Violence Once Removed: War Through the Languid Filter of Bored Academia

Uncle Volodya says, "We measure everything by ourselves with almost a necessary conceit.”

Uncle Volodya says, “We measure everything by ourselves with almost a necessary conceit.”

Mark Galeotti is Professor of Global Affairs at the Center for Global Affairs at New York University.  Touted as a “Russia Expert”, he is also a regular feature of Brian Whitmore’s podcasts for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), as well as the author of many books on Transnational Crime and Russian Security affairs. He also maintains the blog, “In Moscow’s Shadows“, which is usually a very good reference for  new legislation and legislative amendments under consideration in the Russian Federation. He comes educationally well-credentialed – sufficiently so to put PHD after his name – and generally stands in welcome contrast to “Russia Experts” like Edward Lucas, who is actually an expert on licking all the Baltic States from one end to the other in delirious adoration, and who has a head like a roasted nut. For overall density and useful application, I mean; not for appearance.

However, since he began guesting as an expert on RFE/RL’s podcasts, Mr. Galeotti has become…somewhat full of himself. Perhaps this owes its manifestations to the sycophantic gobbling of host Brian Whitmore, but whatever the reason, it is encouraging Mr. Galeotti to branch out into areas he formerly stayed mostly away from, and it would be difficult to reach any conclusion but that he now considers himself an authority on everything to do with Russia.

Consider, for example, the recent downing of a Russia Federation Air Force SU-24 fighter-bomber by F-16’s of the Turkish Air Force, in the vicinity of Turkey’s border with Syria. To the rhetorical question as to whether this is a big deal or not, his self response is – yawn – probably not. A certain amount of “sound and fury” can be expected – because we all know autocratic governments have to posture and show off on the world stage to convince their cowed subjects that they are doing something – but in the long run it is a fairly meaningless incident, and World War Three is not about to break out. In that last prediction, I am in complete agreement.

What I have a problem with is the Solomonesque assumption that Russia quite probably did violate Turkish airspace, or at least “it certainly wouldn’t surprise him” . He appears to base this on “Moscow’s willingness to cross into NATO airspace in the past”.

I suspect we can blame that on the lurid wordsmithing of the popular press – especially in his native country, where you can apparently be a journalist with the least number of measurable vital signs in the Free World – which has become admirably expert at implying Russian aircraft have violated NATO airspace when they have instead “approached” it  or “passed close to it”. Occasionally they resort to comedic lengths above and beyond the call of fantastic invention, like the report – personally cited by the NATO Secretary-General – that a Russian Ilyushin 20 aircraft passed within 300 meters of a Scandinavian Airlines aircraft taking off from Copenhagen airport. Checking reveals the actual position given is 50 miles southeast of Malmo, and more than 70 miles away from Copenhagen. But that’s how nutty memes get started. Russia’s international air safety record is considerably better than that of either the UK or USA, if measured by number of aircraft accidents.

Well, never mind – perhaps the stricken fighter-bomber blundered into Turkish airspace because it was “setting up an attack run on a rebel convoy or facility on the Turkish border.” At 6000 meters, more than halfway to the limit of its service ceiling? Ha, ha.

“Moscow may well have been assuming the Turks would be as restrained as other NATO members, which was an undoubted mistake”. Uh huh; other NATO members like the USA, whose Senators, Presidential hopefuls and all-purpose lunatics have been arguing for more than a month that somebody needs to be shooting down some Russian aircraft – the very model, if I may say so, of restraint. Apparently there is some kind of communication jamming barrier between Washington and New York that no media reports can pass.

“…[G]enerally the Kremlin has shown little signs of seeing in Ankara a serious ally, partner or player, even in the days when Putin and Erdogan were getting along.” Mmm hmm; except for offering to make it the gas hub for European deliveries and give it a generous national discount, resulting in annual revenues topping $2 Billion from transit fees alone plus the profit realized from selling gas received at a discount. The EU seemed to think that was quite a significant – not to say serious – favour to bestow, when it was the EU’s ideaSu-24-Russia

Mr. Galeotti suggests that some NATO powers are a little leery of Turkey’s social-hand-grenade personality, and that Moscow will be unwilling to let this escalate – if Turkey offers even a pretense of remorse, this will be blared to the Russian press as success in forcing them to back down, and offered to the public as a sop in exchange for not escalating this situation further. This is a very sensible analysis, or would be under ordinary circumstances – but it fails to take into account the underlying reason for Russian grimness over this incident. The Turkmen on the Syrian side of the border, who enjoy Erdogan’s protection and intervention, machine-gunned the Russian fighter’s pilot and navigator while they were hanging in their parachutes, falling from the sky. Is that a war crime? You bet it is.

Article 42 of Additional Protocol 1 of the Geneva Conventions (1977), ‘Occupants of aircraft’, states the following:

1. No person parachuting from an aircraft in distress shall be made the object of attack during his descent.
2. Upon reaching the ground in territory controlled by an adverse Party, a person who has parachuted from an aircraft in distress shall be given an opportunity to surrender before being made the object of attack, unless it is apparent that he is engaging in a hostile act.
3. Airborne troops are not protected by this Article.

Now let’s turn to the matter of warnings, which the Turks say they passed to the aircraft not less than 10 times in 5 minutes before engaging it with a Mk-120 AMRAAM (Advanced Medium-Range Air To Air Missile). The Turks have since stipulated the aircraft was inside Turkish airspace for 17 seconds.

First, you do not pass warnings to an aircraft that is not doing anything wrong. Except – allegedly – for those 17 seconds, the Russian fighter was in Syrian airspace by invitation of the Syrian government. Second, Turkey has assumed for itself 5 additional miles of airspace, extending into Syria, and aircraft flying within 5 miles of the Turkish border are considered by Turkey to be in its airspace. This has been so since 2012, when Syria shot down a Turkish F-4 in its airspace; there is no legal precedent for it, no basis in law and Turkey has no legal right to enforce it.

Third: this is a typical aircraft warning. “Unknown aircraft in position xxx degrees range xx from xxx (you give the aircraft its range and bearing from a known navigational reference point here, because if you tell him his range and bearing from you, you have just greatly simplified his targeting); you are closing my position and your intentions are unclear. You are standing into danger and may be subject to defensive measures. Alter course immediately to XXX degrees”. That, as it happens, is the warning passed by USS VINCENNES to the Iranian airliner it shot down in 1988, according to the transcript. This warning must be read in English, the international language of air traffic control, on a common international distress frequency which all aircraft monitor. I want you to try, right now, to say it 10 times in 17 seconds. Now, to make it fair, say it 10 times in 17 seconds in a language which is not your mother tongue, because the Turks speak Turkish. Now, the second time you say it, and every subsequent time that you can squeeze it into 17 seconds in a language which is not your own, say it with different numbers; aircraft move fast, and neither you or the plane you are warning are in the same position for more than a second or two – you will have to get the new readings from your instruments. You won’t have to pretend you are flying a fighter at the same time plus gaining a weapon firing solution, because I can’t think of any way you could simulate that.

How did you do? Guess what? Turkey is lying its swarthy face off. Naturally the parameters of what constitutes a short incursion into defended airspace change depending on what country is doing it, because a very angry Prime Minister Erdogan grated in 2012, on the occasion of one of his aircraft getting shot down for being in Syrian airspace, “A short-term border violation can never be a pretext for an attack.”

Fourth; the AM-120 AMRAAM has a maximum range of 30 miles. By the time they fired at the Russian plane, the Turks were still claiming its identity was “unknown”, and even as it went down they claimed not to know to whom it belonged. Does that sound like anyone you want for a military ally? Somebody who shoots at an aircraft he can’t see or identify when it is not attacking him? How did they even know it was a military aircraft?

In spite of that, although all those things could have been known in about as much time as it would take to say them out loud, if anyone asked…the official response from Washington was that Turkey has a right to defend its territory and its air space, and President Obama blamed the incident on “an ongoing problem with Russian operations near the Turkish border.” This knee-jerk defense of a lying shitbag like Erdogan is why Russians are grim and filled with resolve.

“I would expect some uptick in ‘mischief’ – perhaps some support for the Kurds or other violent extreme movements, for example – as well as a more assiduous campaign to push back and stymie Turkish regional ambitions.

To say nothing of the fact that you can’t get too much more violent or extreme than a group which will shoot a helpless pilot in a parachute, I would expect quite a bit more than that. Every bombing mission will now be escorted by a Combat Air Patrol (CAP) of some of the best air-superiority fighters in the world. A Russian heavy cruiser with an extremely capable air-defense system is moving into station near the coast; this vessel can also function as a secondary air command center. And Russia has announced it will deploy the S-400 ground-based air defense missile system to the vicinity of Latakia. With a range of 250 miles and excellent multi-target capabilities, a pair of Turkish aircraft that pulled the stunt they just did could be smashed out of the sky while they were on final approach at Incirlik. The ante done been upped.

But the part that disappointed me most was the final paragraph.

It’s often said, with good reason, that Putin really wants a return to 19th century geopolitics, when might made right and realpolitik was all. Let’s not forget that one of the defining 19th century conflicts was that between Russia and the Ottoman Empire, which were sometimes openly at war, sometimes ostensibly at peace, but never anything than enemies. Here we go again.

Got that? It’s Putin who is destabilizing the world, who wants a return to might makes right. Not the NATO alliance, which backed the regional actor who openly supports ISIS. The guy who stoutly declares his right to come to the aid of fellow Turks in the neighbouring country, although when Putin mentioned defending fellow ethnic Russians in Ukraine from a government which referred to them as sub-humans and announced its intention to wipe them out, it brought a scream of rage from NATO. Mark Galeotti came down on the side of the United States, a country in which the last President who did not start a war was Gerald Ford. Who believes in might makes right? I’ll tell you. The country that made famous the quote, What’s the point of having this superb military you’re always talking about if we can’t use it?” The same speaker who also thought that a half-million dead Iraqi children as a result of American sanctions was “worth it“. The greatest and bloodiest warmonger of our age.

I see that Mr. Galeotti – prolific writer that he is – has since come out with another post which walks back his condemnation of Russia somewhat, or at least is a little more suspicious of Turkey’s impossible allegations, albeit he does stoop to the shooting-fish-in-a-barrel ease of using chronic simpleton Pavel Felgenhauer as a foil to make his point. All those considered, he does stipulate that Lavrov likely does have a valid argument, and the Turks were probably lying in ambush for a Russian plane.

Too late for me, though.

*As always, I am indebted to my readers and commenters for links and references which support this post.

This entry was posted in Europe, Government, Law and Order, Middle East, Military, Russia, Strategy, Vladimir Putin and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1,417 Responses to Violence Once Removed: War Through the Languid Filter of Bored Academia

  1. Warren says:

    Russia shows proof of petrol trafficking by Daesh via Turkey

    by Valentin Vasilescu

    In response to the provocations of the Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, according to whom accusations should not be made lightly, the Russian government organised a Press conference by their assistant Minister for Defence. He presented proof that we have been publishing in our columns for more than a year – that Turkey, as a state, is responsible for the export of petrol stolen by Daesh in Iraq and Syria, thus offering between one and two billion dollars of annual revenue to the terrorist organisation. This traffic continues in violation of the pertinent resolutions of the United Nations Security Council.

    • Warren says:

      Published on 2 Dec 2015
      Turkish leadership, including Erdogan & his family are involved in ISIS oil trade, Russian MoD announced on Wednesday, showcasing satellites images and footage from oil facilities and Syrian-Turkish border.

  2. likbez says:

    It’s a pretty tough situation for Putin. No friends anywhere. Everybody want a peace of Russia economically or otherwise. The situation reminds me a Russian cruiser Varyag at the Battle of Chemulpo Bay with the Japanese squadron of Admiral Uriu.

    Fledging political alliance of Turkey and Ukraine is not a very good development. Also while economic sanctions are not that damaging to Russia per se as they are for Turkey, they still increase isolation of Russia. Exactly what the USA wanted from the very beginning.

    So this whole incident with shooting down Russian Su-24 looks like another victory of the US diplomacy in its efforts to isolate Russia. And it might well be a plot similar to MH17 plot, if you wish. It does not matter if Erdogan acted on his own initiative or with gentle encouragement. The net result is the same.

    Also a new Saudi leadership is a pretty impulsive and aggressive folk. And the are definitely adamantly anti-Russian.

    • Tim Owen says:

      Oh noes! Turkey is going to go all in with the Ukraine?!? All is lost.

      Thanks for playing!

      • likbez says:

        There is not much sense “to go all in” for Turkey as Ukraine for all practical purposes is bankrupt. But Crimea can be a point where their interests now coincide. And Tatar minority there is an interesting opportunity for Turkey to put some pressure on Russia.

        • Jen says:

          ” … But Crimea can be a point where their interests now coincide. And Tatar minority there is an interesting opportunity for Turkey to put some pressure on Russia …”

          That sounds interesting to see, Ukraine and Turkey both having an interest in Crimea. After all, Crimea used to be Ottoman territory. So you wanna bet on Ukraine trying to hold onto Crimea or Turkey trying to incorporate Crimea back into a neo-Ottoman empire? Should be fun watching Pravy Sektor thugs and ISIS takfiris beating each other senseless.

          • Moscow Exile says:

            Time was when the whole of the Black Sea and Sea of Azov seaboard of what now styles itself as the inheritor of so-called Kevan Rus’ and the hinterland of those shores for hundreds of miles was also under Ottoman suzerainty – or the Ottomans maintained it was. The Crimea was annexed by the Russian empire in 1783 – the year of the Treaty of Paris, which legalized 13 former British North American colonies as the United States of America.

    • marknesop says:

      Is that how it looks to you? Can you tell us a bit more about this fledgling Turkish-Ukrainian alliance? I’d be interested, because all I have seen so far is some trollop dressed up in a vagina T-shirt advertising how patriotic Ukrainian girls should have sex with Turks (which I daresay plays well in Turkey; the main religion is Islam, and quite a few Muslim men already think white Christian girls are promiscuous sluts who would have sex with a pile of rocks if they were told there was a snake in it). Oh, and Porkyshenko making some approving remarks about the shooting-down of the Russian SU-24. Nothing new there; Poroshenko remarks approvingly on anything bad that happens to Russia – you probably figured out already that he hates Russia and Russians. Outside that, I don’t see Turkey signing on to an alliance with a non-Islamic country full of infidels which is subsisting on handouts from the IMF. Especially when they are rivals for the prize of Europe’s gas hub.

      I agree that Russia is throwing sanctions around a lot for a country that wants friends, but it could not do otherwise than punish Turkey severely because the stakes are very high. The west is not backing down in Syria, and still means to achieve its aims of getting rid of Assad and partitioning Syria to its satisfaction so that no piece is strong enough to conquer the other two or however many there are. The western alliance was caught on the back foot because everything seemed to be going so well until Russia pissed in the pickles, but it is back up to speed now. The USA and its poodle Britain are there to make sure the rest of NATO doesn’t go squishy on the issue of Assad’s departure. Russia is still hammering ISIS, but everybody else as well so that the Syrian Army can restore control; meanwhile, it has dotted the i’s and crossed the t’s by inviting the USA to tell it the positions of moderate rebels, whom it promises not to bomb. The USA has declined to do so, probably because it is not in possession of any such information and does not know a moderate rebel from a snow leopard, but it now has only itself to blame if its proxies catch a 500-pounder. The rest of NATO in the vicinity affects to be making great inroads on ISIS, but is really just hanging about protecting its own interests and hoping for a break in the political situation which allows it to get the plan back on track.

      In fact, though, the situation for Russia is not all that bleak; the Saudis you mentioned and Washington are all smiles in public but the situation between them is actually very tense as the Saudis try to wipe out the American shale industry and the Americans persist with their plans to attenuate Saudi dominance of the energy business.

    • Lyttenburgh says:

      “Russian Isolation” is a myth perpetuated by the Free and Independent Western Media ™ and their loyal, zombified audience of the Enlightened Westerners (and EuroUkrs, gays, oppositioniosts, emo-patriots and shy and modest intilligentsia within Russia).

      Likbez, care to explain to us, unenligthened audience, what is this mythic “Russia isolation”?

      • marknesop says:

        It’s certainly possible there is some sort of informal alliance between Turkey and Ukraine; I don’t mean to sound contemptuous, I’m just saying I have not seen any report to substantiate it. Frankly, I doubt it, and it’s likely just the vaguely sad but familiar tactic of Ukraine trying to insert itself in the news cycle so it won’t be forgotten. As to Russian isolation, I don’t think anyone would disagree that Russia is a hell of a lot more isolated than it would like to be. But that’s not of its own doing, and is the result of a deliberate hostile action initiated by Washington. Meanwhile, Russia is not doing badly, and has garnered considerable sympathy for its position. It’s far from the kind of isolation which usually follows a country doing something terrible. Like Turkey, which is radioactive right now, and although Obama is making supportive noises, nobody wants to be seen standing next to it.

        • Lyttenburgh says:

          Mark, actually I’m against the use of the term “isolation” beloved by oh-so-many “friends” of Russia.

          Say, you have an ill person with some infection, In order to stop the spread of this infection you have to isolate said person, i.e. preclude all possible contact between that individual and the rest least they will be infected.

          Now, is Russia isolated? How much lauded “kicking out of G8” makes Russia isolated if that “international forum” had become absolete long time ago (hello, G20!) and became in effect “USA and their 6s (rus. “шестёрки“)”?

          What, the world decided to blokade Russia economically and stop to buy our oil, gas or even car trains (for Latvia this is kinda of zrada – yes, they buy train cars from us!)? Or the “Civilized Society” blocked all travel to and from Russia? Beside Great, Mighty and Independent Ukraine no one ever tried such a thing. But the leadership of the Ukraine right now does all sort of things to win the annual “Darwin’s Award”.

          No. What have happened is that people can (finally!) say what they think about each other. The West was never a friend of Russia, despite what brain-dead pundits and liberasts are tying to say about the “Blessed 90s”. The West was always, let’s say, “adversarial”, and only now it is demonastrated in the broad daylight.

          At the time of the Great Patriotic War such people like our belowed Karl or Likbez would be accused of spreading panick among their fellow soldiers and treated accordingly. But because (as everybody knows! 😉 I’m a great humanist and 3-times winner of the “Buddha of the USSR” award, I will be much more merciful. Say – put them ahead of the attacking column armed with nothing but a Red Banner. Oh, and make them scream “За Родину! За Сталина!” at the top of their lungs. See? Much more humane!

        • Jen says:

          Ukraine and Turkey working together would be like two psychopaths working together. The friendship would only last as long as each party can satisfy its own greed through co-operation. The moment they might need to compromise or support each other against a common enemy is the moment the friendship collapses. It won’t be a very pretty sight when that happens.

        • yalensis says:

          I think there IS actually an informal alliance between Turkey and Ukraine. Dzhemiliev is the torch-carrier for this beautiful friendship. Ukrainians have made some vague promises about giving Crimea back FULLY to Tatars, if they ever come back to power there.

          Meanwhile, the Turkish gambit that worries me more than that is Turkey trying to create a wedge between Russia and Abkhazia. That’s the one to watch, I think.

      • Moscow Exile says:

        This pain in the arse pillock thinks Russia is isolated:

        Дмитрий Быков о том, почему стоит приветствовать то, что Россия все больше отгораживается от внешнего мира.

        Dmitry Bykov about why you should welcome the fact that Russia has been fenced off from the outside world.

        So it must be true if he says it is, mustn’t it?

        • Lyttenburgh says:

          “Потому что всякая война, которую ведет Россия, есть прежде всего война с собственным населением, и я пока не готов объяснить природу этого явления. “

          Transl: “Because every war which Russia have ever waged is first of all war against its own people, and for now I can’t explaine this phonomenon”.



          Sir, permission to vomit uncotrollably from wall to wall?

          • Moscow Exile says:


            I thought you would like it!

            Bykov talks endlessly through his fat arse – and he does a lot of talking (on Ekho Moskvy, for example) and writing – and what he says and writes is always of the same content and consistency of that which is supposed to come out of an arsehole.

            • Moscow Exile says:

              It is clear that the Russian people, with all its rights and claims almost missing, is the only partner of the Russian government that cannot fight back and is doomed to obediently endure any experiments. To offend NATO is perhaps risky, and even Obama is no schmuck and can be offended and is capeable of fighting back, yet here we have the great Russian nation, which beat Mamai [Khan], Napoleon and Hitler and others even further afield, which is categorically unable to resist and thinks it blasphemous even to think about doing so. Today, of course, this might not quite be the case, because already some truckers have been stirred to action [refers to recent protests by truckers over new tax legislation – ME], and yet the population of Russia still has a lot to lose and is not at all prepared to assert its rights. It is still possible to compensate for any internal and external failures, for a loss of image, an economic downturn or one’s own aging. They, like a father and mother or younger brother, cannot fight back, partly because they are intimidated, partly because there is no alternative. That’s always the case with relatives; there is no alternative: we do not choose them.

              In other words, Bykov maintains that the Russian sheeple – and he most certainly is not one of the great unwashed! – has got the government it deserves.

              And al this from a scribbler who reads “poetry” in kreakly cafés, rabbits away endlessly on Ekho Moskvy and writes column after column in newspapers that, don’t forget, are always under the baleful eye and strict control of the Evil One.

              Has the fat bastard Dmitry Lvovich Zilbeltrud ever done a real day’s work in his life?

              • yalensis says:

                But there is a subtlety there, which I haven’t seen before. Even the kreakl Bykov does not publicly endorse the Turkish shoot-down of the Russian plane (although I don’t doubt he cheered it in the privacy of his bathroom). He waffles and has to admit that it was despicable. He just has to go from there to carve out a kreakl response:

                С российским самолетом, сбитым в Турции, все понятно: это была атака подлая, ничем не мотивированная и, по всей вероятности, тщательно спланированная (в конспирологические теории насчет того, что НАТО ее заранее одобрило, углубляться не хочу – это другой жанр). Но интереснее всего то, как этот «нож в спину» скажется на судьбах российского населения. Потому что всякая война, которую ведет Россия, есть прежде всего война с собственным населением, и я пока не готов объяснить природу этого явления.

                Basically he is saying: “I grant you that the Turks behaved badly, and I am not going to defend them. But we kreakls should worry about Russia over-responding, like it typically does, and creating a culture of repression against its own citizens.”

                This isn’t all that different from Americans, say, back in 9/11 who said things like, “I see America’s right to go into Afghanistan to get bin Laden, but I worry about the Patriot Act and all the ensuing repressions, etc.”

                It’s actually a valid position, if this is what people like Bykov and Navalny actually believe. Which I doubt. Like I said, I am pretty sure that in their secret hearts they support the Turks over the Russians in any war. They are just too cowardly to come out and say so, because of the pressure of public opinion.

              • marknesop says:

                It’s amazing that kreakly and western philosophers always interpret an hypothetical uprising of the Russian people, led by a few courageous and inspirational souls, as an example of “asserting their rights” that would make the angels weep with the audacity of such selflessness. Yet those same dreamers never seem to notice that Ground Zero for Democracy, the United States of America, thinks it necessary to impose a penalty of fines or imprisonment for as much as twenty years for merely advocating the overthrow of the United States government, plus a ban on employment in any government position at any level for 5 years following conviction.

                Wouldn’t such people just be asserting their rights?

                • Lyttenburgh says:

                  ” a penalty of fines or imprisonment for as much as twenty years for merely advocating the overthrow of the United States government, plus a ban on employment in any government position at any level for 5 years following conviction.”

                  Remind me, plox, how does the modern age Murika is ever “morally superior” than the USSR of 1930s?

                • marknesop says:

                  Democracy is the worst form of government except for all those others that have been tried. This is often attributed to Churchill, but somebody said it before him, because in the Churchill quote he plainly prefaces that remark with “It has been said…” You can seek out the very worst forms of dictatorial excess in modern history, and I will be able to show you an equivalent example in a democratic ally. No going back as far as Nero, please – I don’t think I could match anything with the cruelties of the forum and throwing Christians to the lions, but let’s say in the last century. Perhaps the greatest failing of democracy is that, by its nature, it forces its adherents to shill for it over all other systems and to usurp for themselves the title of The Purest Democracy in countries that merely extol its virtues while declining to practice it.

                • yalensis says:

                  America is technically a police/surveillance state, there is no doubt about that

                • Cortes says:

                  Bykov and similar should be declared stateless and ejected. In a flurry of humans rights agitation they’d be admitted to the USA.
                  Step two: monitor just how marvellous they find life there in the land of their dreams.

                • yalensis says:

                  The problem with that, is that Bykov has not broken any laws.
                  Shooting off your mouth and being an asshole, is not against the law in Russia.

    • et Al says:

      Great satire!

    • ucgsblog says:

      BRICS back Putin. SCO’s backing Putin. A good chunk of ASEAN is too. Africa’s neutral. Latin America’s backing Putin, sometimes. Let’s check in with the “poor and isolated” Russia:

      “UN General Assembly’s Third Committee passed a Russia-proposed resolution condemning attempts to glorify Nazism ideology and denial of German Nazi war crimes. The US, Canada and Ukraine were the only countries to vote against it. The resolution was passed on Friday by the committee, which is tasked with tackling social and humanitarian issues and human rights abuses, by 115 votes against three, with 55 nations abstaining, Tass news agency reported.”

    • marknesop says:

      That’s sort of a “Greatest Hits” repackaging of virtually every Putin trope there is, from his nostalgia for the dictatorship of the Soviet Union to his fascination with a pagan religion. If there’s any single figure in history the west learned more from than Goebbels, I can’t think who it would be. In fact, the more you learn the more amazed you are – I had someone I thought was an extremely well-traveled and learned man tell me just yesterday that Gaddafi was a dictator who spent all his people’s oil money on palaces for himself. While there’s no denying he was a gaily-feathered bird indeed and he didn’t spare himself too many luxuries, the oil money was shared very fairly with the entire population – a hell of a lot better than Exxon-Mobil does, I can tell you that for nothing – and his Jamahiriya government model would have made American power-brokers nauseous because there would be no role for lobbyists and the people would have too much power.

      • Nat says:

        > That’s sort of a “Greatest Hits” repackaging of virtually every Putin trope there is.

        Latest rumor for you so that you don’t get bored with the old Putin’s clichés: An opposition website suggests that Putin may be a Muslim because local namaz schedules coincide with him being late for high-profile meetings. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, all is clear now: that’s also why he’s so invested in Syria, why he mentioned Allah in his state of the nation address, and proof of all proofs, why he’s not a drunk like Yeltsin was (The article actually say: “It is known that Vladimir Putin Avoid alcohol.” so you know, QED). The website that so brilliantly put two and two together is Open Russia foundation, Khodorkovsky’s project (as unbiased a source about Putin as can be). Link:

  3. Moscow Exile says:

    Three naval ships – from Canada, Spain and Portugal – enter the Black Sea via the Dardanelles Straits as relations between NATO and Russia become tenser.

    Re-arrange the following words to make a well known phrase or saying:

    barrel it in fish is a like shooting

    • marknesop says:

      HMCS WINNIPEG: I was the Above-Water Warfare Director on there for a short time. She just finished post-modernization trials a short time ago; ironically, just days after being towed from the drydock where she had completed refit to the dockyard where she would finish fitting out to start post-refit trials, she was rammed by an American fishing vessel which was itself being towed to the drydock. It was quite a big one, and apparently was not manned as it was under tow – there was just one guy on the bridge. For some unaccountable reason the engines went to full ahead, and she broke her tow and rammed WINNIPEG, doing considerable damage. Back she went into drydock for an extended period.

      That all happened around 7 years after I was there.

    • kirill says:

      There is zero value to this show of “something” (I won’t call it strength).

  4. Moscow Exile says:

    Ethnographic representation of the Ukraine

    Note the “pure” Ukrainian areas: with the exception of Poltava region, they are all in that part of the Ukraine that was annexed in 1939, in other words, the Svidomite Catholic Polack east!

    • Lyttenburgh says:

      Wait, no Jews in Odessa? Azokhenwei!! Samuil Izraelevitch, have you heard this new khohma? These shlemazls from Kiev and Ivano-Frankivsk decided to eliminate the Jews in only possible way they can right now – statistically!

      • Moscow Exile says:

        I think the presence of fascist Rumanian and German nazi occupiers there, 1941-1944, has more than a little to do with the decline in Odessa’s once thriving Jewish population and culture.

  5. Moscow Exile says:

    Did you call for an electrician?

    The Crimea, Simferopol, Web-Camera

    01:35, 3 December 2015

  6. Moscow Exile says:

    What an obsequious slimy bastard is Walzmann!

    Erdogan is just slimy.

    • Jen says:

      Ewwwww … I think I’m gonna be sick.

      Even two normal slugs mating aren’t that slimy.

      Good thing that photograph of Porky Pig and Erdogpoo was taken just before they started pashing each other.

  7. Moscow Exile says:

    Do you like it Porky, Yats?

  8. Moscow Exile says:

    4.12.2015. The Ukraine, a small town and the return of the body of a local hero who has fallen fighting the Russian invader…

    No doubt some of them think it right and fitting to kneel as the body of a fallen hero passes them by.

    However, might it just be possible that whether they wish to kneel is immaterial, that they have been told to kneel.

    And if they refuse to? …

    • yalensis says:

      This kneeling thing is really sick.
      The proper way to greet a hero is upright, with hat removed to show respect.
      Why do Ukrainians continue to invent ever new ways to debase themselves?

  9. Moscow Exile says:

    Bulgarians are working on South stream

    Dec. 4th, 2015 at 11:00 PM

    For several months Bulgaria has been discussing with the European Commission the possibility of building a short version of the discontinued Russian project “South stream”, which will deliver Russian gas to a receiving terminal near Varna via the Black sea, thus solving the problem with European legislation in the field of energy, it was announced during the parliamentary control on Thursday, Deputy Prime MinisterTomislav Donchev.

    “In recent months there have been proceeding meetings and conversations with representatives of various structures of the European Commission, which will help prepare for an accurate legal analysis as regards which of these possible hypotheses, in accordance with European legislation, will allow the transit of Russian via the Black sea. These conversations are continuing today”, said Donchev.

    The Deputy Prime Minister explained that the Bulgarian side did not expect changes in the geopolitical situation of the enterprise for such initiatives, meaning the deteriorating relations between Russia and Turkey.

    Tomislav Donchev stressed that the initial version of the project “South stream” is unlikely.

    At the moment, it is most likely that the pipeline will run under the Black sea to a receiving terminal near Varna. After which there are two options: either Bulgaria will build a transit pipeline on the territory of the country, partly using existing and also investing in new infrastructure, or build in cooperation with a major European company. Which of the two versions will be applied will become clear after the first part.

    He said that negotiations on a similar project with Russia can begin only after identifying the clear position of the European Commission. “At the moment, negotiations with Russia make no sense, because there is no definite option. I hope that in the near future such a possibility will appear”, said Donchev.

    Today, Reuters sources said that the pipes that had been purchased by Gazprom for South stream and are currently in the ports of Varna and Burgas may be used only in the Black sea. According to the Agency, for their purchase were spent $1.95 billion

    “These pipes were tailored to the specific environment, pressure, and power”, explained the Agency spokesperson. According to him, they are “only for the construction of underwater pipelines in the Black sea”.

    Recall that it had been decided to use the pipes for the “South stream” to construct the “Turkish stream”, but on Thursday the Russian Minister of Energy, Alexander Novak, said that the talks on “Turkish stream” had been suspended suspended.

    However, the Bulgarian Minister of Energy, Temenujka Petkova, explained that, legally, the gas project “South stream” had been stopped by the European Commission in June 2014 because of non-compliance with European legislation. However, this procedure is not yet complete. Accordingly, it is possible to speak of a “freezing” of the gas project, not and of it.

    Temenujka Petkov justified their findings by the fact that the pipes for the project “South stream” are in the port of Burgas, none have them have been taken away from he country, and the company “South stream – Bulgaria” will continue to exist.

    Some experts suggest that such statements made by the Bulgarian Minister of Energy, are, in fact, an invitation to “Gazprom” to negotiate the resuscitation of “South stream”.

    Interestingly, on November 30 in Brussels, Prime Minister Boyko Borisov said he supported the plans for the construction of a branch line of the North stream-2. He stressed that Bulgaria will not sign a letter against the construction of the Nord stream-2.

    “I shall defend the construction of the Nord stream-2 and gas distribution centre in Bulgaria: it is beneficial for the country and no one can blame me for this”, he said.

    We can assume that in making such a statement, the Bulgarian Prime Minister expects a response in support of “South stream” on the part of Germany and Western Europe.

    [What intrigues me, though, is the date of this article. It says 11pm, 4 December 2015. it is 21:20 as I write in Moscow on 4 December 2015. I should imagine that in Bulgaria it is about 19:20. 23:00 in Bulgaria has not yet arrived.]

  10. Moscow Exile says:

    Berlin Bershidsky at his best:

    Putin Looks Homeward, Hates What He Sees

    Forbes pays him and he plays their tune.

    • I think it was a fair assessment. Was he wrong about something?

      • Moscow Exile says:

        A fair assessment:

        “Putin didn’t say what he planned to do about the systematic expropriation of private business in his country.”

        “Navalny and his co-workers provided documents they said show mob connections, episodes of extortion and blatant self-enrichment on government contracts, the proceeds of which they said went into Greek and Swiss real estate.”

        “The statistics Putin cited in his speech show that he knows how his law enforcers operate: Their goal is often to take over businesses rather than to stop crimes. Yet for years, he has tolerated this because they helped him keep Russia in check. He’s not about to attack them now with several international adventures underway.”

        “Again, the president showed he was not uninformed — just unable or, more likely, unwilling to do anything for private business in a system that redistributes resources to those with administrative power.”

        “Even if he and other so-called “system liberals” are called back to government jobs, they won’t be able to do much within the framework of a rotten system. Putin gave them false hope by showing a certain willingness to look homeward — but the external aggressiveness is all that sustains Putin’s rule as it keeps failing domestically.”

        I take it that you are in full agreement then with all of the above: that there is “systematic expropriation of private business” in Russia; that Navalny’s accusations and documentary evidence concerning said accusations are watertight; that Putin knows that his law enforcers “take over businesses rather than to stop crimes”; that Putin is not going to do anything about this because of his “several international adventures”; that the system in Russia “redistributes resources to those with administrative power”; that the framework of the system of government is “rotten”; that “external aggressiveness is all that sustains Putin’s rule” whereas his rule “keeps failing domestically”; that Putin rules Russia?

      • Jen says:

        I think you need to read the whole of Putin’s 2015 address to the Russian Federal Assembly before you can say Leonid Bershidsky’s article is a fair assessment. The first paragraph alone indicates that Bershidsky has already decided that Russia is an economic and bureaucratic dump. From then on, he picks incidents of corruption and mismanagement to fit his worldview, he refers selectively to sources and evidence that support his worldview but ignores others that don’t and he ignores successes or ongoing projects that have yet to yield results.

        In particular Bershidsky relies on sources within the anti-Putin crowd who have a vested interest in digging up individual cases of corruption (that may or may not be connected to the Kremlin) and exaggerating their importance or the length, breadth and depth of criminal activity, even if that activity amounted to people forgetting to declare they had received small gifts (that just made it over the minimum level to be declared) in their tax returns.

        Full text of Presidential address in English here:

        For example, Bershidsky says that Russian law enforcement agencies investigated 200,000 cases of business corruption and criminality but that 15% of these resulted in convictions. You would have to be able to compare this rate of success with what other countries with similar legal systems achieve; if other countries have about the same rate of success, then Russia is not doing badly. Investigating white-collar corruption is not to be done lightly: collecting evidence, talking to witnesses, evaluating the worth of the evidence collected all takes time, and a whole year or two might pass before authorities have enough evidence to arrest people and charge them with a crime.

        In fact what Putin actually said was that 200,000 cases of business corruption were opened in 2014 but only 46,000 of those went to court. 15,000 cases were thrown out. 15% of all cases ended with a conviction. It is likely that the other 154,000 cases are still ongoing because the authorities need more evidence before they can proceed to court. A lot of those 154,000 cases might collapse because witnesses may refuse to talk, the evidence found does not support the charge of corruption or the parties involved agree to mediation and work out some sort of compensation.

        83% of investigated business people going out of business is a worrying figure. But that statistic need not suggest they were all being harassed by the authorities; any business being investigated for corruption will lose a lot of customers whether the corruption charge is true or not. Rumours spread which affects trade. Even knowing you are being investigated is stressful in itself and business owners might just give up and close shop. Plus if you are found guilty then you might have to pay all the court costs and you might have to sell your business to pay them.

        Putin uses his annual speeches to make suggestions and recommendations that might become policy so of course he is going to dwell on shortcomings, contradictions, problems and issues of mismanagement and corruption among other things. But he also celebrates successes and highlights challenges. I doubt that Bershidsky followed or read the 2015 speech thoroughly enough before he wrote his slanted piece. Bloomberg also could have edited sections of Bershidsky’s article before uploading it.

        • kirill says:

          These shills are like the climate change deniers. The produce Gish Gallop composed of outright falsehoods and cherry picked, context-free “cases”. I see a lot of “here is an example of corruption, ergo the every cop in Russia extorts businesses and money”. Does anyone sane think this sort of “analysis” is valid. It’s outright insane if the ones that peddle it actually believe it, but I do not think they actually do.

      • Moscow Exile says:

        Another fair assessment?

        A large part of the Russian population is incapable of doing anything and to re-educate it is senseless: it knows nothing and does not want to work. The Russian population is inefficient. We ought to give it the opportunity to sleep peacefully or to die of old age whilst enertaining it fully with appropriate spectacles …
        D. Bykov, “Profile”, 15.01.2012

        Looks like he’s capable of hard work (reading his poetry in bars and waffling on the radio or scribbling columns in “opposition” rags) and knows a lot about everything.

        On his sweatshirt it reads in Yukie:

        Дякую тобі, Боже, я Москаль!<

        It should really read:

        Дякую тобі, Боже, я жид!

        • Moscow Exile says:

          More thoughts from a certified Russia-hating kreakl:

          Сначала 1917 год, потом сразу 1937-й. Два подряд уничтожения элиты привели к тому, что Россия стала страной генетического отребья. Я бы вообще запретила эту страну. Единственная здесь для меня отдушина – это картинные галереи. И цирк.
          Ксения СОБЧАК

          Firstly in 1917 and then straight off in 1937, two liquidations in a row of the elite led to Russia becoming a country of genetic scum. I would have banned this country. The only thing here that gives vent to my mood and aspirations are the art galleries. Oh yes, and the circus.
          Ksenia SOBCHAK

          She clearly must consider herself – or better said, her parents and grandparents – amongst those few elite who survived the liquidations, otherwise she would just be one of the rest of her fellow scum-countrymen, whom she so openly despises.

          • Cortes says:

            How proud their grandparents must be.

          • et Al says:

            Maybe she can change her name to Ксения ЁОБЧАК?

            Just going by the picture…

          • Jen says:

            Good to see that Ksenia Sobchak varies her diet, sucking on a cross. Oh wait, where has that cross been? … ewwww …

            • Lyttenburgh says:

              Jen, lil’ horsy Ksyusha’s attitude towards religion is, well, the same as Madonna’s:

              • marknesop says:

                It is little wonder she has so few friends – everybody enjoys being out at some public place where some fool makes a public spectacle of himself or herself in a bid for attention, because it is often diverting and amusing. But nobody wants to be part of the same group as that person. Just like those idiots in FEMEN – only popular in the abstract. I wonder if that is next for Ksyusha; she seems to be ramping up her efforts to get attention.

            • Moscow Exile says:

              She also eats her nose-pickings as a protein substitute.

          • Lyttenburgh says:

            Firstly in 1917 and then straight off in 1937, two liquidations in a row of the elite

            Liquidation of the “elite”? I’d like to remind the immortal words of granpa Lenina: “Intelligentsia fancies itself to be the brain of the nation. They are wrong – they are its shit”.

            Never knew that in 1937 the whole “elite” was liquidated either. But given the fact that my family at that moment were factory workers in Ural – what can such bydlo-sovok like me know about nobility, honor and elites? I must be genetically defective untermench destined to be ruled over enlightened and culturally (and genetically) superior liberal kreakls. Who are all for democracy and equal rights – if they would be appointed as the new nobility who will rule over the unwashed masses of other Russians.

            • Moscow Exile says:

              Get back to your lathe! You’re already well down on your required minimum output.

            • Patient Observer says:

              Here we go again. “AP” had a theory of the “survival of the unfittest”. All of the wars suffered by Russia somehow weeded out the “superior” genomes leaving only the brutish and defective genes to carry on. I can’t grok that concept (OMG, did I just say that?)

              • Moscow Exile says:

                I must be getting Alzheimer’s.

                Is AP the bloke fromm Lvov with a Russian wife, an American-Ukrainian or Pole, I suspect?

                • marknesop says:

                  Yes, that’s him, or so we are led to believe. Don’t get him mixed up with Curt Doolittle – AKA Curly Doodle – who is an American in Lvov with a Ukrainian wife (I think he said).

                • yalensis says:

                  Curly claimed to have a hot trophy wife and several bits on the side.
                  And also to be a millionaire or billionaire.
                  It was established that on his official C.V. he lies about his education – he never actually finished college!
                  Frankly, I think Curly is Baron Munchausen in disguise!

            • marknesop says:

              And I think that is precisely what is at the heart of the intelligentsia’s angst – it believes it was cheated of its right to rule over Russia as an upper class.

              • Moscow Exile says:

                And Putin’s cheated them out of making a mint as would have been possible if the good ol’ Yeltsin “Golden Years” had rolled on.

                I’ve mentioned it before, but I knew a broker once (studied physics at Lomonosov but switched to economics when he saw which way the wind was blowing) who often bemoaned the fact that he belonged to a “lost generation”, namely if he had been born just a few years earlier he would have had it made.

                I’m sure he would have, as well, but he graduated around 1998.

                • marknesop says:

                  This misapprehension fails to observe that those who made out like bandits during Yeltsin’s “golden age” were bandits. Those who cleaned up through their boldness and fortunate placement were only a handful, and in Khodorkovsky’s case it resulted from cheating ordinary people who did not understand the inherent value of their shares, and who sold them for a pittance. There was no broad-based surge of prosperity – rather, it was a massive transfer of wealth from the many to the few, and the great majority of the population lost their shirts. Those few who became fantastically rich are envied now only because of their wealth – if you set out to find something which was not a kreakl value, you’d have a hard time doing better than that one. Moreover, there was nothing “creative” about most of the oligarchy, and of them all there was likely only Khodorkovsky who could attribute his wealth to his intellect and ability to think a few steps ahead, while Berezovsky was as thick as two short planks, and only his ruthlessness and venality made him rich. The intelligentsia and the oligarchs had practically nothing in common.

                • Patient Observer says:

                  Mark, I agree. It has bothered me most of my adult life that wealthy people are presumed to be smart. My experience is that wealthy people, with exceptions, are either born into a life of privilege with predestined wealth or were simply driven, often ruthless and frequently lucky – no real smarts needed.

                • marknesop says:

                  I couldn’t speak for everywhere, and in many countries – especially the developed ones – the wealthy class frequently have had the benefit of a superior education. That’s certainly not always the same thing as being smart. But it is kind of sad to see the Russian intelligentsia presuming that a Yeltsin-style government was their last hope of seizing power for themselves in Russia when there is no evidence Yeltsin admired or supported academic excellence, set against considerable evidence that he was a bit of a dullard himself, elevated to the position he held because he was easily manipulated.

            • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

              We elitny survived 1917 just fine. Family even got to keep the manor in Poltava for a few years before the Komsomol or somebody took it over.

              • yalensis says:

                At which point your ancestor suddenly learned that his ex-mother-in-law had hidden some precious diamonds in one of the plush chairs in the old manor. To keep the diamonds from falling into commie hands, when the manor was expropriated by the Komsomol, to turn into some kind of youth stamp-collecting club.

                Your ancestor, whose name was Ippolit Vorobyaninov, then set out on a quest to find the chair with the hidden diamonds…
                (and the rest was history)

        • yalensis says:

          I get that you don’t like Bykov, and I don’t like him either, but do you really have to use an anti-Semitic slur word against him, and keep stressing his Jewishness?
          Is that really necessary?

          • kirill says:

            It’s the proper term in Czech.

            • Moscow Exile says:

              And in Yukie, they also say the term is inoffensive.

              Oleh Yaroslavovych Tyahnybok and other Svidomites certainly think it is inoffensive, and they have in recent times vehemently maintained that the derogatory nature of the term zhid [Yid] was imported into the Ukraine by “Moskal'” subhumans.

              The slogan on Bykov’s sweatshirt (see above) is written in Ukrainian and uses a derogatory term used in that language for “a Russian”.

              That Bykov is a Russian citizen is irrefutable, though his ethnicity is debatable and very likely revealed by the full name in which he was registered at birth: Dmitry Lvovich Zilbeltrud.

              Therefore, in view of the fact that the language in which I suggested the slogan on his sweatshirt be rephrased is Ukrainian, then that term that I suggested be used instead of “Moskal'”, which term is as offensive in Russian as is its cognate in English, is certainly not of a derogatory nature in the context in which it is expressed, namely the Ukrainian language.

              • yalensis says:

                Dear Moscow Exile:
                You’re just deflecting, and it’s pathetic..
                Once again, we are not talking about Ukrainian or Czech.
                You used the word “zhid” in the Russian context, knowing full well that it’s a slur.
                I take offense, not because I am Jewish (which I am not), but because I have Jewish friends.
                You also persist in “revealing” people’s actual Jewish names, as though it’s super-significant, even though people have the right to change to change or Russify their names, as they please.

                So, I wonder what would happen if you stood up in an open forum and debated “Zilbeltrud”. He would say, “blah blah blah kreakly blah blah blah”.
                And what would be your response: “Fatty Fatty Jew Jew Jews!”

                Guess who would win the debate?

                • yalensis says:

                  And P.S. – your obsession with Bykov’s Jewishness, blinded you to to what he actually said, and how best to counter the points that he made.
                  I laid out what his actual position was, how it’s bullshit, but it’s more subtle bullshit than what you gave him credit for, with your primitive “Fatty fatty Jew Jew Jew!”

                • Lyttenburgh says:

                  Comrades, Citizens – please, calm down! Its unbecoming for two men whom I admire greatly to have a quarrel over such undeserving subject as the self-professed poet Bykov/Zylbeltrud!.

                  I agree that using nowadays the word “Zhid/Yid/Жид” is offensive and, indeed, is a racial slur. Nevertheless – there ARE some circumstances, when using such a word if not “welcomed”, but more or less “appropriate” given the circumstances. The thing here – not to overuse it. We ALL know about the ancestry of Bykov, Svanidze, Venediktov, Nemtsov, Khodorkovskiy, Belkovskiy, Poroshenko, Kolomoiskiy, Masha Gessen, Bershdinkiy, Julia Ioffe, Simon Ostrovskiy, Klitchko brothers, Tyagnibok, Yulia Tymoshenko, Yatsenyuk, Aivars Abromovicus, Firtash, Rotenberg brothers, Boris Berezovskiy, Abromovich, Mark Feigin, Felgenghauer, Miriam Elder, Simon Shusterm Savik Shuster etc, etc.

                  But I have to ask – so what? Pointing out someone’s Jewish ancestry during the debate against said Russophobe is like proclaiming aloud in a polite society (and we all here are polite and educated people, do we?) that some person just farted. It might be even true – but it also paints you as rather uncultered person as well. Do you really need that?

                  I urge both sides not to escalate and just leave this issue. We don’t need any grudges among friends and idealogical comrades-in-arms, do we?

                • Moscow Exile says:

                  You missed out Jesus.

                • Lyttenburgh says:

                  Jesus was Ukrainian [nods]

            • yalensis says:

              Moscow Exile wasn’t writing in Czech. He knows the word is a slur in Russian.

              • Moscow Exile says:

                I don’t give a fuck if Bykov is offended. I hope he is.

              • kirill says:

                A Jew wearing an anti-Russian slur tee-shirt is fair game for slurs against his own tribe. There are no privileged humans who get special treatment. This can of worms should be opened and not brushed under the carpet because of political correctness. A lot of Russian Jews have some sort of bitter, pathological hate for Russia. There is no doubt that many wrongs have been perpetrated against Jews in the Russia over the centuries, but the same thing can be said for France and Germany and many other places. But somehow Russians are specially singled out for some sort of revenged jihad. This hate is transplanted to the US where it guides US foreign policy thanks to assorted hate propaganda.

                One such example was a commercial I saw in the USA in 2000s which purportedly showed ethnic Jews being deprived of essentials of life in Russia. It was some sort of charity drive for Jews that was playing a variant of the Holodomor card. This sort of hate propaganda does its job since the average American sees such lies and thinks that Russians are stuffing themselves at the expense of Jews. Much like Ukrainians in the diaspora routinely repeated the blood libel that Ukrainian villagers starved while Russians in Ukraine were well fed. The whole point of propaganda is to create fictional narratives that serve some other agenda.

                This commercial is not some isolated case. It is part of a whole juggernaut of information warfare against Russia which is advanced by a distinct over-representation of Jews in the western media. If people feel that identifying such patterns is racist, then they can go stuff themselves. The flood of ethnic blood libel against Russians in the west and inside Russia itself is insane. You can see the effect of this as Obama and various NATO leaders and journalists only care about how Russian victims of terrorism are some sort of comeuppance to “evil Putin”. Not a flying fuck is given about those civilians. They are not even considered as humans.


                • Moscow Exile says:

                  It’s the same with many American-Irish folk, many of whom have never set foot on the Holy Sod or met an Englishman, but hate the British – specifically the English – with a vengeance.

                  They’ve been brought up to do so over generations. I do not deny that the British ruling class were often brutes with their Irish tenants, cruel and wicked very often. But the rest of the UK at the time of the Great Hunger – the 1840s, otherwise known as “The Hungry Forties” – was no bed of roses for the great masses. This was, after all, when Friedrich Engels wrote his damning “The Conditions of Working Class in England” and, together with Marx, “The Communist Manifesto”.

                  And my maternal great-grandfather was an Irishman and my paternal grandmother was an Irishwoman. I remember her very well, although I was only 5 when she died at a ripe old age. And she was most definitely Irish and a vehement Irish nationalist to boot: she was from County Cork, as a matter of fact.

                • yalensis says:

                  Dear Kirill:
                  These are all valid points. These are the points that SHOULD be made, when dealing with people like Bykov and the others. This is what an intelligent and adult discussion about ethnicity and the “Jewish” issue should consist of.

                  Not vulgar name-calling. People who engage in that are what Chekhov would have called “nekulturnye” and “grubye” people.

                  And like I said before, Bykov has not broken any Russian laws that I am aware of. There is no law against being chubby, or being an asshole. People who call for his expulsion from Russia (on the grounds of his “non-Slavishness”) may themselves be breaking a Russian law. (Section 1, Article 148 of Russian Criminal Code.)

                  Unlike Navalny, Bykov is not a convicted criminal, nor does he possess the reputation as a crook. He has made his money by writing; some of his books are best sellers in Russia. (Nothing that I would care to read.) He is also actually a quite talented poet, I have read some of his poetry, and although I personally dislike the political message in it; yet I admit that he is technically proficient at it.

                  And as far as I know, Bykov does not make a big deal out of his Jewishness. He Russified his nom de plume, and he writes in Russian. It’s almost like he is a kreakl for reasons other than ethnicity. Although I grant you that Jews are over-represented in the anti-Russia crowd, and this also angers me a lot, as I see this as a form of betrayal and ingratitude.

                  Nonetheless, I see absolutely no value in people pointing a finger at the likes of Bykov and screaming: “Fatty fatty Yid!” or the equivalent.
                  There is a certain minimal level of propriety that should be observed, even in polemics.

        • kirill says:

          This anti-slav needs a one way ticket out of Russia to anywhere.

  11. marknesop says:

    Oh, dear; what a pity. The Kyiv Post has gone to a subscription service, and it wants $50.00 a year to read its crazed maundering, so I guess that’s a site I won’t be mocking any more, since only the hardcore haters will come up with that kind of money to have their beliefs confirmed. But it sure is a shame they decided to do that just now, because I would have loved to see the details of this story.

    Nope, you’re not seeing things. Yatsenyuk actually says Russia may be to blame for blowing up the power pylons in Kherson and leaving Crimea without electricity. I surely wish I could read that story, because I’m particularly interested in seeing his explanation for how the Russians convinced hardcore right-wing Ukie activists to stay there and guard the destroyed pylons after they blew them up, to prevent repair crews from going about their work. His explanation of how Russia co-opted Mustafa Dzhemilev as well, and got him to cite the cutoff of electricitry as a Ukrainian advantage it should use to obtain concessions on “political prisoners” would also be quite something to behold.

    Mmmm…there’s a translation at Fort Russ, but he really doesn’t provide any explanation – just makes his usual crazy accusations. I can’t get how Nudelman ever thought he was the guy with the leadership chops, and all her future judgments should be called into question by that cataclysmic fuck-up – he’s nutty as a fruitcake and Ukrainians hate him.

    In other Ukie news, a former Major-General of the Ukrainian SBU has allegedly defected to the DPR, and claims the Kiev government must be overthrown. Things seem to be going well, as the frail flower of western democracy takes root and spreads its petals to the sun. Time to dust off those EU Accession papers, you think?

    • et Al says:

      Oh dear! If there was ever a super cheap way of countering ‘Russian Propaganda’ with sponsored ‘Ukrainian Propaganda’ then it would be throwing money at the Kyiv Post.

      But, as we know, it’s all about business. Throwing a few coppers at cheap as s/t Ukrainian journalists is not sophisticated, greases enough palms or anywhere near as clever enough (as is befitting of the great western European civlization).

      Why isn’t it ‘just get the job done’, when you can platinum plate your own b/s? That’s what the EU is doing with its own official effort, which you can bet is far more expensive, and far less efficient than pimping the Kyiv Post.

      But that is not the point, which is showing that the EU is doing something and also employing EU nationals. I guess it shows what rank incompetence rules at elite levels of the EU. Oh, well, if Brussels wants to hire me as its evil genius, my email is

      I’ll let you know when I stop laughing.

    • yalensis says:

      I like the commenter who says:
      “If my grandmother would have had an engine and 4 wheels, she would have been a car.”

  12. Moscow Exile says:

    The latest gibberish off Yatsenyuk:

    Яценюк допустил причастность «российских диверсантов» к подрыву опор ЛЭП

    Yatsenyuk assumes the involvement of “Russian saboteurs” in the felling of utility poles

    Prime Minister of the Ukraine, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, said that “Russian saboteurs” could have participated in the felling of transmission towers that carry the power lines along which energy is supplied from the Ukraine to the Crimea, reports “Interfax-Ukraine”.

    So according to Yats, the energy blockade of the Crimea could be a Russian provocation carried out by Russian saboteurs.

    Kiev never misses an opportunity to accuse Moscow of being the root cause of all their misfortunes, and this despite the fact that sometimes such charges take on an absurd character.

    According to Yatsenyuk, the cutting-off of electricity to the Crimea could have possibly been caused by the Russian saboteurs. How such “Russian terrorists” managed to infiltrate and work with the “Right sector” and the Majlis remains a mystery about which one can only guess. In the twisted Russophobic mind of the Ukrainian Prime Minister, however, the participation of those evil Moskali in this nefaious deed is now presented as a distinct possibility, not least because of the generally condemnatory attitude of his EU pals with regards to the indisputable crimes being meeted out in Banderastan’s name against a civilian population that the Svidomites still maintain are citizens of their fantasy land.

  13. marknesop says:

    For anyone looking for an explanation why European countries are suddenly consumed by a desire to “fight ISIS”, I haven’t seen a better one than this:

    “The question arises: why then are some Western countries going to send troops to the Middle East if there is no real desire to fight the terrorists? All of this is somewhat reminiscent of events after the Second World War. When it became clear that the Third Reich was doomed, our allies quickly dashed to finish off the world threat.

    They did this not so much out of good intentions, because serious military operations could have been started earlier, but instead to receive dividends from the victory and limit our influence in Europe along the way. There is reason to assume that our Western partners are not too pleased with the growing influence of our country in the Middle East. Hence their desire for a greater focus on the region. “

    Europe has been impressed with the need to limit post-crisis Russian influence in the Middle East, and since the west will write the history of what happened anyway, various countries are rushing to be in at the bloody death of ISIS so as to retain negotiating positions afterward.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      Echoes of the French occupation zone of Germany and the French controlled sector of Berlin.

      After all, the French army fought long and hard gainst the Third Reich: must have been all of 6 weeks or so.

      And don’t forget Peru, Venezuela and Uruguay, which declared war against Nazi Germany in February1945.

    • et Al says:

      I came to that conclusion some time ago. Facts on the ground directly translate in to influence at the peace talks.

      It is so shameful that the US and EU slowly got their shit together only after the Paris massacre, that I despair for any rebirth of common sense, decency and getting their heads out of the a-holes.

  14. et Al says:

    The International News: Turkey expresses condolences to Russia over death of pilot

    ..”We expressed our sadness and expressed our condolences for the Russian pilot who lost his life,” Turkish media quoted Cavusoglu as saying after meeting Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Belgrade…

    …One was killed while parachuting to the ground — in circumstances yet to be fully explained –..

    ….Cavusoglu praised the mood of the talks but gave no indication of a breakthrough on ending the crisis.

    “It´s important to keep the channels of dialogue open,” he said.

    “On both sides there is a desire not to escalate the tensions. I am sure that common sense will win over emotion.”

    But he added: “It would not be realistic to say that the problems have been overcome in a first meeting.”..

    “We met with Mr Cavusoglu… We did not hear anything new. The Turkish minister confirmed the positions which they have already voiced. We confirmed our views,” Lavrov said.

    Turkey is only capable of going to the store to buy a bigger shovel.

    If you are going to play with the big boys, you cannot rely on poor comedians. OK, Kerry is a good example for an established Big Boy state, but Turkey aspires to be recognized as one but hasn’t even read the rule book. You would think the AKP government would be embarrassed, but they are not. Hey, but they won an election recently!!!

    • ucgsblog says:

      Turkey: “Hey, we’re making progress with the Russians!”
      Russia: “That’s funny, we haven’t seen any of it”
      Greece: “It’s gone, gone, gone tonight, talking about… what? We’re so glad that we’re not the World’s laughingstock anymore, and we’re doubly glad it’s Turkey!”

      And let’s not compare Edrogan/Davogsomething to Kerry, the latter actually has some understanding of how international politics work. Obama would make a better comparison, as would Clinton.

    • marknesop says:

      There is a huge gulf between expression of condolences and an apology. The latter assumes a degree of responsibility for the incident which results in condolences. Turkey refuses to say it is sorry for shooting down the plane even though most analyses agree there was no reason for them to do it. But that doesn’t really matter; the damage has been done anyway, and I am sure a heartfelt Turkish apology now would be too late. The dominoes have already started to fall. It is better, really, if Erdogan remains publicly adamant and unrepentant, because he will become the lightning rod for the whole incident – as he should be – and when the economic actions begin to bite, Turks will blame him for their troubles. Erdogan deserves to be overthrown for this, and I hope he is; I hope the opposition recognizes the opportunity it has been given.

      • Moscow Exile says:

        This “condolence” vs. “apology” argument is what those long-suffering Holy Martyrs of Europe regularly throw at the Evil Russians in their frequently regurgitated Katyn massacre accusation, namely that condolences from the President of the USSR and the State Duma are insufficient: they want a down-on-your-knees-and-beg-for-forgiveness apology and nothing less – following which will arrive in the first post a mega-compensation claim.

  15. ucgsblog says:

    And in other news, Trump is favored to beat Clinton for the presidency via the Electoral College. Clinton still has the popular votes, but as Gore found out, popular vote doesn’t mean a thing in US presidential elections.

    • cartman says:

      Clinton and Rubio or Cruz would all be disasters – war war war all the time

    • marknesop says:

      I still don’t think there is the slightest chance Trump is going to be President – he’s just too much of a loose cannon and too uncoupled from the political inside track. My money is still on Rubio. I’m not surprised that Trump could beat Hillary, though. Even if she were not a warhag nutjob, Barack Obama has poisoned the well for the Democrats for this election, and quite possibly the next as well depending on how the Republicans play their first term.

  16. Jen says:

    Giardian carrying story of a 5-year-old girl supposedly killed by a Russian airstrike near Latakia or the NE Turkish-Syrian border on October 1.

    Standards over at The Giardian must be slipping if their writer needs more than a month to come up with this level of heartstring-tugging propaganda drivel. A month passes and no-one else has reported on this?

    • marknesop says:

      “Syrians say Russians are not only reckless about choosing targets, but also appear to be intentionally bombing some civilian areas.”

      I would be very surprised if that was true, and very surprised if any non-ISIS Syrians are saying it. I can tell you where it is true, though – eastern Ukraine. And the Grauniad could care less. Because Ukraine has a right to protect itself. Syria doesn’t even have the right to tell foreign militaries to stay out.

    • kirill says:

      I want to see some tears for the thousands of civilians that have died thanks to various drone attacks and bombing campaigns carried out by the US and its NATO minions. Until I see such “concern” this all propaganda BS.

      The western media never writes such articles for NATO victims.

      • marknesop says:

        Especially after the U.S. government downgraded its rules of engagement for bombing in Syria where there might be collateral damage to civilians from “Use all reasonable caution” to “Shit happens”.

      • astabada says:

        Somewhere in the Middle East, a brutal air war is being conducted against civilians.

        A bloody and family run dictatorship, incapable of confronting the enemy guerrillas on the ground, resorted to strategic bombing of cities and civilian infrastructure to try and break the will of an entire people.

        You’d never know where if you follow only the mainstream media.

  17. et Al says:

    By a double-barreled posh bird. too!

  18. et Al says:

    Mercouris: Memo to Putin: Going After Erdogan Personally May Be Unwise

    Publicly humiliating Erdogan by accusing members of his family of involvement in the illegal oil trade may simply cause Erdogan to dig in..


    I would disagree here. It all rather depends on what the Kremlin’s strategy here is. If you go for a) Putin Angry and lashing out, then it does seem unwise. But, if you go for b) Putin’s has a good think about it, then it makes more sense.

    Let me flesh out ‘b’. This is where instead of tarring the whole ruling AKP and associates, he picks very limited targets and applies the serious pressure. In essence, when wielding a big stick, you should always offer a choice.

    Putin is appealing to the cadre of Turks at all levels that believe good relations with Russia is in its own strategic interest. After all, are the Kurds a bigger threat than a Syria with Bashar Al-Assad as its head? Splitting focus is a fatal error only made by schoolboys and d/kwits.

    So, Putin surely knows that Erdogun (intentional) and Dovutgolu won’t back down, then why keep on pushing if he has to make a deal with them in the end and not necessarily to Russia’s advantage? Because he has written them off. He’ll do a deal with replacements, but not those two. Personally I think he is trying to incite a coup withing the AKP (and certainly not the military which as been essentially defanged).

    This is of course the beginning and the pain has yet to sink in. Unlike the West who only imposes sanctions when it thinks the cost will be non-existent or minimal, the Kremlin puts money where its mouth is. Now how weird is that. It use to be how it was done in the old days…

    On a side note, we’ve heard nothing about the Turkish citizen who celebrated on yt the killing of the Russian Su-24 pilot. The Russians certainly haven’t forgotten about him (unless he was wiped out in the ensuing bombardment). If he is still alive, Istanbul would have whipped him out of Syria and brought him back home, in essence harboring a war criminal. Double stupid. Well, at least we will not get bored for some time to come…

    • et Al says:

      Apologies for my bad english in para. 3. What I meant to say was keeping Russia on side is in Turkey’s strategic interest and also which is more important for Turkey, limiting Kurdish power or getting rid of Assad? It’s a no brainer except for Erdogun, Dsvutgolu & co.

    • yalensis says:

      This is not the first time that Putin has completely cut somebody off. He did it with Saakashvili too after August 2008 war. After that Saak was non-person for him.

    • marknesop says:

      This is like saying if somebody who looks to be your physical equal is in your face when you’re at a bar, and you can see that a fight is unavoidable, you should just push him away as hard as you can and maybe he will get the message. What you should really do is hit him with a chair, if there’s one ready to hand which is not bolted to the floor, because if you are going to be in it you should be in it to win it. If Putin has decided to put Erdogan on the floor, there is no use employing half-measures or using a lot of bluster with nothing to back it up. I don’t think Putin would say it if he had no proof, and if he does have it, why be careful of Erdogan’s feelings? Erdogan’s instant and angry response suggests he respects nothing but strength and force, so there is no use at all in being a candy-ass about it. Erdogan knew full well that if Turkey had officially apologized right away and offered to do what it could to make it right, it is very likely there would have been no economic action. I’m with you on this, and Alex is dead wrong – if you know you’re right and have made the decision not to be pushed back any further, go big or go home.

    • Tim Owen says:

      It’s kind of a curious argument from Mercouris. I think anyone calling for moderation in such inflamed times should be listened to as a matter of rhetorical “hygiene” so I’m glad he said it and it was published. That said I don’t get the feeling that Putin and the RF have let their emotions run away with them. My first premise would be that the elephant in the room is something that has already been broached by Putin: the West and it’s allies – Turkey, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, not to mention the Eropean vassals – have been playing a double game by standing up terrorist assets in the ME to dismember Syria while pretending that they are opposing it. This is Exhibit A in the Russian argument. I don’t think there’s a way of avoiding explicitly making this charge at some point, bringing it to a head so to speak. Given the way the west is using the Paris attacks as a way to get “back in the game” – competive bombing coming to the next Olympics? – I think the timing’s kind of ripe to make this, the central issue, well… the central issue. After all it is really the West’s perfidy here that actually justifies Russian action in the “why” column (with the adherence to international law and the UN Charter in the second column under “how”.)

      • kirill says:

        I find the whole argument to be vapid. NATO wants to remove Assad because he was not loyal enough or whatever, and they even set up ISIS to do it. But Russia has to treat El Corrupto the terrorist financier and organizer with some sort of diplomacy? Why? The best approach is to expose him and he had dig in all he wants.

        • kirill says:

          I mean “can dig” not “had dig”.

          Russia has been too diplomatic for too long. The Syria campaign has shown that tough action is needed and there is nothing that Russia’s NATO “partners” can do about it. The natural gas pipeline issue needs the same sort of swift hit approach and not years of waffle and basically appeasement. If the EU does not want Russian gas, then it can bugger on off. Russia does not have to bend over and please it.

      • marknesop says:

        I completely agree, and it is a surprising argument for Alex to make because he has never shrunk from championing boldness in the past. Russia held out and even shook the olive branch for months; continued to entreat, “Don’t do this…” and to refer to perfidious western countries as “our partners” to demonstrate they could still step back from the brink. Unsurprisingly to anyone who follows the west and its predatory hungers, it immediately interpreted conciliation as weakness, and pressed on heedlessly. I couldn’t say exactly when things crossed the line, but at some point the hopeful talk about partners stopped, and the Russian state positioned hardened. Putin is far more deliberate than he is impulsive, and he listens to a wide variety of advice and viewpoints – he must have become convinced that this is for keeps and it is time to start establishing the new ground rules which will probably prevail for much of our lifetimes. I believe Russia still nurtures hope of carving Europe off from Washington – not completely, but of much reducing Washington’s influence to the point that occasionally Europe will defy or ignore Washington in favour of its own interests. But I’m confident that Russia and the United States will never again be friends for so long as Putin is running the show in Russia. No loss there, because they never really were anyway, and all the hoping was on one side.

    • Jen says:

      Perhaps the intended audience (among others) is not Erdogan but the countries receiving the ISIS-stolen oil. Where is that oil going to? Putin may have something else up his sleeve if Erdogan digs in his heels and continues to bluster and make himself look stupid; Putin could reveal who has been receiving the oil.

      • marknesop says:

        Ahhhh…but as I linked a day or two ago, the EU wrote itself permission to buy oil from the “Syrian rebels” as a form of aid. They tipped a nod to oversight by mandating that all such sales must be approved by the Syrian National Coalition, their pet government-in-waiting, which is based in Turkey.

        I read that a major buyer is Israel. I also read that some of the oil is transshipped through Odessa, but there was some complaining that the port is too shallow for big tankers. Whoever is getting it, though, will just say “So what? All puffickly legal, my man; approved by the Syrian National Coalition, don’t you know.” And the USA has already pooh-poohed evidence which included video of an oil tanker driving straight through a Turkish border checkpoint, from Syria, without even being checked. I don’t know what evidence it would take to convince them.

    • Fern says:

      I’m sort of in two minds about Alexander’s article. On the one hand, I think NATO and western perfidy in Syria needs nailing. On the other, these are dangerous times and much depends on there being cool heads in the Kremlin.

      • yalensis says:

        I agree, and I can even see why Mercouris, being such a cautious and polite person himself, would want to urge caution on hotheads.
        The danger as Alex sees it, is that Russia-Turkish ties would be damaged for a very long time to come. Especially since Russia is not about “regime change”, and hence Erdoğan will be sitting in the catbird seat for many years, probably.

        In this case, however, I doubt if it is “hotheads” speaking in the Kremlin. I am pretty sure that Putin and the others thought this through in a thousand different variants, factoring in possible consequences and ramifications; and they decided to go for it anyhow.

        I think they made the right decision. But only time will tell.

        ἀλλ᾿ ἐν χρόνῳ γνώσῃ τάδ᾿ ἀσφαλῶς, ἐπεὶ χρόνος δίκαιον ἄνδρα δείκνυσιν μόνος,
        κακὸν δὲ κἂν ἐν ἡμέρᾳ γνοίης μιᾷ.

        • marknesop says:

          I would not be so quick to say Russia is not about regime change. Just because it is not flooding the Kurds and Turkish opposition with covert funds does not mean it is not pressing for the overthrow of Erdogan, as I believe it is. I believe Russia deliberately abandoned diplomatic doublespeak and went straight to “Erdogan is personally enabling the illegal sale of oil marketed by ISIS and is therefore a direct link in the terrorism chain” because it has had enough of him and wants him gone. If the Turks do not get the message it will be the worse for them, because – and,again, I am speculating according to my own assessment – Russo-Turkic relations will never return to their previous state so long as Erdogan remains in charge.

    • astabada says:

      One of the problems with a softer approach is that it would encourage other countries to try similar provocations (for example: Saudi Arabia is talking about a direct intervention in the conflict since months now).

      Iraq started tolerating Turkish reconnaissance flights against alleged PKK militiamen. Step by step, Turkey has walked as far as sending an 700-strong Army unit near Mosul, to train the local Peshmerga in fighting the Islamic State.

      Notice that by reading the Reuters’ article you’d think they were invited by Baghdad. The reality is that the Iraqi Government has called this mission an “incursion”, and demanded immediate withdrawal (see e.g. al-Abadi’s message in RT’s article).

  19. Cortes says:

    Given that RF Muslims are non takfiri, why not extraordinarily render returning jihadis to RF Sharia courts on charges of, blasphemy?
    With Sharia penalties?

  20. yalensis says:

    Sorry if somebody else already posted this:
    Sophie Shevardnadze interviews American intellectual/dissident Noam Chomsky.

  21. Tim Owen says:

    A good window into Cameron’s mind:

    I don’t point it out because of the reflection it offers on the moral obtuseness or economic illiteracy of the “austerity” mentality but because I think it exposes how intellectually and morally shallow the man is. I’m kind of glad Monbiot brings up the Quiet American in this context. It’s a similar kind of malaise. If you bathe in the self-referential media of the west all day this is the kind of vapid moron you deserve as a leader. Everything one thinks or says long ago lost any logic OR evidence of engagement with the world… and no-one notices.

    • marknesop says:

      Of course Cameron does not notice the creeping death by a thousand cuts, because he is insulated from them by a thick was of banknotes. in 2015 Dave the Pig Fancier backed a 10% raise for MP’s although pay for nurses, care workers and the armed forces is frozen for 5 years, while police officers received notice of a 1% raise just minutes before Dave announced more pork for himself and MP’s.

      • Tim Owen says:

        He actually reminds me of my sister’s ex husband, an Oxford grad from the PPE program who could be relied upon to make the conventional argument on any given issue with enormous, heartfelt sincerity. I found it uncanny; as if he were trying to get my vote for an unnamed party without an election on the horizon.

        After Oxford he joined a securities firm … and also EST. It floored me when I learned that. It made me think that much of British social strata is at root about simply being a good place-holder… Making, almost literally, the right “noises” at the right times as if the point of conversation or argument amounted to sniffing each other’s ass. (No offence to our canine friends or fans.)

        An entirely useless fuck unless you want to kite a stock or fund.

      • Moscow Exile says:

        Not forgetting, of course (of course not!) that Cameron’s net worth has been estimated at $50 million.

        And he’s never had a real job in his life: posh family – posh school – posh university – researcher for the Conservative Party – MP – PM.

        David Cameron is the prime-minister of the United Kingdom, a position he has held since May 11th 2010. He has an estimated worth of $50 million. Born October 9th 1966 in London, Cameron started his career in politics in 1988 as a researcher for the Conservative Party.

        An academic, his good grades allowed him to enter Eton College, one of the UK’s most exclusive public schools. Beginning as a researcher for the conservative party, he went on to become special adviser to the chancellor and then special adviser to the home secretary. He was elected as a member of parliament for Witney in 2001, a safe conservative seat. He became leader of the conservative party in 2005, after another Labour victory at the general election. The conservatives won the 2010 general election after joining with the Liberal Democrats to form a coalition, as no party had won a clear majority. Before this, the conservative party hadn’t won a general election since 1992.


        David Cameron Net Worth

        David Cameron’s father left assets in tax haven

        Cameron family fortune made in tax havens

        Claims that David Cameron has a £30m fortune sit uneasily with taxpayers.

        Oh, and Mrs. Cameron is not short of a few bob either.

        “We’re all in this together”, says Dave and his political party!

        All up shit creek paddling the same canoe?


  22. Moscow Exile says:

    Some interesting links in this Russian blog:

    Фриц Моисеевич Морген (fritzmorgen) wrote,
    2015-12-05 11:00:00

    Год Огненной обезьяны

    Year of the Fire-Monkey

    An unhappy and alarming state of affairs in the world economy. At ZeroHedge is published a collection of 11 sad charts that show that a serious crisis is only just starting to flare up. Such was the beginning of the crisis in 2008.

    Oil prices sank incredibly, the cost of copper and other resources were also at lows. Investors ceased to invest in new projects, and the number of corporate defaults were, in fact, growing. THere was rapidly decreasing production, and retail sales were so sluggish, as though the Americans were disappointed in their consumer dream:

    Analysts at Citigroup predict that in 2016 there will be a 65% chance of the American economy going into recession – and that’s a pretty optimistic assessment of the situation. In the U.S. there is a real collapse of orders for trucks — this means that transport companies are expecting major reductions in trade:

    So far, the future looks pretty certain — any loud sound can provoke a collapse of the American economy into deflation. Thus, the real estate bubble is tightly stretched: the gap betwen the value of their houses and the income of Americans has become so great that it is possible to expect falling prices at any time:

    Some experts also believe that the U.S. banking sector is already in free flight and defaults in emerging markets will provoke in the coming months a wave of forced bankruptcies of American banks:

    By the way, the next default of a developing country — unless, of course, one can call it the “emerging” modern Ukraine — will already be seen, apparently, at the end of December. The IMF has warned the Ukraine about “hard times”; even the Deputy Finance Minister has admitted that the chances of the Ukraine getting money from the IMF before the end of the year are virtually zero:

    The IMF has also urged the Ukraine to negotiate with Russia about the three billion that the Ukraine needs to pay on December 20. From the mouth of a representative of the Fund, this requirement sounds like a mockery: it is very hard to spell out the word “eternity” using the letters “s”, “h”, “i” and “t”. The Ukraine’s last card, a blockade of the Crimea, has already been played. There is nothing more left with which the Ukraine can put pressure on Russia.

    In Russia, meanwhile, things are far from brilliant, but still much better than they are with our neighbours. The agency “Moody’s” has upgraded the rating outlook of Russia’s bonds from “negative” to “stable”, recognizing the obvious fact of the successful solution of our corporations’ dollar debt:повысило-прEGNOS-on-rating-Russia/a-18894483?maca=rus-facebook-dw

    Indeed, our Central Bank has enough resources to support the ruble and buy industrial amounts of gold. From the beginning of this year our gold reserves have grown by 164 tons and are now 1370 tons:

    However, I shall repeat, the problems for us are abundant. For example, despite inflation in 2015, which, because of the fall of the ruble, has risen by as much as 15 percent, the prices of several commodities have declined.

    Many places have cheaper real estate; taxi drivers are getting less for their work; the prices for some construction materials have fallen:

    The reason is simple — the economy is slowing down; peoples’ incomes are falling, citizens are spending less… in other circumstances we would have even risked entering stagflation — a very nasty form of crisis, when revenues fall and expenditures, on the contrary, grow. But, fortunately, the Russian economy has a very clear direction, and after we get through the rough waters of the global financial storm — somewhere in 2017 or 2018 — we shall have all the conditions for strong growth.

    I repeat: so far only the storm clouds are gathering. A well-fed and peaceful 2016 is clearly not to be: our planet is obviously expecting big changes.

    In conclusion, instead of my giving a summary, I shall quote a fragment from the address of Vladimir Putin to the Federal Assembly:

    Paging Finland!

  23. Moscow Exile says:

    As I have said earlier: one slimy, obsequious human-turd!

    What a sly, grovelling piece of shit!

    See: Откроет ли Порошенко нефтяную лавку ИГ на Украине?

    Will Poroshenko be opening an IS crude oil store in the Ukraine?

    ….The key point of this traffic is Odessa, which the Georgian clown-reformer is unsuccessfully trying to control.

    The working terminals of the Odessa refinery and the oil pipeline Odessa – Brody are the crux of the oil smuggling infrastructure. Incidentally, in the Ukrainian media there has completely disappeared news regarding Odessa, the Odessa refinery and oil terminals. As if there were no such things. Because of this, I should like to cite some facts, out of which conclusions may be drawn.

    According to official Ukrainian statistics, in Odessa oil continues to be handled and delivered there by sea. So, for January – October 2015 in Illichivsk 1.48 million tonnes (or 4.8% compared to the same period last year) of sweet oil cargo was handled… In the Odessa commercial sea port (ICC) were processed 2,84 million tonnes of liquid cargo in January-September, which is 16.4% lower than a year earlier. The major volume was of oil – 1,98 mln tons (-21%); in addition, there were processed 717 thousand tons of chemical cargo (+9.5 per cent), 64 thousand tons of oil (+17,4%), and 84 thousand tons of crude oil (-50,9%). In addition, in Odessa they talk about the unloading of petrol in Kiliya and in the southern port (although the latter are going to convert to gas).

    It is noteworthy that, despite the economic crisis, the first Deputy Minister of Infrastructure, Volodymyr Schulmeister [Шульмейстер – I kid you not! – ME], has announced the development of a project for the construction of a new port in the area of the Dnepro-Bug lagoon estuary with the possibility of an oil terminal being built there. And the Ukrainian Minister of the Coal and Energy Ministry, Vladimir Demchishin, has said that Ukrainian traders are being compensated for the monthly 170 thousand tons of petroleum products from the Russian Federation with “alternative sources”. Russian companies, he has said, “have been replaced by other providers” (?). Ukrainian officials remain silent about who these alternative suppliers are …

  24. Moscow Exile says:

    Don’t do as we do! Do as we say!!!!

    США выступают за отмену торговых ограничений России против Турции

    USA calls for the abolition of trade barriers by Russia against Turkey

    Yes, you read it correctly.

  25. et Al says:

    Asia NATO taunts Russia, Turkey makes hay

    The week has ended appropriately with the Russian President Vladimir Putin signing in the Kremlin on Friday the Executive Order on Immortalizing the Memory of Yevgeniy Primakov. In the name of Primakov, the great statesman from the Soviet era who played a seminal role in the state formation of the Russian Federation in myriad capacities, Putin decreed that ten scholarships will be established in higher learning in two of Russia’s most elite universities in the field of economics and international relations and that a Russian naval ship under construction will be named after him.

    Primakov was a brilliant academician and a master tactician in the cold-war era bipolar politics and diplomacy and his great legacy lies in standing up for Russia’s interests and for turning around ‘post-Soviet’ Russia to embrace the idea of a multipolar world order, purging it of any lingering illusions of equal partnership with the West.

    Russia has an old tradition of naming warships after historical figures, which goes back to the end of the reign of Peter the Great. But the decision to name a warship after Primakov will not be lost on Washington, coming as it does within 48 hours of the move by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) on Wednesday at the alliance’s foreign ministers meeting in Brussels to admit Montenegro as a new member…

    Bhadrakumar has missed a trick here. Montenegro’s NATO membership was held up by…. France! So, now that Russia has held out its hand to France in the wake of the Paris terrorist attacks, France pays Russia back by dropping its objections to Montenegro joining NATO. Conclusion? Russia has to stop giving favors. No more.

    • et Al says:

      How would Paris justify this? Well, as the L’Oréal ad doesn’t go, “Because we’re worth it“.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      But the decision to name a warship after Primakov will not be lost on Washington…

      I bet it will be on most!

      I really hoped that he would oust that shamefully drunken oaf and traitor Yeltsin and was greatly diappointed when he quit his bid for the presidency after that boor gracefully resigned, having demanded and been awarded the title of “First President of the Russian Federation”.

      Primakov would have been a good president. He would have got my vote, albeit that I cannot vote here.

      Having quit the presidential race – factions were supporting Putin because, I presume, they considerred him to be Yeltsin’s creation and would, therefore, continue to allow the pigs to keep their noses in the trough – he fully supported Putin, though, in his successful presidential campaign of early 2000.

    • yalensis says:

      NATO membership for Montenegro is so damned important to NATO, that nothing could ever stop it, short of nuclear war It might even be the real (secret) reason why Yugoslavia was busted up in the first place. That’s just how damned important it is.
      (Hint: look at the geography, and the gas pipe situation.)

      In a war of a thousand cuts, NATO membership for Montenegro will truly harm Russia.
      Russia will survive, but this will still hurt.
      As Caesar might have said, on the Ides of March, “This is the most unkindest cut of all.”

  26. Warren says:

    Published on 24 Nov 2015
    In his interview with Andrey Sushentsov Prof. Dominic Lieven discusses his recent book on Russian Revolution of 1917 and draw parallels between contemporary international tensions and those that drove the world to the First World War. Prof. Lieven also discusses the perspective of Anglo-American leadership in the 21st century. He states that both the US and Great Britain historically achieved security at a relatively small price, and that dismantling Anglophone hegemony is a costly enterprise that was not successful for three centuries.

    • Special_sauce says:

      More tout court condemnations of evil communism tossed off without comment. He says “Stalinist regime” and then quickly corrects himself “Stalinist-Leninist” because that “wily aggressive” Lenin started it all.

  27. NATO building an air base to northern Syria which aim is to stop the Syrian government (and Russia) taking control of the important oil corridor from Iraq.

    I think the NATO needs to be stopped before they have built a real military presence in Syria. But would Russia bombing the air base result into a major war between Russia and NATO?

    • Lyttenburgh says:

      Now, because I actually bother to read some of inane links our emo-patriot Karl posts here, I can say with a greate levell of veracity that his panic striken post are a slightly less than entirely bullshit.

      The article provided in the above post makes NO REFERENCE to any bloody NATO base in the northern Syria.

      Once again – I’m a great humanis after all – give our brave Karl a Red Banner, and send him ahead of the attacking force screaming on the top of his lungs “Za rodinu! Za Stalina!”. And – yes, Karl! You are allowed to inteject “perkele!” from time to time.

      • You blind?

        It says in the article: “It means that the NATO contingent must occupy crucial infrastructure including oilfields before the Syrian government forces liberate it. ”

        And here are more details:

        Basically the West wants to occupy northern Syria before the Syrian government gets there.

        • Lyttenburgh says:

          Perkele, Karl! I believe that there is a crucial difference between a claim (by you only) that “NATO building an air base to northern Syria” and the actual words of this unsourced article, when it claims that “the NATO contingent must occupy crucial infrastructure”.

          In the first sentence we have a process well underway. In the second – something which didn’t even began.

          West might want a lot of things – including the downfall of a Bashar al-Assad. Right now, the realms of “want” and “can do” for the West are rather apart.

          But such little detail like. ypu know, “reality”, don’t prevent you and other emo-patriots from writing your panic-striken posts. Careful, Karl. Imagine what will happened to you, if the power-trip mad Putin will invade Finland!

          • We’ll see what happens. South Front has been quoted by the Russia Insider so I guess at least they consider it a good source.

            The West occupying northern Syria would not necessarily lead into the downfall of Assad, but it would prevent the Syrian government from liberating their country back since the Syrian military would not attack the NATO bases. And that would leave the important oil infrastructure out of the Syrian control and enable the West to have a control of territory that it can use to train and arm “moderate rebels” against the government.

            • Lyttenburgh says:

              “The West occupying northern Syria would not necessarily lead into the downfall of Assad”

              “The West” currently occupies nothing. Its more like Turkey’s desperate actions to do some shit to prove that they “can into relevance in the NATO”. They seem to lost the memo that the most recent fad in the “West” is to support Peshmerga and other Kurds militias – USA, Germany and the UK had their special forces “instructurs” embedded with them for a long period right now. Their respective governments are getting more and more frustrated with this “whack a Kurd” game that Turkey is playing.

              In fact – Kurds are becoming the only easily deniable and expendable asset for the West “on the ground”. Only Turkey seems to be hell-bent on supporting doomed “moderate opposition” – the very same moderate opposition, that is currently massacre in Northern Syria by 3-prong aatack by the Kurds, Daesh and Syrian Army.

              Naturally, seeing how everything is looking, ah, “pear shaped”, Erdogan-pasha feels a need To Do Something. No matter what – just to Show the World that Turkey is Stronk.

            • marknesop says:

              We will indeed see, but what it looks like to me is U.S. advisers giving the Kurds pointers on refurbishing an old and disused base, which will probably be used by U.S. fighters. You could argue that amounts to the same thing, but not quite. The Kurds do not have their own autonomous state, and unless they win one (through the coveted partitioning of Syria), they have no right to install a garrison comprised of a foreign military. In order for American plans to be realized, Assad still must lose – furthermore, the USA has no reason to remain in Syria, where it is uninvited, once ISIS is defeated. You would think that will be soon considering the massive buildup of foreign forces against it, considering they can no longer count on secrecy if they covertly help it rather than attack it. The USA is not going to get to set up its equally-coveted no-fly zone.

              So it all still comes down to the inconvenient fact that the Syrian government remains alive and functional. Nobody has any right to build foreign bases in Syria meanwhile, and all foreign forces operating in Syria except for Iran and Russia are de facto invaders. Their entire argument against the force of international law (which is a joke as it is plainly not enforceable against the west, although they might want to pretend again one day that it applies to everyone) is that a terrorist threat lives in Syria which is so monstrous that it requires the suspension of sovereignty while it is defeated. Fine; once it is, get out. And when that happens, all of Syria is still Syria. So unless by a miracle a ragtag group of flip-flops with AK’s and anti-tank weapons provided by the CIA wins out over the combined professional military forces of half the world, ISIS will be defeated. It will not kill or oust Assad before it falls. Nobody will have any claim on partitioning Syria, although I’m sure Washington will argue for it “in the interests of a just and enduring peace”.

        • marknesop says:

          Lyttenburgh is right – it does not say anything about NATO building a NATO air base in Northern Syria – it states what the author believes are conditions NATO must put in place in order to establish control, and includes “occupation of infrastructure”. NATO cannot just start building an airbase in somebody else’s country, much as they would like to.

          Again, this is at the root of Washington’s eagerness to partition Syria. It means to manage such a partition so that groups friendly to Washington’s interests in establishing control of energy assets will be gifted with the areas they need in order that this can be accomplished. But in order for partition to be managed by NATO, Syria must completely collapse, so that partition appears the only solution to prevent a massacre. They started talking about partition too soon, and the situation on the ground has changed.

          NATO will not build such a base without (a) permission from the Syrian government, or (b) complete collapse of the Syrian government and establishment of a new one which will invite its NATO friends in to oversee reconstruction. And Russia has demonstrated that it could destroy such a facility with a cruise-missile attack from far, far away without risking a single Russian life. Currently Russia and Iran are the only countries legally operating in Syria.

          • Patient Observer says:

            Partitioning Syria would represent the consolation prize for the West just as creation of Pakistan (the anti-India), Ukraine (the anti-Russia or South Vietnam (the anti-Vietnam) were done to avoid bigger losses. So, partitioning talk could represent a roll back of Western objectives. Of course, total defeat of ISIS and its affiliates is the only option for Syria.

            • marknesop says:

              On the contrary, partitioning Syria would be only slightly less a prize – from Washington’s perspective – than controlling the whole of it. Qatar – a solid American ally – has long sought a gas pipeline to Turkey and thence to Europe, with the specifically stated ambition of taking over Russia’s traditional gas market. Syria rejected it for that same reason. Qatar has the world’s biggest gas field. Syria, of course, is only part of the route such a pipeline would have to cross, but it is significant that it was the only adamantly not-interested potential partner, and even more significant that Syria signed plans for such a pipeline with Iran as a partner rather than Qatar. And the west would not have to control all of Syria to realize the Qatari here’s-yer-alternative-gas-supply-Europe dream – just enough of it to support the pipeline.

              In fairness I should point out there is a group that says this is just a nutty conspiracy theory, and that a pipeline is not worth all that effort, while Saudi Arabia would have to approve it and they won’t. But they might, because the Saudis hate Bashar al-Assad, not so much for his politics but for his religion. And as Pepe Escobar wrote in the Asia Times, ““The Iran-Iraq-Syria pipeline – if it’s ever built – would solidify a predominantly Shi’ite axis through an economic, steel umbilical cord.”

              • Patient Observer says:

                True, if the pipeline could be built through a partitioned Syria, then that would represent a major success. But, there is also the psychological need to DEFEAT (preferably murder) all leaders who dare resist the Empire. The certainty of death must not be in doubt for national leaders who refuse to submit (excluding those nations with nuclear weapons). If Assad remains the leader of Syria or a portion there of, that would represent a major defeat.

                I don’t know enough about the Shiite-Sunni schism to comment on its geopolitical importance. If it’s anything like the Catholic-Orthodox schism, then it would be a huge factor.

                Does any Islamic sect have an equivalent of the Pope – a purported infallible god-like leader? I have assumed that the psychopathology of the Catholic religions flowed in part from that belief.

                • Jen says:

                  The original difference between Sunni Islam and Shi’ite Islam arose after the death of the Prophet Muhammad when his followers disputed over who was to succeed him as head (caliph) of the Muslim community. The Shi’ites wanted his nephew Ali to succeed him and the Sunnis plumped for a friend and advisor of Muhammad’s, Abu Bakr.

                  The main differences between Sunnis and Shi’ites concern the role of imams in their communities. Sunni Muslims don’t rate imams as being any more special than other human beings (so they don’t have popes or a religious hierarchy). Shi’ite Muslims on the other hand tend to regard imams as somewhat divine as they must have been special in the first place to be selected as imams in their communities. Also the Shi’ites believe in a number of divinely appointed imams and the main split between Shi’ites is Sevener Shi’ites (the Ismailis and other sects who believe there were seven divinely appointed imams) and the Twelver Shi’ites (who add another five divinely appointed imams). Twelver Shi’ism is the main religion in Iran. The current Grand Ayatollah is Ali Hosseini Khamenei who succeeded Khomeini in 1989 but outside Iran he is no big authority figure among Shi’ites. The Ismailis have the Aga Khan.

                  Shi’ite practice is different as Shi’ites are big believers in saints, martyrs and making pilgrimages to the burial places of saints and martyrs. There is a strong messianic tradition in Shi’ism and Twelver Shi’ites believe that the last of the twelve semi-divine imams is in hiding and will return with Jesus during a time of great chaos, when Syria and Iraq (especially Baghdad) will be attacked, and Syria destroyed.

                  Apart from the strong Shi’ite belief in saints, martyrs and the messianism, there are no major differences in beliefs between Sunnis and Shi’ites. Actual practice seems to be different: in Sydney alone, there are not only separate Sunni and Shi’ite mosques but within the religious communities, mosques cater for different ethnic groups. The Sunnis and Shi’ites also have their own community organisations. But just as people from different Christian denominations intermarry, there is intermarriage across the Sunni-Shi’a and ethnic divides.

                • yalensis says:

                  From what I understand, Muslims don’t have an infallible “Pope” figure, but they do have a super-holy “place” which is Mecca and that rock.
                  Being the keeper of this place and this rock is what gives Saudi Arabia its special power, and hence, by extrapolation, gives the Saudi government a prominent role, similar to Italy under the popes.
                  Somebody please correct me, if I have this all wrong.

                • Patient Observer says:

                  Jen, Yalensis – thanks for the education, I will duly process!

      • Lyttenburgh says:

        I see. We have net-news source that is slightly less obkective and well-known than a “Ancient Astranauts” theory guy.


        By Potato, sounds legit! So, what this alleged big-ass invasion is all about?

        “The Turkish army invaded the Syrian territory and took control of the hill Tal Ziyab. Troops crossed the border accompanied by bulldozers.

        After occupying the high ground (50 meters), the Turkish force built fortifications. Also, 3 battle tanks, 2 armored infantry fighting vehicles and several SUVs were deployed there.”

        Perkele! This sounds… ridiculous!

        • Moscow Exile says:

          Турция вторглась в Ирак

          Turkey has invaded Iraq

          5 December 2015 – Turkey has conducted a military invasion of Iraq. According to reports by the Iraqi authorities: in Iraq a few hundred Turkish troops accompanied by armoured vehicles and 20-25 pieces of artillery have illegally invaded. This Turkish military group is located near the Iraqi city of Mosul. Baghdad demands that Ankara urgently withdraw its army units from Iraq sovereig territory, otherwise the Iraqi Parliament is ready to give the order to start military action against this occupation group of Turkish troops.

          The military intervention of a group of Turkish troops occurred on the night of 5 December. Turkish military forces invaded the Nineveh province of Iraq with tanks and armoured vehicles. Currently, the Turkish group is located near the city of Mosul, which is under the control of the terrorist group ISIL. Officially Ankara does not hide this fact, but argues that the Turkish military group arrived in Iraq to provide theoretical and practical assistance to fighters of the Kurdish militia, the Peshmerga.

          The Iraqi authorities claim that it has not given its permission to Turkey for such an action, and therefore consider this fact a military incursion into its sovereign territory. The Prime Minister of Iraq said that he has appealed to Ankara, demanding that it “immediately withdraw its military from the territory of Iraq”. And in the Iraqi Parliament it has been declared that in fact the number of Turkish military that has invaded the territory of their country is several thousand, and the number of Turkish artillery, tanks and armoured vehicles accompanying these soldiers is in the hundreds. The head of of the Security and Defence Committee of the Iraqi Parliament has announced that if the Turkish military occupation group does not quickly leave Iraq territory, then the Iraqi air force and artillery will be brought into action first followed by Iraqi infantry, which will then be thrown against the surviving Turkish military.

          • Patient Observer says:

            Tired of pesky Turkish invaders? You tried diplomacy, asked friends but nothing seems to help. Its time for
            Russian Air Strikes!
            In as little as 90 days, you can be rid of those pests for good. Results guaranteed. Call 011 7 495 – BOMBSAWAY – act now and we will include 24 cruise missile strikes!
            (inspired by a youtube video).

          • Moscow Exile says:

            Багдад резко ответил Анкаре и Вашингтону

            Baghdad gives sharp reply to Ankara and Washington

            What a pretty soldier!/i>

            Baghdad demands that Turkey withdraw its forces sent into Iraq without any agreement

            It’s amazing! Influenced by the actions of Russia in Eastern countries, politicians are starting to “wake up” and to recall long forgotten American democracy concepts and terms such as sovereignty, national independence, etc. Baghdad, which a month ago would have have tolerated anything from Washington, suddenly rose after President Barack Obama announced the sending of a group of special forces to Iraq in order to combat the “Islamic state” (a group banned in Russia – ed.).

            On Tuesday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry stressed that the Iraqi government had been “informed” about the US intention to transfer and place in their country a group of American special forces. Unexpectedly, he received a reply saying this was not on, and the reply was not just from anybody: it was from the Iraq Prime Minister himself, Haider al-Abad, who responded by saying: “The Iraqi Government stresses that any military operations or the presence of any foreign forces, special or not, in any area of Iraq should be undertaken only with the its consent and in coordination with it”.

      • marknesop says:

        I must say, that is clever. A hilltop is pretty much the best place to set up if your enemy has air superiority and a good ground-attack capability.

    • Jen says:

      Does anyone not think that these actions by the Turkish government might be rash and impulsive, and indicate that Ankara is trying to stave off potential revolts by its own military by diverting its attentions to NE Syria and Iraq? It can only be a matter of time before there is an army revolt. The Turkish people might only tolerate Ankara’s actions up to a certain point, depending on how brainwashed they have been by Erdogan’s government and party over the last decade or so, before they start to rebel. The rebellion could quickly pass between the public and the army, because all Turkish men aged over 18 years are subject to compulsory military conscription.

      • marknesop says:

        There are between 11 and 14 million Kurds in Turkey; it is a substantial number, and Erdogan may well find himself with a domestic revolt if he keeps attacking them elsewhere.

  28. Lyttenburgh says:

    Meanwhile in the Ukraine:

    – Free and Independent Euroukrs build a monument to bandera in Ivano-Frankiwsk

    – “Russia Occupied” Donbass – new monument in Amvrosievka, honoring both known and unknown heroes, who were defending their land from the foreign invaders:

    More photos here:

    P.S. But we know where the real fascism is rearing its ugly head, right?

  29. Moscow Exile says:


    Минфин РФ: Москва подаст в суд в случае невыплаты Украиной долга 20 декабря

    The Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation: Moscow will sue in the event of non-payment of the Ukraine debt on December 20

    5 December, 16:55 UTC+3

    The Ministry added that Russia has received an official refusal from the U.S. government to provide guarantees on debt of Ukraine

    MOSCOW, December 5. /TASS/. Russia intends to sue the Ukraine if Kiev fails to pay its debt of $3 billion dollars by December 20 this year. This is stated in a statement of the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation.

    “Despite the absence of an official request by the Ukraine to the government of the Russian Federation on the issue of a $3 billion sovereign debt restructuring, Russia has made a proposal for installments of repayment of the Ukrainian debt over 3 years (2016-2018 years) under guarantees of the USA, the EU or a first class international financial institution”, according to a departmental notice.

    The Finance Ministry stressed that Russia has offered the Ukraine “terms even better than requested by the international monetary Fund.”

    “This week we received an official refusal from the U.S. government to provide guarantees for the obligations of the Ukraine. In this regard, we have no choice but to sue the Ukraine in the event of default by the borrower of the obligations in full on 20 December of the current year, which would mean a sovereign default of the Ukraine”, said the statement.

    “In addition, currently there are risks of non-receipt by the Ukraine of the next tranche from the IMF in view of the fact that so far it has not adopted the state budget for 2016, which would match the parameters of the programme fund, because of the lack of an agreed draft tax reform also needed for structural measures”, emphasized in the Ministry of Finance.

    Debt of Ukraine to Russia
    At the G20 summit in Turkey, Vladimir Putin announced that Moscow offered to extend the payment on the debt of the Ukraine for the years 2016-2018 at $1 billion a year. The head of state stressed that Russia does not agree to the restructuring of the Ukrainian debt, and had offered the best conditions, as requested by the IMF.

    Putin stressed that the final decision on this proposal will have to be taken in the near future.
    However, as announced on 1 December by Deputy Finance Minister Sergei Storchak, the Ukraine has not yet responded officially to the proposal of the Russian Federation about the debt restructuring of $3 billion. According to him, Russia expects that that Ukraine will respond to this proposal by December 8th. “We proceed from the desire to reach an agreement before December 8, since on December 8 the IMF will vote for the policy changes (which provides authorization of a state lending fund with official obligations – ed.)”, said the Deputy Minister.

  30. Moscow Exile says:

    Oil tankers?

    Nah, never seen any!

  31. OPEC fails to agree production ceiling after Iran pledges output boost:

    What this means is that the oil price will fall further and likely below $40.

    As nobody is willing to cut production and with Iranian oil on the market the oil price is set to stay low for years to come.

    • Patient Observer says:

      Way way to many variable to forecast oil prices for more than a year and even that is speculative. The instability in the Middle East could result in well-know oil exporters having a lot of grief and disrupted production. For conservative planning purposes, assume two years if you have any responsibility in such matters.

    • marknesop says:

      This is not good news for Russia, but it is not good news for any oil producer and if there are grades of bad news, it is worse news to the USA (because it means their shale industry will stay dead) and to Saudi Arabia (which needs oil money to stave off domestic pressure for reforms). What I want to know is how they can continue to justify high prices at the pump for gasoline when they are buying oil for less than half what it cost two years ago.

  32. et Al says:

    Apparently, Dave ‘The Pig Fancier’ Cameron, part time Prime Minister of the UK, was warned by civil servants not to claim that there were 70,000 ‘moderate rebels’ available to fight ISIS. Dumb f/k did it anyway. One Labor MP, Louise Haigh, was berated after the government briefing on Syria for ‘misunderstanding’ the presenter saying that only 40,000 were on hand…

    • marknesop says:

      The 40,000 figure is pie-in-the-sky bullshit as well – there are not 40,000 “moderate rebels” in the whole of Syria, and I would be surprised if there are more than 2000. Most have folded their pretension-to-moderation tents and joined the al-Nusra Front, which is al Quaeda in Syria.

      • et Al says:

        Well considering how apt western officials are in massaging figures (and I don’t mean in a parlor) and creatively reinterpreting the meaning out of standard english words, I think this 40,000 could even include dead moderates. After all, no-one has said whether they are breathing or not….

  33. Moscow Exile says:

    Sara Virvolainen, a 15-year-old Afro-American from the state of North Dakota, was the winner of a competition about Ukrainian history that took place within the framework of “Ukraine Year” in America and Canada.

    In 5 minutes and without any preparation she reeled off 39 out of the 47 most significant battles that have taken place between the 8th and 21st centuries and in which the Russians were well and truly beaten by Ukrainians.

    The clever girl received as a prize the opportunity of fulfilling her treasured dream – celebrating her birthday in Poltava.

    I think her family name just might be Finnish.

    What a well indoctrinated girl!

    And why Poltava?

    I wonder if she has been told that Poltava is the location of yet another great victory of the super-human “Ukrainians” against the Orcs as well?

    It is just all too pathetic for words!

    These Svidomites are unbelievable shit-kicking, bumpkin retards.

    • Lyttenburgh says:

      … or this gal wants to Live-Action Role Play (LARP) “Hunger Games” in the Ukraine…

    • yalensis says:

      Shouldn’t that be translated as “celebrating Christmas in Poltava” ?
      “Her birthday” would be день рождения.

      Unless she is the Christ-child.

      • Moscow Exile says:

        Yep, that’s absolutely correct.

        An error that must have come about because I wrote the last bit in English a while after I had written the first couple of paragraphs. I must have written “birthday” as I wrote the last sentence because I was looking at the picture of her in her Ukrainian gear when writing and her celebrating her birthday seemed natural, because the picture was clearly taken in the summer, presumably in the Ukraine.

        However, if the picture was indeed taken in the Ukraine, then that’s one hell of a prize she’s won: if it’s true then that means she must be enjoying full board and keep in Banderastan for 6 months!

        I am pretty sure, therefore, that the picture was taken at some Banderite gathering in N.Dakota last summer and that she will fly over to the Ukraine in a few weeks time – within 3 weeks if she is going to celebrate Western Christmas and 5 weeks if she is planning to celebrate Orthodox Christmas.

        I still find it hard to believe, though, that his girl has listed off 39 battles out of a possible 47 that took place in the course of the past 1,300 years, which battles have all resulted in resounding victories for “Ukrainians” over “Russians”, not least because I am sure that 47 such battles have never taken place. Furthermore, who were the “Ukrainians” and who were the “Russians” in the VIII century?

    • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

      The ‘Ukrainian people’ are obsolete farm equipment.

    • Jen says:

      Hmm … I tried looking up “Virvolainen” on Google but didn’t get anything other than “Virolainen”. Is Virvolainen a real Finnish surname or was there a typo in the original story that got translated?

      Of course what that girl did to win first prize was, like, y’know, um, Totally Unreal.

      • Moscow Exile says:

        I’ve been checking this up for a while, but to no avail. That, by the way is why I stopped typing out the translation before the end: I got diverted for a long while.

        As you too have concluded, I think there may be a typo in the text as regards her name, but Google “translates” her family name as “Virolainen” and perhaps this is why one might think that it is a typo.

        Transliterated from the Cyrillic into the Latin alphabet, her name as it appears in the text would be: Virvoljainen. I should add, however, that there are different systems for transliterating Cyrillic, e.g. there are the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the British Standards Institute (BSI) systems: in the former, the letter щ is transliterated as šč, whereas the BSI system transliterates щ as shch.

        Вирволяйнен (as in the text) in Russian search engines just directs to the same story on different sites, and the commenters to these sites ridicule the whole thing. Some comment on the error in the “Roman numeral” IIIV : I, as well as many others, realized that this was a typo and should have been VIII, but one wag comments that apparently there must have been a Yukie system of numerals as well as a Roman and an Arabic one.

        There are lots of comments on the Russian web ridiculing the whole story, but none questioning her name.

        Typical of such comments:

        Сара Вирволяйнен, это че какой то гибрид жидо-финов, а вообще, если не фейк прикольно, только отправить ее нужно не в Полтаву а в Чернобыль, там тоже много интересного

        which suggests that if true, it’s a cool story, only she should not be sent to Poltava, but to Chernobyl as there is also much to see that is interesting there.

        And really, I just do not believe the story.

        it’s these 47 victories against “Russians” over the course of 13 centuries that gets me.

        • marknesop says:

          I have to wonder who they’re trying to convince with these tales of the Ukie warrior spirit. You would think that if these ferocious stories were true they would want to keep them quiet, lest commenters begin to wonder aloud where it all went and why it did not survive to the present day, resulting in terrible humiliations like Ilovaisk and Debaltsevo. Weren’t they supposed to be fighting the regular Russian army there, too?

        • Jen says:

          Maybe those 47 victories were fought against Russian mammoths 800 to 2,100 years ago.

      • yalensis says:

        Sara is a lovely young girl, and looks to be light-skinned. Using my racial radar, I would guess half Finnish and half Afro-American.
        Living in North Dakota, she is not that far away from Canada, aka Northern Banderstan!
        Which is maybe how she got mixed up with the wrong crowd.

  34. Lyttenburgh says:

    And now for something completely different.

    Navalny’s mother-in-law house on Novorizhskoye highway:

    $ 7’500’000

    Kasyanov’s “house” in Riga:

    €900 000

    Why Navalniy, George Alburov, Ludmila Alekseyeva and all handshakable twitterasts are silent?

  35. Patient Observer says:

    Turns out that the F-35 is MORE maneuverable than Sukhois and MIGs despite their superb aerodynamics, high thrust to weight ratio, and 2-axix independently controllable jet nozzles.

    Never mind that the Russian aircraft have higher top speed and significantly longer range. The F-22 is to clear the way for them thus they can be slow and short range (huh?).

    The article cites unnamed US and Russian sources for supporting evidence.

    The article assure us that ” Only domestic politics, such as in Europe; declining economic fortunes of potential partners; and high production costs of the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning Joint Strike Fighter may slow down its triumphant march.” “Triumphant march” Just Wow.

    The article further notes that “The Russian highly skilled military space and aviation industry labor force is pushing 60 — beyond the life expectancy of an average Russian male.”

    The author has impressively irrelevant credentials:
    “Ariel Cohen, Ph.D., is a senior research fellow in Russian and Eurasian studies and international energy security at the Catherine and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute at The Heritage Foundation”

    • Jen says:

      Heritage Foundation – Charles and David Koch’s pet right-wing think-tank project.

    • kirill says:

      Another Jew peddling BS about Russia. There, I said it.

      Funny that in many of the videos pertaining to Russian high tech industry which you can find on the web there are so many young (30 something) faces. And often a point is made that one of the successes of some modernization program was training new recruits. Ariel Cohen can take his tribalist hate propaganda and shove it.

      • yalensis says:

        Pointing out that Ariel Cohen is Jewish is different from what Gospodin Exile did with Bykov.

        For starters, Ariel Cohen and the whole “Heritage Foundation” are components of the American neo-con architecture, which also relies on Israel and the Zionist agenda to back America’s geo-political imperialist ambitions, especially in the Middle East. Hence, Cohen’s Jewishness is a relevant factor, because it relates to his Zionism and pro-imperialist agenda.

        Unless somebody can prove that Bykov is a political advocate of the neo-Zionist Imperial Alliance, I maintain that his Jewishness is irrelevant and should not be used against him in a derogatory fashion. (Not that people can’t mention it; a person’s ethnicity is always an interesting fact about them.)

        But all I have from Bykov about Israel is quotes such as the following :

        “Israel has been driving itself to a dead end since the country’s creation.”
        According to Bykov, Mikhail Maikov and his supporters, having no reason for this, “urge on Europe to engage in the Arab-Israeli war”. Meanwhile, “no Judeo-Christian civilization (and even more so the culture) is fighting through Israel with the terrible and anti-civilized Arab world. Two Middle Eastern nations, equally cruel and implacable, are fighting with each other… There are no civilians in the Arab-Israeli conflict.”
        “Israel is not protecting me,” said Dmitry Bykov. “Israel is not defending my values, and should not count on me as its potential supporter. The argument ‘after us they will deal with you’ has long ago moved into anecdotes. When this happens, then we will see. But then, at least we will have full right [to act]…”

        Given these opinions (and Bykov is always a bit of a contrarian), it is understandable why he Russified his name.
        His intent is obviously to “assimilate” into Russian kreakl culture, but not as a Jew per se.

        Therefore, I maintain that people should hate Bykov not for his Jewishness, but for other reasons.
        Like the shampoo ad says: “Don’t hate me because I am beautiful!”

        • kirill says:

          Ariel Cohen has been on an anti-Russian crusade for a very long time. I recall reading his vitriol 15 years ago. He stands out as an anti-Russian jihadi. But he ain’t Muslim. BTW, it’s not OK for Cohen to be a hater. He has a pulpit and affects US decision making on issues that have direct implications for the lives of thousands if not millions of people. The “free speech” and “anti-semite card” is utter, irrelevant BS. Mr. Cohen is to be judged by his actions.

    • marknesop says:

      Did Mr. Cohen (until July last year, Senior Research Fellow at the Heritage Foundation in Washington) also point out that the F-35 has a larger wing area than previous designs and 15,000 pounds more thrust in afterburner? Actually the smaller wing surface and lesser thrust were deficiencies reported by the test pilot which contributed to its lousy maneuverability, but let’s turn them into strengths, what say? And the notion that the Pentagon gave the test pilot a less-capable model to test so it could save its secretly-better models to surprise the enemy is just about as comical as it sounds.

      “…a Russian Defense Ministry expert, who spoke on condition of anonymity…” Uh huh. What was that rule that says something like, claims made without evidence can be credibly refuted without evidence?

  36. marknesop says:

    France has switched again to its Assad-does-not-have-to-go-right-now-just-sometime-later stance. It must be so embarrassing for France to be led by such a sponge. Well, it was actually Fabius who said it, but I presume he is not just making up his own policy statements, and that is the official – for the moment – French government position.

    • Cortes says:

      From l’etat c’est moi to l’eponge c’est moi. Formidable!

    • Moscow Exile says:

      Perhaps that is why these rumblings from Kerry echo acoss the Atlantic (that’s John Kerry, by the way, US Secretery of State and not the delightful County Kerry, Ireland):

      Керри пригрозил России и Ирану «жесткими мерами» за поддержку Асада

      Kerry has threatened Russia and Iran with “severe measures” for supporting Assad

      Maria Bondarenko
      The head of the State Department has promised that the U.S. “will take drastic measures” if Russia and Iran block the political process in Syria. According to John Kerry, as long as Assad is in power, stopping the war in Syria is impossible.

      The story is all over the Russian media. Another link:

      Керри грозит жесткими решениями при блокировке политпроцесса в Сирии

      Kerry threatens drastic measures if the political process is blocked

      Если Россия и Иран позволят президенту Сирии Башару Асаду обречь политический процесс на неудачу, США пойдут на “жесткие меры”, заявил Джон Керри. По его словам, подобное развитие событий угрожает безопасности США и Европы.

      If Russia and Iran allow Syrian President Bashar Assad to condemn the political process to failure, the United States will undertake “drastic measures”[literally “tough measures” in Russian], said John Kerry. According to him, this development threatens the security of the United States and Europe.

      “Если Россия и Иран встанут блоком и позволят Асаду попросту обречь процесс на неудачу, мы будем знать, кто представляет собой проблему. В таком случае у нас будет меньше вариантов для действий и нам придется пойти на какие-то жесткие меры”, — сказал он на конференции в Вашингтоне.

      “If Russia and Iran stand as one block and allow Assad simply to condemn the process to failure, we shall know who is behind the problem. In such an event, we shall have fewer options for action and shall have to take some tough measures”, he said at a conference in Washington.

      Nothing in the Porky Pie News so far about this.

      So what’s this build up of uninvited miltary power in Syria for? To defeat the Islamists or to remove Assad and his military supporter, which includes support from Russia?

      • marknesop says:

        Suck it, Kerry. The world has had a bellyful of American bullying, and if you think Russia will react to threats as the USA desires you are even stupider than you look – which is saying something, you great Jessie. Assad is the democratically-elected leader of Syria and no other country has any right at all to order that he shall step down or that he shall not stand for further election.

        I imagine this talk is really intended for Assad himself, to convince him to bow to American will for the sake of his poor battered country. Kerry should know better than to threaten Russia and Putin. He does it because the USA is insulated by distance, and would not really mind very much if a war broke out between NATO and Russia so long as it was fought in Europe. Russia should find a way to tell him privately that in the event of such hostilities breaking out, there will be ICBM’s on their way to American cities as part of the opening salvos. But then Kerry would have the sound-bite he wants – Putin threatens America with nuclear annihilation; he’s a madman who must be removed for the safety of the world.

        Maybe it would be better to just tell him never to call anyone in the Russian government ever again because nobody will take his calls. It’s plain who is looking for trouble and escalating this situation.

        By the way, when he says “The political process”, it should be clear he means “Let us pick Syria’s new leader, and maybe partition Syria into the bargain”. What a jackass, hands down an even worse SecState than Hillary Clinton, which is a tough act to follow, because she was terrible.

    • yalensis says:

      Oh God, please let Marine Le Pen be Prez of France, the sooner the better!

  37. Patient Observer says:

    Interesting Russian technology – detecting submerged submarines from satellite.

  38. marknesop says:

    Syrian government and Syrian military now in control of Homs, third-largest city in Syria and “The Capital of the Revolution”.

  39. marknesop says:

    A very interesting piece by Eric Zuesse, not least so because of these quotes by Christina Lin, former scholar at the United States Office of the Secretary of Defense, the National Security Council, the State Department, the Export-Import Bank of the United States and the Institute for defense Analysis;

    “As a NATO member Turkey is transforming from a secular, democratic system to one of an increasingly Islamist and autocratic presidential system under Erdogan; it appears the alliance is also transforming from a value-based alliance of human right, democracy, and rule of law to one that is increasingly interest-based.

    As Erdogan embarks on expanding Turkey’s sovereignty through Islamist proxies in the Eastern Mediterranean (e.g., via Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Hamas in Gaza, Salafi Army of Conquest in Syria), continues occupation of EU member Cyprus, and violates EU member Greece’s territorial airspace and waters, his personal ambition is posing a risk for the NATO alliance.

    As Erdogan continues to goad NATO to stand in solidarity with Turkey and its territorial expansions in the Levant, it appears the world is now entering a dangerous new phase of an increasingly post-western and illiberal world order.”

    These words cannot be welcome to NATO behind-the-scenes planners who have come so far turning it into a regime-change rapid-reaction force commanded by Washington. People are beginning to see, and to be frank it is hard to imagine how it took so long or why NATO had to abandon all pretense of being otherwise before the masses began to clue in. Pray it’s not too late. But it will take nothing less than a changing of the guard at every western government to change the course the west has set itself.

  40. marknesop says:

    Oh, now Erdogan says that Turkey has shelved the Turkish Stream gas project. It’s just a big fat Russian lie that Russia already shelved the project, and you can’t dump me because I already dumped you first.

    Ratcheting it up to the next level, Erdogan says Turkey can easily find alternate suppliers for its gas if Russia shuts it off, which Moscow already said they had no plans to do, and is exploring getting LNG from Qatar and accelerating a gas project with Azerbaijan.

    I hope NATO is taking note of what a fucking loose cannon this guy is, and how he is going to put Article 5’s obligations to the test if somebody doesn’t rein him in or bump him off.

  41. marknesop says:

    Well, well – look at that. Turkey will have a permanent military base in Mosul. Says the Turkish Foreign Minister inked the deal back in November with…the President of Kurdistan. Which, as of yesterday, did not exist. And, by golly, it still doesn’t. So I’m pretty sure Iraq is not going to take very kindly to the President of a fictional Kurdistan signing deals for foreign military bases on land which actually belongs to Iraq, whether there is a semi-autonomous Kurdish region there or not. You would have thought they’d have learned something from the last Gulf War, when American oil companies were deliriously signing deals with the Kurds all over the place for oil exploration projects, none of which were approved by the national government.

    And, there you go, in the same newspaper; Iraq says get the hell out of there, right now. I swear to God, if I were a Turk, I would be holding my head with both hands and mumbling, Jesus God, make it stop, our President and Prime Minister are making us the laughing-stock of the world, is there a straitjacket big enough for a whole country?

  42. Moscow Exile says:

    Турция не будет отменять безвизовый режим с Россией

    Turkey is not going to cancel its visa-free regime with Russia

    The Turkish Embassy in Russia has reported that its country is not going to introduce a visa regime for Russian citizens despite the deteriorating relations between Moscow and Ankara.
    Turkey considers the Russian people as friendly and wants to continue good relations. In this regard, the issue of introducing a visa regime is currently not on the agenda, according to an official statement.

    Well, I must say that’s jolly decent of those Turkish chappies!

    Don’t kill your milch-cow, what?

    One commenter to the above linked KP article writes:

    Стоят пустые курорты, в сувенирных магазинах покупателей нет, даже немцов [sic] почти нет.

    The holiday resorts are empty, there are no customers in the souvenir shops, there are even almost no Germans there.

    (That should be немцев above.)

    I shall have to check out with my neighbour if she is planning to go toTurkey again. She seems almost never to be away from the place and goes there a couple of times each year and sometimes at the New Year as well. In the past she has always been at pains to point out how foolish we were to have chosen Russian (and previously Ukrainian, i.e. Crimean) Black Sea resorts because, in her opinion, Turkish holiday venues are much, much superior and offer considerably more value for money.

    • marknesop says:

      Ooooo….Turkey being the bigger man, I like it. In fact, official policy is swinging wildly back and forth with Erdogan’s tantrums and remorse – fuck you, Russia, who needs you; wait, I didn’t mean that, let’s be friends. If the Turkish opposition has the slightest courage and brainpower, it will strike now while Erdogan is fluffing his idiot plumage for all the world to see. I think it has been an extremely instructive display for anyone considering cementing a formal alliance with Turkey – Erdogan is a statesman like Poroshenko is a ballerina. That won’t matter to Washington, because as Putin once pointed out, Washington wants vassals, and could not care less how boorish or ignorant they are so long as they do as they are told. But it must have been an eye-opener for the EU.

  43. Moscow Exile says:

    Syria air strikes: Typhoons and Tornados to pair up in attempt to avoid clashes with Russia

    British Tornados over Syria are to fly in pairs with the RAF’s Typhoon jets amid growing concern over the possibility of accidental clashes with Russia.

    The arrangement allows the 35-year-old Tornado to benefit from Typhoon’s superior radar and air defence capability as Russian warplanes conduct heavy bombing operations in Syrian airspace….

    Under a memorandum of understanding, Russia is supposed to co-ordinate its air movements with the coalition air operations centre to ensure they do not conflict. However, Mr Lake [an “aviation expert” according to the Torygraph] said: “I don’t believe the Russians will either want or be able to seriously co-operate in deconflicting.”

    (Oh really? What makes you say that, Mr. Expert?)

    Russian bombing – some against Isil but most against more moderate opponents of President Assad – is significantly more intense than that being run by the US-led Operation Inherent Resolve, which includes Britain.

    Moscow claims to have carried out 1,458 strikes on Syrian targets in the last nine days, an average of 162 a day.

    This compares to 2,934 over more than 14 months by the US-led coalition, an average of seven a day.

    Right! I get it! Those Communist bastards are killing the good guys!

    Why, the goddam lying Red sonsabitches!

    • Jen says:

      Yup, them damned Rooskies are killing the 70,000 moderate rebels the British Prime Pig Sticker is rallying the RAF to support.

    • marknesop says:

      You would think he might have pointed out that on a recent occasion when Russia deconflicted its air plans with the allied operations center, there was a pair of Turkish F-16’s waiting in ambush. It was very likely the allied operations center which was able to verify for Washington that the Russian plane was not in Turkish airspace. There is no reason for Russia to trust NATO in any capacity – but happily, since Russia is only bombing moderate rebels and four-year-old children and the west is not, the ISIL areas should not be the subject of disagreement. Knock yourselves out, NATO; Russia should not be in the way while you bomb ISIL. We should see some awesome results, with the cream of NATO’s air forces riding shotgun in the sky. ISIL should be fleeing for the borders by Thursday. Consequently, I don’t see any reason for the Russians to tell the west anything.

    • marknesop says:

      There, you see!!!??? Local activists did not describe the trucks as being operated by Islamic State! How much more evidence do you need?? And only Brown Moses knows how to do geolocation properly – if the information did not come from Bellingcat, I don’t want to hear any more about it.

      I hate to have to tell the world this, but those trucks were actually operated by senior members of the Syrian Milk For Babies Program, and were carrying baby formula to starving infants. The probably-illegal chemical composition of the Russian bombs caused the baby formula to burn fiercely and give off thick black smoke. Syrian activists confirmed this.

  44. Moscow Exile says:

    The opinion of a Russian “Liberal”:

    The fight against corruption – the first step.

    Navalny is very fond of threatening that heads will roll when he and freedom loving, democratic liberals ovethrow the “regime”. He’s even used this threat against judges in court, which is, of course, what one is able to do in the UK and the USA with impunity, innit?

    • kirill says:

      In Canada such “art work” can result in a court date. There are special laws about threats to head of state and top government officials. Also, such “art” falls within the many new terrorism laws being passed in NATO states (e.g. the case of the satire of Charlie Hebdo I posted before).

  45. Warren says:

    • kirill says:

      But first Germany and its NATO pals need to admit they staged the coup in Ukraine and sponsored the Kiev regime attack on the Donbas which resulted in the deaths of thousands of civilians via indiscriminate shelling and MLRS attacks, i.e. major war crimes.

      As long as NATO insists on accusing Russia of all the NATO-created war and economic misery in Ukraine, there is no basis for any normal relations.

      • Moscow Exile says:

        The staged coup resulted in the deaths of thousands of civilians?

        I didn’t know … Gosh!

        [In March 2014, Estonian minister Urmas Paet informed Lady Ashton that he had been told by a Ukrainian woman doctor named Olga that snipers had been responsible for killing police and civilians in Kiev the previous month.

        Ashton responds: “I didn’t know … Gosh.”

        “So there is a stronger and stronger understanding that behind snipers it was not Yanukovych, it was somebody from the new coalition”, Paet says.

        Ashton replies: “I think we do want to investigate. I didn’t pick that up, that’s interesting. Gosh!”

        Any news of the results of this investigation that Ashton seemed to think would be necessary?]

  46. Warren says:

  47. Warren says:

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