What Does Freedom Mean to You? Putin at Valdai, 2016

Uncle Volodya says, "The right thing to do and the hard thing to do are usually the same.”

Uncle Volodya says, “The right thing to do and the hard thing to do are usually the same.”

American protest songs, lyrically at least, showcase that as an expression of national consciousness, Americans lost their understanding of what freedom means somewhere in the early 1970’s. Sentiment against dictatorships and enslavement of populations gave way to more America-centric problems, dominated by the war in Vietnam and, to a lesser extent, national race relations and the problems associated with getting a job. In latter decades the media honed its skills at what has become known as the politics of division, and became adept at turning whole segments of the population against one another, always dangling the illusory concept of freedom just out of reach.

What is freedom, really? Is it the liberty to make mistakes while pursuing greater goals, knowing that you still must bear responsibility for the consequences – unintentional and potential – of those mistakes? Or is it simply the removal of all restraints on one’s personal behavior, as Jen suggests here?

This and other issues is discussed here in a provocative guest post by the inimitable Aussie contributor, Jenifer Hor, in her analysis of Putin’s speech to the attendants of the final plenary session of the Valdai Discussion Club at Sochi, last month. For me, it reaffirms that Vladimir Putin remains committed to a united global problem-solving approach which emphasizes frank and open discussion of world problems, while the west remains mired in creation of wedge issues for its own benefit and discrediting all sources which do not correspond to its worldview. Permit me to offer my accolades in advance for a solid and perceptive first-line analysis. Take it away, Jen!

Vladimir Putin’s Valdai Speech at the XIII Meeting (Final Plenary Session) of the Valdai International Discussion Club (Sochi, 27 October 2016)

As is his usual custom, Russian President Vladimir Putin delivered a speech at the final session of the annual Valdai International Discussion Club’s 13th meeting, held this year in Sochi, before an audience that included the President of Finland Tarja Halonen and former President of South Africa Thabo Mbeki. The theme for the 2016 meeting and its discussion forums was “The Future in Progress: Shaping the World of Tomorrow” which as Putin noted was very topical and relevant to current developments and trends in global politics, economic and social affairs.

Putin noted that the previous year’s Valdai Club discussions centred on global problems and crises, in particular the ongoing wars in the Middle East; this fact gave him the opportunity to summarise global political developments over the past half-century, beginning with the United States’ presumption of having won the Cold War and subsequently reshaping the international political, economic and social order to conform to its expectations based on neoliberal capitalist assumptions. To that end, the US and its allies across western Europe, North America and the western Pacific have co-operated in pressing economic and political restructuring including regime change in many parts of the world: in eastern Europe and the Balkans, in western Asia (particularly Afghanistan and Iraq) and in northern Africa (Libya). In achieving these goals, the West has either ignored at best or at worst exploited international political, military and economic structures, agencies and alliances to the detriment of these institutions’ reputations and credibility around the world. The West also has not hesitated to dredge and drum up imaginary threats to the security of the world, most notably the threat of Russian aggression and desire to recreate the Soviet Union on former Soviet territories and beyond, the supposed Russian meddling in the US Presidential elections, and apparent Russian hacking and leaking of emails related to failed US Presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton’s conduct as US Secretary of State from 2008 to 2012.

After his observation of current world trends as they have developed since 1991, Putin queries what kind of future we face if political elites in Washington and elsewhere focus on non-existent problems and threats, or on problems of their own making, and ignore the very real issues and problems affecting ordinary people everywhere: issues of stability, security and sustainable economic development. The US alone has problems of police violence against minority groups, high levels of public and private debt measured in trillions of dollars, failing transport infrastructure across most states, massive unemployment that either goes undocumented or is deliberately under-reported, high prison incarceration rates and other problems and issues indicative of a highly dysfunctional society. In societies that are ostensibly liberal democracies where the public enjoys political freedoms, there is an ever-growing and vast gap between what people perceive as major problems needing solutions and the political establishment’s perceptions of what the problems are, and all too often the public view and the elite view are at polar opposites. The result is that when referenda and elections are held, predictions and assurances of victory one way or another are smashed by actual results showing public preference for the other way, and polling organisations, corporate media with their self-styled “pundits” and “analysts” and governments are caught scrambling to make sense of what just happened.

Putin points out that the only way forward is for all countries to acknowledge and work together on the problems that challenge all humans today, the resolution of which should make the world more stable, more secure and more sustaining of human existence. Globalisation should not just benefit a small plutocratic elite but should be demonstrated in concrete ways to benefit all. Only by adhering to international law and legal arrangements, through the charter of the United Nations and its agencies, can all countries hope to achieve security and stability and achieve a better future for their peoples.

To this end, the sovereignty of Middle Eastern countries like Iraq, Syria and Yemen should be respected and the wars in those countries should be brought to an end, replaced by long-term plans and programs of economic and social reconstruction and development. Global economic development and progress that will reduce disparities between First World and Third World countries, eliminate notions of “winning” and “losing”, and end grinding poverty and the problems that go with it should be a major priority. Economic co-operation should be mutually beneficial for all parties that engage in it.

Putin also briefly mentioned in passing the development of human potential and creativity, environmental protection and climate change, and global healthcare as important goals that all countries should strive for.

While there’s not much in Putin’s speech that he hasn’t said before, what he says is typical of his worldview, the breadth and depth of his understanding of current world events (which very, very few Western politicians can match), and his preferred approach of nations working together on common problems and coming to solutions that benefit all and which don’t advantage one party’s interests to the detriment of others and their needs. Putin’s approach is a typically pragmatic and cautious one, neutral with regards to political or economic ideology, but one focused on goals and results, and the best way and methods to achieve those goals.

One interesting aspect of Putin’s speech comes near the end where he says that only a world with opportunities for everyone, with access to knowledge to all and many ways to realise creative potential, can be considered truly free. Putin’s understanding of freedom would appear to be very different from what the West (and Americans in particular) understand to be “freedom”, that is, being free of restraints on one’s behaviour. Putin’s understanding of freedom would be closer to what 20th-century Russian-born British philosopher Isaiah Berlin would consider to be “positive freedom”, the freedom that comes with self-mastery, being able to think and behave freely and being able to choose the government of the society in which one lives.

The most outstanding point in Putin’s speech, which unfortunately he does not elaborate on further, given the context of the venue, is the disconnect between the political establishment and the public in most developed countries, the role of the mass media industry in reducing or widening it, and the dangers that this disconnect poses to societies if it continues. If elites continue to pursue their own fantasies and lies, and neglect the needs of the public on whom they rely for support (yet abuse by diminishing their security through offshoring jobs, weakening and eliminating worker protection, privatising education, health and energy, and encouraging housing and other debt bubbles), the invisible bonds of society – what might collectively be called “the social contract” between the ruler and the ruled – will disintegrate and people may turn to violence or other extreme activities to get what they want.

An English-language transcript of the speech can be found at this link.

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2,432 Responses to What Does Freedom Mean to You? Putin at Valdai, 2016

  1. Lyttenburgh says:

    Legatus Praetor Gaius Anonymus sends his New Year’s congratulations:

    Worthy Quirites! And also noble matrons, innocent girls and purposeful boys! Citizens!

    Thus ends the year 2759 Anno Urbis conditae. Some say that this year was a bad, horrible and brought us a lot of losses. Others, and I among them, say – there are no bad years, there are only a series of bad events. Yes, we had them more than enough by now, but…

    But did the Empire collapse under their weight? Did the trade of Rome fell into insignificance, although aged and fallen into senile dementia Parthian king Abamarak had been talking about some “torn in tatters?” Do we still do building aqueducts, amphitheatres, new cities and doesn’t we launch our celestial boats to ply the star ether? Did the valiant IV Scythian Legion shamefully fled from the province of Syria? Does even our enemy recognize the Divine in August as the greatest king of the earth? After all, just recently, weren’t they so assured, that the swords of the Roman legions are rusted, battle triremes – decayed, the citizens of Rome are getting constantly drunk on wine and not think about the future, and the consuls and procurators are mired in stealing from the treasury and soon will flee to Parthia or Gaul?

    With procurators and prefects, yes, there are significant challenges – they do steal. But the Mamertine prison is not empty, and it now contains many patricians who lost their mind and sense of limits. Suddenly it turns out that instead of rusty swords and leaky triremes the Empire has more than worthy army, and allegedly our Caesar Augustus became so powerful that personally elects the Parthian kings, and the people of Rome just keeps working without paying too much attention to the hysterical screams! Strange, isn’t it?

    So I wish to all of you, my dear Quirites, one thing – the health of body and soul, for it is the most important thing. All others can be acquired. As for the difficulties … So what? We beheld times much more serious, not comparable with the current ones!

    There is a good reason to believe that the upcoming 2760-th year Anno Urbis conditae will bring a lot of good gifts for the Empire and the People of Rome.

  2. Warren says:

    Published on Dec 31, 2016
    The challenges endured by Russia in 2016 have only strengthened the nation’s unity and aspirations for success, thus showing the way forward, President Vladimir Putin says, in his traditional New Year message televised at several minutes before midnight.

  3. Northern Star says:

    In a world of lies…truth is but a mere deception…
    Anonymous or The Outlaw Josey Wales…take your pick
    HNY Stooges….
    and Yalensis: HNY to you…better late than never!!!!!

    • yalensis says:

      Thanks, Northern Star!
      My people already had our New Year back in October, but you can never have too many New Years, is what I say.
      Hence, I have my matza balls and glass of Manischewitz all ready to go, just waiting till the stroke of midnight.

  4. Moscow Exile says:

    01:45 here and fireworks still booming away. My gang has gone out skating.

  5. Warren says:

    Istanbul Reina nightclub attack ‘leaves 35 dead’

    At least 35 people have lost their lives in an attack on a nightclub in Istanbul, the city’s governor has said.

    Among the dead is one police officer, Vasip Sahin stated, adding that it was a terror attack.
    At least another 40 were injured in the attack which took place in the Reina nightclub, in the Ortakoy area, at about 01:30 local time (22:30 GMT).

    One attacker was involved, the governor said, while CNN Turk reported he was dressed in a Santa Claus costume.

    “A terrorist with a long-range weapon … brutally and savagely carried out this incident by firing bullets on innocent people who were there solely to celebrate the New Year and have fun,” Mr Sahin told reporters at the scene of the upmarket Reina nightclub, which sits on the banks of Bosphorus in the city’s European side.


  6. Fern says:

    May I wish all fellow Stooges a happy and safe 2017. Can we all raise a toast to our host, Mark, for his sterling work in producing some of the funniest and sharpest critiques of the madness which infests the West’s behaviour to and reporting of Russia and for hosting this hangout. Thanks to all the other contributors for their knowledge, erudition and passion which makes this site a daily must-read. And in a sort of triumph of hope over experience way, let’s hope 2017 is more peaceful, the age of the rational, than the one that went before it.

    • marknesop says:

      The same to you, Fern – I still anticipate your writer’s debut, as your own analytical skills and delivery are impressive. Thank you for your kind words, and the very best to you for 2017.

    • kirill says:

      A toast to everyone. Hopefully 2017 will be more sane than 2016.

      • Ilya says:

        Peter Turchin says it will only get worse, and the shit likely hits the fan sometime in the 2020s.

        Return of the Oppressed

        His latest books suggests political stress in the US is on a similar trajectory to that which preceded the Civil War.

        Ages of Discord

        • Patient Observer says:

          A correction is coming, that is clear. The question is the level of destruction. I like to think that Russia and China will find ways to minimize the global impact by having an alternate way to manage economies, politics and culture free of excessive greed. Hoping for the best in 2017.

        • Jen says:

          In that article in the first link, Peter Turchin seems reluctant to admit that the rapid rises in the fortunes of the wealthy and the stagnation in wages of unskilled workers and in the living standards and numbers of the middle classes came about as the result of decisions made by political elites enthralled with neoliberal economics as espoused by Milton Friedman and his “monetarist” ideology, and then later its full-bore original variant. Ayn Rand’s celebration of the self-serving individualist was an essential part helping to buttress this ideology, not just something that coincidentally came along at the right time in the right place.

          The suggestion that the US Air Force was used against the thousands of miners fighting mine-owners, their private armies, strikebreakers and police in the Battle of Blair Mountain in the early 1920s needs qualification: the US Air Force wasn’t separated from the US Army until 1947. Planes from the US Army Air Service (that was what it was called) were used to spy on the miners and I believe there had been talk of also using the planes to drop bombs on them. In the end, private planes were used to drop bleach and shrapnel bombs as the Army refused to allow its own planes to be used against US civilians. The US government did send in Army troops and news of their coming was enough for the miners and their supporters in coal-mining communities to put down their arms. (Fortunately or unfortunately, the miners never considered the possibility that Army soldiers might change sides and fight with them.) The miners lost the battle and ended up being punished by the mining industry with even worse working conditions and pay, and only when Franklin D Roosevelt became President did their plight come to the attention of the US public who sympathised with them and demanded better for them.

          I guess not too many Americans know about the Battle of Blair Mountain, judging by the few mentions it gets in Internet posts and comments about what would happen in proverbial future shit-hits-the-fan scenarios. The site where the battle was fought has been repeatedly stripped of heritage status and there have long been plans to strip-mine the mountain and reduce it – this would effectively wipe out its existence and the history surrounding it.

    • shargash says:


    • yalensis says:

      Absolutely! A toast to our host, Mark!

      • Moscow Exile says:

        A Russian toast to the US President elect:

        • marknesop says:

          Zhirinovsky’s fall has been rapid – he was once a handsome man, vital and full of life for years despite his age, and a charismatic speaker although he was often off his trolley. He seems to have aged overnight and has gained a lot of weight, and his speechifying here would warm the cockles of a Russia-haters heart, as it plays to all their fears: greater Russian influence in NATO and Europe, a diminished global role for America, and things turning Russia’s way in Ukraine and Syria.

          Perhaps unsurprisingly, but still interestingly, some media sources have chosen to take the tack that Russia’s mockery of Obama as he leaves office…is racist. Yes, they chose to make fun of him not because his foreign policies were incoherent and disastrous, not because his state department has been caught organizing a coup of a sovereign nation and literally picking its new government over the telephone, but because he is black. In this, Russia shows its characteristic gracelessness, as if the USA is owed grace and soft-pedaling after spearheading an international effort to destroy the Russian economy and lying lying lying non-stop about the Russian effort in Syria as well as alleged state military involvement in Ukraine. “Slamming the Door on the Year of the Monkey”, by Mikhail Sakhnazarov, is alleged to be a swipe at Obama’s race, although it was – and remains, in fact – the year of the monkey in the Chinese calendar. From there the connections drift farther and farther from the government, although the Moscow Times is perfectly happy to leave the impression that everyone who uses racist terms to describe Obama is part of the Russian government and that he is a victim of universal and official Russian Federation condemnation on racist terms.

          What can you say about this? The majority in America agrees Obama has been a complete failure as president – the Republicans loathed him from Minute One, and their extremist element continued to pen jingles about ‘the darky in the White House’ and sinister hints about his birth certificate throughout both terms, while many in his own party are disgusted at the influence he cost the Democrats; Hillary Clinton criticized him without letup when she ran against him, mocking his weakness and inexperience…all forgotten now, of course, in a united front against a common enemy. This results in America, at the last gasp of the Obama presidency, pushing the line that it was an historic chapter in America’s black heritage, marred by Russia’s racist baiting. The mind reels, if that’s not too cliche. Just as icing on the cake, the article is by Kevin Rothrock, formerly A Good Treaty and once upon a time an aggressive critic of western reporting on Russia. As we have seen happen time after time, these writers make their beginnings as mavericks, and then are gradually co-opted into the system in exchange for greater mainstream attention, so that they become as vociferous critics of the ‘Russian regime’ as ever were those they once mocked and excoriated. Kevin and Mark Galeotti are merely two of the best examples, although I imagine they would both say they are merely being realistic.

          • Lyttenburgh says:

            Remember, kids! It’s only “racist”, tasteless” and/or “offensive” if it targets handshakables! All others are the fair game:

            ^So-called liberal’s comments to this pic of a statue (albeit made by unhandshakable China) are… typical.

          • Lyttenburgh says:

            P.S. Kevin Rothroc gone full pressitude shameless whore:

            Now he works for George Soros’ funded RusEcho project on the GlobalVoices site.

            • marknesop says:

              I doubt that was the deciding factor; when he was undercover as A Good Treaty, he worked for Leon Aron at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). He provided the first translations in English of the ridiculous exchange between Vladimir Putin and Yuriy Shevchuk at the childrens’ benefit, in which Shevchuk tried to hijack the event to make political statements, and English-speaking reporters crowed that Putin had ‘never heard of Shevchuk’ and had no idea who he was, when he had a place card right in front of him which had his name on it. When Putin said “Excuse me, who are you?” he was plainly inviting him to introduce himself, which he had omitted to do. A Good Treaty mocked Yevgenia Albats and her demands to police that she be arrested at the Dissenters’ March, just so she could claim afterward to have been abused by police.

              Somewhere along the line, something convinced him he was ‘on the wrong side of history’.

            • Jen says:

              Kevin Rothrock ought to see Buffy, that dog’s dimensions would make him faint dead away.

      • marknesop says:

        Thank you, kind Sir; it appears to be whole-grain, my favourite!

      • Jen says:

        Mine with sardines 🙂

        • yalensis says:

          OMG that looks so delicious!
          MMMMRRRRRGGGGGYYYYYYRRRMMM! [voracious eating noises]

        • marknesop says:

          Mmmmm…that looks good! Although I am not a big fan of tomatoes. But I never thought of having it with red onion. My mother introduced us to sardines on toast when we were children, but I have maintained a fondness for it, although she always mashed them. I bet it would be good with red onion.

  7. marknesop says:

    The cyber-crybaby wars reach a new crescendo of foolishness – the Vermont power grid is hacked, and the governor foams that it was the Rooskies even though analysts advised that the malware is advertised online as having been developed in Ukraine. Even that does not guarantee Ukrainians did it, because anyone could have gotten it online. But it seems now that when you say ‘hack’, Washington screams “Russia!!!!!” no matter where the product came from. More American efforts at branding and marketing, which they do so well, and will continue to do so long as they cater to an audience which is stupid and passive and lies on its side with its mouth open, waiting to be fed.

  8. Ilya says:

    A proper send-off for 2016:

  9. Warren says:

    Published on Dec 31, 2016
    Obama’s Recently-Signed National Defense Authorization Act Includes A ‘Countering Disinformation and Propaganda Act’. The Intercept’s Alex Emmons Explains…

    Help support The Real News by making a donation today: http://therealnews.com/donate

    • marknesop says:

      It appears from this that the effort will be focused upon an overseas audience, and if the enemy – as I’m sure we’re all agreed – is Russia, that suggests a Russian-language network located in a friendly satellite (perhaps Prague, as RFE/RL’s Russia section is) which would broadcast ‘fact-based anti-disinformation’. It’s encouraging that they say it will be ‘fact-based’, but of late that seems to mean to Washington that it says ‘this is the truth’, and listeners are meant to believe that is the case without much in the way of further substantiation, based on the American reputation for speaking the truth.

      If that is the way they intend to go, it will fail. But Americans don’t like to give up, so they will probably try for a couple of years, hoping things will pick up, and consequently waste more money. I think we can see parallels in the failed effort to counter ‘al Qaeda propaganda’ that was Al Hurra – whose budget went from $67 Million in 2004 to $112 Million in 2009 despite a string of major gaffes and failures – and Kolomoisky’s stillborn “Ukraine Today”. In Russia, it will attract the loud public support of the kreakly ‘cosmopolitans’ such as Ksenya Sobchak and Alexei Venediktov, who are in general broadly disliked in a Russia in which Vladimir Putin enjoys historic popularity highs.

      What I had envisioned for America’s disinformation effort would be perhaps an effort to control the message seen and heard by its own domestic audiences, which would mean banning RT. I still think they will make efforts in that direction, but very much in the same way Poroshenko continually baits Russia in hopes it will make a lunge for Kiev, Washington needs an excuse so it can say “Look, we’re not the bad guy here”, and forestall a storm of criticism for iron-fist censorship in The Land Of The Free. I would expect that effort to be something like a planted story which would then be shown to be a terrible falsehood, and RT can easily sidestep such clumsy efforts as long as it does not broadcast unverified tips.

  10. Warren says:

    Published on Nov 2, 2016
    With every major financial recovery since the second World War beginning in a place of greater debt than the one before it, how could we not have foreseen the financial crisis of 2008? In this episode of Meet the Renegades, economics professor and author, Michael Hudson argues we did.

    How could an economy that created so much debt also save the banks rather than the economy itself, following the 2008 financial crisis? Michael discusses the phenomenon of debt inflation and how the economic curriculum should change.

    “If you’re teaching economics, you should begin with the relationship between finance and the economy, between the build up of debt and the ability to pay.”

    Michael discusses the ‘Great Moderation’, a common misrepresentation of a healthy economy in which job productivity was increasing, labor complacency was at an all-time low was a complete myth. Michael argues that ‘traumatized’ workers were too in debt to fight for better working conditions leading up to the 2008 financial crisis and how this reflects neo-classical ideas.

    Michael offers solutions – urging the importance of writing down the debt and keeping basic services in the public sector, ridding the economy of financial tumors through a proper tax policy based upon the this public sector model.

    • Special_sauce says:

      Lol, MH compares modern bankers to “old-time Stalinists” set in their ways. I say MH is covering his ass from accusations of being a Red.

      • Special_sauce says:

        Some renegade.

      • Warren says:

        Hudson makes no secret of his left-wing political views. He is after all the God-son of Leon Trotsky. Hudson’s constant sniping at Stalin is motivated by family history I suspect.

        • Special_sauce says:

          He should look at the facts for motivation.

          The old fogey, stick-in-the-mud Stalinist Regime producing motorcars in the depth of the Western Depression.

          The GAZ-M1 itself went through several incarnations, being used in the late 1930s and World War II as a staff car: the most important redesign came with the GAZ 61 with its new front clip and all-wheel drive. The GAZ 11, used in the war, sported a new six-cylinder engine modeled on the Dodge D5 powerplant. The basic Ford designs were gradually morphed into something distinctively Russian.


        • yalensis says:

          He was Trotsky’s god-son, seriously?
          That’s awesome!

          • Warren says:

            Yes, seriously!

            Yesterday I was with an American economist who says of himself that he is a Marxist, whose godfather was Leon Trotsky, whose father was thrown in prison in the US in 1941 for advocating the overthrow of the government, who has worked for the Chase Manhattan Bank as their balance of payments expert, and who is now an authority on the Babylonian and Near East tradition of debt cancellation.


            CHRIS HEDGES: Hi, I’m Chris Hedges. Welcome to Days of Revolt. Today in a two-part series we’re going to be discussing a great Ponzi scheme that not only defines not only the U.S. but the global economy, how we got there, in the first segment, and secondly, where we’re going. And with me to discuss this issue is the economist Michael Hudson, author of Killing the Host: How Financial Parasites and Debt Destroy the Global Economy, a professor of economics who worked for many years on Wall Street, where you don’t succeed if you don’t grasp Marx’s dictum that capitalism is about exploitation. And he is also, I should mention, the godson of Leon Trotsky. Welcome Michael.


            • Special_sauce says:

              Another dictum:

              “Our task is that of ruthless criticism, and much more against ostensible friends than against open enemies,..” – Karl Marx.

          • Cortes says:

            Godson, Yalensis. (Sorry for being picky).

            • yalensis says:

              That’s okay, Cortes, spelling is important.

              To answer Lyttenburgh’s question:
              I wonder if Hudson’s parents had visited Trotsky in Mexico?
              According to his wiki, Michael Hudson was born in 1939.
              Trotsky wasn’t assassinated until one year later, in 1940, so technically there would have been some time for him to have been a godfather. Although Michael was born in Chicago.
              But maybe his parents took him from Chicago to Mexico to be christened.
              Or maybe it was just a remote godfathership (?)

              • Cortes says:

                In his very self-serving autobiography “Me llamaban El Coronelazo” (“They Called Me The Crazy Colonel “) David Alfaro Siqueiros, the muralist, tells the story of his attempt on Trotsky and hints at other groups trying to get in on the act. It’s quite entertaining in a sort of the Madcap Mexican CP Meets The Comintern way.

        • Lyttenburgh says:

          “He is after all the God-son of Leon Trotsky.”

          Godson? Of Trotsky? How is this even possible?!

  11. Moscow Exile says:

    MOSCOWIn a New Year’s address that came off like a victory lap, Russian President Vladimir Putin thanked his country Saturday in the wake of a wildly successful 2016 that saw the Kremlin leader shore up Russia’s standing abroad and acquire a host of powerful geopolitical friendsWashington Post

    I bet that was painful to write, you regularly lying bastards!

    But they had to add this lie from liars:

    Even at the height of the Soviet Union’s power, the notion that Moscow could intervene in a U.S. presidential election to try to influence the outcome was something reserved for Cold War fantasy; now, the CIA says it just happened.

    Yeah, the CIA says ….

    • Moscow Exile says:

      He [Putin] can’t act anywhere he wants, he can’t do it alone, and a lot still depends on whether and how far President-elect Donald Trump decides to go along with him.

      Whereas the USA not only has the moral right to do this but most definitely can do it?

      I like how WP refers to the Moscow Times and Radio Ekho Moskvy for their analyses of Russia:

      “Putin has one Russia; many Russians have another. The two don’t really intersect much,” observed Alexei Gusarov, who hosts a talk show on Ekho Moskvy radio.

      Gusarov clearly thinks that the latest Putin popularity poll result published by Levada puts his rating at 86% — the highest ever.

      Kreakles and the non-systemic “opposition” loathe him though, together with Gessen and Khodorkovsky and Kasparov and Applebaum and others of their ilk, and that’s the main thing for WP.

      • Moscow Exile says:


        “Gusarov clearly thinks that the latest Putin popularity poll result published by Levada puts his rating at 86% — the highest ever” should have read: “Gusarov clearly thinks that the latest Putin popularity poll result published by Levada puts his rating at 86% — the highest ever — is patently untrue”.

  12. Moscow Exile says:

    Nationalists stage torchlight march in Kiev to celebrate Stephan Bandera’s birthday

    KIEV, January 1. /TASS/. More than 1,000 people participated in a torchlight procession in Kiev on Sunday marking the 108th birthday of leader of Ukraine’s nationalist movement Stephan Bandera.

    The far-right activists shouted traditional anti-Russian slogans and “Glory to the nation!” and also criticized the government. Some 700 law enforcers ensured security in the center of the city, where traffic was partly blocked.

    No public order violations were registered. Similar marches were staged by Ukrainian nationalists in Bandera’s home town Stary Ugryniv, in western Ukraine’s Ivano-Frankovskaya region and Lvov.

    Stepan Bandera, the leader and ideologist of Ukraine’s nationalist movement in the 20th century, closely collaborated with Nazi Germany during World War II. He headed the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) in 1941-1959.

    The units of OUN – UPA (Ukrainian Insurgent Army) killed more than 100,000 Poles, Czechs and Jews in Western Volyn. Thousands of Ukrainians, who refused to cooperate with OUN, were also killed. Besides, the supporters of Bandera also fought against the Soviet Union’s army.

    On January 20, 2010, Ukraine’s then-President Viktor Yushchenko awarded Stepan Bandera the order of Hero of Ukraine. In April that year, the Donetsk district administrative court declared the president’s decree illegal. The court decision was passed on a lawsuit filed by Professor Anatoly Solovyov of the Donetsk University.

    Only a few hours ago from when I write at 00:20, January 2, 2017:

    They like marching at night with their torches, don’t they?

    They also always have some young woman at the front carrying Bandera’s portrait.

    I wonder why?

    And get this:

    From Hi!
    Banderites say that Khan Mamai never destroyed Kiev, that this is all Chekist propaganda and provocation — little-bother Mamai-ites are they or what? [mockery of the term “little brother Ukrainians” who are brother Slavs to “big brother” Russians]

    Reply from Andrey Vasil’chenko:

    That’s right, it’s not true. Khan Mamai never took Kiev:

    Reply fromHi!

    They destroyed the place themselves?

    Reply from Andrey Vasil’chenko:

    A huge asteroid crashed into it.

    You just couldn’t make it up if you tried!

    • Moscow Exile says:

      “Banderites say that Khan Mamai never destroyed Kiev, that this is all Chekist propaganda and provocation — little-bother Mamai-ites are they or what?” should have been in italics: those are the words of Hi!, not mine, which are in parentheses.

    • yalensis says:

      It’s one of those glass-half-empty glass-half-full things.
      After 20 years of incessant pro-Banderite propaganda, the svidomites could only put together 1000 shills to march for Bandera in Kiev on a holiday night?
      Factor in, that at least half of those people are probably CIA operatives or Canadian diaspora guests. The other half hard-core Nazis from the Nazi fringe parties.

      Banderism has no ideological future, neither in Ukraine, nor anywhere else.
      Put a fork in them, they’re done.
      If Zakharchenko were to stroll down the main avenue in Kiev, he would be greeted like a god.

  13. Lyttenburgh says:

    On the previous page yalensis posted in response to my observations pic of Artemisia Gentileschi’s rendidtion of the traditional “Judith killing of Holofernes”. We were told about her during our 1st year’s course of lectures on the History of the Art (naturally, folks from the Chair of the History of Art would be hearing about here not just in the first year of the education and they hearing about her more). There’s no escessive piety, respect or adulation for this time period. In fact, our professor on Medival History plainly called this period “Эпоха Вырождения” and justly so.

    This particular troperific and widespread “Judy vs Holo” type of paintings makes me giggle a little, after I discovered for myself VK/FB community “Страдающее Средневековье/Suffering Middle Ages”, where the people use old paintings or illustrations and then add some funny captions to them. They rendered this theme subject thusly:

    ^”He didn’t like my borsch!”

    And they had this for a New Year:

    “Plague?” “War?” “Famine?” “Death?”
    “No, your majesty. 1 January”

    • yalensis says:

      Ha ha I love it when people put captions to those classical paintings!

      My favorite “Judy and Holo” comes from English literature though.
      One of the Bertie Wooster stories, I forget which, I read it a long time ago.

      Anyhow, Bertie wakes up with a terrific hangover, and he is complaining to Jeeves:
      “My head feels like that fellow in the Bible, Holofernes, after his wife sawed it off with a rusty knife.”

      Jeeves corrects Bertie’s ignorance, as usual:
      “Sir, the lady in question was not his wife. They were just good friends.”

  14. Moscow Exile says:

    В конгрессе пообещали «решительный» ответ на отмену санкций Трампом

    In Congress a “resolute” response to the lifting of sanctions by Trump has been promised

    If Donald trump decided to cancel sanctions against Russia, he would meet “resolute” response from Congress, said a member of the house of representatives. According to him, Congress will provide a package of tougher sanctions.

    President-elect Donald trump would meet “determined” response from the Congress if it decided to cancel the sanctions imposed by the Obama administration. This was stated by a House of Hepresentatives member from the Democratic Party, Adam Schiff, in an interview with ABC.

    “We think that more needs to be done. We don’t think, frankly, that the steps taken are sufficient for deterrence. You will see support for more stringent sanctions from both parties in Congress”, he said.

    “You will see that both Democrats and Republicans, such as John McCain and Lindsey Graham, will provide a package of tougher sanctions”, he added.

    In addition, Schiff, who is included on the Committee on Intelligence in the House of Representatives, spoke about the fact that Trump is questioning the intelligence reports about Russian attacks. “If he wants to have at least some credibility as a President, he needs to stop saying that. He should cease denigrating intelligence. He needs to count on it. He will have to count on it”, said the member of the Chamber of Representatives.

    Earlier during his Kiev visit, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said that in 2017 American legislators intend to adopt new sanctions against Russia. According to him, they were talking in particular about sanctions that would hit “[Russian President Vladimir] Putin himself, his inner circle”, Graham expressing the hope that President-elect Donald Trump would sign the law.

    Republican Senator John McCain, who visited Kiev together with Graham, also did not rule out the intensification of anti-Russian sanctions. “I am confident that Congress will approve new sanctions. I don’t know whether President [elect] Trump will sign for them, but if two-thirds of us vote for “yes”, they will become law”, said McCain.

  15. Jen says:

    Members of the New York City Schiller Institute Community Chorus sing the Russian national anthem a cappella in front of the Russian Consulate in honour of the passengers who died in the Tu-154 crash in the Black Sea while flying to Syria.

    • marknesop says:

      That’s really nice to see; a very heartwarming gesture, for which I’m sure the Russian people are grateful.

      • yalensis says:

        It IS a nice gesture. But I did a little digging, and the Schiller Institute was founded by this lady , who is the wife of Lyndon LaRouche.

        Lyndon LaRouche has a very dodgy reputation on the American Left. He started off as a socialist, became a Marxist, became a Trotskyist, participated in the ideology wars of the 1960’s (which was mainly Stalinists vs. Trotskyists, vs. Maoists). Most of the then-participants, of all the factions, proceeded to bail out of the Left and make their own separate peaces with the American capitalist system.
        Lyndon, though, continued to evolve, eventually leaving the Left altogether, crossing the class line, and going over to the Right. He even formed a popular front with George Wallace and the Ku Klux Klan in the 1970’s. He was ferociously anti-Soviet and anti-Communist.
        His wiki page shows a whole series of dodgy political connections over the decades.
        Helga is his second wife, and she appears to be a fruitcake as well.
        Apparently the LaRouches have some Russian connections, starting in 1994. Wiki:
        Beginning in 1994, LaRouche made numerous visits to Russia, participating in conferences of the Vernadsky State Geological Museum of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS), the RAS Institute of the Far East, and other places. He addressed seminars at the RAS Institute of Economics, the RAS Institute of Oriental Studies. He spoke at hearings in the State Duma of the Russian Federation on measures to ensure the development of the Russian economy at the point of destabilization of the world financial system. Two of his books were translated into Russian.

        In more recent years — Jesus, this guy has led an interesting life! — he seems to be looping back to the socialism of his youth, as he frequently criticizes capitalism.
        His ideology is not Marxist, howver, it’s a total mishmash.

        If I were the Russian government, I would beware of this guy and his nutty German wife.

        • marknesop says:

          Oh, they absolutely would not want to tie it to Larouche or any organization connected with him; he is indeed a fruitcake, and although he provides some much-needed criticism of unfettered mercantilism and slobbering pursuit of profit, the biggest mark against him is his colourful past. Anyone hitching their wagon to his star would be shot down in flames and laughed out of town, even if he was right, as he frequently is. He just has too much baggage, and his efforts to make peace would be regarded in America as traitorous, much as we regard Venediktov’s self-hatred.

          But there would be nothing wrong with Russia recognizing the gesture as having come from less militaristic and hegemonic elements among the American people – as these most certainly do exist – and thanking them for their sympathetic thoughts. It would then fall to Washington to keep silent – which it hardly ever does – or commit another tactical error and announce angrily that those views do not represent those of official America, and make themselves look like ghouls all over again.

        • Patient Observer says:

          I had a passing acquaintance with the beliefs of LaRouche which showed a fairly consistent pro-Soviet/Russian bent. He was very anti-British accusing them (probably correctly) being king-pins of the international illegal drug trade and specifically the British royalty (surely highbrow scum). The LaRouche belief system also embraced various technological panaceas such as nuclear fission and fusion, MHD generators, etc. It was not all bad by any means. But, I have not followed the LaRouche circus for a number of years.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      Not long after New Year 2017 had begun here in Moscow, I pushed the button to send my prepared greetings to acquaintances around the world, including a photograph of my wife and children, showing them all standing at the festive table after the conclusion of the president’s address and looking at the TV screen whilst singing the Russian national anthem.

      I wrote:

      The forwarded photographs were taken just before and after midnight, New Year’s Eve, while we were listening to the Russian president’s address … and then the hour struck live on the big Kremlin clock and we stood up for the national anthem.

      I kid you not! We all lustily sing the verses together every New Year.

      Here you are! You can have a go too, because in the video clip below the Russian words are transliterated into the Latin alphabet“.

      Here is the clip that I wrote of above and enclosed:

      As an addendum, as it were, to the greetings that I sent, I added the following for the edification of a linguist, a retired teacher of German with whom I was acquainted some 40 years ago and whom I last saw in 1976. He has been communicating with me regularly now for the past 2 years after we had by chance stumbled across each other on the Internet whilst posting commiserations about the death of a mutual acquaintance.

      This linguist that I speak of always seems to be somewhat sniffy as regards most matters Russian.

      The Russian masculine singular genitive adjectival case ending -ogo or -ego is pronounced, by the way, as ‘-ovo’ or ‘-evo’ as the case may be. This is just a quirk of Cyrillic orthography.

      Nice tune, I think. I like the French one as well — the tune, that is, but not the words: very revolutionary and bloodthirsty they are.

      I think the Russian words are quite pleasant and joyful: no aggressive ‘we are the greatest’ crap.

      I especially like this updated version of the Russian anthem sung by Anita Tsoy, who is a Russian citizen of Korean descent. (Many Koreans moved to the Russian Empire and the USSR in order to avoid the tender mercies of the Japanes Empire.)

      I continued:

      As far as the anthem of my Motherland is concerned, in my opinion it’s a bloody awful German dirge that started to be played in London theatres in 1745, its melody having been published the previous year when the Hannoverian dynasty seated in London was having a spot of bother with a Stuart pretender and his supporters North of the Border. The same tune was adopted for what was the official anthem of the German Empire up to 1918 and also the anthem of the Kingdom of Prussia, namely ‘Heil dir im Siegerkranz’ (Hail to Thee in a Victor’s Wreath).

      I then posted him this:

      (Wrong translation of the very first line: no translation there of “Siegerkranz”!)

      I continued:

      I used to like singing those words just to bug ‘kleine Engländer’.” [Little Englanders]

      On January 1st I received this sniffy answer to the above missive:

      Very interesting email. I do agree with you about the pop version of the Russian anthem — much more easy to listen to.

      I noticed the term ‘glorious’ came up frequently; it can of course have 2 meanings – worthy of fame/admiration, i.e. in a military connection, or as an adjective describing splendour.

      In national anthems I always associate it with the former meaning so it grated a little with the beautiful scenery. Clearly, I have been programmed to read it this way.

      Exactly — “programmed”!

      So I replied:

      The Russian word slava is often translated as ‘glory’ but in the Russian anthem this has nothing to do with military glory. In fact, there is no reference to anything military in the Russian national anthem whatsoever.

      The word slava is very often better translated as ‘fame’ or ‘renown’, which terms, as you have rightly pointed out, are synonyms for ‘glory’ but sound less miliaristic. However, in the British national anthem, the line ‘Send her victorious, happy and glorious!’ cannot be interpreted as anything but a clamouring for military success.

      The Russian feminine noun slava has as its root slav, from which the word slavyanin is formed, which means in English “a Slav”. Hence slavyanin means a well-known, renowned person; a kinsman of ‘the renowned people’ and, therefore, deserving of respect!

      In the chorus of the Russian national anthem, the exhortation Slav’sya, Otechestvo nashe svobodnoye is given as ‘Be glorious, our free Motherland’, which words, I should imagine, would most definitely suggest for some an exhortation to military glory. However, the reflexive verb slavit’sya, which, again, contains the root slav and used here in the imperative voice, can also be interpreted as ‘to become famous/renowned’.

      Furthermore, to be exact, otechestvo does not mean ‘Motherland’: it means ‘Fatherland’.

      Russia is, metaphorically speaking, a hermaphrodite, albeit that the noun Rossiya (Russia) is feminine gender, in that one can refer to Russia poetically, emotionally, as rodina — literally ‘land of birth’, hence the ‘Motherland’; one can also refer to Russia as the ‘Fatherland’, which word in Russian is formed from otets (father) to make the abstract, neuter gender noun otechestvo, the suffix -estvo corresponding to the English suffix ‘-ness’.

      The word slava is often used in Russian expressions calling for the recognition of due merit, e.g. Sovyetskim kosmonavtam slava! (Glory to Soviet Cosmonauts!) — not military glory, I may add, more like “fame” — and Slava mat’-geroinyam sovyetskogo soyuza! (Glory to the Mother Heroines of the Soviet Union!) — again, no hint of military glory in this expression, but fame was certainly demanded for those (in my opinion) unfortunate ‘heroines’: a ‘Mother Heroine of the USSR’ was a woman who had borne and raised 10 or more children!

      The present anthem was composed in 1939 and from 1944 used as the state anthem of the USSR. Before that, the Soviet anthem had been “The International”, composed by a Belgian in French for the Paris Commune.

      The lyrics of the Soviet/Russian anthem have been changed twice: the first change was made after a line referring to Lenin and Stalin’s wise guidance of Soviet citizens had Stalin removed from it following Krushchev’s denouncement of Stalin in 1956; after the end of the USSR in 1991, reference to Lenin was removed as well and that so far twice edited line now reads: Predkami dannaya mudrost’ narodnaya, which in the clip above is again wrongly translated as ‘Popular wisdom given by our forebears’: it should, in my opinion, better be translated as ‘National wisdom handed down by our forebears’.

      So far, no reply to my admonition.

      Not surprising, really: my correspondent often refers to the “Russian war” being waged against the Ukraine, the Russian “annexation” of the Crimea, Russian expansionism, aggression etc.

      In his own words: “I have been programmed …”

      • Moscow Exile says:

        Should have been italicized from “is very often better translated as ‘fame’ or ‘renown’, which terms, as you have rightly pointed out, are synonyms for ‘glory’ but sound less miliaristic. …” to “it should, in my opinion, better be translated as ‘National wisdom handed down by our forebears’.” inclusive, namely where I am still quoting from my letter to the programmed Russophobe.

      • yalensis says:

        Russian “slava” (“fame”), same root as “slovo” (“word”) descend from the Proto-Indo-European word ḱléwos.
        With cognates in Sanskrit (śrávas), Lithuanian (šlavė), and even Proto-Celtic (klowos) !

        The specific sound-change in Common Slavic was for a soft (palatalized) k’ to morph into an s-sound. This sound change occurred in the so-called “satem” branch of Indo-European. The “kentum” branch kept the k sound. At least for a few centuries, before they, too, started palatalizing the velar consonant.

        Satem-kentum bifurcation of languages is named after the Indo-European word for “100”, which was something like “k’entum”. As in Latin “centum”. In the Germanic languages, Grimm’s Law turned the k sound into h, which is why German and English have “hundred” instead of “kundred”.

        But in “satem” languages, the word for 100 starts with an s-sound, as in Russian “sto” which evolved thusly: k’umtom (with ablaut) becomes sumtom becomes suto becomes sto. (Roughly.)

        • yalensis says:

          Correction: I misspoke carelessly. The satem sound change which turned k’ into s preceded the existence of a Common Slavic language. There was just one basic Indo-European language at that time, although many dialects, of course, several of which were most likely mutually incomprehensible. The satem branch of dialects later branched out into the various “satem” languages, including Balto-Slavic, Persian, and Sanskrit.
          The kentum branch went on to become Celtic, Latin, Greek, and Proto-Germanic.
          And, I believe, Tocharian, as well.

      • et Al says:


        …1997 – In memory of Viktor Tsoi

        The first album “Полет” (‘Flight”) was recorded in 1997 and was named after Anita’s first hit – single “Полет” (‘Flight”). Most songs from it are written in rock style, similar to the Kino band’s where acoustic guitar plays the main role. This is because Anita was a great fan of theirs when she was young.[13] Another hit – “Мама”(“Mother”) – was dedicated to orphaned children.[14]…

        No relation I presume. I guess that Tsoi is not so an uncommon name.

        Early life

        Tsoi was born in Leningrad, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union. He was the only child of Valentina Vasilyevna Tsoi (née Guseva) (8 January 1939 in Leningrad, Soviet Union – 28 November 2009 in Pushkin, Russia), a Russian schoolteacher, and Robert Maximovich Tsoi (born 5 May 1937 in Kyzylorda, Kazakh SSR, Soviet Union; today’s Kazakhstan), a Soviet Korean engineer. Tsoi’s Korean ancestry can be traced back to Songjin, Hamgyong, Korea (today’s Kimchaek, North Korea), where his great-grandfather Choi Yong-nam was born.[3]

  16. moscowexile says:

    After that geriatric bastard McCain had visited the valorous Yukie army at one of its command posts situated in a razed village near Mariupol the other day, those brave soldiers of one of the most powerful armies in Europe (according to that walking slab of salo Poroshenko) proceeded to launch a larger than usual artillery barrage onto the “Russian” terrorist positions just to show the former USN flier, who was shot down whilst bombing the city of Hanoi (with precision weapons, of course), just how manly they were.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      Sun Jan 1, 2017 | 4:03pm EST
      Senator McCain says U.S. ‘must stand up to Vladimir Putin’

      “I send the message from the American people – we are with you, your fight is our fight and we will win together,” McCain was quoted as saying by Ukrainian President Poroshenko’s press service.

      “In 2017 we will defeat the invaders and send them back where they came from. To Vladimir Putin – you will never defeat the Ukrainian people and deprive them of their independence and freedom,” McCain said.

      • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

        Hitler in the bunker wasn’t this deluded.

        • Moscow Exile says:

          McCain must be waiting for a “Miracle of the House of Hohenzollern” kind of thing as that former Bavarian army reserve regiment Gefreiter thought had happened when Franklin D. Roosevelt died — you know, he might think that Trump will not make president or that Congress will negate any real or perceived Russian control of Trump and have war declared on the Empire of Evil so that the 7th Cavalry can go galloping into the Donbas and Lugansk separatst areas in aid of the glorious Ukrainian army that has,after all, valiantly held the Russian Orcs at bay for 2 years..

      • marknesop says:

        What a tunnel-vision whackjob. The last thing Russia wants is to assume responsibility for Ukraine, with its cratered economy, entitled Maidanites and Nazi west. It is Ukrainian people fighting against the Ukrainian people, and nobody else, and the LPR/DNR have had sufficient time to build up and train their armed forces to the level that it could go on as a standoff forevermore, with one side shelling the other and the battle lines never moving more than a couple of miles in either direction. The chance to win militarily with a big push is gone, nearly two years gone, and the only way to win now would be through reconciliation. The Poroshenko government has no hope of ever bringing that about, and it will be left to some future administration. For so long as Porky remains in charge, the stalemate will go on and on and there will be no victory, just more misery for Ukrainians.

        McCain probably does not grasp this, because he is a crazy old man and his memories coalesce around America getting its way, and God damn it, nobody is going to stand in the way of that happening. That, and he has nothing left but the stirring patriotic homilies that have always served him so well. Ditto Porky himself – if he ever for once let it slip that it is only Ukrainians involved on both sides and that there really is no Russian army there, while Russian aid is mostly limited to humanitarian aid now and the military buildup is complete, he would be swept out on a tide of fury and frustration. Meanwhile he continues to live off the fat of the land and enrich himself through the many business interests he still owns and controls.

        • Moscow Exile says:

          На Украине рассчитывают вернуть контроль над Донбассом к середине 2018 года
          2 января 2017, 13:34

          The Ukraine hopes to regain control over the Donbas by mid-2018

          The Deputy Minister of Ukraine for the Temporarily Occupied Territories, Georgiy Tuka, has said that the Ukrainian authorities will regain control over the entire territory of Donbass by mid-2018.

          He wrote about this in his blog on the website edition of “New time”.

          “My expectations are optimistic. Next year the Donbass will return to the Ukraine. .. I really do hope that this will happen in the coming, by the middle of 2018 at the latest”, said Tuka.

          However, he noted that “it is critical to retain the support of Europe and the United States”.

          Tuka added that Kiev would be able to regain control on its own terms.

          See also: Kremlin ready to “surrender” Donbas – Tuka predicts return of eastern territories under Ukraine control by mid-2018

          Ukraine will regain control over the occupied territories of Donbas either next year or before June 2018, George Tuka wrote in his column for Novoye Vremya. “Now Russia is ready to give Donbas back only on its own terms. However, I am sure that Ukraine will be able to take over the initiative and implement its scenario for the return of the occupied territories. I really hope that this will happen next year or maximum by mid-2018. However, it is critically important to retain the support of Europe and the United States”, he wrote. At the same time, Tuka noted that populist forces in Russia have become more active recently, who say that it is necessary to “fence off” from Donbas.

          Tuka moved on to claim that many factors point to the fact that Moscow does not see the occupied territories of Luhansk and Donetsk regions acceding to Russia. “There are lots of facts supporting the suggestion that the Kremlin is ready to ‘surrender’ Donbas. The Russian Federation clearly does not see these areas in its composition. The clearest evidence is seen when comparing the actions of Russian occupation forces in Crimea and Donbas,” Tuka wrote. In particular, he noted that looting and destruction of enterprises are blooming in Donbas. “They are actually dooming the region to economic extinction. No such things are observed in Crimea,” wrote the deputy minister, adding that the Russian authorities make big companies invest in the occupied Crimea instead.

          “I’m an optimist. I hope and want to believe that we will finally have peace, and that we will get back both Donbas and Crimea. At the same time, in my view, we need to focus on the following aspects: a fight against internal populism, an effective battle against corruption, and a military solution to the conflict – in this order, exactly”, he wrote. As UNIAN reported earlier, in the past 24 hours, Russian-backed militants in Donbas opened fire in all directions using grenade launchers, mortars, and small arms. It is reported that in the direction of Mariupol, the militants shelled Talakivka, Shyrokine and Vodiane from 120mm mortars. A total of 38 militant attacks were recorded.

          Comparing the situation in the “occupied teritories” of eastern Ukraine with that in the Crimea and the political strategies involved therewith is a classic “apples and oranges” comparison.

          • marknesop says:

            His vocabulary needs a little work; he says, “I’m an optimist” where he really means “I’m a dreamer”, and they are not the same thing. There is only one set of circumstances in which Ukraine will get back the Donbas, and it will never get back Crimea. In order to re-unite the east with the remainder of rump Ukraine, it would first have to be clear that the east would be welcomed back if it wished to return on its own volition, without coercion. It would have to be clear the east would not be punished further for its rebellion, and that it would rejoin with representation in the Rada and its concerns would be listened to. There could not be any restrictions on its trade and relationships with Russia, and the border would have to remain open. And it would have to be lured back through an obvious example of prosperity – it would have to be clear to the east that its financial state would be greatly improved by rejoining a prosperous and progressive nation.

            If they get earnestly to work right now, and there is no backsliding, they could conceivably offer that set of circumstances, about…2040.

  17. Cortes says:

    Fascinating analysis of the Russian/Turkish ceasefire plan for Syria:


    • marknesop says:

      I agree – I love Alex’s analysis. I’m sure it’s not all him, and he formulates his assessments after talking to a number of people who know the military and tactics better than he does (he is, after all, a lawyer). Nonetheless, Russia has a priceless treasure in Alexander Mercouris – a polite, lettered man who can express powerful concepts and opinions in English which directly contradict the popular mainstream pablum.

      And he has identified the weak link here, with his customary precision – Erdogan. A fundamental difference between Putin and Erdogan as leaders is that Putin views his actions and alliances in the context of whether or not they will be good for Russia, while Erdogan views his actions and alliances in the context of whether or not they will be good for Erdogan. Though it often behaves stupidly, the west is not stupid, and it will also have identified this weakness. Western leaders will be privately pressuring and coaxing Erdogan to not only break the agreement, but to conceal his betrayal for as long as possible so that it has the best chance of success.

      • et Al says:

        I think it is worth re-posting here the ‘moderate’ rebel groups identfied by Russia that the USA has either refused to acknowledge or did not know about (I guess it is the former) and had thus prevaricated for such a long time:

        The Al-Masdar news agency, which has connections to the Syrian military, has provided a list of the “seven armed opposition groups” ( https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/list-armed-formations-joined-ceasefire-syrian-arab-republic-december-30-2016/ ) that are part of the ceasefire. They are:

        1. Feilak al-Sham

        19 detachments, total strength: over 4,000 people.
        Its formations conduct combat actions in the Aleppo, Idlib, Hama and Homs provinces.

        2. Ahrar al-Sham

        The full name is Harakat Ahrar al-Sham al-Islamiyya.

        Over 80 detachments, total strength: about 16,000 people.

        Formations of the grouping conduct combat actions in the Aleppo, Damascus, Daraa, Idlib, Latakia, Hama and Homs provinces.

        3. Jaysh al-Islam

        64 detachments, total strength: about 12,000 people.

        Jaysh al-Islam formations conduct combat actions in the Aleppo, Damascus, Daraa, Deir ez-Zor, Latakia, Hama and Homs provinces.

        4. Thuwar al-Sham

        8 battalions, total strength: about 2,500 people.

        Armed formations conduct combat actions in the Aleppo, Idlib and Latakia provinces.

        5. Jaysh al-Mujahideen

        13 detachments, total strength: about 8,000 people.

        Armed formations conduct combat actions in the Aleppo city and provinces of Aleppo, Idlib and Hama.

        6. Jaysh Idlib

        3 large detachments, total strength: more than 6,000 people.

        Jaysh Idlib conducts combat actions in the Idlib province.

        7. Jabhat al-Shamiyah

        5 large detachments, total strength: about 3,000 people.

        The grouping’s detachments conduct combat actions in the Aleppo, Idlib and Damascus provinces.

        Note that the two terrorist groups – Al-Qaeda (aka “Jabhat Al-Nusra” or “Jabhat Fateh al-Sham”) and ISIS – are specifically excluded.

        What of the US back Kurdish YPG that is reportedly on the list of ‘terrorists’ according to to Ankara? Certainly Russia owes them no favors and the US willbetray the Kurds (yet again) once they’ve done the US’s dirty work, so time is on Russia’s side. Will InSultin’ Erdogan flipback to the US? Yup. But there’s an ever decreasing number of flips before the weariness sets in and his motorcade or helicopter exits the show, whoever decides to pull the plug. I would guess that Russia has something special planned that would happen at the drop of a hat, though expect that Turkstream will steam ahead and once it is on, then Erd’s usefulness will be dramatically less, whether Turkey yet again becomes a reliable NATO state again or not.

        I also don’t think for a moment that Erdogan will respect Syria’s ‘territorial integrity’ and that might be the trigger. The only piece left will be for Russia to somehow bring back the Golan Heights in to Syria. I don’t see how this could not come up for discussion with Israel if security could be guaranteed, for example by a permanent presence of the Russian army. How likely is this? I’ve no idea,but the Golan might be an easy trade off as Jordan becomes a major ISIS/ISIL/DAESH/Whatever target that has already been the subject of a number of attacks. That is far more dangerous, so concentrating resources there instead of the Golan would be reasonable.

  18. kirill says:

    NATzO indeed.

  19. Moscow Exile says:

    RT report on the closing down of “Ukraine Today”:

    What makes Ukrainians act in such a way?

    Has there been a mass national hypnosis whereby they havie had instilled into them a loathing of Russia and Russians, a hatred ingrained into them from childhood because of the alleged Russian genocide against a a “nation” that thinks its “state” and shitkicker dialect have had their rightful place in the Slavic world usurped by the deracinated “Moskals”.

    Actually, I suspect the problem is simply caused by a mass inferiority complex: they know they are shitwits, thieves, capricious, vulgar, lazy, glutonous, traitorous shysters that have never been a nation, have always been slaves to Poles, Lithuanians, Austrians, Germans, Turks, Jews etc. and that their attempt to create a Ukrainian state and nation only got off the ground thanks to Bolsheviks.

    And now their 2O year old “Ukraine” is the pits of Europe, a state that is the most corrupt in Europe and which now has a worse standard of living than some sub-Saharan African ones.

    And whose fault is all this?

    Lazarenko’s,Yushenko’s, Yanukovich’s, Timoshenko’s, Firtash’s, Kolomoisky’s, Pinchuk’s, Akhmetov’s, Poroshenko’s …?

    All of them “Ukrainians” to a man …and a woman!

    Nah! It’s the Russians, who are to blame — as always.

    • kirill says:

      I fully agree on the inferiority complex thesis. Russia and Ukraine were in exactly the same economic and social development state in 1991. Banderastan has degenerated into a type of Somalia but Russia is rapidly re-ascending as a superpower. No, not “Upper Volta with nukes” but in terms of economic and technological progress. Considering how communism created a vicious welfare bum mentality in a lot of eastern Europe, Ukraine just kept resonating in this mental mode. They feel entitled to have more than Russians, but have much less. So hate on Russia to feel better about their own loser selves. Fuck ’em.

  20. Moscow Exile says:

    Obscene warmonger McCain on his world tour to arouse public anger against the Russian aggression against fledgling democracies in eastern Europe and his meeting with honest, straight as a die Porky Waltzman, president of the most impoverished and the most corrupt state in Europe but who is still raking it in and stashing his loot offshore::

    Russian aggression! Russian aggression! Russian aggression!

    Blah, blah, bah …. Russian aggression! Russian aggression! Russian aggression!

    All together now… one, two, three!

    Russian aggression! Russian aggression! Russian aggression!

  21. Moscow Exile says:

    The operation also has cost $10 billion since 2014, the data shows.
    BY REUTERS ON 1/2/17 AT 4:10 PM

    At least 188 civilians have been killed in U.S.-led strikes against Islamic State targets in Iraq and Syria since the operation began in 2014, the U.S. military said in a statement on Monday.

    The Combined Joint Task Force, in its monthly assessment of civilian casualties from the U.S. coalition’s operations against the militant group, said it was still assessing five reports of unintentional deaths from four strikes in 2016 and one from 2015.

    The military’s overall estimate was far below those of other outside groups, such as Air Wars, which monitors civilian deaths from international air strikes in the region. The group has estimated about 2,100 civilians have been killed in Iraq and Syria since the coalition’s campaign started.

    U.S. military officials expressed regret for the deaths.

    “Although the Coalition takes extraordinary efforts to strike military targets in a manner that minimizes the risk of civilian casualties, in some incidents casualties are unavoidable,” the task force said in a statement.

    The coalition said it had received 16 new reports of possible civilian deaths in November 2016. Among those, five reports were deemed credible and had led to 15 unintended civilian deaths, it said.

    In addition to the five reports still being assessed, officials said they are investigating a Dec. 29 strike on a van of Islamic State fighters that was hit in what officials later determined to be a hospital parking lot.

    The United States and its coalition partners had conducted 17,005 strikes against Islamic State as of Dec. 30, with 10,738 in Iraq and 6,267 in Syria, according to U.S. military data.

    The operation against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria has cost $10 billion since 2014, the data showed.

    What, no smart bombs?

  22. Warren says:

    Published on 2 Jan 2017
    More than 1,000 Ukrainian nationalists have taken to the streets of Odessa and Kiev carrying torches to commemorate the 108th anniversary of the birth of Stepan Bandera, a nationalist leader linked to Nazi Germany.

  23. Cortes says:

    The following beautiful piece on the liberation of E Aleppo was linked to in a comment by “oth” in the post by Colonel Lang about the hysteria over “Russian hacking ” – well worth a read, as is the update on the siege of Mosul:


    • marknesop says:

      Magnificent. What a story. The complete absence of the vaunted White Helmets should be regarded as of special significance, while the point made that they fled with the occupying forces of the terrorists is well-taken.

  24. Moscow Exile says:

    From the ever neutral and objective BBC (which is not a state run organization! 🙂 ):

    Syria war: How Moscow’s bombing campaign has paid off for Putin

    Russian forces have been operating in support of the government of President Bashar al-Assad in Syria for a year.

    Their impact has been significant.

    When they arrived, there were fears that government forces were close to collapse.

    This position has largely been reversed.

    It is the Syrian government – while still fragile – that is now on the offensive with a brutal [not gentle, note, as are Western military operations! – ME] bid to recapture the whole of the city of Aleppo.

    Initially seen by US analysts through the prism of recent Western military involvements in the region, many pundits were quick to dismiss the Russian effort as likely to fail.

    The Russian military, it was said, was not up to expeditionary warfare. Russia would quickly find itself bogged down in a Syrian quagmire.

    >Military ‘success’ [note the inverted commas around “success”, suggesting that this may not be the case, that it is only alleged to be a success – ME]

    Things have turned out very differently.

    Roger McDermott, senior fellow in Eurasian studies at the Jamestown Foundation – and a long-time watcher of the Russian military – says: “[Western] observers have been generally impressed by Russia’s deployment in Syria, mainly reflecting a sense of disbelief that they proved to be capable of planning, executing and sustaining such a complex operation and dealing with the logistical issues involved in supplying forces at great distance from Russia”.

    But what exactly were Russia’s goals in intervening in the first place?

    Russia, of course, has had a strategic relationship with Syria going back to Soviet days.
    Special report: Syrian civil war

    It has long maintained a small naval base on the Syrian coast and has close ties with the Syrian military, being its principal arms supplier.

    Syria had become Moscow’s last toe-hold of influence in the region.

    It was the fear of this relationship unravelling that prompted President Vladimir Putin to act.
    While it is Russian air power that has been the main focus of news reporting on the Russian intervention, it is as much the intensified training and re-equipping of the Syrian army that has also been a crucial factor in helping to turn around President Assad’s fortunes.
    Russia’s air campaign: Key moments

    30 September 2015 – Russia carries out its first air strikes. Syria says it requested intervention to help in “the fight against terrorism”.

    10 November 2015 – The Syrian army, aided by Russian strikes, lifts two-year-long siege by IS on the key Kuwairis airbase in eastern Aleppo province, marking its first victory against IS since the Russian intervention.

    24 November – Turkey shoots down a Russian Su-24 fighter jet near the Turkish-Syrian border
    December 2015 – January 2016 – Benefiting from Russian support, the Syrian army makes territorial gains in various parts of Syria and declares Latakia province rebel-free.

    24 March 2016 – Syrian army backed by Russian strikes inflicts a major symbolic and strategic defeat on IS, recapturing the historic city of Palmyra.

    September 2016 – Russia acknowledges providing air cover to the Syrian troops in their bid to seize control of Aleppo city.

    That is not to say, though, that Russian and Syrian military goals are identical.

    While the Syrian government insists it still wants to recapture all the territory it has lost, Moscow’s approach, according to Michael Kofman of the Wilson Center’s Kennan Institute, is very different.

    “Unlike Syria and Iran, Russia has no interest in fighting for territory,” he says.

    “Moscow had sought to steadily destroy the moderate Syrian opposition on the battlefield, leaving only jihadist forces in play, and lock the US into a political framework of negotiations that would serve beyond the shelf-life of this administration.

    “In both respects, it has been successful.

    “Ultimately, the Russian goal is to lock in gains for Syria via ceasefires, while slow-rolling the negotiations to the point that true opposition to the Syrian regime expires on the battlefield, leaving no viable alternatives for the West in this conflict come 2017.

    “Russia’s intervention, seeks to minimise losses, relying largely on the ground power of other actors to do most of the fighting, with its officers embedded in order to glue the military effort together and coordinate air strikes.”

    Testing ground

    The Syria operation has also provided an invaluable opportunity for Russian generals to try out their forces in operational conditions, as well as offering something of a “shop-window” for some of Russia’s latest military technology.

    Mr McDermott says: “The Russian General Staff see this as an opportunity to test new or modern systems; experiment with network-centric warfare capability; and to present evidence of the success of military modernisation”.

    The Russian air force has deployed some of its most modern aircraft to Syria, though the same cannot be said for the munitions they employ.

    The Russian air campaign overall has relied upon the use of “dumb bombs” of various types, a major distinction with modern Western air campaigns, where almost all of the munitions used are precision-guided.

    Russian special forces and artillery have been engaged on the ground.

    Long-range missile strikes have been conducted from Russian warships and submarines.
    Even Russia’s only aircraft carrier is now on its way to the region.

    Syria has become a kind of “sampler” of Russian military capabilities.

    Diplomatic advantage

    The diplomatic consequences of the Russian intervention have also been a plus for Moscow.
    Its active military role in the region has reshaped its relationships with Israel, Iran and Turkey.
    Indeed, Israel and Russia have developed a significant level of understanding.

    Israeli air operations against the Lebanese Shia militant group Hezbollah, for example, have not been hindered by Russian control of significant parts of Syrian air space.

    Relations between Moscow and Tehran (Syria’s only other significant ally) have developed, and even the enmity between Moscow and Ankara has been diminished, with both countries realising they have to accommodate – at least to an extent – the other’s regional aims.

    But it is US-Russia relations that have been most profoundly influenced by Moscow’s intervention in Syria.

    At one level, Syria can be added to Ukraine as a dossier where the US and Russia are failing to find common ground.

    But Russia’s military role ensured that the Assad leadership was not going to be removed from the chessboard.

    This made Washington revise its own approach and pursue what has largely proved an illusory effort, to develop some kind of partnership with Russia.

    The United States was compelled not just to deal with Russia as a diplomatic equal but also to shift its own stance towards the Assad government to one – that for all the obfuscation – falls well short of its long-time insistence that President Assad had to go, as the essential pre-condition for any negotiated settlement.

    The indiscriminate nature [Here we go again! Alegations based on what evidence? — ME] of the Russian and Syrian air campaigns – exemplified by the current struggle over Aleppo – has certainly not won Russia many friends in the West. [In the style of the US Assistant Secretary of State: Fuck the West! — ME]

    Russia has been accused by several governments of barbarity and potentially committing war crimes. [Proof? Evidence? Or just accusations? — ME]

    According to the UK-based monitoring group the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights [FOR FUCK’S SAKE!!!! — ME], almost 4,000 civilians have been killed in one year of Russian strikes.

    But Western public opinion seems largely unmoved by the struggle; perhaps to an extent a reflection of war weariness in the wake of the campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq.

    And there has been a good level of confusion.

    Russian information operations, which insist upon presenting their Syrian campaign as a struggle for civilisation against terrorism, may convince few but pro-Russian trolls. [pumping out their disinformation from that building in St. Pete, no doubt — ME]

    They do, though, further complicate a story that is already so complex that many in the West, sceptical about their own governments’ records, seem unwilling to get excited about what Russia is up to.

    The importance of information operations was most clearly illustrated by the extraordinary concert mounted in the ruins of Palmyra after its recapture from so-called Islamic State (IS) by Syrian forces.

    This, though, may have been directed as much at public consumption in Russia as at audiences abroad.

    Mr Kofman says: “The Kremlin has skilfully managed how the Russian public sees this intervention.

    “Domestic politics constrains Russia just as much, if not more so, than the limitations of its military capabilities.

    “Given the woeful state of the economy, Russian leaders have always been concerned that Syria would come to be viewed as an undue burden.” [That’s right! The long oppressed Russian people are ready to ditch Putin any time now because of the fact that the Russian economy, to quote Obama, “is in tatters”. Putin is the man who, by the way, has a popularity rating right now of 86%, the highest ever observed by Levada — ME]

    Mr Kofman interprets the Kremlin’s decision in March to announce a significant reduction of its air power in Syria as an attempt “to cash-out the political gains at home and recast the war in the public’s mind”.

    “Rather than a prolonged campaign, Russia’s combat operations have become the new normal”, he says.

    Western expectations of political peril for President Putin have, so far, simply not been realised. [You don’t say! — ME]

    Mr Kofman says: “Those expecting Russian support behind Vladimir Putin to collapse, either over Ukraine, or Syria, or the economy, have thus far been proven wrong.

    “The Kremlin is demonstrably more adept at securing public approval, or apathy, than commonly acknowledged in the West.”

    Russian casualties in Syria are difficult to estimate.

    Helicopters have certainly been shot down, and several members of Russia’s special forces are known to have been killed in combat.

    But the overall level of casualties appears to have been limited, and news of combat deaths (like those among Russian forces in eastern Ukraine is restricted – another reason why there has been no domestic backlash against the Syrian adventure.By its own standards, Russia’s intervention in Syria has been a success on several levels. [So why was the word “success” as presented above in a subheading enclosied with inverted commas? — ME]

    The real question is whether this situation can last.

    Put it another way, is there any clear exit strategy for Russia that might enable it to bank its gains and end its losses?

    Mr McDermott says: Russia’s strategic goals are vague.

    “The exit strategy, if there is one appears rooted in strengthening the fighting power of the Syrian army and securing some long-term political settlement that demonstrates Russia has returned as a great power”, he says.

    Mr Kofman says the “strategic impact” of Russia’s intervention still remains in doubt.

    “Such gains are readily lost and can prove illusory”, he says.

    “The Syrian army remains a shambles, Iran is attached to Assad, while Russia is more interested in the grander game with the US.

    “And without a political settlement to secure them, these accomplishments can vaporise, as Russian patience and resources become exhausted.

    “Russian leadership knows that this could take years and would rather cut a deal while possessing the military advantage.”



    • kirill says:

      Not much to discuss. Fantasy masturbation and hate projection. Aleppo is the Stalingrad moment for the “rebels”. It is all downhill from here. If that requires that Russia keeps participating as it has been doing then so be it. There is no evidence the jihadis have any capacity to fight back. The territory they control is not a reflection of the current battlefield situation. The SAA has chosen not to restore control over every rebel enclave at once to save resources and civilians.

      The recent poisoning of the water supply in Wadi Barada by al Nusra (I will not dignify them with using their rebranding name) has been met with force:


      This enclave is basically toast. The other enclaves will last “poka ne ripayutsa” but they are all dead men walking.

    • marknesop says:

      I see. They will deign to ask the Syrian government what its objectives are and what it hopes to accomplish in the conflict, and how. But when the same information is required of Russia, they seek commentary from…the American government; Michael Kofman of the Wilson Center’s Keenan Institute. Who just knows everything the Russians are thinking. Uh huh.

      Michael Kofman spent years managing professional military education programs and military to military engagements for senior officers at National Defense University. There he served as a subject matter expert and adviser to military and government officials on issues in Russia/Eurasia. He has represented the Department of Defense in a number of track one and track two efforts with Russia and Pakistan, along with strategic dialogues and conferences with experts in the field. His prior experience includes working at the U.S. Institute of Peace, HSBC Bank, and The Diplomatic Courier. He has published and co-authored articles on security issues in Russia, Central Asia and Eurasia, along with numerous analyses for the US government. Mr.Kofman holds a M.A. in International Security from the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University and a B.A. in Political Science from Northeastern University.

      I don’t see in there anywhere that he went to university in Russia, or in fact spent any time in Russia at all. So I must conclude that he writes about it from the viewpoint of one just a teeny bit biased in favour of the objectives of The Exceptional Nation. For whom Russian success is not to be tolerated. I note that his closing paragraphs might be summarized as “We could still win!!!”, which is probably a good indicator that Washington will continue to maneuver for advantage where there is no maneuvering room.

      • Moscow Exile says:

        You can bet your bottom dollar where his granddaddy and grandma probably originated though:

        Rossiiskaya Imperiya — the Russian Empire.

        Spelt using the pre-1917 orthography.

        Kofman from the German Kaufmann — “merchant” or “wholesaler”.

        The German verb kaufen means “to buy”.

        The Old English verb ceapan meant “to buy” and derives from the same proto-Germanic root as does kaufen.

        The letter “c” in ceapan is pronounced as in the word “cherry”.

        The word “shop” also derives from ceapan.

        “Cheapside” is a common English street name that is to be found in many old towns and cities in England.

        The street “Cheapside” in Old Londown Town — now mostly “The City”, the financial hub of “Anglo-Zionism” according to some — where few now live, was described by Dickens as ” the greatest thoroughfare in the City of London” and once ran through an area where produce was sold.

        Branching off Cheapside are Honey Lane, Milk Street, Bread Street and a little side street simply called “Poultry”.

        And guess what the orign of the English family name “Chapman” is?

        The surname “Kaufmann” or “Kaufman”, sometimes anglicized to “Kofman” is common amongst Germans or people whose forefathers were German.

        The name is also common amongst Askenazi Jews.

        • marknesop says:

          Yes, a Chapman was once a merchant or dealer in various wares, and it was common for the period for men and their families to take the surname of their trade or occupation – Richard Brewer, Sam Wooler, Thomas Constable.

  25. Moscow Exile says:

    Украинский министр предложил вернуть на Украину останки Бандеры, Шухевича и Петлюры

    Министр инфраструктуры Украины Владимир Омелян считает, что на Украину нужно вернуть останки лидера ОУН Степана Бандеры, главнокомандующего УПА Романа Шухевича и других украинских деятелей. Об этом глава ведомства написал на своей странице в Facebook.

    “Они должны вернуться домой. Дорошенко, Головатый, Олесь, Бандера, Шухевич, Коновалец, Скоропадский, Петлюра, Винниченко… Все сотни героев, которые жили Украиной, а Украина жива благодаря их жертвенности. Последний приют должна дать украинская земля, в Украинском Пантеоне, а не кладбища мира”, – отметил Омелян.

    Ukraine Minister has proposed that the remains of Bandera, Shukhevych and Petlyura be returned

    The Ukraine Minister of Infrastructure, Vladimir Omeljan, believes that the remains of the Ukraine Nationalist Organization leader Stepan Bandera and the head of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army, Roman Shukhevych, and other Ukrainian leaders should be returned to the Ukraine, about which matter the departmental head has written in his Facebook.

    “They should come back home: Doroshenko, Holovaty, Oles, Bandera, Shukhevych, Konovalets, Skoropadsky, Petlyura, Vinnichenko … All the hundreds of heroes who lived in the Ukraine, and the Ukraine lives yet because of their sacrifice. The land of the Ukraine should be granted them as their last refuge in a Ukrainian pantheon, and not some mundane graveyard”, said Omeljan

  26. Moscow Exile says:


    America has presented the first evidence of Russian participation in cyber-attacks against the USA

  27. Moscow Exile says:

    The Romanovs are coming to Russia so as to reconcile Red and White on the anniversary of the overthrow of the monarchy

    Hello! Here I am again, you monarchist suckers!

    Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna and her son George Mikhailovich are coming on a visit to Russia in March 2017, the centenary of the overthrow of Nicholas II from the throne.

    The representatives of the “Kirillovich” branch of the Romanovs, in the personages of Grand Duke Kirill Vladimirovich Romanov’s granddaughter, Maria Vladimirovna, and her son George Mikhailovich, intend to visit Russia on the 100th anniversary of the abolition of the monarchy during the February revolution of 1917.

    Maria Vladimirovna is the head of the so-called Russian Imperial house in exile.
    According to Alexander Zakatov, head of the Romanovs’ chancellory office, this visit is one of the goals of reconciliation between supporters and opponents of the revolutions of 1917.

    Zakatov has acknowledged that “a share of the blame for the revolution lies with the Imperial house, and the Church and the nobility”, but, according to him, the ideological heirs of the Bolsheviks “must understand” that “the terror, the denial of private ownership and rebellion are unacceptable management methods”.

    Recall that at the beginning of the February revolution, on March 1 Rear Admiral Kirill Vladimirovich Romanov, grandfather of Maria Vladimirovna and commander of the Guards of the “Suite of His Majesty”, was the first member of the Royal family to have broken his oath to Nicholas II and to have changed sides, joining the revolution and providing the unit entrusted to him to be at the disposal of the state Duma.

    The “Red Terror” was declared after the assassination attempt on Lenin, in response to the Council of People’s Commissars of RSFSR “White Terror” resolution, “On the Red Terror”, made on 5 September 1918, and was discontinued after 2 months – a decision of the VI All-Russian Congress of Soviets — starting from November 6.
    Private property is the sacred cow “of the Russian Imperial house”. In exile.

    See: Романовы приедут в Россию мирить красных и белых в годовщину свержения монархии

    Someone in the State Duma will be really chuffed with this news, won’t she?

  28. Warren says:

    Published on 12 Mar 2017
    Russia is planning to use “all sorts of dirty tricks” to meddle in the political life of European countries, British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson warned, though he admitted there is “no evidence” that Moscow is actually involved in anything of the kind.

  29. Dousay says:

    Let me make sure to book mark your blog and could come back sooner or later.

  30. Patient Observer says:

    The much anticipated White Helmet (what a stupid name) videos have been released. The video includes text that highlights the numerous inconsistencies casting doubt on the authenticity of the video.


    Fortunately, most of the victims appear to be play acting (and not very well at that).

  31. Chennault says:

    Keep up the excellent work and generating the crowd!

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