When You Shake Hands with Ukraine, Count Your Fingers Afterward.

Wink
Uncle Volodya says, “My message to you is this: pretend that you have free will. It’s essential that you behave as if your decisions matter, even though you know they don’t. The reality isn’t important: what’s important is your belief, and believing the lie is the only way to avoid a waking coma. Civilization now depends on self-deception. Perhaps it always has.”

Yakiv Smolii wants to tell you all a story. According to Mr. Smolii, the governor of the Bank of Ukraine, Ukraine is about to make yet another move which will draw it closer to the EU – liberalization of its foreign-exchange controls.

This, Mr. Smolii tells us, will “make Ukraine a much more investor-friendly place and will help the country take its rightful spot amongst the major European and global economies”. Ukraine, he goes on to say, has come a long way since the Glorious Maidan, what the western media sometimes likes to tout as the Revolution of Dignity.

I guess the spot it is currently in is less than its ‘rightful’ ranking – although I’m not quite sure what he means by that, except that Ukraine’s political leaders frequently allude to its ‘right’ to be better than it is – which is 50 out of 190 on the GDP-adjusted-for-purchasing-power ranking, which I am told is the fairest way to rate national economies. That’s according to the IMF, but it occupies similar if not identical rankings according to the World Bank and the CIA World Factbook. Interestingly, although not particularly germane to the present discussion, Russia is the sixth-largest economy in that ranking, breathing down Germany’s neck, while the USA has fallen to third, behind China and the European Union. There is still an enormous difference between the USA’s economy and that of Russia, but I hope you will raise an eyebrow next time you hear some smug western pundit proclaim that the Russian economy is smaller than that of Los Angeles or Peru or whatever. Bear in mind that the country is moving up the ranks despite being the target of international sanctions which seek to wreck its economy, led by the United States.

Anyway, back to Ukraine. Mr. Smolii tells us that for the last four years or so, his team has worked hard to stabilize the macroeconomic situation and create a solid foundation for economic growth in Ukraine and prosperity for all who live and work there. And he appears to believe they have succeeded; in his estimation, the banking system is in better shape than it ever has been in the history of independent Ukraine, thanks to the clean-up and reforms implemented since 2014. Ukraine stands ready to welcome foreign investors, and is a great place to put your money if you like to make money with it.

Is that true? What do you think?

Is a country whose agrarian economy is the largest single contributor to state coffers at 12%, and for which a rise of $700 million in revenues is a record-breaking surge, likely to dominate the tech sector? Manufacturing? Bear in mind, as the article mentions, that Ukraine has lost its traditional markets and must diversify and find new ones, while agriculture is traditionally not a high-profit sector unless much of it is concentrated in the hands of a few giant companies, as is the case in the United States. And while production increases might sound like they would translate to higher profits for investors, they are unlikely to mean very much because the increased revenue would be swallowed by currency devaluation. You can buy low, but you can’t buy low and sell high. That only happens when things are looking up, and while you can certainly fool some of the people some of the time…

Ukraine’s per-capita GDP adjusted for purchasing power has risen since it flatlined in 2015, but it still has a long way to go to reach pre-revolutionary levels. GDP share from manufacturing has likewise risen slowly since 2015, but is well below pre-Maidan levels and worth less because of currency devaluation. A boom in construction originates with Ukrainians putting their shrinking money into property, in despair that the economy is going to turn around any time soon and allow them to recoup their losses.

Analysts calculate that it would take 13.7 years to return the investment from renting an economy class flat bought for $20,000 and 16 years from renting a business class flat. The average annual return on investment from property resale is estimated 9.4 percent.

You would think that utilities would be a solid investment, considering Ukraine’s bagmen in the IMF have imposed regular utility-price increases which have seen citizens pay about 200% more for gas than they did before the liberation of Maidan. So I’m at a loss to explain why the share of the state revenues collected from utilities has fallen off a cliff since the last quarter of 2011. Either Ukrainians are learning to do without utilities, or middlemen are stealing the profits before they make it into the budget, but there is no escaping that the expected revenue increases are either not happening – are plummeting, in fact – or are being diverted.

Ukraine GDP From Utilities

Let’s assume, for the sake of argument, that Mr. Stolii is sincere, and honestly believes Ukraine has jumped through all the necessary IMF reform hoops and is ready to be a prime destination for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). It’s hard to imagine he could have risen to preside over the state banking industry without having a schmick about economics, but stranger things have happened. I remember once the President of the United States made the Commissioner of the International Arabian Horse Breeders Association  Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. I also seem to recall it didn’t turn out too well. But we mustn’t be judgy.

If Mr. Stolii thinks Ukraine has made tons of reforms and has an accountable economy which would reward investors’ trust, he has forgotten about the oligarchs. A handful of very wealthy men and women – at least one woman, anyway, coincidentally the one who the polls tell us has the best chance of knocking Petro Poroshenko out of the catbird seat on the occasion of the next election – control what is very conservatively estimated as 64 percent of Ukraine’s companies. TV channels owned by Ihor Kolomoyskyi, Dmytro Firtash, Viktor Pinchuk, and Rinat Akhmetov comprise almost 80 percent of the television market. Doubtless out of sensitivity to the Ukrainian President’s feelings, the author does not mention that he controls the rest.

Foreign capital feeds just 12 percent of the ownership structure of Ukrainian companies. And it is instructive to note that even Carnegie Europe pegs the rise of the Ukrainian oligarchs to the late 1990’s, after Ukraine declared its independence. So don’t bother with that guff about it being a neo-Soviet hangover.

Interestingly, of the four oligarchs Carnegie Europe is willing to name above, only Firtash has attracted the disapproval of the United States. Washington seems to regard Kolomoisky as a colourful cut-up, although immediately post-Maidan he set up his own private army of ideological militiamen – in direct and unambiguous defiance of the Ukrainian constitution – paid out of his own fortune, and used his goon squad to conduct pre-emptive raids on rival businessmen. Pinchuk is a regularly-featured guest columnist in western media, arguing for western policies he feels would be most effective to save Ukraine from collapse. A collapse which would directly affect his fortunes, one assumes, since he is one of the country’s four richest men. Nonetheless, the same article acknowledges that corruption in Ukraine remains at least as much of a problem as it was before the Glorious Revolution, if not more. Articles extolling the marvelous reforms completed by Ukraine – often written by Ukrainian political figures – compete for space with those excoriating the opposite; it is western coddling and accommodation of the ‘progressive oligarch’ (more often referred to as a ‘tycoon’ or ‘entrepreneur’, because the west doesn’t like to call its allies ‘oligarchs’) who is the current Ukrainian president that is killing any chance for the country to make any more than illusory progress.

Ssshhhh!!! The west is about to sleepwalk into another of its foreign-policy fiascoes, led and pushed by the usual small coterie of ideological soldiers in the Republic of Happy Gumdrop Land – where the sun shines all day and all night, there actually is a free lunch, and Ukraine has made dozens of course-changing reforms which have positioned it on the cutting edge of free-market paradise.

In actual fact the scenario bears a much greater resemblance to the tales of Uncle Remus, featuring Br’er Fox in the role of western ideology, and Ukraine as the tar-baby to whom all his un-bespoke money sticks.

https://i.huffpost.com/gen/1853440/thumbs/o-PETRO-POROSHENKO-facebook.jpg
Bye-bye, money, wave bye-bye to the nice people!

Damn the reality, Sir; full speed ahead. Don’t forget your shirt, or you’ll have nothing to lose.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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1,300 thoughts on “When You Shake Hands with Ukraine, Count Your Fingers Afterward.

  1. BBC video:

    Nigerian football fans embrace Russia ahead of World Cup

    Look closely in the background at the everyday Russians travelling on the metro. See how they stare!!!

    I get sick of reading reports in Western media about how Muscovites stare at Africans on the metro.

    Every day now for many years now, I see Africans — students, I guess — handing out flyers at metro entrances and I have never seen any animosity directed towards them by Muscovites.

    Like

    1. The UK media have been working over time to smear Russia in the run up to the World Cup.

      – stories of Racism
      – attacks on lgbtq
      – just general attacks on Putin

      The Guardian, bbc, daily mail, the sun, all singing the same tune.

      It’s clear they want this World Cup to fail

      Now that the football has started with good games , happy fans etc

      Maybe they will shut up and just report what is actually going on. ?

      I’m not a football fan – I was young in the 80s when football was rife with hooliganism, real violence and racism – so I never grew to like the game.

      The media like to pretend that the game in the UK is not like this anymore !!

      Over the years nothing has changed in my view. They are just better at hiding it. Fights still take place around the football grounds – rather than in stadiums.
      England’s travelling fans recently got into fights in Amsterdam and Ukraine.

      Football is tribal – and inspires intense loyalty that sometimes leads to fights between fans. It happens across the football playing world

      Like

      1. Not a chance, I’m afraid. At least not the British press, which seems to have adopted the role of Washington’s attack dog where Russia is concerned, going where American commentators fear to tread. You probably noticed the attempt to ruin the Games in Sochi under the standard of the LGBTQ crowd continued right up to the closing ceremonies…and then turned to echoing silence. This will be the same – the British media will rant and scream about racism and the persecution of gays until the World Cup is over, and then will go quiet on the subject until the next Russian event. Never mind; printed newspapers are hemorrhaging readers and one day they will be a thing of the past. Exclusively online fora can compete much more equally, although I suppose ‘management’ will find a way to put the boot in there as well.

        Yet another benefit of Brexit will be its getting England’s Russophobia out there front and center and separate from the policies of Europe in general. Then England can be singled out and punished separately by Russia, with embargoes on British goods and services and high premiums for gas sent to the UK (unless Germany wants to run interference for them and get them a good deal).

        Russia’s political situation has nothing to do with football, but England cannot seem to mention football in Russia without bringing up Alexey Navalny or Crimea or Ukraine, sometimes all three.

        Like

  2. Has anyone else seen the liberal historical hand-wringing on the translation of Einstein’s diaries that show racist views? Salon/BBC/Fraudian/etc. etc. but then this happend…

    TechTimes: Chinese People Online Defend Einstein’s Racist Observations During The 1920s
    http://www.techtimes.com/articles/230367/20180615/chinese-people-online-defend-einsteins-racist-observations-during-the-1920s.htm

    ….People in China instead of boycotting Einstein have chosen to defend his thoughts on the early years of the Chinese republic. One user on Weibo says that the scientist had visited the country at the wrong time. They say that this is the beginning of a new nation after centuries of imperial rule.

    They say that hunger, war, and poverty were affecting the Chinese people at the time. That user goes on to say that with all the problems the Chinese people were facing at the time, how was Einstein going to respect the country like that.

    Another user said that to call his comments insulting was ridiculous. They say that when Einstein calls the Chinese people dirty it’s because they were dirty at the time. The user goes on to say that Einstein is providing a true picture of the conditions that the Chinese were facing at the time.

    Einstein’s comments were also compared with Lu Xun. Lu Xun is a writer that is considered the father of modern Chinese literature and wrote satire poking fun at the state of China in the early 20th century.

    China’s state-run newspaper Global Times wrote an editorial that commended the Chinese people for their response on social media. Another editorial in the South China Morning Post said that if people’s thoughts from the past were looked at with today’s standards that very few of those people would not be seen as racist.
    ####

    While I have no problem with light being thrown on to attitudes from historical periods and people that has previously been ignored or airbrushed to give a more rounded and accurate picture of them, what I do despise are the usual suspects who squealing like stuck pigs because it gives them yet another platform to present their moral superiority and condescension. They make my skin crawl. Now if there were a thought police, I would surely bet that those same people have had, how shall I say it, uncharitable thoughts about other races, at one time or another. I may not be religious, but ‘Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.’* Innit?

    * I’m not condoning stoning or anything of the like, even of the rolled up kind…

    Like

    1. The Tech Times article links to The Fraudian article on Albert Einstein’s diary jottings. Some of what The Fraudian says could have been taken out of context. For example, Einstein observes that the Chinese he met ate while squatting (in the way people in Europe might do while relieving themselves outdoors in bushes): The Fraudian article treats this observation as a racist comment. Einstein’s horror at the thought that the people he saw might supplant other “races” might just be a reaction to the people he met, and not to the Chinese generally.

      At the same time Einstein had a favourable view of the people he came across in Japan.

      One also has to remember that Einstein’s travel diaries were translated into English from German so there’s a possibility the translator (Ze’ev Rosenkranz) has interpreted Einstein’s entries in a particular way.

      One thing that has possibly been missed by Chinese online commenters defending Einstein is that during the 19th and early 20th centuries there was a massive opium addiction epidemic in the country, created in part by the British East India Company selling Indian-grown opium on the black market to the Chinese, to obtain the silver necessary to buy Chinese goods to sell back in Britain. Some sources put the level of opium addiction among Chinese men in 1906 as high as 1 in 4. In coastal areas of China, the level of addiction among men was said to be 80%. The combination of opium addiction, poverty and weak government rule and corruption would have degraded society and culture, and contributed to (if not created) the general apathy and herd-like behaviours Einstein observed.

      https://www.unodc.org/documents/wdr/WDR_2008/WDR2008_100years_drug_control_origins.pdf

      http://www.bilan.ch/garry-littman/english-room/a-splendid-income-worlds-greatest-drug-cartel

      Like

      1. Sounds like the Chinese have a more mature attitude about this sort of thing; and not condemning somebody to Dantean Hell just due to some random utterances or opinions, possibly taken out of context. Worse case – suppose Einstein genuinely didn’t like the Chinese people he met? So what! Unless he was running coolie-slave operations and pocketing the profits, he wasn’t much of a racist.

        Again, it’s the difference between personal prejudices and systemic racism — a distinction which Americans and English people don’t even seem to get any more. But then, these are people who don’t understand history or politics, or anything, really.

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      2. Yes, thanks Jen. I noticed only after I’d posted it and looked for more information. No doubt you’ve read b’s latest on US drugs and in the comments about the opium ‘wars’ where I learned a lot, not only that the US was actively involved in the trade, but that UK gov set up HSBC to launder their opium money. Kind of the United States to let the British Empire and sons all the credit. I knew the basics, but as usual was more interested in other stuff to dig any deeper.

        Thanks for your comments (yet again) too yalensis. I despise all these meeja whores who take part in this click bait type (dare I say it) ‘journalism’ to make people feel right or wrong about something in an instant. It’s exactly this preference to feeling ahead of good, hard journalism that has led to the much wider debasement and disrespect of the trade. For all the Matthew Lee from AP (his questions at US gov briefings should be the standard rather than the exception), there are thousands of skaters who make a living by writing shite and following a shallow narrative. Stay safe!

        Speaking of which, I saw a review of Semour Hersh’s autobiography, and one of the parts that stood out is that the story is there in plain sight, again and again and again. Why was he successful, because he followed up, asked for documents read them, contacted the authors, the people mentioned in them etc. etc. whilst many others simply did not. It’s such a toxic atmosphere these days too which is why the PPNN shamelessly go after any journalist who dares to challenge the proscribed narrative, in essence various governments willing attack dogs. They don’t need to be told what to do, they enjoy it. Quite sickening. So much for the forth estate and holding a mirror up to government, let alone their duty to their readers and others at large. It’s a deep systemic corruption at the heart of what we call democracy, which is perfectly fine with those who make decisions for us.

        Like

  3. Middle East Monitor: Egypt army withdraw forces from Sinai
    https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20180613-egypt-army-withdraw-forces-from-sinai/

    …All branches of the Egyptian armed forces have participated in the operation with air and sea support including a Mistral helicopter carrier, a Dassault Rafale combat aircraft and Special Forces from the Egyptian Army and the Interior Ministry.

    The sources, who asked not to be identified, stated that the ongoing withdrawal process indicates the divergence of military data and the growing disinterest of media outlets in the operation…
    ####

    That would be one of the Mistral class ships Russia signed a contract with France for. It’s good to read that it is getting a work out, though were Egyptian KA-52K pilots flying? There was a Russo-Egyptian agreement about 9 months ago for their training in Russia so the exercise in the Sinai would have been good practice.

    Considering how close Russia and Egypt are, could the real reason for the end of the exercises be a warning message to I-srael from Russia, i.e. ‘Don’t try anything silly in Syria?’ It’s a very Putin kind of move as the border along the Sinai has long been a problem and used by dodgy folk to cross, So I-srael will have to increase its resources there taken from elsewhere (i.e. not available for whatever they may be planning in Syria) to cover the substantial Egyptian withdrawal. Curious….

    Like

    1. The American Conservative: Russia and Egypt are Growing Closer
      https://www.the-american-interest.com/2018/06/06/russia-and-egypt-are-growing-closer/

      Meanwhile, U.S.-Egypt ties are treading water, with vital diplomatic posts still unfilled.

      …Last month, Egypt and Russia signed a 50-year agreement in Moscow to establish a Russian Industrial Zone (RIZ) in the Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZone), an ambitious economic development project initially launched by al-Sisi in 2014. Egypt hopes that the RIZ project, signed during the 11th meeting of the joint Egyptian-Russian commission, will attract up to $70 billion in investments and create 35,000 jobs. The Russians plan to use the RIZ to manufacture a vast array of goods including heavy trucks and engines. For Moscow, which faces continued U.S. and EU sanctions, the project would provide an access point for exporting goods to overseas markets—especially to the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America.

      The RIZ is not the first sign of deepening ties between Russia and Egypt…
      ####

      More at the link.

      Like

  4. The Drive via Antiwar.com: Pentagon Admits Afghanistan’s New Black Hawks Can’t Match Its Older Russian Choppers
    http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/21558/pentagon-admits-afghanistans-new-black-hawks-cant-match-its-older-russian-choppers

    A new official report raises serious concerns about whether the new helicopters will actually hurt the Afghan military’s ability to operate.
    ####

    All at the link.

    Noooo, you don’t say?! Well this is a surprise. To someone.

    My alternative title: Blackpork Down

    Pork! Pork! Pork! Pork! Pork! Pork! Pork! Barbecue!

    Like

  5. AFP via Physics.org: Kaspersky freezes ties with Europol over calls for EU ban
    https://phys.org/news/2018-06-kaspersky-ties-europol-eu.html

    …”Kaspersky Lab has taken the difficult decision to temporarily halt our numerous collaborative European cybercrime-fighting initiatives, including those with Europol,” the Moscow-based security firm said in a statement Wednesday.

    The statement came as the European Parliament issued a report demanding a ban on “malicious” programmes and devices, and singling out Kaspersky Lab.

    In its statement, Kaspersky responded: “Although this report has no legislative power it demonstrates a distinct lack of respect for the company which has been a firm friend of Europe in the fight against cybercrime.” …
    ####

    The EP motion base on the EP report by ..Estonian MEP Urmas Paet, the Liberal MEP and former Estonian foreign minister…

    Euractiv: Parliament demands EU institutions ban Kaspersky Lab cybersecurity products
    https://www.euractiv.com/section/cybersecurity/news/parliament-demands-eu-institutions-ban-kaspersky-lab-cybersecurity-products/

    …The most explosive measure is buried at the end of the report, where the Parliament asks EU bodies “to perform a comprehensive review of software, IT and communications equipment and infrastructure used in the institutions in order to exclude potentially dangerous programmes and devices”.

    In the first-ever such call from an EU institution, the MEPs want EU institutions “to ban the ones that have been confirmed as malicious, such as Kaspersky Lab”.

    The resolution was approved with 476 votes in favour, 151 against, and 36 abstentions…

    …Urmas Paet, the Liberal MEP and former Estonian foreign minister who authored the Parliament report, stood by the call for an EU institutional ban.

    “These decisions must be taken seriously, they have not been taken out of the blue but instead have been drawn from various partners and intelligence sources. Considering the overall situation of EU-Russia relations, and Russia’s aggressive behaviour, we should not be taking risks that could cause serious damage to the EU,” Paet said in a statement after the Parliament vote.

    Other European institutions have been less bothered by security concerns over Kaspersky Lab.

    EU Digital Commissioner Mariya Gabriel wrote in response to a MEP’s question this April that there is “very limited use of Kaspersky Lab software in the Commission”.

    She said that Commission analysts use a Kaspersky Lab antivirus “to analyse malware samples in a controlled off-line environment separated from the Commission networks and without any direct Internet connection”.

    Gabriel added, “the Commission has no indication for any danger associated with this anti-virus engine”…
    ####

    Stupid phat phucks. Yet another reason that the EP has to go (along with record low participation in the last EP elections and using the institution as a holiday job before returning to government when their party wins elections back home).

    Judging from the Commission’s response, you wonder if Kaspersky is just one of many products they’ve been using or whether (and unlike the US), they silently retired the use of other Kaspersky products, if used at all. I wonder if anyone will ask these questions of them?

    Like

    1. In ‘What has Kaspersky every done for us consumers’…

      Venturebeat: Microsoft agrees to Windows 10 security demands as Kaspersky Lab drops its antitrust complaint
      https://venturebeat.com/2017/08/10/kaspersky-lab-drops-antitrust-complaint-after-microsoft-acquiesces-to-windows-10-security-demands/

      …One of the problems, according to Kaspersky, was that Microsoft didn’t provide enough preparation time before Windows updates to ensure Kaspersky (as well as other AV firms) could make its software play nicely with the Windows 10 update. There were a whole bunch of other related complaints, including a lack of clarity in the way Microsoft informed users that their AV software of choice had been disabled, as well as Microsoft prohibiting AV companies from being able to serve up their own alerts and notifications when an AV product licence was due to expire…
      ####

      More at the link.

      Like

      1. Just spotted this:

        The Register: Silk road adviser caught, Kaspersky sues Dutch paper, and Vietnam’s tech clampdown
        https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/06/16/silk_road_advisor_apprehended_kaspersky_sues_dutch_paper_and_vietnam_clamps_down_on_tech/

        Kaspersky hungry for some Dutch crunch

        Eugene Kaspersky says he’s sick of bad news coverage, and he’s calling in the lawyers to do something about it.

        The namesake behind Kaspersky Lab is filing suit against De Telegraaf, the largest newspaper in the Netherlands. According to the Russian software tycoon, the paper made up a story about a hacker who claimed to have breached the Dutch office of Kaspersky Lab and uncovered details about the company’s work with the Russian government.

        Kaspersky says the story was fabricated either by the paper itself or by former minister Willem Vermeend, and now the security firm is going to take the paper to court via a defamation suit.

        “After exhausting all other possibilities to resolve the issue directly with the Dutch newspaper, we decided that the only option left for us was to turn to court,” Kaspersky said.

        “Fortunately, European legislation offers organizations the chance to defend their reputation by doing so. So, on May 25 we filed a complaint for defamation against both the newspaper and Mr. Vermeend, with a demand for the newspaper to publish a rectification.”..
        ####

        One lives in hope that The Papers (TM) will stop treating the word of ministers without a shred of evidence as fact, rather than a very thinly sourced claim. I don’t see this happening any time soon. PPNN stenography carries no risks at all.

        Like

        1. There is no journalism in NATzO. The NATzO MSM is composed of regime mouthpieces.

          This case is a litmus test. Journalists are supposed to not give government or other sources the benefit of the doubt. They are supposed to fact check. But such investigation requires effort and incurs risk. So we now have a collection of poodles acting as stenographers spreading propaganada.

          Like

  6. Stooges who are sorta WW1 and GPW buffs…these are really good documentaries!!!!

    There is another DVD from The History Channel: Dead men’s secrets the secrets of the sea wolves.
    It’s only 40 minutes or so…but it has a lot of info from which some of you would learn a little !!!!
    Can’t find it online.

    Like

  7. Could Ukraine’s T-84 Tank take on the world’s best in a fight? Or is it just the best of the USSR’s long line of tanks? A sterling example of what you might learn if you only read headlines. If you read on, you will learn – for what it’s worth, as I have no reason to believe Charlie Gao could recognize a tank if he saw one in his parking space when he showed up for work in the morning – that the short answer is No, it could not and it is not, either. Despite your choices being could it take on the best, or is it just the best the post-Soviet mongrels can come up with, it (1) has never been tested in combat with the Ukrainian armed forces, (2) has not been sold to foreign buyers despite Ukraine’s energetic promotion of it, and (3), performed poorly at Strong Europe 2018. It is mostly a Ukrainian vanity project that they can’t sell, and which would get its crew roasted in any scenario except sitting on the firing line at the range, blazing away, where it is a marvelous success but is not being shot at.

    But even when the west writes that indigenous Ukrainian military equipment is crap, it gives them the benefit of a headline that implies it’s a world-beater.

    https://www.yahoo.com/news/could-ukraine-apos-t-84-140800674.html

    Like

  8. Well, well; lookee here – National Security Advisor John Bolton (known as a ‘hawk’ because ‘dickhead’ was already taken by his boss) made over two million bucks last year. And he made about three-quarters of it in speaking fees and paid contributions to FOX News. AND he made a pretty good chunk of his speaking fees – I daresay more than you made all year in total – courtesy of Ukrainian oligarch Viktor Pinchuk, who paid him $115,000,00 for two speeches, in one of which he reassured his audience in Kiev that “The notion that Trump’s election is going to represent a dramatic break in foreign policy is just wrong. Calm down, for God’s sake.”

    Ha, ha!!! Never mind what ethics laws might suggest about the president’s National Security Advisor making a million and change in speaking fees and news massaging on the side; never mind that some might call it spreading propaganda for a pretty lucrative paycheck. I don’t care what they say – you are one funny fucker, John Bolton. Trump is not going to radically change US foreign policy: Whoo-HOO!!! My sides!! You cut-up, you’re killing me!!!

    https://www.mercurynews.com/2018/06/12/bolton-got-115k-for-ukraine-appearances/amp/

    I wonder what the western press might make of Dmitry Peskov getting paid over a hundred thousand smackers to tell an audience in Schenectady that Vladimir Putin did not have the balls to intervene in Syria, said funds being slipped to him by some Syrian billionaire.

    As the popular jargon has it, you couldn’t make it up.

    Like

    1. Coulda, shoulda been 3 or 4 for Mexico.

      Layun and Chicharito (not often you get a star footballer with basically the same name- ok nickname- as a Roman orator) should be enjoying the traditional “full Mexican breakfast” of a cigarette and then the blindfold after their woefully useless finishing and passing.

      A large glass of Schadenfreude, bitte, Fraulein, mit super extra Freude. My sides were sore laughing at the same old antics as dives better than Johnny Weissmuller or Greg Louganis ever achieved began about ten seconds after the only goal. By the end it was like an episode of Das Boot. Not to mention the “Downfall” like frothing reaction from the bench.

      Must be a shoo-in for the gold at the Montreux comedy festival.

      Like

  9. I can’t remember if this was posted earlier or not.

    https://www.investing.com/analysis/us-sanctions-will-not-stop-nord-stream-2-200322780

    There have been several analyses which speculate the USA will not be able to stop Nord Stream’s twinning project, and according to this source, they may even triple it up. But this source also offers a quite positive picture of the Russian economy, and scoffs at US efforts to bring it to heel by suggesting options Russia has to circumvent borrowing constraints, such as citing the $100 Billion in US currency the Kremlin supposedly still has, when it would need less than €5 Billion of that even if the USA was successful at forcing all Gazprom’s partners to drop out of the project.

    In the worst-case scenario, the five companies listed above all pull out of their deal with Gazprom, it would leave the company needing to re-issue the loans locally. Currently, these are loans payable in euros. Converting those loans to Rubles issued through currently stable Russian banks would be trivial with the Bank of Russia providing the needed euro liquidity. We’re only talking €4.9 billion here.

    Gazprom’s latest earnings report was stellar with solid expansion across all verticals. Financially, the company is well positioned to complete each of the three major projects currently under construction – Turkish Stream, Nord Stream 2, and Power of Siberia.

    This source also speculates, interestingly, that Italy’s new government may veto sanctions’ renewal in July. That’d be a pleasant surprise, but I don’t really expect it unless Europe offers more covert support. However, even renewed and even increased sanctions are unlikely to stop the project now, while continued opposition might have serious political consequences for Merkel. Her plans do not include getting de-elected now.

    In the interests solely of presenting the opposite point of view, I give you John Herbst’s “Why Nord Stream II Will Not Be Built”.

    https://www.the-american-interest.com/2018/06/14/why-nord-stream-2-will-not-be-built/

    He hedges with ‘probably’ and ‘unlikely’, but his reasons are lame – tough new American sanctions on Putin’s inner circle of cronies will make potential investors nervous, and the article is led with a picture of Putin looking confused and disoriented. You can read it all if you like, but that’s about the whole argument in a nutshell.

    Like

    1. I guess I can call all the US “tycoons” cronies of whatever president is in office at any given moment. Vapid, imbecilic “facts from the anus” language appears to be the norm these days. Soon the adults will be making 6 year olds look like senior statesmen.

      Nord Stream II has passed all the real legal hurdles (territorial easements and connection to the pipeline network in Germany). Sanctions on construction are retarded because Russia can build the pipes and lay them on the Baltic seabed without any dollars or western contractors. Actually, it is not Russia, but Gazprom alone that can lay the pipe. And neither Washington, nor Bruxelles can do f*ck all about it.

      Like

  10. And on and on drones the BBC anti-Russia marathon:

    World Cup 2018: ‘Safe space’ for Russia LGBT football fans shut


    Homosexuality was decriminalised in Russia in 1993, but anti-gay prejudice is rife</b.

    And most here don't give a flying fuck!

    If they were so "homophobic here, then why this (from a quick Yandex search):

    Гей-клубы Москвы: адреса, фото

    Гей Клубы Москвы

    гей бар москва

    Центр афро-бразильской культуры

    Африканский клуб НСО МГИМО

    Like

    1. It must be tempting for the brains behind the Litvinenko and Skripal stories to manufacture something featuring one of these fearless journalist seekers after truth being honey trapped into a longish holiday in “the gulag”; does that never cross their minds?
      Otherwise it’s just infantilism.

      Like

    2. The Beeb feels toward homosexuals just like everyone else on the earth who is not homosexual feels – that it must be tolerated and that it is essentially harmless, but that it is not the normal state of affairs and that those who are so compelled should keep their attractions discreet and not be offensive with flamboyant gay behavior. Yet whenever there is an event in Russia, the Beeb becomes concerned for homosexuals, because they are ‘special’ and precious and must be allowed free rein to express themselves in whatever manner they choose, and anything else is totalitarianism.

      Like

          1. Maybe he just thinks he has really big balls. After all, he can’t see them; he’s just going by feel. You know, like when you have a tooth out, the hole feels enormous to you when your tongue goes over it.

            He should take a picture, or have a friend do it, so the viewing audience could render an unbiased and impartial judgment.

            Like

  11. Women World Cup Football fans, Moscow, June 2018

    A Russian woman football fan:

    Saudi-Arabia women football fans:

    The one in the middle is very attractive, don’t you think?

    Religion is a load of bollocks!

    Just my opinion, mind.

    Like

        1. When wearing a “kokoshnik” head-gear then, technically, she should have braided her hair underneath it.
          Or a pony-tail. I like that photo of her in a pony-tail.

          Like

  12. From your friendly neighbourhood Yukie Svidomite:

    Just an illustration of culled feral dogs, no matter that they were put down in Pakistan”

    The oiginal full picture:


    Lok just like downtown Moscow, does it not, with those motorized tricycle taxis.

    Like

    1. “Dude”, says the Yukie, “you don’t know or you don’t want to know, great difference))) well, the picture is just an illustration of the crime. Enjoy the football!”

      Yeah, sort of like the “Holodomor” pictures of starving children, which pictures were taken during earlier famines in the RSFSR and the Russian Empire — just to show you what the crime is about, although the pictures are not of the alleged crime …

      Typo in previous post.

      Should have read:

      Looks just like downtown Moscow, does it not, with those motorized tricycle taxis?

      Well, Karachi is a city, and those dogs are dead, and Moscow is a city … so the picture is just to show you what dead dogs look like in a city — just to illustrate the point, see.

      Like

      1. As a matter of fact, they’ve been successfully culling feral dogs for yonks in Moscow. When I got wed, there used to be a great pack of the mangy curs on a derelict children’s playground near our old Khrushchyovka. They used to terrorize folk when they tried to cross their territory. I beat up their pack-boss one day with an old hockey stick after it had gone for my wife. And then they vanished. How they were disposed of I care not. And next thing, the playground was refurbished and asphalted with that springy stuff for kids’ safety, as were all the old Soviet kiddie play areas.

        It was the same at the mainline railway station on the Moscow-Warsaw line where we get the local train to our dacha — there was a bloody huge wild pack there as well. I used to see railway station staff bollocking grandmas for feeding them. The dogs often used to go for passengers, especially when there was a bitch on heat.

        And then someone must have given them summat really tasty mixed with their stale sausage and old pies, because they were suddenly no more.

        Must have been Novichok.

        Like

        1. As if NATzO member states would never cull feral dogs. NATzO would rather have those dogs maul children to death than violate “animal rights”. BS. All sorts of wild animals that get into residential areas in Canada get offed (and not relocated). I have been watching stories about this on Canadian TV news 40 years.

          It’s a nice catch about Holodomor though. Not a single f*cking photo of the event from Ukraine. Ukraine had plenty of photocameras back in the 1930s as did other parts of the USSR. Someone would have recorded at least a few images. Even theoretical totalitarian regimes cannot control every microscopic detail.

          Like

          1. Many of the genuine photos taken at the time of the alleged “Holodomor” were shot in Kharkov.

            Kharkov was the original capital of the UkSSR, created by the USSR in 1922. I have been there several times. It’s a “Russian” city. It’s the first train stop after you cross the Russia-Ukraine frontier after having left Belgorod city in Russia. In my experience, a huge majority of folk there speak Russian as their mother tongue. However, as you enter Kharkov station, you see signs labelling it as “Kharkiv” and bloody great illuminated one on its roof..

            Those Kharkov famine photos show famine stricken UkSSR citizens lying where they have collapsed from hunger on the street.

            You can walk from Kharkov to the Russian frontier in a day — well you can if you are young and fit (I once could) or were an infantryman in a pre-mechanized army: it’s 20 miles away.

            So what I want to know is this: during “Holodomor”, did the evidence of an allegedly planned Russian genocidal starvation policy targeted at Ukrainians suddenly cease to exist some 20 miles away from Kharkov?

            Like

            1. I am sure that western Ukrs would claim that Kharkov is “Russified” because the original Ukr population got exterminated by the Holodomor genocide. The problem with this fantasy fiction is that Kharkov was Russian back when the Bolshies decided to make Crimea-style gifts to some concoction known as Ukraine. There was not enough time (about 10 years) for any Ukr majority to form on this land. As I posted here before, western Ukr slime hates the very victims of the Holodomor, which they themselves never experienced.

              There were famines for assorted reasons in the USSR during the 1930s, but the Holodomor is a pure hoax.

              Like

        2. and I thought within the last 3 months a young man got killed by a stray dog and a young woman injured during the same attack, in Moscow city centre.

          Like

    2. In the liberal mind, telling a lie is justified if it supports a progressive agenda and triggers change in a liberal direction. What does it matter if it was true or not? Truth is a relative term, a fungible commodity. Did it make a thing happen that you wanted to happen? Then it’s true enough. Ahmed Chalabi coined what might serve as the liberal mission statement when he was asked to account for all the lies surrounding the attack on Iraq, that Saddam had had WMD’s and chemical warfare labs and I don’t know what-all. Dizzy with jubilation at the successful American drive to Baghdad, he replied, “We are heroes in error”.

      Notice that in this case the liar’s position quickly shifts to “It doesn’t matter if the picture was actually taken in Russia, this is an example of the crime that is happening there.”

      Like

    1. The Russian fan who says that Russia and England are friends, also adds in Russian that “We are Europeans: we are together….”

      Poor deluded lad!

      They hate you in Westminster pal: they think you are a racist homophobe, inherently mendacious, devious, sly, untrustworthy, dirty, immoral.

      In short: you ain’t a real human.

      Like

  13. Tass via ZeroHedge: Russia to supply two batches of rocket engines to US
    http://tass.com/science/1009668

    Russia will supply two batches of RD-180 and RD-181 rocket engines to the United States in 2018, Chief Designer of Energomash Scientific and Production Association (the engines’ developer) Pyotr Lyovochkin told TASS on Friday.

    “Currently, the production of commercial engines at Energomash is proceeding in compliance with the contracts signed. The dispatch of the first batch of RD-180 and RD-181 engines to the United States is planned for the second quarter of 2018,” the chief designer said.

    “And the next batch of these engines will be supplied to the customer at the end of the year,” he said, without specifying the number of engines.

    Energomash delivers RD-180 engines for US Atlas III and Atlas V rockets and RD-181 engines for Antares launch vehicles. The contracts for both types of the engines are valid through the end of 2019….

    Tests prove Russian rocket engines’ multiple-use capacity

    The firing tests of Russia’s RD-181 engines held before the launch of an Antares carrier rocket on May 21 this year proved the possibility to use them multiple times, Energomash Chief Designer Lyovochkin said in early June.

    The tests of the carrier rocket’s first stage, which involved checking the joint operation of all the systems and the engine, lasted 30 seconds and took place at the launch site of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (Virginia, USA). After the tests, the parameters of the operation of all the rocket’s systems, including the engines, were tested and the condition of the hardware was diagnosed.
    ####

    Multiple use rocket engines. Haven’t we been repeatedly told that Russia cannot compete and is coasting on its space heritage? I do wonder what it would take for Putin to pull the trigger on stopping deliveries. Could be useful insurance powder for whatever the West tries to pull during the World Cup.

    Like

  14. Ah well …

    It used to be “Anyone who can’t tap dance is a queer!” when I was playing back in the ’70s.

    Nobody complained to the Ruby Football League.

    Like

    1. The British media did not seem to have any problem with all the Ukies jumping up and down at Maidan and chanting “Who does not jump is a Moskal”. But then, as I mentioned before, the British media becomes wide-eyed with concern for gay rights whenever there is any kind of international event in Russia that it might ruin with its slurs, and could not give a tin weasel about the gays as soon as it’s over.

      Like

  15. 60 Minutes Australia
    Published on Jun 18, 2018
    Australia has always considered the South Pacific our “patch of paradise” to protect and nurture. But now the Chinese are moving in and splashing their cash in places like Fiji and Vanuatu. So what’s next?

    60 Minutes Australia
    Published on Jun 18, 2018
    Australia has always considered the South Pacific our “patch of paradise” to protect and nurture. But now the Chinese are moving in and splashing their cash in places like Fiji and Vanuatu. So what’s next?

    Like

  16. In the run up to the England Tunisia match, commentators spoke of an influx of arctic mosquitoes invading England’s hotel. Plagues of ferocious mosquitoes even. I’m sure those racist, Putin trained KGB mosquitoes will be blamed it England yet again snatch defeat from the jaws of victory or are just shit.

    Like

    1. I must say that the little blighters were ferocious out in the country over the weekend. It’s peak season now for them. There are far fewer in the city though. Out in the country, you have to daub yourself with mosquito repellant now and walk around using blades of long grass or ferns as a whisk.

      Like

      1. Sometimes a decoy works, i.e. someone with you who is more attractive to the mosquitoes. Asian Tiger mosquitoes (dem with white stripes on them) have spread and survive quite well in U-rope and elsewhere these last few decades. Even I’ve noticed them in some of hotter Med climes.

        Like

        1. When we hitched around Europe, the future Mrs C (blonde) attracted plenty of attention, especially from the mosquito populations, leaving me (“black Irish”) unscathed. She went to Nepal on a trekking holiday with two darker girlfriends and the same thing happened.

          Like

          1. My mother was “Black Irish” as well: maiden name Burke.

            I’m not though, and they go for me. I noticed this when I first began to live here.

            I’ve lain on the bed bollock naked on many a hot summer night and watched how the little bastards hover around Mrs. Exile next to me, then they make up their tiny minds and pounce on my pink flesh.

            Same for my elder daughter, who is blonde and blue-eyed and a real pale-face: likewise my son. They get hammered by he mozzies if they don’t daub themselves well with repellent.

            Mrs. Exile is dark, however, as is her clone, my younger daughter, Sasha.

            When Sasha came back from Turkey last summer, she fevvered a little Indian girl, whereas Lena, her sister, was just broiled.

            Like

            1. Russian mosquitoes are amazingly resourceful and tenacious, not to mention the size of a Stuka. The first year I was there, which would have been 17 years ago, we liked to sleep with the balcony windows open for the night air, because Vladivostok had a summer like it was auditioning for Cape Town. And every night I would wake up to that thin whine near my ear, just before it went silent, indicating a successful landing somewhere. We were twelve frickin’ floors up. But somehow the mosquitoes could still smell us, go on oxygen for the altitude and cut in the boosters to get up that high.

              Like

              1. When I was studying russki out there for the first time, I had the top bunk, my head a mere couple of feet from the ceiling. By the time I left, it looked like the Roman Army had passed through. I put all those bastards to the sword!

                Like

            2. If you’re a tall or a big person, and very active as well (so you breathe in more and exhale more), mosquitoes will favour you over smaller, less active people. They’re attracted to carbon dioxide and can sense if some people are perspiring more and have higher body temperatures than others.

              Like

              1. So I’m a big, sweaty, heavy breathing bastard am I??????

                🙂

                Well, I did say I first experienced mosquitoes’ preference for my blood when I was lying bollock naked on the bed next to Mrs. Exile ….

                Like

                1. All I can say is mosquitoes don’t discriminate between people born out of wedlock and people whose parents were married at the time of their birth. So I guess they’re egalitarian in that sense.

                  🙂

                  Like

                2. I used the term “bastard” in the friendly, Aussie, sense.

                  🙂

                  The insulting term is also often used in a pally sense in my old neck of the woods as well.

                  It’s a funny old world, innit?

                  Like

                3. Yes, here in Australia, “bastard”, “ugly bastard”, “ratbag” and similar pejoratives are sometimes used as terms of endearment.

                  As in:
                  Q: If the American says to his missus, “Pass the honey, honey” and the Englishman says to his missus, “Pass the sugar, sugar”, what does the Australian say to his lady partner?
                  A: “Pass the tea, bag.”

                  Like

                4. Yeah, I use the term “ratbag” quite a lot. I even use it about my eldest son.

                  It was quite a while, in fact, before my wife realized that “ratbag” literally means a stinking old ratcatcher’s sack and she does not like me saying things such as: “I wonder what that bloody ratbag Vova’s doing in the Crimea now?”

                  Like

  17. Speak of the Devil:
    http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/06/18/bund-j18.html

    “The NATO exercise “Saber Strike” is currently taking place in Lithuania, with the Bundeswehr leading the eastern flank reinforcement. According to the US Army, about 18,000 soldiers from 19 countries are taking part in the exercise. Among other things, the operation includes the simulated storming of the Russian Kaliningrad exclave through the Suwalki gap between Lithuania and Poland. The Bundeswehr is participating in NATO exercises this year with about 12,000 troops, a tripling of its commitment compared to last year.”

    Ummm..Do the fuckin’ NATO morons realize that Belarus is allied with Russia??

    Like

    1. So, in the name of fighting Russian “aggression” they are conducting war games simulating aggression against Russia (i.e. invasion of Russian territory). Nice.

      Like

  18. This morning’s UK Telegraph:

    England fans welcomed with open arms in Volgograd ahead of opening 2018 World Cup match against Tunisia

    The 2,000 England fans here who had ignored the dire warnings were certain of one thing. Win, lose or draw they had enjoyed perhaps the friendliest of tournament football matches they could recall; the horrors of Marseille two years ago when Russian ultras ambushed an England mob a fading memory.

    The threat of violence and the attempted assassination of the Russian spy Sergei Skripal on British soil that had ratcheted up tensions between London and Moscow had deterred many supporters from making the arduous journey to Volgograd, a city closer to Tehran than Moscow.

    But the reality is – and always was – that Vladimir Putin is on a charm offensive during this World Cup and England’s supporters have been won over.

    Attempted assassination by whom?

    Was it really an attempted assassination?

    So Volgograd is closer to Tehran than it is to Moscow?

    So fucking what?

    Moscow – Washington D.C. distance — 7,816 kms.

    Moscow – Vladivostok distance — 9,048.1 kms.

    Hmmm… There must be something significant in those figures.

    And take note: “the reality is” — and “always was”, mind you — that the Russian President is on a charm offensive because he really, really is evil and he must have told the Russians to be nice because this is all part of his devilish plot to destroy freedom and democracy and sow discord world wide as a prelude to the glorious resurrection of the USSR and world domination by Russia, which would be unbearable, of course … like what it would have been under the Nazis.

    Know what I mean? Cos the Russians beat shit out out of the Nazis, which just goes and shows you how evil they are — worse than the Nazis cos that’s how they won cos they are more evil!

    Stands to reason, don’t it?

    You see, the fact is that Stalin and the Red Army were much, much worse than Hitler and the Wehrmacht were and they murdered and enslaved far, far more people than did the Nazis, who only came about as a reaction to the Red Terror in the East anyway, which terror was unleashed by Jews, of course, and Asiatic types.

    In any case, the Germans only lost in the East because it was too cold for them, for normal humans to fight there, because it’s always brass monkeys in Russia, innit? And Russians don’t feel the cold because they are not humans like what we are and are they are cruel and evil and untrustworthy and sly … Know what I mean?

    It’s true though, innit?

    Dropped a bollock though, did that Telegraph hack: he forgot to slip in the name of Stalin, in that Volgograd was the former Stalingrad.

    It was Tsaritsyn before that, but it would be too much to expect a British journalist to know that.

    Bear in mind, though, that the earlier name “Tsaritsyn” is not derived from the Russian word “Tsar”: it’s from the Tatar language and means “Yellow River”.

    Tatar?

    There you go then — Asiatic!!!

    Like

    1. Oh, I was in error!

      The prick of a “journalist” did mention Stalingrad: I only read half the article because of a “promoted stories” ad half way through it.

      And get this:

      By matchday on Monday, there had been just one arrest of an England fan. Local reports suggested a West Ham supporter had got into a drunken row with another West Ham fan on the 20-hour train journey from Moscow to Volgograd. One was detained and later released and the other hurt his hand.

      According to Reuters, Russian authorities charged both men with minor hooliganism and being drunk in public.

      One report suggested that one hooligan had tried to grab the pistol of an on-board policeman and the second smashed a glass, wounding his wrist.

      England’s best in action!

      And get this as well:

      “On Saturday night police had called in Volgograd’s local hoodlums – among them far-right extremists – for a talking to. They were told not to even think about causing trouble for the English; they didn’t dare ignore an official warning that may likely have come direct from the Kremlin.

      They didn’t dare ignore an official warning?

      The “GULag” beckoned, did it?

      “May likely have come from the Kremlin”!!!!!!!

      Just as the Kremlin and Putin in particular may likely have ordered Litvinenko’s murder, if indeed murder it was, and just as it was likely that the poisoning of the Skripals came directly from the Kremlin?

      Well that’s what horror comic May and her fat chump of a boorish FM Johnson think is very likely the explanation for these mysterious deaths of Russians in the UK..

      I personally reckon it’s likely that the Telegraph “journalist” who wrote the article is shagging Volgrad whores every night in his all expenses paid hotel and putting down their charges for sexual favours as expenses.

      Well, it’s not impossible, is it?

      Like

      1. Almost exactly the same story from the Independent:

        World Cup 2018: England fans praise welcome by Russian hosts as they celebrate first win
        ‘I was speaking to a Russian ultra… all he wanted to do was hug me,’ says one England supporter

        So far the comments below the article criticize the incessant British propaganda against Russia that has been daily meted ot by the British media and government.

        “You’ll be getting the sack Oliver [the journalist in Volgograd] at this rate. Better get back to Navalny and CIA arse-licking pronto.”

        “Right. Don’t break the Russophobe spell.”

        “Yes. Don’t spoil it for Theresa May. She needs her Russian bogeymen to play her “patriotism” Joker cards to cling on to power. It’s all gone rather quite about the “innocent Russians assassinated by the evil Putin on British soil by “deadly” nerve agent. ( remember ? “Even the slightest trace will kill instantaneously” ) . And meanwhile the assassin’s “victims” are now back in their favourite pub.”

        Enter moron:

        “Awwww, isn’t that nice! Good job you aren’t black or gay, isn’t it?”

        Immediately countered by:

        “Seen several black faces in St.Petersburg none of whom were abused , and Talksport has sent a black women presenter to Moscow who said today that she had not received any abuse at all . Grow up.”

        “Goodness, the Russian people are nice! Perhaps the Independent might want to investigate this reality that does not match the U.K. governent’s or MSM’sversion of Russians. Now, let’s have a serious dissection of the Skripal fiasco and jail those MI5/6 agents responsisble [sic]along with the crooked politicians to sanctioned the BZ poisoning of Sergei and Yulia.”

        Like

        1. RIA Novosti:

          Английские болельщики: “Не верьте тому, что вы читаете в прессе”
          08:0019.06.2018

          English fans: “Never believe what you read in the press”.

          Сложно даже представить удивление, испытываемое фанатами сборной Англии. Несколько месяцев им с первых страниц газет рассказывали, что в России их ждет “кровавая баня”. А в итоге The Sun, громче всех кричавшая о том, что фанатов будут “убивать”, сообщает, как тепло англичан встретили в Волгограде. И приводит слова 48-летнего болельщика из Стаффордшира: “Здесь так чисто, все очень дружелюбны и вежливы”. Общее резюме англичан: “Тут совсем не так, как мы ожидали”.

          It is difficult even to imagine the surprise experienced by the England fans. For several months, the front pages of newspapers had been telling them that a “blood bath” was waiting for them in Russia. But at the end of it all, “The Sun”, which was screaming loudest of all that the fans would be “murdered”, now reports how warm the English have been met in Volgograd and quotes a 48-year-old fan from Staffordshire: “It’s so clean. Everyone is so very friendly and polite”. The general summary of the British: “It’s not at all what we were expecting there”.

          Yeah, but those Russians are only obeying orders, aren’t they — or else!


          Quit lying! RIA Novosti

          Like

          1. And I have just travelled on the metro from the northern outskirts of Moscow to the centre in a carriage filled with a cross section of fans, mostly consisting of dark-skinned South American Hispanics, amongst whom were quite a few folk of African origin.

            And no one was staring at them. No one was abusing them.

            Like

          2. Visitors’ impressions will be even better because the idiot propaganda of the britbong press set the bar so low.

            Like

    2. That’s very interesting about the name “Tsaritsyn”, I always just assume it came from Tsar, possibly named after Tsar Boris Badinov.
      I found this Russian wiki page about Volgograd history.

      This paragraph:
      В топографии город впервые появляется в 1614 году на карте царя Федора II Годунова — написан как Царица. Название «Царица», вероятнее всего, переосмысленное по звуковому сходству с тюркским «сары-су» — жёлтая или красивая (в тюркском языке слово желтый и красивый синонимы) — река, а «Царицын» — от тюркского слова «сары-чин» «жёлтый — красивый — остров»[19].

      TRANSLATION:
      In topography, the city first appears in 1614 on the map of Tsar Fedor II Godunov, and is written as Tsaritsa. This name, most likely, is a re-thinking (into Russian) due to the phonetic similarity with the Turkish “sary-su” which means “Yellow River” or “Beautiful River” (in Turkish “yellow” and “beautiful” are synonyms); and “Tsaritsyn” from the Turkish “sary-chin” (Yellow/Beautiful Island).

      Like

      1. Interesting also that the Turkish for “yellow” meant “beautiful”, whereas in Russian the words for “beautiful” and “red” have a common root: “Red Square” really means “Beautiful Square”, and the “Red Corner” [Красный угол] in a peasant’s “izba” (and still in many Russian dachas and flats nowadays, such as in ours), where an icon stands on a little corner shelf, is really “The Beautiful Corner”.


        “The Sick Man” by Vasili Maximov (1881), portrays a woman kneeling in prayer before the “Red Corner”icon corner — Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow.

        Like

  19. Первый президент Украины допустил добровольный отказ России от Крыма‍

    First President of the Ukraine has put forward the idea that Russia will voluntarily give up the Crimea

    MOSCOW, June 19 (Itar-Tass) – RIA Novosti. Russia might voluntarily return the Crimea to the Ukraine, former Ukrainian president Leonid Kravchuk has said in an interview with the newspaper Ukrayinska Pravda.

    The politician’s opinion was justified by the “excessive expenses” that are required for the peninsula.
    “Once Russia could not cope with the Crimea, so she handed it to us, and now I see a similar situation: although the Russians have built a bridge there, the Ukraine invested about a hundred billion dollars in the peninsula: the Crimea requires colossal costs”, said. Kravchuk.

    However, the former president added that his “prediction” would not necessarily be fulfilled in the near future, and the transfer of the Crimea to the Ukraine, he said, would be the result of international pressure.

    “This does not mean that it will quickly come about: it might be a long time. Anything can happen. In theory, as soon as people in the Ukraine live better than in the Crimea, the Crimea will return. I do not believe that will happen. I do not know when we shall live better, Secondly, 78 percent [of Crimeans] are Russians”, the politician concluded.

    Firstly, Russia did not hand over the Crimea to the Ukraine: the USSR transferred the administration of a former subject of the RSFSR to the UkSSR, which in its turn was also a former subject of the USSR.

    Secondly, the Crimea was not placed under UkSSR administration because it was too expensive for the RSFSR to administer.

    Thirdly, and most importantly, it was the citizens of the Autonomous Republic of the Crimea who decided by a huge majority in a referendum that the Crimea return to to being a subject of the Russian Federation, the inheritor state to the former RSFSR.

    The Svidomites always talk of the Crimea as “their” territory [“It is our land! It is our Sea!” — Yatsenpuke] and care not one jot about the wishes of the vast majority of the citizens of the Crimea, who are ethnically Russians and whose mother tongue is Russian. Figures!

    Kravchuk’s waffling concedes this point.

    The determining factor as regards which polity the citizens of the Crimea wish to be citizens of is “We, the people”, not slimeballs in Kiev, nor members of the State Duma in Moscow for that matter.

    Misleading headline to the article, though: Kravchuk did not assert at all that the Crimea would return to the Yukie fold: he said it might do.

    Like

    1. If I recall correctly, the Crimea had tried to rejoin Russia several times since the collapse of the Soviet Union but Russia turned the metaphorical deaf ear to their requests. In other words, the desire to rejoin Russia did not suddenly materialise overnight after the Maidan coup but reflected a long expressed desire of the overwhelming majority of Crimeans. It is strange how those who bleat loudest about democracy seem to have the greatest problems in accepting the results of peoples’ genuine choices.

      Like

      1. You are correct in the first instance; there were several attempts. However, I’m not sure it was Russian indifference which doomed it quite as certainly as the rapid ruthlessness with which Ukraine stamped them out. Bear in mind that Russia and Ukraine were quite chummy at the time.

        Like

        1. From what I understand, the Crimeans held referendums in 1991 and 1994 to clarify the political status of Crimea in a newly independent Ukraine. The 1991 referendum result led to Crimea’s re-establishment as an autonomous republic within Ukraine. In the 1994 referendum, voters were in favour of having dual Russian-Ukrainian citizenship, greater autonomy from Ukraine and decrees of the President of Crimea to have the force of law but Kiev refused to accept the results.

          But back in the 1990s, when Yeltsin was President of Russia and leading Russia into collapse, choosing between being part of Russia and being part of Ukraine was probably much like choosing between marrying Tweedledee and marrying Tweedledum.

          Like

          1. There was a referendum in January of 1991 that re-established the autonomy status of Crimea:

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crimean_sovereignty_referendum,_1991

            The key detail:

            Following the referendum, the Supreme Soviet of the Ukrainian SSR passed the law “On Restoration of the Crimean Autonomous Soviet Socialistic Republic” on 12 February 1991.

            So Crimea was no longer a piece of Ukraine before the USSR collapsed so Banderastan had no legal right to claim it and incorporation of Crimea into Banderastan was actual annexation. The pathetic attempt by Wikicrappia to pretend that restoration of Crimea’s autonomy retained its status as a piece of Ukraine is BS.

            Like

            1. Let us also not forget that the United States Navy runs a ‘humanitarian program‘ which funds the renovation and construction of schools around the world, Crimea included. They previously did work there in 2010 and were already planning in 2013 (before Maidan) to do school no.5.*

              Now the ‘fact check’ sites like say that there is nothing abnormal about this – which is true – but they take this in isolation from the undeniable fact that this is well within keeping of the US multitude of ‘soft power’ projects, governmental, non-government and private to get a foot in the door, let alone offer the possibility of intelligence collection under the guise of humanitarian work.

              They also ignore the demands made in the Maidan government to cancel the Sevastopol lease agreement and kick the Russian Navy out, so it really doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand that when confronted with that possibility and having the US/NATO on yet another Russian border, the strategic balance would shift significantly. Putin & co saw that coming and slammed that door shut. We’re we all surprised? Oh, yes. With hindsight it was the only option.

              To those who say this is an exaggeration is just to flip the example. As always, its best to do by showing an actual map.

              * http://redpilltimes.com/u-s-navy-tender-construction-work-sevastopol-crimea-hints-u-s-military-coveted-controlling-historic-russian-peninsula/

              Like

              1. Yup! Just need to clarify that the building of the school wasn’t even so much a “soft power” project, as an actual practical matter:
                The U.S. Navy fully expected to build a big huge base in Sebastopol, and they needed housing and schools for the naval families stationed there.

                Like

          2. That’s a good point about the Yeltsin-repulsion factor. In fact, the Ukrainian referendums in general in the early 90’s showed that the majority of people in the UkSSR wanted to preserve the Soviet Union and were horrified at Russia’s secession. Then it became a matter of separating themselves from the Yeltsin mess. Ironically, opinion polls taken at the time showed that a majority of Ukrainians voting for independence did so, in some quixotic notion that they could preserve the USSR. It was only later (but not much later) that Ukrainian “independence” was hijacked by Washington’s Banderite carpetbaggers.

            Unfortunately, there was no real way out of the mess. The Betrayal, which was orchestrated by the U.S., involved the corruption of all 3 major political leaders, of Russia, Ukraine and Belorussia. Not to mention the deep corruption of the Nomenklatura, which was actually the real issue here.

            Like

            1. There was still hope in the early days of “Independent” Ukraine.

              The Ukrainian government banned the importation of “Bush Legs” before the Russian government did.

              I lived on hardly anything else in the early ’90s, when resident in the former Kaliningrad, now Korolyov.

              I’ve got iron guts, though, and chlorine-washed chicken thighs courtesy of Uncle Sam were no problem for me.

              Yeah, and I ate a lot of smoked and mackerel then.

              Kaliningrad used to be the USSR “Rocket City”. Nearly everyone there was out of work when I was a resident there.

              Mrs. Exile’s dad was a top man there as well — head finance officer or summat like. She tells me that when her dad was in his cups, he used to say: “There’s only one person in the whole of the Soviet Union who knows the real cost of the space programme: Это — я!

              Like

    2. Well, that’s it, then – Russia will give back the Crimea, because it’s too expensive and requires Billions to maintain. Which Ukraine has in abundance, of course, so I can’t think of anyone who would make better custodians, only it seems to me just the other day they were poor as churchmice and passing anti-corruption legislation under sufferance simply to qualify for the next handout.

      Like

  20. Vis Kaspersky, STUXNET, SCADA etc:

    The Register: Pwned with ‘4 lines of code’: Researchers warn SCADA systems are still hopelessly insecure
    https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/06/18/physically_hacking_scada_infosec/

    How Shamoon and Stuxnet et al ran riot
    ####

    & this is interesting too:

    The Register: ’90s hacker collective man turned infosec VIP: Internet security hasn’t improved in 20 years
    https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/06/18/l0pht_chris_wysopal_interview/

    Like

  21. They have since changed th headline from: “Экс-президент Украины утверждает, что Россия откажется от Крыма” [Ex-President of the Ukraine claims that Russia will renounce the Crimea” to the present headline: “Первый президент Украины допустил добровольный отказ России от Крыма‍” [First President of the Ukraine has put forward the idea that Russia will voluntarily give up the Crimea].

    The sub-editor must have given the journalist a bollocking.

    Like

  22. Wrong sort of democracy in Czechia/Czech Republic:

    Euractiv: New Czech government in jeopardy over foreign minister nomination
    https://www.euractiv.com/section/elections/news/new-czech-government-in-jeopardy-over-foreign-minister-nomination/

    The Czech Communist party will withhold support from the next government if the Social Democrats stick to their nominee for the post of foreign minister, Communist leader Vojtech Filip said on Sunday (17 June).

    The government being assembled by Prime Minister Andrej Babiš’s ANO party and the Social Democrat party (CSSD) would lack a majority in parliament and therefore lean on the far-left, pro-Russian Communists in a confidence vote.

    Babiš, who is being investigated by police over the alleged abuse of a €2 million EU subsidy a decade ago, has struggled to find anyone to team up with him in power since his party won nearly 30% of the vote last October…
    ####

    It’s a bit of an embarrassment see. Czechia is supposed to be staunchly euo-atlantic and is the US’s main center of operations for central and eastern Europe. Dragging up the euro cash from ten years ago is a simple smear as what Babis did and how he did it was within the law. Dodgy, but certainly within.

    Having failed to haul him over the coals for that, the next step is to strangle any coalition government at birth as if he is the far right in the Netherlands, Belgium or Austria. But no, Babis’s crime is that he is not anti-Russian, and certainly not enough. You are either for the Borg or against it. A semblance of neutrality, let alone real neutrality is against.

    This could all blow up in their face of course if elections are called again. The great unwashed do not like to be called out until the right result is delivered, though when it comes to fundamental EU matters where a referendum is involved, those in power will keep holding them until the right result is achieved.

    Still, it’s worth keeping an eye on Czechia to see what new depths the Borg will sink to…

    Like

    1. There seems to be an increasing number of pro-Borg factions in the various Eastern European parties.
      Neighboring Slovakia is fairly pro-Borg at this moment in history.
      Bulgaria also weaving in the Borg direction.

      Like

      1. I was surprised. The Russians looked out on their feet after 70 minutes. Uruguay will beat them.
        Oddly positive coverage on the emanation of the state BBC.

        Like

        1. I imagine they were out on their feet – the Anglospheric press has had a field day crowing that the ‘host nation has the lowest-ranked team of the World Cup’, and they are giving it everything they’ve got to avoid being eliminated right out of the gate. I agree it can’t last, but Egypt was supposed to beat them hollow, so good on ’em.

          Like

          1. Agreed.

            I thought Egypt would win easily.

            The feelgood effect will wear off, and I hope Uruguay don’t hammer Russia (could happen) just a 2/3-1

            Like

            1. But the wins over Egypt and Saudi Barbaria mean that Russia advances into the knockout stage even if Uruguay did hammer Russia, don’t they? The second stage will be where the Russians are knocked out (probably by Portugal or Spain).

              Like

            2. If they are not destined to win by obvious ability, it is best they are eliminated early enough to have achieved respect and no more, or there will be cries to have all the team tested and re-tested because they must be doping or otherwise cheating to have overcome their natural uselessness.

              Like

  23. “On May 5 2018 Kazakhstan ratified an agreement with the US for the transit of US military cargo and possibly even troops (under the euphemism of ‘advisors’ or ‘engineers’) to Afghanistan via the Caspian Sea route.”

    What F’n route?????? I don’t see any route to afghanistan via the Caspian sea!!
    Furthermore how would the US get stuff to the West coast of the Sea to begin with??

    https://www.google.com/maps/place/Caspian+Sea/@41.7579308,14.5249292,3z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x3f88155c8ff7a61f:0x519e69c2d4808ffe!8m2!3d41.934977!4d50.668945

    It seems to me that this is a Kazakhstan problem for being stupid enough to get embroiled in this harebrained scheme of the USA…..

    Russia should simply declare the Caspian Sea to be crucial to her border integrity…and tac nuke the first convoy..and the embarkation ports….

    Like

    1. It’s there; you just can’t see it because part of it is in the air. The secret is for the ship to go to all ahead flank as soon as it leaves the dock, and maintain the red-line revs all the way across the Caspian, where it hits a ramp pitched at just the right angle to loft it clear over Turkmenistan. One-way trip at the moment, mind, but the best brains in the US government are working on an overland route by which the ships can be returned on rollers to the Caspian.

      No, seriously, there must be a partial route over land. But obviously the USA is more interested in establishing a naval presence in the Caspian than in anything else. How long will it be, he wondered rhetorically, before Washington is offering to assist certain Caspian states with oil exploration, since Washington is convinced the Caspian basin is a sweet spot for massive oil reserves.

      Like

      1. Mention of moving ships on rollers from the Caspian to Afghanistan (with deserts and mountains in the way) recalls the feat of Ottoman sultan Mehmet the Conqueror in moving his ships and artillery on greased log rollers (pulled by oxen) overland from the Bosporus Sea into the Golden Horn in 1453. This enabled the Ottoman ships to evade the chain across the Golden Horn and forced the Byzantines defending Constantinople to fight on the city’s north side as well as to its east and south.
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fall_of_Constantinople#/media/File:Siege_of_Constantinople_1453_map-fr.svg

        Even if the US could use the available rivers and canals in Turkmenistan, they will probably need dredging and a reliable year-round water supply from mountains outside the country to hold warships. New canals may need to be built as well.
        https://www.alamy.com/stock-photo-turkmenistan-political-map-with-capital-ashgabat-national-borders-111570730.html

        Like

  24. ACHTUNG! ACHTUNG! HIER SPRICHT DEUTSCHLAND!

    Russlands Sieg gegen Ägypten
    Der beste Gastgeber der WM-Geschichte
    Ein Sieg gegen Saudi-Arabien heißt nichts? Gegen Ägypten reicht es für Russland nicht? Von wegen. Noch nie ist ein Gastgeber besser gestartet. Und wie die Tore bei diesem Turnier fallen, bleibt kurios.

    Russia’s win against Egypt
    The Best Host in World Cup History

    A win against Saudi Arabia means nothing? A win against Egypt too big a task for Russia? You’re kidding! Never before has a host had a better start. And as goals are being scored in this tournament, this still remains curious .

    The under-appreciated host: Football World Championships have been held in France, in Brazil, in England, in Germany, in Italy — all great footballing nations and world champions. But after two preliminary 2018 World Cup rounds, one thing remains clear: Russia is one of two nations that has most successfully begun the tournament in its own country: two games, two wins; 8 goals scored and one goal conceded. This has only been done once before — by Italy in 1934. So both countries [Russia and Italy — ME] share the top place. France started in 1998 with two wins and 7 goals.

    Praise off Fritz!

    Like

  25. Simpering Prima Donna gets a bouquet off his Russian admirers:

    Whoever gave him 8 roses was almost certainly not Russian, though.

    You just do not give an even number of blooms here — unless they are for the dear departed.

    Who thinks he’ll turn up for his court appearance?

    Like

    1. Yeah, really courageous of them living in homophobic Russia when every day could be their last:

      I’m gay and I’ve just spent a year living in Russia

      Queer Moscow with a local

      BEST CLUB MOSCOW

      And for your gayest of delight and delectation, Moscow’s 5-floor-high gay club/bar/restaurant complex “Central Station”:


      What a courageous chap!


      Oh what larks!

      Of course, the simpering Tatchell doesn’t go to places like Moscow’s Central Station — the clientele there is much too old for his tastes.

      Like

      1. Wow! That guy in the leopard straps is really ripped!
        Don’t like the goatee, though, and he could improve his eyebrows.
        Not trying to be a critical bitch, just sayin…

        Like

  26. Latest deep BBC insight into Russia and the Russians …

    Russia homophobic?

    Nah, tried that at Sochi already: waste of time.

    And for the World Cup as well. Tatchell did his usual thing. Nobody interested…

    Russians racist?

    Yeah, well we dropped a bollock there, didn’t we? One our sports commentators is Black British and she went and told everyone that the Russians have given her no hassle about her skin pigmentation..

    Hang on! This looks interesting… ,Let’s see how well we can spin this story …

    World Cup 2018: Russian media mock ‘husband-hunters’

    Articles in the pro-Kremlin media describe …the way [Russian women] “bait foreign fans” and chat them up.

    “Love tricks: Russian beauties catch foreign fans,” said Moskovskiy Komsomolets newspaper; while the Championat sport website told of “How Russian beauties snare foreigners”.

    In one YouTube video, a state TV host says that “hundreds or thousands of vamps have flocked to Moscow” in the hope of meeting foreign football fans.

    Women’s rights activist Alyona Popova told the BBC that there was a lack of assertiveness among Russian women.

    “If men are shouting from every corner that a woman is just a body, and find excuses to justify sexual harassment, and blame victims of domestic abuse for what happened, then women start thinking that this is the norm,” she said.

    Ms Popova referred to a recent sexual harassment scandal involving high-profile Russian MP Leonid Slutsky, who was accused by several journalists of sexual misconduct. Despite the public outrage, the MP managed to retain his post after parliament’s ethics commission cleared him of all allegations.

    Alyona Popova complains that Russian laws appear to encourage foreign citizens to “feel at liberty to treat Russian women as bodies”.

    At present there is no legislation regarding harassment in Russia, although attempts to table a bill were made after the Slutsky scandal.

    “We should fight for a new image for women in the media. Instead, they use every opportunity to promote the wrong image,” says Ms Popova.

    What unabated depravity there is in the Empire of Evil!

    Such misogyny!

    Such a base, uncivilized society society — but what should one expect?

    Like

  27. http://www.russianinsight.com/will-russia-let-iran-down-to-win-the-us-over/

    “If history is any guide, however, such over-optimistic perceptions of Russian-Iranian “alliance” are wishful thinking.

    Russia as a self-perceived superpower views itself on a par with the United States, not the Islamic Republic, and is basically indignant at the West’s persistent refusal to treat it as such. Along these lines, the Kremlin has historically used Tehran as a counterweight or source of leverage to balance its relations with Western powers, particularly Washington.

    Today is no exception and Iran is likely to fall victim to the Russian desire for big power recognition and respect as soon as a strategic opportunity presents itself to Moscow.”

    The Russians are delusional if they think that throwing Iran under the bus will somehow endear them to the West.

    As for Maysam:

    http://www.israelhayom.com/columnist/maysam-behravesh/

    If its writings look like those of a stooge..
    and it squaks-in a zionist publication no less-like a stooge-and ….then I’m thinking
    Western stooge

    Like

  28. Remember Ukraine’s Oplot Main Battle Tank, the T-84? And that provocative headline that led readers of headlines to believe it was an awesome killing machine? Well, it came eighth in the European Tank Olympics. That’s dead last. The autoloaders failed on three of the four tanks which competed, so that the Ukrainians only fired 16 shells of the 40 they had brought with them. They couldn’t hit anything at a range of more than a mile because of crappy fire-control systems.

    And they still nearly beat the Americans.

    https://www.yahoo.com/news/ukraine-t-84-tanks-problems-114200329.html

    Yep – you guys are ready for a hot war with Russia, for sure. You’re all that’s holding the Red Army back from raving throughout Europe. Totally believable.

    Also, the aside in there that they have been exported to Thailand is horseshit. Thailand agreed to buy them, but canceled the order due to repeated delays in delivery. They must be heaving a sigh of relief now.

    Like

  29. Oh; look. Ariel Cohen – Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council, regularly testifies before the US Congress, helped Mikhal Khodorkovsky get out of jail, cat lover, bla, bla – thinks that Nord Stream II would be bad for Ukraine. Gee, you think? But of course, it’s bad because giving the Kremlin more market share is inviting political manipulation, because Moscow is an unreliable partner and weaponizer of energy.

    A refreshing and unexpected opinion from a Washington think-tanker.

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/arielcohen/2018/06/18/russias-nord-stream-ii-pipeline-is-ukraines-worst-nightmare/#46f7256e3524

    Of course, if Washington somehow remarkably became Europe’s sugar-daddy main supplier of energy, it would never use that leverage for political manipulation for Washington’s advantage. Never. Because Uncle Sam is a straight shooter – what you see is what you get.

    Uh huh.

    Like

  30. I believe some good folks here have posted about the fate of “Russia’s most influential artist” Pavlensky in his Parisian adventure, where he has been jailed for setting a fire on the entrance of a French bank. Well, here is some nice 14 minute of Russian snark of it. Pardon if this has also been posted elsewhere here 🙂

    Like

  31. In all the excitement over the World Cup, a serious piece of news may have passed unnoticed – the United States quit the UN Human Rights Council. Why? Well, according to Nikki Haley, it was not doing enough for Israel. I’m not sure if anyone is surprised by that, but I’m surely not. Her fanatical devotion to Israel is well-known to me.

    https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2018/06/trumps-departure-from-the-human-rights-council-will-only-weaken-america/

    The irony will likewise not likely pass unremarked that the USA sought to banish Russia from international institutions – part of the process of ‘isolating’ it – and now is voluntarily withdrawing itself instead. Let me be the first to pronounce the United States ‘isolated’.

    Oh, and Bibi Netanyahu applauded the American action as ‘courageous’. It certainly says a lot about how deranged he really is, that he would encourage such an irrational abandonment of an important position, just because it was done in the name of Israel, by praising it. It truly is impossible for America to do enough for Israel, and it is on its way to destroying itself to defend that tiny island of ingrates.

    Like

    1. I did notice that the US had left the UN Human Rights Council. Nutty Nikky must have tired of laboriously taking down so many names on her list and getting them all misspelled, that her laptop kept timing out after each half-hour of apparent non-use because it detected the Entry button wasn’t being hit.

      Like

      1. So did I.

        No surprise whatsoever!

        The USA showing its true exceptional nature by including itself out of that which it otherwise lectures others to include themselves in — you know, such as free trade in a free market controlled by an invisible hand, as long as that hand serves US interests, of course.

        In a similar fashion, the USA has included itself out of UNESCO:

        On October 12, 2017, the Department of State notified UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova of the U.S. decision to withdraw from the organization and to seek to establish a permanent observer mission to UNESCO. This decision was not taken lightly, and reflects U.S. concerns with mounting arrears at UNESCO, the need for fundamental reform in the organization, and continuing anti-Israel bias at UNESCO.

        The United States indicated to the Director General its desire to remain engaged with UNESCO as a non-member observer state in order to contribute U.S. views, perspectives and expertise on some of the important issues undertaken by the organization, including the protection of world heritage, advocating for press freedoms, and promoting scientific collaboration and education.

        Pursuant to Article II(6) of the UNESCO Constitution, U.S. withdrawal will take effect on December 31, 2018. The United States will remain a full member of UNESCO until that time.

        Press Statement
        Heather Nauert
        Department Spokesperson
        Washington, DC
        October 12, 2017

        The US does not like the UNESCO attempt to promote cultural diversity by restricting Hollywood dominance in the movie industry — otherwise, according to the USA, “cultural diversity” is something that should be “embraced” and “celebrated”.

        When 37 nations created UNESCO as a human rights organization promoting education, science and cultural causes in November 1945, “it was essentially a western entity, dominated by western funding”, says political scientist Jerry Pubantz, co-author of “To Create a New World? American Presidents and the United Nations” and co-editor of “The Encyclopedia of the United Nations”. School systems in Europe were undergoing “denazification” and, as part of that process, the U.S. wanted to be sure that they taught World War II accurately. UNESCO was a way to influence those curricula. Likewise, during the Cold War, American officials imagined UNESCO as an advocate for free speech in an era of communist propaganda.

        But, as more members joined the group — about 160 members by July 1983 — U.S. policy makers grew worried their voices would be drowned out. The newest members were “largely the decolonized new independent states of Africa and Asia” who “tended to be less supportive of American policies, and more supportive of the Soviet bloc’s position”, says Pubantz — see: The U.S. Has Left UNESCO Before. Here’s Why

        It’s called “taking your ball home”.

        “I’m going to take my ball and go home!”

        I want to be in control of the situation and if I can’t, then no one is going to be allowed to be happy about the outcome.

        The expression comes from the playground where one kid, the one who owns the soccer ball or basket ball, doesn’t get his way in the game. If he doesn’t get his way then he gets mad and punishes those who are unwilling to accept his mandate. He does this my taking his ball and going home thus ending the game and any fun the participants were having.

        The expression “I’m going to take my ball and go home” when directed at an individual is used to illustrate the individual’s immaturity when that person can’t get his way and no longer wants to be a participant in the conversation or a contributor to solving a problem.

        Like

        1. I wonder if some of this can be attributed to Trump’s so-called “isolationism” — it’s traditional for U.S. Republicans to declaim that America is too entangled in international institutions. But they never actually pull out, until now.

          Like

          1. Hard to say. But it’s essentially meaningless – in its own good time, the USA will decide it wants to rejoin, and when it does, the institutions will welcome it back with cries of delight that will be balm to its fat ego. Instead of “The United States of WHO?”

            Trade is quite another matter – Trump seems to be threatening all kinds of tariffs in the belief that it will allow America to reap huge gains in NAFTA, as its partners capitulate in exchange for escaping tariffs Trump never meant to introduce anyway. The famous Trump “Art of the Deal”. But as sanctions against Russia have amply illustrated, once countries give up and reorient their markets, market share formerly enjoyed by the sanctioning country frequently never comes back.

            Like

        2. The USA likes to use international institutions to prevent censure of its little brother, Israel, whom it tries to invest with its own exceptionalism, so that it not be held accountable for its actions. That’s why Bibi hails American departure from such institutions as ‘courageous’. But fear not; Uncle Sam will make arrangements to ensure the American voice is heard and will try to still exercise influence on these institutions. But I believe the ideal response, for both Uncle Sam and his buddy Bibi, would be for the institutions to beg America not to leave, and to promise to mend their ways and be more pro-Israel if it will quell dissent. I just don’t see that happening. In fact, it must be hard sometimes for the US State Department to hold on to that “Indispensable Nation” self-image.

          Like

          1. Quite!

            The United States indicated to the Director General its desire to remain engaged with UNESCO as a non-member observer state in order to contribute U.S. views, perspectives and expertise on some of the important issues undertaken by the organization — we refuse to play but insist on having a say!

            They try the same with the Minsk and Normandy agreements: not part of the team, but contributing suggestions.

            And more concretely, participating in the Syrian civil war by deploying US armed forces there — uninvited!

            Like

  32. Enda Brady, SkyNews now in Russia:

    English fan (Wet Bromwich fan, West Midlands accent) at 1:32: “Look at the sun! You wouldn’t think was Russia looking at this, would ya?”

    No, you wouldn’t: it always snows in Russia, dunnit!

    Like

    1. Ha, ha: “Destined for Defeat”! Made a good headline, didn’t it? So alliterative. Like “Russophobes suck”. Oh, wait – that’s not alliteration. But I’ll stick with it anyway.

      Like

  33. GOV.UK

    DHM Lindsay Skoll’s speech at the Hall of Military Glory in Volgograd
    Deputy Ambassador Lindsay Skoll commemorates the sacrifice of people of Volgograd during WWII on June 18, 2018

    Journalists’ questions to Skoll following her speech:

    Q: Is this ceremony a step towards improving ties between Russia and the UK?

    A: I think what today demonstrates more than anything is that the enduring nature of the relationship between the UK and Volgograd outweighs any political ups and downs in our relationship.

    Q: Record low ticket sales to UK-based England fans for this match tonight. Do you think some fans stayed away because of those political tensions?

    A: It’s really hard to say. There are a number of factors. Volgograd is quite a distance you get to as I’m sure a lot of you know. But what I do know is that the warmth of the welcome here has been absolutely outstanding. And all the fans have commented on that. Volgograd has just seemed delighted to welcome everybody.

    Q: How do you rate sort of the welcome the England fans got? We’ve talked about Volgograd, but generally here in terms of LGBT fans here as well… there are Black and Asian minorities and ethnicity fans as well. Are you confident that they will be able to have safe and pleasant visit here in Russia?

    A: Absolutely. I know that the Russian government and people have made a commitment to FIFA after being selected to host the World Cup here. Everything we’ve seen has been outstanding in terms of welcome. All the fans I’ve met have had an absolute terrific time. Volgograd could not be a better host.

    [my stress —ME]

    What a turnabout!

    And is it really so “hard to say” why so few England fans had travelled to Volgograd?

    Really?

    The Sun:

    England fans ‘in danger’ at Russia 2018 World Cup following poisoning of spy Sergei Skripal as MP admits it looks like ‘state-sponsored attempted murder’

    The Express:

    World Cup 2018 BLOODBATH: Russian hooligans warn England fans ‘Prepare to DIE’

    The Guardian:

    I’ve followed England around the world, but Russia is too risky

    The Russian authorities say there ​has been a crackdown on hooligans ​in the run-up to the World Cup but given that they condoned the scenes in Marseille it is hard to take such claims seriously…

    Racism is rife and normalised, with offensive chants and bananas being thrown on to the pitch commonplace. While Russian clubs have frequently been sanctioned by Uefa for racism in European competition, the RFU has suspended black players for their outraged responses to the abuse. In February, Spartak Moscow uploaded a picture of their Brazilian players training in the sun to Twitter, with a caption reading: “See how chocolates melt in the sun” …

    Of course, the decision to award the World Cup to Russia was taken by Fifa, a body that has since been ripped apart by arrests and convictions for corruption. But unless the response to Russian activities from Salisbury to hacking escalates dramatically (England’s non-participation is now a 16-1 bet, down from 50-1) then many England fans will be there, risking a repeat of the scenes in Marseille. …

    I won’t be though – at least probably not. Part of me thinks it’s not worth the risk and that by going I would be condoning the idea of staging the finals in Russia, which should be anathema. Yet after more than 25 years of watching England fail around the world, I would hate to miss out on success. If they make the semi-finals then I’ll be on a plane. I’ll board it, though, knowing that it really didn’t take events in Salisbury to call into question the suitability of the hosts for the 2018 World Cup.

    A Manchester United fan travelling to Rostov for a Europa League game last year was shocked to find printed advice in his hotel room on what to do if he was kidnapped. By staging a World Cup in Russia, Fifa has taken hostage my hopes, and those of every England football fan.

    • Philip Cornwall is a sport production editor for the Guardian

    Like

    1. That’s more like the real England – the latter part. Since it’s all but impossible to sue a journalist no matter the shite they print. And then they wonder why people murder them.

      The message England will take away with it is not “Russia and England should be friends”; no, it’ll be “Russia wants to be friends with England”. After all, there’s never so much fun in denying someone something as when you have convinced yourself they want it.

      Like

  34. The Duran has an article stating that John Bolton is going to Moscow.

    It’s thought that he is going to discuss a Putin / Trump “summit”.

    It’s not clear who John Bolton will meet, or what is on the agenda.

    (Sorry can’t post the link using my old phone)

    Like

    1. They should take him prisoner and send a message to the State Department that they have annexed him. If America wants him back, Heather Nauert must put on a pleated skirt and stand on her head while singing “Nord Stream II is good for Europe; oh, yes, it is” on FOX News at 5:30 PM. Of course it would be just a joke, and they should give him back even if Nauert refuses, because Russia has no real use for John Bolton except maybe as mink food, and that is merely conceding that he is protein-based.

      A Putin-Trump summit would not be as much of a waste of time as, say, unraveling your socks and then re-knitting them, but it would be a close second. It would just be an excuse for Trump to make a lot of blowhard proclamations about how he totally owned Putin and made him dance like a marionette. He says that about everyone he meets, and brags about how he totally made up the stuff he said to them. That’d be a good example to cite along with the ‘No, thanks’ reply.

      http://www.patheos.com/blogs/dispatches/2018/03/16/trump-brags-making-stuff-keeps-lying/

      Like

    2. National Security Council spokesperson Garret Marquis’ tweet on dates when John Bolton is visiting Europe before travelling to Moscow to arrange a Putin / Trump summit:

      Moscow’s confirmation of Bolton’s visit:
      http://tass.com/politics/1010428

      The view from Britain of Bolton’s visit and of what the Putin / Trump summit might include on its agenda:
      http://theduran.com/britain-in-panic-as-trump-putin-summit-looms/

      (Serves the British government and its puppet masters right!)

      Like

      1. I need hardly mention that no such ‘summit’ would be taking place if the American plan for Russia had enjoyed any sort of success; had that happened, an army of ideologues and advisers and think-tank whiz-kids instead would be descending on Moscow to re-make it in the desired image, as took place in the 90’s when the Soviet Union collapsed. Had it not been for the rise of Putin, that effort would almost certainly have succeeded, and Russians would now be toiling forever to pay off monumental IMF loans whose funds were expended on shiny geegaws and the entrenchment of a powerful corporate class which the population would be convinced was progress. Washington and Moscow would definitely enjoy better relations, but that would be because American-based multinationals would own everything in Russia that was worth owning. Such a beautiful dream – and they were so close.

        Anyway, the obvious ipso-facto is, then, that the American plan did not succeed, and that the fact is now apparent to even the dullest of the ideological planners. So it will be time for Plan B, although the objective – to gain decision-making power over Moscow – will not have changed a degree from its original course. America must have finally seen that its present efforts are futile and that it is fact damaging itself by continuing to pursue its present course…but it will still want a 100% American win. So it is going to try to achieve it by some other means. The probability that it was America who solicited this meeting is significant, but should not be taken to imply that America has seen reason or is prepared to say ‘no hard feelings’, and begin again.

        What could America offer, in a deal, that Russia would want so badly that it would agree to a renewed partnership? In short, nothing, because all of America’;s efforts were based on fabrications – Russia should agree to a peace deal, and America will stop lying? Where’s the upside for Russia in that? Where’s the punishment for America?

        America will let the MH17 investigation go in a different direction? America and its buddies sent it in the direction it took, ignoring all the rules of the investigative process, granting the prime suspect a starring role in the prosecution. America will offer a return to pre-conflict positions in Ukraine? Ha, ha; what would be the advantage for Russia in that, now that Ukraine is a costly wreck looking for a sugar-daddy to put it back together? America will offer a return to the G8 for Russia? Oh, fuck off; who needs it? America will withdraw from Syria? It should never have been there in the first place, and pulling out to leave its mess for someone else to clean up would be a win/win for Washington since it is never going to achieve military victory.

        Washington made a decision to swing for the fences, to go for it, to push everything it has into the middle of the table on an effort to take Russia off the board by non-military means. In the process it did and said unforgivable things in an attempt to make the world spit on the ground every time it hears the word “Russia”, and that should never be forgotten or forgiven. I am confident Moscow will not.

        The American goal – in the immediate, at least – is to stop Nord Stream II, and it is already too late for that; if Denmark refuses its permission, a route has already been calculated which will run outside its national waters, and I am sure Copenhagen is well aware of that.

        If it were up to me, I would tell Bolton that a meeting was not convenient at this time, and not to bother wasting the airfare (so to speak, although of course it doesn’t cost him anything). But I suppose Russia can’t do that, since it has said on any number of occasions that it is ready to talk anytime. But America has nothing real to offer Russia – it made up all its grounds for the sanctions in the first place, and caused serious economic damage to a lot of places besides Russia, while making up scurrilous lies about Russian cheating, Russian meddling, Russian you-name-it to support its entirely fictitious case. To make a deal now would forgive all that, while America would suffer no consequences at all for its duplicity and manipulation Would that be fair? Especially considered America would not be approaching Russia if it had not already lost?

        Like

        1. The possibility is that John Bolton has to be given something to do, to keep him out of (erm) Trump’s hair, and sending him to Europe and then to Moscow is a way of doing that. Also for someone in Moscow to meet Bolton and talk with him, and gauge his opinion (though I’m sure the Kremlin already knows what is necessary to know about him) on current global issues, would be no bad thing.

          Like

  35. Some of the splits evident in the comments call into question the notion that any nation-including Russia- is beyond reproach.

    “Socialist Equality Party Voter Richard Allen • 2 days ago
    Yeah, I quit watching the Russia Today News Network a long time ago. It is not a progressive channel any more, i get bored with their elitism, their beautiful models, the pomposity and propaganda of the world soccer series, that capitalist oligarchic materialist event that has nothing to do with the humility needed to save poor people from poverty. It is not a humble compassionate news channel anymore. They have shifted toward the right-wing. And Putin is another one who is elitist, and not leftist at all”

    http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/06/19/crfi-j19.html

    Like

    1. I read the article and it is very confusing
      What has Putin got to do with Stalinism ?
      What has Stalinism got to do with fascism ?

      Like

      1. Read the comments to the article….

        Also, “comrade” Yalensis makes a good point: :O)

        “Since fascism is based on capitalist property relations, whereas Stalinism is based on the management of commonly-owned property.”

        However to what extent can a party be said to be an “owner” of property when a third party-the state- exercises absolute management and control of the property??

        Like

        1. Well, that’s the nub of the entire capitalism-socialism debate, isn’t it? What exactly does property mean? With personal property, like my shirt, I can do whatever I want with it, even throw it in the dumpster.
          If I own a stake in communal property, then I can’t just do whatever I want with it, because it doesn’t ALL belong to me, and somebody has to manage it.
          One good rule of thumb is this: When I die, what can I leave behind to my heirs?
          If I lived in a socialist state, I could leave my personal property (like my car, or even my house, or even a small business) to my heirs but I couldn’t leave, say, a giant factory. Even if I had been the manager of that factory and lived like a sultan during my lifetime.

          A big part of the whole “Animal Farm” type shift of the Soviet Nomenklatura into capitalist pigs, came from the fact that they got used to being around big money and big assets, and they wanted to be able to leave it to their lazy heirs. Which they couldn’t, under the Soviet constitution. After the Yeltsin counter-revolution, the constitution was changed to allow private property and being able to pass it along to one’s spawn.

          Like

    2. Some refreshing ideological debate:

      Quoting from that piece:
      The connections between Russian Stalinism and fascism have deep roots.

      As Leon Trotsky wrote in his monumental analysis of the bureaucratic degeneration of the Soviet Union, The Revolution Betrayed: “[T]he crushing of Soviet democracy by an all-powerful bureaucracy and the extermination of bourgeois democracy by fascism were produced by one and the same cause: the dilatoriness of the world proletariat in solving the problems set for it by history. Stalinism and fascism, in spite of a deep difference in social foundations, are symmetrical phenomena. In many of their features they show a deadly similarity.”

      Trotsky called Stalinism and fascism “symmetrical phenomena”. Labelling this a “connection” is misleading and twists Trotsky’s words. Note Trotsky’s words about “a deep difference in social foundations”, i.e., Stalinism and fascism represent different social classes. Trotsky blamed the appearance of both phenomena (Stalinism replacing socialist democracy; and, in symmetrical fashion, fascism replacing bourgeois democracy) on the “dilatoriness of the world proletariat”.
      In other words, when proletarians get lazy, bad things happen!

      Nonetheless, the “connection” is not a connection. The “deadly similarity” comes from the process of “convergent evolution”. I’m pretty sure that’s what Trotsky meant. For example, dolphins have fins and look like fish, but they are not fish. Similarly, Stalinism sometimes looks like fascism (in being brutal and dictatorial, etc.), but it is not the same as fascism. Since fascism is based on capitalist property relations, whereas Stalinism is based on the management of commonly-owned property.

      In short, the writer of that gibberish in wsws is full of crap. Although he is probably correct, that Mitina is not a good candidate for building a Trotskyite Fourth International!

      Like

  36. Poland just can’t help itself. Home of the real football hooligan.

    http://www.espn.com/soccer/senegal/story/3536011/senegal-and-poland-fans-clash-in-brawl-at-antwerp-world-cup-screening?platform=amp

    Speaking of Poland, it stands to lose about 25% of its handouts post-Brexit. Couple that with its loss of influence over European energy policy once Nord Stream II is built, and it is looking rough for Zlotyland. But of course the chosen engagement tactic is tough talk about what European countries can and can’t do where Poland is concerned:

    “Luckily, the times when France and Germany could jointly decide about the rest of Europe are ending,” Zdzislaw Krasnodebski, a deputy head of the EU parliament from Poland’s ruling Law & Justice party, told daily Rzeczspospolita. Poland won’t ditch the zloty because “nothing indicates” that the euro region will resolve its economic problems “in the foreseeable future,” he said. “

    https://www.bloomberg.com/amp/news/articles/2018-06-20/biggest-eu-aid-case-raises-early-objection-to-merkel-macron-plan

    Quite to the contrary, the times when France and Germany could jointly decide about the rest of Europe are just resuming, now that busybody Britain is out and along with it, Washington’s strongest advocate at the European bargaining table. Just around the time the USA has pissed Germany and France off almost beyond endurance, too, with its threat to sanction powerful German and French companies for participating in Nord Stream II; fancy that. In any but the craziest world, it would make their choice easy.

    Like

  37. Some things merit repeating…

    The comment of dmorista really nails it:

    “Anybody, who has any doubts about what the reactionary and fascist elements of the U.S. ruling class are willing to do to protect their perceived economic interests, needs to merely look at the record from operations in Vietnam, Chile, Iran, Guatemala, El Salvador and Israel among other places; you will need to do some searches on the web to find books, articles, films, and still photos of the atrocities committed by capitalist henchmen around the world. The crimes are so immense that even the heavily censored internet of today cannot hide them. The torture chambers, the napalm, the massacres like My Lai (that was hardly some one of a kind incident), the death squads, we can expect to see modified versions of all these and other tactics used against popular protest here.

    The U.S. has clearly been sinking in its position in the economic and political hierarchy of global capitalism. Third World conditions already pertain to much of the U.S. and they are spreading wider and wider in the U.S. as socioeconomic groups, previously not savaged by the profiteering and hyper-exploitation of capitalism, are affected. I, for one, would greatly prefer to not see events spin into a civil war; nobody really wins a civil war. What we must remember is that the U.S. ruling class is actually at their weakest in over 160 years, they resemble in some ways the divided ruling class in the period before the Civil War of 1861 – 1865. They must be constantly and vigorously attacked by economic, social, and political mobilizations that aim at their weakest points. We can already see what really worries them, as evidenced by the many laws that have been passed, or are proposed, against economic resistance by many states and the Federal government. Boycotts, strikes, demonstrations, and public organizing campaigns need to increase in their numbers and intensity. Legal challenges to the constant outrages need to be backed up by grass roots organizing. These people are not invincible, we beat them back in the 1960s and 1970s, when they were much stronger than they are now. ****We can beat them now***.”

    http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/06/22/tcbr-j22.html

    Like

    1. To what end? If some mystical grass-roots civil movement rose up and smote the US government and cast it out, and left the country in the hands of ‘the workers’ (let’s call them), what would they do with it? Would the kind of nobility of purpose of, say, Lincoln reestablish itself? Hardly. America is now capitalist to the marrow of its bones, and the corporate class abhors socialism. The very idea of common property is fudgy at best and anathema at worst in American moneyed circles, and nothing is too small or unimportant to be privatized in the pursuit of the New American Dream. Even if every member of the corporate class were to be expunged, a corporate class would re-emerge or else America would have to relinquish every trace of global influence, and without power and money it could never make good its fantastic debts. America needs to grow ever richer to stay in the race, and it can’t do that without trampling on other countries to see that they do not pull ahead.

      Like

      1. Deconstruction-abolition-of the following type of wealth distribution inequality is a first order of business.
        (Remember this is from WaPo !!!!)
        https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/12/06/the-richest-1-percent-now-owns-more-of-the-countrys-wealth-than-at-any-time-in-the-past-50-years/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.4

        It would not be necessary to eliminate every gluttonous arrogant self serving corrupt
        capitalist parasite …a few thousand as object lessons would do. As for who would then take the reins of power, the process should be guided by elements of compromise and moderation, Two things that the aforementioned class of psycho vermin will not consider and are absolutely prepared to carry out domestic mass murder or risk nuclear war as the only means of preserving their political/economic hegemony:
        http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/06/23/pers-j23.html

        BTW…are the new and improved “All Better Now” class of USN warships Zircon proof?
        https://edgylabs.com/russia-zircon-hypersonic-missile

        Like

        1. Curiously, such articles come along every couple of years – the American 1% oligarchy controls more of American wealth than it ever has before. What can we deduce from this? That their ‘share’ of the country’s wealth is decreasing? Or increasing? It keeps getting worse, and the government keeps enabling it, while the media shouts that America has never been more powerful than it is now. So it naturally follows that in order to realize the American dream (for some) of America being Boss Dawg over the whole world, it must keep getting richer and more powerful, while its enemies keep getting poorer and weaker. America has gone far beyond where it could generate such increases in wealth nationally, and further increases in national wealth and power must come from crushing someone else. If the USA plans to backstop a trade war, this becomes even more true.

          Like

  38. “Trump on Monday directed the Pentagon to establish the space force, which he said would create more jobs and be great for the country’s “psyche.”
    “Our destiny beyond the Earth is not only a matter of national identity, but a matter of national security,” Trump said at the White House. “When it comes to defending America it is not enough to merely have an American presence in space. We must have American dominance in space.”

    https://www.businessinsider.in/russia-threatens-the-us-with-a-tough-response-to-trumps-space-force/articleshow/64689303.cms

    Dumb bastrd…How many parsecs beyond Earth would the ‘Murican spheree of dominance extend?????

    Like

    1. A ‘letters to the editor’ comment in my local paper applauded Trump’s creation of ‘Space Force’, and suggested he should be its first recruit. The obvious intent there was that Trump should depart at once to space, although of course it will be run from earth.

      Like

  39. Neuters: Germany presses U.S. on potential Eurofighter nuclear role
    https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-germany-military-fighter/germany-presses-u-s-on-potential-eurofighter-nuclear-role-idUKKBN1JG1K1

    …U.S. government sources say that schedule is ambitious given that the F-35 and other aircraft must be certified first. Washington has suggested it could take 7-10 years to certify the Eurofighter for nuclear missions, well beyond the Tornado’s retirement date, according to one German military source.

    While urging Europe to boost defence spending, U.S. officials are worried about being shut out of European defence projects after 25 EU governments signed a pact in December to fund, develop and deploy armed forces together.

    U.S. officials will also weigh whether the Eurofighter could survive a mission into enemy territory to drop a nuclear bomb without stealth capability at a time when Russia and other potential future enemies have bolstered their sensors and air defences, a second source said.

    The F-35 is the only aircraft in the running that has such radar-evading capabilities, but Boeing and Eurofighter argue that their aircraft can work in tandem with jamming equipment…
    ####

    Cunning. The US clearly wants Germany to buy the F-35 ‘Turkey’, but denying or making it prohibitively expensive to upgrade the Eurofighter for the nuke role, they will directly impact Europe’s air launched nuclear deterrence which is the opposite of what its supposed to be all about, no? It would also be a slap in the face to the owners of 600 odd Eurofighters. De-nuclearization of American upgraded stand-off ‘Dial-a-yield’ B61-mod 12 nukes by the back door? That would only leave France’s ASMP (Air-Sol Moyen Portée) and its successor the ASMP-A (Améliorée). So if neither France, nor Germany wants F-35s, the UK is out of the EU picture and its developing defense identity, then…

    Like

    1. Ha, ha, ha!! TRUMP defeated ISIS!!! Yes, thank you, Trump, for defeating ISIS even though the group emerged while you were still just a moneymaking member of the mostly-faceless public, with no government role. That notwithstanding, the US government openly supported ‘rebel’ groups who were known to be allied in common purpose with ISIS, and managed to train and equip – at a cost of millions – less than a dozen, all of which promptly went to fight for ISIS and some of whom merely handed over their new weapons to ISIS. The CIA admittedly funneled money and arms to groups who were offshoots of al Qaeda and ISIS, because America never cared who took out Assad, just as long as someone did. The American military established itself in Syria without either invitation or permission, and during its much-hyped ‘bombing ISIS’ campaign of more than 18 months, ISIS steadily advanced while the Syrian government forces were driven back, until ISIS held two-thirds of Syrian territory and was in the suburbs of Damascus.

      Along came Trump, at about that point. Russia and Iran were invited in to aid the Syrian government. They spat on their hands and got down to work, and in less than a month and probably only half of that, the inexorable inward momentum was reversed and ISIS was retreating. In every major battle; Aleppo, Douma, Dier ez-Zoor, America took the side of ISIS, referring to them as ‘opposition fighters’ and ‘rebels’ and pleading for cease-fires so their proxy forces could regroup. In Raqqa, the US military and its coalition partners nearly leveled the place, and were cited for war crimes by Amnesty International. We can’t really blame Trump for that, since he barely knows what is going on in America most of the time, never mind places that are Not America, but the people fighting ISIS during that phase were emphatically not American and America contributed zero to the eventual suppression of extremist forces in Syria, while it several times attacked Syrian government forces to prevent the defeat of those extremist forces.

      But now the western history books will reflect that Trump defeated ISIS, solely because he was the president of the Exceptional Nation when that defeat took place. In much the same way, you might as well say, that James Madison discovered that lightning was electricity, Herbert Hoover discovered penicillin and George Washington invented the cotton gin.

      For Julia Ioffe and quite a few others, all victories are implicitly American. Her fiercely skeptical mind defaults to ‘accept’ whenever CNN broadcasts the latest achievement in American greatness.

      Like

      1. I followed the Russian and Iranian assisted progress of the SAA from late 2015 onward and anyone claiming that the USA defeated ISIS would be either a liar or living in fantasy land. In fact, on numerous occasions the US and its coalition of the billing bombed the SAA allowing Daesh/ISIS to regain the initiative and seize back territory such as in the case of Palmyra. This pro-ISIS, anti-SAA activity is still ongoing.

        An example of how fake the US war on ISIS is and was is the absurd excuse given for not bombing the financial (and military) pipeline of Daesh, the stolen oil convoys to Turkey. US government yaps claimed that the environment would be damaged by burning oil tankers. That’s right, the same government that could give a flying f*ck about bombing the Pancevo petro-chemical facility in Serbia in 1999 (i.e. much worse contamination by more virulent toxins than just oil tanker fires) was all worried about the environment in Syria. It was Russia that put a stop to these convoys and that is one of the key victories against ISIS.

        As you note, the US and its minions did basically nothing to stop Daesh over a period of two years before the arrival of the Russian air force in Syria. Daesh started to lose and systematically only in late 2015. The SAA effort on the ground was key to this, but that is thanks to Russian advisors and support. Syria was basically almost cooked by 2015 and would have succumbed to the jihadis if not for Russia with the help of Iran and Hezbollah.

        Like

  40. The never-ending Navalny story:

    Pension protest

    Opposition leader Alexei Navalny has called for protests in 20 Russian cities on July 1. “We will all die before reaching retirement,” he said in a video alongside a post on Instagram.

    — Criticism of the government’s plan to raise the pension age is quickly snowballing. An online petition against the proposal had gathered almost 2.5 million signatures by Friday.

    — Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said appeals to Vladimir Putin are “premature,” since the bill has yet to pass its first reading in the State Duma.

    You just can’t keep that man of the people down!

    Like

    1. Navalny gains traction through the ignorance of the Russian masses. They want their cake and to eat it too. If they are not happy with the fact that the government cannot afford to pay pensions from the age of 55, then they should pay 25% income taxes like most people in the west instead of 13%. Even then, it is not practical to support an aging population on pension from the age of 55. Moving the retirement age to 65 is appropriate since the average lifespan of Russians is now increasing to western levels.

      The current average longevity of men and women is 72.6 years. The only reason it is not higher is the abuse of vodka by Russians. I expect the raising of the retirement age to reduce vodka consumption.

      Like

      1. Agreed that nobody really knows much about the initiative, since it is still not law and its details are known only to its originators. However, the age at which one begins to draw a pension in Russia is variable with one’s profession and region; for example, my mother-in-law began to draw her pension at only 45, because she was a teacher who lived and worked in Dalnegorsk, which is classified as a relatively remote region. Her daughter (my wife’s elder sister) began to draw her pension at 50, same profession and location. The Russian pension system seems to me to be quite progressive, although it must be tremendously unwieldy and a bureaucratic nightmare to administer.

        I imagine teachers in Canada from the same era would be surprised to know their peers in Russia had been drawing their pensions for about 15 years before they even reached eligibility, albeit Russian pensions are generally quite a bit smaller. Since my wife was a teacher in Russia, she is still entitled to a small pension based on her years of service, from age 45, although she has lived in another country since 2005.

        I expect if your occupation is ‘shiftless fuck’, as Navalny’s is, you might very well die before you reach retirement age, since a pension is based upon years of service to the country.

        Like

    2. More importantly, pension reform and moving the pension age of eligibility to the right have been a longtime hobbyhorse of Alexey Kudrin. I cannot help noticing it becomes an issue again right after he takes up his new government post. Coincidence? A possible alliance between these two ‘historic reformers’? One to generate the issue, and the other to bitch about it in an attempt to generate anti-government support?

      Hmmmm….

      https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/12/the-strange-political-partnership-that-could-hold-the-key-to-russias-future/265961/

      https://themoscowtimes.com/articles/alexei-navalny-can-free-russia-from-its-matrix-11879

      Like

      1. That is probably the case, but Russia is facing real financial challenges. Pensions are a major headache for every developed country. In fact, they are an enormous liability that is breaking government finances as the population ages. Perhaps 20 years ago, the pension burden in Russia was not too bad, but the pension has been going up to keep people out of poverty. It is now one of the main government expenses.

        Russia is going to have to deal with the pension crisis sooner or later. Retaining the Soviet era retirement age (55) is simply not feasible. I concede that moving it to 65 in one jump is probably not the way to go and they should have raised it to 60 first and then to 65 after 10 years.

        Like

    3. “We will all die before reaching retirement”, says the charlatan.

      When does this hired by Washington bullshitter think folk should retire?

      When I last worked in the UK 34 years ago, when I was 35 years old, my retirement age was 65. In fact, my colliery manager told me in 1984 that there were at least 30 years of winnable reserves down that pit and that I would be able to work there until retirement. (He was urging me to take a deputy under-manager training course and not to leave the industry.) The following year the pit was shut and its 3 shafts capped.

      In hindsight, best thing that happened to me.

      Very, very few men who worked in the mining industry reached retirement age.

      I recall working with a 64-year-old collier, though, and my grandfather was a collier when he died, aged 61 in 1960. he worked all his life down the pit, starting when he was 12 years old, save for a I-year-sabbatical on the WWI Western Front in 1918 as a Coldstream Guardsman after having volunteered whilst under age in 1916. In 1919, he was back down the pit.

      I was talking about this with an old workmate back “home” after the bureaucrats here had given me marching orders. He, unlike me, lived in the village next to the pit where we worked. He said his earliest recollections as a kid in the ’50s and early ’60s was that there always seemed to be a funeral going on there at least once a week.

      Like

      1. Retirement age in the UK increases this year:

        State Pension age will increase for both men and women to:
        -66 between 2018 and 2020.
        – 67 between 2026 and 2028.

        If Brexit goes badly, I expect it to rise again.

        Like

    4. Naturally according to the Moscow Times – an American newspaper – support for national protests against raising the pension age is ‘snowballing’. Just like support for Navalny as mayor and President ‘snowballed’. Support for everything Navalny says and does is always billed as early and eager. And it probably is, among his disaffected it’s-all-about-me-and-Alexey hamsters. And it always turns out to be a sad fizzle with almost no national backing, mostly concentrated amongst the intelligentsia of Moscow and St Petersburg, their pretentious kids, and schoolchildren who relish a day off so they can wave Navalny banners and rubber ducks, without any real concept of who he is or what he stands for. The perennial underdog.

      What it really showcases is how quickly Navalny gloms onto any issue and seeks to make it his own, as there likely are many near-pensioners who are furious about this but have no clue or interest who Navalny is. Nevertheless, they can all be made to appear to be Navalny supporters, because they are against pension reform and Lyosha is against pension reform.

      Like

  41. https://www.awaragroup.com/blog/hidden-growth-of-russian-gdp/

    GKS is manipulating Russia’s GDP growth to make it look smaller.

    Hellevig’s piece makes a mistake in that he forgets about the PPI (producer price index) when considering the GDP deflator. In Russia, the CPI (consumer price index) has been smaller than the PPI. By contrast, in the USA and other developed western countries both of them are similar.

    But his fundamental question still stands since the PPI is not several times higher than the CPI in Russia during Q1 of 2018.

    https://tradingeconomics.com/russia/producer-prices-change

    The average PPI for Q1 was about (5+5.7+4.8/3)% = 5.2%. The GDP deflator is:

    1 + C*CPI/100 + P*PPI/100 where C = consumer part of the GDP and P = producer part of the GDP. As of 2018 C >> P in Russia and Russia’s economy is driven by domestic demand. So the GDP deflator should be under 1.04. Thus 1.082/1.0x > 1.04, or over 4% real growth. Definitely not 1.3% real growth.

    Like

    1. That’s very interesting; particularly the argument for GDP as ‘value, not volume’. Once explained that way it is easy to see that if your country’s main export is, let’s say, soybeans, and it produces the same amount in two succeeding years but in the second year the price of soybeans rises by 35%, your GDP goes up. Not necessarily by 35%, because a lot of other influences make it not that simple, but a rise nonetheless which was achieved without any rise in volume produced.

      Like

      1. It works out to be a net increase only if the product prices in the economy do not go up by 35%. And eventually the 35% will come down along with the GDP. That is why being a banana republic is rough.

        I also think that Hellevig is over-estimating the role of oil in the GDP increase. There was a nominal increase of 8.2% but oil accounts for less than 7% of the GDP and this fraction is not just raw material exports but includes all the value added production. Oil prices went up from around $50 to over $70, which would be roughly 50%. So Russia’s GDP would have increased by less than 3.5% from this factor by itself. If oil production volume did not change then, there was no industrial stimulus from the oil price increase (e.g. new rigs and pipes purchased), only consumer trickle down.

        Like

  42. Really Brian!!

    Isn’t that what WASP Anglo Saxon Americans said about the children of your wop and (drunken) potato famine refugee immigrant Mic forefathers ??

    Like

    1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brian_Kilmeade

      Categories: American television sports announcers American talk radio hosts Mixed martial arts broadcasters 1964 births Living people American people of Irish descent American people of Italian descent American Roman Catholics Long Island University alumni Fox News people American television news anchors Television personalities from New York City

      Like

    2. Of course, exceptionalist Americans are being bloody hypocrites, as usual. But these children are not all merely separated by US border guards. Their families send them alone to get into the US. This includes giving girls anti-pregnancy pills since 80% of them will be raped on the way. Mexicans and other Latin Americans are drunk on the US paradise like eastern Europeans were back in the 1980s. Not all of these migrants actually need to move to the US to escape some horror at home. Most of them just want to enjoy the mythical easy life of the US. If they knew the truth, or more precisely cared to look for it, then they would not be trying to get there at all costs.

      Like

      1. Says the Russian/Ukrainian émigré who “escaped” to Canada in the 1970’s and now feels entitled to rip on Mexican “Anchor Babies”.
        Who have exactly as much right to be in the U.S. as you have to be in Canada.

        Kirill, you never explained to us exactly how or why your parents “escaped” from the Soviet Union to Canada in the 1970’s, without being Jewish ?

        But you are white-skinned, so I reckon you get a free pass.

        Like

  43. The usual fetid Russia-hating tripe from Ollie Carroll. Serving his Lebedev masters on bended knee” says one commenter to this typically sniping article about the football event in Russia:

    World Cup 2018: Russia learns to swing to the Brazilian rhythm. But what will we do when the music stops?

    What will happen indeed?

    The Potemkin village facades shall be torn down and Russians who have been pictured smiling and cavorting with foreigners in public places shall be sent to the “GULags”.

    Like

      1. To be fair, I hardly ever see it spelt that way outside of books, and ‘fetid’ has become an accepted alternate, whether or not it has ever been correct. I’ve seen both for such a long time that I assumed they were. Unlike my campaign against ‘snuck’, which is a fairly recent appearance and in my childhood reeked of bumpkinism. Parents regularly corrected it just as they insisted you refer to adults as ‘Mister Williams’ and not use their first name, as it was disrespectful so to do even if you had been invited.

        Like

        1. They’ve been trying to adopt the usage of “sulfur” in British school books for years instead of “sulphur”, because that’s how it’s spelt in the USA, which spelling has been adopted by some international chemical standards organization. And I shall never say “aluminum” instead of “aluminium”.

          However, I shall always spell in the way I was taught to by monks and nuns and shall continue to write, for example, that encyclopaedias refer to mediaeval paederasts and that a flow of liquid faeces is called diarrhoea and that a “dose” is gonorrhoea.

          🙂

          Like

  44. I write in beautiful English weather (really) awaiting a taxi cab to whisk me to the Standsted airport. My London odyssey is nearly over. The most arduous leg will be the return home of the budgetious airline imaginable – no entertainment system, no food and no water (well, the water is $3.50/bottle). Did not see an oligarch, a royal nor a werewolf.

    Like

    1. The first ime I flew to the USSR was from Stansted by Aeroflot.

      There were only 6 passengers.

      The stewardesses made us sit amidships on the wing-roots, three on either side of the aisle so as balance the aircraft.

      Only kidding — but there really were only 6 of us.

      Like

      1. I was on an A-321, standing room only with a plane change in Iceland. The flight attendants, if you could call them such, were simply there to meet flight safety requirements. I made the mistake of asking for water (before realizing it was only available by purchase) and was informed that perhaps I could have a very small amount (I guess they thought I may need it to swallow pills).

        Passport control at Standsted was packed with only two or three officers working the booths. Took about an hour. Then the taxi I had booked online never showed up. So had to hire a cab which cost 125 pounds. The people were basically friendly and had a very nice chat with a fellow traveler on the Iceland-England leg. Actually, you meet nicer people in coach than in business class (which I rarely use as its way too expensive relative to the benefits).

        Like

  45. The chief Yukie Rada Nazi visited the “Mother of Parliaments” last week:

    A summary of Parubiy’s visit (if you can stand the near-English translation):

    A summary of main Ukrainian Nazi Andriy Parubiy’s visit to Britain

    Ukrainian lads and lasses are on the front line of our border every day and perish there every day, where, in reality, they are defending the Western World — Parubiy addressing British lawmakers.

    Embassy of Ukraine to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

    Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Andriy Parubiy met with the Rt Hon Sir Alan Duncan KCMG MP, Minister of State for Europe and the Americas at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office

    13 June, 12:39
    There took place a meeting of the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Andriy Parubiy with Sir Alan Duncan, Minister of State for Europe and the Americas at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

    The parties talked over strategic and geopolitical issues, including the Nord Stream 2 project, stiffening sanctions against Russia and releasing Ukrainian hostages, illegally jailed in the Kremlin’s dungeons.

    “The United Kingdom’s public stance towards condemnation of a non-economic but a completely political project North Stream 2 is very important for us,” said A.Parubiy.

    In turn, Sir Alan Duncan assured that his country supported sanctions against Russia, “especially in view of the events that took place in Salisbury”.

    The Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Andriy Parubiy is paying his official visit to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.


    Parubiy with a few more of his Western chums

    Like

    1. Yes, Nord Stream II is completely political – it will pump Europe full of propaganda instead of gas, and at the same time deny just and hard-earned revenue to its Slavic brothers who love Russians like members of their own family.

      Parubiy must be gratified to meet fellow pragmatists who appear to see no conflict in Ukraine sucking up millions of dollars a year from Russia for no more labour than letting Russia transit gas to Europe through its leaky, whistling pipes – and occasionally toss in a billion or so to upgrade the system and maintain it for the Ukrainians – the whole time it spits vitriol and hatred across the border and publicly blames Russia for all its failures and shortcomings and criminal activities.

      Taken on the whole, though, it’s good for Russia if Europe allows Ukraine to ride it like a pony all the way to hell, because Europe cannot save Ukraine, and a generation of oligarchs is getting fat and rich on European handouts while the country ebbs lower and lower. At some point it will have sunk beyond saving, but that day will be put off by media reporting which blows sunshine up the people’s ass and tells them they’ve never had it so good. The less Russia is bound to Ukraine when it inevitably collapses, the better for Russia.

      Like

        1. Si Señor!

          As an exile forced to flee my mother country after having been thrown into one of its darkest dungeons; after having my good name besmirched and had gainful employment there denied me, I am, therefore, dedicated to the overthrow of its regime and obliged to give my full support in thought, word and deed to any movement, ball game, plot etc. that will upset the English powers-that-be.

          My enemy’s enemy is my best friend!

          🙂

          Like

  46. Breaking:

    FIFA on Claims of Doping in Russian Football: McLaren Had No Knowledge of Probe

    19:10 24.06.2018 (updated 19:17 24.06.2018)

    Meanwhile, WADA President Sir Craig Reedie was awarded the prestigious Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire (GBE) for his services to sport, and particularly his “fight against doping… and in protecting clean athletes against cheats”

    “This award is a vote of confidence for everyone within the anti-doping movement, a reminder that our efforts are appreciated and valued by the wider world and that our mission is an important one for society as a whole” — Reedie.

    Like

    1. Any collection of political hacks can declare itself an “institute” in the USA and other NATzO statelets. This is just as absurd as any collection of wannabe doctors being able to call themselves a hospital or medical institute. This phony institute is designed to give the NATzO fake stream media propaganda talking points. The “journalists” can pretend the talking points are independent and objective when they are nothing of the sort.

      Like

      1. It also creates a focal point for corporate investment, funding ‘institutes’ who marshal research which is often nothing more than opinion, but which lends gravitas to business-friendly positions, such as that climate change is just an hysterical fabrication by nerd scientists seeking attention.

        Like

  47. Note the reply by the it’s-the-Russians-what-done it type Iain to Audrey Aurus‘ statement further down in her thread:

    Ppl in direct contact with it didn’t die. The probability for a nerve agent to be there, 4 months laters [sic] in sufficient quantity to be even remotely dangerous is ludicrous. No one else got poisonned [sic], not even the doc attending them on the bench. Will they destroy ziz [sic]too?

    Iain: people in direct contact were on the most intensive life support imaginable. Only the most advanced health care on earth kept them alive. But you keep supporting the murdering billionaire cleptocrats [sic] with your conspiracy flat earth shite.

    So that’s the explanation to what’s been baffling many for months on end, namely how come the Skripals did not die after having been poisoned by the most diabolically deadly nerve agent known to man and which has no known antidote — at least one that will take affect following such a period of time that it took “experts” in Salisbury to determine that “Novichok” had been used by the Russians to murder the Skripals.

    The answer to this baffling conundrum is plain and simple: the most advanced medical care on earth is to be found in the local Salisbury National Health Service hospital.

    See: Cover-up? Twitter reacts to report that UK government will buy Skripal’s house
    Published time: 24 Jun, 2018 15:32

    Like

    1. Hmmm…

      Why are they buying the policeman’s home?
      We were told he was exposed to the nerve agent outside; At the Skrpals house – and that he went straight to hospital, he never went home, so why is his home being bought?

      This policeman is someone we have never seen – they just printed a photograph that we are told is him.

      He has not appeared in the media – just the statements issued by the UK government.,

      Regarding Mr Skripals home – that was bought for him when he was settled in Salisbury – now the government are buying it back?

      Seems that a lot of money is changing hands to cover up this false flag story.

      Where are they all going to be resettled I wonder.

      Like

      1. An excellent point – the police detective’s home did not feature anywhere in the Great Poisoning Deception of 2018, except that he presumably went to it, if he even exists, after he was purportedly released from hospital. His home played no role in his supposed poisoning and there is no reason to imagine it was/is contaminated with anything. It just appears to be a case of the British government putting all ‘evidence’ off-limits by purchasing it.

        Like

      2. I’d say DS Nick Bailey and his family are being moved away from Salisbury and the £430,000 payout is to go towards buying a new home elsewhere in Britain … or maybe even overseas. I suppose they will need to change identities as well.

        Like

    2. Strange that the UK government is buying the Skripal house from … itself? Who would have bought the house originally so the Skripals could live there when they first arrived in Salisbury?

      But poisoning incident, botched police investigation and the deaths of two guinea-pigs in the house from thirst and starvation aside, what else can be done with the house? If it were put on the market and sold, the new owners could come into contact with something dangerous … not necessarily “Novichok” but something else planted in the house that the police or the government has overlooked, or on the other hand, the new owners could find something that blows the official government account of the poisoning to pieces. Of course, that is assuming that people would want to buy the house with the history it now has, in a small community where everyone knows one another and gossip might spread quickly. Would real estate agents in the area be willing to sell the house?

      Like

    3. Teenage girl dies after taking ‘unknown substance’ in Devon
      Fourteen-year-old boy also left fighting for his life after youngsters were found unwell

      A 15-year-old girl has died and a 14-year-old boy was left fighting for his life after apparently taking an unknown substance, police have said.

      Officers and ambulance crews were called to Tavistock, in Devon, shortly after 4pm on Saturday to reports that the teenagers had been found unwell.

      The unnamed girl was airlifted to Derriford Hospital in Plymouth, where she later died. Her next of kin have been informed.


      Derriford Hospital — where the most advanced medical care on earth is to be found in Plymouth?

      What? No hazmat-suit bedecked firemen seen beavering away in Tavistock yet?

      No statement yet off May or Johnson?

      Nice to learn, however, that the police are engaged in “thoughts and prayers” for the victims.

      Well, they would say that, wouldn’t they?

      Am I being callous? After all, one young person has died and another is in a critical condition, but what the unknown substance was that caused this, nobody knows.

      A strange parallel to the Skripal case, perhaps?

      Skripal, however, was a Russian double agent who had been bought by British state security: he was a venal former member of Russian state intelligence, so the Russians must have ordered his poisoning, mustn’t they, even though he had already stood trial in Russia for his treason, had confessed to his crime and had served a prison sentence there before being exchanged for Russian agents?

      And the means that the Russian state used to do liquidate Skripal, and, for some reason or other, his daughter as well, was almost immediately revealed by the British government as having been a deadly nerve agent produced only by the Russian state. The British government based this accusation on information received from British state security.

      Oh yes, and according to the boorish British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson, there’s “a guy” at Porton Down who told him what the poison was that those evil Russians had used to poison the Skripals, who, by the way, are still not dead, the most deadly of nerve agent known to man having been used to cause their deaths notwithstanding, and who are still being held incommunicado by British government security services..

      My thoughts and prayers are with Sergei and Yulia Skripal.

      Like

        1. The police would have to be making (erm) door-to-door enquiries and taking swabs of each and every door handle to test for saliva or snot and Novichok.

          Like

    4. My goodness! Am I seeing things or did the tubby police officer and the skinny police officer actually change spots while guarding the house?! Do they even go home once in a while?

      Like

    5. If only we had known – the most advanced life support possible trumps the most deadly poison possible! Think how many have needlessly died over the years!!! The only remaining question, obviously, is how we make the most advanced life support possible available to the masses. Then we shall live forever!

      Like

    6. Probably just a coincidence, but nobody will ever be able to do any kind of independent investigation – supposing there were anyone left who had such an inclination – without the permission of the British government, since all of the evidence will be its property.

      Like

    1. Her knee surgeon must be either grimacing at the thought of another appointment or celebrating that s/he will never go out of business with a patient like Theresa May.

      Like

        1. Theresa Margaret Maggie May (born 1 October 1956), known as Mad May to her friends, is Great Britain’s latest and worst Prime Minister. She won the job in 2016, in the wake of the unexpected success of the Brexit referendum, which was especially unexpected to its sponsors. May avoided a party election by virtue of all her potential competitors leaving the race, leaving politics, or leaving Britain.

          As Prime Minister, her job is to take the helm of a nation that has jumped out of the European Union without a parachute and pilot it to a soft landing. May is consequently the virtual May Queen of what’s left of Ye Olde England.

          She’s really a Frogess, anyroad:

          Theresa May was born Theresa Brasier (originally Brasserie, from a family of French immigrants) in Eastbourne, Sussex. The young Theresa wanted to be a nun, seeing herself as the British Mother Teresa: The Sequel, but instead became a zombie and met and married some geezer called May who was a generally indecisive fellow, hence the surname. She studied geography and the layered strata of ancient landscapes. When she realised this was never going to lead to an actual job she decided to join the British Conservative Party on the basis that if she wasn’t going to work like the rest of the country then she could get well paid for sitting around on her arse talking pish. Her father, who was a vicar, encouraged her to enter politics. This wasn’t really advice based on anything that made sense, he just wanted her out of the house.

          For more, see: Theresa May

          Actually, that piss-taking uncyclopaedia article on May is rather unfair in suggesting that vicar’s daughter Theresa was workshy: after having got a second class honours degree in Geography at Oxford in 1977, she worked from that year until 1983 at the Bank of England, where her knowledge of geography surely must have stood her in good stead.

          Then from 1985 until 1997 she worked as a consultant and senior advisor in International Affairs at the Association for Payment Clearing Services, which is a non-statutory association of major banks and building societies that provides the forum for banks and building societies to discuss non-competitive issues relating to money transmission. Again, her geography degree must have come in dead handy for that job.

          One of APACS’ principal tasks is to manage the major UK payment clearing systems. This is currently carried out by three operational clearing companies: Cheque and Credit Clearing Company which oversees the paper clearing. CHAPS Clearing Company which provides electronic same-day clearings in sterling and euro.BACS which operates the bulk electronic clearing. A link from the front page of this website, gives access to information about CHAPS and its members.

          No idea how she earned her crust for 2 years following her leaving of the Bank of England in 1983 and joining APAC in 1985, though being married since 1980 to an investment banker currently employed by Capital International may have hepled her to manage her personal finances somewhat.

          Like

              1. Yes, but she has thus far avoided the fate of pantsuits, which befell another powerful woman I could name some time back, owing to her having developed thighs like whiskey barrels.

                Like

  48. THERESA MAY GROVELS TO A ROYAL AND DEFECATES ON BRITAIN
    June 23, 2018
    During a visit to the Defence and National Rehabilitation Centre last week, Theresa May met one of the queen’s grandchildren, William. Rather than just shake his hand and say ‘hello,’ the prime minster grovelled like a lickspittle lackey prostrate in front of filthy elite.

    May contorted herself so much it looked like she’d just shat herself.

    It was a grotesque spectacle. May is supposed to be the leader of an elected government in a democracy but she chose to pay deference to a dim-witted, useless twerp whose only qualification for his role is that he is descended from a long line of dim-witted, useless twerps, a line that began with theft and murder.

    May’s grovelling behaviour revealed how little value she puts on democracy and how little respect she has for the people of this country.

    That single, vomit-inducing image showed a weak, dishonest, untrustworthy and venal person who is wholly unfit to be prime minister.

    So sad that clearly a British writer, namely one who uses the correct past participle of “to shit” and the word “twerp”, should spell “defaecate” after the North American fashion.

    For that matter, why not use “to shit” [shit;shat;shat] throughout, old chap?

    🙂

    Like

    1. Amazing that Ducksoap didn’t wish for the wind to change suddenly so that Theresa May would find her legs frozen at right angles and she would have to walk sideways with a bent back for the rest of her life.

      Like

  49. FlightGlobal.com: Franco-German FCAS deal points to Dassault leadership
    https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/franco-german-fcas-deal-points-to-dassault-leadershi-449673/

    …. and a parallel effort to jointly develop a future tank dubbed Main Ground Combat System (MGCS), the ministry of defence says.

    Under the memorandum, an FCAS project team – with members from the two countries – will be established in France to put in place “requirements for a joint concept study” by year-end, Berlin says.

    It notes that FCAS represents “Europe’s most important future defence project” in terms of effort and technology, and that it will be open to additional partners on the basis of a “strong Franco-German foundation”.

    The wording of the accord seems to suggest that Dassault will take a lead role in the next-generation fighter programme as the majority of Airbus Defence & Space’s operations are located in Germany…
    ####

    No F-35s in sight. There may technically be no ‘EU Army’, but the budget gates have been opened at EU level and all the structures for investing in European home grown capabilities rather than buying American continues apace.

    Like

  50. It seems the “institute” in question was dreamt up by some Dutch “academic” who made “reputation” into an “academic” discipline — business reputation, that is: that which makes one business more reputable than others: and what the cogent factors are that contribute to reputation, good or bad.

    Now this Dutch “institute” has taken on the task of identifying which polities are squeaky clean and have the seal of approval (off whom?) and which are “regimes”.

    It’s all psycho-babble.

    Over the years I have seen yard after yard of business and psychology books on bookshop shelves and I have always suspected that they are full of bovine faeces.

    How to be good at business? — Sell a good or service for more than it costs to produce.

    How to be well liked and respected? — Be as nice to everyone as much as is bearably possible, and even beyond.

    There! Not too difficult to comprehend, is it?

    🙂

    Like

  51. See what I mean:

    https://www.reputationinstitute.com/hubfs/_Images/_Structure/Homepage%20Jan2018/RI%20Logos/Ri_PrimaryH_RGB_Positive_200C.png?t=1529772403212

    Powering the World’s
    Most Reputable Companies

    By tracking and analyzing stakeholder perceptions in 25 industries across 40
    countries for more than 7,000 companies, we unleash the power of reputation to enable leaders
    to build better companies.

    REQUEST YOUR REPUTATION DATA

    (For a sizeable fee, of course!)

    Board of Directors

    Founded in 1997, the Reputation Institutehas functioned as a private research and consulting organisation. Its mission is to advance knowledge about corporate reputation and help companies create economic value by implementing coherent reputing strategies.

    The joint founder of this august organization is a certain Cornelis Bernardus Maria van Riel (born June 15, 1951), a Dutch organizational theorist, consultant, and Professor of Corporate Communication at Rotterdam School of Management and Director of the Corporate Communication Centre at the Erasmus University, known for his work in the area of corporate communication and reputation management.

    Source: Cees van Riel

    Bullshit baffles brains!

    Just my opinion, mind!

    Like

  52. From an Independent sports journalist in Nizhny Novgorod on England football fans’ in deepest Mordor and their reaction to their team’s 6-1 win against Panama:

    “Just getting out of the group makes a nice change,” said Mr Gibbs, who believed the quarter-finals were a realistic hope. “We have an organised, young, practical team, and are playing under a manager with tactical nous.”

    Debbie Marriott, 57, a prison officer from the Midlands, agreed: “Quarters, definitely. We’re finally looking like we’re going to live up to our promise.”

    Ms Marriott, who had travelled to the game with her husband Paul, also a prison officer, said that England were better organised than at any time in her recent memory.

    “It’s the corners, that’s where I see the difference,” she says. “Before they wouldn’t even get in the box, now they are getting dangerous. Oh, happy days!”

    The Marriotts found it disappointing that seemingly so few of their compatriots had made it to Russia – the consequence of “a tabloid scare campaign”, Paul said.

    He was right. In the stadium, the English were heavily outnumbered by Panama supporters. Men and women from a country with the population the size of inner London had travelled in huge numbers halfway across the globe to get here.”

    My stress — no thanks to the Independent either as regards Russophobic scaremongering.

    Why does the journalist call Debbie Marriott, wife of Paul Marriott, Ms Marriott?

    Does he want to keep the fact that Mrs. Marriott is a married woman a secret?

    Like

  53. My thoughts and prayers are with the ballbag nailer!

    Ironically, Sainte-Geneviève-des-Bois, where the “artist” in question is presently incarcerated, is also the location of the the French Russian cemetery , where a load of famous Russkies and “White” émigres are pushing up daisies.

    I visited the place in 1994.


    Rudolf Nureyev’s grave at Sainte-Geneviève-des-Bois

    Andrei Tarkovsky’s grave is there as well:

    I got bugged there by a dotty old émigrée, who, on hearing my Russian paramour of the time (Natasha №1) nattering away to me in Russian, latched onto us and was in raptures over being able to have a chat in Russian. However, Natasha №1 sometimes had difficulty in understanding her, because her Russian was spoken with a pronounced French accent.

    The old woman took us around the chapel pictured above (she was some kind of voluntary graveyard caretaker) to give us a guided tour. There, amongst many other memorials, was one to those Cossack traitors who had fought for the Nazis and had been surrendered by the Western allies to the Red Army and to their almost certain deaths in 1945.

    She went into a lengthy rant on how the “English” and “Churchill” were criminals for allowing this to happen. She must have thought I was a rather untalkative Russian, see.

    Natasha №1, having been brought up in the USSR in provincial Voronezh, knew shag all about what the old bat was ranting on about, though.

    When we got out of the cemetery, I told her that the Cossacks to whom the chapel memorial wa dedicated, had fought for the Nazis and then she became rather angry and couldn’t understand why such a memorial should have been installed there in the first place.

    Like

    1. Wow! Graham is on fire! Way to tear Shaun a new one!
      Here is Shaun’s tweet, with the responses:

      Wag669 says, “Aren’t you sure it wasn’t Prince Harry?” – LOL!

      Like

      1. P.S. – and reading further down the Tweet thread, it turns out that the Nazi song, if sung at all, was performed by 3 skin-headed English Nazi football hooligans! Everybody still waiting for Shaun to apologize to Russia. I reckon we will still be waiting until after Judgement Day.

        Like

      2. How would Shaun of the Dead Walker know if a song sung in German is a Hitler Jugend or an SS song or a weird combination of the two?

        Hitler Jugend = German for “Hitler Youth”, Nazi equivalent of Boy and Girl Scout organisations and similar groups for primary school age and junior high school age kids

        SS (Schutzstaffel) = German for “Protection Squad”, originally a small guard unit to protect National Socialist party members at rallies that then became an internal security agency, roughly equivalent to the SBU in Ukraine

        Songs written for kids to sing around the campfire while they’re roasting marshmallows also popular among hardened thugs and assassins? I doubt that very much. Maybe Shaun of the Dead Walker sees a connection but if he does, he lays himself open to accusations of having a depraved mind.

        Like

        1. They must have been singing the Horst Wessel Lied — “Die Fahne hoch …” und so weiter.

          Nice tune though!

          The smart arses singing it were more than likey Arsenal supporters getting at Spurs supporters because Tottenham Hotspurs have long been supported by the Jewish community in that part of North London

          Scratch the surface and the tribal hatreds are still there in Merry England: Liverpool —the Scouse Orange Lodge favourites; Everton (Liverpool) — the Roman Catholics’ fave team.

          I shall leave Scotland out of this cos Scotland ain’t England; nor is “Norn Ireland” and Wales.

          Like

      3. Somehow, I don’t think Spurs supporters, if that’s who they were, know the German words of that Nazi ditty.

        Strange … looks more like photographers being shunted down a touch line to me.

        Like

        1. Trust Shaun of the Dead Walker to tweet in poor taste and make light of people in prison camps.

          Don’t hold your breath for any SofDW’s comments on the two military bases in Texas being turned into concentration camps for immigrants from Latin America.

          Like

        2. Shaun Walker with his ever-ready smartphone on hand with which he can take breathtaking shots of world import that may occur anywhere where he might be.

          By the way, Walker, where was your smartphone when you witnessed Russian armour invading the Ukraine a couple of years ago?

          You know, when you were about 20 miles on the Russian side of the border?

          You lying twat!!!!

          Like

        3. Not “Spurs supporters” above: Arsenal supporters or supporters from other London clubs. As far as I can recall, Arsenal had a large London-Irish following.

          I don’t know much about football and it was only in recent years that I learnt about Spurs and its London-Jewish support.

          When I was a kid, the top Spurs player was an Irishman called Danny Blanchflower, who was a good un, aswas his compatriot who played for Manchester United, George Best.

          Unfortunately, although there were few who could tie up Best’s bootlaces when he was in his prime, in the end, Best also found it difficult tie up his own bootlaces as well.

          It’s that Old Bushmills effect.

          Must say, I was fond of Old Bushmills myself in times past.

          Like

        1. If he had had his smartphone with him when he went to the pub, he would have filmed the Russians supposedly singing the song and we would know for sure if it were a Hitler Youth song or an SS song. But I don’t suppose he did have his smartphone with him. Even though you would think, at 3 am in the morning at a pub, he should be on the lookout for trouble.

          Like

    2. NATzO blood libelers yapping about the victims of Nazi Germany being Nazis while at the same time pretending the Banderite scum in charge of Kiev has nothing to do with Nazi Bandera.

      Like

  54. No Uruguay 2-0 up and Russia’s down to 10 men at halftime to the undisguised glee of the Guardian in the shape of Jacob Steinberg. Anticipating a rout in a potential last 16 match vs Portugal.

    The poorest feature of the tournament to date is the refereeing. Today’s clowns are sad attention seekers spoiling the games (the Colombian in the Egypt game being the worst of a very poor bunch).

    Like

    1. Final score: 3-0

      Jacob Steinberg full of glee?

      Какой сюрприз!

      Несомненно, Гессен, Аппельбаум, Иоффе и т. Д. тоже обрадуются.

      Like

  55. Anyone who has a spare hour and 15 minutes should watch this film about US actor Peter von Berg visiting the Donetsk People’s Republic:
    https://off-guardian.org/2018/06/25/watch-nyc-to-donetsk-back-a-new-film/

    He meets Prime Minister Alexander Zakharchenko among others and discuss nation-building efforts in the DPR. There is implicit criticism of US social and economic policies in several discussions Berg has with Zakharchenko, a hospital administrator and an economist.

    Like

  56. BBC:

    Donald Trump has criticised the Harley-Davidson motorcycle firm over its plans to shift production away from the US in order to avoid European Union tariffs.

    How American is Harley Davidson?

    Where are Harley-Davidson Motorcycles Made?

    No, not Milwaukee: it’s Schlitz beer that made Milwaukee famous!

    The original [HD] Milwaukee factory on Juneau Street is currently the company’s corporate offices as well as the Harley-Davidson museum.

    Technically speaking, Harley-Davidson motorcycles sold in the United States are not actually made here, but assembled here. Harley contracts manufacturing of parts to plants located all over the world, including Germany, Italy, Taiwan, Japan, and Mexico. Those parts are then shipped to Harley factories here. And these are not just accessories, but components for engines, chassis, and wheels. Exactly what percentage of a Harley-Davidson motorcycle is American made, is not exactly known, as each model and model year is different. …

    So, where are Harley-Davidson motorcycles made? All over the world, actually. But those sold in America, are assembled here in the United States, using a lot of foreign made parts.

    Obama, 2014:

    “I do think it’s important to keep perspective. Russia doesn’t make anything,” Obama said in the interview.

    “Immigrants aren’t rushing to Moscow in search of opportunity. The life expectancy of the Russian male is around 60 years old. The population is shrinking,” he said.

    Ural Motorcycles are made in …

    Ural Baikal 2018 — сделано в России!, where they don’t make anything.

    Like

    1. If America really does get into a full-scale trade war with China, it is going to be soooooo sorry. The Chinese have already announced a very pragmatic approach which recognizes areas in which the USA has a significant advantage, and is resolved to work on its own domestic output and modernization of efficiencies rather than playing to America’s strengths.

      https://www.cnbc.com/amp/2018/06/22/chinese-media-says-us-has-delusions-as-impact-of-trade-war-spreads.html

      But China is only one front in what is shaping up to be a global lesson for a global bully. Trump rants that America will retaliate with ‘more than reciprocity’ against countries which apply tariffs to American goods in response to his billions in sanctions against those countries. I guess everybody but the Exceptional Nation is just supposed to bend over and take it.

      https://www.thestreet.com/amp/technology/trump-puts-tech-in-trade-war-crosshairs-with-planned-curb-on-china-investment-14631986

      Is there a sector of international relations remaining in which Trump has not yet offended anyone? Who’s isolated now, chummy? The USA is making enemies that will not so easily return to friendship, and America is shedding market share it is not going to be able to get back. Trump’s trade envoys have resorted to announcements that the leakers are lying and that Trumps threats are ‘fake news’, because they can’t shut him up.

      https://www.bbc.com/news/amp/business-44608025

      Like

  57. Fans of the Ukrainian comedy team Gerashchenko and Avakov might be interested in my latest series which I started today.

    Gerashchenko (aka “Fat Bastard”) has a blousy-blonde ex-wife who is testifying against him in court, about his various schemes (too many to name).

    Like

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