Flirting With Disaster

Uncle Volodya says, “It’s like when you make a move in chess and just as you take your finger off the piece, you see the mistake you’ve made, and there’s this panic because you don’t know yet the scale of disaster you’ve left yourself open to.”

…Speeding down the fast lane, honey
Playin’ from town to town;
The boys and I have been burnin’ it up, can’t seem to slow it down.
I’ve got the pedal to the floor, our lives are runnin’ faster,
Got our sights set straight ahead,
But ain’t sure what we’re after…

Molly Hatchet, from Flirting With Disaster

Any Darwin Awards fans out there? For those few who have never heard of them, the Darwin Awards celebrate those individuals who have rendered a significant service to mankind by taking themselves out of the global gene pool. In preparing to discuss today’s subject, I am reminded of unfortunate 1999 award-winner ‘James’ from Missouri, who became so fixated upon his love interest that he tried to lop off his own head with a chainsaw to demonstrate his commitment to an outcome on his terms. Although he was ultimately unsuccessful on both counts, he did fatally injure himself, and died in hospital. Ashes to ashes; dust to dust.

My intent today is to demonstrate clear destructive similarities between the above emotional decision and the equally simpleminded decision of the US Senate to impose further economic sanctions on Russia, this time explicitly tying them to penalizing of European companies which do business with Russia – moreover, in a clear attempt to stop the latter from proceeding with the Nord Stream II gas pipeline project. This, in turn, is clearly an attempt by the USA to make Europe a captive market for its own energy products, in the form of shipborne LNG. Significantly, that goal is also finally becoming clear to Europe; or at least to the parts of it that matter, such as Germany (thanks for the tip, James!)

Try to put aside, for the moment, the insufferable arrogance of American meddling in Europe’s energy market, with a view to restricting its choice while – laughably – pretending it is broadening European energy options.

The readers and commenters of this blog will be well aware, since it has been a topic of discussion for years here, that a critical underpinning of the western plan to seize Ukraine and wrest it into the western orbit was the premise that Russia would be forced by simple momentum to go along with it. As long as events continued to unfold too quickly to get ahead of, Russia would have to help supply the sinews of its own destruction. And a big part of that was the assumption that Russia would help to finance Ukraine’s transition to a powerful western fulcrum upon which to apply leverage against it, through continued trade with Ukraine and continued transit of Europe’s energy supply through Ukraine’s pipeline system.

But Russia slapped a trade embargo on most Ukrainian goods, and rescinded its tariff-free status as it became clear Brussels planned to use it to stovepipe European trade goods into the Russian market, through Ukraine – thus crushing domestic industries which would not be able to compete on economically-favourable terms. The armchair strategists nearly shit a brick when construction of the South Stream pipeline commenced, bypassing Ukraine and depriving it of about $2 billion annually in transit fees. But pressure ultimately forced Bulgaria to throw a wrench into the works, and the pipeline plans were shelved, to much victory dancing in the west. There was not quite as much happy-dancing in Bulgaria, but they were only ever a pawn anyway.

Sidebar for a moment, here; while the $2 Billion annually in transit fees is extremely important, Ukraine’s pre-crisis GDP was $163 Billion. The funds realized for transit fees are important because (a) Russia has to pay them and (b) the west will have to come up with the equivalent in aid if Ukraine loses out on them. But the real value intrinsic to Ukraine as a transit country is its physical reality as an interface for Russian gas transit to Europe – what is a bridge can be easily turned into a wall. Any time Washington thinks Russia needs some more shit on its face, Ukraine can be prodded to announce a doubling of its transit fees, or to kick off some other dispute which the popular press will adroitly spin to make Russia appear to be an unreliable supplier. Therefore, it is essential to western strategy that significant amounts of Russian gas continue to transit Ukraine. Sufficiently so that Europe continues to evolve ever-more-desperate contingency plans in order to keep receiving gas through the country which was known to have provoked the previous shutoff of European supplies by siphoning Europe-bound gas for its own use. That’s despite the assurances of Germany and western partners of Gazprom in the Nord Stream line that it will mean cheaper gas prices for Europe.

But we knew this was coming, didn’t we? Yes, we did, because as recently as last month, Democratic senator Jean Shaheen, who sits on the Senate Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on European Affairs, announced that the United States was considering involving itself in the Nord Stream II pipeline project, with a view to killing it stone dead. The purpose, as already mentioned, is to make way for LNG cargoes to Europe, cutting Russia out of the business, on the assumption that without energy sales the Russian economy will crumble and the country will collapse. Destroying Russia remains Washington’s overriding strategic objective.

So the stakes are high; high enough to provide context for Washington’s bizarre and aggressive behavior, and for its continued ridiculous insistence that Russia tampered with the 2016 US presidential election. What are the chances Washington will succeed with its latest adventure in global bullying?

Not good, according to multiple sources. Let’s take a look at how Platts views the prospects; Platts, a division of S&P Global, is headquartered in London and employs over 1,000 people in more than 15 offices worldwide. These include global business centers such as New York, Shanghai and Sao Paulo, and major energy centers such as Houston, Singapore and London, where Platts is based. Having hopefully established the firm’s credentials as someone who knows what they are talking about in the energy business, let’s see what Platts has to say about the potential American LNG market in Europe.

Mmmm….the review is mixed. At the outset, Platts is admiring of Cheniere Energy’s go-to-hell expansion. But a couple of things about that are cause to curb enthusiasm. One, only 8 American LNG cargoes had gone to Europe so far; that was as of April this year, when the report was released. Of those, 4 went to Spain, 3 to Portugal and 1 to Italy. Two, the Iberian Peninsula is acknowledged by Platts as not particularly significant in terms of gauging Europe’s welcome of American LNG.

“Indeed, the fact that Portugal and Spain were the first European countries to import LNG from the US is telling…The Iberian Peninsula is considered an “island market” with poor interconnection to the rest of Europe, so the delivery of US LNG into the region is not likely to be seen as a sign that it will take hold in the wider European market.”

The same passage points out that Russia does not supply the Iberian Peninsula with pipeline gas, and so is unlikely to be very concerned about the impact of US LNG on that market.

Three, Cheniere’s rapid expansion has come at a terrifying cost, and the company is currently – as of fall 2016 – overleveraged with approximately $20 Billion in long-term debt. It is unprofitable, with interest payments representing 60% of revenues, the living embodiment of ‘bicycle economics’; the second you stop pedaling, you crash.

For what it’s worth, few great business breakthroughs have occurred without risk, and while Cheniere is plunging ahead with what seems like recklessness, it could just as easily pay off with complete domination of the North American export market. That’s a hell of a debt load, though; not much margin for bad news. That does expose a flaw in the American strategy, as well – wrestling control of the European supply market from Russia would be frighteningly expensive.

Consider; apart from the ruinous expense of constructing LNG terminals and processing facilities and getting planning and development permission (which I imagine could be shortcut pretty quickly if such a juicy prospect as seizing control of the European market seemed an achievable possibility), you need tankers to ship your product. The average LNG tanker which can dock at most terminals (remember, the tanker has to be able to get to the terminal as well as berth alongside it, so you may need to dredge a channel all the way through a shallow harbour) can hold a little better than 3 Billion Cubic Feet (BcF) of natural gas, which is mostly methane. That equates to about .85 Billion Cubic Meters (BcM). But Europe uses about 400 BcM per year. That would be more than a full tanker cargo every day, assuming LNG could supply the whole European market, which is of course unrealistic. Especially considering the entire global LNG shipping fleet consists of about 410 vessels. No LNG carriers are currently registered under the US flag, and if the USA plans to be a serious exporter it is going to need about 100 new LNG carriers over the next 30 years, something which is frankly not practically achievable considering it takes about 2 years to build one, at a cost of about $200 Million apiece. Of course, miracles can be made to happen if you pour enough money into them. But we’ve already somewhat nervously mentioned how much all this is costing – how does the likely return on investment shape up?

Well, what the fuck? Platts comes right out and says that Russia has the option of cutting its prices to ensure it undercuts LNG costs in order to keep its share of the European market!

“Russia clearly does have the option to undercut the US LNG price to ensure it keeps its share of its key European markets and could flood the market with cheap gas, maximizing revenues and cash flow at a time when producers worldwide are suffering from the impact of such low prices.”

So, let me get this straight. All the attempts by the west, led as usual by Washington, to force energy prices down and keep them low…actually benefit Russia by putting the USA in an unacceptable profit/loss loop so that it cannot afford to sell its LNG to Europe and still make money? That appears to be pretty much how it shakes out.

“Russia, thanks to the bearish oil price environment and an enhanced export strategy from Gazprom, increased its exports to Europe by 15% (through the Nord Stream, Yamal, and Brotherhood pipelines) to 118 Bcm, taking back its place as Europe’s largest gas supplier in the process.”

Wait! I think I see a solution. All the USA needs to do is apply its global leverage to make energy costs rise!

“But US LNG could face problems of its own – the current low prices are forcing ever growing numbers of US producers into bankruptcy. According to a recent report by Haynes and Boone, 90 gas and oil producers in the US and Canada have filed for bankruptcy between January 2015 and the start of August 2016.”

Oh, hey; I just realized – if forcing energy prices back up were an option, how is that  going to hamstring an opponent who was already able to undercut you at the lower price, and still turn a profit?

Platts closes out this dismal synopsis with the consolation prize that, while US LNG is less competitive with pipeline gas given narrow Henry Hub-NBP spreads, it is coming to Europe regardless. More of that old American can-do. It will have to be, though, on what is described as a short-run marginal cost basis. Would you feel comfortable with that forecast if you were carrying, say, $20 Billion in debt?

And it’s not just Platts who sounds a warning; Forbes has a similar, if slightly more mocking outlook of the situation.

“Most of this is just political posturing and noise. The U.S. is not now and nor will it be in the near future a key resource for Europe’s energy needs…According to EIAs Annual Energy Outlook, published in April, the United States remains a net importer of fuels through 2040 in a low oil price scenario. In a high oil and gas price scenario, the United States becomes a net exporter of liquid fuels due to increased production by 2021. A lot can happen in seven years. By then, Exxon will likely be back to its deal with Rosneft in Russia’s Arctic Circle.”

As well, Forbes adds the interesting perspective that foreign sales of American gas will be a tough sell domestically if the pressure remains on the American leadership to achieve greater energy self-sufficiency and reduced dependence on foreign sources. This situation can only be exacerbated by a rise in anti-American sentiment around the world, and is likely to spike if energy prices rise. But if they stay low, American LNG exports won’t make any money. If they go up, pipeline gas will undercut LNG prices and make it noncompetitive. Jeez, we just seem to be going around in circles. Say, did you notice that little item in there, in which the author mentions the only possible way the USA could compete with Russia in the natural gas market in Europe would be if it had national rights to substantial supplies of gas abroad? Did that give your memory a little tickle, and make you think of Burisma Holdings, and Hunter Biden?

The Brookings Institute, for God’s sake, warned that US LNG could not compete price-wise before the first LNG cargo ever left the USA. Given its sympathies, it seems probable it was intended as a sobering restraint meant to keep the United States from doing something stupid that might expose it to failure and even ruin; it is much less likely to have been an endorsement of Russia’s global business practices.

As so often happens, an unhealthy fixation on taking down a largely imagined enemy results in increased risk-taking and a totally unrealistic appraisal of the likelihood of success – it becomes worth doing simply to be doing something. The costs in this instance have included the alienation and infuriating of Germany, the European Union’s anchor economy, and angry murmurs from the Gulf States that Washington negotiated production cuts simply to make its own product more competitive. All for nothing, as it happens, because a nation with surplus swing production can always undercut your price, and the nation with the world’s lowest production costs should be last on your list of “People I Want To Start A Price War With”.

If you were opposed to official Washington’s swaggering, bullying modus operandi, this whole unfolding of events probably seems pretty delicious to you. But I’ve saved the most delicious for last – Trump dares not make any effort to overrule the Senate vote, or get it reframed, because of the successful media campaign to portray him as Putin’s secret agent. Any effort to mollify Germany’s fury will be seized upon by the reality-challenged Democrats as an opportunity to further discredit the Trump government, by making it appear to be negotiating in Russia’s behalf.

You couldn’t make it up.

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Economy, Europe, Government, Investment, Politics, Russia, Strategy, Trade, Ukraine, Vladimir Putin and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

953 Responses to Flirting With Disaster

  1. PaulR says:

    One should never underestimate peoples` willingness to spend vast sums of money on worthless projects. Witness the Canadian government`s recent announcement of its plans to increase defence spending by 70%.

    When the dust finally settles, the Chinese will end up on top.

    • marknesop says:

      I think you’re probably right about that. And if it turns out to be the case, British Columbia will turn out to be the most progressive province in Canada, with its large numbers of Chinese citizens and its Chines-language television stations. At bottom I am mostly a peaceful guy and I don’t really care very much who rules the world so long as it doesn’t impact my lifestyle. Once I would have argued strongly for American global leadership, based on a perception that it offered the best chance for prosperity and enlightenment for everyone, but events since have changed my view. Now I think other countries should be left alone in terms of interference, helped where you can lend a hand, and global leadership is an unrealistic aspiration for any country led by humans, since human nature tends to favour self-interest.

      I don’t know what the Liberals think they are doing, pushing what is essentially an unachievable Conservative platform where defense is concerned. To what end? So we can interfere more effectively on the USA’s behalf? We have a good military. There’s nothing wrong with keeping it up to date and well-supplied and trained. But a 70% increase is impractical and is only likely to incur the wrath of the non-military portion of the electorate, since the money has to come from somewhere.

    • Jen says:

      With regard to people’s willingness to continue throwing good money after bad, I offer this article on that famous money black hole, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter jet.

      The Conversation “What went wrong with the F-35, Lockheed Martin’s Joint Strike Fighter?”
      https://theconversation.com/what-went-wrong-with-the-f-35-lockheed-martins-joint-strike-fighter-60905

      And then there’s this one from Press TV.

      “Oxygen problem grounds US F-35s in Arizona”
      http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2017/06/10/524873/Oxygen-problem-grounds-US-F35s

      • marknesop says:

        The PR fallout which would accrue to a notice that the F-35 program was being canceled would result in numerous firings and might cause a crisis between Lockheed-Martin and the Defense Department that would take a decade to mend. For better or worse, the USA is stuck with it. and every foreign partner who backs out makes the remaining domestic airframes which have yet to be delivered that much more expensive.

        In other defense-related news, India has announced plans to scrap some $3 Billion in defense deals with western firms owing to charges of corruption and lack of emphasis on ‘made in India’ components. Among the deals being scrapped is one for 18 Sikorsky SH-70B helicopters.

  2. PaulR says:

    I hadn’t been aware of the connection between the sanctions and LNG, so thanks for pointing that out.

    Meanwhile, I read this:

    ‘Germany and Austria on Thursday sharply criticized the U.S. Senate’s plan to add sanctions on Russia, describing it as an illegal attempt to boost U.S. gas exports and interfere in Europe’s energy market. […]

    “We cannot accept a threat of extraterritorial sanctions, illegal under international law, against European companies that participate in developing European energy supplies,” [German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel and Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern said in a joint statement]. “Europe’s energy supply is Europe’s business, not that of the United States of America.”’

    https://www.the-american-interest.com/2017/06/15/the-us-is-exposing-europes-divide-on-nord-stream-2/

    • marknesop says:

      After all, many other European leaders have publicly clamored for U.S. LNG imports as a way to ease their dependence on Gazprom.

      Who? The Baltics?

      Thanks for that. It’s mostly a rehash of the other article, but it does include some interesting insights, and it has a little more credibility than ZeroHedge, although there’s little in that with which I can find fault and its breaking news is usually accurate. That the EU’s energy policies are completely outside the USA’s remit is correct, but it’s a surprise to hear someone of Gabriel’s stature actually say it. It seems the USA has decided that forcing Germany to abandon its support for the project is worth trying. That will turn out to be a disastrous mistake, because the business community in Germany contains some of America’s staunchest supporters, while anti-Americanism among the German population – especially its youth – is a growing problem. This will do nothing to help it, and it most certainly is not going to persuade Germany to order American LNG.

      I urge you to digest the Platts Report in detail, at your leisure – it’s illuminating, and I’m sure you will note that Russia’s LNG export capability is already far, far ahead of the USA’s. So even if pipeline gas proved only competitive with LNG, why would anyone depend on supplies which have to cross the ocean rather than supplies that can come from Kaliningrad?

    • ucgsblog says:

      She’s funny: “How can you shout about the transition to renewable, environmentally safe energy and at the same time make plans to increase gas flows into Europe?”

      Uhh, Zhenichka, Russia is part of Europe, you can shout about it if you are increasing your energy dependence on both, and if one pipeline is simply replacing another. That’s how. That was easy.

      “Five European companies are involved but for some mysterious reason, 100% of the shares belong to Gazprom.”

      Because GazProm is paying $$$ for it. Zhenichka, in a Capitalist Society, those who pay for the shares, get the shares. Did I solve that mystery for you?

    • marknesop says:

      “Five European companies are involved but for some mysterious reason, 100% of the shares belong to Gazprom.”

      There is nothing mysterious about it; in fact, it is typical Guardian dishonesty. The Nord Stream II Project originally included minority shareholders as shown here. Then Poland introduced its anti-monopoly action and announced the pipeline could not be built. The partners dropped out, and left Gazprom to take the heat alone. When Poland failed in its bid to stop the project and it became clear the EU was all out of arrows – having never had a defensible legal basis – the partners hopped back on, but as investors only. I daresay they stand to make a good return on their investment even without being shareholders. Meanwhile, American meddling is only likely to make Europeans grateful attempts to stop the pipeline failed. I would not like to see their reaction if it ever became clear their governments had committed them to paying higher gas prices just to spite Russia, particularly in view of the USA’s limited ability to provide reliable and constant supply.

      The Guardian is just being a good American footsoldier, and trying to throw mud in the works for Uncle Sam.

    • yalensis says:

      Chirikova works for the Estonian government now.

  3. ucgsblog says:

    Beautiful article, and great timing Mark! I love it. This was one of the dumbest bills ever passed. It aimed at Russia, but it’s just a take down of Germany. Reminds me of a recent Russian joke:

    Obama: “America is mighty! Because of us, Russia’s Economy is in ruins!”
    Poroshenko: “not Russia’s, sir. Ukraine’s.”
    Obama: “Who gives a shit! It’s in ruins!”

    Also, here’s what I’m wondering – can’t Russia deliver it by truck or train? Won’t that still be less expensive than delivering it by ship?

    • Jen says:

      Nordstream 2 is primarily a gas pipeline project under the Baltic Sea.

      The main attraction of Nordstream 2 is it avoids transit through countries where tolls and transit fees would have to be paid, whether through land-based pipes, truck or train, and all these expenses added to the eventual cost that would be paid by the end consumer (ie the general public). Plus trucks and trains can be held up or subjected to attacks and gas in land-based pipelines can be siphoned off and diverted as was being done when the gas was passing through Ukraine originally. No such problems if the gas were being delivered through underwater pipelines though we can be sure that Swedish naval submarines (how many of those are there – one?) will be watching them very closely for phantom Russian subs.

      • ucgsblog says:

        That’s an awesome explanation, thank you! I had no idea about the lack of transit fees. Sweden’s Gotland Class of submarines is quite superb, but they were primarily intended as defensive submarines, and have a very unique submarine signature. And since we’re talking about navy stuff on Mark’s blog, I feel that this is obligatory:

        • marknesop says:

          I thought you were talking about LNG, from Kaliningrad. And if so, yes; it certainly could be transported by train, and probably would be.

          • Jen says:

            Ah, I thought UCGS’ original comment referred to your original post, not the one you sent at 5:58 pm yesterday.

            Wouldn’t transporting LNG by underground pipeline under its own pressure be a less risky and cheaper option than sending it by train? Trains carrying LNG can only carry so much and have to be specially adapted to transporting it. Plus they share rail networks with other trains so there are issues like how saturated the rail networks supporting LNG rail traffic, other cargo traffic and passenger traffic become, and the pressure this puts on drivers and maintenance of railway tracks, and building more rail lines in and through areas where pipelines could be laid down instead.

            • marknesop says:

              It’s possible; I’m afraid I don’t know enough about it. It seems that when they speak of an LNG ‘train’, it refers to the liquefaction and purification facility, not a transport vehicle. In order to transport LNG it must be liquefied, which implies freezing it to below -161C. Naturally it must be maintained at a temperature which guarantees its stability as a liquid, until it is appropriate to return it to its gaseous form for use in that form. That’s the purpose of the huge container vessels on an LNG tanker – you have to get it cold and then keep it cold.

              I just don’t know how you would do that in a pipeline. And obviously it would be wildly impractical for a train, I don’t know what the hell I thought I was talking about. It could be done, but why? You’d need a hundred miles of teeny little flatcar-sized container vessels to equal what you can transport in an LNG carrier.

              Your pipeline would have to originate at an LNG ‘train’ and terminate at another, somewhere else, so that the liquefaction/gasification process could be practically carried out, much as current NG pipelines use pumping stations. But you would also have to keep the LNG below -160C all the time it was in the pipeline. That’s probably physically possible, too, if expense is no consideration, but it seems terribly impractical when NG already goes by pipeline safely at a fraction of what it would cost to transport LNG the same way.

              • Jen says:

                Ah, I see now … of course you wouldn’t need to transport NG in liquid form under 160C through pipelines. To transport it by ship or train though, it must be in liquefied form, presumably because as a liquid NG can be measured and quantified, and then exporters can work out how much they can charge for producing and transporting LNG. Not to mention of course that transporting commodities in gaseous form by train and ship is harder and riskier than transporting them as liquids.

                • marknesop says:

                  As well, it needs to be liquefied in order to be compressed, to get the volumes you are looking for. One of those container vessels full of uncompressed NG wouldn’t be much more than a good-sized European town would need for its barbecues.

                  LNG achieves a higher reduction in volume than compressed natural gas (CNG) so that the (volumetric) energy density of LNG is 2.4 times greater than that of CNG or 60 percent that of diesel fuel. This makes LNG cost efficient to transport over long distances where pipelines do not exist. Specially designed cryogenic sea vessels (LNG carriers) or cryogenic road tankers are used for its transport. LNG is principally used for transporting natural gas to markets, where it is regasified and distributed as pipeline natural gas.

                  That does highlight, as well, that if you can use road tankers there really is no reason you could not use trains. But anywhere it is practical to use trains or road transport, you would be asking yourself, “why can’t I use a pipeline here?”

                • Jen says:

                  There may be situations where building a pipeline network wouldn’t be feasible especially if the amount of gas to be transported and its pricing don’t justify the costs involved in surveying the land and then planning and building the pipelines. Then the gas would have to be transported by road or rail.

                • marknesop says:

                  Possibly, and that’s why you would ask yourself, “Why aren’t I building a pipeline here?” If the answer is a compelling reason why you can’t or shouldn’t, then it could certainly go by road or rail, the mix-up over LNG ‘trains’ notwithstanding.

            • ucgsblog says:

              It referred to both – so you’re both right! The reason that I suggested train, is just in case train would be cheaper than LNG, and Europe doesn’t build NS 2. If that happens, train might be the best option.

        • yalensis says:

          Now that’s what I call a diverse crew!
          And I see they relaxed the rules about everybody wearing the same uniform.

        • Evgeny says:

          Check out this one:

    • marknesop says:

      Thanks, UCG, and good to see you again!

  4. et Al says:

    The US’s intervention is even more pathetic than it seems.

    This is not a stand alone anti-Russia bill which would signal strength from the US, but an adjunct to the anti-I-ran sanctions bill that continues to seek to punish I-ran in the vague hope that it will pull the plug on the cast-iron nuclear deal it has signed with international partners. The irony there is that I-ran Air is recapitalizing with both Airbus & Boeing (also ATR), 100 odd a piece, not to mention other significant investment opportunities for western firms.

    They’re quite the Gordian Tits!

    Not only is there the potential of the Levianthan gas field off Cyprus/Israel/whatever, brutal dictator Azeri gas will also be arriving in (larger, but not gigantic) quantities. Not to mention that significant buyers of LNG, like the UK, have it come straight from Qatar. Is the US prepared to sell LNG at a discount compared to Qatar that has strategic agreements and its own fundamental interests to be protected by the Western (European) states as well?

    So if this plan seems to damage not only the USA’s allies but the USA itself, then what is its purpose? Stick it to Trump. Mire any plans to re-balance relations with Russia almost at any cost. It’s a no brainer for Democrats as they neither hold a majority in the House or the Senate, and there seem to be enough dog whistle Republicans willing to go along with it, including those with mental problems like John ‘Insane’ McCaine. Ukraine is almost peripheral except as a convenient tool. It think the US accepts they’ve screwed the pooch on the Ukraine so its only value is to be used as a festering sore on Russia’s frontier. Kiev mops up the completely free public political support whilst it is being kicked in the bollox by the same people.

  5. et Al says:

    In “Shhh! Don’t look there!” news.

    MiddleEastEye via Antiwar.com: UK arms firm sold spyware to repressive Middle East states
    http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/bae-systems-sold-surveillance-software-used-repression-across-middle-east-report-1614150131

    BAE Systems distributed the software which allowed governments to trace the activities, locations and traffic of pro-democracy activists

    …The findings come after a year-long investigation by BBC Arabic and a Danish newspaper, which revealed that BAE Systems had been selling a mass surveillance software called Evident, acquired after the purchase of Danish company ETI in 2011, to governments in the Middle East, including those involved in crackdowns on pro-democracy activists.

    “You’d be able to intercept any internet traffic,” said a former ETI employee speaking anonymously to the BBC.

    “If you wanted to do a whole country, you could. You could pin-point people’s location based on cellular data. You could follow people around. They were quite far ahead with voice recognition. They were capable of decrypting stuff as well.”…

  6. yalensis says:

    I hope Lyttenburgh can read this comment without having an embolism.
    Apparently, in his interview with Oliver Stone , Putin casually “conceded” that Stalin killed “millions” of his fellow countrymen.

    Which even I, an anti-Stalinist, believe is an inflated figure. My researches indicate that the Stalin repressions were directed in the main against the Party and bureaucracy itself, Party leadership, political rivals, NKVD, government officials, etc., and numbered in the range of the hundreds of thousands, possibly, but most likely not into the millions.

    Anyhow, KP is a bitch that doesn’t allow you to copy-paste their text, and I don’t have time this morning to type out all the relevant quote.
    You need to scroll down to the section of Putin’s interview subheaded “They demonize Stalin…”
    The closing sentence (translated into English) reads: “… this doesn’t mean that we need to forget all the horrors of Stalinism, associated with the concentration camps and the destruction of millions of his fellow-countrymen.”

    Concentration camps? As in Nazi Germany?
    Putin does this sometimes, and it’s infuriating, like his previous gaffe about Lenin/Pasternak.
    When relaxed and not watching his language, Putin will just casually spout these Solzhenitsyn-type stereotypes which he must have imbibed in his liberal youth when he was brainwashed by the Andropov gang.

    Not thinking about the fact that, as President of Russia, he needs to be scientifically precise when discussing the previous leadership of the country which he now heads.

    An analogy would be President Trump just spouting something like [and this is actually probabalistic, given that it’s Trump] – “well, you know Abe Lincoln slaughtered milions of people during the Civil War…”

    • PaulR says:

      ‘Destruction of millions’ could include not only the executions of the Terror but also the victims of collectivization and the 1932-33 famine, and the deportations.

      • James lake says:

        Regarding the post above by yalensis.

        I agree with PaulR “destruction of millions……”does not mean killing them

        Look at poreshenko – he is destroying millions of lives for example!

        There are other such examples that could be given that does not mean killing them.

        I haven’t watched the interviews. I hope to do so this weekend plus read the transcripts to ensure that the interpretation is as said.

        • yalensis says:

          That’s true, by “destruction”, Putin technically could be including all the people who died by somewhat unnatural means. In the context, though, in which he used the word “destruction” right after the word “concentration camp”, that was my contextual association. That he was implying Stalin sents millions to their deaths in concentration camps.

          • Special_sauce says:

            I always return to the same refrain: Where did they put the corpses? Mass graves are the likeliest candidate. So where are they? And why no calls from the anti-Coms, Exhume them!

            • yalensis says:

              True.
              And people who are into numbers have also pointed out that the Soviet population increased during the years of Stalin’s leadership.

              If Stalin had killed millions of able-bodied men, then the population would have decreased instead of increasing.

              The counter-argument is that people starting breeding like rabbits to make up for all the corpses – LOL!

            • ДжММ says:

              I’ve been to one of the mass graves. It’s in Karelia just east of Medvezhegorsk, but before you get to the lock at Povenets. It was associated with the Belomorkanal construction (what records indicate it was filled after some large excavation work was done, when transporting the entirety of the work force to another site was impractical). There’s a large memorial there, plus a number of smaller specific ones and markers on the grave pits with lists of names and pictures where possible. The place is called ‘Sandarmokh’ (Сандармох).
              Just because bad people villianized them doesn’t mean the Soviet leaders weren’t awful people too.

              • Lyttenburgh says:

                “I’ve been to one of the mass graves.”

                Good for you. Now does’t somehow change the fact that the people who died here were criminals? Do you want us to sympathize with these particular criminals, because it was “awful Soviets” who made them work?

                I feel no sympathy, no. Shit happes. Prisoners have work do, not just sat on their arses waiting the sentence to pass. Prisioners die while in custody. Tough shit.

                • ДжММ says:

                  Changed the subject a bit? Special_sauce calls bullshit, asking “where are the mass graves?” A fair question, so I provided him the name and location of one I knew personally. Naturally, I don’t know (nor do you) what series of choices, by who, put the several thousand corpses there. But there they are, nonetheless.

                  As for me, I am content to note that ‘criminals’, at base, are no more, necessarily, than people who engaged in something their ruling structure disaproved of. No ruling structure is or has ever been populated with good and ethical people (except by coincidence). So ‘criminal’ and ‘victim’ – far from being mutually opposed categories – can and often do overlap.

                • Lyttenburgh says:

                  “Changed the subject a bit? Special_sauce calls bullshit, asking “where are the mass graves?””

                  Or you could just namedrop Butovsky poligon, The thing is – whatever “mass graves” are out there, there are not enough of them to support insane claims by SoLZHEnitsin and Conquest about literally dozens of millions “murdered”.

                  GULag, I remind you, was just the state institution tasked with the implementation of penitentiary measures and everything connected with it. Naturally, in the lieu of ordinary bookkeeping, they had corpses of the criminals on their hands and also the need to dispose of them – ergo the graves.

                  “Naturally, I don’t know (nor do you) what series of choices, by who, put the several thousand corpses there. But there they are, nonetheless.”

                  What you mean by “series of choices”? Who decided to bury them there? It could be find out. Who decided to execute said people so that their corpses would be in need of the burial? Also – could be found. But why? What’s your gripe – that the State dares to bury criminals or that the State dares to punish criminals?

                  “As for me, I am content to note that ‘criminals’, at base, are no more, necessarily, than people who engaged in something their ruling structure disaproved of”

                  Are you one of those peculiar libertarians per chance? Also – would you use this highly individualistic approach of yours, when a traffic cop stops you to fine for speeding?

                  Human Laws are subjective, meaning that they stem not from the Objectively One True Moral Authority (like God). But it doesn’t mean that you have the right to violate them without impunity and that after you broke them you won’t be – justly – considered a criminal.

                • Lyttenburgh says:

                  ” So ‘criminal’ and ‘victim’ – far from being mutually opposed categories – can and often do overlap.”

                  Wow. Overton windows are so wide here. Arguing that “victim” and “criminal” could be “often” the same. What a sick perversion is that?

    • Nat says:

      Putin really didn’t “casually spouts” anything. It was a long and thought-out answer, where he put things in historical context, and specifically said that Stalin’s demonization was excessive. Here is the whole excerpt: ” You know, there was one prominent politician of the past, Winston Churchill, he was very firmly again Sovietism, but once the Second World War started, he was a great advocate of working together with the Soviet Union, and he called Stalin a great war Leader and revolutionary. And after the Second World War, as is well known, it was Churchill who initiated the Cold War. And when the Soviet Union made the first nuclear test, it was none other than Winston Churchill who announced the need for a co-existence of two systems. He was a very flexible person. But I think deep down in his heart, his attitude towards Stalin never wavered, never changed.
      Stalin was a product of his era. You can try to demonize him however much you like. We try to talk about his merits in achieving victory over Fascism.
      As to his demonization, there was such a person in history as Oliver Cromwell. He was a bloodthirsty man who arrived in power on the wave of a revolution and he turned into a dictator and tyrant. And monuments to him are still scattered all across Great Britain. Napoleon is deified. What did he do? He used the surge of revolutionary zeal and arrived in power. And he not just restored monarchy, he pronounced himself Emperor, and led France to a national catastrophe, to utter defeat. There are many situations, many people like that, more than enough in the world’s history. I think that excessive demonization of Stalin is one of the ways to attack the Soviet Union and Russia, to show that the Russia of today has something originating from Stalinism. Well, of course, we all have these birthmarks, so what? What I’m saying is that Russia has changed radically. Of course, something probably has remained is our mentality. However, this does not mean that we should forget all the atrocities committed under Stalinism, the destruction of millions of our compatriots, the extermination camps. These things are not to be forgotten. But I think the overwhelming majority of the citizens of the former Soviet Union admired Stalin.”

      • Jen says:

        It’s as well to remember also that because a set of policies and beliefs is called “Stalinist” or “Stalinism” does not always mean that Joseph Stalin personally approved these policies and ideas or the particular combination of them at any one time. They may have attracted such labels because they were carried out while he was head of government and so they became associated with his rule. One would have to presuppose that Stalin was the government and every law and policy enacted at national, regional and local government level from the late1920s to 1953 came straight out of his head.

      • yalensis says:

        Thanks for translating the entire quote, Nat. I simply didn’t have time to do that this morning, I was in a rush and already late for work!

        • yalensis says:

          I do believe it was highly incorrect of Putin to refer to “extermination camps” in the Soviet context.
          The purpose of the camps was as prisons for punishment, but not extermination per se.
          If the NKVD wished to exterminate certain people, then they certainly had other means to do that!

    • Moscow Exile says:

      I can copy-paste KP text here!

      The “They demonize Stalin…” bit

      Сталина демонизируют, чтобы атаковать Россию

      – Уинстон Черчилль был ярым антисоветчиком, но когда началась Вторая мировая война, он был горячим сторонником сотрудничества с Советским Союзом, а Сталина называл великим полководцем и революционером. После Второй мировой войны, как известно, именно Черчилль был инициатором холодной войны. А когда Советский Союз испытал первую атомную бомбу, не кто иной, как Уинстон Черчилль заявил о необходимости сосуществования двух систем. Вот он был очень гибкий человек. Но, я думаю, что в душе его отношение к Сталину не менялось никогда.

      Сталин был продуктом своей эпохи. Можно сколько угодно его демонизировать и сколько угодно, с другой стороны, говорить о его заслугах в победе над нацизмом. Что касается его демонизации, вот в английской истории был такой деятель как Кромвель. Он был кровавый человек, пришел на волне революционных преобразований, превратился в диктатора и тирана. Ну и его памятники до сих пор стоят везде в Великобритании. Наполеона вообще боготворят. Что он сделал-то? На волне революции пришел к власти, и не только восстановил монархию, а объявил себя еще и императором и привел Францию к национальной катастрофе, к полному поражению. Таких персонажей, таких ситуаций в мировой истории больше, чем достаточно.

      Мне кажется, что излишняя демонизация Сталина – это один из способов, один из путей атаки на Советский Союз и на Россию. Показать, что сегодняшняя Россия несет на себе какие-то родимые пятна сталинизма. Мы все несем какие-то родимые пятна, ну и что? Россия капитально изменилась. Конечно, наверное, в сознании что-то остается, но это не значит, что мы должны забыть все ужасы сталинизма, связанные с концлагерями и уничтожением миллионов своих соотечественников.

      связанные с концлагерями и уничтожением миллионов своих соотечественников.

      …associated with the concentration camps and the destruction of millions of his fellow-countrymen.

      But surely Putin is using the right terminology in that a “concentration camp” is where one’s political opponents are incarcerated?

      However, the term “concentration camp” for many Anglophones means what the Germans called Vernichtungslager or “extermination camp”.

      Russians seem to do the same in calling “extermination camps” концлагеря, whereas to be exact, Vernichtungslager in Russian is Лагерь смерти.

      For the mixing of terminology see Russian Wiki: Лагеря смерти

      Лагеря смерти (нем. Vernichtungslager, лагеря уничтожения) — учреждения для массового уничтожения различных групп населения. Первые концентрационные лагеря в нацистской Германии были созданы с целью изоляции и интернирования лиц, подозреваемых в оппозиции нацистскому режиму, однако вскоре они развились в гигантскую машину подавления и уничтожения людей разных национальностей, врагов или представителей «низших» (см. расовая гигиена) групп населения — в странах, попавших под власть нацистов, и сыграли решающую роль в проведении нацистской политики уничтожения евреев. С 1941 года нацисты создали 4 лагеря, специально предназначенные для уничтожения людей, ещё 2 концлагеря были приспособлены для массовых убийств.

      Death Camps
      The death camps (German Vernichtungslager, extermination camps) were institutions for the mass destruction of various groups of the population. The first concentration camps in Nazi Germany were created to isolate and intern people suspected of opposing the Nazi regime, but soon they developed into a giant machine for suppressing and destroying people of different nationalities, enemies or representatives of “lower” (see racial hygiene) groups of the population in countries that fell under Nazi rule, and played a decisive role in carrying out the Nazi policy of exterminating Jews. Since 1941, the Nazis created 4 camps specifically designed to destroy people, 2 more concentration camps were adapted for massacres.

      And don’t forget, as some bloggers are fond of reminding everyone, the “English” invented concentration camps during the South African war 1899-1902.

      But they didn’t!

      Firstly, the deaths of Boer internees in the South African camps were not planned; the camps were not constructed to serve as places for the mass destruction or systematic murder of Boer inmates, though die thousands of Boers did in the camps through disease.

      Secondly, it was the Spanish Empire that first used concentration camps during the Cuban War of independence 1895-1898, and the Spanish “concentration camp” idea was adapted in South Africa by the British.

      In 1896, General Weyler of Spain implemented the first wave of the Spanish “Reconcentration Policy” that sent thousands of Cubans into concentration camps. Under Weyler’s policy, the rural population had eight days to move into designated camps located in fortified towns; any person who failed to obey was shot. The housing in these areas was typically abandoned, decaying, roofless, and virtually unihabitable. Food was scarce and famine and disease quickly swept through the camps. By 1898, one third of Cuba’s population had been forcibly sent into the concentration camps. Over 400,000 Cubans died as a result of the Spanish Reconcentration Policy.

      Source: https://www.pbs.org/crucible/tl4.html

      • marknesop says:

        Huh. About that, over at The Duran, Alex Christoforou tells us recently released documentary evidence shows the Allies (or at least the USA and UK) ‘held back’ somewhat in their war against the Nazis, so as to allow them to maul the Soviet Union more, in the hope that they might destroy it.

        I hasten to add that I have not examined these documents myself, and that the interpretation of the article’s author may be subjective. But if it were true, with friends like those…I imagine you know the rest of the quote.

      • yalensis says:

        How do you copy-paste, ME?
        There are certain sites, including KP where I simply cannot highlight and copy text.
        Others I can.
        I just assumed it was certain settings on certain sites themselves, but maybe it’s just my computer?
        Do you do it the regular way, just click and highlight??
        Why can I do it for most sites, but not certain ones like KP?

        • yalensis says:

          P.S. – as far as “concentration camp” vs “extermination camp” – it’s true that technically they are different animals.
          But in the popular consciousness they are so “one and the same” that it is futile for us bloggers to even picking the nits any more.
          Although I would give Putin the benefit of the doubt if he meant “concentration camp” (which is the word he used) in the technical sense.

        • Moscow Exile says:

          “How do you copy-paste, ME?”

          Just the usual way.

          Must be your PC. Can’t imagine why, though.

      • ДжММ says:

        Perhaps a niggle, but ‘уничтожить’ fundamentally breaks down as ‘to make be ничто’, which literally is ‘nothing’. English has a much better analogue in our word rooted in the same from latin – ‘nihil’. That would be not ‘destroy’, but ‘annihilate’. When applied to the direct object of ‘people’, it pretty exclusively means killing, not just ruining.

        • Moscow Exile says:

          To exterminate means to destroy completely, namely to annihilate, to turn someone or something to nothingness, уничтожить, hence “extermination camp”.

        • yalensis says:

          That’s right, and that’s what Putin basically said about Stalin; namely that he “annihilated” millions of people.
          I stand by my statement that this was a “casual and irresponsible” thing for Putin to say about his legal predecessor. Putin mostly thinks out carefully his remarks, but at times he slips casually into the anti-Soviet propaganda memes. It’s like a tic.

          Especially irresponsible given that Westies and their “captive nation” allies such as Liths and Ukrainians, etc., are determined to make an equation of Stalin and Hitler.
          Stop and ask any average American on the street (who has heard of Stalin); and they will tell you that Stalin exterminated “millions” of men, women and children in his concentration camps. Just like Hitler!
          It is time for people to start debunking these myths, not reinforcing them with casual language.

  7. Lyttenburgh says:

    Whoop-whoop! A new article so soon!

    “Try to put aside, for the moment, the insufferable arrogance of American meddling in Europe’s energy market, with a view to restricting its choice while – laughably – pretending it is broadening European energy options.”

    “Invisible Hand of the Market” [nod, nod].

    “And a big part of that was the assumption that Russia would help to finance Ukraine’s transition to a powerful western fulcrum…”

    At first I read it as “western furuncle”. That’s what it became in the end.

    First Rule of the Ukraine: “Every Peremoga turns into Zrada”.Want to hear about yet another zrada? Russia (okay – Mikhail Friedman) bought a German firm Rheinisch-Westfälisches Elektrizitätswerk (RWE) for $5.72 blns in 2015. Why it’s important? Well, because this firm carries out the reverse gas transition to the Ukraine, thus ensuring its [ha-ha, sorry, sorry!] “Energy Independence”… which was officially proclaimed in the same 2015 A.D.

    “No LNG carriers are currently registered under the US flag, and if the USA plans to be a serious exporter it is going to need about 100 new LNG carriers over the next 30 years, something which is frankly not practically achievable considering it takes about 2 years to build one, at a cost of about $200 Million apiece”. Of course, miracles can be made to happen if you pour enough money into them.

    Something-something-something… Elon Musk… something-something… Super-technologies… something-something-something… Innovations! Progress!

    And usual stuff, said by the people who believe that the Free Market will “Get the Things Straight” without governmental meddling. Like, Musk will invent cheap multi-use drone-rackets which will deliver gas to the clients across the Ocean. Why not?! They believe in all kinds of stupid stuff already!

    The article is fresh breeze of actual facts and hard data – not your usual hurr-durring opinion pieces, passed as “analytics” by the esteemed think-tankers.

    P.S. Mark, do you have the same e-mail address?

    • marknesop says:

      Hey Lytt!! Yes, I do, and I received your article just after I posted this newest post. Well, it was probably there already, but that’s when I saw it because I don’t check my email every day, sometimes only like once a week. Anyway, I think I will leave this one up for a little while, let it get a little exposure, and we will plan to go with yours next. The Russophobic tail-chasing you describe is not particularly time-sensitive anyway, since it goes on all day, all year, which is not the same as saying it’s not important to jerk its chain every once in awhile. I read through it, and it looks good.

      Ha, ha!! I had to look up ‘furuncle’, because I had never heard of it – truly, your vocabulary is broad for a second language. To save our other readers a few clicks,

      A boil, also called a furuncle, is a deep folliculitis, infection of the hair follicle. It is most commonly caused by infection by the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus, resulting in a painful swollen area on the skin caused by an accumulation of pus and dead tissue.

      I couldn’t have said it better myself.

      • Lyttenburgh says:

        Not to worry – there is no rush indeed. I thought that the “preparatory period”, new round of editing etc, etc. will move the “publishing time” of piece somewhere in the future anyway.

        And purely medical term “фурункул” have entered the Russian language long time ago – usually, as sand in to the more common “boil/нарыв”, when talking about ills of society, nasty person or… places.

  8. Northern Star says:

    So..the big fat cryogenic vessels must navigate across the pond…right??

    Those that come from Texas ports would have to pass through or near the Bermuda Triangle…

    We certainly can’t hold Russkie stealth attack subs responsible for bizzare ship disappearances or explosions.. can we!!!!

    (Very cogent and informative post Mark)

    • marknesop says:

      Thanks very much, NS!! I read a book some time ago which used newspaper and wire reports of the various times to thoroughly debunk most of the incidents of ships and aircraft ‘disappearing without a trace’ in the Bermuda Triangle. In incidents which resulted in total losses of the crew, the author also offered reasonable explanations for what likely happened. I have sailed through it many times myself and observed nothing untoward, although that does not mean much considering the amount of marine traffic which routinely does the same without incident.

      Owners of LNG Carriers likewise play up how safe they are, and to the best of my knowledge there has never been a serious accident. However, on the scale of supply the USA is suggesting it wishes to achieve for itself, there could be no days taken off for bad weather, and carriers would have to transit the North Atlantic in winter – which is not generally a fun place to be. Most of my concern with the shipped method is its inherent unreliability compared with pipeline gas.

  9. Lyttenburgh says:

    Into the breach – once more! Or – once again about honest, balanced and tolerant Western Media ™, SUDDENLY finding out that there are roving bands of neo-nazis in the Ukraine. Why this particular article is important? First of all – because it’s WaPo – a fearless crusader and enabler of leakers in anything Trump+Russia related. To doubt WaPo for a certain category of the people is sacrilege. Second – because of WHO wrote this article, namely Joshua Cohen, former (?) USAID chief honcho in realization of the “economic reforms” on the territory of the former USSR – a thoroughly handshakable person, judging by his last name.

    Thirdly – the amount of evidence provided in one article combined with proof links to serve as the future reference material. Links are to very-very kosher and Ukrainian sources – so you can’t accuse them in good faith of being Kremlenite propaganda.

    Ukraine’s ultra-right militias are challenging the government to a showdown

    Blah-blah-blah – evul Russia, blah-blah, and then:

    “The recent brutal stabbing of a left-wing anti-war activist named Stas Serhiyenko illustrates the threat posed by these extremists. Serhiyenko and his fellow activists believe the perpetrators belonged to the neo-Nazi group C14 (whose name comes from a 14-word phrase used by white supremacists). The attack took place on the anniversary of Hitler’s birthday, and C14’s leader published a statement that celebrated Serhiyenko’s stabbing immediately afterward.

    The attack on Serhiyenko is just the tip of the iceberg. More recently C14 beat up a socialist politician while other ultranationalist thugs stormed the Lviv and Kiev City Councils. Far-right and neo-Nazi groups have also assaulted or disrupted art exhibitions, anti-fascist demonstrations, a “Ukrainians Choose Peace” event, LGBT events, a social center, media organizations, court proceedings and a Victory Day march celebrating the anniversary of the end of World War II.

    According to a study from activist organization Institute Respublica, the problem is not only the frequency of far-right violence, but the fact that perpetrators enjoy widespread impunity. It’s not hard to understand why Kiev seems reluctant to confront these violent groups. For one thing, far-right paramilitary groups played an important role early in the war against Russian-supported separatists. Kiev also fears these violent groups could turn on the government itself — something they’ve done before and continue to threaten to do.

    To be clear, Russian propaganda about Ukraine being overrun by Nazis or fascists is false. Far-right parties such as Svoboda or Right Sector draw little support from Ukrainians.”

    Full stop here. First of all – “Russian propaganda” (and the Western propaganda understands by that all Russian press, except a few “brave ones” that suck foreign grants tit of theirs) claims no such a thing. Second – it is Poroshenko and his government who renames streets after Bandera and Shukhevitch. Third – in the second half of the article Mr. Cohen basically proves, that said roving bands all BUT overrun the Ukraine, while the alleged lack of support does not translate in the active resistance to them – which is what’s enough for them to reign supreme:

    “Indeed, the brazen willingness of Vita Zaverukha – a renowned neo-Nazi out on bail and under house arrest after killing two police officers — to post pictures of herself after storming a popular Kiev restaurant with 50 other nationalists demonstrates the far right’s confidence in their immunity from government prosecution.

    […]

    …[T]he government must also break any connections between law enforcement agencies and far-right organizations. The clearest example of this problem lies in the Ministry of Internal Affairs, which is headed by Arsen Avakov. Avakov has a long-standing relationship with the Azov Battalion, a paramilitary group that uses the SS symbol as its insignia and which, with several others, was integrated into the army or National Guard at the beginning of the war in the East. Critics have accused Avakov of using members of the group to threaten an opposition media outlet. As at least one commentator has pointed out, using the National Guard to combat ultranationalist violence is likely to prove difficult if far-right groups have become part of the Guard itself.

    Avakov’s Deputy Minister Vadym Troyan was a member of the neo-Nazi Patriot of Ukraine (PU) paramilitary organization, while current Ministry of Interior official Ilya Kiva – a former member of the far-right Right Sector party whose Instagram feed is populated with images of former Italian fascist leader Benito Mussolini – has called for gays “to be put to death.” And Avakov himself used the PU to promote his business and political interests while serving as a governor in eastern Ukraine, and as interior minister formed and armed the extremist Azov battalion led by Andriy Biletsky, a man nicknamed the “White Chief” who called for a crusade against “Semite-led sub-humanity.”

    […]

    In one notorious incident, media captured images of swastika-tattooed thugs — who police claimed were only job applicants wanting to have “fun” — giving the Nazi salute in a police building in Kiev. This cannot be allowed to go on, and it’s just as important for Ukrainian democracy to cleanse extremists from law enforcement as it is to remove corrupt officials from former president Viktor Yanukovych’s regime under Ukraine’s “lustration” policy.”

    P.S. Comment section is as always colorful there.

    • marknesop says:

      “Help us, world (including Russia)!!! Nobody could have known things would turn out as they have!! This is no time for pointing fingers, and we all have to work together and solve the problem.”

    • yalensis says:

      “To be clear, Russian propaganda about Ukraine being overrun by Nazis or fascists is false. Far-right parties such as Svoboda or Right Sector draw little support from Ukrainians….”

      True (about the level of support), but irrelevant, Mr. Cohen!
      It doesn’t matter if these fascists enjoy an approval rating of 5% or .005%
      You yourself said that these perps enjoy “widespread impunity” !
      They can do whatever they want, kill anybody they please, and never get punished!
      That’s the literal meaning of the word “impunity”.

      • Eric says:

        Yarosh is an MP, Parubiy would, if the same set of events occured as in February 2014, become President, as Turchynov did. Nazi’s/far right are in the SBU, Police, parts of their academia, military

        Its an intentionally idiotic statement by Cohen because Ukrainian political parties can come and go at the drop of the hat. All this just means that the 2 million Nazi voters in 2012 election have chosen these newly created parties… because a new line of what is ” mainstream” has been drawn in Ukraine.

        That’s why I found it more than a little odd what is happening in France now…….a new party under Macron has been created and occupies that vast majority of seats….this is the type of thing you would see in a banana republic.

        • yalensis says:

          Cohen is no idiot, I think he is just covering his ass and preparing his exit strategy.
          In the hopes of keeping his press card after Ukraine goes totally South.
          Cohen always knew these guys were Nazis, now he has to pretend to his reading public that he wasn’t quite aware. He was duped!
          Or maybe the turning point, which got his Jewish blood boiling was Biletsky calling his ethnic group a “Semite-led sub-humanity.”

          Cohen: “Oh, I never realized these people could be so hateful!” – LOL!

      • marknesop says:

        They always use that to pooh-pooh the suggestion that Nazism is influential in Ukraine – but look! They only get tiny levels of support in elections! That matters little when people are appointed to political positions rather than voted into them. There are so many things – the dissolving of opposition political parties, the uberpatriotic signage everywhere exhorting citizens to report their neighbours if they suspect separatist sympathies, the hit list (Mirotvorets) of those who failed to shout the government line when prompted until told to stop – that simply scream “FASCISM!!!” But it is inconvenient for the west to see those things, because it could not acknowledge seeing them and continue to support the country and government which did them. The USA is an old hand at unseeing things which don’t fit the narrative. Unfortunately, it has evolved into a nation which is good at unseeing obstacles as well; obstacles which are present and prevent it from achieving its goals. These are expected to disappear before the eraser called ‘exceptionalism’.

        The canard about levels of public support for Nazism in Ukraine is used to suggest that if Russia is spouting propaganda about this, then everything it says is propaganda.

  10. Pingback: New Russia Sanctions Are All About Forcing the EU to Buy Overpriced US Gas-Times of News

  11. Northern Star says:

    “But Gazprom could block a lot of those cargoes by stepping up export volumes and selling them at prices below what can be achieved by U.S. LNG. Gazprom can export pipeline gas to Europe for $3.50 per million Btu (MMBtu) while American LNG would need prices of $4 to $5/MMbtu. Currently, Gazprom sells gas to Europe at a price of about $5.80/MMBtu on average, but could lower the price to beat U.S. LNG”

    I do not see how the USA could begin to economically prevail over the Russians in a
    “gas’ war..given the above numbers.

    “Of course, viewed another way, the growing U.S. export capacity – the mere existence of a competing source of supply – should push down the price that Gazprom is able to charge, a victory for Europe and a blow to Gazprom. Without U.S. LNG, its proponents argue, Russia would not be forced to accept lower prices. “It’s the start of the price war between U.S. LNG and pipeline gas,” said Thierry Bros, an analyst at Société Générale, according to the WSJ.”

    Moreover doesn’t keeping a lid (cap) on what the Russians can charge for Gazprom gas ipso facto prevent the Americans from competitively pricing their LNG product..particularly in view of the first quote????
    Either I’m a little dense today,or the American strategy here makes no sense whasoever.!!!!

    http://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/US-To-Undermine-Russias-Gas-Monopoly-In-Europe.html

    • marknesop says:

      The latter – the American strategy makes no sense, and its proponents are so high on can-do that you might have to shoot them to get them down. The USA cannot supply either the volume or the consistency of supply to snatch the gas market from Russia, and that must be evident to all but the crazy. As usual, Washington just hopes to get itself into the mix so it will have a seat at the table, because it cannot bear being left out of things and has long been of the opinion that America makes its own reality. Once again, if America owned or controlled substantial gas reserves on the continent and it were practical for the USA to run its own pipeline to Europe, it might be in with a chance if it had sufficient supply, and it is attempts to do that that we should be watching out for. There was speculation much earlier that control of substantial gas holdings was exactly what Burisma Holdings and Hunter Biden were up to in Ukraine, but gas extraction is not practical there right now and id assay results had been positive you can bet there would be a lot more American pressure to bring the war to a close.

      On that note, I noticed over at Sputnik yesterday that Turchynov was pressuring Poroshenko to bag the ATO and turn it into a full-press military operation, which is just what recent reports said they did not dare to do in case the Ukrainian Army loses. The same report said Poroshenko is about to sign legislation which orders by decree that Donbas resume its place as part of Ukraine. If they say “Pound sand up your ass” as we know they will, Poroshenko may have little alternative to throwing everything he has at them. Of course, I can’t find it now; I knew I should have drawn attention to it when I saw it.

      I’m sure Russia is watching carefully.

  12. Northern Star says:

    I assume the (shipped) American LNG would have to be regasified at a european import terminal.
    Consulting page six at the link, is it not problematic to then transport the regasified lng product to its (receiving) nation destination.
    The whole scheme smacks of going around the well to get an expensive cup of water!!!!!
    file:///C:/Users/RRUSER/Downloads/c6c4403f-ad9f-4740-b184-9fc1f88550ab.pdf

  13. Northern Star says:

    Worth reviewing if you haven’t seen it….
    It’s dumbfounding how some Ukrainians today lionize the Nazi vermin who murdered their ancestors…
    The woman. in the cover photo…I wonder who she mourns….
    https://sputniknews.com/society/201705061053337885-nazi-occupied-kherson-report-declassified/

    • yalensis says:

      Good article, and good to keep the numbers in perspective:
      6,000,000 Ukrainians fought in the ranks of the Red Army against Nazi Germany.
      A piddly 100,000 Ukrainian UPA fighters fought in the ranks of Nazi Germany against the Soviet Union.

      Everything will come out in the wash. Once Ukraine is reunited with Russia, it will be the 6 million who are honored; and the much smaller number (100K) will be cast aside with scorn as the vicious traitors that they were.

  14. et Al says:

    But it’s not Russia so it is OK. Prepare to giggle over the ‘Controversies’ section.

    Al Beeb s’Allah GONAD (God’s Own News Agency Direct): : Qatar: Buying Britain by the pound
    http://www.bbc.com/news/business-40192970

    By Jamie Robertson Business reporter, BBC News

    It’s hard to walk round London and admire the sights without admiring something paid for by Qatar.

    From some of the most famous hotels and landmarks to the cranes arcing over the South Bank, Qatar has a substantial finger in a huge number of pies.

    The UK is Qatar’s single largest investment destination, with £35bn in place and another £5bn on its way in the next five years.

    And it is now said that Qatar owns more land in London than the Queen.

    The next batch of £5bn is headed for sectors ranging from infrastructure and energy to IT.

    However, the pace may be slowing slightly after a rapid acceleration in the last five to 10 years, and Qatar’s focus is turning instead to the US, where it aims to invest some $35bn (£27bn)….

  15. Warren says:

    • Evgeny says:

      I’ve read that — thanks! While the conclusions about Russia’s state culpability are questionable at best (especially given the apparent lack of evidence), the text is rich in detail about the life of exiled oligarchs and their associates. It kinda reminded me of Guy Ritchie’s “Snatch” and Pelevin’s “Generation П”.

      As Pelevin opined in his latest book, “И я понял то, что время от времени понимает в нашей стране каждый: девяностые вовсе не кончились. Просто раньше они происходили со всеми сразу, а теперь случаются в индивидуальном порядке.” Since Berezovsky was an embodiment of 1990s, his emigration was followed with a nice cute piece of 90s on the British soil.

  16. J.T. says:

    Bookspam!
    Introducing “WWIII military thriller” The Red Line by Walt Gragg (debut novel)

    • PaulR says:

      ‘World War III explodes in seconds when a resurgent Russian Empire launches a deadly armored thrust into the heart of Germany. With a powerful blizzard providing cover, Russian tanks thunder down the autobahns while undercover Spetsnaz teams strike at vulnerable command points.’

      Where did all these Russian tanks come from? And what happened to the little problem of Poland and Belarus being in the way?

      • J.T. says:

        ‘Where did all these Russian tanks come from? And what happened to the little problem of Poland and Belarus being in the way?’

        …Russia weaponized wormholes?

  17. Warren says:

    Are Europeans finally standing up to American economic imperialism and extra-territorial laws?

    Published on Jun 15, 2017
    The new anti-Russian sanctions are outlined in an amendment to a bill imposing sanctions against Iran.
    The anti-Russian measures in the amendment involve imposing penalties on enterprises that cooperate with Russian oil and gas companies.
    READ MORE: https://on.rt.com/8eub

    • marknesop says:

      You know the pressure will be on now, from the State Department and other US sources, for European leaders to get their populations in line and start singing from the same song sheet again. Gonna be a tough sell in Germany, though.

      So far none of the American promises about laying waste to Russia has come about. Generally speaking I find that if you announce “THIS is going to happen”, and then you have to keep coming back to it and doing more stuff to shore it up and make it happen, then your initial plan sucked.

    • marknesop says:

      Highly illuminating – particularly the second part, in which we are invited to speculate on what special interests in the United States might be in play, as the possibility was floated that the real purpose of the sanctions is to hobble and weaken Trump. All right then, what interests might those be? The Democrats, in an unholy bargain with the Republicans? Because it sure as hell isn’t corporate; not this time around. Corporate America wants this silliness done with yesterday if not sooner.

      The sheer level of childishness in insisting upon getting “Russia interfered with the 2016 election” enshrined in national records is unnerving – what is that going to look like to historians? As if America got really drunk and lost its mind? And nobody has ever been proven to have ‘hacked’ anything or ever to have carried out ‘cybercrime’; these are just hot-button buzzwords created to inspire unreasoning fear. But certain individuals are targeted by sanctions nonetheless, once again imposing punishment without having proven a crime was even committed.

      Europe should be embarrassed that it went along with the fantasy sanctions regime, unprotesting, for as long as it did. Canada, too, comes to that, and all the American allies who supported it in its vicious vendetta.

      This would be the perfect moment to introduce irrevocable proof that Ukraine shot down MH17, and covered it up, probably with assistance from the United States. If anyone has it, now’s the time – global support for sanctions would fall away as if it had never been.

  18. Cortes says:

    Thanks for yet another fine article, Mark.

    Your pieces always contain lots of links and I try to find time to access them all but invariably don’t view as many as I ought to.

    The killer for me (and, I suspect for both fellow stooges and the Colonel Klink and Sgt Schultzs of the alphabet agencies of the world) is the combination of detail and wit.

    Thanks again.

    • marknesop says:

      And thank you, Cortes! I try to include as much substantiation as I can to demonstrate that the body of work is not merely opinion, although of course it usually agrees with what I believe.

    • yalensis says:

      Second Cortes, it’s a well-researched piece, and I haven’t yet finished scanning all the links.

      • marknesop says:

        Most of the research was already done, to support this piece, which was out last Spring. I think we’re on pretty solid ground in saying the protests against Nord Stream II are entirely political and unsupported by realities.

    • marknesop says:

      Chalk up another one for Corbyn, which I suspect was motivated by simple humanity – probably why the elites hate him so; he’s dead soft. I even heard this on my local radio station, with several angry people with British accents yelling in the background. It went big fast.

  19. likbez says:

    What I do not understand is why Russian can’t increase natural gas consumption dramatically and need to export that much: is it so difficult to build several large chemical plants, increase usage in city transport as less polluting fuel to 100%, promote dual fuel private cars, etc.

    In this case they can export saved oil instead using regular tankers which is much simpler then LNG.

    I think the current suppression of oil prices by Wall street (and the new US method of production using along with production of shale oil a parallel production stream of junk bonds which will never be repaid) can’t last forever. “Break even” oil price for most shale wells is probably over $60 per barrel. If not $80.

    Also without capital investment the annual decline of conventional fields is around 5% a year (most of those fields are really old). Which means approximately 5 million barrels per day are taken off the market automatically each year (no OPEC action is needed), if zero capital investment are done.

    Of course Sechin is IMHO a corrupt player here, who cares mostly about his own pocketbook (and stupidly increased investment just before the crash, which later required bailout of the company by the government), but still Russian government has the means to enforce its will even on rogue players.

    • marknesop says:

      You are pretty much precisely correct for North American production – $60.00 is the drop-dead line, and it’s hard to squeeze any profit out of exports at below that price. There is a slow decline rate for conventional wells, but 20 to 30 years of production is not unusual for them while fracked shale wells frequently have fallen by 50% inside 2 years. The production decline in large conventional wells can often be offset by more modern and efficient production techniques.

      You can’t substitute oil for gas in the European market; Russia sells both, of course, but natural gas is used far more for commercial and residential heating, cooking and electrical-power generation than oil, and they are not interchangeable. Russia probably could increase its domestic use of gas, and it’s a good idea to make public transit 100% clean, especially in large cities. But energy exports are profitable, and one of the few sources of national income the west can’t simply sanction out of existence; Europe would never accept having its energy supplies cut off, and Washington can’t make energy exports unprofitable for Russia – Russia already has pretty much the lowest production costs in the world (although they’re currently not very efficient), and Russia produces in rubles but sells in dollars. If American sanctions manage to drive the value of the ruble down, it simply lowers Russia’s production costs without hurting its sale price very much. If Russia’s main cash crop was cucumbers, let’s say, it would be easy for Washington to persuade Europe to stop eating cucumbers or buy them from someone else, and Russia would be hooped. That’s why companies like Gazprom are part of Russia’s national-security priority; Europe has to have gas and oil, and Russia has them in sufficient abundance that it can undercut other suppliers’ prices. The USA can’t take over the market, because it doesn’t have enough supply and is on another continent far away.

      Iran is on a similar trajectory – people have asked why they want nuclear power, when they have so much oil. The answer, of course, is because they want to sell it. They’re not afraid of nuclear energy, and the more electricity they generate with nuclear power, the more oil and gas they have to sell. Europe, on the other hand, is scared shitless of nuclear power and those who still use it are phasing it out. Ergo, they will need lots of oil and gas for the foreseeable future. Green energy might be a viable alternative – Chirikova certainly babbles as if it is – but in reality it is still a niche market and not competitive price-wise with hydrocarbons. Humans will continue to rely on hydrocarbons until the earth’s supply is exhausted.

  20. Moscow Exile says:

    Navalny’s 30 days reduced to 25.

    How does he do it?


    The formerly at risk of blindness in the right eye Navalny.

    Those Spanish ophthalmologist did a wonderful job!

    • yalensis says:

      One word: “KRYSHA”. And yes, that letter “H” belongs there, although it works without it too!

      • marknesop says:

        Perhaps the Russian government considers it in its interests to have Navalny appear to be a patsy, treated with indulgence in the hope that he will come to his senses, or to make it appear his crimes are not taken seriously because they are all an elaborate charade. Whatever the case, it seems to be working well because he is not increasing his levels of public support and basically still controls only the same crowd of fringe lunatics and spoiled dilettantes he always did. And while he never seems to lack for money thanks to the generosity of his supporters, he does not seem to have attracted any corporate sponsorship to Brand Navalny.

        It also seems to amuse the government to treat Navalny with elaborate courtesy despite the western press babbling about what a threat he is to the seat of power. When you think about it, it’s almost as if the western media is trying to get Navalny longer terms or harsher punishments. What would be the expected result of remarking publicly and with evident satisfaction what a powerful, progressive and compelling leader Navalny would make when he is effectively under the thumb of a dictator who can punish him as he sees fit? It is as if outlets like RFE/RL are daring the Russian government to crush Navalny, simply so they can make a martyr of him. They must know he is an idle throwaway and loquacious layabout with no real prospects of statesmanship.

    • marknesop says:

      I wonder who does his hair? He looks as if he has been dragged through a hedge backwards.

      Catty, I know; but come on. This is the new face of political change and charisma?

    • Lyttenburgh says:

      The official reason – “Navalny has two minors to feed!”

      But we know the truth – in his last tweet (btw – in which orifice did he smuggle a phone into the jail?) he bitched and moan that due to 30 day sentence he won’t be able to come to the Depeche Mode concert.

      See? “Russian court – the most humane court in the World!” (c) 🙂

      P.S. I think that FBK must start new fundraising campaing – this time for the ticket to the concert.

      • yalensis says:

        Uh huh.
        That was the same reason the Russian Superior Court lightened the sentence imposed by Judge Blinov in the SELVORIK case. Namely, that Navalny is the father of two minors.

        Tomorrow is Father’s Day in the United States, and that was probably also taken into account, since the Navalny family is basically a ward of the United States government.

    • Northern Star says:

      “Hundreds chanting “We want justice” for the victims of the Grenfell Tower inferno surrounded Kensington Town Hall, London to demand answers from council officials who had barricaded themselves in the building.
      Prime Minister Theresa May while visiting Kensington was forced to remain in a church and was then chased away—surrounded by a heavy security detail—with protesters booing and shouting “shame on you” and “coward.”
      This sentiment finds its echo throughout Britain and worldwide.
      Millions are horrified by the loss of at least 100 and as many as 150 lives of working class residents in Wednesday’s fire.
      Most shocking of all, this took place in Kensington and Chelsea, Britain’s richest borough in one of the richest cities in the world. But like so many other areas of the capital, extreme wealth exists side-by-side with extreme deprivation.
      Kensington and Chelsea is one of the most socially divided areas of London, with those living on the Lancaster West Estate, where Grenfell Tower is located, in clear view of the homes of multi-millionaires and billionaires. The most expensive street in the country, Victoria Road in Kensington, has an average house price of £8 million.
      This imparts a politically explosive dynamic to unfolding events—which is why, incredibly, the police and council officials have stonewalled the appeals of resident’s families and friends and have still refused to admit the real death toll.
      Grenfell is not only an appalling tragedy. It is a crime. Those whose lives were taken were murdered just as surely as if a torch had been applied to the building.”

      *****It should be stressed that the death toll from Grenfell is expected to exceed the combined total resulting from every terrorist attack in the UK since the beginning of the so-called war on terror in 2001.*****

      http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2017/06/17/pers-j17.html

      This in itself should get May the F out…NOW!!!!

      • marknesop says:

        In fairness to the police, the Chief of Police at the press conference did say that as soon as he had information which he knew to be accurate, he would share it. They presently have no realistic idea how many bodies might still be there, as some may have been almost totally consumed and everything inside is charred and collapsed. They are working only from residents who were known to be at home and cannot be otherwise accounted for – what of those who might have had friends visiting from out of town or even out of the country? It serves no cause except that of panic to keep revising numbers all over the place just to give people the latest thing you heard, and it would be irresponsible for him to do that, as he appears to be aware.

        It certainly looks bad for May, though. I wouldn’t want to speculate, because the press are consummate spinners and deflectors who will serve whoever they believe will be most useful to them, and she might shift this yet. But it looks thus far as if it will be at least as damaging to her as the disclosure of the DNC’s campaign-fixing against Bernie Sanders (one of only two who voted against the new sanctions against Russia, I should add) was to Mrs. Clinton. I would venture to suggest May is unelectable now.

      • Jen says:

        On top of people’s anger over the Grenfell Tower fire disaster is news that cuts in the provision of legal aid over the years when BoJo was Mayor of London prevented the Grenfell Tower residents from hiring lawyers who could argue their case in court and force the landlord (Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea) and the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation who managed the building to make the necessary improvements in fire safety. The British law profession is now scrambling to offer pro bono legal services to the Grenfell Tower residents.

        https://www.legalcheek.com/2017/06/they-tried-to-get-lawyers-devastating-cuts-to-legal-aid-prevented-grenfell-tower-residents-accessing-advice-over-safety-concerns/

        • marknesop says:

          This is just picking up more snow as it rolls, and the news situation is evolving such that the press has to pile on regardless its political preferences, or be implicated in a cover-up. The government may even fall because of it.

    • marknesop says:

      It really looks like they are pinned to the wall on this one. Still, I detect a little bit of spin, probably as much as they think they can get away with, such as reporting the ‘activist crowd’ who marched on Downing Street as “more than a thousand”. London is a city of nearly 9 million, and I’m pretty sure the marchers were both more numerous and more quantifiable than that. If it had occurred in Moscow, you know the crowd would have been inflated by an order of magnitude if they were protesting against the government.

      • Cortes says:

        The spin will be ineffective at stopping each and every tenant organisation in the UK demanding cast iron guarantees that such refurbishment work undertaken or underway did or does not use the same flammable materials as Grenfell in flatted building units, whether low or high rise. A few years ago I had contact with some activists who were generally very organised, diligent and determined; they also maintained a long arms length relationship with political parties. My guess would be that local government bigwigs will be doing a lot of unpaid overtime this summer to cope with the level of informed questioning they’re going to get.

  21. Northern Star says:

    As long as blacks in sub-saharan Africa continue to be enslaved by a mindset-from BOTH within and externally based- which views them as dumb barely civilized bastards subject to imposition of white european rule based on its alleged superior intellect….this shit will continue…
    http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2017/06/17/spec-j17.html

    • yalensis says:

      A gold star to whoever guesses where this quote is from:

      “If ever Africa shall show an elevated and cultivated race, — and come it must, some
      time, her turn to figure in the great drama of human improvement. — life will awake there
      with a gorgeousness and splendor of which our cold western tribes faintly have
      conceived. In that far-off mystic land of gold, and gems, and spices, and waving palms,
      and wondrous flowers, and miraculous fertility, will awake new forms of art, new styles
      of splendor; and the negro race, no longer despised and trodden down, will, perhaps,
      show forth some of the latest and most magnificent revelations of human life. Certainly
      they will, in their gentleness, their lowly docility of heart, their aptitude to repose on a
      superior mind and rest on a higher power, their childlike simplicity of affection, and
      facility of forgiveness. In all these they will exhibit the highest form of the peculiarly
      Christian life, and, perhaps, as God chasteneth whom he loveth, he hath chosen poor
      Africa in the furnace of affliction, to make her the highest and noblest in that kingdom
      which he will set up, when every other kingdom has been tried, and failed; for the first
      shall be last, and the last first.”

      • Northern Star says:

        When I’m in my cabin..I sometimes listen to this..for inspiration:

      • Jen says:

        I’m tempted to say Thomas Jefferson but I’m not sure that he was a devout Christian and he probably never wrote in the style in which the quotation was composed.

        Or it was Charles Darwin – he originally intended to be a clergyman and was quite religious for much of his life, at least until his research and various family tragedies (including the death of one baby daughter he was fond of) tested his belief in God.

        • marknesop says:

          Thomas Jefferson, in fact, was a slave-owner himself.

        • yalensis says:

          I think Northern Star (=sly one) actually guessed it, it’s “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” by Harriet Beecher Stowe. It’s a book that, once again, I am becoming obsessed with.
          I’ve read it before, actually more than once, but I generally re-read it every couple of years or so, and it always has something new to offer, some new insights, some new pearls of wisdom.

          It’s also amazing that every single subsequent book or movie about American slavery can be traced back to this single mother lode. Even watching a ludicrous exploitation slave-porn flic like “Mandingo”, you can see the basic plot infuence: Good Master has to sell his slaves due to financial issues; Good Master gets traded for Bad Master by trick of fate, etc. One day Uncle Tom is living in the lap of luxury, surrounded by family and friends, and white owners who adore him. A couple of years later, due to a trick of fate and lack of legal status, he finds himself in a shed being flogged to death by the Cajun pirate Simon Legree’s black overseers, Sambo and Quimbo. (No, Harriet does pull any punches here, mark my words; this is NOT a politically correct book at all!)

          In her long, encyclopedic polemic against slavery, Harriet employs every debating trick under the sun and counters every single argument posed by the other side. Including the famous slavery-apologist one of “Well, masters had to take care of their slaves, because they were economic assets, therefore they wouldn’t abuse them.” Harriet shows how a psychopath like Simon Legree not only finds it economically viable to use up his field hands and buy new ones every couple of years; but also, his deep anger and psychopathy pushes him onto the road of cruelty, even when it doesn’t serve his economic purposes. Basically, having total power over another human being, is a totally corrupting process. Duh!

          Harriet, by the way, didn’t make up any of these hair-raising stories of abuse and cruelty. Of white “crackers” who make their living maintaining “whipping houses” where plantation owners send their slaves to be punished when they don’t feel like doing it themselves. (Which, by the way, is the origin of the term “cracker”.)
          Or auctions where low-life scum purchase beautiful “quadroon” girls specifically as sex slaves. Harriet herself did extensive research on the slavery issue and interviewed many escaped slaves about their former lives. She also borrowed heavily from Solomon Northup’s autobiography.

          As for the Bible stuff, well, Harriet was a born-again Christian, and she saw it as her purpose to preach the teachings of Jesus to everybody, both black and white. That was the only way that she saw possible to build a harmonious society, once slavery had been abolished, as inevitably it must.

      • marknesop says:

        The Bible? The closing phrases are, anyway. The notion that God is testing Africa because he has some leading role in mind for it, somewhere down the pike, reminds me of the wry aphorism, “God surely must love the poor, for he made so many of them”.

        • Lyttenburgh says:

          “…reminds me of the wry aphorism, “God surely must love the poor, for he made so many of them”.”

          There are over million different species of insects in the wolrd – compared to just about 20 000 species of birds, mammals and reptiles. There are almost as many types of cocroaches as there are mammalian species. I guess, this means that Lord God is inordinately fond of insects. 😉

          • yalensis says:

            Noah made the mistake of allowing cockroaches on his ark, back in the Carboniferous period (300 million years ago).
            Needless to say, these buggers took advantage of Noah’s hospitality.
            Noah should have turned them away with “Sorry, we only accept PRETTY insects, like butterflies.”

  22. Northern Star says:

    Racist vermin-USA tools and/or lackeys-oppress and murder people of color…as usual:

    “The mass protest is the result of the dire conditions in which the city’s 400,000 Afro-Colombian residents live, despite huge amounts of wealth generated by the local port, where 60 percent of the county’s sea-going commerce is processed. Corruption and a lack of government oversight have left the city with no hospital, crumbling schools, little to no running water, a 64 percent poverty level, and 60 percent unemployment.”

    http://www.latina.com/lifestyle/our-issues/afro-colombian-protests-buenaventura-facts

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/peaceful-protest-in-buenaventura-colombia-met-with_us_5936c161e4b0cca4f42d9d8c

    http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Colombia-Choco-Buenaventura-Strikes-Expose-Poverty-Racism-20170524-0028.html

  23. Northern Star says:

    A little off topic.. but absolutely fascinating :
    Mark’s blog wanders into and out of different cultures….so there is relevance.
    ….in the grand scheme
    :O)

    • Jen says:

      You’d be surprised that racial prejudice has a long history in Peru, starting with the overthrow of the Inca empire. The colonial Spanish government there – I think it was known as the Viceroyalty of Peru and its territory extended as far as Bolivia, Paraguay and parts of northern Argentina and Chile – was so obsessed with racial hierarchy that even all-white Spanish people who happened to be born in the Viceroyalty were regarded as inferior to Iberian-born Spanish and therefore were only allowed to advance to certain levels in the political and military administration. On the other hand there was quite a lot of intermarriage between aristocratic Inca women and Spanish military men. Their offspring formed a third layer beneath the Iberian-born Spanish and Peruvian-born Spanish.

      • yalensis says:

        And once again, I have to mention “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” in this context.
        (Sorry! I mentioned that I was obsessed by this novel.)

        In that part of the story detailing Uncle Tom’s life in New Orleans with the St. Clare family, Stowe describes the racial hierarchy of New Orleans society in which racially-mixed house slaves ride into town for “quadroon balls” while shunning and excluding their blacker counterparts.

        As always the master storyteller, Harriet sets these quadroons up for a big fall. The conceited quadroon chambermaid Rosa, who takes pride in her jewelry and treats the all-black girl Topsy like a dog, is later put in her place. After the deaths of Little Eva and her father, all the slaves in the household are left at the mercy of the evil mistress, Marie St. Clare. Who vows to bring them all down; and does. She has them beaten, auctioned and sold off, each according to her whim.

        Stowe’s point being, that lighter skin is no protection when one does not possess freeman papers.

  24. Northern Star says:

    “Germany threatened on Friday to retaliate against the United States if new sanctions on Russia being proposed by the US Senate end up penalizing German firms.”

    https://www.yahoo.com/news/m/d36f2c19-2c27-3d70-b213-a14f8fcbab82/ss_germany-threatens-retaliation.html

    Dumb fucks in US Senate again take Olympic Gold as total imbeciles!!!!

    • marknesop says:

      Friggin’ Yahoo; links just take you to the main Yahoo site and not to the specific article, which is nowhere obvious. I had the same problem searching for the article by name even though it is listed as Yahoo. I found the source article here.

      Funny quote: “Eastern European and Baltic states fear it will make them hostage to Russian gas and undercut Ukraine by depriving it of transit fees for Russian gas supplies to Europe.” The only way it will make them ‘hostage to Russian gas’ is if Russian gas is priced the lowest, as they know in their marrow it will be – so this is the same as saying European and Baltic states fear it will make them ‘hostage to competitive prices’. Or ‘hostage to being wise instead of stupid with their money’. I don’t know how they could say it out loud without laughing or blushing with embarrassment, depending on whether they take such a boldly stupid statement seriously. They have already obtained concessions from Russia to sell on the spot market rather than long-term contracts, are they such innocents that they have to be led by the hand to whoever is offering the lowest price? And were that the case, would they describe the authority who led them thus as ‘holding them hostage’? How much stupidity, honestly, are we to bear? Listen up, folks – it really is this simple: if American LNG is the cheapest gas on the market and offers a reliable supply so that there’s always more when you turn the tap, buy it. Otherwise, try not to be more of a retard than nature intended. Nobody is holding a gun to anyone’s head to make them buy Russian gas, and the sole compelling factors which make buyers consider it are its price and reliability of supply. Jesus, you just have to shake your head in wonder. And transit fees for Ukraine are presented as if they are some sort of God-bestowed birthright of Ukraine which Russia is stealing by building an alternative route. No American business of any note that you can name would hesitate for a second to cut you dead if you proved to be an unreliable partner, and your actions implied international consequences.

      And mark my words, Naftogaz’s pipeline is almost ready to fall apart; an assessment in 2009 said it needed about $3.4 Billion in maintenance costs just to keep it operational, never mind efficient, and that was never done. If Russia continues to transit Europe’s gas supply through those pipes, sooner or later there is going to be a major disaster. And when – not if – it occurs, the world will say, “Whose fault is this? Well, gee, I don’t know – who is sending gas through these pipes?”

  25. Pavlo Svolochenko says:

    http://sharij.net/87514

    Dmitry Yarosh given the boot from the leadership of ‘Trident’ because, in the words of Right Sector press secretary Artem Skoropadsky, he had not fulfilled his duties while holding that post.

    That’s the gist of it – perhaps somebody else can make more sense of the rest of Skoropadsky’s Orc gibberish.

    • yalensis says:

      Full Skoropadsky quote from his Facebook page:

      Тризуб” імені Степана Бандери, який став основою Національно-визвольного руху “Правий сектор”, завжди був закритою організацією із своєю структурою, званнями та системою підпорядкування. “Тризубівці” називають себе організацією орденського типу. Всі пам’ятають, що час “Тризуб” очолював Дмитро Ярош, який пізніше очолив і “Правий сектор”. В обох організаціях він був провідником. Так само всі пам’ятають, що у 2015-му році Ярош почав говорити, що необхідно співпрацювати з лібералами, створювати широку коаліцію, займатися “державницькою діяльністю”, співпрацювати з владою. У підсумку це призвело до того, що він змушений був залишити “Правий сектор “- організацію виключно націоналістичну, налаштовану на революційну боротьбу, а не на співпрацю з владою. У “Правому секторі” вирішили прийти до системи колегіального управління – 5 членів проводу спільно приймають важливі для організації рішення. У “Тризубі” посада провідника номінально залишалася до вчорашнього дня. Вчора відбулись збори “Тризуба” імені Степана Бандери, на яких посада провідника була скасована, оскільки Ярош, обіймаючи цю посаду, не виконував своїх обов’язків з часів завершення Майдану. Тепер у “Тризубі” не існує такої посади. І форма “Тризуба” за внутрішніми правилами організації має висіти у Дмитра Яроша у шафі, адже одягнути її він може лише з дозволу Командира “Тризуба” імені Степана Бандери.

      My Ukrainian not so good, best as I can make out Skoro is saying something like this:

      Trizub named after Stepan Bandera, which became the foundation of the National Liberation Movement Right Sektor, always was a closed organization by structure, in terms of its titles and leadership hierarchy. Trizubites call themselves an organization of the “Order type” [as in titles, medals, etc.] Everyone remembers that Dmitry Yarosh headed the Trizub as well as the later Right Sektor. In both organizations he was the leader. People also remember that in 2015 Yarosh started to say that it was necessary to collaborate with the liberals, and to build a broad coalition; to engage in “governmental activities” and to cooperate with the government. In the end this led to the necessity of his leaving Right Sektor, a purely Nationalist organization, devoted to the revolutionary struggle, and not to collaboration with the government.
      Meanwhile, “Right Sektor” has decided to organize itself along the system of “collegial leadership” – 5 members [yalensis: could also be translated as “five penises”] will collectively make decisions that are important to the organization as a whole.
      In “Trizub” the position of leader nominall continued [?] until yesterday. Yesterday we held elections within Trizub named after Stepan Bandera; at these elections the post of “leader” was cancelled, since Yarosh, who held that post, had not fulfilled his obligations ever since the completion of the Maidan. And now there is no more such post in Trizub. And the Trizub uniform along with its internal rules of organization can just go hang in the closet of Dmitry Yarosh. He is not allowed to put (this uniform) of the Trizub Commander back on without the permission of Trizub named after Stepan Bandera.

      • marknesop says:

        The only solution to this group – supposing years from now Ukraine finally returns to a fraternal relationship with Russia, as I believe it will – is to rip it out by the roots. They get it up front that they are committed to the glorious revolution and making everyone into Bandera-worshipers, and they would never submit to collaboration or compromise. Instead, once defeated they would go underground and cause all manner of trouble – they have gotten the taste of blood, and they like being able to swagger around openly and beat people up and take what they want. A wise authority would be keeping tabs now on who they all are, and where. They will all have to be jailed, or forcibly deported to someplace willing to take them. It’s unfortunate that you have to get agreement from the host country, because the USA would not normally welcome violent criminals. That’s where they really should be sent to live out their days, with the folks who glossed over their existence and their actions so casually. The SBU will have to go, too, en masse. There’s no way of knowing who is a CIA inside man and who is an honest cop, and it’s always the SBU that is responsible for those amazing communications intercepts in which the rebels just spill their guts and admit chapter and verse to all manner of crimes.

        • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

          Yarosh was a hopeless bum and neither Trident nor Right Sector were going anywhere fast with him in charge.

          The immediate concern is that the organisation may get its act more together, now that it has shed this particular bit of dead wood.

          • Jen says:

            Sounds like a fair amount of infighting going on which won’t stop until some charismatic Bandera or Hitler figure takes over and starts running Tryzub with an iron fist and kicking out anyone who disagrees with orders.

            • yalensis says:

              Sounds like fascists also don’t elect their leaders in, you know, like party congresses.
              I reckon the fascist rank-and-file don’t have much say in the selection of their leaders, they just salute and say “Heil Whomever”

          • Moscow Exile says:

            Yarosh isn’t a “real” Yukie – he’s an ethnic Russian from Dnepropetrovsk and when he came to the fore, he said he would start learning to talk Yukie.

            The delightful and miraculously cured cripple Yulia, who also only learnt to speak Yukie in her 30s, is from the same place, as was her former benefactor Lazarenko, “Mr. 50%”, the ex-PM who was sent down for 9 years in the USA and is listed as one of the world’s greatest embezzlers.

            Slava Ukraine!

  26. Cortes says:

    Fans of perfidious Albion and Russiagate may enjoy the details of British interference in the US presidential election just past supplied by David Habakkuk in his reply of 11:47 on 18 June on the turcopolier blog of Colonel Lang (Operation Grand Dawn, Part 4 is the lead article).
    Contains added polonium.

  27. Lyttenburgh says:

    And now something completely different – and lightweighted.

    In honor of today’s Bandera GayPride in Kiev (well, they were chanting “Bandera pryide, poryadok navyide”…), which was guarded by 6000 riot cops and NatzGuards, plus 1000 of “volunteer helpers”, plus several dozens of journos and a tiny speck of various freaks symbolizing Progress (as understood in the West) ended up in “just” two gays beaten and 10 or so Right Sector “activists” detained. Oh, and they burned (one) of their LGBT flag, the ProvoSeks. Compared to the past years – very, ah, “peaceful”. Guess, the most active gay haters used their newly won Sacred Bezviz to spend the weekend in Viennese Opera or on the French Riviera.

    Also in honor of summer (finally!) beginning in Russia – this news piece:

    Russian resident of Norway began the production of the beer “Pidør”

    “The new ale had been brewed according to the traditional recipe of the farmers from the Southern Norway, from whom Russian Alexander Agri learned much during the last year. According to him, “Pidør beer” has been brewed with the addition of juniper branches and various roots.

    “We didn’t have to spend much time inventing the brend’s name – short, stylish, youth oriented, it will cause a smile in any company, adults and children, for example:” Ugh, this “Pidør” is still warm, better give me the one the freezer! “Agri said.

    The advertising slogan of the new brand is “you are what you drink“. So far, the Russian has released a small batch of 13 bottles.”

    That’s what you get, dear citizens of Norway, a truly tolerant and multi-kulti member of NATO, if you don’t study Russian language and cultural more. Otherwise, they’d know, that in Russian “pidor” means “faggot”. No, not the musical instrument. Neither cigs butts, as they are called in the UK.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      Point of information, Lyttenburg:

      In the UK, a cigarette is a “fag”; a cigarette butt is a “fag end”.

      A “faggot” is also something that is known as a “savoury duck” where I come from.

      Pictured below is a “faggot” as well:

      In other words, a bundle of sticks, as on this famous album cover:

      • marknesop says:

        Also a type of meat patty; I recall seeing adverts for them on the bus shelters in Britain in the 80’s which caused we Canucks no end of amusement – “Faggots; a great fork full of pork!!”. “Faggots” is apparently the type of meat concoction and not a brand name, as I at first took it for. A plate of them would certainly go nicely with some of that homosexual beer. Most likely the same thing as you referred to as a ‘savoury duck’. I don’t know what the connection is to duck, but the navy cooks used to serve a dish known as ‘mock duck’ which was a slice of beef wrapped around a dill pickle, served hot (or more likely lukewarm, by the time you were actually about to eat it).

        Should you yearn to make this dish for your very own self – as I may, it sounds quite tasty – here’s a handy recipe. I should skip the pig’s caul and hearts, though, as other recipes I have seen advise. In fact, they suggested “Don’t ask” when the pig’s caul was mentioned. I suspect bacon fat would do just as well.

      • Jen says:

        Apparently Led Zeppelin albums released in the Soviet Union had different covers. The cover for the famous fourth album in particular featured a very different picture hung on the wall with the peeling paint.

        http://dangerousminds.net/comments/bootleg_led_zeppelin_album_covers_from_soviet_russia

        More alternate Soviet album covers!

      • Moscow Exile says:

        Fag ends were also called “dog ends” in my old neck of the woods. And in the days before pooftah filter tips, when men used to smoke Will’s Woodbines, Player’s Weights, Park Drive, Players Navy Cut, Senior Service and (god forbid!) Capstan Full Strength, if you made a soggy dog end through supping ale and puffing away in between slugs of the amber fluid,, the dog end then became a “duck’s arse”.

        The last time I smoked Capstan Full Strength was over 40 years ago. Somebody had dropped a full pack in the street. What joy! I put one of them in my mouth and lit up. By that time, because of taxation, cigarettes had become a pale imitation of their former selves: measly thin little things, girly cigs with filter tips, in comparison to which, It felt as though I had put a bog roll in my mouth when i got ready to light up that Capstan. And it was so well packed you needed a pair of bellows up your arse to get a good drag out of it.

  28. US shoots down Syrian fighter jet near Raqqa while Syria is defeating ISIS there.

    This is at least third direct attack against Syrian military by the US. They need to respond somehow, like shoot down an US jet or something.

    • marknesop says:

      We will see; they at first thought the reason for the crash was technical failure, and the article does not say how it was confirmed to be action by the ‘US-led coalition’.

      If it turns out that is the case, Russia already warned Washington not to do it again. Never mind in circumstances which make it plain the ‘US-led coalition’ is protecting ISIS.

      In other breaking news, Iran is alleged to have fired ballistic missiles some 600 miles, including through Iraqi airspace, to strike ISIS targets in Syria. Things in that area are definitely heating up and circumstances are ripe for a grotesque misjudgement which will widen the war far beyond its present scope. I’d bet the phone wires are burning up now.

    • Jen says:

      The fact that the US keeps attacking Syrian warplanes suggests that an active tit-4-tat response from the Syrians and their allies is exactly what the Americans want so as to start an escalation into outright war. To me the Russian approach in not taking the bait and keeping tensions down and low key is more sensible.

      • marknesop says:

        I agree, but Russia is not really expected to react to these provocations unless there is a ‘coalition’ attack against a Russian facility or Russian military personnel. In that event I have little doubt there would be a Russian military reaction, undesirable as that might be.

        Syria could certainly set up a situation in which it shot down an American aircraft – after all, they invited themselves in and are not even supposed to be there, a fact which has been acknowledged in the USA by the American media. But a better solution to prevent further such misunderstandings might be for the Russian Air Force to fly Combat Air Patrol (CAP) over Syrian bombing missions – announced in advance, of course – so that there was a possibility US forces might hit a Russian plane by even further accident. Or in the case of dual-seat Syrian aircraft, Russia could put in a Russian back-seater after an unmissable communique that it intended to do so, coupled with a warning that attacks against Russian military personnel would invite a Russian military response.

        In the great scheme of things the Americans are doing themselves far more harm than good, by being seen to protect ISIS from defeat in these piecemeal attacks. A few dozen Syrian military deaths, while certainly regrettable and a tremendous loss to their families, is not going to swing the outcome of the war, while Washington will look extremely foolish the next time it tries to portray anyone else as ‘on the wrong side’.

      • Moscow Exile says:

        Nah!

        West stronk – Russia weak!

        Ask the Finn.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      США и Украина выполнят наблюдательный полет над Россией

      The USA and the Ukraine are to carry out an observation flight over Russia

      МОСКВА, 18 июн — РИА Новости. Военные США и Украины выполнят наблюдательный полет над Россией с 19 по 24 июля в рамках Договора по открытому небу, сообщили в Министерстве обороны РФ.

      “Совместная миссия США и Украины в рамках реализации международного Договора по открытому небу выполнит в период с 19 по 24 июня наблюдательный полёт над территорией Российской Федерации на американском самолёте наблюдения ОС-135Б с аэродрома Хабаровск (Новый)”, — приводится в газете “Красная звезда” сообщение начальника российского национального Центра по уменьшению ядерной опасности Сергея Рыжкова.

      MOSCOW, June 18 (Itar-Tass) – RIA Novosti. The US military and the Ukraine are to carry out an observation flight over Russia from 19 to 24 July within the framework of the Treaty on Open Skies, the Russian Defence Ministry has said.

      “A United States and Ukraine joint mission within the framework of the implementation of the International Treaty on Open Skies will perform during the period from19 to 24 June
      an observation flight over the territory of the Russian Federation in an American OS-135B observation aircraft from Khabarovsk (Novy) airfield”, the newspaper “Krasnaya Zvezda” has been informed by the head of the Russian National Centre for the Reduction ofNuclear Risk, Sergei Ryzhkov.

      One reader’s comment to the above:

      Voblikov65
      Порошенко заявляет, что ведёт войну с Российской армией. Какие наблюдательные полёты могут быть?

      Poroshenko claims that he is waging war against the Russian army. How can these be observation flights?

      Rasha weak – West stronk!

      Glory to the Ukraine!

  29. Pavlo Svolochenko says:

    http://colonelcassad.livejournal.com/3487393.html

    Ukraine’s new model army must beg the general public to meet its basic requirements.

    The ‘renewed offensive’ is not happening, ever, because there is no Ukrainian army to speak of – only the shell of one, for appearance’s sake.

  30. Lyttenburgh says:

    “It’s not necessarily anti-Russian to consider Stalin a mass murdering Communist bastard.”

    There are a lot of wrong in this sentence (leaving for a moment your previous jeking off Conquest’s conspiracy theories):

    a) That he was murdering. How much did he murder? How can a State “murder” people if, by default, it has the monopoly on violence?

    b) That he was a basterd. What’s you bone here?

    • marknesop says:

      Pay no attention; it’s just Averko in one of his many disguises, worming his way into everyone’s hearts by insulting and provoking them. I don’t know about you, but that approach always just makes me melt.

  31. Pavlo Svolochenko says:

    • Lyttenburgh says:

      That’s it! AKarlin makes dramatic coming out and announces to the whole wide world that he is none other than the legendary Duper-Hero “PMS-MAN”! And for him to resort to the “No True Scotsman” fallacy – soooooo lame.

      • yalensis says:

        I’m still waiting to see Karln’s IQ score.
        But I will settle for a screenshot of his diploma from whatever school he was studying out there in California. Studying sociology and writing his thesis on how black people are dumb.
        Did he actually graduate?

  32. Moscow Exile says:

    Bill Clinton and Boris Yeltsin: When the White House fixed a Russian election

    Those were the days!

    A summation of Boris Yeltsin’s administration (1991-1999)

    The population of Russia shrank by 10 million.

    The standard of living in Russia, previously listed at 25th place, moved down to 65th place.

    The number of impoverished increased twentyfold.

    Child mortality increased twentyfold because of the use of narcotics.

    Infantile mortality increased 2.5 times.

    There was a thirteenfold reduction in the Russian budget.

    Agricultural food produce was reduced twofold.

    Manufacturing output fell 2.5 times.

    There was a fivefold reduction in capital investment.

    There are still shits from the Yeltsin era occupying high positions of influence in the governance of Russia, such as this pillock:

  33. Moscow Exile says:

    June 18, 2017, Kiev, The Ukraine

  34. Moscow Exile says:

    Бандеровцы довели поляков до ручки: во Львов приехали украинские фашисты в форме СС

    Banderites make the Poles despair: Ukrainian fascists arrive in L’vov in SS uniform

    At the “Leopolis Grand Prix” festival of retro cars held in L’vov, right at the very beginning of the “Elegance Competition” for the most beautiful crew the fourth in line reenactment group, dressed in the uniforms of the Nazi SS “Galichina”, were met with loud applause and cries of delight from the the master of ceremonies.

    The Conservative Polish newspaper wPolityce.pl, which, as a rule, expresses the point of view of the ruling Polish “Law and Justice” party, PiS, published an article on this event, the title of which stating that “the Ukrainian obsession about criminals from the UPA made itself felt in L’vov”.

    Leopolis (L’viv) Grand Prix, 2017

  35. Moscow Exile says:

    Today, June 19, 2017

    СМИ: Киев планирует ввести льготы для населения в Донбассе

    Media: Kiev is planning to introduce benefits for the Donbass population
    The Kiev authorities are planning to introduce benefits and relief for Donbass residents within the framework of a draft law on the reintegration of the self-proclaimed Luhansk and Donetsk People’s Republics.

    We will remind readers that earlier the President of the Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, said that the Verkhovna Rada would adopt a bill on the reintegration of the Donbass. However, he said that he opposes the lifting of the “anti-terrorist operation” (as the Ukrainian authorities called the military operation in the Donbass) prior to the adoption of this regulation.

    Реинтеграция Донбасса: примирение или война

    b>Reintegration of Donbass: reconciliation or war
    The not yet approved project is vague, and the wording “reintegration of the the occupied territories of Donbass” is binding to nobody. The more you discuss it, even in the Ukraine, the more the contradictions arise. Proponents of “soft power” talk about the “benefits” for residents of the Lugansk and Donbass Republics, and the “hawks” are preparing a military operation. What is the meaning of this bill? From details leaked to the media, you can make out only a rough picture.

    So, on the one hand, Kiev is planning to conciliate with the inhabitants of the territories it does not control in order to create the conditions under which they will want to return to the fold of the Ukraine. This provides various populist “indulgences”: the simplification of the procedure for obtaining Ukrainian pensions and the restoration of trade and increasing the limit on the transportation of goods across the front …

    In the eyes of the West, Poroshenko wants to appear as a noble don who cares about his subjects. In fact, at a very minimum these concessions look offensive. The President has condescended to grant “indulgences” to his citizens, who are, in fact, blameless of anything. In fact, the lifting of the blockade and the fulfillment of social obligations to civilians is spelt out in the Minsk agreements, which beast the Ukrainian side cannot abide. And how can their be trade if you do not control the radicals, who are able to block road and railway communications and, because of your lack of power, you give this blockade the go ahead rather than forcefully dispersing its supporters?

    On the other hand, for the “hawks” this bill is seen as the preparation for a military solution to the conflict in the Donbass. It is planned to complete the ATO, to transfer all power from the SBU to the Ministry of Defence and to create an operational headquarters that will directly obey the president. And the president, according to Turchinov, has the sole right to use the armed forces without the approval of the parliament, which, in fact, is one of the elements of martial law that the supporters of “hard power” want to introduce in the front-line areas. It could appear in such cities as Mariupol, Slavyansk, Kramatorsk, Avdeevka … Martial law also implies limiting participation in elections. It is very convenient when you are aware that the Donbass electorate can spoil your [voting] statistics. At the same time, nothing changes for the inhabitants of the People’s Republic of Lugansk and the Donbass. It is just that they will not be attacked on a daily basis by Ukraine armed forces, but by units of the “military operation”, as the member of the Committee of National Security and Defence Council, Dmitry Tymchuk, has dubbed the new format. Surprisingly, in terms of reintegration of the Donbass, not a word is said about the ceasefire and the removal of heavy weapons.

    Kiev is not for the first time trying to replace the Minsk agreement with new legislation. This time loud statements about the ATO (which is essentially a trick) came right on the eve ofPetro Poroshenko’s departure to Washington. And the inconsistency of the bill is simply due to the fact that Kiev is not sure in what direction the pendulum will swing at Trump’s table in the Oval Office. And this is why Petro Poroshenko is ready to dance to any tune, to act either as a tough guy or peacemaker, so long as they do not turn of the flow of money.

  36. Moscow Exile says:

    Has the 10th Crusade begun?

    London

    Van driven into worshippers near Finsbury Park mosque
    One man dies and 10 injured; eight people in hospital
    Suspect, 48, arrested after being detained by public
    Driver said to have screamed: ‘I’m going to kill all Muslims’
    Police treating attack after Ramadan prayers as terror

    See: Finsbury Park mosque attack latest: Extra police protect Muslims amid arrest after man dies

    • Moscow Exile says:

      WPC Cressida Dick, Metropolitan Police, London:

      ‘This was quite clearly an attack on Muslims’

      No shit, Sherlock!

    • marknesop says:

      Yes, I saw that last night but did not pick up on it because they still at that point were not sure it wasn’t just an accident – although they made sure to mention it was near a mosque. I thought at the time they were going to go the other way with it, and blame it on Muslims.

  37. Moscow Exile says:

    On the Moscow metro in the Evil Empire full of intolerant Russians who hate Muslims:


    Muslim pizza delivery man

    I don’t think salami is halal.

    Or maybe it’s a halal pizza?

    Is there such a thing, I wonder? Never ever seen one.

  38. Moscow Exile says:

    The Ukraine on her knees
    Where has this barbaric tradition of post-Maidan Ukraine come from? And how could have kneeling down become a result of the “Revolution of Dignity”?

    In the years 2014-2016 in the Ukraine there developed the strange tradition of kneeling down before dead (and rarely live) persons who were revered as heroes.

    This tradition has spread mainly in Western Ukraine. So, it has become customary to meet the bodies of local residents who have died in ATO who are being delivered for burial to their homeland. Such cases are numerous and well known. It is especially barbaric for a civilized person to see children who are forced to kneel in the mud.

    People are convinced that in this way they are paying tribute. In fact, this demeanour does not relate in any way to one of respect – at all times this was a sign of humiliation, slavery and obedience.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      Almost anywhere in the world there is no tradition of kneeling before the dead. In Orthodoxy and Catholicism, one kneels only before God. As a tribute to the dead in civilized countries it is customary to remove hats.

      See: Украина на коленях

      Слава рабам!

      • yalensis says:

        Excellent link, this paragraph sheds some illumination:

        Падать на колени галичан приучили польские паны

        Единственная достоверно известная традиция массового коленопреклонения перед мертвыми существовала на землях Галиции и Волыни в XVI-XVIII веках. Зависимых крестьян заставляли становиться на колени вдоль пути погребального кортежа их пана – как правило, поляка. Этим их заставляли выражать покорность своему господину и после его смерти. Кроме символического акта, этим селяне показывали вполне конкретную готовность подчиняться наследнику умершего, который, как правило, сопровождал тело.

        Так в течение веков у поляков передавалось господство над галичанами. Управляемый должен быть унижен, чтобы не смел и думать об освобождении.

        Эта традиция, потерявшая свой первоначальный смысл, сохранилась и в позднее время. Писатели и путешественники XIX – начала ХХ века отмечали раболепие и униженность жителей Прикарпатья.

        Во времена СССР декларировалось равенство людей и внешние формы преклонения не приветствовались. После независимости 1991 года в Украине постоянно искоренялись советские традиции. В 2014 году это приобрело неограниченные масштабы как «декоммунизация». И вот «нерабы» смогли вернуться к своему естественному состоянию – стоящих на коленях. Не только перед памятью павших, чем они любят оправдываться, но и перед вполне живыми иностранными панами.


        TRANSLATION

        The Polish Pans trained the Galicians to kneel

        The only verified known tradition of mass kneeling before the dead was documented on the lands of Galicia and Volhynia in the 16th-17th centuries. Subject serfs were forced to kneel along the route of the funeral cortege of their Pan, usually a Polack. In this way they were forced to show their obeisance to their lord and master even after his death. Above just being a symbolic act, this kneeling also showed a concrete readiness to submit to the deceased’s heir who, as a rule, walked alongside the body. Thus in the course of centuries the Polacks established their dominance over the Galicians. The subject was so debased, that he could not even dream of liberation.
        This tradition, which has lost its original purpose, is preserved in later times. Writers and travelers of the 19th and early 20th centuries, noted the slavishness and obsequiousness of the residents of the Carpathian region.
        During the era of the USSR the equality of all peoples was declared, and external forms of obeisance were not welcomed. After gaining independence in 1991, Ukraine steadily rooted out Soviet traditions. In 2014 this process gained unheard of impetus and was called “de-communization”. And thus the so-called “non-slaves” were able to return to their natural condition – as people who bent down on their knees. Not only before the fallen, which is their excuse, but even before living international pans.

        END OF TRANSLATION

    • marknesop says:

      You’re supposed to kneel to ask forgiveness, to show you consider yourself lowly as a worm – didn’t the Gas Princess start that with her stupid kneeling and shouting passionately, “People of Ukraine, forgive us!!!”?

  39. cartman says:

    “Bitsevsky Maniac: I’d gladly support Navalny”
    Alexander Pichushkin says that he hates this country

    I guess the Chessboard Killer is a kreakly?

    • Moscow Exile says:

      Well put him out of his fucking misery then!

      I well remember when he was on the rampage. He was convicted in 2007 of 49 murders and 3 attempted murders. Possibly killed up to 60, some think.

    • kirill says:

      His mass murder is consistent with kreakls being pathological Russia and Russian haters. I would like to see this maggot tortured to death over a long period of time. At some stage a saw should be used to open up his cranium and some nice flesh eating insects introduced into his brain.

  40. Northern Star says:

    GrenFell update and @Jen and Mark RE: Your Grenfell comments (supra)

    (Thoroughly documented expose of the underlying fact matrix of greed and corruption that enabled this horrific mass murder….I know i sometimes veer towards what some may construe as hyperbole in my posts..but –IMO this is stellar absolutely first rate (investigative) journalism…the type of which the American MSM has abandoned.)

    “Over 100 people—the final toll could go much higher—were burnt to death because they were working class and poor. They were murdered in clear sight of some of the richest people in the world by a ruling elite driven by an insatiable appetite for the money to be made through swindling, theft and social vandalism.”

    “But the genesis of mass murder at Grenfell Tower must be sought earlier still. Those who stand indicted include **Margaret Thatcher,** who began the process of transforming Britain into a social desert and London into a playground of the rich; ***Tony Blair**, who set about completing the “Thatcher Revolution,” including the selling off of one million council houses while building a £27 million property portfolio for himself; and**David Cameron**, who declared an “age of austerity” for the working class and a “bonfire of regulations” for his friends in the City, in Britain’s boardrooms, and among the landlords who infest the Tory Party.
    To do justice to the vileness of it all, it would take a modern-day Engels, the man who wrote:

    ****What is true of London is true of Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds, is true of all great towns. Everywhere barbarous indifference, hard egotism on one hand, and nameless misery on the other, everywhere social warfare, every man’s house in a state of siege, everywhere reciprocal plundering under the protection of the law, and all so shameless, so openly avowed that one shrinks before the consequences of our social state as they manifest themselves here undisguised, and can only wonder that the whole crazy fabric still hangs together.*****

    If it “hangs together” still, it is only because the outpouring of rage at what has occurred finds no political expression. Thousands have taken to the streets to demand May’s resignation and call for the guilty to be brought to justice. They have met May’s promise to hold a public inquiry with denunciations of yet another cover-up.
    It is under these circumstances that Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn issued an open letter to May lending his support to her inquiry. His letter offers our “Dear Prime Minister” Labour’s support for her promised “full and independent public inquiry”—with the sole proviso that it “will be held under the provisions of the 2005 Inquiries Act.”
    This inquiry is a fraud. Amnesty International urged all members of the British judiciary not to serve on any inquiry held under the Act’s auspices because it would “be controlled by the executive which is empowered to block public scrutiny of state actions.”

    Apparently-as is set forth in the entirety of the article- Corbyn is just as full of shit as May…..and as I opined a few days ago, Grenfell just may bring her (May’s) government down.
    http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2017/06/19/pers-j19.html

    Many of the comments here are to the effect that the Brit government is making frantic efforts to conceal-cover-up-the actual number of fatalities: American MSM from day one seemed to sporadically dribble out fatality figures which came off as dodgy and iffy….

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/grenfell-tower-fire-latest-update-death-toll-further-rise-kensington-high-rise-blaze-london-a7796881.html

  41. Haha, Russia officially “ends cooperation” with the US in Syria…. once again.

    Russia also “ended the cooperation” with the US after Trump ordered that missile attack a couple of months ago. However, the “cooperation” was resumed very quickly. And so will happen this time too.

    What does this mean? It means that the US strikes against Syrian military will continue unabated. The US will continue to bomb the Syrian assets and shoot down Syrian planes as long as they can do it without symmetrical (military) response from either Syria or Russia.

    The West (either the US or Israel) have been wage a war against Syria with impunity for years, and lately the war has become more direct (the West has gone from supporting the rebels to directly attacking Syrian troops and military assets).

    The Western audacity grows with every failure to give a symmetric response. At some point we will see the West bombing Damascus trying to take out Assad and his government. And Russia and Syria will do nothing to either stop or counter it.

  42. Moscow Exile says:

    Пиндосам не помогло сбитие сирийского самолета. Тигры взяли Русафу

    The shooting down of a Syrian aircraft has not helped the Pindosi. the Tigers have taken Rusafa

    Why did the Pindosi shoot down a Syrian SU-22 aeroplane in Rakka province?

    Because the rapid advance of the Syrian army into the Tabka area has thrown all the plans of the Pindosi into confusion.

    According to the Pindosi plan, all these lands (rich in oil) were to be conquered by the Kurds, who would then arrange their separation from Syria into an independent Kurdish state. The Pindosi would then receive the Kurds as their vassals and manage the oil lands. But the Syrian army (in this offensive represented mainly by the Iranian “Tiger” special forces ) have confused all their plans.

    Seeing the impetuous advance of the Syrian army, the Pindosi panicked and set themselves the task of stopping the Syrian army advance at any cost and especially preventing them from occupying the city of Rasafa, which stands at a strategic junction – the road linking Rakku (up to now considered to be the capital of the Dai-Ishaks) and Ez-Zor, which allows the control this oil-bearing region of Syria. Near the city is an oil pipeline.

    Along the same road, the Daishaks could retreat from Raqqi to Der-Ez-Zor, the city they plan to make their capital after the surrender of Rakki.

    In order to stop the Syrian army offensive, the SU-22 aircraft was shot down.

    In this example, it is easy to see that the actions of the Kurdish rebels and the Dai Shaks are coordinated from above and the coordinator is Pindostan, who only says it is fighting the Daishaks, but in fact contributes in every way to their preservation and the transition to new sectors of the front.

    So the Tigers taking Rasafa must have been a bummer for the Pindosi!

    The Pindosi have no luck: they are only used to fighting weak soldiers and here are Iranian soldiers (these descendants of the ancient Persians are excellent warriors) with their thousand year traditions, and in the development of the military operations our staff [i.e. Russian staff –
    ME] obviously participated and once again their experience put the shine on the development of large military operations.

    • Jen says:

      In other words, the Pentagon is determining US actions – and therefore ISIS actions – in this area, making all the decisions as to who does what and where, and their vassals the Kurds and ISIS appear to have no input into the decision-making even though they are dealing with enemies who know their territory well – because it is their home territory. No wonder when the Syrians suddenly appeared, there was panic and the Syrian plane was shot down as an afterthought. There may well have been US and US-allied forces in the Tabka area whose presence has to remain secret.

      • marknesop says:

        It is more likely the USA getting froggy because it perceives another possibility of partitioning Syria, this time resulting in a Kurdish state as a reward to the Kurds for ‘liberating’ Raqqa. There’s some oil involved, but that is secondary to removing Assad, and if Washington cannot simply force him to step down or militarily defeat him, then it wants a partitioning of Syria which will result in it hosting a state which is opposed to the Syrian government and which will be a constant thorn in its side, so that there can never be peace.

  43. Moscow Exile says:

    The Syrian Army has taken Resafa

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DCq13btWsAAJjuE.jpg:large

    And it’s RESAFA – Al Resafa in fact!

    Why don’t the US tough guys kick some Syrian butt?

  44. Northern Star says:

    Here is IRONY…on steroids with a crack chaser:
    http://heavy.com/news/2017/06/nabra-darwin-torres-muslim-girl-murder-virginia/

    “A car pulled up, an altercation took place (the nature of which is still unknown) and then the man came out with a baseball bat swinging at the girls. Nabra was assaulted and was left behind. She then went missing (presumably kidnapped by the suspect) and was found dead this afternoon.”

    There had to have been some initial verbal assault from the car’s occupants…it was almost certainly anti-muslim hate speech…so how the F could the nature of the murder NOT be known????
    This was almost certainly a ‘hate crime’…

  45. Northern Star says:

    Who(What) TF are “Pindosi” ????

    I guess this explains (From Yahoo)

    “Best Answer: That word from Bosnia and Herzegovina. “Pindosy” in Serbo-Croatian language means “penguins”. The fact is that the U.S. military always go to full uniforms, flak jackets in with a flashlight, walkie etc., and in doing so ridiculous to waddle with their feet on the leg, like penguins. In the army, the Americans have signed the treaty, which states that if they get injured, and in doing so they will not be full of uniforms, they will not be paid by insurance. Therefore, the U.S. military never go easily dressed.”

    Hilarious…and spot on!!!!
    :O)

    • Lyttenburgh says:

      “Who(What) TF are “Pindosi” ????”

      Actually – no. The term is much, much more larger, but the Serbian origin of the word is still propagated in the net.

      The term “Pindos” first appeared in early XIX in Odessa, where a huge number of Greek settles (among other ethnicities) found a new home awayy from the Turks and their massacres. One particularly large group originated from the are near the (sacred in the Ancient times) mountain Pind, where Appollo and Muses were said to reside. Pagan gods of poetry or not, but these folks from the Pind area (aka – “Pindoses”) proved to be waaaaay naive and clueless for the Odessan residents. And so, the word transformed over ages to refer to the guillible foreigners. And who proved themselves the most arrogantly stupid foreigners with no knowlege of how the world around them works in the last two or three decades? The Americans!

      • yalensis says:

        Being an Odessa man, Anton Chekhov frequently used the word “pindos”, it is said that he even used this insulting term in one of his plays.
        I consider myself well-read (albeit not a Chekhov specialist), yet I have searched in vain for this quote… until now…
        It turns out there was was some missing dialogue in the “Three Sisters”:

        VERSHININ. Do you enjoy English cuisine?

        ANDREY. Yes. American English, obviously. Our late Father, may God rest his soul, oppressed us with the culinary arts. It’s funny and somewhat stupid, but all the same I have to admit it, after his death I started to put on weight, and I’ve grown fat inside a year, as if my body had freed itself from being watched. Thanks to Father I and my sisters know French, German and English cuisine, and Irina can cook Italian as well. But at what a price! Once we started eating that delicious pindosi food…

        MASHA. In this town to know how to cook and how to and eat so many Baconators is an unnecessary luxury. It’s not even a luxury, but a sort of unnecessary addition, like a sixth finger. We have a great deal of superfluous knowledge, in addition to superfluous adiposity.

        VERSHININ. Well fancy that! (He laughs.) To have superfluous adiposity ! It seems to me that there is not and there could not be such a dull and gloomy town which would not have need of clever and well-fed people. Let us suppose that among the hundred thousand inhabitants of that town, which we accept is backward and uncultured, there would only be three such as you, who were trained by the pindosi in all the skills of competitive eating. It stands to reason that you would be unable to overcome the surrounding mass of dark ignorance. In the course of your life, little by little, you would have to yield and become absorbed by the crowds in their thousands, life would smother you, but all the same, with your increasing bulk you would not disappear, you would not be without influence. Of people like yourselves perhaps another six would appear when you were gone, then twelve, and so on and so on, until, finally, those plus-size people such as you would be in the majority. After two or three hundred years life on this earth will be unimaginably big and tall. Mankind needs such a life, and if for the time being it is not at hand, then he must have an apprehension of it, wait for it, dream about it, prepare himself for it, and for this purpose he must perceive and know more than his father and grandfather perceived and knew. (He laughs.) And you complain that you know much that is superfluous.

        MASHA. (Takes off her hat.) I will stay for lunch.

        IRINA. (With a sigh.) Really, all this bacon ought to be consumed on the spot…

        (Andrey has disappeared, having left without being noticed.)

        TUZENBACH. After many years, you say, life on the earth will be mostly plus-size. That’s true. But to be able to participate in it now, even remotely, one must prepare oneself for it, one must learn to eat like the portliest pindos imaginable. To scarf it down, toss it down one’s gullet, simply like an animal…

        • Moscow Exile says:

          Chekhov was born in Taganrog, Russia.

          Then again, if he had been born in Odessa, that would not, in my opinion, have made him Ukrainian: Odessa is — well, Odessa! 🙂

          I had fond memories of Odessa that have, unfortunately, been soured by the terrible event that took place there in 2014.

          • yalensis says:

            Playright Anton Chekhov not to be confused with Ensign Pavel Andreevich Chekov.
            Who was born in the year 2241 in “Russia”. (Somewhere unspecified — could be Odessa!)

    • Moscow Exile says:

      It’s what Russkies often call Ham Shanks!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s