Last Train From Desperateville

Uncle Volodya says, "There are no humane methods of warfare, there is no such thing as civilized warfare; all warfare is inhuman, all warfare is barbaric; the first blast of the bugles of war ever sounds for the time being the funeral knell of human progress.”

Uncle Volodya says, “There are no humane methods of warfare, there is no such thing as civilized warfare; all warfare is inhuman, all warfare is barbaric; the first blast of the bugles of war ever sounds for the time being the funeral knell of human progress.”

NATO’s sandlot team, the Atlantic Council, is off to the kind of grim start for 2016 that suggests it has given up hope, and reconciled itself to blowing the grant money on recreational drugs. Aaron Korewa’s non-stop nonsense piece for that august deliberative body sounds like the original was probably finger-painted on whatever parts of his body he could reach given the restriction of his leather restraints. I have to say, if that’s the best that Chevron’s, Lockheed Martin’s, Thompson-Reuters’, Bank of America’s, Raytheon’s, Boeing’s, Thales’, Conoco-Phillips’, Exxon-Mobil’s and Northrop-Gruman’s cash will buy, we’re in for a year of world-class  flailing in the quicksand pit, and we will have a ringside seat.

A bit about the author, before we go on – Aaron Korewa is a Pole by ethnicity, who grew up in Stockholm and is an American citizen. With all those disparate foreign influences jangling around in him, he has never been to Russia, although it is his personal whipping-boy; his knowledge of it is that of the typical Atlanticist: constructed from ideology. He is also a former political adviser to Carl Bildt, the Swedish speed-bump who was that country’s former Foreign Minister. He was, in short, fated to be a Russophobe, and he has fulfilled his destiny early.

So let’s take a peek inside his love-letter to Ukraine, shall we?

If you like your crazy cobbler served up fresh and hot, this is the piece for you, because he gets straight to it. Ukraine united against ‘Russian aggression’ (the ‘must-mention’ buzzword of the Atlanticists) in 2015, he says, and proved to Russian President Vladimir Putin that it was no pushover. How do we measure the sobering effect of Ukraine’s fierce resistance? By Putin’s not mentioning Ukraine even once in his 2015 address to the Russian Federal Assembly.

Perhaps that was because Mr. Putin is becoming bored with the ongoing stalemate in Ukraine, and that’s why it did not rate a mention. It certainly was not due to the inspirational nature of its fierce union in resistance – Ukraine did not win a single victory in the whole of 2015, its advance on Donetsk was slowed, halted and then rolled back in 2014, and Kiev squealed for a ceasefire when it began to lose ground, culminating in the disaster of the Debaltseve cauldron. Kiev’s efforts throughout 2015 have been focused on defending Mariupol from being re-taken. I could be wrong, though, and invite Mr. Korewa to highlight for me examples of Ukraine’s spunky defense against ‘Russian aggression’ in 2015.

There were plenty of defeats, however; in the fall of 2014, several hundred Ukrainian soldiers walked over the border into Russia and surrendered.  This, brilliant Ukrainian military tactician Colonel Andriy Lysenko confided to The Wall Street Journal, was part of a cunning plan. The soldiers had not deserted – oh, no; perish the thought. Instead, they had covered the escape of their comrades (escape? I thought the Ukrainian Army was always advancing) and then – hard luck, damn it – ran out of ammunition. So they destroyed their weapons – for which they had no ammunition, I guess out of spite since they were probably made in Russia – before crossing into Russia to carry out Lysenko’s mission. Which was apparently to eat and drink up Russian supplies, thereby leaving less for the Russians. Machiavellian, I’m sure you will agree. They certainly showed Putin they were no pushover.

Nor was that the only embarrassment; in 2015 the Ukrainian General Prosecutor’s office admitted that some 8000 Ukrainian soldiers and law enforcement personnel had deserted to the Donetsk People’s Republic and Lugansk People’s Republic. How many from the republics deserted to Ukraine? *Crickets chirping*.

The author goes on to speculate that not mentioning Ukraine is part of an eebil plan by Putin to ensure that Ukraine ‘disappears from the world’s attention’. Amazing. Merely by not talking about Ukraine, Putin prevents the rest of the world from discussing it. The power to cloud men’s minds, like The Shadow. Mr. Korewa follows this with the lame canard that President Putin has ‘admitted’ that there was a Russian military presence in Ukraine. He said no such thing; it would be surprising, considering there is a hot civil war going on right on its border, if there were not a military intelligence officer or two in the region of the conflict, but there has never, ever been any evidence of the thousands of regular Russian troops claimed by the Ukrainian security services and the Kyiv Post‘s ‘military expert’, Dmitry Tymchuk. And according to Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, Ukraine’s is one of the five strongest armies in Europe.

Yarrr, me hearties! Where be the salo that I bin hearin' about?

Yarrr, me hearties! Where be the salo that I bin hearin’ about?

But enough about that – there’s more easily-debunked foolishness, but what I really wanted to talk about is his spectacular accusation that President Putin has ‘decided to try his luck at sea’, by pirating Ukraine’s oil rigs.

It is Mr. Korewa who is completely at sea, I’m afraid, and there’s a good and obvious reason for it – look at his source. Euromaidan Press.

Euromaidan Press is partnered by the BBC, Kyiv Post, The Guardian, New Republic and Forbes, among others. The Managing Editor is Alya Shandra, seen here firing up activists to join in a seminar at Cambridge featuring comedians and movie producers who will teach civic activists how to keep Ukraine on the front pages in the information war, so more people will be hip to “this horrible, horrible thing Russia is doing to our country”. The same Alya Shandra who is a cheerleader for the UPA, and buddies up with Anna Nemtsova of The Daily Beast to helpfully explain why the resurrection of the swastika in Ukraine is nothing to get upset about – it’s just branding, and it worked like a hot damn, because as soon as they adopted it, “ we immediately grew popular among young people. Those who join us know exactly what they want, and they are ready to go to the very end. … A yellow swastika on a black field stands for power and spirit.

Euromaidan Press, as well as quite a few Ukrainians, as well as Aaron Korewa are under a mass delusion that the reunification of Crimea with the Russian Federation is illegal, and insist upon referring to it as “Occupied Crimea”. Such an entity would presumably not have a maritime exclusion zone. Once more, several nations – Russia foremost among them – warned NATO that Kosovo would come back one day with a big roll of western ass in its jaws, and now it has. Western nations welcomed the unilateral independence of Kosovo and energetically defended its statehood. Prevailing legal opinion was that a unilateral declaration of independence was a matter outside international law, and that statehood was a quality most accurately captured in existing autonomy; a distinct population, say, the existence of infrastructure, a banking system, the means to live apart. Crimea was pretty much the poster-boy for that concept, was even titled The Autonomous Republic of Crimea, and since its secession Ukraine has only worked harder to make it more independent, by cutting off its electricity and water supply. Never mind that those actions are illegal under international humanitarian law, because the west defends the principles of international law on a convenience basis.

The whole issue hinges on whether or not the incorporation of Crimea into the Russian Federation was illegal. If it was, objectors are waiting the dickens of a long time to take it to court. It is the opinion of the International Court of Justice at The Hague that the process by which Crimea seceded from Ukraine was not illegal, which is why Ukraine’s defenders focus exclusively on the referendum which resulted in Crimea’s reunification with Russia, attempting to portray it as coercion by Moscow. Subsequent events have made that pretty unlikely. Although Ukraine throws a screaming fit every time anyone acknowledges that Crimea is a part of Russia, that’s merely an acknowledgement of reality, and Kiev is fighting a losing battle against reality – comforted by its chief sponsors, who likewise refuse to recognize reality.

That being the case, international law on the subject prescribes that countries with sea frontage are entitled to claim a maritime exclusion zone of 230 miles from their shores. Russia announced immediately upon accepting Crimea into the Russian Federation that international law would govern the seabed boundaries, which the New York Times characterizes as ‘a single bland sentence buried in the document’, as if that sneaky Vladimir Blackbeardinov were somehow affirming his bastard pirate roots by relying on international law. How dare he, damn him! Maps helpfully included in the reference detail Ukraine’s maritime boundaries ‘pre-annexation’ and ‘post annexation’, and what is left in the latter example is a narrow swath just off Odessa.

Oops! Euromaidan Press stipulated that the gas field in question, from which the drill rigs were removed, lies 120 km offshore of ‘occupied Crimea’. A few quick stabs at the calculator tell us that is 74.5 statute (land) miles, so seabed territory extending 155.5 miles beyond that point is still claimable by Russia. Also, the rigs in question are the property of Chernomorneftegaz, which is a nationalized company of Crimea and not a ‘part of Naftogaz Ukraine’ as Ukraine Today claims; the United States government promptly confirmed that by slapping sanctions on it. The concept of nationalization should not be a new one; prevention of it was the motive behind the 1953 CIA-instigated coup in Iran which removed democratically-elected Mohammed Mossadegh, because he nationalized the Iranian oil industry – which was owned lock, stock and barrel by the British.

Nobody, least of all Ukraine, made any effort to reassure Russia that Ukraine’s ‘turn toward Europe’ would not harm Russian interests, and quite to the contrary, Ukraine’s nationalist element and its western enablers were so jubilant at the prospect of an easy victory that they could not resist gloating publicly over how they had kicked Russia in the sack.  Ukraine now has only itself and its western friends to blame for its ruin.

“Hain’t we got all the fools in town on our side? And hain’t that a big enough majority in any town?”

Mark Twain, from “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn





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1,122 Responses to Last Train From Desperateville

  1. et Al says:

    OK. I’m dropping my trousers, lowering my pants and slapping my meat and veg on the kitchen table vis-a-vis the Litvinenko thing.

    I posit that it was Berezovsky wot dunnint*:

    Motive: Exiled from Russia, once the most powerful man in the Kremlin (certainly not that drunkard Yeltsin), he wanted to punish Putin in revenge. Complicated? No.

    Means: Considering his former position, he not only had plenty of contacts despite being жорпа non-grata, but a large amount of money and great will in the West, not to mention that he employed Litvinenko, Kovtun & Lugovoy. He is the spider at the center of the web. We also know that he was totally amoral, as quite a few of people who knew him well from the old days have said. The ends justify the means. He has much in common with other criminals like Khodokovsky. While I’m here, let us not forget that in his case in the UK High Court against Roman Abramovic, the judge called Berezovsky a liar, someone who had no regard for the truth or facts. That the UK ‘Pubic Enquiry’ (pubic – coz it’s bollox) takes anything he has said as evidence at face value it to say the least, extremely disturbing.

    Is blaming the dead a cheap shot? Certainly? Is it a very viable possibility. Oh, yes missus!

    * You’ll have to excuse me as being a bit slow and that billions of other people might have pointed this out already too, but I just want to throw it out there, now.

    What I would like to see is now that the UK has shot its final bolt, Russia releasing its own comprehensive case about it all. Before he died, Berezovsky wrote a letter to Putin asking for forgiveness and being allowed to return to Russia. If only he had sent a full mea culpa. Why wouldn’t it have been used yet? A) keeping the gunpowder dry, amd B) on a return to Russia he would be protected from extradition by the Russian constitution/ Why might something like this exist? He wanted to return so he would have to pay a price. What better than evidence that can land him in jail permanently, or if the Russian government wishes, abroad in jail. Maybe if such a mea culpa existed, it was never sent, so it is either being held somewhere or destroyed..

    BTW, was Litvinenko working for MI6 before he became a British citizen? I don’t recall. Considering his potty mouth, it’s hardly a surprise that someone might have wanted to do him in.

    On a final point, and one that absolutely everyone should be repeated reminded to take note of, particularly the great unwashed of the Pork Pie News Networks, absolutely anything to do with secret services has to be handled with extreme care. Nothing is what it seems as the devil is in the detail. The British are masters of this (omission) as any fule kno’ from all the books published about their history and behavior.

    • marknesop says:

      There is a ton of physical evidence, in the form of trace amounts of Polonium, which implicates Berezovsky or someone close to him. Polonium was detected on the fax machine at Berzovsky’s office in Mayfair. Berezovsky had been paying Litvinenko a stipend, but ceased the payments, and Litvinenko became instead a ‘paid consultant’ to MI6. Litvinenko never wrote the letter, accusing Vladimir Putin of murdering him, which Goldfarb read out for the edification of reporters complete with high-flown rhetoric far beyond the capability of Litvinenko’s poor English; Goldfarb’s story was that Litvinenko had ‘dictated it’ to him.

      Berezovsky and Litvinenko became chummy in the mid-90’s, when there was a car-bomb attempt to kill Berezovsky which, unfortunately, was unsuccessful. Litvinenko was part of the investigation (he was FSB at the time), and Berezovsky apparently liked the cut of his jib.

      A couple of stringers for some magazine did an interview with Sasha a few days before he ‘became ill’, and reported that he seemed unstable and hinted that he ‘knew things’ that he might tell about his former colleagues, who used to be his friends but had deserted him. I can’t find it now, I linked it in a previous post a long time ago when we were talking about the subject. It’s surprising how many of those things are disappearing from the net. There was a site I regularly linked which was from the International Court of Justice at the Hague which opined the Crimea referendum was not illegal. The same website address now takes you to the Cambridge University Law Library, which – surprise!! – says that the whole thing was just as illegal as hell from start to finish. The two used to be completely different websites, I had seen them both, and the one which ends at the Cambridge University Law Library still has the ICJ site identifier. See?? But “icj” is the identifier for the International Court of Justice. Fuck-all to do with the Cambridge University Law Library, except – obviously – for the common link of law. When I tried to access that site a few days ago, I got a warning which said it was down for maintenance, try later. Now it looks like someone has hacked it and replaced it with a legal opinion more to their liking.

      • et Al says:

        Yes, he had a habit of threatening anyone with exposure when he didn’t get everything handed to him on a plate or was considered undervalued.

        One other bit I forgot to add, I very much doubt that Litvenenko was providing any useful intel of his own accord to the British Intelligence services, rather that he was a conduit for Berezovsky and others (who had also lost out under Putin) which the services wish to keep secret. I doubt a full British intelligence assessment of Litvinenko’s actual usefulness by the services will ever see the light of day, but I can bet it says that the ‘evidence’ he has provided the service are barely more than gossip from well placed sources. That would explain why the services treatment of him. As others have already commented, if he was such a gold mine, why the f/k wasn’t he better protected by his ’employers’, or was he just a ‘consultant’ like Sherlock Holmes?

    • Fern says:

      It’s never been satisfactorily explained why an inquest was not held on Litvinenko. Either there was scientific evidence that his death was the result of Polonium 210 poisining or there wasn’t. British coroners have no brief to conduct a ‘who dunnit’, that’s not their province, rather it’s their job to ascertain the facts of who the deceased was and how they came by their death. These facts could have been easily established within days of Mr Litvinenko’s death so why the decade’s delay? I can only think of one reason – an honest coroner would have had no choice but to return an open verdict and that clearly didn’t suit the British state. Assuming Polonium 210 did kill Mr Litvinenko, there are four possibilities on how he came by this:-
      1) he accidentally contaminated himself;
      2) he was accidentally contaminated by a third party or third parties
      3) he deliberately contaminated himself
      4) he was deliberately contaminated by a third part or third parties.

      Option 3 could probably be discarded but there’s no evidence (as opposed to conjecture and supposition) to indicate which of the other options caused his death and I can’t see the British government wanting anyone poking around asking why an apparent MI6 operative might have been in contact with radioactive material in London. So, no inquest.

      Sir Robert, who conducted this farce of a ‘public’ enquiry, has said that the intelligence material he reviewed is ‘so sensitive’ it could never be released in any way, shape or form into the public arena. I’m not expecting our Free and Independent Media to ask the question but it is puzzling why it should be so. if the official story is correct, all Mr Litvinenko was doing for the British intelligence services was advising on organised crime, on the Russian mob. So what would be ‘so sensitive’ about that? Sure, there could be names of agents and informers inside the mob that would need to redacted to protect them but other than that? Isn’t this secrecy itself an indication that what Mr Litvinenko was doing for MI6 was something quite different from advising on criminal gangs?

      I’ve read two explanations of what happened to Mr Litvinenko and both sound far more plausible than the Russian state dunnit. One is that he was involved in a plutonium smuggling operation to create a dirty bomb and the other is that he was part of a US/British/Israeli plot to plant nuclear materials in Iran. Or he could have been a patsy, killed in such a bizarre way simply to ensure his death was laid at Putin’s door. In which case, step forward the late Mr Berekovsky.

  2. Jen says:

    Here’s a link to “The Litvinenko Inquiry: Report into the death of Alexander Litvinenko” presented to the British Parliament.

    Page 242 caught my eye, this excerpt is referencing Alex Goldfarb and his line of reasoning that led him to conclude that Putin personally ordered the hit on Litvinenko:

    ” … And finally, in one of the Wikileaks cable[s], the American official, by the name of
    Daniel Fried, said that knowing Mr Putin’s attention to detail, we, meaning the US
    administration, doubt that this could have happened without Mr Putin’s knowledge;
    and to confirm that, I refer to the statement which was aired on Russian TV three
    days ago, where there was a film on Russian TV featuring Putin, a long interview,
    about him telling how they annex Crimea, and Putin said to the presenter: ‘the
    reason why it worked so smoothly was because I personally micromanaged the
    whole operation.’ …”

    • Northern Star says:

      “This incident echoed the 2002 Moscow theatre siege – another terrorist attack that ended when the FSB pumped toxic gas into the theatre. All the attackers died but so, too, did 130 hostages. In any western country, such a calamity would have caused a political firestorm and top-level resignations. Not in Putin’s Russia. ‘

      I guess this fucking moron-IMO- never heard of Waco…..

    • marknesop says:

      I am speechless with fury – add Simon Tisdall to my “I wish he was dead” list.

  3. Iran buys 114 jets from Airbus:

    Iran chose the European Airbus jets instead of the Russian Sukhoi Superjets as their civilian airplanes. Russia and Sukhoi would have needed this order.

    I guess there are no friends in business and politics. Only interests.

  4. Northern Star says:

    Hmmmm….not too long -August-before the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio..presumably both Riussia and Ukraine will compete…could prove to be interesting…..

  5. Warren says:

  6. Pavlo Svolochenko says:

    Please note who is now defending little Vita.

    There are no good Ukrainians – not anymore.

      • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

        Oh that’s typical – typical! The Aussie press can forget for years on end that this country exists, and when they finally remember us, it’s only because of a story that provides the setup for another excruciatingly predictable sheepfucking joke.

        You know what? The Trans-Tasman rivalry is over – I’m calling it off. You lot had to give a little for this feud to work, but instead you just took us for granted. No more.

        As of right now, Canada is New Zealand’s deadly rival.

        • Jen says:

          Looking forward to we-get-more-earthquakes-than-you-do and our-prime-minister-is-dafter-than-yours stories.

          • Moscow Exile says:

            But you have to admit that the former Prime Minister of New Zealand, Sir Robert Muldoon, was on the ball when he once famously said that New Zealanders moving to Australia “raised the IQ of both countries”.


            • Jen says:

              Robert Muldoon never met Russell Crowe.

              He also wrote this in 1982:
              “We are a free and independent nation but in time of trouble we stand with our mother country…New Zealand’s decision to break off diplomatic relations with Argentina over the Falklands, immediately after Britain had done so, was not because of Britain’s support on the sporting issue. The reason goes much deeper than that. It is in the context of the statement made by a Labour Prime Minister of New Zealand in 1939: “Where Britain goes, we go.” We see the Falklands as British territory and the Falklands Islanders as subjects of our Queen. We live at the end of the line and we know the feeling of isolation…With the Falklands Islands, it is family. Historically, Britain has so often on great occasions thrown up the leader that the occasion demanded. I regard Margaret Thatcher as one of the finest and straightest politicians I have ever met…In 1939 we learned the folly of appeasement. A great catastrophe was the price that was paid. The military rulers of Argentina must not be appeased. New Zealand will back Britain all the way.”

              So Muldoon supported the UK not because the UK might had a legitimate reason in declaring war on Argentina over the Falklands but because wherever Britain goes, New Zealand will be right behind.

              • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

                This was after the United Kingdom had joined the common market and left New Zealand out in the cold. Nobody ever accused New Zealanders of being quick learners.

                But as oafish as Sir Robert Muldoon was, he was Caesar, Cicero and Thucydides rolled into one compared with the gibbering mound of blubber who followed after him.

                • Moscow Exile says:

                  Well I for one was really miffed when the Old Country turned its back on NZ because I was brought up on NZ lamb and Anchor butter.

                  I’m not kidding!


                  I ate other stuff as well: porridge oats, bacon and egg, black pudding, spuds, cabbage, beetroot, turnips etc., etc.

                  Little wonder I soon acclimatized myself here.

                • marknesop says:

                  I was brought up on Bundaberg, but mammy had to cut back early because my teeth wouldn’t come in until I was 12.

              • Moscow Exile says:

                Blood is thicker than water, Cobber!


                You may think it daft, but whenever I am in the company of North Americans, I feel somehow closer to Canadians than I do to US citizens, albeit that I have always got on fine with colleagues from the USA — bar one, and even his fellow countrymen all thought he was a “jerk”.

        • marknesop says:

          But I like New Zealand!! It seems to be my sad fate always to be in love with the enemy.

          • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

            I’ve thought about this, and it makes perfect sense. Canada carries on a similarly one-sided rivalry with the United States, agonising over Canada’s superiority to America in this or that metric. America, meanwhile, thinks of Canada as its hat – inasmuch as America thinks of Canada at all.

            Canada and New Zealand, however, are both irrelevant enough to be perfect enemies for each other.

            • marknesop says:

              Die, Kiwi!! Beets do not belong in a Hamburger!!!

              • yalensis says:

                But does gravy also not belong on top of melted cheese?
                These are philosophical questions which cannot be answered by the mundane mind.

              • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

                Go f*** a moose!

                And another thing: Ian Binnie is the world’s biggest jackass- there, I said it!

                • marknesop says:

                  Who is Ian Binnie?

                • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

                  Canadian judge.

                  In 1994 five members of the Bain family were found murdered in the family home, shot dead with the family hunting rifle. Sole survivor was the creepy eldest son, David, who claimed to have been out on his paper round when the murders were committed, insisted that it was a case of murder-suicide by his feeble old father Robin (who naturally chose to spare his fuckup son and not his beloved elder daughter). Not even the New Zealand police were dumb enough to believe David’s story, and the little bastard was duly prosecuted and convicted.

                  For some unfathomable reason, a cult following developed around this vacant-eyed psycho, believing fervently in his innocence and subjecting the public to a decade of emotive propaganda on the matter. The Privy Council in right of New Zealand ultimately allowed an appeal on the case, and granted David Bain a new trail. To the considerable astonishment of the New Zealand legal fraternity, Bain lucked out and got acquitted, the jury being comprised mostly of members of his fan club.

                  The miserable shit, having nothing to lose by trying, decided to push his luck a little further and sought compensation from the Crown for the years he spent in the lockup. The New Zealand government commissioned Mr Ian Binnie (apparently a celebrated Canadian jurist) to study the matter and produce a report on it. The question he was given was whether, on balance of probabilities, Bain had committed the murders. Binnie, in a cretinous tour-de-force, concluded that the murders had, on balance of probabilities that the murders had probably been committed by Robin Bain, and added that the living Bain should be awarded compensation – a question he had not been asked to consider.

                  His honour’s report was frighteningly subpar – as I recall, the New Zealand judge who reviewed the report described it as ‘lacking in factual rigour’ – and the government rejected it. You can well imagine what a considerable embarrassment it was to the country, to have called in this brilliant legal mind and then been obliged to reject his report. Only one Canadian paper deigned to notice the affair, and naturally it followed the line that Binnie was a latter-day Solomon and we mere sheepfuckers just couldn’t handle being shown up.

                • marknesop says:

                  I see. Well, I am President of the Ian Binnie Fan Club, and Gary Thain was a ponce.

                • Jen says:

                  Yes, the name Ian Binnie and the case of the Bains sounded familiar to me – I had heard about a family whose members had all been murdered and the murders blamed on one of the dead when evidence pointed in the direction of the sole survivor – but for some odd reason I thought the whole thing had happened in Australia somewhere, Adelaide probably (Adelaide being the city where all the bizarre murders happen because it’s full of churches and therefore the best prim and proper setting for bizarro mass murders).

                  Well anyway another legal eagle called Ian has been enticed to investigate and report on the Bain case: the fellow this time is Ian Callinan, a former High Court of Australia judge, whose report is overdue (deadline was in September 2015). But Kiwis should know that you can’t hurry Australians because of our lower average IQs.

                  Plus Ian Callinan grew up in Queensland (in the past ruled for nearly 20 years from 1968 to 1987 by Kiwi-born premier Joh Bjelke-Petersen who turned the state into his personal police-state fiefdom while he ran it) so he’s bound to be extra extra-slow.

    • marknesop says:

      I don’t know that she ever was a “good Ukrainian”; according to Fort Russ, she is a known nationalist who tried to get Russian schools in Kiev closed down some years ago. It is a measure of how squirrely Ukraine has become that she is regarded as a moderate by anyone.

      You’ll never see any of the good Ukrainians in the news. They just try to mind their own business and keep on living until things get better.

  7. Warren says:

    Gorgeous George Galloway once again challenging the propaganda of the British state broadcaster.

    Published on 21 Jan 2016
    Evan Davis speaks to George Galloway, leader of the Respect Party, and Alex Goldfarb, one of Mr Litvinenko’s closest friends about the results and implications of the Litvinenko Inquiry.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      Source: Подлая, мелкая Британия провоцирует новую холодную войну с Россией

      Sneaky, small Britain is provoking new cold war with Russia

      I sincerely hope that the rest of the slime like him do face the consequences for their treasonous activities. And no, not by means of a radioactive isotope: that was all show business by Berzovskiy and chums. A bullet behind the right lughole does the trick far less hazardously and just as effectively and certainly more humanely. Would it have hurt? I don’t know. Probably — but not for long.

      If the boot had been on the other foot and Litvinenko had been a US citizen actively campaigning against the US president from abroad and receiving payment for this from foreign secret services and assorted criminals, he would have been dealt with in short order.

      • Jen says:

        Anwar al Awlaki and his teenage son weren’t even receiving payment from foreign secret services and assorted criminals when they were hit by US drones in Yemen.

      • marknesop says:

        “If the boot had been on the other foot and Litvinenko had been a US citizen actively campaigning against the US president from abroad and receiving payment for this from foreign secret services and assorted criminals, he would have been dealt with in short order.”

        And there would have been no rhapsodies written to his remarkable courage, complete with ringing paeans that “You might have got me, but you won’t get us all” in a language he could barely speak, upon his death. Instead, it would have been noted as a grim victory over evil-doers.

        • yalensis says:

          “You can kill me, but a hundred more warriors will come to take my place…”
          “I find that hard to believe.”
          “Would you believe ten warriors?”
          “How about one half-blind drunken warrior and his mangy guide dog?”

  8. Moscow Exile says:

    7 minutes ago from the Whitehall Controlled BBC:

    Asian markets rally as oil prices rebound

    Markets were encouraged by a recovery in oil prices, which had hit 12-year lows earlier in the week.

  9. Moscow Exile says:

    Lebedev’s London arse-wipe:

    Litvinenko inquiry: Moscow fumes at ‘Kremlin killing’ verdict as Vladimir Putin avoids sanctions

    The Russian President, Vladimir Putin, appears set to escape sanctions despite being personally blamed over the murder of Alexander Litvinenko, with the British Government being accused of a weak response to the damning verdict on Moscow’s complicity in the killing.

    And the shite comments pour in …

    And from Litvinenko’s widow:

    “I’m of course very pleased that the words my husband spoke on his deathbed when he accused Mr Putin of his murder have been proved true in an English court with the high standards of independence and fairness”, said his widow, Marina. “But now it is time for David Cameron… I am also calling for the imposition of targeted economic sanctions and travel bans against named individuals including Mr Patrushev and Mr Putin”.

    Oh come, come, Mrs. Litvinenko! You know full well that your deceased husband did not say such words on his deathbed. Goldfarb wrote them and read out to the assembled journalists in Gower St. as part of his macabre show outside the entrance to University College Hospital where your husband lay dying,

    And you know why I know you know why he didn’t speak those words, which read like a soliloquy written by some two-bit playwright and which included such gems as:

    You may succeed in silencing one man but the howl of protest from around the world, Mr Putin, will reverberate in your ears for the rest of your life…

    Because you know very well, as do many others, that Sasha’s command of English was shit.

    Goldfarb’s isn’t though.

  10. Jeremn says:

    When reading about the various plots and theories around Litvinenko, it might be worthwhile going back to 2006 and seeing what Litvinenko’s boss, Boris, was up to. Boris seems to have been threatened with deportation by the UK government in early 2006, but the murder of his employee (who may have been blackmailing his boss about this) put an end to such talk

    See, for example, this

    …. Mr Straw said Mr Berezovsky, who is wanted in Russia for fraud and tax evasion, had not entered the UK on the government’s invitation. “Those granted asylum in the United Kingdom have duties to the UK which require, in particular, that they conform to its laws and regulations,” said Mr Straw. “They are advised that their refugee status can be reviewed at any time where it is considered their presence is not conducive to the public good.”

    • Moscow Exile says:

      And there were some reports going around (not in the lying mainstream media, of course) that Sasha had been trying his hand at blackmailing — or had let it be known that he was thinking of doing so — after his services were no longer required by his patron, Berezovskiy, who, by the way, had arranged his illegal entry into the UK from Turkey. The person assigned to do this was Goldfarb, for which illegal action Goldfarb was chucked out of the UK for a while.

      Goldfarb always refers to Litvinenko as Sasha, as though they were best buddies. Somehow, I don’t think they were: Goldfarb — typicallly of his tribe, a highly educated and qualified person:

      …studied biochemistry at Moscow State University and graduated in 1969. After graduation, he worked at the Kurchatov Institute of Atomic Energy in Moscow. He emigrated from the USSR in 1975. He received a Ph.D. in 1980 from the Weizmann Institute in Israel and continued his research with a post-doctoral program at the Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry in Martinsried near Munich, Germany. From 1982 to 1991 he was an assistant professor at Columbia University in New York.From 1992 to 2006 he was a faculty member at the Public Health Research Institute in New York where he led a U.S. government-funded study “Structure and Function of RNA Polymerase in E. coli” with a total budget of $7 million. He also directed the project “Treating MDRTB in Siberian Prisons” funded by a $13 million grant from philanthropist George Soros. According to a PubMed search, Goldfarb stopped publishing scientific work in 2005. — Wiki

      And he makes out that he was a “close friend” of a no-mark, low-ranking, provincial (Voronezh) FSB operative (not a “spy”!) and loser, Litvinenko, who:

      finished secondary school in 1980, at what is called “High School” in the USA, but is just where one receives basic schooling here and in the UK, and on finishing secondary (or “middle” in Russia) school, or “graduating” as they like to say in the USA, one then becomes a bus driver or plumber or coal miner or what you will. Sasha did none of this though. When he left school he was drafted into the Internal Troops of the Ministry of Internal Affairs as a Private. After a year of service, he matriculated in<[to] the Kirov Higher Command School in Vladikavkaz….

      After graduation in 1985, Litvinenko became a platoon commander in the Dzerzhinsky Division of the Soviet Ministry of Internal Affairs. He was assigned to the 4th Company, where among his duties was the protection of valuable cargo while in transit.

      In 1986 he became an informant when he was recruited by the MVD’s KGB counterintelligence section and in 1988 he was officially transferred to the Third Chief Directorate of the KGB, Military Counter Intelligence. Later that year, after studying for a year at the Novosibirsk Military Counter Intelligence School, he became an operational officer and served in KGB military counter intelligence until 1991. (Source — Wiki)

      He was a government transportation security man. And he became a snitch and was recruited by the KGB for that very reason.

      Goldfarb met Litvinenko in Turkey, where his future “pal” Sasha was holed up after having been knocked back by the USA secret services: he had nothing of worth to tell them. He was just invited to join Team Berezovskiy in London-na-Temze so as to annoy the Dark Lord and throw shit at him.

      Litvinenko was a waste of kit and got the heave-ho of Borya and chums. He was also, by some accounts, living the high life that he felt people such as he deserved. He soon became skint, and so he hit on the idea that he would suggest that he knew important things about certain persons in London, which he would reveal, unless ….

      And surprise sur-fucking-prise! — he got bumped off.

      And in my opinion, by means of the stuff for which he was acting as a “mule” in one Borya’s nefarious money-making operations.

      And the murder would simply be explained by crying: Mwaah! Dat wicked , wicked Putin did it!

      I taut I taw a Putin-cat a-kweepin’ up on me.
      I did, I taw a Putin-cat as kweer as kweer can be!

    • marknesop says:

      Actually, it was the name “Svetlichnaya” I was missing – Julia Svetlichnaya, the politics and journalism student who interviewed Litvinenko shortly before his death. Once you plug that in, along with “blackmail”, you get any number of hits on the interview she did with him in which he confided his intention to ‘blackmail a wealthy businessman’. What wealthy businessman did he likely have the most dirt on, as well as the motive for payback? Boris Berezovsky.

      • et Al says:

        Toilet Barf: Final interview of the poisoned former spy

        James Heartfield and Julia Svetlichnaja

        & these:

        Sp!ked: Caught up in a new Cold War

        Julia Svetlichnaja and James Heartfield

        When we interviewed Alexander Litvinenko, we had no idea we would end up being branded as Kremlin agents.

        When Alexander Litvinenko was poisoned, we realised we were sitting on his last interview, having talked to him as research for an academic paper. But in telling the truth about the former Russian security agent we were drawn unwittingly into a new Cold War.

        The Alexander Litvinenko who talked to us in April and May was not the martyr to the Kremlin that he has been painted as since his death. Instead he was a little unstable, even threatening to blackmail his one-time associates for money. One version of Litvinenko’s life is that his conscience made him turn whistle-blower on his FSB superiors; another is that he was a hired gun who transferred his loyalties from the state to the private sector. We did not want to spit on the man’s grave, but it did seem right to tell the truth about him when he was the subject of great public interest….

        • Moscow Exile says:

          No, no, no!!!

          They got it all wrong!

          Sasha was a <dissident!

        • Moscow Exile says:

          Sasha photographed when he was in one his more stable moods:

          Bet no one here knew he was once one of the Queen’s Own Voronezh Highlanders, a regiment noted for its officers being equipped with a Japanese samurai katana rather than the more traditional Scottish claymore.

          • Cortes says:

            He looks like the kind of guy who would notice that his soup was a bit hotter than normal, though.

          • Warren says:

            Guess who inspired Sasha Litvinenko?

            • marknesop says:

              I saw the first one when it came out, in New York (where I happened to be at the time). I thought it was a great movie; the cinematography was marvelous for the time, the idea was fresh and the Queen soundtrack was brilliant. It’s unfortunate, I suppose, that the movie business is dominated by bean-counters and wealthy swells, because the first thing they think when a movie is a box-office smash is “sequel”. They sequeled Highlander to death, so that even mention of the original movie evokes mockery, when they should just have let it end as it was meant to do – the first movie was a little story, with a beginning, plot development, a climax and an end. That’s where it was meant to finish. A lot of good movies have been ruined that way, in a greedy chase for more money.

              • Warren says:

                I was a bit too young to have watched the original Highlander in the cinema back in 1986.

                However I was an avid fan of Highlander the series in the 90s.

                I agree that the Highlander movie straight to vhs/dvd sequels were atrocious.

            • Moscow Exile says:

              Ah, Highlander! — in which film a Swiss plays a Scot and a Scot plays a Spaniard.

              Well, to be exact, Lambert is a French diplomat’s son, born in New York and brought up in Geneva.

        • marknesop says:

          The latter is the article to which I was referring before, in which he allegedly was behaving in a manner which suggested he was ‘unstable’, and mentioned that he was considering blackmailing someone.

  11. Moscow Exile says:

    Kreakly love it!

    В докладе Оуэна есть данные о педофилии Путина

    Information about Putin’s paedophilia provided in the Owen report

    Allegations that Putin is a paedophile have long been commonplace amongst “opposition” shits, together with their regular announcements that he is one of the richest men in the world, if not the richest, and has secret palaces built for him.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      …his bosses learned that Putin was a pedophile (sic). So say some people who knew Putin at the Institute…”

      His bosses learned (sic)?

      Off whom?


      So say some people?

      Who exactly?


      Grounds for such a belief?

      British justice?

      I think the source of these allegations is Goldfarb.

      Among other things, Putin found videotapes in the FSB Internal Security directorate, which showed him making sex with some underage boys

      Perhaps Goldfarb “makes sex”, but I, for my part, have sex — as do, I presume, other native speakers of English.

      • Nat says:

        Concerning the videotape thing, Dmitry Babich posted:
        “Also read chapter 3, page 92. it is claimed that Putin is a paedophile exposed by Litvinenko. In his student youth, Putin was taped “having sex with underage boys,” Sir Robert Owen claims after Litvinenko. As an FSB director, Putin then “sought to destroy the videotapes.” The small problem is that there were no videotapes at the time when Putin was a student!”.

        • Moscow Exile says:

          Well spotted!

          Putin graduated in 1975.

          Sony’s Betamax (or Beta) appeared for sale to the general consumer in 1975. It was soon followed by the competing VHS (Video Home System) format from JVC in 1977. I am pretty sure there were none of these VCRs in the Soviet Union when Putin was allegedly sodomising juveniles, unless the KGB used something like this to spy on his alleged illegal sexual activities:

          A 1950s AMPEX Quadruplex VR-1000A, the first commercially produced video tape recorder

          • marknesop says:

            You can rule the non-portable one out immediately, unless Putin was lured into making sex with underage boys in the test studio. Even the portable one looks pretty hard to hide, and begs the question why the KGB would mobilize such a high-technology asset (at the time) to capture some student making sex with underage boys. Unless, of course, they had already time-traveled to the future and knew he would be the president one day.

          • yalensis says:

            True. Putin’s “sex tapes” would have probably been “filmed” onto 8mm film.
            This sort of camera:

        • Jen says:

          Where on earth would Vladimir Putin be having sex with underage boys as a student? Did he attend a Roman Catholic or Anglican seminary and/or before that an English-style boarding school? I didn’t know the Soviet Union allowed such institutions to exist in its territory. Sir Robert Owen might be projecting some of his own biases here.

      • cartman says:

        Putin touched boys alright. Bat boy!

  12. et Al says:

    eurativ with Neuters: Poland says to permanently host 1,000 British troops from 2017

    Blah blah blah blah

    What is interesting is that they included a video report from South Front (birthed after Vinyard the Saker).

    BTW, I’ve just had a very brief look at the ‘Litvinenko report’ only to see that Justice Owen dismisses out of hand the ‘Litvinenko blackmailing Berezovsky’ and others theory, p.94-99. He takes evidence from the wife, Goldfarb and Berezovsky’s employees far more seriously. It strikes me that Owen is clearly in love with himself and his important job, but ranks nothing more than the head of one of Rupert Murdoch’s red top scandal rags.

  13. et Al says:

    EU Observer: Turkish PM in Berlin to ask for more EU money

    …“Three billion euros is just to show the political will to share the burden. We will review it again and again because nobody knows how long it [the refugee crisis] will take,” Davutoglu told DPA, the German press agency.

    “We are not begging for money from the EU,” he said, noting that Turkey has already spent over €9 billion of its own money.

    “The root cause of this refugee crisis is not Turkey or anything related to Turkey. Turkey is the country which is most affected. We are not exporting a crisis – a crisis has been exported to Turkey. Now, it has become a European crisis,” he added, referring to the wars in Iraq and Syria….

    …or his part, Cem Ozdemir, the leader of Germany’s opposition Green party, told Die Welt, a German daily, on Friday that: “Merkel is letting [Turkish president Recep Tayyip] Erdogan dictate the agenda.”

    “The chancellor must not be blackmailed,” he said. ..

    If you have to say that you are “not begging” then you really are. If the EU folds to ‘Erd & Dav’s Excellent Adventure’ then they deserve everything they get. Only Italy seems to be standing up the f/kwits in Brussels.

  14. Jeremn says:

    Goldfarb worked at the Kurchatov Institute of Atomic Energy run by the Ministry of Atomic Energy before he defected to the States.

    Mark, you said that polonium 210 was exported to the States.

    Seems like a useful background.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      Remember when Litvinenko’s father dropped a bollock outside University College Hospital during an interview with the press as part of the Goldfarb-managed horror show?

      I’m going way back in my files, but he let slip, if I remember rightly, that somebody had put an atomic device in his son’s body. This was when they were still thinking Litvinenko had suffered some kind of food poisoning. Goldfarb had let the term radioactive isotope slip out at Marina Litvenko’s paid-for by Berezovsky London domicile while her father-in-law was there and he blurted it out to the hacks outside the hospital.

      Litvinenko senior spoke of the Goldfarb-isotope connection much later in Italy, where he emigrated a while back:

      • Moscow Exile says:

        First broadcast 2012.

        • Moscow Exile says:

          “Revealed to the British media that her husband had worked for MI6” …something that she had vehemently denied many times previously.

          She has also many times reiterated what a wonderful husband Litvinenko was, a real “Mr. Nice Guy”.

          I wonder what she thinks of the polonium-210 traces found in the lap-dancing “club” where Squeaky Clean Sasha used to while away his free time, something that, apparently, he had plenty of in London, because he was a waste of space, a no-mark, useless to the requirements of Boris, Goldfarb and the rest of the filth, including MII6.

          • Moscow Exile says:

            I have no sympathy whatsoever for Litvinenko’s father: he took the money and shot the shit. Now he regrets his actions, his wife is dead, he is old and penniless. Now he wants to apologize for what he has done and go “home” from wonderful, free Western Europe.

            Like father like son?

      • Jen says:

        Yes I heard initially that doctors suspected thallium poisoning.

        Symptoms of acute thallium poisoning (as in a single large dose):
        – Severe stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea within 3-4 hours of exposure
        – Painful and rapidly progressing peripheral neuropathies (numbness, tingling and pain, especially on the soles and palms) about 2-5 days after exposure
        – Sudden hair loss that progresses to widespread alopecia about 2-3 weeks after exposure.

        Signs and symptoms of chronic [thallium] poisoning include tiredness, headaches, depression, hallucinations, psychosis, dementia, poor appetite, leg pains, hair loss and disturbances of vision.

        Thallium for use as rat poison is banned in most Western countries. It is tasteless and colourless and is water soluble which means it can be stirred into tea or coffee and the victim would never suspect that what s/he is drinking could contain poison. Indeed in Sydney during the 1950s there were several murders committed by a female serial killer who topped off several of her relatives with thallium-laced teas and cakes. The murders attracted a great deal of publicity, not least because the killer presented as a caring grandmotherly woman in her 60s.

        A number of Caroline Grills’ victims went blind as a result of thallium poisoning and if Litvinenko had also gone blind and suffered problems with tingling in his fingers and toes, then three weeks after these and other symptoms first started (1 November 2006), he would have been unable to say anything to Alex Goldfarb on 21 November 2006 let alone dictate a stirring statement striking a blow for freedom and rebellion against the Kremlin.

        • marknesop says:

          Yes, the whole deathbed letter thing is complete bunk, and only a population rendered stunned beyond numbness by decades of spoon-fed pap would entertain it for a second. I recall we went round the thallium-poisoning bush several times with Peter in a long-ago post, and he was extremely knowledgeable on the incident, albeit his usual argumentative self. That’s where I got the notion that the British quacks were looking totally in the wrong direction and had to be tipped off what to look for, although I cannot remember the exact circumstances without researching it. It seems reasonable – if predictable in a crime-novel sort of way – that those who did it would tip off the medical community, because the right diagnosis would be critical to the effort.

          • Moscow Exile says:

            They found traces of po-210 in his urine — after he had died!.

            There was a pan under his bed to which a catheter from his bladder led: that was the state he was finally in — the last stages of organ failure.

            And he asked for a statement to be written “in good English”, had it read out to him — and signed it?

            The doctors at UC hospital had been barking up the wrong tree for a while: first diagnosis — food poisoning; second — radiation sickness (thallium); then they checked his urine after he had died and found the agent of his demise.

            I’m willing to bet that Goldfarb knew what was killing his pal Sasha, though.

            • marknesop says:

              But I think the test for it is quite specific and non-general, and it seems to me that it was somehow…suggested to them that they check.

              • Moscow Exile says:

                Suggested, perhaps, by someone who was a biologist, formerly employed at the Kurchatov Institute of Atomic Energy, Moscow, Mordor?

                I’m almost sure that Litvinenko’s father said outside the London hospital where Alexander Litvinenko was dying that “They have put an atomic bomb inside my son’s body…”, which words caused Goldfarb, who was by his side, to start fluttering and faffing about, because at that time they had not identified what actually was killing the “dissident”.

                I had a lot of links to this story and guess what — all gone!

                • Moscow Exile says:

                  Found one reference to Walter Litvinenko (Alexander Litvinenko’s father) talking of an atomic bomb whilst a displeased Goldfarb was standing next to him.

                  Below is an extract from a translation into English of a Kremlin controlled Rossiya1 TV channel documentary – or Putinmentary if you will — in which both Litvinenko’s brother Maksim and his father speak. (I have corrected some English errors: spelling, punctuation, grammar — ME.)

                  Alexander often boasted that Berezovsky owed him big time. Drunk with his bosses’ stories about an imminent revolution in Russia, Alexander seriously expected a key spot in the government. But suddenly the dream fell apart. Cutting down on his expenses, Berezovsky reduced the allowance of his future minister from £4500 to £1500 a month. Litvinenko felt insulted and complained to his father, Walter Litvinenko: “I have rescued him several times and now he lets me starve, even though he has so much money”.

                  On the phone to his brother Maksim Alexander said: “That’s it! I will never again work for anyone else. I don’t want to know anyone else anymore”. He was really furious.

                  Abandoned by Berezovsky, Litvinenko was forced to make his own living. He offered his services to the British secret services and tried to trade in Russian gas. But when both didn’t work out, he ordered his archives [I presume this means that Litvinenko demanded that Berezovsky return to him allegedly incriminating documents that he had brought to the UK — ME] and decided to go back to Moscow. He wanted to trade information.

                  He knew a lot, and especially about Berezovsky, father Walter says.

                  Did he know about politics, the journalist asks.

                  He knew for example the inside story of how someone tried to poison Berezovsky with a pen. That piece of theatre was scripted especially so that Berezovsky could stay in England, Walter Litvinenko says.

                  Alexander told his family the story about how his boss got his political asylum. It was Alexander who arranged statements made by a Kazakhstan citizen who had supposedly come to London to liquidate Berezovsky. Litvinenko related the story to his brother with pride.

                  “We drove him in a car to some city and began to threaten him: Who sent you? And in the end he told us that the KGB had; that the FSB [First KGB, then FSB! The translator seems to be confusing one with the other — ME] had taken his family hostage and had told him that he should travel to London and stab Berezovsky with a pen.” If the whole story had been fabricated, it must have been very dangerous. And that is just the asylum case. There are many other deals, including business, still [going on] in Russia. Alexander and Berezovsky have known each other for a long time, Maksim says.

                  As Alexander becomes more and more determined to return to Moscow, his family becomes seriously concerned. To assist Berezovsky is one thing, to threaten him is another. Only two weeks later the family receives news that Alexander is in hospital. The diagnosis, by the way, was quite regular. Until Akhmed Zakayev corrected the doctors.

                  “Food poisoning, the doctors said, but then Akhmed came and suggested that he could have been poisoned’, father Walter remembers.

                  What struck Walter when he came to see his son in London was that Alexander was completely bald. “They had shaved him. They said that his hair had begun to fall out and that they had shaved him. I know that they shaved him”, Maksim says.

                  Even if we assume that Litvinenko had been subjected to ionizing radiation, then only one week after that would hair loss have been amongst the the first symptoms that would have appeared. Hair loss would have to have been accompanied by skin ulcers, which Litvinenko did not have. We cannot know if his hair had been normal, as he had been shaved. Why, we may ask. These two spectacular photographs of him were spread all over the world by the well-known PR company Bell Pottinger. Of course no newspaper explained how Litvinenko’s head had been prepared by Zakayev’s maid, who according to brother Maksim, had been asked to come to the hospital with a razor. And after that, Berezovsky’s partner, Alex Goldfarb, whispered in father Walter’s ear the secret about the polonium.

                  “It was me who first mentioned the polonium”, Walter says. “At a spontaneous rally [one of those organized by Goldfarb press briefings held in the street outside of the main entrance of University College Hospital London. Daily, the press flocked around Goldfarb for information there and were given what they wanted to hear: why weren’t doctors interviewed? — ME] I told the press how a small atom bomb had been flown in and how my son had defended the British from the threat of radiation with his life. Goldfarb, who stood behind me, tried to warn me aggressively. They clearly weren’t ready yet. I had spoken out too early. I think that perhaps there were no traces yet, perhaps they had to do some things first. It will be interesting to see what dates are attributed to the traces that they found in the stadium and aeroplane. It is important to know at what dates these spots were checked.”

                  Walter Litvineko’s testimony shows that Alex Goldfarb knew about the polonium sooner than Scotland Yard did. Moreover, the father suggests that his son may have been poisoned first, after which the polonium footprints were left at the necessary spots. This information may refute the conclusions of the British investigation, but as long as its materials remain classified that cannot be checked. [My stress — ME]

                  How did the polonium traces end up in Sasha’s neck, on his clothes, when he had only drank tea? How can it be that polonium traces where left on the entire route and sprinkled on Lugovoy and the others, Walter Litvinenko argues.

                  By the way, the Russian Prosecutor General’s office has on numerous occasions asked for the autopsy results, but the British authorities have never released them. It is still unknown whether polonium traces were really found in Litvinenko’s body. His father, who is a doctor himself, claims that while his son was still alive the analysis never showed proof of radiation. What has been officially stated is that the isotope was discovered in urine, collected after Litvinenko’s death from the reservoir under his bed.

                  There was a plastic bottle. With a syringe anyone could have injected something into that bottle, Maksim thinks.

                  Maksim believes that anyone could have poisoned his brother. And the polonium was needed to leave traces all over London, to make the FSB the prime suspect and to create a scandal for the entire world.

                  “We have no doubt that Putin approved this operation personally”, Alex Goldfarb stated. Goldfarb is now the author of a book about Litvinenko ‘Death of a Dissident: The Poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko and the Return of the KGB’, which has been translated into ten languages and distributed all over the world. In his biography, Goldfarb describes himself as a dissident, who emigrated to the United States in the seventies, taught at the University of Columbia and after the collapse of the Soviet Union returned to Russia to head projects funded by George Soros.

                  Goldfarb was Berezovsky’s man and together they were with Soros. I still think this whole story has its origins in the United States. And unfortunately Sasha got mixed up in their games, Maksim Litvinenko says.

                  “Even Akhmed (Zakayev) told me that Goldfarb is CIA, a bad guy. It seems to me that Sasha disturbed him. Sashka even hinted to me about this before he died. Sasha really didn’t know who had poisoned him, but he was afraid: afraid for his family, afraid for me”, Walter Litvinenko remembers.

                  Alex Goldfarb, by the way, omitted an interesting fact from his biography. Before his emigration to the United States he worked at the Kurchatov Institute for Atomic Energy, the one place in the USSR where they surely knew what radioactive isotopes are. Goldfarb nevertheless prides himself with being the person to whom Litvinenko dictated his deathbed letter accusing Putin of his poisoning. Here you can see it, in English, with its author’s signature. And now a sensation from these main witnesses: Right up until the end, Litvinenko hoped to survive. He still asked: “Shall I be able to walk again? Of course he did not want to die. And this letter in English is even more so simply ridiculous. Alexander did not speak English at all”, Maksim says.

                  While he was still conscious, his father confirms that Litvinenko could not bring himself to think of final statements. And his clinical death was too sudden.

                  “He died in my arms. I cried and screamed. There was no one. And then all came in to try and reanimate him. That was it. He did not speak any more. This letter is complete nonsense. There was no such letter and nothing about which to write such things.”

                  Those guys simply wanted to create a scandal, Walter Litvinenko says.

                  Who was the mastermind behind the letter, the journalist asks.

                  Alex [Goldfarb — ME], probably or someone else. Akhmed wouldn’t do such a thing. Either Boris or Alex, Walter Litvinenko thinks.

                  Alex Goldfarb’s reading of the letter to the press coincided exactly with the EU-Russia summit. In general everything from the funeral onwards, the relatives remember, was turned into one big press conference. Even during the wake, Berezovsky lined up reporters in order to give statements. Boris Abramovich [Berezovsky — ME] was very energetic and full of praise.

                  And not only Berezovsky. Nevzlin [Khodorkovsky’s Yukos buddy, found guilty in absentia in a Russia of murder and now resident in Israel — ME] the rest of that group were also there. All of them could have poisoned Sashka. Walter Litvinenko is convinced that they needed Sashka dead, not alive,

                  The next hearing in the Litvinenko case will be held in April. Neither the father, nor the brother is invited to testify.

                  Translated by Nils van der Vegte and Joera Mulders, April 28, 2012

                  Source: The Litvinenko Murder — a story of betrayal

                • marknesop says:

                  Yes, we used to see Nils van der Vegte here quite frequently at one time; he was a student of some sort back then, and was writing his thesis. He must have long finished that, and he was one of the charter members of Russiawatchers, a site which specializes – like Yalensis’ Awful Avalanche – in translations from various Russian news sites, although Russiawatchers focuses almost exclusively on news and has fewer whimsical culture pieces than Awful Avalanche does.

                  I remember reading, in one of the references I cited, that Akhmed Zakayev met Litvinenko somewhere in a cab on the fateful day of his ‘poisoning’, and that later the cab was found to be so heavily contaminated with polonium that it had to be destroyed.

                  Certainly no possibility that Zakayev was a nuclear scientist – he is an actor by educational background.

                • Moscow Exile says:

                  Bloody buggering bollocks!

                  Too narrow!

    • marknesop says:

      Was and is, according to Der Spiegel. Without looking again, I believe they said about 8 grams per month, at a cost of about $2 Million per gram. The same reference says Polonium is carefully tracked and accounted for, but you know as well as I do that the right people in the USA need only hold up their right hand and intone, “National Security” for records to read “Whatever you say, Sir!”

  15. et Al says:

    EU Observer: Nuts and bolts: WTO ruling helps China in EU dumping wars

    Trade arbitrators have said the EU wrongfully imposed anti-dumping duties on Chinese screws, in a verdict which could help China’s bid for market economy status.

    The decision, on Monday (18 January) by the Geneva-based World Trade Organisation (WTO), ends a seven-year legal battle.

    The EU imposed punitive tariffs on Chinese iron or steel screws, nuts, and bolts in 2009 on grounds that China sold them at below-market prices to undercut competition – a practice known as “dumping.”…

    …The WTO ruling comes amid talks on whether the EU should recognise China as a market economy – a decision which means Europe could no longer impose anti-dumping levies. …

    …But China says that, under the terms of its WTO accession in 2001, it should get the status “automatically” by the end of 2016…

    But Brussels declares one of its prime principals as ‘respect for rule of law’. The reality is that both the EU and & impose sanctions on whomever they wish in scant regard for the law, let alone their own, because both consider themselves to be grandfathers of propriety, and as oldest members of the club, or just the pervy uncle, they automatically get a free pass. Both have had their sanctions against countries (I-ran etc.) and people (Minsk black list) struck down by their own courts. As countries such as China, India and other become ever more influential and powerful, the more we can expect Western countries to play their exceptionalism card. Stuff like law and things just don’t apply to them because…

  16. et Al says:

    Financial Crimes: Vladimir Putin asked Bashar al-Assad to step down

    Just weeks before his death on January 3, Colonel-General Igor Sergun, director of Russia’s GRU military intelligence agency, was sent to Damascus on a delicate mission.

    The general, who is believed to have cut his teeth as a Soviet operative in Syria, bore a message from Vladimir Putin for President Bashar al-Assad: the Kremlin, the Syrian dictator’s most powerful international protector, believed it was time for him to step aside.

    Mr Assad angrily refused.

    Two senior western intelligence officials have given the Financial Times details of Sergun’s mission. The Russian foreign ministry referred a request for comment to the defence ministry, which said it was unable to comment.

    But on Friday, in response to a question from a journalist, asking if the Russian leader had asked Mr Assad to step down, a spokesman for Mr Putin said: “No, that’s not so.”…

    Oh dear, another psyop in the process, the Pork Pie News Networks more than happy to unquestioningly oblige.

    Firstly, any supposed meat from this story comes from unnamed ‘western intelligence officials’ – oh yes!, the rest is gossip and rumor picked up and amplified by the usual western gotos.

    Then ask “Is there any strategic sense for Russia to ‘as’ Assad to step down”? Notice the ‘ask’ not the ‘tell’. How very odd. The Kremlin doesn’t dilly-dally and flip-flop by the ‘Mighty O’. If they wanted to dump Assad, they’d drop him like a hot potato.

    Timing? It neither makes sense in the run up to apparent peace talks unless you are one of those acolytes that Russia is desperate to make up with the West and that Western sanctions against Russia work.

    So dumping/forcing out Assad on the brink of peace talks where he is in an untrammeled position of power and security for the first time in five years to have peace more on his terms rather than that of ISIS/ISIL/Al-Queda/Whatever supported by the West and the Gulf, when the Russian military is grinding these terrorists in to the dust makes sense? How totally moronic. But that’s the Financial Crimes for you – they’ll publish anything.

    But the ‘piece’ finishes with this:

    Meanwhile, says one British diplomat, with no palatable strategy for withdrawal, Russia appears to be doubling down on its military intervention, leaving the prospect of a negotiated peace as far from reality as it has ever been.

    That’s right. Russia politely asked Assad to step down, he said “No thank you very much” and in response Russia is helping Assad even more? Ah, but Russia can’t walk away from Assad because it would be a loss of face! Since when did Putin give a flying f/k about such things?

    • et Al says:

      Two stories down on Google news is:

      New York’s Crimes (AP): Syrian Government Thanks Russia for Help Capturing Key Town

    • Lyttenburgh says:

      Sometimes, I miss the times of Ivan Grozny. Yeah, I will probably be just a peasant or soldier working 24/7, but as for weekly entertainment I’d get a… performance starring all 3 authors of this piece of shit, who’de got their tongues shortened, earse – sheared, nostrils – pulled out, cheeks – branded, and they then would be issued a one way ticket to a health sanatorium in Siberia.

      Brutal, but, nonetheless, somehow more honest times!

    • Jen says:

      It’s convenient of course that Sevgun is dead and that the two Western intelligence officials only speak on the condition that their identities are kept anonymous.

      • Moscow Exile says:

        Highly convenient also that Boris Berezovsky kicked the bucket as well.

        Cause of death — unknown.

        A post-mortem examination found that his death was consistent with hanging and that there were no signs of a violent struggle. However the coroner at the inquest into Berezovsky’s death later recorded an open verdict — Wiki.

        Wiki source:

        Boris Berezovsky inquest: Coroner records open verdict

        Coroner Peter Bedford at the Berezovsky inquest:

        “I am not saying Mr Berezovsky took his own life, I am not saying Mr Berezovsky was unlawfully killed.

        “What I am saying is that the burden of proof sets such a high standard it is impossible for me to say”.

        The coroner might well have added::

        “What I am saying, though, is that the creep is indubitably brown bread”.

        • marknesop says:

          “What I am saying is that the burden of proof sets such a high standard it is impossible for me to say”.

          From the same legal system which rendered a verdict of ‘probably the Russian state did it’ in the Litvinenko case. Uh huh; bless my soul, the burden of proof. I would laugh, but I’m afraid it might turn into screaming.

          • Cortes says:

            Today’s jingle for English justice:

            Boris puts the B in Onus.

          • Jen says:

            I wonder what the standard for the burden of proof was in that Southwark case in December 2015 when that Saudi millionaire tripped and fell on top of the underage teenage girl (after she put her hand beind his head apparently) in such a way that his penis landed in her vagina, and the court agreed with him and dropped the rape charges.

            • yalensis says:

              It’s all about the laws of probability. What mathematician David Hand calls “the law of large numbers”.

              In other words:
              Given billions of penises and billions of vaginas, factor in a banana peel in exactly the right location, and BAM!
              Yeah, it could happen.

            • marknesop says:

              Yes, I remember that; he ‘accidentally penetrated her’. You have to hand it to those Arabs – they are real men, who walk around with a permanent erection, just in case. Under normal circumstances as he describes them, a man just standing talking to a girl who suddenly trips or a similar scenario, even assuming the clothing of both could have become miraculously disarranged so it was not an impediment, it would still have been like trying to put a marshmallow into a piggy bank. But not super-Arab, hard as a brick day and night, apparently. What a farce.

    • et Al says:

      Ah, Moon of Alabama has covered it of course:

      They were British ‘intelligence officials’ of course as, b from above noted that they said ‘under the bonnet’ rather than ‘under the hood’, which we know the latter being American and the former being specifically British. All round, a very poor trolling operation by the Brits. Gin & Tonic all around at the club later.

  17. Lyttenburgh says:

    I was “triggered” into writing this post by 2 factors. First – ME’s post on the previous page about yet another kreakl who is ashamed to be Russian – Ulitskaya – and her entirely handshakable characteristic of the Russian ethnos – “filthy savages”. Not something out of the ordinary, really – sadly, this is just another instance of the self-proclaimed member of the “Nation’s Conscience” to pass the judgment on the rest of the populace that (o, horror!) might disagree with them and their foreign sponsors.

    Another one came from rather unusual source. As you all probably know, the “Kadyrov’s Scandal” is not abating in Russia – and our local so-called “liberals” are calling for a heavy support from the Democratic Journalistic International ™. And so, we have (among many other pieces professing their love to liberasts and hatred to a “wrong” Chechen Kadyrov) this article on BBC Russia. This particular author – Artyom Krechetnikov – is an example of a sad and failed dissident and émigré, who just physically can’t write a good thing about his former country of birth.

    Quite predictably, said Artyom is highly critical of Kadyrov’s comparison of the non-system opposition to the enemies of the people. He even decided to make little “historical essay” devoted to that question – starting with the Great French Revolution and ending with Mao’s China. He makes all possible mistakes one can expect from a rabid Russophobe and anti-sovietist. Say, while admitting that the Committee on the National Safety executed via “M-me Guillotine” only 18 613 people, immediately references “studies” of the American historian Donald Greer, who, somehow, managed to increase this number to 40 000. The same way he acts while talking about the “Great terror” in the Soviet Union. He claims that in the period of 1921-1953 3 777 380 people were persecuted by “political” charges (read: “they were completely innocent in our absolutely superior liberal POV”) and that 799 445 were executed. On the one hand – that’s kinda-sorta a progress compared to Beevor-SoLZHEnytsin’s “millions of innocents shot for nothing in the span of a few years” but still – a gross exaggeration and shameless lie. First of all he conflates in his “persecuted” claim of a number of people close to 4 mln both those who were just charged with various political (but very real) crimes and then released and those who were arrested and/executed. Next, the number of 799 455 looks big, scary and (because it’s uneven) legit. But its actually a number of death warrants issued – not the number of the actual executions carried out in the USSR for this sort of crimes in the period of more than 30 YEARS. The actual number is lower – about 680 000. Which is, kinda-sorta, less scary and also by its mere fact of existence proves, that some people (a whopping 120 000 of them) got pardoned or successfully pleaded their cause before the ghoulish, baby-eating Stalinist government. But we don’t want any ideological ambiguity, do we? Even then, basic skills of math, some primitive solar-panel calculator and access to reliable and relevant statistic data would lead any would be “demolisher of Stalinism” to rather disheartening conclusion – that bloody mustachioed vampire managed to repress for the political reasons about 2,7-3% of the entire population. Boo-fucking-hoo.

    But what does our dear “Krechetnikov” does next? Oh, that’s a real gem! Here his main reason for opposing Kadyrov and his “attacks” on shy and conscientious democratic opposition in Russia, whom he calls “the enemies of the people”:

    ”In fact, the term is meaningless because there is no national-superpersonality, able to want something or do not want it, to love or hate someone. There are many people who have different interests, opinions, and, accordingly, friends and enemies”.

    That’s it, people! That was my own “Gotcha!/Bingo!” moment, when I finally groked the essence of the modern international so-called liberalism and its faithful servants in Russian. Let me explain it.

    It’s considered to be a mauvais ton , a taboo even to talks about “the people” or the “working class” in the Western Respectable Media and Academia. Big No-No. Why? Well, because if you are talking about the “people” and you will inevitably go patriotism=>nationalism=>Nazism road. And if you ever raise a question about the “working class”, then, surely you will next went Socialism=>Stalinism=gulags. That’s a fact ™. No use argue against the Free and Independent Opinion ™ – you Commie-Nazi Freak!

    What does it mean? Well, it means that any given country of the Progressive and Culturally Superior West ™ is ruled by this or that iteration brought up by this or that iteration of the local Bourgeoisie Revolution ™ – with the motto “Fuck the Poor!” emblazoned on every single decision of this self-perpetuation oligarchy draped in the republican robes. Then, there is a small – but very, very noisy strata of the “intellectuals”, a high-priests in the temples of the long dead gods of Freedom, Liberty and Equality, who fancy themselves as the one and only true keepers of the legacy, of the Quintessence of what their particular “nation” is all about – and screw the history and tradition if we feel that way. The fact that both of these “ruling classes” compromise (combined) perhaps less than 10% of the entire population doesn’t discourage them at all in their perceived view of the world at large.

    So, who are the rest of the people? They does not exist. At all. Why are you looking so surprised at me? Didn’t the good Sir Krechentikov just said that the “people” doesn’t exist? Here you go! Move along – nothing to see here. What you have for the 90% of the population instead of the “people” or even the “working class” are what good pro-democracy (and – as any idiot in the Net will tell you – pro-gay) Greeks referred as “walking and talking tools”. And tools, as we know, usually are dumb, mono-tasked and easily replaceable. So, when so-called “Russian liberals” are decrying “their” own people and wish it to be replaced entirely one way or another – they are actually voicing in their own, naïve neophyte way what their much more experienced masters and colleges from across the “Civilized World” have been keeping in mind for a long-long time.

    So it’s a little wonder that the “nonexistent people” (according to the liberal l‘Internationale) have no “enemies” wishing to screw and harm them. And because about 90% of these “non-people” are basically not even a cognizant citizens who can take responsible actions on their own – its only in their best interests, if some much more educated, handshakable (albeit – miniscule) group of the “full-rights citizens” will decided what’s better for them and the, ugh, “nation”. And to hell with these “elections” – cattle knows not how to vote properly anyway!

    You think, I’m exaggerating or strawmanning here? No. Just read any chosen butch of articles about “poor, isolated Russia” from our usual suspects and you’ll notice the trend – not a pip about what Russian people really, really want. Sure, you will find many ballsy claims about “Many in Russia suspect that Kadyrov [something-something-something-Dark Side]” – without actual prove about these mythical “many”. ‘Cause this particular ambiguously big “many” actually covers only a Barbie-seized (and equally smart) crowd of shy and conscientious intilligents, democratic journalists, kreakls, hipsters and gays in entire Russia. They are seen as the voice of Russia and the true elite who is entitled to rule the country – not 86% of unmentionable “others”. Hell, even the best of them in the professional (read: as ethical and loyal as 17th century German mercenaries) circle of the “Russia-watchers” can’t bring themselves to say one simple phrase – “Russian People”.

    Case in study: former editor of the eXile magazine Mark Ames, still red-hot butthurt at Evul Putin for closing his rag way back in 2008. Here is his more-or-less balanced analysis of the CF that came to be known now as the “Post Maidan Ukraine”, and it’s here when Mark Ames literally shits rainbows into his own mouth with this:

    ”The important thing to remember is this: Russia’s liberal intelligentsia and its big city yuppie class is small in numbers, outsized in influence and importance…. and hated by the rest of Russia. And there’s a lot to hate: intelligentsia liberals and Moscow yuppies are elitist snobs on a scale that would turn anyone into a Bolshevik. They even named their go-to glossy “Snob”— and they meant it. It’s not just the new rich who are elitist snobs — liberal journalist-dissident Elena Tregubova’s memoir on press censorship interweaves her contempt for Putin with her Muscovite contempt for what she called “aborigines,” those provincial Russian multitudes who occupy the rest of Russia’s eleven time zones. Tregubova flaunted her contempt for Russia’s “aborigines,” whom she mocked for being too poor and uncivilized to tell the difference between processed orange juice and her beloved fresh-squeezed orange juice. I’m not making that up either.

    Tregubova’s contempt is typical for the liberal intelligentsia. Stephen Cohen quoted well-known Russian liberal intellectuals blaming the misery and poverty of post-Soviet Russia on the Russian masses who suffered most: “the people are the main problem with our democracy” said one; another blamed the failures of free-market reforms on “a rot in the national gene pool.” Alfred Kokh, a Petersburg liberal fired by Yeltsin for taking bribes from banks while heading the privatization committee, openly relished the misery suffered by the Russian masses after the 1998 financial markets collapse forced millions into subsistence farming for survival:

    “The long-suffering Russian masses are to blame for their own suffering…the Russian people are getting what they deserve.”
    What this means politically is eleven time zones of untapped resentment, surrounding an island of wealth and liberal elitism — Moscow.

    Most living Russians still remember the Soviet era, when wealth inequality was so minute it was measured in perks rather than yachts. That’s what the Russians mean when they tell pollsters they preferred the Soviet Union days and rue its collapse. Lazy hacks interpret those polls as proof that Russians are still evil empirelings, for the sheer evil joy of having a Warsaw Pact to boast about. Rather than the obvious: Russians lived longer and easier under Soviet rule, then started dying off by the millions as soon as capitalism was introduced, when poverty exploded and they found themselves in the most unequal country on earth.


    To an outsider, these are all problems that need solutions. But to a political animal like Putin, this huge pool of human resentment and nostalgia is a potential power base: Russia’s Silent Majority [emphasize mine – Lyt]. Although Putin has thrown them plenty of bones over the years, the Kremlin never fashioned an entire politics around the Silent Majority, in part because it never had to. The thinking has been that no matter how desperate and resentful the Russian “aborigines” in the provinces get, they’ll never pose a serious threat to Kremlin power. Moscow’s liberals and its “manager class” were taken far more seriously as a class.


    During the mass yuppie protests in Moscow, I remember one telling moment that gave some insight into the Kremlin’s new political strategy. Legions of pro-Putin youths started pouring into Moscow, and locals started warning of provocateurs come to start violence and invite a crackdown. But in one video I watched, a confrontation in Mayakovskaya Square between the Moscow yuppies and the pro-Putin youths, the Muscovites all started yelling and laughing realizing that the pro-Putin youths were from the despised provinces. You could tell by their clothes, their haircuts, their nervous out-of-place expressions on their faces. The rich Muscovites chased them away; the provincial Putin tools skulked back to their shitty buses, for the long journey back to their wretched provincial apartment blocks.

    It’s hard to know when Putin decided to run a Nixon strategy and appeal to Red State Russia [emphasize mine – Lyt] but I’m pretty sure he was as shocked as anyone by the scale and rage in those first anti-Putin protests in December 2011.

    Putin has chosen a new politics appealing to the Russian Silent Majority, and that means appealing to their resentments, heating up the culture wars between liberal Moscow and the slower, fearful masses in the rest of those eleven time zones. To exploit the huge differences between the Moscow liberals and yuppies opposed to Putin, and the rest of the country that resents them.

    The Silent Majority has waited at least two decades for payback, and now it’s on, and it’s not pretty. It’s why Putin targeted Pussy Riot. We Westerners loved them; they were heroes to us, brave punk rock babes fighting the Man and getting jailed for being punk. In our world, that’s cool. But in Russia, Pussy Riot was completely despised by nearly everyone, across class and regional lines. One poll after they were jailed showed only 6 percent of Russians supported Pussy Riot; the poll could not find a single respondent who said they respected the jailed band members.

    By exploiting Russian disgust for Pussy Riot and equating the opposition movement with Pussy Riot, Putin was able to conflate the liberal opposition with a decadent, alien art troupe whose purpose seemed to be to humiliate Russia and mock their culture. Nixon couldn’t have dreamed up a more perfect symbol of his opponents.

    The Nixon Strategy also explains why, after all these years, Putin suddenly targeted Russia’s gays for a vicious culture war campaign. In the Russian Red States, the violent, cruel state-managed homophobia — in which a leading TV anchor told his audience that gays’ hearts and organs should be burned and buried deep underground — was red meat, an acknowledgment at last that Russia’s Silent Majority matters. And the more Moscow yuppies and Westerners berated Russia for attacking gays, the more the Silent Majority identified with the Kremlin.


    America’s Silent Majority was crazy enough in the Nixon years: the Silent Majority cheered Nixon on when college students were gunned down on campuses; 80% of Americans sided with Lt. William Calley, the officer in charge of the My Lai massacre.“

    Yes – these are Russian people, unnamed and unknown, according to the not so Russophobic journalists from the West. Imagine, what can True Sons and Daughters of the Freedom say in their publications? OTOH, why not look for ourselves?

    ”Now, the attack dog seems to be unleashed. Mr. Kadyrov has written an article published in the daily Izvestia that pours scorn on the “nonsystemic opposition” to Mr. Putin and suggests it be punished. The term “systemic opposition” in Russia usually refers to the toadies and sycophants who support Mr. Putin. Mr. Kadyrov’s sights are on everyone else who criticizes the president — and he named names, including prominent opposition figure Alexei Navalny and journalists for Echo of Moscow radio and Dozhd television, both progressive outlets. In the article, Mr. Kadyrov declares that “there is a very good psychiatric hospital” in Chechnya where “we will not be stingy with injections” to these critics. “When they are prescribed one injection, we can give two.” He says the opposition is a “pack of jackals,” “bunch of traitors,” “Western lackeys,” “enemies of the people,” “haters of Russia,” people who are trying “to destroy our country and undermine its constitutional order.” Stalin would recognize the language. Mr. Kadyrov’s chief of staff drove the point home with a photo posted on social media of the Chechen leader holding back a massive Caucasian Shepherd dog named Tarzan, saying the beast’s “teeth itch.””

    Oi vey iz mir, dear Faschington Post! What are you saying?! I’m truly terrified! But what all of these handshakable outlets will never say to their Sufficiently Enlightened (and, ergo, no longer needing any new data input) Western Public ™ is how this whole thins is discussed in Russia… for real. I address all of them to an article of Russian journalist of the “not-yet-sold” variety Ilya Remeslo, where he asks several pointed and quite not-politically correct questions. Starting with the fact that some “offended” oppositionists, decided to prove that they are not “enemies of the people” (and that they are above such Stalinist measures like anonymous reports to the government) by… filing an anonymous report that basically charges Ramzan Kadyrov with the violation of art. 282 Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, i.e. for the “inflammation of the national strife” {oy vey, I say – what Gussian opposition is trying to prove here?- Lyt} and “the humiliation of dignity of a certain social group”. They are bound to lose that – by any standards. Neither “non-system opposition” or “traitors of the people” are social groups according to Russian legislation. Oop-sie! Also – what both liberasts and their Western cheerleaders always forget – Kadyrov have never called for the extrajudicial punishment of the people he deemed to be the “enemies of the people” – he only asked for them to be checked according to the current legislation and Criminal Code. What’s the buzz, monsieurs liberasts, of you are truly innocent?

    But… what if we start investigate YOU fore the spread of extremism and demeaning the dignity of entire ethnicities (which brings me back to Ulitskaya and her ilk)? Oh, I already know what will happened next – shrieks of “Aiii! #New1937”. Suitcase, taxi, airport, London.

    Now, the scary part for the liberst-sympathizers. Russian people, whose existence you either denied or whom you tried to exterminate in the name of the Democracy and Market Liberalization will welcome new 1937. Because they know – they will hang YOU this time, no the other way round.

    Although, there is one positive sign here. You, liberasts, managed an impossible – Russians for the most part are siding with Chechen. Wow!

    • Moscow Exile says:

      The term “systemic opposition” in Russia usually refers to the toadies and sycophants who support Mr. Putin — whereas non-systemic opposition means a crowd of non-productive bourgeois arse-holes and “creative types” who can gather a crowd of their pals in a café and enough signatures to form a “party” which nobody will vote for, apart from their friends and associates and dick heads who signed their support for the faction, party or whatever.

    • et Al says:

      F/k me Lyt, that was great! You must demand Mark turns over his podium temporarily over to you for an epic post on the Russian ‘lbierals’ POST! POST! POST! POST! Come on Stoogites, we want Lyts piece!!

    • marknesop says:

      Huh. I always wondered where La Russophobe got the idea for that unbalanced rant about the impossibility of finding fresh-squeezed orange juice anywhere in Russia. Question answered – Elena Tregubova.

      • Lyttenburgh says:

        Thank you all, guys!

        Now I re-read it and see a ton of typos. Oh, well…

        • marknesop says:

          I think what they would like to see is a piece from you, from a Russian’s point of view, on the liberal opposition. It should include the current ‘leaders of the opposition’ and their perceived support in the country. If you send it to me by email beforehand I will proofread it for you and correct any minor grammar or spelling errors – which in your case seem to result much more frequently from haste and emotion than lack of knowledge – and publish it as a post rather than a comment. What do you think?

          You could include some of the content you have already posted as a comment because there will be some people who have not seen it, who only read the articles. Up to you; whatever you think is relevant – you have a good eye for what is current and interesting as well as what you need for background.

          • Lyttenburgh says:

            Sorry that I didn’t reply immediately, Mark, on your kind offer – which I will totally take!

            See, after writing this one “mega-post” I was totally “spent”. The heat of the moment which “triggered” me mostly subsided. I thought that I can just move one with small time commenting and that the whole issue is no longer, ehm, “an issue”.

            But when you deal with the same kinds of the “irritants” which caused me to write this article in the first place, surely you can count on the fact that soon, very soon your inner peace will be shattered again by something “handshakable” and stinking, so that not even several hours of listening to the “Ohm-mani-padme-hum” mantra won’t calm down your chakras and re-establish your Third Eye’s connection to the Astral.

            So, yeah – I can re-work this into article. I will probably keep most of the stuff already posted here and then add a 1-1.5 page more. I will truly aprreciate your corrections and notes, Mark.

            And as for the rest of the Stooges – do you really want to read such lenghty things? I tend to be wordy on topics that incur my… attention – go ask yalensis!

            • yalensis says:

              Oi, you can say that again! Is like half-crazed stream of consciousness.
              Reading Lyttenburg is like reading James Joyce, only with spelling errors!

              (I kid because I love.)

  18. Lyttenburgh says:

    I’ll just leave it here:

    Downing, 10 owned BBC NEWS: MI5 named UK’s most gay-friendly employer after survey

    “Top five:

    – MI5
    – Lloyds Banking Group
    – National Assembly for Wales
    – B3Living
    – Pinsent Masons, jointly with Tower Hamlets Homes”

      • marknesop says:

        Once again, I cannot over-recommend A.J. Cronin’s “The Northern Light”. Mild-mannered but indomitable Henry Page runs the Light, a small provincial newspaper of which he is proud because it has standards. It will not stoop to muckraking, and any editorializing is circumspect and relies only upon what can be demonstrated to be true. A big outfit, the Daily Chronicle, wants to buy him out, and replace his circulation with something that has a bit more ‘go’ to it, heavy on gory murders and salacious gossip about celebrities. I’ll say no more, because it’s an inspiring story worth reading.

        Except to say to Mr. Page, “They won in the end, Henry. Sorry.”

  19. Alexey says:

    Kept thinking what Litvinenko verdict reminds me of, and finally bingo!

    • et Al says:

      A soviet Tim Burton? Чебурашка I can handle, but this?

      BTW, welcome from me too!

      Speaking of crows, I see crows every day and it is pretty creepy a la Hitchcock’s ‘The Birds’. A portend????

      • Alexey says:


        Well, crow is a bad sign have to say.

        As for video – this is not a boring Tim Burton! This is a wonderful story, or may be not a story, and may be not wonderful. Anyway it’s about a crow, or may be dog, or may be a cow. It got from someone 200 grams of cheese, or may be 300 grams, or may be even 500.

        And so on.

      • Moscow Exile says:

        Russians sing a dirge about a crows:

        Черный ворон

        What a cheerful little ditty! The song title is “Black Raven” actually.

        That mournful song was another favourite of my old Afgantsy boozing buddies, whose sad renditions thereof also usually ended up in tears, depending on how much vodka had been downed.

        It’s because they, ravens I mean, in days of yore feasted on the fallen dead on the fields of glory, thus:

        Viktor Vasnetsov’s 1880 painting “After Prince Igor’s Battle with the Polovtsi”, Tretyakov Gallery, Moskva

        As a by the way, crows and ravens are commonplace here. There’s a bloody great colony of them outside our apartment windows — our balconies are at tree-top height — and they are noisy bastards, like right now, because it’s minus 16C [3.2F] outside and they’ve just woken up and they don’t like it.

        Another famous painting at the Tretyakovsky:

        The Rooks Have Come Back, painted by Savrasov near Ipatiev Monastery in Kostroma

        That painting is one of my favourites.

        Right then! — Crows rooks, ravens, what’s the difference?

        • Lyttenburgh says:

          Absolutely gorgeous rendition of the song! Indeed, if I was drunk I’d shed a couple of manly tears.

          I also note that the lyrics are somehow different. Oh, and the guy – is he even trying to sing? I couldn’t hear him!

          • Moscow Exile says:

            It’s very much like an Irish/Scots dirge.

            I noticed when I first landed in the USSR that Russians resemble Celts in many ways: they like to sing such dirges, they get very melancholy, they like getting wildly drunk and dancing wildly, sing really sad songs and start crying over them, often have big brawls at weddings – I really felt at home when I came here, I tell you!


            • et Al says:

              With a small word change, this could be quite an anthem:

              My Vorona:


              Do you also have parakeets over there in Mordor? I’ve seen them flying around in flocks and making a god awful racket in several European capitals. Why won’t they just die!!!

              • Moscow Exile says:

                Nah, I’ve never seen any. In fact, I’ve never seen them in apartments, in cages, either, though they are very popular in the UK and elsewhere, and escape and hang around city centres here and there in Western Europe. The winter cold would kill them off here, I reckon, if any should fly free. And there are plenty of species of hawk that I see here. I see them daily hanging around in the sky where our dacha is and I see them here in downtown Moscow as well, so they’d fettle them parakeets for sure.

            • Lyttenburgh says:

              Well, we never had something close to the 3-nights long Irish Wake – with people drinking, singing, playing games… while the, ah, “whole reason” to get together rests on a table in the kitchen in the plain sight of everyone invited. I mean – what’s wrong with you, people?! First you bury, then you get drunk – not the other way round!

              P.S. And what sort of a game for a Wake is this “Hunt for a slipper”?!

              • marknesop says:

                I always imagined Russian drinking games to be rather like “Are You There, Moriarty“, except played with a length of firewood rather than a rolled-up magazine. Both players lie on the floor, facing each other lengthways, and both are blindfolded. Each has a rolled-up magazine in his hand, and the players join the two hands that are not holding the weapon (which in the Russian version is a piece of firewood). The player who starts says “Are you there, Moriarty?” and the other answers “I’m here”, whereupon the first player tries to hit him in the head from the sound of his voice.

                • Lyttenburgh says:

                  But… where is the drinking part? No, I know some real Russian drinking games!.. And by admitting it I just shattered my well know image of the shy and conscietous intilligent

              • Jen says:

                Famous Polish drinking game:

                Wow, that Krzysztof feller, he so stronk!

        • yalensis says:

          This is all well and good, but Alexey’s point is that maybe it WASN’T a crow!
          Maybe it was a dog, or even a cow. Who knows?!

        • Moscow Exile says:

          I read somewhere or other recently that some ornithologists reckon they’re as smart as dogs.

          Thery’ve gone for me a couple of times here. They’ve suddenly swept down from their rookery under which I have to pass on my way to the metro station, and cawing like mad they have taken a swipe at my hat.

          I reckon when this happened, there must have been fledglings around. Either that, or they liked my hat.

          • yalensis says:

            There are crows living in the trees outside my apartment complex too. They hang out all day and watch everything that goes on in the complex. They know all the residents, who lives in which building, and whose car belongs to whom, etc. And they have different call signs for each resident.
            For example, when I leave in the morning and approach my parking slot, the “watch-crow” caws out 3 caws: “Caw-caw-caw.”

            Sometimes, just to be an asshole, I caw back at him, in the same pattern. That usually confuses him and shuts him up.

            P.S. – I’m not making this up.

          • Jen says:

            If you don’t like the crows liking your hat, you can put a mask on top of the hat or paint a face on it and see if that works. The trick works on Australian magpies and stops them them from swooping down on people. Australian magpies are not corvids though, they are only called “magpies” because of their physical likeness to true magpies, so they may not necessarily be as clever as magpies and might be more easily tricked.

            Running from the birds encourages them to be more aggressive but you try telling that to terrified children.

            • marknesop says:

              Could be worse. When we were visiting Dutch Harbor, Alaska in 2008, a mate of mine who is a dedicated marathon runner went for a run along the top of the cliffs one morning. It was what passed as Spring there, and although it was cold it was warm enough to go jogging in regular long sweats; just not shorts. He wore a brown toque to keep his head (which was shaved) warm.

              Apparently it looked like a rabbit bounding along the rocks to one of the number of bald eagles the place was lousy with, and it cruised soundlessly up behind him and grabbed it off his head, leaving deep talon gashes in his forehead and the back of his head. They looked quite frightful, but of course head wounds bleed disproportionately and by the end of the trip (a couple on months later) they had healed up nicely.

  20. et Al says:

    I’m just watching shitface Rosenburg for the BBC reporting on Russia’s support in Syria enjoying a Russian MOD trip to Salma in an APC and a visit to one of their warships. Funnily enough, he’s without his usual pomp and snark that usually accompanies his comfortable reports from Moscow. Classed as: Triple F/kwit.

  21. Warren says:

    More anti-Russian propaganda from the British state broadcaster:

    Published on 22 Jan 2016
    Newsnight comes over all Chekhovian as @JohnSweeneyRoar speaks to Russian opposition activist Alexei Navalny about the fight for Russia.

    • marknesop says:

      I couldn’t watch more than two minutes of it. I’m delighted that they still consider him the official leader of the Russian opposition, because any money they throw at him will get siphoned off into special make-Alexey-comfortable projects and the people will still regard him as unelectable dung. But the my-dear-friend-Boris thing did it. Each thought the other was a wanker and there’s no disguising it.

      • Patient Observer says:

        All you need to know is presented at 5:50 – the film was financed by the British and the Americans. Mr. Sweeney did not elaborate any further.

        Given Navalny’s 4 year slump in rousing the rabble, he may be wondering about his career choice as his greatest value to the West would be to die in a provocative manner.

        • marknesop says:

          “Given Navalny’s 4 year slump in rousing the rabble, he may be wondering about his career choice as his greatest value to the West would be to die in a provocative manner.”

          Ha, ha!! Well said!! Not to mention accurate. For the record, I don’t believe Boris Nemtsov was killed by the west purely to foment a scandal; I think his big fucking mouth just eventually drew him to the attention of people who wanted him to shut up, and not people in the Kremlin, either; or perhaps an angry husband, ex-boyfriend or father. But the west was amazingly quick to capitalize on his death.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      Why do they not understand that nobody but nobody in Russia give’s a rat’s arse about Navalny — apart from bourgeois, idle bastard lounge lizards and boulevard café guitar-strumming layabouts, who think that they are the nation’s elite and who are a very tiny minority?

      • marknesop says:

        Because they don’t care about what people think in Russia. Their entire charade is a performance for the western audience, and is designed to reinforce and emphasize tropes and misconceptions in the minds of that audience so as to simplify the pitching of ludicrous falsehoods to it. Who cares what the Russian people think? Not enough of them read and speak English to the level that the western press would have any success at starting the ‘grassroots uprisings’ it loves so much, with a view to overthrowing the government without any direct western intervention necessary, simply by telling them all manner of lies about their own country. Second-best is lying about Russia to the Anglosphere, so it will realize that overthrowing the Russian government is really the best thing for the Russians themselves, who are clinging to a delusion and don’t even realize they already have a modernizing, reforming crusader in their midst who is looking out for their interests and is eager to lead them.

    • Jen says:

      Chekhovian? Does that mean John Sweeney gave Alexei Navalny a gun some time during the interview and Navalny goes away with it (with the audience expecting that sooner or later he’ll use it)? Or does it mean Sweeney and Navalny prattle on about how Navalny will use the money donated to him to bring the liberal opposition to power – when in fact Navalny will fritter away the funds and the next time Sweeney talks to Navalny, he (Navalny) will be back to square one?

  22. kirill says:

    The Litvinenko story is full bore propaganda fantasy. Obama offs thousands of people in the Middle East and South Asia, of whom 84% could not be identified as militants or terrorists, but the whole world is supposed to mourn “dissident” Litvinenko. Made for TV murder mystery drama. The average media consumer is indeed IQ deprived and nothing more than a herded sheep.

    Where are the other thousands of Litvinenkos that “Putler” has ordered killed? I can count all of these celebrity fictional victims of Putin on one hand. This includes Politkovskaya and Nemtsov (but I have no seen as much tin foil hat nuttery about him as I have heard about her from the precious NATO media). In a real dictatorship with real extra-judicial killings, the number of victims is vastly more than three or five. Consider El Salvador, Argentina, Chile and every other such case.

    • Ilya says:

      “Who will rid me of this most meddlesome blackmailer?”

      “Your Imperial Highness, we will not make him simply disappear; rather, we’ll poison him — with, dearest sir, Polonium! — so that his death is spectacular and drawn-out, providing a maximum of leverage for your enemies!”

      Fuck right off…

      • marknesop says:

        The only thing that could have been more obvious would have been if they had stuck him with a KGB poison umbrella with a spike in the end, black background with ‘KGB’ printed all over it in yellow letters, and it was still sticking out of Litvinenko’s stomach when they found his body. With Vladimir Putin’s wallet dropped just a few paces away, or perhaps his passport found in a cab whose driver remembered taking a ‘foreign-type gentleman’ to the scene.

    • marknesop says:

      Precisely. Latynina and Navalny and Lev Ponomarev and Yevgenia Albats know they are perfectly safe in Russia, and the horrible death of ‘dissident Litvinenko’ did not put them off their stride one bit – and how much easier must they be to kill, being within easy reach? Drama twats all, each and every one. I would very much like to know, though, what Kovtun and the other one (can’t remember his name without looking it up) were doing there, though, and what was their purpose in meeting Litvinenko. If we assume, as we apparently do, that they had nothing directly to do with his death, their presence in London and their meeting with him admirably served the purposes of whoever did do it. So whoever did do it either had to know they were coming, or perhaps invited them. How exactly did they come to be in London, and why did they arrange to see Litvinenko?

      • Jen says:

        According to their Wikipedia entries, Dmitry Kovtun and Andrey Lugovoy worked for the KGB in its Ninth Directorate, providing security for top Soviet officials. They then went into the private security business and Lugovoy worked for Berezovsky and Patarkatsishvili. So their paths would have crossed Litvinenko’s both individually and together several times. They could have met on 1 November 2006 just for a social get-together.

        Don’t forget that on the same day Litvinenko met Mario Scaramella at a sushi restaurant and Scaramella later also was hospitalised for polonium 210 contamination. Odd how Scaramella escaped scrutiny by the British justice system even though he was as likely as Kovtun and Lugovoy to have poisoned Litvinenko based on the circumstantial evidence.

        Scaramella is supposed to be an expert in nuclear waste materials and a lawyer specialising in environmental law.

        • yalensis says:

          Lugovoy was “probably” an FSB undercover agent, who was assigned to infiltrate Berezovsky’s inner circle.

          Lugovoy was lucky to get out alive, somebody in British intelligence “made him” and spread some polonium around.
          That’s “probably” what happened, IMHO.

          • et Al says:

            Nice. It makes sense that they would want to keep tabs on ‘the fixer for Berezovsky‘. That theory didn’t occur to me but is eminently plausible. Plus, you don’t need to officially work for one agency or another to pass of intel, i.e. what some journalists do – they are ‘asked’ to come in for and informal ‘interview’ (debriefing’) after an interesting posting and are met somewhere private/non-official back home, certainly not central offices or a safe house.

            Whether or not Litvinenko or even Berezovsky were in any way a threat to the Russian state, one rule intel is to have a finger in the pie. Surprises aren’t welcome.

        • marknesop says:

          Supposedly you also suffer no ill effects from polonium 210 unless you ingest it by eating or drinking; the Der Spiegel article I cited earlier says you can hold it in your hand and it will do you no harm because it is unable to penetrate skin.

          But the traces of it must still register even if does not significantly impair the carrier, because Der Spiegel also tells us a passport photo Kovtun handed over in Germany, two days before Litvinenko met with him in the Pine Bar, also was contaminated with polonium. So for such a rare element, it was all over the place. The same article reports the reason the two met with Litvinenko was to “discuss a cooperation deal between his Moscow security firm and the British security company Erinys and Risc Management.” I’m afraid I don’t know enough to know if that’s plausible or if Litvinenko swung enough weight to be able to agree to any kind of deal; I got the impression he was kind of between jobs.

          Much of the speculation seems to hinge on dating the traces of polonium found, which is why the passport photo is allegedly so pivotal – it was stamped with the date, and is assumed to have been contaminated with polonium when he handed it over, two days before he met Litvinenko. A helpful site from the Royal Society of Chemistry says that polonium decays to lead by alpha-particle emission, with a half-life of 138 days. It has a biological half-life in the body of a month. So, if you’re still alive after a month, you’ll probably beat it, although you might die a decade later from a related cancer (or leukemia, as Marie Curie’s daughter did). the same article reports that one of the prime clues of polonium poisoning in Litvinenko was that his hair fell out. But we don’t know that, because they shaved his head.

        • Fern says:

          IIRC, Litvinenko initially believed he had been poisoned at the sushi restaurant during his meeting with Scaramella which was before he met with Messrs Kovtun and Lugovoy. This seems plausible since Scaramella was also contaminated with Polonium 210 despite never appearing to have been in the company of either Kovtun or Lugovoy. Litvinenko seemed to have good relations with the two Russians and did not suspect them of being involved. It was clearly the ‘team’ around Litvinenko, Berezovsky, Alexander Goldfarb etc, that turned this into the ‘Russia dun it’ meme either with Litvinenko’s consent or perhaps unknown to him.

  23. marknesop says:

    Perhaps the answer to a rarely-asked question – why do Anders Aslund and Donald Tusk and other strutting buffoons continually posit that Nord Stream II ‘doesn’t make economic sense’ because the current pair of lines are ‘only operating at half capacity’.

    2015 was a record year for Gazprom and Nord Stream, with the pipeline actually operating at 70% capacity to deliver just under 40 BCm of gas to the European Union. It was operating at 43% capacity in 2013, before all the trouble started, and delivered just short of 24 BCm.

    What’s going to happen a couple of years from now, when Ukraine is taken out of the loop as a transit country? Is the European Union likely to need more pipeline capacity, or less? Is it going to have the Southern Gas Corridor to Azerbaijan completed? Ha, ha.

    The second part of the ‘what’s Aslund talking about?’ question is answered in the last two sentences; “Nord Stream transports Russian gas through pipelines on the bed of the Baltic Sea and delivers it to a receiving terminal on Germany’s Baltic coast, from where the gas enters the gas transportation systems of other European countries via two linking pipelines in Germany, OPAL and NEL. The European Commission currently imposes restrictions on the volumes transported via OPAL to other EU Member States.”

    Brussels is so concerned about the appearance of being dependent on Russia that it limits the amount that can be pumped through pipelines it owns which are connected to Gazprom pipes.

    • Cortes says:

      Perhaps the strutting buffoons know next to nothing of commercial engineering?

      Some years back I was fortunate enough to work alongside a colleague whose previous existence included a stellar period in the dying days of large scale shipbuilding on the Clyde. I asked him once about the engines on some of the bigger vessels and he explained the difference between nominal capacity, emergency performance and normal commercial operating performance.
      The nominal capacity at NCk bhp touted by naval architect and shipyard PR would theoretically be attainable but operable only for the briefest of intervals and at the likely cost of rattling the vessel apart ( Scotty’s classic “she canna handle it, Cap’n!”).
      The emergency performance level would be around 80% of NCk bhp IIRC and established during sea trials, and operable again only for the briefest periods.
      Normal commercial operating performance, again IIRC, would be around 65% of the emergency performance level, allowing regular maintenance and repair, adjustments for environmental factors, occasional downtime etc.
      Are the strutting buffoons unaware of such considerations? The word of the week is “probably “, but my guess is they’re probably perfectly aware and are intent on bamboozling the public to further NATO aims rather than the interests of the EU. If they were unaware then their opinions on Nord Stream II are even more laughable.

      • marknesop says:

        The navigating officer on the ANNAPOLIS showed me a neat trick once, for rule-of-thumb estimating speed/time/distance problems. Simple, but effective. You picked off the distance you need to travel between points with two-point dividers, then made a loop of string which enclosed the point of the divider which was on your departure point and is usually Where You Are Now. The other point could be a pencil or any other pointy object you could use to keep the string taut while you could still read where it indicated on the chart. The shortest route was always the direct one, of course, from point A to point B. But if you couldn’t take that route because of an obstruction, a prohibited zone or another objective you had to achieve on the way there (say, engineering trials which would take you for some time in a different direction), adjusting the string loop by fattening it out or changing its shape in any way would show you your possible courses and the adjustments you would have to make in speed to get there at the same time. It’s always a trade-off; if you can’t go in a straight line and you have a limited time to get there, you have to vary your speed.

        In rough seas you have to reduce speed. Even warships will shake themselves to pieces if you keep plowing into heavy seas at high speed, and they’re built for it. Also, the longer your vessel is, the greater the number of independent wave systems with their attendant stresses and strains are acting upon it at any time. If you have a short vessel like a tug, bow goes down, stern comes up. Your main worry there is that the screw will come out of the water, as they tend to race when there’s no resistance and that can be bad for your gearbox or whatever system transfers your power into axial rotation. With a tanker, there might be nothing under the bow because the waves have dropped away, but two wave systems midships are holding the vessel on their crests, while there’s also nothing under the stern. This generates stress which leads to ‘hogging‘, which is a strain contributed to by the vessel’s load and which causes a series of lurching shudders as the hull basically springs like a bow. Too much of it, and plates start coming apart. Your best bet is to go down-sea at wind speed and ride it out until it moderates.

        If you have a schedule you must adhere to, or people on the other end have no gas, it contributes to the impression of unreliability if you can’t make it. If you never turn up because you are on the bottom, slightly more so.

        • et Al says:

          Fascinating and thanks for that Mark. I even understood it and it all makes very clear sense. I love stuff like that. There was an ex-submariner’s blog called Zero Bubble that I used to follow until he stopped because he’d run out of stories of the human and mother nature kind. For us non-seamen, we sort of know that it is far more complicated that what we usually read, but do not often hear the stories from the sharp end. We’re used to hearing only promotional BS peddled as ‘news’ which is always the best case scenario.

        • kirill says:

          The Edmund Fitzgerald sank because its hull failed after waves lifted it at both ends. People think of large metal structures like ships as being very tough, but in reality they are elastic and prone to all sorts of vibration modes that make them fragile. The bigger a structure, the more floppy it is. Make something big enough and it will collapse under its own weight.

  24. et Al says:

    Neuters: U.S. strips five Russian honorary consuls of credentials

    The United States said on Friday it had revoked the credentials of five of six honorary Russian consuls to retaliate for what it said was Russia’s harassment of U.S. diplomats, prompting an angry response from Moscow.

    Honorary consuls are typically U.S. citizens or green card holders who perform consular services on behalf of a foreign government, a U.S. official said, saying the five were located in California, Florida, Minnesota, Utah and Puerto Rico.

    A sixth, in Colorado, will not be affected.

    “This action is being taken in response to continued Russian interference with our diplomatic and consular operations in Russia, including, but not limited to, widespread harassment of our personnel, as well as the forced closure of the American Center in Moscow,” State Department spokesman Mark Toner said in a statement.

    “We are prepared to take further appropriate measures if there are additional efforts to impede our diplomatic and consular activities in Russia,” he added…

    What a surprise that the yanks throw a childish shit fit because they are not allowed to spy freely in Russia! Considering the rank incompetence of US spies (Russia’s fault of course), as recently shown on tv with their fake wigs and wives helping them out, I guess the US has to divert attention away from its promotion of third class spooks to important positions, something which is being repeated widely throughout US institutions too.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      The Russians should fuck off that fat twat of a US ambassador here. In fact, he should have been fucked off long ago because he has been well out of order more than once in comments he has made about Russian policies.

      And while they’re at it, they should fuck off her bloody majesty’s British ambassador here as well.

      They won’t do this, of course, because Russia is weak.


      • Moscow Exile says:

        The US ambassador to Russia has said publicly that Russia was responsible for the downing of MH-17, that he has seen proof of this, but security reasons prevent him from revealing it. He said that a while back — so why is he still here?

        In an interview with newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said: “On the second day after the catastrophe, we already heard from the United States that it knew who had shot down the plane.

        “On the eve of the tragedy’s anniversary, US ambassador to Russia John Tefft publicly repeated that it was known. If there is a country which knows everything, why is no data being published? Why is no evidence being presented?” Zakharova asked, adding that: “Such special-order propaganda is being conducted against Russia irrespective of what actually happened there”.

        See: Russia says US replacing MH17 inquiry with anti-Russian propaganda

    • marknesop says:

      Time to break off diplomatic relations altogether, I’m telling you – they can talk to one another on Twitter just as easily, and Uncle Sam’s State Department seems to find social media as relevant as the courtroom these days. Russia should tell the entire American embassy and consular departments to pack their bags and get in the wind. Obviously, their counterparts in the USA should depart for home as well. America and Russia plainly have nothing to say to one another. My Mom always said if you can’t say anything nice, say nothing, and that’s good advice for countries, too.

      It should be borne in mind that on most of the recent occasions US diplomats have been caught acting suspiciously, it was not so much for ‘spying’ in the conventional sense as it was to break surveillance so as to be able to meet covertly with dissidents without being observed or recorded. Therefore their aim is much more likely to be revolution and civil disobedience than espionage. As usual.

  25. Patient Observer says:

    The spinning turret as the tank traveled at 40 kph illustrated that the turret is automated; no loader in there who would be grabbing the barf bag. The level of electronics, crew comfort and ergonomics was impressive to me. As a fan of Russian tech, I was expecting a lot but this was beyond my expectations. The English subtitles probably do not represent the best translation but still informative.
    I hope that they did not sacrifice ruggedness and reliability in their quest to apply advanced sensors fused with sophisticated computerized controls. They have undoubtedly tested the systems in realistic conditions but perhaps trial operations in Syria would be helpful. The west would do everything possible to steal or destroy – much could be learned albeit at some risk.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      Yeah, the subtitles say “mechanized tank driver” when I should imagine they meant “mechanic/tank driver”.

      And, according to the subtitles, it’s so comfortable inside that the crew can almost “lay” there!

      The mind boggles!

      Well, I suppose anything would be possible if some of the crew are like this:

    • kirill says:

      Good point about the turret rotation rate. What we see in the video is not the fastest that it can spin. Getting rid of the crew from the turret is a revolution in tank design in the last 80 years. The main gun no longer has to be compromised to control combustion gas backwash into the turret so its performance can be maximized. The 125 mm gun on the T-14 has the characteristics (e.g. projectile energy) of larger diameter regular tank guns. And the T-14 can accommodate a 152 mm cannon.

      I highly doubt that there were any sacrifices in the T-14 design. It seems like a rationalization and consolidation. The lack of steering levers does not imply a more fragile system these days. I think Russia has the ability to make reliable automatic transmissions for tanks. The ergonomics of the crew compartment are a key feature of the whole design. The intent is to allow the operation for sustained periods with less crew fatigue. All of the electronics, automation and simplified steering are part of this approach.

      • Patient Observer says:

        Russian military systems do seem significantly more automated than Western systems. The T-14 can be operated by just two crew members (and possibly with zero crew members in a future drone version per some articles).

        Russian nuclear subs have much smaller crews and similar US subs apparently due to large amounts of automation and computerized controls. The US Navy seems enthralled with the latest Russian subs:

        • et Al says:

          I’ve read that the T-14 chassis will form the basis of a whole family of new AFVs, so it better be bloody top notch!

          • et Al says:

            I should add, I hope that the engine has a manual ignition system as a backup. Electromagnetic pulse weapons are becoming more common, one example is the USA’s CHAMP, basically a cruise missile with and EMP warhead.

            I’ve always like the fact that Russian design philosophy usually is a duopoly of super advanced with mechanical which means that such systems would survive Day 1 of a serious war (if not destroyed) with some useful combat functionality remaining.

            The Mig-25 radar springs to mind which was based on vacuum tubes (considered old tech by the West) but was immensely powerful, enough to burn through jamming, and very EMP resistant. I’ve read that nano vacuum tubes have been created (giving them potential tetraherz abilities), so it may well be back to the future, for amps and audiophiles too!

            • Patient Observer says:

              The T-14 is powered by a diesel engine but of course the electronic controller would need to hardened against EMP. Russians are the pioneers in EMP weapons per Wikipedia:

              “The concept of the explosively pumped flux compression generator for generating a non-nuclear electromagnetic pulse was conceived as early as 1951 by Andrei Sakharov in the Soviet Union,[11] but nations kept work on non-nuclear EMP classified until similar ideas emerged in other nations.”

              Their equipment should handle an EMP just fine I would imagine.

              A close relative of mine is into tube amps and vinyl records He says the music sound better than a digital recording played through a modern digital amp.

              • marknesop says:

                When I was in Hong Kong in 2008 they were selling very retro-looking stereo amps which were driven by visible tubes. There has long been an informed opinion that tube amps have a ‘warm’ sound that digital cannot duplicate. When I was a feckless lad with long hair like a damsel, I had a Riviera guitar amp which was a tube set; it had to warm up, like all of its type, but it had a great sound.

                When I first joined the navy, our frontline Electronic Warfare system was the AN/WLR-1C, a Raytheon set we bought from the Americans. It was very good, and a skilled operator (which in large measure means a patient one) could do wonderful things with it. We used to joke how easy it would be for our enemies (the Soviet Union, cue moody music) to shut us all down, because the tubes it relied on were made in Czechoslovakia.

      • marknesop says:

        Much modern western military weapons technology relies on rack-mounted cards with simplified fault-finding and repair-by-replacement. It’s more expensive than building simple rugged system, but is a trade-off for capabilities and reduction in manpower.

    • marknesop says:

      “I hope that they did not sacrifice ruggedness and reliability in their quest to apply advanced sensors fused with sophisticated computerized controls.”

      Yes, precisely; it was once fashionable in the west to sneer at Russia’s clunky, unsophisticated military equipment, but it was engineered for reliability and simplicity, to be operated effectively by a conscript military with a minimum of training. And now we have NATO messing its diddies over patrol flights by Tupolev TU-95 bombers which first flew in 1952, but which are still flying and have not been replaced wholesale because they are still among the finest aircraft in the world for their designed purpose. I hope Russia will not get caught up in a techno-competition with NATO, and fall into the trap of building ultra-sophisticated electronics which are awe-inspiring on the test bench but finicky and prone to breakdowns under battle conditions.

  26. Lyttenburgh says:

    For the last 2 years I’ve learned a lot of facts about Ukraine without which I’d have happily lived the rest of my life blissful in my happy ignorance. Unfortunately, this whole mess served my rapid education in all spheres Ukrainian – I now more or less understand spoken Ukrainian on a surjik. Still, there are some things lest to learn about the great UPAina.

    Yesterday, Jan 22, it was a “Day of Ukrainian Sobornost’ (Unity)”. This day, in 1919 the Ukrainian People Republic (Petyura’s fanboys, who lost Kiev to the Red Army in January 16, 1919, and by March 1919 had only 2 cities under their control – Zhitomir and Vinnytsa) and the Western Ukrainian People Republic (raguls from the West, who only managed to go so far because the Austro-Hungary imploded – and then they began losing a war to Polaks, who literally annihilated their army and made Racially Pure Ukrians to relocate their capital from Lviv to Ternipil, and, finally to future Ivano-Frankivsk). This last ditch attempt to do something before being destroyed completely by all other – much more powerful – forces of Russian Civil War had been seen since that as the “foundation of Ukraine”. It’s little surprise, that this “holiday” began celebrated again – officially – under wily Kuchma in 1999, until its abolition in 2011 by Tyrant Yanukovitch. In this we have yet another confirmation of the sad fact, that modern Ukraine willfully chooses to build its foundation myth around losers…

    So, it came as a little surprise, that on such jolly occasion his yasnovelmozhnist’ pan Petro Olekseitch Poroshenko decided to address his nation in his now traditional manner (200 grams of horylka + 200 more + 50 before the address itself). Some sources claim that Biden have anally punished Poroshenko for his stupidity in Davos and that now Petya Porkh will finally implement the Minsk-II agreements. Poroshenko’s words speak of something else entirely:

    1) Ukraine is Unitary State!

    2) Federalism won’t be allowed to set its traitorous root on Ukrainian earth!

    3) All Ukrainians are united like never!

    4) De-occupation of Donbass and Crimea will happen!

    [Note, that Poroshenko promised the same thing in his After the New Year press conferences in 2015 and 2016…]

    Which reminded some users of this great and highly patriotic poster from the previous epoch, when Ukraine was also Pro-Western and Democratic:

    “It is forbidden to place foreign military bases on the Ukrainian territory”, Art. 17, Ukrainian Constitution.

    15 January, 2009.

    One of the commenters, the one with zhovto-blakytni avatar on his profile quite prophetically noted that by 2017 Crimea won’t be a part of the Ukraine anymore.

  27. Moscow Exile says:

    Novak: Russia does not see need for trilateral meeting on gas with Ukraine and EU

    They want to talk till the cows come home.

    Talking is over.

    They should put their money where their big bullshitting mouths are.

    • marknesop says:

      They buried the lede:

      “Meanwhile, amid a storm warning and expected cold temperatures down to 24 degrees below zero in Ukraine, Head of Naftogaz of Ukraine Andrei Kobolev said that Ukraine could resume gas purchases from Russia.”

      This makes it clear what Novak meant when he said all the rules were clear at the end of the first quarter. Russia is always willing to sell gas to Ukraine, but it will be ‘sell’, not ‘give’. Ukraine has to pay in advance, and that’s because it has established a reputation as a bad creditor which fancies itself very cagey but really only knows one trick – take the gas and make noises about an agreement, and then arrogantly declare you can’t pay, won’t pay and demand Russia accept whatever you offer as payment.

      Try this, Ukraine; go out on your front step (don’t forget to close the door, you can’t afford to heat all outdoors) and scream “Help me, Yurrup!!!”

  28. Patient Observer says:

    Trump ad accidentally (or was it?) features Russian veterans:
    Trump referred to himself in the 3rd person.

    • yalensis says:

      “An intern was blamed for the error.”
      Typical. Always blame the intern.

    • marknesop says:

      “These are our greatest people, we will take care of them like they’ve never been taken care of before,” Trump said, before concluding: “If Trump becomes president, believe me, our veterans will be proud again!”

      Campaign promises are getting steadily more and more vague and childlike – you’re going to get such a big piece of cake, you can’t even imagine how big. Essentially not promising anything at all, and you are going to have to be satisfied with whatever you get. Meanwhile, no specifics at all on how this miracle is to be wrought in a country already drowning in debt.

  29. Northern Star says:

    Ummm….Why not 1M USD* to a professional to do some silencer wet work…??
    (Or Perhaps something fungible but more stable)

    Also who the F would be crazy enough to accuse Putin of being into ‘short eyes’…unless he lives on Uranus???

    • Moscow Exile says:

      And why bother bumping Litvinenko off at all?

      He was an absolute nonentity.

      He knew nothing, had nothing to sell.

      His only worth was his being presented as a fierce critic of Putin who suffered a cruel death because of this.

      Or his death was accidental and was seized upon to be marketed as the work of the Evil One.

      • Northern Star says:


      • kirill says:

        Actually he was a clown and an indirect asset for Putin. Litivinenko made all sorts of ridiculous claims that he could never prove. One of them was that Putin was responsible for the Danish Mohamed cartoon scandal. And he never produced the documents he claimed to have had proving that the FSB staged the 1999 apartment bombings as a pretext to invade Chechnya (as if the Wahabbi warlord invasion of Dagestan from Chechnya was not a pretext enough).

        The ones with the biggest motive to off Litvinenko were his handlers, Berezovsky and the MI-whatever. He was worth to them more dead than alive. Staging his murder and smearing Russia was an obvious plus given the fact that Litvinenko was becoming a bigger and bigger joke with time and thus a more valuable indirect asset for Putin.

      • marknesop says:

        Well, I wouldn’t go that far – however, what he knew could be far more damaging to Berezovsky than anyone else, such as that scam about some assassin coming to England to murder Berezovsky with a special stabby pen which was manipulated to allow Boris to stay in England, ‘coz otherwise he might be rubbed out, see? Litvinenko knew that was a dodge, a setup, and he was allegedly part of it. And I imagine he knew lots of other juicy bits as well about his former employer.

        It should go without saying, though, that if he actually knew anything actionable in the way of political or military intelligence, the British intelligence services would have glommed onto him like a lover rather than sending him packing, and it probably speaks volumes that he was killed because the anti-Putin memes went into overdrive after that, but they must have known if they said those things and Litvinenko was available for questioning, they would have fallen apart very quickly. Such as the pedophile story, for example; not only were there no videotapes when Putin was a student, there was never any mention at all of pedophilia until he kissed that little boy on the tum in broad daylight, and then pedophilia rumors were coming out of the woodwork.

    • et Al says:

      Quite a few British journalists live in their anuses and It’s not that well paid. They don’t give a shit about the tripe they write either as it is just a jolly jape, helping to keep them in the readies and makes their employers very happy, fulfilling their quota to keep the media barons in the good books with the pols. At the end of the day, someone has to make money, someone needs efficient dissemination of their bullshit without question. It’s a win win.

    • kirill says:

      If they could slip Polonium into his tea they could slip any number of heart attack inducing chemicals that are next to impossible to detect by autopsy. The use of a flashy murder weapon proves that it was a staged event designed to smear Russia. Maybe the average NATzO schmuck thinks that Russians and their leaders are too dumb to cover up their tracks, but then the average NATzO schmuck believes any BS their precious mass media dishes out to them.

      In case anyone thinks that no such compounds exit, look up potassium chloride and calcium gluconate.

      • marknesop says:

        As I think I mentioned before, I once inquired of the ship’s medical officer “If I wanted to off somebody and make it undetectable, what would be the best thing to use?” I don’t recall why I was asking, because I don’t think I’ve ever seriously considered killing anyone, although I have threatened it in traffic any number of times.

        Anyway, she said “I would give them an overdose of epinephrine. It is normally present in the body, but too high a dose will induce a heart attack. It would look normal, and if a test turned up epinephrine, it would not be a surprise.” Epinephrine, of course, is what’s in those Epi-pens you use to inject people who are allergic to bee stings. Presumably such an overdose would not affect someone who has that bee-sting allergy, and i have no idea how much you would need to be sure. You would not want to experiment, for obvious reasons.

        Many people noticed right away that the method seemed to be greatly over-dramatic and far in excess of what would be needed to just quietly rub him out, and concluded somebody wanted the death to be very obviously a murder. No state actor would do something so stupid as that. It strongly smacks of an amateur trying to finger someone else.

  30. et Al says:

    Neuters: Iran, China agree $600-billion trade deal after sanctions

    Iran and China agreed to expand bilateral ties and increase trade to $600 billion in the next 10 years, President Hassan Rouhani said on Saturday during a visit to Tehran by Chinese President Xi Jinping.

    Xi is the second leader of a U.N. Security Council member to visit Tehran after the nuclear deal Iran struck with world powers last year. Russian President Vladimir Putin visited Tehran in November….

    …China signaled its support for Yemen’s government, which is fighting an Iran-allied militia, during Xi’s visit to Saudi Arabia, Iran’s rival for influence in the region, this week.

    Iran has called on China to join the fight against the Islamic State militant group and play a more active role in the region.

    Tehran is widely credited with convincing Russia to start its military intervention in Syria and join the fight against Islamic State…

    The numbers aren’t important, the message is that any attempted future total isolation of I-ran is an impossibility. I’ran is being plugged in fully. As for it’s call for China to take part in anti-islamist fundamentalist operation, I don’t see China jumping, but considering the size of their army and growing transport capabilities, at some point, when China moves and sends a mass airborne intervention, the earth will shift on its axis. It’ll only happen when China is ready, though I would guess the first event would probably be humanitarian which would allow China to check that all the logistics work out and refine the plans for any military option later on.

    • Northern Star says:

      I think that the Persians should welcome thousands of Chinese technicians to assist them in various endeavors at various locations throughout Iran….so if ‘you know who’ were to do anything of an allegedly preemptive nature…thousands of Chinese nationals would perish…and we wouldn’t want that…would we….??

      • et Al says:

        The Persians are no dummies and are diplomatic masters. Like Tito, they’ll make any ‘help’ from allies sign a cast iron ‘just visiting agreement’ that guarantees they will leave when asked.

  31. et Al says:

    Vice of Amerika Biden: US Recognizes Kurdish Threat to Turkey

    U.S. Vice President Joe Biden told Turkey on Saturday that the United States recognizes that the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) is as much a threat to Ankara as Islamic State militants are, even as Washington supports Kurdish forces fighting the jihadists in Iraq…

    …After meeting with the Turkish prime minister, Biden said Islamic State fighters are “not the only existential threat to the people of Turkey. The PKK is equally a threat and we are aware of that. It is a terror group, plain and simple, and what they continue to do is absolutely outrageous.”..


    First, let me apologize profusely for posting anything by VOA, but it is precisely that it is who it is that it is worth posting.

    OK, a) Biden is a gobshite that should be ignored as an important player or former of policy – he’s has entertainment value, like Zhirinovsky, but not more – Unless of course something happens to Obama (f(£k!);

    b) Is this a repeat of the 1990 meeting of April Glaspie with representatives of I-Rack, where Saddam basically got the message that the US was not interested in I-rack’s beef with Kuwait? If Erd & Dav think that the US is giving it a free hand, the risk is that they will think they can go on a huntin’ & shootin’ spree to wipe out the Kurds, rather than the US telling Turkey what it wants to hear for PR purposes;

    c) It is the only effective force apart from the SAAF fighting ISIL/ISIS/DAESH/Whatever and F942ing them off is an epicly dumb thing to do, not to mention there are 35 odd million Kurds in I-ran, I-rack & Turkey combined. Such a massive stab in the back by the United States would have very far reaching consequences.

    • marknesop says:

      Yes, you are right; this is significant. The USA puts groups on its terrorist list and takes them off as convenient, as it did with the MEK. The PKK is certainly not a terrorist threat to the USA or even the west as a whole – although that might change now – and the statement certainly sounds as if its purpose was to express political solidarity.

    • Fern says:

      The Biden Blessing confers upon Erdogan the same gift as given to Poroshenko – immunity from the meme of ‘he’s killing his own people’. The tanks presently prowling around Kurdish towns and villages in Turkey, lobbing shells into civilian front-rooms are like those of Kiev’s forces – engaged in an anti-terrorist operation.

    • marknesop says:

      Don’t forget, though, that NATO likes political upheaval and crisis in order to seize control of the government, and often foments a crisis if one doesn’t look likely to happen on its own.

  32. Warren says:

    • yalensis says:

      I don’t see anything wrong with Leo playing Lenin. Leo has stated that he doesn’t hate Russia, and plus, he LOOKS like Lenin.
      Only problem is with his speaking Russian, I am assuming this is a Russian-language film. Leo probably doesn’t speak Russian, so he would have to be dubbed.
      So, in conclusion, maybe they should just find a Russian actor.

      • Jen says:

        There is an issue of height as well. Lenin was not a tall man, about 165 cm or 5’5″ in the old Imperial measurement. Di Caprio is about 183 cm or 6 feet. Either the film-makers surround him with other very tall actors (surely not difficult to do in Hollywood: average height of Hollywood actors is about 178 cm or 5’10” and a few leading ladies are as tall) or di Caprio would have to walk barefoot (Sigourney Weaver style) or in a trench (Brooke Shields style).

        • yalensis says:

          Yeah, I forgot about the size issue, but that’s going to be a problem anyhow, given modern size differentials.
          I once visited Lenin Museum in Moscow, they had Lenin’s dress suit in a glass exhibit case. In his PHOTOS, Lenin looks stocky, but in person, his suit was TINY. A man would have to be quite small to squeeze into it. Even a girl, nowadays…

          How many Hollywood actors are small these days? Only one I can think of off the top of my head is Hugh Dancy, who is English, but played an American FBI agent on the TV show Hannibal. Hugh’s co-star on the show, Mads Mikkelsen, said in an interview that Hugh was so small, that he (Mads) could carry him (Hugh) around in his (Mads) pocket. I think he was exagerrating just a tad.
          I like Hugh Dancy quite a lot, he is also good at doing accents, but unfortunately, he doesn’t really look much like Lenin, even if he shaved off his curly hair:

          • yalensis says:

            Pic didn’t render, here is another one, maybe:

          • marknesop says:

            Admiral Nelson fit inside a rum barrel; that’s how his preserved body was brought home to Britain for ceremonial interment, and why rum to this day is referred to as ‘Nelson’s blood’. People have been gradually getting larger over the generations, and Nelson was around average height for his day. Here’s his bed in HMS VICTORY, described in the exhibit and in historical documents as “Nelson’s cot”. Of course it is made to swing, as beds should be at sea like when they used to be hammocks, and of course it is slung logitudinally because the ship’s movement in pitch (up and down) is much less than it is in roll (side to side). I have seen this exhibit, and while there is unfortunately nothing much in the photo to infer size, it looks as if Nelson was about the height of a 14-year-old today.

            • Moscow Exile says:

              I have seen the uniform that Nelson was wearing when he was shot dead by a French marksman at Trafalgar. It is in a glass case at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London.

              The entry hole of the French musket ball can still be seen in the left shoulder of the jacket. The uniform looks as if it would fit a present-day average size 11-year-old boy.

              You can see from the above photograph that he was very narrow shouldered.

              See: Nelson engages the French again as uniform goes on show in Paris

              • marknesop says:

                What is the fascination of the British with this tiny child-man? Just because he led the Royal Navy to the greatest victory in its history, what of it? He was little – don’t they get it? And when you’re little, you’re an object of amusement, not a great leader.

                Or so they would have you believe with their constant references to what a great big strapping lad is Dave the Pigfucker compared with diminutive runty Vladimir Putin. To the extent that they offer cropped photos at every opportunity which emphasize the difference in height. I commented at the article in question that I had not noticed the relative height above the earth of Dave’s head had brought about a salubrious effect on his policies, and inquired how much the British wage had gone up in the last decade. The last time Dave was asked, he did not even know what it was.

                • Moscow Exile says:

                  Field-Marshal of the Russian Empire Alexander Suvurov was a very small man as well: he was only 5 foot tall in his stockinged feet.

                  He led his forces in over 60 large battles, often facing greater numbers of the enemy.

                  His armies were victorious in all of them.

    • et Al says:

      Pathetic. It might of been an article of note if published a few years ago, but after all this time? Really? WTF? Is this somehow new to anyone with an ounce of curiosity and an internet connection? What a lazy f*£ker.

    • marknesop says:

      I guess that’s supposed to illustrate his impartiality.

      “Firtash denies he was pushing Russian interests in Ukraine, but in an interview with the Guardian, he says he was a longtime sceptic of a free-trade agreement with the EU. The Maidan protests were triggered when Yanukovych pulled out of the deal and said he would turn towards Russia instead.”

      So you can’t use your head without being pro-Russia? Good to know.

      “Before Maidan, Russia and the west insisted Yanukovych had to choose one or the other, and Firtash’s position – borne of his contacts and business interests in Russia – perhaps made him an inconvenient influence in western eyes.”

      A popular British lie. It was always the EU which insisted Ukraine had to choose between the Customs Union and the DCFTA, and the latter even included language which specifically forbade it from being a member of the Customs Union. The EU presented it as an either/or and did not soften its language until the eve of Minsk, when Ukraine was already in a state of disaster and had caused billions in property damage in the east. Then some unnamed European Commission trade official “noted that while the DCFTA is legally incompatible with the Customs Union, it might be compatible with the Eurasian Union.” As if that made any sense at all.

  33. Northern Star says:

    Europe’s Thousand Year Legacy…

    • marknesop says:

      I knew even before I read down that far that the Ukrainian defense was going to be that the video was fabricated in order to discredit Ukrainians. I’m surprised they didn’t blame Russia for it, but maybe they consider that self-evident by now.

      • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

        Predictable, but in this case I’m not entirely sure it’s wrong.

        This isn’t typical Azov boobery at all – Biletsky of all people can usually be counted on to know what side his bread is buttered on.

        • marknesop says:

          Look at it this way – it is critical for Ukraine that this vote pass unopposed, and the Netherlands looks set to ruin it. Some other country might, as well, but so far only the Netherlands has declared its intention to do so. Anything that makes it look like Ukraine will never be admitted to the inner circle of Yurrup, sweet Yurrup is a death-knell for Poroshenko’s administration; so far he has absolutely fuck-all to offer Ukrainians in exchange for ruining their economy and wiping out their savings other than the sweet promise of Yurrup…some day. If Ukrainians knew now that it was never going to happen (which it isn’t) and that their supposed strongest allies, brothers in MH17, had scuppered them – I don’t think Porochocco could hold them. Therefore, the smartest thing for Ukraine to do would be to produce a scary video and blame the Russians for agitprop.

          Mind you, the smartest thing for the Russians to do, if they reasoned that this threat would likely spark fury in the Netherlands rather than fear, would be to produce a scary video and blame the Ukrainians.


          Whatever the case, the Ukrainians have pre-shot themselves in the foot with all their constant cries of “Wolf!!! wolf!!!”, so that nobody believes them any more. It’s a hard old world.

  34. et Al says:

    MyTechBits: Spacewalk called off after possible leak in United States astronaut’s helmet

    The astronauts waiting anxiously inside pulled off Kopra’s helmet, then measured the water that had leaked, presumably from the suit’s cooling system.

    Shortly after flight director Royce Renfrew at mission control learned that Kopra was feeling dampness in his helmet, he chose to cut short the spacewalk…

    …Kopra managed to taste the water and said that it was cold and the bubble was around a half-inch wide and two or three inches long.

    “These procedures did their job, the team did their job and we flowed right into a nice, safe return into the airlock for these guys”, said NASA’s chief astronaut Chris Cassidy…

  35. The accusations of Putin being a pedophile are all over in the Finnish media. This is going way too far. They can hate Putin all they want, but this is absurd.

    • Their narrative is that Litvinenko’s accusations of Putin being a pedophile are somehow “credible”. They would not say this about any other statesman in the world (well, maybe Assad though).

    • cartman says:

      How are they credible? Have they forgotten the technology to make hidden sex tapes as ubiquitous as today did not exist?

      Have you seen the show Archer? They have fun really blurring the decades of technology, but the show isn’t supposed to make people this stupid.

    • Fern says:

      Oh come on, Karl, the pedophile accusations are the only new items in the report. Generally, Putin is portrayed as some sort of Daemon Lover who insatiably bonks every (adult) woman who comes within about 50 metres of his person and has secret families with several of them. The real surprise here is how little Berekovsky and Litvinenko understood about their adopted homeland. They clearly felt accusations of pedophilia would result in revulsion and excoriation of the accused whereas, of course, sections of the British Establishment would embrace one so accused as a soul-mate and brother…….

      • Warren says:

        sections of the British Establishment would embrace one so accused as a soul-mate and brother…….

        That explains why Vladimir Bukovskywas held in such high esteem by the British Atlanticist establishment.

        • marknesop says:

          Well spotted; I had already started a post on the Litvinenko ‘verdict’, but now it is looking like I will hardly have to do any work at all to come up with a withering condemnation, thanks to all the great links provided by commenters.

        • yalensis says:

          Bukovsky spent 12 years in Soviet prisons, forced-labour camps and psychiatric hospitals, which were used by the authorities to incarcerate political dissidents and submit them to compulsory treatment to “cure” their beliefs.

          We are not party to Bukovsky’s medical record, so we don’t know if the Soviet authorities knew about his pedophile issues.

          Western propaganda always assumes that every accused person in (Soviet Union or Russia) is actually innocent of all the accusations.
          But if Bukovsky was a pedophile even back then, then he obviously NEEDED psychiatric treatment. Although it is not clear from the story if he was a practicing pedophile, or just collected dirty photos. One is not as bad as the other.

  36. Warren says:

    Russia has murdered a British citizen on the streets of London: It’s just cowardly folly to appease this thug Putin, writes EDWARD LUCAS

    But the unusually blunt language used in the report creates a diplomatic problem. It is not only the reptilian Russophiles in the City of London who want, for their own self-interested reasons, to maintain a working (ie lucrative) relationship with the Putin regime.

    It is the pinstriped appeasers closer to Downing St who are the bigger problem. Our own diplomats see the naming and shaming of the Putin regime not as an opportunity to be exploited, but as an obstacle to be overcome.

    Read more:
    Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

    It’s fascinating watching two factions of the British establishment fight each other, on the one hand you have the Atlanticists who are itching for confrontation and hostility with Russia. On the other hand you have the City and financiers that want to maintain functioning and good relations with Russia as they profit immensely from Russian largesse in the square mile.

    Lucas despite working for the City’s propaganda mouthpiece The Economist, is firmly on the side of the Atlanticists who are unabashedly ideological! The ideology and creed of Atlanticists is US hegemony and full spectrum dominance – Russia with its second strike nuke capabilities poses an unbearable threat and obstacle to that.

    • Fern says:

      I suspect the Owen report is a tad problematic for Cameron’s government. This ‘inquiry’ was launched in the immediate aftermath of the downing of MH17 and was clearly intended as political theatre with a pre-determined outcome from the get-go. Eighteen months on from the air disaster, however, and the political landscape is looking a little different. Ukraine is no longer on the front pages while the migrant crisis is the first time Europe has really had to face blowback on a massive scale from its support of US foreign policy. Now the talk is how essential Russia is both for a settlement in Syria and in an alliance against IS. There’ll be much Establishment huffing and puffing – and foam-specked spittle from the likes of Ed Lucas – but I’d guess it will just be allowed to fade away from the headlines. The report is so risible in places, government spin doctors must realise it’s not in their interests to keep it in the public eye – the longer it’s there, the more refutations of its contents will appear.

      Timing is everything with this sort of propaganda and Owen’s is a little off.

      • Warren says:

        You are absolutely right to point out the timing of the inquiry. The British government prevaricated and procrastinated for years before finally opening the inquiry only days after MH17 incident.

        As recently as 2013, the UK rejected Marina Litvinenko’s request for a public inquiry

        Litvinenko public inquiry blocked by government

        The government has refused a request to hold a public inquiry into the death of ex-KGB spy Alexander Litvinenko, the coroner has announced.

        This during the period British-Russian relations were on the mend. Therefore Litvinenko’s death had no propaganda value for the British government.

        Yet exactly one year later after rejecting a public inquiry and 5 days after the MH17 incident. The British government decides to organise a public hearing/show trial on Litvinenko’s death.

        Alexander Litvinenko death: UK announces public inquiry

        A public inquiry will be held into the death of the Russian dissident Alexander Litvinenko, the UK Home Secretary Theresa May has announced.

        Regarding the refugee/migrant crisis, the stupid and cowardly Europeans are paying the price for going along with America’s crackpot foreign policies and adventurism in the Middle East and Africa. NATO’s aggression has turned Libya into a failed state. Had Russia not intervened, Syria would have shared the same fate.

        Europe is much closer to the Middle East and Africa than the US. Europeans should now understand that it will bear the costs for America’s obscene follies in the ME and Africa.

    • marknesop says:

      Lucas is a partisan idiot; if he wants to fight Russia, he should put on a tin hat and pick up a gun. But he won’t, because his kind never do; he’s just a partisan agitator, talking up war with a country that could put out his lights without even thinking about it.

  37. Warren says:

  38. marknesop says:

    Normally I would not cite Kenneth Rapoza of Forbes, as I do not consider him a particularly reliable source – but in this incidence he is quoting Ukrainian Finance Minister Jaresko when he claims that Ukraine hopes to settle before Russia’s $3 Billion lawsuit comes to court, and that she believes a deal is ‘doable’. He also points out that Ukraine continues to argue the debt is not a sovereign debt although the IMF has already said that it is.

    This conciliatory talk is a far cry from chicken-chest Arseniy Yatsenyuk’s ‘bring it on’ tough-guy talk. What’s wrong? Has Ukraine discovered it is not going to be given cover for everything?

    I would still expect it to go to court, because I imagine Ukraine will argue yet again that it is poor and Russia should have pity and accept maybe half the debt in exchange for credit for having paid the full amount, which I don’t expect Russia to accept. So it will be another stall and another waste of time. But it’s still surprising to hear.

    • Cortes says:

      Ukraine will still be ahead after paying the filthy Moskals due to the following cunning plan…

      • marknesop says:

        Yes, I can see that as a basis for a ‘doable’ deal. The ‘Anti-Monopoly Committee’ of a nation which is not hooked up to any other suppliers, and which receives – occasionally – reverse-flowed gas from the same supplier, at a reduced price, from the EU.

        As a response, this has about the same weight and dignity as lining up all the population of Ukraine on the Ukrainian side of the border, and having them drop their trousers on command and wiggle their bare buttocks at Russia. Stellar. Ukraine has become Elbonia.

  39. marknesop says:

    Here’s an odd juxtaposition of stories. First, this one from Global Research. I normally avoid citing them if I can, because it always brings accusations from the Russophobes that they are a fringe site of nutjobs and tin-foil-hatters and nothing they say can be believed. I have found some of their reports in the past to be reliable, some which were reported nowhere else, such as that Ukraine had been allowed to chair the disciplinary investigation into the crash of MH17. Lo and behold, that was true, although the west kept it very much on the down-low.

    So Global Research posits that a US military chemical and bio-warfare lab, located in Shelkostantsiay, about 30 km from Kharkov, has ‘leaked a deadly virus’, which has killed more than 20 Ukrainian servicemen and hospitalized 200. The alleged virus causes a high fever which cannot be relieved by any medicines yet tried, and is fatal in about two days. Sounds like a comic book, right?

    But then…this one, reporting that Kiev has experienced a sudden outbreak of swine flu, and that it has flashed into an epidemic which has already killed 60 people. They’re closing schools and ‘temporarily’ banning some public gatherings.

    But the swine flu (H1N1) pandemic in 2009/10 had a mortality rate of about .02%. It supposedly infected at least one in five people worldwide, based on studies, and resulted in about 200,000 deaths. That’s according to The Lancet, which some have suggested publishes utter tosh, and the WHO’s estimate was far lower at 18,500 worldwide. Does 60 deaths in a matter of a couple of days seem a little high? In the 2009 pandemic the first case in Ukraine was reported in early June, and the fatalities from it reached 60 in November, 5 months later. And H1N1 was an acute respiratory illness, not a fever.

    Hard to say; so far, Ukraine is saying nothing to see here, move along, no reason to panic, and that they were expecting an outbreak of swine flu this winter. This one bears watching.

    • Cortes says:

      The BBC article indicates that the outbreak is in the eastern part of Ukraine. Given the free fall of the economy, would widespread reversion to a subsistence type lifestyle (including raising one’s own pigs and poultry) not be likely to lead initially to conditions under which viruses like swine flu could flourish?

      • marknesop says:

        It’s certainly possible; but it indicated the victims thus far have been exclusively or nearly-exclusively soldiers of the Ukrainian army. And Kharkiv is not under ‘separatist’ control.

    • Jen says:

      The story has been picked up by other blogs and websites. The source is Donbass International News Agency (DINA).

      The fact that so far everyone who has either died or has been hospitalised by this mysterious virus is a soldier.should give us pause for thought. Soldiers in the Ukrainian army have been under severe physical and mental stress over the last 20 months or so and might be particularly susceptible to illness. Their food rations might be low or lacking in necessary nutrients. We don’t know the conditions they have been fighting in or whether they have been hit by other illnesses like colds or flu as a result of the military environment, that have reduced their resistance to disease generally. Add to that whatever vaccines they have had to receive as soldiers.

      A respiratory disease that kills you stone dead two days after you catch it and which can’t be cured by the medicines the Ukrainian army has sounds very much like Ebola or something similar but if that was the case, DINA probably would have noted other symptoms like bleeding and commented on similarities to Ebola. Bird flu and SARS could be other possibilities. Also there was a strange respiratory disease that hit Saudi Arabia last year or 2014 that led to a few deaths (I think it was called MERS) and that may have come to Ukraine as well since there have been reports of Turkish and Arabic-speaking mercenaries in Ukraine.

      • yalensis says:

        There are lots of reports of ISIS mercenaries setting up bases in the Ukraine. Part of the “Islamo-Fascist” alliance.
        ISIS guys might not even be there necessarily to attack Donbass.
        Just needed a base to train and maybe develop some germ warfare stuff, under the direction of American military.
        Would explain why Ukrainian soldiers are the ones getting sick. They could be the ones guarding the germs.

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