Who You Gonna Believe – NATO, or Your Lyin’ Eyes?

Uncle Volodya says, "We must know something about malevolence, about how to recognize it, and about how not to make excuses for it. We must know that we cannot expect fair play."

Uncle Volodya says, “We must know something about malevolence, about how to recognize it, and about how not to make excuses for it. We must know that we cannot expect fair play.”

My father always told me that what’s wrong with lying is that it’s an admission of weakness. If you’re the strongest, you can afford to tell the truth.

K.J. Parker

The western media is abuzz with a new term that seems to be on the lips of every State Department staffer, every western journalist, every compliant NATO puppet and cheerleader abroad, and of course in Kiev, ground zero for Russian hatred on the planet. Hybrid Warfare. This, we are told, is how Russia is managing the battle in the east of Ukraine so that the Ukrainian capital – despite its highly professional, well-equipped and motivated army – cannot work its will on the easterners and bring them to heel as productive and happy contributors to a new European Union state and aspirant to NATO membership.

It must strike the thinkers among the greater public – and there are some – that “hybrid warfare” is an awfully convenient term which allows the west to prance about and yell that Russia is in the war up to its eyes…without ever having to offer any proof. What? Of course we don’t have any pictures, you dolt: it’s hybrid warfare, ever hear of it? Well, then – pay attention to current events, try and keep up, and don’t be such a Kremlin apologist.

The big-forehead types do not tell us how Russia can be foiling the Forces of Love and Understanding in Kiev so that they cannot crush the east – through hybrid warfare, naturally, in which their troops remain invisible – but does not take advantage of pivotal decisive defeats like Ilovaisk and Debaltseve to push the eastern salient to the doorstep of Kiev itself. God knows a flock of armored budgies would be as effective at stopping them as the Ukrainian army if they chose to commit their allegedly limitless Russian reserves, and you would think an invisible army would be quite a useful asset. Yet for some reason they choose to fight only when attacked. It would probably not require much of a strategic imagination to proffer a solution whereby the Ukrainian army stopped attacking, and it seems reasonable to conclude that this would result in fewer deaths.

Now, I had a point when I came in here….Oh, yes. Hybrid warfare. This concept was discussed at length in a clip one of the readers posted (thanks, Warren), which is a recording of a presentation at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington. It is moderated by Paul Schwartz, a Senior Associate in the organization’s Russia and Eurasia Program. Mr. Schwartz is well-known in Washington circles, having been employed at various high-level IT positions in the Defense Department, including the F-22 program, and an attorney with international law firm Hogan & Hartson. His guest needs no introduction – co-author of the Clark-Karber Report, purveyor of fake photos of advancing Russian tank columns to the Senate Armed Services Committee and author of research on China’s nuclear weapons capability in 2011 that has been referred to alternately as a “goat rodeo” and “lazy and incompetent” which was apparently traced to an article plagiarized by a student from a single posting on a Usenet forum in 1995.

I would not want to create the impression that Dr. Karber is some kind of pompous nut, while Mr. Schwartz is a more or less sensible fellow who just got dragged along by the undertow. Both are zealots for American dominance of every corner of the globe, and each is as nutty as a pistachio plantation.

Listen, perhaps with your mouth agape in awe at the sheer effrontery, as Paul Schwartz – under the guise of “providing context”- reels off a laundry list of Russian crimes. Russia, he tells us, is challenging the west in Eastern Ukraine with a “bewildering mix of military and non-military tactics”. Russia, he says, launched a “stealth campaign” in Crimea. Uh huh; it’s called “polling”. Russia determined through opinion polls that a great majority of Crimeans wished to rejoin the Russian Federation, and provided some forces to ensure the process of declaring independence, conducting a referendum and making application for acceptance into the Russian Federation was conducted peacefully, as Kiev demonstrably would have attempted to prevent the transition by military force. Russia did not have to teleport any troops in, as many were already stationed at Sevastopol and an agreement between the two countries permitted Russia to quarter 20,000 troops. Nothing like that number was used, while the Crimeans have an indigenous defense force as well whose participation, if any, was not accounted for.

He acknowledges the presence of volunteers from Russia in Eastern Ukraine, but slips in that they are “dispatched” to Donbas, thereby implying they are not volunteers at all but are being sent on orders from their government. No evidence has been provided at all of a regular Russian army presence, none. The USA boasts of a worldwide communications snooping network that renders secrecy obsolete, yet cannot provide any communications intercepts which prove the presence of regular Russian forces – not unit callsigns, military brevity codewords or operation names; nothing, while the clumsy attempts of the Ukrainians to cobble together incriminating conversations between the rebels such as those admitting to having shot down MH-17 are frankly embarrassing. That this is so is witnessed by their having been quietly dropped and never formally introduced as evidence other than the occasional trial balloon by Jen Psaki in State Department briefings. The USA has a photo-reconnaissance satellite capability which is able to deliver astonishingly detailed photographic evidence of whatever was seen by the satellite – frankly ludicrous “evidence” introduced by U.S Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt came from Digital Globe, and was released on his Twitter account. The attempt to cement them as hard evidence in the minds of the public, attempted as usual by Jen Psaki in the comedy roadshow that has evolved from what used to be State Department pressers, had to be seen to be believed. Well, anyone with an IQ higher than room temperature would not believe it, but I guess I should have said it had to be seen to be appreciated.

What else you got, Paul? Oh, yes, this one was my favourite – Russia is using “economic measures” such as threatening to cut off oil and gas to Ukraine and western Europe, and denying its markets to the flow of Ukrainian goods. At the same time as Russia is under siege by the west in the form of sanctions which are designed to wreck its economy, Moscow is despicable for threatening to cut off oil and gas to Ukraine and Western Europe. Ukraine flatly refused to pay for oil and gas, Russia bent over backward to accommodate it, and never threatened Western Europe with a gas shutoff at all, not ever. Show me. Russia warned Western Europe that if it continued to support Ukraine’s shenanigans in the negotiation process, it could not answer for the reliability of gas flows through its chosen transit country, and Brussels’ response was to kick up such a big stink about South Stream that Russia was forced to cancel it. We’re not imbeciles, we haven’t forgotten already.

Washington and the west said not a word against Kiev shutting off water and electricity to Crimea and Eastern Ukrainian cities. I wouldn’t be surprised if it were a western idea.

Denying Ukrainian industry access to its markets; yes, there was one that made me laugh out loud. After Yanukovych broaching the possibility of Ukraine striking some sort of trade deal which would allow it to be a bridge between the European Union and the Eurasian Union and being flatly told by Brussels “It’s us or them” – after volumes of information being made available that warned Russia was not going to be trapped into a position whereby it had to finance the birth of Ukraine as an exclusively European partner, after clear studies that showed not only Russia’s importance as a trade partner but the manifest unwillingness of the EU to buy more Ukrainian goods, it is now dastardly behavior on Russia’s part to close its markets to trade with a country whose government has identified Russia as its existential enemy, put together Maidan rah-rah beat poetry that insists the two countries cannot be allies and vowed to put up a wall along the entire common border. To approving noises from the USA, playing the part of the Roman audience in the stadium, watching gladiators tear each other to pieces for its amusement. Announced by a stuffed-shirt know-nothing from a U.S. think tank which apparently does not know or care that cutting off a civilian population from its water supply is a direct violation of international humanitarian law.

Last, but not least, Russia attempts to throw sand in the gears with “endless ceasefire negotiations”. At just about that point, Schwartz’s tongue should have erupted in boils, torn itself out of his mouth and run away yelping. What a piece of grotesquerie, laying bare for all to see the martial juggernaut the USA has become, that prefers war to the death to any form of negotiation. When its surrogates are winning, of course – the USA was all about negotiation when the hapless Ukrainian conscripts and pressed men, many with barely any training, were “cauldroned” at Ilovaisk and Debaltseve.

I’m not even going to get into that silliness about Russia launching cyber-attacks against Ukrainian government sites; not only does the USA offer no proof of Russia being the originator of such an attack, it does not even offer any proof that such attacks occurred, and has picked up the lazy habit of simply repeating verbatim whatever Kiev tells it.

I am likewise not going to cover “Doctor” Karber’s contribution in any detail – suffice it to say he is as incurious a fool, as a researcher, as the most staggeringly obtuse display by the pride of The Guardian’s stable, Shaun Walker or Luke Harding. But they are only reporters; they’re supposed to report what they discover, and it’s up to you what to make of it. Karber is supposed to be an academic and an expert, and he is regularly called upon to provide assessments upon which U.S. foreign policy turns. If a reporter made a complete nonsense of determining the number of nuclear weapons held by China, for example, inflating the actual total by a factor of 10, he would just be laughed at. In the case of analysis, though, the USA might unnecessarily spend billions countering a threat that was never there, based on the advice of a partisan hack – and there is nothing funny about that. It’s also worth repeating that the Clark-Karber Report, co-authored by Karber, recommended that NATO allies immediately start shunting ex-Soviet military equipment in their inventories – such as MiG fighters and T-72 tanks – on the down-low to Kiev as of April 8th (the date of the report), when the Donbas had only declared itself independent the day prior. So much for negotiation.

Mind you, the U.S. government wants to be fooled, provided that being tricked lets it do what it wants, so that it can afterward ruefully admit it should not have done what it did – ah, well; no use crying over spilt milk, what? All water under the bridge now. Symptomatic of this is the blather by “scholars” in “research papers” like the one Tony Blair used to substantiate the urgency of the UK’s joining with the USA in the invasion of Iraq. This one, for example. It’s authored by Alexander Golts and Heidi Reisinger. Alexander Golts is an “independent military expert” who specializes in sneering at and mocking every piece of military hardware Russia makes, snickering that it is built by alcoholics and pseudo-engineers with fake diplomas. Heidi Resinger needs no introduction other than the previous research papers she has written or co-written for NATO, such as “Ukraine and its Neighbor – How to Deal with Aggressive Russia“. Right up front, they drag out the popular trope: “The successor states of the Soviet Union are sovereign countries that have developed differently and therefore no longer have much in common. Some of them are members of the European Union and NATO, while others are desperately trying to achieve this goal. Contrary to what Professor John Mearsheimer may suggest. In his article, “Why the Ukraine Crisis is the West’s Fault” he argues that NATO has expanded too far to the East, “into Russia’s back yard” against Moscow’s declared will, and therefore carries responsibility for recent events; however, this seems to ignore that NATO was not hunting for new members, but found them knocking at its door.”

Just like a puppy that followed NATO home – who can resist a puppy? Everybody who’s not in NATO wants to be in NATO, and we have to take them in if they ask. Except we don’t.

Article 10 is quite specific on the subject, and I’ll repeat it so you can judge for yourself;

The Parties may, by unanimous agreement, invite any other European State in a position to further the principles of this Treaty and to contribute to the security of the North Atlantic area to accede to this Treaty. Any State so invited may become a Party to the Treaty by depositing its instrument of accession with the Government of the United States of America. The Government of the United States of America will inform each of the Parties of the deposit of each such instrument of accession.”

Says you have to be invited. By unanimous consent. Knock on the door all you like. Russia indicated it was interested in joining NATO, and was told not in your wildest dreams, not ever. Despite the arguments that it was a massive military power which, with its military weight thrown behind NATO, would have ensured the security of the North Atlantic area one hell of a lot more than Latvia, with its 1,250 soldiers, 3 tanks and zero aircraft. Not to mention Russia’s material wealth and bountiful resources. Latvia, welcome aboard – Russia, beat it.

It seems to me broadly apparent that the Baltic states were not admitted to NATO under any apprehension that they would contribute to the security of the North Atlantic area, and in fact Europe now wrings its hands day in and day out over what a liability they are, and how it is helpless to protect them unless it immediately embarks upon a massive rearmament program costing billions upon billions. That notwithstanding, NATO announced – apparently with a straight face – that it was satisfied the admission of Latvia would enhance the security of the North Atlantic area. I’d like to know how. That wasn’t a very sensible decision, was it? Whose idea was that?

Bill Cinton’s. In 1999, Johanna Granville – an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Clenmson University, wrote an article entitled, “The Many Paradoxes of NATO Enlargement“; it was a pros-and-cons piece which made clear, among other things, that on April 30th, 1998 the United States Senate ratified the Clinton Administration’s decision to enlarge NATO by a vote of 80 to 19. Please note this was not a vote by all the NATO states, but a vote by the U.S. Senate, and please further note it took place in 1999 and the Baltic States did not join NATO until 2003. In case it is not clear to even the least perceptive, the argument that NATO must admit states who are knocking at the door and is in no way hunting for new members is just one more lie in a veritable tapestry of lies.

Ms. Granville’s article points out, significantly, that deliberately antagonizing a nation which possesses a dangerous ability to project military power far beyond its own borders “violates a key strategic principle, which is that one should never take on more enemies than necessary at any given moment”. As if that were not enough, there were wide discrepancies between the polling conducted by the United States Information Agency (USIA) and national polls. A USIA poll found that 60% of the Czech Republic’s population supported NATO membership, while a Czech poll reported only 50.1%, well outside the margin of error, were supportive. Poland joined NATO near the end of 1997, but the USA was conducting polling of the electorate in 1996. This found that 83% supported membership in NATO. But support dropped off precipitously when specific questions – such as “Would you be willing to spend more money on the military in order to meet NATO standards” – were asked; in that instance, 74% said “No” compared to 16% “Yes”. And the Poles were the warriors of the bunch; in Hungary 87% said “No” to 9% “Yes”, and in the Czech Republic it was 84 to 11. It was abundantly clear that, just as in the more recent case of Ukraine, people wanted to join the European Union, not NATO, and their reasons were almost entirely motivated by a desire for economic stability and well-being.

The idea to expand NATO arose perhaps more from the threat of extinction than from the need to counter a significant, identifiable adversary. NATO planners realized that if they did not find some larger raison d’etre in this post-cold war era, they might lose their jobs; “expand or die” was the slogan. But NATO may very well expand and die.”

Russia’s role, consequently, is to play the threat, the bogeyman; perrennial whipping boy used by NATO to harangue its member states to spend more and more on defense budgets to buy more and more tanks and planes and artillery pieces. Russia will never be regarded as anything but an adversary by NATO because it is too big and powerful for NATO to control – and in the end, all NATO members serve the will of Washington and Brussels. Russia might even agree to do that, but the point is that Washington and Brussels could not force it if it did not agree to comply. The present feeble posturing over sanctions is a ringing testimony to that reality.

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402 Responses to Who You Gonna Believe – NATO, or Your Lyin’ Eyes?

  1. Warren says:

    • kirill says:

      What a retard this Applebaum is. Ok, pinhead, why did Obama call Russia the biggest threat to the USA and the world after ISIS and ebola?

      • Warren says:

        Appletree and her husband have made a career out of peddling the “Russia threat” to Western gullible public and propagandising against Russia.

      • james says:

        exactly kirill.. if annie applesauce is going to be the yes man, or women for every hostile and negative attitude and viewpoint expressed towards russia (and especially that evil evil putin) by her neo-con friends and herself, the least she can do is own up to how russia and putin would view it. she doesn’t have the sauce to do even that! if she was a polish-american form of sausage, i’d definitely stay away for fear of food poison..

    • marknesop says:

      Most sources take the same or a similar line to this one, which says that Romney was taken out of context, and that the rest of the quote demonstrates his intention was to identify Russia as the nation that “most consistently stands up for the worst actors”.

      But the USA stands up for Kiev, which is using the state military to force compliance in citizens exercising their right to disassociate themselves from its rule, and argues over giving them more weapons so they can more effectively kill civilians.

      • yalensis says:

        “Russia most consistently stands up for the worst actors.”

        What’d they do – give a Russian Oscar to Ben Affleck?
        (tee hee)

    • Warren says:

      She just blocked me! lol

  2. Warren says:

    Russian Jews face ‘grave dangers’ if Putin is ousted, warns senior rabbi

    http://rt.com/news/253201-putin-russian-jews-safety/

  3. Warren says:

    MH17 disaster: Germany ‘failed to warn of Ukraine risk’

    The German government was told of the risk of flying over eastern Ukraine shortly before flight MH17 was shot down last July, but failed to pass on the alert, reports say.

    Diplomatic cables sent two days before the crash said the situation had become “very alarming”, German media say.

    The cables cited the downing on 14 July of a Ukrainian air force plane at a height of about 6,000m (20,000ft).

    Flight MH17 was brought down three days later, with the loss of 298 lives.

    The Malaysia Airlines plane had been flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur and 196 of those on board were Dutch.

    A Dutch-led international inquiry says one of the main scenarios for the disaster was that the plane was shot down by a Russian-made Buk missile launcher.

    Investigators have appealed for witnesses to the launcher’s arrival in a rebel-controlled area shortly before the crash. Their final report is due to be published in October.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-32479253

    • Fern says:

      I find it incredible (well, beyond incredible, really) If it is true that Dutch investigators have ‘appealed for witnesses to the (BUK) launcher’s arrival in a rebel controlled area shortly before the crash’. What kind of ‘investigation’ are these people running? Do they seriously think that, with the kind of interest in finding the separatists guilty of shooting down a civilian plane, anyone who steps forward is going to be speaking the God’s honest truth? Wouldn’t any serious investigation have despatched investigators in the immediate aftermath of the disaster to those areas where the analysis of the missiles trajectory suggest it was fired from to look for forensic evidence of the launch of such a weapon?

      • Moscow Exile says:

        The exercise is to verify a foregone conclusion. It’s what theologians have been trying to do for the past thousand years, and unsuccessfully at that.

        • Moscow Exile says:

          Almost 2,0000 years, actually.

        • Cass says:

          I’m pretty sure it’s not textbook to include in a request for witnesses a description of what you want them to have witnessed.

          “Please inform your local police station if you saw a 5’10” black man with dreadlocks fleeing from the scene of the crime.”

          • Jen says:

            I should think textbook practice for the Dutch investigators is not to try to prove a particular scenario, or if pressured, to try to prove that the plane was NOT shot down by a BUK missile, full stop.

            They would be better off helping the theologians work out who was responsible for leaving the image on the Shroud of Turin.

      • marknesop says:

        Once again, it is not within the Dutch investigation’s mandate to determine “who”, only “what”. I suppose they could loosely be said to be attempting to determine “what” by calling for witnesses, but why are they asking (if they actually are and it’s not just an extrapolation) for witnesses who saw a Buk entering rebel-held territory? They should be working on establishing if anyone saw a missile launched from anywhere which could have reached the aircraft and might have been responsible for destroying it. Already there have been many witnesses who said they saw what appeared to be fighter aircraft near the Boeing when it was stricken, and flying away afterward. What place do they have in the scenario? They’re not even mentioned, except if you push investigators will grudgingly admit to having heard the possibility before. But nobody seems to be developing the theory, and if you ask they will say “Apportioning of blame is not within our mandate”.

        The Dutch are as likely as anyone else to be guilty of investigation in which they are forcing the points to fit the curve; i.e. neglecting to develop alternate theories and instead fixating on the hot-button one. But it will be a disgrace if they even obliquely assign responsibility after insisting that was not the purpose of the investigation. Or perhaps they will claim to have “accidentally” discovered who did it. Either way, nobody is seriously looking at the Ukrainians for it. The likely conclusion will be that “the separatists” did it, by accident, having mistaken it for a military plane. Which was flying at more than 30,000 feet and no danger to them whatsoever, even though they had held their fire previously when Ukie pilots were observed using civil aviation for cover. Uh huh.

        • james says:

          where is the data from the kiev airport air traffic controllers? as memory serves it was being passed over to (something) on don, but why was the plane flying out of it’s flight path into this area? sorry for asking boring questions that i don’t recall seeing an answer for..

          • marknesop says:

            I don’t believe that is available, and it probably will not be demanded, either. I believe the last station in control was Dnepropetrovsk (AKA Bennytown), and they were passing the aircraft to Rostov-on-Don when it was destroyed. But let’s recall that a separate investigation – which is to determine culpability – is being run out of the office of the prime suspect Ukrainian Prosecutor-General in Kiev. They probably have the recordings, if they have not been simply destroyed, and will just say they are not finished with them. The west will cooperate and let Ukraine destroy or alter the evidence. But someday, someone involved will admit what happened; maybe not until they’re on their deathbed, but we will know one day. Meanwhile, the disinterest in proving blame on the part of the west, and its sidling toward “accident” rather than “murder” speaks volumes. They are likely working together toward a finding of “destroyed by accident by Russia-backed terrorist separatists supplied by Vladimir Putin with the weapon that caused it”.

            • sinotibetan says:

              Hi Mark.
              Most of us Malaysians are still in shock, disbelief and anger with MH17(and MH370 – conspiracy theory popular in Malaysia is that the Americans shot MH370 down…).Opinions are divided here about who downed MH17 but sadly most Malaysians believe the narrative spun by Western media : the pro-Russian rebels accidentally shot the plane down using BUK supplied by Russia. Malaysians generally trust the likes of New York Times, Bloomberg, BBC, CNN , Guardian, Skynews etc. because in their minds ‘Western media’ champions freedom of speech and is unbiased unlike Malaysian media which is pro-government and thus obviously untrustworthy. Moreover Malaysian media rehash the narrative put forth by Western media.
              No one knows who did it but I suspect the following scenario:-
              The Americans and some in the EU(Poland?) wants to apply deeper and broader sanctions on Russia to cripple Russia’s economy but have failed to push other cautious EU nations(France and Germany) to support this move. Or maybe the French and German leaders were happy to go along with the sanctions but could not find a good reason to do so without alarming their business leaders who did not prefer further confrontation. The Americans wanted a more global displeasure towards ‘Russian belligerence’ and were sore about the Crimean takeover. So, they had to invent a reason to unite the world against Russia and what better way to do than create a disaster of such horror that would ‘somehow’ incriminate Russia. MH17 was just at the right time and place(wrong time and place to the unfortunate victims) to invent that reason, thanks to Kiev allies. After the crash in July 2014, nation after nation allied with the West imposed tough sanctions on Russia. I know this scenario sounds cynical but the West has an agenda – the need to punish Russia severely for Crimea and hopefully wrestle the whole of Ukraine(with Crimea) into a ‘province’ in EU. Meanwhile it makes no sense for the Russians or pro-Russian rebels to down a commercial plane because that would further sway world opinion in favour of the West. Also, almost immediately after the crash, Western leaders were very swift in blaming the pro-Russians and Russia – to me it sounds so premeditated. Finally, if the West is so sure it’s the pro-Russians, why all the uncertainties in their narrative, why the hearsays? It is ridiculous to blame Putin for this disaster regardless of the EXACT cause of the crash because:-
              1.) It’s impossible that Putin ordered the downing of the plane – that would be illogical(because that’s ‘geopolitical suicide’ and giving ‘moral armament’ to the West).
              2.) If it was truly an accident by the pro-Russian rebels(to be honest, I have not ruled out this possibility. For the pro-Russian rebels to own up to this ‘mistake’ now would be political suicide) , it was a collateral damage of a civil war in Ukraine. And as your blog has articulated in past articles, it started because of a Western-backed ‘Maidan’ ousting of a legal Ukrainian government. Thus, the responsibility for mishaps in that war cannot be only to one party but all parties involved(including Western backers of Kiev). To me, it is only natural the Russia politically and militarily supports pro-Russians in Ukraine since the West backs Kiev politically and financially and now militarily.
              3.) Even if some surface to air missile really caused the crash, it’s not possible to incriminate the pro-Russians because the Ukraine military has similar weapons(some descriptions by Western media that ‘Cyrillic’ letters were found on the shrapnel of the downed airplane thus pointing to possible Russian origin is laughable: who could differentiate if that was Ukrainian or Russian origin?) – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equipment_of_the_Ukrainian_Ground_Forces

              Of course, it could have just been a collateral damage in a war, either an error by the Pro-Russians or Ukraine military but the timing was more useful for the geopolitical ends of the US. I think we will never know the real reason for the crash until the ashes of war has settled and Washington declassifies some info years later(sorry to say, I suspect the US).

              sinotibetan

              • james says:

                hi sinotibetan… that is cool you are in malaysia! i was their in january for about 3 weeks – mostly georgetown and the northwest corner, although we went to the cameron highlands as well.. while i was their i got to know a women well enough to talk about this with her. she seemed to think a number or malaysian people were skeptical of the usa and its role in both mh 17 and 370.. she shared a few far out theories on 370, but mh 17 as i recall her saying – most thought the americans had something to do with this.. she is muslim malay background, but very forward thinking women from the time we visited with her over the course of 3 days..

                • sinotibetan says:

                  Hi James,

                  Cool that you visited my country! Georgetown is good – famous for the local cuisine.😉 I hope you had a nice holiday!🙂
                  Many here think the Americans were behind the disappearance of MH370. As for MH17, many believe the usual Western viewpoint but as you pointed out, many also think the Americans were the ones involved. I don’t have the exact percentages of those holding to each opinion though.

                  sinotibetan

              • kat kan says:

                Kiev called it as shot by the separatists in 3 hours. At that stage no authorities had been anywhere near the crash site, except the local fire brigade. The parts with the bullet/shrapnel holes were not found until next day. It could have been a bomb on board, bird strike, deep stall, lots of things. But they knew in 3 hours from 400km away it was shot down, and by what and by whom. They had images of the BUK doing its scenic trip same day, the one with missile missing by next day.

                • yalensis says:

                  Not to mention that, within those same 3 hours, Kiev suddenly produced “wiretapped phone conversations” supposedly between rebel commanders, supposedly chatting about how they had downed a plane. All this “evidence” produced with lightning speed, before rigor mortis had even set in on the victims.

                • marknesop says:

                  They have learned well from the western regime-changers – or, as is entirely possible, the scenario was actually managed by the western regime-changers themselves – and know the value of momentum. Simply keep producing evidence; bam! bam! bam! and as each piece is introduced before the last one could be properly analyzed, all the people will remember is that it tied in so well with the piece before it.

                • Jen says:

                  That wiretapped phone conversation was not only released before rigor mortis had set in but even a day before the plane was shot down. All the evidence was produced faster than the speed of light. That’s Yukie quantum technology for you!🙂

                • james says:

                  jen comments and quote “That’s Yukie quantum technology for you!” geez – that is good! next time i want to know what happens before it happens, i will have to get me some of this yukie quantum technology for myself!

                • yalensis says:

                  Good point, Jen!
                  I had almost forgotten that the Ukrainian “wiretaps” were uploaded to youtube on July 16.
                  One day BEFORE the MH-17 was shot down.

        • Cass says:

          Mark, it does not follow that if one company does not fire at “escorts” of civilian aviation, all companies will not do so, especially in the state of integration of forces in the Donbass last May, what with the Defense Minister saying he was the Military Commander and the Military Commander was not.

          • marknesop says:

            I’m afraid I don’t follow. The aircraft said to be in the vicinity of MH-17 when it was shot down were speculatively identified as Ukrainian Air force SU-25’s, perhaps only one. That is based on Russian information, and I don’t know how they got it unless it was from its transponder code or an intercept of its radar (the SU-25 can carry a radar, although it is not ideal for air-to-air intercepts). Otherwise the Boeing was unescorted but it was Dnepropetrovsk tower that ordered a course change, allegedly, and an altitude reduction which took it over the combat zone and at a lower altitude. Allegedly, because the recordings of the tower conversations have still not surfaced.

            There is also a theory that the SU-25 pilot was working directly for Kolomoisky and not for Air Command. All speculation, so far.

      • Max says:

        Was it clear that day? If so, the vapo(u)r trail from the BUK would have been seen for miles in all directions.

        • Jen says:

          BBC European weather forecast 17 July 2014

          cloud patterns over Europe 17 July 2014

          The report by the Russian Union of Engineers noted that the sky was overcast over Torez at 15:00 hours.
          http://www.sott.net/article/285953-Russian-Union-of-Engineers-investigate-MH17-report-translated

        • marknesop says:

          There’s this video, which would be pretty comical were it not for the creepy intensity of its announcer – which makes you wonder for his sanity – as he drones on about this being the video “the Russian government doesn’t want you to see”. The first part is a clip I’ve seen elsewhere which is entitled “MH-17’s last moments” but which could be anything, the focus and clarity are terrible. Whatever it is, it is clear blue with an unlimited ceiling in the shot. Then it cuts to video of what commenters correctly identify as National Airlines Flight 102, which crashed on takeoff from Bagram, Afghanistan. You can see the plane clawing for altitude and then suddenly go out of control; analysts speculated – probably correctly – that it was carrying some heavy cargo such as vehicles, which was not properly secured and broke loose, suddenly and fatally changing the aircraft’s center of balance when it did not have the altitude or speed to do anything about it. The aircraft is a Boeing 747, not a 777.

          Then there’s this photo, which Twitter users were firing off to one another, supposedly the best piece of evidence yet that the Russians done it with a SA-11. The photo is provided without context, no idea where or when it was taken, nothing identifiable in the background although they say the photographer took it from the roof of a block of flats in Torez. Hilariously, they say investigators took the camera but the photographer had to be taken to a “safe house” under the protection of the Ukrainian security service (because the Russians would want to get him for fingering them, presumably). Anyway, as you can see, clear blue skies, no observable cloud cover.

          • kat kan says:

            The “trail” photo was supposedly taken from one window of a flat where the other window showed thick black smoke in the distance (also photographed). . That happened to be the AN26 a day or two before, NOT MH17, so the “trail” was not of the same BUK anyway. The guy supposedly photographed it just because it looked odd, and only when he heard MH17 was shot by a BUK he thought maybe it’s connected and took it along to SBU. If this story is true, he certainly knew it was not connected to MH17, as it was an older photo.

            The theory that someone “must have seen it” is weird though, as in a war zone with all types of rockets and missiles being fired 24/7, nobody was going to pay special attention to one or the other, unless it was incoming.

            Zakharchenko has stated several times that he himself saw 2 planes “escorting” MH17, while driving along some 30 km away..

            • yalensis says:

              Zakharchenko has been consistent from Day #1, that he eye-witnessed two planes “escorting” the MH-17.
              Pro-Ukies distorted his words, claiming that he said that he saw the planes shooting down the Boeing. And then mocking him and calling him a liar.
              Which is false. Zakharchenko never said that he saw the Boeing being shot down.
              He said he looked up into the sky at a certain moment and saw 2 planes “escorting” the Boeing.
              He would have paid attention to this, because separatists had been complaining for some time, that Ukie airforce was using civilian airliners like human shields when out on their bombing runs.
              Zakharchenko did not witness the actual shoot-down and never claimed he did.
              He expressed his personal opinion, and made sure to stress that it was just his opinion, that Ukie planes shot down the Boeing.
              If one listens to Zakharchenko’s interview, it is all very clear. But his words were distorted, as per usual.

  4. Warren says:

  5. Warren says:

    Lutsenko: In Western Ukraine People are Talking About the Need to Divide the Country

    Ordinary people living in Western Ukraine, are now seriously discussing the need to divide the country.

    This was stated by the former head of the Interior Ministry of Ukraine, one of the closest associates of Yulia Tymoshenko, Yuriy Lutsenko.

    “This weekend I was in Western Ukraine – in Ternopil, Lviv, in Lutsk, and Rivne. I saw the situation among the people. I was mostly in bookstores and talking with sellers. With intensity I heard the question numerous times: ‘Isn’t it time already to divide the country?’ – I’ve never heard of,” he said, according to “Regnum”.

    “Today, they begin to say that the country they can not go on living together – or put up with each other, or resolve things. God forbid that politicians would talk about it, but it has begun to be spoken of among the common people “- also added Lutsenko.

    http://fortruss.blogspot.co.uk/2015/04/lutsenko-in-western-ukraine-people-are.html

    Galicians and Volhynians appear to be falling out of love for “Ukraine”.

    • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

      If they think they’re getting off that easy they’re much mistaken.

    • marknesop says:

      They, too, should be careful what they wish for. How would an independent Galicia support itself? The west of Ukraine would be ripe for absorption by Poland, because it would be destitute; I am confident it could not manage on its own and it would certainly take it years if not decades to be self-sufficient, during which time the people would be poor and constantly bitching about their lot in life, or leaving. Perhaps absorption by Poland is what they want, but I can’t see that resulting in an instant boost in living standards for them, either. What a triumph for the presidency of Porky!! He lost the whole country!

      The alternative, of course, is for a rump Ukraine to live on western handouts forever.

      • james says:

        the talk sounds positive as opposed to listening to what politicians or usa state dept people have to say about this..i hope more of them talk about this..

      • kirill says:

        They are still deluded that they will be living the welfare gravy train as soon as they join the EU, which is soon after getting rid of all the pests in the east. They thought that getting rid of Yanukovich would be enough, but that didn’t work out. So they are applying the same hammer-nail “solution” to the Yanukovich supporters. These idiots need learn the facts of life.

        The south and east need to secede. The rest can go bugger itself.

        • Cass says:

          A good thought Kirill, if meant literally, but probably what they will do is sell the rump Ukraine to the U.S. for a USAF nuclear-armed military base.

          I think Zakharchenko, for one, is capable of looking forward to the day after the party.

        • kat kan says:

          It’s actually the west, which never was Ukraine, trying to force the ones that were into seeing things their way. The west ones want their own country after centuries of being other peoples’ slaves, but a master/slave relationship is the only one they have experience of. Only now they see a chance to be the top dog in it for a change. They feel they ARE Europeans, after all they used to be Poles and Austro-Hungarians (not that they liked it then). So, being slaves in Europe, where they’ll have to go visa-free for work, will be right up their alley.

  6. Tim Owen says:

    Good backgrounder on Chechnya by Mark Ames:

    https://www.nsfwcorp.com/dispatch/prisoners-of-the-caspian-part-one/

    http://nsfwcorp.com/dispatch/prisoners-of-the-caspian-part-two

    As with Yugoslavia, the parallels to the Ukraine are striking. That America can spout the language of peace and human rights while grooming, sheltering and deploying monsters like this seems incredible when viewed with fresh eyes.

    • Fern says:

      The United States would work with and support flesh-eating zombies if doing so advanced its geopolitical and economic agendas; John McCain would be speaking on platforms proclaiming ‘we’re all the living dead now’ (something about a broken clock being right twice a day has just popped into my head for some reason) and all the neocons and humanitarian interventionists would be spouting the usual drivel.

      Thanks, Tim, for posting this – it’s useful background to refute those who will claim that Putin’s comments during the recent documentary on his presidency on US support for Chechen terrorists is yet another example of his anti-western paranoia.

      • yalensis says:

        It also refutes people who continue to apologize for the “Ichkerian” cause; and also people who continue to whitewash Basaev or make the claim that it was the FSB/Putin who set off the explosions in the Moscow apartment buildings.

        • kirill says:

          What is grotesque about the apartment bombing tin foil hat nuttery that the western media is spreading is that Khattab threatened to bomb apartments in Moscow and elsewhere. And his jihadis did exactly that.

    • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

      I think out of respect for the exciting new world, the way we use the language has to change. Too many people and ideas are grievously misunderstood because of the words we use to describe what they do – I have a few suggestions for how we might rectify that:

      ‘Nazi’ replace with ‘peaceful protestor’

      ‘Genocide’ replace with ‘democratic transformation’

      ‘Massacre’ with ‘dialogue’

      ‘Terrorist’ replace with ‘Jeffersonian democrat’

      ‘Riot’ replace with ‘ impromptu civil society organisation’

      ‘Hostage-taking’ replace with ‘community outreach’

      You get the idea. Wouldn’t you rather read about the peaceful protestor democratic transformation in Poland and the Soviet Union than what’s in the history books now? The Chechen Jeffersonian democrats’ community outreach and dialogue in Beslan?

      • Fern says:

        Pavlo, a real life example of what you’re talking about is provided by none other than Madeleine Albright in the immediate aftermath of Croatia’s attack on the Krajina Serbs causing a huge exodus of people. It was not, declared Albright, ‘ethnic cleansing’ (that, after all, was what the Serbs alone did), it was the transfer of a population against its will.

  7. Moscow Exile says:

    From the usually vituperous Moscow Times no less:

    Russia-Focused Funds Get Most Investment in 8 Months

    So the last line reads: “Russia’s long-term economic prospects are still uncertain, with low oil prices and Western sanctions over the Ukraine crisis expected to shrink the economy by up to 5 percent this year.

    That’s more like your usual style, MT!

    • kirill says:

      Parrots repeating inane forecasts from Moody’s, etc, who don’t actually prove their forecasts are worth anything. BTW, MT is behind the curve here. The forecasts from western wishful thinking “analists” for the 1st quarter of 2015 has already failed. So the forecast for the rest of the year is not worth the paper ink or time of day. But MT keeps repeating it as if doing so will make it come true.

  8. et Al says:

    EU Observer: Security issue and Ukraine top EU’s agenda this WEEK
    https://euobserver.com/agenda/128475

    …The week kicks off with a EU-Ukraine summit in Kiev, attended by the EU’s top brass – Jean-Claude Juncker of the comission and Donald Tusk, president of the European Council.

    The summit is the first such meeting since Russia annexed Crimea last year and will discuss, amongst other things, the implementation of a trade agreement between the two sides.

    The discussions follow a recent letter by German foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier urging the European Commission to “use the considerable flexibility that the agreement offers” with Russia opposing it as it seeks to create its own sphere of influence in its immediate neighbourhood.

    “The economic stability of Ukraine can hardly succeed without the participation of Russia”, said Steinmeier, who also called for “pragmatic, interest-based and political approach without preconditions”…
    ####

    So the German government is still holding out hope that Russia will subsidize the Ukraine in to joining the EU. That boat sailed looooong ago.

    euractvi: Chizhov: The Gazprom case is political
    http://www.euractiv.com/sections/global-europe/chizhov-gazprom-case-was-political-beginning-314091

    The Gazprom case was not initiated by EU-based energy companies, but by the Lithuanian government, which was at that time involved in arbitration with Gazprom, Vladimir Chizhov, Russia’s Ambassador to the European Union, told EurActiv in an exclusive interview.

    Before being appointed Ambassador to the EU in 2005, Vladimir Chizhov was Russia’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs. He spoke to EurActiv’s Senior Editor, Georgi Gotev…

    …We’ll return to Ukraine later, but let me ask you about the legal procedure launched by the Commission against Gazprom. Do you think that the Russian arguments, which refer to the EU-Russia Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) of 1997, and suggest that the Commission is trying to apply the rules of its 2009 Third Energy package retroactively, have been taken into account?

    Actually the non-retroactive application of provisions is part of any international agreement and part and parcel of international law. Not only of the PCA, which in fact was signed in 1994. What article 34 of the PCA says is that both parties shall refrain from taking any measures or actions which would worsen conditions for business activities more than the situation that existed before.

    Maybe the Commission has disregarded this agreement, or does it interpret it differently?

    I don’t know. I haven’t discussed this with the Commission, because the Commission considers this whole case confidential, and they are only dealing directly with Gazprom as an entity.

    On the other hand, what puzzled me from the beginning was that the whole case was initiated not by some economic entities, not by EU-based energy companies which could have theoretically complained about those contracts, but by the government of a member state which was at that time involved in arbitration with Gazprom…
    ###

    Read the rest at the link.

    euractiv: At summit, Ukraine to press EU for peacekeepers
    http://www.euractiv.com/sections/europes-east/summit-ukraine-press-eu-peacekeepers-314096

    Ukraine will press European leaders for peacekeepers to patrol its war-torn east and will angle for more international financial support at two days of high-level talks starting today (27 April)…

    …he EU-Ukraine summit is the first since their “association agreement” came into force last year after the ouster of Ukraine’s pro-Russian former president Viktor Yanukovych.

    In return for support under the agreement, the EU is demanding reforms to clean up Ukrainian politics and business.

    “The focus of the summit will be on the reform challenges,” said an EU official who asked not to be named.

    Among measures taken in recent months, Kyiv has launched a new anti-corruption body and passed laws to clean up its banks.

    “The test is in the real implementation, the changes in real life for people” that the reforms bring, the official said….
    ####

    So there you have it. Kiev’s strategy is that of Croatia – have peacekeepers to protect you whilst your train and arm your army to launch an offensive with the full backing of the West. Dream on.

  9. Warren says:

    Published on 27 Apr 2015
    Are economic sanctions against a country a substitute for war? The record is mixed – civilian populations almost always suffer, while elites remain in power and unscathed. Western sanctions do create economic outcomes, but not political ones.
    CrossTalking with Daniel Wagner, Ernst Wolff, and Liam Halligan.

    • Tim Owen says:

      I was surprised that the case of Halliday wasn’t brought up:

      http://uts.cc.utexas.edu/~rjensen/freelance/halliday.htm

      It is kind of the “antidote” to that chilling Albright interview.

      • Fern says:

        Dennis Halliday and his successor, Hans von Sponek, both life-long UN officials and both honourable men resigned over the Iraqi oil-for-food programme because of how it was implemented by the UNSC or, more particularly, how the US & UK ensured it was implemented. Von Sponek wrote a book “Another Kind of War’ about the genocidal impact of the sanctions regime on Iraqi civilian society.

        Albright’s reply to the question about the possibility of the sanctions causing the deaths of around 500,000 Iraqi children – “we think it is worth it” is, to me, on par with Hilary Clinton’s glee on the murder of Ghaddafi – “we came, we saw, he died’. One of those glimpses of the psychopaths behind the liberal masks.

      • marknesop says:

        Interesting; I had not heard of him before. It often startles me what an ignorant clod I am, and how little I know of what’s really going on. But I take comfort in the knowledge that more than half of the government officials in the English-speaking world are at least as ignorant clods as I.

  10. Warren says:

  11. et Al says:

    Neuters: Deflation? Oil’s 45 percent rebound could be markets’ next headache
    https://uk.news.yahoo.com/deflation-oils-45-percent-rebound-could-markets-next-102501095–sector.html

    …Whisper it, but the next challenge for financial markets and policymakers may not be deflation, but the remarkable surge in oil prices from the six-year low touched in January.

    Since then, Brent crude futures have risen 45 percent. If that is sustained or even increased throughout this year, inflation next year could rise significantly, posing questions for policymakers largely committed to ultra-loose policy…

    …Brent crude futures have risen $20 from January’s low to $65 a barrel . That’s a 45 percent increase. WTI futures have jumped $15 from March’s low to $58 a barrel. That’s a rise of almost 40 percent…

    … The 10-year breakeven rate, the difference between the nominal Treasury yield and the real yield on inflation-linked bonds, has risen to 1.9 percent from 1.53 percent.

    That drift higher should continue as long as oil prices remain firm, lifting the breakeven rate back towards the longer-term average back above 2 percent, said Iain Stealey, fund manager of the JP Morgan Global Bond Opportunities Fund.

    “We’ve already seen some movement. But there might still be room for that to continue further,” he said.

    Another area investors might look to gain from firmer oil prices is in U.S. high-yield bonds in the energy sector, which has outperformed the broader index this year as oil has recovered. ..
    ###

    So good news for US investors is bad news for Russia? Curiously total silence about Russia!

    AFP: Kazakhstan ‘buy local’ drive battles ruble-cheap Russian imports
    https://uk.news.yahoo.com/kazakhstan-buy-local-drive-battles-050956065.html

    Shelves in supermarkets across the ex-Soviet republic of Kazakhstan teem with bright signs championing locally-produced goods over Russian alternatives.

    The push to buy local is part of the government’s “Made (Paris: FR0010328302 – news) in Kazakhstan” initiative to support domestic producers struggling to match cheap imports from neighbouring Russia, which have enjoyed the competitive benefits of the sanction-battered ruble’s dramatic slide in value.

    The campaign was launched despite Kazakhstan and Russia having entered the Eurasian Economic Union earlier this year — the trade bloc backed by both countries’ authoritarian presidents.

    The blue “KZ” labels of the Buy Kazakh campaign appear to be achieving their objective with some patriotic shoppers….

    …Officials in both countries deny problems in bilateral relations, with Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov recently calling talk of a trade war an “exaggeration”.

    Kazakhstan’s Deputy Economy Minister Kairbek Uskenbaev said the bans concerned “specific companies,” and would not damage the country’s “most friendly” relations with Russia…

    …The wide-ranging restrictions have also raised questions about the logic behind the Eurasian Economic Union, when three of the bloc’s four members are sparring with one another.

    Belarus, another member, has also engaged in trade disputes with Moscow, as the fallout from low energy prices and Western sanctions over Russia’s policies in Ukraine reverberate throughout the former Soviet empire.

    “Although these actions violate the spirit of Eurasian integration, it’s understandable that in extraordinary circumstances national governments may intervene to regulate the terms of trade,” said Igor Yushkov, an analyst at the National Energy Security Fund, a Moscow-based consultancy close to the Kremlin…
    ####

    The usual sensationalist reporting by AFP. As we have already seen, the Ruble has stabilized and the first piece I posted points to a stabilization and possibly a growth of oil prices. If that remains then Russia will recover steadily to where it was, so no need for panic measures in Kz, as the last quote of the article says: ““We just have to wait and hope the ruble finds its level again.“.

    • kirill says:

      The real story here is that oil prices can’t stay down since there is no actual glut of supply. The market is a joke that prices oil based on US gasoline stocks. So they do not even factor actual resource remaining and production capacity. I predicted the current price fall was a transient blip and it is coming true. All the yammering about a new era of cheap oil was mindnumbingly inane BS.

      • sinotibetan says:

        The talk of persistent cheap oil was Western wishful thinking plus an effort to ‘frighten off Bad Bad Vlad’…..it[s mostly political and those in the oil and gas field know that.
        The price of Brent might spike even further if Yemen hostilities destabilize the Middle East further and once the impact of reducing (functioning) oil rigs in the USA is reckoned with. Moreover ,shale oil producers need crude oil price to be more than US$70 per barrel to survive. I think the second quarter of the year may have higher crude oil prices.

        sinotibetan

  12. Warren says:

    Russian dissident Vladimir Bukovsky charged over child sex images

    Russian dissident, author and human rights activist Vladimir Bukovsky, 72, faces a series of charges

    By Martin Evans2:40PM BST 27 Apr 2015

    Vladimir Bukovsky, the veteran Soviet era dissident, has been charged with making and possessing indecent images of children, the CPS has announced.

    The 72-year-old, who has been living in the UK since the 1970s, is facing five counts of making indecent images, five of possessing indecent images and one count of possessing a prohibited images.

    He is due to appear before Cambridge Magistrates’ Court on May 5.

    Jenny Hopkins, Chief Crown Prosecutor for the CPS in the East of England, said:

    “Following an investigation by Cambridgeshire Police, we have concluded that there is sufficient evidence and it is in the public interest to prosecute Vladimir Bukovsky in relation to the alleged making and possessing of indecent images of children.”

    Mr Bukovsky spent 12 years in Soviet prisons and labour camps, before being released as part of a prisoner swap in 1976.

    He was forced into exile and moved to the UK, where he studied biology at Cambridge University.
    He has been an outspoken critic of Kremlin and Russian premier, Vladimir Putin.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/11565993/Russian-dissident-Vladimir-Bukovsky-charged-over-child-sex-images.html

    • kirill says:

      What f*cking reforms are these retards blathering about? Ukraine is losing its economic integrity by killing its main export market, the industries that serve it, and cutting off two regions which accounted for 25% of its exports from even paying taxes. I estimate that these two regions must have accounted for close to 25% of Kiev’s tax revenues.

      The only “reform” in Ukraine is impoverishment. Any attempt at austerity will only result in a multiplier effect where a 25% GDP decline will turn into a 35-40% GDP decline. These “reform” drones need brain transplants.

    • marknesop says:

      That is the funniest line I have read all week, it would make a great post title.

      • Tim Owen says:

        All yours my liege. FWIW I think it’s a good topic too beyond the title. It just amazes me how “one’s” career path from say government to lobbying to government, round and round, is blameless if English is your first language. Or better: Jamie Dimon calling Holder directly to discuss pending cases against his bank? FFS bankers are submitting legislation in whole cloth to congress critters who are too busy sucking up to donors – read: the same entities – to actually read them. Then there’s ALEC which is basically a kind of scalable version of the same thing and provides ready-made and PAC-approved legislation especially at the State level. It just goes on and on. Take Bill Black’s blistering analysis of the rampant control fraud that caused the housing bubble that basically sucked the wealth out of the American middle class all the way up AND all the way down and then… the perpetrators weren’t convicted but – it’s almost too outrageous – made whole by transferring their liabilities to the public account.

        This is precisely how NO-ONE thinks a capitalist system should work no matter what end of the quaint left-right divide one is on.

        And this is the historical moment in which Anne Applebaum sees fit to paint a picture of Putin’s Russia as a place where he and his cronies “own” the country? Excuse me Anne but is the tax on all this ownership not supporting, just as a for instance, public education? Meanwhile in the US the paying tax is for the little people, as Leona Helmsley famously quipped, and the notion of public education has devolved to the point that it’s accepted without question that you can have public goods such as education only if you first make some hedge fund manager rich in the process.

        No wonder the US is so messed up: they were doing it all wrong for some – strangely successful – decades. Thank god they’re getting back on track.

  13. Warren says:

  14. dany8538 says:

    A must watch. God, He really is an amazing politician. Damn it, Putler is doing it again. Kill him now!!! He is poisoning my mind with his rational thoughts. Stop him !!!🙂

    This needs to be translated.

    • Ali Cat says:

      Give it a couple of days and Im sure either The saker team or Slavyangrad will translate, at least to english. And I do agree he is damn good.

    • yalensis says:

      If I am reading above correctly , did this guy Olivier Fehr just prove that Gerashchenko’s hit-list site actually IS hosted on an internal NATO server?

      And people who said so earlier, were called “conspiracy theorists” !

      Looks to be like the admins for the hit-list NATO site are located in Tallinn, Estonia.
      Why does that not surprise me.

      In conclusion: NATO should be considered an accomplice in the murders of Kalashnikov and Buzina.

      • Tim Owen says:

        Read that twice. Could you explain why cloud flare is an important tell?

        Just kidding: I don’t actually understand most of it.

        • yalensis says:

          Dear Tim:
          Yeah, I admit I don’t really understand most of it either. I mentioned that I work in the I.T. business, so I should understand this better than I do; but in my various jobs I have studiously tried to weasel out of doing any hardware/network stuff. Reason being, the network/admin type work is long and unpredictabe hours, highly stressful; and I am not particularly good at it.
          I am better at logic and software, so that is where I floated into.
          So, that’s my excuse.

          But, anyhow, from what I do understand, and derive from above discussion:
          Gerashchenko, along with Avakov, and the Ukrainian SBU (successor to the Soviet Ukrainian KGB – one cannot stress this point enough times🙂 ) decided to set up a website, where people could anonymously submit identifying data about people deemed to be traitors or enemies of the people.

          Such a site needed to be secure and unhackable (for obvious reasons, to guarantee the anonymity of the stool pigeons).

          As their network/web admin they hired a person named Oxana Tinko, who lives or works at Filtri tee 12, Tallinn, Estonia 10132, phone# 372.7176813

          Oxana, whose email address is oxana@informnapalm.org
          registered the website in the EU. Oxana appears to work for an organization called NATO CCDCOE.

          This is where it gets confusing: In previous discussion, we determined that the physical server itself is (probably) located in Dallas, Texas, USA.
          But they also use a different machine for the “name server”. This is a way of disguising oneself.
          For example, if Mark were completely ashamed of himself, and what he does, then he could setup an anonymous pseudo-routing address, call it KremlinStooge.com
          He could do this by using one of the many services offered out there, such as “HideMyAss-dot-com” or something like that.

          Physically, his files could still be located on the wordpress computer, but it would look like he was on a different (invisible) server.
          Think of it like an anonymous P.O. box, where somebody uses to get their porno magazines delivered, instead of to their real address.

          I THINK that’s what this CloudFare thing is, but I’m not 100% sure.

          In any case, the Estonian rubes who setup this hitlist site were not very savvy, or were very sloppy, and apparently they left too many clues that allowed to be traced back to NATO.

          • yalensis says:

            P.S. – if there are any people out there in the “cloud” who really understand this network routing stuff – now would be a good time to chime in.

      • james says:

        that is how i read it too yalensis, along with your conclusion at the end. if there is any way to get more traction on this – i think it would be great.. perhaps et al can chime in on the merits of the writers research work into this..

      • marknesop says:

        Surely looks like it. He does point out, though, that NATO might not know anything about it. That’s a fig leaf too far, though, because it would imply Ukraine has secret access to NATO DNS servers. Possible, but unlikely given how desperately NATO wants Ukraine to remain outside Russia’s orbit – they will give it pretty much any help it asks for.

        Cloudflare is included as an invisible rollover in a lot of European-origin news sites now, too.

  15. Fern says:

    An update on western values. This relates to the chapter on the Pirate Code – you know, where ‘we’ sign treaties and all sorts of other formal stuff but, despite ‘our’ much trumpeted love of the ‘rule of law’ regard them as guidelines only rather than binding agreements to which ‘we’ must adhere. In 1997, the EU and Russia signed an agreement on partnership and co-operation which hasn’t subsequently been repealed or revoked.

    Article 34 of this Agreement is particularly interesting:-

    ”The Parties shall use their best endeavours to avoid taking any measures or actions which render the conditions for the establishment and operation of each other’s companies more restrictive than the situation existing on the day preceding the date of signature of the Agreement.”

    So it seems the EU’s attempt to apply retrospectively its beloved Third Energy Package to Gazprom contracts with individual member states is contra indicated by the basic agreement in place between Russia and the EU.

    As Edwin Starr might have sung – shortly to be adopted as the new EU anthem – “Law huh yeah/what is it good for?”

  16. Fern says:

    An interesting analysis by Alexander Mercouris of the Greece/Gazprom potential deal. Alexander’s sources within Greece say there was a Russian deal on the table but Greece baulked at the last moment:-

    I was told by my source that the Greek government could not in the end bring itself to defy the EU Commission on this issue because of its fears that this would jeopardise its negotiations with the EU finance ministers at the Eurogroup meeting on the following day.

    In fact the negotiations at the Eurogroup got precisely nowhere. Far from Greece’s refusal to sign a deal with Gazprom having bought for Greece goodwill, the failure to do so left Greek finance minister Yaroufakis playing at the meeting from a desperately weak hand.  Without the $5 billion he might have had from Gazprom, he was left begging for money, which predictably he failed to get.

    Greece’s negotiating strategy actually makes little sense and points to a divided and inexperienced government. There was no point in making overtures to Moscow if Greece was not prepared to follow them through. It was totally predictable that the EU authorities would object to whatever deal Greece made with Russia or with Gazprom.  If Greece was not prepared to defy the EU authorities on this question, it should not have proceeded at all. As it is the Russians must be annoyed at being led up the garden path, while the European leaders have been antagonised and persuaded that Greece’s anti-austerity posture is ultimately a bluff.

    http://russia-insider.com/en/greece-russia-and-eu-prospects-grexit-loom/6108

    • kirill says:

      Ukraine redux. The EU is a scum organization composed of scum running the scummy joke of an organization.

      I think the EU has f*cked itself. At the end of 2016, Russia will look at the lack of any infrastructure to receive Russian gas from Turkey and will declare force majeur on the deliveries aside from Nord Stream. So the EU will be missing 63 bcm/year of supply. The clowns in Brussels should order some LNG before it is too late. Qatar ships 100 bcm/year, so they should shop there. The LNG facilities on the US east coast will not be ready by the end of next year.

    • marknesop says:

      I’m sure Russia will give Greece another chance – it’s kind of important to Russia’s plans. Meanwhile, the EU has nothing to offer except austerity and that old chestnut, reforms. Curiously, the American offer was not mentioned; anyone hear anything on what the USA is offering?

    • Tim Owen says:

      This might be agitprop but from what I’ve been reading Greeks have been withdrawing Euros en masse and – one assumes – sticking them under mattresses. Completely understandable from the personal, individual point of view but a disaster in the aggregate.

      The Syrizia govt. needs to explain that there’s no way out of this without capital controls and then impose them. FWIW the taboo against capital controls is completely belied by experience. The hot money that flowed in and out of Southeast Asia in the 90s and led to the crisis had everything to do with making a few capitalists rich and very little to do with supporting real economic activity. Think smash and grab.

      Contrast China which, despite corruption etc. yada yada… has retained tight control over its currency and capital account.

    • Tim Owen says:

      Another perspective is offered by the greenback’s history. My understanding was that Lincoln was faced with ~ 20 % interest rates in London to finance the government’s expenditures via the markets early on in the Civil War. He balked and instead issued “greenbacks” which were unbacked by anything except the present and future tax-levying power of the US Government.

      … just like now.

      There’s a lot of debate about how this led to post-war inflation but I don’t buy it.

      Forgive me but I think there’s something kind of poetic about fiat currency.

      • Jen says:

        The idea was that these greenbacks were intended to be interest-free and debt-free and as such represented a threat to the British banking industry. This money not only financed the Union’s ability to wage war and defeat the Confederacy, it also helped create a transnational railroad system and stimulated US manufacturing. The unknown author of an editorial supposedly written for The London Times in 1865 recognised the Lincoln greenback’s potential:

        “If that mischievous financial policy which had its origin in the North American Republic during the late war in that country, should become indurated down to a fixture, then that Government will furnish its own money without cost. It will pay off its debts and be without debt. It will become prosperous beyond precedent in the history of the civilized governments of the world. The brains and wealth of all countries will go to North America. That government must be destroyed or it will destroy every monarchy on the globe.”
        http://www.webofdebt.com/articles/lincoln_obama.php
        http://www.michaeljournal.org/lincolnkennedy.htm

        This might partly explain why the British government supported the Confederates during the Civil War.

  17. kat kan says:

    Just in time for the EU-Ukraine talks, OSCE manages to put out a Spot Report that fighting near Shirokino is the most intense it’s been for weeks.

    They lie by omission and confusion. This part is being fairly widely quoted:

    “the SMM observed 69 outgoing tank shots, originating from 600 metres south-east and 800 metres north of its position, 191 outgoing mortar rounds (82mm) and 153 outgoing mortar rounds (120mm), originating from 600 metres south-east, 300 and 1,500 metres north-west and 800 metres north of the its position.” You note they don’t specify who is doing the shooting, or “who”-held territory it’s from.

    Everyone is quoting this, nobody is quoting the FIRST SENTENCE of that paragraph, which is “Throughout the day, from two adjacent observation posts, located 1,5km west and 4,5km north-west of Shyrokyne,”

    So they are north-west of the place, ie well inside Kiev held territory. . The outgoing is from places south-east of them or even from north of them — just 300 to 800 metres away — …. in other words from Kiev held territory.

    Luckily the conference didn’t fall for this BS and has declared EU peacekeepers would not be helpful.
    BBC simplifies the whole issue by not even bothering to quote anyone, just saying
    “Pro-Russian rebels have been bombarding a village near the city of Mariupol.
    On Sunday tank and mortar rounds pounded the village – Shyrokyne – near government-held Mariupol, a vital port city. ”
    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-32478933

  18. yalensis says:

    Just checking in on our old friend Vita Zaverukha, from the Aidar Battalion.
    Vita has changed her look and profile pic, she put aside the jihadi-girl scarf.
    Scroll down just a wee bit, and you see Vita celebrating the May 2 Odessa massacre, with a logo of the Odessa city shield framed by Molotov cocktails, and the slogan:
    “I remember! And I am proud!”

    Just below that, one of Vita’s followers has posted a “joke” picture of a man burned to a crisp, hanging out of a window (one of the photos from Odessa massacre), framed by an ad for Kentucky Fried Chicken. Banderites like to joke about “roasted Colorado beetles” and so on. Now it’s fried chicken.

  19. yalensis says:

    Meanwhile, on the space technology front:

    Brazil Space Agency (BSA) has a satellite launching station called Alcântara Launch Center, located on Brazil’s Atlantic coast.
    According to the wiki entry: There are also plans to launch several international rockets from Alcântara. In 2003 contracts were signed to launch Ukrainian Tsyklon-4[3] (as of December 2009 planned to be launched by the end of 2010[2]) and Israeli Shavit[4] rockets; In addition there are further plans to launch the Russian Proton rocket.[5]

    But according to this, wiki entry is out-dated and needs to be revised.
    In other words, the Ukrainian deal is off, according to Nikolai Azarov (who was Ukrainian P.M. under Yanukovych):

    TRANSLATION OF AZAROV QUOTE
    In the so-called Ukrainian mass media, which it would be more correct to call mass disinformation, they practically didn’t even notice, that Brazil decided to cease collaboration with Ukraine on the construction of a cosmodrome at Alcântara. This was Ukraine single and only large investment project abroad; this project not only reaffirmed our nation as a leader in the aerospace industry, but also insured work and contracts for our enterprises for many years to come.
    We acquired this contract with great effort, in tough competition with much larger countries. Difficult negotiations, comprises, to acquire the contract for our nation. And now, after the coup, these placeholders, who call themselves patriots,squawking wherever they can “Glory to Ukraine!” have in reality wiped out our real glory, which was created over the decades by our scientists, builders, industrialists. On the orders of their masters, they have placed a cross over the most advanced area (of industry) of Ukraine.
    END OF TRANSLATION

    The piece goes on to say, that the Brazilian cosmodrome is located right near the Earth’s Equator, which (for some scientific reason) allows it to launch rockets into orbit with 30% less fuel.
    Ukraine participated originally in the construction of this project.
    Aerospace and rocketry was the true glory of the Ukrainian economy. Back in the day…

  20. Moscow Exile says:

    The adventures of a pair of Ukrainian “heroes” just arrived in Kharkov to fight against Russian aggressors:

    Glory to the Ukraine! To the heroes – glory!

  21. Moscow Exile says:

    “Одесса заплатила очень высокую цену 2 мая, чтобы увидеть сейчас что происходит, если бы мы тогда не остановили навал сепаратистов.”

    Odessa paid a very high price so as to see what would have happened if we had not stopped the bulk of the separatists.”

    See:

    Порошенко: 2 мая в Одессе мы остановили “навал сепаратистов”

    Poroshenko: the people in the Trade Unions House had to be burnt in order to stop the separatists

    • marknesop says:

      What???!!! I thought it just accidentally caught fire, actually from the inside where the aggressor separatists were throwing Molotov cocktails out at the peaceful Ukrainian patriots who were trying to help them.

      Gosh!!

    • james says:

      ” Poroshenko: the people in the Trade Unions House had to be burnt in order to stop the separatists” …did porkoshenko actually say this moscow exile? if so, he would be up for war crimes especially if we lived in a fair world, as opposed to a bullied one..

      • Moscow Exile says:

        He said in Yukie on the clip shown above what a Russian site, also linked above, translates into Russian thus:

        “Одесса заплатила очень высокую цену 2 мая, чтобы увидеть сейчас что происходит, если бы мы тогда не остановили навал сепаратистов”

        and which I have translated into English thus:

        “Odessa paid a very high price so as to see what would have happened if we had not stopped the bulk of the separatists”,

        which sounds pretty garbled, I must admit. Perhaps a better translation would be:

        “Odessa has paid a very high price in order not to see what would have happened if we had not stopped the attempt of the separatists”.

        I presume he means that those immolated in the Odessa TU was the high price that Odessa had to pay so as not to witness today in their city the death and destruction that has been going on in the Donetsk and Lugansk provinces, which events, he maintains, have been brought about by the actions of separatists there and which would also have happened in Odessa if the Kiev “government” had not put a stop to an attempt at separatism there.

        Poroshenko made that statement in Odessa on October 23rd, 2014.

        During that same visit, Poroshenko called Odessa the “City of Bandera”, and in order to be granted the honour of being labelled so by him, he believes Odess paid a high price – but it was worth it.

        Similar sentiments have also been reported to have been uttered by a Czech diplomat, Václav Bartuška:

        “If you quickly stand up to [demonstrators] head-on as they did in say, Odessa, where they simply burned them, or in Dnipropetrovsk, where they simply killed them and buried them by the roadside, then you have calm. If you do not do this, you have war. That’s all”.

        See: Czech Diplomat Applauds Odessa Massacre

        And why indeed should Poroshenko and Yarosh and the rest of the Bandera worshipping scum fear retribution from the civilized Western world of freedom and democracy when the USA’s finest – as well as the UKs and Canada’s – are helping train the special battalions whose aim is to eradicate all vestiges of separatism – and that means every man, woman and child of suspected separatist mien – from Banderastan?

        • Moscow Exile says:

          Further to the above:

          There was no official English-language translation of that [October 23] speech by President Poroshenko; but, within southeastern Ukraine, this statement by the nation’s President offended many people, because they didn’t think that such a massacre was a badge of honor at all.

          See: War Resumes in Ukraine Eric Zuesse, October 30, 2014.

        • et Al says:

          “Odessa has paid a very high price in order not to see what would have happened if we had not stopped the attempt of the separatists”.

          That is still an extremely painful.

          How about “Odessa paid a very high price to deter others from rebelling”?

          • Moscow Exile says:

            Yes, that’s the gist of what he said, but I’ve noticed before how Poroshenko waffles on and utters such garbled sentiments as that quoted above.

            He’s saying “In order not to see what would have happened if we had not put a stop to the separatists in Odessa, that city had to pay a very high price”.

            And that means that the deaths of those in the TU building were a result of hard measures taken by the Banderites against separatists in Odessa, which counters, as Mark has pointed out, the official version that those driven into the Odessa TU House had caused the blaze themselves whilst hurling petrol bombs at their attackers. Now it seems Poroshenko condones this loss of life as having been necessary so as to avoid civil war in the Odessa region – a high price to pay, but worth it.

            Porky often seems to slip his fat gob into gear without thinking clearly about what he is saying. At about the same time as he made this comment about the high price paid by Odessa (possibly during the same Odessa visit) he made a speech in that city where he said everything would be fine in Banderastan whilst life would be unbearable in the separatist areas: in Banderastan kids would go to school, whereas the Moskali kids would be living in cellars and the pensioners would receive no pensions etc., closing his harangue by saying: “And that’s why we shall win!”

            • james says:

              thanks moscow exile and et al.. to me this might seem like a moot point, but i think it is a terrible indictment on poroshenko, and by extension – the west who support him.. he needs to be held accountable for what he said here as it is outrageous if your translation is in the ballpark.. the fact this is not better known needs to be changed as well to portray this guys thinking for all to see.. the czech dude is just a lot less subtle, but it is really the same thing that porkoshenko seems to have been caught saying.. he needs to have this made public on the international stage and held accountable for it without question.. if human rights organizations are good for anything, they would address this..

            • et Al says:

              As the frogs would put it ‘Pour décourager les autres.

              It’s the same rationale that the the British made during the Boer war in rounding up Boer families and putting them in the newly fangled concentration camps when the British Army wasn’t cable in dealing with guerrilla warfareand also where in a most extreme case the Ottoman’s decided to deport/kill/eradicated as many Armenians as possible 100 years ago, again because they thought they were militarily on the back foot.

              The difference is that what was fun a hundred years ago is a war crime/crime against humanity today. Except the West has turned a blind eye in the Ukraine.

        • cartman says:

          A great portion of Europe collaborated with Hitler, so Bartuška’s existence is proof that the Soviets were far too soft on the vermin.

        • Tim Owen says:

          Where was that Czech fuckwit during the Maidan?

          • Tim Owen says:

            Jesus, it’s no wonder Europe is in such a mess given that ignorant a-hole could survive as a diplomat.

            Anyone who talks about discipline in the context of Economics has proved himself to be a worthy school sports coach (and nothing more, lest he damage young minds.)

            What about that massive debt forgiveness in ’53 that kicked off the German industrial miracle? How did that encourage discipline exactly?

            He has exactly zero understanding of the EU crisis but can prattle on like this because his self-image and those that agree with him is flattered by his tough talk.

            I particularly love his reference to De Blasio. So that’s local news to you huh? You think you understand anything about the urban North American context? I wonder what you are reading?

            But besides that, his statements about Odessa are fucking monstrous and show that it’s a “short putt” from country club Fascism to the real kind.

  22. et Al says:

    The usual crap until the last four paras:

    AP: Polish border guards refuse entry for 10 Russian bikers
    https://uk.news.yahoo.com/russian-bikers-try-enter-poland-wwii-memorial-ride-100322387.html

    …Not all Poles fear the Night Wolves. The head of a Polish bikers’ group, Wiktor Wegrzyn, called the Polish opposition to the bikers “anti-Russia hysteria.”

    After the Russian bikers were denied entry, about 100 Polish bikers on the Polish side of the border honked their horns and flashed their lights in protest.

    They had gathered earlier Monday hoping to escort the Russians through Poland. Instead, some of them later drove to Warsaw and stopped at the Tomb of the Unknown Solider in place of the Russians.

    The Russian bikers left Russia on Saturday and on Sunday they paid homage in Russia at a memorial to Polish prisoners of war killed in the Katyn massacres by the Soviet Union during World War II.

    • marknesop says:

      That was a nice gesture on the part of the Polish bikers. Of course we can’t have a bike gang running the country, but a change of leadership would be nice. They could start with Sikorski; even though he’s not the leader, he and Tusk are U.S. mouthpieces.

      • james says:

        i agree and was thinking that myself.. funny how bikers are more civilized then your typical politician.. oh i forgot – must wear a suit and tie in order to appear more civilized, even if your actions speak diametrically the exact opposite..

    • Tim Owen says:

      Can we create a shadow UN out of bikers? May be our best hope.

      • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

        Сыновья анархии

        • Tim Owen says:

          Ha! Have u got that in Oz? Haven’t watched it.

          My only encounter with bikers was in small town Quebec way back in the late 70s. They were pretty harmless but I wouldn’t confuse them with big city outfits.

          • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

            I’ll pretend you didn’t just call me Australian.

            But yes, we do get SoA here. Watchable up to the end of the second season, but I’d give it a miss and go for something less dreary – like Justified.

            Yeah, those probably wouldn’t have been one percenters. Which we also have – not only the local Hells Angels branch, but also the Highway 61 gang. Ugly customers them.

        • Tim Owen says:

          Ah. Penny drops. Indeed. A fitting antidote to the empire of chaos.

          • Jen says:

            I hear the classic film on biker culture is “Stone” by Sandy Harbutt which he made in 1974. Here’s an excerpt from it showing a biker funeral procession:

  23. Moscow Exile says:

    This morning, Kiev:

    Порошенко: война в Донбассе может начаться в любой момент

    Poroshenko; War Might break out in the Donbass at any moment

    “Мы готовы сделать все возможное, чтобы не было возможности ни сомневаться, ни отступать”, – сказал президент Украины

    War may break out at any moment, but we are ready to do everything possible in order that there be no possibility either to be sceptical or to retreat”, said the President of the Ukraine

    “Сегодня Украине требуется Европа и Запад, которые должны быть объединенными (в вопросе по Донбассу). Мы не позволим никому устать от Украины, от вашей помощи, от вашего единства в решении ситуации на Донбассе”, – добавил Порошенко.

    “Today the Ukraine needs Europe and the West, which should be as one (as regards the question concerning the Donbass). We will not let anyone get tired and weary about the Ukraine, your help and your unity in addressing the situation in the Donbass”, said Poroshenko.

    Blah, blah, blah – blyad, blyad, blyad!

  24. Warren says:

    Finland drops depth charges in ‘submarine’ alert

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-32498790

    First the Swedes now the Finns are chasing phantom Russian submarines.

    • marknesop says:

      Can’t let the world relax – they have to be reminded daily about Russian Aggression until they accept it as reality and ask to be protected from it. Help us, NATO!!!

      Current European governments do not realize they are cutting their own throats by going along with this America-centric foolishness. Their populations are not fooled, and hopefully elections will bring some changes.

      • cartman says:

        Also, PM Stubby is a pro-NATO fanatic, so the governments of Sweden and Finland have an agenda to hype this.

        • Finland just had an election and the centric party won the elections. The chairman of the centric party is Juha Sipilä and he is not nearly as much pro-US, pro-NATO and pro-EU than Stubb was. But I don’t know (yet) if this will have any effect to Finnish foreign policy. The mainstream media will probably be as anti-Russian and as pro-West as before.

          • cartman says:

            But thanks to him, NATO membership for Finland is going to take priority over every other issue (the failing economy, immigration, etc.)

            The Atlanticists are rapidly hollowing out Europe so they can leash it to their master.

          • Jen says:

            That will depend on who Sipilä chooses (or is forced to choose) to be foreign minister and what that person’s views are.

          • marknesop says:

            Thanks for the update, Karl.

      • Warren says:

        I had no idea, depth charges were still being used. I’ve only seen that in WW2 movies.

  25. Warren says:

    • dany8538 says:

      God, Ukraine will grab on onto anything, talk about everything, except how they are done as an economic entity. Thank god for Putin, otherwise, Ukrainians wouldn’t have anything that can distract them from the absolute craphole their country has become.
      As for Mcfaul, who cares ?
      This is a man that truly shows that anybody can become an ambassador, at least in US.

    • james says:

      regarding the quotes in the first link.. that might be true, but the strategists from the west are so flippin’ pathetic, putin always looks superior!

    • Did he really call the current Ukraine as a “democratic experiment”?

    • marknesop says:

      …says the guy who had to take early retirement after an abbreviated tour as U.S. Ambassador to the Russian Federation. Too bad the neoconservatives already have a Sarah Palin. He could have been it.

  26. Warren says:

    • james says:

      glad to see radio free europe are educating the public that they are an american run propaganda outlet… some folks don’t know that still… now, if they could just state it directly, as opposed to saying they are battling russia propaganda – it would be a lot more honest of them.. crazy thought hey? them being honest that is!!

    • marknesop says:

      Excellent! Since my stock in trade is highlighting stories I think are lies, and trying to prove that they are lies, this sounds like an excellent new generator of source material.

  27. et Al says:

    The Incontinent: Fear of Vladimir Putin, Islamists and immigration see new iron curtains constructed once again across Europe
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/new-iron-curtains-motivated-by-fear-of-putin-islamists-and-immigration-walls-are-being-built-across-eastern-europe-10205252.html

    All over Eastern Europe – from Ukraine, to Poland, to Bulgaria – Soviet-style ‘iron curtains’ are celebrating a renaissance

    The “Great Wall of Ukraine” looks nothing like its nickname suggests. It boasts no stone, brick or tampered earth, you can’t walk along it, and there is little chance (one would hope) that parts of it will remain standing 2,000 years from now. It is, however, “a priority”, according to the Ukrainian President, Petro Poroshenko, and its intended purpose is simple: to keep Russia out and would-be secessionists in.

    Two years ago, the Ukrainians did not need this “wall”. Or, to put it differently, they did not think they needed it. Times, however, have changed. The wall – simply an idea 12 months ago, a political play by Poroshenko in the run-up to elections – is now being marked out. The first stretch of wire fencing has already gone up in Kharkiv, the northern region not far from neighbouring Luhansk, where skirmishes are frequent. The eventual plan, however, is to create something much larger in scale: a boundary to run the length of Ukraine’s eastern land border with Russia, stretching 1,500 miles, and replete with trenches, watchtowers and armed guards. It will take an estimated three to four years to build and $500m (£330m) to fund – a figure of which bankrupt Ukraine is hoping the EU will help to provide at least a portion in support.

    It will not be the only fence to go up this year. All over Eastern Europe – from Ukraine, to Poland, to Bulgaria – Soviet-style “iron curtains” are celebrating a renaissance, with boundaries springing out of the ground in places few would have expected half a decade ago, and neighbours separating themselves in new and surprising ways. Poland this month announced plans to harden its border with the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad to the north – with six watchtowers to be put up this year – in a move indicative of worsening relations between Russia and its contiguous EU states. …
    ####

    The rest at the link.

    • et Al says:

      Yet again, only at the end does the piece obliquely mention the role and cause that the West’s has in the creation of such refugee crises:

      Still, don’t good fences at least make good neighbours? Not according to European integration expert Kalypso Nicolaidis. She says that in all the three main cases – in Ukraine, Bulgaria and Poland – governments are guilty of making decisions effective only in the short term. “People don’t really understand that it’s really about what’s happening at the source. Deal with Russia, deal with the problems that cause people to travel up from the Middle East and Africa – that’s much more effective,” she says. “But in citizens’ imaginations, walls have an imaginative quality which politicians tend to pander to. They seem like the easier solution.”

    • Jen says:

      It’s significant that the wall is going up first around Kharkiv, close to Donbass, sympathetic to Russia and Russian-speaking Ukrainians, and a region yet to rebel. This is one indication that the wall might not be about keeping unwanted people out but about preventing rebellion and controlling people inside Ukraine by denying their freedom of movement. Another indication might be on which side of the fence the trenches, watch-towers, checkpoints and other surveillance technology will be located, if the budget doesn’t stretch to building on both sides of the fence. Although given that time and again Ukrainian intelligence turns out to be an oxymoron at the administrative level, we can’t be too sure as to which side the trenches are going to be or if the roads and watch-towers for the border guards and other paramilitary detail end up in the trenches themselves.

      Illustration of cross-section of Israeli separation wall:

      • PaulR says:

        I’m rather baffled as to the point of the fence. The problem in Donbass is that the Ukrainians lost control of the border in June of last year. Having a fence wouldn’t have helped prevent that, and so would be of no use if there was repeat of the Donbass uprising elsewhere. And if the fear is Russian tanks driving over the border, well they can just drive straight through the fence with the greatest of ease.

        • Jen says:

          If there is a fence, people of conscript age wouldn’t be able to leave the country. Of course at this stage the Kiev regime only plans to build the fence along the Russian border but who’s to say it won’t build a fence right around the entire country to prevent more draft dodgers from fleeing to the EU and more oblasts from seceding?

        • astabada says:

          I am not baffled at all.

          A common characteristic to all crazed regimes is to believe their own propaganda. At this stage of the Ukrainian crisis, all creatures with eyes and ears must surely know or at least suspect that somebody in Kiev is rather out of phase. It is not surprising therefore that Kiev is building a fence to protect its borders from alleged Russian infiltrators.

          Another promoting factor not to be underestimated is that this project (for which they hope to muster EU funding) will result in a shower of jobs (good for political support) and money for some companies (good for political and economic support).

    • marknesop says:

      In theory – less true in practice – this is how Washington beat Moscow and the Soviet Union; by forcing it into an arms race with which its economy could not keep pace. True or not, the west does not now have the money for a comprehensive rearmament, huge standing armies and barriers and watchtowers which must be manned and guarded. But so long as Moscow refuses to do the same, it will be an instructive history lesson for the west.

      In that it will be history if it tries it.

  28. Warren says:

    Graham Phillips’ Personal Account of the Grim Day Odessans Burned

    A freelancer recalls the horrible day when pro-Kiev fanatics set upon and mercilessly killed peaceful anti-Maidan demonstrators

    http://russia-insider.com/en/odessa-massacre-personal-tribute/6182

    • et Al says:

      This so called European Union where burning people to death is not an issue, nor firing heavy artillery in to cities indiscriminately is met by barely more than silence. No war crimes courts, no threats of sanctions.

      For all the talk of human rights & freedom their actions bear witness that these are just words and phrases that are dropped at a moments notice and do not apply to whomever they consider unworthy. The same EU that bombs the fk out of foreign lands but whines about refugees from there risking life and limb to reach the safety of ‘Europe’.

      When they can neither control events far, nor on the periphery, up goes the draw bridge to keep the barbarians out who want to live.

      This is the true face of the EU and the US. Not fit for purpose.

  29. et Al says:

    Neuters: Exclusive – Deutsche’s radical revamp foiled by ECB stress test
    http://uk.reuters.com/article/2015/04/27/uk-deutschebank-restructuring-ecb-exclus-idUKKBN0NI2C720150427

    A radical plan for Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE) to become a pure investment bank and corporate lender was dropped after stress tests demanded by the European Central Bank concluded the model would not withstand a severe financial crisis, sources said.

    Deutsche Bank, Germany’s biggest lender, has spent much of this year looking at ways of reconfiguring its business to boost returns and had narrowed the choice to two possible models….

    …Stripped of its retail arm’s rich seam of deposits, the proposal – codenamed Model 5 during the process – failed because its funding dried up and its cost of capital rose in the stressed scenario, the sources familiar with the process said.

    The result was that Model 5, which was already opposed by a trade union fearing mass layoffs and politicians who instinctively disliked the idea of Germany’s flagship bank abandoning its retail customers, was no longer viable.

    The ECB declined to comment.

    This left Deutsche Bank with no option but to present a less radical plan, coded Model 2, to its investors on Monday after getting supervisory board approval for it on Friday. Postbank will be sold via a stock market listing and Deutsche will cut around 150 billion euros in investment bank assets….
    ####

    God forbid, German business having to play by its own rules!

    • Jen says:

      A classic example of trying to cut off the branch of a tree while you’re sitting on the branch. Obviously the brains at Deutsche Bank didn’t consider plundering the bank’s retail arm for funds by jacking up bank fees and advisor commissions in a future Cyprus bank heist scenario.

  30. Warren says:

  31. et Al says:

    Progress 59 spinning ass over tit. No threat to ISS:

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/04/28/russian_iss_cargo_out_of_control/

    “…The blunder appear to stem from improperly deployed navigational antennas, and problems with the pressurization of the manifolds in the propulsion system. The Progress capsule is still in a low orbit, and doesn’t pose a direct threat to the ISS….”

    • Drutten says:

      Doesn’t “blunder” imply that somebody fucked up? In this case, it’s the usual gremlins and not some cockup on the part of the operators. Happens every now and then with complex machinery…

      Now, seeing that the rocket performed fine (a Soyuz) and that the issue’s with an unmanned freight ship, this is a minor nuisance at most. It’s possible that they can fix it and dock later (minor snags have happened and been fixed in orbit numerous times before), but even if they do not it’s really not that big of an issue. Had it been a crewed ship they could have docked manually in case of such a failure (even though the crewed Soyuz ship, of which the Progress is an unmanned variety, also nominally docks automatically using the Kurs system). In a worst-case scenario (in which even a piloted rendezvous with the ISS is impossible somehow) they could still de-orbit and return to earth on their own.

      Of the more than 60 Progress re-supply missions to the ISS since 2000, only one has failed before.

  32. Moscow Exile says:

    The Boundaries of the People’s Donbass Republic

    01.07.14 – 01.03.15

    http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2014/10/war-resumes-ukraine.html

    Look at those pockets come and go!

  33. Warren says:

    APRIL 28, 2015
    Interviews with Prisoners Released in Prisoner Exchanges
    Widespread Use of Torture by Ukrainian Army and Security Services

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/04/28/widespread-use-of-torture-by-ukrainian-army-and-security-services/

  34. Moscow Exile says:

    Crackdown! Crackdown! Putin crackdown on “opposition”! Democracy under threat!!!!!

    Opposition threatens legal action as authorities strip Navalny’s party of registration

    The Justice Ministry announced the cancellation of the Party of Progress’ registration through its web-site on Tuesday afternoon. The post said that the party had one month to open its branches in at least 43 of 85 Russian regions, but had failed to do so.

    So they failed to do so, so why are they whining?

    Oh, I see! The law is not applicable to Navalny. That’s why he breaks it so frequently.

  35. Moscow Exile says:

    Обама вновь поставил «российскую агрессию на Украине» в один ряд с ИГИЛ и Эболой

    Obama once again puts “Russian aggression in the Ukraine” in line with ISIL and Ebola

    Statement of the American leader made at a meeting with the Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe

    “We two global partners who fight together for safety and human dignity around the world by opposing Russian aggression in the Ukraine and by providing assistance to the civilian population threatened by ISIL, fighting the Ebola virus and contributing to global health” – Obama to the Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe.

    Funny how the Grauniad makes no mention of this:

    White House state dinner for Japan’s Shinzo Abe features haiku and R&B

    Barack Obama’s state dinner for the prime minister of Japan fuses passions shared by their countries, including music, food and fashion

  36. Pingback: Ukraine SITREP April 29. 2015 by Scott | The Vineyard of the Saker

  37. Pingback: Ukraine SITREP April 29. 2015 by Scott | From the Trenches World Report

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