New Rules or No Rules? Putin Defies the New World Order Part II – The Post-Speech Q&A

Uncle Volodya says, "I didn't fight my way to the top of the food chain to be a vegetarian.”

Uncle Volodya says, “I didn’t fight my way to the top of the food chain to be a vegetarian.”

As promised in the last post, here’s the follow-up, also by Jennifer Hor. This post discusses the questions posed to Putin and his answers thereto. As typically happens in such scenarios, reliable sources immediately either misquote Putin or quote him very selectively, cherry-picking the response for juicy titbits and putting a completely different spin on what he said. This results in liberal dogma such as “Putin said the collapse of the Soviet Union was the greatest disaster of the twentieth century; Putin wants to recreate the Soviet Union!!!” when he never said anything of the sort – completely the opposite, in fact – and what he did say was eminently reasonable given the calculated attempts to wreck the country.

It is surprising that Putin continues to take questions from such sources when it is plain those questioners seek only to provoke him and make him say something useful for frightening the rubes back home, and that he continues to reply patiently and at length as if there really were some hope of their understanding and changing their minds. Especially when the World’s Indispensable Nation’s representatives at State Department briefings adopt a technique, when questioning makes them uncomfortable, of saying, “I think I’ve answered the question, let’s move on”. And that’s the authority that claims it leads by example.

Anyhow, without further ado, here’s Jen to finish what she started.

Vladimir Putin’s Valdai Speech at the XI Meeting (Final Plenary Session) of the Valdai International Discussion Club (Sochi, 24 October 2014) – Part 2: Q& A Session

This essay focuses on the Q&A session that followed Russian President Vladimir Putin’s speech at the Final Plenary Session of the XI Meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club held in Sochi in late October 2014. Part 1 deals with the President’s speech itself and can be read elsewhere on the Kremlin Stooge.

Having finished his speech, Putin took a number of questions in a Q&A session from several people starting with questions by the British journalist Seumas Milne and (later in the session) Canadian political scientist Piotr Dutkiewicz on the issue of Crimea’s independence referendum, and the peninsula’s subsequent breakaway from Ukraine and reunification with Russia in early 2014. In answer to these questions, Putin patiently reiterated that Russia would seek conservative and proven solutions emphasising co-operation and mutual respect and that the country was not seeking to recreate an empire but will defend its own regional interests. He referred to the United Nations’ Charter – Part 2 of Article 1, to be precise – on the right of peoples to self-determination and to decide on their government without pressure from external others (even if these others are supposedly their legitimate rulers) with respect to the validity of Crimea’s independence referendum and compared the situation in Crimea with that of Kosovo in 1997.

Even so, in reporting his chairing of the discussion and the Q&A session in an article for The Guardian newspaper, Milne inexplicably portrayed Putin’s answer to his question in such a way as to misrepresent what he said, omitting to mention that Putin had mentioned the UN Charter as the basis that justifies and validates the Crimean independence referendum, and which also justifies Putin’s comparison of both the Crimean and Kosovar referendums. In particular, Milne omitted to give the full context of the statement in which Putin admitted stationing Russian troops in Crimea “to block Ukrainian units”, implying that Russian soldiers prevented Ukrainian soldiers from guarding polling stations when in fact Russian soldiers were protecting polling stations from being invaded and voting disrupted by Ukrainian forces. The overall result of Milne’s omissions was to suggest that Putin and Russia had wilfully annexed Crimea and had been prepared to use force and violence to brazenly claim another nation’s sovereign territory on flimsy pretexts; in other words, Putin and Russia were acting as if a No Rules global regime were already in place, and Might Is Right is one of its guiding principles. Such biased reporting might be expected of other Guardian reporters like Shaun Walker but I had expected far better of Milne.

As demonstrated by Milne and Dutkiewicz, a number of Western representatives in the Q&A session took for granted a particular point of view about Putin in which he behaves like a stereotypical autocratic dictator who has stashed several hundreds of millions of US dollars in bank accounts throughout the world and who conducts his foreign and domestic policies on the basis of self-interest, greed and expediency, and on that basis asked Putin rather slanted questions that seemed intended to rattle him and/or force him to contradict himself over points he made in his speech. Thus a media representative, Neil Buckley, asked Putin if he considered Ukraine to be a real and sovereign country and why there apparently were soldiers in Russian uniforms in Eastern Ukraine aka Novorossiya. To his credit, Putin not only patiently answered the questions (even though some were repeated but in a slightly different guise) but took the opportunity to explain something of Ukraine’s 20th-century history and how it became a hodge-podge nation of a number of ethnic and religious groups with nothing in common and even very different pre-1945 histories. He holds his own well against other speakers by being able to recall and quote details of issues discussed with little prompting.

One of the more (though slightly) thoughtful questions came from Toby Trister Gati who wanted to know something about Russian-US relations and possibly what Putin had in mind while criticising the US and its actions in the Middle East and in Ukraine, whether he was referring to the US President, the US political elite or American citizens generally. Putin seemed genuinely surprised that Gati did not know how the US is destabilising the Middle East by helping the terrorist organisation ISIS. The President kept coming back to the American insistence that it (the US) is always right and that it is an exceptional country bringing democracy to the benighted corners of the Earth.

Another of the few intelligent questions batted to Putin was one by academic Robert Skidelsky who expressed concern over Russia’s reliance on energy exports and the country’s low levels of economic diversification. This gave Putin the opportunity to expound on the economic and financial reforms that have taken place since he first became President in 2000.

An interesting question was posed by Nikolai Zlobin to Putin on whether Russia was making a great mistake by isolating itself from the rest of the world and in so doing, becoming more nationalistic and less democratic. Again this question reflects the prevalent viewpoint that Putin is re-establishing the Soviet Union in all its isolated and isolating ersatz glory in a Russian form. Putin’s reply was that Russia does not intend to shut itself off: it is the rest of the Western world, under pressure from the US, that is shunning Russia. In answer to Zlobin’s statement that Moscow has shut down various educational exchange programs, cut off certain non-political non-government organisations (NGOs) from Russian funding and clamped down on certain foreigners and dual citizenship, Putin pointed out that these programs, NGOs and the foreigners who had been asked to leave had been financed from abroad to carry out agendas that amounted to spreading propaganda of a subtle kind and portraying certain political and economic ideologies and philosophies as the only ones for Russia to follow. He also pointed out that the US has similar laws that prevent backdoor subversion of US culture and society through exchange programs and charities. To rub salt into a wound, Putin even took apart aspects of US political culture – such as indirect election of the President by an electoral college, contrary to what most American voters themselves believe – and pointed out the hypocrisy of a nation that tells others what to do but does not practise what it preaches. Putin and Zlobin both discussed nationalism in its American and Russian contexts and came to agreement on its ability to unite people in a nation and at the same time cut them off from others and set countries onto paths of isolationism and distrust of others.

In answer to Chinese university academic Feng Shaolei on what he meant by “conservatism”, Putin assured him that he was referring to its original meaning of preserving the best of policies, attitudes, values and traditions that have stood Russia well over the decades, even centuries, while being open to everything new that is effective and worthwhile, and which helps Russia to advance and grow. Some people will recognise this as the kind of conservatism that used to exist in politics in the Anglosphere around the middle of the 20th century before it was distorted by Thatcherism / Reaganism and which is still represented by commentators like Pat Buchanan and “The American Conservative” media outlet.

The Q&A session was generally noteworthy for what the questions say about the mind-sets of the people who asked them than what they were actually about. The questioners generally proceeded from an assumption that the US is basically good, that the current US government has lost its way and, if only it had better politicians who were less self-interested and more genuinely interested in advancing their country’s welfare and in cooperating with everyone else, then US President Barack Obama would fulfil his presumed role as a Messiah who would eliminate all inequalities and discrimination, abolish poverty and wrongdoing, and lead his people into a New American Century, its paths all shiny and glittering with gold. There is no consideration at all that perhaps the US government and its agencies are populated by rogue elements answering to a power or powers (perhaps in competition with one another) other than the American people themselves. The country’s institutions, values and belief systems, the ways in which they operate individually or together, and how they are interpreted, could be as much to blame as these continue to attract the most psychopathic personalities into the upper political, economic and social echelons. Clearly Putin operates on a different planet than many of the people who quizzed him. Thus there was a certain amount of repetition in some of the questions and an obsession with the situation in Ukraine and Crimea, suggesting that the people asking the questions couldn’t believe what they were hearing from Putin and were trying to grill him in the expectation that somehow he would trip up and reveal his true tyrannical motivations.

On that note, I conclude that the Q&A session was not in itself as highly informative and illuminating about Putin’s speech as it could have been, apart from Putin’s replies to Professor Feng Shaolei about conservatism and to Nikolai Zlobin about Russia’s relations with the rest of the world. The one thing it does help to underline is how much the current global Western narrative about events and trends, as expressed in the media, is so much at odds with the reality and the danger that Western actions such as sanctions against Russia or isolating the country will either backfire on the West (as the EU is ruefully discovering) or become self-fulfilling prophecies with disastrous long-term consequences.

References:
1/ Meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club (English-language transcript), 24 October 2014, President of Russia website, http://eng.kremlin.ru/news/23137
2/ Charter of the United Nations, http://www.un.org/en/documents/charter/chapter1.shtml
3/ Seumas Milne, “A real counterweight to US power is a global necessity”, The Guardian, 29 October 2014, http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/oct/29/counterweight-us-power-global-necessity-conflicts-spread

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535 Responses to New Rules or No Rules? Putin Defies the New World Order Part II – The Post-Speech Q&A

  1. Moscow Exile says:

    Porky has introduced a bill in the rada to repeal the non-aligned status of his failed state.

    In an explanatory note to the bill it is statedthe non-aligned status, has proven ineffective in the event of external aggression. In addition, being in the buffer zone between systems of collective defence is dangerous for the Ukraine.

    Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said that the Ukraine should abandon its non-aligned status. According to him, after that it would be possible to hold a referendum on joining NATO.

    http://lenta.ru/news/2014/12/18/prshnk/

    • marknesop says:

      That just goes to showcase the kind of judgment displayed by Funky Nudelman. She said Yats was “the guy” with the governance experience, and he still thinks NATO has to admit Ukraine if he can get a majority of Ukrainians to say they want to be part of the club.

      “…being in the buffer zone between systems of collective defence is dangerous for the Ukraine.” And how would aligned status with NATO change that, eejit?

      • katkan says:

        ‘cos NATO would have to pay for it, is why.

        He’s not read down to the next line yet where NATO is financed by NATO members. All of them. ALL of them. With their OWN money.

    • Oddlots says:

      Since when can people vote to join NATO? Can we vote to reject them for our own good and their’s?

      And then vote to disband NATO itself?

      • marknesop says:

        Yes, that’s precisely the point. NATO membership is arrived at by consensus among the member states, and you flat-out can’t be accepted if you have unresolved border disputes. This is the second time Porko and Yatsie have blabbered about holding a referendum to join NATO. I would be nervous if I were a citizen of that country and my leaders kept embarrassing me with their ignorance.

        • Moscow Exile says:

          This is something Kiev has been trying to pull off for a while now with their regular joint NATO exercises that began long ago. They tried having one such exercise in the Crimea, but the citizens of Feodosia and the city council wouldn’t let the US logistics corps or whatever land there. Kiev said, of course, thatthe protests against NATO was all the work of Moskali Kremlin hirelings.

    • Leonard says:

      Vladimir Putin’s Russia: Perfect Foil To The Anglo-American Axis And Their New World ‘Order’

      http://stateofthenation2012.com/?p=8159

      Secret History Revealed — Putin Played Critical Role After The Pre-Planned Collapse Of The USSR

  2. Warren says:

    Lucas, salivating at the prospect of a separatist movement emerging in Karelia.

    • kirill says:

      Perhaps the Laplanders will want to secede from Finland as well. What will NATO do then? Cheer Finnish regime shelling of Laps in Finland, but scream genocide over the treatment of the Laps in Russia?

      Lucas is a nutjob that does not merit all the attention he is getting.

    • cartman says:

      Paul Gobles again.

      There are 60,000 Karelians in Russia. Most of them are elderly, and their descendants have moved to either St. Petersburg or Helsinki and assimilated.

  3. Warren says:

  4. ThatJ says:

    Last week (Dec 8) the Pegida protests in Germany attracted about 9~10k supporters and 5~7k counter-demonstrators. The protest is held on a weekly basis. The first one, 9 weeks ago, had only 200 supporters show up.

    This last monday (Dec 15) the number of Pegida supporters grew by a whopping 50% to 15k, whilst counter-demonstrators attracted 5k people, undoubtedly a percentage of whom are non-continentals.

    Here’s what the liberast Guardian, the home of the “great humanitarians”, had to say:

    Germany’s ‘pinstripe Nazis’ show the immigration debate is overheated

    Rightwing parties are on the rise across Europe. Should we worry? Such movements have come and mostly gone for decades. They draw strength from immigrant surges and economic woes. The Pegida rallies – Germany’s “pinstripe Nazis” – now drawing thousands of marchers to German cities, are specifically anti-Muslim. But are they different from similar movements in France, Sweden, the Netherlands or Britain?

    Any expression of racial hatred from Germany is bound to be alarming, but every nation has its political fringe. That the rallies are well-dressed and called a “stroll” is neither here nor there. Comments made by participants might be arrestable offences in Britain, but the sentiments are familiar to fringe politics everywhere, and laws and arrests will never curb them.

    Germany is now the most hospitable country for the dispossessed of the wars in the middle east, and the pressure is clearly telling. With 200,000 refugees expected to have arrived this year – 80% more than last year and a third of the EU total – the pressure on its welfare and its politics is intense. In many parts of the country, the majority in the school system is now Muslim. A poll for Der Spiegel shows a third of the population believes Germany is enduring “a process of Islamisation”. Hence Pegida’s slogan, “patriotic Europeans against the Islamisation of the west”.

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/dec/16/germany-pinstripe-nazis-temperature-immigration-debate-reduced

    Estimated 15,000 people join ‘pinstriped Nazis’ on march in Dresden

    Its members have been dubbed the “pinstriped Nazis” and they refer to their demonstrations as “evening strolls” through German cities. But on Monday night, an estimated 15,000 people joined Pegida, or Patriotic Europeans Against Islamisation of the West, in a march through Dresden carrying banners bearing slogans such as “Zero tolerance towards criminal asylum seekers”, “Protect our homeland” and “Stop the Islamisation”.

    Lutz Bachmann, the head of Pegida, a nascent anti-foreigner campaign group, led the crowds, either waving or draped in German flags, in barking chants of “Wir sind das Volk”, or “We are the people”, the slogan adopted by protesters in the historic “Monday demonstrations” against the East German government in the runup to the fall of the Berlin Wall.

    Associating themselves with the freedom demonstrations has given Pegida protests an air of moral respectability even though there are hundreds of rightwing extremists in their midst, as well as established groups of hooligans who are known to the police, according to Germany’s federal office for the protection of the constitution.

    “The instigators are unmistakably rightwing extremists,” a federal spokesman said.

    It was the ninth week in a row that Pegida had taken its protest on to the city’s streets in the eastern German state of Saxony.

    Its first march, advertised on Facebook and other social media, attracted just 200 supporters. By last week the figure had risen to 10,000. By Monday night it had grown to an estimated 15,000.

    […]

    Last Friday, a newly refurbished home for asylum seekers in Nuremberg in southern Germany was badly damaged in an suspected xenophobic arson attack. Anti-foreigner slogans and swastikas were found daubed on the walls.

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/dec/15/dresden-police-pegida-germany-far-right

    And Beeb:

    Anti-Islam ‘Pegida’ march in German city of Dresden

    About 15,000 people have taken part in a march against “Islamisation of the West” in the east German city of Dresden.

    A large counter-demonstration of more than 5,000 people was also held. No major incidents were reported.

    Dresden is the birthplace of a movement called “Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the West” (Pegida), which staged a big rally a week ago.

    Chancellor Angela Merkel warned Germans not to be exploited by extremists.

    “There’s freedom of assembly in Germany, but there’s no place for incitement and lies about people who come to us from other countries,” Mrs Merkel said in Berlin.

    “Everyone [who attends] needs to be careful that they are not taken advantage of by the people who organise such events.”

    In Monday’s march, protesters chanted Wir sind das Volk (we are the people) – a rallying cry used in the city in the weeks before the fall of the Berlin Wall 25 years ago.

    One elderly man shouted: “I’m a pensioner. I only get a small pension but I have to pay for all these people (asylum seekers). No-one asked me!”

    A woman who travelled 80km (50 miles) for the demonstration told the BBC: “I am not right wing, I’m not a Nazi. I am just worried for my country, for my granddaughter.”

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-30478321

    • marknesop says:

      But there are no right-wing extremists in Ukraine.

    • Oddlots says:

      I wonder whether there’s a line between saying, on the one hand, there’s a reasonable, practical limit to immigration that any given country can absorb without tensions developing based on real or imagined issues and, on the other, inciting hatred and ethnic-identity politics?

      I spend most of my time in Canada and I would say everyone get’s along just fine. Really. And there is really no definition of an ethnically typical Canadian anymore. (And the food choices are correspondingly amazing. Yay!)

      I’ve also lived in the middle east, eastern and western Europe. I’d say the first two were “mono-block” cultures. That is, there’s a dominant, singular shared experience among the majority of the population. In Egypt it’s the inescapable Islamic reality which is pretty much like psychic wall-paper, and that’s in a very moderate Islamic country. In Eastern Europe I found it was just a discomfort with the strangeness of foreigners. A lack of exposure. (Contrast any country that had colonies.)

      What I object to is the kind of hybrid notion of racial / cultural politics that implicitly assumes that there’s a “European” essence that’s under attack from some other essence and then uses, unwittingly or not, tensions over how much immigration is too much etc. to bolster this notion. It’s rubbish. The Zionist idiocy grew out of this same seedbed. Apparently Jews were foreign to Europe. This was central to Herzl’s movement which grew up alongside Naziism in fin-de-siecle Vienna. (I recommend “Wittgenstein’s Vienna” on the topic.) The results are clear in both Israel and in WWII era European history. Utter depravity and disaster.

      Why anyone concerned about Ukraine and the mad demonisation of Putin, Russia and Russians would have any time for this kind of bullshit given the historical precedents is beyond me.

      • marknesop says:

        I’m sure there is a reasonable, practical limit to immigration, and Canada is indeed a good example. It is an amazingly tolerant country. And thus far although there are several distinct groups large enough to form powerful voting blocs, I have not noticed them lobbying to get legislation which is exclusively in their interests. That would probably be the cut-off point.

        All it takes to make it work is respect. Respect for other cultures is essentially blind to their religion – they can do whatever they want, but I don’t want to be given the evil eye if I offend Shiva or something; not my God. Other cultural mores sometimes grate as well – you have to look at it as if you were a new resident in their country – would they put up with it? For example, the west coast has large communities of Indians. I don’t mean the ones who were here before the Europeans – we don’t call them Indians. They are aboriginals or First Nations; ceremonies such as the Children’s Christmas Concert at my daughter’s school, which I attended just this afternoon, customarily mention them in the opening announcement, such as “this ceremony takes place on the hereditary lands of the Cowichan people”, or whatever. This area was probably Nu-cha N’ulth or something like that, the Cowichan lived further north of here. Anyway, I’m talking about the ones with the blousy garments and the red dot. A feature of that culture is having several generations under the same roof. I applaud this; so do we, and it has been a fruitful experience for our daughter to grow up with her grandparents in the same home. However, when the extended family builds a monster house that extends within 3 feet of their property line all the way around the lot – and it’s right beside yours or right across the street – and only two people in the household work and the other dozen or so are all on welfare, that’s a cultural line of this country that they’ve stepped over.

        That’s a stereotype, by the way, and I don’t actually know anyone who does that; it’s kind of an urban legend that I have heard happens a lot in Vancouver, although I am there frequently and have never seen it there, either. My neighbours directly across the street are Chinese and there are two Indian families at the end of the street, on opposite sides. Most of the houses in the neighbourhood are large, but there are no monster houses and so far as I can tell, nobody is on the dole; they all seem to work, they keep their property up, and they’re good neighbours. I don’t care if they are orange and purple. And I definitely agree the wide variety of cuisines is a benefit.

        Another no-no that I almost forgot is you can’t bring your ancestral hatreds here, either. If your people and the Sikhs, for example, never got along in the old country, tough. Don’t bring it here. There have been some problems like that in Vancouver, which is a crazy multi-ethnic city. And some of the Asian groups have imported their gang culture as well; there was some trouble with the Vietnamese over that a few years back.

      • yalensis says:

        Immigration is a complicated issue.
        Looking at the world, and at history, I personally tend to believe that the healthiest and most creative societies are those which are diverse. Mono-culturalism is a dead end for many societies. A healthy diversity encourages creativity and independence of thought.
        The right proportion seems to be a dominant base population with a healthy sprinkling of others.

        I also believe, ideologically, as a Marxist, that in a world where Capital flows freely, without any regard to national barriers, it is unfair to prevent Labour from migrating where it can, to find work.

        At the same time, I also believe that sovereign governments absolutely have the right to set limits to immigration, and even to set ethnic quotas, in order to protect the interests of their titular ethnic base.

        Hence, my opinions are somewhat mutually contradictory. But that is because I am not an expert on this issue, and these are just random thoughts, offered in good faith.

        I do have to say, however, that people that ThatJ are not operating out of good faith or good will. His views on ethnicity are toxic, and that toxicity should be taken into account, even when he is posting some story that seems relatively innocuous. (That is his pattern, to start with something innocuous, and then build up to a big racist rant.)
        ThatJ is clearly on a mission to convert people to his “occidental” and anti-Semitic point of view; and for some reason he has gotten it into his head that Russophiles are a prime audience for his racist views, even though everything in Russian history contradicts that assumption!

        • marknesop says:

          “The right proportion seems to be a dominant base population with a healthy sprinkling of others.”

          This pretty much fits my view of it as well. No country would be wise to allow unrestricted immigration, especially if its experience had been with a particular group that insinuated itself into the host population, and then began to agitate for the dominant group to pursue its ancient quarrels and redress the perceived wrongs of its previous country. This, I believe, is what ThatJ sees the Jews doing and whether or not that is accurate, it is what the Ukrainian diaspora in Canada is doing. I like to see immigrants adopt the culture and social mores of the host country after the first generation. If that’s done, their color or other visible differences does not matter (well, it doesn’t matter for their parents, either, but you know what I mean) because they speak the same language and have similar interests to the host population.

          There is certainly something to the Zionists in America co-opting the U.S. government to their own foreign-policy agenda, favouring Israel, though. Hard to deny that.

          One reason the Muslims get such a rough go, in my opinion, is that their religion demands they not mingle with other religions and be assimilated, but that they hold their hosts as “other”, and heathens. I can’t claim to be an expert on Eastern religions, and maybe i have completely the wrong understanding of Islam, but that’s they way it seems to me. And such a culture resists assimilation tooth and nail.

          • yalensis says:

            Dear Mark:
            Well, of course no reasonable person can deny that Zionists in America use the U.S. government as Israel’s handmaiden. If that was ThatJ’s point, then I would have to agree with him.
            But if you read his rants, he condemns Jews going back to a time long before the modern state of Israel was founded. He basically repeats all the blood libels against Jews going back to medieval times. This is why his “anti-Zionist” protestations ring pretty hollow. He basically believes that Jews are evil, cunning, and clannish, in and of themselves, and that they can never be trusted as membesrs of anyone else’s society.

            “ThatJ”, who I believe is a second incarnation of “AJ”, also slimes African-Americans, Arabs, Mexicans, and anybody who is not of Anglo-Scottish or Nordic heritage. Basically, anybody with some pigment molecules in their skin.
            ‘Tis a fairly crude form of racism, I do believe. Fiddle-dee-dee.

            As to your point about Muslims, I partly agree. Religious Muslims can’t or won’t assimilate, and they should not be accepted into secular societies.
            But there are tons of “nominal” Muslims who assimilate just fine into Western and Russian culture. I know plenty of such types, and they are “Muslims” in the same way that “all” Italians are “Catholics”. In other words, they do the holidays and the family things, maybe even keep to the food restrictions but aside from that, they are completely normal people.

            • Moscow Exile says:

              I know Muslims who are not nominal but who mingle with Christians or whatever. My neighbours at our dacha territory, for exampe, and they’re really good neighbours. My daughter and their great-granddaughter are best friends during the summer months. And I’ve met several from Azeraidzhan who are not nominal but are not hostile to “infidels”. Same goes for Tadzhiks, Kazaks, Uzbeks, Turkmens – all the members of the Central Asian peoples that I’ve come across here. It seems to me that it’s only some of the Arab tribes that are the source of Western repulsion to certain facets of Islam. I’ve known Egyptians and Lebanese who’ve been decent sorts. Of course, it’s from Arabia that Islam sprang as well as that Wahabee cult or movement or however it is categorized.

              • colliemum says:

                The variant of islam propagated across the world is Wahabism, which originated in Saudi Arabia. That’s what the KSA did and is doing with all the oil money; propagate this truly stone age take on islam, suppressing all others. The mega-mosques built all over the world are financed by the KSA.
                Huge amounts of money plus strong proselytising work, don’t they!

            • colliemum says:

              I’m in full agreement with everything you write about ThatJ, yalensis. It’s very crude and reminds me of a certain time in a certain country in Europe, ±80 years ago …
              As for the assimilating muslims – well, they do in Russia, since Putin made quite clear that they would be made to go if they started to establish parallel societies within Russian society, and that it was Russian Law not their shariah which was the law of the land.
              Look at practically any country with muslim immigrants in the EU, from Sweden to Germany, from France to the UK: creeping shariah being acceptable, ghettos and worse. Why do you think so many european jihadis suddenly rushed to fight for ISIS!
              It’s only in France that some mayors are starting to show spine, forbidding extra food for muslims in schools, forbidding the banning of pork meat, that sort of thing, and outlawing the wearing of the burkha.

          • ThatJ says:

            @yalensis

            It’s the second time I hear about this “AJ” who used to comment here. I chose my username randomly. It has no particular meaning. I didn’t know about this blog until Maidan started gaining traction. Then somehow, navigating the internet, I stumbled upon La Russophobe, whose writing style was similar to Catherine Fitzpatrick’s. I searched Google for La Russophobe Catherine Fitzpatrick. Try it, you’ll see Mark’s blog among the first results, if not the first.

            [ThatJ] also slimes African-Americans, Arabs, Mexicans, and anybody who is not of Anglo-Scottish or Nordic heritage. Basically, anybody with some pigment molecules in their skin.

            Are you sure skin color is all there’s to it?

            • yalensis says:

              Oh no, I am sure there is a lot more to it than just skin color.
              So please go ahead and lay out your whole racial theory to me, without beating around the bush.
              I’m all ears!

              (All I ask is that in the process you answer the hypothetical question I posed above, namely, are you for or against a sub-Saharan African-origin citizen of Russian Federation having an abortion, yes or no?)

            • marknesop says:

              That’s funny, because I don’t believe Catherine Fitzpatrick and La Russophobe are the same person at all. It’s just something that has come up here frequently. Catherine Fitzpatrick, for all her venom and misguided hate, is well-educated and shows it. La Russophobe is just a pathetic boob.

              • ThatJ says:

                I admit to not having read either that much, but I thought of this possibility that they were the same person.

                • yalensis says:

                  Your story sounds like complete B.S. to me.
                  Why would an American Neo-Nazi cruising the internet for news of Maidan, give a flying rat’s patootie about either Russophobe or Fitzpatrick?

                • ThatJ says:

                  @yalensis

                  Your projection sounds like a complete B.S. to me.

                • yalensis says:

                  Huh??
                  That is an incorrect response, Sir, you are to be plunged off the Bridge of Death.
                  There were 2 correct responses, namely:
                  (1) The reason I care so much about Phobie and Fitzpatrick is because [blah blah blah]; or
                  (2) I am NOT a neo-Nazi, how DARE you??

                  Instead, you go for:
                  “Projection??” Projection of what??

          • Jen says:

            The issue with Islam is that Muslims are taught that their religion is the successor to Judaism and Christianity. Muslims accept all the Jewish prophets as predecessors to Prophet Mohammed and include Jesus as a prophet. Therefore for most Muslims, the notion of a Muslim who converts to Judaism or Christianity is preposterous.

            Also most Muslims who migrate to the West now are people of impoverished backgrounds who don’t understand their religion very well, who mix it up with folk beliefs and superstitions or whose knowledge of the religion comes from Salafi or Wahabi Islamic groups or preachers funded by Qatar or Saudi Arabia.

          • colliemum says:

            Totally agree with the points you make about immigration.
            There’s one more bit to add to your remark about immigrating muslims: not only do they not assimilate and create no-go areas, certainly here in the UK – they do proselytise in a way no Christian would dare in these secular times. And it’s their belief than once they’re in a new place, it’ll be forever islamic. Add our multi-culti spineless progressives and you have a very dangerous mix.
            What we keep pointing out is that other religious groups such as Sikhs and Hindus do have no problems assimilating while keeping their traditions and building their temples here in the UK.

            • yalensis says:

              That’s a very good point, colliemum.
              I think not enough attention is given to the perfidiousness of missionaries.
              If people emigrate to a different country, they should just practice their religion quietly; they should not be allowed to go around proselytizing. In any case, Islamic countries certainly do not allow the proselytizing of other religions within their borders; therefore, turnabout is fair play.

            • Jen says:

              It’s my understanding that Muslims don’t normally proselytise or try to convert non-Muslims to their religion, at least not in the way that evangelical Christians do and have done in the past with door-knocking or shoving leaflets into the faces of pedestrians. Then there is Scientology with its “surveys” and “questionnaires” that probe your psychology. Converting non-Muslims to Islam is actually a 20th-century innovation and one probably associated with Wahhabism. In the past, Muslim empires like the Ottomans actually discouraged active conversion because they needed slaves to do the drudge work and technically Muslims can’t make slaves out of other Muslims; plus non-Muslims had to pay the jizya tax and that was often a very handy and lucrative source of taxation revenue🙂.

              With no-go areas or religious ghettoes, fact is everyone wants to be close to the places where they worship and that place is usually also the focus of community activity and help for families and newcomers. People want to keep the places where they worship holy or at least safe from outsiders who might defile the places in some way, even if unintentionally, and it’s probably easier to just keep non-believers away from certain spots than to constantly repair something or hide it from worshippers because other people fall over it, pick at it or wack graffiti on it constantly.

              Incidentally my local council has had its battles with people parking cars all over the streets in a suburb where there is a synagogue because the rabbi requires his flock to park away from the synagogue on the Sabbath and walk. (Jews cannot be seen to be doing work on the Sabbath and lighting a fire – which includes starting a car and revving the engine – is work.) Not so long ago the councillors also voted down the establishment of an eruv in my area. The eruv is an area in which Orthodox Jews may carry out certain activities or bring private objects into the public domain on the Sabbath that would otherwise be forbidden to them and the boundaries of the eruv have to be visible to them (which means they would be visible to others; these are usually wires attached to poles in the form of gates or doorways). The activities concerned include ordinary activities like taking babies and small children for walks and the objects are things like children’s toys, prams, house keys, mobility equipment for disabled people, medicines and walking sticks.

              While I was working at the council as well, we had a development application come up for a Sikh temple to be built in one suburb, to replace a small weatherboard cottage the Sikh community was already using. The building was going to be an unusual egg-like structure surrounded by a moat, about 2 storeys high and with underground parking. I saw the plans: the building was going to be modest in size and scale. Nevertheless the reaction from people when the plans were made public was one of fury at the idea that a giant 4-storey monster was going to be built, cause tremendous traffic and parking chaos every weekend and look out of place in a community where bad taste in architecture is the norm. The majority of submissions against the temple came from a very small group of people who had no local connections to the suburb. Some letters complained more about the cooking that went on at the cottage and all the curry smells wafting about, than about the proposed development (Sikhs believe in communal dining immediately after religious services). In the end, the Sikhs had to shelve their plans for their temple and resubmit new plans for a temple that resembled a McMansion.

              • colliemum says:

                I’m really surprised (actually: not, because there are NIMBYs everywhere) about the resistance to a Sikh Temple. Here in the UK, we respect and love the Sikhs, and many have said they’d love to have a Sikh family as neighbours.

                As for muslims not proselytising – heh. They don’t go round the streets like the Jehova Witnesses do, that’s true. What they do is doing it privately, or a bit more publicly, by posting on ordinary websites. It is one of their ‘pillars’, something which every muslim must do, like e.g. jihad.
                It’s called ‘dawa’.
                I’m not the only one who has come across it so many times it’s hardly noteworthy any longer. The funny thing is though that all the online atheists, who are down like a ton of bricks on any post which reads even faintly Christian, are never ever taking up those ‘dawa’ posts and debate with their authors. Strange, isn’t it …

      • ThatJ says:

        @yalensis

        I do not think we owe modern accomplishments that make our lives easy to racial diversity.

        Is an United States made up of English, Irish, Scottish, German, Slavic, Scandinavian, French population “diverse” to you? Is a Germany made up of Frisians, Sorbs, Saxons, Swabians, Franks “diverse”?

        Was England “diverse” when it built the world’s largest empire or launched industrialization?

        Does the United States need the creativity of Africans and Hispanics? If the proportion of these populations eclipsed whites’ demographics to a measly 10%, would the US be as strong and maintain the current living standard (already declining) and inventiveness?

        Why am I anti-Semitic? Is it because I consistently pointed out the gross over-representation of Jews in the new Ukrainian “Nazi” government or the neocon hostility to Russia in their quest to world hegemony? Or because I charge organized Jewry with shameless hypocrisy? A case in point: Jews, Blacks, And Race. Very few people know about the history told in this essay, yet it is of utmost importance given its impact on current American politics. Does bringing it to light an anti-Semite make? If so, for what reasons?

        • Max says:

          Why? Because you condemn Jews qua Jews. Not the shtetl gonifim and their farkukte “State.”

        • Jen says:

          ThatJ, you would have more credibility if you didn’t constantly refer to Kevin MacDonald, his website The Occidental Observer and its various contributors (like Lasha Darkmoon) who discuss the behaviour of individual Jews and treat them all as tentacles of one giant octopus with a hive mind, in presenting particular issues about Jews and their actions, good or bad, in several of your comments. MacDonald is known to believe that black peoples are intellectually inferior to other groups as a result of race genetics, not because of their history of being colonised and forced into poverty and situations in which they suffer from malnutrition and weakened immune systems due to chronic tropical diseases and attacks of malaria, all of which are known to cause brain damage in children (in the case of malaria), result in reduced intelligence among children which persists into adulthood and which can even affect the intelligence of these children’s descendants into the second generation (their grandchildren). Some black people in industrialised countries may also have suffered from lead poisoning and conditions associated with breathing petrol fumes or heavy metal fumes (which could also cause brain damage and lower intelligence in children) because they lived in neighbourhoods located close to factories which pumped out toxins into the air or the water supply with impunity because governments did not care about these people’s wellbeing.

          Most of us are well aware that there is an elite in Ukraine mostly made up of people with religious or secular Jewish backgrounds and that several of them are collaborating with their co-religionists in the US, Israeli and other governments. Some of us also know that Talmudic Judaism itself espouses racial supremacy over gentiles and that a racial hierarchy exists in some haredim communities in Israel, in which Ashkenazi Jews are deemed superior to Sephardi and Mizrahi (Oriental) Jews, and black Jews from Ethiopia and other countries are at the bottom. We know that most Jewish people, like the rest of us gentiles, are as brainwashed by their elites and others they look up to; they are ordinary people like the rest of us and they are being screwed as well. They should not be held responsible for the behaviour and actions of those Jews who use their Jewish background and culture to advance themselves or their particular mentors and proteges among the gentile societies they inhabit.

          • Moscow Exile says:

            Some black people in industrialised countries may also have suffered from lead poisoning and conditions associated with breathing petrol fumes or heavy metal fumes (which could also cause brain damage and lower intelligence in children) because they lived in neighbourhoods located close to factories which pumped out toxins into the air or the water supply with impunity because governments did not care about these people’s wellbeing.

            That also applies to the environment most of my former fellow townsmen had to endure, myself included, of course, and might explain an observation that I once heard a long time non-native resident utter, namely that he had never known such a place that had more idiots per square yard. Peter would love it there. Oh, and it’s still 98.6% “White British”.

            Got it!

            It must be those Paddies who make up the remaining 1.4% of the population that give the place that aura of stupidity.

          • yalensis says:

            Thank you, Jen, as usual for laying it out logically and making sense of a very tricky discussion.
            I will just add that ThatJ and his kind are believers in the genetic theory of intelligence (IQ), I forget what they call it nowadays, “bio-diversity”, something like that.
            They believe IQ type intelligence is lodged in the human DNA, not in the environment.
            Of course, it’s one thing to stipulate that some people are smarter than others, even at the (average) group level. For example, I have never met a stupid Jew, although I have met some highly neurotic ones, who cannot fully leverage their native intelligence, due to their crippling neuroses. (I have a friend who is like that, she attributes her numerous mental issues to Ashkenazi in-breeding. In other words, she blames her parents!)

            Anyhow, at least with worldwide IQ scores, they (the scholars of racial differences in intelligence) have some kind of metric (however weak and disputable) that they can point to. I mean, people actually take these tests, and the tests are scored, so that is somewhat scientific. (And, as usual, Asians and Jews, as groups, on average, do better and get higher scores.)

            But then these folks take it a step further, and also link anti-social traits and criminality with those same (stupidity) genes; in other words, they believe that the average “black or Mexican” is criminal-minded in addition to stupid. For this claim, there is really no metric at all they can point to, so it just basically comes down to their own personal prejudices.

            And then these folks take it even one step further, into the realm of legislation, for example, they want to see Jim Crow type laws against inter-marriage, they oppose abortion because they want to increase the number of “white” fetuses in the world, etc. These efforts are always doomed to futility, but these people never give up..

            • Johan Meyer says:

              While I disagree with the “Human Biodiversity” world-view, they do have a number of reasons for holding their beliefs. I’m of the opinion that those reasons/ideas are wrong, but these ideas are due to wide-spread beliefs among IQ researchers generally (including those researching heavy-metal, e.g. lead, induced IQ loss), rather than coming from the HDB crowd. Briefly:

              1. IQ and crime are correlated with ethnicity (plainly accurate at present; the notion that ethnicity causes IQ and crime is a reasonable scientific, i.e. falsifiable, hypothesis, if un-PC.)

              2. Ethnic differences in average heavy metal (and other, e.g. iodine deficiency) induced IQ loss isn’t nearly sufficient to account for ethnic differences in IQ (this is the consensus view, not specific to HDB—even the UN accepts it in some of the studies they did, though I’d have to hunt for references. I think it is wrong, as it fails to account for sporadic intake of heavy metals especially lead as occurs with lead paint, which given its blood biological half-life of 35 days, will produce a nearly inverse probability density function in blood lead for population-consistent lead poisoning, thus producing a near-zero average blood lead that has almost no connection to actual average lead poisoning. By contrast leaded fuel will produce a blood lead level more or less consistent with lead poisoning due to frequent e.g. daily intake; incidentally, the same shtick is used to hide the damage from DU munitions—the blood and other tissue levels are too low to cause the seen effects, several biological half-lives later… That reminds me—I previously erroneously stated on this site that the USSR had consistent 0.6 gram lead per litre petrol; in the late sixties, they banned leaded petrol in the bigger cities, thus sparing Kiev, Moscow and St Petersburg/Leningrad but not L’vov if memory serves… Again, I could hunt for a reference but I don’t have it handy…)

              3. There are very few individuals (tiny percentage) with normal to high IQ in low IQ groups (this is due to a model calculation—one finds the number of individuals with IQs 120 and up in a population with average IQ on US or UK scale of 60 or 70, keeping in mind that the standard deviation is 15 IQ points by definition; the problem with this calculation is that it is not demonstrated that the standard deviation, on a given test instrument, of the low average IQ societies is the same as the high average IQ societies, and may well be much bigger, thus producing a much larger population with IQ greater than 120—a difference in IQ of 15 points on e.g. the Nigerian scale might represent a far greater difference in intellectual ability than 15 points on the UK scale, due to differences in environmental conditions; one needs both the Nigerian and UK standard deviations to calculate the portion of the Nigerian population with UK-IQs above 120, for example.)

              4. Stupidity and criminality are due to the same genes (or due to the same environmental contaminants? See Rick Nevin’s work. The contaminants are statistically inherited much as genes are, e.g. growing up in the same neighbourhood as one’s parents—sometimes the same building, or in a comparably polluted neighbourhood, due to ethnicity. Plus Mexicans should become less criminal starting in two years, while silly dogma ignoring biological half-life will soon produce an exponential decay of about 10-15% per year in black criminality in the US. Nevin subscribes to said silliness, while ignoring its mathematical implications—a practical adaption to ideology…)

              Because these ideas are wide-spread, there is no push-back from IQ researchers; it is what they secretly believe (and is symptomatic of the lack of basic mathematical skill that pervades much of the social sciences—can’t do math for physics? Go to social sciences and/or psychology).

              Another matter—while I strongly disagree with ThatJ on many matters, I do think you take him personally, rather than politically. Perhaps it is because I grew up in a hard-right society, but I feel uncomfortable when people are attacked for their views rather than have their views attacked. Ad rem, please.

              • yalensis says:

                Dear Johan: Thank you for your comment.
                The IQ/criminality studies, etc., well, obviously there is a lot of math involved, and obviously it is very complicated. These scientific studies need to be done, but obviously ignorant racists will (and do) use the results, in order to promote horrific legislation, if not outright hate crimes. But c’est la vie.

                As for my debates with ThatJ, it may be true that I have crossed the line a bit and needled him on a personal level. But in my own defense, there is a method to my madness.

                Let me explain, if I can:
                I like for everybody to be crystal clear about their own views and underlying ideologies, so that their opinions can be put into that context.

                Sidebar:
                ThatJ reminds me of those stereotypical Communist Party cells from the 1950’s McCarthy area in America: They would gather people together for some innocuous thing, like supporting orphans of striking workers, etc. And then, when everybody was in a convivial mood, they would start the rants and speeches, and end with “Therefore, everybody must sign up and join the Communist Party!” In ThatJ’s case, he gets everybody going on stuff we all agree on, posts some links to sites that everybody likes, and then POW! slides in some really nasty racist stuff at the end, when people’s suspicions have been lulled.

                In other words, I felt that ThatJ was being somewhat deceptive and disingenuous. I felt that he was trying to sidle in sideways his racist views, under the cover of surface Russophilism. In order to fit in with the overall tone of Mark’s blog. And he wouldn’t respond to direct questions about his underlying philosophy, so I had to more or less beat it out of him.

                I am sorry if that distressed you and other blog commenters. But I also felt that somebody needed to counter his B.S., otherwise all of us (commenters) might be tainted with the same brush. I could just imagine somebody like Julia Ioffe pointing to commenters on Mark’s blog as prime examples of the opposition to her own liberast bullshit.

                For example, maybe this sounds like sheer narcissistic vanity, but if I posted a comment or link criticizing, say, Israel, and then side by side was ThatJ with some overtly anti-Semitic nonsense about the “shape of upper lips on Jewess faces”, or something toxic like that — well, I just didn’t want to be associated with that; and I didn’t want lurkers getting the wrong impression about MY views, for example. Therefore, I felt I had to challenge him, since nobody else was. (Well, a few other people were challenging him, but in a weak way, except for Jen, and on the whole was getting away with it scot-free.)

                Just like you are challenging me, and that’s okay. And it’s true I wouldn’t like it if you started attacking me personally, “Oh, that yalensis is such a…. [whatever]…” that’s true enough. But, on the other hand, if I just ignored your comments and refused to clarify my position, then you might have the right to bully me and troll me – LOL!
                🙂

                • yalensis says:

                  And P.S.
                  I just remembered another point I wanted to make.
                  Namely, there is a bit of a double-standard here. People rushed to defend ThatJ when they thought he was being bullied (by me), but nobody (including you) defended Karl (I am talking about Karl the Finn) when people were attacking him ad hominem instead of ad rem. In fact, people continue to accuse him of basically lying and being disingenuous and being a Russia-hater, etc etc, even AFTER he fully explained himself and his views.
                  And, in Karl’s case, he regularly posts comments on military photos, in which he defends Russian policy in Ukraine. But people here still continue to accuse him of being some kind of plant. (again, ad hominem attacks)

                  So, the moral of the story here would be: It’s okay to be a neo-Nazi so long as you like Russia. But it’s NOT okay to be a Russophile if you disagree with Putin and think the Russian economy is in the tank!

                  Once again, LOL…..

                • Johan Meyer says:

                  My understanding of Karl’s positions makes it hard for me to decide whether he really is a Russophobe (his premises should push him in that direction), or really worried.

                  Another matter—I don’t buy the Khoi-San separation from the rest of humanity matter. Funny enough, here you are very close to the HDB position. The “Khoi-San” southern African communities are still largely isolated from other groups; usually members of such groups can marry out of the group (witness the largely khoi-san appearance of the Nguni groups, e.g. Xhosa and Zulu, and the presence of clicks/sucking consonants in their languages), but few will marry into the groups, due to their marginal status. They were largely pastoralist until the Bantu expansion drove most to a hunter-gatherer lifestyle; if their technological advancement were due to the Bantu expansion and intermarriage increasing IQ, we’d expect them to be iron-age at the beginning of European colonialism, yet they were firmly bronze-age—southern African “Khoi-sans” would mine copper and sell to the Dutch colonials, which incidentally could place them (KS) in a lead IQ trap, aside from lack of Selenium (poor soils in SA) and among the non-coastal groups, lack of Iodine.

                  Similar groups (speakers with “click”/sucking consonants) are found in east-Africa; it is not clear whether their languages are related to the dominant “khoi-san” groups in SA (e.g. Damarra), though they almost certainly aren’t with the Luu groups (of which only !Kung is still spoken, recently saved from extinction).

                  Also, I don’t think the IQ matter is very complicated. The main problem is with epidemiology, that insists on measuring the poison in the individual, even when its own results suggest that the poison will largely leave the body prior to measurement. The other issues are even simpler—how wide is the intelligence distribution in a given society? The HDB assumption is that the width approximately equal.

                  Finally, there is a propaganda consideration with regards to ThatJ’s view that makes his association with Russophile positions potentially even helpful (aside from that Da Russophile is also a subscriber to human biodiversity, or at least was)—such people are also found on the other side of the Russophile/Russophobe fence.

                  “People with such views are found on both sides, yet it is only a problem on our side, but not on yours? Your racists murder people en masse, while ours hold vaguely distasteful views.”

                • yalensis says:

                  Dear Johan:
                  Thread getting a bit narrow, but here goes…
                  (1) As for Karl the Finn, I think the people who “bully” him feel that he is insincere, that his whole shtick is a lie and a ruse, that he is a Russophobe pretending to care about Russia, but actually just spreading doom and gloom in order to demoralize the troops, etc etc. I personally don’t think these people are right, I have come to believe that Karl is completely sincere. But my point is, that the people who bitch-slap Karl believe that he is being deceptive; and I in turn think that ThatJ is being deceptive, which is one of the reasons I go at him incessantly. (The other reason being, as I have explained, I believe ThatJ is a f***in Nazi, people in my family fought against Nazi invaders during Great Patriotic War, I’ll be damned if I tolerate these Hitler-lovers, and SOMEBODY needs to call him out on this racist crap. In other words, it’s a dirty job but somebody needs to do it… )

                  (2) Switching topics egregiously:
                  As for the people who speak the “click” languages, that is fascinating discussion indeed. I certainly have no antorpological expertise here whatsoever, but are they not conceivably the earliest humans? I may have mentioned before, one of my favorite “popular linguists” is a man named John McWhorter, who actually believes (or at least theorizes as a possibility) that the click languages may have been the earliest human languages. McWhorter happens to be an African-American linguist, but his ethnicity really has no bearing, as he does not specialize in African languages. His specialty is English, and he wrote his dissertation on the history of the English language. Nonetheless, he has also written popular books for the general public, and in one of his books on comparative languages, he argued that the click languages might be the earliest of all. His reasoning being, that a click-type phoneme is hardly something that would be added later on; it is more likely to be a relic than an accretion.
                  Of course, I have to add, that his book was written before it was discovered that Neanderthals also spoke languages.

                • yalensis says:

                  Correction:
                  McWhorter’s thesis was, I believe on Caribbean Creole languages; however, his best known work is on the history of the English language.

          • marknesop says:

            Jen, this was the 70,000th comment, so you are the winner of the Novorossiyan soldier (which I haven’t got yet, we did phone once but did not catch them in, the time difference between here and Moscow is such that we have to phone in the evening to catch them in the morning next day). There must have been a considerable flurry of comments – we went out last night to a housewarming party (at which two different people asked me if I thought Putin was crazy, so that meme seems to be working very well), and this morning we had gone past the magic number by 40. I will prod you by email for your address; I received an automatic reply last time. Warmest regards,

            Mark

            • Moscow Exile says:

              Yes, it’s a given that the man is an insane, posturing megalomaniac, and anyone who believes otherwise is an “idiot”, to use the favoured term of a contributor to this site.

              A president who is ultimately responsible (as the pompous Simpson maintained Putin was for all that is allegedly accountable to the Russian side) for blowing the legs off a woman in Lugansk, as well as the death and mutilation of very many other men, women and children in the Ukraine, namely Petro poroshenko, is, on the other hand, a sterling example of wise leadership, for after all, he is on the side of “fredom and democracy”.

              Remind me again, how many died as a result of “Putin’s invasion” of the Crimea?

            • Jen says:

              Dear Mark,

              Thanks very much for this news. I’m honoured and humbled to know that I have won the Novorossian soldier. I’ll let you know the address to post to; it’ll be the work address, more for my convenience as posting parcels to my home address usually results in the parcel ending up at a central post centre which means I have to take time out from work to collect it.

              Jen

            • ThatJ says:

              @Mark

              at which two different people asked me if I thought Putin was crazy, so that meme seems to be working very well

              Don’t you feel powerless in these situations? What was your response? Were the two Russians and/or Ukrainians? Do you consider them politically savvy?

              I mean, the fact is that the majority of people watch either TV or visit mainstream news sources. People like us are a minority, and there’s nothing we can do to bring about a monumental change of mind in the brainwashed population, and this causes a feeling of powerlessness, at least to me.

              But we must continue doing our small part, even if we know the limitations of our endeavours.

          • ThatJ says:

            @yalensis

            they want to see Jim Crow type laws against inter-marriage

            Abraham Lincoln fought to end the institution of slavery, not to bind whites and blacks together with the full weight of the law. Lincoln said:

            I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races, that I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality.

            He didn’t equate ending slavery with binding blacks and whites together. Jim Crow allowed blacks to govern their own communities. Do you know what’s funny? The liberasts came out in force during the recent Ferguson incident demanding a “Jim Crow Lite”: they said whites shouldn’t be policing black communities!

            It’s not in the interests of whites to be made soft slaves to uplift blacks and be bred out of existence in the process. Some sort of government agency is needed to recruit the “great humanitarians” who want to help “them folks” — with their own deeds and resources. When you submit the unwilling to do the things that you won’t do so that your ego can reap the benefits of your non-work (instead of enriching your wallet, as slaves were used in the past), you are actually depriving people, either individually or collectively, of their rights. When you and like-minded people get behind an idea and don’t involve the unwilling in your humanitarian task (i.e. you do not force the society to give up its resources, land, and racial posteriority to satisfy your ego), you are being a humanitarian, for your deeds will not interfere whatsoever with the rest of society. Example:

            See? He could be demanding we import the poor people in this video so that they will be better off. If the government acted on his “humanitarianism” and society objected, he could demand hate-laws to silence critics. Of course his personal involvement would be zero. The money, natural resources, land and demographic integrity, none of which are his, would be compromised in the pursuit of his deedless humanitarianism. But Destin (the man in the video, and his wife) doesn’t act like this. He’s not an ivory-tower liberast or a Trotskyite or a clueless university student. His help comes from like-minded individuals working together, not from soft slavery (which is a zero-sum game).

            I will just add that ThatJ and his kind are believers in the genetic theory of intelligence (IQ)

            A problem that I find with atheists like you and the liberasts who feel superior to Christians (and I speak as an atheist) because of the latter’s belief in God is that this belief is dogmatic in origin, you cannot disprove or prove that God exists, but racial differences are in your face yet you, who believe in evolution, think that it happens during the weekends, or that it suddenly stopped when we first became homo sapiens. In other words, race-denialists are not more “enlightened” than the Christians they laugh at, they just channel their ignorance into something even more unbelievable. There is an unfortunate irony in all this, and I’m sure it wouldn’t have escaped Darwin, given his writings on the subject.

            Another irony is that you classify yourself as a russophile (well, you said this is a russophile blog, but if you read it and agree with it, I guess that makes you a russophile). Isn’t that “racist” in itself? I, of course, don’t think so, but I can see liberasts argumenting that to hold a people or country above others in your preference can be considered a racist belief.

            • yalensis says:

              Dear ThatJ:
              So, just to clarify:
              Q: In the light of Abraham Lincoln’s statements, do you propose to pass laws forbidding people of different races to marry and/or have children? I suppose this would be necessary to “prevent the white race from being bred out of existence” ?
              (I think those laws used to exist in the United States, but then they were repealed. But I suppose you could make an attempt to get ’em back on the books!)

              Okay, so to continue…. here I am debating an actual racist, never thought I would find myself in this position….but okay….

              So, in your view, are “race denialists” people who deny that races actually exist at the DNA level? If that is the defininition, then, I guess I am NOT a race denialist, since there are obviously some DNA differences between groups of people. And no doubt Darwinian processes would have led to humans splitting into different species, were we (humans) not so horny and jump on anything that moves. For example, maybe American blacks would not be so light-skinned on the whole if the slave-owners could have kept their pants zipped up and not rape the help, is that not correct?

              Anyhow, from what I understand, not all that long ago, there were quite a few different species of hominids living side by side, there were homo sapiens, Cro-Magnons, Neanderthals, and lots of others too, there were some who were tiny and hobbit-type, and others who were big and tall, and I guess all of them spoke different languages, and probably got along okay whenever they met, since they interbred and produced offspring, even though they were different species, or maybe breeds, or whatever.
              And later, from what I understand, Tasmanians and maybe even Bushmen were almost different species, they were physically and mentally very different from modern man, but before they could split off and become species, they either got wiped out, or enough people got inter-married and their DNA got all jumbled together.

              Given all that, I don’t deny that races still exist. So what’s your point? I think what you actually mean to say is that people who think all people should have equal rights are the “race deniers” – is that your point? I guess people like you would prefer that different races have different legal rights, and that people should have to submit DNA samples before they can get married. Lots of luck trying to get such legislation passed in any civilized country!

              As for being a “Russophile”, it’s not really a racist concept, IMHO. Russophiles are just people who like and respect Russian language and culture. In addition to being a Russophile, I am also a Francophile, Germanophile, and even Europhile in general. Those are the cultures I know something about, and have learned some of the languages and history. I would probably be a “Sinophile” if I knew something about Chinese culture, but I don’t.
              I consider myself a “Negrophile”, or whatever you want to call it, because I am really into African-American culture. Always have been. I don’t think it is racist to like people and enjoy their culture.

              Are you a Russophile, by the way? Have you ever tried to study Russian, or learn anything about Russian history? I doubt it, since you make the most ignorant statements about Russia sometimes….

    • ThatJ says:

      @Oddlots

      Well, the majority of developed countries have what they call a democracy today and they didn’t need to import Greeks to teach them how it’s done, likewise it’s common for a country to borrow culinary recipes from other cultures without committing themselves to racial displacement. We even drive Japanese cars without being colonized by the Japanese.

      I don’t see how food can be used as an argument, though I have noted it’s quite common.

      Another argument that I hear a lot: “but it’s 2014!” as if whites have expiration date or something.

      WWII doesn’t change the fact that whites have lived in the affected regions of Europe for thousands of years, nor should it be used to delegitimize their existence (a right, I dare say). What made the war devastating was the industrial revolution and the inventions that came with it, and the number of countries involved.

      This is not to say that I’m against all immigration — far from it! But I cringe when I read, to use an example that graced the Guardian’s comment section, how an Englishman who migrated to Gales cannot complain about Bantus moving to London because he, too, is an immigrant. I was like, wow, this is the binary fallacy people talk about. Seriously?

      Invading other countries and subjecting/expulsing their inhabitants to take over their lands is what the Nazis did, we are told. This can be called outward oppression.

      Then there’s inward oppression: instead of denying other countries and peoples their right to exist, a person, group or government will favor this development against its own people, by supporting the racial displacement, replacement and eventual demise of the population, using the state apparatus to stifle dissent and accomplish the genocide. Think of liberast Sweden, the land of Equality and Humanism™. There you have “great humanitarians” bad-mouthing Israeli settlement in Palestinian land whilst financing Islamic settlements in Malmö, Stockholm and now even in northern Swedish cities. It’s bad that the Israelis are robbing Palestinians of their posteriority and nation, but perfectly fine if you do it against your own.

      Both inward and outward oppression must be denounced and fought.

      Securing the racial rights of the population, namely the right to demographic integrity and self-rule, would put an end to both types of oppression.

    • Max says:

      in a march through Dresden carrying banners bearing slogans such as “Zero tolerance towards criminal asylum seekers”, “Protect our homeland” and “Stop the Islamisation”.

      They’re barking up the wrong tree. They should be shouting “Stop stirring up shit elsewhere!” “Quit forcing foreigners to seek safety here!”

    • ThatJ says:

      @Max

      That must be said to Israel and their frontmen in the US, and to the Saudis.

      To American Zionists, it must be entertaining to bring chaos and destruction to the non-submissive Arab states for the interests of Greater Israel, smashing resistance and at the same time seeing these Arabs infiltrating Europe en masse and displacing the White Christian goyim — the Arabs certainly don’t go to Israel or to Saudi Arabia because neither will welcome them, and a significant minority prefer to go to Europe instead of fleeing to where their fellow co-religionists and racial kin live, namely the neighboring countries. This is the opposite behavior of Europeans, who in the past (and today!) fled to nations sharing a similar racial makeup in periods of upheaval. The Ukrainians today go to Russia and other parts of Ukraine, not to Lebanon, Nigeria, Somalia or Jordan. I could go on and on, mentioning the ethnic Russians in some former Soviet countries who were victims of violence (South Caucasus springs to mind), Germans in Central and Eastern Europe in the aftermath of WWII, the communists who fled Franco’s Spain, the French Huguenots, the Germans who fled to Sweden in the 30 Years War, etc, etc, etc. Europe is for European refugees, or continentals as I like to call them. Constructing Europe as a dustbin where humanity’s woes are dumped is wrong.

      Meanwhile, these same Zionists who are responsible for the bloodbath in the Middle East will lobby for loose borders and appeal to our “humanitarian” side. You couldn’t make this stuff up, but that’s how it works.

      As the saying goes, they are “killing two birds with one stone”.

  5. Warren says:

    Exile’s favourite Ukrainian Yorkshireman Taras Kuzio talking about current Ukrainian politics at the University of San Diego on November 14th 2014.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      Ukrainian Lancashiremen are better than Ukrainian Yorkshiremen!
      🙂

      Ukrainians first migrated to Manchester in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, settling in the Red Bank area of Manchester. Often referred to as the ‘old immigrants’ (stari emihiranty), further Ukrainian immigrants and displaced persons from Western Ukraine, settled in the Cheetham area after the Second World War.

      The majority of Manchester Ukrainians are Ukrainian Catholic. In 1954 the first parish priest, Father Djoba, purchased St Mary’s Ukrainian (Uniate) Catholic Church on Cheetham Hill Road, also known as Dormition of Our Lady. Previous to this the Catholic Ukrainians had practised at St. Casimir’s Roman Catholic Church, Manchester (before c.1930) and then at St. Chad’s Roman Catholic Church, Cheetham Hill (from c.1930).

      See:

      Multicultural Manchester: Ukrainians

      Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain: Manchester

      • Moscow Exile says:

        “… further Ukrainian immigrants and displaced persons from Western Ukraine, settled in the Cheetham area after the Second World War.

        Worked with some of them, came across several more. Some of them were former HIWI and made no secret of that fact. Some had been Osttruppen. I knew one who proudly told me had served in three armies during WWII: the Soviet Army, the German Army and the British Army. He drove a truck in all three, he said. He must have been about 16 0r 17 when h was doing this.

        • Warren says:

          I have to give credit to the Ukrainian diaspora, they are very well organised. Something the Russian diaspora could learn from, but then again Ukraine is not a geopolitical rival/challenger to the US, so therefore political activism of Ukrainian diaspora will not be opposed by Western governments, unlike with Russians.

          My former line manager, told me his father a Ukrainian who settled in England after the war, fought on BOTH sides during the war, he had to in order to survive.

          For the German Nazis talk of racial purity, they were very pragmatic in seeking assistance from “lesser races” and recruiting them into their ranks when needed.

  6. marknesop says:

    “Lending to Ukraine is a geopolitical imperative so the IMF will make a gesture, but it can’t foot the whole bill given the government’s minimal reforms. So the private sector will have to make a contribution.”

    And I’m afraid that was the good news.

    Russia mentioned – just sayin’, you know – that gas levels in Ukraine have receded to the point where safe deliveries cannot be guaranteed. Meanwhile it’s a relatively balmy +4 in Kiev, +3 in Lviv, +6 in Ternopil. A positively tropical +13 in London, +9 in Warsaw, +6 in Sofia. Perhaps they won’t need any gas this winter, it’s so mild. I wonder how long that will last?

    It’s -26 in Dalnegorsk, where my wife comes from. Winter’s coooommmmiiing, Europe.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      Yes, mild weather all over Eastern Europe at the moment, yet Moscow was under snow last week. Forecast says cold weather is coming back though. However, at the beginning of December the forecasts said it would be well below zero now (-12C if I remember rightly) but it’s only hovering around zero at the moment. Minus 10C daytime temperatures forecast for next week though.

      • Moscow Exile says:

        It’s belting it down with snow here now though!

        • colliemum says:

          It’s December, man – it’d be odd if it was raining cats and dogs where you are this time of year!
          😉

          • Moscow Exile says:

            No, it was raining here the other day. There was a sudden thaw – freezing rain that makes it nightmarish walking around. I came a cropper walking back from the shops a few days ago with shopping bags in my hands. I landed on one of the bags and a milk carton burst, soaking all the groceries in one bag.

            It happens a couple of times in winter. The freezing rain puts a very thin crust of ice on the snow (слуг – slug), and the snow underneath is called “nast” (наст) by the natives.

            I rememember when I first experienced this and was telling my wife of this thin ice that you sort of squeak through, not crunch through, into the soft snow beneath, and she said: “Oh, you mean ‘nast’!”

            See, there’s no such thing in the UK, I think, and, therefore, no such specific term.

            • colliemum says:

              No indeed, there’s no such term as there are no such conditions, not even in the winters 2009/2010 and 2010/11, when the whole of the British Isles were covered in snow – actually, several feet of the stuff, not the usual, hysteria-producing half inch of it. There are some satellite images of that, rather impressive:

              Me, I got crampons on rubber bands to pull over my boots. Of course, ever since I got them we’ve had no snow or ice …

    • yalensis says:

      I really can’t figure out why IMF and EU keep saying that Ukraine is “not carrying out reforms fast enough”. Ukrainian government has already privatized down to the last nail, and turned the whole country into a Dickensian workhouse, what more can they do to please the IMF? Maybe after every last Ukrainian has laid down and died from cold and hunger?

      • Moscow Exile says:

        They’ve not privatized the “sex workers” yet, though, have they?

        Kiev wants to legalize prostitution to help save the economy

      • marknesop says:

        “Reforms” is just another buzzword, like “Democracy” and “Freedom”, that the despoiler uses to justify its malign policies. It promises to “root out corruption”, and boy, that’s good stuff; everybody can get behind that. But the despoilers stood by idly drawing rings in the dust with their toes while Ukraine “elected” another billionaire oligarch as president, while the press organs of the despoiler sang his praises as a “tycoon” whose business is so transparent you have to be careful not to run into it by accident. Never a word of complaint when he remained the owner and head of the company after becoming president, either, nor a mention that he had been largely responsible himself for drawing up the EU association agreement on Ukraine’s part and had engineered tax breaks for his candies.

        So long as you keep mentioning “reforms”, the population understands Ukraine is still a work in progress, and consequently they ought not to expect too much. Things will get better down the road, doubtless, but for now best just to keep quiet and let them get on with reforming.

  7. Moscow Exile says:

    The sniggering russophobe comments abound at the foot of Shawn Wanker’s Grauniad article on Putin’s Q&A session yesterday:

    Do you reckon Russian nukes actually work? It’s an expensive business keeping ICBM’s in shape, let alone the command and control systems. Vlad is looking unstable but he could push the button and be greeted with a fizzing sound and not much else. I don’t want to make light of this, but Vlad is in danger of appearing ridiculous in front of his own people.

    [Obviously a regular visitor to the Empire of Evil – not!]

    D’ya reckon Vlad wants to end up as a bubbling blob of radioactive goo? Because it only takes one warhead to get through your mythical missile shield to barbecue Moscow several times over. Oh wait, Vlad will be in a bunker somewhere in Siberia while the long-suffereing Russian peasants get it.

    [To “barbecue Moscow” – childish metaphor from child-like US citizen’s dumbed down mind talking about vapourising my wife and children – and me for that matter!]

    His bare-chested strutting on a pony really gave the babushkas a wide-on.

    [Is this an adult speaking?]

    think the adjectives historians will use will be paranoid and fantasizing, and/or amoral/cynical. Nobody is actually trying to placate him except perhaps the little part of his mind called “sane Vlad” which is getting drowned out by “bonkers Vlad”. Nobody has actually angered him except for the part of his imagination which thinks that the world is out to get him and Russia – if he truly believes that, which I’m not sure he does.

    I wonder by this time next year, people will see that this press conference was the beginning of the end of Vladimir Putin.

    Yes, I wonder….

    And here’s a classic trick penned by former Moscow Times hack Walker:

    As the commander in chief of the army, what have you said to the families of dead Russian officers and soldiers,” asked the journalist, taking the rare opportunity to ask Putin in public about the Russian military intervention in east Ukraine that the Kremlin has denied ever happened.

    The trick is that the Russian “military intervention” in the Ukraine is presented as a given because “the Kremlin has denied ever happened” – QED.

    This trick is used over and over again by Western hacks: “Kremlin denies…!” they scream and the conditioned readers of their so-called objective reporting take this as a signal that that which is being denied is true.

    A thing I should really like to check up on is whether such questions asked of the Russian president concerning the alleged intervention of the Russian military in the Ukraine are really as rare as Walker maintains – or is he just saying they are, ‘cos, you know, he’s a Western journalist and is on the side of freedom and democracy, so what he says must always be true?

    For example, on March 4th of this year this conversation took place between a journalist and the Evil One at a public meeting in Moscow in which the Russian president faced the press:

    QUESTION: Mr President, a clarification if I may. The people who were blocking the Ukrainian Army units in Crimea were wearing uniforms that strongly resembled the Russian Army uniform. Were those Russian soldiers, Russian military?

    VLADIMIR PUTIN: Why don’t you take a look at the post-Soviet states. There are many uniforms there that are similar. You can go to a store and buy any kind of uniform.

    QUESTION: But were they Russian soldiers or not?

    VLADIMIR PUTIN: Those were local self-defence units.

    QUESTION: How well trained are they? If we compare them to the self-defence units in Kiev…

    VLADIMIR PUTIN: My dear colleague, look how well trained the people who operated in Kiev were. As we all know they were trained at special bases in neighbouring states: in Lithuania, Poland and in Ukraine itself too. They were trained by instructors for extended periods. They were divided into dozens and hundreds, their actions were coordinated, they had good communication systems. It was all like clockwork. Did you see them in action? They looked very professional, like special forces. Why do you think those in Crimea should be any worse?

    QUESTION: In that case, can I specify: did we take part in training Crimean self-defence forces?

    VLADIMIR PUTIN: No, we did not.

    See: Vladimir Putin answered journalists’ questions on the situation in Ukraine

    Walker mustn’t have been there.

    I’m sure similar questions have been asked of the clearly insane Russian tyrant many times between March 4th and yesterday.

    Walker, however, knows that this is not the case, so that’s what counts – I suppose.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      Here’s our old Christian Science Monitor friend Fred Weir performing the same trick on July 1st of this year:

      On the other hand, Kremlin denials that Russia has been stirring the pot in east Ukraine ring hollow.

      See: Has Putin reached his limit on his willingness to intervene in Ukraine?

    • marknesop says:

      There are so many things about Walker’s dissembling that make me lose my mind, it would be hard to name just one. But in this instance it is the commenters that sent me over the edge; why do they insist on referring to him as “Vlad”? If you don’t know how Russian names work, shut the fuck up or call him “Mr. Putin”. For the love of God, it’s like referring to the British Prime Minister as “Vid”. It just looks so ignorant, these twits gabbing on as if they lived next door to the Kremlin.

      If Walker and his contemporaries had to be summed up in a single word, it would be “smug”. So sure that they know it all, so confident that making the world safe for Coca-Cola and Twinkies is the proper way to go.

      That commenter doesn’t know much about how nuclear warheads work, either – a single warhead would not “barbecue Moscow several times over”.

      Whenever things get out of hand and there actually is a war, there must be the hope that at least Shaun Walker and everyone just like him will be killed off. but it never happens. They bounce back out of the ruins, chattering on mindlessly, learning all the wrong lessons from disaster and inviting further disaster. God looks after drunks and idiots.

      As to the question of whose soldiers “the little green men” were, I notice there has never been another word said about the phony “Colonel in the Russian Army” seen in a video clip made in Kiev when the alleged Russian Army colonel was instructing Berkut personnel. This “Colonel” was exposed as a Ukrainian actor wearing Danish camouflage fatigues. The obvious intent was to create the appearance of regular Russian officers interfering in the domestic situation and attempting to turn events in Russia’s favour. But there was no interest whatever in discovering who perpetrated this deception or what they might have stood to gain, and western journalists blithely go on cracking their little insider jokes about crazy Putin and the sneaky Russians, never considering their own credibility to be at issue owing to the various fakes and deceptions perpetrated thus far to implicate Russia.

  8. Jen says:

    There has been news that the National Bank of Ukraine has a list of five people to replace Valeriya Gontareva as its head and two names put forward are George Soros and Dominique Strauss-Kahn. I won’t say anymore, I’ll wait until everyone has had time to run to the bathroom.

    It could be a long wait …

    • cartman says:

      Why would they pick Strauss-Kahn? He works for Rosneft currently.

    • ThatJ says:

      Soros (Schwartz) or Kahn. One more Jew or one less Jew, what difference does it make?

      Yats and Groysman occupy the 2nd and 3rd most important positions in the government.

      The minister of economy is a foreign-born Jew, so putting a Jew in charge of the central bank should come as a no surprise.

      They are simply completing the takeover they began. First the government, then the central bank and finances of the country. Porky is the token goy, his room for maneuver is very limited.

      Again, what we’re seeing is the manipulation of patriotism in order to incite the goyim against the enemy of Jewry — Russia. I’m using Jewry’s definition of ‘enemy’, not mine, because if you act independent and don’t submit, that’s enough to earn you their scorn. This fake patriotism follows a familiar pattern used in WWII.

      The patriotic frenzy we saw in Britain and America in WWII, and the steep social changes that followed a few years later, and what we can witness today, can all be traced to the influence of these alien power brokers. The goyim can be molded into “great humanitarians”, aka the generic ivory-tower liberast (Trotskyite in all but name), or into ardent Banderites (who will undoubtedly be dumped when they are no longer needed).

      • yalensis says:

        And for more information on the Zionist-Trotskyite conspiracy to take over the world, please read this scholarly work, loaded with footnotes:

      • Moscow Exile says:

        Viel besser auf deutsch gelesen!

        [Much better read in German!]

        Als glückliche Bestimmung gilt es mir heute, daß das Schicksal mir zum Geburtsort gerade Braunau am Inn zuwies. Liegt doch dieses Städtchen an der Grenze jener zwei deutschen Staaten, deren Wiedervereinigung minde-stens uns Jüngeren als eine mit allen Mitteln durchzu-führende Lebensaufgabe erscheint!

        Deutschösterreich muß wieder zurück zum großen deut-schen Mutterlande, und zwar nicht aus Gründen irgendwel-cher wirtschaftlichen Erwägungen heraus. Nein, nein: Auch wenn diese Vereinigung, wirtschaftlich gedacht, gleichgültig, ja selbst wenn sie schädlich wäre, sie müßte dennoch statt-finden. Gleiches Blut gehört in ein gemeinsames Reich.

        [It has turned out fortunate for me to-day that destiny appointed Braunau-on-the-Inn to be my birthplace. For that little town is situated just on the frontier between those two states, the reunion of which seems, at least to us of the younger generation, a task to which we should devote our lives and in the pursuit of which every possible means should be employed.

        German-Austria must be restored to the great German Motherland. And not, indeed, on any grounds of economic calculation whatsoever. No, no. Even if the union were a matter of economic indifference, and even if it were to be disadvantageous from an economic standpoint, it still ought to take place. People of the same blood should be in the same Reich.]

        When I first read those opening words of Hitler’s dictated two-volume rant over 40 years ago, I realized at once that he was a headbanger.

        It was the double “nein, nein” that got me: sort of like “No, no! A thousand times no, Sir Jasper! You shall never take my maidenhood!”.

        Ulyanov is much more interesting to read. But he was smart. Schikelgrüber was from a long line of Bohemian shitkickers.

        • colliemum says:

          Of course, the written double ‘no’ has to be profoundly mistrusted.
          However, there’s a very famous spoken triple ‘no’ which is still powerful today, and still true.
          So that you don’t have to scratch your heads in puzzlement and search, here it is, with my compliments:

          • Moscow Exile says:

            @ colliemum:

            She was giving one of your fellow countrymen a good talking down, though, wasn’t she?

            Is that, I wonder, an example what Ioffe would call “womanipulation”?


            🙂

            • colliemum says:

              Yep, that was that Welsh Windbag she wiped the floor with, old hypocrite.
              He went on to Brussels as commissioner, his wife went as MEP – they raked it in, their son was employed by the EU and is now the husband of the Danish PM.
              Nepotism, NuLeft style …
              He’s still a windbag, btw.

              • Moscow Exile says:

                Kinnock Jr. was boss of the British Council Petersburg office when the shit hit the fan and they were told to close shop. They weren’t paying their taxes, I’m sure. Every now and again they shut some foreign language school for their breach of regulations as regards terms and conditions of work and for tax evasion.

                British Council row escalates as Russia arrests director

                Russia Briefly Holds British Cultural Official

                • Paul says:

                  Spitting Image was wonderful. Who’s behind the copy of Pravda? And did you notice the cameo by the now-discredited Cyril Smith?

                • Moscow Exile says:

                  The Pravda reader suddenly appears at the end of the sketch and you can only see the top of his hat – a trilby, I think.. I think he must symbolize a Kremlin Stooge on the benches of the Mother of Parliaments. By the time of the sketch I think Kinnock was already getting ready to purge the Parliamentary Labour Party of the Militant Tendency. It might be Terry Fields or Dave Nellist, who were both “Militants” and who were expelled from the Labour Party in the early ’90s, but I should hardly think trotskyite entrists such as they were would have read Pravda.

    • marknesop says:

      I can’t believe that either of those would be considered, if the rumor is accurate. Why not Baroness Gosh Ashton – she’s not doing anything at the present. Or Anders Fogh-Rasmussen? Both seemed to have all the answers when they were speechifying away – surely those were their own plans they were presenting, that they made up themselves?

  9. Moscow Exile says:

    Deutsche Maschinenbauer: Exporte nach Russland brechen ein

    German machine builders: exports to Russia collapsing

    German Economic News | Published: 17.12.14 14:45 PM |

    “German machinery and plant engineering is feeling the consequences of the crisis in Russia: exports have collapsed by about 16 per cent and risks are rising with every hour”, says the Association of Machine Manufacturers.

    The fall in the ruble has exacerbated the crisis of German mechanical engineering companies in Russia. In the first three quarters of this year machine tool exports to the country fell by 16 percent to 4.9 billion euros, said the industry association VDMA on Wednesday.The current crash is significantly exacerbating the situation and making an increase in investment in the near future unlikely.The value of the ruble and dwindling investments have been impacting in the country’s shops since mid-2013.

    “Russia is for German mechanical and plant engineering a very important market and the risks arising from the current situation and in the coming year are now growing hourly”, said Ulrich Ackermann, head of the VDMA export division in Frankfurt, in that with approximately one million employees and having a broad international base, machine engineering is the backbone of the German economy.

    According to present information Russia is reportedly the fifth most important market for German engineering and 4.4 percent of total German machinery exports have gone to Russia in the first 9 months of this year. Last year, Russia was ranked at fourth place in the export market.

    ——————————————————————————————————————————
    To which article there is this comment:

    Endlich hat es die Krise bis nach Deutschland geschafft…Wer wissen will warum, dem sei gesagt: Merkel sei Dank.

    The crisis has hit Germany at last. For those who want to know why, tell them that they have Merkel to thank for it.

    Hände hoch, deutsche Schweinehunde! Merkel kaputt!
    🙂

    • Moscow Exile says:

      And there’s more!

      (As above, from Russian Insider, which apologizes for the Google translation. This and the above translation, however, are by my own dainty hand and sclerotic brain).

      Sanktionen und Rubel-Crash: Russland-Krise erreicht Deutschland

      Sanctions and the Ruble Crash: The crisis in Russia reaches Germany

      German exports to Russia will plummet by 20 percent in the coming year. This is likely to have an impact on jobs, particularly in the automotive industry. Economic researchers are now taking into consideration the ruble crash in making their forecasts for 2015.

      The German Chambers of industry and Commerce (DIHK) are calculating for this year a 20 percent decline in German exports to Russia. German companies have suffered from the “dramatically declining purchasing power” of the Russians, DIHK-Foreign Economy chief Volker Treier told the “Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung” [German newspaper “The New Osnabrück Newspaper”] on Wednesday. This has clouded the outlook for Russia in the coming year and investments have fallen.

      “For a few weeks now, German car factories have already been switched to short-time working or have been laying off employees”, said Treier. The sanctions against Russia have acted as a catalyst towards this development, which had, however, already been forecast to develop. Russian citizens are still increasing their purchases; consumer goods sales are increasing because they are spending their money before it continues to lose its value even more. “This development will, however, be limited in time, and will last until savings are depleted”, he said.

      The proceeds of German companies in Russia are also are sinking , because they are converted into Euros with only half of the value that they brought in a year ago. With the economic stability of Russia in mind, the chambers warned that the country was increasingly consuming its reserves. Foreign exchange would not be in the same quantity as was the flow back into the country previously. Also, in order to finance the budget, recourse to money reserves has been necessary because of the downward slide of oil prices.

      Economists are now saying that the Russian crisis has now made their current forecasts untenable, which is, however, surprising, because a Russian crisis has been predictable since at least the events on the Maidan in Kiev in February. However, none at the Institute have been saying that the sanctions might also have negative effects on Germany.This is not surprising: researchers such as Marcel Fratzscher write as columnists in the Bild newspaper, which follows a strict Merkel-line as regards Russia.

      Now Fratzscher’s DIW has accepted this [possibility of negative effects on the German economy], Reuters reports:

      A severe recession in Russia would, in the view of the DIW Institute, put the brakes on the German economy. If next year the Russian economy shrank by around five per cent, then the economy in this country would grow less than had previously been expected, said the economists of the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW) on Wednesday. Gross domestic product would rise more slowly by around 0.1 or 0.3 percentage points, said DIW expert Ferdinand Fichtner. “But that would cause no massive collapse of the German economy”. Berlin researchers currently expect a 2015 growth of 1.4 to 1.5 percent on this year’s figures: in 2016, they expect an increase of 1.7 percent.

      “However, the risks are enormous”, admitted DIW President Marcel Fratzscher. The reason for this is that in addition to the economic turmoil in Russia, the Euro area recession is, in fact, not yet out of the doldrums. There are hopes, however, for an upturn in the domestic economy in Germany, mainly as a result of it being cranked up by consumer spending. According to the DIW, citizens will benefit from rising wages and also – because of the falling oil prices – low Inflation. “We have had the highest increase in real wages since the reunification of Germany”, said Fichtner.

      Because of the low oil prices, import prices are likely to fall. As a result, the DIW expects an increase in the current account surplus of 7.5 percent in the economy. This will even reach 8.0 percent next year and the year after that. “This is an incredibly strong rise”, Fratzscher said, “So Germany is sure to be on the receiving end of some criticism”. The European Commission classifies long lasting figures of more than six per cent as a threat to financial stability. They would also cause of imbalances in the world economy.

      ———————————————————————————————————————-

      Übersetzer: Moskauer Exil

  10. peter says:

  11. ThatJ says:

    I’m watching this series by RT called Newborn Russia, and there’s this mother-to-be, Lana, she’s 35 years old and her story is a perfect example of why abortion is partly to blame for the less than perfect demographics of Russia.

    Watch the video from 1:10 onwards:

    Her “husband” (partner?) is a married man, with a wife, and a family of his own. It takes a while to sink in what this means, because it took me by surprise. It means the husband is betraying his wife and Lana knows this perfectly well, yet she says she doesn’t care what others think, and that she considers herself lucky to bear his child. Whether the wife knows about the affair is not mentioned, but it’s a strange story nonetheless (“my husband is fathering a child by another woman he likes, that’s fine” doesn’t sound good).

    This is passable, I guess. Shocking was the revelation, not by her, but by the doctor, that she had 3 abortions.

    And I recalled a Russia Insider article that I read weeks ago:

    “We catastrophically lack citizens: teachers, doctors, soldiers. At the same time, the number of abortions made in the country is enormous. The number of abortions made after 1918 can be compared with the total losses of the war (World War II).”

    http://russia-insider.com/en/business_opinion_culture_society/2014/11/09/05-48-31pm/russian_civic_chamber_proposes_ban_state

    With the acceptance of abortion on demand, don’t be surprised to one day find your country aborted out of existence. Rape, danger to mother’s life and serious genetic defects are valid reasons to abort, but abortion on demand is asking for trouble. Not only demographic trouble, but social decay as well, because it encourages lack of personal responsibility and with the propensity of humans to emulate each other, the increasing lack of children can have an avalanche effect on the perception of the importance of parenthood (or lack thereof) by the female population, and males as well.

    The pill is worse than abortion with regards to low birthrate, but tackling the abortion issue would be enough for Russia to raise the birthrate slightly above the population replacement rate of 2.11.

    • yalensis says:

      Dear ThatJ:
      Thank you for your social commentary.
      Every single Russian on this planet is extremely interested in your views on birth control and abortion.

      P.S. – would be interested to know your views on this Russian citizen of African descent, Joachim (Vasily) Crima.

      If hypothetically Joachim and his Armenian wife had decided to have an abortion, would you FOR or AGAINST that process? (assuming it were any of your business, which it is not).
      Would you be AGAINST the abortion, because you oppose abortion?
      Or would you be FOR the abortion, because you oppose racial inter-marriage?

      • apc27 says:

        Come now yalensis, the niche for childish personal taunts had already been well filled with peter, especially with his recent reappearance on this blog.

        Not to mention that this is simply counter-productive. Being naturally inclined to agree with your views on the issue, this kind of response just makes me not want to agree with you on anything. And I do want to be on your side of the argument. So please do not make it more difficult.

        • patient observer says:

          Peter needs to up his game to fill the void left by AP.

          I am somewhat of a New Age kind of guy with the belief that Russia is in the vanguard of new and more humane energies (or ideas if you prefer) that fits comfortably within Orthodox Christianity. Not everyone in this blog holds those beliefs so I tend to keep my beliefs at a low profile. However, those beliefs, substantiated by a lot of events, leaves me to the conclusion that Russia (and Serbia) and like-mined people around the world will prevail in the current struggle. Old energies die hard but die they will.

        • yalensis says:

          Well, I am just trying to dig at internal contradictions in ThatJ’s ideology.
          And I know exactly why he is raising this abortion issue, it’s part and parcel with his racialist views. ThatJ is an American, but for some reason he has gotten it into his head that Russians are the standard bearers of the “chosen white race” that he idealizes.
          The political party that he belongs to, believe that abortion of white fetuses is a crime against “the race”!

        • ThatJ says:

          @yalensis

          The political party that he belongs to, believe that abortion of white fetuses is a crime against “the race”!

          I don’t belong to any party and abortion in America is disproportionately sought after by “minorities” — who are in fact majority among newborns already, a ticking demographic bomb. Indeed, there’s a conspiracy theory among blacks that abortion is targeted against them:

          http://blackgenocide.org/negro.html

          The founder of Planned Parenthood, Margaret Sanger, was an eugenicist:

          As her organization grew, Sanger set up more clinics in the communities of other ‘dysgenic races’—such as Blacks and Hispanics. Sanger turned her attention to ‘Negroes’ in 1929 and opened another clinic in Harlem in 1930. Sanger, ‘in alliance with eugenicists, and through initiatives such as the Negro Project … exploited black stereotypes in order to reduce the fertility of African Americans.’ The all-white staff and the sign identifying the clinic as a ‘research bureau’ raised the suspicions of the black community. They feared that the clinic’s actual goal was to ‘experiment on and sterilize black people’. Their fears were not unfounded: Sanger once addressed the women’s branch of the Klu Klux Klan in Silver Lake, New Jersey, and received a ‘dozen invitations to speak to similar groups’. Flynn claims that she was on good terms with other racist organizations.

          Sanger believed the ‘Negro district’ was the ‘headquarters for the criminal element’ and concluded that, as the title of a book by a member of her board proclaimed, The Rising Tide of Color Against White World Supremacy, was a rise that had to be stemmed. To deal with the problem of resistance among the black population, Sanger recruited black doctors, nurses, ministers and social workers ‘in order to gain black patients’ trust’ in order ‘to limit or even erase the black presence in America’.

          http://freedomoutpost.com/2014/01/belief-evolution-lead-racism/

          • Jen says:

            The fact that Margaret Sanger and other early advocates for abortion on demand and family planning were often believers in segregation of the races is neither here nor there. Plenty of quite distinguished people in the 1920s and 1930s, many of them scientists, were believers in eugenics and race hygiene. Even John Kellogg, the fellow who invented cornflakes, was a member of the American Eugenics Society. Issues and beliefs like eugenics, separation of races, race hygiene and white supremacy were common and discussed openly, or at least more openly than they are now.
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Society_for_Biodemography_and_Social_Biology

            Simply because a society or a movement is founded on sometimes dubious beliefs is no reason to assume the movement today is the same. Groups change over time and their objectives and goals can change as well.

            Abortion as a practice has existed in human cultures for as long as humans themselves have. The methods change and so do women’s reasons for wanting abortions. Societies can also force women to have abortions for various reasons. China currently happens to be notorious in this respect but other societies in the recent past have also forced women to undergo abortions or sterilisation. Sweden used to sterilise women on the grounds of mental instability or disability, and often the sterilisations took place in circumstances that suggest many women were victims of neighbourhood or family snitching because they refused to conform to social norms.

            • patient observer says:

              Carl Bildt was a notable failure of the effort to purge the Swedish genome of mental deficiency. OMG, perhaps its the other way around! They were seeking to purge the genome of creativity and non-conformity as you indicated – nothing less ambitious than to produce a new species better adapted to life in the Western empire – Homo Monotonous or Homo Consumerist.

          • ThatJ says:

            @Jen

            I know that today’s Planned Parenthood doesn’t subscribe to the founder’s views. Indeed, they go into great lengths trying to hide or downplay it.

            Abortions in the past cannot be compared to the magnitude of abortions today in the nations where they are allowed. I suppose there existed some herbs that could help induce an abortion, but how effective were they? I think it’s safe to assume that there was no surgery or pills.

            Women either were successful inducing an abortion somehow, or killed/abandoned their newborns after birth.

            I posted a video and opined what for me seems pretty obvious: on-demand abortion did, and does, much harm to the demographics of Russia.

            I consider both free will and responsibility for one’s action very seriously. The former without the later is anarchy. Hence, I disagree with some sections of the pro-life movement (which I honestly know very little) that “every child is sacred”. I support abortion if a woman is the victim of rape (1), or if her life is under threat (2), because here abortion can be considered a form of self-defense. If the baby in formation is diagnosed with a serious genetic disability (3), I support the abortion for the well-being of the family and the burden that society will be freed from. This sounds kinda harsh, I know.

            If there’s consent, if there’s no risk to the mother’s life, if the baby is healthy — no abortion. This is fair and most importantly, good for society (for Russia, that is). If the child is considered a liability (an excuse that many pro-abortion activists make, they say a child can tamper with the education or career of the mother-to-be), give it up for adoption.

            Having no statistics in hand, but using common sense, I guess that less than 5% (1 in 20) of the abortions in Russia fill one of the 3 criteria above.

            • Jen says:

              While it’s true that Russia does have the highest rate of abortions per woman in the world, there is a possibility that a considerable percentage of these abortions are done on women who come from outside Russia, from countries where abortions aren’t allowed or where birth control or information about contraceptives or family planning is hard to come by. Similarly women who have their abortions done in Moscow, St Petersburg or other major cities in Russia may not necessarily be residents of those cities but come from other areas in the country where birth control information and availability are scarce or unknown. Statistics may not always tell a full picture if the women’s origins aren’t known but hospitals probably don’t collect such information.

            • yalensis says:

              Dear ThatJ:
              Thank you for clarifying your opinions on abortion. If I am understanding you correctly, you are not an unconditional “pro-lifer”, you conditionally would allow abortions in certain cases (life of mother, rape, etc., the usual reasons). Otherwise, If there’s consent, if there’s no risk to the mother’s life, if the baby is healthy — no abortion..

              This seems pretty clear, but I just have one clarifying question:
              Does your position on abortion apply to EVERY human society, or just to Russia? (The nation you have spiritually adopted as your own.)

              The reason I am confused about this is because of the clause you added after the words “no abortion”, i.e., If there’s consent, if there’s no risk to the mother’s life, if the baby is healthy — no abortion. This is fair and most importantly, good for society (for Russia, that is).

              From this, it is clear, that if you were writing abortion legislation for Russia, we know exactly what your opinion is.
              However, if you were writing legislation for, say, Kenya or Mali, would the legislation look exactly the same? (The mom wasn’t raped, therefore she has to give birth, because the healthy demographics of the Mali nation require this child to be born.)

              Going back to my hypothetical question from above:
              If a Russian citizen of sub-Saharan African origin (who is married to, say, an Armenian woman); if this couple (and such couples do exist in Russia, as I have shown) decided they didn’t want the kid, based on purely frivolous reasons, would you oppose the wife getting an abortion, the same as you would if both members of the couple of were “white-skinned” Slavic type Russian citizens?

              Or does your concern for “Russian demographics” have a racial compnent?
              That is what I am trying to get at, and I think you are dodging the question – LOL!

            • Jen says:

              The other thing to consider is how “abortion” is defined in Russia. If women front up to a doctor and say they want the morning-after pill because they threw up after taking the Pill or their partner’s condom broke, and the doctor gives it to them, does the doctor record that as an abortion when calculating costs and tabling them as part of his/her billing schedule? If so then there’s the possibility that the reporting of abortion stats in Russia could be overblown. But we would not know unless we interviewed each and every doctor on what his/her daily schedule involved and how the doctor defined each and every patient consultation, and that could involve breaches of confidentiality.

          • Johan Meyer says:

            The notion that abortion is a genocide against blacks is silliness; they have (New York city) 11% higher (live) birth rates than whites at present, although that will probably drop along with abortions (NY black teen abortions and pregnancies carried to term have dropped about a third in the last few years). It takes a bit of hunting, but you can find it in the NYC data booklets.
            Year versus page number:
            2008 (44)
            2009 (73)
            2010 (86)
            2011 (99)
            2012 (N/A—NYC changed their data reporting format if memory serves)

            Rather, what is happening is the effect of the clean-up of lead paint from 1992, with those born before that date having poor self-control (and those born before the 1980s having terribly limited self-control—fuel lead), leading to the use of abortion as birth control.

  12. yalensis says:

    Further developments on MH-17 story:

    The Ukrainian journalist who interviewed the BUK-312 soldier has had to flee the country, after posting such an inconvenient truth.

    As background material, here is English translation of interview with the BUK-312 soldier.

  13. yalensis says:

    In animal news:

    This heartwarming story from Taiwan shows a tortoise saving the life of another tortoise, by flipping him over.
    We (=human beings) should learn a lesson from these noble creatures.

  14. yalensis says:

    And another animal story, this time involving a not-so-noble feline rather than a noble reptile.
    Hockey club Admiral claims their new mascot is the same cat who was caught stealing shellfish and crustaceans at a swank airport delicatessan.
    They claim they rehabilitated the cat and turned it into a hockey fan.

    This story shows the cat taking a shower and being groomed for its new role as mascot of the club.
    However, some skeptics on the internet have pointed out, that the fish-store cat was orange-calico, and this other cat speckled cat is clearly an imposter.

  15. et Al says:

    Ari Rusila via euracctiv blogs: Russia’s Strategic Shift To East Continues: Now India
    http://arirusila.blogactiv.eu/2014/12/18/russias-strategic-shift-to-east-continues-now-india
    Russia and India made 20 deals in 24 hours (on 11th Dec. 2014) given $100 billion-worth boost to their economies. The economic burden of Western sanctions has pushed Russia to the east in search of business opportunities. During President Vladimir Putin’s visit to India in the presence of he and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi 20 pacts were signed and the two sides ended with US$100 billion commercial contracts. (Source RT )

    Rich pickings by both sides included deals worth $40 billion in nuclear energy, $50 billion in crude oil and gas and $10 billion in a host of other sectors, including defense, fertilizers, space, and diamonds. Moscow is seeking greater investment from Indian state-run companies in Russian oil and gas projects, including ones being explored in the Arctic…

    …So in near future BRICS will be trading in their own currencies, including a globally convertible yuan, further away from the US dollar and the petrodollar. All these actions are strengthening financial stability of BRICS – a some kind of safety net precaution, an extra line of defense…

    Putin won’t be singing this:

    • Jen says:

      Trivial info about The Police: Stewart Copeland’s dad was one of the founders of the CIA. Miles Copeland had a hand in helping to overthrow the Iranian PM Mohammed Mossadegh in 1953 for nationalising the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (one of the forerunners of BP Shell) in 1951. Copeland was stationed in the Middle East for 20 years with his family and youngest son Stewart was probably inspired by all the Arab music he heard in Beirut (where he attended the international school for US expat children) to develop his particular drumming techniques.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miles_Copeland,_Jr.

  16. dany8538 says:

    Regarding the SInking Ruble.
    http://vineyardsaker.blogspot.com/2014/12/crouching-sanctions-hidden-revenues.html
    Very sound economic analysis. The Russian State as a whole will not be undone by the ruble’s decline. The most important point out of this is the fact that Russia’s receivables are in dollars so the rubles decline has no effect on their earning from energy sales. Regular people will be affected though with regards to vacations to western countries and ,more importantly, buying western products.

  17. Warren says:

    Russia not fit to be part of international financial system – Cameron

    The combined effect produced by Western sanctions and low oil prices proves that there’s no place for Russia in the international financial system, believes British prime minister David Cameron, urging for more pressure on Moscow.

    “We should stand up very firmly against the Russian aggression that’s taking place,” Cameron said before the Parliament on Wednesday.

    The PM reminded that it’s the UK, which “led the way in Europe in making sure there were sanctions” imposed against Russia over its ‘annexation’ of Crimea in March and Moscow’s alleged involvement in the Ukrainian crisis.

    “And what the combination of the lower oil price and the sanctions are showing that I think it isn’t possible for Russia to be part of the international financial system, but try and opt out of the rules-based international legal system,” Cameron said.

    “We should keep up the pressure,” the head of the British government added, agreeing that “in this respect the interests of the United Kingdom and democracy do go together.”

    The EU is expected to announce a new round of sanctions against Russia on Thursday, during the European Council’s meeting in Brussels. According to Reuters, the restrictive measures will forbid EU firms from investing in the Crimea and prohibit the trade of European oil and gas exploration technologies from the EU to the region.

    READ MORE: Obama already signed new ‘Russia sanctions bill’ – State Department

    Meanwhile US President Barack Obama has already signed a legislation authorizing new sanctions on Moscow, targeting weapons companies and investors in Russian high-tech oil projects. The sanctions, however, will not be effective immediately since Obama has been hesitant to introduce any new restriction without prior “synchronization” with European partners.

    http://rt.com/uk/215379-cameron-russia-sanctions-uk/

      • colliemum says:

        Yes, well – over here we’re not that fussed by that old sex scandal, scandalous as it is, because the perps are probably all dead by now.
        What we are very angry about are the sex scandals which are under-reported, under-investigated and under-prosecuted and which are still ongoing.
        Just google ‘Rotherham child abuse scandal’.
        That is what is our priority, especially since Rotherham is not the only place this happened and is still happening.

        • Jen says:

          The Channel Islands (Jersey in particular) are a hotbed of child sex rings, child abuse (at Haut de la Garenne which used to be run as foster home for children) and a major haven for tax evasion and money laundering. Highly likely that if one of these scandals were fully investigated and the perpetrators sent to jail, the work for the rest would be half-done and all that would be needed would be the charges and associated trials and paperwork to keep the prisoners in jail.

    • marknesop says:

      Yes, the Bible of U.S. State Department Diplomacy and Talking Points says that “Russian Aggression” must be mentioned in every official communique, so that all who hear it will know that aggression by Russia is taking place although they cannot actually see it. That way they will believe that aggression by Russia is responsible for the sanctions against it and the deliberate attempt to crash its economy in open defiance of WTO regulations, of which it and its tormetors are all members. Instead of the reality that the west is going to give it a go to wipe Russia off the board for good and all, like. Which will be unsuccessful, and which will alter global economic dynamics for future ages.

      Cameron is at least as shitty a PM as Obama is a President, and a zealot loon into the bargain. I hope Russia presses ahead with its plans to introduce a replacement for SWIFT, and decouples itself from the western economies to the very greatest extent it is possible. Once that’s done, I will switch my investments from western institutions to the new system if they will be accepted.

      • kirill says:

        Got to love how this git treats the west as the whole world. NATO accounts for 11% of the population of the planet. Things are changing and the rest of the world is moving on. Some snotty prat with his wannabe imperialist yapping just looks ridiculous.

      • colliemum says:

        He is indeed, is Call-Me-Dave! Universally despised throughout the country. worse – he and the Opposition leader are two peas from the same pod, their policies are no different from each other, only the slogans differ.

    • Jen says:

      “We should keep up the pressure,” the head of the British government added, agreeing that “in this respect the interests of the United Kingdom and democracy do go together.”

      I’d like to see Call-Me-Dave tell oil industry workers that the interests of the United Kingdom and democracy depend on their being thrown out of work.
      http://www.bbc.com/news/business-30525539

      • colliemum says:

        Iron-cast-Dave can pull that one off, no probs!
        Never forget that all he is is a great PR man and ‘performer’, with no substance and no spine.
        He got elected as leader of the Tory party on the basis of a well-crafted smooth speech, which he performed, literally, having learned it by heart.
        The true conservative David Davis who stood against him had no chance. A great pity, but then, what did we expect from a party which knifed in the back both Enoch Powell and Margaret Thatcher!

        Yes, I know that many of you dislike Mrs Thatcher, and that even more of you will only know about Enoch Powell the lies told about him by the left. Check him out – and marvel at the power of unthinkingly repeated propaganda …

  18. ThatJ says:

    What America Does Not Understand About Russia & Oil

    As hard as it is to believe – given the strength of the “Russia-is-doomed” meme – Crude oil prices for Russia (in Rubles) are unchanged since February… This is important as all costs are Ruble denominated while revenues are USD denominated, leaving Russian oil companies’ margins insulated despite the dollar decline in price. In addition, the Russian government is easing the export taxes which further improve the profitability of Russian oil. So as US Shale Oil sector is destroyed by its USD costs, it appears Putin’s core energy industry is somewhat insulated… and America’s late-80s “defeat The Sovet Union” playbook is failing.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-12-15/what-america-does-not-understand-about-russia-oil

    Obama To Sign Off On Lethal US Aid To Ukraine By End Of Week, Russian Response To Follow

    As we reported over the weekend, in the tumult surrounding Citigroup’s annexation of Congress with the passage of the theatrically dramatic $303 trillion derivative quid-pro-$1.1 trillion spending quo, what most missed is that Congress also unanimously passed the The Ukraine Freedom Support Act of 2014, which not only expands Russian sanctions (read the details here) but far more impotantly, provides “lethal assistance to Ukraine’s military.” And as we explained, passage of this law is just the pretext some Russian legislators needed to push for a full-blown, preemptive military incursion in east-Ukraine.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-12-16/obama-sign-lethal-us-aid-ukraine-end-week-russian-response-follow

    Why Russia And China Are Buying Gold, According To An Economics Professor

    We already know that to at least one, sadly all too prominent, career economist gold is held by central banks simply due to “tradition.” Here is how another professor of economics perceives the value of gold to central banks.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-12-15/why-russia-and-china-are-buying-gold-according-economics-professor

    A Pessimist’s Guide To The World In 2015

    Skirmishes in the South China Sea lead to full-scale naval confrontation. Israel bombs Iran, setting off an escalation of violence across the Middle East. Nigeria crumbles as oil prices fall and radicals gain strength. Bloomberg News asked foreign policy analysts, military experts, economists and investors to identify the possible worst-case scenarios, based on current global conflicts, that concern them most heading into 2015.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-12-17/pessimists-guide-world-2015

    “It’s A Huge Crisis” – The UK Oil Industry Is “Close To Collapse”

    It seems like only yesterday when back on October 11, we first explained – and previewed – the collapse of oil courtesy of the secret deal between the US and Saudi Arabia. However, it seems like only this morning when we subsequently wrote that “If The Oil Plunge Continues, “Now May Be A Time To Panic” For US Shale Companies.” In retrospect, it was, and with the price of crude far below mid-October levels, the pain for both Russia and shale is now quite unbearable (even as Saudi Arabia explained earlier today that the reason for collapsing oil has nothing to do with supply and everything to do with plunging demand, and after seeing this chart we believe it).

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-12-18/its-huge-crisis-uk-oil-industry-close-collapse-people-are-being-laid

  19. ThatJ says:

    World Awaits Russian Response As Obama Makes “Lethal Aid” To Ukraine Legal

    As we explained previously, quietly hidden within the humanitarian-sounding “The Ukraine Freedom Support Act of 2014”, under the premise of enabling further sanctions on Russia, is the provision of “lethal aid” to Ukraine. Today, President Obama signed it into law…

    •OBAMA SIGNED RUSSIAN SANCTIONS BILL TODAY, but
    •OBAMA SAYS HE DOESN’T PLAN TO IMPOSE SANCTIONS UNDER NEW LAW

    Because he knows full well that is not the important part. The “lethal-aid” aspect is a direct provocation to Russia.. and he knows exactly how Putin will respond. …

    … As we reported over the weekend, in the tumult surrounding Citigroup’s annexation of Congress with the passage of the theatrically dramatic $303 trillion derivative quid-pro-$1.1 trillion spending quo, what most missed is that Congress also unanimously passed the The Ukraine Freedom Support Act of 2014, which not only expands Russian sanctions (read the details here) but far more impotantly, provides “lethal assistance to Ukraine’s military.” And as we explained, passage of this law is just the pretext some Russian legislators needed to push for a full-blown, preemptive military incursion in east-Ukraine.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-12-18/world-awaits-russian-response-obama-makes-lethal-aid-ukraine-legal

    Is Russia Being Driven Into the Arms of China?

    The “isolation of Russia” idea is one which has been receiving a lot of traction of late. Russia’s recent economic woes have sometimes been covered with barely contained glee despite the hardships that average Russians may have to endure if the rouble continues to collapse … not to mention the inevitable geopolitical backlash.

    Russia has become isolated from its western neighbours on account of the putsch in Ukraine which led to the predominantly ethnically Russian Crimea seceding from Kiev through a democratic process.

    European governments slavishly adhere to U.S. imposed sanctions. So from a western elite point of view, Russia is indeed isolated.

    Whether antagonising Russia is damaging to Russia is a moot point. Certainly in Russia’s current straits the bankrupt west is in no position to help. European farmers are suffering from a loss of export markets while Europe is still dependent on Russian natural gas.

    So how “isolated” is Russia in reality?

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-12-18/russia-being-driven-arms-china-0

    Putin Paints a Besieged Russia, Says U.S. Wants to ‘Rip Out Its Teeth and Claws’

    …“[H]e believes that the economy is capable of withstanding the shock,” said Alexei Makarkin, deputy director of the Moscow-based Center for Political Technologies. “Putin’s psychology is very simple. From his point of view Russia has made concessions for years and to no effect.”

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-12-18/putin-says-central-bank-shouldn-t-use-reserves-to-protect-ruble.html

    Putin signals he will not back down over Ukraine

    Russia’s president signals he will not back down over the Ukraine crisis and insists Russian economy will recover at annual press conference

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/vladimir-putin/11301484/Putin-signals-he-will-not-back-down-over-Ukraine.html

    Anti-Islam Rally Grows as Immigrant Backlash Hits Europe

    …[T]hree firebombing attempts have taken place in Berlin since August on the Reichstag which houses parliament, a parliament office building and the headquarters of Merkel’s CDU, according to German news agency DPA. In all three attacks, which didn’t cause any damage, far-right propaganda or a letter claiming responsibility was left at the scene.

    Three buildings due to be used as housing for asylum seekers were also burned on Dec. 11 in the Bavarian town of Vorra, state Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann said in a Bayern2 radio interview. The attacks “are very clearly arson and the swastikas daubed on the walls lead to the suspicion that the culprits were right-wing extremists,” he said.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-12-15/anti-islam-rally-grows-as-immigrant-backlash-hits-europe.html

    • marknesop says:

      “Russia’s president signals he will not back down over the Ukraine crisis and insists Russian economy will recover at annual press conference.”

      Is it too much to ask that those who report the news in the seat of the English language be able to speak and write it properly? This implies Putin expects the Russian economy to recover while the annual press conference is underway, which would be a stretch even for a mad crazy autocratic dictator. The headline should have been written “At annual press conference, Russia’s president signals he will not back down over the Ukraine crisis and insists Russian economy will recover.”

      When it falls to the Colonials, wif snot under us noses and straw in wor hair, to direct the proper construct of sentences in English to the English, how have the mighty fallen?

      • colliemum says:

        Ah – ‘the mighty’ have been falling for a good fifty years now, ever since grammar and actual learning, never mind reading books, became a dirty word.

  20. Moscow Exile says:

    The public prosecutor has asked that Navalny be sent down for10 years and his brother for 8.

    Just seen this on a Russian blog:

    The closing session in the “Yves Rocher” case

    Today, December 19, in the Zamoskvoretsky court was held a regular session in the “Yves Rocher” case. Allow me to recap that the accused are Aleksei and Oleg Navalny. I was able to personally observe what was taking place during the trial. A large number of people had gathered to listen and the court session was attended by Navalny’s relatives – his wife and mother.

    According to rumours, his wife had been seen at the British Embassy near to the Visa Department. Those who failed to get into the courtroom because of lack of space watched a the live broadcast, organized on the second floor of the courthouse.

    In the side rooms discusssions were taking place, one of them being about the recent purchase of a London property by former Duma Deputy Gudkov. Some have linked Yulia Navalny’s visit to the British Embassy with Gudkov’s new apartments: “Hell have bought her a flat”.

    For more, see: http://angelutik.livejournal.com/14166.html

    • yalensis says:

      In that courtroom photo, Navalny is employing the classic defense gambit known as the “Kremlin Stooges Eye Poke Block”.

      • marknesop says:

        I have seen zero western interest in this trial. Where are Luke Harding and Shaun Walker? Don’t they care that this is a totally politically-motivated trial to try and kick Navalny’s feet out from under him before he gets too strong? Where’s Ben Cardin? Isn’t it time for a “Justice for Alexei Navalny Act”? you could say everyone in Russia who is not covered by the “Justice for Sergey Magnitsky Act” falls under the Navalny Act. I know! You could re-institute Jackson-Vanik!!

        Or maybe the evidence against him is too irrefutable to garland up as a political prisoner’s innocent business dealings. Dear me; perhaps he’s just a crook after all.

        • Moscow Exile says:

          If it is true that the “statuesque” Mrs. Navalnaya (Was it Ioffe who kept on adding that tag to Navalny’s spouse? She’s not at all “statuesque” – not in my books, anyway.) had been seen near the visa department of the British Embassy, then something very well might be afoot.

          For a very long time now the issuing and processing of British visas has been outsourced here and the organization that does this work is situated far from the embassy. Those who do go to the visa section of the embassy do so only after having been summoned there as “special cases of interest”, as it were.

          They’ve done this to Mrs. Exile a couple of times, presumably because they have just wanted to check out if she is what she says she is, namely a British national’s wife, who for some unfathomable reason chooses to live in the Empire of Evil, albeit that she had the opportunity of ridding herself of the shackles of the Mafia State some 17 years ago when she married a Briton loyal and true.

  21. ThatJ says:

    Is that not the height of stupidity and self-delusion?

    Listening to Obama’s speech about Cuba I was stunned by the following statements:

    After all, these 50 years have shown that isolation has not worked. It’s time for a new approach. (…) I do not believe we can keep doing the same thing for over five decades and expect a different result. Moreover, it does not serve America’s interests, or the Cuban people, to try to push Cuba toward collapse. Even if that worked -– and it hasn’t for 50 years –- we know from hard-earned experience that countries are more likely to enjoy lasting transformation if their people are not subjected to chaos.

    You get that? Obama admits that 50 years of sanctions and attempts to isolate a small island right off the coast of Florida has not worked. And then he announces that he will impose more sanctions on Russia, the biggest country on the planet, and that he will isolate Russia, even though Russia now has full access to the biggest economy on the planet?!

    Is that not the height of stupidity and self-delusion?

    http://vineyardsaker.blogspot.com/2014/12/is-that-not-hight-of-stupidity-and-self.html

    • marknesop says:

      ..we know from hard-earned experience that countries are more likely to enjoy lasting transformation if their people are not subjected to chaos.

      But we learned that after we already promised to isolate Russia, and gosh darn it, how are people supposed to trust and respect America if it doesn’t keep its word?

  22. et Al says:

    O-Bomber actually running behind the EU for once. It looks like he’s finally reading the memos from Brussels.:

    Al Beeb (Russia Haram!): Ukraine crisis: Obama orders ban on Crimea trade
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-30558502
    US President Barack Obama has ordered a ban on the export of goods, technology and services to Crimea.

    The executive order also imposes new sanctions on certain Russian and Ukrainian individuals and companies….

    …Mr Obama said his latest decision was to show that the US would not accept Russia’s annexation…

    …Mr Obama said in a statement: “The executive order is intended to provide clarity to US corporations doing business in the region and reaffirm that the United States will not accept Russia’s occupation and attempted annexation of Crimea.”

    In addition to the goods, technology and services ban, US individuals or companies cannot now buy any real estate or businesses in Crimea or fund Crimean firms.

    • marknesop says:

      Because lasting transformation does not occur where the people are subjected to chaos. We learned that. Couldn’t remember it for five fucking minutes, but we learned it.

      Basically, Obama cannot remember, or does not believe, anything that comes out of his own mouth. I never thought I’d say it, but I preferred Bush. He was a villain, but at least he never pretended to be anything else. Well, all right, he pretended to be something else pretty much all the time, but he was so transparently bad at it that even a child could see he was a villain. Obama is good at it, because it looks more and more like his whole life has been one big act.

      • et Al says:

        I was just reading comments by the great unwashed about Sony pulling the assassinating Kim Jong Un ‘Comedy’ The interview. Apparently Sony and the US shouldn’t be bullied or threatened into doing something. Even the big US politicians think this, but bullying and threatening a whole country of 145 million Russians is OK because that is completely different.

        What I think the comments over the Sony story tell us is that it is not just the US President that thinks the US is exceptional, but also the Glitterati and the Humanitarians. It’s pretty widespread. How dare anyone not accept all the shit the United States of America wishes to pour out?. So you see, all those clever, intelligent and beautiful people do actually see the world in black and white terms. They’re basically all Ronald Regans, but with outward pretensions of political sophistication.

        BTW, nobody except the ‘FBI’ says North Korea is behind it. Could be, could also not be. Quite a few IT security supremos have been in the media and said the same. They point out that it was the American Pork Pie News Networks (APPNN) that first made the WAG (Wild Assed Guess) that it was about The Interview because North Korea had complained a few months back about American black propaganda against them and that they wouldn’t stand for it, but is was only after this came out in the APPN that the hacker group behind this attack mentioned the film. If I wanted to cover my tracks…… Well, wouldn’t you?

      • Moscow Exile says:

        …it looks more and more like his whole life has been one big act.

        Including his pretense of his being born a US citizen?

        • yalensis says:

          That “citizenship” thing is actually a red herring. It was a desperate attempt on the part of Obama’s opponents to get his 3-point shot disqualified by the referee, after the fact. But it doesn’t work.
          (Why do I know this? Because I did some research on this at the time. I didn’t want Obama to succeed in taking office, either, and I am naturally anti-American, so I was on the watch for some juicy scandal, but it turns out the “birthers” were just barking up the wrong tree.)

          For example, even if everything they claimed was true, and Obama was actually born in Kenya (instead of Hawaii), it still wouldn’t matter, from the legal, constitutional point of view.
          Obama’s mother was a U.S. citizen, therefore, according to American constitutional scholars, Obama himself is “natural born” citizen, no matter where his actual physical birthplace.
          This is a disputed point, but the fact is, other Americans presidents, and several candidates for president, have been physically born outside the boundaries of the U.S.
          For example, in Panama Canal zone, and even in Canada.
          Hence, Obama didn’t even have to bother forging a birth certificate, if that is what he did. All he had to do was submit DNA proving that he was the son of his mother, and then also submit proof of her citizenship.

          • Southern Cross says:

            The whole business was started by a Clintonite named Philip Berg.

            I seem to recall his argument being that under the interpretation prevailing at the time of Obama’s birth, birthright citizenship would attach to a foreign-born child only if both parents were American citizens.

            • Moscow Exile says:

              Obama is British!

              His father was born a British colonial subject of the British Empire.

              Obama is King George III’s revenge on the descendants of British North American colonial traitors to the British crown.

              • Southern Cross says:

                Funny you should say that – one of the early ‘Birthers’, roughly contemporaneous with Berg , was arguing exactly that.

        • marknesop says:

          Oh, I’m pretty sure he is American-born, I never bought into that “born-in-Kenya” meme. His birth certificate appears genuine, it would have been pretty hard to fake the microfiche of his birth announcement in the Honolulu paper, and if there were any chance at all the Republicans could quash his candidacy based on his not being an American citizen they would never have let it go if they had any real evidence. The thing is, the same Republicans were already talking about making it possible for non-citizens to occupy high public office ‘way back when they got Ah-nold installed as Governor in California. They’re just very selective, and ready to compromise their “principles” at the drop of a hat if it works to their political, personal or financial advantage. There’s no real honour left in politics, at least not in western politics, and arrangements among thieves are common.

          Don’t get me wrong; I honestly hoped for a rebirth and resurgence of “American values” under Obama – that the USA would turn away from the path of international meddling and get its own house in order. I hoped that he would achieve all the things he promised in his soaring speeches, and did not and do not want ordinary Americans outside the political class to suffer for the machinations and manipulations of the political class and their corporate paramours. That’s just one of those unfortunate consequences, and Obama surprised me by being an even bigger liar and charlatan than his precedents. If it’s any comfort, Americans, Canada is no better, and Harper knows how to read. He just chooses to read and subscribe to propaganda, and his people get tarred with the brush of his cupidity, as you do.

          • Moscow Exile says:

            He wasn’t born in Kenya, but his father was. And his father was not a US citizen when his Barak Husein was born.

            • Moscow Exile says:

              I mean, my children were born in Russia and are British citizens because I was born in Britain of British subjects, but I wasn’t in the UK when my sprogs were born: in fact, I had already been a resident of Mordor for 7 years before Vladimir Denisovich entered this vale of tears and this hell-hole within it.

              • yalensis says:

                But American law is different from Russian law in this respect. It regards something in the “American” soil as magical and conferring of citizenship. In other words, even if neither of your parents are citizens, you are still a citizen if you were physically born in a State. This is why they have so-called “anchor-babies” – LOL! (To my knowledge, no other nations have this type of citizenship law.)

                On the other hand, you would still be a citizen if you were born on foreign soil, but the child of an American mother.

                Although southerncross raises an interesting point, that Obama’s father was NOT an American citizen, and, according to some Constitutional scholars, BOTH biological parents have to be citizens, in order for citizenship to automatically accrue to somebody physically born outside of boundaries.

                Again, this is interesting point that I didn’t know about. Hence, if Obama truly HAD been born in Kenya, then I imagine the litigation could have gone on for years as to whether or not he was an actual citizen. He, having a citizen mom and non-citizen pa.

                In conclusion, this is why we have laywers.

                • Moscow Exile says:

                  If I became a Russian citizen, and it wouldn’t be that much trouble for me to do so, I could, theoretically, become the Russian president. According to the Constitution of the Russian Federation, the conditions for becoming president are that one has to be a Russian citizen and no younger than 30 years of age.

                  I remember one of Bob Hope’s gags that he made in front of HRH Queen Elizabeth when he performed at a Royal Command Variety Performance in London was that he chose to emigrate to the USA when he found out he could never get the top job in England. (His family emigrated from the UK when he was 5.)

                  That tickled me, but I remember thinking at the time that he could have said the same about the USA as regards the impossibility of his ever getting the top job there, namely becoming president of the USA.

                • cartman says:

                  With the passage of FATCA, a lot of people (largely Canadians) are getting hit with demands for back taxes because they were born on US soil. Many were unaware of their US citizenship.

            • Jen says:

              One theory which a number of conspiracy theorists have seized on is that Barack Obama Senior isn’t even the father of the US President. The father is supposed to be the journalist / poet / trade unionist Frank Marshall Davis instead.

              Davis was known to be a friend of the president’s grandfather.

              Photo of Barack Obama Senior for comparison with Davis if anyone is interested in comparing the two:

  23. yalensis says:

    Statements made by Foreign Minister of Serbia, Ivica Dačić:

    TRANSLATION
    Minister of Foreign Affairs of Serbia, Ivica Dačić, declared that Belgrade, taking into account the situation in Ukraine, is dissatisfied with the sole conduit for gas going through that country, and hopes for an alternative route.

    He declared, that Belgrade is disillusioned by the situation with South Stream, since Serbia really needs that project.
    Dačić also declared, that Moscow never forced Belgrade to choose between Russia and Europe, remarking, however, that (the call to make such a choice) frequently is heard from the other side.
    Prior to this, Dačić expressed the opinion, that Moscow and Belgrade in the near future MUST discuss issues of energy situation, including the situation around South Stream.
    Recall, that on 1 December Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the closure of the South Stream project. Putin also recommended to Bulgaria, that they demand compensation from European Union, since they (Bulgaria) would be deprived of an annual revenue of 400 million Euros simply for transit of gas through their country.
    In Serbia, the news about the closure of the project was taken with regret. For example, Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić told Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, in a telephone conversation, that the closing down of South Stream would harm Serbia, as well as Russia and the EU.

    • katkan says:

      Upon returning home from Turkey, Putin rang Serbia and Hungary (the two that had supported South Stream) and spoke to them about it.
      “Putin, Hungary’s Viktor Orban and Serbia’s Tomislav Nikolic also discussed bilateral matters, a statement from the Kremlin said, without disclosing any further details.” (from a Hungarian site).

      Thing is, Putin rang them. And had been speaking with both just a few days before. They don’t sound desperate about it, like Bulgaria does. I’m just hoping no “colour” turns up in Serbia.

      • patient observer says:

        Serbia was the most stunning success of the color revolutions given Serbia’s multi-century resistance to Empires of every sort. It did take over ten years of sanctions, dirty tricks, the Vatican, a hate campaign over rivaled by what we now see with Russia and an all-out NATO bombing to do the trick. Hopefully the color will soon be fading as people regain their wits and their spirit.

      • marknesop says:

        I agree that Bulgaria should be punished, because Borisov was strutting for the crowd and happy to accept the plaudits of Brussels for stopping South Stream dead, back when they thought Putin’s only option would be to give in and let the EU regulate the pipeline so that they could have their cake and eat it, too, with a guaranteed supply of Russian gas but 50% capability reserved for competitors so that they could yank Putin up short any time they felt he was in need of correction. Where the additional 50% was to come from, they didn’t say. Nonetheless, Bulgaria swaggered about like a rock star while it figured it was simultaneously making Putin furious and Brussels happy. Let them get nothing, and may it be an object lesson to them. Unless, of course, the EU wishes to flood them with cash and consolation prizes for trying. Ha, ha.

    • katkan says:

      “Meanwhile, Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov said on Friday that Sofia will issue all permissions needed for starting the construction of South Stream to fend off accusations of derailing the project.
      If Gazprom terminated the project without taking into account the permissions issued by Bulgaria, it would be its fault, not Bulgaria’s, Borisov added ”

      http://www.novinite.com/articles/165540/Russia+Asks+Bulgaria+to+Issue+South+Stream+Construction+Permits#sthash.m84Ebi3D.dpuf

      Same story also claims Gazprom has asked them to issue the permits. So far have not found a Russian source for that.

      Apparently EU has decided Bulgaria has to issue permits and continue with preparatory work, just to avoid maybe being sued by Gazprom. So, are they being conned to just lose more money on it? Buried in the story is that EU was also having a go at Bulgaria for trying to favour local and Russian companies in letting contracts for the pipeline. Sounds like interests that were missing out got upset….
      http://sofiaglobe.com/2014/12/19/bulgaria-will-continue-preparatory-work-on-south-stream-pm/

      • kirill says:

        Pathetic ass covering. They could have issued the permits months ago. This is transparent BS since issuing the permits now has no meaning and no consequences for the quislings in Sofia.

      • marknesop says:

        Don’t fall for it, Russia. And Bulgaria can eat dirt – what a stupid rationale, we threw stumbling-blocks under the project as directed by Brussels until Russia canceled it, and then we realized that canceling it would be a disaster so now we say it can go ahead and if Russia doesn’t do it, it will be their fault! Obviously the rest of the world is not as stupid as Bulgaria’s leadership is, and is not likely to fall for that simple bait-and-switch. Bulgaria screwed it up, and they did it at the prompting and urging of interfering, conniving Brussels, and they both should share the total responsibility for the cancellation of the project. Hopefully Russia will do something concrete in the near future, such as retrieving all the pipes and storing them in some central location, so that both Bulgaria and Brussels know the deal is off. I cannot believe Russia would enter into partnership again with such perfidious states, and especially if Russia has already signed a deal with Turkey. I’m sure Erdogan is well aware of his sudden strategic importance, and would not be willing to bow out in favour of a resurgent South Stream. Let Europe be cold for a winter or two, it will teach them some manners.

        • Moscow Exile says:

          Seems to be a characteristic of Bulgarian governments to choose the wrong side: Bulgaria allied itself with the central Powers in WWI so as to regain lost territories that were the result of it being on the losing side in the Balkan Wars at the beginning of the last century, then it got bamboozled into join the Axis in WWII, when it tried to act as a “passive ally”. Bulgaria then declared war on Germany in 1944. – no doubt because Ivan was rapidly approaching and there was going to be hell to pay if it didn’t change sides.

        • katkan says:

          There is no contract with Turkey. It is only a Memorandum of Understanding. Not even a Heads of Agreement. Lot of details to be ironed out yet.

          And Russia DOES need somewhere for the gas to go after the Greece/Turkey hub. And wants some control over it for suitability and quality etc and is in a bit of a hurry to get rid of Ukraine. Or maybe not. Hard to tell day to day what is where, and this will prevail for a few months yet. EU is used to dancing the piper’s tune…but will US be able to pay pipers in 2 months? 4? 6?

    • ThatJ says:

      19.12.2014 Ukrainian crisis news

      1) Ukraine’s Right Sector militants detained in Lugansk republic
      2) Ukrainian police scattered the rally of adherents of Novorossiya in Kharkov
      3) Russia confirms readiness to develop security cooperation with Serbia
      4) EU asks Russia to go ahead with South Stream

  24. Moscow Exile says:

    What awfully nice persons!

    Two gangmasters jailed for exploiting workers

    Their behaviour is probably the result of years of living under the Soviet yoke – well, Russian yoke really – for how else can one explain it; likewise the servile nature of those whom they cruelly exploited and whose presence is enriching British society.

    • katkan says:

      Migrants, legal or otherwise, are always exploited by their own countrymen. The newcomers don’t know the new language and have to trust others to interpret for them. Then they get trapped, and don’t know the local laws….and still don’t know the language to be able to explain their plight. In some cases they may have distrust of authorities or police, from their home country.

      Of course it does say something for the UK that the got away with it for 4 years, Did they seriously think making gangmasters get a licence was going to stop unlicensed ones? and that newcomers would know to only work for a licensed one?

      Must be Russia’s fault. They should have had them taught English while they were still in charge.

      • Jen says:

        The incident makes a case for the UK government to provide the appropriate services to help migrants learn English, to help them get jobs at their level of technical and linguistic competence and to provide legal advice and interpreting services. Of course with Call-Me-Dave and his Oxbridge pals in charge, all those services probably got shaft … I mean, privatised and then run down by their new owners and operators.

        • colliemum says:

          That’s more smoke and mirrors, sadly.
          The fact is that many, if not most, jobs are advertised through the EU in Eu countries, but not here in the UK. Thus there are increasing stories of small and not-so-small enterprises where all the workers speak e.g. Polish, but not English, so that English workers have no chance of getting on, if they ever even get a job there.
          Other ‘enterprises’ are also firmly in the hands of immigrant groups, e.g. cabs in various localities. Thanks to satnav they don’t even have to know their way around the towns and cities. And I’ll not get into what these groups of taxi drivers are using the system, for – not on a Sunday morning, it makes me too angry. All I’ll say is “Rotherham” – which you may google …

          Anyway, of course, we all know those EU immigrants, even without speaking English, do all the jobs the Brits are too lazy to do, because that’s what the MSM tell us, and they’re always right, aren’t they!

          • Jen says:

            That may be partly because of visa-free regulations across the EU which companies might take advantage of to import workers who they know won’t be able to understand the laws of the countries in which they have to work and who can be exploited mercilessly. Not living in the EU though, I’m not qualified to comment further.

            Yes I did hear of that Rotherham child sex-trafficking ring.

            • colliemum says:

              Jobs here in the UK are advertised across the EU – some even without being advertised here. And indeed companies are taking advantage, as do the westminster ‘elite’ who get cheap cleaners, cheap nannies, cheap everything.
              What happens is wage compression, i.e. the old demand-and-supply thingie where more workers competing for jobs means lower wages. Now our generous governments have set up schemes where those low wages are supplemented by tax credits, housing benefits and child benefits. All very humane and generous, and all paid for from our taxes. It is why people come here in their droves, with the vast majority getting these benefits who haven’t contributed a penny. Low, minimal wages means they don’t pay tax …
              One cannot have unlimited immigration while at the same time have universal benefits, regardless of contribution for all and sundry.

              But it’s not just the EU citizens who benefit. There are work gangs run by Chinese gang masters. A few years ago such poor people died when the tide came in at Morecambe Bay where they were digging up cockles for those gang masters. The government is totally useless, they even ‘lost’ about a quarter million files of asylum applicants, which were ‘found’ recently in old staircases at the Home Office.
              So nobody in government is really fussed about all this, they only spew nice phrases because the GE is in May and they want our votes. We know they’ll do nothing once they’re back in (not if we can help it!) because they did nothing in the four-and-a-half years they’ve been in government thus far.
              As for Rotherham – it’s the tip of an iceberg, only the people who know about the same thing happening in other towns and cities are still too scared to come forward and speak out. After all, ‘offending’ the religion of the permanently offended may lose them their jobs, and ruining a few under-age children is neither here nor there, is it, when it comes to ‘support’ the hallowed ‘community cohesion’ …

              • Southern Cross says:

                ‘ruining a few under-age children’

                Doesn’t Westminster privately wink at child molestation anyway?

                Harriet Harman at least was involved in some sort of paedophile support network in the eighties. I’ve a vague notion that Theresa May was as well.

                • colliemum says:

                  They certainly do!
                  And guess why there’s suddenly this flurry of looking at pedophile shenanigans and murder that happened thirty years ago amongst the Westminster elite – ‘allegedly’ …
                  That means they can point to the police ‘doing something’, and they can say ‘we take this seriously’, while at the same time (and for well over ten years) they did and still do nothing about those other children in towns and cities outside London.
                  I’ve heard a Labour supporter say that all this uproar about Rotherham is only a story that happens on “extreme right wing” websites (“BreitbartLondon” extreme right wing? Hello?), used to smear Labour …
                  Much better to get the prurient salivating about the naughty deeds of some of the mighty – most of whom are dead already! After all, then nobody can ask why the various police leaders/commissioners did nothing at all either those many years ago or even now.
                  It’s utterly disgusting.
                  What the Metropolitan Labour elite don’t seem to get is that the blue collar workers in their heartlands, who’ve voted old Labour all their lives, are totally disgusted with this attitude, and won’t let this pass come May.

                • Moscow Exile says:

                  Not to mention that former Foreign Minister who used to sup 12 pints a bitter a day when he was 16. When he was Secretary of Sate for Wales he is said to have hushed up a paederast ring in a Welsh boys’ home where Tory mandarins were frequent visitors.

                  And former Home Secretary Leon Brittain is rather fond of little boys as well, so I’ve heard.

                  Maggie packed him off to Brussels after rumours about a paedophile ring involving judges and government ministers were becoming too hot to handle.

                • colliemum says:

                  Well, things are moving in the right direction, I suppose:
                  http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/11306575/Five-Westminster-paedophile-rings-probed-by-Scotland-Yard.html

                  And while I approve of getting Plod to feel the collars of the High & Mighty, old cynic that I am I do wonder how come this is coming out now, a few months before the GE – when the scandal and abuse in Rotherham and other places was left to go on for over ten years …

  25. Moscow Exile says:

    Laughable!

    Обама расширил санкции против России и Крыма

    Obama gives permission for sanctions against Russia and the Crimea

    The President of the USA has announced an “economic blockade” of the peninsula

    U.S. President Barack Obama has announced that he had signed a decree on an “economic blockade” of the Crimea.

    “The new decree aims to clarify for us corporations that are operating in the region, and confirm that the U.S. does not recognize the Russian occupation and attempted annexation of the Crimea”, writes the Reuters agency.

    Now Americans are prohibiting any investment in the Crimea and the supply of goods, services and technologies from the United States to the Peninsula and vice versa.

    In addition, a new Washington “black list” of 24 Russian and Ukrainian citizens and a number of companies, as well as the biker club “Night wolves” has been drawn up,
    .
    Earlier on Friday, the European Union announced sanctions against the Crimea. This time restrictive measures affect the tourism industry of the peninsula and investment activities.

    On the same day Canada announced that it had also imposed new sanctions.

    Blacklisting the “Night Wolves”!!!!

    This is getting serious!

    Does this mean there’ll be no, no …Coca-Cola???

    And no McDonalds on the Crimea?

    At all?????

    And no tourism in the Crimea to be tolerated?

    Tough shit, Pindosi and Western Europeans!

    You just don’t realize what you’ll be missing.

    Crimea Beach Girls 2014 – Black Sea Russia

    Won’t be missing ya’ll!
    🙂

    • katkan says:

      Why are they punishing Crimea? did it invade itself?

      Or are they quietly recognising that IT IS RUSSIA?

    • Moscow Exile says:

      The Ministry of Foreign Affairs
      The Russian Federation

      Comment by the official representative of Russian foreign Minister A. K. Lukashevich in connection with the new American and canadian sanctions against Russia

      2934-20-12-2014

      In the US and Canada no one is able to keep a cool head as regards the consequences of what has been freely decided by the inhabitants of the Cimea and Sevastopol. New sanctions have been imposed against Russian officials at various levels and a ban on normal economic cooperation has been extended. There are growing doubts comcerning the adequacy of the initiators of such solutions. Clear sightedness, however, occasionally arises even amongst the most inveterate fans of these sanctions, even though this does not happen suddenly. For example, it took the White House half a century to realize the futility of following a policy of sanctioning and blockading Cuba. Well, let us just wait and see what happens, shall we?

      For those who still are under the illusion that everyone in the world should live as specified by Washington and Ottawa, remember this: the Crimea is a primordial and integral part of Russia. The present-day inhabitants of the Crimea – along with all the Russian peoples – have never caved in or buckled under external pressure.

      In connection with the new sanctions against the leaders and other members of the Donetsk and Lugansk republics, it is regretable that once again there is evidence of a complete disinterest bythe West as regards the conflict in the Ukrainian Southeast. Concerning this conflict, the main premise should be a constructive dialogue with Kiev, Donetsk and Lugansk. These sanctions are also aimed at undermining the political process. Crafty arguments about the “concern for the territorial integrity of the Ukraine” and the importance of respecting the Minsk agreements do not hide what is obvious: that yet another issuing of hot air by the United States and Canada concerning sanctioning is designed to support the Kiev “war party”.

      All the same, we recommend that Washington and Ottawa ponder over the consequences of their actions. We shall then study carefully how to give a measured response.

      • kirill says:

        It’s beyond thick and rich for Washington and Ottawa to be passing any sort of judgement on Crimeans. Both of these countries did not exist when Crimea was already part of Russia. Both of these sanctimonious turd states engaged in ethnic cleansing and genocide of the aboriginal inhabitants. If you remove the phony morality pushed by the turds running these two countries, in regards to Crimea they are clearly trying to engage in the same sort of ethnic cleansing and theft of land that they are founded on.

      • marknesop says:

        I am surprised they rated Canada as worthy of a response. It almost always votes to support whatever the USA tells it to support – Iraq was a rare exception, and look how prescient that turned out to be – and the population is too small for its opinions to be given much weight. I am now in the unfortunate position of wondering if I will be looked down upon by Russians, if I should choose to visit there, for the heedless and sycophantic actions of my government. Thanks a lot, Mr. Harper.

        • kirill says:

          Don’t worry people do not translate regime shenanigans into personal level treatment. I don’t treat Americans like trash because Obummer is worse than W.

          At the level of the individuals things are much more sane and civilized than at the level of countries. Countries are like predatory fish.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      Banned by O’Bummer!!!

      Лидер мотоклуба «Ночные волки» поблагодарил Барака Обаму за санкции.

      The leader of the motorcycle club “Night wolves” has thanked Barack Obama for their sanctioning.

      The leader of of the motorcycle club “Night wolves”, Alexander Zaldostanov (“the Surgeon”), has said that he is thankful to President Barack Obama for his inclusion in the sanctions list.

      “A hundred people have called and congratulated me already. I should very much like to thank Obama for the recognition of my humble merits for the Motherland. And another promise: I will do everything to increase his care for me”, the “Russian News Service” has quoted Zaldostanov as saying..

      “Recall, yeaterday the U.S. President signed a decree on the introduction of new sanctions. They are directed against the Crimea. The document imposes restrictions on economic relations with the peninsula and prohibits investment in the region. In addition, under the sanctions is the leader of the “Night Wolves”, Alexander Zaldostanov. His biker organization also featured in the “black list”, reports Russia Today.

      They’re laughing at you Barry – do you realize that?

    • patient observer says:

      Just idle curiosity, topless women bathers are common on the Canary Islands as well as mainland Spanish and French beaches. Does the same hold for Russian beach goers in Crimea or other parts of Russia?

      • Moscow Exile says:

        Warning! 18+

        “Republic of KaZantip”, the Crimea, Russia.

        Shot last year when the Crimea was officially an autonomous republic within the Ukraine, though few Crimeans then were pleased with the political status of the peninsula, their displeasure over this matter having been expressed and remedied earlier this year.

        My God! Aren’t Russian girls such horror comics!
        🙂

    • katkan says:

      I am very pleased to have lived long enough to see the arrival of internet from other planets.

      I found something familiar in that article ” Rudy Giuliani, the former New York mayor” seems true in this world, also.

    • marknesop says:

      “And, as we’re now seeing, it’s highly vulnerable to financial crisis — a vulnerability that has a lot to do with the nature of the Putin regime.”

      And not, of course, as a result of a deliberate attack on its economy which includes driving down the price of its main exports and persuading its trading partners to impose sanctions on it. The united States would be highly vulnerable to financial crisis as well in the same conditions, and it would have nothing to do with the nature of the Obama regime.

      “Russia has an economy about the size of Brazil’s”

      By what measure? Consumption of Italian shoes?

      Paul Krugman – the last of the flat-earth economists.

      • peter says:

        By what measure?

        By GDP (both nominal and PPP).

        • marknesop says:

          Okay, I guess you’re right. By those measures, Russia has an economy about the size of Brazil’s. So what?

          • Moscow Exile says:

            Well, let’s take this one question at a time…

            Is the Russian economy bigger or smaller than the US one?

          • cartman says:

            Brazil’s population is also 202 million.

          • kirill says:

            Using a single number to measure relevant capacity factors is just retarded and the resident troll is a retard. What military and space capability does Brazil have? Also, it is simply not credible that the standard of living in Brazil is similar to that in Russia. I see some creative accounting here. Supposedly Russia has millions of barrio residents somewhere. Where are they?

            • Moscow Exile says:

              A more pertinent question would be: “How does standard of the Lambada in Russia compare with that of Brazil?”

              That brings back happy memories!

              When I Ianded in the Empire of Evil in1989, the Lambada was all the rage there and was played endlessly everywhere. There were ads everywhere posted by dancing schools urging folk to join Lambada classes.

              That’s how I got to know Natasha № 1 in Voronezh and it was the beginning of my slide into depravity.

              Natasha № 4 rescued me though and provided me with Vova, Lyena and Sasha.
              🙂

              • marknesop says:

                The adult white-female-black-male couple is dancing Bachata, a style I was told was Cuban Salsa but which research says originated in the Dominican Republic. It’s very sexy to watch, and probably to do although I have no dancing ability. My wife takes regular salsa lessons and on one occasion we both went, there was a blonde girl there, very athletic, who could do the Bachata like…well, it was nice to watch.

          • peter says:

            … Russia has an economy about the size of Brazil’s. So what?

            So, in Krugman’s opinion, “Mr. Putin never had the resources to back his swagger.”

              • peter says:

                Putin’s Bubble Bursts

                If you’re the type who finds macho posturing impressive, Vladimir Putin is your kind of guy. Sure enough, many American conservatives seem to have an embarrassing crush on the swaggering strongman. “That is what you call a leader,” enthused Rudy Giuliani, the former New York mayor, after Mr. Putin invaded Ukraine without debate or deliberation.

                But Mr. Putin never had the resources to back his swagger. Russia has an economy roughly the same size as Brazil’s. And, as we’re now seeing, it’s highly vulnerable to financial crisis — a vulnerability that has a lot to do with the nature of the Putin regime…

                • marknesop says:

                  Yes, yes, I saw that. But where is Mr. Putin actually swaggering? I’m aware Mr. Krugman thinks so, but he sees a lot of things that are not there. What has Putin done or said which could be interpreted by a reasonable person – yourself, for example – as “swaggering”? Give me an example, if you would, of a behavior or statement in which you agree with Krugman that Putin is swaggering.

                  Do you agree, for instance, with Krugman’s statement that Mr. Putin “invaded Ukraine without debate or deliberation”?

                • Jen says:

                  Come back in a couple of years’ time when the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro are history and tell us how much profit the Rio Summer Olympic Games organising committee made and if it is comparable to the profit the Sochi Winter Olympic Games organising committee made (according to some sources it was US$261 million and other sources quote US$140 million) this year.

                • peter says:

                  Do you agree, for instance, with Krugman’s…

                  No, not really. Never attribute to swagger that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

                • marknesop says:

                  I see. So rather than Putin swaggering, he is simply stupid. Could you give an example of that, then? I’m particularly interested in your theory as it applies to the precipitous slide in the ruble, since it was my impression it was doing so owing to a deliberate action in a currency war, and that the west was trying very hard to crash it. I’d be interested to learn how the ruble crashed because of Putin’s stupidity.

  26. kirill says:

    A point that does not get enough attention is that Crimea and the current cheap ruble will divert a huge amount of Russian tourist money (billions of dollars) away from the EU and the rest of NATO. That money will go to Crimea, Sochi and other parts of Russia. Russia is big enough and diverse enough to sustain tourism.

    Let Harpie and Obummer huff and puff. They are only succeeding in strengthening Russia economically and militarily.

    • reggietcs says:

      Yeah.

      And unlike most westerners, I look forward to returning to Russia in a few months and can count myself among those not “frightened away” by all the round the clock Russophobia and brainwashing. The Moscow Times claims hotel tourism is down 20% at Moscow Hotels. It’s really a damn shame that people are so suckered by propaganda. Their loss MY gain.

      In fact, if anyone who’s even remotely interested in Russia would like to travel there, buying a vacation package NOW would be the best time to do it. I can almost guarantee You won’t be able to stay at the legendary five-star Hotel Metropol directly across the street from the Bolshoi for a little over $100 a night forever.

      http://www.hotels.com/ho127075/hotel-metropol-moscow-moscow-russian-federation/?PSRC=G21&dateless=true&hotelid=127075&rffrid=sem.hcom.US.bing.003.00.02..kwrd%3DZzZz.rxUjeqiz.0.6855577461.10205te17996

      • marknesop says:

        That’s great news, Reggie; I’m glad to hear you’re going back. Maybe you can meet up with Moscow Exile, if your schedules come together and he’s not out at his country estate, knouting the peasants into line. I wouldn’t believe the Moscow Times if they said their name was the Moscow Times, and I look forward to the day they have to shut down and get out. Not that Moscow would ever kick them out, but the parent company has apparently sold them off. I envy you, I wish I could go.

  27. et Al says:

    And then it swings the other way.

    Toilet Barf: Volatile Russia could be bad news for everyone
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/comment/11305686/Volatile-Russia-could-be-bad-news-for-everyone.html
    Messy business: the US shale revolution could make it the biggest producer of crude in the world, but cheap oil may derail the renaissance.

    Be careful what you wish for, because you just might get it”.

    Some say this aphorism has Spanish origins. Others attribute it to Oscar Wilde. Wherever it comes from, as sayings go, this one contains much truth. Getting what you want can indeed have unseen and unpleasant consequences. That’s worth remembering, as we celebrate cheaper oil, while watching the Russian rouble plunge…

    …The US oil-production bubble could, in fact, go bang – with the debts now of sufficiently large potentially to cause “sub-prime” style fallout.

    Cheap oil wouldn’t then look so clever. The same applies if various Middle Eastern oil-exporters erupt into violence because governments can no longer afford the expensive job-creation programmes and other spending that keeps the lid on social unrest. Another Arab Spring would see oil prices spike, wiping out the benefits of recently less expensive crude.

    Then there’s our response to Russia’s latest economic woes. America and the European Union have obviously imposed sanctions to cramp Moscow’s economic style….

    …has already contributed to a significant slowdown in Germany, which has major trade links with its vast Eastern neighbour. While barely touching America, sanctions largely explain why the eurozone’s biggest economy contracted between April and June and almost entered recession during the third quarter.

    The eurozone can’t recover if Germany isn’t strong. The UK, in turn, can’t stage a proper recovery with the single currency area, its major trading partner, on the skids. Last week’s rouble collapse, and the detrimental impact it will have on business sentiment and investment, …

    …Given the significant extent to which Western Europe’s banking system is exposed to Russia – particularly lenders in France, Germany and Austria – it’s also reassuring we haven’t seen capital controls. As such, Russia remains the only major emerging market with a fully open capital account. Were that to change, which it might if the currency plunges anew, shaky banks across the EU could themselves be seriously rattled. Who knows where that would end?

    The reality is that the Russian economy, for all the flak thrown at it, is actually pretty strong. There’s a big current account surplus and government debts are among the lowest in the world. With liabilities in roubles and many revenues in dollars, the fiscal balance actually improves when the currency falls. A mere $2.1bn of sovereign borrowing is repayable next year – which is minuscule…

    … Whatever our views on Putin, the Russian president remains extremely popular among his own citizens. A recent University of Chicago poll put his support at 80pc. As someone who has lived in Russia and conversed extensively with many local people, I’ve never bought this idea the population is “brainwashed” – they’re far too smart for that. Even among those who don’t watch the admittedly pretty stodgy state-run TV channels, citing independent television or newspapers as their main news source, Putin enjoys 75pc support.

    Most Western politicians condemn Putin because he pursues his nation’s interests and doesn’t do what our governments want. While events in Ukraine and Crimea are often presented as black and white, the reality is actually grey…
    ###

    It is a Chinese proverb (insult) of getting what you wish for. What a brave chap! Maybe not as there is already fairly wide sentiment that the West has almost gone too far.

    • colliemum says:

      The author of that pice is Liam Halligan.
      He’s a pretty cool head, and definitely not given to swimming with the stream – howling with the wolves – trotting with the herd.
      Dunno where he’s been hiding, haven’t seen much of him recently – but then, I’ve abandoned the Wailigraph because of it’s becoming like a mixture of grauniad and daily wail.
      So – thanks for the link, I’d have missed that piece.

    • marknesop says:

      I say it has gone too far, and that Russia must continue decoupling from western economic systems and western business to the extent it is possible. The west reminds me of an ex-wife, who used to berate me in the rudest terms for imagined slights and insults, and then after a couple of days of simmering and muttering, suddenly say “I’m sorry I was such a bitch”, blame it on her menstrual cycle and expect me to let it go at that. The west must not be allowed to say “I’m sorry I was such a bitch”, and squirm back into Russia’s good graces, all forgiven. Above all, and perhaps the most valuable lesson taught, western businesses must not be allowed to gain a significant market share in Russia; they must always be of a strength that will make their departure inconsequential if they decide to up sticks and leave in a huff because Uncle Same told them to. Western nations themselves to a large extent depend on Asian manufacturing and technology – why should Russia allow western companies to gain major market share domestically? Ditto western banks – hit the road. The only reason under previous conditions was to establish and cement trade ties. Since the west has decided Russia is not a fit partner for its exalted self, no reason to continue pursuing that failed effort.

      • et Al says:

        I wouldn’t be so maximalist. Yes, we do say ‘the West’ but what we are really talking about is a group that currently hold a much stronger influence over some members. Putting them all in the same box would be a mistake and we can see that Putin’s strategy of taking advantage of already existing divisions is starting to pay off (i.e. with no serious new sanctions and the strengthening of the European anti-sanction group). In this respect, canning South Steam was a genius move. No one saw it coming. It’s pissed off all the partners whose ire is turned towards Berlin, Brussels, London & Washington. It won’t be forgotten and cannot be sold or spun to the public ‘It’s them damn Russians’.

        It is a stunning counter point to all the massive black propaganda pumped out by the self-censoring Pork Pie News Networks who willingly go along with the anti-Russian policy. We’ve been told for months and months that Russia is busted, it’s fu*$ed, its’ weak, it’s a paper tiger etc. etc. And then he cancels South Stream Bruce Lee style.

        Even the dimmest of the dim can see the dichotomy between ‘Russia is nothing’ to ‘How could they do this to us?’ and the endless flailing, mass paranoia and sheer nuttery.

        A more elegant solution would be Russia naming its terms, mainly that the current western actors be removed and their web defanged and thoroughly stomped on by their own people (those that have been sidelined) of course in return for ‘guest status’ of enjoying trade and profit in Russia. After all, its all about money and control – at the current rate there will be none, so the money people will be faced with a choice, no money at all, or some with conditions. They should come begging on their knees in public for the business (not all of them as quite a few have been opposed to Western policy).

        After all, it is in Russia’s interests to still trade with the West and keep a balance. It’s much better that those in the West turn on themselves than Russia. Much cleaner and safer for everyone involved.

      • colliemum says:

        You’ve done it now … I could simply not resist … :

  28. Moscow Exile says:

    From Russian Insider:

    Russia Will Have an Answer Ready if US Supplies Arms to Ukraine

    Again, Google gibberish of a german article.

    Here’s my translation into real English:

    Russia will have an answer ready if the US supplies the Ukraine with weapons

    German Economic News | Published: 15/12/14 01:06

    The US Senate has passed a law for the tightening of sanctions against Russia. At the same time, the US government is to supply the Ukraine with military equipment worth 350 million dollars. Russia sees this the law as a provocation and has said it will react if the law comes into force. President Obama has, for the time being, not signed the law yet.

    The tone betwen the US and Russia has again worsened: The US Senate has decided to supply weapons and make sanctions against Gazprom. US President Barack Obama has not signed the law yet, but should it come into force, then Russia will react, the state channel Russia Today announced today.

    On Friday the channel quoted duma deputy Mikhail Yemelyanov, who said: “The US Senate decision is extremely dangerous. If the law is approved by Congress and then the President, Russia will have to respond in an appropriate manner. It is quite possible that we shall reach a decision authorizing the Russian president to send Russian troops as a preventative measure into Ukrainian territory”.

    The US Senate on Thursday passed a law requiring the US government to implement further sanctions against the Russian oil and armaments industries. This law bears the name “Ukraine Freedom Support Act”.

    In detail, the government is to sanction the Russian energy giant Gazprom if gas supplies to NATO countries, the Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia are halted. Penalties shall also be incurred by all persons who invest in Russian oil projects. Furthermore, goods and exports into the Russian energy sector are expected to continue to be further limited.

    The Russian armaments company Rosoboronexport shall also be sanctioned if it provides without permission of the legally recognized government weapons to Syria, the Ukraine, Georgia, the Central Asian states or Moldova.

    The same applies to all other Russian arms exporters. In practice, this would mean that the rebels in the Ukraine will only be able to receive weapons after having received the approval of the government in Kiev. The law aims towards the prevention of any Russian influence in countries where large Russian minorities reside, as is the case in Latvia, which has warned its EU partners that there has been observed an increase in Russian influence on ethnic Russian group living in that country.

    The Act authorizes the supply of anti-tank weapons, rifles and ammunition, artillery reconnaissance radars, artillery batteries, fire protection equipment, tactical reconnaissance drones and communications equipment. The cost of the US for arms deliveries to the Ukraine will amount to 350 million dollars. This is clear from a document of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the US Senate.

    The United States is to import more Russian-language Western news media into the post-Soviet states in order to counter the “propaganda” of the Russian Federation. The installation of the broadcasters Voice of America (VOA) and Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty is to be prioritized in Georgia, Moldova and the Ukraine.

    However, President Obama has not yet signed the “Ukraine Freedom Support Act” in order to enable it to come into force. Congress has also not yet approved the act. However, because of the new Republican majority, approval of the act by Conresss is almost certain to take place.

    On Friday, the Russian Foreign Ministry sharply criticized the “Ukraine Freedom Support Act”. In a statement, the Ministry announced: “Once again, there has arisen in Washington groundless accusations against Russia and threats of more sanctions. At the same time, the conflicts in the Ukraine and in Syria, which the US has inflated, have become tangled up with each other.

    “Kiev is being promised suppport for its military operations in the Donets Basin and US NGOs are to be used for interference in Russian internal affairs. The US Congress is sticking to its anti-Russian sanctions. However, it should distance itself from the illusions that it has of their efffectiveness”.

    According to the Interfax news agency, Sergei Ryabkov, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister, has said: “Without a doubt, we will not let this initiative go unanswered”.

    On Monday, US Secretary of State John Kerry is to meet with his counterpart Sergei Lavrov in Rome in order to discuss the situation in the Middle East. In a Twitter message, spokesperson for the US State Department, Marie Harf, has said that the Ukraine conflict is to be item number one on the agenda.

    Alles klar?
    🙂

  29. Warren says:

    • katkan says:

      Temporary and local. They don’t have enough hryvnia to have any liquidity in their economy. As in, they plain run out of banknotes at the banks….which re otherwise up and running and linked (to each other and to Russia).
      Really they are too advanced into going it alone to ever join up again, even if the rump Ukraine somehow turned reliable again.

    • marknesop says:

      Nice! I like the look of it. Of course the even-handed, pro-freedom American government will rush to order the rest of the world not to recognize or support it.

  30. yalensis says:

    According to this , Franklin Templeton Investors lost a $4 billion dollar wager on Ukraine.
    ’cause Ukies about to default on foreign debt.
    I seem to recall that most of us low-brow internet commenters predicted Ukraine would default.
    Did any of us make any money on our accurate predictions?
    I doubt it!
    I also recall that Cassandra died penniless. If she had played her cards right, she could have made a mint. For example, betting on Ilium’s defeat and shorting their stocks!

    • marknesop says:

      I can’t wait for that donor conference; I wouldn’t be surprised if quite a few countries begged off, saying they had to stay home and wash their hair or something. They know full well that if they show up they will be exhorted to give something, and “give” will be the operative word because they will never get it back.

  31. ThatJ says:

    Russia Insider daily pageview, 17 days ago:

    Today:

    🙂

  32. et Al says:

    Remember Bhopal!

    Here’s a good reason why the US has to watch its step when dealing with India:

    Neuters: Exclusive – India looks to sway Americans with nuclear power insurance plan
    http://uk.reuters.com/article/2014/12/19/uk-india-nuclear-exclusive-idUKKBN0JX1JI20141219?

    India is offering to set up an insurance pool to indemnify global nuclear suppliers against liability in the case of a nuclear accident, in a bid to unblock billions of dollars in trade held up by concerns over exposure to risk.

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government is hoping the plan will be enough to convince major U.S. companies such as General Electric (GE.N) to enter the Indian market ahead of President Barack Obama’s visit at the end of next month.

    Under a 2010 nuclear liability law, nuclear equipment suppliers are liable for damages from an accident, which companies say is a sharp deviation from international norms that put the onus on the operator to maintain safety…

    …The law effectively shut out Western companies from a huge market, as energy-starved India seeks to ramp up nuclear power generation by 13 times, and also strained U.S.-Indian relations since they reached a deal on nuclear cooperation in 2008. GE-Hitachi, an alliance between the U.S. and Japanese firms, Toshiba’s (6502.T) Westinghouse Electric Company and France’s Areva (AREVA.PA) received a green light to build two reactors each. They have yet to begin construction several years later, according to India’s Department of Atomic Energy…

    …India wants to generate 62,000 megawatts from nuclear sources within two decades from the current level of 4,780 megawatts, even as other countries shift away from nuclear energy following Japan’s Fukushima disaster. GE declined to comment on the Indian proposal to offer insurance cover. Westinghouse said it needed more information before it could comment. Areva said in a statement that the creation of an insurance pool was an “encouraging signal”, and that the government appeared committed to working out a comprehensive solution soon…
    ###

    I think even the US understands that shooting their mouths off (and keeping brain damaged vets like McCain and his crispy golden brown brains on a leash) will cost them serious money in a rapidly growing market. The US has lost most of its nuclear reactor expertise (like the Brits) as they haven’t commissioned a reactor in decades so they had to sell Westinghouse to Toshiba and General Electric joined up with Hitachi in a 60/40 split (I guess it would have to be a JV as the political repercussions of selling out another company to the Japanese would not have been good), which leaves France and Russia with Japan as the world leaders.

    • katkan says:

      And this is a story so the US firms can’t say they’ve been blocked, but the terms are not attractive to them, so India can get nice inexpensive quickly-built Russian reactors.

      India needs Russian reactors. That way they need Russian fuel, That way they don’t get some sooper pow-er deciding to not give them fuel for fear they’ll make a firecracker out of it. Unlike USA, Russia also takes back spent fuel as part of the deal. In fact the whole world wants Russian reactors for this reason. It also saves people thinking to get a breeder reactor just to reprocess leftovers.

      Oh… this makes everyone reliant on one energy supplier? huh? does it? but nobody else wanted to trust any of the buyers with it……..that must be Russia’s fault AGAIN.??

  33. kirill says:

    http://fortune.com/2014/12/18/why-russia-will-halt-the-rubles-slide-and-keep-pumping-oil/

    A good read from Fortune Magazine. Not everyone in the west is a drooling idiot🙂

    • marknesop says:

      I hope it doesn’t work out just like that. I hope South Stream really is dead for good, and that Europe has to rely on venal, greedy, spoiled-child Ukraine as a transit country. I hope Yurrup freezes its ass off this winter. And I hope the author is not right that Germany will never allow Turkey control over Europe’s gas supply, because Germany has given up its right to express opinions to Russia when Merkel enthusiastically signed on to sanctions. That should now be a matter for Erdogan and Moscow and nobody else. I further hope that Russia’s gas supply will be increasingly directed to Asia rather than Europe, so that Europe gets the opportunity to develop those alternate energy supplies it is forever yapping about.

      • ThatJ says:

        IMO, making Turkey a gas hub is not a good idea. I’m against ceding any Russian leverage in the European energy market to Turkey.

        Think about it, if Russia builds South Stream, who’ll end up looking stronger? And who’ll look defeated? And then there’s the issue of soft power… not so soft, actually, because gas is vital to any economy.

        Russia needs the soft power (and revenue) provided by the pipeline(s) but this doesn’t mean that the pivot to the east will stop. It’s now a security matter for Russia, because as long as the EU acts like Washington’s/Tel-Aviv’s bitch, there will be no “business as usual” anymore. Worse would be to give up on EU, so that it becomes a de facto springboard for future geopolitical intrigues against Russia.

        The author of the article said that Germany will never allow Turkey to be the gatekeeper of European energy security, and I agree: it should also be reminded that it’s Germany that doesn’t want Turkey in the EU (I hope they will never join, Turkey is not even an European country), and I sense it’s because Germany doesn’t want to compete for prominence in continental politics with the Turks.

        • marknesop says:

          I’m still not convinced. Europe knows it made a terrible mistake by stopping South stream before it was built, but it would be harder to impose Europe’s terms on it once it was complete. However, that won’t mean they have given up, and they would demonstrably not be above lying to get control of it. It’s true it would initially appear that Russia had gotten the upper hand, but you know Yurrup can never allow a situation like that to stand – even when the ramifications of South Stream’s cancellation were still sinking in, the western newsmagazines were rejoicing that Junckers had “called Putin’s bluff”.

          Also, a partnership with Turkey would give Moscow influence in control of the Bosporus.

        • ThatJ says:

          @Mark

          If South Stream is built, and if the EU breaks the contract by mounting an illegal takeover of the pipelines, then Russia will be within her rights to stop all shipment of gas, including NordStream gas, to the EU.

          After South Stream is built, I don’t think Europe will try to mess with the contract, because even though Brussels can theorically do it, Europe doesn’t have the upper-hand on energy matters.

          Then there’s the risk of Russia becoming too dependent on the east and forgetting the EU for good. We never know what the future holds, so an equilibrium must be reached to avoid one-sided dependence like this — weakness, in truth — from the west or east.

          • marknesop says:

            You are much more forgiving than I. If I ruled Russia, it would be a cold day in hell before the posturing, prancing European shitheads saw enough gas out of me to spray behind their ear. Look at this drivel;

            “Some in the EU, including Germany’s top Russia experts, think Putin is bluffing to make them put pressure on Sefcovic to relax the anti-monopoly regime…The European Commission believes Putin did it because he cannot afford to build South Stream and because the war in Ukraine has already achieved the main objective of the project – to destabilise Ukraine (by bypassing its EU gas transit network)…For his part, Sefcovic was careful not to offend Moscow by sounding happy about the demise of the Russian initiative – the prevailing mood in Brussels.

            That mood didn’t last long, did it, fucksticks?

            “The threat of EU gas cut-offs reared its head in July when Russia stopped supplies to Ukraine in a price dispute linked to its invasion.”

            If it were up to me, Brussels could try to squeeze gas out of my socks.

          • katkan says:

            Russia can’t really very well nuke Europe,right?
            MAD was built on that possibility, against the US. With luck the US will be out of calculations soon. The EU will be in deep shit and hurting, at which point they will probably also take a USish attitude of fighting and screaming and demanding things in desperation. He can’t really nuke them. If for no other reason than they are TOO CLOSE (unlike USA).

            So GAS, winter gas, industrial gas,get-back-on-your-feet-gas, is going to be the new MAD (one way). It is the way for Russia to keep EU in check. Of course this is why they’re so worried about having a single supplier.

            So until at least 2020, if they can scrape up enough cash to build something from Israel, who say by then gets actual gas out of the stolen Palestine fields….. at least until then they need the Russian gas, to build enough industry to make enough money to pay for that alternative.

            So South Stream in some form is still on. Inescapable reality for everyone. Europe is in the west and needs gas. Russia is in the east and has gas. One vendor, but choice of two transits of questionable reliability (Ukraine, Turkey/Bulgaria?).

            Ukraine is too son to call. Demographically dying countries like Bulgaria need to find some compatible population that has a disaster that leaves 100 to 400,000 homeless, and import them to populate the hundreds of ghost villages. Kings and emperors used to do this all the time.

    • colliemum says:

      Indeed not – but quite a number of commenters are, as proven by one comment (of three) for that article.

  34. marknesop says:

    Oh noes!! In Ukraine, the tide turns against Vladimir Putin for, what is it now, must be the fourth of fifth time in the last three months? Everyone’s favourite square-faced Slav Russophobe, Taras Kuzio, tells us how things are going to shake out for Russia in 2015.

    Stupid Vova missed his Spring Invasion Window, he was probably so busy banging Alina Kabaeva that he just lost track of time. I can see how that could happen. Also, stand back, Putin, because Ukraine’s massive armaments industry is about to crank up and throw your giant invasion force right back in your stupid Russian face as it turns out high-quality arms for Ukraine’s patriotic and well-organized armed forces. Hold on, John McCain – guess we won’t be needing those fancy American weapons after all!

    Taras must have shared the discovery of some particularly potent psilocybin mushrooms in Dmitry Tymchuk’s back yard. Either that or he has been witness to the turning of so many tides in Ukraine in the last few months that he has become dizzy.

    • kirill says:

      I think it’s a new strain of fungus that grows in the Hohol nasal cavities. It would explain a lot of their demented behaviour. I bet the pathology is related to iodine deficiency.

  35. Oddlots says:

    Apropos of, well, everything I guess… Bill Mon tweeted link to this the other day:

    God I miss the 70s….

  36. Moscow Exile says:

    Some opposition figures have looked at Mikhail Khodorkovsky, formerly the country’s richest man, as a potential unifying force for the anti-Putin movement. Khodorkovsky, who spent a decade in prison, was released a year ago after Putin pardoned him so he could spend time with his ailing mother. Khodorkovsky promised he would not go into politics, but now says he would consider being president for a post-Putin “transition period”.

    Ordinary Russians have little time for the “robber baron” oligarchs who became fabulously rich in the 1990s while everyone else was starving, but Khodorkovsky’s decade in prison may have served some redemptive purpose, and he is perhaps the only figure who even theoretically might be capable of uniting sections of the serving elite and the more radical opposition groups. However, he is in exile in Switzerland and will be arrested again if he returns to Russia.

    Walker, the Grauniad.

    “Some opposition figures…”?

    Which “opposition figures”?

    Would you be so kind to name them Shawn, old chap?

    The anti-Putin movement?

    Idiot.

    See: Russia: Why oil crash could threaten Vladimir Putin with a palace coup

    The brief flurry of liberal street protest in 2011 and 2012 was ruthlessly snuffed out by the Kremlin…

    Blood flowing in the gutters was there, Shawn?

    Mass arrests and deportations to Siberia, were there?

    Vanished persons?

    More from the Khodorkovsky support group:

    Russian Dissident Opens New Chapter in His Anti-Putin Movement

    (Dissident???!!!!)

    Oligarchs like Mr. Khodorkovsky, much less those with Jewish roots, have never been especially popular in Russia, where they are blamed for fleecing the state of assets before Mr. Putin’s rise.

    Moreover, Mr. Khodorkovsky has not dared to return to Russia since his release. Nezavisimaya Gazeta, a Russian newspaper, wrote after his latest announcement that “the most famous political refugee risks gaining the image of an enemy of the country.

    You don’t say!

    No mention of arrest, though, if he chose to return to his “motherland”.

    Shawn Wanker says he will be arrested if he does this, though, so it must be true!

    I should worry!

    Perhaps the now resident in Switzerland “dissident” should find out off Walker about the danger of his being arrested were he to return to Mordor.

    I should dearly like to ask Walker about this as well.

    Can’t address him through readers’ comments though: my Grauniad account has been blocked for several months now.

    Any scenario where he [Khodorkovsky] could mount a coherent challenge to Putin for now still appears from a parallel universe“.

    Quite!

    So why waffle on about it so?

    • marknesop says:

      I devoutly hope they will settle on Khodorkovsky as the coalescence of the Russian opposition. Because he hasn’t a hope.

      • Moscow Exile says:

        Ordinary Russians have little time for the “robber baron” oligarchs who became fabulously rich in the 1990s while everyone else was starving…” – Walker.

        Well, I lived throughout most of the ’90s in the Empire of Evil, starting my sojourn here in 1989 in the even more evil USSR, and I can tell you this: I saw nobody starving!

        Walker must have done though, while he was looking out of the window of a restaurant, where he was stuffing his face after having received his fat pay check off the Moscow Times.

  37. ThatJ says:

    EU court strikes down gay asylum tests

    BRUSSELS – Gay people seeking asylum in Europe will no longer have to take tests based on stereotypes or be forced to provide images to prove their sexual orientation.

    The Luxembourg-based European Court Justice on Tuesday (2 December) ruled in favour of three Dutch-based asylum applicants.

    The Netherlands had rejected their asylum applications on the grounds that their sexual orientation had not been proven.

    […]

    The European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE) also wanted clearer guidelines.

    http://euobserver.com/justice/126758

    [ThatJ: You no longer need to prove that you’re gay. Just come to Europe and tell the authorities that you are gay. If they ask for you to prove, just refer to the supranational, unaccountable court and its ruling on the subject and you can stay! This is democracy, this is the “rule of law”. Oh, and take a look at ECRE’s webpage. Who funds these people, and for what purpose? They also have an unrelated article blasting Russia for not allowing nation-wreckers like them to operate in the country.]

    Greek Vote Bribery Scandal Brings Goldman’s “Worst Case” Scenario Closer

    While no one will be entirely surprised in today’s consequence-less world, the “bombshell” news that Greek Independent MP Pavlos Haikalis claims he was offered EUR 2-3 million in order to vote for Greece’s next President is no less shocking in its exposure. As AP reports, it is the second such claim from the Independent Greeks. Another of the party’s lawmakers claimed last month that someone had approached her with the intention of bribing her. The government immediately jumped into defense mode and dismissed the claims as “badly acted theater” and called for any evidence to be made public. However, as KeepTalkingGreece reports, “sources” from the prosecutor’s office told media that Haikalis did indeed submit footage, and according to latest information, told the briber’s name to the Greek Police. This can only bring Goldman’s worst-case scenario – a Cyprus-style collapse – even closer for Greece.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-12-19/greek-vote-bribery-scandal-brings-goldmans-worst-case-scenario-closer

  38. Moscow Exile says:

    Waiting for the call?

    Khodorkovsky has rented a villa in Switzerland for €9.5 thousand a month

    €9.5 thousand = 11,617.81 USD = £7,433.73 = $13,482.47CAN = $14,268.99AUS

    or……

    684,027.52 rubles a month!

  39. Moscow Exile says:

    Krugman Joins the Anti-Putin Pack

    He’s a maniac, I tell ya! He’s out to get us all! He wants to rebuild the Russian Empire, from where my grandparents were forced to flee!

    You gotta believe me!

  40. Moscow Exile says:

    Bombs Away! Obama Signs Lethal Aid to Ukraine Bill

    Six months ago, when Russia invaded Ukraine, 4,000 more Ukrainian lives were existing and have been taken” said Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (rep) on the House floor.

    Get it?

    Russia invaded the Ukraine, thereby causing the deaths of 4,000 Ukrainian citizens.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      Bum link again!

      Marcy Kaptur

      Well blow me down!

      Marcy Kaptur is a Polish-American!!!!!

      Kaptur, a Polish-American, was born in Toledo, Ohio, the daughter of Anastasia Delores (née Rogowski) and Stephen Jacob Kaptur.

      Brought up to love and cherish all things Russian, no doubt.

      And if, in no small way thanks to her and her like-minded colleagues actions, the shit starts flying in southeast Ukraine, well Toledo is a long, long way from there – about 5,000 miles, as a matter of fact.

      Have a nice day, Marcy!

    • marknesop says:

      That pretty much sums it up. The USA is determined to force Russia to submit to its own destruction, using Europe as the instrument. I disagree, though, that the amounts involved are “massive sums of money”. $385 million is chump change these days, they spend that much on studies of frivolous things. But the capacity is there now for it to be expanded.

      The usual warmongers are gleeful, of course, but although Ron Paul may whine that it was done by trickery, everybody knew that a critical vote was coming up and if he seriously wanted to try to stop it he could have done so by making sure someone with the power to object was always present. It’s hardly trickery when members behave exactly as you expected them to, and as he points out, the text was not even available. This is similar to the passage of the Patriot Act, which rang in all the broad-based surveillance powers – the text was available, but only immediately before the vote and it was hundreds if not thousands of pages; nobody had time to read it. Passage of bills in the U.S. system has become entirely strategic rather than legislative, and everyone knows the actions which will be implemented upon its passage, so there is no need to read it.

      The United States has been at war more or less non-stop through two terms of Bush and two terms of Obama, and Americans seem to have tried the taste of perpetual war and found that they like it. The United States is not going to come against Russia directly – that invites an uncontrolled escalation which could end in a nuclear exchange, and the USA is the prime target. The USA is trying to maneuver NATO into doing it, although the USA will of course make lots of lolly by supplying it. A philosophy has evolved in the USA that war is good for business, and to be opposed to one is to be opposed to the other.

      • reggietcs says:

        ……And even maneuvering NATO into conflict with Russia can lead to a nuclear exchange, because I’m pretty sure Russian national security protocols do not really distinguish much between the US/NATO. The only saving grace would be if the US were to order Poland, Romania and the Baltics to open hostilities with Russia with no intention of invoking article 5 of the NATO charter. Of course, the eastern Europeans wouldn’t like this one bit because they know they’d be on their own once Russia started kicking their collective hides. The US would simply be using these countries just as they’ve been doing throughout this entire crisis. If the Europeans had any dignity (which they obviously don’t) whatsoever, they’d see through this and tell the US that it’s simply not in their national interests to get into a economic/military confrontation with Moscow.

        • marknesop says:

          I don’t know…Europe is pretty close for a nuclear exchange. Ideally you do not want to have to worry about the fallout coming back on your own territory, and Europe is a little close for comfort. Russia would have to be losing pretty badly before it would nuke Europe. And I’m sure Russia knows full well that this is the American plan anyway; it worked so well last time, the USA emerging unscathed from the ruin of World War II.

  41. Moscow Exile says:

    The opinion of a Khazakstan economist:

    «России объявлена война»

    War has been declared on Russia

    «Лента.ру»: Что же, на ваш взгляд, произошло в России? Почему рубль так катастрофически упал?

    Своик: То, что произошло, нельзя назвать катастрофой, но это крупнейшее поражение. Тут следует оговориться, что экономические санкции и охлаждение отношений между Россией и Западом — это не из-за Крыма и не из-за Донецка или Луганска. Это только поводы, и не более. России объявлена война. Причем война принципиальная и до победного конца.

    [Lenta.ru: What, then, in your opinion, has taken place in Russia? Why has the ruble fallen so catastrophically?

    Svoik: What has happened cannot be called a catastrophe, but it is a major defeat. At this point, It should be mentioned that the economic sanctions and the cooling of relations between Russia and the West are not due to the Crimea and are not because of Donetsk and Lugansk. This is just an excuse, and no more. War has been declared on Russia and, basically, it is a war to be fought to a victorious end.]

    Here I must digress. Remember the regularly surfacing story peddled by Western hacks that Putin stated that “the collapse of the Soviet union was the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century”?

    This is what the Evil One actually said:

    Прежде всего следует признать, что крушение Советского Союза было крупнейшей геополитической катастрофой века. Для российского же народа оно стало настоящей драмой. .

    [Firstly, we have to recognize that the collapse of the Soviet Union was a major geopolitical catastrophe of the century. And for the Russian people it became a real tragedy.]

    Well there it is again: the superlative form of the adjective крупный (large, big), namely крупнейший (masculine singular ending).

    In Putin’s misquoted speech, the endings of the adjective and the noun it qualifies are in the instrumental masculine singular, signifying “in a manner”, i.e. “the collapse of the SU was in the manner of a major geopolitical catastrophe”.

    Svoik talks about a defeat (поражение), which word in Russian is a neuter noun, so the adjective qualifying it has a neuter ending – крупнейшее поражение – in this instance neuter nominative singular. Svoik says: “…но это крупнейшее поражение” – “but this is a major defeat”.

    He does not mean “but this was the greatest defeat”!

    In this context, one couldn’t use the superlative in English either: if one used the superlative, one would have to say: “…this is the greatest defeat of all” or “…this is the greatest of defeats”.

    This is an example of a Russian superlative adjectival ending being used for emphasis. In fact, the Russian for “the good boy, the better boy, the best boy” is “хороший мальчик, лучший мальчик, самый лучший мальчик” – literally: “good boy, best boy, most best boy”.

    Yet time and time again Putin is misquoted by Western hacks as having said that the collapse of the SU was “the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century” – ergo he regrets its happening.

    I remember when this topic was last brought up by Patrick Armstrong not so long ago in a piece he wrote about the lying bastards of the Western media, and commenters kept on pointing out that крупнейшей геополитической катастрофой meant “as the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century”.

    They just won’t be bloody well told !!!!

    Anway, end of digression!

    The Lenta.ru article continues thus:

    What do you mean by a victorious end?

    The overthrow of Vladimir Putin in Russia and the establishment of a regime that will be, at the very least, a liberal government, such would exist under Khodorkovsky or Kudrin. And as a maximum: the division of Russia into several European-style parliamentary states. Everything that is going on now is absolutely clear: the objective is the restructuring of Russia. This is not an economic war: it is a political war, and one being fought on a global scale. And Putin, having got himself involved in this war as the political leader of a former empire (his country has not forgotten that it was once an empire), finds himself, of course, in pole position to his people, since a section of those people wants the empire back and has been encouraged by the Crimea and south-east Ukraine. Therefore, Putin is definitely a leader. But at the same time Putin is also the head of the Russian economy and the Russian economic establishment. And Russia’s economy is that of a colony, of an apendage to the metropolises of London and Washington. What does the Russian economy consist of? Firstly, the export of raw material to Europe, of gas, oil, and metals. Then, secondly, in this pursuit of materials to be exported and the earnings of foreign exchange from the sale of these materials, those earnings also go to the West because of Western retailing. The consumer and industrial market in Russia is to a serious degree tied to Western industrial and consumer goods. And then, thirdly, we have financial retailing: external credit and investment tools are working on securing the apendage that is the Russian economy. And when Putin went to war with the West, which once supported him economically, he began to suffer defeat. For example, what Putin’s appointee to the leadership of the Central Bank did, corresponds to what a Western anti-Russsian chief of staff would have done.

  42. dany8538 says:

    Guys, I just want to say that I met a very interesting young man in New York this weekend and I happy to report that there are sane people in Lvov. I couldn’t believe it myself. I was at a party surrounded by russophobic Ukrainian immigrants and of course as we sat down to drink the first toast was “To Putin’s quick and painful death !!!. A Ukrainian flag is hanging in the apartment, basically you get the picture. I start talking to this guy Alexander and he is visiting from Lvov visiting our mutual friends and trying to move to New York Permanently. To make a long story short, I was fully expecting to hear all about the Evil One and those damn moskals but I was stunned when he started speaking about how dumb and stupid the people of Ukraine are.How they are exploited so that other entities can prosper.How Ukraine had all the tools in the 90’s to become a major power and how they themselves, and primarily their leaders, just threw it all away and consequently have no one to blame but themselves . I told him to get out of Lvov as soon as possible seeing as these kind of opinions can get a man killed over there. After this amazing encounter, a glimmer of hope came upon me. Maybe , just maybe, those idiots can see how they have been misled by the west and how there will be no rescue from the west but then again the odds are of this are minuscule so that hope was quickly extinguished.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      No hope whatsoever: he told you his opinion in New York, not in a café in Lvov old town.

      • dany8538 says:

        I suppose you are right, I just felt so happy to hear a normal and perfectly reasoned response that I might have thought that anything is possible at this point.

      • dany8538 says:

        Speaking of Mordor and the Evil One, how is it going by you guys over there? Still alive or are you all down to eating delicious moscow snow?

        • Moscow Exile says:

          Snow and old fish heads that the Evil One has allowed to be shipped in in order to celebrate New Year.

          Yummy!

          • dany8538 says:

            Have you been to the new ice skating rink by the red square. I am a big fan of ice skating although in the 90’s we would go to sokolniki but obviously this new one is just breathtaking i would asssume. The view must be unbelievable as well.

            • Moscow Exile says:

              I was at a paintballing place all day yesterday with my gang. It was part of my elder daughter’s birthday celebrations: she was 14 on Christmas Day.

              I finished work this afternoon untii January 12th , so I reckon we’ll be going – more acccurately said – they’ll be going skating in the very near future – at VDNKh or Red Square or Gorky Park.

              I can’t skate.

              And skiing as well: fresh falls of snow are forecast over the next few days.

              I can’t ski.

              I can’t do much these days, save for the obvious …
              🙂

              • dany8538 says:

                That’s good. The last time I was in Moscow was 2002 and I was 12 at the time but the memories are always fresh in mind. I am constantly being told that the city has changed a lot since that time so i am sure I wouldnt recognize it now.I lived close to the preobrajenskaya ploshad station.Speaking of the subway, I use it every day to get to Manhattan and when i recall the moscow metro system i got beyond disgusted with the new york system. RT had an article regarding the constant underground dwellers of our system a while back
                http://rt.com/usa/197268-rat-ny-viruses-pathogens/
                I always figured that if they bite me i will lay down and wait for death🙂

                • Moscow Exile says:

                  What a coincidence! The first place where I lived after having arrived in the Empire of Evil in 1989 was at a hostel called “Lokomotiv” because it was next to a football stadium of the same name. I used to have to get off at the endstation of the red metro line at Preobrazhenskaya ploshchad, whence I got a trolley bus or walked the 400 metres or so to where the stadium was. About a month after my arrival in Mordor, I was given a railway ticket and told to get a train from the Paveletsky Terminus to Voronezh, where I lived until the following June.

                  When I returned, the USSR in 1992 was history and since that time Preobrazhenskaya has long ceased to be the red line end station.

                  I must admit, I wasn’t too fond of Moscow when I first set eyes on the place – it was almost derelict in parts (Leningrad was much worse!) and definitely needed a big cash injection, but when I returned to the Paveletsky station on my way home in June 1990, the weather was glorious and the city was clean and pleasant, with flowerrs blooming and the gorgeous girls parading in their summer dresses.

                  I immediately fell in love with Russia really – even in its Soviet days.

                  Don’t know why.

                  Must be a masochist.
                  🙂

          • Moscow Exile says:

            This is how the Evil One controls the sheeple:

            Не поверите — водка подешевеет!

            You won’t believe it – vodka is going to be cheaper!

            For the first time it has been decided that the price of a “pint” of vodka at New Year will not be raised but lowered.

            It has already become a tradition that following the New Year a new minimum price is set for spirits, which price is usually revised upwards. However, this year the Russia Alcohol Regulatory Body has prepared a surprise: from February 1, 2015, the minimum price… will be reduced. On this date the retail price of a half-litre of vodka should cost no more than 185 rubles. It used to be 220 rubles. The corresponding decree has been signed, registered at the Ministry of Justice and is already posted on the official website of the Russia Alcohol Regulatory Body.
            .
            Minimum prices for brandy and cognac will remain the same: 322 rubles per 0.5 liter of cognac and 293 rubles per 0.5 liter brandy (retail).

            Experts are linking this unexpected decision concerning vodka with an announcement made by Vladimir Putin at a recent joint meeting of the State Council and the Council for Culture and the Arts, where the president said that raising the price of alcohol had only contributed to the growing consumption of surrogate products.

            • dany8538 says:

              You must be checked out immediately at the closest western type hospital . You have been exhibiting very bizzare symptoms like showing zero hostility and actually enjoying your life in the belly of the beast. This must be fixed immediately.A former Englishman such as yourself should not be slumming around with this kind of second or third grade humans.🙂

  43. patient observer says:

    Initial read was quite interesting:
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ellen-brown/russian-roulette-taxpayer_b_6357210.html?ncid=txtlnkusaolp00000592
    Economic blow back is coming right up.

    • marknesop says:

      Wow. Brave new 2015 could usher in some unpleasant surprises for the American people. And it is incredible, absolutely beyond belief, that the CEO of JP Morgan-Chase personally intervened in a vote which would transfer speculative losses from banks – in which he has a conflicting interest, to state the obvious – to taxpayers. Banksters must be dancing a jig – they’re bulletproof, nothing can touch them in America.

      I beg to differ. Read in context with this, we can see that – as Bob Dylan warned us way back in 1962 – a hard rain’s gonna fall.

    • cartman says:

      This says the GCC GDP (which includes Saudi Arabia) will fall 13 percent next year at $65 bbl. A lot of commentators argue that Dubai is an example of the diversifying economy, but I think they were bailed out by Abu Dhabi in 2009-10. Also, those skyscrapers are more than 50 percent vacant.

      I don’t know if the reserves will save the Saudis because they have huge domestic spending commitments. Their currency is pegged to the dollar, so they must be also spending them to defend it. The poverty rate in the kingdom is actually huge, and those in poverty are even worse off than people in Yemen. They jailed people who tried to publish the real poverty rate. The KSA may experience some very big blowback next year as a result of their economic warfare using oil prices.

      • marknesop says:

        I read a year or two back, when the “Arab Spring” was at its zenith, that the Saudis had unilaterally increased pumping by 500 k-barrels a day. When they were asked to stop they refused, saying they needed the extra money for massive domestic spending to ensure they would not be part of the Arab Spring themselves.

        • Jen says:

          I recall reading somewhere that the Saudis have to pump Al Ghawar constantly because so much seawater (several million barrels a day apparently) has been injected into it that if the pumping stopped or went below a certain level (measured in numbers of barrels per day, I suppose), the remaining oil would end up contaminated with seawater and cleaning it would be hugely expensive.

          • marknesop says:

            The Oil Drum did a bit of an investigation on it back in 2007. Its conclusion was not pretty.

            In the 1979 Senate report, it was anticipated that Ghawar declines would begin between 1993 and 1995, based on being unable to maintain plateau once R/P (Note: R/P is Reserves/Production, with the slash implying the relationship between the two) was less than 15 or 20 (corresponding to a post-plateau decline rate of 5%-6%). This was based on all vertical wells. Modern technology has allowed maintenance of plateau to R/Ps below 10, and perhaps even below 5 in some cases. This gives rise to very aggressive declines of 10% or 15% or so respectively once plateau is lost.

            As you can see, the whole of North Ghawar is either off plateau already, or getting close. That is something like 3.9mbpd of production based on last known figures. Whatever of this decline has not already occurred will mostly occur during the next decade…Southern Ghawar, by contrast, can maintain plateau for decades to come, but there is only 1.7mbpd of production there on last known figures…While we cannot attribute an exact fraction at this time, it seems likely that not-altogether successful attempts to maintain the north Ghawar plateau to the bitter end explain a significant fraction of the sharp increase in oil rigs that began in 2004, as well as the production declines since that timeframe.

            This tends to reinforce that view;

            Saudi Arabia has a history of purchasing stability, (often defined as temporarily quelling dissent) both domestically and abroad. For years, Al Saud has been able to sustain its cash-for-loyalty contract with citizens because oil prices were high and the country was running a surplus. Indeed, citizens of KSA are the only in the world to be called after their leaders: “Saudis.” But even the wealthiest of monarchs should know that “stability” built on social handouts is only as sustainable as the nation’s budget. And Saudi’s massive cash reserves are in jeopardy.

            According to this source, Saudi Arabia is likely to post a deficit in 2015, and if it has to continue its cash-for-loyalty policies it will have to start spending from its reserves. In any case, it is going to be a suicidal struggle for it to continue forcing prices down.

            And in America, land of unreality, the NASDAQ closed above 4000 for the first time ever.

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