker can cope with that, too. It sounds extremely capable, and the high kill rate in this conflict must have taught pilots to be cautious. That’s probably why you never see helicopters any more.

  27. Fern says:

    Well, right on cue, the Ukrainian Foreign Minister appeals to the EU and NATO for military aid.

    “Klimkin said the problem lays in the militia in southeastern Ukraine who refused to enter a dialogue with Ukrainian servicemen.
    “There is a territorial contact group between Ukraine, Russia and the OSCE. But it is difficult to contact the representatives of Donetsk and Luhansk even within its framework,” the minister said, adding he hoped the September NATO summit would bring about a decision on the political support to Ukraine, which needs “more aid to reforms and armed forces.”

    Colour me sceptical but I would have thought the ‘problem’ lies not in contacting militia groups but in Poroshenko’s relentless military assault on civilian areas in eastern Ukraine. How can NATO resist such an appeal? Plus NATO exercises within Ukraine are also scheduled for September – dangerous times ahead.

    • ThatJ says:

      It will be very irresponsible of NATO to take part in military exercises in a country plagued by civil war.

      The world will be watching.

  28. kirill says:

    In my view this is an accurate tally of the losses over the last 15 days:

    Combined numbers for destroyed, damaged and captured:

    3 aircraft
    5 UAV
    86 MLRS, field artillery and mortars
    121 tanks
    234 BTR and BMP
    345 other vehicles including trucks
    57 various storage depots destroyed
    1450 Ukrs killed, wounded or taken prisoner


    The above numbers are fully consistent with the intensification of Kiev regime efforts to surround Donetsk as well as cut off Lugansk. A casualty figure of 100 per day is not outlandish. It could even get much larger if the regime really does fling everything it has to “liberate” the two main cities.

    So my point about depletion of the tank pool has some support. I think total losses must be around 300 T-64s both destroyed and taken as trophies. I doubt there remain 300 and this explains the deployment of the T-72s.

    • Rublev says:

      That would make the following daily count
      8.06 tanks
      15.6 APCs
      5.7 artillery pieces
      23 trucks and other
      3.8 storage depots
      97 KIA/MIA/POW

      These losses seem incredibly high, comparable to those of a major conventional war. At such a rate, total defeat is almost a certainty.

      • kirill says:

        The fighting goes in surges. The Kiev regime has been pressing hard in the last two weeks. There was another “big push” several weeks ago that fizzled out. So I would not extrapolate the losses to the whole period. That is why I estimate around 300 tanks lost. The regime lost 179 tanks from April to the end of July and 121 tanks in the last two weeks. From the daily reports a tank loss of 8 per day over the last two weeks is not excessive. The rebels even have T-72s now. Remember how much fuss there was when they got a few T-64s.

        The figure is 97 dead and wounded. The ratio of wounded to dead is usually quite high (e.g. 5 to 1) so the number of dead is 20-30 per day. That is not quite the level of a major conventional war. But fits the current intense fighting on a relatively small front.

        BTW, the regime acknowledges over 1000 casualties during the last two weeks (following the thread at militaryphotos) and given their history of lowballing their numbers 1450 dead and wounded is very plausible.

    • marknesop says:

      That kind of losses is just not sustainable. No wonder they have to fall back on the “Russian Special Forces terrorists” myth. It would be too embarrassing to be trounced like that by shopkeepers and crossing guards and insurance agents.

  29. kirill says:

    The ban fag moderators over at militaryphotos are doing their best to ensure freedom of speech and thought. Naturally, pro-NATO trolls at most get a slap on the wrist, but mostly can pollute the interesting thread on Ukraine with irrelevant, butthurt drivel.

  30. davidt says:

    Certainly an interesting theory of Erebus that members of the General Staff might switch sides- perhaps it is easier to imagine some of them directly pressuring Poroshenko to accept federalization. (Poroshenko might even be happy with such a scenario, especially if they were willing to arrest some of the extreme nutters.) Bhadrakumar is also blogging about the arguments amongst the Europeans- he gives center stage to the Hungarians- and sees federalization as the most natural solution. Unfortunately, it’s more than difficult to imagine that the US would accept such an outcome.
    I think that I read the other day that three of the WW2 Soviet Marshalls were Ukrainian. Who were they? I think that I can identify two. (As a point of interest, Vatutin, as a Front Commander, would almost surely have been made a Marshall but he was killed by a Ukrainian nationalist.)

    • Southerncross says:

      Semyon Timoshenko, Rodion Malinovsky (arguably) and Grigory Kulik (a Poltava man, shamefully).

      A shame to have to put Malinovsky in such company.

    • Warren says:

      Nikolai Vatutin was Russian, Radion Malinovsky was also Russian – he was from Odessa. There is nothing “Ukrainian” about Odessa. ,

    • marknesop says:

      That’s a good and very thought-provoking piece, and demonstrates that there are reasonable thinkers still in the world. Interesting that everyone recognizes this is all down to Washington and whether it will “let” the EU soften its stance; even though the EU is hurting as a result of sanctions Washington bullied them into applying, they still have to crawl to the master to get permission. Not that I’m letting EU leaders off the hook – their belligerent talk means they own the economic wreck they asked for, particularly Cameron, Grybauskaite, Timmermans and Steinmeier for their tough talk when they must have known better, and Merkel for her cowardice. I still think it will be better if the Russian markets remain off-limits to the EU and USA, and Russia cultivates new trading alliances which are more reliable. If they absolutely must have a French cheese or Italian shoes because nobody else on earth makes them better, they can be acquired through third parties. Russia is very much in the driver’s seat on issues of its own trade, and Russian citizens should not be penalized for the EU’s cupidity. They should be able to buy whatever they want and can afford. Turkey could be a broker for EU goods on a very select basis.

  31. ThatJ says:

    Any news about the separatist marches that the MSM said Russian authorities were getting desperate to block in Siberia and elsewhere?

    They must be sooo popular and the MSM was so gung-ho about them that I feel let down by the lack of follow-up stories…

    • ThatJ says:

      Oh, here they are, all 14 of them, in the separatists’ heartland of Novosibirsk:

      • PvMikhail says:

        Who are these clowns and what do they want? Have they even considered thinking this situation trough? I doubt it, Looking at this “man” with the glasses and pnoy tail, most probably these are some sort of mentally challenged…
        Exactly what are the borders of Siberia? From Urals? Two scenarios: these are either retarded or simply bought traitors.

        • kirill says:

          I would expect Siberia secessionists to be indigenous natives and not liberast trolls. These clowns are obviously CIA cocksuckers.

    • Drutten says:

      That is the silliest thing I’ve seen so far, I think. Talk about forced.

      I bet you that since the fringe liberasts and Western puppets Nemtsov and Khodorkovsky (through the “Interpreters” excessive coverage of it) are the main figures here, the entire thing was conceived and created from the ground-up by them.

      • kirill says:

        The morons couldn’t even hide behind some local aboriginals. This is such a transparent ploy that it is not funny. I have never heard of them until now. Every other local ethnic conflict goes back decades and centuries. This is an inane CIA psyop designed to feed western media consumer lemmings some shite about Russia denies “local rights”. Funny how they couldn’t even make this some north Caucuses movement. What a retarded joke.

    • marknesop says:

      Probably there’s lots happening, but you know how Putin muzzles the press and won’t let anything that might be derogatory toward Russia get out.

  32. Drutten says:

    A Russian tourist to Crimea took tons of photos and created a thread on “Skyscrapercity” about his trip here:

    He posts photos all through the pages, and it’s well worth having a look at. Not only because the photos are great and hugely varied, it’s also a welcome departure from the constant propaganda buzz in the medias.

    Essentially, things are pretty much hunky-dory, nobody beats you up for speaking Ukrainian, no Ukrainian TV channels are banned, people aren’t suffering any food shortages, lack of water or electricity, tons of tourists are there et cetera. His sarcastic remarks about how you can really tell how they are discontent with the “occupation” (with illustrative photo examples) are great, too.

  33. PvMikhail says:

    svidomite idiots under Myusinsk

    xa xa xa xa xa xa xa xa

  34. Drutten says:

    The failed state of Russia whose sports suffer greatly at the hands of corruption and general ineptitude did pretty well at the IAAF Euros in Switzerland that just were concluded:

    I think I’ll try to find Julia Ioffe somewhere and inquire for a comment.

    (In case you don’t guys remember, she attacked Russia during the Sochi Olympics, saying that they were worthless at sports due to the failed nature of the entire nation and its people, a rather premature remark it turned out, since they went on winning the medal leagues both in the ordinary olympics and the subsequent paralympics. During the ice hockey WC she was strangely quiet as Russia largely unhindered skated towards winning that too. During the football WC she realized Russia had never been that strong a team and sure enough, she quickly seized the moment and went on another tirade. When it turned out that Russia was doing surprisingly well and left the tournament with stats similar to powerhouses Spain, England and so on, that became yet another embarassment for her).

  35. ThatJ says:

    This Maidanite’s Twitter says he’s from “Ukraine, Europe”


    • marknesop says:

      He doesn’t seem to have any fans in that guy’s twitter feed. It’s hard for me to believe there are any remaining in Ukraine who still believe that “We can not succeed unless we are a member state of Europe” rubbish, but evidently there are. But that part of Ukraine is welcome to join Europe, and Europe is welcome to it.

      • ThatJ says:

        He retweeted this:

        Take a look at her Twitter:

        See the background banner.

        Throw her profile description on Google Translate (choose automatic, it will pick the language the text belongs to).

        Now visit her VK page:

        Whores against Putin?

        He also retweeted from this user:

        Yep, the so-called Siberian Autonomy movement that surged out of nowhere.

        Profile description, Google Translator:
        “Siberian People’s Republic. We support the federalization of Siberia. More powers to the regions! Tax reform! August 17 Novosibirsk.”

        The account is 19 days old and has almost 4000 followers. The story attracted a lot of attention in Ukraine because of what Galicians and Maidanites perceive as Russia’s support for the People’s Republics in eastern Ukraine, and the followers, excluding the rogue/bot profiles (yep, I know for a fact that you can buy Twitter followers, or Youtube views, or Youtube subscribers, or Facebook friends… take a look at for information on this), are mostly Ukrainian trolls, with a minority of Russian liberasts jumping on the bandwagon.

        We saw from my earlier post today what this Aug 17 rally in Novosibirsk, promoted for weeks, was able to muster. For those who didn’t see, here’s the link.

  36. ThatJ says:


    Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin called on NATO and the European Union to provide military support for Ukrainian troops fighting pro-Russian separatists and said the Western military alliance needed to come up with a new strategy towards Kiev

    Klimkin said Ukraine would “fight until the last moment” for Crimea, Donetsk and Luhansk. Asked why Kiev had not declared a state of war, he said that would worsen conditions for people as so-called war commanders would then take responsibility on the ground and some laws would no longer apply.

    About the so-called Lugansk police station that the junta loyalists seized:

    And two hours later:

    • marknesop says:

      “[H]e said that would worsen conditions for people as so-called war commanders would then take responsibility on the ground and some laws would no longer apply.”

      Oh, my – the regime is suddenly overcome with piety, after passing over a Ukrainian fighter flying into downtown Lugansk and shooting up the place with rockets and 30mm anti-tank ammo like it was just all in a day’s work. Too late to get all up in the law now, Klimkin.

  37. ThatJ says:

    You can disable the Flash Player plugin if you are having crash issues.

    If you are using Firefox, another tip is to disable the image loader, so the page loads without any image, it helps a lot.

    1) type about:config in the address bar
    2) accept the warning that will appear
    3) type permissions.default.image
    4) set the “Value” of “permissions.default.image” to 2
    5) enter any page and you will see no images

    To restore the previous configuration follow this same procedure but set the value to 1 instead.

  38. ThatJ says:

    Title says it’s a concert in Severodonetsk, from today (Aug 17). I threw this name in Wikipedia and it returned this:

    It’s a city in Lugansk, recaptured by the junta almost a month ago.

    The junta’s throwing some third rate singer for the children to worship. Why real prosperity when bombs, bread and circuses are cheaper and just as effective in having your subjects’ loyalty?

    I have no idea who’s the singer or what he’s singing about. The children know the lyrics, so I guess he must be semi-famous, but he and his music suck anyway.

    For a city of 120k inhabitants, the government-sponsored concert was a flop, considering that the cameraman show the same crowd in the whole video.

  39. Fern says:

    This week’s ‘no s**t Sherlock’ award goes to the hapless Vice-Chairman of the Polish Foreign Affairs Committee who told a Latvian radio show host that Poland had ‘not been ready’ for Russian counter-sanctions. Spoken for the whole of the EU, I think, the biter bit.–Official.html

    • Southerncross says:

      Poland truly is the remedial reading class of Europe.

      Makes you think of the old joke about the Jewish soldier going away to fight in Skobelev’s war:

      Anxious mother: “Don’t exert yourself my boy! Kill a Turk, then have a rest, then kill another Turk, and have another rest”

      Soldier: “But Mama, what if a Turk kills me first?”

      Anxious mother: “But why should he? What have you done to him?”

      • kirill says:

        The reaction of the EU is telling us something. They were clearly deluded about the situation in Russia if they are so surprised. I think that western elites are consuming the same koolaid they are dishing out to the rabble they lord over. In this bubble universe Russia is weak and in decline and Putin is worried about losing his looted billions.

    • marknesop says:

      “Of course, Poland backed the EU sanctions against Russia even though we understood that we were the most vulnerable side in case of counter-sanctions as we are the only European country bordering both Ukraine and Russia.”

      If that’s true, it was a pretty stupid thing to do, then, wasn’t it? Is there some kind of reward for acting stupidly? If so, I vote for Poland getting it. But that wasn’t quite the story you heard when Europe was jabbering excitedly to itself about weaning itself off Russian gas, was it? My, no. Poland’s officials spoke of how easy it would be for the country to disassociate itself from Russia economically as far as energy went, and predicted very little pain indeed, all for a good cause. I guess the Poles figured that even when they didn’t buy anything from Russia, and crowed about how clever and brave they were for their selfless sacrifice in the interests of breaking Russia, they assumed the country would still buy their fruits and vegetables. As if they are incapable of growing their own, or too stupid to import them from someone else who has a better growing season than Poland.

      I hope the ban lasts the year at least, and that Russia considers renewing it.

      For those who hoped Russia would curl up and die under crippling sanctions, and for food producers in banned countries, “shares of Russian companies in the food industry showing explosive growth.” How are yours doing? Oh, that’s right – the European Commission is considering a campaign to promote consumption of peaches and nectarines, hoping to save Greece. Good luck with that.

  40. kirill says:

    Well, golly gosh gee wiikers look who owns a piece of VICE. Not surprising they would be peddling NATO propaganda.

  41. ThatJ says:

    Do US Leaders See War As In Their Interest?

    The US Seeks To Stop Economic Ties Between Russia and EU, Protect the Dollar As Global Currency & Is Putting Pressure On Putin To Do So

    My Money’s on Putin

    • marknesop says:

      That’s an interesting piece. Somehow I’m having a hard time imagining the USA being able to successfully pitch the notion that Brazil and Argentina should decline to profit in the agricultural sector because of the love they bear the EU.

  42. Jen says:

    Folks might like to read this piece by F William Engdahl on Hunter Biden (the US Vice President’s son), Burisma Holdings where he is on the Board of Directors, Ihor Kolomoisky who owns Burisma and the connection between Kolomoisky being Governor of Dnepropetrovsk region and Burisma holding drilling rights together with Royal Dutch Shell to frack for shale oil in the area where the fighting and destruction have been most fierce, in Slavyansk and its surrounds.

    One commenter in the forum attached to Engdahl’s post linked to a Scott Creighton article that makes a case for Kolomoisky’s goons having brought down Flight MH-17.

  43. PvMikhail says:

    Europe is full of idiots. They are slowly but steadily moving towards economic suicide.

    Who needs them anyway. The problem is that Russia spent so much money on this already… This crisis could have been postponed until it is finished, but it’s a wishful thinking. No problem. It is nice to have more infrastructure on Russian territory. It could be used in delivering to Turkey.

    And Bulgaria… Shame on Bulgaria. It was never a normal country and it will never be. Russain and Bulgarian language is very similar, furthermore they were liberated by Russia from the Ottomans. They should be like Serbians to Russians. But no they are way worse than that and they always were even in the 19th century. Pathetic poor bastards… First Belene plant and now this. If I were Russian I would never strike a deal with them again. They are weak puppets, never having the strenght or character to stand up for themselves.

    • marknesop says:

      Unfortunately, there is no alternative to Bulgaria without going through an EU country, and they know it. If Bulgaria is determined to stop it in return for pats on the head from the EU, it lies in their power to do it. Therefore what has already been built would have to be dismantled and routed elsewhere. No EU country is trustworthy, and so the EU will get its wish and hold on to Ukraine as a transit country except for what goes through North Stream. So be it. There’s an outside chance GAZPROM could accommodate EU rules, but the EU has forgotten how to be gracious and would likely demand so many concessions that it would not be worth it. Redirect the pipe already laid to China, and fuck the EU.

      You would think the EU would appreciate the chance to achieve energy independence from the treacherous cluster-fuck Ukrainians, but apparently they still consider themselves to be playing some grand strategy game. Let them have a winter’s worth of skim ice in the toilet bowl, and see how they like it. Experience keeps a dear school, but some will learn at no other.

      • cartman says:

        I have heard that Iran is offering to supply Nabucco, though only from IRNA and ITAR-TASS. I don’t know how realistic that is, because it would seriously cross Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar who are dead set against a Shia power.

        • marknesop says:

          Really? I thought Nabucco was going to take a totally different route. In any case, Nabucco was supposed to be dead as a doornail, mostly because they could not stop quarreling among themselves just like every EU project. If they plan to revive that, they’d better get their skates on, because look how long it has taken South Stream to get as far as it has, and Russia started it as soon as they announced it. The EU’s style is to announce the plan, then fight over it for a year or so, then maybe start it. They are standing in the cool part of the shadow of the crisis now, so not even South Stream could save their bacon this winter.

          • cartman says:

            It would have to go through Turkey. Another problem is that Turkey and Iran are rivals in the Muslim world.

            It seems that Israel’s strategy is to break Middle Eastern countries into tiny manageable portions. So their real obsession with Iran is because it is the largest.

  44. Boris says:

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