Once He Was the King of Spain – Now He Vacuums the Turf at Skydome

Uncle Volodya says, "There’s fool’s gold—pyrite—and then there’s fool’s gold—gold owned by idiots willing to trade it for worthless dollars.
”

Uncle Volodya says, “There’s fool’s gold—pyrite—and then there’s fool’s gold—gold owned by idiots willing to trade it for worthless dollars.
”

Anders Aslund proves me wrong, over and over again. Every time I think I’ve seen the stupidest, most pedantic, most off-the-wall leap for mediocrity from the atrophied pecan in his head, he surpasses his previous foamy wild-eyed assessment of reality. Rodeo clown dressed as economist. All of it delivered in that whiny Swedish accent that makes him sound like he needs to be changed, and put straight to bed for a nap. I hasten to add that the Swedish accent is not annoying in all its speakers – pretty much only Aslund and the Swedish Chef from “The Muppets”, to whom he bears an astonishing resemblance. And it doesn’t end with physiognomy; they share a similar grasp of economics and government.

I can’t wait, I’m lowering interest rates, my people say:
“King, how are you such a genius?
There’s a roof overhead and food on our plates!”
It’s laissez-faire, I don’t even care
Let’s make Friday part of the weekend.”

Moxy Fruvous, from “King of Spain”

Hey, remember when Aslund was president of that country; Jeez, what was it called? Anyway, he became president way back in the late 90’s, almost further back than pterodactyls can remember, it’s not surprising that the details are a little fuzzy. I do remember that when he became president, the country was on the ropes: the inflation rate was around 27% (now it’s 11.4%), the unemployment rate was 12% (now it’s 5.2%), and per-capita GDP was about $3,500.00 USD (now it’s $7,000.00 USD). Adjusted for PPP, it’s about $25,000.00 per year, the highest it’s ever been. Personal income tax rate was a flat rate of 13%, and it still is. In how many other countries has the electorate seen its tax rates remain the same for 14 years? Not the UK, that’s for sure – they started the same period at 40%, went up to 50% from 2010 to 2012, and after that 45% looked like a tax break – neat, huh? The USA’s tax rate has remained stable, which is a remarkable achievement…but it’s at 35%, more than double what president Aslund was able to offer his electorate.

Of course Anders Aslund was never president of anywhere. That was Russia, and Putin was – and is – president. I introduced that short and harmless deception merely to showcase what a self-important, pompous toad Aslund is, when he says “In short, Putin – who is no economic expert – makes all major economic policy decisions in Russia, delivering orders to top managers of state-owned enterprises and individual ministers in ad hoc, one-on-one meetings. As a result, Russian economic policymaking is fragmented and dysfunctional.” Aslund wants you to know that he is an economic expert, and that Russia would be in so much better shape if only Putin would obey Aslund’s advice and step down, turning the presidency over to a brilliant fellow economist like, say….oh, I don’t know…Alexey Kudrin.

Aslund is at his entertaining best in his latest blowhard epic, “Putin in Denial“. World oil prices have halved since June, he says (he knows juicy insider stuff that you and I don’t because he’s an economist), and the value of the ruble has plunged along with the oil price (ditto). And, he warns, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

Which he would know, of course, being an economist and consequently such a reliable engine of prediction. Like when he said back in 2009 that Gazprom – and whenever he speaks about Gazprom he has to switch over to his reserve vitriol tank, since he really, really hates Gazprom, probably because they will not “open up” to western investment and share ownership – was failing, citing the excellent book co-written by co-numpties Boris Nemtsov and Vladimir Milov. The following year, Gazprom overtook Exxon-Mobil as the world’s most profitable company. His masterwork, “Think Again: Russia” contained more stream-of-consciousness bullshit than you could carry home in an eighteen-wheeler; I think Foreign Policy Magazine became ashamed of the flash flood of drivel in it and deleted it. If you have a hard-copy subscription, you can probably still read it and marvel at the mental grounding of anyone who could argue that political stability is undesirable because it is poorly suited for reform; I quoted from it here, but the electronic link is now dead. He described the voucher scheme introduced under Yeltsin – which resulted in Mikhail Khodorkovsky making the leap from ambitious geek to oligarchical geek virtually overnight – as an acceptable way to create an owner class, and the oligarchs as “engines of capitalist development”. Describing that view as wrongheaded would be an understatement on the order of describing Bill Gates as financially secure. Better wrap the belt from your bathrobe around your jaw before you read “An Assessment of Putin’s Economic Policy“, to stop it from dropping to the floor: penned by Aslund in 2008, it describes Putin as “one of the lucky ones who happened to be in the right place at the right time, as Talleyrand said about Lafayette, but accomplished little that was positive”, and blithely informs the reader that “Lucky” Putin took over the helm in Russia after Boris Yeltsin had already successfully set it on the road to a market democracy. It is for howlers like this that some long-ago Suffolk writer coined the word “flabbergasted”.

Here, from the subject article, are a few glittering examples of Aslund reasoning; (1) cutting Russia’s imports in half is going to worsen Russians’ living standards considerably (now that they presumably cannot afford to vacation in New York or buy milk packaged by Pepsi); (2) Russia, which has greatly increased its holdings in gold by dumping its useless dollars to buy it, suffers from “ever-worsening corruption and a severe liquidity freeze”; (3) Because he is unprepared to act, Putin continues to pretend there is no crisis at all; (4) Putin could withdraw his troops from eastern Ukraine, whereupon the benevolent USA and Europe would lift their crippling economic sanctions, but he won’t do that because he can’t stand losing, and (5) Putin’s failure to use the internet prevents him from grasping the magnitude of the crisis because he does not have access to up-to-date statistics. I have to stop now, because I can’t focus on the screen while I’m shaking my head.

“Likewise, short of initiating a major war, Putin has few options for driving up oil prices. Moreover, even before the oil-price collapse, crony capitalism had brought growth to a halt – and any serious effort to change the system would destabilize his power base.”

Really? I can think of a way, although I won’t pretend I thought it up myself, because it’s already happened – shut off Europe’s gas. Did you forget that one, Anders? All based on a very strange piece in the Daily Mail in which they appear to have copied and pasted part of it, since it reports that Mr. Putin is the Prime Minister – which he was, for a time – but it is dated today and several other details suggest they meant it to be now. No major war. Have energy prices risen? You tell me.

Whether six European countries are without gas tonight and blubbering in terror as they try to marshal their reserves, or it is all a big hoax, some of that famous British humour, it is apparent that the suggestion it could really happen is enough to make energy prices jump, so don’t fool yourself.

“Though accurate and timely statistics on Russia’s economy – needed to guide effective measures to counter the crisis – are readily available to the public online, Putin claims not to use the Internet.”

I can’t think of a more reliable way to inspire commentary by western leaders that Putin had “lost touch with reality” than to learn he was trying to run the country using the Internet as a guide. Because every leader knows the Internet is more reliable than your closest advisers who are, theoretically, experts in their fields. That might be true if you were George W. Bush, surrounded by a sycophantic circle of people who took turns blowing sunshine up your ass because it made you so happy when things were going well regardless how they were really going, but there is no evidence at all that Putin is that kind of leader and ample evidence which suggests he is not. And the United States seems to still be slogging along, despite the description of the Internet by one of its elected representatives as “a series of tubes“.

“His actions suggest that he considers economic data to be far less important than security information – perhaps the natural attitude of a kleptocrat.”

It becomes steadily more evident that Aslund simply loathes Putin so deeply that his desire to rant and call him names seizes complete control of his brain so that he can’t think – his entire mental hard drive is focused on talking smack like a six-year-old. There is absolutely no evidence at all that Putin is so preoccupied with security that he is oblivious to the economic situation. If he were, the deliberate effort to cause a panicky run on the ruble that would collapse it entirely might have succeeded. It is Aslund who is totally oblivious to the fact that Russia’s economic woes are caused largely by a bitter economic war of which it is the sole target and against whom are arrayed the entire forces of the NATO powers, with varying degrees of enthusiasm. Aslund is acting as if the price of oil is the only consideration, and that Putin is mismanaging it terribly.

“If Putin wants to save Russia’s economy from disaster, he must shift his priorities. For starters, he must shelve some of the large, long-term infrastructure projects that he has promoted energetically in the last two years. Though the decision in December to abandon the South Stream gas pipeline is a step in the right direction, it is far from adequate.”

There you have it: Putin’s decision to shut down South Stream was a wise one, but not near enough. He must stop all the big projects that he only uses to steal from the Russian people anyway. What do the European Union’s mandarins think of the decision to shut down South Stream? I think it’s safe to say their take on it is all the way across town from Aslund’s.

I’m not sure how much more evidence anyone would need to conclude that Aslund was born an idiot, strove all his life to be an even bigger idiot – largely succeeding – and  will likely be carried in his pine box by six of his most thickwitted contemporaries in a celebration of idiocy that will see the grief-stricken pallbearers pass under an arch of giant crossed dunce-caps, to be laid to final rest under a stone which proclaims, “In the first place, God made idiots. That was for practice. Then he made economists.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2,332 Responses to Once He Was the King of Spain – Now He Vacuums the Turf at Skydome

  1. patient observer says:

    American Sniper – the must see movie in the US of A. Breaking box office records, beloved by left right and center. Reality:
    http://www.vox.com/2015/1/22/7859791/american-sniper-iraq
    Psychopath recast as Captain America.

    • patient observer says:

      hmmm, Charlie Hebdo and American Sniper, all the ingredients for a hate fest of Muslims.

    • Southerncross says:

      Psychopath? More of a blubbering wimp. But he’s the best they have to work with.

      • patient observer says:

        Hey! psychopaths have feelings too! No wait, they don’t. I wonder what the full story is behind his murder? Perhaps someone who just wanted to put an end to this monster? Or just another psychopath like him.

        • Southerncross says:

          I base this on absolutely nothing, but I suspect he was trying to go once more unto the breach of this ‘troubled veteran’ and got his unscheduled lead enema for that reason.

        • Jen says:

          Apparently Kyle and another guy were asked to help a Marine Corps veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder. So the two took the PTSD sufferer to a shooting range. He ended up shooting them both. The guy’s trial starts in February 2015.

          There might be some cosmic justice there.

          • james@wpc says:

            “There might be some cosmic justice there.”

            I have no way of knowing but the thought occurs to me that in taking the Marine vet to the shooting range they may have made the mistake of seeing PTSD as similar to a phobia and thought they might treat the Marine by exposing him to the ‘phobia’ i.e. exposure therapy. It would have been entirely inappropriate, of course, and even abusive.

            It goes without saying that psychopaths have no understanding of PTSD and perhaps that lack of understanding was Kyle’s undoing. In which case it would indeed be cosmic or poetic justice.

      • patient observer says:

        Least we think that there may be redeeming quality to the American Sniper POS:
        http://www.salon.com/2015/01/23/7_enormous_lies_american_sniper_is_telling_america_partner/

        He bragged about murdering 30 Americans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and about killing two would-be carjackers. His only regret was that he could not kill more. Glory to the heroes!

    • kirill says:

      This is how public opinion is generated in the west, through TV and movie dramas. It’s the fluff reinforcing the news narratives. I pointed out before how the show NCIS in one of the episodes referred to the Russian government using poison gas during the Nord Ost theater hostage incident. In fact, they used an anesthetic gas. Due to the delay in revival of the hostages and uncontrolled dosages (circulation in the theater hall does not produce a uniform mixing ratio and some people inhaled more than others) many people died. But many people were saved since the terrorists fully intended to take out as many hostages as possible and it was only the lying filth called the western media that insinuated that a peaceful resolution could be obtained by negotiation. Just like at Beslan.

      • patient observer says:

        Not just public opinion but a rewriting of popular history. American Sniper re-introduced a discredited but virulent meme in the petri dish of American opinion – that the US was avenging 9-11 in Iraq and that all those people killed by the AS and the US in general were terrorists (every man, woman and child). Add American exceptionalism and reality disappears in a poof of smoke. Not to worry though, the audience share of the MSM media is shrinking around the world.

        • Tim Owen says:

          Never underestimate the sheer stupidity of most Americans. It is awe-inspiring really. Just take this as an example:

          http://www.foxbusiness.com/on-air/varney-co/index.html#/v/4007300540001

          • Moscow Exile says:

            I’ve just read a US troll’s comment on a US site where he says that Putin started all this Ukrainian business off not when he invaded and annexed “Crimea”, but when he invaded Georgia in 2008.

            • Tim Owen says:

              My favourite question for those who seem to think that nations are in bondage if they are not free to make ANY alliance with ANY power regardless of what their neighbours might think is this:

              “I have a missile system and 20,000 spare troops that I need to find a home for. Send me your address as I’d like to set them up in your neighbourhood. Any objection?”

          • marknesop says:

            Hmmmm….Hollywood is “anti-military”. Like they haven’t made enough movies about war in which the good guys win, which exonerate the politicians who started them. For a fun jolt, check out the storyline of number 18, “Sergeant York” – “A hillbilly sharpshooter drafted in WW1 despite his claim to be a pacifist, who ends up becoming a war hero.” Sound familiar? I have a feeling there would not be much sympathy for the “there is no military solution” position with anybody from that network, because not only is there always a military solution, it’s actually the default solution.

            Well, if that’s the way they want to play it, it’s their privilege. In the short term, it will only make the film even more popular and increase its ticket sales, because now FOX is making going to see it a patriotic responsibility, just to show all the Mooslims and their apologists in the world that ‘Murka does not let others tell it what to do and how to think. It’s free, by God.

            in the medium to long term, it will only hasten the USA’s downfall and loss of its dominant position in the world, because more and more people perceive it as having lost its moral compass and become fixed on violence as a means of getting its way. Significantly, its leaders must have noticed this, because they are trying to “work smarter, not harder” and crush Russia economically rather than militarily. But that is turning out to be maybe not one of their skillsets.

            That said, it should be noted that your criticism applies mostly to the FOX News viewership. And that’s actually pretty small now, after a dramatic upswing going into the Iraq war, when the people were starved for good news about the war and America’s moral high ground. FOXies are just very noisy and vocal, and make their group look larger than it really is, much the same way that hardcore Republican element plays up Novaya Gazeta as if it were the most popular newspaper of the Russian underground, with a circulation of millions among the masses aching to breathe free, when in reality its circulation is tiny.

  2. davidt says:

    This is more or less a response to Spartacus and, to a lesser extent, Mark regarding Russia’s economy. To some extent we were talking at cross purposes, so we can agree that if a country has little choice it imports little and its citizens don’t travel outside its borders very much. As Putin has put it, “the strong do what they wish, the weak what they must”. But, Spartacus, I reckon that talk of socialism is elves in the garden kind of stuff, and takes you far from reality. As usual, because I cannot do otherwise, I refer you to another authority, Sergei Karaganov. Here is an interview that he gave to Stephen Sackur , whom I do not like, on HardTalk last May- I found it quite alarming, as Karaganov is a serious thinker who is very much part of the Russian elite.

    (If the link doesn’t work it might be worth a Google search…) Karaganov might be a little more positive now since he is pleased that the Russian elite and population have rallied behind Putin. You will notice that he is especially worried about the relative weakness of the Russian economy, which seems to be a concern that he shares with his peers.

    • Tim Owen says:

      My god that is hard to watch. His nibs has got Karaganov running around the court while, secure in his smug superiority, he returns the ball without hardly moving (like a tennis coach I once had.)

      Parsed the first few minutes are something like:

      K: Russia did not view the end of Cold War as defeat but the 90’s were a humiliation.
      BBC: So the thinking in Moscow is ruled by irrational emotions like humiliation, frustration and anger…
      K: The foreign policy establishment in Moscow has tried all approaches from reason to force.
      BBC: So you are a rationalist trying to reign in the irrationality that reigns in Moscow?

      Arrrrrrrghhhhh!

      I can see why he is an ex advisor.

      Can’t bear to watch any more at the moment.

      • davidt says:

        Not sure what you are saying- “The foreign policy establishment in Moscow has tried all approaches from reason to force.”.. with the West(?). I think that the reality is that his opinions are still valued very highly inside the Kremlin, perhaps you should find recent articles that he has written. (Foreign policy bods have their own way of communicating.) You must discipline yourself to listen to views that you are uncomfortable with- just joking- and try to watch it to the end. I’ve “forced” myself to watch it 3 or so times since it was recorded to try to pick up its nuances.
        But changing tack, you would probably find it easier to listen to Stephen Cohen on the most recent John Batchelor Show:
        http://www.thenation.com/blog/195761/stephen-cohen-ukraine-fog-war
        For me, the interview became more interesting from about the 25th minute, after which he talks of the politics of the sanctions, the debate amongst the Russian elites as what to do about the economy and the 70th commemoration of VE day, including Auschwitz. Cohen has good contacts. At the end he says that yesterday he received an email from a friend in Moscow who said that he had just returned from the presidential suite. There he was informed that the government had decided to fund a monument to Stalin’s victims. (There are, of course, other such monuments- we saw one outside Yekaterinburg- but Cohen sees this as significant as it will be in the middle of Moscow.) By the way, Cohen raised the possibility of an historical split between Europe and the US over Russia. I’ll believe this when I see it.

        • ThatJ says:

          “There he was informed that the government had decided to fund a monument to Stalin’s victims.”

          Good news! Thanks for this information. It’s necessary to shake off the stigma of a “communist Russia”. If Russia becomes a nationalist-oriented country in the future (including in the direction of its foreign policy), a humble “sorry” for the countries that were victims of the USSR will do good for the image of Russia in Eastern Europe and the Baltics.

        • Tim Owen says:

          I was referring to the BBC presenter’s line of questioning and Karaganov’s apparent inability to counter it. And my comment was mostly tongue in cheek.

          I’ve just become allergic to the superiority complex of Western journos re. all things Russian. Karaganov was just “collateral damage.”

          Did listen to the Stephen Cohen piece when it came out. One of the few adults around.

        • Moscow Exile says:

          13:37: “…it’s the rise, as a result [of the appearance of fascism/extreme nationalism], inside Russia of a more authoritarian regime – I think there’s no question about that…” – Cohen.

          I question that!

          A “more authoritarian regimme ” implies that the “regime” (note: he doesn’t say “government”) was already authoritarian, does it not?

          So how “authoritarian is the “regime” in Russia?

          How does the authoritarianism of the Russian “regime” compare with the actions taken in the “Free World”?

          Cohen is talking bollocks there!

    • spartacus says:

      “…I reckon that talk of socialism is elves in the garden kind of stuff, and takes you far from reality.”

      I will try to bring some clarifications. The chronic lack of sleep that I had to put up with in the last 3 years sometimes interferes with my ability to communicate in a logical manner.
      What I was trying to say is that if country X wants to protect itself from attacks on its currency must try to limit its imports. If you import lots of things, then you are vulnerable when your currency gets devalued because it makes it harder to get the foreign currency you need to buy those imported goods. If you needed to pay, let’s say, 30 Rubles for a dollar and now you need 60 rubles for the same dollar, it means you have to allocate twice de amount in Rubles to make the payments. Don’t even think to make up the difference by printing money because that will lead to high inflation. Weimar Republic style.
      In order to solve this problem, country X has a couple of limited options.
      First, it might try to boost its exports. This is what Romania did during the 80’s when it suffered currency devaluation and it had a hard time paying its foreign dollar denominated debt. Everything the economy produced was exported. Internal consumption was heavily rationalized. In the end the debt was fully paid in 9 years but at the expense of a drastic drop of the standard of living. This drop made the December ’89 “Revolution” possible.
      Second, it might try to limit its imports. That means manufacturing more stuff locally and, from this point of view, I think Russia has everything it needs to do just that. Ample material resources coupled with an educated workforce gives it the possibility to build the branches of industry that may be, for the moment, lacking. You can also tax imports and use the money you get from those tariffs to finance your local economy. Just keep in mind that tariffs fall, ultimately, on the end consumer. So if you have well to do consumers that don’t mind paying the extra prices like, for example, those that purchase luxury items that have pretty much inelastic demand, you can use their money to finance the local economy. Chile, during the Allende Presidency, was heavily dependent on imports and foreign sources of financing. When the US government used all its influence to deny Chile vital imports and cut its sources of foreign financing, the country collapsed and the military junta was able to have its coup d’etat and execute Allende.
      Third, it might try to impose some kind of capital control in order to reduce capital flight. When the order is given, Western businesses, that often function as branches of their respective governments, will try to exchange what they have earned locally in Rubles for Euros or USD in order to transfer it out of the country. This further pushes your currency down.
      All the moves that the US and its satellites are pulling on today’s Russia were tried and tested before on various socialist countries that the US wanted destabilized. USSR included. That is why I used their case as an example. As for travelling, I had made no reference to it. In my opinion, everybody should be able to travel as much as they like. Hope this clarifies things a bit.

      • davidt says:

        I certainly wasn’t trying to misrepresent you and I respect your views as you have thought them out yourself- you have thought about these matters much more than I have. I just worry that some of them might be taking you off down a bit of a dead end. However, I don’t dispute anything that you have just said. Hope that your sleeping problems improve. Pity you are not around the corner.

      • Oddlots says:

        FWIW I don’t know whether the solutions I see hoving into view would be considered socialism by you (though I certainly hope they come with elves! : )… but I do think that finance-capitalism is in crisis. The very short description would be:

        – Mynsky accurately describes a capitalist economy; neo-classical economics – fatally, if there’s any justice – does not
        – de-regulated finance is a doomsday device

        I think the problem is very ably described here by Steve Keen*:

        * By the way I don’t think the criticism of Keen that you mentioned – that he got out of the Australian housing bubble too soon – is fair. In his defense the Australian Government forestalled a crash by massively supporting the market with even larger support – to the tune of 30k per family I believe – through first time buyers schemes etc. I suppose you could say he should have seen that coming but that seems pretty exogenous – to use the neo-classical alibi of choice – to me.

        On another note, interestingly Bernie Saunders, the top Democrat on the Senate Budget Committee has hired MMT adherent Stephanie Kelton as his chief economic advisor.

        Two hilariously different takes on the same news:

        http://crooksandliars.com/2015/01/bernie-sanders-makes-two-great-hires

        http://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2015/01/12/watch-out-mmts-about-as-bernie-sanders-hires-stephanie-kelton/

        Warren Mosler’s gnomic take on the above:

        “It’s happening”

        http://moslereconomics.com/2015/01/22/kelton-in-the-news/

        No mention of elves (just kidding. And no, I don’t think this will change much… but I do think it’s vaguely hopeful and that maybe in another 20 years we might have a shot at some sane economic policies.)

  3. ThatJ says:

    Oy vey, if only his enemies were Russians!

    Kiev regional police head accused of neo-Nazi ties

    If need be, Ukrainian chief rabbi says he’ll call on president to sack interior minister over appointment.

    The newly appointed police chief for the Ukrainian province in which Kiev is located came under fire on Monday after it was alleged that he had past ties with a neo-Nazi organization.

    […]

    The Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group (KHPG) has objected to Troyan’s appointment, describing him as a leading member of the Patriot of Ukraine organization, which some have described as neo-Nazi. Patriot of Ukraine is linked with the Social-National Assembly of Ukraine and has displayed symbols reminiscent of those used by the Nazis on its banners and other materials.

    Troyan, who ran for parliament on the ticket of Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk’s People’s Front, is described on that party’s website as a member of the organization.

    KHPG says Patriot of Ukraine espouses “xenophobic and neo-Nazi ideas” and engages in violence. It based its opposition to Troyan’s appointment on allegations by anti-Semitism researcher Viacheslav Likhachev, who is connected to the local Jewish community.

    […]

    The chief rabbi called on President Petro Poroshenko to call the interior minister “to order on this.”

    He demanded that “if the interior minister continues to appoint people of questionable repute and ideologies tainted with fascism and right-wing extremism, the interior minister should be replaced.”

    http://www.jpost.com/Diaspora/Kiev-regional-police-head-accused-of-neo-Nazi-ties-381559

    [ThatJ: I am pretty sure that “Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group” is a Jewish-run Trotskyite NGO. Trotskyite in diaspora matters, because I bet their members are Zionists (Jewish nationalists) and defend Israeli behavior at every turn. Jews use this tactic in the West as well. Notice that he accused the Patriot of Ukraine organization not only of antisemitism, but xenophobia as well, implying that mass immigration is good and that opposing it makes you a hater or an irrational person, and there’s no immigration in Ukraine for this paranoid Jew to talk about xenophobia. This is how the process begins. Would it not suffice for these Jews to oppose just antisemitism?]

    Updates from mp.net and elsewhere:

    US Trainers To Deploy To Ukraine

    Also Will Begin Shipment of US-funded Armored Vehicles

    WASHINGTON — American soldiers will deploy to Ukraine this spring to begin training four companies of the Ukrainian National Guard, the head of US Army Europe Lt. Gen Ben Hodges said during his first visit to Kiev on Wednesday.

    The number of troops heading to the Yavoriv Training Area near the city of L’viv — which is about 40 miles from the Polish border — is still being determined, however.

    The American training effort comes as part of a US State Department initiative “to assist Ukraine in strengthening its law enforcement capabilities, conduct internal defense, and maintain rule of law” Pentagon spokeswoman Lt. Col. Vanessa Hillman told Defense News.

    Full text: http://www.defensenews.com/story/defense/land/army/2015/01/21/ukraine-us-army-russia/22119315/

    DONETSK, January 22. /TASS/. Dead bodies in NATO uniforms and a great number of US-made weapons have been recovered from under the debris of the Donetsk airport, Eduard Basurin, a spokesman for the defense ministry of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) said on Thursday.

    “While examining the building of the Donetsk airport, we found a great number of American firearms, assault rifles and hand mortars, equipment and communications devices,” he said. “We also found publications in European languages, including on religious matters.”
    Apart from that, “we found dead bodies in NATO uniforms under the debris in the new terminal. Personal belongings indicated that these people were foreign citizens contracted by private military companies who operated under the disguise of Ukrainian subversive groups,” he said.

    This is what #NAF advance towards #Mariupol looks like. #Ukrs lost most of the villages & now just control the city.

    http://i.imgur.com/HADtwLp.jpg?1

    #NAF (2nd Brig #LNR) is storming #Popasnaya. #ATO

    #NAF is pushing into #Krymskoe, North of #Bakhmutka highway, and shelling #Ukrainian checkpoint 37. #LNR #ATO

    #NAF in E. #Ukraine: We Will push back the line of confrontation back so that cities are out of artillery range.

    Today there were 19 attacks, the most egregious in Donetsk in the neighborhood Bosse, Leninsky district, “- he said, recalling the many victims of this tragedy.

    Basurin thus denied information about the detention of a subversive group, which was allegedly involved in an explosion in Bosse.

    “It was not a mortar, but artillery shell, to remove all the myths – said the deputy commander of the corpus. – Shelling was conducted, most likely by Elenovka, because there is closest positions of UAF to the Leninsky district by our calculations . ”

    #DNR administration on total #Ukrainian casualties at #Donetsk / #Peski battle: 597 KIA, 44 POW. WIA is hard to verify, but it is many 100s.

    Bear in mind that this is not a ‘normal’ action. These are soldiers attacking artillery positions that have been bombarding ‘their’ civilians and city. Some have previously said that no quarter will be given to artillerymen. It may well be that the figures quoted are as accurate as they can be at this stage and are a result of this policy. If so, and it is easy to believe, there are a lot more and I mean lots more UA deaths to come in the area around Horlivka. If I was UA, especially officers, I would be out of there f,,,, quick.

    • Jen says:

      ” … [ThatJ: I am pretty sure that “Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group” is a Jewish-run Trotskyite NGO. Trotskyite in diaspora matters, because I bet their members are Zionists (Jewish nationalists) and defend Israeli behavior at every turn. Jews use this tactic in the West as well. Notice that he accused the Patriot of Ukraine organization not only of antisemitism, but xenophobia as well, implying that mass immigration is good and that opposing it makes you a hater or an irrational person, and there’s no immigration in Ukraine for this paranoid Jew to talk about xenophobia. This is how the process begins. Would it not suffice for these Jews to oppose just antisemitism?] …”

      It would be better to actually ask KHRPG what its views are about Israeli and Jewish-related matters rather than to say you’re “pretty sure” about what it does and believes.

      This’ll help: http://khpg.org/en/index.php?r=2.1.6

    • ThatJ says:

      @Jen

      It would be better to actually ask KHRPG what its views are about Israeli and Jewish-related matters rather than to say you’re “pretty sure” about what it does and believes.

      Their anti-Russian position, as can be easily confirmed by scrolling here, and their rabid pro-Jewish, pro-immigration (dialectics: if they deplore “xenophobia”, what do they think of mass immigration? what will they say of you if you oppose it?) publications is enough for me. I know how the beast operates, thank you very much, Jen.

      By the way, this NGO is quite prolific, looking at how many publications they put out per week. This NGO (or others, for that matter) can — and will — be used in the future against Ukrainians themselves (hey yalensis, are you listening me?). The anti-Ukrainian stance of the NGO quieted down recently (I looked at older publications), which is understandable: the people behind the NGO don’t want to upset the goyim fighting the rebels in the east and appear “anti-patriot”, so they gave the anti-Ukrainian attacks a pause and focused on the rebels and Russia. All that the NGO needs to cultivate a pathological culture of self-hatred, or what I call the “Western suicide cult”, is a return to publishing anti-Ukrainian “reports” and for the media — now under full Zionist control (Porky is on the leash, so is his media) — to start repeating the NGO claims and reports, hammering the population down with constant condemnations of the Ukrainian culture and Ukrainians themselves. Many gullible goyim will fall for the trope, and these will be nourished by the universities and the media (in the future, of course), forming the elite of the country (again, in the future). The rest should be obvious…

      By the way, a more or less related article:

      The Return of the Protected Jewish Minority in Europe

      Contrary to the standard narratives of Jewish ‘history,’ a prominent feature of the historical presence of Jews in Europe has been their protected status. The common context for this status was a symbiotic relationship between the Jewish minority and exploitative or tyrannical elites. As agents of the feared elite, as foreigners, as exploiters in their own right, and with interests antagonistic to those of the non-Jewish majority, the Jews would not be long in incurring the wrath of the peasantry. The elite, often in the form of the Crown, was keenly aware of this, and numerous measures were taken to increase security for Jewish populations across Europe. The now infamous “identifying badge,” normally a yellow star, originates from one such period, the 13th century — though it is a lesser-recalled fact that it was first introduced to better facilitate the recognition of Jews by their official protectors.[1]

      With this in mind, I’ve been intrigued, but not very surprised, by one of the broader developments arising from the Charlie Hebdo shootings. I’m often slow to form judgment of events such as what occurred recently in France, preferring to let the dust settle and to look for interesting patterns or opinions which may emerge in the aftermath. One such pattern, inescapable in its current scale, has been the Jewish co-opting of the jihadist murders. At TOO, and in Nationalist circles more generally, we are aware of what the narrative should be. We know that what occurred in France was the result of the actions of an Islamist fifth column which remains rooted in, and continues to thrive on, the Muslim mass immigration to Europe. In addition to this, we are only too aware of the Jewish role in facilitating this monstrous migration.

      Full text: http://www.theoccidentalobserver.net/2015/01/the-return-of-the-protected-jewish-minority-in-europe/

      • ThatJ says:

        This is THE READING about the ramifications taking place right now following the Charlie Hebdo shooting. I didn’t know the outcome was evolving into this direction.

      • Jen says:

        I do not doubt that KHRPG may be anti-Russian but that ipso facto does not mean that when they say certain opinions are “xenophobic” that their statement reveals their stance on immigration. You are reading your opinion into their statement in such a way as to distort what they say to advance your agenda of flooding this blog with racialist opinion about Jews as a monolithic bloc and Muslims as a monolithic bloc.

        It is odd that you think Jews support Muslim immigration: where are the statistics that Jewish people, as opposed to Jewish organisations and individuals who claim to support their interests, in most countries support more Muslim immigration to the countries where they live?

        As for your opinion about Jews being a protected minority historically, I am quite aware that the Polish aristocracy threw the vast of majority of the Jewish community in Poland-Lithuanian territory to the peasants during Bogdan Khmelnitski’s uprising in 1648. This resulted in the largest mass murder of Jews in Europe before the 20th century. Before that, the Spanish monarchy expelled Jews from Spain and later Portugal during the late 1400s / early 1500s. The relationship between monarchies and Jews was more complicated that that: the elites may have protected the wealthy because they lent money for wars and land purchase but poorer Jews were not protected at all.

        Also do not say “Jewish” when you should say “Zionist” or “pro-Zionist”. We are quite aware you are deliberately misrepresenting Zionist opinions as representative of what Jewish people supposedly believe. While most Jews probably do follow the Zionist line, they are as misguided by their own elites as most gentiles are.

        • marknesop says:

          Yes, I am no fan of Zionist Israel myself, and consider its treatment of the Palestinians – including but not limited to its constant creeping encroachment on their land via Jews-only settlements – to be reprehensible. It is also a source of considerable disgust for me that no presidential candidate for office in the United States can more than declare himself before both parties are examining his position on Israel for suitability. At the same time, it is inconceivable that any U.S. candidate could announce he or she was opposed to further building of Jewish settlements on Palestinian land and would insist on all those already built being dismantled and removed, and still get elected.

          Similarly, I have no time for immigrants from anywhere who take up the cause of activism for their native land as soon as they get established in their new one, and begin lobbying for their new country to get involved on behalf of their birthplace. The way the Jewish lobby presses the United States to use its military to force cooperation of Israel’s neighbours with policies beneficial only to Israel. If it wants peace and harmony, let it negotiate for them itself, without Uncle Sam looming in the background in his striped pants, waving his big stick.

          People from anywhere who emigrate, take up a job and pay their taxes and mind their own business are all right with me. It is up to the government to decide how many can come in and still be likely to find work, and the argument that immigrants are taking jobs away from the native-born would never happen if the government is doing its job in that respect. Of course if you let 500,000 people in and have only 25,000 jobs there is going to be trouble, and it can be avoided by electing a government that can do simple math.

          • colliemum says:

            A government that can do simple maths?
            That’ll be the day …

            😦

          • yalensis says:

            Well, that’s all true, but it kind of misses the point, namely, that Israel is, and always has been, an outpost of THE EMPIRE. First the British Empire, and then its chronological replacement, the American Empire.
            Sometimes the tail wags the dog, this is true.
            But mostly, the dog wags the tail.

            • marknesop says:

              Whatever the case, I am not opposed to Jews in any capacity so long as they behave like anyone else, while activists who are trying to drum up local support for war in their ancestral country are repugnant to me no matter their ethnicity. A classic example is Taras Kuzio, whom to the best of my knowledge is not a Jew. It is also hard to argue that Israel has the best network for lobbying and influencing the governments of most major western countries to direct policy that is favourable to Israel. The people of Israel happen to be Jews, but I think it is perfectly understandable that this behavior would incur resentment no matter if they were Dutch – it is the behavior which inspires dislike, not the ethnicity. By the same token, it is wrong to hold all Jews accountable and deserving of suspicion because of the behavior of their activists.

              • yalensis says:

                Dear Mark:
                I don’t think many people dispute the power of the Jewish/Zionist lobby in Western countries, especially the United States. These people lobby incessantly for Israel and for ancillary Jewish ethnic causes, and they usually get everything they want.

                But if people would stop and think, why Jews have so much clout….
                Is it because they are so smart and talented? Well, there is that… but they’re not the only smart ones around…
                Is it because they were victims of a horrible crime and people feel sorry for them? Maybe. But Gypsies were also victims, and nobody gives a sh*t about them. (Hint: gypsies don’t have their own country)

                Could it possibly be, because Israel, from its forepost position, controls a prime piece of real estate in a very important part of the world? Israel is to THE EMPIRE as Fort Zinderneuf was to the French Foreign Legion. Because of Israel’s strategic importance to the American/Anglo/Saudi/Zionist Empire, Jews are important, they are treated like le petit Prince in Western society, and therefore it looks to the common rubes like the tail is wagging the dog. But in reality, the dog is still wagging the tail.

                In fact, by following an old pattern and aligning themselves with THE EMPIRE and THE POWERS THAT BE (which includes Saudi Arabia and the Sunni bloc, not just the U.S./Europe), the Jewish elites have made themselves highly vulnerable in case something should go wrong, as Noam Chomsky has pointed out. Well, maybe not the elites, they always seem to survive. But the ordinary blokes who suffer the consequences when something goes terribly wrong, in the geo-political scheme of things. [allude to 1648 Khmelnitsky uprising]

                In conclusion, my biggest beef against the Jewish/Zionist establishment, is that they proved to be ungrateful. The Soviet Union saved their bacon (horrible pun intended); but the moment that Israel was created, the Soviet Jews just dashed off to become Zionists, and then spat back in the face of the Soviet Union. And then proceeded to become a powerful anti-Soviet, and then anti-Russian lobby. That’s the element of it which really boils my grits.

                But hey, what can you do? If I were Jewish, I probably would have joined Mossad by now. After seeing the level of IRRATIONAL hatred there is out there.

                • Moscow Exile says:

                  My theory is that they are disliked so much because they have got big hooters.

                • yalensis says:

                  Maybe. Shimon Peres DOES look a tad zaftig!

                • Jen says:

                  The fact that Israel controls the so-called Holy Land has been very important to British and American political elites. In the 19th century a peculiar belief known as British Israelism was doing the rounds among British politicians: the belief posits that the 10 lost tribes (the children of Jacob save those of Judah, Benjamin and Levi) migrated to Britain and became the ancestors of the English-speaking peoples. The idea carried across to the US in the early 20th century.

                  There is also the belief among many Christian fundamentalists in the Anglosphere that the creation and existence of Israel is a sign that Jesus’ return is imminent, therefore Britain and the US should do all they can to ensure Israel continues to survive. Moreover the West should enable all Jews to return to Israel as that is supposed to be another sign of Jesus’ coming.

                  Hence Western support for Israel is a “moral” and “spiritual” obligation with an existential element to it.

                • yalensis says:

                  Dear Jen:
                  That’s interesting. Mormons also believe that the 10 “lost tribes” didn’t actually get lost or disappear, so much as migrated to a different place.
                  In Mormon theology, the lost tribes sailed to America in a submarine-type craft:
                  68.The Book of Mormon (Book of Ether 6) describes a 344-day oceanic voyage by the Jaredites in small submarine-like “barges” with only two air holes (one in the top and one in the bottom, i.e., only one usable at a time). These boats contained not only people, but livestock of many kinds, apparently with enough food and water that no landfall was necessary.

                  It is my understanding, that once the lost tribes arrived in America, they proceeded to become native Americans. But somehow lost their submarine-making technology over the centuries.

            • Oddlots says:

              Or maybe it was all about a lucky lunch and what we now call “networking”:

              “Productive lunch

              A great advert for the importance of the institution of lunch took place in 1914, when the celebrated Belarus-born chemist Chaim Weizmann (1874-1952) was entertained by CP Scott, the editor of the Manchester Guardian. When Scott asked what he was working on, Weizmann replied that he had just perfected a new technique for safely synthesising acetone, a highly explosive substance used in cleaning products and explosives. A week later, Scott was lunching with the Prime Minister, Lloyd George, who complained that the war effort was foundering for a want of acetone. The rest is, literally, history. The British munitions industry outproduced the Germans and the war was won. When asked what he wanted as a reward, Weizmann – a lifelong Zionist — asked for a Jewish state. He got one, largely as a result of the Balfour Declaration of 1917, and became the first president of Israel in 1949. All because of lunch.”

              http://www.telegraph.co.uk/men/the-filter/qi/8637455/QI-Quite-interesting-facts-about-lunch.html

              Background:

              http://www.bbc.co.uk/manchester/content/articles/2008/05/12/140508_israel_weizmann_feature.shtml

              • Moscow Exile says:

                Weizmann and Churchill were also thick as thieves from the very early days of the former’s political career, when he was an MP in Northwest England, for Oldham, near Manchester, which constituency he won in the very early 1900s whilst he was riding a wave of popularity after his Boer War adventures, about which he had just published an account. Weizmann was a chemist at Manchester University. They met on several occasions then and throughout the rest of Churchill’s up-and-down political career, and, of course, during WWII.

                Churchill was very close to a Jewish cabal in the UK, was financed by it even, of which Weizmann was a member. The cabal consisted of Jews of very great influence – captains of industry and those that had been raised to the peerage, levers of power and all that.

                This ain’t no conspiracy theory. You can check it out in the myriad of Churchill biographies.

  4. ThatJ says:

    The “great humatarians” say not enough asylum seekers from Africa and the Middle East in Europe, more need to be welcomed:

    Wikström (FP): Syrian refugees – Greece must comply with international obligations

    Press release from the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe in the European Parliament

    Cecilia Wikstrom MEP, the Coordinator for the ALDE Group on the European Parliament’s Civil Liberties Committee, has today warned Greece that it must comply with its international obligations to accept and process asylum applications from the increasing number of Syrian refugees who are risking their lives to reach Europe.

    Speaking out today, Cecilia Wikstrom MEP said:

    “It is completely unacceptable and contrary to international law that Syrian refugees attempting to reach Europe continue to be sent back to Turkey by the Greek coast guard and border police without having a chance to submit an asylum application.”

    Cecilia Wikström today calls on EU Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos to immediately put pressure on Greece to end this practice:

    “I hope Commissioner Avramopolous will condemn this behaviour and follow the example set by his predecessor, Cecilia Malmström, who immediately put pressure on Member States when such unacceptable abuses were discovered.”

    “The number of refugees seeking safety in Europe is likely to increase again this year, which is why we must urgently find a European solution to this crisis.”

    http://ceciliawikstrom.eu/en/wikstrom-fp-syrian-refugees-greece-must-comply-international-obligations/

    Another 20 boat migrants die en route to Europe

    The Maltese coast guard has intercepted a boat carrying 80 boat migrants and 20 dead bodies, AFP reports. Last year saw the highest death toll on record in Mediterranean Sea crossings, with a new exodus from war-torn Gaza on top of Syrian refugees and African economic migrants

    [ThatJ: Certainly, encouraging more non-continental illegal aliens will solve this problem. If it doesn’t solve, it doesn’t mean there’s something inherently wrong with the idea that they must keep coming, it simply means that we need to do more.]

    https://euobserver.com/tickers/127332

    EU mulls response to Russia’s information war

    The Netherlands is funding a study on how the EU can fight back against Russia’s “information war”, in one of several counter-propaganda initiatives.

    The Dutch-sponsored study was launched in January by the European Endowment for Democracy (EED), a Brussels-based foundation.

    Alastair Rabagliati, the EED’s director of operations, told EUobserver: “We’ve launched an initiative, with the support of a Dutch government grant, which will develop a feasibility study with clear recommendations on the way forward for the development of independent Russian language media initiatives”.

    “It’ll aim to consolidate different free media and enable new actors in the Russian language info-sphere – TV, social media, internet portals – in order to optimise co-operation”.

    EU sources say the grant is worth about €500,000 and the initial report is due before a summit of former Soviet and EU states in Riga in May.

    Poland’s former foreign minister, Radek Sikorski, last spring initially floated the idea of creating an EU-funded, Russian language TV station.

    But little happened until the Netherlands stepped in with the EED grant after a passenger plane, flight MH17, was shot down over east Ukraine killing 193 Dutch nationals and 105 other people.

    Evidence indicates that Russia-controlled rebels caused the disaster using a Russia-supplied rocket system.

    […]

    Russian state media have mobilised support for the war on Ukraine by demonising Ukrainians as “fascists” and by alleging that last year’s revolution was a US-fabricated “coup” designed to harm Russia.

    They are also feeding anti-EU and anti-US sentiment in Europe, in part by depicting Russia as a defender of orthodox values against EU promotion of gay rights and multiculturalism.

    Full text: https://euobserver.com/foreign/127135

  5. Tim Owen says:

    [ThatJ: I am pretty sure that “Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group” is a Jewish-run Trotskyite NGO. Trotskyite in diaspora matters, because I bet their members are Zionists (Jewish nationalists) and defend Israeli behavior at every turn. Jews use this tactic in the West as well. Notice that he accused the Patriot of Ukraine organization not only of antisemitism, but xenophobia as well, implying that mass immigration is good and that opposing it makes you a hater or an irrational person, and there’s no immigration in Ukraine for this paranoid Jew to talk about xenophobia. This is how the process begins. Would it not suffice for these Jews to oppose just antisemitism?]

    Jesus, it must be exhausting to be you.

    I’m trying to untangle the above. When you write “Would it not suffice for these Jews to oppose just antisemitism?” doesn’t it occur to you that this would actually be an entirely reprehensible position to the minds of most human beings? Do what you want with the others but don’t touch us. (And you write this with perceived “Moskals” in the east being attacked indiscriminately, their land and property promised to the “punishers” being sent to the east, their means of economic survival cut off….)

    If this doesn’t occur to you, why do you think that is? You are basically criticizing him for the one aspect of his complaint that precisely no normal person would take issue with.

    It’s one thing to accuse someone of hypocrisy. It’s quite another to somehow head right round “the bend” and further accuse a man decrying the promotion of neo-Nazi’s in Ukraine with persecuting neo-Nazi’s in Ukraine (who are only defending their Volk presumably.)

    Seriously, WTF are you actually doing here?

    • ThatJ says:

      I’m trying to untangle the above. When you write “Would it not suffice for these Jews to oppose just antisemitism?” doesn’t it occur to you that this would actually be an entirely reprehensible position to the minds of most human beings? Do what you want with the others but don’t touch us. (And you write this with perceived “Moskals” in the east being attacked indiscriminately, their land and property promised to the “punishers” being sent to the east, their means of economic survival cut off….)

      If this doesn’t occur to you, why do you think that is? You are basically criticizing him for the one aspect of his complaint that precisely no normal person would take issue with.

      Troyan is being opposed by these Jewish NGOs because of his associations with antisemites, not because he’s anti-Russian. Don’t you find this reprehensible?

      It’s one thing to accuse someone of hypocrisy. It’s quite another to somehow head right round “the bend” and further accuse a man decrying the promotion of neo-Nazi’s in Ukraine with persecuting neo-Nazi’s in Ukraine (who are only defending their Volk presumably.)

      Seriously, WTF are you actually doing here?

      Do you think I should support the “nationalists” fighting for the Zionist hegemon which is subjugating Europe through economic means, spying, blackmail, military occupation and hostile NGOs?

      http://www.theoccidentalobserver.net/articles/MacDonald-Kaufmann.html

      http://www.theoccidentalobserver.net/2008/08/the-neocons-versus-russia/

      I will spare you of articles about France, the UK, Canada and others. The above should be an “entry” into my beliefs.

      As to your views about me, they are:
      1) The Ukies are nationalists
      2) ThatJ is a nationalist
      3) Therefore ThatJ must support the Ukies

      You fail to understand my views, which to be honest I don’t detail frequently. Looking at France, Britain and the US today, can you say that their “patriotism”, pushed by Zionists and their agents of influence in WWII, to fight a war against Germany, paid off (from the pov of a patriot)?

      Don’t you think the backstabbing started soon after the war?

      • yalensis says:

        Dear ThatJ:
        Just curious, what is your own ethnic make-up?
        I assume you are by birth American, and most N-generation Americans are some kind of mixed breed. Are you a mongrel?

        [which, by the way, just being pedantic here, comes from the Caucasian “Mingrel” tribe, as in “Mingreli” – famous examples include Lavrenty Beria… but when you think about it, they are pure Caucasians, in a way….]

  6. Tim Owen says:

    “Troyan is being opposed by these Jewish NGOs because of his associations with antisemites, not because he’s anti-Russian. Don’t you find this reprehensible?”

    Perfect. You have a tendency to pick out and obsess over minor issues that raise your hackles but in the big scheme of things are meaningless all according to the “logic” of your obsession with Jews and race generally.

    Do I expect that the representative of a Jewish organization will start off by decrying the anti-Russian tilt of Kiev policy in a country terrorized by Ukrainian ultra-nationalists? Errr… No not really.

    Do I find the anti-Moskali, ultra-Nationalist madness of the Kiev regime disgusting? Yesssss.

    “As to your views about me, they are:
    1) The Ukies are nationalists
    2) ThatJ is a nationalist
    3) Therefore ThatJ must support the Ukies”

    Thanks for organizing my thoughts for me. Very generous.

    My take is a little different.

    • ThatJ says:

      Do I expect that the representative of a Jewish organization will start off by decrying the anti-Russian tilt of Kiev policy in a country terrorized by Ukrainian ultra-nationalists? Errr… No not really.

      You completely missed the point. When I say “Jewish NGOs”, I don’t mean that they are specifically Jewish NGOs, but NGOs that are led by Jews, for Jewish interests. Now this is a pertinent subject, because I recall reading about the tactic the Jews employed in Britain decades ago, and the honing of the methods that best worked:

      …[F]or example, I pointed out that some of the earliest Jewish moves to restrict free speech in Britain were not undertaken on behalf of Caribbean Blacks or Pakistanis, but rather were conducted following the backlash against Jewish terrorism targeting the British administration in Palestine. Jewish efforts at this time took the form of attempting to ban the criticism of Jews, first at a Labour Party conference and later in Parliament itself. The aim was not to fight “racism,” but to eliminate any expression of negativity towards Jews and Jewish actions. Only when the “direct” route failed did Jews broaden the scope of their efforts, bringing a range of non-Whites into the fold, in an attempt to present the image of a coalition of the downtrodden.

      The resolution passed by the Conference of European Rabbis represents nothing new. Jews have been attempting to make “anti-Semitism” illegal for decades, if not centuries. This is a fundamental aspect of the perennial Jewish drive for special protections — protections that have been clearly necessary for the pursuit of a group strategy which has proven over vast stretches of historical time to expose the group to criticism, anger, and violence from other peoples. Furthermore, the level of success in achieving the criminalization of anti-Jewish critique can be seen as a benchmark of Jewish power in a given state. For example, as David Shneer comments, at the same time it established state-sponsored Yiddish-language publishing houses, Jewish writers’ groups, Jewish courts, Jewish city councils, and Jewish schools, the Soviet Union was the first country in the world to make all forms of anti-Jewish activity illegal.[1] Barbara Epstein adds that a Soviet criminal conviction for “anti-Semitism” would result in an eighteen-month prison sentence.[2]

      Full text: http://www.theoccidentalobserver.net/2014/11/reflections-on-jews-anti-semitism-and-free-speech/

      • yalensis says:

        Dear ThatJ:

        Hate speech laws in Soviet Union protected ALL Soviet citizens who were members of ethnic minorities. Not just Jews.
        EXCEPTION:
        Great Russian ethnos was the dominant one (as expressed in the words of the national anthem
        Союз нерушимый республик свободных
        Сплотила навеки Великая Русь,

        hence Great Russian ethnos was the only one which did not need these special protections. It all makes sense, and made sense at the time, although this might seem alien to somebody like yourself, from a completely different mindset and culture.

        Although, to be sure, there is analogy in American culture, where African-Americans were, and are, given special protections (Voting Rights Act and protection against hate crimes, etc.) I understand that you are ALL against this too, and even a believer, if I am not mistaken, that ALL African-Americans should be deported back to Africa.


        (How would this actually work, by the way? They have to take some kind of DNA test, and if they fail, then they are loaded on a boat? Or perhaps shot? Something like that?)

        In conclusion, returning to the issue of Soviet free speech, or lack thereof, certain restrictions on free speech were considered necessary at the time, to create national harmony and keep people from getting at each others throats. Otherwise, sadly, people might get stirred up and agitated by hate-mongers such as yourself.

  7. ThatJ says:

    UK, Denmark back EU counter-propaganda plan

    Four EU states have backed plans on how to combat Russian propaganda, including a regulatory crackdown on media which “incite hatred”.

    https://euobserver.com/foreign/127155

    Ukraine claims 1,373 Ukrainian soldiers KIA and 6,242 Russian soldiers KIA

    http://www.kyivpost.com/content/ukraine/at-least-1373-soldiers-killed-in-russias-war-against-ukraine-3-378173.html

    You Say Crimea, They Say Taurida

    Crimea Is Ours has been a popular patriotic rallying cry for Russians since the annexation of the peninsula from Ukraine 10 months ago.

    But now some Russian officials are claiming that Crimea isn’t even really Crimea — it’s Taurida.

    The idea of renaming Crimea was first floated by the bombastic nationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky, who noted in an interview with the pro-Kremlin website LifeNews on January 1 that the peninsula’s original Greek name was Taurida and was later changed to the Turkic Crimea.

    http://www.rferl.org/content/crimea-russia-renaming-taurida/26806157.html

    • marknesop says:

      Wow; some Ukrainian soldiers must be real tigers – hard to imagine, the way they previously allowed themselves to be bottled up in cauldrons and then screamed for help like girl scouts telling each other scary stories, but I guess it must be true. I mean, numbers don’t lie, and these mammoth warriors are killing elite Russian special forces troops at around 5 to 1. Let’s hope they don’t take it into their heads to invade Russia; there’d be no stopping them, and they would probably have slain everyone in the country by next Thursday at the latest. Great Scott, the Russians sent 9000 men into Ukraine only a couple of days ago and the brave industrious Ukies have rubbed out more than half of them already! And still had to abandon the airport, and haven’t taken a single objective yet since the opening salvo – what are the Russians doing, dodging in front of your gun barrels? Killing each other? Running over cliffs like lemmings?

      Ukraine has just become a great big embarrassment, it is obvious they will say anything to get attention. Soon they will have to resort to wearing Indian war bonnets in the Rada or something, anything for attention, because it’s hard to listen to pathological liars who spin increasingly crazier stories, eventually it’s not even entertaining.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      You Say Crimea, They Say Taurida

      He’s using the term derived from the Greek name for the peninsula. The term “Crimea” is Tatar.

      There is a Taurida Palace in St.Petersburg, which was Prince Grigorii Potmkin’s little pad.

      Potemkin was given the title Prince of Taurida by Ekaterina II because it was he and his Russian imperial army that seized the Crimea from the Ottomans in 1783.

      There was no “Ukraine” then, although there were disputed borderlands, and all that became Novorossiya after Potemkin’s exploits down there had been until 1783 a pretty risky place to hang around if you were a Slav Christian because if you had done so, there was a very high possibility that you would have ended up on the auction block of the Slav slave market in Constantinople, thanks to the efforts of those awfully nice, though cruelly treated by the Russian filth, Crimean Tatar slavers.

      • Moscow Exile says:

        Interestingly, at about the same time as Potemkin was kicking Tatar arse down the Crimea, the newly formed US navy was doing much the same thing and for the very same reason on the Barbary Coast, North Africa.

        True, after the US had sorted matters out with the Barbary slavers, the US government did not annex the Barbary Coast, but I’m pretty damned sure it would have done so if the Barbary Coast had been some Caribbean Island or a strip of the Florida coast. (Florida was not part of the USA then, of course.)

        Wicked, wicked Russians picking on poor Muslim slavers!

        • Warren says:

          The US navy was established specifically to encounter this threat of piracy from north Africa, at first the US signed treaties with and paid the Barbary pirates. Then in under Jefferson’s presidency the US sent an expedition forces to attack the Barbary pirates in north Africa. The battle of Derne in Libya was the first battle on foreign soil the US ever fought. That is where the word Tripoli appears in the USMC hymn.

          From the Halls of Montezuma
          To the shores of Tripoli;
          We fight our country’s battles
          In the air, on land, and sea;
          First to fight for right and freedom
          And to keep our honor clean;
          We are proud to claim the title
          Of United States Marine.
          Our flag’s unfurled to every breeze
          From dawn to setting sun;
          We have fought in every clime and place
          Where we could take a gun;
          In the snow of far-off Northern lands
          And in sunny tropic scenes,
          You will find us always on the job
          The United States Marines.
          Here’s health to you and to our Corps
          Which we are proud to serve;
          In many a strife we’ve fought for life
          And never lost our nerve.
          If the Army and the Navy
          Ever look on Heaven’s scenes,
          They will find the streets are guarded
          By United States Marines.

          Furthermore, from that brief conflict the USMC adopted the Mameluke sword as their officer ceremonial sword!

          The irony, is that Derne in Eastern Libya has now been taken over by extremists, because of NATO’s overthrow of the Gaddaffi regime in 2011. So it is not inconceivable US forces will again be fighting in Derne in the not so distant future.

  8. colliemum says:

    With Victor Meldrew (see here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mLNrLI3OBwg ) I say ‘I don’t believe it!’
    This comes under ‘carrot-and-stick policies’:
    http://www.zeit.de/politik/ausland/2015-01/merkel-handelsabkommen-russland
    http://www.spiegel.de/politik/ausland/ukraine-krise-angela-merkel-bietet-wladimir-putin-handelszone-an-a-1014515.html

    Yes, Madame Merkel ‘thinks out loud’ at that summit of the rich and great and good in Davos, offering Putin that Free Trade Zone he talked about some time ago. Of course, that’ll only happen if he removes all those little green men from the Ukraine, or, iaw, if he bends his knees to the mighty EU/USA/NATO …
    You couldn’t make it up!

    • marknesop says:

      I hope Russia expresses polite interest and then never raises the subject again. If Europe collapses from its shitty trade policies and its panicky support of Washington, serves it right. It no more than gets an agreement than its leaders are plotting and colluding to figure out how they can best break it to their advantage or simply pretend they had their fingers crossed or something. Just like the violent denials that Russia was promised there would be no further NATO expansion into its regional interests after Germany was reunited; we never said anything of the kind, says NATO now. Oh, the subject probably came up, but there was never a legal agreement.

      Brussels is accustomed to believing it runs the world, and consequently it can be expected to make decisions without regret that it believes it must in order to protect its interests. What it agrees to be bound by is of no consequence because it does not believe itself bound by anything.

      Most despicable of all is that Putin is supposed to stand aside, in exchange for the EU’s munificence, and not intervene while Kiev “pacifies” the east by killing everyone who will not surrender. The east is obviously of far more significance than we previously thought, and NATO wants it badly. Is there a lot of oil there, maybe? Will NATO go back on its word, accept Ukraine as a member once the border disputes are swept aside, and build huge bases on Russia’s doorstep? Almost any scenario can be envisioned except that this is a bona-fide peace offer from the west which will work to Russia’s advantage – the west is simply trying to horse-trade for what it must have and can’t get any other way. Tell them to stick it up their chuff, they had their chance and blew it.

  9. ThatJ says:

    Hey colliemum, what do you think of these nice folks:

    Welcome to the completely bonkers world of the Green Party manifesto

    I was about to shut down my computer last night when I made the mistake of clicking on an article about the Green Party’s manifesto, possibility the scariest thing since Victor from The Returned.

    Say what you like about the Greens, a party with support now at 11 per cent, but at least they’re not just the same as any other party. None of that ‘neoliberal’ nonsense here.

    Here are some excerpts from the Daily Telegraph article:

    • Top-ups [will be] given for people with children or disabilities, or to pay rent and mortgages. No-one will see a reduction in benefits, and most will see a substantial increase. Parents will be entitled to two years’ paid leave from work.

    • The policy will enable people to “choose their own types and patterns of work”, and will allow people to take up “personally satisfying and socially useful work”. It will cost somewhere between £240-280 billion a year – more than double the current health budget, and ten times the defence budget.

    • Under Green plans, inheritance tax – “to prevent the accumulation of wealth and power by a privileged class” – will no longer just tax the dead.

    • Under radical reforms, it will cover gifts made while the giver is still alive – raising the prospect of levies on cars, jewellery or furniture given by parents to their children.

    • New resource taxes would apply to wood, metal and minerals, and steeper levies imposed on cars.

    • Crucially, import taxes will be levied on goods brought to Britain reflecting the “ecological impact” of making them – with tariffs reintroduced for trade between Britain and the rest of Europe, ending the free trade bloc.

    • All elements of the sex industry will be decriminalised, and prostitutes could no longer be discriminated against in child custody cases.

    • The Greens also want to see “significantly reduced” levels of imprisonment, with jail only used when there is a “substantial risk of a further grave crime” or in cases where offences are so horrific that offenders would be at risk of vigilantes. Prisoners will be given the vote.

    • SATS, early years tests and league tables will be abolished, and “creative” subjects given equal parity to the “academic”.

    • Independent schools will lose their charitable status and pay corporation tax, while church schools will be stripped of taxpayer funding. Religious instruction will be banned in school hours.

    • Tuition fees will be abolished – but state research funding for universities will increase to reduce a reliance on “biased” commercial research.

    • The “overall volume” of advertising on TV and newspapers will be controlled and cut, as part of a war on the “materialist and consumption driven culture which is not sustainable”.

    • The England football, rugby and cricket teams would no longer play against countries where “normal, friendly, respectful or diplomatic relations are not possible.” Football clubs would be owned by co-operatives and not traded on the stock markets.

    • No more new airports or runways will be built, and existing ones nationalised. All new homes and businesses must by law provide bicycle parking. Helicopter travel would be regulated “more strictly”. The sale of alcohol on planes and airports will be tightly restricted to prevent air-rage, and the air on inbound flights tested for disease.

    • Advertising of holiday flights will be controlled by law to halt the “promotion of a high-carbon lifestyle”. New taxes would be imposed on carriers to reduce passenger numbers.

    • Assisted dying will be legalised, and the law on abortion liberalised to allow nurses to carry it out. “Alternative” medicine will be promoted. Private healthcare will be more heavily taxed, with special levies on private hospitals that employ staff who were trained on the NHS.

    • It will be a criminal offence, with “significant fines”, to stop a woman from breastfeeding in a restaurant or shop, and formula milk will be more tightly regulated.

    • In order to prevent “overpopulation” burdening the earth, the state will provide free condoms and fund research for new contraceptives.

    • Merely being a member of al-Qaeda, the IRA and other currently proscribed terrorist groups will no longer be a criminal offence under Green plans, and instead a Green Government should seek to “address desperate motivations that lie behind many atrocities labelled ‘terrorist’,” the policy book states.

    • Terrorism, it adds, “is an extremely loaded term. Sometimes governments justify their own terrorist acts by labelling any groups that resist their monopoly of violence ‘terrorist’.”

    • Britain will leave NATO, end the special relationship with the US, and unilaterally abandon nuclear weapons. A standing army, navy and airforce is “unnecessary”. Bases will be turned into nature reserves and the arms industry “converted” to producing windturbines.

    • “Richer regions do not have the right to use migration controls to protect their privileges from others in the long term,” the party’s policy book states.

    • A Green Government will “progressively reduce” border controls, including an amnesty for illegal immigrants after five years.

    • Access to benefits, the right to vote and tax obligations will apply to everyone living on British soil, regardless of passport. The policy book states: “We will work to create a world of global inter-responsibility in which the concept of a ‘British national’ is irrelevant and outdated.”

    • Political parties will be funded by the state, and the electoral system changed. The monarchy will be abolished.

    I know Ukip are accused of wanting to bring us back to the ‘50s, but at least it’s not the 1750s, before pesky economic growth ruined everything. All parties are based on inherent contradictions: Labour has the progressive dilemma, whereby the party’s social liberalism destroys working-class solidarity; the Conservatives have the inherent contradiction that free-market capitalism inevitably changes rather than conserves society. Ukip, being in its adolescence, is full of contradictions at the moment. But the Green Party is like an Escher painting of political paradox.

    Full text: http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/coffeehouse/2015/01/welcome-to-the-bonkers-world-of-the-green-party-manifesto/

    • colliemum says:

      What I – and a huge number of us – think has been expressed far better than I ever could by James Delingpole, e.g. “A vote for the Greens is far more than a protest: it’s a vote for collectivisation, stagnation and immiseration.”
      Read the rest here: http://www.breitbart.com/london/2015/01/21/yes-the-greens-are-a-joke-but-not-a-funny-or-harmless-one/

      • ThatJ says:

        From the article:

        Truth is, though, to laugh at the Greens is to underestimate the viciousness of their ideology – which is an unholy mix of economic illiteracy, pathological altruism, and misanthropy, built on a foundation of ignorance, self-delusion and mendacity.

        This pathological altruism is what I call pseudo-humanism because it doesn’t involve personal sacrifice or deeds by the humanitarians themselves. Their “humanism” depends solely on the submission of the rest of society to get it done, a kind of ego-slavery.

      • yalensis says:

        I do like that plank about abolishing the monarchy, though…

      • yalensis says:

        P.S. –
        Dear colliemum,
        Don’t fall for ThatJ’s sexy wiles!

        He is obviously trying to bond with you, finding common ground, etc.
        The plan is:
        Today you will bond over your common anti-Green ideology
        He will invite you to an anti-Green event, where everybody will be nice and super-polite, they will serve drinks and canapes.. The swastikas will be discretely hidden.
        Then day after tomorrow BAM! they will be exhorting you to become a card-carrying member of the Nazi Party!

        • colliemum says:

          Dear yalensis –
          thank you for your concern!
          Rest assured, I am far too old to fall for such wiles. They only evoke in me a faint amusement, if not outright hilarity.
          Cordially yours,
          colliemum

          😉

        • ThatJ says:

          Right, because not supporting the odious Greens to joining the Nazi Party is never a leap too far.

    • ucgsblog says:

      “All elements of the sex industry will be decriminalised, and prostitutes could no longer be discriminated against in child custody cases.”

      Take your kid to work day!

      “SATS, early years tests and league tables will be abolished, and “creative” subjects given equal parity to the “academic”.”

      Sex industry is a creative subject.

      “Independent schools will lose their charitable status and pay corporation tax, while church schools will be stripped of taxpayer funding. Religious instruction will be banned in school hours.”

      They don’t know much about education.

      “The England football, rugby and cricket teams would no longer play against countries where “normal, friendly, respectful or diplomatic relations are not possible.” Football clubs would be owned by co-operatives and not traded on the stock markets.”

      Or investing.

      “In order to prevent “overpopulation” burdening the earth, the state fund research for new contraceptives… “Richer regions do not have the right to use migration controls to protect their privileges from others in the long term,” the party’s policy book states.”

      If they win, the UK will have a thriving sex industry. Seriously though, this looks like what my college friends and I wrote to troll our professors… while heavily buzzed. We didn’t realize that it would actually be… we’re sorry.

      • yalensis says:

        It’s not all bad, though!
        I like the bit about leaving NATO, and also public breastfeeding. I think that’s cute.

    • Warren says:

      A truly bonkers party was the “Natural Law Party” they were big in the early 90s.

  10. ThatJ says:

    Some important tweets:

    #NAF liberated Eastern part of #Dzerzhinsk and continue to fight over control of the city (West of #Gorlovka). #ATO

    #DNR spy provided #Ukrainian MoD January casualties report: 962 KIA, 1279 WIA, MIA 476, 244 armored vehicles, 513 artillery pieces. #ATO

    [ThatJ: I don’t know if I should trust the DNR spy story. It may be disinfo to make the Ukies paranoid. Having traitors infiltrated in your military reporting high casualties that the society itself doesn’t know is demoralizing.]

    #Ukraine’s Rada introduces draft law that allows commanders to shoot insubordinate soldiers on the spot http://t.co/YcSeWR30zO

    #Serbian #NAF volunteers send their warm greetings from #Peski. #ATO #KosovoJeSrbija

    Irina Petrovna: “I’ve been mopping up blood and brains the past hour. And they say we are terrorists!” @olliecarroll ”

    #Ukrainian govt announced it would build a new military graveyard for 250K spaces. They sure arent shy about freaking own countrymen out.

    #Pentagon confirms #US troops will deploy to #Ukraine in Spring “to train #Ukrainian National Guard” in #Lvov. #ATO #AdmitTheObvious

    #US money & equipment? #Ukraine loses. #US private security contractors & Army generals? #Ukraine still loses. Send in the #US troops! LOL

    #American government just gave so much propaganda fuel to #Kremlin strategists, they have no idea. #Voentorg will probably triple in size.

    #Ukrainian 4th mobilization news: draft dodgers are getting busted at local kindergartens, where dads go to pick up their children. #ATO

    BREAKING: MT @gullivercragg: Soldiers in #Artemivsk hotel just woke us up & said leave…Have intel city is coming under attack. #Ukraine

    Bloomberg: “Putin is increasingly suspicious of men who owe their wealth to him”

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2015-01-22/putin-said-to-shrink-inner-circle-as-ukraine-hawks-trump-tycoons.html

    [ThatJ: Western Agitprop?]

  11. Moscow Exile says:

    Donetsk separatists illegally entered Ukraine“ – Psaki:

  12. peter says:

  13. ucgsblog says:

    Thank you for that article Mark! And I gotta say, I’ve missed reading some of the comments here. I’ll try to visit more often, and finally get that article I’ve been writing out. Meanwhile, I was at a forum, where we had many people, but the following conversation is of note:

    Lawyer: “we write the laws, the codes, election criteria and requirements, we can kick you guys out whenever we want, what do you guys do?”
    Research analyst: “oh, we just analyze-”
    Lawyer: “hahaha! Analyze. Good one. Kind of like Analyze This and Analyze That?”
    Research analyst: “something like that. We analyze which laws will be enforced, which will be ignored, which vigilante actions will be enforced, which will be ignored, and act accordingly. And just for the record, you can’t kick us out, but we can prevent you from attending again. Got that?”
    Lawyer’s jaw dropped quite a bit.

    That reminded me of Russia & China and of the US & EU. The first duo analyze, whereas the second duo simply believe that if they say it’s de jure, it’ll be de facto. Certainly explains a lot of the results that we’re seeing.

  14. ThatJ says:

  15. et Al says:

    Moon of Alabama: Ukraine: War In Kiev And Beyond?
    http://www.moonofalabama.org/2015/01/ukraine-war-in-kiev-and-beyond.html
    …xperience tells that whenever the U.S. announces official training will start then and there that unofficial training is already ongoing. I have zero doubt that some U.S. special forces, probably under the guise of “contractors”, are already training semi-irregular Ukrainian units. As conventional warfare is unlike to help the Ukrainian government’s cause those units may prepare for other means.

    There are indeed signs that partisan warfare against the federalists is already happening. Today some mortars fired at civilian areas in Donetsk hit a bus and killed at least 13 people. Unlike regular artillery mortars are rather short ranged weapons. Those who fired them likely did so from inside the generally federalist held, but only lightly controlled areas. Also Alec Luhn, reporting for the Guardian from Donetsk, tweeted https://twitter.com/ASLuhn/status/558279856170209283 today:

    Partisan war? Dnipro-1 battalion says pro-Ukraine partisans in Luhansk region blew up a train carrying coal to Russia http://nr2.com.ua/News/Kiev_and_regions/Partizany-s-pomoshchyu-Dnepra-1-podorvali-poezd-terroristov-88833.html

    If what I suspect is happening, that Ukrainian government semi-regular units are waging a guerrilla campaign in federalist held regions, then the obvious response by the federalists will be the dispatch of similar units to Ukrainian government held areas. That means war in Kiev and beyond.

    • marknesop says:

      That’s a war of punishment, though, and even if it erupted into open warfare throughout Ukraine and devil take the hindmost, it would be very, very unlikely to result in substantially different borders and absolutely would not cause the federalist rebels to capitulate. It’s also not the kind of fight the government could hold up for public praise of what a good job it is doing, and in fact it could not acknowledge its own participation. This would lead to demands from the public that the government use the army to protect them, a role the army would be very poorly set up to perform. It is not going to resolve any of the country’s problems and will not achieve any of Kiev’s objectives – it will just result in more gory deaths which may give a measure of satisfaction to the freakshow that is in power in Kiev. But a real leader would not take that step. A real leader would not do pretty much anything this government has done, and thank God Russia remains in opposition to it because its sickness is going to rebound tenfold on its backers.

  16. davidt says:

    General Ben Hodges, Chief of US Army in Europe awarded US army medals to Ukrainian soldiers in Kiev’s Central Military Hospital, January 22
    http://russia-insider.com/en/2015/01/22/2644
    Surely, that must make a lot of Ukrainians very uncomfortable.

    • yalensis says:

      I love the way he says: “Thank you for your service.”
      He should have added: “… to the United States of America!”

  17. ThatJ says:

    Update from twitter:

    ATO spokesperson: more than 2,000 volunteers from #Kharkiv are ready enrol in the army. More than 100 Donbas residents are enlisted

    [ThatJ: “ATO spokesperson” says it all.]

  18. peter says:

  19. peter says:

  20. peter says:

  21. Moscow Exile says:

    Oh no! They’re throwing in everything they’ve got!

  22. peter says:

    • Moscow Exile says:

      A man on the metro told me this morning that Putin is a twat.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      http://www.gazeta.ru/business/2015/01/23/6385565.shtml

      Россияне избалованы нефтью

      По словам Шувалова, в настоящее время рассматриваются различные прогнозы развития экономики России. Например, есть сценарий, предполагающий снижение российского ВВП в 2015 году на 5% (версия ЕБРР). «Но в то же время у нас есть возможный сценарий, по которому рост будет около нуля, то есть замораживание экономики», — сказал первый вице-премьер.
      Шувалов полагает, что порядка половины нефтяных доходов России исчезнет. Правда, нефтяники такую ситуацию переживут, а вот простым россиянам придется непросто. «Они (компании) будут развиваться, продавать свой товар. Они сохранят конкурентоспособность, несмотря на то что себестоимость добычи в России выше, чем в странах Персидского залива», — подчеркнул Шувалов, заметив, что нынешняя цена нефти болезненна скорее для правительства и бюджета. Ранее глава Минфина Антон Силуанов говорил, что при цене барреля на уровне около $50 потери российского бюджета в 2015 году составят 3 трлн руб.

      Russians have become spoiled by oil
      According to Shuvalov, various forecasts for the Russian economy are now being considered. For example, one scenario is of a 5% decline in the Russian 2015 GDP (the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development [EBRD] version). “But at the same time, we have a possible scenario in which growth will be close to zero, i.e. a freezing of the economy”, said the first deputy prime minister.
      Shuvalov believes that about half of Russian oil revenues will disappear. It is true that oil companies will survive such circumstances, but it will not be that easy for ordinary Russians. “They (the oil companies) will develop and sell their goods. They will remain competitive, despite the fact that the cost of production is higher in Russia than in the Persian Gulf countries”, said Shuvalov, noting that the current oil price is rather painful for the government and the budget. Earlier, Finance Minister, Anton Siluanov, said that with the price of a barrel at around $50, loss the Russian budget in 2015 will amount to 3 trillion rubles.

      [That trillion must be short scale, i.e.1,000,000,000,000, which is a billion to me, and not long scale, i.e. 1,000,000,000,000,000,000, namely a million three times over.]

  23. Moscow Exile says:

    My neighbour hates Navalny – official.

  24. Moscow Exile says:

    A woman who works in the newspaper and sweets kiosk at my metro station thinks the sun shines out of Putin’s arse.

  25. ThatJ says:

    Updates from mp.net and elsewhere:

    About 2 hours ago Pavel Gubarev confirmed on his facebook that a general offensive across the entire front has started: Avdeevka, Mariupol, Debaltsevo, Marienka, Dzerzhinsk, Krymsk, Popasnaya, Troitskoe.

    NAF says no more truce talks.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-30949527

    [ThatJ: I see that Pegida or whatever it’s called in Leipzig (Legida?) are almost matching the counter-protesters now. It wasn’t so in the beginning, when they were vastly outnumbered.]

    • Moscow Exile says:

      A former government minister who sleeps rough in our cellar told me this afternoon that the economy’s fucked!

      Remember – you heard it here first!

    • Warren says:

      Germany has PEGIDA, South Africa has PAGAD!

      • Johan Meyer says:

        Pagad didn’t start as religious fanatic organization. I know, as I worked occasionaly in the Belgravia part of Athlone (the ‘coloured’ area where PAGAD started) after I quit school the first time. The founders were Muslims, but they didn’t support overt violence or terrorism at the time. Later, a violent pro-Palestinian group (with Salafist orientation), Qiblu (mentioned wrongly as a sister organization, around 3:15), took over PAGAD, with the founders leaving, and then they started shooting gangsters. After that, they started bombing US owner restaurants, then local restaurants, then police stations, which is when the crackdown against them started—mentioned in passing near the end of the video. Incidentally, note that we have automatic right to carry publicly upon getting a gun license.

        Two things give them away as fanatics by Cape Town standards—the women are wearing more than hijabs (most Cape Muslim women don’t bother, and Cape Town had the first female Imams).

        The translation is goofy at times—around 2:30-2:40 “vergruis” is translated as “mutilated” where it should be “crushed” (they shot through his window, and his leg was crushed).

        As to the murder of children, the balance of the video would have been much improved if they had mentioned the similar (and worse) murders of children by the gangsters. On the Cape Flats, e.g. Mitchell’s plain, the gangsters will walk into a primary school and murder the child of another gangster in front of the other children. I lived in Parow west, across the rails from Elsies Rivier, where gangsters would shoot children execution style without apparent motive.

        The bs really gets smeered thick around 18:30—we don’t have drug problems in the Cape anymore? Seriously? Since I left, a new word has been added to Cape Afrikaans and English—“tik” (meth).

        Also note that the apartheid government used the gangs to subvert political activities on the Cape flats, although the drug and violence problems are largely leaded fuel (and to some extent leaded paint, from the late 1800s when it still was the Cape colony, to almost the present) problem.

        • Warren says:

          Thank you for you insight. i’ve always wanted go to South Africa, Cape Town in particular. Being a massive rugby fan, the first place in Cape Town I’d go to is Newlands.

          The Cape “Malay” Muslims are mostly from Java and other islands from the Dutch East Indies, now known as Indonesia. The Cape was a Dutch colony until the British formally took ownership after the Napoleonic Wars, hence the reason why “Malays” were transported from the Dutch East Indies to the Cape Colony.

          Personally I think PAGAD is doing a good job waging a jihad against the gangsters and drug dealers.

          • Johan Meyer says:

            Nowadays, they do midnight protests around the houses of gangsters, and are open to non-Muslims (although the organisation is predominantly Muslim). The one big shot did a stint in prison, then become more open and less violent.

            Newlands is about 10km west of the gang areas, in a comfortable neighbourhood. Just don’t bother with Western Province (home team)…

            • Warren says:

              Province is my favourite South African team! We’ve won the Currie Cup the most times! Only Blue Bulls/Northern Transvaal can come close to Province’s record.

  26. Moscow Exile says:

    News – news from the Russian media, that is – is now terror:

    Head of US state media put RT on same challenge list as ISIS, Boko Haram

    US politicians have lashed out at RT in the past. John Kerry attacked the channel for its coverage of the Ukraine crisis last spring and called RT a “propaganda bullhorn.”

    Following Kerry’s rant, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov decried John Kerry’s comments about RT as “uncivilized” and “prosecutorial.”

    “[The West] has been convinced for some time that it has a full monopoly on mass media,” said Lavrov in a statement. “Russia Today has won a large audience in the US and Western Europe, not to mention in Latin America and the Arab world.”

    • dany8538 says:

      Oh this is right on topic because just yesterday I am riding on a bus back home and I see a man on his phone in front of me. I casually glance at his phone and my eyeballs almost pop out. He is scrolling through the spanish version of RT !!!!!!!!
      This is my first time seeing someone in new york looking at RT. I hope there are more people out there like him but at least now I know that its not just a theory. Alternative news sources are trickling slowly into America. I just want to turn that trickle into a flood 🙂

  27. Warren says:

  28. Moscow Exile says:

    German expert Michael Lüders speaks of 500 Blackwater US mercenaries active in E. Ukraine and that Kiev is determined to fulfill a military solution to the separatist problem there:

    Ukraine-Krise ARD erwähnen Blackwater-Söldner

    [The Ukraine Csisis: ARD speaks of Blackwater mercenaries.]

    He says that the Yukies haven’t made this decision by themselves as they are essentially insolvent and have, therefore, no money in order to engage in a lengthy war in the east. Because of this, and also because the EU does not want to see an escalation of hostilities, the Kiev regime has turned to Washington, whence 500 Blackwater mercenaries have come to the Ukrainian regime’s aid. This is dangerous, he says, because this could lead to escalation that might get out of control if either side decides that it has to pull out all the stops in order to win.

    The presenter then says that this must indicate that there is no longer a dialogue between the EU and Washington.

    Lüders replies that he has reached the conclusion that the Europeans have finally realized that the US interests in the Ukraine are not the same as theirs, and in particular the heightening of tensions with Russia that will result in serious economic consequences. He talks of the reduction of trade between Germany and Russia by 50% over the past 6 months, which has caused financial losses of tens of billions of Euros, whereas the USA has comparatively very little trade with Russia. So, he says, the EU is suffering far more than the US and it is the EU that is providing financial help to the Ukraine, which is a bottomless pit and, furthermore, it is spending money on waging war in the east.

    He just goes on to say that the Ukraine will not negotiate and accuses Russia of being the aggressor etc, etc. He then says that it all boils down to the EU telling the US that it will not tolerate the unleashing of a war in Central Europe – a war distant from the American homeland – and that a middle ground should be found – not that he’s saying that Russia is beyond criticism – and that a diplomatic solution be found. He talks about the dangers of such people as Yatsenyuk, who, as regards his recent speech in Berlin is trying to rewrite history. He reckons that there should no more discussions with people such as “Yats” and cooperation with others in the Ukraine should be sought.

    • Jen says:

      Lüders appears to want to have things both ways: he’s aware of the real situation in Ukraine but needs to say Russia is an active participant.

  29. peter says:

    • patient observer says:

      Peter, did you read the story or was the headline enough to justify a post? Per the author:

      “Russia’s demographic dynamics hinge on its the real-world performance of its economy,”

      A reduction in growth was always in the cards regardless of economic conditions. The reason is simple and obvious – the collapse in birthrate during the 90’s means fewer women of child-bearing age for the next ten years or so. There will then be a subsequent resurgence in growth later on reflecting the increase in births as of late.

      The author is quite disingenuous in his claims.

      • et Al says:

        Or maybe ‘sperm clouds on the horizon’? Sorry, I couldn’t resist! 😉

        Maybe Russia will be celebrating with the West pretending that if forced and agreement on their own terms, selling it through the Pork Pie News Networks to the great unwashed peasant that is the western citizen (including me) that it was indeed a great victory and showing great magnanimity by not rubbing the Russia’s face in it? This ain’t the fking 90’s no more!

        Just to be an old fart and repeat myself, despite the western circle jerk, EU and American interests are fundamentally different and will lead to division. Even How Now Merkel knows this despite her total lack of policy or balls, if you can call ‘steady as she goes’ a policy. It seems that other commentators are starting to notice that the EU is getting screwed for US monkey nuts. They want it all, so they will loose it all.

        • Moscow Exile says:

          Point of information, old bean, but Frau Kanzlerin Merkel’s got no balls.

          Margaret Thatcher had, though. I clearly remember reading about someone saying she was the only one in her cabinet that had balls.

          Speaking of which cabinet, that twat Leon Britain croaked today. He was Thatcher’s Home Secretary who was thinking of giving me an’ my mates life in 1985. I kid you not!

          He was fond of little boys as well. Did a lot of covering up an’ all for his pals who are into that sort of thing. That’s why he got shunted off to Brussels in the end: he was becoming a bit of a pain in the arse – or someone else’s.

          🙂

      • peter says:

        The author is quite disingenuous in his claims.

        No, he’s just clueless.

  30. Warren says:

    Flags at half mast and fawning praise for a King ‘loved by his people’ sparks furious backlash over rule which saw ‘death by stoning’ for adultery and regular beheadings

    Tributes poured in from world leaders after King Abdullah’s death
    PM ‘deeply saddened’ by ‘death of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques’
    Blair said he ‘admired him greatly’ and claimed he was ‘loved by his people’
    Flags ordered to fly at half mast on Government buildings out of respect
    King oversaw regular public beheadings and floggings for political dissent
    Women banned from driving, voting and even leaving the house alone
    Ruled when 15 schoolgirls died in fire after police refused to let them leave
    Worldwide campaign failed to stop flogging of blogger who ‘insulted Islam’

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2923527/Flags-half-mast-fawning-praise-King-loved-people-sparks-furious-public-backlash.html#ixzz3PfUZo5Zb
    Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

    Cameron and the UK Gov has found itself in an ideological and political bind, on the one hand the UK gov uses anti-Muslim rhetoric and policies to gain support from right wing & pro-Israel voters and media owners. Yet the UK defence sector companies, especially BAE systems is heavily reliant on Muslim regimes buying UK weapons systems, which guarantees tens of thousands British citizens high paid jobs in the defence sector. Not too mention oil and gas interests in the GCC for BP and Royal Dutch Shell.

    Right wing and pro-Israel voters, feed on a diet of anti-Muslim propaganda, don’t understand why David Cameron and UK Gov is praising King Abdullah. This an example of a contradiction between two streams in modern right wing politics. Big business values Saudi Arabia, yet Nativists hate Saudi Arabia.

    How long Big business and Nativists can co-exist in the “main stream” right will be interesting to see.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      Who? Abdul Abulbul Amir?

      That song goes back to the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-78 mentioned above.

      • Warren says:

        Saudi King Abdullah death: Cameron to pay his respects

        http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-30946159

        • Moscow Exile says:

          Succeeded by one of his half-brothers. I wonder how many half-brothers and -sisters he’s got, not that -half-sisters count for much in those parts apart from the obvious.

          I wonder what they call their half-brothers’ and -sisters’ mothers – half-mothers? They’re not step-mothers because they all live together in the same place waiting their turn, don’t they?

          How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy. The effects are apparent in many countries. Improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live. A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and refinement; the next of its dignity and sanctity. The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property – either as a child, a wife, or a concubine – must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men. Thousands become the brave and loyal soldiers of the faith: all know how to die but the influence of the religion paralyses the social development of those who follow it. No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith. It has already spread throughout Central Africa, raising fearless warriors at every step; and were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science, the science against which it had vainly struggled, the civilisation of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilisation of ancient Rome.
          ― Winston S. Churchill, The River War

          Churchill wrote the River War in 1899 following his experiences in and observation of the Mahdi War,1881-1899, and in the final phase of which he took part whilst at the same time earning a few bob writing articles about the war for the London Morning Post. He had pestered his contacts in the War Office that he be detached from his cavalry regiment then stationed in India and was attached to the 21st Lancers in Egypt to replace an officer who had died. He liked getting in the thick of things, it seems, so he actually took part in the last British cavalry charge that took place at the Battle of Omdurman (1896).

          An interesting comment made by Churchill in “The River War” that has some reference to the actions of the British Empire’s successor is the following passage:

          ..there are many people in England, and perhaps elsewhere, who seem to be unable to contemplate military operations for clear political objects, unless they can cajole themselves into the belief that their enemy are utterly and hopelessly vile. To this end the Dervishes, from the Mahdi and the Khalifa downwards, have been loaded with every variety of abuse and charged with all conceivable crimes. This may be very comforting to philanthropic persons at home; but when an army in the field becomes imbued with the idea that the enemy are vermin who cumber the earth, instances of barbarity may easily be the outcome. This unmeasured condemnation is moreover as unjust as it is dangerous and unnecessary… We are told that the British and Egyptian armies entered Omdurman to free the people from the Khalifa’s yoke. Never were rescuers more unwelcome.

          • colliemum says:

            That Churchill quote on Islam got someone arrested here in the UK.
            It was last year, in th campaign for the EU Parliament. He was an independent candidate, and read that quote, with a loudhailer, from the steps of City Hall (I think it was Porthsmouth, can have been Plymouth, one of those ‘mouths’ anyway).
            He got arrested because one person complained. The reason given by the police was not – as one would expect, given that he used a loudhailer – for a public order offense, oh no.
            He was arrested for “racially aggravated hate speech” – quoting Churchill. Taken to the police station, sat in a cell, and released after a few hours on bail.
            Yeah, Freedom of Speech ends when one, just one person is ‘offended’ in the enlightened, secular UK.

  31. Warren says:

  32. ThatJ says:

    Important updates from mp.net and elsewhere:

    NAF liberated Avdiyivka, Peski and Yasinovataya.

    http://gazeta.ua/ru/articles/np/_tri-naselennyh-punkta-dobavili-v-spisok-nepodkontrolnyh-kievskoj-vlasti/605377

    Strelkov is allowed to appear on some state controlled channels. Comments on current situation around Debaltsevo at LifeNews. Very professional and some unknown details. In short.
    – ukies throwing major reserves to Dzerzhinsk
    – rebels will be attempting to create Debaltsevo cauldron
    – number of civil victims in Gorlovka is horrible
    etc

    BREAKING: #DNR PM Zakharchenko declares, “We will advance to the borders of #Donetsk!”

    Interesting, but not helpful I would say:

    DONETSK, January 23. /TASS/. Chief Executive and Prime Minister of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, Alexander Zakharchenko, is mulling an order to stop taking Ukrainian military prisoner, Donetsk News Agency said on Friday.
    This order will come about as Zakharchenko’s response to the shelling of a bus stop in Donetsk on Thursday, which claimed the lives of eight people and left another seventeen people wounded.
    “Following this tragedy, I’m considering an order to take no more prisoners of war because we don’t need exchanges,” he said.
    Zakharchenko apportioned blame for the shelling of the bus stop to Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.
    “The deaths of these people lie at your door because it was you who gave the order to your military to open gunfire at urban areas and now they are killing our children and the elderly,” Zakharchenko said in an address to Poroshenko in absentia.
    “We’re capable of pushing your armed units away from our cities and we can thus stop the shelling of population centers in the Donetsk People’s Republic by the Ukrainian Army,” he said.

    This will keep/take troops from the fronts:

    KYIV, January 23 /Ukrinform/. Prime Minister of Ukraine Arseniy Yatseniuk has approved the list of objects of national significance, which since today come under mandatory protection by the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine. The Head of Government has announced this decision today during the teleconference with heads of regional state administration, an Ukrinform correspondent reports.

    “Now I will sign an order. There are several hundred objects of national significance, which should be liable, after today’s decision, to obligatory protection of the Ministry of Interior, the National Guard and the Security Service of Ukraine,” Arseniy Yatseniuk said.
    According to the PM, these objects comprise ports, airports, a number of Ukrzaliznytsya objects, waterworks, power plants, and some others.
    “I also ask the heads of regional state administrations together with the Interior Ministry and the Security Service to determine the appropriate list of local importance objects. Foremost, this applies to water supplies, electricity supplies, gas supplies and public places, which are likely to come under major threat.”

    #NAF is breaking though #Ukrainian-controlled #Popasnaya defensive positions. Multiple direct hits on Ukr fortifications. #ATO

    #NAF liberated #KrasnyPartizan & #Verchnetroitskoe, now sweeping towns off last pockets of Ukr resistance. #Krymskoe still in progress. #ATO

    #Ukrainian checkpoint along the highway T0504, Southern end of #Popasnaya, is knocked out by #NAF. #ATO

    #Troitskoe (North of #Debaltsevo) is under #NAF control, almost finished cleaning. #ATO

    #Ukrainian tanks are trying to push through #NAF defenses in #Avdeevka. Did nobody ever tell those clowns it is a bad idea in urban combat?

    #Zacharchenko: #Ukrainians brought in 3 cremation trucks to get rid of the bodies & declare fallen soldiers MIA to avoid paying comps. #ATO

    #NAF liberated #KrasnyPartizan & #Verchnetroitskoe, now sweeping towns off last pockets of Ukr resistance. #Krymskoe still in progress. #ATO

    #NAF is breaking though #Ukrainian-controlled #Popasnaya defensive positions. Multiple direct hits on Ukr fortifications. #ATO

    #Ukrainian military is evacuating all of their wounded from nearly surrounded #Debaltsevo, as #NAF is getting closer each hour. #ATO

    Bosnian Minister of Foreign Trade resigns over his government’s intention to send weapons to Ukraine. http://t.co/jRKFIL6l2i

    • PaulR says:

      Rebel column smashed by Ukrainian artillery, killing 30-40 and wounding a lot more: http://colonelcassad.livejournal.com/2005790.html So, not all going rebels’ way. Arrows on the map above are bit over-dramatic. Actual progress likely to be much smaller. Most significant development would be if rebels could cut off Debaltsevo and create a massive new ‘cauldron’, but that area is very heavily defended, and so achieving that objective will be very difficult.

  33. ThatJ says:

    Important updates from mp.net and elsewhere:

    #Germany & #Poland call their new military cooperation under #NATO “revolutionary.” http://t.co/QneS1jeJnZ

    #US does multinational wargaming with #UK, #Hungary & #Netherlands in planning phase of Allied Spirit. via @USNATO

    #Ukraine’s @Yatsenyuk_AP demands final mobilization plan, also from economy, ‘to completely switch to a war footing.’ via @rConflictNews

    #Ukraine claims they are fighting 20 #NAF tanks near Spartak but the UA 25th Bde. has lost 8 tanks. via @SputnikATO

    #Poroshenko Dismisses Head Of SBU Counter-Terrorism Centre via @MillerMENA

    Many pro-#Russian GRAD systems hitting #Ukrainian forces.

    Only 300 meters away from the #Ukrainian border: ‘Panzir-S1 air and missile defense’. #Russia @OnlineMagazin

    IF #Ukraine army loses #Popasnaya it’s entire line south to #Donetsk city will be compromised. This is a major move for NAF #cdnpoli

  34. yalensis says:

    Meanwhile, I saw this and it restored my faith in human sanity.

    Somehow, in my gut, I always KNEW that most Czechs were too smart to fall for this (Havel=Saint) bullshit.
    While there are still undoubtedly many Czechs who absolutely revere Havel, there are also many who regard his legacy as problematic. The latter argue that Havel’s concept of human rights was uncritically pro-American and that he fought for human rights only where it coincided with the interests of American foreign policy. No one can recall Havel criticizing human rights abuses in Saudi Arabia or other authoritarian regimes allied with Washington. Although Havel presented himself as a defender of human rights, in his speech to the U.S. Congress in February 1990 he totally ignored the poor record of America’s dictatorial allies in Central America, whose excesses were, at the time, condoned by U.S. foreign policy.

    • yalensis says:

      Meanwhile, British Secret Service has revealed what Mr. Litvinenko and Mr. Lugovoi ate in the sushi restaurant.

      Litvinenko ordered the standard fare: Maguro, White Tuna, and Saba sushi, along with a Dragon Roll, washed down with a pot of Polonium-laced Tea.
      Lugovoi, on the other hand, went crazy with a giant SASHIMI platter, including Ikura, Tobiko, Tako (which turned out to be a bit rubbery, so he left half a tentacle on his plate), and a giant helping of his favorite dish, Unagi. Washed down with clear, hot (almost boiling) sake.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      Yeah, Ol’ Sasha could tell a tale or two…if you paid him.

      Or three or four, for that matter.

      I reckon he’d have given a 5% discount on a job lot., especially when he became strapped for cash after his benefactor gave him the heave-ho in London.

      Here’s Alexander MacLitvinenko in one of his fantasy modes:

      Britain Cans Case Against Russia

      Well not quite. They seem to have decided to raise Litvinenko’s ghost just to keep the pot boiling about the Evil One so that the whole world will rally behind the exceptional nation’s sterling effort to have him vanquished.

    • marknesop says:

      The ever-loyal Telegraph, trying to fulfill Berezovsky’s dream even though he is dead. You can’t buy that kind of devotion. Oh, wait – you can.

  35. PaulR says:

    And here’s a little thank you letter from Tony Blair to Gaddafi asking how he and the kids are: http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/jan/23/-sp-blair-gaddafi-letter-thanks-spy-cooperation-libya-uk-dissidents

    • marknesop says:

      Well, well – this does seem to be a day for revelations, what? They will have to take care, though, not to make a living martyr of Abdel Hakim Belhaj – one of the “opposition leaders” who was tortured in Libya. He was NATO’s pick for leader of the Libyan rebels, was rewarded for his part in the rebellion with the Military Governorship of Tripoli, and even as the al Qaeda flags were being raised in triumph atop Libyan federal buildings after NATO pulled out, was caught at the airport with a big bag of cash believed to be destined for the Syrian rebels. To which country he straightaway repaired, and was for a time the leader of the Free Syrian Army. A thoroughly nasty piece of work is he.

  36. yalensis says:

    Ukie critics accuse Porky of failing to appoint “more better generals” – and this is why they got creamed in Donbass recently.

  37. ThatJ says:

    Ukrainian Politician: Armed Coup against Poroshenko Is Coming

    A former People’s Deputy of Ukraine warns that Poroshenko’s days are numbered

    According to available information, the Ukraine is preparing another armed coup. Structures close to Alexander Turchinov and Yatsenyuk Arsenіy, with direct support from the US State Department organized the “People’s veche”, which will meet on the initiative of the Council of the Maidan. During the veche will be taken vote of censure to the president of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko. In the guilt he would put the current economic situation, corruption, inability to resolve the political crisis, the loss of the Crimea.

    A year ago on Maidan sounded slogans on the establishment of democracy, European values in Ukraine. After the change of power it did not appear. Moreover, the situation has become much worse in terms of full-scale military operations in the south-east, the growing dissatisfaction of the people of Ukraine, which cut social payments – someone must answer for it. The role of “of sacral victim” was given to Poroshenko.

    Full text: http://russia-insider.com/en/2015/01/22/2653

    Updates from mp.net and elsewhere:

    OSCE confirms T-80:

    http://www.osce.org/ukraine-smm/135926

    so russia is definitely rushing in

    [ThatJ: The US threatens, Russia surprises.]

    UAF hastily pushes to Donetsk and Svetlodarsk reserves. Columns go from Dnipropetrovsk and Kharkiv regions. Residents Krasnoarmeisk, Artemovsk, Kramatorsk, Konstantinovka confirm a massive relocation of large mechanized formations.

    It confirms known order of Poroshenko about moving reserves to ATO zone from other oblasts. Rebels will be better to reinforce own defenses, that stupid offensive from their side on Peski and Avdeevka cant bring anything than more losses.

    It confirms known order of Poroshenko about moving reserves to ATO zone from other oblasts. Rebels will be better to reinforce own defenses, that stupid offensive from their side on Peski and Avdeevka cant bring anything than more losses.

    #Ukrainian left flank at #Popasnaya is getting lit up by #NAF like a Christmas tree. Ukr HQ building is a toast. #ATO

    1/2 — #NAF suffered first significant casualties under #Avdeevka. Some idiot told them the town is taken, so a column went to reinforce.

    2/2 — column was in basic marching order, got ambushed by #Ukr arty. #NAF lost 1 tank, few artillery pieces & a company of infantry. RIP

    UPDATE: [UNCONFIRMED] Re: #Avdeevka ambushed column. #NAF suffered heavy casualties, ~30 soldiers, lots of wounded & some POW. #ATO

    Explosion In Odessa, Pastera street. There were no injuries via @Liveuamap #Ukraine

    REPORTS #Sartana – #Mariupol suburb under assault by NAF #cdnpoli #Ukraine

    Rebels Advance Towards #Mariupol; 15,000 #Ukraine Troops Risk Encirclement

    China will work with Russia to strengthen bilateral relations: Chinese FM spokesperson

    Scientists baffled after 2 lakes in Greenland are drained of billions of gallons of water:

  38. ThatJ says:

    The crazy / unbalanced Vita has new pictures on her VK page:

    What do they say? I can’t even tell if they are written in Russian or Ukrainian.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      Written in Russian.

      1st:

      Young National Socialist

      Then Now

      Ryzke Casual – spot the difference

      [Ryzke Casual = street /youth slang; means Russian casual, gear that hooligans/nationalists wear. Kid on the right wearing Russian nationalists colours]

      2nd:

      At last! We shall be degenerated.

      3rd:

      Our Yid oligarchs are better than your Yid oligarchs!

      4th:

      Change a fratricidal war into one of liberation!

    • ThatJ says:

      @Moscow Exile

      Thank you. It’s confusing: in the first picture, it’s as if she approves the Russian Empire, comparing the kid with the National Socialists, but then she’s all for finishing off Novorossia.

      Some more:

      1)

      Ця війна не потрібна нікому, крім тебе. Виграш її так само. Народу всерівно, яка назва країни, в якій вони живуть, якщо будуть “хлеб и зрелище”. Народ пропив свою честь та вірність країні. Суспільство – дике стадо, яке пускає слюну при виді телевізора. Але їм це подобається. Адже з телевіроза їх визначні люди називать “великим народом”.
      Ей ви, народ великий, це ж ви вибираєте цю владу в продовж 23 років. Хто винен? Точно не Путін. А підлітковий алкоголізм? Наркотки? Знову на Путіна? Чи на Януковича?

      2)

      Патріотизм не приховає твоїх недоліків

      [ThatJ: Google translator says: “Patriotism does not hide your flaws”]

      Pictures: http://vk.com/wall67414262_17927

      3)

      Яка Росія, такі і “русскіє”

      4)

      5)

      6)

    • yalensis says:

      Vita Zaverukha:

      Я пропогандую нацизм, терор, геноцид. При цьому всьому, я не є поганою людиною. Виправданням є “Війна заради миру”. Якщо піти не довівши діло до кінця, лише в цьому випадку, моїм діям виправдання не буде. Переможців не судять.

      TRANSLATION
      I propagandize Nazism, terror, genocide. And with all that, I am not really a bad person. My justification is “War for the sake of Peace”. Only if I don’t bring my deeds to a full conclusion, then only there would not be justification. The victors are not judged.
      END OF TRANSLATION

      • yalensis says:

        P.S.
        ThatJ – some advice?
        I think you should go to Ukraine and try to meet Vita.
        The 2 of you would make a great couple!

        • ThatJ says:

          Why do you think so?

          I do check out Banderite VK and Facebook pages (as you do) to assess their views on Russia, Ukraine and the EU.

          I am tired of repeating that it makes no sense whatsoever for the Ukrainian nationalists to fight Russian influence and embrace American/Zionist hegemony. Unfortunately, too few Ukrainian nationalists have any knowledge about what they’re getting involved with.

          If only William Pierce was alive…

          • Jen says:

            Que?! Pierce was a white nationalist who believed in eugenics and racial cleansing to establish a society based on hierarchy with white people at the top (and white people themselves sorted in a hierarchical microcosm of the larger society). He was also a former member of the American Nazi Party. This is not far from what most Banderites believe.

            • yalensis says:

              Dear Jen:
              Based on ThatJ’s utterances, it sounds like his ideology is pretty much that of Pierce.
              And very close to Banderite, except that Banderites mostly just grunt out their ideology, whereas Pierce was well educated and articulate, but in any case, I would say the 2 ideologies (American Nazi Party) and Banderism are very close. In their racialist beliefs, especially, and how human society should be organized, based on race/ethnicity.

              From what I understand, ThatJ’s only real beef against Banderites is that he thinks they have been duped (by the Jews, of course) into killing Russians, whereas they really should be killing Jews.

              But if you look at Vita’s recent postings, it seems she might be coming around to that same position. For example, the cartoon showing soldiers on both sides (Ukie and Russian) bragging about how “their” kike oligarchs are better.
              And the other cartoon, with the slogan “Turn a fratricidal war into a war of liberation”, with the red slash through the star of david.
              [which, by the way, is a riff on the Bolshevik “Turn the fratricidal war into a class war”]

              In summary, I think, as she matures intellectually, Vita is evolving towards ThatJ’s position. Which is why I suggested he go to meet her and try to educate her some more.
              Then the two of them could go off to the front lines and continue their war together, now a liberation war, against Jewish domination!

              It could be a romantic story, and if they survive the war, there could be a book and movie deal…

  39. ThatJ says:

    Ukraine says it wants Crimea back.

    http://www.kyivpost.com/content/ukraine-abroad/euronews-kyiv-official-says-russia-needs-to-return-crimea-to-ukraine-video-378260.html

    Ukrainian army new recruits are not wearing American Interceptor body armor. That’s going to lead to big casualties.

    NAF says no more ceasefire.

    [Below are some useful posts from mp.net]

    The leaders of the EU and specifically the Euro zone have much more pressing things on their minds than a civil war a 1000 miles away. They are financial where they could be at the end of the line with the QA just announced being the last throw of the dice. Then there are Greek elections on Sunday and all the rich people are holed up in Davos working out how to screw us plebs further whilst they protect themselves in the coming financial stresses.

    There is almost nothing in the Western MSM either. This means we are not being softened up for possible moves in the East. It is almost as if the West has realised that the Government in Kiev are not up to it (having departed from the plan last summer by not winning then) and are just sitting back and letting them sort it out as best they can. Throwing the occasional morsel (bit of gear, a few Euros loan, training etc) but nothing that might expose themselves to ridicule if it all goes down the tubes in a couple of months.

    The easy sanctions, that don't do huge damage to either side, are in place. Anything more will be an effective declaration of full financial war. If that happens it can be argued that the debt laden West is in a more vulnerable position than Russia should the latter go for it. There are a large amount of countries that are pretty pissed of at the effects on them of the strong dollar. It is not just the ruble being crushed. Russia will not be alone.

    A very brief synopsis:
    -Some small places taken by the DNR
    -DNR rejects Minsk agreements, says they're at war (big pointer that Moscow is still green-lighting further advances)
    -Area around Airport is at a standstill, Ukr reserves have been pulled up and are hunkered down pretty damn tight, they still hold pretty much all of Avdeevka and the westernmost part of Peski.
    -Debaltsovo ring is inching towards closing. Expect massive fighting here over the next few days.
    -Mauriupol and the surrounding areas are still unclear.

    To me the two most interesting spots are closing the Debaltseve gap with artillery both sides making the road in and out impassable (no need to actually sever it) and at Verkhenotoreski (not sure of spelling) where militarymaps have a small green arrow which is a Seps door into the UA rear. The UA has happily engineered away at their version of the Maginot Line over the past 4 months but once the Seps are behind it the UA is very vulnerable from the rear. The Seps need some really cold foggy weather.

    Like I said a few pages ago, it would be a massive, massive coup if the Debaltsovo circle was closed. Politically it would be a disaster for Poroshok & crew, it would mean they didn't learn a single lesson since the summer, and while the airport can be explained away as "ze tactical retreat was very tactical", actually having another major army group encircled within several months would be hard to find excuses for.

  40. et Al says:

    Can’t buy me love

    The Beatles.

    So why are British flags on public buildings in the UK at half-mast?

    I guess decades worth of Saudi Sponsored state terrorism is worth something after all.

    https://news.yahoo.com/uk-decision-lower-flags-honour-saudi-king-stirs-155854181.html

    He who pays the piper….

    • marknesop says:

      I see oil surged on news of his death, so obviously Putin had him killed to help the Russian economy. I see also that he is being lauded for having overseen a fivefold increase in the country’s economy in a decade. Not a sausage for Putin, though, who moved his country from number 17 to number 5 in World’s Largest Economy rankings by PPP, in 13 years. Mind you, that was easy, considering Russia climbed on energy prices because it has nothing but oil and gas. Whereas Saudi Arabia….what was I saying, again? I seem to have lost my train of thought.

      • Jen says:

        The new king of Saudi Arabia, Salman ibn Abdul Aziz al Saud, is 79 years old and apparently has dementia or Alzheimer’s. No-one quite knows how badly he is affected. Obviously Putin had him installed as king in anticipation of further global oil price rises on his demise … and on the demise of the next geriatric king.

      • kat kan says:

        ‘cos Russia doesn’t make trains, either.

  41. davidt says:

    To Tim Owen: you don’t like Stephen Sackur, neither do I, and I only very rarely watch or listen to him. However, I do remember an interview with Kishore Mahbubani in which Sackur consistently led with his chin. Unfortunately, I could only find this little clip from it.

  42. marknesop says:

    To lighten a sombre mood, an informative interview with official Kremlin Stooge pinup girl Natalya Poklonskaya. Seriously, it is informative – I thought she had always lived in Crimea and came up through the legal ranks there. In fact she was at the Kiev prosecutor’s office while Maidan was going on, and when Turchita introduced the new Deputy Prosecutor (I forget now who it was) she resigned. Her family lives in Crimea. She went there and asked if she could do anything to help, even menial jobs. Twenty-some male attorneys had already refused the position of Prosecutor-General for Crimea, neatly beheading any talk that she was immediately advanced ahead of her peers because she is hot. Don’t think my grasp of Russian has improved to that extent – there are English subtitles.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      That’s why they loathe her in Kiev. She studied there and was well on the way to forging a successful career in law, but she recognized what shite was taking over and hurried off home, which upset the always-in-need-of-a-shave Sky-Pilot and his interim president and his “government” so much, that they immediately issued out an arrest warrant for her, which is still in force.

      Remember that clip that was doing the rounds showing that bastard Sashko Bilyi (Сашко Білий), real name Oleksandr Ivanovych Muzychko, slapping around some bloke in an office? The unfortunate object of his attention was a provincial public prosecutor’s assistant. Small wonder that Miss Poklonskaya decided to go home to mum.

      • Moscow Exile says:

        Should have read: “…which upset the always-in-need-of-a-shave Sky-Pilot interim president and his “government” so much…”

        Oleksandr Turchynov was the interim president and still is a Holy Joe at some Baptist church.

        Below, Turchinov, preaching at a Baptist church – in Russian !!!

        So why, as the very first thing that his interim “government” did, was an attempt made at revoking the law that Russian be a second official language in areas where Russian speakers were a majority?

        A former Komsomolchik as well, and head of the agitation and propaganda division of the Dnipropetrovsk Oblast Komsomol (Communist Youth League) Committee when he was employed at a steelworks after having graduated from the Dnepropetrovsk Metallurgical Institute in 1986.

        In the clip is the Wabbit “Yats”. He’s talking Yukie,of course, but he says that it is “useless to fight corruption”!

        Who needs “leaders” like that?

        Those immersed in corrupt activities, of course!

        The king is dead – long live the king!

        • Moscow Exile says:

          The “good pastor” Yats calls the Bible-Puncher and he says (I think) something like: “The good pastor – how can I simply put it? – is incapable of fighting any kind of corruption. The most that he can do is make it less…”

        • Warren says:

          I think there is a concerted effort to promote Protestantism and Catholicism in Ukraine to fully break cultural bonds between Ukraine and Russia. Add this with the campaign to adopt the Latin alphabet for the Ukrainian language, the “civilisational change” of Ukraine to a truly “European” nation will the be complete. Because Orthodoxy & Cyrillic alphabet are not compatible with Ukraine’s ambition of being “European”.

      • marknesop says:

        Really? Wasn’t he the bloke who loved to garden and pick mushrooms? There must have been some misunderstanding.

  43. Moscow Exile says:

    …‘cos Russia doesn’t make trains, either.

    They do too!

    Elictric Multi-Unit (EMU) ED4MKM

    Soviet EMUs were made at a plant in Riga, Latvia. Following the demise of the SU in 1991, they have been made at the Novocherkassk Electric Locomotive Plant, where locomotives such as these are also constructed:

    As regards train carriages such as the one shown below, which has wi-fi, air-conditioning and vacuum retention toilets, and may be equipped with either four-berth or two-berth or de-luxe single berth with toilet and shower sleeping compartments or a combination thereof, they are also made in Russia at Transmashholding’s Tver Carriage Works:

    The Tver carriage works has also started producing double-decked carriages for the Moscow-Adler route, along which I, together with my family, have travelled twice in the past 2 years and on board of which one may dine in restaurant cars or have stewardess “room service” so to speak:

    So third-world, don’t you think?

    • colliemum says:

      Definitely Third World!
      Normal people fly in their own private jets.
      Trains … hah!

      😉

      (Actually, I still dream of going on the Trans-Siberian railway, from Moscow to Vladivostok … one day …)

      • Moscow Exile says:

        I have travelled for 36-hours in Russian trains, sleeping two nights on board. For me it is an elegant, and civilized way of travelling.

        I do not drive – never in my life have I done so: motor cars are dirty, noisy, loathsome machines in my opinion. Long distance, I am forced to use aeroplanes, which I loathe, but when I lived in Germany, I twice sailed there from Harwich to Hamburg, and over 40 years ago I used regularly to holiday in the far west of Ireland and usually sailed to Dublin from either Liverpool or Holyhead.

        Sure ’tis such a romantic thing slugging Guinness and Jameson’s Whiskey until the very small hours at the bar of the Liverpool-Dublin ferry as it surges across the Irish Sea and then, early the following morning, going up on deck in order to gaze with bloodshot eyes upon the majestic sweep of Dublin Bay whilst suffering the discomfort of a truly well deserved hangover!

        Sláinte!

        • colliemum says:

          Ah – Ireland … always from Fishguard to Rosslare for obvious reasons, once with three kids in tow, later just two … camping … in an old VW Beetle … ferry (that’s an open boat!) from a place near Lewisburgh to Clare Island … ahh, the memories … The Arran Isles … Oh, and we saw Father Ted’s house, it’s near Corofin, Co Clare, the ladies in the shops did not want to speak about it!

          Later, no holidays without dogs, so a car was a must, especially as my husband never went anywhere without a stack of field guides (wild flowers, insects, grasses) and a microscope. And an Auger. And stuff to pack cores in. And did I say dogs? Yes, two of them – with bedding, food, toys and towels – lots of them! And wellies. And foul weather clothing. And (in the times before ‘Kindle’) stacks of paperbacks. So – a car was vital. Staying in s/c cottages, no telly no telephones no nothing.
          Gawd, it was wonderful. Adventures? Oh yes, we had them, LOL! Who needs to go anywhere else when there’s all of Wales, all of Scotland, Ireland, and all the choice bits of England …

          😉

        • kirill says:

          I absolutely hate long distance plane travel. Some people can sleep on planes, I can’t. Train travel is indeed more civilized. You don’t have to sit in a cramped chair for the duration of the trip and can go to bed.

    • marknesop says:

      When I was a child (cue sentimental 1960’s tune) we used to travel in the summer by train right across Canada from Nova Scotia, where we lived and I grew up, to British Columbia where I was born, where we had relatives and where I now live. Nothing like the distances in Russia, of course, but still a considerable distance at about 4000 km. We had a sleeper berth like the one in the picture, and I never slept so well again as I did on the train until I joined the navy; there’s something about that rhythmic rocking. And eating every meal in the restaurant car- it was like kid heaven! Something that amazed me then was the profusion of wildlife to be seen along the tracks, especially going through the Rocky Mountains. It’s the only time I’ve ever seen an elk for real, and moose, deer and black bears were common.

      • Moscow Exile says:

        There are elk in Moscow. In fact, in Moscow there is a nature reserve called Elk Island [Лосиный остров] that covers a very large area of the north eastern quadrant of the city, almost reaching the very centre. In the map below you can see Elk Island as the green area starting between the M-8 and A-103 in the northeast and reaching as far as Sokolniki in the centre:

        It says on the reserve “Nats. Park Losinyy Ostrov”.

        And here’s an Elk Island elk:

        There’s a moos loose in the hoose!

        My wife and our mixed-race offspring go there quite often.

        For more pictures, see here: Elk Island

        Sweden’s the place for elk though – the buggers are everywhere! When I lived in Sweden for a spell, I ate elk a few times: very, very tasty!

        • Moscow Exile says:

          Moose goddamit!

          Hoots mon! There’s a moose loose aboot this hoose!

          Och aye!

          Hoots mon! It’s a braw, bricht, moonlicht nicht!

        • colliemum says:

          Are you hinting that you and your mixed-race family are surreptitiously ameliorating your diet of rotten fish heads and lank cabbage leaves with, ahem, some poached Moose?

          Poached not as in how to cook them things, but in how to get them in the first place, obviously.

        • marknesop says:

          “When I lived in Sweden for a spell, I ate elk a few times: very, very tasty!”

          Both elk and moose are very lean, and you have to be careful not to overcook it – their meat, used in sausage, has to have generous fat mixed in because otherwise it will be dry. What Russians consider an elk is actually a moose. This is an elk.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      No such place – “Ukraine”, I mean.

      And the political entity to which the general secretary of the the Communist Party of Russia illegally handed over the Crimea in the shape of an autonomous republic was the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, which ceased to exist in 1991.

      Would the “Kiev official” accept the return of most of Galicia to Poland and parts of Western Ukraine to Hungary, Slovakia and Romania? Those were the countries from which the now Western Ukrainian areas were annexed from by the USSR, which states in their turn came into existence after the dissolution of the German and Austro-Hungarian empires in 1919; Slovakia in its own turn being the result of the dissolution of Czechoslavakia, created by the Treaty of Versailles.

      And the Romanian bit of “Ukraine”? The UkSSR got hold of that as a result of the secret protocols of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Non-Aggression Pact of 1939 – you know, the same protocols by which the Evil Empire seized those poor little “democracies” known as Latvia. Lithuania and Estonia – a typically set-piece act of Soviet evil and guile if ever I saw one, about which the West never ceases to wail, albeit that dear little USA fellatist Poland also saw fit to have a Non-Aggression Pact (1934-1939) with Nazi Germany (something that is not discussed in polite circles) and also took little bites out of neighbouring countries whenever the opportunity to do so arose (again, polite folk don’t talk about these things lest eternal martyr Poland be offended).

      So let’s hear it for Romania and the return to Romania of historically Romanian territory seized by the USSR as a result of the Molotov-Ribbontrop pact and still held on to by “Ukraine” because… well, because … because the Khokhly maintain that “Bessarabia” is part of the true Slavic lands, goddamit!…The real Slavic land that was once “Kievan Rus'”, home of mammoth slayers and heroes one and all!

      (Spartacus – send cheque to my English address. I’ll email you. Lung România în direct! 🙂 )

      • spartacus says:

        I’m sure that the fans of the idea of Greater Romania will be very pleased by your support, as expressed here on Mark’s blog. I will try to contact some NGOs that are pursuing this issue to see if, maybe, they can have you as a consultant and maybe you could also make some sort of arrangement where you would get paid to be their chief Kremlin lobbyist 🙂 . As for me, I think that people living in these parts – Northern Bukovina, Bessarabia – should be the ones that should decide to wich country they want to belong to. Like the people of Crimea have done already. From what I know, in neither one of these regions the support for a hypothetical union with Romania is strong enough. For Romanian nationalists, Bessarabia (without Transnistria) is, and always was, a very hot topic. They feel that they have to do whatever it takes to help their Romanian brothers across the Prut river. I always seem to get into debates with them because I keep telling them that you can’t help somebody against their will. The polls conducted in the Republic of Moldova show that the support for a union with Romania is kind of weak. There are, however, a lot of Moldavian citizens that take advantage of the fact that Romania grants them Romanian citizenship rather easily. So they use this as a means to get a passport that allows them free access into the EU.

        PS: What, in god’s name, does “Lung România în direct!” mean!? 🙂

    • marknesop says:

      Leave us alone to find our destiny, like in leave us alone so we can kill the helpless in Donetsk and Lugansk until the remainder surrender to our will? What a unique perspective on human rights! A position supported by the international community, no doubt, just like the one that Crimea should be returned to Ukraine despite the clear will of its population. A warm reception they should find from the Ukies on such a return, I’m sure. Just curious, but why is the giving of it to Ukraine the only decision that has any legal weight in its turbulent history?

      Dream on. Russia will leave you alone, soon enough. In about two years, by my estimation, whereupon if you have not developed sufficient gas resources to look after yourselves, you will be freezing in the dark. I’ll bet it won’t be “leave us alone, Russia!” then.

  44. peter says:

    • Moscow Exile says:

      Wake up at the back there!

      You have not been paying attention!

      • peter says:

        So, which of those theories do you personally subscribe to?

        • Moscow Exile says:

          Execution by rogue elements or ex-members of Russian secret services? – No: he was of no importance, a nothing, not even a “has-been”.

          Chechen separatists? – possible, but unlikely for the same reason as above. It is also said that he converted to Islam on his death-bed.

          “Friends” in Britain? – probably. He was suspected of attempting blackmail and was very, very short of funds after he had become surplus to Berezovsky’s requirements.

          The Italian connection – as retold by Goldfarb?

          Goldfarb, a US citizen and former loyal servant of Berzovsky, is the man, I’m sure, who was behind this whole operation.

          It was Goldfarb who regularly pronounced bulletins on the almost staged-managed demise of the unfortunate Litvinenko, when he solemnly recounted the day’s events outside University College Hospital, Gower St. London, to eager journalists and the BBC. At the same time, those trying to find out what was killing Litvinenko – the doctors and Scotland Yard – said almost sweet FA about the case.

          It was also Goldfarb who read out Littvinenko’s death-bed “J’accuse” statement, allegedly dictated to him (in English?), when announcing that man’s death.

          Goldfarb wrote that statement: Litvinenko just signed it. And when Goldfarb read it out, doctors had still not determined that the polonium isotope was in Litvinenko’s body. They only found traces of polonium-210 in his urine pan beneath his bed after he had died. Previous to that they had been treating him for thallium poisoning. Yet after Goldfarb’s public statement about Litvinenko’s death, the deceased person’s father blurted out in Gower St. that his son had been killed because a nuclear bomb had been put into his son’s body.

          Goldfarb fixed Litvinenko, I am pretty sure of that.

          Goldfarb was Berezovsky’s faithful servant and right-hand man. Berezovsky’s whole purpose in life after his self-imposed exile in the UK was to bring Putin down. Litvnenko’s death and accusations that it was caused by Putin would have been right up Berezovsky’s street. So the ever faithful Golfdfarb fixed it. And apart from that, Litvenko had become a pain in the arse to many in Moskva-na-Temze with his claims that he could blow the gaffe on some of his fellow countrymen.

          The curious thing for me, though, is Berezovsky’s appeal for forgiveness – for want of a better term – to Putin; that he be allowed to return to Russia. It was a personal appeal and it did take place. Putin himself has conceded that it had happened.

          When Berzovsky made that personal appeal, however, he was already a broken man – thanks to Abramovich’s success in the London courts and also his two rapid divorce settlements. And Goldfarb buggered off back to richer pastures in the USA at that time. Which leads me to believe that Berezovsky did not really know what his lickspittle was up to.

          And then Berzovsky unexpectedly died in rather strange circumstances. Verdict: suicide. Several who knew him well said that one thing he most certainly was not: he was not suicidal.

          So if Berzovsky had indeed been allowed to return to Russia, in return for such magnanimity might he not have thrown some light on Litvinenko’s death and revealed that his former employee had not been murdered on Putin’s orders?

          Meanwhile, biochemist Dr. Goldfarb (Ph.D. from Weizmann Institute, Israel) is alive and well in New York.

          Goldfarb studied biochemistry at Moscow State University and graduated in 1969. After graduation, he worked at the Kurchatov Institute of Atomic Energy in Moscow. He emigrated from the USSR in 1975. He earned his Ph.D. in 1980 at the Weizmann Institute in Israel and continued his research with a post-doctoral program at the Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry in Munich, Germany. From 1982 to 1991 he was an assistant professor at Columbia University in New York. From 1992 to 2006 he was a faculty member at the Public Health Research Institute in New York where he led a U.S. government-funded study “Structure and Function of RNA Polymerase in E. Coli” with a total budget of $7 million.He also directed the project “Treating MDRTB in Siberian Prisons” funded by a $13 million grant from philanthropist George Soros. According to a PubMed search, Goldfarb stopped publishing scientific work in 2005.” – Wiki”

          Since 2001 Goldfarb has been Executive Director of the New York-based International Foundation for Civil Liberties, founded and financed by the exiled Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky” – Wiki”

          On the day of Litvinenko’s death, Goldfarb read out his deathbed statement accusing Vladimir Putin of ordering the poisoning. The Kremlin has dismissed the allegation as “sheer nonsense”. Goldfarb later explained in interviews that he had drafted the statement at Litvinenko’s request and that Litvinenko had signed it in the presence of a lawyer.” – Wiki

          Goldfarb’s book “Death of a Dissident: the Poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko and the Return of the KGB” (2007), was written in cooperation with Widow Litvinenko. A review of this book was published by the Daily Telegraph on 14 June, 2007, under the title

          All roads lead back to Berezovsky

          Death of a Dissident claims to be an account of this affair, yet the murder is covered in barely 30 pages…”

          All roads lead back to Berezovsky. This ought to be a massive problem: if everyone, including Goldfarb, is in Berezovsky’s pay, there are no disinterested accounts, only potential apologists for his world-view. Yet Goldfarb is canny enough to realise that the connection with Berezovsky is also a strength…

          The real money [in 1990s Russia] was in oil and gas. As Goldfarb admits, he came close to seizing a piece of the pie when he introduced Berezovsky to George Soros. At the time, Goldfarb worked for Soros administering a Russian education foundation. Goldfarb’s memoirs could be rewritten to tell another, more fascinating, tale: how an unworldly dissident came to break with the sane and capable Soros, only to fall among conspiracy theorists led by Berezovsky.

          I should think that the title of the above referenced review would now read better as “All roads lead back to Goldfarb”, not least because Berezovsky is as dead as Litvinenko is, but because his demise was just as mysterious in its own way as his irradiated former employee’s was.

          And which theory do you personally subscribe to?

          • peter says:

            There’s nothing wrong with the official version. Lugovoy.

            • Moscow Exile says:

              That’s the official version with an official lid on it?

              • peter says:

                That’s this official version. Here are key excerpts:

                On 23 November 2006 Mr Litvinenko died in a London hospital of acute radiation injury. He was found to have ingested a lethal dose of Polonium 210, a highly radioactive material.

                I have today concluded that the evidence sent to us by the police is sufficient to charge Andrey Lugovoy with the murder of Mr Litvinenko by deliberate poisoning.

                The full charge is as follows: Andrey Lugovoy, on the 23rd day of November 2006, murdered Alexander Litvinenko.

                • Moscow Exile says:

                  So the fact that a charge has been made is evidence enough for his guilt?

                  Do you know what the evidence is?

                  Mary Dejevsky, The Independent, 2 May, 2008:

                  The Litvinenko files: Was he really murdered?

                  A long and detailed article by the veteran US investigative journalist, Edward Jay Epstein, it was printed in The New York Sun (19 March 2008) and has been avidly read and critiqued on the internet. So far as I am aware, this article has not been published in Britain, but that has not prevented it being dismissed as inconsequential…

                  …Edward Jay Epstein is not someone whose journalism should be dismissed lightly. He is, to be sure, something of a professional sceptic, but that does not make him wrong…

                  No one in the journalistic world would deny that Epstein’s investigative pedigree is serious or that he has an ear for “spin” and disinformation.

                  In compiling his article for The New York Sun – and the more exhaustive material that appears on his website – he interviewed dozens of people and delved into the scientific aspects of the case. In what was a considerable coup, he also went to Moscow, where he was allowed to see the extradition papers submitted by the British for their chief suspect, Andrei Lugovoi. These are documents that no one in Britain has seen, not even Litvinenko’s widow…

                  What he [Epstein]says struck him above all about the papers was the flimsiness of the British case and the lack of even a post-mortem report. In that respect, Marina may have a point about his pro-Russian sympathies. But it is the theory he eventually gravitates towards to which Marina Litvinenko so takes exception.

                  This is that Alexander poisoned himself while handling radioactive material. Epstein posits that Litvinenko was poisoned by accident – the post mortem, he says, would have determined whether he ingested the polonium-210 or inhaled it. Part of his thesis is that the isotope had been smuggled to London not to murder someone, but as part of an illegal nuclear transaction.

                  Edward J. Epstein, The New York Sun, March 19, 2008:

                  The Specter That Haunts the Death of Litvinenko

                  To find out what evidence the British had actually provided to the Russians to back up their extradition request, I went to Moscow to meet with the Russian prosecutors in charge of the case…

                  The British prosecutors aided the flight from reality by filing an extradition request in July 2007. Not only was there no extradition treaty between Britain and Russia, but Article 61 of the Russian Constitution prohibited the extradition from Russia of any of its citizens. Further inflaming matters, Sir Tony Brenton, the British Ambassador to Moscow, suggested that the Putin government should disregard the Russian constitution and “work with us creatively to find a way around this impediment,” since British authorities had “cooperated closely and at length with the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office.” After Russia rejected the extradition request, Ambassador Brenton objected that its decision was not made “on the basis of the evidence,” which implied that Britain had furnished Russia with compelling evidence to back up its request. Then Britain expelled four members of the Russian embassy in London, effectively holding the Russian government responsible for Litvinenko’s death, and began an international imbroglio.

                  The suspect named in the extradition request is Andrei Lugovoi, who, according to the British, poisoned Litvinenko’s tea in the Pine Bar when they met on November 1, 2006. Mr. Lugovoi admitted to meeting with Litvinenko to discuss a business venture with him, but denied having anything to do with his death. Mr. Lugovoi also had been contaminated by Polonium-210, but so was almost everyone else who had come in contact with Litvinenko around that time. Since Ambassador Brenton had suggested that the incriminating parts of the case had been given to the Russian authorities to back up the extradition request, I went to Moscow to find out about more about that evidence.

                  [In Moscow]I was told, “The media often reproach the Russian side for its unwillingness to cooperate with the British side, when in reality the situation is reverse.” As if to demonstrate this point, the Russian investigators provided me with access to the British files.

                  What immediately caught my attention was that it did not include the basic documents in any murder case, such as the postmortem autopsy report, which would help establish how — and why — Litvinenko died. In lieu of it, Detective Inspector Robert Lock of the Metropolitan Police Service at the New Scotland Yard wrote that he was “familiar with the autopsy results” and that Litvinenko had died of “Acute Radiation Syndrome.”

                  Like Sherlock Holmes’s clue of the dog that didn’t bark, this omission was illuminating in itself. After all, Britain and Russia had embarked on a joint investigation of the Litvinenko case, which, as far the Russians were concerned, involved the Polonium-210 contamination of the Russian citizens who had contact with Litvinenko. They needed to determine when, how, and under what circumstances Litvinenko had been exposed to the radioactive nuclear component. The “when” question required access to the toxicology analysis, which usually is part of the autopsy report. There had already been a leak to a British newspaper that toxicologists had found two separate “spikes” of Polonium-210 in Litvinenko’s body, which would indicate that he had been exposed at two different times to Polonium-210. Such a multiple exposure could mean that Litvinenko was in contact with the Polonium-210 days, or even weeks, before he fatally ingested it. To answer the “how” question, they wanted to see the postmortem slides of Litvinenko’s lungs, digestive track, and body, which also are part of the autopsy report. These photos could show if Litvinenko had inhaled, swallowed, or gotten the Polonium-210 into the blood stream through an open cut.

                  The Russian investigators also wanted to know why Litvinenko was not given the correct antidote in the hospital and why the radiation had not been correctly diagnosed for more than three weeks. They said that their repeated requests to speak to the doctors and see their notes were “denied” and that none of the material they received in the “joint investigation” even “touched upon the issue of the change in Litvinenko’s diagnosis from Thallium poisoning to Polonium poisoning.” They added, “We have no trustworthy data on the cause of death of Litvinenko since the British authorities have refused to provide the necessary documents.”

                  The only document provided in the British file indicating that a crime had been committed is an affidavit by Rosemary Fernandez, a Crown Prosecutor, stating that the extradition request is “in accordance with the criminal law of England and Wales, as well as with the European Convention on Extradition 1957.”

                  The British police summarized their case against Mr. Lugovoi in a report that accompanied the extradition papers. But instead of citing any conventional evidence, such as eyewitness accounts, surveillance videos of the Pine Bar, fingerprints on a poison container (or even the existence of a container), or Mr. Lugovoi’s possible motive, the report was almost entirely based on a “trail” of Polonium-210 radiation that had been detected many weeks after they had been in contact with the Polonium-210.

                  From the list of the sites supplied to the Russian investigators, it is clear that a number of them coincide with Mr. Lugovoi’s movements in October and November 2006, but the direction is less certain. When Mr. Lugovoi flew from Moscow to London on October 15 on Transaero Airlines, no radiation traces were found on his plane. It was only after he had met with Litvinenko at Erinys International on October 16 that traces were found on the British Airways planes on which he later flew, suggesting to the Russian investigators that the trail began in London and then went to Moscow. They also found that in London the trail was inexplicably erratic, with traces that were found, as they noted, “in a place where a person stayed for a few minutes, but were absent in the place where he was staying for several hours, although these events follow one after another.”

                  When the Russian investigators asked the British for a comprehensive list of all the sites tested, the British refused, saying it was not “in the interest of their investigation.” This refusal led the Russian investigators to suspect that the British might be truncating the trail to “fit their case.”

                  Despite its erratic nature, the radioactive trail clearly involved the Millennium Hotel. Traces were found both in rooms in which Mr. Lugovoi and his family stayed between October 31 and November 2, and the hotel’s Pine Bar, where Litvinenko met Messrs. Lugovoi and Kovtun in the early evening of November 1. If Litvinenko’s tea was indeed poisoned at that Pine Bar meeting, as the British contended, Mr. Lugovoi could be placed at the crime scene. But other than the radiation, the report cited no witnesses, video surveillance tapes, or other evidence that showed that the poisoning had occurred at the Pine Bar. It could just as well have occurred early in the day at other sites that also tested positive for radiation.

                  Litvinenko, who was probably the best witness to that day’s events, initially said he believed that he had been poisoned at his lunch with Mr. Scaramella at the Itsu restaurant. Even one week after he had been in the hospital, he gave a bedside BBC radio interview in which he still pointed to that meeting, saying Mr. Scaramella “gave me some papers…. after several hours I felt sick with symptoms of poisoning.” At no time did he even mention his later meeting at the Pine Bar with Mr. Lugovoi.

                  Not only did the Itsu have traces of Polonium-210, but Mr. Scaramella was contaminated. Since Mr. Scaramella had just arrived from Italy and had not met with either Mr. Lugovoi or Mr. Kovtun, Litvinenko was the only one among those people known to be exposed to Polonium-210 who could have contaminated him. Which means that Litvinenko had been tainted by the Polonium-210 before he met Mr. Lugovoi as the Pine Bar. Litvinenko certainly could have been contaminated well before his meeting with Mr. Scaramella. Several nights earlier, he had gone to the Hey Joey club in Mayfair. According to its manager, Litvinenko was seated in the VIP lap-dancing cubicle that later tested positive for Polonium-210.

                  The most impressive piece of evidence involves the relatively high level of Polonium-210 in Mr. Lugovoi’s room at the Millennium Hotel. Although the police report does not divulge the actual level itself (or any other radiation levels), Detective Inspector Lock states that an expert witness called “Scientist A” found that these hotel traces “were at such a high level as to establish a link with the original Polonium source material.” Since no container for the Polonium-210 was ever found, “Scientist A” presumably is basing his opinion on a comparison of the radiation level in Mr. Lugovoi’s room and other sites, such as Litvinenko’s home or airplane seats. Such evidence would only be meaningful if the different sites had been pristine when the measurements were taken. However, all the sites, including the Millennium hotel rooms, had been compromised by weeks of usage and cleaning. So the differences in the radiation levels could have resulted from extraneous factors, such as vacuuming, or heating conditions.

                  The Russian investigators also found these levels had little evidentiary value because the British had provided “no reliable information regarding who else visited the hotel room in the interval between when Lugovoi departed and when the traces of polonium 210 were discovered.” As a result of this nearly month-long gap, they could not “rule out the possibility that the discovered traces could have originated through cross-contamination by outside parties.”…

                  …Britain may have had more incriminating evidence against Mr. Lugovoi than it chose to provide to Russia. It may not have wanted to share data that would reveal intelligence sources. But why would it refuse to share such basic evidence as the autopsy report, the medical findings, and radiation data? And if Britain wanted to extradite Mr. Lugovoi, why would it send such embarrassingly thin substantiation? Mr. Putin blamed British incompetence, saying, “If the people who have sent us this request did not know that the Russian Constitution prohibits extradition of Russian citizens to foreign countries, then, of course, this would make their level of competence questionable.” But here he may have underestimated the British purpose in staging this gambit.

                  The British extradition gambit ended the Russian investigation in Londongrad. It also discredited Mr. Lugovoi’s account by naming him as a murder suspect. In terms of a public relations tactic, it resulted in a brilliant success by putting the blame on Russian stonewalling for the failure to solve the mystery. What it obscured is the elephant-in-the-room that haunts the case: the fact that a crucial component for building an early-stage nuke was smuggled into London in 2006. Was it brought in merely as a murder weapon or as part of a transaction on the international arms market?

                  There is little, if any, possibility, that this question will be answered in the present stalemate. The Russian prosecutor-general has declared that the British case is baseless; Mr. Lugovoi, elected to the Russian Parliament in December 2007, now has immunity from prosecution, and Mr. Scaramella, under house arrest in Naples, has been silenced. The press, for its part, remains largely fixated on a revenge murder theory that corresponds more closely to the SMERSH villain in James Bond movies than to the reality of the case of the smuggled Polonium-210.

                • marknesop says:

                  None of this rises to the level of evidence supporting Luguvoi’s innocence, so long as the basic assumption that British accounts are believable because the British are known for always telling the truth, while Russian accounts are not believable because the Russians are known for lying, is made. And you would get little argument against that premise in the UK, or in the west in general.

                • peter says:

                  So the fact that a charge has been made is evidence enough for his guilt?

                  No. Why? We’re merely discussing theories.

                  Do you know what the evidence is?

                  Yes, more or less. Litvinenko’s urine test and Polonium 210 traces all over London.

                  Edward Jay Epstein

                  You cannot be serious.

                • marknesop says:

                  Why not? Do you have evidence which suggests the Russia government was actually furnished all that documentation, and is pretending not to have received it?

                • et Al says:

                  From ME’s post, this stands out particularly:

                  ..Traces were found both in rooms in which Mr. Lugovoi and his family stayed between October 31 and November 2…

                  Who in their right mind would expose themselves and their family willingly, even if p210 is only a significant threat to health if ingested? Plausible deniability?

                  That’s really pushing the envelope.

                  Traces of P210 were also found (if I correctly recall) at Berezovsky’s London offices.

                  Wasn’t there a huge thread on Sean’s Russia Blog many moons ago that went over all this at the time???

                  There is nothing ‘neat and tidy’ about this, let alone professional. Whoever came up with this scheme was someone with means and not a shred of morals. Sounds like Berezovsky (and a couple of other oligarchs) to a T.

            • yalensis says:

              Please explain your answer in more detail.

              • Moscow Exile says:

                Litvinenko inquiry: the proof Russia was involved in dissident’s murder

                The National Security Agency (NSA) obtained electronic communications between key individuals in London and Moscow from the time that the former spy was poisoned with radioactive material in central London. The evidence was passed to the British authorities.
                A source familiar with the investigation confirmed the existence of American “intelligence material”. They said it would have been “inadmissible” in court, but that the British authorities were “confident that this was a state execution”.

                An unnamed “source” who is “familiar” with the investigation.

                And non-admissible evidence to boot, albeit that the evidence has not been made public. But it exists, says the “source”.

                Really, cross my heart and hope to die!

                Evidence or no, the British government is “confident” that Litvinenko’s poisoning was a “state execution”.

                It seems, however, that the British government is still not confident enough to place this evidence that a “source” says exists before a coroner’s court.

                Oh yes! And Litvinenko was not a spy.

                July, 2013:

                UK rejects public inquiry into Litvinenko’s poisoning

                Coroner Robert Owen had asked ministers to hold an inquiry, declaring his own investigation flawed after bowing to ministers’ requests for some material to be kept secret which could have shed light on Russia’s suspected involvement.

                Well known legal aphorism:

                Futue te ipsum. Pone ubi testimonium oris tui

                Go fuck yourself! Put your evidence where your mouth is!

                • colliemum says:

                  Not that the western hacks would ever dare ask this question, either because they’re too lazy or because they’re frit, even though it’s so obvious:
                  if the NSA has all that material, if they’ve done such wondrous observations – how come they still are obviously incapable of saying who actually shot down MH-17?
                  It couldn’t be, could it, because they have not a shred of evidence to hang this one on Putin?
                  Nah – that surely can’t be, can it?
                  😉

                • marknesop says:

                  That is an excellent point. If their surveillance equipment is the be-all and end-all, why have they not been able to furnish proof of huge numbers of Russian tanks streaming into Ukraine, and thousands of Russian troops fighting alongside the rebels? Do they not understand that there’s no such thing any more as “secret evidence”? That they can show just to, say, Dave Cameron, who would happily stipulate to a horde of Russian war-apes riding on griffons if Washington told him that was in the best interests of the special relationship?

                  Once that might have been workable, back when the west had good credibility. But it has been caught in so many lies since and there have been so many regime-change templates exposed – which they stubbornly continue to follow, and Photoshop and video fakes have gotten so good that the day when a western leader can intone solemnly, “The Americans have proof. I’ve seen it. That should be good enough for you” has long passed.

                  I’m sure they know far, far more about the MH-17 affair than they’re telling; they’re just waiting for the right moment to introduce it where it will do the minimum damage – totally the opposite to what they would do if they had any proof Russia was responsible. And that moment may never come. They may just pull that same old “sources and methods, not to be shown to the public” crap, and claim the results are inconclusive.

                  Meanwhile, there are stories like this one, from the Russian-exile-oligarch-owned Independent; it recounts the story of 23-year-old recent law school graduate Jordan Withers and his “search for answers” in Ukraine, as well as his meetings with other victim families. The story originally reported that the Dutch had show him a piece of the plane’s wreckage and that the damage “was consistent with that caused by a surface-to-air missile”, according to the sophisticated weapons training given to every 23-year-old law school graduate, so that “put paid” to all other theories as far as he was concerned – the rebels shot it down with a Russian-made missile, and that’s it and all about it. It didn’t go so far as to state that conclusion, but it did definitely say that the sample he was shown convinced him it was shot down by a missile, and that he was satisfied all other theories were bunk. Now I see that although that story is only a week old, that passage has already been pulled from it. It no longer mentions Mr. Withers’ confidence about the cause of the accident, there have been some other more subtle alterations:

                  “We always knew it would be difficult to get answers when no one seems to have any but for me it was more about speaking to people who had been there and comparing stories… Ukraine accuses pro-Russian rebels of accidentally shooting it down with a surface-to-air, missile while Russian media reports have claimed to have evidence of Ukrainian military involvement…Mr Withers said that whoever was responsible for the disaster, it ultimately came down to the Ukrainian conflict…“If the conflict hadn’t happened the plane probably wouldn’t have gone down – that’s where it all started,” Mr Withers said…Ultimately it doesn’t really make a difference to me who did it and why because it’s done now. but one day I might want to tell my children what happened to Uncle Glenn.”

                  I think most would agree that is a radically different account than what came out just after the incident, when The Independent like other papers was full of wild blame stories. The Ukrainians definitely did not ever use the word “accidentally” at first, that only crept in when suspicion began to turn on them. It also appears to be morphing toward a “we may never know” narrative in which blame can be attributed but never proven. For instance, who is responsible for the existence of the Ukrainian conflict? Opinions vary, but it will still certainly be possible to blame Putin through the angry accusations of man-in-the-street interviews. The “I don’t care any more who did it” component seems to suggest to me that some elements are interested in moving on without ascribing blame, which in turn suggests to me the accusation that Ukraine did it is accurate and the Powers That Be want us to look somewhere else and forget about it, just make a generous statement of absolution and get on with our lives.

                  Most significant of all, to me, was the statement that physical evidence was shown to Mr. Withers which satisfied him – even though he has no experience whatever in the field – that the damage was done by a missile, and then that allegation was stricken from the story. I wish I had linked the original.

            • marknesop says:

              And what would be his motive?

          • patient observer says:

            Good info and analysis. Thanks. Another possible concurrent motivation for Goldfarb:
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M%C3%BCnchausen_syndrome_by_proxy
            Goldfarb certainly received a huge amount of adoring attention through the suffering and demise of Litvinenko.

          • marknesop says:

            Oh, let me guess – Putin ordered that he be killed because he was going to expose Putin’s part in the Moscow apartment bombings, a false-flag operation to kick-start the second Chechen War and give Putin the lustre of a decisive wartime president.

  45. peter says:

    • ..james says:

      which brit paper is owned by an ex russian crybaby? i can’t remember if it is the independent or the telegraph…

      • Warren says:

        Independent is owned by former KGB officer and Russian billionaire Alexander Lebedev, his son Yevgeny thinks he is some sort of human rights crusader and intellectual. The Daily Telegraph is owned by the Channel Island based Barclay brothers: David and Frederick.

      • Moscow Exile says:

        The Independent – by the son of millionaire Alexander Lebedev, a former KGB operative at the Soviet embassy, London.

        Here is Alexander Lebedev having a now infamous altercation on Russian TV:

        Funny thing is, Western MSM never calls Lebedev an “ex-KGB thug” but almost never fails to do so when referring to the Russian president.

        Has anyone ever seen Vladimir Putin slugging it out on TV – or anywhere else, for that matter – apart from when participating in disciplined sporting events, such as this:

        He’s only training above, of course, with the national judo team.

        V. V. Putin holds a 9th degree black-belt in Tae Kwon Do, is a former champion in Judo and has actually made an instructional video teaching the art. He is a 5th degree black belt in Combat Sambo (Russian self-defence technique), which is widely regarded by the best fighters in the world as the most practical and effective martial art for no-holds-barred hand to hand combat. I’ve also been informed by several Western martial arts practitioners here in Moscow that Sambo is the best.

        Putin is older now of course.

        Compare and contrast:

        • ..james says:

          thanks guys. i have a friend who is 8th degree black belt tae won do. you have to go to korea to get that. i guess putin has gone to s korea a few times…

          • Moscow Exile says:

            There’s a Korean diaspora here in Russia. They’ve been here since tsarist times, escaping the tender mercies of Nippon, I should imagine.

            Here’s a Russian-Korean:

            and here she is singing:

            Nice tune!

            🙂

            • Moscow Exile says:

              Nice words an’all!

              No bombast.

              Russia, our sacred country!
              Russia, our beloved land!
              A mighty will and great glory,
              Are your inheritance for evermore!

              REFRAIN:
              Be glorious, our free Fatherland!
              Long-lasting union of brotherly peoples,
              Which people’s wisdom has been granted by our forebears,
              Be glorious, our country! Of you we are proud!

              From the southern seas to the polar region
              Spread out our forests and our fields.
              You are one in the world, and nowhere else is like you,
              Our motherland protected by God!

              REFRAIN

              Wide spaces for dreams and for living
              Are opened for us by the oncoming years
              Faithfulness to our country gives us strength
              Thus it was, so it is and always will be!

    • patient observer says:

      moi aussi

      • Moscow Exile says:

        You are always welcome to a fish head and some rotten cabbage round my place if you’re feeling peckish. It’s not that tasty, but we’ve got plenty of it – up to now, that is.

    • marknesop says:

      Accompanied by the usual chatter from all the helpful advisors who know much better how to run a country of better than 140 million. Be less homophobic, more liberal, dump Putin, reformreformreform and….poof! Welcome to Westernland!

      Suck it, Telegraph. Oops; I mean, render me a service which will require you to kneel.

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