Sundown in the Somalia of Europe

Uncle Volodya says, "You should be nicer to him,' a schoolmate had once said to me of some awfully ill-favored boy. 'He has no friends.' This, I realized with a pang of pity that I can still remember, was only true as long as everybody agreed to it.”

Uncle Volodya says, “You should be nicer to him,’ a schoolmate had once said to me of some awfully ill-favored boy. ‘He has no friends.’ This, I realized with a pang of pity that I can still remember, was only true as long as everybody agreed to it.”

Ah, love, let us be true
To one another! for the world, which seems
To lie before us like a land of dreams,
So various, so beautiful, so new,
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night.

Matthew Arnold, from “Dover Beach

The startling reversals in Syria and Iraq now afford us our daily whiff of gunpowder and desperation, and Ukraine has been largely swept from the front pages. This is a matter of no small concern to the incompetent train wreck that is its government, because the flow of financial life support on which it relies is, to a large extent, dependent upon the sense of urgent emergency it is able to convey. So long as Kiev is able to fog the media’s glasses with “Russian aggression!!!” and a dire sense of a building menace, western leaders do not press it too hard for reforms, and are more likely to spit fat wads of cash because…well, because it’s an emergency.

And, of course, it is. I don’t want to create the impression I think the Ukrainian government is faking its sense of crisis, because Ukraine as a state is in a power-dive that is making the the wings shudder and shed rivets. Much of the government itself actually does not realize just how bad it is, because its clown-car membership is too busy throwing haymakers at one another in the legislature and squabbling over who is (a) the most  Ukrainian, and (b) the biggest crook. Mistrust among the factions also contributes to a degree of compartmentalization which prevents more than the broad outlines of the catastrophe from being seen.

We could feel a lot of things, dependent on our position and our sympathies. We could feel vindicated, if we were among those who foretold disaster from the hurried rounding-up of thieves, rabid nationalists, opportunist criminals and sycophants and labeling the result “the government”. We could feel stunned and disillusioned, if we were among the formerly-giddy dissident morons jumping up and down on the Maidan, who expected to be opening their Christmas presents in the European Union this year. And if we were among the poor sods who live there, who trudge to work every day from Monday to Friday, pick up a paycheck that buys less every month, and try to support a family on it… we could feel bewilderment, gnawing fear and a gathering apprehension that the world is spiraling down and down to a sunless pit of misery where no light reaches.

For how much longer can the happy talk of visa-free travel and someday-prosperity hold the stink of failure at bay?

“Everyone thought Ukraine would suddenly turn into Poland,” said mechanic Taras Yakubovsky, sitting by a cast-iron woodburner in his small garage, where work has dried up because customers can no longer afford car repairs. “But we’ve become more like Europe’s Somalia.”

What’s really going on in Ukraine? A good deal of what we get is from nationalist expats who don’t live there, and for whom it is easy to exhort their hereditary countrymen to redouble their efforts, to hold out bravely against the slavering Russian invader, to let faith carry them onward when hope is gone – expats like bad-tempered fathead Taras Kuzio in Alberta, and bitter, thwarted Political-Science professor Alexander Motyl at Rutgers in New Jersey. This smokescreen is complicated by deliberate duplicity and sleight-of-hand by the Ukrainian government, enabled by an English-speaking media which uncritically repeats whatever it is told by Kiev, without investigating, thereby giving it the weight of fact. Data on the economy is frequently sourced from the State Statistics Service of Ukraine. I don’t want to say they’re simply pulling figures from their ass, because it always infuriates me when people suggest Russia simply makes up its statistics. But a lot of the Ukrainian numbers just do not add up.

The facts have to be horrible: according to a report entitled “Millennium Development Goals: Ukraine 2000-2015”, as many as 33% of Ukrainians are forecast to be living below the poverty line by the end of this year. But the official unemployment rate, as reported by the State Statistics Service of Ukraine, trended steadily downward from a peak of 11% in January 2015 to 9.4% at the end of the second quarter. Does that make any sense? It might, if more people were employed every month, but the bottom fell out of wages. And you could believe that, because the currency lost 70% of its value against other currencies in just a year. Over the same period, utility rates jumped by 188% and the cost of food and beverages increased by 154%.

But if that’s what happened, how can we account for a reported per-capita GDP adjusted for purchasing power parity (PPP), according to the World Bank, which decreased only modestly from $8,337.93 in 2013 to $8,267.07 a year later? So, you’re telling me Ukrainians – in real purchasing-power terms – experienced only a modest loss of about $71.00 a year when the currency tanked and inflation spiked? According to Reuters, the collapse of the currency alone has brought the average wage down to $150.00 per month. That was reported this past Spring. Have things gotten better since then? You know they haven’t. If we multiply $150.00 by 12, I get $1,800.00. What’d you get? Okay, so I’m not crazy. But the World Bank is reporting a purchasing power wage which is more than 4 times higher. How is that possible? Incidentally, in case you were curious or perhaps an historian, the record high per-capita GDP adjusted for PPP in Ukraine – $10,490.37 – was achieved in 1990, the year before Ukraine declared its independence from the Soviet Union. Ditto population, which crested just 3 years later.

Anyway, back to, how is that possible? It’s not, is the short answer. Although per-capita GDP is an estimate, and reflects living standard rather than an actual measure of income, it can’t be that far out. In a classic rearranging-the-deck-chairs-on-the-Titanic display of bizarre pretended normality, Ukrainian expat-American finance minister Natalie Jaresko’s speech at the meeting of the National Council for Reforms (because calling it the Blah-Blah Council for Yeah Whatever would not have fitted with the theme of Keeping Up Appearances, although it would have been accurate) just a few weeks ago was sprinkled liberally with advocacy for…tax cuts. Uh huh; specifically, she wants to (a) cut the payroll tax in half in 2016, (b) implement a new income tax rate of 18% for personal income as well as corporate profit tax, (c) cut that rate by a percentage point the following year, to 17%, and (d) abolish the payroll tax in 2018, replacing it with a flat tax rate on salaries of 20%.

This plan, she says, “will enable us to implement one of the lowest salary taxes compared to the EU-countries; 16% of our citizens will be enjoying the social tax exemption and will not be paying 3.6% in payroll tax anymore.”

Umm…Natashka…that still leaves more than 16% – at current figures – who are living below the poverty line. I’d love to know how you are going to implement a tax cut in a country that has lost a third of its tax base as well as its industrial heartland, which has blown all its reserves on a costly civil war and just severed its relationship with its largest single trading partner. Is there a prize for Most Ridiculous Time For a Tax Cut? George W. Bush, you’ll recall, implemented a tax cut in the middle of a war which he ran off the books, funding it each year with emergency supplementals which did not figure in the budget. The USA borrowed that; towards the end, almost exclusively from China. How’d that work out, do you remember?

Ukraine was pretty consistently one of the poorest countries in Europe. But it is now, according to the IMF which keeps it barely breathing with irregular transfusions of emergency cash, rubbing shoulders with Uzbekistan and the Republic of the Congo, and below Vietnam, Honduras, East Timor and Sri Lanka; 18 positions below Georgia. Yet the trade deficit – reported by the State Statistics Service of Ukraine – was only $356 Million in October of this year: in July Ukraine recorded a surplus, selling $117 Million more than it bought from its trading partners! Wages – again reported by the State Statistics Service, are rising steadily, and were 4,532 hryvnia per month on average, in October. That’d be $198.34 USD by today’s exchange rate, or $2,380.08 annually. That’s still $5,886.99 short of the reported per-capita GDP adjusted for PPP, which is supposed to be a general reflection of the standard of living. Is that a little off? I think it is.

Russia has said it will not abandon Russian-speaking Ukrainians to nationalists. I dare to hope Russia has a Plan B in mind which will save Ukraine, once the EU and Washington tire of playing with it and move on to ruin someone else. The east of Ukraine will never again let itself be ruled by Kiev, and the generation currently at maturity will never forgive the rest of Ukraine for not stopping Kiev when it turned the full force of the state military on them. But an uneasy business relationship could prevail under federalization with broad autonomy, and perhaps someday the country could once again throw its shoulder to the wheel together with a common purpose. Meanwhile, spare a moment of pity, in this season of family and forgiveness and plenty, for the Ukrainians who did not speak out in protest – for whatever reason – when the unthinkable happened, and have since paid such a terrible price for their passivity.








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812 Responses to Sundown in the Somalia of Europe

  1. Fern says:

    A good round-up by Eric Draitser of What We Now Know About Turkey:-

    • marknesop says:

      Amazing. There seems to be no limit to Erdogan’s delusions of grandeur and statesmanship. Antagonizing Russia is not enough for him – he has to antagonize China as well. That’s going to cost him. Eventually NATO will have to throw him under the bus; they’ll just want to get a reliable successor in place first.

  2. Moscow Exile says:

    In 2009, as Russia was trying to emerge from recession, few would have predicted that five years later Russian soldiers would be making moves into Ukraine following the annexation of Crimea. The Cold War was history, as our President reminded in 2012 when he told Mitt Romney the 80’s were calling to ask for their foreign policy back.

    That’s the opening paragraph of : Top 10 Global Predictions for 2016 in the Huffington Post, it being a given, of course, that despite evidence to the contrary from both independent observers and senior Yukie military staff, Russian soldiers are “making moves” into the Ukraine, if by “making moves” one means “military manoeuvres”, namely “invading”.

    In the above linked article, Friedman of Stratfor is confident that the conflict between Russia and Ukraine will end in 2016. According to his forecast, Kiev and Moscow will be able to come to some agreement. Be it formal or informal is still unknown, but hostilities in the East of the Ukraine will stop, said the analyst:

    “As for Russia, it will agree to a settlement on Ukraine, whether formal or informal. Although the structure of the agreement is unclear, the conflict will be diffused. However, Russia’s ultimate goal is to ensure its neighboring European countries, including Ukraine, remain neutral. Therefore, it will build up its military and the U.S. will be forced to continue to strengthen the containment line.

    “American allies bordering Russia will fear a compromise with Russia on Ukraine could be a preface to a Russian-dominated Ukraine. However, Germany will be delighted to have the additional fear of a confrontation to its east eliminated. The rest of Europe, preoccupied with other problems, will be indifferent.”

    Well you don’t say!

    I should imagine that one does not have to have the alleged predictive powers of a Nostradamus to see all of the above as very likely developments, for to continue its conflict in the east of the Ukraine, Banderastan needs money, and it ain’t got none. And none of its “friends” are willing to stump up any more, either.

    In an article in today’s (30 December, 2015) Komsomolskaya Pravda that provides a link to the above linked HP one, it is stated:

    Отметим, что агентство Stratfor часто называют «теневым ЦРУ» за осведомленность в самых разных политических и военных вопросах.

    Note that the agency Stratfor is often called the “shadow CIA” because of its awareness of a considerable variety of political and military issues.

  3. Moscow Exile says:

    Two pictures from separate blogs on Live Link:

    Spot the connection.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      Demonization of a particular group, such as in this very recent example:

      (It says on the USSR/Russia stockade “A Free Society”)

      and in this of about 75 years ago:

      gives rise to scenes such as that which took place at the Odessa Massacre of May, 2014:

      which above scene few in the West particularly seem to be concerned about (Burn the Colorados!) and this:

      which took place in Kiev,1941 (what a surprise!) and shows a woman kissing goodbye to a child seconds before their murder by Nazis and their Ukrainian nationalist henchmen, which latter are nowadays lauded as heroes.

      Слава Україні! Героям слава!

      • yalensis says:

        Whenever the Banderites in particular liquidated Jewish civilians, it seems they always made the women and girls undress, and subjected them to sexual humiliation before killing them.
        I don’t know if anyone has ever explained this fetish of making people undress – was there ANY rational core to this, apart from sexual sadism? I mean, did they go on to use the clothes, or anything like that? Or did they burn the clothes afterwards?

        • kirill says:

          It was pure sadism. To leave the victims without anything even their clothes.

          The genocide was rampant in areas of Banderastan that were never exposed to Bolshevism and any “holodomor”. Yet all you hear from this actual subhuman trash was how victimized they were. The Donbas actually experienced the collectivization famines yet there was not rabid genocidal backlash there. The Banderastani “victimhood” is a blood lie.

        • Northern Star says:

          We must remember that the offspring of these monsters walk among us today….and will continue to do so unless and until they are stopped.

          William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)

          “Turning and turning in the widening gyre
          The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
          Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
          Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
          The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
          The ceremony of innocence is drowned;

          *****The best lack all conviction, while the worst
          Are full of passionate intensity.******

          Surely some revelation is at hand;
          Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
          The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
          When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
          Troubles my sight: a waste of desert sand;
          A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
          A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
          Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
          Wind shadows of the indignant desert birds.

          The darkness drops again but now I know
          That twenty centuries of stony sleep
          Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
          And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
          Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?”

          • yalensis says:

            Yeats is always blood-curdlingly brilliant, and that is one of his best poems, thanks for posting!

            As for the monsters walking among us, alas, the problem is, that only a partial de-Nazification was undertaken. Due to the fact that the good guys were exhausted and simply had no energy reserves left to finish the job.
            Next order of business, 70 years later, if the human race wishes to survive as a successful species, must be to finish the job and undertaken a FULL de-Nazification of the remaining pockets.

          • Lyttenburgh says:

            “Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold”

            This line alone assured the memetic status of this Yeats poem. Often quoted separately, these words are still relevant here and today.

        • marknesop says:

          I seem to recall they kept a lot of it (a methodically thrifty people, the Germans); piles of shoes and boots, empty suitcases and so forth. I don’t know what they thought they were going to do with it all, but maybe it had more to do with simply taking everything away from you before you died. It is beyond disgraceful that this behaviour is now lauded in Ukraine as evidence of strong character and the inner strength to make difficult decisions.

          • Jen says:

            The people in the death camps at Majdanek, Chemno, Belzec, Sobibor,Treblinka and Birkenau (part of the Auschwitz camp complex) were living in horrifically filthy conditions where diseases spread by lice and fleas among others were rife. The Nazis killed most death camp inmates by duping them into going into mass public showers: the victims were told to undress and to leave behind all their clothes and shoes, which the Nazis then took away and stacked into piles. The victims also had to be shaved from top to bottom. They were told these showers would clean them of all their dirt and lice but instead the showers emitted carbon monoxide gas or (in the case of Majdanek and Birkenau) hydrogen cyanide gas created from Zyklon B .

            The Nazi intention was to burn all the bodies in crematoria and use the dead victims’ body fat to power the crematoria – but this idea failed because the prisoners had very little body fat, due to the combined effects of malnutrition, disease and overwork.

            I’ve heard that at some death camps stacks of children’s toys and prosthetic limbs were found. Piles of human hair were found as well. Some of these items were reused – in the later stages of WW2, everything in Germany was being rationed, there was a lot of recycling and people maimed by war needed prosthetic limbs – and the hair was apparently used as insulation in submarine hulls. The Nazis also extracted dead people’s teeth if there was gold in them.

            • marknesop says:

              Zyklon B was manufactured by the I.G. Farben Company, which also made explosives and synthetic fuels. After being tried for war crimes the company was liquidated (it was really just a loose conglomerate of sub-companies anyway) and lives on today as BASF, Bayer, Agfa-Gevaert and Sanofi.

        • Jen says:

          Bunching people together and forcing them to undress and give up all personal possessions is a way of dehumanising them and turning them into animals. Animals don’t wear clothes, shoes or jewellery. This is probably a necessary thing for mass killers to do so they feel better afterwards about what they have done: they think, well, they were only killing animals.

  4. Moscow Exile says:

    Paging assorted nay-sayers, Cassandras, doom and gloom merchants, Schadenfeude lovers etc.

    Moscow. December 30. INTERFAX.RU – Russia acquired from France three times more money than it spent on concluding the contract for the delivery of the helicopter carrier “Mistral”, said Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin.

    See: Компенсация за “Мистрали” в три раза превысила затраченную Россией сумму

  5. Moscow Exile says:

    and don’t get it all mixed up: the Crimea – Russia and Lvov – Poland.

  6. kirill says:

    Liberasts bewail the current shortages in Russia:

    Oh the horror of life under tyrant Putin.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      They must be seeking out empty shelves ready for re-stocking, because I’ve been shopping the past 2 days and have seen no such sights.

      I was at Мвидео last week as well as here.

      No shortages of goods at all.

      You want socks?

      Inside the new Vegas shopping mall in Moscow

      You want shoes?

      Those lying bastards who take such pictures of empty shelves as shown in the previous posting clearly intend them to be seen by Western morons who believe the shite they have pumped into their heads by their governments and government agencies.

      I live here.

      I know the bastards are lying!

      • Moscow Exile says:

        The ECCO shoe store at Avtozavodskaya, where we often buy our footwear.

        Lying, lying soft-arsed kreakly bastards!

        • marknesop says:

          ECCO are very good quality – Sveta bought a lot of her shoes from there in Vladivostok and there is a much smaller ECCO store here where she sometimes shops. Some other stores carry the brand as well. The company is Danish, and has over 19,000 employees.

        • Moscow Exile says:

          This is where we also go shopping as well: Atrium.

          No empty shelves there either – at least, I didn’t see any when I was there the other day.

          Typically third-world shithole?

          • marknesop says:

            Why is there so much use of English in signage? I mean, I can see if it is a widely-recognized brand name, like Longines. But why the “Sale!” and “Sunday Up Market”? I recall from visits to Vladivostok also that lots of young guys had western slogans in English on their cars and SUV’s, as if it was cool or something. Some of them didn’t even make sense, like Coke’s official English slogan in Japan when I visited Tokyo in the 90’s; “I Feel Coke”.

            • Moscow Exile says:

              Because it’s “cool”.

              They’ve started announcing the stops in English now on some metro lines and on some bus routes. The metro English voices are in a very neutral British RP, a man’s and a woman’s voice alternating. On the bus route that I use, though, a Russian woman announces the stops in English and it bugs me every time I arrive at the the terminus bus station, “Rechnoi Vokzal” (River Station) when she wrongly states: “Bus arrived”.

              • Moscow Exile says:

                They use other “cool” European languages for marketing as well, though:

                Le Pain Quotidien – a Belgian firm.

                That one’s at Park Kultury metro station.

                And note the Russian name:

                ХлѢб Насущный – “Daily Bread”, as in “Give us this day our daily bread” from the Lord’s Prayer, with the old letter “yat”, which was removed from the standard Russian alphabet in 1917, because, I presume, the old style orthography gives the product “style”.

                However, for some reason or other the marketing whiz kids have omitted the old style “hard sign” after the end “hard consonant in “хлѣб”, which word, if it were really written old style, should be written thus: хлѣбъ. Furthermore, насущный should really be written old style thus: насущнiй, the Latin “i” having again been dropped from the Russian alphabet in 1917, but not from the Yukie one, though. Before 1917 Россия was spelt Россiя.

                That’s why the Russian “Smirnov” has the hard archaic hard sign, thus Смирновъ< which sign, presumably, suggests that the vodka has old style quality.

                • PaulR says:

                  I love Le Pain Quotidien. We used to live very close to the original in Stockel, on the outskirts of Brussels. It was a wonderful surprise to come out of the archives in the Dom Russkogo Zarubezhia imeni A. I. Solzhenitsyna in Moscow and find Le Pain Quotidien just a few yards away – such a change from my student days in the USSR when finding anything worth eating involved a real effort.The only problem is that it costs an arm and a leg, and so can’t be justified every day on a research budget. One meal at Le Pain Quotidien and one is stuck with Mu-Mu for several days to make up the money.

              • Jen says:

                A Russian-themed cafe in Latakia, Syria, advertises its name “Moscow” in Latin lettering.


      • marknesop says:

        Once again, good; if western governments want to convince themselves their enemy is beaten, let them. That it does not reflect reality should be no skin off Russia’s nose, since it is supposed to be past the period of infantile weakness when it craved western approval. Such examples of perfidy from the liberal chowderheads in their midst should serve as reminder that these people are not to be trusted, because they will employ any subterfuge to reach their own selfish goals for the country.

  7. kirill says:

    Russian specialists have grown the first ever specialized lattice defect diamonds for photonics. These diamonds have Germanium atoms included to create desired transmission properties.

    Yep, Rasha is backward and makes nothing.

  8. Warren says:

    Published on 30 Dec 2015
    The Washington Times says American lawmakers are pushing a legislation to counter the media message coming out of Moscow. Well, that’s an idea that’s been around for a while now.

  9. marknesop says:

    Egypt has settled on an order of 46 Kamov KA-52 “Alligator” helicopters from Russian Helicopters. The latter company passed Sikorski in 2014 for worldwide helicopter sales. Yes, the country that doesn’t make anything.

  10. Warren says:

    Published on 30 Dec 2015
    During the last Republican presidential debate, Donald Trump said he wanted to “shut down” parts of the internet. However, it seems as though the world wide web is hitting back, with a Google Chrome extension created to block any mention of the billionaire.

  11. marknesop says:

    Abkhazia joins Russia in sanctions against Turkey in the construction, fishing and trade spheres, as well as the scope of activities of NGOs.

    • yalensis says:

      Hee hee – this is a win for Russia. Given that Abkhazia has traditional ties with Turkey.
      Kremlinologists note bene: Surkov visited Sukhumi, and then the sanctions were announced.
      Surkov traditionally curates the “frozen conflict” areas of Abkhazia, South Ossetia, and maybe even Donbass.
      Abkhazians are independent-minded and maybe even traditionally tilt to Turkey. It is actually a shame that Erdoğan’s Turkey cannot get along with Russia right now, because Abkhazia is a natural place where reconciliation could take place.
      On the other hand, Russia offers Abkhazia tangible assistance (including MONEY), which they could never get from Turkey.
      From what I have read, Abkhazians like their independence, they don’t want to be absorbed into the Russian Federation. On the other hand, they know who saved their bacon in past wars, and unlike Ukrainians, they have a sense of honor and loyalty to their friends.

  12. marknesop says:

    Ha, ha!! Sorry; it’s mean to laugh, but Ukraine just cracks me up sometimes. Getting back on topic for just a minute, Yatsenyuk The Leader With The Governing Experience has signed resolutions which commit the Ukrainian government to mirror Russian trade sanctions – as soon as Russia’s restrictions, which levy tariffs against incoming Ukrainian goods as they lose their tax-free status, are implemented, Ukraine will reciprocate by levying tariffs on incoming Russian goods so that its citizens can no longer afford them with their dessicated, depreciated currency. Instead, they will have to either go without, or save up to purchase EU replacements.

    Minimum Wage in Russia (not an entirely reliable concept in either case, but a useful benchmark nonetheless) was almost 3 times what it was in Ukraine in 2013. Both currencies have suffered since, but the devaluation in Ukraine has been considerably more severe. Trade between Russia and Ukraine, in terms of overall turnover, fell 80% in 2015 and is likely to worsen in 2016.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      I know! After tomorrow, they won’t be able (legally) to buy, for example, cigarettes imported from Russia. So they’ll have to buy Polish Marlboro or Winston or Chesterfield or whatever.

      Smugglers must be rubbing their hands in glee.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      What a monster!

      Cod bloodedly killing his fellow countrymen just so as to “wage war on Syria”!!!

      • marknesop says:

        He’s waging war “in” Syria, not on it. I love this new technique, in which you can introduce something as a topic for serious discussion just by asking “Did this happen?”, no matter how silly it is.

        Let me try; “Did David Cameron screw a pig’s head?” Oh, wait; that’s probably not a good one. Come on – give us another chance. Oh, I know!! “Did the western intelligence agencies put a bomb on MetroJet 9268 to dissuade Putin from waging war in Syria?”

    • kirill says:

      Another Litvinenko style patsy with an empty suitcase of “evidence” he will never reveal and will be offed in some bizarre way (e.g. with Polonium or Neptunium or whatnot) on Putin’s birthday to “prove” that Putin did it and his allegations were God’s Truth (TM).

    • kirill says:

      BTW, what’s with the FUCKED UP chronology of this tinfoil hat BS. Russia was already bombing the Syrian “moderates” like al Nusra before the jet was downed. If Putin was responsible, then why did Daesh claim credit for it and stated it was revenge for the air campaign? Oh, I see, Daesh is Putin’s baby. I get it now.

      Sounds like Banderatard drivel this whackjob conspiracy theory.

      • yalensis says:

        Yeah, I was gonna make that point too, before Kirill beat me to it.
        Russian public was already massively supporting the Syrian bombing BEFORE the jet went down.
        Do these pinheads think people have no memory?
        Well, maybe PEOPLE have no memory, but the internet is only fingertips away.

      • yalensis says:

        I like that rule! It’s easy – just say no.

        Example –
        Headline: “Have Chinese archaeologists finally discovered Noah’s Arc?”
        Answer: “No., they have not.”

  13. Moscow Exile says:


    A kreakl has found some fish heads on sale!!!!!

    Proof positive at last that Russia is doomed!

    See: заехал в карусель такой

    And, he adds, no more cabbage left! He went to buy some, but it all had gone!

    What the soft-arsed bourgeois twat doesn’t apparently realize is that those salmon heads and tails are bought by Mrs. Exile and millions of other Russian housewives to make fish stock, to which is added chunks of salmon or whatever.

    The dickhead probably doesn’t know of this because he more than likely eats McDonald’s or Dunkin’ Donuts shite and drinks coffee at Starbucks.

    Happy heart attack, sucker!

  14. Moscow Exile says:

    Russian breakfast.

    That is not Perrier in the glass!


    • Moscow Exile says:

      Russian doctors say that 25 grammes of vodka (as above) each morning is good for a man: it prevents cardio-vascular problems.


      No kidding.

      • marknesop says:

        They say the same of red wine, and I have heard claims which are allegedly linked to medical doctors which say a small amount of alcohol is good for you. Unless you are an alcoholic. Or the prescription came from an alcoholic doctor.

  15. Moscow Exile says:

    Surprised by their personal bravery, a pack of Yukies from the steppes violently attacks a 2D-Lenin. The fact that Lenin does not respond enrages them even further. Amongst the Yukie tribes this is called “The Cossack Spirit”.

    Source: Когда зоопарк забыли запереть…

    When they forgot to lock up the zoo …

  16. Moscow Exile says:

    Another fine example of a Russia-hating liberal posting on the California based Russian social network Live Journal:

    Well, are there any freaking questions about the legitimate election of the president?

    Legitimately elected as, I suppose, Poroshenko was, following the legitimate deposition of his predecessor.

    And remember folks, freedom of expression in the Empire of Evil is a big no-no, and if one dares criticize the tyrant, one’s speedy extinction is assured!

  17. Cortes says:

    Imagine if this cunning plan had been dreamt up in Moscow…

  18. Northern Star says:

    “Even more worrisome are the Interior Ministry’s plans to organize a new SWAT force supported by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the Border Patrol, and the State Department’s Bureau for Narcotics and Law Enforcement. In a repeat of the patrol police project, only a closed circle of ministry officials and U.S. donors are involved in designing the new force, which is supposed to replace former special operations police forces such as “Berkut,” infamous for its deadly violence against Euromaidan demonstrators. Activists worry that adopting the U.S. model for a militarized police force will allow Ukraine’s leaders to use brutal force against anti-government demonstrations in the future.”

    Here,,here…I’m encouraged that Poroshenko et al are being advised by such sterling examples of restraint and civility…..God forbid were Ukraine to fall victim to indoctrination by fascist sociopaths.

    • marknesop says:

      The USA is stronk because there is nothing, literally nothing that it will not stoop to in its determined pursuit of total world domination.

      • Warren says:

        World domination is exactly the US’s objective! It was so stated in their National Security Strategy 2002 whitepaper.

        Russia’s nuclear arsenal and ability to retaliate from a US first strike makes Russia an existential threat the US.

        Going back to McVeigh, he may still be alive!

  19. Cortes says:

    Seems Pavlo Svolochenko will be busy recruiting soon. Remember, Lord, South Georgia and Falklands/Malvinas are mine…

    • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

      If you can accomplish anything with a labour force of Kelpers besides robbing sheep of their innocence, you’re welcome to them.

  20. Northern Star says:

    “Revenge is the most natural right,” Celik said in the interview, while refraining from claiming the pilot’s death”

    Absolutely Mr. Celik…Absolutely!……..

  21. Warren says:

    Gerard Depardieu to play Josef Stalin in new movie

    French actor Gerard Depardieu is to play Russian dictator Josef Stalin in a new film, according to reports.

    • yalensis says:


    • Lyttenburgh says:

      flat out “wat?..”




      Depardieu is to fucking fat!

    • Moscow Exile says:

      Their resemblance is remarkable!

      • Cortes says:

        Perhaps he’s going to play Koba as an AC/DC louche revolutionary with a penchant for tiger skin briefs?

        • marknesop says:

          Look!! It’s Gérard Depardieu!!

          • Moscow Exile says:

            He’s a bloody good actor!

            I told Mrs. Exile of his playing Stalin and she thought he would perform well. I said to her: “But he’s about five times bigger than Stalin ever was even at the time of his greatest girth…”

            She still reckons the Frenchman will make a good job of it.

            She’s a big Depardieu fan.

            • yalensis says:

              I don’t know what it is about Depardieu. No matter how repulsive he looks, he is an unrelenting ladies magnet. He could have any woman he wants. They are drawn to him like moths to an obese 140-kg flame.
              Is it because he’s French????

              • marknesop says:

                I haven’t really followed his career, but in my experience the men who are the most successful with women are those men who can listen to them as if they are really interested in what is being said, and make a woman feel that he is captivated by her for the unique qualities she possesses – not only physical attractiveness, but wit and charm and wisdom. If you really feel all those things, you are probably in love. Depardieu probably manages to make each woman upon whom he turns loose his charm feel as if he is in love with her. Sometimes – as is the potential with an actor – that impression comes through in his performance, and he need not be engaging with the woman personally.

                Or perhaps he just comes across as honest. Again in my experience, women hate being lied to more than anything else.

    • Drutten says:

      Since when was Stalin a “Russian dictator” if I may ask?

      Stalin was through-and-through Georgian, and he was at the helm of the USSR, a multi-national socialist republic, not Russia. By the same token, he’s as much a Ukrainian dictator as he is a Russian one.

      French actor Gerard Depardieu is to play Ukrainian dictator Josef Stalin in a new film, according to reports.

      Would’ve loved to see that.

      By the way, by the sounds of it this is some weird French-Portuguese artsy-fartsy flick and it has nothing to do with Russia except that Mosfilm Studios will provide proper costumes.

  22. cartman says:

    Trump is a clown. I wish he was POTUS.

  23. Lyttenburgh says:

    And now – for something completely diffrent (Lyt explodes).

    I present begore your mortal eyes a Beast Unknown Yet – a really… “okay”-grade written western Media article about, Putin and his “worldview”:

    The World According to Russia

    Some excerpts:

    ““Do you realize what you have done?” Vladimir Putin demanded at the United Nations in September. The question was a rebuke to the American-led bloc of countries that initially viewed with optimism the Arab Spring, which began five years ago this month, but has since given way to chaos and Islamist violence across once-stable parts of the Middle East and North Africa. Those events, and much else, look different when viewed from Russia than they do from the United States, and a documentary that aired recently on Russian state television helps explain the worldview behind Putin’s question.

    The two-hour-plus film, Miroporyadok (World Order), explores, in the words of its narrator Vladimir Solovyov, “what is happening with us [Russians], what sort of world we have inherited from our parents, and what sort of world we will leave to our children.” Partly through interviews with the Russian president himself, it also offers a window on Putin’s own realpolitik perspective, one that I’ve found to be widely shared throughout Russia over many years of living in the country—a worldview according to which international relations consist of competing blocs of nations pursuing their interests, and the violation of sovereignty is a recipe for instability. This stands in contrast to Obama’s own position, which he stated at the UN two years ago, that “sovereignty cannot be a shield for tyrants to commit wanton murder, or an excuse for the international community to turn a blind eye to slaughter.”

    “I believe,” Putin tells Solovyov, “that no one should ever impose any sort of values he considers correct on anyone. We have our own values, our own conceptions of justice.” Putin doesn’t name names here, but the implication is clear throughout: World Order endeavors to incriminate American foreign policy and place the blame for the current chaos in the Middle East on the United States. The film’s anti-Americanism is subtle but relentless, and the spin comes mostly from omission of relevant facts. And though it originated within the Russian state propaganda machine, some of its criticisms of wrongheaded U.S. policies and blundering interventions in the Middle East since September 11, 2001, would give American liberals, centrists, and even a few conservatives little cause for dispute. Yet the documentary goes further, leaving the strong impression that greedy, bungling, incorrigibly myopic conspirators “from across the ocean” (a phrase Putin uses repeatedly in the film to describe the U.S. leadership) bent on world domination are to blame; Russia comes off as unjustly demonized and Russians themselves forced to suffer economically as a result. “

    • yalensis says:

      I scanned some of the comments to this piece, with only a couple of exceptions most of the commenters are shockingly ignorant and even murderously callous. Isn’t this supposed to be some “intellectual” magazine? The commenters on a lumpen-proletarian rag like the “Daily Mail” make a lot more sense than these reprehensible “nation-builders”. Ugh!

  24. Patient Observer says:

    Did not recall this aviation loss for the Coalition of the Coerced:
    AFAIK, the Russians have lost no aircraft to mechanical failure or pilot error although carrier-based aviation is certainly fraught with more ways for things to go wrong.

    • marknesop says:

      Says the crew ejected in an aborted catapult launch from the ROOSEVELT. Typically all but the most powerful aircraft dip a little, to deck level and below sometimes, because you have to firewall your throttles to get enough air over the wings when the catapult lets go. The museum in Comox has an incredible picture of a Tracker aircraft (twin prop, we used to use them for surveillance and patrol) actually flying through the crest of a wave, it was that low after a carrier launch from HMCS BONAVENTURE. Maybe the Hornet pilot had a throttle malfunction.

  25. Moscow Exile says:

    The Big Party Time Fast Approaches!

    Где Новый год встречать хорошо: самые интересные места Москвы

    Where to celebrate New year well: the most interesting places to visit in Moscow
    December 30, 2015

    A Kingdom of Light and Ice – New Year in Moscow. The city decoration this year has a record 100 kilometres of lights and dozens of tons of ice for sculptures. New Year’s Eve Muscovites and guests of the capital will see grandiose first-class performances of the festival “Journey to the New Year”, a colourful platform for festivals with fireworks and more fireworks, giant ice rinks and ice slides.

    These days it seems that Moscow is the capital of not only the country but of the whole world. It is a way to become acquainted with the Russians’ favourite holiday and perhaps to try some champagne. On New Year’s Eve, you can also easily take part in something sportive. Health and fun is guaranteed on the home rink of the country of the Soviet era. Here you will be able see off the Old and welcome the New as many as five times: in China, in Siberia, in traditional Moscow, in Finland and and in France. [Albeit that the last two despise Russia! – ME]

    In Gorky Park guests will be invited to dance. You will not get bored by the popular DJs. This December 31 Dyed Moroz will arrive from space. In the Museon every hour you can watch as the country celebrates the New year. The festival “Circle of light” is going to give a great show. Ice and light music will create the atmosphere. Here you can race around on an ice slide. Another track for skiing has arisen on Poklonnaya Hill. Here is the capital in miniature. Moscow in ice looks fabulous.

    The warm weather has helped craftsmen create real masterpieces. All the sculptures are crystal clear. All this has happened just before the New year. After this has happened, who can no longer believe in miracles and the magic of the season! [Refers to the unseasonably warm weather of the past 2 weeks, which suddenly changed to real winter only a few days ago – ME] “A thousand tons of ice: here Ostankino tower, there – the Pushkin monument; over there – the Bolshoi Theatre and the Moscow state University building, and a collective farm. And, of course, the Kremlin”, — says the President of the national programme “In the Family Circle”, Aleksandr Kovtunets.

    The peculiarity of this year is that celebrating the first few minutes of the New Year on Red Square will be impossible: it will be closed off this morning. [31 December – ME] An ice Kremlin shall serve as a replacement and whose chimes are frozen at twenty to midnight. The feeling is that here the New Year will arrive. And underfoot are real cobbles, too, and a Victory Park. On Nicholas Street you will be offered forged horseshoes for good luck. To warm up there will be sweets and hot drinks in booths. And should you wish to stock up on memories with hundreds of pictures there are luxurious lighting installations.

    The entire centre – Tverskaya, Kuznetsky Most, Bolshaya Dmitrovka Street, Tverskoi Boulevard – are one big New Year fantasy. The sky, streets and buildings will be emblazed by hundreds of thousands of coloured lights. At midnight there are to be 12 firework displays in different parts of the capital: at Babushkinsky — a retromancer, actors on stilts, an interactive performance about a ballerina that has been imprisoned in a transparent ball; at Kuzminki and Sadovniki — jazz music; at Severnoye Tushino and Goncharovsky Park — a carnival night; at Izmailovo — a party in rockabilly style; at. In Sokolniki — hits of the 90s; at Bauman Garden – Soviet smash hits.

    A New Year show will be in every metropolitan park. You will be able to plunge headlong into the festival from outside the Garden Ring. Public transport on New Year’s Eve will be open longer than usual: the metro until 2 a.m. and buses until three o’clock. And here’s wishing you all the best for the whole night!

    What a Third World dump!

    Can they not realize the dread nature of their real situation?

    Can they not understand that they are being duped, that they are suffering from mass hypnotism by means the regime propaganda?

    Russia is isolated and doomed!

    It’s economy is in tatters!

  26. Moscow Exile says:

    1924: Nazi plans for the destruction of the USSR and colonization of Ukraine.

    Promotional brochure of the Weimar Republic about the benefits of colonization of Ukraine, “Ukraine and the future of Germany” (1924)

    • Warren says:

      In 1924, the Ruhr was occupied by both the French and Belgians. Oddly enough, Hitler explicitly banned any Nazis from going to the Rhur to fight the occupation there. The occupation lasted from 1923 to 1925. The French used African colonial soldiers in that occupation – the offspring of those African soldiers were known as the ‘Rhineland Bastards’.

      The fate of blacks in Nazi Germany

      During the Third Reich, Germany had a small black community, yet relatively little is known about their life in the Nazi era. Deutsche Welle takes a look at survival strategies under Hitler’s oppressive regime.

      Rhineland Bastards are not be confused with the Cape Basters!

      • Jen says:

        There must be some mistake there because Hitler came to power as Chancellor in 1933, not 1923. By 1933, those French and Belgian occupation forces had long been gone.

        Apparently the black community in Nazi Germany was so small that it escaped the attention of the government and so it was never targeted for extermination.

        • Moscow Exile says:

          Some hundreds of “Rhineland Bastards” were sterilized by Nazi doctors.


        • yalensis says:

          Yes, I had read in some other sources that Afro-Germans were actually able to survive in Nazi Germany. They were not sent to concentration camps and not exterminated.
          This is only peculiar, in that official Nazi racialist ideology considered Africans to be subhuman, along with Jews.

          As another peculiarity, after the war Leni Riefenstahl became fascinated by Africans and spent several years in Africa, composing books of art-photographs.
          Maybe for Nazis, Africans were simply considered exotic.

          Also, people of African origin are viewed completely differently in Europe than they are in America. Because of – duh! – different histories. The U.S. practiced a form of apartheid against African-Americans. Europeans and Russians did not have this history, and did not feel the same kind of hatred and contempt for people of African origin.

        • Moscow Exile says:

          Be that as it may, that wouldn’t have stopped Hitler from banning Nazi Party members from going to the occupied Ruhr, though.

          By 1923 Hitler had already appointed himself as Parteiführer on 29 July, 1921`and had established the SA in August 1921 and the SS in Janury 1923.

          However, in 1923 Hitler was facing, I suspect, far a more pressing problems: in November of that year he attempted the Munich beer-hall putsch, failed miserably, was arrested and was waiting trial for treason. The following April he was sentenced to 5 years imprisonment in Landsberg fortress. His party was banned as well, though it masqueraded on under the guise of “Die Deutsche Partei”.

          • Jen says:

            After checking some website sources, I stand corrected. Thanks also to Moscow Exile for supplying the bit about Hitler becoming Nazi party head. Hitler joins the Deutsche Arbeiterpartei in September 1919 while still in the German Army, originally as an infiltrator / informant, only to discover that opinions within the party overlapped with his own. The party renames itself the Nazionalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei in 1920 with Hitler already one of its leading lights. He becomes party leader on 28 July 1921 and gains absolute control.

            In January 1923, French and Belgian troops occupy the Ruhr district when Germany is unable to deliver coal as required in making reparations to France under the Treaty of Versailles; among other things the occupation encourages Germans to join extremist parties and Nazi party membership grows to about 20,000. This itself encourages Hitler to stage his putsch on 8 November (the Beer Hall putsch) and the following day, the Nazis stage a march through Munich where they are fired upon by army troops. Hitler and several others are arrested, tried for treason and imprisoned in March 1924, the Nazi party is banned about the same time. Hitler is released from prison in December 1924 and re-founds the Nazi party.

            The French and Belgians agree to leave the Ruhr district under the 1924 Dawes Plan (which also reorganises Germany’s reparations payments and provides for a US loan of $800 million to help support the German economy) and do so by end of August 1925. So during the first 7 months of 1925, Hitler would have had reason to forbid Nazis from entering the Ruhr district, to avoid going to prison again and another ban on his party.

            Although the Dawes Plan proves to be unworkable, it establishes a precedent: the European economy and the US economy end up locked together, because US loans underpin German economic recovery so that Germany can pay reparations to France and Britain, so that those countries in their turn can pay off the money borrowed from the US to sustain their participation in WW1. Eventually also, after another war that ruins both France and Germany, the French realise they cannot keep occupying those parts of Germany that have the coal they need for their own iron and steel production, so they propose instead to form a common market in which France and Germany co-ordinate and unite their iron, steel and coal production, and so the European Coal and Steel Community (the precursor to the EU) is formed.

        • cartman says:

          France had a large African population even then. I heard the Nazis just left them alone.

  27. Drutten says:

    • Drutten says:

      This is some amazing spin/distortion. The blogger in question (Vadim Tyumentsev) made angry videos calling for the forced expulsion of Ukrainian refugees from his native Tomsk, ’cause they take our jobs and what not. Subsequently they nailed him for inciting hatred towards Ukrainians.

      Somehow that’s “pro-Ukrainian”, I guess. This “Russian Market” guy is an enigma, though he is definitely a kreakl living in Switzerland.

      Anyway, I think Russia’s way too pissy about these things, I read somewhere that judges increasingly hand down verdicts that actually far surpass what the prosecution called for, and often about rather ridiculous things too.

      Here in Sweden, publicly expressing anti-immigration opinions might not put you behind bars just yet, but it does lead to being excluded from worker’s unions, deprive you of work opportunities and so on and so forth.

  28. Pavlo Svolochenko says:

    The sky is blue. Water is wet. Obama is gay.

    And now, a truth even more self-evident: Kenneth Roth is a piece of shit.

    • Drutten says:

      I saw somewhere that Roth condemned the prison release of islamist mofo Aloush back in the day, saying it was part of a cynical Assad strategy to taint the “rebellion” by “making them” adopt easily discredited leaders. Or something to that effect.

      Then, when Aloush was killed last week, that was also part of an evil Assad-Russian strategy, because now Aloush was some kind of saint and savior of the “rebel” movement.

      HRW is a vile organization and Roth is a truly despicable character.

      • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

        He’s a whore – and he’s the kind of whore that doesn’t even have the saving grace of looking good in fishnets.

      • marknesop says:

        You can kind of tell from the comments he gets that he and his organization enjoy the support only of kreakly and neoconservatives. Good thing (for them) they’re not publicly funded.

    • Jen says:

      Kenneth Roth waiting for his masters to find or cook up proof that Big Bad Bashar would bomb his fellow Alawites in Homs.

    • marknesop says:

      I wonder if that might be a couple of Qatar’s new 250-k bombs they bought from Ukraine.

  29. Moscow Exile says:

    Severe food shortages, Moscow!

    Pensioners fight tooth and nail for tangerines!!!

  30. marcaly8 says:

    Happy New Year to all the stooges, kremlin trolls, putinbots, etc 🙂

  31. yalensis says:

    Happy New Year! to all the Stooges.
    Especially Lyttenburgh, I threw in the Kirkorov plug, just to rile him up! – ha ha!

  32. Warren says:

    Crimea loses power as Ukraine line cut

    Electricity supplies to Crimea from southern Ukraine have been cut, weeks after power lines were sabotaged apparently by anti-Russian activists.

  33. davidt says:

    16 years in and so far so good… still “stayin’ alive” (Might be harder to get through 2017 if Clinton elected.)

  34. Lyttenburgh says:

    Before I will slip into a week-long champaigne and oliv’ie salad induced coma I’d like to wish a HAPPY NEW YEAR to all gather here!

    This thread needs more love and understanding. So here:

    • Moscow Exile says:

      Who invited that Yukie bint?

      Already 12 minutes into 2016 in Moscow, Mordor.

      Happy New Year!

    • marknesop says:

      “Before I will slip into a week-long champaigne and oliv’ie salad induced come…”

      I fixed it for you, but I wanted to leave a reminder to the original so you will remember it the next time you think it is possible to come for a week. About 5 seconds is the best I can manage, you have no idea how I look up to you. How do you sleep?

      Your English is good enough now that I can make fun of you when you make a mistake. My Russian will never be that good. Happy New Year to you, too!!!

  35. Jen says:

    Happy New Year 2016 to all Kremlin stooges, lurkers and putinbots!

    Interesting and entertaining if biased rant which sums up the Middle Eastern part of the major global events in 2015 from Ziad Fadel of Syrian Perspective and the … “quagmire”, for want of a better term, in which the US, the Saudis and Turkey now find themselves.

  36. Warren says:

    What next for President Putin?

    For the past two years the story of Vladimir Putin’s Russia has been a tale of two halves.

    • Drutten says:

      Retarded. She’s (?) missing so many crucial points, she’s lying both flat out and by omission, she’s condensing hugely complex matters into ridiculous tantrums etc. Sums up the BBC, rather than “Putin”.

  37. Drutten says:

    So, happy new year guys.

  38. Warren says:

  39. Patient Observer says:

    A Happy, Peaceful and Prosperous New Year to all the Stooges.
    2016 – Ready or Not, Here we come!

    • marknesop says:

      It’s going to be an interesting ride. Can’t wait for all the predictions for Ukraine – let’s see if the western analysts are a little more…ummm…guarded in their forecasts than they were last year. Personally, I think the place is out of control; for example, it was part of the western plan to make Ukrainians hate Russians – but I wonder if they ever imagined trade ties would be severed as a result? I doubt it, since Ukraine was supposed to the Trojan Horse through which the EU flooded Russia with its goods, tax-free. So…now what?

      • Ukraine is not going to collapse. It will continue to exist and hate Russia all the same.

        Happy New Year!

        • kirill says:

          You are missing the fact that the people of Ukraine loathe the current regime already. The hate Russia project by NATO is failing. I get this based on conversations with people from Ukraine.

        • marknesop says:

          Happy New Year to you as well, Karl! Easy on the vodka!

          I disagree, and I say it will collapse altogether in 2016 – either into complete penury or another revolution which will overthrow the government; perhaps one followed by the other.

        • Jen says:

          My money is on Zakarpattia (Transcarpathia) in the west bordering Slovakia and Hungary trying to do a runner and appealing to Hungary to take it in, and also on at least one other part of Ukraine (maybe Kherson, maybe Odessa) also trying to bolt. Kiev will not be able to stop these regions if they decide to separate at the same time; the regime has wasted too much money fighting and failing in Donbass. It’s possible that 2016 will be the last year that Ukraine exists in its current form.

          The IMF will not lend any more money while Russia sues Ukraine for non-payment of the Eurobond loan. I think one issue with that will be whether the UK government intervenes in the courts to pressure the judge to favour Ukraine (and soil the reputation of the British legal system forever) or lets the case run its course.

          • marknesop says:

            Rings true to me, and I don’t see how the UK could come down on Ukraine’s side since the IMF has recognized it as sovereign debt. They simply don’t have a legal leg to stand on. They can’t bring in a ruling of “Ukraine is legally wrong, but it doesn’t have to pay, because we like it and we don’t like Russia.”

        • yalensis says:

          Baba Vanga married Nostradamus, and they had a daughter, her name was Baba Nostra.
          The child inherited all the psychic-seer abilities of her parents x 2.

          Here is Baba Nostra’s prophecy for 2016:

          “Ah yes, I see a big blank spot where a country used to be. That country was called … mmmm…. it’s cloudy in the crystal ball, but I am seeing the letter U, and I am seeing images of crotch-snatching monkeys, so it must be the Ukraine.
          This country falls, due to its own idiocy.
          And following which, a full and complete ideological de-Nazification finally takes place.
          70 years too little, too late, but better late than never, as my dear old mum and dad used to say.”

      • PaulR says:

        ‘Can’t wait for all the predictions for Ukraine’ – They will doubtless mostly be wrong. As Philip Tetlock showed in his book ‘Expert Political Judgment’, when making predictions, with some exceptions, ‘Overall, the “experts” struggled to perform better than “dart-throwing chimps”, and were consistently less accurate than even relatively simple statistical algorithms.’

  40. kirill says:

    Happy New Year!

    Let’s hope things stay under control.

  41. Phil K says:

    Happy new year to everyone!
    Em português: Feliz ano novo!

    May our new year be no worse than the old one!

  42. yalensis says:

    A procession of divas singing Torch Songs!

  43. Warren says:

    Russia security paper designates Nato as threat

    Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed an updated national security paper describing Nato’s expansion as a threat to the country.

  44. PaulR says:

    A happy 2016 to you all!

  45. Warren says:

  46. Warren says:

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