Tumbleweed Town: Kiev Post-Gas Transit

Uncle Volodya says, "When every little bit of hope is gone, sad songs say so much."

Uncle Volodya says, “When every little bit of hope is gone, sad songs say so much.”

Life could do nothing for her, beyond giving time for a better preparation for death.

Jane Austen, from “Sense and Sensibility

Anyone who has not sleepwalked through the gas-price squabble between Russia and Ukraine since the Great Freedom Jubilee known as EuroMaidan is aware that Russia has grown fed up with Ukraine’s posturing and loose grip on reality – neither being a quality that is endearing or inspirational of confidence in its reliability as a gas-transit country for Europe. Russia has had projects underway for some time to gradually reduce its reliance on Ukraine as a gas-transit corridor for Russian gas since the stand-off in 2009, in which Ukraine was siphoning off gas intended for Europe for its own use free of charge, while Russia was expected to just make up the difference – Ukraine was confident Russia was without alternatives, since it would not dare shut off Europe’s gas. Which it did, of course, initiating a panic and a lasting reputation for Russia as an unreliable energy partner. Nothing much was ever said about Ukraine stealing gas; Europe made a few comments to the effect that there was wrong on both sides, and left it at that, and ever afterward the narrative was that they knew Russia accused Ukraine of stealing gas, but where was the evidence?

Russia constructed the Nord Stream pipeline, and partially completed South Stream, the two of which together would handle the entirety of gas shipped to Europe, without going through Ukraine. The EU dug in its heels, and went on about how everyone needs rules and Russia would have to abide by the Third Energy Package which said the same company cannot own both the gas and the pipeline, and lots of other twaddle although it simply hands out exemptions to its own suppliers, and Russia canceled South Stream. The EU was jubilant – it had put those Russkies in their place, by God!

Which brings us, skipping over many other details which are of great import but not germane to the gas situation, to where we are now. Russia has announced it will construct Turkish Stream instead, delivering the same amount forecast for South Stream – 63 BCm – to the Turkish/Greek border. If Europe wants gas, it can build pipeline infrastructure to take it from that point. If not, fine – start busting up Granny’s piano for firewood. And none – as of 2019 at the latest but probably around 2017 – will go through Ukraine.

Just before we get started on what the future might look like for Ukraine if (when, actually) it loses its status as a gas-transit hub for Europe, not to mention if the current civil war drags on – there was a practical reason of some immediacy for the construction of South Stream, and it makes Europe’s behavior look even stupider and more short-sighted in the short to medium term. Ukraine’s Gas Transit System (GTS) was constructed between the 1960’s and 1980’s, and has had no serious overhauls or maintenance in more than 25 years.  Gazprom estimated the cost of upgrading and conducting maintenance on the GTS at $19.5 Billion. Where would that come from? Has Ukraine got $19.5 Billion lying around, collecting dust? Ha, ha. Has Europe? Hardly. Where would these funds come from? I suspect you know.

Ukraine earns around $3 Billion a year from gas transit fees. How is the loss of this income going to impact Ukraine, in view of its medium-term economic forecast?14631095023_9bda957322_k

As a starting point, it would be hard to envision a more dramatically effective program of economic ruin than what has been done to Ukraine by its western friends.  The currency has fallen off a cliff, averaging 7.29 to the U.S. dollar between 2002 and 2015, spiking to a record low value of 33.5 to the dollar in February of 2015 and currently at a ruinous 20.44. Whoever wrote the summary apparently wanted to camouflage the moment of disaster by averaging the value of the hryvnia from 2002 to 2015, because the value declined steadily throughout 2014 and can be traced almost to the minute to the Euromaidan demonstrations, accelerating to a screaming power dive after they turned violent and cratering with the collapse of the Debaltseve cauldron.  The stock market has fallen to a quarter of its value in 2008. The most recent GDP Growth Rate is a contraction of 3.8% in the final quarter of 2014 – certainly worsening since then – and annually is a jaw-dropping contraction of 17.6%. Helpfully – I meant that sarcastically – the official unemployment rate has soared to 9.7% over 2013’s low of 7.6%, and has been over 9% since the beginning of 2014, while inflation has bulleted its way up to 60.9%. All these are figures the state statistics service will admit to. Meanwhile, its hapless government merrily enacts a debt moratorium, authorizing itself to put a hold on payments to its creditors, even as it doubles “defense spending”.

Anyway, on to the sometimes comical dynamics of the European gas business. I think my favourite is the smirking strut executed by various countries as they claim to be “weaning themselves off of Russian gas” by importing gas from some other European country that is a net importer of Russian gas. Like Poland, for example. Kiev was quite proud of itself when, in 2012, it reduced its imports of Russian gas by taking delivery of gas from RWE in Poland on a trial basis. These imports continued into 2013 – a year in which Poland (which is also “weaning itself off of Russian gas”) took 60% of its gas from Russia. They’ve wised up now, though, and plan to import significantly more gas from Germany…which gets 38% of its gas from Russia.  Oh, and they’re building an LNG terminal into which they plan to import LNG from Qatar via tankers. More expensive than pipeline gas, of course, which is just good economics by European standards, but at least they can fly a Polish flag on the LNG terminal. You just can’t put a price on national pride, can you? And they’ll be able – in their dreams – to say goodbye to gas imports someday from that evil undemocratic Stalin dictatorship of Russia in favour of freedom gas from the smiling Qataris, ruled through a constitutional monarchy in which the Emir exercises absolute power and whose heirs come from the male branch of the al-Thani family.

Meanwhile, Ukraine itself remains the fifth-heaviest consumer of natural gas in Europe, at some 55 BCm annually. Mind you, it should realize significant savings in consumption by the almost-complete loss of its heavy industry sector, most of which is in the east – every cloud has a silver lining, what? But Ukraine’s domestic production peaked at 68 BCm forty years back, has been in decline since then and now amounts to about 20 BCm – less than half its current consumption. So in order for Ukraine to wean itself off of Russian gas, it is going to have to either cut its consumption in half or buy reverse-flowed gas from other European countries – using mostly handout money, since it is going to lose $3 Billion off the top of its GDP which is currently contracting at a rate of more than 17% per year. Put that way, it doesn’t sound too hopeful, does it? Mind you, the EU is doing its bit to help by insisting on reforms which have doubled the price of gas for household use, even as the currency has shrunk to about a third of its previous value.

In 2014, Gazprom sent 146.6 BCm of gas to Europe, 62 BCm of it through Ukraine. Through existing pipelines Nord Stream, Blue Stream and Yamal Europe, Gazprom is capable of delivering 104 BCm of gas to Europe without a whiff of it going through Ukraine. South Stream would have upped that by 62 BCm. Its replacement, Turkish Stream, will deliver the same amount to the Turkish border with Greece, some 47 BCm of which could be available to Europe. The way I see it, Ukraine has – at the outside – four years to get its house in order and get the economy on some kind of solvent basis, before the gas through Ukraine is shut off and $3 Billion in transit fees disappear from the GDP. At the same time the country will be left with a transit system that, even if it is used only to move gas around the country for domestic use, has not been upgraded or maintained in 25 years and needs almost $20 Billion spent on it. That’s not even figuring in the Billions upon Billions in war damages, the loss of nearly a third of its tax base through secession and the almost complete depletion of its currency and gold reserves.

Europe made it clear recently that admission to the European Union is not in the cards for Ukraine, which is reassuring, in a way, because it means at least a few people in Europe are still capable of thinking beyond the weekend. Ukraine’s economy is being preserved on life support to save the dirty, messy embarrassment of a public default, because the west is entirely and totally to blame for Ukraine’s economic disaster. The west hand-picked the government, and then encouraged it to re-take its eastern regions by military force. Ukraine faces a future in which it will be broke and friendless, drifting aimlessly at the whim of whoever will lend it money. And when you think about it, the Maidanite zealots and the fascist strutters are a minority, coming mostly from the west of Ukraine and Kiev. That still leaves a lot – millions – of Ukrainians who did nothing to bring this calamity upon themselves, but who will nonetheless suffer the consequences of their leaders’ idiocy and greed and the meddling of western interventionists who will accept ruining Ukraine so Russia can’t have it if they cannot win it.





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1,212 Responses to Tumbleweed Town: Kiev Post-Gas Transit

  1. Moscow Exile says:

    Here’s the slag Sobchak interviewing the Poroshenko appointed Odessa Province Gauleiter:

    «Здесь американской военной помощи гораздо меньше, чем было в Грузии». Михаил Саакашвили о том, почему Украина для него родная страна, а Одесса не российский город

    [“Here American military aid is far less than it was in Georgia.” Mikheil Saakashvili on why the Ukraine is for him his motherland and Odessa is not a Russian city.]

    Video in article.


    • et Al says:

      How much chuk did the Sobchak chuk? He’s definitely trying to see if she’s gone commando. Damn the table!

    • Moscow Exile says:

      Here she is again with the Groundhog Gaulieter doing a walkabout in Odessa:

      And included in the Dozhd article below is a video with sickening scenes old Odessan ratbags gushing over the fat fool whilst Shlyuka Sobchak beams on at their adulation:

      Не вошло в эфир. Как одесситы встретили нового губернатора.

      [Not included in the broadcast: How Odessans welcomed the new Governor.]

      Bit much that title!

      Surely it should be “How some Odessans welcomed the new Governor”.

      I mean, he’s not exactly being mobbed in the market and at the Potemkin steps is he?

      And another thing: that market and the square at the top of the steps are rather sparsely populated. When I’ve been to those steps, it has always been swarming with folk having their photographs taken.

      • Moscow Exile says:

        Where the two old ratbags start their performance on seeing the Groundhog Governor.

        Photograph taken 7 July, 2011:

        The statue is of the Comte de Richelieu, the Frog aristo whom Empress Ekaterina II appointed as first governor of the newly founded Russian city of Odessa after “New Bessarabia” had been annexed by the Russian Empire in the late 18th century to the detriment of the Ottomans.

        Same place, same day.

        The Potemkin steps are behind me: I took the photographs.

        • Cortes says:

          Excellent – thanks for sharing.

          Odessa appears from all accounts I have read to be a truly multicultural city, with Greeks, Bulgars, Jews, Turks, Tatars and others all able to coexist under a Russian “parasol”. No doubt Mr Comecorbata (Tieeater) will enhance Odessan civic virtues…

          • ThatJ says:

            As per Wikipedia, Russians and Ukrainians constitute 90,6% of the population (2001 census), with the rest being mostly other European ethnicities. The pictures that I see of Odessans reflect the statistics.

            If you want to see what multiculturalism** really looks like, you are better served in Western Europe’s largest cities.

            ** or maybe we should start calling a spade a spade: it’s multiracialism, not multiculturalism, because although the US was never a monocultural country, being composed of various European ethnicities, incorporating cross-cultural holidays, etc, it was never called a multicultural nation until non-European immigration started to take off.

            • marknesop says:

              What’s going to happen to U.S. GDP growth if it shuts off immigration? I can tell you what will happen to population growth, because like most if not all modern industrialized nations, the USA’s birth rate has fallen below replacement rate and most of its population growth comes from immigration. Does GDP growth have a connection to population growth? It most certainly does.

            • ThatJ says:


              I place racial concerns above GDP, I don’t believe in the interchangeability of human races to satisfy the economic needs of the 1%.

              There are alternatives, too. Japan consistently refused to allow mass immigration and is still an economic powerhouse, with a good standard of living, despite its aging population. Japan is over 98% ethnically Japanese. The other minorities are, like the Japanese, mostly East Asians.

              I would rather live in tiny Iceland (with almost no immigration until the last decade, though the majority of immigrants today are Poles), than in, say, India. Per capita GDP is more important than total GDP to measure people’s quality of life.

              But there are other issues to consider, too. A country’s population cannot grow forever. It will hit a limit sooner or later. Then the economic model will have to change to reflect the new reality. We do not need to wait until this limit is reached. We need to learn to live with what we’ve got.

              If immigration is really a must, then the US had other alternatives. For instance, keeping the Immigration Act of 1924 which favored Northern/Protestant Europeans, instead of replacing it with the Immigration Act of 1965 that organized Jewry has been pushing for decades. Congress could have modified the 1924 law to increase the quota for Central/Eastern/Southern Europeans. But no, the politicos succumbed to the interests (thinly masked as “humanly concerns” by the exceptional suspects) of a powerful minority which as the Soviet Union experiment has shown, is hostile to the White Christian majority among them.

              The ascendance of this peace-loving, justice-promoting group to elite status in the US, accelerated after WWII, has had the curious effect of transforming the US into a rogue warmonger such as the world has never seen.

              • marknesop says:

                I am well aware of your racial purity concerns, just as you are well aware I do not subscribe to them. Although I despise the Russian liberal kreakly, I am far more liberal myself than conservative, and my philosophy and yours are worlds apart. Immigration is a must for Canada because it is a large country with a small population, and for a healthy GDP you must have growth. The huge farm families of the 30’s and 40’s are a distant dream now and many couples opt to not have children at all. Our own birth rate – meaning that of whites descended from Europeans as I am on my father’s side, his family was from the UK – is below replacement rate, and without immigration we would have no population growth. My personal philosophy is that if you believe in humanity – and I do – you have to take it warts and all, not picking and choosing the ethnicities you find particularly pleasing because of their physical appearance. I will further say that ghettos and perceived racial indolence are the result of laziness and enabling behaviors rather than racial flaws. People who live in dirt and squalor do not do so because they like it and prefer it to a clean house and a productive job. If you allow people no better and do not manage expectations, that is what you will get. But the host country must do the hard work – of course you cannot favour the incoming group over your own citizens and make it easy for them to lie around and do nothing in exchange for a bare standard of living. You have to ensure first that you have enough jobs for incomers, train them to do those jobs and then hold them to the same standards as your own citizens. Africans are not too stupid to design printed circuits if they are educated to do it; Indians will not pump out child after child if they do not qualify for easy welfare benefits without working. Defining and enforcing expectations is hard, but you can see the results of not doing it and nobody is racially predisposed to filth and laziness – that is education and environment.

                Japan is a terrible example – its debt is more than 200% of its GDP.

                The transformation of the USA is an excellent point and it is as you describe – Samantha Power is its embodiment, cruising into town on “human rights concerns” and wrecking the place so that American business can rebuild it to its satisfaction with an enslaved and disinherited population.

          • Moscow Exile says:

            I really like Odessa and Odessans are a nation unto themselves. I once asked a taxi driver there if anyone spoke Ukrainian in Odessa, because the street signs had been changed to Ukrainian only yet I never heard anyone speaking it.

            “Nah!”, he said “We only speak Russian here – and Odessian”.

            The place and climate reminds me of the South of France. And yes, it is very cosmpoloitan.

            • Lyttenburgh says:

              Oh, Odessan Language (I cannot call it a “dialect of Russian”) is very expressive, unique and “meaty” (“сочный”) on it’s own, but it get’s lost completely in English translation. 😦

              Odessa -a birthplace for many talented people, a true “Capital of Humor” both in the USSR and now basically defunct CIS!

              Why should I tell you about Odessa, Odessites and Odessan language, when you can hear and see it for yourselfs – like here in this dubbed episode of “Once Upon a Time In Odessa”

              But I won’t smear a white tablecloth with the oatmeal porrige, if you gonna open up your ears to hear what I have to say to you! Once, Odessa-mama had a real king and his name was Moses Vinnitskiy aka “Misha the Jap”. Now, unfortunately, it has Mishiko The Gruzian. And in all synagogas from Moldovanka to Peresyt you can hear an old kabbalistic banishment of evil spirits spell (at least Rabinovitch told me so, I’m personally not so sure):

              Kish miri in tuhes und heit gesund!

              • Moscow Exile says:

                I by chance stumbled upon Misha the Jap’s funeral, which was mobbed by all his former gangster associates: there were bloody hundreds of the scum milling about.

                I had just gone along under Mrs. Exile’s orders to check out her parents’ and grandparents’ graves and there they were at the gates – and a couple of cops looking on.

              • yalensis says:

                Odessa monument to Panikovsky (from the scene where he is doing his “blind pickpocket” scam):

                My favorite scene from the book is where Shura and Panikovsky steal Koreiko’s exercise kettlebell and saw it open, thinking it has a gold core. Then end up screaming at each other, and fighting, as usual.

      • Cortes says:

        His hair colour is so natural.

    • Jen says:

      The good thing about Saakashvili and Sobchak having a chat together is that they don’t need morning or afternoon tea or lunch as they bring their own food with them. Saakashvili brings his ties or whatever he hides in his cheeks and Sobchak brings her boogers.

  2. et Al says:

    Christopher Lee is dead. Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

  3. Moscow Exile says:

    The storm clouds ar gathering over Mordor and the ever watchful eye of the Dark One glows in the gloomy skies …

    • dany8538 says:

      Yesterday, I had the “fortune” of talking to Rabbi Jacob Bleich who is the Chief Rabbi of Ukraine. Needless to say, it didn’t go well.
      It was fascinating to listen to him. During the entire conversation I kept wondering if he truly believes in the crap he is telling me or he is just playing the game for his own benefit and nothing more.
      Apparently, Putin is out to get him and he knows this through “back channels”. The reason for this is the fact that the rabbi suggested to cancel the g8(now g7) in sochi and hold it in Kiev :).
      The Rabbi sincerely believes the 100% true study from the pentagon that Putin has Asperger’s. I was basically speechless the entire time just letting him ramble on. Basically, he claims he is not gonna be welcomed in Russia anytime soon and that part i believe.
      Lots of fun all around.

      • et Al says:

        You didn’t get him mixed up with the Chief Rabbit of Ukraine per chance?

        Thanks for that though.

        I’m not surprised by the paranoia, but what is evident is that he lacks political nous. When the shit gets funky, European Jews usually go schtum and head for the nearest bunker, something which is entirely the opposite habit in the US. The only open comments that I have heard was when Kiev was being accused of being russophobic and anti-semitic, Kiev’s response was to have (probably the same guy) say it isn’t true, which of course he would say, otherwise he would be considered a traitor and thus a target.

        Either way, Ukrainian banderites have all had their media training drummed in to them and have stopped openly saying anything anti-semitic in public so as not to embarrass their western sponsors who continue to peddle that Kiev is all milk and honey.

        The same happened during the Balkans wars where Zagreb & Sarajevo were protected despite the antisemitism & Holocaust revisionism of Tudjman and the World War II record of Izetbegovic and his Islamic Declaration. Tudjman even got invited to the inaugural opening of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum (Jews were never ignorant of who did what during WWI in the Balkans) yet the silence from the top Jews in the US about this was deafening, some even openly siding with the administration (thanks also to PR firm Rudder-Finn) – was somewhat confusing for the rank an file who knew better.

        So, for all the conspiracy theorist fruitcakes, it really does still matter which side of the bread is buttered. If you don’t agree with state policy or won’t publicly go along with it, STFU. It’s not a request. You also saw this difference clearly between Israel & the US, with Israel being staunchly pro-Serb and helping out.

          • dany8538 says:

            And if you think he has purely religious interests in Ukraine, well I have an island to sell you. I will prefer not to mention details but suffice it to say everyone is getting a piece of the pie money wise. Although in Russia, Chabad is the primary beneficiary of the same type of government connection.

            • et Al says:

              That he was sent over from America says it all. A missionary! And a schmock.

              How is that different from the Saudi’s send over their wahhabi trained clerics to head mosques abroad (such as the massive the Al Fhad mosque in Sarajevo).

              • dany8538 says:

                I think he genuinely wanted to help soviet jews in the beginning but he ceased to be a rabbi and morphed into the mouthpeace of the ukranian government.. By the way, I think he was the one showing Kerry and Noodles around when they were in Kiev.

            • Cortes says:

              Chabad Lubavitch (?) seems to be fairly prominent in San Pedro de La Laguna (Atitlan), Guatemala, judging from what I witnessed in April this year. Wondering what the attraction of this scenically beautiful area with low taxes, incompetent government and easy access to US boltholes could possibly be? Thankfully its adherents strive endlessly to integrate seamlessly with the local (mainly Mayan) populace.

  4. Moscow Exile says:


    Novorossiya Sitrep June 5, 2015

    The plan now, as it has been since April 2014, is to federalize Ukraine through the Minsk process, guaranteeing the East wide autonomy which would serve to complicate Ukraine’s integration with the EU and make NATO membership essentially impossible. Like it or not, but Novorossiya is superfluous to this. This is not a “victory,” but nor is it a betrayal. It’s an acknowledgement of today’s realities.

    Thrown under a bus?

  5. The city of Kazan just opened the Innopolis which is like Kazan’s version of Skolkovo. Some pretty impressive facilities there: http://sdelanounas.ru/blogs/63499/

    Hopefully this investments pays off. I understand that Tatarstan is one of the most industrious, forward-looking and developed regions in Russia. Kazan has also become the “third city” of Russia leaving cities such as Yekaterinburg and Novosibirsk way behind.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      Finns to Build $200 Mil Biotech Park at Skolkovo

      Investing in an aggressor state, one that is clearly intent on invading and annexing its neighbouring territories?

      • This is not actually a Finnish investment but a Finnish contractor won a tender to build this biotech park in Skolkovo.

          • Moscow Exile says:

            As far as I’m aware, the Finns have always had big business interests in Russia, their endemic russophobia notwithstanding. It’s one thing saying ad nauseam what shits one’s neighbours are, but when there’s money to be made – Hey, let’s be pals!

            As Groucho Marx once said: “These are my principles: I have others if you don’t like them”.

            Way back in the the twilight years of the USSR, when in 1989-1990 I first arrived to study in Voronezh, that city even had a hotel full of the rascals, who were working there on contract at a huge electrical engineering plant called “Energiya”. And their hotel was even called “The Finland”. A new building it was, whose greatest asset, and the reason why I had sought out and located the place, was that it had a Beryozka bar and shop (“beryozka” means “little birch tree”: Russians have a close relationship with their trees, especially the birch and fir, giving them tender twee names) – a place where you could buy Western goods at inflated prices – only if you were a foreign national and paid with “real” money, meaning anything bar rubles.

            One sweltering June day, I casually mentioned to a Russian boozing buddy that I could kill for a cold beer (remember, this was at the height of traitor Gorbachev’s no-booze programme and the demon drink was in strictly limited supply) and my chum told me of the Finland Hotel. So I toddled off there, showed my passport at face-control, and asked where the bar was. It was a Saturday afternoon. and the bar was located on the second floor of the five-floor establishment. It was easy to find because as one left the lift on floor 2, one was greated by a sound that I should imagine resembled that heard in the drinking hall in Valhalla on a Saturday night. The place was packed with Russia-hating Finns, and they were all arse-holed.

            Apart from vodka and Armenian brandy, the only other drink on sale was cans of Heiniken beer – and only miserly 33 cl ones at that. In my drinking days, such a paltry measure only amounted to a mere gulp. It was cold, though: all the cans were stacked up in huge, glass-fronted fridges behind the bar. And the price for each can – for anything, in fact – was two-pices of silver, just like in Port Royal, Jamaica, when old Long John Silver and pals were in their pomp. It didn’t matter what kind of “silver” you paid, just as long as two such coins were handed over. So the Finns were paying in krone and I gave the barman two 20-pence pieces, which at the time was cheap at the price, albeit a rip-off when compared with prices in Russian bars. Only thing was, there was seldom any booze in Russian bars at the time.

            So I got chatting with this seething mob of pissed-up Finnish reprobates, who all switched into English for my benefit, when suddenly I heard someone shouting an order at the other end of the bar in the unmistakable tones of the English East Midlands – in a Leicester accent, in fact. So I approached my fellow countryman, addressed him and he, recognizing me as a fellow countryman and not just another Finn with great English language skills, said to me: “Fucking hell! What are you doing here?”

            Apparently, up to that moment – and he’d then been living in Voronezh and working at Energiya for a couple of years – he believed that he was the only Englishman in those parts. So I told him I was studying at the University. It was 1990 and I had recently celebrated my 41st birthday. “Fuck off!” was his reply, which in Leicester apparently passes for: “I find that hard to believe, old chap!”

            So I asked him what he was doing there, and on hearing his reply, I responded likewise.

            We became pals (still are, though I have not seen him for years) and he told me he had ended up working at Energiya as a result of his divorce in the UK. It had been a sorry affair and he had sought consolation in the bottle. One morning at the Brush electric motor plant in Leicestershire, where he worked, he was still hungover in the canteen when the manager addressed all the fitters assembled there, telling them that he needed volunteers to go to Energiya, Voronezh, where new armature winding machines were going to be installed by Brush. The only volunteer was yer man at the Finland bar.

            He told me much later that he had only volunteered in a fit of pique and because he was still pissed: he had just thrown up his arm to vlunteer whilst staring gloomily at the floor, and when he looked up, discovered that he was the only one to have raised his arm.

            He’s still there, in Voronezh. Married to one of those Russian sirens to whom even the strongest amongst us fall prey.

            It happens to the best of us: they get you in the end.

            • marknesop says:

              It happens to the best of us: they get you in the end.

              Insidious, the way they trap you by looking fabulous and being smart and funny and endearing and being wonderful, uninhibited lovers and great wives and mothers who can run a household without having a nervous breakdown and tell you that you are being stupid in a way that lets you salvage your pride…innit? There ought to be a law.

    • davidt says:

      For what it’s worth, from the Trans Siberian, we thought the farmlands in Tatarstan looked especially prosperous, with substantial, and well cared, buildings. Unfortunately, the train stops at the new station built on the outskirts of Kazan for the University Games, and from there you cannot see the old city. We stopped late at night and the station was crowded with very well dressed people- at the time, I was really taken by how well dressed people were. A guy in uniform, who was waiting for a train, indicated to me that I shouldn’t be taking photographs. I made out that I was hiding my camera from him- he laughed.
      Does anyone know how Akademgorodok, outside Novosibirsk, is managing? (I keep checking the web but there is little there.)

    • marknesop says:

      Yes, naturally they turned her bright, thriving center of creativity into a prison. This article hits every cliche high point, it might have been written by Yatsenyuk. All the kreakly who consider Poroshenko to be a great improvement on Yanukovych – God knows he has certainly turned the economy around – are welcome to flee to Kiev, where they can be political pets in return for their denunciation of their homeland. Don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out, you stupid cow.

      So more than 1.3 million fled from the east to government-controlled Ukrainian towns, but there are only 94,000 in the country’s most populous city, leaving 1.2 million spread out over the rest of the country in places where work is even less likely to be found? Does that make any sense?

      • kat kan says:

        “I don’t know how you can live and work alongside people who have supported what is going on there,” she said.

        SO SHE MOVED TO KIEV?????

    • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

    • ThatJ says:

      “She was at the forefront of the avant-garde arts scene in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk when a pro-Russian insurgency took over and upended her life. When a rebel-controlled local television station portrayed creative people like her as the enemy, she decided it was time to flee.”

      If “educated” Alesya Bolot manages to put out some avant-garde art like the ones below, Western money and patronage may come to her aid:

      Dumbo’s Joy

      Age of Mercy

      Vladimir Putin (with Brezniev looking over his shoulder)

      Great Lollipop

      Russia under the Boot

      More photos and article:

      From Italy:

      Cleaning Lady Threw Away Expensive Modern Art She Mistook For Trash

      A cleaning woman at an Italian gallery accidentally threw away thousands of dollars of art by New York modernist Paul Branca when she mistook his crumpled newspaper, cardboard, and cookie installation scattered across the floor for garden-variety trash.


      And Germany:

      $1m modern art installation wrecked after cleaner thought it needed a good scrub


      • yalensis says:

        Dear ThatJ:
        Your comment is deliberately misleading, as you seem to imply that the crappy art above (such as the “Dumbo” piece, etc.) is the work of Alesya Bolot.

        She is not the author of those “works”.

        In fact, I cannot find any actual works that Alesya herself created, she is more like a collection curator, from what I can see. A parasite who feeds off of other parasites.
        This link shows the collection of (crappy) photography that seems to be the mainstay of her “museum in exile”. Like all modern art centers, it is big on hype and slim on product. The only actual “product” I can find on the web is some statue of a deer, which is not very good either.

        In any case, I think your comment was dishonest, since you were just using somebody else’s comment as an excuse to link to the Occidental Observer piece on modern art.
        Which, by the way, I think that “Lenin Mickey and Christ” piece actually has some artistic merit, because it took some training and craft to make something like that.

        Whereas any idiot can pick up a camera and take a picture of a naked fat person.

        If I can do it, it’s not art.

        • ThatJ says:

          But I did not say those were her works. If my comment was ambiguous, that was not my intention. The link below the pictures makes it clear that those were not her work, or exhibited in her “museum”.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      This story has been doing the rounds on the Banderite sites: brave Russian woman not beaten by Banderites in Kiev, where she has displayed the Russian flag.

      On her poster she wrote:

      I have come from Moscow and am standing on the Maidan in the centre of Kiev with a Russian flag. No one is beating me,

      Show me where the Banderites are.

      I am ashamed of my country.

      Glory to the Ukraine

      And a little Russian tricolour is drawn and coloured in beneath her statement: “I have come from Moscow”.

      The bloke in the video above suggests at the end that she go to the Maidan with a Russian flag– he means a big piece of white, blue and red cloth – and wave it about and say: “I come from Russsia. I love my country. Glory to Russia!” and see what happens.

      He suggests that she bring photographers with her if she chooses to make such a demonstration and then record what happens: that would be a more honest and open test of Ukrainians’ attitude towards a Russian on the Maidan,he says.

      • ucgsblog says:

        Wait a sec – she’s proud that she’s not beaten up for expressing her freedom of speech, one that happens to support the line of the current government? That’s now a sign of pride in Ukraine?

        • marknesop says:

          She’s proud of being able to display the flag of her country along with a statement that says she is ashamed of it, along with the obligatory slava ukraina, and not get beaten up.

  6. yalensis says:

    Crimean news:
    Prosecutie Natalia Poklonskaya has been promoted by Putin to the rank of Major-General. Previously, she had the rank of Colonel.

    She is the very model of a modern Major-General.

  7. Lyttenburgh says:

    The “Nation Interest” erupted with this article several days ago:

    Russia and America: Toward a New Détente

    The “meat” of this long article boils down to the following:

    For this new diplomatic partnership to be effective, both parties must enter into it with a realistic mind-set. That is the first step. The United States has to accept the fact that Russia is a great power and treat it that way. Washington has to be sensitive to Moscow’s perspectives and interests, particularly on its borders. The Kremlin has to realize that to receive great-power treatment, it’s got to behave far more responsibly and accept responsibility for joint solutions. Putin can’t go on trying to dominate and intimidate his neighbors, just as the U.S. president can’t be seen as seeking to pull these neighbors out of the Russian orbit.

    Second, both sides have to recognize their very real complementary interests. That’s perfectly obvious now when it comes to regional issues, fighting terrorism and nuclear proliferation. There’s no denying that there are serious conflicts on Russia’s western border or that Russia has clear military superiority there. Russia can cause real turmoil for Europe, which is why both parties have got to understand that the solution lies in diplomatic sensitivity and compromise, rather than fighting. It does not take a rocket scientist to see that the present mutual hostility imperils the interests of both sides.

    How would Détente Plus work in practice?

    First, both sides have to commit to diplomacy at the highest levels. Particularly in the initial years, there would have to be annual presidential summits and semiannual meetings of foreign and defense ministers. Only top-level political leaders can make the decisions required of Détente Plus.

    Second, these joint ventures must be given high visibility. Optics are critical both to reestablish Russia’s status as a great power, and for the United States to gain more restrained and cooperative Russian behavior in return. Kremlin leaders are surely realistic enough to see this trade-off and curb themselves. Until this mountaintop diplomacy begins to produce, Western nations are fully justified in sustaining sanctions and continuing to build a more credible military presence eastward.

    Third, Détente Plus has to progress on two fronts: maintaining the basic integrity and independence of countries on Russia’s borders while being attentive to Russian interests there; and fashioning joint action on broader issues such as Middle East instability and terrorism.

    Well, what did you expect? Of course, in our time any “meaty” part will turn out to be just “vegetarian” one!

    Our good and knowledgeble Leslie H. Gelb – a “president emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations, a former columnist for the New York Times, and a former senior State and Defense Department official” – basically suggests, that some shiny glass beads and a great priviledge to be treated like a White Man US of A’s equal is sufficient to placate Kremlin’s ego, and afterwards Putin (whom our good author blames for all crisises and setbacks that ever happened in the region – hell, he even claims that Putin artificially keeps Azeri-Armenian conflict burning!) will gladly become reasonle and abandon all Russia’s foreign interests. Huzzah!

    What this shizofrenic article doesn’t answer, however, is some very nasty and down to earth questions:

    1) New “detente+” (ugh!) strategy suggested here presumes that the US must “be sensetive to Moscow’s perspectives and interests, particularly on its borders” and “maintaining the basic integrity and independence of countries on Russia’s borders”.

    2) Then what are good mister Gelb’s thought on Crimea? Did he really, honestly presumes that Russia will just hand over a peninsula with 3 mlns of Russian citizens “back” to the Ukraine in the name of “maintaining the basic integrity… of countries on Russia’s borders”?

    3) Or maybe mister Gelb suggests that despite the fact that both UkrArmy and the NatzGuard suffered humiliating defeats in the past Russia should allow “just for lulz” the Ukrainian border guards to resume their work in eastern parts of the People Republics?

    4) Did he really think that a couple of glass beads will make Putin look the other way, when NATO pimped-up NatzGuard and whoever they managed to grab during the “5th wave of Mobilization” descends upon People Republics?

    And the icing on the top – well, you gonna laugh! Our good mr. Gelb blames the EU going full Nuland!

    Alas, the European Union has demonstrated the wrong way to proceed in the last two years. It essentially proposed to incorporate the Ukrainian economy into Europe’s and leave Russia behind. It pursued a Europe-win/Russia-lose approach rather than the win-win policy argued for here. Obviously Moscow couldn’t accept this and turned the competition to its strength — stirring up Russian speakers in eastern Ukraine and sending in Russian arms and men.

    Did I mention the self-delusion of “Murica did no wrong here” exposed on every single page of this article? Well, pardon me – I thought it was self evident!

    P.S. Are there still people interested in hearing some of my accounts about being a soldier in Russian Army? Pavlo?

    • marknesop says:

      I would love to hear about your being a soldier in the Russian Army.

    • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

      Please – I’d be fascinated.

      • Lyttenburgh says:

        Oh, boy :)!

        Well, I hope you are not expecting me to regale you with the whole story – I’ve already bored to death all my friends and relatives (and everyone willing to listen!) with my Tales of High Adventure (and how I did everything in my power to do as little as possible).

        I was conscripted in the Russian Army from the Moscow’s Region in the late May 2012. I didn’t ran away from my call-up papers, or tried any stupid stuff like hiding and whatnot. For Russian males of a certain age it’s actually beneficiary to serve in the Army and be done with it – at your future workplace and in academia your superiors surely will look upon you more favorably than on ones threatened with the Sword of Damocles of in the form of Seasonal Draft.

        Capricious Lady Fate decided that my humble person should be sent into the Signal Corps of the Russian Army. Also, due to Fate’s whim, I’ve served during “Interesting times” in both Russian Defense Ministry (the fall of unlamented Serdyukov aka “Sundukov” and the Ascendancy of Shoygu) and in my own brigade. I’ve seen… well, if not “everything”, then most of it what modern Russia army has to offer.

        I won’t decry the year spent in the Army as “wasted”. I’ve read more than 120 books, watched lots of new and old movies, made acquaintances with people all around Russia and got myself into shape. I also witnessed the inner workings of Russian Army both from the lowly grunt’s perspective, but also by talking to officers, contraktniks (“kontrabasy”), by working in the HQ in the Cadre and “Political Education” deps (they always need people with basic computer knowledge preferably from Moscow). I took part in huge months long maneuvers in the field, and in huge overhaul of the car-park.

        The day before my dembel’ a huge hurricane stroke the whole region, felling trees and lampposts – and I was happy. First of all – it was a Thursday, and we had pelmeni on dinner. Secondly – it won’t be me doing anything to repair the damage.

        So, if you have any particular questions – I’m here to answer them to the best of my ability!

        • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

          Ha, I’m always glad to risk little fatal boredom for a little enlightenment.

          I suppose the first question should be the obvious one: how is the supposed ‘hazing epidemic’ coming along? It’s been a while since I saw any schadenfreude pieces on the state of Russian conscripts in my local rag.

          • Lyttenburgh says:

            Oh dear. You just don’t know where are you dragging yourself into 😉

            Answering your question about “hazing epidemic”. First of all – the very use of the term hazing is wrong here. Let’s go back to the traditional Russian word “dedovsh’ina”.

            Are there “dedovsh’ina” in the Russian army? I can answer you – yes, there are. And I’m gonna shock you by saying – sometimes this is actually a good thing.

            You see, besides “dedovsh’ina” there exists another very unpleasant but equally part and parcel aspect of the Russian Armed forces namely – “ustavsh’ina”, i.e. the glorious Field Service Regulations Book treated like a Holy Writ.

            Mind you, I’m a patriot of Russia. I’ve defended it’ honor on online battlefields many times in past years. But precisely because I’m a patriot of Russia, not a nationalist, I’m not blind to it’s numerous flaws. And our Glorious Ustav, which he inherited from the Soviet Union is just one of them.

            So, there are entire brigades or just separate battalions which wholeheartedly embrace “Ustavsh’ina” to a degree that would make Gunnery Sergeant Hartman say “Holly Molly!” and then cry with joy. Maybe – this is a good thing for a proper military brigades and for the so called “training bases”, i.e. “uchebkas” to break and bend people with the glorious Ustav (no-no – not “hazing”!) while imparting upon them the important lessons of their future specialty.

            But, deep down, even to this day, I remain a goddamn “civvy” in my heart. Besides, I was drafted at the august age of 24 as a full grown man who had very little in common with the mass of other draftees. Another thing – during my time in Army, Lady Fate was very generous in dispensing both Fool’s Luck and Failure on my head. On the second day in Army, right after our first army bath (which was a decent shower with both hot and cold water working) we were sent to medical examination. And here it turned out that I have 39.2C temperature and a bad face-skin reaction to their newest wool blankets (I guess, there I have equally to blame some shave cuts which were unavoidable in the general ruckus). Instead of keeping me in base’s med facility Wise Heads decided to sent me to one of the nearby military hospitals, cause they have strict instructions to sent anyone beyond their capabilities to heal (like mine 39.2C) where they might be taken proper care.

            Here I spent about 5 weeks, because (surprise-surpsise!) local doctor who was in charge of this particular medical wing needed someone with basic computer knowledge to help him with documentation and other things. On this post I’ve replaced other soldier, and yet another soldier replaced me in my turn. The theme of soldiers who are either commandeered by their higher ups or just pretend to be sick in order to get to “work” in military hospital is too huge to discuss it here.

            Long story short – I’ve missed completely all basic training, the so-called “слонячка”, from the term “СЛОН” (“an elephant”) which, actually, is an acronym for “Солдат Любящий О….ю Нагрузку” – “Soldier Who Fucking Loves Huge Workload”.

            More so! I’ve never participated in the “Prisyaga/Oath taking ceremony”! And I don’t miss it – at all. Brigade’s deputy Zampolit (who was a man of my age) just gathered one day in “Leninka” all other’s who for this or that reason missed this holy occasion, said “Okay, let’s pretend that you just recited the whole Oath to me – here are you Military Id’s/Voyenniye Bilety”.

            But what happened next – this is another story for another day!

            • Moscow Exile says:

              My boy’s 16 on 31 July and I don’t want him to go into the army. I’m making plans for packing him off to his aunty’s in Manchester, England.

              It’s not that I’m against armies: my nephew, his aunt’s son, is now a Warrant Officer in the British army, a “contract soldier” as Russians say, and he thinks joining up was the best decision he ever made. He’s 41 now and signed on again a couple of years ago and will do the full monty, retiring at 50, I think. He might even have become an officer and gentleman by then. It’s just that I don’t like the idea of compulsory military service.

              As an Englishman, this is understandable: and this tradition of refusing to contemplate the very idea of having a standing army and obligatory service therein has been part of the English mindset since the end of the parliamentary civil wars of nearly 400 years ago, which tradition was exported to the New World by colonists, many of whom having emigrated there because of the Civil Wars in England and of religious intolerance.

              Thing is though, my lad kind of likes the idea now of doing military service.

              Must take after his mother.

              • Moscow Exile says:

                I should add that the Eglish attitude towards having a mighty fleet was diametrically opposed to the idea of having a standing army. Sailors in England have always been looked upon favourably – Jolly Jack Tars and Hearts of Oak sort of thing – and not as “the scum of the earth” as “Pongos” were. (“Pongo” – Royal Navy slang for soldiers – presumably because they stank. I wonder why they call the R.N. “The Andrew”?)

                I remember the time when it was considered lucky to touch a sailor’s blue collar. This was before the wearing of uniforms when on leave was forbidden because of terrorist actions.

                In fact, when I was a little boy, I wore a sailor suit like this:


                My sister has a picture of me as a three-year-old dressed in such a fashion.

                • Jen says:

                  Had you been un petit froggie, your maman would have dressed you in a blue sailor suit and styled your hair styled like this youngster’s hair:

                  Another little frog boy:

                  The future US President Franklin D Roosevelt as a small child:

                  More Victorian or Edwardian-era small boys with long hair:

                • Moscow Exile says:

                  Here’s an old family picture of ours:

                  It’s my long-dead in-laws.

                  That’s Mrs. Exile’s great-grandfather and great-grandmother and the lad standing on the right is her grandfather.

                  Taken about 1904.

                  Great-grandfather would have been what Ulyanov and pals called a Kulak.

                • marknesop says:

                  British slang dating from the mid-nineteenth century, meaning soldiers. It stems from a snide expression used by music hall comedians to get a cheap laugh “where the army goes the pong goes”, pong meaning smell. This quickly became pongoes meaning soldiers plural and pongo meaning an individual. Still in use today although not common.

                  The origin of the Royal Navy’s nickname is obscure. Some sources, including the Admiralty Manual of Seamanship, say that it derives from one Andrew Miller, a zealous officer of the Impress Service during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, who ‘recruited’ so many men to His Majesty’s ships that the navy was said to belong to him.

                  Earlier (19th century) sources variously suggest that Andrew was a slang name for a man o’ war; that Andrew Miller was a supplier of provisions to the Royal Navy, with such an apparent monopoly that he was said to own the Navy; or that the Press Service officer was named Andrew Walker. The most reliable list of Royal Navy officers does not mention either an Andrew Miller or an Andrew Walker.

                  What is certain however, is that the Royal Navy continues to be known as the Andrew, and that there is no absolutely conclusive answer to the derivation of the nickname.

                • Cortes says:

                  “Scum of the earth” was coined by Arthur Wellesley aka The Duke of Wellington.

                • kat kan says:

                  Miller must have descendants in Ukraine. He didn’t “recruit” sailors, he press-ganged them. As a civilian contractor to HM Government, not as an officer.

                • marknesop says:

                  Which would account for his not being found in any list of RN officers.

            • yalensis says:

              Thank you for the army stories, very interesting!

    • marknesop says:

      Yes, that is a thing of beauty – I liked your analogy of the shiny glass beads, like the trade with the Indians in which they gave away furs worth a fortune for cheap baubles. Everything old is new again, because this sort of soul-searching (Russia has been wronged, we must stop treating it like a child) has been done before, and far better, by former U.S. Defense secretary Robert McNamara in “Out of the Cold – New Thinking for American Foreign and Defense Policy in the 21st Century“. I’ve added it to the library – just the picture, I’ll add the text tomorrow if I have time – but from memory, Mr. McNamara blamed much of the cold war on America and its intransigence, and lamented the many, many misunderstandings that caused both sides to misinterpret the other’s motives. He was quite candid (so far, I just started it) that the USSR behaved exactly as any nation in its position would have done given the same circumstances, that it was only safeguarding its regional interests and was not remotely interested in a war with Europe or with America when it had just lost millions of its people to war and seen its industrial production reduced by something like two-thirds. But even then the west treated the USSR as if it was a naive tribesman who could be bought off with a shiny tin hatchet because he does not recognize what has true value.

      The USA had plenty of opportunity to act on his advice (it was published in 1989) and lead the effort to find common ground. But it was having too much fun making an enemy of the Soviet Union and undercutting every effort it made to develop itself.

      • Lyttenburgh says:

        Correct me if I’m dead wrong, Mark, but wasn’t one of the reasons for McNamara’s dismissal (whatever fanciful term they used doesn’t matter) some fears by the glorious administration of LBJ that “Goddamit, we have another Forrestal in the making here! Quick, remove him before he goes nuts completely!” which might somehow have influenced the consequent perception of everything said and written by the former Sec. of Defense McNamara?

        • marknesop says:

          That’s very possible – I’m afraid my knowledge of his career is woefully incomplete and I mostly remember him as a tricky dissembler in the famous Gulf of Tonkin Incident which lit off America’s military participation in the Vietnam War. It was fairly evident from declassified records that McNamara wanted America actively involved in the war rather than just in an advisory capacity, and those records show he withheld advice of military commanders from the President because those commanders argued against overt action until more facts were known. He would later argue that he supported the Vietnam War out of loyalty to administration policy rather than being drunk with power, although his initial management of it suggested he wanted to run it personally. As president of the World Bank, he stated that countries permitting access to birth control would get preferential treatment. Although I agree that countries have to permit that choice, thorny an issue as it is – because plenty of history shows that making a woman bear an unwanted child is not going to force a positive change in her attitude and a subsequent responsible raising of the child – it is not the kind of thing you announce publicly. He was a little erratic, to put it mildly, but he also served as Defense Secretary for 7 years, which I believe is a record.

          It will make more sense when I post a couple of excerpts; his advice on treatment of Russia (which was still the Soviet Union then) was eminently sensible because it argued the Russians only wanted to be treated as equals and for genuine dialogue to take place rather than a quick meeting of the Old Boys Club followed by a group gang-bang of Russia with everyone pointing accusing fingers. But it’s easy to say something makes sense when you agree with it, so I’ll let readers decide for themselves. There’s no arguing that he knew a great deal and that his experience of current events far exceeds ours, by the simple virtue of his having been present at so many high-level planning sessions and gatherings. But his matter-of-fact recounting of historic events such as Churchill’s bargaining with Stalin on spheres of influence suggests he had an inquiring mind and a good memory for history, since the famous deal written on a scrap of paper, offering division of influence in various eastern-European countries by percentages (and which Stalin approved with a simple check mark) is not well-known. That was a huge betrayal as well since – for example – the Soviet Union was offered “90% influence” in Romania, and the west set to meddling in it with no delay and now it is a NATO member.

          • yalensis says:

            From what I have read about McNamara and the Vietnam war:
            McNamara screwed up badly, and knew it. His hubris and hunger for power caused untold destruction of lives and a geo-strategic defeat for America.
            The thing is, that McNamara was that rare type (in his position) who actually had a conscience. He was not a psychopath. He had a logical mind, was eventually able to analyze his own mistakes, and in later life sought redemption by telling the truth.

            An interesting if highly flawed individual. Shakespeare could have written a play about him.

            • Cortes says:

              Amazing how all those tragic figures like McNamara have consciences which kick in after their expulsion from power.

              “The policies I instigated caused millions of deaths, untold genetic damage, ongoing casualties from old ordnance? Gee, I’m sorry. I really am”.

              In a just afterworld there will be a VIP lounge in hell for McNamara and his ilk.

    • Paul II says:

      Many within the Russian elite just eat up every morsel of the idea that someone, somewhere in the West wants to treat Russia as an equal. The old convergence meme, along with plenty of time for Italian villas and French wine, women, and song. So it behooves Western operatives to create some stories like that. Sure, it was the EU’s fault. Yep. To me, this is more like factions within the Nazis debating what kind of post-war scenario would work for the USSR. How many should be deported to Brazil, how many should be sterilized, that kind of thing. Russia should spend more time on getting rid of the huge and powerful fifth column and improving industrial production, and less time on partnership discussions.

    • yalensis says:

      Frankly, I would rather see bitter conflict than the kind of “detente” that Gelb is proposing.
      LIke you say, for a few glass beads, Putin is supposed to pretend that all is okey-dokey and go back to the era when Russia and America were pretending to fight “terrorism” together. Overlooking the fact that the “terrorists” are all paid for and trained by America.

      In any case, realistically speaking, Russia and America do not have any interests in common. Not one single one that I can think of. The divorce should be finalized.

  8. ThatJ says:

    Europe Gives Greece 24 Hours To Comply; Germany Draws Up Capital Control Plans

    “Greece was warned by a group of European Union officials in Brussels it had less than 24 hours to come up with a serious counter-proposal,” Bloomberg says. Meanwhile, Reuters reports that Germany is “holding ‘concrete consultations’ on what to do in the case of a bankruptcy of the Greek state.”


    How Obama Will Centrally-Plan Your Neighborhood: Here Comes The “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing” Rule

    Because centrally-planning the market and the double seasonally-adjusted economy was not enough, the Obama administration is now set to create a wealth-adjusted community utopia. According to The Hill, the administration is moving forward with regulations designed to help diversify America’s wealthier neighborhoods, such as building affordable housing in more affluent areas. The name of Obama’s latest proposal to have the government centrally-plan your community? The Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule. A name that only the person who penned the US Freedom Act could have come up with.


    Then again, as with everything else by the administration whose shroud of TPP secrecy, as we learned yesterday, was dictated by the Big Pharma corporations who stand to reap huge benefits with its passage, there appears to be a far more ulterior motive: if passed, the act “could also tilt the balance of political power as more minorities are funneled into Republican-leaning neighborhoods, he suggested.”

    Here some critics could be allowed to scream in terror at the following thought experiment: first a permissive immigration policy allowing the naturalization of millions of illegal immigrants in exchange for a vote at the next election, and then providing said “voter” with a house just down your street.


    [ThatJ: No white places allowed in JewSA. I saw a report about this project the last year, I didn’t think they would go ahead with it. They are studying methods to accelerate the miscegenation process. The equation is very simple: the diversity crusaders will declare “mission accomplished” when the last white person dies.]

    Americans Sign Petition For “Pre-Emptive Nuclear Strike” Against Russia

    Forget Caitlyn Jenner, distracted Americans have moved on and are now gladly signing a petition to launch a pre-emptive nuclear strike against Russia “to show them who is the real super-power.”


    [ThatJ: The video was posted here yesterday or the day before. It has 313k views, over 10 times what it had when I first watched, thanks to sites like ZeroHedge.]

    Report From Russian Cybersecurity Firm Links Israel To Nuclear Talk Spy Virus

    Moscow-based cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab has released a detailed report that outlines how spyware (which some suggest originated in Israel) was used to infiltrate the hotels that hosted the Iran nuclear negotiations. From the report: “Earlier this year, during a security sweep, Kaspersky Lab detected a cyber intrusion affecting several of its internal systems. Following this finding, we launched a large-scale investigation, which led to the discovery of a new malware platform. Notably, some of the new 2014-2015 infections are linked to the P5+1 events and venues related to the negotiations with Iran about a nuclear deal.”


  9. Skandalwitwe says:

    This is truly hilarious:

  10. Moscow Exile says:

    Today is Russia Day!

    • Moscow Exile says:

      Sung by Larisa Dolina, a native of Odessa – you know, that place which is not a Russian city according to its newly appointed Georgian criminal Gauleiter.

      • Moscow Exile says:

        Oh, and Larisa is a Jewess, by the way, which doesn’t automatically make you a bad person, of course.

        I can’t say the same for Gessen, Ioffe, Novodvorskaya etc. though.

        • Moscow Exile says:

          Not to mention Apfelbaum!

          Bear in mind, Rosenbaum is a patriot.

          My favourite sad song sung by Aleksandr Rosenbaum:

          А может, не было войны

          Perhaps there wasn’t a war…?

          • Moscow Exile says:

            Perhaps there was no war…
            And people were only dreaming:
            The desolate land,
            The executions and concentration camps,
            Khatyn and the mass graves?

            Maybe there was no war,
            And father had no scars from birth
            And no one perished by bullets,
            And no mushroom cloud rose above the world,
            And no ghetto motherwas afraid?

            Perhaps there was no war,
            And no children slept by their lathes,
            And no women in godforsaken villages
            Choking on the fields,
            Bending their shoulders against the cold wind?

            People, we fed ourselves with our own bread,
            All was given us beneath the sky,
            One land nurtured us.
            People as one with the same desires,
            One path, one road,
            Let it be a dream and my story.
            Let it be a dream and my story…

            Perhaps there was no war?
            And we were not driven from this scene by the Germans.

            And the lampshades made of human skin was just a bluff,
            And Mussolini’s lion-like bombast was phony,
            And In Paris there was no Gestapo?

            Maybe there was no war?
            And the “Schmeiser” was but a child’s toy,
            That diary, its pages covered in the blood of wounds,
            Was not written by Anne Frank,
            And in Berlin was not heard the thunder of guns?

            People, we fed ourselves with our own bread,
            All was given us beneath the sky,
            One land nurtured us.
            People as one with the same desires,
            One path, one road,
            Let it be a dream and my story.
            Let it be a dream and my story…

            Perhaps there was no war,
            And the world just made it up?
            But why then do old men
            Weep bitter tears Tears in May – from boredom?
            One night, I thought.

            Perhaps there was no war,
            And people just dreamt about it?..

            Александр Розенбаум

          • marknesop says:

            Speaking of Annie Applebum, John Helmer says her income has nosedived by 42%, and that was before Radek lost his job. Dear me, things seem to have taken a downturn – another victory for Russia’s hybrid war against the planet? I imagine they’ll still get by somehow, but poor Annie will have to scrape by on less than $500,000.00 (I heard she is taking in sewing, but it’s just a rumor so please don’t spread it around).

            • Fern says:

              One thing I’ll say for Anne Applebaum (and it’s the only one) is that she’s written, or, more accurately co-authored, a pretty decent cookbook on Polish food called “From a Polish Country House Kitchen” which has some nice food in it.

        • Moscow Exile says:

          I’ve been informed that she was not born in Odessa but in Baku. She and her family moved to odessa when she was 3. – so she’s not a native of Odessa, but as near as damn it in my books!

          Interestingly, more and more frequently I find myself working with folk who have not lived in Moscow as long as I have: I’m talking about Muscovites here. The kreakly amongst these young Muscovites find it almost unbeliable that I have lived here longer than they, and the more hostile of those against any who, they think, are enamoured with Russia, sneeringly ask me: “So you think Russia is great?”

          I’m getting close to the point in replying: “Yes, apart from c*nts here like you!”

  11. davidt says:

    Might it have been an air to air missile after all? For what it is worth:

  12. Drutten says:

    Heh, I had no idea about this. Totally off-topic but here goes:

    These are various coats of arms used by units of the Italian Army, today. The Ukrainian “tryzub” indicates these units’ happy participation, on Mussolinis orders, in Hitlers Nazi onslaught on the USSR after 1941. Most Fascist Italian units were eventually annihilated at Stalingrad.

    Honestly, I find it all a tad bizarre. It’s one thing to commemorate personal acts of valor and bravery and what not, since those things occur regardless of which side you’re on (people are people, good soldiers are good soldiers). But to commemorate entire units, to this day, with that questinable choice of symbol to boot… Yeah, I don’t know what to make out of it.

    • yalensis says:

      Very interesting discovery!

      From what I understand of military units, their banners would commemmorate either some past victory; or maybe a goal they are striving for. For example, if my unit is invading France tomorrow, then we might call ourselves “the Parisians”, to indicate that is our goal, and have a picture of the Eiffel Tower on our banner.

      Could the tryzub indicate that the unit hoped to set up an “independent” Ukraine, since that seems to be the symbol of the Ukrainian nationalists?

  13. Terje says:

    My attempt for the figurine 🙂
    Sergei Guriev is the only Russian attending the Bilderberg summit, June 9th-14th in Austria.

    He has the usual Soros and Khodorkovsky connections. (I don’t think Google is correct when they list his fortune as 3.5 billion USD.) I presume he will advice the Atlanticist elite on how to proceed against Russia.
    On this (Soros-sponsored) website
    “With the fund amounting to only about 6% of GDP, Russia can maintain a 3.7% deficit for less than two years before it either has to withdraw from Ukraine to gain relief from Western sanctions, or undertake a major – and, for Putin, politically dangerous – fiscal adjustment.”
    And another revealing piece in the Washington Post, splattered with wishful sentences like
    “The Kremlin has no credible financial plan beyond 2016 except for hoping for oil prices to recover.”
    “regime survival” “widespread panic and the collapse of the regime. ”
    “At some point, this regime will have to go”
    “the best scenario one can hope for is some form of transitional government that would provide certain guarantees to the outgoing elites and oversee new elections.”
    “The West should get prepared now for sudden and turbulent change in Russia.”

    I’m guessing it is close to what he has presented at the Bilderberg meeting, and might give some indicators on what the western elites plan for Russia in the next future (coup d’etat?).

  14. ThatJ says:

    NATO is Ready to Snatch Kaliningrad From Russia – Lithuanian Media

    According to hackers who got into the system of the Lithuanian Armed Forces, the small Baltic country is getting ready to annex Russia’s Kaliningrad region.


    New Ukrainian Life: European Prices, Post-Soviet Salaries

    With the Ukrainian economy in a tailspin, ordinary Ukrainians now face the unnerving reality of having to pay “new European prices” while getting their “old Ukrainian salaries,” a German newspaper wrote.


    American Dreaming – From G1 To Bilderberg

    By Pepe Escobar

    What’s the connection between the G7 summit in Germany, President Putin’s visit to Italy, the Bilderberg club meeting in Austria, and the TTIP – the US-EU free trade deal – negotiations in Washington?


    Is Deutsche Bank The Next Lehman?

    Looking back at the Lehman Brothers collapse of 2008, it’s amazing how quickly it all happened. In hindsight there were a few early-warning signs, but the true scale of the disaster publicly unfolded only in the final moments before it became apparent that Lehman was doomed. Could this happen to Deutsche Bank?


    You’re Fired – Now Train Your Much Cheaper Foreign Replacement

    If you were laid off from your job, would you be willing to train your replacement if your company threatened to take away your severance pay if you didn’t do it? And how would you feel if your replacement came from India, and the only reason your company was replacing you was because the foreign worker was a lot less expensive?

    Sadly, this is happening all over America – especially in the information technology field. Huge corporations such as Disney and Southern California Edison are coldly firing existing tech workers and filling those jobs with much cheaper foreign replacements. They are doing this by blatantly abusing the H-1B temporary worker visa program. Workers that had been doing a solid job for decades are being replaced without any hesitation just because it will save those firms a little bit of money.


    • marknesop says:

      Reference the first story; ha, ha. That’ll be the day the Baltic chihuahua annexes Kaliningrad. Russia would not even have to react outside Kaliningrad – Lithuania couldn’t take it. Classic scenario for “We attack at dawn. That way, by the time we get whipped like cream, we won’t have wasted the best part of the day”. I dare you, Lithuania!!

      Russian military forces in Kaliningrad in 2010 included more than 10,000 troops (not counting over 1000 marines) and more than 800 tanks. The total strength of the Lithuanian land forces is 3,500 regulars and 4,700 reserves, and they are equipped with nothing bigger than an APC and towed artillery. Have another wet dream, why don’t you, Lithuania?

      As to the last story, if this is illegal but nobody dares challenge it, then it has the same effect as its being legal. Surely there is a civil-rights organization with deep enough pockets – the ACLU, for example – that will take the government to court over it. If nobody dares challenge the practice, then corporate America’s power is unlimited and it can do as it pleases. Where is Karl at moments like this, to sound the alarm that America is weak and cowed because it will not stand up to the depredations of its corporate masters?

      • Paul II says:

        Wouldn’t the plan simply be that the West installs someone like Chubais and the oligarchs agree to give back the Crimea and sell Kaliningrad? Russian commentators like to say that Putin nationalized the oligarchs, but that seems like an oxymoron. Once an oligarch, always an oligarch.

        • marknesop says:

          I suppose that’s a possibility. However – in what would have been laughable only a couple of decades ago – Russia has evolved into one of the few countries in the world where the will of the people is actually listened to on matters of national policy. Oh, the kreakly will scoff at the very idea because their vision of Russia remains unrealized, but they are a tiny minority. There was tremendous public support for the reunification of Crimea and there would be tremendous public condemnation of giving it back, having done so, even if the reason was said to be to preserve peace. Selling Kaliningrad to the Baltics would be a non-starter. Western analysts like to say Putin is paranoid, and infects the public with his paranoia, on the issue of western encirclement and constant pressing inward. But you have only to look at a time-lapse map of NATO enlargement and establishment of NATO military bases to see the truth. The west would proudly claim the strategy, if it had worked – they’d say, yeah, that was us, it was so-and-so’s strategy, brilliantly carried out by the CIA and State Department, and the Russian people are better off for it because now they have freedom and democracy. Since it has yet to realize success (although Russia seemed to be asleep while NATO enlargement gobbled up countries all around it), the west pretends it is all a happy coincidence and that there is nothing either deliberate or ominous about it. But it cannot resist crowing in triumph when things turn out according to its plans.

          At present, Vladimir Putin’s policies have the solid backing of the public and he is careful of sampling public will in policymaking. Others would do well to follow the example, rather than writing policy in such arcane and obscure terminology that nobody can understand it, then saying “You agreed to it!!!” when some hidden consequence is revealed, or writing it in secret altogether. I doubt very much Putin would make either of the momentous decisions mentioned without consulting public opinion.

          The west likes oligarchs because it likes any foreign leader who has a predictable vice, so that he will act in western interests if tempted by what attracts him. In the case of oligarchs it is money and power, but the west would not stop there if that’s what it took to get its way.

  15. yalensis says:

    American Congress passes amendment blocking U.S. money to be spent training Azov Battalion in Ukraine.

    The Amendment was co-sponsored by Michigan Representative John Conyers, who is a Democrat and a member of the Black Caucus in Congress. Conyers quite understandably does not like Azov nor its leader Andriy Biletsky, who are white supremacists, not to mention neo-Nazis.

    Biletsky is the author of the following ideological rant, which sounds remarkably like our own beloved ThatJ; here he is ranting against Negroes and immigrants:

    So why the ‘Negro-love’ on a legislative level? They want to break everyone who has risen to defend themselves, their family, their right to be masters of their own land! They want to destroy the Nation’s biological resistance to everything alien and do to us what happened to Old Europe, where the immigrant hordes are a nightmare for the French, Germans and Belgians, where cities are ‘blackening’ fast and crime and the drug trade are invading even the remotest corners.

    Conyers no doubt did the right thing, on at least a token level, by pointing out that Azov is reprehensible.
    However, his actions infuriated Ukrainian Security honcho Gerashchenko, who even stooped to making veiled threats against Conyers on his Facebook page:

    “I suggest,” Gerashchenko wrote, “that the Ukrainian volunteer (battalions) organize a trip for Conyers, they should go and visit Givi and Motorola in Donetsk, to engage in educational work.”

    Gerashchenko went on to accuse Conyers of promoting “Putinite” propaganda, and vigorously defended the reputation of the Azov Battalion.

    • yalensis says:

      P.S. – if you look at the photo of Biletsky, this is clearly a racially inferior specimen, despite the pale skin.
      His eyes are too close together, his nose is flared, his ears point outward like those of a rat. His broad face and ridged brow show clearly that he is descended from orangutans.
      His DNA is probably half-orangutan.

      • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

        He’s a slant-eyed thug, right enough. Nobody who is a Cossack descendant should brag about his racial purity, because God knows the Cossacks never cared about preserving their Aryaninanity.

    • yalensis says:

      This link gives Gerashchenko’s Facebook posting about Conyers.

      Gerashchenko also laughs at Conyers and accuses him of binge-watching “Russia Today” every night.

    • ThatJ says:

      Even a broken clock is right twice a day.

      • yalensis says:

        Dear ThatJ:
        Why do you call Biletsky a “broken clock” ?
        Please name one thing that he ever said, which you disagree with.
        From your point of view, Biletsky is a wholly consistent and fully functional clock.

        Biletsky’s manifesto is in Ukrainian, but here is an English-language summary, including this passage:

        The nation as manifestation of race
        In the same Social-National Assembly manifesto, Biletsky states his conviction that the nation as a cultural and linguistic community is simply a manifestation of the race. According to the manifesto, the mission of the Ukrainian race is “to lead the White peoples of the world in the last crusade for their existence”.

        Surprisingly, Holovko explains this “crusade” as a reference to the “civilizational” fight against Russia. “‘White people’ means Europeans,” he says. “We are referring to a literal crusade, about getting people together to fight. It is about returning leadership to Europe.”

        As for the role of race, he claims that the Ukrainian nation is part of European civilization and European genetics. The same, he appears to imply, would be true of Russians.

        “This is not a war between Russians and Ukrainians, but between systems of values,” he says. “The fact that there is a lot of protest against the war in Russia and a lot of Russian volunteers here – and that many of us here speak Russian – proves the case. If someone attacks your country, his genetics do not matter.”

        Elsewhere, the battalion has claimed to be fighting against “the residues of modern society represented by ‘khachi’ (a racist slur for natives of the Caucasus region), chavs, communists, liberals, Asians and other Untermenschen (subhumans)”. While Holovko does not deny the quote, he insists it is taken out of context and that it apparently refers to the fight against Russia: “You must see that there are a lot of people from Caucasus fighting on the other side, both in the regular army and in volunteer groups,” he says. “As for Asians, it is not about race, but because we see this confrontation as a confrontation between Europe and Asia as civilizations.”

        I urge you to research on the web, find an English translation, read the entire manifesto of Biletsky’s “Social-National” movement, and then come back to me and name even one thing in it that you disagree with.

        From what I can see, the only difference between Biletsky’s rants and yours is that he uses the word “communists” whereas you like to use the word “Trotskyites” to paint the political aspect of the racial enemy.

    • marknesop says:

      Poor Nazi Ukraine. Everything was going so well at first, and then it was going not so well, then suddenly it was shit on a stick. If it keeps on the way it’s going it will arrive at one of those moments like when you are telling a dirty joke at a noisy party, and everyone stops talking at once in one of those queer silence bubbles, just as you say something gross and horrible at peak volume. Everyone will look at Kiev in horror and say “What have we done???”, and suddenly everyone will be too embarrassed to be seen talking to Kiev.

      The lesson the west is learning is that, having enabled the Nazi battalions, it cannot now turn them off – like the cartoon of “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice”, the Nazis are not going to be told to be quiet and stay low. They like swaggering about and pushing people’s faces in the dirt, so they keep on marching and zigging and making asses of themselves and the country they live in, even as their political cover tries to flex its muscle in America and get politicians who do not agree with its policies made to shut up. Ukraine seems to think it is Israel or something.

  16. yalensis says:

    American Congress bullish on stoking Ukrainian civil war.

    • marknesop says:

      The push by lawmakers to arm Ukraine’s beleaguered armed forces threatens to open a rift between the United States and key allies, especially Germany and France, at a time when the Obama administration has been working to demonstrate unified support for extending European economic sanctions against Russia that are scheduled to expire at the end of July.”

      In what way are Ukraine’s armed forces “beleaguered”? The word means “besieged, under siege, blockaded, surrounded, encircled, beset, hemmed in, under attack”. In fact, it is the eastern regions they are attacking which are blockaded and under siege. Before the war it was a net exporter of weaponry. “Arming Ukraine” would just be the thin edge of the wedge; then it would transpire – when the state still did not manage to get the business done – that Ukraine needed “more help”. In retrospect it was clever planning that the only air component is Ukrainian, because the No-Fly Zone is a tried and true vector for mission creep. The Ukrainian armed forces in fact has no military victories to its credit at all unless you count Slaviansk, and its modus operandi is parking outside city limits and shelling the city day in and day out. Dead accurate, too; a city is hard to miss with artillery.

      If the shoe were on the other foot, though, and a rebel army was shelling Kiev, the screaming and wailing from the western media, the “Oh, the Humanity!!!” pieces, would be something to behold. Then every western journalist would be as conversant with international humanitarian law as they are with a street map of their home town.

  17. Fern says:

    Seems Ukraine and the US have got some sort of bizarre exchange programme going on. While Washington has been hosting Yatsenyuk (whose visit could be summed up by endless reiterations of ‘Russian aggression blah, blah’, interspersed with the occasional ‘gimme me the money’), Kiev has been honoured by a visit from none other than Samantha Power, yes, Ms Responsibility to Protect (but not folk living in the Donbas).

    ”Power maintains a crass double standard where the crimes of US allies are concerned (to say nothing of the crimes of US imperialism itself in Iraq, Afghanistan and other countries). She has shown no outrage over mass slaughters by Israel in Gaza or by Egyptian military dictator al-Sisi, and she supports the ongoing campaign of starvation and bombing by Saudi Arabia in Yemen.

    Even by these standards, Power’s speech in Kiev Thursday was remarkable for its duplicity and hypocrisy. She denounced as “myths” the well-grounded contention of Russian officials that “the Maidan protesters were pawns of the West,” and that “Euromaidan had been engineered by Western capitals in order to topple a democratically-elected government.”……

    Power declared that the Maidan movement was directed against “the concentration of power in the hands of a few oligarchs,” while avoiding any mention of the Ukrainian president who came to power as a consequence: billionaire Petro Poroshenko, known as the “chocolate king,” who personifies the corrupt oligarchy whose grip on Ukraine has only been strengthened.

    Turning to the current political crisis in Ukraine, provoked by massive cuts in social spending and living standards demanded by the country’s creditors, including the IMF, EU and United States, Power declared that this was the fulfillment of the Maidan movement of 2013-2014. “It is about moving from demanding change to actually making change,” she declared. “You are still living in the revolution.”

    Thousands dead in the East, many thousands more injured, many with life-changing conditions like amputations, a million plus refugees, massive destruction of property, an economy in the toilet, people all over Ukraine struggling to cope with declining incomes and ever-increasing prices and they’re “still living in the revolution”? The western political class is just irredeemably depraved.


  18. marknesop says:

    Here’s a blast from the past you might enjoy – see if you can guess which political candidate this is:

    A police “that defends the rights of every citizen”; peace, so that businesspeople come back to the country; support for the middle class, which, as he points out, makes up most of the population of Ukraine; prospects of advancement for the young. “What we’ve managed in Vinnytsia, we’ll do in the entire country. We will become proud to live in Ukraine!

    Okay, everyone will guess because there are too many hints – not really that much of a puzzle. It’s Poroshenko, of course. But check out the promises, and see how far away he still is from achieving any of them.

    • Lyttenburgh says:

      “support for the middle class, which, as he points out, makes up most of the population of Ukraine”

      [an explosion of helpless, hysterical giggling, swelling up into a full-throated laughter]

      Out of curiosity, I decided to google “Украинский средний класс”. I know, I know – I dared to ask Mighty Google in Katsapian Mongolo-Finno-Jewish гавкота not in the sweet as nightngale’s song мова. So, probably, my results are completely false.

      So, here are these 3 articles:




      Here, we have some very peculiar graphics. Like this one.. Turns out, that while 33,6% consider themselves “middle class”, only 8.9% of Ukraine’s total popalation actually qualify. There are many “meaty” deatails in this graph that will make even most ardent svidomites pause and scratch their proto-Ukrian perfect heads. But there is one part of the graph that is a real zrada:

      Yep, that’s right. 17.8% of the Ukrainian middle class lived in Crimea, and 14.2% – in the South-East. This is zrada, ecause these graphs were compiled in 2013. Something tells me now, that the number of people in the Ukraine who consider themselves “middle-class” probably increase, while their actual number fell dramatically.

      • Phil K says:

        Hello Lyttenburgh,

        I’ve stopped using CIA-Google and started using DuckDuckGo. I pasted “Украинский средний класс” into DuckDuckGo and got many many hits, mostly at .ua sites. My (lack of) proficiency in Russian is pathetic enough that I wouldn’t attempt to characterize any of the pages, but I noticed at the bottom of the page, it reads “In partnership with Yandex”.

      • marknesop says:

        Some good information.

  19. ucgsblog says:

    To no one’s surprise, Obama’s TPP fails. Why? The answer is simple – elections. In order to get elected, you actually have to pay attention to what the electorate says, and the Democratic electorate, (as well as the indie electorate,) is very anti-TPP. Democrats were given a choice – lose their seats and what’s left of their power in the House of Representatives, or support Obama’s TPP. They chose wisely. As Obama said, he’s got no more elections to run. The Democratic has to run said elections every two years, and if they somehow support TPP and it hits the US economy, (as predicted by Warren,) they might not want to run again, to avoid massive humiliation.

    Furthermore, there’s a new worry, Dems might lose the White House. If Clinton takes Democratic nominee and Rand Paul takes the Republican nominee for president, it’s Rand Paul that’ll be the President, not Clinton. That means that Democrats will lose Congress and the Presidency, and with the Judiciary leaning Republican, (see Bush v Gore and Citizens United,) the TPP doesn’t bode well for the future of the Democratic Party.

    The only possible resurgence is through the Latino Vote, but if Paul takes the presidency and Republicans take Congress, they might check the Latino Vote, keeping the Democrats unemployed for quite a while. And thus Asia goes to China, courtesy of inner workings of the US system and the failure of Bush-Clinton-Bush-Obama foreign policies.

  20. yalensis says:

    Ukrainian Coal Company declares bankruptcy.

    TRANSLATION (from Russian to English)
    In April the Minister of Energy and Coal Industry Demchishin, communicated about the intention to liquidate the state-owned company “Ukrainian Coal”.

    The state-owned company “Ukrainian Coal”, which is the national operator of Ukraine’s coal market, turned to the Merchant Court of Kiev with a declaration of intention to declare bankruptcy; this was communicated by eizvestia.com in the state register of legal judgments.

    According to the document, the materials presented by the state (coal) company were considered by the court to be adequate. The court set up a hearing on the case for 16 June.

    As was communicated back in April, the Minister of Energy and Coal Industry Vladimir Demchishin announced the intention to liquidate the state-owned Ukrainian Coal Company, which is the national operator of Ukraine’s coal market.

    (Up until now) Ukrainian Coal Company is the operator of the wholesale market of coal product and carries out the sale of practically all the coal obtained from the coal facilities which are under the aegis of the Ministry of Energy and Coal Production.

    “Ukrainian Coal Company” has, since May 2014, engaged in the extraction of coal from state-owned mines; whereas before, the coal was sold through middle-men, which only magnified the deficits from the mines. The media connected these middle-men with the inner circle of former President Viktor Yanukovych. The price of a tonne of coal was around 400 hryvnas; however, after the re-sale (by the middlemen) via several companies, the price increased to 1,000 hryvnas. In this manner, 600 hryvnas went into the pockets of Yanukovych’s inner circle.

    At this moment, however, Ukrainian Coal Company has declared its bankruptcy.

    • yalensis says:

      My interpretation of above:

      Under Yanukovych, the middle-men filled their pockets on the mark-up, but still got the coal out to where it needed to be. (according to Ukrainian “media” – who knows if they are even telling the truth about the extent of the mark-up?)

      In order to combat this corruption, the new junta got rid of the middle-men and their intermediary shell companies.

      And then proceeded to bankrupt the entire state-run coal industry.

      In preparation for privatizing all of Ukraine’s coal mines and selling off this valuable natural resource for a penny to the dollar.

      All in order to combat that nasty Yanukovych corruption!

      • yalensis says:

        P.S. Definition of “corruption”:

        -Yanukovych stayed at the Ritz and stole all the towels from his room.
        -Poroshenko stayed at the Ritz, and now he owns the Ritz!

    • kat kan says:

      They have cleaned up corruption (nationally) and removed the middlemen, so they should have been getting the whole 1000 themselves for at least 6 or 8 months. So how come they survived in Yanukovich’s time and are going broke now? So broke they haven’t managed to pay the miners for … must be 5 months now as it was 3 months 2 months ago when they went to Kiev to protest (at the behest of Russia of course).

      Maybe the middlemen knew who and where the buyers were, and the company didn’t? certainly the electricity people didn’t seem to know where to go to buy, in the blackouts of last autumn. Maybe they’ve been getting undercut by South African coal from Donbass?
      Now being bankrupt, they won’t have the money to shut down the mines, so will just abandon them. This will leave ~40,000 very angry unemployed strong men, who, however, will not join the army. It will also leave mines filling up with water, picking up dissolved methane and other chemical goodies, until it reaches and melds with the water table, being where a lot of people get their water, leading to undrinkable well water which, for consolation, can be set alight as a party trick.

      Ukraine is a good ecological manager. Having extinguished the fuel tank farm fire (by the simple method of waiting for it to burn out) they are now under attack on the other side by a 100 hectare peat fire, which they can’t get at to extinguish, because someone got the bright idea of sowing it with land mines. Perhaps they’ were hoping to grow land mines, thereby reviving Ukraine’s position as a major weapons exporter? On yet another side, just burning down to extinguishment, is the nation’s largest poly foam box factory, which is ok, as they’re not producing anything to pack into them anyway.

      • yalensis says:

        From what I understand, you can’t just abandon a mine, you have to go through a whole series of procedures to shut it down properly.

        Full planet of apes type scenario in Ukraine, except these apes are not intelligent.

        • kat kan says:

          These pits are up to a mile underground. Easily flooded. At certain water levels the water breaks through to ground water OR other mines. Houses float OR explode from water-borne methane in the basement. They have to seal them somehow, like waterproof them so water that accumulates doesn’t go anywhere else. I don’t know exactly how, but it is NOT FREE. Just abandoning them costs nothing (today). These clowns don’t look as far as lunchtime, never mind to tomorrow.

          • marknesop says:

            That’s correct; a working pit has pumps going all the time to suck the inevitable floodwater out and pump it to the surface or wherever it is wanted so as to keep it away from the works. Once the pumps are shut down the pit will flood regardless the conditions on the surface. Typically the pit is sealed by deliberately collapsing a substantial section of the roof in various main tunnels and then sealing the entrances with concrete caps.

      • Jen says:

        Who were these so-called “middle men” anyway? Would these “middle men” have been in fact state companies responsible for calculating pricing formulas for electricity charges? This could be significant work in itself. I have done some records management work in the past for a state utilities organisation and about a third of the paperwork the organisation did at the time related to energy pricing formulas and calculations. All this work had to be transparent, so was subject to government regulation as well and that generated another shitload of documentation.

        It would appear from Yalensis’ translation that what might have happened was that after February 2014, the Kiev regime decided to cut out the “middle men” and shift the responsibility onto the Ukrainian Coal Company to sell the coal as well as mining it, without giving the company extra resources and trained staff to take on the extra work. Plus there was an opportunity to use the Ukrainian Coal Company to steal coal mine assets by taking over downstream distribution and sales functions. (“Downstream” meant in an economic sense, as in a company expanding from making things into distributing and selling the same things itself.)

        • kat kan says:

          In some countries, a Coal Board or Wheat Board or Sugar Board etc maintains experts, education, safety and productivity services for the producers; purchases overproduction and releases stockpiles to maintain good prices without much fluctuation etc. The Ukrainian version was, they wholesaled it to buyers, who then sought customers for it (sometimes just 20 miles down the road from the wholesaler) and also provided the delivery. Nice profits were added at each step, and often a kickback to the end buyer for agreeing to a higher price. .

          Often they’d not get back enough to cover the costs; the Government subsidised with cash flow; some closed for periods when they didn’t have the cash to pay their electricity bill. So the miners would not be paid either. Meanwhile the middlemen might even export it, so the coal would go for a train ride to Odessa, then come back again in a few weeks as an import. It would change hands while this went on, so the profit would remain with the foreign temporary owner, ie they managed to transfer price their own local production. Also the mines would buy kopanka (illegal) coal for less than it cost them to make it, but they got the subsidies on tonnage, the purchasing person pocketing the difference. The kopanka miner, at the risk of his life, would still make more than working in a slightly safer mine where the wages were intermittent.

          • marknesop says:

            A similar scheme was in place through NaftoGaz, and gas subsidies from the government made household gas prices so cheap they could afford to waste it, while the government paid more for gas than they raised by selling it – it took me a long time to understand why the west always insisted on the abolishing of the gas subsidy as a main plank of reform, as far back as Yushchenko (who agreed to it but never made any progress on it and was denied a second large IMF loan because of his failure to deliver). Along with that inefficiency, they leveraged Europe’s gas deliveries against gas that was stolen by Ukraine either for its own use or for downstream sales at its own profit. Europe would be far, far better off without Ukraine as a transit country, but Europe’s leaders are not concerned with the reliability of the European supply; they are occupied with grand strategy, and have still not given up hope for a Ukraine which operates to the strategic and monetary benefit of Europe but which is financially underpinned by Russia, to Russia’s detriment. Essentially, they want to transfer the subsidy’s concept to Russia’s cost and the benefits to themselves, while Ukraine is no more than an adapter, an interface unit that completes this exchange to Europe’s benefit.

  21. Northern Star says:

    TPP update
    Here is the situation as of this (June 13) weekend:

    Mhuhahahahahahaaaa….It looks as if a huge monkey wrench has answered the NWO’s puppet’s paw knock on the House of Representatives door!!!!! One can only hope that the TPP train will be ‘fast tracked’ to a permanent derailment. Why?….Start with this:

    Click to access BrokenPromises.pdf

    But as usual ..there is always Room For One More…NWO fascist stunt:

    Also the EU wasn’t particularly enthusiastic about the TPP to begin with,,,so now what?????

    • Northern Star says:

      This is what trade agreements facilitate:
      (Check the Kestrel Sakai comment)

    • marknesop says:

      It’s funny to see Democrats abandoning it in droves – they are usually so cowardly, and allow themselves to be persuaded that although they may not like it personally, they have to show unity “for the greater good”. It remains to be seen if the Republicans will unite to ram it through, as they are on the horns of a dilemma – it’s something Obama wants, so by rights they should kill it just because they vowed when he was elected that they would never allow any of his proposals to pass, just on principle, if it lay within their power to block it. But on the other hand it is all about lovely corporatism and corporate profit-taking, which is a religion for the Republicans.

      • kat kan says:

        EU is now going so broke they can’t afford it, and there are public protests about it already. In France they always bring manure to underscore their point. These deals will hurt the incomes of the same people already hit with the reverse sanctions (and they KNOW that was not Russia’s fault).

  22. ThatJ says:

    Modern Europe was formed by milk-drinking Russians: Mass migration brought new genetic make-up to continent 5,000 years ago

    • Researchers studied the DNA of skeletons from the Bronze Age period
    • They found white Europeans only arrived on the continent 5,000 years ago
    • Came after a mass period of migration by the Yamnaya in southern Russia
    • They brought new technology and a genetic mutation allowing them to drink cow’s milk

    Modern Europe was only formed 5,000 years ago when mass migration from southern Russia and Georgia brought new languages, technology and dairy farming to the continent, a study has revealed.

    Researchers in one of the largest studies of the DNA of Bronze Age skeletons, found that a huge shift of people from the Caucasus region in third millennium BC, brought migrants to northern Europe.

    And they carried a genetic mutation that allowed adults to tolerate drinking cow’s milk.

    Researchers in one of the largest studies of the DNA of Bronze Age skeletons, found that a huge shift of people from the Caucasus region in third millennium BC, brought migrants to northern Europe (shown on the map) – as well as a genetic mutation allowing people to drink cow’s milk

    DNA analysis revealed that the Yamnaya people lived in southern Russia’s Caucasus region, where the term Caucasian originated.

    They then spread their ideas and DNA across Europe during a period of mass migration in the early Bronze Age, settling in countries such as France, Germany and the Netherlands.

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3119310/How-white-Europeans-arrived-5-000-years-ago-Mass-migration-southern-Russia-brought-new-technology-dairy-farming-continent.html

    ThatJ: They omit one important information. Caucasus itself was invaded by various tribes over the millennia and modern Caucasians — people from the Caucasus region — differ significantly from modern Europeans. This is understandable, considering that the Caucasus is sandwiched between Europe, the Middle East and Asia. The Middle Easterners were also more white-looking in the past. Unfortunately for the region, the conquering Islam made large-scale use of Negro slaves and over the centuries Negro blood was absorbed by the population. And then there’s the issue of Asiatic and Turkic invasions of the region. People who are familiar with the region have probably noticed that Christians from e.g. Syria and Lebanon, with centuries-old roots in the region, are more Caucasoid-looking than their Muslim co-nationals.

    Osama is a Saudi, Obama is a mulatto.

    • Northern Star says:

      “Osama is a Saudi, Obama is a mulatto.”
      Your point??? Presuming you have one…
      BTW…when was the last time you used the term “Negro” in the presence of one…??
      You should also be aware that Arabs -along with white supremacist vermin- are the enemies of Black people….

    • Ilya says:

      A bit misguided on the whiteness aspect: the Yamnaya were likely brown-eyed. Further, the only sample from the Reich et al. paper from earlier in the year that had both the light alleles for SLC24A5 and SLC45A2 was a hunter-gatherer from northern Europe, not a Yamnaya pastoralist.

      Further, modern Caucasians are shifted towards the middle east genetically (the middle east itself is shifted toward Africa relative to the adjacent areas of the Mediterranean), but they also retain a significant quantity of ANE (ancestral north Eurasian), of which the Yamnaya were predominantly.

    • Jen says:

      The study quoted in the Daily Mail appears to have limited itself to investigating changes in the DNA (whether Y-chromosomal or mitochondrial DNA, it does not say, and this omission undercuts the article’s validity because tracing maternal ancestry through mt-DNA could yield completely different conclusions about European ancestry from tracing paternal ancestry through Y-chromosomal DNA) so no conclusions about the ancestry of Middle Eastern peoples can be drawn from it.

      I should think that Muslim people in the Middle East “appear” darker than Middle Eastern Christians for the reason that historically Islamic rulers imposed a special tax (the jizya tax) on the non-Muslims they ruled. Poor people or people who couldn’t pay the tax – and these were likely to be peasants out in the sun – tended over time to gravitate to Islam. Egypt may have been conquered by Muslim Arabs in the late 600s CE but another 600 or 700 years had to pass before that country became a Muslim-majority one. (Muslim rulers actually preferred not to convert too many people to Islam for the reason that the jizya tax was useful to them, just like any other tax.) People with money who could pay the jizya tax – and these were likely to be urbanised folk who didn’t have to labour outdoors – kept their original faith longer.

      Also historically having fair skin was an indicator that you were rich, that you didn’t have to work in the fields under a hot sun for landlords, so this became a status symbol for wealthy people, some of whom might happen to be Christian.

      Unless there are studies that have found sub-Saharan Y-chromosomal DNA and / or mt-DNA in large frequencies among and right across people in the Arabian peninsula, Turkey, Iran and the Levant, as opposed to some communities living here and there in some countries, we can’t say that modern Middle Eastern people are more African than they used to be. Selectively choosing a photo of Osama bin Laden (with his hair covered and only his beard hair present – and the texture of beard hair is often different from head hair; I’ve seen plenty of men with straight head hair and curly beard hair) to represent Saudis and comparing him to Barack Obama does not prove anything at all.

      It’s to be noted that Islamic rulers also imported plenty of white slaves from Europe either by plundering ships and enslaving their crews and passengers in the Mediterranean Sea or Atlantic Ocean near their territories; or, in the case of the Ottomans, making regular sweeps through their European territories and beyond for boys to draft into their janissary corps and for girls for sultans’ harems.

      • Jen says:

        Oops, meant to say in that first sentence that the study quoted in the Daily Mail limited itself to investigating changes in the DNA of Europeans by studying the DNA of Bronze Age European skeletons. Here is a link to the actual study and its scope:

        • Ilya says:

          There have been copious studies utilizing hundreds of thousands of autosomal SNPs that clearly establish the three poles of human genetic variation and that the ADMIXTURE-generated ancestral component modal in Middle Easterners has a lower Fst relative to the Yoruba than does the modal European components. Simple.

          Further, the Middle East has been a cross-roads of large-scale population movement historically, and it is this which is the likely source of pigmentation variation in the Middle East. Genetic difference is the reason Assyrians look different from Arabs.

      • ThatJ says:

        The Arabs were big boys in the slave trade. They got into the “business” before the Europeans, and stopped later than we did (thanks to the British, I must add).

        Recall the background of the first black slave owner in the US:

        Johnson was captured in his native Angola by an enemy tribe and sold to Arab slave traders. He was eventually sold as an indentured servant to a merchant working for the Virginia Company.


        The black slaves of Saudi Arabia and neighboring regions are nowhere to be seen today. The population have a mulatto look. Do the math.

        Turks and Iranians (with a myriad of ethnicities) are different cases. They are not Arabs.

        The genetic shift in the Egyptian population predates the Islamic conquest of the country.

        Evidence of black slaves in Egyptian and Grecian society. Left: Nubian (African) slaves as depicted in ancient Egyptian art, and right two Greek vases, dating from the fifth century BC, show the racial types of two slaves, a Semite and a black.

        See: http://marchofthetitans.com/prologue.htm

        • astabada says:

          The population have a mulatto look. Do the math.

          Frankly I don’t understand. They would be mulatto if you could prove that at some point Saudi Arabia was inhabited by what you call Caucasians that later mixed with black people.

          However the Arabian Peninsula has never been inhabited by white Caucasians, and the present look of its inhabitants could well be the original look of Semites (unless otherwise proven).

        • Jen says:

          As Ilya has said, there have been major population movements in and out of the Middle East and these have been responsible for the pigmentation variation, not to mention also that there may have been cultural influences at local, regional, national and supranational levels influencing skin colour and various facial features. Plus there is always the possibility that two populations living in similar environments (hot, humid, with long hours of sunshine during the year) might come to share similar features even without any contact and intermixing: that phenomenon is called convergent evolution. So the variation in skin colour and facial characteristics seen in the photos posted still does not prove that Arab people have any sub-Saharan ancestry.

          Indeed if we were to go by Y-chromosomal DNA stats alone, we would find that there are more genetic links between Middle Eastern populations and European populations, in that the dominant Y-chromosomal DNA haplogroup among Arabs is J which incidentally is also found in western and southern Europe including Britain:

          Distribution of Y-chromosomal DNA haplogroup J:

          Sub-Saharan populations mostly belong to Y-chromosomal haplogroup E:

          Of course there will be men in the Middle East who have DNA belonging to haplogroup E (which would be expected if there has been contact between the Middle East and Africa for centuries) but the frequencies of this Y-chromosome type in that region are low as can be seen in the map.

          But of course for ThatJ, race and race as determinant of intelligence level, cultural level and cultural development trump history, economic development (as in levels of poverty and how poverty affects early childhood nutrition and can cause brain damage in children) and environment (as in, exposure to malaria and other chronic tropical diseases that can also cause brain damage in children).

          • yalensis says:

            Also for ThatJ, VISUAL IMPRESSIONS appear to trump scientific analysis of DNA.
            I understand in the past, before DNA, anthropologists didn’t have much to go on, except for skulls, calipers, and photographs. “Hm… this one looks like a mulatto to me…”

            But, thankfully, the science has improved since then.
            People don’t need to speculate any longer, they can collect the DNA, crunch the numbers, and learn how to “do the math”, as ThatJ says.

            I personally don’t know how to do the math, and I suspect that ThatJ doesn’t either.
            But there are people who do, and these scientists can give us a more exact theory of these population statistics than just saying “He looks like a mulatto to me.”

            Which, by the way, in a previous thread, ThatJ treated us to some rant about how he couldn’t get into a sociology faculty in the U.S., because they are all “controlled by the Jews” and supposedly don’t permit racist research that countervenes the “Jewish agenda”.

            Which is not true either, as examples like Unz and Karlin show. You can get in, despite your political opinions, if you have the right grades and the chops to do actual science.

            Which makes me suspect that ThatJ never had the math skills or a high enough IQ to get accepted into the sociology faculty. Which explains why he can’t understand DNA research and just keeps falling back on visual stereotypes.

          • Northern Star says:

            “So the variation in skin colour and facial characteristics seen in the photos posted still does not prove that Arab people have any sub-Saharan ancestry.”
            …So what…..?
            Suppose the Arabs have infinitesimal sub-Saharan ancestry….what are we to infer from this??
            On the other hand, suppose the (2015) collective Arab genome is rife with markers of sub-Saharan ancestry. Again ..your point???

            • Jen says:

              Physical features like skin colour and facial characteristics don’t necessarily correlate with genetic ancestry. For example, there have been reports that about 30% of African American males who take DNA tests discover they have European Y-chromosome DNA.

              Some research done on men in West Yorkshire has found that some of these men who share a surname dating back several hundred years and who look completely European carry West African Y-chromosome DNA. The scientists who did this research think this DNA might have come from a slave who lived in England about 250 years ago.

              So simply because one group of people resembles another in some aspects of appearance is not proof of relatedness. The resemblance could be due to cultural and environmental factors as well, like being out in the sun a lot, people favouring curly hair over straight hair or covering up their straight head hair but leaving wavy or curly beard hair exposed. That’s my point.

              But the real point of what I was saying before is that ThatJ uses the supposed presence of sub-Saharan ancestry in Arab people to insinuate that Arabs are somehow degenerate.

    • ThatJ says:


      Which, by the way, in a previous thread, ThatJ treated us to some rant about how he couldn’t get into a sociology faculty in the U.S., because they are all “controlled by the Jews” and supposedly don’t permit racist research that countervenes the “Jewish agenda”.

      Your projections. I never challenged your assertions that I’m American, and now you’re saying I was rejected from a sociology faculty. What’s next?

      By the way, there is no such thing as racist research, there is only the scientific method. It is not in the spirit of science to attack or support a finding based on whether it fits your ideological convictions or not.

      A finding is not racist, feminist, communist, nazi or fascist. It may or may not support an aspect of one of these ideologies, but the finding itself is non-ideological.

      America is becoming increasingly intolerant of research and findings which do not share the Zionist-imposed dogmas about race, gender or homosexuality. In academia, you may commit career suicide by finding the wrong results. Unfortunately, the US is starting to resemble the Soviet Union. This is understandable, considering the Semitic origins of both communism and political correctness.

      Kevin MacDonald, being an academic himself, has discussed the pervasive bias in academia:

      The academic left’s involvement in politics

      Liberal Bias in Academia: The role of Jewish academics in the creation and maintenance of academic liberalism

      While Boas and his fellow-travellers were allowed to conduct their research unmolested by contemporary Anglo scientists (no risk of physical assault, no risk of losing their job, no risk of being lynched by an one-sided, watchful and censoring academic world), the reality today is quite different, and for the worse:

      This video explains what is “unimaginable” for a respectable academic to say or publish today, but was not unusual a century ago.

      Which explains why he can’t understand DNA research and just keeps falling back on visual stereotypes.

      You don’t need to study genetics to know that:

      1) The Arabs have been in the slavery business for over 1000 years. They used slaves extensively and also sold them, including to Europeans for use in the Americas.
      2) There does not seem to exist a 1000-years old Negro community in Saudi Arabia, indicating that assimilation and miscegenation occurred.
      3) A sizeable number of Saudis display features which indicate partial Negro ancestry.

      What can be deduced from this?

      If in 500 years the black and white population of the US mingle, what will happen to the black race in the country? There will be different shades of mulattoes, but no black, and no whites as we know them today. Likewise, the average Brazilian is not a Portuguese and the average Mexican is not a Spaniard, due to miscegenation.

      • ThatJ says:

        The video’s audio is from a radio broadcast by William Pierce, who died in 2002. The video itself is not of his making.

      • yalensis says:

        Dear ThatJ:
        The “scientific method” is exactly what you and MacDonald DON’T do!
        You cherry-pick your studies and results to fit your existing theory of race and eugenics.
        A real scientist would start with the facts, and then try to explain them.
        You and MacDonald do the opposite.

        If you want to do real scientific research, then you should try to start with an open mind and just begin assembling a body of data.

        You say I am “projecting” that you blame your lack of academic success on the Jews.
        And then proceed with your usual rant that all academic research in America is controlled by the Jews. You’re just too funny.

        • yalensis says:

          P.S. – for those who are new to this polemic, ThatJ’s hero William Pierce was a neo-Nazi politician who, unlike MacDonald, didn’t even pretend to be a scientist.
          ThatJ mentioned him on a previous thread, in the context of: “Oh dear, how I wish that William Pierce was still alive!”

          Here is Pierce’s audio archive, please listen to some of his rants about Jews and African-Americans, and judge for yourself.

          Personally, I simply cannot comprehend how one person can berate and degrade whole groups of other people, whom he has never even met. You have to wonder where this visceral hatred of other people comes from?

          I mean, I hate some people too, but only ones that I know personally.

  23. yalensis says:

    Kiev oil fire has returned with a vengeance, and KyivPost finally discovered it, after keeping mum for many days.
    And I have to say, that of all the shills writing for the KyivPost, Oleg Sukhov is the only one who actually smells and sounds like a real journalist, despite his stint at the Moscow Times.

    In this piece, Sukhov uncovers some conspiracies and discusses various theories about who is to blame for the catastrophic fire. (The company honchos are blaming Russia and “terrorists” of course, but even Avakov isn’t buying that theory. Avakov suggests insurance fraud might be the motive.)
    [yalensis: I would put MY money on garden-variety negligence. But insurance fraud does not sound implausible either.]

  24. yalensis says:

    Meanwhile, in Ukraine, the few remants of the Leftist parties have finally decided to merge into one organization, called the “United Left Opposition”. They met today in Kiev and signed a Memorandum of unity.

    The bloc consists of the following parties/leaders:
    -Ukrainian Communist Party (Petr Simonenko)
    -Progressive Socialist Party (Natalia Vitrenko)
    -Workers Party (Sviatoslav Bondarchuk)
    -Leninist Komsomol of Ukraine
    -Union of Soviet Officers

    The block will be headed jointly by Simonenko, Vitrenko, Rudolph Pavlovich Povarnitsyn (who is an athlete who won bronze medal in high jump at 1988 Olympics in Seoul); and also Georgy Kruchkov, whoever he is.

    The new “Left Opposition” bloc say that their political program consists of:
    -End to the war in Donbass
    -confirm Ukraine’s non-bloc status (i.e., not join NATO)
    -maintain sovereignty of nation

    • yalensis says:

      I forgot to mention these other planks in their platform:
      -The Principle of people’s power
      -Social justice
      -Combat the social and national genocide of Ukrainians
      -Against fascism
      -Restore friendly relations with Russia

      [yalensis: In other words, their platform sounds like the usual Popular Front type nice-sounding phrases. I would be more impressed with their “commie” credentials if they called for a bloody reign of Red Terror against the oligarchs — some populist slogan like “A chicken in every pot, and a Porky on every pike.”

      or something like that…]

      • Max says:

        I would be more impressed with their “commie” credentials if they called for a bloody reign of Red Terror against the oligarchs…

        I think that’s what Lenin had in mind when he wrote “Left Wing Communism – an infantile disorder”

        qv https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1920/lwc/ch09.htm where he urges comrades not to go off half-cocked. To build coalitions and make compromises.

        • yalensis says:

          I deserved that rebuke.
          Just got carried away for a moment in my excitement at the thought of Porky on a pike!

      • marknesop says:

        Exactly the sort of opposition party the west would normally throw its weight behind foursquare…if it wanted to destabilize the state in question. Since that is the exact opposite of its wishes in this instance, this party will not get a look-in from the western media, much less all the backing and bunting and buttons and flags and bumper-stickers and youth movement complete with catchy name – usually the local dialect’s word for “Enough” or “Time For Change”.

        • kat kan says:

          They are COMMIES. Quite clearly backed by Putin so he can recreate the Soviet Union. I bet they even have a secret agenda item to put a Lenin statue on every empty pedestal in every town.

          • yalensis says:

            Ha ha!
            Actually, these types are more like Ziuganov.
            Who does NOT get along with Putin at all.
            In any case, either Simonenko or Vitrenko as President of Ukraine would be a vast improvement over the current lot.
            But ain’t gonna happen without a war.

      • marknesop says:

        They could start calling him “Porkoshashlik”.

        • Jen says:

          The pike would have to be held horizontally on two supports at either end, and an apple stuffed into Porky’s mouth so no-one would have to hear all the squealing. Turning him round and round over a fire would require willing volunteers and enough space for a long queue.

  25. yalensis says:

    Ukrainian energy crisis:
    Gas has been shut off to Mariupol.

    The two major production giants of the region:
    Azov Steel; and MMK (Mariupol Metallurgical Kombinat named after Ilyich)
    have ceased production, in order to conserve gas.
    The gas has been shut off to most enterprises.
    Only enough gas remains for 4-7 hours for consumers.
    [yalensis: and this article was from yesterday, so I don’t know what has happened since then]

    32 gas-distribution centers are under threat of ceasing to operate.
    The cause of the gas crisis is a lack of gas.

    • kat kan says:

      Lack of gas caused them to stop using gas? what a strange place……..

      Lack of gas is caused by huge fire in shelled gas pipeline, which they reckon will take 1 1/2 to 2 months to fix (but can be done in that many weeks if they’d get their finger out….) They don’t know how to put it out, and likely the surrounds have been mined.

      • et Al says:

        Measure: Medvyedev signs decree stopping NATO transporting via Russia to and from Afghanistan.

        Counter-measure: Kiev stops resupply of Russian peacekeepers to Transnistria and starts blockade.

        Counter-counter-measure: Heavily fortified Mariupol has problems with gas supplies?

        Who knows, but strange things are afoot at the CircleK Dude.

        OK, so we don’t know exactly why the gas is stopped but if they’re not getting it, it could be part of Russian pressure on other negotiations, a signal of portent if Kiev doesn’t stop f/king about. .Russia is still supplying gas to Kiev. Ying & Yang?

  26. yalensis says:

    Maybe a slight ray of good news about the Kiev fire: the head of Emergency Services Nikolai Chechetkin claims that one of the 2 major centers of the fire has finally been quenched. Workers are setting up preparations to offload some of the fuel. [I don’t know what that means.]

    Earlier this morning 900 cubic meters of capacity burned, and the fire spread by land around the burning reservoir.

  27. Fern says:

    Another uh-oh moment:

    “Kiev’s decision to deploy S-300 air defense systems in the Odessa Region puts Russian aircraft, flying in and out of Transnistria, in danger of getting shot down. This, in turn, increases the chances of a military confrontation between Russia and the West, US global intelligence company Stratfor predicted……..

    The residents of Odessa fear that Saakashvili might start war with Transnistria, using similar methods that he used during the 2008 war between Russia and Georgia, which started when Georgia, under his leadership, invaded South Ossetia, a tiny nation at the heart of the Caucasus.”

    What do we think of the odds of exactly this happening – undertaken solely for the purposes of forcing a Russian military response so as to justify whatever upping of the ante NATO has already planned?


    • marknesop says:

      Curiously, the USN and Russian Navy representatives met this past week in Naples to discuss ways to avoid such misunderstandings as might lead to a serious incident. The senior USN representative’s remarks suggest the USA did not get its way, whatever that might have been – I suspect a full-court press to persuade the Russians to fly with IFF transponders on at all times so western forces can identify them. And, incidentally, track them from the time they leave their base until the time they return.

      In the case of an aircraft flying in and out of Transnistria, it would broadcast its position, altitude and heading as well as its identification as a Russian transport, which might prove terribly tempting.

      • yalensis says:

        Speaking of transponders, Spiegel recently did an expose, in which they showed that NATO planes also are in the habit of flying with their transponders off. Therefore, their criticism of Russia in this regard is hypocritical.

        • marknesop says:

          I said that before, lots of times, but it’s nice of Der Spiegel to back me up. Warplanes only use their transponders when they are in or near an airlane and when taking off or landing. In wartime they would not use them in airlanes, either, as the objective is to look like an airliner until the opportunity arises to make a quick departure from the lane and carry out an attack.

          Turning off your transponder does not make you invisible; you can still be tracked by radar. But analysts will have to make a guess on what you are based on your behavior. If you are flying at 35-40 kft at a speed of around 400 knots and traveling in a commercial air lane, you’re an airliner. They would be uncomfortable because you did not display a transponder code and probably would try to establish communications by radio to ask you what was up, but if you did not answer they would not just blow you out of the sky. They might send up a fighter to investigate, if they had any available.

          I have a hard time believing that, for example, American surveillance aircraft operate near Russian coasts with their transponder turned on. As soon as the aircraft is within radar range, anyone with an IFF decoder knows who it is. Since a principal objective of American surveillance and intelligence aircraft is to gather data on Russian radar systems and various electromagnetic signals for later analysis, they are of little use if they fly through a tunnel of electromagnetic silence as bases all along their flight path shut off their systems until the aircraft has passed. Similarly, if they make a feint toward a known base location and then deke back into international airspace, it was all for nothing if the base knows who they are, because they want the base to turn on its fire-control radar and acquire them, see if it can lock them up. It’s useful to know if it tried and was unable to acquire lock-on, it might indicate a system weakness. In the case described here, Russia said the surveillance aircraft had its transponder turned off, and it most likely did. FlightRadar 24 says the transponder was on and cites its ID to prove it, but all of those are known values assigned to the aircraft, and do not mean they were not simply reconstructed unless you believe a western agency would not tell a lie.

    • yalensis says:

      Yes, this is the “trap theory” in which West will force Russia into Zugzwang over Transnistria.
      The theory is plausible, if one considers that Obama and the EU are reckless and mad. Which they seem to be.
      I think there is a real risk here.

      People who pooh-pooh this, based on the fact that “Ukraine is not a member of NATO” are overlooking the fact that Romania IS a member of NATO.
      The Zugzwang theory involves bringing all the pieces into play in order to force Russia to either back down completely, or risk nuclear war. The pieces involved being:
      Ukraine, NATO, Romania, Moldova, and Saakashvili.
      Those are the players on board.

      If I was advising Russia, I would say that this is the time to make bold and aggressive counter moves.

  28. davidt says:

    Sergei Karaganov has another serious article on global politics. He sees Europe as heading towards strategic degradation and sees the US of A as receding into semi-isolation. He also states “Most members of the Russian elite have lost all faith in Western politics and seem to be determined to use force to teach their partners to respect Russia’s interests.” I am not trying to summarize him, but, I think, that his articles are always insightful and worth reading. (At least they are a relief from being reminded of the antics of that flibbertigibbet Sobchak that, unfortunately, still sits at the top of this page.)

  29. marknesop says:

    This, ostensibly, is a parade through Mariupol yesterday by Azov Battalion. I certainly does look like their flags – plenty of money for such heraldry, I notice. The liberators seem not to be universally popular. But they seem to once again be baiting the rebels and daring them to attack.

    Also, a Russian drone reportedly shot down over Ukraine. Bellingcat once again getting a stiffie. So what? Is it surprising that Russia would be flying a drone over Ukraine? The USA was flying theirs out of Kherson. Did the USA suddenly become a regional power?

    Speaking of drones, a very interesting article on how “hobby drones” might be turned into a weapon of assassination. A lot of people knew that already – what surprised me was the detailing of the degree of electronic suppression and censorship now available to commercial interests in modern America; alleged here (1) Keurig coffeemakers and Lexmark printeres are programmed to reject third-party cartridges and coffee pods, (2) Auto dealers are installing remote immobilizers so they can shut down your car if you miss a payment, and (3) Kindle can remotely delete books you’re reading.

    Other good stuff from the same site, a story on the growing global mistrust of products made by U.S. tech companies, on the grounds that they may act as remote spy devices for the U.S. government. I believe I mentioned that earlier here; for anyone who thought I was a raving loon, DC-based technology think-tank the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation suggests it may translate to a loss of $35 Billion in foreign business, although they do not say over what period.

    • kat kan says:

      Both sides started out with cheap ebay type quadcopters. This Russian one (legal copy of an Israeli one) costs about $6 million (i checked) including the control stuff. It is a serious aircraft, from memory 15 metres wingspan, needs some sort of runway. OSCE only has tiny hand-launched $3500 ones. UAF also has sophisticated big ones, around OSCE size, handled by specialists seconded or somehow “ex” Israeli military. NAF shot one down recently but captured it with just minimal wing damage. Graham Phillips now has one too, a cheapie but with a good camera, which he uses for documenting places he can’t get at on foot.

      Photocopiers for at least 20 years, maybe more, have had a tiny near invisible mark on every copy to identify the machine. Has not stopped spies and whistleblowers copying things. Nor helped anyone catch them, if they only passed across copies of the copies.

      Which reminds me of a great weapon Russia has. Satellites. Glonass. And a big bunch of tiny mystery ones sent up not long ago. An awful lot of weapons, perhaps even aircraft, would suddenly turn useless if their GPS didn’t work, like maybe because their satellite got a little square hole in it or got bumped off course. Who says Space Wars have to involve expensive messy nukes?

      • yalensis says:

        Just working at an ordinary job in some ordinary American company:
        Our main color copy machine (which is some monstrous hybrid that does copying, scanning, faxing and printing from the computer network) has its own hard drive.
        It is basically a computer in its own right.

        Depending on the settings, anything you copy – a virtual copy can also be saved on the hard drive. And they know who did it too.

        • kat kan says:

          If you want to print 20 copies of a 20 page document it won’t download them line by line from your laptop 20 times. It just downloads it once and stores it, then copies from there. Older smaller ones I guess just used to keep it in its own RAM. I don’t know of any official way to contact and read that drive though. Quite likely it doesn’t wipe anything.

      • marknesop says:

        Yes, the USA has the Global Hawk, which is a serious piece of kit and is the size of a small jet. They can go anywhere, and have fearsome range and endurance (32+ hours, yike!!). I don’t know without checking what the UAF has, but the USA can fly Global Hawk pretty much anywhere because the drone does not have to be based out of the country. The controllers don’t, either, although that can be helpful in certain circumstances.

        You can only fly those little quadcopters when it is dead still; any wind at all and they are uncontrollable. My son has one, controlled through his i-Phone, that has an amazingly high-def camera but which I have only seen flown in his apartment. They’re very light, and can’t carry any payload except their built-in electronics. But once the design is proven and validated it is only a matter of scale; the one in the White House article could carry a couple of pounds of explosives. But it’s the unpredictability of them – you would not have to fly one through the oval office window and blow up the president, and I frankly doubt that would ever be possible. But even if anyone were injured at one of his speeches, the potential for him to be hurt would be clear and it would do damage to his credibility. You can see why they are nervous of such a concept.

  30. Fern says:

    A strange day in Georgia – massive flooding in the capital has led to animals in the zoo getting out of their confines so lions, tigers and a hippo or two were wandering the streets of Tibilisi.

  31. yalensis says:

    Causes of the Gruzian floods: Science vs. Religion.
    Science says that this terrible flood, which took human as well as animal life, was caused by rains and mudslides.

    Religion says that the flood is caused by God’s anger.

    And this clown is not some village priest, he is the Patriarch of All Gruzia.
    According to Patriarch Ilya, the zoo was built by the Communists and paid for by melting down the bells of cathedrals and monastries, to sell the precious metals.

    [yalensis: At first, when I started reading this, I thought he was going to say that the zoo was built on the bones of some ancient graveyard, or in the place where a church used to stand – but no, it’s even stupider than that. According to him, the zoo was built using money raised by selling off metals from church bells.]

    So, what is Ilya’s proposed solution to end this curse?
    Close the zoo, then rebuild it, in exactly the same place, only this time using “sin-free” money.

    Ilya’s other big idea to help people affected by the flood:
    He is going to pray for the victims and light some candles.

    Hey, how about giving people some REAL assistance, you jack-ass?

  32. yalensis says:

    Valentina Lisitsa retweeted this comment concerning a horrendous consequence of the Kiev fire.
    (Lisitsa has also been pointing out, that of all the nations on the planet, including EU and even neighbouring Poland, ONLY RUSSIA has offered concrete assistance to Ukraine, in terms of their expertise and specialized equipment in fighting oil fires. An offer which Kiev has ignored, preferring to burn rather than swallow their pride.)

    Anyhow, this is the comment in question, by someone named Nikolai Petrov, concerning a fire-related occurrence in the Kiev neighborhood of Troeshchina:

    “After Kiev found itself in a ring of fire, finally some refreshing moisture: In Troeshchina area, a (sewer) pipe busted. A fountain of shit achieved a height of 25 meters. I simply cannot imagine what further hints can God make?”

    • Fern says:

      An admirable sense of humour. Russia also seems to be the only country to offer help to Georgia with the aftermath of the flooding. Back to the Kiev fire for a moment – RT interviewed a couple of British oil fire specialists and they made the point that (a) they are incredibly difficult to fully extinguish; and (b) the difficulties are raised to the power 10 without the proper fire fighting materials. So, it’s likely the blaze will flare up again. The health consequences for those who fought the fire and those in the immediate vicinity are going to be serious, in country which has next to no resources to treat them.

  33. et Al says:

    Independent: ‘Huge catastrophe’ as Britain is forced to withdraw spies after Russia and China access files stolen by US whistleblower Edward Snowden

    …Baer warned that foreign countries could have cracked US and UK encryption codes, which would mean that they could gain access to secret communications from the military and intelligence services…

    …In what was described by former GCHQ director Sir David Omand as a “huge strategic setback” for the West, it was reported that information that exposed intelligence-gathering techniques and identified individual spies has been revealed….

    …However, despite a senior government official was quoted by the paper as saying that Snowden had “blood on his hands”, Downing Street confirmed that there was “no evidence of anyone being harmed” as a result of his leaks…

    ….However, Glenn Greenwald, a journalist who Snowden first approached with the secret documents, criticised the legitimacy of the government’s claims.

    Writing on Twitter, he said: “If you’re someone who believes anonymously voiced self-serving government claims, you’re dumb. If you’re a journalist who prints it, you’re worse.”…

    The Brits are lying of course. Which bit they are lying about is the question? But:

    A) Anything official (let alone unofficial) intelligence related has to be treated with a high degree of suspicion

    B) Timing – This news would only have been released once the assets have been pulled out, so it could be months old. If you pull out all your assets at the same time, then they would surely be noticed, so plausible stories need to be created. It would only be if there was an immediate danger that they’d be pulled sharpish, which even in Russia & China would be unlikely if they are western citizens. A different story for traitors of course.

    C) Snowden makes a convenient target. It could be quite possible that the information was acquired by some completely different source but to hid how the breech was detected (an thus expose your counter-espionage methods), you pick a plausible alternative – in this case Snowden/Russians/Chinese.

    D) It is interesting and weird that it is the UK leading with this. If it is true that multiple western agencies have been affected, then why hasn’t the US led this one? Again, in reference to C, maybe it isn’t affected and this is just diversionary.

    E) There’s the possibility that Russia or the Chinese leaked enough credible information to the West that they had Snowden’s documents to get they to pull out their assets. They could be playing the C point above, i.e. they acquired information from other sources but it was nowhere near as comprehensive as what Snowden may have had and they used Snowden as a decoy for the original source.

    Lots of other points, but this stinks. There is for sure much, much more going on here, quite probably there has been quite some tit & tat behind the scenes.

    • yalensis says:

      “Baer warned that foreign countries could have cracked US and UK encryption codes, which would mean that they could gain access to secret communications from the military and intelligence services.”

      Personally, I think Baer is full of shit.
      Unless American spies are not using proper procedures, Russia/China, with Snowden’s help, could have only decrypted a few individual messages, maybe just from one batch. But not the codes themselves.
      Since every message is encrypted with a one-time pad, and a non-reusable key.
      Unless Snowden got his hands on a pad.

      It’s not like back in the old days, when you just had to figure out the daily settings of the Enigma machine, and you got everything from that day.

      Am I wrong?

      • marknesop says:

        Such a pad would only be useful for the period for which it was created. I don’t really know how spies communicate their information, but probably by satellite phone using an encryption algorithm, and they just say whatever they want to say in plain voice. If it is sent out in hard copy it might be coded and sent in a diplomatic pouch, which theoretically cannot be opened, but contact has to be minimized in order to avoid blowing your cover. Saying something over a sat phone would only be recoverable if there was a bug in the guy’s room and they could recover what he said in plain voice before it was encoded. After that it would – again, in theory – be unbreakable until it arrived at the other end and was decoded.

    • Phil K says:

      Craig Murray, former UK ambassador to Uzbekistan, says:
      Five Reasons the MI6 Story is a Lie

      • kat kan says:

        OK, so Snowden got the encryption keys and sat on them for two whole years.
        And the encryption codes were kept in the same directories as embarrassing low-level emails. Makes sense, sure.

        Why UK? why not? the evidence for WMDs came from them originally, and so did the ISIS beheading videos. They were in this business before the USA even existed.

        • yalensis says:

          One of the anti-Snowden commenters named Harley Gay, actually makes a good point:

          Is it possible it took two whole years of Chinese super computer crunching to carry out a “brute force” de-encryption of some of the Snowden material?!

          This is actually a plausible theory, why all this could be happening 2 years later.
          (Not that I believe this necessarily, it’s just a plausible explanation from the other side.)

          If Snowden had some encrypted files on his laptop (without the keys, or refused to supply the keys), and the Chinese secretly copied the raw files from his laptop while he was in Hong Kong (and frankly, I wouldn’t respect them if they didn’t), then it could actually possibly take their computers that long to decrypt the files. The computers could have been chugging away for 2 years, using “brute-force attack”. Which means, basically, every single one of the billions or even trillions of possible combinations has to be tried, to obtain some cleartext that makes sense.

          • davidt says:

            “Even trillions”? You must know more about the practicalities of public key encryption than I do but I would have thought that encrypted files would be more secure than that. Have you ever estimated how long it would take a computer to carry out 100!, that is factorial 100, arithmetical calculations? (That’s the number of calculations you would need to naively evaluate the determinant of a 100*100 matrix.) You will need Stirling’s approximation to get going.

            • yalensis says:

              Dear David:
              You are the mathematician, not me!

              Sorry, I was too lazy to do the research to back up my previous comment.
              Hence, I don’t know exactly how many combinations there are in the NSA encyption (billions, trillions, shmillions, clearly some very large number!).

              However, from what I have heard, a “brute force” attack can actually be plausible if (a) some of the combinations can be excluded in advance through clues or social engineering; and (b) the remaining work is distributed among many computers, each of which takes a chunk of the workload.
              Hence, the idea of taking 2 years to crunch some files without a key didn’t sound as absurd to me as it might seem to others.

              On the other hand, I could be completely full of s**t!

              • davidt says:

                Sorry, I should not have said anything. I was rather obtusely just making the point that there are some calculations that computers cannot make a dent in even if they started calculating at the time of the big bang. Twas a pretty stupid comment from me.

                • marknesop says:

                  No, it was a valid comment, and I imagine a lot of people think a couple of thousand possible permutations is enough to keep something a secret forever. Remember that scene in The Terminator, where Eddie Furlong (I only remember his name because my eldest daughter thought he was dreamy and mentioned his name an average of 30 times a day. Good thing she hasn’t seen him lately.) hooks up a device to an ATM which consists of a laptop with one of those flat data cables coming out of it, and gets the PIN to a stolen bank card in about 15 seconds? All Hollywood, of course, but computers do not get tired or bored and need a break, and can just keep slogging away at a supposedly-insurmountable task.

                • yalensis says:

                  No, no, David, please, I appreciated your comment!
                  And it wasn’t stupid at all. My comment was way more stupider than yours!
                  Also, I was kind of just joking around, as is my wont.

                  I hope we’re still pals.

                • davidt says:

                  Hi Yalensis. Proud to be your pal- I am frequently impressed by your erudition. Wish I had a bit more of value to say but I cannot read Russian and I’m no scholar.

                • yalensis says:

                  Ha ha!
                  Reading Russian is easy, if you did it all your life.
                  I am more impressed by mathematicians, because I can’t do math!

  34. et Al says:

    Neuters: U.S. plans to store heavy arms in Baltic, E.Europe – source

    …”We will pre-position significant equipment,” the official said, commenting on a New York Times report that the Pentagon was poised to store battle tanks, infantry fighting vehicles and other heavy weapons for as many as 5,000 troops.

    Poland and Lithuania both confirmed they were in talks with Washington on stationing heavy arms in warehouses in the region.

    “The threats to the Baltic region have increased. This has been discussed many times and I view positively (the fact) that talks lead to concrete decisions which, I think, will become a reality,” Lithuanian Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevicius told Reuters….

    …Asked about the article, a Pentagon spokesman said no decision had been made about the equipment.

    “Over the last few years, the United States military has increased the pre-positioning of equipment for training and exercises with our NATO allies and partners,” Colonel Steve Warren said…

  35. et Al says:

    Neuters: Exclusive – China to extend economic diplomacy to EU infrastructure fund

    China will pledge a multi-billion dollar investment in Europe’s new infrastructure fund at a summit on June 29 in Brussels, according to a draft communique seen by Reuters – Beijing’s latest round of chequebook diplomacy to win greater influence….

    …It is expected to come with a request for return investment in China’s westward infrastructure drive – the “One Belt, One Road” initiative – constructing major energy and communications links across Central, West and South Asia to as far as Greece.

    “China announced that it would make (X amount) available for co-financing strategic investment of common interest across the EU,” the draft final statement says, adding that agreements will be finalised at another meeting in September.

    An EU diplomat said the Chinese contribution was likely to be “in the billions”. ..

    …China is already testing the United States’ dominance in Latin America, offering the region $250 billion in investment over the next decade, while Chinese companies have poured money into Africa to guarantee commodity supplies in exchange for building new roads, hospitals and rail lines….

    …Alessandro Carano, an advisor to the European Commission on the fund, defended the decision to welcome Chinese investors.

    “The purpose is to mobilise the liquidity in the market. We don’t differentiate among the owners of the funds,” Carano said. “China is a big investor already. We don’t want any prejudice.”

    In return for its investment, China wants a quid pro quo with Europe, whereby European companies and governments would take a greater interest in President Xi Jinping’s “One Belt, One Road” initiative….

    Delicious timing by China. Draw Europe to Eurasia which means away from the US, serious cash involved too. They’re providing competition for the TTIP, the same game the US has been peddling, i.e. you’re in trouble (EU economy), you know what would be really great? Drop your pants and say ‘please’!. The EU has two suitors now. China offer provides Brussels and TTIP sceptic nations leverage. It’s starting to get really, really interesting.

    • marknesop says:

      If the USA were as smart as it thinks it is, it would have been courting Russia as a counterweight to China, and partnering with Russia all over the place so as to gain influence over China’s energy supply. I will say again, probably not for the last time, America will rue the day it ever drove them together.

      • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

        They didn’t think they needed to – 1991 was the new 1945, and Russia could be brought under American control on whatever terms America wished, as West Germany was. No need for compromise.

        • Tim Owen says:

          On the money I’d say, though Mark’s point still stands I think: this was a strategic blunder. (So you both win.) Success does not breed success but hubris and failure. If it were otherwise history wouldn’t get past Act 1.

          • yalensis says:

            “Success does not breed success…”
            How true that is!
            Statisticians call this phenomenon “Regression to the mean” or “Regression to the mediocrity”.
            Or, as the ancient Greeks used to say: “A race of giants is followed by a race of pygmies.”

  36. Fern says:

    Well, it’s been an odd day for Georgia. Not only could you meet a lion, bear, tiger, hippo or crocodile while out in the street of the capital but what is even stranger is that its former President has said something vaguely sensible about Ukraine:-

    Ukraine has slid into such poverty that it will take 20 years to reach the level of 2013, if the country develops in favorable conditions, Odessa region governor Mikheil Saaksshvili said, local Timer reported Sunday.
    “Now Ukraine is the poorest country in Europe. If the collapse of the economy suddenly stops, and Ukraine develops by four percent annually, we will reach the level of 2013 in 20 years,” the former Georgian president said.
    “Only in 20 years will we return to the figures of Yanukovych’s Ukraine,” he concluded.

    I hope the ‘community of values’ is duly proud of what it has achieved.


    • marknesop says:

      Except nobody really knows how long it would take and it depends on a bewildering range of factors and possibilities, and Saakashvili is wont to simply pull numbers out of his backside, as he did when he forecast that there would be as many tourists in Georgia within 5 years (from his dramatic reconstruction of downtown Tbilisi, including his silly glass bridge and his presidential palace) as there were Georgians. I really wish that site had survived – it was called Georgia Media Center, and used to publish the most scornful reviews of Saakashvili and his government. But they must have gone too far, and it was taken over and turned into this Facebookie-type feelgood site that extolled the pure blissful happiness of living in Georgia under the Great Saakashvili, and on which you had to be a member to do more or less anything at all.

      I take the point that he is probably close to correct, if Ukraine ever recovers at all, but I find myself wondering what would motivate him to say such a thing. It certainly wasn’t honest candor, because that is not part of his makeup.

      One fast rule is that Ukraine cannot recover without access to the either the Russian market or EU markets. If Russia continues to bar imports of its goods, as it likely will so long as its government keeps up its “enemy mine” talk – and then yanks its status as a transit country for Europe’s gas, which it will also most certainly do whether Turkish Stream is built or not, Ukraine is sunk. Unless the EU opens its markets to Ukraine’s goods and pays favourable prices for them, which is so unlikely as to not even be worthy of consideration.

      It is certainly a valid point that the “community of values” should be ashamed of itself. If there is ever a moment when it must acknowledge to itself that it is very bad at predicting what Russia will do – based on its misconceptions about Russia and its assessment of Russians as stupid savages easily led by the White Father – let this be it.

      • Jen says:

        I think Saakashvili is an impulsive man who will blurt out the truth before he realises what he is saying, depending on the situation. It may be that what he has found in Odessa and generally in Ukraine is so shockingly bad that all his mental firewalls are down, any advice he has been given about what to say and what not to reveal has been forgotten temporarily and all of a sudden (and temporarily anyway) he realises the true awfulness of what waits him as Odessa satrap.

        • yalensis says:

          Saak might also be preparing his excuse in advance, if he fails at his new job.
          “Things were a lot worse than they told me.”
          He has other options: he can quit his job, move to America and take up a teaching position somewhere.

          • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

            Why not just do that to begin with? He’s not short of a crust – why not just bugger off to a professorship at Georgetown or Columbia, and spend of the rest of his days boffing grad students and writing books nobody will ever read?

            • yalensis says:

              Search for redemption?
              He wanted one more shot at the Russian dragon?

              • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

                Maybe. Doesn’t strike me as a true believer.

                Maybe he’s just a huckster at heart, never to settle down but travelling from place to place running different versions of the same con.

            • Jen says:

              ” … why not just bugger off to a professorship at Georgetown or Columbia, and spend of the rest of his days boffing grad students and writing books nobody will ever read?”

              Actually that’s what Saakashvili did after he resigned as President, he taught for a while at Tufts University but for some reason didn’t last long there. I think his US visa was not renewed.

            • marknesop says:

              Because he couldn’t get a visa, although that does sound an awesome job description.

          • marknesop says:

            He tried that already, remember? And he was not able to get a U.S. work visa; and that’s why he had to leave wonderful America, where cinnamon buns grow on low bushes and Starbucks coffee comes out of the rocks. That’s around the time he made that stupid gaffe about the makeover of Williamsburg as “part of the democratic transformation”… of the United States. At that point it became obvious that he does not know or care what democracy really is, it’s just a word he uses to lard his conversations in English because he gets rewarded for doing so. He would sit up and beg like a dog if that was what it took.

            I don’t imagine he will remain in Ukraine – it’s just the only place that would give him power and some of the ready, while he would return to his native Georgia if he could, except they have this crazy idea that he is a crook or something and would arrest him on sight. Perhaps – given that he is still serving the wishes of Washington despite its rejection of him – he has been promised a warmer reception in exchange for his contribution to the democratic transformation of Ukraine.

  37. Fern says:

    An interesting – and important – article from Alexander Mercouris. Declassified US government documents from the Clinton era give the lie to the theory – publicised by many, including Masha Gessen – that Putin was the creature of the oligarchs, chiefly Boris Berezovsky:-

    “Contrary to reports that Berezovsky had selected Putin as presidential candidate, Putin and Berezovsky seem to have had little contact with each other before Putin became president, which may have been another reason for Berezovsky’s misjudging him. Berezovsky himself told U.S. diplomats that he backed new foreign minister Ivan Ivanov to succeed Primakov as prime minister in 1999, although Putin eventually got the nod, after an interlude of six weeks.
    “Oligarch banker Pyotr Aven confirmed to U.S. diplomats that there was no special tie between Putin and Berezovsky, even ‘noting that he himself had introduced the two’, U.S. diplomats wrote. ‘Putin knows no-one,’ Aven told the diplomats, while at the same time acknowledging that the oligarchs have ‘no instrument of influence over him’.”

    Working on the principle that it takes one to know one, I’d suggest that Putin probably isn’t the richest, more corrupt dude on the planet since the oligarchs had ‘no instrument of influence over him’ and they sure would over someone on the take.

    Is any of this likely to bring about a sea-change in the attitude of western media? Is that a ‘no’ I hear?


    • Erika says:

      I think for the oligarchs … okay, let me restart … for someone who is corrupt, an honest man is a fool.

      Putin, at the time had a reputation as being an honest man. They, the oligarchs thought they could manipulate him, and that Putin would not have the strength of character to say no.

      They underestimated him and overestimated themselves.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      I have mentioned this before, but 20 years ago I made the acquaintance of a mathematician here – a former wunderkind, in fact, who began to study maths at Moscow Lomonosov University when he was 12 years old (his dad was a maths prof. as well) – who worked with Berezovsky before he became the Godfather of the Kremlin. He could not abide the man. The cause of his abhorence was, he told me, that he considered Berezovsky to be an immoral person. At first I thought he was alluding to Berezovsky’s sexual mores, but he wasn’t: he just said that everything that Berezovsky did was solely in his own interest; that there was absolutely nothing that he did in his public or private life that was not motivated by self-interest.

      Interestingly, chief kreakl headbanger following Novodvorskaya’s death, namely Latynina, also thinks little of the late and not lamented Boris. She thought he was a grade-A bullshitter who codded everyone about the power he had in the inner circle. His promises to his supplicants that he would fix things (for a price,of course) with government ministers and the oafish, drunkard president were all bullshit.

      Above all, Berezovsky was a con man. Money was necessary for him, of course, but only as one of the devilish addictions that dominated his life: power, influence and sex.

      Berezovsky had a nasty habit of lying. One of Berezovsky’s favorite tricks was to call someone and inform them that he had appointed them to an influential post when, in fact, he had done nothing of the sort. He had only been present in the Kremlin when the appointment was made.

      Berezovsky was the most highly placed con man in history, and he had an almost superhuman ability to translate his delirious fantasies into reality.

      He was not the sole force behind Putin’s rise to power: That was actually a decision made by “the Family,” former President Boris Yeltsin’s inner circle. But Berezovsky sincerely believed that he was responsible for Putin’s political rise in 1999 and had no qualms about reminding everyone — including Putin — of it. That proved to be his fatal mistake.

      Written by Latynina following the con man’s death.

      See: The World’s Greatest Con Man

      But only a year or so earlier, she considered Berezovsky a “brilliant strategist”.

      Here’s Latynina’s forecast on the result of the Berezovsky vs. Abramovich case in London:

      Now, Berezovsky has a good chance of winning his case in London because he can prove he once owned extremely valuable shares and that he was forced under heavy pressure to sell them to Abramovich for peanuts.

      My guess is that the court will rule in favor of Berezovsky. The only question is how much will it award him in compensation.

      See: Berezovsky, the Brilliant Strategist

      But when Justice Gloster put the kaibosh on Boris’s bullshitting and out-and out mendacity, here’s what the Ekho Moscvy carpet chewer wrote:

      I must say that I am very happy with Friday’s decision by the London court. Quite unexpectedly for the entire Russian business community, Judge Elizabeth Gloster found that the plaintiff, self-exiled billionaire Boris Berezovsky, was an “unimpressive and inherently unreliable witness” who said “almost anything to support his case” and billionaire Roman Abramovich was a “truthful and on the whole reliable witness.”

      See: You Shouldn’t Lie, Mr. Berezovsky

      Why does MT and Ekho Moskvy and Novaya Gazeta pay this woman? Who believes what she writes? Remember, she was the one who forecast that as soon as the Evil One was re-elected, chances were he would order an invasion of Georgia.

      Wrong again, Yulia!

      And then there’s that Siberian meteor that was a Russian army rocket that had gone haywire …

      But how about this for a heap of unadulterated shite off yet another of like mind to Yulia:

      See: http://maxima-library.org/htmlbook/229715/229715.html

      Shit! I wish I’d written that!

      • kat kan says:

        M.E. you never told us just how bad things are in Moscow. It is no longer possible to buy hairbrushes. Were they all imported?

        • Moscow Exile says:

          I tell you, life is hell here!

          Oh would that the balmy Brezhnev days return!

          Before she got all bitter and twisted and hairbrushes and hairdressing appliances became deficit, Latynina was quite pretty, I think:

  38. yalensis says:

    Ukrainian Jewish activist Alexander Naiman reports on an action which took place on 11 June 2015:

    The National Museum of History in Kiev cleared out and tossed out onto the street the only exposition in the world that is dedicated to the history of Ukrainian Jewry.

    The exposition included 24 stands, each dedicated to a section of Jewish history in the territory of Ukraine over a period of 2000 years.

    The expositions (now all destroyed and tossed out onto the street) included the following:
    -Jews in the Crimea, dating back to the Greek colonies.
    -Jews in the Khazar Khaganate.
    -Jews in Middle Ages Poland and Lithuania
    -The Khasid movement
    -Ukrainian Jews under Muscovite rule, which included unique documents written in Yiddish
    -Jews in WWII and the Holocaust
    -Ukrainian Jews in Postwar period

    These valuable exhibits are all gone now.

    • Tim Owen says:

      What a surprise. A small footnote to the tank-farm fire and the 25 metre fountain of shit. But it shouldn’t be.

      • yalensis says:

        If they didn’t want the exhibits, they could have at least had somebody come and take them away, instead of just tossing them onto the street. Some of those exhibits were probably worth a lot of money.

    • astabada says:

      I am sure Tel-Aviv and Washington are about to send an official note of complaint to Kiev.

      The West is driven by high principles, and is precisely why it can afford to trample them – for the greater good of us all!

  39. davidt says:

    Perhaps somewhat off topic since it is fundamentally about China but I found Li very interesting.

  40. Moscow Exile says:

    Odessa yesterday: June 14,2015.

    Anyone see Ksyusha Shlyuka Sobchak anywhere in the crowd?

    Surely she, as a “reporter”, should have been eager to interview the participants in the interest of balance in view of the fact that she has already interviewed the Odessans’ appointed and wanted on criminal charges Georgian Gauleiter.

  41. yalensis says:

    In Poltava, Ukraine, another explosion in a cistern at an oil refinery.
    This particular oil refinery is owned by Kolomoisky, but that’s not the point.
    The explosion occurred when a worker was doing some repairs inside the cistern, and some methane fumes exploded. The 48-year-old worker was killed.
    Fortunately, the explosion did not lead to a massive fire, as in the Kiev scenario, but only by grace of god.
    The prosecutor is opening a case (against somebody) on the grounds of carelessness and not paying attention to standard operating procedures.

    These accidents are not a coincidence. Seems like the rules and basic procedures are just breaking down, all over Ukraine. It is chaos theory in action.
    According to chaos theory, even a deterministic system can go south on you real fast, if you stop observing basic precautions.

  42. Moscow Exile says:

    Saakashvili has given an assurance that the Ukraine is ready to help in the aftermath of the flood in Tbilisi

    The former President of Georgia, Chairman of the Odessa State Administration, Mikhail Saakashvili, has said that the Ukrainian emergency service is ready to help towards the removal of the consequences of the Tbilisi flood.

    Heavy rain with hail and wind took place in Tbilisi on Sunday night. As a result of the large scale disaster, housing has been damaged, as well as roads and the infrastructure. From the inundated zoo more than than 30 wild animals — wolves, tigers and bears – have escaped. The authorities have asked residents not to leave their homes. Mayor David Narmania has reported eight victims of the flood.

    “I have just spoken with the Ukraine Minister of internal Affairs, Arseniy Avakov, and the Ukrainian emergency service is ready to provide all possible assistance to the government of Georgia in the aftermath of this disaster”, Saakashvili has written on his Facebook page.

    Saakashvili added that he has a “broken heart” as a result of seeing the recorded scenes of the disaster in Tbilisi.

    “I express my condolences to the families of those killed and injured”, he wrote.

    What kind of aid can the bankrupt Ukraine offer, I wonder?

    Will the Ukraine receive a loan from the IMF so as to send material aid to Tbilisi?

    Chocks away, chaps, and to the rescue!

    • Jen says:

      Of course the new open-neck-shirted and hairy-chested Saakashvili won’t personally deliver the aid himself since he is wanted on at least one corruption charge, and maybe more, and he is also wanted for questioning over the death of Zurab Zhvania back in 2005.

      The most Ukraine could probably send would be Ukies to practise their mammoth-slaying skills on the zoo animals still at large in the streets in Tbilisi and to dredge up more soil from the bottom of the Black Sea to deposit in flooded areas.

    • marknesop says:

      Send Saakashvili with a pair of rubber boots, a submersible pump and a shovel.

    • yalensis says:

      Saakashvili better not go back to Tbilisi.
      If the residents see him wandering the streets, they might think that the BEHEMOTH had escaped again.

      [Sound effect, please:]

    • Why should the West ban Western firms from drilling oil out of Russia’s ground?

      • Moscow Exile says:

        Do you think that they get the Russian oil free of charge or something?

        Do you think the Western firms are not taxed by the Russian government?

        Do you think the Western firms are not charged license fees in order to explore for and extract Russian oil?

        Oh, I forgot! They must do, because they are so weak and stupid.

        • Moscow Exile says:

          I understood economic sanctions to mean sanctions on trade with the Empire of Evil so as to bring its economy into tatters, meaning not investing in the Russian oil industry, buying oil off the Russians, paying fees and taxes to the Mafia State etc., etc.

      • marknesop says:

        But that’s to Russia’s advantage, can’t you see, Karl – you said so yourself. You pointed out that Russia would not be able to competently drill for oil without access to western technology. Like, you know, drills and stuff.

        • Moscow Exile says:

          Eastern Siberia

          Northern Russia

          Central Russia

          Central Russia Refinery, Samara

          Control Room, Samara Refinery

          Krasnoyarsk Refinery, Eastern Siberia

          Khabarovsk Territory, Russian Far East

          Primorsky Territory, Russian far East

          All Rosneft

          Not Exxon.

          Not BP.

          Designed, built, and manned by Russians, as here, in Irkutsk:

          and this rig in the Arctic:

          and this at Sakhalin, the Far East.

          Thank God for Western know-how, or else those Russian retards would still be doing this, as a at Baku in 1933 – wouldn’t they?

        • Moscow Exile says:

          The chief executives of BP, Shell and Total are scheduled to hang out with Vladimir Putin later this week at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. The once-popular event has been shunned for the past two years by Western bankers and non-oil industrial leaders following Russia’s annexation of Crimea and the conflict in eastern Ukraine. But these energy giants see dollar signs in the sanction-riddled country, with BP recently estimating Russia to possess the sixth-largest supply of oil on the planet. Moreover, they’re betting that when the dust settles the European Union will renege on its promise to decrease dependence on Russian gas. And even before relations normalize, Western oil and gas companies remain free to invest in and extract fossil fuels from the region — although tight-oil projects or projects located offshore or in the Russian Arctic are currently forbidden by sanctions’ – The Financial post, Canada, June 15, 2015 10:48 AM ET

          Somehow, I do not think the FP correspondent is overjoyed at this news.

          Weak, weak Russia!

          It just can’t win against the might of the West.

  43. PaulR says:

    That bus is out and about again: http://russian.rt.com/inotv/2015-06-15/Vesti-Minsk-3-vernet-Donbass-Ukraine

    The Ukrainian newspaper Vesti claims that Moscow has proposed a peace settlement to Kiev, according to which:

    ‘A special regime of local self-government will encompass all the territory of Lugansk and Donetsk oblasts, including those under the control of Ukraine, but this autonomy will be headed by people agreed by Kiev, Moscow, and other participants of the Minsk process. In this way, as well as expanding the special territory of Donbass, there will be leaders who will return the region to Ukraine with very expanded rights. In these condition, all those in the armed formations of the people’s republics will be amnestied, some of them formed into people’s militia, and the rest disarmed.’

    ‘Особый режим местного самоуправления будет распространяться на всю территорию Луганской и Донецкой областей, в том числе и подконтрольную Украине, но возглавят эту автономию люди, согласованные как Киевом, так и Москвой, и другими участниками минского процесса. Таким образом, вместе с расширением особой территории у Донбасса появляются лидеры, которые возвратят регион в Украину с очень расширенными правами. При таких условиях все участники вооруженных формирований народных республик амнистируются, часть из них преобразуется в народную милицию, а остальные разоружатся.’

  44. Moscow Exile says:

    As a matter of fact, the “reset button” the Killery bore to Russia as a gift was wrongly labelled in Russian as an “overload button”:

    Lavrov politely and very quietly commented on this at the time, and only after she had invited comment on the wording:

    “We have worked hard to get the right Russian word. Do you think we have got it?” she asked of Lavrov.

    “You have got it wrong”, Lavrov replied. “This says ‘peregruzka’, which means overcharged”.

    Sure, to err is human, but I should have thought that the “Russia specialists” at the US State Department would have at least checked their dictionaries before cobbling together their silly little bauble.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      To be exact, it was labelled in a Latin alphabet transliteration of the Cyrillic.

      I suppose writing in Cyrillic is too tall an order for the Washington Russian specialists.

      • dany8538 says:

        ME, i actually remember this and also thought this was funny but in light of recent events I actually think Killary put down the right word. They never meant a reload to begin with and I guess this should have been a nice little hint to the Russian side.

  45. Max says:

    Evahbuddy, drop whatcher doin n go look up “When Graham met Texas” on them there u-toobs.

  46. Northern Star says:

    “Focused on the fine arts, hard sciences, and world-changing ideas, the Nobel Prize is an intellectual and inspirational Olympics, of sorts — at least for the Western world. The winningest nations are all North American or European, including the U.S. (344 total awards … U-S-A! U-S-A!), Britain (119), and Germany (104). But geo-political powers outside of the West don’t rake in the same prize haul. ****Russia has only 27 Nobels, while China has a paltry nine.****”

    But had American been subjected to the tumultuous upheavals of war and revolution that both Russia and China endured in the last 100 years or so…..Would the above Lauretae count be approximately the same??…

    Here are echoes of Obama’s ‘execptional /indispensable ‘ (white) American Ubermensch mantra:

    The above are representative of the mindset that in part sets the tone of American foreign policy….

    • Max says:

      One of those nobels was for Mikhail Sholokov’s And Quiet Flows the Don, a ripping yarn from the soviet point of view, which has always mystified me.

      • Max says:

        lol, not the view, the prize 😉

        • yalensis says:

          Well, I hit the microfiche stacks to lookup articles written at the time, about Sholokhov’s prize, and I found 2 pieces, both from the New York Times:

          Click to access nobel-Sholokhov.pdf

          Click to access nobel-Sholokhov2.pdf

          Both pieces mention some controversy in a previous attempt to grant the literature prize to a Soviet writer (in this case, Boris Pasternak, for “Dr. Zhivago”).
          Soviet government was not enthralled with the good Dr. Zhivago, so Pasternak had to refuse the prize.
          Based on this, it seems the Nobel committee may have been trying to toss a bone to the Soviets, by awarding the prize to a writer who acceptable to the Party
          Is notable that the tone of the NYT pieces is completely different from the shrill tone we see starting a few years later, in the 1970’s.
          Seems like, maybe the Nobel committee was actually engaged in some detente with the Soviet Union?

          I am writing this comment in a tone of complete cynicism, not taking into account Sholokhov’s actual literary merits (of which, I think he is a brilliant writer, and his book is wonderful), but just with the assumption that the Nobel prizes are and always have been, all about politics. In which case, one wonders what was their angle in 1965?, and maybe it comes down to detente.

          • PaulR says:

            Solzhenitsyn claimed that Sholokhov didn’t write Quiet flows the Don, but I don’t think that he ever produced any credible evidence.

  47. shytehawk says:

    An off-topic (sort of) whine for the British readership:
    An old friend of mine lives on the Trent and Mersey Canal. He lately mentioned an odd private gated compound a bit up off from the towpath in Derbyshire with a Ukrainian signpost. I had no idea what he was on about, but having had a look into it (perhaps a little bit too closely), I am pretty uncomfortable.

    It’s a Tarasivka camp, which holds regular activity and community camps for diaspora youth, associated with what are essentially the Ukrainian Scouts and the Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain. The AUGB, following the description of the encyclopaedia of UK Ukrainian organisations, has a history loosely (or not so loosely) connected to the several thousand quietly rehabilitated remnants of the SS Galicia Division in the UK. I wasn’t previously aware of this deep connection between the Galicia Division and the UK, but as I understand it this Derbyshire site itself started life as a camp for resettled Ukrainian prisoners of war, shipped from Austria to Italy and finally to England and Southern Scotland.

    Now I’m sure the sense of community and activities that the Ukrainian Youth Organisation put on are generally good natured and beneficial to the diaspora, and all that. Disclaim, disclaim, innocent youngsters and so on, and so on.

    However, when I see childrens’ drawings littered with the UPA black-and-red flags, bizarre Maidan barricade re-enactments, and most grim of all – Well, I recall seeing footage of Eastern militia finding abandoned collections of childrens’ postcards of support for the western Volunteer Batallions, many using repetitive, age-inappropriate phrases…
    …Turns out some were written (to Aidar and Dnipro Batallions, no less) under the (obvious, as in word-for-word) supervision of brown shirted, long distance nationalists from an anonymous field in the Midlands.

    The brownshirt and tie uniforms don’t sit well with me either, although that could just some kind of unfortunate cultural-chauvinistic attachment to the macho neckerchief-and-woggle combination in a scouting context…

    The UYA/СУМ poster for last year’s Remembrance Day (http://cym.org/uk/remembrance-sunday-in-tarasivka/) is a thoroughly depressing thing, featuring Bandera’s portrait and copy-paste Praviy Sektor banner. It saddens me to see these images with a Derbyshire address over them.

    I feel very nimby about this lot. Very nimby indeed.
    What is it about diaspora nationalism?

    • marknesop says:

      Wow – good catch. That certainly is…unsettling. I think I will forward it to Russia Insider for info. Maybe someone there will do a piece on it. If nothing else, HM Government should not allow the linkage of the UPA with the UK.

    • Fern says:

      That’s very interesting – I’d no idea these folk were so active in the UK. I’ve just taken a look at the AUGB website and it’s a full-on anti-Russia hate-fest. I think the answer to the question- ‘what is it about diaspora nationalism?’ is that for many Ukrainians, like Croatians, who moved to other countries in the aftermath of WW2, the wrong side won. That’s not to say that every Ukrainian (or Croat) who ended up in Canada, the US or UK was a fascist but I’d warrant a disproportionate number had Banderite sympathies. And this gets passed on down the generations along with a peculiarly selective historical memory. For example, I see that one of the campaigns of the AUGB is to get official recognition of the Holmodor – Ukrainians as victims – but there’s nothing on the site about Ukraine’s history a mere 10 years or so from the famine.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      I used to work down the pit with some of the buggers. There is (was?) a sizable Yukie community in Manchester which was boosted by former PoWs, “Osttruppen” – garrison troops on the Atlantic Wall, captured on and after D-Day, who chose, understandably, not to return to their homeland because to do so would have meant certain death.

      I knew one who proudly claimed he had served in 3 armies during WWII in Europe: the Red Army, the German Army and the British Army, in all of which he was a truck driver. I reckon he must have been only about 16 or 17 when he was captured by the British.

      When I last saw him at a Russian Orhodox church in Manchester in 1991, he had with him a Ukrainian wife some 10 years younger than he was. He must have acquired her through a mariage bureau. She was a really pleasant woman (a pleasant peasant!) and ws pleased as punch to meet an Englishman with whom she could chat in Russian, for she was an ethnic Russian: I never heard her speak Ukrainian or, for that matter, Surzhyk, so I;m pretty sure she was from Eastern Ukraine. However, when her new husband’s tongue began to get looser after necking a few vodkas with me after mass (this is before I discovered the true god Woden) and he started reminiscing, she froze. She knew, I’m sure that he had served with the invaders, and she didn’t like it. On the other hand, though, I reckon life was much better for her in Manchester then than it had previously been in the UkSSR.

    • Jeremn says:

      Is that not a swastika, bottom right? Just under Bandera’s tie?

      • yalensis says:

        Damn, you have good eyesight. That IS a tiny little swastika!
        (and not the fake bent Azov-type swastikas which also aren’t fooling anybody, for that matter…)

        • yalensis says:

          P.S. this is a great expose.
          If there were only an honorable journalist in England who could write it up…
          O wait, I just had an idea! Maybe somebody could send this to Graham Phillips.

          • Jeremn says:

            Yes, it should be sent to Graham, and tweeted widely. I just wrote to Mrs Heather Wheeler, MP for that part of the world.

            It is disgusting.

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