When I Fight Reality, Reality Always Wins.

Uncle Volodya says, "A stupid man's report of what a clever man says can never be accurate, because he unconsciously translates what he hears into something he can understand.”

Uncle Volodya says, “A stupid man’s report of what a clever man says can never be accurate, because he unconsciously translates what he hears into something he can understand.”

When I hear the phrase, “American rocker”, I frequently think of John Mellencamp. He started out in the 1970’s, professionally, as ‘John Cougar’ because his manager said nobody would ever buy a record by someone named John Mellencamp. Eventually, when he was well established in the music business, he went back to his birth name, after a brief transition period as ‘John Cougar Mellencamp’.

He seemed to me the quintessential American performer in the few interviews in which I saw him; although he does not come across as particularly well-educated, he is always honest, modest and direct, and…real, I guess. He still lives in the same Midwestern state where he was born, and dedicated much of his musical career to mild activism in support of American farmers, small-town life and the environment. If you were looking for an American star who is not a pretentious prick full of himself, but who reflects quiet dignity, self-awareness and what Americana beyond the delusional world of the Beltway is all about, I don’t think you could do much better than John Mellencamp.

I’ve never seen him play, although we were actually in the same city at the same time once; Norfolk, Virginia, in the early 80’s. I was only there for a couple of days, and by the time I heard about the show it was sold out.

But this post isn’t about John Mellencamp; we just want to borrow the lead-in from his “Authority Song”. When I fight authority, authority always wins, baby. In discussion of the situation in Ukraine, long-time commenter Yalensis proposed a slight rewrite to encompass the yawning chasm between Kiev’s happy talk of visa-free travel and Eurosnuggling, and the miserable penury that is the daily lot of Ukrainians who do not own a candy company, a TV station and assorted other business ventures. The new version would be, when I fight reality, reality always wins. And so it will, because you can only keep it at bay for so long.

The story that inspired his witticism was this one: “Natural Gas Shortage Will Cause Ukraine to Look to Russia”, in The Observer. That’s how it’s listed by search item, but for some unaccountable reason the headline on the actual story reads, “Russia is Hoping to Freeze Ukraine Into Submission”.

That so? Well, their hopes of doing that must have been temporarily dashed back in November, when Poroshenko assured the country that Ukraine had enough gas and coal to last through the winter. Bragged about it as just another of Ukraine-under-Poroshenko’s miraculous achievements, in fact. But who knew winter would still be going on in January, am I right? Must be climate change, or something.

I can’t speak to what the Russian state plans or thinks, but it seems to me if Russia wanted to freeze Ukraine into submission, it would refuse to sell it gas. It has demonstrably not done that, although it has insisted Ukraine pay up front for the gas it takes, since Ukraine has a habit of taking gas at an agreed price and then complaining that the cost is too high, and stiffed Russia on a $3 Billion loan that even western courts agreed was a sovereign debt for which Ukraine was liable. Kiev’s alternative plan was to buy gas from France, at about 20% higher costs than what it was offered by Gazprom. Who wouldn’t want a president with those economic chops at the wheel, right? Mind you, Yurrup keeps writing Poroshenko cheques to pay for gas, so what does he care how much it costs? European chances of ever recovering that money are somewhere between zero and nil decimal squat. And a major supplier of natural gas to France is Russia, whose sales to La Republique rose more than 27% in 2016 over 2015.

But let’s go back to the original article for a moment, because it said some alarming things. Chief among them is that Ukraine produces just a bit more than half the gas it uses each year, even though its consumption has dropped by three-quarters over what it was when Ukraine was the industrial heartland of the Soviet Union. Next is that that saving has come at a cost of the near-total collapse of Ukrainian industry.

So even with its remaining industry gasping for breath, Ukraine cannot supply anything like its own natural gas needs, and it must import significant volumes. It has a fat, jolly idiot at the helm who does not mind paying a 20% markup on gas just so he can say he didn’t get it from Russia. On that basis, Ukraine should achieve financial independence at just about the time Poroshenko’s great-great grandchildren corner the chocolate business on the moon.

On January 19, CEO of the Russian gas monopoly Gazprom Alexei Miller made an assumption that Ukraine had no more than 10.8 billion cubic meters of natural gas in her hubs. “There are still two and a half months of heating season ahead, and the demands on natural gas by Ukraine during this cold period causes our serious concern,” Mr. Miller said.

Yes, that does sound like the kind of comment someone might make who is hoping to freeze Ukraine into submission. Into submission to what, if I may ask? Does anyone think Russia, having taken the steps to bypass Ukraine as a transit country for its gas and successfully tested the capability, wants to take it on as a starving dependency with billions in damage from its years-long civil war?

Ukraine has about $15 Billion left in its treasury, reports The Observer, including aid money funneled in by the IMF. And that works out to be just about exactly what the country will have to come up with in 2017 to service its debt, according to The Economist.

Gosh: what to do? Well, Jérôme Ferrier and Florent Parmentier have a suggestion: it is astonishingly similar to Gazprom’s plan for the Turkish Stream interface with Europe – Russia would deliver gas to the border, and Europe would invest in Naftogaz’s Gas Transit System (GTS) (read, own it in everything but name) and “leave it up to the European Union to choose its preferred delivery points and volumes, rather than have delivery points imposed upon it, at the expense of Ukrainian interests.”

On the face of it, it sounds like a win/win, right? Russia would not have to pay transit fees – since its delivery point of responsibility would be the Ukraine border – and Ukraine would no longer be able to posture and prance and threaten using energy as…ummm….a weapon. Some sort of transit through Ukraine would prevail, only it would be the EU that had to deal with its hissy fits and drama, not Russia.

But there are a couple of flies in the ointment which make that solution impractical. One – the one nobody seems to want to talk about, which leads me to suppose few really grasp the true state of affairs – is the physical state of Ukraine’s GTS. I referenced an independent report on this blog some time ago, and although I can’t put my hand on it just now, it was horrifying in its description of how unsafe the pipeline network is and how much work would be required to bring it up to European standards. Two, according to the first commenter on the subject article, Russia plans to decommission the service to the Ukrainian GTS;

The Ukrainian route is also highly dependent on the Russian GTS connected to it, something the Russians are busy to decommission, and if the Russian GTS is no longer connected to the Ukrainian GTS then no matter how much you invest in the Ukrainian GTS it will become worthless.

I have to say, though, that the latter seems unlikely, especially as Russia will want to transit some gas through the network for Ukraine’s domestic use.

It would be precipitate to dismiss Ferrier’s musings out of hand, though; he is the former director of Total, the present President of l’Association Française du Gaz (AFG) and the honorary President of l’Union Internationale de l’Industrie du Gaz (IGU). With more than thirty years’ experience in the gas business, there’s probably not much about it he doesn’t know.

Which is why I found a couple of the points he made, in an interview in May 2015, of particular interest. Point one – and as we go through these, I’d like you to think of it in the framework of its implications for Ukraine – was that scenarios from the IEA show growth in the gas industry until 2035. You and I know forecasts that far out are just pie in the sky, as they depend on present conditions prevailing, but nonetheless, the gas industry is likely to remain dominant in the energy picture. Two, he assesses that “At the end of the day a captive buyer and captive seller will develop a strong relationship.” As an aside, but illustrative of the topic, he described Russia as a reliable supplier to Europe, with very few exceptions. Three, Ferrier is convinced that over 50% of commercial relations will continue to be vested in long-term contracts, and that the gas business is incompatible with a full spot market. Recall that Brussels (especially) and Washington have dedicated considerable effort toward forcing Russia into a full spot market using European hubs, which would greatly hamper its ability to set prices.

The Ferrier picture is not totally one-sided, of course; he also believes Europe should build more pipelines to Iran, Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan, and that ‘this is not the time for a 65 BCm pipeline’ (referring, at the time, to South Stream), and parrots the line that European gas consumption is decreasing. As I have frequently rebutted – yes, it is, but not as fast as European domestic supply is.

We’ll have to wait and see if Ukraine approaches Russia with a view to resuming gas purchases. If that happens, it might teach Kiev a lesson if Russia made up some reason why they couldn’t do it – sorry, I’d like to, but I’ve got a bone in my leg, something like that. Of course, it won’t, and it will simply strike an agreement as if all the prancing and face-pulling and insults never happened, because the Russian government is nothing if not pragmatic. The alternative is that Poroshenko has so tightly painted himself into a corner that he dares not pursue even the most businesslike and distant rapprochement, and will continue borrowing money Ukraine cannot ever afford to pay back to buy Russian gas from someone else at a higher price.

 

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1,466 Responses to When I Fight Reality, Reality Always Wins.

  1. et Al says:

    CBS news via Antiwar.com: Vice Admiral Robert Harward turns down national security adviser job
    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/robert-harward-turns-down-national-security-adviser-job/

    …Sources close to the situation told Garrett Harward and the administration had a dispute over staffing the security council.

    Two sources close to the situation confirm Harward demanded his own team, and the White House resisted.

    Specifically, Mr. Trump told Deputy National Security Adviser K. T. McFarland that she could retain her post, even after the ouster of National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. Harward refused to keep McFarland as his deputy, and after a day of negotiations over this and other staffing matters, Harward declined to serve as Flynn’s replacement….
    ####

    Team Trump hasn’t given in. Yet.

  2. et Al says:

    AP via Antiwar.com: Cyprus peace talks meeting ends abruptly, blaming ensues
    https://www.yahoo.com/news/turkish-cypriot-leader-walks-peace-talks-meeting-104029954.html

    …Akinci, though, said Anastasiades gave a “bunch of excuses” and appeared to give short shrift to Turkish Cypriot sensitivities before storming out of the meeting first and slamming the door behind him.

    Akinci said what triggered Anastasiades’ anger was U.N. envoy Eide’s suggestion that something had to be done to fix things. Anastasiades said he rebuked Eide for casting doubt on the Greek Cypriots’ commitment to a peace deal.

    “As Mr. Akinci himself has said at one point, he decided to leave the meeting,” Eide said.

    Akinci said it’s up to the Greek Cypriots to get negotiations back on solid footing.

    “We’ve reached this point, but I don’t want to close all the doors to the negotiations,” Akinci told reporters…
    ####

    Kai Eide is the quintessential Establishment man if there ever was one. He may be very well known for his negotiating skill and his ‘softly softly’ style, but the results are always aimed for what is the the West’s best interests. He was chosen to do the same job he did in Serbia by preparing Belgrade for Kosovo’s ‘independence’, except here it is for Nicosia to accept Turkish claims in Cyprus.

    • Trond says:

      “Kai Eide is the quintessential Establishment man if there ever was one.”

      That was not Kai Eide. It was Espen Barth Eide?

      But there is not much difference between them…

      Espen, “man of peace”, was “defence” minister for Stoltenberg and they defended themselves against Gadaffi that never had attacked Norway…..

      Stoltenberg now works for NATO, the organization he used to hate when he was younger..

      • et Al says:

        Cripes! There’s more than one? Never heard of the Espen one. Thanks.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kai_Eide

        Kai Aage Eide (born 28 February 1949 in Sarpsborg) is a Norwegian diplomat and writer. He was appointed the United Nations Special Representative to Afghanistan and Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) on 7 March 2008, a position he held until March 2010 when Staffan de Mistura took over.[1]

        Eide has previously served as the Special Envoy of the United Nations Secretary-General in Kosovo in 2005. His report to the Secretary General of the United Nations on the political situation in former Serbian province of Kosovo resulted in the launching of the negotiations that ultimately brought about a controversial and disputed unilateral declaration of independence of Kosovo in 2008. Eide has also Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1997–1998.

        He has been a member of the Norwegian Foreign Service since 1975. He was the Norwegian ambassador to North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) from 2002 to 2006,[2] and to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) from 1998 to 2002.[3] He has also been posted as Special Adviser on the Balkans at the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and as Norway’s ambassador at the International Conference for the former Yugoslavia.

        While being a member of the Labor Party today, he has been active in national politics; for the Conservative Party. In the Syse government (1989–90), he was appointed State Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister. He later served as a deputy representative to the Norwegian Parliament from Akershus during the 1993–97 term.[4]

        Eide holds a cand.mag. degree from the University of Oslo in 1975, where he studied political science, international law, French and literature.[3]

  3. et Al says:

    AFP via Antiwar.com: https://www.yahoo.com/news/rival-libya-unity-government-says-rebuild-tripoli-airport-193651977.html
    https://www.yahoo.com/news/rival-libya-unity-government-says-rebuild-tripoli-airport-193651977.html

    The head of a former government announced plans Thursday to reopen Tripoli’s airport that was heavily damaged in fighting in 2014, in a fresh blow to Libya’s unity administration.

    Khalifa Ghweil, who refuses to recognise the legitimacy of the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA), made the announcement during a visit to the airport, south of Tripoli…

    …Last week, several militias who back him announced the creation in Tripoli of a “Libyan National Guard”….
    ####

    If He and ex-General Khalifa Hiftar can come to an arrangement, that would be another one in the eye for the GNA eunuch government that is a PR dream for the west of building Libya in its own image.

  4. Moscow Exile says:

    A former duma deputy is warming the cockles of Svidomites’ hearts in Kiev, where he has fled with his wife, also a former duma deputy.

    Kremlin slams fugitive MP’s claims that vote for Crimea reunification was forced

    Former member of the United Russia faction in the State Duma Maria Maksakova said earlier that she had not voted in favour of the Crimea’s reunification with Russia since she was abroad on vacation at the time, however, she added that in her opinion, the voting had not been held in accordance with law. Maksakova and her husband Denis Voronenkov, also a former member of State Duma, have both left Russia and are currently in the Ukraine.

    However, from today’s MK:
    Сбежавший на Украину Денис Вороненков: «Поддерживаю присоединение Крыма к России»

    Denis Boronenkov, who has fled to the Ukraine : “I support the accession of the Crimea to Russia”
    Former-Deputy of the state Duma and his wife have begun to make excuses in the Russian media

    Immediately published in two editions on Thursday was an interview with the married couple that many have dubbed traitors. Former-deputies of the State Duma, Denis Voronenkov and Maria Maksakova, long tolerated, so they say, the totalitarian nature of the political system in Russia. And they resisted as best they could. For example, at the time of the vote on the accession of the Crimea, Maria Maksakova’s feelings of inner protest took over … and she flew off to Thailand with her children. And she was not ashamed of admitting that she was not on a very low salary and that it was in the middle of the week when she threw her job in order to fly away in order to relax by the sea.

    Denis Voronenkov also, on his own admission, took a walk when the historic session [of the duma at which a vote was taken over the proposed re-unification of the Crimea with Russia] was taking place. And someone used his card to vote. And then, apparently, he also made use of his Twitter account. Here is an entry dated July 17, 2014, which reads “Pictures from a trip to the Crimea. I am struck by its beauty. I fully support its accession to Russia!

    • Moscow Exile says:

      Tweeted by the new citizen of the Ukraine, Denis Voronenkov, on 24 May, 2014:

      On the world map has appeared a new state — Novorossiya! Let’s give it a welcome.

      • Moscow Exile says:

        Typo!

        I wrote above Denis Boronenkov instead of Denis Voronenkov.

        Got my “bees” and “vees” mixed up.

        I wonder what they have received for this about face?

        Or did living in totalitarian Russia really become too much for them to bear?

        • Special_sauce says:

          b and v have always had a rocky relationship 🙂

          • Cortes says:

            Especially in Chile.

          • Moscow Exile says:

            The Greek letter beta had already begun to be pronounced in the Hellenic world as “v” over 1,000 years ago. Hence Saints Kirill and Methodius, two Greek brothers on a 9th century Mission to convert Slavs to Christianity, which Slavs spoke Old Bulgarian, used the Greek beta for the /v/ sound and invented the Cyrillic letter Б for the sound /b/.

            That is why the Russians write Севастополь for Sevastopol. which name derives from the Greek σεβαστός (venerable) and πόλις (city).

            From σεβαστός comes the Greek Σεβαστός, which is cognate with the Latin honorific Augustus, given to the first Roman emperor Augustus Caesar and all emperors thereafter.

            The Greek for Sevastopol is Σεβαστούπολη. However, although I should imagine there were certainly Greek settlements in and around the wonderful anchorage for that city, Russian Empress Catherine II, “The Great”, named the city thus because she was into all that classical stuff (don’t blame her) and the city name means “August City” — not the month but as in “august dignitary”, meaning highly honoured.

            I do recall, though, that in my old school books one often saw Sebastopol for Sevastopol. Bear in mind, my old school atlas was published before WWI and still showed White Russia, Little Russia and Greater Russia: no Ukraine.

            • yalensis says:

              The /b/ and /v/ phones are produced in physicalyy similar manner, which is why they are acoustically close and get mixed up or merged in a lot of languages.
              Phoneticians call /b/ a “voiced bi-labial fricative”. The phone /v/ is also a voiced fricative, but with a difference: instead of bi-labial (pronounced by squeezing air through upper and lower lips), /v/ is pronounced by squeezing air through the upper teeth and lower lip.
              Hence it is called a voiced labio-dental fricative , which sounds rather naughty, but is pure science.

              P.S.
              “Voiced” means that the consonant is pronounced while the larynx (vocal chords) are going crazy and vibrating rapidly. It goes without saying that ALL vowels are voiced, but consonants can be either voiced or unvoiced.
              The “unvoiced” analogues of /b/ and /v/ are, respectively, /p/ and /f/.
              These sounds are articulated in the mouth identical to their voiced counterparts, yet the larynx remains quiescent and does not vibrate.

            • Lyttenburgh says:

              “Hence Saints Kirill and Methodius, two Greek brothers on a 9th century Mission to convert Slavs to Christianity”

              You can say, they were on mission from God 😉

              Btw, their “earthly” live was very colorful and interesting as well. They were born in the Thrace province of the Empire, in Salonika, which, by that time, experience a real migrant/refugee crisis – southern Slavs, entire tribes of them, were running away from Avars and Bulgarians. Byzantines were not actually against that – during the course of wars with the Arabs they’ve lost plenty of men, and the practice of hiring an entire tribe of barbarians wholesale to fight on behalf of the ruling Emperor (or some ambitious general, future pretender/new Emperor) was nothing new. And to better integrate these new citizens they were should be instructed in the True Faith and baptized.

              What’s not to like in such an arrangement?! From your typical Slav pov, they got fancy stone (!) buildings with beautiful music (!!) inside and free wine (!!!) after some magical rite. And these “Romans” (who were ethnically anything but) had plenty of wine, gold, fine clothing and weapons!

              Unfortunately, one of the stumbling blocks in conducting most successful campaign of agitation and propaganda was Iconoclasm introduced in 730. Beautiful pictures in all times (even today) serve as the most powerful tool in shaping the conscience of the intended auditory – whether it is illiterate or the modern “opinionated” one (honestly, no big difference here). And the pics WERE awesome:

              Cyril (before taking of the vows – Constantine) and Methodius were pupils of the patriarch Photios I, strong proponent of Icon Veneration tradition, who was instrumental in the end of the Iconoclasm. While Cyril nearly immediately chose a clerical career for himself (and became a chief librarian at St. Sofia’s Cathedral), his brother served as strategos, military and civilian administrator, of their native province. Both brothers were bilingual, knew Greek and the southern Slavic dialect.

              As for how successful was their “think-tank”, which aimed to spread Byzantine influence (and undermine the Pope of Rome, who was beginning to utter some nonsense about “filioque”) – it’s was absolutely epic. First Slavic alphabet – “Glagolitsa” – was released in 863. In 864 khan of Bulgar Boris decided to abandon his heathen ways and baptized himself and nobility. 2 Brothers from Salonika then proceed to baptize Greater Moravia and all Slavic tribes, that lived on the territory of modern Czechia, Slovakia and Hungary.

              • yalensis says:

                Brother Cyril of course gave his name to the “Cyrillic” alphabet.
                Whereas Brother Methodius gave his name to “Method Acting”.
                Which he allegedly learned from the Thracians, who were said to be real drama queens in their day.

        • marknesop says:

          Now that what are purportedly their real sentiments are known, they must be asking themselves where they can live safely. They can’t go back to Russia, but they will not be safe in Kiev either.

          • Moscow Exile says:

            Toronto won’t be a safe place either, or the USA with all the well trained Banderite descendants there baying at their heels.

            • Moscow Exile says:

              They’ll go back to Mother Russia, recant, and get a “Get Out Of Jail Free” card off Putin, because Russians are soft-arses like that, aren’t they Karl?

              • yalensis says:

                Well, I haven’t been following the story that closely, but on quick skimming, this couple didn’t really break any laws, did they? So, why wouldn’t they be able to return to Russia?

                Did they break a law?
                Is there a warrant out for them?
                Did they “flee” to Kiev, or just flew there to visit?
                It’s not like Russia is a country where you get arrested for just shooting off your mouth or spouting B.S., I reckon.
                Unless maybe they violated something by revealing the results of a vote?
                Again, not sure….

                • Moscow Exile says:

                  See below:

                  On February 15, 2017, Voronenkov was accused of involvement in the committing of crimes under Part 3 of Article 33 and Part 1 of Article 170.1 of the criminal code (the organization of the falsification of the unified state register of legal entities) and Part 4 of Article 159 of the criminal code (fraud) and of hiding from the investigation. It was then announced by the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation that Voronenkov is on the Federal wanted list.

                • Moscow Exile says:

                  Сбежавший на Украину депутат: что мы узнали про Дениса Вороненкова из расследования «Новой газеты»

                  Fled to the Ukraine MP: what we have learnt from a “Novaya Gazeta” investigation about Denis Voronenkov

                  In October 2016, shortly before the expiration of his term of office, Deputy of the State Duma Denis Voronenkov went to Kiev and received Ukrainian citizenship. On 14 Feb 2017, he gave an interview in which he compared Russia with Nazi Germany and criticized the annexation of the Crimea by Russia. On the same day, “Novaya Gazeta” published an investigation about Denis Voronenkov, about his contacts in the Federal Drug Control Service and the Interior Ministry and his participation in questionable transactions. “Medusa” retells the main text written by journalist Roman Anin.

                  A fixer
                  In 2003, Lieutenant-General of the Ministry of Internal Affairs Sergey Kudinov recommended Voronenkov as someone who could help “relieve the pressure” at the criminal trial of businessman Vyacheslav Shevchenko. Voronenkov, who at that time was an officer in the Nenets Autonomous District, allegedly received $700 thousand for this, but Shevchenko still got sent down. Voronenkov has claimed that he did not take any money.

                  In 2009, Boronenkov at a meeting with businessman Andrey Burlakov said that “the authorities” had a very negative attitude as regards “the activities of [Burlakov’s] company “Wadan Yards” and promised to fix this for a fee. According to Burlakov’s business partner, Anna Atkina, Voronenkov was given $5 million. In 2011 Andrei Burlakov was shot; Atkin, who was with the owner at the time of the assassination, says that Voronenkov is guilty of murder. According to Boronenkov, he did not take money from Burlakov.

                  Unofficial employee of the Federal Drug Control Service
                  In 2005, Denis Voronenkov became a full-time unofficial employee of the Federal Drug Control Service and was awarded the rank of major, although he preferred to call himself a Major-General. Voronenkov claims he was involved in the investigation of a major case, that of the “Three whales” [A furniture business that received wide publicity as a result of interdepartmental conflict between the Russian “powers that be” and the customs authorities. The case basically involved the smuggling of Italian furniture between 1999 and 2000 — ME] which had provoked a confrontation with the special services. His co-workers at the Federal Service of the Russian Federation on Drug Trafficking Control deny this. According to a “Novaya Gazeta” source, Voronenkov had only proposed that he develop an acquaintanceship with a businessman, Vitaly Kachur, but he then went and demanded money from him in order that the case be terminated.

                  According to Voronenkov, for his work at the Federal Drug Control Service he had experienced reprisals from FSB General Oleg Feoktistov, whose staff organized an assassination attempt in 2007. “I was lucky: I survived, but received bullet wounds in the leg and underwent 12 operations”, said Voronenkov. According to the former head of the Department for the Operational Support of the Federal Drug Control Service, Alexander Bulbov, Voronenkov was, in fact, not shot: he was impaled on a spike after he had left a “hot spot”.

                  Duma Deputy
                  In April 2011, Denis Voronenkov met Vitaly Kachur, to whom he proposed that he develop the “Three whales” business. Voronenkov offered Kachur the cheap purchase of a building in the centre of Moscow. From what Kachur has said, Voronenkov wanted to obtain payment as soon as possible because he needed the money for his election campaign. Kachur then lent Voronenkov the money on the security of the building but still did not purchase it. In the end, it turned out that Voronenkov proposed that Kachur participate in a hostile takeover. In 2015, the Investigative Committee [Russian FBI — ME] demanded that a case be brought against Voronenkov , but the Prosecutor General refused.

                  In the 2011 elections, the Communist Denis Voronenkov “should not have got into the State Duma”, he allegedly not having got 20 thousand votes according to “Novaya Gazeta” sources in the Communist Party. According to one of the leaders of the party branches in the Nizhny Novgorod region, where Voronenkov had been nominated, he “ran in agreement with ‘United Russia’ “. As a result, according to the newspaper source, the Communist Party really had not enough votes to allow Voronenkov to be listed. The regional office of the Communist Party has tried to appeal against the results of the vote (in spite of the fact that their performance has improved) and accused Voronenkov of “compromising” with the government, but a revision of the election results has not taken place.

                • yalensis says:

                  Got it!
                  Thanks for the clarification.

                • marknesop says:

                  I don’t mean they would legally be barred from returning to Russia; they’re still Russian citizens. But there’s a big difference in ‘being allowed to return’ and it ‘being safe to return’, and they must be seen as traitors of the worst sort, considering their evasiveness regarding their own support for Crimea’s return to the Russian Federation. I think things might be a bit uncomfortable for them, although it might not rise to outright violence.

            • marknesop says:

              Well, not Toronto so much, although it is an immigrant city and there are some Ukrainians there. In fact, they form a bit more than 2% of the total population of Ukrainian-Canadians. But in cities in the prairie provinces, they make up 16.5% (Saskatoon), 15.2% (Winnipeg), 13.2% (Regina) and 11.4% (Edmonton). Manitoba has the greatest concentration, and the city of Winnipeg alone has just under 100,000 Ukrainians.

              • Moscow Exile says:

                Rats! I don’t know why, but Winnipeg always seemed since my childhood the place to go.

                According to Wiki, in a 2011 census the ethnic origin of 21% of the population of Winnipeg is English, followed by Scots Germans and then Ukrainians and the Irish.

                I’ll stop here, then.

                Far more Yukies here than in Winnipeg — there must be near a couple of million now — but they’re nice Yukies and not into shouting “Moskals to the gallows” or “to the knife”.

                • marknesop says:

                  It’s sometimes referred to as “Winterpeg”, owing to the severity of its winters; averages for January are a high of -11 and a low of -21, and it couldn’t be said to be seriously warming up until about April. But that’s similar to the Maritimes where I grew up, although it rarely gets as cold as Winnipeg. But I recall the year I moved west, the last snow of the Nova Scotia year in Halifax, 1987 was May 10th. I couldn’t wait to get shut of the place. Anyway, none of that is going to hold any terrors for a Muscovite.

                  Offhand, I would say that if the apex of the list of your top 10 must-sees is the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, you might want to reconsider your non-drinking policy. But I’m certainly not an authority of any description; I drove through it once, in the summer of 1987, on my way here, and I may have been briefly in the airport once or twice in the years following, but I really know very little about it.

                • saskydisc says:

                  The ancestors of most of the Ukies on the Canadian prairies came when Galitsia was part of the Austro-Hungarian empire, hence they were shipped off to the slave labour camp (GULAG?) at Banff, Alberta, relieved in many cases of their homesteads (enemy aliens and all) during WWI. Saskatoon’s former Ukrainian ghetto (now more Ukrainian/aboriginal—there’s a credit union a few blocks from me that still has Ukrainian service, an Orthodox church and a bilingual school in the area) is largely on account of such folks being relieved of their farm land—the city (Saskatoon) was founded by Russians, English and Germans. The fascist descendants are mainly in Toronto, although I’ve noticed that there is a push to bring more out here, especially more recent arrivals (last ten years). Ditto Croats (Toronto as home for fascists).

                • marknesop says:

                  That’s interesting; I thought Toronto’s Ukie population was very small, and I guess proportionately it is, but I had no idea the ideological were concentrated there.

                  My mother-in-law takes English classes here in Victoria at the intercultural center, and there was a Ukrainian couple taking them there as well. My mother-in-law mentioned to the class that Russia and Ukraine were friendly towards one another, and the Ukrainian woman frostily corrected her; Ukraine and Russia, she said, were not friends. She later apologized if she had seemed rude, but the damage was done. In fact, that seems to be the official Ukie way – mouth off loudly in public, apologize in private.

      • Moscow Exile says:

        By the way, see which party Voronenkov was a member of?

        Look at the link in the above Tweet

        From Russian Wiki:

        Denis Voronenkov (b. April 10, 1971, Gorky, RSFSR, USSR) — Russian public and political figure.

        Formerly a Deputy of the 6th convocation of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation and member of the Duma Committee on Security and Combating corruption (2011-2016); a member of the duma “Communist Party” faction .

        As a citizen of Russia, he emigrated in December 2016 to the Ukraine and in 2017 became a citizen of the Ukraine. He has been on the Russian Federal wanted list since February 15, 2017.

        If you check the Internet, you will find that Voronenkov is also on the Interpol wanted list. He is linked with Panama offshore activities.

        In November 2014, commenting on the Ukraine putsch, Voronenkov said: “Today, the Ukraine is not only a tragedy for our brotherly nation, it is a lesson for all of us! This is what happens with young people who have been specifically targetted for many years and subjected to the impact of specific ideas by means of the media, films, songs, school and the behaviour of others in their homes. Over a period of 25 years, several generations of young people have been brought up in an anti-Russian and Russophobic atmosphere. We can now see the result”.

        In July 2016 Voronenkov asked the heads of the FSB and the Ministry of Communications for a ban on the spreading in Russia of the cellphone game app Pokemon Go, which, according to the parliamentarian, may be part of espionage, and even of a terrorist attack.

        In December 2014, the Moscow Department of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation sent to the state Duma documents to be used for the ending of Voronenkov’s parliamentary immunity, which documents are associated with a criminal case concerning the raider seizure of a building in the centre of Moscow. According to these case documents, Voronenkov had found a buyer for a block, for which deal he had received in advance a fee amounting to $100 thousand dollars.

        On February 15, 2017, Voronenkov was accused of involvement in the committing of crimes under Part 3 of Article 33 and Part 1 of Article 170.1 of the criminal code (the organization of the falsification of the unified state register of legal entities) and Part 4 of Article 159 of the criminal code (fraud) and of hiding from the investigation. It was then announced by the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation that Voronenkov is on the Federal wanted list.

        So he should get on like a house on fire with Porky and the boys in Yukiestan.

        RFE/RL is banging away about Voronenkov and his spouse dishing the dirt on the Mafia Regime, notwithstanding the fact that their new “dissident” hero faces serious criminal charges in Russia.

        But then again, RFE/RL and other balanced, fair and impartial Western news media always look upon criminal charges made in Russia as proof positive of an accused party’s innocence.

        • akarlin says:

          This is the future of all Russian commies and Soviet patriots – to return to their true homeland – the UkSSR.

          «Я принадлежу к поколению 70-х годов. И определенная воспитательная система моим ровесникам еще досталась. Можно долго обсуждать достоинства и идеологические недостатки октябрятской, пионерской и комсомольской организаций, но они определенно занимались именно воспитанием, которое академик Иван Павлов определил как «механизм обеспечения сохранения исторической памяти популяции».

          The USSR taught him well!

          • Moscow Exile says:

            Депутат Вороненков: король патриотической хуцпы

            Deputy Voronenkov: king of patriotic chutzpah


            deputy
            VORONENKOV
            king of patriotic chutzpah

            Deputy Voronenkov is fast becoming a legend. First, he fled the State Duma directly to Kiev, fleeing from a long-ago criminal case for raiding, then he began boasting about his Ukrainian citizenship, received after just two days. Well, as for the rest — a fiery interview with the Ukrainian media about Russian fascism and the illegal annexation of the Crimea (which he himself voted for). There has not yet been born anyone anywhere on earth who will be able to surpass the audacity and chutzpah of a Russian Deputy. Many have tried, but none have succeeded.

          • yalensis says:

            This is the future of all Russian renegades – to make sweeping generalizations.

  5. Moscow Exile says:

    Updated satellite photos of the Crimea bridge. From Yandex

    From the above linked blog:


    And at the same time, Google denies the existence of this construction project of the century

    More at the blog.

    • Patient Observer says:

      No so fast! According to Business Insider>/i>, “Putin’s Bridge” is falling down and behind schedule!

      http://www.businessinsider.com/putins-bridge-russia-crimea-problems-2016-9

      Here are some interest assertions:

      …a firm where the majority of its shares belonged to Arkady Rotenberg, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s former judo partner, decided to take it upon itself to complete the project. I’m having trouble comprehending what “decided to take up upon itself” means. Also, if being a “judo partner” equates nefarious dealings, then imagine the level of intrigue if “golfing partners” in the Western world were similarly regarded.

      In addition to forces beyond their control, engineers also claim that the bridge’s design is problematic. Sources from NPR assert that the bridge is being built at the wrong place and the wrong way, leaving itself susceptible to mud volcanoes and earthquakes. And the concerned engineers are _____________?

      ,,,NPR reports that workers who took breaks ended up being fired and sent home without pay. I wonder if there is another side to this story?

      The report did not factually support to any degree the lurid headlines of “falling down” and “behind schedule”. I am beginning to even doubt that its actually called “Putin’s bridge”. Who can we believe anymore? This is all so confusing.

      • Northern Star says:

        NS yesterday:
        https://mapcarta.com/13997800
        “As I tried to point out yesterday…it’s clear that the bridge placement is incorrect……..
        Obviously going from Chuska or Kavkaz to Opasnoye is way shorter than the current planned route.
        Please advise the appropriate Russian authorites to prevent any further expenditures of time or money on the current route”

        I was being a little facetious….That’s not the case with Rosnovsky:
        https://focus.ua/world/348338/

        “In 1993, the first draft Rosnovskomu ordered transport passage through the Kerch Strait. Talking about it, he discovers a great album, turns thick cardboard sheets on which a map of the area, the transition scheme, the design sketch in section.
        Explains that in the years considered options for the construction of four points in the strait, the so-called alignments
        .**** Three of them are connected with Crimea oblique Chushka on the Russian shore of North ran to the easternmost point of Crimea – cape lantern, Zhukovsky – near the ferry, Yenikalsky – in the vicinity of the fortress Yeni-Kale. The southernmost target – Tuzla – Tuzla lies on the banks of the Kuban on the island by the same name to Kerch.*** “

        • Drutten says:

          The span over open water would have been somewhat shorter had they gone with the Port Kavkaz route, but considering what it looks like on that spit itself (just an old, narrow two-lane road and a railway, surrounded by marshes) they’d still need to reinforce that entire thing the same way they did on the Tuzla spit (basically it’s all a bridge, whether over land or across water). It’s basically all the same at the end of the day. Also, doing it there would hamper the extant ferry service, with obvious ramifications.

          Oh well, I went through just in what ways these “experts” were bullshitting on the last comments page. It’s not worthy of further comment.

        • kirill says:

          You are engaged in the typical internet “engineer” nonsense. Not all paths are the same since not all paths have the same geology. Given that Russian bridge construction companies were not created yesterday and have experience going back to the dawn of modern bridge building, they would have carried out surveys of the land strata to evaluate whether pile supports will function as they should. Some paths will require piles much longer than economical. Other paths may not even have enough correct deposits to support piles at all. Just because you see some sand on the surface does not mean there is bedrock under it.

          • Northern Star says:

            “You are engaged in the typical internet “engineer” nonsense. ”

            No…I’m not foolish enough to represent myself as having legitimate engineering credentials….which I don’t

            Rosnovsky does….

            • marknesop says:

              Which presupposes…..what? That there are certain bodies of relatively-shallow water where bridge-building is just impossible? Or that certain conditions must be observed and accounted for? Why is the default supposition the former and not the latter? It is difficult to imagine Russia would stake so much on such an important bridge without doing any kind of conditional engineering analysis, isn’t it? In fact, we know that they did do extensive planning and that all prevailing conditions such as the softness of the bottom and so forth are known to the designers. From that it follows that Russia would have been unlikely to commit to a design it knew was incredibly risky or doomed to failure, and would have instead gone with a pontoon bridge or some kind of floating construction. That they did not suggests Russia is aware of the risks and confident it can overcome conditions. Russia has considerable experience at buildiing large bridges over sometimes-perilous waters, such as the one crossing Amur Bay. Amur Bay freezes solid in winter.

              I think it is likely that certain very loud outlets have such a strong vested interest in failure of the project that they are projecting failure out of that desire rather than any real apprehension of it. It is illogical to think the Black Sea is mud all the way to the earth’s core, and you just have to put your pilings down until you hit something solid. There’s a short wooden trestle near my house which crosses a small man-made lake, Blenkinsop Lake. There’s a plaque to mark the longest piling, which goes down 189 feet into the muck and earth. That’s just to support foot and bicycle traffic and perhaps a park services pickup truck.

              I further think the bridge is under far greater threat from Ukrainian partisans who will try to blow it up than from any natural conditions.

              • Cortes says:

                How very dare you spout such common sense, Mark?

              • Moscow Exile says:

                Not to be forgotten either that Red Army engineers did, in fact, complete a bridge across the straits in 1944, using construction materials that Wehrmacht engineers had abandoned when they retreated from the Crimea, leaving mountains of evidence concerning murder and attrocities against the population (Russians, mostly) and which was presented at the Nuremberg trials — attrocities largely aided and abetted by many of those people whom last year’s Eurovision song competition winner wailed about in her winning, non-political song “1944”.

                The Germans had only begun the construction when they had to get out of the peninsula fast. The Red Army attacked the Germans at Kerch. It was only after the Crimea had been cleared of the Germans and their allies when the Red Army built its road / railway trestle bridge, which soon had to be demolished after some of its piles had been damaged by ice-floes. They had not constructed groynes to prevent this from happening.

                I have been trying in vain to find out where this previous bridge had been erected; whether it was at the narrowest point of the straits at Port Kavkaz, where the ferry operates, or where the present bridge is being built.

                • marknesop says:

                  Piles of rubble known as ‘riprap’ are usually arranged around the bottom of load-bearing bridge columns, both to deflect floating and submerged debris and to reduce the effects of the phenomenon known as ‘bridge scouring’, in which the current sucks the bottom out from under the column the way the tide sucked the sand from under your toes when you were a little ‘un.

              • Northern Star says:

                This bridge discussion is becoming a little tiresome…

                At the very beginning I merely raised an issue that would occur to anyone who can read a fucking map…..to wit: why not build by way of one of the considerably shorter Northern routes across the strait???..
                It was a question..not an indictment of Mother Russia ..or Vladimir Putin..or claiming the ineptitude of Russian engineers..blah..blah ..blah….yada..yada…. I subsequently came across the Roznovsky interview….Correct me if I’m wrong..but he does not appear to be a crackpot..or a kreakle (however the fuck you spell it…I’m to annoyed to check)-“Buildings designed by Rosnovskogo, are not only in Ukraine but also in Afghanistan, Cuba, Syria.”.
                Yeah…some of the main centers of Western Imperialism
                ..or a Russophobic nutjob….I just don’t see where he has a ax to grind against Russia or the bridge construction now underway.
                He apparently does have serious venerable engineering credentials and the issues he raises appear to be grounded in fact(s) presented with carefully and plainly stated expertise..not rhetoric.
                He does NOT dismiss the current bridge undertaking as doomed to failure….Many of you are fluent in Russian..the original article is in Russian..not korean or sanskrit or some obscure Palaeolithic cave script. Some of you may wish to read it with an open mind….
                or not..your call.
                I hope the bridge underway is successfully completed and lasts a thousand years…
                However.any physicist ,engineer or mathematician will tell you that the FIRST step in any investigation or experiment is ***to ask the right question(s)***

      • cartman says:

        NPR! Yes, they’re the experts on all of this!!

        • kirill says:

          It’s an obvious propaganda smear piece that leverages all the memes indoctrinated into the average US sap. Russians can’t do technology. Russians are nothing more than mud hut dwellers with white skin. Russian’s don’t make anything (according to Obama). Drivel spew for retards.

        • Patient Observer says:

          But, but! they speak in such measured and confident tones! And mix in some trendy music – all signs of credibility. Only the BBC with the high English accents and barely contained outrage exude more authority!

          • Moscow Exile says:

            The BBC has had a policy for many years of having presenters with modulated British regional accents: it is a very long time since I last heard a BBC presenter with a “cut glass”, Bertie-Wooster-type RP accent, complete with all its strangulated vowels and clipped consonants. This is the Anglophobic image of British speakers of English (specifically English speakers of English) that is so often prevalent amongst those who harp on about nefarious “Anglo-Saxons”.

            Kirsteen Anne “Kirsty” Wark from Dumfries, Scotland, is typical of such non-RP speaking BBC presenters. She is also crap. Here she is arsing around with Glenn Greenwald:

            Bear in mind, Dumfries is almost in England. 🙂

            And there is Lyse Doucet, a Canadian, who has, for me at least, an unusual and very non-British accent. I used to think she was a French Canadian, but she is not: she is an Anglophone from Bathurst, New Brunswick:

            • marknesop says:

              New Brunswick is the second-Frenchest province in Canada, and has a significant French-Canadian minority.

              • Moscow Exile says:

                Yeah, with a family name such as she has I should think her forebears must have been French. I at first thought her first name meant “lily” as in “fleur de lis”, but its origin is Hebrew and related to another Hebrew name, Elizabeth.

                • Jen says:

                  I’ve heard that in the past a lot of Irish people intermarried with the French-Canadian community in Quebec due to their sharing a common Roman Catholic faith with the result that a lot of Quebecois people have Irish surnames.

                • marknesop says:

                  Yes, that’s true. I wouldn’t say a lot, but it’s not uncommon. French-Canadian Catholics also follow the custom of assigning children a religious name in addition to their patronymic – so that virtually every French-Canadian boy is named Joseph or Jean, and every French-Canadian girl Marie – and then an ancestor or two followed by their surname, so that a boy might typically be called Yvan Joseph Bruno Francois D’ Iberville.

                • Jen says:

                  I just looked up old Quebecois naming customs and yes they used to follow a strict pattern until the 1960s. The first name for boys was always Joseph or Jean and the first name for girls was always Marie; the child’s second name came from a godparent; the third name would be the child’s personal name. For first-born children, the third name was a parent’s personal name, and then those children would receive a fourth name which was their personal name.
                  http://www.100megsfree2.com/jjscherr/jacques/OldQuebecTraditions.htm
                  http://www.catudals.com/2012/10/french-naming-conventions.html

    • Cortes says:

      Looks very elegant.

  6. et Al says:

    Moon of Alabama: In Which Reporting About “Fake News” Turns Out To Be Such
    http://www.moonofalabama.org/2017/02/anti-russian-piece-about-fake-news-turns-out-to-be-such.html

    Another rather amusing piece about fake news is published in today’s New York Times.

    The headline:

    Fake News, Fake Ukrainians: How a Group of Russians Tilted a Dutch Vote

    It is amusing because no fact in the piece agrees with the headline. The piece itself turns out to be fake news. It is about old stuff, not news at all, and the content does not support the theses.

    Some Ukrainian expats lobbied in the Netherlands against a vote for a EU-Ukrainian association agreement. Some Dutch people of Russian heritage also lobbied that way. The Dutch eventually rejected the agreement with 61.1% of votes against it and 38.1% in favor….
    ####

    More at the link.

  7. Warren says:

    Published on 16 Feb 2017
    http://democracynow.org – Some supporters of Trump, including Breitbart News, have accused the intelligence agencies of attempting to wage a deep state coup against the president. Meanwhile, some critics of Trump are openly embracing such activity. Bill Kristol, the prominent Republican analyst who founded The Weekly Standard, wrote on Twitter, “Obviously strongly prefer normal democratic and constitutional politics. But if it comes to it, prefer the deep state to the Trump state.” We talk about the deep state with Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald, co-founder of The Intercept.

  8. Patient Observer says:

    KS WW II historians, be prepared to take a laughably stupid quiz on the most important battles of WW II. Don’t expect to see much on Russia (the quiz never even mentioned “Soviet Union” or “USSR”). Of the 30 questions; perhaps 4 or 5 dealt with anything in eastern Europe. But, I did learn of the Battle of St. Lawrence where plucky Canadians fought back U-boat attacks.

    http://history.howstuffworks.com/historical-events/wwii-battles-quiz.htm?mkcpgn=i600004875&&utm_source=taboola&utm_medium=paid&utm_campaign=WorldWarIIBattles%28desktop%29&utm_term=rt-rtcom&utm_content=%5BWWII+Battles+Quiz%5D+Only+Experts+Can+Ace+It

    I scored 28 out of 30.

    • Northern Star says:

      26..But…But..
      ‘The Hardest Day”…Now Whothe F would know that unless they happen to be a Brit
      over 90 years of age.

      A legitimate question is whether a ship -in harbor-and going to the bottom of same can actually be thought of as having “sunk”.

      “Battle of Hel”..another racist question that only Pollaks woud know the answer to.

      So I only missed the Denmark Strait thing

      • Northern Star says:

        Short…but not to be taken TOO lightly!!! Doubt if any stooges do a ‘Bo Derek” on this!!!!

        http://www.historyextra.com/node/49575/take?quizkey=835721da38530d3966d80368ff3c81ba

      • et Al says:

        ‘Hel’ was the wife of Rottwang (the evil professor and creator of the fake ‘Maria’ Robot’)
        in Metropolis. The Georgio Moroder soundtrack wasn’t too bad, but more importantly they discovered a lot of the original missing movie in the basement of the Museo del Cine in Buenos Aires.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metropolis_(1927_film)#The_Complete_Metropolis_.282010.29

        • Jen says:

          In those days (1920s and 1930s), a copy of a movie made for overseas audiences typically did the rounds of Europe and then on and out into more remote areas of Latin America or Asia, eventually winding up in some far outpost of Western civilisation like Tasmania, New Zealand, Chile or Argentina. That copy was probably so frail from over-use and the cost of shipping it back home so high that it usually ended up in some library or film archives. This helps explain how an old, nearly complete copy of “Metropolis” was found in Buenos Aires and how not so long ago an early 1920s silent on which Alfred Hitchcock was junior director turned up in New Zealand (in Wellington, I think).

      • Patient Observer says:

        Being of the American persuasion, I was able to deduce answers that were meant to be humorous . “The Hardest Day” was guessed through the process of elimination. The “Hel” thing was a shot in the dark.

      • Moscow Exile says:

        That and the Polish one were the only two questions that I could not answer. I have never heard anyone talk of the “Hardest Day”, and I am of the immediate post-WWII British generation that was spoonfed the glories of the Battle of Britain.

        Bear in mind, though, when I first mentioned “Britain’s Finest Hour” here, the natives didn’t know what the hell I was talking about. They cover the Battle of Britain in school books now, though.

        I recall once, when my then new bride and I were taking tea with an ancient great aunt of hers in the country, how Mrs. Exile mentioned that my father had fought during the war in North Africa with the British army. The old lady then very politely asked me if my father’s time in King George VI’s army was spent in colonial wars. I told her it was — against Mussolini’s armies and the Afrika Korps of the Wehrmacht. (Well, Libya was an Italian colony and Egypt, unofficially, was a British one.) She didn’t understand. She was bobbing on, though: 80 at least.

  9. Hoffnungstirbtzuletzt says:

    Might be of interest: Michael Kofman “This article is not about tactics. It is about studying how another country uses force for political ends, an enduring question to which the United States has found unsatisfactory answers. Sanctimonious responses are common, and commonly wrong. They come with large blinders and invite geopolitical defeat at the hands of those who we prefer to not be in charge of things. Indignation is a hallmark of American strategic failure.” More at the link.

    https://warontherocks.com/2017/02/a-comparative-guide-to-russias-use-of-force-measure-twice-invade-once/

    “The Russian goal is to retain coercive credibility, keeping much of its military potential in reserve. Whereas Stalin once remarked that “in the Soviet army it takes more courage to retreat than to advance,” the modern Russian army withdraws regularly. Russia prefers to establish dominance for brief periods of time, but does not desire mastery of the battlefield, and would rather take a long time with limited application of power than have to ‘own’ the war. Rather than risk taking, its use of force is based on calculated prudence. Russia carves the battlefield piecemeal, in line with Creighton Abrams’ caution on eating an elephant: Take one bite at a time.

    Although Russia did annex Crimea, it appears to be a unique case. In other examples like Georgia, Eastern Ukraine, and Syria, we can see a distinct Russian aversion to owning real estate. If anything, the entire concept of Russian strategy in Eastern Ukraine is to force Kiev to take these regions back, which it has agreed to on paper. Moscow is angling to make this a reality. Russia’s use of force is akin to a geopolitical mugging, in which the case of Crimea should be considered a grand theft, rather than expansionist imperial pursuit.”

    • Moscow Exile says:

      Which implies that the Crimea is occupied and that its inhabitants are under the Russian heel.

      Svidomites insist on this being a fact. And go berserk if you tell them that the people of the Crimea, the vast majority, do not wish to be Ukrainian citizens.

      I had an argument with a certain Bogdan the other day over this. Straight off he accused me of not knowing what I was talking about. Then, having learnt that I have visited the Crimea on several occasions and that I live in “Rasha”, he conceded that Crimeans were and always had been Russians (save for the Tatars there), but they were Ukrainians.

      Then he went off into a strawman argument, questioning the temerity of an Englishman expressing such opinions as I have about the Crimea when England occupies part of he island of Ireland and won’t return it to the Irish.

      This Bogdan wrote flawless English, by the way, so I guess he’s a Banderite’s grandson born and bred in a former colony of that empire on which the sun once never set.

    • Lyttenburgh says:

      Koffman is least bad of the WotR crew. His articles are at least readable. One quote is of particular note here:

      “America’s established pattern of behavior results in under resourcing a deliberate strategy, failing slow, and when the disaster is self-evident, doubling down to pursue a revised set of political goals, at higher cost. Eventually it becomes all about begging for departure.”

      That sounds more like America's establishment strategy to everything.

      • marknesop says:

        It does indeed – which is passing strange, because there are at least as many adept and innovative problem-solvers among Americans as there are in any other national group. Put simply, Official America does not keep trying the same failed, fumbling strategies over and over because Americans are too stupid to think up new ones. Nor is there some kind of stupidity belt in Washington – there are plenty of bright people there, as well.

        So why does the United States present itself as so arrogant, bumbling and know-it-all, blunder in with guns a’blazing in all directions, fuck up the situation just like its detractors warned it would, and then back away and leave its hapless victim bleeding from a thousand cuts on the floor, after a sworn and boastful promise to stick by him until victory, no matter what it took? Why does it stubbornly maintain, time after time, that nobody could have foreseen how it would turn out and really no identifiable entity is to blame for the ruin left behind, although it is perfectly clear who caused it? It’s not like it doesn’t know any better, although you might get that impression from the hidebound groupthink and line-toeing exhibited by its political class.

        • shargash says:

          I’ve thought about this a lot in recent years. I think the answer is that the policy just isn’t that important. The things that are important are things like keeping your future employer in the MIC happy, or jockeying for position for a choice assignment, or sticking it to someone you don’t like, or making sure the other party doesn’t succeed. Stuff that happens in the ME is very far away. It does them no harm personally, at least as long as they don’t get blamed for any screwups.

  10. et Al says:

    More news on the UK government’s creeping Internet lockdown.

    The Register: UK Snoopers’ Charter gagging order drafted for London Internet Exchange directors
    https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/02/17/linx_snoopers_charger_gagging_order/

    Rushed proposal opens rift in internet giants’ club

    Exclusive London Internet Exchange (LINX) – Europe’s largest provider of internet interconnect services – faces a growing backlash among members over changes to its rules that would gag directors applying secret government orders to monitor traffic, under Britain’s new Investigatory Powers Act.

    Members of LINX have been given less than two weeks’ warning of an effect of a proposed new LINX constitution (called “memorandum and articles”) that would allow secret surveillance orders or requests to be implemented without members’ knowledge….

    ####

    It’s repressive when other governments do it, it’s protection when the UK gov does it.

    Arbeit Macht May! Champion of the security services and keeping the British citizen under foot.

  11. et Al says:

    I mentioned in an earlier post about how the UK wants to play with the big boys but do so on a shoe string. This story says it all.

    The Register: New Royal Navy Wildcat helicopters can’t transmit vital data
    https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/02/17/lynx_wildcat_has_no_tactical_data_link_royal_navy/

    Crews have to land and move tactical info around via USB sticks. No, really

    …they do not have a tactical data link (TDL) capability allowing them to transmit data to other units.

    Instead, crews must use a USB stick after landing to transfer data collected by the Wildcat’s radar and camera systems to its host ship. The only other alternative, at present, is for the crew to call out contacts over the radio by voice – just as Fleet Air Arm observers did during the Second World War…

    …The vital data link capability was deleted in 2008 as part of a cost-cutting exercise by the Ministry of Defence. At the same time, the total number of helicopters on order was cut from 70 to 62, along with a host of other vital capabilities, in the infamous phrase “fitted for but not with”.

    The export version of the Wildcat is fitted with a Link 16-compatible TDL….
    ####

    It defeats the purpose of having brand new equipment with all sorts of sensors but critical time is lost (sensor-to-shooter gap that was identified with drones early on in I-rack, Afghanistan etc. a few years back). Nonsensical!

  12. Northern Star says:

    The Reich Stuff:
    Aufmerksamkeit Stooges!
    Einige unserer schönsten arischen Männer— und ein paar Juden-.
    sind jetzt in der WH.
    Bald werden wir in der Lage, das vierte Reich des 21. Jahrhunderts vollständig umzusetzen.
    Seien Sie geduldig.
    Sobald wir unsere russischen Brüder davon überzeugen, dass sie unserer weißen Brüder sind
    Wir werden in Nähe von totalen Sieg
    http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2017/02/13/pers-f13.html

    “And who is this “chief policy adviser?”
    Miller was profiled by both the New York Times and Washington Post on Sunday. The 31-year-old aide has been an ultra-right activist since his teens. Born into an upper-middle class liberal Jewish family, something went seriously wrong in Miller’s personal development.

    ****He developed a fascination with the extreme right. At Duke University he found a friend in Richard Spencer, the **anti-Semitic white supremacist neo-Nazi ** (Trifecta) who has been promoted by Breitbart News.*****

    After college, Miller went on to become a spokesman for a series of ultra-right figures in Congress, including Representative Michelle Bachmann and Senator Jeff Sessions. Early in 2016, he joined the Trump campaign, eventually becoming the candidate’s chief speechwriter and a frequent warm-up act at Trump campaign rallies.
    Miller is one of a trio of high-profile fascists in the White House. The ultra-right views of White House “chief strategist” Stephen K. Bannon have been widely publicized in the American media, from cover stories in weekly magazines to profiles in major daily newspapers. Bannon ran the ultra-right Breitbart News until last August and made it a focal point for so-called alt-right.

    ****A New York Times profile published Sunday noted Bannon’s familiarity with the work of Julius Evola, an Italian racist and anti-Semite whose writings were a staple of Mussolini’s fascist dictatorship, and who has been cited as an inspirer of the Greek neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn. Bannon cited Evola’s writings in a speech to a Vatican conference of right-wing Catholics in 2014***.

    A lesser-known but equally repugnant figure is Michael Anton, recently appointed as director of strategic communications for the National Security Council, making him the second-highest press spokesman for the White House after Sean Spicer. A former speechwriter for New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Anton was a Bush White House aide, in which capacity he fervently backed the decision to invade Iraq. He moved on to communications positions with right-wing publisher (and owner of Fox News) Rupert Murdoch and with Citibank, and then a post as a managing director of the huge hedge fund BlackRock.
    Last week, William Kristol, publisher of the neo-conservative journal Weekly Standard, revealed that Anton was the author, under a pseudonym, of a screed issued last September and widely circulated in right-wing circles titled The Flight 93 Election. This essay portrayed a Trump victory as the sole hope for the survival of America (and implicitly compared Hillary Clinton to the Al Qaeda hijackers of the doomed United Airlines flight on September 11, 2001).
    Anton made an explicitly racist appeal for support for Trump, claiming that “the ceaseless importation of Third World foreigners with no tradition of, taste for, or experience in liberty means that the electorate grows more left, more Democratic, less Republican, less republican, and less traditionally American with every cycle.” As a result, he warned, the 2016 election was the last chance for “my people,” i.e., white Americans.
    This argument is so openly racist and authoritarian that Kristol, himself a longtime right-wing Republican operative and warmonger, compared Anton to the jurist Carl Schmitt, a notorious Nazi apologist.” (More on Anton)
    https://theintercept.com/2017/02/16/trump-official-obsessed-over-nuclear-apocalypse-mens-style-fine-wines-in-40000-posts-on-fashion-site/

    and Miller:
    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/king-stephen-miller-latest-liar-bigot-team-trump-article-1.2971639
    Something some of you stooges may want to mull over:
    This POS (IMO) in the WH wields power over a possible course of YOUR life……..

    • marknesop says:

      He only said 12 words!!! How can that be spun as ‘awkward’? He didn’t say anything of substance at all, having not even got finished acknowledging the polite greeting. Let’s see the rest of the meeting, and I’ll tell you if Tillerson seemed awkward – but from what I saw here, not at all. The press is going to fall into the trap of pre-spinning everything to do with Trump or his administration as a grotesque failure, to the point that nobody will pay attention any more, since the outcome is a foregone conclusion.

  13. et Al says:

    The Hill: The latest scheme in the left’s war on Trump
    http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/national-party-news/320162-the-latest-scheme-in-the-lefts-war-on-trump

    ….In the smoke and mirrors behind the campaign, ThinkProgress, a Democratic, anti-Trump media arm of the Center for American Progress, another significant Soros “grantee,” attributed the early Utah protest to “grassroots groups.” The founder of the Center for American Progress? Clinton campaign manager John Podesta.

    According to an analysis in progress I’m compiling of leaked documents from the Soros philanthropy, Open Society Foundations, and other open-source material, at least six of the organizations involved with leading, organizing or training #ResistTrump #ResistanceRecess protesters — MoveOn.org, the Working Families Party, the ACLU, the National Immigration Law Center, United We Dream and Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement — have received funding over the years from Soros….
    ####

    Whatever. The Republicans hold both Congress & the Senate. Remember ‘Occupy Wall Street’? O-Bomber kept in in check, but he’s a Democrat so ‘It was Good‘. Unless everyone is willing to down tools, then really what is the point of all this twattocracy? The best we can hope for is the USA takes itself down and not the rest of the world with it, but the problem is that they are so generous, like a whirlpool they may well drag everyone in with them.

  14. et Al says:

    Wallstreet on Parade: Mary Jo White Seriously Misled the U.S. Senate to Become SEC Chair
    http://wallstreetonparade.com/2017/02/mary-jo-white-seriously-misled-the-u-s-senate-to-become-sec-chair/

    Less than two weeks after Mary Jo White was nominated to become Chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission by President Barack Obama on January 24, 2013, White filed an ethics disclosure letter advising that she would “retire” from her position representing Wall Street banks at the law firm Debevoise & Plimpton….

    …This news is highly significant because it would appear that the U.S. Senate was seriously misled by White’s ethics letter in its deliberations to confirm her as the top cop of Wall Street.

    The news is also highly significant because it will mark the fourth time in four decades that Mary Jo White has spun through the revolving doors of Debevoise & Plimpton (where she represented serial law violators) to government service (prosecuting serial law violators). …
    ####

    Oink! Oink!

  15. Moscow Exile says:

    Unworthy Nobel Laureate and bulshitter still baffling the intelligenta’s brains:

    Obama 12th-best president

    • marknesop says:

      Is that in ‘dog ratings’, like in ‘dog-years’, where every one for a human is said to equal seven for a dog? That’d make him 84th-best President, which I reckon would be just about right.

  16. Moscow Exile says:

    Moody’s upgrades outlook on Russia’s sovereign rating to stable from negative

    Not that I put much trust in such outfits.

    But Russian sources also say there is light at the end of the tunnel ….

    Минфин объяснил решение Moody’s улучшить прогноз рейтинга России
    18.02.2017 11:22
    Действия правительства страны, направленные на снижение зависимости экономики от нефтяных доходов и пополнение запасов, заставили мировые рейтинговые агентства пересматреть свои негативные прогнозы в отношении России. Такое мнение высказал глава Минфина РФ Антон Силуанов.

    The Finance Ministry has explained Moody’s decision to improve the outlook for its Russian rating
    18.02.2017 11:22

    The actions of the government aimed at reducing the dependence of the economy on oil revenues and the replenisment of its financial reserves have forced the world’s rating agencies to take another look at their negative forecast for Russia. Such an opinion was expressed by the head of the Russian Ministry of Finance, Anton Siluanov.

    And there is this to consider:


    Russia increased its gold reserves by a very large 199.1 tonnes in 2016. This has been the eighth consecutive year of gold diversification because of concerns about dollar and currency wars

    That’s a lot of gold for a gas station with missiles!

    See: Gold Core

    • kirill says:

      These ratings are utter nonsense. Given that Russia has not collapsed in the wake of the 2014 sanctions and in fact, has managed to launch a massive economic reorganization to diversify local production instead of being an import-dependent banana republic on would think AAA would be its rating.

      Anyway, Moody’s is irrelevant since the sanctions limit Russian access to capital markets were saps care about Moody’s ratings. It can set its BS rating to whatever it wants and this will have absolutely zero impact on Russia’s finances. And yeah, Russia is likely to unload any existing debt in markets where Moody’s has an impact instead of refinancing.

    • marknesop says:

      Considering Moody’s initial downgrade was entirely political in nature and designed to contribute to the full-court press against the Russian economy, I see no reason to pay their ratings any mind at all. It is kind of hypocritical for Russian analysts to afford credibility to their ratings only when they say something positive, and if I were approached for comment I would uniformly respond, “Moody’s can stick it where the sun never shines. Their downgrade of the Russian market was a deliberate attempt to bring economic calamity to millions of people who did them no harm, rather than an actual reflection of market forces and conditions. What possible value could there be in financial risk ratings issued by a political weathervane? Would you take your lawn mower to the bakery to get it fixed?”

  17. Moscow Exile says:

    Give me strength!!!

    • Moscow Exile says:

      That was Pence’s opinion voiced a few hours ago at Munich.

      Russia has already expressed its disappointment with his statement as regards Russian accountability for the results of US policy in the Ukraine.

      Interfax with reference to the head of the Federation Council Committee on International Affairs, Konstantin Kosachev, reports:

      “Разочаровала в выступлении Майкла Пенса позиция, согласно которой полную ответственность за выполнение Минских соглашений по Украине продолжает нести Россия”, – заявил Косачев.

      “In Michael Pence’s speech a disappointing position, according to which full responsibility for the implementation of the Minsk agreements in the Ukraine continues to be carried by Russia”, said Kosachev.

      • kirill says:

        1984 newthink has rooted western brains. Russia is not even a party to the Minsk II agreement. How the FUCK can it be demanded to “honour” them. By what criteria? Whatever decomposed brain gas emissions arise from the brains of NATzO leaders?

      • marknesop says:

        A country which, except for the signature of the Russian Ambassador, is not mentioned by name anywhere in the text of the Minsk Agreement. Where did Russia commit to de-escalating the violence in eastern Ukraine and then fail to carry out its responsibility, or have such a responsibility formally assigned to it and fail to carry it out?

  18. Moscow Exile says:

    A decree on the recognition of documents issued to citizens of the Ukraine and stateless persons residing in the territories of separate districts of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions of the Ukraine

    The President signed a Decree “On the recognition in the Russian Federation documents and license plates of vehicles issued by the citizens of the Ukraine and stateless persons permanently residing in the territories individual regions of Donetsk and Lugansk regions of the Ukraine”.

    See: kremlin.ru

    These measures are temporary and will apply until there is a political settlement of the situation in these regions. Until this happens, Russia recognizes as valid identity cards and birth certificates, documents on education, qualifications, conclusions and terminations of marriage, name changes and death certificates, as well as certificates of registration for vehicles and registration plates issued in the territories of these areas. The owners of these documents will be able to enter Russia without a visa.

    Is this the first step towards — dare I utter the word? — annexation of the separatist areas????

    Is this similar to the ploy of issuing Russian passports to South Ossetians?

    Or is Russia expecting the onset of a last thrust by Porky’s killers into the contested areas of Eastern Ukraine and Russia is now preparing itself for a possible flood of evacuees into Mother Russia?

    This was done today, when Pence put the onus on Russia of upholding the Minsk Agreement, an agreemet to which Russia is not a party.

    Is Pence really unaware of this fact?

    Pence’s tough line on Russia, calling Moscow to honour the international peace accords that seek to end the conflict in eastern Ukraine, were welcomed by Poland.

    “Know this: the United States will continue to hold Russia accountable, even as we search for new common ground, which as you know, President Trump believes can be found”, Pence said.

    Well, what a surprising thing for the Polacks to utter! (cynicism)

    See: Pence says U.S. will stand firm with Europe, NATO

    • et Al says:

      It looks to me like it is Russia just upping the pressure and reducing the room for maneuver.

      As for Pence, what else was he going to say? Actions, not words. So far only words. If behind closed doors he told the US’s allies that the USA will not run to the assistance of NATO allies baiting Russia and running for Big Momma’s skirts, then he is not changing the US’s pledge, just limiting it sensibly. We won’t know because that sort of thing is kept behind closed doors. Call it passive resistance. Rather than saying ‘No’ directly, ‘Yes, but…’ seems to be order of the day.

    • akarlin says:

      Not a bad peremoga amidst the recent zradas.

      Should have been done ages ago, though.

      • Lyttenburgh says:

        Only svidomites operate in peremoga/zrada dichotomy. Normal people recognize that the world is more complex.

        • Moscow Exile says:

          I saw a headline in the Yukie media yesterday (cannot remember where now — I think it was in that rag with the oxymoronic title “Ukraine Truth”) which read: Kremlin recognizes validity of documents issued by terrorists”.

          • marknesop says:

            I couldn’t find the story under a search of that description – but I did find this, in which Petro Poroshenko announces that Putin’s recognition of the Donbass residents’ documents constitutes – what else? – a violation of international law.

            This suggests Poroshenko has a similar understanding of international law to Saakashvili’s understanding of democracy – both mean “things I like” or “things that are good for me”. Something that alternately amuses and infuriates me is the manner in which Poroshenko refers piously to the Minsk Agreement as if it were the holy grail of international diplomacy…but declines to implement any clause of it. To him, it is only a useful tool which keeps sanctions in place against Russia so long as it is not concluded.

            That decision is going to come back to haunt the west. The longer sanctions remain in place, the more Russia increases its own self-sufficiency and diversifies its trading relationships. Not only are the west’s markets in Russia going to suffer serious long-term (if not irrecoverable) damage; the longer the west tries to hang onto Ukraine, the more it becomes a millstone around its neck, dragging it down, and the further down the road Ukraine’s recovery is advanced.

    • kirill says:

      Poor little virgin U-rope always under threat of some evil. What a ridiculous self-worth complex NATzO has. Nobody wants the toilet called U-rope. It has zero to offer but would be an infinite sink of resources to occupy and maintain. Anyone who cannot see this obvious economic reality should not be allowed to have an opinion on the subject.

      The reality is that U-rope and NATzO crave Russia’s resources and believe they can occupy and control it. This fits the hundreds of years long colonial history of NATzO core countries in U-rope.

      Russia needs to send the clear signal that it will nuke NATzO forces crossing its borders. That it will not play a game with tied hands that NATzO thinks it can win.

      • Moscow Exile says:

        A comment to the Independent article on this story yesterday. There is a really bloody irritating twat there who swamps such comments concerning Russia / Ukraine with Kremlin trolls messages and warnings about the troll factory in Petersburg being hard at work:

        It is really shocking misinformation or lies! Who can speak about “granting visa-free travel”? There have never been visas for either Russians or Ukrainians for visiting each other’s country! Every citizen of Ukraine or Russia can cross the Russian-Ukrainian border with his/her internal passport. What nonsense the journalists are writing here, and what abysmal “quality” of professionalism! What had really happened today – Russia has allowed people from Donetsk/Lugansk republics to come to Russia with their new passports, issued by current authorities/separatists. Previously they could not do this but were required to produce official Ukrainian passports at the Russian border. Most important, until today they had to use the Ukrainian passports to travel by train, air or long-distance buses inside Russia (just as Russians have to produce Russian passports for the same purposes). From now on people from Donetsk/Lugansk republics can move freely into Russia and across Russia with their new “separatist” passports, and it is a great help for them, making it much easier to travel and work in Russia.

        As a matter of fact, that commentator, a certain Anatole, is, I think, slightly in error there. When the UkSSR and the RSFSR declared their independence from the USSR, Russian citizens, if I rightly recall, for a short while did in fact need to have a visa to visit the newly independent republic that insists that it have no definite article before its name in English (Germans can and still do say “die Ukraine” though). And then this visa requirement for Russia visitors was lifted.

        I recall this because the first time my family and I visited the Ukraine, the Crimea in fact, was in 2004. My wife had booked rooms for us (there were only three of us then) at a sanatorium in Evpatoria. It was only a few days before our departure date that she found out that I needed a visa to enter the Ukraine. So she and our two children set off south and I had to stay a week in Moscow in order to get a visa at the Ukraine consul here. And the consul was bloody awkward with me: she wanted to know why I wanted to go to the Ukraine, who had invited me etc.

        It was the usual story: she could not understand why a Westerner was living in Russia with a Russian citizen. She wanted to know who the woman was who had booked the room in Evpatoria, where she was now and so on.

        In the end I just said to her: “I’m not a criminal! I just want to spend my money for two weeks whilst on holiday in your country with my wife and children, who are all waiting for my arrival in Evpatoria”. I got the visa.

        When I arrived in Evpatoria, waiting for me at the railway station was a taxi that my wife had booked for me. The driver spoke Russian. I could hear Russian spoken all around me, yet along a long wall at the station was painted in 6 foot high letters “Independent Ukraine” — in Yukie.

        So on the way to the sanatorium I got chatting to the driver, telling him why I had not been able to travel there with my wife and children the week before because my wife had forgotten that the Ukraine was an independent country and that I, as an Englishman, needed a visa to enter it.

        I have told this tale here many times before. The driver got so mad that he had to pull up, and he turned to face me and said: “This is not the Ukraine! The Crimea is Russia! We are Russians here! This is not the Ukraine!!!”

        After we had returned to the Evil Empire (at Kharkov the idiots forgot to stamp my exit in my British passport, so technically, I was still there in the Ukraine when I got back to Russia), I recall that the following year the Ukraine government did in fact make it necessary for Russian citizens to have a visa in order to enter the Ukraine. I guess this was the result of Svidomites arsing around in the Rada. They soon changed the law and Russians once again were allowed visa-free travel. It was like the language law that the morons immediately passed after the putsch and then quickly rescinded, but it was tooo late; Russophones could clearly see what was afoot.

        And at the same time when Russians were once again allowed visa-free travel, Westerners were allowed it as well if they were going to that place on vacation. So for my subsequent visits to the Ukraine, I have never need a visa.

        • marknesop says:

          I am surprised visas are not required now – with Ukraine’s constant threats directed to Russia, the state certainly does not want to admit Right Sector goons to cause trouble and violence, while Ukraine is suspicious of anyone and anything Russian. Officially, anyway.

          • Moscow Exile says:

            The fact is that, despite Porky’s spouting of the well used meme about breach of International Law by Russia, any sovereign state can grant or refuse admittance to any person to whom it pleases to do so and Russia certainly needs no permission off that obscene criminal in Kiev as regards allowing Ukraine citizens into Russia.

            And if the fat bastard tries to make out that there’s a war going on between Ukrainian nationalists and Ukrainian anti-government terrorists supported by Russia and that Ukrainians/Russians are, therefore, legally debarred from crossing the border, then I should like to point out to him that during the whole period of the “Troubles” in the six counties of the UK province of Northern Ireland, where Irish Republican Nationalists most certainly believed they were waging war against the British government and which hostilities lasted from the late ’60s and continued into the ’90s, Irish citizens of the Irish Republic could travel visa-free between the UK and Ireland without let or hindrance. And the same applied to British citizens.

            That is still the case now: the Republic of Ireland is a sovereign state and has been so for almost a century (what is now the Republic of Ireland was a British Commonwealth Dominion until 1937), but no passports or visas are required by British or Irish citizens in order that they be allowed to enter each other’s country.

            Throughout the ’70s I frequently holidayed in the republic of Ireland and on occasion just flew over to Dublin for the craic at the weekend.

            No name and number; no pack drill required!

            Guinness tastes better in Dublin.

            • marknesop says:

              Not to mention his precious western benefactors’ favourite method of regime change – in countries that do not put up too much of a fight – is to simply pick a new government they like, call it ‘the opposition’, and ‘recognize’ it as the legitimate government of the country, refusing to acknowledge or do business with the former and elected government. Examples abound. I cannot think of any more contemptuous or blatant a repudiation of national sovereignty than that, as if you are so weak and helpless they cannot even be bothered to invade; just the hooked thumb and “You’re OUT of there!!!”

  19. et Al says:

    EU Observer: EU allows Lithuania to ban Russian tv channel
    https://euobserver.com/tickers/136949

    The European Commission said on Friday that a Lithuanian three-month suspension of Russian-language tv channel RTR Planeta was justified. “Lithuania has demonstrated that there have been manifest, serious and grave infringements of the prohibition of incitement to hatred,” the commission said. This is the second time RTR Planeta has been temporarily banned by Lithuania after the commission allowed it in 2015.
    ####

    Well that’s a ringing endorsement. The mighty Liths must feel powerful.

  20. et Al says:

    IBT: Guide to Estonian strip clubs issued by UK Ministry of Defence in 2015
    http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/guide-estonian-strip-clubs-issued-by-uk-ministry-defence-2015-1607207?google_editors_picks=true

    Freedom of Information request unearths X-rated guide for British troops partying in Tallinn during 2015 operation.

    The Ministry of Defence (MoD) prepared a guide to Estonian strip clubs and distributed it to soldiers during an operation in May 2015, a freedom of information request has revealed.

    The British Army were taking part in a Nato training expedition, Steadfast Javelin, when the booklet ‘Tallinn guide for Friendly forces’ was handed out. Details of its contents have been unearthed by the BBC….
    ####

    So basically NATO training exercises near Russia are an excuse for a ‘Jolly’? If push ever comes to shove will British squaddies be caught with their pants down and whangers out??? 🙂

    • Cortes says:

      “Steadfast Javelin!”

      Someone has a sense of humour.

      • et Al says:

        How bout “Pork Sword”? The number of euphemisms I learned from my British colleagues at university was mind blowing. Clearly a very repressed nation! 😉 Is it anything to do with being an island?

        • marknesop says:

          Doctor Mark’s Beef Injection? The Wobbly Warhead?

          Unfortunately – for the tone of the discussion – those exercise/operation names are all chosen using a random matrix picker, in which one column contains words which express resolve and determination, for example, while the other column contains names of stabbing weapons. Some exercise names are regulars – we’ve already spoken of the Air Force’s ‘Maple Spring” and the navy’s “RIMPAC”, and every two or three years the Canadian navy buddies up with the USN for Exercise Trident Fury, usually a live-fire exercise against remote targets. But when they need a name for a new exercise, it’s just chosen at random using the word matrix.

  21. et Al says:

    Moon of Alabama: Syria – Turks Fail To Take Al-Bab – “Rebels” Die In Infighting
    http://www.moonofalabama.org/2017/02/syria-turks-fail-to-take-al-bab-rebels-die-in-infighting.html

    …This week he brought his Army Chief of Staff Arak to the Gulf to declare victory….

    …that claim was a huge lie. While Turkish forces had earlier taken some outskirts of Al-Bab and claimed to own 40% of the city they were by then stuck and later in full retreat….

    …It was also announced that Turkey plans to erect three garrisons in Syria. On top of the eluding Al-Bab Erdogan now also wants to take the Islamic State held Raqqa and the Kurdish held Manbij….
    ####

    Much more at the link and as ‘b’ says, who’s left in the military to say ‘No’ to InSultin’ Erdogan?

    But, weren’t we told that Syria would be a Quagmire for Russia? Damn you autocorrect??? 😉

    • marknesop says:

      If Russia is wise, it will look at ways to destabilize Erdogan and ease him out of power, despite his signing on to Turkish Stream. Another leader can doubtless be found who is pragmatic and will observe agreements which are beneficial to the country’s continued power and influence, and it should be remembered that Washington doubtless has the same goal.

      • et Al says:

        I’m not so sure. As I’ve read elsewhere on the web military coup leaders in Turkey have been consistently pro-western & pro-NATO. Though inSultin’ Erdogan may be unstable and thus unreliable, it actually works in Russia’s favor as it desabilizes Turkey’s relations with the West even more.

        Also in the media sphere where western governments and even their media are soft peddling Erdogan and not calling for sanctions regardless of what he does, only further goes to highlight the total hypocrisy the West operates, i.e. that it has always been realpolitik and all the talk about ‘human rights’ and ‘democracy’ is deeply qualified for only when it works in the West’s favor.

        I don’t expect Russia to upset the current balance until Turk Stream is completed – facts on ground (and underwater), though this is what Erdogan is also counting on, but Russia they won’t lie down and take any old shit Erdogan decides to fling at them – like the monkeys Mason & Phil from Madagascar.

    • yalensis says:

      I hate to say it, but Limpopo is better off under Russian rule.
      The new Russian puppet President Aibolit has cured all the animals of malaria!

      • Jen says:

        How did the picture come to be upside-down?

      • Moscow Exile says:

        You mark my words: Chunga-Changa will be the next target for Russian expansionist aggression.

        Love that song!

      • J.T. says:

        Um…what’s the likelihood of Russia invading Narnia anytime soon? I really must know; I’ve got about $1mln in magical assets stashed over there.

        • Lyttenburgh says:

          “Um…what’s the likelihood of Russia invading Narnia anytime soon?”

          According to anonymous sources in the US intelligence community (which we, understandbly, can’t reveal in fear of Vla Putin’s assassins) – the chance of Russian aggression is at all times high. As a proof, here is 100% legit photo taken at a great risk by our unnamed source:

          Also we have these unique photos, which clearly prove the movement of Tula’s SpetzNaz brigade to Russia-Limpopo’s border:

          Russian progressive activists and liberal opposition embers are already helding rallies, demanding to “Stop Feeding Limpopo!”

  22. Northern Star says:

    https://gosint.wordpress.com/2017/02/16/pulitzer-prize-winner-tim-weiner-us-intel-agencies-are-targeting-the-top-of-this-government/
    “Mike Flynn has fallen farther faster than any powerful official in any government in the 20th Century, in America. We are watching in real-time very quickly a powerful counterintelligence investigation run by the FBI with the assistance of the CIA and the NSA that is targeting the top of this government.”
    But Weiner appears to be talking out of both sides of his mouth:

    https://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/nb/curtis-houck/2017/02/15/hardball-guest-intel-search-trump-russia-ties-biggest-soviets-stole

    As quoted he seems to question the CIA/FBI cabal’s attack against Trump et al.
    But then he goes after Trump et al.
    Weiner was on Charlie Rose last night followed by this woman:

    (This is Kimberly in 2014…but she is just as much a clueless clown-IMO-in 2017….count how many of her ‘astute’ observations have subsequently been proven flat wrong. Input from people like Kimberly is one reason why American foreign policy is so totally fucked….. I wager that she neither speaks Russian nor has been to Russia…..neither do I but I’m not passing myself off as having some credible Russian affairs expertise)!!!!

    http://www.cc.com/video-clips/3on1kz/the-daily-show-with-jon-stewart-exclusive—kimberly-marten-extended-interview-pt–1

    http://www.cc.com/video-clips/svcw3u/the-daily-show-with-jon-stewart-exclusive—kimberly-marten-extended-interview-pt–2

  23. Moscow Exile says:

    “Только что завершилась моя встреча с вице-президентом Пенсом. Она была продолжительной, почти двое дольше, чем была запланирована. Мы детально прошлись по координации наших действий, процессов, которые происходят на Востоке нашей страны – российской оккупации, координации действий по эффективным шагам и формированию украинской повестки дня по переговорам с РФ. Очень важно, что там уже были представлены результаты консультаций в “нормандском формате”. Я был приятно удивлен очень хорошей проинформированностью вице-президента о деталях процессов, которые происходят. Я проинформировал вице-президента о недавнем решении президента Путина о признании паспортов оккупированных территорий так называемых “ДНР”/”ЛНР”. Для меня это очередное доказательство и российской оккупации, и российского нарушения международного права. И очень символично, что это цинично произошло во время проведения Мюнхенской конференции по безопасности”, – заявил Порошенко.

    “I haveJust finished my meeting with Vice President Pence. It was long: almost twice as long than had been planned. We thoroughly went through the coordination of our actions and the processes that are taking place in the east of the country — the Russian occupation, coordination for effective action and the formation of a Ukrainian agenda for negotiations with the Russian Federation. It is very important that there were already presented the results of the consultations in the “Normandy Format”. I was pleasantly surprised by the how well informed the Vice-President is about the details of the processes that are going on. I informed the Vice President about the recent decision of President Putin to recognize passports of the occupied territories of the so-called DPR / LPR. For me this is yet more proof of the Russian occupation and Russian violations of international law and it is very symbolic that this cynically occurred during the Munich security conference”, Poroshenko said.

    It is not at all cynical, you grotesquely fat twat: Russia has just announced to you and Pence and all the rest that its patience has at last come to an end.

  24. J.T. says:

    In case anyone’s interested, Russia Roundup #35 was posted today.

    • Cortes says:

      The protoputin is funny but is no match for the churnalism referenced.

      • J.T. says:

        Then I have failed in my mission as an artist and blogger
        I’m surprised this article made it past the editing phase, considering how little substance it has.

        • marknesop says:

          “The overwhelming majority of people we spoke to in St. Petersburg oppose revolutionary activity regardless of the situation, although many of them are not happy with their lives and the current government. Some say that bloodshed is unacceptable. Others claim that gradual development is better than revolution, and some simply do not see any alternative to the current regime.”

          I’d say that comes awfully close to a conclusion on the author’s part why there will be no revolution in Russia – because the people don’t want a revolution, are not convinced their lives are so bad that there is no other recourse, and some find violence unacceptable. Enough, evidently, that it is too difficult to get a good revolution going with sugary platitudes about the health and stability of government systems which are under the constant threat of revolution.

        • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

          The people who scream loudest for the downfall of the existing order are those who would be first to perish without it.

  25. Lyttenburgh says:

    Simply invaluable article to all would-be mujaheeds and CIA assets, penned by muezzins from the Financial Crimes: The rise and fall of a US-backed rebel commander in Syria

    Once a ‘fixer’ for the CIA, Syrian rebel comes to terms with failed US policy
    Abu Ahmad: ‘I used to think America was the ruler of the universe. If you ask me whether I was wrong? Yes, I was wrong

    Takbeer! These kaffirs are basically openly admitting that they don’t give a crap that they are, basically, supplying Al Queda and other radicals. And all because of such murtads as Abu Ahmad. And the thing is – there are Abu Ahmads all over the word, whether they are called Kasyanov, #YashinMudak or Yatsenyuk, this doesn’t change their nature:

    “There was a time when “Abu Ahmad”, a bulky man with a heavy limp, held court in the smoke-filled cafés of southern Turkey. Fellow Syrian opposition leaders looked to him for help; foreign intelligence officers sought his opinion. When he crossed into Syria, he brought bags filled with hundred-dollar bills to hand out to rebel fighters. His comrades received US-approved anti-tank missiles, discreetly delivered at the border.

    Some rebels called him the CIA’s man in Syria. Now, he struggles to get his calls returned. “We used to joke, ‘If you want something from Barack Obama, call Abu Ahmad,’” another CIA-backed rebel commander recalls. “If someone in the opposition wanted to meet the Americans, they went to him. Now, guys like us, we’re headed to the rubbish bin of history.”

    After two years as the CIA’s “fixer”, distributing arms and planning military operations in Syria, Abu Ahmad was thrown into prison. On his release, he was temporarily forced into hiding, then fell into ignominy in the eyes of fellow rebels. For security reasons, he asked for his name and those of several others who discussed his story to be changed, and their exact location withheld.

    The story of his rise and fall offers a rare insight into how the CIA operated within the confines of President Obama’s halfhearted Syria policy. It reveals how the rivalries between US bureaucracies — and, even more importantly, the growing divergence between Washington and its Nato ally Turkey — exacerbated Syria’s mayhem.”

    Bits of Abu Ahmad’s bio:

    “Abu Ahmad defected to rebel territory in northern Syria with a handgun. “I was clueless,” he says. “I barely knew how to fire a gun. Weapons training never interested me at all.”

    But he honed a different skill that would later attract American partners: a quartermaster’s sense for tactics and logistics. “I could tell how many fighters were actually on the ground, how much ammunition they could use — and, most importantly, how many men were really going to fight,” he says.

    […]

    “We were so dumb. I was so dumb,” Abu Ahmad says, shaking his head. “What was I thinking? I thought the regime would fall, and we’d go back to where we started. When I came back, I found Jabhat al-Nusra and Isis spreading, and they had all these plans. That’s when I knew we’d eventually need to have a counter-operation against these guys too.””

    And the juiciest bit – about the foreign run arm’n’equip opp:

    The Americans invited Abu Ahmad to join a covert operations room they were forming with allies including Britain, France, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey to support moderate rebels. Known as the Müşterek Operasyon Merkezi (MOM), it was modelled on a joint operations centre set up in Jordan a year earlier.

    From the beginning, the operation faced major obstacles. Turkey’s 800km border with Syria was difficult to control. Furthermore, by 2014, the role of jihadis and the relationships between foreign backers and local clients were deeply entrenched, making it almost impossible to manage the flow of weapons.

    “Throughout this [programme] there have been major disagreements between countries and even within governments,” says Noah Bonsey, of the International Crisis Group, an NGO. “Have the rebels failed tremendously? Absolutely. Have the supporting states been just as factious as the rebels? Absolutely.”

    Many rebels considered MOM little more than a foreign intelligence foothold within the opposition. But some, like Abu Ahmad, hoped it could at least solidify the rebel hold on northern Syria and ensure a stronger position in peace negotiations.

    […]

    …Soon, however, MOM bureaucracy became a problem for the rebels: battles could turn in hours while it sometimes took weeks for foreign representatives to agree on plans and get approval to deliver supplies such as ammunition, medicine and boots. Rebels turned to the media with tales of MOM’s stinginess.

    Some opposition figures and diplomats, however, argue the problem was just the opposite. “MOM became a vehicle for corrupting the Free Syrian Army, not because they gave them too little but because they gave them too much,” says an opposition figure close to MOM-backed commanders.

    He says commanders regularly inflated their forces’ numbers to pocket extra salaries, and some jacked up weapons requests to hoard or sell on the black market. Inevitably, much of that ended up in Isis hands. Other groups cut in Jabhat al-Nusra on deals to keep it from attacking them. “The CIA knew about this, of course, everyone in MOM did. It was the price of doing business.”

    […]

    It’s hard to verify whether Abu Ahmad was as clean as he claims, but his current status is in contrast to that of many rebel commanders, who have large apartments in Turkey, drive new cars and own the latest iPhones.”

  26. Moscow Exile says:

    Russia plotted to overthrow Montenegro’s government by assassinating Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic last year, according to senior Whitehall sources

    Whitehall sources told The Telegraph.

    The Kremlin has strongly denied any involvement, and the Montenegrin special prosecutor has publically stopped short of alleging Moscow’s involvement in a plot it has blamed on “Russian nationalists”. The country’s pro-Russian opposition bloc says the alleged coup was “fake”.

    Predrag Bosković, Montenegrin defence minister, told The Telegraph there is “not any doubt” that the plot was financed and organised by Russian intelligence officers alongside local radicals.

    There’s nothing in the story: no evidence, just there-is-no-doubt-the-Kremlin-is-behind-what-would have-happened / could have-happened / might have-happened sort of stuff.

    And tagged on at the end is a rehash of cyber attack tales, the Litvinenko story, the Ukraine nightmare, intereference in US elections, Russian misinformation etc. It is all just a Sunday morning, front page, full frontal attack on Russia which lacks any substance.

    • marknesop says:

      A weekend recapitulation of Russian atrocities and global meddling, just to help readers connect the dots, with a little bit of extra juice to make it all seem new.

      Did you ever notice that the only stories which have an identifiable source any more are Kremlin tales attributed to the Russian government? You hardly ever see “according to a highly-placed government source who asked not to be named because he is not authorized to speak to the media” when the Russian government responds to an accusation which was itself not attributed to anyone identifiable – Whitehall sources, a Washington insider, unnamed American intelligence officials, etc… No, it’s “according to General Shoigu, or this Duma Deputy or that municipal official – the western press does not seem concerned about blowing the cover of Russian sources, maybe getting them in trouble. The exception is when it is a story about Russia generated by its liberal fifth column. Then it is sourced to ‘a Kremlin insider’, which usually means Gleb Pavlovsky or Stanislav Belkovsky.

    • kirill says:

      More pap for retards. If Russia was going after this NATzO bootlick it would have tried more than once and eventually succeeded. But then comes the key part, which this smelly propaganda can’t handle, killing the “leader” does not kill the government. Where is the replacement leader of the opposition faction in the government who would fill the void and pursue Putin’s agenda?

  27. Moscow Exile says:

    From the BBC this Sunday morning:

    The corpse factory and the birth of fake news

    Nothing new there: most folk know that the allies were dab hands at launching propaganda stories and outright lies againt the “Hun” from day one of WW!.

    But take a look at how some bright spark at the BBC has classified the story.

    It comes under “Entertainment & Arts”.

    • saskydisc says:

      The (parliamentary) Bryce report made the claim explicitly, yet the Bryce report has disappeared, and it is striking that the BBC declines to mention that—it was already known that the government was the body spreading this information.

  28. Moscow Exile says:


    Check and mate to all those who did not believe that the Maidan would strengthen the well-being of Ukrainians

    1. 2014
    2, 2017

  29. Moscow Exile says:

    С такими зарплатами антикоррупционеры будут готовы бороться с коррупцией вечно!

    With such salaries, the anticorruptionists are going to be prepared to fight against corruption forever!

    After the triumph of the Revolution of Dignity, one of the loud slogans proclaimed by the authorities was the fight against corruption. In addition to the lustration processes in government agencies, anti-corruption bodies have have been newly established in order to make this possible. Perhaps the most important safety measure attached to these new organizations so that they do not become bogged down within the existing system was the salary of their employees. At least, that is what the higher echelons of these organizations say…

    How much do Ukrainian anticorruptionists earn?
    salary data as of January 2017

  30. Moscow Exile says:

    Порошенко в Мюнхене: проблемы шерифа и проблемы индейца это разные проблемы

    Poroshenko at Munich: the sheriff’s and Indian’s problems are different

    The speech by the President of the Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, at the annual Munich Security Conference ended in failure.

    To the event there had been invited the Ukrainian President, Petro Poroshenko, the same as in 2015 and 2016, but this time almost no one paid attention to his speech, and the Ukraine is gradually disappearing from the agenda. In Munich this became apparent, writes “European Truth”.

    Poroshenko, as has been his habit over recent years, decided for the umpteenth time to tell Europe “the tale of the white bull” [the same story over and over again — ME], which everyone has already got pretty bored of hearing. In Europe, over the years they have enough problems of their own and the Ukraine is now obviously not one of them.

    That is why the Ukrainian president just dropped out of the discussion: he simply had nothing to say on the topic of European problems….

    At Munich, Petro Poroshenko was invited to make an appearance on Friday evening at the opening day of the conference. The main day at the Munich conference is considered to be on Saturday, when it caters for the majority of the key speakers. In previous years, Poroshenko had been appointed to a panel of speakers. For the first time, Poroshenko was not invited as the main panellist: he was only invited to be the third person to speak.

    Poroshenko spoke on a panel entitled “The Future of the West: Decline or Recovery?” However, Poroshenko decided that his theme was more important and began to talk about the Russian-Ukrainian conflict. In the speech there was no new thesis: the president repeated what Europe had heard from him dozens of times before: on the impossibility of appeasement with the Kremlin, about Putin’s hatred of the Ukraine, on the importance of maintaining sanctions. Along with Poroshenko spoke Senator McCain, the Polish President, Duda, and the heads of the Foreign Ministry of the Netherlands and the UK, Koenders and Johnson. They are all on the side of the Ukraine in assessing the conflict with Russia, but none of them in their speeches and responses passed on to the Ukrainian question.

    In the end, for almost the entire hour and a half of the panel discussion, Poroshenko spent his time as a statistician, whilst other participants discussed new challenges in the Western world — changes after Brexit, the new policy of the US and so on.

    I wonder what McShitstain spoke about?

    • Moscow Exile says:

      Mistranslation:

      Poroshenko spent his time as a statistician, whilst other participants discussed new challenges in the Western world — changes after Brexit, the new policy of the US and so on.

      NO!!!

      He SAT MUTE

      like the great big useless lump of lard that he is!

      • yalensis says:

        Ha ha, that was a funny mistranslation!
        Порошенко просидів як статист…
        If the word статист means the same as in Russian, then I think it is an actor in a film who just appears on the screen but does not have any speaking lines.
        In American English, it’s called an “extra”.

    • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

      Banging on about Ukraine when nobody mentioned Ukraine is a favourite tactic of Ukrainian internet warriors. They honestly seem to be too stupid to realise how much it hurts their cause, when ‘Ukrainian advocate’ becomes a synonym for ‘crashing bore’.

    • marknesop says:

      Oh, “The Little White Bull”!!! I love that song, my ex-wife used to sing it to make me laugh. Let’s see, it began, “Once upon a time there was…a little white bull…” Yeah, here it is! I’ve never actually heard the whole song, just the little snatch of it that she knew. I can see why that would be an inspiring story for Europe; you know, the little white bull that manages to triumph in spite of his inferior colour, and all that.

      Or maybe Poroshenko was talking about a different story.

      • Cortes says:

        Yes, but contains the ridiculous line

        “You’re not a little bull, you’re a brave little bull”

        Which rips my knitting.

        • marknesop says:

          Yes, it should have been “You’re not just a little bull”. But, you know, cadence and all that. And now I’m almost positive this is not the same story Poroshenko bored the Europeans stiff with, because looking at the storyline, I see there is nothing in it about Putin or regular troops of the Russian Federation in their hundreds of thousands, or cyberwarfare against Ukraine’s critical infrastructure or unfair gas prices.

          • Jen says:

            Yes but whether Poroshenko was talking about the little white bull that took on the matadors and toreadors in Spain or not, everyone surely agrees that he was still talking a load of bull.

            • Cortes says:

              Here’s Mike Oldfield (yes, THAT Mike Oldfield) with a classic on similar lines

              Love to learn where it was filmed – thinking hill town somewhere like Teruel province.

        • yalensis says:

          Logically the story should end with the picadors thrusting knives into the little white bull, followed by the toreador slashing his throat while the crowd bays for more blood.

          Then the crowd all shouted, torro little bull!
          You’re not a little bull, you’re a brave little bull
          You’re gonna be a DEAD little bull
          The best in Spain!

      • Moscow Exile says:

        The expression has nothing to do with the the British singer Tommy Steele’s 1959 song “The Little White Bull”.

        Фраза «сказка про белого бычка» означает бесконечное повторение одного и того же с самого начала.

        Эта фраза появилась благодаря русской сказке-дразнилке, у которой конец переходит в начало. Ей используют, когда дети донимают родителей просьбами рассказать им сказку. Текст этой дразнилки очень прост: «Рассказать тебе сказку про белого бычка? – Скажи. – Ты скажи, да я скажи, да сказать ли тебе сказку про белого бычка? – Скажи». И так, пока одному не надоест спрашивать, а другому отвечать. Впоследствии выражение «сказка про белого бычка» стало употребляться в значении бесконечного повтора одного и того же.

        The phrase “a tale about a little white bull” means an endless repetition of one and the same beginning.

        This phrase has arisen from a Russian fairy-tale teaser whose end becomes its beginning. It is used when children are pestering their parents, asking them to tell them a story. The story-line of the teaser is very simple:

        — Shall I tell you the tale about a little white bull?

        — Tell me.

        — You say tell me, so shall I tell you the tale about a little white bull?

        — Tell me.

        And so it goes on until one gets tired of asking for the story and the other of answering. As a result, the expression “a little white bull tale” began to be used to mean endlessly repeating one and the same thing.

        Source: Фраза «сказка про белого бычка»

        • marknesop says:

          I assumed the two were not actually connected, and I was just being gratuitously sarcastic for a change. You know, since I’m usually serious and academic.

          Say; speaking of that and things which have nothing to do with it – the New York Times is a completely partisan pile of shit. Seriously, I’m not even kidding here; it makes not the slightest effort to be impartial, instead spreading its biased horseshit with wild abandon.

          Apparently, a Ukrainian politician named Andriy Artimenko claims to have a file on Poroshenko which includes wire transfers and names of companies, all manner of corruption. We know his name is Andriy Artimenko because the Times tells us up front, as well as lots of personal details about him, although it is the epitome of coyness when talking with Volunteer Battalion leaders in Ukraine, happy to identify them only as ‘Dragon’ or ‘Facefucker’ or I don’t know what-all in their pursuit of anonymity. Here’s a little example:

          “Before entering politics, Mr. Artemenko had business ventures in the Middle East and real estate deals in the Miami area, and had worked as an agent representing top Ukrainian athletes. Some colleagues in Parliament describe him as corrupt, untrustworthy or simply insignificant, but he appears to have amassed considerable wealth.

          He has fashioned himself in the image of Mr. Trump, presenting himself as Ukraine’s answer to a rising class of nationalist leaders in the West. He even traveled to Cleveland last summer for the Republican National Convention, seizing on the chance to meet with members of Mr. Trump’s campaign.”

          Who’s going to pay any attention now to a peace plan which originates with Artimenko? And, of course, everyone who is connected with him also has a connection with the Russians; fear and loathing of Russia has reached hysteria proportions in America. Ukraine, of course, is furious, and I’m sure Artimenmko’s name has just shot to the head of the ‘Peacemaker’ list, or whatever they are calling their hit list these days. But the entire tone of the article is pure sleaze and slime, phrasing everything in tones of incredulity and suggesting only a child would believe such wild tales at the same time as it implies all those mentioned are connected in a web of conspiracy which leads right back to the Kremlin.

          The New York Times is not interested in peace in Ukraine unless it is peace on Washington’s terms; a compliant and submissive eastern Ukraine bowing to the will of Poroshenko, whom the west is perfectly content to leave in place despite his insistence on continuing to lead a double life as a profiteering businessman at the same time he is President. Any peace plan which might have Trump’s fingerprints on it is doubly abominable, since Trump cannot be allowed to succeed at anything – he is supposed to be hunkered down in his bunker defending himself from a swarm of attacks so that at the end of his first 100 days, his enemies can thunder, “What has Trump accomplished??? NOTHING!!!!!!”

  31. Warren says:

    Published on 16 Feb 2017
    http://democracynow.org – Over four years ago, NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden warned that he or other NSA analysts could spy on anyone, even the U.S. president. “I, sitting at my desk, certainly had the authorities to wiretap anyone, from you or your accountant to a federal judge, to even the president, if I had a personal email,” Snowden said in an interview with Glenn Greenwald in Hong Kong. We talk to Greenwald about the difference between how Washington reacted to Snowden’s leaks and today’s leaks about Gen. Michael Flynn.

  32. Moscow Exile says:

    Russia’s recognition of the documents of the separatist “republics” is disturbing and contrary to the agreed objectives of the Minsk agreements

    Not once in the presidential decree issued yesterday is mention made of the “separatist ‘republics'”, nor are the terms DPR, LPR, separatist or separatists used.

    The decree reads:

    A decree on the recognition of documents issued to citizens of the Ukraine and stateless persons residing in the territories of individual districts of the Donetsk and Lugansk provinces of the Ukraine.

    The President has signed a Decree “On the recognition in the Russian Federation of documents and licence plates of vehicles issued to citizens of the Ukraine and stateless persons permanently residing in the territories of individual regions of the Donetsk and Lugansk provinces of the Ukraine”.

    18 Feb 2017 16:45
    The text of the document:

    In order to protect the rights and freedoms of persons and citizens and guided by universally recognized principles and norms of international humanitarian law, I hereby decree:

    1. that there be temporarily established, pending a political settlement of the situation in certain districts of the Donetsk and Luhansk provinces of the Ukraine based on the Minsk agreements:

    a) recognition in the Russian Federation of the validity of identity documents, documents on education and (or) qualification, a birth certificate, the conclusion (cancellation) of a marriage, a name change, a death certificate, a certificate of vehicle registration and vehicle registration plates issued by the competent authorities (organizations) actually acting on territories of these areas to citizens of the Ukraine and stateless persons permanently residing in these territories;

    b) citizens of the Ukraine and stateless persons constantly living in territories of individual districts of the Donetsk and Luhansk provinces of the Ukraine may undertake entry into the Russian Federation and exit from the Russian Federation without a visa on the basis of documents certifying a person’s identity (for minors under the age of 16 years, identity based on birth certificate) issued by the relevant authorities that are in fact in force in the territories of specified areas.

    2. The government of the Russian Federation is to take the necessary measures in order to implement this Decree.

    3. This Decree shall enter into force from the day of its signing.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      Interesting Tweets in reply to the above US Embasy Tweet, such as this:

      Could you perhaps clarify eactly what points [in the decree] run contrary [to the Minsk Agreemeent] ?

    • Jen says:

      That’s hilarious – the US Embassy in Kiev believes that documents produced by agencies of the Ukrainian government in Donetsk and Lugansk and issued to Ukrainian citizens and residents there, to enable them to go about their daily business, are now suspect and disturbing because the Russian government has decided to recognise them as legal documents in Russian territory, in case refugees from those areas who have fled to Russia need to provide identification. If Moscow decided to recognise US drivers’ licences as legal documents for the purpose of identifying American tourists or residents, the US Embassy in Kiev would presumably find that very strange too.

  33. Moscow Exile says:

    Traitorous shits!

    The whole country has been rocked by the scandal surrounding the flight of former deputies Voronenkov and Maksakova [above] to the Ukraine. The former duma deputies, who are now simply traitors, are encouraging the Ukrainian media with its anti-Russian statements and powerful “breakdown sheets” on the topic of Russian politics, which are provoking both laughter and disgust….

    I believe that the flight of the former deputies is not a sign that the system is rotten and bad, but on the contrary, a sign that the political system as a whole has been becoming cleaner and better. Crooked politicians, however, can no longer bear to be in Russia, even if they have Communist Party and United Russia membership cards and broadcasting and media fame. In like manner, a very positive signal was given to society by the exodus from the country of rebellious oligarchs, such as Berezovsky. This was a sign that the government was slowly and with difficulty tidying up its business. And now the flight of former [duma] members, from Ponomarev to Maksakova, is a sign that the government is restoring order in the political sphere, over which we can but only rejoice. However, let us compare the fugitives of that earlier time and the current ones. Earlier, the so-called victims of the Putin regime landed in London and gave interviews to the BBC and were able to try and influence the political situation in Russia by sponsoring one or another party. Today’s escapees are waiting only in Kiev; the interview they gave was to the Ukrainian media, and their main political achievement has been to appear as evidence against Viktor Yanukovych. Small time traitors — and that is good…

    And now a few words about the popular idea that all members [of the duma] are like these two. This is an obvious lie. In the Duma, especially in its current convocation, there are a lot of decent folk who in practice have shown that their service to the Motherland is not just empty noise. Just off the top of my head there is Valentina Tereshkova, who needs no introduction, the Russsian Hero, Colonel General Shamanov, Nobel laureate Zhores Alferov … and I could go on with this list. It is significant that they are all in the new state Duma, but Voronenkov and Maksakova were former deputies. By the way, in an interview, Maksakova made an interesting statement. Here it is:

    “Question: And why did you eventually lose the primaries? Did it It have something to do with your husband?

    Maksakova’s answer: This was due to the fact that Volodin [Chairman of the State Duma — ME] categorically did not want to see me in the Duma — and, apparently, he already knew who was going to be in charge of it”.

    It is understood that after Maksakova had escaped to the Ukraine, she was unable to say bad things about Russian politics. But there is something else that is even more worthy of note: she could not get onto the United Russia party list because she failed in the primaries. So, if the primary system can screen out of Russian politics deputies such as Maksakova, then the system is good and necessary. And I do not believe her accusations that she has made against Volodin; however, I should like to point out that slander coming from a traitor is the best possible compliment.

    • Patient Observer says:

      The political centrifuge is in action. The shit is circulating the drain at an ever-increasing velocity soon to disappear from view only to resurface in a cesspool across the border. I suspect that, despite sanctions, this is one Russian export that is growing at a healthy rate.

  34. yalensis says:

    This is very interesting, and also proof that not every actor is a whore.
    Oleg Taktarov is a Russian sambo and Ultimate Cage-Fighting Champion. In the 1990’s he moved to the U.S., now spends maybe half his time in America, and half in Russia.
    Taktarov had also become a successful Hollywood actor and got a lot of good roles in movies and TV, including shows like “Alias” or “NCIS”, where he usually plays a Russian baddie.

    But apparently there is a line that Oleg will not cross. According to the VZGLIAD story, Oleg’s agent sent him a proposal for a role in a Hollywood film. They offered him a huge salary that would support him for a year.
    The role? Apparently there is a treatment for a screenplay floating around Hollywood. In which Russian Separatists viciously destroy a peaceful Ukrainian village. The villain is a Russian pilot named Roman.
    Taktarov said he turned down the role.
    Who wants to bet this is another masterpiece from Renny Harlin?
    When this piece of shit movie comes out, people need to protest loudly and picket it.

    • Patient Observer says:

      Good bet for best picture if they scrape enough garbage together to last 90 minutes otherwise best short.

    • Lyttenburgh says:

      “Who wants to bet this is another masterpiece from Renny Harlin?”

      Oh, Renny Harlin! Half-human (well… Finn) – half-raspberry hybrid, created by mad science of the Cold War! Author of the best-seller “How to fuck up millions of $ and learn nothing!”

    • et Al says:

      The Western media entertainment industry also had problems finding any Serbs wto play evil Serbs when they were the ennemi du jour in the 1990s/2000s. Not to worry as Slovenes (Željko Ivanek in ’24’ for example), Croats and others stepped in and stepped up. How generous!

      • yalensis says:

        Oh, they will always find a willing whore.
        Taktarov was their first choice for evil Ukie-baby-slaying sambo-wrestling “Roman”, but mark my words they will find a Russian Judas to take his place.

        (Or maybe a Serb – they’re close enough, you just have to have a Boris Badinov type accent!)

    • cartman says:

      I’m sure that it’s better to ignore Harlin’s crap. The xenophobic stuff just disappears like that movie he did about Saakashvili.

      • yalensis says:

        True. I don’t think anybody went to see that movie.

        • Jen says:

          I did but this was in my pre-KS babyhood days. Andy Garcia played the tie-eater. Fitting that, since Garcia had previously played Mafia gangster types.

          • yalensis says:

            I thought about renting it, but only just to see how far Val Kilmer has degenerated physically and morally.
            In the end I begrudged the time.

            Which didn’t prevent me from wasting 2 hours watching “The Arrival”.
            That’s the sci-fi flick which is supposed to be so deep and thought-provoking that it revealed to the world the name “Hannah” is a palindrome.
            This masterpiece is the story of a comedy duo of octopi, each with one leg cut off, who set out to “prove” the Sapir–Whorf hypothesis.
            Namely, if you can learn to read octopod hieroglyphs where future tense is the same as the present tense, then you can see into the future.
            Ha – if that was true, then all Bulgarians would be time travelers.

            • Jen says:

              No, you don’t want to see how far Val Kilmer has disintegrated – even then, he really did look as if he was literally falling apart, even liquefying into a formless mass.

              • marknesop says:

                He must want to kill himself. This is what he looked like once. This is what he looks like now. That’s some kind of breathing aid around his neck, and they say his health is not good, that he might have throat cancer. He denies this.

  35. Cortes says:

    Friend, originally from Cherkassy, very concerned about the Maidan events to which several of her acquaintances were heading Sunday night. Glued to her smartphone for updates.

    • marknesop says:

      As well she might be; it seems a little tense, to say the least. Instructive, too – I wonder if the European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs is there to cheer the demonstrators on and demand that Poroshenko withdraw his police to their barracks. Oh, dear – demonstrators are hitting police on their helmets and throwing firecrackers at them! This behaviour has resulted in serious injuries, including a closed brain injury to one of the police. Yet at the original event, throwing bricks from the pavements and whipping the police with lengths of chain were just the struggles of an oppressed people to be free of their tyrannical leader.

      I notice a distinct lack of interest on the part of the western press in this reunion performance. Of course, there’s always the possibility that the Kremlin-funded Russian-state-supported RT is just making it all up, and the demonstrations we are seeing are actually in Moscow as RT tries to smear peaceful Ukraine. You never know.

      Back then, the people were discontented. Now they’re just troublemaking lawbreakers. Funny old world, innit?

      • Cortes says:

        Surprisingly, Shawn of the Dead brilliant reportage and Tintín are otherwise unoccupied on this historic occasion. No doubt hot on the trail of The Real Sister Pelagia to delight readers in Hampshire.

      • Lyttenburgh says:

        “Back then, the people were discontented. Now they’re just troublemaking lawbreakers. Funny old world, innit?”

        One of the iconic photos from the “Revolution of dignity”.

        I bet this old-timer, who’s beating fallen BERKUT trooper now lives happy life in Free, Democratic, Not-Corrupt country, receiving enormous European-level pension regularly and in full volume, so that he has enough money not only to pay rather moderate utility bills, but to travell (visa free) all across the EU!

        I.e. – that he is in special svidomite Afterlife.

  36. marknesop says:

    Hey; look! Isn’t this the global guardian and observer of international law, about to disregard international law because it gets in the way of doing what it wants to do? I…uhhh….thought that was the purpose of law; to prevent people from doing what they want when that contributes to violation of others’ rights and a breakdown of social order.

    George W. Bush unwittingly summarized American foreign policy when he said, “When we talk about war…we’re really talkin’ about peace.” Whenever America wants to do something that it suspects will meet with broad disapproval, it pretends it is necessary for peace.

    • Cortes says:

      Gosh!

      And if an RF backed Turkey decided to close the Bosphorus…?

    • Patient Observer says:

      While looking for a particular quote from George W. Bush (did not find), I came across this website:

      https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/George_W._Bush

      You know, I could run for governor and all this but I’m basically a media creation. I’ve never really done anything. I’ve worked for my dad. I worked in the oil industry. But that’s not the kind of profile you have to have to get elected to public office.

      If the terriers and barriffs are torn down, this economy will grow..

      What we Republicans should stand for is growth in the economy. We ought to make the pie higher.

      I think we agree, the past is over.

      More and more of our imports come from overseas.

      I know the human being and the fish can coexist peacefully.

      This is an impressive crowd — the haves and the have-mores. Some people call you the elites; I call you my base.

      .they want the federal government controlling Social Security, like it’s some kind of federal program.

      They misunderestimated me.

      My pro-life position is I believe there’s life. It’s not necessarily based in religion. I think there’s a life there, therefore the notion of life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness

      My plan reduces the national debt, and fast. So fast, in fact, that economists worry that we’re going to run out of debt to retire.

      There’s an old saying in Tennessee – I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee – that says, fool me once, shame on – shame on you. Fool me – you can’t get fooled again.

      Donald Trump is being crucified for saying things far less dumb.

      • yalensis says:

        Ha ha! Some of those homilies are so stupid, that they cross over and become wise.
        Like the sayings of Yogi Berra!

      • shargash says:

        “They misunderestimated me.”

        I laughed at him when he said that, but I have since come to realize that it is a candidate for the snarkiest line of the new century. W is a scion of an American aristocratic family. He went to Yale, and even if he wasn’t as smart as the poorer kids who got into Yale, he is far from stupid. He knows how to speak grammatical English. He (and his parents) would have been mortified if he couldn’t, considering the society he grew up in.

        The first time he ran for political office in Texas, he lost because people thought he was too smart. He never made that mistake again. Instead he got the Democrats to think he was an idiot while he ran circles around them for two terms as president.

        That line was Bush laughing his ass off, a giant upraised middle finger to all the people that called him an idiot.

        • marknesop says:

          I still think he was an idiot. He showed an abysmal grasp of foreign affairs, geography, religion and his ideas about economics were about as wacky as you can get – consider his rueful line that analysts were worried America might run out of debt to retire during his tenure. They need have had no fear; he increased the debt until it groaned at the seams.

          I once read an interesting opinion which posited that George W. Bush was a psychopath, and which offered as evidence that he seemed ‘dialed in’ and perfectly capable of holding a lucid and engaged conversation only when he was talking about war, military campaigns and forcing America’s will on the world. It held up also the example of his public mockery of the pleas of a death row inmate – squeaking “Oh, please don’t kill me” in a high falsetto – and the increase in executions. Yet when he had to discuss the mundane minutiae of ordinary domestic policy, he was a stammering simpleton.

          I don’t know if I buy that; I tend to think the only thing that interested him was war and the exercise of power, and he was too bored to pay attention to anything else. But I must confess ‘secret genius’ was not an alternative I considered seriously.

          And he went to Yale and Harvard.

          • shargash says:

            I don’t think there’s any doubt that he was a sociopath, but I think a lot of his absurd statements were purely for effect, a kind of boasting. He certainly knew how to speak American English if he wanted to, so the deliberate malapropisms were a deliberate affectation.

            I don’t think he is a secret genius, though he certainly has his talents. He did win the presidency twice. He did, in fact, whatever he wanted to do for eight years. Some of that was his advisors, but some of it had to be him (though I will grant that the quality of the opposition played a big role in his success as well).

            If you watch the video of him saying “They misunderestimated me,” he has that trademark W smirk. I think the jibes about his stupidity really got to him, and this was his upraised finger in reply.

            In any case, there is no doubt that the Democrats underestimated him. There is a danger in the Democrats’ casting him as a fool — what does it say about them that he was so successful? And he was successful: he transformed the US more than any president since Reagan (not in a good way, of course). And the Democrats are making the same mistake with Trump. I don’t think it is going to turn out any better, though they do have the CIA on their side this time.

  37. Patient Observer says:

    Speaking of oppressed people struggling to be free of repression:

    https://sputniknews.com/asia/201702201050848850-china-massive-rallies-xinjiang/

    Not exactly massive but still a considerable show of force:

    In a mass anti-terror rally in Xinjiang’s capital, Urumqi, hundreds of armed Chinese troops and police accompanied by armored vehicles marched through the streets. Ranked in front of a government building, they shouted pledges to fight terrorism.

    I thought that the Umbrella Revolution flop would have been it for a while but hope springs eternal in the land of consensual reality (not sure what that means but I think it sounds very very deep).

    • marknesop says:

      If the story is accurate, China is in the wrong on this one, and a major world power must be inclusive. China will be rightly accused of soft ethnic cleansing if it does not permit freedom of worship, and that includes customs regulated by religion where they are not harmful or potentially harmful to the person.

      • Patient Observer says:

        The article did mention a number of terrorist acts:

        Five were killed in December when attackers rammed a vehicle with an explosive into a government building, and police killed what authorities call three armed terror suspects who had detonated an explosive last month.

        Earlier this week, five were killed in a knife attack in Hotan prefecture, Pishan County, with police shooting the three attackers, the China Daily reported. Authorities are calling the incident a terror attack, though they have not identified the perpetrators or victims.

        The article also referenced some seemingly unnecessary restrictions on the practice of religion such as forcing the sale of alcohol by some stores and forbidding fasting for Ramadan. It should be noted that fasting can be quite flexible such as only on weekends (I know this for a fact).

        I would imagine that there is far more than religious conflict at work such as ethnic rivalries and economic inequalities. However, it seems a given that West is using every opportunity to either create conflict or amplify any existing conflict to harm any country not securely under its control.

        • marknesop says:

          The article implied the terrorist acts were protests against the repression of religious customs, something the people were not prepared to tolerate. I realize terrorism is never the solution, but it should be investigated to see if the two groups ever got along, and what has changed since. But you are perfectly correct that the west is likely to be stirring the pot at every opportunity, and playing up the religious differences to promote discord.

      • Jen says:

        The issue behind China’s crackdown on the Uyghur minority is that there are people within the Uyghur separatist movement who have been moving in and out of China and their travels have taken them to Turkey, Iraq and Syria where they have been fighting with ISIS. There have been reports that about 5,000 militants from western China are fighting in Syria.

        Another problem is that China has been persecuting the Falun Gong cult whose founder Li Hongzhi has been living in the US for nearly 20 years and is now a permanent resident there. Internet rumours persist that Falun Gong is being funded by George Soros’ Open Society Foundation through Freedom House. The problem in going after Falun Gong is that the more Beijing uses the sledgehammer approach against them, the more Falun Gong can capitalise on their victimisation and gain more sympathy (and attract the attention of the CIA and others who see in them a useful tool to use against China), and deny charges that they are a crackpot religious cult that depicts homosexuals and people of mixed ancestry as subhuman. If Beijing were to stop, any foreign funding to Falun Gong could dry up and to keep the money flowing in, the organisation would have to justify its use by turning into an agency for regime change.

        • et Al says:

          I understood the issue to be that the Uyghur minority wants some sort of recognition of the wrongs (historical & otherwise) committed against them in the form of a special status that is practically autonomy. That of course flies in the face of long term Chinese policy, not to mention that once you start offering special deals to one group, Pandora’s box is opened and at some point down the line, you goose is ready to come out of the oven – in short that’s what happened to Tito’s Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia when he had to offer more incentives to buy off unrest at time went on. By the end of it, everyone thought that the others were benefiting far more from the system than themselves in one way or another and so the system became unsustainable, just waiting for a spark to set off its destruction. China’s ‘cleansing’ or attempts to change the demographic balance in the region is part of their strategy to ward this off at the pass but also comes with massive investment and opportunities (ying/yang). Damned if you do, damned if you don’t really.

          • Jen says:

            Yes there are other groups in China – Tibetans, not least – who would also want formal recognition of historical and other wrongs against them, and once Uyghurs and Tibetans obtain that recognition, then every other group (ethnic, religious, other) would compete for special status, especially if people sniff the possibility of being able to sue for monetary compensation.

      • yalensis says:

        It’s possibly an over-reaction, but one must keep in mind that the Uygur movement leaders are financed by the CIA. To do what ISIS does in Syria, and Banderites do in Ukraine, i.e., overthrow the government.

        • marknesop says:

          And if they fail, and lose, then they are persecuted by the government and the CIA still gets its nickel’s worth – so it’s a pretty sound investment, all told.

    • Northern Star says:

      Really..!!!!

  38. Patient Observer says:

    I hope that (the world) will choose a democratic world order — a post-West one — in which each country is defined by its sovereignty. – Lavrov

    http://russia-insider.com/en/lavrov-tells-it-right-pences-smug-face-russia-will-end-us-led-world-order/ri18980

    “Post-West world order” indeed. Russia seems to becoming more confident and not reluctant to “engage” the West at any level. The Washington psychos must be furious.

  39. Moscow Exile says:

    They are a laugh a minute are Ukrainian “politicians”:

    Ukrainian Deputy Artemenko has spoken about a plan for lifting sanctions against Russia
    07:5220.02.2017 (updated: 08:44 20.02.2017)

    KIEV, February 20 — RIA Novosti. Ukraine rada deputy Andrey Artemenko in an interview withStrana” has spoken about a plan for lifting the sanctions against Russia, which plan he has prepared for the administration of U.S. President Donald trump.

    Earlier, the New York Times reported that in early February in Michael Flynn’s office, which person at the time was assistant to the President on national security, there had been handed over proposals for the normalization of relations between the Ukraine and Russia and the lifting of sanctions against Moscow. According to the newspaper, the plan called for “the withdrawal of Russian forces from Eastern Ukraine”, as well as the holding of a referendum on the possibility of leasing the Crimea to Russia for a period of 50 to 100 years.

    Artemenko told “Strana” that the lease would only be stipulated for 30-50 years, after which the peninsula would have to hold a referendum in order that its final identity be determined.

    The second point of the plan, according to Artemenko, is the return of the Donbass to the Ukraine and an amnesty for all who have not committed serious crimes there.

    “The border is to be transferred to the Ukraine, but for 72 hours previous to that transfer there shall be an escape corridor for those who do not want to live in the Ukraine. This is to be followed by a national referendum on the granting of special status to the Donbass, according to the results of which there shall be made an appropriate decision”, said the Deputy.

    Artemenko also proposed that for the regeneration of the Donbass there be created a fund into which various states shall contribute, whilst at the same time Moscow should have to contribute payments to the fund for the lease of the Crimea. The rada deputy believes that after the implementation of these actions anti-Russian sanctions can be lifted.

    The rada deputy stressed that the plan provides for the neutral status of the Ukraine: the country shall join neither NATO nor the EU nor the Customs Union, it becoming an “Eastern Switzerland”.
    The Ukraine rada deputy also denied to the New York Times that his plan was supported by senior aides to Russian President, Vladimir Putin.

    “I can confirm that I have given the plan to Michael Cohen and Felix Sater. They passed it on to the relevant US services, and from them it went to Moscow. Where, as I said in Washington, it is already being considered at a very high level”, said the deputy in an interview with “Strana”.

    Hard faced bastards!

    So they want to lease prime real estate to a party that already owns and occupies it?

    And there’s that Russian army again, the one that is occupying Eastern Ukraine, the removal of which no doubt turning out to be a major stumbling block to the implimentation of the proposed deal — because there is no such army!

    Being considered “at a very high level” in Moscow?

    Really?

    • Moscow Exile says:

      Drat!

      Forgot to open italics again after the link to “Strana”.

      Translation should have been italicized from “has spoken about a plan for lifting the sanctions against Russia …” to “said the deputy in an interview with “Strana””.

      The rest consists of my opinion and is not part of the translation.

    • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

      Counter-offer:

      1. Dissolution of the Ukrainian Supreme Rada and all government ministries, executive legislative functions to be assumed indefinitely by Russian-appointed committee.

      2. Dissolution of Ukrainian armed forces, National Guard and all affiliated armed formations, all personnel to be prosecuted for participating in an illegal, unconstitutional war (in addition to any applicable charges for specific war crimes). All future veterans benefits to Ukrainian ATO personnel shall be forfeit, benefits already paid out must be paid back. ATO personnel permanently deprived of citizens’ rights (voting, holding public office, et cetera).

      3. Prosecution of all known Maidan participants for terrorism, conspiracy, treason, riot, conversion of state property, and any other applicable offences.

      4. Dissolution of extremist political organisations, including but not limited to Right Sector, Svoboda, Batkivschina, Poroshenko Bloc and Civil Corp ‘Azov’. Citizens’ rights of persons belonging to proscribed organisation to be terminated for twenty years.

      5. Extremist political groups masquerading as religious organisations (UGCC, UAOC, UOC-KP, any Protestant sect meeting the above criteria) to be dissolved, their property forfeit to the state, to be returned to its original owners where applicable.

      6. Property of persons, who have provided financial support to Maidan movement or paramilitary forces established after coup, shall be expropriated by the state. The same shall apply to immediate relations and known associates of affected persons.

      8. For a period of 72 hours following this agreement coming into affect, all Ukrainian citizens affected under the terms of the agreement shall have the right of emigration to a country of their choosing (not including Australia or New Zealand).

      9. The German government will stipulate to its sole guilt for the Ukrainian war, and will accept unlimited financial responsibility for the reconstruction of Ukraine. The German government will further commit to the full and final de-industrialisation of Germany by no later than 2025.

      Only the winning side gets to make ridiculous demands.

      • Cortes says:

        At No. 8 the UK and ROI must be excluded also; enough of the nutcases here already.

        • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

          vera и бегорра, Ireland is the just the place for them. Peter O’Poroshenk will fit right into the Dáil Éireann.

        • Jen says:

          I’d reword No 8 to read:

          “8. For a period of 72 hours following this agreement coming into effect, all Ukrainian citizens affected under the terms of the agreement shall have the right of emigration to a country of their choosing (not including Australia or New Zealand) as long as they choose Canada (Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta).”

          Plenty of choice in there.

      • Lyttenburgh says:

        10. Appoint Vladimir Volfovich Zhirinovsky as the Special and Plenipotentiary Ambassador to/on Malorossia, with obligatory restituion for the unlawfully exprorpirated logging factory in Kotopol (Rivno oblast), which his family owned in the past 🙂

    • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

      http://tass.ru/politika/4038017

      Lavrov says no, and dismisses the whole notion as a smokescreen for Kiev’s failure to do what it agreed to do under the Minsk agreement.

  40. Moscow Exile says:

    Enjoying the munificence of the “agressor state”?

    Донбасс – крупнейший экспортный рынок для пива и мяса из России
    На две непризнанные республики в 2016 году пришлось почти 30% экспорта продукции

    The Donbass is the largest export market for beer and meat from Russia
    The two breakaway republics in 2016 accounted for almost 30% of exports

    20 Feb 00:01

    According to the Federal Customs Service, in 2016 the Ukraine was amongst the largest buyers of many Russian products — from vodka to confectionery products and an increase in the importation of Russian milk, which Russia itself is short of. The most amazing story happened with meat and beer. Beer deliveries for the year increased by 1.5 times to 38.46 million, according to data given by Russian customs. in 2013-2014, the Ukraine bought almost no meat and offal from Russia, but in 2016 47,893 tonnes of this product left Russia for the Ukraine. These are the best dynamics amongst all the countries that import from Russia and now the Ukraine, according to the Federal Customs Service, accounts for almost 30% of all Russian exports of beer and meat. As a result, the Ukraine remains the largest purchaser of Russian beer and for the first time has become the largest buyer of Russian meat, pushing into second place Kazakhstan.

  41. Moscow Exile says:

    Defector Maria Maksakova has admitted to the Yukie media that to the melody of the Russian national anthem she used to sing in the State Duma of the Russian Federation the words of “Not yet dead”*.

    *Shchenyavmerla [Щенявмерла]: a play on the first words of the Ukrainian national anthem, which are: Ще не вмерла Украіна…You are not yet dead, Ukraine, which play on words is used as the informal name the Yukie national dirge.

    Fact is, though, the place was never born — a still birth, maybe, or born in the imagination of Romantics used as tools by the Austro-Hungatrian empire.

    Maksakova in the photograph above was in reality belting out from her ample bosom the words of the Russian national anthem.

    Apart from being a traitorous, two-faced ball of shite, she is an opera singer, born in Munich of a Czech father and a Soviet Russian (Muscovite) actress.

    See: Maria Maksakova

    Rich, talented, priviliged — she just had to escape the “regime”, poor thing.

    I’m sure she’ll have a wonderful life in Kiev…..

    • saskydisc says:

      Ukraine in the sentence you quote is not vocative, as Ukrainian retains most of the proto-Slavic vocative. Ще не вмерла Україна is Ukraine (implied third person) hasn’t died yet. “You haven’t died yet, Ukraine” would be Ще не вмерла Україно, although that would be ambiguous with “Hey Ukraine, she’s not died yet,” and the ambiguity could be resolved by including ти.

      • Moscow Exile says:

        Yes, of course! It’s not “You haven’t died yet, Ukraine”, but “Ukraine is not yet dead” or ” is still not dead” or “hasn’t died yet”.

        I just used poetic licence for my translation, but as you said, what I wrote might sound like “What the fuck! When are ya gonna die?”

        But why in Ukrainian is it Ще не вмерла України і слава, і воля as shown in the Tweet?

        What case ending for “Ukraine” is that?

        That’s from the official 2003 version of the anthem, whereas in the 1863 version we have: Ще не вмерла Украіна и слава, и воля! — singular feminine noun ending governing third person singular ending of the verb.

        An и instead of і — just the result of reforms in the orthography?

        • saskydisc says:

          The ending is either genitive, which makes no sense, or a plural (borderlands?)—the version that I learned when I studied the language had it in the nominative.

        • saskydisc says:

          Then again, you might be right and it might be an irregular vocative, as it is presented in translation as a vocative, and the verb is conjugated for feminine rather than for plural… Unless it is a stylistic borrowing from e.g. Hebrew, where a plural subject noun with a verb conjugated for the singular may represent a large noun, e.g. bereishit bara? ?elohim…

        • saskydisc says:

          Unless they were trying to sound less grim, and meant that neither the “freedom” nor “glory” of ukraine had died yet (were they planning on giving same, such as it was, ten years? The new version seems to have been adopted in 2003…), hence the genitive. But I’d expect the verb to be conjugated for the plural in that case…

          • Moscow Exile says:

            In the Russian version they use the genitive of “Ukraine”:

            Ещё не умерла Украины и слава, и воля

            because of the negation of the verb, I suppose, which sort of literally translates into English as:

            Still not died any Ukraine…

            I suppose it’s kind of like when you say, for example, Дениса не дома for “Denis isn’t at home”, where in Russian “Denis” is in the genitive, the expression kind of literally meaning “There is not any Denis at home”, namely there is an abscence of Denis, i.e. Дениса.

        • saskydisc says:

          As to orthography, -і for regular ‘hard’ (unpalatized) consonant feminine nouns can be dative and locative singular, while -и can be genitive singular, nominative, accusative or vocative plural, with і usually corresponding to Russian и and и usually corresponding to Russian ы, albeit more ɪ than ɨ.

          • yalensis says:

            According to wiki there are 2 versions:

            Версія I:
            Ще не вмерла Україна,И слава, и воля!

            Версія II:
            Ще не вмерла України ні слава, ні воля.

            Version 2 makes more sense grammatically, IMHO:
            “Neither Ukraine’s glory, nor her freedom, are dead yet.”

            And, once again, the obligatory Monty Python clip:

  42. Moscow Exile says:

    Happy days earning an honest buck in the State Duma:

    And the most accurate, all-encompassing definition of the situation that the former duma deputies Voronenkov and his spouse found themselves in has once again been given by Ksenia Sobchak on “Rain”:

    What delayed plan, ideological considerations etc? What are you going on about? If you have not money enough to get away with a criminal prosecution in London, then there is only Kiev left to go to“.

    That’s rich coming from her!

    She did enough prancing around in Kiev immediately following the Maidan “Revolution for Dignity” victory. And she once publicly demanded of Putin that she have her Russian citizenship taken from her.

    Source

    • Moscow Exile says:

      Vodka mde from horseradish?

      What a plonker!

      It’s flavoured with horsradish, an infusion, you person of “food sensitivities”.

      Ingredients for hrenovukha

      base alcohol (vodka, moonshine, ethyl alcohol, eau de cologne, paint-stripper etc.) – 0.5l;
      honey – 1 tsp;
      horseradish (fresh root) – 10 cm;
      lemon juice – 2 tbsp.

      Preparation:

      Clean and cut the horseradish into small slices or cubes..
      Put the horseradish into a jar, add honey and lemon juice and spices or whatever you fancy.
      Pour a small amount of vodka/alcohol/moonshine and stir well and then fill up with the rest of the alcohol.
      Stand for 3-4 hours and stir occasionally.
      Pour the resulting infusion through a sieve or several layers of cheesecloth into a bottle.
      Allow to stand for 3-4 days.

      Here’s a visual aid to the above. The bloke down at his dacha uses pure spirit that you can buy over the counter here and also adds ginger root, cloves, cinnamon, vanilla and nutmeg:

      He just shakes up his demon brew and lets it stand for a few days in a warm, dark place, giving it a stir each day. After he’s strained it, he lets it stand for a few more days.

      Then he takes it to his kitchen and gets rat-arsed.

      The Russian for “horseradish” is хрен — pronounced hryen (sort of).

      A polite Russian word for “penis” is член [chlyen], meaning “member” as in “sexual member”.

      As a euphemism for член, Russians sometimes say хрен, as in старый хрен [stary hryen —”old cock/dick”], which can be rude or said in jest — usually rude.

      I once caused a bit of scandal years ago at the dinner table when guests were present, in that I, a great lover of horseradish, said jokingly in Russian to Mrs.Exile literally:”Give the old horseradish the horseradish!”, which means in context: “Give the old dick the horse radish!”

      There followed an embarrased silence all round.

      Being the dick that the writer of the above linked counterpunch aricle appears to be, perhaps he should try this vodka next time he’s in the Evil Empire:

      It’s not horseradish vodka, though, despite the shape of the bottle.

      • Moscow Exile says:

        You can also drink horseradish kvas here as well.

        I do: loads of horseradish at our dacha and kvas during the balmy days of summer.

        You can buy it ready bottled as well:

        Cannot imagine why they double the “s” in the Latin alphabet transcription of квас, though.

  43. Vitali Churkin died in New York. A possible assassination?

  44. Four Russian soldiers died in Syria in a bomb attack. Russia-Insider implies that the West may have been behind the bombing: http://russia-insider.com/en/bomb-killed-4-russian-soldiers-syria-were-not-being-told-full-story-why/ri18993

  45. et Al says:

    Thomson Neuters Foundation: Caucasus “land grab” feared in remote UNESCO heritage site
    http://news.trust.org//item/20170220140556-9p9ct/?source=gep&google_editors_picks=true

    F or the people of Upper Svaneti, a remote sliver of land nestled high in the gorges of Georgia, the last words uttered by the dying are portents of the future.

    And the future looks bleak.

    Residents say the same ominous rattle has echoed over so many of its death beds this past year – “The Svans are in danger, be careful” – that villagers are now braced for battle.

    The source of their deep unease – electricity.

    They say a dam and hydro power plant proposed for the region could threaten the livelihoods of 17 villages perched among valleys and flanked by mountain peaks that soar to 4,000 meters….
    ####

    Shurley not in the democratic, human rights lovin’ US backyard – aka Georgia? It’s had a long record of respecting minorities since independence, starting with Zviad Gamsakhurdia…

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/obituary-zviad-gamsakhurdia-1396384.html

    …Under perestroika he relentlessly pursued a nationalist line: Georgia could only flourish when it was independent and free. He was speaker of the Georgian Supreme Soviet in 1990-91, and after Georgia had voted for independence in March 1991, he was its first democratically elected President, with over 87 per cent of the votes. Conflict with parliament began immediately, with Gamsakhurdia being accused of being dictatorial. The President regarded all criticism as a personal slight and developed paranoid tendencies. His mental stability was in question. Refusing compromise, Gamsakhurdia and his military men were inevitably opposed by other groups, based on clan and regional loyalties. Georgia descended into the pit of armed conflict and faced break-up…
    ####

    Now what other Georgian does that sound like?

  46. Warren says:

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