We All Live on Savushkina Street Now.

Uncle Volodya says, “It is not a shame to be deceived. But it is to stay in the deception”

“A lie’s true power cannot be accurately measured by the number of people who believe its deception when it is told, it must be measured by the number of people who will go out after hearing it trying to convince others of its truth.”

– Dennis Sharpe


The blog seems to have attracted a troll. I suppose I should be surprised it took so long, but that always seemed to me to be a bit arrogant – we are, after all, quite a small niche blog, just coming up on two million hits.

Oh, we had a fellow some time back who called himself A.J. He liked to start arguments and progressively turn them ruder and ruder. But he had no political grasp at all, and preferred social topics – specifically those which centered on race. His technique was to claim to live in a city where there was a large X demographic (his favourite targets were blacks and Mexicans), so as to give himself irrefutable local knowledge and gravitas. He stepped on his dick, eventually, when I found one of his comments on another blog and in which he claimed to live an hour outside Chicago. But he had just fired off a comment here in which he claimed to live in a majority-Mexican town.

What majority-Mexican town lies within an hour’s drive circle of Chicago? Correct: none.

And we have Karl Haushofer, a contrarian Finn with a deeply-repressed grudge against Russia which compels him to post comments whenever something terrible happens in or to Russia. But Karl’s not really a troll. You can reason with him, and if you rebut his criticism with a solid reference, he will either reconsider or drop the issue; as well, he’s rarely gratuitously rude. And he’s frequently a good source of breaking news.

I’m hesitant to apply the label “troll” at all, frankly, as I detest it when I offer a rebuttal on any other news site – such as The Guardian, for example – complete with current and pertinent references whose substance contradicts a particularly pigheaded falsehood, only to receive, “How are things at Savushkina Street these days, comrade? Go away, Russian troll” by way of a reply. It speaks to intellectual bankruptcy and the utter lack of a convincing argument, yes; but it is frustrating all the same because it refuses to recognize that the opponent has a convincing argument.

Still. Let’s see what the readers think. I already know what the regulars here think, but I’m appealing here to a wider audience. Allow me to introduce ‘Matt’.

That’s not his real name, something he stipulated to up front. On Reddit he goes by the moniker “DownwithAssad”, and some entire blocks of his commentary are copied and pasted from there. There’s certainly no requirement to use your real name here, although some of us do. But a refusal to do so coupled with every sign of immovable ideology and deliberate evasion adds up to a suspicious profile, I’d have to say.

‘Matt’s’ background story is that he is a college student majoring in computer sciences at a Canadian university or college, and that he is a Venezuelan from a middle-class family. I suppose that’s technically possible; although applicants from China dominate the foreign-student demographic in Canada by a wide margin – constituting fully a third of the entire group – Venezuela is on the board, way down, with a little over 2000 students in 2014. That would likely make Spanish his mother tongue, and he confirms this is so, and English as a second language for him.

However, a scan of his comments suggests he has a command of English, both colloquial and standard, far in excess of what could be expected of a foreign student. When he first showed up here – I’m a little fuzzy on exactly when, although I could look it up, but let’s say a month or two ago – he was a little tentative, and favoured changing his address slightly, using random letter groups, each time he commented, as you would do if you expected to have your identity tagged and blocked. When that didn’t happen, he became more confident and dropped that practice.

I note from a recent comment ‘Matt’ left – in rebuttal to a suggestion by a commenter that his far-too-frequent comments are cluttering up the blog and ruining it for readers – that one of his opponents’ comments are far more frequent than his own. Let’s just put paid to that erroneous statement right now; that’s what the stats page is for. And it says that of the 1000 most-recent comments, more than a quarter of them have come from ‘Matt’ – 227, far ahead of his closest competitor, Moscow Exile, with 113. And since protests seem only to encourage his extreme behavior rather than curb it, I must deduce that ruining the blog is his aim. Does that sound like a troll to you?

Equally so is his slipperiness. You can’t pin him down on anything – although he has no problem citing blog news or fringe authors as a reference to back up his credo (pure American exceptionalism and intervention, complete with targeted assassinations for world leaders who will not roll over and show their belly to the global master) he casually dismisses any such references used by opponents as ‘well-known sources of disinformation”. If you cite an above-reproach reference by a usually reliable source, he will claim that he wasn’t really talking about that at all, accuse you of ‘twisting his words’, and send you off on another round of chasing your own tail.

Or admonish you, “You’re being dishonest”. One of his favourite hobby-horses is RT, which he claims is an all-propaganda-all-the-time network controlled directly and exclusively by the Kremlin. But all to no avail, I’m afraid – it is steadily declining in viewership, and the only people who really watch it are Putin and his dog. That’s exaggerating, of course, but the picture he paints is of a dictators-R-us paean to state suppression of alternative thought. Is that true?

You tell me. the American media would certainly have you believe it is, claiming that no one really watches RT just a paragraph or so after acknowledging that its YouTube videos far surpass the reach achieved by all other outlets. It claims the Nielsen ratings demonstrate that RT’s numbers equate to numbers of people who can receive it, not those who watch it.

Is there any reason to take Nielsen ratings’ claim seriously? Again, you tell me.

Nielsen measures national linear TV audiences using a sample, a panel that is recruited to represent all US TV households and continuously updated to maintain its relevance. The current sample size is 35,000 homes containing about 100,000 persons.

Or how about this, Mr. Computer-Science? The mocking western media executives who claim nobody really watches RT only sample those who watch it on television. How many people watch YouTube videos on television? Show of hands?

And that’s just an example. Other favourites are the contention – straight-faced, I must assume – that benevolent America only wants to free the hapless North Korean people from slavery. Have we ever heard that rationale before from Washington’s distribution networks? We need to do regime change to free the enslaved people from the grip of an awful dictator? We sure have – in Libya, for one, and one of the biggest cheerleaders for The Awful Dictator’s forcible removal was none other than Hillary Rodham Clinton, the poor bride left at the Presidential altar by the evil Russians, who somehow engineered the rise of Donald Trump while ensuring Clinton won the popular vote, just to camouflage their sinister hand. In fact Mrs. Clinton made Libyan regime change such a pet project, some insiders joked “ to hear her aides tell it, she had practically called in the airstrikes herself.”

How did that work out? Mmmmmm….

But there were plenty of signs that the triumph would be short-lived, that the vacuum left by Colonel Qaddafi’s death invited violence and division.

In fact, on the same August day that Mr. Sullivan had compiled his laudatory memo, the State Department’s top Middle East hand, Jeffrey D. Feltman, had sent a lengthy email with an utterly different tone about what he had seen on his own visit to Libya.

The country’s interim leaders seemed shockingly disengaged, he wrote. Mahmoud Jibril, the acting prime minister, who had helped persuade Mrs. Clinton to back the opposition, was commuting from Qatar, making only “cameo” appearances. A leading rebel general had been assassinated, underscoring the hazard of “revenge killings.” Islamists were moving aggressively to seize power, and members of the anti-Qaddafi coalition, notably Qatar, were financing them.

The Boston Globe was considerably more blunt; the US ruined Libya.

The speed with which we have been proven disastrously wrong, however, is breathtaking. So is the sweeping scope of unintended consequences that have flowed from this intervention. Not even those who opposed it imagined how far-reaching its effects would be. This is likely to go down in history as the most ill-conceived intervention of the Obama era.

Recent reports from Libya, issued to coincide with the third anniversary of Khadafy’s overthrow and murder, suggest that the state has ceased to exist. There is no central government. According to Amnesty International, “Armed groups and militias are running amok, launching indiscriminate attacks on civilian areas and committing widespread abuses, including war crimes, with complete impunity.” Egypt, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, al Qaeda, and the Islamic State back guerrilla factions. The unfortunate United Nations envoy, Bernardino Leon, says he can hardly begin to mediate “because the protagonists are hundreds of militias.” Full-scale civil war is a real possibility, so the worst may be yet to come.

This could and should have been predicted. Removing a long-established regime is dangerous unless a clear alternative is ready. It produces a power vacuum. Rivals fight for places in the new order. By suddenly decapitating Libya, the United States and its NATO allies made conflict, anarchy, and terror all but inevitable.

We can deduce two possible realities from this debacle; one, the USA sucks at regime change, but can’t stop trying it because it’s so much fun – nothing else gives the same giddy air of ‘doing something’. Or two, ruining Libya under the auspices of regime change was the aim all along, and all the freeing-the-people-from-slavery bullshit was just that – window-dressing, to bring the rubes along and create the impression of massive popular support. Who doesn’t like to play Whack The Dictator?

But a key plank of ‘Matt’s’ platform can be seen in the second sentence of the excerpt: “unintended consequences”.  When the west breaks somebody else’s toys, it didn’t mean to. It was an accident. When the western media says something that flat-out isn’t true, it was such a charmingly well-intentioned mistake that you just have to love them the more for their essential humanity -to err is human. When Russia says something that isn’t true, it is both an evil and deliberate lie meant to advance its malignant influence, and eye-popping propaganda.

Ditto his descriptions of the ‘internet research center’ on Savushkina Street, which he maintains is a ‘troll factory’ dedicated to eradicating benevolent western influence from the planet. I did a post on this back in the spring of 2015, and the fingering of this building as the cave of an army of paid trolls originated in a story by Novaya Gazeta, the spunky little Russian newspaper that always tells the truth even when nobody in Russia tells the truth because honest journalists have all been murdered or imprisoned. The photographs which were supposedly ‘smuggled out’, featuring actual operatives working at the Savushkina Street troll factory, depict zombie-like figures sitting in front of outsize CRT-type screens which went out in the early 80’s. Apparently the Russian state does not rate the importance of its troll army highly enough to buy it modern flatscreen computers, which abound in Russia just as they do everywhere else.

Even if it were true that the Kremlin is running a state-sponsored campaign to discredit western philosophy, what of it? It could hardly prevail against the counter-operation to spread American propaganda western values manned by the US military, could it?

And what is left to say about the ridiculous tale, staunchly adhered to by US Democrats and their fans everywhere, that Russia used Wikileaks to hack the American election? Well, just as an aside, it reminds me of another exchange with ‘Matt’, in which I inquired why he would take the alleged word of ‘American intelligence professionals’ when the veteran intelligence professionals who probably taught them everything they know say it is a crock and the data transfer rate precludes it having been a hack via the internet. He somewhat primly replied that he would trust the word of current intelligence professionals, thank you very much. No doubts entertained here.

Current intelligence professionals who never contacted Wikileaks at all, in any capacity, in the course of Mueller’s investigation, from its humble beginnings to its bombshell revelations.

I would just note, in closing, that ‘Matt’ seems to have unlimited time to reply to anybody and everybody on the blog; he seems to be quite a night owl, and perhaps a native-Spanish speaker who speaks English like a well-educated native is just so clever that he can pick up a computer science major while simultaneously blogging pretty much any time. A natural multitasker.

Anyway, that’s pretty much all the time I have. At present, ‘Matt’ is having a field day on the blog, using his monopoly on commenting to hammer home his ideological talking points. Complaints are starting to come in about his irritating presence, and I suppose that’s all good, too; all part of the effort.

So this could go one of two ways. I could switch the blog to an entirely-moderated comment forum, in which you might not see your comment appear for a whole day or so, since I typically work 8 hours a day. I could then go through the laborious process of filtering out his comments one by one, plus any replies to them so that those replies are not left orphaned and hanging out in the wind with no apparent context.

Or you could all stop replying.

The conversation, in more or less real time, unmoderated, could continue to flow around ‘Matt’ like water flows around a rock, until he gets tired of talking to himself and goes away. Because any and all influence he has relies on opponents replying to him, being dragged into unrelated argument and letting him control the narrative. We’ve seen this before, and it didn’t work. Why is it working now? Because you’re letting it. Moreover, you’re abetting it.

Try resisting, no matter how juicy and provocative the bait. Because that’s what he’s doing – provoking you. For some, he appeals to their confidence that they know the subject inside out, then dances away with mockery that you don’t know what you’re talking about and the whole thing is just too ridiculous and boring for him to pursue further; ‘pure comedy gold’, as he’s fond of saying. In other cases he dangles enticing subjects by taking a position he knows is unsupportable and easily refuted – he can always modify his position later, and will – the important thing is to get you into the conversation.

Before anyone proposes it, I can’t just ban or block him. Even relative simpletons are quite capable of using an anonymizer which mutates their address slightly each time they comment, and evades a block. There probably are more sophisticated ways, but I’m not a computer-science major and don’t know them, and frankly, I do not have the time for that kind of effort, the same as I don’t have time for comment-by-comment policing.

Up to you.


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331 Responses to We All Live on Savushkina Street Now.

  1. Patient Observer says:

    Welcome back Mark! We desperately missed you.

  2. As the commenters on another great blog I read say whenever trolls start popping out of the woodwork, don’t step on the poop.

  3. Warren says:

    JEFFREY A. ENGEL. Cold War at 30,000 Feet: The Anglo-American Fight for Aviation Supremacy.

    Jeffrey A. Engel’s study of Anglo-American rivalry in aviation provides a fascinating look at the underlying issues that strained the alliance during the first two decades of the Cold War. Building on existing historiography regarding the allies’ different strategic visions during this period, Engel develops a fascinating new approach by demonstrating how conflicts over aviation policy illuminate these differences. Employing an impressive array of archival research, the author details how the allies endured a number of potentially serious disagreements regarding the diffusion of aviation technology. While Engel may overestimate the damage that these disputes had on the alliance, as no real crises developed from the cases he explores, he does an exceptional job of showing how important airpower was in the conflicting worldviews of the two great English-speaking powers.

    Before World War II ended the British were formulating a postwar aviation policy (the Brabazon plan) that sought to counter American dominance in mass production with superior British technology and subsidies in order to compete in the peacetime market. When the war ended, an exhausted Britain placed airpower at the center of its plans to revive domestic prosperity and remain a world power. London recognized that American aid was invaluable in the short run but hoped that a revived economy would allow Britain to regain financial independence. As aviation exports were crucial for the British recovery, London was anxious not to cut off any potential markets, even those in communist nations. This desire for trade dovetailed with London’s belief that the threat of communism could be tempered by promoting friendly relations with, and fostering prosperity in, the communist bloc. From London’s vantage point a nuclear war would result in national destruction, leaving coexistence as the only option. To the British, America Cold War policies seemed overly aggressive and inflexible.

    The first Anglo-American clash over aviation resulted from Prime Minister Clement Attlee’s decision to sell jet engines to the Soviets in 1946. Engel describes how the Americans found this sale incompatible with their own worldview. America sought not to rebuild after World War II, but rather to manage the globe from a position of unprecedented power. Washington was skeptical of détente with the communist world and believed that security should always take precedence over trade. American leaders believed that their generous aid should have made their allies willing to follow Washington’s lead in the Cold War. The British thus appeared to be feckless allies who were willing to put economic gains over security concerns. Attlee’s government soon decided that the continuation of sales to the USSR was not worth the trouble, but the damage had been done. During the Korean War the Soviets deployed MiG-15 fighters powered by reverse-engineered copies of the British engines. However, both allies chose to downplay this fact while the war continued.

    While London would be more cautious about sales of military equipment to the communists after the Soviet jet deal, the drive for aviation exports remained a central goal and misunderstanding between the allies continued. In 1952 De Havilland introduced the Comet, the world’s first commercial jetliner. London hoped that this would give British aviation an invaluable lead over American firms. To Washington, widespread sale of the Comet was seen as a potential security risk, as its advanced engine might allow Soviet bombers to reach targets throughout America. The British saw American concerns as hypocritical at best (since Washington allowed similar technology to be exported in warplanes to NATO allies with horrible security records) and at worst motivated by a desire to stop British aviation from gaining a commercial advantage. Dwight D. Eisenhower’s administration pushed London to limit sales, but Winston Churchill had made the decision to ignore these concerns when the appearance of fatal flaws in the Comet’s design, and the unveiling of a new Soviet bomber, made the dispute moot.

    By the late 1950s the focus of aviation disputes moved to the People’s Republic of China. Prime Minister Harold Macmillan convinced a reluctant Washington not to stand in the way of direct sales of aircraft to Beijing, but U.S. law still barred sales of American technology. This fact proved embarrassing for the British when they discovered that the six Vickers Viscounts planes they planned to sell to China in 1961 had American-licensed navigation systems for which there were no British equivalents. The British Ministry of Aviation concocted an elaborate plan that allowed Vickers to hide its use of American parts. While Washington never found out about this deception, the British were so unnerved by the possibility of exposure, and so disheartened by the fact that they could no longer domestically manufacture all their required aviation components, that they never followed up on this first small sale. By the mid-1960s Britain abandoned its aviation-centered plan to revive its power, effectively removing the issue as a point of contention.


  4. Warren says:

  5. kirill says:

    I am ready for a 100% no troll feeding effort. I barely reply to the clown already.

    One positive effect of the troll has been this article of yours.

  6. et Al says:

    Mark, you answered my (silent) questions! I agree entirely. The Praetorian Snowflake breaths the oxygen of pissing others off. I was wondering where you had gone and suspected you were up to something. As we all (should) know, sometimes the best course of action is none! I zoom past the troll comments, but the frequency and odd unavoidable snippets struck me as if it was like someone just doling out rope with which to hang themselves with. Now he is immortalized! It’s all there, in black and white for everyone to see, a permanent record that can be linked back to at any time. People can draw their own conclusions. Genius! Mark, genius! Have you been taking Judo lessons from your boss V.V. Putin?! 😉

    Best we just keep on posting original content, interesting links and news and plenty of mockery!

    In other news, another BBC hit job on Russia started tonight on BBC2 22:00 CET – ‘Simon Reeve’s Russia’, a multi-parter which will follow him across Russia. Clichés? Check! Ominous music? Check! Repeating rumor and opinion as credible? Check! Throwing out ‘facts’ (such as “it is rumored that up to a quarter of a million people are employed by the FSB, Russia’s successor to the KGB”? Check! Russia as a territory of central threat to the rest of the world (Permafrost methane – World’s future decided in Russia)? Check! Russia heavily dependent on digging up its resources of its faltering economy? Check! It goes on an on and on (‘Vladmir Putin’s Russia‘ which he mentions repeatedly though out the hour!). What could have been an unspoiled and much better (edited) travelogue is spoiled by his constant “I’m so lovely and British” attitude to farting about in someone else’s country. Nay, exceptional! Fortunately the Russian police kept a close eye on him and his team and wasted plenty of his time. Not to mention it seems like it is written (by him) for the level of a ten year old.


    Then again, the BBC’s continental counterparts such as the Franco-German ARTE also produce similar crap from their ivory humanitarian towers, though they also recently broadcast Apocalypse Now Redux.

    P.S. Any news from colliemum?

    • marknesop says:

      Thanks, et Al! No, I haven’t heard anything from Colliemum; I suspect she is busy as can be with Brexit issues. Hold on; let me back-check her comments for the link to her newspaper.

      Yeah, you can find her here, at UKIP Daily. I didn’t look for a current issue, and she’s identified here only as ‘staff writer’, but her name is Vivian Evans.

  7. ucgsblog says:

    Great post! I love that wit of yours!

    My only issue with Karl is that he is a racist. Had he not been one, we’d just be on opposite sides, and probably we’d be having quite a bit of fun. But Karl is a rarity, in that he is an open minded racist. That’s good and bad. It’s good in the sense that you can have a civil debate with him on hot button issues. It’s bad because the dangerous kind of racists are the ones who are open minded, because they can make good arguments. I don’t mind Karl being contrarian at all – everyone has their quirks. Speaking of being contrarian, I feel that I should say something contrarian, since I am talking about Karl. Even though I am very anti-racist, as almost anyone who knows me will attest, I feel that the racist viewpoints and arguments should be heard and rebutted, rather than being driven underground. A certain presidential candidate is still refusing to learn that the hard way.

    I never interacted much with AJ, at least not that I can remember. My issue with Matt is that for him, facts do not exist. A warmonger will not start a war because… oh yeah, because one cannot prove that a warmonger will start a war, until the war starts. That’s like saying that a serial murderer will not murder anyone else, until he murders someone else, but then an analogy of Matt will assure us all that it’s his totally last murder. Honest! And the he murders again. Russia and Pakistan cooperating through the SCO isn’t proof of better relations for Matt, because Pakistan and Russia haven’t signed an individual strategic alliance. Duh! And so on.

    “more than a quarter of them have come from ‘Matt’ – 227, far ahead of his closest competitor, Moscow Exile, with 113”

    Only 113? C’mon ME 😛

    “But a key plank of ‘Matt’s’ platform can be seen in the second sentence of the excerpt: “unintended consequences”. When the west breaks somebody else’s toys, it didn’t mean to. It was an accident. When the western media says something that flat-out isn’t true, it was such a charmingly well-intentioned mistake that you just have to love them the more for their essential humanity -to err is human. When Russia says something that isn’t true, it is both an evil and deliberate lie meant to advance its malignant influence, and eye-popping propaganda.”

    This is exactly the double standard that the Matts of the US whine against. Repeatedly. But when applied outside of the US, suddenly it’s all good and fair game. That’s hypocrisy on top of hypocrisy.

    “I would just note, in closing, that ‘Matt’ seems to have unlimited time to reply to anybody and everybody on the blog; he seems to be quite a night owl, and perhaps a native-Spanish speaker who speaks English like a well-educated native is just so clever that he can pick up a computer science major while simultaneously blogging pretty much any time. A natural multitasker.”

    Bam! That has to hurt.

    • Lyttenburgh says:

      “My only issue with Karl is that he is a racist typical butthurt Finn. Had he not been one, we’d just be on opposite sides, and probably we’d be having quite a bit of fun. But Karl is a rarity, in that he is an open minded racist from the Butthurt Belt of Europe and pround of it.”

      There. I corrected it for you 🙂

    • Moscow Exile says:

      C’mon, ME?

      I am still suffering the consequences of my forced exile from my Moscow exile, that’s one reason for my silence for the past few days. There is another major reason for my recent silence of course.

      Since my return to Russia on 16 September, I have not done one day’s work. On top of that, the ground staff at Brussels airport did not transfer my suitcase to my Moscow flight. I eventually got the suitcase back very late in the evening and 2 days after my arrival in Russia.
      I am now trying to see if I can get my residency permit back. The bureaucrats and the judge before whom I had to appear in Taganskiy district court because of my breach of administrative law (I applied for the routine 5-year extension of my permit while it was still valid, which I did in 2007 and 2012, but not at the prescribed time, namely between 6 and at 2 months before its expiry date) all told me that I could apply for residency on my return.

      Whether that means permanent residency, which I had up to May 21, or temporary residency I know not. If the latter, then I shall then have to wait 6 months for that to be processed and then I may apply for permanent residency after having had a temporary permit for between 1 year and 3 years. However, I can only apply for a temporary permit after having lived here for 6 months, but my visa is only a 90-day one.

      My employer, who has not yet provided me with employment, has stated he it will extend my visa validity to 1 year, but i have as yet heard nothing further about this.

      Only after having been resident in Russia for 5 years may I apply for Russian citizenship.

      It seems so far that the bureaucrats here consider my residency in Russia to have started on 16 September, when I arrived here with a 90-day visa, albeit that they know full well that I have lived in Moscow for 23 years and have been married for 20 of them, and notwithstanding the fact that I am the father of 3 Russian citizens.

      As regards this last fact, I learnt last week that I am no longer classed as as “multi-child” father, which status was, apparently, withdrawn after they had refused to extend my full residency permit at the end of May.

      • Jen says:

        So what does Mrs Moscow Exile become? Is she still a “multi-child” mother, albeit of a newly discovered parthenogenetic nature?

        In the meantime, hoping you will get your old job back. Or maybe Moscow Exile Junior might consider supporting the family as a Russky Rapper.

        • Moscow Exile says:

          I have got my old job back!

          I was only able to return on the invitation of my firm, where I have worked for 11 years: no invitation, no work permit and no work visa off the Ministry of the Interior.

          Problem is, they haven’t given me a work schedule yet.

          I returned here a fortnight ago tomorrow. Mrs. Exile is working all hours to support us all.

          I am no longer a “multi child father”, but I am still the father of 3 Russian children, as each of their birth certificates attest.

          Such is the reasoning of a bureaucrat’s mind.

    • yalensis says:

      Dear ucgsblog: I agree with you that racist views should not be suppressed or considered taboo. They should be argued against and refuted on scientific grounds.

      Mark: Welcome back, and I promise to abide by your directive. It will be tough sometimes and take every molecule of my will power.

  8. Matt says:

    PS: I have made both yalensis and Mark make blog posts mentioning me:


    I like yalensis’ description of me better: “a highly ideological heckler”.

    • Matt says:

      Seems like my reply has been deleted – the long post I made as a response to Mark’s post. Could be stuck in the spam folder. Mark, would you please?

  9. Jen says:

    Thanks Mark for the post and for reminding us not to feed the troll – this is advice repeated on other online websites and forums on how to deal with disruptive trolls and their volumes of comment.

    Also while I’m here I’d like to thank Special Sauce for alerting me to “The Haircut” documentary made by two university students in my own home town (Sydney) which is in the main an investigation of Western MSM double standards and sloppiness on reporting on North Korea and the MSM’s general silence on the annual joint US-South Korean military exercises (Operation Foal Eagle) that spook the North Koreans so much. “The Haircut” mentions these exercises if only for a minute or so.

    Article in the link below also links to the documentary:

  10. Warren says:

  11. Patient Observer says:

    Mark, thanks for the great analysis and recommendations regarding Matt!

  12. Patient Observer says:

    BTW, I wore the Putin t-shirt generously provided by Mark recently and received many positive comments although for full disclosure, it was at a Serbian Orthodox church picnic:)

  13. Patient Observer says:

    The book Kill Anything that Moves described in well-researched detail the US policy to commit mass murder on non-combatants in Vietnam with the body count exceeding several million as described in an earlier post. Perhaps this “strategy” was also extant during the Korean War.


    Gruesome sketches showing alleged US atrocities that Pyongyang uses in its propaganda campaign against Washington have been published online.

    The graphic prints, showing US soldiers executing North Koreans, setting dogs on civilians, torturing women and leaving children to die during the 1950-1953 Korean War, constitute part of a collection of the North Korean Museum of American War Atrocities.

    It seems obvious that the graphics are exaggerated in the sense of grinning Americans chopping off heads of Korean civilians but the brutality of organized mass murder by SK and US forces is entirely plausible. Certainly the terror bombings of the USAF that leveled the vast majority of NK cities suggest that NK civilian life had zero value.

    In case anyone doubts the fact that brutality on the scale and nature depicted in the NK graphics can occur need only study the genocide against Serbs In WW II Yugoslavia.

    • marknesop says:

      Ever since the USA assembled the most powerful military force on the planet, there has been a lineup of allies and special-interest groups vying for the chance to use it to whack their enemies. Some are up-front about it; we call those people ‘lobbyists’. Some go round to the back door and try to stage events that make the USA believe it or its allies are under attack, and so it must react, hoping to get to use the Big American Stick for free. We call those people ‘activists’, and sometimes the USA is more than ready to be fooled if whacking the designated whackee would serve its foreign-policy goals.

      The military itself, however, is mostly professional and usually just trying its best to carry out the tasks given it. It’s a sad fact that soldiers grow to hate the citizens of the country their country is trying to take over, because of course those citizens are not going to sit quietly and let it happen. Given that they are usually vastly outgunned by the American Big Stick, their responses are asymmetric and are interpreted by the occupiers as terrorism. All the soldiers know is that these are the guys who killed Joe, or Phil or whomever, the best friend they ever had. Anger mixes with the fear that they might be next to step on an IED or something, and the resulting alchemy makes them fierce and cruel, and makes them take pleasure in cruelty. But it is usually not in their nature.

      • Patient Observer says:

        I respectfully partially disagree in that the top leadership sought massive casualties . Although I have read only excerpts of the book in question, it is clear that the research indicated that “body count” was all that mattered – any body would do as long it would push up the bar chart on McNamara’s desk.

        Without evidence other than my own musings and bits and pieces of information, I suspect that the reason for the mass PTSD among Vietnam vets is from what the book described; wanton killing by air power, artillery and machine gun. Normal humans must simply crawl into a cave of denial to survive whether they participated, saw or only heard.

        I understand that the Vietnamese did not suffer from PTSD nearly to the same degree although their suffering was far far worse. Its the murder of the helpless men, women and children in a foreign land versus protecting your homeland, village and family. That was the difference between the US and Vietnamese war experience. The Vietnamese had a clear collective conscious and the US was choked with demons.

        Another factor supporting the above was the open rebellion of the US soldiers – most who cared knew the war was rotten to the core and wanted to get out. No amount of spin or fake patriotism could hide what they saw. The military had no choice but to end the land war least the mutiny becomes general and irreversible.

        Bottom line, the civilian leadership is capable of unimaginable crimes and the military with varying degrees of enthusiasm carries out their orders. Just one more point, the US top military leadership was dead set against using nuclear weapons against Japan as it would be considered a barbarous act and a massive war crime. Leave it the the NYT and the politicians to eagerly push the button and claim it was an act of compassion. Psychos, all of them.

        • marknesop says:

          Fair enough: I am speaking of the rank-and-file military which has to carry out orders at the sharp end, and few senior officers above the rank of Colonel are readily distinguishable from politicians themselves, as your chances of promotion increase thereafter with your facility for political agility and savvy. A minority advance on pure competence and command presence, and are more or less unreachable by politics, but those are usually shunted into field commands far from the intrigue of policymaking.

          That’s a very interesting point that foreign forces do not suffer PTSD to anything like the degree western soldiers do; I suppose that’s probably accurate, although I never really thought about it. It would probably make an interesting medical study, and far-reaching conclusions might be drawn from it – to wit; is there really any such thing as a ‘just war’? You might be on to something.

          • Jen says:

            One recent and very odd phenomenon that has been noted is that drone operators can suffer higher levels of PTSD than many conventional bomber crews.

            It may be that drone operators perceive that they have less influence over the results of the missile hit because their distance from the target means that they have less control over the missile’s trajectory and what it eventually does. The time between when the drone operator releases the missile and when the missile hits the target is also greater and so the chances that more things can go wrong or that something gets in the way between the missile and the target – like a small child crossing the missile’s path at the wrong moment – are greater, and the drone operator has no power to stop such occurrences.

            It’s possible that Western soldiers suffer from PTSD more than other soldiers do because the way Western armies wage war is different: for one thing, their weapons are different and allow them to wage war at a distance with greater accuracy, and so the nature of the violence they inflict on others is more gruesome and brutal. But this is only guesswork on my part.

            • Patient Observer says:

              Just a quick thought on your observation – a bomber crew may feel that their lives are in danger from flying in hostile air space thus its more of a battle of “equals” thus “fair” (although not in objective terms of risk assessment is most cases). The drone operators, have]ing total safety when they push the button may feel at one level that they are little more than back-shooters hiding behind a tree – no personal risk, no self-justification of its “him-or-me”.

              Speaking of drone operators and tactics, in the movie Snowden, one of the characters mentions a nice trick used for drone attack. First, kill a child. When everyone in the town shows up for the funeral, kill them all expecting that their target is somewhere in the carnage. Don’t know if the story is true or that I recall it exactly but given the atrocities of US war fighting doctrine (e.g. kill anything that moves), it is certainly possible.

        • Brandon bailey says:

          Your comment on PTSD is bang on I think. A few years ago an ex-army friend (NZ)commented that special forces guys often end up becoming “greenies” or get involved in social services.

          At the time I concluded that they were in their own way looking for some kind of absolution for the things of war that they did (killing) but later I realized that deep down they knew the evil empire they were part of and sought to make amends – I guess the idea that you presented here is the logical outcome of all this. Our hearts will accuse us of wrong.

  14. saskydisc says:

    I have been the most guilty of feeding the troll. Apologies—I wanted to see aspects of the troll’s psyche.

  15. Special_sauce says:

    Mark, you are no blogster; you are a forensic surgeon.

  16. davidt says:

    First I worried that you had been hit by a bus. Then I hoped that you were preparing a cunning plan- I hope it works.

  17. saskydisc says:

    Some observations on Canada and the efforts to start trouble in the environs of Russia:

    Canada recently signed a free trade agreement with the Ukraine; below the English and French texts:

    Note that the sponsor is Chrystia Freedland, and note the strenuous omission of the article in English; in French, the article was only omitted in the title page. A certain lobby is successfully mutilating the English language—the troll was gloating. Also note the number of opt-out clauses that Canada enjoys when the Ukrainian competition becomes excessive—even now, the lobby is not too concerned about the home country.

    Efforts are afoot to stop foreign funding of Canadian elections:
    This is almost certainly a reaction to similar laws in Russia; note that the law does not criminalize Canadian intervention in other countries’ elections.

    The government media is very much on board with bizarre propaganda against countries that border Russia, and attacking the efforts by Russia against Al Qaeda and Russia (more atrocity claims), while the commercial media has followed Reuters in acknowledging the farce that Ukrainian politics has become:






    I presume that the shift in commercial media is due to consumer research. I used to be subject to repeated polling, but the last while, the government has suffered a strange lack of curiosity regarding public opinion…

    • saskydisc says:

      ^Against Al Qaeda and ISIS

    • Moscow Exile says:

      The beginning of the French text linked above that concerns a free trade agreement between Canada and the Ukraine, which agreement is sponsored by no less than Freedland:

      Le Canada et l’Ukraine : unir nos efforts pour créer des emplois et des opportunités

      L’Accord de libre-échange Canada-Ukraine (ALECU), signé le 11 juillet 2016, représente un important jalon dans les relations bilatérales entre le Canada et l’Ukraine. En plus des avantages sur le plan commercial qu’il procurera aux entreprises canadiennes, l’ALECU viendra soutenir les autorités ukrainiennes dans leurs efforts de réforme économique et de développement, renforcer le partenariat canado-ukrainien en faveur de la paix et de la prospérité et favoriser, à long terme, la sécurité, la stabilité et le développement économique à grande échelle de l’Ukraine.

      On ne dit pas le Canada, alors pourquoi dire l’Ukraine?

      • saskydisc says:

        I have not had much opportunity to study French, as it is the fourth most spoken language in Saskatchewan—Cree (Nehiyawewin, an Algonquian language—kisiskaatchiwani siipi means fast flowing river; compare misi siipi large river, although the English name Mississippi comes from a different Algonquian language, Ojibwe, which is severely endangered) and Ukie have more speakers here, but I have made some efforts. If I understand your question correctly, they do not say ‘the Canada,’ but they do say ‘the Ukraine?’

        • Moscow Exile says:

          On ne dit pas le Canada, alors pourquoi dire l’Ukraine?

          One does not say “the Canada”, so why say “the Ukraine”?

          • saskydisc says:


            • Moscow Exile says:

              Allerdings sagt man nicht “das Kanada” auf Deutsch, aber man sagt “die Ukraine”.

              However, one does not say “the Canada” in German, but one does say “the Ukraine”.

              And the funny thing about this is that no bugger is offended.

              I wonder why?

          • Moscow Exile says:

            It’s what I have had thrown at me off Canadian “Ukrainians” on more than one occasion., though they did not use the impersonal pronoun “one” as I have done: they wrote: “You don’t say “the Canada”, so why say “the Ukraine”?

            • marknesop says:

              Well, you say, “The United States”, so why not “The United Ukraine”? You say “The Faroe Islands”, so why not “The Ukrainian Island”? Maybe because it’s not an island, and maybe because the name of one country has nothing at all to do with the name of another.

              The only thing Canada and Ukraine have in common is that both have a lot of Ukrainians living there.

              • Moscow Exile says:

                It’s “The united States” because the full title defines which states, namely “of America”. (post-definition)

                When I state “which” or the “which” is understandable, then I use the definite article.

                When I use the indefinite article, I classify by saying “one” of a kind.

                For example:

                I married a woman

                I am not saying which woman, I am saying “one of those things called ‘woman'”.

                And I can go on classifying ad infinitum if I wish to:

                I married a good woman, a kind woman, a loving woman etc., etc.

                But when I define which woman I married, then I use “the”:

                The woman whom I married is a Russian.

                The woman whom I met in June 1997 in Moscow and who is called Natalya is my wife.

                Go tell a woman (any woman, not a man or a child) that she has lost weight and she’ll think you are wonderful man. (one of a kind of men).

                Go tell the woman standing near the window to close it.

                You know which woman and which window I’m talking about.

                The Canada of today is not the Canada I recall as a youth.

                I’m defining which Canada that i am speaking about.

                • marknesop says:

                  Yes, I get that. But why is ‘Canada’ – a country thousands of miles away which has little or nothing in common with Ukraine, the standard for whether or not you should say ‘The Ukraine”? Why not France? You don’t say “The France”, either, although its proper name in its own national language is “La France”. Why don’t they just change the name of Ukraine to ‘France II’ and be done with it? Is it really that important?

                • Jen says:

                  We did have the discussion in the comments forum of the last KS post about how Ukraine originally became the Ukraine: because historically the area was one of several borderland regions between kingdoms and empires, several of which were in eastern Europe and in Slavic-speaking parts. “Ukraine” derives from Slavic terms meaning “borderland” or “frontier”. So in saying “the Ukraine”, we are referring to a particular area that was a no-man’s-land more or less encircled by Poland, imperial Russia and Ottoman Turkey. Perhaps the Yukies and their allies feel slighted by the historical reference implied by saying “the Ukraine”: it’s like saying Ukraine isn’t a real country because it’s defined by what it isn’t or what it hasn’t got rather than by what it is or what it has got.

      • marknesop says:

        I’m sure that if they bring it off, it will become a conduit for siphoning money to Ukraine. But the Ukro-Canadians will be happy. Most of them are from western Ukrainian origins. There was also a story I read the other day that said Poroshenko was appealing to Trudeau to renew an agreement which would provide Canadian satellite information to Ukraine which would ‘help it track the movement of Russian forces in Ukraine’ and monitor its border. I can’t remember if I actually read it myself or if someone linked it here. Whatever the case, there’s no indication at present that there will be any such transaction.

        • Anti-MATTer says:

          Most of the activist Ukro-Canadians are.

          In Canada, there are a good number of others from the non-former Habsburg territory Ukraine, of which many have a different take. The latter keep relatively silent on account of the harassing manner of the pro-Bandera Ukes and the general Canadian mass media and body politic mindset.

  18. marknesop says:

    Since it appears nobody else is going to bring it up, I will. There was a massive ammo-dump explosion in Ukraine in the last 24 hours or so, and they lost most of their missiles. Of course Russia is suspected, with the usual hints that a drone flew over the site before it exploded, but Poroshenko seems to be furious enough that he is considering the possibility of internal sabotage.

    The explosion took place on his birthday. Happy Birthday, Mr. President. Probably the same person who killed Anna Politkovskaya did it, since that was a birthday gift to Putin.

    • Patient Observer says:

      In the torrent of postings, it was mentioned with photographic proof that Putin himself was the culprit. Did not know it was a birthday gift for Porko. How sweet!

      • marknesop says:

        That Putin certainly does get around. He must use a wormhole or something, because he appears all over the world, causing trouble, and it is never possible to reconstruct his movements afterward.

      • Lyttenburgh says:

        “In the torrent of postings, it was mentioned with photographic proof that Putin himself was the culprit. “

        That’s true!

        But don’t worry – the SBU already detained the suspect!

        ^True story, +100500%

        As for the B-day gift – accordning to the anonymoussurces (i.e. 110% legit ones) Putin sent Poroshenko this as a gift:

    • Jen says:

      Actually there was a comments thread on the explosion buried somewhere in the comments forum to your last post. I remember saying that the real cause might either be the degradation of the ammunition to the point where fumes are escaping and leading to combustion and explosion, or that the Ukrainians are deliberately allowing the explosions to occur since they anticipate getting new ammunition from the West and nothing else can be done with the old supplies.

      • yalensis says:

        Yeah, I mostly agree with that theory. I think the Ukrainian army are blowing up their own ammo supplies, as a cheap way of getting rid of old ordnance.
        (Too expensive to dispose of properly.)
        Just a theory, but it makes sense.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      Ukraine rules out foreign sabotage plot in munitions fire

      Anatoliy Matios, the country’s chief military prosecutor, on Thursday denied earlier statements from authorities suggesting that a group of foreign saboteurs may have set the depot on fire. Matios said investigators were looking into possible negligence, abuse of power or sabotage by those who were authorized to handle the munitions.

      Matios also said investigators discovered that the fire alarm at the depot wasn’t working and that its security force was understaffed.

      “Neither the investigators, nor the Security Service, nor any law enforcement agencies found any groups of saboteurs in the Vinnytsia region that people are talking about on Facebook,” Matios said, an apparent reference to comments made by several senior Ukrainian officials on social media Wednesday blaming Russian saboteurs for the fire.

      Authorities launched checks at military bases across the country in the aftermath of the fire and discovered serious violations. Prosecutors found two “completely drunk” colonel and lieutenant colonel in charge of security at a military depot holding Soviet-era ballistic missiles.

      Ukraine says massive ammunition depot explosion not caused by foreign sabotage

      Ukraine rules out sabotage after blasts at ammo depot

      Defense Ministry: Act of sabotage could cause [sic] fire ammunition depots near Balakliia

      Defense Minister of Ukraine Stepan Poltorak says that according to preliminary data, ammunition explosions near the city of Balakliia might have been caused by an act of sabotage.

      “According to preliminary data, a fire near Balakliia might have been caused by an act of sabotage. Explosions occurred exactly where tank shells were stored, “Poltorak said.

      He also noted that a special commission of the Defense Ministry is operating at the scene and all measures are being taken to extinguish the fire and to prevent casualties among civilians. Soldiers and local residents are being evacuated.

      As earlier reported, on March 23, at 2.45 a.m., a massive fire broke out at some sites of ammunition storage depots, located near the city of Balakliia, Kharkiv region, which triggered expositions.

      The explosion at the ammunition depot wasn’t an accident, abuses are being covered up

      Batkivshchyna Party leader Yulia Tymosheno believes the explosion at the ammunition depot in Kalynivka, Vinnytsia oblast, was not an accident and could be an attempt by the current government to conceal evidence of the illegal sale of weapons and ammunition.

      So you pays your money and you takes your choice …

      • Moscow Exile says:

        Didn’t correctly link one of the intended links above:

        Defense Ministry: Act of sabotage could cause fire ammunition depots near Balakliia

        That heading to a Ukrainian-English article reveals the usual cock-up made by persons whose mother tongue is Slavic as regards the use of conditional expressions in English and also usage of prepositions.

        It should have read:

        Defense Ministry: Act of sabotage could have caused fire at ammunition depots near Balakliia

      • marknesop says:

        I personally think the leadership of Tymoshenko would be good for Ukraine like rubbing dung into an open wound would help it heal, but she is very possibly right on this one. It could very well be that the fire was a staged event to conceal theft, and it is quite possible that some of the munitions and delivery systems claimed as destroyed in the fire were actually no longer there. We will have to watch this one to see how it develops. If that turned out to be the case, what would be the implications for Ukraine’s indignant denials of having transferred rocket-engine technology to North Korea? I noticed a puff piece just yesterday, talking about the North Korean spies who were caught photographing fake Ukrainian missile documents and imprisoned, so Ukraine is still harping on its innocence there and pointing – as usual – at Russia. Poroshenko is still going on about the production in Ukraine having shut down in the 90’s, just as if the engines the North Koreans had were made last month instead of years ago.

    • Nat says:

      Speaking of which, here is a quite bizzare video shot by Poroshenko’s family broadcasted on TV to wish him happy birthday. Can’t imagine the reaction if that was Putin’s family doing that.

      • Moscow Exile says:

        Porky’s wife presented a paean to her wonderful husband the other day, saying he was the greatest Ukraine president ever and listed off his achievements.

        No mention off her that he has become ever more wealthy since having become president of the poorest state in Europe.

        • Moscow Exile says:

          Poroshenko family records video about “monumental Ukrainian President” [Video]

          The family of Petro Poroshenko has recorded a video segment for the birthday occasion of the President of Ukraine. The congratulations, almost entirely, consist of enumerating the merits of the greatest of the Ukrainian presidents, “who opened the door to Europe.” Maryna Poroshenko, the President’s spouse, called him “a reformer who united the world around Ukraine.”

          “He entered the history of Ukraine as pa resident, who opened doors to the countries of the European Union. He became the first head of state, which united the entire civilized world around the defense of Ukraine. He started reforms, which no politician dared for all the years of independence. Serve your country, be faithful to the ideals of the Revolution of dignity and believe in the European future of your country – that’s a brief way you can describe the life of Peter Poroshenko. Today, the fifth president of Ukraine celebrates his 52nd birthday.

          You do not know how to work half way – perhaps, that’s why fate chose you to be the leader of the Ukrainian nation in the most difficult times. Yes, gray hair has increased on your head, but I love you, as in the first days of our acquaintance. Happy birthday, Mr. President! ” said Maryna Poroshenko.

      • marknesop says:

        Amazing – the country barely functions without his benevolent guidance. The next thing you know, he’ll be riding around on horseback with no shirt on.

        It’ll probably be a Clydesdale. But still.

        • Jen says:

          It’ll have to be a Clydesdale like this one:

          • Moscow Exile says:

            If the Ukraine still survives following his death, albeit in a much reduced size, a sort of “Greater Galitsia”, they might erect a monument to the “Greatest President of the Ukraine” that resembles the one which they mockingly called “The Hippopotamus” and which was erected in Sankt-Peterburg in memory of Tsar Aleksandr III:

            Then again, Porky might very well end up swinging upside down from a street lamp, Mussolini style, no matter what the devoted Maryna says of him.

  19. Gordon says:

    Thanks, Mark. I can now look forward to enjoying the blog comments again. ME, your numerous comments are enjoyable and enlightening, for me anyway.

    • shargash says:

      Mercifully, my internet commenting hiatus has very neatly corresponded to Matt’s irruption. Thanks for the reminder. I will just skip past his posts without reading. Keep up the good work Mark.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      Thanks! Unfortunately, as I have already explained above, I have plenty of time at the moment to make even more comments following my routine early morning scanning of the Western news and that of the Kremlin controlled media which so stupefies the Mongol-Tatar-Ugric Orcs. However, the reason why I have so much free time now is extremely worrisome.

  20. Lyttenburgh says:

    Great article, Mark! Too many points I agree with so there is no need to comment. Just a few notes:

    “When the west breaks somebody else’s toys, it didn’t mean to. It was an accident.”

    Well – you know the oft cited definition of madness, being doing the same thing over the same way expecting the different result. Professor Robinson continually tries to “assuage” our fears by saying that, yes, the Washington elites are THIS stupid and not maligned at all. But for every McCain and Graham there are throngs of new (and non-public) Brzezinski’s and Wolfowitzes out there, plotting new moves on the Grad Chessboard, not concerning with the fate of the pawns, sacrificed for the Imperial Gambit.

    “When the western media says something that flat-out isn’t true, it was such a charmingly well-intentioned mistake that you just have to love them the more for their essential humanity -to err is human. When Russia says something that isn’t true, it is both an evil and deliberate lie meant to advance its malignant influence, and eye-popping propaganda.”

    Aka – this picture:

    As for the rest of the Kremlin Stooges. I’m, probably, younger than the most of you here. So I have no right to “teach you how to suck the eggs” (so to speak). I only find it perplexing how adult people could possibly fall on the oldest, tried and tested net-harassment trick.

    Besides – you all probably outrank me and have longer service record within the glorious army of the RosGosTroll anyway 😉 If anything, it’s me who should listen to your advices and recommendations.

    ТакЪ победимЪ!

    • Lyttenburgh says:

      Ooops! A bit of a Freudian slip – not “Grad”, but “Grand Chessboard”. Have been reading about the contents of the ammo depot in Vynnitsa which blew on pan Poroshenko’s birthday.

    • marknesop says:

      Hey, Lyttenburgh! Nice to see you again. I agree the approach is an old one, but it keeps getting recycled because it is effective – oddly enough, the better-informed the existing commentary board is, the harder it finds resistance to temptation when particular hot-button baits are employed.

      We disagree a little on Paul Robinson; I find nothing fake about him at all, and if he says Washington merely presents the image of being a modern Gestapo when it is actually more like the Keystone Cops, that’s because that’s the way he sees it. And it’s certainly true that some of their recent operations, like the ‘Russian election-hacking in support of Trump’, argue in favour of idiocy.

      • Lyttenburgh says:

        “We disagree a little on Paul Robinson; I find nothing fake about him at all”

        Neither do I. Which I find the saddest thing of all – he really believes in everything he says. The fact that I often disagree with him (and the topics of our disagreement) is well known to everyone.

  21. Lyttenburgh says:

    Here Lenta.Ru summed up everything known so far about the clusterfuck in Vynnitsa. The key points (both from this article and from elsewhere) are the following:

    – Important tidbit – on 26-27 Sept there were big anti-terrorist training maneuvers planned in Vynnitsa oblast. Everyone and their dog involved – newly created “National Police” (you know – Eka Zguladze trained boys and girls cosplaying worst films of “The Police Academy” franchise), NatzGuard, Army, Border Guard, Special Forces etc. It was announced that security measures would be over the top with the locals having to be constantly ready to present their papers and follow the orders from various security apparatus members. Please – keep it in mind for the future reference.

    – Even before that, in early September, Poroshenko, Groysman, Parubiy and other members of the “доброчинна влада” of the Ukraine toured the cities and villages of the Best (West) Ukrajina, performing their timeless (albeit – rather lame) top hit “Остаточное прощевание с Родянской ИМПЕРИЕЙ”. You know the lyrics – the Ukraine is stronK, only thanks to Petro Lexeyich we здобулы the Association treaty AND the Visa Free travel with the EU. Soon we will be in the EU (whether the Euros want it or not), or Army is the stronkest. SUGS! Important change of plans of this year tour – no performance in Lviv (with its Kolomoyski’s creature mayor Sadovy… and a crapton of trash), but, instead a Live Act in Vynnitsa. Also a change in rhetoric – it was Vynnitsa this year proclaimed to be the “Heart of the Western Ukraine”, not Lviv.

    – 26 September not only World Contraception Day, but also Petropo Roshenko’s birthday. The ammo depot went boom on 26/27 September nigh, somewhere after 22:00 PM. Poroshenko issued first commentary only 12 hours afterwards. That’s the spirit! To overcome one’s hangover in such record time for a man of his age, health, experience and habits is a Peremoga in itself!

    – As of 28 Sept the fire is contained (but not put out entirely). The preliminary figure of the damage incurred (as claimed by Poroshenko and Turchinov among the other luminaries) is the following. 18 hectares (55 acres) of the ammo burnt to the crisp. Monetary damage – $800 millions (take your time to ponder over this figure). According to the official figures provided by the General Staff of the UkrArmy there were 188 000 tons of various munitions at the storage, including MLRS rockets “Smerch”, “Uragan”, “Grad”, plus artillery shells and small arms ammo. In areas close to military depots, there remain practically no unbroken windows, also four apartment houses got on fire. Residents of Kalinovka and nearby villages (Pavlovka, Medvedka, Dorozhnoye, Salnik, Strizhavka) – all in all about 28 thousand people – were evacuated. The villages there were left without gas and electricity (and this time – not because of the high utility bills). Airspace in a radius of 50 kilometers was closed for overflights. Routes of 14 trains had been changed to bypass Vinnytsia. Highways Zhitomir – Mogilev – Podolsky and Vinnitsa – Kiev temporarily blocked (not sure whether the Ukrainian authorities would even try to calculate the financial losses incurred by that).

    – Obligatory tinfolery and conspiracy theoretizing began immediately. You know, the Ukraine, as the birthplace of the fastest growing religion on the planet (the “RussiansDidItism”) ought to uphold its own standards. And it doesn’t matter that, so far, all previous accusations of the “Russian sabotage” proved to be unsubstantiated – it’s the belief that count, and to deny it is Heresy. But even the most trained theologicians are rather skeptical here, because of the reasons mentioned in my very first note – the entire Vynnitsa oblast had been crawling with SBU and other security personnel types. Either we accept that Russian saboteurs somehow avoided their notice (which would imply that there are traitors in their midst… or that the Ukr Military and Intelligence is not the stronKest)… or the whole issue of Russia blaming gets shuffled under rug. All signs point to that – the Chief Military Prosecutor Matios says outright, that there were no saboteurs or enemy drones, while Turchinov goes an extra mile and blames the Chief of the General Staff of the Ukraine Victor Muzhenko. So, more likely, the whole incident would be used for the advancement of the personal vendettas and finger pointing.

    – This is the 3rd such catastrophe in the Ukraine in 2017. 22 September it was an ammo depot near Mariupol (no saboteurs – local peasants were just burning autumn grass). And, of course, how can one forget the epic fire near Kharkov on 23 March. Balakleya’s depot held 138 tons of the munitions, mainly for the tanks and artillery pieces. But back then, despite all damage and losses of life, the official Kiev claimed that these fires did not in fact damage the military potential of the Ukraine. This time Turchinov calls this fire an “irreparable damage to the country’s defense”. Why the change in rhetoric now? And even before that there was a big fire in Svatovo (the Ukraine held Lugansk oblast) in 2015, when, as was reported, 3 000 tons of the munitions exploded, plus 48 units of military hardware, including one “Smerch” and seven “Uragan” MLRS. So, clearly, what is happening now is much, much bigger and more serious.

    – Once again, referencing Jen’s previous point that this is some sort of “da kunnin’ plan” aimed to “scrap” such perennial money pit hole – maybe. Surely, this kind of reasoning is not above(below?) of the people in charge in Kiev. And this depot #48 was clearly a money pit. In 2015, the base commander, Colonel Igor Malezhik, was convicted for the criminal negligence, resulting in damage amounting to 188 thousand hryvnas ($9000). In the same year 2015, the unit received several tens of millions of hryvnas ($500 000+) specifically to improve safety measures for the storage of ammunition. Before that, in 2014 (i.e. before the conviction of the base commander), 600 million hryvnas ($45+ millions) were allocated to Kalinovka for the same purposes.

    – And now – the most probable at the moment version, i.e. that the fire is in a fact just a distraction, created to hide the facts of a colossal theft of the munitions. It’s hardly something outlandish for the Ukraine or just a stuff of the old comedy movie “Operation Ы”. The fire at a military warehouse in the city of Artemovsk in the Donetsk oblast in 2003 nearly eradicated this settlement from the face of the planet. A total of 3 000 shells exploded, and 200 apartment and private houses were damaged. The guilty were the chief of the missile and artillery armament service, Major Vladimir Bevza, and the chief of the warehouse number 14, Warrant Officer (praporshik) Valery Botnar. It was established that the servicemen, using the gas welding at the warehouse, were cutting down the metalwork for later sale. The work was carried out in the immediate vicinity of boxes with ammunition.

    – Experts also noted that the explosions in the warehouse in Kalinovka began the day after the publication of the report of the international investigative NGO “The Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project.” It claims that “the representatives of the authorities and the company of Ukraine have made themselves a key link in the network that supplies Soviet armament from Europe to Africa and the Middle East.” On the same day, the international human rights organization Amnesty International stated that Kiev, in violation of international obligations, supplied arms to Southern Sudan; the report indicates that the deliveries were conducted through a company located in the UAE. The reaction of the Ukrainian Free and Independent Media (I’m not talk about the government – it’s a given) was priceless:

    I.e. – they basically confirmed, that, yeah – we did. But we are the good boys now – see, we totally stopped doing it! Now gib us “Javelins”, plox!

  22. firuza says:

    Hi Mark,

    Great article and I hope everyone ignores the pink avatar from now on. I was getting really tired of scrolling down the page. I don’t read his comments or the replies to them. After all this kerfuffle I kind of love Karl.

  23. firuza says:

    Playing at the Vancouver International Film Festival this year. Directed by a Moscow born Vancouver film director. It was written up in the Georgia Straight today too.

    On Putin’s Blacklist

    Vancouver director Boris Ivanov brings us this engaging and timely tour d’horizon of the oligarchic gangster-state that is Russia and her intimidating place in the world today. At the time of this writing, the depth of the influence of Vladimir Putin and his minions on the 2016 US election has not been fully revealed, but all indications are that it was profound and effective. Through Ivanov’s eyes we observe the wounded pride of Russians as the Soviet Empire crumbles, the privatization of massive national industries and the new social order that then comes into being. The jingoistic xenophobia born out of an increased dependence on foreign investment makes patriotic heroes and billionaires of ruthless but homegrown moguls. Masterful propaganda and demonization of the “other” result in institutionalized racism and an entrenched culture of disdain for the West, which is not diminished by the buffoonery of the Trump administration. Ivanov’s deep Russian roots inform his documentary as he brings us up to speed on the shameful adoption crisis, state-sanctioned hacking of the Internet and the heartless treatment of LGBTQ citizens.

    Here is the trailer but you won’t be able to stand watching it.

    • J.T. says:

      Seriously? This is film festival worthy?

    • marknesop says:

      “Masterful propaganda and demonization of the “other” result in institutionalized racism and an entrenched culture of disdain for the West”

      Ha, ha, ha!!! I laughed aloud when I read that; what a piece of projection! Say, do you live in Vancouver?

      • firuza says:

        Hi Mark,

        Yes we live in Vancouver but might be moving to Campbell River soon. We visited my father there three times this summer and decided it would be a good place to raise our two girls. We prefer finding a place outside of the city though. Our original plan was to move to the Okanagan-Similkameen area but the wildfires have us worried. Our kids love the rainforest so we might have to stay on the coast though I love the big open sky in parts of the interior. We were on Quadra Island last summer and we considered moving there but my wife thinks it’s too isolated.

        i grew up in Vancouver but I can’t wait to get out of here. I lived in Saint Petersburg for five years and always liked big cities but now I want to live in the countryside. I would have laughed in disbelief if someone told me that in years past.


  24. firuza says:

    This Russian film is playing at the Vancouver Film Festival.

  25. firuza says:

    I forgot to add this info about the Bolshoi film.

    The Bolshoi
    Panorama | Contemporary World Cinema

    Plunging into the beautiful-yet-harsh world of Russian ballet, director Valery Todorovsky maps out the heartbreak, petty politics and wide-eyed dreams of aspiring ballerinas. The tale of a hopeful young girl swept up in currents of dance unfolds against the backdrop of Tchaikovsky’s own majestic ballets.

    Bifurcated between the story of Julia (Margarita Simonova) as a young girl leaving her family in the provinces to pursue ballet in Moscow and her struggles as a woman trying to balance her career with all the things she gave up to dance—her struggling family, lost chances at love, friendships turned into rivalries—The Bolshoi careens through twists and turns, dreams dashed and put back together again. Todorovsky imbues his characters (played by real ballerinas!) with the delicate psychological insight of a novelist, plumbing the depths of the relationships between Julia, her friend/rival Karin and their brusque, no-nonsense instructor (Alisa Freyndlikh). At times funny, sad, uplifting and heartbreaking, the film strives for authenticity while keeping the audience on its toes.

    “Moving and entertaining, The Bolshoi is a majestic treasure that succeeds on the big screen.”—Simon Foster, Screen-Space


  26. Moscow Exile says:

    В Москве открылся крупнейший в России памятник жертвам сталинских репрессий

    In Moscow there has been opened the largest memorial in Russia to victims of the Stalinist repressions

    The largest memorial in Russia has been opened at the Butovo firing range, the burial ground of victims of the Stalinist repressions. At the end of the 1930s, 20,762 people were shot there. Their names are inscribed on granite tablets, though not in alphabetical order but according to the date when they were shot.

    Now don’t all you folks go and forget now: everything that is done in Russia is done on the orders of Putin, a KGB thug and torturer, a dictator who regrets the collapse of the USSR and reveres Stalin.

    • et Al says:

      As Simon Reeve’s calls it quite a few times, ‘Putin’s Police state‘. He’s such a lovable puppy is Simon. It occurred to me last night that his tropes about Russia could have come straight from Ed Lucas of the Economist, because that is where a Brit of a certain age would go for some authorative info on Russia, though to be honest, I looked up a few of his claims (250k FSB) and you find them in the usual russophobic places too. Which reminds me, he noted that a railroad is being built at massive (and probably unaffordable) expense to get Yakutia’s riches to market, aka the ‘Siberian Curse’ as some economists call it. Dumb Russians, wasting money taking advantage of the melting permafrost to make use of Siberia’s massive resources. Insane. Very much the Thatcherite argument.

  27. Moscow Exile says:

    Navalny arrested outside his housing block 45 minutes ago ago.

    I was detained at my house entrance. They are driving me somewhere “for explanations”.

    He was on his way to Nizhny Novgorod.

    Such is the nature of the “regime” that he had time to tweet to his fans.

    Навального задержали

    Navalny detained

    • Moscow Exile says:

      She was only a vicar’s daughter
      And she knew she shouldn’t oughta
      Lead the Baltics on to slaughter,
      But must say what Washington’s taught her.

    • marknesop says:

      And good luck with that, old girl. Being a politician just has to incorporate drama and acting classes, because anyone with eyes in their head can see Russia is not in the slightest interested in incorporating the whining, yappy Baltics. Yet May can blather on up there as if she has divined the shadowy outlines of a plot you and I cannot see. That must be what all those expensive top-secret government briefings are about.

      • Moscow Exile says:

        Russian embassy calls Theresa May’s claims about Russian threat unacceptable

        LONDON, September 29. /TASS/. The Russian embassy in London has described the UK prime minister’s claims about the “threat” Moscow ostensibly poses to European countries as unacceptable.

        “Russia’s continued aggression represents a growing danger to Estonia as well as Latvia, Lithuania and Poland,” May claimed during a visit to Estonia.

        “We believe such statements are unacceptable, especially given the repeated assurances of the British Government of their readiness to build up constructive relations with Russia,” the press secretary of the Embassy told TASS.

        “It is also worth noting that the Prime Minister described Russia as ‘aggressive’ during her visit of a military compound on Russia’s border where British troops are deployed,” he said.

  28. Moscow Exile says:

    Before you view:



  29. Moscow Exile says:

    And now they done gone and arrested Leonid Volkov!

    Where will this nightmare end?

    Navalny’s chief of staff detained in Nizhny Novgorod

    Moscow. September 29. INTERFAX.RU – Leonid Volkov, the chief of staff of opposition leader Alexei Navalny, has been detained by the police in Nizhny Novgorod. A charge against him is being drawn up.

    “They are drawing up against me a section 20.2.8 administrative law charge (repeated committing of an administrative offence – InterFax) and detaining me”, Volkov wrote on Twitter.

    Earlier on Friday, Navalny was detained in Moscow. Later, the interior Ministry explained that the reason for his detention was his repeated calls to citizens that they participate in unsanctioned events.

    It has been noted that the oppositionist was going to travel this evening to Nizhny Novgorod, where there is going to be held a rally of his supporters.

    Navalny is already under a suspended sentence.

    For the umpteenth time — when is he going to be sent down?

  30. Drutten says:

    Bridge update, by the way… They have now installed the strand jacks on the motorway pillars:

    And the arch itself has been moved out onto the piers where the barges will grab it:

    They are only waiting for the wind to calm down, because the arch is a huge wind trap and the barges aren’t the most hydrodynamic things around either, so the high-precision maneuvering by the tugs that’s required would be very difficult in strong wind and a lot of waves. Soon though! I reckon sometime this weekend, if the forecast proves somewhat correct.

    Once it’s in place, we’re talking about 6 months until the initial commissioning of the motorway section. So March-April sometime, well ahead of schedule.

    • Patient Observer says:

      One idea: Putin should karate chop the ribbon when the bridge formally opens. Or, drive a T-90, or ride a galloping horse. Something BIG and dramatic.

      Or, on the flip side, children from Crimea can open the bridge. Lots of fireworks, music and celebration to follow.

  31. et Al says:

    FlightGlobal.com: WTO panel to review Brazil’s complaints against Bombardier

    …”With today’s approval of the request made by the Brazilian government, a WTO panel will investigate more than 25 programmes that benefited the company,” says Embraer.

    A Bombardier spokesperson says: “We are confident that the investments and contribution programs mentioned in Brazil’s petition are in full compliance with all WTO and international trade rules. We understand the Government of Canada intends to defend the interests of Bombardier and the Canadian aerospace industry at the WTO.”..

    Plenty more at the link.

    This news has been long in the offing so if it all goes south, someone will be getting a bargain. I flew in an Embraer 195 to the g/f’s place in Poland this year and sitting at the back, it was like looking down a straw. Apart from that, it looked very modern, clean etc. I also flew in an ancient Boeing 737-400 and the difference was stark even if the later had powerplugs between the seats (that didn’t work), though not surprising as there is 25 odd years between them.

  32. et Al says:

    FlightGlobal.com: UAC and Comac christen widebody family as CR 929

    …The -600 will have passenger capacity of 280 seats in a three class configuration with a range of 12,000km.

    A shorter -500 will carry 250 passengers in three-classes, but with a range of 14,000km.

    The longest variant of the CR 929, the 929-700, will have passenger capacity of 320 in a three class layout, and a range of 10,000km.

    UAC says that the ‘CR’ denotes China and Russia’s joint involvement in the programme. President of the Russian planemaker, Yuri Slusar, addsthat the number ‘9’ in the designation denotes the symbol of eternity in Chinese culture…

    …The aircraft’s composite wings and empennage will be produced in Russia, while Comac will produce the fuselage and perform final assembly in Shanghai. Russia will also produce the tail section…

    Better get on with the PD-18R then!

  33. et Al says:

    Clinton News Network: State Department orders nonessential diplomats and families out of Cuba following mysterious attacks

    …Investigators haven’t determined the cause of the incidents, but US officials told CNN they are convinced someone has targeted American diplomats in Havana with a sophisticated device never deployed before, at least not against US personnel.
    Canadian diplomats have suffered similar health problems, according to US and Canadian officials. …


    Plenty more about the exceptional nation at the link.

    • yalensis says:

      “Clinton News Network” — I like that, Al, that’s a good one!

      P.S. – when I first read the headline, my eyes mistook “State Department orders nonessential diplomats and families out of Cuba following mysterious attacks” for
      “State Department orders NONSENSICAL diplomats and families out of Cuba following mysterious attacks”

  34. Anti-MATTer says:

    The Nation has a mainstream for the elites article:


    The comments section below that Nation piece is far more astute.

    A further debunking:


  35. et Al says:

    The Intercept via Antiwar.com: Yet Another Major Russia Story Falls Apart. Is Skepticism Permissible Yet?

    Glenn Greenwald

    Last Friday, most major media outlets touted a major story about Russian attempts to hack into U.S. voting systems, based exclusively on claims made by the Department of Homeland Security. “Russians attempted to hack elections systems in 21 states in the run-up to last year’s presidential election, officials said Friday,” began the USA Today story, similar to how most other outlets presented this extraordinary claim.

    This official story was explosive for obvious reasons, and predictably triggered instant decrees – that of course went viral – declaring that the legitimacy of the outcome of the 2016 U.S. presidential election is now in doubt…

    Plenty more at the link.

    • yalensis says:

      The degree to which the pro-Hillary forces are still in denial, is quite extraordinary.
      It has been 9 months now, most people would have moved on.

      • et Al says:

        I don’t think they were making babies on the night that Killary Died. They have produced a lot of wind though.*

        * ‘passing gas’ in the US I think. It’s the one thing that struck me there when I was there last, the number of advertisements for people suffering from gas. Is it still true?

  36. Pingback: institutional infiltration - Occurrences

  37. Moscow Exile says:

    He’s smart enough, though, not to have hired Feygin as his defence lawyer, another one of whose unfortunate clients got sent down yesterday, namely Ilmi Umerov, whom Amnesty International describes as “a prominent critic of the Russian occupation and leader of the Crimean Tatar people”.

    Under the criminal code of the Russian Federation, Umerov was found guilty of making “public appeals through the use of mass media for the implementation of actions aimed at violating the territorial integrity of the Russian Federation”.

    He broadcast on one of the Ukrainian TV channels, repeatedly stating that the Crimea is Ukraine territory and urging that it be returned by force to the Ukraine.

    Next thing, Jamala will be singing a song about him, I bet.

    British Embassy Kyiv statement on the sentencing of Ilmi Umerov

    The sentencing of Ilmi Umerov, the Deputy Chairman of the Crimean Tatar Mejlis, to two years imprisonment for “separatism” is deeply concerning. Once again, this demonstrates the Russian Federation’s systematic persecution of those who voice their opposition to the illegal annexation of Crimea.

    Did you hear that, Bobby Sands?

    • Lyttenburgh says:

      There is a joke, that Mark Feygin secretly works for FSB. Even the prosecution asked for 3 years of suspended sentence for Umerov. For weeks Feygin had been tweeting and chirping happily that thanks to his defense Umerov will soon see his family. Meanwhile the attention of Feygin was too preoccupied with the feud with Anatoly Shariy, who sues Feygin for slander in Moscow’s court.

      In the end agent of FSB Feygin, who, previously, so “effectively” defended Pussy Riot and Nadia Savchenko, landed his client into a colony settlement prison for 2 years.

      Another joke (Russian anecdote) about Feygin that is so popular in RuNet is:

      “Pontius Pilate was almost ready to set free this strange Judean preacher, but then Mark Feygin began his defense speech…”

    • Felix says:

      The BCO with a not so good delete job, as evidenced by ME’s comments that look awkward, since the comments he replied to have been deleted.

      “Forensic surgeon” not.

      • Moscow Exile says:

        Which comment of mine might that be?

        As far as I am aware, I have not replied to any comment made by a certain party since early last week.

        The last such comment that I made was on Tuesday, 24 September, following Cortes’ comment that he was signing off for a while, which I then decided to do for the very same reason that Cortes had for signing off.

      • marknesop says:

        Mike, if you would just go away instead of hanging around where you’re not welcome – by anybody; I have offered opportunities before for others to speak up and say “We want more Mike Averko”, and nobody does except you – these situations would not arise. As I have patiently explained several times, I don’t see the blog the same way you do. I see your juvenile sock-puppet identities, and delete them. I don’t have time to go through the page and filter out every reply to you because in a sensible world there would not be any – everyone has learned by now to recognize your laboured style and linguistic quirks, and everyone knows it’s you. Even if you didn’t preface every new attempt by calling me a blog-censoring oaf, as if I would be so struck with admiration for your courage and integrity that I would let you remain.

        I frankly do not care if replies are left hanging out awkwardly – that’s the breaks, and it’s not my job to tidy up after you every time you blow in.

        • Felix says:

          Non one likens your aforementioned target to Matt.

          You’re the one being juvenile with censoring blocks which lead to a troll like Matt to change email addressees for the purpose of getting in.

  38. Drutten says:

    I find it strange that all of these stories omit the verifiable fact that Rodchenkov was under Russian police scrutiny after he’d been involved in some questionable doping business earlier, and his wife was even arrested by Russian police on suspicion of providing athletes with performance-enhancing drugs (if I recall correctly, they even caught her with a bag full of vials at one point)

    Thanks to Rodchenkovs reputation (he was fairly high up in RUSADA, is a most prolific physician with a lot of scientific papers on human metabolism etc published in his name) and his high-level contacts he managed to sneak himself out of it all, and his wife was eventually acquitted too, after those arrests I think. Still, even that initial thing (I reckon it was about 6-7 years ago) should be enough to suspect that Rodchenkov isn’t an honest fellow.

    Based on everything I’ve been able to dig up on this case, it remains a real possibility that Rodchenkov ran some doping business on the side of their anti-doping ditto, and when he realized that it was about to come crashing down (and it would have quite probably been made an “internal affair” in that event), they went public and fled to USA, and turned it all into a massive smear job instead.

    Considering that his account as provided to McLaren et al is more or less entirely responsible for this whole doping scandal, and the possibility that said scandal was his own initiative and doing to begin with, I’d say it’s reasonable that Russian courts have a word with him. Especially considering that his account led to a number of total Russian lockouts from international competitions in a variety of sports, where their participants upon further examination later turned out to be entirely clean (and the latest was that what, 99.5% of the examined ones were clean so far, probably better statistics than most other countries had they been thoroughly scrutinized the same way).

    Still, one has to also acknowledge that the rest of the Russian sports community has admitted that they did indeed have some issues with doping control, but also that they’ve done a lot to mitigate these issues, openly and transparently.

  39. Evgeny says:

    Thanks for a wonderful blog entry, Mark! While most of us would prefer to avoid talking to mattoids who have only a smattering of relevant information, in the same time it would be desirable to avoid any reformatting of this blog. Hopefully the said person could find a more matterful occupation, perhaps something involving mattocks as an agricultural worker, or if he’s beyond any hope of recovery, at least he could join the ranks of Russian liberal intelligentsia and enjoy some mattrasses.

    • Evgeny says:

      Oops! Meant to say mattresses… of course.

      • Lyttenburgh says:

        “…he could join the ranks of Russian liberal intelligentsia and enjoy some mattresses.”

        Oh, Evgeny! A reference too “thin” for non-Russians, too “fat” for Russians. 🙂

        Explanation: It’s not a Monty Python “The mattresses sketch” reference. It’s about Victor Shederovich and his proclivities at the momenet when he was present at the “home party” in 2010, when a memetic, ha-ha, “member” of liberast circles Katya “Moo-Moo” Gerasimova had a jolly x-some (the exact number of “participants” is debatable) sex… for which Shederovich was not invited for a “second round”. So he had to compensate. With a mattress. You gonna laugh, but The Times covered it.

        There is video (18+). And photos (some of them with blurred parts). Those who are interested can find them at their leisure. The whole incident became this “But screw one sheep!” moment for Shenderovich, the same way as the tie munching became one for Saakashvili.

  40. Northern Star says:


    Handlanger des Kreml: Sie können sicher sein, dass Sie
    wird einen fairen Prozess erhalten und wird mit würde behandelt werden
    Unser großer Anführer Trumpf hat diese Garantie für Sie.

    “All of this is aimed at creating the political and legal foundations for domestic repression. It is not Vladimir Putin or Donald Trump that the ruling class is worried about, but the emergence of social and political opposition within the United States. Indeed, Warner’s witch-hunt is taking place even as the Democrats are collaborating with Trump, the supposed beneficiary of Russian “meddling,” on a whole series of domestic legislative issues.
    The United States is a social tinderbox. The Democrats are attempting to create a “narrative” that social anger is the product not of unprecedented levels of social inequality, police violence and unending military conflicts, but “fake news” promoted by Russian intelligence. Organizations and individuals who criticize government policy are, according to this logic, the hired agents of foreign “enemies.”

  41. Moscow Exile says:

    Порошенко поручил подать на Россию в суд из-за Керченского моста</ a<

    Poroshenko has instructed that Russia be taken to court over the Kerch bridge
    29 September 2017, 18:59

    Kiev. September 29. INTERFAX-NEDVIZHIMOST — The President of the Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, has ordered that Russia be sued in connection with the construction of the Kerch bridge, says Svyatoslav Tsegolko, press Secretary to the head of state.

    “The President has instructed that Russia be sued because of the environmental harm caused by the construction of the Kerch bridge”, wrote S. Tsegolko on Friday on Twitter.

    As has been reported, in May in Kiev there were opened criminal proceedings the factual violation of the rules of ecological safety during the construction of the bridge across the Kerch Strait (article 236 of the criminal code of the Ukraine). At the end of August, it became known that the Ukrainian side had prepared a request to NASA that it assess the violations of environmental safety during the construction of the bridge.


    • Drutten says:

      Being pretty knowledgeable regarding said bridge, I can safely say that ecological considerations were in fact high priority and ironically enough, make Ukraine’s prior ecological efforts totally dwarf in comparison (hint: there were none, at all, anywhere)

      A funny side effect of the bridge is, lo and behold, that biodiversity in the Kerch straits have increased a lot, and as a result of this the endangered Black Sea dolphins are congregating thereabouts, which is unprecedented.

      This is very similar to what happened with the Öresund bridge between Sweden and Denmark too – the dredging efforts, the artificial island (Pepperholm) and the bridge columns themselves soon proved to be excellent breeding grounds for all kinds of molluscs and shellfish, and once overgrown with barnacles, kelp, seaweed etc (which happens quickly), excellent shelter for fish fry and so on and so forth. They essentially wind up functioning the way artificial reefs do elsewhere (you know, when you deliberately sink a ship or drop a few subway cars into the sea, as they did off NYC a while ago).

      …So bottom line, I guess they realized their totally made-up case about loss of shipping in Mariupol/Berdyansk didn’t hold water, and they went with the next thing on the list. If you go through my comments on the matter, which I’m sure Mark is able to being the administrator and all, you’ll find that they pick off one bullshit thing after another, abandoning whatever was the “major concern” mere weeks before.

      It’s tiring.

      • Drutten says:

        Pardon the many instances of bad English above, I wrote way fast without proofreading it before I hit the submit button. Even if you’re a native speaker of a language close to English and essentially fluent in spoken English, this happens sometimes.

      • Moscow Exile says:

        That brings back memories!

        The last time I was at Öresund there was no such bridge and I was waiting for the ferry to take me from Helsingør, Denmark, to Helsingborg, Sweden.

        That was in 1986. And while I was waiting on the landing stage, this bloke, using a rod and line, landed a whopping great sea trout right next me.

        It made me feel quite peckish seeing it.

      • yalensis says:

        That is excellent news indeed, if the new bridge is becoming a popular hang-out for dolphins!

    • marknesop says:

      When a sugar-daddy is paying your bills, you can indulge yourself in as many fruitless and frivolous lawsuits as you like. If Ukraine keeps on fucking about like it is, one or another of the courts to which it takes its silly pleadings is going to recognize that the bridge is entirely internal to the Russian Federation. Then the shit will hit the fan.

  42. Northern Star says:

    Some of the comments are hilarious:

    “Lance 11 minutes ago
    Are these the ones supplied to the terrorists in Syria or they just get a lower cost tow model .. ?”

    “Stan 52 minutes ago
    It cost appox $80,000 to fire a Javelin. Fired by a guy that won’t make that much in a year. And usually fired at someone that won’t make that much in their lifetime.”


    • Evgeny says:

      That bit makes me wonder whether U.S. journalists are being paid a living wage so they do not starve… “the gunner could play Candy Crush on their cell phone if they wanted to, because unlike most long-range anti-tank missiles, the Javelin is a fire-and-forget system and requires no further input after lunch”.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      Memories of “A bayonet is a weapon with a worker on each end”.

  43. Pavlo Svolochenko says:

    ISIS, ever loyal to their true masters, have launched a general counter-offensive against the southern flank of the SAA in Deir Ezzor.

    As if that were not enough, they have launched a new assault in Homs province.

    The situation has yet to be contained.

    • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

      Ground sources clarify that ISIS moves in Homs are in the nature of suicide attacks, rather than serious attempts to take and hold territory.

    • marknesop says:

      I wonder why they’re fighting so hard for Dier Ezzor?

      On a related note, international blowhard-for-hire Bernard Henry-Levy had a piece in the ultraconservative National Post the other day (they drop it off for free on the Ferry in Vancouver, and I’m always looking for something to read, otherwise I would never read it), all about how we owe the Kurds a homeland – you know, just a little piece of land they can call their own. As you can see, it was widely featured, since this example is actually from the Globe & Mail, although I didn’t read it there.

      That being the case, do we not also owe the Catalans a little piece of Spain to call their own? And, by obvious extension, do we not owe the eastern Ukrainians a little piece of Ukraine to call their own? All these entities are declaring their intentions in referenda of national self-determination…but the west is very selective about which it chooses to champion and which it chooses to pretend never happened.

      I have an idea. Let’s gift the Kurds with a homeland, just outside Paris. What’s this ‘we’ owe, Bernard Henry-Levy?

      • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

        Yet the lion’s share of their efforts is always against the SAA, rather than towards the protection of the oil fields.

        Twitter Kurds and their western fluffers seem not to notice that their YPG has been getting an easy ride from ISIS all these years – they are in for a rude awakening come the outbreak of direct hostilities with the SAA.

    • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

      ISIS sleeper cells used opportunity created by reconciliation agreements to take over Qurayatin:

      No comment.

  44. marknesop says:

    When you first see the top photo of the explosion site, in Ukraine, you will probably snort and say to yourself, “What? They had a pile of ammunition in the middle of a grove of trees?” But probably there used to be a building there; it was just – evidently – vapourized. If you go further down you will see the same view from further out, and can see there were other buildings, but all are burnt to the ground now.

    It seems curious to me, though, to allow such dense forestation in a complex which was supposedly high-security – how are you going to conduct roving patrols to see if there is anyone suspicious hanging about when you can’t even see one building from the next one for trees?

    On further examination, the squares and rectangles left don’t look like the remainders of foundations – they look like dirt pans with berms around them. What do the rest of you think? Others are located in patches of relatively-unburnt forest, yet the entire building is gone, suggesting there never was a building there. Could they have been storing piles of ammunition and rockets in the open?

    It looks like just one huge explosion, very centralized, but there is no debris left at all except trees. No empty casings, no shells of vehicles – nothing. Odd.

    • Lyttenburgh says:

      “When you first see the top photo of the explosion site, in Ukraine, you will probably snort and say to yourself, “What? They had a pile of ammunition in the middle of a grove of trees?”

      It is a majestic view!

      I have a business sugestion for the Ukraine – let them invite here foreign film makers shooting the WWI movies. It looks totally like Verdun!

      • marknesop says:

        Well, well – look at that. They did just have ammunition and ordnance stockpiled in the open; that must have a salubrious effect on its expiry dates.

        The explosions have also taken place at locations where ammunition is just stacked out in the open, where it is vulnerable to attacks from the air. Yuriy Biriukov, a Ukrainian presidential adviser, noted on Facebook that explosions had not taken place where ammunition was stored in warehouses or bunkers.

        Of course they blame the Russians, who are dropping thermite grenades on Ukrainian ammo dumps from drones. They recovered a Russian-made thermite grenade from the site of the Balakliya explosion in 2015. My, that must have been a hard item to come by in Ukraine. Amazingly, the USA has a thermite grenade which performs almost exactly as the Russian one does.

        So the Russians bombed a Ukrainian ammo depot almost two years ago using a drone and a thermite grenade…and Ukraine is still stacking munitions in the open?

        • Moscow Exile says:

          And don’t forget now that Porky has given instructions that Russia be sued for environmental damage as a result of the foul fiends’ construction of the Kerch Strait bridge.

          I wonder how much environmental damage is caused by these seemingly regular Ukrainian ammunition dump explosions, not to mention the pollution caused by the Svidomite tradition of burning old car tyres in public places?

      • Patient Observer says:

        It was mentioned elsewhere that trees may have been intended to attenuate ground level shock waves to minimize damage in the event of an accidental explosion. Sounds sort of plausible however one would think that the trees would be cut back some distance for security/surveillance purposes.

  45. Patient Observer says:

    Mark, was my post deleted regarding the motivation of Matt to post here? If so, and for what it’s worth, I though that the observation was of general interest, plausible and presented in a fairly respectful manner given prevailing standards. i don’t object to its removal if you felt it was inappropriate in some manner but I would appreciate an explanation.

    • marknesop says:

      I deleted it because it was a reply to Matt, and that’s all he needs to get his operation going again – conversation. He can pretend to understand the whole mistake and be reasonable, maybe feed you a few links that are more sympathetic to your worldview, and before you know it he will be painting the whole blog with his rubbish again. It had nothing to do with its content.

  46. Patient Observer says:

    I accept your reason although I may have nailed his main motivation for blogging here (no, not trying to create intrigue). Yes, he will post a few items that most will agree and then back to the rubbish. Enough is enough.

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