Kiev’s Apologists Don’t Think it Did Anything Wrong.

Uncle Volodya says, "Just because evil liars stand between us and the gods and block our view of them does not mean that the bright halo that surrounds each liar is not the outer edges of a god, waiting for us to find our way around the lie.”

Uncle Volodya says, “Just because evil liars
stand between us and the gods
and block our view of them
does not mean that the bright halo
that surrounds each liar
is not the outer edges of a god, waiting
for us to find our way around the lie.”

The Kyiv Post has always been pretty nationalistic, and never had too much time for Russia. It has an inconsistent record on the Ukrainian oligarchy, showing occasional flashes of frankness in which it castigates the idle rich, and depressing runs of puff pieces in which it canonizes Petro Poroshenko and gnashes its teeth with righteous anger at his detractors. Several of its regular writers are activists, and their material shows it.  Overall, it is the newspaper of record for Kiev’s apologists, and draws a reliable audience of Russophobic Maidanites hoarsely crying “Yurrup!!!”, as if it were some sort of magic answer to all their problems. But if the paper’s material is often delusional, the comments section takes rollie-eyed psychosis to a whole new level. This is where you get to interact with the low-information voter, likely from a Ukrainian diaspora in North America, who buys the western propaganda line wholly and eagerly. Making any remark which appears defensive of Russia is like a red rag to a bull.

Here, every once in awhile, you run across a different kind of commenter – not just the usual “Shut your mouth, you Putin troll asswipe!!” who assumes the right to proselytize his own opinions to his heart’s contentment, but will entertain no notion of a dissenting opinion without shouting that it must have been paid for by Putin and anyone who expresses such opinions is an employee of the FSB. Get it? Everyone who argues for a free and undivided Ukraine delivered whole and breathing to Yurrup and its austerity agenda is a patriot who sounds off because it’s the right thing to do; everyone else is paid to lie. Occasionally, you run across a true apologist; one who is apparently not ignorant, but one who applies his/her intellect to running interference for the Kiev junta and doing battle on its behalf through insults, fabrications and assumption of a certain mantle of authority, while devising excuses for those actions by Kiev that he/she cannot explain away.

I recently did run across just such a person. Attracted to the article “Ukraine Overturns its Non-Bloc Status. What Next With NATO?” by the sheer zaniness of the Ukrainian leadership – which keeps bulling ahead with trying to referendum itself into NATO despite its ongoing border disputes so that it can immediately pull NATO into an Article 5 war with Russia – I read it, and then perused the comments.

I was moved to get involved in the discussion by a comment from Michael Caine – not the British actor, I’m pretty sure; this individual is not particularly literate but compensates with stubbornness – who seemed sincere enough, but is fixated on the idea that Russia (personified, of course, by Putin, as it is whenever it does anything the western world does not like) has broken international law by acceding to Crimea’s request to join the Russian Federation. This process is invariably described in the Anglospheric press as “annexation”, and we can hardly blame Michael, because high-profile chowderheads all the way up to and including President Obama have expressed the same opinion, which is completely unsubstantiated. As we have often discussed, the lifeblood of law is precedent, and a precedent was established on unilateral declarations of independence with the acceptance of that premise for the independence of Kosovo. Poland’s opinion just happened to be the first I came across, written by then-Foreign-Minister Radoslaw Sikorski, and it announced smugly that a unilateral declaration of independence is outside international law and therefore unregulated by that authority. A state-in-being, saith Radek, is a matter of reality rather than law, and if you have a population which is distinct by virtue of its language, customs and cultural attributes, which has its own government, civil institutions and financial institutions, you are – or you can be – a state by way of a unilateral declaration of independence.

The Polish opinion was pivotal to the broad recognition of Kosovo, because Poland was the first East European and the first Slavic nation to recognize it. However – and this is important – not one other world opinion which supported the recognition of Kosovo challenged Poland’s contention that a unilateral declaration of independence is not an instrument regulated by international law. Even The Economist, no friend of Russia and Putin, declared in advance of the vote that if Crimea chose to detach itself from Ukraine’s rule, no court would be likely to challenge it, while RFE/RL – still less a friend of Russia and Putin – opined that the Budapest Memorandum (the document in which all the thunderers that Putin has broken international law vest their hopes) is a diplomatic document rather than a treaty, and while it is international law, is not enforceable. Even, if you can imagine, The Hague weighed in, expressing the legal opinion,

“Therefore, is the Crimean Parliament vote to join the Russian Federation illegal? The answer here is no, albeit with the above clarifications and observations. Can the Crimean population legally exercise its right to external self-determination? The author is of the opinion that − on the basis of existing international case law − this question can neither be answered affirmatively or negatively.”

All this went about four feet above Mr. Caine’s head, because my polite request that he elaborate on specifically which international law Mr. Putin (who apparently managed the “annexation” of Crimea singlehandedly) broke received the response that Putin had violated the law that says Thou Shalt Not Steal, not to mention that other bad one, Thou Shalt Not Kill.

These are…ummm…not international laws. Although they apply to all observers of the Christian faith, these are Commandments, and I have yet to see a lawyer hold forth in an international court on a case in which the Book Of Authorities and Precedents is a stone tablet, although I should not speak too soon. You never know.

At about this point, The Apologist entered the fray. Under the banner of Swift69, and plainly one of the protagonists for The Budapest Memorandum, he announced that there was no unilateral declaration of independence because it was all engineered in Moscow, which allegedly is a fact that everyone admits.

In point of fact, the Crimean Parliament and City Council of Sevastopol did declare Crimea’s independence, in writing (here’s the English translation), and specifically citing the unilateral declaration of independence of Kosovo as precedent. That was actually in advance of the referendum, which asked respondents if they did or did not favour Crimea applying to join the Russian Federation. So far as I am aware nobody has admitted or otherwise affirmed in any way that Crimea’s declaration of independence originated in Moscow. Russia admitted in April 2014 that it had conducted advance polling in Crimea to determine the level of support for independence, an issue which had been raised on and off since the 90’s. Kind of hard to interpret that as unacceptable interference in a reality that seems to see nothing wrong with political-activist NGO’s operated in Moscow and paid by American think tanks attempting to amass support for overthrowing and replacing the Russian government, what?

Up to this point it was just an amusing academic tussle – Clash Of The References, if you will, although Swift69 actually didn’t supply any. But it turned ugly from there.

I wrote, “Meanwhile Ukraine has no room at all to be preaching about international law, nor do any of its defenders. Indiscriminate attack such as firing short-range ballistic missiles into civilian population centers is a war crime.

Swift69 replied, “Ballistic Missies”(sic) – the word “ballistic” simply means that it is “on a ballistic trajectory.” Every bullet ever fired and every grad ever launched is a “ballistic missile.” While you’re clearly trying to use the term to elicit sympathy based on people’s association of the word n the phrase “intercontinental ballistic missile” or somesuch, it’s nonsense. Use of ballistic weapons is no more a “war crime” than use of gravity is… “into civilian centers.” what nonsense. “Many of the shocking cases, particularly those published by the Russian media are greatly exaggerated… There’s no convincing evidence of mass killings or graves.” – Amnesty International report.”

Let’s just ponder that for a moment. Swift69 is implying an equivalency between a bullet which might kill two or three people if it ricochets and hits more than its intended target, and a fucking ballistic missile which has a warhead that weighs more than half a ton (1,058 pounds). CNN reported live that U.S. officials had confirmed Ukrainian forces fired “several” Tochka-U (SS-21 Scarab) missiles “into areas controlled by pro-Russian separatists”. The same source reported it could kill “dozens”. The Tochka-U has a Circular Error Probability (CEP) of 160 meters. That means even in the unlikely event that you were aiming it at a cluster of 20 armed combatants – from as much as 70 km away – you could only count on the weapon landing somewhere within 160 meters of them. The Ukrainians fired them into cities in Donbass. And this shitbag is saying I merely tacked on the word “ballistic” to make it sound scary, and to win sympathy for those it was fired at which they did not really deserve. Take a look at the crater – that look like a bullet hole to you?

So, let’s review. In fact, Indiscriminate Attack is a war crime, in accordance with Customary International Humanitarian Law, Rule 12. Indiscriminate Attack is defined as attack which is (a) not directed at a specific military objective, (b) employs a method or means of combat which cannot be directed at a specific military objective, or (c) employs a method or means of combat the effects of which cannot be limited as required by international humanitarian law; and consequently, in each such case, are of a nature to strike military objectives and civilians or civilian objects without distinction.

Explain to me, if you can, how you can fire a ballistic missile with a circular error probability of 160 meters (524 feet) into a city which contains both civilians and paramilitaries, and be reasonably confident you will not kill or injure any civilians, or even that you know from as far away as 70 km from the city that is your target, what you are shooting at? How are you going to limit the effects of your attack with a 1000 lb+ warhead so that it only kills military combatants?

Even the bullet Captain Sarcastic implied was also a “ballistic missile” could get you in front of a war crimes tribunal, if you just loosed off some of them into a crowd which was a composite of civilians and combatants without attempting to differentiate between the two. The weapon is not the concern – aimed shots in a scenario in which you are attempting to confine your fire to military targets is. Love of God, how hard is that to grasp?

Swift69 goes on to accuse me of sensationalizing further with the implication that the Ukrainian army is firing into civilian population centers, and proceeds to conflate that with an Amnesty International report which accused Russia of propagandizing mass graves, saying there was no credible evidence of that. The two issues have nothing to do with one another. I said the Ukrainian army is firing heavy weapons into Donbass cities at a range beyond which it can discriminate between civilian and military targets, and that considerable loss of life and tremendous damage has resulted. That is absolutely an accurate portrayal of the state of affairs.

For a grand finale, Swift69 proceeds to attack the source of an article which reports that Ukrainian forces or agents of the Ukrainian government have cut off the civilian populations of cities in eastern Ukraine from water and food and medicines in an attempt to force their surrender, and that this is also a war crime. That’s a good tactic, and I use it sometimes myself – if you’re not comfortable that you can refute what was said, imply the person who reported it is a lunatic. In this instance, I think there is plenty of corroborating evidence that forces acting on Kiev’s direction did just what I accuse them of doing.

Kiev is committing war crimes against Ukrainian citizens with the vociferous approval of the Kyiv Post, the tacit approval of the leadership of NATO countries and the slobbering whitewash of Kiev’s loony-fringe supporters. Shamelessly, right under your nose, and in the clear presence of condemnatory evidence that should have the lot of them swinging from the gibbet.

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248 Responses to Kiev’s Apologists Don’t Think it Did Anything Wrong.

  1. Warren says:

    Has 15 years of power gone to Putin’s head?
    By Steve Rosenberg
    BBC News, Moscow

    It was New Year’s Eve 1999.

    While Russians were preparing for the dawn of a new millennium, their president was preparing a surprise announcement.

    “I have contemplated this long and hard,” Boris Yeltsin announced on TV.

    “Today, on the last day of the outgoing century, I am stepping down.”

    The man Boris Yeltsin chose to succeed him was his Prime Minister, Vladimir Putin.

    On leaving the Kremlin, Yeltsin told Putin: “Take care of Russia”.

    So, has he?

    “Yeltsin should have told Putin: ‘Clean up my mess’,” believes the veteran Russian broadcaster Vladimir Pozner.

    “Russia was in a shambles by the time Yeltsin left. And, to a certain extent, Putin did clear things up.

    “The local governors are no longer fiefdoms that do whatever they want.

    “The movement was to more stability, to making people feel more sure they would have a job tomorrow.”

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-30533034

    • ThatJ says:

      Yesterday I was reading the twitter of Steve Rosenberg, the article author. I think he’s too biased to be writing for a respected outlet like the BBC. Or is he not?

      https://twitter.com/BBCSteveR

    • et Al says:

      Steve Rosenberg has been writing sloppy bs for too long for the BBC. When Russia announced reform of the police, Rosenberg (in a Radio report) managed to get out of bed or a bar and go out on to the street and declare that the reforms looked like changing Милисция to Политция on their jackets. Well with anal-ists like this from the Pork Pie News Network, who needs anything else?

      As to Mark’s blogpost above, I learned a long time ago that almost no-one who posts comments will admit that they are wrong or ignorant, but that is not really object of commenting. The real audience is always the outsider or lurker who is curious to no more and has not particularly fixed view on the subject. Providing links for substantiation is absolutely essential. Readers can take it or leave it, but it is there for anyone with modicum of serious interest. The other trick I’ve learned like Mark is to either ignore irrelevant whataboutbuggery or simply point that it is not relevant. I’ve learned the hard way through the whole Balkans imbroglio.

    • marknesop says:

      The BBC repeats the same kind of story year after year, it’s getting to be quite a yawner, because they always source from the same people – Vladimir Pozner, dissident writers, phony Kremlin insiders. Putin is on his way out, he could fall any day, the people like him but they are fickle and if there is a real economic crisis it will be blamed on Putin. Horseshit. The Russian people know very well from whence their torment springs, and that is why Putin’s ratings are as high as they are.

      It’s also a ridiculous fallacy that the Middle Class has traded their freedom for prosperity; it is easy for Russians to leave Russia if they wish to do so, and all the roadblocks are in the country they wish to move to. Trust me; as a Canadian who imported his wife from Russia, I know. At the same time, Russia remains the world number 2 destination for inward migration. The faithless ones are the intelligentsia, the kreaklii, and if they don’t like the Russian leadership, their vote counts just the same as everyone else’s. This is at the root of their discontent – they believe that because they are the vanguard of debate and political thought in Russia, not to mention western lapdogs, that their voice should be accorded greater weight than their numbers and they should not have to line up to vote like the lumpen, the bydlo. The president should just listen to their ideas, and implement them.

      Anyone who believes that tired old saw, this time by Kasyanov, that Elmer Fudd could have made a success of Russia, it was all down to high oil prices and had nothing to do with who was in charge, needs look no further than Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia, too, benefits from high oil prices, yet its stratified society bears no resemblance to that of Russia. There are the royals and their court, the technocratii – many of whom if not most of whom are foreign westerners – and the lumpen who take their hush handout and shut their heads. Yes, high oil prices helped Putin and his close advisers implement their plan to draw Russia back from the abyss and set her on her feet again, but there had to be a plan. Where would Russia be now if Putin had just taken his exorbitant cut and split the other 40% or so by just parceling it out among the citizenry whether they worked or not, the way Saudi Arabia does? Saudis are paid not to work, otherwise a lot of the jobs held by westerners in Saudi Arabia would be instead held by Saudis. But their King fears what effect that might have for the future of the monarchy, and prefers the workforce be mostly foreigners who can be dismissed if they become lippy.

      The BBC piece promotes exactly the same tired misconceptions about Russia it has done for a couple of decades now, and that’s good for Russia. So long as the British believe “Putin’s regime” is full of holes like cheese, rotten and ready to fall down with one good kick at the door, they are destined to be forever disappointed.

      • Warren says:

        The Beeb is a state propaganda organ, as we all know UK-Russia relations are incredibly bad, hence the reason why the BBC is hostile and negative towards Russia.

    • Rublev says:

      If Putin has gone mad with power, did Helmut Kohl go mad with power too? What about those “we know they are dictators and we don´t care” Saudis. Has the Queen of England gone mad, after being an unelected leader for many decades? Will the oligarchs and intelligentsia of Great Britain rebel against the Queen and depose her in an internal coup, after the consistent failure that is the British Monarchy and those disgusting parasites of the nobility?

      “Of course not! Leadership screw-ups and internal coups can only happen to our enemies, because we say so.”

      British Bullshit Corporation – spelling doom for our enemies since forever.

      • et Al says:

        Margaret Thatcher went mad with power. The Lady that was not for turning* was fit for metaphorical burning (well, stabbed in the back).

        * https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_lady%27s_not_for_turning

        It was claimed Merkel did not wish to see out her third term but I wonder what the bookies odds on her quitting are now?

      • Jen says:

        The one time Stephen Harper was lucid during his long reign (since February 2006) was during that lone-wolf attack on Parliament House in Ottawa in October last year when for a brief period he recognised his natural home and hid there.

        Once the attacker was shot dead and Harper was coaxed out of hiding, he went back to being his usual drunken megalomaniac self with the help of a glass of red wine.

    • Leonard says:

      WORLD WAR III: Anglo-American Axis vs. BRICS Alliance

      http://themillenniumreport.com/2015/01/world-war-iii-anglo-american-axis-vs-brics-alliance/

      Excellent piece on how Putin has foiled them in the Ukraine in starting WW3

  2. Neil McGowan says:

    As the tax-payer-funded voice of the New World Order, comments from the Britsh Bollocks Corporation have a Credibility Rating of less than zero. Paid pro-Pentagon trash.

    • Warren says:

      Yes, more BBC BS this time from 2008!

      • Moscow Exile says:

        You bloody well deserve to be!

        • Warren says:

          Vladimir Posner and Nikita Mikhalov hit the nail on the head!

          From 26:10 to 27:35

          • Moscow Exile says:

            I remember Mikhalov uttering such an opinion. He’s right, of course.

            In fact, I suspect that this English disrespect – and I stress English – may have had its roots planted over 400 years ago.

            The English were the first to enter into trade relations with Muscovy after the Tatar yoke had been cast off. The English had the first Western trading post here, that of the Muscovy Company, in the 16th century.

            The building of this first “embassy”, The Old English Court, is still here, next to Red Square. Ivan IV even toyed with the idea of having Elizabeth I as his wife.

            The English were accepted by the Russians, respected and given most welcome persons’ priviliges: in short, the Muscovy Company enjoyed a trade monopoly here – and then: the English Civil Wars came together with the trial and execution of Charles I.

            This regicide shocked the devout Russian hierarchy and the tsar, who ordered that all the English in Muscovy be expelled forthwith: and into the vacuum created by the expulsion of the English came the Germans, who, as regards trade with Russia have since that time never looked back, much to the chagrin of the English.

            And it shows!

            • PaulR says:

              The English who came to Russia with the Muscovy Company weren’t overly enamoured of the place. Read, for instance, the poems of George Turberville:

              My Dancie deere, when I recount within my brest,
              My London friends, and wonted mates, and thee above the rest:
              I feele a thousand fittes of deepe and deadly woe,
              To thinke that I from land to sea, from bliss to bale did goe.
              I left my native soyle, full like a retchlesse man,
              And unacquainted of the coast, among the Russies ran:
              A people passing rude, to vices vile inclinde.
              Folke fitting to be of Bacchus’ trayne, so quaffing is their kinde,
              Drinke is their whole desire, the pot is all their pride,
              The sobrest head doeth once a day stand needfull of a guide.
              If he to banquet bid his friends, he will not shrinke
              On them at dinner to bestowe a douzen kindes of drinke:
              Such licour as they have, and as the countrey gives,
              But chiefly two, one called Kuas, whereby the Mousike lives,
              Small ware and waterlike, but somewhat tarte in taste,
              The rest is Meade of honie made, wherewith their lippes they haste.
              And if he goe unto his neighbour as a guest,
              He cares for litle meate, if so his drinke be of the best;


              And so on.

              • yalensis says:

                Russian people always drunken barbarians!

              • Moscow Exile says:

                He only speaks of Kvas and mead. Granted, mead is alcoholic – and very tasty – but kvas? You’d have to drink a bucketful or two to even to feel slightly tipsy, I should imagine: it’s only fermented black bread mash, after all. There’s alcohol in all bread, for that matter. Nevertheless, I’ve beeen told that devout Muslims won’t drink kvas.

                When Turberville was writing his comments about Russian booze, I think vodka was only just appearing in Muscovy – and like all bad things, it came from the West! Not a drop of the evil distilation sullied the lips of such great Russian heroes as Alexander Nevsky, Dmitri Donskoi and … errr….Oh yeah! Ilya Muromets, only he wasn’t real.

              • Warren says:

                I remember reading online the experiences of English travelers to Muscovy, one such traveler I think it may have been George Turberville condemn the Muscovites for their drunkenness and debauchery.

                Regarding alleged Russian debauchery in that era – see link below:

                http://ir.uiowa.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1010&context=history_pubs

          • patient observer says:

            Posner is a POS. Just given Russia more time! They will eventually be like Americans. They may be a little slow and stubborn but they will understand who’s the leader of civilization. Hand me the barf bag.

      • et Al says:

        ‘Panorama’ is held up by Al-Beeb as a high quality investigative journalism! I guess they have taken a leaf out of Herr Goebble’s book in that by repeating it so much, they believe it.

  3. yalensis says:

    Is anybody else getting a server error when they try to link to Kyiv Post? Or is it just me?
    Or was Mark’s critique so devastating that they decided to pack it in and give up the fight?
    Ah, fighting for Truth, Justice and the American Way out there in the diaspora – it’s a tough job, but somebody has to do it!

    Speaking of retarded commenters, the KyivPost regular commenter who drives me crazy is somebody called “Chmeliwsky”, or something like that (don’t remember exact spelling). Every time somebody comments something even mildly pro-Russian, he starts screaming: “You Mongols! You Mongols!”
    He clearly hates Mongols.

    I think Genghis Khan must have raped his great-great-(to the Nth degree) grandmother, or something. Very likely, he did.

    • yalensis says:

      P.S. – these are the people he hates:

      • Moscow Exile says:

        I read an article a couple of months ago – in the UK Telegraph, I think – about the Mongolian wife of a Scotsman, who is campaigning to have the usage of the term “Mongol” stopped when describing Down’s syndrome. She says she only discovered this usage of the term “Mongol” after having begun to live in the West, where, unfortunately, she bore a child suffering from Down’s syndrome.

        I was once acquainted with a Mongol woman: a lovely person and very smart.

        See: The Meaning of Mongol

  4. yalensis says:

    Meanwhile, Kiev officials brag that they blackmailed Russia into selling them discounted electricity. How did they do it? They made Russia an offer that she couldn’t refuse!

    TRANSLATION
    Representatives of Poroshenko bloc boasted how they obtained a discount on Russian electro-energy.
    According to the words of (Rada) Deputy Viktor Chumak, the (Ukrainian) government made an ultimatum (to Russia): They would cut off electricity to Crimea, if they did not receive cheap electricity.

    “It was a complicated situation,” Chumak bragged on the Channel 5 TV interview. “But as a result, we have obtained energy at Russian internal prices. We told them (the Russians) quite clearly that we would cut off electricity to Crimea, if they did not sell us energy at the (discounted) internal price.”
    END OF TRANSLATION

    • It is actually pretty logical for Ukraine to blackmail Russia over Crimean energy supplies since Russia did not secure a land connection to Crimea AND has not build an undersea electricity cable via Kerch strait to Crimea. Looking at this purely from Kiev’s perspective this is exactly what they should do. They know they have Russia by the balls because of Crimea.

    • marknesop says:

      I don’t believe that conversation took place at all, and am much more inclined to believe Russia offered them the discounted rate while specifying they must not cut power to Crimea. But it is just like the Ukies to strut and pose for their gabbling followers, and at the same time cop to a war crime, just as that twit Avakov – or perhaps it was Parubiy, I forget now – stipulated when he proudly recounted how Ukie APC’s had tricked the rebels by flying a false flag. That is perfidy, which is a war crime, and so is this: collective punishment.

      Hague Regulations (1907)
      Article 50 of the 1907 Hague Regulations provides: “No general penalty, pecuniary or otherwise, shall be inflicted upon the population on account of the acts of individuals for which they cannot be regarded as jointly and severally responsible.”

      Geneva POW Convention
      Article 46, fourth paragraph, of the 1929 Geneva POW Convention provides: “Collective penalties for individual acts are also prohibited.”

      Geneva Convention IV
      Article 33, first paragraph, of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV provides: “Collective penalties … are prohibited.”

      Additional Protocol II
      Article 4(2)(b) of the 1977 Additional Protocol II provides: “The following acts against the persons referred to in paragraph I are and shall remain prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever: … collective punishments”.

      UN Declaration on the Protection of Women and Children in Emergency and Armed Conflict
      Paragraph 5 of the 1974 UN Declaration on the Protection of Women and Children in Emergency and Armed Conflict provides:
      “All forms of repression … of women and children, including … collective punishment … committed by belligerents in the course of military operations or in occupied territories, shall be considered criminal.”

      ILC Draft Code of Crimes against the Peace and Security of Mankind (1991)
      Article 22(2)(a) of the 1991 ILC Draft Code of Crimes against the Peace and Security of Mankind, states that “collective punishment” is an exceptionally serious war crime and a serious violation of the principles and rules of international law applicable in armed conflict.”

  5. yalensis says:

    Meanwhile, Grandfather Frost has been very busy today.
    First he went to the RosKosmos, where he hosted an event for children, along with cosmonauts Alexander Samokutyaev, Elena Serova, and Anton Shkaplerov.
    To the meeting, Grandfather Frost brought many letters from children which he has been saving up over the year. The children wanted to know what the cosmonauts were thinking, and what kind of wishes they had for the New Year.

    Elena Serova replied: “We are wishing that our children are happy, that they may grow up with everything they need, that they will be smart and obedient, and that after they grow up, they can learn and study, and go into life on the correct path. That they should find happiness! Well, and we also wish, that there could be peace on our planet, and that everybody could be fine, that everybody could be happy.”

    At the end of the visit, Grandfather Frost invited all the guests to come and visit him at his home in Vologoda. “The doors of my frosty fairytale (home) are always open,” he told them. He pointed out that in the coming spring, there will be an anniversary celebration of the flight of the first man who did an actual spacewalk. That man was Alexei Leonov..
    Grandfather Frost revealed, that the ground controller who directed that spacewalk was none other than his (Frost’s) fellow Vologdan, a man named Pavel Ivanovich Belyaev.

    The attending cosmonauts were delighted by Frost’s invitation, and promised to visit him in Vologda for the upcoming anniversary special.

  6. kirill says:

    Your encounter with this specimens, Mark, is unfortunately my experience with my relatives. I get the same fairy tale, make believe “facts” hurled at me every time I make a benign observation. I noted that no one in the Donbass was thinking of secession in January 2014 and that the use of brutal force by the Kiev clowns-idiots precipitated the armed resistance and secessionism. The retort I got back was that Putin was planning the war in the Donbass since the Orangeists took over in 2004. When I pointed out that there are paramilitary armies operating in the Donbass (e.g. Aidar, Dnepr, etc.) operated by Kolomoisky was practically accused of being a liar. These people are in a hysterical self-righteous frenzy. An ugly feature of civil wars and other wars. All sorts of ridiculous conspiracy theories are pulled out of the ass and spread around.

    The only medicine for these morons is economic pain.

    • marknesop says:

      I’m afraid I have to agree, sad though it will be for those who do not hate Russia, for they will suffer along with those who deserve it. Happy New Year to you, my peppery friend, and I am sure the first move on the 2015 chessboard will not be long in coming, for the west remains undeterred while Russia’s resolve is unshaken.

  7. Warren says:

    Warlords and armed groups threaten Ukraine’s rebuilding

    Kiev is abuzz with creative reforms in governance, major anti-corruption initiatives and budgetary clawbacks against rent-seeking oligarchs. Civic activism is on the upsurge, and a new government team — populated with many foreign-born and Western-educated ministers — is largely free from the control of the country’s super-rich, who dictated policy in the past.

    In recent months, Ukraine’s defenses have strengthened since the Russian takeover of Crimea and the eastern industrial Donbas region. Ukraine’s security service, formerly riddled with corruption and Russian infiltration, has rebuilt its leadership. Combat readiness has improved and weapons production is on the rise, as are the refurbishment and modernization of tanks, artillery and armored personnel carriers. With winter in full swing, the danger of a major Russian offensive has faded.

    In many ways, Ukraine is intelligently addressing its key challenges: restructuring the national budget to avoid default and meeting the military threat posed by Russia. Despite such important progress, however, a new threat is emerging: independently operating warlords and armed groups.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-rise-of-warlords-threatens-ukraines-recovery/2014/12/30/a23b2d36-8f7b-11e4-a412-4b735edc7175_story.html

    • cartman says:

      “populated with many foreign-born and Western-educated ministers”

      Good news! Who wants locals governing themselves anyway? Western-educated is best, especially since one of them lost all of the (US taxpayer) money, and still managed to pay herself a handsome salary and bonuses.

      • Rublev says:

        “Those savages don´t know nothing about Civilization. That´s why we have to rule them – they are completely unfit to ruling themselves.”

        That about sums up the political mentality of the West.

    • marknesop says:

      Is this what they really think is happening??

    • Fern says:

      Well, that’s a zippy, upbeat article. You have to admire the Washington Post’s ability to make lemonade out of the most unpromising lemons. Just a few Nazi flies in the ointment – go Ukraine, go.

  8. Warren says:

    • PaulR says:

      Natalia also makes it onto the list of 20 sexiest Russians, though she wears more clothing than most of them, here: http://super.ru/news/112842

      • marknesop says:

        Wow; some classic beauties there. Some unconventional ones, as well – Snezhana Georgeeva, for example, has a very prominent nose and looks more Arabic than Russian, although she is a beauty nonetheless. I was delighted to see tennis star Masha Kirilenko make the list, she is a personal favourite of mine. And Natalia Poklonskaya certainly deserves to make the list; she has winsome, elfin good looks and an endearing way of speaking out of one side of her mouth that gives her character. I wish her continued success in her career.

        • Moscow Exile says:

          Poklonskaya speaks out of the side of her mouth because she suffers from partial facial paralysis. My mother had the same problem: with her it occured during her birth when a clumsy obstetrician damaged her facial nerve.

          • marknesop says:

            I find it attractive. But then, I find everything about her attractive, so that’s unsurprising.

          • PaulR says:

            Like our former PM, Jean Chretien, who managed to make a joke out of it, saying ‘I’m not a Tory. I don’t speak out of both sides of my mouth’.

            Which reminds me of a supposed quip by our notoriously drunk first PM, John A. Macdonald, who, having vomited on the crowd just before he was due to give a speech, turned to his Liberal opponent and said, ‘Liberals, they always make me sick’.

      • Warren says:

        I’m left speechless….(jaw drops on to the floor)!.

  9. Warren says:

    After Ukraine: Are the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary Veering Off The NATO/EU Reservation?

    Despite the firmness shown by the EU’sbiggest players when it comes to sanctioning Putin’s Russia, lower down the pecking order some member states are not happy. Unlike the most craven and obedient puppets — the Baltic States and Poland — it took some arm twisting to get the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary to agree to punish Moscow for annexing Crimea. Each country is dependent for much of its energy on Russia with which there are also valued economic ties. Why rock the boat? Despite hyperbole claiming that Vladimir Putin was intent on taking them over and rebuilding the iron curtain, in reality, Russia has been an unproblematic neighbour for a quarter of a century.

    Could these ripples of discontent with the famed Washington consensus develop into something more troubling for both the US and Brussels? What can they do about it? All three countries are members of both NATO and the EU. Promoting regime change inside the Euro-Atlantic tentsurely becomes more problematic. Or, does it? Let us examine each case separately and see what the auguries bode.

    http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2014/december/15/after-ukraine-are-the-czech-republic-slovakia-and-hungary-veering-off-the-natoeu-reservation/#_edn1

    • katkan says:

      Hungary and the Czech Republic don’t use the Euro. That makes it a little easier to leave — or threaten to leave — the whole EU mess if they get too pushy. Other non-Euro countries are Romania, Bulgaria and Poland, though these all seem happy to go along with being told what to do. .

  10. Warren says:

    • PaulR says:

      Graham would have to be one of my choices for journalist of the year, on the grounds, more or less, that’s he so bad he’s good.

      • dany8538 says:

        HE is doing something that all other western journalists are not. He is actually in the trenches risking his life to report on things that would otherwise be lost to us. His allegiance is also obvious but at least he is there and not just parroting whatever the kiev post or some other stupid ukrainian paper is saying which is the way his colleagues in the west report things.

        • Southern Cross says:

          It’s not that he set out to be an advocate for the rebels or an enemy of Ukraine. If one reads his old blog entries you can see how enamored of Ukraine he was before this whole shitshow kicked off.

          He’s just one of many whose goodwill the Ukrainians forfeited by their savagery.

      • marknesop says:

        In a sense that is true, but one of his strengths is that he projects such innocence and naivete, such willingness to be shown, that his viewers uncover the truth along with him. If it is simply an affectation, it is a powerful trick – but I tend to believe it is simply part of his personality. And his courage is above reproach.

        • PaulR says:

          Agreed. In some ways, he seems to lack tact, e.g. asking a woman in hospital who’s had her legs blown off, ‘how do you feel?’, but he does it with such apparent sympathy that instead of saying ‘bugger off, you twat’, people open up to him and start telling him what they think, which makes his videos compelling viewing.

      • Warren says:

        Graham Phillips love him or loath him – is incredibly brave. Philips tried to be objective and give both sides of the arguments regarding Ukraine, but that provoked hysterical condemnation and antagonism from Maidan trolls and Western journos.

        The fact that Philips was an English speaking journalists covering the Ukraine crisis and not following the line all other English language Western journalists were – that of unstinting support for the Maidan – made Philips a threat because he was giving a different perspective, therefore Philips had to be silenced, criticised or delegitimised from the point of view of Western pro-Maidan media and journalists.

  11. Warren says:

    • et Al says:

      The US has just agreed to start exporting oil, such as of ultra light crude/condensate. Apparently investment in LNG has been hit. It looks like between them, the US & Saudi Arabia are doing their best to hurt their allies.

    • cartman says:

      His successor was caught directly funding terrorists, so it is unlikely you’ll see the burqas flying off anytime soon.

  12. Warren says:

  13. PaulR says:

    Excellent post again, Mark. The unwillingness to admit that one has done anything wrong is a major cause of problems in world politics. In the Ukrainian case, this definitely applies to the Ukrainian government, but goes wider than that, I think. All sides in the conflict see only the wrongs of their enemy, and won’t recognize their own errors. There is, as I explain in my own end-of-year post, a lack of ‘strategic empathy’:

    http://irrussianality.wordpress.com/2014/12/31/the-need-for-strategic-empathy/

    Let us hope that 2015 brings a bit more self-reflection.

  14. colliemum says:

    It’s the end of a year which saw the emergence of troll-dom to an extent I would never have thought possible. Your report, Mark, shows that in exemplary fashion. It is easier to bash the troglodytes than lock horns with the seemingly more sane, as you show: they do take up so much of one’s time.

    Anyway, the Kiev ‘friends’ would do well to look just a little bit further to the West, namely to Greece where new Parliamentary elections must now be held because the Parliament couldn’t/didn’t want to elect the PM chosen for them by Brussels and the current PM. So now, oh horror, the left and their candidate may have a chance – well, not if Brussels can help it, and the IMF have already declared they’ll not hand over money due now until after the elections and after a new government is formed. They don’t have to say that government must be to their liking.
    I suppose Yats and Porky think that’s not a bad idea – but what about their sheep?
    Look what the Greeks are doing, and have been doing: they are taking all their money out of the banks:
    http://www.spiegel.de/wirtschaft/soziales/neuwahlen-griechen-heben-2-5-milliarden-euro-von-konten-ab-a-1010865.html

    Hm …
    That’ll be an interesting start to 2015 …

  15. Moscow Exile says:

    Well, It’s already 25 minutes into New Year 2015 here. Still 2014 in the West. Jen and others in Australasia, such as southerncross, may well have been tucked into bed several hours ago, as it’s already 08:20, January 1st, 2015 in Australasia.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      My gang are just setting off for a stroll and to join in the noisy celebrtions outside. There’s always a little lull here until about 1 o’clock, then folk stagger out to let off their fireworks and continue to do so for several hours. I can hear some have started doing this already: sounds like an artillery barrage in the distance. I’m not going out though: I’m off to bed now.

    • marknesop says:

      The very best of 2015 to you and your family, ME!! Perhaps this is the year we will meet! I hope so. Thanks for your staunch support here, and I will look forward to seeing you back when it is 2015 for me! Still 1:32 PM of the last day in the old year here.

      • dany8538 says:

        I am still at work in Manhattan so no celebrations here just yet but curiously enough I will be spending the this evening surrounded by huge believers in the new Ukraine and the Maidan. I hope to make it out alive🙂
        Wishing everyone a happy new year and with it the end to the hostilities and horror that we are witnessing in Ukraine.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      Are those the dulcet tones of Canuck pronunciation that I hear?

      • yalensis says:

        I think that is Minnesota accent. Specifically from the town of Lake Wobegon. I could be wrong.

          • Moscow Exile says:

            As in “get thee gone to a nunnery”?

          • bolasete says:

            “where all the children are above average.”

            • Moscow Exile says:

              Right! “The little town that time forgot, and the decades cannot improve”.

              Better than my home town, about which my former German girlfriend always used to say on her arrival by train there: “Willkommen in der Arschloch der Welt!”

              She was right an’ all!

              • marknesop says:

                Doesn’t sound Canadian to me. Sounds straight out of a 1950’s newsreel, actually, but I can’t place the accent. Not quite New England, but something close to it. I had a teacher in High School who sounded a bit like that – Sister Casey, she was a nun although it was not a religious school and she just wore regular clothes. She was from Boston, and you can’t get much more New England than that. But like I say, it’s not exactly like a New England accent.

                • Moscow Exile says:

                  It’s his the /əʊ/ sound that creeps into his pronumciation that made me think he might be Canadian. For example /brəʊwn/ for “brown’ and /təʊwn/ for “town”.

      • dany8538 says:

        You prefer to listen to the Dark Lord in English or Russian ? I love listening to his interviews but whenever i stumble on English translations i get disgusted. His words just don’t have that power after they have been translated especially when he uses famous Russian sayings that cant possible be translated properly.

      • patient observer says:

        I don’t know about the accent but he sounds like one of the voices from RT. For example, he does the promo for Max Kaiser show.

  16. yalensis says:

    Postscript to Navalnyite action of 30 December.
    Headline says that Muscovotes are laughing at Navalnyites; and Navalnyites in turn (all 1500 of them) are furious at the mockery of the herd.

    One clarification: Moscow Exile was not sure which building hosted the anti-Navalny laser-light projected slogan: “No Maidan”. According to above piece, it was the Ritz Carlton hotel in Moscow. Therefore, I guess one could say it was “Putin on the Ritz” – ha ha! I made that one up myself!

    Another clarification: A day after the events, VZGLIAD was able to confirm that Pussy Riot (all 2 pieces of them) was not only at the Navalny event, but hid from the police, and spent the night in the giant New Year ball.
    The coppers found the pussies inside the ball (I’m NOT making this up!) around 8:00 in the morning, hustled them out, and then made sure to secure the entrance to the giant ball, so that this wouldn’t happen again.
    You can see the giant ball in the above photo to the piece.

    Anyhoo…
    A Kreakl named Yekaterina Soldatova expressed the kreakly mood the bestest, in her Facebook post, in which she declared damnation upon the Russian people for not supporting her idol, Navalny:

    “I refuse to attend any more of these events. Not while these people continue to walk right by us on Tverskaya Street buying gifts like nothing was happening, and then had the audacity to laugh at us; just wait until those people lose all their money, and their jobs, and then see how they howl! At that point, I’ll go out again to watch them from the side. O Oleg, Alexei [Brothers Navalny], I really feel for you. I did my best for you, I swear, but the (Russian) people are hopeless. Screw them.”

    • Moscow Exile says:

      Yeah, I guessed right. That’s what the rebuilt Hotel Moskva (as seen on a Stolichnaya vodka label) is now called. I couldn’t remember its new name so I jokingly called it Radison Costa Fortune.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      She should go to the USA then. That’s what Chirikova said she would do if there was no sign of the bydlo ousting the regime. She’s still here.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      I told you few weeks ago how some kreakles got ratty with me, having found out that I was a long term resident here and that neither I nor my wife wish to leave the Empire of Evil.

      One particularly smug kreakle sneered at me, saying: “So you think everything’s great in Russia?” I told him that I didn’t think that at all, but that I still preferred to live here than anywhere else that I know of; that I’m very contented with my life here. He just looked at me with barely concealed contempt.

      I’ve met several such traitorous shits before. I think they can’t deal with an Englishman who likes living here. I know for a fact that some of my compatriots ingratiate themselves with kreakles by telling them what they want to hear, namely that Russia is such a shithole and Putin is nothing but a contemptible tyrant of short stature.

      They just love hearing that off Westerners. It must give their crappy lives some meaning.

      • kirill says:

        These specimens need a good beating, preferably to within a nanometer of their lives.

      • marknesop says:

        The kreaklii need someone to look down upon, someone to feel endlessly superior to. I think it’s very noble of you to volunteer to provide that service, and if you are content and happy with your lot in life, then no one’s the worse for it. The kreaklii feel smug and elevated, and we pity them.

        • Moscow Exile says:

          Now now! Your use of the letter “k” for “kreakly” is questionable, at least according to my mentor in the Saker translation group it is.

          Why he should think that, I just don’t know: “kreakly” is a straight transliteration into the Latin alphabet from the Cyrillic, namely

          креаклы gives “kreakly”, where “креаклы is the Russian plural of “креакл, which would transliterate into “kreakl”.

          In its turn, креакл comes from “КРЕАтивный КЛасс” – “KREAtivniy KLass” – “creative class”, a pejorative in Russia now.

          To anglicize the plural of “kreakl”, rather than using a transliteration of the Russian plural “креаклы “, I could write “kreakles”.

          I prefer to us a capital “K” for the start of the word, as though “Kreakly” or, if you will, “Kreakles”, were a race apart, but I presume using a lower case “k” would be acceptapble, just as one uses a lower case letter “m” in “morons”.

          My mentor, I presume, thinks that one should use the letter “c” in “kreakl” as the word, he maintains, originates in the Latin “Hercules”. He’s wrong: the word originates as I have described above, but sounds to Russian ears something like the pronunciation of the Russian word that means “Hercules”, namely Геракл [/gərɑ:kl/] and mocks the Kreakles’ belief that they are in posssession of immense sociological strength.

          TYPES OF KREAKLES

          (l to r) Navalny, Razvozhaev, Yashin, Nemtsov, Shenderovich, Katz, Bykov, Verzilov


          (l to r) Albats, Latynina, Chirikova, Sobchak, Romanova, Gessen, Novodvorskaya, Kostyuchenko

          • marknesop says:

            I used “k” because there is only one sound for that letter in the Russian alphabet, and while a hard “c” would achieve the same effect in English, “c” is the “s” sound in the Russian alphabet. That would yield “sreaklii”, which would make no sense in either language.

            • yalensis says:

              We need to come up with consistent editorial standard. I suggest 2 possible options:

              Kreakly or
              Creacles

              Both variants are internally consistent and get the job done; but I lean toward the former.
              But if we don’t decide on something soon, then we would be left spelling Chaikovsky’s name with a T.

          • kirill says:

            Looks like Gessen is rendered with a male member. LOL.

    • kirill says:

      Soldatova can sleep easy knowing that the monkeys in Washington “think” just the way she does: it’s all the fault of the Russian people that they refuse to be colonized; a good Russian is a dead Russian.

      Soldatova and the rest of the vermin like her should move to the USA, ASAP.

    • patient observer says:

      A devotion reminiscent of the Charlie Manson groupies – psychos in love.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      See how they get their inflated figures?

      …участие в ней предварительно подтвердили 18 тысяч пользователей соцсетей.

      “…participation confirmed by 18 thousand social network users.”

      That’s what they used to do when organizing their anti-Putin demos here: they’d use their Twitter etc. confirmations of attendance when applying to city hall to hold a march and rally, then pump up that number on the day of the event, all of which they began to call “March of the Millions”.

      There has never ever been a march of a million protesters here.

      There has in London though, against Blair’s warmongering. The British government at the time, however, took not one blind bit of notice of it.

  17. Moscow Exile says:

    Remember the silly tweet showing the shrouded Kremlin Spassky tower that is at present undergoing renovation? I don’t know what was supposed to be the point of that tweet, but that’s the tower whose clock chimes in the the New Year.

    Well I thought they did well this year in compensating for the absence of the clock. See the picture below, taken just after New Year 2015 had been rung in:

  18. Moscow Exile says:

    And for all you Natalya Poklonskaya fans:

    And just think, there’s a warrant long been out for her arrest should she ever venture into Banderastan.

    • marknesop says:

      Curses! I feel an urge to break the law coming on!

    • Warren says:

      What’s the deal with the Tsar Nicholas II portrait? Has Strelkov’s monarchist White Guards sympathises rubbed off on her?

      • marknesop says:

        What are you talking about?? That’s Santa, from when he was in the army.

      • yalensis says:

        Surprise surprise!
        It turns out that Natasha is actually the Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna Romanova in disguise!
        See, it turns out that Colonel Denikin secretly saved the young girl from execution when the Bolsheviks took over, he spirited her out of Russia, then had her frozen at a cryonics center in Brighton Beach, New York.
        Anastasia (aka Natasha) was thawed out when the Soviet Union collapsed. She was returned to Russia, given a mundane job as a prosecutor in Crimea. But now it is time for her to step out and reveal herself as the heir to the throne!

        Upon ascending the throne, Anastasia plans to wed Igor Strelkov, who will be appointed Commander in Chief of all the Royal Russian Armed Forces. Igor will be co-regent and rule together with “Natalia” in the Kremlin! This is all very exciting news!

  19. Moscow Exile says:

    Two and a half hours ago. The Moscow River is frozen over. I wonder if the Dnieper is? Should be.

    And it’s 02:30 now and I’ve still not gone to bed because my night -owl family are still coming and going, visitig folk and letting off fireworks.

    Bloody Russians!
    🙂

  20. patient observer says:

    Happy New Year Mark and congratulations on your great numbers in 2014!

    Swift69 would have sent me ballistic. You know how to handle these agents of aggravation.

    • marknesop says:

      Thanks, Patient Observer, and thanks also for your unflagging support – thanks to all my readers for that, actually. I am delighted with the level of conversation here, and learn something nearly every day that I did not know. It’s also much better having all the latest news brought to me rather than searching for it myself.

      • Dan8538 says:

        Mark, this blog has become my go to source for everything russia and ukraine related. I cant thank you enough for creating this blog and letting all of us english speaking souls pour out our thoughts and foster intelligent discussions.
        I look forward to reading more of your great posts in the future.
        God knows, Ukraine’s leadership always gives you great material🙂

  21. Fern says:

    Mark, another brilliant, take-down post on which to end 2014. If Swift69 seriously believes that indiscriminately firing missiles into civilian areas is not a war crime, he needs to explain why, when President Assad’s forces, acting to repel a foreign-backed jihadi invasion, fail to take adequate measures to protect civilians, it is judged by the self-same Amnesty International whom Swifty admiringly quotes, as a crime against humanity? Or how does the Swifty doctrine fit with the interminable Hague prosecutions of Serbs? Don’t a lot of those deal with the failure to discriminate between combatants and non-combatants?

    There’s much wilful blindness here and a determination to ignore what’s in front of one’s face. It is, for example, hard to understand how a government that has effectively disenfranchised a large section of its population by banning political parties which garnered significant amounts of support, can be celebrated in the West as the flowering of democracy. Swifty, like the folk Dan is spending the evening with, are in the grip of a particular ideology which is impervious to evidence and facts.

    Mark, may I add my thanks for your fantastic work on creating and maintaining this blog and a very happy and safe 2015 to all who drop in here.

    • marknesop says:

      Thanks very much, Fern, and thanks to you also for your reasoned and cerebral analyses throughout the year. It is indeed astonishing to see defenses such as “You just added ‘ballistic’ to that to make it sound more scary”, as if only schoolmarms and old-lady librarians recognize a land-attack missile as being more murderous than a garden-variety 7.62mm bullet. And then tried to naturalize it himself by suggesting it was simply another weapon affected by gravity! Breathtaking in its deliberate ignorance, but there are in fact many who want to whitewash the whole show by downplaying the deliberate killing of anyone who gets in the way, so as to coerce the remainder into giving up – it is war reduced to its most brutal and cruel, without any of the “refinements” of humanitarian law, because Kiev has learned it can disregard the rules with impunity and the U.S. State Department will provide it with cover by denying that anyone has any proof of atrocities actually occurring. And that’s fine, if that’s the way the west wants to play it, so long as it is consistent and we do not have incidents such as their moving the bodies of dead children into Damascus to pretend Assad killed them in a chemical attack, and then weeping about the deaths of innocents. If there are no civilians in war, then let’s get that on the table – might have interesting effects the next time one of the USA’s NGO’s is rubbed out to the last man in some faraway country.

      Likewise, I do not want to hear any more about Russia having broken international law to “annex” Crimea. The west ruled by acclamation that unilateral declarations of independence were outside international law and consequently are unregulated by it, and no less an authority than the Hague opined that the manner by which Crimea detached itself from Ukraine was legal. As an independent entity there was nothing improper about its subsequent application to join the Russian Federation. Everyone said Kosovo would come back to bite the west in the ass, and it did.

      The support Russia offered Crimea prior to its unilateral declaration of independence did indeed fold, spindle and mutilate the Budapest Memorandum, but so what? Any military participation was already in position in Sevastopol – I have yet to see anyone contend there were more than 25,000 Russian troops there – while western accounts simply assume everyone who did not wear discernible insignia was Russian. What happened to Crimea’s own defense forces, who lived there? Ukraine itself contributed mightily to the tension by declaring the referendum illegal even before it was held – which it was not – and was backed up by the usual self-interested western powers, and threatened to take military action to prevent the peninsula’s expression of free will. Ukraine’s version has it that Crimea’s own defense forces just stayed off the streets in their homes. I doubt that was the case.

      The Budapest Memorandum is not a treaty, but simply a diplomatic document, while for its part Kiev and its cheerleaders have showed complete disregard for international law themselves. Why should anyone feel constrained to obey it?

      • katkan says:

        “Ukraine’s version has it that Crimea’s own defense forces just stayed off the streets in their homes. I doubt that was the case”

        They were probably down at the polling booths voting to join Russia. A lot of them stayed and took Russian citizenship (and got equivalent jobs right away). .

  22. yalensis says:

    American dissident Oliver Stone accuses CIA of meddling in Ukraine.

  23. yalensis says:

    A survey of official Kiev positions and attitudes:
    Genocide, torture and rape for the enemies of the state.

    • yalensis says:

      P.S. the article is by George Eliason. It makes for a grim read.

      • marknesop says:

        George Eliason is the author Swift69 portrayed as a tenuous-grasp-on-reality lunatic who was not to be believed. I generally try to stay away from sites like Global Research or World Socialist Worker because the west uniformly regards them as not credible and goes into gales of laughter as soon as you cite either one as a reference. The fact remains Global Research has been right more often than not, and if its stories appear apocalyptic, it’s because the situation in Ukraine is just that – it is the English-speaking media of the west that steadfastly portrays it as normal and even progressive.

        The west will never, never live this down. It set a terrible precedent in Kosovo, but that was as nothing compared to the capital it is now spending recklessly. Simply put, the west can never again be taken seriously when it blabbers on about freedom and democracy and humanitarian intervention and international law.

        • yalensis says:

          I had not heard of George Eliason before a couple of weeks ago. His pieces about Ukraine make complete sense to me, they are fact-based and don’t seem crazy at all.
          People say you are crazy if you accuse Ukrainian government of being Nazis. But they ARE Nazis.
          People chortle and laugh about “crucified babies”, like the very notion of Banderites committing atrocities against civilians is just SO ridiculous.
          I have not found one single person who has successfully refuted the “crucified baby” allegation brought forward by an eye witness. They think it is good enough to just laugh hysterically, like it is impossible for such a thing to happen.
          It is impossible for babies to be murdered, or women to be raped.

          Western propaganda tries to create a Pavlovian reaction: When you see certain names, you are supposed to just assume they are crazy, and dismiss them.
          I HAD heard of Oliver Stone, that is true. He is one of the people, you are supposed to just laugh and dismiss, because of his “crazy” theories about JFK assassination.
          I personally don’t know who killed JFK. But I HAVE been following Ukraine enough to know that Oliver Stone is completely correct about that scenario. Whether or not he is correct about JFK, I don’t know. From what I understand, his theory is that the CIA ordered JFK to be assassinated, because the Prez was about to scale down Vietnam war.. That doesn’t seem logical to me, but what do I know?

          A person can be right about one thing and wrong about another.

          • yalensis says:

            P.S.
            While I am on the theme of the “crucified baby”, this is a prime example of how inconvenient eye witness testimony is debunked as “conspiracy theory” by Western propaganda:

            When the eye witness first came out with her allegation about the crime that was committed in the city of Slavyansk by Right Sektor Nazi occupiers (family of separatist leader destroyed: baby crucified to cardboard sign, and mom dragged behind tank):

            Initially, the debunkers moved a whole ridge of mountains to “prove” that the woman was a fake, she wasn’t really a Ukrainian, she wasn’t really from Galicia, she didn’t speak the language, she was a fake person, etc etc.

            Then later had to admit that the woman was exactly who she said she was:
            Her biography and story checked out completely: her name, place of birth.
            She was exactly who she said she was, born exactly where she said she was born, married to exactly who she said she was married to, resident in exact town she said she was residing in.

            Everything in her statement that could be verified, checked out.

            Doesn’t necessarily mean she was telling the truth, but if I was a detective, I would say that she was at the very minimum a “credible” witness, and should be heard. Not just laughed at hysterically: “Crucified babies! Yeah right! That’s impossible!”

          • marknesop says:

            Oliver Stone is a bit of an edgy character who has been known to say some nutty things, and is now viewed as having completely taken leave of his senses – or just pathetically seeking publicity – by contradicting The Machine’s narrative. This is something he shares with Gerard Depardieu and Steven Seagal (although it is very likely true of Seagal). But you are right that just because he says a few things that are out there on the edge does not mean he is a madman if he says there are Nazis in Ukraine, because plainly there are. If Oliver Stone said, “Don’t put your hand on top of the woodstove, it’s hot”, would the Ukie apologists shout “Don’t listen to him, he’s crazy”? And if you believed them and put your hand on top of the hot stove, would it mean you did not get burned?

    • yalensis says:

      And this is the source for the allegations of mass rapes committed by Azov Battalion in the Mariupol women’s colony.

      • yalensis says:

        And P.S. – the same thing is starting to happen in Odessa. Recently Ukrainian tanks have entered Odessa, searching for internal dissidents and enemies of the state.

  24. yalensis says:

    Christmas children’s pantomime staged a couple of days ago in town of Lipetsk, Russia.

    Basic plot:
    American Santa Claus and his traitorous elfish assistant threaten Russianas with their military might. Russians must submit and obey.
    Woodland creatures begs to disagree. There is some phonetic play with the expression “Who is who?” Children giggle at the double-entendre.
    Woodland animals appeal to Russia’s 3 warrior knights: Bulava, Topol, and Iskander.

    Next, Putin appears in a giant ball above the stage (2:34 minutes in), and does his shtick about “The Russian bear cannot be tamed. He is the master of the taiga.”

    The woodland creatures approve of this. The Bear, Master of the Taiga, scampers onto the stage and dances, while the woodland creatures and the Russians cavort.

    THE END

  25. davidt says:

    MK Bhadrakumar, at Indian Punchline, provides evidence that some people in the US establishment are interested in some sort of rapprochement with Russia, though Putin seems to be ignoring these approaches. (Surely Putin cannot settle for anything less than a serious federalization of Ukraine.) Might be something in it- perhaps some in the west think that their bargaining position might weaken. You would certainly think that Russia’s new defense doctrine would make many Europeans nervous.(Safer down here in the antipodes!) How does one make sense of Merkel’s latest nonsense- her brains seem to have dropped out.
    http://blogs.rediff.com/mkbhadrakumar/author/bhadrakumaranrediffmailcom/
    In contrast to the above, the Saker has an erudite and down to earth “End of Year” report. Here is a link in case anyone has missed it:
    http://vineyardsaker.blogspot.com/2014/12/2014-end-of-year-report-and-look-into.html
    Best wishes for 2015 to everyone.

    • ThatJ says:

      [RAND Corporation] thesis is that Russia’s current economic difficulties open a window of opportunity for the US to offer a lifeline in the nature of a “truly comprehensive package” on Ukraine crisis consisting of five “basic elements”:

      • Full implementation of the Minsk accord on Eastern Ukraine;
      • NATO retaining its “deterrent posture” in Eastern Europe and strengthening it through “forward deployments” in the Baltic states as “essential insurance against another breakdown in the West’s relationship with Russia”;
      • No NATO membership for Ukraine;
      • Russia’s acceptance of “a closer Ukrainian relationship with the European Union” on the one hand and reciprocal moves to address “Russian concerns with being cut off from access to Ukrainian markets”; and,
      • Long-term and “firmer” Western commitment to supporting reforms in Ukraine.

      ***

      The EU is a trojan horse for NATO membership. The US has shown beyond doubt its true objectives in Europe and Ukraine, I don’t trust any American approachment proposal.

      “Western commitment” for supporting reforms in Ukraine means the embassies will continue to run the show (i.e. consolidate their position) and politicians will have to work towards implementing whatever they demand or face dire consequences.

      • Paul says:

        And what does Russia get? Besides the West breaking all of those promises, of course. And one can suspect that a full implementation of Minsk means the destruction of the Donbass over time. Perhaps negotiable, but, still, the problem is that the US and Russia have totally incompatible goals.

        Cynics might think that most Western proposals are simply gambits to try to provoke in-fighting within the Russian elites. For that matter, that seems to be the purpose of most of the sanctions or economic pressure. A Russian Maidan is a lot less likely than a palace coup.

        • ThatJ says:

          “Cynics might think that most Western proposals are simply gambits to try to provoke in-fighting within the Russian elites.”

          You are right, this proposal may be a bait directed at the Russian elites.

          • katkan says:

            Some Russian elites have substantial investments — in Donbass. They want this war over, but not so their factories end up in the penny specials basket of a high-tax austerity regime. Some of them may be judging their chances of continued operation are better with an unrecognised republic. Some may even be quietly assisting the formation of one or two.

            For the others it doesn’t matter, as they all know the sanctions are not coming off, no matter what.

      • marknesop says:

        This sounds just like Štefan Füle and his bemused wonder that Russia could quarrel over Ukraine’s closer association with the European Union because it “would benefit Russia, too”. Duh, he was the Commissioner for European Union Enlargement at the time, and I think it was always clear where his priorities lay. There is no reason whatsoever to believe any American promise of no NATO membership for Ukraine, because it views promises as conveying no particular responsibility to observe them and would break such a promise as soon as it was convenient, probably with some fluff about “We didn’t want to do it, but the Ukrainians begged us and we felt we could not stand in the way of self-determination and the democratic transition”.

        Russia does not actually give a monkey’s about being “cut off from access to Ukrainian markets”, and this is just hand jive on the part of the USA to get back onto the path they had laid out before, in which the EU would sell to Ukraine, would sell to Russia through Ukraine, and Russia would buy from Ukraine the products the EU did not want. Then Nirvana would arrive – the EU and Ukraine both with trade surpluses and Russia with a massive trade deficit, while it paid for the reconstruction and European rebirth of Ukraine. Sure – let me get back to you on that.

    • ThatJ says:

      The US may be ‘getting it’ that Ukrainians are becoming tired of the civil war and that ‘someone’ (hint, hint) is egging on them to fight Russia (to the last Ukrainian, as the Ukies themselves also say) and that no economic recovery is forthcoming. It’s a lose-lose scenario for Ukrainians.

      If I’m correct, then this ‘approachment’ means that the quick and violent push has failed and that the continuation of war may not only become expensive for the West, but they could lose more sympathy in Ukraine and perhaps if Russia aided the rebels seriously, more of Ukraine would be lost if the junta pushes ahead with the war.

      So the US is being cautious: it’s too risky to drag this war on, we already have the media and the government by the balls, now it’s time to wait the older generation die and the young children and adults who we are brainwashing right now grow up. They will eventually push Ukraine towards EU and NATO membership.

    • marknesop says:

      That’s a very interesting blog, and one worth watching; I wanted to comment directly on the blog entry, but Rediff seems to be having server problems. Anyway, I think any serious talk of a rapprochement can be dispensed with quickly and easily by (a) revisiting history which shows time and again that the USA simply pummels its opponent into the ground if it is winning, and seeks rapprochement only when it reaches the cut-my-losses stage…and why would Russia agree to a rapprochement when it is not losing, and (b) by researching merely the first author, Hans Binnendijk. Here’s a piece he co-wrote on the crisis in June last year, for The Hill. It includes such typical western tropes as “Putin has demonstrated his willingness to adjust European borders by force” and “NATO must deter Russian aggression”. I find it hard to believe he has warmed up to cuddly in such a short time. I didn’t research the other co-authors – I have to go out, so that’s a project for the rest of you – but I see no reason at all for Russia to regard this as anything other than a new American strategy to achieve the only goal the USA will accept, which is total victory for the United States.

      • et Al says:

        My only comment is, ‘What does the US want?’ and go backwards from there with each ‘offer’ they make. The Ends justify the means. Innit?

        Or as they say in the US ‘keep your eyes on the prize’.

        However hard you try to obfuscate your strategy, the result is always what you are aiming for and is usually quite particular.

    • Jen says:

      This “rapprochement” could very well be of a piece with the US government’s about-turn and suddenly friendly overture to Cuba to lift the trade embargo (or part of it anyway) and to open an embassy in Cuba: previous direct actions against Russia and Cuba so far haven’t worked so maybe it’s time to use the indirect backdoor way of achieving your aims by appearing to be conciliatory, wanting to make up and even dangling concessions and sacrifices to your opponents to soften them up.

  26. Moscow Exile says:

    Kharkov, New Year’s Eve, Freedom Square: Porky addresses his fellow countrymen:

  27. yalensis says:

    Dissident and contrarian Raúl Ilargi Meijer names 2014 the “Year of Propaganda”.

  28. yalensis says:

    Meanwhile, today happens to be the birthday of Stepan Bandera (born January 1, 1909).
    In Kiev, Nazis from Right Sektor and Svoboda Parties gathered to commemmorate Bandera’s anniversary by holding a torchlight procession on Maidan and waving portraits of their hero, Bandera.

    Russian correspondent Zhanna Karpenko (Life News) was there, along with her cameraman, to cover the meeting.
    Both were attacked by the mob. The cameraman got it worse, and his camera was smashed.
    Zhanna was unharmed, but her mobile phone was stolen.
    In the first clip can be heard a frightened Zhanna phoning in her story to the Moscow office.

    • marknesop says:

      A fairly spicy statement from the Russian Foreign Ministry on this incident, rich with “fascist” and “Nazi” buttons which Ukraine has no defense against, since the evidence speaks for itself. Any pushback by Ukraine is likely to inspire bloggers to take a closer look at Bandera’s history and drag the whole stinking mess into the open. Meanwhile, it’s hard for the west to argue the journalists did anything to invite attack except for Being Russian In Kiev. Pretty difficult to portray Kiev as a model of democratic transition under those circumstances.

      It is also important for antifascist organizations to speak up on the occasion, too, as the case in hand is bigger than just a dangerous neo-Nazi tendency in the heart of Europe and it concerns concrete actions that replicate Nazi traditions in form and essence,” Zakharova said. “Silence in this case is tantamount to tacit consent.

      Russia has a long way to go if it wants to catch up with the western Spinmeisters, but it is learning.

  29. yalensis says:

    Also on the Nazi theme:
    This piece was from a few days ago.

    In Kiev’s Historical Museum (named after MIkhail Grushevsky) was opened an exhibition of a collection of Stepan Bandera busts. The artist of the busts is Ukrainian sculptor Ivan Lipovka.

    “This exhibition is the start of a project called ‘Heroes of the Ukraine’. We started with Stepan Bandera, and we will continue to augment this collection and make a whole gallery of heroes. Next in line is Shukhevich, then the heroes of the Heavenly Hundred.
    “Bandera has been denigrated undeservingly. He served time in fascist concentration camps. Whereas Soviet propaganda would have you believe that he was in service to the Germans. It is time to raise Bandera from historical amnesia onto that pedestal, which he deserves.”

    The Bandera busts are crafted from marble and bronze (and some even from gold). They are small in size, because the exhibit is meant to be mobile and used for propaganda purposes.

    “We should never forget that the revolution, which started last year, took place under the name and ideas of Stepan Bandera. No matter how they try to twist it now. This revolution was NOT for the dollar, nor the Euro, and was not simply anti-regime. We read the works of Bandera. He wrote, that there must be a national revolution, and not just opposition to the regime. And so we made a nationalist revolution, and we will continue it even further.”


    Swing your sickle,
    Swing your knife,
    At the Liakh [=Pole],
    To take his life!

    Jadwiga Majewska (born in 1933) was just ten years old in July 1943. She witnessed the massacre in Huta Stepańska. “I keep reminiscing about the events of July 16, 1943. We had to gather in the school building. That was that famous act of self-defense. It was the beginning of fight to defend ourselves. There were lots of people in the school building, ones from other localities, too. […] We stayed there until July 18, and then we got an order to retreat to Sarny, closer to the railway, there where the Germans were. […] We hurried home. Everybody took whatever they could. I was the only one who stayed behind because I decided to return home to get the picture I got for my first Communion. I ran after the wagon but there were too many people. […] Mom was shouting and stretching out her arms to help me onto the wagon but I slipped behind because of that crowd. I saw many corpses. I remember that we were attacked during our escape. I saw the Banderites shooting and shouting: ‘Hoorah, kill the Liakhs.’ I was so scared that I jumped over the ditch because I saw some people running into the forest. […] I lost my shoe and that picture there. I was wearing my first Communion dress dyed blue. […] I saw a dead woman with her belly cut open. A child was sitting next to her, crying. I saw other corpses too. While I was running into the forest I saw my uncle, my father’s brother, running with his fiancée. She grabbed my hand and we walked until dusk. Then we walked on during the night and the next day, until we reached Sarny.” Thereafter Jadwiga Majewska made it to Równe with her uncle and aunt. For some time she thought that her entire family was dead. “And then I got news that my parents were alive and that they were in a camp in a forest. And the person who brought that news was to take me to them. We returned to Sarny, where my neighbor was waiting for me. I was very surprised that she was wearing a fur coat in July. I remember that she wrapped me in it when she greeted me. Only later did I find out that when you have to flee you take the most valuable thing you have.”

    • kirill says:

      History is being erased by NATO and its minions in Ukraine. I expect that 100 years from now WWII and the Holocaust will be attributed to Russia.

    • ThatJ says:

      See the picture chosen by Yahoo:

      https://au.news.yahoo.com/world/a/25888669/thousands-of-ukraine-nationalists-march-in-kiev/

      What do they want us to think this march is all about? Joining the EU, that’s what!

      • marknesop says:

        “…a 1940s anti-Soviet insurgent branded by Moscow as a Nazi collaborator whom Europe must reject.”

        Masterful – an entire sentence in which every single word is spin.

        1. “a 1940’s”…translation, this happened so long ago that it is irrelevant to today’s events; for God’s sake, when will these people move on?

        2. “anti-Soviet insurgent”…translation, this is the real reason the Russians hate and fear him.

        3. “branded by Moscow as a Nazi collaborator”…yes, and we all know how reliable Moscow’s word is.

        4. “whom Europe must reject”…Wait a minute, hold the phone!! Are the Russians telling us what to do again???

        Propaganda as art.

    • marknesop says:

      Yes, Bandera the national hero. What a sick joke. I really hope there are honest Ukrainians who are appalled with what their country has turned into. And the west should never be forgiven for bringing that change about. Those people were always hidden in Ukrainian society, but now they perceive it’s all right for them to come out because the west will not allow anyone to challenge them. Disgraceful.

  30. kirill says:

    http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2014/08/25/true-story-sharp-turn-in-polish-history.html

    The forgotten history of Poland between WWI and WWII. These new Europe Russia haters always screech about Russia supposedly not accepting the crimes of the Soviets. That is of course total BS. Meanwhile these maggots completely erase their history.

    Nauseating to see Ukrainians crawl up Poland’s ass these days. They are truly brainwashed to the point of forgetting their own history. It’s all Russia, Russia, Russia, Putin, Putin, Putin in their minds.

  31. Moscow Exile says:

    Brother for his brother. Manezh, December 30, 2014

    (That is to say, Aleksei Navalny doing his thing for brother Oleg, who is now now doing bird.)

    Navalny tweet made 22 minutes after the scheduled time to assemble on the Manezh and after he had been apprehended and taken back home by the cops:

    Я был рад хоть пятнадцать минут быть той единицей без которой не соберутся миллионы.
    7:22 PM – 30 Dec 2014

    I am glad to have been only 15 minutes with that small unit of people, for without them millions will not gather – and the lying bastard wasn’t even there!

    Having alighted at Pushkinskaya metro station at the top of Tverskaya St., he was arrested half-way down the street, along which he was intending to make his triumphal entry onto the square at the bottom of the hill, accompanied by his entourage and a mob of photojournalists.

    And his devoted followers, the “unit”, waited and waited for their great leader to arrive.

    Such devoted followers of Navalny are these “liberals”, who like to call those who are not of like mind as they “bydlo”, namely “cattle” or “sheeple”!

    But did the Chosen One really intend to be part of the crowd of 1,500?

    I have seen two independent reports where the journalists state that, whilst watching him making his slow and majestic way down the hill, one would think that Navalny actually intended to be arrested before he reached the square, hence his stroll down Tverskaya.

    He could have got off the metro at either Hunters’ Row or Revolution Square metro stations and walked from their exits straight onto the Manezh Square.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      By the way, none of the above shots in the clip were actually taken on the square, the events all clearly having been filmed after the square had been cleared at 9 p.m.

      All the shots were made from the bottom of Tverskaya St. or in front of the Hotel National on Mokhovaya St., whence you can look across at the square and towards the approach roads to Red Square beyond, and in the booking hall of the metro station Okhotny Ryad (Hunters’ Row).

      Those shown being arrested are the ones who refused to disperse after the short-lived show was clearly over.

      I reckon the cops were really patient with that old ratbag who was chunnering away about her right of passage being blocked by police barriers. If she moved police barrriers in central London as she is shown doing above in central Moscow, she would very likely have her collar felt and would be charged with obstruction of an officer in the course of his duty.

      But all the time, those dumb cops didn’t know that the fantastically brave feminist punk rock musicians “Pussy Riot” were hiding in the big replica of a New Year tree glass-ball decoration (seen at 1:59); they stayed there all night as well, they say.

      I actually believe that the cops most certainly knew those charlatans were there – it is a transparent obect, after all – but had been instructed to ignore them: in other words, to starve them of the oxygen of publicity and scandal that is the whole purpose of those brave women’s noble lives.

  32. ThatJ says:

    A twitter user put the number of Banderites marching in Kiev today at 5k.

    RT.com:

    All in all, the rally attracted about 2,000 people representing the Ukrainian radical right-wing movements, according to Interfax-Ukraine.

    TASS cited even less:

    Earlier Thursday, more than 1,000 supporters of extreme-right organizations organized a torchlight procession along Kiev streets. The action ended on Independence Square (Maidan – the symbol of Ukrainian protests), where those who gathered chanted radical and often anti-Russian slogans. Similar actions, which involved fewer people, were held today in Dnepropetrovsk and Lvov.

    Do you have any figure, yalensis?

    Considering where this march took place, and the dismal number of people it attracted, it seems less and less people are showing enthusiasm for the Banderites/Maidanites.

    Germany’s Pegida march, despite being condemned by the church, the polical class, the media and the universities, attracted 17.5k people the last week in a city whose population is over 4 times smaller than Kiev.

    Also the people in Kiev, unlike in Germany, face no risk whatsoever. Indeed, they are encouraged by the West and the institutions are all for their plastic patriotism.

    • Jen says:

      Curious though that the Pegida movement seems to be of fairly recent origin and didn’t exist before October 2014 which to me suggests it may not have a popular grassroots origin and might not really reflect popular sentiment across Germany. Why a large rally of 17,500 in Dresden and nowhere else in Germany?

      • ThatJ says:

        Dresden is an eastern German city, they have been spared of Western post-WWII brainwashing and are yet to catch up with the “cultural standards” imposed by the “Anglo”-Zionists that the Ukrainian “nationalists” want to live under. There have been protests in other cities as well, but so far they have attracted only a few hundred people.

        The sentiment exists, it’s just that these Germans in Dresden are particularly courageous considering the PC terror that reigns in the country.

        • Jen says:

          My understanding of the Pegida protests in Dresden from what I’ve been able to pick up on the Internet is that they received far more media publicity than anti-Pegida protests held in Cologne, Munich (organisers there counted some 25,000 against Pegida) and other parts of Germany. Also the Pegida protests drew people from across the country and attracted the support of right-wing parties so there is a strong likelihood that protesters at the Dresden Pegida rally were bussed in. That probably explains the weak turn-out of Pegida supporters in other parts of the country.

          I do not know much about Dresden apart from its being capital of Saxony where the NPD (Nationaldemokratische Partei Deutschlands, a far right-wing party) has a strong following. The economic collapse in eastern Germany following German reunification in 1989, resulting in high unemployment, would have encouraged support for extremist right-wing parties. The Wikipedia article on Dresden mentions it has a strong IT industry but IT companies do not create very much employment outside IT for people who don’t have college education.

        • ThatJ says:

          @Jen

          Organisers counted 25,000 in Munich you say, but the police said there were around 12,000.

          Copy and paste the following on Google and see the results yourself:
          munich pegida “12,000”

          I have been following the Pegida protests, mostly by reading Western mainstream media. This is my take on it, counter-Pegida demo in Munich included:

          https://marknesop.wordpress.com/2014/12/20/the-southern-gas-corridor-is-a-blind-alley/comment-page-2/#comment-86752

          • Jen says:

            Yes I have seen your previous comment comparing Munich and Dresden and the turn-out figures for their respective protests. Until we know more about the people who participated in the demonstrations and where they came from, the scale of the demonstrations in the two cities cannot be taken as a rough guide to the levels of local enthusiasm. Apart from the protest in Dresden, the Pegida protests attracted small numbers of supporters in other German cities which raises the probability that many of the Dresden Pegida supporters had been bussed in by extreme right-wing political parties and organisations.

            The support for far right-wing parties and their agendas is strong in Dresden and other former East German areas because these are the areas that collapsed economically after the 1989 reunification and which suffered high unemployment for a long time afterwards (and still do). Incidentally Dresden is not far from Zwickau where for 13 years the National Socialist Underground operated in secret, killing nine migrants and a police officer, and carrying out bomb attacks and bank hold-ups. When the NSU was finally flushed out, people discovered the reason why this group had been able to operate for a long time in the way it did: it had been protected by police, intelligence agents and the court system.
            https://viewpointmag.com/2014/09/11/the-deep-state-germany-immigration-and-the-national-socialist-underground/

            It’s odd that Western mainstream media did not report that 65,000 people in Germany signed an online petition against Pegida. Maybe that’s because online petitions don’t contain much potential for riots, fighting with police and police arrests.
            http://www.dw.de/thousands-sign-online-petition-against-german-anti-islam-pegida-movement/a-18153246

          • ThatJ says:

            @Jen

            The viewpointmage.com article was written by a Trotskyite. The author is one of those people who think that demographic warfare (i.e. colonization) practiced by your country against others is bad, but if the roles are reversed and your country and people become the victim, it’s good. It’s so good that those opposed to it must be fought. Being against outward oppression but supporting inward oppression discredits the author in my view, making her or him a person of dubious morality.

  33. ThatJ says:

    Some comments:

    nana rara
    22 hours ago

    Happy New Years to Russia.

    Im a Polish-Canadian, proud of both countries.
    It is true that many Poles and Canadians are Russophobes but dont discount all of us.

    Primarly it is the idiots in power who cause problems in Relations between the countries.

    Canadian leader Harper for example is following American antiRussian propaganda. He is typical scumbag of a leader. He loves Israel more than his own country and he wants Ukrainian votes for the next elections. Thats why he puts those sanctions and acts like a child.

    At the same time,
    Polish leaders are playing a dangerous and very stupid politics by making Russia more angry. Neighbouring countries should have at least neutral (better good) relation putting aside any differences. One day Slavic relations will improve. I pray for it.

    And

    sekseb V
    1 day ago

    For Russia. All the best. Greetings from Polish.

    And

    TheSommersonnenwende
    5 hours ago

    And a happy new year to you too Mr. Putin and to all Russians who love their
    country and stand behind the greatest President of our time! Go Russia !
    Love from Germany!

    And

    Nikola241
    1 day ago

    Long live Putin and all Russians. I wish you all a happy new year. From Serbia

    And

    nova
    1 day ago

    Long live Russia from Germany

    And

    Denis Berdnikov
    20 hours ago

    And long live to Germany from Russia! My grandfather was a German and I’m proud of it. Keep Germanees on the high level in your country, don’t forget who you are and your heritage… I’m support all kinds of European cultures and disagree with globalization/Americanization. Europe has everything for prosperity of the whole Euroasian continent. All cultures and languages should be saved.

  34. marknesop says:

    It looks as if France’s position on delivery of the MISTRAL assault carriers has not changed a bit, and that Hollande expects Russia to back down. There might be some wiggle room, in that France might take any good day of the ceasefire to say “that’s good enough for us, the ceasefire is being observed”, and accept any political roadmap, but I don’t think so. I think Washington has Hollande by his pallid and insubstantial balls and is squeezing him hard – after all, what is it to Washington if the economy of the cheese-eating surrender monkeys craters? What is it to Washington if France is left with two white-elephant ships it can’t sell?

    It remains now to be seen if the Kremlin will also hold its position, declare the deal is off and demand its money back. France is now in default of the contract’s terms, and Russia has been patient for more than a month after the contracted delivery date passed. Enough.

    • Paul says:

      Many argue that the Mistral deal was a bad idea, and had more than the normal degree of corruption. So getting the money back and damaging France’s reputation is a plus for Russia’s military-industrial complex.

      Does the Kremlin ever hold a position? Just joshing, but kreakliis hold positions, but Russia seems to always have a struggle between those who love the West and those who don’t, and those who love the West will usually want to sell out just about anything to get closer to their dream of European integration. Kind of the Russian version of what got so many Ukrainians into trouble.

      • marknesop says:

        Russia has indeed traditionally been patient with the west through its many tantrums and meltdowns, but I believe this is truly at an end. It would be a fine opening act symbolic of this new resolve if Russia were to haul France straight into court and force them to repay the money, because they are going to get nowhere with the force majeure defense – VLADIVOSTOK is completed and ready for delivery and has been so since well before the delivery date: France is just stalling for political reasons. i cannot conceive of a ruling by any western court, no matter how biased, that would allow France to keep both the ships and the money, and the Russians have already said they’d rather have the money – the most France-favourable verdict I can imagine would be one which ordered Russia to give France a little more time, say…three months. At the outside. But Russia has to start the ball rolling by taking France to court and demanding its money back, at which time the ships are France’s problem. Let’s go, Rogozin…I’m looking at you.

        I completely agree getting the money back as well as undercutting and damaging France’s reputation as an arms dealer would be the better option for Russia, although either outcome would be a win for Russia – it would be very hard for Washington to pitch a delivery delay of a couple of months as a major victory. It will of course strut and whoop and praise France for its courage if the French don’t deliver the ships, but that will cut no ice with the French electorate, while Washington’s praise is becoming toxic for European leaders.

  35. marknesop says:

    Two of the terrorists in the December 4th attack on the Press Centre in Grozny – which we speculated was supposed to start a new and coordinated series of attacks on Russia from the region – have been killed after being tracked to a house in Mekenskaya, in Chechnya.

  36. marknesop says:

    The National Post’s (Canada’s most virulently pro-Conservative, anti-Russian newspaper) Financial Post tells the west what it wants to hear – Russians are suffering, and may be about to throw in the towel. That’s what you’d get from the headline, “‘We are hardly surviving’: As oil and the ruble drop, ordinary Russians face growing list of problems” (the quote came from a 77-year-old nurse who lives in a dying village at the end of a dirt road, while the article surprisingly points out Putin has raised pensions to nine times what they were in 2001). But it led in with a lengthy preamble about some guy getting hit by a train 7 years ago, and points out how frequently this happens at that particular location, as if it has something to do with the economy. The railway and its death toll are emblematic of life in Russia under President Vladimir Putin, we learn. If you can imagine, “At Saltykovskaya, for instance, there has been no safe way to cross the tracks, just a barrier and a red light that people routinely ignore.”

    What happens if you ignore a red light and dart across the tracks in the United States when a train is coming? Does somebody walk up to you and hand you a fistful of money? Does a cloud of flowers explode from the ground and shower you with colour and perfume? Does a trio of winged naked nymphettes swoop down and carry you to safety? What do you think?

    I don’t have to think about it, because I looked it up. You get killed, stone dead, just like you would expect to see happen to any clueless assrocket who thought he could outrun a train and was too smart to pay attention to warnings, no matter where it happened. And do you know what the U.S. media calls it when that happens? An accident. Not emblematic of life in the United States under President Obama. Where pensions are underfunded to the tune of nearly a Trillion dollars as of 2011. I imagine you would be killed stone dead anywhere in Europe, too, if you ignored warnings not to step in front of trains, rather than getting a tongue bath from a harp seal or receiving a trophy for Most Improved European. Just by the bye, Europe is notorious for some of its member states seizing private pensions in order to make up government budget shortfalls. So a country where the pensions have risen by a factor of nine since 2001 should be fucking admired, not to put too fine a point on it, by a Canadian newspaper that doesn’t know enough to come in out of the fucking rain.

    And as if I needed anything to make me even madder, the “related” sidebar to the article contains a typically arse-licking article from Mister Apology Face, Alexey Kudrin, telling the west even more of what it wants to hear, groveling like a worm and weeping that the Russian economy could implode at any moment, with almost unimaginable consequences, inviting Beltway burrito-heads to imagine Auschwitz-skinny Russians crawling through the streets eating dirt.

    That’s it, friends and neighbours, I am too wound-up to do anything but go to bed; if I continue, I might heave the laptop through a window. But you know what? This is good news, because it invites the west to continue just a little while longer, to advance deeper into the La Brea tar pit it has built for itself with its saccharine daydreams of conquest and humiliation, and to take its own economies past the recovery point. Russia has large cash reserves, and the west is forgetting China – who has the world’s largest reserves while both countries have large stores of gold – has pledged to back the Russian economy. The west keeping up the pressure to the point it does irrecoverable damage to its own economic wellbeing is the best thing that could happen to Russia. And if the west continues to turn up the heat even though its leaders know well their cassus belli is a pile of lies and shit, it deserves whatever happens to it as a result.

    • davidt says:

      Michael Hudson claimed that Putin was like Roosevelt in that he lets his advisors with conflicting opinions “duke it out”. He doesn’t seem to show many the door but it’s very surprising that Kudrin still passes himself off as one of Putin’s “friends”. Putin is obviously very disciplined. It was Johnson who said, I think, of a political enemy “I would rather have him in the tent, pissing outwards, than outside the tent pissing inwards”, but Kudrin does seem to be pissing inwards. John Helmer reckons that there is not enough pain in the universe to make Russia change its position so it’s hard to imagine that the west is going to get a victory, let alone a painless one. (That’s why I cannot figure Merkel.)

      • marknesop says:

        I have expounded before now on my theory that Merkel knows she is for the high jump and nothing can save her, and so is sacrificing herself to two purposes: (1) to keep Germany on an Atlanticist path, and (2) to position Frank-Walter Steinmeier as her successor, much in the manner that KGB spies in novels groom their successor by having their successor expose and denounce them as a spy, to establish for the successor the perfect cover. I believe that did happen once in real life, and the west certainly took a shine to the trick. If I’m right, Steinmeier will regretfully break with Madame Merkel, publicly, at a point which will position him for a sprint to victory as Germany’s next Chancellor. That would normally be decided in 2017, but persistent gossip suggests Merkel wants to bolt early, and is interested in a UN or European Council billet, which quite probably will be her reward for her abrupt departure from “pragmatism”. I think, in fact, that this is far more likely her motive than blackmail by the USA for her alleged Stasi connections or some other dirty secret. And if she struck while the iron is hot, she could be confident that Steinmeier would not steer the German ship of state a radically different course than she would have done herself.

        I personally see a pathological addiction to western adulation as a weakness in Russians, in much the same manner as some people throughout the world are predisposed to addiction and cannot put down the bottle once having taken it up, while those on either side of them are unaffected. Kudrin is such a weakling, Sobchak is another and Navalny yet another. They allow themselves to be convinced that they are singled out for greatness in the course of human affairs because there is something different about them – and they’re right about that part – that only westerners see, and that they have been chosen to lead their countrymen out of their sloth and indifference into an Utopian future with the west as patron. Before they know it, they have been maneuvered into acting as a western agent within Russia. Kudrin is not half as smart as he has been led to believe he is, and while he was a competent enough finance minister he frequently argued with both Putin and Medvedev over policies in which they would not let him have his way, and later when they were successful he allowed the west to convince him they had really been his idea. Pensions and military spending are two classic examples. Kudrin is weak, and craves western approval, it is his drug. But official Russia allows him to stay on, by turns blathering and blubbering and exposing his naked buttocks to the world, because he is no threat to Russia while the west thinks he is, and grooms him as a regime-changer when it is beyond his charisma and capability to fulfill that role. Putin knows his own people best, not least because the west does not understand them at all nor attempts to, and if Kudrin and Navalny were expelled to the west, their places might be taken by a truly shrewd and charismatic opposition candidate who would be more successful. Kudrin is fated to play a dual role of razor-sharp economics genius in the west and pathetic clown in Russia.

        • Moscow Exile says:

          Frau Kanzlerin Merkel is meeting another next week who’s soon going to be looking for a new job:

          David Cameron to host London talks with Angela Merkel

          The meeting between the two leaders is expected to focus on the global and European economy and Russia’s actions in Ukraine, which are also likely to dominate the agenda at the G7 summit unless Vladimir Putin changes course.

          Somehow, I don’t think Vladimir Vladimirovich has considered a “change in course” of present Russian policies, Russia’s weaknesses and abject fear of the West notwithstanding.

        • patient observer says:

          Interesting points. I suppose that a part of human nature includes a need for a “higher authority” to tuck into bed at night, someone/something that we can appeal to to either protect us or to answer our prayers for wealth and power. Parents should fill that need for their children. People like Navalny and Kudrin may look to the West as the all-powerful magical being in their life that will protect and propel them to their destiny. The West, never missing a mind-game trick, would feed that need to no end.

          As for Merkel, I once thought that she was acting to protect Germany from hidden threat such as a US-led collapse of the EU banking system. Now I think she is simply weak and/or worn out, choosing to take the path of least resistance and with assurances from her handlers that she will be fondly remembered in the history books.

          • marknesop says:

            Yes, I laugh when I see her described as “Europe’s most powerful and strategic leader”. She wasn’t strategic or powerful enough that the USA was afraid to tap her phone, was she? And it’s kind of hard in today’s world to surprise the USA with your strategic capabilities when they know every decision you’re going to announce if you were foolish enough to discuss it over the phone with anyone.

        • davidt says:

          I am aware of your view that Merkel is positioning Steinmeier. You may well be right, but why is she such a strong Atlanticist, and anti-Russian. It seems to me that she could be an Atlanticist but still say that US policy in Ukraine is crazy. The reasonable likelihood is that there is going to be at least a “local” war with Russia over Ukraine- I cannot believe that many Europeans want that. They are bound to change their mind if it gets to a stage of body bags coming home. (Isn’t she a clergyman’s daughter?- she doesn’t seem to believe in anything.)
          I agree that Kudrin presents as a very weak individual. You see the type everywhere, Merkel and Hollande immediately come to mind, but, of course, he has the oxygen of the West. I suspect that he is not representative of the Russian elite, which seems to be pretty firmly with Putin.- at least, for the time being, according to Sergey Karaganov at “Russia in global affairs”. I like Karaganov as he seems to be quite hard headed. His latest effort I found informative:
          http://eng.globalaffairs.ru/number/The-Watershed-Year-Interim-Results-17210
          I should take this opportunity to wish you a good 2015, and to thank you for your efforts- I appreciate your blog very much.

          • et Al says:

            About placing Steinmeier as a successor, if that is in any way the case then it occurs to me that it is quite clever politically, like Yeltsin recommending and backing Putin. If you recognize your own inadequacies, rather than acting out of character, you promote a personality that will correct certain faults once you have left.

            Like others, I wouldn’t trust Steinmeier further than I could throw him, but it provides and elegant solution to Germany being piggy in the middle. Merkel doesn’t want to go up directly against the US. A brand new Chancellor, newly elected could tell the US to F-Off quite easily, in the absolute opposite way every single French President who is elected on the premise of fixing France’s problems doesn’t. The only other thing to do would be to throw out american tactical nuclear weapons from Germany and quit NATO.

            The only fly in this ointment is that Steinmeier comes from the SPD. Promoting him is political treason. But, if the reason is to neuter American influence in the EU and put the UK and friends of USA in a corner, it makes good strategic sense. It’s the longer game.

            • et Al says:

              I forgot to add, that whilst Steinmeier may be an Atlanticist, it’s irrelevant if it goes against the public political mood. All politics is local. Loyalty is flexible. Plus, what is the point of replacing one Atlanticist with another? Do they think no-one will notice? At best it would be only a short term measure.

              As much as I want to write of Merkel, I simply can’t. That would be too easy!

              • et Al says:

                write off Merkel…

              • ThatJ says:

                I agree that a replacement is unlikely to have any effect on German foreign policy.

              • ThatJ says:

                Oh ho, you think it will make a difference. To me the CDU and SPD are like the Republicans and the Democrats in the US: minor disagreements on national politics but firmly together in their Atlanticist foreign policy.

                Hopefully I’m wrong.

                • et Al says:

                  Hopefully. I’m just throwing another theory out there. Not to be contrarian, but we know these are slippery mofo politicians who would stab their own mothers for power. Or am I wrong?

          • marknesop says:

            Happy New Year to you and yours, David, and best wishes for 2015 as well. I think Merkel’s latter-day stance as an Atlanticist and anti-Russian reflects the attitude she is displaying to fit the position she wants, not the position she holds. She is out of step with Germans, but she wants to be a Euro-Atlanticist with the ear of Washington, from whom she will take her marching orders as the rest of Europe does. The USA managed to sew up Europe brilliantly, but it is stuck now with a crumbling alliance that is increasingly looking inward, while Russia got China, the world’s largest and most powerful economy.

            The U.S. government will probably try to push Europe into supporting a Ukrainian war with Russia, but it is uncertain now if Europe would go along with it, and there have been some mutterings of rebellion. Too, and oddly enough, the more quickly and thoroughly Russia decouples from and distances itself from the west, the less likely it will be, because what purpose does a bloody little local war serve? The Americans would like to cement an image of Russia as a dangerous aggressor forever, but what difference will that make to Europe if they are no longer trading partners? Why would Russia attack them? Especially if Europe is not doing very well, economically? Russia already has too big a country to efficiently administer with the population it has – it certainly does not need more territory. A war with Ukraine would leave Ukraine smashed and ruined and of no use to anyone, while it is doubtful it would inflict much counter-damage on Russia. Since South Stream is off the table – maybe – Europe would still need Ukraine to be a gas transit country: Europe therefore cannot afford to have huge military groups shoving each other to and fro across the Land Of Pipelines, since the latter would certainly sustain damage – it’s a miracle they have not already – and might even be completely destroyed. That would be a disaster, and nobody can predict how long such a war would last once started. If it lasted through a winter without gas supplies, half of Europe would be freezing to death.

            Meanwhile, Merkel likely knows her chances of continuing to lead Germany are slim, so she is positioning herself for a higher job where she will always have a table to put her feet under and a warm fire – not to mention a very generous paycheque – for the rest of her days.

            • et Al says:

              The USA managed to sew up Europe brilliantly..

              Meh… I would say that: ‘There is no Europe. There is the EU’. That’s two separate things. With 28 member states it is about balance of forces within. The Atalantist forces were in the ascendant until fairly recently, until the blow back, damage and unforeseen permutations started to come back to roost. I am sure that there are serious fights withing the European Council between member states. I don’t think ‘Europe’ is lost, it’s just swings and roundabouts at the moment.

              On the Merkel-Steinmeier front, isn’t it weird that she would anoint a political opposite? It might make sense if she really despises her other talked up successor, German defense minister Ursula von der Leyen…

              • marknesop says:

                I haven’t seen any poll figures on the latter, but I believe Steinmeier polls quite well even before the mandatory whitewashing leadership campaign, which will make him look like a pragmatic Baby Jesus in lederhosen. “Pragmatism” seems to be the magic key in German politics like “guns” is for American Republicans.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      I must say that Russians are regular train dodgers. Go to any station and you can see when a train pulls in folk swarming across the tracks.

      Near my dacha four teenage girls got killed two years ago after they had got off their train, walked alongside it and then, having reached its end, began to cross the tracks, whereupon they were hit by an oncoming train.

      This happens very frequently here and there are public information notices all over stations warning people of the dangers of crossing tracks and not using footbridges etc.

      This surely is an indication of the retarded nature of Russians, in that their intellligentsia has either been exterminated or emigrated, causing the Russian intelligence gene stock to be replated.

      And then there’s “trainsurfing”:

      And it’s all Putin’s fault, because he doesn’t care as he lives in a palace and doesn’t use public transport.

      • marknesop says:

        You beat me to it; I was going to say that deaths due to having been struck by oncoming trains are emblematic of life in Putin’s Russia because if he really cared about his people, he would be present at all train arrivals and departures to catch his comrades by the sleeve and prevent them from ignoring warnings that were put in place top stop them from risking their lives.

    • Paul says:

      Reading Anglo-American Empire newspapers can be bad for your health. They all went off the deep end some years ago. Now, even major news outlets, such as the BBC, don’t care if they broadcast protestors from different countries or wars than the one in question. All that matters is the geopolitical agenda.

      The real fear is that Putin may turn out to be a liberal, at least on economic matters. As Anthony Wasserman said (very roughly) recently, “The libertarian idea that any individual profit at the expense of the stability or functioning of the broader society is OK may work in stable times, but can easily lead to disaster during a crisis.”

  37. Moscow Exile says:

    Igor Girkin’s (Strelkov) wedding to Miroslava Reginskaya

    • Moscow Exile says:

      He met her at the above award giving ceremony.

      That’s her – the light-brown haired one in the second row on the right.

    • ThatJ says:

      Here’s a VK community that is anti-Reginskaya:
      http://vk.com/public82254341

      What is their complaint against her?

      • ThatJ says:

        At first I thought they were pro-Russians who had a legitimate complaint, but Google Translator reveals they are Banderites with a false concern: they say that while Novorossia suffers, Strelkov and his wife enjoy life.

        They even try to sow division by pointing out to the fact that his wife has pro-EU / Maidanite friends.

        • yalensis says:

          P.S. Пишут, что это хохлушка из Донецка. Сейчас в Ростове учится. Но судя по фамилии (Мирослава Регинская) – с прожидью. Ох, не нравится мне это! Пишут, что Стрелков с ней в Донецке познакомился. Может, это часть проекта против Стрелкова? (а евреи любят своих евреек в постель к нужным людям подкладывать – старая советская и гебешная практика). То есть тут все понятно: приехал наш герой из Славянска в Донецк, усталый, измотанный и до баб голодный. И тут эту евреечку к нему и подсунули. Молоденькая, ножки стройные, попка упругая. А Игорь Иваныч, судя по всему, мужик-то не слишком гулящий, строгих нравов, и в амурных делах не слишком опытный. Ну вот он и решил, что это любовь. Ну а раз так – то теперь, как порядочный мужчина, он должен на ней жениться. Вляпался, короче.

          Very brief translation of above: The detractors don’t like her, because (they claim) she is a Jewess who seduced the noble Igor with her sexy Jewess wiles.
          Since you hate Jews too, that should be convincing enough argument for you, ThatJ!

        • ThatJ says:

          @yalensis

          A Jewess who adopted Christianity and wears a cross?

          Looks like a typical Slav to me.

          • marknesop says:

            I think if she makes Strelkov happy, that’s all that matters.

            When a man loves a woman, can’t keep his mind on nothin’ else
            He’d change the world, for the good thing he’s found;
            If she’s bad, he can’t see it; she can do no wrong
            turn his back on his best friend, if he puts her down.

      • marknesop says:

        I’m not sure, but the juxtaposition of her photo with that of a hyena suggests she is viewed by some as a bit of a gold-digger.

  38. katkan says:

    “A team of rescuers from Russia’s Emergencies Ministry carrying special equipment has arrived in Indonesia to provide assistance in the search for the Malaysian jet, the ministry’s official spokesman said on Friday.

    “Two Emergencies Ministry’s planes – Il-76 and Be-200 – have landed at the Jakarta airport,” spokesman Alexander Drobyshevsky said, adding that more than 70 rescuers have arrived”

    From TASS. that’s the whole story, no rehash of all the nonsense about the crash (tho they seem fixated on Malaysian).

    Indonesia beware: This is the Emergencies Ministry that has invaded Ukraine 11 times now with white trucks.

    Love it if these guys find the actual plane. Bet there will be some way to not credit them with it.

  39. kirill says:

    Over at mp.net there is a frenzied posting of Russian military vehicles currently in rebel hands used against the regime. What do these retards expect if the US has officially announced “lethal” military assistance to Ukraine?

    • Southern Cross says:

      Alongside a burst of outright Bandera apologia.

      A welcome reminder that westerners’ principles are just so much warpaint – they want Russia gone for reasons that can best be summarised as “they’re weird and make us nervous”.

  40. Moscow Exile says:

    Видео презентация моста через Керченский пролив

    Video representation of a bridge across the Kerch strait

    Of course, the Russians won’t do it: they’re too incompetent and weak and are scared of the West and further sanctions.

  41. Tim Owen says:

    A couple of good background pieces on how “we got here.” That is, descended to the point that our apparently free press can be telling us overwhelmingly up is down and black is white:

    https://consortiumnews.com/2014/12/31/murdoch-scaife-and-cia-propaganda/

    https://consortiumnews.com/2014/12/28/the-victory-of-perception-management/

    (And for good measure, this: https://consortiumnews.com/2014/12/22/the-liberal-idiocy-on-russiaukraine/ )

    It’s obviously a matter of degree how free any press is. But this also means that the descent into Orwellian nightmare is a phenomenon that requires time to develop – and time to reveal and explain – as Parry I think very effectively shows.

  42. yalensis says:

    On the Separatist front:
    Some startling news.
    It has been confirmed now that several militia commanders of Luhansk People’s Republic have been killed.
    Not by Ukrainians, but by their own people (in internecine Sep on Sep violence).

    The dead Sep commanders are confirmed to be:
    -Alexander Alexandrovich Bednov (code name “Batman”)
    -other militiamen real names not known; codes names: Phobius Maniac, Omega.
    -6 bodygoards of “Batman”
    -Russian volunteer code name “Cat”

    This happened near the town of Georgievka. Opposing faction laid a trap for Batman and his party, killed him, burned up his car, etc.

    Another set of Seps was also ambushed and killed in Sep on Sep violence near the town of Lugutino. This included the Sep code-named “San Sanych”.
    Also: a sniper code-named “Razor”, another guy code-named “Golden”, and another guy code-named “Knight”.

    Lotsa speculations about internal LPR deadly feuds, purges….
    Back story is that on 30 December, LPR General Prosecutor opened a case against “Batman” and his friends, named as: Maniac, Omega, Dak, Chechen, Luish, Phobus, Yanek, Khokhol, Saturday, Zema, Tabletka, and others.

    These guys with strange names were supposed to hand in their weapons and give themselves up.
    But they chose to stand and fight, instead. So, they were ambushed and killed with machine-gun fire.
    No info on what the charges are, but it was said the above men were accused of comprising a criminal gang.

    • yalensis says:

      Other link should have been:
      http://rusvesna.su/news/1420196369

        • ThatJ says:

          The story told by the family and comrades of Batman is the most reasonable one. Brain better watch his back: Russia doesn’t want the independence of Donbass from Ukraine.


          Rebel commander Batman

          See the Russian Empire flag? That’s why Strelkov was removed by the Kremlin: his idea is not Kremlin’s. Russia wants a federated Ukraine.

          • marknesop says:

            Russia does not have to accept them. If there is a formal application to join the Russian Federation, it can say “No”. I agree Russia wants a federated Ukraine – it said so from the first – and more to the point, a frozen conflict which will keep Ukraine out of NATO and very likely out of the European Union as well. But if for some crazy reason on some delirious day, Europe does give Ukraine the nod, what then? The Donbass does not want anything to do with being part of Europe, so in that event Russia’s hand might be forced.

            I stress I do not think that situation will arise, because Ukraine is such a revolving disaster with – realistically – virtually no potential for improvement in its present state that i cannot see any offer to join the EU on the horizon. I can’t see as far as 2020, but I’m betting not then, either. Something game-changing is going to happen in Ukraine long before then and probably this year.

          • Paul says:

            Perhaps, but Russia might not want to do things in such a messy way. There could be disputes over money and territory, or perhaps a Ukrainian or oligarchical operation to stir up trouble. The other thing is that Russia and Novorossiya need a united chain of command. Perhaps Batman’s group wasn’t obeying orders. This is separate from ideology.

            It is obviously true that Russia has officially and practically wanted a unitary Ukraine, but that may not be so feasible now, in which case one has to look for Plan B. One theory is that the Kremlin wants to see the Ukraine smashed and rebuilt in a new way. Just as wild speculation, but it might be a winning result if Russia could get Novorossiya, Malorossiya, Galicia, and Transcarpathia, with all militarily neutral and eligible for free trade deals with the bloc of their choice or both blocs. Russia would still have tremendous leverage over Malorossiya economically and through gas, plus access to the ocean would be needed through Novorossiya, a de facto Russian ally.

            Not saying this is the plan, but, if it were, denying it would be required. Deception is at the heart of war.

            • katkan says:

              Reading together all the versions currently available, the “prosecutor chasing a gang” don’t exist and the story is fake, to justify the killing. Not necessary to do a dangerous shootout in a public area when their HQ location is well known . etc etc. but FSB allegedly involved (yeah but on which side?). Comes down to the idea that it is a proxy fight between various Kremlin/5th column forces, involving LPR joining/not joining UKRAINE, not RF (which is out of the question) and all for benefit of Russian oligarchs not local ones though they are in it too.

              Roughly speaking, each side is actually 3 sides (minimum) one at least of which is on two sides. and one thinks it is but isn’t; and one doesn’t realise it is. Makes perfect sense to me, and I’ll wait a few days to see which ones come out on top.

              Very sad about Batman, who was popular and by all accounts a good person. The damage to moral is huge, even apart from the conspiracy speculations.

  43. marknesop says:

    Before you read this, remove all small objects from your vicinity that are light enough to be picked up and thrown.

    The “risk group” Maplecroft Human Rights Risk Atlas – latest in a series of jack-off western “indexes” – announces that Ukraine has seen the most rapid deterioration of human rights globally in 2014. No surprises there.

    Here’s the surprise part. “While the new Kiev government of President Petro Poroshenko has generally shown an improved performance on human rights observance during its short time in office, the occupation authorities in Crimea and the ‘People’s Republics’ of Donetsk and Luhansk have been notable for their brutality,” the report said.”

    I know, right? I immediately made a spasmodic clutching movement and my hand scrabbled for something to throw.

    I swear, have you ever heard such unrepentant bullshit in your born days? Poroshenko’s witless, evil government is credited with advancing the cause of human rights, while the poor wretches shelled for months by his army just because they refused his rule and preferred their own are accused of dragging down Ukraine’s human-rights record!!! Far better they had all been killed, to the last man, woman and child – then Ukraine would have zoomed up the Maplecroft Risk Index to number one, a shining example of human-rights triumph for the whole fucking world to see, and envy!! Truly, the west knows no shame, because it knows no guilt. It knows no guilt because it tells itself shit-caked lies like this so that it never needs to face the truth. I know I am beginning to say it far too often, it’s becoming a stock phrase, but what a disgrace.

    For the record, the DPR has in fact used forced labour – captured Ukie soldiers were put to work clearing up the damage caused by their shelling.

    • katkan says:

      For the record, others were put to work repairing tanks and APCs. but this was all in Luhansk, not Donetsk. What Donetsk did was that shameful, Geneva Convention breaking, march of prisoners in the Independence Day parade. (Which I still have to laugh about, the way it totally pushed the official Kiev parade of fancy missiles off the western media….totally upstaged Poro on that one).

      For the record both groups of prisoners were fed daily.

      For the record at the official prisoner exchange, some actually refused to be exchanged and would not get of the bus.

      • yalensis says:

        The march of prisoners in Donetsk was a brilliant act of performance art by Zakharchenko. Recall that (weeks earlier) Poroshenko had boasted/threatened that Ukrainian troops would march through downtown Donetsk on Independence Day. (Having won the war.)
        Zakharchenko’s point was that, yes, Ukrainian troops DID march through downtown Donetsk on Independence Day.
        It was one of those brilliant Birnam Wood-type strokes of storytelling irony.

      • marknesop says:

        Yes, I read at one source that one Ukrainian prisoner refused to be exchanged and another said three.

  44. marknesop says:

    Still doing everything by the book, Gazprom buys out the 50% of South Stream it didn’t own, so that Italy’s ENI, France’s Electricite de France SA and Germany’s BASF SE recover their investments. So much for Junckers’ happy talk that South Stream can still be built. Doesn’t look like a positive sign to me. Getting a little cool out there, Europe.

    • colliemum says:

      Might one assume that Gazprom used all those $$$ they cannot transfer back for this buy-out?
      That would’ve been very clever!

      • marknesop says:

        I have no idea, but the Russian government did announce it was selling off billions of its foreign currency, so that is a reasonable assumption. I assumed they were going to sell it to China and recapitalize in yuan – otherwise they would be selling off foreign currency, presumably mostly dollars and euros, for some other foreign currency because there can’t be that many rubles in circulation, although buying while they’re low is a smart move – but I don’t know for sure.

    • et Al says:

      If I remember correctly, Gasprom was either in the process of buying, or has recently bought Wintershall – the German partner.

      Here it is. From October:

      Neuter: Gazprom deal on track, Wintershall says after Miller comments
      http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/10/09/basf-gazprom-assetswap-idUSL6N0S41FB20141009
      …The deal for Gazprom to take over its Wintershall’s German gas trading and storage was on course for completion this autumn, a Wintershall spokesman said in response to an enquiry.

      Both parties have seen delays to the execution of the non-cash deal this year, citing legal reasons, but in the context of rising tension between Russia and its western European business partners over the conflict in Ukraine….

      • marknesop says:

        You’re right, but the writing was on the wall for that deal to collapse, since it was an asset swap rather than a sale and BASF would not be able to take advantage of its half of the deal owing to Merkel’s embrace of Washington sanctions. BASF was to get increased access to Siberian fields, and there was no way that could happen once the sanctions progressed to energy companies. And sure enough, it collapsed. Russia wasn’t overly hurt by it, though, whereas now Germany still has an energy company that is looking for assets to develop and doesn’t have any which are in a situation to be profitable.

        All in the cause of NATO unity.

  45. marknesop says:

    That Putin, he just can’t seem to avoid putting his foot in his mouth when NATO politicians are around. First he proposed dividing up Ukraine – which he claimed was never a real country anyway – with Poland, in front of Radek Sikorski. Now it transpires that he yelled at José Manuel Barroso that if he heard one more word about competition from him, he would freeze Barroso’s nuts off. Barosso says he does not recall the specifics of the conversation, but is happy to leave it out there that his nuts were possibly threatened.

    And honourable Bulgaria is once more cast as the brave little nation that derailed Putin’s pipeline plans, by standing up for what was right. True story – Aleksander Babakov, a Duma member, offered to make a certain Mr. Stoyanov – a “New York-based corporate turnaround specialist who had returned to Bulgaria to serve as deputy energy minister in the interim government” – “very comfortable” if he would pitch in and get on the South Stream bandwagon. Those Russians, you just have to shake your head, they’re so corrupt. I mean, Babakov pitched Stoyanov “in not so many words”, so he never actually said “bribe”, but everybody who has ever dealt with Russians knows what they’re like.

    And then there were all the shady deals, with contracts going to Putin cronies and classmates and the guy who walks his dogs, you know the drill, and suspicious grassroots fifth columns sprang up to stop Chevron from fracking the shale gas that would have made Bulgaria self-sufficient, so that South Stream would not even have been necessary.

    And then, after all the corruption and bottom-dealing and lies and trickery and out-and-out rottenness, Bulgaria still announced it would rush the permits through, so that South Stream could go ahead! And their Prime Minister blamed “Bulgaria’s isolation in the EU [for not providing] a chance to our colleagues to become acquainted with the problems concerning the South Stream project”!! I’m not sure if I want to weep for the courage of Bulgaria, that they could absorb the sickness of Russian corruption and still keep trying to do the deal, or call for them to be investigated for knowingly abetting a crime. A crime that must have extended all the way up to the new EC Commissioner, Jean-Claude Juncker, who also said South Stream could be built after Putin announced its cancellation! What???? Knowing all the dirty double-dealing that was going on, knowing the terrifying threats Putin had made against Barroso’s dangly bits, and he still wanted the deal to go ahead??? My God, what a saint. I’m going to send a letter recommending his canonization, first thing tomorrow.

    Seriously, what a bunch of crap, it just makes me tired. They go on painting themselves as pure as the driven snow while Putin and Russia are the very eye of rot. Well, good thing South Stream won’t be built, isn’t it? You can all clap yourselves on the back for a job well done. Oh, excuse me, Mr. Juncker – I think your ear broke off, just then. It appears to have frozen.

    • colliemum says:

      Did Putin really tell Barroso he’d freeze his nuts off :-)?
      Someone ought to tell him that there are many in the UK who would’ve applauded heartily had he really done this.

      • kirill says:

        It’s a total lie. Putin doesn’t use that kind of language. But the lying vermin western media and officials want to paint Russia and Putin as barbarians.

        • colliemum says:

          I know it was a lie by western hacks, but it would’ve been hugely appreciated here if Putin had really said that, because we loathed Barroso and loathe Juncker and all they stood and stand for.

        • Moscow Exile says:

          He did say, though, that he should like to see Saakashvili hung by his balls from a street lamp in Tbilisi, didn’t he?

          Please tell me he did!

          Please!!!!

          Well, according to some Froggie toe-rag he did.

          See: Vladimir Putin threatened to hang Georgia leader ‘by the balls’

          That must have been before it became de rigeur to call all openly hostile foreign diplomats and politicians “partners”.

          See also: A French fable of Georgian origins: Sarkozy in Moskva revisited

          • marknesop says:

            Yes, I believe he did say that, although to be fair Saakashvili regularly goaded him – from a safe distance – about such things as his height. It is apparently quite an accomplishment in Georgia to be tall, it means you are destined for greatness. He also made a rude remark about wiping out the Chechen terrorists in the outhouse, alluding that they are shit. Other than that I have not noticed him to be particularly profane or emotional in public. But whenever he is, western photographers must shoot him non-stop, because they always seem to be able to show a photo where he appears to be snarling with rage or greatly upset about something. Maybe that’s why he generally appears emotionless in public and even a little wooden, expression-wise. My favourite exception was that reporter who asked him why he objected to the installation of happy peaceful ballistic-missile interceptors of the USA in nearby countries, since they would protect the whole world against Iran’s extensive inventory of rogue ballistic missiles, and his self-control slipped and he began to laugh, making no other real answer to the question other than to thank the reporter for ending a long day on such a comical note.

            • patient observer says:

              I saw that video of Putin laughing at that utterly ridiculous question. His reaction was real, sincere and spot-on.

            • Moscow Exile says:

              The other maladroit comment made by the All-Knowing, All-Seeing Evil One, Lord of Mordor, that the hacks love was when he suggested to a French journalist, who kept pressing him about Chechen “freedom fighters” after the Nord-Ost siege and hostage deaths, that he could arrange for him to have a certain little operation done so that would enable him to be accepted amongst the ranks of those whom he apparently admired so much.

              So he was vulgar and racist and anti-Islam all in one fell swoop – much to the delight of the Western media.

              Meanwhile, in the Moscow city morgues there was a pile of stiffs – and not all of them ethnic Russians, by the way – whose deaths, of course, were all due to Russian incompetence.

              It’s amazing how the the MSM so frequently makes Russian victims responsible for the crimes that have caused them to become victims of criminal activities – if you catch my drift.

              • colliemum says:

                Have you also noticed that Beslan and the tenth anniversary of that atrocity, hardy got any mention in the western MSM.
                Something vastly important must have happened at that day to have the MSM be so forgetful – only I cannot remember what … probably some ‘Royal Baby’ news …

            • colliemum says:

              I remember that interview – it was a German reporter, for their flagship ARD TV programme.
              I thought it was wonderful, seeing Putin crease up laughing while the reporter sat there, po-faced, not knowing how to react or what to say.

              • marknesop says:

                I think most viewers thought, at least until he began to speak and it was evident that he really was amused, that he was cracking up, in the context of losing his mind, and that at any moment he might go into a fetal position and start sucking his thumb. That probably accounts for the stunned amazement on the reporter’s part. Think of how feted he would be in the west if that’s really what had happened – he would be a God, they’d probably give him his own country.

                • colliemum says:

                  I think that’s what the reporter and the producers of that interview thought initially, and that’s why they broadcast it – but by then it was too late, the viewers saw and thought differently and it’s gone viral (hasn’t it?).

      • marknesop says:

        I doubt it very much, but western politicians seem to “remember” him saying fantastic things that you would not guess he would ever say. As far as proof goes, any number of Russians could say they were there at the time and he never said anything like that – just like the “Ukraine is not a real country” – and a powerful belief would still exist that he did say it. Barroso obviously wishes that to be the case, and it might even have been him who planted the seed in the first place, but for the record he says he does not remember exactly what was said but that he and Putin did have words. All that is necessary for that to become common wisdom is some sort of verification that the two of them met when the witness says they did. That’s what tripped up Sikorski.

  46. et Al says:

    Following links via Antiwar.com

    FuxNuew:US vet says fighting in Syria was as easy as buying airplane ticket to Miami
    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2015/01/02/exclusive-us-vet-says-fighting-in-syria-was-as-easy-as-buying-airplane-ticket/
    ###

    But Russian soldiers voluntarily going over to the Ukraine in their holidays or resigning from military service is something completely different.

    Next:
    Washington’s Pissed: A cop in Ukraine said he was detaining me because I was black. I appreciated it.
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2015/01/02/a-cop-in-ukraine-said-he-was-detaining-me-because-i-was-black-i-appreciated-it/
    Being a black man in Ukraine showed me everything that’s wrong with race in the U.S…

    ###
    Despite the
    de riguer disclaimer: Given the crisis underway in eastern Ukraine, it is difficult for me to pen this piece right now. I fear that discussing my challenges with race will be seen as distracting from “more important issues,” or worse yet, fuel anti-Ukraine rhetoric that insists the country is full of fascists. Of course, that narrative is completely false. Most Ukrainians despise fascism. In fact, I was so drawn to the openness and honesty of Ukrainian culture that, if I had the means, I would buy a home and live there part time – even as Russia backs rebel forces there.

    ..this piece more or less reflects what a black friend’s experience in my Russian group when we were forced to study in Moscow in the mid-1990s. First the shock, then the realization that most of it is curiosity and total lack tact which is refreshing compared to the much better hidden racism and anti-semitism in civilized Europe..

    Just a quick reminder, from ‘I do not like Putin’s Russia at all Mark Adomanis, The BBC has different standards:

    Daniel SandfordVerified account ‏@BBCDanielS
    @MarkAdomanis @OliverBullough My advice? Stop reporting Russia using numbers. More than anywhere Russia is about people.

  47. yalensis says:

    More about the situation in Hungary.
    Kreakly Demo in Budapesht demanding (1) more democracy, (2) stand up to Russian aggression, and (3) down with Orbán regime.
    Reportedly around 5K demonstrators, apparently wearing weird “Anonymous” masks, if the photo is to be believed.
    Colour revolutionaries complain that Hungary is too dependent on Russian gas! Therefore the government must be overthrown via CIA regime change.

    Article continues with a political biography of Mr. Orbán.
    The man used to have impeccable credentials: As a student he was anti-Soviet, in the 1990’s he gained political power, became P.M. in 1994, based on strong anti-communist platform.
    Once in power, he lowered taxes, led a successful government, was popular, got reelected, joined NATO.

    Many Hungarians accused Orbán of authoritarian tendencies, but the West had no beef against him. Until recently.
    After he started conducting a more independent (from EU dogma) policy, then suddenly he became an outcast, and now they are trying to overthrow him.

    The article does not omit to mention the irony that currently the 2 most pro-Russian states in the EU are Czech Republic and Hungary, precisely the 2 nations which were invaded by the Soviet Union, back in the day.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      “Colour revolutionaries complain that Hungary is too dependent on Russian gas!”

      No problem: let them find another supplier – it’s a free world with a free market, ain’t it?

      • yalensis says:

        I guess so.
        But Orbán would rather buy (cheap) Russian gas than (expensive) American shale.
        Therefore he is a dictator and must be removed.

        • katkan says:

          Well, ‘coz everyone can afford to pay a bit more now, from what they saved by forcing him to drop the idea of an internet tax.

          Anyway he’s way ahead of them in reducing dependence on that nasty cheap Russian gas. He’s buying two new nuclear power stations.

          from Russia.

          ooops.

  48. Pingback: RUSSIA & UKRAINE: JRL 2015-#9 table of contents with links :: Wednesday 14 January 2015 | Johnson's Russia List

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