Wicked is as Wicked Does, My Mama Says.

Wink
Uncle Volodya says, “Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants. We know more about war than we know about peace, more about killing than we know about living. We have grasped the mystery of the atom and rejected the Sermon on the Mount.”

“Nobody scarce doth any good, yet they all agree in praising those who do. Indeed, it is strange that all men should consent in commending goodness, and no man endeavour to deserve that commendation; whilst, on the contrary, all rail at wickedness, and all are as eager to be what they abuse.”

Henry Fielding, The History of the Adventures of Joseph Andrews and of his Friend Mr. Abraham Adams

Since the onset of the Glorious Maidan in Kiev, it has become fashionable in English-speaking media to indulge in the most hyperbolic rhetoric about how Russia is destroying western civilization. Since the first stirrings of uncompromising resistance from Russia toward western global gerrymandering, with the public release of the uncovered cellphone call between (then) Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs at the United States Department of State Victoria Nuland and (then) Ambassador of the United States to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt – in which the two were heard laying plans for the incoming Ukrainian government before it was ever formed – the western government and media collaboration against Russia has gone into hyperdrive. No lowbrow motivation, no dirty trick and no nefarious or terrifying plot has been too underhanded to be attributed – typically immediately and without any evidence – to Russia. The media condemnation quickly passed hysteria on its way to whatever lies beyond.

The ridiculous British tempest in a teapot, in which the inimitable investigative team of Theresa May and Boris Johnson instantly knew that the Russians had poisoned the Skripals with the deadliest nerve agent known to man – although it somehow failed to kill either of them – and that it had to have been ordered by the Russian government. That proved such an embarrassment that the Skripals remain isolated in the hospital and are not allowed to speak with anyone, while Her Majesty’s Government tries to massage the giant shitball into a narrative which will explain everything. The continued preposterous insistence by American politicians and media that the Russians ‘hacked’ the American elections and made Trump president. Nobody has offered any explanation whatsoever how the Russians managed to hack the election so that Hillary Clinton won the popular vote, while Trump won in the electoral college, which is un-hackable since it is not decided by the casting of a public vote and the delegates are not obligated to vote the way their state did, although they most always do. Amazingly, nobody in America thought that elections might be ‘hacked’ when the Bush administration made the vote in America electronic via voting machines, provided by the company whose CEO vowed to ‘help Ohio deliver its electoral votes’ for Bush. Not even after  Princeton computer science professor Andrew Appel (assisted by graduate student Alex Halderman) hacked into an electronic voting machine which was still in use in four states in less than 8 minutes, demonstrating how it could be altered to skew the vote count as desired and then delete the software at the end of the day so the deception could not be detected. Nobody remembers that, now that Russia is the looming threat to democracy and freedom. Especially now that nobody needs to prove anything.

And, yes, the absurd campaign against Russian international sport, in which the same super-sleuth Canadian sports lawyer who investigated cheating during the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia, and found nothing – until the BALCO scandal exploded two years later and threw the spotlight on epidemic cheating, including 5-time medalist Marion Jones – was tapped to head an investigation into what fellow Canadian Dick Pound had already decided was a Russian state-sponsored doping program. ‘Whistle-blower’ defector Dr. Grigory Rodchenkov told the special investigative commission everything they wanted to hear. Just as an aside, it’s amazing how often people believe liars who tell them what they want to hear, even though every instinct should shout warning; if it seems too good to be true, it almost always is. Anyway, Olympic-standard liar (if lying were an Olympic sport, which the west probably hopes it will be, since they would go in with an advantage) Rodchenkov imploded during testimony at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) hearings, and had to confess under cross-examination that he (1) had never personally distributed to any athlete the performance-enhancing “Duchess Cocktail” he claimed to have invented, (2) had never seen any athlete take it, (3) never witnessed any instructions being given to any coach or athlete to use the Duchess Cocktail, (4) never saw an athlete tamper with a urine sample, (5) could not describe the composition of the supposed Duchess Cocktail, and (6) never personally saw any sample bottles being opened or decapped. Rodchenkov crashed and burned like the Hindenburg, and no western network said a word about it. He was the linchpin of the entire dog-and-pony show, and now that there’s nothing left of it but a scattering of horseshit, the western networks can’t quite take it in. Or don’t want to talk about it.

So, it would be hard to disagree that unsubstantiated foam-spattered hatred against Russia and all things Russian is at an all-time high, leagues beyond what we saw during the cold war. But this…this is a step into the heretofore unknown.

Eli Lake exhorts all who are pure of heart to “Shun Russia to Save the World”.

Before we get started, who is Eli Lake? According to the spot bio which accompanies the article, he’s the former “senior national security correspondent” for the Daily Beast. Those who have had the experience of reading material from that newsmagazine know that such an impressive title is a little like being the Dean of the University of Gormless Dickheads, or the lead guitarist for The Partridge Family. The Daily Beast regularly features commentary by Raving Rainbow Loony Jamie Kirchik, the suspender-snapping spearhead of the vocal American gay community, who also – surprise!! – hates everything about Russia, mostly because he perceives it is opposed to ‘gay rights’. Lake has also offered his unique take on national security and intelligence at the Washington Times – nutty broadsheet owned by the Reverend Sun Myung Moon’s Unification Church, daily circulation about 700,000, endorsed by the likes of Newt Gingrich (who wanted to colonize the moon during his presidential campaign) and Ronald Reagan (the sacred icon of conservatism, who was suspected to be suffering from dementia well before he became America’s oldest president).

As contributor Moscow Exile suggested, he has the standard ‘loathsome pedigree’. I take that to refer to his neocon think-tanky worldview and association with its media platforms rather than his ethnicity. But it is curious, the loathing American Jews have for Russia; and in Lake’s case, his hatred is directed at pretty much everyone who does not agree with his America-über-alles vision – including other Jews. All that is required to attract his ire is to suggest Israel should be held accountable for its behavior, is making a foreign-policy decision it may later be sorry for, or that – as in Greenwald’s case – America is prioritizing Israel’s interests above those of the United States or using America’s muscle to get Israel what it wants, over the objections of weaker states.

Anyway, enough about Eli Lake. I personally think he is a neoconservative wretch, but you are of course free to think what you wish. Let’s get into what he says.

What he says, in summary, is that economic sanctions against Russia are not enough. Congratulations, Eli, on being one of the first Americans to publicly acknowledge that they are not working, in the sense that they have failed (a) to bring Russia to her knees, and (b) to turn the Russian people against their president. So Washington needs a bigger commitment from its vassals. Oops; I meant ‘allies’. Everyone must turn their backs on Russia, and isolate it outside of the Circle of Love and Trust.

The Lake article is also a not-very-thinly-veiled suggestion that Russia should be expelled from all international institutions; chiefly the UN, where Russian and Chinese vetoes have frequently gotten in the way of Washington’s war plans of late. And that’s a serious problem in NATO Neocon Narnia, because the west has rapidly shed all of its soft power, apparently having decided that persuasion is for sissies. It has only naked force left as a lubricant for having its way. Anything that prevents Washington from getting out the whup-ass now leaves it helpless and spluttering, unable to git ‘er done.

Just those two concepts – that Russia and all its people must be voted off the island, so that ‘the world’ will happily consist of just the United States, the United Kingdom, and their BFF’s and those who are too afraid of them to declare themselves otherwise, and that Russia should be shunted out of all international organizations so that the two aforementioned lovebirds can have their way unobstructed – are enough for weeks of conversation and argument. But let’s not back away from the story just yet – there’s a lot more here. And when you take it apart a little, it certainly does not spell “America The Righteous”.

The vehicle Mr. Lake has chosen to pluck at your heartstrings is the Bitkovs – Igor and Irina, and their children, fled from Russia in 2008, hounded and harrassed by the Kremlin all the way, and sought refuge in Guatemala. Surely the long arm of the Russian state could not reach them there. But it did; through the UN’s International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG), which had the Bitkovs thrown in jail. Any jail in which a Western Prisoner Of Conscience is confined is by definition ‘squalid’, so we’ll take that as a given. According to Lake and supporters of the Bitkovs, here’s what happened:

Starting in 2007, the bank VTB and other Russian lenders pressured the Bitkovs to sell their timber business at a much lower price than it was worth. First they demanded full repayment of an earlier loan, most of which was paid off. Then the banks forced a fire sale of the company. In this period the Bitkov family was terrorized. In 2007, their daughter was kidnapped and raped. The family paid $200,000 for her ransom. By 2009 the family was in Turkey and spent $150,000 for new identities and a new life in Guatemala.

Interesting; in western financial practices, if a loan is ‘almost’ paid off, then you don’t have to repay the outstanding amount. So far as I am aware there is no evidence to suggest the Bitkov’s daughter was kidnapped and raped by VTB executives, and that particular crime seems to be a bit of a sidetrack which has nothing to do with the Bitkov’s financial dealings; it may well have been an extortion attempt by criminals toward someone they perceived to be a very rich man. Apart from those observations, the Russian side has a much different take on it.

We should add that former owners of North-Western Timber Company Igor Bitkov and his wife Irina had also considered Latin America a good place to hide from a lender. Having taken a large amount of money in various Russian banks ($17.7m in VTB alone), the company claimed itself bankrupt. However, the Guatemala court found that Bitkov had prudently syphoned off his assets to offshore companies right before the collapse, and then moved his family overseas, too.

If there’s anything the US/UK consortium loves – and encourages – more than a Russian oligarch who takes his money out of Russia and runs with it, I can’t think what it would be. A further clue lies in the forces lining up on the side of the Bitkovs. Check out the notice of the recent hearing in Washington, conducted just two days ago. Now scroll down to the witness list. Look at witness number three. As I live and breathe, William ‘Bill’ Browder.

The theme echoes Lake’s – Russian membership in the UN weakens the UN’s ability to dispense fair and equitable justice; why, it’s getting so you can’t even steal money from a Russian bank and launder it abroad for fun and profit without some two-bit Jimmy-crack-corn UN institution in the boonies putting a stick through your spokes.

Let me just say right now that the only ‘injustices’ in which Bill Browder involves himself, concerning Russia, are those in which political advantage for the west can potentially be realized. He cares somewhere south of nothing whether the party in question is guilty or not, weighing in on cases which are part of the political war against Russia such as the Skripals, Litvinenko, Magnitsky (with whose figurative corpse he has entwined himself so the two can hardly be distinguished as individuals) and so on. If Browder has allied himself with the Bitkovs, their innocence is the least possible concern. More to the point, the United States sees nothing untoward in inserting itself into the judicial process in foreign countries so as to influence the outcome to its own satisfaction.

Which is true to type, did we only realize it. That’s why it is so deliciously comical to see an American conservative describe poor Guatemala as “this small Central American state…being picked clean by gangsters”.

See what picture comes to your mind when you read the following passage:

In 1944, a revolution there overthrew a vicious tyrant, leading to the establishment of a democratic government that basically modeled itself on Roosevelt’s social democratic New Deal. In the ten-year democratic interlude that followed, there were the beginnings of successful independent economic development.

If you thought it was Guatemala they were talking about, you’re right. But if you thought it was the sort of nascent-democracy-pushing-its-green-shoots-through-the-clinkers-of-oppression story that America loves, you could not be more wrong. The revolution which overthrew dictator Jorge Ubico was an honest-to-goodness grass-roots uprising led by university students and labor organizations, the model the revolutionaries adopted was deemed to be “adverse to US interests” because of the “Communist influence…based on militant advocacy of social reforms and nationalistic policies”, and the democratic government which had busied itself with social reforms was itself overthrown by a CIA-sponsored and directed coup. History is sometimes quirky, but it does tend to repeat itself.

Let’s just put our cards on the table, what do you say? Here’s what I’ve got. Washington and London and Eli Lake don’t give a damn about gangsterism in Guatemala. They couldn’t care less about the manufactured “plight of the Bitkovs”. Both are grist for the mill, a means to an end. Because of Russia’s stubborn reliance on international institutions and courts – and, it must be said, its slow but steady realization of justice in some of these venues – it must be denied the credibility conveyed by victory in such institutions. How? By being expelled from them, doubtless accompanied by some moral-high-ground cover story about this action being necessitated by Russian ‘misuse of well-meaning western strongholds of fairness and justice’.

Washington and London want that. Eli Lake and fellow neoconservatives support that. And if you don’t stand against them, you do, too.

 

 

799 thoughts on “Wicked is as Wicked Does, My Mama Says.

  1. Those bastards are a laugh a minute, they really are!

    Суд обязал Россию возместить украинским компаниям потери в Крыму

    Court orders that Russia compensate Ukrainian companies for their losses in the Crimea

    “Naftogaz of Ukraine” has announced that Russia is obliged to pay compensation to Ukrainian companies that have lost their assets, as reported on the company Twitter page.

    “The Hague court has ordered that Russia pay the Ukrainian investors for the annexation of the Crimea”, states the message.

    Naftogaz had filed a lawsuit against Russia in the Hague Arbitration Court with the requirement for compensation for the loss of assets in the Crimea in 2016. In March of this year, the commercial director of the company, Yuriy Vitrenko, said that the amount of the claim made by “Naftogaz of Ukraine” and its subsidiaries amounts to $8 billion, including interest.

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    1. RIA Novosti

      SIMFEROPOL, may 10 — RIA Novosti Crimea. The Russian Federation will not pay “Naftogaz of Ukraine” compensation for the loss of Crimean assets in connection with the decision of the permanent court of arbitration in the Hague. This opinion Senator Sergei Tsekov said in comments to RIA Novosti Crimea, commenting on the win message of the Ukrainian company in the court of the Hague proceedings on the assets in Crimea.

      According to him, all European court decisions are “politically motivated” and “not justified by economic circumstances”. “The political motivation lies in the fact that they actually do not recognize the fact of the reunification of the Crimea with Russia”, said the member of the Council of Federation.

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        1. Sounds like it. This Hague Kangaroo tribunal pulled the same “we’ll conduct a trial with no evidence” shite before in the Yukos case.

          Arbitration tribunals are not courts. Russia should stop participating in these absurd theaters already. Any court that Russia must abide by, Russia first has to recognize by treaty.

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          1. Arbitration tribunals are not courts.

            Exactly!

            The Stockholm court of arbitration is not a court in the legal sense but sets out to arbitrate.

            The Stockholm decision is not legally valid: what they did in Stockholm was rewrite the Gazprom / Naftogaz contract retrospectively so as to reduce the price of gas that Naftogas should pay.

            This ruling was based on an assessment of the economic and social conditions of the Ukraine.

            In other words, the Stockholm ruling implies that contracts are no longer binding and can be voided if the customer is poor or claims he is poor.

            Obviously, this is contrary to contract law and an economic system could not survive under such arbitrary rules.

            The Western mass media likes to shout from the rooftops about the decisions of such “courts” so as to obfuscate those whose lips move at the same time as they are reading silently some yellow press rag. A classic example of this is the “verdict” of the enquiry by a British “court” concerning Russian guilt for Litvinenko’s death — and I write “death” because it has not been proven yet whether he was murdered and probably never will be.

            As regards the Stockholm Gazprom arbitration decision, this can be annulled through a higher court in Sweden, referring to section 33, paragraph 2, of the Swedish law on arbitration courts, which states that arbitration decisions can be annulled if they were taken with a flagrant violation of the principles of Swedish law.

            The Stockholm Arbitration in question “creatively” approached the “take or pay” principle of the Gazprom contract: as applied to “Naftogaz”, this principle was rejected as having been of a “non-market” nature, thereby enabling “Naftogaz” to rid itself of $ 35 billion charges for unpaid gas delivered by Gazprom; then, adding insult to injury, the arbitration “court” fined Gazprom $ 4.6 billion because it had pumped less gas to the Ukraine because it had not been paid for previous deliveries.

            The Stockholm Arbitration Court was, therefore, guided by double standards as regards its adoption of an asymmetric decision on the contract for the supply and transit of gas to Naftogaz of Ukraine.

            Imagine what an arbitration “court” decision would be if, say, a United States utility company had pumped gas to a Mexican gas company and the the Mexicans had refused to pay for the deliveries at the contract price — would the arbitration “court” court cancel the huge back log of payments owed by the Mexican company to the US one because the Mexican economy is in dire straits and, in addition, fine the US company for reducing its deliveries because of non-payment for previous ones?

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            1. Россия не будет исполнять решение гаагского суда о компенсации украинским компаниям за потери в Крыму
              10.05.2018 | 16:52 |

              Russia will not comply with the decision of the Hague court to compensate Ukrainian companies for losses in the Crimea

              According to the Ukrainian company “Naftogaz”, the international arbitration court in the Hague has sided with Ukrainian companies that filed a lawsuit against Russia with a demand for the compensation of losses, which, according to them, they suffered after the reunification of the Crimea with Russia. It should be noted that what is being discussed is the payment $159 million to 18 Ukrainian companies and one person. The Ukrainian side has failed to reveal other details concerning this decision.

              The Russian Federation does not consider itself a party to this litigation in the international arbitration court in the Hague, which ruled on the payment of compensation to a number of Ukrainian companies in connection with the loss of assets in Crimea, said the press Secretary of the President, Dmitry Peskov.

              “Russia was not represented at the court, was not provided with a representative for this trial, so we do not consider ourselves a party to the arbitration process in this case”, said Peskov.

              Deputy Director of the National Institute of Modern Ideology Development, Igor Shatrov, in an interview with RT, has assessed the decision of the Hague court, which ordered Russia to pay the Ukrainian investors compensation after reunification of the Crimea with Russia.

              “It is important to understand that the Russian side was not involved in this action because it believes that the issue of loss of assets of Ukrainian businessmen as a result of the reunification of Crimea and Russia is outside the competence of this court. Therefore, the decision was made without the participation of Russia. It is clear that Russia is to challenge the decision and no payments on this issue will be made because this decision is primarily political, and its translation into the economic sphere suggests that the Ukrainian side is still trying get something — if not in political, then in economic terms — out of any story, even if not the most advantageous for them”, said the expert.

              Kiev has admitted that the Crimean Peninsula is no longer part of the Ukraine. This opinion was expressed by the director of the National Energy Security Fund, Konstantin Simonov when commenting on the decision of the Hague court.

              Konstantin Simonov, in an interview with RT journalists, expressed the opinion that the Ukrainian side recognizes that the Crimea is no longer the Ukraine. Thus, it turns out that Kiev is taking another step towards officially abandoning its claims to these territories.

              “In demanding compensation, the Ukraine has not realized that in doing so it is acknowledging the fact that the Crimea is no longer the Ukraine. If the Ukraine as a state believes that the Crimea is a temporarily lost territory, then what should be paid for? This is not a statement from the Ukraine that the Crimea is its land, but an attempt to bargain. This is a step towards the recognition of the Crimea as being Russian territory”, Simonov said.

              Journalists are that the Russian side will not have to pay Ukraine any compensation. The Hague decision will not affect any further activity of Russian energy companies.

              As noted in the press release of the court in the Hague, the decision was rendered on May 2. Information about its victory in the Hague court was confirmed by the press service of “Naftogaz”. The decision was taken unanimously.

              The judgment states that the responsibility of Russia for the violation of the rights of Ukrainian investors started on March 21, 2014, when Russian President Vladimir Putin gave the nod for the annexation of the Crimea.

              The decision has been the first in history in which Russia is being forced to pay compensation for its actions in the Crimea in the spring of 2014. The lawsuit was filed by 18 Ukrainian companies and one person.

              In the summer of 2017, the court of Arbitration in the Hague had already confirmed its jurisdiction in cases of property relations in the Crimea. Moscow then refused to recognize the decision and began to ignore the case, as pointed out by INFOX.RU.

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              1. The Ukies are just verdict shopping, as expected. These are ones that are easily predictable (as if they were predetermined.)

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  2. “Sharon Marlowe • 3 hours ago
    Netanyahu visits Russia and is given all kinds of respect. Then Israel bombs Syria for two hours. No Russian response. This is beyond suspicious, it looks like Russia is in bed with Israel. This behaviour means to me that Russia may have made a deal with Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the U.S. to allow them to invade Iran without opposition from Russia.”

    Well Stooges..think that Sharon is onto something??

    (Of course the notion that IDF and KSA shtstains could invade Iran is absurd…..)

    http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/05/10/isra-m10.html

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    1. One would do well to remember that the Arab-Israel Conflict is still an ongoing conflict with no resolution. Russia does not, and will not, respond to Israeli attack on Syria because they treat it as part of the Arab-Israel Conflict which Russia is not a party of. Russia was invited by the legitimate government of Syria to help them defeat jihadists, not to aid them in the Arab-Israel Conflict. Certainly, things can change if the attack inflicts casualties among Russian personnel stationed in Syria, and I think Netanyahu is acutely aware of that and he would not want that to happen.

      As for why Netanyahu is still treated with honors in Russia… well, he is a guest. A state guest, and one with important position in his country’s legitimate government, at that. It is only courtesy to treat him like such, as well as inviting him to the Victory Day parade because he happened to be there when the commemoration was held – and this is no ‘special treatment’. Russia habitually invite foreign representatives and/or head of states to attend their Victory Day. Snubbing is something only a petulant child would do. Like certain countries in the West.

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      1. Netanyahu is a mad dog head of a rabid warmongering state-Israel.

        “Russia was invited by the legitimate government of Syria to help them defeat jihadists, not to aid them in the Arab-Israel Conflict. ”

        The jihadists were(are) enabled ,supported and bankrolled by the Israelis,the KSA and the CIA.

        Russia cannot justify her actions or lack of same in the Syrian conflict by appeals to semantics ,hair splitting and distinctions without differences.

        The principals in a war by proxies always KNOW their respective actual enemies.

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        1. Netanyahu and the IDF planned and coordinated the attacks of Syria with the USA.
          Netanyahu was going to Moscow for talks knowing that Israel was going to attack on Wednesday and again on Thursday – Russia looks complicit in this – what is the truth? I don’t know.

          Netanyahu came to Moscow in bad faith knowing what was planned.

          Israel is on the opposite side to Russia in this conflict no matter whether Russia tries to preserve relationships with Israel and Saudi Arabia.
          Those countries don’t care about Russia , they plot and fund jihadis that kill Russians.

          Syria responded to the attacks yesterday on Thursday by firing into the Golan heights – fog of war – it’s not clear what was hit etc.

          Syria is going to keep responding from now on. As they understand that Israel want to escalate against Iran

          What will Russias position be?

          There are talks next week in Astanza

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          1. Perhaps that was Netanyahu’s motivation, but it will not work, and Syria as well as other nations will be well aware that Russia does not support Israel’s goals so long as they involve agitation for wider war and ambitions toward an expanded Greater Israel. Russia would not have agreed to lend military support to Syria to assist in pushing out ISIS – knowing full well at the time that it is a western-supported construct and not in any way a ‘grass-roots rebellion’ of moderates, and that opposing its success would inspire western anger and pushback – if Syria were not a valued ally and Russia was quite willing to just see it rolled over. It is certainly not going to stand aside now and let Israel have its way, and if Netanyahu was in town to warn Russia against further ‘interference’, he probably went away with a flea in his ear and will not be quite so welcome back.

            The Russian response will likely be as it has long been against western meddling – it will not come out overtly in favour of Syria, but will supply what support it needs in order to prevent the western forces from winning. Eventually further meddling will become too costly. It is a good strategy as it imposes costs on the west without giving it the justification it seeks for a wider war.

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      2. Right on center. Russia is in no position to escalate any military conflict. Even after the advances of the last 10 years it is still too weak to take on NATO and start a colonial program abroad. Also, Russia is not hostile to Israel and Jews unlike NATO propaganda would have one believe. Russia cannot be held responsible for all the wrong doing by Israel because of this.

        There has been a slew of hate thrown at Russia recently for not acting like a global cop enforcing law and order and morality. People need to stop using Russia as a source of vicarious achievement and projecting their own desires onto it as if it has some obligation to fulfill them.

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      3. Well said by Greyhog.

        Netanyahu may have snuck into Moscow deliberately during Victory Day parade week to gatecrash the celebrations but as the major political representative of Israel – still a sovereign nation, and he is still the legitimate leader – he is entitled to the treatment appropriate to a visiting foreign representative, no more and no less. Victory Day is a day when states should put aside their differences and squabbles to remember those who sacrificed their lives.

        All this news about Netanyahu being a special guest of honour may be exaggeration on the part of Israeli media for the benefit of the Israeli public. Not their fault though if Western news media report their articles word for word.

        I hope though that Netanyahu was suitably impressed by what the Russian military has to offer.

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    2. Watch the body language of Vladimir Putin carefully in this video as he, Netanyahu and Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić lay the wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier during the Victory Day parade:

      Then watch him during the Immortal Regiment March:

      and then tell us who he respects more.

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        1. He carried a picture of

          Вольфас Лейбович Виленскис

          Volfas Leibovich Vilenskis

          Volfas Leibovich Vilenskis ( August 21, 1919 – January 15, 1992), Hero of the Soviet Union, a Lithuanian of Jewish origin.

          He was a battalion commander of the 249th Infantry Regiment of the 16th Lithuanian Rifle Division of the 2nd Guards Army of the First Baltic Front.

          Major Vilenskis, was awarded the title of Hero of the Soviet Union by decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR on March 24, 1945.

          October 11-13, 1944 near the Lithuanian town of Pagegiai, Major Volfas Vilenskis commanded a battalion of the 249th Infantry Regiment, 16th Infantry Division. With only one company, he made a surprise attack from the rear and broke a German counterattack. Vilenskis killed a large number of Hitlerites with his machine gun and was wounded.

          By decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR on March 24, 1945 “for his skilful command of the battalion and his exemplary performance of command assignments at the front in the the struggle against the Nazi invaders and for displaying courage and heroism” Major Volfas Leibovich Vilenskis was awarded the title of Hero of the Soviet Union Order of Lenin and the Gold Star medal. He was also awarded the Order of Lenin, two Orders of the Red Banner, the Order of Alexander Nevsky, the World War Medal 1st rank, two Orders of the Red Star and a number of other medals.

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  3. I don’t see how they can ‘walk back’ this blatant condemnation of the imbecile.

    “The Trump administration’s withdrawal from the 2015 Iranian nuclear treaty has revealed deep and explosive divisions between Washington and its imperialist allies in Europe. Governments and major media outlets across Europe were virtually unanimous in condemning Trump’s action, calling for the treaty to be preserved, and vowing to defend their business interests against Trump’s threats to impose the “highest level of economic sanctions against Iran.”

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel, British Prime Minister Theresa May and French President Emmanuel Macron issued a joint statement defending the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA), the Iranian treaty’s official name, against Trump. In the statement, the three leaders note “with regret and concern” the US withdrawal from the deal and “emphasise our continuing commitment to the JCPoA.” So long as Iran continues to abide by the restrictions on its nuclear program posed by the JCPoA, they add, “we, the E3, will remain parties to the JCPoA.”

    While demanding that Iran continue to submit to International Atomic Energy Agency monitoring of its nuclear program, Berlin, London and Paris called on Washington not to impose new sanctions: “Iran should continue to receive the sanctions relief it is entitled to whilst it remains in compliance with the terms of the deal.”

    http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/05/10/euro-m10.html

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    1. Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses (SEAD) is usually an indicator that Israel is getting ready to send in its air force. I do not see how it intends to gain and maintain air superiority when the Russian Air Force is also present in the same battle space, but we will have to see.

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  4. I meant to post this on May 9th but time ran away with me….congratulations to all Russians/those in the RF on the Victory Parade and I see that the March of the Immortals attracted still more people compared with last year. Always very moving to watch.

    To coincide with the celebrations, RT are running an excellent series of documentaries called “Remembrance” which are not so much about those who fought in the Great Patriotic War but rather about the revisionism that has been on-going since the end of WW2 but has taken off as if on steroids in the last few years enabled by NATO and the EU. The documentaries include a number of disturbing vox pops with students in various countries who seem to have no idea of the role the Soviet Union in WW2. It also highlights a number of individuals in countries like Austria and Poland who have taken it upon themselves, often at their own expense, to ensure that the sacrifices of the USSR are properly remembered.

    For Patient Observer, Jen and all others who are fans of US policing tactics…after Groundhog Day when a police officer shot dead (on the 2nd attempt) a groundhog who was trying to cross a busy road, check out the number of officers – at least four I think – it took to subdue 79 year old Ray McGovern who was protesting the confirmation of a torturer as head of the CIA. After hauling him out, he was thrown to the floor and with a number of officers sitting on him, one is heard saying “stop fighting”.

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    1. Interestingly, the wailing Kreakly have not started their chorus this year that each and every one of those 10 million plus that took part in the Immortal Regiment parades throughout Russia had taken filthy lucre for doing so from Putin’s regime.

      I should love to post a picture of my 17-year-old daughter at the parade. She has been at the last three and carried at them a placard made by my own hands that bears a picture that I scanned and copied from an old Soviet photograph album that we have.

      I blew up the photograph and printed it out and attached it to the placard. It is a picture of my daughter’s great-uncle Stepan, the elder brother of my wife’s mother.

      Uncle Stepan was killed in battle in 1942. No one knows where his remains lie.

      I still wait in hope for payment off “Vlad”.

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      1. Don’t forget the liberal news-spreaders always have some photos of discarded placards after the event, as if to remind their sneering readers that the ‘remembrance’ only lasts as long as the parade and then the dear old folks’ photos are pegged into the garbage. Oh, and the placards are all too neat and uniform in size and shape to have been hand-made at home; they were issued by the Kremlin and folk were made or paid to carry them.

        Like

    2. Shocking to hear but what do we expect from cowards? Ray McGovern can be proud that 3 to 4 officers were needed to pin him down and even then he was still yelling.

      Like

    1. I think they had better start giving it serious consideration. Because the government of the United States is not Trump; the ‘analysis’ sites seem to have adopted Galeotti’s label, the ‘deep state’, so we’ll use that – the deep state of ideologues and manipulators is not elected, it is appointed and is extremely tenacious about holding on to power. A change of government has no discernible effect, as we have all seen through several administrations; the same people are still behind the scenes, pulling strings, and those people have decided that Europe is expendable in their efforts against Russia and its allies. It would be nice if Europe willingly went along with Washington’s edicts and proclamations, but if they will not then they must be made to. And when they cannot be made to they will be sacrificed, one at a time or all together.

      But you can’t tell people. They have to go ahead and make the mistake in order to learn from it. Thast’s just the way people are.

      Like

  5. Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media

    Authors: Professor Paul McKeigue, Professor David Miller and Professor Piers Robinson

    Key points

    (1) The Skripals were exposed to a phosphoroamidofluoridate compound named A-234, of high purity indicating that it was most likely prepared for research purposes.

    (2) A-234 or similar compounds have been synthesized at bench scale by national chemical defence labs in Russia and the US in the 1990s, and more recently in Iran and Czech. A small quantity of A-234 from a Russian state lab was used in the murder of Ivan Kivelidi and Zara Ismailova in 1995.

    (3) No data on the toxicity of A-234 are available in the public domain. The police statement that the Skripals were exposed through contact with their front door is implausible as there are no known nerve agents that cause onset of symptoms delayed by several hours, and it is improbable that absorption through the skin would cause both individuals to collapse later at exactly the same time.

    (4) Although Russia is one of several countries that have synthesized A-234 or similar compounds, there is no evidence other than Vil Mirzayanov’s* story that these compounds were ever developed (implying industrial-scale production and testing of munitions) for military use. Mirzayanov’s credibility as an independent whistleblower is undermined by his role in a Tatar separatist movement during 2008-2009, backed by the US State Department.

    (5) There are multiple indications that the UK is hiding information:-

    (a) the withholding of the identity of the compound as A-234. For example, the UK statement to the OSCE 12 April 2018 states only that ‘ the name and structure of that identified toxic chemical is contained in the fall classified report to States Parties’. See also this briefing. The Chief Executive of Porton Down, in his statement 3 April, referred to the compound only as ‘Novichok’.

    (b) the withholding of information about its toxicity.

    (c) the issue of a Defence and Security Media Advisory notice on the identity of Skripal’s MI6 handler and the attempt to conceal or deny his role in Orbis Business Intelligence.

    (d) the sequestration of Yulia Skripal.

    (6) The UK government’s case against Russia, stated in a letter to NATO, is based on asserting that “only Russia has the technical means, operational experience and motive for the attack on the Skripals”. Each of these points is open to question:-

    Technical means: it is not seriously disputed that compounds such as A-234 can be produced at bench scale in any modern chemistry lab.

    Operational experience: it is alleged that Russia has a track record of state-sponsored assassination, but this is not enough to support the assertion that “only Russia” could have enough experience to attempt unsuccessfully to assassinate two unprotected individuals.

    Motive: No other attempted assassinations of defectors from Russian intelligence services have been recorded. Even if such an assassination campaign had been ordered, the Russian state would have good reasons not to initiate it in the first half of 2018. In contrast there are obvious possible motives (outlined below) for other actors to have taken steps to silence Sergei Skripal at this time.

    The UK government’s position

    This was summarized in a letter from the National Security Adviser, Sir Mark Sedwill to the NATO Secretary-General on 13 April 2018. Sedwill’s letter made several assertions that were substantiated only by “intelligence”.

    Sedwill’s involvement in the preparation of the now widely discredited dossier ‘Iraq’s Weapons of Mass Destruction’, released in September 2002, calls into question his credibility in making these uncorroborated assertions. The UK government’s case as set out by Sedwill is based on asserting that “only Russia has the technical means, operational experience and motive for the attack on the Skripals”. Each of these points is open to serious criticism:-

    Technical means: it is not seriously disputed that A-234 can be produced at bench scale in any organic chemistry lab.

    Operational experience: it is alleged that Russia has a track record of state-sponsored assassination, but this does not support the assertion that only Russia has the operational experience for such an assassination. On the contrary, the failure of the assassination attempt, against two unprotected individuals, suggests that the perpetrators lacked the operational experience and competence that one would expect of state-directed assassins.

    Motive: no other attempted assassinations of defectors from Russian intelligence services have been recorded. If the Russian state had decided to begin assassinating these defectors, it is unlikely that they would have chosen to start in March 2018, just before the presidential election and three months before the FIFA World Cup. However, as noted above, it is possible to identify motives for other actors to silence Sergei Skripal at this time.

    * Vil Sultanovich Mirzayanov — ethnic Tatar, born Bashkatorstan in a family that had had for 200 years a tradition, until his father Sultan broke it, that the eldest son became a Muslim cleric.

    Of course, as regards the statement made above that “No other attempted assassinations of defectors from Russian intelligence services have been recorded”, there will be outraged cries of “Litvinenko!” who was “very likely” murdered on the orders of the Evil One, though that loser was not a security agent, albeit employed by the FSB, but more of a law enforcement officer. In fact, he was an absolute nobody who succeeded in irritating dangerous people in London after his having been a whinging pain in the arse in Russia.

    Like

    1. It was Uzbekistan where the chemical labs were based. These labs were dismantled by the USA in the 1990s. Many scientists went to the USA also.

      This was reported at the time by the bbc – though they have amnesia about it now.

      Like

  6. After having observed for most of my adult life these mendacious shites, my so-called fellow countrymen (Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson FFS! As I often say to my hosts: I’m not from London — I’m English!), the British political class, the British “elite” and “privileged”, together with their fawning, arse-licking acolytes, vomiting forth their endless lies, I have no reservations whatsoever of applying for Russian citizenship.

    Trouble is, though, that the shitwit Russian bureaucrats here have now made this desire of mine almost impossible to fulfill.

    Like

  7. «Лживые слова»: что менял по ночам Родченков
    СК передал WADA данные о лживости слов Родченкова о подмене допинг-проб
    Эльвира Харунова 11.05.2018, 11:14

    “Lying words”: what Rodchenkov changed at night
    Investigative Committee has handed over to WADA data on the falsity of Rodchenkov’s words about the substitution of doping samples

    11.05.2018, 11:14


    Pants on fire?

    The Russian Investigative Committee (ICR) has sent data to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) refuting the “false testimony” of informer Grigori Rodchenkov about doping in domestic sport. In particular, the ICR proves that the runaway chemist could not have replaced the Russians’ samples at night during the Sochi Olympics. One of the sportsmen who is a victim of Rodchenkov’s testimony, bobsleigher Alexander Zubkov, has already announced his intention to sue.

    Like

  8. The latest Moscow Times weekly bulletin jibe:

    In a first, Putin arrived to the ceremony in a Russian-made car. The giant presidential limousine strangely resembled a Bentley. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, they say?

    Is that a Bentley I see above … or a Chrysler?

    Like

    1. Wot, the Russians are imitating the Germans? Because Volkswagen owns Bentley, has since 1998, and it is about as British as bratwurst. But as long as we’re talking about imitation being the sincerest form of flattery, the Jaguar symbol used to be the letters “SS” in the center of a circle surrounded by a pair of wings which looked very much like the German imperial eagle. It was the trademark of the Swallow Sidecar Company, but apparently the British chose not to flatter the Nazis by imitating them, and changed the logo to a leaping Jaguar.

      http://thenewswheel.com/behind-the-badge-the-ferocious-jaguar-emblem-and-what-it-represents/

      The amazing technical innovators of Britain would be better occupied designing a booster rocket engine to replace the RD-180, now that Musk is apparently losing both his marbles and the confidence of investors.

      Like

      1. Is it the fashion now in US English to say that one “arrives to some place or event”, whereas the tea-sipping, limp-wristed, faggot British, like what I am, say “arrive at a place or an event”?

        The MT jibe that I copied and pasted above reads “Putin arrived to the ceremony”.

        Like

    2. Actually, they both have four wheels, four doors two head lights, a large radiator grill as do about one million other vehicles.: Here is the Russian limo:

      Like

      1. The three longitudinal line motif is suggestive of the St. George ribbon. The grill conveys a sense of power and determination. The wheel look understated but that could be for functional reasons. I am pleased that the headlights are not framed with those annoying “look at me” LEDs.

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          1. Youtube linking all sorts of Nazi drivel about the Aurus at the end. “Stolen Rolls Royce”, Hitler Putin’s secret sedan, blah, blah, blah. (BTW, Ukr Nazis love to paint Russians as Nazis; it is a pathetic attempt at guilt transfer).

            Like

            1. Lenin had a Rolls-Royce, though: In fact, he had a few of them — as many as 9, some say.

              The custom made model shown below was acquired in 1922. It’s located at the Gorki Mansion estate just south of the Outer Moscow Ring Road.

              Most of Vovochka’s swag used to be housed in the Lenin Museum, now part of the State Historical Museum, which museum buildings back onto Red Square.

              It’s a converted Silver Ghost. Just the job for nipping to McDonald’s mid-winter with the kids all piled in at the back.

              The Rolls Royce was converted at the Putilov factory. Having been converted, the car only did about 12 miles an hour.

              The Roller below was Lenin’s usual runaround, albeit armour-plated:

              Lenin — no, the CPSU — bought the above Rolls Royce model Silver Ghost in 1922 as well, for £1,850.

              Only one owner: only used for 2 years, because he croaked in 1924.

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              1. Lenin needed an armored vehicle, more for safety reasons than CDOC (=Conspicuous Display Of Consumption). Since assassins were actually out to get him.

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                1. In fact, what he was articulating is the Jeep Cherokee, but it hadn’t been developed yet. But with thicker windows and a bigger engine to compensate for the extra weight. The Roller simply does not have the ground clearance in case you need to escape across an open field, and has no winch in case you get stuck in a mudhole whilst proceeding to a forest picnic.

                  Like

  9. Кудрин согласился возглавить Счетную палату
    Алексей Кудрин согласился возглавить Счетную палату, сказали три источника РБК. Накануне бывший министр финансов пообещал подумать над предложением единороссов возглавить ведомство
    11 May 16:20

    Kudrin agreed to head the Accounting Chamber
    Aleksei Kudrin has agreed to head the Accounting Chamber, said three sources of RBC. Yesterday, the former Minister of Finance promised to think over the proposal made by United Russia to head the department

    “Many, if not most Duma delegates do not share the ideas that have guided Aleksei Kudrin in his work,” said Duma deputy speaker Peter Tolstoy (United Russia), commenting on Kudrin’s candidacy (a quote from the press service). But, Tolstoy added that the post of the head of the Accounting Chamber does not imply any political activity on the part of the reformer, where certain political views could play a role, since auditors control the expenditures of state funds on behalf of the Duma, and in this sphere “Kudrin brilliantly has proved himself when working as a member of the government” …

    Deputy Director of the Centre for Political Conjuncture Oleg Ignatov called Kudrin’s agreement to take this post a “mistake”. According to Ignatov, it is unlikely that the president will expand the powers of the Accounting Chamber. And from the position of an external expert, Kudrin could have had a greater impact on economic policy and the development of reforms. “His opinion will always be heard in Russia and the West. And now he will be more restrained in public utterances”, argues Ignatov. Remaining outside power and not “dissolving in the bureaucratic vertical”, Kudrin would have had more opportunities to return to high office, especially in a crisis situation, the expert concluded.

    His opinion will always be heard in Russia and the West” — by liberals and Western shits who really have the best interests of Russia at heart …..

    Kudrin would have had more opportunities to return to high office, especially in a crisis situation” — which crisis situation liberals and Westerners have for years been trying their damnedest to create in the hopes of toppling the vile Putin “regime”.

    Like

        1. Yes, I was being sarcastic. All the flutter a week or so ago was that Kudrin had been offered a very important post where he would be a big noise in policymaking, and was Putin crazy, while the liberal sites were electrified with joy.

          Like

            1. I’m kind of grooving on the irony – Kudrin has an important post despite being ‘an outspoken Putin critic’, but he doesn’t really get any say in how the money is spent. Meanwhile, how dare the west suggest the ‘Putin regime’ is corrupt, when one of its own liberal sons is doing the accounting, and said never a word about corrupt transactions? Could they have been wrong about him all along? And through it all, if Kudrin diverts so much as a dozen rubles and is caught, he can be fired in a dramatic anti-corruption proceeding. To me it spells win/win.

              I think the biggest risk is that Kudrin will slip financial information to the west which might reveal Russian vulnerabilities, or that if he actually does find corruption, he will leak it to the west first so they can make a big splash in the papers with it. But he could be sacked for that, too, and I imagine they will be watching him pretty closely for that sort of western worship.

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                1. Yes, he certainly could, but I submit he would only do it unwittingly. He would have to be convinced the intelligence was genuine. He would not betray his American friends who think so highly of him.

                  Like

              1. The accounting chamber is basically the state’s auditor and its main function is to make sure that public money is spent properly and not stolen. With Kudrin being a long-time critic of the state’s corrupt practices, could his appointment be about making him put his money where his mouth is? And if he makes the mistake of covering up for his pals stealing money from the state he will be revealed as being corrupt himself and fired, and that could be the end of him. So, it seems the only way for him to do this new job is do it well and actually fight corruption, and on the side of the government no less.

                Like

                1. That’s really very clever and sophisticated thinking on the part of Moscow: to put someone like Kudrin with known neoliberal political / economic opinions and a reputation for mouthing off about bureaucratic corruption in a position where he is forced to live up to the principles and ethics he professes to follow and moreover a position where he cannot influence policy and is under close watch. I doubt that few other governments would be as cunning: China and Japan perhaps (both countries would be more po-faced and act more innocent and surprised) and maybe Britain once upon a time (but not now, not with the current generation of idiots and the tarantula owner) but I can’t think of any others.

                  Like

    1. The Accounting Chamber: sounds like the Kremlin’s equivalent of the attic in the mansion in those 19th-century Victorian novels where a woman marries into a rich and respectable family with a dark secret and that dark secret bangs around in the attic during the day and at night goes wandering on the roof-tops and talks in gibberish that spooks the bejesus out of everyone but no-one dares to say what it is.

      I believe that in Japan, companies and government bureaucracies do (or did) something similar: they give the unwanted person a position with a salary and a desk beside the window. Duties include looking out the window and doing puzzles.

      Like

      1. Japan is like that from my experience. A fairly large company that we worked with was proud of the fact that they had not fired a single employee in their 80+ year history.

        True, firing people is very difficult given the virtually non-existent social safety net in the US. But, it can be best for the employee as the usual root cause is a poor fit between ability and job requirements. This results in stress unhappiness in the employee and creates frustration in coworkers.

        The exception is for those who stole (from the company or other employees) or threatened violence.

        Like

        1. The best defense against employees being fired is a strong trade union. That’s why management executives loathe them and why tandems of business executives and their political friends work so hard at union-busting. The downside of unions is it also makes it hard to fire employees who are just cruising on minimum effort and trying to rack up pensionable time. But employees can either be at the mercy of a union, or the mercy of management. Which is motivated entirely by profit, and likely to load as much work onto employees as they will bear?

          Like

  10. «Политический труп» Навальный не привлек внимание общественности даже своим судом

    “Political corpse” Navalny has not attracted public attention, even when in court.

    Today, Navalny appeared once again at the Moscow Tver district court, where two administrative charges were made against Aleksei, who is accused of organizing unauthorized protest actions.

    Apparently, hoping that a crowd of journalists would be there at the entrance to the building, Lyosha purposefully arrived late, but the desired effect never came off because there were just a few unimportant media representatives there.

    So as to understand how things were, here was the courthouse scene in 2013:/i>

    And here is how it was today:

    In the end, the judge made the decision to postpone the hearing until May 15 in order that witnesses be present in the court. Also at the next meeting, a video of the Pushkin Square rally shall be presented as part of the process.

    And if earlier all the news was ablaze with reports about Navalny’s court appearances, now there were no live broadcasts. Yes, even Lyosha’s team and hamsters did not whine there about the fact that their leader was being treated with prejudice…

    In General, this was a complete failure! Lyosha has slid to a new low: he desperately tries to cling on to all and sundry, but it does not help him, because he is no longer of any interest: Navalny is a “political corpse”, which no PR can help, and he fully knows this..

    And who would doubt that this is so if he openly mocks folk? Thus he has written that those who did not come to his unauthorized rally are second rate people:

    And all these appeals, threats and insults are solely his responsibility: after all, following such words, the number of Navalny supporters has become even smaller. So the Navalny “caste” now consists of few people who are, in fact, just dunderheads.

    It is all over for Lyosha and it is strange that he himself has still not lost his self-respect — though maybe he has lost it, because he himself perfectly understands that he is no longer of interest or of significance to anyone.

    Like

  11. Are there really Nazis in Ukraine? Well, gosh; liberal luvvie and self-loathing Russian reporter Anna Nemtsova says there are.

    https://www.thedailybeast.com/nazi-salutes-and-fascist-chic-put-ukraines-jews-on-edge?source=articles&via=rss&yptr=yahoo

    Those who argue it’s all overblown say that the wearing of Nazi symbols and tattoos is just a lark, a fashion statement, and the zigging and shouting of white-supremacist dogma is just a few of the lads and lasses getting together in a sort of club to have some innocent fun; totally harmless.

    Some of the lads and lasses got together in Odessa recently for an ill-timed march – just a couple of days before the Victory Day event commemorating the defeat of the Nazis – at which the head of the Odessa branch of Right Sector, Tatiana Soikina, proclaimed, “We are sure that we can put things in order, so Ukraine will belong to Ukrainians and not to Yids, not to oligarchs, glory to Ukraine!” I would submit that bodes ill for their half-Jewish all-oligarch president, who does not have a lot to say on the subject, but who likely has no plans to remain in Ukraine after his reign hath ended, and that judgment may well come right early. But what of the leading contender to replace him, an ethnic Russian who could not speak a word of Ukrainian before she took up politics?

    Meanwhile, those who marched with the Immortal Regiment will be cheered to know their ancestors died so that Nazi regalia could one day become a fashion statement. Hell of an investment, Europe – how’s it coming along, do you think? Almost ready for full membership and voting rights? Come on – who dares, wins, isn’t that what they say?

    Like

    1. Well, the lede, of course, is that anti-Kremlin propagandist Nemtsova FINALLY admits that the Nazis are rampaging throughout the Ukraine!
      Maybe this is the first “swallows” of the Russian-Jewish diaspora admitting they backed the wrong horse?
      (Too good to be true?)

      Like

      1. I’m sure it’s too good to be true, and she probably just felt the pressure of a deadline but had nothing to write about except the same old crap. She’ll be back bashing away in a week or so.

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    1. (1) The sinister background music, if I am not mistaken, is the “ballroom dance scene” from Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliette ballet.
      (2) Nice to see Ukrainians (instead of Great Russians) picked as the thuggish comic-book baddies. Give them a taste of the Westie medicine!

      Like

      1. I’m sure it will be temporary; the Ukrainian diaspora will react with outrage – we told you there are no Nazis in Ukraine, you are making us tired of telling you that Ukraine is a super country just waiting for western money pouring in to make it total greatness, and now we must do it all over again and persuade you there are no gangsters in Ukraine, either. And before you even get started – no oligarchs. Ukraine is just honest good people wanting to be rich like everyone in the west. And no Russians.

        Like

    2. The Simpsons can’t really portray Banderastan as it actually is – admitting that Banderastan is a Nazi state is forbidden; and even if the animators were allowed to be accurate, people could be offended at treating the new Nazi menace in a satirical way (because it could be viewed as trivialising a very real danger) – so portraying Ukraine as being a gangster-ruled Mafia state is the next best thing.

      Like

          1. Besides, the haircuts on the goons are wrong – they’re ought to shaven-headed, or else have close-cropped black hair that makes them look like Groisman clones.

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          2. Oh well, I never watched The Simpsons anyway.

            I’d say that after 20+ years, the show has probably run out of ideas and is resorting to outlandish PC antics to stay “relevant”.

            Like

            1. 20 years ago they were running out of ideas. I don’t know how to describe them now.

              Ukrainians have made an appearance in one or two things over the years (Seinfeld, the awful Italian Job remake, Payday 2). Given how many of these portrayals are mobsters, I don’t think it’s down to diaspora lobbying.

              Like

            2. Neither did I. Same goes for South Park, about which I often see stuff written.

              Is my life hollow because of this?

              I don’t think Coca-Cola and McDonald’s is anything to write home about either.

              Does that make me anti-American?

              Like

          1. I wouldn’t overthink it – God knows that the Simpsons writing staff these days doesn’t, and the two countries look at sound pretty much the same to outsiders.

            It’s probably why the Ukraine has never been able to rouse much enthusiasm in most quarters.

            Like

  12. Коллеги по сцене отреагировали на русофобские высказывания Скрипки
    01:00 12.05.2018

    Colleagues react on stage to Skrypka’s Russophobic comments

    Yet another vyshyvanka clad Ukrainian knobhead on the loose:

    He caused something of a scandal at a concert in the Hague the other day (he is a musician, allegedly) by saying:

    It’s nice here in Holland, in Europe, in the Hague — to speak, where Russia shall soon be on trial“.

    Some colleague musicians walked off the stage, and about one-third of the audience walked out as well.

    He later apologized, admitting that he had spoken too emotionally and had “blurted out” the phrase that insulted part of the audience.

    But his apology was only a shallow one, for he then added that those in the audience who had left were only Russians.

    The dickhead in question is a certain Oleg Skrypka, soloist leader of the rock band “Vopli Vidopliassova“.

    He has already caused scandals through his big gobbed, oh-so-funny Russophobic comments. In April of last year, Skrypka said that Ukrainians who cannot learn the state language have a low IQ and need to be settled in a ghetto.

    These words of his caused a public outcry both in the Ukraine and in Russia.

    The head of the Ukrainian Interior Ministry, Arsen Avakov, in turn called Skrypka “disgusting”.

    Avakov clearly has a high IQ, for although being a Banderastan government minister, he is the one who argued with that Georgian idiot and former governor of Odessa province about which of the two was more “Ukrainian”.

    Avakov was born in Azerbaijan to an Armenian family that moved from the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic to the Ukraine Soviet Socialist Republic when the present Yukie Minister of the Interior was 2 years old.

    Like

    1. Am I alone in thinking that, maybe, many Europeans are getting — how should I phrase it — pissed off with the Ukraine and some types that constitute that former Soviet Republic’s population?

      Like

    2. Sorry, but there is some mistranslation here which affects the overall meaning of the piece.
      Skripka’s colleagues did not walk off the stage in protest. (would have been nice, but didn’t happen)

      The headline should be translated as: “Skripka’s Performing Colleagues React to his Russophobic Statements”. The “reactions” did not occur “on stage”, they are just his “stage colleagues” or “performance colleagues” from the past.

      Their reactions occurred later, in statements to the press. That’s what this piece is, it’s a reporter interviewing Skripka’s old colleagues to get their reactions to his latest antics.

      Like

      1. What I translated was: “Colleagues react on stage to Skrypka’s Russophobic comments“.

        What I wrote below the translated headline was my summary of the article.

        I did not translate the article.

        The only words from the article that I translated into English were the ones that Skrypka uttered on stage, causing a reaction amongst his colleagues and some of the audience, namely: “It’s nice here in Holland, in Europe, in the Hague — to speak, where Russia shall soon be on trial”.

        I just surmised that they walked off: I did not translate that they walked off stage.

        Nowhere in the article does it say that.

        I just took it that their reaction was to leave the stage.

        Like

        1. Is it accurate that about a third of the audience walked out? Somebody must have, or he would not have remarked that it was only Russians who left. And if true, it certainly says something about the ideology of numbskull Ukrainian musicians if they are willing to lose a third of their audience to pursue a “Ukraine for Ukrainians” goal.

          Be careful what you wish for, assrocket. You might just get it. Including in terms of trade – Ukraine for Ukrainians. Bung the same hryvnias around the country for a decade, see how you like it.

          Like

          1. Yes that’s what RIA Novosti says what happened, though I misunderstood the headline, in that I thought his colleagues reacted there on stage when he made his Russophobic statement.

            There are quite a few media articles about this Svidomite musician. It seems he’s a bit of a berk.

            МОСКВА, 12 мая — РИА Новости. Коллеги по сцене солиста украинской рок-группы “Вопли Видоплясова” отреагировали на слова музыканта о том, что из-за его русофобских высказываний с концерта в Гааге ушла треть зрителей.

            …because of his Russophobic remarks at a concert in the Hague, one-third of the audience left.

            Like

            1. Yes, exactly.
              I am really not trying to be a dick, but I AM a bit of a stickler about correct translation.
              It was the incorrect translation of the words Коллеги по сцене that led to the rest of the mistake.
              These were his [former] “colleagues of the stage”.
              Not colleagues who happened to be ON the stage at that particular time.
              It’s all about the prepositions! (That should be the title of a song…)

              Like

    3. The best thing that could happen to that nation that likes to go about in its embroidered nightshirts would be for the EU to take over its management and suck the life out of it, so that it is just a net raw-materials exporter at bare subsistence level. Good fucking luck shopping around for debt forgiveness for it, so Yurrup could forget about making a progressive economic paradise of it like it did of Poland – it’d be the usual smash-and-grab operation after the west has once again read from a script written by starry-eyed ideologues and then carried out the instructions of ruthless profiteers.

      Maybe it’s time to have another look at how well the west is actually doing at moving Ukrainians toward farting through silk and striding streets paved with gold. Nothing like a cold dose of facts in the face to remind people that not everyone lives like goose-stepping rock singers, and by my reckoning the GDP in Ukraine today is about half what it was in the quarter that the nationalists realized their lifelong dream, and plunged the country into glorious anarchy.

      https://tradingeconomics.com/ukraine/gdp

      Just in case my math skilz are completely out of whack, let me quote from the site: “GDP in Ukraine averaged 87.52 USD Billion from 1987 until 2016, reaching an all time high of 183.31 USD Billion in 2013 and a record low of 31.26 USD Billion in 2000.”

      So for those who have a hard time matching up emotional rhetoric and economics, Ukraine’s GDP hit a record low less than 10 years from its achievement of independence from the Soviet Union – despite all its debts having been absorbed by Russia as the inheritor of the former USSR – and a record high the final year of its association with the dirty Moskali, just before its new bestest friends cut its GDP and currency value in half and failed to find anyone foolish enough to invest his/her money in the country. The same new friends who are now aiming to tip it over into complete ruin just before abandoning it in the hope that Russia will take it on and fix it up at its own taxpayers expense.

      It’s often said that the great success of Ukrainian nationalism is in making Russians and Ukrainians hate each other. I submit its success is even broader than they imagine – it’s making other countries hate Ukrainians, too.

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      1. To be fair, total GDP isn’t a great way to measure economies. There are three major problems with using it in Ukraine’s case. Firstly, Ukraine’s population is falling, which means that GDP will fall faster than GDP per capita, which is more closely related to people’s actual living standards. Secondly, accounting for inflation makes a big difference. Once you do that, it actually turns out that Ukraine’s economy has never gotten back to the level it was at in 1990. Thirdly, it’s better to use Purchasing Power Parity than market dollars, since wide fluctuations in exchange rates can occur without necessarily having domestic prices keep pace. In Ukraine’s case, a lot of its apparent economic decline is actually just a function of the exchange rate. To make all these adjustments, the best thing to do is to use constant 2011 international dollars and look at GDP per capita. “Constant” dollars accounts for inflation, and “international” dollars accounts for exchange rate fluctuations. Once you look at it that way, the news for Ukraine’s economy is bad, but not apocalyptic (See the World Bank Data site here https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GDP.PCAP.PP.KD?locations=UA). Ukraine’s GDP per capita was about 8% lower in 2016 than it was in 2013 (The World Bank doesn’t report figures for 2017 yet, but most reports indicate the Ukrainian economy gained about 2% that year). That’s a significant economic hit, but it’s certainly not the 50% drop that current price total GDP figures would suggest. Of course, Ukraine has received a lot of economic assistance, which makes its performance even less impressive, but on the other hand, it’s also dealing with a civil war, so its poor economic performance, while disappointing, isn’t a matter of pure incompetence. The really amazing (and depressing) story about Ukraine’s economy is that, in 2008, its post-Soviet peak, its 2011 constant international GDP per capita was $8740, a full 16.5% lower than its 1990 level of $10,464. That’s a record of economic failure, under various different governments and foreign orientations, unmatched in Europe.

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        1. True enough; total GDP is not the most comprehensive barometer of national health. Nonetheless, the larger point that Ukraine is not doing better since the Glorious Maidan and its embrace of Europe, and is rather a great deal worse off, is inescapable. And 2% of GDP is just about exactly the amount Ukraine adds to its budget from transit fees gleaned off the Russians for transit of Europe’s gas through Ukraine. No transit fees, zero growth. Unless, of course, that kind of money comes in from somewhere else. I’m afraid I don’t think that’s very likely, though.

          Speaking of Nord Stream II, the always-interesting Kenneth Rapoza is betting Europe will ignore American sanctions, and points out that threats from Washington are not stopping its construction. Mention of potential liability on the part of European businesses by simply doing an exchange into American dollars – which happens every time such businesses use SWIFT for a transaction, even if it’s only for about a second – to American fines makes me wonder if such businesses might consider (a) diversifying away from American currency use, and (b) using Russia and China’s SWIFT alternative for international transactions. That would be a serious kick in the pants for the greenback.

          https://www.forbes.com/sites/kenrapoza/2018/05/10/prediction-europe-will-ignore-washington-sanctions-on-russian-pipeline-nord-stream-ii/#78406f7e5f4b

          Alternatively, SWIFT can be circumvented as simply as not using it.

          As it turns out, many Iranian banks have circumvented the SWIFT sanction in an almost embarrassingly simple way. Instead of using the SWIFT system to send and receive their payment orders, they simply pick up the phone or send an email. Yes, it is less efficient and takes a bit longer to do, but it works just as well and there’s nothing that SWIFT or anyone else can do to prevent banks from communicating directly with one another. Chalk this extremely simple workaround up as another victory for the concept of the “peer-to-peer economy” that we talked about in these pages in recent weeks. When people (or organizations or institutions) can communicate directly, instantaneously and globally, the need for centralized bureaucracies like “SWIFT” or “CIPS” disappears just as assuredly as the horse-and-buggy or the zeppelin disappeared with the advent of the modern car or airplane.

          https://www.corbettreport.com/chinas-swift-alternative-and-the-engineered-death-of-the-dollar/

          That site is a bit rolly-eyed on the subject of the dollar, as it is not about to disappear any time soon and will be an important currency for as far out as we can see. However, it may lose a considerable amount of its leverage as a means to threaten and intimidate other countries. The CIPS did indeed go live in 2015, with 19 international banks selected to participate, including Chinese subsidiaries of Citibank, Bank of America, HSBC and Deutsche Bank.

          http://treasurytoday.com/2015/10/banks-herald-the-arrival-of-cips-ttti

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  13. There is some mockery on the net now at the expense of Russia (nothing new there!) following the Israeli publication of a video that shows the destruction of an anti-aircraft missile defence system of Russian production by Israeli Defence Forces, when Iranian facilities in Syria were attacked by 28 warplanes that fired more than 60 missiles at various targets.

    The video shows how one of the missiles, without meeting any resistance whatsoever, hits a Russian manufactured “Pantsir” at the Mezze airfield near Damascus.


    A Pantsir missile complex

    The video also clearly shows four people who are standing near the missile system. One of them suddenly runs away from where he was standing, heading for a Russian “Kamaz” truck, right at the moment when the missile hits its target.

    From Aleksandr Kots of Komsomolskaya Pravda:

    Стало известно, почему «Панцирь-С1» не отразил израильскую атаку
    В Сети опубликовано фото комплекса после удара [видео]
    12 May 10:50

    It has become clear why a “Pantsir-S1” did not repel an Israeli attack
    On the net there has been published a photo of the unit taken after it had been hit

    To tell you the truth, at first I assumed sloppiness on the part of the Syrian anti-aircraft battery crew who, instead of sitting on duty in the anti-aircraft battery complex, were having a smoke somewhere. But on the net there has been posted a photo of the “Pantsir” unit after its having been hit by a rocket, and it clears up a lot of things. In the picture [below – ME] there are a few captions in Arabic. The first reads: “All the missiles have been fired”. And this is clearly visible because of the sooty flame tubes. “The radar is not in combat position”. Well, that is on the conscience of the experts. Next: where the rocket struck. And finally, the authors of the picture draw attention to the fact that the hydraulic strut installation (which keeps the unit in a stable position whilst firing) is raised.

    Going by these details, the “Pantsir” had expended all its ammunition (having possibly destroyed more than one of its targets) when it was hit, and was in a stowed mode. The two 30-mm cannons were silent, apparently for the same reasons. Perhaps the machine was preparing to go off to reload, namely the Israeli missile flew towards an unarmed system that was unable to offer any resistance to attack.

    This, does not mean, of course, that questions should not be raised concerning the crew of this unit and the organization of air defence by this unit. Why, during its period for reloading, was an unarmed “Pantsir” not covered by other air defence systems? I do not exclude that there was an element of slovenliness here.

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    1. No system will be safe if it is in the hands of incompetents. Clearly the Syrian operators of this system were incompetent. If it was out of weapons, then they should have parked it anywhere other than in the middle of a runway. They have such shelters all around their military airports already.

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      1. Yes, that seems a valid criticism. They probably wanted the best unobstructed field of fire for engagements, but what might happen if they exhausted their ammunition should have occurred to them.

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    2. A reasonable conculsion is that particular unit was targeted by numerous missiles to force it to expends all of its ammunition. As noted above, other units should have provided overlapping coverage. Then again, the operators were not highly trained Russians nor was that unit a part of an integrated air defense system. The Syrians need more training.

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      1. And this is precisely the sequence by which new tactics evolve. While the western missile-makers can argue “You need more missiles”, the Russians can argue “You need more Pantsirs”. Or they can play around with salvo size to determine the minimum-sized burst which will reliably take down an incoming missile, or increase the capacity of the magazine, or increase the defensive-missile capacity or set up a proper redundant defensive system with overlapping coverage. But nobody will have a clue where to proceed until we get a reliable and trustworthy account of whether western missiles are actually being shot down, and if so, how many. The west’s history of lying suggests it is lying now, but we can’t be sure at present.

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        1. The best defense is to attack the missile carriers. An analogy to the current situation in Syria is a boxing match in which one boxer is allowed only to block/slip punches but not permitted to strike the opponent.

          For what it is worth, I have no doubt that Russian claims are much closer to the truth than Western claims based on circumstantial evidence as well as the history of MSM depictions of Western military successes.

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          1. The trouble with that is it is what the west hopes will happen, and which will in turn give it an excuse for war. If the missile carriers fire from Syrian airspace, they are fair game, and Israel and its American big brother would have a hard time arguing Syria has no right to self-defense at the same time they argue Israel has all the rights to ‘defend itself’ when that ‘defense’ involves attacking other people on their own land. But the Israeli jets often launch from contiguous airspace, such as Lebanon.

            That being the case, Russia ought to consider arming Hezbollah with S-300’s or 400’s. Perhaps even suggesting it might would be enough. I am pretty sure Hezbollah would not hesitate to shoot down Israeli jets in Lebanon’s airspace, and would probably welcome the opportunity. Thus, Israel’s energetic ‘defending itself’ would result in greatly upgraded armaments in surrounding countries. Which, when you think about it, is exactly what NATO is trying to do to Russia.

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            1. If Israeli loses air dominance leaving its army to do the fighting; its over PDQ.. Need to fire up the nukes if the US /NATO does to come to the rescue.

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        2. Doesn’t the missile appear to have a relatively low velocity? Assuming that the camera is not varying magnification in its final approach and the video playback was in real time,it would seem that the closing velocity would be a few hundred miles per hour as a guess.

          That missile should have been easily shot down by even a much less sophisticated system in such an engagement. Not denying it was a successful attack but the significance is low.

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          1. The IAI Harop is a loitering suicide drone. It just flies about waiting for a target, for example an expended missile system like the S-1 it hit. Back in the mid- 1990s, the Israelis sold the predecessor ‘Harpy’ to the Chinese which really pissed of the USA.

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

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            1. If that were the weapon used, it would explain the apparent leisurely attack as the top speed is reported as 155 mph (perhaps a little more in a dive). Clearly, the Pantsir was out of ammo or otherwise disengaged. A couple of guys at the right location with shotguns could have brought it down.

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    3. If the unit is out of ammunition, it is to no avail to see that further attacks are coming and also to no avail to remain at your post and watch them approaching unless there are other units in the vicinity which can respond. If we can get an accurate assessment of how many missiles were fired compared with what was destroyed, we will be in a better position to know if western forces are spending outrageous amounts of money to achieve very little destruction. Of course if you can draw on unlimited waves of missiles you will eventually destroy the target, but it sounds a little like those ‘human wave’ attacks attributed to the Chinese army that the west used to cite with mingled contempt and fear.

      It does not take much in the way of combat competence to walk in wearing a suit of armor, and punch a man in the face whose gun is empty. There is simply too great a discrepancy between attacked and attacker accounts of the success of missile raids to make any reasonable judgment. But either, evidently, would make Lockheed-Martin and other makers of western missiles happy. If you want a successful attack, you just have to keep firing missiles until the defender runs out of ammunition. So you need more of them.

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      1. One of the clever things about the Pantsir is that the missile is remotely controlled by the launch vehicle thus does not have an expensive radar and infrared seekers. It does have a proximity fuse which is relatively inexpensive. Thus, the Pantsir can shoot down a lot of stuff while keeping operating costs low. Per Wikipedia:

        The missile is not fitted with seeker to keep target engagement costs low. Instead high-precision target and missile tracking is provided via the system’s multiband sensor system and guidance data is submitted via radio link for up to four missiles in flight. Missiles can be fired at up to four targets, but more often in salvos of two missiles at one target. They are believed to have a hit probability of 70–95% and have a 15-year storage lifetime in its sealed containers. Pantsir-S1 combat vehicles can fire missiles on the move.

        An upgraded Pantsir is in the works:

        http://www.armyrecognition.com/weapons_defence_industry_military_technology_uk/new_russian_pantsir-sm_air_defense_missile-gun_system_ready_for_2019.html

        The new Pantsir-SM is will be able to destroy aerial targets at a maximum range of 40km, twice more efficient that the current Pantsir-S1. The new radar will be able to detect targets a distance of 75 km. The weapon station seems to be fitted to a new 8×8 Kamaz truck chassis with armour cab at the front.

        The Pantsir-SM will incorporate a multi-functional targeting radar station, increasing target detection range from 40 to 75 km and engagement range from 20 to 40 km.

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    4. Could the Syrians have parked the Pantsir in that spot deliberately to draw away Israeli fire? They may have gambled on that Pantsir hitting its targets in that position, in which case its resulting destruction would be considered “collateral damage”, no more and no less. Why would all four crew have got out of the Pantsir and be apparently waiting for the missile to hit?

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      1. My guess is that the unit was out of ammunition or malfunctioned and then the crew abandoned their stations. In any event, they were still too close for comfort when the missile hit.

        One can imagine a future iteration of the Pantsir operated remotely during action to keep the crew out of harm’s way should an attacking missile be successful.

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      2. It’s possible; hard to say without knowing any more about the engagement. But the crew being outside the vehicle is further suggestion that its munitions were all expended and that it had no further capability to fire anything. Otherwise they would have been inside operating it. The radar would still have been useful, although staying inside to follow the battle would not be worth frying if you attracted attention.

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    1. Mortar boards are not traditional in Russia. I sometimes show youngsters mine that I have here and they are fascinated by it. Also, mortar boards have not been traditional for 1,000 years.

      The skull cap that is beneath the board on a modern academic cap came about when huge wigs became fashionable in the 17th century and onwards into the early 18th century so as to facilitate the perching of the boar on an academic’s or judge’s bonce.

      Teachers at my school wore plain academic gowns during lessons, but donned their academic caps when it was School-Founder’s Day, Prize day etc.

      These Russian mortar boards that have become fashionable at institutes of higher learning seem to have been copied off the more garish of mortar boards that one sees sometimes in the USA and are often made of bright silks. Furthermore, they often do not have a black skull cap attached to the board but some cylindrical structure and look, therefore reet daft.

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    2. Huh. Helmer seems to think that Kudrin is already exercising far too much malign influence, and has been granted far too much power. We’ll see. For me, the big news is that Rogozin is going to be replaced. At one time he was being talked up as a potential successor to Putin. I hope Putin is not going squishy. This is certainly no time for it, as the west will pounce on any perceived weakness. Taking away the influence of patriot Rogozin and replacing it with influence of lapdog liberal Kudrin sounds like a very big mistake. But Putin’s statecraft is seldom clear in its opening moves.

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  14. Ha, ha, ha!!! You couldn’t make it up – Israel serves the Japanese Prime Minister dessert, at a formal dinner, in a shoe. Most people who are not totally immersed in the importance of their own culture to the world are aware that Japanese regard the feet as embarrassingly dirty, and go to great pains to separate street footwear and appropriate footwear in the home and working environment.

    A senior Israeli diplomat who worked in Japan remarked that it was like the Japanese serving an Israeli guest chocolates in a dish shaped like a pig. Yes, or serving the Queen a dessert of chocolate syrup drizzled on a bare ass.

    Someone in the Israeli diplomatic corps should shortly be getting the boot (see what I did there?).

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    1. In many cultures (Middle Eastern as well as East Asian), shoes are treated as dirty, so there can be no excuse for the chef not to know or to err on the side of caution and conservatism.

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      1. It’s the same in Russia and further proof, therefore, that Russians are not real Europeans but semi-Asiatics.

        Russians always take their footwear off when entering a home. They usually have a variety of slippers on hand for guests.

        I once remember my ex’s mum saying to me in the early ’90s when we were watching an American film on TV: “Oi, America must be a really clean country: they never take their shoes off when the come into a house!”

        I still don’t know whether she was being serious or sarcastic.

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    2. Ugh! I’m a Russian, and even I wouldn’t eat food out of a shoe! how gross is that?
      Maybe if it was a toy shoe, or a container in the shape of a shoe — but that’s an actual shoe! Jeez….

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      1. Well, I read further, and they are saying it is a metal sculpture in the shape of a shoe.
        Very well, but it’s not the metal I would be worried about, but the yucky fabric of the boot’s tongue.
        I wouldn’t want my chockies touching that before embarking on their journey down my gullet.

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        1. The intent or the symbolism behind the serving of dessert in a container made to look like a shoe is the problem. Why did the chef decide to use a dish in the shape of a shoe and not any other object? He could have used a container made to look like a ship or a house and whatever aesthetic meaning or message was behind that could still be understood in the way he intended.

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          1. Yeah, I just don’t get it.
            But I still think the Japanese should get even by going with the “chocolates in a pig” theme for the next state dinner with Israel.

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              1. That would actually be pretty cool! Not to mention tasty…

                I could see this as a competitive show on the American Food Channel, let’s call it, “Say hello to the Centerpiece!” Several teams compete to come up with the most ethnically offensive and yet also delicious presentations of classic recipes…

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                1. That reminds me of a great existentialist joke I read recently; you of all people will certainly appreciate it.

                  A schlemiel is making toast in his kitchen. As he is finishing buttering it, it slips from his hand and falls to the floor. It lands butter-side up. The schlemiel regards it sadly, and says, “Look at that – I must have buttered it on the wrong side”.

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    1. “The United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, which in February 2016 condemned Assange’s persecution as “a form of arbitrary detention” and called for his release, has issued no statement on his current situation.

      In Britain, the Labour Party and its leader Jeremy Corbyn have said nothing on the actions by Ecuador. Nor have they opposed the determination of the Conservative government to arrest Assange if he leaves the embassy.

      In Australia, the current Liberal-National government and Labor leadership are just as complicit. The Greens, which claimed to oppose the persecution of Assange, have not made any statement in parliament or issued a press release, let alone called for public protests. Hundreds of editors, journalists, academics, artists and lawyers across the country who publicly defended WikiLeaks in 2010 and 2011 are now mute.

      A parallel situation prevails across Europe and in the US. The so-called parties of the “left” and the trade unions are all tacitly endorsing the vicious drive against Assange.

      Around the world, the Stalinist and Pabloite pseudo-left organisations, anxious not to disrupt their sordid relations with the parties of the political establishment and the trade union apparatuses, are likewise silent.”

      No nuts ..No guts spinless shtazzes…every last one of them and their ilk throughout the planet.

      Well guess the Brits and DC socialites are buzzing about waiting for the biracial cnt to marry SS Oberstrumfuhrer Prince guy.

      Yup!! I am soooooooo clairvoyant:

      https://www.reuters.com/article/us-britain-royals-wedding-bishop/prince-harry-and-meghan-markle-ask-u-s-bishop-to-deliver-wedding-address-idUSKCN1ID0K4

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      1. Until Ms. Markle does something to incur the wrath of the social-justice set, I see no reason to regard her as anything other than an ordinary young woman who has done nobody any harm, and although I could not be less interested in the Royal Wedding, Harry seems the most sensible and direct of the royals to come along in ages – if he does not immediately begin chucking out royal miniatures as if he just discovered procreation, like his elder sibling, he will have earned my approbation. Ms, Markle’s racial origins lend her a special attractiveness, and she really is a very attractive woman.

        You sure are an angry guy. That can’t be good for you, and it is probably shortening your life.

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        1. Something is amiss with the Markle clan, it seems. The British press has lead stories this morning that pop Markle is not going to his daughter’s wedding. They say he had a heart attack a few days ago. He lives in Mexico, by the way, and not in the Land of the Free. But behind the heart attack story is the fact that he has dropped a major bollock as regards already having sold out to the news hounds and news photographers that have a name that sounds like an Italian dish. And then there’s Miss Markle’s half-brother, who has not spoken to his sister for several years and has, they say, written to his future half-brother-in-law, advising him not to marry the Hollywood actress because … well because she’s a Hollywood actress.

          Oh what fun there’s going to be in the Windsor Firm!

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          1. She could indeed be a card-carrying gold-digger, and history as far back or forward as you care to go suggests men are about as difficult to fool as infants where women are concerned. But she seems very nice given the limited exposure we have to go on, and we don’t have the focus-fuzzer of wanting to get into her pants. Well, some of us probably do, but nobody stands as good a chance as Prince Harry, and the trick is not to let him do it often enough before the wedding that he realizes it’s pretty much all the same. But there could be any number of reasons her family is less than supportive or even actively trying to ruin the nuptials, and it may be none of them have anything to do with character flaws on Ms. Markle’s part. Nothing so queer as folk, they say.

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    2. You’re starting to sound a little like the Finn; what was his name? Oh, yes – Karl Haushoffer. He advocated instant application of superior and unrestrained firepower for every slight – anything less, and you were weak.

      I’m sure grotesque distortion of international law is done in the hope Russia will quit the institution in a fury, whereupon it will never be readmitted, and the west will say with great satisfaction, “They quit of their own accord. Nobody forced them”.

      But, like the Beatles say, we’d all love to hear the plan.

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      1. “You’re starting to sound a little like the Finn; what was his name? Oh, yes – Karl Haushoffer. He advocated instant application of superior and unrestrained firepower for every slight – anything less, and you were weak.”

        Ummm…so WTF does this have to do with what I *actually* wrote???

        You’re trying to turn my condemnation on its head….and not doing a very good job of it as a plain reading of what I wrote p shows.

        My point was against those who remain silent and are willing to rationalize or ignore EVERY fucked up injustice !

        I am not the one taking a position of attack mode as ALWAYS appropriate as response…

        However those who I criticize ARE decidedly willing to turn their cheek in EVERY instance of provocation or injustice.

        BTW…How did that “Mr. Rogers” sht work out back in Munich in ’39 ????

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        1. Human life is fucked up. Trying to find the root cause. We are just dabbling on the surface – useful but will not lead to a solution anytime soon.

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        2. Some remain silent or prefer to stand back to keep some distance from atrocities or calamities as they occur because to react every time with tit-4-tat actions can land you into a trap. Why do you think the West uses the Color Revolution template continually across the world? Because even though they don’t work most of the time, they can and do work the rest of the time. Constantly reacting emotionally and violently feeds the beast’s appetite and encourages it in its bad habits.

          Look at the way jihadists in Syria try to ramp up support by killing civilians or releasing CWs in populated areas and putting the blame on the Syrian govt. This happens whenever the SAA is successful in capturing more territory back from ISIS, al Nusra or Jaysh al Islam or their allies and driving more terrorists into Idlib where they can kill each other. But because the Western general public is increasingly becoming more aware of the real situation in Syria regarding the use of CWs and the jihadi exploitation of civilians and children in particular, and because everyone remembers what happened to Libya when a no-fly zone was declared over that country in 2011, the reaction among people is more cynical and Western govt can no longer count on public support for a no-fly zone over Syria. Eventually the US, the UK and France will reveal their own complicity in jihadi war crimes when they try more stunts that become ever more obvious by their timing and their context.

          We may not have active anti-war movements – and any such movements could either be derailed by heavy-handed police actions or infiltration – but sometimes passive resistance can be effective too in influencing govt actions. Silence or non-action isn’t always evidence of rationalising or ignoring injustice as it occurs.

          The fact that all the major political parties in Australia have such low levels of support is one indication that most Australians disagree with their policies, and that may include disagreement with the parties’ current attitudes towards the treatment of Julian Assange in London.

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      2. Mark…I am ranting about the **Assange situation**…..my remarks don’t have anything to do with Russia quitting some institution…..

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        1. I was responding specifically to this line; “Some Stooges tend to think that moderate ,thoughtful reasoned restraint should be the response to every new depredation of law or morality carried out by the MF’n thug wanna be Caligulas who make-up the ranks of the Western PTB” I did not intend it to reflect specifically on any situation, including that of Assange, as the statement is a generalization that seems to suggest some people here are too soft and fuzzy and not sufficiently combative. I apologize if the example of using blatant violation of international law to force Russia to quit in disgust appeared off-subject.

          I hope the western governments would realize that public sympathy is largely on the side of Assange now, and that hauling him off to a lifetime of jail – while not materially altering his actual situation very much – would put them in a very bad light and set their ‘whistleblower’ policies up for even more mockery. It would be pointless to carry out an ostentatious show trial of Assange at this point, as the damage he set in motion is largely done.

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          1. The British had made threats to storm the Ecuadorian embassy back in 2012 to arrest Assange if the Correa govt granted him asylum. Rafael Correa went ahead anyway with granting Assange asylum and the threat to seize him died away.

            The problem now is that Correa is no longer President of Ecuador and his successor Lenín Moreno (snicker) is proving himself to be brown-nosing lickspittle to the US and the UK.

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      1. The King clip is very moving; I remember the phrase from the papers at the time, but I don’t think I ever actually saw him saying it. He comes across as very sincere and honestly bewildered at the level of crazy violence in the American police forces. And it has gotten so much worse since then.

        As far as that horrific shooting goes, it seems clear that minorities are terrified of the police, and believe that not having done anything is no protection against being seriously hurt or killed. Yet we see a number of other vehicles pull off the road as you are supposed to do when you see the flashing lights or hear emergency-vehicle sirens. It would be interesting to know if all those drivers were white. There have been quite a few shootings of visible-minority men, mostly black, in which they had something totally innocuous such as a cell phone in their hand. Police do not seem to get it that it is the over-the-top use of force by the police that prompts those singled out for attention by the police to want to document and record everything, as it will likely be needed for court later and the police cannot be relied upon to tell a story which is in any way sympathetic to the suspect.

        There was a police shooting here just a few days ago – it’s very rare in Canada – at the Departure Bay Ferry Terminal. The vehicle of the suspect was recognized and reported, and the suspect driving had been involved in a violent carjacking earlier in the day. He exited the vehicle without being instructed to do so, and the story I have seen so far is that police (RCMP) believed he had a gun, and shot him dead. There is intense public interest in the investigation and in whether the suspect actually was armed, although there seems good reason to imagine he might have been given his history and behavior.

        Nobody wants to see cops getting killed because restrictions on reasonable use of force or self-defense are so stringent that they might as well not even have guns – that encourages violent crime. But nobody wants to see the intense police violence which seems fairly common in the USA take hold here, either. The incident has profound implications. Here’s what we know so far:

        https://globalnews.ca/news/4199041/departure-bay-shooting-penticton-carjack-vernon/

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    1. As speculated earlier, the problem with police may be the increasing number of ex-army guys who served in Iraq and Afghanistan joining the ranks. Their job experience seemed mostly shooting first, asking questions later (if that) with no consequences whatsoever if innocents are killed.

      https://www.themarshallproject.org/2017/03/30/when-warriors-put-on-the-badge

      Everyone has been worried about young people traveling overseas, getting radicalized and coming home as terrorists. Yup, that is what happened.

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    1. Women’s Day is still a big event here, despite Western “wimmin” criticizing that it reeks of patriarchalism and is sexist.

      They’ve tried hard at selling that St. Valentine’s Day crap here, some saying that it was more in tune with the mindset of post-USSR young Russians and that Women’s Day is so yesterday as socialism, but I don’t know. Russian women like being pampered and appreciated, especially on a very special day, and Russian men like pampering and appreciating them.

      Sexist, I know, but there you are.

      I do as well, though I am not Russian: it kind of grows on you …

      Just shows you that Russians are not like us .. 🙂

      Like

  15. Finished posting final part of my latest Krutikov series.
    I hope people read it, Krutikov is pointing out some potential risks in the Syria situation.
    And he got some inside dope on disgruntled Mukhabarat types who feel that the Russians are pushing them out and being too much Mr. Nice Guy in the liberated territories.

    Executive summary: Winning the peace is a lot harder than winning the war!
    (and that was no cakewalk either…)

    Like

  16. There is hope in the air for a new era of an independent Europe. But, I highly doubt it as the elites are wed to the transnational deep state led by the US and Britain. And their visceral hatred of the Slavic Orthodox remains unabated. IMHO, nothing short of an economical collapse of Biblical proportion (if they had such things then) involving an end to the global economy could lead to a split with the US.

    The Duran article by Alexander Mercouris said it very well:

    …Whilst there is no doubt European leaders are deeply shocked by Donald Trump’s announcement of a pullout from an international agreement in negotiating which the EU played a large part, I strongly doubt that they will find the courage or the willpower to defy the US by in effect encouraging their companies to continue to do business with Iran.

    It should be said that even with such active encouragement it is unlikely in my opinion that big European companies like Daimler or Airbus will risk US fines by continuing to do business with Iran. Even if European governments were to guarantee them against any losses caused by such fines, they would worry about losing access to the US market, which utterly dwarfs Iran’s.

    Given the head of steam that has built up inside the Trump administration against Iran, only if the EU were to threaten publicly to impose reciprocal sanctions on US businesses doing business in the European Single Market might there be a real possibility of the US being deterred from imposing penalties on European companies which continue to do business with Iran.

    Frankly I think there is no prospect of that happening because there is no unanimity within the EU behind it (Poland and the Baltic States would certainly oppose it) whilst I am sure that even the big EU states – Britain, Germany, France, and Italy – would in the end be unwilling to risk an all out rupture with the US on such an issue.

    I am sure that the Europeans – angry though they certainly are – will therefore in the end knuckle down, and do as the US tells them to do.

    It will be up to Russia and China to ramp up Iranian trade and to resell Iranian oil for rubles. Russian will gain an important market for civil aviation and will likely increase military sales. Any serious military action in the region will further drive up oil prices (as they already are) help to further stabilize the Iranian economy. The rubber will hit the road if the US tries to “go nuclear” with its sanctions against Russia (expelling Russia from SWIFT, etc.) or expand its trade war against China. I believe that the Anglo empire assumes Russia and China will back down.

    Regarding claims that Putin is in the process of surrendering Russia:

    – Putin’s March 1 big reveal of Russia’s military advances was not for only local consumption. It was primarily aimed at the Anglo empire. Did we forget that so soon?

    – What is all of the wailing about Putin having Nutenyahoo walk with a picture of a Soviet war hero and wearing a St. George ribbon? I may have missed it but I did not see Merkel or Micron in the parade. Score one for Russia.

    – Selling S-300/400 to Syria would be throwing gasoline on a fire. As tough as it may be to watch Israel prancing around, that farce is much preferable to an actual war with the potential to go nuclear. The US has just fired a broadside. Lets see what hit and what missed, let things play out, get a feel for the direction, work behind the scenes and then move as needed.

    Whatever Putin does now should be viewed in the context of Judo politics. Use feints and the momentum of the opponent to your advantage. The crazed US actions suggests desperation so let them continue to flail while keeping your head down. It will end soon enough.

    Like

    1. Recent research suggests America is in a poor position to apply sanctions against productive countries who have a flourishing manufacturing sector, because it can’t simply ramp up domestic production. Why? Because it sucks at it – productivity since 2011 has risen less than 1%. Not annually – over that entire period.

      https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-05-09/american-factories-have-one-very-big-problem

      This is a dismaying result. If the numbers are to be believed, it means American factory workers on the whole forgot how to make things. They got worse at production. One implication is that it will be hard to close the big U.S. trade deficit in manufactured products, because American factories are becoming less competitive.

      Ha, ha – anyone remember that joker Obama and his “Russia doesn’t make anything”? Russian productivity is not anything to write home about, either, but it has the entire west arrayed against it trying to destroy its economy, and a better picture should emerge as Russia completes a realignment of its trading partners. The USA has no such excuse, as it is supposedly the freest and greatest country in the world, with countries lining up to sign trade deals. Perhaps America might benefit from the IMF’s advice to Russia on how to improve productivity and promote growth.

      https://www.imf.org/en/news/articles/2017/07/05/na070717-russia-five-reforms-to-increase-productivity-diversify-growth

      The only area I can see in which the USA enjoys a distinct advantage is in the first point – contract law and property rights. And Russia is wise to go very carefully on that, because it is an obvious dodge where careless liberalization could allow western companies to gain control of significant sectors in the Russian economy, with rights that allow them to say “Screw you; it’s mine, I’ll run it the way I like” to any effort by state regulation. The factor that is supposed to guard against abuse is the assumption that all businesses owned by investors will be run in a manner so as to make the maximum profit, rather than being operated so as to gain a strategic advantage for another country. Such as running the business to make a profit, but using all that profit to expand so as to gain control of the whole sector in Russia, or offshoring the profits or using them to make profitable investments in the business’s parent country rather than in Russia.

      So far as infrastructure goes, the USA could take that advice to heart and invest some money in rebuilding its own crumbling roads and services rather than beaking off about others.

      Like

      1. US manufacturing is indeed in a terminal condition. It is virtually impossible to find a qualified CNC machinist despite the efforts of various programs to train such. The kids generally just don’t care for that type of work.

        Castings from China are less than 50% of US suppliers and generally of higher quality and consistency. The foundry sector of the US is dying. People talk about 3-D printing riding to the rescue but that hope is almost as overblown as the fantasized nanobots building house from sunshine, water and carbon dioxide. There is a place for 3-D printing for one-off or very short run production where cost optimization or volume production is not the primary objective.

        It was no accident that it worked out that way. End manufacturing in the US and end unions and labor power. Replace with menial service jobs, create a self-absorbed population and bleed the world for money. Can’t find the quote but Alan Greenspan said something to the effect that the US has the perfect system – it ships little green pieces of paper to China and they ship us industrial goods.

        US students finish near the bottom of advanced economies in science and math scores which only reinforces the downward spiral of productivity, engineering advancements and competitiveness. The US manages to scrape together engineering expertise in its defense expertise to produce occasionally decent hardware but even there the results are often of questionable value and certainly way too expensive.

        Time is on the side of Russia hence the accelerating efforts by the West to stop them before its too late. Russia needs to avoid a direct war, set a global example of international lawfulness and allow the West to expend itself in the least damaging manner possible.

        Like

      2. It’s not so much that American workers forgot “how to make things” as if that’s the sole reason for the low productivity levels, as it is context in which they have to work. If they “forget”, that’s because they weren’t trained properly or are being forced to work in environments that bully, humiliate and even endanger their lives.

        A Huffington Post article from 2013 quoted a trade union report’s finding that on average about 150 Americans died from workplace injuries or work-related diseases each day.
        https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/07/work-related-deaths_n_3231919.html

        There have been reports at WSWS.org about a recent accident at Ford Motors’ Flat Rock factory in Michigan in which a worker tripped and fell into a pit on an assembly line. She suffered a crushed leg and there is a possibility her other leg was crushed as well. All workers at that factory walked off the job when factory management tried to compel them to continue working. Workers at the factory speaking to the WSWS say that poor and inadequate training is common and the worker who was injured did not have proper training to do the particular job where she fell yet had been assigned to work there.

        https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/05/12/auto-m12.html

        Other issues include the use of prison labour in factories and the levels of drug addiction (especially ice) among US workers and how those affect labour productivity.

        Like

      3. Property rights are not absolute. They exist within the overall compass of the law. The idea that any sovereign State would permit a significant enterprise to be treated as a private bauble is nonsense – think Yukos. (Other States may have taken more radical measures against tireless fighter for Liberty Khodorkovsky – in my view).

        Like

  17. Say; speaking of international business and sanctions, the US Embassy in Russia has stopped recommending to American businesses that they boycott the St Petersburg Economic Forum, and is this year encouraging American business leaders to attend. Says the USA’s Ambassador to the Russian Federation, ““It’s a very important time to talk about the future economic relationship between the United States and Russia.”

    http://www.standard.net/World/2018/05/11/Trump-s-man-in-Moscow-gives-boost-to-Putin-s-economic-showcase.html

    For those Russians who might be attending and whose grasp of colloquial English is lacking, the appropriate response to any proposals for American/Russian joint ventures or restoring of market share to American businesses is “Not if the world was flooded with piss and you lived in a tree”.

    This year’s forum will be one to watch.

    Like

  18. This article appears to suggest that Magic Bibi, with a wave of his imperial hand, managed to turn off sales of the S-300 to Syria (something I have long been advocating).

    https://finance.yahoo.com/news/russia-balks-arming-syria-missiles-115801864.html

    However, that’s the way the western press works, portraying everything to the maximum western advantage and suggesting the west is firmly in control of everything. The article goes on to say “The systems could upset the balance of forces, making it harder for Israeli aircraft to penetrate Syrian territory.”

    So the obvious implication is that a visit from Magic Bibi convinced Russia to allow Israeli aircraft to act as they please, and that Russia is now okay with Israel conducting strikes against Iranian forces in Syria.

    I would be very surprised if that were true; in fact, I imagine there was a frank exchange in which Russia holding off on supplying these systems to Syria was conditional on Israel ceasing its raids in Syria against Iranian targets. S-300 sales could be resumed at any time. Let’s see how it shakes out. If it is as I described, threatening to supply the system achieved the desired effect, although you would never learn that from western news.

    Like

    1. You may be on to something. It will be easy enough to tell. I suspect that pinprick attacks would be allowed to continue and the Russians will continue to train the Syrians to be better at point defense. But if I understand your analysis, large scale attacks against high value targets will not occur. I agree.

      Like

    2. I’ve said this earlier about Netanyahu visit to Russia

      Netanyahu came to Moscow knowing that he planned to bomb Syria – under the pretext of attacking Iran.

      He came in bad faith and bombed two days running . Attacking the air defence systems

      These actions showed a complete disdain for his hosts in my view on victory day

      Even though it is not Russia’s responsibility to respond – Syria did so by bombing the occupied golan heights.

      What concerns me is that Russia did not condemn Israel conduct – they put out an appeal for restraint – from both sides – accepting the Israeli narrative on what had occurred

      The Russian armed forces were clear about what had happened in their statements that this was a preemptive attack by Israel which Syria responded too.

      Israel and Saudi Arabia quite happily fund jihadis that kill Russians

      Just as America will do the same

      So why does Russia hesitate to provide up to date systems for Syria’s defence. Syria who have been a long term friend of Russia?

      Netanyahu is going to escalate his behaviour and continue the attacks

      Like

      1. Maybe what Syria says for battle damage assessment is accurate – most of the missiles did not reach their targets, and damage was minimal. If so, then what Putin says is also accurate; Syria has what it needs for air defense. If there is another major attack by Israel, Russia can have S-300’s there in hardly more time than it takes to say, by heavy-lift aircraft.

        It is far better for Russia to do a deal with Israel than to join Syria in attacking them. Russia cannot reverse the attack that already happened, but it looks like everyone learned something from it and perhaps Israel has learned that continuing would not be very productive, while there might be a future in cooperation. Bibi won’t be around forever. Although that prick Lieberman has to go as well. He’s a real piece of work.

        Like

              1. A musical exception totally dedicated to peace and contentment, which seem in short supply in Israel. Here’s an unusual version by the Fabulous Thunderbirds – the guitarist, Jimmie Vaughan, is the late Stevie Ray’s older brother.

                If you’re not familiar with them, this is more typical of their style – that was a one-off.

                Like


  19. BACHO KORCHILAVA
    Blogger, former press attaché to the Embassy of Georgia in the Ukraine, 2005-2010. Left Abkhazia In 1993 as a refugee after the outbreak of hostilities in the breakaway republic. Soon found work in the diplomatic field. Worked in the Ukraine during the presidency of Viktor Yushchenko. Now working as a journalist. Conducts a talk show on “Hromadske TV”.

    Bacho Korchilava
    16 October 2014. Kiev, The ukraine
    Dear Crimeans, adherents of the the Russia World and sheer cretinism, please tell me whether you still believe that in 2018 you will have a bridge across the Kerch strait. Yes? Well, as the cat Matroskin said in the well-known cartoon film, “”I congratulate you, Sharik: you are a dunce*”. And why you who are waiting for this bridge are dunces, I shall now explain.

    The situation is as follows: The bridge has to have a length of 18 kms. As one, all the experts say that this has to be a very specific bridge and there is no such technology in Russia [for the construction of such a bridge]. The leader in the technology of constructing such types of bridge is Japan (already ha-ha-ha that Japan will help Russia). Furthermore, as regards specifics, specialists say that it is only possible to construct such a bridge during the warm time of the year (spring — summer). And even more interesting, when building such a massively budgeted super construction, no more than 20 metres can be constructed in the space of 24 hours. That is to say, using the most simple of calculations, even if they begin constructing the bridge in spring 2015 (earlier is not possible), then, in the best of scenarios, it will be ready in 2022 — but before 2022 you will be singing a different song…

    Now just go up to a mirror, Crimea-Vatniks, and take a look at the ass that you see reflected. This is why I have no regrets about spending one week of my time communicating with bridge constructors so that your prospects be made clear to you and that you realize that you are not only Vatniks, but asses as well. Yes, and now the price of oil has begun to fall again, so you see guys, there definitely will be no bridge 🙂 ))

    *”Sharik” is a cartoon dog — the name sort of translates as “[Fluff] Ball” :

    ATTENTION!
    You are crossing a bridge that, according to convinced Ukrainian “experts”, Russia shall never be able to build, so be especially careful behind the wheel 😉

    Source: Сала икспердам! Спецам сала!

    Like

    1. The guy was 200% wrong – 100% for being factually wrong plus 100% for being an a-hole at the same time.

      Besides, he many not be good at logic. 18 km is 18,000 meters. At 20 meters/day that works out to 900 days or less than three years. He does seems to assume work can only progress for 6 months/year. Well, if work were started at both ends, then we are back to a 900 day completion even working for 6 months/year. And work can begin a multiple points for even faster completion. The foregoing is obviously very simplified but it clearly shows Bacho to be a dunce.

      Like

      1. I do take pleasure in reading past stories on the doomed “Putin” bridge. Besides that simple pleasure, it helps to calibrate the degree of accuracy of current Russian coverage.

        Like

    2. Looks like an educated man in his pictures. And good advice by nature should be as good for oneself as it is for others – go up to a mirror, Bandera bootlicker, and take a look at the ass you see reflected. Completed about 6 months ahead of schedule, dickhead.

      Like

  20. A pretty good video that explains how defense contractors collaborate with congress to generate weapons programs that makes just about everyone happy. It got a few things wrong but handled the core topic well.

    Like

  21. When environmentalists go nuclear:

    Impressive and credible data presented including hard evidence nuclear power saves lives; nearly 2 million to date, by elimination air pollution. The presenter also tackles overblown Chernobyl myths with hard scientific data proving that the number of deaths including deaths occurring many years after the accident are negligible.

    Surprising to me was the nuclear power (presumably including all related sources such as mining uranium, material production and transport, etc.) produces orders of magnitude less CO2 than solar power per unit of energy produced.

    Regarding waste, nuclear power fully contains its waste products compared with other energy sources that dump waste into the environment.

    The presenter makes the interesting case that if North Korea was allowed to pursue nuclear power, it likely would not have pursued nuclear weapons.

    The only “problem” with nuclear is that it requires a high level of technical competency. Not a problem for Russia and China but it seems increasingly out of reach in the US.

    Like

    1. He forgets one important point, that irks me to this day. In the wake of the radiation scares, many leading nations cut funding of nuclear research, some even banning it outright (like Sweden) and all over the place various long-term dismantling efforts were initiated.

      This effectively stranded almost everybody with old reactor designs for the longest time, and the little new research that still was going on was on a such small scale that potential commercial application of the many new designs that cropped up would safely remain far into the future.

      Now, this is beginning to change somewhat, with commercialized generation IV reactors having finally been put in operation in Russia and China, and research dittos at a smaller scale at various nuclear labs elsewhere (in Europe, USA etc). But we could have been here long ago, really.

      These new reactors are even safer than the old ones, even cleaner than the old ones, and the fuel cycle management is lightyears ahead of what you see today.

      Had this research gone on with full steam from the beginning, without this “hiccup” the need for miles-deep end storage bunkers and so on probably wouldn’t even exist today, so that entire debate would have been moot. Gen IV reactors can recycle the fuel for ages, squeezing energy out of it until it’s more or less inert for all practical intents and purposes, and could be stored under your pillow.

      Like

      1. An awesomely perceptive comment – indeed, I would say, an epiphany for many. By God, you’re right.

        Funny you should have used the under-your-pillow analogy – that’s precisely what happened to some of the souvenir-hunters following the nuclear tests at Bikini Atoll. Some crewmen from the observation vessels picked up chunks of the rock floating on the surface (highly porous, like pumice, full of bubbles) after the blast died down, and hid it under their pillows because it was forbidden to collect any debris. If I recall correctly, they lost a lot of teeth and hair, but I can’t remember if anyone died.

        Like

  22. Picture form RT. Would you trust this guy (the one on the left)?

    Per RT:
    The US will have to assure North Korea it won’t seek to undermine its leader Kim Jong-un, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has implied. That comes after years of slamming him as a dictator and squeezing his country with sanctions.

    If true, NK has accomplished what was likely its main near-term objective.

    Like

  23. All this present shit from the UK as regards its traditional Russophobic hysterics, recently culminating in the Skripal false-flag pantomime, is linked to the EU and Brexit:

    MI5 chief calls for post-Brexit security plan in face of Vladimir Putin’s ‘aggressive and pernicious actions’

    The head of MI5 will appeal to European leaders on Monday not to put at risk their “shared strength” by weakening security and intelligence sharing after Brexit.

    In a speech to European security chiefs, Andrew Parker, MI5’s Director General, will tell them that continued cooperation has never been more crucial in the face of Russia’s “aggressive and pernicious actions”.

    Mr Parker’s intervention made pointedly in Berlin – the first time a serving head of MI5 has given a public speech on foreign soil – comes at a critical time in Brexit negotiations.

    Like

    1. You have to pay in order to read in the Telegraph what that MI5 person will allegedly say later today, Monday 14 May, 2018.

      No payment to do so required at the Independent:

      Intelligence services thwarting monthly terror attacks on Britain, MI5 head says

      Britain needs to work more closely than ever with European states in order to confront the “intense and unrelenting international terrorist threat”, as well as “unprecedented levels” of “aggressive and pernicious actions” by Vladimir Putin’s Russia, the head of MI5 will stress on Monday.

      Terrorist atrocities, with the potential to inflict widespread deaths and injuries, have been thwarted in Britain at the rate of one every month since the Westminster attack in March 2017, Andrew Parker will say, while also pointing out that the threat from Isis remains as lethal and active as ever.

      At the same time, the attempted assassinations of Sergei and Yulia Skripal, “with the first use of a nerve agent in Europe for the first time since the Second World War”, was a shocking and graphic example of how the country is facing unprecedented illicit violence by the Kremlin. The Salisbury attack, Mr Parker says, was a “deliberate and targeted malign activity”.

      Accusations made, as usual, against the Russian government without evidence; no charges made and the disappearance of evidence, most notably the apparent abduction by the British state of the victims of the alleged Kremlin attack.

      What bare-face liars they are!

      Like

      1. Go large, or go home. Here’s another current piece featuring former NBC UK Army General Hammish de-Crouton Gordon (Bennet) who is more than happy to go Tonto. Super extra emphasis mine.

        Toilet Barf: Why Novichok could be Russia’s most terrifying weapon in a war with the West
        https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/05/14/novichok-could-russias-terrifying-weapon-war-west/

        It was, he said, of high purity and persistence, and would not affected by weather conditions – confirming the British view that this is a military-grade nerve agent called Novichok, which is only made at the secret and closed military town Shikhany in central Russia.

        Mr Uzumcu stated that 50-100 grams was used in the attack, a huge amount, enough to kill potentially thousands of people, but OPCW spokespeople more recently has suggested they did not know the amount involved. Perhaps they meant milligrams, rather than grams; that would still be still more than is required for research.

        Mysteriously, but not unexpectedly we now learn that the Shikhany laboratories, whence the Novichoks came in central Russia, have been bulldozed flat recently….

        There are compelling reports from very reliable sources that the Syrian Army is even using the deadly nerve agent Sarin in hand grenades to attack people hiding in air raid shelters and tunnels.
        ####

        What a complete titwad. He repeats multiple bs about chemical weapons despite his professional expertise. CW are almost completely useless in warfare. Sure, if you want to gas unarmed or unprotected people in enclosed spaces they do work, but not on the battlefield. As for ‘novichok handgrenades’, you start to wonder how much colombian marching powder he snorted before writing his tripe. Not that it will do him any harm. I just hope he and everyone else is on a list of those barred from anywhere near Russia. They can fly the other way or whatever.

        Like

      2. Piling it on thick:

        MAY 14, 2018 / 2:58 PM / UPDATED 5 HOURS AGO
        Case against Russia in Skripal poisoning now stronger: MI5 chief

        BERLIN (Reuters) – The head of Britain’s MI5 spy agency said on Monday Britain’s case that Russia was responsible for the poisoning of a former spy, Sergei Skripal, and his daughter had strengthened in recent weeks.

        Andrew Parker told reporters in Berlin that the investigation was continuing, but he did not want to signal to Russia “what we know and what we don’t know.”

        He noted the British government provided sufficient information to convince all 28 European Union members about its position several weeks ago. “The case has if anything got stronger since then, but I can’t explain why it is I say that today,” he said.

        So let me get this straight: Mi5 has irrefutably damning evidence that it is the Russians what done it but it cannot say what it is.

        Right, got you!

        And remember folks: just because there’s no evidence doesn’t mean that they didn’t do it!

        Like

        1. Getting your proof out front and humiliating the liars has been replaced by ‘must play the cards close to the vest, old chum – we don’t want them to know what we know’, which usually signals that they have found a ‘defector’ like Grigory Rodchenkov or Vil Mirzayanov, someone who is a gold mine of sweet, sweet bullshit but is the correct nationality to lend the information the appropriate gravitas. Ultimately they will say they have rock-solid evidence but cannot show it to anyone except political leaders of aligned nations because it would betray ‘sources and methods’. In other words, we have fuck-all but we can’t let the clods know, so they’ll just have to trust us one more time – if you don’t believe us, you are a Kremlin bot.

          Like

          1. Time was when real journalists used to zero into such claptrap that Parker has come out with in Berlin and taken tossers such as he to task.

            There’s only Matt at the State Dept. briefings who seems to do this now.

            Russian media people do this, of course, but they are “fake journalists” employed by the Evil Regime who get mocked publicly for the efforts by that the Barbie Doll presenter which the State Dept. uses, she with the permanent American Smile.

            Like

      3. I suspect Andrew Parker may be hoist by his own petard. Sadly, it’s only a matter of time before the next Salafist nut-job bombs/stabs/shoots his/her way to the lead spot on the 10pm news slot. A mass casualty event is likely to get an awful lot of people wondering whether deaths and injuries might have been prevented if the intelligence services focused on actual, real threats and not on made up events assigned to made up enemies.

        Like

  24. Just posted my latest: Ramzan Kadyrov’s reaction to the Saturday terrorist attack in Paris.

    Ramzan tells the French to go blame themselves for so-called “Chechen” terrorism in the heart of their society.

    Like

    1. I’m sure this will make the west realize they have misjudged Kadyrov, and that he is not just a pretty face with a chromed handgun – no, he is a philosopher. But you’re quite right in your assessment; despite what Kadyrov lectures about family values, the knife-wielder and his family are the type whose building would quietly be surrounded in the wee hours of the morning by the police, the nearby residents equally-quietly evacuated, and then presented as the sun came up with an ultimatum: come out with your hands on your head, or be shot to rags. If he had been brought up in Chechnya. Which is not to detract from Kadyrov’s overall argument, which is that French society is sanctimonious and likes to tell everyone else how to live, then is perplexed when rogue elements they have welcomed turn on them. Pavlensky the bag-nailer is another sterling example.

      Like

      1. Might be worth repeating the comment I made over at Awful Avalanche a while ago here:

        “Odd that this knife attack occurred almost right after the French said they would continue supporting the Joint Comprehensive Plan Of Action (JCPOA) agreed with other permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany, the EU and Iran, and which the US pulled out of. People inclined to conspiracy theories might suspect that Azimov’s family was brought to France to be cultivated for future regime change activities (including activities aimed at changing government policy or public opinion) either at home or in other countries (like Syria or Russia) in a way similar to the way Libyan families opposed to Colonel Gaddhafi’s government were brought to Manchester and cultivated as MI6 assets – until a member of one of these families, one Salman Ramadan Abedi, turned suicide bomber rogue.”

        Like

        1. There’s been a lot of Chechen/Ingush/Dagestani asylum seekers in U-rope for years. I’v met one or two because of my (poor) Russian language skills. They tend to stick together. The irony of course is that they often leave their homes due to blood/tribal feudes (or just happen to be on the wrong side) and come to U-rope to avoid all that kind of bs, but then stick together and enforce the same values. Maybe it is the small country ‘pride’ thing that sets them off easily, but they do like their knives. Even second generation immigrants/seekers are easy pickings for jihadi recruiters hanging around mosques after services.

          Like

  25. So, Maria Zakharova mentioned last week that the next Russian MFA press briefing will be held in Kerch, on May 16th. You can guess why…

    Rumors have it that VVP will show up tomorrow though, possibly opening the bridge already then. According to locals, there’s been helicopters circling recently, and various special agents, bomb specialists with dogs and regular police have been running around on the construction site and in the city of Kerch all over the weekend.

    Like

  26. Right off any topic, you may wish to name, but the end (I hope!) of a long running personal saga / bureaucratic nightmare that many of you will now be well aware of:

    I have just returned from the Multifunctional Migration Centre, situated for god only knows what reason in the village of Zakhorovo, some 60 kms southwest of Moscow, having set off there at 06:00 this morning.

    That was my 12th visit to the centre since my return to Russia on September 13 last year.

    At long last they have granted me permission to reside temporarily in Russia with my wife and family, namely I am now the proud possessor of a full-page size stamp in my British passport, which stamp is emblazoned with the title:

    РАЗРЕШЕНИЕ НА ВРЕМЕННОЕ ПРОЖИВАНИЕ

    Permission for Temporary Residence

    I have, therefore, received my temporary residence permit almost 1 year to the very day when my full residency permit validity was terminated on May 22 last year as a result of my not having been allowed to extend it as my application for its extension had not been made on time.

    I was first granted a temporary permit in 2006 and a full one in 2007.

    In one year’s time, I shall be able to apply again for a full residency permit.

    Depardieu and Seagal, you don’t know how lucky you both are, in that neither of you have had to face the mind blowingly slow mill of Russian bureaucracy that grinds one’s soul to a fine powder.

    And I bet you two don’t pay bloody Russian taxes either, as I have done for over 20 years!

    I do hope I do not sound bitter!

    🙂

    Like

      1. This is the place of my nightmares:

        And it kissed my arse goodbye today at 12:30 — well, at least until I return there in about 18 months time so as to apply for a full residency permit again.

        Like

        1. It looks quite modern and up-to-date. Shouldn’t it be split-timber-fronted, with a couple of donkeys tied to the porch railing, and babushkas selling kvas out of an old oil-drum?

          If it’s any comfort, the immigration system in the Land Of The Free is a bureaucratic nightmare as well, and Russia is second in the world for overall inward migration.

          https://www.propublica.org/article/us-immigration-agency-will-lose-millions-process-visas-fast-enough

          Like

          1. It is very modern and as efficient as one could expect. It was only opened in January 2016, I think. Before that, it was in a building right smack bang in the middle of Moscow at Novoslobodskaya, but they moved it way out into the sticks. And before it was first centralized at Novoslobodskaya, you had to traipse to different migration offices all over Moscow, which all seemed to be located diametrically opposite each other.

            That’s how it was in 2004, when I applied for my first temporary residence permit, and I only did that reluctantly because of the bureaucratic horror stories that I had for several years been hearing about as regards acquiring such a permit — which stories turned out to be true. But the alternative was to go each year on a “visa run” to a whichever Russian consulate you chose: my choice was Tallinn. But they kept changing the rules, and I got brassed off with leaving my wife and (then) 2 children every year, not knowing whether I should return next day.

            This, in fact, happened to my old Glasgow pal in 2004: he too had gone to Tallinn for a new visa, only to be told that it would take 5 working days to process and not be done the same day. The speed off the Tallinn consulate in this matter was the reason why he and I used to go there. So he had too little money to stay in Tallinn for 5 days and just enough to fly to the UK, which he did, where 1 month later he received a visa at the Edinburgh consulate. His wife with their newly born child was none too pleased, nor was his employer.

            Like

    1. Congrats ME! This calls for a celebration. I will stroke my girlfreind’s cat. What will other Stooges do?

      Like

    2. Moscow Exile, congratulations. I’m really pleased for you. What a nightmare for you and your family. I hope you’ve all got a nice celebration planned.

      Like

      1. Thanks Fern — and everyone above who has offered congratulations.

        No special celebrations planned: we all just set off on our usual dawn foraging for cabbage leaves and old fish heads, as usual.

        😦

        Like

        1. But it’s not over until the fat lady sings …

          Having received on Monday, 14 May, my permission to reside temporarily (RVP) in Russia for 3 years, I was sternly warned that I had to register my residence address at my local Moscow Taganskiy District migration office no lessthan 7 working days following the issuing of said permit.

          The office in question is a 5-minute stroll from my house, where I have lived with my wife since we wed in 1997.

          I duly appeared at that office as soon as it opened yesterday. I was told there that I had to get documents appertaining to my residence, which documents were issued at the Taganskiy District central administrative office, situated about a mile away, and then return with them to the migration office. So off I strolled to that place.

          At the district beaurocracy palace, I was told that my wife had to be with me as she is the owner of the flat where I have lived as her legally married spouse for more than 20 years. She had to sign in my presence that I have permission off her to live at our home address. I had to present photocopies of my passport and its translation by a notary. Fortunately, I have 3 such copies and translations: through bitter experience I have learnt to have such things on hand.

          So my wfe and I returned up at the Taganskiy administration tower after she had finished work that evening and I after I had cancelled my work for that evening.

          Everything was going fine, and then …

          It turned out that they could not give me documents signed by my wife saying that I was to be registered at the place where I have lived for 20 years, because I am already permanently registered there! According to the bureaucratic grinding mill, I have never ceased being registered at my address since I received my full residency permit in 2007.

          They couldn’t understand why this was so. My wife explained why: I had inadvertently forgotten to extend my full residency permit on time last year etc.

          She then told them the whole story of how they made me appear in court last year, how I was fined, how I couldn’t leave Russia as I had no visa, how I had to apply for a transit visa, how I had to go to the UK and wait there for a month until I received a visa allowing my re-entry to Russia, and of how, having returned to Russia on September 13 last year, I had to apply all over for an RVP, which I at last received only 2 days ago.

          They just couldn’t believe it! — Married for 20 years??? Three children of school age???. Russian tax code??? etc., etc.

          And I got the story that they shouldn’t have done this, that they should have ignored my tardiness and just stamped my full residency permit with a 5-year extension stamp. And they said that I was already, legally, a permanent foreign resident of Russia.

          But there’s the rub: they couldn’t fathom out how to register my address as per my new RVP because I’m already “in the computer” as a registered resident.

          So I have to go to my local migration office when it opens in 2 hours and tell them this. And tell them to sort this mess out.

          And they’ll try to pass the buck at the migration office, I know. And I’ll end up like a ping-pong ball being directed back and forth between government departments.

          They dropped an enormous bollock with me last year. The people yesterday evening were very critical of their colleagues’ actions at the local migration office etc., etc., but that doesn’t help me any way.

          I asked them if I shall lose my RVP. They said no, that the fault lies with the people at the migration office, but how this problem can be solved they, at the main administration office, had no idea,

          When and if this nightmare ends, I should sue them because of the immense problems their ineptitude has caused both me amd my family.

          Doing so would be a complete waste of time, though.

          Like

          1. Hopefully you can somehow use this episode to shame them into granting you citizenship through some expedited process.

            Like

          2. And at the local migration office this morning, they got ratty and said “No, they were not at fault: the registration is for the temporary residence permit granted me on 23 April and stamped in my passport on 14 May and has nothing to do with the registration of my permanent residency that was granted me in 2007. So I have to go back to the main administration with my wife again this evening and sort it out with them. And they’ll send me back to the local migration office … and on and on it will go.

            Like

  27. Jesus God…the depravity of these murdering zionist IDF vermin is beyond words:
    Last Updated May 14, 2018 8:56 AM EDT

    “GAZA STRIP — Israeli troops fired from across a border fence Monday, shooting and killing at least 37 Palestinians and wounding dozens more in protests near the Gaza border, according to Palestinian officials, casting a dark shadow over the planned ceremony to mark the opening of the new U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem. Monday’s protest was against a decade-long blockade of the Palestinian territory, but also aimed at the inauguration of the embassy in the contested holy city.”

    37….37….in one day………

    https://www.cbsnews.com/news/israel-gaza-border-clashes-as-us-embassy-jerusalem-opens-today-2018-5-14/

    Like

      1. But the reply most commonly parroted in the western media is ‘Israel has a right to defend itself’. And shooting people who are plainly not armed is often not a crime in the USA, either, so long as you are wearing a police uniform while you do it, so it is not hard to see where each gets its values.

        The ‘Jewish homeland’ experiment is a failure. It’s time for the people of Israel to be once again scattered among the countries of the world where they will be subject to ordinary laws and no longer special. There’s no reason they should be persecuted wherever they are, but you can’t take land away from those who owned it, expel them and give it to someone else because something terrible happened to them. Not while the real owners still live. Which seems to be the plan – exterminate the Palestinians completely, or reduce them to such an insignificant minority that nobody pays attention to them and they are consequently not worth killing.

        Like

        1. ” It’s time for the people of Israel to be once again scattered among the countries of the world where they will be subject to ordinary laws and no longer special. ”

          Absolutely….

          Mark….On this we agree.

          Israeli murder rampage continues…it’s up to 58 Palestinians shot dead….

          https://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/us/palestinians-count-dead-after-day-of-carnage-on-gaza-border-1.3495209

          https://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-news/palestinians/.premium-mass-gaza-border-clashes-52-killed-by-israeli-gunfire-2-410-wounded-1.6091548

          Like

          1. Israel is afraid of peaceful demonstrations, and seeks to turn them into an exchange of fire which will give them an opportunity to escalate and kill hundreds. All it has going for it is massive firepower, courtesy of the American taxpayer and the US military-industrial complex. Washington sends taxpayer dollars to it as foreign aid, which Israel uses to buy the latest American weapons from Lockheed-Martin and General Dynamics, completing a neat exchange of money from the taxpayer to American defense companies.

            Like

            1. I agree 110 to 120% with the above but do have a contrarian interpretation on who has the power. I am becoming convinced that the Anglo empire is the ultimate ruler of the Western world and not the Jews; not even close.

              Just as jihadists are used to carry out the dirty work of the Anglo empire, so are the Jews. As both groups are self-important religious zealots, they are easily manipulated for whatever ends are desired. For the jihadists the payoff is they get their virgins in heaven, for Jews, they get money. There are certainly many variables, many unknown, but the Jews seem to be no more than a tribe of religious zealots with a peculiar love of money about all else. Break the Anglo empire and Jews will find an appropriate place in society constrained by the more sane. Eventually, their pathology should dissipate by a sort of psychic diffusion. The Anglo empire is choking humanity in my opinion.

              Like

              1. In the 19th century the British saw in the original Zionist project as propounded by Theodor Herzl an opportunity to use Jewish settlers as sentinels working on their behalf to police the Arabs and other peoples in the Levant once (presumably) the Ottoman empire fell apart and its territories ripe for picking. The ultimate aim was to control overland routes from the eastern Mediterranean Sea to the Persian Gulf and thence into the Arabian Sea and the Indian subcontinent. Once Winston Churchill switched the British Navy over from steam to oil to power ever larger warships, controlling the Middle East became all the more urgent.

                Several British politicians were followers of an odd belief in British Israelism: the idea that the Ten Lost Tribes settled in Britain and the British were their descendants. They therefore saw British control of the Levant, and in particular the Holy Land, as their destiny and their right. This is apparent in the way they went about renaming various parts of the Middle East with their old Biblical-era names, such as renaming the area between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers (in what later became Iraq) Mesopotamia, as if this would somehow expunge an entire 2,000-year or so period in which the Persians fought the Romans and then Muslims fought the Byzantines, and Islamic empires rose and fell.

                Rumour abounds on the Internet that the Saudi royal family has Jewish origins and that the US Department of Defense holds an English-language translation of a report “The Emergence of Wahhabism and its Historical Roots”, commissioned by Saddam Hussein from Iraqi intel in 2002, which supposedly relies on the memoirs of an 18th-century British spy named Hempher who conspired with Abdul Wahhab to create a subversive form of Islam (Wahhabism) intended to destroy the religion and soften up Muslim peoples to accept British domination.

                https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Memoirs_of_Mr._Hempher,_The_British_Spy_to_the_Middle_East

                Like

                1. Interesting info. The Jews are the cat’s paw for the Anglo empire. Just as radical Islam and the Ustache, Jews (particularly in America) eagerly serve their masters (even if not fully aware of their subservient role).

                  Like

          2. ” It’s time for the people of Israel to be once again scattered among the countries of the world where they will be subject to ordinary laws and no longer special. ”

            But they already are and do, don’t they?

            More Jews live in New York city than in Israel, do they not?

            Like

            1. I have said this many times before, but there are plenty of Jews who live normal lives here, and not only secularized, even atheist Jews, the progeny of Soviet Jews: I see quite a few “god-fearing” Jews around wearing the symbols of their faith. And I’ve told you before of a young Jewish new neighbour here who the other used to say “Shalom” to me because he thought I was a rabbi (I often wear a black fedora).

              The crappy Jews such as Gessen you can keep — in New York.

              Like

              1. The Jewish activists will want to be close to Washington, because they like to keep things stirred up. Mind you, that would be a local cause only if all of them lived in New York, and while I am sure moving all of them out of the Middle East would not necessarily make it a peaceful place, it would remove one obvious source of friction.

                Like

            2. Good, if true. Then they can provide a host community for the remainder of them when they move out of Israel and give it back to the Palestinians.

              Obviously, Jewish people live everywhere and there is no reason they shouldn’t be allowed to live anywhere they like, so long as it’s not in their reserved-for-Israelis special homeland in Israel. As I’ve often suggested, if Washington is so concerned about the security of the Jewish state, let them flip for whether they get Wisconsin or Texas. Keep your friends close, they say.

              Like

              1. I think from my own past reading that about half the Jewish people in Israel have Ashkenazi or eastern European ancestry and half have Sefardic (Spanish / Portuguese) or Mizrahi (Middle Eastern / North African) ancestry. I should think though that over the years there has been some intermarriage so definite percentages are hard to come by and defining Jewish people by their ancestry may depend on individuals’ self-perceptions.

                Rough rule of thumb in working out the differences among Jews is that Ashkenazi Jews have Yiddish as their original mother tongue, Sefardi Jews have Ladino and Mizrahi Jews use the various Arabic dialects of the areas where they originally came from (eg Iraqi Jews use Iraqi Arabic, and Syrian, Lebanese and Palestinian Jews use Levantine Arabic), and Persian.

                Like

  28. They also opened the new flight terminal in Simferopol a few weeks ago:

    The infrastructural investments into Crimea boggle the mind. They’re building thousands of kilometers of brand new highways, they’re building two new airports (well, the Simferopol one is already finished now), they’re building a huge bridge from mainland Russia (which opens on May 16th), they’re refurbishing the shipyards in Kerch, Feodosiya and Sevastopol…

    They also reactivated the huge, state-of-the-art space monitoring center outside Saki, which the Ukrainians didn’t give a crap about for 20 odd years. In fact, the Ukrainians were busy trying to dismantle the giant antennas, in order to sell off the raw material as scrap metal, when the Crimean spring occured in 2014.

    Like

    1. Crimean Spring; ha, ha, that’s perfect. The new airport is beautiful, it reminds me very much of the terminal at Incheon International, which is the most beautiful airport I have been in, bright and airy and spacious.

      I particularly liked the small groves of real trees spotted about here and there, some in open spaces and some whose treetops came up through cutouts in the upper floors.

      We have tried in our own small way to emulate this look at our own local international airport, although Victoria International is tiny by comparison; the lead photo here is also Incheon International, but Victoria International is featured in the photos underneath, last photo on the right, with the open columns leading into the terminal from the arrival gates, and the small trees flanking them. There are often real birds in them, too, who get into the terminal from outside.

      https://www.cnn.com/2015/02/17/travel/gallery/cnnee-aeropuertos-mejor-servicio/index.html

      Like

    2. Mrs. Exile wants to move south, preferably to Sevastopol. I don’t.

      I can’t anyway: my temporary residence permit only allows me to live and work in Moscow. When I get a full one again, I shall then be able to live and work anywhere in the Evil Empire.

      Like

  29. You just couldn’t make this up!

    A separate department of patrol police in the Autonomous Republic of the Crimea and Sevastopol has started working on # Kherson region 🇺🇦️

    It is being led by Viktor Levchenko. Today, May 14, his staff was presented by Oleksiy Biloshytskiy, First Deputy Chief of the Department of Patrol Police of the Ukraine.

    From now on, on the admins of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea will be patrolled by⃣️5️⃣️ patrol policemen. They will be stationed at checkpoints in the three border areas: Genichesk, Kalanchatsky and Chaplinsky. Also, law enforcement will control the main routes connecting the mainland with the peninsula.

    The start of the separate department of the patrol police in the Autonomous Republic of the Crimea and the city of Sevastopol took place at the “Azov” post of Genichesk district, located at the 500th kilometre of the M-18 Kharkiv-Simferopol-Alushta-Yalta highway.

    “The Crimea is our land, and there should be patrol police. I believe that the time will come when the patrol police will patrol the entire peninsula. Police officers from different regional departments of the patrol police are taking over patrols of the border zone of the Autonomous Republic of the Crimea today. The head of this unit, Viktor Levchenko, is one of the best patrol policemen, a professional we are proud of, “said Oleksiy Biloshitsky.

    And on and on and on …

    Like

    1. I don’t quite get what they’re saying. Is it that Ukrainian patrol policemen plan to patrol in Russian territory, and enforce Ukrainian law there? If so, good luck with that. It’s a bold strategy, but I see quite a few things wrong with it.

      Really they’re just swaggering about with a chip on their shoulder, like always, waiting for Russia to knock it off so they can run squealing to Washington and Brussels.

      Like

      1. These guys will have the same type of job as the Maytag Repair Man. Just sitting around, waiting for something to happen…
        I hope they have a pack of cards.

        Like

  30. A three articles about the responses to massacre in Gaza hope the links work

    http://www.theamericanconservative.com/

    The Trump Administration’s Despicable Response to the Gaza Massacre. At least one American calls out USA government.

    https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2018/05/when-is-a-massacre-not-a-massacre/

    Excellent article by former Ambassador Craig Murray about the brutal killing of Palestinians.

    https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2018/05/the-stomach-churning-victim-blaming-by-labour-friends-of-israel/

    Mr Murray writes about the Labour Party in the UK; who have been infiltrated and influenced by a group similar to AIPAC in the USA.

    (Jeremy Corbyn despite constant accusations of anti semitism condemned what Israel did in Gaza as a massacre.)

    Like

    1. Trump, Mogherini, Johnson et al could not belly up to Kiev fast enough and start ladling cash into its gaping maw: oh, the poor Ukrainians (except those in the east, that is, who have actually been shelled for years), they need the west’s help to rebuild…but nothing for the Syrians until they change their government to the west’s satisfaction. Unbelievably low and disgusting. The west just cannot accept that it lost it’s regime-change gambit, and is pissing on every vaunted western value in a public effort to force capitulation through misery. Why do their populations put up with this? Isn’t there to be a point where western leaders become so disgusting that they are just ignored and rejected? How can they continue to hold office? Is it not by the peoples’ sufferance? Do they really approve of this sort of behavior?

      http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/washington-couldnt-beat-assad-so-it-will-punish-his-people/

      Like


  31. Mykola Yanovych Azarov (Ukrainian: Микола Янович Азаров; Russian: Николай Янович Азaров, translit. Nikolay Yanovich Azarov) 17 December 1947, is a Ukrainian politician who was the Prime Minister of the Ukraine from 11 March 2010 to 27 January 2014.

    Николай Азаров
    11 hrs ·
    К открытию автомобильного движения по Крымскому мосту

    Хочется от всей души поздравить строителей Крымского моста с выдающимся достижением: всего за 3 года построен самый протяженный в Европе 19-километровый мост со всеми прилегающими к нему подходами.

    В течение полутора десятков лет этот проект в разных вариантах был предметом дискуссий между правительствами России и Украины, так как экономическое значение его для развития Крыма и прилегающих к нему областей огромно. Но труднейшие геологические, экономические и финансовые проблемы каждый раз откладывали это решение. И, тем не менее, мост построен.
    Это доказывает, что Россия способна, несмотря на труднейшие внешние и внутренние проблемы, решать задачи гигантской технологической сложности. Сравнивая с тем, что происходит в Украине, я по-хорошему завидую россиянам.

    Мы бы могли построить Крымский мост вместе, но не получилось вместе, пусть же он служит нашим людям долгие годы.

    On the opening of the the Crimea Bridge to automobile traffic.

    I should like to wholeheartedly congratulate the builders of the Crimea Bridge on their outstanding achievement: in just 3 years this 19-kilometre bridge, the longest in Europe, has been built with all its approach roads.

    For a decade and a half, this project in different versions had been the subject of discussions between the governments of Russia and the Ukraine because its economic importance for the development of the Crimea and the surrounding areas was huge. But the most difficult of geological, economic and financial problems each time postponed this decision. Nevertheless, the bridge has been built.

    This proves that Russia is capable, despite the most difficult of external and internal problems, of solving tasks of enormous technological complexity. Comparing this with what is happening in the Ukraine, I envy the Russians in a positive way.

    We could have built the Crimea bridge together, but it did not work out. Let it serve our people for many years.

    [My stress — ME]

    Source: Facebook

    Like

  32. Omaha World Herald via alert5.com: Despite danger to Offutt crews, U.S. House drops new Open Skies jets from 2019 budget
    http://www.omaha.com/news/military/despite-danger-to-offutt-crews-u-s-house-drops-new/article_481ea795-9b89-59d0-b00b-462f887265d3.html

    ….The Trump administration had asked for the money in its 2019 budget to buy a pair of new small airliners to fly aerial photography missions over Russia and Ukraine under the 1992 Open Skies treaty. They would replace the Wing’s two OC-135 Open Skies jets, which were built in 1961 and have suffered frequent mechanical breakdowns in recent years.

    “The air crews are being stranded in Russia for weeks at a time, put in really awkward situations,” said Rep. Don Bacon, R-Neb., a retired Air Force brigadier general who formerly commanded the 55th Wing.

    The replacement jets would have been the first brand-new aircraft for the 55th Wing since 1967….

    ….Thornberry announced the cuts in a message accompanying the $716 billion spending bill, which was amended and approved on a 60-1 vote during a markup session Wednesday. In written comments for the session, he said he would withhold funding for new aircraft and new photo sensors for the jets until Russia “again complies with the Treaty.” He also demanded Russia agree to extradite Russian nationals who have been charged with interfering in the 2016 U.S. elections.

    Thornberry tucked other anti-Russian measures into the bill as well, including funding more U.S. troops in Europe, ending all military-to-military cooperation with Russia, and adding $250 million in lethal aid to Ukraine…

    ####

    Thornberry’s a real prick. If one of those planes crash, he won’t admit responsibility.

    Like

  33. Euractiv: Commission to announce peace deal with Gazprom by next week
    https://www.euractiv.com/section/competition/news/commission-to-announce-peace-deal-with-gazprom-by-next-week/

    The European Commission is due to announce the deal on 24 May, one source said, ending one of its longest running competition cases that began with dawn raids at 20 offices in 10 countries in 2011 when investigators seized over 150,000 documents….

    …Gazprom’s concessions consist of linking prices to benchmarks such as western European gas market hubs and border prices in France, Germany and Italy, and allowing price reviews every two years, according to a recent draft seen by Reuters.

    It will also drop all contractual constraints which bar clients from reselling its gas and let the Bulgarian transmission network operator take charge of the Balkan country’s gas flows to Greece.

    The concessions are expected to be valid for eight years. The EU will not impose any financial penalty on Gazprom, but if the company fails to abide by the terms of the settlement, the EU can still impose fines…
    #####

    Which means Poland’s recent charges against Gazprom are for naught:

    Euractiv: Poland rolls out big legal gun against Nord Stream 2
    https://www.euractiv.com/section/energy/news/poland-rolls-out-big-legal-gun-against-nord-stream-2/

    May 9, 2018

    The Polish Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK) has initiated proceedings against Russia’s Gazprom, Switzerland’s Engie and Austria’s OMV, as well as Uniper and Wintershall of Germany, the country where Russian gas will reach EU soil…
    ####

    LOSERS!

    Like

    1. Ha, ha!! Poland thinks it’s a big noise in eastern Europe, but the EU is probably not in the mood to stroke its ego and blow a major gas deal as a result, and the companies involved could buy and sell Poland.

      Like

  34. FlightGlobal.com: Sukhoi assessing engine options for ‘Russified’ Superjet
    https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/sukhoi-assessing-engine-options-for-russified-supe-448567/

    …Aviadvigatel has been developing the PD-14 engine family and has proposed a smaller model, designated the PD-10, which is aimed at aircraft such as the Superjet.

    Sukhoi says that other key components to be replaced for the SSJ100R include the inertial navigation system and auxiliary power unit – both provided by Honeywell – as well as the parts for the interior…

    …Two Iranian airlines have signed preliminary agreements to take the ‘Russified’ aircraft. The US government’s withdrawal from a pact lifting nuclear-related sanctions is set to re-impose restrictions on supplying aircraft to Iran featuring significant US content.
    ####

    About time too. If the US political class insists on screwing its own businesses and those of its allies, serves them right.

    Like

    1. I was hoping Russia would step in with the Superjet and fill Boeing’s shoes – there will be angst aplenty at Boeing over this, as they wonder aloud what the fuck Trump thinks he’s doing. A few more missteps like that and Sukhoi will be established as a major producer of global commercial aircraft, and a rival to Boeing and Airbus. It can underbid both. The western beast is snapping at its own entrails in its fury.

      Like

      1. Al Beeb s’Allah GONAD (God’s Own News Agency Direct) : EU paid Airbus billions in illegal subsidies, WTO rules
        https://www.bbc.com/news/business-44120525

        The World Trade Organisation (WTO) has ruled that the European Union (EU) failed to comply with requests to end subsidies for Airbus.

        The US Trade Representative (USTR) said the ruling in the dispute opens the way for placing tariffs on EU goods.

        The USTR argued that European countries had given $22bn in state aid to Airbus to help launch its A380 and A350 jets, causing losses to US rival Boeing.

        The European Commission said most of the disputed support ended in 2011….
        ####

        More at the link.

        At the moment there are two things that occur to me. 1: It’s funny. Airbus bet on the A380 after the 1992 VLA (Very Large Aircraft) agreement between the US & the EU while the MD-11 double decker died (it got absorbed, along with other manufacturers in to Boeing, Lockheed – of Tristar fame – to LM) and the A380 has been struggling since. If it weren’t for Qatar/Emirates/whatever, If we are being generous, the program would be massively fu*&ed. Airbus has already paid a significant price. The main irony is that there is an obvious need for much larger aircraft as much more of the world’s population gets access to air travel (shortage of pilots, hello!), but the A380 was too big, too soon. Whether Airbus go for an re-engined update is yet a possibility (though currently rejected by Airbus) and it may turn in to a bigger success – the 747 took quite a few years to garner significant hors d’oeuvres before it became the success it was, but still point-to-point big twins have been the big winner (777 mainly, & A330); 2: The US & Europe moan about other countries subsidizing their industries and demand full and unfettered western access to their markets, but both Boeing & Airbus have benefited from decades of direct and indirect subsidies which is why we have dominant Airbus and Boeing today, doing anything to keep it so. The WTO Doha round hit the dust precisely because the ‘Developing World’ told us to GTFO and kiss their ass.

        It’s not fair! when they do it. It is when we do.

        What will Washington do? Non-linear leverage me thinks.

        Like

        1. Boeing wants to be the only manufacturer of commercial airliners in the world. Washington wants that, too. And eventually they will have their way if their ‘allies’ do not stop knuckling their foreheads and saying, “Right you are, guv’nor”. The European Union is so gutless that it confounds description.

          Like

  35. Some of the British prince’s future in-laws arrive at Heathrow airport as uninvited guest at the “royal” wedding:


    Meghan Markle’s nephews Tyler and Thomas Dooley along with their mother Tracy Dooley Markle arrive at London Heathrow airport with an unidentified woman

    It seems that one of them is so hard up he could not even afford to buy himself a shirt!

    Like

        1. Elly May was pretty hot. That show ran for 9 years on the US. It plus Gillagan’s Island were the pinnacle of US popular entertainment. It stands up well to the trash on prime time today.

          Like

          1. At risk of embarrassing myself here, I’ve been watching the old 1960s Batman TV show, the one with all the death-trap cliff-hanger endings and the improbable ways in which Batman and Robin escape.

            Most recent episodes I saw nearly had Batman and Robin turned into Flatman and Ribbon in a stamp-making machine (this one is the crossover episode with the old Green Hornet series – which of course means seeing Bruce Lee as Kato taking on Robin!), Batman and Robin nearly drowning in cake (the episode with John Astin as the Riddler) and Batman and Robin about to be drowned in sulfuric acid poured from a giant teapot.

            For a campy comedy TV show intended for children, Batman sure had some sadistic scripts.

            Like

            1. Did you see the full-length movie? That’s the best Batman movie ever. In one scene Batman is trying to dispose of a bomb (big round black-ball bomb with a lighted fuse), but everywhere he runs, he sees either a nun walking by, or a mom wheeling a baby pram, and he turns to the camera and says, “Some days you just can’t get rid of a bomb…”

              In another scene, Batman and Robin are rapelling down a helicopter onto the Penguin’s submarine. A shark swims up and attacks Robin, but Batman grabs some “Shark Repellent Spray” (very clearly labelled) from his utility belt and sprays the shark right in the snout.

              I also saw another great Batman movie, this time animated one (2016) called Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders. Julie Newmar does the voice of Catwoman. It’s really good, you should watch it if you haven’t already seen it.

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Batman:_Return_of_the_Caped_Crusaders

              Like

              1. Oh yes I’ve seen the 1966 movie. Funniest dialogue was where Batman and Robin are racing away from an explosion in their speedboat and Batman pays tribute to the porpoise that flung itself in front of the torpedo before that was supposed to hit the magnetised buoy that had the Dynamic Duo stuck to it by their utility belts.

                No I have never seen that animated film “Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders”! I’ve seen a couple of others, one based on “The Killing Joke” comic and the other featuring Joker’s girlfriend Harley Quinn helping Batman and Nightwing (the grown-up Dick Grayson) fight Poison Ivy and Swamp Thing and neither was any good.

                I have to see “Batman vs Two-Face” as well: it has the same voice actors as in “… Return of the Caped Crusaders” and features William Shatner (yes, him!!!) as Harvey Two-Face Dent.

                Like

                1. Oh yeah! I forgot about that marvelous scene where Batman eulogizes over the heroic dolphin who gave his life to help the heroes.

                  “Return of the Caped Crusaders” is a great movie too, you should download it. There is a running gag where our heroes are worried that Aunt Harriet has cottoned on to their secret identities. In reality, Aunt Harriet believes that they are a couple of queers who have yet to come out of the closet!
                  But the best part of the movie is where Batman temporarily becomes evil after he was rufied by Catwoman. When he is evil, Batman joins up with all of the super-villains and tries to kill Robin (several times). It’s a hoot!

                  Like

      1. They need not have bothered with bringing in their own sun-dried and cured squirrels when Fraudian journalist George Monbiot can show them how to cook and eat roadkill squirrel.

        Like

    1. The Deputy Minister of Ukraine Foreign Affairs and European Integration Elena zerkal:

      The Kerch bridge leads from the occupying country to occupied Ukrainian territories. No publicity picture can change the fact of the illegal occupation of the peninsula.

      Tuzla Island, the Kerch Strait, the Kerch-Yenikalsky Channel, the Crimea is our territory and the bridge has been constructed contrary to our will on our territory.

      The Kerch Bridge has ben built in violation of the sovereign rights of the Ukraine. The negative impact on the environment, shipping and fishing is only in addition to the main thing – without the consent of the Ukraine, this bridge should not have been built at all.

      We filed a lawsuit against the Russian Federation on the violation of these rights in 2016. In February, we submitted a Memorandum to this case – the main document is now being processed with all the necessary evidence. The construction of the bridge violates at least Articles 2, 43, 44, 123, 192, 194, 204, 205, 206 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

      In the final analysis, this is a violation of many bilateral agreements between the Ukraine and Russia, which were pledged to respect our territorial integrity and sovereignty, as well as the inviolability of our border.

      The question is not of geology and technology: a bridge built on lack of rights, aggression and criminal acts cannot endure.

      The President of the Ukraine Petro Poroshenko has commented on reports that construction of the road part of the Crimean bridge is officially completed.

      According to him, this is “more evidence of the disrespect for international law by the Kremlin”.

      Like

      1. Funny thing is that I am pretty sure the deputy minister’s family name means “mirror” in Ukrainian.

        Does she reflect the asses that surround her in Kiev, I wonder?

        Like

      2. Wasn’t it you who said “We can never be brothers, not even allies”? I’m pretty sure I remember that, from the dewy-eyed maiden who was supposedly a native Kievite, on the occasion of the Glorious Maidan. So you don’t have any bilateral agreements any more. The relationship is sundered, and you and Brussels are best buds now. For its part, the EU seems to have accepted the reality of the situation. It’s only Ukraine and some ideologues in Washington who keep holding on to the dream that Russia is going to be made to give it back.

        Here’s a reminder, for anyone who has forgotten; Russia is only big, while Ukraine is grand, because they have the courage to be free. Well done, Ukraine. They liked that little speech so well, they set it to music. Singing it and jumping up and down will keep them warm in winter.

        Like

            1. I heard that he ended up working in film and television. Possibly he has since returned now that there’s no danger of being drafted.

              Like

  36. Well, here’s what it looked like from Kerch, when the Russian president came driving a truck:

    I have to admit, that column of vehicles looks pretty epic as it rolls down the bridge. Anyway, congratulations Crimeans.

    Like

    1. I doubt there will be much coverage from the western media of the event, but western journalists will be disappointed that Putin wore a shirt for the crossing. Although the fact that he participated at all will be a ‘publicity stunt’.

      Like

        1. I saw that! The comments started out very positive. But then, after a few hours had gone by, the Langley trolls and Banderites started to kick in with their nasty and ludicrous emissions.

          Like

      1. Western news media will be most upset that Putin drove all the way from one end of Europe’s newest longest bridge and at least two eyewitnesses were there with him, to verify that he did indeed do all the driving, and that he got in and out of the driver’s seat by himself.

        Can you imagine that if The Klintonator had become President and was going to drive a truck as a publicity stunt (assuming she can drive) on a new bridge, she would need several people to deposit her into the driver’s seat and require the entire staff of a city hospital or regional centre hospital plus a fleet of helicopters to trail her as well in case she drives off the bridge?

        Like

        1. Western writers had to satisfy themselves with remarking that Putin appeared pleased with himself and was ‘bouncing in his seat’ with excitement, as if he were a child or something, motivating one wag to comment on the Yahoo article to ask if he had needed a booster seat. Riiiiight; I get it – because he’s little, see what he did there? I remember how columnists used to snicker about how John Kerry towered over Putin. Perhaps he has a part now acting as a giant sequoia in some American National Park, because Kerry has disappeared to nobody-is-curious-where, while Putin is still around and more current than ever. So being physically tall must convey a very short-term advantage. Although it’s still very important in places where the dunderheads roam free, like Texas.

          Like

  37. The Register: Kaspersky Lab’s move from Russia to Switzerland fails to save it from Dutch oven
    https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/05/15/kaspersky_labs_announces_move_to_zurich_dutch_government_questions_firm/

    Netherlands turns up the heat as transparency plans unveiled

    It has been a busy few days for beleaguered antivirus-flinger Kaspersky Lab. Today’s confirmation of an infrastructure move to Switzerland comes hot on the heels of a comment from the Netherlands government that use of the Russian firm’s software is a bit risky.

    Kaspersky is moving a number of its core processes from Russia to Switzerland as part of its “Global Transparency Initiative” (aka “Please stop being horrid about our Russian connections”). The estimated costs of the move are $12m, Kaspersky told us.

    The security outfit plans to open a data centre in Zurich by the end of 2019 which will store information on users in regions such as Europe, North America and Australia….
    ####

    More at the link.

    The Americans say “JUMP.” The Dutch government says “How high?.”

    Yet again, playing for short term satisfaction. Russia is taking notes and names.

    A question for my fellow stooges, apart from the word of the British government, is there any proof that the ‘head of MI5’ is actually the head of MI5 rather than a PSYOPS frontman? He does rather talk a lot. It’s a basic contradiction.

    Like

    1. Yes, a very good analysis. When a country is free of an abstract ideology or rule by the wealthy (yes, talking about Russia), then fluid moves and elegant actions are possible.

      Like

  38. Sky Nudes: N Korea warns US over next month’s summit after military drill
    https://news.sky.com/story/n-korea-scraps-talks-with-seoul-over-us-military-drills-11374058

    Pyongyang also warns the United States it has limited “good will” a month before the US-North Korea summit.

    North Korea has said it is scrapping high-level talks with the South due to military drills with the US, reports from the region say.

    It has also questioned the US’ commitment to a summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un set for next month in Singapore.

    The “indefinite postponement” came just hours before the North-South talks were due to start on Wednesday afternoon.

    The joint Max Thunder drills between the South Korean and US air forces are a rehearsal for the invasion of the North, the North’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said.

    They are also a provocation amid warming inter-Korean ties, KCNA added….
    ####

    Here we go again. I was wondering how long it would take. The US (and not just Trump), still thinks that the rest of the world is desperate to stay on its good side and swallow whatever shite it wishes to shovel at will down other countries’ throats. It may be true of U-rope, but the rest of the world. I guess we’ll see how desperate Trump is to have a diplomatic coup under his belt, coz we know compromise is a sign of weakness to be exploited, not a negotiating tactic.

    Like

    1. Incredible that the US and SK would not suspend military exercises (i.e. invasion rehearsals), even for a few weeks, in advance of the Trump meeting. NK should cancel the meeting.

      Like

    2. I said so as well; Washington will try to ruin any possibility of rapprochement between the two Koreas, because there’s nothing in a united Korea for Washington, and it would lose a valuable bogeyman.

      Like

  39. In other news, it is reported that Sorros’s Open Society has shut up shop in Hungary. That may be technically true, but I’m sure his money and influence on behalf of the USDoS will already be infiltrating Hungary in other ways such as through other parties.

    Like

  40. http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/05/15/poli-m15.html

    “Royal Oak Police Chief Corrigan O’Donohue defended the actions of the officer in a press conference, declaring, “There is no way the officer could have known” that Reynolds was unarmed. “If someone is willing to assault their parents, they’d be willing to assault anybody,” he added. While the officer, who has not been named, has been assigned to desk duty pending a standard review, O’Donohue said that “Based on the preliminary investigation … there is nothing that really jumps out as misconduct.”

    “There is no way the officer could have known that Reynolds was unarmed”

    I assume all Stooges see that this (IMO) moron has immediately immersed himself in a logical morass….

    Like

    1. If the police can shoot somebody because there is a possibility he may be armed based on the fact that he’s not naked and the police cannot see him simultaneously from every angle, then the police can shoot anyone. And the early forecasts by authorities that there will be no misconduct found are contributing to an atmosphere such as US forces were under in Iraq, where they could shoot people on a whim and get away with it.

      Like

  41. http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/05/15/pers-m15.html

    There was a time when the collective conscience of humanity could largely be awakened by
    moral abominations such as the Israeli mass murder campaign in Gaza. But the part of that conscience that existed in the West is beyond the decay of putrefaction…
    It’s just nothingness.

    “Images of the riots spread all over the world, shocking millions. The photograph of Hector Pieterson’s dead body, as captured by photojournalist Sam Nzima, caused outrage and brought down international condemnation on the Apartheid government.”

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

    Like

    1. I am not sure if there were a collective Western consciences regarding fairness or morality with a few notable exceptions – the civil rights movement and the labor movement come to mind. The anti-Vietnam war movement was largely motivated by the military draft. The fear of youth to forcibly serve in the military in a fairly dangerous war was wrapped in a moral outrage. Much of the outrage was sincere but much was also a pretext to avoid military service. At the end of the day, when the draft went away, so did mass sentiment against war in the US.

      Regarding pictures that generate mass moral outrage, such results only occur if the media want them to occur. Countless disturbing photos of the victims of US military action or of its allies end up in the trash. Only those photos, combined with a full-on media blitz gain public attention.

      Yet I do agree that the extraordinary level of self-absorption and narcissism has rendered an increasing majority of Americans utterly uninterested in global affairs regardless of the levelo of human misery or injustice.

      Like

      1. You have to wonder about the potential for blowback. Mohammed Bin Salman is lauded in the west as a reformer, i.e. an excuse to continue selling hundreds of billions in weapons sales and draw a line under KSA and others rampant human rights abuses, but he is allied with Israel and noticeably quiet about the massacres of Palestinians. Currying favor abroad while looking a hypocrite at home is a poor excuse of a strategy. I still think the KSA will implode and take the rest of the Gulf with it. All those mercenaries paid, armed and sent to fight in Syria by the GCC will not just disappear and some of them will bring their skills home or to the highest bidder, not necessarily western…

        Like

  42. Well, well….look at that. The Dutch plan to halt production from their giant Groningen gas field by 2030 because of the danger of earthquakes caused by their extraction methods, and production cuts will likely be effected quicker than that. There will go the gas supply to 90% of Dutch residential gas users.

    But Europe does not need Nord Stream II. No, Sir.

    http://www.dw.com/en/netherlands-to-shut-europes-biggest-gas-field-to-limit-quake-risk/a-43190065

    Like

    1. Indeedy.

      Euractiv: Europe grapples with Dutch gas production ‘collapse’
      https://www.euractiv.com/section/energy/news/europe-grapples-with-dutch-gas-production-collapse/

      For the first time, the Netherlands became a net importer of gas last year, reflecting the inexorable decline in production from Europe’s North Sea fields – an issue EU policymakers are only starting to come to terms with…

      …Natural gas consumption in Europe last year reached its highest level since 2010, according to EU figures released in April. And the vast majority of it was imported, representing a whopping 360 billion cubic meters (bcm) of the 491bcm consumed in Europe, up 10% from 2016….
      #####

      More at the link.

      Much of what we have been saying here on this blog over the last few years is repeated. So much for independent energy analysts such as Sijbren de Jong.

      Like

  43. Euractiv – The Brief: The Brief – Weaving the silk road into the 21st century
    https://www.euractiv.com/section/global-europe/news/the-brief-weaving-the-silk-road-into-the-21st-century/

    ####

    There’s plenty to unpack therein, but silence about B&R undermining the US attempt to contain China by shifting most of the US military to the Pacific, and little about the happy clappy human rights luvvin’ EU cozying up to the Azeri dictator and the almost total compliant silence by the Pork Pie News Networks. Good Dictator, Bad Dictator, We’re so moral, Coz We’re the Self-appointed Regulator….

    Like

  44. In case you thought the North Koreans were completely stupid.

    Like

  45. Moscow. May 16. INTERFAX.RUthe US Administration believes that the opening of the Crimea bridge will adversely affect the people and the Peninsula, said spokesman Heather Nauert on Tuesday at a U.S. state Department briefing.

    “We have seen the construction and opening of the bridge over the strait. The construction of this bridge has definitely had a negative impact on the people of the Crimea. The bridge represents not only an attempt to further strengthen Russia and the capture of the Crimea, but also creates problems for navigation. This is a topic which we are closely monitoring and it bothers us”, she said.

    No need to be bothered: just mind your own fucking business and fuck off!

    I can’t be more polite that that.

    Like

    1. Judging from some of the PPNN ‘analyses’, they’re already preparing the way to blame the Norks whatever the facts, i.e. a la BBC ‘Norks reverting to type and walking away from deals’. Nothing about the US repeatedly piling on conditions and failing to deliver what they promise in agreements in the last quarter of a century.

      Like

  46. Ukraine should blow up Putin’s Crimea bridge
    by Tom Rogan
    | May 15, 2018 02:39 PM

    Russian President Vladimir Putin opened the Kerch Strait Bridge connecting Crimea, Ukraine, with mainland Russia on Tuesday. Putin did so by in a typical show of bravado by leading a column of transport vehicles across the bridge.

    Ukraine should now destroy elements of the bridge.

    While that course of action would be an escalation against Putin and one that would almost certainly spark Russian retaliation, this bridge is an outrageous affront to Ukraine’s very credibility as a nation. Of course, from Putin’s perspective that’s the whole point. The bridge cost Russia’s near-bankrupt government billions of dollars, but it offers Putin a formal physical and psychological appropriation of Ukrainian territory.

    Fortunately Ukraine has the means to launch air strikes against the bridge in a manner that would render it at least temporarily unusable. Because of its significant length, the Ukrainian air force could strike the bridge while mitigating the risk of casualties by those traversing it….

    Any state that allows its territory to be stolen and then bound up with the thief has taken a step towards extinction.

    Like

    1. The piece of shit that wrote the above for the Washington Examiner is a certain Tom Rogan:

      Rogan grew up and was educated in London, in the United Kingdom, but holds American citizenship. He attended St John’s School, Leatherhead for secondary school/high school before attaining a BA in War Studies from King’s College London, an MSc in Middle Eastern Politics from the School of Oriental and African Studies, and a Graduate Diploma in Law from The College of Law in London.

      Though he grew up in the United Kingdom, his political career began in the United States when he worked as an intern in Washington, D.C., during the 2004 US Presidential Campaign.

      Certainly knows where his bread is buttered!

      Like

      1. But I thought Russia was the “aggressor country” and poor little Vyshyvanka Land is the bullied victim.

        So building a bridge is an act of aggression, whereas bombing one is not: it is just an act that expresses a state’s sovereignty?

        Like

    2. Notice how the weasel Tom Rogan puts the onus of responsbility for a terrorist act of sabotage on Ukraine, knowing full well that the Ukies don’t dare to launch air strikes against the bridge without outside assistance and even if they were foolhardy enough to try, the US could always wash its hands and walk away, the same as it did when Georgia invaded South Ossetia in 2008.

      Like

    3. Tom Rogan, master military strategist and all-round shit disturber. You don’t often see journalists advocate publicly for the destruction of civilian infrastructure by military means. The Crimea Bridge has no military application, and it’s pretty clear Rogan liked the previous situation – in which Ukraine could shut off power and water to Crimeans at its whim – just fine.

      I’ll see you, Tom, and raise you – the Russian Federation should have Tom Rogan assassinated. In such a way that it mitigated the danger to innocent civilian bystanders, of course. Or how about the Saudis should fly more airliners into American public buildings – at night, naturally, so as to mitigate the danger to innocent civilians – until America gets the message to mind its own fucking business? Some Americans are dreadfully slow to learn that the most powerful breeder of hatred against America is the big stupid gobs of Americans themselves, and the eternal assumption that it is up to America to rectify what it regards as undesirable situations throughout the world.

      Like a lot of ideologues throughout the west, Tom Rogan cannot stand the exhibition of Russian Exceptionalism. They said the bridge couldn’t be built, that it was impossible, it had been tried and ideas batted around, but it was just…well…a bridge too far. Once construction began, there were all manner of articles citing construction flaws, the bridge was going to fall down, bla de bla de bla. The facts reflect that the bridge was completed six months ahead of schedule and under budget – pre-construction estimates said it would cost $4-5 billion,

      http://www.newsweek.com/putins-bridge-crimea-could-go-over-budget-more-billion-dollars-report-724556

      and it came in at about $3.6 Billion; significantly below the lowest estimate.

      https://www.sfgate.com/news/world/article/Putin-opens-bridge-linking-southern-Russia-with-12915427.php

      Ahead of schedule and under budget are the two magic phrases which, when linked, spell Exceptionalism. They said it couldn’t be done, and it was, ahead of schedule and under budget.

      Tom Rogan’s grasp of fighter-bomber attacks is amply illustrated by his advice that the Ukie Air Force fly ‘low and circular’ to avoid Russian air defense systems. Let’s hope they follow his recommendations.

      Like

        1. Rogan considers Russia to be near bankrupt.

          I suppose he is one of those of like mind who regular spout memes about Russia on the Internet about Russia such as nobody wants to emigrate to Russia because it is such a dump and that Russians are dying out.

          I saw those two patently wrong statements made by some berk only the other day in RT comments.

          Like

      1. The Crimea Bridge has no military application
        ####

        I beg to differ. The West has classed just about everything as having potential military application, hence the term Dual Use. A washing machine? Can be used to mix chemicals for weapons. A bicycle? Terrorist transport. A rug? Concealment for weapons etc. etc. The list is only limited by a lack of imagination.

        A bridge? Can be used to transport war materiel more efficiently than by sea, allowing quick back up. The bridge also provides power and water that will benefit military forces on the peninsula. Proportionality? Another western joke.

        Since 1990, the West has not hesitated to bomb the f**k out of anything that moves and doesn’t, as long as there is any theoretical potential for military use and then deny spares. Because it can. It’s sanctions packages have over the years banned the export of chlorine* for example, used for disinfecting civilian water supplies because they could be used as weapons..

        The whole Smart Sanctions is a PR scam to draw a line under what was done to I-rack and others, show that lessons have been learned and legally show that the West has made an effort even though they don’t really don’t give a f**k, just oind the minimum to cover their asses. The best bit is that they get lauded for this ‘humanitarian behavior’ whilst continuing to destroy anything more than the very basic financial needs of civilians. Monsters don’t get any better, they just change their spots.

        /rant over.

        * http://www.ilaam.net/War/IraqEmbargo.html

        4) The combination of the destruction of the water pipes and the water pumping stations in the 1991 war and the looting after the 2003 war, coupled with the lack of chlorine and electricity to re-activate the pumps for over 12 years due largely to the embargo, all make clean drinking water widely unavailable today in Iraq, and thereby creating a dangerous recipe for a rapid spread of infectious diseases and possible epidemics. Prior to 1990, over 90% of Iraqis has access to clean drinking water, whereas it was between 33-50% just prior to the 2003 war (1999 UN Report).

        Like

  47. Izvestia

    Kiev will take Russia to account for losses incurred as a result of the construction and commissioning of the Crimea Bridge, Ukrainian Infrastructure Minister Vladimir Omelyan said during a government meeting.

    According to the official, the monetary loss of the Ukraine from the bridge is about 500 million hryvnias (almost 1.2 billion rubles) every year because of the reduction in tonnage of vessels entering two Ukrainian ports in the Azov Sea. He added that the amount of indirect losses is estimated in billions of hryvnia.

    “”We realize that every second the Kerch Strait is under threat of closure for one reason or another. We are scrupulously making calculations and a full account shall be presented to Russia”, TV channel NewsOne quotes Omelyan.

    Yeah, right …. got you.

    Now fuck off!

    Like

    1. During the first 12 hours since the opening to traffic of the Crimea Bridge, the traffic between the two shores has broken the daily record of the Kerch ferry. This has been stated by the information centre “The Crimea Bridge” in a message submitted to RBC.

      Like

      1. So that’s what DoS spokesperson Heather Nauert meant when she said the Crimea Bridge would interfere with navigation: the bridge is encouraging people to navigate away from using the Kerch ferry service. Soon there’ll be no need for a Kerch passenger ferry service except perhaps special summer services as part of holiday package deals for foreign tourists.

        Like

  48. Spot the F On!!!!

    Total historically documented analytical bitch slap of TPTB and their faux ‘progressive’ allies

    “Has the role of American imperialism changed?
    The ISO would have people believe that the war in Syria represents a new and unprecedented phenomenon. According to it, “some on the left” have “mistakenly viewed the US as the main aggressor in Syria,” when in fact the US is “not pursuing regime change” and has essentially ceded the initiative in the region to Russia and Iran. According to the ISO, these latter states are the principal actors, with the US consigned to the role of a second-rank player with no significant influence.

    The narrative is absurd from beginning to end. In fact, the United States has a long history of disguising its aggressive military interventions behind talk of defending democracy and human rights and supporting local “insurgencies” for this purpose.

    The US launched the Korean War, which killed 5 million people, in an effort to strangle the Chinese Revolution, which had triumphed the year before. It was supposedly waged to defend “freedom” against “communist totalitarianism.”

    Washington carried out the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba, using a mercenary force recruited by the CIA, in the name of “democracy.”

    In Vietnam, the United States killed nearly 3.5 million Vietnamese for the supposed purpose of defending the “Free World” against communist dictatorship.

    Nor is the use of right-wing Islamist militias, for the most part linked to Al Qaeda, as US proxy forces peculiar to Washington’s intervention in Syria. The CIA armed and funded the Mujahideen (whom Reagan called the moral equals of America’s founding fathers) to overthrow a pro-Soviet government in Afghanistan in the 1980s, giving rise to Al Qaeda, and it resorted to Al Qaeda-linked Islamist forces to bring down and murder Gaddafi in Libya.

    There is no essential difference between these criminal interventions and the US war to overthrow Assad and establish a puppet regime in Syria.”

    Stooges who have expertise in the historical complexities and crucial nuances of interplay between the
    Marxist,socialist,Stalin and Lenin stratagems of revolution can fully appreciate the comments.

    http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/05/16/syri-m16.html

    Like

  49. “May 14, 2018, the day the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) carried out the systematic massacre of over 60 unarmed men, women, and children, will live in infamy. For hours on end, Israeli forces fired thousands of rounds of live ammunition at unarmed Palestinian demonstrators, injuring more than 3,000 people and killing eight children, the youngest of whom was just eight months old.

    As Palestinians buried their dead Tuesday, Israel continued its massacre, injuring scores and killing one. In the course of the past seven weeks, the IDF has shot approximately 6,000 people with live rounds and thousands more with rubber bullets and tear gas. Over that period, some 109 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli sharpshooters, who have been filmed cheering at every headshot.”

    http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/05/16/pers-m16.html

    israeli IDF vermin cheer and celebrate….for now…

    for now

    Like

    1. “The IDF has enough bullets for everyone,” said Avi Dichter, a chair of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee in the Knesset, in response to the massacre.”

      Well certainly the jew POS is correct …

      Indeed there are enough bullets for everyone

      Like

  50. BERLIN (Reuters) – The West’s knowledge of the secret Russian nerve agent that Britain says was used to poison an ex-spy and his daughter came from a sample obtained by Germany in the 1990s, German media reported on Wednesday.

    In a joint report, German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung, the weekly Die Zeit and broadcasters NDR and WDR said Germany’s BND spy agency had secured the sample of the Novichok nerve agent from a Russian scientist.

    The sample was analyzed in Sweden and the chemical formula was given to the German government and military, the report cited sources as saying. Western countries used the information to help develop countermeasures.

    The story could help shed light on how Britain was able to analyze the poison it says was used to attack former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in England in March.

    The news was broken in “Die Zeit“.

    German Federal Intelligence (Bundesnachrichtendienst —BND) received a sample of the nerve agent from a Russian scientist, who in exchange asked for the right to move with his family to Germany, reports Die Zeit.

    This is the deadly poison stuff that allegedly poisoned the Skripals and could only have come from Russia.

    And the elephant in the room: the Skripals did not die as a result of having been in contact with this most deadly of nerve agents. No one died.

    But where are the Skripals now?

    Like

  51. The Canadian Minister for the Ukraine has spoken:

    Canada condemns the construction and partial opening today (on May 16 – TASS) of the Kerch Strait Bridge. The bridge, which links Russia to illegally-annexed Crimea, represents yet another violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity by the Russian Federation. It aims to harden Russia’s unlawful hold on the peninsula and to forcibly isolate it from the rest of Ukraine.” — Freeland working well for the Canada Nazi-Ukraine diaspora.

    See: Canadian top diplomat condemns Russia’s opening Kerch Strait Bridge
    May 17, 3:45

    Like

    1. Statement by Foreign Affairs Minister on the Kerch Strait Bridge

      The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today issued the following statement:

      “Canada condemns the construction and partial opening today of the Kerch Strait Bridge.

      The bridge, which links Russia to illegally-annexed Crimea, represents yet another violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity by the Russian Federation. It aims to harden Russia’s unlawful hold on the peninsula and to forcibly isolate it from the rest of Ukraine.

      Canada reiterates its commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. We call on the Russian Federation to cease its violations of this fundamental tenet of the rules-based international order.”

      Like

      1. Yep, in political lockstep with the Washington we so love and admire. Freeland would be right at home in the US Department of State, rubbing noses Eskimo-style with Heather Nauert; say, maybe that would be a good gig for her when she’s out of office, which will hopefully be on the occasion of the next election. I don’t care if the disinterred corpse of Idi Amin takes over, so long as this government gets the push, although it will have to be done without me because I have sworn off voting (given that I disapprove of everyone).

        Chrystia Freeland does not speak for Canada, although she likes to think of the country as a big ol’ support system for Ukraine. I highly recommend she go live there, because I have lived in Canada for a lot longer than she has, and she doesn’t speak for me. And I have no commitment at all to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. It is now a colony of the IMF.

        Like

        1. Taking into account the fact that “building bridges” is a metaphor for enabling social intercourse, the building of the Crimea Bridge is viewed as an “act of Russian aggression”.

          Similarly, the metaphor “building walls” is negative and, together with the bridge-building metaphor, one says: “Man should build bridges rather than walls”.

          I wonder what has happened to Yatsenyuk’s Great Wall of Ukrainia?

          Like

          1. I would just remind everyone that the ‘rules-based international order’ of which Canada implies – through the voice of Chrystia Freeland – it is a virtuous defender is one which has a place for coercive use of energy policies so as to force a neighbour’s capitulation to national imperatives. Ottawa is a vigorous proponent of the Trans-Mountain Pipeline and a co-threatener with Alberta in that it says absolutely nothing about Rachel Notley’s threats to cut off oil and gas supplies to British Columbia in order to force the latter to assume most of the risks while Alberta reaps most of the profit and Ottawa decides who will receive transfer payments and how much. In this ‘rules-based national’ equation, British Columbia has no voice at all. In my experience, those accustomed to paying lip service to ‘the rules’ at home care little about the diligent application of ‘the rules’ abroad.

            Like

  52. Deutshcer’s Willy via Antiwar.com: Ukraine charges Russian journalist with treason
    http://www.dw.com/en/ukraine-charges-russian-journalist-with-treason/a-43816675

    A journalist with dual Russian-Ukrainian citizenship has been charged with treason in Ukraine. Authorities raided the offices of RIA Novosti the Russian state-run news agency. He is expected in court on Thursday.

    Kyrylo Vyshynsky, a dual Ukrainian-Russian national citizen who works for Russian state-run news agency RIA Novosti, was detained in Kiev on Tuesday. Officials said he would be charged with treason for his “subversive” reporting to justify Moscow’s 2014 annexation of Crimea.

    They also said Vyshynsky later collaborated with separatist groups in eastern Ukraine, where a conflict that broke out following Crimea’s seizure has cost some 10,000 lives.

    Vyshynsky’s lawyer Andriy Domansky said the journalist had been transferred to the southern city of Kherson, where he is expected to appear in court of Thursday….

    …In the US, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said on Tuesday that a lot of countries have concerns about the reach of Russian propaganda, but that “the arrests of journalists or searches taken of media outlets, if that is done, it has to be done in accordance with the law.”…
    ####

    This addiction to dick moves by Kiev grows wearisome.

    Like

    1. “…a conflict that broke out following Crimea’s seizure has cost some 10,000 lives..”

      That same old worn-out meme!

      They never ever state that the vast majority of those 10, 000 lost lives are Ukrainian civilians murdered by Ukraine armed forces and Svidomite, often fascist filth that takes part in a so-called anti-terrorist operation.

      And the great dumb mass of Fox News etc. viewers believe it is the Evil Russians who do the killing.

      So does the Ukrainian foreign minister for Canada, I should imagine.

      Like

      1. Added to that, there is no reliable count of lives lost in any recent conflict – it goes up or down from its true number dependent upon whether a large casualty count would be useful in stoking a western military intervention, or whether a large casualty count might force a halt to an ongoing western military adventure; an excellent example of that is Iraq, in which the very great majority of dead (according to official casualty accounting) was comprised of ‘military-age male militants’ and ‘dead-enders’. Almost no innocent civilians were actually killed – the more remarkable considering Donald Rumsfeld estimated America’s total opposition in Iraq on the eve of the US military’s drive to Baghdad to be about 10,000 ‘dead-enders’ and regime holdouts. Over the next couple of years, the US Army killed each of them about 10 times. Magazines like The Lancet surmised the actual casualty count was likely closer to 5 times that, about a half a million.

        Like

    2. Not to mention the ready acceptance of Ukraine’s dick moves by its western benefactors, who stand ready to make excuses for anything it does while shrieking loudly at what it perceives to be similar dick moves by countries they do not like or have no use for.

      Like

  53. Antiwar.com: Commissioner: EU Willing to Block US Sanctions on Iran
    https://news.antiwar.com/2018/05/16/commissioner-eu-willing-to-block-us-sanctions-on-iran/

    EU Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulus has conformed on Wednesday that the EU is fully prepared to pass legislation to block US sanctions targeting Iran. The US has threatened to punish EU-based companies for doing business with Iran, despite the P5+1 nuclear deal, which European nations are a party to, obliging sanctions relief…

    …Avramopoulos indicated that the legislation being considered by the EU would be straight-forward, outright making it illegal for EU companies to comply with US sanctions on Iran’s nuclear program. Other EU officials have hinted at other measures to support Iran economically….
    ####

    I’ll believe it when it happens.

    Still, If U-rope (Germany) is serious about disengaging in part from the US, this is one very obvious litmus test. The other is not accepting upgraded B-16 mod 12 stand-off dial-a-yield nuclear weapons back in to Germany. The problem is that whilst Germany has the financial whiphand in U-rope, the US has plenty of allies within the EU to do its bidding, for example the lo-land of Po-land even though the US consistently discriminates against them by requiring visas unlike most other EU member states. It’s just one of quite a few examples where the US selectively implements US-EU agreements and Brussels does sweet fa about.

    Like

  54. Euractiv: Under Pressure, with Nord Stream 2: ‘How often do you receive calls from Mr Putin?’
    https://www.euractiv.com/section/energy-environment/video/under-pressure-with-nord-stream-2-how-often-do-you-receive-calls-from-mr-putin/

    By Evan Lamos, Frédéric Simon and Malte Ketelsen | EURACTIV.com

    The Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project has come under intense scrutiny from the European Commission, which drafted a special directive last year to try and stop it. EURACTIV’s Frédéric Simon asked the awkward question to Nord Stream 2’s Chief Financial Officer, Paul Corcoran.
    ####

    Corcoran ably bats away the loaded, presumptive and sloppy questions. As annoying as the interviewer is (and knowing some journos), the environment is such that what could be a normal interview in other circumstances has to be ‘either’ ‘or’. You can’t play it straight and neutral because that would be seen as ‘sympathetic’/pro-Russian, or you are loaded and hostile. Not much of a choice. I did enjoy Corcoran calling the European Commission liars without using that actual word!

    Like

    1. I don’t know how he restrained himself from leaning over, grabbing Simons’ tie and punching his face repeatedly until it took on much more flattened contours. His questions were loaded with sophomoric insults and theatrical incredulity – “Are you actually denying that Gazprom has the dominant position on the European market”?” This is supposed to nail down that it must have evil intent. If you dominate the industry, you lust for ever more power and control over it. There’s something to that, I suppose – JP Morgan-Chase has by far the dominant banking position in the United States, with $ 2.39 Trillion in assets, and it would be facetious to deny that JP Morgan Chase would like to be the only bank in America…but nobody seems to find anything threatening or alarming about it. Meanwhile, Corcoran is perfectly correct – and we obviously agree because I have said the same many times – that Gazprom does not force its customers to buy its gas. It is available and attractively priced, and it makes certain European leaders and all American leaders foamy with frustration that they cannot get under it with their own products, and the consequent invention of dependability factors and imputed evil motives is necessary to prevent customers from drawing the obvious conclusions.

      Like

  55. Euractiv: Gas market liberalisation: Does Europe really want it?
    https://www.euractiv.com/section/energy/opinion/gas-market-liberalisation-does-europe-really-want-it/

    Almost ten years after the implementation of the Third Energy Package, the risk of backtracking on liberalisation looks very real as policymakers seem increasingly frustrated at having “given away” power to the market, writes Luca Franza.

    Luca Franza is a researcher on international gas markets at the Clingendael International Energy Programme (CIEP) in The Hague.

    …Even if Russian gas imports soared in the last three years, European buyers have had the possibility to call on alternative gas in case of disruptions or price spikes. Russian market power is thus limited and head-to-head competition between LNG and Russian gas is proving a blessing for the EU…

    …In spite of its claim of neutrality, liberalisation does have a bias towards consumers: Europe has stopped feeling concerned about whether gas producers have the instruments to plan investments on new supply.

    Indeed, as gas prices have fallen in 2014, final investment decisions on new capacity have been stalling. Nobody is excited to sign long-term contracts at the moment and, although some people don’t like to admit it, long-term contracts are still required to underpin the development of new fields (as Shah Deniz-2 and TAP reminded us).

    Experts foresee a tightening market towards 2022-2025: how will “liberal Europe” fare then? Will it be exposed to very high hub prices? And with the Asians potentially locking in LNG, will dependence on Russian gas grow?…
    ####

    Which dovetails quite neatly with what Corcoran said in the interview above.

    Like

    1. An interesting side-trip into logic; it did not occur to me to link long-term contracts and further gas-field development. I doubt many companies would be willing to undertake that kind of risk on their own dime. Good catch, and a very persuasive argument. Otherwise, Europe’s ‘plan’ looks like draining down known resources until they are empty…and then panicking.

      Like

    2. I cannot see how Luca Franza can say that the liberalisation of the gas market is inherently biased towards consumers, given that originally when governments in democracies owned / managed energy utilities, they were (theoretically anyway) accountable to electorates (who also constitute the majority of consumers or end users), and the liberalisation of gas markets allows private companies, foreign-owned as well as locally owned, to buy and manage gas producers. Ownership of gas production and management of gas production are not necessarily one and the same: even when governments owned gas production, actual management could be delegated to semi-public / semi-private energy companies, Privatising gas production need not change management and management culture at all; the major difference is that organisation becomes accountable only to its shareholders, and if the shareholders do not include members of the public to the extent that they own more than 50% of the company, then the public can be excluded from demanding that the company be transparent in its accounts and dealings.

      Planning and constructing new supplies are independent of ownership structures; the main difference between public and private companies in planning long-term investments is how they raise funding for the projects, whether by taking out bank loans, issuing new shares or structuring projects as joint ventures with governments in which governments undertake to raise the money.

      Like

      1. The gas market is currently – not inherently – biased towards consumers only insofar as the market driver is price rather than supply, since there is plenty of supply and price fluctuations are artificially imposed. but you’re quite right that the drive to make a profit for the shareholders often moves companies to make decisions which are not in the public interest. In that sense, publicly-traded companies are not necessarily public.

        Like

  56. At last!

    They finally registered me as resident at a Russian address for the next 3 years.

    The address is, of course, that where I have lived this past 20 years with the owner of the property, who gave me permission to live there, to wit: my lawfully wedded wife.

    It took 4 days of arsing around in and running between the Taganskiy district government administration and Federal Migration Service offices before they finally stamped into my passport at 7 o’clock this evening my registration as being resident at my Moscow home address .

    The boss of the Taganskiy FMS office is one shit. My wife and I had to have his stamp authorizing her invitation that I reside in her property.

    He was there dressed in his civil service uniform — the blue, top rank one: Zakharova sometimes wears a similar uniform when she wants to appear dead serious — when he summoned us into his holy-of-holies office. It made me cringe to see how my wife meekly asked him to stamp her invitation. He looked at the document and said in a most supercilious manner: “I’ve seen better writing in first grade. I’m not putting my stamp of authorization on that. Write it out again!”

    Christ, I felt like dropping the twat there and then. The prick!

    This meant that we had to get a taxi pronto to the administration office block situated a mile or so away and a taxi back as time was running out. The FMS office works 11:00 to 20:00 on Thursdays. On the other hand, the Taganskiy government administration office works 08:00 to 20:00 7 days a week.

    Anyway, we did it. We got back well in time and the final stamp was put into my passport on the page next to that on which they had already stamped 3 days ago my permission to reside in Russia for 3 years.

    That final stamp indicates that I have a legally registered abode in Moscow.

    In 1 year, I shall apply for full residency.

    Like

    1. I have to admit, though, that her writing was awful.

      She had filled in the form in the corridor with the form against the wall: there was nowhere for her to sit down, no writing desks etc. The Taganskiy FMS office is a Dostoevskian shithole:

      whereas the Taganskiy District government offices are a different kettle of fish:

      The architect used to work for Lego, I think.

      Like

      1. All that’s left for you to do ME is to ride around the neighborhood naked on a stallion singing norse songs!

        Bureautwats & their fiefdoms the world over.

        We Stooges salute your restraint!

        Like

      2. Good news, finally.

        Russian architecture is obviously infected with the same strain of imbecility affecting the rest of the world. See Kunstler.com for his “eyesore of the month” compilation. The “Lego” block is very similar to grossly out of scale and place monstrosity up from the Poniente beach area of Benidorm.

        As for the bureaucrat arsehole, may I suggest that someone (definitely not you or yours, naturally) launch a crowdfunding campaign to dig dirt on the scumbag…? “They don’t like it up ‘em, Captain Mainwaring!”

        Like

    2. People like that are why folk despise and loathe the civil service, and expect nothing but rudeness and poor service from it, all over the world – those who impose needless delays and extra work because they can. The only defense against it – again, nearly all over the world – is to know someone higher who is in your court and can inflict misery or perhaps even termination on the little mandarin.

      If it does not say in the instructions that neatness counts and is worth extra points, then there is no such requirement, and if you were prepared to make a fight of it within the law, you would win, so long as what you wrote out was not unreadable. And that could be determined by a court, or in some countries an internal arbitration service which adjudicates complaints against its officials. He was just winding you up for the fun of it, because he knew he would get away with it – probably adds spice to his day.

      That’s the real attraction of hiring a lout to wait outside for him and break his jaw, you know, and the more the system protects such petty pricks with signs everywhere that say resistance such as arguing or threatening will not be tolerated, the more in demand such louts are; funny old world, innit? Because it’s instant justice, a service in which you get exactly what you paid for, delivered on time and satisfaction guaranteed. Just so long as you don’t get caught. Because the system wants you to rely on the system, in circumstances in which you have no choice, and does not appreciate customers dreaming up their own customer-satisfaction techniques. The irony is that such innovations would not be necessary if bureaucrats simply provided good and helpful service as they were once trained to do.

      Never mind; you have years in which you could butter the door-handle inside of his car with dogshit and inflict a variety of minor torments until you feel like you’re even.

      Like

      1. I know! I could start a business that provides discreetly operating hitmen that can be hired to drop such bastards as they are going home from work.

        I feel I should add, however, that the bureaucrats at the Legoland place were very helpful, friendly and efficient.

        The place is modern, up to date and well run: you get a “talon” — a piece of paper with a number on it, issued by a friendly receptionist, who is a pretty, young Russian woman, of course, by means of an administration computer terminal, and are quickly summoned visually by means of multiple monitors and an announcement to an interview booth (“Visitor number A320 please go to booth 39”) , of which there are very many.

        It was the people there who dealt with the data-bank cock-up as regards my being registered wrongly 11 years ago — by the FMS, where that shitty bureaucrat in the uniform rules the roost.

        In fact, having discovered this error, they at Legoland were slagging those FMS bastards off in front of me and my wife the other day.

        Here’s a better picture of the Taganskiy Central Moscow Administrative District building, where they deal with rents, services, pensions, sickness benefits etc. as well as providing documentation for Moscow residency registration, which documentation I, as a foreigner, had to present at my local FMS office after first having received permission off the FMS to reside in Russia. And I received that permission at the Migration Centre, situated 50 miles away!

        Like

    1. Ominous news indeed. The west could provide an airtight defense against Assange’s allegations simply by proving that what he says is not true. Instead they go into a song and dance about not being able to address the accusations for national-security reasons and to protect sources and methods, bla bla bla. Meanwhile their interest in charging him with espionage strongly suggests the US government regards the finding out of certain information it does not want the public to be aware of…as a crime.

      Like

    1. I completely agree. It would be sweet indeed, but the very leaking of it is likely an invitation to Washington to apply pressure through the usual channels to get the EU to guarantee it will not reduce its dependence on dollar transactions, perhaps in exchange for a few trifling concessions. The EU overall is gutless and does not have the stomach for a tough fight; it will cave in as soon as Trump cracks the whip, and any concessions made will be solely for the sake of preserving the EU’s appearance of having driven a hard bargain.

      However, if such a shift were to actually come off, SWIFT would have to modify its operations significantly or be abandoned. Because SWIFT changes every single financial transaction which goes through its interbank system, and which is not already denominated in US dollars, into US dollars and then into the desired currency, using the US dollar value as a benchmark. So if you in Britain do a transfer through the SWIFT system of Pounds going into your Indian business account in Rupees, SWIFT will change it from Pounds to Dollars and from Dollars to Rupees, skimming a fee each time for the currency exchange. The middle step is ‘necessary’ because the US dollar is the world’s recognized reserve currency.

      Should anything change that, the USA would find itself grossly overextended financially, overnight.

      Like

  57. Via the interwibble, aka ti’nternet.

    RuAviation.com: About the creation of the new Superjet RRJ75
    https://www.ruaviation.com/docs/3/2018/5/17/189/?h

    April 25, 2018 at the Turkish airport of Antalya, the International Air Show Eurasia Airshow begins its work. On the first day of the air show “UAC – commercial aircraft” signed two agreements with Iranian airlines on the SuperJet 100 aircraft. Alexander Rubtsov, president of Sukhoi Civil Aircraft, told us about the details of these agreements and the program for creating a new version of the Superjet RRJ75.

    …The aircraft’s weights will be significantly reduced, compared to the current version by 10-15%. This is a very serious task. We are counting on the fact that we will have a completely new wing….

    …We believe that in the new aircraft design the proportion of composite materials will be significantly increased to 40-45% of the weight of the structure. The fuselage and power elements of the structure will be made of aluminum-lithium alloys of the latest generation. …We expect that we can improve the aerodynamic quality of the wing by 10% of ultra-high elongation, taking into account the use of new materials. We have to make new chassis….
    ####

    Looks to me like quite a project rather than a simple shrink. This only makes sense as a longer term investment that would benefit other programs, providing tech, experience and reasonably equivalent Russian alternatives to western stalwarts.

    The general rule is to start small and certify that new tech to global standards, de-risking before introducing it on larger and significantly more expensive projects such as the Sino-Russian CRAIC-900 widebody project. It seems that Boeing and Airbus have their sights on taking chunks out of each other and figuring how to pump out enough airliners to meet demand for the growth in the Asia-Pacific region. There’s clearly an opening for other manufacturers though Bombardier & Embrarer are also in the mix.

    Like

  58. Here’s some news to warm the cockles of the Ukraine Minister to Canada:

    В ДНР сообщили о гибели военнослужащих НАТО на минном поле под Авдеевкой
    17 May 2018, 22.20
    Donetsk National Republic reports death of NATO troops in Avdeevka minefield

    A car with NATO servicemen blew up on a minefield near Avdeevka, killing three people. This has been reported by the operational command of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic.

    “”Today in the Avdeevka area, during a visit by the NATO troops accompanied by Ukrainian law enforcers to the combat contact line, the Ukraine Army Command led its guests into a minefield, where a car with foreigners was blown up by a mine”, the the Donetsk News Agency has reported.

    It was noted that as a result of the incident, three NATO soldiers from Canada were killed. In addition, two American NATO soldiers and three Ukrainian soldiers have been wounded.

    Earlier in the DNR, the bombardment of the Ukrainian Donetsk Military District filtering station was reported.

    As regards the shelling of the filtering station, that’s a regular target of the valiant Yukie artillery.

    The denial of a water supply to a civilian population is a war crime, by the way, but no one seems bothered about this, least of all Ukraine Minister to Canada.

    Like

    1. The Ukies are breaking an anti-landmine treaty signed in Canada. Maybe if they had pressured Kuhyiv to abide by it, their troops wouldn’tve been blown up.

      Like

  59. Rogan replies to his critics:

    Why Putin wants to send me to the Black Dolphin
    May 17, 2018 02:47 PM

    The Black Dolphin is an underworld term for a notorious lifers’ prison here that has in its yard a dolphin-shaped fountain.

    Do I regret my piece? No, except for the fact that I could have been a little clearer in arguing that this action could (and of course ought to be) carried out with zero casualties. The Kerch Strait Bridge is largely low-level so a strike could be carried out without risking its suspension areas and thus those traveling on its route. But I stand by my operative point: If you build on another nation’s property without their approval, they have the right to remove your work.

    More importantly, what Russia has done — and is doing — in Ukraine is outrageous, and they don’t even deny their involvement anymore because it isn’t credible. Every day, Russian irregulars act alongside Russian intelligence officers and Ukrainian separatists to steal Ukraine’s territory. And in Kiev and other places, Ukrainian patriots often end up assassinated.

    The Russian government now claims that I’m some kind of terrorist for writing an opinion piece on the need for another sovereign nation to push back against Russian aggression. But Russia’s own actions in Ukraine are actually true terrorism. The most notable act of terrorism in recent Ukrainian history is the downing of passenger airliner MH17, committed by Russian agents with Russian weapons.

    Struck by a Russian Buk air defense system, the cockpit of MH17 was shredded while flying at 35,000 feet. Its 298 civilian passengers, who had absolutely nothing to do with the conflict on the ground below them (which Russia started, of course), then died by being ripped apart as the aircraft disintegrated or when they struck the ground a couple of minutes later.

    Then, rather than allow inspectors to reach the site, the Russian GRU intelligence service cleaned the site of missile fragment evidence and allowed their drunk rebel allies to walk among the rotting bodies. It took more than a week for international officials to receive access.

    I respect the Russian people and their history. I have no respect at all, however, for the regime that has leveled this threat. As an extension, while I have received a number of admittedly polite requests from Russian state media to offer my comment on the Kremlin’s reaction, there are only two Russian reporters I am willing to talk to: Anna Politkovskaya and Maxim Borodin. I’ll talk to them right after Putin brings them back from the dead.

    Like

    1. But I stand by my operative point: If you build on another nation’s property without their approval, they have the right to remove your work.

      That certainly sounds like an invitation to launch air strikes against a variety of American projects around the world, starting with that Embassy fortress in Baghdad. And weren’t prominent Ukies thanking Russia for the bridge just the other day, on the assumption it would soon be given to them to enjoy?

      Typical western journalism to use dismay at an over-the-top reaction as an excuse to embark on a rant about a laundry list of supposed Russian crimes which justify such hatred. And Tom Rogan is a typical westerner.

      Like

    2. Tom Rogan could have been clearer on how the Ukrainians could hit the bridge without any risk to people travelling on the bridge at freeway speeds. Perhaps he could offer to be a sitting duck in a car speeding along the bridge while the Ukrainians practise taking pot shots at it?

      Like

  60. Breaking news in the uk
    Sergei Skripal released from hospital- after surviving an attack by the deadliest nerve agent ( according to Boris Johnson)

    No pictures of him

    Seems they released him when the uk media is focussed on the royal wedding.

    Like

  61. Which foreigners most often receive Russian citizenship?


    Number of persons who received Russian passports January – December 2017

    The Aggressor Nation welcomes Yukies!

    Like

  62. Конца не видно: как Киев 30 лет строит мост
    Украина больше 30 лет не может достроить гигантский мост через Днепр
    Дарья Малютина 18.05.2018, 13:40

    No end in sight: how Kiev has spent 30 years constructing an unfinished bridge
    For more than 30 years the Ukraine has been unable to complete the construction of a giant bridge across the Dniepr


    The collapsed floating crane “Zachary” LK-600 near the Podolsko-Voskresensky bridge crossing in Kiev, 2011

    The opening of the Crimea bridge has caused a stormy reaction in the Ukraine, whose leadership has criticized its construction. In response, the head of the Crimea has recalled the giant bridge over the Dnieper, which has been rusting for 25 years and which the Ukrainian authorities are unable to finish. The long delay in the completion of the bridge has been caused by a shortage of funds, which Mayor Vitali Klitschko has promised to provide, but the date of completion is being being postponed all the time..

    Like

    1. Yukie Interfax:

      Russian occupation forces will need Kerch Strait Bridge to leave Crimea – Poroshenko
      18:05 15.05.2018

      Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has said that despite Russia’s attempts to legitimize the temporary occupation of the Crimean peninsula, Ukraine will continue to consistently defend its positions in international courts, including the illegal erection of the Kerch Strait Bridge.

      “The illegal construction of the Kerch Strait Bridge is more evidence of Kremlin neglect of international law, especially the fact that the span was opened on the eve of another anniversary – the deportation of the Crimean Tatar people by the Stalin regime,” Poroshenko wrote in his Facebook page on Tuesday.

      Poroshenko said Moscow’s attempts to legitimize the temporary occupation of the Crimean peninsula are futile, as evidenced by the growing number of international court decisions confirming that “the burden of a perfect international crime for Russia will only grow.”

      “Ukraine will continue to consistently defend its positions in the future. I recall that on my instructions to the Arbitration Tribunal of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. A petition was filed for the protection of Ukraine’s sovereign interests, in particular, in connection with the illegal erection of the bridge,” Poroshenko said.

      At the same time, the president expressed regret that the Russian authorities are trying to draw representatives of European business into their infrastructure adventures, seeking to buy back from international legal responsibility there.

      “I’m sure the aggressor will not succeed. Russia will be fully responsible, and the bridge will be necessary for the invaders when they leave our Crimea urgently,” Poroshenko said.

      Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman, in turn, said that Russian occupation authorities “continue to operate outside international law and common sense.”

      “They open the Kerch bridge: an object that is built on our sovereign territory – without any coordination with a direct threat to our security sphere, economic and environmental interests,” Groysman said on his Facebook page.

      The prime minister said the Kremlin acts as if impunity and permissiveness will last forever, adding that this will not be the case.

      “We have learned to defend our interests, including in international courts, we will take all measures and achieve justice and the rule of law,” he said. .

      As reported, on May 15 Russian President Vladimir Putin took part in the opening of the automobile traffic along the bridge spanning the Kerch Strait.

      Porky and Groysman, two of the richest pigs in an impoverished nation.

      Porky also said that the bridge that could not be built will later serve as a link between Ukrainian territories, namely the Crimea and the Kuban.

      You see, there are so-called Kuban Cossacks, and that fat pig Valtsman tries to sell the line that “Cossack” means “ethnic” Ukrainian.

      The Cossacks do not and never did represent an ethnicity.

      Galitsian Nazi shites also latch onto this “Cossack”, pure Ukrainian spiel. There were no Cossacks in Galitsia: only Polish Catholics, their Jewish agents and merchants, the rest consisting of a subservient peasantry whose descendants now like to address each other as “Pan” as though they were Polacks and have a tendency to kneel down before all and sundry, including the dead, in order to show their respect.

      Swine Poroshenko and other grunters in Banderastan also lay claim to Voronezh Province, Russia, because of the historical presence of Cossacks there.

      Like

  63. “Among the leftmost Democrat elected and selected leaders are Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, and North Carolina’s Rev. William Barber, anointed heir of Dr. King and head of the New Poor Peoples Campaign. Both Sanders and Barber call for a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine horror, as if forty years of facts on the ground, from the apartheid wall to the land, sea and air blockades of Gaza, and the network of Jewish-only roads, encroaching settlements and military checkpoints didn’t exist, and as if Israel didn’t control the electric and water grids, even the aquifers beneath Gaza and the fishing rights offshore, issue the paychecks of Palestinian civil servants and determine the budgets of Palestinian government agencies.

    When Bernie and Barber bray about a two state solution nobody ever asks them out loud why the racist ethnocracy of Israel must be preserved, in their imaginary construction, as a neighbor to Palestine. It’s just something Democrats are committed to. There is no land and no resources out of which to make a viable Palestinian state, the Israelis have taken or blockaded everything of value except the humans living there.

    Governments based upon race and ethnocracy have no legitimacy in the modern world, except among US Democrats and Republicans, themselves heir to a nation built with stolen labor upon stolen land. US ruling class media faithfully follow the script, reporting on the latest Israeli massacres as though they were natural disasters the Palestinians somehow brought upon themselves by refusing to meekly submit to conquest and expulsion by the US backed state of Israel.”

    https://www.blackagendareport.com/deafening-democratic-silence-gaza-because-they-own-it-too

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  64. “The establishment of the state of Israel was like spitting in the face of humanity.”

    With the fall of white rule in South Africa in 1994, Israel is now the world’s last apartheid state, a government based on ethnic and racial supremacy. Its very existence is an insult to humanity. Israel is the antithesis of civilization. It is, by nature, racist barbarism. So, it is no wonder that the scenes from Gaza look like the movie Schindler’s List , where the Nazi concentration camp commander took sport in randomly shooting inmates from his window.”

    https://www.blackagendareport.com/500-years-nakbas

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  65. Ha, ha!! In the you-can’t make-it-up category, where Ukraine is a permanent sub-category – since Crimea cannot be induced to beg forgiveness and apply for return to the tender arms of Khu-yiv, its oligarch president is considering appointing unto himself the power to discharge Crimea’s government and appoint a new one.

    He also said that members of the working group suggest that in the event of a situation in Crimea that poses a real threat to the state sovereignty or territorial integrity of Ukraine, the president is granted the right to “introduce in Crimea a special regime of governance by appointing a special state representative with simultaneous termination of the relevant powers of the authorities of the Crimean autonomy.”

    Two can play at that game; Putin should appoint Dmitry Peskov Supreme Plenipotentiary of the Ukrainian Territory, with simultaneous nullifying of Poroshenko’s status as President. Hit the road, wide load.

    https://en.interfax.com.ua/news/general/506286.html

    Poroshenko is reduced to playing at governance by enacting laws and policies that nobody pays any attention to, as if he has joined the Mad Hatter and the March Hare at their neverending tea party of unreality.

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  66. Channel 4 News
    Published on May 18, 2018
    While Britain places the blame for the Skripal poisonings firmly on Russia, we went to meet the exiled oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky to ask about the Kremlin’s continuing strained relationship with the West. He was once Russia’s richest man, as head of the oil giant Yukos, before spending 10 years in prison for tax evasion. He now funds the advance of democracy and rule of law in Russia.

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    1. He now funds the advance of democracy and rule of law in Russia.

      And that’s a good thing. Because so long as Russia is a democracy, Mikhail Khodorkovsky will never lead it.

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      1. Exiled? He chose to leave Russia after he was released from prison on compassionate grounds because his mother was dying. However, after having been liberated by presidential decree, he did not go to see his dying mother: he hot-footed it to the Adlon Hotel Berlin, which is conveniently situated between the US and British embassies there.

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