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. cartman says:

    US military bases just spring up naturally from the Earth, apparently.

  2. Northern Star says:

    First off..WOW..He should have stomped the shit out of both..but the guy looks to be maybe twenty or thirty years his junior :

    https://venezuelanalysis.com/news/13231

    https://www.thenation.com/article/how-severe-is-venezuelas-crisis/
    A year later:
    https://nacla.org/news/2017/05/03/why-venezuela-spiraling-out-control

  3. Northern Star says:

    GrenFell
    Residents say many more than 80 died:

    “London’s Metropolitan Police announced Monday that “around 80” people died in the Grenfell Tower fire. The police claim that the first part of their criminal investigation into the fire concluded that 350 people were resident in the block of flats on the night of June 13/14.
    The Met said 255 people escaped from the fire that began in the early hours of the morning and that an additional 14 residents were not in their properties when the fire occurred. On this basis, they concluded that 81 people are likely to have died.
    The figure contradicts estimates by others, including demographers, residents and those who lived nearby—with figures by demographers ranging from 90 plus to 123. The police say their figures are drawn from a number of records, including census figures. But many estimate that the number of people who resided in the block was nearer 500.

    **The statement by the police is an about-face on their previous insistence that it would take until the end of the year to identify those who had died—such was the devastation, with more than 15 tonnes of rubble and ash to sift through on each floor”.** ( Yup..I told you so!!!)
    http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2017/07/12/gren-j12.html

    • Cortes says:

      HMG is perhaps happy with a figure which understates the real level of what the US describes as “undocumented”. Someone in a position to know might suspect that revelation would provide grist to the mill of the BNP…

    • Cortes says:

      Trying again (earlier reply vanished).

      Perhaps the powers that be are nervous about the British public becoming aware of just how many “undocumented” people there were in the building. If it understood then there’s a chance that the likes of the BNP would get a boost in support.

      To gauge the real number of people likely to have been in Grenfell Tower, all the government has to do is have a fire drill at a couple of the towers nearby and count heads as evacuation proceeds.

    • Patient Observer says:

      I note that the tower did not collapse.

      • Cortes says:

        I had a conversation with a knowledgeable person about the temperature and flame flow who made the same point.

  4. et Al says:

    Euractiv: Nord Stream 2 doesn’t matter
    https://www.euractiv.com/section/energy/opinion/nord-stream-2-doesnt-matter/

    By Nikos Tsafos | enalytica

    Nord Stream 2 continues to divide Europe. That’s a pity. For all the noise, Nord Stream 2 is just a distraction – it doesn’t really matter. Here’s why, writes Nikos Tsafos.

    Nikos Tsafos is president of enalytica, an energy consulting firm, and an adjunct lecturer at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).

    The critics allege that Nord Stream 2 is a political project. So what? When the Obama Administration authorised liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports from the United States, did it have politics in mind? Sure. When the Lithuanians turned to LNG to lessen their reliance on Russia, were they pursuing a political project? Well, the importing vessel is called “Independence.” Saying that Nord Stream 2 is a political project does not get you very far…

    ####

    I can’t believe it has taken this long for Euractiv to post a normal article on NordStream II. Sure, it is not the Russophobic shitrag that EUObserver carrying bs opinions from self-acclaimed ‘apolitical’ energy expert Srijben de Jong, but absence of common sense articles on the issue are few and far between. I’ll give this a ‘1 Hurrah!’. Let see if if it spreads.

    • Eric says:

      When Russia still supplied Georgia with gas, during and immediately after the war in 2008,not to mention continued gas & oil supplies tp Ukraine, (and a whole load of other things) ……then this American and ex Warsaw Pact moronism ceased to have any semblance of credibility.

  5. moscowexile says:

    Barbie Doll Nauert commented upon by Lavrov:

    ‘Don’t lag behind real events’: Lavrov hits back after State Dept says he ‘gets out ahead’

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has advised the US State Department to keep up with events after spokesperson Heather Nauert said that Lavrov “likes to talk a lot and get out ahead”.

    The Russian Foreign Minister was quick to retort, however.

    “Nobody should get out ahead of things, but I suppose lagging behind real events does not help in a diplomat’s job either.”

    “I don’t understand how this lady can know what I like and don’t like. We haven’t been introduced”, Lavrov said”, speaking with the press following his meeting with the Belgian counterpart, Didier Reynders, in Brussels on Wednesday.

    I suppose Lavrov called her “a lady” because he’s a gentleman, but for me she’s just a woman who shoots the shit that she’s told and paid to shoot — with a big, fixed smile on her Barbie-Doll face.

    Big false smile, American know-nothing spokesperson.

    • moscowexile says:


      Have a nice day!

      She’s a 47-year-old “Barbie-Doll”, by the way. Her husband is an investment banker at Goldman Sachs.

      Another big smile from another State Dept. spokesperson:

      • marknesop says:

        She’s good-looking when she’s not smirking or grimacing. Kirby? Well, you can only do so much with what you’ve got. Sure does have an impressive chestful of medals, though, for somebody who essentially left the Surface Operations milieu about the time USS FORRESTAL decommissioned.

      • Jen says:

        Kirby looks like one of the Joker’s victims:

        Either that or he’s been subjected to the same punishment that English king Edward II suffered way, waaay back in 1327.

  6. Cortes says:

    Porky as Kwame Nkrumah and other similarities between Banderastan and post colonial African history:

    https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/07/12/postcolonial-ukraine-why-federalization-is-not-an-option-for-kiev/

    • Northern Star says:

      “Only in the case of Crimea Moscow acted in a more open way. The hostile rejection to this step by close allies like Belarus and Kazakhstan shows that Putin indeed acted against the established consensus of the post-Soviet world.”

      WTF!!!!!! Any rejection-hostile or not-of the formal incorporation of Crimea into the Russian’state would be a rejection of the overwhelmingly expressed will of the people of Crimea to join with Russia as was show in the referendum.

  7. Northern Star says:

    http://www.ibtimes.com/why-russia-concerned-about-ukraine-joining-nato-2564554

    “Russia is worried about the development probably because if Ukraine in inducted into NATO, it would be a strategic setback for the country. The move would cut off Russia from the Black Sea and the Mediterranean and it would lose control over Crimea. Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier said Ukraine’s accession to NATO would be intolerable. The Russian president also plans to build a Eurasian Union (EEU) on the lines of the European Union.”

    Obviously the author is a moron…but it’s interesting how this type of garbage fantasy cointinues to be ‘quacked’…
    As for the video..bear in mind that The Daily Signal Is a propaganda rag of the Heritage Foundation and its journalist Nolan Peterson-who produced the video-is a mouthpiece for Western PTB

  8. Matt says:

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/feb/22/vladimir-putin-killer-genius-kleptocrat-spy-myths

    An interesting article showing the contradictions in how Putin is portrayed in the Western media.

  9. Cortes says:

    Maybe I’m forgetting to click on Post Comment but over the last couple of days a few comments haven’t appeared. Not aware of falling foul of board standards.

    Paranoid? Moi?

    • marknesop says:

      I rescued one or two from the spam filter, which I check periodically although probably not every day. None there now, though.

      • Cortes says:

        Thank, Mark.

        I posted a reply to the recent comment by Northern Star on the death toll at the Grenfell Tower fire in London. Or thought I did.

    • marknesop says:

      According to Veterans Today, because the figures the USA quotes are wrong and because Russia perceives that the USA is looking around eagerly for its next war, and eyeing North Korea as a likely prospect. Bit of a he said/she said right now, but I daresay we will learn more soon enough. Meanwhile, I would not put too much stock in American claims of ‘experts say…’, since America considers Eliot Higgins to be ‘one of the world’s foremost weapons experts’.

      • Matt says:

        Vvvvvv Veterans FUCKING Today?

        Holy fucking icy hell. I’d rather munch on several dozen AIDS-infected hairy punanies than trust Veterans Today.

        I mean, if I were the author of a dictionary, an example of the term “fake news” would be Veterans Today.

        The fraud of a founder, Gordon Duff, who claims to be a vet and admitted on a radio show that “40% of the content on his site is patently false” (which he later blamed the Mossad for “editing” the audio), once claimed he had seen documents proving Putin was going to publicly announce a nuclear bomb was behind 9/11.

        And that’s a drop in the proverbial bucket of lies.

        And Mark, did you the linked article in my Reddit post, to The Diplomat? It’s not random sources. It’s arms control experts who list a multitude of inaccurate statements Russia has historically made about North Korea’s missile launches:

        ——————————-

        There are a few possibilities to explain this. First, given that the Hwasong-14 was a two-stage missile, it is possible that Russian early warning systems only detected the missile’s first stage. A U.S. government source with knowledge of the Hwasong-14 test confirmed to The Diplomat that the missile’s first stage reached an apogee of 585 kilometers — a number relatively close to what Russian intelligence claims to have detected as the overall apogee for the Hwasong-14, but inexact enough to leave doubt that this was actually the case. However, if this is the case, Russia’s early warning system and radars would have missed the Hwasong-14’s second stage altogether. Given that the Hwasong-14’s second stage is far from an object small or stealthy enough to completely evade early warning radar detection, the good faith technical shortcoming explanation for Russia’s position seems unlikely. (The alternative explanation — that Russia’s early warning system is deeply deficient — is more concerning for other reasons.)

        A counterargument here is that Russia does have a fairly odd history with North Korean missile and nuclear tests, often offering statements that contradict the consensus view between the United States, South Korea, and Japan (and sometimes North Korea). In the past, Russian estimates have seen more projectiles than were actually launched out of North Korea; entirely missed launches; overestimated nuclear yields; and overestimated North Korea’s satellite launch vehicles. (The Russian Foreign Ministry said, for example, North Korea’s failed 2009 Unha-2 SLV delivered a payload into orbit when the United States said it simply splashed down in the Pacific Ocean.) It appears that this history of the Russians presenting unique intelligence assessments on North Korean missile and nuclear developments continued last week with a particularly divergent read on the Hwasong-14’s trajectory.

        The other possibility, of course, is that none of this has anything to do with deficiencies in Russia’s early warning capabilities or intelligence assessments. Instead, this could be political and diplomatic gamesmanship; Russia may be deliberately stalling action at the UN Security Council over the July 4 launch. This could be so for a variety of reasons, ranging from seeking a quid pro quo from the United States in other areas or out of an interest in seeing North Korea spared another round of condemnation at the Security Council.

        ————————————————

        An example of Russia’s past inaccurate statements on NK missile launches:

        http://www.armscontrolwonk.com/archive/502248/russia-eyes-north-korea/

        • Special_sauce says:

          Or, maybe, Russia and NK have agreed to troll the West to keep them guessing. Is the US so forthcoming about their missiles? Rhetorical, no answer reqd.

        • Patient Observer says:

          Holy fucking icy hell. I’d rather munch on several dozen AIDS-infected hairy punanies than trust Veterans Today.

          Good come back! Vulgarity is soo convincing.
          .

        • marknesop says:

          Yes, I saw all that, and for my part I would not consider The Diplomat to be a particularly reliable source. So once again we will have to agree to disagree, although I doubt very much the difference results from a failure of Russian early warning radar to even see the second stage – their gear is actually quite good and they are in a much better position to observe than is the United States. However, it seems quite believable to me that Russia is interested in avoiding anything which might give America an excuse to attack North Korea, while America appears eager to do just that. Russia does not want a war on its doorstep which might rapidly go nuclear, while America could think of no better place for one.

          • Matt says:

            Mark, if you can trust Veterans Today, then by God, you should definitely trust The Diplomat, which is far more reliable. VT is worse than trash.

            And we have the benefit of hindsight:

            “In the past, Russian estimates have seen more projectiles than were actually launched out of North Korea; entirely missed launches; overestimated nuclear yields; and overestimated North Korea’s satellite launch vehicles. The Russian Foreign Ministry said, for example, North Korea’s failed 2009 Unha-2 SLV delivered a payload into orbit when the United States said it simply splashed down in the Pacific Ocean.”

            • Lyttenburgh says:

              “Mark, if you can Veterans Today, then by God”

              Important questions time!

              Userperson “DownMatt”! Do you beleve in God? Do you belong to the Church? Which one if “Yes”?

            • marknesop says:

              I didn’t say I trusted it, but feel free to back-check and see if I regularly cite it as a source. I thought the insight that Russia is trying to deny the United States an excuse to go to war with North Korea – as it is plainly spoiling for a new war with somebody – is intriguing. I also think facts and figures cited by Washington are worthless, and are as likely to be made up to suit the situation as not. I base that assessment on John Kerry’s blather about having imagery of the missile launch which took down MH17. The USA does not have anything of the kind, or it would provide it.

              But I agree it’s good if the United States continues to believe the Russians are a bunch of drunken dolts hunched over 1970’s Commodore 64’s. One of the first tenets of military doctrine is “know your enemy”, and the USA is so high on belittlement and abuse that it has no clue of actual capabilities. I imagine military intelligence has a much better idea, but the bulk of the public which is educated by CNN is ignorant.

    • yalensis says:

      Dear Matt:
      Didn’t you say on the previous thread that the “DownWithAssad” nik was, in fact, YOU?
      It’s okay to re-post a comment, but you should state if you were the author.

      The reason I remember this discussion is because you employed your usual shiftiness at the time: I asked you what beef you had against Assad, and you said you didn’t have a beef. So I asked you why you would pick a name like “DownWithAssad” if you had nothing against the guy.
      And you replied something weaselly like, you just picked it randomly

      • Matt says:

        I didn’t find the need to specify that account is mine, mainly because some of the people here already know and I thought it would be obvious.

        I have nothing against Assad. I just want the ICC to check him out, assuming China and Russia stop vetoing the referral of the Syrian Civil War to the ICC. But he’s the best leader right now, and has full legitimacy. I also don’t support the Western intervention in Syria or the arming of jihadists.

        • davidt says:

          “I just want the ICC to check him out…” Very droll. I can think of a bevy of non-Syrians whom I would check out before I gave a thought to Assad. Then again I would check out the ICC first.

        • Patient Observer says:

          Knowing real Syrians from Syria and being familiar with the Middle East nations in general, I can say without doubt that Syria may the be last bastion of religious tolerance and gender equality in the region. Assad has maintained those values in the face massive foreign sponsored terror organizations. Assad is to be admired.

          Regarding Islam, my experience with Muslims have been universally positive. I don’t know if its cultural or religious but they tend to be warm and open as well as good businessmen. Their religious fanatics are comparable to Christian fanatics. I say this as a Serbian Orthodox Christian.

        • Jen says:

          @ Matt: If you have nothing against Assad, then why do you continue to use the monicker “DownWithAssad” as a hashtag among other things and why do you say you want the International Court of Crimes to “check him out” as though in your mind he is already guilty of supposedly using chemical weapons on civilians in Ghouta back in 2013 and in Khan Sheykhoun this year? And why should China and Russia stop vetoing the referral of the war in Syria to the ICC?

          You say here at KS that you don’t support Western intervention in Syria or the arming of jihadists … but what do you say on other forums where people more likely to share your opinions than we do gather and comment? You said to Patient Observer that you think Serbians are “good people” because PO happened to mention that he is a Serbian Orthodox Christian. But had he said that he was Croatian and Roman Catholic and then said something against Serbians, I can picture you agreeing with him.

          In short, I don’t trust anything you say here, and I trust you least when you decide to agree with what other KS commenters say.

          • Patient Observer says:

            The force is strong in this one:)
            Your analysis of Matt is very perceptive. Thanks.

          • Patient Observer says:

            That also makes Matt the perfect troll.

            Hope his audition goes well with the NGO’s. They can’t get enough of his type – flexible, says what it takes to please, a kiss-ass, a yes-man, no intrinsic values, seeks approval from the perceived rich and powerful, an empty suit. Anything else?

          • Matt says:

            Nothing wrong with having the ICC check him out. What are you so afraid of? And who said that I believe “he is already guilty of supposedly using chemical weapons on civilians in Ghouta back in 2013 and in Khan Sheykhoun this year”? I don’t believe that at all.

            “but what do you say on other forums where people more likely to share your opinions than we do gather and comment?”

            My posts are public – you can see I’ve stated numerous times, lately on Reddit, that Assad should stay and it would be unwise for him to be ousted.

            “But had he said that he was Croatian and Roman Catholic and then said something against Serbians, I can picture you agreeing with him.”

            Hey, I really meant that!

        • yalensis says:

          Matt, my fine-feathered friend, y’all just hop all over creation, like some flea on meth!
          You don’t have anything against Assad, and yet you create a username that uses the jihadi wording to call for his OVERTHROW?!
          If you don’t support the jihadis in Syria, then do me a favor and change your reddit nik to “DownWithAlNusra”.

  10. Matt says:

    Mark, prepare for your article to go viral:

  11. Patient Observer says:

    Good to know:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/did-us-weapons-supplied-to-syrian-rebels-draw-russia-into-the-conflict/2015/10/11/268ce566-6dfc-11e5-91eb-27ad15c2b723_story.html?utm_term=.f91765c94d25

    The U.S.-made BGM-71 TOW missiles were delivered under a two-year-old covert program coordinated between the United States and its allies to help vetted Free Syrian Army groups in their fight against President Bashar al-Assad. Now that Russia has entered the war in support of Assad, they are taking on a greater significance than was originally intended.

    So successful have they been in driving rebel gains in northwestern Syria that rebels call the missile the “Assad Tamer,” a play on the word Assad, which means lion. And in recent days they have been used with great success to slow the Russian-backed offensive aimed at recapturing ground from the rebels.

    The rebels claim they took out 24 tanks and armored vehicles on the first day, and the toll has risen daily since then.

    “It was a tank massacre,” said Capt. Mustafa Moarati, whose Tajamu al-Izza group says it destroyed seven tanks and armored vehicles Wednesday.

    More missiles are on the way, he said. New supplies arrived after the Russian deployments began, he said, and the rebels’ allies have promised further deliveries soon, bringing echoes of the role played by U.S.-supplied Stinger antiaircraft missiles in forcing the Soviet Union to withdraw from Afghanistan in the 1980s.

    Well, maybe the TOW was a tad less successful than hoped. But, just wait until those Stinger missiles sweep the blue skies of Syria free of Russian aircraft! Any day now…

    • kirill says:

      The jihadis already have MANPADs. In particular “Strela”. This has limited helicopter operations.

      • Patient Observer says:

        Strela’s are an earlier generation of Russian MANPADs but perhaps equal to Stingers. Stingers are shamanistic symbols of America’s hope to save a faltering empire.

  12. moscowexile says:

    The shit hits the fan:

    The the latest entertainment from NATO, the side that fights for freedom and justice and mom’s apple pie:

    Zakharova’s responce in Facebook:

    NATO has published a film about the “partisan struggle” of the Forest Brothers against the Soviet “regime”. This organization, created on the basis of fascist shortages (mostly those who were on the side of the German occupation authorities: policemen, administration staff, soldiers and officers of Latvian SS units), carried out more than 3 thousand acts of sabotage, the victims of which were thousands of civilians. And who stood for the “Forest Brothers” until the mid-50’s? That’s right — Western intelligence agencies.There are volumes of documents about this and NATO knows about it better than anyone else: there are declassified, albeit redacted, CIA materials about this matter.

    In the film, “Latvian patriots” fight with certain “Soviet” ones. For those unaware of the history of Western propaganda victims, “Soviet” means some kind of militant community of foreigners that seized Latvia — after all, no one will ever ask the question: how many among the “Soviets” were Latvians.

    Military-historical societies, anti-fascist organizations, historians, public figures, political scientists, journalists — use your search engines! Do not remain indifferent towards this: this is a historical perversion, deliberately spread by NATO in order to undermine the results of Nuremberg, and it has to be stopped! If today Bandera is a hero and the “Forest Brothers” are partisans who saved the Baltic, what will happen tomorrow?

    PS I remember how six months ago the world community, including the central mass media, discussed whether it might be possible to stage dances based on the Holocaust. I very much hope that these same people, who, it is said, are not indifferent to the tragic pages of history, will give an assessment of this disgusting NATO action. I hope nobody should have to be reminded of the mass executions, in which those who later began to call themselves “Forest Brothers” were involved.

    PSS detailed material on this topic: http://www.mid.ru/ru/maps/lv/-/asset_publisher/9RJVTEXfWg7R/content/id/485504

    • marknesop says:

      It seems NATO is tireless in its efforts to rewrite history so that Russia and itself were never allies, that Russia always was the enemy, and that the Nazis were not so bad – kind of patriotic, really. And those who were bad were defeated by the west.

    • kirill says:

      There is no point using the acronym NATO. Use NATzO, it reflects the reality of this organization.

    • yalensis says:

      “на основе фашистских недобитков…” – based on the remnants of the defeated fascists

      Not “shortages” (!)

  13. moscowexile says:

    See: Захарова назвала “отвратительной акцией” видеоролик о “лесных братьях”

    Zakharova has called the video clip about “The Forest Brothers” a “disgusting action”

    Before:

    Members of a Latvian self-defence unit assemble a group of Jewish women for execution on a beach near Liepāja, 15 December 1941

    After:


    We few, we happy few, we band of brothers …?

    • moscowexile says:

      See: The Holocaust in Latvia

      and

      Latvia Still Honors the Biggest Jew-Killing Machine in World History

      And so, it seems, does NATO now.

      No?

      The “Forest Brothers” were freedom fighters who fought nobly against the Nazi invaders as well?

      Right!

      Got you!

      PS Hells bells, Denis McShane, the Glasgow Pole and friend of Israel, is responsible for that “Algemeiner” article above!

      • yalensis says:

        McShane needs to write a followup article entitled: “NATO Honors the Biggest Jew-killing machine in world history”.

        Zakharova is exactly right, NATO and its puppets are sneakily (and now even blatantly) trying to move the goalposts before a gullible public. Bandera yesterday, “Forest Brothers” today. Tomorrow it will turn out that Hitler was the good guy after all.

        Zakharova is right, people need to rise up and shout, “No! These were the BAD GUYS!”

      • Cortes says:

        Primo Levi’s great “If Not Now, When” begins with the roundup of Jews in the Baltics.

        In Scotland I know of two separate families who’ve Scottified their surnames from their original Chihuahua to try to kick over traces.

      • Cortes says:

        MacShane is a cypher.

      • Patient Observer says:

        Their story has been retold in Hollywood as “Alvin and the Chipmunks”.

  14. Lyttenburgh says:

    Why I do not believe that userperons “Matt” (aka DownWithAssad Reddit account) truly supports BLM and other “progressive” Soros funded initiatives, and why I am convinced that he is just edgy obese yoof troll with no real life.

    He says it himself.

    Go and check his comments and discussions. There are literally entire mines of precious kompromat here.

    • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

      Hmmm.

      A successful troll, but come on – Trump support in r/politics? It’s just too easy, and too obvious.

      I see trolling potential here, but he’s got to work harder and smarter – you can live your life on low-hanging fruit if you really want to, but why not set your sights higher?

      Free advice for Dudley:

      1. An important part of trolling is maximising butthurt caused while minimising effort on your own part. A troll doesn’t post walls of text, he causes others to post walls of text. Doolittle is a genuine fat sperglord and even he sort of understood this. Another one -whose name I forget – could cause apoplexy with a single hyperlinked word.

      It is all about doing more with less – that reddit thread for example: your input should have ended with the first post! Redditors don’t need a lot of encouragement to rage over Trump, and his fanclub are never slow to defend his honour – just start the fire and run away.

      2. Trolling is not just about insulting or disagreeing with people – it can also mean enthusiastically cheering for their position, but doing so in words they couldn’t possibly be seen to agree with. Rather than attacking reddit neverTrumpers head-on, you ought to present yourself as the most extreme, demented Trump-hater of the lot – shriek for civil war, demand the abolition of votes for white people, call for mandatory sterilisation of Christians, that sort of thing. Make the people you want to upset look ridiculous and perverse through being associated with you.

      Think upon it. Then take what I have taught you and use it well.

      • yalensis says:

        You’re thinking of peter. He would post a comment with the single word “Idiot”, and it would contain a link to some site that he considered a refutation of whatever you were saying. But he was a bit too cryptic at times.

    • Lyttenburgh says:

      A textbook example of the foaming caveman Russophobia:

      “The Russian media famously hate NATO and Soros too, for his foundation’s emphasis on liberal values. Russian trolls online display a hatred for Soros, and of course, NATO too.

      They have become far too brazen. And our vapid media swallows the leaks whole, giving far to much coverage. Lastly, naive Westerners are used to rebel against NATO – useful idiots to the Russians.

      How pathetic the West has become when it is completely being dominated in the information war. The flooding and vote brigading of Western media comment sections by Russian trolls, Russia disinformation about MH17, Russia’s support of the war criminal Assad, Russia’s escalatory dominance in E. Ukraine, Russia’s disinformation about America/Israel funding ISIS, the love of Russia and Putin by the alt-right, the use of leaks to make naive Westerners rebel and destabilize the U.S., etc.,

      And how have we responded to this? With nothing but weakness.”

      Still going to pretend to be not anti-Russian? I mean – calling POTUS “Orange Satan” and calling Putin “Mad Vlad”?

      I say, it’s hard to disagree with your detractors there:

      “And you could have very easily been an account bought by CTR.

      Nobody goes from “Benghazi was a total lie” to “I believe everything I hear from the mainstream media”.
      Nobody.”

      Nice self-exposure, though. Also – how a born-again SJW and Soros fan like you use such terms as :

      “Still no debunking of the ghostwriter’s statements. Your cucked silence tells all.”

      • yalensis says:

        What do they mean by CTR? I don’t get that bit.

        • Matt says:

          CTR stands for “Correct the Record”, a Super PAC that coordinated the digital wing of the Clinton campaign. Online conspiracy theorists, alt-right nutters, and mentally people, began calling anyone who sympathized with any of Clinton’s policy positions a “CTR shill”.

          In the linked thread, I said I used to support Trump but no longer do, and I asked Trump supporters to give a good argument to bring me back. Some called me a “CTR shill” – implying I was being paid by the Clinton campaign to post online comments.

          It’s even more prevalent in perhaps the most gullible subreddit out there, /r/conspiracy, a sub in which copious amounts of the most obvious fake news are posted by alt-right folks and which many naive people believe.

    • Lyttenburgh says:

      UPD#1

      A coming out of his… of sort.

      Look that he admits freely a year ago of being “heavily” interested in Russia\Ukraine topic. Whom he names as his go-to references? No, more importantly – who is the first one to rush for a handshake in the comment section?

      More moves out from the closet by “Matt”:

      “I’ve been studying and following Russia’s disinfo campaign since the first week it began, in late February/early March 2014. I was surprised to learn that my favourite news sites had suddenly become vicious, pro-Russian, conspiracy-theory comment-infected places. I suspected some sort of astroturfing campaign by Russia. A few weeks later, in the middle of 2014, the Western media exposed Russia’s troll army and it all become clear. Ever since then, I’ve read various repots about Russian propaganda. I created a Reddit account last year and over time, have made numerous posts, some of them quite large, about Russian propaganda. The recent bevy of leaks in the U.S. motivated me to collate all my knowledge into a concise article, although I left out significant bits.”

      […]

      “Please make sure you scan them with an anti-virus, as it’s possible Russian intelligence embedded spyware within the archives and re-upped them online to spy on the few people in the world who have an interest in these things. Sounds paranoid, but better to stay safe”

      Once again, “Matt” proves himself a friend of Russia:

      “I’ve noticed over the past few years of reading RT that it loves pointing out any incorrect criticism of Russia by the Western press. Even if a random British tabloid, for example, says Putin infected Clinton, RT posts an op-ed debunking it. Now, no sane person would believe that. But the point is that in order to increase the narrative of self-victimisation, the Russian press likes highlighting random comments, that are unfair towards Russia, to their audiences.

      I actually think the West should do this more. RT uses this to ridicule the Western press and erode faith in them, a tactic we can use too. For example, some Russian politicians say the U.S. never landed on the moon, that Pokemon Go is a CIA project to steal information from Russia, and other bizarre things. The Western press can post tongue-in-cheek articles ridiculing these things to erode pro-Russian support in the West. “

      • Matt says:

        Going through my posts in an attempt to slander me? Alright then, let’s have at it:

        I used to support Trump up until ~April of 2016, when some Republican primary debates had launched. The man was simply to crass and rude for me to support him. I then looked at Jill Stein, who I thought had a realistic foreign/domestic policy, but her VEEP pick, Akamu Baraka, was too insane. I posted a long Reddit comment extensively quoting him.

        I then switched to Hillary, after going through Trump and Stein. Seems like a reasonable conclusion to make.

        As for my specific quotes above… I see nothing different than what I’ve written here. The Russian media is infamous in its lies and I’ve been following them for a while.

        “Still going to pretend to be not anti-Russian? I mean – calling POTUS “Orange Satan” and calling Putin “Mad Vlad”?”

        Haha. so if I call some world leaders funny names, that is proof that I’m “anti-Russian”? That is your best evidence? Keep searching. Orange Satan is a name I invented myself – but what does that have to do with “Russophobia”?

        Actually, it’s good you’re posting my comments here. There’s nothing scandalous in there at all. Your attempts to expose me as a “Russophobe” merely for saying the Russian media uses Soros as a boogeyman are pathetic.

        But do keep it up – post more of my comments. I feel humbled!

        • Lyttenburgh says:

          “Haha. so if I call some world leaders funny names, that is proof that I’m “anti-Russian”?”

          You are either super-dense or a troll. No, you are anti-Russian because you said this:

          “They have become far too brazen. And our vapid media swallows the leaks whole, giving far to much coverage. Lastly, naive Westerners are used to rebel against NATO – useful idiots to the Russians.

          How pathetic the West has become when it is completely being dominated in the information war. The flooding and vote brigading of Western media comment sections by Russian trolls, Russia disinformation about MH17, Russia’s support of the war criminal Assad, Russia’s escalatory dominance in E. Ukraine, Russia’s disinformation about America/Israel funding ISIS, the love of Russia and Putin by the alt-right, the use of leaks to make naive Westerners rebel and destabilize the U.S., etc.,

          And how have we responded to this? With nothing but weakness.”

          […]

          “I actually think the West should do this more. RT uses this to ridicule the Western press and erode faith in them, a tactic we can use too. For example, some Russian politicians say the U.S. never landed on the moon, that Pokemon Go is a CIA project to steal information from Russia, and other bizarre things. The Western press can post tongue-in-cheek articles ridiculing these things to erode pro-Russian support in the West”

          You are pro-Western nationalist, pure and simple. Thakfuly, you are not on a resource which peddles a 100% faithful propaganda. Othervise your ass would be banned,

          • Matt says:

            Ha, so saying the Western media needs to fight disinfo by the Russian state media (like saying the U.S. never landed on the moon) now means I’m a “pro-Western nationalist” and a “Russophobe”?

            Like I said: you call anyone who dares criticize the Russian government/media a “Russophobe”. Your above post is proof of that.

            • Lyttenburgh says:

              “Ha, so saying the Western media needs to fight disinfo by the Russian state media (like saying the U.S. never landed on the moon) now means I’m a “pro-Western nationalist” and a “Russophobe”?”

              That’s not waht you said, You were arguing ofr something more than kjust a :fight against disinfo:. You were calling FOR disinfo on pro-Western bias. And, yes. this is anti-Russia when aimed against Russia.

              “Like I said: you call anyone who dares criticize the Russian government/media a “Russophobe”. Your above post is proof of that.”

              Show me those who the Russian government/media and who is Pro-Russia and we will talk.

              • Lyttenburgh says:

                Typo! Should be:

                “Show me those who dares criticize the Russian government/media and who is Pro-Russia who you support and we will talk.”

              • Matt says:

                Nope, I never said there should be a disinfo campaign against Russia, merely that the Western media should copy the Russian state media in “debunking” random insignificant things, just like the Russian media does. Like that one Twitter user who said Kislyak should not get life insurance, prompting the hag Zakharova to whine on FaceBook. If only we in the West had such an artificial victim complex!

                Thus, not “anti-Russian” in any way.

                ““Show me those who dares criticize the Russian government/media and who is Pro-Russia who you support and we will talk.”

                https://twitter.com/alexey__kovalev?lang=en

                Can’t find a better person than the guy who runs https://noodleremover.news.

                • Lyttenburgh says:

                  – NoodleRemovers are funded by Soros and stuffed heavily by the Ukrainians.

                  – Kovalyov is kvetching kreakl, failed emigre and the current InoSMI handler.

                  These facts alone rule them out from being “pro-Russian”. Try again or prove that they are somehow pro-Russian.

                • Matt says:

                  Reply to Lyttenburgh:

                  “NoodleRemovers are funded by Soros and stuffed heavily by the Ukrainians.”

                  Provide evidence that Soros funds NR.

                  “These facts alone rule them out from being “pro-Russian””

                  Does being an emigre and having a media outlet staffed by some Ukrainians mean he is “anti-Russian” or “anti-Russian government”?

                  And therein lies the “philosophical” issue you don’t want to address: is criticism of the Russian government “anti-Russian”? What exactly does it mean to be “anti-Russian” to you and same for “pro-Russian”?

                  NoodleRemover is pro-Russian because it helps the people of Russia see through their state propaganda. Only a real patriot would do that.

                • marknesop says:

                  I’ll tell you what’s anti-Russian – continued stubborn insistence that the Russian press does nothing but tell lies from morning until night, although most of the examples of ‘lying’ you have offered have been demonstrated to be nothing of the kind. You just shake it off, stop discussing that subject and continue repeating your propaganda. You were quite certain at the beginning of this discussion that Russia sneaking into Ukraine with only a single Buk launcher, using it to shoot down an airliner and then running for the border was a serious theory which must be examined. I pointed out to you several times that it is frankly impossible to deliberately shoot down an airliner with it, and people do not sneak equipment in so they can have a once-in-a-million freak accident with it. You crowed non-stop about SU-25’s while you were still pushing that bullshit theory that what the ‘lying Russians’ showed was just pieces of the airliner falling to earth. I pointed out that video with a speed leader cannot be falling wreckage, and sent you to a site where you can find a picture (grainy, I’m afraid, but techs might be able to clean it up) of what the photographer says was an SU-25 with the funeral pyre of MH17 in the background. But you keep on with your one-note propaganda about the lying Russian press. You apparently do not read your own press, certainly not with a critical eye, since you espouse some of the cheesiest of NATO talking points, interspersed with occasional transparent blubbing about how you love the Russians, just not their press or their government. I wonder which Russians you actually mean, because you seem pretty critical of most groups. Except for the dissidents, of course, who are being crushed lifeless under Putin’s grimy thumb.

                • Matt says:

                  Reply to Mark:

                  “I’ll tell you what’s anti-Russian – continued stubborn insistence that the Russian press does nothing but tell lies from morning until night”

                  A deliberate strawman. I never said or implied that.

                  “You were quite certain at the beginning of this discussion that Russia sneaking into Ukraine with only a single Buk launcher, using it to shoot down an airliner and then running for the border was a serious theory which must be examined”

                  What the heck? I never claimed this. I said the rebels captured a Ukrainian BUK, not that the BUK was smuggled from Russia. Stop putting words into my mouth.

                  “I pointed out to you several times that it is frankly impossible to deliberately shoot down an airliner with it”

                  Uh, where did I state the rebels “deliberately” shot down MH17? A complete and utter lie. Find the post where I claimed this. In reality, I said the rebels accidentally shot down MH17 with a BUK they captured from the Ukrainians. I have never, not once, deviated from this.

                  “You crowed non-stop about SU-25’s while you were still pushing that bullshit theory that what the ‘lying Russians’ showed was just pieces of the airliner falling to earth.”

                  They lied about the SU-25. Remember the MoD’s first press conference? They lied their asses off:

                  theaviationist.com/2014/07/21/ef-111-in-russia-graphic/

                  “Interestingly, the Russian MoD said the Su-25 (mistakenly defined as a “fighter jet” whereas it is an attack plane) operated well above its ceiling of 23,000 feet. Even more interesting the Wiki page of the Su-25 was edited (by a Russian IP address) to update its specifications…

                  Anyway, even though we reported the speculations about the alleged Ukrainian military activity in the surroundings of the MH17 flight, we can’t but notice that the graphic used by the Russian MoD has another major flaw: it depicts (on the left) the Boeing 777 as a Boeing 707, and the Su-25 (on the right) with the shape of an EF-111 Raven, a famous, retired, U.S. electronic warfare plane!”

                  Also, read this comment:

                  theaviationist.com/2014/07/21/ef-111-in-russia-graphic/#comment-1497508067

                  “1) The SIA351 on the top right corner was at 35,000 ft, so it was wrongly stated in meters, should be 12,192m (or even 12,200 rounding) rather than 9,600 shown on the draw,
                  2) Not all flights were at speed of 900 km/h as shown, for example the Air India on
                  the left top corner coming from East to West was about 850 km/h,
                  3) Further, at 16:10 the Air India Flight was not yet on the Ukrainian airspace as they showed, it came there about 17:15 Moscow time,
                  4) Also noticed some confusion on the aircraft names Air India aircraft was shown as 778, but it was 787-8, and the Eva Air on the bottom should be a Boeing 777 not 778.

                  Later they show some images from the radar, the images seem to be real, but you cannot see any other aircraft rather than the civilian ones. Once MH17 falls to the ground, it still shows an indication of an aircraft, but without altitude, and they claim that this indication was an Ukrainian SU-25… because as there was something there, but not showing altitude, that is typical from a militar aircraft (?).”

                  Read this Dutch guy’s blog:

                  whathappenedtoflightmh17 .com/mh17-three-years-later-what-do-we-know/

                  Marcel van den Berg is far more truthful than Max van der Werff.

                  “Except for the dissidents, of course, who are being crushed lifeless under Putin’s grimy thumb.”

                  Another strawman, I never said Putin is crushing dissidents. But the opposition media is certainly harassed:

                  12 newsrooms in 5 years: How the Russian authorities decimated a news industry

                  meduza.io/en/feature/2016/05/18/12-newsrooms-in-5-years

            • yalensis says:

              “naive Westerners are used to rebel against NATO – useful idiots to the Russians…”

              This says to me, Matt, that you are very much pro-NATO and pro-NATO expansion.
              What do you believe should be NATO’s end-game?
              War against Russia? A first nuclear strike? Where do you see this leading?

        • Patient Observer says:

          Matt, the correct word is “libel”, not slander.

      • Matt says:

        By the way, what do you have against A. Karlin? He responded to one of my Reddit threads. And in that very thread you linked, I tried balancing out pro-Russian/critics of Russia. Furthermore, I even said there’s a lack of valid criticism towards Russia in the Western media.

        Why don’t you quote that? Perhaps because it would debunk your own claims about me being a “Russophobe”?

        This is AWESOME! Someone thought me important enough to spend hours going through my Reddit posts. Thanks for the attention, it means I’m going places!

        • Special_sauce says:

          !I’m going places!
          First, you’ll have to put both oars in the water.

        • Lyttenburgh says:

          “By the way, what do you have against A. Karlin?”

          No. The question should be in fact” “Why did the userperson DownMatt” do nothing about such outrageous deplorable as Karlin?”

          Karlin had Q&A session on Reddiat recently – you failed to arrive even for the afterparty. You have done nothing so far to comment on his UNZ.com blog – despite it taking you literally nothing in the realm of effort. I guess, this is bacause you remain the same old Trumpista deplorable, agreeing with all chief points… i.e. of being a neo-con?

          • Matt says:

            Your post makes no sense. So what if I don’t post on UNZ or participate in his AMA on Reddit? It’s irrelevant to the matter.

            • Lyttenburgh says:

              “Your post makes no sense. So what if I don’t post on UNZ or participate in his AMA on Reddit? It’s irrelevant to the matter.”

              You had Karlin’s blog in your crosshairs for at least year. SUDDENLY you devote all of your extra Reddit attention to this blog, which you didn’t mention before. Why? Why KS and not AKarlin? Go and prove, that you are mensch, “DownMatt”! Go, and repost all these wonderful links on Karlin’s OpenThread de jour!

              Btw – do you approve of A. Karlin, userperson “DownMatt”?

              • Matt says:

                Strange questions you are asking. I briefly mentioned Karlin as a good Russia watcher and at the time, I didn’t follow KS very closely. Am I obliged to go to one blog and not the other? Why do you care that I post here and not on Karlin’s low-traffic threads? You’re making a big deal out of this, as if it’s suspicious.

                As for “approving” of Karlin, I follow his posts via RSS, just like I follow others.

      • yalensis says:

        This last section reads like the work of a paid analyst working for the U.S. government or for somebody like — gasp — Soros!

        Response by the West

        The U.S. isn’t doing anything to debunk the disinformation the Russian trolls are spreading. We need to create a counter-narrative to Russia’s claims. Part of this means we have to be on the right side of the truth. Whether you agree or not, the people of Crimea voted to join Russia and earlier polls going back to the 90s indicate they’ve always supported this. Whenever Obama says “Crimea was annexed”, his statements are translated/subtitled to Russian and put on YouTube for the Russians to be outraged at, because in their view, they’re being punished for democracy. This benefits Putin and demonizes the West’s arguments, so whenever we try and prove Putin is corrupt, the Russian populace assumes we’re lying and smearing him. They’ve been mentally conditioned to ignore criticism of Putin. Putin’s approval ratings are the highest in the world. Before the Crimea issue, they were hovering in the 60s, not much higher than where Obama is now. Afterwards, in February 2014, they skyrocketed to the 90s range. We in the West must accept that our rhetoric and message are too harsh for Russians. We should tone down the Crimea rhetoric and instead, focus on other things that irk Russia, like corruption in Putin’s party, or pro-Russian rebels in E. Ukraine committing heinous crimes/torture.

        Matt, didn’t you state that you are an engineering-Computer Science student?
        Why are you writing how-to policy recommendations and analysis for the U.S. government?
        And, by the way, did they follow your recommendations?

        • Matt says:

          All I wrote was that if the Western MSM keeps saying “Crimea was annexed!” nobody will take them seriously. If they want to criticize Russia (IF), then it would be better if they focused on corruption or other issues – valid criticism.

          Note that I never explicitly said the MSM should do this for no reason. I merely said anti-corruption news is better than news about Crimea.

          And those were just my own thoughts, not policy recommendation.

          “And, by the way, did they follow your recommendations?”

          Nope, but I wish they did.

    • Matt says:

      Haha, my former support of Trump is something even the owner of this blog knows – I “revealed” that last month!

      But yes, please check out my comments and discussions. You will find gold mines of info about me, including my love of the Attack on Titan franchise, programming, criticism of the Russian media, etc.

      I’m literally howling with laughter – you ACTUALLY thought you would “embarrass” me by posting some of my Reddit comments here?

      Top fucking kek. Sounds like something a 4channer would do.

      Tell me, “Lyttenburgh”, do you believe in the PizzaGate hoax too?

      • Lyttenburgh says:

        “Top fucking kek. Sounds like something a 4channer would do.”

        No idea. 4chan (and all #Chans in fact) is banned in Russia. Never was here.

        “Tell me, “Lyttenburgh”, do you believe in the PizzaGate hoax too?”

        No fucking idea what you are talking about, pindos.

        • Matt says:

          pindo? I often see many Russians use that word in YouTube comments under videos run by state media.

          Ironic, considering you whine about “anti-Russian” people, yet you use an anti-American term.

          Hypocritical snowflakes.

          • yalensis says:

            Matt, you are clearly an anti-Russian activist. In your above posts and comments which Lyttenburgh linked, you laid out your plans for ideological warfare against Russia, and you burble with praise of Soros.

            Let me just ask you directly: Are you employed by Soros?

            • Matt says:

              I already admit I am employed by the Soros Bank of Super Zion. /s

              But I’m not “anti-Russian”. Formulating a response to Russian state media disinformation is not anti-Russian in the slightest. Would you say you’re anti-American just because you want Zakharova to point out NATO’s historical revision? I think not.

              And Soros is demonized in the Western right-wing media for false things, like paying protesters against Trump. Completely stupid. And then there’s the anti-semitic angle as well. Defending Soros from this is perfectly fine.

              He funds the excellent OCCRP. Good stuff.

              • Lyttenburgh says:

                “But I’m not “anti-Russian”. Formulating a response to Russian state media disinformation is not anti-Russian in the slightest. “

                How? Why?

                “And Soros is demonized in the Western right-wing media for false things, like paying protesters against Trump. “

                He should not be demonized for paying protesters against Trump?

                “Defending Soros from this is perfectly fine.”

                Defending Soros is fine because some of his critics are anti-Semites?

                You know who are the biggest anti-Semites in the world, Matt?

                • Matt says:

                  “How? Why?”

                  Criticism of a government is not the same as slandering its people.

                  “He should not be demonized for paying protesters against Trump?”

                  Lyttenburgh, I assume that as an educated fellow, you have the ability to think rationally. 3 million people protested against Trump when he won. And a small number were given free transportation and signage by organizations that have received a tiny amount of money from Soros. Thus, the original motivation, will, and desire to protest are all organic and genuine. Getting free signage and transportation is completely fine, even if it’s from Soros. Lastly, Soros’ influence is vaaaaaaastly over-exagerated by you. Were all 3 million protesters at the “Women’s March” being mind-controlled by Soros? Use you head.

                  “Defending Soros is fine because some of his critics are anti-Semites?”

                  Defending Soros against anti-semitism is fine. Defending Soros funding Media Matters and BLM is fine too – the Koch bros and Mercer Dynasty fund their own right-wing lunatics. Why can’t Soros fund organizations that want a progressive tax rate, or racial justice, or that high-light the insane right-wing media in the U.S.?

                  “You know who are the biggest anti-Semites in the world, Matt?”

                  Yes, but that also depends on their education. Compare overseas Turkish voters in Germany, where the majority voted “Yes’ to Erdogan’s power grab, to those in Canada, in which 73% voted No.

            • Patient Observer says:

              I suspect that he/she is an unpaid free-lancer hoping to be “discovered” leading to an internship in one of the many NGOs funded by Soros and the like. His real audience are those folks and he is here to prove his meddle. I note that he likes to blow kisses to Soros. Actually, its all quite creepy.

              What do do? He should be ignored. If he excessively posts (sort of a denial of service attack), he should be blocked. Of course, its up to Mark.

              • Matt says:

                Ha, the delusion is strong with this one. Tell me, PO, are you a Jedi with the ability to read my mind? I am a Canadian studying Computer Science at university – why in Medvedev’s ball sack would I want to become a “free-lancer” for a random NGO funded by Soros?

                OK, here, I will copy you: “Patient Observer” is hoping to land an unpaid internship with Zhirinovsky.

                See, easy peasy!

                • Patient Observer says:

                  You like that line “delusion is strong…”

                  Nope, seen your kind many times. Your reaction shows I was on the mark.

                  Here is some Jedi insights for you: Sexual reference you like? Sex doll that squirts your bed mate? No girl like you? Prove you must your manhood by being irritating gnat?

              • yalensis says:

                Yes, PO, your theory makes sense, that Matt is auditioning for a role as a policy wonk at some Soros NGO. When he writes broad things, like “WE should do this, we should do that,” as if standing at the ear of some bigshot politician or international oligarch.

                The problem is that Matt doesn’t read Russian, and I am guessing he doesn’t read any other languages either, except for English. Knowing a foreign language might be a job requirement for the type of position he is bucking for.

                As for ignoring him, I don’t think that’s an option. He is waging an ideological pro-NATO war using Mark’s blog, and I’m afraid that we Stooges are forced to fight back against this onslaught. Mark debunked a lot of his bullshit fairly well, but the rest of us have to pitch in too, as best we can.

                • Matt says:

                  Unfortunately, nobody debunked anything I said. MH17, Operation INFEKTION, Seat 12, etc. It’s all true.

                  As for me being “pro-NATO”, that is false. I actually support the disbanding of NATO.

                • Patient Observer says:

                  Matt’s silly attempts at feigning sympathy for Russia is the same shtick used the AP and Karl. The KS community is handling his BS nicely so I will seek mostly to his motivations.

                • yalensis says:

                  But… but… Matt, if you support the disbanding of NATO, then why did you write that people who rebel against NATO are just useful idiots for Russia?
                  The opposite of “rebelling against” is supporting and bending of the knee to said entity.

  15. et Al says:

    More Ritter!

    The American Conservative via Antiwar.com: Throwing a Curveball at ‘Intelligence Community Consensus’ on Russia
    http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/did-17-intelligence-agencies-really-come-to-consensus-on-russia/

    Definitive assessment was not what it proclaimed to be.
    By Scott Ritter • July 12, 2017

    A January intelligence product has served as the basis for a series of Congressional hearings into the issue of Russian meddling into American elections—and has taken on a near canonical quality that precludes any critical questioning of either the authors or their findings. There is one major problem, however: the supposedly definitive assessment was not that which it proclaimed to be.

    On January 6, the Office of the Director for National Intelligence (DNI) released a National Intelligence Assessment (NIA), Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent U.S. Elections. Billed as a “declassified version of a highly classified assessment” whose “conclusions are identical to those in the highly classified assessment,” the report purported to be “an analytic assessment drafted and coordinated among The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and The National Security Agency (NSA), which draws on intelligence information collected and disseminated by those three agencies.”..
    ####

    Much more at the link.

  16. moscowexile says:

    Is the colonel sane?

    And Tucker is a wimp!

    “I’m not vouching for Putin .. he seems like a shady guy … wouldn’t want to live there…”

    [Nobody’s asking you to live her. Keep away from here, please!]

    “He’s a killer”, says the colonel, referring to the Russian president.

    I wish he would come over here, though.

    I suppose many are in full agreement with that maniac of a US colonel.

    Is he a serving colonel, I wonder?

    I thought in the USA one didn’t hang on to one’s rank after retiring from the services.

    But then again, there’s Colonel Sanders of Kentucky Fried Chicken infamy…

    • Cortes says:

      According to Colonel Lang at sic semper tyrannis Peters has never seen combat.

      • moscowexile says:

        Yep! Infantry lieutenant-colonel (retd.), 10 years in military intelligence, Germany,

        “There will be no peace. At any given moment for the rest of our lifetimes, there will be multiple conflicts in mutating forms around the globe. Violent conflict will dominate the headlines, but cultural and economic struggles will be steadier and ultimately more decisive. The de facto role of the US armed forces will be to keep the world safe for our economy and open to our cultural assault. To those ends, we will do a fair amount of killing” — Peters, “Constant Conflict”, from “Parameters”, Summer 1997, pp. 4-14: US Army War College.

        • PaulR says:

          Well, to Peters’ credit, that particular prediction turned out to be pretty accurate (unlike some others he has made). There has indeed been a ‘fair amount of killing.’

  17. et Al says:

    Al Jizz-Error via Antiwar.com: UK refuses to publish report on ‘funding of extremism’
    http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/07/uk-refuses-publish-report-funding-extremism-170712151158340.html

    Home Secretary cites “national security reasons” for decision, but critics say it is trying to protect Saudi Arabia.

    …”This is because of the volume of personal information it contains and for national security reasons,” she said in a written statement to parliament…

    ####

    Well, dear Amber Rudd, how do you win the War on Terror if you are protecting those sponsoring terrorism? This makes you complicit in terrorism. People have gone to jail for much less. Time to build more for our politicians (past & present) who are still protecting state sponsors of terror like the gulf states.

  18. et Al says:

    Neuters via Antiwar.com: Russia appears to deliver more turbines to Crimea – Reuters witnesses
    https://www.yahoo.com/news/exclusive-russia-delivers-more-turbines-crimea-reuters-witnesses-215808562–sector.html

    Two more gas turbines appear to have been delivered to Russian-controlled Crimea, according to two Reuters reporters who saw the equipment at the port of Feodosia, potentially deepening a row over sanctions compliance in which Germany’s Siemens has become embroiled.

    Reuters has no independent confirmation the equipment on the dock was Siemens-made turbines. It comprised four cylindrical objects, several meters long, and covered with blue and gray tarpaulins.

    Their dimensions and shape match publicly-available photographs of Siemens gas turbine systems, which each consist of two major components: the turbine itself and a generator…
    ####

    More at the link. I fail to see how delivering more turbines ‘deepens’ the ‘row’? I assume that it is Reuters stringers or someone paid off to sit at Fedosia and watch for suspciously sized items. Musical accompaniment, the magical Otis Redding:

    I’m also a massive fan of Steve Cropper & Donal ‘Duck’ Dunn who were key session guyas at STAX during the golden years, both also touring with Otis, Sam & Dave & others. Unbelievable! There’s was a program recently on al-Beeb s’allah at the moment about the ‘Sideman’:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08xdlts

    The one on youtube has already been pulled.

    • Lyttenburgh says:

      As I wrote in the commentary to yalensis series about this whole “SiemensGate”. From the Siemens’ official press release (13 July 2007):

      ““Siemens AG” and “Silovyie Maschiny” (“Power Machines”) signed a license agreement according to which “Siemens” transfers the production rights and technology to OJSC “Silovyie Maschiny” as well as the right to manufacture, sell and service gas turbine units SGT5-2000E with the capacity of 165 MW.

      The contract is signed for a period of up to 2027. During the term of the agreement, OJSC Power Machines will have access to modifications of this type of turbine. The acquisition of this license is a logical continuation of the cooperation between Siemens and “Silovyie Maschiny” in the production of highly efficient and high-tech gas turbines.

      In Russia, the assembly of SGT5-2000E gas turbine units will be carried out by a joint venture between Siemens and Power Machines, “SP Interturbo”, where gas turbines GTE-160, which are the previous version of the SGT5-2000E turbine, are currently being manufactured. To date, about thirty units of this class have been assembled so far. The share of Russian parts and assemblies is about 60%. Most of the Russian components are manufactured at the branches of OJSC “Silovyie Maschiny” – the “Leningrad Metal Plant” and the “Turbine Blades Plant”.”

      So, in the end:

      – Siemens and their “investigation” will find out that the turbines in question were made by a licensed (by them!) producer aka “Silovyie Maschiny”. Thus no violation of the sanctions regime.

      – Siemens as good and law abiding firm will not sign contracts with Russia (read – gonna loose a heap of potential income) for the installation, launch, maintenance, general repair and fixing of said class of turbines- “RosTech” and “Silovy Maschiny” are here to answer the call.

      – Siemens will loose another crap-ton of money because good burghers won’t supply us with the spare parts and turbine blades. Spare parts, which are already licensed and produced by Saint Pete’s factories.

      Tl;dr – wet dreams of the Russophobes and Svidomites once again failed to materialize. Another peremoga turns into zrada.

      • yalensis says:

        And meanwhile, Reuters can cry themselves to sleep knowing that the people of Crimea will get to turn on their toaster ovens after all.

      • Patient Observer says:

        Since Crimea has significant off-shore gas deposits, those gas-fired turbines will be well utilized to produce low cost power.

        I am just amazed how Russia, with a population of perhaps 20% of NATO countries has achieved such a high degree of self-sufficiency – fielding the most advanced weapons, an aerospace sector second to none, a civilian nuclear energy sector that is thriving, an agricultural power house, broad industrial capacity and innovation out of the wazoo. Just 20% of the NATO population…amazing.

        • yalensis says:

          That’s cause Russians are go-getters!
          🙂

        • kirill says:

          Russia’s nuclear industry is next to none. It is the only country on the planet that can actually deploy fast neutron breeder reactors and the all-important associated fuel reprocessing. The USA basically has no fuel reprocessing capacity. As for China, there is a ridiculous amount of praise in the MSM and by pundits for a country that basically buys the technology abroad. France was ahead of the curve in the 1970s, but by the 1990s cut off its own testicles thanks to the retarded Green Party.

  19. Warren says:

    Published on 12 Jul 2017
    Meet the mysterious Chinese billionaire living in a $67M New York apartment. He says he wants to expose corruption in Beijing…but what game is he really playing?

    • yalensis says:

      According to the Russian press, this guy is the Chinese Navalny.
      Americans are grooming him to be new Prez of China, after they do their usual regime-change thing.

  20. et Al says:

    Neuters via Antiwar.com: Refugees return to Syria from Lebanon in Hezbollah-mediated deal
    http://news.trust.org/item/20170712142856-2w0e2/

    The convoy of refugees began leaving the Lebanese border region for Syria on Wednesday, a security source said, the second group to return under an agreement brokered by the Lebanese Shi’ite group Hezbollah.
    The Lebanese army escorted around 250 people out of the border town of Arsal, a security source said. The refugees headed for the Syrian town of Asal al-Ward across the border, northeast of Damascus.

    A military media unit run by Damascus ally Hezbollah said the buses carried 60 families…
    ####

    Good news, but hopefully not too soon. ISIS/ISIL/IS/DAESH/Whatever maybe getting a pasting, but they are not down and out yet and will no doubt turn to guerrilla warfare and attacks in cities.

  21. et Al says:

    Neuters via Antiwar.com: China sends troops to open first overseas military base in Djibouti
    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-djibouti-idUSKBN19X049

    <iShips carrying personnel for China's first overseas military base, in Djibouti in the Horn of Africa, have set sail to begin setting up the facility, as China's rapidly modernizing military extends its global reach.

    Djibouti's position on the northwestern edge of the Indian Ocean has fuelled worry in India that it would become another of China's "string of pearls" of military alliances and assets ringing India, including Bangladesh, Myanmar and Sri Lanka. …

    …Djibouti, which is about the size of Wales, is at the southern entrance to the Red Sea on the route to the Suez Canal. The tiny, barren nation sandwiched between Ethiopia, Eritrea and Somalia also hosts U.S., Japanese and French bases. ..
    ####

    More at the link. Djibouti used to be French colony and the FAF has been there for many years. There’s plenty of videos of the FAF flying epicly low on training there:

  22. yalensis says:

    Posted a new one this morning about the new Oath of Citizenship for Russian Federation. This new legislation was done partly in response to the crisis of over a million Ukrainian refugees trying to establish legal status as Russian citizens.

  23. PaulR says:

    Following yalensis, given that self-promotion seems to be the theme of the day, I have another post out too: https://irrussianality.wordpress.com/2017/07/13/russian-world-views/

  24. Matt says:

    More information about Lyttenburgh:

    https://forum.nationstates.net/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=288024&p=20586060&hilit=university#p20586060

    “8 of June – on my 27th birth day. I’m a Russian from Russia, who have both served in the Army and currently on the way to finish his education in the Moscow State University (History Faculty, Chair of New and Modern History, International Relations Spec. Group).”

    Lyttenburgh is a 30-year old noob who has currently spent a few hours going through my Reddit posts in an attempt to “expose” me… but failed. Quoting my former support of Trump, criticism of Russian media, their usage of Soros as a boogeyman, and finally, my invention of the term “Orange Satan” – he pathetically failed to release anything remotely embarrassing about me or proving I’m a “Russophobe”.

    • Evgeny says:

      Matt, your reverse-ageism stinks. I’m 31, does it make me unfit to post my opinions at Internet forums?

      • Matt says:

        Hey, I never said his age is a bad thing! I merely mentioned it, that’s all. Rather, it’s the fact that he spent several hours going back years into my Reddit posts, in an attempt to “expose” me.

        The best he found was: my previous support for Trump (which I mentioned here last month), my criticism of the Russian media, and best of all, he called me a “Russophobe” because I called Trump “Orange Satan”. Then he linked a post I submitted about good sources about geopolitics on /r/geopolitics in an attempt to prove I was a “Russophobe”… but that very thread showed I admit Western media had a lack of valid criticism about Russia! And A. Karlin even showed up, thanking me for mentioning him as a good Russia watcher, and some how, Lyttenburgh tried spinning this as a bad thing. Bizarre.

        If Karlin isn’t pro-Russian enough of a source, then who is?

        I just find it funny this guy is using such cheap tactics. 18-year old 4channers do that, not grown up men.

        • Evgeny says:

          Matt, to be frank you are so enthusiastic about your encounter with Lyttenburgh that I won’t put your psychological age anywhere above his.

          Don’t want to sound judgemental, but if you want to be the adult in the room I just don’t see the effort.

        • marknesop says:

          Just for fun, if somebody has nothing much to do, count up how many of Matt’s comments start off with “I never said…” or incorporate that theme in the first few sentences.

    • Evgeny says:

      By the way, Lyttenburgh, what is your military rank? I graduated from the military faculty of a civilian university. Which made me a lieutenant of reserve. Doesn’t make any difference for a civilian, though. 🙂

      • Lyttenburgh says:

        “By the way, Lyttenburgh, what is your military rank?”

        Private. I was an enlisted man, a literal “black bone”. My speciality, OTOH… Lets say – with my specialy you understand the idea of hypostasis soon enough.! 😉

        • Evgeny says:

          Thanks for the reply, Lyttenburgh! I’m not trying to guess your speciality. The military is a large and diverse body; there are lots of stuff I have no idea about. But also a fair amount of shared ground — such as knowing how to clean your AK rifle with a spare podvorotnichok. 😉

        • Evgeny says:

          And here’s the anthem of my troops. What other military branch would begin its anthem with pondering on the meaning and purpose of life?

          • Lyttenburgh says:

            Forgive me for not posting link to the relevant “ДМБ” derived clip about our glorious Rocket corps.

            Which one? Ну ты понел! 🙂

            • Evgeny says:

              Yeah. It’s hilarious, but also a mock. (1) Only officers would have access to a command center, (2) A command center itself is well enough underground, there’s simply no easy physical access! Which is not surprising if you take into account that it’s designed to survive a nuclear attack, (3) It requires TWO officers to turn the keys simultaneously (like in “Terminator 2” movie), (4) Above all and most sufficiently, the launch is only permitted if there’s an order (from the President or whoever else might have such authority).

          • marknesop says:

            That sounds like the background at a dacha party. It sounds like a celebration of the weekend. It sounds happy. Some wicked-looking gear, though.

    • Lyttenburgh says:

      Soooo… I’m older than you, titty. Pray tell me – what makes me a “noob”, then? Oh, you could also dig a bit deeper. In the net there are me saying the exact number of my relatives who participated in the Great Patriotic War and who returned back alive. Hint: only 2.

      Do you think I’m afraid or ashamed of anything like that? No. Not at all. So… what was the point? There are many, many forums and message boards where I am banned. Most of them – the most lib-tard ones. Just the ones you, Western Nationalist, support.

      You just demonstrated that you are a vengeful petty cunt. That’s who you are. You said above, that you do not care about the truth or objectivity – you are only butthurt that “Russia wins the information war” and that the West must reciprocate.

      If a person from the very beginning admits to be partisan, to be asshole, to be agenda driven – why should anyone recognize him as

      P.S. I spent literally minutes going through your Reddit posts. It’s rather easy, you know. But I took time to linky-link as many as possible for everone to search your expliots themselves. That’s it – the separation of labour.

    • Lyttenburgh says:

      “More information about Lyttenburgh:”

      Why you quoted only this? I think this deserves quoting as well!

      “A) O, Dalcaria! I have a gift for you! This gift is more valuable then all your Pathos(!!!), CAPITAL LETTERS IN POSTS and sickeningly large number of smiles. This gift will undoubtedly help you write more readable and understandable posts in the future. I’m talking about the great human invention of… wait for it!… Paragraph! It’s amazing! Just by pressing an [ENTER] bar on your keyboard you can transform sickening-on-a-point-of-vomiting walls of texts into something readable and (maybe, win future and with some work) actually understandable.
      Just like that!
      And, obviously, I won’t advise such full-grown and clever person as you in the use of Board codes, when you attempt to link an article. You, undoubtedly, have read numerous times about it. Just forgot.”

      See? I was охуенен way back before your time – n00b!

    • Large Spade says:

      When you get tired of digging for yourself, jump in. No one will be at your funeral.

    • Lyttenburgh says:

    • yalensis says:

      Matt, it’s not “stalking” to research somebody’s past comments and blogsites, etc.
      We did it to Curly-Doodle too.
      I personally don’t care if you were a Trump or Hillary supporter, that’s not my affair.
      I only care that you are an Information Warrior against Russia, you are clearly very engaged in the Russia-Ukraine issue and the information war, on the side of NATO. Which is why I regard you as an opponent.

      As for Karlin, my opposition to him (and I believe Lyttenburgh’s as well, although I shouldn’t really speak for him) is also a political/ideological one: Karlin is a Russian nationalist and a racist. I don’t use the word “racist” lightly. Karlin has posted many blogposts claiming that Africans and Mexicans are genetically inferior to people of European stock. In essence, he is a white supremacist.
      Karlin moved back to Russia with the stated intent of bringing the American HBD teachings (which is “scientific racism”) onto Russian soil and starting a new nationalist party based on those teachings and on the legacy of the Black Hundreds movement.

      Realistically, in the end Karlin will end up working for Soros too, I reckon. Odd as that sounds, given that the HBD folks are also Jew-haters.
      Anyhow, that’s my Nostradamic prediction for the day.

      • Matt says:

        “I only care that you are an Information Warrior against Russia, you are clearly very engaged in the Russia-Ukraine issue and the information war, on the side of NATO. Which is why I regard you as an opponent.”

        Against the Russian state media, not against Russia herself. Would you consider yourself “anti-American” because you debunked some Western lies about Russia? Nope. Same with me.

        I came to this blog to get a better insight on Russia. The end goal? To understand Russia and its people. The whole reason I am so focused on disinfo is so that we can get closer to the Truth.

        If that means debunking Russian state media disinfo or debunking Western narratives about Russia, then so be it.

        As for Karlin, I don’t follow him for his HBD posts. I only follow him for his Russia-watching posters, which are actually quite good and because he’s a frequent poster on the matter. Reading him also allows me get insights into the Russian nationalist arena.

        • Special_sauce says:

          so that we can get closer to the Truth.

          lol, spare us the cheap sentiment, you wouldn’t know the truth if it bit you on your piles

          • Matt says:

            “Special_sauce”, your ingredient formula seems to be messed up.

            You love North Korea and old boy Kimmy, dontcha?

            • Special_sauce says:

              Jong Un, this fat mal-content who Hates Freedom and Kills His Own people yaddida yaddida, thumbed his nose at the Land of the Shooting Spree and Home of the Depraved ON JULY 4! the United$hit$ pre-eminent civic holiday. Let that sink in, fool.

              • Matt says:

                I hope North Koreans overthrow Kimmy.

                • Special_sauce says:

                  Oh, you ‘hope’. You’re just a font of useless aphorisms. How do you feel about …kittens!

                • Matt says:

                  It will happen.

                  What about the police state, the repression of free speech and worse-in-the-continent poverty makes you so happy about North Korea’s regime?

                  Why do you hate the people of North Korea so much?

                • marknesop says:

                  Spoken like a dyed-in-the-wool regime-change activist. To be replaced by whom?

                • Matt says:

                  Reply to marknesop:

                  “regime change” is the term you want to use, but technically, defeating Hitler was also “regime change” – doesn’t make it bad.

                  As for a “replacement”, old boy Kim will be replaced by someone democratically elected by the newly-unified state of Korea.

            • yalensis says:

              Matt: Now you are employing the standard reddit bullying tactic: “You just love [Dictator Whomever] dontcha?”
              Juvenile bullies like you used this tactic to stop debate on invading Iraq, Libya, Syria, etc.
              Next on the list is Iran and North Korea, and I’m sure you’ll be there cheering on the bloody war and bullying people who disagree with NATO’s agenda.

              Sauce is absolutely right to defend North Korea against American aggression and attempts at regime change. I also defend North Korea.
              Are you going to mock me now and say I love dear old Kimmy What’s His Face?

              • Matt says:

                The Pyongyang elite don’t want reunification, because they’d lose their status of power and be subject to a democratic society. Thus, in order to reunify the two countries, regime change in NK is required by definition. To prevent this, old boy Kimmy wants nukes.

                • Special_sauce says:

                  The US Air Force over Pyongyang c ’53, made Dresden look like a weenie roast. Pyongyang2 is what the ‘elite’ are trying to prevent. Why not ‘hope’ for that, you fucking ghoul.

                • Matt says:

                  Reply to Special_sauce:

                  “The US Air Force over Pyongyang c ’53, made Dresden look like a weenie roast. Pyongyang2 is what the ‘elite’ are trying to prevent. Why not ‘hope’ for that, you fucking ghoul.”

                  After the North attacked the South, what did you expect the Americans do to your brothers and sisters in North Korea? Kiss their asses?

                  The Pyongyang elite don’t want reunification because they are deeply corrupt. Old boy Kimmy eats so much he has trouble walking! In order to reunify the two Koreas and free North Koreans from the police state that makes you so horny, regime change is required. To stop this, your masters in Pyongyang brainwash little kids to think Americans are “bastards”. Such a sick society, brought on by the regime you love so much. They’ve mobilized the ENTIRE country, by force, so they can live comfortably.

                  Useful idiot anti-Americans like you may be too stupid to understand the situation and you may be prone to assuming the Pyongyang elite want to “protect” the North Korean people (kek), but your delusional thinking does not correspond to reality, scum!

                  Now, go fight for North Korea. Go go go! They’ll need all the help they can get from scum like you!

                • marknesop says:

                  You are the polar opposite of a useful-idiot anti-American – a maudlin pro-American who still believes despite all evidence to the contrary that America is an honest-broker impartial force for good. Another red-white-and-blue cheerleader like Stephen Harper was. If it had been up to him, we would have stood shoulder-to-shoulder with our American brothers in Iraq. We do have brothers in America – lots of them. But they are generally denied a voice when America cries for more war and taking possession of more stuff for the greater glory of the Exceptional Nation.

                  But of course you never said any of that. Let me save you the trouble of your standard riposte.

                • marknesop says:

                  And who can they thank for teaching them that if you don’t want to be fucked with, get yourself some nukes?

                • Matt says:

                  Reply to marknesop:

                  “And who can they thank for teaching them that if you don’t want to be fucked with, get yourself some nukes?”

                  Ah yes, an excuse our North Korean colleagues love to use. Do the North Koreans have time machines? Because if I recall correctly, their nuclear program began in the early 1990s, a full 2 decades before Gaddafi had a pole stuck up his ass. This shows the North Koreans could not be motivated by the West’s annihilation of Gaddafi after Libya gave up WMDs.

                  From the very beginning, the fascist (yes, NK propaganda derives from fascist Japanese Imperial propaganda from the ’40s and back – “son of the Sun God”) NK regime has mobilized its full resources to protect the Pyongyang elite.

                  Why haven’t the two Koreas unified yet? The South would love it – it would get access to a source of cheap labour and crap ton of raw minerals. And the North’s economy would boom like never before.

                  But that requires the Pyongyang elite to… give up their power. Is NK a democracy? No. And that is exactly why there will be never be unification unless the North becomes democratic. But the current regime, whose over-weight leader was educated in the West in an education program formerly made for children of NATO members (I.B. program), will never introduce democracy, thus regime change is required.

                • marknesop says:

                  You are so self-righteous it’s almost funny. Spare me your sanctimonious propaganda, I’m not even reading it any further down than I need to to determine that you have completely missed the point. Did North Korea have a nuclear program in August 1945? Because that’s when the Universal Force For Good dropped a nuclear bomb on Hiroshima, laying waste to the city and killing 80,000 people in less time than it took me to type this sentence. That’s what I meant. Not Gadaffi. Jeez.

                • Matt says:

                  Reply to marknesop:

                  I never supported the Iraq wars, nor do I think America is an “impartial force for good”.

              • Patient Observer says:

                Matt – With the collapse of the USSR in the early 90’s, NK lost its principle guarantor against an invasion from the US.

                NK did indeed reach an agreement with the US to abandon its nuke program only to have the US renege on the agreement.

                http://www.nti.org/learn/treaties-and-regimes/us-dprk-agreed-framework/

                IIRC, NK had a bad harvest and was suffering food shortages. Sensing an opportunity to aggravate a dire situation, the US reneged on the promised aid. However, NK survived the famine. Needless to say, it developed a skepticism toward the US and its ability to honor agreements.

                Why do I waste my time debunking your inane comments? That is the question.

                • Matt says:

                  Even though the Republicans screwed over the agreement, there is no denying NK had already started a covert nuclear weapons program in the mid 1990s and was hiding it.

                • Patient Observer says:

                  As I said, NK lost its guarantor against a US led-invasion at around 1990. As history has shown, the US is wont to invade a weaker opponent to achieve geopolitical gains. Developing nukes seems to be the only way to stop such actions. This is not a defense of NK, simply a statement of a relevant fact.

                • marknesop says:

                  But the enormous destructive power of nuclear weapons was displayed for the world long before that. Many nations have nuclear weapons, and no state has ever attacked another who has them. And for so long as they have been the destructive force they are, only one nation has ever used them.

                • marknesop says:

                  That’s a good question for everybody.

                • Jen says:

                  Moon of Alabama had a post back in April this year on why North Korea decided way back in the 1990s to develop a nuclear program: it was the most economically feasible form of defence against joint US – South Korean aggression, manifested in annual military exercises these two nations undertake close to the North Korean border and which include activities such as storming beaches and blitzkrieg-type actions that suggest they are practising to invade North Korea.
                  http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/north-korea-military-exercise-what-would-it-look-like-if-south-korea-invaded-a6927666.html

                  “… North Korea is understandably nervous each and every time the U.S. and South Korea launch their very large yearly maneuvers and openly train for invading North Korea and for killing its government and people. The maneuvers have large negative impacts on North Korea’s economy.

                  North Korea justifies its nuclear program as the economically optimal way to respond to these maneuvers.

                  Each time the U.S. and South Korea launch their very large maneuvers, the North Korean conscription army (1.2 million strong) has to go into a high state of defense readiness. Large maneuvers are a classic starting point for military attacks. The U.S.-South Korean maneuvers are (intentionally) held during the planting (April/May) or harvesting (August) season for rice when North Korea needs each and every hand in its few arable areas. Only 17% of the northern landmass is usable for agriculture and the climate in not favorable. The cropping season is short. Seeding and harvesting days require peak labor.

                  The southern maneuvers directly threaten the nutritional self-sufficiency of North Korea. In the later 1990s they were one of the reasons behind a severe famine. (Lack of hydrocarbons and fertilizer due to sanctions as well as a too rigid economic system were other main reasons.)

                  Its nuclear deterrent allows North Korea to reduce its conventional military readiness especially during the all important agricultural seasons. Labor withheld from the fields and elsewhere out of military necessity can go back to work. This is now the official North Korean policy known as ‘byungjin‘. (Byungjin started informally in the mid 2000nds after U.S. President Bush tuned up his hostile policy towards North Korea – Chronology of U.S.-North Korean Nuclear and Missile Diplomacy)

                  A guaranteed end of the yearly U.S. maneuvers would allow North Korea to lower its conventional defenses without relying on nukes. The link between the U.S. maneuvers and the nuclear deterrent North Korea is making in its repeated offer is a direct and logical connection …”
                  http://www.moonofalabama.org/2017/04/the-reason-behind-north-koreas-nuclear-program-and-its-offer-to-end-it.html

                  Moon of Alabama quotes Georgy Toloraya who says:

                  What are the sources of [North Korea’s economic] growth? One explanation [among others] might be that less is now spent on the conventional military sector, while nuclear development at this stage is cheaper—it may only cost 2 to 3 percent of GNP, according to some estimates … Theoretically, byungjin is more “economy friendly” than the previous “songun” or military-first policy which supposedly concentrated resources on the military … At the same time, Kim Jong Un appears to tolerate an amount of private entrepreneurship, an approach his father would have frowned upon and his grandfather would have opposed even more …”
                  http://www.38north.org/2016/10/gtoloraya102016/

                • yalensis says:

                  Jen, that is an excellent comment, explaining North Korea’s need for a nuclear deterrent.

            • Jen says:

              Brushing aside Matt’s idiotic outbursts about North Korea and its leaders – which say more about his state of mind than about the country itself – I find there may be quite a lot to like if not love about North Korea from a growth-oriented capitalist point of view.

              From the Financial Times, as quoted by Alexander Mercouris in The Duran:

              “At a time when the US is trying to squeeze the Kim regime through new sanctions — pressure that is likely to increase as a result of the death of US student Otto Warmbier who was jailed in North Korea — the economy is showing signs of vitality that could make it even harder to exert leverage on Pyongyang.

              Any analysis of the North Korean economy has to proceed with some caution. Reliable economic data for the isolated nation are scarce and estimates vary wildly. Forecasts for 2015 growth in gross domestic product per capita ranged between -1 per cent by the Bank of Korea in Seoul to 9 per cent from the Hyundai Research Institute.

              “The challenges of accurately computing North Korea’s GDP are many and are derived principally from a paucity of credible macroeconomic data,” says Kent Boydston, analyst at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. But for close watchers of the reclusive nation, the signs of change are clear. Notably, wages have surged, as has the growth of a moneyed class known as the donju. “The changes are obvious when you go to Pyongyang. There is vehicular traffic and the city has a skyline like never before,” says a former US intelligence official, pointing out the growing use of previously rare items like solar panels and air conditioners……..

              The result, according to North Korea watchers such as Prof Lankov, is “a significant improvement in living standards” and economic vibrancy, most evident in the flourishing number of restaurants and markets. Known as jangmadang, these markets — both official and unofficial — have proliferated rapidly in recent years and are now increasingly the norm for purchasing consumer goods.

              According to a survey of more than 1,000 defectors by the Korea Development Institute, a state-run think-tank in Seoul, more than 85 per cent of North Koreans now use these markets for food, compared with 6 per cent who rely on state rations.

              Wages have also appeared to increase exponentially in recent years. According to the institute, salaries in the official state sector have increased more than 250 per cent in the past 10 years to about $85 (more than 75,000 North Korean won) a month, while wages in unofficial “side” jobs, such as private enterprises, have boomed more than 1,200 per cent. Lee Byung-ho, then head of South Korea’s intelligence service, estimated earlier this year that 40 per cent of North Korea’s population is now engaged in some type of private enterprise.”

              http://theduran.com/truth-north-korea-booming/

              • yalensis says:

                Fascinating correction, thanks, Jen!

                If we had to depend on the simplistic propaganda of reddit juveniles, then we’d all be rushing off to another bloody war and killing millions of people “for their own good”.
                What happens in North Korea is the business of the North Korean people, not Matt, nor reddit, nor Soros.

                And Matt, by the way, should read up more on the Korean War, because the reality and the history of it were not anything like what he just spouted. And the Americans were NOT the good guys at all!

                • Matt says:

                  “What happens in North Korea is the business of the North Korean people, not Matt, nor reddit, nor Soros.”

                  I agree! The business of whether North Korea unifies with the South, the business of being able to choose their own leaders, is all the concern of the politically voiceless people of North Korea!

                  Sad, isn’t it, yalenis? You agree that the fate of the country lies with the people of NK, not the unelected self-deitifying political elites? Me too.

                • Jen says:

                  I must say in this conversation about North and South Korea that for a long time from the 1950s to the late 1980s / early 1990s, South Korea was under a dictatorial military regime that denied human freedoms and rights to South Koreans. Furthermore the economic growth and development that made South Korea the rich country that it is began with a series of 5-year economic plans under President Park Cheung-hee (also the father of recently impeached President Park Geun-hye) who seized power in 1961 and maintained it until his assassination in 1979.
                  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Park_Chung-hee

                  Ironic that South Korea became what it is today in part because a military dictator seized power, crushed dissent and steamrolled whatever freedoms his people still had, later governed by martial law and used his power to create the industrial foundation for South Korea’s development.

              • Matt says:

                Already read that piece by Mercouris, and I also happen to follow Dr. Lankov, perhaps the best NK watcher there is.

                Yet, nothing you’ve stated disproves anything I said about NK, whether that be about its state repression of free speech and basic human rights, or the fact that it is one of Asia’s poorest countries.

                Pointing to some recent growth figures doesn’t say much about North Korea. It’s economy would boom if it unified with South Korea – so why hasn’t it?

                Because old boy Kim, who executed his own uncle, loves power and yet you support him, Jen. Perhaps that says something about Jen’s state of mind.

                • Jen says:

                  Nothing in my original comment about North Korea’s economic growth indicates what I think about Kim Jong-un or whether I support him or not. You have offered no evidence that he or his government had his uncle executed.

                  You are constantly twisting what commenters say here and insinuating what they think or believe from the stupid lies you make up about them. You know absolutely nothing about North Korea or Venezuela, you denigrate those countries’ leaders with slander and abuse, and you turn on other people when they present information about those countries that you cannot refute or change the subject . You are nothing more than an idiot troll who has come to KS with deliberate intent to flood the blog with garbage comments to derail discussion and reduce comment threads to insult and invective.

                • Matt says:

                  Reply to Jen:

                  “Nothing in my original comment about North Korea’s economic growth indicates what I think about Kim Jong-un or whether I support him or not.”

                  You provided the information about economic growth to show the North Korean regime is good.

                  “You have offered no evidence that he or his government had his uncle executed.”

                  Evidence? My dear Jen, our North Korean colleagues proudly admit it and even televised his arrest!

                  “The Korea Central News Agency denounced the “despicable human scum Jang, who was worse than a dog,” and said he had attempted to “overthrow the state by all sorts of intrigues and despicable methods with a wild ambition to grab the supreme power.””

                  “On Sunday, Kim presided over a special meeting of the politburo at which Jang was stripped of his posts and, in a spectacular televised scene, yanked by his armpits and dragged out of a chair.”

                  “Jang was convicted under Article 60 of the criminal code, which bars acts against national sovereignty. The official news agency’s report accused him of factionalism, which in communist states means deviating from party unity.”

                  Tell me Jen, is the North Korea state propaganda lying about this too? Will you call this a “false flag” by the CIA? I am curious to see whether you accept this; I doubt it.

                  Furthermore, they even killed his younger half-brother.

                  Want to see patriotic North Koreans? These guys:

                  https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/he-ran-north-koreas-secret-money-making-operation-now-he-lives-in-virginia/2017/07/12/4cb9a590-6584-11e7-94ab-5b1f0ff459df_story.html

                  https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/dec/10/kim-jong-un-uncle-i-defected-to-us-after-seeing-north-korea-regime-cruelty

                  “You are constantly twisting what commenters say here and insinuating what they think or believe from the stupid lies you make up about them.”

                  What have I “twisted” here? Give examples. If anything, my own comments have been twisted. I’ve been falsely accused of claiming Russia shot down MH17, that I support Al-Nusra, etc.

                  “You know absolutely nothing about North Korea or Venezuela, you denigrate those countries’ leaders with slander and abuse, and you turn on other people when they present information about those countries that you cannot refute or change the subject.”

                  Ah, here it is. Your anger stems from the fact I “denigrated” old boy Kim? What do you expect me to do, Jen? Pray to him? Build a statue of him and bow to it every 4 hours? Hang a God damn portrait of his obese mug on my wall? What is so wrong about criticizing a man who executed his own uncle and brother, merely to protect his own power? And what does that say about the North Korean regime as a whole?

                  As for Maduro, your opinion of him comes from gullible Western Leftist websites, who swallow Maduro’s lies about the CIA being responsible for his country’s economic crisis, hyperinflation, and food shortages! What’s so wrong about criticizing someone who has not only jailed some of the opposition, but is actively trying to subvert the national legislature, first through the co-opted Supreme Court, and now through a Constitutional amendment?

                  You are naive. Stop being so gullible to the propaganda from the West’s enemies.

                  “You are nothing more than an idiot troll who has come to KS with deliberate intent to flood the blog with garbage comments to derail discussion and reduce comment threads to insult and invective.”

                  Which of my comments are “garbage”? I posted my thoughts on some issues, some people engaged in respectful back-and-forth, while others, like you, resorted to insults.

                  If you don’t like my “garbage” comments, then ignore them.

                • marknesop says:

                  Nothing you’ve said proves that anything you said about NK is accurate. So you can provide sources which agree with you. We can provide sources which disagree. Where does that leave us? As before, if you prefer to believe material which affirms your beliefs, please yourself – congratulations; we all do. You’ve just demonstrated your method – I’ve read the piece by Mercouris, but it proves nothing. I’ve read material from Dr. Lankov, which proves everything.

                  Suit yourself. Trying to change your mind is an obvious waste of time. Zealots are sure of nothing so much as their own rectitude.

              • marknesop says:

                You know, the relentless negativity of the media coverage of Russia over the past 5 years or so has taught me to disbelieve not only what the media says now – when it is caught lying on so regular a basis as to verge on commonplace – but to wonder to what extent it was lying before, about other places. Kim is indeed a despot to all appearances, even if we spot him the benefit of the doubt and assume the west quotes and portrays him selectively so as to show him at his worst – but his removal is a matter for North Koreans and not another ginned-up regime-change op by the State Department, and it must not happen until a progressive alternative who will serve the interests of the North Korean state emerges. The west has had its way for far too long, knocking over governments and replacing them with hand-picked toadies who will allow the meddlers a free hand.

                • Matt says:

                  ” it must not happen until a progressive alternative who will serve the interests of the North Korean state emerges.”

                  Huh? And how will this guy come to power? The NK Army will defend the dictator Kim. Even a “progressive alternative” will have to execute regime change internally, and he will need external help for that. Unless you actually believe some random good guy will overthrow Kim by himself? In order to prevent exactly this, the NK regime has a hardcore secret service that executes or imprisons dissenters.

                  Or perhaps you mean Kim’s half-brother, who was being groomed by the U.S. and China as an alternative, and hence, was executed by Kim?

                • marknesop says:

                  I’ll tell you what I don’t mean – a hand-picked western favourite. Because the west’s history of regime changes is pretty uniformly horrible.

        • Patient Observer says:

          Matt says

          Against the Russian state media, not against Russia herself.

          Based on public opinion polls conducted by Western or western leaning organizations, there is good alignment between Russian media (a surrogate for the Russian government and, in particular Putin, in your world) and the opinion of Russian citizens. I dare say the media-population alignment in Russia is much greater than US MSM-population alignment

          Here in the heartland of America, the MSM is mostly ignored for having no relevance to our important topics (poor economy, lack of good jobs, opioid crisis, failing schools, collapsing infrastructure, etc.). Rather, we hear an incessant stories on Russian hacking of the US presidential election. No one care about that here.

          Based on the foregoing, it is abundantly clear that Russian media views grow from its population versus the US where the media grows from the ruling elites.

          Got it?

          • Matt says:

            I never said I was against the Russian MSM positions – just their fake news propagation and disinformation.

            • yalensis says:

              The Weaselling is strong in this one.
              Why not be “fair and balanced”, O Darling UpWithAlNusra?
              Why not post exposes of Westie media fake news and disinformation?
              There’s quite a lot of that, no?

              • Matt says:

                The Western media already gets debunked by many websites, not so with the Russian state media.

                • Patient Observer says:

                  You missed my point. Western MSM cranks out misdirection BS on a much more massive scale than Russian MSM. Do you get it? Do you?

                • Matt says:

                  Irrelevant, because there is a corresponding larger number of alternative media outlets in the West, examining the Western MSM with a hawk’s eye. Not nearly enough focus on Russian gov propaganda.

                • Patient Observer says:

                  To Matt – ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN ad nauseam use much of their bandwidth trying to discredit Russian media. RT is the favorite target of the MSM and Congress as an example. Give it up. Your fiction of being a white knight to correct a wrong was never convincing and now it is a farce. Get a life young man, get a job, get a girlfriend and give up your blog career. There must be something you are good at, keep trying.

                • marknesop says:

                  So is that what you’re doing? Debunking the Russian state media? Great job.

            • marknesop says:

              So be it. From here on out I’m keeping a list of what you are against, and to your credit it seems to be shrinking, by virtue of a fusillade of “I never saids”. While I have you here, please confirm you have nothing against non-stop malicious lying propaganda. For so you have characterized the Russian MSM’s positions. It will save time and effort later.

  25. Cortes says:

    The cover-up of the events of 14 July 2016 at the Promenade des Anglais in Nice continues:

    https://www.rt.com/news/396227-paris-match-cover-nice/

    Seems like absolutely no images or narrative of the “rampage” not approved by the regime can be displayed in the land of President Micron.

  26. et Al says:

    FortRuss: Tit for tat: ISIS Kills 21 Tahrir Al Sham Terrorists in Idleb
    http://www.fort-russ.com/2017/07/tit-for-tat-isis-kills-21-tahrir-al.html

    At least 21 Tahrir Al Sham (rebranded Al Nusra Front) terrorists were reportedly killed, following two explosions, triggered by a pair of suicide bombers, believed to be associated with ISIS.

    The incident is said to have happened east of the northwestern Syrian city of Idleb.

    According to the “opposition” sources, close to the jihadists, a suicide bomber riding a motorcycle managed to reach the center of a gathering of Tahrir Al Sham terrorists in the vicinity of the spinning plant, a place otherwise considered to be the group’s main stronghold in Idleb province.

    Just as Tahrir Al Sham’s units began to treat the wounded, another suicide bomber came and blew himself up.

    Among the dead, there were several notable foreign-born terrorists, namely Abu Abdullah Al Fransi, Abu Israa Al Maghribi, Abu Abdel Qayoum Al Maghribi, Abu Muqatel Al Maghribi, and Abu Adam Al Maghribi…
    ####

    I’m not a rocket scientist, but I assume ‘Al Fransi’ (no relative of course), is a jihadi of French origin and the ‘Al Maghribi’ s are from north Africa somewhere, but quite possibly also from Europe. Possibly brothers or close friends.

  27. Cortes says:

    Poles apparently content to pay a premium of $0.97 per MBtu (compared with the cost of Russian gas) to become the designated hub of Three Seas imports of US LNG, according to the following article by Engdahl:

    https://journal-neo.org/2017/07/13/the-fatal-flaw-in-washingtons-new-energy-strategy/

    The short production life of fracked wells has been omitted from consideration it seems.

    • cartman says:

      Three Seas? Did they already get permission from Turkey to drive these tankers through the middle of Istanbul?

      • Cortes says:

        I suspect that from the grand Polish hub pipelines radiate to all countries within the project… a sort of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth de nos jours.

        From sea to shining seas.

        Poland stronk.

    • marknesop says:

      That’s a great catch – thanks for posting it! You know, I hope they try it; I really do. Gazprom can keep undercutting them and still make a profit, and catastrophic financial failure might teach them a useful lesson.

  28. Cortes says:

    The law of unintended consequences rears its head regarding Veselnitskay visit to the US:

    https://consortiumnews.com/2017/07/13/how-russia-gate-met-the-magnitsky-myth/

  29. Lyttenburgh says:

    Transl,: “Want to be a Russian – pay for it”. An interview with the creator of the blocked “Sputnik i Pogrom” Yegor Prosvirnin – about AP, Navalny and the similiatirites between the Gays and Russian Nationalists

    About the last one – I never had any doubts, that there are plenty of them! I mean – look at their contingent!

  30. Matt says:

    Who is Viktor Ageyev?

    Another Russian serviceman in Ukraine, a genuine volunteer, or something else?

    View at Medium.com

  31. Matt says:

    Rise of the Russia Grifter Class

    https://nobsrussia.com/2017/06/21/rise-of-the-russia-grifter-class/

    A good article by a good Russia watcher – Jim Kovpak. Probably one of the most succinct writers out there, IMO.

    • Special_sauce says:

      so, the Russia haters are doing Putin a favo(u)r? Putin is cynically encouraging the haters to cement his authoritarian rule? Is that the idea? And that’s not a “theory”? Coulda fooled me.

      • Matt says:

        Not quite. The point is the “Russia haters” only help the narrative the Russian media propagates. They are counter-productive.

    • Lyttenburgh says:

      “A good article by a good Russia watcher – Jim Kovpak”

      – What makes this article good?

      – What makes Jim Kovpac a “good Russia watcher”?

      Kovpac is Ukro-America, born-again Svidomite, who finally buggered off from Russia to the Ukraine where he failed to enlist into the TerrBatof the NatzGuard.

  32. Patient Observer says:

    http://russianspaceweb.com/kanopus-v-ik.html

    Roskosmos announced a formal tender for a contract worth 1.7 billion rubles (approximately $28.3 million according to the 2017 exchange rate), which would cover the development of the Kanopus-V-IK satellite.

    Isn’t that something? The state-of-the-art Kanopus earth-resource satellite was built for for $28.3 million USD. Similar Western satellites cost north of $300 million. Corruption? Gross incompetence? Astronomical inefficiency? What?

    • kirill says:

      The concept of low volume or boutique pricing is a widespread racket in the west. By definition, satellites are low volume products. Hence, the racketeers appeal to the fig leaf that they have to recoup development costs for every single satellite. This is utter BS, but the paid off politicians and bureaucrats in the so-called “non-corrupt” west don’t stress themselves when splurging with taxpayer money. The western governments always whine how there is never enough money. In this way they shield the corporate parasites and brow beat the public.

  33. Lyttenburgh says:

    How the West finances liberals via “Memorial” (shorter version here.

    “In 2016-2017 there was a significant increase in foreign financial support for the human rights center “Memorial”. The total amount of funds from foreign governments and international organizations spent for the “Memorial” Center in 2015 amounted to 107,873,000 rubles. In 2016, the total expenses of Memorial were already 165,251,928 rubles, of which 162,151,412 rubles. – foreign financing, and 3 110 516 rubles. – Russian sources. Thus, the funding during the election year for the recognized the foreign agent “Memorial” increased by almost 55 million rubles.

    It is extremely important to note that the maximum amount of funds received from foreign sources was spent in 2016 in the post-election period, i.e. during the fourth quarter of 2016. In the fourth quarter, almost 56 million rubles were spent, while in the previous quarters foreign financing fluctuated at the level of 20-33 million rubles. In the previous election cycle of 2011-2012, the expenses of Memorial also increased compared to the non-elective year, but the increase in expenses was only by 25%, while in the current cycle expenditures increased by almost 50%.

    For the first quarter of 2017, foreign sources amounted to 30,236,681 rubles. The main sponsors in 2016-2017 were the Norwegian Helsinki Committee, the European Commission, Civil Rights Defenders, UNHCR, NGO “Man in Need|, the European Lawyer Association for Human Rights, the International Federation for Human Rights, the University of Meadlex, the Embassies of Great Britain, Korea and France and a number of other foreign organizations. In the first quarter of 2017, the European Endowment for Democracy, the government structure of the European Commission, created with the support of the EU High Representative for Foreign Policy, and also one of the founders of the anti-Russian propaganda center in the Baltic States, was the first source of funding.

    The Human Rights Center Memorial is almost entirely exists due to the foreign funding, which is why it the news that the Russian oppositionists view it as a source of income when they were nominated for candidacy and participating in the 2016 elections to the State Duma, got so much resonance. So, it’s been recognized as the source of funds for Svetlana Gannushkina, as well as for the associates of Alexei Navalny Konstantin Yankauskas and Sergei Davidis. On the eve of the elections to the State Duma in 2016, Gannushkina also advocated the merger of the lists of ParNaS and Yabloko, and also tried to attract Alexei Navalny to this activity.

    “Memorial” actively participates in the defense of the activists of Navalny detained on March 26, 2017, and has already proclaimed several of them as political prisoners: Yuri Kulia and Alexander Shpakov, and Navalny personally joined in the defense of latter and even tried to raise money by means of crowdsfunding.

    […]

    “Memorial” works closely with the Soros Foundation “Open Society”. For 2014-2017, the Soros Foundation developed a strategy for working in Russia, called Russia Project Strategy. As follows from the strategy, Soros structures are going to operate (and operate) in three spheres: human rights, access to “broad independent information” and the creation of platforms for critical debates and discussions.”

    I think it’s high time to close this outfit for the oppositions bedbugs and send its most active activists to the forest resorts of Magadan and Vorkuta! I for one, strongly consider a course of labour therapy for all of them!

    • Lyttenburgh says:

      Oh, and about one of the grant-eaters fed by the “Memorial”:

      “The closest associate of Alexei Navalny and a member of the “Solidarity” movement Konstantin Yankauskas is a homosexualist. In the opposition, the orientation of the candidate from the party PARNAS for the State Duma of the Seventh convocation has long been known. For the general public, the “rear-wheel-drive secret” of Jankauskas was disclosed by the employees of the InfoTrader portal, who published the data of the hacked correspondence of the politician.

      According to the information provided, Yankauskas is not the only sodomite in the camp of protest rally organizers and marches “for our and yours freedom”. This former municipal deputy of the Moscow region Zyuzino, in his spare time from the “fight with the regime”, discusses with his colleague in “Solidarity” Alexander Artemyev, for example, the gay porn,. It is also noted that his wife Olga Gorelik is aware of the sexual preferences of Yankauskas.

      In correspondence with the columnist of the “Snob” portal Pavel Gnilorybov, Yankauskas regrets that he “missed a date” in the bathhouse with this journalist. The former wife of Gnilorybov Vera Kichanova, a well-known LGBT activist, was elected in 2012 as a municipal deputy of the South Tushino district in Moscow. She left Russia for Ukraine in 2015, where she led the Internet project the “Reed”. The journalist of the “Do///D’” TV channel Pyotr Ruzavin was also an object of attention on the part of Yankauskas. A politician was invited to the theater. Ruzavin refused a specific invitation because of his employment, but he said that he was “generally not against it”.

      […]

      In 2013, Yankauskas was among the chief functionaries of Alexey Navalny’s electoral HQ during the election of the mayor of Moscow. Together with other top associates of the blogger – with Vladimir Ashurkov and Nikolai Lyaskin – he collected civilian donations for the election campaign. In May 2014, Yankauskas was charged with misappropriating of the citizen donation. According to the investigation, Navalny’s associates stole 10 million rubles.”

      This is another good illustration to the concept of the hypostasis, because Yankauskas is simultaneously both a gay and faggot!

      • marknesop says:

        Homosexuals just need love, too. Personally, homosexuality in and of itself is not a disqualifier for me. A person’s sexuality is not connected in any way I can see to his/her political affiliations; the Log Cabin Republicans are pretty much all full-on gay, although you would expect gays to gravitate to liberal parties in the anticipation that they would offer the best hope for a slate of rights which will set them above the heterosexual majority. And crooks are crooks regardless their sexual orientation.

      • moscowexile says:


        Vera’s big day


        wedded bliss

        You mean … they divorced?

    • kirill says:

      Russia should use the “Russian meddling” hysteria in the USA and other parts of NATzO to pull the plug on all organizations and individuals receiving ***any*** foreign money. Full stop. If Trump Jr.’s meeting with some Russian lawyer is treason, then what is taking money from foreign agents? Without the foreign money, Memorial and other scum would not be able to engage in sedition. Tolerating this sedition in the name of “democracy appreciation” is pure BS. Democracy is not about foreign money. Foreign money is the worst sort of meddling to undermine Russian democracy and statehood.

      • marknesop says:

        I mostly agree; Russia is not going to get any positive press from the west, ever, so although booting these organizations out of business would cause a shriek to rise to the very skies, what of it? As well to be hung for a sheep as a lamb, what? If fact, if Putin acted even a tenth as oppressively as they already say he does, they would have something to wail about. The only people in Russia who value the constant low-level sedition of Memorial and these other do-goodie NGO’s are the kreakly anyway.

  34. Jeremn says:

    NATO cries in the corner:

    Turkey has agreed to pay $2.5 billion to acquire Russia’s most advanced missile defense system, a senior Turkish official said, in a deal that signals a turn away from the NATO military alliance that has anchored Turkey to the West for more than six decades.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-07-13/turkey-is-said-to-agree-to-pay-2-5b-for-4-russian-s-400-sams

    • marknesop says:

      An important development, agreed, but I would not trust Erdogan as far as I could throw him and he could easily reverse himself next year or next month.

      • Northern Star says:

        Mark,
        Both the reply of Cortes to my Grenfell post (supra) and my response to Cortes were deleted or did not appear!!!

        Am I now on some Stooge shitlist??

        • Matt says:

          It’s my fault. I asked Soros to do that. Your comments are being censored by a local Soros NGO I am going to be interviewed by.

          It’s true. I swear!

          • marknesop says:

            If the conversation is going to degenerate to nothing but smart remarks being flung back and forth, I’m afraid I’m going to have to intervene. If you want to argue about serious subjects, fine. If it’s just going to be two-way snarking, move along.

        • marknesop says:

          Nope. I don’t know what happened – unless you disguised yourself as “Reclaimed Wood Furniture” or a random string of consonants, there’s nothing in the spam filter.

          • Northern Star says:

            Mark.. my inquiry was (obviously) to YOU..not Matt….
            I”m not having any convo with Matt..”.snarking” or otherwise..

            I’m NOT involved with whatever the F is going on with him and some of the other Stooges

            • marknesop says:

              Yes, I know – it was just a convenient moment at which to break in and interject. I saw your rejection of Matt’s support. The warning was intended for everyone; I am not about to allow the whole comments section to become subordinated to “You are. No you are!!” exchanges, it’s just boring for everyone else.

    • Patient Observer says:

      Just a slight correction – the most advanced air-defense system available on the export market. Russia will undoubtedly keep the best for its own military

      • kirill says:

        Russian officials would need to be shot of this is not a monkey model. Giving NATzO access to details about modern Russian missile defense violates Russia’s security.

      • marknesop says:

        Sometimes the export model will do pretty much everything, combat-wise, that the domestic variant will, but the radar (for example) will have several modes in the domestic variant which are never transferable and which are reserved for wartime use only. The only way to have a surprise these days is to keep it under wraps until it’s time to use it for its first engagement. That’s what western surveillance satellites and reconnaissance aircraft are constantly snooping for with electronic warfare equipment, hoping to get a sniff of a new capability. Incidentally, another bonus of installing missile defense right on the Russian border in Eastern European countries – a license to snoop for Washington.

  35. Jeremn says:

    Azov and NATO (Benelux, Denmark and Hungary as far as I can see from the badges) smile and play nice for the cameras:

    http://azov.press/ukr/do-polku-azov-zavitala-mizhnarodna-monitoringova-grupa-nato

  36. Jeremn says:

    Remember the outrage caused by Russia and NGOs financed from abroad. Well:

    “ARTICLE 19 calls upon the Ukrainian Parliament to reject a proposed legislation tabled by President Petro Poroshenko, which would oblige civil society organisations and individuals working for them, to submit detailed financial reports on funds received from international donors. The bill would significantly curtail civil society’s ability to operate in the country.”

    Where is the outrage, apart from this:

    https://www.article19.org/resources.php/resource/38824/en/ukraine:-drop-government-proposals-that-restrict-ngo-activity

    • marknesop says:

      It goes considerably further than Russian law, to wit:

      NGOs with an annual budget exceeding 463 200 UAH (15 550 EUR) would be required to publicly disclose a list of the 10 highest paid employees, and a list of donors. They would also be required to disclose information on any third parties – for example consultants – if an individual was paid more than 77 200 UAH (2 600 EUR) throughout the year. Freelancers cooperating with NGOs, registered as individual entrepreneurs, would have to report on funds received directly from donors and to include a list of donors.

      In a country as corrupt as Ukraine, what possible reason could there be for demanding to know the ten highest-paid employees? Is the public entitled to know how much Porky hauls down every month? The last authority on earth I would want having a peek at my paycheck would be the Kiev government.

      Surprisingly, though, I’d bet this is not targeted at finding out who is getting lolly from the British government, or Norway or whatever. The Ukrainian government knows well that Russia is its largest foreign investor, and it’s probably just hoping to shame or terrify anyone receiving funding from Russia into dropping out.

      Good catch!

  37. Matt says:

    FSB Questions Siemens’ Partner in Russia Amid Crimea Lawsuit

    The CEO of Russia’s leading power engineering company was detained by the Federal Security Service (FSB) on Thursday over a case involving the alleged disclosure of state secrets, the Interfax news agency reported.

    Roman Filippov, head of St. Petersburg-based AO Power Machines, Russia’s largest maker of turbines for power stations, had his office and home searched by the FSB, the Fontanka news website reported.

    https://themoscowtimes.com/news/fsb-siemens-russian-crimea-lawsuit-58395

    • Patient Observer says:

      Siemens is famous for industrial scale bribery. Perhaps their corrupt practices has reached into Russia.

      • yalensis says:

        My guess is that the Russian government never wanted the news to get out about the turbines going to Crimea. They are investigating who spilled the beans to Siemens, and it would be logical for them to question Filippov as part of their investigation. Since Filippov works closely with his Siemens counterparts in the joint venture.
        No news yet if Filippov has been charged with anything. If he did leak, then possibly he could be charged with industrial espionage. I predict that the investigation will go nowhere, and Fiiippov will be back at his desk within a week. That’s my Nostradamic prediction for the day.

  38. Matt says:

    Guards at Volgograd War Memorial Complain Of Hazing and Abuse

    Soldiers in an elite military unit in Volgograd guarding а World War II memorial have complained of beatings, extortion and other forms of hazing.

    After reports about the abuses came to the attention of Mother’s Right Foundation, a human rights organization, officers confiscated soldiers’ cell phones to prevent further leaks, the local news outlet V1.ru reported on Thursday.

    “Soldiers serving in unit 22220 and their parents complained that commanders extort money from subordinates and torment those who refuse to obey,” head of the human rights group, Nina Ponomaryova, told V1.ru.

    The soldiers’ relatives filed a complaint with the Volgograd military prosecutor’s office saying that each serviceman must pay up to 2,000 rubles to their commander to make a phone call or receive permission to go on leave.

    “This is hell,” one woman told V1.ru on condition of anonymity, mentioning a ruptured spleen that her son suffered due to beatings.

    Original: http://m.v1.ru/text/news/320057075118080.html

    • yalensis says:

      The so-called “Mothers Rights” organization is another Soros-financed NGO.
      They have been active in trying to hamper the Russian army from doing what it needs to do in several hotspots. They have not been successful in said hampering, but Westie media made sure they got some publicity.

      Matt, just out of curiosity: If you don’t read Russian, then how were you able to read the piece that you linked above, which is in Russian?
      If you are ab le to read Russian, then that supports Pavlo’s allegation that you are actually a Ukrainian.

      • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

        Don’t know about that – google translate is pretty good with Russian.

        Struggles to make head or tail of the shit that gets passed off as Ukrainian though.

      • Matt says:

        I knew you would do that – attack the source – because you are unable to show the allegations are wrong.

        • Patient Observer says:

          C’mon Matt, that is simply stupid. Prove the the allegations are true.

          You are a young troll with so much more to learn. You are prolific but the quality is low and your humor is childish and clumsy. You try to mask your worldly inexperience with sexual vulgarity. Get a job, hang out with real people, stop trying to be more than you are. Seriously.

          • Matt says:

            Thanks for the life advice, PO. I have some for you too:

            instead of living in the West, please join the North Korean army. You would be of better use by doing this, than your current useless existence.

            • Patient Observer says:

              Geez Matt, I offer fatherly advice and you react with such venom. Hitting to close to home I suppose.

              What is this NK jag your on? I have been to South Korea many times. I like the people but the cuisine is not to my taste. Probably been within 20 miles of NK. Doesn’t make me an expert but it does give me a broader view of the world. Where have you traveled Matt?

              Seriously, think about your life. You have too much hatred, too much judgement and too much resentment for someone so young. You seem to want people to hate you and to be frustrated with you in an effort to justify your self-image. Hate me if you like but try to get beyond that self-image.

              • yalensis says:

                We’re just taking Matt at his own word that he is young.
                Isn’t it possible that he’s actually an old codger raving away in some nursing home?

                • Patient Observer says:

                  Possible but his clumsy attempts at humor and lack of life experience suggest a young and relativity sheltered individual; possibly bullied. He uses the internet to compensate for otherwise limited options. Kids like him may become big time gamers or fantasy role players. His fantasy (roots based on childhood exposure to anti-Russian beliefs?) expresses itself as a cyber warrior who battle the evil Russians along with his Soros army of fantasy compatriots. Nothing would please him more than becoming a part of a Soros NGO so his fantasy can continue on a bigger scale.

                  Introspection and/or a helpful individual can help Matt broaden his world.

                • marknesop says:

                  That whole Soros NGO thing was just chain-yanking.

                • marknesop says:

                  Anything is possible, he might not even be a man. He uses an assumed name and throwaway email addresses that anyone can obtain solely on their assurance that they are who they say they are.

        • marknesop says:

          I have news for you, Matt – you are not going to be able to pop up here, there and everywhere like whack-a-mole, detailing people off to tail-chasing assignments to prove through extensive research that what you said was wrong. Maybe they can, maybe they can’t, but it’s pointless in any case, because when you are proven wrong you simply drop the subject and attack from another quarter. If you prefer to believe the allegations are true and that Russia is a horrible place filled with oppressed people yearning to breathe the sweet air of freedom and democracy, please yourself. It will have little effect on the state of affairs. Start your own regime-change project, why not? Start corresponding with some of your oppressed dilettantes, I’m sure they’d be glad to hear from you. Offer to do yeoman service in the cause of overthrowing Putin – you’ll be welcomed as a hero. It’ll give you something useful to do, help you find meaning in life. You and Leonid Bershidsky would get on like a house on fire, and his English is probably better than mine.

      • Matt says:

        “Matt, just out of curiosity: If you don’t read Russian, then how were you able to read the piece that you linked above, which is in Russian?”

        The text I pasted above comes from the Moscow Times, which translated some of the stuff from the original article, which I posted, because I knew that people would lazily attack the source instead of the content i.e. “Moscow Times? That’s like, so bad man!”, etc.

        • yalensis says:

          Okay, I fact-checked your statement. You must be referring to this Moscow Times piece which does indeed link the V1.RU piece that you linked above.
          So, you were telling the truth about that bit, kudos to you and score one for your side.

          So, we’re still agreed that you don’t read Russian and you have to rely on sources like the Moscow Times?

          • Matt says:

            Moscow Times serves its purpose to me by translating segments of articles that are of importance to the opposition in Russia.

            I also rely on other sources for news about Russia: RT, Karlin, Russia-Insider, DFRLab, EU vs disinformation, Global Voices, Gilbert Doctorow, Sergey Karaganov, Maxim Trudolyubov, “No Yardstick” blog, “Russia Without BS” by Jim Kovpak (my favourite), “Streetwise Professor” blog, Alexander Mercouris, Eurasia Daily Monitor – Jamestown foundation, blog of Jack Matlock – fmr U.S. amb to USSR.

  39. Matt says:

    Russian activist is jailed for three days for reposting an image depicting Putin as a Nazi

    https://meduza.io/en/news/2017/07/14/russian-activist-is-jailed-for-three-days-for-reposting-an-image-depicting-putin-as-a-nazi

    • Special_sauce says:

      Three days for spreading slander. No biggee. In the Home of the Depraved, he’d get “hate speech” and “promoting terror” and be dumped into Marion for decades.

      • Matt says:

        Such comparisons take place all the time about Trump, in the U.S, without repercussions.

        Lying may serve your delusional thinking, but it’s still not true.

        You seem to harbour a deep hatred against the U.S. i.e. “Home of the Depraved”. What country do you come from, if it’s so much better?

        • Special_sauce says:

          Such comparisons take place all the time about Trump, in the U.S, without repercussions.

          You make my point: Murican law is arbitrary and capricious.

          You seem to harbour a deep hatred against the U.S
          Vots to luff?

          • Matt says:

            Your posts are now contradictory. Nobody has ever been jailed for calling Trump a Nazi. How is that “arbitrary”?

            You still haven’t told us which Great country you’re from, that’s so much better than America?

            • Special_sauce says:

              Nobody has ever been jailed for calling Trump a Nazi

              Bad example. In Merka that could be a complement, qv any “MAGA” vid on youtube.

              But the former man now known as “Chelsea” got a raw deal for exposing thrill-killing GIs eg.

              • Matt says:

                Leaking classified information and getting punished for that is a far cry from being held in prison for 3 days for calling Putin a Nazi. Not even remotely comparable.

                You betray your own intellectual dishonesty by trying to compare apples and oranges. Funny, because I find that you anti-Americans, when cornered like this, point at leakers of classified information and say this is evidence of the U.S. not having free speech or that it is equal to North Korea, Russia, or other countries.

                That’s the best you can do? Giving an example of a leaker of classified information – an illegal act in virtually every country in the world?

                • Patient Observer says:

                  Yes, evidence of wanton murder of innocent civilians is usually classified information. Disclosure of classified war crimes definitely deserves serious jail time. Right?

        • Special_sauce says:

          After having stabbed Agamemnon, the father of her children and husband, to death, as he stepped out of his bath, Clytemnestra turned to her aghast daughter Electra and declared, The hateful are hated, is that so strange?

          True story

        • Patient Observer says:

          Matt – the US did not suffer indescribable losses from Hitler and his Western cohorts. Lets find an equivalent offense in the US. Please go to the nearest street corner and start shouting “Obama’s a “Nig## F##” and see how that goes. Hate crimes have a local flavor.

          • Matt says:

            The KKK exists in a legal manner and use of slur “ni**er” is prevalent in the U.S. No one has been arrested for calling Obama that.

            One of the fundamental tenets of free speech is the ability to say anything, even offensive things.

            • Patient Observer says:

              I live in the US and use of the N-word will get you fired and your career ended. Loss of one’s job and ability to earn a living is a very serious form of censorship. No?

              • Matt says:

                Not even remotely the same as the government arresting you. Rules created and enforced by a company are not the same same as laws enforced by the state.

            • marknesop says:

              Well, except for “The United States government is spying on its people and snooping on and collecting their phone calls and their internet browsing habits, as well as tapping the phones of allied leaders in hopes of gleaning intelligence from their private conversations which might be used as leverage”. I know of somebody who said pretty much that, and it sure must have been way beyond offensive, because the United States has expended considerable effort to try and arrest him.

              But I’m sure that is a horrible example, for any number of reasons.

  40. James lake says:

    Does anyone know who funds the Meduza website?
    I understand that it is based in Riga? Which if true is interesting as a source in stories on Russia.

    • Matt says:

      Meduza was created by many former employees of numerous independent media outlets in Russia that were either shut down or had their editors replaced… for known reasons. Most of the employees are Russians with a long history of independent investigative journalism in Russia.

      To avoid harassment in Russia, they decided to create a new media outlet outside of Russia, that being Latvia.

      These are the media outlets that the employees of Meduza come from:

      12 newsrooms in 5 years: How the Russian authorities decimated a news industry

      https://meduza.io/en/feature/2016/05/18/12-newsrooms-in-5-years

      • Evgeny says:

        Matt, you are either poorly informed or using the comments in this blog to post propaganda. Regardless of the motifs you do not help to promote the truth.

        Meduza was founded by former editor-in-chief of Lenta.ru Galina Timchenko after she was fired by the owner of the venue:

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lenta.ru

    • Evgeny says:

      James, in my view Meduza is liberal-leaning. Which means, if you use it as the sole source of information you’d develop a biased worldview. Mostly, things Meduza says are true. The bias is introduced by omitting parts of the information which you can find in other sources.

      • Special_sauce says:

        part truths are lies

      • Jen says:

        That’s why Matt loves Meduza and similar sites so much … they have the look of reporting truth but the lie lies in what they don’t report.

        • Matt says:

          What Evgeny said is true for any news website out there. Nice try, trying to make Meduza out to be some dishonest outlet, but your desperation is showing.

          I guess any media outlet critical of the Russian government will be smeared by Jen. She doesn’t know the first thing about Meduza, much less follows it, and yet, here she is, talking about it as if she’s been reading it for months or years.

          • Patient Observer says:

            You are a buffoon. Get a life.

            • Matt says:

              I care about your hate-filled opinion very much. It seems rudeness and ad hominem are what some people here use.

              I’ve been nice to people here, but when they use ad hominem against me, I use it back.

              But, since Mark gave me a warning (and not others?) I won’t insult you anymore.

              Peace and Love to you all.

              • Patient Observer says:

                Passive-aggressive 101.

                I deeply appreciate Jen’s intelligence and insights. Your cheap shots were inappropriate. You want people to hate you. It seems to give your a sense of purpose. You may think that this is an insult but it is actually a helpful insight. Don’t waste it.

              • marknesop says:

                The warning was intended for everyone, but you are the one who appears to have shown up with the sole intent of being disruptive. None of your conversations or discussions has had a shred of learning value, it’s all just reciting western talking points which we’ve all heard a million times, and it’s getting increasingly vitriolic.

          • marknesop says:

            Yes, we’re all desperate, Matt – it’s amazing and frightening how you have breezed in and laid waste to the blog with a few simple keystrokes. Why did we not realize how vulnerable we were to such a burning intellect?

            Your tactics are pretty obvious, and I doubt Jen has the time to deeply research Meduza so as to provide some examples of blatant falsehoods, only to have you chirp, “I never said…”, and send her off in a new direction. We had Curly-Doodle here some time ago, bragging about how he had blown in and totally controlled the discussion, and he was quite a bit more accomplished than you are although I can see you are trying to do the same, so let me advise you not to waste your time; most if not all the commenters here are perfectly willing to entertain changes of subject and off-the-wall discussions, but only up to the point that they are mutual and rewarding. Nobody can convince you of anything, your mind is made up on all points and all your offers to discuss are merely time-wasting tactics. You are not interested in learning anything, but in teaching and redirecting. That’d be fine, too – I’m always willing to have my mind changed by a compelling argument. But I’ve heard none, just tired NATO talking points and excuses, and that trademark tactical retreat.

  41. moscowexile says:

    Ходорковский под «Медузой»

    В свободной Латвии, подальше от всевидящего ока ФСБ, запущен новый проект «Медуза» — вроде бы СМИ. Ультра-модное, хипстерское, бескомпромиссное в деле борьбы с режимом. Каких мало. “Медуза” вызовет раздражение у всех» — справедливо полагает главред, Галина Тимченко. Уже вызывает, надо сказать — за сколько там осталось дней до начала барахтанья этой «медузы» в водах Интернета. Или что там медузы делают, ведь не плавают же?…

    • moscowexile says:

      Meduza.io

      Осенью старой редакцией было объявлено, что вскоре появится новый сайт, на котором новости будут формироваться старой редакцией. Открытие состоялось в октябре 2014 года. Формат проекта отличается от формата Ленты, теперь это освещение новостей по темам, также агрегация новостей из публично открытых источников.

      Главным редактором осталась Галина Тимченко.

      В качестве логотипа на фоне сайта в период, когда сайт еще не открылся, была изображена каменная голова, напоминающая ВИD.

      Физически Meduza зарегистрирована в Латвии, использует доменное имя Британской территории в Индийском океане.

      Оппозиционер Навальный охарактеризовал сайт как прогрессивный. Вероятно, новости на сайте будут в основном написаны с либерально-оппозиционных позиций. Так и вышло.

      На сайте популярны различные игры, например 2048 на основе ситуации с долларом и нефтью в 2014—2015 гг. или игра «помоги священнослужителю найти дорогу к храму», в которой пародировалось вмешательство религиозных деятелей в жизнь различных учреждений типа школы или театра.

  42. Northern Star says:

    Some of the comments by Bandow in this Forbes piece are absolutely spot on:

    “America simply has no interest at stake worth confronting a nuclear-armed power. Especially when Russia’s security interests are immediate, serious, and obvious. The best way to understand Moscow today is as a pre-1914 great power, concerned about international respect and secure borders. The U.S. and NATO ignored both when expanding the transatlantic alliance up to Russia’s borders, almost in sight of St. Petersburg. Dismantling Moscow’s long-time friend Serbia was another affront. Promising Georgia and Ukraine NATO membership compounded Russia’s anger. Then came the allies’ support in 2014 for a street putsch against the elected Viktor Yanukovych, who leaned toward Moscow. While this litany may not justify Russian policy, it certainly helps explain Putin’s actions.

    ***And, truth be told, Washington would not react well if Russia helped oust a pro-American government in Mexico City.”*** (BINGO!!!)

    “Instead of creating uncertainty, raising Kiev’s hopes while intensifying Moscow’s paranoia, the U.S. and its NATO allies should finally and firmly tell Ukraine no on joining the transatlantic alliance. Then all parties could move on in search of a practical resolution to the conflict in Ukraine.”

    If key determinations of the principal shot callers of American foreign policy wrt Ukraine were made in accordance with the above ..then there would not be a continuing ‘verge of nuclear confrontation’ crisis wrt to Ukraine.

    Yes ..some of what Bandow states is not so ‘spot on” ,e.g his characterization of the Crimea situation. BUT .a conflict can be de-escalated without having perfect total agreement of the parties involved wrt every aspect of the dispute.

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/dougbandow/2017/07/14/ukraine-in-nato-america-should-reject-a-bad-idea-that-only-grows-worse-with-age/#7da5a98e9672

    • kirill says:

      Blah, Moscow, Putin, blah, blah, blah. The real story is that Banderastan is swirling downward in the toilet bowl and some in the west are worried about having to support this failed state.

      The use of the word paranoia and Russia in the same sentence automatically discredits any clown making the association. It is NATzO that is a collection of paranoid, xenophobic hyenas who feel the compulsion to rule the world. Russia needs to develop some paranoia regarding the existential threat from NATzO. So far Russia has been bending over backward with borderline appeasement of NATzO.

    • marknesop says:

      The state he envisions will never come about while the neoconservatives reign in Washington, because they relish keeping Ukraine destabilized for the purpose of ‘keeping the Russians off balance’ and wondering what mighty America is going to try next. It is completely lost on them that they are destroying Ukraine. There have been no – repeat, no – improvements or reforms since Yanukovych was chased out, all the supposed anti-corruption advancement is just illusion and the same grabby crowd still controls almost the entirety of the country’s GDP. Whenever a prosecutor announces pending charges against protected cronies, that prosecutor is magically caught with a sack of money and a couple of plane tickets, and arrested. The nationalistic government is encouraged by Washington to be as anti-Russian as its imagination can take it, while Europe has not even come close to picking up the slack caused by the collapse of trade with Russia. Ukraine is a patsy, but is relishing its role as one because it lacks the ability to see beyond the end of its nose.

    • Patient Observer says:

      Are you equating Serbs and Nazi? Just asking.

      • Northern Star says:

        Did you watch the video?
        The vicious stomping this guy got from the Serb gang who set upon him like a pack of hyenas is indistinguishable from beatings given to jews by the SA in the 30s or later bythe Arrow Cross or other rabid Nazi sympathizers/allies…not to mention the SS or Wehrmacht ..

  43. Pavlo Svolochenko says:

    ‘So it’s hard to say, It’ll certainly be aspects that are in outer space and in the cyber domain that were not there before. We fought on this planet mostly with ground armies until navies became something one hundred years ago.’

    http://mihsislander.org/2017/06/full-transcript-james-mattis-interview/

    An actual career military man, everybody.

    A marine no less.

  44. moscowexile says:

    …your masters in Pyongyang brainwash little kids to think Americans are “bastards”


    KIEV. SEPTEMBER, 2014
    The madness progresses

    • Matt says:

      Horrible comparison. Not state sponsored, not across all schools and institutions, not for numerous decades.

      That’s how it is in North Korea, which some here want to live and die for.

      • yalensis says:

        “Which some here want to live and die for” — bombastic overstatement, and typical of the American bullying approach to propaganda.

        Some here don’t want to see North Korea become the latest victim of American regime-change operation.
        Let me ask you a specific question, Matt, and this is your homework assignment for today:
        I want you to write out exactly what you would do if
        – You were an American State Dept official who successfully overthrew the North Korean government, and is now placed in charge of that nation like, say, Wolfowitz in Iraq.
        – Exactly how you plan to deal with the ensuing chaos and violence, how would you rebuild the economy and government, etc.

        It’s only fair to ask you “What is your plan?” since you are openly promoting regime change, simply on the grounds that you don’t like a country’s leader, he’s too chubby and dictatorial for your liking… Not that you even know what he is saying, since you don’t speak Korean, I assume.

        • Matt says:

          “There will be no threat of unleashed Islamic radicalism” – I would chant that phrase like a mantra to myself.

          I would then prepare discussions with the highest-ranked survivors of the North Korean government, especially those from the MSS. A new propaganda model would have to be employed. Of course, the regime change would only be done after destroying the regime’s confidence and waging an intense information war to lower troop morale and to make the North Korean populace realize what the reality is. Assuming by this point the regime change op was executed after building an information network relied on by ordinary North Koreans and run by the West, (perhaps by radio), we would execute our propaganda campaign through there.

          Immediately, food and other aid would be given to the people of North Korea. An attempt would be made to co-opt any resistance movements by infiltrating them. Nuclear weapons sites would be destroyed with the help of bribed nuclear scientists.

          Basically we would use information war before and after, to make sure any radicals who think Kim is a God don’t resist, and we would placate the North Korean populace with food and other material possessions they lack.

          Afterwards, we would immediately begin reunification of North and South. The SK government would extend their rule across the North.

          After a few months of peace, American troops would immediately leave and the peninsula would be de-nuclearized. The DMZ would be removed as a symbol of peace and the border completely open.

          Mining companies would go in and sell NK’s vast minerals, with heavy taxation to improve the standard of living for North Koreans. After a while, elections would take place in a new Korea.

          That’s the short term plan – within a year.

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