It Looks Like Putin is Winning, Which is the Surest Sign Yet That He is Losing

Uncle Volodya says, "Some mornings, it's just not worth chewing through the leather straps. Right, Liliushka?”

Uncle Volodya says, “Some mornings, it’s just not worth chewing through the leather straps. Right, Liliushka?”

Hey, is it Monday? Well, it is here, or was when I started writing. That must mean it’s time for another crazy article by Carnegie Moscow Centre’s resident sexagenarian dissident, crazy old bat and Petro-Poroshenko-for President-of Russia oligarch admirer Lilia Shevtsova! And sure enough, with the implacable certainty of death and taxes, here she is  in another self-lampooning caricature of phone-it-in journalism, telling us in the most lurid cold-war terminology that Putin is headed for a defeat so cataclysmic, so decisive that he will be pounded like a nail right through the earth to come out, befuddled and disoriented, in his antipodean obverse in the Pacific Ocean just south of Australia. Don’t forget your lifejacket, Mr. President!

Her narrative is laced with apocalyptic idioms that are the stuff of State Department wet dreams – “Mr Putin has unleashed the process he cannot stop and made himself hostage to suicidal statecraft. “ Oooh, here’s a good one: “He can rule only by subjugating the nation in a way that only war can justify.” And a perennial Cold-War favourite, “But the propaganda that plays endlessly on Russian television channels will not mesmerise [the public] for long.”

Lilia Shevtsova has a rock-solid claim on the Cold War; she lived through it. Although it is apparent now that it never ended, was merely suspended while the west watched with bated breath to see if Boris Yeltsin could accomplish his assigned mission of turning Russia over to new custodians for dismantling, it is acknowledged by U.S. historians to have begun in 1945 and ended in 1991. Lilia Shevtsova would have missed only the first 4 years of it, and was born a Cold-War baby in Lviv (what a surprise, he said in the sarcastic manner which suggested it was not a surprise at all) in 1949. In the 2008 poll of Top Public Intellectuals, she ranked 36, for reasons that are a mystery to me, since her delivery in typical articles like the one that is the subject of this post sound like they were cribbed directly from  J. Edgar Hoover’s files.

She has occupied a number of prestigious posts, including Director of the Center for Political Studies and Deputy Director of the Institute of International Economic and Political Studies, both in Moscow. Rounding out her dissident chops, in addition to her aforementioned perch at the Carnegie Moscow Center she is a fellow of Chatham House, and has been a visiting professor at the University of California at Berkeley, Cornell University, and Georgetown University as well as a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Although she is of course fluent in Russian – she lives there – in her heart she is about as Russian as a funnel cake.

Well, enough about her: let’s take a look at the Pentagon lullaby she wrote, in which Russia is teetering on the ragged edge of collapse and Putin’s downfall is just a matter of time. Which, of course, it is – I figure one more presidential term after this one should do it.

Mr. Putin, we hear, has – by means of “military-patriotic mobilization” – turned Russia into a “war state”.  And that shall be his undoing, because nothing will satisfy the peoples’ appetites but blood. God forgive me my deliberate mockery of my elders, but what kind of rug-chewing craziness is that? Where has Shevtsova seen anything that looks like military mobilization on a state level in Russia? Military drills? Happen every year, often several times every year. Public polling which presents Putin near an all-time high? Is that because he promised them war? Where? Show me. Russia’s military readiness is certainly at a high level, as it would behoove that of any nation to be when it is threatened by the world’s biggest military alliance. Does it make sense to describe such a process, once threatened by NATO with both word and deed as it mobilizes troops and aircraft on Russia’s borders, as “military-patriotic mobilization”? I would say no.

Putin can rule only by subjugating the nation to a war mentality, Dr. Shevtsova confides, but the Russian people will remember their economic troubles soon enough as their diminutive dictator loses his power to hold them with his “fix bayonets” calls to arms. The article she cites in support of this fantasy soon disintegrates into the savoured liberal shibboleth that economic dissatisfaction is sure to bring the people, angry and desperate, swelling into the streets. Tireless polling suggests most Russians’ main worries are economic, so that is perceived as Putin’s Achilles heel and is in all likelihood the driver behind the west’s leap into economic warfare. I don’t quite know how to tell the west that it is not working, although there are signs that it is slowly realizing on its own.

Signs like Germany’s tanking economy, the economy the entire EU depends on to hold its peanut-butter-and-jelly exoskeleton together. You know – the EU that threatened Russia with economic destruction, then recoiled with shock and hurt when Russia bit back. The economy that should now be thinking about raising interest rates to control inflation, but which is instead sliding back into recession.  Look closely, though, Doctor – the devil is in the details, as it is with most things. In the first linked piece, “Foreign orders were down 4.1% with the sharpest drop coming from the euro zone, where orders fell 10.4%. Orders from outside of the currency bloc were unchanged. Domestic orders were down 1.9%. On the quarter, orders fell by 0.6%. ” From the second; “Why the current slowdown is a shock to both economists and pundits can be summed up in one word: Germany. A lot of experts seem to get that Italy and Greece, with their charmingly child-like but ungovernable people, are natural economic basket cases and that France, with its clueless socialist government, is nearly as bad. But Germany was the country that had managed to combine the nanny state and the state-of-the-art factory into a model for the rest of the world. It was the Atlas that would support the eurozone on its broad shoulders.

The point they’re missing is that Germany was only able to put up the stellar numbers of the recent past because its banks were lending billions of euros to Spain, Greece and Italy, who turned around and bought lots of German goods. In business the lending of money to customers who then buy your stuff is known as vendor financing. It works beautifully as long as the customers can pay their debts but crashes and burns when the customers default.

That’s what is happening to Germany. Now that the peripheral eurozone countries can’t borrow to buy BMWs and pharmaceuticals, Germany’s export-driven growth is slowing down. Meanwhile, a lot of the money German banks have lent to those countries will, one way or another, migrate back to the liabilities side of Germany’s balance sheet, making its debt, deficit and interest cost figures look far worse than the global financial markets were led to believe.”

The point is not whether it is Russian reaction to sanctions which is tipping the Eurozone back into recession – it’s not. Russian reaction is certainly not doing the Euro economy any good, while uncertainty over the energy situation causes gas prices to porpoise up and down. The point is that of the two economies – Russia’s, and the European Union’s – one really is like a rotten barn that one good kick will bring down. And it isn’t Russia.  Russia is Germany’s biggest non-Eurozone trading partner. Sanctions aren’t helping it. And the whole Eurozone depends on the health of the German economy. Maybe that’s why the USA and its president, who between them manipulated and cajoled and threatened the EU into a sanctions-fest have plummeted in popularity with the Germans.

“Mr Putin has dismantled the post-cold war settlement that allowed him to engage economically with the west in the interests of the Russian petrostate, while keeping Russian society closed to western influence. His aggression has ensured Russia’s Ukrainian neighbor will ever look west.”

Think so? Part of it, maybe. But let’s take a look at that, Are you sure it was Mr. Putin who dismantled the relationship with the west? Because it sure looked to me like it was the other way around. Under U.S. government direction, Visa and Mastercard froze service to Russian banks with no warning at all, in March. The unrest in Ukraine at the time was limited to protests and seizures of public buildings by protesters in the southeast, something which was lauded by the west as the people seizing democracy with their two hands when it was done in Kiev, and the “Anti-Terrorist Operation” by Kiev against its own citizens was not launched until the following month. Perhaps the credit-card thing was punishment for Crimea, which I have yet to be shown was illegal in any respect of international law, considering unilateral declarations of independence are outside it. Following that was wave after wave of sanctions against Russia, all purportedly to force it to stop helping the Eastern Ukrainians to defend themselves against indiscriminate shelling of civilian population centres with heavy artillery by Kiev’s forces. It was never, ever proven that Russia had any part in the defense of the East. Long on speculation, no proof. It sure looked to me like the west decided this was an ideal time for economic war against Russia, designed to cripple it. Well, the USA decided, and then bullied Europe into going along with it.

Will Ukraine always look west? Well, I don’t know; a lot of analysts who are brighter than Lilia Shevtsova were so sure Yanukovych would sign the EU Association Agreement that they were already writing like he had done it, and prancing and thumbing their noses at Russia. One thing is for sure – thanks to the west’s intervention and subsequent meddling, it has been made one hell of a lot less desirable a property and prospective partner, for anyone.

And here, Ms. Shevtsova gets philosophical. The Kremlin, she says, has made it clear that the alternative to a ceasefire in Ukraine is more bloodshed. Gee, do you think? What would the alternative to a ceasefire in a country locked in a civil war anywhere else on the planet be? Bloodshed? Good guess, but you already had an example to follow. And what is her substantiation for the statement that the Kremlin “will not relinquish the occupied territories”? What territories in Ukraine are occupied by Russia? Certainly not Crimea, which was part of Russia before and now is again, by the will of the inhabitants, who were guaranteed the right to self-determination by the Ukrainian constitution. The East of Ukraine is occupied by Ukrainian citizens.

The west does not dare to call the Russian incursion – which nobody has yet proved even occurred – an act of aggression. They are coming around to hyping a political solution which expressly takes into account Russian interests, because the west is finally waking up to the fact that Ukraine cannot function trade-wise without Russian markets – unless the EU wants to start importing all the goods Russia is not buying, which it can’t afford to pay for. Just like we told them, right here, months and months ago. The western alliance is not going to do anything more warlike than call Russia names. Which it does anyway, year in and year out, good relations or bad. Yawn. The west is not going to ride to the rescue, and Kiev is not going to be able to use its Blankets Of Fury to win the war. The west is giving an amazing contortionist performance of standing shoulder to shoulder with Ukraine while turning its back. Lilia Shevtsova is saying all this, not me – I’m just paraphrasing.

The west has rolled the dice, and failed. Now it wants to move on, leaving its mess behind for somebody else to clean up.

But somehow, Putin has fallen into its clever trap. Revolt is just a clarion call away. The people will swarm into the streets and overthrow the tyrant. There must be a name for a situation when you start out describing how your enemy has failed, list off all his successes along with your chosen side’s failures, and then leap to a dizzying and wholly illogical conclusion that the enemy has failed anyway even when it is plain as the nose on your face that he has not. Oh, I remember – it’s horseshit.

Nice try, Lilia.

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1,122 Responses to It Looks Like Putin is Winning, Which is the Surest Sign Yet That He is Losing

  1. Warren says:

    Islamic State Grooms Chechen Fighters Against Putin

    When the Islamic State commander known as “Omar the Chechen” called to tell his father they’d routed the Iraqi army and taken the city of Mosul, he added a stark message: Russia would be next.

    “He said ‘don’t worry dad, I’ll come home and show the Russians,’” Temur Batirashvili said from his home in Georgia’s Pankisi Gorge, on the border with the Russian region of Chechnya. “I have many thousands following me now and I’ll get more. We’ll have our revenge against Russia.”

    As the U.S. and European countries assess the risk of home-grown jihadists returning to stage attacks on their native countries, the turmoil in the Middle East also reverberates in the Caucasus. The region wedged between Russia, Iran and Turkey is an intricate web of tensions that’s erupted into violence in the past three decades in hot spots from Chechnya to Nagorno-Karabakh and Georgia.

    Batirashvili’s son Tarkhan comes from an area that Russian President Vladimir Putin accuses of aiding Islamist rebellions that he’s spent more than a decade trying to crush. While Russia is focusing on the conflict in Ukraine, Georgians remember the humiliation in a five-day war in 2008, when Putin helped cement the separatist movements in the provinces of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

    The red-bearded commander now known by the nom de guerre Omar al-Shishani is a leader of the forces fighting for an Islamic caliphate in Syria and Iraq. Among them are dozens of youths from Pankisi who, disaffected by a lack of jobs and angered by Russia’s dominance in the Caucasus, have followed the call to jihad.

    ‘Brilliant’ Maneuvers

    Al-Shishani is the tactical mastermind behind Islamic State’s swift military gains on the ground in Iraq’s Anbar province, west of Baghdad, including an encirclement in which his forces killed as many as 500 Iraqi troops and captured 180 more near Fallujah, according to Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, senior fellow at the Washington-based Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

    “The group’s recent success in Anbar can be attributed primarily to one exceptional field commander and ISIL official, Abu Umar al-Shishani, who executed a series of brilliant tactical maneuvers,” he wrote today, using another form of al-Shishani’s name, for War on the Rocks, a website that provides analysis and news on military conflicts.

    Chechen Jihadists

    The force includes about 1,000 Russian-speaking jihadists, or about half of the fighters from outside Syria and Iraq, according to Elena Suponina, a Middle East expert and adviser to the director of Moscow’s Institute for Strategic Studies.

    Most of them are Chechens, with many from Pankisi, a jagged gash eight kilometers (5 miles) long and two kilometers wide tucked in Georgia’s remote mountains between Chechnya and South Ossetia. It’s home to about 11,000 Georgians, Chechens and Kists, a subgroup of the nation.

    “It’s a serious problem because, for the Russian security services, the Pankisi Gorge has been a source of militant activity since the first Chechen war,” Suponina said by phone Oct. 7. “Tbilisi doesn’t control Pankisi and people from there can easily get to the Middle East. It’s a black hole in the security of the Caucasus.”

    Russian-Chechen Conflict

    Russia’s conflict with the Chechens dates back centuries, including a 1785 uprising, with the modern hostilities reigniting as a separatist movement gained momentum as the Soviet Union broke apart a quarter century ago. Russia fought two Chechen wars in the past 25 years in part to counter attacks that originated in the region and spread through the country.

    Apartment bombings in Moscow in 1999 that killed hundreds and the conflict spreading to the region of Dagestan were the immediate trigger for the second Chechen war, in which Putin laid the foundations of his image as a leader capable of restoring the country’s might. While Russia finally gained control of the republic during Putin’s first presidential term, the loyal regime he installed forced the insurgency to simmer in the rest of the Caucasus.

    In Pankisi, where unemployment is at 90 percent, old men and youths idle under trees in villages thronged by playing children. Most families subsist by herding animals around well-kept houses that show the influence of remittances from relatives working abroad.

    ‘Easy Targets’

    Traveling for work also provides a cover story for some. The family of 18-year-old Beso Kushtanashvili thought he was in Turkey until they heard he’d died as a jihadist.

    Iza Borchashvili, a head teacher who remembers Beso as a bubbly, fun kid, said economic issues are the main factor driving young men abroad, along with the idea of being part of something bigger than themselves.

    “They are young and easy targets,” Borchashvili said. “These boys have nothing to do, they are unemployed and they’re all seeking something abroad. That’s the main problem.”

    The exodus has also caused tension within Pankisi. Many people refuse to talk about the absent fighters at all. Older residents like Soso Kavtarashvili, a village elder who said he fought in the 1990’s to protect the valley from “militant criminals,” lament both the fighters’ departure and the practices of extremists.

    ‘Won’t Forgive’

    “This puts the whole village, the whole society in a very difficult situation,” he said. “I don’t like this. God won’t forgive their killing civilians and innocent people for the religion.”

    This week, a 19-year-old suicide bomber killed five policemen and wounded 11 other officers in Grozny, about 60 kilometers (36 miles) north of Pankisi, according to Russia’s Investigative Committee.

    The attack added to the more than 1,000 civilians, militants and police who have died since 2012 in almost daily attacks from the Black Sea to the Caspian, according to Caucasian Knot, a Moscow-based research group.

    Russia has accused Georgia of turning a blind eye to what it says is the Pankisi community’s harboring of militants who want to overthrow Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov — a Putin ally on whose head Shishani put a $5 million bounty last month – – and create a caliphate like Islamic State, Suponina said.

    Security Threat

    “Once they have built their caliphate, they will return home and fight,” Suponina said. “This is also a security threat in Georgia because these extremists want to establish Shariah everywhere where central government control is lacking.”

    Georgian Interior Ministry spokeswoman Nino Giorgobiani declined to comment when contacted by Bloomberg. The government’s main priority is to protect its citizens, according to Irakli Sesiashvili, chairman of the Defense and Security Committee in Georgia’s parliament.

    “We plan to take drastic preventative measures, including new legislative changes, to regulate shortcomings like crimes committed abroad while taking part in terrorist organizations,” he said today by phone from Tbilisi. “Our aim is to prevent others from following the path so they won’t think that if they do the same it will go unpunished.”

    The government in Tbilisi has carried out several anti-terrorist operations in Pankisi, including a 2003 offensive to push al-Qaeda militants out of the region. Eleven people died in the most recent one, in 2012.

    The same year, Tarkhan Batirashvili was released from a jail sentence he received for possessing weapons illegally. Born in 1986 to a Christian father and Georgian Chechen Muslim mother, he had fought in the 2008 war and rose to the rank of sergeant in an intelligence unit. Two years later he was dismissed for health reasons.

    Omar’s Path

    It was during his subsequent prison term that his religious faith deepened and upon his release he returned home and burned his family’s pictures of himself, according to his father Temur.

    Batirashvili then left Georgia to resurface as Omar al-Shishani, or “Omar the Chechen,” leading dozens of his compatriots and others in the siege of Aleppo in northern Syria. He soon after assumed control of Islamic State’s northern forces.

    As tales of the fighting trickle home, he’s become a role model for some in Pankisi. One young man in his late teens who called himself “Vaynakh,” a word Chechens use for themselves, and would give no other information about himself for fear of reprisal, said he’s eager to join returning Chechens to fight the Russians. Vaynakh said that’s a dream he’s had ever since he first shot an assault rifle as a young boy.

    “I would go fight,” he said. “They fight for the name of God and for the name of the brotherhood to revenge for Chechnya. They will come back better prepared and more powerful. I’m sure of it.”

    To contact the reporter on this story: Michael Winfrey in Prague at

    To contact the editors responsible for this story: Balazs Penz at Michael Winfrey, Andrew Langley

    • NorthernStar says:

      So..they are angry that Kiev can’t compel NAF to release captured soldiers???
      (The second Youtube comment is ..clever…no offense to those of Ukrainian ancestry!!)

    • et Al says:

      Cliché ‘small man’ syndrome?

    • marknesop says:

      Lately it seems to be all about creating the impression that Russia is menacing the Baltics and means to bring them back under “neo-Soviet” control. They keep dancing around with their fists up, growling, “I’m warning you, Putin!” and breathlessly citing stats of how often Russian planes have violated Baltics airspace this year, and alluding darkly to massive Russian war games as if Russia had nothing better to do than plan for a year to invade some pisspot little countries that would not last 5 days if they were attacked. What would Russia want with these chihuahua countries? Like it’s starved for land or something. And they keep gibbering about Article 5 as if they have actually been threatened – I suppose the purpose of that is so they can tell their populations that only the threat of an Article-5 response keeps Putin and his red hordes at bay.

      • et Al says:

        What would Russia want with these chihuahua countries?

        Putting my russophobe hat on (it’s a shapka with bullet holes in), the answer is easy. The Chinese are displacing huge numbers of Russians from the Far East who will need lebensraum (see what I did there? 😉 ), the Baltic states being prime territory to put these wild siberian frontiers men and women who at a pinch can be used to invade the rest of Europe. And completing the thread, that is why the West needs NATO! Buy more american weapons, who’s manufacturers are currently suffering from very high share prices:

        Crony Comedy Network: War: What is it good for?

        …Since ISIS launched its major offensive in June, capturing vast areas of Syria and Iraq, defense stocks have bounced. And while this is not new, modern warfare is dictating new twists to the economics of conflict.

        American companies Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, General Dynamics and Northrop Grumman have enjoyed steadily rising stock prices since ISIS rose to prominence. British sector giant BAE Systems has also outperformed the market….”

        From the link in the above paragraph:

        Comedy Honey Network: Defense stocks up big as ISIS crisis escalates
        …Lockheed Martin (LMT), Raytheon (RTN), General Dynamics (GD) and Northrop Grumman (NOC) each hit records on Friday. And all four stocks are up about 10% since the beginning of August , compared to a 4% gain for the S&P 500. …

    • Fern says:

      What underpins a good deal of the behaviour of these rabid Baltic chihuahuas is what cannot be admitted or even acknowledged in the west – the very poor treatment of their Russian minorities and the Baltics’ fear of a backlash. It’s one of the great mysteries of the EU – that it does so much yapping about human rights but seems completely oblivious to what is going on in its own member states.

      The term ‘hybrid warfare’ is one used a good deal by NATO’s General Breedlove and refers to the many nefarious ways Russia seeks to impose its will on its neighbours such as economic and energy threats (which boil down to Russia refusing to give free gas to Ukraine and telling countries that sign EU Association Agreements that Russia will no longer have a free trade agreement with them but will treat their imports in exactly the same way as goods from any other WTO country), alleged cyber attacks and so-called ‘information warfare’. The last point is the most interesting because it shows the success of RT and the shock felt by the West at its loss of control of the narrative.

      • cartman says:

        Remember when Jörg Haider’s party won and helped form the coalition government in Austria? The rest of the EU put sanctions on the country. Fast forward to today, when Latvia’s coalition government contains the National Alliance Party, with its none-to-subtle Nazi symbolism. Now you have to decide what constitutes bad “extremism” (in France or Hungary) from good (in Latvia and Ukriane) with no definition.

      • marknesop says:

        You have put your finger once again on the vital argument, Fern; Russia does not say if you choose to join the EU or associate yourself with it and enjoy free trade with it, we will close our borders to your goods and cease all trade connections with you. But this is the way Russia’s position is consistently represented in the western media – Putin is always bullying or coercing or strongarming some pathetic little country by threatening to cut off trade with it. Taking that position allows them to skip lightly over the truth – that Russia’s “threat” is to remove the preferential subsidies on their goods imported to Russia and treat them the same as everyone else, so as to prevent Russia’s being flooded with cheap, relabeled EU goods, which would mean traders like the Baltics would see a significant reduction in their profits and would have to compete on the same basis as European importers. And as much as they blabber about their love affair with Yurrup, they don’t want to have to compete on a level playing field with its products.

  2. Johan Meyer says:

    Reuters sweating under the collar, lets the trees slip, but neglects to mention their significance:

    I did try to leave a comment explaining the horizontal bullet acrobatics implied by police shooting the trees, but I think they’ll reedit their article to remove reference to the trees before adding their significance, in the fashion that they removed reference to Guy Phillipe being mentioned on the DEA website in a certain 2007 article. A pity that the Wayback Machine ( doesn’t archive them.

    • yalensis says:

      Dear Johan: could you explain the significance of the trees and the bullets?
      I don’t get it.

      • Jen says:

        Something about not seeing the forest for the trees?

      • Moscow Exile says:

        Allow me to answer for Johann:

        When the sniper shots were being reported in the West, there were several newsreels shown, including one from a BBC team on the spot and in which the newsman identifies a window whence the shots came, which window was at the time in a building occupied only by right-wing anti-government “protesters”.

        (The linked above You Tube clip is a compilation that first shows the above mentioned BBC on-the-spot report as well as shots taken prior to the sniper “showdown” of events in Kiev and then moves on to scenes at the Trades Union House in Odessa, finally ending with a from-the-heart acted out speech from a “sincere” and smiling Porky Poroshenko.)

        Note how the BBC corespondent states: “A little over 20 years ago Ukraine gained its independence peacefully. Many here believe they’re paying the price for that now”.

        That is an example of what I believe is called a “loaded statement”: independence from whom, one may ask; from Russia, is the immediate conjecture. This leads to another question:”Paying the price for its independence to whom?”

        Loaded answer: clearly Russia.

        One glaring error in the BBC reportage was that those in it who are portrayed as anti-government snipers shooting from a window, but not from one in that building which the reporter points out at the beginning of the clip, are clearly shown shooting airguns.

        The real snipers were the real deal using real firearms.

        Many Yukies made a big thing about this air-gun business, claiming that the “protesters” were not really armed as were the police and their alleged snipers who were shooting at them with firearms.

        And here, from the horse’s mouth itself, RFE/RL, is evidence of sniper shots fired at the “peaceful protesters” from behind of them:

        Ukrainian Spring: Regime’s snipers shoot at civilians.

        That objective US propaganda organ does not make mention of the fact that the police shown in the clip above were only finally retaliating in self-defence after having come under fire themselves for several days.

        Despite Gosh Ashton’s admonitions about using violence against “peaceful protesters”, Yanukovich finally gave the go-ahead for retaliatory fire – too late. And remember, this was after weeks and weeks of police ranks being relentlessly fire-bombed by those self-same peaceful protesters.

        There then follow images of the “peaceful protesters” advancing in their ice-hockey and roller skate body armour upon the rada building and then coming under fire.

        As they crouch behind their home-made shields, the “peaceful protesters” are being picked off by single shots coming from behind of them.

        This fact is evidenced by a clearly visible miss that strikes one of the trees alongside the boulevard, where those soon to become members of the “Heavenly Hundred” are crouching.

        It seems that these trees together with their bullet-hole evidence are no longer there.

        Time Frame

        0:13: RFE/RL presents its damning evidence of a police sniper in action.

        (In fact, the sniper and his detachment are shown withdrawing in the clip as someone is heard saying: “Flaming hell! [блин] Don’t shoot, you bastard!

        0:36: “peaceful protesters” now cautiously advancing alongside the boulevard.

        0:43: a shot is heard – and it ain’t no air-gun!

        0:46: a shot is seen striking a tree alongside of which are crouching the Ukraine heroes. The entrance of the bullet into the tree is high above the crouched snipers.

        1:08: As the clip continues, it can be seen that the heroes are being shot at from behind: look at the way the bodies pitch forwards, or roll over sideways. One of those hit holds his hand over his wound which is, apparently, just below his right buttock.

        The shots are clearly coming from behind of them, from where the hotel pointed out by the BBC reporter at the beginning of the compilation clip above is situated.

        And absolutely no bloody mention of this!

        Many, however, on the net have noticed the significance of this fact.

        And the trees bearing such evidence are now no longer to be found.


        • Moscow Exile says:

          Oh, and I should add that I’ve seen comments on the web by Yukies about this shots-from-behind evidence, in which Maidanites acknowledge that in the clips shots are seen that clearly came from behind of the “peaceful protesters”, but claim that they were stray shots fired by Ukrainian hero snipers in retaliation to those fired at the “peaceful protesters” by the police.

          Well, all I can say to that is that the Yukie snipers should get their eyesight tested.

          • marknesop says:

            They have a pat explanation for everything. See if that standard would be accepted by them if it were happening in the east. Already the easterners are so passive that they have to make things up, like eastern artillery is shelling its own host city so as to gain sympathy and Russian assistance.

        • yalensis says:

          Thanks for explanation, I get it now.
          I followed the above events fairly closely, but somehow missed the bit about the bullet-struck trees.
          The trees themselves were forensic evidence, which has been conveniently cut down.
          Even though the truth will eventually come out, the trees themselves probably will not, I am guessing they already fed somebody’s wood stove.

          • marknesop says:

            Perhaps you noticed that only Kiev is permitted to destroy and withhold evidence without a public outcry. If Maidan had taken place in Moscow, and those trees were cut down and removed after suspicion had been voiced, you can bet Novaya Gazeta and The Moscow Times would be shrieking it to the skies, and the western press would be rumbling and harrumphing and demanding an explanation. When Kiev does it, the west just smiles benignly, if it was not a western suggestion in the first place. Ditto Kiev’s continued withholding and concealment of the tower records pertaining to the crash of MH-17 – no insistence from the west that this evidence be made available for public examination, as there would certainly be if Russia had not immediately handed over its own evidence. Nor is there any public speculation in the western press that Kiev’s withholding of this information implies it is guilty – while Russia was immediately accused and continues to stand accused even though it handed over evidence at once. It is clear that the west is going to cover up for Kiev, and is just waiting for an opportune moment to roll out the “we may never know what really happened” investigation results.

        • marknesop says:

          Thanks, Moscow Exile; I was going to mention that there are films on here somewhere, but it would have been in the immediate aftermath of the actual events and they would be hard to find. One of the penalties for a comment section where you don’t have to stay on topic, I suppose; it makes things hard to find afterward. Anyway, those are precisely the clips I would have been referring to.

          I see the BBC’s soliloquizing in a different light – Ukraine achieved its independence peacefully because it said “I want to go”, and Russia said “What, are you still here?” There was no searing battle for self-determination. The current one occurred because members of the population took the situation into their own hands when the decision of the elected government was not the one they had been hoping for, and in this they were encouraged by the west. When they proved too docile while the government proved surprisingly conciliatory and gave them everything they asked for, the western backers of violent revolution cursed because they had not asked for more, and prodded the situation into violence. This is the independence catalyst the west actually prefers, since it is so difficult to sort out afterward what actually happened when there is a screaming mob rampaging and breaking and killing.

          None of this would have happened without the west’s interference and management. There was never any implication that Ukraine was going to be sucked back into Siamese-twinship with Russia, and a clever and adroit leader could have managed a significant degree of independence from Russia while still maintaining a strong and healthy fraternal relationship with it, while some 3000 people would be alive who are not, and Crimea would still be a part of Ukraine. In the current conflict, Russia does not play a significant part except in the fevered minds of the western regime-changers and the rabble-rousing fascists in Kiev. If the Russian army really were involved in a major invasion, in an official state capacity, Ukraine would be rolled up like a tobacco leaf. NATO refuses to get involved officially, militarily, because its leaders know when their troops march to the east to confront the Russians they will find none, and themselves in the embarrassing position of having acted as paid mercenaries of the Kiev government. They wouldn’t mind that, if only it could be concealed, but it could not.

          Therefore when they say Ukraine is paying now for its independence, they’re right. Except Ukraine is actually yielding it, not gaining it, and is paying for membership in the EU club, its application submitted on its behalf by the United States of America, and for strategic reasons rather than humanitarian instincts. I need hardly add, “as usual”.

        • Johan Meyer says:

          Thanks—I was out of town. Here’s another link, which I think I got off either moon of alabama or this site many months ago:

          Note that I was wrong—not 90 degrees from what should have been the bullets’ point of origin (police), but 135 degrees—Hotel Ukraina.

          • marknesop says:

            The film makes a point I had not noticed before, although I should have done – the activists always had their shields pointed toward the police, the direction from which they expected fire to come, but those who were hit had no holes in their shields. The bullets must have come from behind them or from an angle behind their shields.

    • marknesop says:

      The whole false-flag tickle trunk is beginning to fall apart, and I believe what we are seeing is just the thin edge of the wedge. Ukraine – probably coached and backed by the U.S. State Department and CIA, although they will drop their former ally like it’s hot if the investigation starts to get too near – has overreached so badly and behaved so grotesquely that a cutting-our-losses point will soon be reached. After that, to go on backing this rogue state will mean the backers will inevitably be tarred with some responsibility for its crimes. It might still be possible to simply blame them for everything and come clean.

      For example, ZeroHedge brought up a point I missed. I mentioned yesterday that Frans Timmermans, idiot Vice-President of the European Commission, inadvertently spilled the beans yesterday and blabbed that one passenger in MH-17 had been found with an oxygen mask around his neck, and used that as a springboard to eulogize the victims some more, painting a vivid picture of them looking at each other and knowing they were going to die.

      You could hear the sound of government pencils snapping throughout the west when he said that, because it creates a big problem. Timmermans’ countrymen only recently announced the results of the analysis of the Flight Data Recorders, and said they offered a picture of a normal flight right up until everything went dead. Nothing to see here, folks.

      How likely is it, really, do you think, that a passenger had time to recognize that something was so wrong that he needed to put on his oxygen mask – but the cockpit crew, trained for emergencies and with the express responsibility to react to any danger – never said a word?

      Somebody is lying, lying, lying. And the truth is going to have to come out, especially if western politicians keep fucking up and letting things slip. It’s like none of them ever heard the words “cover-up”.

      • Jen says:

        It has been a good (bad?) week for Freudian slips, what with US Vice President Joe Biden blabbing that the US forced Europe to apply sanctions against Russia and blurting out that Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar were helping the takfiri fighters in Syria and Iraq at his Harvard University speech. Someone better find out if Timmermans and Biden had dinner together and fragments of a truth pill disguised as salt and pepper had been sprinkled over their meal. They won’t be allowed out alone again without their minders and teleprompters.

        • Southerncross says:

          No need to search for pharmaceutical explanations. Joe Biden’s a fool whose mouth works faster than his brain; he’s always been that way.

          For example:

      • yalensis says:

        But it is my understanding that people can’t just voluntarily pop an oxygen mask and put it on. The masks only come down by themselves when the cabin depressurizes. In the pre-flight safety spiel, they always tell us, If you see a mask come down from the ceiling (of its own volition), then grab it and put it on.

        If only one person on the entire plane was wearing a mask, then that was just a fluke and doesn’t necessarily prove anything, His/her mask might have popped randomly, or it might have even fallen onto him when they landed on the ground. All this proves is that Timmermans is a self-important fool who doesn’t mind torturing victims’ relatives, in order to score some cheap point.

        • Jen says:

          That’s right, the masks drop down automatically if the cabin depressurises or the plane experiences severe turbulence.

          Apparently though the dead Australian passenger was not actually wearing the mask but its strap was around the person’s neck. I for one am curious as to where that person might have sat but as there were 28 Australians on board and all of them were spread throughout the plane, and Timmermans was made to shut up before he spilt any more information, I guess we’ll never know. The DSB’s final report is not likely to reveal any more than what its preliminary report has already said.

          • marknesop says:

            This is completely, completely different from previous versions, and it is plain the western newspapers with their eager stable of experts in every subject are trying to make the points fit the curve instead of the other way around. They will entertain no narrative but that it was a BUK missile (we’ll let them away with that, although that’s the launcher and the missile is the SA-11), fired either by regular Russian troops or rebels with Russian help. Whereas we were told before by others purporting to be know-all experts that the passengers had died probably without even knowing there was danger, owing to explosive decompression as the plane ripped apart, now we are told the plane did not rip apart at all, and that the passengers were probably conscious and knew what was happening to them as the damaged cabin careened toward earth. Boeing better start using better fasteners to secure its seats to the deck, then, because some passengers were found still in their seats, and we heard ad infinitum about the grisly shower of bodies over regional towns. We were told the plane came apart in the air. Now we are told the missile probably exploded under the belly, piercing the body and wings – how does this explain all the regularly-sized holes in the sides of the cockpit? More of those horizontally-flying fragments that turn 90 degrees in the air? The warhead only weighs 155 pounds, it’s meant to take out a fighter-sized target.

            This whole story stinks out loud, and it is only stinking more as it goes along and the western press reacts to each new revelation with progressively wilder explanations that allow it to cling to its Russian-missile story.

            • colliemum says:

              “Stinks out loud”???
              Any dog owner can tell you that the truly deadly stinkers are the silent ones, which are therefore known as ‘silent killers’ …


        • marknesop says:

          The masks drop automatically and dangle in front of passengers’ faces upon depressurization. Nobody is suggesting the guy manually deployed his mask and then put it on. But it is highly unlikely to have just fallen around his neck in the blast from a surface-to-air missile, and then remained around his neck as the plane ripped apart and pieces of it cartwheeled to earth. However, if another plane started shooting up MH-17, the cabin depressurization would have caused the masks to deploy and some passengers may have put theirs on. It merely shows that death was not instantaneous as many sources speculated, and is unlikely to have been just a freak occurrence. It is also highly unlikely that some rebel found it and put it around the guy’s neck, as if he thought it might help. And nobody could have such a Machiavellian mind as to do it after the fact, knowing the confusion it would cause later.

    • Fern says:

      Johan, am I right in thinking that this is your comment on the Reuters’ article:-

      Bliksem wrote:
      I’m glad to see that you mention the missing trees that were shot, though you fail to mention their significance—analysis of the Radio Svoboda protest videos shows that the bullets were shot at a direction perpendicular to the direction from the police to the protestors, unless one believes in horizontal bullet acrobatics. Were there members of the Philadelphia FOP establishment involved in the Ukraine coup? Because similar bullet acrobatics were implied in the Mumia and MOVE 11 cases. Do Ukrainian police bullets make 90 degree turns in mid-air?
      Oct 10, 2014 3:47pm EDT

      I thought it had been established quite a long time ago that the snipers firing into the crowd killing both protestors and police, were positioned on the roof or top floors of a building under the control of pro-Maidan forces. Johan, is this what you are referring to? I also thought it had been established by ballistic analysis that bullets recovered from the victims were not compatible with ammunition issued to the Berkut.

  3. According to Finnish media Russia considering banning the Memorial “human rights” organization. I think it would be a good move as Memorial receives funding from the West, and is generally viewed as hostile to Russia and Russia’s best interests.

  4. Warren says:

    Published on 10 Oct 2014
    The West and Russia can’t seem to get over their differences, with the tensions between the Washington and Kremlin changing the stakes for the whole world. How far would this confrontation go? Is there another Cold War coming? And finally, will the world once again know the horror of a Nuclear War looming over the humanity? We ask these questions to a prominent American scholar on Russian studies, Professor at New York University and Princeton University. Stephen Cohen is on Sophie&Co today.



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    RT (Russia Today) is a global news network broadcasting from Moscow and Washington studios. RT is the first news channel to break the 1 billion YouTube views benchmark.

  5. Fern says:

    The EU’s newest tar-baby needs more:-

    Ukraine needs more financing, in addition to what Kiev has already received from the International Monetary Fund and western governments, the head of the IMF’s European Department, Poul Thomsen said on Friday.
    “Ukraine’s international partners need to start thinking about if they can provide more support for the country,” Thomsen said, adding that the IMF now sees “a somewhat higher financing need,” but it is too early to say how much exactly is needed.

    Mmm, well, good luck with that.

    • yalensis says:

      Let’s play “Parse the Sentence” !
      They used the word “need” 4 times in 2 sentences, twice as a verb, one as a noun, once as a participal adjective:

      “Ukraine needs more financing…” [verb]
      “Ukraine’s international partners need to start thinking…” [verb]
      “IMF now sees a somewhat higher financing need…” [noun]
      “exactly how much is needed…” [participial adjective]

      Other possible words to use when writing similar pieces:
      “Needful” (sounds somewhat Wagnerian)
      “High-maintenance” ….

      • marknesop says:

        It’s highly noticeable once you point it out, but otherwise very subtle. I wonder if it’s deliberate? I wouldn’t credit the Ukies with such a comprehensive command of a language not their own. I wonder if it was written for them? I’m starting to see the CIA peeping out from under every bed, I’m afraid, although i hope I would not be so paranoid were it not for the complete disregard for normal behaviour on the west’s part where Ukraine is concerned. It seems they will be forgiven anything, the whole while the west helps them shill for money.

  6. colliemum says:

    News of my demise are exceedingly exaggerated …
    Firstly, I need to inform y’all that the last of the mugs arrived at Chateau colliemum this past Wednesday, with handle firmly attached!
    Secondly, there’s still no news about what ails me – the vampires at the surgery demand another lot of blood from me. So I’m still languishing, but trying hard to un-languish ….
    Lastly, the news making the international headlines (Ebola, ISIS) and the accompanying cries of interested parties for the “World community” to do something, anything, now, has led me to conclude that “serves you right” is the only comment possible.
    These crises were known about when they were still small and containable, but the “World community” had something else to occupy their combined interest: the events which engage us here on this fine blog.
    Over six months and huge amounts of money were wasted by the said “World community” because they simply had to support the lying Kiev regime, and above all simply had to increase their bashing of Russia and her President. This is known amongst normal people as taking one’s eyes off the ball.
    So while I pity the poor people having to cope with Ebola and ISIS, I have nothing but contempt for TPTB and the cloud of hacks accompanying them.
    Someone, sometime, hopefully will learn and understand that the politics of the toddlers’ playground are unacceptable.

    I leave you with this piece of a highly satisfying (for me/us) compilation of numbers:

    Now it’s back to languishing for me …

    • yalensis says:

      Dear Colliemum:
      Sorry to hear you are still not feeling well. Please try to get better!
      (and I hope it isn’t ebola, I am afraid of ebola myself…)

    • Southerncross says:

      Vampires have to eat too, you know. I might add that we’re a protected category under the Human Rights Act.

      That by-election result is inspiring. May it be the first of many cruel setbacks for the Tories… with Farage’s smile serving as salt in their wounds.

      • colliemum says:

        Ah – nothing against real vampires – they have to live, as you say. 😉
        It’s the ‘oomans who waste that stuff by inept procedures who need to be called out!

        As for that result – suddenly, after this and after 4 1/2 years in government, Cameron is now anxious to ‘do something’ about immigration, along the lines of UKIP proposals.
        Interesting, isn’t it, that these our policies are right-wing, bigoted and xenophobic when we demand them, but are just the ticket and to be lauded when coming from the establishment. Amazing what the prospect of losing votes like snow in the sun can do!
        Too late – the fox is now truly in the Westminster hen house, with more to follow.
        We think that the next defecting MP will come from Labour.

    • kirill says:

      Don’t let the doctors take you for a ride. Be very, very proactive and demand tests that can confirm/exclude cancer. Here in Canada, the government retards have issued edicts limiting medical diagnostics and it is almost impossible to be referred to a specialist. Make sure you get to a specialist and are not stuck at the some “triage” level.

      I am talking from personal experience. I have seen two people die of cancer over a short period of time who were nowhere near properly diagnosed and treated. The medical system only reacts when things are at the emergency room level. Then they do diagnostics on you, when it is too bloody late.

      • colliemum says:

        I know exactly what you mean!
        I’m playing the system as best as I can, resorting to playing either the helpless innocent, or to kicking and screaming, in a very polite way, you understand!
        When that fails, I go private and shell out, from my savings.
        Expensive – oh yes! But it saved my eyesight, and will now get me mobile and fit as fast as my ex-army sports physio can make me. He knows all about skiving off and not putting in the work, LOL, but he also knows when not doing something at all is the best way forward.
        I despise the politicians who have destroyed the NHS while still bleating about it as if it’s a holy cow.

  7. Moscow Exile says:

    Up to 2.5 million … now live abroad…

    The Foreign Ministry recorded 1.6 million expats at the end of last year. But that figure only includes people who had registered at … consulates abroad. ‘So the real figure is twice as high’…

    … while the figure of 2.5 million expatriates is ‘not enormous’, what is more troubling is the increase of about 2 per cent each year”.

    They’re leaving.

    Young, skilled professionals.

    They see no future in their motherland.

    “French say au revoir to France: Over two million French people now live abroad, and most are crossing the channel and heading to London”

    • marknesop says:

      Amazing. How do you like it, France? The same logic applies every time – this is only people who registered, so when you include people who just locked the door and got in the taxi for the airport, the real figure is twice as high. As if another 1.6 million people could leave the country forever and it not be recorded somewhere. The only civilized country that keeps no records – at least none that are publicly accessible through a Freedom Of Information application – of people leaving the country with the intention of living elsewhere is the United States. I’m sure France knows quite well, and that the “actual figure” is nowhere near the claimed drain. But France is the European whipping boy these days, due as much to the danger that it will fall to a borderline-extremist government as over the MISTRAL deal. The unemployment rate in the UK is a little better – 6.2% versus 10% – but GDP growth is anemic compared to non-existent, and I just can’t see London being that big a draw for a new 1.6 million job applicants every year. Or twice that, if you subscribe to that nonsense.

    • Jen says:

      I have been hearing much more French, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish on the train network in Sydney these days. The Portuguese and Spanish are understandable, we have a sizable Brazilian community in Sydney now and other small Latin American communities have been present since the 1970s with Chileans coming first. At work we have people from Colombia, Costa Rica and Mexico. But I was curious that French was being spoken on the trains, usually among couples or family groups with children, until I saw this article “More French coming to Australia than going to Britain”:

  8. Moscow Exile says:

    “The truth of the matter is that fracturing is the answer to the world’s energy problems …”

    An ad inserted into today’s Daily telegraph video review of the movie “Fury”.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      The film “Fury”, by the way, is yet again one of those Hollywood confections about WWII, in which can be seen Brad Pitt playing the commander of an M4 Sherman tank named “Fury”, who, along with his four-man crew, is part of the “final Allied push towards Berlin”.

      Allied push towards Berlin?

      Surely that was the Soviet push? The western allies had already agreed with the USSR on their stop-line in Germany, hadn’t they?

      And wonder of wonders, in the film you see the M4 take a hit from under 100 yards from a Tiger, and survive!

      As one Telegraph reader points out: “Tigers could knock out Shermans from over a mile away, from distances that the Shermans couldn’t even reply from. If a Sherman tank met a Tiger tank, in a field, there was only one outcome and it wasn’t the one where Brad Pitt lives to fight another day”.

      And there’s even worse from the pen of the Telegraph reviewer:

      In the down-time between battles, Ayer lets the quieter moments run. In an unbearably tense sequence, Wardaddy and Ellison [two of the tank crew] break into a house in a bombed-out village after spotting a young woman at the window, and there is an unspoken understanding between the four that meat, drink and beds will be shared in the search for mutual comfort.”

      How sweet!

      The girl clearly had not been a member of the Bund Deutscher Mädel.

      • yalensis says:

        So, what happens? Do they rape the girl?
        (I didn’t see the movie, and probably will not.)

        • Moscow Exile says:

          I think they have a Shagfest.

          • Jen says:

            Impossible to believe that a WW2 film with Brad Pitt playing an American could be far worse and less historically accurate than a WW2 film with Tom Cruise playing a Nazi officer plotting to kill Hitler but only Hollywood could marshall the talent and the money to pull that one off.

            • yalensis says:

              I saw the Tom Cruise film, and I actually liked it, believe it or not!

              • Southerncross says:

                Cruise played his part like a robot programmed to give an inferior repeat of his performance in A Few Good Men. Wooden, humourless unmemorable, pick your epithet. It was the same with pretty well all the rest of the cast too, and further exaggerated in the case of coup opponents like Goebbels and Otto Remer (presumably they thought people would forget Remer was a bad guy if he wasn’t an icy brute throughout his screen time).

                And the bizarre decision to have the cast speak in their native dialects… well Christ, even a bad German accent would have helped me pretend it wasn’t Tiny Tom Cruise on screen.

                The word that sums it all up is ‘bland’. Stauffenberg was anything but bland.

                Perhaps they will do better digging up Edward Norton or some such person and casting him as Johann Georg Elser.

                • colliemum says:

                  I didn’t watch that Hollywoodyfied drivel.
                  The sad fact is that for obvious, political reasons the German Resistance was treated as nasty treason in West Germany, and as negligible antics by the class enemy (Prussian aristocratic officers, FFS!) in the DDR.
                  For example, for years in the Bundesrepublic, the widows of those Resistance heroes did not get the meagre widow’s pension which all other Wehrmacht members did, because their husbands had been executed by Hitler as ‘criminals’.
                  For example, for years the only ‘true’ resistance in the DDR and for obvious reasons later in the unified Germany deemed worthy of celebration was the “Rote Kapelle”, the ‘Red Orchestra’, because they were partly supported by communists.
                  The one officer who was the driving force, for years, and who had built up the personal framework for ‘Operation Valkyrie’ – Stauffenberg only crossed over into that conspiracy much later – was Henning von Tresckow. Look him up, but do realise that even now his outstanding, decade-long, patient build-up of resistance is being played down.

                • Moscow Exile says:

                  As an à propos, Colliemum: do you remember when BRD panzer units first came to the South Wales artillery ranges for training in the ’60s and the Scheiße really hit the fan in the British press because of it? But when the German tankers left South Wales, there were reports of their impeccable behaviour, and after that first visit they were always made welcome. Or were you not even a twinkle in your dad’s eye at the time?

                  My nephew is serving in a British army armoured regiment and has recently returned to Germany for the rundown of the occupation. He has told me that his unit always gets on like a house on fire with their Bundeswehr colleagues and that the locals are not too pleased about the British army leaving: the mayor where he’s based apparently organized a petition that the British not leave.

                  The locals’ displeasure over the removal of British armed forces is not because they feel that they are being abandoned to the not so tender mercies of the Mongol-Tatar horde that is ready to descend on them from the steppes as soon as the British leave: their Angst is purely based on the fact that once Tommy buggers off, there’ll be a collapse of the local economy.

                • colliemum says:

                  I was well past the stage of being a twinkle in my father’s eyes at that time, but still too young to have taken much notice of that sort of serious stuff.
                  We were still at the five-petticoats-and wasp-waist stage then: far more important and very time-consuming!
                  I recall Welsh farmers bring very complementary about the German POWs at the Island Farm Camp near Bridgend, but when this here happened: I definitely was just about becoming a twinkling in my father’s eyes, so have no personal knowledge either.

                • yalensis says:

                  Dear Southencross and Colliemum:
                  I concede that Tom Cruise played his part like a robot. I still like the film, mostly because of its portrayal of a very human and very vulnerable Adolph Hitler. My favorite scene is this one, in which der Führer’s disloyal staff dare to challenge his most cherished beliefs:

                • colliemum says:

                  That’s from “Downfall”, that is, not “Valkyrie”!
                  Can’t fool me with that one, teeheehee!


                • Moscow Exile says:

                  That clip comes from “Untergang”, amerikanischer Dummkopf!

                  Der Schauspieler, der den Führer spielt, ist ein Schweizer.


                • colliemum says:

                  You beat me to it by a few hundreds of a second!


      • Moscow Exile says:

        Fritz, by the way, used to call Shermans “Tommykessel” (Tommy Cookers/Kettles): they were an engineering disaster.

        Shermans sent to the USSR were recognized for the heap of junk that they were and were mostly dispatched to the Far East to keep a watch on the Japanese, whose tanks were pretty crappy as well.

        British troops used to call Shermans “Ronsons” because, just as the Ronson cigarette lighter firm used to say in its advertising about its product, a Sherman: “Lights up the first time, every time!” or “brewed up” in British army slang. (One “brews” a pot of tea in UK English.)

        Having a high octane petrol engine originally designed for aircraft did nothing to decrease a Sherman’s tendency to ignite after receiving only one hit.

        (Some of the tanks shown in the attached clip are not Shermans but Grant tanks in North Africa. They had a 37-mm pop-gun in their turret as well as a bloody great 75-mm cannon in a sponson. This huge piece could stop anything, but being side-mounted with limited traverse and the Grant being pretty slow, this 75-mm piece of artillery lost its advantage.)

        • kirill says:

          At least there is some recognition what a stupid design and selection process there was in the case of the Shermans. But they couldn’t resist leaving out the boiler plate BS about how Americans beat the Germans.

          No. It was the Soviets who beat the Germans. The reason why the German tanks were so good is because they had to engineer them to face Russian tanks. In particular by the time the Yankees were on European soil the T-34s were using the 85 mm gun which gave German armour a seriously hard time.

          I can’t believe the level of incompetence in the Sherman design. You’d think they were building a tower making the thing so tall. This is a basic tank warfare element and the fact that the US military was not taking it seriously indicates serious problems.

          • patient observer says:

            IIRC, the T-34 also was the first tank to use sloping armor. Also that armor was welded together thereby eliminating joints that can be points of failure. Russia developed a new welding technology called submerged arc to pull that off.

            The T-34 was powered by a diesel engine thereby eliminating usage of dangerous gasoline as well as delivering better fuel economy. Perhaps most importantly it was designed for mass production. It was a fantastic piece of real-world engineering done under very harsh conditions.

  9. yalensis says:

    Ha ha! This is why you have to read the whole article, and not just the headline!
    Headline says Book Burning Organized in Kiev, with images of Lenin books being burned.
    So, one is, like, “Oh here we go again with the Banderite idiocy…”

    A closer reading convinces me that this “art collective”, which organized the Lenin book burning as a piece of performance art, must be something like a lefty Ukrainian version of Pussy Riot.
    I could be wrong, nobody ever went broke betting against the sheer ignorance of Ukrainians.
    But still, I suspect that this is parody, and that the “artists” are pointing out, not so subtly, that Lenin was actually more pro-Ukrainian than the types who are ripping down his statues.

    In the Kiev art gallery “Mistetska Zbirka” a “socially-conscious art project” was opened, called “Heating Ukraine”. At the entrance to the gallery, members of the art collective GAZ were burning the books of Lenin….
    Since nobody else seemed concerned about getting through the winter, the artists took it upon themselves, and came up with this simple plan to help warm people and get them through the winter (by burning books). During the fierce frosts, the oligarchs will be nice and toasty warm. But what about the common man? “We are only burning the works of Lenin,” said one of the authors of the project, Aleksei Zolotarev. “Lenin personifies the enemy of Ukraine, he is one of the ideologists of the destruction of the Ukrainian village, and the peasantry as a class. He despised Ukrainians, and determined that it was necessary to fight them. So now, (with our assistance), instead of washing brains, Lenin is warming people [with the fire].

    [yalensis: Once again, I honestly don’t know if these “artists” are serious or not. Lenin obviously did not “hate” Ukrainians, before WWI he wrote works in which he supported Ukrainian independence from Russia. Once in power, he established Ukraine as a major republic and gave it the territories of Donbass as its economic base. Do the artists not know this, or are they (I hope) just being sly?]

    • marknesop says:

      I doubt this is subtlety, and imagine it is more anti-Russian pandering. After all, the prevailing ideology in Kiev is the complete destruction of any fraternal ties between Russians and Ukrainians – an orgy of bridge-burning which will ensure Ukraine must turn toward Yurrup no matter what happens, because of the seething hatred between Russians and Ukrainians. I maintain this has been the single greatest success of the western campaign to seize Ukraine.

  10. et Al says:

    Mother Jones: Here’s How President Obama Is Using the ‘Oil Weapon’—Against Iran, Russia, and ISIS
    And we shouldn’t be surprised if they use it against us, too.


    • marknesop says:

      Yes, what a remarkable set of circumstances – ISIS, or whatever you want to call them, an American creation if ever there was one, controls vast oil fields in Syria and Iran, and uses the profits to finance its dastardly operations, which might end in an Islamic caliphate that stretches…oh, I don’t know, pick some distance that sounds impressive. Where have we heard that before? That’s right, Dick Cheney and his fearmongering. So now the American air force and its allies must bomb the oilfields in Syria and Iraq, so as to cut off ISIS’s funding. Umm… how do they know which oilfields are controlled by ISIS? That ol’ secret U.S. intelligence again; can’t tell you, I’d have to kill you if I did.

      How much loss of its oil-pumping capability can Syria tolerate before there is a crisis in its economy? Gee, maybe that’ll make them call for Assad to hand over power to a progressive western-friendly reformer! Hope springs eternal.

  11. patient observer says:

    Russia hits back where it hurts:
    With a nice quote from ZeroHedge:
    “Despite the reassuring narrative from The West that Russia faces “costs” and is increasingly “isolated” due to sanctions for its actions in Ukraine, the most recent data suggests reality is quite different. First, capital outflows slowed dramatically in Q3 (from $23.7 billion in Q2 to $13 billion in Q3) with September seeing capital inflows for the first time since Sept 2013. Second, Russia’s current account surplus was significantly stronger than expected ($11.4 billion vs $8.8 billion expected) driven by increased trade. Third, and perhaps most crucially, Russia paid down a massive $52.8 billion in foreign debt as Putin “de-dollarizes” at near record pace, reducing external debt to the lowest since 2012.”

    • kirill says:

      The US leadership are indeed mentally deficient. There is no possibility of staging a 1980s style oil glut today. Zero. Back during the 1980s Saudi Arabia had vast spare capacity and could dial the world price with ease. Today it cannot increase production even by 10% and most of its new output is heavy sour crude. The global oil market is also much tighter in terms of demand and supply since global crude and condensate production has been on a plateau since 2006 until the last three years. This change is due to the increase in US oil production from non-conventional reservoirs. And this is not some long lasting new order, it is a flash in the pan that will not last past 2020. Meanwhile, the global reservoir depletion rate is 6% per year and there is not enough new discovery to replace it.

      The current oil price fall is a combination of the triple dip recession in Germany, Japan and elsewhere and futures speculation games engineered by Washington. Watch as this hoax fades in the next six months. The only thing that can bring about a serious oil price shift is a prolonged collapse of economic activity in parts of the world. This is nothing like the 1980s.

      • patient observer says:

        Saudi Arabia is producing at maximum capacity to nudge down oil prices to please the US but the global recession and the corresponding reduction in consumption is mostly responsible for driving down crude prices I believe. The easiest way to confirm this supposition is if consumption is collapsing versus an increase in production.

        The oil frackers will take it in the shorts. With production costs of $70+/barrel and relatively high transportation costs they may already have in a negative cash flow. Assuming that the fracking boom was financed by debt, significant bankruptcies and debt defaults can be expected.

      • rkka says:

        “There is no possibility of staging a 1980s style oil glut today. Zero. ”

        Sure there is. Just engineer another global financial collapse then follow it up with a decade-long depression.

        The problem for the Anglosphere Foreign Policy Elite & Punditocracy (AFPE&P) is that Russia could probably ride that out better than the countries the ‘Five-Eyed’ countries could.

    • So far the “de-dollarization” has not become reality. Dollar has been gaining more value while Rouble and Euro have been falling.

      • patient observer says:

        By now you certainly should have learned that a little patience is needed. All those prediction about Novorussia being sold down the river, the Uke’s marching in triumph through Crimea with Putin smiling in the background were rubbish. It may take many years for the economic war to play out but one thing for sure, Russia is fighting smart and hard.

        • marknesop says:

          Agreed. De-dollarization would take some time even if the USA did not fight hard to keep the dollar the world’s reserve currency, which it is with every weapon at its disposal. To quite a few people, “de-dollarization” seems to mean that the dollar will either vanish from the earth completely or that only the United States will use it, as its national currency. Neither is going to happen. The dollar will remain an important currency for so long as the USA remains a powerful economy, as it is likely to be for our lifetimes. De-dollarization is not meant to remove the dollar, but to take out that middleman transaction whereby all international purchases have to be briefly converted into dollars, in between the currency they started as and the currency they ended up as. This gives the USA enormous financial clout and requires all major economic powers to maintain large stocks of dollars on hand, which in turn allows the USA to print more and to flood the globe with its currency. I don’t think Russia or China ever envisioned the ruble or the yuan being the world’s reserve currency, but that there would be several instead of only one, based on the fact that the world is economically multipolar. When other reserve currencies have the same clout as the dollar, and countries have a choice rather than having their currency automatically weighed against the dollar’s benchmark value, de-dollarization will have achieved its objective. That will allow countries who do not see eye to eye with the United States on foreign policy issues to pursue trade in other major currencies without having King Greenback beating up their economies in order to force them to heel. The single reserve currency is like giving the USA a gun while everyone else has to use a stick.

          • patient observer says:

            I don’t know if this is even a sensible question but would not a gold-based currency with sufficient capitalization be the ideal reserve currency? Perhaps there is not enough gold to handle the sheer volume of trade (or gold would need to reach astronomical price per ounce) but in principal how could there be a more stable and predictable currency? It would largely eliminate exposure to currency fluctuations in international transactions which in itself is a big advantage.

        • I’m still not convinced that Novorossiya will NOT be sold down the river. It all depends who is more influential inside the Kremlin: the pro-western liberals or the eurasianists.

          True de-dollarization has not yet happened because there are not enough countries that have abandoned dollar as a reserve currency. I understand that even Russia is still using dollar to sell oil and gas to the West.

          American economy is also stronger than European and Russian economy now. That makes their currency stronger in comparison.

          • Moscow Exile says:

            Yes, it’s patently obvious that Russia is doomed to failure when pitted against the might of the USA.

            • Moscow Exile says:

              And one must also take into consideration the inferior nature of Russians themselves – their indolence, their greed and capriciousness, their intolerance, their xenophobia and homophobia, their deference to authority and slave-like nature – when considering their chances of success when in confrontation with that far superior, enlightened civilization known as “the West”.

              Sad really, because I really do feel for Russia.

              • Moscow Exile says:

                As regards this selling-down-the-river malarky and Kiev’s plans to attack Donetsk anew because of Russian betrayal of its “countrymen” in East Ukraine, Mercouris has this interesting comment on Saker:

                1. There is no realistic possibility of Kiev resuming the offensive, for all the brave talk that has been coming out of Kiev. Not only was Kiev comprehensively defeated over July and August on a scale that is still not properly understood, but the economic situation does not allow it, and Poroshenko knows that any renewed offensive would result in a strong Russian response. The stream of reports that issued out of Kiev during the fighting from the likes of Geletei, Lysenko and Avakov turned out to be almost entirely false. Given that this is so, I don’t understand why anyone today is taking their latest claims seriously.

                2. To understand what I mean, consider what happened in the only important battle actually fought since the declaration of the ceasefire. This was the battle for Donetsk airport, which [has] gone in the Novorossians favour. The junta was not even able to send its aircraft to launch air-strikes to support its troops there, as it did in May – a clear sign that it has [no] control of the airspace over the eastern Ukraine.

                3. By contrast there clearly is a real risk of some Novorossian commanders launching an unauthorised offensive and I have no doubt it was in order to prevent this that the Voentorg was suspended.

                4. I am afraid that Strelkov is doing himself no favours by this campaign [that] he, through his supporters, is waging against Zakharchenko. I retain great respect for Strelkov’s military leadership, and Novorossia owes him a lasting debt for what he did over the course of April to July, but his political judgement is poor and his recent actions are misguided and unhelpful, to say the least.

                11 October, 2014

                I agree with Mercouris. Furthermore, I do believe that Strelkov has become something of a cult figure amongst some. That thanks to him, no doubt, the insurrectionists achieved some notable successes, but he is not the be-all and end-all of events in the east of the Ukraine. He is now acting something like a prima donna, he and his associates sowing discord when the battle is certainly not over.

                Others who have contributed comments to Saker are as of like mind as I am:

                This “Cult of Strelkov” is getting on my nerves. So what if he is an icon, he is absent and [he is not] supporting NAF officers. [He needs] to put a sock in it or resign. Unity of command is paramount in any conflict. Zakarachenko is doing the right thing by weeding out his influence.

                11 October, 2014

                Strelkov is a loose [cannon] – a real nut job. If he were any good as a military commander, he would be in the Russian army instead of running re-enactments and playing at war. He just talks good – he is all mouth and should be ignored.

                I really don’t understand why so many people think he some reincarnated Marshall Zhukov.

                11 October, 2014

                • marknesop says:

                  I retain a great deal of respect for Strelkov’s battlefield smarts and judgment – he is a superb soldier and commander. People like that commenter believe military members should have no political opinions (and there is something to that, when they are the military arm of a recognized national government) and are disappointed when those opinions do not agree with their own. Then, naturally, the other is a nutjob, because who but a nutjob would disagree with them? Strelkov’s judgment in politics appears far from as unerring as that in battle, and a strict personal moral code is often as big an impediment in politics as it was an asset in war.

                  However, no one is indispensable, and Strelkov is no exception. Novorossiya will continue on without him quite well.

                  I don’t know if the Ukies’ failure to send aircraft in support was due to their not having any, or their judgment that it would be impossible to preserve the silly impression that they were the moral ones abiding by the ceasefire in that event.

              • yalensis says:

                Comparison of national characters, I think I saw this in some American textbook, so it must be true:

                When an American cow dies, American farmer says: “Oh dear, my cow died. Now I must work hard, earn the money to buy another cow.”

                When a Russian cow dies, Russian farmer says: “Damn, I hope my neighbour’s cow dies too!”

                • yalensis says:

                  When Finnish cow dies, Finnish farmer says: “Damn those Russians, they killed my cow!”

                • Moscow Exile says:

                  Yeah, that’s like the old Russian tale of a Russian peasant who receives a message from God, who tells him that he’ll grant him anything he wishes, on condition that whatever he receives, his neighbour shall have twofold.

                  So the wily peasant has a bit of a think, and then says to God: “Make me blind – in one eye!”

                • marknesop says:

                  My wife told me a funny one the other day, I can’t believe I didn’t get it immediately, I though there was some deep significance I had failed to grasp, and I was waiting for more:

                  “You know that guy who used to live across the street from the prison?”

                  “Yeah – where does he live now?”

                  “Across the street from his house”.

                • Southerncross says:

                  In President Jackson’s day, maybe.


                  An American farmer’s cow dies. He puts in a livestock insurance claim for three cows.

                  A Russian farmer’s cow dies. His university-educated son writes a lengthy article for Novaya Gazeta attributing the death to the Sochi Olympics.

                • Jen says:

                  Years ago I was told the joke about a guy who picked up a lamp from the gutter while he was going for a walk. He rubbed the lamp and a genie came out. The genie promised to grant him three wishes but with the proviso that whatever the guy wished for, his worst enemy would get twice as much.

                  So here are what the guy wished for:
                  1/ one million dollars in his bank account
                  2/ one hundred girlfriends
                  3/ his libido reduced by 50%.

                • patient observer says:

                  Reader’s Digest was a never-ending source of “insights” into Soviet Union/Russia and the cow comparison would fit well with their world view. They loved to create little tidbits about Soviet inefficiencies, stupidity and nastiness – all of course without the slightest substantiation or the slightest embarrassment that most of those tidbits could equally apply to the US. They would mix in human interest stories, humorous stories involving the US military, etc. I think that they stopped publication although the large print version for baby boomers nostalgic for their clean-cut wholesome and crypto-hateful message may still be around.

                • Moscow Exile says:

                  One of the best ever insights that I experienced concerning the Western mindset as regards the USSR occurred in 1986 during a programme called “TV Bridge”, hosted by Vladimir Pozner and Phil Donahue. One of the questions from the United States audience was: “Do you have sex in Russia?”

                  The question caused some embarrassment amongst the Russians, but then it was realized that it was a serious question about sex in advertising, for the questioner stated: “With us, everything revolves around sex in commercials”.

                  Party member Lyudmila Ivanova, administrator of Leningrad and the representative of the NGO “The Committee of Soviet women”, then replied with a chuckle:

                  “Well, the sex we have, but we are strongly against this!”

                  The Soviet audience began to laugh and some made clear what they thought Lyudmila in her matronly embarrassment had meant to say, stating: “The sex we have; we have no advertising!”

                  And that was true: there was no advertising in the USSR.

                  However, all this became distorted and taken out of context by those in the West that go under the guise of “journalist” and there appeared the phrase: “In the USSR there is no sex”.

                  The point was, of course, that in the Soviet Union one didn’t talk about sex in public.

                  In fact, it was the same in the England of my youth: I never heard the word “sexy” and “sex” when I was a child. Bear in mind, I was found under a cabbage leaf.


                • patient observer says:

                  One more thing, a friend asked me to speak at her daughter’s school (8th grade?) about my recent trip to the USSR (just after the 1980 Olympics). So, I put together a slide show with all of the touristy pictures. The students were OK but the teacher was apparently taken aback with the positive portrayal of my visit. Get this, she asked at what age the children are taken away from their parents to be raised by the government. That says it all.

                • patient observer says:

                  Oops, forgot this little insight (need to find the link): a strong majority of Americans would prefer to be the richest person in a dirt-poor neighborhood than to be in the lower economic tier in a wealthy neighborhood even though the latter would offer a higher standard of living.

                  Keeping up with the Jones’ is as American as apple pie and its how many Americans judge others (fortunately not all). No wonder our cold-blooded foreign policy is so well received – keep down those foreigners who don’t think like Americans and loot, baby, loot.

                • Jen says:

                  @ patient observer: Reader’s Digest still is in print in Australia, I see copies of it in some newsagents here in Sydney. My local library gets occasional requests to stock copies for borrowing but such requests usually come from older people.

                • marknesop says:

                  Still in Canada, too. My Mom used to buy me a gift subscription every year (because they told her she was so close to winning an enormous cash prize for doing so) until I asked her to stop, because I never have time to read anything in it except for the recipe section. I like to cook, and Readers Digest used to feature the Podleski sisters, Janet and Greta, popular cookbook authors. I got a fabulous recipe for Butter Chicken from them that I still use regularly, a real time-saver since it uses a ready-cooked rotisserie chicken from the market. They have since severed their relationship with Readers Digest, though.

          • marknesop says:

            If “true de-dollarization” is taken to mean that the dollar will vanish from common usage, it will never – repeat, never – happen. The United States is just not going to blink and disappear, and it will remain a major economy. “De-dollarization” means that the dollar will lose its status as THE world currency, but it will likely always remain as A world currency. When you can do a straight fund transfer from Canadian dollars to Chinese yuan without having an automatic conversion of the Canadian dollar into U.S. dollars and then from U.S. dollars into Chinese yuan, de-dollarization will have achieved its aim. An immediate effect of de-dollarization will be to introduce mandatory caution on the part of the USA in the international financial markets, as its currency will no longer be invincible and the USA will no longer be able to borrow far, far beyond the limits of any other country or to make up shortfalls by simply printing more dollars.

      • yalensis says:

        Fall of ruble is due to some behind-the-scenes currency manipulations, and can be assessed (at least partially) as an economic attack against Russia. Is not because of any intrinsic strength in dollar.

        • Ruble is falling because oil price is falling. Those are tied together. Rouble is a petro currency.

          • patient observer says:

            The dollar is strong for many reasons but one is the zero interest rates makes speculation in the stock market dirt cheap. Speculation drives the market higher which attracts overseas investments which require the purchase of dollars. When the stock market bubble pops, so will the dollar to some extent.

            Also, China recycles a lot of the dollars they receive from the trade imbalance with the US into US treasury bonds. They have a vested interest to protect the US dollar. However when they decide that other interests trump protection of the dollar (perhaps they already made that decision) the dollar will plummet and likely never to return to its former glory.

          • Jen says:

            Because the US dollar is a reserve currency, many private institutions and individuals as well as governments also denominate any bank account holdings they have in US dollars regardless of the country or countries where they hold these accounts. So even if governments dump the US dollar, private companies or individuals like a George Soros might still buy it and keep it artificially high.

            Countries denominate trade transactions in US dollars even if they don’t benefit from having to go through two sets of exchange rates instead of just the one. This requires them to hold some or most of their currency reserves in US dollars even if actual trade with the US is a very tiny part of their overall international trade transactions. Country A and Country B might enjoy very stable trade relationships together, neither of them does much trade with the US yet they still need to buy US dollars at rates disadvantageous to them (because they have little to do with the US): this situation benefits the US more than either country.

            • astabada says:

              Hi Jen,

              could you confirm whether or not the Ukraine needs to buy US Dollars in order to pay Gazprom? Me and Moscow Exile discussed this topic in the past.

              I was wondering whether the plummeting value of the Hrvynia vs the US Dollar has effectively doubled gas prices for what Kiev is concerned.

              • Jen says:

                Unable to confirm for sure but from reading some posts (in English) at Gazprom’s website on the agreements the company has made in the past with Ukraine, I think prices are set in US dollars so I assume that Ukraine would indeed need US dollars to pay Gazprom. If you read this particular post, you will see that in April 2014, the new price that Ukraine was to pay for gas was set at US$485 per 1,000 cubic metres. That would seem extraordinarily precise for an equivalent price in US dollars if the original contract had been made out in either roubles or hryvnia.

                This is not just because global commodity transactions are usually done in US dollars or some other widely used currency. Using US dollars would protect Gazprom’s back because there’d be no way Ukraine would complain that Gazprom was manipulating the rouble-hryvnia exchange rate to force Ukraine to cough up more in payment.

                Also, depending on the conditions in the contract, if Ukraine was required to make payments in US dollars at certain times of the year, the govt could always try to fix a US$-hryvnia exchange rate (either a definite rate or a range of rates) for those periods when payment is due, based on current exchange rates and their likely trends, to minimise its exposure to exchange rate fluctuations. It could take out a contract to buy a certain amount of US$ at a fixed rate with hryvnia on a date before paying Gazprom what it owes on the foreign exchange market, irrespective of the actual value of the hryvnia against the US dollar on that day. Companies and banks do this all the time. I used to work in the international trade section in a bank years and years ago and the bank’s clients would constantly phone up and make contracts to buy or sell foreign currencies at a fixed time in the future and at a fixed rate based on the current exchange rate of the day, usually for importing or exporting purposes.

  12. et Al says:

    A pat on the back all round for us Kremlin Stooge Under the Bus Krew!

    Damit! I’m all weepy!

    • Moscow Exile says:

      Александр Захарченко: «Нам отошли Марьинка, Пески, Первомайка, но мы не получили Славянск и Краматорск»

      Alexander Zakharchenko: “They took Marinka, Peski and Pervomaika off us but we got Slavyansk and Kramatorsk.

      – Yesterday, we and the Ukrainian side have at last drawn out a demarcation line for the allotment of our artillery batteries and tanks. So according to this we got the town of Marinka, Pervomayka and Peski, and two villages near Mariupol. We were not given a single metre of land. We have proved that we can negotiate with the Ukrainian side. We do not want war. We are once again making it clear to Kiev that it is better to solve matters peacefully, but still stand by the fact that our territory is all of the Donetsk region. Mariupol and Krasnoarmeisk are towns in the Donetsk National Republic. We have not received Gorlovka and Kramatorsk … For the time being they can run these towns. We hope, however, that we shall be able to shift from hostile activities and move into discussions and peaceful dialogue.

      At the meeting, beneath the raised curtain Zakharchenko was pleased with the meeting hall and the successes. According to him, in principle they have reached an agreement with Russia concerning the provision of special terms as regards the payment for gas: “We shall have a totally different price than that which the Ukraine has to pay”.

      Thrown under a bus by Putin!

      If Putin hadn’t told them to stop fighting, they would have had Marinka, Peski and Pervomaika and Mariupol. And they would have been able to go on and seize Kiev, Lvov … everywhere!!!

      Betrayed, I tell you!

      Betrayed because of the greed of oligarchs and the rest of Putin’s corrupt advisers! …

  13. Moscow Exile says:

    Kiev secretly received data from MH17 crash investigators – Ukrainian hacktivists

    Ukrainian CyberBerkut hacktivists claim that they have penetrated the internal network of Ukraine’s Defense Ministry and found proof that Kiev is getting secret data from MH17 crash investigators, including information which implies its involvement.

    What a thoroughly outrageous allegation to make!

  14. Southerncross says:

  15. Moscow Exile says:

    Тимошенко выгнала из своей партии 1,5 тысячи человек

    Tymoshenko has expelled 1,500 people from her party

    The leader of the “Batkivshchina” has held a lustration in the ranks of her party members

    More than 1.5 thousand people have been expelled from Yulia Tymoshenko’s party. The leader of the political party spoke of this herself at a rally in the Sumy region town of Romny [In 1239, Romny fell to the Mongol-Tatars and was razed. From 1362 until 1667 the Sumy region was part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania/Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. After the Russo-Polish war 1654-67, the area became part of the Russian state until the Bolsheviks created the UkSSR in 1922, whereupon the Sumy province became “Ukrainian”.].

    In the words of the “locomotive” of the Ukrainian “colour” revolution, her party, which was created 15 years ago, has never “left the path of justice and has always been the bearer of truth”. She noted that “Batkivshchina” [The All-Ukrainian “Fatherland” Party] had conducted an internal lustration, “had purified itself and had the power to kick-start the country”. In the “cleansing” of the party there have been expelled more than 1,500 deputies from local councils.

    In her speech, Tymoshenko urged that people make the right choice in the early parliamentary elections that are coming up on October 26 and prevent the entry of groups seeking revenge and anti-Ukraine forces, according to the “Batkivshchina” website.

    “The regime and oligarchs have completely taken over the other parties and have adapted them so that they act according to their terms. Make sure that “clans” no longer take political control in the Ukraine”, Tymoshenko said.

    Yulia Tymoshenko also called on those that attended the rally to become something like “volunteers for truth” and to carry it forth to their families, friends and neighbours so that they have an informed choice when voting.

    It should be recalled that “Batkivshchina” has decided to nominate candidates for 223 constituencies. The decision was made at a party congress, which approved the list of candidates.

    In this list the leader of “Batkivshchina” gave the first place to the air-force pilot Nadezhda Savchenko. Tymoshenko said this herself as she read out the candidates’ names.

    A week ago, Yulia Tymoshenko said that members of her party would go to the pilot Nadezhda Savchenko’s court hearings, which will be held on October 13. She called on the West to take part in this trial.

    Yulia, of course, doesn’t classify herself as an oligarch who has taken control of a political party to meet her own ends, nor does she think it rather strange to request that “the West” (aka the USA and “International Community”, namely the satraps of US hegemony) take part in the criminal trial of a Ukrainian citizen, which trial shall take place in that sovereign state known as Russia.

    What a stinking pile of ordure that woman is!

    • Southerncross says:

      Clearing out Yatsenyuk’s friends likely.

      • yalensis says:

        Yatsie used to be Yulia’s loyal henchperson.
        Until he got groomed separately by West, and saw the chance to grab that big brass ring for himself. Upon which, he threw his precious YOOOOOLIA under the bus.

        Yulia is a classic Fury who never forgets nor forgives.

  16. Moscow Exile says:

    Порошенко надеется, что Верховная Рада отменит депутатскую неприкосновенность

    Poroshenko hopes that the Supreme Rada will cancel parliamentary immunity

    The President of the Ukraine has presented his “Reform Strategy 2020”

    Cancellation of parliamentary immunity in the Ukraine is the hope of President Petro Poroshenko. The head of state voiced his idea in a public speech at the Kharkov “Yaroslav the Wise” National Law Academy when he presented his “Reform Strategy 2020”.

    “Our ambitious goal of reforms is to achieve European living standards and to prepare to apply for membership of the EU in 2020”, he said.

    Poroshenko expressed the hope that next Tuesday the Supreme Rada will adopt the proposed draft law on the National Anti-Corruption Bureau, and the next step should be the abolition of parliamentary immunity. The President also called for the criminal prosecution of those who have contributed to the split of the country, announced the Poroshenko press service.

    The Ukrainian leader stressed that now in the Ukraine “there has come about one of the main factors of sustainable development: a stable and sustainable democratic Ukrainian political community”.

    What a heap of shit is Porky Poroshenko!

    No parliamentary immunity?

    Then he had better watch out!

    Wasn’t it Porky, when acting as foreign minister for Yanukovich, who negotiated the terms and conditions for Ukraine association with the EU? And included in those terms and conditions, were there not duty exemptions on imported foodstuffs from Banderastan into the EU, which “foodstuffs” included chocolate products?

    And a “sustainable democratic Ukrainian political community” he speaks of, presumably part of which “community” his government forces attack and murder daily.

    “Criminal prosecution of those who have contributed to the split of the country” he says!

    Right to self-determination?

    Forget it!

    • patient observer says:

      The part about achieving European living standards by 2020 was pretty good. Seems like that could be a race to the bottom with Ukraine taking a huge early lead but with the EU having great potential to catch up as their economies continue to tank. Who will have the highest unemployment rate? Who will have food riots first? Stay tuned!

    • marknesop says:

      Ha, ha! This is just Porky’s return salvo to Yulichka’s calling him an oligarch. I bet he bitterly regrets the day she was ever let out of the slammer, as most Ukrainians should since all that twaddle about political prosecution was just that – twaddle – and the ECHR confirmed there were grounds for her guilty verdict, concentrating instead on impassioned weeping about her poor back, which does not appear to have given her a lick of trouble since. Perhaps she has a personal back specialist go everywhere with her, but I have not seen a repeat of that pathetic performance when she appeared onstage at Maidan in a wheelchair. Never a break from political theatre with Tymoshenko.

      For his part, I believe Porky still owns Roshen, although he promised to divest himself of it as a campaign pledge. There was a report that he had sold it to Yanukovych Jr., but so far as I know that turned out to be a flash in the pan.

    • Fern says:

      A promise of jam tomorrow can work well – by the time people have worked out that not only with there be no jam but the butter has gone and the bread is in short supply, well, a long time has usually passed during which those leaders who promised so much will have looked after themselves very well.

  17. Moscow Exile says:

    Путин поручил вернуть войска с учений в Ростовской области в места постоянной дислокации

    Putin has ordered that troops return from training in the Rostov region to their places of permanent deployment

    In total, this involves 17,600 soldiers

    On Saturday, October 11, after an online meeting with permanent members of the security Council of the Russian Federation, President Vladimir Putin held a separate meeting with Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu.

    According to the Russian leader’s Press-Secretary, Dmitry Peskov, Mr Shoigu reported to the Supreme Commander-in-Chief on the completion of the summer training period at the sites of the southern military district (YUVO), after which the head of state instructed that there be arranged the return of the military to their places of permanent deployment, reports RIA Novosti.

    “The results of the report are that Putin has instructed that the return of troops to their places of permanent deployment start”, said Peskov, adding that they were talking about 17.6 thousand soldiers.

    Recall that the West has often reacted in a contrary way to training manoeuvres in the Rostov region. For that reason, in early August, the official representative of the U.S. Department of State, Jen Psaki, labelled any military exercises taking place in Russia as provocative in the current political environment.

    At last!

    Rock solid evidence that Putin has given direct orders that will result in Novorossiya being thrown under that bloody bus!

    This is a clear signal to Kiev to launch an attack, and there’ll be no Russian troops on hand!

    What more solid evidence of Putin’s duplicity can there be?

    And another thing: note how the Russian press has taken to calling Putin the “Russian leader” (российский лидер – rossiickiy lider) and not the “President of Russia”.

    Personality cult! Personality cult!

    Well, at least the Free World with its community of nations safeguarded by the Exceptional State and arbiter of International Justice, the USA, should be grateful for small mercies in this respect: at least they’re using in the Evil Empire the word лидер, which they have borrowed from English, and not that dread Russian term вождь (vozhd’), which was used when referring to Stalin.

    That English, words together with their associations with the concepts of freedom and democracy, are filtering into the Russian vernacular is, perhaps, a signal of hope, a faint light at the end of the tunnel, as it were.


    • Southerncross says:

      The last time a large-scale troop withdrawal was announced, a series of devastating defeats for the Ukrainian forces followed.

      Just saying.

      • Moscow Exile says:

        Post hoc, ergo propter hoc!“, as they were wont to say on the social networks of Imperial Rome.

      • yalensis says:

        Speaking of which, here is a partial count/esimate of total Ukrainian losses since the start of the “Anti-Terrorist Operation”, the numbers encompass the dates 3 April through 2 October of 2014:

        -Soldiers killed in battle: 20,374
        -Soldiers wounded: 47,575

        -Destroyed technology:
        25 helicopters
        21 fighter jets
        [then follows a series of numbers for trucks, APC’s, Hummers, etc.]

        -Captured technology:
        [follows a series of numbers, for example 64 captured T-64 tanks, etc.]

        The months of July and August were the most productive, in terms of Ukrainian army “donating” an impressive array of armaments and technology to the insurgent side.
        That, plus the loss of men, have left Ukrainian army in a shattered state.

      • Those defeats were not big enough though since the Junta is still in a position to shell Donetsk daily and cause civilian casualties. The situation is now better than it was two months ago, but in my opinion the ceasefire came too early. The Donetsk airport should have been fully taken and the enemy driven out from the shooting range of Donetsk before declaring the ceasefire.

        Yesterday alone many civilians died in Donetsk from shelling. How can they say this is a “ceasefire” when people are killed by shelling every day? Masterminds of this “ceasefire” think that peace can be achieved while Donetsk is shelled every day?

      • colliemum says:

        What you really meant to say is that all 17,000 plus men are now going on holidays in Novorossiya, fully equipped, and turning into another ghost army immediately after they’ve crossed the border.
        Am I right?

        • Southerncross says:

          Haha! If only.

          No, it’s just an interesting coincidence. Although it may be that covert support for the rebels is more forthcoming when troop presence at the border is lower.

  18. yalensis says:

    Cossack discipline.
    For those who are into light S&M:

    In the town of Anthracite (in Luhansk), the local Cossack atamans organized a public whipping of Cossacks soldiers. The whipped soldiers in Anthracite are said to be guilty of various infractions against military discipline, including, but not limited to, improper attitudes toward the local population, exceeding rightful authority, carrying weapons when they are not supposed to, and/or public drunkenness.

    The attractive girl-anchor who introduces the piece notes that, according to Cossack tradition, the whipped man, after receiving his punishment, is expected to pronounce the words, “Sir, thank you for the lesson.”

    The public whipping is introduced by Master of Ceremonies, Ataman Pinizhanin.
    One by one, the men lie down on the cot. Whatever they did wrong is mentioned.
    They get a series of light lashes, ranging from 1 to 10 (depending on what they did).
    Vodka is then poured over their backs.
    The men pronounce the words, “Thank you for the lesson,” and return to the line.

    At the end, after everybody has been whipped, the shirtless Cossacks celebrate their whippings with a shot of vodka followed by speeches and group huggings with the guys who whipped them. [no, I am not kidding about this, watch the video!]

    DISCLAIMER: No Cossacks were harmed in the production of this video.
    [You can tell, because even the guy who got 10 lashes didn’t have so much as a mark on his back, let alone any broken skin.]

    • Moscow Exile says:

      When I was a lad, we were sent to the staff room for a “punishment cane”. At the staffroom, we were offered a choice of such canes that were in an old umbrella stand. Having chosen the instrument of our punishment, after our “flogging” (“six of the best” on the arse was the maximum; for lesser offences were were caned on the hands), we then had to return the cane to the staff room.

      We were never offered any kind analgesic, be it based on alcohol or otherwise, to lessen the pain inflicted upon us.


  19. yalensis says:

    Video interview with Zakharchenko, at Donetsk Airport.
    There are English subtitles:

    • yalensis says:

      huh… link didn’t embed, for some reason.
      here is the link. It is interesting to watch Zakhachenko’s body language.
      His eyes shift away when he starts talking about the Minsk agreements, the line of demarcation, etc. Seems clear to me that he is not happy with the compromises that were made, but is going along, like a good soldier.

      • Moscow Exile says:

        Strelkov and several others, I believe, do not agree with that well-known adage of Georges Clemenceau, namely that war is too serious a matter to entrust to military men.

        Clemenceau, by the way, was popularly known as “The Tiger”.

  20. yalensis says:

    And speaking of S&M…

    Ukrainian soldier from “Shakhtersk” Battalion claims that Lyashko raped him.

    Lyashko is very popular in Ukrainian politics currently, he has a lot of PR about his supposed “assistance” to the ATO battalions.
    In reality, according to this Ukrainian soldier, Lyashko’s only “contribution” to the battalions consists in using them for sexual orgies, along with his posse.

    In the video, the guy says he was raped by Lyashko, and several of his (Lyashko’s) friends: Oleg Lozovoi, Sukhomlin, and others.
    During the orgies, the vics are asked to refer to their rapists by their “gay” names, such as Lyakh, Lyalya, Mosya, etc.

  21. yalensis says:

    New Ukie “Shadow Governor” of Donetsk Alexander Kikhtenko (he replaced Taruta) confirmed that the ceasefire deal was signed yesterday evening.
    Two parties signed the deal: Dumansky (Ukie General Staff), and Zakharchenko (DPR).

    According to Kikhtenko, the main point remaining is whether or not DPR will be willing to trade a couple of towns on their side of the line in return for full control of Donetsk Airport.

    “In actuality there are some disputed territories along the line of demarcation, which was established by the Minsk accords. There are some territories which are currently under control of the DPR. This is a question of (them) exchanging these territories in return for the airport. This decision will be taken at the highest levels,” according to Kikhtenko. “On the one hand, the Donetsk Airport has become a symbol of the heroism of our soldiers. But on the other hand, they are subjected to daily shellings, there are dead and wounded soldiers. Moreoever, the airport itself, as an infrastructure and strategic object, has been completely destroyed.”

  22. Fern says:

    Looks like the western political elites are lining up to be first out of the starting blocks to heap opprobrium on Putin during his attendance at next month’s G20 meeting in Australia. As befits the host country, Tony Abbott has kicked of his attempt to gain the crown for King of Chutzpah by announcing he’s going to make it clear that Russia needs to fully cooperate with the investigation into MH17. I sometimes wonder if these folk are living in the same world as the rest of us since I distinctly remember Russia handing over its satellite and radar information to the Dutch within days of the crash and noticing that information was not referred to at all in the interim report. I also seem to remember that Vitaly Churkin alone amongst the five UNSC permanent members, has consistently sought to remind his colleagues that there is a UNSC resolution on the disaster which required regular progress updates on the investigation. He is the only UNSC member to call for such updates.

    Prime Minister Tony Abbott, speaking at a news conference in Brisbane, said he understood that some Australians would be upset to see him shaking hands with Mr Putin at the event.
    “I absolutely take that point,” he said.
    “The G20 is an international gathering that operates by consensus – it’s not Australia’s right to say yes or no to individual members of the G20.
    “I think it will be pretty crystal clear that we think that Russia needs to fully cooperate in the investigation into the MH17 atrocity.
    “I think it’s the world’s expectation on Russia that there will be full cooperation with the investigation and there will be a willingness to hand over to police for trial anyone who Russia might have access to who turns out to have played a part in the downing of that aircraft.”

  23. yalensis says:

    Breaking news!
    Heletei is OUT! He just submitted his resignation.

    Tomorrow Porky will announce the name of Heletei’s replacement in this ongoing comedy series.

    • marknesop says:

      Once upon a time, incompetent people were punished for the terrible damage they did. Not in contemporary, with-it Ukraine – prospective EU member – where they’re just allowed to resign and be replaced by another idiot.

  24. Erebus says:

    Dear Mark,
    I love reading this site, and the comments are very much a part of its attraction. However, every browser I’ve got has a hell of a time loading when the comments go above 600 or so. No matter what features I shut down, the download staggers between pregnant pauses as it contemplates whether ’tis nobler in its rudimentary mind to suffer the onslaught of data, or by crashing end it.

    Even should the download succeed, my preferred browser (Opera) sometimes crashes when I try to add my meager 1.5 cents to the discussion. It did so 2x yesterday.

    Please write more often so that the audience runs out of time to fill the cyber world with comments before moving on to the new work.
    Alternatively, I gotta believe WordPress has a 2 or 3 click solution to split the comments into pages of X-00 each automatically. OTOH, I haven’t seen any site get the number of comments your posts attract, so maybe WordPress doesn’t.


    • marknesop says:

      Hi, Erebus; I haven’t found the WordPress function to make it do that for everyone, although the master “Comments” page in the administrator’s page does so automatically, and while I realize it’s awkward I don’t know if it would be less so to have a new thread generated every 100 comments or so. I have a hard time keeping up because I have a lot of other things to do besides write – little plug there for interested guest writers to help me carry the load – but the next one is more than half-done and I hope it will be out tomorrow. Thanks for sticking with me!

      • yalensis says:

        Hey, Mark, I found this article online, I think the relevant point is under the Other Comment Settings section, namely:

        Break comments into pages with [X] top level comments per page and the [last/first] page displayed by default. Comments should be displayed with the [older/newer] comments at the top of each page – Check this box to cause comments to display in a paginated format with the specified number of comments per page. In addition, specify if the pages should be ordered “first to last” or “last to first”, and within each page, whether the oldest, or newest, comment is to be displayed first.

        I see this kind of format on, for example, militaryphotos .net, it doesn’t create a new thread, it just separates the existing thread into pages, with page numbers at the bottom.
        I think this saves on memory, as the individual user’s browser only loads one page of comments at a time, until they click on a different page number.

        • marknesop says:

          All right, thanks; I’ll give it a try.

          OK, I did it, 50 comments per page, newest at the top, last page displayed by default. We’ll give it a shot. I’m not sure how it’ll display because I don’t see the blog the same way you do (typically, although I can; I usually work in the administrator version, which does not have the same crashing problem because the comments are automatically paginated). I hope it does not make it difficult to reply to specific comments; some of those settings just line comments up according to the time they come in and they are not nested, such as the forum at Moon of Alabama, where you have to be sure to add “@ whoever” so readers know who you’re replying to, because the reply might be 30 comments after the original.

          I don’t know if it takes effect right away or not until after the next post. We’ll see. Another option that was available was “Automatically close comments after X days”, but I’d rather not use that. As others point out, the comments are at least half the blog.

          • astabada says:

            Hi Mark,

            is it possible to have the newest comment at the bottom?

            Replies (which come afterward, if you are not the USA) are pictured below the original comment, so it makes more sense that newer comments are even further down.

            Also, it resembles more the previous user experience (apart from the loading time, which improved drastically for me).

            Maybe it’s just my personal preference though.

              • Erebus says:

                Wow, I’m glad I spoke up.
                I just went through comments pages (there seems to 5) and the site downloaded smartly with no issues at all. In fact it’s rather quick, so this user’s experience just took a great leap forward.
                Much thanks Mark, and of course yalensis for finding the “how-to manual”.


    • kirill says:

      The page flies if you disable javascript. For the more recent versions of Firefox you need to install a plugin to disable javascript dynamically.

  25. Erebus says:

    Hi Mark,
    The thanks should all go in the opposite direction 🙂
    Anyhow, Blogger has that function for sure, and (my memory having unexpectedly revived) a few years ago I was a regular on a very active WordPress site. It has since shutdown, but when active it was getting 2-300 comments typically and split the comments after 200, IIRC.

    Maybe WordPress dumped this function, but from what I can see it seems to have support forums for site operators where this kind of topic is doubtless discussed.

    BTW, this is my 3rd attempt to post this…

  26. Moscow Exile says:

    This is all Putin’s fault!

    The rise of right-wing reactionary forces in Europe, whose inspiration the authoritative Russian despot and his reactionary state seems to be, has resulted in this:

    Denmark to ban sex with animals


    • yalensis says:

      “Denmark to ban sex with animals”…

      About time, too!
      Those poor Danish beasts were starting to have a haunted look on their faces..

      • yalensis says:

        P.S. Interesting that this law was announced by the Danish “Food and Agrilculture” minister.

        It follows that, the accompanying photo to the piece is misleading, as it seems to imply that Danish people are shagging their dogs.
        And dogs would not be included in the mandate of the “Food and Agrilculture” minister…
        Or would they…. ?
        Unless something is VERY ROTTEN in the state of Denmark.
        [couldn’t resist that one]

        • yalensis says:

          P.P.S. “Seventy-six percent of the Danish population support banning sex with animals, according to a recent poll, carried out by Gallup.”

          And the other 24% ??
          [are just going at it with wild abandon??]

          • colliemum says:

            Very interesting stats!
            One wonders how that particular cookie would’ve crumbled in Wales … after all, the Welsh have on occasion been called sheep-shaggers …. by some very unsavoury types, I hasten to add …


            • Moscow Exile says:

              Nay, that’s Kiwis! I’d never call a Taff that.

              Aussie tourist in NZ to NZ shepherd caught in the act: In Oz we shear them!

              Kiwi: Well, I’m not shearing this beauty. Find one of your own!

              (Kiwis – I’m only kidding. Honest! 🙂 )

              • Southerncross says:

                Laugh it up, o former resident of the Sceptic Isles.

                But where do you think your meat came from, especially in the pre-Common Market days?

                Tenderised lamb indeed 🙂

                • Moscow Exile says:

                  And lovely stuff it was too, as was NZ butter.

                  I was weaned on that stuff!

                  And then they really did a bit of throwing under the bus when they turned their backs on the Commonwealth and joined “Europe”.

                  We ate far more lamb – and local mutton as well – than beef those days. When I first began to live here, they sometimes took me for a Muslim because I bought halal mutton on the market. To tell you the truth, I prefer mutton shashlyk; pork’s fine,of course, but I like mutton.

                  I even buy halal sausages here. I mean kolbasa – what the British often call German sausage. My kids hate it because it smells of – well, of mutton; what else?

                • Southerncross says:

                  Fond memories of molested mutton eh?

                  Well, fear not! Our government may yet grow a brain and restart negotiations for a free trade agreement with the RF (if only to spite Australia and Tony Abbott).

                  New Zealand buggered hogget, coming to a supermarket near you.

                  It’ll make a change from the fishheads and cabbage soup.

              • Jen says:

                One of many jokes Australians have about New Zealanders and sheep.

                Here’s another one:
                Q/ What do you call a Kiwi with 100 girlfriends?
                A/ A shepherd.

                And an odd joke about Kiwis’ leisure habits:
                William and Kate wanted to give baby George ‘the full Kiwi kid experience’ while he was in New Zealand. So they left him in the car while they spent the day at the pub.

                Most other jokes Australians have about Kiwis that are not about sheep send up the Kiwi accent in which vowels play musical chairs so “cat” becomes “ket”, “kettle” becomes “kittle” and “kitten” becomes “kuttun”.

                • Moscow Exile says:

                  They must be kindred of those Texans, then, who say “ink pin” so as to distinguish it from a “het pin”.

                • Moscow Exile says:

                  “Mind, ‘Old’ South Wales is a bit less sodden that the North …”

                  Let me tell you, Madam, that the longest serving prime minister of New Zealand, Richard “King Dick” Seddon, was born and bred in my old neck of the woods. The stone cottage where he was born is still there and was regularly visited by All Blacks touring teams in the UK. Don’t know whether they still do visit the old place now, though.

              • colliemum says:

                Ah – another reason besides rugby why Kiwis and Taffs respect and understand each other!

                • Southerncross says:

                  That and the weather. I remain baffled that the ‘New South Wales’ was given to a sun-baked alien wasteland when there was a perfectly good set of rain-sodden backwoods just over the ditch.

                • colliemum says:

                  Heh. They obviously wanted to scare the English off, LOL!
                  Mind, ‘Old’ South Wales is a bit less sodden that the North, we do get the occasional sunny, hot summer. It’s the Atlantic storms from the SW which are the killers.

                • Jen says:

                  Yes I know the name “New South Wales” is pretty odd but it was the name given to the entire eastern half of Australia and Tasmania (then known as Van Diemen’s Land) plus several offshore islands by Captain James Cook in 1770 when he was sailing down in the South Pacific. The reason he did this remains unknown since at the time there was already a New South Wales (or to be precise, the New Principality of South Wales) and this was an area to the southwest and south of Hudson Bay in what was to become eastern Manitoba and western Ontario provinces. The area to the north of New South Wales was New North Wales but by Cook’s time both names had been forgotten. (Perhaps because the local people would have … Nunavut? 🙂 )

                  In those days, that part of Canada was described in various explorers’ reports as New Britain, New Yorkshire, New France or New Denmark. Those fellas sure had some imagination.

                • marknesop says:

                  Ha, ha!! Nunavut!!! You are such a cutup.

                  If it had been left up to me, it would have been New Kazoo. ‘Cause it rhymes, see?

          • marknesop says:

            Well, to be fair, a few are probably “Undecided”. Like if they had been drinking heavily, and a really cute sheep came onto them…..

      • Moscow Exile says:

        You mean Rasmussen?

        I wonder what exactly his parentage was …?

      • marknesop says:

        “Those poor Danish beasts were starting to have a haunted look on their faces..”

        Which you could only see when they were looking over their shoulder.

  27. colliemum says:

    Dear Moscow Exile –
    what do you think of this:

    Personally, from this side of the League/Union divide, I hanker for the good old days when the call “99” had a certain, specific meaning …


    • Moscow Exile says:

      Yeah, I was chuffed to death that he got sent off. He deserved to be, any road. I mean, the man was on the deck and it was vicious attack. I don’t deny that I’ve often done illegal things – tackling off the ball, stiff-arm tackles, high tackles etc. – but what Flowers did was premeditated and vindictive. A pity Wigan lost, for they raised their game, but at that level, with 12 men on the field, there are slim chances of winning.

      Call “99” – no prisoners taken! All for one and one for all!

      I remember when playing in the amateur league we believed that call “99” was a viable tactic, reasoning that we couldn’t all be sent off. But one miserable and wet Saturday afternoon – in Wigan, as it happens – we were. The referee abandoned the match, gave us marching orders and awarded victory to the pie-eaters.

      • colliemum says:

        Bad ref, bad bad ref!
        Mind, it probably didn’t work because you didn’t have a Willie McBride as general enforcer, to put the frighteners on the ref!

        (Love that little vignette of Merv the Swerve piling in – he with the white headband – and JPR rushing in from fullback – mental, just mental!)

  28. yalensis says:

    Porky’s big speech, translated into English.

    • marknesop says:

      I’m afraid I stopped reading at the point where he touted his success at having stopped the advance of well-trained units of the army of the neighbouring country. That’s it, Ukies. Freeze to death, you fuckers. Or else get rid of that lying fat candymaking sack of rabbit shit. He says that (to his “compatriots”, actually “co-conspirators” would have been a better word), and the western press allows him to get away with it, because the truth is too embarrassing – the Ukrainian regular army, supplemented by fascist brigades of Nazi punks who could not believe their luck at being given the go-ahead to bully and even kill those who do not share their disturbed little self-centered fantasies, was decisively defeated by a partisan irregular army of residents of the east, probably supplemented by a few Russians but not ever with the mandate of state order. American citizens have taken part in just about every war on the planet since the inception of the United States, and when the American military does not directly participate it frequently shares its satellite intelligence with one side or the other or enforces a no-fly zone in order to tip the balance one way or the other as it suits American foreign policy goals. As I have often mentioned, in the Iran-Iraq War the USA sold weapons to both sides. But you never hear that in the press, or if you do it is without any note of condemnation. It’s always “promoting democracy” or “on the side of freedom”.

      There is no proof whatsoever that there was any participation, however slight, in the Ukrainian civil war by regular units of the Russian army operating under state order. But Porky and others continue to repeat it as if it were documented fact, and eventually it will be just by the sheer weight of repetition. All because Ukraine cannot admit its mighty army, augmented by pimply-faced school dropouts with Wolfsangels on their flags, got their asses kicked by townspeople defending their homes. And it’s starting to piss me off. Anything that anyone else – especially Russians – says in the press that might be shading the truth is relentlessly pilloried by the press and held up to ridicule, but Porky Porkoshenko could tell the world he was secretly married to Megan Fox and the addled, bullshit-oozing western press would back him up.

  29. yalensis says:

    Breaking news:
    Assassination attempt against Pavel Gubarev.
    His car was shot up and riddled with bullets. This happened in Donetsk, near the Russian border. Gubarev was wounded by gunfire and delivered to a hospital across the border in Rostov.

    • yalensis says:

      P.S. – it’s all speculation at this point, but the assassination attempt might be connected with the upcoming elections in DPR and LPR. The back story is that Gubarev had attempted to register his new political party “Novorossiya”, but was turned down by the Central Election Commission of the DPR. They claimed paperwork issues, but the real back story is that Gubarev has fallen out of favor with the new powers-that-be in the DPR. Gubarev is associated with the Strelkov faction, he is opposed to the MInsk agreement and regards it as treason; he even tried to organize a demonstration against it.
      Hence, it is possible that this assassination attempt is an inter-species affair and not necessarily have anything to do with the Ukies.
      Although, like I said, it’s all speculation at this point.

    • Gubarev promised to announce something important today but was targeted with an assassination attempt before he had to speak his mind. Gubarev along with Mozgovoy are the opposition leaders inside the DPR against the Kremlin appointed Zakharchenko. Gubarev and Moxgovoy are both strong supported of Igor Strelkov who was sidelined by the Kremlin earlier.

      Mozgovoy better go hiding somewhere and keep his mouth shut if he wants to stay alive.

      • thread also has some info about other Strelkov supporters getting imprisoned or killed by the current leaders of DPR.

      • One Russian poster in had this to say about the subject:

        Throughout all this mess him and Strelkov remained the only trustworthy sources on the ground. I don’t think that the guy is lying.
        His words about Zakharchenko are the most interesting, apparently he considers him a decent man and a brave solder, but he is used as a tool by those “advisers” from Russia who infiltrated Novorossian structures after they blackmailed Strelkov to flee from Donetsk. He just can’t say no to them for the same reason, they blackmail him that in this case Russia will cease providing humanitarian aid to the DPR/LPR, will close the border for volunteers and won’t allow any supplies through it.
        That’s freaking dirty. I hope this Surkov rat and his little servants will die in agony. Same goes for Putin if he won’t stop this idiocy.

        • Same sources in are also saying that Moscow is reducing the size of NAF (Novorossiyan Armed Forces) to make it a local small fighting unit unable to launch any offensive against Ukrainian army.

          If these reports are true we can forget about liberating Odessa and Kharkov. We can forget about liberating Mariupol. We can even forget about liberating Slaviansk.

          The Kremlin plan seems to be to make this a long standing frozen conflict with Novorossiya reduced to it’s current area at maximum.

          • Southerncross says:

            So for the time being the Novorossiyan dream has been put on ice for the sake of the RF’s wider goals. Figures.

            Let’s see how Ukraine handles the outbreak of peace.

            • I just wonder what those “wider goals” might be.

              I don’t think that the junta army and volunteer battalions can be kicked out of Novorossiya without using military force even if Ukraine completely collapses.

              • Southerncross says:

                Perhaps to give the Americans and Europhiles something they can present as a victory, before they bug out and leave Ukraine to rot. I can only hope that nobody in Moscow has put their trust in Poroshenko. He’s so utterly discredited at this point that he would be worthless even if he did try to switch sides.

                No the Kiev army won’t leave without a fight, and I fully expect the war to resume at some point. Perhaps the rebel leadership can spend the winter reading up on ISIS, to help them figure out how to make a cohesive force of themselves.

                • I really hope Russia knows what it is doing. Because right now Putin and Russia look as clueless and weak when they looked in April to July when the Junta army was winning and gaining more ground, and Russia was retreating it’s support.

                  Then came August and something happened in Russia, because the NAF started to win and Russian support was coming across the border. It looked like the NAF was going to win the war or at least push the Junta far enough from Donetsk and Lugansk, and taking Mariupol seemed like a possibility.

                  Then came the ceasefire. Kiev and Moscow wanted it more than Novorossiya did. Many people in Novorossiya felt betrayed. Kiev has used the ceasefire to build up it’s troops again while Moscow is reducing the size of NAF. Odds are turning to Kiev’s favor. Kiev has also managed to conquer more land during this “ceasefire” and Donetsk is being shelled from the airport every day.

                  I think we are back in the phase where Moscow is again retreating and withdrawing support from Novorossiya like happened before August. I also expect the war to resume, but I also expect for Kiev to start winning again. Voentorg from Russia (=military support) has been completely halted. The Novorossiyan army is being “reduced”. DPR is having some serious internal troubles with even assassination attempts happening against competing clan members.

                  As for ISIS, it is supplied and funded by Saudis and Qataris. Without Russia’s support the NAF is against impossible odds.

                • marknesop says:

                  Can you explain what is in it for Russia if Kiev wins and brings all the remainder of Ukraine under its thumb? Because then you know they will arrange a snap recognition of Crimea in exchange for accelerated acceptance into the EU and NATO. I thought Russia was sort of opposed to that? Is it going to just trust the west that they won’t do it? After they have flirted with the idea of designating Ukraine a “major non-NATO ally” for entirely strategic reasons, even in the shambolic state it’s in now?

                • Moscow Exile says:

                  I tell you what, old cock, you might think you’re pulling everyone’s pisser on here, but you’re not pulling mine!

                • patient observer says:

                  Karl – just how many times must you be wrong before you change your thinking?

          • Moscow Exile says:

            Kharkov doesn’t want liberating, it seems.

      • Moscow Exile says:

        “… the Kremlin appointed Zakharchenko …”

        Did Putin tell you of this appointment personally?

    • Niqnaq (pro Novorossiyan blogger) directly blames Zakharchenko for the assassination attempt of Gubarev,

      I really hope Gubarev makes it and is able to say what he wanted to say before this “accident” happened!

    • marknesop says:

      Isn’t this the second attempt? Or was that Pushilin they attempted to gun down in his car, injuring (or perhaps killing, I forget) his driver?

  30. yalensis says:

    A few days ago, the Crimean newspaper “Sebastopol Pravda” published an expose of Semen Semenchenko, the commander of the Ukie “Donbass” Battalion.
    Turns out that Semenchenko (real name = Konstantin Grishin) lived in Sebastopol in the “wild ’90’s” and was engaged in many nefarious white-collar criminal schemes.
    At the time he was just known as a minor crook. Later, somehow, after changing his name to Semenchenko he became a famous bandit throughout all of Ukraine.

    [yalensis: Still later, he removed his balaclava and let the world see his beautiful warrior face, the face and body of a Hercules or Achilles….]

    [yalensis: Based on the stories of his Ostap Bender-like in the 90’s, Grishin sounds like a Ukrainian version of Navalny!]

    Anyhow, after the expose of Semenchenko’s Sebastopol adventures was published, the Lviv Mayor Andrei Sadovy, raised the alarm, he is fearful that Semenchenko’s relatives in Crimea may suffer repressions, now that the truth is known.
    According to Sadovy:
    “He [Semenchenko] was born in Crimea, and a portion of his family remains there. He is very worried about his family. Because he is a very serious target of the FSB, the Russian special services. Because he showed an example to all of Ukraine: he didn’t just stand and cry, he gathered people, and he defended the state, risking his own life. There is an intense campaign against him now.”

    [yalensis: maybe because some people blame him for the Ukrainian defeat at Ilovaisk?]

    • “Konstantin Grishin”

      Another 100% Russian name. I guess Grishin wanted to change his name to more “Ukrainian” Semenchenko to make himself look less Russian.

      But this further clarifies what this war is about. Russians fighting other Russians.

      • patient observer says:

        Yes, as mentioned by Mark and others, the greatest accomplishment of the Western empire is to create internal divides in the population they wish to subjugate. Whether its Serbia, India, Russia or Ukraine, its all about divide and conquer. I assume that your comments are really directed at the root source of this problem and not an attempt to blame the victim.

        • I actually blame both the aggressor and victim.

          The aggressor does this because it wants to resume the hegemony that it has. It is wrong and immoral, but if there are nothing or nobody to stop them then they can as well do it. From American point of view splitting Ukraine from Russia and making Eastern Slavs hate each other makes perfect sense, because it reduces Russia’s strength and therefore weakens a potential adversary and a threat for the Western world hegemony.

          Similar things have happened before and will happen again. Rome invaded and destroyed Carthage because Rome did not want to tolerate a competing great power. Rome wanted the world for itself and only for itself.

          The American empire is no different from Rome. It wants to rule the whole world. The Empire does not think what is moral or immoral. It only thinks about power and controlling resources. This is important to acknowledge. It is a waste of time to accuse the Empire of being immoral, but morality is not something that they take account of.

          Sometimes I get tired of reading Russians (and Serbs) for blaming America.

          America betrayed us because they expanded NATO east from Berlin!!! Sure they betrayed you, but you trusted them and got burned.

          America betrayed us because they sent us those terrible economic advisers who caused our economy to crash and oligarchs to steal those fortunes!!! Sure you got betrayed, but only because you listened to those advisers and did as they “advised”.

          America is using double standards and hypocrisy in their foreign policy!!! Sure they are, but you are free to do the same.

          Western mainstream media is unfair and uses lies and propaganda to further state and corporate agenda, and they are anti-Russian! Correct again, but why do you allow this media to exist in Russia and don’t send them packing? Why do you allow people like Lilia Shevtsova and Masha Gessen work in Russia when you can just as easily expel them?

          And finally, the West is dividing our people and is making us hate each other!!! Ukrainian nationalism is a German/American joint project to that is 100 years old to split Ukraine away from Russia!! Correct, but you let it happen yourself.

          Why didn’t the Kremlin-led Soviet Union discourage Ukrainian nationalism but instead gave Ukraine it’s own state, it’s own capital and even gave them more land (Donbass, Galicia and Crimea). Kremlin created did monster mainly by itself. Thank Lenin, Stalin and Khruschev.

          Then, after the collapse of the USSR, Russia allowed the Western intelligence agencies to start their NGO’s inside Ukraine to promote hatred towards Russia and Ukrainian nationalism even more. Russia supplied Ukraine with cheap gas and Russia was Ukraine’s biggest trading partner, but Russia had no means to fight against Western soft power in Ukraine. This is just incompetence.

          The Maidan coup and those nazi militias did not appear from nothing. This event has been built and prepared for many years. Either Russian intelligence was unaware of it or just didn’t care. Russia was content with that fool Yanukovich “balancing” Russia against the West while the West was training their nazis for the revolution. Russia had no response and had to accept a loss of Ukraine, a country with 40 million Eastern Slavs and millions of ethnic Russians.

          • PvMikhail says:

            Every word of this hurts. However I am an engineer, a logical person and I have to agree. I just DON’T UNDERSTAND. Maybe it’s a kind of suicidal mood so typical amondst all Eastern European peoples… including us, Hungarians. We also like to talk about morals. A real conservative nationalist Hungarian hates the west, because they have none… but they win without it…

          • patient observer says:

            The world does not work that way. For example, in the vastly simpler world of business, you learn to live with competition and accept limitations in what can be done regardless of fairness (even though fairness is your personal priority). They may use unethical business practices, they may misstate their capabilities (and yours) and they may have more money but you accept the reality of the marketplace and counter with your own strengths. Complaints are pointless.

            Your own organization is an ecology of people of various levels of skills, loyalties and honesty. You realize that no matter how fair you act, a certain percentage of your team will be resentful and may seek to disrupt and divide your team. However, you succeed by consistently taking the high road and not to “feed” the malcontents by taking retaliation. Eventually they leave. No need for terminations, they simply can not find a niche in a relentlessly fair and honest organization.

            Russia and Putin in particular are showing almost magical levels of skill in working with what they have to achieve nearly miraculous results. Complaints about him now “doing enough” or “making deals” are based on a lack of even basic experience in management situations much less awareness of the complexity of international and civilizational battles. I am looking forward to the day someone publishes a book on the secrets of Putin’s management success.

  31. patient observer says:

    Russian bio-tech looks pretty good and should do a lot more good than the US military invading yet another country on a purported humanitarian mission.

    • kirill says:

      There you go again providing evidence that Russians aren’t untermenschen. But that’s an RT piece so it must by Putler propaganda. /sarcasm-off

  32. Moscow Exile says:

    Breaking news!

    100s of Ukraine soldiers protest in front of presidential administration

    Ukrainian National Guard troops are protesting outside the presidential administration office in Kiev as they demand demobilization. They are refusing to return to their barracks outside the capital.

    About 200 soldiers have surrounded the building claiming they have served six months longer than their contracts stipulated.

    Soldiers are chanting, “Demobilization!” and, “All for one and one for all.”

    I thought these were the heroes that were girding their loins and getting ready to attack the East Ukrainians, whom Putin had thrown under the bus by ordering a cease-fire.

    • katkan says:

      Another/alternate complaint is, they’re only getting conscript pay, so now should be getting mercenary rates, as their conscription period is up. Some of them need the more money, they’re starting to grow a beard and need razor blades.

  33. patient observer says:

    Its been said here many times. The Saudi-US deal is to flood the market to whatever degree possible with oil to drop the price to hurt Russia. It will hurt Saudi Arabia for sure but the apparent deal is that the US will attack Syria in exchange for the Saudi sacrifice. That, folks, is what ISIS is all about. Crushing the European economy is simply collateral damage.

    Least the empire gets too smug, Russia and China are making counter-moves. If China goes all-in in a currency battle over the dollar, its game, set, match China although at quite a cost to its own economy.

    • kirill says:

      Most of the new oil that the US is pumping is non-conventional and requires high oil prices to be economically viable. For the Canadian tar sands the required price has to be over $80 dollars. So any engineered price fix right now will shoot the USA right in the temple.

      • patient observer says:

        More collateral damage but the US will double-down regardless. This may be the start of an economic war of near-nuclear proportions that may devastate the global economy and affect billions of people. Empires do not die easy.

        • kirill says:

          The idiots who run the US empire really think that Russia is some sort of banana republic pushover. There is no possible explanation for this oil price game of chicken. They are expecting Putler to give up and cry uncle in a very short period of time. If this game stretches to 2016, there will be a mess the US money printers will not be able to handle.

      • Ilya says:

        Thermal in-situ methods (e.g., SAGD) are currently more cost-effective than the open-pit mining eyesores: $50-$60 to break even (while natural gas is cheap, that is).

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