“Operation Fuck Putin” Hits a Wall, as the Russian Economy Returns to Growth

Uncle Volodya says, "He who joyfully marches in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would suffice."

Uncle Volodya says, “He who joyfully marches in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would suffice.”

Take me back won’t ya
Take me back won’t ya;
I’ll change my ways
Take me back won’t ya
Take me back won’t ya;
I’m not the same…

Bryan Adams, from “Take Me Back

Paul Robinson sent me a link yesterday that made me laugh out loud. You remember that scene in “Back to the Future”, when a carload of bullies is chasing Michael J. Fox on an improvised skateboard, and they run into the back of a truck which dumps about three-quarters of a ton of warm cow shit through the convertible top? Yeah, that was funny. Or the scene in “A Christmas Story” where Ralphie Parker, grunting angry profanity, falls upon school bully Scut Farkus like a wildcat on peyote and reduces him to blubbering sobs? Poetic justice, how sweet it is.

The bully getting his ass handed to him is a perennially popular concept. That’s why I laughed when I read that the Russian economy has quietly returned to growth, (thanks, Paul) and added $10 Billion to its reserves since it had to spend a ton of money to keep things on the rails through Washington’s determined attempts – aided and abetted by its schoolyard quislings The United Kingdom, Canada and Australia – to wreck the Russian economy and cause so much human suffering in Russia that the people would revolt and overthrow their leader. Another humanitarian regime-change effort, brought to you by Shining City On A Hill Incorporated; it is no wonder Kiev continues to try to smash the east of its own country into submission. It knows full well that democracy is just the fig leaf the west uses to screen its loins so nobody will notice that violence gives it a boner.

The Russian economy has begun to swing positive again, the MICEX is up 17.97% on the year to date (the NYSE is up 2.48% over the same period). The ruble gained 22.3% between February and April of this year, and is currently the world’s best-performing currency. That might not be a long-term trend, and the World Bank moans in agony that Russia risks a two-year recession; but Vladimir Putin, the Russian Federation’s president and  Time Magazine’s pick for Most Influential Person of 2015 has good reason to look back in satisfaction over the past year or so. Under his leadership, Russia has outmaneuvered the clumsy west at every turn – showing it up as having not only feet of clay, but a head of cheese. And the best part, I’m sure – from Putin’s viewpoint – is that the west has brought it all upon itself, stubbornly insisting on taking the most damaging course every time over the protests of many who could see what was going to happen, but could only close their eyes and brace for the crash. The Lord of the Flies writ large – a triumph of idiots.

Severstal Steel of Cherepovets, we learn, has posted its best profits in six years this quarter, on record output; Severstal plans to hire 2000 new workers this year to add to its 52,000 workforce. How’s U.S. Steel doing? Oh, dear – not so well, I’m afraid; U.S. steel plants are on a layoff spree, which they blame on China flooding the world with artificially cheap steel. If true, it seems not to have hurt the Russian industry, which is right next door. It strikes me that failure to get China into some sort of partnership before making a grab for Ukraine was a singularly bad example of planning on the west’s part, not to mention its subsequent antagonism of China so as to inspire and nurture a Sino-Russian partnership. Just to put the icing on the cake, the article complains about the surging dollar and low energy prices, both of which the U.S. government eagerly sought as part of its latest master plan and cheered, early on, as examples of its strategic brilliance and global clout. As U.S. steel exports languish, BRICS partners China and Brazil saw surging exports. Ever heard the expression, “Success has a thousand fathers, but failure is a bastard child”? Who will respond with “It was my idea” to the question,”Who thought it was a good plan to start a trade war with a raw-materials giant”?

Why do so many cheer Washington’s stepping on its own dick and doing an embarrassing faceplant? Because it has transformed since the 1950’s from a Force For Good to a Force For Its Own Good, somewhere along the way turning into a bully that forces its values on others where it can and introducing regime change and false-flag manipulations where it cannot. Let me go on record here that it is unfortunate Americans – who, by and large, are decent people who normally wish nobody harm and like to mind their own business – must suffer the consequences of their grotesquely unpopular government. But nobody can pretend any longer not to know what is really going on; not with the plenitude of alternative news sites which cover what the mainstream media won’t touch, not with the admission at various times of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry and – more recently – French Intelligence that Kiev is not fighting the Russian Army in Ukraine. The myth of “Russian Aggression” is just another hateful buzzword, like “Weapons of Mass Destruction”, formulated to pressure a gullible public’s go-along, simply because nobody wants to be seen as for it. There are some Russians in Ukraine, yes, and it would hardly be surprising to learn they were ex-soldiers considering they come from a country with a conscript military. But I would like to think that not a few Americans, upon learning the government of the country next door was butchering civilians by indiscriminately firing heavy weapons directly into populated areas, would show up with the modern equivalent of the squirrel gun to even the playing field. Such Russians as are in Eastern Ukraine are not there in an official capacity and have demonstrated no interest whatsoever in overthrowing the Ukrainian government. There is no excuse for not knowing these things – and, knowing them, how could anyone support their continuation?

Something like 78% of Russian companies on the MICEX outstripped their foreign rivals for growth; Severstal’s achievement is not a one-off. Meanwhile, import substitution and a search for new markets continues apace. Gazprom announces a blacklist of over 400 western companies from whom it will no longer purchase metal or engineering products unless it absolutely cannot find a domestic or non-western producer. Belarusian and Mordovian companies were eager to cooperate, contributing to a potential $2.5 Billion in lost orders for western companies.

On the agricultural front, U.S. food exports to Russia slumped, threatening a $1 Billion loss over the year’s ban, while Canadian pork producers squealed in dismay at a potential half-billion in losses, right on the heels of Canadian pork executives’ visit to their third-largest market to attempt to boost sales. The ban is only for a year, but kiss those markets gone, baby, gone, because by the time the ban lapses – if it is not renewed – countries like Argentina will have consolidated the former western share of the market provided they can keep up with business demand that saw beef exports alone from Argentina more than quadruple year over year, up 543%.

The auto market in Russia was a slaughterhouse, but American brands suffered a particularly gory bloodbath; nearly all vendors experienced losses – although Mercedes, BMW and Lexus all saw gains – but sales of Chevrolet fell 74% and Ford 78%, while sales of the GM-owned Opel brand plummeted a staggering 86% just in February alone, year over year. Nine of the ten top-selling models are locally produced.

But the Russian auto market is forecast to return to 2012 levels between this year and 2017. Careful marketing will net some companies, probably Asian, a powerful and dominant market share of the modest-income midsize market…but I doubt very much they will be American or British.

Despite the low oil prices and the sanctions and the provocations and the constant vilification in the western press, Russia just puts its head down, and keeps on keeping on, undeterred by the playground antics and clamoring for attention from its declared enemies. But when the dust of this settles, it is likely to remember who went out of their way to stitch it up – the United States, the UK, Canada and Australia. Probably, thanks to the disgraceful betrayals of Merkel, Germany as well to some degree. Others might be forgiven on the grounds that they were just dragged along by the pace of events and the demands of their allies.

I saw Bryan Adams perform the little tune that kicked off this post, in the new Metro Centre Arena in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He wasn’t a really big name then, the way he is now – he had one album out, “Cuts Like a Knife“, which is still one of his best – and he was the opening act for the headliners, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts; it was the first concert in the Metro Center. Halfway through the song, he let the band kind of percolate behind him as he injected a little story – probably made up – about the cheating girlfriend who had treated him like dirt and now wanted a second chance. He paused for a moment, and roared, “…and I said, FUCK…YOU!!!!” as the crowd screamed its approval.

I wonder who will be singing “take me back, won’t ya?” in a year or two on the geopolitical stage? I know who it won’t be. And the likely response.





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861 Responses to “Operation Fuck Putin” Hits a Wall, as the Russian Economy Returns to Growth

    • marknesop says:

      “About 1,300 kilometers away from the zone of conflict between Russia and Ukrainian troops…”

      That’s a good little Defense Minister, be sure not to go off-message.

      • Tim Owen says:

        Yeah that’s sweet. Only Canada could deploy troops while simultaneously insisting they are far out of harms way and then – LOL – grin like a stand has been made.

        FWIW I actually don’t blame the conservatives for this. All three parties are entirely trapped in the frame of reference. Not one Canadian party is against the Ukraine policy. They fall over each other to pander to the consensus view which is at least as wrong as the Iraq war.

        It’s a startling reminder that when it really matters, when your loved one’s been in a car crash and you really, really need those key people to step up… You know, the surgeon that’s gonna save your child’s leg, wife’s life etc… It’s just as likely you’ll end up with a fuck-up. Need does not create a solution no matter how strongly that need is felt.

        • marknesop says:

          You’re absolutely right, I’m sorry to say. Nonetheless, it does not excuse ignoring reality – hell, going out of your way to obscure it – in order to pander to your voters. I would not make a good politician, because I would not want that demographic to vote for me. I would ask my researchers to find out the truth as best they could, after warning them that anyone caught making shit up would be fired, and pass it on to the electorate along with my recommendation on how the nation should address the problem. And that should be the start of an open debate. It is amusing – although a little sad – to note that if the west had consistently followed its current formula, Gaddafi would still be not only alive but leader of a non-failed-state Libya, since he would have put down the rebellion smartly with help and support from NATO. NATO loves it some rebels, except when it loves the state more, and which way it will break is determined entirely by self-interest.

        • kat kan says:

          Send the kid to Ukraine. They’re world experts on quick leg amputations.

      • yalensis says:

        Russian army brutally attacking Ukraine:

        Canada to the rescue:

        Hip hip hurrah!

        • et Al says:

          This is better:

          Quite erotic really. Does that make me a pervert?

          • colliemum says:

            Btw – I adore Teddy (in that first clip)!

          • yalensis says:

            Yes, Al, you are a pervert of the sado-masochistic variety, clearly you play with toy trains and tie your Barbie doll to the tracks.

            Shame on you!

            • et Al says:

              I do it so that people like you don’t have to. Like Jesus.

              • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

                We sleep soundly in our beds because exquisitely-moustached men stand ready to do violence on our behalf.

                • et Al says:

                  How else will the global balance of power be kept on a level playing field!?

                  These sacrifices must be made wearing quilted velvet jacket with a large gin and tonic in hand whilst sitting comfortably in a gigantic chesterfield armchair and puffing periodically on a cigar.

                  No cat stroking required.

                • yalensis says:

                  Dear Al:
                  I thought you said previously, that your girlfriend’s cat was your “bit on the side”.
                  Now you are changing your story.

                • et Al says:

                  Dear yalensis, that is true. Whilst I do have an affinity for Ernst Stavro Blofled, he is decidedly 20th rather than 19th century and fictional, so that is my get out.

                  Anyway, I unfortunately now have photos of her carousing with a really fat male ginger cat so know I know where I and her rather aged cat stand… The latter is more bolshie an pees on the floor when annoyed by her. When I reach that cat age (16 y/o = y1 15+ y2 10 + 14 x4 = 81 equivalent human years), I hope I too will pee on the floor every time family or relatives annoy me. I’m looking forward to it.

                • et Al says:

                  Shanks Mr. Mark!

                  BTW, does anyone out there know if there is a name for people who tie themselves to train tracks in the hope of being rescued by some major fitness (either male, female or animal)? Just askin’….

          • mijswerdna says:

            Oh that’s so cool! My dog’s name is Teddy!

          • Tim Owen says:

            That woman doesn’t look vintage to me.

  1. Pavlo Svolochenko says:

    A nice antidote to pessimism.

    On the other hand, if economic war has failed, will shooting war be the next recourse? I never believed it would happen, but Stephen Cohen thinks it might. Sooner or later, one of those Canadian or American trainers is going to be killed (like as not by friendlies), and what then?

    • marknesop says:

      If it’s one of the Canadians, they’re going to have a hell of a time explaining what flew 1,300 kilometers and killed him. I’m sure, as I mentioned before, that those troops will have been given extremely comprehensive and detailed Rules Of Engagement (ROE); when the Canadian peacekeepers were in Kosovo they were not allowed to shoot even if they saw someone being physically attacked, such as a rape – they could fire only in defense of their own lives or the lives of people specifically under their protection. If a shooting war lights off, they don’t want it on the record that a Canadian caused it. Harper is trying to have it both ways – look all Bolshie and tough on the world stage by sending troops, but hedging behind the scenes to make sure none of them starts any trouble. Mind you, I wouldn’t put it past the Ukies to maneuver them into a situation where one or more of them will get shot.

      I’m more worried about all the west-Ukrainian wives that are going to be joining them back in Canada in 2018, adding to the Russia-hating Ukro-Canadian diaspora.

      • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

        Sure that’s what Harper wants, but dead Canadians would probably suit Washington just fine. My gut says that mission creep will turn ‘training’ into ‘commanding in battle’.

      • Ilya says:

        If I were Harper I’d be sweating about my pilots over Iraq and Syria….

        • Tim Owen says:

          Imagine what a wreck he would / should be if the clown car that is the EU/NATO/FIVE EYES ever faced Russia on its border. Such a comeuppance would be richly deserved but Russia’s smart enough not to provide any opportunity to act according to the “West’s” script.

      • et Al says:

        …hell of a time explaining what flew 1,300 kilometers and killed him…

        Maybe Harper can personally present the family of dead soldiers with a T-shirt that reads: “1,300km. For Canada!”. That should do it.

    • kirill says:

      Yeah, Russians are supposed just put up with thousands of civilians being slaughtered via indiscriminate shelling by the NATO puppet regime in Kiev. But one precious military cunt from NATO who bites the dust assisting the butcher Kiev regime is super precious and deserves WWIII launched as revenge. BITE ME, NATO!

  2. marcaly8 says:

    The comment below Newsweek’s report says the opposite:
    Right… we shouldn’t expect journalists to be competent in economy. they prefer anecdotes. world bank has just downgraded russia saying its GDP in 2015 will be down 3.8% instead of 3%. “consuming domestic products instead of imported…” what products? who produces them? food? food import is down 30% and replacement production is up 2%. cars? car sales are down 30%+ against the same period in 2014. drugs? prices for many over-the-counter drugs have quadrupled, no matter domestic or what. everyone who travels to visit friends in Russia says a sense of panic and desperation sets in. come om, Mr. Powell, you should do better than that.

    Someone here who resides in Russia can say how much of this is true? I’ve heard about the car sales from other sites, but I would like to know more about this “sense of panic and desperation”. I’m a Russian History student and I’m working on a report about this information war over Russia, so I would be very glad if some Russia resident here could give me a brief comment on how ordinary Russians have been affected by economy’s current situation. Maybe Moscow Exile can help me? Thanks, people.

    • marknesop says:

      I’ll leave most of it for Moscow Exile, since I don’t live in Russia. But the car sales being down is not a massive heartache – as with the sales of most durable goods, people have put off buying until the price comes down. That’s not indicative of panic, it just likely means they will make do with their current vehicle for a bit longer. However, domestically-produced models were the top sellers. What is significant about the whole car thing is that western brands will not likely be able to get back market share when the crisis is over. Westerners do not seem to get that this will translate to job losses at home as the company adjusts, because the sale of cars in Russia made much more money than was paid out in salaries to local workers.

      Good to see you here, and welcome.

    • Drutten says:

      I have acquaintances from all over Russia, from the Western metropolises to the Siberian outback. None of them have said a word about any economic hardships, nor about these supposedly dreadful price hikes unless prompted to, and when asked they tend to say “yeah, some supermarket chains have raised prices on products X, Y and Z but it doesn’t really concern me, it’s not THAT bad yet and there are alternatives anyway.”

      I’m sure ME can help you to some more hard data. There are price survey websites around as well, and boy do they show vast differences in prices from store to store. It’s quite fascinating, and I wouldn’t be surprised if a a big part of it is about greedy opportunism and not a crumbling economy.

      • Moscow Exile says:

        Two new discount supermarkets have opened in recent weeks along the main drag (Volgogradsky Prospekt) in my part of town: there has been on the Prospekt my local supermarket “Pyatyorochka” for a long while now and where only 2 hours ago I was still able to buy milk for 46 RUR a litre and 400g Finnish Paulig coffee for 197 RUR (special offer prices go up and down). Then there are two new “Dixi” supermarkets not 400 metres apart on opposite sides of the broad highway and a few weeks ago there opened a very large branch of Pyatyorochka’s chief rival ““Perekryostok”.

    • Jen says:

      @ Marcaly8: I don’t live in Russia so I’m no expert but you might want to bear in mind that the groups most likely to be affected by economic sanctions would be people who can afford imported items, especially luxury items perceived to be of higher quality than domestically produced items. These are usually middle class to upper middle class professional people and these are the people often targeted by the US as foot-soldiers for its colour revolutions. I’ve heard that Iran has had similar experiences: when the US hit that country with trade restrictions, working class people were not as badly affected as the middle classes. Russia has a more diversified economy, with more manufacturing industry, than Iran does, and moreover has under-utilised capacity in agriculture that would actually benefit from less overseas competition, so a tit-4-tat sanctions war would have less adverse effect on Russia than it would Iran.

      Imported products such as certain brands of cars and food items may have what economists call elastic demand (that is, demand for these items isn’t absolutely necessary because either their lack isn’t life-threatening or there are alternatives: locally made cars and foods, or public transport i/o cars, or a cereal substitute for an exotic grain like quinoa) and these are the items most likely to experience dramatic falls in import volumes. On the other hand, items like medicines have inelastic demand (because they’re absolute necessary for our health and well-being, and there are not too many effective substitutes for these – not everyone is into alternative medicine) and that fact would help explain why the prices of drugs, both domestic and imported, have risen in Russia; the trade wars have affected their supply but people still need them and Russia probably needs to consider making its own pharmaceuticals on a large scale.

      So if you’re looking for information to cite on how people are coping in Russia, you would need to know what people were buying before the trade restrictions hit, and how they have changed their consumption habits after the restrictions hit. You might need to know what their social class is or how their consumption patterns reflect their social status or social aspirations. Also you need to speak to people who live outside Moscow and St Petersburg, in smaller cities, towns and rural areas; in most Western countries, people living outside major cities don’t often have the same access to a wide range of goods and services that city people do, and are less able to afford imported goods. You might want to know if a similar phenomenon exists in Russia.

      • marknesop says:

        And if you are interested in publishing the results of your report here, I’d be glad to do it – I think it might be broadly interesting.

        • yalensis says:

          Dear marcaly:
          Yes, I’d be interested to read it too.
          We could give you feedback, and later maybe you could even expand the report and turn into your master’s thesis, or whatever.

    • Moscow Exile says:


      What panic?

      If there is any panic, it will be amongst the Western-Wannabe fat cats and Kreakly, those who hate all things Russian, who refer to Russia as “this country” and not “our country” and with whom the Western journalists seem solely to to associate in order to reinforce their prejudices and jaundiced view of all things Russian.

      My house is full of Russian working class folk: I see no panic.

      I rode out early this morning on the metro to the city limits and later was transported from there by a bus shuttle service to my place of employment this morning. This is where I worked earlier today: Evraz.

      None of the workers on board the bus or the metro train on which I travelled were showing signs of panic. At the shuttle bus stop were standing great gangs of construction workers who were also being bussed hither and thither to their construction sites: I saw no panic amongst them, just the usualbanter, joshing, laughing. And the office girls were chatting away or, plugged into their iPhones, lost in their fantasy world.

      I travelled back down town on public transport and got caught in a heavy downpour after I had alighted at Kievsky metro station. Then I saw people panicking as they surged towards the Europa shopping mall that faces the Kiev mainline railway terminus. I saw no queues – no breadlines that Russophobic trolls believe is commonplace in the Empire of Evil.

      People are complaining about price rises and inflation of course. They are not panicking though. And I hear no one talking about overthrowing Putin and blaming him for the present economic difficulties: they do, however, criticize those whom Putin and Lavrov often refer to as “our partners”, often in scathing terms.

      By “partners”, I presume the president and foreign minister mean that Merkel, Obama, Hollande, Kerry et al. are “partner” politicians and/or diplomats. In that respect, both Putin and Kerry are unequivocally mistaken: these “partners” are the sworn enemies of Russia and every Russian citizen, every man, woman and child, whom they think are all inherently wicked and incapable of governing themselves in a civilized (read “Western”) fashion.

      And they want what’s here because those damned Russians are too dumb/corrupt/lethargic/drunk etc. to make use of the material wealth of their homeland, which is too big for one state in any case and should be divvied up amongst the oppressed ethnic minorities that are imprisoned by the evil Russian state and then managed by global corporations.

      PS Alexander Mercouris was in Moscow a few weeks ago and reported that he too saw no signs of panic here: no consumer panic, no food riots, no boarding up of store windows.

      And “history tells us” that Russians are at their best in adversity.

      See also: Capital outflow crisis does not exist. Companies are solvent and in the process of repaying debt. Contrary to doom-mongering from outside the country, in Russia there is perfect calm

      Russia’s Economy Has Stabilised (We Told You It Would)

      And 4 hours ago (12:10 GMT)from Moscow’s most popular arsewipe:

      Russian Inflation Falls for First Time Since Last Summer

      • marcaly8 says:

        Thanks all of you for the comments 🙂
        I don’t think I will publish my report because it won’t be a very professional research piece after all and my english skills betrays me very often, but the main point is that information and opinions about Russia these days are extremely polarized and people must be careful and open-minded on where they get information, it’s important to remember that non-western sources exist and must count.

        • marknesop says:

          Whatever you prefer; think about it, though, and remember that nobody who posts articles here is a professional either, at least not a professional journalist or researcher. And if English is all that’s holding you back – although it seems excellent to me – I’d be glad to help you with that.

        • Jen says:

          @ Marcaly8: In May last year, I was part of the audience at a Sydney Writers Festival talk where the guest speakers were two freelance journalists, one of whom said that most reporters these days simply go with press releases issued by governments, their agencies or private companies or think-tanks, and quote them verbatim when writing up their own articles. That’s about as “professionally researched” as journalism is these days. So by coming here and asking us for advice and opinion, you’re already ahead of most mainstream news reporters.

      • marknesop says:

        I saw that; it was a very interesting article. Written from the perspective of someone who wants it to succeed, of course, and there are still some logistics issues to work out for food that is sold on rather than consumed locally, but everybody should want it to work. It’s long past time to recognize that the massive corporation controlling the entire market and everything in it is not the way. Not for the consumer, anyway, and especially where the food you eat is concerned.

        • Erika says:

          Everyone should have a vegetable garden. I know in the summer, I saved a lot of money growing my own vegetables, and then freezing, drying and pickling what I need for winter.

    • kirill says:

      This story does not pass the smell test. Why would a 50% devaluation of the ruble result in any price increase by 400%? That is patent nonsense. At most it can increase by 200%. In fact, it would be less since there is some market pressure on prices and they can’t be jacked up willy nilly.

      As noted by other, the cases of extreme price surges are examples of local gouging by crooks and not economic fundamentals. There is enough free market choice for consumers to be able to avoid the criminals so the amount of criminal price activity is very limited.

  3. Pavlo Svolochenko says:


    Grishin is trying to reinvent himself again.

  4. How do you know a Russian is lying? His lips are moving.

    • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

      So how long have you been a paedophile?

    • yalensis says:

      A very profound and true statement, one which I have never before heard the likes of.

      • marknesop says:

        Ah, you were lying just then, I could tell.

        • yalensis says:

          Utterance #1: All Russians lie all the time.
          Utterance #2: I am ethnic Russian.
          Utternace #3: Therefore I lie all the time.
          Utterance #4: So, what day is Cheryl’s birthday?

          • marknesop says:

            July 16th. Because you assumed I would say July 16th, which is actually the correct answer, and if I had asked, you would have said August 17th because you cannot help lying and you want me to be wrong. Therefore I could jump far ahead of your lying tongue – see me jumping? Soaring? – to the correct answer.

      • Jen says:

        Addressed to all Kremlin Stooge Lurkers:

        Suppose one of you goes through an underground tunnel and come across two metal doors. One leads to above ground and to freedom, the other leads you further underground with no exit. Both doors are guarded by Yalensis and Pavlo Svolochenko. One of them always lies and the other always tells the truth but you do not know who is the liar and who is the truth teller.

        You are only allowed to ask either of these guardians one question about which door leads to the exit and which leads further underground. What sort of question would you ask either guardian?

        • james says:

          lol…i give up…

        • colliemum says:

          Hah – that’s easy!
          I’d ask yalensis ‘who is the good-looking stranger helping you to guard the door to freedom?’ ;-).
          His answer would tell me clear as clear if he’s lying or not.

          • yalensis says:

            Jen forgot to mention that my fellow guard Pavlo is a mute.
            He can only grunt and point.

            He got the job because of affirmative action.

            • yalensis says:

              P.S. – word just in from the tunnel boss:

              They are posting the position for a third guard.
              He or she will be a “toggler” – alternates lying and truthing every utterance.
              Anyone interested in applying?
              The pay isn’t much, but the benefits are decent.

              • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

                Fool! They’re giving us the boot – they’re going to get us to train our replacement and all!

                • colliemum says:

                  Nonononono. No.
                  Not if you insist on having me as your toggler – I’ll protect you. Honest!


              • colliemum says:

                I think I will – stood between you and Pavlo would guarantee hilarity and gaiety in abundance!

                • yalensis says:

                  Welcome aboard, O Toggler!
                  Here is your employee badge, you can pick up your sword and helmet at the front desk…

    • Moscow Exile says:

      That’s not my experience with Russians: I find them to be honest by and large – no less honest than other national groups that I have lived with.

      How about you? Tell me how many Russians you converse with frequently and during the course of your daily life and describe your experiences with them that have led you to make this painful generalization?

      • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

        His underage conquests were very dishonest when they promised him they wouldn’t tell anyone.

        • Moscow Exile says:

          The biggest Russian lie I ever saw (I didn’t hear it: it was printed) – in fact the biggest lie that I have ever experienced – was written in the foreword of my first Russian language course book, the Penguin First Russian Course, which was a reprint of a book published in the 1950s by a Russian woman Academic whose name I can no longer recall. The first sentence in the foreword ran thus:

          Russian is not a difficult language.

    • et Al says:


      Curt Doolittle
      Kiev – L’viv – London – Seattle


      • Moscow Exile says:

        Kiev and Lvov eh?

        So he’s heard certain Yukies claiming that their “nation” is pure-blooded Slav, the excavators of the Black Sea, the inventors of the wheel etc., etc. and it’s all true!

        • Moscow Exile says:

          Why “Kiev” and L’viv”?

          Surely the two orthographies should not be mixed in such a way?

          Either “Kyiv and L’viv” or “Kiev or L’vov”, surely?

          • Andrej I. Schmelzer says:

            Actually, when I write about those things, I generally write Ukrainian city names in the language that the majority of the residents are speaking as their main/more commonly used language.
            So its Kharkov, Kiev, and Lviv for me.

          • et Al says:

            L’viv Tyler, daughter of Aerosmith front man Steven ‘huge mouth’ Tyler. I guess Mr. Small Poo is still bitter she married someone else.

      • marknesop says:

        Propertarianism supplies the missing logic – the logic of cooperation.”

        How can you tell when a Russian is lying? His lips are moving.”

        Off to a great start. Let me know how it comes out.

      • yalensis says:

        Good intertube-tube hunting, Al, totally tubular!
        You tracked down this maverick… er… propertarian (?), name of Curt Doolittle (probably the great-grandson of Alfred Doolittle:

        Propertarianism is a formal logic of morality, ethics and politics – and the necessary basis for a non-arbitrary, value-independent, universal, body of law; upon which any and all political orders can be constructed, and with which all questions of morality, ethics and politics are commensurable and all such propositions decidable. Propertarianism supplies the missing logic – the logic of cooperation.

        And in conclusion:
        All Russians lie all the time.


        • marknesop says:

          Pay attention. I made fun of him for that already. If too many of us say the same thing, he will catch on that we are all in the same room together, typingtypingtyping for the Kremlin.

          Not everything he says is literary novocaine, though – consider this racy passage: “Perhaps, if you were paying attention, you would have seen the intellectual death of democracy over the past decade, which was the growing academic consensus prior to the financial crisis gaining the public’s attention. This movement continues to gain momentum. It is only overshadowed now by the debate over monetarism.

          Reliance on democratic processes, on the law, simply puts power in the hands of those with political power. Reliance on markets simply puts power in the hands of those with money. In a redistributive fiat money system, that puts power in the hands of bankers. If we look at history, markets do better with power than do governments as long as fiat money is not involved.

          There’s some perception in that, what? Reliance on democratic processes simply puts power in the hands of those with political power. That’s true enough, and rare is the political leader whom, upon discovering – through mandated surveillance or during a coincidental search or completely by accident – something damaging about a political opponent, will not use it to his or her own advantage. Once upon a time, people were in such awe of the power of one man, one vote, – and boasted quite a bit more in the way of personal ethics than they do now, back in the age of the handshake agreement and a man’s word is his bond – that they really saw it as something worth dying for, and wanted others to have it as an altruistic gift. I would be glad to follow a Washington still imbued with the same values; but now democracy is a punch line, a monicker to hang on the latest military regime-change op.

          I guess it goes to show that the more we evolve and grow, the more debased and self-absorbed we become.

          • et al says:

            And now for a brief musical interlude:

            • marknesop says:

              Speaking of music, I wanted to post the clip of the song I used to lead in to the post – “Take Me Back”, by Bryan Adams. But I can’t find it, only cover bands doing it, and it was never a big song for him anyway. So here’s “Cuts Like a Knife“, the title track from that album. I couldn’t say when that concert would have been, but I left Nova Scotia in 1987 so it was prior to that.

        • Jen says:

          A non-arbitrary, value-independent body of law? That’s a bit odd. What value is a non-arbitrary body of law if by definition its regulations are not binding on the parties who consult it and no-one is obliged to refer to it? And if a body of law is not dependent on any values to judge questions of morality, ethics or politics, how can the people who consult it work with it?

          • marknesop says:

            Where did he say that? I didn’t get that at all, although you are good at seeing the trees without the forest. I more or less supported the notion that the markets do as well as governments as far as power-sharing and management go, as long as fiat money is not involved. That lets the USA out, and every country whose currency is not backed by a commensurate amount of gold or some other valuable commodity. In fact, I would have to say such a system is merely notional in our world, to the best of my knowledge, as money is just paper and the faith that the country which owns it is good for the amount. Is anyone in the world still on the gold standard, or does any country still have a symbolic amount of precious metal in its currency such as the Pound Sterling once had?

            • Jen says:

              From the homepage of Propertarianism.com:

              “Propertarianism is a formal logic of morality, ethics and politics – and the necessary basis for a non-arbitrary, value-independent, universal, body of law; upon which any and all political orders can be constructed, and with which all questions of morality, ethics and politics are commensurable and all such propositions decidable. Propertarianism supplies the missing logic – the logic of cooperation.”

              Propertarianism proposes that co-operation on the basis of voluntary contracts between and among parties can and should replace current systems of governance and management. (Something you might be familiar with if you ever had to sign one of those so-called voluntary worker contracts with past or present employers that equated you the worker and your employer as equals when in fact you both are not: your employer for one thing has a legal department working for it and you don’t.) Doolittle’s website argues for his interpretation of propertarianism as a formal system of logic, not as an ideology. But if you peruse some his posts, like the one below on his opinion of US military decline, how it will be temporary, and how the US will win on his website, there seems to be special pleading for his partisan views, as if he has already made up his mind on certain things and is using propertarianism to justify his opinions.

  5. yalensis says:

    Meanwhile, back in Banderaland, more info is coming out about the latest political murder. Oleg Kalashnikov, former Parliament Deputy for Party of Regions.
    According to the VZGLIAD piece, Kalashnikov was organizing and planning to hold some kind of march to celebrate the 70 anniversay Victory Day in Kiev. One of his relatives reported to the press, that he (Oleg) had received death threats in conjunction with these activities. He had also been threatened by SBU types.

    During the time in the Rada (2006-2007) Oleg had made several important political enemies, including Julia Tymoshenko and Anatoly Gritsenko.

    On the eve of his assassination, Kalashnikov wrote a letter to a friend, including the following words:
    «Открытый геноцид инакомыслия, угрозы физического уничтожения и постоянные грязные оскорбления за открытый призыв к празднованию 70-летия Победы в Великой Отечественной войне стали нормой в оккупированной нацистами сегодняшней Украине, – писал Калашников. – Этот «подарок» я получил 13 апреля вместе с очередной порцией угроз и оскорблений», – говорится в письме.

    “The open genocide of dissident thinking, threats of physical extermination, and the constant, dirty insults (directed at my) calls to celebrate the 70th Anniversay or Victory Day in the Great Patriotic War – these have become the norm in today’s Ukraine, which is occupied by Nazis,” Kalashnikov wrote. “This so-called ‘gift” was received by me on 13 April…”

    By “gift” what Oleg meant was that, all of his personal demographic info, including his address, was published in the publication called “Mirotvorets” on April 13. “Mirotvorets” is a “resouce” which publishes all known info about separatists. This resource is under the purview of Anton Gerashchenko, one of the big-shots in the junta government.

    Within a day of his data being published, Oleg Kalashnikov was gunned down and assassinated near his home.

    The piece adds, intriguingly, that this “Mirotvorets” database of separatist info, is supposedly only accessible to Ukrainian Internal Police and SBU. Therefore, the implication is, that this was a government-sanctioned assassination of a political opponent.

    • yalensis says:

      Continuing with more info from above piece (is a long article):

      Kalashnikov had ended his letter with the following words:
      «Маски сброшены! Нацизм со звериным оскалом жаждет крови, чтобы скрыть свои преступления против многострадального народа современной Украины!» – так заканчивает свое письмо Калашников.

      “The masks are off! Nazism with its beastly grin, is thirsty for blood, and tries to hide its crimes against the long-suffering people of contemporary Ukraine.”

      On the eve of his assassination, Kalashnikov’s friends begged him to flee the country.
      He said he could not, for 2 reasons: (1) He was an officer in the intelligence services, and (2) he could not in conscience leave his fellow-thinkers behind.

      Political writer Vladimir Kornilov confirms, that Kalashnikov was very worried about all his personal, demographic data being published in “Mirotvorets”, which he calls a “stool-pigeon rag”.

      A few months ago, back in January, Gerashchenko proudly presented his new plan of tracking political dissidents. In a separate comment, I will translate a bit (if I have time) of Gerashchenko’s “presentation” of this totalitarian project for tracking and eliminating dissidents. For now, suffice that the title of Gerashcheno’s “oeuvre” is called: “Gifts for Christmas: or Every Creature gets what he deserves”.

      Meanwhile Ukrainian totalitarian media are all over this too, the general tone being:
      (1) Kalashnikov was an odious “Regional” who deserved to die; however
      (2) It was probably his Russian “sponsors” who whacked him, maybe because he was about to spill some beans, or something like that….

      Around the murder itself, some strange events:

      Oleg was shot dead with 4 shots.
      Oleg’s wife heard the noise and rushed out, as husband was being gunned down.
      She immediately called the police.
      Within minutes, according to her, police from Internal Ministry were on the spot.
      While this was going on, Oleg’s daughter-in-law was suddenly mugged; somebody grabbed her purse, right there at the crime scene.

  6. yalensis says:

    Here, by the way , is the site Mirotvorets. This is the site where you go if you are Ukrainian and want to denounce your neighbour as a separatist.

    Just skimming through the site, one gets a glimpse into Gerashchenko (aka “Fat Bastard”) sick Nazi mind. For example, scroll down a bit to see him bragging about collecting a database of 20,500 “individuals” (with more negative connotation than English equivalent).

    Иначе этих нелюдей назвать не можем, поскольку именно они принесли беду в наш общий дом: изменники родины, сепаратисты, террористы и боевики, наемники российского происхождения, военные преступники из вооруженных сил РФ, а также пособники разных мастей всей этой нечисти.

    We don’t know what else to call these in-humans, since they have brought woe into our common home: traitors of the motherland, separatists, terrorists and militants, mercenaries of Russian origin, war criminals from the army of the Russian Federation, and also collaborators of various stripes of all this filth.

    The rest of the site has the same tone: all heavily anti-Russia and in your face, tone is basically that of some loud-mouth mobster bully.
    Which is exactly what Gerashchenko is.

    • yalensis says:

      Here is Mirotvorets post from March 16, pertaining to Crimean citizens:

      В последнее время к нам неоднократно официально обращаются представители ряда государственных ведомств Украины с просьбой предоставить имеющуюся информацию об изменниках Родины, сепаратистах, пособниках российских оккупантов и боевиках НВФ, проживающих в настоящее время на временно оккупированной территории АР Крым (Украина). Учитывая эти просьбы, а также в полном соответствии с действующим Законодательством Украины, мы решили открыто разместить на сайте Центра «Миротворец» указанную информацию в форматах, удобных для интеграции в любые автоматизированные системы обработки. Данные представлены в формате CSV. С учетом постоянного накопления данных, список периодически будет обновляться. По состоянию на 16 марта 2015 года в Чистилище находится информация о более чем 7500 особей, большую часть из который представляют изменники Родины.

      Recently we have been approached officially by representatives of a series of governmental authorities of Ukraine, with a request to present all the information we have pertaining to traitors of the motherland, separatists, collaborators with Russian occupiers, and fighters in illegal formations who dwell at the current time on the temporarily occupied territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea (Ukraine).
      Taking into account these requests, and also in full accordance with existing legislation of Ukraine, we have decided to place on the “Mirotvorets” site the information indicated, in formats convenient for integration into any automated databases. The data is presented in the .CSV format [yalensis: ASCII text file with comma-separated fields]. Taking into account the continuous accumulation of data, the database will be refreshed periodically. As of 16 March 2015, in our database we have information on more than 7500 individuals, the major portion of whom are traitors to the motherland.

      yalensis: And now, in April, the database is up to 20K traitors.
      All in their comma-delimited traitorous glory.

      • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

        Writing in Russian of course.

      • marknesop says:

        “Fighters in illegal formations”, Dear God, you could scream. According to the Ukrainian constitution, all formations except for the state military and law enforcement are illegal. But only half-hearted attempts are made to “legalize” the volunteer battalions, which are not even paid by the government, or were not until Benny’s bottomless purse flew away with him. And the ever-alert-for-illegal-behavior west which brought you the suggestion that Ukraine could ignore its debt to Russia as “odious debt” says not a word about Kiev’s own making up what is legal as it goes along.

    • marknesop says:

      It’s like a caricature of reality, as if someone either not too imaginative or with the brilliant talent for mockery that results in films like “Springtime for Hitler” were making an educational film about the growth of fascism in a fertile society.

      All this, I’m sure, contributes to Brussels’ ambition to make a close partner and chum of Ukraine. It certainly displays European values. Of course, you never know how much they know and how much they are just pretending not to know.

    • cartman says:

      “This is the site where you go if you are Ukrainian and want to denounce your neighbour as a separatist.”

      These are European values.

      Does anyone remember the Stalinism for Android app, which allowed people to report and disappear their neighbors from their mobile phones?

  7. PaulR says:

    They seem to have moved on from politicians to journalists: ‘Pro-Russian journalist killed in Kiev’: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-32337621

    • PaulR says:

      More on this. Anton Gerashenko, senior advisor to the Interior Minister, is blaming it on the Russians: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/apr/16/pro-russia-journalist-shot-killed-ukraine-kiev-oles-buzyna

      • marknesop says:

        “pro-Russia” and “Russia-leaning” and “Kremlin-friendly” are the new “nothing to see here; move along” in Ukrainian discourse. What a name that benighted nation is making for itself! I must confess – somewhat guiltily, because there is nothing funny about the desperate situation of ordinary Ukrainians – that I get a great deal of amusement over the west’s continuing hamfisted attempt to portray this hellhole as a brave emerging country stumbling towards democracy. It is nothing of the kind – it is like some sort of college frat party spun out of control in which the most wicked and deviant of the population are allowed to fully indulge their secret fantasies.

    • marknesop says:

      It seems you can kill just about anyone with impunity in the brave new Ukraine provided you put “pro-Russian” before their occupation. I am becoming steadily more supportive of all Ukraine except the southeast, without any source of income and crazy as a bedbug, going to the EU. They deserve to live cheek by jowl with their project and the result of their meddling.

    • yalensis says:

      The Guardian piece is deceptive, it repeats the Kiev party line and doesn’t even mention Gerashchenko’s “Mirotvorets” website, which is in fact a hit-list of political opponents.
      Guardian quote Gerashchenko sympathetically, as if he is a legitimate government person involved in public safety: “Everyone who was involved in organising and financing Antimaidan, or other illegal acts against Maidan and feels their life is under threat, are advised to come to law enforcement organs to not go the same way as Kalashnikov and Buzyna.”

      — any normal person reading this quote will sense the mobster threat; it’s like Tony Soprano saying: “If you want your family to survive, then you really need to turn yourself in and talk to me.”

      Here is more info on Buzina’s murder:
      Like Kalashnikov, Buzina was murdered right outside his own home.
      Western media have picked up the mantra of Buzina as the “pro-Russian journalist”, implying that he got what he deserved; but Ukrainians know better: Buzina was extremely interested in Ukrainian language, culture, and literature. He wrote 6 books about Ukrainian history, including a biography of Taras Shevchenko.

      Poroshenko and Gerashchenko are scrambling to blame Russia for Buzina’s murder, claiming the license plates on the getaway car were either Latvian or Belorussian.
      [yalensis: no need to follow-up on any of this; Gerashchenko lies every time he moves his lips]

      The final paragraph of the VZGLIAD piece claims that Buzina, like Kalashnikov, had a dossier on Gerashchenko’s “Mirotvorets” site. I can’t confirm this, and I have not seen this claim in other sources (about Buzina).

      To recap: Gerashchenko is collecting a database of all the “enemies of Ukraine”, including their demographic info, their home addresses, telephone numbers, etc. It is actually more like a hit-list.

      • marknesop says:

        Not to mention the article of faith that views “Maidan” as such a cathartic moment in Ukraine’s history that it has assumed a personification, and to go against it is to go against the Great Spirit that gives Ukraine its mystical power. What idolatrous hogwash. These people seriously need mental help, but the west thought they were ready for political power. In other societies they’d be in hospital or in jail.

        Hey, remember when Sarah Palin’s political action committee put out that political ad showing states that voted against Republican interests on the health care bill, identified with crosshairs like a rifle scope? And one of those so identified was Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who was later shot in the head by nutjob Jared Loughner?

        Palin’s cheesy explanation was that the crosshairs were “surveyor’s symbols”, plainly scrabbling for any other instrument in the world that used a crosshaired lens like a rifle scope. Steve Benen eviscerated her flailing defense using all the same arguments I would have – such as what does “Don’t Retreat – Reload!!” have to do with surveying – so I won’t go into them here. The point is, such a thinly-veiled call for armed violence against the political opposition both shocked and scared people when it actually happened, although the shooter was so mentally unstable that it’s hard to say if he was motivated by Palin’s hillbilly-feud rhetoric. The reaction now? If there’s any embarrassment, they’re keeping it to themselves.

  8. PaulR says:

    The ‘Russian economy returns to growth’ headline is actually a little misleading, because although the stock exchange and currency are up, it still seems as though GDP will decline this year. That said, the rise in the ruble will reduce inflation which will allow the Central Bank to cut interest rates, which should permit GDP to start rising again sooner than expected. So not all is rosy, but the Russian economy is looking much more resilient than critics had suggested.

    • marknesop says:

      Yes, that’s true – “stabilized” would have been more accurate. But I believe stability is going to look like growth in today’s economic climate; countries that were struggling are going to be desperate, while those who were on shaky ground are going to have an increasingly hard time of it. And that’s going to be without a coalition of the most prosperous countries all united in an effort to take them down. Russians have good reason to be more confident, because indeed the sanctions, long-term, are going to have hurt those who imposed them much more than those upon whom they were imposed.

      Is there a video of your TV appearance? I’d like to see it. How did it go?

    • Drutten says:

      I’m no economist but to be perfectly honest I thought it was pretty easy to see this development from the very beginning. Basically, Russia was always backed up by healthy fundamentals and the whole sanctions and “isolation” thing was way exaggerated and was only going to result in some temporary headaches as reorientation occured.

      These headaches will go on for a good while, but it’s nothing critical even though the usual gloaters will keep on spewing their stuff on a regular basis until everything’s in the green (and probably beyond that point too, look at how the demographics “analyses” still appear to be stuck a decade ago).

      Also on the plus side, there appears to be a serious move to establish a proper diversified economical framework to tap into in the future to lessen the effects of the “Dutch disease” too.

      All in all, I expect full recovery in a couple of years and a less oil-tied, healthy growth after that. But again, I am not an economist, it’s just what I make out of it all as a layperson and general optimist.

      • kirill says:


        This was posted before, I believe, but it points out some common points of misinformation about how dependent Russia is on oil and how truly diversified it is. We are now seeing that Russia is indeed highly diversified and the banana republic sensitivity to a single commodity export is low.

        Obama asserted that Russia produces nothing. That is the basis of the attack on Russia’s economy and the predictions of its doom. It is total rubbish and manifestly so.

    • kirill says:

      There are still three unfinished quarters of 2015. Let’s wait and see before claiming that the GDP will fall. All of the forecasts assumed an actual crash in late 2014 and early 2015 and that has simply not transpired. The inflation rate returned to its March 2014 level in March of 2015. The shock of the ruble devaluation and sanctions has fizzled out. So why would the GDP keep on contracting? It’s not like NATO was such a big source of FDI in the Russian economy. And import substitution is a source of real GDP growth. One of Russia’s key steel producers is hiring 2000 workers as noted in Mark’s article. That is not small potatoes.

  9. et Al says:

    What has impressed me is how the bad news about western sanctions was handled. Rather than the usual “There’s nothing to see. Move on!.”, they explained the potential consequences, the reasons for it and most importantly of all, a reasonable time scale of when it should be over.

    I also strongly suspect that they deliberately overplayed the figures of potential damage to the economy knowing that it would be highly unlikely that the figures would ever play out as such, the flip side being that any performance better than those figures is a victory.

    On the one hand it gives a pyrrhic victory to the Pork Pie News Networks, western politicians and Russophobes for Russia to admit it will be significantly damaged and importantly allows Western states to claim they are taking tough and decisive action against Russia when they have not done so despite having multiple opportunities to do so – a very useful face saving exercise.

    The sanctions could have been much, much worse.

    So both sides get something. The West pretends to slap on draconian sanctions and swing its gigantic pot belly and balls aggressively to its own adoring congregation proving that they are indispensable and exceptional nations that the rest of the world should be modelled on, Russia plays the “I’m sexy and I know it” card to the rest of the world. Everyone is pleased.

  10. et Al says:

    Follow up on the lady that SkyNudes told us “Attacks Draghi”

    EU Observer: Who is the woman that threw confetti on Draghi?

    “…Markmann, who goes by the pseudonym Josephine Witt, has also been involved in a number of highly-publicised protests by Femen, a feminist group, whose members often gatecrash events with slogans written on their bare breasts…

    …She had no need for violence at Wednesday’s ECB protest.

    “I got in like anybody else – there’s this airport control thing, but I didn’t carry any weapons except for confetti in my bag”, she told Bloomberg.

    She had registered as a journalist for Vice Media.

    “I registered for access beforehand, and they just checked the name and then I got inside. It was very easy”…

    …Her ECB protest was not done in name of Femen, she said on social media.

    “The confetti attack was not a Femen protest – I’m sorry ladies. I consider myself a freelance-activist”, she wrote, accompanied by the hashtag #exfemen, indicating she’s no longer part of the group…

  11. et Al says:

    euractiv: EU pushing Ukraine towards trilateral free trade, with Russia

    Fearing that Russia could retaliate against Ukraine following the entry into force of the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA) later this year, the European Commission is now pushing Ukraine to agree to a trilateral trade format, including Russia.

    On Wednesday (15 April), a Ukrainian parliamentarian reacted angrily to messagess from EU officials, who said that Ukraine should seek to accommodate its EU free trade agreement with an older arrangement his country had with Russia.

    Ironically, it was Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich who appealed for such an approach two years ago, which was flatly rejected by Brussels…

    …Neighbourhood Commissioner Johannes Hahn backed the main conclusions of the paper in the following terms:

    “The study rightly recognises that integration [for Ukraine] with Russia and EU are not in principle mutually exclusive. The study goes on to suggest that at least partial restoration of links with Russia, and the so-called Eurasian Economic Union will be important to Ukraine’s economic recovery, and that Ukraine should diversify its export markets and develop trade relations in many directions.”

    The Commissioner said that the EU wasn’t looking for an exclusive economic relationship with Ukraine.

    “This is important to be stressed. There is nothing in our new agreement that would stop Ukraine from continuing to export products to Russia. Approximation with EU standards will not prevent Ukraine from trading with Russia,” he went on. In his terms, the Association Agreement left Ukraine free to determine its own trade policy.

    “Ukraine already has preferential trade relations with the members of the Eurasian economic union within the framework of the Community of Independent States free trade area. These are perfectly compatible with the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area, and there is no reason why they should not be maintained. So the EU-Ukraine bilateral DCFTA does not impose a false choice on Kyiv. Those who say so are wrong or may have their own agenda,” Hahn said….

    More at the link.

    So Brussels admits failure and that it was wrong? No. Brussels has got the message from Germany and others that they will not take over Russia’s former subsidy of the Ukraine.

    So there you have it – Brussels wants this unfortunate misunderstanding brushed under the table with the backing of EU states that still want to continue sanctions against Russia. Silence from the US.

    • colliemum says:

      Yes, well, Brussels has its hands full with Greece, which, oh horror, is now sidling up to Russia. And Madame Merkel knows that there’s a disaster looming on the horizon for the German economy. She is probably far better informed about it than the snippets which make it into the papers, see here:
      That emblem of German economic might, the Deutsche Bank, cannot be allowed to crash – it’s all hand on deck to sort this out, in secret, of coruse.
      So she needs this Ukrainian adventure dialled down a.s.a.p., and Kiev must be made to see that there’s no more money, not from the EU.
      As for the USA – well, Obama is saving the planet by destroying the US economy with green crap. It’s all good …

    • marknesop says:

      Ha, ha! Here’s what I said yesterday in a comment on this Russia Insider article:

      “”Where are the detailed economic studies proving that the EU’s pivot away from Russia is to its advantage?”

      Where were the detailed economic studies proving that it would be to Ukraine’s advantage to sign a partnership with the EU in which Brussels had clearly ordered the country’s government to choose one or the other but not both? Certainly none were done by the side that wanted Ukraine to sign the EU Association Agreement – or if they were done, they were not made public. But plenty of people – I among them – pointed out that if Russia closed its markets to Ukrainian exports, Ukraine would be hooped, because the EU was not going to pick up the slack and buy more Ukrainian products.

      That was long before Euromaidan and all the silliness that followed. The European Union, while a significant trade partner of Ukraine, has always run a trade surplus with Ukraine, meaning it sold more of its own products to Ukraine than it bought in Ukrainian products. It would like that situation to continue. But if you remember nothing else about the current situation and conflict, remember this – even if the west succeeds in crushing resistance in Ukraine’s southeast, even if it wrenches Ukraine into the EU’s political orbit…it cannot succeed unless Russia lets it, by opening up its markets to Ukraine and buying Ukraine’s goods. The EU is not going to do it, and if it throws $50 Billion into stabilizing Ukraine’s economy this year, the Ukrainian government will be looking for another $50 Billion next year. After 2017, when the current gas transit contract with NaftoGaz Ukraine expires, Ukraine is living on borrowed time unless Russia helps it. And it would have to have a pretty good reason for doing that. Helping Ukraine become a prosperous and Russia-hating member of the EU is not among those good reasons. If Russia simultaneously uncouples itself from the Russian side of the Ukrainian pipeline system, and keeps its markets closed to Ukrainian exports, there is not a thing on God’s green earth that can prevent Ukrainian collapse.

      I don’t know if western leaders know this and are just not talking about it because the idea is too frightening, or if they are as stupid as they act, and just have not figured it out.”

      At least my last question is now answered.

      • et Al says:

        Russia agreeing to this makes no sense unless there is a comprehensive European security & trade agreement with Russia. A rewarmed NATO will not do. All Russia has to do is hold out as every single day will cost the EU more €€€.

        The ‘EU’ has consistently any comprehensive agreement with Russia. They want Mohammed (Brussels) to go to the Mountain (Russia). As usual, they have it ass over tit.

        • kirill says:

          Russia has already fobbed off calls from German technocrats for Russia to financially assist Ukraine since that is “in its interests”. This BS is the same crap, repackaged. Putin ain’t no retard. His best tool is to let the butcher Kiev regime sink together with Ukraine’s economy. It’s a fully justified policy and not cruel. Ukrainians need to grow a brain instead of living in a fantasy of welfare from the EU and engaging in rabid spite at Russia for “getting in the way” of this fucking delusion. So Russia isn’t going to be wiping their collective bums any time soon.

          If you look at Gazprom’s most recent statements about Turk Stream you will see a hardening in Russia’s stance. Gazprom threatened to cut off gas supplies to countries trying to force Russia to keep Ukraine as a transit country. It also attributed the cancellation of South Stream to this effort. Russia is dead set on cutting off Ukraine from any economic leverage. So there is no way it will be engaging in any three way free trade deals.

          If the EU monkeys were expecting Russia to bend over and take it, then they are pathetically mistaken.

        • marknesop says:

          As usual, Europe is coldly contemptuous when it believes it holds all the cards, pretends to be baffled that its intentions were so misunderstood when it realizes it might not have a good hand after all, and crawlingly servile when it dawns upon it that a pair of twos doesn’t really beat anything except one two. We have not seen stage three yet. Let’s hold out for it, what do you say?

    • dany8538 says:

      Mr. Shariy knows this would be his fate as well had he stayed there.
      Europe , Ukraine has arrived !!!
      Long Live Democracy!!!

    • yalensis says:

      Oh, I should have watched Shariy’s piece before I made my comment above.
      I said in my comment that I couldn’t be sure whether or not Buzina had appeared in Gerashchenko’s online hit-list.
      And yet there he is! Shariy shows how Buzina’s name appeared on Gerashchenko’s “Mirotvorets” hit-list site.

      Hence, the pattern is fairly clear.

  12. colliemum says:

    Gawd, I love this article, Mark! Not just because of the content, but because of the lovely little swipes at the US and it’s ‘schoolyard quislings’ (outstanding, that!) sprinkled throughout the text.
    The nice thing is that you and others here, who’ve been following this sanctions story from its inception, have been predicting just such result.
    Pretty good, innit – high fives all round!

    • marknesop says:

      Thanks, colliemum! In truth it was clear to anyone who wanted to look at it seriously that the west could not do it without Russian cooperation – the mystery which remains is why the west chose to deliberately antagonize Russia and blame it for all Ukraine’s troubles, instead of engaging with Russia and maybe everyone would get something, instead of the carnage which resulted. Ukraine will collapse, it is just a matter of time no – it is being kept alive on life support of injected western donations – and the west will try to blame that on Russia too. But less and less people are buying the western bullshit these days.

      • colliemum says:

        IMHO, it was a clear case of western hubris and overreach, with a dash of believing the west’s own propaganda about Russia in the chambers of western governments as opposed to actual, factual knowledge of Russia.
        Oh – and the west urgently needed another demon to unify against. After all, with Gaddafi gone, Mubarak gone, Saddam Hussein gone, Assad nearly gone – who else was there to sell as villain to the western people? Only Putin – the Chinese are too far away and not well enough known, but Putin – ahaha!!

      • et Al says:

        I suspect that ‘The West’ (TM) was hoping to pull the wool over Russia by using Brussels to be its willing executioner, a) decrying any involvement; b) hoping that Russia simply would not react for fear of the consequences; c) It was a ‘now or never’ moment – that if there was a chance to definitively pull the Ukraine out of Russia’s orbit, time was not on the West’s side.

        Either way, fat bastards like Barroso and ever so nice Herman ‘Haiku’ van Rompuy and their minions have blood on their hands. There is no possible way that they could not have understood the momentus risk they were taking at the behest of Western governments. And they did it willingly.

        How is it that when Western action kills more than a million people (1+ for Iraq alone) no one is responsible or punished? A ‘few bad apples’, ‘a systemic failure’, ‘it fell between the cracks’ – and this coming from nations who profess to be exemplars of international law, human rights, equality and a shining beacon to the rest of the world.

        They have nothing to fear as they will live long and collect their pensions, joking in to old age about how they ‘didn’t quite pull it off’ – probably because they spent more time pulling each other off in a giant circle jerk. I won’t even go in to the culpability of the democratic media to hold those elected to account at the time. It’s all too disgusting, but at least they are not unprincipled savages like the Russians.

        • et Al says:

          In case I haven’t made it clear enough, all this happened by choice. Nobody forced them to do what they did. A gun was not held up to a collective Western head. It was not a case of there being no other solution. The arrogance of uncontrolled and unchecked power writ large.

  13. marknesop says:

    The comment posted the other day – I think it was et Al – regarding the Indian purchase of 36 Rafale fighter jets from France did not mention that this purchase was scaled back from the originally projected 126 planes, and that India has entered into negotiations to buy 127 fifth-generation Russian fighters instead as they begin to roll off the line in 2016.


    • et Al says:

      They’ll buy more for sure. 36 Rafales are not enough for a nation with a geography & neighborhood like India. It doesn’t matter how great it may be, but if you don’t have enough of them, there will be very few available after a week of combat. Indian Jaguars & Mirage 2000s are getting quite old and have an alleged nuclear strike capability, so they will need replacing too.

  14. Warren says:

    • et Al says:

      But but RT is Kremlin propaganda!

      Alert, whataboutism coming up.

      Everything is (not) rosy in the UK:


      If only the Russians hadn’t banned EU milk in counter sanctions!

      “…To cap it all, Russia then banned imports of dairy products from the European Union in response to EU sanctions over Ukraine, which precipitated a catastrophic downward slide in farmgate milk prices. Ironically there are a number of parallels with the dramatic fall in the price of oil……”

      How is competition and low prices good when it pushes producers to the margins? Milk is not gold.

      • marknesop says:

        That’s kind of a sad story, really – I feel sorry for the farmers, because they were not asked if sanctions against Russia were a good idea. And lest we forget, the suspiciously-timed shootdown of MH-17 was the trigger incident that pushed Europe into spontaneous united support of sanctions on the quickly-offered assumption that Russia was responsible.

      • Jen says:

        In the case of John Kopiski, the issue he raised is that Russian state support for the dairy industry is dysfunctional. From what the Torygraph article says about the state of Russian dairying, I gather that there is not much support, especially financial support in the form of long-term credit and loans, to independent small-scale farmers like Kopiski. There is a danger that farmers like him, who could supply niche markets in milk, butter and cheese of the kinds currently filled by imported products affected by tit-4-tat sanctions, will be driven out of dairying and the void filled by factory dairy farms owned by companies where cows are crowded into buildings to be hooked up to milking machines every day and treated like milk production units. This is an environment where cows are likely to get sick and disease-causing germs enter the milk, so that the animals have to be fed antibiotics as a preventative measure.

        One alternative that might be available to Kopiski would be to form a co-operative with other farmers to market and distribute their milk, and that co-op to go into partnership with a bank to help farmers obtain credit and loans to invest in their businesses.

        I personally would prefer a dairy industry made up of small producers like family farms that care for their animals rather than treat them like production units, and that can decide for themselves how to market and sell their milk instead of selling it to a centralised milk board, whether state-owned or private, that is captive to supermarkets and the corporations that own and run them.

        • marknesop says:

          I agree, and I would pay a little extra for quality milk obtained from cows not fed GM grain and who are free-pastured. I’m not a milk drinker except in coffee, but my children drink milk and I have seen the difference free-range feeding makes in eggs. I imagine it affects milk similarly.

        • kat kan says:

          They get low prices because big companies like Parmalat and Danone screw them on the price, knowing the government will up the subsidies if they cry enough. The subsidies end up effectively gong to multinationals. Danone recently paid $500 mil for a 1/4? 1/2? share in a Chinese powdered milk company. They claim they only use it for custard products, but the Dairy Board says it’s fumy how farmer milk sales go down where a Danone factory moves in. It’s not poor struggling Belarus’s milk powder causing the problem.

          The other dairyman on the show asked Putin why he can’t sell his milk directly. He sells at the gate to locals, but can’t take raw milk to the cities without refrigeration and none of the market provide any. All they want is a mall walk-in coolroom at the markets, which apparently need the President to yell at them before thinking this is a good idea. They’d be happy to pay, and still get more for the milk than the processor gives them, while the customers would get better milk for less than the multinational charges.

          Provide facilities for selling raw milk, make it illegal to sell reconstituted powder as milk, let the processors make yoghurt and cheese, which are machine-intensive. Cheese takes big investment too, for the types which need to be matured. (Parmesan is aged in temperature controlled vaults owned by the bank, holding them as loan collateral as they age, so the farmer doesn’t have to eat dirt for 7 years until it’s ready. Never subsidise someone selling to a processor. Let them pay decent price and if that makes the product (a) a bit costlier then people can manage or (b) too costly then they can get efficient or get out. Subside only the very poor end user (or deserving big family as they already do).
          For places where the cheapest way to feed a cow is by letting her graze, they can save labor with on-demand milking. The machine uses laser beams to find the teats, wash them, attach the cups and milks the cow by itself. Cows take a few days training to use them, when they feel like it. A computer tracks individual production.

          European cows need to be kept indoors in winter. There are auto barn cleaning machines too. But these things cost money, too much to be value under 10,000 or some such ridiculous number.

          • Moscow Exile says:

            As it happens, I had just arrived home to an empty flat yesterday afternoon and had been watching the RT clip of the immigrant dairyman’s questioning of the President when my wife came into the flat clutching two 2-litre plastic containers of milk that she had bought off a dairyman who was selling it from a small tanker-truck on the street.

            That’s how we usually buy milk in the country; not from a tanker-truck, but from a local dairy farmer who drives around in an old pick-up loaded with milk churns.

            I thought it really quaint to have milk brought to the centre (and we live as centrally as one can possibly imagine) of a city of 14-million plus as though our neighbourhood were a small settlement out in the sticks. However, the man who was selling his milk in this way was showing enterprise in the face of diversity and my wife was well pleased with her purchase.

            • Moscow Exile says:

              Come to think of it, though, the man flogging off the milk was probably a homophobic, racist junkie gangster who had stolen the milk from a state farm and paid 80% of his take into Putin’s private offshore account.

              And it goes without saying that he diluted the milk with contaminated water.

            • Moscow Exile says:

              Typo! The expression “in the face of diversity” should be “in the face of adversity”.

              Is the frequency of such typos that I make a sign of the onset of Alzheimer’s, I wonder?

            • ThatJ says:

              This Kopiski fellow says he’s British, though the surname is Polish. It could be that he “slavicized” his surname in Russia or that he’s of Polish origin, though he’s quite an old man. There were not many Poles in the UK decades ago when he was born, I suppose.

              Here’s John Kopiski’s Facebook:

              Russia’s Most Devoted Farmer
              By Roland Oliphant
              Russia Profile


              I recall a Russia-hater with this surname (Oliphant), as it reminds me of the large mammal species. It’s probably him.

              • Moscow Exile says:

                He says his father was Polish.

                There were lots of Poles where I lived. They were invited to the UK after WWII because of a manpower shortage in the coalmining industry. They were all from Silesia, the Katowice region. In my class there were two boys with Polish family names: Andy Morawksi and Peter Stankevich; there was also one of the greatest loose-forwards of all time in our local rugby team: Vinny Karalius.

                At the pit where I worked there was a “fireman” (deputy undermanager) called Maisky and his son, who was in my team, as well as many other Poles. They mostly spoke with Lancashire accents on top of their Polish one, except for their sons whom I worked with and who spoke as I did. There were one or two of my fellow pitmen from Poland who did, however, speak with very strong Polish accents: they lived in Manchester, where there was then, and no doubt still is, a very large Polish community. I suppose that the ones who had the strong accents had Polish wives and hadn’t “gone native”.

                Some of the Poles made their own samogon – “moonshine” – and brought it to the pit canteen.

                I always got on well with the Poles – everyone did. For one thing, I never met a lazy Pole at work and they are very, very reliable workers. And I reckon Poles are, by and large, pretty smart and they were always dead keen on education and self-improvement.

                I never heard anyone say anything bad about the Poles at work. There is no English pejorative for them as there is in the USA, namely “Polack”.

              • ThatJ says:

                @Moscow Exile

                “He says his father was Polish” — that explains it.

                If you didn’t know his surname or Polish origins, would you assume his Slavic background? That’s what I mean by taking into account “degrees of commonality” when dealing with immigration.

                It is unfortunate that Farage has to focus on Central Europeans and Balts to attack immigration, and when not, on “Islam”.

                • Moscow Exile says:

                  When I first lived here – to be precise, in the USSR, in Voronezh, some 300 miles south of Moscow – loads of Russians, most especially the women, on finding out that I was English, used to say in amazement: “Why, he’s just like one of ours”.

                  I knew, though, that they were only after my body.


              • Jen says:

                During WW2, the Polish government set up digs in London and the Polish armed forces pledged to serve under the command of the British armed forces. I would not be surprised if more than a few Polish military personnel elected to stay in the UK after the war.

                Even before the 20th century, when there was no Poland, Polish people migrated to North and South America and parts of the British Empire. The Polish explorer Paul Edmund Strzelecki lived and worked in southeastern Australia from 1839 to 1843 (he climbed and named Mount Kosciuszko, in honour of Tadeusz Kosciuszko) and later became a naturalised British subject.

                • Moscow Exile says:

                  And Joseph Conrad, English author of note, was a Pole as well, albeit a Russian subject. His real name was Józef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski. In fact, he was born in what is now part of that fictive state known as The Borderland (glory to it and its heroes!)

                  Conrad could not speak English until he was in his 20s and although he became a British subject, he always considered himself to be a Pole. He came to the UK because he wanted to be a sailor, and joined the British merchant fleet, then the largest in the world and in which he became a Master Mariner. Earlier he had been employed in the French merchant marine.

                  I am rather fond of Conrad’s works. I too always wanted to become a sailor and often regret that I never did.

                  Conrad wrote “The Nigger of the Narcissus” – an interesting read. I wonder if it is still published under that title? I should think not. It was published in 1897 and even then was re-named “The Children of the Sea” for US publication.

                  Interestingly, the hero of that tale, a West Indian seaman of African descent who is dying of tuberculosis during a voyage, is treated sympathetically by his shipmates but seemingly cold-heartedly by the ship’s officers, who see the unfortunate man’s sickness as an impediment to the functionality of the vessel: the men are neglecting their duties, they feel, because of their sympathy towards their shipmate’s plight.

              • marknesop says:

                I imagine he is the very same Oliphant who is a close chum and bosom pal of our own “Shaun of The Dead” Walker, who was with him on the occasion a sneaking Russian armored convoy almost drove over their toes on its way to infiltrate Ukraine, whilst they were taking a pee in the bushes or something, except they were so thunderstruck by Russia’s brazen boldness that their normally-sharp wits deserted them and they did not think to get a picture.

          • marknesop says:

            I remember this conversation from somewhere before, either the Moscow Times or Russia Insider, shortly after it started up. I would have voted for you then as Agriculture Minister, and I still would. Russia would be lucky to get your advice for free.

    • Oddlots says:

      Really interesting clip and comments. In many ways.

      One is the way that the most economically efficient and profitable “market” solution to a given problem is deficient in all sorts of other ways but the ideology of the market somehow blinds us to it. Thus we can have a food system that becomes more and more dependent on a series of jury rigged solutions. You feed animals something unsuitable for them because it’s cheap but have to add all sorts of supplements to mask the underlying problem – you are fighting basic animal physiology – and you end up with a very fragile food system. Of course It’s popular because the grain seller and the agribusinesses and the veterinary pharmaceutical companies are all happy. But what happens if the drug supply is suddenly cut off for whatever reason? (War, pestilence… etc.) Of course the same case can be made in spades for the energy-intense nature of modern farming. Ditto its water needs.

      To my mind the apotheosis of this is captured in the notion of “financial engineering.”

      The term is an obscenity. Engineering is about building resilience into the built world. Financial engineering is about doing the opposite: seeing how many investors you can stack on a unicyclist on a tightrope while using math to prove that dental floss is sufficient to bear the weight and that high winds are unlikely 40 stories up.

      Jen’s point about banking is spot on. Credit should be viewed as a public utility and be entirely fire-walled off from speculative activities. (As famed trader Nicholas Taleb insists.) Beyond that the business of handling the massive amount of tax related transactions and funds should be handled and managed – very conservatively – in the manner of the Bank of North Dakota, a huge success story in a pretty dismal landscape. This is a publicly owned bank that has been chartered by its state to handle all of the state’s business thus capturing all the value of the scale of the collective economy and it’s tax receipts to democratic purposes such as public education, infrastructure etc.

      I’m not dogmatic about any of this. I’m actually fine with the system in Canada where banks are privately held but chartered and very tightly regulated (at least in comparison to many other jurisdictions.) Basically in Canada bankers are overpaid civil servants who administer the provision of credit under supervision of regulators. If it generally works, who cares.

      As we all know, there are bigger problems out there.

      • Oddlots says:

        Beyond that I wish the good man luck in the dungeons of Putin’s Russia. Cruel of Putin to joke – “cherchez la femme” – about the heartless female KGB agent who obviously honey-trapped this innocent English man into this ridiculous notion of making money owning cows.

        • yalensis says:

          This is hysterical! Now I want to be a farmer!
          Seems like easy money…

          • marknesop says:

            Oh, I think most everyone would find it is very hard work indeed, and I don’t think anyone does it for the money. Maybe at the corporate level, where you don’t have to do any actual work, just management and PR. High-risk, too – some unexpected disease can come through just when things are looking good, and wipe you out.

      • Warren says:

        Market Fundamentalism is the creed of West. The problem with this creed is that it is false. The market is rigged, and its been rigged from the start. Its no coincidence the finance sector gets bailed out but not manufacturers or that low interest rates only help speculators and decimates savers. The financial sector, the big banks are not subject to the “normal” rules of capitalism. To use a worn-out yet very salient phrase “bank profits are privatised but losses are socialised”.

        What are banks private enterprises or public utilities? If they are private enterprises then they should thrive and fail like any other private enterprise, why should banks receive government protection or the public foot the bill for their failures?

        Regarding your comment on the Bank of North Dakota, and how banks can be used for the public good. Dr Michael Hudson and some other economists have advanced similar ideas through their Modern Money Theory as an alternative to the austerity policies that are being implemented across the world.

        Michael Hudson: 2,181 Italians Pack a Sports Arena to Learn Modern Monetary Theory – The Economy Doesn’t Need to Suffer Neoliberal Austerity


        Modern Money Theory and Private Banks_ on Guns & Butter


  15. Warren says:

    Putin condemns Kiev over ‘blockade’ of east Ukraine

    Russian President Vladimir Putin says Ukraine’s government is “cutting off” defiant rebel-held areas of eastern Ukraine through an economic blockade.

    He was addressing a huge Russian audience in a live televised phone-in.

    He also insisted “there are no Russian troops in Ukraine”. Moscow denies Western charges that it is directly arming and reinforcing the rebels.

    Later he said those who had ordered the murder of Boris Nemtsov – one of his leading critics – might never be found.

    Mr Nemtsov, a prominent opposition politician, was shot dead on 27 February near the Kremlin.
    Five suspects, all of them Chechens, are in custody. Mr Putin condemned the murder as “disgraceful”.


    • kirill says:

      Perhaps the BBC and the rest of the NATO lying dirtbags can put up or shut up. They claim Russian forces in Ukraine without a single shred of proof. Yes, really, not one picture or video. Not even a single plausible eyewitness account. Just proof by assertion.

      The decline in educational standards in the west is bearing fruit. The western media can feed the sheeple idiocracy (the movie) style inanity and it is swallowed.

      • Ilya says:

        The average Westerner is an imbecile so preoccupied with his or her sloth that Poroshenko waving around “passports” of “Russian officers” was as close to a slam dunk as can be managed in the world of agitprop.

        I recently had the displeasure of overhearing a cretin (i.e., a typical Canadian) fulminate against Putin’s desire to “start World War Three.”

        All is lost.

    • et Al says:

      Poor Doner* Kebabs.

      * Yes, I do mean ‘doner’ rather than ‘donner’. Hopefully an organ or two could be used to save someone on a transplant list somewhere.

    • kirill says:

      Retards going off to kill their countrymen and their closes ethnic kin for the sake of welfare bum fantasies of EU easy living and full bore fellatio of Uncle Sam. Sick.

      • Warren says:

        The people of Donbas are subhuman according to Yatsenyuk, These new recruits will be indoctrinated to hate and kill Katsaps!

      • ThatJ says:

        Very sick, indeed.

        Do not worry, our enemies in Brussels (and Washington-London) have an endless supply of people from Africa and the Middle East to replace the slaughtered Slavs (mind you, the puppet Ukranian government would rather send the last Ukrainian to death than fall under Zionist “sanctions” for being semitically incorrect, i.e. by kicking out of the country the merchants of death who give them orders).

        They sow hatred between close peoples on one hand and import millions of aliens on the other. Regarding their newest scheme, the “refugees” (opportunists who flee their continents instead of choosing a neighbouring country if they are really in danger), you are induced to feel “sorry” for their “plight” or else you are a hateful person who must be fired from your job or beaten by brainwashed “antifascists” (they are like the Ukie so-called nationalists, brainwashed by the same forces) should you voice disapproval or protest, because opposing the dispossession of your people by the aliens is hateful, though killing your close cousins means you are “fighting for the sovereignty of your proud nation”.

        The eurocretin Schulz said recently that although people in Europe do not like to see the endless tide from the south pouring through Europe’s borders and displacing the native populations, Europeans must “understand that the world is becoming more globalized and people will migrate, including to Europe”. Degrees of commonality don’t matter to internationalists, and a Guardian reader said so when an Englishman who moved to Wales complained about the tide. “But you are an immigrant, what are you complaining!”, the liberast shouted. It’s this internationalist mindset which gives the moral backbone for the neocons and their Trotskyite fellow-travelers to wage wars in other countries because the system of government and institutions of said countries are different to the neocons’ or because their internal conflicts or squabbles with neighbors are for the US to solve, since, after all, being an internationalist you should mind what goes in another distant country just as if it was happening in NYC or Los Angeles. If a system of government is right in America, then certainly it must be right in Syria, Lybia and elsewhere. This mindset is first and foremost a leftist mindset, so protesting against wars while pushing for the dispossession of your race by aliens is downright immature and won’t lead to the end of wars nor will those in your country whose posteriority you seek to take from them side with you in your quest for “justice”. Invade the world, invite the world is the natural outcome of the internationalist mindset, and this worldview, in so far as sociology and culture are concerned, is for at least a century a leftist construct.

        • kirill says:

          I agree that the mass immigration is a racket. It is designed to artificially stimulate GDP growth year in and year out. More bodies means more demand and hence more money flow but this is not really economic growth. The GDP/immigrant change as a function of time is a spike initially and then is evanescent to some much smaller level. There are negatives associated with the immigration flux. It undermines the wage structure for a start. So the middle class becomes poorer. I see no evidence that the immigrants instantly transition to preexisting standards of living and wages and in fact they do drag down the labour market. I know that this is fobbed off as the typical anti-immigrant “racism” but that is just politically motivated slander. In Canada, the immigrant waves of the late 1800s and early 1900s actually built the country and did not drag anything down. (I will omit discussion about aboriginals since that is a whole can of worms.) But the modern forced importation of immigrants (300,000 per year into Canada) is BS.

          This 300,000 all go to Toronto and Vancouver. So Toronto is progressively more congested as there is no infrastructure built to accommodate the growing population. This tells you that there is something f*cked up all by itself. One would think that as the city grows, the infrastructure would grow/renew with it. That would make economic sense and would be true if the population growth reflected real GDP growth. Instead, we have nice single family homes turned into single room apartments like some 3rd world toilet as the property prices explode. A detached two story house now averages $1,000,000. The average family income is $70,000 per year. It’s insane. All the immigrant poor (and they are by far poor with only rich Shanghai “investors” driving up property prices) cannot afford proper housing. We don’t have favelas yet. But we may in the not so distant future. Meanwhile, roads and water mains are as they were decades ago and the city waits for some breakdown to fix them. The recent surge of subway construction in the north-west of the city is an irrelevant anomaly. It’s hardly on the scale to remediate the traffic congestion and took 40 years from proposal to actual construction. (Compare to London or Paris where the stations and line extensions are added every year).

          So even without the “ethic identity” aspect, mass immigration today is a destructive racket. In my view Canada can absorb 30,000 immigrants per year. But not 300,000 per year. Anyone who point this out cannot be fobbed off as some racist. I personally could care less where they came from as long as they do not bring too much baggage (for example “honour killings” and Sharia law).

    • Kulobi says:

      Прийшла повістка на мобілізацію? Для духовної людини це не біда!
      “A draft notice arrived? That’s not a problem for a clergyman!”
      Draft dodgers in Zakarpatye and Zaporozhye, those cradles of noble Ukrainian Civilisation, can now become part of the clergy of the Slavo-Vedic Temple for a small consideration of UAH3,000 .One can be inducted and anointed immediately.
      I, for one, am quite impressed by this Slavo-Vedic thingie presided over by ‘Vedun Bogadar (Seer Gifted by God?) – the Custodian of Ancient Wisdom’. Its creed makes more sense than Porky’s state-building ideology. It’s hard not to be won over by such theological delights as the ‘Slavic-Aryan cosmogony’ or ‘Dark extraterrestrial forces’.
      Harper, Abbott and all other friends of the Ukrainian people should donate generously to the cause, as surely it’s Ukraine’s only chance:
      “If you are not indifferent to the fate of Ukraine, please, pay your attention to our message. Russian troops are intend to occupy all the territory of Ukraine. The territory of Crimea is already occupied. Ukrainian people are in depressed mood … The oppressed crisis people of Ukraine necessary to be redirect on Spiritual, Spiritual Path. That is the reason why we are building the Vedic Temple of the Ancestral Heritage in the city of Zaporozhe, Ukraine, the native land of Zaporozhian Cossacks, well-known historically as fighters for freedom of Ukrainians.”

      • marknesop says:

        It reminds me of how weaklings among the highborn of twelfth-century Japan who could not make it as Samurai were ordered to shave their heads and become monks. that, too, was a form of draft-dodging that allowed you to stay alive but not fight.

  16. BlackCatte says:

    Mark – hi.
    Just trying to let you know that OffGuardian was fatally sabotaged by one of its own admins the other day. The site is down and if we hadn’t fortuitously mirrored it a few days earlier everything would be gone.

    But some slightly good news is we have already relaunched at off-guardian.org (note the hyphen!)

    We’ve lost touch with so many of our wonderful friends and contacts through losing the site that it’s hard letting everyone know what’s going on. I hope a few people read this and spread the word!

    • kirill says:

      I hope the site gets back on track soon. The censorship is getting dirtier and dirtier.

    • kirill says:

      BTW, this example is quite relevant for Russia as well. There have been cases of sabotage in Russian rocketry and military production. There is always some dirtbag willing to sell out to the (de facto) enemy.

    • marknesop says:

      Thanks, BlackCatte – I’ll change my links. What would possess the perpetrator to do such a thing? Anything you can tell us?

      • yalensis says:

        Wow, I noticed yesterday that the site had been hacked, but I didn’t realize it was an inside job. The guy had left some rambling message about how his co-workers had done him wrong, or something like that. Thank goodness they had a mirror!
        Always have a mirror backup.

        • marknesop says:

          You don’t have a screen shot of that message, I suppose? I’m very intrigued, I’d like to know if the attacker was “gotten at” or what motivated him/her to do such a thing.

          • kirill says:

            It’s beginning to smell like some US psyop. Like that Liz Whal twat at RT. She is now participating in a pure McCarthy style witch hunt against the truly independent media. This admin must have been a plant.

            BTW, it ain’t so hard. The US was handing out cash by the billion in Iraq to buy off the locals. They can afford to pay volunteer saboteurs around the world who would target free media. The free media websites need people to run them and nothing is filtering out planted agents from applying. Perhaps they cannot guarantee success in penetration, but it is not such an impossible task to get hired.

          • yalensis says:

            No, sorry, Mark, I was just going about my business, just clicked on some link to OffGuardian piece, it wasn’t a real site any more, just a crudely-drawn cartoon and about 3 paragraphs of rambling text. Skimmed quickly, didn’t pay much attention, closed it, went on with my life.

            In retrospect, I should have realized the importance, and made a copy of the text. I can be pretty stoic and unreactive sometimes. Maybe it’s because I am a computer programmer myself and I have seen some doozies in my time, so nothing surprises me any more. I’m just, like, “Ho hum…”
            Sorry again for being such a dim bulb.

            The only thing I remember is the text was some kind of disgruntled-employee type rant, included some accusations against his co-workers. Something like they were all a bunch of liars except for one of them; they disgraced the sacred name of “Off Guardian” by lying about something; they did him wrong somehow so he decided to tear down the site; blah blah blah…

            I am pretty sure that SOMEBODY out there has a screenshot of the rant. Somebody?

    • Oddlots says:

      Big fan of what you are doing. As big momma said, “Don’t let ’em make ya mean.”

    • Moscow Exile says:

      I deleted the old link that I had to offguardian and saved the new site link in my bookmarks, but each time I try to enter off-guardian, I get a login instruction from WordPress and which does not respond. So I go to off-guardian again in search, find it, open it, bookmark it again; when I return I get the WordPress login and password request again.

        • marknesop says:

          My laptop had to chew on it for a while the way it does when it’s loading up Twitter, but I got in OK too – looks like a hot story there by Eric Zuesse on Odessan unrest. Thanks very much for that, I’ll update the link now.

      • marknesop says:

        Yes, I’m waiting until the site is stabilized before I update my link. I haven’t tried to get on it since I was told it went down. Too bad, because it had some great content, but I’m sure they will get it squared away in a couple of days. At worst they can just start all over. I hope the dick who wrecked it is a hero in his/her little crackpot circle.

  17. Pavlo Svolochenko says:


    Buzina’s last interview. The interviewers come across as a brace of idiot primitives.

    • yalensis says:

      Wow! After reading this, it is pretty clear why Buzina was whacked 3 days later.
      One is not allowed to be so outspoken in a totalitarian fascist society; he practically signed his own death warrant.
      Here is the video of the interview, there are English subtitles:

    • marknesop says:

      “…But due to political events, and the pro-Western course which was chosen by Ukraine after the Maidan coup … Lets call a spade a spade, a state coup took place in Ukraine. After that it was legalized, made it look acceptable. Yanukovich ran away, there is a huge blame on Yanukovich for this coup, who didn’t fulfill his presidential duties, he made a huge number of political mistakes, made promises, made deals with everyone. As a result of the coup the new political clan came to power, which chose a pro-Western course. Immediately all cooperation with Russian Federation in the spheres of ship building, aircraft building, machine building – everywhere where we had very strong position went down the drain. Immediately unemployment shot up, people are left with no money, what to do for them is not clear, because all manufacturing was destroyed. All Maidan’s promises turned out to be lies. Let’s call it what it is. Because the West will not purchase Ukrainian engines, Ukrainian gas turbines, Ukrainian airplanes, the West has their own. On Maidan the entire Ukraine was taken for a ride, including the heavenly hundred, which was slain for nothing.”

      That was his death warrant right there, and I could weep for him now for telling the truth like that, except it would be cynical because I never heard of him before today. What courage. What a loss for Ukraine, which is sliding into a swamp of filth without people like him and a climate which can tolerate their opinions.

      That raises an interesting point, though – what is Russia doing to replace aircraft parts and engines built in Ukraine which are currently embargoed? If it has already taken steps to develop that sector domestically so that it no longer will need Ukrainian imports once the situation stabilizes, Ukraine is toast even after this is over. When it is no longer a transit country for Russian gas and with all its heavy industry paralyzed or embargoed, it will be a huge ghost town whose inhabitants have all left for the possibility of making a living somewhere else. What will be Brusssels’ explanation for that situation?

      • kirill says:

        There have been regular announcements that Ukrainian parts are being replaced. Some will take longer than others like the ship turbines and helicopter engines but there has been a slew of replacements already. Ukraine’s production was in a lot of Russian military equipment, including the Project 636.3 submarines being built. For Ukraine this is a disaster, for Russia it is a bump in the road.

        If my belief that 50% of Ukrainians are not Bandera worshipers is correct and it is likely to be so, especially considering the fact that they are in the south and east and worked in companies making goods for the Russian market, I expect Ukraine to split in the near future. I really do not see these people turning into 4th world starving serfs for the Banderatards.

        • et Al says:

          I’ve read that though the parts came from the Ukraine (like the exceedingly numerous engines for helicopters), these companies often bought components from Russian manufacturers. Not quite as bad as it seems then.

        • ThatJ says:

          I don’t think the southeast will split by taking up arms on their own. If Russia intervenes, however, the majority in these regions will jump with joy.

          One thing is certain: the longer Russia does not intervene***, the worse the standard of living becomes, the more incompetent the government looks. For all we know, this could be Russia’s plan: wait until the population is tired of incompetence, tyranny, poverty and idiotic excuses, and then intervene. Of course the intervention should follow another aggression by Kiev, which will inevitably come. Russia didn’t intervene right after the coup for obvious reasons, if you consider this scenario. The junta will continue to attack the Donbass regardless of how many Minsk agreements are reached. This is what frustates the Zionists. Russia didn’t initiate the aggression. She’s patiently waiting the pessimism and hatred of the new authorities by the population grow. The aggressor has shown its face, and it was not Russia.

          I am afraid of one thing: if Russia does nothing, the young population in these regions will be brainwashed to hate Russians — but only Russians, Brussels, Washington and London will make sure they love everyone else, especially if they are of the right kind of “oppressed” people. Give it two decades and you’ll see.

          *** I’m speaking in the scale of months, up to three years at most, for the reason mentioned in the above paragraph.

          • kirill says:

            Unfortunately the generation born after 1990s and even after 1980 is highly brainwashed. That is why Bandera is treated as some national hero by people that have no stake in the Galician agenda. These people have clearly been confused. I think it is clear now that Russia is waiting for the Kiev regime to fail and that is essentially assured by the collapse in Ukraine’s economy. The interesting thing is that Washington and its minions know that Ukraine’s economy will collapse and are not willing to risk any substantial money to prop up their puppet regime. They were planning on Russia invading and then having to deal with a blowback and be trapped in a forced welfare situation (i.e. propping up some installed government with dozens of billions of dollars in aid every year). Instead Russia gave everyone the middle finger and now NATO has to sit and watch as Kiev sinks.

            • marknesop says:

              Agreed – NATO is increasingly desperate to draw Russia in by some means, either to fight in Ukraine or to finance its rebirth, and all Russia needs to do is sit tight and keep the market door closed. Ukraine’s collapse is not inevitable, but the only thing that will save it is a massive infusion of western cash, and the west knows well that next year same time, another massive infusion of western cash, because it has no means of livelihood without the ability to sell to Russia. If the Russians will not attack, prompting a massive NATO response, or open their markets to Ukrainian goods, allowing Ukraine to reach something like prosperity, Ukraine is sunk. Jaresko can restructure all she likes; you can only call unpayable debt by so many different names before it stops confusing people.

    • kirill says:

      Thanks for posting. Not bad at all.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      Really pisses me off this негр [negr] thing. It’s the Russian language and it means ‘negro” and it’s not offensive and even if it were, it’s nothing to do with you who use extremely offensive expressions such as “motherfucker” in your normal course of speech, so why don’t you fuck off out of here and mind your own motherfucking business: we don’t need your retard comments about our society, you who believe that one has the right to offend (freedom of speech Charlie Hebdo style) but at the same time the right not to be offended (Canadian Banderite diaspora/TSO style as regards Ukrainian-born pianist Valentina Lisitsa).

      And another thing: Russians do smile and when they do so, they mean it: they do not walk round with a fixed, meaningless, hypocritical “have-a-nice-day-I-love-you-all-and-want-to be-your-friend” smile that the Russians label “мериканский улыбка ” [American smile].

      Oh, and by the way, I see негры in Moscow every day during my wanderings: nobody mocks, them, spits at them, beats them. Many black people in Moscow are African students who do part-time jobs handing out fliers at metro stations. Next door to my house is a night club full of them: they are Cuban dancers in the club “Old Havana”. Nice place as well.

      The black Cubans go shopping at my local supermarket. The local natives are not shocked by their appearance.

      • Moscow Exile says:

        Typo above: should read американская улыбка.

        In a rush – late for work!

      • kirill says:

        I was going to comment on the liberast themes being peddled, but really the guy deserves credit for watering them down to nothing. So the videos are just nice visual entertainment and not some propaganda screw in the head.

        People should watch this and think how much freedom western media really has if they have to insert these tropes in every hole.

      • Warren says:

        So “negr” means black in Russian, then in that context it is no offensive. However some Russians on the programme, and I am thinking about the two blokes who were being recorded or left their microphones on by accident, were deliberately being offensive and racist by their use of the word “nigger”.

        Yes, there are many African students in Russia, this goes back to the 50s and 60s, when the USSR invited many African, Asian and Middle Eastern young people to study in Moscow and other USSR cities. The apotheosis of this was the Patrice Lumumba University/People’s Friendship University.

        However unfortunately there have been cases of violence and murder against African, Asian and Middle Eatsern students in Russia, something the West gleefully publicises and has the potential of damaging Russia’s reputation and interests in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

        • kirill says:

          It’s at the hands of the Hitler loving skinheads. I class these vermin as sycophants of the west. They are of the same subspecies as the Banderites. Navalny is one of them, a fake Russian “nationalist” eager to suck Uncle Sam’s rotten cock. That is what those foaming at the mouth Banderatards do as well.

        • Moscow Exile says:

          The Russian adjective “chyorny” [чёрный] means “black” in Russian: “negr” [негр] is a noun and means “negro”: the word is neither racist nor offensive. But because it sounds like “nigger” to English speakers’ ears, interfering US busybodies who think everyone should think American hold their hands up in horror.

          There are other words in English and Russian that sound offensive to Russians or, as the case may be, to English speakers, but no one makes a song and dance about them, e.g. “yob” in English means “fucked” in Russian; “fart [фарт]” in Russian (criminal/youth slang) means “good luck, lucky break, lucky achievement” in English (it’s a corruption of “fortuna“)

          That is not to say, of course, that there are no offensive, racist words in Russian to describe Sub-Saharan negroes and Afro-Americans and their descendants, but interfering citizens of the “Exceptional Nation” cannot make a song and dance about their use (not that the usage of such words in Russia is any of their business) because they, the US busybodies, cannot recognize them, yet in their uneducated minds they think that when they hear “negr” spoken by a Russian speaker, they hear “nigger” in English.

          The word chernomazy [черномазый], which literally means “black-smeared”, is a Russian cognate for “nigger”: it is bloody rude and meant to be; likewise “khach” [хач], which is a cognate of the British English “wog“.

          I had a dog called nigger when I was a boy. He was really smart – a border collie. I never thought I was insulting anyone in the 1950s whenever I shouted to him: “Nigger! Come here boy!”

          Were I to shout that out in an English street now, albeit to a dog that I own and care for, I should be arrested.

      • ThatJ says:

        The problem is that like horses, nations are bred to win. You need to first and foremost invest in human capital, and I am afraid that these people becoming all “too common” is bad for Russia.



        The Concept of Heredity in the History of Western Culture, Part I

        … Plato’s interest in eugenics is well known, and he praises the Spartan interest in eugenic breeding (Laws, 630). Aristotle is equally impressed by the need to breed good stock. Theognis of Megara constantly praises the importance of heredity, complaining that well-born men and women will sometimes take inferior marriage partners in pursuit of riches, laments that “We seek well-bred rams and sheep and horses and one wishes to breed from these … [but] men revere money, and the good marry the evil, and the evil the good. Wealth has confounded race.” (Theognis, V. 183). Racial purity was linked to physical appearance, with Spartan women being renowned for their beauty; and character was seen as inherited along with personal features: “Thou art pleasing to look upon and thy character is like to thy form” (Stobaeus, lxxxviii, 71). In Greek literature the importance of heredity is repeated again and again: “Noble children are born from noble sires, the base are like in nature their father” (Alcmeaon, Fr. 7); “I bid all mortals beget well-born children from noble sires” (Heraclitus, 7);”If one were to yoke good with bad, no good offspring would be born, but if both parents are good, they will bear noble children” (Meleager, Fr. 9).

        The early Romans similarly held lineage in great respect and enforced a system of connubium, whereby freeborn Romans could only marry into certain approved stocks. However, the Romans were relatively few in number and, when their unparalleled military and administrative ability converted the Roman empire into a fully multi- ethnic community of enormous size, the circumstances became ripe for the rise of egalitarian political ideologies. Rome, the “multicultural giant,” disappeared before the onslaught of the smaller, more homogeneous, Germanic nations, which still retained a sense of group identity.

        The Germanic peoples (the Germans, Dutch, Flemings, Anglo- Saxons, Franks, Lombards, Scandinavians, Goths, Burgundians and Vandals) who founded so many of the modern states of Europe following the demise of the Roman Empire, carried the concept of heredity to its logical conclusion in their virtually unique system of kinship. Unlike their kinsmen, the Greeks, Italics, Celts, Slavs, and East Balts, they did not organize themselves in patrilineal clans and phratries which recognized only their father’s kinfolk, but saw kinship in fully genetic terms. The Germanic “kindred” comprised all the individual’s relatives on both the paternal and the maternal sides, assessing the degree of closeness according to the closeness of their actual genetic relationship; this was a quite different system from the concept of patrilineal or matrilineal clans so widespread amongst other peoples of the world. This Germanic kindred was the subject of the exhaustive study Kindred and Clan in the Middle Ages and After (Phillpotts, 1917). To this day most North Americans of European descent have come to accept the Germanic tradition, where kinship is determined by the closeness of genetic relationship, whether the relatives be on the maternal or paternal side, as distinct from patrilineal and matrilineal clan systems. In ancient Scandinavia the belief in inherited talents was reflected in the concept of hamingja, an inherited “luck” force. However, it was recognized that siblings inherited qualities in different patterns, and kings who were “unlucky,” and under whose leadership things went badly, were readily replaced by more competent individuals from the same royal lineage that had already produced generations of distinguished and successful leaders. The belief in breeding and the intergenerational transmission of genetic qualities was overriding, or as the old Germanic folk dictum expressed it, one could not make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear!


        The coming of Christianity plunged classical philosophy into centuries of near-oblivion and clashed with the established and ancient European belief in the inequality of men. Spreading first among the slaves and lowest classes of the Roman empire, Christianity came to teach that all men were equal in the eyes of a universal Creator God, an idea that was totally alien to older European thought which had recognized a hierarchy of competence among men and even among the gods. Opposing the traditions of classical philosophy and scientific enquiry, Christianity introduced the concept of a single, omnipotent “God of History” who controlled all the phenomena of the universe with men and women being creations of that God. Since all men and women were the “children of God,” all were equal before their Divine Maker! Faith in the church’s interpretation of supposedly prophetic revelations became more important than scientific or philosophical enquiry; and to question the church’s view of reality came to be perceived as sinful.


        By the way, “negro” is also not offensive in the Latin-derived languages. “Black” on the other hand is considered offensive. Weird, no?

        • Moscow Exile says:

          When, early in the 5th century, the Germanic tribes – the Angles (from present day Schleswig-Holstein in Northern Germany), the Saxons (from present day Niedersachsen in Northern Germany), the Jutes (from present day Jutland in Denmark) and the Frisians (from present day Norther German and Dutch Friesland) – began to settle in large numbers along the east coast of the abandoned by the Roman Empire former imperial province of Britannia, they soon began to recognize their commonality (they could understand each others’ dialects and had the same gods and traditions) and began to call themselves “Angelcynn” (pronounced “an-gel-kin” with a hard “g” and meaning “the kin of the Angles”), that term later being replaced in Old English by the term “Ænglisc” [“English” in Modern English spelling] after the original seven Old English kingdoms had become unified.

          Werian se Angelcynn

          We are the English Kin

          • Moscow Exile says:

            Cue the Brythonic Celt whose land my forefathers stole!

            Over to you <colliemum!


          • colliemum says:

            Very nice cartoon – from which we can see that the White Dragon of the Angelcynn never beat the Red Dragon of the Cymru, and it’s still unsuccessfully clawing at the border, with the Land of the Cymru now vanished into the magical Celtic mist …


            (For those unacquainted with the map of the British Isles: Wales in’t on that map in the cartoon, LOL!)

            • Moscow Exile says:

              Nor is Scotland on the map.

              It’s a wyvern pictured fluttering over England: a Wessex (West Saxon) Wyvern, a two-legged dragon as it were. The picture is wrong, really, because it is a four-legged dragon that is shown.

              Below are displayed heraldic Wyverns supporting the arms of John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough:

              The rascal on the map above appears to be scratching around Chester in England with a view to biting off Flintshire, which is off the map in North Wales.

        • yalensis says:

          Oi, here we go again.

          From Ukraine and Putin to eugenics in one single leap and bound.
          I’m disappointed in you, ThatJ, I thought you were going to ease us into the white-supremacist ideology this time around.
          But no…
          It’s slam-bam-thank you ma’am.

          Speaking of eugenics,..
          We had some philosophical discussions here recently about the fundamental differences between Nazism and Communism. Recently I read the best description ever of what Naziism is:
          Basically “Eugenicists with Guns”.
          (and gas chambers)

    • gencha says:

      To me as a Russian, these videos are depressing – the guy comes here and yet his takeaway is basically the same nonsense they are fed at home, which seems to be courtesy of his Russian guides, all of whom appear to be the so called creative class. I think he would have gotten a better picture of what life in Russia is like for the majority of regular people if he talked more to the guy who fixed the video arcade machines in the first video or to the men in the café at the beginning of the second clip.
      The “f*ck you, pay me” bit is just great. I wonder what illegal workers in the US have to say to that. The one about paying homage to workers and not paying them enough money – well, paying the working class what they deserved and celebrating them was kind of the whole idea behind the Soviet Union and yet the West hated it so much and keeps on hating.
      On the matter of food: shashliki is modern Russian food? I laughed. And most importantly, закусывайте, когда пьете в России (eat when drinking in Russia)!

      • Moscow Exile says:

        Shashlyk is light years better than that McDonald’s crap, and kvas makes Coca-Cola taste like the sugar enriched rat’s piss it is. Furthermore, both shashlyk and kvas are far, far healthier than that crappy US fast food and carbonated sugar solution.

        And vodka is “better” than whiskey!


        • gencha says:

          My problem with shashlyk was about it being called “modern” food because, apart from being as old as it can get – fried meat, come on! – barbecue picnics like they show it in the video have been popular here for at least 30-40 years. True about kvas, also great are морс (my personal favorite, made of cranberries and other berries, btw what’s the best word for it in English?) and kompot!

          • marknesop says:

            I love those, too; my Mother-in-Law makes морс from blackberries here, and it is both refreshing and delicious. She used to make it with a berry similar to the mulberry, which grew on bushes in her dacha garden in Dalnegorsk, but we could not get them to grow here and have not been able to find them, she said they were called “zhimalis”. And then the squeezed berries were used in kompot. Delicious.

            • Moscow Exile says:


              These sweet berries were first mentioned when the Kamchatka Peninsula was opened up in the late 17th century. Cultivation of them in gardens began in the 19th century and at the beginning of the 20th century they began to appear in gardens in the Vladivostok region. The berry bearing plant is a type of honeysuckle.

              • Moscow Exile says:

                This is what our garden is full of and Mrs. Exile makes loads of juice and varen’ye from them:


                Blueberries (черники) – delicious!

                And loads of these as well in the garden:

                Cranberries – клюква.

                It’s a proper little paradise is my country estate – but we’re not free!

                And we live in fear.



              • Moscow Exile says:

                This is exactly the same way and with the same, standard Soviet sokovar (соковар – juice-maker) that Mrs. Exile slaves away over in our dacha kitchen in August making our fruit juices, which re then sealed in 2-litre jars and brought back to Moscow:

                • Moscow Exile says:

                  Соковарка that should have been – literally “juice cooker”.

                • james says:

                  that’s interesting. i haven’t seen one of those before and i like how it works..

                • Moscow Exile says:

                  As a matter of fact, greedy pig that I am, I often have Mrs. Exile not chuck away the rendered down berries after all their juice has been drawn off from the juice-maker: I eat the berry mash after adding great dollops of smetana (sour cream – sort of) to them..

                  “Waste not, want not” as they say.

                • colliemum says:

                  I bet you also scrounge some of the things she’s just trying to bottle or put into cans, aren’t you!
                  (Don’t worry, my late husband was exactly the same …!)

              • marknesop says:

                Yup, that’s them. Is there a western name for them? I’d love to get a couple of bushes and get them started here; we got so much enjoyment from them when they were in season. Dalnegorsk is very hot and humid in summer, +30 is not unusual, and after coming back from a visit to the beach a cold glass of mopc was pure enjoyment. The bushes yield a lot of berries, and in season there are new ripe ones every day.

                Blueberries are the same as we have here; I have a variety that I just put in this year called Pink Lemonade Blueberries, we will have to see how they turn out. I tried blueberry bushes at our old place but the deer ate them right down to ground level. At the time we lived on the fringe of a large park called Thetis Lake, but even here in a built-up residential area the deer think nothing of eating right out of your front yard, they’re very bold. This isn’t my house, it’s in Oak Bay, but that’s only a couple of kilometers from here.

                The red ones you call cranberries would be red currants here. Cranberries as we know them grow on very low bushes, maybe shin height, and are almost inedible (not sweet at all) unless dried or cooked. They grow in boggy, acidic ground, and you can see the ones in the picture are growing in water and partially submerged. I eat them daily (on weekdays), dried, in my oatmeal, but they are otherwise consumed mostly as an accompaniment to roast turkey, therefore at Christmas and Thanksgiving.

                • Moscow Exile says:

                  The machine translator calls them “honeysuckle berries”.

                  The plant is classed as “edible” rather than “ornamental” honeysuckle:

                  The genus honeysuckle (Lonicera L.) received its name in honour of German botanist Adam Lonicer and belongs to the family Caprifoliaceae juss. In nature there are over 200 species of honeysuckle that apply to ornamental and edible species.

                  Found it!

                  From the Royal Horticultural Society, no less:

                  Honeyberry or Blue Honeysuckle or Edible Honeysuckle.

                • colliemum says:

                  I must get one of those: they’re just right for my little back garden (hand towel size). They’d be nicely out of reach of dog paws charging across anything in the way to attack a feline intruder.

          • kat kan says:

            Skewers are THE oldest cooking tool for meats. How else would you hold small pieces over an open fire? (they didn’t catch a mammoth every day). A bigger piece might get the outsides eaten off and the raw inner parts returned for more cooking (think mini roasting spit). Things that fall apart when cooked (fish, vegetables) got wrapped in leaves and buried in embers. Slurries or mushes get solidified on hot stones (“bread”). Gourds, usually used for carrying water, can also be used for foods that exude tasty juices.

            • Moscow Exile says:

              My apologies!

              Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa!

              Those berries that I called cranberries above are not cranberries at all!

              They are red currants, or красная смородина (krasnaya smorodina) in Russian.

              Just planted! We have several much larger bushes of them at the dacha.

              The cranberries here are similar to those in North America.

              You can buy these berries frozen at supermarkets here:

  18. ucgsblog says:

    Excellent article Mark! Just a couple of things that I’d like to add. First – a weak currency isn’t bad for a strong country. The US wishes that the dollar was weaker. Because of the strong dollar, the Fed cannot raise the rates, and as thus, cannot have any risky investment. This slows down the potential economic growth, as the US becomes a riskier investment overall, because of a strong currency.

    A weak currency is terrible for Ukraine. For Russia, a country that has a strong and educated populace, a lot of natural resources and the backing of the BRICS Bank, the weak currency is a boon. That said, Russia badly needs improvement in the education sphere through more funding, especially through raising teacher salaries and building more teacher training universities.

    Anyways, going back to the currency thingy, because the Ruble has been a boon, it, ironically, began to perform as a better currency, via a market adjustment. This in turn made the Ruble stronger, putting it at roughly a mid range currency, which, incidentally, is a boon for investors. By dropping the Ruble to trade at 80, those who did it provided a shock to the Russian economy, one which the economy absorbed.

    As if this wasn’t enough, the steel mills are booming, and yes, the Ruble won’t always be a boon, but they don’t need the Ruble to be a permanent boon; by weakening the lending capabilities of Russia’s banks, the West forced the steel mills, (and other industries, I’m just using steel mills as an example,) to pay for most of their expansions with their new found income, meaning that they won’t have the initial costs that they’ve had this year, thus making them more competitive and improving Russia’s economy. I’m just looking at my “Putin’s Useful Idiots” article, and grinning, while the rest of you are going “where’s part II UCG, where is it?!”

    Anyways, these are just additions to a very well written article! And I got published by Russian Insider, yay! (http://timberexec.co.uk/1-5-million-reasons-its-right-for-crimea-to-be-unified-with-russia/)

    • kat kan says:

      RI has a link top right where you can submit articles for publication.

    • marknesop says:

      Thanks, UCG!!Yes, I know a weak currency in certain circumstances is advantageous to a country with a strong economy, as it makes its products more affordable – the Canadian government gets anxious whenever the Canadian dollar gets close to par with the U.S. dollar (and occasionally rises above it for short periods) because it makes American projects here such as moviemaking more expensive and less competitive. The Canadian government likes to keep our currency about 10 cents on the dollar less than the greenback. That gives us enough wiggle room to raise the interest rate, although the Bank of Canada shows no inclination to do so in the short term.

      However, what I meant was that the egregious Barack Obama swaggered and beat his chest over what a strong dollar the USA has in contrast to the puny ruble, which could be destroyed – or so went the theory – with a wave of his hand. Neither the strong dollar or low oil prices have been good for America, but both were touted in the not-too-distant past as visible signs that America is still the big pole that holds up the circus tent.

      I sent your article to Russia Insider, and they asked for your contact address, which I gave them, I hope that’s all right. Hopefully they will pick up future articles as well, because you write from a different perspective than I do – I’m not a research analyst – and a broad sampling of opinion from different viewpoints always makes a news source a great read. It also causes me to view events about which I have written in a different context, and a fresh look from someone else often lets me see things I missed. Jen and Fern often make me feel like the village idiot with straw in my hair, in their ability to make connections I didn’t see.

      • ucgsblog says:

        Thank you for the RI submission, and yeah, it’s cool 😀

        Another thing is that everyone sees different connections, so don’t be too embarrassed – you’ve attracted Jen’s and Fern’s awesome posting to this blog for all of us to enjoy!

        You summary of why a weak currency’s good for Russia was beautiful. Speaking of that, numerous foreign banks are now asking Russia to start buying the dollar again, (what happened to all the talk about Russia running out of currency?) but the Russians are looking to buy something else, I’m guessing the Yuan. For all the bleating of the so-called “Russia experts”, (btw, loved your paragraph on those,) the economy didn’t collapse, and unlike the current forecast at -2.8%, I’m forecasting a 0.5% growth. Why so low? First year of starting up a new economic model isn’t going to lead to instant returns. Growth is the key.

        America’s leadership needs to focus on America, not on things that are going on abroad. Obamacare has been hijacked by the Healthcare Lobby, (say goodbye to 10% of our GDP,) college tuition is hitting unbearable levels, illegal immigration is a ticking time bomb of social services disaster, and yet, we’re told to ignore all those things by the MSM, and focus on Putin sucking when he’s rocking? Speaking of that: http://www.salon.com/2015/04/16/the_new_york_times_basically_rewrites_whatever_the_kiev_authorities_say_stephen_f_cohen_on_the_u_s_russiaukraine_history_the_media_wont_tell_you/

  19. Kulobi says:

    Hi Mark,
    “Careful marketing will net some companies, probably Asian, a powerful and dominant market share of the modest-income midsize market…but I doubt very much they will be American or British” – prophetic words, and there’s some evidence of this happening already.
    Chery, the Chinese brand, has suffered from plummeting sales in Russia in recent months, but its coping strategy is to increase the local content in its cars (assembled in Cherkessk of all places!) and diversify the line of models.
    Chery plans to weather the storm and even subsidise the Russian operation for the sake of keeping and increasing its share in this ‘priority overseas market’.

    • marknesop says:

      Thanks for that; it’s very interesting, and I did not look for signs of it so soon. No doubt some European products will be allowed to return to Russian markets, but I think the bloom is well off the “partnership” rose for a long time. European products positioned for market dominance in Russia will be a novelty indeed in the years to come. And it is only right that loyalty be rewarded and disloyalty punished.

    • et Al says:

      I saw news that Hyundai are doing very well this year in Russia.

  20. kirill says:


    The US empire is targeting the internet. Looks like people really are being turned off from all the BS propaganda spread by the US government approved mass media. Mark, you are one of those conspiracy cult, Russian troll, blogger threat to American freedumbs. They will come for you in the form of regulations. You will soon need a license to spread news analysis. The sheep are being confused and need help 😦

    • marknesop says:

      Dear God; “threatening to undermine global institutions”. Like what? Like the UN? Not enough that the USA engineers who leads the UN, and managed to get a compliant invertebrate like Ban-Ki Loon appointed so that the west’s support for Kiev’s murderous trampling of international law passes without remark? Global institutions that still command broad respect are few and far between these days.

      It says a great deal that partisan loopy-doos like Liz Wahl, Peter Pomerantsev, Eliot Higgins and Michael Weiss enjoy such high credibility among the American political establishment. They must be afraid that their own electorates are no longer listening. Paradigm shift approaching.

  21. kirill says:

    I expected NATO intelligence agencies to arrange for further assassinations of Russian opposition journalists and politicians. But instead they are staging them in Ukraine and blaming Russia. It is easier to stage them in Ukraine since, in my view, Putin has restored the functionality of Russian intelligence agencies and they are likely shutting down foreign psyops in Russia. Carrying out political murders in Ukraine is easy and it feeds the western hate propaganda machine just as well. In fact, it’s an added bonus since dead Russians are of no concern to the west. But “we are all Ukrainians now” in NATO so there is more of an emotional response potential.

  22. ucgsblog says:

    Putin is popular because he doesn’t listen to those who don’t have Russia’s best interest at heart: http://www.businessinsider.com/why-putin-is-worlds-most-influential-figure-2015-4

    [Obligatory Putin bashing, blah, blah, blah…] Russian President Vladimir Putin remains one of the most powerful leaders in the world and TIME’s 100 most influential figure. Ian Bremmer, president of political-risk consultancy Eurasia Group, explains the world’s fascination with the unpredictable president for Time 100. “No leader arouses more fascination around the world, because his actions speak a language of defiance that so many of his people want to hear, lifting him to levels of popularity that other leaders can only envy,” Bremmer writes. “‘Behave or else,’ say leaders of the world’s most powerful countries, and Vladimir Putin continues to choose ‘else,'” Bremmer explains of the world’s fascination for Putin (emphasis added). Putin’s indisputable top spot in the annual TIME 100 reader’s poll outpaces fellow political figures like President Obama, Hillary Clinton, Angela Merkel, and China’s Xi Jinping. The five most influential figures after Putin were all entertainers.

    Putin does what he believes is best for Russia, and that’s why he’s popular in some many countries, and that’s why he’s so influential. Bremmer finally admits it. Also, placing the Putin bashing at the top is good, because the start of the article’s usually regarded as attention-grabbing fluff.

  23. james says:

    thanks for the article mark.. i saw brian adams at the commodore ballroom before he was very well known.. same deal zztop and a number of other groups that went on to much bigger success and venues.. don’t know if you are swinging by hermanns tomorrow or saturday, but i will be there.. i have been busy sidetracked with other stuff the past few days..

    • marknesop says:

      I hope to be able to drop by with your soldier prize – what time do you expect to be there?

      • james says:

        today i will be their by 6pm.. tomorrow not sure.. maybe closer to 7 on saturday..

        • marknesop says:

          All right; I’ll try to do it, although it is a very hectic weekend. Tonight is movie night at the school for our daughter, and Saturday night we are going out with my Mom for my wife’s birthday, but if I can’t get down when you are there I will leave it with the management for you. Hope to see you, though.

          • james says:

            mark – alternatively – leave it at the door with the door person, down the hallway, or come by after the show – 11pm or thereabouts.. thanks..

          • james says:

            mark! great connecting with you and your wife earlier tonight.. that was very sweet of you to come and stay and i hope you enjoyed what you were able to stay for. thank you for the soldier from russia.. that is very cool..seeing you and wife was very nice.. hopefully you will make a trip up island at some point – cheers james

            • marknesop says:

              Thanks, James! The missus and I repaired to Hermann’s Jazz Club, where we enjoyed some fine classic New Orleans jazz and updated modern standards from the NOLA Nighthawks, one of the bands James plays with; that’s James front row right, holding the drumsticks. James, we go to Parksville most every summer for a week or so, and will let you know when we’re coming through so we can maybe meet up for lunch or something. James did end up taking the Berkut riot police, so that’s numbers 10 and 11 gone from the list.

  24. et Al says:

    Flight Global: Irkut receives first groundbreaking structures for MC-21


    …Irkut selected an out-of-autoclave manufacturing process to cure the epoxy resin for both structures. Although such vacuum-assisted resin transfer infusion processes have become common in very small aircraft, it is the first time a manufacturer has attempted to avoid autoclave curing for primary structure of a large, passenger-carrying aircraft intended to receive civil certification.

    The out-of-autoclave process is expected to dramatically reduce manufacturing costs compared to an autoclave-curing process. The lightweight composite material also is expected to improve fuel efficiency by reducing the weight of the airframe and allowing designers to craft a more advanced wing with a higher aspect ratio than permitted by metallic structures….

    …After entering service, Russian officials have said the aircraft will be rebranded as the Yak-242.”

    Remember President Obama of the United States said Russia “doesn’t make anything”.

  25. yalensis says:

    Continuing on with the theme of targeted political assassinations in Ukraine.
    Let us revisit the Avakov-Gerashchenko website Mirotvorets which encourages Ukrainians to anonymously denounce anybody they know who might be a “terrorist” or “separatist”. Recall that both the most recent political assassinations (Kalashnikov and Buzina) had their personal data, including home address, appear on this site. Somebody had denounced them, their photos, names and addresses appeared on the website; and then – boom! they were shot dead right in front of their respective homes.

    Gerashchenko announced the site with great fanfare
    here , back in early January.

    Christmas gifts. Or, Every Creature gets what he deserves. [authors: Gerashchenko and Avakov]

    Several weeks ago I presented a project for the collection of data on terrorists and separatists, this collection would be done by a group of similarly-thinking people who want to assist the MVD (Ministry of Internal Affairs) and SBU [yalensis: State Security Apparatus, successor to Ukrainian KGB].


    As of 7 January the site has collected and compiled information on 9,000 terrorists and their helpers. And this is just the start.

    With the help of information collected on this site, (several) blockposts leading out of the ATO [Anti-Terrorist Operation] zone were able to capture around 150 terrorists and their helpers; these terrorists blithely assumed that their works were not known to anyone
    Bandits and terrorists logged on to the site and learned, with dismay, that all their innocent-seeming selfies, posing with automatic rifles and rocket launchers, have been collected and compiled by the careful efforts of volunteers; and their boasts have been recorded for all time and will be used against them.

    One should mention, that some of the most active supporters of the site have been the thinking citizens of Russia; they have been dispatching to the site’s email address information about Russian terrorist hirelings and Russian soldiers; they found this information on Russian social media and forums.

    Thanks to this help from Russian Friends of Ukraine, we now have at our disposal lists of entire units of Russian armed forces, who have invaded the territory of Ukraine without declaration of war, and are killng our citizens.

    These lists will form evidence of the waging of aggressive war by Putin, at the future international tribunal, when it is convened to judge Russia’s crimes in Ukraine.

    Thanks to the active support of the idea of collecting openly available information about bandits and terrorists, we have learned, that just in the past month, in the social media world around 30% of the people who earlier expressed support for the idea of “NovoRossiya”, have either closed their accounts, or now claim to be “innocent lambs”.

    No doubt they were scared off by the idea that, sooner or later, they will have to bear criminal responsibility for their actions, or become “personae non grata” in the civilized world.

    Another interesting aspect about the “Mirotvorets” site, is that the bandits and terrorists, finding their names on the site, start to think about what might happen to them in the not-too distant future, that is, if they still remain alive, not following into Hell after “Batman” [yalensis: separatist leader] and his group of comrades, who were ambushed and killed by their own kind in LPR.

    After the shooting of “Batman” and his group, the SBU hotline lit up, dozens of militants calling to ask, if they could be granted amnesty, if they were to voluntarily go over to the Ukrainian side.


    [More bluster and blather, and then, like everything in official Ukraine, the piece ends with an appeal for money]:

    Поэтому просьба для всех кто проникся идеей создания нашего Украинского центра фиксации и поиска российско-нацистских преступников – прошу помогать и материально, перечисляя деньги на карту Приватбанка (куда же нам без главного жидобандеровского банка?) номер 5168-7423-3652-6615

    And therefore we end with an appeal to all who are imbued with the idea of creating our own Ukrainian center of identifying and hunting down Russian-Nazi collaborators [yalensis: in previous paragraph he actually had the gall to compare himself to Simon Wiesenthal hunting Nazis!] – I appeal to you to assist in the material sense as well, sending your money via the bank card of PrivatBank – what would we do without this main Zhido-Banderite bank? – [phone number to call Kolomoisky’s bank to transfer $$$$]

    • yalensis says:

      P.S. – the first set of comments appearing to Gerashchenko’s announcement include the following (random selection):

      Andrey Kutsin – I can give you information about 200 snakes, I’ve been collecting this info over 5 months.

      Sergei Mamzin – How many bucks for lustration?

      Dmitry Kohmaniuk – The android app (for the site) doesn’t work.

      Jeka Chekhov – Here is a small list for you: Poroshenko, Yatsenuk, Yarema…

      Stanislav Lyubiy – I would like to add: Muzhenko, Pushianov, Boriskin…

      Sergei Fizik Tro – 10 times Poroshenko, plus the others… Avakov as well…

      Natalia Yakovleva – My acquaintances are already actively using the site…

      • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

        The smart way to go about abusing this site would be to denounce mid and low level bureaucrats and military officers loyal to the junta. You might actually get a few of them fired or arrested.

    • marknesop says:

      If anyone needs reminding of how stupid these people are, ponder the notion of people being convicted in an international tribunal based on evidence which cannot be verified even to country of origin, since it came from an anonymous source. Ding!! Next stop, Kyiv – eastern-European architecture, great bakeries, Fourth Reich.

    • Jen says:

      Good to know Benny will recoup some of his lost wealth and regain political influence with this unique form of crowdfunding.

  26. et Al says:

    More EU failure writ large:

    euractiv: Eulex report exposes EU failure in Kosovo

    “…In 2008, when Kosovo became independent and the EU deployed Eulex, the new state risked being captured by a largely unaccountable political-economic elite, which partly overlaps with Kosovo’s criminal elite.

    To avert this outcome and to allow reform, the administration of justice in the most delicate sectors was entrusted to Eulex…

    …Eulex’s poor performance and grave mistakes, in particular, confirmed the untouchbale status of the criminal segments of Kosovo’s elite, and, thereby, indirectly assisted them in strengthening their control over the country.

    In stark contrast with the line followed by most Western powers, and some analysts, Jacque’s report corroborates this analysis.

    He notes that corruption remains “omnipresent” in Kosovo, adding that, while Eulex could not have been expected to root it out completely “it should, nevertheless, have been possible to lay the foundations of a system capable of fighting corruption”.

    As no such foundations have been laid, Jacque, rightly, concludes the mission ought to be either reformed or withdrawn…

    …The political repercussions of their decisions to intervene militarily, in 1999, and then to support Kosovo’s unilateral secession from Serbia, led those powers to be less interested in achieving real progress in the new state than in pretending that it is a state-building “success story”.

    They need Kosovo to succeed, or to appear to succeed, in order to justify their past, controversial actions.

    This is one important reason why Eulex – a promising and well-conceived form of intervention – achieved such unsatisfactory results.

    The Jacque report is important, therefore, because it contradicts the false narrative of the “success story” and sheds some light on Kosovo’s real problems. But does its publication, admirable though it is, mark a policy shift on the part of the EU?..

    …If the Russian aggression ceases in Ukraine, it, like Kosovo, will require outside help to reform its political-economic system. The stakes in Ukraine are even higher and the EU can scarcely afford to repeat the mistakes which Eulex made. ..

    No surprise to anyone with half a brain. Unfortunately, the author in conclusion, simply refuses to accept that the EU is incapable of ‘nation building’ or cleaning up their own mess. If civilizing Kosovo was a total failure, how the hell does the author think ‘lessons learned’ would apply to the Ukraine with any chance of success?

    The links to the report itself can be found here:

    For reasons of privacy of individuals and in order to protect the Union’s interests, references to names and initials of persons as well as some qualifications have been blackened out. In the same vein, the content of annex 4 which concerns communications intercepts that are part of the on-going judicial investigation has been deleted. The remainder of the report is unchanged.

  27. et Al says:

    EU Observer: EU hiring ‘myth-busters’ on Russian propaganda

    The EU foreign service is recruiting a handful of new experts to help counter Russia’s anti-Western propaganda.

    The job description, sent out on 20 March to EU states’ embassies in Brussels, says their task will be “correction and fact-checking of misinformation/myths”.

    It will also involve “development and regular updating of EU ‘narrative’ via key messages/lines to take, articles, op-eds, factsheets and infographics, with an emphasis on communicating the benefits of the EaP”. ..

    …The new staff are to be Russian speakers and to do “analysis/monitoring of reporting on EU policies” in Russian language media.

    The group – between two and five people – will also prepare press “materials” in Russian.

    They’ll be initially hired for one year and paid at least €4,350 a month. But they’ll be paid by whichever EU countries put them forward because EU institutions have not earmarked any money for the project….

    Brussels doing what it does best – spending a lot of money for very few results.

    • colliemum says:

      “Brussels doing what it does best – spending a lot of other people’s money for very few hardly any results.”


      • Moscow Exile says:

        Seeing as they will be facing a stiff task trying to disprove Russian claims, e.g. proving that the 32 or so Russian invasions of the Ukraine as reported by the Western media via Kiev and the Kiev Post are factual, I should imagine the exposure of Banderite myths would be a far easier nut for them to crack, e.g. the claim by certain Svidomites that the “pure” Slavs of ancient Rus’ excavated the Black Sea basin.

      • marknesop says:

        But they will not be trolls. Remember that. Because their hearts are pure.

    • marknesop says:

      Until recently the west dominated on English-speaking forums because many foreigners who questioned their narrative struggled with English. So now they are going to give up that advantage, and peddle their products to Russians, in Russian. Good luck with that. At least it will be a popular employment situation for the kreakly. I wonder if they will be seated in rows, typing away on computers in rooms where the curtains are always closed, working in teams of three?

      Oh, wait…

  28. et Al says:

    EU Observer: MEPs to raise monthly allowances

    …An MEP already receives an allowance of €21,379 a month for expenses like assistants’ salaries, supplies, and studies.

    It is now set to increase by an extra €1,500 per month bringing the annual allowance total to €275,000 per MEP or around €1 billion over the EP’s five-year term…

    …“The [centre-right] EPP was in favour of an increase of €3,000 each month and the Socialists were a bit more moderate and wanted an increase of €1,500,” he said.

    The two settled on €1,500 with other groups either against the increase – like the Greens – or remaining silent. ..

    What economic crisis?

  29. et Al says:

    euractiv: EU fires warning shots at Gazprom

    The European Union’s competition chief challenged Russian gas giant Gazprom on Thursday, when she pledged to act decisively against energy companies that break competition law…

    …Margrethe Vestager, making her first US trip since she took office in November, said in a speech in Washington that she would be tough with energy companies that “harm rivals, block energy flows from on EU country to another, or threaten to close the tap”…

    …”If someone thinks about blocking Turkish Stream … it is a very serious mistake,” Gazprom head Alexei Miller told a conference in Berlin, adding volumes could go to other markets and construction of the pipeline could be paused if necessary.

    The European Commission has said the Turkish Stream project was not viable…

    Methinks journalist is jumping the gun. Whatever Vestager announces, unless it is backed by major EU states then she’ll be left high and dry. Can she be that stupid?

    As any fule kno’, Russia did not ratify the European Energy Charter so any attempt by Brussels to use this as an excuse will show that contrary to internationally recognized legal principle, Brussels thinks it can apply its rules retrospectively. There’s not much trust to be had with a ‘partner’ who does this. Dimwits.

  30. dany8538 says:

    How many here watched “direct line” with Putin?
    I can see how people can call him the dark lord. Its close to super human to do what he does for 4 hours. It must be dark magic.
    I am in the middle of the second hour:)

    • Max says:

      I couldn’t help but notice that everyone typing into their computers in the background were using the hunt-n-peck method. Is touch typing not taught in Russia, or is it that their keyboards aren’t amenable to that style?

      • Moscow Exile says:

        Is touch typing not taught in Russia, or is it that their keyboards aren’t amenable to that style?

        Слепой метод печати

        • Max says:

          Cool, I always wanted to see what a cyrillic(?) kb looks like. Wiki sez the qwerty arrangement is a carry-over from the earliest, 1870s, mechanical typewriters, having issues with the metal links colliding in use during certain combinations. Is that the same rationale for the Russian? There doesn’t seem to be much of a phonetic connection between say, A(qwerty), and ф.

          • yalensis says:

            Dear Max: I myself can touch-type on a Russian keyboard. But that’s a very good question, who designed the layout of the Cyrillic letters? I don’t know the answer to that, I know that keyboard layout is determined not by phonetics, but by frequency of letter use. More than that, I do not know.
            On my computer, I have 2 keyboards, one QWERTY, one Cyrillic. They are both plugged in at the same time, all I have to do to switch back and forth is change my language setting.
            If you scroll down this wiki page , it gives you the frequency of letters in written Russian, plus shows the keyboard layout.
            As to why so many people do not know how to touch type, I don’t get that either. I personally believe that touch-typing is a good skill to have, and I invested quite a lot of time to make sure to learn it. Especially when I was in college and had to write a lot of term papers and reports. Then, when I got a job and started working, it came in even handier.
            On the other hand, many teenagers around today only know how to punch in letters individually with their thumbs, due to habits of texting on their phones. It seems very slow and inefficient to me, which is why I only text when I absolutely have to.

            • marknesop says:

              Artemy Lebedev brought out the brilliant Optimus keyboard way back in 2007, in which the upper surface of each key was actually a tiny OLED screen. Each key was therefore reconfigurable – Cyrillic, Georgian, gaming functions… this particular review panned it because it was allegedly noisy, the keys “wobbled” and the surface of them felt unnatural. But that, to me, was just sour grapes – the idea of it was huge.

              Here’s the Optimus Popularis with the Cyrillic alphabet displayed.

          • Jen says:

            The rationale of letter arrangement on a typewriting keyboard should be that the letters most frequently used in writing or typing should be the letters hit by the index and middle fingers and the letters least used should be those hit by the pinkies. The QWERTY arrangement fails in this respect but it’s never been changed because changing over would cost too much money in redesign and retraining.

        • kat kan says:

          In Google translate choose any language, and click icon in the bottom left corner. This opens a virtual keyboard for that language.

          You can click the letters on the screen with a mouse — OR use your real keyboard and touch type. It will even give spelling suggestions. Then copy the resulting text and paste as needed. I often type Hungarian this way, to get the accented letters.

    • ThatJ says:

      Note the % of likes and dislikes in this video.

      It fits Putin’s ratings very well, impressive!

  31. et Al says:

    Kiev puts small dick in to meat grinder – expects German sausage:

    Chicago Tribune: Ukraine hardens stance as it rebuffs Templeton-led debt plan

    Ukraine rejected the first proposal from a group of creditors led by Franklin Templeton, signaling it’s ready to take a hard line in a bid to restructure $23 billion of debt.i>

    The offer, which involved only a maturity extension, didn’t go far enough to meeting Ukraine’s targets under an International Monetary Fund bailout, Finance Minister Natalie Jaresko told reporters in Washington on Friday. The group of five creditors, which own about $10 billion of the eastern European country’s debt, is pushing for a deal that avoids a writedown to their principal holdings.

    “It looks like the Finance Ministry’s strategy is to play tough and approach the investors with the stick at this stage,” Dmitri Petrov, an analyst at Nomura Holdings in London, said by email on Friday. “The chances of getting this deal done in time are decaying.”…

    Maybe I should write something pity about playing a very poor hand badly, but anyone who knows the rulz, however f/d you are, you never accept the first offer.

    Will Kiev’s comedy of terrors do instead?

    • marknesop says:

      Gee, I wonder if this will have an effect on their future appeal to investors? Considering how much investors love to put money at risk, watch it anxiously as it tubes and then lose it.

  32. james says:

    moa has a link up on the killing/murders that yalensis was covering the past few days.. i have tried to embed the link the way i embed links on moa, but not sure if this will work..

    • james says:

      this is essentially a modern day witch hunt – ukraine junta style with nato/western msm support by all appearances..

    • yalensis says:

      Thanks, James, this is very interesting. I did not know that the Avakov/Gerashchenko “dirty ratfink” website was hosted by a NATO server.
      But not surprising.
      The fink site they talk about “Peacemaker” is one and the same as the one I mentioned in my comments, “Mirotvorets”, which is the Russian word for “Peacemaker”.
      I guess it is fair to say, that Buzina was assassinated by NATO operatives.

      • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

        Please, NATO operatives are well-groomed university men/women/trannies. The term for these characters is ‘junkyard dog’.

      • james says:

        yalensis – you’re welcome.. re your last statement.. it looks a bit like that at this point… walking in a house of mirrors is tricky and the folks don’t want anyone to be able to trace anything back to the origins when deception is an important part or ingredient of the equation..

      • et Al says:

        Maybe not. See this in the comments:

        From my end tracert for does indeed say it is tracing route to psb4ukr.nato.int but the operation times out after 14 hops at which point it is still on a backbone router ( And the browser switches from .org to .nato.int but doesn’t load anything.

        who.is reports a Ukranian owner for the IP.

        Overview for
        %rwhois V-1.5:003fff:00 rwhois.limestonenetworks.com (by Network Solutions, Inc. V-
        network:IP-Network-Block: –
        network:Organization-Name:Vladimir Kolesnikov
        network:Organization-City:Velyka Oleksandrivka
        network:Admin-Contact;I:abuse@limestonenetworks.com …

        While whois.net gives the Ophelia Dingbatter story for psb4ukr.org.

        Registrant ID:CR174401929
        Registrant Name:Ophelia Dingbatter
        Registrant Organization:
        Registrant Street: Box 646
        Registrant City:Black Diamond
        Registrant State/Province:Alberta
        Registrant Postal Code:T0L 0H0
        Registrant Country:CA …

        My guess is that some DNS servers have been altered to point to the NATO domain. And the fact that neither Ophelia nor Vladimir Kolesnikov use domain privacy protection suggests to me that this whole thing is a Russian scam, i.e. hacked psb4ukr website, which is why it was taken offline, and a bit of DNS hacking to finger NATO.

        Re Ophelia, she has a Twitter feed that has links to pro-Ukraine stuff (Tom Barton). The latest tweet is August 2012 but her site (dingbatter.com) is current.

  33. james says:

    rowan berkeleys website niqnaq which is linked in the moa article covers some very interesting terrain..

    • yalensis says:

      Wow, I should check out moa more often. While looking at your link, I saw this one too .

      Many of us were guessing all along that Richard Engel probably staged his own kidnapping by Syrian army. Around that time, Engel’s handlers in the CIA were pushing for war to invade Syria and overthrow Assad.
      I remember at the time on youtube I watched a segment on Rachel Maddow’s show where Engel repeated his story, and Rachel cried crocodile tears for the terrible scare her dear friend Richard had endured. I am no psychologist, but I could tell that Engel was lying: His eyes got all shifty as he recited his tall tale of Syrian brutality, and his last-minute rescue by brave jihadists.

        • marknesop says:

          There has been a good deal of speculation by analysts who tend to doubt western accounts as a matter of course that the shabiha militia is a completely made-up fabrication of the bogeyman creators at the CIA/State Department. Any inconvenient atrocities or messy civilian deaths can be blamed on them. The USA’s intelligence biz has never gotten over how easy it is to shove public opinion in the direction you want it to go with a Kuwaiti incubator nurse or a Jessica Lynch.

  34. Warren says:

    Russian opposition parties form anti-Putin alliance

    The political party founded by murdered Russian dissident Boris Nemtsov is to join forces with another opposition party ahead of Russia’s 2016 elections.

    RPR-Parnas will share a joint platform with the Party of Progress, founded by opposition activist Alexei Navalny.

    Russia’s political opposition has in recent years been riven by infighting, weakening its ability to challenge President Vladimir Putin.

    A former deputy prime minister, Nemtsov was gunned down in Moscow in February.
    In a joint statement on Friday, the two parties called on opposition figures to “consolidate on a common platform of a rejection of lies, corruption and aggression”.

    Mikhail Kasyanov, co-chairman of RPR-Parnas and a former prime minister, said the parties would form an alliance rather than merge.

    Mr Kasyanov later announced they had been joined by a third party, Democratic Choice, led by a former energy minister, according to Russia’s Interfax news agency.
    “We expect that our movement will continue and other opposition parties will join us,” Mr Kasyanov said.

    The parties said they would begin by running together in regional elections due to be held in 2015 before the full parliamentary elections due in 2016.

    Mr Navalny, an activist and regular blogger, is among Russia’s most prominent opposition figures. He has twice been convicted of embezzlement, spending time in jail in 2013 and receiving a three-and-a-half year suspended sentence in December last year.

    Mr Navalny denied the charges in both cases, saying the trials were politically motivated.
    Critics of Mr Putin accused him of being behind the murder of Mr Nemtsov, who was shot dead near Moscow’s Red Square as he walked home with his partner.

    Mr Putin denied having any involvement.

    As the two parties made their announcement on Friday, Russia’s state news agency released what it said was an extract from a confession by Mr Nemtsov’s killer.

    Zaur Dadayev, a Chechen policeman who was arrested with four alleged accomplices days after the murder, was initially said by authorities to have confessed to the crime.

    But a member of Russia’s human rights council who visited Mr Dadayev in prison said there was evidence the policeman had been tortured into giving his confession.

    Mr Dadayev himself said there was no evidence against him, and that he had made a confession after being threatened with death.


    • marknesop says:

      Critics of Mr Putin accused him of being behind the murder of Mr Nemtsov, who was shot dead near Moscow’s Red Square as he walked home with his partner bit of stuff on the side, whom he was banging like a drum while legally married to someone else.

      That’ll be quite enough of the attempted retroactive canonization of Saint Boris. As to the rest, yawn.

      • yalensis says:

        This is very poor writing, on the part of the BBC journalist:
        Mr Navalny denied the charges in both cases, saying the trials were politically motivated.
        Critics of Mr Putin accused him of being behind the murder of Mr Nemtsov, who was shot dead near Moscow’s Red Square as he walked home with his partner.

        “accused him” – it is not clear if they are referring to Navalny or Putin. They should have said “accused the latter”

        Again: “as he walked home with his partner” – not clear if they are talking about partner of Navalny, Nemtsov or Putin.. Besides, she wasn’t a “partner”, she was a girlfriend.

        BBC needs to get better editors. Or maybe they are just going through the motions now!

        • colliemum says:

          Al Beeb is spending all its money on skewing audiences and sending their reporters hacks to try and trap any UKIP parliamentary candidate into saying something ‘shocking’.
          Proper Russian translators will be hired again after the General Elections are over on May 7th.
          Be patient, you only gotta wait a few more weeks …


        • kat kan says:

          They are spot on. This is how they write on purpose.

          It lets them lump things together out of context, create doubt and confusion, so people THINK they read XYZ (which Beeb wants them to think) but they can reinterpret the sentences to “prove” they didn’t tell a lie, if challenged.

      • Jen says:

        “Bit of stuff” – surely you mean “bit of fluff”? Ditto for “home” – they were walking back to their love nest.

        I believe the correct terms the BBC should have used are “paramour” and “her apartment that he paid for”.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      Less than 4% of the vote will go to those losers.

  35. ThatJ says:

    I had a glimpse of hope that the ceasefire was holding and would lead to a compromise, I even unbusied myself with reading too many sites, but after reading a series of bad news on Cassad and Saker during this last week, I agree with them that the assumption of hostilities will occur, and it will be more destructive than the last time (and the rebels agree). The population living in the conflict zone must prepare for the worse. If I were living in the conflict zone, I would construct some sort of bunker or underground room (shelter). If you don’t flee and don’t hide below the ground, the chances are that a shell hitting your home will kill you.

    On the news front (and some humor to calm the nerves)…

    Meet Fiery Cross Reef, China’s Man-Made Military Island Outpost

    Last week, we noted the hilarious irony in President Obama’s contention that China was “using its sheer size and muscle to force other countries into subordinate positions.” That of course, is a picture perfect description of US foreign policy and so the statement by the President is effectively an indictment of Washington’s own actions.

    Obama’s remarks were made in the context of China’s construction “activities” in the South China Sea where Beijing shares contested waters with the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan. Essentially, China is building islands atop the Fiery Cross Reef in the Spratly archipelago, which some believe will be used for military purposes.


    300 US Paratroopers Arrive In Ukraine After Russia Says Its Missiles Will Target NATO Member States

    While the escalation of the second Cold War between Russia and the US over their proxy conflict in Ukraine has been relegated to the back pages due to the lack of any flash points in recent months, events in eastern Europe continue to build up to an increasingly unstable equilibrium. Just yesterday, Russia again accused the United States of “seeking political and military dominance and sought to put blame on the West for international security crises, including the conflict in east Ukraine.”

    It didn’t stop there. According to the WSJ, Russia’s top general warned European countries planning to host installations for a U.S.-led missile-defense shield that Russian forces would be forced to target them.

    “Nonnuclear powers where missile-defense installations are being installed have become the objects of priority response,” Gen. Valery Gerasimov said, referring to Poland and Romania.


    Compare And Contrast: Putin vs Draghi

    Spot the difference:

    • A topless protester gets “two thumbs up” and a smile from Vladimir Putin.
    • A terrified Mario Draghi reels from a fully-clothed female protester.


    • ThatJ says:

      Interesting comment by “Jack Burton” on the second link:

      Oh how right you are! In Kiev two days ago two American soldiers and 2 American contractors were accused of raping a young Kiev woman. It is doubtful any charges will be made, as these guys are there to aid the Junta rulers.

      A reader doubted the story, and “Jack Burton” gave this reply:

      The story is on LiveLeak and on a google translation of a Russian/Ukrainin article. here. http://goo.gl/tAuo1H

      Of course, you did not even try to find it did you? I googled searched and found it in 5 seconds.

      Volkodav also commented:

      I just now told this is main talk of Kiev…but you will not see in Kyiv Post, MSM

      lots of hard anger

      Just wait for the birth of some dozen bastard children the next year. There were quite a few of them in Rhineland almost a century ago.

      • yalensis says:

        I knew it! There is a “Jewish” angle to this rape story. One of the rapists has a Jewish-sounding name: Major Jonathan Shtrelzik.

        Were you planning to ease us into it, ThatJ?
        Using the Socratic method now – instead of being bludgeoned, we are supposed to arrive at the “truth” on our own, through a series of hints.

        And meanwhile, you forgot to inform us, that Kevin MacDonald has a new piece out , yet another expose of Hollywood Jews and their malign influence. In this case, the “Mad Man” TV show, which I happen to agree is crap.

        Anyhow, get with the program! do I now have to do YOUR work for you, as well as my own?

        • ThatJ says:

          I did not search the story. The comment by Jack Burton (and the confirmation by Volkodav) sounded legitimate so I decided to post them because I thought a rape case in Kiev by an American merchant of death is kind of a big deal.

          The “Jewish surname” wouldn’t absolve the culprit of his guilt, though, if that is what you want to imply with this comment.

          • yalensis says:

            No, ThatJ, you know better than that.
            What I am not-so-subtly implying is that you posted what is otherwise a legitimate crime story BECAUSE of the potential Jewish angle.
            I am not attacking the story, I am attacking the messenger.
            Because it’s what you do – duh! You scour the internet looking for hints and clues that Russians/Ukrainians have finally discovered “The Truth” about Those People.
            Then, in your mind, once their consciousness has been raised and they come to the realization that “those people” are bad, then you spring on them the ultimate hidden Truth (which only Professor MacDonald has figured out), about the secrets hidden in THOSE peoples DNA.


      • kat kan says:

        This story goes back to ONE SINGLE BLOG. There would be more about it it if were true or recent. It gives no dates or details of any type. I’d say it’s not even enough to qualify as a rumour.

    • kat kan says:

      Be fair. Bit of difference between someone stripping in a ground-level crowd, or someone jumping up onto your desk with high heels level with your face and others advancing on you from both sides. He doesn’t look afraid, he looks startled.

      In both cases the women look disgusting and need to lose at least a few teeth.

  36. Moscow Exile says:

    The rise and fall of the Russian oligarchy

    Reprinted in Russia Insider.

    Why weren’t/aren’t these traitors executed by the totalitarian, neo-Stalinist regime that “Putin’s Russia” is repeatedly alleged to be?

  37. Moscow Exile says:

    Part 1 of a lengthy interview with Professor Cohen:

    The New York Times “basically rewrites whatever the Kiev authorities say”- Cohen.

    Seems like the prof has got pissed off with the ad hominems that that piece of shit Kirchik hurled at him and others last month as well as the performance by Apfelbaum the other week when “debating” with him on TV.

    • Moscow Exile says:


      Cohen’s opinions expressed in the above linked article cannot have been made as a reaction to shit-for-brains Kirchik’s and harridan Aplebaum’s recent performances as they were made during an interview that took place last February.

      • marknesop says:

        They are a reaction to shit-for-brains Brzezinsky’s comments that stripping Russia of Ukraine will deny it great-power status, plus a host of other wing-nuttery comments made over the years that have now backed Washington into a corner whereby they must support Ukraine no matter how crazy it acts. Ukraine knows this, and is pressing hard to be accepted into NATO because it knows that is the cherished end-game.

    • yalensis says:

      Cohen makes a great rebuttal to the Idiots’ debating point, “Well, Russia is fascist too. And so your’s mom.” Cohen’s reply to this point, which should be written down and memorized by all:

      “Maybe there are fascists in Russia, but we’re not backing the Russian government or Russian fascists. The question is, and it’s extremely important, “Is there a neo-fascist movement in Ukraine that, regardless of its electoral success, which has not been great, is influencing affairs politically or militarily, and is this something we should be worried about? The answer is 100 percent yes.”

      Note that when he says “we”, Cohen is not using the royal “we”, he means “We, the United States.” Which is legitimate for him, because he is a U.S. citizen, not to mention patriotic American. So he gets to use the word “we”. If he was a kreakl-equivalent, he would say “that country” – tee hee.

  38. Warren says:

    • marknesop says:

      Well, to be fair, Nemtsov was kind of like an honorary western citizen. How could the west not love a Russian who lost no opportunity to say out loud how backward and simpleminded Russians were, and what a wonderful world it would be if all the world’s countries simply accepted American democracy administered by the United States government? That doesn’t make him a British subject, certainly, but it’s only another let’s-pretend step from there.

      • Jen says:

        Nemtsov could have been a British subject if he had spent less money on his bits of fluff and more on buying and selling companies, so much so that he would have run afoul of taxation authorities about where his money was coming from and he could have cried that he was being persecuted, and Western governments would have fallen over themselves to offer him asylum as a celebrity political refugee.

  39. Warren says:

    Ukraine rebel leader Zakharchenko asserts claims

    A senior rebel leader in eastern Ukraine has claimed the Minsk peace deal will fail unless Kiev recognises the independence of rebel-held territory.

    Aleksandr Zakharchenko told the BBC he wanted to expand the self-proclaimed republic he leads in Donetsk.

    He said the Minsk ceasefire agreement brokered by the West was not being properly implemented by the government.

    “Ukraine doesn’t want to resolve all the issues,” he said.

    “If you agree to resolve something, then you need to act and move forward, and resolve everything that’s included.

    “If that doesn’t happen, then the Minsk Agreement is unfulfilled, and it renders all the meetings in Minsk pointless,” he added.

    He also accused Kiev of preparing for war – a charge it denies.

    “According to the information we’ve received, Kiev could once again provoke the conflict very soon, attacking Donetsk or any another town of the Donetsk People’s Republic.”

    Under the Minsk agreement, backed by European leaders, Ukraine’s government claimed that the rebel-held east would remain part of the country.


  40. Warren says:

    Four Royal Navy personnel face Canada sex charge

    Four members of the Royal Navy have been charged with sexual assault after an alleged incident in Nova Scotia, Canada’s military police said.

    The sailors were in the country to attend a military sports tournament, the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service (CFNIS) said.

    The men have appeared in court charged with one count of sexual assault each.

    The incident allegedly took place in barracks at an air base at Shearwater, near Halifax, on Thursday.

    The alleged victim is a woman not in the military, the CFNIS said.

    The men have been named as Craig Stoner, Darren Smalley, Joshua Finbow and Simon Radford, in a statement on the Government of Canada website.

    Canadian officials said they were members of the Royal Navy ice hockey team.

    ‘Full co-operation’

    Reports in Canada suggested the men were remanded to a jail until Monday, while lawyers negotiate bail terms.

    “This is a disturbing accusation of sexual assault,” Lt-Col Francis Bolduc said in a statement.

    “I’m pleased with the full co-operation provided by the British authorities to support the hard work and diligence of the CFNIS team in responding to this matter.”

    The UK Ministry of Defence said it was aware of allegations against four members of the Royal Navy.

    “The Royal Navy takes allegations of this nature very seriously, however as legal proceedings continue it would be inappropriate to comment further,” an MoD spokeswoman said.


  41. et Al says:

    I don’t post full articles, but as most of it is quotations…

    BNE: Ukraine says Russia is private bondholder

    Ukrainian Eurobonds worth $3bn that were bought by Russia in 2013 currently count as private debt under the rules of the London Club, and their beneficiary is unknown, Ukraine’s finance minister Natalie Jaresko told US media.

    “At this point we see [that] the Russian-purchased bonds should be treated on equal basis [with Ukraine’s other Eurobonds],” Jaresko said in an interview with US broadcaster CNBC, as quoted by Interfax. “We have no reason to believe at this point that they are anything other than a London [private] type of credit. They are not registered with the Paris Club [of official creditors] and at this point we have notified ultimate bondholders through the custodian system, just like we have notified all of Eurobond holders,” the US-born minister said.

    However, the exact identities of the bondholder’s remain a mystery, according to Jaresko. “I don’t know who is the ultimate beneficiaries of the debt are. They have not yet come forward. All we know that there are three custodians and, as I said, we have notified them through the clearing system,” she said.

    Her comments sparked a furious response from Moscow on April 17. “We will not agree to any restructuring, we will wait for Ukraine to fulfill its obligations,” Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said, as quoted by Interfax. “If the obligations are not met, we will go to an arbitration court in line with the agreement on the investment of the National Welfare Fund’s money into bonds of Ukraine as a sovereign [state].”

    The controversy turns on the crucial question of whether Ukraine’s $3bn worth of bonds held by Russia and due in December are official debt or not. The answer is important because if the bonds are official and Ukraine doesn’t pay them, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), under its own rules, will have to suspend its $40bn financial aid package to Kyiv.

    If the bonds are deemed privately held, then they can be included in a $15.3bn debt reduction deal that Jaresko is currently trying to put together.

    IMF spokesman William Murray said during a briefing on March 27 that as Russia’s National Reserve Fund, a sovereign wealth fund, holds Russia’s Ukraine Eurobond, it should be classified as official debt.

    However, the IMF quickly came out with a statement saying “no decision” had been made on the status of the Russian bond, forcing Murray to in effect retract his comments: “No determination has been made by the fund as to the status of this claim,” Murray said in a later statement, which analysts said did little to clarify the issue one way or the other.

    Under the IMF’s own rules it cannot offer help to countries that have arrears to official lenders – ie governments or other international financial institutions. But if it is classed as a private lender, then Ukraine could theoretically refuse to repay the loan’s principle amount, and even if Russia refuses to accept its haircut, the IMF programme for Ukraine can continue unimpeded.

    Full Retard*

    * http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/full-retard

    • et Al says:

      So, on the one hand the Commission is pushing the Ukraine to go in to a trilateral trade deal with Russia & the EU ( https://marknesop.wordpress.com/2015/04/15/operation-fuck-putin-hits-a-wall-as-the-russian-economy-returns-to-growth/comment-page-1/#comment-102540 ), yet on the other the US through Jaresko ripping off Russia’s loan to the Ukraine – which is a bluff that will do far more damaged to the Ukraine’s financial standing than any possible leverage Jaresko thinks can be used against Russia.

      It’s like a replay of Bosnia with the ‘EU’ at least trying to reach a peace deal early on but with the American’s pushing for no agreement. Hilarity ensued of course…

    • kat kan says:

      Russia went to a lot of trouble to make that loan water-right. They could see where Ukraine was headed, even if Ukraine to this day can’t see it.

      However…. loan restructuring talks, AFAIK, are for loans which look like headed for default. The Russian loan is already in default so it may be too late to debate about it.

      But “Under the IMF’s own rules it cannot offer help…” the IMF can always get around on the grounds that their loans are making things worse, not helping. That’s also the only excuse I can think of for them for ignoring the rule about not lending to a country involved in armed conflict.

      • marknesop says:

        Before Ukraine the west was already getting bolshie about being held to account by its own rules, and after Maidan they might as well have said “Look – the rules are to keep wogs like you in line. We don’t need rules, see? We’re the good guys. Now shut up and sod off”, because they threw away the rule book and allowed themselves to be openly complicit in blatant violations of international law, and to be seen covering up for Kiev so that it would not be called to account. There is now no reason whatever that any person in the world should feel constrained by international law, and should worry only about the discipline of his national law authorities.

  42. Warren says:

    Ukrainian media has a new hero:

    • marknesop says:

      They liked that bit so much they put it in twice; once at the beginning and later in its natural sequence. There’s a lesson to everyone – once you give something to Ukraine, it’s like it was always theirs from the dawn of history.

  43. yalensis says:

    Continuing with the Kalashnikov/Buzina murders.
    Here are the 2 tweets in question from Gerashchenko’s “rat-fink” account.
    Remember that Gerashchenko is actually a paid member of the Ukrainian government, yet in his public utterances always comes across as some 2-bit tony soprano.

    The first tweet congratulates “Agent 404” on killing Kalashnikov.
    The second does the same for Buzina’s murder:

    The moniker “Vato News” is obviously an in-joke, as “Vata” is the derogatory terms by which Ukies designated ethnic Russians and separatists.

    • kat kan says:

      And 404 is “error page not found”
      so Agent 404 causes disappearances.

      • kat kan says:

        I just noticed a pattern here. Especially considering “giving agent 404 a few days off”, the meaning of 404 and the fact that the site IS off line right now. After every hit they take the site off the air for a few days, to space out the killings. That way they get max propaganda value out of each one.

        I wonder if we could somehow submit people? like, say, Gerashchenko?

      • yalensis says:

        Exactly. “Agent 404” causes inconvenient people to disappear.
        Any ideas what the first tweet implies?
        When Gerashchenko congratulates Agent 404 (for whacking Kalashnikov), and then says he (Agent 404) will be granted a special title and a valuable prize?
        Am still puzzling over that one…

  44. yalensis says:

    From Fort Russ:
    Poland Deputy Defense Minister General Skrzypczak doesn’t want to have anything to do with Ukraine any more.
    Skrzypczak’s uncle had been killed by Banderites, back in the day. They (Banderites) had pinned the man to a barn door, using a pitchfork.

    • Warren says:

      This Polish-Ukrainian love-in would never last. The West, i.e. the Anglosphere shamelessly panders and encourages Banderite nationalism/chauvinism in Ukraine, while at the same time insists that Poland ignores the crimes committed by Ukraine’s new “national heroes”.

      The veneration, elevation and exaltation of all things UNO-UPA is a two edged sword, the West is sympathetic to Banderism as its anti-Russian,yet simultaneously demeans the non-Russian victims of Banderism, notably Poles and to a far lesser extent Czechs.

      • cartman says:

        Why I require FBI agents to visit the Holocaust Museum

        “In their minds, the murderers and accomplices of Germany, and Poland, and Hungary, and so many, many other places didn’t do something evil. They convinced themselves it was the right thing to do, the thing they had to do. That’s what people do. And that should truly frighten us.”


        • yalensis says:

          wiki on Comey:

          Comey and his wife Patrice are the parents of five children. He is a Roman Catholic of Irish descent.[45][46] At 6′ 8″, he is the tallest member of the Obama administration,[47] and the tallest FBI director in history.[48]

        • ThatJ says:

          So the director of the FBI is a convert to Holocaustianity? Jews used to convert to Protestantism in the old days in order to be accepted as full members of the gentile society, now it’s the other way around: gentiles convert to Holocaustianity in a display of submission to the dominant religion. The FBI top hat considers the Holocaust the singular, most important event in human history. The top comment doesn’t seem to agree with this assertion. WAPO is neocon central, by the way.

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