General Wesley Clark Quarterbacks the Great Game – America’s National Strategery

Uncle Volodya says, "In great contests each party claims to act in accordance with the will of God. Both may be, and one must be wrong. God cannot be for and against the same thing at the same time.”

Uncle Volodya says, “In great contests each party claims to act in accordance with the will of God. Both may be, and one must be, wrong. God cannot be for and against the same thing at the same time.”

Remember, a few months back, when the United States was not going to get involved in a “bidding war” over Ukraine? Back then (beginning of December, 2013), America was faintly disdainful at the notion of getting down in the mud and wrestling over Ukraine. In fact, although that reference is not the main support for this post, it contains such a wealth of rich ironies that I want to stay with it for a couple of minutes.

Starting with the hot-button statement by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, otherwise known as The Arch-Fool of President Obama’s buffoon government, that “violence has no place in a modern European state”. He was referring to clashes between Maidan protesters and state police in Kiev, which later turned from merely violent to deadly, resulting in the shooting deaths of protesters and police by what Kiev’s ‘investigation’ recently determined were rogue elements of the Ukrainian Security Service, the SBU, in another of a disgraceful series of Ukrainian governmental cover-ups that often serve the dual purpose of getting rid of political opponents.

That so, John? Perspectives change rapidly in politics, I probably don’t have to tell you, because it wasn’t much later before the Arch-Fool and his colleagues opined that President Poroshenko had “a right to defend his country”.

Here’s a look at how he’s defending it: this is Sergey Prokofiev International Airport, in Donetsk. It hasBirds fly near the traffic control tower of the Sergey Prokofiev International Airport damaged by shelling during fighting between pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian government forces in Donetsk been completely destroyed, a write-off, by the Ukrainian Army. In case you wondered, this Donetsk is indeed in Ukraine.

Only a couple of years ago, in 2012, Ukraine spent $470 million on it getting it ready for the Euro 2012 football championship, which Ukraine co-hosted.


This is what it looked like then.

wpid-332390_171366672966209_1870365738_oThe Donetsk international airport was completely destroyed, in Ukraine, by Ukrainians. The Ukrainian Army shelled and bombed it to prevent it being used to resupply federalist rebels who did not want to be governed by Kiev, although God knows where that resupply was supposed to come from.  Once they took it, they used it as a stronghold from which to indiscriminately shell the city of Donetsk, killing dozens of civilians. In trying to dislodge government forces to prevent this, the federalists also shelled it, and finally took possession of the shattered, burned-out ruin.

That’s just a tiny glimpse of the mindless destruction; the city of Slavyansk was almost leveled, and Lugansk and Donetsk have also experienced billions in property damage and ruined infrastructure. All, all unacceptable according to John Kerry 2013, but all of which took place with the stern approval of John Kerry 2014. John Kerry 2013 squealed with righteous indignation at the prospect of Yanukovych’s Berkut riot police defending themselves with shields and batons against fire-bombs, rifles and pistols – the correct thing for Kiev police to do would be to stand back and let the protesters have their way. John Kerry 2014 did not demur when Poroshenko fired short-range ballistic missiles at Ukrainian cities full of civilians. On that occasion, the American response was – you guessed it – “Ukraine has encountered serious threats to its security, and can use whatever means necessary and proportionate to defend itself. But NATO does not officially confirm that ballistic missiles have been used in the conflict.” I don’t know how many times an American crony-client has ever gotten a green light quite the glistening emerald brilliance of that one.

The same source article seemed to think it was okay for Washington to show its displeasure by snubbing Ukraine, after Yanukovych inexplicably turned away from EU association, but now Vladimir Putin is The Biggest Fucking Baby Ever because he won’t give Ukraine cheap gas and help them get into the EU by buying their products. Kerry 2013 argued that Russia was bullying Ukraine, as witnessed by its choice of a Russian path, and that “Ukraine should be free to choose its own path dictated by the will of the people. Obviously that’s no longer valid, since Kerry 2014 says it’s OK for Poroshenko to force the easterners to accept Kiev’s rule even though the Ukrainian constitution guarantees them the right of self-determination.

Anyway, that’s all the time we can spend on John Kerry, how the hell did we get talking about him? Yeah, so as recently as last Christmas, America’s position was that Ukraine was an international embarrassment (remember, Yanukovych was still in power), but if its leader wanted to go suck up to Russia, well, there’s no accounting for some people’s taste. If Ukraine wanted to take the non-EU road, well, let them. Just don’t expect the USA to shake its pom-poms and cheer.

But according to General (Ret’d) Wesley Clark, former SACEUR (Supreme Allied Commander Europe) 1997-2000, Democratic presidential candidate 2004, and former CNN expert-opinion generator during the Iraq War, Ukraine is central to America’s global strategy, and has been for quite some time. Those sneaky devils – they wanted Ukraine all along, they were just psyching us out with that ho-hum-this-is-boring attitude. Which puts quite a different complexion on the events which took EuroMaidan from just a few squawking perennially-dissatisfied students to a well-organized mob to snipers on the rooftops to Yanukovych fleeing for his life and a bunch of western proxies appointing themselves rulers, all to a steady backbeat of Russia-is-meddling-the-Russians-are-behind-this-get-the-RussiansRussiansRussians.

It’s likely no coincidence that Wesley Clark has a new book out this week, “Don’t Wait For the Next War – A Strategy For American Growth and Global Leadership”. It’s customary for authors launching a new book to go on the lecture circuit and bloviate their opinions, do a little PR song and dance to get the punters interested enough to lay their money down. And consequently it may be easy, in light of the Lockheed-Martin hood ornament Wesley Clark has morphed into, to forget it was Wesley Clark who first blew the whistle on George W. Bush’s neocon road show and its plans to knock over 7 countries in 5 years, reordering the global chessboard irrecoverably in America’s favour and destroying any country which resisted. Fairness bids me point out they were very nearly successful, smashing Iraq and Libya and killing their leaders, and kicking the stuffing out of Lebanon through Israel hard enough to make it curl up in the dirt. Disgust bids me point out that Obama continues to follow the program as if he were on rails. Yes, we can, motherfuckers.

Former General Clark skips past the aperitif, and gets straight to the meat course; all of America’s problems will be harder to deal with if it does not bring Ukraine securely into the western orbit. Why? Well, because Vladimir Putin – synonymous with the Russian bully-state – needs to subjugate Ukraine for much more ambitious reasons than just making Ukraine Russia’s bitch. He needs to slap Ukraine down so all of Eastern Europe – “and others”, so I guess he means the whole world – knows who has the biggest boots in this ass-kicking contest. Once he has cowed everyone, like the larger-than-life mafia kingpin the west loves to characterize him as, well, he can just walk into a jewelry store in Prague, or Barcelona or Paris or wherever, say “Give me that diamond-encrusted Hublot Classic“, and then walk out without paying for it, while the proprietor is happy just not to have been killed. Figuratively speaking, of course, although that scenario plays nicely also to Putin’s vaunted love of expensive watches that cost more than the Russian annual GDP. Putin will be able to bop around Europe taking whatever he wants, or so General Clark would have you believe.

It’s depressing how often I have to say on this blog, “it’s hard to overstate how stupid this is”, but no other phrase seems to fit, and stupidity can penetrate any armor but indifference. It’s hard to overstate how stupid the idea is that Putin is getting ready to roll up all of Europe and make it his own, especially in light of the demonstrated fact that it has been Russia which has consistently begged international agencies like the United Nations to step in  and stop the civil war in Ukraine, and whose pleas have fallen on deaf ears, while it has been Washington puppet Ban-ki-Moon – who would be Pralines and Idiot if he were an ice-cream flavour – has declined to do anything while Uncle Sam smirked in the background. Amazingly, Russia has been the most defensive and least aggressive power in the region, while Poland and the Baltic Chihuahuas have begged the west to bulk up their military clout with NATO troops and weapons even though they have received no threats from Russia at all (unless you count “numerous Russian violations of their airspace”, which I imagine they have demarcated to the millimeter).

As if that were not sufficiently nauseating, General Clark goes on to tell us that  none of the challenges facing the United States can be successfully met “unless we have really tight relations with the countries that most share our values. That’s Europe”. That so? Depends who you ask. Pew Global Research says attitudes toward America on the part of Europeans have not changed much in the last 5 years or so, although that may have something to do with the methodology; Pew combines “favourable” and “somewhat favourable” into the same response category, just as it does with unfavourable, so that subtler shadings are harder to see. But according to Time and its interactive graphic, using the methodology of measuring the gap between favourable and unfavourable ratings, the USA slid in popularity in most European countries between 2011 and 2013. There has been little polling conducted in Europe, or at least published, in the last couple of months since U.S-driven sanctions have begun to play havoc with the economy, but it is kind of counter-intuitive to imagine this has increased the USA’s popularity, or  the perception in Europe that the USA and Europe share common values. In Germany, bellwether of Europe thanks to its economic growth, 40% of Germans between 18 and 29 wanted to reduce their country’s cooperation with the U.S.

Following the time-honoured script, Clark then moves to a personal anecdote, in which he asked the Prime Minister of an Eastern European country if he would be willing to provide military assistance to Ukraine, which was his friendly neighbour. The leader in question got all big-eyed and nervous, and allegedly supplied exactly the answer General Clark needed to ram home his point: “No!!! We’re afraid of Russia!!”. See? Simple. Remove the threat of a bullying and aggressive Russia – a simple matter facilitated by the massive purchase of western weaponry, give ’til it hurts – and Europe will once again be peaceful and prosperous and happy. Russia is what’s wrong with the world.

I couldn’t help noticing how helpful that unnamed East-European leader was, quite a bit like that hapless mook who always approached a western journalist during Russian elections and asks where he should go to get paid for voting for Putin. Never fails; as reliable as a Timex.

And does the USA love Europe, and is it looking out for its best interests? I guess it is. Remember “Fuck the EU“? Even more illustrative of America’s maternal love for its Euorocousins is this clip of conservatroll Condi Rice calmly speculating that the European economy might have to crash in order to bring Russia to heel (but trust her, Russia will run out of cash first), the Europeans might have to tolerate being cut off from Russian oil and gas – but they should think of it as casting off the shackles, and an opportunity to make the USA their new Energy Daddy, as its bounty (I believe she actually says that) flows to hungry European markets. Apparently she has secretly discovered how to teleport oil and gas to Europe, as no mechanism currently exists to get American oil and LNG to Europe except by ocean-transiting tankers, and the current LNG capability would not satisfactorily supply even one European country, let alone all of Europe. She’s even talking pipelines, and if that’s not snapping-turtle crazy then I’ve lost my ability to recognize crazy. Nabucco is dead as Kurt Cobain, and there are no other arrangements for pipelines that cross neither Russia or Ukraine which would work, for any number of reasons. This is just soothing the frightened European children, wall-eyed with fear. Thanks to The Saker for that great clip.

What’s at the bottom of this? America is worried that it is losing its hold over Europe and the possibility of continuing to maintain it through the NATO alliance. “If we lose Ukraine, NATO will be much more difficult to manage,” says General Clark. That’d be the military cooperative created to counter the military muscle of the Soviet Union, which no longer exists, and which maintained its relevancy upon the perceived threat of the Warsaw Pact, which also no longer exists.

The bleats that Putin wants to re-create the Soviet Union are regularly invoked so that you will not notice NATO no longer has an adversary, and that there is no compelling reason for its continued existence.

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1,187 Responses to General Wesley Clark Quarterbacks the Great Game – America’s National Strategery

  1. Terje says:

    This article is admitting the obvious: there never was a distress signal from a Russian submarine. Of course they can’t bring themselves to admit that the whole incident is made up.
    Asking my relatives in Norway, the general impression is that there was in fact a Russian submarine, but that the Swedes were too incompetent to find it. So still a success in the propaganda war.

    in English:
    In Swedish:

    • kirill says:

      Unless there are some super duper, super secret underwater bases in Swedish waters to investigate there is no possible motive for Russia to send some “mini submarine” to “trespass” in Swedish waters. If it was a diesel-electric sub it would have been too big to miss in their $3 million dollar search. There is not enough water to hide in and I am quite sure they have extensive sonar nets deployed since the cold war.

      This incident is pure neo-“cold war” propaganda theater designed to spook the gullible western public with the Russia scarecrow that the western media has created. Sweden’s elite appears to be in a hurry to join NATO and this is a transparent ploy to rally the Swedish public to this “cause”.

      • Tim Owen says:

        And a pathetically desperate one at that…

        Which makes me think: why the desperation?

      • marknesop says:

        Actually, Russian diesel submarines used to regularly probe Swedish waters, probably more to test their reaction than anything else. I mean, if there’s no reaction, it probably means you were not detected, right? And the Swedes are quite good at ASW – although getting rid of their helicopters, which are indispensable to the ASW effort, was a bonehead move – but you can’t expect them to find anything when there’s nothing there.

        I will, however, mention again the remarkable phenomenon we are seeing, whereby the west no longer needs evidence of something going on. A mention in Social Media is enough to run with, and “experts” like Eliot Higgins, a regular-joe blogger whom The New Yorker marveled over as “completely self-taught” after he was laid off from his accounting job, have become overnight authorities on esoteric fields like weaponry and electronics although they have no background in either. Jen Psaki’s and Marie Harf’s roadshow regularly demonstrates that the U.S. State Department is perfectly comfortable relying on Tweets and pictures with no context or identifying marks other than what the poster says the picture shows, from Facebook.

        One more time, Eliot Higgins – AKA Brown Moses, from the Frank Zappa song of the same name – has no background whatever in weaponry or any of the other sinews of war. He has never been in the military, and was trained as an accountant or something to do with finance. Yet he has leaped to prominence as one of the world’s foremost weapons experts, regularly consulted for his opinion by international organizations and courted by journalists. I literally squirmed with embarrassment reading this Guardian article, in which the vaunted weapons expert Higgins airily dismisses the conclusions of Seymour Hersh, author of “The Redirection” and one of the world’s great investigative journalists, as if he is a rube who doesn’t know what he’s talking about. He mentions “interesting damage” to a panel which I think might be from a wing – its zoomed in too close to tell – which he theorizes might be “rivet failure”. All the other rivet holes around it are uniform in size and show no sign of strain, while the hole he’s describing is about three times the size of a rivet head and is clearly an exit hole. He blabbers on about the Russians’ test “inadvertently proving their theory is a lie” because the holes are not the same size in the hull of MH-17 and the fighter aircraft used in the test. No explanation is offered, though, for why the MH-17 panel includes both entry and exit holes, although The Aviationist took a half-assed stab at it, without mentioning there were entry holes in the same panel. It’d be quite a sophisticated missile that could do that. In an update, they noted the entry and exit holes but insisted the damage was still consistent with a SARH (Semi-Active Radar Homer). You just can’t tell some people.

        • Jen says:

          I believe Brown Noses Higgins has even given masterclasses in journalism at The Guardian in spite of having no qualifications in that field. I suppose the only consolation we can draw from that is that he was preferred over Tintin and Shaun of the Dead Walker.

        • patient observer says:

          Here is another self-made military expert that influenced the world view of millions:

          “He attended Loyola Blakefield, a Catholic, all-boys’ school in Towson, Maryland, before enrolling at Loyola College in Baltimore, where he studied literature….

          Clancy worked as an insurance broker before writing his first novel, The Hunt for Red October, in 1984. The book, which told the story of a Russian submarine crew’s defection, made The New York Times’ best-seller list after President Ronald Reagan openly praised it. Clancy’s crafting of plausible military scenarios in the novel was so realistic that, almost immediately after its release, he became a favorite of the United States military. Some of his books even became required reading at U.S. military academies.”

          Nothing sells better than flattering BS.

          • patient observer says:

            I wonder if the promotion of authors such as Clancy by high officials or other thought-leaders is more than an expression of a fondness for the work itself. Rather it may be more likely a part of a coordinated effort to implant new fashions in the wardrobe of the group think closet. Everyone wants to be hip, right? Well, better brush up on the latest NYT themes if you want to be Mr./Ms. Cool and Collected and move up that corporate ladder of success. From my experience, attorneys pay the most attention to PC group think or perhaps they lead group think in the lower echelons. The big time leaders surely are the media types and the deep state.

  2. Concerning earlier discussion about Russia’s migration I found this English language Word-document from

    A Finnish article claimed that between January and September over 200,000 people have emigrated from Russia this year.

    The document that I linked have migration figures from the first quarter of 2013 and 2014. I found this document hard to understand. According to that about 57,000 people emigrated to other CIS countries during the first quarter of this year while only about 8,500 people emigrated to non-CIS countries.

    Am I reading the document wrong or how can this be possible? The overall emigration figure seems to be in line with that Finnish source (which claimed that about 200,000 people emigrated from Russia during the first three quarters of the year) but according to most of them are moving to other CIS countries (like Belarus, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Armenia, Georgia etc.) and only a small minority of them are moving to other countries like the US, Germany, Israel etc.

    Should’t the opposite be true? Why would Russians be moving to other CIS countries in waves that are poorer than Russia? Any logical explanation for this or does that document contain an error?

    • Jen says:

      Most of those 57,000 emigrants to other CIS countries will be guest workers returning home after long-term work projects in various cities and towns in Russia. They will have been working on construction projects as skilled or unskilled workers, on farms or in mines and factories. Some will be students returning home after finishing university or college courses in Moscow or St Petersburg. A few might be Russian citizens taking up some form of employment or study in these countries but the bulk of them will be citizens of those CIS countries originally.

      • Thanks, that was quite revealing.

        So according to the only true “brain drain” in the first quarter of this year consisted only of something like 8,000 people who moved mostly to Western countries. That would make something like 30,000 to 40,000 over the whole year.

        That is a lot of people too, especially if they consist mostly of valuable professionals, but that does not sound too catastrophic for Russia.

        • Jen says:

          You can’t extrapolate from the figure of 8,000 Russians emigrating to countries other than former Soviet territories in the first quarter of 2014, that this figure will hold for subsequent quarters of the year. Many of those emigrants may be taking up studies or job offers in those countries. University courses usually start in either the first quarter or the third quarter of a calendar year and people often start new jobs in the first couple of months of a calendar year or soon after the end of financial year. After they finish their courses or job projects, some emigrants may choose to return to Russia, they don’t all stay away permanently. You would expect that in the 2nd and 4th quarters, the figure might drop from 8,000, on the assumption that many Russians emigrating to Western countries are indeed attending education courses.

          Those statistics you quote say nothing about travellers’ short-term and long-term intentions, they merely record people’s movements in and out of Russia. A person could go in and out of Russia several times in the one year, and his/her movements might be treated separately as if several people had made the trips. So you see how very crude these stats are and the Finnish article claiming that 200,000 Russians had left Russia between January and September this year is very likely to be wrong (and probably deliberately misleading if it’s also throwing up other information that’s hard to understand and interpret).

          Alexei Navalny would have registered as an emigrant when he went to the US to attend Yale University in 2010. Now that’s one emigrant you wish had never returned to Russia!

          • patient observer says:

            Jen, thanks for the great insight. I can only add that bodies emigrating Russia does not a brain-drain make. Also, what about a reverse flow of gray matter into Russia? IIRC, Israel and Germany exported more gray matter to Russia than imported. All in all, the Finnish story appears to be yet another example of a conclusion preceding the research.

    • eugen says:

      I think the 200,000 people that the newspapers claims (emigrated) includes all (immigration and emigration) is not true based on that document. If you look at the bottom at the graph it does specifies that not only russian nationals but foreign citizens and stateless person are included in that graph as well, which if I understand correctly are the people from other CIS countries that are going back to their home countries after maybe working for some years in Russia. Also it can include russian nationals which have been living in other CIS countries for many generations. The graph also shows that almost double is the number of people that have moved to Russia compared to those that are leaving the country.
      I hope this helps you a bit.

    • marknesop says:

      In fact, emigration figures from Russia are frequently allowed to tell their own story, while the source – if it is western – attempts to set the mood that they are all fleeing the sinking ship that is the Russian Federation, for the good life in the west. Some do, of course, with varying degrees of satisfaction – some, like Alexei Bayer, reappear as pet dissidents with axes to grind against Putler’s regime, their penance for being born Russian. Another trick is to put out the entire number who have left Russia since Putin assumed power, and leave the accidental impression that this “brain-drain” took place in a single year. Dissidents like Bayer and Gessen and Ioffe et al serve the purpose, in their narratives of dreadful privation – uphill both to and from school in blowing snow and subzero temperatures, with only one turnip to last the family the winter – of sweetening westerners own lives. Nothing like hearing how rough the other fellow has it to make you grateful, not to put too fine a point upon it, and to remind you that it is your leaders that make it possible for you to continue enjoying such bounty.

  3. yalensis says:

    Not all the votes are in yet, but it is looking like Andrei Biletsky has been elected as Deputy to Rada.
    Biletsky is commander of Azov Battalion and leader of a neo-Nazi party called “Social-Nationalist Party” of Ukraine.

    Oh, yalensis, you call EVERYBODY a neo-Nazi! there you go, exagerrating again…

    No, no, really, Biletsky IS a neo-Nazi. Well, without even the neo-
    Here is his manifesto , if you don’t believe me. It’s all about the “Leader” and the white race, and all that jazz.

    Oh, and here is one of his vids from a few years back, I think it was 2008.
    He and his chums were busy terrorizing African university students. Biletsky felt that the dormitories should only be occupied by Ukrainian students who were members of the white race.

    The video is entitled “Miting againist niggers in university”
    There are obviously 2 typos, because whoever uploaded the video is a racist moron: “miting” should read “meeting”, and “niggers” should read “African students”

    • ThatJ says:

      If he wants to play Führer, he’s doing it wrong. Hitler, an Austrian who recognised that Germany, as the most powerful Germanic nation, should naturally lead the struggle (as defined in his manifesto) instead of his native country, was for these countries’ union, which eventually came true in the form of Anschluss.

      I may be wrong here, but I recall that the author of the Norwegian national hymn dreamed about a confederation of Germanic nations, well before the Nazis existed.

      Biletsky on the other hand is dismissive and even hostile to his country’s more powerful Slavic neighbor.

      Whether Biletsky subscribes to Nazi ideologies — and I don’t think that maintaining the demographic integrity of Europe counts as such — I can’t say for sure. But you are probably right, in that these types entertain dreams about the Third Reich and historical revanchism, copying Nazi-tainted symbolisms etc, which will do his movement no good in the long term. In my view he’s a shabbos goy who’s doing a temporary bidding for hostile forces.

      “Reformed” Nazi Gubarev at least keep some consistency with his pan-Slavism.

  4. Moscow Exile says:

    НАТО: Россия останется в изоляции, пока не будет уважать право других народов на выбор собственной судьбы

    NATO: Russia will remain in isolation until you respect the right of other peoples to choose their own destiny

    NATO: Russia will remain in isolation until you respect the right of other peoples to choose their own destiny

    NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg called relations with Russia the most difficult since the cold war, noting that the Alliance is ready to cooperate with Moscow, because no one wants a new arms race. However, according to him, Russia will have to take several steps to demonstrate a willingness to dialogue.

    On Tuesday, at the German Marshall Fund in Brussels, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg delivered his first speech after havig taken office. In particular, he said that only a strong Western Alliance would be able to negotiate favorable terms of cooperation with Russia. The Secretary General noted that his experience as Prime Minister of Norway suggested that robust defense capabilities and strong transatlantic ties were fundamental in order to achieve constructive relations with the Russian Federation. He added that the Alliance should be prepared to use military force, if it appeared necessary, recalling that the primary responsibility of NATO was the security of its member countries.

    At the same time, he said that between the desire to strengthen the defence capability of NATO and continue attempts to interact with the President of the Russian Federation there was no contradiction. “NATO is not looking for a confrontation with Russia, and no one wants a new cold war 25 years after the fall of the Berlin wall”, he was quoted by TASS as saying. “However, the Alliance does not intend to abrogate the principles on which it is based and on which to base the security of European and American countries of NATO.”

    According to Stoltenberg, NATO would strengthen its presence in Eastern Europe, “not posting there substantial combat forces ‘that would violate the Founding Act of Russia and NATO'”. He also called for “the strengthening of the collective defence of NATO, which, in his words, “is not contrary to the development of relations with Russia”: “NATO will always be here ; Russia will always be here . There is no question about whether there is to be a relationship between us: the question is what the relationship will be between us. Russia is our largest neighbour, and we cannot ignore this country. We have a partner in dialogue, in order to avoid dangerous misunderstandings”.

    Speaking about cooperation with Russia, the Secretary-General moved from the concrete, assuring that NATO would seek to relations with Russia “which will be based on the principle of the rule of law, common interests, and not illusions” but that Moscow, however, would have to take concrete steps towards this.

    Answering the question whether the Alliance would assure Russia that the Ukraine would not join NATO, Stoltenberg said that the Ukrainians themselves had decided not to apply for membership of the Alliance. “At the summit in Bucharest, we decided to declare that Ukraine and Georgia would become members of NATO. Since then, the Ukraine has decided not to apply, it is not on the agenda”, he said, noting that NATO stands for an open door policy. “Each country must decide for itself, whether it intended to apply for membership. The Ukraine decided not to apply for membership, and it is not on the agenda now.”

    Speaking in Seoul, Deputy NATO Secretary Alexander Vershbow also spoke on a Russian theme. According to him, today’s picture of cooperation between Russia and NATO is “very dark”, but in the past it had a lot of bright moments, including the achievement of peace in the Balkans, counter-terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. “Our long term goal remains to be done and to encourage Russia to act responsibly; to be aimed at cooperation; to work with the international community in order to solve common problems”, quotes his Alliance press service of the. “But to do this, Russia should return to the general rules and must respect the sovereignty of other countries, including their right to choose their destiny, even if Russia does not agree with this choice. Until that happens, Russia should realize that it will remain in isolation.”

    “Russia should return to the general rules and must respect the sovereignty of other countries, including their right to choose their destiny, even if Russia does not agree with this choice.”

    The big lie again!

    Russia actively tried to prevent the Ukraine from becoming an associate member of the EU – that’s how the story goes.

    In reality, Russia offered the Ukraine a much better deal than did the EU, a deal that Yanukovich would have been foolish to ignore, considering the clauses and conditions that the EU had placed on the table and the austerities that would ensue, but of course, the West peddles this LIE that Russia was forcing the Ukraine’s hand by means of its exerting pressure on the “pro-Russia” Ukrainian president, who is, of course a criminal and, therefore, a pal of Putin and his gang of “thieves and swindlers”.

    NATO is always calling the shots, as it sees itself in a position of power and is supported by the “International Community” (read “fawning brown-nosing lickspittles), whereas Russia is always weak (as is regularly pointed out on here by a certain party), always a sad loser.

    But despite NATO’s bullying and posturing, Russia just will not buckle under.

    Reminds me of when that Corsican shit arrived in Moscow in 1812 with his monstrous (though by September 1812 seriously depleted) multi-national army, the largest ever seen to date on the face of the earth.

    He expected Russia to surrender: Game, set and match to me, Ivan!

    And he waited for the Tsar and his generals to seek audience with him and negotiate a surrender.

    And he waited … and waited.

    But the Russians wouldn’t play ball.

    And in the end, those inherently weak, idle, lack-lustre, backward dullards of Russians won and the so smart West lost – seriously.

    • dany8538 says:

      Its almost pointless to even reply to these type of comments coming from NATO because either NATO lives in an alternate reality in which case they need to be admitted to a psychiatric facility or they are lying as usual in which case there is also nothing to talk about either.
      I sometimes wonder what the heck is the point of talking if one of the sides is not willing to negotiate at all or will negotiate and then try to back-stab at every opportunity.

      • kirill says:

        It is pointless but then blogs such as this one offer a fragment of reality in a sea of official lies.

        The above NATO drivel operates on the principle of accusing your “enemy” of all your own crimes. As anyone can tell Russia is not invading Kiev or even the Donbas. That NATO is wallowing in narcissist delusions about Donbas Russians wanting to join NATO instead of Russia says nothing about the rights of these Russians. So far the people being denied their freedom of choice and self-determination are Novorussians and not the NATO backed Banderites.

      • marknesop says:

        NATO is talking for the benefit of its domestic audience, with the aims of (1) planting the realization that western civilization is facing a serious existential threat, and (2) spreading the consciousness that is has tried everything reasonable to avoid the situation escalating to violence. After all, Russia need only stop being such a tyrannical homewrecker, smashing the borders of neighbouring states at will and menacing the tiny, terrified Baltic countries, for NATO to carefully shepherd it back toward responsible civilization again. Compelling narrative, ain’t it?

        Then, if the situation does turn violent and NATO is forced to once again answer the call of freedom, the ground will be already half-prepared for the follow-on story that it was Russia’s fault.

        • Dan8538 says:

          Hey straight out of Hollywood. Big Bad Putin will kill us All !!!!!! We are just a peaceful organization that somehow has more military might then everyone else put together but somehow the Dark Lord will destroy us with only a stare !!!!
          Is it amazing that Russia’s weapons , according to western experts, are complete shit but as soon as Russia needs to be a threat, well then Russia commands the most sophisticated weapons known to man

          • Fern says:

            A good point, Dan. I think the last time I looked, military spending by NATO members accounted for around 70% of the global total whereas Russia’s was about 8%, so it’s largely due to the miracle of western MSM reporting that NATO can spout the ‘big, bad bear’ rhetoric without serious challenge.

    • marknesop says:

      “NATO does not seek confrontation with Russia”

      Know what that reminds me of?

      “We don’t want to fight
      but by jingo, if we do;
      We’ve got the men, we’ve got the guns,
      We’ve got the money, too”

      Here we are again, wearily, at the point where behaviour and attestation do not match, and where the heartfelt statement is used to blind the people to the intent of the behaviour. NATO most certainly does seek confrontation with Russia – how does it expect to force compliance with its wishes otherwise? We’ll be very disappointed if you don’t adhere to our instructions? Ha, ha. As if.

      And kindly dispense with that patronizing slop about hopes that Russia will smarten up and return to the international community – the fact is that Russia has never been treated like a member of the international community, but rather has been made to feel it is tolerated at best and that its pretensions to civilization are a sham, while its actions, policies and leaders are held up to daily ridicule and censure and it is routinely blamed for everything that is wrong with the world.

      I reiterate my hope that Russia will never again trust the west as a partner. No harm in being civil – that’s just polite and adult, but Russia must avoid situations in which western companies dominate market share in any field of endeavour in Russia, because if that dominance can be used to pressure or threaten the Russian leadership, it will be. The USA was open about its plans to crash the Russian economy and reorder the global chessboard to its own liking, until it didn’t work for shit. Then it came back to “we don’t seek confrontation” and “we want Russia to rejoin the international community”. But under our guidelines.


    • Jen says:

      Damn, I was hoping there might be a video of Jens Stoltenberg’s first speech as NATO Secretary General to see if it was as entertaining as this one here:

  5. Moscow Exile says:

    “How the Ukrainians Saved World Civilization” by “chocolate entrepreneur” Porky Poroshenko …

    Порошенко надеется на победу в «Отечественной войне-2014»

    Poroshenko hopes for victory in the “Patriotic war of 2014”

    Kiev, October 28. In commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Ukraine, the President of the Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, has honored the memory of fallen soldiers and expressed hope for victory in the so-called “Patriotic war 2014”.

    “I firmly believe in our victory in the Patriotic war of 2014, that my political and diplomatic work plan will bring peace to the Donbass region and to the whole of the Ukraine”, stressed Poroshenko in his address on the occasion of the anniversary.

    He noted that the the Ukraine had largely determined the fate of the world.

    “In the midst of global conflict on the territory of the Ukraine, the warring parties spent nearly half of all there strategic defensive and offensive operations. Here was destroyed more than 60 percent of the Wehrmacht land forces. In the Red Army more than nine million migrants from the Ukraine began to fight the enemy; millions of Ukrainians fought against the Nazis and their allies in the UPA, in the Soviet partisan formations, in the ranks of the Polish Army, in the American, Australian, British, and Canadian armies, with French troops and with the Yugoslav and Slovak resistance”, said Poroshenko.

    The President noted that the country’s borders “have been inviolable for 70 years”.

    “For the first time in 70 years, we again have to defend the Ukraine’s freedom and territorial integrity”, he said. Poroshenko said that participants of the Anti-Terrorist Operation in the Donbas are worthy descendants of their brave ancestors.

    The head of state, together with those taking part in the ceremony, honored the memory of the victims with a minute of silence. The soldiers of the Honour Guard marched ceremoniously and saluted with volleys fired from their weapons, reports the press service of the President of Ukraine. The ceremony was also attended by the Prime Minister of the Ukraine, Arseniy Yatseniuk, the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada, Oleksandr Turchynov, veterans, members of the government, and people’s deputies.

    The man is a buffoon – or his scriptwriters are!

    • marknesop says:

      I saw what you did there, Porky: Russia = Nazis. Nice one. Not that your audience needs much convincing, and some of it might even consider it a compliment.

    • yalensis says:

      That’s completely dishonest. Porky should admit that “his” type of Ukrainians fought WITH the Nazis, not against them.
      If he admitted that, then I would come to respect him more for his honesty.
      You can’t have it both ways, you can’t be pro-Banderite and anti-Nazi both at the same time. These are simply incompatible concepts.
      Argghhhhhh! I hate illogical thinking.

      • yalensis says:

        P.S. Slight correction to Moscow Exile’s translation, it’s not wrong, but it is slightly ambiguous, as English language can be sometimes when one strings together several participial clauses:

        Еще миллионы украинцев воевали с нацистами и их союзниками в составе УПА, в рядах советских партизанских соединений, в рядах Войска Польского, американской, австралийской, британской, канадской армий, отрядах французского, югославского и словацкого сопротивления», — сказал Порошенко.

        Moscow Exile translation leaves an ambiguity (not for people like us, but for regular people who don’t know who Porky is) whether millions or Ukrainians fought FOR or AGAINST UPA nazis:

        In the Red Army more than nine million migrants from the Ukraine began to fight the enemy; millions of Ukrainians fought against the Nazis and their allies in the UPA, in the Soviet partisan formations, in the ranks of the Polish Army, in the American, Australian, British, and Canadian armies, with French troops and with the Yugoslav and Slovak resistance”, said Poroshenko.

        My proposed corrected translation:
        “Millions of OTHER Ukrainians [i.e., other than the ones who fought in the ranks of the Red Army against the Wehrmacht] fought against the Nazis and their allies while serving in the ranks of the UPA, or in the ranks of Soviet partisan formations; also in the ranks of the armies of Poland, America, Australia, Britain, Canada; or in units of the French, Yugoslav and Slovakian resistance,” Poroshenko noted.

        In other words, according to Porky, it don’t matter one iota if you belonged to Red Army or to UPA. Either way you were a Nazi-fightin hero.
        This is the same B.S. that Yushchenko spouted when in power. It all boils down to the fact that these Banderites want their families to receive veterans benefits, as if they were bona fide veterans of WWII.

        • Moscow Exile says:

          Thanks! I can see the ambiguity now whilst looking objectively at what I translated: “millions of Ukrainians fought against the Nazis and their allies in the UPA” might appear to suggest that millions of Yukies fought against UPA Nazis, Nazis within the UPA ranks, whereas Porky meant that they fought with UPA against the Nazis.

          Apart from the grammatical agreement of pronouns with certain cases, I understood, of course, what the “Chocolate Entrepreneur” (mustn’t call him an oligarch!) was suggesting.

          Note how the Chocolate Pig also talks of Ukrainians who fought with the Red Army against the Nazi invader as “immigrants”, as though the Red Army were not the right place for Yukies to fight, notwithstanding the fact that the Red Army was the army of the Soviet Union, which union had as a constituent state the Soviet Socialist Republic of the Ukraine.

          It is as though Porky is suggesting that the valorous Mammoth Slayers even swallowed their pride and chose to fight with the armed forces of the deracinated Mongol-Tatar -Finno-Ugric Moskali rather than submit to the invader of their fictive state which they claim is the direct inheritor of Ancient Rus’.

          Another thing I have noticed Yukie nationalist crackpots claiming on their sites is that the majority of Red Army officers were Yukies. (Think Marshal Timoshenko.)

          Well, there certainly were many Ukrainian officers in the Red Army, which is hardly surprising considering the ethnic structure of the USSR. There was even a Polish marshal – Rokossovsky – he who smashed the “Baltic Balcony” (West Prussia and Pomerania) with Zhukovsky, which latter was most certainly ethnic Russian – but the majority of Red Army officers were Ukrainians?

          Historical revisionism is alive and well in the Ukraine, it seems.

          But what fools they are if they think that the Ukraine saved Western civilization during WWII.

          Everybody knows that we have the USA to thank for that.

          • Southerncross says:

            It has been noted before, but the only Ukrainian WWII Soviet Marshals were Timoshenko and Kulik – the former an idiot and the latter an idiot and a savage.

            Outside of the marshals there were a number of good officers who were Ukrainians – Dmitry Lelyushenko for example – but Ukrainians were hardly over-represented.

            And in the end, all that they achieved, they achieved in the service of Russia. Ukrainians not in Russian service have nothing they can boast of. Just like Ukraine has conspicuously failed to prosper outside the Russky Mir.

            • marknesop says:

              Both Marshals Timoshenko and Rokossovsky were remembered by having ships of the Soviet Union named after them, but Marshal Rokossovsky’s was just a civilian cargo ship.Timoshenko’s was a KRESTA II Class light cruiser. MARSHAL ROKOSSOVSKY was broken up at Mumbai in 2011.

  6. Finnish media is full of “rumors” that Putin has a cancer. Russian state media does not mention anything about this. What about social media in Russia?

      • Southerncross says:

        They claimed in February that he had a brain tumour. More gossip born of wishful thinking.

        • Hope so.
          Putin is not a young man anymore though. He will be gone from politics sooner or later.

          • Southerncross says:

            That is true though. I have no idea who might succeed him when he finally dies or retires.

            • kirill says:

              Ivanov, Shoigu and others come to mind. The successor fixation is another western media propaganda narrative. Just stand back and think who can succeed Obama. Hillary is not some well defined choice compared to Ivanov or even Lavrov. That some heir apparent is not in the spotlight does not mean that Russians have no viable choices.

              • Southerncross says:

                Obama is a fool and a weakling, and nobody expects anything better from his successor. The question has more import in relation to Russia, because Russia has actually been blessed with worthwhile leadership for some time now.

                A Shoigu presidency might be productive. Perhaps it would convince western headcases to write off Russia as a fully Asian country, and drop their pathological hatred of the ‘half-breed’.

              • I would like the new leader to be young enough, not over 60 year old like Ivanov and Shoigu are. They are practically the same age with Putin! I don’t want to see an old man to “inherit” Putin’s legacy because he needs to be able to lead the country at least a decade.

                Putin was quite young (48) when he first became the prime minister. But are there any politicians that are currently under 50 worthy enough to become the new figure of the country?

                • PvMikhail says:

                  I have a lot of problems with this succession.

                  However I can see one opportunity: Dmitry Olegovich Rogozin. Nothing, but him for now…

                • Southerncross says:

                  Rogozin’s a bit old and possibly too… forthright.

                  If Putin’s own rise to prominence is any indicator, I would watch some of the younger and less well-known members of the government – Sokolov, Abyzov, Nikiforov et alia.

              • dany8538 says:

                I am actually interested in Rogozin. He is like Putin only without the political correctness

              • marknesop says:

                I like Lavrov – he’s a real gentleman and knows how to make statements about the west which never cross the line of rudeness but are frequently drenched in sarcasm or mockery. And he’s a thinker rather than an actor. But I don’t know how much personal loyalty he commands on the Russian political scene and I’m not sure he has anything like Putin’s charisma (although the west calls it something else). I think Lavrov would provide sound leadership, but I don’t know if he could amass the support Putin can, and Putin never really needs to worry about the west sponsoring an internal power struggle because nobody really stands much of a chance with Putin still in the saddle. Once he’s gone, though, the political landscape would change rapidly and there would be enormous pressure by the west to get its own preferred candidate in there.

          • ThatJ says:

            Rogozin is a potential candidate.

            • yalensis says:

              I like Rogozin too. He has the right kind of thinking.
              But I have learned in my life that right thinking (unfortunately) is not enough.
              Real leaders possess other qualities too, the kind which people like me neither possess nor understand.

        • kirill says:

          Indeed, if he had brain cancer he would be either in pain and/or too fatigued to function. I have not seen any of these symptoms in the recent videos of Putin.

          This is yet more neo-“cold war” propaganda theater for the western sap masses. This is supposed to be some sort of pathetic redux of the coverups of Brezhnev’s health. The western media has created an Orwellian propaganda bubble where Russia is supposedly un-free and a tyranny like the USSR. Now it is keeping this excrement fresh with a daily does of more bowel movement.

          I have important news for NATO, Russia is not going to collapse like the USSR. They have nothing in common that is of any relevance to this issue.

        • Jen says:

          Putin looked pretty good giving a speech lasting some 2 hours at the XI meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club in Sochi only a few days ago. If he had a brain tumour lasting over 6 months, then depending on the nature of the tumour, he would have had trouble keeping his balance, his vision would be disturbed and his speech might be slurred. He would have had headaches as well and would not have been able to prepare the speech. By now other people would have noticed if there was something wrong with him.

      • cartman says:

        Some of the exact same rumors from 2-3 years ago – especially after that failed herring stunt.

      • marknesop says:

        Jesus Christ. Putin is clearing his conscience by pardoning Khodorkovsky, and in a hurry to invade Ukraine because he knows he only has three years to live, max. Stay tuned for the next edition, when Bat Boy donates his stem cells to save the evil dictator. Who writes this shit?

        The USA would dearly love to learn that Putin has cancer, but I am sure his health is carefully and constantly monitored, and to the best of my knowledge there are no suspicious gaps where he has not been seen in public because his doctors, rallying around his bedside, are injecting him with the blood of virgins or midnight monkey urine or something magical so he can totter on a little longer. They’re just fishing, hoping somebody in the Russian medical community will drop a dime on Putin and give them some good news or dirt they can use. However, it would make me nervous if I were the target of so much U.S. hate. It’s funny how often world leaders the USA hates die early. Of course, the USA says such allegations are “absurd”. But when they say “absurd”, they expect to be believed. When Moscow says “absurd”, the USA expects it not to be believed. Has the USA acquired a solid track record for telling the truth and establishing credibility that I was not aware of?

        • patient observer says:

          I remember all those absurd claims that the US tried to assassinate Castro. The leader of the civilized world does not murder heads of foreign governments! Actually, they tried at least eight (8) times with up to 638 times cited by some sources:

          Regarding Chavez, a first class bio-tech lab could possibly determine if his cancer originated from his own cells or was injected in some manner. However it would not be easy to simply inject cancerous cells to create cancer:

          But likely not impossible either for an adversary with advanced bio-tech capability.

          As for Putin and cancer, I think one intent of the story is to diminish his larger-than-life image as well as to fuel the fantasies of the frustrated Putin-haters. Once the cancer fantasy has faded a new story will be launched such as Putin is:
          – gay (an old favorite)
          – getting dementia
          – infected with an STD
          – severely depressed
          – bi-polar
          – impotent
          – going blind
          – alcoholic (worth a try)
          – attempted suicide
          Anything else?

          • Fern says:

            There are some cancers – that of the gall bladder, for example, which are comparatively rare in Europe but common in South America, probably because they have some sort of environmental cause. They tend to produce few distinct symptoms in their early stages and so are usually detected too late to offer effective treatment. I think Chavez’s health problems were much more likely to have been caused by something like this rather than anything the US did.

            IIRC, Putin’s ‘brain tumour’ began life as an explanation for his ‘irrational’ and ‘deluded’ view of international relations – you know, anyone who questions whatever world order the US wants to impose must be nuts.

            • marknesop says:

              Ha, ha – yes, that’s right; it was attributed to Frau Merkel, who said something like “He has a different view of reality” or “He sees things differently”, which morphed quickly into “Merkel says Putin has lost his mind!!!”. Maybe it would be simpler if the press simply asked world leaders in advance to provide the appropriate quotes, so the video would match up: “Okay, Frau Merkel, say “Putin is a beast with an insatiable appetite for other people’s territory”. And the face – show me sexy!!”

              Yes, although there was a brief conspiracy flutter that Chavez had somehow been given cancer by the CIA, I don’t think anyone really took it seriously, and while Chavez lived a very active lifestyle he had lost his warrior body and begun to put on weight considerably. It’s perfectly true that certain cancers are more common in Latino men than others, although Chavez was quite young to have contracted such an illness. But it is also true that the CIA has made many deliberate attempts to kill leaders U.S. governments dislike – Castro being a fine example, some of the assassination plots against him sounded like they came straight out of a Bond film.

              • Jen says:

                Very odd though when a number of Latin American presidents more or less opposed to US policies in their region fall ill with cancer or other serious disease at roughly the same time. Chavez himself noticed the phenomenon. Two Brazilian presidents (the recently re-elected Dilma Rousseff and her predecessor Lula) and former Paraguayan president Fernando Lugo fell ill with cancer within a period from 2006 to 2012. Argentine president Cristina Fernandez-Kirchner also came down with something mysterious and she was led to believe it was thyroid cancer; the initial diagnosis returned a false positive result.

                Also Fidel Castro suffered a serious stomach ailment after attending a People’s summit (held concurrently with Mercosur meetings) in 2006. Of the other leaders who attended that summit, Nestor Kirchner then died of a heart attack and Chavez is dead from an aggressive cancer that started in his pelvic area.

                • kirill says:

                  This is totally plausible from a state that employed Nazi butchers at the end of WWII to further its agenda. People should stop drinking the “democracy spreader” koolaid dished out by Washington aligned media.

  7. ThatJ says:

    Despite “Healthy” Stress Test, Deutsche Bank Replaces CFO With Goldman Sachs Partner

    Deutsche Bank executives are dropping like flies. Just days after receiving a clean bill of health from Europe’s oh-so-stressful stress-tests, Deutsche Bank has decided that longtime finance chief Stefan Krause needs to be replaced. Perhaps most interesting is the bank that faces ‘serious financial reporting problems’ in the US and has a derivatives book literally the size of (actually 20 times bigger) than Germany, has decided the right man for the job is an ex-Goldman Sachs partner. Marcus Schenck, according to WSJ, will replace Krause, having worked at German utility E.ON until last year when he joined Goldman.

    Hacking Trail Leads to Russia, Experts Say

    Malicious Code Found at U.S. Firm Where Military Secrets Were Kept

    Earlier this year, investigators for Silicon Valley security company FireEye Inc. visited a U.S. firm to determine who, and what, sneaked into the firm’s network harboring military secrets.

  8. patient observer says:

    Is this the start of a creative new Western response to Putin?

    Wasn’t there an Australian politician who threatened Putin with physical harm as well? Seems that the West is playing catch-up on the manliness front after heavy doses of the girlie-man Obama.

    Not to worry, the US is ready for Putin as elegantly explained by this video:

    • ThatJ says:

      Comment, from the Yahoo! article:

      “Evilgrad (Moscow) – House raids, bugging devices, threats, violence and demeaning posters are just a few things Bloodimir Hitlerovich Putin’s critics have faced while trying to run for city parliament in the Russian capital. Two years after President Putin was elected for a historic third term – facing mass protests in Moscow where less than half of the population voted for him – the Kremlin strongman is riding high in the polls while the opposition is all but stamped out.
      This is true face of new Totalitarian beast created by Putin.”


      Another one, rated highly:

      “All this old #$%$ politicians want to serve their evil masters set up for world war 3, why USA needs wars may this old jerk be in the front lines with a rifle and his son,to fight a war that the American people and the soviet unión would never win, is a disgraced to have these idiots with their agendas of war,USA is broke and no wars will make this country any better specialy with Bush he has done enough destroying the united states economy and many US Soldiers dead in Irak We need to clean up the White house in 2016
      and bring the UNITED STATES as once was with plenty of Jobs and opportunities for the People of The United States.
      NWO #$%$ evil demons must be destroyed.”


      And the last:

      “In 1996, Clinton gave tacit approval to how Boris Yeltsin was dealing with the Chechens at the time. He basically said that it was a Russian security issue and not really any business of the United States, which was the correct approach to have had at the time, as Russia was not threatening vital American interests by taking “corrective actions” on its borders. Now, everyone wants to come out swinging their Johnson and saying how tough they’d be on Putin, when Putin is essentially taking adjustments on the borders of Russia to maintain national security, even if he’s stepping on Ukraine to do it. It may or may not be moral, but quite a few things that the leaders of large nations do are also not moral, and it’s not worth American blood or treasure to get involved with it. So, basically, both the Obola lovers and Bush lovers fail here, because neither of them would likely have taken the right approach to Ukraine, which would be to stay the F out of the whole thing, as to not risk WW3 over a place most Americans can’t find on a map.”

  9. Fern says:

    An ‘Economist’ article which, unintentionally perhaps, spells out how the Ukrainian election has highlighted the demographic fault lines in the country. This is particularly interesting:-

    The vote also reaffirmed the leading role played by western regions in Ukraine’s new politics. Samopomich’s surprise success is widely credited to its embrace of young pro-reform candidates and to Mr Sadovyi’s leadership in Lviv. Turnout was heavily concentrated in the west, and relatively low overall at 52% (compared with 60% in May’s presidential elections and 58% in the 2012 parliamentary elections). In the Lviv region 70% of voters showed up, while only 40% came out in the Odessa region. In Ukrainian-controlled areas of the Donbas turnout was just 32%, and those who did vote favoured the pro-Russian Opposition Bloc, which snuck into parliament despite being led by former energy minister Yuri Boiko and Mr Yanukovych’s ex-chief of staff, Sergey Levochkin.

    So, in areas of eastern Ukraine controlled by the Kiev, only around a third of voters actually turned out which suggests the majority are disengaged from any Kiev-sponsored political process. At one point, the Economist has a sentence to the effect that, for the first time since independence, the Communist Party is not represented in the Rada but doesn’t bother to explain how that situation arose leaving the casual reader to assume it just withered and died on the vine. The article also deigns to notice – and regret – that a new, pro-Maidan Rada member got duffed up by thugs but apparently missed all the other assaults over the previous 10 months or so on Rada members from other parties.

    Also notable – and alarming – is the very high expectations certain sections of the electorate hold:-

    Shortly after Mr Poroshenko left, Anna Dmitrenko, a local lawyer, cast her ballot for Samopomich, which she called “the best of the worst”. Like many Ukrainians, Ms Dmitrenko is running short of patience. “None of what he promised in March has actually gotten done,” she said of Mr Poroshenko. On the Maidan, candles were arranged to spell out the revolutionary slogan “Glory to Ukraine, Glory to the Heroes”. Men in camouflage, claiming to be a volunteer-organised Kiev self-defence group, patrolled the pavilion. “If there are no results after these elections, people will take to the streets again,” said one of the men, who gave only his first name, Ruslan. “We’re talking months, not any longer.”

    What do these people think Ukraine is going to look like a year from now? Do they really think it’s just a matter of getting through the winter and then the good times are going to start rolling? Have any of them actually thought about the likelihood of oligarchs being able to deliver Ukraine from its oligarchs? It’s a real struggle to feel any sympathy for such as these.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      Interesting how the unnamed person that wrote the above linked “Economist” article uses “snuck” instead of “sneaked” and “gotten” instead of “got”.

      The author is simply given as “N.S. in Kiev”.

      A Ukrainian who speaks American English?

      Hardly. The English is flawless.

      Could have been proofread by a native speaker of US English, though.

      A US citizen in Kiev?

      Very likely, I should imagine. Rumour has it that there are plenty of them there. Has been so for a long time now. I should think their role is to “advise” Porky and Yats.

      • marknesop says:

        That person used “snuck” only because he or she knows it turns my teeth sideways to see it in print. I bet if I could get enough people to say “snook” as the past tense for “sneak”, it would eventually make it into the dictionary as an alternate conjugation based purely upon common usage by the ignorant masses, just as we will surely see “awesome” as an alternate for “it was an excellent event, well-organized and splendidly performed”. When you live in the age of Honey Boo-Boo, you get the language you deserve, I guess. If everyone wants to talk like they come from a town in Kentucky with an inbred population of 26, they can just do it, but I won’t, do you hear me?? I won’t.

  10. Moscow Exile says:

    Palladium Reaches Highest Since 2011 on Russia Sanctions

    Palladium rose to the highest since August 2011 on concern that sanctions will trim supplies from Russia, the world’s biggest supplier of the metal used in pollution-control devices for cars.

    Story picked up by Komsomolskaya Pravda:

    Пять жестких способов ответить на санкции Запада

    Palladium deficit
    Many of us only heard about palladium in chemistry classes and quickly forgot about In the meantime, this metal is now in short supply on the world market because, unlike oil, for several years its price has been increasing.

    This growth has been very significant: 20 – 25% per year, said Russian Federation Head of the Treasury, Andrey Yurin, on state TV channel “Russia 1”. This material is used in the automotive industry as a catalyst: the more cars there are, the more the demand for palladium, and the supply of this metal on the market is quite limited. Russia is the leading supplier of palladium to the world market.

    On the direct question over whether to the stop of the Russian supply of palladium in order to paralyze the global automotive industry, Yurin replied diplomatically: “I hope we do not arrive at a situation where we shall need to use this weapon”.

    “Gokhran” is a special department of the Russian Ministry of Finance concerned with the storage, release and use of precious metals and stones. If this ministry chief hints on TV at the use of palladium as weapon, then it is a serious signal to Russia’s enemies.

    However, when Obama began to threaten sanctions, some sober heads were warning him about this [Russian] option.

    “If Russia stops delivery, you will be talking about a catastrophe”, claimed Philip Gotthelf, President of Equidex Brokerage Group Inc.

    “Further Russian provocations will only mean more isolation and costs for Russia…” – Obama, Warsaw, June 2014.

    Keep on waving that big stick, Barry!

  11. Moscow Exile says:

    Russia ready to deliver US supplies to ISS

    Is there a hidden message here?

    Like: Your rockets are shit, your policies are shit, your bullshit is shit – but we’re big enough to help you, if you feel like being helped, that is, by a nation in terminal decline and wilting under the relentless blows of economic sanctions?

    Do you think the Russkies are taking the piss?

  12. yalensis says:

    Signs and portents that Ukrainian civil war about to explode again:

    (1) Kiev side has withdrawn its signature from (at least that part of) the Minsk Truce, delineating the opposing lines of Ukie and Novorossiya soldiers.
    (2) Porky said to be ready to
    enter into coalition government with Yats, the latter representing the pro-American war party.
    (Recall that while votes were still being counted, Porky said he sensed a vote for “peace”, but Yats said no no no, war must continue.)
    (3) Americans/Europe say they will NOT recognize the upcoming local elections in Donbass, scheduled for first week of November, they would only recognize elections if they were held in December under the auspices of Kiev government. (as if Donbass still belonged to Kiev).
    (4) Putin had warned at Valdai, that if Ukies try anything stupid again, then they will find themselves in “deadlock”. By “deadlock”, I think he meant cauldron.

  13. Moscow Exile says:

    Russia jumps record 30 places in ‘Doing Business’ ranking

    Russia is now ranked 62nd in the World Bank’s new 2014 Doing Business report, which measures the ease of doing business in 189 countries worldwide. The country climbed 30 positions from 92nd spot in 2013.

    Russia’s steep improvement to 62nd place is due to the report changing its methodology …

    Does that mean that previous analyses were the result of massaging the data and that Russia had never really been in the same category as, say, Nigeria, or the People’s Republic of Chunga Changa?

    No shit Sherlock!

    • marknesop says:

      This is part of the conciliatory press coverage the west allows to pass its filter when it is trying in its clumsy way to “make up”. But there is still no shortage of round-the-clock demonization: the western press really only gets completely in line when it is trying to bend the public over to support another war, and the west plainly has no stomach for that although its leaders love the idea in the abstract, if only Russia would start it.

    • marknesop says:

      Ha, ha!! Chunga Changa. I love that song.

    • kirill says:

      It’s not massaging of data, it’s pulling of said data from a place where the Sun don’t shine. Not everyone who starts a business in the west succeeds. But that does not get turned into a vitriolic denunciation of the system. In the case of Russia, the failure of some clown to make it is “proof” of corruption and systemic problems. Clearly the 62nd slot is complete nonsense. I can’t think of any countries outside of NATO, Singapore, and a few other states where the business climate is more professional and stable than in Russia. Having it in 62nd spot puts it solidly in the reject group of nations that includes every third world toilet.

      • marknesop says:

        Well, it’s called the “Ease of Doing Business Index”; it is largely scored on perceptions, and those are likely provided largely by western businessmen. They have a perception, accurate or no, that Russia has too many regulations, that ordinary business transactions (they have a series of scenarios, I think, like “putting up a new building”) have too many steps and that everybody who is involved in an inspection or who must provide a stamp of approval wants a bribe. I doubt it’s really as bad as that, but I’m not a businessman and I don’t know. I’m sure Russia could improve, but since it moved up considerably it obviously is improving, or a new breed of businessman is arriving who can cut through the red tape. But it does send a jarring signal, because you would think western-stacked rating agencies would have instructions to rate Russia low in the hope of discouraging business and investment. Perhaps they were all high or something.

        It’s not a very reliable standard, either; I remember Georgia under Saakashvili flew up the ratings, not only because the west wanted to paint Georgia as a western reformer’s success, but also because his government did simplify the steps to, say, opening up a new business. But the ratings folks didn’t stick around to see that within a couple of weeks a Saakashvili goon would be around to pick up the payola if you wanted to stay in business.

        • kirill says:

          I expect Ukraine to come out well ahead of Russia in the next revision of this ludicrous index. There are quite onerous regulations in the EU compare to the USA and Canada for doing business. Yet I do not see a large spread between them in the rankings. Russian regulations are much like those in the EU. Too cumbersome but hardly a brick wall. Bribe taking is a pathology in many EU states as well. Not every country is like Germany.

          For some reason the dramatic improvement in the actual corruption is never considered or reported on when it comes to Russia. Ukraine is a good example of where Russia would be if Putin didn’t come along an reign in the oligarchs. I think the website is a great counter example to all this propaganda. It lists joint venture factory openings on a regular basis. If doing business in Russia was really at the 62 slot level, there would be no such activity. So actual businessmen are not convinced of the media narrative on Russia. This index is a propaganda tool designed to discourage western business in Russia. Moving Russia from one toilet level to another does not indicate an attempt to offer Russia any olive branch in my view.

        • Moscow Exile says:

          Based on perceptions indeed! It used to irritate me when I read the regular Forbes perceptions of Moscow that led to the conclusion that the city ranked amongst the most expensive in the world.

          Forbes used a “basket” of services and commodities to arrive at this conclusion. In this basket where, for example, accommodation costs, at 5-star hotels, I presume, and transportation costs that never, of course, included the cost of travelling on the metro. (A single price ticket for anywhere on the system – a snip at 40 rubles.)

          We do all our shopping for food at our local supermarket chains, places where, I am sure, Forbes investigators never venture with their “shopping basket” and where one can buy fish heads and rotten cabbages at a ludicrously low price, although one has sometimes to stand in a queue for an inordinate length of time in order to buy bread of dubious quality – that is, if there is any bread available, of course.

  14. yalensis says:

    According to this , Ukrainian “gold” reserve is mostly empty. The hoard is gone.

    Ukrainiain National Bank claims to have 16 billion American dollars in its reserve hoard.
    However, this is not true, according to Viktor Suslov, ex-Minister of Economy for Ukraine.

    Suslov: «Формально, по состоянию на сентябрь, есть 16,4 миллиарда долларов, – подчеркивает он. – Но из них 9,9 миллиарда – ценные бумаги. Какова ликвидность этих ценных бумаг, мы не знаем. Надо изучить, можно ли их легко продать и превратить в валюту, потому что только 4,9 миллиарда на сентябрь – это чистая валюта, а 1,6 миллиарда – в золоте. Но даже если ценные бумаги окажутся ликвидными, то ясно, что таких резервов не хватает на обслуживание долгов».

    “Formally, as of September (2014), there are 16.4 billion dollars. But of this, 9.9 billions are actually paper money. What type of liquidity these papers have, we do not know. We need to figure out if they (the paper money) can be easily sold and turned into currency, because only 4.9 billion as of September – is pure currency, whereas 1.6 billion – are gold. However, even if these paper moneys turned out to be liquid, then it is clear that such reserves are not adequate to service the debt.”

  15. Fern says:

    A classic Guardian editorial celebrating the elections in Ukraine – Pro-Europe! Pro-Democracy! – skilfully passing over awkward stuff like how banning a party that millions voted for in previous elections furthers democracy.

    Not much remains of Ukraine’s old politics. The pro-Russian parties have been all but extinguished. The influence of the oligarchs, whose capture of economic and political power was at the root of the corruption that bedevilled Ukraine after independence, has been diminished.
    True, the president is an oligarch, but he seems, on his record so far, to be a reformed one. The vote also demonstrated that the far-right elements around which Moscow weaves its dark tales of resurgent fascism remain relatively minor actors on the political stage.

    The Guardian seems to be unaware that nazi and neo-nazi views are not confined to members of parties like Svoboda, that similar views are held by many members of far more mainstream parties. This is something that Russian analyst and commentator Dimitry Babich has been saying for a while – candidates whose views would be at home in Svoboda or Right Sector chose to stand for other parties in earlier elections because it increased their chances of getting into the Rada. He made this point again in a recent interview with RT:

    Now of course the Western media is spreading two lies. The first lie is that since the Right Sector and the Svoboda, former national socialists, didn’t get into the parliament and it means there are no extremist nationalists in this new Ukrainian parliament. That is not true: there are many people with Nazi views who are represented in the party of Prime Minister Yatsenyuk, in the party of President Poroshenko and also in the Batkivshchyna Party, and in the radical party – basically, in all the factions except the opposition.

    As far as Poroshenko being a ‘reformed oligarch’, the best critique of the article comes from commentator ‘harryphilby’:-

    The Guardian editor is doing his best to polish a wet turd.

    Couldn’t have put it better myself.

    • dany8538 says:

      How ridiculous is this article ? I mean the oligarchs part is the most hilarious. It is abundantly clear that the oligarchs have even MORE power than before the uprising. People like Kolomoisky now command personal armies and basically are feudal lords fighting over territory with other lords. To me this is the biggest irony in all of this. In their “noble” attempt to purge the oligarchs they have actually made them stronger than ever.
      Correct me if I am wrong , but i think even in the dark 90’s the russian oligarchs did not have battalions of psychos armed to the teeth.

    • astabada says:


      You are correct, and indeed what happened (and what is happening) in the Ukraine is a vision of what could have been of Russia itself, had it continued on the path traced by Yeltsin.

    • marknesop says:

      I am bowled over that The Graun even referred to him as an oligarch – albeit he is “one of the good ones” who has “gone straight”, ha, ha. This must be what passes for “gritty realism” at that venue. Western newspapers refer to him almost uniformly as a “tycoon” or, more lately, a “magnate”. Someone must have put down their yogurt whirl long enough to use the thesaurus.

  16. cartman says:

    “Misrepresentation or technical means cannot affect the results by much. The [Ukrainian] result corresponds to the mood of the electorate who agreed to go to the polls. It must be borne in mind that a huge number of people did not go to the polls, especially in the southern part of Ukraine. They do not consider this state as their own, and that’s all. They are not interested to go to vote. They would have voted if there was a political force which represents their interests. At the moment, there is no such force. The reported violations could not have greatly affected the results. Maybe 2% — maybe 3%, not more than 5%. In these specific conditions in the Ukraine, such machinations could not significantly change the results.”

    I think Pedward Porkshanks screwed himself by banning political parties in the east and the south. If they went to the polls, they would not vote for Arsenic, and some may have defected to Porkshank’s party. Now he finds himself at the center of the anti-war coalition.

  17. patient observer says:

    You got to love David Stockman, the Reagan era whizkid who matured into a rare voice of Washington sanity:

    “Russia and the Russians are routinely demonized in Washington: they are the one people it is perfectly okay to hate – unless, that is, you are a member of “Pussy Riot,” or a has-been chess champion who’s taken up Russophobia as a second career. That is, unless you’re a traitor to your own country and allow yourself to be used as an instrument in Washington’s hands.”

    His deconstruction of the house-of-cards US economy is a delight to read and gives one hope that the Empire’s days may be measured in 3-digits.

    • patient observer says:

      Ooops, the work cited above was by Justin Raimondo of AntiWar posted on the David Stockman web site.

    • kirill says:

      Nice article. So sad that Raimondo is like a voice in the wilderness. But US hubris will come to bite it in the ass like every other empire in history.

  18. davidt says:

    @Moscow Exile I’m very surprised that you knew Bishop. I think that he now lives up the Gold Coast, which is just across the Queensland border- many people love it, not sure that I do. Certainly a contrast with the Old Dart and Moscow. Your experiences are pretty unique- you should think of writing a book.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      …you should think of writing a book

      How about as a title for such a book: “Twenty Years of Living Hell: My Eixle in Russia”

      Should go down a bomb, that.

      Might even outsell Tintin’s “Mafia State: How One Reporter Became an Enemy of the Brutal New Russia”.

  19. kirill says:

    What we already know. But most are still believers that they are only given the truth by the MSM, for free.

    • marknesop says:

      That last line is a great closer – “I couldn’t have done it without your incompetence”.

      Someone once accused me of being Tyler Durden, I think it was on the Kiev Post, when I posted a comment that defended the accuracy of ZeroHedge. He would not take “no” for an answer, either.

  20. cartman says:

    “What the designers of this new tomorrow may not realize, however, is that, once freed from the paralysis of a pointless today, the despair of disaffection becomes the desperation of dissent. Dissidents, pitted against a regime that can never fall, take risks that are unnecessary in a more fluid system. They speak at all costs to demonstrate that they have no voice, and they go to jail to demonstrate that they are not free. Once today becomes tomorrow, and there are no more tomorrows for which to wait, the imperative of immediate action reemerges. ”

    “Is the Kremlin ready for an opposition that, because everything is already lost, has nothing left to lose?”

    • marknesop says:

      “Putin’s intolerance of independent rights groups extends even to Memorial, which documents Soviet atrocities.”

      At the National Endowment for Democracy’s request.

      Improving History Education
      To educate young people about the lessons of the Soviet era. The organization will engage people in a discussion about what they understand of Soviet history and what implications it has for modern Russia.

      Teacher Training in Soviet History
      The organization will conduct training seminars for teachers on Soviet history and its impact on present-day Russia. Materials will be made available in print and electronic formats for teachers from around the country.

      Digital Archives
      To preserve historical documents. The organization will digitize and disseminate Soviet era archives.

      Dream on, Stanford. Idealistic twit.

      • Fern says:

        I wonder what weight NED places on ensuring the genocide of America’s indigenous peoples is taught in US schools together with a consideration of its impact on current US policies?

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