It’s Better to Burn Out Than to Fade Away.

Uncle Volodya says, "You will never gain anyone's approval by begging for it. When you stand confident in your own worth, respect follows."

Uncle Volodya says, “You will never gain anyone’s approval by begging for it. When you stand confident in your own worth, respect follows.”

Out of the blue
and into the black
You pay for this,
but they give you that
And once you’re gone,
you can’t come back…

Neil Young, from “Into The Black

The final stage of a star, going into stellar death, is the supernova – the core ceases producing energy, and the surrounding layers collapse inward at the loss of  pressure. The release of energy as it explodes is a dazzling flare that can outshine a galaxy for a brief time, a few days. Then, burnout; the star becomes a neutron star, or a black hole.

What is happening to the United States of America?

In its increasingly erratic behavior, its insistence on its own “specialness” and exceptionalism, its stubborn refusal to acknowledge reality – instead remaining determined to “shape the narrative” and replace it with an alternate and fabricated reality – are we seeing the beginning of core collapse and the onset of burnout?

All empires eventually collapse upon themselves, what sustains them at their core no longer capable of projecting power outward as they succumb to overreach and a misplaced belief in their own invincibility. Is this process already underway?

More and more signs say yes, it is. Not just internationally, where respect for America has slipped steadily, but domestically, where Americans themselves gloomily offer their belief, in polling results, that the world is getting fed up with the USA throwing its weight around. A Rasmussen poll released a year ago suggests only 23 percent of Americans polled believe America is “on the right track”. The percentage of working-age Americans who are part of the U.S. workforce is at its lowest level since 1978, if you can believe it, with one in every three working-age Americans unemployed. In 2011, American debt passed 100% of GDP.

According to The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, “The U.S. workforce has experienced downward pressure on wages and benefits over recent decades. Median and average wages have stagnated for thirty years, while the availability and quality of health insurance and pension benefits have substantially eroded. By contrast, the concentration of wealth at the top of U.S. society has skyrocketed, to levels unseen since the 1920s.”

Well, the reference cited earlier suggests President Obama does not know that. Because he says, “It’s fair to say that America has the best cards when you look at other countries around the world.  There’s no other country you’d rather be than the United States. Nobody can compete with us when we’re making the right decisions.” I suppose that’s not exactly a big fat lie, but it is curious that he would say nobody can compete with America “when we’re making the right decisions” when he is…umm…the decision-maker for America. Because clearly the “right decisions” have not been made in America for quite a long time. An IMF working paper entitled ““An Analysis of U.S. Fiscal and Generational Imbalances: Who Will Pay and How?” forecast that U.S. government debt would rise above 400% of GDP by 2050, owing heavily to unfunded liabilities such as Social Security. Despite the fact that economic projections so far out are little more than informed guesses relying on everything staying the same as it is now, it did not remain for long in the public domain.

Ms. Polaski, author of the Carnegie document, goes on to say, “The golden age of broad-based economic expansion and opportunity for Americans was the quarter century after World War II. Large parts of the industrial capacity of Europe and Japan had been destroyed in the war. The U.S. manufacturing sector, scaled up for wartime production, was left unscathed and ready to satisfy demand in both domestic and hungry world markets, with purchases in the latter financed in part by the Marshall Plan.”

Sounds almost like another world war would be just what the doctor ordered as far as a return to American expansion of influence and a return to prosperity go, doesn’t it? Is that why the USA is pushing Europe so hard to accept further sacrifices to its own economic prosperity – to kick-start another massive land war in Europe, between NATO and Russia, fought over Ukraine?

In a word, no. Because there is no possibility of a repeat of the golden age of economic expansion for Americans, at least not based on the same model, because American manufacturing has been outsourced to a fare-thee-well, and is moribund in the land of its birth. Some fast talkers will tell you the death of American manufacturing is  liberal fearmongering, that American manufacturing has had one of its best (pick your window) months ever – but they are just tap-dancing you past the graveyard, because manufacturing’s share of the American economy had shrunk from  28.5% in its postwar heyday to only 12% by 2010. Doing great in a sector that has shrunk by more than half is not a gain.

America is making big with the bellicose war talk, strutting and pounding its chest and blabbering crazy talk about arming Ukraine as its proxy against Russia. But it is not only Russia which is the issue – a developing threat is the lifting of sanctions on Iran. It can hardly have escaped notice (I know some of my commenters have highlighted it) that Iran’s acceptance back into the western fold, while it might be a welcome boon to a Europe urgently seeking gas supplies that do not originate in Russia, is a source of increasing alarm to America’s conjoined little brother, Israel. In a moment of unintentional comedy last year, Israel’s always-entertaining leader, Binyamin Netanyahu, actually warned world leaders not to ease up on Iran in the hope of winning its cooperation in the fight against Islamic State (or ISIS or ISIL or whatever the acronym-of-the-moment is) because Iran was fighting against IS “out of their own interest”!!! Said the leader of the wealthy country that benefits from an annual $3.1 Billion in foreign aid from the USA. More ominous was the open letter to the Republic of Iran from 47 Republican senators, warning Iran’s leaders that any agreement negotiated between Obama and Iran without Congressional approval would be considered merely an executive agreement that would cease its effect as soon as Obama is out of office. Mild-mannered lunatic Lindsey Graham went even further off the map, using a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing to press U.S. SecDef Ashton Carter on who would win a war between the United States and Iran. Atlantic Magazine points out that the USA was sure of winning the war with Iraq, as well, and it did. Sort of. But it cost Trillions with a capital “T” and thousands of dead Americans, and resulted in what is about as similar to a prosperous western-oriented market democracy as an igloo is like a brush fire. America cannot afford any more victories like that one, yet it seems uncommonly eager to fight everyone on the planet who will not kneel to it and let it be the boss.

Which brings us to its loyal ally, Europe. American pressure turned off the sale of two MISTRAL Assault Carriers to Russia by France, and now France is on the hook for about €1.2 Billion and has a pair of white-elephant warships it will probably sink – as the cheapest option – without their ever having been delivered to the customer. Paris expects to fund the penalty from €2 Billion Poland will pay for French helicopters. France will see a return of less than €800 million in compensation for €2 Billion worth of aircraft sales and will probably have to sink two brand-new warships, all because of American pressure. And that’s on the heels of French fury in 2013, when Snowden’s disclosures revealed the NSA had “collected” more than 70 million French phone calls just in one 30-day period. Rising anti-Americanism in Germany is the more disconcerting – for American policymakers – in that it is becoming mainstream. After a half-decade of the most severe austerity budget in Britain since World War II, Britons have suffered the worst decline in real wages since Victorian times. That last is not Washington’s fault, of course; but it bodes ill for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), the mammoth free-trade deal Washington is trying to get signed with Europe. British shopkeepers are not going to be thrilled with the concept of opening their markets to American goods so that Americans can get richer while British businesses go under because they can’t compete.

And they can’t; the European Commission – which is fast evolving into a de facto Government Of Europe – predicts that without comprehensive economic reforms, living standards in the Eurozone will be lower, relative to those in the USA, in 2025 than they were in the mid-1960’s.

Just ponder that for a moment. Living standards, in Europe, when your children are the workforce, lower than they were when your parents were the workforce. That’s quite an accomplishment, when you think about it. Now consider that your good friends in Washington want to erode your living standards further by using you as a pawn in the Great Game against Russia, which Washington must stop at all costs.

 Which brings us full circle back to Washington, and the coming leadership race on the staggering deathstar America has become. Right now – and I’m well aware things can change quickly in a presidential election, you only have to say the wrong thing to go from front-runner to done-like-dinner, but just as a snapshot of the moment – it’s a race between BusinessTwit Donald Trump and send-in-the-Army warhag Hillary Clinton. Just think about that for a minute – the finest America has to offer, its glittering gladiators in the arena of public service, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. What has happened to you, America?

Another clue is tucked away in Ms. Polaski’s excellent research work on American living standards: “While the United States continues to be the only military superpower, the economic world has become decidedly multipolar“.

Washington would like to send in the dollar to beat the shit out of all comers, the way it has become used to doing since Bretton Woods. But it doesn’t work any more – Washington is up against the BRICS now, an economic bloc which numbers nearly half of the world’s population, a combined nominal GDP which is nearly a quarter of the world’s total and about $4 Trillion in combined foreign-currency reserves. As this bloc moves to more comprehensive de-dollarization and conducts more transactions in its national currencies, the dollar’s clout will only weaken further. Kicking countries out of SWIFT, the international electronic hub of worldwide financial transactions, was never really a solution; the USA did it to Iran, but Iran did not collapse, and European courts twice found the action illegal on behalf of separate Iranian banks.  That notwithstanding, the west could not afford to kick such a large economic bloc out of SWIFT, or even only one member, because it would lose the capability to monitor those financial transactions. And the Sino-Russian international SWIFT alternative is firming up fast. America will learn, to its great sorrow, that the “petrodollar” without the “petro” is a paper tiger.

Economic warfare is no longer a viable alternative. That leaves the USA’s giant military machine.

Elton John might not live long enough to sing “Candle in the Wind” for the United States as global whip-wielder, but you can nearly see that moment. Just keep in mind the part about blazing up to be the brightest explosion in the galaxy first.


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

1,124 Responses to It’s Better to Burn Out Than to Fade Away.

  1. yalensis says:

    Zakharchenko announced that Donetsk Peoples Republic (DPR) is working to restore 350 industrial objects that were destroyed by Ukrainian artillery.
    The repairs are expected to be finished by the end of the year.
    According to Zakharchenko, DPR is receiving significant economic aid from Russia; the aid and recovery project is being curated by Vladislav Yurievich Surkov.
    In addition, 50 coal mines will be renovated.
    Certain major population areas, such as Debaltsevo, Ilovaisk, and others, will be restored.

    This is interesting also from Kremlinological POV.
    Recall that Strelkov had a big falling-out with Surkov and Kurginian.
    Both of whom apparently enjoy Putin’s confidence.
    And Zakharchenko was very explicit in thanking Surkov for his efforts.

    • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

      Wonder how Rinat Akhmetov figures in all this?

      • yalensis says:

        From what I understand, Akhmetov’s power and fortune have waned.
        However, he still retains his property, and not been expropriated.
        I suppose in the end times, he will be just a wealthy man in Novorossiya, but will not have the same kind of political influence he used to have.

        • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

          A project of this kind is bound to involve him. There was that meeting recently at the Hyatt, where Akhmetov, Pinchuk and others discussed how to protect their interests and came up with no worthwhile ideas.

          Akhmetov was probably the only man in that room who had any sort of goodwill among the rebels. Could he have decided to flip to the rebellion, on the grounds that the alternative was to face the utter destruction of his little empire?

    • marknesop says:

      Fifty coal mines will be renovated. In a country that will run out of coal in, what is it now, 9 days? Interesting. I wonder where Rump Ukraine Incorporated plans to get new coal supplies? I can’t imagine Kiev will deal directly with Donetsk. That likely means Kiev will get it from Russia, who will maintain the fiction that it is Russian coal but obtain it from Donbas and pay them for it. Kiev will of course expect it to be a gift, but it’s cheap at double the price for the PR value reaped by Russia for giving Ukraine coal at the same time the Ukrainian Nazis are spitting on Russia and snarling how much they hate it.

      • yalensis says:

        According to Russian press that I am reading, when Kiev runs out of coal (in 8 or 9 days), they will start purchasing electrical energy from Russia.

        • marknesop says:

          My, yes; that’ll go nicely in their furnaces and boilers that are specially maximized for coal from the Donbas. What are they going to do – convert all their heating to electrical? Where do they imagine the money will come from for that?

          If the USA could think of a way in which they could more thoroughly fuck things up for Ukraine, I’d surely like to hear it, and I hope Ukrainians will remember – once the weather turns – who is responsible for their misery. The principle means of generating energy in the region were coal and gas, and Washington has managed to get both those severely curtailed and the gas portion soon to be withdrawn altogether. Great job, Uncle Sam.

          • yalensis says:

            Ukrainian boilers are specialized for anthracite.

            • marknesop says:

              Yes, that’s right; a very hard, dense coal that is at the opposite end of the spectrum from coking coal. Kind of a paradox, really, because while it could not accurately be described as particularly rare, the only places they can get it which are not prohibitively expensive are Russia and the Donbas. Shot themselves in the foot there a little, didn’t they?

              • Cortes says:

                Maybe this is a cunning plan to rejuvenate the South Wales coalfield? If memory serves, that’s where most UK anthracite was mined.

                • Moscow Exile says:

                  Buried, sterilized as it were. When you shut a deep coal mine, you simply cannot reopen it when market demand picks up again: closing a pit is not like shutting factory gates and putting the plant in mothballs. Nature takes back what was hers: the roadways close up, the workings flood and fill with gas.

                  It makes me laugh when I hear talk of re-opening closed mines

                • marknesop says:

                  And that’d be cost-effective to ship to Ukraine? As cheap as getting it from Russia? If not, I don’t need to point out how poorly-fixed they are to splash out on vanity expenses just to put a thumb in Russia’s eye. Not that it matters; it just means they’ll go broke faster. And Wales would have to ship it by train, so they’d have to be doing it more or less ’round the clock.

  2. yalensis says:

    Op-ed by Sergei Markov, a Russian political analyst who is considered to be close to the views of the Kremlin:

    According to Markov, Kiev was only interested in the first part of the Minsk Accords, namely in a panic to stop counter-offensive of Novorossiya army, after their debacle at Debaltsevo.
    But they have zero interest in carrying out the rest of the accords.
    Plus, according to Markov, Kiev is under instructions from their American masters, to continue the war at all costs.
    According to Markov, Kiev is actually carrying out a plan called the “Gorbulin-Poroshenko Plan”, and I googled Gorbulin, but couldn’t get any more information, so I don’t know who this person is.

    But the main points of this Gorbulin-Poroshenko Plan are said to be:
    1. Kiev does not take on any (Minsk) obligations which involve peace-making moves.
    2. Full blockade (of Donbass).
    3. Continue artillery shelling of residential areas of Donbass, kill as many civilians as possible.
    4. This in order to make life unbearable in Donbass.
    5. The goal is to turn the residents against their leaders, in DPR and LPR.
    6. Weaken Russia with sanctions.
    7. Planning a military blitzkrieg against Donbass, on the model of the attack of Croatian army against Serbian Krajina.
    8. NATO will station troops in Kharkov, Zaporozhie and Dnipropetrovsk.
    9. NATO will beef up Ukrainian army and prepare for fatal strike against Donbass.
    10. The police state/dictatorship in Ukraine will be strengthened.

    • marknesop says:

      Volodymyr (Ukraine has to spell it differently so they can all high-five each other, the way the British deliberately misspell “tire”) Gorbulin is the former National Defense and Security Council (NDSC) Secretary, now a personal adviser to Poroshenko. Looks a right Himmler type.

      • Moscow Exile says:

        Just as speakers of North American English deliberately misspell “mum” and “centre” and “colour” etc. and utter illogical expressions such as “I could care less” instead of “I couldn’t care less”, which leads one to think that if the person making that statement could indeed care less, then why doesn’t he – or should that be “she” or “s/he”?


        • Jen says:

          “I could care less”, when used instead of “I couldn’t care less”, is sometimes uttered in a sarcastic tone as a mild threat. Depending on the context, it can be a much stronger expression than “I couldn’t care less” which more usually conveys an impression of indifference and apathy. They are not quite interchangeable so logic has nothing to do with the Americanism.

          • Moscow Exile says:

            When did you first hear “I could care less”? It seems a very recently occurring utterance to me: I am pretty sure it was less than 10 years ago when I first heard the expression. I think it more likely that the negation of “could” has been dropped in the expression as it is barely audible when spoken by some speakers of English; likewise the dropping of the contracted form of “had” in “you had better”, giving “you better”, which I have even seen printed in US English, and the dropping of the auxiliary verb “have” in the present perfect to give, for example, “I got you, babe”.

        • marknesop says:

          Well, I was just taking the mickey a little; it is debatable which is the correct spelling of “tyre”. But the example “I could care less” offers only half of it – the whole statement, typically, is “I don’t know, and could care less”. In that context it makes more sense, as “could care” indicates “do care”. However, I personally use “couldn’t care less”, just as I consistently spell “harbour” with a “u” unless it is a place name like “Pearl Harbor”, likewise “neighbour”. I have sort of yielded on “humour” and “rumour” because the program always red-lines them and the alternate spelling is so rarely used in modern English.

          • Moscow Exile says:

            English spelling is a nightmare, partly because the Latin alphabet does not match the English sounds, e.g. “-th-” represents two sounds as in “these” and “this” and there are “silent letters”; furthermore, the spelling of words often matches their pronunciation over 500 hundred years ago, e.g. the “k” in “knee” was once pronounced in English as it still s in the Modern German “Knie”.

            However, the reformed spelling in US English is inadequate as it is only a partial: one still writes “night” and “Knight” in US English even though there is “labor” and “center”.

            However, being an English gentleman, I always write “Labor Day” when referring to the US public holiday and “Labour” when referring to the British political party that had that name: Americans, however, refer to the latter as the “British Labor Party” in the belief, no doubt, that their way is the “right” way.

            In British English, one also has “programme” – as in TV-, football- and theatre programme etc., and “program” as in “computer program”, conceding to the Americans their way of spelling of a concept that was engendered by some of their citizens.

            Old George Bernard Shaw, Irish wag that he was and a firm advocate for radical reform in English spelling, once argued that the word ghoti could be pronounced as “fish”, in that the “gh-” could be pronounced as it is in “enough”, the “-o-” as it is in “women” and the “-ti” as it is in “station”.

            • Moscow Exile says:

              English spelling ain’t half as bad as Scots and Irish Gaelic and Welsh, though.

              The Irish for “Dublin”, which latter is a Viking name derived from Old Norse, is Baile Átha Cliath, pronounced, would you believe, as blya klee-ah [/blʲa:ˈklʲiəh/].

            • marknesop says:

              It reminds me strongly of the fierce defender of proper language from the novel, Good-Bye, Mr. Chips. He could be startled out of an apparent torpor which was actually a mask for overall contentment only by attempts to modify classical English pronunciations so as to make them sound more “modrun” and updated. An example is his vigorous defense of the term “vicissm”. It was quite a good book, I think you’d enjoy it if you could ever find it. I didn’t see the film, but a brief perusal of the notes on it suggest it was rubbish (as film adaptations of popular novels often are) and one review – which describes the main character as having “fallen for a flashy showgirl” introduces a plot variation that was not present in the original story at all. James Hilton was best-known for “Lost Horizon“.

              Another, on a similar theme only centered around the concept of dogged personal integrity and a commitment to standards of behaviour rather than adherence to language rules, is “The Last Angry Man”.

              • Moscow Exile says:

                As it happens, James Hilton was born in my old neck of the woods, and although he was educated in London and at Cambridge, I’m pretty sure that he was aware of the dialect spoken in the area where he was born, which is one of the now few remaining bastions of the now rapidly vanishing Lancashire dialect. Perhaps this is why Hilton had this thing on “proper” English in Mr. Chips. His father was a school headmaster as well, and I can imagine Hilton Senior clipping Hilton Junior around the lughole if he said: “Nay, sithee!” and such like.

                Hilton was born in Leigh, Lancashire.

                • Moscow Exile says:

                  Mr. Chips, no doubt, would have gone bloody mad over the atrocious punctuation of the witty comment that appears below the banner of the above linked site.

                • Moscow Exile says:

                  By the way, Mr. Chips’ complaint concerning pronunciation, namely that “instead of ‘vicissim’ — God bless my soul — you’d make them say, ‘We kiss ‘im ‘!” is a joke, I’m sure, for the Classical Latin pronunciation of that Latin word would indeed have sounded to English ears as “we kiss ‘im”. The “modern” pronunciation of “vicissim” is Mediaeval Latin pronunciation, e.g. “Julius Caesar” in Classical Latin would have sounded to English ears as “Yulius Kie-zar”.

    • Northern Star says:

      Do you honestly think that this course of action would not conclude in nuclear war??

  3. Terje says:

    Another witness to the MH17 shootdown. (Particulary 1:12 to 2:20 )
    She works in a orphanage in Torez, and heard fighter planes in the sky when MH17 got shot down.

    • marknesop says:

      Remarkable to see this from Anna Nemtsova, who is as kreakl as they come and a regular contributor to the most vitriolic anti-Russian and anti-Putin sources imaginable – Newsweek and The Daily Beast, the latter source also featuring Captain Rainbow-Suspenders, Jamie Kirchik, of Liz-Wahl’s-spontaneous-on-air-resignation fame. Perhaps she did not realize the magnitude of what was said.

      Once again, the only way you would get military pilots to fly around anywhere near the same envelope as an aircraft which was being simultaneously targeted by a Surface-to-Air Missile System (SAM) would be if they did not know that fact.

      • Fern says:

        Mmm, I’m not so sure of the purity of Ms Nemtsova’s motives here. One obvious consequence of the emphasis on military planes being heard or seen around the Boeing is the lending of credence to the theory that the anti-Kiev fighters were aiming at them and hit MH17 in error. If the Boeing was flying at 33,000 feet could either it or military planes flying at around the same altitude be seen or heard by people on the ground in cloud conditions prevailing at the time of the disaster?

        • marknesop says:

          That’s certainly possible, but there is no evidence prior to the MH-17 disaster to suggest the rebels ever shot at any target that they had not first visually identified as being a combatant aircraft, and there is that fortuitous statement by the then-future-Mrs. Motorola, in Slavyansk, saying that Ukrainian fighter aircraft behavior in the presence of civilian aircraft was deliberately provocative and it was their assessment that the Ukrainian military was trying to bait them into shooting down an airliner. That was, what, a month or so before the incident? Yeah, almost exactly – June 21st it was posted. Prescient, I would say.

          Additionally, the rebels would know – even if they had a weapon which would reach 33,000 feet – that an aircraft at that altitude could do them no harm; you can’t carry out any sort of attack from that high. Besides, the pro-Kiev side’s argument is that the SU-25 can’t get above 23,000 feet. If that were true, even if the rebels had a whole working Buk system, there’d be a dead SU-25 and MH-17 would never even know it happened. The tracking window for a SAM is much too small to simultaneously see two different targets separated by 10 kft in altitude. So there’s a lie in there somewhere. Either the SU-25 was up there messing around with the Boeing, and can reach that altitude, or there was no missile attack, or both. No Ukrainian sources reported losing an SU-25 that day, either, to the best of my recollection.

          Ukraine’s official story is so full of holes.

    • ThatJ says:


      Remarkable to see this from Anna Nemtsova, who is as kreakl as they come and a regular contributor to the most vitriolic anti-Russian and anti-Putin sources imaginable

      Here’s a column by Nemtsova, in the respectable Foreign Policy journal:

      The Costs of Exile

      Leaders in countries of the former USSR are increasingly driving their best and brightest into emigration. No one wins.

      …[G]eorgia isn’t the only country in the region to see the talents of its people squandered in this way. A number of other post-Soviet states are also losing many of their brightest minds to exile. This brain drain is perhaps most significant in Russia. More Russians have left the country, both voluntarily and involuntarily, in the last eight months than in any year of Vladimir Putin’s presidency: 203,659 Russians have left since April 2014, compared to 186,382 total last year, according to Rosstat, a state statistics agency. Some members of the liberal-minded middle class worry that they’ll soon find themselves behind a new iron curtain. But not all the reasons for leaving are political; many emigrants are reacting to an economy that’s sagging under the weight of the West’s economic sanctions.

      Last week, Putin called on Russian law enforcement agencies to join together to prevent popular uprisings and “extremism.” “All the signs point toward growing pressure on freedom of expression and freedom of speech,” Marat Guelman, a prominent modern art expert and political consultant, told me on Thursday. He said that he recently made the decision to move abroad with his family for at least two years, motivated by the fear that Russian may soon be facing “a chaotic social crisis.”


      You can see Mr. Guelman’s modern art exhibitions here:

      He’s part of the creative class — the people whose emigration represent a “brain dran” for the country.

      • Tim Owen says:

        I find her unreadable but regularly hear John Batchelor and S.F. Cohen reference her as if she’s the epitome of a good journalist.

        I swear dissertations will be written about the Batchelor-Cohen odd-couple routine.

        • marknesop says:

          Okay, let’s make a game of it – didn’t I say earlier, when life hands you Nazis, make a Game Show? When I open up the blog, and periodically while I’m on it, I refresh the page and check for ThatJ’s comments, and delete them. But then I have to check and see if anyone responded, and delete those, too, because otherwise they look funny and out of context without any indication of what they’re replying to. So here’s the deal – I’ll continue the same practice, but every comment by ThatJ that gets a response, I’ll leave it. Simple – if the comment gets anyone to answer it before I see it, it stays, I don’t care how Nazi or white-supremacist it is. No responses, into the spam can it goes. Let the games begin.

        • ThatJ says:


          Why are you deleting my comments? I have commented here for over a year without issues. My opposition to the US coup in Ukraine, and why I opposed it, was made clear from the beginning. There is nothing new under the sun.

          I understand that sometimes the discussion would go offtopic. This happened a lot when someone replied to me and called me names and I gave a response in turn, so oftentimes the discussion would lead to a familiar conclusion: name-calling and disagreements. Recognizing this, I have pledged not to reply to vicious attacks anymore.

          You call me a Nazi, but I would rather live in the pleasant America of the past than in Nazi Germany.

          Politically, I despise the phony conservatism of the Republican party. They have been failing their base for the past 5 decades. Backing down when reprimanded by people who will not vote for them and watching their every word, Republicans exude weakness. As you probably know, Democrats were the “bad guys” in the past. From championing white southerners to forming coalitions against whites today, the party resembles nothing of its former self. Kevin MacDonald, himself a leftist student in the 60s, has an excellent book dealing with how the party was hijacked by Trotskyite radicals, leading to a change in ideology and strategy, & which compelled white southerners to defect to the Republican party.

          Regarding the conservatives that fail to conserve anything, and whose schtick is the defense of abstract values (“the constitution”, “the culture”, etc), there is a backlash among the Republican base against them. These useless politicos and their supporters in the GOP establishment are being called “cuckservatives” and for good reason. If Trump doesn’t win the presidency this time, for me the Republican party can be buried. It will be entertaining to watch a disenfranchised white majority searching for answers.

          • Lyttenburgh says:

            “Why are you deleting my comments? I have commented here for over a year without issues. My opposition to the US coup in Ukraine, and why I opposed it, was made clear from the beginning. There is nothing new under the sun.”

            Mr. ThatJ.

            Because you are a flooderast, picspammer, racist, werhaboo, antisemite, thinly disguised Russophobe (masked by your rabid anti-Sovietism) and (probably) a closeted brony.

            Both the creator of this blog and a lot (like A LOT) of commenters here have expressed numerous times that no, no one really wants you here – please, go away. Yet you persist in posting your “enlightening” pieces again and again. Look – Mark’s bagan deleting your posts. Why you can’t take a clue?

            • Drutten says:

              I myself don’t mind “ThatJ” much at all. I don’t subscribe to his opinions and I typically don’t bother with the whole Zionist world conspiracy thing, but I value free speech and I appreciate reading other POVs even if they emanate from the “fringes” so to speak. That being said, I don’t read all his links and all of that, and I do think the massive far-right-themed link posts are a wee bit annoying. Perhaps he could throttle down a tad on that?

              Now, the curious thing about the “fringes” is that they do occasionally highlight very real issues that are suppressed elsewhere. I mean, it goes without saying that these moments of clarity drowns in the flurry of other fringy things that are labelled as being “fringy” for some very good reasons, but still. A good example that I can relate to is when “ThatJ” mentions the cultural wars in north-western Europe and particularly Scandinavia, where I’m from. Nobody except the far-right dares touching that, unfortunately I should add. The fact that they are the only ones doing it doesn’t automatically mean it’s all baloney (though lots of folks would love to have you believe that).

              Anyway, I’m just an occasional poster here so I’m in no position to direct Mark on his moderation practices. Just throwing my couple of cents out there.

              • marknesop says:

                I mostly agree, except for two reservations – one, ThatJ’s sole interest in Scandinavian affairs is the soft invasion of the muzzie immigrants, and once the discussion gels around immigrants of an inferior quality to whites, it could be taking place on Barsoom for all he cares. The location is not the issue – white supremacy and the desirability of preserving a decisive white majority – if not exclusivity – in “white” countries is the issue. Two, as I mentioned a little earlier, I did not set up the blog to discuss race relations, but that’s exactly where the discussion goes just as soon as a few outraged commenters challenge ThatJ’s views and he warms to his theme. As far as I am concerned, every post in which the discussion is promptly shanghaied into a race-baiting furball is completely wasted, and might as well not ever have been written.

              • ThatJ says:


                Let’s agree to disagree.

            • marknesop says:

              In fact, the commenters here – and I – have uniformly expressed extreme discomfort with the recurring themes of a Zionist banker cabal which is pulling the global strings, and darkie immigrants pushing the white man out, to the great detriment of the world because white men are the most intelligent of all the races except for the Asians even though they don’t have bigger skulls than white men. Even comments containing apparently only contemporary geopolitical content often have an element slipped in which refers to “the meuslis” or a totally gratuitous attribution that so-and-so is Jewish.

              It is plain you believe all Jews are inveterate schemers who are fooling everyone about their secret intentions to control the world, and that all people who are not white or from northern Asia are inferior to those groups. And that is not so. I’m not going to get dragged into a “there are good Jews and bad Jews” argument, because there are good and not so good in all races and ethnic groups. There is likewise no scientific proof at all that intelligence accrues to race – oh, I know, there are all manner of cockamamie “studies” by special-interest fringe groups (all white) which claim to have proved this, but real science blows the doors off of them every time.

              The world is made a more uncomfortable place by the introduction of hatred and suspicion, and doubly so by such detriments which claim to have a scientific foundation. But it is equally plain that the race and genetics elements are the real meat and drink of discussion for you, and that every subject boils down to race; once that element has been slipped in, you will happily discard the rest of the subject in favour of a blitz of white-supremacist codswallop from The Occidental Observer and like publications. The rest is just window-dressing which allows you to introduce what you really want to talk about. Consequently, every comment thread of which you are a part rapidly deteriorates into an angry back-and-forth on the subject of whites versus everybody else. You couldn’t be happer when that takes place, but you are a minority of one. While the blog has wide-ranging interests, for which I am grateful, I am not going to allow it to be turned into an exclusive forum for social engineering in favour of white people.

            • ThatJ says:


              I won’t engage in discussion with my detractors anymore. Here’s a typical comment:

              Because you are a flooderast, picspammer, racist, werhaboo, antisemite, thinly disguised Russophobe (masked by your rabid anti-Sovietism) and (probably) a closeted brony.

              We both know what would happen if I replied to it.

              And while you and others may regard my comments as being unrelated to Russia, to me they are, to the extent that Russia is only part of the equation. The forces of dissolution working against Russia also have other targets.

              • marknesop says:

                You’re not getting it. You have established a reputation for yourself here, and I hope you will agree nobody else is to blame for it, for being an intolerant white supremacist who likes to hold forth at length on the genetic and intellectual superiority of the white races over the darkies and muzzies. More importantly, you have frequently defended the theory that this is completely a function of colour, from the standpoint that it is hopeless to imagine you can teach a black man the things a white man knows because they simply do not have the white capacity for higher learning; their role as hewers of wood and drawers of water is set in stone. These “truths” inform your worldview that immigrants are anathema, and must be kept out lest they taint the white population. We (whites), on the other hand, must do nothing; God put us in the position of greatest advantage because that’s the way he meant it to be. I’m kind of paraphrasing here, because you have never actually mentioned divine intervention that I can recall, but it seems clear you think the white man rules because he was meant to rule. There is no evidence at all to suggest that, and it would make much more sense for the white man to make common accord with those of all other colours and persuasions to the degree it is possible, so as not to incur the resentment of those who plainly outnumber him.

                Against my better judgment, I will give you another chance; but let me be clear that the first time I see the conversation drifting into race relations or anti-immigrant rants, that will be it. I am confident the others will do their part not to bait you into such exchanges. Stick to geopolitical issues such as interest you, while avoiding attribution of any undesirable characteristics to anyone based on what colour or religion they happened to be born into.

                • yalensis says:

                  Dear Mark:
                  The main issue I have with that is this:
                  How does this affect MY comments?
                  If I see something interesting about, say, Latvian fascists who demonstrate against Muslim immigration (a real example from a couple of days ago), then is that considered to be baiting of You-Know-You. Should I REFRAIN from posting such links, because that might be construed as baiting You-Know-Who?

                  I can’t even count the number of times I self-censored myself and didn’t post something quite interesting from the Russian press, just because I knew it would spark You-Know-Who into a rant

                  Also engaged in much self-censorship over themes involving Israel, Palestine, Zionists, Central Asian immigrants, you name it.
                  Which topics are considered baiting?
                  Please spell it out.

                • marknesop says:

                  All I really hope for is for you just not to call him names like Nazi and racist, and send the conversation into an inward spiral of bickering. Nobody gets anything out of that. I will endeavour to police the race-baiting and anti-immigrant stuff myself. As an overall, I don’t see the point in mentioning that somebody is a Jew if it is of only gratuitous value to the issue. No discussion of genetic or colour-related lack of intelligence will be tolerated.

                  There is no reason discussion of immigration issues cannot be entertained so long as they do not trend toward immigrants are skeezy because they use valuable air, water and food that could be being consumed by white men. A discussion, for example, on immigrants in France – many if not most of whom are Muslim – that restricts itself to their strain on the French social infrastructure (which is true but has nothing to do with their race, colour or religion) is okay so long as it is substantiated, and not with some white-supremacist publication like The Occidental Observer, either. That’s just a means of introducing the same white-lands-for-white-people argument, only having someone else say it for you.

                  We never had these problems before, so I can’t really take it much further than that – we’re kind of learning as we go. But hopefully ThatJ will treat his beliefs in the specialness of the white race to the exclusion of others as kind of a boring hobby that would not interest anyone else; say, if I collected antique car batteries. I might find that absorbing, but I know nobody else would be into it and my constant introduction of it into the conversation would just turn readers off, so I would keep it to myself.

                  Feel free to continue fighting over what constitutes a Trotskyite, because I know less than nothing about Trotsky and I can’t imagine his life and philosophies are going to interfere that much with the drift of the conversation.

                • james@wpc says:

                  “Feel free to continue fighting over what constitutes a Trotskyite, because I know less than nothing about Trotsky and I can’t imagine his life and philosophies are going to interfere that much with the drift of the conversation.”

                  I think you’d be surprised, Mark. The life of Leon Trotsky (aka Leib Bronstein) leads down a rabbit hole that links communism, fascism, New York banking and the deaths of millions of Russians and Ukrainians throughout the twentieth century and current to this day.

                • marknesop says:

                  Well, then I’d be wrong, but I’m still not competent to argue what does or does not accurately describe a Trotskyite. It sounds like it would be a good topic for discussion, but Yalensis’s argument is that ThatJ just appends “Trotskyite” randomly to certain behaviours and that his attribution has no basis at all in fact.

                • james@wpc says:

                  Argument becomes problematic when terms are thrown around without being defined. Too often differing parties have differing understandings of the same term and so no resolution is possible. That may be the case here with “Trotskyite” especially if it started out as a descriptive term that gets high-jacked and turned into a pejorative term such as happened with the term “liberal”, for instance.

                  I don’t have a dog in this fight but think that anybody who is interested in this point particularly would benefit greatly from doing some research into the life and character of Leon Trotsky and I believe it would shed more understanding on a host of subjects regularly visited on this blog.

                • yalensis says:

                  Dear James: Just a quick note about Trotsky. I disagree with your characterization of him. The fact that you link him with fascism and New York banking tells me exactly which sources you are using for your thesis. We can debate all of this later, and go over the facts of his life, the Russian Revolution and the political parties that he founded.

                  Leaving that sidebar for later, I want to continue the thread with Mark, at the bottom…
                  [to be continued]

                • Jen says:

                  @ James: Simply because Leon Trotsky had been an advocate of world-wide socialist revolution to bring about Communism does not mean we should continue to hold him responsible if neocon politicians who flirted with Communist or similar ideas while they attended university over half a century ago now twist his ideas into their ugly mirror opposites to justify US wars in the Middle East, Africa and elsewhere, said wars also coincidentally (or not) bringing them more money into their election war-chests from arms companies.

                • james@wpc says:

                  So many assumptions, Yalensis! I made no characterisations. I did not say how those various subjects were connected. I merely wished to intrigue people enough to go and find out for themselves what is on the public record but little known. Or don’t you want people to do that?

                  All I’m saying is, for the curious researcher, pulling on the tab that is Leon Trotsky will open up a whole can of worms with far reaching ramifications.

                • yalensis says:

                  Dear Jen:
                  That is an excellent point.
                  And not everybody who flirted with socialism in their college years and then went on to become an imperialist supporter, was even a Trotskyite. There were also a lot of Maoists in there too. One can even point to a handful of hard-core Stalinists who switched sides and became pro-American imperialism later in life.

                  The phases occurred at different times. Most of the Trotskyists who split from Trotsky did this as a direct result of Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. Trotsky (who DEFENDED Molotov-Ribbentrop) lost more than half of his party overnight. It was, like, “Bye, bye, all the Jewish cadres!”
                  Many of the split-offs then went on to reconcile themselves with American government. The ones who became neo-cons brought with them over to the class enemy, all the skills they had learned as party apparatchiks in the Fourth Internationale. Also brought with them some of the doggedness, attitude of intellectual superiority, and stance of irreconciliation, for which Trotskyists are known and beloved throughout the world.

                  But as to James’ point, I don’t even think that is what he is getting at.
                  James alludes to “communists, fascists and bankers”, which tells me exactly which (phony and debunked) sources he is using.
                  There is basically an old slander against Trotsky that is as old as the hills, involving his time of exile in New York. Trotsky had some contacts and supporters in the International Socialist movement, some of whom were wealthy Jews, who donated money to the Socialist International and to Trotsky personally, to cover his family’s expenses.

                  (One has to remember that being a “professional revolutionary” literally involves not having any other job, and involves a less savory side of things, in other words, fund-raising and basically good-old-fashioned mooching of money from supporters. Which is why it would not be an option for somebody like me: I LIKE having a job and steady income!)

                  Anyhow, the old slander, which was picked up by the Stalinists during the height of the Stalin-Trotsky feud, is that Trotsky was conspiring with “Wall Street Imperialists” (…) to do (….) what? overthrow the Tsar? Which these New York bankers also wanted? But did they want to overthrow the Tsar because they were bankers? Or because they were Jews? Or because they were closet socialists?

                  The second slander, about Trotsky supposedly being a “fascist”, was one that was put out there by the Stalinists, again, at the height of the feud. It is a ridiculous charge, and easily refuted. Stalinists basically claiming that Trotsky worked as a spy for the Third Reich. Completely ludicrous.
                  Again, the fact that James uses these terms gives me a good indication of which sources he is relying on, and I am confident that I can debate him on this quite successfully, in the future. I am well-read on the revolutionary period, on Lenin in particular, and and on the Trotskyist movement, so I believe that I can hold my own in this future debate with James.

                • james@wpc says:

                  “@ James: Simply because Leon Trotsky had been an advocate of world-wide socialist revolution to bring about Communism does not mean we should continue to hold him responsible if neocon politicians who flirted with Communist or similar ideas while they attended university over half a century ago now twist his ideas into their ugly mirror opposites to justify US wars in the Middle East, Africa and elsewhere, said wars also coincidentally (or not) bringing them more money into their election war-chests from arms companies.”

                  Jen, did I say any of that?

                • yalensis says:

                  Dear James:
                  Just saw your comment, after I just posted my reply to Jen.
                  No, OF COURSE I want people to read about all of this.
                  Why do you think I don’t want them to read it?
                  You can start by posting your links, so that people can start familiarizing themselves with the topic and the various debating points, from your side of the debate.

                • yalensis says:

                  Also suggest we move this “Trotsky” thread to the bottom; getting very narrow up here.

                • james@wpc says:

                  Yalensis, If you had read any of my comments carefully, you would already know that there will not be any debate or links from me on this subject and you would know why..

                • yalensis says:

                  Dear James:
                  That’s okay, we don’t need to talk about this, if you don’t want.
                  I am not being provocative.
                  I also don’t know your reasons and don’t get your hint, sorry.
                  Sometimes I don’t “get” things, I have “Aspbergers”. Seriously.

  4. Moscow Exile says:

    Ready to die in defence of “mom’s” apple pie?

    US troops at Narva, Estonia, on the Russo-Estonian border.

    US pledges $68mn NATO investment into Estonian military

    • marknesop says:

      Loathing for Russians is cultivated and encouraged in Estonia by western governments and media; disparaging remarks about Russians are given wide and approving coverage, and if there are any of a more reasonable tone they are unreported. The same throughout the Baltics, really. For some reason, Washington regards them as a highly-important strategic area, probably because it is the most likely trigger for a NATO Article-5 intervention. But, as usual, they only do half the planning, and it is all on the military side. Let’s build lots of bases and seed the ground with lots of stored military equipment to fight the Russian bear – but let’s do fuck-all to stimulate the economy or compensate the region for loss of a major trading partner. Note the two headlines in the sidebar; “EPP: EU Should Tell Russia, We Are Ready to go to War”, and “Latvian PM: If Russia Attacks NATO, the Treaty Will be Enforced”. Reorientation of trade flows in the region will further hurt the economies of the Baltics, as well as Black Sea ports.

      The effect, then, of Washington’s endless meddling in the region will lead to a further and increasing exodus from the region of its population, fed up with the constant scare tactics coupled with economic contraction or stagnation caused by political maneuvering. And you know what? Washington doesn’t care. It is gambling everything on being able to grow a regional war and bring Russia to battle while there is still a chance there might be something to save for American trade later.

      • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

        Even the shortened title says it all really. It’s also reported in the Times, but linking to that shitrag goes against my conscience.

        This is the peculiar anti-genius of Europe – to follow a policy that has war with Russia as its logical conclusion, while letting Europe’s armies dwindle into bands of over-dressed boy scouts. Similar to the years immediately before WWII, when the British government decided against building a continental-type standing army and then conducted policy toward Germany as though it built such an army.

        • Jen says:

          Apparently the Dutch army is suffering from a shortage of bullets because its soldiers used up too many while serving on overseas missions. I guess that means they should have been playing paintball against civilians in Afghanistan or Iraq or some other place the US told the Netherlands to send their troops.

          Incidentally I’ve seen some reports on the Internet that in the late 1930s, Winston Churchill as opposition leader was opposed to the then British government’s investment in a radar system to protect the country’s shores from invasion. Churchill took advice from a physicist friend, Frederick Lindemann, who himself wanted funding for his own projects at the expense of the radar protection scheme.

        • marknesop says:

          Yes, the tough talk, the “hold me back, I tell you; I swear I’ll swing for him!!” stuff is very much on show, just like Tony Abbott’s absurd threat to lay a beating on Putin. The west has become accustomed to shadow-boxing back and forth just across the border and putting on a great show, and it is just lucky for it that Russia has become accustomed to its blowhard playacting. The very idea of Latvia pronouncing itself ready to go to war is almost too comical to imagine – against who? Kaliningrad? They probably could not even take that.

    • ucgsblog says:

      And so the war lobby wastes even more tax dollars on pointless exercises, and then they wonder why most Americans rallied against the War in Syria. Must be RT’s fault.

  5. Moscow Exile says:

    Мария Гайдар отказалась от российского гражданства

    Maria Gaidar renounces Russian citizenship

    On Friday, August 7, Maria Gaidar, the newly created assistant to the Odessa Region governor, Mikhail Saakashvili, wrote a statement renouncing her Russian citizenship.

    “I do not know when this might take place: it is just a formality that I was ready for and I wrote the statement”, she told reporters.

    Up to then, Gaidar had insisted that she was not going to voluntarily give up her Russian citizenship. And if she was deprived of it, then it would be a “tragic moment”.

    This week, Ukrainian President Poroshenko personally handed her a Ukrainian citizen’s passport, Gaidar thereupon stating that she was ready “to share the fate of the Ukrainian people”.

    It seems that this political whore’s stance changes as rapidly as does a real whore’s in response to her clients requests.

    • yalensis says:

      I don’t think that Maria is actually being a whore.

      I think this is what she truly believes, and she is willng to take this big risk (losing her Russian passport) for what she believes in.
      Which is NATO, Bandera, and the American Way of Life.

      Besides, all of this has been brewing ever since August of 2008.

      • Jen says:

        I’m thinking that Maria Gaidar, like Kurt of Lemberg, lives in a parallel fantasy world and does not realise the full import of what she is doing in renouncing Russian citizenship. Perhaps she half-expects Moscow to refuse or denounce her renunciation and make her into a martyr, in which case the right thing for Moscow to do is to publicly accept her disavowal and say her Russian citizenship will be annulled in due course.

        • yalensis says:

          Maria is making a desperate wager. Like Pushkin’s Hermann, she is going all-in, betting everything that she has, on 3 cards, which she received in a mystic vision.

          She is wagering that Russia, an ancient and respectable nation of 150 million people, will collapse; and that her new Motherland, a johnny-come-lately nation of 20 years and some 40 million souls, most of them unwilling participants, will flourish, in the arms of NATO..

          Instead, it is more likely that Ukraine will dissolve into several parts.

          Maria’s former boss and lover, Governor NIkita Belykh, will not join her in this illogical wager. He is a kreakl too, but is more of a realist, he knows that the 3 cards are just a cruel scam. This is why he (Nikita) remarked that Maria still has not achieved her final state of self-realization.

          • ucgsblog says:

            How’s Belykh a kreakl?

            • yalensis says:

              Well, maybe a “kreakl lite”.
              Not one of the fervent “revolutionaries”.
              Belykh was associated with various Opps groups including Nemtsov and Yabloko.
              When Medvedev gave him the Governator gig in 2008, this was a sop to the more respectacle Opps.
              A lot of the Opps called Belykh a traitor and Kremlin sell-out for taking the job.
              Immediately upon arriving in Kirov, Belykh brought in a gaggle of other kreakls to assist him, including Navalny and Maria Gaidar.

              Eventually, though, he had a very public falling-out with Navalny. The falling out was over money.
              And now it looks like Nikita is trying to distance himself from Gaidar as well, even though at one time he had a love affair with her.
              He is still Governor in Kirov, all these years he has managed to keep the job.
              Of course, they don’t have elections for that post (!)

        • ucgsblog says:

          Complete agree Jen. Russia, please let her renounce!

    • kirill says:

      Good riddance. The rest of the liberast 3% should pack their bags and bugger on off. Fifth column degenerate trash.

    • marknesop says:

      As I mentioned previously, I devoutly hope she does indeed share the fate of the Ukrainian people. Cats like her always land on their feet, though, and she’ll bug out before things go completely sideways. The difference is that now she will not be able to go back to Russia. Well, maybe not – Ukrainian citizens are still able to travel to Russia at will. But she will have foresworn benefits of Russian citizenship that she will not be able to get back. I reckon she will head off to the Shining City On A Hill for eventual residence, where she will doubtless be received with the ecstasy traditionally reserved for “Russian dissidents”.

    • ThatJ says:

      The intention of installing Gaidar in a position of power in Ukraine is to infuriate Russia, but it will backfire: she will be a reminder of liberal treachery and failure.

  6. yalensis says:

    Ukrainian blacklist:
    Ukraine’s Minister of Culture has declared the following 14 Russian citizens and cultural figures to be personas non gratas:

    (1) Oleg Gazmanov
    (2) Iosif Kobzon
    (3) Sergei Bezrukov
    (4) Mikhail Boyarsky
    (5) Ivan Okhlobystin
    (6) Grigory Leps
    (7) Gérard Depardieu
    (8) Vladimir Kucherenko
    (9) Mikhail Khazin
    (10) Valeria Perfilova [sic – editor says they probably mean Alla Perfilova, who uses pseudonym Valeria]
    (11) Iosif Prigozhin
    (12) Nikolai Rastorguev
    (13) Mikhail Porechenkov
    (14) Egor Kholmogorov [writer for VZGLIAD paper]

    In contrast to above “black list” Ukrainian “white list” currently consists of 34 individuals.
    But Ministry of Culture stresses, that both lists will continue to be filled with more and more names.

  7. yalensis says:

    Today is 7th Anniversary of perfidious Gruzian attack on the South Ossetian town of Tskhinval.
    Which provoked the (brief) August 2008 war between Russia and Gruzia, and led to South Ossetia’s final split from Gruzia and gaining independence as a small nation.

    South Ossetian President Leonid Tibilov comemmorated the anniversary by pointing out, how Ukraine at the time helped Tbilisi attack South Ossetia.

    Then then-government of Ukraine had provided Gruzia with BUK missiles, to assist in its genocidal plan against the “pro-Russian” Ossetians.

    This is good to remember, because long before Maidan, every single government in “independent Ukraine” was a puppet of the West and incessantly plotting against Russia.
    Maidan just brought all this rottenness into greater clarity and relief.

    • yalensis says:

      Just to recall the basic incidents:
      Exactly 7 years ago today, on the night of 7-8 August 2008, Gruzian army, under the command of President Mikheil Saakashvili, conducted a sneak attack on the town of Tskhinval. In the process killing several Russian peacekeepers.
      The peacekeeping troops (from several nations, including Russia) had been posted on the delimeter since 1992, keeping the 2 sides separate and keeping the cold war from erupting into a hot one.

      As a result of the Gruzian sneak attack, and having several peacekeepers killed, Russia then had no choice except to send in more troops to repel the Gruzian army.
      In the resulting 5-day war, 72 Russian troops were killed.

      Russia won the war and recognized South Ossetia as an independent nation.
      Saakashvili lost the war and was disgraced; however, it took the Gruzian people several years (due to his support from America) to get rid of him.

      Now the rogue dictator has found a new home in Ukraine where, nostradami predict, he will incite a new war against Russia. Which he will also lose.

      Image of Tskhinval (note the mountain range in the background!)

    • “This is good to remember, because long before Maidan, every single government in “independent Ukraine” was a puppet of the West and incessantly plotting against Russia.”

      Even Yanukovich government???

      • Moscow Exile says:

        Big myth that Yanukovych was pro-Russian.

        He was pro-Viktor Yanukovych.

        And Putin, they say, can’t stand him: never could.

        At least, that’s what a man who rods the blocked drains at the Kremlin Palace told me.

        This person, Elizabeth Pond, believes that “the reasons why Putin can’t stand Yanukovich are: First, Yanukovich wasn’t smart enough not to kill the goose while he was pocketing golden eggs, and second, Yanukovich had the effrontery to play off Russia and the EU for two years”.

        Medvedev used to suck-hole up to Yanukovych though:

        Well he would, wouldn’t he?

        • marknesop says:

          It often seemed that Putin could barely restrain himself from being openly impatient with Yanukovych, and he seemed to me (just a personal opinion, unsupported by anything analytical) to consider Yanukovych a provincial clod not a great deal different from Yeltsin. For his part, Yanukovych appeared thoroughly committed to the EU Association agreement and subsequent EU membership – which probably would have happened quite briskly, had Ukraine not been shattered by war and assuming it remained intact – even going so far as to hold that private and semi-secret meeting (in a theatre or something, wasn’t it?) that we learned of via our talented researcher Peter, in which he allegedly raged at his government that Ukraine was irrevocably on an EU course and he would have the guts of anyone who did not get on board the plan. It seems very ironic now to observe that had the west not pulled the rug out from under Yanukovych – in a display of overconfidence that is so typical as to constitute the default – by insisting that Tymoshenko be freed as a condition, then compounding the error by pulling the trigger on a violent coup, there is every reason to imagine they would have gotten the whole of Ukraine, including Crimea, none the worse for wear.

          • yalensis says:

            Excellent point.
            It was American over-reach (and hubris) which saved Crimea by returning it to the Russian world.

    • Warren says:

      Here is a documentary on that short war of August 2008.

      • marknesop says:

        Ha, ha, ha!!! Sorry, I went into a brief convulsion over the caption “American instructors help banana forces to comprehend clever electronic devices” and was unable to continue for the moment.

        • Warren says:

          You should watch how US soldiers teach Georgians how to dance!

        • yalensis says:

          I don’t know where that “banana forces” thing came from.
          That’s NOT what the guy is narrating. There is nothing in the Russian text there about no bananas! I wonder if they misheard the word “brone-techniki” at 5:13 minutes in (“amoured technology”) and translated as “bananas” ????

          In any case, regardless of the subtitles, this is good stuff, and I am glad that Russian army is studying this war very closely and learning all the lessons, because there is 99.9% chance they will have to do it all over again soon, this time with Ukraine-NATO war.

          P.S. along those lines, VERY INTERESTING how Ukraine supplied BUKs and trainers to Gruzian army, to assist in their perfidious attack against South Ossetia. The worst losses suffered by Russian military, probably, were the planes shot down by Ukrainian BUK’s. This significant loss of planes caused soul-searching in Russian military and led to needed reforms in this area.
          Plus, underscored just how perfidious were Ukrainian “little brothers”. Then and now.

          • Fern says:

            Seems like the Ukrainian army has a LOT of experience in using BUK’s to bring down planes building on their earlier experience of bringing down a Russian passenger plane which the then Ukrainian political elite announced was no biggie.

            RT have devoted part of their regular news bulletins today to remembering the 2008 conflict. While they very generously omitted the tie-eating scene, they did feature two clips of Saakashvillii. In one he’s saying “we are a small country, trying to build a genuine democracy and we’re being crushed yada, yada, yada” which played well on CNN and in the other he’s blatantly lying claiming Russia bombed a market full of civilians. How did he get away with such an allegation? An interview with a Russian journalist who reported from South Ossetia during the conflict sheds an interesting light – she didn’t come across one western journalist in South Ossetia – all were reporting from Georgia.

            • marknesop says:

              Saakashvili is such a shit; I would have paid my child’s college money to watch him surrender live. You could tell he completely blamed the United States, too, because he had assumed that if he just got the ball rolling, Uncle Sam would ride to the rescue before he could lose.

              Say, everyone; I’m going to be away again for a bit. We liked the last cuddle weekend so much we’re doing another, here. Actually, not so much of the cuddling, since we are taking the young ‘un with us, but family time is just nice. I think this time et Al can be moderator (largely a symbolic title anyway, although Jen ran with it like the Tonton Macoute), and I should be back sometime Monday.

              • et Al says:

                I’m honored indeed (again)!, but I’ve only just got back on the net as I am visiting the ex-Yu coast for a couple of weeks. Lots of Russians, but mostly quiet families punctuated by black 4×4 with large wooden crosses hanging from the rearview mirror. I read at the beginning of August that Montenego had joined Litchenstien (and ???) in the EU sanctions against Russia (previously reported here methinks). So with bookings from Russians up 30% this year, King of Montenegro, Milo Djukanovic, is trying to have his cake and eat it too. What a dick. I wonder what his final exit stage left will be like.

                • marknesop says:

                  Were you the tail-twister before already?? It was my intent to give it to somebody who had not done it before like bolasete or Terje, but their appearances are sometimes infrequent, and I reasoned that you are always here. The best-laid plans of mice and Mark gan aft agley, it seems. Well, never mind – there does not seem to have been an insurrection in my short absence. I envy you your holiday – the region always looks such a beautiful place in pictures. I have always wanted to vist Sveti Stefan; that peninsula was my screen-saver for more than a year.

                • et Al says:

                  Ah, Sweaty Steffan (as I call it), bought by Amman Resorts some time back (2008) and then failed to renovate it within the contractual period, opening some years later. You have to pay just to walk around the former fishing village that used to be all the rage in the 1960s when film starts like Sophia Loren & Richard Burton used to visit. The beach to the left of the causeway is cheaper than the beach to the right, and the beach around the corner (to the north) is the almost exclusive property of the brand new hotel there.

                  There are several new luxury marinas, one bay (Porto Montenegro) near Kotor bought by a Canadian businessman Peter Munk for 30 odd million euro and a few others where the superyachts of people like Abramovich visit).

                  Great weather, great food, great beer (Nik Gold) and wine (Vranac), great monasteries to visit, boat rides, whitewater rafting (Tara Canyon etc.) sports and excursions etc. You shouldn’t come if all you are going to do is sit on your ass in an air conditioned hotel all day and surf the net. so you really have to get out and about to get the most from it. Driving down the road, ladies hold up big, fat fresh carp from plastic buckets to show the drivers & roadside fruit and veg stalls. Disrespect is not tolerated by the locals and the ladies are quite fierce (woof!). Last time I went, I was in a small super market and said good evening in the local lingo (some odd words and phrases are very similar to Polish). I was quickly corrected by the checkout lady (who was up to the nines in makeup) and set straight by pointing out that it was only evening once the sun had gone down.

                  Best of all, it’s not all that expensive either (lots of low-cost flights) and certainly much cheaper and more wild than visiting Croatia, whose coast is pretty good too for beaches (Crkveniċa) and very popular for sailing and fishing, though it is heavily developed with some very good springs (like Čataske Toplice) up in the northern part. The good news is that there is the very nice Magistrale highway all the way down the coast. In the good old days, the roads were far more terrifying (and the drivers) with a lot of roadside memorials for fatal accidents…. There’s a bit of a building boom going in Montenegro so I expect it to be also over-developed, but it is a poor and small country (pop 600k+) but blessed with a lot of sun and very tall women (second tallest in Europe after the dutch).

                  My Polish girlfriend asked me about the Russian girls here but I told her the hot Russian and local mothers were much better. Fortunately I have already bought her some great jewellery (filigree silver which is hard to find as most is now done in gold for Russian tourists), an mini icon and a couple of Garfield DVDs so I shouldn’t be in trouble…

                • marknesop says:

                  You might be wearing that jewelry yourself, if you’re not careful, and you might be wearing it in an uncomfortable place. If I knew your address your girlfriend and I would be teaching you a lesson right about now – good thing you never won the comments lottery, or I would have it.

                  Seriously, it sounds wonderful, and I am surprised because I thought it would be blindingly expensive – it just looks expensive. I would give the carp a pass, though. A Ukrainian we know recently gave the family a carp the size of a mini-submarine that he caught, and I could not even go in the kitchen the next day after it was cooked. The smell was abominable, and I cannot even imagine what it tasted like without retching. I love fish and pretty much all seafood, really, but all those bottom-feeders have a muddy smell to them.

          • et Al says:

            From what I’ve read, the RuAF was a mess and what they did have, they undid themselves somewhat by bad tactics. One Tu-22 bomber was brought down on recon, electronic warfare was patchy at best etc. Remember the signals intelligence base that the US built stuffed with very expensive and sophisticated electronic gear? I can well bet that it had a role in co-coordinating the Georgians, much the same way as retired US generals helped Croatia to carry out the biggest ethnic cleansing in Europe since World War Two back in 1995. Russia was up against the US.

  8. yalensis says:

    Saw this on Saker, great video, everybody should watch.
    “Maria Gaidar, Like Father Like Daughter”.

    6-minute vid, English subtitles.

    • kirill says:

      I say take no prisoners in this “war” of the Yeltsin clan. They lost their chance to rule Russia 15 years ago and they have no chance to return to power. Ukraine cannot be used as a template for some Russian Maidan. Russia does not have Banderatards by the million like Ukraine.

      • Moscow Exile says:

        I wonder when Sobchak’s going to make her move? She’s always ready to latch on to any perceived anti-Russian government “freedom” movement, thereby raking in publicity for her image as a respected and intelligent “opposition” spokesperson.

        When it was time to man the barricades, though, she soon chickened out. She scarpered from the Bolotnaya riot – never even went there – and ditched her then live-in “revolutionary” partner Yashin, one of the riot organizers, and promptly married some fat-cat film director, Maksim Vitorgan, going to ground as it were, until the storm had subsided.

        It seems, though, that she’s always sniffing around to see which way the wind is blowing and ever ready to jump on any bandwagon that will be beneficial to her “image”. Hence her shameless appearance in Kiev last year, garbed in a traditional Ukrainian woman’s costume and in the company of a suitably masked and accoutred “Centurian” moron to a backdrop of blown-up photographs of the loathsome Bandera.

        Now where have I seen that hairstyle before?

        • Wasn’t her dad Putin’s boss in St.Petersburg?

          • Moscow Exile says:

            Her father was professor and head of the Department of Common Law in Socialist Economics at Leningrad State University at the same time as Putin was the administrator of international affairs at that university.
            It is repeatedly alleged that Putin was Anatoly Sobchak’s protegé, though I should hardly think that was the case in view of the fact that Putin was a KGB lieutenant colonel at the time and Sobchak most certainly wasn’t his “boss”. In any case, whilst serving on the university administration – in reality, keeping his beady KGB eye on the student body – Putin’s “boss” was the vice-rector, to whom he directly reported in his capacity as a university administrator.
            It was at the university that Putin became acquainted with Sobchak and they possibly became friends, or at least, that’s what Sobchak thought, but how anyone could imagine that a murderous KGB thug-spy could engage in a friendly relationship with anyone totally baffles me …

            • marknesop says:

              I think he’s talking about when Sobchak was mayor of St Petersburg and Putin was one of his two deputies (the other was also a Vladimir, Vladimir Yakovlev). In that instance, Sobchak was indeed his boss. In honour of that relationship, here’s a cute little article on the subject, by Putinophile Masha Gessen, insinuating in none-too-subtle terms that Putin had Sobchak poisoned.

              • Moscow Exile says:

                But I really don’t think he was his boss in reality.

                Putin was appointed as Mayor Sobchak’s advisor on international affairs in 1990 whilst still serving as a KGB lieutenant colonel.

                In June 1991, Putin then became head of the Committee for External Relations of the Saint Petersburg Mayor’s Office.

                And even though Putin resigned from the KGB on 20 August 1991 and continued to work “for” Mayor Sobchak, once a KGB man, always a KGB man – so they say.

                (I am not allowed to divulge who “they” are.)

            • Jen says:

              I believe Anatoly Sobchak was elected mayor, not appointed as mayor, of St Petersburg. If so, he might not have been Vladimir Putin’s boss in actual day-to-day work. Assuming that city councils in Russia during the 1990s followed the Western pattern of organising and running city and local government councils, I would guess that Putin and Yakovlev were answerable to Sobchak and other popularly elected councillors but in day-to-day administration Putin and Yakovlev would have been their own bosses.

              I have worked for two local councils in Sydney in the past and the rule is that mayors and other councillors elected in council elections cannot tell local government employees what to do; they can only pass on their requests to the council general manager and that person then passes on the requests to the relevant council department head, or they bring up their requests at regular weekly council meetings (that include the public) and have them discussed, agreed on and passed in resolutions. Putin’s role vis-a-vis Sobchak would have been similar to council general manager.

              • Moscow Exile says:

                Oh, he was “democratically elected” alright – the first democratically elected Petersburg mayor ever. That’s why he’s in the liberast hall of fame and that’s what his daughter Ksenia rides on.

                Very few of these 5th columnists seem to recall how Mayor Sobchak was under investigation for misappropriation of funds (its called “theft” amongst the hoi-poloi) and did a bunk to Paris, where he claimed he was in need of urgent treatment because of a heart complaint. Liberasts, of course, maintain that the charges laid against Sobchak are evidence of his political repression: in their book, anybody accused of criminal activities against state organizations is, by definition, not a criminal.

                There is no record whatsoever of Sobchak undergoing any treatment whilst in self-imposed exile in France. Sobchak hired a private plane and flew off to France without due passport processing. He stayed in Paris for 2 years and did not die there because of his alleged heart condition.

                The charges against Sobchak were dropped in 1991 when Putin was prime minister, and Sobchak returned hale and hearty to Mother Russia, hence the stories that Putin must have been Sobchak’s buddy and had rescued him from the upper reaches of Shit Creek, whither he had paddled some 2 years previously.

                Post hoc ergo propter hoc?

                One year later, Sobchak died of a heart attack.

                Of course, liberasts maintain that he had been murdered, that he had not died of a heart attack at all.

                Well they would say that, wouldn’t they?

                • marknesop says:

                  Well, we had it straight from Masha Gessen’s investigative-journalist pen, didn’t we? I mean, everything that involves Putin in any capacity is suspicious, innit? And the story is that Putin sent Sobchak on a hush-hush mission, insisted he go right away even though the poor man’s wife feared for his health and safety, nothing would do but he must go in person, accompanied only by two burly bodyguards. And then, not only does Sobchak mysteriously die – of a “heart attack” – but his two body guards show symptoms of poisoning!!

                  That should be a lesson for Putin – no shilly-shallying around in future. If someone fails to carry out your nefarious will to your satisfaction, just summon them and shoot them in broad daylight; on TV, if you like. Everyone expects it of you, nobody in your own country will question you because they all quake in fear of you, and it will save a fortune in travel expenses on the state’s dime.

    • marknesop says:

      Ahhhh…Boris Berezovsky – there was a blast from the past!

      If the “Yeltsin clan” – which really means the Harvard clan and the western meddlers using ideologue native surrogates – has hitched its wagon to Maria Gaidar’s star, then it requires a staggering leap of logic to see why they allowed her to give up her Russian citizenship. What’s she going to do, return as a conquering hero spearheading limitless ranks of black-clad Bandera shock troops from Ukraine? If they meant to use her to rally support around the kreakl flag, they should have told her to keep her citizenship in the country they wanted to use her to destabilize.

      I buy all the rest of it except the last minute or two, when they speculate she may have been tapped as the kreakl-oligarch coalition’s messiah.

  9. Warren says:

  10. ThatJ says:

    The U.S. Is Destroying Europe

    There are two ways to win, at any game: One is by improving one’s own performance. The other is by weakening the performances by all of one’s competitors. The United States is now relying almost entirely upon the latter type of strategy.

    “We Have A Civil War”: Inside Turkey’s Descent Into Political, Social, And Economic Chaos

    “There’s a saying, ‘if there’s peace, it will start from Cizre, and if there’s war, it will start from here as well.’ And we can say we have a civil war in Turkey.”

    Black-White Race Relations Under Obama: The Worst In The 21st Century

    …[A]s we noted on Tuesday, the US has had its share of deadly social violence over the past year, much of split along along racial lines, but it’s mercifully avoided a full-blown racial war.

    However, in recent weeks there has been a troubling increase in invocations toward even more violence, and even more deaths, which seek to achieve just that: a United States gripped in racial warfare.

    It’s against that rather disturbing backdrop that we present the following results from Gallup, whose latest Minority Rights and Relations poll shows that “Americans rate black-white relations much more negatively today than they have at any point in the past 15 years.”

    Crimea remains a popular destination for many Ukrainians. The difference now is that they are looking for a more permanent stay instead of holidays.

    The road to Crimea, Ukrainian side:

  11. Lyttenburgh says:

    Rather typical mad ramblings curtesy of the Bloomberg’s very own Leonid Bershdinskiy!

    Russian Hawks Win in Failed Warship Deal

    The saga of the two Mistral helicopter carriers France built for Russia, but refused to hand over because of the conflict in eastern Ukraine, is finally over. The net result is that a French shipyard has been saved at the French taxpayer’s expense, while Russian taxpayers will pay to retool the country’s wharves so the country can build more of its own warships.

    Imagine that! The affront! The sheer stupidity of the Russian government! “Building its own warships”, bah! Surely, if only the people like Bershdinskiy/the people whom Bershdinksiy likes were in charge of Russia they’d put an end to such nonsese!
    The Kremlin said Wednesday night that Russian President Vladimir Putin and French President Francois Hollande have agreed to terminate the 2011 contract; that Russia has already received compensation for its expenses; and that it is preparing to dismantle Russian equipment installed on the ships. Russia, according to the statement, considers “the Mistral matter fully settled.”

    The Kremlin didn’t say how much France paid to break its contract, the subject of months of back-and-forth, but the Russian newspaper Kommersant reported that “more than 1.1 billion euros” ($1.2 billion) has landed in the Russian government’s account. This fits with French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian’s statement that the compensation was less than the contract’s initial 1.2 billion euro price tag.


    If Kommersant’s number is correct, France has accepted some of these claims to Moscow’s satisfaction, avoiding a diplomatic spat. Moreover, the newspaper reported that the French government did its best to transfer the funds quietly, lest they be arrested by the shareholders of the defunct oil company Yukos, who won a $50 billion verdict against Russia and are hunting for Russian state assets throughout Europe. The deal was struck “in a spirit of partnership,” tweeted Dmitry Rogozin, deputy prime minister for Russia’s military industrial complex.

    Rogozin never liked the Mistral contract. “I have always considered it essentially the private affair of Comrade Serdyukov,” he said last year, referring to disgraced former Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov, who was fired in the midst of a corruption scandal in 2012. The Defense Ministry has never been able to adequately explain why it needed the Mistrals. In 2009, Admiral Vladimir Vysotsky, then Russian navy commander, said the Mistrals could have been helpful in the brief 2008 war between Russia and Georgia. They would have allowed the Russian Black Sea Fleet to seal off Georgia’s sea border in 40 minutes, rather than the 26 hours it actually took, he said. Russia, however, didn’t necessarily need to spend 1.2 billion euros on that kind of time gain, especially since the war was already won.

    This doesn’t necessarily mean the contract was the result of a kickback. The ships might have been useful for international exercises and to show the Russian flag on the seas. There was also a theory circulating in Moscow that the deal was political payback for then-French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s role in settling the 2008 conflict with Georgia. Sarkozy brokered the surrender of Georgia’s then President, Mikheil Saakashvili, aiding Russia to avoid international sanctions — an outcome that may have encouraged Putin to act in Crimea and eastern Ukraine years later.

    But of course! Saakashvili “surrendered” (please, western journos, tell this to him!). And only Sarko’s efforts have saved Russia from sanctions! And – Of Course! – this all have emboldened Putin to “act in Crimea and eastern Ukraine” 5.5. years later. It all makes perfect sense!

    Bershdinksiy came to his, ah, “fame” as “Russian Observer” of the Bloomberg somewhere during late 2014. He unleashed upon the world a torrent of articles fellating new “pro-Western, young and English-speaking” government of the Ukraine. He was especially fond of orally pleasing Aivars Abramovicus (the Economy Minister). Naturally, he holds extremely handshakable views of Russia (“The Russia That Died With Boris Nemtsov”). He is also every bit as delusional as can be expected (“Poroshenko Makes Putin Look Like a Wimp”).

    I guess, his name goes too much into his head. Lyonya! You are not a Spartan King! You’re putz!

  12. Warren says:

  13. yalensis says:

    Dear Mark:
    Continuing the thread above, let’s call this the “Rules of Engagement” thread.

    For starters, if ThatJ is back on the blog, then it goes without saying that I retract my earlier pledge not to respond to his posts. That pledge was in response to your plea not to respond to him, so that you could locate and delete his posts all the easier. However, if you are no longing deleting his posts, then my pledge is obviously moot.
    That lasted about one day, just like the Minsk Accords.

    Secondly, you ask me not to call him names like “racist” and “nazi”. That’s okay, I can do that. I can use the term “white-supremacist” instead of “racist”; and “extreme right-wing nationalist” rather than nazi.
    Both of those terms are accurate. Although the other, simpler terms are equally accurate.

    One has to take into account, that nazis don’t like to be called nazis; and racists don’t like to be called racists. I don’t know why, because that’s what they are, and they should own the terms.
    I don’t mind it when people call me a “commie” or “sovok”, although I do trying to explain some of the subtle differences between commie with a Capital C or small c.

    But so be it. I suppose it’s okay, though, for him to accuse ME of promoting “genocide of the white race” just because I see nothing wrong with integration or inter-marriage between ethnic groups. I am white-skinned myself, by the way, and I have little interest in seeing either myself, or anybody else genocided, for that matter. Ideally I would like to see everybody just “getting along”, as Rodney King used to say.

    More seriously, to my other point, half of the things that I post about can be considered “bait” to ThatJ. Here is another specific example: A few days I posted a bit (I think it was from Saker or Russ) about modern art. Gave an opportunity to riff and have a bit of fun.
    Next thing you know, You-Know-Who is posting one of his wild rambling manifestos. You know, that’s the one where the Joooooz created modern art in order to suppress the goyim, so that they coud rule the world and promote race-mixing and white-genocide, yada yada yada.
    I had no choice except to object and tell him to shut up, because that was not my intention in my own comment. Do you get that people sometimes have to distance themselves from lunatics?

    Lastly, here is the probable dynamic that you will have to find a way to deal with:
    I will post something from the Rusian press which is of interest to me, and which I believe will interest some of my fellow commenters.
    ThatJ will respond will one of his rants and/or manifestos.
    The worse ones are NOT where he disagrees with him. No, the worse case is where he SEEMS to agree with me (or other commenters), and then ADDS ON his own bits.
    For example: “Oh yeh! Rah rah Donbass, those guys are fighting against World Jewry and for the preservation of the white race!”
    Other example: Where ThatJ claimed Rogozin as his own: a champion of the white race against the Jews and Muzzis…
    If I were Rogozin, I would be more than hasty to dissociate myself from such unwanted fans.

    To continue with my horrific vision of the future:
    I or somebody else post some comment.
    ThatJ responds with his usual rant.
    I or somebody else rebut him.

    In other words, back to the war of attrition.

    And, finally, Mark, I think you need to put your thinking cap on and figure out, is there something you could have done, or should have done, at an earlier stage, to prevent or mitigate this situation?
    It’s a bit late in the game to be establishing new rules for commenters, that should have been done before.

    I can also predict, confidently, that ThatJ will NOT abide by your rules.
    Because his crazy world-view is all that he wants to talk about, and you know that he will bend any other topic to that..

    • bolasete says:

      my sympathies lie with you, but….
      think abbott & costello: niagara falls.
      i get the same way about texas. long thought that it should be offered return to mexico on condition that they take the texans with them; then we could put up an impenetrable barrier.
      compare actual photos of ‘cowboys’ with john wayne ‘cowboys’ and texan ‘ten gallon’ hats. loons, every one. not safe for civilized company.

      • yalensis says:

        I get you, dude.
        But sometimes, when somebody says “Niagara Falls”, you just HAVE to put them in a barrel and push them over!

        • Jen says:

          @ Yalensis: To be fair to Mark, I don’t think the kind of trolling ThatJ engages in was ever anticipated. It’s one thing for comments forums to attract fly-by-nighters like Curt Doolittle and occasional racist or anti-immigration comments but to be consistently flooded with biased comments on the coat-tails of other information that would otherwise be neutral or harmless in context (so as to push the blog in a direction out of Mark’s control, that favours ThatJ’s agenda of capturing KS readers, most of whom are prepared to tolerate alternative viewpoints shunned by mainstream news media, and exposing them to a white supremacist ideology) is something else altogether. I haven’t seen this kind of trolling on comments forums of other blogs that cover topics similar to what KS covers.

          The real damage that ThatJ has done is restrict our ability to discuss certain topics and issues, like Syrian and Iraqi refugees fleeing to Europe or the possibility that Israel is helping ISIS in Syria and Iraq, which would explain why ISIS is not threatening Israel in any way, in as frank and unbiased way as possible, without being hit and derailed by a hailstorm of rubbish. Those topics are not really central to this blog so we can probably tolerate a certain amount of that damage but if and when they do become important, in the possibility that Syria comes to represent Russia’s frontline, then we will find ourselves in the position of having been frogs in water slowly heating up to boiling point.

          I don’t think it is “late” at all for Mark to change the comments policy if he wishes but that is assuming that it should have been fixed and set in cuneiform on stone tablets at the beginning.

          • yalensis says:

            Dear Jen:
            These are good points. I get that it is not easy to deal with a troll as persistent and relentless as this one. Not even sure what I would do, in Mark’s position.

            By the way, Drutten made a good point, that people like us (typical KS commenters) are more receptive to “non-canonical” and “edgy” points of view and websites, etc. This is true. That’s why “out there” websites don’t bother me at all.

            And I don’t even have a problem with right-wingers. I happen to respect Marine Le Pen, for example. I just don’t like people who are vicious and disrespectful towards other human beings. Which ThatJ has shown himself to be, consistently.
            I don’t like people who gratuitously feel the need to bring down and degrade other people, on the basis of their biological characteristics, leaving them not even a shred of human dignity. Which, again, is what ThatJ does to people he doesn’t even know.

    • marknesop says:

      Well, we’ll have to see, won’t we? I did not post an agonizingly detailed list of rules long ago because I assumed they would never be necessary, and that adults could be adults and that a hint that something was a bit over the top would be enough to preclude its repetition. I decided to give it another try based only on a tiny minority of intervention on ThatJ’s behalf. But of course I also meant that you should not call him a Nazi or a racist gratuitously, as in don’t respond with “No, that’s completely wrong, you Nazi!” to, say, a clip from ZeroHedge about the MH-17 investigation, which is controversial but includes no elements of race, colour or religion. It should be clear that I do not want to see anything about World Jewry or Zionists or Genocide Of The White Race.

      Just in case there is someone who doesn’t get it, this is not a blog about race relations. I understand that various subjects come up incidentally from time to time, but I am not going to allow this to become a feuding forum on race relations. Stick to items that are in the general public interest.

      • Lyttenburgh says:

        Mark! You are a barin here, so your word is a law for us, your faithful kholops!

        Or, if you don’t like this analogy – then you can freely dispense Justice in accordance with your Revolutionary Consciousness! 😉

      • yalensis says:

        Yeah, well, you know how the guy packages his stuff.
        His typical “package”, all English-language sources, completely accessible and not needing his extensive quotes, consists of, say, 3 links:
        (1) a ZeroHedge link about MH-17 investigation, pro-Russian slant and nothing about darkies and Joooz; followed by
        (2) some Saker link, also pro-Russian slant and nothing objectionable; followed by


        (3) A link from some extremist white-supremacist site “proving” that Jews made up the Holocaust in order to earn sympathy for their nefarious plot to genocide the white race by flooding Europe with African immigrants.

        In your heart, you know I’m not exagerrating – this is exactly how he does it.
        I think HE thinks that readers are so stupid, they’ll just keep nodding their heads sagely for the extent of the entire package, accepting all of the opinions (pro-Russian, anti-Jooooz) as seamlessly interlinked whole.
        And some readers will, no doubt, those who share his overall world view.
        Believe it or not, there is a tiny faction within the American fascist movement which is pro-Russian and takes the Russian side in the Ukraine conflict. They are a small minority within the fascist movement – most of the fascists take the Ukrainian side, for obvious reasons – but they do exist, and ThatJ seems to be one of them. He also seems to be obsessed with the idea that he was “right” about Ukraine, and that the other (pro-Ukraine) fascists are misguided and need to listen to him. Hence his linking of two sets of sources: pro-Russian and pro-white-supremacist.

        But that’s not even my point. I never even said, “ban him”, and I never called for deleting his comments; all I pleaded for was the right to reply to him and point out the roots of his ideological world-view.
        Which sometimes involves picking apart the different components of his package, separating the wheat from the chaff, so to speak. As in:
        (1) somewhat okay,
        (2) no comment,
        (3) “That’s fairly racist!”

        • marknesop says:

          Yes, but. Like I said, then the whole conversation thread goes down a dark hole of argument over race relations, and as you yourself pointed out, first-time viewers will assume that is the preferred topic of the blog and all the Russian stuff is just a cover so the FBI won’t smoke us out like StormFront.

      • Northern Star says:

        “Genocide Of The White Race”
        Of or By…….??
        Quite a few hundreds of millions of Asian,African and Central/South American indigenous people(s) would opt for the latter preposition.
        Since most of the bloodbath strife on the planet is rooted in race/ethnicity conflicts….,natural resources/land wars ..or religion…..I don’t see how the people posting
        can skirt around those issues.Moreover your following appears to be relatively sophisticated and erudite….hence eclectic in what they bring to the table in world view(s) and interpretations (their opinions) as to the whys and wherefores of current events.
        I missed the back and forth about ‘what’s his face’….so not too clear about what is not to be mentioned.

        • yalensis says:

          Dear Northern Star:
          Ha ha! when I first read your comment “I missed the back and forth”, I thought you meant that you longed for it nostalgically!
          On re-reading, I see what you mean. You were out of the loop and don’t understand the new rules.
          So basically, as far as I understand it, there is a set of 15 tabu words that we are not allowed to EVER say. Otherwise, the comment will be deleted.
          The words in question are the following:

          (1.) ….

          (that’s the problem with tabu words, how are you supposed to tell people what they are, if you are not allowed to say them? Ah the paradox! worthy of a Bertrand Russell….

  14. yalensis says:

    Meanwhile, the topic is “The Great Silk Road”.
    Recall that China has initiated a project to put Eurasian economic development on steroids.The plan envisions building high-speed railroads, roads and highways, energy transmission and distributions networks, and fiber optic networks. Cities and ports along the route will be targeted for economic development.

    Current plans are to laid out the “road” from Shanghai to Berlin:
    The ambitious vision is to resurrect the ancient Silk Road as a modern transit, trade, and economic corridor that runs from Shanghai to Berlin. The ‘Road’ will traverse China, Mongolia, Russia, Belarus, Poland, and Germany, extending more than 8,000 miles, creating an economic zone that extends over one third the circumference of the earth.

    Okay, so now Saakashvili has announ ced that Ukraine wants to get a piece of the action.
    Namely, he wants the road to go through the Ilyichevsky Port in Odessa.
    In order to build this filial Ukrainian line, Saak says the following infra-structure has to be built:
    A highway in Southwest Ukraine to the city of Reni.
    A bridge over the Dnestr.
    Repair the road to Kiev.

    Hey, if he can get that done and add on a filial route to the Silk Road, then kudos to him.
    Dubious, though, since he doesn’t have the money or investors to pull this off.
    So, probably just another one of his crazy visions.

  15. Sad news from Gorlovka. Khepesh reports that Ukrainian shelling hit people on the beach and about 50 people died and lots of more injured, most of them young adults and children. This is the worst day for Novorossiya since last January.

    • The worst part is that there is no hope for these people. The war will continue for many more years and a lot of more people will continue dying.

      They should spend 24 hours a day in basements but who wants to spend their entire lives in basements if the sun is shining and there is a warm beach to go to? It would be a different thing if they knew that Russian help was coming or that the DPR would fight back with heavy artillery (they can’t because of Minsk agreement). They could bare one more summer in the basements knowing that in the summer of 2016 they can enjoy the sun again without fear of artillery strikes.

      But since this is not the case I can understand these people willing to take risks even if it means death. I would probably do the same. Living in basements is not worth it if there is no hope for the better times.

      • marknesop says:

        Why do you think that the misery will go on forever for them, but that Kiev will never collapse without support? They’re down to a week of coal, the loans they get from the IMF are barely enough to keep the birds alive, and they’ve used up all their reserves. I can completely buy that Washington demands they continue the war, but at some point they will just have to say “Sorry, Boss”. War costs money.

        • A year ago Novorossiya gave Ukraine coal for free when they were running out of it. This was done as a gesture of goodwill.

          Ukraine’s economy can collapse but the war will go on. The war is not currently that expensive for Ukraine. They are just basically sitting still and shelling Gorlovka and Donetsk while the DPR is not allowed to hit back. Ukraine is suffering minimal casualties (only 1-2 KIA/WIA daily) so they can continue the war for years.

          • marknesop says:

            But at what point will it be clear they are only shelling their own people and not terrorists or the Russian army? Do they honestly think the best the combined might of the Russian army can do is stop them from taking Donetsk? Does the Ukie army actually think it is that good?

            • They already know that they are not shelling Russian army but Donbass civilians. Ukrainians don’t see them as their own people and people of Donbass certainly don’t see Ukrainians as their own people either.

              They are fighting for the land an resources. Either Ukraine or Novorossiya gets them. People are irrelevant and Kiev would rather kill every person in Donbass than give up the land.

              Russian army is irrelevant because there will be no Russian intervention.

              • marknesop says:

                The Russian Army is extremely relevant, because their whole excuse for pouring artillery fire into the cities is that they are fighting the Russian Army and any civilian casualties are incidental to that effort – they can’t stop because the duplicitous Russians will use any letup in the artillery barrage to overrun the lines and launch a full invasion of Ukraine.

    • ThatJ says:

      Do you have a source? This is awful news if true.

    • marknesop says:

      Who, or what, is Khepesh? Have you a link for this?

    • cartman says:

      Russian media uses the term casualties for killed and injured combined. We don’t know if it is that high.

  16. yalensis says:

    Meanwhile, on the Trotsky theme:
    Just by coincidence, I saw this piece in REGNUM a few days back, and book-marked it to read. It is interesting historical vignette.

    The piece is written by Stanislav Tarasov, who is the REGNUM correspondent in Istanbul, and he writes a lot of pieces about Turkish affairs and politics.

    This particular piece links to the Turkish paper Hurriyet, which did a piece on the Trotsky house. There was some talk of turning it into a museum, but most likely it is just going to be sold by its current owners. They are asking $4.4 million for the property.
    Trotsky and his family lived in this particular house during their period of exile in Turkey, so the property has some historical interest.

    Then goes into some historical narrative. In October of 1926, Trotsky was excluded from the Politburo of the Soviet Communist Party. This was the start of the most bitter power struggle within the leadership of the Party. A year later, 7 November 1927, by vote of the Party Congress, Trotsky was voted out of the Central Committee, and soon his entire faction was expelled from the Party. A few months later, 3 January 1928, the Party decided to exile Trotsky and other members of the Opposition, but internal exile, still within the Soviet Union, but far away from Moscow. At first they thought they would send him to Astrakhan, then maybe to Alma-Ata. In 1928 one of Trotsky’s closest political colleagues, I.N. Smirnov, was arrested and exiled to Armenia. Trotsky wrote to him, hoping that they could soon be neighbours. Meanwhile, another Trotsky supporter, Yakov Bliumkin, still served as the OGPU (secret police) Resident in neighbouring Istanbul, Turkey.

    On 16 December 1928 Trotsky wrote a letter to the Central Committee of the Third International (Comintern), complaining that he had been given an ultimatum to stop political agitating with his faction, or risk further exile.

    On 18 January 1929 Trotsky was charged according to Article 58-10 of the Criminal Codex with “counter-revolutionary activity”, forming an illegal “anti-Soviet” political party, and plotting the armed overthrow of the Soviet government. The verdict was to exile Trotsky even further away, beyond the borders of the Soviet Union. Trotsky protested his exile, in a written letter. When he found out that he was to be exiled to Turkey, he was very upset, as he didn’t want to go there. He preferred to go to Germany, and even send them a request for a visa, but the German government wouldn’t take him, except only in the condition if he went there for medical treatment. Eventually, the Soviet government reached an agreement with Turkey, to take Trotsky.

    On 12 February 1929 Trotsky and his family (wife, son, and 4 other persons) arrived in Constantinople, via Odessa. On arriving in Istanbul, Trotsky and his family settled temporarily in a suite of rooms at the Soviet Embassy. However, in March 1929, the Soviet General Consul received orders from Moscow to throw Trotsky out of “Soviet territory”. One of Trotsky’s friends in the Embassy staff, who used to serve under him (Trotsky) in the Red Army, helped him to find a villa on the island of Prinkipo. The villa was a luxurious 3-storey property. Shortly after moving out of the Embassy, an embittered Trotsky gave an interview to German author and biographer Emil Ludwig, who had recently also gotten an interview with Stalin. Trotsky told Ludwig: “Russia is in a dead-end. The Five-Year Plan has not been a success. Soon we shall be seeing unemployment and an industrial collapse. The program for collectivization of the countryside is doomed to failure.”
    Ludwig asked Trotsky: “How many followers do you have in Russia?”
    “I’m not sure. My followers have been dispersed and work illegally, in the underground.”
    Ludwig: “When do you think you can operate in the open again?”
    Trotsky: “When something happens, possibly from external causes. Maybe a war, or a new European intervention. At which point, the weakness of the Soviet government will appear as a stimulant [to foreign aggression].”

    Ludwig, and also Stalin, interpreted Trotsky’s words as a call for foreign intervention to overthrow the Stalin government. [yalensis: Trotskyists interpret the words differently; Trotsky was convinced that Stalin’s incompetence had driven the country into a catastrophe which would make it more vulnerable to foreign invasion.] Stalin wrote a letter to Ludwig, begging him not to publish the interview with Trotsky.

    Around this same time another factional struggle broke out within the Central Committee. Earlier, there had been 3 faction: the Left (Trotsky), the Right (Bukharin), and the Middle (Stalin).
    Middle and Right joined in alliance to expel the Left. Then there were only 2 little Indians left (Stalin and Bukharin). Next on the agenda: Stalin vs. Bukharin. [yalensis: for people who are really interested in this latter battle, I recommend Stephen Cohen’s biography of Bukharin.]

    This duel concluded in April of 1929, with Bukharin’s defeat at the 16th Party Conference. Bukharin was removed from his post in the Comintern, and in November of 1929 was excluded from the Politburo. Bukharin’s faction (=Bukharin, Rykov and Tomsky) publicly admitted their “errors” and vowed allegiance to Stalin. At this point, Stalin had defeated all his rivals within the Communist Party.

    Meanwhile, Trotsky lived in Prinkipo for 4 years. He continued to publish materials highly critical of Stalin, the Communist Party, and the Soviet government. [yalensis: Trotsky wrote entire volumes criticizing collectivation and the agricultural policies going on at the time.]

    At the start of 1932, Trotsky and his family were formally deprived of Soviet citizenship. Within a year, he had left Turkey and re-settled in France.
    So, that was the end of the “Turkish” phase in Trotsky’s life.

    • yalensis says:

      Oops – gave totally wrong link.
      Here is link for the REGNUM piece on Trotsky’s Istanbul exile:

    • Warren says:

      According Grover Furr, Trotsky collaborated with both the Germans and Japanese to overthrow Stalin in the 30s. Furthermore Furr alleges that Trotsky connived with Zinoviev to murder Kirov, and with Tukhachevsky to overthrow Stalin, and sought German assistance.

      Click to access Furr.pdf

      • yalensis says:

        Furr presents some interesting documentary exhibits which can be interpreted in various ways.
        I plan to read and study all this material in more detail. I have seen some of this material in the past, but only just skimmed it, and it doesn’t impress me as being even remotely definitive evidence that the men in question actually committed treason. But one thing that does need to be kept in mind, in evaluating this documentation, is that one is being asked to believe that the entire Old Bolshevik cadres, the entire Central Committee of the Communist Party under Lenin, plotted treason against the nation they helped to found

        Having said that, I do think that reality was more complicated at the time, than the way Khrushchev portrayed it, as just Stalin being a paranoid madman.
        Stalin was obviously under a lot of pressure and facing many challenges. Not all of his opponents were right, nor was Stalin always wrong, in everything that he need.

        Nevertheless, I still maintain that it is LUDICROUS to believe that all these Old Bolsheviks turned traitor against the Soviet Union during its time of maximum stress. One also needs to keep in mind, that Stalin was absolutely a ruthless political player, and that he didn’t hesitate to use the secret services for political ends.

        To recap:
        The purges of 1936 and 1938 touched virtually every Old Bolshevik and member of Lenin’s Central Committee. We are supposed to believe that all of these men (Trotsky, Zinoviev, Radek, Kamenev, Rykov, Bukharin, Tukhachevsky, and dozens of others) were traitors who collaborated with foreign governments to bring down the Soviet Union?

        Just a minor point: Furr stresses that Bukharin, at least, was not physically tortured, as Stephen Cohen admits. But other evidence suggests that the interrogators threatened the men’s families, in order to coerce the confessions.

        Well, anyhow, Furr’s piece is very interesting, thanks for posting it, and I promise I will read it carefully and comment more later.

        • et Al says:

          If you are not with me, you are against me.

          Certainly not space for shilly-shallying. It’s not a bad strategy at times of maximum stress. The worst possible outcome (usually) is to be sruck with a divisive committee that agrees on nothing as everything around them falls apart. Then again, doing nothing is sometimes the best thing to do in the sense that adding one more (potentially influential) strand to an already explosive mixture only guarantees that it can get worse – I think that is Frau Merkel’s overall ethos (with exceptions).

      • Jen says:

        Is this Grover Furr the same Grover Furr who once made this statement about Joseph Stalin during a debate?
        “I have spent many years researching this and similar questions and I have yet to find one crime… that Stalin committed.”

        • yalensis says:

          Yep, Furr is pretty much a Stalin fan-boy.
          Stalin committed no crimes ever, was the perfect ruler for Russia, and never made a single fucking mistake.

          (Having said that, I do respect Furr for his historical work on the Katyn massacre.
          It’s probably mainly because of that work, that I even give him the time of day, to read this Trotsky piece, which I am in the process of doing, right now, even as we speak…..)

        • Warren says:

          Yes, it’s the same bloke.

      • spartacus says:

        After reading the better part of the file posted by Warren, I have a couple of objections to Furr’s argumentation. One objection would have to be to Furr’s assertion that Bukharin confessed to his crimes against the Soviet State and that he admitted his connections to Trotsky. The link below points to the last statement Bukharin gave at his trial, the so called “Trial of the Twenty One”:

        If you read his plea you can see that he is actually refuting the charges that are brought against him, showing them to be false and then goes on to sarcastically admitting his guilt. Kind of like this paragraph:

        “But I consider myself responsible for a grave and monstrous crime against the socialist fatherland and the whole international proletariat. I further consider myself responsible both politically and legally for wrecking activities, although I personally do not remember having given directions about wrecking activities. I did not talk about this. I once spoke positively on this subject to Grinko. Even in my testimony I mentioned that I had once told Radek that I considered this method of struggle as not very expedient. Yet Citizen the State Prosecutor makes me out to be a leader of the wrecking activities.”

        As you can see, he confesses to something then goes right on to reject the charge he just confessed being guilty with. What kind of definitive admission of guilt is that? If you read the entire plea you can find that it is full of such “confessions”.

        Other objection would be to the fact that Furr, at least this is my understanding after reading the .pdf file, seems to take the statements of the ones accusing Trotsky of collaborating with Germany and Japan to be the truth. He argues that the accusation must be true because they all say so and their statements agree in this respect. I disagree. If I were Stalin and I would need to make Trotsky and other political enemies guilty of treason, I would simply instruct the guy running the purges, in this case Yezhov, I think, to tell the people being investigated that they will receive better treatment if they play nice and confess what needs confessing. Regarding the use of torture, that may have not been used directly but, we must not forget, that on 8th April 1935 a law was passed that decreed that children of the age of twelve and over, who were found guilty of crimes, would be subjected to the same punishment as adults, up to and including the death penalty. I find that disgusting. Imagine a 12 year old child being shot for being a conspirator! I’m sure that many of those accused had children and that this law was one of the coercion instruments used by the investigators.

        On top of that, there are methods of torture like sleep deprivation that do not use physical violence but have a devastating effect on one’s ability to withstand prolonged and aggressive interrogation.

        I also have a problem with Furr’s assesment of Valentin Olberg’s testimony as indication of Trotsky’s collaboration with Germany. Sedov helped Valentin’s brother Paul to get the money he needed for a fake Honduran passport for Valentin. Paul went to a guy working for the Gestapo, bribed him and got the passport he needed. In Furr’s view this indicates that Trotsky was working with the Gestapo. I see only a typical case of corruption, but that’s just me. And then there is the Lur’e confession that sounds like this:

        “I have committed a most serious crime against the Soviet people. I wished, according to an assignment of Trotsky, leader of the terrorist center, to deprive the Soviet people and the whole world proletariat of the leader Stalin and other leaders of the great communist party.”

        Indeed, this sounds like a true confession, not fake and redacted at all. And goes on and on.
        I so wish I could address every aspect of Furr’s paper but, as it is allready 04:00 AM, Bucharest time, I’m afraid I must get some sleep. In four hours I must get up and go to work. As a personal opinion, I think Furr’s bias towards taking Stalin’s side is showing in this case and is impeding his investigation.

        • yalensis says:

          Dear Spartacus:
          You must be a faster reader than me, because I am not even a quarter of my way through the .pdf!
          But right off the bat I was NOT impressed with Furr’s first piece of “documentary evidence”, namely:
          Trotsky’s telegram to the Soviet government, calling upon it to reject Stalin and return to “Soviet democracy”. The NKVD intercepted the telegram and handed it over directly to Stalin. Who scribbled in the margin: “Shpionskaya rozha!” (“Spying snout!”)

          Furr takes this graffiti as serious evidence that Stalin actually believed Trotsky to be a foreign spy.
          Because, why else would he write that on a note that would be seen only by himself and his close associates? Furr’s reasoning being that, if Stalin and his associates had made up the charge against Trotsky, then their conscience (or sense of reality) would prevent them for continuing with this masquerade, at least in their private conversations.

          Well, I don’t find such “evidence” to be compelling at all!
          Among themselves, Stalin and his colleagues probably called Trotsky every name in the book, including some unprintable ones.
          And maybe at some psychological level, Stalin actually DID believe that Trotsky was a Japanese agent – maybe some intriguer whispered in his ear, and he came to believe it – who knows?

          Furr also makes a big production number out of the fact that Trotsky led an underground Opposition within the Soviet Union, and was plotting to overthrow the government.
          Well, – duh! Trotsky made no bones that he wanted to see a coup d’etat that would remove Stalin from Party leadership. Trotsky never gave up hope that he himself would someday return to power at the leadership of the Party. And it’s true that he had his own political faction, which happened to be illegal, because the Soviet Union under Stalin did not accept multiple political parties (or even multiple factions any more within the Party, for that matter).
          Therefore, Trotsky had tactically called for a a “political revolution” against the Stalin regime. A “political revolution” defined as a change of power at the top, WITHOUT a corresponding social or class revolution at the bottom. Because the class revolution had already occurred, and the Soviet Union was already a dictatorship of the proletariat. So, according to Trotsky, all it needed now was a “change of decorations”, in Chernyshevsky’s words, i.e., new cadres in the ruling faction. Primarily, a removal of Stalin, whom Trotsky considered to be an obstacle to the revolutionary cause. LIke I said, Trotsky made no bones about his plans, but Furr recoils in virginal horror, and acts like it was such a huge and awesome act of treason to even contemplate removing Stalin from his position as General Secretary of the Party

          • yalensis says:

            P.S. – get some sleep dude, this can wait!
            Noapte buna.

          • spartacus says:

            “You must be a faster reader than me…”

            Nope, not really, I just took advantage of the fact that the wife and daughter were out of the house and I was able to dedicate about 4 hours of reading to that file. I still have about 45 pages to go, but I think I allready have a decent picture of Furr’s argumentation.

            “Therefore, Trotsky had tactically called for a a “political revolution” against the Stalin regime. A “political revolution” defined as a change of power at the top, WITHOUT a corresponding social or class revolution at the bottom.”

            That’s a very good point. Stalin’s opponents just wanted a change of leadership. In my case, if I were an Old Bolshevik I think I would have also supported the removal of Stalin. Also Lenin was one of those who considered him unfit for the position of Secretary General. I think that while his performance at the helm of the Soviet Union during the Great Patriotic War was a decent one, the way he hijacked the revolution and turned it into his personal dictatorship was actually counter-revolutionary and I especially disagree with him executing a lot of valuable Communists in order to strengthen his rule. For example, to pick just one case, I think that the purge of Isaak Illich Rubin, the most important expert of his time in Marx’s theory of value, was a big mistake that deprived Marxism of one of its sharpest minds. In my personal case, Rubin’s writings helped me grasp Marx’s labour theory of value, especially the concept of abstract labour with which I was struggling at the time. There are many cases like this and, in my view, Stalin is the only one responsible for the virtual gutting of the Communist intellectual elite. Just to get a picture of the methods used:

            “Rubin was arrested on December 23, 1930, and accused of being a member of the All-Union Bureau of Mensheviks, a fictitious secret organisation. Rubin, a trained lawyer and an economist, outwitted his first interrogators and the first charge was dropped; he was then transferred to a cell in Suzdal, where he was placed in solitary confinement and subjected to sleep deprivation.

            On January 28, 1931, Rubin was brought to another cell, where he was shown another prisoner and told that if he did not confess, the prisoner would be shot. Rubin refused and the prisoner was executed before him. The process was repeated the next night. After the second shooting, Rubin negotiated a “confession” with his interrogators, who insisted that he implicate his mentor David Riazanov as a member of a secret Menshevik conspiracy.”


   (includes primary sources)

            See, no physical torture involved…

            • yalensis says:

              Yup. Rubin’s case is just one of many sad cases.
              A lot of good people and cadres were wasted, just because the Stalinist clique did not trust the Old Guard. It is really infuriating to read, how cruel people could be to each other, instead of all just trying to support each other.

              As for the concept of political revolution, Trotsky laid out this concept pretty clearly in his book, Revolution Betrayed.
              Trotsky fit his political strategy into the Marxist economic framework.
              He contrasted “social revolutions” (such as the October revolution which abolished capitalism) with “political revolutions”, where the property relations remain untouched, and only the government changes.
              Trotsky called for socialist revolution in all capitalist countries, but only a “political revolution” in the Soviet Union. He wanted to keep the basic structure: Soviet government, even one-party rule. Just wanted to clear our Stalin and his (Stalin-appointed) apparatchiki.
              Later, both before and after Trotsky’s death, there were major splits in the Trotskyist movement. Factions split off at different times, and for different reasons (especially Molotov-Ribbentrop, where they lost most of their Jewish cadre), but once a faction split off, it invariously would start questioning whether or not the Soviet Union HAD actually returned to capitalism. After which, they would invariably throw the baby out with the bath water.
              Which it most decisively had NOT. (Returned to capitalism.) That didn’t happen until 1989, and you only have to look at that history, to sense the difference between a Stalin (=somewhat power-hungry and corrupt bureaucrat) and a Yeltsin (=tool of oligarchic privatization and compradore bourgeoisie).

              Many people have called Trotsky “arrogant”, and he probably was. He was convinced that only an intellectual such as himself (or Lenin), men who had higher degrees and had written books, were capable of governing a socialist government in a constant state of peril. He just didn’t think that Stalin had the chops for the job. He and the other Old Bolsheviks laughed at Stalin’s attempt to write a book. And they made a big deal out of the fact that Lenin (in his last will) had called for Stalin’s removal. The dying Lenin was upset with Stalin, who had been rude to his (Lenin’s) wife. But Stalin’s people had Lenin’s will doctored (allegedly), and those passages removed, before reading it out to the people.

              In the end, I guess it turned out okay, Stalin was okay for the job and got the country through the war, and so on. But that’s hindsight. In the 1930’s, it DID really look to Trotsky and the others that the country was falling apart at the seams. They weren’t sure it could survive even one day under real attack. That’s when they got very serious in their underground plotting for a political revolution, and maybe there even was some talk of a military coup, with Tukhachevsky, and so on.
              Haven’t gotten to that part of Furr’s thesis yet, though.

              • bolasete says:

                personally, i’m with uncle joe. stalin was one of the ‘old, original bolsheviks’ and not some usurper. in us analytical, anti-soviet circles it’s straightforward orthodox opinion that democratic centralism held throughout stalin’s life. uncle joe wasn’t some devil-inspired, god-protected bogeyman; don’t make a straw man out of him. though not an intellectual in the style of lenin or even trotsky, stalin was brilliant, and to this day i try to follow his advice: conclusions should come after investigation, not before.

                • Moscow Exile says:

                  Uncle Joe was a gun totin’, rootin’ tootin’ bandit. He robbed banks he did – for the cause.

                  Lenin was a bloody lawyer!

                • yalensis says:

                  Yeah, it’s true that Stalin was NOT the devil, nor the monster that he is depicted in Western propaganda. He WAS an Old Bolshevik, and Lenin valued him. Up until the end, when Lenin lay dying, and the serious power struggle began. At which point, Lenin had second thoughts about the notion of Stalin taking over the General Secretary position. But by then it was too late. If Lenin had lived one more year, Stalin probably would have had HIM executed as a German spy.

                  I don’t actually have a lot of problems with Stalin. I don’t believe the Western propaganda which demonizes him, I don’t think he killed millions of people or tortured kittens. I believe that Russian citizens SHOULD be allowed to carry banners of Stalin at Victory Day parades. As something that was due him as the war leader who led his nation to victory.
                  I believe that Khrushchev exagerrated in laying out the “crimes of Stalin”.
                  Although, by the same token, I think Khrushchev was also not always wrong about everything, and is often unfairly maligned.

                  One thing Stalin did do, though, which was unforgiveable, was completely wipe out the Old Bolshevik party and virtually all of the cadres of the party that Lenin had built. Furr can shuck and jive all he wants about the Great Helmsman, but just do this simple exercise: Look up the roster of the Central Committee of the Communist Party in 1918, and then compare with the lists of those purged in 1936 and 1938.
                  This was equivalent to the anti-Jacobin Thermidor (=French Revolution and Counter-Revolution) on steroids.

                  Trotsky and Zinoviev were no more German spies than Robespierre was a secret monarchist. It’s all about the power struggle dude, and how best to slander one’s political enemies.

                  Another thing to keep in mind is just how dangerous it is when any nation, ESPECIALLY a socialist one or People’s Republic, starts banning political parties. If you can’t have competitive elections, then many bad things can happen.

                  In a “normal” Soviet-type country (I know, I hate myself for using that word), there would be multiple political parties: a Stalin party (Center), a Trotsky party (Left), a Bukharin party (Right), etc. Each with its own economic plan, and vision of the future. For example, Trotsky supported agricultural collectivization, but not the way Stalin did it. Bukharin opposed collectivization and supported NEP-type small-business capitalism.

                  Even when there is only one allowed political party (and China is an example where they have somehow made this work), there could still be factions and healthy debate within that party. When factions are banned too (and also physically murdered), as Stalin did, then I think you can see that “healthy debate” is not really possible.

                  Then you just end up with “Do this because Stalin says so.”
                  And what if Stalin says or orders something that is stupid?
                  Then nobody can object to his stupid ideas, and people suffer.
                  That’s why “soviet democracy” or “workers democracy”, or whatever you want to call it, is STILL a better idea than just blindly following a leader. However intelligent that leader might be.

          • Jen says:

            I did start perusing Grover Furr’s article but about the halfway point or two-thirds of the way I had the impression that Furr was grasping at every straw to demonstrate Trotsky’s perfidy. To say that Trotsky was in contact with German and Japanese government officials, and that certain German and Japanese government officials were in contact with opposition politicians and other people against Stalin in the Soviet Union, and then to suggest that Trotsky had been communicating with those particular government officials without being able to offer any evidence in support of that conclusion is a classic example of begging the question.

            • yalensis says:

              Dear Jen:
              I’m only about half-way through Furr’s opus, so I haven’t yet gotten to the juicy part, about the Japanese/German spying. Although Furr, in his usual loquacious manner, has stipulated about a dozen times, that he doesn’t have any actual proof or “smoking gun”.
              But just waxes on and on about his special “methodology”.

              If Furr could actually prove that Trotsky met (knowingly) with a German or Japanese government agent (or even an American one, for that matter), and plotted to assassinate Stalin or overthrow the Soviet government, then that would do it for me: I would be the first one to travel to Mexico and spit on Trotsky’s grave. But so far he hasn’t shown anything which convinces me. (I’m up to around page 50.)

              Actually, the bit about the Hotel Bristol was pretty good, I admit. Furr does make a clever case that one of the witnesses might have actually entered what he thought to be the Hotel Bristol in Copenhagen (actually entering a pastry shop connected with the former hotel). This was not bad. But at most proved that maybe the witness was actually in Copenhagen, and maybe did actually meet with somebody in the pastry shop, and that they conspired to do something together. But aside from that, doesn’t really prove anything.

              Furr obviously believes that he is building this monumental case, based on circumstantial evidence, tiny brick by tiny brick. He thinks that if he can prove, that IFTrotsky lied to the Dewey Commission, about never having had any communication with the Zinoviev faction, then that proves, ipso facto, that Trotsky lied about EVERYTHING. Including being a spy for the Gestapo!

              Actually, I am pretty sure that Trotsky DID have some secret communications with other Old Bolsheviks, including Zinoviev. It was probably secret letters smuggled in, of the type: “Hey, Grisha, isn’t it time we put our old differences aside and joined forces against that bastard Stalin?” If Furr wasn’t such a blithering Stalinist fan-boy, then maybe he wouldn’t see these acts as so horrific and beyond the pale. “They smuggled letters and said bad things about Uncle Joe – GASP!”

              I could also see, and condone, how Trotsky and Sedov might have NEEDED to lie about their secret contacts with other Opps and factions within Soviet Union. These people, Trotsky’s fervent supporters, WERE operating underground, and illegally, as it were, since the Stalin regime forbade all oppositionist political activity. Trotsky would not have wanted to get even more people arrested, tortured and executed, than was strictly necessary.
              It should be kept in mind that literally thousands of Trotskyist oppositionists, most of them Old Bolsheviks, were arrested and exiled to labor camps, sometimes imprisoned and tortured. Life was very hard for them during those years. Why would Trotsky want to say or do anything which could rope in even more of his supporters and/or allies into the dragnet?

              Furr seems to understand this point, but you can tell that he has no basic sympathy for any of these people. He seems to think, that Stalin was such a great guy, that anyone who opposed him in any way basically just got what they deserved.

  17. Warren says:

    Retard – professional British anti-Russian propagandist and agitator

    • marknesop says:

      “Such an obvious attempt by the British side to wreck at its own will the established international order which testifies to a dangerous gamble by the UK in respect of the Russian diplomatic and consular missions.”

      In diplo-speak, them’s fightin’ words. Naturally this should lead to the British Embassy in Russia’s immediate eviction. The more this goes on, the more it appears – incredible as it may seem – that we actually are headed for another World War, at the west’s insistence.

      • kirill says:

        Russia should make it clear that it will come out swinging with nuclear weapons. There should be no hint of a thought in the minds of the NATO-tard leadership that they will get a conventional war.

        I think it is urgent for Russia to start cranking up the number of deployed nuclear warheads. A return to peak numbers seen during the 1980s would be a good start.

      • Moscow Exile says:

        Here’s the e-mail alert I received this morning off H.M.Govt. via its site GOV.UK, to which site, loyal subject of the crown that I am, I subscribe:

        British Embassy Moscow statement regarding visa service in Russia

        • marknesop says:

          So….what? Are the Russians just over-dramatizing the whole thing?

          • Moscow Exile says:

            They still ask Mrs. Exile what her relationship, if any, is with me and demand a full itinerary of her planned travels in the UK and a statement concerning the amount of money she intends to take with her to the UK whenever she applies for a visa to travel to the Sceptred Isle with her children and me, her husband and the father of her children.

            They also make it perfectly clear to her that should she overstay the period of validity of a visa issued to her, she may not be granted another visa in future.

            I shall have been married to Mrs. Exile for 18 years this November and she has borne me 3 children who are all British citizens, all of which means nought to the British bureaucracy, as Mrs. Exile is an Orc.

            • Lyttenburgh says:

              “I shall have been married to Mrs. Exile for 18 years this November and she has borne me 3 children who are all British citizens, all of which means nought to the British bureaucracy, as Mrs. Exile is an Orc.”

              I say! Orkz can be posh and sofisticated as hell too, you know? 😉

              • Moscow Exile says:

                True, though never forget that you may take an Orc out of Mordor, but you can never take Mordor out of an Orc!

      • Warren says:

        i expect the Russians to respond like wise, cue the hypocritical cries of indignation an shock from Perfidious Albion.

  18. Warren says:

    • kirill says:

      Isn’t Skillt an actual participant of the death squad paramilitaries operated by the Kiev regime in the Donbas? The only legitimate target here is Skillt. Even if Phillips was a drone he isn’t a butcher. And I can turn Skillt’s “logic” right around and claim the NATO media is a legitimate target as well.

  19. yalensis says:

    Absolutely putrid op-ed even for normally putrid Huff Post. Penned by Bushie neo-con Kristofer Harrison.
    Where to even start?
    Harrison’s job is two-fold: (1) to slime Congressman John Conyers as a Putinoid stooge; and (2) to whitewash Azov Battalion. (“Nazis? what Nazis?”)

    In the course of which, Harrison can’t get any of his facts straight, he is so dumb (“How dumb is he?”), he is so dumb that he confuses Yanukovych with Yushchenko:
    Ukraine’s volunteer battalions are slowly coming under the tent of the Ukrainian government, after having been born as private units in the chaos of Yushchenko’s abdication… – snort.

    One of the best comments I saw was this one by Andrej Schmelzer in Berlin, Germany. Schmelzer makes a couple of really good points that I never even thought of before:

    the author is not exactly informed:

    Ukraine’s volunteer battalions are slowly coming under the tent of the Ukrainian government, after having been born as private units in the chaos of Yushchenko’s abdication, Russia’s invasion and Russian-created dysfunction at Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense (Yushchenko’s defense minister was actually a Russian citizen). And to be sure, the Azov Battalion has not always been a public relations darling. The battalion ceded the early information war, shying from an aggressive defense against Russia’s propaganda, and from putting out PR fires.

    Seriously, that is like confusing President Abraham Linclon with president Jeferson Davis.

    It is usefull because it shows just how “accurate” this “analysis” is.

    While Russian media certainly exaggerates the Nazi movement in Ukraine (according to Russian media, the proportion is like 50%, in reality it is more like 15%), the fascists are gaining strength as long as violent conditions persist, and the fascists are also armed, which gives them effectively a veto over any peace process, and since they like thing staying violent, they will veto any peace agreement by force of arms. These fascist forces are also the ones willing to kill and die, which makes them more effective in fighting in Donbass then the regular army.

    As it stands, the rebels fight to not be ruled by Kiev, while Kiev/Lviv/Dnipro fights to rule over them. Unsurprisingly, this makes the rebels far more motivated.
    The incredibly law draft turnouts also state clearly that few Ukrainian citizens are much interested in fighting and dieing to make Kiev rule donbass.

    Maidan was in some ways a fight to not be ruled by Donbass (people in Donbass were not very interested in ruling over Kiev anyway, but the overcentralized nature of post Soviet Ukraine means that ruling over Kiev is neccessary if you want to be left alone. The Donbass elites are of course another story), which made Maidan at that time more motivated.

    As long as the rebels dont make the mistake of advancing into areas where they would be opressors (Dnipro, Nikolajev, Kiev itself, Lviv taking those places and occupying them would completely outstrip rebel manpower), Russian support, Kievs mistakes and superior motivation will see them persist successfully.

    One of the interesting points that Schmelzer makes is that: “Maidan was in some ways a fight to not be ruled by Donbass….” This is the flip side of the Separatist insurgency that people mostly ignore, or don’t think about. The Western Ukrainians and nationalists hated the people of Donbass for quite some time, they regard these people as pure Soviet-type vermin. For 20-some years, the two sides, one of which despised the other, were forced to live together in one state, alternating between a Western and an Eastern president.
    [similar to U.S., where Northerners have to put up with a Southern President, and vice versa, every few years].

    Maidan finally gave the Western side a chance to completely turn the tables and exclude the despised Eastern side from any future participation in the governing of the country.
    The price they paid, was to lose a chunk of territory.
    That was unanticipated by them.
    As Karl and others have pointed out, the Ukrainian nationalists want the LAND of Donbass, they just don’t want the people who inhabit it. “A land without a people…” where have we heard that before?

    • Max says:

      You don’t need lots of Nazis, just enough to terrify the liberals.

      • yalensis says:

        The difference between a liberal and neo-con is how they treat their pet Nazis.

        Liberal: “I put a plate of food for you out in the back. Please go now, before anybody sees you.”
        neo-con [looking the Nazi straight in the eyes and holding out his hand to be shaken]: “Good job, son!”

    • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

      Who cares if this or that Maidanaut calls himself a National Socialist, a Social-Nationalist, and Integral Nationalist, a national democrat or a national liberal? Anybody who still believes in Maidan is a-ok with the likes of Andriy Biletsky, and if they’re not Nazis themselves, then they’re not not Nazis either.

      The correct figure is one hundred per cent – куод эрат демонстрандум.

    • marknesop says:

      The Marine snipers in Afghanistan chose to pose with the Waffen SS flag because it stood for “Scout Sniper” is all of a piece with the rank bullshit that the Wolfsangel stands for “New International” and the crosshairs Team Palin superimposed on certain Democrats’ pictures just shortly before nutbar Jared Loughner shot one of them, Gabrielle Giffords, in the head. Team Palin’s stammering excuse was that those were not really crosshairs, they were the alignment marks you see in the scope of a surveyor’s transit.

      Passing off the Wolfsangel symbol as indicative of “New International” is horseshit as well – the word for “New” in both Ukrainian and Russian begins with the Cyrillic letter “H”. Why would their symbol be in English characters? How stupid do they think we are? In fact, when it becomes an issue and people are saying “Hey; what the hell is this?”, they scramble around for anything else it could mean.

      If they wanted to pose with a symbol that included the letters “SS”, they could have chosen the Camaro SS, or any number of other suggestive images. Once again, how dumb do they think we are?

      Harrison is Yatsenyuk’s man in Washington, and Washington rationalizes that you do anything you have to do, tell as many lies as you have to tell, to get to where you need to go. Then you say “Sorry, sorry” afterward and beg for forgiveness and say you’ve gotten Jesus – works every time, just like put your dick in their hand, and start to cry.

  20. Warren says:

    Spanish ships accused of ‘violating’ Gibraltar’s territory

    • marknesop says:

      I should say so, too; don’t they know that all you need to do is come near the British territorial limit or the edge of British airspace for it to be a violation? This comes under the “You were going to violate it, I could tell” sub-codicil to western territorial limits, often employed with rousing success against the Russians.

    • ThatJ says:

      I am surprised to see Eva Herman in this video. She was a popular TV host who, I recall, was fired for praising Nazi Germany’s family policy, and for being anti-feminist in general. Eva became a mother late in life.

      Eva said that bad things happened in the Third Reich, but she also praised its virtues, like the appreciation of motherhood. She accused the ’68 generation, the cradle of modern German feminism, of being responsible for the current “social salad”.

      As a dissident, she ranks right there along with Udo Ulfkotte.

  21. kirill says:

    Look where the blowhard former head of NATO ended up. Perhaps Transparency International can tells us all how squeaky clean and not corrupt this is.

  22. yalensis says:

    Ukrainian support for joining EU has gone down.
    According to a recent poll taken by the NGO “Democratic Initiative” or Razumovsky Fund, support for joining EU has gone down, in the past year, from 57% (last year) to 51% (now).

    Even this number is misleading, according to political analyst Kost Bondarenko.
    When the poll was taken last year, it included ALL of then-Ukraine, including Crimea and Donbass.
    Today, the same poll covers only regular Ukraine, excluding Crimea and Donbass. Therefore, this is 51% of the WESTERN Ukrainians who support joining EU. Which is still a majority, but not as overwhelming as it used to be.

    Bondarenko ascribes the drop to disillusonment, now that people have figured out, that their previous expectations were too high, and that they won’t get a visa-free access to Europe in the near future.

    • marknesop says:

      How many Ukrainians want it would mean exactly nil point shit if such an initiative was in the actual making, though, and you know it. There’d be a big PR blitz, suppression of the dissenting vote, and presto! “everyone” in Ukraine would be supportive of it. Such poll figures are only allowed to become public knowledge now because there is as much chance of Ukraine joining the Svalbard Archipelago as the European Union.

  23. Lyttenburgh says:

    Fulfillment of the mobilisation quotas in the Ukrainian regions (in percentage)

    Well, шановні панове! Це зрада! Як так вийшло, що представники расово чистої, ДІЙСНОЇ України з Івана-Франківська, Львівщини та Галичині не хочуть захищати свою Рiдну Нэньку Україну? Чому так мало добровольців з областей де зародилася вольниця козацька?! А монголо-кацапи із залишків Лугандона (тьфу!) Просто таки валом валять у військкомати?!

    • So the junta-controlled Lugansk is 100% ready to fight against the LPR?

      • Jen says:

        Just from looking at the map, we can’t know for sure. “Mobilisation” might simply mean a whole bunch of people of military draft age plus under-aged schoolkids and a batch of aged pensioners were press-ganged into signing up for the army. Doesn’t mean that the people who signed up or were forced to sign up are loyal to Kiev. Without more information as to how the mobilisation was done, and how well, we should treat the quotas with suspicion.

        • marknesop says:

          Yes, I agree – the numbers represent the “take” in a given region and do not reflect enthusiastic support. Not necessarily, anyway, although I am ready to believe most anything from the western haters.

    • marknesop says:

      Surprising to see nearly 60% in Odessa. Mind you, it’s not as if they are canvassing for volunteers. But when you look at the might arrayed against tiny Donetsk and Lugansk, and then consider that Kiev says they are fighting the whole of the Russian army there, you can see why they will grasp at any fairy tale rather than admit they can’t take it.

  24. yalensis says:

    News flash!
    Barack Obama recognizes Donbass as independent nation!

    Well, not exactly true.
    But also not exactly a joke.
    Read the piece and you’ll see the irony.

  25. Tim Owen says:

    Best laugh of the day:

    Bit of a set trap to say the least but it’s a joy to see how they fall in.

  26. ThatJ says:

    Russian politician Vladimir Zhirinovsky explains why Russia is banning Western funded NGOs

    • ThatJ says:

      As soon as we see American trace, then these are all aggressive anti-Russian organizations. What if there is no trace? How to determine? Look at the name. “Human rights” – 90% anti-Russian organizations. “Open community”, “freedom”, “democracy”, “voice”, “elections” … 90% of them are [anti-Russian organizations].

    • Max says:

      “National Endowment for Democracy – sounds pretty”

      Was he on a time limit? There was a bell at the end, and he just stopped talking.

  27. Warren says:

    • marknesop says:

      I love that poem. How the hell does it rhyme in English?

      • yalensis says:

        Leave us alone. You jerks are totally unable
        To even clean the crap from out our stable.
        And Liths and Liakhs, and all those shits
        Can basically just eat my grits.

        (Alexander Pushkin – sort of….)

        • marknesop says:

          Sleep soundly in your earthy bed, Pushkin; worry not
          no challenger arises to lighten mankind’s lot
          with verse that cheers the heart and soothes the senses –
          it’s just another effort from Yalensis.

          • yalensis says:

            Heed not the babbling, slanderous Mark,
            He’s bold indeed in tongue, but hark!
            His palsied hand doth reach in vain for Izmail’s bayonet.
            From Finland’s icy mounts to hot Colchian steppe,
            On Putler’s stern bequest, he screws the pooch,
            And shows himself, alas, to be a Kremlin Stooge!

            • marknesop says:

              There once was a guy named Yalensis
              Who, in poetry, swung for the fences
              His rhymes were too sweet
              for even Sesame Street
              And they struck Mr. Rogers quite senseless

  28. Moscow Exile says:



    “Выскажу немодную точку зрения. Многие об этом думают, но не каждый решится сказать вслух. Я считаю, что Украине оккупированный Донбасс вообще не нужен. Это путы, которые связывают страну. Сейчас следует поступить, как в свое время Финляндия. Она, словно ящерица, отбрасывающая при опасности свой хвост, отсекла спорные территории. И нам надо уйти из Донбасса и двигаться в Европу без этого хвоста”, – убежден депутат.

    I shall speak out a point of view that is unfashionable. Many people think about this, but not everyone dare say it aloud. I believe that the Ukraine does not need occupied [“occupied”, that is, by the Russians! – ME] Donbas. This path [i.e. the policy of maintaining a “whole” Ukraine, including those areas that do not wish to be ruled from Kiev by Galitsians – ME] shackles the country. What should be done now is what was done in its own time in Finland, which, as does a lizard when in danger shed its tail, cut off its disputed territory. [He’s talking about large parts of what is now Russian Karelia and the Karelian isthmus with its city of Vyborg, notwithstanding the fact that Finland tried its damndest to retrieve its discarded tail, those “lost territories”, as soon as the Third Reich attacked the USSR in 1940 – ME]. And we too need to get away from the Donbass and move into Europe without this tail”, the delegate exhorted.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      Last translated sentence above should also be in italics, thus:

      And we too need to get away from the Donbass and move into Europe without this tail”, the delegate exhorted.

      I suppose that delegate is now in line for a reprimand, or worse, off Ripped Sphincter.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      Is this an indication that the Ukraine is considering throwing the Donbas under a bus, and if so, then under whose orders – Nudelmann’s, Pyatt’s?

      • ThatJ says:

        If that were to happen, new People’s Republics would start popping up in neighbouring oblasts, Kharkov being a prime target.

    • marknesop says:

      He’s quoting Motyl. I think.

  29. Moscow Exile says:

    They started it!

    Украина обвинила ДНР в нарушении перемирия, обстреляв Горловку, Белокаменку и Донецк

    Having bombarded Gorlovka, Belokamen and Donetsk, the Ukraine has accused the Donetsk People’s Republic of breaching the ceasefire

    Well they would say that, wouldn’t they?

    They always do.

  30. yalensis says:

    Israel Shamir has another great op-ed , this one called “Over a Slow Fire”. This one makes very tough reading, as Shamir not at all optimistic about Syria’s prospects for survival as a nation-state. Seems like Americans are succeeding in their strategic goal of busting up and “yugoslaving” Syria into mutually-hostile ethnic entities. All the better for Americans to control the piecelets and take what they wish for their own purposes.

    Anyhow, here is a brief summary of Shamir’s points:

    In the past Turkey opposed Assad and assisted the rebels, but only perfunctorily.
    That suddenly changed recently.
    Barack Obama phoned Erdogan and presented him with an ultimatum. Erdogan has to assist in the struggle against “ISIL” while also renouncing his plans to participate in Russia’s South Stream project.

    Seems like Erdogan has complied, and capitulated completely. The Americans will start using the base in İzmir to launch bombing raids against Syria. Americans plan to cut off a piece of Syria and set up their own government, but they can’t do this without the help of the Turks.

    The Pentagon is training hundreds of terrorists and sending them into Syria. These terrorists have been cast in the role of “moderate oppositionists” supposedly fighting on 2 fronts: against Assad and also against IGIL (=Al Qaeda).

    Also in the mix is “An-Nusra”, the local chapter of Al Qaeda, which receives Israeli support. Americans would like for Nusra to overthrow Assad, and then quietly go away.

    Meanwhile, the main business of ethnic cleansing is taking place. This is called “exchange of populations”, and consists of separating ethnic groups into different neighborhoods, moving people around, etc. The Christians and other who support Assad, will be moved into safer neighborhoods under the control of the Syrian army. Sunnis and others who support An-Nusra will be moved into Al Qaeda/IGIL-controlled neighborhoods.
    Thus, according to Shamir, the delicate fabric of Syrian society, which took literally thousands of years to build, is being unravelled thread by thread.

    Syria still has 2 major allies: Russia and Iran. They are doing what they can to save Syria, but their job just got way harder, with Turkey going over decisively into American camp.
    In addition to flipping on Syria and also South Stream, Erdogan is also showing his anti-Russian side by sponsoring anti-Russian Crimea diaspora groups. Thus setting up further conflicts in that arena, as well as possible terrorist attacks.

    • So the West won in Syria, Ukraine and Turkey?

      • Moscow Exile says:

        Who would have thought that you, of all people, would have posed such a question?

        Let’s hear your mantra again:

        Russia is weak! Russia is weak! Russia is weak!
        The West is Strong! The West is strong! The West is strong!
        Russia is weak! Russia is weak! Russia is weak!

        ad infinitum

        Whose pisser do you think you are pulling?

        Not mine, anyway!

        • Yes, Russia is weak and the West is strong but that does not mean that Russia is “bad” and the West is “good”. Russia just tends to lose these geopolitical battles because it is not as ruthless and yes, “strong” as the West is.

      • Jen says:

        Last time I looked at anything to do with Syria and Turkey, President Assad was still alive and well and doing his President act, and the Turkish ambassador to Russia had had his arse kicked in a meeting with Putin.

        English translation of what Putin apparently told the ambassador:

        Tell your dictator Erdogan to go to hell and that unless he stops well established and easily proven support for ISIS, Russia will sever diplomatic relations. We are prepared to turn Syria into a big Stalingrad for Turkey and her Saudi allies and their vicious little gang of Hitlers.

        Your little dictator is a hypocrite, attacking the military coup in Egypt while, at the same time, he is trying to overthrow the elected government of Syria. As it stands, China, Iran and Russia will guarantee the survival of Syria.”

        Does this look as if Syrians are joining the Novorossiyans under the bus?

        • yalensis says:

          Hee hee – LOVE IT if it’s true!

          Maybe Erdogan jumped the shark one too many times, when he started openly backing that little shit Mustafa Dzhemilev.

        • marknesop says:

          What it looks like is that Erdogan has overstepped with his playing both ends against the middle, and the option of choosing Russia has just flown out the window. So Washington wins Turkey; let’s see what they do with it. Meanwhile, it might be wise to abandon plans to route Russian gas to Europe altogether, because it looks like Washington’s plan is through Ukraine or nothing. A Black Sea pipeline could come ashore in Greece and bypass Turkey altogether, but Greece is pretty unstable. And as soon as that intention was made known, efforts at destabilizing it even further would intensify.

  31. Lyttenburgh says:


    Well – it finally happened! One of the pillars of the “neutral”, “non-judgemental” and “unbiased” Russia-reporting, a man, who lived in Russia and studied it’s history, Mark Galeotti finally decided to join the ranks of Russophobic War-hawks:

    Time for a New Strategy in Russia
    The Current Sanctions Regime Has Failed—Here’s What to Do Next
    Whether or not the West’s sanctions against Russia have been a success depends to a considerable degree on what one thinks the sanctions were meant to achieve and how quickly. More than a year on, Crimea remains occupied, Russia continues to interfere in Ukraine, and the longer-term goal of forcing the Kremlin to accept and abide by the accepted norms of international behavior remains out of reach. The Russian economy is suffering, but more because of low oil prices and structural economic weaknesses than the impact of sanctions, and Russian President Vladimir Putin appears to have concluded that the costs are bearable.

    So what now? Should the West simply be patient, or is it time for a change in strategy?

    One of the reasons that the sanctions regime has not been more effective is that Moscow believes it can easily strike back at the West, dividing the allies and undermining their will to maintain the current restrictions. So long as Moscow believes an end to sanctions is on the horizon, it will not be tempted to enact any substantive change.

    The West should ensure not only that it is as resistant as possible to Russian manipulation, but also that it is seen as such. Measures such as accelerating the development of the European Energy Union can minimize Russia’s ability to use its oil and gas supplies as leverage against the West. The energy union may not exist fully until 2030, but by simply giving it priority, Europe can communicate its commitment to denying Moscow markets and options. This is, after all, a war of signals and symbols as much as it is one of concrete action.

    The rest of Russia’s leverage comes from propaganda and the buying of influence—especially through Moscow’s often-covert support for political movements abroad that undermine Western unity, from anti-federalist parties in Europe all the way to Texan separatists. It is crucial for the West to bring greater transparency to the flow of money into and out of Russia and to counteract Moscow’s information warfare. The latter will require not fighting propaganda with propaganda, but discrediting biased media, challenging outright lies, and cultivating a climate of skepticism toward Russian disinformation.

    I just… I simply can’t – CAN’T! – imagine any “facepalm” pic thay could possibly convey even a small fraction of my feelings right now. Really, Galeotti? “Moscow backs Texan separatists”? But in the article YOU linked it’s only said that:

    But partnering up with the Anti-Globalization Movement of Russia is … not very savvy.

    The Anti-Globalization Movement lists several partners on its Website. These include the Russian nationalist group IA Rex, the Website Infodessa — which urges for the city of Odessa to secede from Ukraine — and the Veche organization, which seeks the “restoration of Russia as a cultural, civilizational and geopolitical unifying force in the former Soviet republics.”

    Another partner is a social media group called FTU — for “Fuck the U.S.A.”

    How can supposedly smart person equate “Moscow” (as in – “the government of Russia”) with just about any organisation, union, faction etc. within Russia? And waht about this nonsense (unproved, btw, but hey – who cares?) about “Putin stuffing Front National with money”? And using “The Economist” as a source!

    And I’m not even commenting on the stupid idea of “So long as Moscow believes an end to sanctions is on the horizon, it will not be tempted to enact any substantive change”

    The West will also need to counter Russia’s political use of military force, from launching long-range bomber patrols in NATO airspace to Putin’s regular boasts about Russian nuclear capabilities. Contrary to recent hyperbole, these actions do not presage a military attack. Rather, they are meant to distract, dismay, and divide the West. Although NATO and EU resolve has been greater than Moscow seems to have expected, on- and off-the-record many politicians and observers wonder how long this can last.

    Two can play at that game, however, especially because the Kremlin knows that NATO can outman, outmaneuver, and outgun Russia’s forces. The West could show its teeth more directly, making explicit that it is not in Russia’s interests to provoke a match of military capabilities. Beyond existing plans to pre-position U.S. heavy armor in the Baltic states, the West could establish a permanent NATO forward base in the region for a rotating force of U.S. and European combat troops. Likewise, Washington’s current plan to create a Europe-wide missile defense system by 2018 could be oriented away from a notional focus on Iran, especially in light of the recent nuclear deal, to explicitly include Russia. Although such a move would not, on its own, defend Europe against a full-scale Russian attack, it would be a symbolic statement about the extent to which Moscow is considered a genuine threat.

    Wow! As if someone ever doubted that this “Shield” was trageted against Russia all the time. Right now, Galeotti just repeats nearly word for word all the ususal drivel and “kunnin’ plans” about how to “stand up to Russian threat” by beign even more bellicose dicks.

    But, wait! Graciouc Mr. Galeotti has a “carrot” to go with his “stick”:

    Given that Moscow seems to have a penchant for heavy-handed geopolitical games, perhaps the best tactic is to concentrate on its vulnerabilities. Above all, Russia is dependent on Western capital and financial systems, and Russia’s elites are globalized and eager to enjoy the security, facilities, and lifestyle of the West.

    Although the Kremlin appears willing to let ordinary Russians pay the price of sanctions, it is hard to believe that the Russian elite will bear such burdens willingly. The first round of sanctions targeted not whole sectors of the Russian economy but key individuals responsible for the annexation of Crimea and incursion into Ukraine, blocking their ability to travel abroad and freezing their assets. Many more names could be added to the lists—every parliamentarian who voted for the annexation of Crimea, for example—and the sanctions could be made broader and more draconian, complemented by a more aggressive push to punish gangsters and kleptocrats. Adding the names of spouses and children to the lists poses legal challenges, of course, but would also end an obvious loophole, as potential targets of sanctions often transfer assets to relatives.

    Of course, the tougher the line, the more the West plays into Putin’s own nationalist narrative: that Russia is a beleaguered fortress in a hostile world, and that to compromise with the West is to undermine the country’s sovereignty and betray its history and destiny. Backing Putin into a corner and alienating Russians who seek compromise with the West are dangerous moves. The West must balance confrontation with reassurance. After all, Russia needs support, both moral and political, as it adjusts to its new, reduced place in the global order.

    One possible avenue of reassurance would be for Washington to restart the U.S.–Russian Bilateral Presidential Commission, a bid to reengage Russia in a multi-track negotiation process that emphasizes key areas, from the fight against the Islamic State (also known as ISIS) to nuclear security, in which the two countries share real common interests. By seeking small but substantive agreements, and by eschewing some of the more alarmist Western rhetoric and symbolic snubs that play so badly in Moscow (think of the recent decision by Western leaders to decline an invitation to a military parade in Moscow’s Red Square celebrating the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II), it may be possible to edge toward a new era of positive engagement. It will be essential for the Washington to reconnect with Moscow as a pragmatic partner, not least because neither Russia nor the United States can find sustainable solutions to the crises in Syria or Ukraine on its own.

    Western policy needs to be more imaginative and multivectored. The sanctions regime can be sharpened, but it needs to be supplemented by a range of additional measures if it is to have any measurable impact other than to accelerate the miserable and counterproductive slide into bickering and mutual suspicion.

    By every objective standard, Russia is vastly weaker than the West. Its greatest strength, though, is that as an authoritarian state, it can mobilize a unified political will that an alliance of democracies cannot match. Western policy, therefore, needs to focus on those sanctions that will most affect the Kremlin—rather than on those that are easiest for the West to enact—and consider them part of a much broader strategy that not only provides Moscow with positive reasons to engage with the West, but also reduces its ability to retaliate. The real battle will ultimately be won in the hearts and minds (and perhaps bank accounts) of Putin and his closest cronies and allies.

    Tl;dr – offer Russkies shiny glass beads and gamble on the palace coup against Putin.

    And if you think that this soul-selling article by Mister Galeotti is “anomalous”, that evil editors of the FA threatened to kill his firstborn should he write something less hawkish – well, then take a look at this article. Oh-ho-ho! A “not-serious”, indeed!

    If you wonder – yes, “Russia! Magazine” is 100% handshakable edition, that regularly publishes such “unbiased” Russia-observers as Marc Adomanis and Jim Kovpak.

    • Warren says:

      Galeotti is a pro-US empire conspiracy theorists, he sees Russian intelligence involvement everywhere. Just listen to his inane musings with Whitmore on the Power Vertical podcast. Earlier this year Galeotti was suggesting that Navalny should adopt a more aggressive nationalist rhetoric and policies.

      • Oddlots says:

        Laughable. All of it. The cherry is the exhortation for Navalny to “weaponize” Russia’s mouth-breathers to the cause of “western values.” The incoherence is terrifying in itself.

        Feels like war.

      • marknesop says:

        He had a good thing going when he simply ran a blog, “In Moscow’s Shadows”. It concentrated on Russian legal reform, and was mostly quite fair, often making recommendations on what would work better. I never object to criticism which is not gratuitous, such as that which identifies a flaw in a particular policy, explains why it needs improvement, proposes a workable soluition and explains why that would result in improvement – how could a reasonable person object to that, provided it was all realistic? But the mantra now is all “Get rid of Putin”. Nobody bothers to explain (reasonably; there are plenty of crazy rants) why that is necessary – beyond that he will not kneel and tug his forelock to Washington – how it might be brought about peacefully and how that will result in an improvement.

        I don’t know why these guys keep bending over for Uncle Sam. Every man has his price, I guess.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      And there’s that false premise yet again: the Crimea is occupied by the Orcs, no matter what the vast majority of Crimeans may think of this.

      Of course, as Call-Me-Dave has pointed out in the Mother of Parliaments, the vote in the Crimea whether to leave the Ukraine was done “at the point of a Kalashnikov”.

      Everyone knows that, don’t they Dave?

      Stands to reason, don’t it?

    • yalensis says:

      Go Texas!
      Yeeee haaaaa!

    • et Al says:

      ? The butter is only on one side of the bread. It’s even free! Why choose the non-buttered side if the risk is you may never taste butter again? Business is business.

    • Fern says:

      I’d like to introduce the concept of the PPES to this blog – the President Putin Employment Scheme. Just think for a moment how many journalists, commentators and pundits would otherwise be out of work. What would such folk do with themselves if they had to get, you know, an actual job instead of writing c**p 24/7? They should send the Russian president a ‘thank-you’ card every year when they file their income returns – never have so many owed so much to one man. How many of them have put their kids through private school or were able to afford great family vacations because they wrote unremitting drivel, fact and evidence free, which could be phoned in without getting out of bed. All of them are living proof that no-one ever starved to death as a result of getting predictions about Russia wrong.

      • marknesop says:

        I would support it, except that Luke Harding and Edward Lucas would be the chief beneficiaries, and I cannot stand either of them.

      • et Al says:

        What a good idea Fern, but I think I would take it a step further and offer them discount holidays for them and their families, not necessarily a one way trip to Siberia, Lake Baikal will do.

    • marknesop says:

      I devoutly hope the U.S. government listens to Galeotti and others like him, and screws those sanctions down tight forever and a day. It will impair world commerce and slow or arrest economic recovery in Europe, and no sanctions have been imposed on China. The notion Russia will eventually collapse if it does not have “access to western capital markets” is a fool’s dream, and what will eventually emerge is a world divided but able to function separately on dual systems. Russia will continue development of parallel institutions and market replacement, and Europe especially will suffer in its tightly-regulated and highly-subsidized protectionist trade bubble.

      Interestingly, what most of the alleged “moderates” have in common – it’s what makes them moderates, really – is the claim that they love Russia or feel deeply for it…if only it could break free of the shackles of Putin and acknowledge its evil intent in the Holodomor (which was specifically purpose-designed to murder Ukrainians and mostly western Ukrainians), admit that it was a genocide and pay reparations, admit it downed MH-17 , elect a new and progressive liberal leader and reorient itself along market democracy lines. And drink enough liberal nightshade to kill it stone dead.Then the activism and agitation to set up ethnic republics can unfold, and eventually the liberal dream will be realized and all that will be left of Russia will be Moscow and St Petersburg, both monuments to western-style capitalism and “inclusiveness”.

  32. Warren says:

  33. Warren says:

  34. Warren says:

    • Oddlots says:

      Jimmy’s come a long way baby…


      “The movie was looked into by the FBI back in 1947, as they believed it was an “obvious” attempt to discredit bankers, which “is a common trick used by Communists”

      So confusing.

  35. Warren says:

    Published on 9 Aug 2015
    Today marks the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki. While the conventional narrative claims that the gruesome event led to the capitulation of Japan and the end of WWII, new evidence suggests that the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were not decisive. What implications does this have for the strategy of nuclear deterrence and the value of nuclear weapons in modern geopolitics? Oksana is joined by Ward Wilson, senior fellow at the British American Security Information Council, to look at these issues.

  36. Warren says:

    • ThatJ says:

      Wishful thinking.

      The countries that separated from the Russian Empire and then the Soviet Union were not Russian, not in ethnicity, not in culture, and not in language, and they had a long history of being independent from Russia.

      The only weak spot in modern Russia is the tiny Caucasus, but this should not concern anyone. The Caucasian statelets are tiny and incapable of winning a war against the central authorities. Unless Russia lets them go, as it did with the Baltics, they are hopeless. The Russian Caucasus is territorially very small, and the separatist sentiment was strong only in Chechnya and to a lesser degree in Dagestan, both of which follow the Islamic faith.

      The Russian-peopled Central and Eastern Russia, as well as half-Russian Tatarstan, will never support the breakup of the country for some dubious economic benefit. The Asian minorities of Siberia are cut off from neighbouring countries by an ethnic Russian majority in the southern belt, and they are not numerous.

      • Moscow Exile says:

        Georgia and Armenia are, however, both Christian – Eastern Orthodox. Georgia asked for the Tsar’s protection over 200 years ago against the predations of the Persian and Ottoman empires, which were Moslem. That part of Armenia under Persian rule was ceded to the Russian empire in 1828 in the wake of two Russo-Persian wars. Other less fortunate Armenians remained under Ottoman rule until the early 20th century.

        One of the many heroes of the Battle of Borodino (1812) was Prince Bagration. He was a Georgian. He fell defending the redoubt that still bears his name and whose earthworks can still be seen to this day.

        Not all Georgians are total wankers as is Saakashvili.

        • Warren says:

          Armenians and Iranians are very close, and have excellent relations. Armenians have been living and held important positions in Persia since antiquity. Throughout the Persian/Safavid Empire, Armenians were successful merchants and diplomats. Iran supports Armenia’s territorial dispute with Azerbaijan.

          Whereas Turkey’s relationship with Georgia since the end of the USSR has rapidly improved, especially under Saakashvili.

          Despite being both Eastern Orthodox, Armenians and Georgians aren’t terribly keen on each other.

          • Jen says:

            In two parts of northern Sydney (Willoughby / Lane Cove / North Sydney; and the area around Ryde suburb), there’s been a long Armenian presence since the end of the Second World War. There are still Armenians living in the area, and parts of it are represented at both State (New South Wales) and Federal levels by politicians of Armenian descent (Gladys Berejiklian and Joe Hockey, anglicised from Hokeidonian, respectively) who also hold, coincidentally or not, State and Federal Treasurer positions. Persian migrants are now moving into both the Ryde and Willoughby areas.

            Sergei Parajanov’s film “The Color of Pomegranates”, a fictional retelling of the life of Armenian poet Sayat Nova, is a showcase of 18th-century Armenian culture. You can see how very similar Armenian society was to Iranian society of the same period in that film.

        • Warren says:

          Iranians like to rest and relax in Armenia, especially the young who can party in Armenia.

      • Yes, I think it is wishful thinking. Even though the writer of that story said that it would be “bad” is Russia disintegrated the tone of that article made it clear that he wished it to happen.
        Northern Caucasus is the only Russian region where there is potential for disintegration. The rest is not realistic, not even Tatarstan since it is landlocked by the rest of the Russian Federation.

    • cartman says:

      Europe as it should be by Louis P. Bénézet:

      Finland gains a little bit of Karelia, though Russia today is missing a lot of this territory including half of Estonia (where the US is parading around. I wish the people in Narva would wear Putin t-shirts in silent protest). All three Nordic countries are occupying Lapland, which should be a new state. The purpose of this map was to create countries in Europe that are more stable. All of the Ukraine was considered Russian back then in the United States – there was no made-up Cossakia yet.

      • Moscow Exile says:

        And right smack bang in the middle is the stable and ethnically pure Großdeutschland that everyone knew and loved and almost back to its 1871 frontiers.

        Alle zusammen!

        Eins, zwei, drei…

        Deutschland, Deutschland über alles,
        Über alles in der Welt,
        Wenn es stets zu Schutz und Trutze
        Brüderlich zusammenhält,
        Von der Maas bis an die Memel,
        Von der Etsch bis an den Belt –
        Deutschland, Deutschland über alles,
        Über alles in der Welt.

        From the Maas up to the Memel,
        From the Etsch up to the Belt

        The Maas is otherwise known in Frogish as the River Meuse – the composer’s proposed western frontier of Greater Germany; the Memel is the river on which the city of the same name stood and is now Klaipėda in Lithuania – the proposed eastern frontier; the Etsch is the River Adige in Northern Italy – the proposed southern border; the Belt is the proposed northern border – the strait between the major islands of Zealand and Funen in Denmark. That northern border is not accepted on the map, where Schleswig-Holstein is given back to the Danes, who had it annexed off them by the Prussians in 1863.

        • Moscow Exile says:

          Almost back to its 1871 frontiers, that is with the german speaking area of the apparently dismembered Austro-Hungarian Empire absorbed – something that the Prussian Bismarck would not countenance – don’t want any southern, chocolate-cake with whipped cream guzzling Catholic freaks spoiling the party!

          • Moscow Exile says:

            And I don’t think the English of Devon and Somerset and Wiltshire and Dorset would have liked to join the Welsh Brythonic-Celtic fringe either, though many of the Cornish in Cornwall might have done.

  37. Jeremn says:

    This seems interesting, a German journalist’s film and photos from the Donbass. Seems to have upset the Ukrainian government.

  38. Warren says:

    Australians eating too much junk food, report finds

    • marknesop says:

      And yet, Subway added over 1,700 restaurants in the USA in just 2012 and 2013. This category of restaurants is described as “fast casual” rather than fast food like burgers and fries, and they pitch it as good for you. Is it? In a word, No. Not mentioned in this study is Subway’s bread, in which the whole-grain bread is no better than white bread and has much the same effect as white bread, even containing high-fructose corn syrup, which might as well come in cionmtainers shaped like bullets.

      Fast food is a billion-dollar industry and the more people who are addicted to it, the better as far as business is concerned – fat is beautiful, baby. But market research in Australia says that growth in the industry is slow and that Australians are wary, conscious of obesity risks and demanding healthier choices. Growth was projected to pick up in 2014/15, and the BBC report suggests it did. Fast food – or “fast casual”, whatever that is – is not good for you. It’s okay as an occasional treat, if you like that stuff, just as long as you know it is not healthy and it will take you a little while to recover from it.

  39. Warren says:

    Gazprom profits boosted by weak rouble

    Russian energy giant Gazprom has announced a sharp rise in profits thanks in large part to a weak rouble.

    Net profit for the first three months of the year was 382bn roubles ($5.9bn; £3.8bn), up 71% on a year earlier. Total sales rose 6% to 1.65tn roubles.

    Gazprom sells its gas in dollars, so a weak currency means the price of gas in roubles rises.
    The weak rouble helped to offset a fall in the volume of sales of almost 10%, to 132bn cubic metres of gas.

    This fall was partly due to sanctions imposed by the West following Russia’s actions in the Ukraine.

    It meant Gazprom shares were down almost 2% in trading in Moscow despite the jump in quarterly profits.

    With the price of oil – which is a key determinant of the price of gas – back below $50 a barrel, many analysts believe Gazprom results for the rest of 2015 will be weaker than the first quarter.

  40. Warren says:

    Participants at Conservative events must agree to gag order

    Members of the public who attend Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s campaign events are being required to agree to a gag order before they can walk through the door, iPolitics has learned.
    While attendance is by invitation only, and attendees are vetted by the Conservative Party before receiving a ticket, those who want to attend a campaign event in person are also being asked to agree to a number of conditions including not to transmit any description of the event or any images from it.

  41. Warren says:

    Banderite dreams:

    • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

      The only ones being exterminated will be the Ukrainians.

      And it will be hilarious because they’ll do it to themselves.

    • kirill says:

      Because we all know how legitimate was the ethnic cleansing of Krajina, don’t we. These vermin dream of ethnically cleansing Crimea as well.

      Time for some right and proper ethnic cleansing of these maggots. Have them all move to Halychyna.

    • marknesop says:

      Oh, look – their logo is a peaceful little dove! How can anyone doubt the innate goodness of their intentions?

  42. Warren says:

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