A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall

Uncle Volodya says, “It’s too bad that stupidity isn’t painful. Ignorance is one thing, but our society thrives increasingly on stupidity. It depends on people going along with whatever they are told. The media promotes a cultivated stupidity as a posture that is not only acceptable but laudable.”

…I saw a white ladder all covered with water
I saw ten thousand talkers whose tongues were all broken
I saw guns and sharp swords in the hands of young children
And it’s a hard, and it’s a hard, it’s a hard, it’s a hard
And it’s a hard rain’s a-gonna fall….

A Hard Rain’s a’Gonna Fall; Bob Dylan

Josh Rogin is always magic.

In his clever hands, facts become…fluid; nebulous things that support the truth he wants you to internalize, often inserted deftly in an otherwise-true statement in such a way that they borrow from its truth.

And Josh Rogin reports that Washington is about to involve itself in the Ukraine peace process in a big way.

Like just about every political marker Trump has thrown down since he began his feckless turn as head of American decision-making, he has reversed himself as if his previous statements were never made.  As recently as this past July, when he was still just a candidate rather than the waking nightmare he is now, Trump said the Ukraine mess was “Europe’s problem”, and the USA should only step in if other countries ask for its help. Considering what a dog’s breakfast Washington has made of past nation-building efforts, and its slobbering devotion for Israel in endless ‘negotiations’ with the Palestinians in its own parody of a peace process, you would think that is about as likely to happen as a tiny angel appearing to sit on your shoulder and help you make good decisions.

Well, Germany at least – not to mention Josh Rogin – affects to be delighted that Washington is considering inviting itself to form the Normandy Five, and inject its bouncy, effervescent presence into Ukrainian reconciliation. What could go wrong? It’s only putting the world’s two biggest nuclear powers into direct confrontation.

European officials, for their part, are cheering. “We very much appreciate that the new administration will be more engaged in the Ukraine issue. In the beginning they seemed not to be so interested in this issue. That’s changed a lot,” German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel told The Post after meeting with Tillerson on May 17.

Let’s take another look at Ukraine’s negotiating position, just to refresh our memories. Russia must withdraw its legions of regular troops from Eastern Ukraine (this will be considered to have happened only when the Ukrainian Army is able to roll through Donbas unopposed), return control of the Russian/Ukrainian border to Ukrainian authorities…and hand back Crimea.

Initially, Trump suggested he would look seriously at America recognizing Crimea officially as Russian territory. But in true attention-deficit style, his Secretary of State now expects Putin to return Crimea to Kiev’s control, and there will be no consideration of relaxing sanctions until that happens.

Think that’ll ever happen? Me either. Donald Trump’s latest game of poke-chest ignores the clear warnings that Russia is all through backing up. Moscow considers Crimea Russian territory again, and it is not going to walk back on that before things turn bloody.

Germany and France have been involved in what’s called the Normandy Format, an effort to implement the 2015 Minsk agreement, which is stalled due to cease-fire violations on the ground primarily by Russian-backed forces and a lack of Ukrainian political progress. Their hope is that the United States can break the impasse.

Mmm hmmm. The ceasefire violations are primarily by Russian-backed forces – see how slickly he slipped that in? Let me ask you something: what are they shooting at? I mean, they never seem to take any territory – the lines on the map which demarcate the negotiated border never move in the federalists’ favour. But they’re always shooting at somebody.  Is it maybe the Ukrainian Army, hunkered down on their doorstep and waiting for them to slip up, drop their guard? And if the waiting Ukrainian Army never pressures them, why are they shooting?

In fact, the Ukrainian Army shells the eastern regions all the time, apparently randomly and with little or no regard for tactical objectives or the suspected presence of enemy forces.  But most of the reports of these violations come from local news in Donbas and Russian sources such as TASS and Sputnik. The west sneers at the latter as “state-controlled”, and implies they are non-stop liars. Is there any possibility for good-faith negotiation there? No, there’s not.

But Rogin is giddy at the thought that Putin is now trapped:

If the Trump team does its best to strike a deal with Moscow and fails, at least Putin’s true intentions will be laid bare. Then the administration will have little choice but to pursue a path of actively pushing back on Russian aggression, increasing support for Ukraine’s government and military, and abandoning the idea of yet another Russian reset.

So it’s a win/win for the war party – if Trump manages to broker a deal, it cannot happen without Russian capitulation and, according to Tillerson, the return of Crimea to Ukrainian control. If it doesn’t happen, Trump will have to get tough with the Russians instead of sucking up to them.

That’s how wars get started – by one side demanding what it knows the other side will not, cannot concede, in many cases because what is demanded is not in its power to grant. Russia cannot make the eastern Ukrainians stop resisting Kiev, because they know the Ukrainian Army will roll over them if they stop resisting, and the nationalist elements will kill as many as they can. They have promised as much. The only hope for Eastern Ukraine is a change of government in Kiev, and the west keeps propping up the openly corrupt Poroshenko government and shows every intention of continuing to do so, as it has supported despots in the past so long as it suited its interests.

Washington’s fresh-faced exceptionalist entry into the Ukrainian mess is not going to ‘break the impasse’, as Rogin attributes to European hopes. What recent history suggests is far more likely is that it will touch off a conflagration which will result in no peaceful place left on earth, and the world’s populations forced to choose sides.

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1,114 Responses to A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall

  1. James lake says:

    It’s so depressing looking at the pictures of the young people out protesting and sabotaging the events in Moscow on Russia day.

    Why are they doing this?
    What do they think they will gain?
    If they have a cause you don’t get support by actions that distrust and alienate others
    The behaviour is like a childish tantrum. The looks on their faces shows this.

    I would fine them so much that their parents will make their eyes water!!

    The consequences for these unsanctioned protests must be felt. By them and their families that allow this.

    Another point is that it was so obvious that Navalny is using these stupid young people – that they go along with it suggests that they are just as dumb as those kids that got involved in the maidan.

    • Murdock says:

      Quick question, how young are these people we are talking about?

      I only ask because back when I was of American “High School” age, I.E.14-18 years old, I had some pretty stupid ideas of my own. Thankfully, adulthood has cured me of these, misunderstandings, since then, but that does not mean that these children have had a similar opportunity.

      It is really shameful that Navalny and similar paid subversives are capable of exerting such shameful influence on Russia’s young. I feel that taking advantage of the suggestibility of this age group is just dishonorable, in the grand scheme of things.

        • Moscow Exile says:


          Russia shall be free!

          And typical kreakl crap:


          France Day, USA Day, Germany Day …Russia Day

          Hey, hang on though ….

          The France Day, USA Day, Germany Day pictures show folk celebrating France Day, USA Day, Germany Day, do they not?

          The picture showing Russia Day show Hamsters being arrested for coming along to demonstrate illegally and spoil the party for those who wished to celebrate the holiday, right?

          No?

          OK.

          Sorry.

          • James lake says:

            Many of them look under 18 teenagers.

            The optics look terrible. Navalny and his sponsors have targeted young naive dare I say stupid people.

            The child with the t shirt about freedom? What is it that they do not have?
            The EU flag – suggests the same sponsors that caused the maidan in Ukraine.

            Are these young people wanting to cause such an even in Russia?

            I am in the UK and see this story presented on the BBC. It would be helpful for my understanding to get an insight fro those actually in Russia into whether this is significant or not.

            Thank you

            • Moscow Exile says:

              Insignificant – totally.

              From someone inside the Evil Empire.

              Not, however, at the Petersburg “troll factory”!

              I don’t get paid for this, worse luck.

              🙂

              • Moscow Exile says:

                Check out Paul Robinson’s “Irrussianality” to see what the significance of the Navalny events really is:

                ALEXEI TWO PERCENT

                As for Navalny, an opinion poll published by the Levada Centre today gives him almost imperceptible levels of popular support. According to the poll, if a presidential election were held this Sunday in Russia, 48% would vote for Vladimir Putin, 3% for both Zhirinovsky and Zyuganov, and just one percent for Navalny. Several other candidates would also get one percent, while 42% replied that they either don’t know or wouldn’t vote at all.

                If you discount this last 42%, then the result of a Russian presidential election this week would be:

                Putin – 83%; Zhirinovsky – 5%; Zyuganov – 4%; Navalny – 2%; Others – 6%.

                • marknesop says:

                  That’s a good piece, and it seems so far to be attracting spirited commentary.

                • yalensis says:

                  Yup. And Karlin with his usual “If you reply to my comments or disagree with me, that means you’re obsessed with me.” In regards to Lyt.
                  Sheesh… people comment, and other people reply to comments. It’s called a “forum”. If you read and reply to somebody’s comment, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re stalking them. Or that you’re “policing the thread”, of what Kirill frequently accuses me, whenever I reply to his comments.
                  I guess some people think a comment board is really just a stage for a lonely Hamlet soliloquy.

                  Thus, self-aggrandizingly Karlin believes that he lives inside other people’s people’s heads, and that other people are obsessed with him….

                  Which reminds me, it might soon be time for another “fan fiction” episode featuring Tolya in some improbable role. Any suggestions?

  2. marknesop says:

    Unrelated, I know, but a subject I believe remains of interest to us all – WADA drops its probe into 27 Russian fencers who were fingered as dopers by the McLaren Report. The Russian Fencing Federation conducted an exhaustive investigation and concluded the individuals named were not dopers. WADA accepted their conclusions, and dropped its own investigation.

  3. Pavlo Svolochenko says:

    http://varjag2007su.livejournal.com/1163083.html

    Ukraine fails to meet European standards of crooked policework.

  4. Warren says:

    Published on 12 Jun 2017
    Boosting Canada’s military spending is “a way of enhancing the American empire…done under the guise of lessening Canadian dependence on the U.S.,” says author and activist Yves Engler

    Visit http://therealnews.com for more stories and help support our work by donating at http://therealnews.com/donate.

  5. Warren says:

    • et Al says:

      ButtFeed forever happy to play the useful idiot, passing off various western intelligence services leaks as ‘news’. You would have thought they’d learned their lesson from deliberately publishing the former disastrous British spy turned muckraker Jonathan ‘Steel Dossier’ full of bs about Donald Trump, but I guess ButtFeed is becoming the go to outlet to peddle any kind of bs as long as it servers western PSYOPS. Some may simply consider it as an arms length propaganda outlet to counter Russia’s Sputnik, but you can bet British intelligence is very happy with it. It is cheap, it has wide distribution and it pretends to be independent.

      • Warren says:

        If you believe the Buzzfeed “investigation” UK, US and French authorities are contradicting each other. As far as the UK is concerned Perepilichnyy died of “natural causes”, he simply dropped dead because of a naturally induced heart attack. Whereas the US and French authorities are adamant that Perepilichnyy’s death was suspicious or political assassination. Ex-UK police and intelligence officers interviewed by Buzzfeed hold the same view. I reckoned he was killed, it makes perfect sense and is the most obvious explanation. But for me that is of no significance. What interests me is the behaviour of the British and refusal to admit to Perepilichnyy’s assassination, and go so far as to cover it up. The British state is afraid of exacerbating tensions with Russia. If you look at the death in its context, Perepilichnyy died in 2012. UK-Russia relations had deteriorated from Litivinenko’s death in November 2006, the expulsion of Russian diplomats from London in July 2007. There was no direct contact between British and Russian leaders, from 2005 and until 2011 when Cameron travelled to Russia.

        Moreover, Putin attended the London Olympics in the summer of 2012, and watched the judo tournament with Cameron.

        Had the British authorities declared that Perepilichnyy had been murdered, it would have caused a diplomatic crisis on par to that of the Litvinenko affair. However, I think the most probable reason why the British authorities refuse to acknowledge Perepilichnyy death as an assassination is the fear that it will affect the flow of Russian money into the City of London and London property market. The Buzzfeed “investigation” alludes to this point repeatedly. This is the view I’ve always had. Let’s not forget during the febrile atmosphere in the UK and the West after Crimea’s re-accession into Russia in 2014, Whitehall mandarins were adamant that any UK supported sanctions should not hinder the flow of Russian money into the UK financial sector.
        UK seeking to ensure Russia sanctions do not harm City of London

        https://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/mar/03/uk-seeks-russia-harm-city-london-document

        So much for the rule of law, and the independence of the judiciary and UK institutions. The Home Secretary can sabotage a coroner’s inquest by withholding evidence on the always useful grounds of “national security”.

        • et Al says:

          I’m not convinced. Why now? Everyone knows London is used as a laundering operation and the only real reason it is allowed to continue is that it gives British Intelligence services leverage, i.e. threatening to take away peoples hard stolen money makes all sorts of foreigners very amenable to assisting those services.

          Russian money in London is also a drop in the ocean compared to that of state sponsors of terrorism from the Gulf states and elsewhere. If the Russians were kicked out, there’d be no shortage of other buyers more than happy to make a quick sale of discounted property. Would others panic? Possibly, but the Government provides assurances under the table.

          Or maybe everyone is stabbing each other in the back, UK, US & Fr? If that’s the case, it is a very sorry state of affairs indeed to points to very deep seated issues of which Russia would be but one – the straw that broke the camel’s back – if you will. Hard to believe.

          Or maybe this is the leaker generation where even normally loyal servants of the crown have gone tonto.

          Or, more likely it is part of regular PSYOPS to keep Russia’s name in public and in the mud. It doesn’t effect trade or whatever, but is simply an cheap and easy way of distracting the filth (general public) from something else.

          As for ‘high confidence’ from the US, I can’t stop laughing. That phrase has been regularly trotted out of just about every orifice as ‘evidence’ that Russia is linked to Trump etc. etc.

          As you point out, it is full of contradictions and that may also be the point. Why is it the US warning the UK when it is the US that wants to make up with Russia?

          Since they published the ‘Steel Dossier’, I cannot take ButtFeed seriously. Nobody should. They’re down there with the trash that is the British Tabloids & the Guardian. Only suitable for use in my girlfriend’s cat litter tray. Speaking of which, I have to remove Puss’s truffles

      • Warren says:

        Is Russian crime arriving on UK shores?

        Russian money has poured into London, but it is feared organised crime is accompanying it. Panorama investigates a death in a Russian prison that has brought the threat of violence to the UK. Could a whistleblower found dead on the streets of Surrey be the latest victim of the Russian crime wars?

        http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-22310575

    • marknesop says:

      Jeez. It just never stops. One wonders when Putin finds time to govern the state, he’s so busy bumping off people around the world who are onto him.

      • Jen says:

        Lord Sauron must use telepathy to direct his minions all around the world or cause his victims to bump themselves off.

  6. Warren says:

  7. Moscow Exile says:

    The sheer brutality of being under arrest in Russia:

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DCHoooHW0AAQH_q.jpg:large

    Why is that dork in the stripey vest giving a fuck-off sign?

      • Lyttenburgh says:

        Hey-hey-hey! It’s Ilya [#yashinmudak] Yashin making a group selfie!


        ^This is Masha Baronova, from Khodor’s “Open Russia”, doing pas-de-trois.


        ^I just… no idea what this “performance” should symbloze and what are these schollkids protesting – that they are made eat veggies?


        ^This is “Financial Times” Editor in Chief, who thinks that “Times and Epochs” fest is some part of Putin’s diabolical plan to suppress peaceful protesters Tiananmen-style.

        • Moscow Exile says:

          A re-enactment of WWII, but not according to the lying British media.

          At Chisty Prudy, where I am based, they had re-enactments of the siege of Sevastopol during the Crimean War.

          Bloody big 32-ponder naval cannon there – to be used against Putin’s own people!!!!!!

          Absolutely shocking it was!

        • marknesop says:

          Quick – rush out a report that HMS VICTORY is being used to blockade Portsmouth.

          Honestly; what an idiot.

        • Moscow Exile says:

          For the editor of FT:


          Lone Putin stooge defending the Kremlin against Navalny Hamsters surging down Tverskaya.

          • Moscow Exile says:

            Lying bastard!!!!!

            Navalny was lying through his teeth in court yesterday, saying he did not summon people to Tverskaya:

            In court Navalny announced that he summoned nobody to Tverskaya, that the teenagers came of their own accord.

            “The court has no evidence that people went to Tverskaya in answer to Navalny’s call. As evidence that he did this there is only a screenshot with the subscript: “Everybody to Tverskaya”. But who and when is ‘everybody?'” the blogger’s advocates replied.

            But allow me, here is a video where Navalny says: “Anyone who wants to participate in the anti-corruption rally, come to Tverskaya at 2 pm! Not to Prospekt Sakharov “.

            The judge did not believe Navalny and gave him 30 days.

            Because that’s what Putin told the judge to do, see!

            See: Как Навальный врал школоте, чтобы спровоцировать беспорядки на Тверской

  8. Warren says:

  9. Lyttenburgh says:


    One of chief editors of “Ekho Moscvy” instantly became unhandshakable (and his comment section on twitter turned into shyte volcano) after he wrote:

    Just arrested some hobo, who was lying on the ground screaming “Putin is the president of scumbags!”

    For which activists from “Nemtsov Bridge” retorted: “This is Grisha, one of our own!”

    That’s true! Some reenactors from “Times and Epochs” fest, who were cosplaying NKVD troopers did detain Grisha the Oppo-Hobo!

    • et Al says:

      Can we expect a prison Oppo orgy ‘art’ video then? Everyone sticks a banana into the person in front of them in a circle or something? It’s been too long since what’s her name from Pussy Rot did one in the Museum and other crap.

      • marknesop says:

        Maybe that’s what the guys kneeling on the street in protest were doing – selling fruits and vegetables for props for when you are arrested.

      • Lyttenburgh says:

        “Can we expect a prison Oppo orgy ‘art’ video then?”

        I knew! I knew that I was not the only one who thought “I once saw a pron-film which began like that”! Btw – Navalny one time planned to host his “Ne Dimon” movie on the Pornhub site.

        “Coincidence? I don’t think so!”(c)

      • Moscow Exile says:

        Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson expresses concern at large-scale detentions in Russia following anti-corruption protests

        I am concerned by the detention on 12 June of hundreds of Russian citizens following protests. They were exercising their fundamental rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly, which are enshrined in the Russian constitution. The UK calls on the government of Russia to comply with its international commitments in the Council of Europe and the OSCE, and release citizens detained during peaceful demonstrations” – The Right Honourable Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs.

        • marknesop says:

          Despite Navalny’s effort to recharacterize ‘his’ demonstration as a ‘peaceful stroll’, it was by any definition a march. Obviously the purpose was for large numbers of people to get arrested, and as soon as they were you can bet the one-eyed one’s acolytes were burning up the wires to the European human-rights organizations, ultimately resulting in dipshit expostulations such as Bojo’s.

          Are the rights to peaceful assembly, freedom of expression and association enshrined in the British constitution? I’m sure they are. Can you hold a protest march anywhere you please in Britain? You certainly can not. Bojo plainly does not know the law in the country he’s supposed to be helping to govern. Maybe you should get that nailed down, fuckwad, before branching out and going international.

    • yalensis says:

      Too funny!
      I wonder if Strelkov was there as well, cosplaying the noble Tsarist WWI soldier who marches stoically into the Twilight of the Gods.

  10. Moscow Exile says:


    And they shout “Shame!”

    Wankers!

    Spoilt brats who came to spoil the fun so that “Russia shall be free”.

    I think that Navalny should be jailed and let Washington condemn!

    See also: ОМОН и реконструкторы: как прошли акции сторонников Навального

    Riot police and re-enactors: how the event went for Navalny’s supporters [video]

  11. Lyttenburgh says:

    More examples of stellar reporting and journalist ethic in action:

    Also – Navalny arrested for 30 days. Which means one thing – his faithful hamsters has 30 days to donate him enough money for another trip to Europe!

    And as for the “Russian Independence day” – it’s not a “holiday”. It’s an abberation.

    18 March deserves more right to be called “Russia’s day” and the status of the state holiday, because of Crimean Reunion.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      Just take a look at these evil revolutionary Kronstadt bastards above getting ready to mow down peaceful Navalny hamsters!

      (above) Chistiye Prudy Boulevard Sevastopol bastion: manning a 32-pounder naval cannon taken from warships prior to their scuttling to Chistiye Prudy where they point directly at the metro station exit so as to blast any peaceful Navalny supporters who dare leave the station and stroll down the boulevard.


      Give the blighters a whiff of grape-shot, what?

      What an evil genius Putin is! Using bogus historic re-enactments named “Times and Epochs” so as to really implement bloody crowd control if necessary.

  12. et Al says:

    Neuters: Saudi soldier killed by explosion in Qatif province
    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-saudi-security-idUSKBN1930B4

    A Saudi soldier was killed and two members of the security forces wounded when an explosive device went off during a patrol in the Kingdom’s eastern Qatif province, the Interior Ministry said on Monday.

    The ministry said in a statement carried by the state news agency that the blast, which it described as a “terrorist incident” had occurred late Sunday evening in the Masoura district.
    ####

    An I.E.D. then.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_Province,_Saudi_Arabia

    I would assume that it would be near the north/south Yemen border.

  13. Northern Star says:

    Answer to above movie trivia quote question:

    The Outlaw Josey Wales

  14. Northern Star says:

    How low can they go..zipperhead thugs of Duterte:
    http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2017/06/12/phil-j12.html
    Check out Grok’s spot on comment;

    Not a peep about this on “Murican MSM…..

    • marknesop says:

      Duterte indeed should have seen it coming – did he think he was free to mouth off like that and then just take a trip without things moving in his absence? As I mentioned there, leaders of other nations who do not wish to join Duterte on the scrap-heap would be wise to re-examine the levers of American power implicit in their own national systems, and eliminate or restrict them. A good start would be to cease the practice of training national military leaders in the United States, as they are indoctrinated there with new loyalties and are essentially sleeper agents. Ditto American and western NGO’s, well-known prime movers of destabilization.

      • Fern says:

        And a perfect example of how useful ISIS/ISIL is to the US. Employ it to mount an ‘insurrection’ and there’s your opportunity to involve your military in cahoots with local forces to suppress the rent-a-jihadis wihtout bothering to get any government approval. Permanent terror and permanent occupation. A neat trick.

        • marknesop says:

          Indeed. And thanks to Sammy Power and her sterling endeavors at the UN, the USA grants itself the right to intervene without consulting anyone, to protect the civilian population, just because it’s that urgent there’s no time for shilly-shallying about with diplomatic niceties. The leader of the country deciding to take a trip just when this powder-keg blows is perfect.

          The sad part is that everybody already knew this, and Duterte should have known, too – after his challenging words directed at the great hegemon and empire-builder, after the example of Ukraine – when Obama said the USA was not going to get involved in a cheap bidding war for possession, and then promptly assumed leadership of the insurrection – he should have known Washington was primed to act at the first opportunity. And after dozens of regime-change examples, he should have known the form it would take, as well.

          The best thing he could do now – the only thing, I think – is tone down the anti-American rhetoric, work with the USA and play along until the immediate threat is assessed to have been dealt with. Then he should thank them politely without conveying any sense of obligation, and ask them to leave since there is no further need of their presence. Next should come a round of early retirements and new promotions for military leaders as those whose loyalties lie elsewhere are replaced, and the practice of training junior officers at the School of the Americas should cease. If you want to train your military in defense of the homeland, there are better places to do it and that is clearly not the role of the US military.

        • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Enduring_Freedom_–_Philippines

          ‘Successful operation – Substantial reduction in capabilities of domestic and transnational terrorist groups operating in the Philippines’

  15. Northern Star says:

    “The event was a political fraud from beginning to end. The basic thread running through all of the workshops and demagogic speeches was the fiction that the Democratic Party—a party of Wall Street and the CIA—can be transformed into a “people’s party.”
    LOL!!! Totally spot the F on!!!!!

    “Sanders lent his support to the neo-McCarthyite campaign of the Democrats and the military-intelligence apparatus, which sees Russia as the chief obstacle to US imperialism’s drive for regime change in Syria and Iran. “I find it strange we have a president who is more comfortable with autocrats and authoritarians than leaders of democratic nations,” Sanders said. “Why is he enamored with Putin, a man who has suppressed democracy and destabilized democracies around the world, including our own?”

    Sanders?? No fool like an old fool…and tool of TPTB

    • marknesop says:

      Oh, I doubt he’s a fool; the creed of the western political class is recognition of its own and their interests over the interests of the majority. It is technically true that Putin is destabilizing governments around the world – ‘democracies’, if you will – but it would presuppose that western leaders are his accomplices. Because it is through them and their crackdowns and restrictions and surveillance, which they say they must introduce for our own protection (because, you know, freedom isn’t free) that discontent and destabilization are born.

  16. Northern Star says:

    Oh Mein Gott !!!…Wonder Woman is a (super) jewess……???

    BUT…Reading the comments can be very enlightening:
    “jet1685 • 2 hours ago
    Gal Gadot is an Israeli soldier who has celebrated war crimes against Gaza which is why the movie is banned in several countries; nobody should pay to see it thereby underwriting
    imperialism. Download the junk free off piratebay if you really have to waste your time instead of choosing from tens of thousands of better films. Wonder woman is sexist and racist to the hilt as a means to serve US imperialist and Zionist interests. It mocks women and puts people who want control of their own land(native Americans, Arabs, Scots)and a rival imperialist state(Germany)in a poor light. “Hun” can be substituted with a sea of other racial epithets which this website would be loath to publish, but that’s the state of things which made it possible for the USAF to burn millions of Germans and Japanese and millions more up through today. Next we’ll see women depicted as savages(if sugarcoated as heroines)massacring Russians, and doubtless broadcast racist names to indoctrinate audiences for war.”
    http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2017/06/13/wond-j13.html

  17. Northern Star says:

    Hmmm…Nice rack….

    She looks lonely, forlorn and frustrated..what does that say about kreakl men???

    :O)

    • marknesop says:

      I did notice that, but she is young enough that to say so is probably creepy.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      I say, steady on, old chap! Do try to stem your healthy sexual urges whenever you see a damsel in distress.

      🙂

      • Moscow Exile says:

        What does that say about kreakl men? — they’re wankers!

        Types of Kreakl

        Navalny, Razvozzhayev, Yashin, Nemtsov, Shenderovich, Katz, Bykov, Verzilov


        above ball-bag nailing kreakl


        above; really, really artistic kreakl


        above: no comment, apart from the fact that his wife suddenly shot to fame when she was elected as a downtown Moscow city counsellor and received accolades from Washington because of her achievement. She soon faded away into eternal oblivion though.

        • Lyttenburgh says:

          “She soon faded away into eternal oblivion though.”

          You mean – went to the Ukraine a year after EuroMaidan, kickstarted a libertarian organization here, worked for a small Kievan newspaper, and, finally, buggered off to study in Britain?

          Yeah – that’s basically is the definition of fading to Oblivion. And to think, that she (Lena Kichanova) and he (Pavel Gnilorybov) were the “young hope” of Bolotnaya – a hipster couple!

          • Moscow Exile says:

            Vera (not Lena) Kichanova was a Cato Institute protégée, no less and studied at that august organization in Washington.

            By “study”, I mean sort of like Navalny did at Yale: a crash course for traitors.

            Newly wed Vera:

            Extremely vexed Vera:


            Who is this Vera Kichanova?

            She was once hailed as the Libertarians’ rising new star.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      Hey, Northerrn Star, waddya reckon of Zuhal Demir, Belgium’s Secretary of State for Poverty Reduction, Equal Opportunities, People with Disabilities, Urban Policy and Scientific Policy?

      She has just caused a bit of a stir by inadvertently disclosing classified information related to the visit of the NATO leaders’ wives to the country.

      See: Awkward! Belgian State Secretary Spills the Beans About NATO Spousal Meet-Up

      She is of Kurdish descent.

      What the hell do equal opportunities and people with disabilities have to do with scientific policy, I wonder?

  18. Northern Star says:

    Double Double toil and Trouble..Fires burn and rice cauldron bubble

    http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2017/06/13/thaa-j13.html

    “Tensions between the United States and South Korea have begun to appear only one month into the new administration of President Moon Jae-in. Seoul has for the time being suspended the complete rollout of the US Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) battery while it conducts an environmental impact assessment (EIA) on the area surrounding its location. Other signs of conflict are also emerging as Seoul attempts to balance between Washington and Beijing.”

    “Moon and the ruling Democratic Party of Korea (DPK) and their allies by no means oppose the US-South Korea military alliance, but have concerns that the US agenda is having a negative impact on South Korean businesses. China has retaliated economically in response to the THAAD installation. South Korean-owned stores in China have been closed. Hyundai Motors saw a 65 percent fall in Chinese sales in May. The number of Chinese tourists going on shopping trips to Seoul has also fallen, leading to potentially billions of dollars in losses.”

    “Other issues causing concern in Washington have also come up, including South Korea’s relationship with Japan, an integral part of the US anti-ballistic missile system.

    *****Moon’s nominee for foreign minister, Gang Gyeong-hwa has said she intends to revive discussions over Japan’s use of sex slaves during World War II, a large number of whom were Korean—a move that would raise tensions between the two countries.*******
    (There ain’t no forgettin’ !!!!)
    An agreement was reached in December 2015 between Tokyo and Seoul on the issue at the behest of the US.”

  19. marknesop says:

    We were told that if Trump was elected America would be either a smouldering crater or a goose-stepping fascist dystopia where Muslims are kept in concentration camps by now, and yet seven months later the US is still pretty much the same everyday corporatist bullshit factory Obama left it. We’re all still praying for a miracle to save us from the ecocidal, omnicidal trajectory America’s unelected power establishment has had our planet on, but at least we’re still in the fight. That is likely a lot more than you‘d have been able to say for a war-loving, Russia-hating strategical imbecile with no sense of responsibility for her own behavior.

    Perhaps there’s hope. I sure couldn’t have said it any better than that, babe.

    • Northern Star says:

      That is likely a lot more than you‘d have been able to say for a **war-loving, Russia-hating strategical imbecile **with no sense of responsibility for her own behavior.

      Yup…a thousand times Yup!!!!!!

  20. Northern Star says:

    Maybe I’m missing something..but doesn’t this hat trick depend upon the C-17 negotiating through a thicket of Chinese -or NK-SAMS…in one piece…..

    http://www.businessinsider.com/us-military-tactics-to-dominate-south-china-sea-2017-6

    • marknesop says:

      Well, those artillery rockets have a max range, allegedly, of 300 km, so in theory they could fire from far away where the aircraft was safer. But in practice artillery targets are usually much closer, and unless the USA plans to get into the island-building business itself the number of firing positions in the South China Sea – which this strategy is optimized to ‘defend’ – is finite. A lot of those places are too small to land a Globemaster (minimum runway length 3,500 ft. of relatively flat terrain).

      It’s interesting to see that the American tone is vaguely admiring for Japan’s building of artificial islands to expand its sovereignty in contested waters – but frankly disapproving of China doing the same thing in waters which are clearly in its area of influence.

      I was more interested in the revelation that the USA is introducing a revolutionary program to make missile carriers of even its small combatants, using them as force multipliers; I wonder where they got that idea?

      On the other hand, Russia has demonstrated that it can use numerous small vessels to deploy a powerful long-range weapon, an example of a “distributed” force structure. The idea is that in an age of increasingly lethal and longer-range missiles, it may be wiser to spread out firepower across multiple smaller and expendable platforms, rather than put all the eggs in one large, expensive and vulnerable basket. The U.S. Navy’s own attempts at a more distributed force structure through the Littoral Combat Ship program have so far encountered serious teething issues, and the frigate-sized LCSs currently lack weapons as powerful as the Kalibr missiles on smaller Russian corvettes.

      http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/why-russias-enemies-fear-the-kalibr-cruise-missile-19129

  21. et Al says:

    Neuters: Russian diplomats expelled from Moldova recruited fighters
    http://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-moldova-russia-expulsions-idUKKBN1941D7?

    …Moldova, a former Soviet state that has long been the focus of a struggle for influence between Russia and the West, expelled the diplomats on May 29. It did not explain the decision, with Prime Minister Pavel Filip saying only that his government had “good reasons”.

    According to the sources, who are familiar with the case, the five were ejected because of their alleged activities as undercover officers with the Russian military intelligence agency, the GRU.

    They said Moldovan officials believed the Russians were recruiting fighters from Gagauzia, an autonomous southern region home to an ethnic Turkish population that is pro-Russian and opposes closer integration with the European Union. …
    ####

    I smell a very heavy dose of horse shit (Kiev as a source!). It also makes absolutely no sense. Why would Russia recruit from the Turkic Gagauzian community to go and fight in the Ukraine? It makes much much more sense to me that they would be more useful in Syria but I don’t see how the small numbers would make much of a difference unless they are exceptionally gifted.

    What does make sense is the ‘pro-EU’ PM and parliament which is under pressure from its abysmal performance is freaked by the election of ‘Pro-Russia'(!) President Igor Dodon and is a) trying to drive a wedge in to the improvement of those relations (no doubt with the West’s helping hand); b) to divert the attention of Modovan citizens away from their stupidity.

    Basically they are accusing Russia of taking a leaf out of the West’s color revolution playbook whereby they identify useful figures and train them up abroad before they are returned in a timely manner to guide events as they unfold. The thing is, Modovans are tired of EU promises and the the government (they voted for Dodon) so they are already more sympathetic towards Russia and thus no need for ‘shock troops’.

    As for the rest of Neuter’s article, they quite happily do the empire’s bidding with the usual ‘anonymous sources’. Journalism is indeed dead which is why we have this kind of Zombie Journalism that is little more than official stenography with unquestioning sources..

    Or is this part of a phased PSYOPS campaign to keep Moldova westward leaning and prepare the ground for the government to invite NATO to ‘help’ save it from Russia. Transnistria, Belarus & Kaliningrad must make for tempting targets to try and unsettle Moscow, and I assume Moldova/Transnistria is the easiest and cheapest option.

  22. Warren says:

    Published on 13 Jun 2017
    Canada’s Dark Secret – Featured Documentary

    In 1996, the last residential school in Canada was closed down, bringing to light horrifying stories about the methods used to sever indigenous children from the influence of their families and to assimilate them into the dominant “Canadian” culture. Over more than a century, tens of thousands of families were torn apart as children were kidnapped or forcibly removed from their homes

    • marknesop says:

      Yes, residential schools were perhaps the most violent and damaging mechanism by which European settlers wiped out the native culture in Canada. Subjugated First-Nations tribes were forced to send their children to residential schools to have ‘the heathen educated out of them’, and there they were subjected to horrific abuse of all types by priests who ranged from zealots to degenerates. Native ceremonies by which they maintained touch with their heritage were deemed pagan, and outlawed for decades, while most of the religious and traditional artifacts were confiscated and went to wealthy collectors in Europe. It remains an everlasting disgrace.

  23. Moscow Exile says:

    Мария Баронова отчаянно просила о задержании. ОМОН некоторое время недоумевал…

    Maria Baronova desperately begging to be arrested. The riot police were for some time perplexed…

    Look at me! Look at me! Just look at how these brutes are manhandling me!!!!!!!!!!!

    The young woman at the back thinks it’s a load of laughs!

  24. Moscow Exile says:

    Мария Баронова отчаянно просила о задержании. ОМОН некоторое время недоумевал…

    Maria Baronova desperately begging to be arrested. The riot police were for some time perplexed…

    (I wonder where the clip went above?)

    • et Al says:

      Successive Conservative governments have forced significant cuts on county/city councils who have passed them on by reducing or stopping services. Looking at the news on Google Nudes UK we find out that there have long been significant concerns about the fire worthiness of many council run (though often privately managed) tower blocks and state housing. This will only be bad for the Conservatives however they try to spin it. It’s clear proof that ass-terity kills.

      I came across a couple of articles in The London Economic that pointed out the last Labor government public spending was at a record low of 37% of GDP, the lowest of any government since 1945 and also perforating Conservative propaganda about spending. Found it:

      The London Economic: Next time someone says ‘Money Tree’ send them this
      http://www.thelondoneconomic.com/tle-pick/next-time-someone-says-money-tree-send/05/06/

      …This underlines Keynes point. Cut the deficit in the good times, spend money in the bad times. Austerity doesn’t work, and this was proved as Keynes economics brought the US out of the great depression….

      ####

      And don’t forget to click through to the linked ‘5 Tory Narratives that simply aren’t true’ : http://www.thelondoneconomic.com/news/economics/five-labour-narratives-simply-arent-true/31/05/

      As for Russia, it stockpiled cash from high energy sales that allowed it to weather financial crises and sanctions. So, who are the morons now?

      • marknesop says:

        Well, for starters, John McCain is a moron who argued strenuously, in the initial slide of the global financial crisis, for further banking-industry deregulation.

        “This legislation takes a small but important step toward eliminating the tremendous regulatory burden imposed on financial institutions… One principal reason banks are unable to make loans is the bewildering array of statutory and regulatory restrictions and paperwork requirements imposed by Congress and the regulatory agencies. While a case can certainly be made that every law and regulation is intended to serve a laudable purpose, the aggregate effect of the rapidly increasing regulatory burden imposed on banks is to cause them to devote substantial time, energy and money to compliance rather than meeting the credit needs of the community.”

        You know, I don’t believe the great majority of people are aware just what simpletons their leaders are. We tend to think they have benefited from the very best educations – which, in the main, they have – and that consequently they are a great deal smarter than everyone else; that’s why they’re leaders. I’m sure each has a certain sector or subject in which they are unusually bright and in which their counsel is wise and informed. But overall, they are no smarter than you or I and every bit as prone to listen to bad advice or partisan gossip if it suits what they already believe. Our statues have feet of clay.

        Speaking of McCain, remember when he exuberantly tweeted “Dear Vlad; the Arab Spring is coming to a neighbourhood near you”?

        I liked Adajo’s response, albeit it came three years later: “Dear John, let’s recap: Russia is stronger than ever, and Mr. Vlad dominates. You destroyed Ukraine for nothing.”

        • cartman says:

          McCain probably has Alzheimer’s. It was really starting to show during the Comey testimony.

        • Fern says:

          I’d have to disagree with you here, Mark. I don’t think our leaders are simpletons; au contraire, they know exactly what they are doing. What the public doesn’t really get, however, is that our leaders serve particular interests hostile (a polite word for diametrically opposed) to the interests of the average person. I have met many intelligent, honest, decent people who believe the yarn that austerity is a necessary evil and those most affected by it must suffer in the national interest. Posit the idea that, actually, ‘austerity’ is an ideological position and not an economic one, adopted by a Tory-dominated Coalition and then a full-blown Tory government to achieve the destruction and subsequent privatisation of all public services, the breaking of all social contracts between the State and its citizens and the removal of all remaining social protections and folk are generally bafffled and disbelieving. There is a huge ideological edifice erected by the MSM and other gate-keepers designed to ensure those behind the curtain remain hidden.

          • Jen says:

            I have to side with Fern in the case of people like Jurassic John who’s obviously gunning for his own self-interest and material greed when he goes to Syria or Ukraine to consort openly with ISIS or Azov Battalion freaks and doesn’t care at all if people photograph him posing with these nutcakes and post the pictures on social media.

            Even Killary Klintonator must have known she was doing wrong when she had a private email server set up in her house and started using it to send and share classified material or material that was in the public interest with her staff. To turn her and her husband’s philanthropic organisation into a giant money-laundering operation sucking millions of dollars in donations each year and out of that Rube Goldberg machine generate the most minuscule aid program requires rat cunning.

            And there’s a reason why Theresa N Mayhem is called such as she carries on with her Grim Reaper scything cuts to the NHS and anything else that is not yet flat-lining on the ECG machine.

  25. Moscow Exile says:

    Stratfor in Forbes:

    In Russia, Protests Demonstrate A Fundamental Change

    In a sign that the Kremlin has no intention of backing down, Russian security forces were out in force across the country, particularly in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Police erected barricades of sandbags and tank traps along Tverskaya Street, though they claimed the obstructions were part of military re-enactments planned to mark Russia Day.

    What planet do these shits live on???

    The breastworks and tank traps at the bottom of Tverskaya were not real – they were mock-ups!

    The sand-bags were not packed solid: a kid could have knocked the “breastworks” over!

    See below:

    Below: looking down Tverskaya towards Manezhnaya Square, across which is the National Historic museum, flanked by the approach roads to Red Square and the Kremlin beyond:

    Can anyone spot “tank traps” and sandbags installed across Tverskaya so as to deter the hamsters?

    Bear in mind, there is a stalwart Mongol-Tatar-type evil Asiatic clearly visible and manning a deadly HMG.

    And FFS! They’ve even got an Me-109 at the ready so a to take off and strafe Navalny’s faithful followers!

    • marknesop says:

      And so another construct passes into conventional wisdom. Stratfor is correct to note the Kremlin is not backing down, but I submit it should look for other signs, internationally, rather than the ludicrous notion that it has to dust off the tank traps to control an unruly crowd of less than 5,000 in a city of 14 million. Do Navalny’s hamsters have tanks now? No? Then what is the practical use of a tank trap against them? It would get in the way of law enforcer and lawbreaker alike, and be as much an obstruction to one as to the other.

      Honestly, this is just embarrassing. Navalny broke the law, as the organizer of a demonstration, by moving the location to one which was not approved and most certainly would not have been in view of the conflicting event; he knows that, and anyone who has one remaining digit left with which to type could quickly satisfy him/herself that such is the case. But when the west shrieks that Russia must have the rule of law, it means there must be exceptions for laws which make regime change awkward – in those instances, people must be unregulated and free to do just as they like.

      • Moscow Exile says:

        Even Kovalyov ridicules the notion:

        • Moscow Exile says:

          Oh yeah! And for Stratfor’s and the FT editor’s information, the “tank traps” pictured above are made of wood and painted black.

          If you look closely, you can see knots in the wood and the wood grain in the piece that makes up the section visible bottom right and the wood grain at the end of the section, bottom left.

          Some bloody use against tanks – I don’t think!

          Bloody lying bastard shites!

    • et Al says:

      Me109? Surely an Il-2 Штумовик???


      Now I know you are pulling my leg ME!

      Also a very popular sim:
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IL-2_Sturmovik_(video_game)

      The Su-25 is a very worthy successor:

      • Moscow Exile says:

        Sorry, there was an Me-109 parked on on Tverskaya Street, old bean, as well as reconstructed WWI aircraft of the Imperial Russian air force.

        Okk at the left of the photograph below::

        Look at the fuselage in the picture that I posted, where the warplane is further down Tverskaya past a sand-bagged gun pit: not a Sturmovik. You can also just discern part of the black Luftwaffe cross on the side of its fuselage.

        And on one of its wing in this picture:

        It’s a wreck: shot down, you see. It is usually in the Poklonnaya Gora Memorial and Museum of the Great Patriotic War, 1942-1945.

        Take a look at these large collection of pictures taken along Tverskaya on June 12:

        Времена и эпохи 2017: История побед России

        Times and Epochs 2017: A History of Russian Victories

        I should have loved to drag those lying bastards at Stratfor and that lying editor of FT along Tverskayas and asked them to show me the tank traps and sand-bag barricades that the authorities had set up to deter Navalny’s brigade of tossers under the guise of a historic exhibition.

        Unlike them, I live here. They don’t, and they just write shite about something they know fuck-all about.

        • marknesop says:

          Evul Putin! He used the festival as a clever excuse to equip his riot police with all manner of sharp implements and bludgeons as well. This shall not stand!!!

          • Moscow Exile says:

            Liebe Mutti!
            Da bin ich noch in Rußland, wo es keine Zigaretten, kein Bier und keine Frauen gibt.
            Wir haben gegen Rußland geflogen. Leider waren wir nicht siegreich.
            Herzliche Grüße aus Moskau!
            Dein Sigi!

          • et Al says:

            Thanks ME! I can’t read properly… I would still prefer Navalny to be gunned down by a Shturmovik considering it is much more heavily armed than an Me109. It would be the patriotic thing to do!

            Now not many people know, that there is was a version of the Me109 powered by the Hispano-Suiza engine called a Hispano ‘Buchon’ – a licensed copy of an Me-109G-2 that was used for quite a few years after World War Two*. The Czech Me 109 version the Avia S-199 was trafficked along with the Spitfire though Czechoslovakia to Israel and played an important part in the Israeli war of independence and against the RAF in combat, not that it is something the West likes to fondly recall…

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hispano_Aviaci%C3%B3n_HA-1112
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Israeli_Air_Force

            * Thanks Franco! Who says the West doesn’t like fascists?

            • Moscow Exile says:

              Yeah, it’s not the remnants of a shot down WWII Messerschmidt Bf 109, it’s one of those Czech jobs. The exhaust manifold is high up on the engine cowling, whereas the German Me- Bf109 had its Junkers Jumo motor inverted so that its crankshaft was at the top and its exhaust at the bottom:

              With engine cowling off:

  26. Northern Star says:

    Looks as if many of the residents are people of color and/or muslim…heartbreaking to die like that….(regardless of race or ethnicity or religion)..but i think the likelihood of this happening in an affluent neighborhood is remote

    https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/3795682/london-fire-eyewitness-accounts-grenfell-tower-throwing-children-parachute/

    • Jen says:

      In the photos at that link, the fire is very intense on several levels yet it began on the fourth floor and the building itself still seems very stable even after being gutted. That suggests to me that the fire could have spread via rubbish in stairwells (even in the fire escape stairwell) or through flammable materials in the building, especially if the building was not well maintained so that things like cables or wiring were sticking out when they shouldn’t.

      • marknesop says:

        According to this source, it was new exterior cladding which was added in the reno; it’s foam-filled and has been linked to several massive apartment-building fires around the world. It acts as an insulator and gets high marks for enviro-awareness, but if fire reaches it it goes up quite quickly. If the fire actually did start due to an electrical fault on the fourth or fifth floor, the fire may not have really taken off until it reached the windows and was able to get outside. However, in that scenario you would think it would just burn all the cladding off the outside of the building, looking spectacularly damaging but actually leaving much of the inside untouched, especially if you had time to rip down your curtains and keep it from getting inside.

        Hard to say at this point, but I daresay we will learn more as the investigation goes on.

        • Jen says:

          In some photos at the link Northern Star provided, you can see explosions on the outside of the building so maybe the fire is melting the aluminium exterior and igniting the more flammable foam under the exterior.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      On the BBC newsclip, with all the Asians and Carribean folk and Turks and Kurds and whatevever (with modified London accents that now sound so strange to me since I have been away for so long!) there’s one old bloke wearing an ushanka with the flaps down.

      Bloody Russians everywhere these days!

      I had to smile, frightful though the events were.

    • Fern says:

      If this dreadful fire had happened in Russia, of course, the MSM would be full of how everything in the Dark Lord’s kingdom is so awful, the average Russian lives in atrocious conditions and dies in worse while Putin and his henchmen (somehow, they’re always ‘henchmen’) accumulate untold billions yada, yada, yada.

      In the West, of course, any failure of late-stage capitalism, like the Flint water crisis, is a ‘move along, nothing to see here’ moment. One firefighter who, with his crew, fought the blaze for over eight hours, was quoted this morning as saying ‘how can this happen in a first world country in the 21st century?’ How indeed.

  27. Warren says:

    Media Roots

    Abby Goes to Venezuela

    Robbie Martin interviews Abby Martin about her recent trip to Venezuela, where she explains the reality on-the-ground, dissects the corporate media’s propaganda campaign against the government and describes firsthand the fascistic, violent nature of opposition protesters carrying out daily barricades, known as “guarimbas”. They also discuss the legacy of Hugo Chavez and why his brand of socialism poses such an enormous threat to the US Empire.

    Please donate to Media Roots Radio on Patreon, we wouldn’t be able to do this show without your support! http://www.patreon.com/mediarootsradio

    FOLLOW: twitter.com/AbbyMartin & twitter.com/FluorescentGrey

    http://www.MediaRoots.org

  28. marknesop says:

    On Tuesday, Nikolai Silaev, Senior Researcher at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations and Research Director for Foreign Policy, and Andrei Sushentsov, the Valdai Club’s Program Director and a managing partner with Foreign Policy presented their report on four possible scenarios for the further development of Ukraine.

    And none of them looks good for Ukraine.

    • Jen says:

      In all four scenarios, nothing is resolved and the only sure thing will be that anyone who is able to leave the country, will. Even if on foot.

      • et Al says:

        Euractiv: Proposed Nord Stream 2 compromise guarantees Ukraine’s gas transit role
        diskhttps://www.euractiv.com/section/energy/news/proposed-nord-stream-2-compromise-guarantees-ukraines-gas-transitrole/

        The European Commission hopes to bring together the friends and the foes of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project around a mandate which would guarantee that Ukraine would remain a transit country for Russian gas to the EU.

        …“It has a potential to have negative effect on Central and Eastern European countries, and it could have a devastating effect on Ukraine”, the Commission Vice-President said.

        This new route, coupled with the Turkish Stream project, is aimed at bringing Russian gas to the EU by bypassing Ukraine and robbing the former Soviet republic of transit tax revenues. Nord Stream 2 and Turkish Stream would also siphon off revenues from EU members Poland, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Romania and Bulgaria.

        “So it’s quite obvious we included in our mandate the importance of the measures which should be undertaken to mitigate, or completely eliminate, the negative impacts on Central and Eastern Europe,” he said. Šefčovič added that the Commission’s probe on Gazprom revealed that in 2014 and 2015 the Central and Eastern European countries were paying the Russian monopolist between 14 to 24% more for gas, compared to the countries of Western Europe….
        ####

        The European Commission & Friends are still scrabbling around for a cunning plan to force Russia to continue to transit gas to the EU through the Ukraine and still subsidize its entry in to the EU. Isn’t the EU supposed to be rich? Isn’t the EU responsible for gas pipeline inter-connector infrastructure, not Russia? It’s taken them long enough.

        As usual, Brussels took Moscow for granted and only bothered to to look at its own total lack of preparation and action plan in the EU after multiple Ukraine inspired energy crises. You couldn’t make this up and be believed. Apparently Russia is supposed to wait for however long while the EU gets it act together and also suffering EU sanctions.

      • marknesop says:

        The west would never accept the stalling and backsliding on any other international agreement the way it does on the Minsk Agreement, in which Ukraine is allowed to say, “Yup, yup” and sign its name, and then go on pounding the east in the ambition that it will finally crack, without putting in place a single one of the conditions to which it signed and agreed. It is clear from this example that the west loves a frozen conflict at least as much as Russia does, is ready to avail itself of this one as an open-ended solution, and I agree that the aim at least for the moment is to keep it simmering until such time as it is needed to flash up, whether as a distraction or in a genuine attempt to overwhelm the defenders. The latter seems unlikely in view of the suggestion that Kiev is afraid of a ‘big push’ in case it results in a drastic defeat. We can’t know if that’s what Kiev actually thinks, but it seems significant that there have been no concentrated maneuvers on an army-wide scale since the disasters at Ilovaisk and Debaltsevo. Sooner or later it will become obvious to even the most naive patriots that Poroshenko’s blather about the glorious Ukrainian Army standing alone against the might of Russia, and holding it back from surging through Europe, is just more of his fatuous bullshit. It’s hard to imagine a conflict of that magnitude could be ongoing with Ukraine sustaining only two or three casualties a day for months on end. Well, impossible to imagine, but we’ll stick with ‘hard’ for now for the sake of politeness.

        Another significant factor which is implicit, but not discussed, is that if the west is willing to allow such a frozen conflict to obtain indefinitely, it must pay to prevent Ukraine from collapsing. If Kiev’s western backers are willing to tolerate its continued corruption with little more than the occasional peevish complaint, meanwhile shelling out just enough to prevent its collapse – well, then, how long it goes on depends on how long Ukrainians will tolerate penury. And the west can always take the knot out of the moneybag if it needs to let Poroshenko (or his successor) announce that happy days are finally here again, for at least as long as it takes to forestall crisis. The point is, it doesn’t cost Russia very much to let the conflict simmer; a little bit of aid to the east of Ukraine, most of it in the form of useful trade anyway, such as it previously carried out with the whole of Ukraine. If that’s the game, time and all that comes with it are on Russia’s side.

        • James lake says:

          Article regarding the USA Sanctions on website Zerohedge

          “Germany, Austria Slam US Sanctions Against Russia, Warn Of Collapse In Relations”

          The sanctions are aimed at stopping Nordstream2 and an attempt to exclude Russia from the EU market and make way for USA LNG.

          ///As there are not many objective articles in the UK / western media about Russia; it’s hard to assess whether these new sanctions will be effective or not.

          Will the EU – Germany finally grow a back bone and act in their own economic interests – as America is certainly doing that using sanctions to inhibit competition

  29. et Al says:

    Neuters: Rosneft, partners to invest over $8 billion in Russia’s offshore energy sector
    http://uk.reuters.com/article/us-russia-rosneft-offshore-idUKKBN1951NH

    …Of the 480 billion roubles allocated for offshore projects by Rosneft and its partners, the Russian company planned to invest 250 billion roubles in Arctic offshore between 2017 and 2021, the state-controlled firm wrote in response to Reuters questions.

    “Development of hydrocarbon resources on the continental Arctic shelf is the future of global oil production and one of the key strategic priorities for the company,” Rosneft, the world’s biggest listed oil company by output, said in an email.

    It said the Arctic offshore area was expected to account for between 20 and 30 percent of Russian production by 2050. …

    • marknesop says:

      Just as a matter of curiosity, did you ever notice Naftogaz routinely referred to as ‘state-controlled’? But it is; 100% owned by the Ukrainian state, with no public shareholders. Managed ultimately by Poroshenko, in other words. But apparently that does not imply a corrupt relationship. The wealthiest president of the poorest country in Europe, a president who continues to function as a businessman and owner of some of Ukraine’s most prosperous private enterprises, not to put too fine a point on it.

      Unbundling of Naftogaz is a key concession sought by Brussels, but so far Kiev has managed to hold them off by the simple expedient of saying, “Yes, we will do that, gib moneys plis” which appears pretty reliable considering how effectively it has worked in the past.

  30. et Al says:

    via ALert5.com: Canada expanding its ADIZ
    http://alert5.com/2017/06/15/canada-expanding-its-adiz/

    Canada has proposed to expand its Air Defence Identification Zone in the Canadian Arctic archipelago in a new defense whitepaper published this month.

    This is a part of a plan to boost the defense of Canada’s Arctic territories and Canada will work with other partners to overhaul the North Warning System of long-range radars.

    http://www.nunatsiaqonline.ca/stories/article/65674canada_plans_to_up_missile_defence_increase_security_in_the_arctic_dnd/

    • et Al says:

      I should have expanded on the second article.

      Importantly it is entitled: Canada to improve missile defence, security in the Arctic: DND report

      …This plan will also include a revamp and expansion of the North Warning Sites across Nunavut….

      …The U.S. and Canada have already said they planned to replace the radar along the North Warning Sites.

      But judging from the wording in new DND report, this is will involve some form of ballistic missile defence.

      This idea has been around since the early 2000s when Inuit in Canada and Greenland reacted to the U.S. plan for anti-ballistic missile radar and communication systems in several places across the Arctic, including the U.S. Air Force base in Thule, Greenland…

      ….Since then, radar sites in Alaska and Thule have been upgraded, although the former Liberal government of Paul Martin decided in 2005 that Canada would not join up with the missile defence plan…
      ####

      Uh-huh! The old “missile defense against ‘rogue states’ ” meme, short for building up of a full missile defense of the continental United States so it can carry out a first nuclear strike and reliably mop up any remaining missiles…. from Russia. It looks like it is back on the front burner. Or have I totally misunderstood this and read in to something that doesn’t exist? It does fit in to the ‘lies of omission’ line of news.

      • marknesop says:

        If that goes to the public, it will lose – we were offered the opportunity to ‘participate’ (for free, ultimately it just meant the USA would be allowed to place and crew interceptors in Canada) in ‘missile defense’ back in 2005 (the actual source article seems to be gone, but there are plenty of references to it which quote the lead-in), and decisively declined. As the article pointed out, although the decision likely would strain relations further between Canada and its dominant partner, it would please constituents. The ones who elect the Canadian government, in other words. Missile defense is no more popular now in Canada than it was then, probably less given the rampaging elephant the USA has morphed into.

        If in fact the Trudeau government decides to sneak it through with creative wording, the opposition will be only too happy to seize on it in order to cause the government to fall. Never mind that the conservatives were missile defense’s strongest advocates back in 2005 – an election issue is an election issue.

    • marknesop says:

      Whoopty-doo. As I have often mentioned, the Air Defense Identification Zone is not national airspace, but a line beyond which the national authority would like to be informed who you are and what you are doing there. There is no international law which compels anyone to obey, simply whatever the nation can militarily enforce, and if an aircraft ignores prompting then the national authority or its delegate must send up an air patrol element to find out. I imagine this is at bottom a Washington initiative, and that Washington will be a ‘partner’ in enforcing it since we do not have the air assets to check every plane that comes into an expanded zone and does not display the standard profile of an airliner for course, speed and altitude.

  31. Hoffnungstirbtzuletzt says:

    MIght already have been posted: https://www.thenation.com/article/russias-massive-protests-reveal-a-government-playing-by-outdated-rules/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=socialflow

    ““They will register me only if they understand…that they are obligated to register me, that there can’t be any election without my participation,” Navalny said.

    It’s almost impossible to imagine the activist on the ballot with Putin, and yet, after these two huge protests, many will be asking questions if he is not.”

    • marknesop says:

      ‘Huge protests’? Good God.

      I very much enjoyed the lead comment; “Your date is likely to be somewhat disappointed when you get her home and she discovers your definition of ‘massive'”.

    • Jen says:

      I scored 17 out of 30 on that quiz. I did better on the history questions than on actual fighting which I don’t know too much about.

    • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

      28/30

      Years of video gaming finally pay off.

      • marknesop says:

        Good job, General Svolochenko!!

      • Jen says:

        Hurray, you’re the Resident KS Expert on Warfare.

      • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

        With two more points I could have been a field marshal.

        Oh well.

        • marknesop says:

          But I’m never ever sick at sea.

          • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

            What, never?

          • Moscow Exile says:

            Same here. I remember once crossing the North Sea, Hamburg-Harwich, during what turned out to be the worst winter storm of the 20th century.

            The ferry had to cruise in circles for a day because it could not dock in the UK because of the high sees. I spent almost the whole time drinking with the ship’s purser: all the other passengers were below decks groaning constantly.

            It was really wild weather. Every 5 minutes or so you could feel the engines race as the the arse-end of the ship rose out of the stormy sea and the screws came out of the water.

            I never ate so well as I did during that voyage: nobody in the restaurant and tons of bacon and eggs and Swedish bread and sprats and seafood etc. I was piling up my plate on one of several occasions when a couple staggered in, took one look at the greasy grub, went green and ran away to the heads, which were awful: all awash with puke.

            • marknesop says:

              Well, I was just riffing on ‘The Pirates of Penzance’. In fact I was horribly ill my first time at sea, as almost everyone is until they accustom themselves to the motion. I blame it partly on the fact that we were delayed sailing; we were meant to leave at 09:00, but an engineering problem kept us alongside until after lunch. My first ship, SAGUENAY, was a steamer and the boilers and Turbo-Alternators (TA’s) were forever playing up. I had had no breakfast in anticipation of being tossed around, but I was too hungry to skip lunch as well, which was stuffed pork chops; quite greasy. As soon as Special Sea Dutymen were secured and the crew went to watches, I was Bosn’s Mate on the bridge. Once you’re used to the way a fairly-narrow vessel rolls at sea it’s normal, but when you’re not, it looks like it’s going to keep right on going over all the way, and the higher up you are the more the effect is magnified.

              Also, seasickness is aggravated by not being able to see the horizon, which offers a stable reference for your system when everything else is moving. I managed to keep it together through my bridge watch, but once I went below to stand watch with my department in the operations room, I was quite spectacularly sick.

              But just the once. Having gotten used to it, I was never sick again, although the first day out after a long period ashore would usually make me feel a little queasy and frequently quite tired, which is another manifestation.

  32. marknesop says:

    Reliably, Ukraine does its part to try to make Navalny happen. News to me, but there is apparently an entity called ‘The Navalny Party’. Two smaller now, as that many have applied for political asylum in Ukraine due to harassment back home. Apparently some 1,500 of Navalny’s followers were arrested along with him, because he was brave enough to come out against corruption. Good thing the election’s not this week, innit? There might not be anyone left free to vote for Lyosha.

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