Excuse Me; Is This the Bus to Wonderland?

Uncle Volodya says, "It is fatal to enter any war without the will to win it.
”

Uncle Volodya says, “It is fatal to enter any war without the will to win it.
”

Welcome to Wonderland
My God it’s half past eight
Who cares if you came late
We don’t care where you’ve been
You’re gonna fit right in
A little fun detour
A little crazy, sure
Don’t get all insecure…

It’s afternoon all day
There’s lots of games to play
Flamingo lawn croquet
So please enjoy your stay

Everyday it’s something new
Problems up the old wazoo
Rumors of a palace coup…

From the Musical, “Wonderland

Perhaps I should mention at the outset, for anyone just joining us and for those who rather anticipated an outing, we are not actually going on a trip to Wonderland. Not exactly. What I meant was that we are going to visit the Hall of Amusements where Gideon Rachman – English crazyman and sometime analyst, please don’t get too close to the cage, little girl – goes when he writes. So, no need for sandwiches and lemonade, we’ll do that another time. Nonetheless, prepare to be amazed, and fascinated, in that vertiginous way you are when the car in which you are riding passes a bad car crash, or an arrest in which the subject is drunk and fancies himself a comedian, and the police slam him up against the wall repeatedly for his smart mouth. You’re afraid to look, lest you be drawn in yourself, but you can’t look away because you sense it is an important moment that may shape future beliefs. About something.

It’s tough, every post, to come up with descriptive words for the crazy things people say, because it is essentially the same story every time, just with different players. And Gideon Rachman is very crazy indeed, so much so that he may even believe the things he says are true. But they’re not. They’re a fantasy, playing out in a fantasy world where a space-helmeted Rachman is at the helm of the starship “Sanctions”, and you better believe it is kicking ass and taking names. In the mind of Gideon Rachman, it is only a matter of weeks, perhaps days, before Russia crumbles, unable to take any more because a hundred or so of its people are no longer allowed to travel to western countries, assets they had which are long since withdrawn are subject to freezing (a nice word for “stealing”) and so are any they might be so foolish as to place in future in banks of countries where they can’t travel, and because its banks have lost access to western capital lending markets.

Let’s put that last bit in perspective, before we go any further; Russia has reserves which will enable it to last for two years, without having to endure starvation and suffering or any old babushki losing their pensions, and without having to start appropriating private wealth. Life as normal, more or less. And that’s without doing anything – just sitting tight and waiting for the west to get over its pique. Does anyone think Russia is likely to do that? No, indeed; it is paying down its debt to the west rather than default, and taking steps to extricate itself – to the extent it is possible – from western financing links. Should Russia’s measured, deliberate and cautious decoupling from the west for some reason fall apart or prove impossible to maintain, behind Russia lies the massive wealth of its neighbour and growing ally – China. China has already taken a stand against the western sanctions, and warned that if Russia gets into financial trouble it can’t handle, China will step in. Yes, that was a warning, and the west would have been wise to heed it. But it had the bit of stupidity and self-love firmly in its teeth, and it only galloped on toward ruin.

Not to put the conclusion first or anything – we haven’t even looked at the article yet – but what would lead Gideon Rachman and the millions like him to accept these fantasies as a true picture of the state of affairs? Short answer, because he is a fucking idiot. And he is. But more than that, the faith of these people in the western banking and financial empire and the overall superiority of western goods is such a teflon barrier to reality that they are unable to conceive of a world in which other countries can do business and trade with one another without having to go through or partner with the west.

Let’s look at Rachman’s  latest pearl of journalistic wisdom (thanks to et Al for the link!). Don’t take my word for it, I want you to read the whole thing; but I believe you will conclude – as I did – that Rachman was so tickled with that line “a contest between the television and the refrigerator” that he decided to build a whole story around it, and it would not have made sense without a bucketful of bullshit mixed in.

That’s the whole pretext of this shallow and fantastic piece from a shallow and delusional author; that there is a war on for the mind of the average Russian, and it is between the propaganda he sees on the television – exhorting him to support the Dear Leader in the country’s dangerous game with the mighty west – and the barren wastes of his empty refrigerator telling him, repent! Repent, and rise up in your masses and demand that the leader turn aside from this mad course, and take instruction from the west on how to help it achieve its objectives. Obey, or be starved into submission, which is a concept – coming from an Englishman – that is so eye-opening that I was quite taken aback by it, and readers will want to remember it for the next time that poxy git who is the current British Prime Minister gets up in Parliament and runs his chip-hole about this or that dictator being the living embodiment of evil cruelty.

But the refrigerator lowers the spirits, with its increasingly sparse and costly contents“, crows Rachman triumphantly. Let’s just dispense with this canard right now – the ruble is taking a shitkicking on foreign exchange, because it is the target in a currency war designed to force it downward until it’s worthless and so create a panic among the population when they have to take a wheelbarrowload of them to buy a loaf of bread, like the hyperinflation of the Weimar Republic in the early 20’s.  Like the unfortunate Germans did, the west is trying to force Russia into a cycle of crazy inflation and printing more and more money. Which isn’t happening. The ruble still buys more or less the same in domestic products as it did before. If you buy your milk from the Pepsi Company like Alexey Navalny does, the price has achieved escape velocity; too bad for you. But suggesting that Russians are now cut off from reasonably-priced food, and soon their shrunken bellies will force them into the streets, is lunacy. Lunacy that assumes Russians don’t know where milk comes from if they can’t buy it from an American company, don’t know what the ingredients are for cheese, are too squeamish to butcher a pig, and run farms for chickens which lay pebbles instead of eggs.

Don’t take my word for it. Check. These are market prices for ordinary foodstuffs and domestic household products in Moscow. As you can see, some have even been reduced, and those that have not are by no means unaffordable. For example, a 2 kg bag of flour in the Moscow market costs 49.90 rubles. Let’s work the prices out to a third denomination – U.S. dollars. That bag of flour would cost the Muscovite 79 cents U.S. at today’s exchange rate. By way of contrast, a 1.25 kg bag of McDougall’s Plain Flour at Sainsbury’s London Bridge will set a British consumer back 1.40, or $2.15 in U.S. currency. Quite a difference. How about milk? In the Moscow market, same as the flour, 49.90 rubles for 950 ml; which is 79 cents U.S. At Sainsbury’s in London, 1 litre of whole milk goes for 1.15, which is $1.77 U.S.

But I think I see the problem. There are lots of sites like DailyFinance.com, which purport to tell interested people the price of common food staples around the world, and how much others have to pay in comparison with Americans. According to them, people in Los Angeles pay the highest for a litre of milk among Americans sampled: $2.49. But the poor bastards in Moscow are paying $3.89! I suppose they get that price fed to them by Pepsi Co. or some other American retailer in Russia. But ordinary Russians don’t buy their brand unless they want to show off how much money they have. And prices in country stores outside Moscow are lower yet.

So it’s probably misinformation like that which is making Rachman rub his hands together in anticipation of Russia coming around tomorrow, maybe next week, scuffing the dirt with the toe of its shoe and mumbling “Guess you can have your way in Ukraine; not much I can do about it”. Ha, ha!! Dream on, Gideon, you fucking crazy bug-eating, paint-chip-chewing berk!!

Get it, Rachman? The Russians are not starving. They’re not looking longingly at the refrigerator, hoping food will magically appear in it. You can’t get your end away with some tasty Russian girl for a pound of sausage, like you couldn’t with an English girl for an orange during the war, although some foreign servicemen liked to think so. There are no food shortages in Russia owing to sanctions by God-fearing Englishmen and Those Who Stand Shoulder To Shoulder With Them, and if you were not such a fucking chump chowderhead you would be able to look these things up for yourself. Oh, I forgot – you are an academic. You just know.

To be sure, there are profiteers – I wish I could say the Russians are different from every other people on the earth, and do not try to profit from the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. But it’s not true. Some Moscow food stores have hiked prices by 130%. And what happens then? They’re reported to the Moscow Public Prosecutor, and an investigation is carried out. I don’t know what the penalty is which is imposed by the state, but the name of the store is published on a list of businesses being investigated, and I should think a word to the wise is as sufficient in Moscow as anywhere else – it is perhaps no coincidence that one of these stores is the only one in which prices overall have fallen lately. People have alternatives, and nobody needs to pay crazy prices if they do not want to. And once again, there are no shortages. Poland is not the only place in the world that apples will grow, and Russia rapidly shifted its procurement to countries which are not part of the sanctions regime. This has a very important knock-on consequence, down the road – Russia’s food-products countersanctions are only in place for a year, but that’s a century in retail and unless the west is prepared to offer unbelievable deals and assurances, those markets are gone forever. Because the west can’t be trusted, as it has been at great pains to establish.

There’s another reason Rachman’s cackling would be more appropriate at Bethlem Royal Hospital, and it is that he does not understand poll variables or how to establish cause and effect. He just throws a bunch of numbers out there and says, “There, you see. That proves it”. Proves what? For example, he cites recent results which suggest 44% of Russians now see Americans as enemies, from 4% before the conflict started. How that is a net positive in England is beyond my understanding. But, wait for it, though – only 19% now think that Ukraine should be part of Russia, compared with about 50% from last March!!!

Ummm….what do those polls have to do with one another? Is there any evidence, any evidence at all which suggests that if fewer Russians now believe “Ukraine” (presumably only the disputed area in the East of the country) should be part of Russia, it suggests a weakening of support for Putin’s position on the conflict? Far more likely fewer Russians want to get stuck with the enormous bill for rebuilding it, since the Ukrainian army has shelled it to bits. That’s certainly something to be proud of, isn’t it, old chap? Just because fewer Russians favour bringing Eastern Ukraine into the fold does not indicate that they wish for a western victory in the form of a Poroshenko triumph: what’s his approval rating in Russia?

But Gideon continues to chatter on blithely about supermarket food shortages – with absolutely no evidence except what his “friend in Moscow”, likely another expat, told him.

Mr. Rachman believes the economy is Russia’s weakness, its soft underbelly. And that continued tightening of sanctions and efforts to hurt the Russian economy are the best course to achieve the desired result – a Russian capitulation. Since that is a relatively harmless belief (to Russia), let us hope he continues to believe it.

Editor’s note: I originally – and incorrectly – attributed the subject article to Edward Lucas, and I must confess I did not notice any glaring indications from the author’s stated beliefs which would suggest it was not he. Nevertheless, I humbly apologize to Mr. Lucas for attributing to him idiocies that there is no proof – on this occasion – he believes, and statements he did not make.

This entry was posted in Corruption, Economy, Europe, Government, Investment, Politics, Russia, Strategy, Trade, Ukraine, Vladimir Putin and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2,540 Responses to Excuse Me; Is This the Bus to Wonderland?

  1. et Al says:

    КГБ Lebedev’s Independent: Germany’s spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/germanys-spymasters-left-redfaced-after-thieves-break-into-brand-new-secret-service-hq-and-steal-taps-10089245.html

    Germany’s spymasters did not have to look far to find the embarrassing leak that had sprung within the walls of their brand new intelligence headquarters; evidence of it literally dripped from the ceilings and poured down the soggy walls of the huge Berlin complex.

    Today, red-faced officials at the German equivalent of M15 were confronted with the fact that thieves had not only penetrated an elaborate security curtain around their €1.5bn Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND) secret service HQ. They had also stolen dozens of taps from the upstairs lavatories and flooded the complex with tens of thousands of litres of water…
    ####

    Just when one you wonder if there is any humor left in Germany, some genius does this!

    • Max says:

      tin-foil hat on: Merka is collaborating with gangsterite elements in all its “friends”(they’ve done it before, ie Sicily post wwii, prolly Colombia, now); call it a variation on “lets make their economies screen” ie “lets make them call out for our help”.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      According to Ingushetia Security Council Secretary Albert Barakhoev, for the murder of Boris Nemtsov a total of four suspects have been arrested.

      Now detained by law enforcement officers are not only Anzor Gubashev, an employee of a private security company in Moscow, and Zaur Dadaev, assistant regimental commander of the Chechen Republic Ministry of Internal Affairs “North” battalion, but also the younger brother of Gubasheva, who works as Moscow lorry driver, as well as one of Dadaev’s relatives.

      “It is still not known exactly whether these two are suspected of having been involved in the murder of Boris Nemtsov”, said the secretary of the Ingushetia Security Council. “They may have just happened to have been in the car with the suspects at the time of arrest.”

  2. yalensis says:

    Ukraine schnorrs EU to pay for gas storage!

    Ukrainian Energy Minister Volodymyr Demchyshyn is putting on his travelling roadshow of “Beggar’s Opera”, demanding that EU help pay to fill Ukrainian underground tanks with Russian gas.

    “Reaching a new deal on gas deliveries soon after the current one expires [yalensis: at the end of March] is important not only to Ukraine but also to the EU. The warmer summer months are used to fill Ukraine’s huge underground storage facilities, which help buffer supply shortages during the winter and maintain pressure in the pipeline network to allow efficient gas transit to Europe.

    “Maros Sefcovic, the European Commission’s vice president for energy who will mediate the new round of gas talks, said on Thursday that going into the winter, Ukraine’s storage facilities need to hold some 20 billion cubic meters of gas and that purchases to refill then should start in April.

    “Demchyshyn says that 14-15 billion cubic meters should suffice.

    “The commissioners are developing worst-case scenarios. They are putting all the cost on us,” Mr. Demchyshyn said. “We are ready to commit to [a] base case and pay for it. And [the cost of] worst-case scenarios maybe should be shared.” Such a scenario could include a prolonged supply cut by Russia, a cold winter and a resurgence in industrial activity in Europe.”
    “Mr. Demchyshyn said Ukraine currently pays a 15% premium on Russian gas, compared with supplies it receives from Slovakia and other EU countries. Filling its storage with that additional 5 billion cubic meters of largely Russian gas would cost Ukraine an extra $1.5 billion of cash that would be expensive to raise amid a worsening economic crisis and the conflict in its east.

    Instead, Mr. Demchyshyn said, European companies, which have much-lower capital costs, should rent capacity in Ukraine’s storage facilities. “They can fill up the storage with their funding,” he said.”

    [yalensis: THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS SLOVAKIAN GAS, cheap or otherwise – it’s just reverse flow from Russia to Slovakia to Ukraine – no?]

  3. yalensis says:

    From the Department of Ethnic Affairs:
    Saker says Russians actually ARE Tatars!

    I knew it!

  4. ThatJ says:

    ‘Banks have left us butt-naked’: Siberian model stages naked protest at -40°C

    A model from the eastern Siberian city of Irkutsk has been photographed outside a bank and a petrol station wearing absolutely nothing, in protest against credit policies and high petrol prices in Russia’s crisis-stricken economy.

    “If you fall ill or lose your job, the banks won’t care. They will take it all. We forgive other countries a lot of debt, but we leave our citizens butt-naked. That’s all we want to say with this photo,” says a post on Liana Klevtsova’s page in Russia’s VKontakte social network.

    http://rt.com/news/238549-russia-model-nude-protest/

  5. ThatJ says:

    The Maidanites are concerned with Jewish sensibilities. If only they were as concerned with the lives of Ukrainians:

    The Anti-Semitic Coding in Putin’s Telegram to Boris Nemtsov’s Mother

    Russian President Vladimir Putin’s telegram to Boris Nemtsov’s mother was probably a good PR move. For those willing to believe that Putin was not involved in the latest of many killings of his critics over the last 15 years, it could have seemed like a noble gesture. The telegram, however, also had another message for the wider Russian audience, one with a bad Soviet smell to it. It was addressed to Dina Yakovlevna Eidman, although Nemtsov’s mother has not used her maiden name since she married 63 years ago, and all her documents are in the name of Nemtseva* According to Alfred Kokh who visited the family shortly after Nemtsov was gunned down near the Kremlin, Dina Yakovlevna is in no doubt why her maiden name was used, that being to stress that Nemtsov was “really Jewish”.

    Putin was not alone in using Dina Yakovlevna’s maiden name. We can perhaps be kind and assume that the Russian media have used it because of its mention in an interview given on Feb 10 when Boris Nemtsov spoke of his mother’s – and his – fear that Putin might have him killed. In Putin’s case, there is quite simply no excuse. Nina Yakovlevna will have been under some degree of surveillance for decades: her correct surname was known.

    It was done very cleverly. In the arsenal of grubby innuendo and irrelevant details about his companion used by the pro-Kremlin media to tarnish Nemtsov’s reputation, the standard Soviet technique of adding the ‘Jewish’ name in brackets would have been immediately slammed as anti-Semitic.

    This, unfortunately, has been less the case with Ukrainian politics. Here it is the Kremlin-backed militants in eastern Ukraine and, often, the Russian media who speak of Ukraine’s democratically elected President Petro Poroshenko as “Poroshenko (Waltsman)”.

    The ploy dates back to Soviet times. By ‘revealing’ a person’s ‘real name’, you can deny anti-Semitic motives and claim concern that the person in question is supposedly hiding something. On Twitter, Igor Strelkov (/ Girkin), ex-‘defence minister’ of the self-proclaimed ‘Donetsk people’s republic’ and identified by US officials as working for Russia’s GRU military intelligence service, wrote: “Why do they hide their real names? Poroshenko – Valtsman; Nemtsov – Eidman ….”

    An article published by the ‘Novorossiya’ Central Information Service shortly before Poroshenko received a record absolute majority in the May 25 presidential elections begins by calling Poroshenko Jewish, then saying:

    “There’s nothing bad in the fact that a Jew could become president, of course. For example, in Israel all leaders of the country are Jews and we see that they have a successful state. But why does Pyotr Valtsman conceal his nationality? Why does he declare himself a Ukrainian, and a Ukrainian nationalist at that? Why does he support anti-Semitic nationalists from Right Sector and other nationalist organizations?”

    The far-right performed abysmally in the October 2014 parliamentary elections, with neither Right Sector nor VO Svoboda reaching the electoral threshold for entering parliament. Of the two individual Right Sector candidates elected as MPs, one – Boryslav Bereza – is Jewish. However, that is really by the way. Russian aggression and especially its virulent propaganda have had one very positive effect in Ukraine. With the country’s territorial integrity and sovereignty threatened, assumed divides on ethnic grounds have rightly been minimized.

    The same cannot be said of the Kremlin-backed militants in eastern Ukraine, nor of the pro-Kremlin media.

    There was outcry in both Ukraine and abroad after the leaders of the so-called Donetsk and Luhansk ‘people’s republics’ were broadcast on Russian television dismissing Ukraine’s new leaders as ‘pathetic Jews’. The western media who then copy-pasted phrases used on multiple occasions about ‘widespread anti-Semitic sentiments” in Ukraine missed the point entirely. A quick Google check would have illuminated the situation very clearly. A year ago Putin tried to justify Russia’s aggression against Ukraine by claiming that ‘fascist anti-Semitic hordes’ had seized power in Kyiv. His proxies in Donbas clearly have a different view on the matter. So too do his advisers and the Russian propaganda machine which are dredging out Soviet tactics in their presentation of critics of their aggression, like Boris Nemtsov.

    http://khpg.org/index.php?id=1425728348

    ***
    This NGO is called “Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group” (KhPG). You see, “the ethnic divide in Ukraine was minimized because we are all in this together fighting Russian aggression”. The hated Russian, what an unifying force! You can only guess where such discourse, if assumed by the state, will lead in the future. I’ve been alerting about this danger since before the coup.

    The organization, if you look on years old reports (i.e. before Maidan started), has many entries decrying how racist Ukraine is. Now the racists are useful because they are fighting “Russian aggression”, but this conflict won’t last forever, and when it ends, guess where the organization will focus?

    • Warren says:

      West MSM has now picked up this Putin addressing Nemtsov’s mother by her maiden name story; to imply Putin is hostile to Jewish people or that the telegram was a thinly veiled threat.

  6. Warren says:

    Seventy Years After the Yalta Conference of Roosevelt, Stalin, and Churchill: FDR Intended to Mediate Between Moscow and London; The US Anti-Russian Position Emerged as Truman Was Manipulated by Harriman

    To those whose adult lives and historical experience have been largely dominated by the Soviet-American rivalry, by the division of the world into the opposed military blocs of NATO and the Warsaw Pact, and by the Cold War, the idea that the fundamental interests of the United States and Russia are necessarily in conflict may appear as self-evident, and the clash of these two powers may seem inevitable. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth. The legitimate national interests of American and Russia are not in conflict. Russia supported the American Revolution through the anti-British League of Armed Neutrality, and Tsar Alexander II was Lincoln’s only ally during the US Civil War. America, in turn, was the only power friendly to Russia during the British onslaught of the Crimean War.

    http://tarpley.net/seventy-years-after-the-yalta-fdr-intended-to-mediate-between-moscow-and-london/

  7. ThatJ says:

    Philip Weiss on Jewish Power

    Kevin MacDonald

    Not for the first time (see here and here), Philip Weiss has expounded on Jewish power, this time as it relates to Netanyahu’s speech (“Netanyahu’s speech and the American Jewish condition“):

    “[T]he fear [of persecution] blinds Jews to our power, in Israel and the United States. It is hard for Jews to think of ourselves as powerful because of a historical and collective memory of persecution. Yet the world regards us as powerful. It sees the Jewish state as a nuclear armed country with a huge army, and it sees Jews as an elite in the United States with a ton of clout. “Why is the American Jewish community so determined to convince itself that we are living in 1938?” the late Tony Judt asked nine years ago. “Why does the most successful, the most well integrated, the most culturally and politically influential, the most socially and economically well situated Jewish community since the late years of the Roman republic, why is it so worried about the demon of anti-Semitism?”

    “[W]e are as I like to remind readers the wealthiest American group by religion and we took over many establishment perches in the last generation. We are three of the four Democratic appointees to the Supreme Court, and whenever I turn on the news, I see influential Jews. Andrea Mitchell the wife of Alan Greenspan interviews Kenneth Pollack, Matt Lauer interviews Lorne Michaels. Last night I watched a panel on CSPAN about the Charlie Hebdo murders at the French-American Foundation and it appeared that all four speakers were Jewish.

    “[P]eter Beinart is one of the few writers who is honest about Jewish power: “the extraordinary acceptance and privilege afforded to Jews in late 20th century America.” In Haaretz he recently itemized our editorial control of publications: “Jews edit The New York Review of Books, The New Yorker, The Weekly Standard, The Atlantic, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, Vox, Buzzfeed, Politico, and the opinion pages of The New York Times and Washington Post.”

    “[E]very Jew of my and my parents’ generation is aware of our incredible advance into the establishment and is embarrassed about it or will tell you that it doesn’t matter or that America is all about the rich anyway and there are tons of other rich people, religion has nothing to do with it. I think they are all rationalizing the fact of our power because it is extremely uncomfortable for us. We know that our societies are broad ones, and that the rise of Jewish professions in eastern European cities played a part in the rise of anti-Semitism. Explaining why we must leave Europe, Theodor Herzl said that Jews were the “intellectual proletariat,” hanging around the stock markets and stirring resentment, and he held up a map of Vienna showing the extent of Jewish real estate holdings.

    http://www.theoccidentalobserver.net/2015/03/philip-weiss-on-jewish-power/

    Moshe Kantor’s Campaign to Stalinize Europe

    http://www.theoccidentalobserver.net/2015/03/moshe-kantor-using-lies-to-stalinize-europe/

  8. Jen says:

    Woo-hoo, Mark, just to let you know in case this fellow turns up in British Columbia for a trip to see the Burgess Shale:

    “Yatsenyuk reportedly obtained a Canadian passport”
    http://fortruss.blogspot.co.uk/2015/03/yatsenyuk-reportedly-obtained-canadian.html

    So if this news is true, how did Ratsenyuk become a Canadian citizen and where did he live in Canada for three out of the last four years? Doesn’t the Ukrainian Consitution forbid dual or multiple citizenships for Ukrainian citizens (unless their names are Ihor Kolomoisky)? Is this an indication that Victoria Cookie Monster has given up on him and wants to distance herself from anything to do with Ratsie?

    • ThatJ says:

      Since you beat me to it, I’ll leave this story, also from Fort Russ, here:

      FSB Director Bortnikov announces arrests in Nemtsov case

      FSB Director Bortnikov announces arrests in Nemtsov case

      By J.Hawk

      This news was reported by several Russian media organizations, each of which provided some of the details of the investigation.

      The arrested are Anzur Gubashev and Zaur Dadayev, both natives of Ingushetia. Both were arrested in the Republic of Ingushetia by FSB Special Operations troops. Dadayev is the deputy commander of the Sever [North] battalion of the Republic of Chechnya Interior Troops. Gubashev worked in a private security firm, as did his younger brother who some reports indicate was also arrested. Some reports indicate they have already confessed to the crime.

      Read more: http://fortruss.blogspot.com.br/2015/03/fsb-director-bortnikov-announces.html

    • marknesop says:

      Perfect. People with clout can always get a passport to wherever they desire, but I am curious as to why he chose Canada rather than the USA, and whether it suggests he feels the walls closing in and is preparing to do a runner.

  9. ThatJ says:

    Who says fighters can’t be feminine? Ukraine’s Russian-backed rebel soldiers swap combat fatigues for high fashion as they take to the catwalk

    • Soldiers took part in beauty parade to mark International Women’s Day
    • Stunning set of photographs were taken in Donetsk earlier today

    Dozens of female soldiers have taken part in a beauty parade to mark International Women’s Day.

    The women, from the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, swapped their combats for floor-length dresses as hundreds of people gathered to admire their natural beauty.

    The stunning set of photographs, taken earlier today, captured the nerves backstage as well as the excitement of walking the catwalk.

    All of the models looked overjoyed after the event and were given flowers to mark the occasion.

    International Women’s Day is on March 8.

    The first was held in 1911 and thousands of events occur across the world to mark the economic, political and social achievements of women.

    More at http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2984198/Who-says-fighters-t-feminine-Ukraine-s-Russian-backed-rebel-soldiers-swap-combat-fatigues-high-fashion-catwalk.html

  10. Charles says:

    Why stooge? To be a Kremlin stooge (presumably vis a vis the West), you’d really need to be of the West, a kind of cuckoo in the nest; a local boy made bad, spouting Kremlin propaganda. But you’re plainly not of the West, as plainly of the Kremlin “information” services. Of course, you’re still entitled to your opinion, or even Dyadya Vova’s opinion, if that’s what floats your boat. I suppose everyone’s gotta make a living.

    I have to stop this; this is my second one today. But really, it’s been at least a year, and I will keep away for at least another year. Anyway, you guys would be aware that I’m absolutely harmless, having no connections with any political parties or activists here. I just can’t help making these comments from time to time, as I’m intigued in an appalled sort of way to see you keep churning out these obviously false, crap sites and blogs. Only an absolute moron would take any of them seriously. Meanwhile, they only besmirch the image of Russia. I would add that it is not in my interest to see that happen. I’m just hoping that Russia will soon abandon all that tedious, Soviet bullshit and get involved in the new millenium. But I promise, no more of these from me; for a while…

    • Moscow Exile says:

      Yes, I hold my hands up – I am clearly not of the West, not a local boy made bad, a hired Western hand paid to spout Kremlin lies but a full-blooded, red in tooth and claw Mongol-Tatar-Finno-Ugric Russian retard employed by the Russian “regime”.

    • marknesop says:

      Hi, Charles; did you read the “About” page? I am plainly “of the west” and have never lived anywhere else for longer than a month at a time. I can send you a picture of my house, if you’d like. I likewise do not receive any remuneration from the Kremlin, or from anywhere in Russia. To imply otherwise is to suggest I must be lying, and that’s not a very good start to a relationship, is it?

      Generally speaking, I find “obviously false crap” to be too broad a subject to comfortably work with – could I trouble you for an example of something you’ve found here which is obviously false crap? Please be prepared to provide substantiation that you have correctly identified it as obviously false crap. Also, there are some fairly bright people here who actually do believe it, since a lot – perhaps most – of the material written about comes from them. They are far less likely to be morons than the trusting boobs who unquestioningly swallow their leaders’ rubbish, and I am confident that they would love to match their knowledge of current and past events and happenings against your own. I look forward to it.

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