The Credibility Gap That Ought To Be

Uncle Volodya says, “The habit of disguising ideology as expertise has created a deficit of legitimacy.”

Leap aboard the Lyttenburgh Omnibus; what follows is a looonnngg guest post by Lyttenburgh, one which is going to be like the blind men who are trying to describe an elephant. “An elephant is like a rope”, says the one who is holding the trunk. “An elephant is more like a tree” says the one standing at the foreleg. “An elephant is warm and squishy”, says the one standing….well, never mind that for now. I suspect it is going to be about different things for different readers, but I believe I can promise it will make you think. We are all aware that English is Lyttenburgh’s second language, and he has a unique – though accomplished – delivery which I have not edited (much) so as to preserve its colourful flavour. Without further ado, light it up, Lyttenburgh!

On the current problems of Shamanism of the Global North.

“Let’s decide already,”  the PhD began seriously,  “what we’re talking about.

Okay. The second question: how do you personally feel about the problem of shamanism in certain areas of the North?

The PhDs laughed. Gleb Kapustin also smiled. And patiently waited for the PhDs to finish laughing.

“No, you can, of course, pretend that there is no such problem. I’m happy to laugh with you, too… ” Gleb smiled generously again. Especially he smiled at the PhDs wife, also a PhD, a PhDess, so to speak.  “But from that, the problem as such will not cease to exist. Right?”

” Are you serious about all of this?”  asked Valya.

“With your permission, ”  Gleb Kapustin rose and bowed slightly to the PhDess. She blushed.  “The question, of course, is not a global one, but, from our point of view, it would be interesting to know.”

“But which question? ” exclaimed the PhD.

“Your attitude to the problem of shamanism. ” Valya again involuntarily laughed. But she quickly stopped and said to Gleb, “Excuse me, please.”

“It’s nothing”, said Gleb. ” I understand that maybe I did not ask a question within your specialty…”

“There is no such problem!”  the PhD again rushed with a categorical answer. That was his mistake. He should’ve known better. Now Gleb laughed. And said:

“Well, that solves it!”

The local folks looked at the PhD.

“Good riddance”,  Gleb said. “There is no problem, but these …” Gleb showed something intricate with his hands,  “they dance, they beat their tambourines… Yes?” But if you wish… ” Gleb repeated ” If-You-Wish they do not exist. Right?”

Vasiliy Shukshin

Paging through old blogposts of the fallen Russia-watcher, I’ve been always thinking about Russia and the fates (c). “How come?” and “Why?” are the questions I most often ask myself – facepalming all the way.

For my more than 6 years of Russia-Watching (as, if you will, an “insider” from Russia’s side) I saw a… process… so to speak… of this field both changing and staying the same. i.e. I saw a general trend of it getting worse and worse. No, seriously – the book of Ecclesiastes makes more fun reading, and leaves a much more positive lasting impression afterwards, than any attempt to delve deep into the Wonderland, which is the collective world of those who, correctly or not, are considered to be gurus of Russia Watching.

If you’d like a (probably completely inaccurate, but very colorful) comparison, then the modern and much lauded Global Village of the highly opinionated people is a village indeed. They have at their fingertips the highest amount of data ever accessible to humanity and who either don’t access it at all, or access it without thinking, replacing with this raw, undiluted knowledge without the understanding.

But don’t worry – the globalized world of all-knowing know-nothings is not really a Village! It’s a Cave. Populated by the primitive cavemen. Yup.

Primitive early humans had their own primitive, early worldview. One of the many things they did believe in was the Magic. Before going out and try to hunt a savage beast that could easily defeat and devour one of them, they took all possible precautions. Besides arming themselves with spears they will surely go and visit their local Guru, Shaman, a Wise Person, reputedly all-knowing about the unsafe world beyond and above. Here in Guru’s personal Cave (who, despite not engaging oneself in the daily chores of the Tribe, was always well-fed and taken care of no matter what) they underwent the Ritual, which was, they were assured, to make them successful in their hunt and helping them slay the Beast. After working themselves up into rage, the hunters will then participate in the piece de resistance of the ritual – they will come to one particular wall in the Shaman’s cave where the dreaded Beast is pictured and start hurling their spears at it, imaging that this flat surface with some pigment on it is something more, that it IS the Beast itself, and that they with their sticks do magic – that they are harming the Beast even without engaging it.

Our continuing existence today demonstrates that the Hunters of yore were, mostly, successful in their beast-slaying food-procuring expeditions. The same cannot be said about modern Us. It’s because of the progress, and the urgent need for one. Primitive Hunters were not content to stay Primitive – they had all the incentives to see their “Spears”, to be something more than Pointy Sticks, they fought the Beast, survived the encounters, gained invaluable experience and passed it on to other hunters. Moreover, they took a logical jump from “engaging your enemy from afar” on the example of spear-throwing sessions during the Ur-example of the future “5 Minutes of Hate” at the cave painting of the Beast, and they DID invent something to make it a reality. Because more often than not Shaman’s magic sucked. Still, the sly wily bugger got his share of the kill and was taken care of.

Nowadays, wherever you cast your gaze you find instead our modern-age Cavemen engaged in fighting their Beast of choice in its harmless, painting-on-the-wall incarnation, and calling that process a real fight – while abstaining from the real, physical, up close thing completely. This arrangement is to the mutual enjoyment of both the highly opinionated Hunters/Warriors for such and such cause, who simply MUST have their very valuable opinion (and we are told that ALL opinions are valuable, even the wrong ones, and that trying to suppress the factually incorrect opinions is a despicable Censorship punishable with the Civilian Death) while avoiding making any effort over themselves and to the modern day. And Wise People/Gurus can still live in comfort while basically doing nothing, compared to their less wily and sly Cavemen.

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There shall not be found among you any one that makes his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that uses divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer.”

– Deuteronomy 18:10-11

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Magic(k) operates on one basic principle – it works with the Symbol (image, representation, effigy, etc.) of the Target with the aim to influence it – like throwing Pointy Sticks at the painted Beast. Or the Symbol of an Action is enacted, to bring forward said action in reality – like beating in the drums, calling forth the rain. i.e., if the event “A” is followed by the event “B”, then in order to cause the event “B” you must symbolically recreate the event “A”.

These truly venerable principles are alive and well to this day. Symbolic dumping of “Russian” (actually – Latvian) vodka by the proponents of the Universal and LGBTIQ+ rights serves the ritual denunciation of the “widely condemned” ™ Russian law about “gay propaganda”. Changing your social media userpic to #JeSuis[something currently trending] serves to show solidarity and (magic(k)al) reversion of the aftermath of this or that tragedy. Ritualistic demolition of yet another statue to Lenin in now Free and Independent Ukraine ™ serves as the Symbolical (i.e. – magic(k)al!) act of severing all ties with the past, while summoning the Bright European Future. Also, the now toppled bronze Ilyich could always be sold to the scrapyard dealers .

It might all look funny, clumsy or even sickly adorable – on the outside. Unfortunately, the laws of the magic(k) are implacable and are not the stuff of the jokes. In the end, the most powerful medium and symbol to conduct it is the Blood. Seeing that beating the drums failed to summon the rain, Shamans and Gurus of the world (and blindingly trusting them ordinary population) won’t take the cue that, you know folks – magic doesn’t work, so you better start working hard if you want to survive. No – they will resort to the plan “B”, where “B” stands for “Blood”. They always do. When all the whining and highly publicized coverage by the Free and Independent Media of this or that “peaceful protest” fail to result in the desired magic(k)al effect – a Sacred Victim is bound to be sacrificed. If your country 3 years after the glorious Peremoga of the Revolution of Dignity looks worse than under the Zlochinna Tyranny – you find the scapegoats, lots of them, and sic the crowd (and the TerrBats of the NatzGuard) on them. And when you lose elections to a Deplorable – use your magic(k) to start a Witch Hunt.

Nowhere is this Shamanistic, magical approach more apparent than in the sphere of Russia-Watching, Russian analysis and, the so-called “Putinology” (a personified “Kremlinology” v. 2.0.). The sad thing is – people, so-called professionals, “respected scholars” with a lengthy shop-list of awards and recognitions, published in all handshakable mainstream Free and Independent Western Media ™ – virtually all of them SUCK. And when they suck – it blows. Nevertheless, the wide desperate and ignorant cavemen masses of the so-called “thinking” people keep coming to them, not hindered by the fact that the faces of their Holy Gurus are always smeared by crap they eat regularly.

One of such lauded, respectable and nearly worshipped by both the ignorant masses and the political class of the Western establishment (which is also none the wiser about Russia than the people they rule over) is Mark Galeotti,  owner and proprietor of the “In Moscow’s Shadows” blog full of self-aggrandizement and Russophobia du jour.

Actually, it doesn’t matter who in particular we gonna discuss as the example of the present day horrifically degraded level of the Russia-Watching professional (read: paid) or not. They’re all more or less the same. Modern Gurus fulfill several important functions to their easily panic-stricken passive-aggressive and tad bit butthurt flock. First of all, there is a task of Explaining the World. It’s done in the typical Shamanistic way, i.e. with as little scientific support as possible, while committing an absolute maximum of false cause and effect equivalences. Why the rain pours and the lightning flashes in the sky? Why, because the Sky Spirits are unhappy with us! Is it true that Putin is trying to re-create Russian Empire/USSR? Why, of course – otherwise why would he order the return of the old Soviet anthem and embrace the pre-Revolutionary paraphernalia? This type of “analysis”.

This magical worldview operates on providing the Masses with 2 essential thing. First – the Poison. People are told that the world is ultimately Unknowable by them (emphasis here – on “them”). This serves, primarily, as a venue to scare these poor “them” (because, what’s bigger than the fear of Unknown?), while, simultaneously putting them at a resigned ease of a wounded animal, who found itself sucked into the swamp. People in the West don’t really know a thing beyond the obvious stereotypes about Russia – now you ensure that it stays the same, by claiming that any knowledge they access pertaining to the real picture of Russia and which is not vetted and approved by the Shamans is a false one. Thus, not only the minds of the people are poisoned – entire wellsprings of knowledge are poisoned as well, along with the desire to independently go forth and get the world around you known.

Pre-existing fears are worked with, i.e. they are pandered to and exaggerated. Everyone now in the West knows about “Russian Aggression in the Baltics” ™. It doesn’t matter that any given American can hardly point out where Estonia is, or who knows a thing or two about Lithuanian medieval history, but your average member of the Flock knows like a Gospel (now fallen out of use, ‘cause, you have to actually read it) that The Russians shall not have Constantinople Vlad Putin must be stopped from invading Europe. The best way to conduct that is to be super aggressive towards Russia. Pathetic dangerous weaklings “understand only the language of  force” (c) and “the negotiation from the position of strength” (c) are the must. The West is bound to Win! After all, “We’ve fought the Bear before”!

See? Our Shamans prove themselves the Medicine Men! After delivering poison, they are right here peddling their Cure, while ensuring that they will remain the monopolists on the market and that no one will denounce their snake-oil wonder drug as a fraud. In this, they are no different from drug pushers indeed – they get the people “hooked” on their expensive poison, and then use the same poison to “cure” them from their developed craving addiction… for a time.

They are a class of  parasites (both in the biological and the Ancient Roman sense). And they are here to stay and feed.

________________________________________________________________I.47. If a man or a woman practice sorcery, and they be caught with it in their hands, they shall prosecute them, they shall convict them. The practicer of magic they shall put to death.

– Assyrian Law, c. 1075 BC.

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Magic(k) is awe-inspiring to the people ignorant of its inner workings. When your computer suffers some trouble, glitch or problem – as they often do – you, for the most part, go to techno-shamans of the Technical Service, who, by means arcane and profane (the last thing is obligatory) try to cajole the Machine Spirit to perform the task properly. Awed by their shiny instruments, mysterious slang and ease with which they make the impossible (for us, mere mortals) become a reality, an adoration replaces all other thoughts in the brain. So we are willing to follow their advice, to do as they say in fear of, accidentally, incurring the displeasure of the Machine Spirit again, and don’t try to do anything ourselves.

At the same time we are willing to pay any price they charge, to acquire any bell and whistle they claim would be working as a magic(k) talisman and ward for our temperamental Machine Spirit, and, most of all, we are left beholden to them. After all – you’ve just witnessed a work of magic(k), something impossible (for you) made possible (by them). How can you question this authority?

The tragic fact of human life is that we can’t know everything. None of us has the time, or inclination, or the capacity to become an all rounded specialist in all possible fields. So we will have to delegate our trust to often complete strangers, who are specialists in their respected field and that other people will trust us in return, when they will be in need of our skills and knowledge. Ideally, such a system is easy to maintain. If you do deliver a net positive, satisfactory or even above the average result as a specialist there is a good chance that the people around you will keep regarding you as the worthy depository of their trust. If you repeatedly fail to do that due to any combination of factors, the trust in you will disappear sooner than the unlucky caveman hunter’s body parts into a bestial maw.

But we don’t live in the ideal world – and yet strive to perfect the world currently existing, as to make it more resembling said ideal. Rightfully not trusting human nature, we have Rules and Regulations since time immemorial. Amazingly straightforward Assyrian laws punished the architect of a collapsed house with death, and the doctor, whose patient dies due to his actions, should also have his life taken. Thus it’s been ensured that even if the people themselves would be incapable of punishing the one whom they trusted, there will be some external force (e.g. the state) that will do so.

None of these seems to work with the post-modern magic(k) of the Gurus and the Shamans of the Global North. They suffer no consequences for misplaced trust, for either making mistakes or lying outright repeatedly to the very people, who held them, previously, to be the Voices of God(s). They always have an appropriate explanation! What, your horoscope predicted a good fortune and success in all endeavors in the coming week but the opposite happened? Why, the Venus was in Mercury, d’uh! Russia failed to act in accordance with your prediction? Oh, you know – those Russians! Sounds lame? Because it is. It is lame. But no one is calling their bluff – the Flock lacks both the knowledge and the will to exercise this knowledge in order to get their Gurus in line. And, besides – the Shamans are on your side, buddy! Arguing against them is like, siding with the Beast – the dark, always hungry ravenous Beast that’s simultaneously everywhere in the surrounding Darkness beyond the cozy Cave – and nowhere to be found.

By means foul and fair the so-called Russia-Watching experts acquired their own “street-cred” years ago – and now they just live off it, like the rentiers. Maybe there was genuinely a time when they were spry and active, and did try to make an effort over themselves while writing articles, conducting the research or pontificating on this or that issue. Say, when the field of Russian studies and Russia watching became a barren desert following the collapse of the USSR in 1991, only to become a hunting ground for a few crazies with outdated or just simply too wrong to sustain beliefs, they established their respectability just by stating things less crazy and more grounded in reality. When everyone and their dog were barking, that “Russia is dying out fast” (c) or “The territorial collapse of Russia will happen any moment now” (c), they cited hard data showing the amazingly persistent (and still alive and kicking among the Flock) myth about the “Dying Bear” to be a matter of fiction. As for the “Crussionality” of Russia, they had to be more circumspect – after all, denying it outright would be akin to saying that the Beast will always threaten the Flock. So, if these Shamans had the “Hawk” as their Totem, they just postponed the “inevitable” (while not contradicting it), while their colleagues following the “Dove” spirit claimed that the Beast, while still sub-human animal with no positive qualities at all, is too old and frail now and of no danger to the Flock.

With their credentials established, trust gained and then steady flow of income assured, the Gurus became lazy and opinionated. They no longer conducted the actual research or used their brainpower for the lowly matter of real analysis. No, they found out that they can still maintain their life-style, all perks and benefits plus the love and adulation of the not so Enlightened Masses, simply by conducting the most primitive of the rituals. Instead of Research and Facts, they now peddled as the Real Thing their own Opinion. Their opinion was so wrapped in thunder and bluster of the ritualistic magic(k), that the Flock (already not the ones to question their trusted objects of worship) was incapable of distinguishing something that might not be true with the truth itself.

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“…You, who talk of superstitions, have you realized that this house is a house of spells? Don’t you know it is chock full of charms and magic rites, only they are all done backwards, as the witches said the Lord’s Prayer? Can you imagine how a witch would feel if two words of the prayer came right by accident? Crundle saw that this clown from the country was reversing all the spells of his own black art. If salt was once thrown over the shoulder, all the great work might yet be undone…”

– Gilbert K. Chesterton, The House of the Peacock

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To showcase how the supposedly “professional” (read: paid) analysis of Russia, its past, present and future, have become a shallow exercise of empty formulas and chants of no substance, I’ve chosen the recent activity of the Big Name in the World of Russia Watching – Mark Galeotti. My hope is that my attempt will show all those who are willing to see, that this one Guru (and many, many like him) is not only “naked” like a pretentious king from Andersen’s fairy tale, but also covered in some icky and non-hygienic substance of repugnant manner.

With the power granted to me by Time itself, I will dissect and analyze some of the “analytical pieces” and predictions made by the esteemed (by some) Mr. Galeotti in the November 2015 – March 2016 period, plus some earlier predictions made about 2016 in general, and compare it with the reality at hand – nearly a year after these “prophecies” were made.

Mr. Galeotti is not a shy one. He rushes head-first into the ugly business of making predictions about Russia’s future, knowing full well he won’t suffer the consequences. This “Three Russias” fantasy by Galeotti reads like a “program statement” of what he wants to be true and in accordance to which he conducts his further analytical activity – ignoring the facts and changing circumstances when needed. The following theses were made by Galeotti, the all-knowing Guru of How Russia works:

A) Russia is facing increased dissatisfaction of the general population with the “Regime”, as it is exemplified with the “increased” labor “unrest” (gee, if he calls the heavy trucks dalnoboishiki drivers protest an “unrest”, then how’d we call a riot in Ferguson and all the fracas past Trump’s election?).

B) The three causes of the “failing standards of life” of Russians are the fall of the oil prices, the international sanctions and “official corruption”. We are not told how, why and to what degree.

C) On Duma Elections of 2016: “[I]t will crucial to the government to ensure a high turnout and strong support for its chosen candidates”. Why? We are not told why. We are kinda bludgeoned to assume that low (as in – European and American low) turnout in elections would be something bad for the “Regime”. We are also told that while not an outright revolt (as some Westerners did hope back in early 2016!), the combination of “active anger from the working class (increasingly Putin’s main support base)” and the krealkian bitching over (naturally!) “blatant rigging of the elections” could “prove a serious embarrassment… – and a major challenge” for Putin. He also predicted that “the more vocal and effective Kremlin critics [will be] systematically excluded, vilified and pressurised”.

D) Finally – the main part. The pulsating core of Galeotti’s Credo, on which he bases all his analysis – an attempt of strawmanning and an illusion of choice. It’s a staple of Russia watching. A must-have. In reality, it’s nothing more or better than a juvenile faux “prison folklore” attempt to troll your equally juvenile (and, therefore, not so bright) interlocutor, with the “riddle”, when your interlocutor is faced with the moral dilemma of choosing sitting arrangements for oneself and one’s mother, while having to do with two chairs of  unusual construction. In Galeotti’s edition these “two chairs” are rebranded as “Three Russias” (no proof provided to, well, prove his point that they exist in the first place, besides the usual bleating of chants and spells) and Putin is forced by Mighty Marko to deal with the dilemma – or else! And no matter what Puny Putin (compared to Mighty Marko) chooses – he will lose, and his Regime will face the inevitable, right-around-the-corner-but-not-quite-immediate collapse.

E) Mr. Galeotti calls his exercise in soothsaying “a potentially upbeat one” (c). That, I remind you, was done by the people and for the people who considered the election of HRC an inevitability.

That’s the core of his predictions for Russia in 2016. Well, how did he fare in this regard? Abysmal. No – pathetic. Yeah, that’s the word – pathetic.

Galeotti insisted that the upcoming (for him, now safely passed for us) Duma elections of 2016 in Russia will be seen as “a referendum on the regime” (c). Whyyyyy? We are not told. Again. Nevertheless, United Russia won the elections, steamrolling through all opposition like an unstoppable Juggernaut. Butthurt (as always) free and independent media-sources had to admit that EdRo won fair and square – i.e. without unnecessary ballot-stuffing, carousel voting and other vote-rigging shenanigans. Galeotti also began with a strawman in his prediction, claiming that only the UR and “its affiliated pseudo-parties” will control the Duma in the aftermath of the elections, while all brave, talented and potentially successful Real Opposition Parties would be brutally shafted by the Regime.

If we are to believe Mr. Galeotti’s narrative, then according to dear Marko, “the liberal leader” Mikhail Kasyanov’s ParNaS, Grigoriy Yavlinskiy’s “Yabloko” and once again re-animated pathetic rotten liberal undead of a party “Party of  Growth” (all very handshakable so-called liberal, democratic parties), plus 30+ “independent candidates” funded and supported by Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s “Open Russia”, were Kremlin Stooges (™). Because the Regime not only allowed them to run in the 2016 elections, it also (unbelievable!) allowed them to have a free time on the national (read: Kremlin controlled TV) where they amazed the commoners with their agitation and propaganda, and also engaged each other in the political debates – uncensored and unhindered. Horror, horror!

And with all these incentives, the long-suffering Russian people still voted for the “Party of the Crooks and Thieves” (™), plus for the Systemic Opposition. Even Yabloko finally fell below 3% of the vote, a direct result of their anti-Crimean rhetoric – not some dark Kremlinite magic. Galeottis of this world not only exploit other people’s ignorance for their own profit – they are themselves often clueless and ignorant when it comes to Russian realities, of which they are supposed to be “experts”. All and any accusations of something untoward done by the “Party of  Power”, or of some suppression of the votes for the “True Opposition”, i.e. these typical conspiracy theories that “the vote results doesn’t really reflect the opinion of Russian people” (remember how earlier I mentioned Shaman’s desire to poison the well of knowledge?) comes crashing down if you compare the results of regional elections with the federal. The correlation is obvious to anyone – both the total percentage of votes given to United Russia, let alone in the number of the single-mandate districts won by the EdRo candidates, not to mention the general pattern of the voter’s turnout for the last 2 years.

Elections happened and… nothing happened. One might expect this from some old, boring, “civilized” European country, but, apparently, not from Russia. Because, indeed, there was a faction expecting blood-curdling news coming from  Northern Mordor – a faction supported, to a degree, by a team of professional soothsayers like Galeotti. For them, Russian “Regime” must time and again “prove” its legitimacy to… someone. Once again – they don’t regard Russia as a normal country. No one really spends so much ink and energy writing how, say, Danish government must once again prove their “legitimacy”. Why? Apparently, Danish legitimacy could be sourced by the Heavenly Mandate coming from the twin capitals of the Western World – Washington, D.C., and the Brussels. Works kinda like the Pope’s blessing for the monarch… only with less theology. Oh, and on the inside these old, boring, predictable European countries have their own Regimes legitimacy ensured by the Competent Minority, i.e. by the Creative Class and Big Capital.

Russia, understandably, does not fit into this Procrustean frame – it frankly never did, what with Russia being an Orthodox country and the so-called European Christendom starting out as Roman Catholic. The way Galeotti wrote everything he wrote demonstrates not only his ignorance. While soaking every line on every page of his diatribes with an enormous dose of disdain, typical for a person, who won’t work for a living with his hands even if his own Shamanistic life would depend on it, he stumbled upon the fact that the working class Russians (i.e. the absolute Majority of Russians) DID support Putin. This, paradoxically, makes him less legitimate from the Western point of view – as Galeotti will surely tell you.

So the Gurus had to lie. They had to present the “the growing rash of local labour and social protests” (without providing evidence, naturally), as the proof that Putin’s personal popularity is made up, and that the “unrest”, or better yet (for the West), the proverbial Russian Revolt (Senseless and Merciless (™)) is around the corner, as the facts – not as their deluded opinions.

Galeotti, in his “upbeat” prophecy about Russia in 2016, talked about “labour unrest”, “suicide rates” and “support for local civic initiatives” seen by everyone with the eyes to see as the sure signs of the Regime’s unraveling and the quiet, huddled masses of Russians reacting to that. Did it come to pass?

A little bit of history about the “labour question”, and then we will tune back to the “Downtrodden Russian masses”, and how they reacted to the policy of the Regime. First, the data about the strikes in the Russian Federation’s modern history:

By Heaven Above – what do I see here!? The peak of the strikes happened during the Blessed Democratic 90s?! Why – the West, probably, doubted the legitimacy of Boris Yeltsin’s (Truly) Bloody Regime and predicted with glee its downfall any day now! And the second peak coincides with the still very controversial and the one and only, to boot, genuinely widely unpopular reforms of Putin – the so-called “monetization” of the benefits for the retirees and receivers of the social payments. Were there also talks about the Regime’s imminent collapse then?

The answer to both of these questions is a resolute “No”! Boris the Drunk was the Friend of the West. And even post-Khodorkovsky Putin was still fairly handshakable person, whose soul-possessing trait had been confirmed by the today’s newest darling of the Free and Independent Press (and back then – by Buffoon in Chief) George W. Bush.

Right, but what about the 2008-2012 period? After all, the World Financial Crises surely had done its share of damage to the Regime in Russia! What about the pinnacle of the working class protest, the “strikes” in this period?

According to not “neutered by the Kremlin” yet Lenta Ru, 2012 saw the absolute 5-year maximum of worker strikes in Russia. The progression since the beginning of the World Financial Crisis was the following:

2008 – 93

2009 – 272

2010 – 205

2011 – 262

These were the alarming days, full of (for the time being) vague allusions, like the fact that according to one think-tank’s research, the index of social anxiety has reached the early 90s level. These, I remind you, were the times of the fashionable Bolotnaya Fronde, and when a not so insignificant number of the so-called professionals fell into the trap of wishful thinking, passed as their own analyses.

And so – what can be said about Neo-Putin labour protest?

Huh. How odd! One can imagine that the egg-headed Gurus (with no knowledge of Russia, labour relations or economics) just chanced upon a trend that was, well, trending right before their eyes and then just simply extrapolated it into the future because, obviously, what else is our life if not one giant exponent? Just ask the Sci-Fi authors from the 1950s about the all-conquering atom. Or their counterparts slightly down the historical road who couldn’t ever imagine that humanity by 2010s will not only abandon all attempts to break through to other planets, but instead trust blindly the commercial spacecraft design to a modern version of the carney-barker and all-round fraud Elon Musk. And while you are doing these inquiries, go and troll “futurists” of 1920-30s on whether the fabulously novel invention known as the “airplane” managed to replace the car as the go-to common mean of transportation for the masses.

In short, those who have eyes and can see are gonna notice that despite all doom and gloom, the deepest heart desires of Galeottis of this world failed to materialize. Moreover – Russia have withstood much more serious problems and “unrest” with not much ado.

Right, what’s next? Suicide rates? Anti-Kremlin feisty pro-liberast RBK reports that 2016 was the 50-year all time low in suicides in Russia (yes, that’s right – lowest in FIFTY years), and that the trend of them dropping yearly was not interrupted in 2014-2015 period by the “annexation of Crimea” or the sanctions. Galeottis must be inconsolable! How come Russians are not killing themselves in droves over the lack of jamon and having to withstand the “diplomatic isolation of Russia”!?

Galeotti singles out something ambiguous as the “support for local civic initiatives”, as if it must be something anti-governmental by default. He doesn’t supply us with criterion by which we can judge what he means by that. Did the Russians became suddenly enamored with the foreign NGOs, or the foreign agent local NGOs? Nope. Did they vote for the “true opposition” in the protest of the Regime? No. Are we more likely to embrace freaks and weirdos, who claim to be the “true voice of the Russian civil society”? No again. Is there any sympathy for the “artist” (sorry for the word artist) Pavlensky among the ordinary Russians and his “art performances”, i.e. the acts of criminal hooliganism? Na-ah. Are Russians becoming in their values more like Westerners? What a silly question.

On the other hand – you know what’s true? That by the end of 2016, 81% of Russians considered themselves happy. And that during “crisis” 2014-2016 the index of happiness of the Russians never fell below 80%. Want more Zradas for Russophobes? I’m always happy to oblige! Nearly 150 000 Russians have returned to their ancestral Homeland in 2016 alone, thanks to the state-sponsored program of repatriation – 30 000 of them from the EU countries. Hard year, hard year indeed! Well, so much for the downtrodden masses.

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I know of a magic wand, but it is a wand that only one or two may rightly use, and only seldom. It is a fairy wand of great fear, stronger than those who use it – often frightful, often wicked to use. But whatever is touched with it is never again wholly common; whatever is touched with it takes a magic from outside the world.

“What is your wand?” cried the King, impatiently.

“There it is,” said Wayne; and pointed to the floor, where his sword lay flat and shining.

“The sword!” cried the King; and sprang up straight on the daïs.

“Yes, yes,” cried Wayne, hoarsely. “The things touched by that are not vulgar; the things touched by that-“

King Auberon made a gesture of horror.

– Gilbert K. Chesterton, The Napoleon of Nottinghill.

________________________________________________________________

Another quite predictable augury by Galeotti was made regarding the ultimate “futile” attempts of Russian “intervention” in Syria, with this ageing Guru demonstrating what an agile contortionist he is, turning himself into a human-pretzel, trying to unite his desire to jump on “Russia’s Syrian Quagmire” (™) bandwagon (he uses the term “mire”) and to dodge the blame for a factually incorrect and sometimes simply lying narrative of this prophesy.

The genre of “Russia in Syria” predictions is yet another one of those, when the supposedly mature and thinking analysts fall to the level of the above-mentioned prison themed “riddles”, with which they try to “contain” Russia in reality. Mark Galeotti surely does it a lot in his other “program work” of  “Russian Intervention in Syria can only Slow Down Assad’s Defeat” (25 November 2015).

As he points out elsewhere, Mighty Marko truly believes that Putin is surrounded by lying sycophants and, therefore, has no idea about the reality around him. These lackeys are either too afraid of the “Tsar” or have ulterior motives for distorting the information. Naturally, we are told to simply accept this dogma with no proof presented – and then carry on with the wild-wild ride which is the thought-train of one certain professional (read: paid) Russia Watcher, who, subsequently, bases constantly all of his conclusions on something he didn’t even bother to prove.

Magic of spells, chants and words is amazing thing – and as helpful as Dale Carnegie’s self-help books which, nonetheless, are sold by the millions. So it’s no wonder, that Galeotti resorts to it, repeating ad nauseum all the usual clichés and tropes about post-2014 Russia, that it is “diplomatically isolated”, that it’s “bogged down in the Ukraine”, that “attempts to persuade the West to lift its sanctions regime have failed” (no arguing here that Russia ever tried to do that in the first place!) and that Russia spreads chaos around the world for… evulz. Couple the fact that this meme (“Chaos as the only Russian export”) with, apparently, the sincere dogmatic belief of Galeotti that Putin is not a rational actor, and you have a recipe to create an ideal villain for the Western propaganda to crush repeatedly from the safe confines of their Cave.

Galeotti gives voice to his belief when saying the following:

“[T]hey’d like to get out of that particular mire, it’s costing them money and political capital, so given that the West isn’t willing to cooperate, they intervened in Syria and more or less said: “Look, we are willing to play nice in Syria as long as you basically allow us to rectify ourselves from the Donbas,” which is really what they’re after.”

Ah, Mr. Galeotti, Mr. Galeotti, sir! When you say “and [the Russians] more or less said” do you have, more or less, proof or is this yet another of your opinions pulled out of your all-knowing  aphedron? Hey, did you see what I just used here? I ran with the idea (unproved!) that Mr. Galeotti, literally, pulls insubstantial ideas out of his rectal orifice, and then capitalized on that claim even more by going an extra mile, with the claim that Mr. Galeotti’s end of the feed tract possesses the absolute knowledge! And you know what? This is exactly what Professor Galeotti does ALL THE TIME in his so-called analysis. Galeottis of the Russia-Watching world simply dictate us the terms of the narrative. You dare to disagree with them? Bash-bash you on your stupid head, you… stupid caveman!

Pfft – who cares about other damned facts?! Not Galeotti, that’s for sure. Otherwise, he’d know that Russian Ministry of Defenselily-livered market liberal zealot and ex-Finance Minister Kudrin, sickeningly handshakable kvetching hole of RBK and openly Russophobic rag Financial Times were of one opinion – the military operation costs Russia mere peanuts, figuratively speaking, probably in the area of 10% of the overall military budget. And it became apparent to none other than the guys in the Pentagon just one month after Galeotti made his prediction, and 3 (three) months since the inception of the campaign. The same article stresses that:

Russia’s intervention also appears to have strengthened its hand at the negotiating table. In recent weeks, Washington has engaged more closely with Russia in seeking a settlement to the war and backed off a demand for the immediate departure of Assad as part of any political transition.”

There you go, Mr. Galeottis’ claim about “wasting” political capital – in the trash can where it belongs. And that was, I remind you, just late 2015. Further down the road to the future (our present) all think-tankers will keep wailing and gnashing their teeth, that Russia “cheated” and “unfairly” inserted itself in ranks of decision makers and lords of fate for the entire Greater Middle East. Where was the promised “tradeoff” of Assad for Donbas – or vice versa? I remember how such speculations were all the rage for anyone who is someone in the tight knit of professional (read: paid) Russia watchers.

No, we are told – “Ignore that! Don’t pay attention to the man behind the curtain”. Didn’t Marko – The Magnificent Prestidigitator! – explain to the dumb-stuck audience in no-uncertain terms that:

Assad’s losing, the ground offensive they launched has bogged down, they’ve had a few minor gains but nothing else. All this current intervention can do is slow down the rate at which Assad losses, that’s the best they can really offer.”

and

Perversely, although everyone thought that Russia went to Syria to save Assad, what they are actually doing is going there so that Assad can be negotiated out rather than just losing power or facing a coup or whatever.”

And when asked about Putin’s prospects in 2016 vis-à-vis the West:

He basically burned his bridges in terms of friendship [with the West]: No one is going to be a friend of Russia in the West under the current regime”.

It was, I remind you, late November 2015, when all interviews with the Big Names of Russia-Watching were the same. I wonder – does Professor Galeotti feel himself, now, in the Year of Our Lord 2017, a tad bit… stupid? Humbled? Proved wrong? Or does the money he receives regularly for his chutzpah-filled auspices indeed, act as the best healing balm for a so-called expert proved time after time wrong and full of it?

Because come late February of 2016 and Mark Galeotti was singing a different kind of tune. Suddenly, a heretic notion has wormed its way into the esteemed Guru’s cranium – and writings. His Faithful would suddenly have to deal with the uncomfortable to even read and comprehend notion that “many of the rebel groups, some of which are little more than bandits and warlords’ retinues” are, maybe, not so brave, courageous and democratic after all. And saying out loud, in the early 2016, that “the rebels are a ragtag collection of units, leaders and movements, with often wildly different aims and approaches” – gah, what made the Professor so courageous after all?! Did the Kremlin pay him to write that?

What about yet another Downfall of the Regime (™) , propagated by the West – the one of Bashar al-Assad? Nothing… and Galeotti’s moaning could be practically heard while reading this comment:

The Assad regime, which had been on the defensive and even facing potential fragmentation, has been stabilized and revived. Moscow’s claim to a say in Syria’s future cannot now meaningfully be challenged.”

But-but-but! What about Russia’s diplomatic isolation then?! What about “wasted political capital”?

In the process, Western attempts to isolate Russia have been all but abandoned — most vividly shown in January, when US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland sat down with Russian Presidential Representative Vladislav Surkov to talk about the future of eastern Ukraine.”

Obviously upset (and extremely… astral-fisted) Marko the Magnificent had to admit:

“[T]he Russians defied Western expectations and their own track record. The furious “optempo” (operational tempo) was maintained, with sometimes a hundred sorties a day being launched. Planes were generally kept flying; there were not the disastrous mechanical failures one could have predicted.”

By withdrawing, Putin avoids getting sucked into an open-ended commitment, reassures the Russian public that this is no rerun of the 10-year Soviet war in Afghanistan, presents himself as a peacemaker, and reduces the risks to his forces in Syria….”

Suddenly, our brave and outspoken Mr. Galeotti becomes more and more morbidly subdued and quiet on that. What a miraculous transformation indeed – no doubt, a result of this particular Guru’s constant exercises aimed to open all of his chakras and clean his Third Eye’s connection with the Supreme Realm of Gods and Spirits! And, btw – from this very moment onward his articles will go downhill – less blister and jingoism and more whining and pleading. Improvement in quality? Naaaah.

________________________________________________________________

Modern civilization has bred a race with brains like those of rabbits and we who are the heirs of the witchdoctor and the voodoo. We artists who have been so long the despised are about to take over control”.

– Ezra Pound

________________________________________________________________

But there were other – many-many of them! – screw ups in the analytical and saying of sooths field by Mark Galeotti – less global but screwy none the less. Here are some of them, “worthy” of mention.

1) Galeotti infamously claimed on the pages of such “august” magazine as  “Foreign Policy” that Putin “has even physically withdrawn…”, that “in today’s Russia, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu appears not to have been part of the final discussions on whether to seize Crimea” and, most of all, that Sergei Lavrov – of all people! – is sidelined by the increasingly insular and paranoid Putin. Obligatory unsupported claims of “a distinct neo-Soviet flavor that doesn’t even play well on domestic TV” from Galeotti are… obligatory.

This moment is probably as good as any to inform the general public that Professor Mark Galeotti has neither Diplomatic, nor military, no, Heaven forbid, actual political (as being in charge of anything) background. He, as I’ve been saying since the beginning of this essay, is a Guru – a person lacking needed experience in the vast majority of the spheres and who, nonetheless, gets his valuable and purely dilettante’s opinion taken seriously by everyone.

This is also a good moment to draw your attention to the fact that Galeotti claims to have access to many numerous “insiders” all across Russia… and that no one questions his bullshit claim. Like the one source of his, allegedly “close to the Foreign ministry”, which claimed that: “…what Assad was given is you are going to be going. We’re going to help you make sure that it’s as congenial a process for you and your family as possible, but frankly start getting your head around that, you are going to be going.”

We are talking about 100% reliable Mark Galeotti, trusting however imaginary obscure source way back in late 2015 – early 2016. Well… look at the world we live in now! Either our esteemed Russia Watcher was owned, or he made up the source to begin with.

2) An obligatory exercise in Putinology, when Mark Galeotti explains (without any proof, of course!) to the hoi polloi what Vladimir Putin wants; really, really wants:

In many ways Putin’s view of Russia these days is that he wants it out of the global order… Now he’s come back, in part because his views have changed, in part because he feels the West betrayed him and in part, I think, because he is increasingly looking at his historical legacy. In some ways his catchword these days is sovereignty, but when he says sovereignty it’s a slightly different sovereignty than we might understand it. His notion of sovereignty, to be blunt, is that Russia stands alone and that Russia should not be dictated to by any outside force or power—so not the United States, not the European Union, but also not necessarily international law, not necessarily international institutions. It’s frankly a very 19th century notion that we are strong enough to ensure that no one can tell us what to do. And it’s a sovereignty that is clearly linked to your capacity to defend it.”

Perceptive readers, who’ve read all linked articles provided by me here, might notice that in virtually all of them Professor Galeotti basically just repeats the same old and tried clichés one article/interview after another. He said the same thing in the previously mentioned article, when he talked about the horrible gall and nerve of Russia’s which, therefore:

“…deserves to have a voice, to be listened to, he feels Russia deserves to be able basically to veto the impact of international norms and organizations inside its own borders. His sense of Russian sovereignty is that the Kremlin should be able to control everything that happens within Russia’s frontiers and have influence over what happens beyond it.”

For Mark Galeotti, these are Bad Things! In this regard, he reminds of the slavishly faithful to their barin “house serfs” (rus. “дворня”), wistful and hateful when they see another ordinary peasant serf buying himself and his family out of the bondage and becoming a free man. Envy and horror drives them nuts, because serfdom became in their minds a norm and a preferable alternative to the repugnantly dangerous freedom.

3) Most hilariously (and unfortunately) of note, was Galeotti’s prediction that KPRF will turn into a serious challenge come the September elections in 2016. He wasn’t alone – a couple of other pundits on the West (most notably – Fred Weir from the Christian Science Monitor) raised their hopes high in regards of the KPRF future prospects, while, deep inside, they surely were trembling at the thought that their own Russophobia and the personal dislike of Putin made them to root for the gosh-damned-commies! Galeotti in one of his previous articles called the KPRF electorate lumpens (wow… how… thoughtful, humanistic and… handshakable!).

Galeotti is, of course, lying in his piece while perpetuating the fable that Bolotnaya protests were “the largest anti-government rallies since Soviet times”. Saying otherwise would draw attention of goldfish-attention-span Westerners to such “ancient events” as the iconic (back then in 1998) miners’ strike on Gorbaty Bridge in Moscow, or, indeed, to the hundreds-of-thousands-strong protests against the monetization of benefits in 2004-2005. No, the West desires to feel the Sympathetic Magic – to see kreakls and so-called members of the “middle class” protesting – not the filthy proletariat! They, for the west, don’t count.

Another extremely naïve belief held by Galeotti (and by a few western so-called “honest” journalists who bothered to report on KPRF in the 2016 electoral year) was that there appeared “a new generation of Communist Party members, disgruntled 20- and 30-somethings, for whom it offers the only structure able to articulate any kind of opposition politics. They are generally not Soviet-style communists, actually being closer to European social democrats”. Needless to say – not true. Believe me – the Russian LEFT is nothing akin to the SJW-ridden Western Leftists hell of Trots and Identity politics fanatics, though the West did have short period of wishful thinking and Galeotti serves here as an apt example of such misconceptions.

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Of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh

– Ecclesiastes 12:12

________________________________________________________________

In the late Perestroika period there was a gigantic paradigm shift, as the people saw old truths and their entire world around them crumble. Non incidentally, it was a time when the great “Healers” and “ESPers” like A. Chumak and A. Kashpirovsky became idols of millions all across the USSR and then Russia. People believed them more than they believed the political leaders and their promises of the miracle. Instead, the people chose to put their trust into words (and intricate hand waves) of peculiarly dodgy characters, who claimed to be “instructed in Arcane arts” by the voices in their heads and who propagated the ideas of “non-traditional medicine”.

They were superstars. They were media legends. They were unquestionable authorities for a people who suddenly rushed with reckless abandon into the dark area of thought of “Nothing is True – Everything is Possible”.

The most memetic achievement of Kashpirovsky and such was the fact that they were allowed on the central Soviet TV (obligatory – state controlled) in prime time for the retranslation of their “séances”. The power of mighty “wizards” was such, that they could “charge” various liquids, salves and objects with their “positive energy”. And they were SO mighty, that could do this even through the TV screen! A picture of 3 liter glass jars, usually used to can tomatoes or cucumbers for winter, now filled with water instead and now standing in line before the TV screen, while the entire family was watching with half-beating hearts the act of magic – these were the pictures of that era.

“Blessed Democratic 90s” (well, “Blessed” according to a certain rather tiny group of people) saw a sucking hell-hole of irrationality and massive all-believing psychosis taking a bold step forward to a full blown Abyssal Pit. It was a time of various totalitarian sects and cults running free and unhindered (Russia’s Western partners call it “freedom of consciousness and religion”), when people were willing to surrender their will, personality – and personal wealth – to various mystic Gurus. It was a time of financial pyramids and fraudsters, of banks going bust on a regular basis and of people willing to surrender their trust, their future – and their remaining personal savings – to various financial Gurus. It was a time when Kashpirovsky volunteered to help resolve the hostage crisis in the aftermath of the terrorist attack on Budyonovsk in 1995 – by using his mighty hypnotic powers to put Shamil Basayev and his goons to sleep. Kashpirovsky fainted at the sight of the hostages, bloodied and frightened, kept in an animal-like state in small tents, 20-30 in each.

It was the time when the Russians were told to “vote with their heart” and surrender their trust, their future – and a mere remaining handful of money somehow preserved to that moment – to the Great Democrat Boris Yeltsin.

…Magic. Hell, yeah… Do you think that you are immune to it?

Magic is a prosthesis of thought for a monkey-like creature which “thinks” itself human, but which, in fact, has not yet learned how to think (or, in our case, it has already forgotten how). Magic is this terrible Law of Simulacrum, unequivocally demanding to eat worthy fellow cavemen to become like them. Magic is the Law of Symbols, when for self-assertion it is important not what you are, but what you have.

Magic is the Law of the Herd, of flocks and generic thinking, when you are not separate, when you are self-identified in the world only insofar as you identify yourself with some gang (group, clan – or a “safespace” in the web). After all, what is “magic(k)”? Magic(k) by definition is the manipulation of information (words, symbols, signs) in order to manipulate reality.

That’s what they do – Gurus. The proverbial Legion of them. They lead the process (and in some areas – the Progress) so back in time to the magical, to the tribal form of existence, as was necessary for them to eke for themselves a lofty parasitic niche, which would allow them carefree irresponsible lifestyle for centuries to come.

And while I don’t hold high hopes for humanity to come back on the road of rational thought and march away from these self imposed intellectual Dark Ages any time soon, there is one nasty thought that makes me smile nevertheless. Even early civilizations, even Dark Ages primitives despised magic – and fought against it and its practitioners. Having for a change one particular parasite stripped of his patchwork “sacral” cloak, magic wand or stuff, of his poultices and potions and just thrown out of his cozy picture-covered cave into the world and told to pull his weight like everyone else – that would be nice. Because the patience of the Tribe is not boundless. And one day, one mistake and false incantation too many, the Guru, the Shaman will find on its own skin a plethora of problems typical for our Global North.

 

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1,914 Responses to The Credibility Gap That Ought To Be

  1. Pingback: RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents :: JRL 2017-128 :: Thursday, 6 July 2017 – Johnson's Russia List

  2. Special_sauce says:

    Funny, how a looming thermonuclear war is not too upsetting. It’s like a sky-diving acquaintance once told me: “If the chute doesn’t open, there’s nothing you can do; just sit back, relax, and enjoy your final moments.”

    • Special_sauce says:

      except I hear you say: well, of course, a sudden smack is infinitely superior to a drawn-out poisoning…therefore, one must fall back on one’s philosophy…if such a thing can be found.

      • et Al says:

        That’s just.. disturbing.

        Still, I know what you mean.

        I still cling to the rational belief that all this nasty Russophobic bating is just that as it is not matched equally by action – judge people by what they do rather than what they say. I’m amazed at Russia & China’s patience, but I guess the alternative is a parachute failing to open.

  3. Northern Star says:

    Hmmmm..Trouble in NWO paradise??;
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/video/national/police-protesters-clash-at-site-of-g-20-summit/2017/07/06/6de4f8a8-627a-11e7-80a2-8c226031ac3f_video.html

    WOW..They aren’t playin’……well they are in a way..but there appear to be a lot of them out there

  4. Northern Star says:

    And in Venezuela

    Although on a smaller scale in terms of the number of people murdered ..this was as horrific as Odessa

    https://thinkprogress.org/venezuela-maduro-crisis-protests-everything-very-bad-217b0e1bcb4a
    Good for em’…many of these motherfuckers would have helped burn that kid alive if they had been on the scene…

    • kirill says:

      Real democracy lovers these scumbag “opposition”.

      Too bad his silent majority buddies, who will have their assess ripped to shreds by the austerity cock of the opposition once it gets power, can’t be bothered to stage counter demonstrations. Given the numerical advantage they should basically attack and burn the opposition 5th columnists. Washington’s regime change operation would shut down real quick.

    • yalensis says:

      The Abby Martin piece linked earlier by Warren explains the essence of the class struggle waging in Venezuela.
      It’s just another American “regime-change” operation and pretty much a repeat of Ukrainian Maidan, except with the local flavor of South American fascism pretending to be the “democratic” opposition.
      South American fascism has a specially racist (anti-native-American) flavor but the essence is always the same: anti-communism and anti-socialism, a hatred of the common man and obeisance to American imperialism.

  5. et Al says:

    Srijben de Bong’s latest expert missive:

    EU Observer: Why China and Russia will be best frenemies forever
    https://euobserver.com/opinion/138442

    On 3 and 4 July, Chinese president Xi Jinping visited Russia for a two-day state visit that included his third meeting with Russian president Vladimir Putin in the space of a year.

    Despite what these visits and the pledge to forge closer strategic and economic ties between the two nations suggest – and much to the chagrin of Vladimir Putin – Russia features awkwardly little in China’s major strategic plans for Eurasia….

    …Illustrative of the Russian pivot to Asia that never materialised is the so-called Power of Siberia pipeline.

    When announced in May 2014, the $400-billion gas deal was heralded by Putin as an “epochal event”. Fast-forward three years and the project is moving at a snail’s pace.

    China drove a hard bargain, knowing that Russia needed it a lot more than the other way around, received a bottom price and, as a result, the project is gradually turning into a loss-making endeavour for the Russians. …
    ####

    What really makes me laugh about this piece is that Srijben really doesn’t mind whoring himself out in such a ridiculous piece that one would expect from a semi-literate journalist rather than a supposed ‘energy expert’. He’s previously embarrassed himself by claiming that Brussels can stop Nord Stream II and was put down by a former NSII advisor who provided proof from the Commission own legal service that it has no legal grounds to block it. He also accused the advisor of being ‘political’ while he himself was arguing for Brussels to somehow stop the project because it was not in the EU’s interests. I hope his work will live on permanently on the internet, forever an embarrassing reminder.

    Not much to say about the ‘opinon’ above except all massive projects face haggling and take time to happen, lest of all – let’s see – what else happened in 2014? Hmmm. Um? Sanctions? Tanking oil price? Spreading effects of the EU’s recession? Tell me, is it sensible to put a project on hold until condition improve or just plough on wilynily? Anyway, I’ve spent far too much time commenting on the shite above.

    In other news,,,

    Euractiv: Belarus deflects Lithuanian attempt to mobilise support against nuclear plant
    https://www.euractiv.com/section/europe-s-east/news/belarus-deflects-lithuanian-attempt-to-mobilise-support-against-nuclear-plant/

    Belarus has avoided a resolution by the European security watchdog OSCE criticising the construction of its Astravyets nuclear power plant, a project which neighbouring Lithuania strongly opposes on the grounds of nuclear safety concerns.

    ….The draft resolution criticising the project, by Lithuanian MP Laurynas Kasciunas, was challenged by Swedish socialist MP Kent Harstedt, who argued that the Astravyets project was a bilateral issue and underlined that nuclear accidents have no borders…
    #####

    More at the link, but Kasciunas has made a right public tit of himself and his country.

    • kirill says:

      Why would some fucking resolution by the OSCE have any relevance for Belorus? The OSCE is less than zero and nothing more than some Yankee rubber stamp and Trojan Horse (c.f. Kosovo).

      • et Al says:

        Oh, looky here! De Bong didn’t feel the need to do any current research:

        July 6

        Financial Crimes: Gazprom confident of $400bn Chinese gas supply
        https://www.ft.com/content/623c7396-60cc-11e7-91a7-502f7ee26895

        State-owned gas monopoly ahead of schedule on politically important Siberian pipeline

        …The Power of Siberia gas pipeline, the first to connect Russia and China, will start pumping in December 2019, Gazprom said on Tuesday, paving the way for a 30-year supply agreement of more than 1.15tn cubic metres of gas for the Kremlin-controlled export monopoly…

        …Mr Miller’s affirmation is important. The project, which will cost Gazprom more than $55bn just to build the necessary infrastructure to get the gas flowing, is one of the most critical investments for Russia’s energy sector, which has targeted a long-term strategic supply link with China to match its market penetration in Europe. ..

        …Power of Siberia is expected to run significantly below capacity in its first few years of operation, as China instead runs down its domestic gas reserves. The 30-year supply agreement is set to kick in around 2025….
        ####

        Plenty more at the link.

  6. Pavlo Svolochenko says:

    After all the hullaballoo, Trump’s great new foreign policy initiative is…. Rumsfeld’s ‘New Europe’ doctrine, clad in a fourth-grade vocabulary.

    The dittoheads on rightist forums and comment sections are now busily identifying Poland as saviour du jour of the white west, and wondering aloud about obtaining Polish citizenship.

    This is what it means to be a 21st century ‘nationalist’ – bitch about deracination and rootless cosmopolitanism while fantasising about ditching your own country for some west Asian shithole.

    • kirill says:

      Pining to be a Pole takes the cake for inanity.

      • Northern Star says:

        I wonder if this plays a continuing role in how the Poles view the Russians today:

        “Initially, the Poles established control over most of central Warsaw, but the Soviets ignored Polish attempts to establish radio contact and did not advance beyond the city limits. Intense street fighting between the Germans and Poles continued. By 14 September, Polish forces under Soviet high command occupied the east bank of the Vistula river opposite the resistance positions; but only 1,200 men made it across to the west bank, and they were not reinforced by the bulk of the Red Army. This, and the lack of Soviet air support from a base 5 minutes flying time away, led to allegations that Joseph Stalin tactically halted his forces to let the operation fail and allow the Polish resistance to be crushed. Arthur Koestler called the Soviet attitude “one of the major infamies of this war which will rank for the future historian on the same ethical level with Lidice.”
        Winston Churchill pleaded with Stalin and Franklin D. Roosevelt to help Britain’s Polish allies, to no avail.[12] Then, without Soviet air clearance, Churchill sent over 200 low-level supply drops by the Royal Air Force, the South African Air Force, and the Polish Air Force under British High Command. Later, after gaining Soviet air clearance, the U.S. Army Air Force sent one high-level mass airdrop as part of Operation Frantic. The Soviet Union refused to allow American bombers from Western Europe to land on Soviet airfields after dropping supplies to the Poles.”

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

        • davidt says:

          I am away from home so cannot check this, however, if you get a copy of Alexander Werth’s “Russia at war” you will find an interview with Rokossovsky that he gave at the time. Much as I respect Koestler, it seems quite possible that he is mistaken.

          • Special_sauce says:

            ” Much as I respect Koestler” For what? He was a “cultural warrior” beloved of Western “intellectuals”, enlisted by the CIA to smear Communism. See _Who Payed the Piper_ by Frances Stonor Saunders and _The Mighty Wurlitzer: How the CIA Played America_ by Hugh Wilford.

            • davidt says:

              The interview with Rokossovsky is substantial and is worth reading. From memory, I think he suggested that Stalin put pressure on him to try to relieve the Poles. He argued that was unable to move, and he was very critical of the Polish leadership for “revolting” when they did. Again, from memory, he compared the role of the Polish leadership with a clown who is unrolled from a carpet at a circus. The end result was tragic, however, I respect Rokossovsky.
              As far as my comment about Koestler is concerned, I see Koestler as a “serious” person, quite the antithesis of someone like Galeotti. “Darkness at Noon” had an effect on me though I can now barely remember it. I retain my respect for anyone who was exceptionally lucky not to be executed by Franco. As far as your criticism that the CIA used him, why would I be surprised. (Did you really muster the energy to read your references?) There are many intelligent and informed commenters on this blog, nevertheless, I often think that many of the comments on this blog could be used in a PR campaign against Russia. Should I criticize the commenters for this reason?

              • Special_sauce says:

                “I retain my respect for anyone who was exceptionally lucky not to be executed by Franco.” And those who weren’t so lucky?

              • Jen says:

                Famous Spanish poet, dramatist and theatre director Federico Garcia Lorca was targeted and executed by nationalists connected to General Franco for reasons ranging from his supposed socialism to his homosexuality. Do you have any respect for Garcia Lorca or the works he left behind?
                https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federico_Garc%C3%ADa_Lorca

                • davidt says:

                  I have no idea what your point is, however, I am prepared to say, for what it is worth, that I “respect” Lorca Moreover, I daresay that his writings are substantial and significant.

          • moscowexile says:

            I have just downloaded Werth’s “Russia at War”!

            I did this by means of a torrent: highly illegal, I know.

            I have downloaded the Russian translation as well.

            I find Yandex is good for getting hold of torrents in this way. I would post the torrent link that I used, but doing so may incur the wrath of the litigious gods upon Mark’s head.

            I just cannot put it down, metaphorically speaking. And there, in the very first pages, in the foreword, is this gem:

            Werth also successfully obtained authorization to go to the Front: to Smolensk in September 1941, to Stalingrad in January 1943, to Kharkov just after its liberation in February 1943, to Orel in August 1943, and to Leningrad a month later. In March 1944, he covered the advance of Soviet troops in Ukraine; in early August 1944, he is the first Western war correspondent to infiltrate a Nazi extermination camp, Majdanek. [3] In April and May 1945, he joined the Battle of Berlin and obtained a noteworthy interview with Marshal Zhukov.

            And footnote [3] reads:

            [3] Immediately, he sends a long correspondence to the BBC in which he describes in detail the gas chambers and the mass killings of Jews. The BBC refuses to put his testimonial on the air. “Not credible. A Soviet propaganda operation, just for show. You were misled.” This was the response from the BBC executive management.

            Not credible. Soviet propaganda!

            Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose!

            • marknesop says:

              What a tool. His mistake was to go where the events are occurring and reporting what he actually saw and could verify. Nobody really does that – they report on events taking place in Moscow, from Prague. They’re not even in the same country. That’s the way it’s done.

            • davidt says:

              I agree- a fascinating book that has passed the test of time. Quite impossible to imagine the BBC employing the equivalent of Werth today. (I am in the north of Queensland, not far from where a compatriot of yours, Jimmy Cook, hit the reef.)

        • Special_sauce says:

          wikipedia, lol

          • marknesop says:

            Wikipedia varies widely as to quality, often depending on how political the entry is. Since you can edit the content yourself, entries on world events are often the stages of fierce battles by the opinionated on both sides. Even history is frequently rewritten. But some entries are highly informative and carry detail you will find nowhere else.

            • Special_sauce says:

              “But some entries are highly informative and carry detail you will find nowhere else.”

              Sure, when it comes to the history of the phonograph, or Hittite agriculture. But, when it comes to Communism, Stalin, Juche, Mao etc, it’s a pack of lies.

              • Special_sauce says:

                From the 2nd link:
                “The organization also set up a radio station called Radio Free Russia.”

                Cause all you gotta do is stick that word “free” on there, and they’ll FLY OFF THE SHELVES!

              • yalensis says:

                Yup, Sauce is exactly right about that, wiki and google are great sources for politically-neutral topics. But when it gets to core Westie propaganda points and fake history, they never stray from the party line.
                Of course, this is the English-language branch. There is a Russian-language wiki which might have a different slant on Russian issues.

                • moscowexile says:

                  Oh, it often does!

                  Foe example:

                  Навальный, Алексей Анатольевич

                  Alexei Navalny

                  From the Russian Wiki:

                  Since the beginning of 2010, [Navalny] has been the defendant, respondent and witness at a number of criminal, administrative, civil and arbitration cases. The most resonant of them have been “The Kirovles Case” and “The Yves Rocher Case”. For the Kirovles case, he was sentenced to five years on probation by the Kirov Regional Court in July 2013. In 2016, following a decision made by the European Court of Human Rights, the Supreme Court overturned the verdict and sent the case for retrial. In February 2017, the Kirov Regional Court sentenced him conditionally to 5 years’ imprisonment. The verdict has since come into force. In the Yves Rocher case, on December 30, 2014, Navalny was conditionally sentenced to 3.5 years’ imprisonment, which sentence has since come into force.

                  From the English Wiki:

                  Navalny has been arrested numerous times by Russian authorities, most seriously in 2012, when federal authorities accused him of three instances of embezzlement and fraud, all of which he denied. In July 2013, he was convicted of embezzlement and was sentenced to five years in a corrective labor colony. The cases are widely believed to be fabricated in retaliation for his political activity. The Memorial Human Rights Center recognized Navalny as a political prisoner. Navalny was released from prison a day after sentencing. The prison fine was suspended in October 2013. In February 2014, Navalny and his brother were prosecuted on embezzlement charges, and Navalny was placed under house arrest and restricted from communicating with anyone but his family; he was sentenced in December 2014 with another suspended prison term of 3.5 years, and his brother received an actual 3.5-year prison sentence.

                  From the Russian Wiki:

                  Work and business
                  [Navalny] owned 25% of the family enterprise LLC “Kobyakovskaya Basket Weaving Factory” (in the Odintsovo District, Moscow Region) in equal shares with his father, mother and brother. Later he got rid of his share in the firm.

                  For a while he worked in the Aeroflot bank.

                  In 1997, he founded LLC “Nesna”, the main activity of which company being hairdressing services. For some time “Nesna” had “zero” balances, and was then sold.

                  In 1997 he registered LLC “Allekt”. In 1998-2005 he held the position of Deputy Director for Legal Affairs at this company. In the 2007 Duma elections, “Allekt” was agent of the Union of Right Forces for the placement of advertisments. All in all, the Union of Right Forces bought through “Allekt” advertising worth 99 million rubles Navalny received a commission of 5%, that is, 5 million rubles. As of 2011, LLC “Allekt” has been in the process of liquidation.

                  In 1998-1999 he worked for Shalva Chigirinsky’s property development company “ST Group”, where, amongst other things, he was engaged in currency control and anti-monopoly legislation.

                  In 2000, together with friends from the law faculty of the Peoples’ Friendship University, he opened the firm “N. N. Securities.” Navalny was the owner of a 35 % stake in the company and he occupied the post of chief accountant. “N. N. Securities” traded securities on the stock exchange. In the end, the company went bankrupt. According to Navalny, he lost “the little money” that he had by playing on the exchange.

                  In 2001, Navalny co-founded LLC “Euro-Asian Transport Systems”. The firm was engaged in logistics, earning its revenue in automobile transportation.

                  In 2006 he was the host of the programme “Urban Chronicles” on Radio Station “Moscow Echo”.

                  In 2009, Navalny passed an exam that qualified him to be a member of the bar in the Kirov region. In 2010, Navalny was transferred to the Moscow City Bar Association. According to the decisions made at the Arbitration Court bench, Navalny’s legal practice participated in 11 arbitration court cases and he only personally in two of them; on his behalf, in other cases he was represented by D. V. Volov, A. V. Glushenkov and V. D. Kobzev.

                  In 2009 Navalny established LLC “Navalny and Partners”. In 2010 this company was liquidated.

                  One of the first clients of this company was his family’s Kobyakovskaya factory, owned by Navalny’s brother and parents. According to the newspaper Vedomosti, Navalny received 750,000 rubles in 2010 for this legal work.

                  In November 2011, the Executive Director of the “American Institute of Modern Russia” and former Yukos lawyer, Pavel Ivlev, hired Navalny to provide legal services, paying him fees amounting to $10,000 per month. According to Navalny, to provide for his personal needs he needs two or three such clients.

                  In February 2012, the national reserve Bank (NRB), owned by Alexander Lebedev, who also owns 15% of the company “Aeroflot”, nominated Navalny as a candidate to the “Aeroflot” board of directors. Navalny agreed to become a director, saying that if he was elected, he would concentrate on corporate governance and anti-corruption activities. On June 25, 2012, Navalny joined the Aeroflot board of directors in accordance with a decision of the annual meeting of shareholders. For Navalny there were 787 million votes, which, from a total 12.1 billion votes, was 6.5% of the votes cast, namely the votes of NRB and a number of other minority shareholders. Navalny became a member of the Personnel and Remuneration Committee of the Aeroflot Board of Directors. In February 2013 it was reported that Navalny had not been nominated as a candidate for the new Aeroflot board of directors.

                  On 16 November 2013, following the entry into force of the Kirovles verdict, the Moscow Bar Association withdrew from Navalny his status a lawyer.

                  In the English Wiki entry on Navalny there is no section corresponding to the last (translated above) and entitled “Work and business“.

                • moscowexile says:

                  I hate it when it gets so narrow!

                  That opening line “Since the beginning of 2010” should really read something like “Since the beginning of the second decade of this century” as in the Russian it reads literally as “Since the beginning of the two-thousand and tens”, but that sounds clumsy to me and I hate the “grocer’s apostrophe as in “the beginning of the 2010’s”, and I don’t like “Since the beginning of the 2010s” as well, which also sounds clumsy, though the unapostrophized plural “s” is correct.

        • kirill says:

          You have to understand my Ukrainian bitterness at the Poles. They fancy themselves to be some sort of Eastern (soooorrry, Central) European great power and their lording over Ukrainian lands over the last few centuries has been brutal. They would practice all sorts of Catholic Inquisition grotesquery on Ukrainians (e.g. impaling them on poles) and other torture that was also imposed on the New World aboriginals by both the Spanish and the Portuguese.

          The current Polish role as US bootlick and at the same acting as if they are still lords of the region, and Ukraine in particular, is transcendentally obscene and absurd. I view the Kiev regime and the Lviv based western Banderatard slime as nothing more than the descendants of the slime that licked Polish boots in centuries past. Such comprador slime always exist and everywhere. They have the upper hand for now, but time is not on their side. They can’t feed BS nazi “nationalism” to the masses indefinitely while the standard of living of the masses swirls the toilet bowl.

        • kirill says:

          If Poland bases a lot of its hate for Russia on the alleged failure to support the Warsaw uprising, then it can go and shove itself en masse where the Sun don’t shine. The Polish government in exile that was orchestrating this event from abroad with the prodding of the pathological meddlers, the British, was vehemently anti-Soviet. Clue #1: Stalin was not in any alliance with the Polish government in exile even if he was in an alliance of convenience with the British and the Americans. (You know, just because I am the friend of your friend does not mean that I am your friend.) The Polish government in exile did not coordinate anything with Soviet forces and Soviet forces, you know, were actually fighting a war on the eastern front and could not willy nilly change their plans and throw around resources. Wikicrappia deliberately distorts the facts about the deployment of Soviet forces to peddle the narrative that they had it easy and could readily give assistance. Clue #2: in war time, the flexibility to facilitate surprise requests for assistance is essentially zero. It would take weeks and months to coordinate a re-allocation of resources and adjustment of war planning. Don’t forget that urban warfare is one of the most costly in terms of KIA and wounded.

          People’s ignorance of war time realities is not an excuse for BS opinions. Stating that Soviet forces were across the Vistula river and inferring that they were able to “help” and chose not to is revisionist excrement based on pure ignorance of the audience (this narrative is of course propagated with malicious intent). You just don’t foist a major urban warfare operation on any army out of the blue. To even think that you can leaves one groping for rational anchor points since it is beyond retarded. How was the Soviet Army supposed to treat this surprise call for help. If I was in Stalin’s shoes I would see a very high potential for falling into a trap. The Germans were well entrenched in Warsaw so it would take considerable resources to dislodge them. That means drawing resources from other parts of the front. There was no vast pool of reserves and equipment behind the lines. Attrition affected the USSR and not just the Nazis and their allies.

          Where is the culpability of the Polish government in exile? What forced them to stage this operation knowing full well that it would fail. They knew that Soviet forces would not just jump over the river at the snap of the fingers. Who are the real criminally negligent and heartless scumbags responsible? The propaganda narrative wants the bleeding heart to blame the Soviets. The bleeding heart should consider all the aspects of this event and not invoke irrelevant analogies (e.g. if your neighbour’s house was burning, you would offer help. No since your house is on fire too).

        • rkka says:


          “Initially, the Poles established control over most of central Warsaw, but the Soviets ignored Polish attempts to establish radio contact”

          That’s because Soviet 2nd Tank Army had run into the 4 panzer divisions of German 39th Panzer Corps, and were pretty busy fighting German tanks.

          “and did not advance beyond the city limits.”

          Actually, 39th Panzercorps enveloped & annihilated Soviet 3rd Tank Corps (a division sized Soviet mobile unit, smaller than a panzer division actually) and drove Soviet 8th Guards Tank Corps away from Warsaw. Polish accounts never seem to mention that…

          “Intense street fighting between the Germans and Poles continued. By 14 September, Polish forces under Soviet high command occupied the east bank of the Vistula river opposite the resistance positions; but only 1,200 men made it across to the west bank, and they were not reinforced by the bulk of the Red Army. ”

          Gen-Lt Berling’s 1st Polish Army had 4 rifle divisions and several artillery brigades on its order of battle, so the fact that these 1200 brave men went unsupported is due more to failures by Polish 1st Army, rather than the ‘Red Army’ as a whole.

          “This, and the lack of Soviet air support from a base 5 minutes flying time away,”

          And the fact that JG 52, the highest-scoring fighter outfit in the whole Luftwaffe had air superiority over Warsaw at the time.

          “led to allegations that Joseph Stalin tactically halted his forces to let the operation fail and allow the Polish resistance to be crushed. ”

          Actually, that accusation was first levied by the Polish Gvt-in-exile in London, who on 4 August 1944 accused the Soviet Army of ‘just standing by, passive and ostentatious, at a distance of a dozen kilometers from Warsaw’

          A couple days later, 39 Panzercorps overcame the last resistance of 3rd Tank Corps 15km east of Warsaw, taking 6000 prisoners & counting 3000 Soviet dead from a force of 10,500. So, for Poles, a heavily outnumbered division-sized Soviet mechanized force suffering a 90% casualty rate counts as ‘Just standing by, passive and ostentatious.’ That tells you all you need to know about Polish-sourced accounts of the heavy fighting outside Warsaw in Aughst & September 1944.

          “Arthur Koestler called the Soviet attitude “one of the major infamies of this war which will rank for the future historian on the same ethical level with Lidice”

          Who cares what a fact-free know-nothing says? Not me.

        • Cortes says:

          Richard Overy is by no means a Russophile or a Communist

          https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Overy

          but his book on “the eastern front” dispels the myth about the deliberate heaving to of the Red Army before Warsaw. Sound operational reasons underlay the pause.

  7. Cortes says:

    The Chinese High Speed Rail system examined in a sensible appraisal of the merits of (Ssshhh) central planning and national ownership of assets:

    https://www.unz.com/article/chinas-financial-debt-everything-you-know-is-wrong/

  8. Lyttenburgh says:

    This comment by UCG is too important for me to ignore it just because the discussion moved to the next page.

    “My theory requires that a person understand the Concept of Infinity.”

    It is A concept, al right. But can you really say that our universe in “infinite” given the ultimate End in the form of heat death? 😉

    And what about the Big Bang Theory ™? How can something be (in theory) Infinite, yet having (in theory again) both the Beginning and the End?

    “So to someone who can grasp the concept, what I do would be called science; to those who cannot – magic”

    No, no-no-no. Here I disagree with you completely, UCG.

    Look, we, humanity, have three (3) ways of knowing the world. They are:

    1) Thinking. We use our internal mental capacities to ponder upon, to ruminate, to analyze etc. data we already know, in order to draw new conclusions.

    2) Data consuming. We learn about the world by consuming new information externally, be it reading books and articles, observation of phenomena, watching movies etc.

    3) Revelation. New information about the world around us goes “poof!” inside our mind from beyond our possible access and reach. Kinda like this, but also covers all sorts of stuff, like the “communion with the spirits”, “direct links to astral” and many, many wonderful things given to you by imbibing just the right mushrooms.

    Science is based, among other things, on (wait for it!) scientific method. Scientific method is a combination of (1) and (2). You build hypnoses based on available data, then test it via experiment in order to generate new data. Science also requires the empirical approach, i.e. the idea which postulates, that, ultimately, World around us is knowable. Oh, and such “little” things as “verification” of the data.

    What we had back then, UCG, was you saying “annexation”, but in the “Hell, yeah!” tone to iff the gentle sensitivities of the folks, while I’ve always called it “re-union”. We argued, we stayed on out respective positions, but one day, I’ve stumbled (honestly – can’t remember where, but IIRC it was in RuNet) upon an article which, tongue in cheek, called what have happened a “reclamation”. I retranslated this sentiment to you, you liked it. Here – a “Revelation” (3) put an end to our dispute 🙂

    Now, the magic(k) requires nothing that is essential to the Science. It operates precisely on (3) way of “knowing” the world, bases itself on Dogmas (that you must simply accept) and denies, Gnostic-style, that the world could ever been known, so – why bother? Anthropology and the study of primitive/primeval societies showed us, that early human beings possessed (and some still posses) view of the world totally devoid of the concept of logic or scientific approach.

    Here’s some example. As you all probably know, a so-called “Age of Exploration” kicked in since late XV c. Roman Catholic Church was at the forefront to capitalize on this, sending its “zampolits” from various religious orders (huge number came from the wily Jesuits) to all corners of the newly discovered World, in order to tend to the souls of the people found there (and to curb the most murderous of conquistadors). They wrote back to their superiors lots and lots of field reports, unknowingly becoming amateur anthropologists themselves. Reading their writing it becomes apparent, that such primitive, illogical worldview could be possessed by anyone, ranging from the stone-age hunter-gatherer tribe, to the fallen scions of the once great civilization, which had their own city-states with impressive architecture and who created a large and sophisticated empire.

    There are other examples down the river of time, from the future. When the European colonial powers had to bolster their troops in the colonies with the locals, they sometimes decided to arm them with firearms. Arming them would require to teach the locals how to shoot and reload their piece. And here they stumbled upon a completely different worldview. You could show them the musket, the bullet and the gunpowder, explain what you must do to make the gun “loaded” and what to do to make it shoot. They would understand it in their own peculiar way. The name “boom-stick” is not a coincidence. Why the gun goes “boom”? For the natives, who can only operate with form, but hardly with essence of the thing, it was because the gun was magic(k)al and harnessed the power of the thunder. So – the magic “thunder” and “boom” kills the enemies, not the bullet. And if it’s not the bullet – why aim?

    Earlier this week, I stumbled upon a DailyBeast article. While reading it, I thought to myself: “If it wasn’t for a weekday, I could have played a drinking game based on this article – take a shot every time it mentions “anonymous sources” and “a governmental official asked to me unnamed”, and your entire company will be shit faced by the end!”. But what if you replace “anonymous sources” with “spirits” and “angels”? You will get the exact same old, primitive, primeval worldview based on dogmas and revelations. And the fun thing is – the Ancients were far from stupid and often doubted that they have an agent of supernatural before them. In many myths and legends heroes and ordinary folks demand for such “messengers” to prove their divinity, or they know a folk method how to identify them, or, as is the case with Christianity, they always could demand such “angel” (which is the Greek for the “Messenger”) to join them in prayer, to prove that they are not from the Devil. See? Even they were more skeptical and applied more “scientific” method, than what is accepted among the “thinking” masses nowadays.

    “And there is quite a bit about the Universe that we don’t understand, and probably never will, because the Universe is Infinite, and our lifespans are finite. So I have no issues with people believing in Magic and Magicians.”

    I have, as I have with all fraudsters. Humanity (at large and in particular, if we are talking about countries and societies) has finite resources – why waste them of useless twats (thank you, ME, for enriching my vocabulary!)?.

    Want a metaphor to describing the scientific way of knowing a world? A game of Sea Battle (rus. “Морской бой”). Here you have to take a “shot” (at blind) hoping to hit your enemy’s ship. It has rules (it must have!) which both players must abide. And by knowing these rules, and knowing that these rules will stay the same during the game, you conduct your “research”, with the ultimate goal being destroying all of your enemy’s ships.

    “Revelatory” approach has no place here – only scientific. You methodically hit the grid of the gamefield, tying to deduce where are the rest of the ships, judging by the results you’ve got so far. If a friend of yours comes to you and claims “Shoot E6!” based on a “hunch”, you should be skeptical. What if you already shoot here and there was a “miss” or “hit”? The rules of the game prevent you from doing this again. Also – the rules (at leas – of Russian version of the game) prevent the ships from “touching” each other, and you know that due to here being another enemy’s ship here nearby, hitting E6 would be pointless. So what’s worth such kind of “revelation”?

    Scientist play on a non-standard gamefield. It’s both larger and more “target rich”, so to speak – even more than this version. Also, there is one rub. “The Sea Battle/Battleship” is PvP game, which require an opponent. You opponent is Time. You have one ship, quite often – very small. And your “side of battle” is way smaller than the one of your opponent. But that’s okay! Even when you die, others can start where you ended with “saved” results and rules staying the same. And so they do, and the game continues.

    • marknesop says:

      I see your post is mentioned at Johnson’s Russia List, and makes a point of identifying it as a critique of Galeotti. The gauntlet is thrown down.

      • Lyttenburgh says:

        “The gauntlet is thrown down.”

        • marknesop says:

          That’s an excellent counterpoint, and the photo could become a silent response, because it depicts the tactic through which Mr. Putin has seen many situations pass without harm to Russia – by simply keeping his mouth shut (except for eating popcorn) and waiting rather than reacting hysterically. I don’t want to say ‘so many ambitions realized’, because I don’t believe the confusion and disarray in Europe and the building mistrust between the USA and its allies ever were ambitions of Mr. Putin. But both parties strutted and beat their chests and claimed to be united against Russia the rogue and pariah. They would teach it a lesson it would never forget. One side made all the noise. And look at the way things have shaken out.

        • J.T. says:

          Yeah, I’ll be needing this image.

    • davidt says:

      I confess that I had to read your original article more than once to understand it, however, I refuse to read this comment again. In truth, I am not sure that we need Shamanism to understand Galeotti and his ilk- I say this as somewhat of an authority for I participated in a Shaman ceremony out of Irkutsk. Once a belief, is established I think it just as well to think of the Bandar-log (monkeys). Their motto is: “We are great. We are free. We are wonderful. We are the most wonderful people in the jungle. We all say so, and so it must be true.” They communicate almost solely by repeating what other Bandar-log say. This must be the most insightful description of the Western Russian commentariat. (Alas, the idea is not mine- it is Putin’s.)

      • marknesop says:

        I used a few stanzas of ‘The Road Song of the Bandar-Log’ to close out a post once, long ago, and it still fits perfectly as you have described:

        Here we sit in a branchy row
        thinking of beautiful things we know
        Wonderful things that we mean to do;
        all complete – in a minute or two:
        We’ve forgotten – but never mind
        Brother, thy tail hangs down behind!

      • Lyttenburgh says:

        “I confess that I had to read your original article more than once to understand it, however, I refuse to read this comment again.”

        It’s okay. I admit – my writing is dense and often hard to cut through. But it is “meaty” 😉

        • yalensis says:

          Lyt, you should study the “Hemingway” style. Brief, punchy sentences:

          “His writing was meaty. I read much of it.”

        • davidt says:

          My comment was not meant as a criticism- I read very quickly and often miss stuff. I suspect that there is also a Russian way of writing/thinking that I am not used to. Even Russian mathematics is inclined to be written with a different slant. Vladimir Arnold commented that Western mathematicians could make a tidy living reworking Soviet papers and not letting onto the source of their ideas. (Moreover, I think that he thought that some did exactly this.)

  9. Warren says:

    Published on 6 Jul 2017
    Western powers fuel the Ukrainian conflict — and wider tensions with Russia — by treating Ukraine as a strategic prize, says Nicolai Petro, Silvia-Chandley professor of Peace Studies and Nonviolence at the University of Rhode Island

    • et Al says:

      Words are much cheaper than actions…

      • Warren says:

        Dr Nicolai Petro is very brave to express such opinions considering where he is – Odessa. Anyone who deviates from the Banderite-Maidan propaganda line in Ukraine is censored and ostracised at best, at worst – murdered.

  10. yalensis says:

    Just finished posting Part 3 of my 3-parter on Luhansk Peoples Republic school curriculum. Part 3, on the Young Guard initiative, took me the longest to write, it took me 3 days, actually, because I couldn’t seem to get it right and I kept re-editing it over and over, until I think I finally got it right.

    • Jen says:

      Int\eresting that the newspaper doesn’t say why it’s closing but from what Moscow Exile has said about The Moscow Times, low patronage and the cost of issuing free copies must have taken their toll.

    • marknesop says:

      Oh, that the world should see such an evil day! Good thing it isn’t winter – the bums would freeze without The Moscow Times wrapped inside their coats. I’d just like to point out that nobody in their right mind closes down a paper which is gaining readership and influence. So it must have been the other thing. Oh, wait – did Putin crush it because it made Russians weep for democracy?

    • Lyttenburgh says:

      First Evgenia Markovna Albatz’s “The New Times” kicks the bucket and now this?! Like a cold shower. What is this – Chekist terror or the Invisible Hand of the Market?

      Btw – Derk Sauer also co-owned (with M. Prokhorov) RBK channel till 2015. Yep – the center of “liberal economyc analysis”, shilling for the Higher School of Economics, that I mentioned twice in my article. But since the adoption of new regulations in 2015, it became impossible for the foreigner to head a Media-source in Russia, so he sold both his assets. “The Moscow Times” had been acquired by the Independent Media holding, which also owns «Vedomosti» and Russian editions of Men’s Health, Women’s Health, National Geographic. “Vedomosti” report, that there will be “complete change of the Editorial board” and jorunalist staff. They are writing face saving stuff, like “the paper returs to its original format”.

      You know who moonlighted for the “TMT”? Kevin Rothroc aka the former “Good Treaty” guy, who sold his soul to Soros and now shills for him on the Global Voices site.

      • Matt says:

        Global Voices is great. Far better than “News-Front” or other pro-government websites.

        • Lyttenburgh says:

          “Global Voices is great.”

          Why? In what way? Do you support Soros and his agenda?

          • Matt says:

            It translates viral internet-related stories for those who don’t speak Russian. I’ll never get that perspective from RT or Sputnik.

            As for Soros, he funds the excellent Media Matters, exposing Republican craziness all year-round. How bad can Grandpa Soros be?

            • Lyttenburgh says:

              “It translates viral internet-related stories for those who don’t speak Russian.”

              How does it make it “better”? Also – they pick and choose what they want to translate, showing their preferential bias.

              “As for Soros, he funds the excellent Media Matters, exposing Republican craziness all year-round. How bad can Grandpa Soros be?

              Is this some kind of joke?

              • Matt says:

                “How does it make it “better”? Also – they pick and choose what they want to translate, showing their preferential bias.”

                But that would be the case for any translation-focused website. Isn’t there a Russian website that commonly translates English MSM articles into Russian? I heard that they tend to choose the most rabidly partisan stories, to demonize the Western media further, avoiding translation of more balanced articles.

                “Is this some kind of joke?”

                Apart from his capitalist endeavours, I see nothing wrong with giving some financial assistance to Planned Parenthood, Black Lives Matter, Media Matters, Global Voices, OCCRP, etc. All contribute something positive to the world, one way or another.

                • Lyttenburgh says:

                  “But that would be the case for any translation-focused website. “

                  If it is no different it can not be any better.

                  “But that would be the case for any translation-focused website. Isn’t there a Russian website that commonly translates English MSM articles into Russian? I heard that they tend to choose the most rabidly partisan stories, to demonize the Western media further, avoiding translation of more balanced articles.”

                  1) InoSMI is the site. It’s run by Russian liberasts. You heard wrong – they honestly think that by translating MSM they are “introducing the Russians to the Western POV”. They end up with the egg on their face – totally unintended consequences.

                  2) Which “more balanced articles” they avoided to translate? Mind you – we are talking abut a site, that translates everything that is trending – even “American Conservative” and Professor Coen.

                  “Apart from his capitalist endeavours, I see nothing wrong with giving some financial assistance to Planned Parenthood, Black Lives Matter, Media Matters, Global Voices, OCCRP, etc. All contribute something positive to the world, one way or another.”

                  […]
                  […]
                  […]

                  Soros sponsored regime-change NGOs, he supports head-chopper best buds “White Helmets”. Soros sponsored degenerate promoters of the liberal “values”. Soros made his money on the suffering of others. He promotes legalization of drugs and euthanasia,

                  From Wikipedia:

                  “In May 2014 Soros told CNN’s Fareed Zakaria: “I set up a foundation in Ukraine before Ukraine became independent from Russia. And the foundation has been functioning ever since and played an important part in events now.”

                  In January 2015 Soros said that “Europe needs to wake up and recognize that it is under attack from Russia.” He also urged Western countries to expand economic sanctions against Russia for its support of separatists in eastern Ukraine.

                  In January 2015, Soros called on the European Union to give $50 billion of bailout money to Ukraine.”

                  What Goerge Soros did to you, so that you are ever so grateful?

                • moscowexile says:

                  I heard that they tend to choose the most rabidly partisan stories, to demonize the Western media further, avoiding translation of more balanced articles.

                  Oh yes, you certainly heard wrongly:

                  See: ИНОСМИ.РУ

                  Today’s top translated stories as I write are, from the top of the pile:

                  Теперь интересы России и США утратили свое значение в российско-американских отношениях, Washington Post, Anne Applebaum

                  Путин и толпы Трампов, New York Times, Gail Collins

                  Путин поставил капкан на Трампа, и тот в него угодил, CNN, Jen Psaki

                • marknesop says:

                  Nobody would think the USA was an aggressor from reading those stories, because it’s not. It just wants the best for Russia, and criticizes it only for its own good. So Russians can shake off the shackles of Putin, who more than doubled their living wages, and get back to somebody like Yeltsin, under whose rule male life expectancy dropped by six years, and agricultural production fell by 70%.

                  Russians just don’t know what’s good for them, that’s their problem. Oh, and reform. Also.

                • yalensis says:

                  Exactly right. INOSMI was set up to bring the “Western point of view” to Russian readers, by translating pieces from Western languages into Russian.
                  I went through a phase, a few years back, when I was addicted to INOSMI and read it almost every day. Each day I would pick an interesting piece to read. If the piece was in a language I could read, such as English or French, then I would just link to the original. If it was in a language I could not read, such as Italian, then I would read the Russian translation. Then I would go back and read every single comment.

                  Like Matt, I jumped to the conclusion (initially) that INOSMI cherry-picked articles that made Westies look silly, because they were so over-the-top Russophobic. For example, ludicrous propaganda pieces from the likes of La Russophobe.

                  I was surprised to learn, much later, that INOSMI was actually seriously trying to promote the point of view of these Russophobes by translating their works into Russian.

                  My erroneous assumption can be excused by the fact that the comment sections of these pieces were often hilarious rebuttals of the pieces themselves. Hence, my assumption that the pieces were put out there just to have tomatoes thrown at. Imagine my shock when somebody told me this was a Liberast project designed to win Russian readers over to the Westie POV.
                  I think INOSMI is still out there, but I haven’t read it for a while, too busy with my own translations, etc.

                • marknesop says:

                  If you’re talking about InoSMI, they translated several of the articles from this blog. I would not have said they were outrageously partisan in favour of the west; I certainly didn’t intend them to be. Can’t always believe what you heard, can you? Well, of course you can, if you are sufficiently determined to do so that you willfully ignore evidence which contradicts it.

                • yalensis says:

                  That’s true, Mark, I forgot that INOSMI translated some of your Stooge pieces.
                  Maybe you were just their token Russophile, heh heh…

            • Jen says:

              If Grandpa Soros’ Media Matters only exposes Republican craziness and not Democratic craziness, that’s not good. When exposing craziness in politics, MM should not favour one party over another.

              • Matt says:

                Ideally, it should not. But it’s better than nothing. It may be the only website that watches over the lunatic right-wing in the U.S., apart from Right Wing Watch.

                OTOH, there exist numerous Rightist websites that routinely mock Leftist media. “Alt-right” is the new counter-culture, as they say.

                • Jen says:

                  Media Matters may be worse than nothing if it deliberately ignores Democratic duplicity and corruption so as to create the impression that only one part of the political spectrum in the US is corrupt and self-serving when in fact the entire US government, its agencies and all political parties, major and minor, need cleaning out. How would you know if MM is reporting accurately on one side of politics or not if it is biased against that side?

  11. J.T. says:

    Dmitri Trenin in WaPo: Putin believes personalities – not states, armies, or companies – determine the course of global events.
    https://t.co/1LXJXGlYVC

    • kirill says:

      So he follows the standard view of historians. I disagree with this view on a fundamental level. Societies are physical systems and their hierarchies including key personalities are a part. No personality can act independently of the system (i.e. the rest of society including a whole proximal hierarchy of hundreds and thousands of personalities). It is a very popular concept, which really is a linearity approximation to societal dynamics to attribute control to the individual. The right-wing is in love with this simplifying approximation and believe that a person’s wealth is solely a function of their efforts. Thus, they believe, that people living under bridges are there due to personal failure and not to any other process. This is obvious BS but thinking takes a lot of effort for a lot of people and Mickey Mouse theories are easier to process than complex, poorly studied and quantified realities.

      It may be that the decisions of a few individuals set off a series of events (including war). But to dismiss the role of armies, economies and the public in shaping the progression of those events is very ignorant. Really, the leader of a country isn’t some RPG gamer where the rest of society are binary elements distributed between the RAM, CPU and storage on a PC.

    • likbez says:

      Dmitry Trenin is a regular neocons shill. A second rate shill at that. No new ideas, just a burning desire to serve the puppeteers.

      https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/sep/17/hacking-politics-us-russia

  12. Pavlo Svolochenko says:

    PRESIDENT TRUMP: Thank you. So, together, let us all fight like the Poles — for family, for freedom, for country, and for God.

    Poles fighting like Poles:

    And my favourite, Komorowski surrendering to Erich von dem Bach-Zelewski, looking every inch the sad little bald bitch he was:

  13. J.T. says:

    Latest review of Tatyana Tolstaya’s The Slynx, part of my Post-Apocalyptic/Dystopia summer series:
    https://russiareviewed.wordpress.com/2017/07/07/review-the-slynx/

  14. Kiev killed another high-ranking LPR official today in a terrorist attack: https://lenta.ru/news/2017/07/07/terakt/

    • moscowexile says:

      A high-ranking LPR official?

      A captain of the people’s militia medical service was killed and 5 others wounded following the explosion of an improvised device filled with metal fragments that had been place in a rubbish bin near a grocery shop.

      The shop is situated not far from the the LPR government house.

      The murderer/s killed a captain in the medical service.

      Sorry to spoil your day, but a captain in the medical corps is not a high ranking LPR official.

  15. et Al says:

    FAIR.org via Antiwar.com: After 1,379 Days, NYT Corrects Bogus Claim Iran ‘Sponsored’ 9/11
    http://fair.org/home/after-1379-days-nyt-corrects-bogus-claim-iran-sponsored-911/

    In its reporting on a dubious lawsuit alleging Iranian meta-involvement in 9/11, the New York Times badly misunderstood the case and maintained for more than three years, in the paper of record, that the government of Iran “sponsored” the September 11, 2001, attacks. The belated correction, issued late Wednesday night on two widely spaced articles on the topic, unceremoniously noted that Iran did not, in fact, help commit the 9/11 attacks.

    The correction came after a report about a lawsuit last week mistakenly claimed that Iran sponsored 9/11, something that had not been alleged in the suit. The article (6/29/17, archived The government has agreed to distribute proceeds from the building’s sale, which could bring as much as $1 billion, to the families of victims of Iranian-sponsored terrorist attacks, including the September 11 attacks. ) originally read:

    The government has agreed to distribute proceeds from the building’s sale, which could bring as much as $1 billion, to the families of victims of Iranian-sponsored terrorist attacks, including the September 11 attacks.
    ####

    There’s nothing like a timely correction by the buttpaper of record.

  16. et Al says:

    Neuters: New map records sites of Australia’s colonial massacres
    http://news.trust.org/item/20170706090917-jkpp8/

    Map is the first to detail evidence of more than 150 massacres involving almost every aboriginal clan between 1788 and 1872

    …The exact number of indigenous deaths since Australia’s settlement has long been debated, but the map is the first to detail evidence of more than 150 massacres involving almost every aboriginal clan between 1788 and 1872.

    That compares with six recorded massacres of colonists during the same period….

    • kirill says:

      But at least Australia didn’t have the NKVD. That makes Australia and its colonial owner the British Empire vastly morally superior.

  17. et Al says:

    Neuters via Antiwar.com (same as above): France, Russia discuss Syria, sidestep differences on chemical weapons
    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-syria-chemicalweapons-idUSKBN19R2YL

    …France appears to be broadly aligning its foreign policy with the U.S. priorities of tackling terrorism while seeking better ties with Russia and avoiding a head-on clash with Moscow over Syria.

    French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, who held six hours of talks primarily on Syria with Russian officials in Moscow two weeks ago, continued his push for closer co-operation, when he met his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov again in Paris on Thursday…
    ####

    More at the link.

  18. et Al says:

    Neuters via Antiwar.com: Russia jails hacker for spilling top government officials’ secrets
    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-russia-cyber-sentence-idUSKBN19R22K

    …The court found Vladimir Anikeyev, named as head of a famous hacking collective called Shaltai Boltai (Humpty Dumpty), guilty of illegally accessing computer data in collusion with a criminal group.

    The TASS news agency said he was accused of breaking into the email account of Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev’s spokeswoman as well as the account of an official in the presidential administration among many others. ..

  19. Northern Star says:

    @ The ’44 Warsaw uprising commenters (supra):
    I merely intended to put up for discussion the notion of a possible bearing of the uprising on Pole/Russian relations today
    That’s it..
    I am not a promoter of wikipedia …some of its articles are good…some not so much..
    Using one’s individual judgement can be helpful….I’m not inclined to search the net for wiki reference articles that are totally beyond reproach by any and all people on the planet.

    • Lyttenburgh says:

      “I merely intended to put up for discussion the notion of a possible bearing of the uprising on Pole/Russian relations today”

      You also “merely put up for discussion” a putrid horseshit bokk (which you didn’t even read yourself) about the Blokade of Leningrde just few months ago.

      I see a pattern. What you are doing here is called “trolling”.

      • Northern Star says:

        No..mother fucker.. I’m not trolling…people-other than YOUR bitch azz discussed the uprising..and moved on..are THEY all fucked up..according to you???

        cocksucker..I need not ask your permission to bring up a topic….

        just go the F away….you are still crappin’ your drawers about the Leningrad book..??

        What a clown….

        • Special_sauce says:

          It’s not trolling, more like Trotsky-iting: An unseemly reliance on links to WSWS.org to make your points.

          Remind me what’s the “Leningrad book”.

          • Lyttenburgh says:

            A few months ago (it was in late March or April, I think) NS linked to the AMAZON page of the recently released book by definetely not Russophilic author, just provided wall of text quotes from the annotation and then began pontificating in the style of : “So that’s the truth! To do such things to their own people – bloody bloshies!”. When asked by several people (not only me) whether he read the book, NS a tried to deflect the question, but then admitted that he didn’t. He based all of his perceptions on the event and argumantation of his position on annotation. And whn I say “position” I mean “a series of assholish comments, insulting the memory of the people during the Blokade”.

            When the collective efforts of other commenters showed his inconsistency, NS began whining and saying – word for word – “I merely intended to put up for discussion” this book. I.e. – he was trolling. He threw the bait here in comment section and told the commenters – “Now fight! I want to be entertained”. Just the same thing happened now.

            • yalensis says:

              Both of these incidents involve Northern Star reading widely on various sites and then just throwing something out there, like “Look what I just read! What do you guys think about this??!!!”

              I also noticed that NS posts a lot of links from the WSWS which are basically the English Vanessa Redgrave pseudo-Trotskyists, if I infer correctly. I don’t remember if they aer the Jewish Peoples Liberation Front or the Popular Front for the Liberation of Jews.
              Either way, they occasionally have some good pieces, and it’s not Verboten to link them once in a while.

              Maybe not realizing (giving him the benefit of the doubt) that topics such as the Leningrad Blockade and the Warsaw Uprising are like red flags to bulls. These, along with topics like Katyn, are discussed an infinitum in the blogosphere, and all Russophiles have a position and an opinion on them. You can’t just throw them out there without having a well-defined opinion of your own. And it’s okay to take the anti-Russian or pro-Polish position, you just have to defend it in debate, you can’t set off a bomb and then weasel away.

              I am still willing to give NS the benefit of the doubt that he just reads widely (and eclectically) and doesn’t realize that some of these are hot and well-worked topics.
              On the flip side, I criticize NS for having a temper and being too explosive, what with the “cocksucker” and stuff like that, those types of insults are simply unnecessary.

              • Jen says:

                Ah yeah, I remember that discussion about the Alexis Peri book which published excerpts from diaries of 125 subjects who lived through the Leningrad siege imposed by the Nazis in the early 1940s. I remember saying something to the effect that entries from such a small sample of material were not necessarily representative of what Leningraders living through that terrible period thought and that possibly Peri had an agenda in mind in selecting those entries and maybe not others: that is, using otherwise politically neutral material to create a work that gives the impression that Leningraders lost faith in the Soviet Union to save them and that that loss of belief was due to Soviet failure in dealing with the siege quickly and effectively. This is propaganda, not proper historical reporting and analysis. (And I haven’t even read the book.)

                I have to say too that I find some of Northern Star’s comments with links to works like Alexis Peri’s book and others that may share an underlying Russophobic agenda trolling in a way very much like Karl Haushofer’s trolling.

                • Northern Star says:

                  “I have to say too that I find some of Northern Star’s comments with links to works like Alexis Peri’s book ***and others*** that may share an underlying Russophobic agenda trolling in a way very much like Karl Haushofer’s trolling.”

                  Exactly what “others” bitch???

                  YOU yourself have frequently commented to my posts in a non confrontational manner.

                  You compare me to Karl!!!!!…..Fuck you Jen…..

                  As for the Leningrad book…get Mark to post ALL the comments to it starting with what I actually first posted. If you or others-establish that the author is a russophonbic nutjob..so be it..I would be the first to denounce her. I would have learned something I didn’t know…
                  I’m to be damned for that??…..Really??…Again F you Jen and your self serving self justifying codemnations of me which by their very construction can’t be refuted by fact or logic!!!!

                  You are sounding like a “McCarthy’ committee inquisition:
                  “Have you now or ever expressed interest in something we think is Russophobic….Did you read the book NS..WHEN did you read it….did you become more or less Russophobic after learning of its existence??”

                  I thought that that book would be of interest to some on this blog…who were free to either criticize it in whole or in part..or not. end of story..

                  I always respected your comments and apparent intellect Jen….never disrespected you in the two years I have been posting..

                  BUT after this BS comment from you about me ..F you bitch..

                • yalensis says:

                  Oh shit, I was reading backwards, and I just saw this.
                  NS, you are way out of line calling Jen a bitch.
                  You never insult a woman like that, I defended you, but you’re dead to me now, unless you apologize!

                • Jen says:

                  @ NS: I wasn’t attacking you personally at all and I wasn’t generalising about all your comments. A lot have actually been informative. I do read WSWS.org articles myself and most are quite good even if bias is present. No such thing as an unbiased news website these days, unfortunately! This is where you need to be a bit more critical about what you post to KS: you need to know where the author of the post is coming from, what biases and prejudices the author carries, who’s paying that author to write such posts, because if you send us links to articles by that author, you create the impression that you agree with the author (even if you don’t) and that impression can stick to you for a long time.

                  I didn’t say you were anything like Karl Haushofer either. I only saw an uncomfortable parallel between some of the comments with links that you put up and Karl’s comments. I didn’t suggest that that parallel told us anything about your views or outlook on life.

              • Northern Star says:

                Both of these incidents involve Northern Star reading widely on various sites and then just throwing something out there, like “Look what I just read! What do you guys think about this??!!!”

                *reading widely on various sites*
                Guilty as charged…
                After all when one has an IQ of 300 DEGREES kELVIN…what can one do!!!!

                “Look what I just read! What do you guys think about this??!!!”
                Seriously…..
                I thought that is what people on a blog discussion roundtable do….!!!
                As long as trivial (silly) stuff isn’t put out for discussion.. Apparently you and I have very different conceptualizations of what makes for robust spirited intellectual give and take.

                If you find only those who are agree with you as tolerable ..and those who vary in the slightest degree from your mindset are somehow corrupt or intellectually bankrupt or naive or all rhree, then what’s the point of the blog??

                • marknesop says:

                  He gave you the benefit of the doubt that you did not realize either issue you put up for discussion was a highly-politicized and emotional issue in which customarily-western interests have blithely ignored realities which do not support their chosen narrative.

                • Lyttenburgh says:

                  “Guilty as charged…
                  After all when one has an IQ of 300 DEGREES kELVIN…what can one do!!!!”

                  Being an autistic? If you didn’t know – 300 Kelvins equates to just 26,85 Celsius. I’d say – such confession was renarkably self-critical of yourself 🙂

                  Also – no mentally stable person would use multiple exclamation marks so much.

                  “I thought that is what people on a blog discussion roundtable do….!!!”

                  Our generous host Mark may correct me if I’m wrong, but comment section is comment section. Not some designated “blog discussion roundtable” by your volition. It’s first and chief use is to comment on articles published here by our host or by invited authors. The comment section, in short, is not to entertain you.

                  “Apparently you and I have very different conceptualizations of what makes for robust spirited intellectual give and take.”

                  I LOLed at the word “robust” coming from you.

                  You know, NS, reading your “emotionally charged” posts I can’t decide whether you are a teen who just hit puberty, or an old grognard, hit by senility. One thing is certain, though, and established before all the World to see – you, sir, are no gentleman.

              • marknesop says:

                I could not have said it better myself, on either count. I don’t believe it is deliberate ‘trolling’ behavior, but the response to being rebutted is a little extreme. Once again I recommend a reasoned, dispassionate presentation of all the facts which are known rather than a slanging match.

                • Northern Star says:

                  What “rebutted”…there was nothing russophobic posted by me to rebut..

                  I brought up the ’44 uprising and posed a question….How the F is that trolling?????

                  A half dozen or so stooges kicked it around.. I learned a little something…and the blog convo moved on to other things……

                  Trolling is Lyttenburg going out of his way to reach waaaaay up his butt and drag out some water under the bridge -or so I thought- BS about my DARING to mention the Leningrad book…..

                • Northern Star says:

                  “you did not realize either issue you put up for discussion was a highly-politicized and emotional issue ”

                  Yes…but how does that justify the attacking me for bringing up the issue??
                  That’s very close to saying that to broach the topic is in itself disrespectful and/or insensitive….which is ridiculous…IMO.

                • marknesop says:

                  Maybe that’s how you see it. I’m merely suggesting you are not doing it deliberately, a la trolling. Some zombie subjects – such as Ahmadinejad saying Israel must be wiped off the map – come up over and over even though they ought to be ‘dead’ since they have been debunked in detail. There are many analogies, but one of my favourites is the story that Saddam’s soldiers emptied Kuwaiti babies out of hospital incubators and left them to die on the cold floors, while they humped the incubators back to Iraq. That story was told to me by my Mom, who heard it on CNN or some news channel. And it was just a complete fabrication from start to finish, a fake news story deliberately created out of whole cloth by a western PR agency, using the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador as a phony candy-striper nurse. So you could sort of understand, I hope, how infuriating it would be for somebody to introduce that story 'for discussion', with a view to establishing whether or not the regime of Saddam Hussein was wicked if it would do such a thing. Perhaps it would, but things just did not happen that way. Or the completely stage-managed ‘rescue’ of US Army Private Jessica Lynch. Or the way the Ukrainians keep 'finding' incriminating 'Buk missile parts' in the wreckage of MH17, where they would absolutely not be since the missile never makes contact with the target except by the fragments generated by its warhead. It's a little annoying for me to have to go round and round the mulberry bush all over again with sanctimonious blowhards who puff their nonsense theories about Russia having shot down the aircraft when every circumstance and behavior argues that's not what happened, and I am a fairly even-tempered sort, not quick to anger unless I am driving. So you can sort of see how bringing up those subjects might generate anger.

                  So I'm going to recommend that in future such subjects just be ignored.

            • Northern Star says:

              NS began whining and saying – word for word – “I merely intended to put up for discussion” this book. I.e. – he was trolling

              (What did Mark write about my Leningrad book post and the reactions to it??….were his remarks consistent with trolling on my part??….Hmmm?)

              LOL!!…So the great Lyttenburgh proclaims that I am “whining” of “trolling”..hence it must be true!!! No buttwype..it’s just you indulging in ad hominem attacks of proclamtion!!!!

              Your received proclamations about me don’t mean shit…and like most cowards you always drag in other unspecified commenters who supposedly agree with you….!!!

              “Just the same thing happened now.”
              Nope….YOUR punkazz initiated this current exchange…I have not said a GD thing to or about you….I leave you the F alone..which BTW is precisely what you would do wrt to NS if we were in close proximity.

              :O)

        • Matt says:

          Don’t mind them, Northern Star. Some still believe the Russian government’s lies about MH17!

          • kirill says:

            Bugger off troll. Anyone who invokes a cliche about believing government propaganda is fucking retard. These days people get their information from private individuals and not some “official source”. You can go ahead and worship the Bellingcat unphysical horseshit but some of us actually have the PhDs to understand that it is you who is peddling horseshit and lies.

            • Matt says:

              “but some of us actually have the PhDs to understand”

              Fallacious reasoning. And one does not need to be a Bellingcat reader to recognize contradictions in the Russian government’s various narratives about MH17.

              • marknesop says:

                Whereas the Ukrainian story makes perfect sense. It is not at all unusual to make a country that is automatically a suspect – remember, the shoot-down and subsequent crash did not even occur in Russia – the chair of the Joint Investigation Team, and allow them unrestricted and unsupervised access to the evidence as well as a veto over the publication of investigation results. Is that the way crimes are solved in the west? Did the Libyans get to chair the investigation into the Lockerbie bombing? Gaddafi more than likely was not guilty of it, but you can be sure Libya never got near any of the evidence, and the idea the rest of the team would ask his permission before publishing the results is laughable.

                Of course there are inconsistencies in the ‘Russian story’, although you are taking everything that appears in Russian newspapers as if it were coming straight from the government, because nobody knows what happened except for whoever personally pulled the trigger. And he’s right that you don’t understand, or perhaps you’re determined not to understand because you like your own story too much, because you don’t know anything about how the accused system works. The scenario proposed by the Ukrainians – and accepted without question by the Dutch investigators – is analogous to an accusation that the Russians had killed the Dutch Ambassador to Ukraine in a car crash, but they had not brought a whole car; just four Russians carrying the engine and running with it.

              • yalensis says:

                Okay, Matt, let’s employ binary logic here, using 2 variables: (A) Shot down by plane or shot down by BUK; and (B) deliberately or by accident.

                Then there are 4 possible combinations:
                (1) Plane shot down deliberately,
                (2) Plane shot down by accident,
                (3) BUK shot down deliberately,
                (4) BUK shot down by accident

                Adding a 3rd variable (Russia vs. Ukraine), I believe even you, Matt, have stated that you don’t believe the Russians did it on purpose. We can also eliminate any combinations involving (Russia + plane) since Russia didn’t have any fighter jets over Ukrainian airspace, I don’t believe even the Ukrainians claim such a thing.

                If my reasoning is correct, then that leaves 5 logical possibilities:
                (1) Ukrainian plane shot down deliberately,
                (2) Ukrainian plane shot down by accident,
                (3) Ukrainian BUK shot down deliberately
                (4) Ukrainian BUK shot down by accident
                (5) Russian BUK shot down by accident

                • Matt says:

                  I think Eastern Ukrainian rebels accidentally shot down MH17. The reason I focus so much on the Russian government is because they are the only ones who are providing multiple alternate scenarios. The reason for this is obvious, as Putin made clear when he said the following to Oliver Stone:

                  “No, that’s quite understandable, because we understand their position on Ukraine. And certainly they all wanted to shift the blame on the militia fighters in Donbass *and indirectly Russia, who supports the militia*… If this information is contrary [to the official position] then they will never reveal it”

                  And that is why the Russian government tried distracting from the BUK theory: Putin admits that if the rebels are blamed, then Russia would take some flak too, since it supports the fighters.

                • marknesop says:

                  What, exactly, are the multiple alternate scenarios proposed by the Russian government? Careful, now – the Russian government, not the Russian press, unless they are clearly reporting a theory given to them by the Russian government. Releases by the MOD are okay, that’s certainly an official disclosure.

                  I think you will find the Russian government did not endorse any particular possibility, except to say that it was not Russia who did it. Oddly, that’s the one theory you seem to find unacceptable. The Russian government did not ever say a Ukrainian SU-25 shot down MH17; the Russian MOD said that its sensors had detected what they believed to be an SU-25 near MH17 at about the time its transponder ceased transmitting, which was shortly after control had been passed from Boryspil to Dnipropetrovsk ATC. The Russian government has theorized that a missile attack which took down MH17 could not have happened the way the Dutch investigation concluded it had, and that no missile had been observed on Russian radars coming from the direction the Dutch investigation said it did, which appeared to be driven more by the need to place the firing location inside rebel-held territory than any other compelling consideration.

                  If the Buk launcher is enough for air defense on its own, without the other parts of the system, why don’t the Ukrainians employ it that way? They could cover four times the territory. But they don’t, because the radar on it is for fire control rather than surveillance, and you can’t do target acquisition for shit with it.

                  Assuming that, why would Russia attempt a secret mission inside Ukraine with that kind of handicap up front? It’s not like they don’t have any full systems, and if the aim was to supply a system to the rebels, it would have been the very eye of stupidity to only give them a single launcher and four missiles. And why the alleged mad dash for the border, to ‘flee the scene of the crime’? Why not just leave the system there? It’s in a war zone, and it would be a lot less likely to be spotted under cover with some brush or a camnet over it than driving public roads in broad daylight on its way back to Russia. And the flatdeck truck that allegedly brought it in – why did he hang around, waiting until after the shot to take it back? None of that sounds like rebels shooting by accident – it sounds like a carefully-planned mission by Russia to shoot down an airliner and nothing else, and then be obvious about it by taking the murder weapon back to Russia. Is it your position that Russians are genetically stupid and incapable of planning complex missions? Obviously the launcher did not fire from the back of the truck – no, it would have been unloaded and driven to the firing position, and all that time, the truck hung around and waited, and then loaded it back up and hightailed it for the border? To what end? Why would Russia do such a thing, knowing that the chances of being caught would be high and that it would likely bring the wrath of the world down on its head just when it was trying to avoid making waves? If you recall, Europe was wavering on the question of sanctions. But as soon as MH17 hit the dirt and the British press released a slew of stories about ‘Putin’s missile’, Europe united foursquare behind sanctions. Did the trick, didn’t it? Is that a past template for pushing public opinion? Sure is – ever heard of Operation Northwoods?

                • Lyttenburgh says:

                  “I think Eastern Ukrainian rebels accidentally shot down MH17.”

                  Westerner/Svidomite logic: “Separatists shot down the plane with Russian BUK… that’s why we gonna classify all relevant data and refuse to reveal our radars feed, traffic controllers conversations and position of the Ukraininan BUKs. Slava Ukrajine – Heroyam Slava!”

                  Meanwhile, people with something else than jelly in their heads, have some fairly good ideas about Ukrainian BUKs whereabouts.

                  “The reason I focus so much on the Russian government is because they are the only ones who are providing multiple alternate scenarios.”

                  You failed to prove that there were indeed a case of “providing multiple alternate scenarios” from Russian government. Personal experience (aka “I think so” and “It’s most logical!”) unsupported by verified facts is not an argument.

                  “And that is why the Russian government tried distracting from the BUK theory: Putin admits that if the rebels are blamed, then Russia would take some flak too, since it supports the fighters.”

                  Says a person who earlier claimed that’s why he “focus” so much on Russia. So – you are a Russophobe, who is not interested in truth, just in painting Russia badly. Guessed as much.

                • yalensis says:

                  Matt: You find it suspicious that the Russian government put out some contradictory theories. Personally, I find it more suspicious that the Ukrainians had their story straight from the very beginning.
                  In fact, they seem to have their cover story ready even before the plane hit the ground!

                  Maybe the Russian government and/or media are not even 100% sure what really happened, did that ever occur to you?

                • Jen says:

                  @ Matt: Where’s the evidence that Moscow or the Russian Ministry of Defence was aiding the Donbass rebels with artillery, ammunition and military personnel of the level needed to bring a BUK missile delivery system into eastern Ukraine at the time of MH17’s shootdown in 2014? You take for granted that Moscow was giving assistance to eastern Ukrainians and argue from there. But how do you really know apart from relying on Western sources that repeat one another? There’s been no substantial first-hand evidence from reporters in the area. We’ve already been all over Guardian reporter Shaun Walker’s laughable reporting in which he claimed to have seen Russian troops in Ukraine but took no photos of what he saw.

          • Northern Star says:

            Ummm Matt…I think I can do without your ‘help’
            Thanx but no Thanx

    • marknesop says:

      I’m by no means an expert on Poland, but from my non-expert perspective the Poles seem to carry a permanent grudge against the Soviet Union (and its successors) for its having ‘snuffed out the Poland that might have been’. Since the west seems to be a big fan of Russia giving back all the land it allegedly took from everyone else (coincidentally, that would result in a smaller Russia), the Poles love the west, or say they do. That and the supposed economic miracle which made Poland almost instantly prosperous upon joining the EU (largely consisting of forgiving debt).

      • yalensis says:

        I saw this piece in VZGLIAD today about President Trump basically repeating all the Polish talking points in a speech. The idea of Trump waxing on like a professional historian about the Warsaw Uprising is funny enough in itself. I bet Trump couldn’t even point to Poland on a map, let alone Warsaw.
        I might do a post on this, but first I have to finish my current series on the Siemens gas turbines for Crimea.

      • Cortes says:

        Remittances from expatriate workers plays no small role in the “prosperity” of Poland.

        • moscowexile says:

          I faintly recall the figures given out some 3 or 4 years ago concerning the second most spoken language after English in the UK and Ireland, and no, it is not Urdu, Punjabi, Gujerat etc., it is … wait for it, wait for it …. Polish!

          And of all child benefits paid abroad to families of expatriates working in the UK, over 66% of them went to …Poland.

          Foreign children living overseas are receiving £600,000 in British child benefit every week, it has emerged.

          Figures show that £31 million was paid to families of children living overseas last year. In all 20,400 Child Benefit claims were made, covering 34,268 children – two thirds of whom are living in Poland…

          Child benefit in the UK is worth £81.20 a month for the first child and £53.60 for the second and subsequent children, roughly four times higher than Polish rates.

          See: £600,000 a week paid out in child benefit to parents overseas

          • moscowexile says:

            I couple of years ago I asked the UK pension office if I qualified for some kind of increase in my state pension, which I receive monthly as well as a miners’ pension from the Miners’ Pension Fund, in view of the fact that although I am a pensioner, I still have three children who are my dependents and still go to school.

            They told me to fuck off.

            Well, not in so many words. It seems that I could have qualified but “we’re all in it together” austerity Dave’s government stopped the payments of child benefits to folk such as I am who have chosen to swan around abroad. Apparently, they did this the year before I asked them cap in hand for some more gruel.

            Unlike Dave, though, I spent many years in the UK engaged in uncomfortable toil only to have my wages hammered by taxation because I was a single man. So I put a lot into the kitty and now get a paltry feedback for my efforts.

            Dave, on the other hand, has never had a real job in his life, he having been groomed all along to be a Conservative party mandarin.

        • marknesop says:

          Yes, and that’s useful to remember. Of course they are not sending money home to the state, but the money they do send allows family to pay their taxes and live on the economy at home, which does support the state.

          Western officials (unnamed) allegedly said Poland’s debt forgiveness was the most generous ever granted a debtor nation, but was warranted “because of the exceptional situation of Poland, involved in a transition without precedent toward a market economy.” It does not take much cleverness to see how Ukraine’s inheritor-leaders yearned for just such largess, which under different circumstances of global cash-flow might well have happened. Poland got to keep about $16 Billion that it would otherwise have been on the hook to pay, and that’s in 1991 dollars. Quite a serious chunk of change. At least they were less disingenuous then, as the sweetheart deal Poland received was clearly spelled out as “to insure the success of Poland’s move away from Communism.” Bless you, New York Times, you eternal patriot.

          Funny you should mention that, though, because the official Polish attitude is reflected in the spit-flecked rant of the surviving Kaczynski, who said that Poland completely deserves much more compensation from the EU for losses it suffered in World War Two as well as all the cheap labour provided to wealthier countries. It is one of those funny moments when, were it not for Poland’s compulsive hatred of Russia, the moment would be ripe for Russia to split Poland from the EU. Instead, Poland is more likely to get a thumb in its eye, and if it does not smarten the fuck up pretty sharpish, it will get itself cast adrift.

      • kirill says:

        The Polish economy was taken over to a large extent by the Germans. It is nothing like the domestic success of Russia’s development over the last 15+ years. The Poles bear a grudge against Russia also because Poland came under the control of the Russian Empire during the 1800s. But this is not the same colonialism as Australia or Canada. Poland was a very aggressive regime several centuries ago and was actually trying to foist regime change on Russia in the case of false Dmitry I, II and II during the early 1600s. Ultimately the root of this meddling is the Catholic-Orthodox schism and the Teutonic Knight invasions at earlier stages were part of the same drang nach osten. I can see why Poland would be colonially occupied at some stage since that is exactly the treatment that aggressive small states get around the world throughout history.

        The treatment of Poles by Russians during the “occupation” was very mild. There was no attempt at force conversion and grotesque killings as was perpetrated by the Poles against Ukrainians. The Uniates are the result of Polish assimilation efforts. The Russian Empire was not known for treating its constituents like second class citizens regardless of serfdom. Poland never treated Ukrainians as anything other than second class citizens.

    • Lyttenburgh says:

      For NS and others. Quick reminder what is Trolling

      “a: to antagonize (others) online by deliberately posting inflammatory, irrelevant, or offensive comments or other disruptive content

      … trolls engage in the most outrageous and offensive behaviors possible — all the better to troll you with. — Whitney Phillips

      b : to act as a troll on (a forum, site, etc.)

      … is also notorious, for trolling message boards on the Internet, posting offensive material he himself has written and then suing anyone who responds in agreement. — Mark Hemingway”

      Now, establishing common terms, let’s move on to the essence of the problem – the pattern of behavior exhibited by userperson Northern Star.

      Are you denying that this is your typical, long ago established tactic, NS – to troll (like in fishing) for attention?

      Let me remind those who somehow missed that. It all began here and then went steady downhill. To avoid accusations of putting my words into someone else’s mouth, I will just quote what NS wrote:

      “Absolute MUST reading for all Stooges…particularly Russian stooges!
      [link to the aforementioned book]

      Interesting how some survivors of the siege were treated by their fellow Russians -under Stalin- after the siege was broken…..”

      End of quote. In these just few sentences NS:

      A) Recommended (“absolute MUST” in his words) a book, which he didn’t read himself.
      B) Made non sequitur comment, to “stir up the pot” in order to kickstart the discussion. In short – he trolled.

      In his further answers NS continued to urge others to “read the book”, when they asked about his opinion. E.g.:

      “Like I said..Read the book….I am not going to debate literary aspects of War and Peace
      with someone who hasn’t read Tolstoy.”

      But, according to NS, you (him in that case) yourself CAN debate literary aspects and historical veracity of his linked book, while he didn’t read it. Oh, and NS didn’t read “War and Peace” either.

      When he did provide quotes, it was solely from annotations or from reviews – but not from the book itself. Now, I ask everyone – how can you honestly support any position (in NS’ case it was “Interesting how some survivors of the siege were treated by their fellow Russians”, aka – “commies massacred innocents” claimed by the book) without possessing the whole body of information YOU CLAIM to have, i.e. without even ready a book he shilled for?

      Sadly, his newly acquired “fame” got into NS’ head. Again, lest I would be accused of lying:

      “Seeing as how Stooges were so very appreciative of my last attempt to possibly broaden and enrich some of your historical perspectives….here is another gem for your consideration:
      [link to YouTube video]
      ……You’re welcome”

      But this was not enough for NS, so he on his own volition, got back to the dead horse-topic of the Blockade book… and it was there when he went completely bananas. It all quickly deteriorated on NS’ part into a fusillade of profanities (not very clever or inventive, btw).

      Mark have to loom ominously on the unfolding drama and asking (politely) for refraining of the use of the “c@#t” word.

      And so we found ourselves here. Thankfully, NS no longer uses “c-t” word. He uses all others though, but this time aimed not just at me, but on other commenters as well. And he dares to speak about being “shut down”!

      NS! You can’t order people around here, tell them whether they can comment your posts or not and expect a “discussion”. In fact – you shouldn’t expect anything, as you are surrounded by people with their own tastes and views. Stop playing victim card here.

      Jen is the most positive, smart, patient, soft-spoke and kind person I’ve ever met online(*). What you said to her was beyond good and evil. Maybe Jen will forgive you, if you apologize to her honestly. Me? Sadly, I’m not a good person and would be the first one to admit this. So I hardly would ever forgive such low scum like you, userperson “Northern Star”.

      _________________
      * There is another one, but she likes anime and cats too much to my liking,

  20. et Al says:

    The Register: Someone’s phishing US nuke power stations. So far, no kaboom
    https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/07/07/someones_phishing_us_nuke_power_stations_so_far_no_kaboom/

    Stuxnet, this ain’t

    …It seems so far whoever behind the campaign has tried phishing and watering-hole attacks, but haven’t got beyond corporate networks (which in critical infrastructure should be on separate networks from the operational systems).

    The New York Times got wind of the intrusion attempts, getting a look at a joint Department of Homeland Security/FBI report….

    …Bloomberg added the almost inevitable detail https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-07-07/russians-are-said-to-be-suspects-in-hacks-involving-nuclear-site that unnamed officials believe Russia is behind the campaign.
    ####

    Oh FFS! This is even more ridiculous and much less funny than your average British Panto at Christmas. “OOOh yes you did! OOOh no I didn’t!“. How the f/k can serious journalist continue to act as reliable sternographers for official ‘unnofficial’ or ‘ anonymous’ sources? It the old days, it would be a journalists job to ferret about and find someone to slip them information. Now they come straight to your office… like pizza. All hot, spicy and crusty, ready to serve as a tasty news story. How the mighty have fallen.

    • et Al says:

      Weep it and read:

      Moon of Alabama: The Undeniable Pattern Of Russian Hacking (Updated)
      http://www.moonofalabama.org/2017/07/the-undeniable-pattern-of-russian-hacking.html

      Updated below

      A wide review of news sources finds an undeniable patter of international “Russian hacking” claims:

      Many, if not all such accusation, are based on say-so by some anonymous “official” or self-promoting “expert”.
      Many, if not all such accusation, are rebutted within a few days or weeks.
      News about any alleged “Russian hacking” is widely distributed and easy to find.
      News of the debunking of such claims is reported only sparsely (if at all) and more difficult to retrieve…

      ####

      Plenty more at the link including a fine list of claims followed by retractions.

      Do we get what ‘we’ deserve? Imbecility?

      • marknesop says:

        An equally rock-’em-sock-’em post on the same subject from Craig Murray, sourced from the comments at that MoA article. Both are good, but MoA’s seems to rely mostly on instinct while Murray’s seems to borrow more from solid information. Well, solid information that there really is no solid information, I guess. I liked the part where he pointed out that Bill Binney reported the NSA could have a great deal more information if they actually had anything, but nobody has ever pointed to an actual event in which US servers were hacked. Sure, they say it happened, but when, exactly? Telling also is the information that the DNC will not allow the intelligence agencies access to its servers so they can determine what happened. The DNC is just bullshitting, trying to install its poison princess as President. America dodged a bullet there.

  21. et Al says:

    Trump-Putin 30 minute meeting at G20 lasted two hours. I’m sure there is despair in Foggy Butthole. The pix from the meeting only work for both of them. Considering how bad Trump is/was considered to have been (by the usuals suspects), who honestly thought that they could keep it that way? Reality has a habit of producing rude awakenings.

  22. Matt says:

    I am back, friends, although I doubt anyone remembers me.

    Speaking about Shamanism, these people must be controlled by such Shamans:

    And I thought it was bad in the U.S., but God, this is CRAZY!

    • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

      How does it feel, knowing that your dad only sired you because having a son saved him a walk to the bathhouse?

      • Matt says:

        It feels great, Pavlo my old friend.

        • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

          The first and last time you felt valued, eh Dudley?

          • Matt says:

            Instead of chasing around those who criticize the United Russia administration, your time would be better served reading about various contradictions in the Russian government’s multiple conspiracy theories about MH17.

            Was there an SU-25 or not? Think Pavlo, think,

            • marknesop says:

              It often seems as if multiple theories were introduced purely to make it impossible for the truth ever to be discovered, keeping everyone busy running down leads. But to my mind, Ukraine has a lot of ‘the dog ate my homework’ excuses – none of our aircraft were flying that day; sorry, all our primary radars were down for maintenance; gee, I don’t know where those ATC records went! And the theory the Dutch Safety Board copped to – that Russia smuggled in a single component of the Buk system, shot down MH17 with it, and then smuggled it back out again – is frankly crazy and makes no sense.

              • Matt says:

                “none of our aircraft were flying that day”

                The Russian government already said last September that no aircraft were near MH17 when it was destroyed, apart from two commercial aircraft.

                ” all our primary radars were down for maintenance”

                Russia also claimed this, but last September, suddenly “found” the raw primary radar data showing no SU-25s in the vicinity of MH17, contradicting their earlier claims.

                “I don’t know where those ATC records went”

                I’ve never heard about this one. But at least the Ukrainians didn’t pay a Spanish anti-Maidan activist to pose as a Ukrainian ATC and give an interview with RT Spanish, or have a Ukrainian pilot “defect” to Russia, claiming he overheard a fellow pilot admit to having shot down MH17 and he was afraid for his life since he knew this info. All of which… turned out to be false, which means this pilot was paid a hefty sum by the Russian government to move to Russia so they could parade him around state TV while he repeated his disinformation.

                “And the theory the Dutch Safety Board copped to – that Russia smuggled in a single component of the Buk system, shot down MH17 with it”

                That’s only one theory. It’s also possible the rebels captured a BUK from the Ukrainians.

                No different than Operation INFEKTION.

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

                • marknesop says:

                  The Russian government already said last September that no aircraft were near MH17 when it was destroyed, apart from two commercial aircraft.

                  But the MOD saw an SU-25 near it? Are we talking about the same Russian government? Eyewitnesses also reported seeing a small plane, like a fighter, near the stricken aircraft.

                  Russia also claimed this, but last September, suddenly “found” the raw primary radar data showing no SU-25s in the vicinity of MH17, contradicting their earlier claims.

                  You have a definite tendency to veer straight onto Russia when we were talking about Ukraine – does it seem reasonable to you that Ukraine was continuing to route international air traffic over a battle zone when it had only secondary radars available for ATC functions? What Russia was doing is irrelevant to this particular line of questioning, since it was not ever controlling MH17 in flight. Ukraine beat around the bush and said it had no primary radar operating. It camouflaged this declaration with a bunch of rubbish about this station being damaged and that station being too busy with a bake sale or whatever, all of which is meaningless since it was Dnipropetrovsk controlling the aircraft when it was hit. Incidentally, Secondary Surveillance Radar (SSR) only reads transponder data. If an aircraft in the control zone has its transponder off, has a broken transponder or does not have a transponder (military aircraft have them but rarely use them except when flying in a commercial airlane because it gives away their position to anyone with IFF equipment), it will not be visible.

                  I’ve never heard about this one. But at least the Ukrainians didn’t pay a Spanish anti-Maidan activist to pose as a Ukrainian ATC and give an interview with RT Spanish, or have a Ukrainian pilot “defect” to Russia, claiming he overheard a fellow pilot admit to having shot down MH17 and he was afraid for his life since he knew this info. All of which… turned out to be false, which means this pilot was paid a hefty sum by the Russian government to move to Russia so they could parade him around state TV while he repeated his disinformation.

                  See? There we go; straight onto Russia, and what Russia is doing, according to you and your ‘sources’. It is apparent that nothing will sway you from the committed belief that Russia shot down MH17, because nice Ukrainians would never do such a thing, and because it’s what you want to believe. Please yourself, but I think we’re done here.

                  In fact, the Russian government has never endorsed the theory that ‘Carlos’ is genuine, or that the mechanic (not a pilot) who allegedly said Voloshyn did it is telling the truth or is even real. Russian newspapers have made some claims, but there has never been a statement from the government claiming either of those is true; if you have such evidence, please disclose it.

                  The ATC records from Boryspil were confiscated, supposedly as part of an investigation into what happened, and have never seen the light of day again. Boryspil had already passed control of the aircraft to Dnipropetrovsk, and to the best of my knowledge those recordings have never been introduced into evidence, either. Ukraine’s excuse is that the Dutch Safety Board ‘never asked for them’. No, of course not – they’re probably not important!

                  That’s only one theory. It’s also possible the rebels captured a BUK from the Ukrainians.

                  Yes, except that Ukraine originally reported that it destroyed all military equipment in areas from which it retreated, to prevent it from falling into enemy hands. This is why the Russia-brought-it-in story is so important to Ukraine’s defense – it must have been, or else Ukraine is lying.

                • Matt says:

                  Reply to marknesop:

                  “But the MOD saw an SU-25 near it? Are we talking about the same Russian government? Eyewitnesses also reported seeing a small plane, like a fighter, near the stricken aircraft.”

                  On the July 21 2014 press conference the Russian MoD said an SU-25 approached MH17 (they pointed at radar marks showing falling debris of MH17 and claimed that was an SU-25):

                  “The Russian military detected a Ukrainian SU-25 fighter jet gaining height towards the MH17 Boeing on the day of the catastrophe. Kiev must explain why the military jet was tracking the passenger airplane, the Russian Defense Ministry said.”

                  Source: rt.com/news/174412-malaysia-plane-russia-ukraine/

                  Eyewitness testimony is notoriously unreliable. The MoD and the “eyewitnesses” contradict this:

                  On September 26, 2016:

                  “”There were no airborne side objects near the Malaysian airliner. Except for two commercial aircraft – No. 1775 and No. 4722. The first plane appeared long before the disaster, and the second was at a distance of over 30 km from it. There were no any side objects near the plane before its disintegration,” Viktor Meshcheryakov, deputy chief constructor from Lianozovo Electromechanical Plant, which develops radar station Utyos-T, said at a briefing in Moscow just two days prior to a new report to be released by a Dutch-led investigative team.”

                  Source: ria.ru/mh17/20160926/1477865136.html

                  You have a definite tendency to veer straight onto Russia when we were talking about Ukraine – does it seem reasonable to you that Ukraine was continuing to route international air traffic over a battle zone when it had only secondary radars available for ATC functions? What Russia was doing is irrelevant to this particular line of questioning, since it was not ever controlling MH17 in flight.

                  I am not blaming Russia for bringing down MH17, nor am I saying the Ukrainians were right to not close the airspace over the war zone.

                  “See? There we go; straight onto Russia, and what Russia is doing, according to you and your ‘sources’. It is apparent that nothing will sway you from the committed belief that Russia shot down MH17, because nice Ukrainians would never do such a thing, and because it’s what you want to believe. Please yourself, but I think we’re done here.”

                  I repeat: I have never claimed Russia shot down MH17. You have created an artificial strawman.

                  “In fact, the Russian government has never endorsed the theory that ‘Carlos’ is genuine, or that the mechanic (not a pilot) who allegedly said Voloshyn did it is telling the truth or is even real. Russian newspapers have made some claims, but there has never been a statement from the government claiming either of those is true; if you have such evidence, please disclose it.”

                  Heh, come now, you know better than to be so naive. The Russian government promotes an alternative scenario to the BUK theory, and these people just *happen* to lie just to give credence to this exact (false) scenario? Did Carlos and the mechanic randomly wake up one day and decide to lie about imaginary SU-25s? And it wasn’t just “Russian newspapers” – Carlos’ interview was with RT Spanish – state media.

                  “The ATC records from Boryspil were confiscated, supposedly as part of an investigation into what happened, and have never seen the light of day again. Boryspil had already passed control of the aircraft to Dnipropetrovsk, and to the best of my knowledge those recordings have never been introduced into evidence, either. Ukraine’s excuse is that the Dutch Safety Board ‘never asked for them’. No, of course not – they’re probably not important!”

                  The ATC records from Boryspil are not of any significance, after the Utyos-T radar station released its raw primary radar data.

                  “Yes, except that Ukraine originally reported that it destroyed all military equipment in areas from which it retreated, to prevent it from falling into enemy hands. This is why the Russia-brought-it-in story is so important to Ukraine’s defense – it must have been, or else Ukraine is lying.”

                  Ukraine is lying about having destroyed the BUKs, to avoid criminal liability.

                • marknesop says:

                  As Homer Simpson might remark – how convenient.

                  The ATC records which were immediately seized by the SBU – rightly so, as in any country they would form a critical part of the investigation – are not of any significance? Do you have any idea at all what you’re talking about, or are you just pulling your rebuttal out of your rebutt?

                  The examination of Air Traffic Control records as well as all communications between the ATC and the stricken aircraft is sufficiently important to the NTSB Accident Investigation process that a dedicated specialist (a qualified ATC) is always on the team and assigned to that duty. The sole reason possible for Ukraine’s reluctance to allow examination of these records is that they contain evidence of events Ukraine cannot explain and still maintain its innocence. For example, they may well contain proof that Boryspil directed the aircraft to reduce altitude and change course to fly over Donbas, something Ukraine and its defenders insist is a lie. The proof which would refute it, unarguably and for all time, would be in the ATC records. And that was alleged to have taken place while the aircraft was still under control by Boryspil.

                  By way of contrast, Utyos never at any time had ATC responsibility for MH17, and carried out no communications with the aircraft. The primary radar data was released only to substantiate that nothing approached the aircraft from the direction Ukraine and the investigators said the alleged missile did.

                  Eyewitnesses are notoriously unreliable. Mmm. It’s funny that virtually the first thing the police do in any investigation is to start knocking on doors to see if anyone saw or heard anything which might be connected with the crime. But I’ll be sure to pass along to them that they need no longer bother. Instead, they should just ask the prime suspect what happened, and put that in their report.

                  In this instance it is difficult to ascertain exactly what witnesses saw or heard because of malicious distortions and fabrications by western journalists such as ‘award-winning’ Spiegel reporter Marcus Bensmann.

                  The damage to the port wing and engine of the aircraft suggest an attack which came from a totally different direction that that settled upon by the Dutch Safety Board. The damage to the port side of the cockpit and to the port wing and engine would not be possible had the missile approached from the direction the board concluded. Ukraine had direct input to the wording of the report by the Dutch Safety Board, demanding the change – for example – of ‘local authorities’ to ‘illegal armed groups’.

                  Official Ukrainian Ministry of Defense video showed a Ukrainian Armed Forces Buk system deployed in the ATO zone on July 16th, the day prior to the shooting-down of MH17. Russian satellite photography showed more than one.

                  Why would Ukraine lie about having destroyed all functional weaponry before withdrawing, if it is sure Russia smuggled a system into Ukraine, shot down the airliner and then fled?

            • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

              Lulz who cares shitstain? MH-17 is a dead issue – fat wankers like yourself may want to make it into the crime of the century because some Europeans suffered the consequences of the war their governments started, but nobody else gives a damn about MH-17 or your dead Ukrainian motherland.

              • Matt says:

                Geez, I thought I already told you that your hallucinations, in which anyone who opposes you on the internet is automagically Ukrainian, are fantasy?

                I will repeat my previous comments from June: a Ukrainian must’ve done something *really* nasty to your mother for you to act like this!

                MH17 is a major issue, and trolls like you will never change that. Now go find those SU-25s the MoD claimed it saw.

              • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

                MH-17 is a non-event. Airliner wanders over combat zone, gets blasted? Predictable and legally no more significant than the USS Vincennes shootdown.

                Педик, Ти навіть говориш на нашій мові?

                Your shame at being a Ukrainian is understandable, but if you didn’t want it known that you were one, you shouldn’t have posted to begin with – studies show that Ukrainian nationalists are far too stupid, monomaniacal and emotionally incontinent to conceal their ethnicity, even in anonymous communications. I’d point out the ways in which you revealed yourself as a Ukrainian-Canadian, but you’re not a learning animal and anyway I’m not here to do you any favours.

                • Matt says:

                  The U.S. admit it was behind the USS Vincennes shoot down. Not quite so with Russia’s disinformation campaign surrounding MH17. That is unprecedented in scope.

                  Like this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_INFEKTION

                  Once again, I must say: I am a Canadian of Venezuelan extraction. If you want to delude yourself that I’m a Ukrainian and if that helps you sleep better at night, then by all means, do so. See, I care very deeply for you, Pavlo. I want you to be happy.

                • marknesop says:

                  According to U.S. State Department analysts, another reason the Soviet Union “promoted the AIDS disinformation may have been its attempt to distract international attention away from its own offensive biological warfare program, which [was monitored] for decades.” In addition to anthrax, the Soviets were believed to have developed tularemia, the plague, and cholera for biological warfare purposes, as well as botulinum toxin, enterotoxins, and mycotoxins.

                  Ha, ha!! I love Wikipedia – on the political hot-buttons, it’s so sanctimonious.

                  In fact, it was the USA – represented by no less than Donald Rumsfeld – which transferred chemical and biological warfare agents to Iraq. The CIA had warned Saddam was using chemical weapons, so I’m pretty sure Rumsfeld knew he didn’t want anthrax for agricultural purposes.

                • Lyttenburgh says:

                  “I am a Canadian of Venezuelan extraction. “

                  Ah. So you are overcompensating and try to be “more Canadian than Canadians”, which in your case lead you to be “more Russophobic”. That… explains things.

                • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

                  Ukraine shot down MH-17. I will say that again because it triggers you so

                  So it’s ‘unprecedented’ but at the same time it’s ‘like operation INFEKTION?’. Then it’s not unprecedented, is it?

                  Bloody hell Dudley, I knew you were a moron but do try to learn what words mean.

                  I am, in truth, being generous in assuming you are a Ukrainian. Cheerleading for Petya Poroshenko because your ancestors are buried in Truskavets or some other such shithole is lame, but it’s a recognisably human motivation. Being a ‘Venezuelan’ (LOL) and spending your useless life regurgitating shit you read on EuromaidanPR to an audience of nobody would be incomprehensibly pathetic.

                  I am an optimist – I don’t believe anybody, even a morbidly obese sex offender like yourself (don’t deny it, you already admitted to being a Reddit mod), could be quite that depressing.

                • Matt says:

                  Re: your other comment

                  “Ukraine shot down MH-17. I will say that again because it triggers you so.”

                  Doesn’t trigger me at all. The rebels are Ukrainians, live in E. Ukraine. Of course Ukrainians shot down MH17!

                  “So it’s ‘unprecedented’ but at the same time it’s ‘like operation INFEKTION?’. Then it’s not unprecedented, is it? Bloody hell Dudley, I knew you were a moron but do try to learn what words mean.”

                  Unprecedented in that Western countries have never done that. Only Russia/USSR did that. Learn to read.

                  “spending your useless life regurgitating shit you read on EuromaidanPR”

                  The Russian government’s lies are well-known, nothing to do with EuroMaidanPR. Nice strawman.

                  “you already admitted to being a Reddit mod)”

                  You don’t understand how Reddit works. Anyone can be a mod of a sub-reddit that they create. For example, you could create a subreddit called RussiaDinduNuffin and you would then be a mod of that subreddit.

                  Allow me to demonstrate:

                  https://www.reddit.com/r/RussiaDinduNuffin/

                  Thus, being a “Reddit mod” in nothing special. It’s like creating your own FaceBook group.

                • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

                  I’m well familiar with reddit – not least the site’s preference for hiding unpopular opinions, when the proper course is to bully those who express them until they spaz out and storm off in a huff, as you’re going to in due course.

                  And ‘dindunuffin’, really? Maybe you’d be happier on Niggermania than reddit.

                • marknesop says:

                  “dindunuffin” is okay – not much different than ‘innit’, which we use all the time. And despite the prevalence of the ‘N” word in nursery-rhyming rap music by black artists, it is still a social taboo, and should be.

                  I can’t speak to Reddit, because I know nothing about it.

            • Lyttenburgh says:

              “Instead of chasing around those who criticize the United Russia administration”

              Some questions here:

              1) What do you understand by the term “the United Russia administration”? Government? It’s proper name is “Government”. Or is it the Office of the Presidential Administration?

              2) Whom the MPs of the UR party appointed into either the Government of Russia or the Presidential administration?

              • Matt says:

                I use that term deliberately, so as to avoid assuming the UR Party represents all Russians and is permanent – it doesn’t and it will fade away soon enough.

                The disinformation campaign surrounding MH17 requires some level of coordination. I recall reading some interviews with ex-state TV producers who claims that, shortly after the events in Ukraine in early 2014, they were called in for a meeting with someone from the administration and were told something along the lines of “We are currently in an information war with the West. Your job is no longer to report the truth objectively but to further the interests of the state.” I’m paraphrasing here.

                I don’t think it’s at an MP level. Probably one of Putin’s close aides or something who is in charge of handling media-related matters.

                Could even involve the SVR, similar to how the KGB was involved in Operation INFEKTION:

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

                • Lyttenburgh says:

                  “I use that term deliberately”

                  But what does this term mean? Does it mean “governemnt” aka the Cabinet of Ministers or the Presidential Administration?

                  “…so as to avoid assuming the UR Party represents all Russians”

                  Correct. It represents tje plurality of Russians. Which could also be said about any party that got the majority of seats in the State legislatiure body via elections, where the majority of people voted for them. You can also say “the Tories do not represent all British” or “the Republican do not represent all Americans.”. So what?

                  “and it will fade away soon enough”

                  When?

                  “I recall reading some interviews with ex-state TV producers who claims that”

                  Source for that.

                  “I don’t think it’s at an MP level. Probably one of Putin’s close aides or something who is in charge of handling media-related matters. “

                  So – you don’t know?

              • Matt says:

                re: Your above post: “Ah. So you are overcompensating and try to be “more Canadian than Canadians”, which in your case lead you to be “more Russophobic”. That… explains things.”

                Nice attempt at psychoanalysis, but my place of residence has nothing to do with my criticism of the current Russian administration’s falsehoods about MH17. I’d be saying the same if I had stayed in Venezuela, ruled by the corrupt dictator Maduro, who has a penchant for blaming all of Venezuela’s economic ills on the big bad U.S. of A or the sooper scary CIA.

                The terms “Russophobia” and “Russophobic” are Orwellian and try to deflect reasoned criticism of the Russian government.

                • Lyttenburgh says:

                  “Nice attempt at psychoanalysis, but my place of residence has nothing to do with my criticism of the current Russian administration’s falsehoods about MH17. I’d be saying the same if I had stayed in Venezuela, ruled by the corrupt dictator Maduro”

                  Here you go. Confirmation, that you are overcompensating.

                  “The terms “Russophobia” and “Russophobic” are Orwellian and try to deflect reasoned criticism of the Russian government.”

                  What makes them “Orwellian”?

                • yalensis says:

                  Dear Matt:
                  I think we are achieving more political clarity, now that we know you are a Venezuelan “anti-Chavista”. That is a particular political brand.
                  It is also well known that the Venezuelan “Opposition” has political ties with the Ukrainian nationalists and even learned some of their terror tactics from the Maidan people.

                  I recall on earlier thread I asked you your opinion about Stepan Bandera, and you said you didn’t like him. But am I to assume that you are friendly and have alliances with Ukrainian nationalists since you both (in your minds) have a common enemy in Russia; and a common friend in the United States?

                • Special_sauce says:

                  TIL Hasbara has an anti-Russian wing which denies its own hatefulness.

                • Matt says:

                  Reply to yalenis;

                  “I think we are achieving more political clarity, now that we know you are a Venezuelan “anti-Chavista”. That is a particular political brand.”

                  Not quite. To be against Maduro is to part of the majority in Venezuela.

                  “It is also well known that the Venezuelan “Opposition” has political ties with the Ukrainian nationalists and even learned some of their terror tactics from the Maidan people.”

                  Your views about the anti-Maduro opposition are coloured by websites that are pro-Maduro in nature. Guess where the following quote is from?

                  “Nosotros iríamos al combate, nosotros jamás nos rendiríamos y lo que no se pudo con los votos, lo haríamos con las armas,”

                  “We’ll fight back, we’ll never surrender and what we couldn’t achieve through votes, we’d do with guns”

                  It’s from our friend Nicolas Maduro. So who’s picking up which tactics from where now?

                  Imagine if the American government claimed the Senate was full of “right-wing, fascist, SVR agents working for Russia” and that Trump would change the constitution to essentially create a new legislature? And imagine if there was a severe economic crisis with runaway inflation and a shortage of basic goods in America due to an over-reliance on oil exports (hypothetically, of course), and instead of reforming the economy, Trump blamed Russia for “economic sabotage”?

                  That is exactly how Maduro is treating the U.S.

                  “But am I to assume that you are friendly and have alliances with Ukrainian nationalists since you both (in your minds) have a common enemy in Russia; and a common friend in the United States?”

                  I have zero alliances with Ukrainian nationalists, nor do I think I have an enemy in Russia, apart from their media and information campaigns. But I do think we have a friend in the U.S. After all, who buys most of Venezuela’s oil, which compromises most of our GDP? The Americans – or, as Maduro calls them – the Gringos.

              • Matt says:

                To Lyttenburgh:

                “But what does this term mean? Does it mean “governemnt” aka the Cabinet of Ministers or the Presidential Administration?”

                The Presidential Administration: http://www.rbc.ru/magazine/2017/04/58d106b09a794710fa8934ac?from=subject

                “Correct. It represents tje plurality of Russians. Which could also be said about any party that got the majority of seats in the State legislatiure body via elections, where the majority of people voted for them. You can also say “the Tories do not represent all British” or “the Republican do not represent all Americans.”. So what?”

                By that I meant more that the PA is alone in propagating the various stories about MH17 or using CyberBerkut to spread disinfo. Other parties don’t do it, and even when civilians do it, like the Nashi Youth group members who were paid to post “patriotic” posts online, it’s usually connected to United Russia or more specifically, the PA.

                “When?”

                I assume shortly after Putin is gone in 2024. His popularity is high than UR’s and it seems he’ll capitalize on that by running as an independent next year.

                “Source for that.”

                https://codastory.com/disinformation-crisis/information-war/confessions-of-a-former-state-tv-reporter

                “So – you don’t know?”

                We know that St. Petersburg restaurateur Yevgeny Prigozhin finances some troll factories (see above RBC link).

                • Lyttenburgh says:

                  “The Presidential Administration”

                  There is not a word about “Presidential administration” in that linked article. Besides – you said you don’t read Russia, do you? So, userperson Matt – stop eating bucketloads of shit and answer the question.

                  “By that I meant more that the PA is alone in propagating the various stories about MH17 or using CyberBerkut to spread disinfo.”

                  Again – what ypu mean by “Presidential Administration” that is “propagating” such and such and “uses” CyberBerkut? How can I have a meaningful conversation with you, if you can’t even say, what you mean by the term “Presidential Administration”?

                  “I assume shortly after Putin is gone in 2024. His popularity is high than UR’s and it seems he’ll capitalize on that by running as an independent next year.”

                  What makes you think that the “regime” will be gone after 2024? Based on what data? What precedents?

                  From your source:

                  “I quit RIA Novosti a month or so later, and then spent several weeks searching for a new job. “

                  From your earlier comment:

                  “I recall reading some interviews with ex-state TV producers who claims that, shortly after the events in Ukraine in early 2014, they were called in for a meeting with someone from the administration and were told”

                  Ilya Kizirov – paid shill at the US State Dept funded “Radio Liberty”. His career before that:

                  – MTV Russia (2011-12)
                  – RIA Novosti (from early 2012 till 9 December)
                  – BBC Russia (currently)

                  Which means – he worked for the state TV for less than one (1) year. There is zero (0) sources that would confirm that he ever worked for any other Media. So – he is lying out of his arse here about that events. Try again.

                • marknesop says:

                  You know that, do you? Can you point me to the lines in the article which report that as an established fact and not an allegation, using only a single Kommersant reporter as a reference?

                  We have a problem here, Matt – or at least, I do. You don’t seem to have any problem at all with repeating whatever you hear on CNN or read in some third-rate Russian broadsheet as a fact, nailed down and proven. Would you do the same for a story you read in the Weekly World News? Bat Boy signs up to fight for the USA in Afghanistan? Space explorers find Ford pickup truck floating in space…and the engine is still running? Those are real stories from that publication, accompanied by you-can-take-it-to-the-bank photos – in the latter case, an actual photo of a Ford pickup truck with a background of stars and cosmos. Of course nobody believes it – but a newspaper reported it as a fact!

                  If you believe a given Russian businessman is financing a ‘troll factory’ (not ‘troll factories’, they’re still talking about the same building on Savushkina Street in St Petersburg), then you must also believe the Chel’yabinsk meteorite was a government missile test which spun out of control, then they tried to cover it up. After all, hero journalist Yulia Latynina reported that as a fact in Novaya Gazeta, and everyone knows everything that appears in Novaya Gazeta is absolutely true.

                • Mark says:

                  Reply to marknesop:

                  “If you believe a given Russian businessman is financing a ‘troll factory’ (not ‘troll factories’, they’re still talking about the same building on Savushkina Street in St Petersburg), then you must also believe the Chel’yabinsk meteorite was a government missile test which spun out of control, then they tried to cover it up. After all, hero journalist Yulia Latynina reported that as a fact in Novaya Gazeta, and everyone knows everything that appears in Novaya Gazeta is absolutely true.”

                  From the above literature, it seems you doubt that this troll factory exists? The leaked documents from the factory are online:

                  mega.nz/#!NwZCzLAI!gUlCZkOxV733XXra4RaLTEKxeFXfpu-ztijzxSBLVeA

                  mega.nz/#!J8gX2a4B!QueMoHgV4kiYbcDa4SsghwODeO400ZqG-4Uy8q8LT0Q

                  mega.nz/#!04IUFCzQ!RIWjE5oCYEsyT67_ztqUg65d_jYX7X-6UahfPTi8Qmg

                  Sample of the above files: https://docs.google.com/document/d/13nnpZNC3rLIdS6O9ua5r3PB3L1UlLsLIZOCPKBg7C94

                • marknesop says:

                  Frankly, I do doubt that any such troll factory exists. What would be the point of that? Do all the operatives have to be in the same building at the same time? What are they being paid for? To make realistic-looking posts on online forums that simulate argument among several people when really they’re all the same person? Is there no other way to verify they made the requisite number of posts than supervising them while they do it? Don’t be ridiculous – they could do it from home, or from the freakin’ airport or a storage locker, anywhere they could get an internet connection. Having them all in the same building would only attract attention – why do you persist in believing Russians are so stupid that westerners easily catch them at their skullduggery?

                  As I mentioned before, the pictures allegedly taken ‘inside the troll factory’ feature people sitting around the perimeter of a room at ancient desktops whose monitors look like 70’s technology. Have you been to an internet cafe in Russia? Believe me, Vladivostok is The Sticks compared to Moscow or Saint Pete, and they had flatscreens when I was there in 2008.

                  But I made many of these arguments already, back in the Spring of 2015, when the ‘Putin’s Trolls’ story was reaching a fever pitch. There’s no need for trolls who are simulating multiple personas to all work out of the same building, and it would be stupid for them to do it – the only reason the story goes that way is to evoke Soviet-style totalitarianism and mind control. The pictures supposedly taken inside the ‘Troll House’ are obvious fakes, as they show technology which is decades old. The ‘troll who came in from the cold’, Marat Burkhard, is allegedly a fabrication generated by Jürg Vollmer’s own ‘Troll Factory in Frankfurt – they were believed to be the outfit which perpetrated the ‘Gay Girl in Damascus’ scam which had westerners in tears of outraged social justice, but the ‘Gay Girl’ from Damascus was actually a 40-year-old straight Scotsman from Edinburgh.

                  I don’t believe there actually is a Russian troll factory anywhere, but if there were, they would have to get their skates on to catch up with the CIA, who have been soliciting for multiple-persona operators since at least 2015, while sock-puppeting using US military operators dates back at least as far as 2011. Get a move on, Russia – they would need to influence public opinion in a language other than their own, so the CIA has an obvious advantage – it’s not interested in spinning the Russians, it’s interested in controlling what you believe, English-speaker.

                • yalensis says:

                  And speaking of multiple personas… I noticed that “Matt” suddenly became “Mark”.

                • marknesop says:

                  Yeah, I noticed that, too. Freudian slip, mayhap?

              • Matt says:

                Reply to Lyttenburgh:

                “Here you go. Confirmation, that you are overcompensating.”

                You will find that most Venezuelans are anti-Maduro, which does not indicate in any way they are compensating by criticizing the Russian government.

                “What makes them “Orwellian”?”

                They make one who criticizes the Russian government’s domestic or foreign policies look like the aggressor, even when they aren’t.

                • Lyttenburgh says:

                  “You will find that most Venezuelans are anti-Maduro, which does not indicate in any way they are compensating by criticizing the Russian government.”

                  Most Venezuelans are not in Canada trying their damnest to “fit in”

                  “They make one who criticizes the Russian government’s domestic or foreign policies look like the aggressor, even when they aren’t.”

                  1) Who – they?

                  2) Examples of these innocent slandered lambs!

            • Jen says:

              If memory serves me correctly, some of the earliest proponents of the idea that MH17 was shot down by an SU-25 (or two) were Western-based. A former Lufthansa pilot (Peter Haisenko) studied photos of the MH17 cockpit and came to the conclusion that two SU-25 fighter jets machine-gunned its left-hand side (where the pilot sat). OSCE monitor Michael Bociurkiw who was the first Westerner to visit the area where the plane went down reported seeing “almost machine gun-like holes”. Early BBC interviews with eyewitnesses also mentioned the presence of SU-25 fighter jets near the plane.

              http://axisoflogic.com/artman/publish/Article_67174.shtml

              http://www.anderweltonline.com/wissenschaft-und-technik/luftfahrt-2014/shocking-analysis-of-the-shooting-down-of-malaysian-mh17/

      • Special_sauce says:

        lol, is this how Russians rag on each other. Very impressive!

        • Matt says:

          They were most likely paid to do so. The T-Shirts, ready-to-glue posters, robotic chants, etc. all give it away.

          If this is their true behaviour, then things are worse than I thought.

          • Lyttenburgh says:

            “They were most likely paid to do so. The T-Shirts, ready-to-glue posters, robotic chants, etc. all give it away.”

            This is just a wild guess unsupported by facts. I can claim in such venue anything as well – like “Most likely, userperson Matt has no life, otherwise why would he devote so much time and effort to chase down his tail on-line”.

            • Matt says:

              I am just guessing, you’re right. But I would rather they were paid to do so, because their behaviour is terrifying. The chants, t-shirts, posters, violent behaviour, etc. It’s all strange behaviour and I can’t believe a bunch of post-middle-aged women with Putin-themed t-shirts would storm a building used by Navalny’s people and start gluing posters on the walls and breaking random stuff.

              I can’t read Russian, so I don’t know what the back story to all this is, but it’s worse than the bizarre “Russia hacked the election” hysteria in the U.S.

              • Lyttenburgh says:

                “I am just guessing, you’re right. But I would rather they were paid to do so, because their behaviour is terrifying.”

                I’m just guessing that you fuck life-sized sex-dolls. I’d rather you fuck them, because the alternative for such Redditer with no life like is to have no sex life at all.

                Here – that’s what you do with your “guesses”.

                “I can’t read Russian, so I don’t know what the back story to all this is”

                But you are “guessing”. Marvelous.

                • Matt says:

                  There is a difference between an educated guess and a blind guess. What would make these old ladies storm a building and do this crazy behaviour? Can’t be genuine.

                • Lyttenburgh says:

                  “There is a difference between an educated guess and a blind guess. What would make these old ladies storm a building and do this crazy behaviour? Can’t be genuine.”

                  Sure it can! What do you know about Russian babushki?

              • yalensis says:

                Oh, come on, Matt, these pensioners are not THAT terrifying!
                We’ve seen worse.
                The Maidan people and the Venezuelan anti-Chavistas who burn people alive in the streets – now THAT’S terrifying!

                • moscowexile says:

                  Oh, come on, Matt, these pensioners are not THAT terrifying!

                  These are:

                  (above) It says “”нет” above the Putin picture which the old ratbag is waving about.

                  (For Matt: нет means “no” in Russian.)

                • moscowexile says:

                  Thus:

                  On the booze as well!

                  Can’t be bad protesting as an impoverished pensioner in this oppressive regime that operates in this country, can it?

                  (Repeated post again above. Why?)

          • Special_sauce says:

            I meant you and Pavlo.

    • Special_sauce says:

      God, this is CRAZY!

      It’s also beautiful! I choked up. Tears welled. Is this it?
      The Proletarian Dictatorship, long promised, long delayed?

    • Lyttenburgh says:

      “Speaking about Shamanism, these people must be controlled by such Shamans”

      Elaborae here. Who? How?

      “And I thought it was bad in the U.S., but God, this is CRAZY!”

      What, userperson Matt – бомбит?

      • Matt says:

        Whomever paid those people to do that are the same as Shamans, since their spirits were being controlled. How? Probably money or maybe something else.

        But the oligarchs behind this are not all that different than Shamans.

        • Lyttenburgh says:

          “Whomever paid those people to do that are the same as Shamans, since their spirits were being controlled. How? Probably money or maybe something else.”

          You are making this claim – again. Care to support it with facts or are you talking out of your ass – again?

          • Matt says:

            No sane person would act like them. Russia isn’t Zimbabwe, the people there are educated and not reactionaries. I doubt this is natural behaviour.

            • Lyttenburgh says:

              “No sane person would act like them”
              If not supported by facts – this is just your opinion. Useless.

              “Russia isn’t Zimbabwe”

              What you have against Zimbabwe?

              ” the people there are educated”

              Since when education stopped people from commiting violent acts? French students regularly clash with the police, Berkley clashes this Spring were among the “educated” people, current fracas in Hamburg with 200+ policmen injured was by the “educated” white collar “peaceful anti-globalists”.

              “and not reactionaries”

              Define “reactionaries”.

              ” I doubt this is natural behaviour.”

              So you have no proof. GTFO then.

        • yalensis says:

          “Whomever paid those people to do that …
          Grammatically incorrect! Should read “WHOever paid these people…”

          Mark: Do I get a gold star for grammar?

    • Lyttenburgh says:

      Oh, and one more thing that got totally ignored. About “Navalny’s electoral HQs”

      The CEC officially explained the illegality of the opening of Navalny ‘s”election headquarters”

      “The Life got at its disposal the official response of the Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation, which explains the legal status of Aleksey Navalny and provides a legal assessment of his “election campaign”, as well as the opening of “election headquarters” and the legitimacy of raising funds during the pre-election period outside the special mechanisms for opening an election account.

      Thus, the Central Election Commission of Russia noted, in particular, that citizens convicted of serious and grave crimes and having an unexpunged or not removed conviction on the day of voting, and also if 10 years have not yet passed since it was removed or expunged, or 15 years from the day of removal or expungement of a criminal record, can not be elected president of Russia. The CEC’s reply states that even in the event of the cancellation of the suspended verdict for Navalny in the Kirovles case, he can not be elected to the post of president of the Russian Federation for ten years by a sentence that is classified as grave.

      The CEC’s reply also indicates that it is permissible to spend and create funds only after the written notification of the relevant election commission about the fact of their nomination, which rules out Navalny either because the official presidential campaign did not begin, and because Navalny does not have a passive electoral right in the presidential elections in Russia. The CEC also noted that in the legislation on the elections of Russia there is no concept of “election headquarters” at all. Thus, Navalny has no right neither to raise funds from citizens, nor to spend them for election purposes, nor to open “election headquarters”.

      Photocopies of the documents: pg. 1, pg. 2, pg. 3.

      I guess, for the Western staunch proponents of Democracy and Rule of Law, its okay that their darling Ololyosha violates the law.

      Tl;dr – Navalny is committing a fraud, he can’t run for President, his HQs are illegal affairs.

      • yalensis says:

        Therefore, those Senior Citizens Auxiliary Wing of the Nashi Youth Group were simply enforcing the law – LOL!

      • marknesop says:

        Have no fear; if for some unaccountable reason Navalny received massive support from the electorate (he won’t, but I’m just saying, for the sake of argument), the western idiot press would bury his legal unelectability beneath a blizzard of soliloquies about ‘the people’s right to choose’ and ‘amazingly positive results’ as Russia ’emerged from the darkness, blinking, into the light’ and bla bla bla. They would take the approach that there were some stumbling-blocks thrown under Lyosha’s feet by the hidebound bureaucracy as it tried to arrest the avalanche of his popularity but, gosh darn it, when you get right down to it, nothing else matters. The west is excruciatingly technical about observing the law or the rules or whatever when invoking them might stop something they don’t want to happen, demanding to know are we or are we not nations of laws. The law, and observing it, are important in those circumstances. But when the law stands in the way of something the west wants to happen, it becomes like the Pirate Code – more sort of what you might call ‘guidelines’.

        It’s also clear Lyosha has internalized the western concept of campaign funding – whoever spends the most money usually wins in western campaigning. That’s not just a vague concept, but the demonstrated result of study; in the 2012 race in the USA, House candidates who outspent their rivals won 95% of the time, while it was 80% for the Senate. I suppose they reason that if you have a lot of money to spend, you’re popular; without thinking too much about who gave you the money or why they might want you to be elected.

        Obviously, the Presidential election is a little tougher to call, and there remains the possibility that the leader will be suddenly disgraced by a revelation of wrongdoing at just the right strategic moment. Trump was the beneficiary of such a moment, not because it increased his popularity, but because it decreased his rival’s. I suppose that could happen to Putin, but it doesn’t look very likely and his western opponents have been trying since more or less the first competitive election he was ever involved in, since they had decided by that point that they didn’t like him.

        Lyosha was born to politics – he’s lazy, indolent and entitled, and isn’t interested in working unless it might be to net himself a job where he doesn’t have to work ever again, only make deals or not make them, and he has a finely-honed sense of injustice where it is keeping him from acquiring such a position.

  23. Matt says:

    South Front is a Kremlin-run operation.

    Please read this article for more information: http://aktivnyye.com/t/20160120-southfront.html

    Most relevant bit:

    “Southfront.org registered their domain name on **30 April 2015**, and have taken care to hide their identity behind one or another domain whois proxy services ever since. The name was registered through **reg.ru**.

    On 30 April 2015, at **reg.ru**, another domain name was registered. **Southfront.net**.

    **Alena Chugleva (Чугулева Алена Анатольевна), the current holder of the southfront.net domain, is Secretary of the Omsk-based “Organizing Committee of Patriotism in Journalism” (patriot-in.ru). The Organizing Committee is partnered with Putin’s United Russia party and the President’s Administration.** In addition, the bios of the other members of the Organizing Committee make plain their relationship with state security, military, and intelligence agencies – note in particular Volokitin, Igor Yurievich (Волокитин Игорь Юрьевич).”

    Keep in mind that these people claim to be “independent”, just like the other pro-Russian websites that were created after the Ukrainian crisis. They should not be trusted.

    The two domains were registered on the **exact same day**, through the **same domain registrar (reg.ru)**, with the **exact same name**, in order to create a pro-Russian website providing analysis of two conflicts exclusively, both of which Russia is heavily involved in (Ukraine and Syria civil wars), by a person who is a secretary *literally working for a Russian propaganda organization created by Putin’s party*, Organizing Committee of Patriotism in Journalism, a United Russia-backed organization with a name, that, uh, should speak for itself.

    • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

      Faggot Ukrainians who got their sorry arses kicked by a war reenactor and a mall cop. Do you think whining about Russian blogs will change the fact that your side lost?

      • Matt says:

        The delusion is strong with this one.

        I never took sides in the Ukrainian civil war, nor does that have anything to do with my above post showing the Russian government is creating propaganda websites.

        I care about you very much, Pavlo, so please keep replying. It allows me to gauge your level of happiness.

        • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

          Glad to oblige fuckhead – I’m interested to see what your next bout of e-rage and tardpoasting looks like.

          And be so good as to answer the question – how does it feel, knowing that your Ukrainian heroes lost like they always do? Did you really think it would be different this time?

          • Matt says:

            This guy has serious emotional problems. Sheesh, he just doesn’t stop. But I care about him deeply, so I listen.

            I will always be willing to lend an ear to listen to your grievances, my dear friend, Pavlo.

            • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

              Are you sure you have the time? Your dad should be calling you for another of his special hugs right about now.

              Also, which of these dorks is you? Just curious.

        • Special_sauce says:

          “I never took sides in the Ukrainian civil war,”
          Liar, you’re pro-Kiev. That’s obvious.

    • Special_sauce says:

      Kiev sent armies east and bombarded civilian infrastructure. Do you deny that?

    • Special_sauce says:

      Then they shouldn’t need to ask for donations.

  24. moscowexile says:


    When McCain found out that Putin’s meeting with Trump had lasted for more than 2 hours.

  25. moscowexile says:

    From Hamburg, which for the present has become the focal point of world politics, come the first reports of what questions were discussed at the working breakfast of the leaders of Russia, Germany and France.

    As expected, Vladimir Putin, Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron discussed the situation in the Ukraine and means for settling it. The leaders of the three countries have confirmed the importance of observing a ceasefire in the Donbas.

    Meanwhile, somewhere beyond the fence…

    Yes, the Ukraine is not part of G20, but there is always a list of those who are specially invited to the summit.


    Don’t throw the bottle away!

    At censor.net.ua [Yukie “news” outlet — ME] today the main news is about how Yeltsin killed Dudayev and how the price of sausage has again risen in Russia. But there is NOTHING about the meeting of the Normandy Three.However, they correctly wrote yesterday that the meeting between Putin and Trump lasted for 2 hours and 16 minutes.

    Source: Сообразили на троих

      • moscowexile says:

        And not one peep from the Russian liberals!

        And Leonid in Berlin?

        What does he think of this police thuggery against those people who only wished to freely express their feelings?

        • marknesop says:

          Well, I did see a car overturned there in that last photo, I’m assuming the protesters did it, and it remains true that you cannot allow people to break the law just because of their political sensibilities. There’s a fine line between you having the right to peacefully express your opinions and feelings, and you creating a public disturbance, and its true that in every protest gathering there is an element who came specifically to throw rocks and bottles and mix it up with the police. That element does not care that many who were doing nothing wrong will be arrested just for being in the right place at the wrong time – in fact, it relies upon it for camouflage of its motives. If such an element did not exist for some reason, the authorities would inject it themselves so as to have a reason to remove protesters, and there is quite a bit of circumstantial evidence to suggest they sometimes do.

          I think the key is to know your rights and to document what you were doing and how the police responded as best you can with photographs and/or video, and that is obviously getting easier to do than it was in the sixties. Despite their responsibility to not condone violence or public disturbances where somebody might get hurt, they also have a responsibility to ensure you are one of the causes and not just a bystander – the license to prevent violence cannot be a sweeping one which allows them to remove all protesters. And if something like that happens to you and you have plenty of evidence to substantiate your position, you must take legal action to the best of your ability. It is only when the authorities are clearly shown to have acted in the wrong that they are ever held to account, and unless held to account they rarely if ever modify their behavior.

    • marknesop says:

      Think what the papers would say if that happened in Russia. Or Yanukovych’s Ukraine.

    • Lyttenburgh says:

      Hamburg tries to be like Mosul:

      Meanwhile:

      See? Here 4 terms mean a person is merely “a symbol of political continuity”. Totally unlike Putin, oh no!

      • moscowexile says:

        Thatcher was in charge in my old country for 11 years and for the same reason Merkel has been the political leader for so long: the legislature chose her, not the voters.

        It was the same with Kohl, who was Kanzler when I had in mind to stay put there in the Fatherland, only he really used to piss me off, so I came here instead.

        🙂

        Putin, however, apart from being voted in as chief executive of the government by a population enjoying universal suffrage, is also head of state.

        The head of state of the UK was voted in by nobody.

  26. moscowexile says:

    Hamburg, Hamburg an der Elbe,
    Hier bin ich zu Haus und jedes Wiederseh’n ist schön.

    Hamburg, Hamburg on the Elbe,
    Here is my home and it is lovely each time I see you again

    • Special_sauce says:

      my t ranslation: Here I’m at home and every goodbye is beautiful.

      • moscowexile says:

        zu Hause = at home

        Hier bin ich zu Haus(e) = Here am at home, i.e. this is my home (town/port)

        [dative case ending of the noun Haus following preposition “zu” often not spoken in informal German]

        Wiederseh’n = Wiedersehen = literally: “again meeting”

        auf Wiedersehen = literally: “to the again meeting”, i.e. until we meet again; goodbye.

        In the song he sings Wiedersehen, not auf Wiedersehen.

        Hamburg, Hamburg an der Elbe,
        hier bin ich zu Haus und jedes Wiederseh’n ist schön.

        Hamburg, Hamburg an der Elbe,
        und muß ich hinaus aufs Meer fällt mir der Abschied schwer.

        Ich bin Seemann und kenn’ einen Hafen,
        der mir immer am besten gefällt,
        denn es ist ja der Hafen der Heimat,
        und für mich auch der schönste auf der Welt.

        Hamburg, Hamburg an der Elbe,
        hier bin ich zu Haus und jedes Wiederseh’n ist schön.

        Hamburg, Hamburg an der Elbe,
        und muß ich hinaus aufs Meer fällt mir der Abschied schwer.

        Ich bin Seemann und kenne ein Mädel,
        das in Hamburg mich niemals vergißt,
        und ich weiß daß der Hafen der Heimat,
        auch der Hafen der Liebe für mich ist.

        Hamburg, Hamburg an der Elbe,
        hier bin ich zu Haus und jedes Wiederseh’n ist schön.

        Hamburg, Hamburg an der Elbe,
        und muß ich hinaus aufs Meer fällt mir der Abschied schwer.

        Hamburg, Hamburg on the Elbe,
        Here I am at home and every reunion is beautiful.

        Hamburg, Hamburg on the Elbe,
        And when I have to go away to sea, farewell is hard or me.

        I am a sailor and know a haven,
        That always pleases me best,
        Because it is indeed my home port,
        And so is for me the most beautiful in the world.

        Hamburg, Hamburg on the Elbe,
        Here I am at home and every reunion is beautiful.

        Hamburg, Hamburg on the Elbe,
        And when I have to go away to sea, farewell is hard for me.

        I am a sailor and I know a girl,
        Who in Hamburg never forgets me,
        And I know that my home port,
        Is also the port of love for me.

        Hamburg, Hamburg on the Elbe,
        Here I am at home and every reunion is beautiful.

        Hamburg, Hamburg on the Elbe,
        And when I have to go away to sea, farewell is hard for me.

        • Special_sauce says:

          I’ll never forget my first German lesson: Die Weser ist bei Bremen nicht tief genung fu(umlaut)r einen gro(double-ess thingee)en Schiff.

          • Special_sauce says:

            *genug

          • moscowexile says:

            Die Weser ist bei Bremen nicht tief genug für ein großen Schiff.

            They changed the orthography rules after I had left das Vaterland and I can’t be arsed learning them now… weil ich schon länger als zwanzig Jahre in Rußland wohne, so I still write a “sharfes S” [ß] rather than a “double-S”, which has now largely replaced it and so Rußland, above, may now well be written Russland .

            Yes, it is: I have just checked.

            The spelling Rußland was stopped in 1938 in Swiss German and in Germany and Austria following the German spelling reform (Rechtschreibreform) of 1996.

            Bloody liberals!

            The English still mostly use the spelling of about 300 years ago, and rightly so!

            What was good enough for my great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great (or thereabouts) grandfather is good enough for me!

            • Special_sauce says:

              Next stop: replace the umlaut with the proper 2 vowel combo(I forget what it’s called).

              • Special_sauce says:

                Dipthong?

              • Jen says:

                But the sounds represented by ö and ü are not diphthongs. What 2-vowel combinations would replace them and by whose non-German standards? For ö, English would use “er” or “uh” but French would use “eu”.

                • moscowexile says:

                  My accent uses sounds that are represented by ü and ö

                  Lük at ör over thör wi för ör wi bük!

                  [Look at her over there with the fair hair with the book!]

                  And the letter “r” is pronounced.

              • moscowexile says:

                The umlaut diacritic, in fact, came about as a result of mediaeval scribes writing a small letter “e” above the vowels a, e, o and u to indicate the modification of the vowel sound. The small letter “e” then mutated into two dots.

                This handwritten “Gothic” script had a letter “e” that consisted of two vertical lines close together and joined by a small horizontal line.

                This “Gothic” letter “e” was placed above the vowel, then eventually just the two vertical lines of the letter “e” were written above the vowel.

                And when this “Gothic” writing was replaced by Italic script, two dots replaced the vertical umlaut lines.

                Take for example, the German adjective meaning “beautiful. In modern writing, this word is schön, but originally it was written thus: schoen, then schoͤn, which eventually became schön.

                Using the “Gothic” handwriting script that was last widely used up to the end of first quarter of the last century, we have:

                Alles klar?

          • yalensis says:

            My first German lesson, I learned:

            Können Sie mir bitte sagen, wo ich mir die Hände waschen kann?

        • moscowexile says:

          Typo!

          Hier bin ich zu Haus(e) = Here am I at home

    • marknesop says:

      See, now, if that happened in Russia or a ‘target country’, the newswires would be burning up with appalled stories about the out-of-control violence and anarchy on show. Obviously the authorities cannot be expected to just tolerate that kind of violence as ‘people saying how they feel’, but it is a good example of how the press either plays it up as a barometer of social angst targeted at the country’s leaders…or ignores it.

  27. James lake says:

    I’ve tried to ignore the news here in the UK about the Putin /Trump meeting at the G20.

    There is no analysis of what was actually discussed or agreed.

    Lavrov looked angry about whatever it was.

    Trump is saying how great the meeting was – but he said that about the meeting with Xi of China!

    Personally I don’t understand why Russia would trust anything from Trump as he is obviously not in control just as obama and bush.

    It would seem that it would have been better to keep their distance and not get tied into the US agenda – but Russia keep going back. Why?

    On a side note regarding Ukraine the Trump admin had appointed Kurt Volker the former U.S. ambassador to NATO as a special envoy to negotiate over Ukraine.

    This is a sign that they want more war. And to continue to disrupt and destabilise the situation there.

    • Special_sauce says:

      https://twitter.com/PhilGreaves01 one of my favo(u)rite twitterers inveighs against the “putinists”

    • marknesop says:

      I don’t think there is any reason to believe Russia is once more getting ‘tied into the US agenda’. Most if not all parties (except the Ukrainian nationalists) agree the best short-term course of action is a ceasefire in Ukraine; this comes up every time, the OSCE just never enforces it because it is afraid of forestalling a Ukrainian breakthrough which might see the whole of the Donbas in Ukrainian hands overnight, before anyone could react. That would immediately be double-stamped by Washington as Justice Done, and Ukraine restored to healthy sovereignty. The west would just ignore the subsequent rash of executions in the East as the separatists were punished, except a few too prominent to ‘disappear’, like Zakharchenko. He would either be killed in the fighting, or a show prisoner.

      Russian foreign policy has consistently been pragmatic, and there is no reason to oppose American initiatives where interests coincide, simply to be making a show of opposing the Americans.

      A ceasefire would merely ensure Russia prevailed through force of example; it can hardly escape the notice of anyone who cares to look at the positive changes it has wrought in Crimea. The same would likely happen in Donbas if the violence did not overshadow it. The only way the west can win this one is by massive infusions of cash and investment into Ukraine, and if it does that the funds will simply be pocketed by the oligarch government the west enabled. Neat, huh? The west can’t win this one. But give them full marks for stubborn determination.

  28. moscowexile says:

    Хорошая новость! Закрывают штабы Навального в регионах. Дойдёт ли очередь в Чебоксарах,Чувашии? Ждём

    Good news! Navalny’s regional headquarters are being closed down. Is Cheboksarakh in the Chuvash Republic going to be next in line? We shall wait and see …

    High time!

    The screaming of the Western media is a sure sign that the Russian authorities are doing the right thing.

    Of late, “Radio Liberty”, the BBC Russian Service, the so-called “Nezavisimaya Gazeta” [Independent Newspaper — ME] and others have been shouting it out loudly from the rooftops that Navalny’s regional headquarters are being shut down …

    Heading this way in the very near future? …

    Oh, I do hope so!

    And bollocks to what the “West” thinks!

    В Москве задержаны около 70 волонтеров штаба Навального

    In Moscow about 70 members of Navalny’s staff have been detained

    In Moscow and several other Russian cities, police have detained dozens of Aleksei Navalny’s volunteer workers who have been conducting a so-called volunteer campaign, whereby they have been walking around the streets, handing out newspapers and leaflets about Navalny. Most of the detainees are in Moscow.

    • Special_sauce says:

      What’s that pic on top? In the Gulag Feeding Fenceposts to the Flue?

    • Cortes says:

      At the time of the murder of Nemtsov, March 2015, there was some speculation that Navalny had wangled himself a safe haven in jail while the crime was committed. I was trying to recall a fictional situation that was similar.

      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Little_Sister in Chapter 18 explains how Steelgrave aka Weepy Moyer got a cast-iron alibi through being “in custody” when Moe Stein, his superior in The Organisation was gunned down.

    • moscowexile says:

      Агитация или «информирование»? Навльный сам еще не определился

      Campaigning or “information”? Navalny himself has not decided yet.

      Is it possible to trust a politician who builds his whole career on lies, using his own supporters as expendable material? Of course not. This is just how the oppositionist (who has recently considered himself to be a candidate for the presidency of Russia) Aleksey Navalny acts. Furthermore, he lies to his potential voters from beginning to end; in particular, when encouraging volunteers to distribute campaign materials in favour of their beloved one.

      As Navalny’s staff employees have said: “The distribution of campaign material is quite legal, and if the volunteers have been detained, then this is absolute lawlessness”. This is what the coordinator of Navalny’s headquarters in St. Petersburg, Polina Kostyleva, said, whilst sending one of the volunteers to distribute newspapers (a recording of the conversation is with the editors of this portal). It turns out that the purpose of distributing these newspapers is not to campaign but to inform citizens. Then how, gentlemen, do you explain this?

      So you are already running an election campaign? This alone is enough to make one realize that this is not providing information, but campaigning. And that, gentlemen, is illegal, as is clearly described in Federal Law No. 20-FZ of February 22, 2014.

      “10. Law enforcement and other bodies are obliged to take measures in order to suppress unlawful campaigning activities, to prevent the production of counterfeit and illegal election campaign materials and to confiscate them and establish who has produced these materials, their sources of payment, and immediately inform the relevant election commission about the facts and measures taken”.

      As you can see for yourself, law enforcement officers are not only able to detain the distributors of these newspapers, but they have to do it: all campaign materials are subject to confiscation — so the law states! And this, gentlemen, is well known to Navalny and all of his minions who, aware of the consequences, continue to send their “volunteers” to the barricades — of course, because then there will be occasion to talk about the “bloody regime that imposes restrictions upon Navalny”.

      By the way, about the “restriction of Navalny’s rights”:

      [It reads above:

      How can Navalny conduct an election campaign and collect money for a campaign if an election of the presidential of the RF has not yet been announced? Is this legal?

      A campaign in support of Aleksey Navalny is being conducted in order to protect his rights, which, according to art. 31 of the Constitution, have been illegally restricted. This is an unregulated public campaign. — ME]

      This is how he explains all of this on his website (and have you noticed that he says he is conducting a campaign, not just giving out information?). The only thing is that he is mistaken about is that he refers to article 31, which is about holding rallies, whilst talking about “being elected”, which is dealt with by article 32. Here he says the following words:

      The public campaign in support of Aleksey Navalny aims to protect his rights, established by Art. 31 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation. These rights have been unduly restricted. The illegality of the matter lies in the criminal prosecution, which was the reason for the restriction of Aleksey Navalny’s right, which illegality was confirmed by a decision made by the European Court of Human Rights“.

      Only he does not say at all that the same ECHR rejected Navalny’s allegations that the charges in the case of “Yves Rocher” and “Kirovles” were of a political nature. At the same time, the Human Rights Court did not say anything about the legality of the charges brought forward, only violations of certain articles of the Convention were pronounced in the sentencing. That is to say the conditional terms of the sentencing (which are long overdue to be transformed into real ones), about which there are no doubts.

      And the cherry on the cake is this: when his article was published, Navalny still got articles 31 and 32 of the constitution mixed up. True, not everywhere … but it was not exactly done “professionally”, was it?

    • Lyttenburgh says:

      “In Moscow about 70 members of Navalny’s staff have been detained”

      The… “quality” of the activists detained was not very high to begin with:


      ^Penisoid gays for Navalny!


      ^Genderfluid and genderqueers for Navalny!


      ^Entire United LGBTQ+ community of Russia for Navalny!



      ^Hobos for Navalny! ТакЪ победитЪ!

  29. Northern Star says:

    http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2017/07/08/pers-j08.html

    “The events of this week’s G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany reveal the two basic conflicts tearing apart contemporary capitalist society. There is the intensifying struggle between rival national cliques of bankers and billionaires and the growing struggle of the international working class against all of them.
    While the rulers of the world’s 20 leading economies gathered in Hamburg to fight amongst one another over the division of the loot extracted from the working class, they were completely united behind the violent suppression of popular opposition to their attacks on living standards and democratic rights.
    On Thursday, as 100,000 people began to assemble for “Shut Down Capitalism” protests, police assaulted a central march of 12,000 people, arresting many and attacking others with tear gas, pepper spray, rubber bullets and water cannons”

    FACT based articles like this one is why I post stuff from wsws….Yes there is a good deal of rhetoric in the articles….However the FACTS brought out-exposed- about GrenFell or Caracas or Hamburg and so on is completely suppressed by Western-particularly American-MSM.

    I don’t post articles that tend to elaborate on Trotsky this or Stalin that or Bolshevik whatever. themes…
    WSWS has its shortcomings and limitations…I use what I use..and don’t what I don’t!!!!!!

  30. moscowexile says:

    From a spokesperson for the Exceptional Nation:

    • marknesop says:

      American politicians are just getting embarrassing. When you think of the paycheck Nikki Haley takes home every month for being a fucking airhead, you just have to laugh so that you won’t cry instead.

  31. moscowexile says:

    From a spokesperson for the Exceptional Nation:

    • moscowexile says:

      Hell’s bells! Once is enough!

      How come she appeared twice?

      I don’t know why, but I get the distinct impression that she’s none too bright.

      Bear in mind, there are a few like that in Congress, it seems.

  32. Cortes says:

    John Helmer’s take on the Hellevig “What Doesn’t Kill You” report on the economy of the RF reaches a fairly bleak conclusion.

    http://johnhelmer.net/how-the-russian-economy-looks-if-you-arent-wearing-nato-night-fighting-goggles/

    Read this in haste so glad to be set straight (Matron!) if my reading is incorrect.

  33. Cortes says:

    Mensaje para Matt:

    ¿De donde en Venezuela es tu familia? ¿Como te apellidas? ¿Eres blanco, zambo, mulato, indio, mestizo o negro? ¿Cuando emigraste al Canadá?

    • yalensis says:

      OMG, I don’t even know Spanish, and yet I can read that:

      “Whereabouts in Venezuela is your family from? What was your name? Were you white, Creole, mulatto, Indian, mixed or Negro? When did you emigrate to Canada?

      Living in a bilingual town myself, I think I have subconsciously picked up a lot of Spanish without even realizing it.

    • Jen says:

      Cortes, you might be waiting a lo-o-o-ong time for a reply. Don’t hold your breath.

      • yalensis says:

        If Matt is telling the truth about (1) being Venezuelan and (2) living in Canada, then my best guess would be:
        “Matt” is an anti-Chavista who hooked up with some Ukrainian nationalists in a joint venture, most likely sponsored and paid for by Soros.
        Everything that Matt says trends towards that theory.
        And confirms that Soros is building an international alliance of bad actors, including Ukrainian nationalists, anti-Chavista terrorists, Syrian jihadis, and whatever other frightful people one can imagine all together in one room.

        • marknesop says:

          Probably not – we don’t want to assume everyone who opposes us is paid to do so; that’s the other side’s line. “How are things at Savushkina Street, Comrade?” and “Did you get your cheque from Putin today?” I’m willing to believe Matt thinks Russians at least helped to shoot down MH17, for free. It’s just that it’s so improbable, that’s the part that gets me when somebody like that keeps stubbornly hammering away.

  34. moscowexile says:

    For the sake of the clip posted below, I have moved down here because it is getting too narrow up there:

    Lyttenburgh to Matt:

    There is not a word about “Presidential administration” in that linked article. Besides – you said you don’t read Russia, do you? So, userperson Matt – stop eating bucketloads of shit and answer the question.


    Они совершенно не говорят по-русски. Но всё понимают.
    “Кавказская пленница” 1966 г.

    They speak no Russian at all, but they understand everything.
    “Kavkazskaya Plennitsa”: 1966.

    Love it!

    Great Soviet film, and there were many of them.

    Distributed in the English-speaking world as “Kidnapping, Caucasian Style”:

    • moscowexile says:

      Bollocks to Mosfilm!

      I have to watch the clip on You Tube.

      Perhaps you fortunate people in the Free World may not have to do that.

      Such is the oppressive nature of the regime in this country!

  35. Lyttenburgh says:

    Liberast oppositionist blogger (urologist by education) Anton Nosik (LJ dolboeb) <a href= " died from a heart attack on his friends dacha. He turned 51 on 4 July this year. Nosik had history of alcohol and drugs (cetamine) consumption. The working version – withdroval syndrome after unsuccessful attempt to go out of the binge drinking period (rus. “запой”) and acute hangover.

    Anton Nosik became memorable due to several exploits of his:

    1) First in his LJ, than on Air at “Ekho Mosckvy” radio station he called for the Russian military in general and V. Putin in particular to “bomb Syria into rubble”, because for him (as a Jew) it is always a good thing when Arab woman, man or child dies – “less people who wish death to Israel” (c)

    2) For this rant he was persecuted in accordance with Art. 282 of the Criminal Code of Russian Federation – “Incitement of Hatred and calls for violence based on ethnic, religious or other grounds”. He was ultimately fined 500 000 rubles. His attempts to appeal the court decision (very mild – the Prosecution asked for a prison sentence) failed.

    In the Net and in Twitter, Nosik had been claiming that after “Revolution”, he’d lustrate all those who sentenced him and demand from the new government justly compensation. No, he was not joking.

    3) Unsuprisningly – Anton Nosik was best bud of Egor Prosvirnin, who’s cash cow “Sputnik & Pogrom” had been blocked earlier this week:

    4) During last year’s feminist flashmob “I’m not afraid to say”, several liberal political activist gals confessed, that they had coital contact with Nosik, but that he preferred it “rough” with the elements of domination (by him over them) and beating.

    5) On the death of Ugo Chavez Nosik wrote: “Отдуплился, мартышка” (“Monkey kicked the bucket”). On the death of Fidel Castro he wrote an entire article for Ekho Moskvy: “Fidel Castro is dead. One parasite less in the world”.

    6) On 28 June this year, Nosik made a paranoid FB post, claiming, that Russia somehow “bought” FB moderation team and that he would be banned there soon. He wasn’t

    • yalensis says:

      Interesting how all these types come together, the formation of a new Fascist Internationale: Nosik, Prosvirnin, Karlin, etc.
      It’s like a bad joke: “A Zionist, a Nazi, and a Russian nationalist walk into a bar…”
      The one thing these types all have in common is their hatred of communism and socialism.
      This explains their hatred of Chavez and the Baathists, etc.
      Also recall Karlin’s comment (on this forum) how he admired Pinochet for his proclivities to toss communists out of helicopters.

      And also, that “monkey” thing about Chavez isn’t just political hatred of a socialist figure, it’s also racial — these fascists all believe that Native Americans are racially inferior and low-IQ. Hugo Chavez was proud of his native American ancestry. The man had a keen mind and was no monkey. Prosvirnin, on the other hand… more like a chubby chimpanzee…

    • moscowexile says:

      Urologist you say?

      So a professional piss-taker?

    • cartman says:

      “4) During last year’s feminist flashmob “I’m not afraid to say”, several liberal political activist gals confessed, that they had coital contact with Nosik, but that he preferred it “rough” with the elements of domination (by him over them) and beating.”

      Seems to be endemic to this little club (I mean the scrotum nailer who with his wife raped an actress, and all the liberals denounced the victim).

  36. J.T. says:

    Masha Gessen has a new book coming out in October. Take a look and have a good laugh:

    Instead of following up on such a bold assertion with research and a well-structured argument, it appears Gessen is going to take the journalistic approach: presenting a few key arguments, and then turning the focus on people’s life situations as if to prove the arguments; but the interrelation stays on a purely emotional level.

    • yalensis says:

      People could make a better case that the U.S. is a totalitarian country.
      Which it is.

    • marknesop says:

      Putin’s bestselling biographer. Jesus wept.

      Masha Gessen is interested in selling a lot of books, and she is quite clever about making money. She knows what people want to read – stories which affirm their beliefs. She can therefore expect solid sales in America, where people like to read that the Russians wish they were free like Americans, but they never will be because slavery is their fate. And it might sell briskly among the kreakltariat in Russia, where hip liberals read Gessen to help themselves feel western and free.

    • Evgeny says:

      The last month Masha Gessen claimed that there are expectations of a major terrorist attack in the U.S., which would boost Americans’ support of Trump:

      https://harpers.org/archive/2017/07/the-reichstag-fire-next-time/

      Made me thinking that it’s just a blind guess. But a good game, too. If anything terrible happens within a few months (which is not totally impossible), Masha Gessen would claim it’s a false flag attack she warned of beforehand. If nothing happens, nobody would hold it against her.

      • marknesop says:

        Masha Gessen is the female Pavel Felgenhauer. They even look alike, except for the beard.

        • karl1haushofer says:

          Both are also Jewish.

          • Evgeny says:

            Are you an antisemite, Karl? Or what’s the intent of your reply?

            • yalensis says:

              Dear Evgeny, if I may butt in here.
              If you have been “following” Karl, then he is most certainly a Jew-hater. He doesn’t see Jews as individuals possessing their own political views (good, bad or ugly), but as a kind of hive-mind.
              In past series of posts, Karl has revealed himself to be a fascist, and I do not use the word “fascist” lightly, or as a term of insult, but as a political brand. Especially concerning ethnic issues, viz. his contempt for Central Asians and Jews, and his glycerolic adulations of “Aryans”.
              Karl professes to be pro-Russian. In this, as in a classic logic puzzle, he is either lying or telling the truth.
              If Karl is telling the truth about his Russophilia, then he is one of those rare European (“with friends like these we don’t need enemies”) racists who like Russians, accept them as fellow Aryans, and believe that Vladimir Putin is fighting the good fight on behalf of “white people” across the globe – LOLLLLLL!

          • marknesop says:

            Yes, that’s true. Masha Gessen is descended from Ashkenazi Jews, the ones the west wets itself over because they are, like, so smart it’s scary. Mikhail Khodorkovsky shares this heritage.

            I could not speak to Pavel Felgenhauer’s ancestry, but if his IQ is off the scale, he’s disguising it remarkably well.

  37. et Al says:

    The American Conservative via Antiwar.com: Who Did Thucydides Trap?
    http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/who-did-thucydides-trap/

    A challenge to Graham Allison’s pop-theory that U.S., China headed for ‘epic’ conflict.
    By Michael Vlahos • July 5, 2017

    How do you turn a metaphor into an axiom? Try: “Strategist appropriation.” When writing on politics and war, this means lardering your first few graphs with maxims from so-called “masters of war,” preferably Sun Tzu or Clausewitz. Their unassailable wisdom gives your argument the burnish of authority.

    Graham Allison, an academic with plenty of his own Harvard authority, goes a step further. He suggests that the great historian (and not so great general), Thucydides, like Clausewitz and Sun Tzu, offers not just quotable truths but also a fundamental law about how wars often happen: The Thucydides Trap….
    ####

    More at the link.

    It has become fashionable among the chattering classes to despair and cry the sky is falling on their heads when one order or another is either in (uncomfortable) transition or being overturned. Much wailing and gnashing of teeth from the few Americans I know who urge me to watch Rachel Maddow safely rip Trump apart on MSNBC. I’ve told them its all a little bit odd. The world as it is didn’t just appear on the election of Trump. It has been ongoing with the USA at war for every single day of eight years under Obama. How was that good for America?

    It’s funny how the opposing sides so much resemble each other in behavior.When are the Dems going to learn that the dream wasn’t real for anyone else outside the United States, let alone large numbers of US citizens themselves. Well, the shoe is on the other foot now, but they’ve all played a critical part in making the current shitcake. But hey, who needs to take responsibility for their actions when it is much easier to point fingers and blame it on someone else? God help America. No one else will.

    • et Al says:

      The Intercept via Antiwar.com: Rachel Maddow’s Exclusive “Scoop” About a Fake NSA Document Raises Several Key Questions
      https://theintercept.com/2017/07/07/rachel-maddows-exclusive-scoop-about-a-fake-nsa-document-raises-several-key-questions/

      Glenn Greenwald

      2017-07-07T17:56:06+00:00

      MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow devoted the first 21 minutes of her Thursday night program to what she promoted as an “exclusive” scoop. The cable news host said that someone had sent her a “carefully forged” top-secret NSA document that used a top-secret document The Intercept reported on and published on June 5 as a template. That document — from the June 5 Intercept report — was from an unknown NSA official, and purported to describe Russian attempts to hack election officials and suppliers.

      Maddow said her report should serve as a “heads up” to other news organizations that someone is attempting to destroy the credibility of those who report on Trump’s connections to Russia by purposely giving them false information. She suggested, without stating, that this may have been what caused CNN and other outlets recently to publish reports about Trump and/or Russia that ended up being retracted.

      The grave tone of cloak-and-daggers mystery Maddow used to tell her story was predicated on her timeline of events. If it were the case that MSNBC had received the purportedly forged version of this document before The Intercept published its own version, that would indeed be a major story. That would mean that the person who sent the forgery to MSNBC was one of a relatively small group of people who would have had access to this top-secret document.

      But that’s not what happened…
      ####

      More at the link.

  38. et Al says:

    Alternet via Antiwar.com: CNN Hired Top al-Qaeda Propagandist for Award-Winning Syria Documentary and Wants to Cover Its Tracks
    http://www.alternet.org/grayzone-project/bilal-abdul-kareem-al-qaeda-clarissa-ward-cnn-syria-propaganda#.WV_hNwsjlws.twitter

    Star CNN correspondent Clarissa Ward worked with al-Qaeda “media man” Bilal Abdul Kareem to gain access to her “heroes on the ground.”

    By Max Blumenthal, Ben Norton / AlterNet
    July 6, 2017, 9:59 AM GMT

    On June 16, an American media activist living in rebel-held Syrian territory sat down before a camera to vent his frustration with a former employer. Bilal Abdul Kareem described how he and his online outlet, On the Ground News, had been contracted by CNN to film the documentary Undercover in Syria.

    “This was with CNN and their correspondent Clarissa Ward, which I have big-time respect for, big-time respect as a journalist, as a person,” Abdul Kareem remarked.

    With a sardonic grin, Abdul Kareem described how he was slighted: “This Undercover in Syria, you can Google it — it won the prestigious Peabody Award, and it won the prestigious Overseas Press Club Award, which are basically the highest awards in journalism for international reporting. Now, [CNN] barely mentioned my name! I’m telling you, somehow CNN must have forgotten that I was the one that filmed it, I guess they forgot that.”

    Indeed, Abdul Kareem’s name was a mere footnote in the Peabody Awards press release on its honoring of CNN. …
    ###

    Plenty more at the link.

    • marknesop says:

      Holy shit. This will certainly salvage CNN’s cratering reputation. Not.

      • yalensis says:

        And CNN would have gotten away with it too, if it weren’t for that pesky Bilal being an egotistical diva who needs to share the spotlight. He was supposed to just keep his mouth shut and stay in the shadows.
        Was he expecting a special Emmy award or something? I bet he had his speech all prepared and his tuxedo ready…

    • Jen says:

      Maybe if Bilal Abdul Kareem starts talking to Fox News or some other rival TV network and blabbing about how Clarissa Ward and CNN took everything he did and said and made it their own, there may be some juicy revelations that will all but destroy Ward and CNN’s reputations.

  39. et Al says:

    Check out this post by the brilliant David Habakkuk of Sic Sempter Tyrannis that spills some very interesting beans and ties a few connections together vis-a-vis the Litvinenko affair. Normally I would only post the first couple of paragraphs but I feel that this is quite important and make an exception to my rule, so apologies beforehand. Most of the regulars go to Sic Semper Tyrannis anyway but along with Moon of Alabama and a few others, I suggest the many legions of Kremlin Stooge lurkers add it to their regular reading. The main article and other comments are worth reading too.

    http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2017/07/a-response-to-publius-tacitus-concerning-those-meddlesome-russians-ttg.html#comment-6a00d8341c72e153ef01bb09ad50e9970d

    ….Where the ‘private security sector’ differs from the ‘independent sector’ is that opportunities are also created for people to, as it were, ‘buy into’ the system – which can create very strange relationships.

    This I can illustrate, in a different way, from personal experience. My interest in the Litvinenko mystery arose out of a discussion we had here on SST, back in February-March 2007. After Colonel Lang posted a piece on the line of fortifications which Hizbullah were building north of the Litani, I raised the question of how far the progressively increasing range and accuracy of missiles available to Hizbullah would intensify pressures from Israel and its supporters in the United States to get the United States to attack Iran.

    In the middle of the discussion that followed, I received an e-mail which turned out to be from Tim Reilly, then an executive at Erinys, which looked like a rather crude attempt to inveigle me into making antisemitic remarks. I dimly remembered that the company had been one of those to which Litvinenko had introduced his supposed assassins, Andrei Lugovoi and Dmitri Kovtun, and where polonium traces had been found.

    A few quick checks established that Mr Reilly was a former Parachute Regiment officer, turned oil and gas geopolitics specialist, with a special interest in the Caspian. It also established that Erinys had emerged as a significant player in the private security sector as the result of a contract to protect oil installations in Iraq won in collaboration with associates of Ahmed Chalabi.

    As part of the process of ‘beefing up’ the company for that job, first Alastair Morrison, and then Major General John Holmes, DSO OBE MC, former commander of the SAS and Director, UK Special Forces, had been brought on board.

    Among other interesting articles, I came across one in the ‘Independent’ from 28 November 2006, explaining that forensic scientists had been testing, and found polonium traces in, a four-storey building at 25 Grosvenor Square. This, apparently, was was ‘owned by the Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky’, and was ‘rented to companies that include a specialist security agency run by a former member of British special forces.’

    (See http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/radioactive-traces-found-at-berezovskys-office-426112.html .)

    It was quite clear that instructions had been issued not to mention Erinys, its subsidiary Titon, and Major General Holmes by name. So, inadvertently, the report had actually suggested that these were involved with British intelligence – and that, in addition to having got into bed with Chalabi with disastrous results, the people involved were likely to have done the same with Berezovsky. (There should be some limits to human stupidity, but, apparently, no.)

    Then later, I came across a programme broadcast by BBC Radio on 16 December 2006. It was wholly devoted to claims made by a former KGB operative called Yuri Shvets, supported by a former FBI operative called Robert ‘Bobby’ Levinson.

    It told a tear-jerking story of how Litvinenko, cast aside by his oligarch patron, had been forced into ‘due diligence’ work, in the course of which he and Shvets had discovered terrible truths about the relationship between a figure close to Putin and organised crime – in retaliation for which Lugovoi and Kovtun had been sent to put poison in his tea.

    (See http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20160613090333/https://www.litvinenkoinquiry.org/evidence“>https://www.litvinenkoinquiry.org/evidence“>http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20160613090333/https://www.litvinenkoinquiry.org/evidence .)

    All this was transparently a mixture of some elements of truth with a great deal of flagrant lying. For one thing, there was no mention of the involvement of Shvets with the ‘Melnichenko tapes.’

    In relation to the FBI connection. During his time at that organisation, Levinson had been involved in investigating the activities of the notorious Ukrainian mobster Semyon Mogilevich. As I was subsequently able to ascertain, Shvets, Litvinenko and their Italian associate Mario Scaramella had been involved in was fabricating evidence designed to demonstrate that Mogilevich, while acting as an agent for the FSB, and under Putin’s personal ‘krysha’ had been attempting to provide a ‘mini nuclear bomb’ to Al Qaeda.

    Most of the evidence I submitted to Sir Robert Owen’s Inquest/Inquiry on this was suppressed. However, one critical piece was let through, but not mentioned in the report.

    (See http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20160613090333/https://www.litvinenkoinquiry.org/evidence“>https://www.litvinenkoinquiry.org/evidence“>http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20160613090333/https://www.litvinenkoinquiry.org/evidence .)

    As you will doubtless be aware, attempts to link Trump to Mogilevich are part of the current ‘information operations’ against him.

    (See, for example, https://www.the-american-interest.com/2016/12/19/the-curious-world-of-donald-trumps-private-russian-connections/ ; https://trump-russia.com/2017/06/16/is-robert-mueller-examining-trumps-links-to-mogilevich/ .)

    In March 2007, Levinson would disappear on the Iranian island of Kish – as later emerged, while on a covert mission for the CIA.

    Reverting to Erinys. When I received the e-mail from Reilly, part of my initial response was – what became of the old notion of an officer and a gentleman? Moreover, at the time my SWMBO was organisational partner in a decently successful – and extremely well-run – small independent company making food and lifestyle programmes. I asked myself whether it would be conceivable that one of their employees would have sent a questionable e-mail without checking it with them.

    Unless Major General Holmes is out of his depth running a company, and cannot control his staff, it seems to me that he must have been privy to the e-mail. A possible explanation could be that neither man was very happy with it, but some neocon who could influence lucrative contracts could not be gainsaid.

    A coda. The head of BBC Radio Current Affairs at the time the pack of lies about Litvinenko was broadcast was the wife of a sometime colleague of mine, who I would once have regarded as a friend. Some time after I began taking an interest in the affair, he asked me and my SWMBO out to dinner, displaying a curiosity about my interest in the matter which I was not certain was purely spontaneous.

    And we now know that the person orchestrating the cover-up about Litvinenko was Christopher Steele, who has been actively involved in trying to subvert your constitutional processes. If you want further information on why I strongly suspect that Alex Younger current head of MI6, is likely to have been involved in orchestrating the activities of both Steele and Matt Tait, I can supply it….

    • Jen says:

      Christopher Steele … where have we seen that name before? Oh, that Christopher Steele, ex-MI6 officer and author of the dossier claiming that Donald Trump had met with Russian government officials in the past and that they had material including compromising videos of Trump’s activities in Moscow while he was there. Strange how the world is much smaller than we realise and the same grubby characters keep popping up like Whack-a-Mole cartoon characters.

    • yalensis says:

      Wow, thanks for this comment and links, Al! Very interesting!

    • marknesop says:

      Extremely interesting. As we know from the extensive writing on the subject, Polonium cannot penetrate skin; while extremely toxic even in small quantities, it must be ingested or somehow gotten past the skin into the body – Kovtun and Lugovoi were allegedly covered in it for weeks, and they’re both still hale and hearty. But Litvinenko did not ever touch Polonium with his hands – he ingested it, in tea, or so the story goes. So none of the traces found all over the place – in lap-dancing bars and the Pine Restaurant and cabs and Berzovsky’s place and now Grosvenor Square – came from Litvinenko. Connections must then be drawn between Kovtun and Lugovoi and Grosvenor Square in order for the ‘Russians did it’ story to hold up.

      Also interesting is this author’s disclosure that he provided all this testimony to the Owens Inquiry but it did not appear to influence the conclusion in any way. It appears even more likely that the story was arrived upon well before the inquiry, and that the ‘inquiry’ itself was just the usual window-dressing.

  40. Warren says:

    Holiday sickness fakers face government crackdown

    Ministers are seeking to make it harder for UK holidaymakers to make bogus food poisoning claims.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-40550858

  41. Special_sauce says:

    What Putin said to Merkel

  42. moscowexile says:

    As regards Alexander Werth‘s book “Russia at War” that I downloaded yesterday, just take a gander at this from the very first chapter, “Russia’s 1939 Dilemma”, which describes the Nazi occupation of the Rhineland, the annexation of Austria, then, following the Munich sell-out, the occupation of the Czech Sudetenland, shortly followed by the occupation of the whole of Czechoslovakia and the events leading up to the Molotov-Ribbentrop Non-Aggression Pact and the the Nazi invasion of Poland on September 1st,
    1939:

    In March 1936 came Hitler’s reoccupation of the Rhineland; and France’s failure to react clearly suggested to the Russians that France could scarcely be depended upon to abide by her alliances with Poland and the Little Entente countries. [The Little Entente was an alliance formed in 1920 and 1921 by Czechoslovakia, Romania and Yugoslavia with the purpose of common defence against Hungarian revanchism and the prevention of a Habsburg restoration. France supported the alliance by signing treaties with each member country — Wiki] There was going to be a widening gulf between France’s official foreign policy and her military possibilities once the Rhineland had been occupied and fortified by Hitler….

    Appeasement had, in varying degrees, become the official policy of both Britain and France —appeasement over the Rhineland coup, appeasement over Spain, appeasement over Austria and Czechoslovakia. Munich had been the ultimate triumph of the appeasement policy. In Britain, the few sincere critics of this policy — notably Anthony Eden — had been swept aside, and Churchill was little more than a voice crying in the wilderness. In France things were no better. At the end of 1937, the well-meaning but wholly ineffectual Yvon Delbos, who had been Foreign Minister since the formation of Léon Blum’s Popular Front Government in June 1936, went on a long tour through Eastern Europe — he visited Warsaw, Belgrade, Bucharest and Prague — but only to find that France’s system of alliances had fallen to ruins since the Rhineland coup, with the Czechs alone still pathetically believing that France would come to their help if Germany attacked them. Significantly Delbos failed to include Moscow in his tour. Before long the arch-appeaser Georges Bonnet became the head of French diplomacy.

    When after Munich Bonnet welcomed Ribbentrop to Paris in December 1938, he did not officially (as has sometimes erroneously been suggested) give Germany “a free hand in the East”. Nevertheless the half-heartedness with which France’s “special relations with third powers” were referred to, the extremely ambiguous statements Bonnet made a week later before the Foreign Affairs committee of the Chamber about France’s commitments vis-à-vis Poland, Rumania or the Soviet Union, and above all, the press campaign launched with official blessing, in influential papers like Le Matin and Le Temps, in favour of lunatic schemes such as the formation of a “Greater Ukraine” under the rule of German stooges like Biskupsky and Skoropadsky, left very little doubt about the overtones of the Bonnet-Ribbentrop “friendship talks”. When, during the following summer, Bonnet proceeded to “warn” Germany, Ribbentrop did not fail to point out that in December 1938 Bonnet had shown no desire to interfere with either German designs on Danzig or with German interests in the East generally.

    The idea of a “Greater Ukraine” had certainly not been a brainwave of the French or British “appeasers”. Hitler had been playing with this idea for some weeks after Munich; soon, however, he realised that if his plans for a “Greater Ukraine” were to be pursued further at this stage it might result in a rapprochement between Russia, Poland and Rumania.

    [My stress. The plan was to attach “Greater Ukraine” (i.e. the Ukraine Soviet Socialist Republic) to “Carpathian Ukraine”, which territory, before its attachment to the UkSSR in 1945, had been situated in Czechoslovakia. When Hitler took over the whole of Czechoslovakia, “Carpathian Ukraine” was given to the Hungarians, who had claimed all along since the fall of the Hapsburg Empire that “Carpathian Ukraine” belonged to them. Since 1991, the inhabitants of “Carpathian Ukraine” have been demanding independence from what Svidomites like to call “Ukraine” — ME]

    … The press campaigns in the West (especially in France) about a “Greater Ukraine” which was to be detached from the Soviet Union and was to provide Germany with her much-needed Lebensraum, had clearly caused a profound impression in Russia. It was to be one of the principal themes in Stalin’s survey of the international situation in his Report to the 18th Congress of the Communist Party which opened in Moscow on March 10.

    [My stress — ME]

    In that speech, Stalin referred to …

    “all the hullabaloo in the French, British and American press about a German invasion of Soviet Ukraine”:

    They screamed, till they were hoarse, that since Germany was now in control of the so-called Carpathian Ukraine, with about 700,000 people, the Germans would, not later than the spring of 1939, annex to it the Soviet Ukraine with a population of over thirty millions. It really looks as if the purpose of all this highly suspect screaming was to incense the Soviet Union against Germany, to poison the atmosphere, and provoke a conflict between us and Germany without any obvious reasons. There may, of course, be some lunatics in Germany who are thinking of marrying off the elephant (I mean Soviet Ukraine) to the gnat—the so-called Carpathian Ukraine. But let them have no doubt about it: if there are such lunatics, there are quite enough strait-jackets waiting for them here (stormy applause)… It is significant that some politicians and newspapermen in Europe and the USA should now be expressing their great disappointment because the Germans, instead of moving farther east, have now turned to the west, and are demanding colonies. One would think that parts of Czechoslovakia were given to them as advance payment for starting a war against the Soviet Union; and now the Germans are refusing to refund the money and are telling them to go to hell… I can only say that this dangerous game started by the supporters of the non-intervention policy may end very badly for them.

    … Throughout, Stalin recalled, the Soviet Union had pursued a policy of peace. She had joined the League of Nations in 1934, hoping that, despite its weakness, the League could still act as a brake on aggression; in 1935 she had signed a mutual assistance pact with France, and another one with Czechoslovakia; a mutual assistance pact had also been signed in 1937 with Mongolia, and in 1938 a non-aggression pact with China. The Soviet Union wanted peace; she wanted peace and business relations with all countries, so long as these did not impinge on her interests; she stood for peaceful, close and good-neighbourly relations with all her immediate neighbours, so long as these did not try, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the integrity of her borders; she stood for the support of nations which had become the victims of aggression and were struggling for their independence; she did not fear the aggressors’ threats, and would strike with double strength any warmongers who might try to violate Soviet territory.

    … On the face of it, in view of what Stalin said of the complete breakdown of “international law” and international treaties, his speech suggested that, in this international jungle, the Soviet Union would be wise to remain in splendid isolation; but in his precise wording he evidently took some trouble not to slam the door in the face of the French and British statesmen. The possibility of a late deal with the West could perhaps still be read into the reference to the Franco-Soviet mutual assistance pact. On the other hand he had dwelt far more on the perfidiousness of the “non-aggressor” nations [USA, UK, France — ME] than on that of the “aggressors” [Germany, Italy, Japan — ME], and he had almost gone so far as to congratulate Germany on her wisdom in not having invaded the Ukraine, as “the West” had allegedly urged her to do!

    Not without significance were also Stalin’s references to Russia’s “immediate neighbours”. Had not some suspect negotiations been going on between Germany and some of Russia’s “immediate neighbours”? Had Nazi diplomacy not been active in the Baltic states? Had not Beck [Józef Beck, Polish foreign Minister — ME] raised the “question” of the Ukraine with Hitler at Berchtesgaden on January 7, only to be told by the Führer that he no longer regarded the Ukraine as topical. And the Russians continued to suspect the Finns, who only a year before had celebrated the twentieth anniversary of their liberation from “the Bolshevik yoke” with the help of the Kaiser’s army towards the end of the First World War.

    Such was the trend of Soviet policy on the eve of the Nazi march into Prague. It was still a wait-and-see attitude; the menace of war was already acute, but it was still not entirely clear what Hitler’s next move would be.

    The Nazi entry into Prague on March 15 not only put a full stop to Chamberlain’s Munich illusions, but put the Soviet Union in a position where a clear choice would have to be made before long. It was already evident from Stalin’s speech of March 10 that he was anxious to keep out of it all —unless there was a possibility of stopping the aggressors through at least a partial restoration of “collective security” — which could only mean the conclusion of an anti-Hitler alliance by the “non-aggressive” powers.

    Nothing new under the sun?

    The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.

    Ecclesiastes 1:9
    (King James Version)

  43. PaulR says:

    For those of you who like your art all Orthodoxy and Monarchy, Ilya Glazunov is dead: https://themoscowtimes.com/articles/ilya-glazunov-controversial-painter-favoured-by-kremlin-dies-aged-87-58351

  44. PaulR says:

    And the US State Department denounces a homeless shelter run by the Orthodox Church in Kitezh. Must be wet! https://irrussianality.wordpress.com/2017/07/10/homeless-in-kitezh/

  45. et Al says:

    Independent: Government not breaking law by selling arms to Saudi Arabia, High Court rules
    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/government-sale-of-arms-saudi-arabia-lawful-high-court-rules-legal-trial-theresa-may-a7832961.html

    Evidence used to dismiss legal challenge cannot be made public for ‘national security reasons’

    …Activists from Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT) had brought a legal challenge against the department in charge of arms control after British arms continued to flow to the autocracy despite it conducting a bloody military campaign in Yemen….

    …Lord Justice Burnett told Court 1 that it had not been established that there was “a clear risk that the items might be used in the commission of a serious violation of international humanitarian law”…

    …The court heard both closed and open evidence over a period of three days earlier in the year. The judgment issued by the Court on Monday suggests that evidence given by the Government in closed court – and thus not made public – was crucial to the final decision. The Court said the evidence “cannot be referred to in open court” for “national security reasons”….
    ####

    A safe court with a safe judge provide a safe verdict, in the nation’s interest! Honestly I think the court could have just said that Saudi Arabian forces are just too incompetent to kill civilians deliberately. They can’t do anything without their hand being held all the way, apart from ‘accidentally’ sponsoring terrorist groups. So much for ‘humanitarian rights’ trumping all else. We must be desperate for money from the terrorist sponsoring Gulf states.

    • marknesop says:

      What does Transparency International have to say about this? Because if you’ll forgive the observation, the process is not very fucking transparent. The verdict effectively says “The government has shown me things that I can’t tell you about, because you can’t be trusted to keep your mouths shut and I can be, which have convinced me this whole deal is just A-okay. Case closed”. One more example of something which is fairly routine in the west, but if it happened in Russia they would scream like they just did up their zipper across their knob.

  46. Cortes says:

    For a while James H. Kunstler’s blog seemed to be in danger of deteriorating to the level of a manic rant. Great, therefore, to acknowledge that he appears to be back on form nowadays. His latest article examines what he describes as the USA’s “thinking classes” (UK term would be “chattering classes,” I believe) in light of “the Overton Window” governing acceptable speech and thought in respectable society.
    A terrific read:

    http://kunstler.com/clusterfuck-nation/good-people-really/

    • yalensis says:

      “Colonizing Mars is a great solution to problems on Earth…” — one of the shibboleths he discusses.
      A couple of days ago I saw this really scary movie called “Life”, which is an object lesson in what happens when you try to bring a Martian life form onboard the space station. The astronauts find this single-celled creature in the Martian soil and name it Calvin. At first he’s really little, he waves his little tentacle at them, and they think he’s cute.
      But before you know it, Calvin is getting bigger and gobbling up everybody on board in the most gruesome way.
      The movie was good, BTW, in that it had an international cast and didn’t make fun of the Russian cosmonaut nor try to pretend they weren’t on a Soyuz when Calvin was munching on their innards.

    • marknesop says:

      That’s great stuff. Turn on the FreeVee – it’s almost time for the Two Minutes Hate.

  47. moscowexile says:

    В Киеве заявили, что не могут доказать наличие военных из России в Донбассе

    In Kiev it has been stated that the existence of troops from Russia in the Donbass cannot be proven
    10.07.2017 | 16:25

    Deputy Minister for the Temporarily Occupied Territories and Internally Displaced Persons of the Ukraine, Georgy Tuka, has said that Kiev cannot legally prove the presence of Russian military in the Donbass. He stated this to the publication “Apostrophe”.

    “We cannot yet, despite all diligence, legally prove the presence in the Donbass of the regular Russian army”, Tuka said.

    The Ukrainian official, responding to a journalist’s question, also confirmed that it is impossible to speak legally about the occupation of the Donbass, because “there are no Russian authorities” in the uncontrolled territories.

    Earlier, Russian presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov reiterated that there were no military personnel from Russia in the Ukraine.

    But Shawn of the Grauniad knows differently!

    He saw them with his own eyes crossing the frontier and entering the Ukraine from Russia.

    And a woman near Mariupol told him as well that she had definitely seen Russian soldiers in the area.

    When it comes to choosing between what this Yukie, whom no one has ever heard of, and Shawn says, I know whom I prefer to believe …

    • moscowexile says:

      Same story has just appeared in Sputnik:

      Ukraine Has No Proof of Alleged Russian Army’s Presence in Donbass – Official

      It seems that Sputnik obeys the Yukie prescriptive grammarians’ ruling on the use of articles in my mother tongue.

      Bi-lingual in Russian and English Alexander Werth, on the other hand, a person of German ancestry born in St.Petersburg, used the definite article with “Ukraine” throughout his book “Russia at War” (1964).

      • moscowexile says:

        Get ready for news of Tuka’s “lustration” or of his accidentally falling out of a 12th floor window.

        • marknesop says:

          Bet his address and phone number are on Mirotvorets. Separatist-loving betrayer.

          On the other hand, those who have been saying all along – hello out in TV land; I see Jen, I see yalensis, I see Moscow Exile, I see a clutch of Alexes, and so many more – that the Russian Army was not present in Donbas at the order of the state in any capacity look pretty wise right now. I look forward to the day Ukraine’s shitty alibi will no longer hold up, and it is revealed they also deliberately and maliciously shot down a civil airliner to tip the balance for sanctions against Russia.

          In fact, we are seeing western trope after western trope bite the dust.

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