As the Quicksand Closes Over WADA’s Head…a Lifeline is Thrown From the Unlikeliest Quarter

Uncle Volodya says,

Uncle Volodya says, “Sports is like a war without the killing.”

On so many evenings in Moscow, when the working day is done and it’s Miller Time, and Vladimir Putin goes home to his disgustingly decadent Italianate palace, he must run up to his bedroom, throw himself upon his giant four-poster (caparisoned in black silk embroidered with the double-headed imperial eagle, £376.00 from Bespoke Bedlinens of London), and laugh until tears come to his eyes at the modern comedy which is human nature.

Oh, I was just kidding about the palace and the fancy bed; I made up the latter, and the former is a perennial fable from circus-clown fatboy and ‘Kremlin insider’ Stas Belkovsky. I personally doubt Mr. Putin needs the trappings of opulence to any significant degree – he rides a high every day of running the world’s biggest country, and diddling the west until it weeps angry tears of frustration.

Consider the classic example of the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) recent fall from grace. It went from thumping its chest and promising the McLaren Report would go through Russia like shit through buckwheat, harvesting government ministers as it went, to making excuses for the debacle whereby it had to admit there was not enough evidence contained in the report for individual prosecutions.

What a bitter pill that must have been to swallow. Note, please, the new appearance of terms like ‘alleged’ and ‘implicated’. Because it wasn’t always that way, was it? No, indeed; it wasn’t. Let’s recall WADA Director Sir Craig Reedie’s gloating tone in the agency’s statement which accompanied the release of the McLaren Report:

The Moscow laboratory operated, for the protection of doped Russian athletes, within a State-dictated failsafe system, described in the Report as the Disappearing Positive Methodology…The Sochi laboratory operated a unique sample swapping methodology to enable doped Russian athletes to compete at the Games…The Ministry of Sport directed, controlled and oversaw the manipulation of athletes’ analytical results and sample swapping, with the active participation and assistance of the Federal Security Service (FSB); the Center of Sports Preparation of National Teams of Russia (CSP); and, both Moscow and Sochi laboratories…Shamefully, the McLaren Report corroborates the allegations

In fact, the McLaren Report does no such thing. It does make a lot of allegations, but it – embarrassingly – relied almost exclusively on ‘disclosures’ from nutball-for-hire Grigory Rodchenkov. Rodchenkov previously spent time in a mental institution, although that was quite possibly a dodge employed to avoid prosecution for involvement in a doping ring, and an investigation which netted his sister Marina.

McLaren claimed to have seen a demonstration of how the tamper-proof sample bottles could be opened, cleaned, refilled and resealed without breaking the cap or leaving any obvious sign of tampering. If he did, it was not to the very best of my knowledge ever repeated for experts in the field. FSB involvement was never substantiated by evidence, and Berlinger (manufacturer of the sample bottles) stood by their product in a statement issued following the release of the McLaren Report. It provided, in part;

In neither its own tests nor any tests conducted by the independent institute in Switzerland has any sealed Berlinger Special AG urine sample bottle proved possible to open.

The people who made the bottles and know them best say their experts and an independent testing entity could not get the sealed bottles open without either breaking the cap – which is designed to happen, verifying the bottle has been opened either by the testing agency, legitimately, or for potentially nefarious tampering with the contents – or showing obvious signs of damage. McLaren has not demonstrated his mystery method which he says convinced him it could be – and was – done, and I’m betting he never will. As so often occurs in sanctimonious western sermonizing on the subject of Russia and its myriad evils, it’s “I just know. Never mind how; just trust me”.

Never mind Richard McLaren being so full of shit he squeaks on the high side of a tight turn. Never mind Richard ‘Dick’ Pound simultaneously holding the chairmanship of the Independent Investigation Commission and a board position at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), to which Russian athletes had to appeal their prohibition from participation in the Rio Olympics. Predictably, none were successful, and I leave it to your imagination what the western reaction would be in similar circumstances, in which a Russian independent investigation team found western sports figures guilty of widespread doping covered up by their governments (an entirely believable scenario, by the way; Sir Bradley Wiggins, Commander of the British Empire, was permitted to ‘retire’ with his knighthood intact although he received a ‘pre-emptive’ intramuscular injection of a powerful steroid on the eve of a major race, ‘just in case’, when he was not even showing any symptoms of the asthma he said plagued him throughout his career although he did not mention it anywhere in his autobiography, My Time), and recommended blanket sanctions against western athletes while the same Russian sports administrator sat on the investigations commission and the court of appeals. You already know all this.

No, what I want to talk about today is the astounding lifeline, thrown to a floundering WADA, by…Vladimir Putin.

According to WADA, Mr. Putin “urged his country to heed the demands of the McLaren Report”. It’s not surprising they would pitch it that way, since Sir Craig Reedie only a week or so ago dangled the possibility of rapid reinstatement for RUSADA – provided there was broad acceptance in Russia of the findings of the McLaren Report. For obvious reasons, WADA wants Russia to admit to systemic cheating in a way that it cannot easily recant, and for equally obvious reasons it is not going to do that.

WADA is resolutely focused on supporting the Russian Anti-Doping Agency in its efforts to return to compliance with the World Anti-Doping Code, but it is first important that there is acceptance of the findings of the McLaren Report in Russia.

Sidebar, please, for just a tick: do you really believe for a second that if a western agency had conclusive, ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’ proof of Russian state-sponsored drug cheating, taking into account the number of medals won by Russian athletes in a competitive environment that only becomes more politically-charged every Olympics, that it would abandon the chance to show its evidence to the world in favour of offering a water-under-the-bridge redemption? Really???

Having bungled the investigation, exaggerated the potential for damage, punished the mostly innocent and lied about the evidence contained in the report, what Gods smiled on WADA that caused Vladimir Putin to cave in to their demands just in time to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory?

Well, he didn’t exactly do that. What he did say, rather than that Russia should accept the demands of the McLaren Report, was that the Russian sports world “should listen to WADA”.  Predictably, you have to go to RT for what he actually said, rather than what WADA would like you to think he said. If you do that, you will note right away that he specifically repudiates the conclusions of the McLaren Report, and while he stipulates that the Russian anti-doping system failed in that it did not catch dopers before they went on to compete internationally – and sometimes win medals – which is no more than the truth, there is nothing astounding or revelatory about that. Every major country has had such cases. Similarly, he specifically reiterates that there was no state-sponsored support for doping, the exposure of which was the entire mandate of the McLaren Report.

The main thing is that despite the shortcomings in the work of [Mclaren’s] independent commission, we should pay attention to what it did, to the results of its work. We must listen to WADA’s demands. Because we have to admit that we have proven cases of doping useThis is absolutely unacceptable and it means that the Russian anti-doping system failed, and it’s our fault – we should spell it out and admit itIn Russia, there has never been and, I hope, will never be a state doping support system; on the contrary, there will only be anti-doping actionI’m counting on the Investigative Committee to see the probe [into the doping cases] through to the end, and to expose everyone guilty.

To expose everyone guilty. Well, that’s a laudable objective, surely? Did the western proceedings surrounding the McLaren Report – to call it ‘flawed’ is like saying “Citizen Kane” might have had a message to it – expose everyone guilty? It certainly did not. What it did in its place was use trumped up potential evidence which never materialized to substantiate imposing collective punishment – anathema in a progressive democracy – on those who had in the great majority of cases done nothing wrong at all.

I’m getting kind of worked up about this all over again, and I don’t want to sidetrack you with it, because none of that is the point, either, although its all important background.

Consider. WADA, the agency that could not say enough bad things, could imagine no insult vile enough to accurately describe Vladimir Putin and his loser nation only a couple of months ago, when it was still confident that momentum would translate to victory…now regards him as wise and credible. Recognition of Russia’s doping problem ‘at the highest political levels’ is now an encouraging sign of serious leadership, from a government that only months ago was a recalcitrant part of the problem, bursting at the seams with liars who were only interested in covering up for cheaters and protecting their doper athletes. Remarkable. And Mr. Putin admitted to nothing in exchange for this collective outpouring of recognition. Russia has doper athletes. Obviously – and regrettably – that is true, although it should be noted that in the case of ‘whistleblower’ Yulya Stepanova, Russia’s approach was to bar her from competition for two years, while WADA’s approach was to pull whatever strings it could to get her to compete at Rio under the Olympic flag.

Wada president Sir Craig Reedie said investigators had “exposed, beyond a reasonable doubt, a state-run doping program in Russia that seriously undermines the principles of clean sport embodied within the World Anti-Doping Code”.

There was also concern expressed for Yuliya Stepanova, the Russian runner whose evidence helped expose her nation’s doping scandal, but will now not be allowed to compete in Rio under a neutral flag.

Wada has been very vocal in supporting Yuliya’s desire to compete as an independent athlete,” added Niggli.

Never interfere with the enemy while he is in the process of making a mistake. A whole series of them, in fact. Game, set and match.

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1,994 Responses to As the Quicksand Closes Over WADA’s Head…a Lifeline is Thrown From the Unlikeliest Quarter

  1. Lyttenburgh says:

    ^ “Forgive us, Liege!/Прости нас, Государь!”

    “Maybe we should start myrrh-inducing too, Freidrich?”
    “Excellent idea, Karl!”

    • Cortes says:

      She’s a sick puppy.

      • kirill says:

        You derive that from the photograph, eh? You must be a yalensis type hater who gets easily triggered. At least she has a like for the Czar and not the butcher Trotsky that is somehow more acceptable in some circles. She is free to like the Czar and deserves vastly less criticism for all the Bolshie butcher lovers on this forum.

        • BB says:

          Good for you.

            • BB says:

              Not **** Karlin for sure.

            • marknesop says:

              Oh, I imagine so; he is just reposting all the links I deleted earlier. For some time he has been creatively making up amusing email addresses for himself – which you don’t see – such as or, but he has dropped down a level or two now and is using somebody else’s email address, from UCLA. I won’t reproduce it here, but it’s not his name.

              He certainly seems to have a lot of time on his hands for a hotshot author whose product is sought by all the important venues.

              • BB says:

                Beats being a blog censoring oaf.

                No email was taken from someone at UCLA. You seem to have plenty of time yourself.

                • marknesop says:

                  I’m just not even going to get into this, Mike. On the contrary, I have very little free time, especially to read as much as I used to. And I never claimed – under assumed names, no less – that my own material was brilliant and should be received as such. That’s one difference between us. ‘Censoring’ you is no different than shutting the door in your face when you’re yelling the same old thing we’ve all heard a million times. Bye bye….

                • Bobo says:

                  You don’t take too much time Mark. Your exhibited deceit is clearly evident by how you don’t note your blocking of monikers that have views which you don’t like and have problems in substantively answering – thereby explaining how one can be tempted to come back with another moniker.

                  Assuming you haven’t deleted it, your reply to a posted Duran piece (a bit down this thread) contradicts your false claim of a source who isn’t providing keen insight.

                  Feel free to continue deceiving with false innuendo. I prefer taking the opposite approach. In a truly objective situation, you’d not look so smart – not that you seem particularly such here.

                • marknesop says:

                  See? Classic example; I was in Cumberland all day, about a 2.5-hour drive from here, for my daughter’s rugby game. Consequently, your silliness stayed up all day, whereas if I had the kind of free time you seem to think I have, it would have been deleted before the air around it had time to cool.

                  And don’t even bother with that ridiculous self-justification that it is somehow my ‘censoring ways’ that force you to use an alias, or the even more ridiculous premise that your complete mastery of the subject makes it difficult for me to answer you, thus you are helping me by pretending to be somebody else. Saint Averko.

                  You are in a group of only two people who ever had their posts removed. The other was a proven liar who simply adjusted his geographical location to suit the argument, granting himself the expertise of an informed local…everywhere. Plenty of people disagree with me, and say so. They’re allowed to do so, with their posts unedited, and sometimes their argument carries the day. That’s fair – I don’t know everything. On occasion I am called a Russian propagandist, and asked if I masturbate to Putin’s picture. That comment is still up, too, if you look.

                  You’re not banned from commenting because your game is too fast for us, or because of your self-described ‘keen insight’. The reason you are not welcome is because when you are challenged, even mildly, you become abusive and start name-calling, and it’s tiresome – that, and your pedantic tone. You don’t fool anyone for very long with your aliases – but I’ll tell you why you use them, for free. Because nobody would engage with you if they knew who you are. If you think that’s just more of my bullshit, put it to the test. Sign on as Mike Averko, with your real email address, and rave on about Pilsudsky and svidos and JRL propping the way you do. Nobody will give you the time of day, I promise.

                  You’re not hurting my feelings by casting aspersions on my writing (JRL propped, no less; this very article, in fact). For one thing, your own qualifications as a critic have about as much weight as a popcorn fart. For another, I don’t do it for a living, as you apparently do, having demonstrated no other skills. Ask yourself why somebody who is in the writing business as a serious profession, and reckons himself to be a cut above just about everyone else you care to name, has to promote his own material using assumed names. That’s why I laughed out loud at your accusation of my ‘deceiving with false innuendo’, and your further suggestion that you ‘prefer taking the opposite approach’…under the moniker, “Bobo”. Is that your middle name, perhaps? Or Averkanese for “Michael”? If you’re fond of irony, there was enough right there to cast an anchor.

                  I served in the military for most of my life, and I can run circles around you there. That’s to be expected; it was my job, and not yours – it would be surprising if it were otherwise. Now I work construction, and I can run circles around you there, too. I write to amuse myself and my friends, and I’m having a ball; it’s enough for me. It’s evidently not enough for you – you crave worship. That’s fine. Just solicit it someplace else.

                • BoBo says:

                  Bl;ah, blah, blah. I stopped reading after the first sentence, sensing the dullness of the reply.

                  I caught a hockey game and workout, plus a newly written article since my last posting here.

                • marknesop says:

                  What’s long and hard on Mike Averko? Grade Five. Obviously.

                • BoBo says:

                  In the world of stupid, Mark Chapman is absolutely brilliant.

                  As for a pissing contest, there’re so many areas where I best you.

                  I’m not the blowhard here carrying on with stated exploits.

                • marknesop says:

                  Good comeback, Potsie.

                • yalensis says:

                  Jesus Christ on a Skateboard!
                  Averko spawns aliases faster than a termite in heat hatches eggs!

                • Jen says:

                  Yes but the quality of these aliases leave something to be desired.


        • Cortes says:

          That’s you, that is (with apologies to “History Today ” by Newman and Baddiel).

        • Lyttenburgh says:

          You derive that from the photograph, eh? You must be a yalensis type hater who gets easily triggered. At least she has a like for the Czar and not the butcher Trotsky that is somehow more acceptable in some circles. She is free to like the Czar and deserves vastly less criticism for all the Bolshie butcher lovers on this forum.

      • Jen says:

        At least she hasn’t yet reached the stage of marrying the statue or feeding it milk

    • yalensis says:

      P.S. – clarifying explanation of the “myrrh-inducing” phenomenon and translation, for those not in the loop:
      In Russia, statues are said to “weep oily tears” or myrrh-like tears, as proof of God’s miraculous effect.
      I believe this happens in Italy too, from time to time.
      Above, we see statues of Atheistic Communists Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels exhibiting the same activities.
      But in their case, they are just kidding around, it goes without saying.

  2. Northern Star says:

    “Russia’s criticisms add to surging tensions over the three-year conflict after Ukraine pledged this week to halt all cargo into and out of rebel-held areas. Police began closing off roads and railways on Wednesday, widening unsanctioned barricades that were put up in January by disgruntled veterans of the fighting with Russian-backed insurgents. The government, which had sought to end the blockade, now says the measures will stay in place until the separatists abide by a cease-fire and return businesses they partially took over this month to Ukrainian control.”

    • Northern Star says:

      I dunno..but this appears to be BIG thing….

      “Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko declared the transport blockade of rebel-held areas Wednesday, saying it will be in place until the separatists return the region’s industrial assets to Ukrainian jurisdiction.

      The move represented a U-turn by Poroshenko, who had previously tried to end a blockade on the rebel east imposed by nationalist groups, arguing that it hurts ordinary Ukrainians and drives residents of the east to join the rebel ranks. The sharp change in attitude reflected the growing influence of radical nationalists, who have increasingly shaped the country’s political agenda.

      Rebel leaders said earlier this month that they had taken over the management of 40 factories and coal mines in retaliation for the blockade.

      Igor Plotnitsky, the rebel leader in Luhansk, voiced confidence that the region will eventually have a vote to join Russia.”

      • davidt says:

        From a long way away, it seems to me that Kiev is content to sacrifice Donetsk and Luhansk. They then become Russia’s problem, and Russia suffers the appropriate opprobrium if it accepts them back into its Federation. On the other hand, that it no way solves Russia’s geopolitical needs. Why assume that Kiev is “rational”? Sometimes I think of some prominent actors in Kiev as behaving like the mad father who kills his wife and children before committing suicide himself.

        • marknesop says:

          Prominent intelligentsia expats like Alexander Motyl repeatedly urge Kiev to let the Donbas go, just cut them loose. But there is no imperative for Russia to adopt them, and no particular reason for it to do so – hence, Russia could easily checkmate that plan by promoting and offering support for an independent state within Ukraine. Kiev would then be cheated of the PR coup of Russia ‘annexing’ the Donbas. The new state could then sue for damages against Ukraine in international courts; every country retains the inherent right of self-defense if attacked, and if the DNR/LPR did not take any further territory outside its present borders it would be awfully hard to portray its actions as aggressive. Kiev would of course claim it was fighting the Russian army in the Ukrainian east, but in the case of a lawsuit against it, it would have to prove it had a good reason to believe that. Like evidence that Russia actually was there. Russia would bear no financial responsibility for fixing the ruin in the east, and probably has considerable footage of Kiev’s forces shelling it from positions they are not allowed to occupy.

          Motyl, naturally, has not factored this into any of his thinking, and assumes sticking Russia with the shattered east is boxing clever, and that Russia will have to take it and then will be de facto responsible for fixing it. Not necessarily.

          • davidt says:

            Thanks for that- your scenario is certainly very interesting. I remain skeptical, though I basically haven’t a clue. At what stage does DNR/LPR become an international state. No other state is going to recognize it. I think the regions would most likely be left in limbo, and Russia would be forced to support them economically anyway. Already Zakharchenko and Plotnitsky are talking about multiple meetings with Russia, with the aim of integration with Russia. The trouble is that sorting out the status of the Donbas is only part of the problem from Russia’s viewpoint. We’ll probably have a better idea of what is going to happen by the end of the year.

            • yalensis says:

              Well, to be sure it is a ludicrous situation, but no more ludicrous than that of South Ossetia.
              And bottom line, if this fiction worked for South Ossetia, then it can probably work as well for Donetsk and Luhansk. In other words, they become “independent, sovereign” states who just happen to be allied with Russia.
              Why not? It’s the only realistic scenario.

              And P.S. I think this supports my earlier theory that Porky is calling the shots.
              As opposed to be a helpless victim of the Makhnovshchina.
              I am not wedded to my theory, there are always 2 ways of looking at everything.
              But it is telling that Porky officially supports the blockade.

          • BB says:

            Motyl being considered “prominent” shows the intellectual limitations on the svido side.

        • kirill says:

          Nobody has provided a shred of evidence that the Donbas is some sort of massive burden. It has actually been doing quite well considering the war of aggression on it by the Nazis in Kiev. Before 2014 the Donbas accounted for 25% of Ukraine’s exports and it accounted for most of its industry. It is an economically developed region unlike the undeveloped central and western Ukraine. A country the with around 40 million people cannot function on agriculture. Ukraine does not have enough real estate to employ tens of millions of farm workers.

          Another detail left out by the “Donbas will be a terminal burden” wailers is that GDP growth is stimulated by rebuilding projects. Just like the USA used the Iraq war to feed trillions of dollars to its own companies to both carry out the war and then rebuild, Russia can actually stimulate its own economic activity my assimilating the Donbas. Russia also does not need to fully assimilate the Donbas as an integral constituent and can have an EU like arrangement with a basically autonomous structure. The Donbas locals would then have the burden of getting their house in order and I see enough evidence that they are capable.

          But Russia needs to make sure that the whole of the Donbas is recaptured first including Mariupol. No partition of the Donetsk and Lugansk should be allowed.

          • BB says:

            For sure, this area has been devastated with the potential to rebound.

          • marknesop says:

            That’s quite true, although it is as economically depressed in terms of living standards as the rest of Ukraine, and far behind Europe. However, there has been tremendous damage to living quarters and infrastructure from constant shelling and bombing, and I maintain it would be tremendously expensive to fix. That said, you are right that it enjoys an advantage over the rest of Ukraine in that it will not have to completely re-tool its entire economy to be competitive. They can go on pretty much as they have done, and do business quite successfully with Russia, while Ukraine will have to reorient itself to goods made to European standards and regulations without its transit fees to pad its wallet.

            • kirill says:

              There is basically no chance that Ukraine can retool. At best it will be “taken over” by German and other branch plants as a cheap labour pool for export production. So Ukraine/Banderastan has achieved the 3rd world level and can now reap the “rewards”. But I am not even sure that a Chinese style sweatshop economy (of the 1990s) will take root in Banderastan. It is just too corrupt and politically unstable. Foreign companies will not tolerate extortion from Banderastani mafiosi using their readily available goon squads. China and other cheap labour countries provided a very stable environment.

              As for the Donbas, it can actually retool for modern production. Crimea is an example, specifically the ship building plants which went from collapse and decay in 2014 to modern production facilities (yes really) today. The Donbas is big enough to offer Russia something and get rewarded in return. But you are right, the market in Russia is softer and some shock transition to EU “standards” will not be needed.

              An important fact is that the Donbas is big enough economically to be self-sustaining. It does not need to be propped up by Russian money. The line of thinking that it is some sort of basket case is actually a variant of the blood libel that Kiev nazionalists have been peddling: that the Donbas is some sink for money and not a net wealth generator.

              • davidt says:

                By the way, I have always assumed that the Donbas has a potentially good medium to long term economic future. You want all of the region but you can only get that by force(?). I suspect that the political costs for this would be very high- it’s not even clear to me how the locals would think. (As I commented earlier, it would be interesting to know how political opinion in Novorussia splits.) Perhaps Russia could wear the West’s reaction- it would make the Kerch bridge pretty expensive, but the question still remains whether this would solve Russia’s strategic concerns.

            • Jen says:

              Living quarters and infrastructure can be rebuilt if the plans for the original destroyed buildings and structures are still available or can be downloaded. The real problem would be if Ukrainian troops or Nazi thugs seeded areas with land mines or through their activities caused soil and groundwater to be polluted with toxic and possibly radioactive chemical waste. The money and expertise needed to clean up pollution could cost more than reconstruction itself.

  3. Northern Star says:

    “In one clip, photographers can be heard asking for the two to shake hands. Trump not only ignores them, but ignores Merkel when she leans over to ask him if he wants to shake hands. In the footage, the two don’t address one another or even make eye contact, although Trump tells the press in the room they had a “very good” meeting discussing “many things.”

    Ummm….this was like total disrespect for the kraut queen…!!!!!

    • BB says:

      Erdogan recently did the same to her.

      The German political opposition should make note of her low regard in the international community.

  4. Northern Star says:

    Well stooges as we head into another weekend:
    I did not know they were an interracial group: THAT was a big deal in 1959 America:

  5. Northern Star says:


    …a stake for intellectual vampires that pester you..

    • davidt says:

      I know/understand this stuff very well. (By the way, Polish logicians were very prominent in the early days of mathematical logic.) I cannot say that it helps much in trying to understand the “real” world. Best.

  6. et Al says:

    An update on Brit’s future bathtubs.

    The Register: National Audit Office: Brit aircraft carrier project is fine and dandy… for now

    Small matter of an ongoing personnel shortage, though

    The National Audit Office has confirmed that F-35 fighter jets should be flying from new British aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth by the year 2020, if all goes to plan.

    The Delivering Carrier Strike report from the UK watchdog said: “The current target of accepting the carrier from the Aircraft Carrier Alliance by the end of 2017 is achievable.”

    The Ministry of Defence has reportedly “accelerated” its purchase of F-35Bs to ensure that the Queen Elizabeth is operational by December 2020. This would bring the timescale for the carrier forward by a year from the usual predictions of reaching initial operating capability by 2021….

    Don’t forget to check out the comments. The Brits are experts of doing things on a shoestring. On the downside, they still try to play with the big boys but still have to make cuts somewhere else.

    • marknesop says:

      The whole of the west, including the UK, is facing the problem of a shrinking corporate tax base as corporations go multinational and global, and ‘aggressively’ avoid taxes. The UK, positioned for BREXIT, is in a particularly bad place as corporations decide whether or not to move their headquarters out of the UK. Less corporate taxes, less government revenue unless they can sell increases to personal taxes, never a very popular initiative in a country that seems always to be going into some kind of election.

  7. Warren says:

    Published on 17 Mar 2017
    Support us on Patreon!
    USA is in hysterics over Russia. Russian hackers and spies are everywhere. Russian ambassador Kislyak is behind every locker. Everyone around Trump is being recruited by him. Trump himself is almost a Russian agent. Trump’s people are being questioned by the Senate’s Investigation Committee about Russia’s interference in American election. According to CNN’s recent poll, 75% of American see Russia as a threat. This is a record since the Cold War. Kremlin calls this type of American behavior a hysterical fit.

  8. kirill says:

    Hmm, reminds me of some place. That’s right, Canada! Safe haven for Banderites, Sri Lankan Tigers and Sikh Kalistani terrorists. So Daesh (ISIS) really is a sock puppet of NATzO.

  9. et Al says: Sen. McCain Explodes: ‘Rand Paul Is Working for Putin!’

    “Putin derangement syndrome” may have finally jumped the shark. Just minutes ago on the US Senate Floor, Sen. Rand Paul did the sensible thing and blocked NATO accession for tiny, corrupt Montenegro. The inconsequential Balkan country brings absolutely nothing to the NATO alliance, with its army of approximately 1,950 active duty military, a population the size of the city of Albuquerque, New Mexico, and a history political repression and corruption.

    Montenegro would only be a drain on the NATO alliance, but those pushing for its membership don’t care much. They view Montenegro’s NATO membership as another black eye for the Russians, who have been historically close to the tiny Balkan state….

    More at the link+vid.

    The Response Rand Paul Responds to McCain: ‘He’s Proof We Need Term Limits’


    I suspect Montenegro will eventually become a NATO member.

  10. et Al says:

    Tass via Some 500 missiles to be launched during large-scale air defense drills in Siberia

    The exercises involve S-400, S-300, Tor-M2U, Osa and Strela-10 missile systems

    ULAN-UDE, March 15. /TASS/. About 500 rockets will be launched during a large-scale air defense exercise that began at the Telemba military training ground in Siberia’s Republic of Buryatia, the region’s press service said.

    “The maneuvers are held as part of the combat preparations of the region’s air defense forces and involve about 8,000 people and over 1,000 units of combat and special equipment, including over 120 aircraft,” the press service of the Eastern Military District said.

    The exercises involve S-400, S-300, Tor-M2U, Osa and Strela-10 missile systems, Pantsir-S combined short to medium range surface-to-air missile and anti-aircraft artillery weapon system, the ZSU-23-4 “Shilka” self-propelled, radar-guided anti-aircraft weapon systems and the Igla man-portable air defense missile systems.

    “A total of 250 dummy rockets and two cruise missiles were allocated to imitate an air attack by an enemy, and about 500 surface-to-air missiles to hit them,” the press service said.

    Crossing ‘t’s, dotting ‘i’s.

  11. et Al says:

    NATO via Italian Eurofighters heading to Iceland

    The Italian Air Force will dispatch six of its Eurofighters to Iceland from Mar. 16 to mid-April for the Icelandic Air Policing mission.

    Approximately 140 airmen will be stationed at Keflavik Air Base, Iceland.

    This is the second time since 2013 that Italy has performed this type of mission.

    Just a reminder that paranoid NATO is back covering the GIUK gap. You can assume P-3 AsuW/or new P-8A’s are there too.

  12. et Al says:

    Moscow times via Russian Military Pilot in Fatal Black Sea Crash Was in ‘Full Control of Plane’ — Reports

    …A new report into the crash shows that pilot Roman Volkov put the plane into landing mode just one minute after take-off after reaching an altitude of 250 meters, the Kommersant newspaper reported Tuesday.

    Military simulations then show that the Tu-154 flew parallel to the water for a full ten seconds before colliding with the sea….

    The only thing this tells me is that the commander made the judgement that the plane would not stay in the air for much longer/could not gain enough height to circle around and land, thus leaving him with the only option for a water landing. Nothing about a flaps/slats failure.

  13. Warren says:

    Euro-hubris punished: how Finland became the last victim of the euro

    It was just 2011 when the Finnish government, one of Greece’s many creditors, demanded that Athens put one of its national symbols, the Parthenon, as collateral for the rescue loans package.1)

    Fast forward to 2015: while the European Union leaders humiliate the Greek democracy by imposing even harsher austerity measures than the ones previously rejected in a referendum, even despite the fact that the IMF admitted having miscalculated the Keynesian multiplier for Greece and thus completely underestimated the catastrophic consequences of austerity,2)Finland is no longer part of the group of “virtuous countries”: unlike Greece, its public finances are fine, however the sources of its economic strength, tech colossus Nokia is in a deep crisis,3)unable to keep up in innovation with its competitors, Apple and Samsung. The once national pride of the Finns, accounting at its peak for 20% of the Finnish exports,4)will end up being overtaken by foreigners (Microsoft). To worsen the conditions of the Finish economy, the EU leaders opted for a trade war against one of Finland’s main trade partners, its neighbor Russia, over the Ukraine crisis.

  14. Moscow Exile says:

    British troops arrive in Estonia to deter Russian aggression in one of biggest deployments to region in decades

    We don’t want to fight but by Jingo if we do,
    We’ve got no ships, we’ve got no men, we’ve got no money too…

    • marknesop says:

      We are the Baltic watchmen,
      no fucking good are we;
      We cannot shoot, we cannot fight
      or march like infantry:
      But when it comes to pay parade,
      we shout with all our might,
      “The working class can kiss my ass,
      Fuck you, Jack, I’m all right!”

    • Moscow Exile says:

      “By the end of next month, we will have 800 British troops, with armour, with tanks, ready to help reassure our allies and to underline our commitment to the security of Europe.

      “And this isn’t just about the Baltic states, this is about NATO, this is about NATO standing up to Russian aggression and being ready to defend and deter.

      “British troops will play a leading role in Estonia and support our US allies in Poland, as part of wider efforts to defend NATO”.

      Her Majesty’s Secretary of State for Defence and big girl’s blouse Sir Michael Fallon.

      New Defence Secretary Michael Fallon is accused of calling author Bryony Gordon a ‘SLUT’ in drunken bar clash
      26 July 2014

      New Defence Secretary Michael Fallon is at the centre of an explosive row over claims he called a woman a ‘slut’ in a bar.

      Sources close to Mr Fallon confirmed he had been drinking and had apologised after using a ‘wrong’ term towards the woman in connection with her private life. But they denied he called her a ‘slut’.

      And Mr Fallon faced further questions over a separate incident in which his party ‘minder’ intervened to get him away from an attractive Russian blonde, after he gatecrashed a party.

      According to some reports, Mr Fallon was seen touching the woman. This was strongly denied by friends of the minister. According to another report there were fears she worked for a Russian energy company and was targeting Mr Fallon, who was Energy Minister at the time.

      Mr Fallon declined to comment on either incident when contacted by The Mail on Sunday last night.

      He was yesterday backed by David Cameron, who called him ‘a first-class Minister’ – but Downing Street refused to comment on the allegations against him.

      Details of Mr Fallon’s alleged behaviour towards the women come less than two weeks after Mr Cameron promoted him to the Cabinet in a reshuffle chiefly designed to promote women Ministers and woo female voters. Mr Fallon’s alleged ‘slut’ jibe and claims that he behaved inappropriately with the Russian woman undermine that.
      The first incident came during a clash between Mr Fallon and The Daily Telegraph writer Bryony Gordon, who has been called ‘the new Bridget Jones’ because of her new memoirs about her wild life in her 20s.

      Fallon was convicted for drunken driving in 1983 and banned from driving for 18 months.

      And now he sends British troops to Estonia where, if Russia were to undertake what he and other lunatics insist that they have in mind, they would promptly be chewed up and spat out.

    • cartman says:

      I’m sure that Air America is alive and well under a different identity.

      • Lyttenburgh says:

        “US soldiers charged in S. Korea after $12mn worth of meth found in cereal boxes”

        “I’m sure that Air America is alive and well under a different identity.”

        Truth in Television?!

  15. kirill says:

    Starving Crimeans pining for Kiev’s rule.

  16. BB says:

    Tremendous oversight in this piece:

    Donbass has a lengthier history in the Ukrainian SSR when compared to Crimea. Donbass also has a greater concentration of ethnic Ukrainians than Crimea. (Said with the understanding that it can at times be a fine line when distinguishing between Russians and Ukrainians, along with the reality that most of Crimea’s Ukes support their region’s reunification with Russia.) Polling indicates that Donbass isn’t as gung ho as Crimea on reunifying with Russia.

    • marknesop says:

      Hello, BB, and welcome! Yes, that’s true – there is a substantial sampling of the population of Donbass which would rather live as a federated semi-autonomous state within Ukraine, and enjoy good relations with both Russia and its parent state, Ukraine. It is simply not going to go along with this Ukrainian nationalist purity thing, and be told that it must speak only Ukrainian and eschew Russian products and so forth in the name of cultural machismo.

      We were discussing, at the supper table just now, whether or not there will soon be another revolution in Kiev. I think yes. But I was astonished to learn of my in-laws’ Ukrainian roots. I had always known my brother-in-law, Vova, is Ukrainian. But it turns out my father-in-law’s grandmother was from Chernihiv, and his grandfather from Zaporozhye. My mother-in-law’s grandma was from Lvov, ground zero of fascist Russophobia. My mother-in-law was born in the Caucasus – Stavropol – and my father-in-law in Dalnegorsk; both are Russian-born Russians. But if you go back far enough, it is surprising how many Russians have Ukrainian family connections. They really are brother Slavs, and the current manufactured conflict is a grotesque injustice.

      My brother-in-law, a miner, is working in frosty Magadan, and has several Ukrainian co-workers. They are uniform in their warnings to stay away from Ukraine, because – they say – it is very bad there.

  17. Warren says:

    Published on 18 Mar 2017
    Vladimir Putin addressed a plenary session of the Congress of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs.
    The congress is being held as part of the X Russian Business Week (RBW) on March 13–17, hosted by the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs. The RBW participants coordinate proposals on key areas of interaction between the state and business, discuss key economic issues, in particular taxes and finance, the investment climate, ways to remove bureaucratic obstacles, as well as the labour market and social investments.

    • et Al says:

      I’ve been wondering how long the flat tax (13%), in my opinion one of – if not the – most important reforms introduced by the dynamic duo Putin-Medvyedev that underpinned the revival of the RF economy, would last. As long as the new system is easy to understand, fair and implement, then very good! He says all the right things and mentions serious structural reforms – whatever that means – , boosting productivity and setting up the economy for the future, but I think one message here is a gigantic F Y! to the West.

      Clearly the recovery is under way despite consistent efforts to sabotage the economy by the West so this speech also marks a “You failed suckkers! Movin’ on up!” I certainly hope that measures and protections against foreign business interference are/will be put in place (as has been done with MasterCard/Visa et al who have had to place a significant deposit of several billion in Russia that would be forfeit if they cease services under western government pressure) so that any future action by the West will punish their own companies even more than has already occurred by them loosing significant market share (and profit) in their Russian operations which are highly unlikely to be regained considering Russian actors have stepped and stepped up with indigenous products.

      • Special_sauce says:

        ? A flat tax hits the poor harder; it’s taken from a smaller pile. Or, am I missing something?

        • Warren says:

          Flat tax is regressive and affects people on lower income more profoundly.

          SHARMINI PERIES: It’s The Real News Network. I’m Sharmini Peries, coming to you from Baltimore. In our studios today we have Michael Hudson, who’s written a new book called, J is for Junk Economics: A Guide to Reality in the Age of Deception.

          All right, Michael, in this book — and we’re now in segment three – we are going to talk about Trump’s plan to lower taxes. He has said that he would reduce corporate taxes from 35% to 15%. The 35% itself is a bit of a myth, because I don’t think there are too many corporations out there who do pay the 35%. But he’s going to reduce the number of tax brackets as well, he says, from seven to three.

          And your myth number 11, which is progressive income taxes should be abolished in favor of flat tax, is a myth, just one tax rate for everyone. Does this make any sense to you?

          MICHAEL HUDSON: It certainly makes sense if you’re a member of the 1%, and you want to avoid paying taxes. You want the taxes to be paid by the 99%. That’s their dream. If you want to see where Trump is moving, look at what the United States neoliberals advised Russia to do after 1991, when they promised to create an ideal economy. Russia was under the impression that the neoliberal advisors were going to make Russia as rich as the United States. What they really did was create a kleptocracy that was virtually tax-free.

          On the flat tax, the more you compress the tax rates, the more you untax where the income is really made, at the top of the pyramid. Most income is made by the top 5%, or 10%. If you compress the tax rates, then basically you shift the tax burden more onto the lower earners.

        • Warren says:

          Latvia’s radical flat-tax experiment

          Every Western economy has financed in public education, transportation and other infrastructure investment first and foremost by a property tax, followed by a progressive income tax that initially fell on the highest wealth brackets. In the United States the original 1913 income tax required only the wealthiest 1 percent of the population to file tax returns. Capital gains were taxed at the same rate as wages and profits, on the logic that the effect of a capital gain is the same as earning income: both served to increase net worth.

          Fighting back, the rentier classes have spent nearly a century trying to reverse progressive taxation. The fiscal shift onto labor has been promoted by financial investors and property owners seeking to avoid their traditional fiscal obligations. Capital gains in the United States (mainly price increases for land sites) are now taxed at only half the rate levied on earned income. Many countries do not collect such taxes at all, or enable them to be easily avoided. Labor pays a regressive concealed tax in the form of paycheck withholding for Social Security and medical insurance, whose costs are removed from the general budget where they would fall on the higher tax brackets. (Higher-earning managers are exempted from these taxes.)

          At the state and local level, property taxes have been gradually but steadily replaced by income and sales taxes falling on labor and consumers. This has caused a tax squeeze that has forced cutbacks in public services, reversing the funding of local prosperity. Counter-intuitive as it may seem, high tax rates and protective tariffs tend to go hand in hand with high growth rates – as long as the tax revenue is invested in infrastructure and other economic support. In recent American and British economic history, periods of relatively high income tax rates have also been those with the highest-growth rates and least finally polarized imbalance.

          The reason is easy to understand. Whatever rental revenue the tax collector relinquishes is available to be pledged to banks as debt service on loans to buy property. Homeowners thus end up paying the bankers the income that they used to pay in taxes. But the government for its part still have has to raise tax revenue, which is levied on wage income and consumption. Housing prices rise in proportion to the tax burden being shifted off property onto employees.

          Until the 1990s no economy ever had sought so radical a counter-reform as to abolish the property tax. It would seem at first glance that no democracy would vote for an anti-labor tax as extreme as that with which Latvia and other post-Soviet economies have saddled themselves. In the United States in 2000 a billionaire right-wing Republican candidate, Steve Forbes, was laughed out of the presidential primaries for proposing a flat tax. In Western Europe such a tax would run against democratic tradition. But it is no laughing matter in the Baltics. This seemingly anti-democratic situation has been maintained by misrepresenting the tax as efficient rather than destructive of the domestic market.

          So the first Latvian experiment was how to persuade the country to adopt this tax policy and keep it in place, while leaving real estate and wealth virtually untaxed. In the face of the rising tide of indebtedness and emigration, the second stage of this experiment was to see how far this policy could shrink the economy without voters demanding a change. No one can know the answer until voters actually push back by electing a party or coalition with a less corrosive policy.

        • Jen says:

          While a progressive income tax system is much fairer, the main problem with that is people in the highest income taxation brackets will find ways to avoid paying their fair share. Not all of these ways will be illegal; if the taxation system offers deductions and rebates to compensate people for expenses they have to make in order to work and earn income, you can bet folks in the high tax brackets will take advantage of these benefits to the hilt, more so than everyone else.

          Additionally if the taxation revenue collection agency knows that people are using illegal ways of evading tax, the resources spent on chasing undeclared tax could amount to millions and put an unwanted extra burden on honest taxpayers.

          Since most wealth earned by the 1% comes from buying and selling property and company assets, logic says they should be subject to taxes on the profits they make on selling assets or on the real value of these assets while they own them. This money is not income and should not treated as income on tax returns. That means property owners should be subject to annual land value taxes and stock market speculators should be paying a Tobin-type tax every time they make profits. Among other things, a taxation system in which land value taxes are the major source of tax revenue would dampen real estate speculation, prevent property bubbles and indirectly help people buying their first homes; it would also stop real estate investors from buying buildings and leaving them idle (because they would be taxed on the value of the land the buildings sit on as that value rises) and put an end to the ghost city phenomenon that is spreading from China to other parts of the world.

          • marknesop says:

            The problem with this – in the USA, at least – is that corporations use lobbyists to help them gain the cooperation of lawmakers in letting corporations write tax policy. The American tax code is routinely cited as the most cumbersome and contradictory document in the American legal inventory, and tax lawyers are assisted by steadily more favourable amendments to the tax code, written by corporations to be marketed by lobbyists, to facilitate the wealthy keeping more of everybody else’s money.

        • Jen says:

          @ Special Sauce: Russian corporations also have to pay corporation tax which is 24% of corporate gross income. That is what is missing.

    • cartman says:

      If he’s thinking about luxury taxes, then it will be a more progressive tax and it will ultimately fall on Western companies in Germany, France, and Italy.

  18. BB says:

    Some agreement and disagreement with this one:

    Author is married to the daughter of the chief White Russian NYT editor.

  19. Moscow Exile says:

    From the Halls of Montezuma to the shores of the Black Sea?

    USS Carter Hall arrives in Black Sea

    В Черное море вошел американский десантный корабль Carter Hall

    US landing ship |Carter hall sails into the Black Sea

    MOSCOW, March 18. /TASS/. American landing ship Carter Hall entered Black Sea waters on Friday. This was reported by the press service of the US Navy 6th fleet based in Naples, Italy

    “With marines on board, dock-landing ship Carter Hall (LSD-50) entered the the Black sea on 17 March in order to take part in joint-Romanian bilateral exercises (“Spring Storm 17″ – ed. TASS)”, read a statement that accompanied photos of the ship passing through the Bosphorus. It is noted that the main phase of the exercises will be held near the coastal Romanian city of Constanta.
    According to Romanian radio Sociedad Rumana de Radiodifusión, the exercise will be attended by 1.2 thousand Romanian and American troops. They will be working out how to protect the coast of Romania as well as the coastal cities of the country. The manoeuvres will involve ships of the Romanian Navy and air force aircraft. Training on board the Carter Hall will begin on March 18.

    Carter Hall (LSD-50) was launched in 1993, it has a crew of approximately 400. It can carry up to 500 Marines, who are transported ashore by small landing craft and helicopters.

    In accordance with the provisions of the Montreux Convention of 1936, in time of peace warships of non-Black Sea states can be in the Black sea for no more than 21 days.

    And if they tried landing on Crimea beaches, the sea will run red.

    • kirill says:

      I do not know who is supposed to impressed/intimidated by this absurdly weak show of “force” by the USA. US propaganda is shrill enough already in its anti-Russian hate to send a clear message to Russia about Uncle Scumbag’s “resolve”. Hitler and Napoleon had lots of resolve too, but it did not save their asses on the Russian front. Perhaps the loons running America should go and buy a history clue.

    • marknesop says:

      Their presence will actually be potentially useful. Sealift and amphibious operation is something the USN actually does quite well in comparison with other navies, and any operations they carry out in the Black Sea will provide useful lessons for Russia in improving and refining its own capability. Of course they will not attempt any landings in Crimea, Washington knows better than to go that far with its provocations. They can sound off all they like with strategic leaks which hint that they are practicing for potential landings in Crimea, and if they do it will be counterproductive – as usual – as it would provide Russia with an excellent excuse to transfer more naval assets to Sevastopol. Russia is a Black Sea state and is not limited in its naval movements.

  20. et Al says: via Contrasting Tales of Two Besieged Cities

    The U.S.-backed offensive to retake Iraq’s Mosul from the Islamic State is inflicting hardships on civilians, but the Western media treats this humanitarian crisis differently than the recent one in Aleppo, Syria, notes Steven Chovanec.

    By Steven Chovanec

    During the Syrian army’s offensive to retake the eastern part of Aleppo from the insurgent opposition, the Western media portrayed the assault as if Russia and Syria were carrying out a campaign primarily aimed at killing and harming civilians. The humanitarian crisis dominated headlines while key facts, such as Al Qaeda’s domination of the opposition forces and the way in which the militants had brutally conquered the city’s civilians, were marginalized or not reported at all…


    Anything that highlights the utter hypocrisy of the so-called free, fair, independent and balanced western media vis-a-vis Aleppo/Mosul I will post. It’s nothing more, and nothing less than wilfull corruption. They are not fit for purpose. Stenography maybe.

  21. et Al says:

    AFP via The Daily Star Lebanon via
    Bahrain clashes after Shiite inmate’s funeral: witnesses

    DUBAI: Shiite protesters and police clashed in Bahrain on Friday following the funeral of a prisoner who died while serving a 15-year sentence for taking part in anti-regime demonstrations, witnesses said.

    The interior ministry of the Gulf state had announced on Twitter Thursday the death of the 45-year-old, saying he died while exercising at Jaw prison south of Manama.

    It attributed Mohammed Sahwan’s death to natural causes, but relatives claimed he died as a result of injuries sustained during the crackdown in 2011 of the Shiite protest movement calling for reforms to the Sunni monarchy…

    I’m wondering where the initial spark will fly that will lead to the Great Gulf Unravelling (GGU). SA would have to buy the Pakistani Army to do their fighting for them – they have already bought a PakArm Batallion to protect their border with Yemen:

  22. Moscow Exile says:

    From the sublime:

    to the ridiculous:

    Meanwhile, in occupied Crimea, the situation continues to become ever more repressive and bleak, with local observers pointing out that the once peaceful peninsula has been turned into “a repressive ghetto and hybrid GULAG” by Russian occupation forces (A hybrid ghetto and a hybrid GULAG: how the Crimea has changed during three years of annexation).

    And even Russian outlets acknowledge that the situation in Crimea is not the picture of happiness the Kremlin constantly suggests, with Nezavisimaya gazeta saying that Crimean residents have not yet been able to “adapt” to Russian “realities,” a euphemism in this case for repression (Crimeans have still not got accustomed to Russian reality).

    And another Russian outlet suggesting that dissatisfaction is growing among Crimeans the longer they remain under the Moscow yoke, again exactly opposite the trend that Vladimir Putin and his apologists routinely suggest is the case (The Crimea celebrates three years of being part of Russia: discontent is growing).

    Goble — who else? — in Russian Enthusiasm for ‘Crimea is Ours’ May Be Far Thinner than Many Think

    • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

      Word salad.

    • marknesop says:

      I refer everyone once again to Mark Adomanis, back before his glue-sniffing got the better of him, when he described Paul Goble as a whore who trawled through the pages of the most rubbishy Russian newspapers he could find (it was Novaya Gazeta, in his example) for sensational articles which he would then translate and present as original analysis.

      Demonstrably, he believes he has a winning technique, and is sticking with it.

      • BB says:

        JRL regularly promotes his BS at it homepage with the JRL court appointed Russia friendlys knowing better not to disagree.

        Adomanis exhibited suspect manner from the get go.

  23. Moscow Exile says:

    Navalny finally given a refusal to hold a March in Moscow
    March 18, 2017 16:03
    The Moscow Authorities do not intend to reconsider their refusal to approve the holding of a march against corruption scheduled by Alexei Navalny and his supporters for March 26. This was stated by the head of Department of Regional Security and Combating Corruption Moscow, Vladimir Chernikov.

    Earlier on Saturday, 18th of March, Navalny revealed on the net the reply from Moscow city hall, which stated that a march from Tverskaya Zastava Square to Okhotny Ryad, followed by a rally with would disrupt public order. The declared number of participants was 15 thousand people.
    According to Navalny, his supporters filed a notice of a march in 79 Russian cities, the local authorities of many of which having refused to give their agreement, reports Interfax

    Everyone (mostly) are pissed off with these kreakly freaks and assorted social miscreants blocking the streets and calling for, amongst other things, the end of Putin’s war against the Ukraine and an end to the oppression of Crimean Tatars etc. and all the same old faces to the fore: Makarevich, Navalny, Yashin, Kasyanov and other asorted wankers and other assorted ne’er do wells.

    Sobchak seems to have packed in going on these jollies, it seems.

    Oh, by the way: Okhotny Ryad, the end point of the proposed march, is right slap bang in the middle of Moscow at the end of the main drag, Teverskaya St. I am sure this route was planned with the object of ensuring it would be banned: the powers that be would not even allow the Sally Army to march along that route. So now Navalny and the West can whine about the denial of their freedom to assemble and other such shit, which was the whole point of the exercise.

    • marknesop says:

      Fifteen thousand? I’ll bet he couldn’t pull in that many if he promised to lead the march wearing a duck suit. The figure was probably deliberately exaggerated in order to inspire a refusal. Navalny is getting clever in his dotage; the only way to prove he could not get 15 thousand would be to let him hold the march.

      • Moscow Exile says:

        I forgot to mention that the city authorities offered Navalny two alternative routes, something that I think they are legally obliged to do, which alternatives, of course, Navalny refused, insisting on the route that would cause the greatest disruption to traffic and citizens.

        Those Article 31 (freedom of assembly) protesters who used to protest at Mayakovsky Square on the 31st of the month used to do the same: they were alllowed to protest at two alternative venues, but they insisted on the square, which was a major crossroads on Tverskaya Street.

        At the time of those protests, the city highways authorities were attempting to alleviate the perennial traffic jams at the crossroads by constructing an underpass, so the place was also a huge construction site, which added to the chaos caused by those protesting against the perceived infringement of their right to assemble, as stated in article 31 of the constitution, and they insisted that assembling whenever they would, wherever they would as a fundamental right., because that is what you are allowed to do in civilized, liberal, free societies, and fuck any inconvenience that they may cause to others.

    • Moscow Exile says:


      Tverskaya Street, formerly Gorky St. during Soviet times.

      Funny thing is, I prefer the name Gorky St because old Maxim was a po-faced miserable old curmudgeon much as I am.

      Bear in mind, he had good enough reason to be miserable.

  24. Warren says:

    Published on 27 Feb 2017

  25. Special_sauce says:

    Hope everyone’s seen the link to Harvard U in The Saker. It’s astonishing how this once renowned Hall of Learning has succumbed to the meanest, the silliest hasbaritic bs.

  26. Warren says:

    Published on 18 Mar 2017
    Подпишитесь на канал Россия24:…
    18 марта 2014 года состоялось воссоединение Крыма с Россией. Тогда Владимир Путин с руководителями Крыма и Севастополя поставили подписи под договором. За два дня до этого жители полуострова сказали “да” на референдуме. Главные торжества прошли в Крыму. В Севастополе, в городе, который всегда оставался русским, на улицы вышли тысячи людей.

  27. Warren says:

    • Moscow Exile says:

      Look mate, f*cking well get this right once and for f*cking all!

      The BBC is NOT/b> a state run news medium as is the Kremlin controlled Russian fake news media, namely the Russian media in its entirety!!!!

      What are you — a Kremlin troll or something?

  28. BB says:

    Definite likeness between Flounder and Josh Rogin:

    Flounder being the better analytical mind.

    Louis can play Plotnitsky;

  29. Moscow Exile says:

    I am grown too old for this world.

    So has he below:

    Croaked. No longer with us. Gone to a better place …

    My mum used to play that ditty above on our old Dansette record player when she came home off nightshift so as to wake me and my sister up for school.

    Bloody dirty great 76 rpm shellac disc it was.

    tempus fugit

  30. Moscow Exile says:

    Interesting exposé on charlatan Navalny’s activities:

    10 фактов из жизни Навального (начало)

    10 facts from the life of Navalny (beginning)

  31. Moscow Exile says:

    Явлинский пообещал дать россиянам землю бесплатно, если станет президентом. О как!

    Yavlinsky has promised to give Russian citizens land free of charge if he becomes president. Oh, right!
    Mar. 19th, 2017 at 8:01 PM

    Don’t forget folksh — vote for the Liberalsh: you know it makesh shensh!

    The politician has stated that his election campaign leitmotiv shall be “Respect for the person”

    Grigory Yavlinsky, founder and leader of Yabloko, today at the federal Council of that party spoke about his presidential programme, stating that if he wins in the 2018 elections, he will give land to the people.

    “Let us start with the programme “Land — Homes — Roads”: we will give the people land. Speaking about this project that has been worked out by me, it means approximately 30 to 60 acres of land free of charge for each person”, said Yavlinsky.

    Yavlinsky plans to have the state distrubute the plots of land and in addition, according to this policy, each of the plots will have road access and communications arising from profits made from the sale of oil and gas.

    We should like to remind readers that a presidential election in Russia is scheduled for March 11, 2018.

    Funny he did not promise to end the “war” with the Ukraine as well.

    Similar to what Lenin did in 1917: he promised to end the war with Germany and give land to the peasants.

    That slogan worked for Lenin.

    But will “land for the people” work for Yavlinsky?

    Who wants to work 30 to 60 acres of land?

    And if by some miracle Yavlinksky became president and kept his promise and land were distributed all round, where would that land end up in a few years time?

    Recall what happened to the distribution of state assets to the people, when “vouchers” were given to citizens, which vouchers made the citizens part-owners: in whose hands did the vouchers eventually end up? Who owned the former state assets in the end?

    • kirill says:

      Zemlya narodu, vlast sovetam! They got neither in the end.

      Con artists trying to con the people. And Putin is supposedly the “populist”.

  32. kirill says:

    New denier ploy: aerosol pollution is benign. Note the same paid flacks who shilled for big tobacco are now going after air quality science. The US is a freaking toilet of anti-science religion. They really should come out of the closet as a theocracy.

  33. et Al says:

    Neuters: Saudi-led coalition calls for U.N. supervision of Yemen port

    A Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen called on Sunday for the United Nations to place a strategic port under its supervision after a helicopter attack on a boatload of Somali refugees left 42 dead.

    The refugees had departed from the western port city of Hodeidah en route to Sudan when the gunship opened fire on Friday, the United Nations refugee agency said.

    The Red Sea port near the Bab al-Mandab strait is under the control of Yemen’s armed Houthi movement, which has been fighting Saudi Arabia and its allies in a two-year-old conflict.

    While the Arab alliance denied responsibility for the attack on Friday, it called for jurisdiction over Hodeidah port to be transferred to the U.N….

    That’s rather like the argument used to force women to cover up from head to foot – men can’t control themselves and are thus not responsible for their actions after such titillation. The Saudis simply cannot help blowing the fuck out of anything that moves (to be fair, the US has its back – $$$), so covering up the problem is the answer. No fault admitted.

    • marknesop says:

      Asking for the port to be transferred to UN oversight is merely a stratagem to deflect accusation, because it is not the sort of thing the perpetrator would do.

      • shargash says:

        If the port were under Saudi control, I would agree with you. But “The Red Sea port near the Bab al-Mandab strait is under the control of Yemen’s armed Houthi movement.” It is more like “we bombed a bunch of refugees, so how ’bout you guys confiscate some territory from our enemy, seeing as how we can’t seem to take it ourselves.”

    • Jen says:

      Is this the new way to declare a no-fly zone, calling for UN supervision of Hodeidah?

      Suppose the UN does agree and stations peacekeeping forces, some of whom might be from NATO countries – I can just see Erdogan putting his hand up and saying “Yes! Yes! We’ll supply soldiers for the peacekeeping force!” – in Hodeidah, and some of these guys end up being pounded in a sneak attack that Saudi Arabia will blame on the Houthis and their supposed sponsors in Iran? Wouldn’t that be the go-ahead for a full-on invasion of Yemen and Iran?

  34. Moscow Exile says:

    Evans-Pritchard of the Telegraph once again on one of his favourite topics:

    Opec and Russia risk a lost decade as shale revolution spreads

    The US shale industry has become a hydra-headed monster. Before Opec and Russia have contained one threat, fresh dangers keeps popping up in new and expanding zones.

    This war of attrition in the crude markets is lasting far longer and biting deeper than the energy exporting states ever imagined. It profoundly alters the geo-strategic contours of energy, and the global balance of power.

    Saudi Arabia has conceded that the 1.8m barrels per day (b/d) production cut agreed by Opec and a Russia-led bloc will almost certainly have to be extended when it expires in June. Stunned veterans fear that the global glut could drag on through 2017 and into a fourth year.

    Evans-Pritchard is based in Washington. He seems to write weekly about shale oil. I wonder if someone is paying him to do this — and I do not mean his employer, the Daily telegraph?

    What a silly thought.

    Evans-Pritchard is an unbiased professional objectively reporting on what he observes.

    • marknesop says:

      If the price goes up, it signals good news for the shale boom. If the prices slump, oil producers are worried about the shale boom. People like Evans-Pritchard are determined that there is a shale boom no matter what happens to prices.

      Crude prices fell to three-month lows Tuesday, the seventh consecutive daily decline. Traders were unnerved by rising inventories and signs of cracks in OPEC’s adherence to a production agreement that had buoyed global crude prices this winter. The recent price slide is leading Canadian producers to revisit their spending plans, with “caution” now being stressed over “optimism.”

      So let me get this straight. OPEC and Russia agreed to a cut in production so that prices would go up, so that the shale boom would be viable again. Then they agreed to suffer some more, so that the Americans and their British mouthpieces could shout jubilantly that shale is killing OPEC and Russia? And they’re going to willingly adhere to a production cut so that their competitors can get a foothold in their markets, when all they have to do to send prices tumbling out of the viability zone for shale is increase production a little, or even announce that they are going to do that?

      Really? Was the running of the oil market taken over by monks while I was sleeping?

  35. James Lake says:

    I never know what to make of articles in the Telegraph they seem to be consistently wrong – particularly Con Coughlin on foreign policy.

    There is however a comment under the Ambrose Evans Pritchard which I think is interesting.

    “…..Trump is going for a Reaganite assault on the Putin dictatorship by increasing defence spending.

    Trying to match the US in an arms race brought down the old USSR.

    An arms race, coupled with a low oil price, will bring down Putin. ”

    I have read this in other conservative orientated newspapers.

    Could such a strategy work?

    • Jen says:

      A lot depends on where much of the current defence spending is going in the first place. Some if not most of that money could simply be ending up in people’s bottomless pockets. The money may also be propping up defence projects whose main function is simply to keep people employed. Also the quality of what is produced with extra funding is questionable. I’m sure you’re well aware of the problems with the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program, to take one example. Until the Pentagon is able to produce financial statements showing where most military spending goes, and that there are no black holes in military budgets for millions to disappear down, we won’t truly know where and how exactly the bulk of military spending is going, and whether the money is being allocated efficiently and most effectively.

      Assuming an arms race combined with low oil prices will bring down Russia is based on the assumption that Russia’s economy is still mostly dependent on producing and exporting energy commodities like oil. That is becoming less and less the case as Russia continues to revive and diversify its industries under a sanctions regime imposed by the US and the EU.

      Also in the 1980s the US could afford to spend a great deal on the military budget. Can it afford to spend the same or greater now? The economic environment has changed a great deal in 30 years: there’s less manufacturing, there’s more unemployment (much of it unreported or underreported), American workers are losing their skills and knowledge. There is greater poverty, there is food insecurity and the skilled workforce the US needs to be able to start and maintain new industries and to adapt to microeconomic change is eroding. The financial environment is changing as well: these days there is less investment in factories and factory production and more money is being wasted on real estate and stock market speculation. Money is also being sent into offshore to avoid tax obligations and this means the money available for spending on necessary government functions is growing smaller.

      In short, the context in which the same tools and strategies that helped bring down the USSR are seriously being considered as part of a new program to bring down Russia has changed in a way that doesn’t favour the US’ chances of winning.

      • kirill says:

        In 2013 the oil and gas industry (all of it including exports) accounted for 13.7% of Russia’s GDP according to the World Bank. As of 2015 the consolidated budget of Russia depended on fossil fuel exports at the 21% level. Even though the oil price drop was matched by the ruble drop so that there was no slide in ruble income from oil and gas sales. That is, the budget does not reflect the oil price drop but the true scale of energy dependence of Russia’s finances.

        The claim that the USSR was brought down by Reagan’s military spending is patent absurdity. If you listen to the people talking up this claim, then you will understand that they have no concept of a command economy. They think the USSR ran on money like the capitalist USA. It did not and rubles were tokens/vouchers. Command economics means allocation of economic activity and resources by command. It is the perfect economy for war time and even the USA was operating as a quasi-command economy during WWII. Wars are very, very expensive and command economics suppresses massive waste on profiteering and inefficient “market” choices which do not reflect military need. Yet somehow the USSR survived WWII even though the Nazis had an initial advantage, but failed for budgetary reasons during the 1980s. What an utter rubbish theory. The USSR failed due to internal processes unrelated to Reagan’s military budget. If anything NATO propaganda helped do it in so give the credit where the credit is due.

    • Moscow Exile says:


      Are you suggesting that the exceptional nation, that shining beacon of righteousness which occupies the moral high ground amidst the family of nations, is willing to force a country into bankruptcy in the hopes that its populace will suffer such impoverishment and all the hardships associated therewith, not least of which are premature death, sickness, social deprivation, criminality, prostitution etc., etc., just so that the millions of victims of such a strategy will rise up and overthrow their elected political leader whom the Shining Beacon of Democracy considers to be anathema, in that his and his associates’ policies are perceived as a threat the the Great Hegemon and the global market that it is determined to control and exploit.

      Don’t be ridiculous!

    • marknesop says:

      In the first place, the notion that trying to match the USA in an arms race brought down the old USSR is mostly a convenient fable, although the unrealistic building programs certainly did not help. In the second, the USA’s cold-war debt load was a tiny fraction of what it is now.

      Such a strategy working now, if it were actually true, would require Russia to take the bait and try to build up its forces to an unsustainable level, which it has shown no inclination thus far to do, and it’s hard to imagine the US taxpayer would tolerate a new arms race when the USA already has enough military power to destroy the world ten times over and is far ahead of all other potential competitors.

      • kirill says:

        It is rather clear by now that Putin never takes the bait. That must be one of the main reasons that NATzO hates him with a rabid passion. We can see that Russia has expanded its military production and renewed hardware with more advanced versions (e.g. T-14, PAK-FA, S-400, S-500, etc.) for a fraction of what Uncle Scumbag dishes out to the US MIC. Trump can spend $200 billion extra and Russia can offset this expenditure with a $20 billion of its own. The Russian government has pointed out on numerous occasions that it will follow an asymmetric response policy to US missile shield and other development. With cheaper and simpler force balance solutions, such as maneuverable ICBM warheads.

        Right now the Russian government has constrained the Russian military budget to 3% of GDP. If it was panicking about America overwhelming it with spending, then we would not see this happening. We are likely to see history repeating as a farce in this new “spend Russia into the ground” BS. But it was not even a tragedy the first time around.

  36. karl1haushofer says:

    Israeli air strike killed another Syrian army commander yesterday:

    Israel is now openly attacking Syrian military, not just Hezbollah.

    • kirill says:

      Confirmation that the jihadi regime change war is lost. Now we have a desperate attempt by one of the Daesh sponsors to provoke “the crime of shooting down invading jets” (which may be American as it is likely that the Israelis are coordinating with Uncle Scumbag, their idiot tool, and will first bait Syrian AA defenses and then have the US jets take the missile strikes) to generated a pretext for US military action against Syria. That is, to let the US accomplish what its proxies failed to do: regime change in Syria.

      Of course, this means direct confrontation with Russia. Hitlery already threatened such action. Trump looked like he was going to apply a sane policy but seems to be in the process of being cornered into the same neocon war agenda.

  37. et Al says:

    I’m just posting this for the picture.

    The Register: Google promises policy review after several big brands pull YouTube ads

    Google has promised a review of its ad policy on YouTube after a backlash from blue-chip advertisers. It follows a series of reports by The Times demonstrating big brand ads running over content that breaches YouTube guidelines, such as jihadist videos and other inflammatory or racist material…


    I lied.

    What I was really doing, subliminally, was thinking about the Pork Pie News Networks excited reporting of the ‘Rebel attack’ in Damascus over the weekend which we find in latter paragraphs include ‘Al-Queda linked groups’…, so the picture above though unintentional, turns out to reflect the West ‘We love jihadis/Al-Queda/ISIS/ISIL/IS/DAESH/Whatever as long as it is fighting our enemies‘. F-mofos.

  38. Special_sauce says:

    Here’s a fascinating article I found bouncing around Ruposters:
    It lays the blame for Bandera’s resurgence at the feet of Kruschev who amnestied them on the 10th anniversary of the Victory over the Nazis.

    • Special_sauce says:

      oops, I guess the google link shortener doesn’t create live links.

      • yalensis says:

        Dear Sauce:
        I was able to link from that, here is the full link.

        This is a shocking allegation, namely that Khrushchev amnestied thousands of Banderites and placed them and their families in positions of power in the Ukraine.
        This was obviously a huge mistake.
        The only real issue is whether it was a misguided action as opposed to actual treachery.
        I am still willing to give Khruchshev the benefit of the doubt, that this was just a mistaken attempt to coopt former enemies.
        The piece does make the point that some of this happened while Stalin was still alive.
        Their action could be excused/explained by the fact that the Red Army and NKVD were simply exhausted and over-extended by that point; and not able to continue fighting a major counter-insurgency, after everything that they had been through.

  39. Northern Star says:

  40. Northern Star says:

    Trump should simply clean out the CIA…the FBI..and the NSA..ala Reagan with the ATC people back in ’80…and if it leads to civil war…so be it…

  41. Northern Star says:

    morons…..The Poles..What are these dumb bastrds thinking???????

  42. Special_sauce says:

    He says Stalin was only slightly less bad than Hitler, because he didn’t Hollycaust the Jews; he only murdered bazillions of His-Own-People. Either he doesn’t understand arithmetic or he’s saying dead Jews are worth more than dead Slavs.

    • yalensis says:

      Playing that numbers game is such bullshit!
      For starters, the reason why a person is executed is the key consideration.
      Arresting and executing somebody for crimes on the books (even if the person happens to be innocent of the particular crime they are charged with) is completely different from killing somebody because of their ethnicity.
      All of the people executed in the Soviet Union were convicted of crimes.
      Some were guilty, some were innocent, some were framed.

      But nobody was executed, technically, because of their race or ethnicity.
      People who try to compare apples and oranges and make up bogus numbers, are just trying to deflect from the uniquely racist evil that was Nazi Germany.

  43. Warren says:

    • kirill says:

      It’s ink from this dollar counterfeiting operation.

    • marknesop says:

      Dream on, Lyosha.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      They arrested a bloke on Red Square the other day because he was walking around with green dye on his face.

      He must have been frightening the horses — or the children.

      Police detained blogger Nikolai Danilov outside the Kremlin on Monday, after he walked into Red Square with his face completely covered in green paint, in a show of solidarity with opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who was doused in green dye earlier the same day, while campaigning in Barnaul.

      Danilov told the news site Meduza that he was taken to a police station, where officers claimed it was against Red Square’s rules of conduct to walk around in green face paint, though the station reportedly refused to show him a written copy of these rules.

      “I spent 40 minutes coloring myself green. I was absolutely peaceful, and I didn’t shout any slogans. I just wanted to take a few photos. In the end, we reached a compromise: I’d go back to the same spot, where they detained me, and I’d go ahead and take a few pictures. And that’s just what I did”, Danilov told Meduza.

      Earlier on Monday, Alexei Navalny was doused in bright green dye in Barnaul. The dye, known as “Brilliant Green,” is often used in attacks in Russia on activists and members of the anti-Kremlin opposition.

      Source: Shit About from Mordor

      All together now!

      One, two, three: POLICE STATE!!!!!

      Lyosha, fuck off willl you — there’s a good chap!

      Nobody feels sorry for you. Nobody gives a flying fuck about you or what you think.

      Well some do, but they are of no consequence whatsoever, though they like to think they are…

      • Moscow Exile says:

        The green knobhead on Red Square — does he think he’s a green pancreator?

        The hand gesture represents the name of Jesus Christ. In Greek it is spelt ΙΗΣΟΥΣ ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ, written using the English alphabet we get “ΙΗϹΟΥϹ ΧΡΙϹΤΟϹ”. The first letter and the last letter of each word, from left to right is written as ICXC.

        And in the UK and Australia and NZ, the hand sign below represents “fuck off”:

        Apparently not in Argentina though.

        • yalensis says:

          Thanks to my research on the Old Believers — seems like a good place for a plug — I believe that hand shown above (not the Catholic one but the ICXC one) is the Old Believer way of doing the sign.
          The ikon above that, with straighter fingers, is the traditional Orthodox way, I believe. (Lyttenburgh can correct me, if I am wrong.)
          Whereas the Navalny hand signal is just straight out “Mammy” as sung on the Avatar planet.
          Otherwise known as the “Hand Jive”.

      • Moscow Exile says:

        And repeat after MT a thousand times: “opposition leader”.

        • Moscow Exile says:

          Those Moscow cops should take a page out of the British police forces’ books.

          What they do in my home country if they want you to clear off is to say that your behaviour is likely to lead to a breach of the peace and tell you that you are being arrested in order to prevent such a breach of the peace happening.

          If you argue the toss with them, they then tag on to the charge “obstructing a police officer in the course of his duty”.

          A police officer is acting in the course of his duty if he is preventing or detecting crime (in particular, breaches of the peace) or obeying the orders of his superiors.

          Then, if you get charged in the cop shop and are not simply “cautioned”, they often add that you resisted arrest, which is another offence, of course.

          And then to put the cherry on the cake, so to speak, they often like to embellish their tale in the magistrate’s court by saying that you violently resisted arrest.

          I have great experience as regards this procedure.



        • marknesop says:

          As far as MT is concerned, anybody willing to speak out against Putin is a hopeful sign of a new – or renewed – champion to throw its weight behind, and consequently deserving of the title ‘opposition leader’ despite the absence of any demonstrated evidence that he/she is actually leading anything.

      • Jen says:

        That shade of brilliant green was the favoured colour of Victorian England under the label of Scheele’s Green: it was used in wallpaper for homes, textiles for clothing, hats, shoe boxes, gift boxes, curtains, candles, artificial flowers, nearly everything. Pity the pigment that was used to create the colour contained arsenic compounds.

        During his St Helena exile, Napoleon Bonaparte lived in a house with bright green rooms (green being his favourite colour) until his death from stomach cancer, to which exposure to arsenic was a likely cause.

        • marknesop says:

          This parallels the profession which gives rise to the phrase, “Mad as a hatter”. Dyes used in men’s tall hats also contained substantial quantities of arsenic, and hatters frequently licked their fingers during the shaping process.

  44. Moscow Exile says:

    The Hobbit…

    and friends.

  45. Moscow Exile says:

    Кто проталкивает самозванцев и кричит о восстановлении монархии?

    Who are pushing the impostors and crying out for the restoration of the monarchy?

    Икону с эсэсовцем и другом Гитлера святейший Патриарх и Председатель Правительства РФ подарили Ново-Иерусалимскому музею

    His Holiness the Patriarch and the Prime Minister have presnted to the New Jerusalem Museum an icon showing a member of the SS and a friend of Hitler,
    November 18, 2016
    Patriarch Kirill, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and Moscow region Governor Andrei Vorobyov have been drawn into a strange busines. On October 31, 2016, they gave the New Jerusalem Museum and exhibition complex an “icon” which depicts Maria Hohenzollern with her papa, who was an SS Obergruppenführer, and grandfather, who was a friend of Hitler.

    Above: impostors on the icon of the “Emperor-in-exile Kirill I” “the Emperor Vladimir Kirillovich” “the Empress V. K. Maria Vladimirovna”

  46. Warren says:

  47. Warren says:

    BBC – British State Broadcaster

    Three years under Russian control

  48. Lyttenburgh says:

    In connection to the earlier article posted by ME, where the perennial looser and whiny bitch Grisha Yavlinsky promised to give land to the peasants, water – to sailors, mattresses – to Shenderovich

    Something is really rotten in the “Yabloco/Apple” party of Yavlinsky. The gesheft if drying up!

    Vedomosti: Yabloko seeks money for party funding
    The loss of state funding turned into a serious financial crisis for the party


    “At the meeting of the federal political council of Yabloko during this weekend, the issue of party reform was discussed. But participants in the meeting, judging by the conversations on the sidelines, were more worried about the rumor that the party had only a month’s worth of money left. In the elections to the State Duma, Yabloko did not overcome the 3% barrier and lost the state funding.

    “We are negotiating for financing, the process is going to be difficult and long, but for now we consider this as a technical delay. If it lasts a month and a half, then there will be a more serious problem, “Yabloko deputy chairman Sergei Ivanenko told Vedomosti. State financing (247 million rubles per year) covered almost 100% of costs, as the third was for the support of 75 regional offices, explains Ivanenko: “We are trying to restore most of it. We had a reserve of funds for three months, now the third month ends. But we are looking forward to the end of March, the negotiations to complete and to receive guarantees for funding during the year. ” According to him, if funding drops sharply, then it may be necessary to introduce a new format of work, when regional branches exist only de jure.

    Ivanenko does not mention the people with whom the negotiations are going on, but stresses that “any business financing should be coordinated with the presidential administration”. According to the source in the party, the founder of Yabloko, Grigory Yavlinsky and the first deputy Head of [Presidential] Administration, Sergei Kiriyenko, had a bad relationship since the latter’s membership in the Union of Right Forces. Ivanenko denies this, but Yavlinsky’s spokesman, Igor Yakovlev, believes that this is indeed the case. Yakovlev confirms that the money left is enough just for a month, and says that the party reduces expenses – in particular, cuts are expected in the federal apparatus: “There are sponsors, but there are negotiations on volumes of the funding. For eight years we had been without state funding in a very economical mode – we will have to manage like that now”. A member of the political council from Novosibirsk Olesya Valger said that they are already looking for new sources of funding, including through fundraising. According to the leader of the Pskov branch Lev Shlosberg, in January-February there was funding, money for March are expected according to plan.


    Financial difficulties are typical for all parties, except for United Russia, which is connected with the state’s measures to minimize the direct participation of big capital in politics, says political analyst Alexander Pozhalov. “Yabloko” needs to win competition for sponsors on the liberal flank, he believes: “For now, everyone sees how Navalny opens headquarters in the regions and creates via his investigations tension around figures in power and state-owned companies. For a business that would like to influence politics through public campaigns, it still looks more effective.” To restore the attention of sponsors, Yabloko needs to abandon positions that allow critics to label the party as unpatriotic, in particular concerning the Crimea, and also to show successes in elections in the regions, Pozhalov said: “The issue of leadership is rather important not for sponsors, but for voters, the electoral prospects depend on the composition of the leaders. “”


    P.S. Who’d thought, that calling for separation of Crimea from Russia, calling for “cessation of aggression abroad” from the Russian Government, demanding that the people (i.e. their potential electorate) should start Paying and Repenting (Repenting and Paying), because they are still Sovok bydlo, might backfire on the hanshakable party of constantly miffed shy and conscientious intelligentsia!

    There is only one way out from the political Olympus – down. Deep, deep down.

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