Counting The Dead – Soviet Losses in the Second World War

Uncle Volodya says, "There is not a discovery in science, however revolutionary, however sparkling with insight, that does not arise out of what went before. 'If I have seen further than other men,' said Isaac Newton, 'it is because I have stood on the shoulders of giants.”

Uncle Volodya says, “There is not a discovery in science, however revolutionary, however sparkling with insight, that does not arise out of what went before. ‘If I have seen further than other men,’ said Isaac Newton, ‘it is because I have stood on the shoulders of giants.”

As I mentioned a couple of days ago, I’ve added a new page for research papers – entitled, appropriately enough, “Research Papers”. The first contribution to it (well, I may add some older material to it later, like Jen’s research on the Caucasus and Ukraine’s economy) is hoct’s “Breaking Down Soviet WWII Losses”.

What a piece of work. Although educated opinion does play a part in anything for which we cannot find exact statistics, this is not an opinion piece – it’s a magnificent chunk of a person’s time and persistence and patience and intelligence. Meticulously researched and diligently substantiated, it stands, for me, as the best collected and assembled work on the subject that I have ever seen. It is truly an honour to be allowed to publish it here.

Hoct (Hero Of Crappy Town) now stands revealed to the readership as Marko Marjanović, from Ljubljana, Slovenia. He describes himself thus; ” Blogger and history enthusiast writing from Ljubljana. Works as a machinist in a manufacturing plant. Rothbardian anarchist in terms of politics and ideology”. His blog can be found at http://www.crappytown.com/ , and is highly recommended for serious and well-researched content on the region and Europe. Academics researching this particular subject could do far worse than to give this article a long look. I’m still copying over the bibliography, and it’s slow going, but the meat of the research is there and I encourage all interested to check it out. Meanwhile, here’s hoct to introduce it himself:

The 26.6 million people the Soviet Union is usually believed to have lost in the Second World War is the biggest population loss of any country in any war. This being the case one might assume that the topic of Soviet war death has received a great deal of scholarly attention and that scholars so far have had a great deal to say to the public regarding this topic. In fact the opposite is true. Scholars have made only tardy and at times uncertain progress in shedding light on the question of how many Soviet citizens lost their lives in the Second World War and in what circumstances.

To begin with, at times the problem may have been the objective lack of useful primary sources relating to a desperate and chaotic conflict that is now 70 years old. More than that the archives in the Soviet Union were closed and the research by both foreign and Soviet historians greatly impeded. Morever the latter had to contend with censorship. Historians abroad did not, but in the climate of the Cold War, there reigned a certain level of disinterested in the question of how many Soviet citizens perished in the Second World War. The question that excited the Russia-specialists in the West was instead how many people had perished due to repression of the communist Soviet Union against its own citizens.

As a result of the years of voluntary or involuntary scholarly neglect the average representative of the public knows fairly little about this topic, and some of what he knows is actually wrong. For example, if you understand the ubiquitous figure of 26.6 million as to mean that the war brought about that many deaths among Soviet citizens you are actually wrong. If you believe the Soviet Union suffered 8.7 million military casualties as per the conclusions of the well-known research conducted by the team around GF Krivosheev you are again mistaken. Likewise if you are still under the impression that the blockade of Leningrad cost just 640,000 civilian lives, or that the German bombing of Soviet cities caused 500,000 deaths, and so on.

For the longest time no real work could be done on this matter in the Soviet Union. Perhaps to conceal the extent of the failure of the state to protect the lives of its citizens against an external aggressor, the question of how many perished in the USSR was internally hardly ever raised under Stalin, much less properly answered. Under Khrushchev it was answered haphazardly – it was said the Soviet Union had lost “at least 20 million people” further research, however, was impeded and remained so until the late 1980s.

Better estimates could be published abroad. The Russian scholar Sergei Maksudov who managed to emigrate from the Soviet Union in the 1970s published what latter turned out to be a surprisingly accurate estimate of 24.5-27.4 million excess deaths among those alive at the beginning of the war. Such work, however, went by relatively unnoticed.

It was not until the glasnost period kicked in earnest that historians in the Soviet Union and later on Russia were finally given the means to tackle the question of Soviet wartime losses. The first result was the now ubiquitous figure of 26.6 million as the estimated total loss of the Soviet population, which was calculated by comparing census data.

The figure itself is as reliable as possible given the data available, however, there is widespread misunderstanding over what the figure represents. 26.6 million is not actually the estimate of Soviet war dead, but the estimated excess demographic loss. Along with excess wartime deaths the 26.6 million figure actually includes losses due to emigration, but excludes non-excess deaths due to the war, of people whose deaths were accelerated by the war but were statistically expected to die between1941 through 1945 anyway. To make matters even more complex the figure, as a result of how it was arrived at, encompasses some, but not all, deaths due to Soviet state repression during the war. Despite the uncertainty and the misunderstanding, however, at least the figure of demographic loss and of the war dead are in the same ballpark.

The situation is worse than this when it comes to understanding what victim groups make up the approximately 25 million wartime victims. Simply put few historians have been brave enough to attempt to breakdown the total number of victims into their component parts. Even when they have done so the results have been mixed.

For example, GF Krivosheev’s work from 2001, “Russia and the USSR in the War of the 20th Century”, which is often taken as authoritative presents a partial mini-breakdown of the Soviet losses. It states the USSR sustained 8.7 million deaths from its armed forces, 7.4 million Soviet civilians whose lives were violently extinguished by the Germans, 2.2 million deaths of Soviet forced laborers in Germany, 641 thousand residents of Leningrad who succumbed to starvation in besieged Leningrad and the 4.1 million who died due to malnutrition in the western USSR under the German occupation. In fact, all but the last number, are certainly inaccurate.

To begin with Krivosheev’s figure of 8.7 million deaths when coupled with the rest of his research which has authoritatively shown 7.4 million soldiers were lost to combat, accidents, disease and military tribunals, allows for no more than 1.1 million to have died in German custody. In fact, we know from research conducted by German historians that over 3 million Soviet citizens died as prisoners of war. Even though hundreds of thousands of though may have been civilians, rather than actual Red Army men, it is still the case more than twice as many Red Army men perished in German custody than Krivosheev’s figure allows. The actual Soviet losses from the armed forces were at least 10 million, of whom more than a quarter in German captivity, rather than on the front.

Next, the figure of 7.4 million Soviet civilians shot, gassed or burned alive by the German occupiers is based on the findings of the Extraordinary State Commission (ChGK) that was active 1942-1945 and was tasked with investigating Nazi war crimes and collecting material that would help establish the losses caused by the invaders. The ChGK was a Herculean effort, but its methodology based on eyewitness accounts was inadequate to the task. According to my own estimates the German occupiers deliberately caused the violent deaths of some 3.5 million Soviet civilians, including 2.55 million Soviet Jews murdered in the Holocaust. (In addition to deliberately causing millions of civilian deaths due to malnutrition and associated disease.)

The figure of 2.2 million deaths among Soviet forced laborers in German-run Europe is another estimate based on outdated Soviet historiography. Soviets historians assumed over six million Soviet citizens were deported for work in German-run Europe, actually the real number was just over 3 million of whom the great majority returned alive after the war. The deaths of Soviet civilians arising from the German forced labor program are actually in the low hundreds of thousands.

641,000 civilian residents of Leningrad who starved to death in the besieged city is a well-known figure, however, it is also outdated and inaccurate. Just as during the Great Patriotic War the  Leningrad was under-reported from and the seriousness of the situation in the city glossed-over or underplayed (probably for fears the knowledge of the real situation in the former capital and the birthplace of the revolution would hurt morale and help spread defeatism and panic), so the extent of civilian losses and suffering continued to be underplayed after the war. We now know that the real number of civilians who lost their lives in the siege of the Soviet Union’s second city is in the neighborhood of one million.

I hope this serves to whet your appetites and convinces you to check out my attempted breakdown of the losses. I do not claim it to be anything approaching a definite breakdown. On the contrary, I believe with more work it can be improved on further in the future, which I intend to do. I do think it is the most detailed and uses the most reliable data of any such attempts currently, however.

I estimate the total war dead at 25.3 million of which, 1.5 million due to Soviet state repression. 7.25 million Soviet regulars killed in combat, accidents and disease and 3.1 million soldiers and civilians who died as Soviet “prisoners of war” in German custody. I estimate 7.6-8 million civilian deaths due to general privation, whether in the occupied parts of the Soviet Union, or the unoccupied interior.

This last part is crucial to understand. Despite the unprecedented bloodlust of the German occupation during the Soviet-German War its tool of choice in its macabre arsenal was hunger, rather than the bullet, or the gas chamber. The biggest single cause of death in the war overall, but particularly among civilians was malnutrition and disease, which the Germans had planned to introduce since the onset of the invasion in 1941. If anything the realities of the war forced them to downgrade their plans and temporarily set aside the schemes to starve out tens of millions. In the end the Germans invaders caused the deaths of some 15.7 million Soviet civilians and soldiers they had already disarmed. The Soviet side caused the deaths of some 1.7 million of its civilians and servicemen.

For more information, greater detail and citations please continue to the full report. And if you have any thoughts, comments or critiques please share them, whether they are positive or negative. As they say sometimes we learn the most from those with whom we disagree.”

 

 

 

 

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1,042 Responses to Counting The Dead – Soviet Losses in the Second World War

  1. ucgsblog says:

    Speaking of Saakashvili: http://www.forbes.com/sites/markadomanis/2014/09/20/mikheil-saakashvili-doesnt-know-what-democracy-is/

    “The New York Times just published a positively fascinating profile of Georgia’s ex-president, Mikheil Saakashvili. In what reads like an excerpt from a Gary Shteyngart novel, we see how Saakashvili, freed from the shackles of power and responsibility, spends his days riding his bike to and fro around Williamsburg, frequenting hipster cafes and bars that one does not usually associate with former heads of state. The profile would have been worthwhile had it only conveyed a little bit of the strange world of idleness and wealth that is today’s Williamsburg. But it does quite a lot more. Jason Horowitz, the article’s author, got Misha to go on the record with some of his political views, and it’s an eye-opening revelation:

    “I used to look at this place from Manhattan, it was such a pity, it was mafia, a place where hit men dump bodies,” he said, recalling his time in the 1990s as a Columbia University Law School student. Now he sees “a jazzy atmosphere” rife with energy and new construction. “Williamsburg is part of the democratic transformation,” he said.

    This borders on caricature. Many of Saakashvili’s critics have long noted that he tends to use “democracy” not as a description of specific political systems in which high office holders are freely elected by the public, but as a catch-all term that translates roughly to “things that I like.” By explicitly equating gentrification with democracy building, Saakashvili has removed any lingering doubts: he simply does not understand what democracy actually is. The transformation of Williamsburg, of course, has nothing whatsoever to do with “democratic transformations.” The neighborhood was part of a democratic political system when it was poor. It remains part of a democratic political system now that it is wealthy. The changes of the past fifteen years are laudable enough, but if you try to link them to any modification of New York city’s electoral laws, or to any other reforms of the American political system, you will search in vain. Williamsburg’s transformation is the result of a complicated interplay of demographic and market forces, not “people power” or any grand ideological crusade.

    Saakashvilli is one of the rock stars of the democracy promotion industry, and he has close relationships with several of the highest-profile members of the “democracy solves everything” caucus, people like John McCain and Victoria Nuland. He’s written widely on the supreme importance of democracy and on America’s duty to spread it around the world in many of the country’s highest-profile and most widely read publications. It’s noteworthy, and more than a little bit ironic, that in reality Saakashvili has such a tenuous grasp of the concept to which he is so devoted. Democracy is a wonderful solution if the problem being solved is an excessive concentration of political power. But democracy, as such, has very little, if any, impact on real estate markets or the prevalence of high-end coffee shops. Advocates of democracy promotion would be well advised learn from Saakashvili as he has provided a perfect example of how to not talk about the issue. To put it simply: if, like Saakashvili, you refer to your favorite restaurant as “democratic” you need to crack open a dictionary and become reacquainted with what democracy really means.”

    • Al says:

      There’s no difference between Saakashvili and all the tin pot dictators who passed through Westpoint or Sandhurst (or whatever the french one is called) since decolonization except his training was comparatively civilian. Each went home with their training and ejected anything that did not conform to their environment.

      • Moscow Exile says:

        St. Cyr, or to give the place its full title: Ecole Spéciale Militaire de Saint-Cyr

        Now isn’t that a coincidence! The French pronunciation of Cyr sounds a bit like the pronunciation of the Russian word сыр, which means “cheese”.
        🙂

        • Al says:

          Saint-Cyr Dur, maybe?

          I like the Comté from the Jura though.

          http://www.cheese.com/comte/

          • Moscow Exile says:

            Yeah, I’m a cheese freak: love the stuff, hard or soft, no matter if it stinks or not. In fact, the more it stinks, the tastier it is.

            • Al says:

              Are you sure that is not the real reason you moved to Moscow?! Excommunicated for your unreasonable love of all things cheese?! I’ll check Interpol to see if there is a Red Notice out for you for your crimes de passion…

              I’ve found the best way to prepare soft cheese for eating is to leave it in the boot of a car until it is so powerful it permeates every fiber.

              If the French renamed their academy to something else, maybe they might start having victories? What kind of defense can hard, let alone soft cheese put up against anything?

            • marknesop says:

              Mmmmmmmm……Stilton.

              • Moscow Exile says:

                Stilton! And unlike kippers, that’s something you can find here in the shops, so it’s not one of the two things that I miss about the UK.

                I remember years ago a French acquaintance of mine from Carcassonne in the deep southwest of France (where they play rugby league – that’s why he was in my old neck of the woods in northwest England) telling me of the time he presented his peasant father with a gift of Stilton. The old man refused to believe that it was English cheese. and was convinced that it was French.

        • Jen says:

          SSHH! There are AMERICANS reading this blog!
          (Even the odd Texan or two.)🙂

  2. Moscow Exile says:

    From the Saker:

    The “Putin is selling out Novorussia” choir immediately denounced this document [“The Geneva Ukraine Initiative“, one of whose chief executive officers being Anatolii Chubais FFS! How did that animated turd get onto the act?] a total betrayal of Novorussia and a victory for the oligarchs. I said that this was a predictable reaction because by now it is pretty clear that these folks will denounce any and all negotiated documents (Agreement, Memoranda, Treaty or any other type) as a “sellout of Novorussia”, “victory for the oligarchs” and “capitulation by Putin”. Still, what was absolutely amazing to me that apparently they seem[not to have noticed] #6:

    Guarantee the security and sovereignty of Ukraine by the international community. Recognize the supremacy of international law above national interests. Recognize the right of self-determination but encourage to consider a policy of military non-alignment for Ukraine, comparable to the status of other European countries (i.e. Finland, Sweden, Switzerland). Amazingly, but the nay-sayers managed to completely miss the fact that 1) Ukie laws which contravene the EU Convention on Human Rights (including Protocol 12 on minority rights) and the UN Charter (whose Article 1 and others specifically uphold the right of self-determination) could be overruled 2) that the Ukies were told to recognize the right of self-determination (not just federation, but open-ended self determination) and 3) that the Ukies were told that they will have to remain neutral and non-aligned.

    And that, coming form Chubais & Co!

    See: http://vineyardsaker.blogspot.ca/

    • james@wpc says:

      I really have a hard time imagining anything worthwhile coming from the likes of Chubais and Surkov.

      Does the reference to Ukraine’s sovereignty and submission to international law encompass Crimea?

      As for the military non-alignment of Finland and Sweden, they are both now under pressure from NATO.
      And since when does the EU or NATO abide by inconvenient laws, their own or international ones?

      • Moscow Exile says:

        And since when does the EU or NATO abide by inconvenient laws, their own or international ones?

        Saker does indeed raise this point, but then adds a rider:

        Now, I understand that the Ukies broke every single document they signed so far, and this one will be no exception. But what is crucial here is that the message from “top finance” is not Poroshenko’s hysterical call to arms before the Imperial Senate, but “no crazy laws, self-determination, no NATO”. This is a HUGE victory for Russia who sees a Ukrainian membership in NATO as a major threat. Conversely, this WEF Initiative is a nightmare come true for the Neocons as it finalizes, if it is applied of course, the non-NATO status for the Ukraine.

        • james@wpc says:

          Moscow Exile,
          Someone here I think it was (sorry I can’t remember who) said that Porky’s speech had all the signs of being written by an American neocon. The neocons serve the interests of “top finance” i.e. the bankers. So I think Porky asking for weapons and Obomba saying, “No” is all a bit of theatre. I know this is terribly cynical of me but I think the likely outcome is that Obomba will find he has to give the weapons because of those Russians and their combine harvesters. “Those Russians have left me no choice” and Porky’s speech laid the justification groundwork.

          I’m not familiar with the WEF. Do they have any clout?

          Still musing on the Irish war of independence and the following civil war and whether the treachery has any echoes in the Donbas situation.

          • Moscow Exile says:

            I cannot really imagine things developing in the Ukraine in the same way as they did during the Irish Civil War, though. Remember, in Ireland one of the belligerent sides, the Treaty Men, were even supplied with artillery by the the British Army, their erstwhile enemy, in order to bombard the other party in the civil war, who were holed up in the Four Courts, Dublin.

            And then there are the “Treaty Ports” to consider. They were returned to Ireland in 1938 as part of the terms and conditions to end a long Anglo-Irish trade war that was doing no one any good. The handing over of the ports and their defences was reported by the press as being a “cordial affair”:

            FORTS HANDED OVER TO EIREBritain’s last forts in Eire, those on the gale-swept Lough Swilly at Dunree and Leenan, were surrendered to the Eire Defence Forces yesterday. The ceremony at Dunree was witnessed by only a dozen spectators. The Union Jack, was hauled down by two Royal Artillery N.C.O.s and the Eire green, white, and orange flag was run up by two N.C.O.s of the Coastal Artillery Defence Force. The ceremony was brought forward from October 26, the date originally fixed under the Anglo-Irish Pact, on account of the international situation. When the British troops left last evening en route for Shoeburyness, their new headquarters, they were given a cordial send off. By a coincidence Sergeant O’Flynn, of the Royal Artillery, who hauled down the Union Jack, and Sergeant McLaughlin, of the Eire force, who hoisted the tricolour, are brothers-in-law. – The Times

            Churchill kicked up a lot of fuss over the loss of the ports, of course, which is hardly surprising.

            Russia has already reclaimed its treaty port and Yatsenyuk is still kicking up a fuss over this, which is also hardly surprising.

            • james@wpc says:

              “Russia has already reclaimed its treaty port and Yatsenyuk is still kicking up a fuss over this, which is also hardly surprising.”

              Interesting parallel !
              I was thinking more about the negotiations and the attendant intrigues and how the British set up the civil war using the negotiations. The British supplied the other side (anti-treaty) with materiel once the fighting started. Nice chaps!

          • ThatJ says:

            “Porky’s speech had all the signs of being written by an American neocon. The neocons serve the interests of “top finance” i.e. the bankers”

            I concur, it’s very likely that the script writter is a neocon.

            Take this, for example:

            “…[T]hroughout the 1970s and 1980s Nagler was the head of the Home Office Department responsible for race relations matters. The Jewish Chronicle has boasted of the influence of this Pinner, Middlesex, Synagogue official. It revealed that whenever a Cabinet Minister made a speech on the subject of race relations, notes for the text were always drafted by Nagler. The J.C. also made it clear that Nagler regularly “liased” with top officials of the Jewish Board of Deputies. These reports only confirmed anti-Immigration campaigners’ suspicions as to why the Board of Deputies was so well-informed about their activities, personnel and personal circumstances. The Board often betrayed (through its subsidiary organisations and publications, as well as through the boastful columns of the Jewish Chronicle) knowledge which could only have been gained through official (i.e.: Police / Special Branch / M.I.5) facilities. The Home Office, obviously, has right of access to these intelligence data sources.”

            http://www.heretical.com/British/traitors.html

            The neocons are mostly “former” Jewish Trotskyites who are socially at home in the Democratic Party. They are liberasts in every sense, except that they seek “full spectrum dominance” (what we used to call imperialism) for the benefit of their (mostly) co-ethnic bankster friends and to serve the interests of the non-liberal Israel, which the majority of liberals find distateful, although a segment of the liberast crowd, such as e.g. the gays, welcome this imperialism because their agenda is made global by the internationalism of the Jewish liberast neo-‘conservatives’.

            [M]ondoweiss excerpted a talk by a rabbi, Melissa Weintraub, on strategies used by the Jewish community for dealing with Israel. The difficulty that Jews have is that they are the vanguard of the liberal, pro-immigration/multicultural anti-White left in the U.S., while at the same time their favorite country, Israel, is energetically engaged in apartheid and ethnic cleansing. This leads to cognitive dissonance and intense politicking in the Jewish community. But it’s clear that the most common strategy is simply avoidance (two versions).”

            http://www.theoccidentalobserver.net/2014/01/the-israel-lobby-nowhere-to-hide/

            • james@wpc says:

              ThatJ,
              Trotskyites, neo Liberals, neo Conservatives; whenever I see an ideology, I see a Trojan Horse for someone. And the jewish lobby seem to have most of the horses in the race (to mangle my metaphor). What they have clearly in common is “full spectrum dominance” that you mentioned. To me it is simply about power as power over others is the only thing psychopaths are interested in. There is money, of course, but that translates into power over others, too.They lie in everything they say so why would we expect them to believe their particular espoused ideology?

            • Moscow Exile says:

              Albats, by the way, is an executive on the Russian Jewish Congress, the 2001-2003 president of which was Leonid Nevzlin, business associate of the Russian Mandela, now resident in Israel. In 2008 Nevzlin was tried in absentia by a Russian court and found guilty of several counts of conspiracy to murder and sentenced to life imprisonment. Nevzlin says its all a load of bollocks and that he has been set up by the Evil One.

      • Al says:

        Yes, the pressure is intense, but as with everything, who is going to pay for this?. Politicians will need to go cap in hand to their electorate and make an argument for more money not just for tomorrow, but for ten or twenty years in to the future. Once the contracts are signed, that’s it. At the moment that say one thing, but I guess over the winter if there is no more fighting, the bean counters will come back with their reports an the politicians will have a much more sober analysis of the costs of getting further involved with NATO.

        I think this is a make or break point for NATO. If they cannot actually capitalize €€€ on the Ukraine crisis, then NATO’s future will be even shorter. It still lacks credibility, it still lacks a realistic and easily defined (and explained to the public) role, let alone unity of purpose amongst NATO members themselves, apart from Poland, the Balts, UK & Washington. Is this crisis going to change German involvement and more crucially, spending on defense? It certainly doesn’t look like it in any way. Berlin is simply treading water waiting for it to go away and would be quite happy to let it continue its slide in to irrelevant decrepitude.

        On another note, ok, there are plenty of sanctions against Russia of which Canada leads the pack, but Russia hasn’t been hit in quite a few high tech areas, notably civil aviation and satellites which would be very easy, high profile targets but have almost immediate blowback. In Alcantra, Brazil, Russia cooperates with the esa for launching low cost satellites (from their own pad). There are quite a few other areas too, but the point is so far we have seen what the blowback is simply from banning fruits and vegetables and those are only staples, long before we get in to anything else. It has sent a very strong and clear signal to those who love sanctions that there are real consequences for those actions that affect real people (EU citizens) very quickly. So far those in charge have shown themselves unprepared and their credibility is taking a hit where already there is little confidence in them.

        The upcoming elections in Bulgaria will be extremely interesting as a litmus test as to how far the Bulgarian politicians and people will follow Brussels diktats, particularly on South Stream. In the recent MEP gonadless vote to cancel South Stream, all the Bulgarian Socialists voted against the motion. The other states involved in the project are simply not going to ‘take one for Brussels’ for the sake of European unity, and that is not just the impoverished southern states, but snotty Austria too who have been flicking the bird. Resistance will only spread the more demanding and threatening Brussels becomes. It’s damage that cannot be easily repaired and further FP decisions under the Euro 28 FMs are only going to become more difficult and more bland (and thus open to interpretation). Europe will crack first over Russia, one way or another. Washington won’t like it and further pressure will only drive more resentment and resistance.

        As I have written from the beginning, the noise made simply isn’t matched by anything near by way of action. Sure, there’s been a lot of threats, dramatic declarations, but on the ground? Let us not get carried away…

    • Al says:

      I’m on the same page as the Saker, though I would quibble with one or two points. I think the whole ‘Putin threw Novorossia under a bus’ is a gigantic diversion of energies from all the other ways of looking at how things are going. I have an extremely strong aversion to simple, black and white explanations that tick all the boxes and tie up the loose ends ever since I saw how these kinds of arguments were made in the former Yugoslavia.

      What we discovered there was that important facts and factors were deliberately left unreported or simply ignored because it did not fit the general narrative/meme painted for us. The only difference now is the plethora of communications tools available but quantity of content does not equal quality of content (i.e. much more bs from even more arm chair generals). If anything, it makes it much easier to muddy the waters and discredit reasonable analyses.

      I’ve never read Sun Tzu in any depth but he makes very many points that one should keep in mind and decide where applicable. One, that I adhere to, is that He who knows when he can fight and when he cannot, will be victorious.. Of course, military people do not necessarily make good political decisions and can loose their military advantages with the stroke of a pen…

    • yalensis says:

      Here is a great passage from Saker’s post, written with passion and authenticity:

      I even wrote on this blog that my biggest fear is that Putin would turn out to be yet another Milosevic. In fact, I had predicted that the Russians would intervene and I was quite surprised and, frankly, appalled when they did not. That was when Donetsk and Lugansk were almost surrounded and their fall looked likely. My brain told met that this would not happen, but I had a knot in my stomach and I could barely think of anything at all besides the tragic events in Novorussia. Yet, this time again, just as with Syria, Putin did “deliver”: Russia’s covert aid turned the tide and what looked like an imminent collapse of all of Novorussia (especially after the retreat of Strelkov from Slaviansk!) turned into a unbelievable defeat for the Ukie forces. Again, those who seriously believe that this amazing turn of events happened by itself rather then as the direct result of a strategic decision taken in Moscow just don’t understand warfare, sorry. Russia’s covert aid (weapons, men, intelligence, advisors) made this NAF counter-offensive possible and if Putin wanted to “sell out” Novorussia all he had to do is nothing at all. That would have done the trick just fine. Instead Russia embarked on a remarkable and highly effective [campaign?] to achieve two apparently mutually exclusive results: to deny the AngloZionists the war they so badly wanted and to deny the Ukies the victory they so badly wanted.

      No wonder they so passionately hate Putin and Russia🙂

      That last sentence is a pretty good point, in and of itself.
      So long as the Americans continue to hate Putin so much, then we can be assured that he (Putin) is doing something right.
      The day when American media starts doing “human interest stories” on Putin’s softer side, that might be the day when we worry that he (Putin) is turning into another Milosevich. (Or Yeltsin!)

  3. colliemum says:

    Is this man an idiot whose brains have been addled by his Western admirers, or is he being prophetic, knowing that his Western friends will make it so?
    http://www.spiegel.de/politik/ausland/chodorkowski-gegen-putin-warnung-vor-auseinanderfallen-russlands-a-992761.html
    Take-home message from that little report:
    A break-up of Russia won’t be as peaceful as that of the Czech and Slovak republics – but the longer Putin remains in power, the more probable a huge bloody civil war will become.

    IAW, get rid of Putin now – kill him! – or you won’t be able to smash Russia once and for all.
    He’s another one of the neo-elites who thinks that having money and bring feted by the West means he can dispose of people at his will because he can buy or bribe them.
    Just like $oro$.

    • kirill says:

      Western elites and their tools have a problem with wishful thinking. Khodorkovskii is expressing what the west wishes for. Reality does not kowtow to anyone and given historical experience least of all to those that are deluded.

      Putin will not be removed by the Russian people because he is their popularly elected and popular leader. I can see the west trying to assassinate him, but that assumes Russia is a one man operation. Clowns in the west who think this are totally detached from reality. Just look how Putin got into power in 1999.

      • PvMikhail says:

        I think that the system, which rules Russia today, is lead by Putin’s generation of patriotic former security agents. That’s why it is so succesful. These people know their country, know the intentions of West, know the realities. They are not some kind of idiotic populist clowns, which are so common in Western Europe.

        • kirill says:

          That are also not corrupt and in it for the money. All we have are pathetic smear attempts that Putin has $40 billion that no one can track down. Supposedly it is all secretly held shares in Russian energy companies. This is hilarious inanity. If Putin was corrupt he would act corrupt. The pattern around the world for corrupt leaders is to please Washington, since that maximizes their money. Putin is risking his personal safety resisting Washington. Clearly he cannot be bought.

      • marknesop says:

        Khodorkovsky has also learned that the best way to make the west lolly up and loosen the purse strings for dissident movements is to talk tough and project the attitude that only distance prevents him from tearing Putin’s throat out with his teeth. He’s just doing what he does best – scamming and scheming. Long as he is sucking money out of the American NGO’s, nobody should be too much bothered by what he says – he doesn’t even have all the Russian liberals on his side, which brings him down to something like .001% of eligible voters.

  4. yalensis says:

    According to this KP piece, Ukie National Guard has started to withdraw from Donetsk.

  5. yalensis says:

    This comment is for Moscow Exile:
    Any sign of that Nemtsov pro-junta “peace march” in Moscow today?
    I can’t find anything on internet as to whether it happened, or not.
    Just stuff from yesterday, saying it was “planned”, along with stock footage from previous marches.

    • yalensis says:

      P.S. This video was posted yesterday on September 20 claiming to be footage of Nemtsov September 21 (=today) march.

      As one commenter said:

      Time machine exist!
      Today September 20, but this march was… or will be September 21.
      Sensation! First reporting from tomorrow!!!

      If this coverage was indeed done via Time machine, then Makarevich was probably involved, somehow…

      • Jen says:

        The Ukies who posted the video of that march a day early must have been the same lot who posted the video of the Cossack general and the rebels discussing the MH17 shoot-down a day before the Boeing 777-200ER actually was shot down.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      Heard bugger all about it.

      No doubt there is such a march going on somewhere today and which will be widely reported by the Western media.

      If there is a march, I don’t expect Makarevich to be at the head of it and hogging the limelight as he did at the last one. He’s done a lot of bleating of late of how hurt he is at the insults he’s been receiving after having entertained the troops in the Donbas.

      • yalensis says:

        Машина времени!

      • Moscow Exile says:

        Sweet FA so far in Russian media.

        A police-chopper has just flown over my house, so there might be a march somewhere or other today.

        Check this out: РОССИЯ 24

        WARNING!

        KREMLIN MOUTHPIECE!!!!

        • Moscow Exile says:

          This must be what the police chopper was heading to:

          Ограничение движения из-за Московского марафона

          Restricted movement because of the Moscow marathon

          • Moscow Exile says:

            And they’re having a march on the day of the marathon???

            • Moscow Exile says:

              Here it is:

              Марш мира

              Peace March

              On Sunday there is going to be held in Moscow a Peace March, whose participants oppose the aggressive policy of the Russian government in the Ukraine. The event is to start at 17:00. The demonstrators will go along Strastny, Petrovsky, Rozhdestvensky and Sretensky Boulevards as far as the intersection with the Garden Ring. The event has received the approval of the city authorities. “Gazeta.ru” will be giving an online broadcast.

              No freedom of assembly in Putin’s Russia?

              No criticism of Putin, his government or government policies allowed?

              • Moscow Exile says:

                Gazeta.ru:

                Again, the stated purpose of the campaign: the organizers demand that the Russian authorities stop supporting militias in Ukraine, withdraw Russian troops from its territory (which the authorities deny), initiate criminal proceedings for forcing the military to participate in the war in a foreign country, allow the media to speak to the opponents of the war, stop the trade and gas sanctions war the Ukraine.

                The Russian government is clearly the enemy in their eyes.

                Can’t get any figures yet. Gazeta.ru says it’s bigger than the last one, where it was claimed 50 to 70 thousand took part.

    • kirill says:

      Why no marches in Ukraine against the shelling of civilians in the east?

      That might have something to do with Right Sector goon intimidation. Perhaps these Kiev junta loving clowns can march in Kiev.

      • Moscow Exile says:

        Well, the Kiev railway terminus is only about a mile and a half from where they are marching. I’m sure they know where it is. And in Kiev the nationalists can wave their old Russian imperial flag for as long as they like – which would be about 3 seconds, I should imagine.

      • yalensis says:

        It is sad that the Banderites and the CIA could find 30K supporters in Moscow.
        That’s actually enough to try for a Maidan there.

        • Moscow Exile says:

          Figure of 26 thousand being given now.

          By the way, what happened as regards that comment posted somewhere or other a few days ago and mentioned in this thread which claimed that this march had been banned, citing this prohibition as evidence of a “crackdown” on human rights in Russia?

          I should like to suggest to each of those that carried Ukrainian flags through central Moscow today that they now take a train to Kiev and also a Russian flag with them, which they can parade around Independence Square as a show of Slavic fraternal love with their “brother Slavs” in the Ukraine.

        • Jen says:

          “Find”? – don’t you mean “rented”?

  6. yalensis says:

    This video shows a weapons factory operating in Donetsk.
    Factory makes weapons for rebels.

    Moral of the story:
    When at war, it does help to have an industrial base, and people who know how to work in factories. (This is a definite advantage that Donbass has over Galicia.)

    • kirill says:

      But the regime controls Kharkov which has much more capacity to produce and repair equipment. If all of the south-east had rebelled like Donetsk and Lugansk then we may have seen another situation. I think the Kiev regime would have not been able to press the attack as much as it has.

      We had the point raised months ago that Novorossians are politically lazy. I think that is basically true. I am disappointed that out of 7 million people on 20,000 fighters could be assembled. “Moya hata s krayu” seems to be the mode of thinking.

  7. yalensis says:

    From Colonel Cassad:
    It really does seem to appear that Ukies are pulling out of several Donetsk towns.
    They pulled troops out of Avdeevka, Mariinka, and Krasnogorovka, among others.

    Later in the day (yesterday) appeared news that a column of Ukies was approaching Zhdanivka from Kommunar, in the south. But then it turned out the Ukies were actually withdrawing from Zhdanivka; after which DPR troops entered that town.

    Ukie troops also pulled out of Enakievo, this opened up a direct link between Korsun’ and Donetsk.
    Ukies are also trying to withdraw from Debaltsevo, but some of them have gotten themselves kettled up in another cauldron.

  8. yalensis says:

    Dmitry Tymchuk tells his fellow Ukie patriots some inconvenient truths about their army. Appearing on a live TV show, Tymchuk was not greeted warmly.
    His message to the hosts and viewers:
    Ukrainian army has lost 60% of its armoured technics in the war.
    Human reserves are untrained “cannon fodder” who don’t know how to operate machines.
    When pressed on how long the training takes to produce an artillery specialist, Tymchuk responds that it takes longer than a month.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      Not if you went to Eton it don’t!

      Here you! Over here, fag, and bring that shell with you as well!

      That’s right! Shove it right in.

      Now where’s the trigger thingy for this cannon?

      • yalensis says:

        Oh, please!
        I refuse to believe that Porky Jr. is actually commanding an artillery unit.
        More than likely he is sprawling in his Mariupol beach mansion and having his fags bring him his morning martini.
        “Tail o’ the dog, what-ho, Jeeves?”

      • Moscow Exile says:

        НАШ ПОСТРЕЛ. “АРТИЛЛЕРИСТ” АЛЁШЕНЬКА ПОРОШЕНКО

        OUR LITTLE IMP. “GUNNER” ALEXIS POROSHENKO

        Daddy-kins Poroshenko says that his son Alexis is heroically fighting in the Donbass as an artillery unit commander. He probably thinks it is now a very honorable thing being an artillery commander. After all, artillery, never bombards Donbass towns and never kills civilians. They do not open fire every day – that’s what the separatists and terrorists do, and with his howitzer Alexis sweeps them away as if they were dust.

        Pop Poroshenko is probably unaware of the fact that the Anti-Terrorist Operation artillery has long been labelled in the Donbass as “murderers of children.”

        By the way, when not attending to his artillery duels Alexis has managed to do some studying: “He graduated from Eton, the London school of Economics, INSEAD (a French business school) and Oxford”, his father has proudly said. If anything, that’s four institutes of education in all – and there is yet another, a fifth one, where Alexis has studied: The Taras Shevchenko Institute of International Relations.

        And now the “Golden Child”, in the full literal meaning of the expression, is fearlessly in charge of ballistics calculations. But you do not need a higher education for lugging artillery shells around: any Eton College boy could do that!

        And now in the Donbass they will know who to thank for all of this – good ol’ Alexis!

        • Fern says:

          I wonder if any of Alexis’s CV is actually true – Eton, LSE, INSEAD and Oxford? A glittering academic pedigree but is it real?

          • Moscow Exile says:

            He finished his secondary education at Eton College (“graduated” is what Russians have copied off US English) when, I presume, he was 18, then onto LSE – but for how long? At least 3 years if he graduated from there – as Porkchops maintains; then he graduated from INSEAD – again after how long? After 3 years of study? And then he studied at Oxford, where he again graduated, but for how long and what did he study? And then on to the Taras Shevchenko Institute of International Relations: a crash course or what?

            So after LSE he did 4 postgrad studies? And he’s 29 now and an artillery officer? I mean, learning to fire a battery of artillery is a piece of piss, isn’t it? Anyone can pick it up within a couple of hours.

            Do you think Porky is telling porkies?

            Perish the thought!

            • Fern says:

              Is Porky telling porkies? Is his mouth open and are sounds being uttered? What’s odd about Alexis’s superb academic credentials is, as you point out, we’re not told what qualifications he’s actually obtained and that makes this (probably) tall tale hard to fact-check. A friend of mine has an MBA from Warwick University – one of the UK’s top-flight institutions for the MBA. He would never introduce himself as having attending Warwick or even as graduating from there – instead he’d always say something like “I did my MBA at Warwick’ or ‘I have an MBA from Warwick’. INSEAD is one of the world’s most prestigious places for business education and its most popular course is the executive MBA but all its courses are highly prized so why not say what Alexis did there? Same with Oxford – did he do a Masters’ degree or a PhD? Attended a seminar or two? At which college?

              Alexis’ time-frame is also very tight. INSEAD doesn’t normally accept people straight from university, most MBA candidates are not young folk in their early 20’s but older with a solid record of business achievement behind them.

              • Moscow Exile says:

                Well Navalny studied at Yale – or so we were all told when he was Washington’s “Chosen One”.

                Yale is listed under Alma Mater on the Navalny Wiki page.

                As a matter of fact, in 2010 Navalny won the right (was invited to take part) in a 4-month-long “Yale World Fellows Program“.

                He did not graduate from Yale; he was not awarded a degree there, but I know of people here who tell me that he did.

                See: A Dark Side of Alexei Navalny

                I’m still waiting for my invite.

                Bastards!

            • marknesop says:

              I imagine it’s all true. And if the conclusion is that after all that whirlwind edjicatin’, all he’s fit for is commanding artillery, well, I imagine that’s true, too.

              Mind you, if you were going to put your son in the Ukie army and didn’t want him to get killed, the artillery would likely be safer than the Armored Corps or the Infantry.

          • Jen says:

            Daddy-kins was given a multiple-choice question and he didn’t know the answer so he ticked all the options. At least one answer must be right!

            I doubt that Porky Jr could have actually studied and “graduated” in full degree courses from all those institutions in an 11-year time-frame. It depends on what he actually did: some post-graduate courses require actual work experience before and during course study, and that would have to be accommodated in the time-frame. More likely he attended workshop seminars or brief diploma courses that can be done at night for several weeks.

            Isn’t there also a new(ish) university in the UK now called Oxford Brookes University that Poroshenko could have confused with Oxford? Porky Jr could have been to OB instead.
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxford_Brookes_University

    • ThatJ says:

      Tymchuk changed his tune, didn’t he?

      He’s being pessimistic now. And the Ukrainian MSM welcomes this pessimism, a sign that a deal hidden from the public has been struck.

      When “glory to Ukraine, glory to the heroes” becomes “our army is being destroyed at an alarming rate, don’t be a cannon fodder, you fool” you know peace is near. With the news that the junta troops are leaving several Donetsk cities, I’m pretty confident that Ukraine will remain militarily neutral and Donbass will be Transnitria 2.0.

      Peace comes easier in a culture of defeatism.

  9. yalensis says:

    Other people appearing on Ukie TV telling their viewers, basically, “Hey, dudes, we lost the war.”

  10. yalensis says:

    A continuation of the saga of Nellie Shtepa and Irma Kratz , and their Slav’ansk epopeia.
    For the record, I believe Nellie’s story, that Ponomarev held her hostage and beat her into complying with Rebel demands.
    Later, Strelkov had Ponomarev arrested as well, for marauding and doing other bad stuff. He (Ponomarev) was only freed when Strelkov snuck out of Slav’ansk in the middle of the night. Strelkov had the prison doors unlocked before they snuck out; his conscience would not allow him to leave locked up prisoners with no one to feed them or take care of them.
    Ponomarev chose to retreat with Strelkov and the Rebels; Nellie took the opposite tack and decided she would try her luck with the junta forces. I bet she’s sorry now, that she made that choice! They will lock her up for the rest of her life. If she had retreated with the Rebs, she could be living as a free woman in Donetsk.

    As for Irma, she was Nellie’s fellow prisoner. While in captivity, she (Irma) fell in love with her brutal captor Ponomarev, but that could be chalked up to Stockholm Syndrome. (That, plus the fact that Irma is a crazy Right Sektor chick.)

    • ThatJ says:

      Irma Kratz has a Germanic name and surname.

      What region of Ukraine is she from?

      Girkin, Strelkov’s real surname, also exists in Germany, and in England Jerkins comes close.

      [R]ecorded in many forms including Gercke, Gehricke, Geharke, Girk, Girke, the diminutives Garken, Gerken, Gercken, and Girkin, the patronymics Gerkens and Girkins, and the Bavarian Gerler, Gorler, Gerling, and Gorling, this ancient surname is of German and later French, pre 7th century origins. It derives from the word “geri” meaning a spear, to which was added various suffix such as “-in, -ing, or -en” being short forms of “kin” to indicate a close relationship, and sometimes the plural “s” a short form of the patronymic “son”. This type of “name” was very typical of the period in history known as “The Dark Ages” roughly from the end of the Roman Empire in the 5th century to the coming of Emperor Charlamagne in the 8th. It may originally have described a spearman or the son of a spearman.”

      Bezler stated that he’s German from his father’s side, and his mother is an ethnic Ukrainian, but he considers himself a Russian patriot.

      I have some Mennonite acquaintances whose ancestors left southeast Ukraine, then part of the Russian Empire. They began leaving en masse during the civil war and after the communists took power. The Russian Empire had over 2.5 million people who spoke German as their mother tongue. By any measure, Russia competed directly with the US in attracting German immigrants.

      Without the Russian civil war, WWI and WWII, Russia’s population would be over 200 million today.

      • Moscow Exile says:

        There was a gang of Schwabian winegrowers that migrated to the Crimea in the 18th century and there was, apparently, a large community of Crimean Germans there until they were transported east in 1941 as ethnic undesirables, which was hardly surprising at the time, I’m sure.

        I met quite a few of these Russian-Germans in my student days during the twilight years of the USSR. They still spoke German – well, the ones whom I knew did.

        You sometimes get stories on Russian-German communities in Moskauer Deutsche Zeitung such as this: „Erzählt das bloß keinem!“

  11. Moscow Exile says:

    New unpopularity record: 86 percent of French reject Hollande

    And the Evil One has the same percentage in support!

    Ha! I fart in your general direction, Monsieur le Président!

    • marknesop says:

      What’s French for “dogcatcher”? That’s what Hollande couldn’t get elected as. Couldn’t get elected as lifeguard in a car wash. Somebody is going to mop the floor with him in the next election if he does not simply abdicate. It’s too early to say it’ll be le Pen, but that’s the trend at the moment. And if that happens, oh, Mama. NATO will have its hands full just keeping France in line, because le Pen has pledged to take France out. We’ll see if she gets the chance to prove herself a woman of her word.

      Anyone think Hollande is going to announce in October that the MISTRAL sale to Russia is back on? I do.

      • Moscow Exile says:

        In 2012, when my family and I were in Paris, on realizing that my wife was Russian, the long resident in France Russian bus conductress of the open-top, double-decker bus on board of which we were riding around the City of Lights began a conversation with Mrs. Exile that lasted for half an hour and in which she told my wife several times what a grade-A pillock Hollande was, that the French were pissed off with him and that there would soon be a revolution there.

      • astabada says:

        It’ll be hard for France to get out of NATO.

        First of all, the USA will run amok in Western Africa, ruining French businesses just to prove a point (I can already see al Qaeda escalating in Mali, Niger, …)

        Second, does anyone remembers how many assassination attempts there were against De Gaulle? I don’t see any reason whatsoever why the USA should refrain from resorting to that with Le Pen.

  12. Fern says:

    For those following events in the Middle East, here’s a new development. Those struggling with the correct nomenclature with which to refer to the current bunch of headbangers running around swathes of Iraq and Syria – IS? ISIL? ISIS? – may have a short-lived problem. There’s a new bunch of ever scarier-nut jobs-than-the last-lot-of-scary-nut jobs on the block. Step forward ‘Khorasan’. According to a US intelligence briefing last week, this group is more formidable than IS/ISIL/ISIS because it is committed to attacking targets in the west whereas the old nut-jobs are focused on what they determine to be ‘heretical’ muslims and non-muslim minority groups in the Middle East. The War on Terror, the gift that keeps giving.
    http://rt.com/usa/189448-khorasan-terrorist-qaeda-isis-syria/

    Meanwhile, another US/Russia standoff is due later in the week when Obama addresses the UNSC in the attempt to get the ‘international community’ behind the plan to strike IS in Iraq and Syria.

    • Al says:

      I think they are more or less the same people. It’s an old trick to make up new organizations made up of hamsters every week or so and I think it is fairly likely that this is organized from the top specifically to make following (and thus predicting behvior) very difficult. It is the conclusion that counts and if they all converge on the same result, then the means are not so relevant and are in fact a distraction. The other benefit of such groups that come and go is that if any one of them does something particularly odious or goes a bit too far, then they can simply dissolve and disperse to other groups.

      There’s a few people in the Gulf who could tell us (US allies Qatar for example).

  13. Fern says:

    What’s most people’s take on Medvedev? I’m a bit baffled by his pronouncements. Take this entry from his Facebook page:-
    “”The main task for the coming years is to give a new life to our promising territories, to establish cooperation with the Asian region and radically rethink the scope for economic development. Russia has always looked towards both the West and the East, and we will not abandon this tradition,” Medvedev wrote.

    This suggests he’s got something of a plateau-shaped learning curve – isn’t it obvious by now that political elites in the West have no interest whatsoever in developing any genuine relationship with Russia and that they are simply dishonourable and unreliable ‘partners’ who cannot be trusted in anything?

    http://en.ria.ru/politics/20140921/193135799/Medvedev-Russia-Traditionally-Looks-Toward-West-East-Not.html

  14. apc27 says:

    @james@wpc

    You are right, it was unbecoming of me to use that tone and I do apologize.

    I still completely disagree with you though.

    1. You underestimate Junta Forces. While oftentimes their level of incompetence appears to be limitless, there is an undeniable learning curve on their part, noted many time by Novorussians themselves when they say that fighting Junta is becoming progressively more and more difficult.

    Also, successful defense exhausts the enemy’s offensive potential, it does not destroy him all by itself. For that a successful offensive must be carried out, where we run into the second problem:

    2. You presume the level of ability on the part of Novorussia that is just unrealistic. And such presumption is dangerous, because it appears to be shared by many in Russia and Novorussia itself. That Junta is completely incompetent does not change the fact that NDF is generally under-equipped, under-trained and under-manned. The last bit is crucial, as no matter how much better an individual NDF soldier is compared to an individual member of Junta Forces, he still cannot be in two places at the same time. Before the ceasefire, major concentration of NDF forces around Mariopol was dangerously exposing other areas and we saw that. This problem would be exacerbated manyfold by further offensives.

    NDF is also not at the level where it can take over urban areas without taking increased casualties and once again coming back to their manning problem, that is not something that they can afford.

    3. You overestimate an average Ukrainian. I wish you were right, I do, but I just do not see them rising up even in the absence of a gun over their heads. At the moment every sign that I see points to Novorussia barely getting any help from their own residents and almost none from other regions:

    NDF being as small as it is points to a lack of people prepared to fight. Strelkov himself confirmed it many times.

    Polling in other regions still shows majorities supporting Junta parties. I know that Ukrainian Communists are a complete disgrace on a good day, yet before they were banned they did voice their opposition to this war. It would not cost an average Ukrainian anything to answer a poll question supporting the party that is against this madness. Do they? Did we see vast rallies? Did we see huge support in the polls?

    Talking of rallies, how many anti-war rallies have seen so far in Ukraine? Way too few. I know this is dangerous, but how often Ukrainians even try?

    Of all the talk of another coup in Kiev, where each time is the danger of that coming from? Does it come from average citizens being fed up with Junta and war or does it come from Nazi nutcases who want more of it?

    There are other signs and all of them point to the same thing: Ukrainians sitting on their ass, doing nothing.

    I am not saying that this cannot change or won’t change. It will, once these asses are unemployed, frozen solid and hungry.

    Not before that.

    • patient observer says:

      What is wrong with the average Joe/Jane Ukrainian? They suffer from the same malady that hobbles much of the western population – an absence of spiritual/moral values, poorly developed critical thinking, insufficient skepticism, an attention span and memory retention measured in nano-seconds and a focus on short-term gratification.

      As you say, only when they are cold and hungry will they partially awaken from their stupor. But lacking the characteristics mentioned above, they will be easily manipulated by those promising quick and ego-satisfying solutions. They will have no trouble rationalizing barbarous act or averting their eyes from genocide to ease their discomfort especially for the exceptional and indispensable Americans.

      The great social experiment conducted by the West – elimination of centuries of traditional values and injections of media-created alternate realities to create a new human awareness will likely result in bewildering misery for several generations. Or perhaps there is an untapped reservoir that will cushion the fall, I don’t know.

      • Moscow Exile says:

        Too little iodine in their diet and eating quantities of lard must surely be a contributory factor to their apathy and indolence.

      • apc27 says:

        Well, to be honest, average Russian is not much better. What saves them is Russia, as she is the greatest exception in their passivity and apathy, which are otherwise as great and extensive as what most Ukrainians are afflicted by.

        What I mean to say is that an average Russian cares about Russia. An average Ukrainian does not care about Ukraine. And that’s about it when it comes to trying to find a difference between them.

        • patient observer says:

          Russia fought outside aggressors better than any other nation except Serbia in my opinion. They survived untold hardships and still kept the faith so to speak. WW II and the 1990’s being great examples of their cultural/spiritual strength. And they survived Western-inspired communism.

          Much has been made about whether a Ukraine Putin could turn thing around. Frankly I doubt it. Putin succeeded due in part to his strengths but far more importantly from the cultural traditions, Orthodox values, a resilient military and a coherent identity. Ukraine has been put into a Waring blender of fascism, Uniate Catholics and endless German/EU meddling. I think that the evolutionary split between Ukraine and Russia was about a hundred years ago but those with more expertize can better identify when the rupture occurred.

    • james@wpc says:

      apc27, thank you for your gracious apology.

      I’m guessing that the massacre in Georgia had it’s intended effect of suppressing overt opposition to the junta. Saker said in an article of his many months ago that one of the main reasons the Soviet collapsed so quickly was that after years of double standards and ineptitude, the Russian population didn’t care about the government or the whole ethos of the USSR.

      True the NAF does not have the manpower to shoot its way into junta held towns. It is usually very expensive as far as lives go, as I understand it, and they don’t have the numbers for that. But they had avoided this tactic and I doubt they would have tried it on Mariupol but rather put the city under siege.

      But I’m no military historian nor strategist and its rather hypothetical now. At least. for the moment.
      At times i find it rather ghoulish of me to be talking about lives being lost as if they are just chips in a game. It is so easy to lose one’s perspective on things in war, even from behind the safety of a computer screen. Goodness knows what it is like in the middle of it.

  15. Al says:

    WrongTimeinIsrael: Iran, China prepare to conduct uUnprecedented joint naval drills
    http://www.timesofisrael.com/iran-china-to-conduct-joint-naval-drills/
    Chinese fleet enters Iranian territorial waters in ‘preparation for establishing peace, stability, and mutual cooperation,’ says Tehran’s navy commander
    ####

    With news coming that the West is now demanding that Iran prove it doesn’t want nuclear weapons, i.e. Iran forever to be under a western sanctions groove, this is China flipping the bird at the West and supporting I-ran. Not so strange days.

  16. Paul says:

    A song for Poroshenko Junior: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C7kUDkK70qQ

    The Jam clearly didn’t do their research, because if they had they’d have realised that Eton is predominantly a soccer playing school, not a rugby one.

  17. Paul says:

    Poroshenko Sr confirms Tymchuk’s figure of 60% of heavy equipment being destroyed, though he ups it to 60-65%. Staggering.http://ria.ru/world/20140921/1025030137.html

    • yalensis says:

      “Я могу сказать, сколько техники мы потеряли… На 60-65% военная техника была уничтожена”, — сказал президент в интервью украинским телеканалам в воскресенье вечером.

      По его словам, за время прекращения огня военные отвели те части, которые долго находились на передовой, в одном из этих подразделений был сын украинского президента.

      “Мы за 2,5 недели получили возможность отвести части, которые там стояли долгое время, для ротации. В одной из этих частей был мой сын”, — сказал Порошенко.

      TRANSLATION
      “I can say how much heavy equipment we lost. Up to 60-65% of military equipment was destroyed,” said the President, in an interview to Ukrainian television Sunday evening.
      In his words, during the period of the ceasefire, the military withdrew those units which had remained for a long time on the front lines; in one of these units served the son of the Ukrainian president.
      “In the course of 2.5 weeks we had the opportunity to rotate out those units had had been out there a long time. My son was serving in one of those units,” said Poroshenko.
      END OF TRANSLATION

  18. yalensis says:

    An American volunteer named Hunter, from the state of Illinois, is fighting in Novorossiya on the side of the REBELS!

  19. ThatJ says:

    This Is Why China Russia & China Are Now “The Enemy”

    The suppression of gold prices is essential at all costs to the Anglo-American banking interests. The saber rattling and attempts to lure Russia and China into military conflict are about who controls the financial world.

    Russia and China keep accumulating the eternal currency – gold.

    The American Empire and their EU disciples continue to accumulate debt and print fiat currencies. Has fiat paper ever won out over gold in the long-run? Change is coming. Revolution is in the air.

    You can sense the desperation of the ruling oligarchs. Their fiat world is beginning to crumble. But they will not go without a bloody fight.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-09-20/why-china-russia-china-are-now-enemy

    Knife-Yielding Veteran Sniper Rushes White House, Wants To Warn Obama “Atmosphere Is Collapsing”

    Of the stories in the past two days, there is hardly anything more bizarre than that of Omar J. Gonzalez, 42, of Copperas Cove, a veteran had served three tours in Iraq — and relatives said served as a sniper — managed to jump over the White House fence, sprinted more than 70 yards across the Northern Lawn, got to the front double doors of the North Portico, turned the brass knob and stepped inside the vestibule. …

    …Here is where it gets bizarre: Gonzalez told a Secret Service officer that he was concerned “the atmosphere was collapsing and needed to get the information to the president of the United States so that he could get the word out to the people,” the affidavit said. Perhaps he should have waited until today’s New York City parade to convey his message instead of possibly spending as much as a decade behind bars.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-09-21/knife-yielding-veteran-sniper-rushes-white-house-wants-warn-obama-atmosphere-collaps

    • james@wpc says:

      Russia and China have clearly been planning for years to bring down the dollar hegemony and with it the US Empire. They are getting awfully close, it seems to me and I dare say one of the main reasons Putin advised the people in the east to delay their referendum. With the waning of the US power, so will the power of the oligarchs in Ukraine. So regime change or at least freedom for the Novorossians would be delayed but bloodless.

      • Moscow Exile says:

        I remember how the Chinese were cock-a-hoop over the introduction of the Euro, seeing this as a possible counter to US dollar hegemony:

        China, the Euro and the Reform of the International Monetary System

        And there’s this, printed last year by the conservative Telegraph:

        The sun is setting on dollar supremacy, and with it, American power

        • marknesop says:

          I continue to astound myself with how poorly I understand the fundamentals of finance. And since I do not feel that I am outstandingly stupid overall, I conclude there are many who share this lack of conceptual grasp of how the global financial empire works.

          For example, the latter piece – from the Telegraph – highlights a blindingly obvious twofer as far as Russia would be concerned in the weakening of the U.S. dollar in any scenario but a very slow phased decrease: it would cause a corresponding strengthening of the pound and the euro, which would put immense deflationary pressure on Europe. The more rapid and unanticipated the collapse, the more rapid and unanticipated the deflationary pressure in Europe. A high-value currency discourages investment and trade, and if there were another currency or basket of currencies ready to hand to which migration could direct itself, that or those currencies would benefit while both the USA and Europe staggered.

          • Jen says:

            Mark, don’t criticise yourself over not being able to understand basic finance. Even people who study or work in economics and finance find the basics hard to understand, not least because much of it defies logic and makes assumptions about human behaviour that people now realise are unfounded and out of date. And over the past 30 years the global finance industry has changed at a rate that can only be described as reckless. Today’s hottest financial software tool “innovation” is in the garbage bin tomorrow. I’ve watched Paul Grignon’s “Money as Debt” videos and a few others explaining fractional reserve banking and fiat money and you really have to pay attention or you get lost easily!

            Incidentally Grignon himself mentions some of the feedback he’s had about his videos:

            ” … Some commentators on [Wikipedia] and elsewhere dismiss my movie as trying to make a ‘conspiracy theory’ out of well known facts taught in first-year economics.

            Well… my answer to that is that is I have received emails from bankers and graduates of economics thanking me for clarifying the money system for them. I have been informed that my movie has been used in economics classes, even at the post-graduate level, and has been shown at both the London School of Economics and the Kofi Annan School of Economics. Perhaps they showed it just to pick it apart but that is not what was reported to me. One economics professor thanked me for saving him a month of teaching! Apparently, the conventional teaching of how money is created fails to create a clear picture for a lot of people… even students of economics.

            Most people go from birth to death without giving the origins of money a single thought. My goal is to help educate the public sufficiently so that they will be able to come to an informed opinion on this system which, as it is currently breaking down, is adversely affecting everyone. I know from showing the movie personally, and by the flood of appreciative emails I have received, that most of the audience is shocked and dumbfounded by the revelation that money is literally debt …”
            http://paulgrignon.netfirms.com/MoneyasDebt/disputed_information.html

        • james@wpc says:

          Thanks for the links, Moscow Exile. The Chinese would gladly support the Euro over the $US because the Euro is not backed by a massive military machine. So switching from the dollar to the Euro lessens (eventually) the military might of the US without increasing the military threat of Europe.

          The purpose behind the Telegraph article, I think, is to sow the meme that the collapse of the $US is a long way off and that there is no credible alternative. The Yuan is a credible alternative now and the Chinese economy is already larger than the US one when the financial churning in the US is taken out of the calculations. Someone here linked to an article a few days ago giving the figures on this.

          I think the bankers are doing all they can to stave off the time of this collapse hoping to pull a rabbit out of the hat. The attack on Russia through Ukraine is part of this. Russia and China, it seems, have been wanting to bring down the dollar slowly so as to not cause a massive economic dislocation for themselves or others and to not provoke a war with the US. The US is forcing the pace now.

  20. ThatJ says:

    Military Plant In East Ukraine Devastated By Massive Explosion; Kiev Accuses Russia Of Using Tactial Nuke

    Last night’s headlines crowed in bright red flashing text that Russia and Ukraine had (once again) agreed a cease-fire and terms over the borders between the two nations. Perhaps not surprisingly, mere hours later, Ukraine is claiming that Russia has broken the truce… with the use of a tactical nuclear weapon at Luhansk airport. This comes on the heels of claims by the pro-Russia separatists that Kiev forces destroyed a massive military plant in Donetsk. Russia’s defense ministry flatly denies the ‘nuclear strikes’ adding that “no reasonable person will take them seriously.” This truce-breaking action has once again raised calls among Ukrainians for the nation to get its nuclear status back; something Russia is clearly strongly against.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-09-20/military-plant-east-ukraine-devastated-massive-explosion-kiev-blames-accuses-russia-

    Russia FinMin Calls For Shift Away From US Treasurys Into BRIC Bonds, Settlement In Non-Dollar Currencies

    It is no secret that Russia has had enough of the Petrodollar, and in light of ongoing western sanctions – which many view not so much as a reaction to events in Ukraine bur merely as an attempt to halt the Russian revolution against the Petrodollar status quo, crushing its economy before the momentum grows and more countries join Moscow – is constantly thinking of ways it can ditch the dollar as a medium of exchange as fast as possible. The problem is that when it comes to retaliating against the West, Russia – short of declaring an embargo on USD payments for its commodities – has little control over what currency its western trading partners will pay in. So instead it is focusing on its net exporting peers, aka the BRICS, with whom as previously reported, Russia had launched a “bank” alternative to the IMF when it comes to backstop and bailout funding, one that avoids reliance on the SDR, the USD, and on Western empathy. …

    …But while Medvedev was the good cop today, it was Russia’s finance minister Anton Siluanov who was the designated “bad guy”, and as the WSJ reported, Russia is considering diversifying its debt portfolio away from countries that have imposed sanctions on Moscow and into the papers of its BRICS partners.

    France Releases Video Of Its First Airstrike Against ISIS

    Several months ago, when France vehemently opposed canceling the delivery of the Mistral amphibious warship to Russia, its largest bank BNP was “unexpectedly” slapped with a record $9 billion fine by the US Department of Justice for money-laundering. The retaliatory measure was so obvious even Putin opined on the US action: “We know about the pressure which our U.S. partners are applying on France not to supply the Mistrals to Russia,” Putin said in July. “And we even know that they hinted that if the French don’t deliver the Mistrals, they would quietly get rid of the sanctions against the bank, or at least minimize them.”

    Fast forward a few months later when the French banking lobby has clearly gotten not only the upper hand in its ongoing fight with Hollande’s imploding socialist leadership, now facing a record low approval rating, but realizes it once again has all the leverage, not only is the Mistral shipment on the verge of being scrapped, but it is time to make sure that another “BNP” never happens again: after all there are banker bonuses to think of.

    As a result, the French administration is scrambling to demonstrate its faithful commitment to whatever warmongering cause the US may unleash on the world, in this case using the ISIS terrorist threat as a pretext to imminently bomb and crush Assad’s Syrian regime, just so the Qatar natgas pipeline to Europe – which as a reminder was the underlying reason for the failed 2013 false flag campaign to eradicate Assad – can finally cross the country unopposed, and deliver the much needed alternative to Gazprom’s product, eliminating the major leverage Putin has over Europe, which also explains why Russia is suddenly so vocal in its demands that the US halt its bombing of the Syrian regime.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-09-20/france-releases-video-its-first-airstrike-against-isis

    • james@wpc says:

      “and as the WSJ reported, Russia is considering diversifying its debt portfolio away from countries that have imposed sanctions on Moscow and into the papers of its BRICS partners.”

      I think this reverses the causality. The sanctions were imposed to impede the economic war Russia is quietly waging against the US. That is, if defending yourself and not helping your enemy dominate you is called ‘war’

      • marknesop says:

        I think Russia was quite proud of the trade relationship with the west and hoped for it to continue, but was suspicious of the USA’s willingness to use its reserve-currency status as a club to enforce its foreign-policy objectives. I truly believe Russia hoped it would never come to this, and took reactionary measures from which it could still pull back in hope that something of the relationship could be salvaged, such as the penalties imposed on MasterCard and Visa for their political actions, although they were not kicked out altogether. However, I also believe the point at which the relationship might have been salvaged has passed, and Russia has committed itself to a resolute turn away from the west. This does not of course mean no western companies will operate in Russia, but they will never again be allowed a degree of ownership that would facilitate their later use in a trade war. This will likely restrict their profitability somewhat, and so some will likely pull out of their own accord.

        I can’t speak to China as I do not follow their national politics as closely.

        • james@wpc says:

          I agree with what you say, Mark. I should have been more specific in my short reply. Russia does not want war but wants trade and economic freedom. They want equality and not subservience. When talking about the US we are usually talking about the economic elite. I know it is not a neat division, but this elite might be divided into two parts, the industrialists and the bankers. We’ve seen this same split tussling with each other in Germany lately.

          Russia has shown remarkable tolerance in continuing to do business with corporations such as Shell even after battling them (and winning) over their ‘product sharing’ agreements, for instance. Shell, for their part, continues to do business in and with Russia because there is a buck in it and, no doubt, to keep others out.

          The other part of the US financial elite is the bankers and Russia, and particularly Putin, has taken square aim at them for some years to remove their control over Russia. This means at the least not supporting the $US as the worlds reserve currency which allows the US to finance their massive military machine by simply printing money which the rest of the world has to accept and exchange real goods for. This has been to Russia’s and everybody else’s cost; cost as in financial and military oppression. To this end, Russia has been engaged in currency swaps with China, for instance.

          When the US bankers were trying to foist a new One World Currency on the world in the immediate aftermath of the Global Financial Crisis (which was deliberately engineered by these bankers), Russia and China opposed it and pushed for a ‘basket of currencies’ one of which would have been the Yuan, of course. What they have done since then is to bring about the BRICS Development bank with Russia and also engaged in large currency swaps with many countries around the world. This has substantially reduced the demand for $US world-wide and is on the way to collapsing the $US.

          When the dollar collapses, so will the US Empire because nations everywhere will not accept the $US as payment and also the $US will be worth way less than it is today. The US will be forced economically to withdraw its military diaspora around the world.

          So Russia and China have not been waging war on the US per se, but rather on the US bankers who just happen to be the real enemy of these countries for the last two hundred years or so. Perhaps longer.

          • marknesop says:

            Some excellent points, James; I don’t, however, see a situation in which nations will not accept the U.S. dollar as payment. They would be spiteful and foolish to do so, since as long as the USA remains among the world’s powerful nations – as it will – it will continue to be a powerful consumer and trade partner as well. The single biggest consequence I see to the USA as a result of the dollar losing reserve-currency status will be that it will no longer be the “meat in the sandwich” middleman in third-party currency swaps. As it is now (I think there was a explanation of it in the Telegraph article Moscow Exile linked), if I go through a broker to exchange Euros for Yen, the broker in all probability will exchange my Euros for American dollars and use them to buy Yen. Massive use of the dollar in this and other capacities allows the USA to print and circulate huge amounts of dollars; the less it is used, the less will be that requirement and the greater inflationary pressure will be realized by large dumps of unused dollars. The second hammer-blow will be an inability to overextend its borrowing based on being the owner of the reserve currency: the USA will have to adopt more of a “pay as you go” approach, and some things like grandiose wars will be beyond its power to finance, since in recent years the American government has adopted a deficit-financing approach while concealing the actual cost of the war through “emergency supplemental” funding. Less of this under Obama than there was under Bush, I think, although the damage is done.

            • james@wpc says:

              I replied to Moscow Exile above and it dovetails into what you raise here, Mark. It is like being threatened by a man with a gun who is slowly bleeding to death. You do not antagonize him while he has his finger on the trigger and do the minimum you have to to comply with his threats. All the while you do not help him where you don’t have to and just wait you time.

              I think this has been partly the reason for the slowly slowly approach of Russia and China. As inflation starts to hit the US, countries will move away from denominating their contracts in $US which further exacerbates the US inflation. This will force a contraction of the overseas military base network and this cycle will continue to spiral downwards for the US until it gets to the point that oil producers around the globe refuse to take US for oil. The trick is to stop it getting ugly before the end.

              I think we are on the same page. It is just a matter of managing the delicate dance of killing the military machine before it kills you.

              Regarding deficit funding, although it goes against current economic dogma, some deficit funding is necessary for a well run domestic economy. The trouble in the US (apart from the fact that the funding is done by a private bank and not the govt) is because the deficits have been far too large and used to finance unproductive endeavours such as speculation and wars while the manufacturing base (which is the real backing of any currency) has been diminishing; the classic of more and more money chasing fewer and fewer goods.

              • Tim Owen says:

                Regarding deficit funding I think it’s actually more radically necessary than you’re implying. Punching above my weight here but my understanding of the anti-austerity argument is based pretty much on this phenomena:

                The basic point: not everyone can de-lever at once. If the private sector is in a balance sheet depression and wants to net save the public sector must be investing. It’s actually an accounting identity. There is literally nowhere else for the funds to come from. No ideology required (or welcome I suppose.)

                Tangentially, austerity fails because it forces both sectors to try and de-lever at the same time thereby shrinking the economy and making the debt burden actually LESS sustainable. (To my mind this is why the EU actions seem so insane. They seem to want to please the market but the market is never impressed I think because market participants actually understand how the plumbing of the payment system actually functions whereas politicians most assuredly do not.)

                This can also be expressed in the notion that “governments are not households.” There is actually no formal constraint on “spending.” As this suggests, taxes do not actually fund spending at all.

                The “inflationistas” will immediately object that inflation will be the constraint but I think our experience in the GFC suggests that this is only an issue if there is no output gap. And the inflationistas have been thoroughly proven wrong.

                The above analysis – garbled or not – is the basic premise of Modern Monetary Theory. Perhaps it’s most cogent proponent is Warren Mosler, a bond trader. He put out an very powerful little pamphlet called Seven Deadly Innocent Frauds of Economic Policy:

                http://moslereconomics.com/wp-content/powerpoints/7DIF.pdf

                He also explains it very well in the Euro context here:

                But all his interviews are rewarding I think. Here’s another good one (where, incidentally, he describes the insanity of using the unemployed as a “buffer stock.” It’s basically the equivalent of using butter but not providing any refrigeration):

                • james@wpc says:

                  Thanks for the pdf and videos, Tim. I haven’t read all the pdf but I can say that Mosler gives a very good description of what money really is. However he thinks that the Federal Reserve is government owned and it isn’t. This makes a huge difference.

                  If you take his “household coupons” example, for instance, if the parent didn’t make the coupons him/herself but had to get them (at interest) from their neighbour, the whole thing breaks down because instead of the child working for the parent, both child and parent are working for the neighbour. And that’s the reality; taxpayers and govt are working for the owners of the Fed (and all the other private banks that issue money).

                  Mosler describes the use of taxation well except that the govt (and the IRS) is not benevolently inclined towards the taxpayers or the economy as a whole. In fact, the bankers through their govt uses taxation to inhibit the accumulation of capital (which equates to relative freedom) for the average person and so keep them under control.

                  Mosler is absolutely correct in saying the govt doesn’t need taxation to spend. This is rarely if ever expressed by professional economists. Tax protesters are not and very will hurt the govt by withholding taxation. The IRS goes after them purely to exert control for controls sake.

                  Which brings me to your insightful point about how austerity actually works. Austerity is imposed to exert control of the general population through poverty and the threat of poverty for the privileged comprador class. When the PTB keep repeating a ‘failed’ process, you can be sure it is only a failure as far as the victims are concerned. Because the PTB do not change it, we can reasonably assume that it is working perfectly for them as it is.

                • Jen says:

                  ” … This can also be expressed in the notion that “governments are not households.” There is actually no formal constraint on “spending.” As this suggests, taxes do not actually fund spending at all …”

                  I agree, governments should spend first on projects that benefit the real economy (the economy that produces and distributes goods and services) and the money that results from this spending (in the form of businesses generated and incomes and profits earned) is what’s paid back in taxes. To tax before spending is putting the cart before the horse.

                  The kinds of projects needed are projects that involve direct mental or physical labour. Investing in infrastructure projects that don’t directly employ mental labour (like teachers for example) or physical labour but rely instead on capital investment as a direct replacement for labour, instead of as an adjunct to assist labour (as in, let’s say, using computer-generated animation tools to replace animators in creating cartoons for Hollywood when the tools are supposed to help artists), ends up diverting income to the owners of capital and privileges them.

                • marknesop says:

                  You are officially appointed our finance minister.

              • Tim Owen says:

                Another wise commenter on this issue to me is Yves Smith of Naked Capitalism. She generally cautions against seeing the “dollar standard” as any simple kind of thing to break. The passage below is a good sample:

                “While China and Russia looking for more ways to collaborate economically and build more ways of conducting ruble and renminbi transactions outside the US dollar payment network is a step towards reducing US influence, it’s important to recognize that this is only a very modest move. With the US still serving as the consumer of the last resort, China and other exporting nations will have meaningful levels of dollar transactions. And as Claudio Borio and Piti Disyatat stressed in an important Bank of International Settlements paper in 2011, gross cross border capital flows are over sixty times as large as the value of international trade. Much of that is also in dollars.”

                http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2014/06/russian-companies-plan-denominate-trade-renminbi.html

                • james@wpc says:

                  Like the Telegraph article, the Naked Capitalism minimizes the exposure or risk of imminent collapse of the $US.
                  “gross cross border capital flows are over sixty times as large as the value of international trade. Much of that is also in dollars.”

                  This refers to currency speculation mostly and I wouldn’t be surprised if it was a a much larger ratio than 60:1. Speculation depends on an underlying real economy or market to have any credibility and therefore, future. If the real coffee bean production ceased, so would all the commodity trading based on it regardless of whether it was at a ratio of 10:1 or 100:1. In fact, the higher the ratio, the more unstable the speculative market.

                  Not that $US or trade in $US will cease to exist as Mark pointed out and to which I didn’t answer adequately, I think. But later when time permits.

                • Tim Owen says:

                  Thanks Mark. That confidence is thoroughly ill-placed.

                  Nevertheless I – of course – accept.

                  Here’s my theme song:

              • Tim Owen says:

                Ha. jesus that’s funny. And I immediately concede defeat to Jen.

                And with that “Alan Partridge moment” I shall call it a night.

  21. yalensis says:

    A different version of the so-called “Peace March” yesterday. DNI claims there were only 5,000 “peace” demonstrators. (Most accounts give up to 30K.)
    DNI also claims, that of these 5000 people, a goodly portion were “anti-Maidan” demonstrators.
    It is fact that anti-Maidan forces had called for a massive counter-response to the “March of Traitors”. Counter-demonstrators arrived wearing St. George ribbons and carrying flags of Novorossiya.
    Police attempted to keep the two sides separate, but there were some scuffles.

    In any case, the “Peace March” was a bust, regardless of numbers. Participants didn’t even bother to set up a podium or do speeches; nor to propagate their series of demands against the government. They are not trying that hard to build a mass “anti-war” movement, and barely even phoning it in. Their sole point, it seems, was a “proof of concept” to U.S. State Dept – in other words, how many people can they gather in Moscow for colour revolution.

  22. Moscow Exile says:

    As regards yesterday’s demonstrations in Russia and something that I have been thinking about since I first noticed that the demonstrations were labelled as “peace rallies” yet have been presented by some as evidence of massive discontent against “the regime” , Saker is, in my opinion, bang on the ball in what he has written on his blog today:

    According to RT, 5,000 to 26,000 people have marched in the streets of Moscow demanding peace in the Ukraine. According to Vzgliad, 20 people demonstrated in Petrozavodsk and Saratov, 50 in Perm, up to 100 in Ekaterinburg, 10 in Novosibirsk, 15 in Syktyvkar and a few people in Barnaul. What are important here are not the actual figures, but the order of magnitude. What we clearly see is that these demonstrations were tiny, at least by Russian standards and when RT’s Anissa Naouai reports that there was a “very high turnout” she is plain wrong. Also, and this is no less important, let us be very careful about about what these demonstrations were all about: for peace in the Ukraine and against war. With such a vague and yet double-plus-good-meaning slogan, even refugees from bombed out Donetsk could agree (maybe even especially them).

    What we have here is a typical propaganda ploy: get people in the streets in support of peace, love and happiness all over the world, and then present that as an “opposition” protest against the government policies. But, come on, seriously, who wants war in the Ukraine? The Kremlin?

    I also have seen no mention in Western reports of the rallies of the presence of White Power flags there.

    • colliemum says:

      No, you wouldn’t have – because something far more important was happening all over the Western World: rallies against climate change and for CO2 reduction, by the ‘green and good’ – or, as a clever headline on BreitbartLondon had it: rallying for more taxation and less energy.
      ‘Peace Marches’ in Russia, Moscow even?
      Not important – must save the planet and somehow get the West back into that lovely stone-age lifestyle, but obviously wearing fur is not permitted …
      /sarc

    • ThatJ says:

      (full size)

      What do feminism and yaggery have to do with Ukraine or the Kremlin’s response to the coup? Nada!

      The so-called SJW (Social Justice Warriors) are tearing the Western societies apart and yet they themselves never lift a finger to help the ‘oppressed’. Their politics rest on placing the burden of their ‘humanism’ on the unwilling other. They share no burden, being that they rely not on themselves, but on the despised masses to do the lifting. The preachers of this deedless humanism force us to ‘plow the field’ so that they can enrich not their bank balance, but their ego. It’s alarming to see the freaks parading in Moscow. Do women lack equal rights in Russia? No, they don’t. In fact, gender-wise Russia is very ‘relaxed’, so to speak. These types are loved by the hostile elite of the US. They make good partners (along with yags) in the fight against ‘the man’ (white males). In Russia such coalition is out of question for now, but I wouldn’t rule out one in the future. In the West, the hostile elites have been normalizing the behavior of these freaks for decades whilst ridiculing the beliefs of the majority of the population.

      Idealizing Pussy Riot is but one example of this normalization process. In the West, the situation is made worse by the presence of a very hostile elite in the leading country:

      The Amnesty/ Immigration Surge And Senator Schumer’s War Against “White Anglo-Saxons”

      Senator Chuck Schumer, one of the notorious Eight Banditos, gave a revealing speech to the Center for American Progress about the Tea Party the other day. Conservatism Inc. types like Bill O’Reilly criticized Schumer’s remarkably blatant call for the IRS to be used against the Tea Party. But more important was Schumer’s equally blatant acknowledgement of the ethnic agenda behind post-1965 immigration policy—and behind the implacable drive for some form of Amnesty/Immigration Surge, which the House GOP Leadership appears to endorse this week.

      Basically, according to Schumer, Tea Partiers are afraid of change. He drew an analogy with the Temperance Movement of the 1920s as a reaction to the changes wrought by the last 1880–1924 immigration Great Wave:

      This reaction against social and cultural changes isn’t new to us. Edward Shils, a professor from the University of Chicago, wrote about the Temperance Movement identifying that it was about much more than abolishing liquor. In the 1880s the U.S. was a rural country and people were on farms and small towns living a clean, God-fearing life. By 1920, America had been urbanized and diversified because of manufacturing, immigration, and so many other forces.

      And the cities were a totally different way of life with slums, bars and dance clubs, emerging suburbs and country clubs. Prohibition was not simply about abolishing alcohol; it was an attempt by rural Americans to pull their country back to a Jeffersonian agricultural ideal that was being rapidly replaced by a new cultural and economic order.

      Today, we see the Tea Party doing much of the same thing. Tea Party adherents see an America that’s not reflective of themselves, and the America they have known, and they just don’t like it. [Emphases added throughout].

      The reference to Edward Shils is revealing: Shils, a member of the New York Intellectuals—a Jewish intellectual movement reviewed in Chapter 6 of my book The Culture of Critique—was a leading theorist of the idea that attempts by majorities to resist the increase in the power and influence of other groups are contrary to the democratic process. A defining feature of the New York Intellectuals was their hostile reinterpretation of Populism, the anti-elite insurrectionary movement of the 1890s.

      As I noted:

      There were also real conflicts of interest involved. On one side were Jewish intellectuals advancing their interests as an urbanized intellectual elite bent on ending Protestant, Anglo-Saxon demographic and cultural predominance. On the other side were what John Higham [Send these to me: immigrants in urban America, 49] terms “the common people of the South and West” who were battling to maintain their own cultural and demographic dominance.

      As the vanguard of an urbanized Jewish intellectual elite, this group of intellectuals was also contemptuous of the lower middle class generally. [As noted by Christopher Lasch,] from the perspective of these intellectuals, this class

      …[c]lung to outworn folkways—conventional religiosity, hearth and home, the sentimental cult of motherhood—and obsolete modes of production. It looked back to a mythical golden age in the past. … Lacking liberal culture, it fell easy prey to all sorts of nostrums and political fads. [The True and Only Heaven: Progress and Its Critics, Christopher Lasch 1991, 458) (see here, pp. 195–196)

      […]

      Schumer, who is nothing if not a Jewish nationalist, would be horrified at the suggestion that Israel has no legitimacy as a Jewish state. He is leading the charge for the Iran War Bill in the Senate, a project of the Israel Lobby. He also supports an organization that opposes abortion for Jewish women in order to increase the Jewish population in Israel, while being staunchly pro-choice for his American audience.

      In the U.S., however, Schumer campaigns to displace the historic American Nation. And he is winning—in fact (thanks to John Boehner) he is on the verge of victory.

      As Schumer notes, white Americans of all social classes are indeed coalescing the Republican Party. This phenomenon is part of the ongoing racialization of American politics.

      When I was growing up in Wisconsin, the Republican Party was the party of choice for business and professional people. But in the most recent presidential election whites of all age groups and all social classes voted for Romney, even though Republican Party elites have done essentially nothing to defend this constituency.

      http://www.theoccidentalobserver.net/2014/02/the-amnesty-immigration-surge-and-senator-schumers-war-against-white-anglo-saxons/

      A “clash of civilizations” indeed.

    • Fern says:

      Anissa Naouai was at yesterday’s march in Moscow so she would be in a position to make a reasonably accurate guess at the numbers attending – she certainly put it higher than the official figure of 5,000. She and other RT staff covering the demonstration came in for a great deal of abuse from the crowd. At one point a whole block of protestors were chanting “RT is a disgrace to Russia” while a particularly unpleasant old lady approached Anissa hissing “you’re a disgrace, I don’t know how you can look people in the eye”. Charming. Anissa’s view seems to be that what was supposed to be a ‘peace’ demonstration got hijacked by Putin’s ‘liberal’ opposition; she said she was very surprised by the attitudes of some of the people she spoke to because they were vehemently convinced the only thing wrong in Ukraine was Russian aggression refusing to even consider there was a civil war going on.

  23. yalensis says:

    Niqnaq has photos from both demos in Moscow yesterday:

    Pro-junta marchers carrying flags of Ukraine and NATO,
    Anti-junta marchers carrying flags of Novorossiya.
    The lines are quite sharply drawn.

    Participants of the fifth column “Peace March” in Moscow came upon an unexpected surprise once they reached Pushkin Square. Marchers faced a massive “March of the Traitors” banner courtesy of the art collective “Initiative Group of Moscow students.” Valery Petukhov, one of the members of the art group, commented:

    Our campaign poster depicts familiar faces known to all lovers of the junta and frequenters of every march: Andrey Makarevich, Boris Nemtsov, Dmitry Bykov, Tatyana Ulitskaya, Eugenia Chirikova and Lev Ponomarev. Into each of their heads runs a drainpipe coming directly from Washington DC & the brain icon is crossed out. This is not surprising. Consciously or not, by blaming Russia for all the problems in Ukraine including the killing of residents in Donbass, this group acts in the interests of Usaia. Psaki & Makarevich-Nemtsov are one and the same anti-Russian nonsense.

  24. yalensis says:

    Word coming out how OSCE mission in Donbass will be organized:

    Eastern Ukraine will be divided into 5 sectors.
    Each sector will be monitored by around 350 OSCE observers.

    Around 100 observers wil be stationed in each of Donetsk and Luhansk.
    Around 50 observers will be stationed in each of Kramatorsk, Mariupol, and Anthracite.

    • NorthernStar says:

      Comment to the linked OSCE article:
      “Ни ДНР, ни ЛНР — пока ещё не государства. В них начисто отсутствуют любые гос-структуры… Отряды ополченцев, как могут, восполняют эти пробелы (исполняют их работу), но долго так продолжаться не может… Не должно быть такого, что военные сами намечают политические цели и сами же их выполняют. Армия без внешнего политического руководства — неизбежно перерождается в банду.
      Срочнейшей задачей для ЛНР и ДНР является проведение выборов, выстраивание госструктур и ОБЪЕДИНЕНИЕ!
      Личные амбицию местных руководителей и полевых командиров — разрушают все усилия по борьбе за независимость”

      A point very well taken…and cannot be dealt with until more concrete and definite status is *DEFINED* for DPR/LPR as entities. Running everythingprimarily through NAF leaders is, frankly, establishing another (de facto) junta!!!!

  25. colliemum says:

    One’s got to give credit to the German online magazine SPIEGEL, because they do come up with highly interesting stuff about the German military. Here’s the latest: http://www.spiegel.de/politik/deutschland/bundeswehr-marine-hubschrauber-muessen-am-boden-bleiben-a-992961.html

    Why is that important?
    It’s important because it shows the dire straits which those ever-so-mighty NATO countries find themselves in, and underlines that Poro’s and the Ukies’ hopes for nice new lethal toys are misplaced at best.
    NATO have been rattling some very rusty and broken sabres, in fact.

    Did you know that the mighty Bundeswehr now has 280 tanks? That’s not a typo: two hundred and eighty tanks … and a derelict Luftwaffe. I doubt the actual state of the armed forces of the Russia-bashing Eastern NATO countries, Poland included, is much better.

    I’m sure Putin knows all that full well!

    • Southerncross says:

      Alle Luft und kein Waffe.

      • colliemum says:

        Nice one – spot on!
        Worthy of a gigglesnort!

      • Al says:

        Luft Heiß Waffe? I don’t know much German, but it could be powered by methane…

        I do think that Der Speigel overinflates Germany’s military weakness. The Eurofighters they have been trying to get out of the initial contract signed in the 1980s that has been renegotiated several times, they saw no use for tanks thus sold a lot off, but are investing in airlift and helicopters and small, specialized mobile forces. Germany isn’t interested in being a NATO member that will be forced to commit large numbers of military forces by simply not having any to commit. That way they easily keep out of NATO’s krazy harebrained foreign adventures.

        Throw in to that they have the biggest military infrastructure in central Europe, most notably airbases which the US depend on for stop-overs between Iraq/Afghanistan etc. and the Germans can quite reasonably claim already, “Look, you use our massive facilities for free. What are you whinging about?”

    • Moscow Exile says:

      My nephew, who is serving in a British army armoured regiment, has just returned to Germany from Poland, where these past few weeks he’s been arsing around gratis Rasmussen defending the West from an imminent Russian invasion.

      I was singing the praises of the Russian T-90 to him the other day. His reply ran thus:

      Good panzer the t90. Challienger 2 would knack it though. (Shame we’ve only 2 left!)

      • colliemum says:

        See – that’s top secret and not talked about in the British MSM.
        Well, I suppose now that Scotland remains in the UK, we can send in the Highland regiments, who only have to lift thei
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i8atKXFZefAr kilts …:
        relevant bit at 5.40 …😉

        • colliemum says:

          Aaargh!
          This is the proper link:

          at 5.40 – to show what the Highland Regiments should do ….

          That’s what happens when one is reduced to one-finger typing …😦

      • Al says:

        Latvia is busy buying British shrapnel coffin AFVs:

        Latvia to Buy 123 ex-British Army Surplus Armored Combat Vehicles
        http://www.deagel.com/news/Latvia-to-Buy-123-ex-British-Army-Surplus-Armored-Combat-Vehicles_n000013115.aspx

        “…The highly-mobile UK vehicles have been sold to the Latvian army in a package worth £39.4 million, including their overhaul and refurbishment. The vehicles have previously been used on operations in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iraq and Afghanistan.
        The purchase of these vehicles will allow the Latvian armed forces to better transport infantry, reconnaissance teams, air defence sections and mortar fire controllers as well as provide vital battlefield capabilities including ambulances, armoured command vehicles and armoured recovery vehicles….”

    • Jen says:

      If the mighty Bundeswehr is short of a few submarines, its leaders should offer to buy back some of the toys sold to Greece by the German government over the past several years (even after the 2008 GFC) – the Greeks have plenty of hardware they don’t need.
      http://www.lepointinternational.com/it/politica/europa/550-the-submarine-deals-that-helped-sink-greece-.html

  26. yalensis says:

    Porky analyzes defeat of Ukrainian army , and does not blame Heletei for the debacle.

    TRANSLATION
    Petr Poroshenko believes that the tragedy in Ilovaisk, where several units of Ukrainian army fell into encirclement and suffered significant losses, was caused by the delay of reinforcements for 3 days; and also by the flight of certain sub-units. The Ukrainian leader spoke about this in an interview to national TV channels.

    “If the reinforcement had arrived on time, and if certain units had not deserted and fled the area, then things would have turned out very different,” Poroshenko emphasized.

    The Ukrainian leader is convinced, that the assistance to Ilovaisk did not arrive for objective reasons [yalensis: in other words, not treachery], among which: a complicated transportation situation, and the danger of moving about on territory controlled by insurgents.

    Given this, Poroshenko does not have any beef against the Minister of Defense [Heletei].

    “How many Ministers of Defense have we had since the ‘revolution’? He is already the third one. Do we see anybody else who is capable of taking Heletei’s place? If there is such a person, I don’t see him.”

    Earlier, a different version of the Ilovaisk Cauldron tragedy was given by Poroshenko’s advisor, Yury Brukov. According to him, the National Guard was encircled, due to the unprofessional conduct of the “Donbass” battalion commander Semen Semenchenko.

    The [Donbass] Battalion, for its own part, asserted that they awaited reinforcements from the Ukrainian army for 2 whole weeks, and that the order to reinforce the battalion came very late in the day. The Donbass soldiers ran out of ammo and food, this is what led to most of them becoming POW’s of the DPR.

    On 27 August, Life News reported that Semen Semenchenko called on people to picket the General Staff HQ and to pressure the President and Ministry of Defense, with a demand to send reinforcements to the soldiers in Ilovaisk.

    On 9 September, the leader of the “Donbass” Battalion, along with the commander of “Dnepr-1”, Yury Bereza, officially demanded the resignations of the Defense Minister Valery Heletei and the head of the General Staff Viktor Muzhenko.

    END OF TRANSLATION

    yalensis: In this feud, I am on Semenchenko’s side. He might just be covering his ass, but it is a historical fact that he DID vociferously demand reinforcements, it’s all there in the historical documents. He was like a Cassandra, screaming for help, and Heletei blew him off.
    All his (Semen’s) predictions of disaster came true, and now he’s the scapegoat, while that rat Heletei gets to keep his job! Poroshenko’s excuses for Uke army incompetence are classic: Well, it was muddy, and it was too dangerous for the soldiers to bring reinforcements… Fact is, Ukie army blundered horribly at Ilovaisk, and heads should have rolled, starting with Heletei’s.

    • Southerncross says:

      “the flight of certain sub-units”

      Being the Azov battalion dogs, who as always were the first to run.

      Azov battalion: Last in, first out.

    • yalensis says:

      According to this, Heletei has acquired so many influential enemies, that his forced resignation is practically a done deal, which can be expected any day now.

      Amongst Heletei’s many enemies can be included the following:
      -Tymoshenko
      -Tahnybok
      -L’ashko
      -Veruca
      -Turchita
      -Avakov

      Main factor: Anti-Terrorist Op failed, Ukies lost the war. Lost many, many dead soldiers at Ilovaisk.
      A rolling head is badly needed for atonement. Heletei’s head is the right size.
      Other factor: Heletei is considered a ignoramus and dilettante when it comes to military affairs. AND YET HE IS THE FUCKING MINISTER OF DEFENSE!
      How crazy is that?

    • Southerncross says:

      One interesting aside about Chief of Staff Viktor Muzhenko:

      “Muzhenko was elected deputy of the Zhytomyr Oblast Council for the Party of Regions, but left the party in February 2014.”

      http://file.liga.net/person/68351-muzhenko-viktor.html (disregard the accompanying Baghdad Bob propaganda)

      • yalensis says:

        Two points:
        1. It is my understanding that Muzhenko has already been forced to resign. (As well he should.) Heletei should be next, but he still has a few molecules of “krysha” left. Porky supports him which, I suppose, also means that Washington supports him.
        2. The Baghdad Bob sidebars actually included this interesting nugget .
        Analysis of harm that will befall Ukraine now that they have lost Donbass.

        The Donbass “special status” includes more than 30 enterprises which go into the list of “top 200” biggest companies in all Ukraine. These include large metallurgical, coal-extracting, chemical, and machine-building giants.
        Goes on to quote several business analysts about the impact for Ukraine in losing these industrial giants. Consensus is: this is not a good thing (for Ukraine).

        [yalensis: Well, don’t expect any sympathy from me. The Banderites shoulda thought of this before they started stirring up shit and calling people unproductive “vatniki” and such-like. Now let Lviv support the rump nation with its astounding array of prize-winning software engineers. I bet those programmers can give the Chinese ones a run for their money and create the next big App. Like Super-Twitter, or something…]

  27. Al says:

    The Garden Man: G20 nations want Vladimir Putin at summit despite Ukraine tensions
    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/sep/20/g20-nations-want-vladimir-putin-despite-ukraine-tensions
    Russian president set to attend the G20 leaders’ summit in Australia despite anger about MH17 and conflict in Ukraine

    “…“We’ve consulted with a number of countries and the emphatic view came back that of course we expect Russia to attend the G20. They are a member of the G20 and we expect that they would attend the G20 meetings…”
    ####

    One, two, three… “We are the world, we are the people….” Well clearly the West is not ‘the World” however much support they get in their non self-censorship, non kow-towing media.

  28. NorthernStar says:

    http://www.rt.com/news/189512-poroshenko-us-weapons-army/
    “In turn, Senator John McCain told CBS’s Face the Nation that President Putin was “an old KGB colonel that wants to restore the Russian Empire.”
    The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Senator Mike Rogers, told Fox News, “If we don’t provide ‘small and effective’ now, you’re going to get ‘very big and very ugly’ later.”

    A known some would argue ethically challenged-at least-Senator :
    http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/1989-11-29/news/mccain-the-most-reprehensible-of-the-keating-five/2/
    and a far right wing zealot in the Limbaugh tradition
    “In joining Cumulus, Rogers will work for a radio network that already syndicates programs from some of the medium’s biggest draws, including Don Imus, Mark Levin, Carson Daly, Michael Savage and Mike Huckabee”:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2014/03/28/rep-mike-rogers-to-retire-launch-national-radio-show/

    Part of the reason that American foreign policy continues to careen out of control bereft of reason
    or coherent strategy.

  29. yalensis says:

    Meanwhile, Ukraine is requesting from IMF that they “revise” the agreement, in light of recent developments.

    Ukrainian Minister of Foreign Affairs Pavel Klimkin has complained that the original agreement with IMF was signed BEFORE the most recent, latest developments in Donetsk and Luhansk.

    Hence, a revision in the contract is needed, in order to take into account the needs of the Ukrainian economy, Klimkin stressed.

    Recall that IMF promised Ukraine 17 billion dollars in aid. (A loan, not a gift.)
    The first tranche of the loan, in the amount of 3.2 billion, was forked over to Kiev in May.
    The second tranche of the loan, in the amount of 1.39 billion, was forked over to Kiev on 4 September.

    Ukrainian MInister of Finances Alexander Shlapak, suggested to IMF that they combine the 3rd and 4th tranches (2.2 billion and 2.3 billion respectively) and fork ’em over before the end of the year. (Schnorrers… cough cough… schnorrers… cough cough…)

    Returning to Klimkin, he stressed in his briefings to IMF that Ukraine TOTALLY controls their own army and National Guard, and therefore deserve to get the money, and he hopes that IMF will …. (what? the article doesn’t say… but I assume he wants MO MONEY MO SOONER!)

    • marknesop says:

      This will be his pitch to the IMF that, see? No conflict here, we’re all just one big happy family. A unitary Ukraine that is one country, so happy together, now give us the money.

      This suggests the east has consented to be subordinate to Kiev and to support it and its decisions with tax dollars. Or hryvni, or whatever. That’s not the case at all, and I’m quite sure the IMF knows that. They might, however, be prepared to gamble on Porky being able to hold the country together until something better comes along so it won’t look so much like the dreaded frozen conflict. But I doubt it.

  30. ThatJ says:

    Ron Paul Blasts Congress ‘More War’ Vote, “They Come Over Here, Because We Are Over There”

    If we want to stop radical terrorists from operating in Syria and Iraq, how about telling our ally Saudi Arabia to stop funding and training them? For that matter, how about the US government stops arming and training the various rebel groups in Syria and finally ends its 24 year US war on Iraq. Remember, they come over here because we are over there. So let’s not be over there any longer.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-09-22/ron-paul-blasts-congress-more-war-vote-they-come-over-here-because-we-are-over-there

    What Iraq Thinks: “It Is Obvious To Everyone That ISIS Is A Creation Of The United States And Israel”

    Ever since the stunningly rapid arrival of ISIS on the global scene, there has been speculation that this spin-off of Al-Qaeda, itself a “terrorist” organization if not created by the CIA then certainly funded by Langley courtesy of Operation Cyclone in its “freedom fighter” stage, has had the implicit or explicit backing of either the US or Israel intelligence service. Nowhere is such speculation more vocal than in the one country that has suffered the most from ISIS: Iraq, or rather what is left of the country now that it is split into southern Iraq, the Islamic State, and a Kurdish region that quietly sells crude to unknown buyers at blue light special prices.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-09-22/what-iraq-thinks-it-obvious-everyone-isis-creation-united-states-and-israel

    First Germany, Now France Folds On Syrian Airstrikes

    In yet another rather embarrassing event for The White House, just days after President Obama praised the French for helping in the fight against ISIS, and General martin Dempsey noted “the French were our very first ally and they’re with us again now,” French officials have, according to Reuters, ruled out participation in airstrikes against Islamic State in Syria. With the fall of France (and Germany already saying “nein”), it appears the broad coalition is now a “coalition of none,” as Obama has stated the US would not go it alone…

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-09-22/first-germany-now-france-folds-syrian-airstrikes

    The Geopolitical Situation In Europe

    Authored by Prof. Dr. Albert A. Stahel, Excerpted from Global Gold’s Outlook

    […]

    The role of Russia and the USA in these conflict zones

    In addition to the regional powers Iran and Turkey, Russia and the United States are in direct competition on having the farthest-extending and strongest political influence on the states of the Middle East, particularly since 2008, the year of the war in Georgia. If in the Middle East the USA is helping one side, Russia is supporting the other – it is a matter of balance of powers. At the same time, both have developed opposing blocs of regional powers.

    […]

    The role of the EU

    Today, the EU is still only a political and economic union as it lacks a military instrument. Because of this situation, NATO is the military protection to the EU. Without NATO, the EU has no military power. In this sense, the foreign policy of the EU is not credible without NATO. That credibility is based on the military capacity to respond to an act of aggression against Europe. Because of the disarmament of different states in Europe like Germany after the end of the cold war, this capacity no longer exists. In the last 6 years Russia has expanded and modernized the conventional forces by increasing its defence budget. Therefore, what we have in Europe is a rather unique situation as NATO’s deterrence capacity in relation to Russia diminished over time. NATO can no longer protect the small states in the Baltic region. For this reason the foreign policy of the EU has lost credibility.

    Social unrest

    On another level, the sanctions of the EU and the USA on Russia could lead to a recession of the economies in Europe. Such a recession will drive up unemployment rates in the EU, which will mainly affect the population under 25. In turn, the result could be social unrest, a danger that the mainstream media fails to address. At the same time, the sanctions of the EU still have very little influence on the strategy and politics of Russia.

    The breakdown of the limes and the jihadists

    In retrospect of the potential crisis in Europe, many of the Arab states in Northern Africa and the Middle East, which the British and the French created after 1918, are now breaking down. These states were the limes, which gave the European states the possibility to control and to influence the migration process from Africa and Asia to Europe for many years. Now the limes have broken down. In the next ten to twenty years the social, economic and demographic structure of Germany, France, Britain and other European countries will be affected by the influx of migrating Africans and Asians and therefore could completely change the social structure of Europe. The fact that the majority of this migrant population is coming from Muslim countries suggests there is a great probability that the next twenty years will witness the emergence of a Muslim majority in many European countries. The past decades of constant war and struggles in the Middle East region along with the accelerating religious war between the Sunni and the Shiite has and will lead to further radicalization of the masses. Europeans are becoming increasingly fearful of Muslims because of the negative and bad image of Muslims presented in the mainstream media. Moreover, the economic environment, which has already led to a staggering 30-60% youth unemployment rate in European nations, is further deteriorating. Negativity can only bring out more negativity and this will lead to additional tension in the Eurozone. While some are concerned that at some point many jihadists of European origins will come back from the battlefields in Syria and Iraq and be ready for action in Europe, one should never forget the factors that created this situation in the first place.

    The future of Europe will be determined by the ongoing conflicts in the Middle East and in Ukraine, by the migration of millions of people and by the threat of force by European jihadists. Because of all these factors, there is a possibility that the conflict in Ukraine and the future migration process could destabilize Europe. In fact, I believe that the Caucasian race, which has dominated the world since the 17th century, could disappear in Europe. In twenty years, there could be a new Europe with a strong relationship with Africa and Asia. The tradition of Europe, which was built up by Emperor Charlemagne, will no longer exist.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-09-22/geopolitical-situation-europe

  31. Fern says:

    There’s a new Prince of Chutzpah in the White House press office. Step forward Josh Earnest who told assembled journalists that all that stuff every orifice of the Obama Administration has been pumping out on the Evil Empire, Putin-is-the-new-Hitler, P-U-T-I-N has the same number of syllables as S-T-A-L-I-N, etc, etc, was, well, just part of the give-and-take common to any relationship and, hey, just because we’re doing our darndest to wreck their country’s economy with never-ending sanctions along with trying to ensure they incur world-wide opprobrium and international isolation by accusing them of aiding the shooting down of civilian airliner, it doesn’t mean we can’t be friends with the Russians:-

    ““What we have been demonstrating over the course of our relationship with Russia is that it’s possible for us to have strenuous disagreements related to [Russia’s] behavior in certain parts of the world but we are able to maintain … cooperation, collaboration with them in other parts of the world,” Earnest told reporters answering a question about whether the United States and Russia can work together on fighting against the Islamic State (IS) militant group.
    “I think there is an opportunity for us to demonstrate some cooperation, coordination between the United States and Russia despite our differences in Ukraine,” the White House representative added.

    Foxtrot Oscar is the reply I’d like to see from Messrs Putin, Lavrov and Churkin.

    http://en.ria.ru/russia/20140922/193181480/US-Russia-Can-Cooperate-on-Number-of-Issues-Despite-Differences-on-Ukraine.html

    • marknesop says:

      “Foxtrot Oscar is the reply I’d like to see from Messrs Putin, Lavrov and Churkin.”

      Oooooo…who’s a naughty girl, then? Do you have a military background, Fern? Tell us a little about yourself.

      I doubt the reply will be that undiplomatic, but I’m equally sure that sage crowd sees this for what it is – a trial balloon to assess what Russia’s reaction might be if the USA does what it has said it will not do: unilaterally commence attacking the amorphous ISIS in Syria, and just accidentally hitting government targets from time to time. I am also confident the reply will leave no uncertainty; as was just pointed out above, as the United States and Russia consolidate their own power blocs in the region, each supports whichever state the other attempts to change the balance of power in. If the USA begins bombing in Syria, Russia will have advanced anti-air systems on the next boat. Nothing illegal about it, either.

      Just last week, all the talk was about how Obama had been unwilling to admit that Mitt Romney was right, and that Russia is the USA’s Number One Geopolitical Foe. Today, hey – there’s still lots of areas where we are friends.

      You blinked first, Uncle Sam.

  32. james@wpc says:

    Josh Earnest; what an unfortunate name. It has an oxymoronic ring to it.

    Perhaps Washington is worried about its access to Afghanistan through Russia. I would be worried if I were them. I can well see Russia continuing to allow men, equipment and materiel to leave Afghanistan but ceasing to allow all this traffic to go into Afghanistan

  33. Fern says:

    Breaking news….the US is bombing Syria – sorry, that should read the US is bombing IS in Syria. This is a day before the UNSC meeting due to be addressed by Obama and attended by Cameron and possibly other western ‘leaders’. So, nicely making the point that while Obama can find a window in his diary to try and get a UN fig-leaf for the operation after the fact, the ‘exceptional’ nation will just do what it wants anyway. International law is for the little people.

  34. Tim Owen says:

    Ok, against better judgement, one last post.

    Thought this exchange between Samantha Power and Chuck Todd was priceless:

    CHUCK TODD: Let’s talk about this moderate opposition in Syria. I’m a little confused who we’re training them to fight. All week long, the president says we’re training them to fight ISIS. But a year ago, the idea was to train the moderate Syrians to fight Assad. Are we training them to fight ISIS or are we training them to fight Assad? Who are we training them to fight?

    SAMANTHA POWER, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS: Well, our national security imperative is to go after ISIL and to degrade and destroy it over time, and the moderate opposition now will have greater capabilities to do that thanks to an overwhelming bipartisan vote in Congress to support that.

    TODD: But is that what the Free Syrian Army wants to do? I thought the Free Syrian Army was trying to fight Assad, that they’ve been fighting side by side in some cases with ISIS. Do they know that’s why we’re training them?

    POWER: They do. But, may I add, the training also will service these troops in the same struggle that they’ve been in since the beginning of this conflict against the Assad regime. Let me note, the Free Syrian Army and other moderate forces have been fighting ISIL since December. They have pushed ISIL out of strategic areas. The reason that they’ve lost — the moderate opposition — have lost territory over time is that they have been fighting ISIL and taking the fight to ISIL on the one hand and then also fighting a regime that is backed by Hezbollah, Iran, Russia, etc. So, we think with an infusion of support, these fighters, who have actually held their own against this wide array of actors fighting on all fronts, will be in a much stronger position, both to go after ISIL and to put pressure on the regime so we can get back to the negotiating table for a political solution.

    Hard to choose a favourite moment here but I especially love “Do they know that’s why we’re training them?”

    Hilarious.

    It’s such a pregnant piece of writing – whoops – speaking (?) it’s almost hard to unpack what’s going on here. Like watching a whole nation almost have an accidental encounter with common sense but somehow the “disaster” is averted.

    Phew!

    http://www.blacklistednews.com/Samantha_Power:_U.S._Aid_Will_Help_Syria_Rebels_Fight_ISIS_And_Assad/38107/0/38/38/Y/M.html?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

    • marknesop says:

      “But, may I add, the training also will service these troops in the same struggle that they’ve been in since the beginning of this conflict against the Assad regime.”

      That’s my favourite. How? How’s it going to do that, Sammy? Because everybody knows freedom fighters fight ‘zackly like government troops, that’s why doubleplusgood American training makes you just as ready to meet one threat as another.

      In fact, the USA is in an extremely awkward spot – or it would be an awkward spot for anyone who had to explain themselves – in which its second-line trainees are now to be pitted against its new first-line trainees, both forces it created itself, so that the USA can get at Assad in the course of supposedly helping Insurgent Force B defeat Insurgent Force A, neither of which it cares a fig about. They are only there to provide enough ambiguity that the Americans can attack Assad while ostensibly helping the Free Syrian Army so they won’t be overrun by ISIS. Whose brilliant plan was this, I wonder? Because of course a few of the Free Syrian Army will have to be killed by ISIS, or cynics might suggest they are not enemies at all and are actually collaborating. And of course they are not enemies at all; likely are drawn from the same pool of Generic Arab Resistance Fighters.

      Of course the supine and invertebrate UN is not going to raise a finger to stop the USA in yet another war of aggression. Perhaps it can’t even figure out what’s going on, which would not be at all hard to believe if they’re getting their play-by-play from Sammy Power. Hopefully Russia can get some S-400 systems over there quickly – what’s that monster cargo aircraft doing these days? Nothing that important, I’m sure.

      • yalensis says:

        “Generic Arab Resistance Fighters” = G.A.R.F.
        Congratulations, Mark, you just invented a new acronym.
        And here is an appropriate image for GARF, just photoshop in a head instead of whatever it is this guy is holding up:

    • colliemum says:

      Ooohhh – is it possible that some representatives of the MSM are s-l-o-w-l-y rediscovering the few brain cells knocking about inside the hollow darkness that is their skull?
      Is it possible that some are rediscovering their ancient call of scrutinising the present government?

      The (not so) funny point is that us unwashed, uneducated plebs were actually asking that question a year ago – but then, what do we know …
      According to he slight, contemporary variation of an ancient pome: “ours not to reason why, ours just to pay and pay.”

    • yalensis says:

      As one commenter pointed out, Sammy is praising these same “moderate jihadists” who, just last year, were eating the raw organs out of their slain enemies.

      That’s what passes for “moderate” with these types. If one were truly “radical”, then one would eat the organs while the enemy was still alive.

  35. Moscow Exile says:

    From a “new kid on the block”:

    Brushing Off Crisis, IKEA Confirms $2.6 Billion Russia Expansion

    MOSCOW (Reuters) – Swedish furniture retailer IKEA plans to invest about 2 billion euros more in new and existing Mega shopping malls in Russia by 2020, it said on Thursday, reaffirming long-term expansion plans for the country despite an economic downturn.

    Does this posting make me a blog-pimp, I wonder?

    • Moscow Exile says:

      I just couldn’t help posting the above because of a comment, which I just cannot get out of my mind, made a couple of weeks ago by an all-knowing Guardianista, that gleefully stated that in Russia there are, or soon will be, bread queues in which Russians will be able to exchange turnip soup recipes whilst waiting forlornly for hours an end in the hopes of buying a crust of bread.

      The reality is that Russia is the one of the largest largest retail markets in the world and in several categories already the largest in EuropeEurope.

      See: Retailers hold out hope for 2014

      Russia is set to become the ninth-biggest retail market in the world in real terms by the year 2020, the Euromonitor research group has predicted. Russia has already emerged as Europe’s largest retail market in several categories, from cars to cell phones to baby care products.

      See also:

      Retail Market in Russia, 2014-2019: Market analysis and development forecasts

      Basic Retail Data in Russia

      Retailing in Russia

      Russian retail market

      Ah well! Time to toddle off and join the breadline, where Mrs. Exile has been keeping our place all night.

      Fish head soup again for dinner, I suppose!

      • yalensis says:

        Do you need a recipe for a soup that has both fish-heads AND turnips in it?
        Because I have one…

        • Moscow Exile says:

          So do I!

          Anyway, what’s wrong with fish head soup? It’s called bouillabaisse in France and it’s what all those posh folk from Misty Albion that have chosen to live in Provence eat all the time.

          And those other fellow countrymen of mine who live in villas in Tuscany are not loathe to eat offal either, because it’s sooooo ethnic!

          • Jen says:

            That reminded me of the cute “Fish Heads” song I used to hear on the radio over 30 years ago!

            Fish heads, fish heads, roly poly fish heads,
            fish heads, fish heads, eat them up – YUM!

            I did not know this before but one of the guys who wrote the song and performed it was the former child actor Bill Mumy from “Lost in Space”.

  36. Moscow Exile says:

    Шоумен Владимир Зеленский спонсирует карательный батальон «Донбасс»

    Showman Vladimir Zelensky sponsors punitive battalion “Donbass”

    Krivoy Rog, September 19.

    Famous showman Vladimir Zelensky has paid for military equipment and satellite communications for fighters in the punitive battalion “Donbass”.

    Zelensky is known to the audience for his acting in the films “Love in the Big City”, “The 8 First Dates”, a remake of the novel “The Auxiliary”, as well as in the TV show “Ukraine Song of the Year” and KVN [humour show] (he has been a member of the top KVN League team “95 Quarter”). Until 2013 Zelensky was the general director of the Russophobic channel “Inter”.

    In social networks, the leadership of the battalion expressed its thanks to the artist on behalf of members of the ATO [anti terrorist operation]. According to reports, Zelensky has transferred money to battalion accounts, which money will be used to purchased Kevlar bullet-proof jackets and helmets for the soldiers that got out of the Ilovaisk encirclement. It is also noted that a communications satellite system has already been purchased and tested.

    Note that Zelensky has not once said anything about undertaking any military activity in East Ukraine. He has, however, joined the so-called “Musical Hundred”, a gang of artists, who have come together in order to raise the morale of the “fighters against separatism”. Moreover, last summer at one of their press conferences, he personally said that, if necessary, they would go to the front. However, according to the blogosphere, when the actor’s name appeared on the draft list at the recruiting office where he lives in Krivoy Rog, he quickly took off for Moscow, which, incidentally, he has constantly criticized for its policy towards the Ukraine.

    On his page on Facebook, Zelensky has posted: “I am in the heart of Russia, if she still has one, of course”.

    The Russian media has reported that the Ukrainian actor is hiding on Russian territory under the guise of making a film in order to evade military service . “It is not known in which Russian city Zelensky is hiding: there is no reply from the actor’s telephone”, writes “Ridus”.

    Note that many Russian bloggers have demanded that Zelenskybe be sent home poste-haste so that he can fulfill his military duty.

    More clear evidence that to accuse the Ukrainian authorities of being Nazis and fascists is simply Kremlin propaganda, because Nazis and fascists are antisemitic, are they not?

    (sarcasm)

    • yalensis says:

      Probably Zelensky went to Moscow to pick up Makarevich.
      Then both of them can join Donbass Battalion and head for the front lines to fight against the Russians.
      In off hours, when they’re not shooting, they can strum their guitars and croon some ballads for the troops.

      • Moscow Exile says:

        I should think Makarevich is too long in the tooth now for military service: he’s 60 and he’s a Russian citizen.

        Vladimir Zelensky, however is fit for duty, hence his call-up: he was 37 last January. And he’s “a citizen of the world”, as Lev Bronstein was wont to say of himself.

  37. Moscow Exile says:

    8 civilians, incl. 3 kids, killed in US-led strikes on Syria – monitor

    So what’s wrong with a little collateral damage here and there?

    (sarcasm)

    • colliemum says:

      A bit of such ‘collateral damage’ is neither here nor there for Obama, who has been happy to use drones on wedding feasts, ahem, terrorists in the tribal areas of Pakistan for years.

      Now he has finally been able to fulfil his fondest wish: bombard Syria, without apparent consent of Bashir Al-Assad.
      He’s set a precedent now, and who can tell if Poro won’t demand such “help” against the ‘terrorists’ in Novorossiya – and perhaps even get it?

  38. yalensis says:

    As Ukie National Guard (=Right Sektor) withdraws from certain area in Donbass, DPR troops are discovering mass graves of tortured corpses.

    For example at Coal Mine #22 “Communar”, approaching DPR soldiers discovered a grave with 4 bodies, they think there are more, and they are digging and launching an investigation.
    Up until 2 days ago, around 6000 National Guard (=Right Sektor) troops held this area, and apparently used it as a playground for torture and murder of local residents, and then buried the bodies before retreating.

    Some of the bodies have been beheaded.

    At a different place, DPR troops discovered the bodies of several women, these were apparently local women from around the area, the corpses had their hands bound and the bodies shown signs of brutal torture.

    I saw this story also on other sites, with disturbing photos, which I won’t post.

    • Fern says:

      yalensis, I have no difficulty whatsoever in believing something like you describe has been happening in areas controlled by Right Sector. Unfortunately, one of the downsides of any ceasefire is that news like this, which should be front page and raised at government and UN level, is more likely to be suppressed in the interest of ‘the greater good’. The DPR fighters should document what they find, including, if possible, having local pathologists or, if that’s not possible, doctors on site to record numbers and note any obvious causes of death.

  39. Pingback: Add a Cup of Crocodile Tears: “Western Values” is a Myth | The Kremlin Stooge

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