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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1,310 thoughts on “When You Shake Hands with Ukraine, Count Your Fingers Afterward.

  1. Mikhail Olegovich Yefremov: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/f/f4/Efremov_m.jpg/220px-Efremov_m.jpg

    — a film and stage actor, Meritorious Artist of Russian Federation, and, therefore, a professional kreakl, and also a big buddy of this professional kreakl:

    with whom he collaborated in a 2010 project “Citizen Poet” (a pun on Nikolai Nekrasov’s poem “Poet and Citizen”), wherein Yefremov read poems, written by Bykov, which are usually satirical comments on contemporary Russian society, politics and culture. Each of Bykov’s poems parodies the style of a famous poet of the past, e.g. Pushkin, Nekrasov etc.

    “Citizen Poet” was originally broadcast on Dozhd TV channel (another kreakl favourite), but the show has long not run on Dozhd because, say the kreakly, the poems were too critical of the “regime”.

    On the other hand, Bykov’s creations might well have been boring, pretentious crap.

    Whatever. Another kreakl favourite, radio station Ekho Moskvy, came to the rescue, where the kreakly may now listen to their hearts’ content to the musings of Yefremov and his rotund chum.

    Now get this:

    Ефремов требует отдать Крымский мост Украине

    Efremov Demands That Crimea Bridge Be Given To Ukraine

    The actor, a drunkard, also proposed that gas be given to the Ukraine for 15 years free of charge in payment for their loss of the Crimea.

    Some netizens explained his statements by his addiction to alcohol and advised him to sober up.

    You have to hand it to those kreakly, they really always do seem to have their finger on the Russian pulse, don’t they?

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  2. From today’s Komsomolskaya Pravda:

    «Бук», сбивший «Боинг», не мог приехать из России. А вот из Днепропетровска – запросто!

    The “Buk” that brought down the “Boing” could not have arrived from Russia — but it could have easily come from Dnepropetrovsk!

    After the “Joint Investigation Team” in the Netherlands had made public the probable route of a “Buk” anti-aircraft missile complex that had allegedly arrived at the Donbass through Lugansk directly from a Russian military base at Kursk, Patrick Lancaster, who knows the condition of the roads and bridges in the South-East of the Ukraine, questioned this fact. The weight of the trailer that transported the “Buk”, the tractor and the weight of the “Buk” launcher and its four missiles … would have easily amounted to no less than 56.3 tonnes. It would have been difficult to transport such a load along secondary roads. Most of the bridges in the Donbass have a weight limit of 20-25 tonnes, at best— 30 tonnes.

    Patrick took along with him engineer-bridge builder Sergei, chief specialist of the Department of Structures of the Donetsk People’s Republic Ministry of Transport … and went with him along the suggested route of the “Buk”.

    Sergei:

    “We are under the overpass at the town of Khartsyzsk…. The overpass has a weight restriction of 30 tons and is in poor condition because maintenance has not been carried out for a very long time or even not done at all. There are in this district no bridges that could have borne such a load (more than 50 tonnes – ed.) …. there are very few such bridges on DPR territory”.

    The next point in Patrick and Sergei’s investigation: the “Buk” also would not have been able to pass over a dam-overpass near ZUGRES. Sergey pointed out a weight restriction of 25 tonnes. Such structures are built with certain tolerances exceeding their maximum load but not more than twice as much — not 30 tonnes! The next overpass had the same 25-tonne restriction and another had one of 24 tonnes.

    Further on, in the course of this field research, Patrick and Sergei find out one interesting detail – the height of a “Buck” on its trailer is 4.7 metres, and at most of the bridges under which they were to pass there hangs a sign showing a height restriction of 4.5 metres. Theoretically, you could try and counter this difference of twenty centimetres by bleeding they tyre pressures to the minimum for the 12 trailer tyres, then pump them back … but at Perevalsk there is a bridge that has a height of 3.8 metres and beneath which the trailer would not have been able to pass at all …

    At the end of this mythical “Buk” route, the engineer concludes that “such a trip would have required complex technical solutions and would have taken two or three weeks”. And Patrick Lancaster says that in the JIT report it is not by accident the probable route of the “Buck” is shown by an abstract arrow…

    So-called weapons analyst and Atlantic Council Digital Forensic Research Laboratory Senior Non-Resident Fellow Eliot Higgins would beg to differ, of course.

    Higgins, of course, has never been to the DPR, never inspected the route that he maintains the “Buk” took.

    Patrick has already been living for several years in Donetsk, where he married a local girl and has recently become a father.

    However, one has to concede that Patrick is not a Senior Non-Resident Fellow of Atlantic Council Digital Forensic Research Laboratory, as is Higgins.

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    1. Wouldn’t it be easier to unload the launcher vehicle and drive it under the bridge (it is self-propelled, no?) and then back on to the low-loader? it would clear the 4.7 meter limit by 12 cm at the most. There’s certainly no way it can get around the weight restrictions or the 3.8 m bridge.

      The weirdest thing about the whole story is that for such a long route, surely there would be more photo/video evidence than has been presented. Without a doubt more witnesses if it is traveling on standard roads. The ‘Russia wot did it’ crowd (conveniently) wants does not draw attention to this. Not even a F93ing peep or a claimed witness. Nada. Nothing.

      * …Heavy haulage low loader trailers have a very low main bed, 32-60cm from the ground..

      https://lowloaderseurope.com/information/what-vehicle-do-i-require/52-low-loader/

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      1. FYI Stooges, a commenter over at Moon of Alabama posted this piece by Alistaire Crooke on the USA’s ‘More power with less’ plan that explains it all. In short, the US will control the energy derivatives market and also corner the energy market. That explains why they killed South Stream and are trying to do the same for Nord Stream II. It’s all too little, too late of course.

        https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2018/06/05/what-trump-policy-energy-dominance-means-for-world.html

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        1. Morons. In conditions of long term decline these games with speculative instruments do not work.

          But this BS is to be expected because the US elites swallow the ludicrous Polyanna forecasts of the EIA and IEA.

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      2. One of the grainy video “evidence” pieces being used to prove the Russians did it actually contradicts the timeline. The video was deliberately degraded to hide the identity of a flowering plant. But it is clear what it is and it breaks their timeline. I can’t find the link to this video and the analysis.

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          1. I think the Russian technical evidence is mostly used (by the Russian side) to illustrate that the SA-11 (if that’s what was responsible) did not come from the area the JIT says it did. It does not show a missile – to the best of my knowledge, nobody has evidence which captures the actual launch of a missile that day. Therefore Russia’s argument is based on what the radar data does not show. JIT’s argument is that the radar might have been taking a coffee break or something at the critical moment, and just didn’t see it – ‘absence of evidence is not evidence of absence’.

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            1. I don’t think that a coffee break has been suggested, or even that the evidence is fake. Rather, the JIT has found some (2?) experts who claim that the missile might have been travelling too fast. This is presumably testable. The waters have been well and truly muddied by now, but if the radar evidence is accurate then the JIT narrative is kaput. The Russian military said something very interesting when responding to the last JIT report, to wit: “The most important thing that we would draw attention to is that the Dutch investigation rejected testimonies from eyewitnesses living in the Ukrainian settlements close to the crash site, which mention a missile launch from an area controlled by the Ukrainian armed forces.” This seems to hint that they accept that a Buk missile shot the plane down. The Almaz-Antey experts seem to accept that the damage to the Boeing is consistent with a Buk strike and I (now) think that is what likely happened.

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              1. Yes, sorry, the coffee break bit was just me trying to be sarcastic; I apologize if it was not very funny. Amazingly, Russia – like every other country, I expect – does not have a separate radar for every speed to ensure it captures everything. Air search radars have different rotational speeds – and some do not rotate at all, but are planar arrays – and typically those with a rapid rotational speed and a high frequency correspond to a short range, while those with a long scan period, long pulse width and low frequency are designed for Early Warning and can see much further. But that’s relatively speaking, and depends on things like the height at which the antenna is situated, weather factors and so forth. A navigational or air traffic control radar with a high frequency, short pulse and rapid scan rate is perfectly capable of registering something as fast as a missile, and is aided in its search by a variety of filters and aids such as Moving Target Indicator (MTI) or Target Trails, which display previous echoes of a moving target so that instead of a blip, you see a short line which represents all the ‘hits’ the radar got on a particular target, and help to drop out background noise and false contacts. You do not need a special radar to see missiles. It would be pretty stupid of Russia to supply data from a radar which was incapable of tracking something as fast as a missile, and such stupidity would doubtless have been highlighted by western technical people without delay. Therefore it looks to me as if non-technical representatives are merely trying to introduce unreasonable doubt. They are perfectly happy to accept that the Russian data does not show a missile launch – they are just unhappy that it does not show a missile launch from where they say the missile originated.

                I would hazard a guess that an air traffic control radar such as I described would be able to see perhaps 40 miles or so in reasonably good conditions at near-ground level if the terrain were flattish (the horizon is usually about 12), and further than that at elevation, since it is an air radar. An Early Warning radar, while the scan rate might be too slow to detect a fast missile unless it were quite high and flying toward the sensor, should be able to see nearly 200 miles.

                Canadian warships, for example, until recently (sensors modernized in refits) used the American AN/SPS-49 for long-range air search and the Swedish Emerson Sea Giraffe for close-in work. Their business is anti-air warfare, and I promise you they could see a missile like the SA-11 out to about 30 miles with the Sea Giraffe, even if it were not fired at them, while the SPS-49 could see aircraft while they were still taxiing on the runway to take off, ashore. There is no reason to believe Russian civil air traffic control radars are less capable.

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      3. Yes, I’ve mentioned before that the launcher vehicle could have been unloaded, each vehicle driven under the overpass and then the launcher vehicle re-embarked, but it would be an awkward process which could hardly fail to attract attention. The situation was posed to the amazing weapons expert Eliot Higgins and he sarcastically pointed out the ‘obvious’ spur road ramp just before the overpass. His interlocutor (Max van der Werff) then supplied photographs of the peak of the ramp, in which the road was blocked off with cement dividers and in such disrepair that it was unusable to bypass the overpass beneath. The response, as I best recall, was nothing.

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  3. ZeroHedge: For The First Time Since 1975, The Entire Swedish National Guard Was Just Mobilized
    https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-06-06/first-time-1975-entire-swedish-national-guard-was-just-mobilized

    …Last night, in the most unsettling move yet, they mobilized the entire Swedish Home Guard for an “unannounced preparedness exercise.” All 40 battalions have been activated, effective immediately….
    ####

    Watch IKEA roar! No, not that one, the other one!

    Like

    1. I met a bunch of “hemvärnare” (Home Guard people) yesterday, yeah. The “mobilization” was voluntary, and they were just walking around town taking it easy. Big bunch of them were way past their physical prime, I must add, so they’re not particularly intimidating, assault rifles notwithstanding.

      Still, it was the independence day (or “National Day” or “Day of the Swedish Flag”, it goes by many names) and since most celebratory activities nowadays are about glorifying non-European immigration and cultures other than our own, it was nice to see something distinctly Swedish and reminiscent of the past. I especially liked the old Volvo 4×4 “puppies” (Volvo-valp) that I had no idea were still in service!

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      1. What’s that day about in August, Drutten, when you all get bladdered in August on Aquavit and eat bucketloads of crayfish? I remember back in my drinking days experiencing that day when I was living in Småland for a little while.

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        1. You must be thinking about the “crayfish premiere”, which traditionally is held on August 7th (or rather the closest weekend after August 7th, for obvious reasons).

          It is remarkably similar to the Midsummer’s Eve festivities in June, in that you make a table outdoors, drink heaps of booze and eat seafood and potatoes. On Midsummer’s, it’s all about the pickled herring though.

          I’ve never been a fan of crayfish myself, but I do in fact enjoy the rancid herring they eat up north (yes, it’s true, I quite like it after having learned how to eat it in my youth I spent up there). They also have a “holiday” of sorts for that, and it’s also in August (to some extent, north of the Dalälven river it simply replaces the “crayfish premiere” as the major late summer get-together).

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  4. How a BBC crew was followed in World Cup 2018 Russia.
    [video: Under Surveillancereporting Russia’s World Cup]

    Russia has invested heavily in staging this World Cup, anxious for it to help improve its image. ‘ Welcome’ banners are already flying all over the host cities.

    But when a BBC team went to report on preparations in Nizhny Novgorod, where England will play, they found themselves under constant surveillance. Russia’s Foreign Ministry has said it will look into what happened.

    3h ago

    [Moscow time now as I write: 05:55]

    BBC correspondent in Russia Sarah Rainsford complains about her “news” team being followed in Nizhny Novgorod, to which provincial city, she claims, they had come in order to show how a place not usually found in a tourist itinerary is preparing to welcome football fans: “This is what Russia’s World Cup is meant to be about”, states Rainsford, who, in my opinion, is not especially noted for her impartiality when making reports from Russia, e.g. see Graham Phillip’s video on her propagandistic report on the Artek children’s camp in the Crimea.

    All well and good, one might say, Rainsford does not like the idea of being watched, albeit she hails from a country that has, if I am not mistaken, the most intense monitoring in Europe of the public at large.

    The UK has 1% of world’s population but 20% of its CCTV cameras and many have called for a halt in the spread of CCTV cameras. Britain is now being watched by a staggering 4.2million — one for every 14 people and a fifth of the cameras in the entire world.

    [See: A UK map of CCTV cameras: Towns and cities by surveillance camera concentration]

    However, very soon into the video, it is revealed that the BBC crew in Nizhny Novgorod seems to be more interested in certain Russian domestic matters than in the World Cup football events soon to be staged there.

    “The city is promising great hospitality as hordes of football fans prepare to hit town”, states the video, then the BBC adds: “But not everyone will want the attention we got”.

    Well not everyone, I might add, who comes to watch the football in Nizhny Novgorod, would be interested in what Rainsford and her crew seemed to be keen to investigate in that city, for at 01:15 the video states: “One team tracked us here, the headquarters of local opposition activists”.

    Rainsford went there to discuss World Cup football with them?

    No?

    I should imagine that the “opposition activists” in Nizhny Novgorod” voice the opinions of less than 2% of that city’s population. However, their opinion seems to be of great importance to the BBC, for “These people” states the video, “are supporters of Vladimir Putin’s biggest critic”.

    Really?

    I almost thought that the statement was going to say “are supporters of the Russian national football team”.

    Silly me!

    Next video frame: A poster of the great charlatan, bullshitter-in-chief and twice convicted criminal ….

    Need I say more?

    And the camera pans across a room full of youthful Navalny hamsters.

    The video then states at 01:50:

    Some are looking forward to the football.

    Others think that Russia doesn’t deserve to host the world cup.

    “You wish the world had stayed away?” asks Rainsford of a Navalnyite at 02:07.

    “Yes, definitely, yes”, comes the reply.

    Outside the hamster nest, a local journalist approaches Rainsford and asks at 02:20, “Sarah, may I ask you some questions?”

    The video states: “Somehow, she knew our names”.

    GASP!!!

    Not quite, Sarah: she knew your name!

    Know why?

    Because they are journalists and you are the fucking BBC correspondent in Russia, that’s why!

    What is more, the question that was asked of Rainsford was how she liked Nizhny Novgorod and its stadium.

    [In fact, I think that the young woman presented in the video as an intrusive local journalist was an actress: she play-acts to the camera and has a fixed smile when supposedly asking Rainsford her questions about the city and its stadium, looking directly at the camera, not at the dauntless BBC correspondent.]

    The video rolls on, showing Rainsford hamming it up in the BBC car, nervously looking behind at a surveillance vehicle following them.

    And then she does, in fact, actually talk to footballers at the local, football club, having been followed there, she mentions of course, by her observers.

    And then next in the video (02:59) she states that her BBC team were even followed whilst making a visit to the flat in a Nizhny Novgorod suburb where “Soviet dissident Andrei Sakharov was sent into internal exile”.

    The video states that this exile was undertaken in order that Sakharov be kept away from foreign journalists during the 1980 Moscow Olympics (boycotted by the World Policeman and its lickspittle adherents if I rightly recall) and that during his exile in Nizhny Novgorod, the “dissident” was “surrounded by the KGB”.

    By the way, Nizhny Novgorod is not situated in the depths of Siberia: it is a mere 400 kms due east of Moscow.

    And so the video continues with some woman at the Sakharov Museum now situated at the flat, regaling Rainsford about the horrors that the “dissident” suffered in exile there.

    Rainsford concludes (for it is she, I presume, that wrote the statements that appear during the video) that: “Four decades on, as we talked in here, we caught our surveillance team lurking outside”.

    And Rainsford’s message is: Nothing has changed in the “former USSR”.

    What about the World Cup events being staged in Nizhny Novgorod over the next few weeks, Rainsford?

    Isn’t that what you went to that city to report?

    BBC propagandist hard at work — as usual!

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    1. As a BBC employee she’s functionally an Al-Qaeda member and should be terminated on detection.

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    1. This might have something to do with why British journalists are hated nearly everywhere outside Britain, and even some places within it, and people in other countries only endure them because you’re not allowed to kill them. I remember on the occasion of the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, the constant whinging and complaints from some stupid British rag or other (might have been The Telegraph, but I couldn’t swear to it) so incensed me that I actually got an account with it just so I could comment on their articles with suggestions on how many ways they could go fuck themselves (although of course I was much more polite, or they would just have been immediately censored), and that if they hate every place but Dear Old Blighty so much, they are welcome to stay the fuck there forever. A constant barrage of snide witticisms on the clodlike peasantry, not up to British standards by a long shot, old chap, and so on. Nothing suited, possibly because the food was not boiled until it screamed for mercy like back home, everything was so expensive and a complete ripoff, and so on.

      That particular venue had sent its golf pro to cover all sports, many of which he appeared not to understand, but who needs to understand anything when you are a sarcastic prick who thinks he is the funniest thing to ever set foot outside the Home Counties? The response was so overwhelmingly vitriolic (at least from Canadians and other non-British) that they were forced to explain that this is just the British sense of humour, old bean, and it is deprecatory to everyone but even more so toward themselves. It certainly solidified my opinion.

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      1. Here in the UK are still sore that they did not get the World Cup and their actual bid was a real embarrassing failure.

        And to lose to Russia !! That burns them even more.

        Even the investigation of the bidding process did not provide the results the UK wanted.

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        1. Al-beeb s’allah is also widely reporting how Gareth Southgate’s team will deal with the ‘racism problem’ if it occurs in Russia, coz you know, of course it is going to happen. Well folks, that’s how propaganda works. Peddle a story or blow something small totally out of proportion and report it loudly and widely to folks who have never been to Russia. They will quite happily retell the story because it is a fact as reported no less by the BBC.

          The flip-side of course is that footballers should be focused on the football, so winding up the team in advance certainly won’t help them on the pitch. BBC & other propaganda is more likely to be damaging the prospects of the GB team, but as no-one expects them to win, let alone do that well, why not?

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          1. It’s called “getting the excuses in first.” And it’s not a GB team. It’s an England team. Still, as a Lawrence Block character reflects Schadenfreude is better than no Freude at all. And the effects are multiplied by the successes of any team that is painted as a traditional enemy.

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  5. Deutschland, wach auf!

    Ist die Nato auf einen massiven russischen Panzerangriff vorbereitet?
    06.06.2018

    Is NATO ready for a massive Russian armoured attack?

    Russian troops could occupy Ukrainian territory for a few days in the event of a military confrontation between the two countries. This opinion was expressed by Anders Fogh Rasmussen, former Secretary General of NATO, now an “adviser” to Porky Poroshenko..

    “If Russia wanted to,, Russian troops could occupy the Ukraine for a few days, despite the fact that the Ukraine over the past two to three years has significantly built up its military capabilities in response to the attack on its territory”, said Rasmussen in an interview with “Die Welt”.

    The former head of the Alliance said that NATO member countries are ready for “a massive attack of Russian tanks”, but the best way to maintain peace is the deterrence of a potential enemy.

    Rasmussen said that Russia can always join the Alliance, subject to the necessary criteria.

    Which are? …

    He gets well paid for uttering these opinions.

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      1. His extensive military experience comes courtesy of his fellow members on Porky Pig’s advisory council including Tony Pants-on-Fire Bliar, who knows all about military strategy based on false information, and Mad Monk Tony Abbott who sees red all the time.

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                1. I find it difficult to speak German now because I often jumble up Russian words with the German as a result of my being exiled for so many years in this living hell that is Russia.

                  I can still understand spoken German quite well, though, and still read German literature and the German shite news media.

                  However, should I return to das Vaterland and begin to live there again, I imagine I should soon get back into the hang of speaking German.

                  Like

  6. News Weak via Antiwar.com: Ukraine Under Threat From Far-Right Extremism, Report Reveals
    http://www.newsweek.com/ukraine-under-threat-far-right-extremism-report-reveals-962062?utm_medium=Social&utm_campaign=NewsweekTwitter&utm_source=Twitter

    Ukraine has a growing problem with far-right extremists, a new report revealed Wednesday.

    Far-right extremist groups have existed on the margins of society since Ukraine’s independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. But a new report by Washington, D.C.-based think tank Freedom House suggests that these groups have recently become more active and are hurting the country’s fledgling democracy. Far-right extremists still lack the popular support needed to be a meaningful force in organized politics, but law enforcement officials in Ukraine are allowing them to threaten civil society groups and operate with impunity, according to the report. ..
    ####

    More at the link if you can bear their gall.

    1: Deny the turd exists.
    2: Polish the turd – they are few and far between but certainly have no influence.

    Such utter lies obfuscations by Free Dumb House, but the West doesn’t have problems with fascists at all, as long as they are compliant and can take orders, sic Croatia (good), v Hungary (bad). The latter has never been a consensual EU member state, the former does all sorts of nasty shit at home (particularly to non-Croatians) along with re-writing their history (again), but they do not block anything very much at EU level. Orban by comparison is a RPITA, hence gets it in the neck.

    Like

    1. Yes, of course; this problem just cropped up ‘recently’, it was not always there to the extent that others have been pointing out for months, so they were wrong and the think tanks were right. They have always been there ‘on the margins’, but have no influence. Well, then, what’s the problem? If they have no influence, just grin and bear it.

      The truth of the matter is, as usual, that they have influence far out of proportion to their numbers because their credo permits violent confrontation to get its point across while most political philosophy does not. Consequently, people are afraid of them. The rich are shielded from them, the extremists are them, and the group that actually has no influence at all is the ordinary wage-slave citizens, who have the choice of keeping their heads down or leaving to start over somewhere else.

      Great fucking job, westies – you certainly made a prosperous western-oriented market democracy of Ukraine, Take a bow. Jerks.

      Like

  7. US president reveals his ignorance — yet again.

    “Didn’t you guys burn down the White House?” Mr Trump reportedly asked in a call with Mr Trudeau over new tariffs.

    Well, no, Donald, they didn’t: it was those limp-wristed, tea-drinking Limey faggots what gone and done that during the War of 1812.

    As a matter of fact, the burning down of the White House and other buildings in Washington, D.C., in August 1814 was a direct and proportional retaliation for the American looting and burning down of the Legislative Assembly and other buildings in York (now Toronto) by US forces in 1812.

    And there was no Canada back then either, though there was an “Upper Canada”, established in 1791 and intended by the British government to be a settlement area for “Empire Loyalists” who had chosen or had been forced to flee the USA following the Peace of Paris, 1783, which brought the American War of Independence to a close.

    1783 was also the year that the Russian Empire “annexed” the Crimea peninsula in 1783 legally and completely above board as a result of the Ottoman Sultan ceding to those frightful Russians his sovereignty over the Crimean Khanate following the defeat of his forces by that Empire.

    Like

    1. Further to the above comments re. the War of 1812, in the New York Review of Books, reviewer Gerald V. Denis of Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts, writes:

      This war was indeed the first time that the United States had invaded a sovereign, peaceful democracy in order to expand its territory or influence, but sadly, not the last. The American invasion succeeded in unifying the young Canada and ensured that the country would never join the United States.

      One wonders if the wise Madison, in his private moments, worried about the implications of the trend he had inaugurated in American foreign policy. Such curious blindness to American acts of aggression, and the persistent belief that the United States is an exceptional nation, divinely blessed always to be the Good Guys, remains a serious impediment to winning “hearts and minds” worldwide. A more objective assessment of US history might lead to a more realistic relationship with other nations, friends and enemies both.

      Try explaining to Trump, or better, the Deep State that controls that boorish president.

      Like

      1. America once inspired with the sheer momentum of its success, even though its behavior irritated a few fringe groups of peaceniks and Jane Fondites. The very great mass of humanity admired America because it got things done and broadcast a message of peace and inclusiveness, whether it actually followed it or not.

        But the country has made a series of missteps, terrible decisions and slip-ups since that time, coincident with a bout of ridiculous overconfidence which has assumed people will just be carried along as they always were by events. It has stopped all but the most obviously superficial ‘values’ bullshit at about the same time it gave up trying to conceal its support of extremists in pursuit of destabilization around the world. It was so unfortunate as to lose its success mojo at about the same time it decided the world could probably stand a few hard truths. Too late to try putting the mask back on now, though.

        Like

        1. Fujiyama’s triumphalist “End of History” crap was a symptomatic part of this US problem: USA — winners; the rest — losers, and none bigger those goddamn Commie jerks!

          Losers, losers!

          We won! We won!

          We won the war against Hitler!

          We won the First World War and saved you European losers.

          You’d all be speaking German or Russian now but for us!

          And Russia is “whining” now because we’re on their borders!

          You know why we’re on Russia’s borders?

          Because they are losers!!!!

          I think computer war games has a lot to do with this attitude as well.

          Always win: never lose.

          The USA has never lost a war!!!!!

          Like

    2. The Peace of Paris got top billing in the first edition of the Glasgow Advertiser (which morphed into the Herald) due to the importance of the tobacco trade to the city’s merchants and their role in expanding cultivation into the interior.

      Like

    3. As the evil Canooks were burning down the White House, Dolly Madison rushed to feed the hungry American troops with chocolate and raspberry zingers.
      The U.S. lost this war of aggression, and yet won the war of delicious treats!
      Historical fact.

      Like

  8. FlightGlobal.com: ANALYSIS: Air China and Air Canada embark on joint venture
    https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/analysis-air-china-and-air-canada-embark-on-joint-v-449261/

    … “The JV will clearly be positive for Air Canada,” says National Bank of Canada analyst Cameron Doerksen.

    The deal enables the airlines to “expand their existing codeshare agreement” and to begin “increasing commercial co-operation” on both Canada-China flights and domestic flights within both countries, the carriers say in a joint media release.

    Air Canada and Air China will co-ordinate flight schedules, frequent-flyer programmes, and marketing and sales efforts, the release says. They will also provide customers with “seamless travel” between their respective networks….

    … The release notes that capacity between Canada and China has expanded rapidly in recent years, jumping 18% year-over-year in 2017.

    In 2018, the number of round-trip seats in the market will jump another 7% to 3.3 million – nearly four times as many as 10 years ago, according to FlightGlobal schedules data.

    Air Canada will carry nearly 40% of those seats and Air China will carry 16%, data shows….
    ####

    This be China doing Canada a solid, right? While its neighbor across the border is busy jabbing everyone in the ribs and making threats, China continues to expand economic ties around the world.

    Like

    1. A few years ago – well, quite a few, now – the Chief of the Defense Staff visited our humble region, to announce a realignment of naval emphasis. The East Coast, he announced (based in Halifax) would be the navy’s operational arm, whilst the West Coast (based in Esquimalt) would be primarily training and support. Therefore the East Coast would have first call on resources and personnel, since it is operational and the warfighting arm. This is something the East Coast has been trying to pull off for years, but the aim this time was to make it permanent so that it could never be reversed; a number of talented young Lieutenant-Commanders and above were posted from West to East and from West to National Defense Headquarters (NDHQ) in Ottawa, whereupon about a quarter of them elected voluntary release and left the service. But the reasoning behind the decision, explained the CDS, was the growing importance of Brazil in the global economy, together with the emerging threat of piracy to the movement of commerce by sea.

      I like to imagine a lot of people saw through this transparent excuse, and I did express my scorn at the time (not directly to the CDS, of course, which would have been a ticket to early retirement just about as fast as the administration section could process it) at downgrading the navy’s importance on the Pacific Rim at just about the time China was starting to pull into the lead in the economy sweepstakes, and at a time when the Pacific Rim’s responsibilities included both the world’s biggest economy and the world’s most significant energy producer. Being only a lowly peon, nobody paid much attention to my opinion, and to be fair I did not have the nerve to introduce it to the high-level conversation. Pity, really, because Brazil promptly folded up and the world has not stopped dithering about China and Vladimir Putin since. Not that the Canadian navy would make much difference anyway, in the great scheme of things. But it must rank as a pretty significant strategic clanger by Ottawa.

      Like

  9. Excuse the medium, not the sauce.

    The Groanining Man: Antony Beevor: the greatest war movie ever – and the ones I can’t bear
    https://www.theguardian.com/film/2018/may/29/antony-beevor-the-greatest-war-movie-ever-and-the-ones-i-cant-bear

    …In my view, the greatest war movie ever made is The 317th Platoon, a French film from 1965 set during the country’s first Indochina war. This was the original “platoon movie”, whose format later directors followed but failed to match in its portrayal of characters and their interaction, to say nothing of the moral choices and the corruption of combat. It is followed closely by 1966’s The Battle of Algiers, set during the Algerian war of independence. This was one of the first war films to adopt a quasi-documentary approach, and tackle the moral quagmire of torture justified by the need to save lives…
    ####

    More at the link.

    I have to admit that I’d never heard of La 317ème section (The 317th Platoon), but have the Battle of Algiers. I am quite partial to Das Boot.

    Like

        1. Stanley Kubrick made quite a number of war films or films about war: besides “Paths of Glory”, he made “Fear and Desire” (which I found a bit like Francis Ford Coppola’s “Apocalypse Now”, in that it’s a film about a group of soldiers going into enemy territory and who under constant stress and their terror of the local people turn into utter killing-machine monsters), “Full Metal Jacket” and “Dr Strangelove, or how I learned to stop worrying and love the Bomb”, when you consider that his entire body of full-length films is only about 13 or 14 movies plus one early documentary about a trade union for sailors working on cargo ships. All his war films and a couple of others of his (“A Clockwork Orange” and “Eyes Wide Shut” come to mind) besides have a similar theme about the nature of American masculinity and how it is warped and degraded by war, lust for power and the fetishisation of technology.

          I am partial to “Apocalypse Now” and Philip Noyce’s version of “The Quiet American” with Michael Caine as the jaded Brit journalist and Brendan Fraser (yup, that Brendan Fraser, star of “The Mummy” movies) as the CIA agent. I am also partial to James Cameron’s “Aliens” as his criticism of the Vietnam war and to Paul Verhoeven’s “Starship Troopers” as a satire of what American fascism might look like.

          I recently saw a German film “The Final Journey / Leanders letzte Reise” by Nick Baker-Monteys: it’s a formulaic work about a 90-something WWII Wehrmacht veteran (played by Jurgen Prochnow) who drags his know-nothing party-going slacker grand-daughter with him to search for a Cossack woman who fought in the unit he led in the 1940s. The trip takes them from Germany into Kiev and then into Lugansk and Russia in 2014. The film-makers treat the war in the Donbass as if it were just like any other civil war, with two brothers in the same family on opposing sides, and try not to look as if they’re taking sides. The Ukrainian nationalists the old guy and his grand-kid meet though are all sanitised and there is a scene in the film where the duo have snuck into Russia and while travelling to a village pass a Russian army convoy on its way towards Lugansk. So in trying to look even-handed, the film ended up as pro-Yukie propaganda.

          Like

          1. I like the “Dr. Strangelove” movie, especially the reveal about the Doomsday machine.
            “Aliens” is brilliant, I love that Sigourney Weaver can kick alien ass and also be protective surrogate mom of Newt at the same time. I love the Newt character, and I was horrified by the sequel, where they casually just kill off the kid in the exposition. It’s best, IMHO, to just pretend that Alien III was just a deranged dream that never “happened”. Not unlike Terminator III!

            Like

            1. Apparently, the backstory to “Aliens” is that Officer Ripley had a child of Newt’s age back home when she served on the crew of the Nostromo. When she’s picked up (after drifting in space for 57 years), there’s a scene, cut from the final movie, where the slime-ball character who’s trying to get hold of an Alien for the military/industrial complex, shows her a photo of her daughter as she now is – a woman in her sixties – in order to persuade her to go to the settlement now under threat. It’s the ‘loss’ of her own little girl that really triggers her maternal instinct. And, yeah, call me cheap but I love, love, lurve, the battle of the mommies – Ripley versus the Alien queen – in the closing scenes of the movie. Get away from her, you bitch!!

              Of war movies, I’m partial to ‘The Deer Hunter”, one of the few US films I can think of that concerned itself with the lives of blue-collar Americans and ‘Escape from Sobibor’, made in the 1980’s and virtually impossible to re-make today with its Russian hero and truthful account of Banderites.

              Like

              1. OH YES, Escape from Sobibor! I saw that one too, and I loved it. Very inspirational.

                Speaking of escape movies, there was also a good one called “The Great Escape” about American soldiers escaping from a German POW camp, and involves Steve McQueen escaping on a motorcycle. Although it’s hard to watch these POW films without also thinking of “Hogan’s Heroes” – “NOBODY escapes from Stalag 13” – except for EVERYBODY – ha ha!

                Like

      1. The short war-movie, if it can indeed be categorized as a war movie, that has left a lasting impression on me after my having first watched it by chance over 50 years ago is the US Civil War story “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge”, directed by Frenchman Roberto Enrico and taken from a a short story written by civil war veteran Ambrose Bierce.

        I do not exaggerate when I write that the theme of that film still haunts me.

        It is linked below in its entirety:

        An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

        Like

  10. Euractiv: New Italian minister calls the TAP pipeline ‘pointless’
    https://www.euractiv.com/section/energy/news/new-italian-minister-calls-the-tap-pipeline-pointless/

    …“Given (our) energy policy, given falling gas demand, that project [TAP] today looks pointless”, he said in written responses to a series of questions put to him on Tuesday and Wednesday…

    …In recent years demand for gas in Italy has risen but it is still well below its peaks of a decade ago.

    Italy, which imports more than 90% of its gas needs, has key contracts with Russia, Libya, Algeria and Holland and previous governments have sought to create a European gas hub….

    …Last month, Gas Natural said it had given up on a long-standing project to build a liquefied natural gas facility in northern Italy after years of slow progress…
    ####

    LOLZ! No doubt it will still be built, but I see that Italy is not buying in to the LNG religion and is quite happy with its current gas providers.

    Like

  11. Motherboard: The Last NASA Scientist to Work on Nazi Rockets Has Died
    https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/a3a4w8/nasa-nazi-georg-von-tiesenhausen-operation-paperclip

    Georg von Tiesenhausen helped NASA get humans on the moon, but before he was brought to the US through Operation Paperclip, he was designing missiles for the Nazis.

    …“After the war, I was fortunate to be invited to the United States to work on weapons systems, ironically,” von Tiesenhausen said, noting the similarities between the Nazi’s rocket programs and the United States’ rocket programs. “The early days of Peenemünde laid the ground stone for what we were doing here. Our first missile here, the Redstone, was just a glorified V-2. The people at Peenemünde were really the originators of most of the concepts we deal with today.” ..
    ####

    Plenty more at the link.

    Like

  12. Startling! The Stamford Advocate does a piece on the World Cup in Russia, and actually quotes an architect who built one of the stadiums and a former World-Cup winner pro footballer rather than skulking about the city hobnobbing with kreakl activists and the ‘political opposition’.

    https://www.stamfordadvocate.com/news/media/Russia-s-spectacular-stadiums-await-World-Cup-1270428.php

    Sarah Rainsford knows twice the square root of dick-all about sports, but that has never stopped her from injecting her real interest – politics and regime change – into every story no matter what the subject.

    Like

  13. Breathtaking hubris and projection.

    https://www.cnbc.com/2018/06/07/congress-turns-up-heat-on-chinas-political-meddling-amid-russia-investigation.html

    Lost in their fantasyland of The Russians Elected Trump, Congress has decided it has not wasted enough of the taxpayers’ money on brainless reports and investigations that lead nowhere – because what they were going to find was already announced as a conclusion before the investigation started – and has commissioned a report on China and its political interference in America.

    Unbelievable. The United States reserves the right to land a State Department team anywhere on earth and start musing about this one or that one ‘shouldn’t go in the government’ because the Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs ‘doesn’t think it’s necessary’…but no countries outside the United States are allowed any opinion of who should win US Presidential elections unless their endorsements match those of the Washington elite.

    It was perfectly all right, of course, for the Europeans to publicly state that things might be very difficult if Trump were to be victorious, while they were unambiguous in their admiration for Mrs. Clinton – that did not rise to the level of ‘political meddling’. But the American people have to be aware that any weighing by American voters of the opinion of countries like Russia and China is treason, while any public expression of those opinions by those countries is intolerable political meddling.

    Let me just say this now – there is nobody left in Washington who is fit to lead. The entire establishment political system, at the national level in the United States, is comprised of fearmongers, the perennially afraid and the incompetent – you pays your money, and you takes your chances. Trump is just one of the worst of a hopeless lot, and with the current leadership pool, America is doomed to decline.

    On the bright side – for somebody – nice own goal, America. To some of the few real smart people remaining on the earth, increasingly remarkable in a world where idiocy is so frequently praised and rewarded, the encouragement of an alliance between Russia and China appears as a blunder of epic proportions, as the ability of the USA to prevail against one was uncertain, while its ability to prevail against both is way south of unlikely.

    But just in case you were thinking American politics had the stupidity market cornered, review the final paragraph, which is attributed to Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull:

    “Globally, Russia has been wreaking havoc across the democratic world,” he said. “There are credible reports that Russia was actively undermining the integrity of the Brexit referendum, this year’s presidential elections in France and last year’s presidential election in the United States.”

    Pretty impressive results for a country that is isolated and friendless, with its economy in tatters, I hope you will agree. Also a surprise to see an article about China turn into an article about Russia. But then, when you talk about coercive and corrupt influences, it’s hard not to have them come up, right?

    Like

    1. No surprise that former Goldman Sachs Australia CEO Malcolm Turnbull is taking his turn in talking BS; with a surname like his, his destiny was sealed at birth.

      Maybe we should start taking bets on who will be the first major world leader to say that Moscow is the capital of China or Beijing is the capital of Russia.

      Like

  14. And, of course – speaking of political meddling – what would a major world event in Russia be without a western-media campaign to turn it into a referendum on gay rights and to rehash all the old Sochi propaganda about ‘anti-gay laws’?

    https://www.yahoo.com/news/lgbt-fans-defiant-face-threats-russia-world-cup-220124104–sow.html

    Yes, we hear, “While larger Russian cities do have LGBT scenes and communities, violence against gays and homophobic rhetoric in the country regularly make global headlines.”

    Do they? Show me. The western media dropped its overnight love of The Gays and condemnation of their terrible plight in Russia as soon as the notes of the closing ceremony in Sochi had faded, and did not trot it out again until now.

    Like

    1. Ha, ha!! As if that would ever happen. Even if it were a realistic threat, you cannot intimidate the United States; it would just go, like, “You know what? Fuck you foreign guys – we’re now the G1. See how you like that. Boo ya! Go America!! And you can’t be in the club!!” And I can’t think of a less serious figure to deliver it than Micron, who can barely see over the official seal affixed to the front of the podium.

      The USA will be annoyed, I’m sure, at this hurtful tough talk, and the Democrats will twitter that Donald Trump is a menace to international relations (which is perfectly true, but not because they say so), and Nikki Haley will probably use the UN as a platform to level some more threats at the EU, where she is probably about as popular as a turd in a punchbowl. But Europe is all talk – it would never do it. And even if it had the sack for it, it still doesan’t get it; America does not care about diplomacy. Certainly this administration does not, A real and serious trade war is the only way to move Trump and hurt his obedience-through-business doctrine. Nobody needs to have any fantasies about strangling the American economy – simply preventing its expansion would be more than enough. American companies are always pressing for increased market share, and the prospect of never getting it in their lifetimes, maybe even losing a little bit, would be more than enough to send the businessmen squealing to Trump. If Europe started a ‘Keep American” campaign to match Trump’s “Buy American” initiatives it would invoke a far more passionate response than Micron shaking his tiny fist from the box he’s probably standing on.

      However the funhouse frolics turn out, it all plays very positively for Russia, and I suspect it will not be long before it is somehow blamed for attacking transatlantic unity.

      Micron is right, though, that no President is forever. But if he meant that to suggest Europe is willing to just wait Trump out, it should not be very comforting, because America is on a sustained leadership slide after reaching critical idiocy, and behind Trump is a long line of halfwits, dullards and prima donnas who could not get elected lifeguard in a car wash under ordinary circumstances. It isn’t going to get better, and the next Kennedy is not waiting in the wings.

      Like

  15. Euractiv: All eyes on Denmark after Sweden awards Nord Stream 2 permit
    https://www.euractiv.com/section/energy/news/all-eyes-on-denmark-after-sweden-awards-nord-stream-2-permit/

    All eyes on Denmark after Sweden awards Nord Stream 2

    Denmark is the last country still to complete its national permit procedure for the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline designed to bring Russian gas offshore to Germany under the Baltic Sea, after Nord Stream 2 obtained a permit from the Swedish government yesterday (7 June).

    The ruling by the Ministry of Enterprise and Innovation in Stockholm allows Nord Stream 2 to construct and operate its planned pipeline system in the Swedish Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). The permit covers an approximately 510-kilometres-long route section in the Swedish EEZ.

    Industry sources told EURACTIV that even if Denmark blocks it, construction can begin on an alternative route…

    …However, the Swedish Minister of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Mikael Damberg was quoted by the Russian agency TASS as saying that Sweden has a negative attitude towards Nord Stream 2, but it “just cannot reject this project”. Demberg said that Nord Stream 2 contradicts the goals of the EU’s Energy union, as it increases the Union’s dependence on Russian gas, and also reduces the role of Ukraine as a gas transit country…
    ####

    Why do none of these Russophobe nations put their money where their mouth is? Could it be because they know they are continually lying about Russia and taking cheap shots that play well at home, but will seriously cost them if they follow through?

    Russia was thrown out of the G7, and as we are regularly told by luminaries at The Economist and elsewhere, is weak, so why not kick it when it is down by quite easily stopping Nord Stream II? Where’s the political will? Or is it just the usual EU divisions and no nation has the singular balls to stand up and take the flak? Who’s the paper tiger again?

    Like

    1. EuObserver: Sweden criticises Russia pipeline, but grants permit
      https://euobserver.com/energy/142029

      …”Our judgement was that we were not able to say no,” said Sweden’s minister for enterprise and innovation, Mikael Damberg.

      Damberg, in a statement, further explained that both national and international law do not give the government the scope to reject Russia’s application.

      He then said Sweden remains critical of the gas network.

      It risks contravening the goals of the EU’s Energy Union and may also not comply with EU legislation, he said.

      The apparent contradiction to EU law and broader plans by the EU not to rely on Russian gas remain unresolved…
      ####

      So you see, the EU’s legislation is clearly against not only current national law, but against international law. This is of course no surprise to us Stooges, but the EU’s attempt to impose USA like (i.e. Mafia, do it or we’ll break your legs) extra-territoriality has epicly failed, no doubt because though they would crow about such a success in the short term, it would cause the EU far more problems down the line. Cool heads have lead despite the Commission’s creative attempts to circumvent the established legal order.

      Like

      1. It is just like the dysfunctional and inbred EU to stubbornly resolve not to rely upon a reliable energy supply – its very reliability makes it a threat. The EU reminds me of the stereotypical English explorer in darkest Africa films, pith helmet required with all orders of dress except sleepwear, who expostulates, “Those damned drums!! Will they never stop??”. And then when they abruptly cease, he says “I don’t like it – it’s too quiet”.

        Like

    2. I suspect it is because last time around, when mighty Bulgaria stepped up, there were a lot of expectations for how the Country That Stopped South Stream would be richly rewarded for its fortitude. Instead, Bulgaria was passingly commended for Doing The Right Thing, and got basically fuck-all else; in the end, it went cap in hand back to Russia, begging to be included on the route for a future pipeline expansion of Turkish Stream. That’s not what you might call the power of a positive example. Also, last time around stepping into Russia’s path was spun as ‘stopping the bear’. Now it is interpreted as ‘pissing off the Germans’. The maudlin American cries of “What price freedom???” are now falling on deaf ears, and the fewer people left standing in the way of approval, the more the pressure on them not to blow it this time because it will be Germany taking names, makin’ a list and checkin’ it twice, not Washington.

      Trump will not be able to stop Nord Stream II, and it is a sounder political bridgehead than South Stream would have been. And once Nord Stream II is ashore and pumping, the American dream of supplying Europe with LNG will be dead, dead, dead and may God have mercy on its soul. Not that that will cause undue stress at Cheniere Energy, because their market was always going to be Asia anyway, but potential valuable political leverage will die with a whimper in Washington.

      Like

  16. The black propaganda rag the Moscow times in this week’s news round-up on Putin’s talk-in the other day:

    In a particularly bizarre moment during the phone-in, Putin warned Ukraine over taking military action against Russia during the World Cup.

    Could someone explain to me what is so bizarre about a head-of-state warning its malevolent neighbour of the foolishness of trying to launch a military attack against the state of which he is chief-executive?

    Speaking of which neighbour-state, the drunken criminal who passes himself off as a politician and Ukraine head-of-state caused some comment amongst many Russian and Ukrainian netizens over his recent antics whilst on a state visit to Spain.

    One of the richest men — if not the richest of them all – in the Ukraine, who pretends he is a politician whilst running businesses and milking funds that he pumps offshore, came out at every opportunity with his usual spiel about Russian aggression, Russian annexation, Russian, occupation, Russian hybrid war, Russian political assassinations etc., etc. whilst undertaking an official visit to Spain as President of the Ukraine.

    It was noted in the blogosphere that he never changes his tune, repeating exactly the same tired old phrases, and it seems that many, not just Eastern Europeans, are getting pissed off with his repeat performances.

    Furthermore, he made such a performance in a Spanish Cathedral, where he was trying to sell them the idea that there was going to be an autocephalous Ukrainian Eastern Orthodox Church, which church, I presume, he was trying portray as being inherently Catholic friendly.

    He was at the cathedral with his wife so as to take part in “a prayer for peace in the Ukraine”. It was this special prayer service that raised some eyebrows, including those of many Spaniards.

    See:

    Poroshenko hopes for tomos on autocephaly to local Orthodox church in Ukraine by end of July

    https://images.unian.net/photos/2018_06/1528031988-4599.jpg?0.20914311611065428
    Valtsman in the Almudena Cathedral, Madrid — Hasta la vyshyvanka, baby!

    Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko says he hopes that the Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate will green-light granting a tomos, an official church document, on autocephaly to the Orthodox church in Ukraine by the 1030th anniversary of the baptism of Kyivan Rus, which will be celebrated on July 28, 2018.

    “The victory is not only when Ukrainian land has been liberated. The victory is when for the first time, more than 300 years, Ukraine has got a real chance to create a united local Orthodox church and, most importantly, a Ukrainian church,” the president said at a Prayer for Peace in Ukraine event at [sic] Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko says he hopes that the Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate will green-light granting a tomos, an official church document, on autocephaly to the Orthodox church in Ukraine by the 1030th anniversary of the baptism of Kyivan Rus, which will be celebrated on July 28, 2018.

    “The victory is not only when Ukrainian land has been liberated. The victory is when for the first time, more than 300 years, Ukraine has got a real chance to create a united local Orthodox church and, most importantly, a Ukrainian church,” the president said at a Prayer for Peace in Ukraine event at Almudena Cathedral, a Catholic church in Madrid, Spain. [unedited Yukie-journalist English — ME]


    [above] The drunken criminal Pig meeting some children of the Ukrainian community in Spain — wonder why their parents have chosen not to live in the Ukraine? Or are they all the offspring of Ukrainian diplomats and Madrid embassy staff?


    Pax Domini sit numquam vobiscum — you twat!

    And if you can bear it, read this “El Pais” interview with the fat pig president:

    Ukrainian president: “It was necessary to stage the killing of Babchenko”
    “Russia is portraying Stalin as a hero of our time,” says Poroshenko

    “Today, we speak about the Holodomor, the genocide of Ukrainian people, the famine which Stalin organized in Ukraine. As a result, eight million Ukrainians, without a war, were killed. This tyrant is absolutely equal to Hitler. Now Russia is starting to sponsor television programs, books, films, with a sponsored propagandist machine that says: “OK, Stalin is a hero of our time for the Russians.” This is extremely dangerous. That’s why Russia attacks Ukraine because we hate the idea of staying in the frame of the Soviet Union or in the frame of the Russian Empire. Remember that Putin said that the biggest tragedy of the 20th century was not WWII, was not the Holocaust, was not Holodomor, it was the collapse of the Soviet Union. I imagine that the RT manager used the term “Vozd” to mean Führer” — Poroshenko.

    Like

    1. Es scheint dass der dicke Schweinhund kein Deutsch kennt!

      Führer meins “leader”, no more, no less — as does вождь [vozhd] in Russian.

      For example, Stadtführer in German means nothing more inimical than “City Guide” and Детский лагерь “Вождь краснокожих” [detskiy lager “Vozhd krasnokozhikh”] means nothing more sinister than “Children’s Camp “Redskin Chief”.

      They have a summer children’s camp here at Anapa, a place where my family and I have holidayed 3 times already and perhaps shall do so again this year, in which all the boys and girls are organized as Native American tribes, but the tribes have an adult as the boss just as to prevent mayhem.

      Russians do not think the term “Redskins” is offensive in any way.

      Very non-PC, I’m sure.

      See: «Вождь краснокожих»

      Like

    2. Poroshenko is a fatter version of Rudy Giuliani, whose single moment of fame occurred when he happened to be Mayor of New York on the occasion of 9-11. Ever after that his riposte to every question and criticism was, literally, ‘Because 9-11″. There is not the slightest justification in Poroshenko’s speech for the staged killing of Babchenko, and he simply uses every opportunity to tick off his checklist of talking points about Russia. Noun, verb, Holodomor, just like Rudy Giuliani’s ‘noun, verb, 9-11’. You could probably ask him the time of day and he would say, “2:15. But it’s 8:15 now in Moscow, where Fuhrer Putin is plotting the destruction of Ukraine because it loves freedom and democracy and he wants to have it as the centerpiece of his new Soviet Union and as a monument to Stalin. Also, Holodomor.”

      It was probably just calling to attention that Russia is alert and watching that moved Putin to caution Ukraine against a strike during the World Cup, as well as a warning to Kuh-yiv’s backers in Washington, because the latter has been both initiator and victim of the dodge of using a major world event that focuses attention as an opportunity to get up to mischief elsewhere.

      Like

      1. Well, his other accomplishment was getting rid of all the porno theaters in Times Square and replaced them with M&Ms stores.

        Like

      2. Holodomor is as fake as the killing of Babchenko. All the biggest “experts” on this hoax are western Ukrainian derived migrants living in North America. None of them or their relatives could have ever experienced this “genocide” since they were under Polish rule until 1939.

        Like

        1. Holodomor Hoax: The Anatomy of a Lie Invented by West’s Propaganda Machine

          The ‘Thomas Walker’ Conspiracy
          (Or the Fraudulent Famine Photo Affair).

          Below:

          Misuse of the 1921-1923 photographs (mostly without any captions, or references to sources) to depict the Holodomor.


          1921 Russian famine victim


          1922 Russian famine victim, Saratov


          1921 famine victim Belorussia


          1921 Saratov, Russia


          1921 Russia


          November 7, 2017: Poroshenko’s wife at the Holodomor memorial, Washington D.C., USA

          Her “thoughts and prayers” with the Russian famine victims?

          The Washington D.C. memorial to the 1932-1933 “Holodomor victims” in the Ukraine is a bronze, 9-metre monument depicting a field of wheat. It is located near the Congress building, next to Central Station (Union Station), where millions of people arrive every year visiting the US Federal Capital.

          Like

  17. Whose side are the Turks on?

    “We have not forgotten about the Crimea and will never forget its annexation has not been recognized and will not be recognized. Some European countries have started to forget about the Crimea. We remind them: if you forget about the Crimea today, and if tomorrow something happens in the Ukraine, you will be held accountable” — Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.

    The response from the Federation Council to a statement made by the Turkish Foreign Ministry about the “annexation of the Crimea”
    13:10 08.06.2018 (updated: 13:13 08.06.2018)
    MOSCOW, 8 Feb — RIA Novosti. The statement of the Foreign Minister of Turkey, Mevlut Cavusoglu, about the “annexation” of the Crimea is an attempt to divert the attention of the West onto Russia, RIA Novosti has been told by the head of the International Committee of the Federation Council, Konstantin Kosachev.

    “Turkey is experiencing great pressure from the West on two fronts: political reforms in the country and actions in Syria against the Kurds. We can assume that the minister’s statement is a kind of red herring, an attempt to switch the attention of the West on to Russia”, said Kosachev.

    According to him, these words clearly will not contribute to the “improvement of relations between Moscow and Ankara”.

    The Deputy Head of the Duma Committee on Defence, Yury Shvydkin, in turn, said that such statements caused “confusion and resentment” and do not lead to constructive relations.

    The politician conceded that Ankara might be trying to play along with the European Union.

    “You know, Erdogan speaks critically to the European Union, but at the same time they show the desire to be on its side”, he said.

    “We have started to forget about the Crimea”

    During a speech before members of the Association of Culture and Assistance for Crimean Tatars in Ankara, Mevlut Cavusoglu criticized the European countries that had “started to forget about the Crimea” and said that Ankara does not recognize the annexation of the Crimea by Russia.

    The meeting was also attended by the head of the foreign Ministry of the Ukraine, Pavlo Klimkin, and Deputy of the Verkhovna Rada of the Ukraine, one of the leaders of the organization “The Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people” [banned in Russia], Mustafa Dzhemilev, who are taking part in events dedicated to the 74th anniversary of the deportation of the Crimean Tatar people.

    This is not the first time that Turkey has declared its non-recognition of the Crimea accession to Russia. In particular, in March, the Foreign Ministry issued a statement in which it called the referendum on the peninsula joining Russia “illegitimate”. In response, the Deputy Prime Minister of the Crimean government and permanent representative of the Republic to the President of Russia, Georgy Muradov, reminded Ankara of post-war treaties, which certainly recognized the sovereignty of Russia over the peninsula.

    After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Crimea became part of the Ukraine. In March 2014, after a coup in the region, a referendum was held and the peninsula became Russian again. 96.77% of the voters of the Republic of the Crimea and 95.6% of the residents of Sevastopol voted for reunification with Russia. Kiev still considers the region to be its own, but temporarily occupied territory.

    The fact is, the Turks are still smarting over their regularly having got their collective arses kicked by the Russian Empire over a period lasting for 200 years and more, and especially, following yet another military defeat, their Sultan having to cede in 1783 the sovereignty of the Crimea Khanate to the Russian Empire.

    I suppose their having to do this was an especially bitter pill for them to swallow because the Russian autocrat at the time was a woman, Empress Ekaterina II.

    Like

    1. Whose side are the Turks on?

      Rhetorical question ME? If I were to answer, I would say ‘Only their side of course’. I still expect Erdogan to flip fully back in to the West’s camp, but when is the 64t question?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. If I were Russian, I should make him pay for his ultimate responsibility for the shooting down of that Russian warplane the other year, which was ambushed by the Turkish air force.

        And what’s happened to the murdering bastard who shot one of the downed crew?

        And the murdered Russian ambassador in Ankara? What was the outcome of that?

        Like

      2. I think Turkish Stream is insurance against Turkey flipping completely back into the western camp. Erdogan will flirt with it, but as long as he presides over an important energy hub and reaps the power therefrom, whose energy comes from Russia, he will be cautious.

        Like

  18. Trump antagonises succession of allied world powers in 24-hour diplomatic rampage
    Amid spat over trade US president suggests Russia should be allowed to rejoin the G7

    Even before leaving Washington, Mr Trump told reporters he believed that Russia, expelled from the group after its 2014 annexation of Crimea, ought to readmitted.

    “Why are we having a meeting without Russia in the meeting?” he said. “They should let Russia come back in because we should have Russia at the negotiating table.”

    He added: “I have been Russia’s worst nightmare, but they should have been invited.”

    Mr Trump’s suggestion received cool reactions from other members of the world’s top economies. While Italian prime minister Giuseppe Conte said he supported Russia’s readmission to the group, Canada, France and Britain said they were opposed to Russia’s re-entry.

    Theresa May, the UK prime minister, told the BBC: “I have always said we should engage with Russia but my phrase is ‘engage but beware’. We should remind ourselves why the G8 became the G7, it was because Russia illegally annexed Crimea.”

    She added: “We have seen malign activity from Russia in a whole variety of ways, of course including on the streets of Salisbury in the UK. So we need to say, I think, before any such conversations can take place Russia needs to change its approach.”

    France also made clear it was opposed to the idea. Reuters quoted a French presidential source as saying Mr Trump’s opinion did not seem “coherent” in view of the latest sanctions imposed by the US on Moscow.

    “As a reminder, the latest country to have imposed individual economic sanctions is the United States, so this proposal doesn’t seem coherent,” the Elysee source added.

    My stress: May still pushing the lie that it was the Russians what done the Skripals with most deadly poison known to mankind, even though they are alive and isolated.

    Russia’s worst nightmare?

    Like

    1. Well, Trump has nothing to lose at this point. He has so antagonized America’s traditional allies with his I-know-business-so-let-me-handle-it bullshit and is so roundly detested that he can propose anything that takes his fancy and the rest of the Civilized World will not let him do it just to spite him. He could propose a new long weekend with the Monday to be designated “Worship Europe Day”, and Europe would tell him to stuff it up his chuff. He loses nothing by suggesting Russia should be readmitted to the G8 because Russia has not solicited it and a vote from Trump is like a guarantee it will not happen anyway. Russia does not need to be readmitted to that club, which would only be interested in its value as a financial contributor in any case.

      Like

    2. According to my reporting… ha ha

      Like

      1. According to I-know-how-to-pronounce-Sheremet’evo Ioffe, she knows how Putin thinks, empathizes with his emotions, knows that he was upset at the expulsion of Russia from G8.

        According to Putin’s spokesman Peskov, “Russia is focused on other formats, apart from the G7”.

        Who to believe — Ioffe or Peskov?

        Tough one!

        Like

        1. Articles which came out on the occasion pointed out that Putin was known to prefer the G20 format, of which it is still a member and which includes all the G7 countries. I did a post on it at the time, and of the former G8 countries, Russia had the lowest debt. Probably still does.

          Like

        2. It’s important to Julia, and the kreakle crowd in general, that Putin be mad with rage and disappointment, because that was the object of kicking Russia out of the G8. It certainly was not because of a wrong which could never be atoned for – Britain and the United States are still members of the G7, and let me know when Russia has started more wars or been responsible for more civilian deaths than either of them. Germany and Japan are members, and the other members once thought them both such bitter enemies that it was necessary to mobilize the entire world to war against them. Alliances come and go, and this one will be no different. The current G7 would be delighted to welcome Russia back into the fold if only they were allowed to choose its leader and that leader could be counted upon to make decisions which reflected the will of Washington and Brussels and contributed to the overall wealth and power of those authorities.

          Similarly, let me know when Russia has violated the sovereignty of other countries as frequently as the fat spider at the middle of the G7 web, the United States. It reserves for itself alone the right to breach anyone’s sovereignty if it is deemed in American interests so to do, has done it around the world and is doing it as we speak. The USA does not care a toss about sovereignty except its own, and while it was the loudest voice calling for expulsion of Russia, it did not so argue because violation of national sovereignty is an unforgivable wrong, quite obviously. It wishes to eliminate Russia as a global rival in any forum, and drags its toadies along to give the appearance of consensus – which they are happy to provide as they are gutless and either adore or fear their big brother, or both.

          According to the Wkipedia entry – which, as we know, may be edited at any time to present a pro-western view of any subject – Russia was never a very good choice for the G8 because it “had and has limited net national wealth and financial weight, compared to the other members of the forum G7. Russia also has never been a major advanced economy according to IMF.”

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

          It seems to be doing pretty well to me, considering the intensely focused efforts to topple its economy while somehow preserving western market share in it. Conversely, discussion of the accumulated wealth of the G7 consistently fails to account for its debt, perhaps because the G7 does not consider social or national debt to be important or has no intention of honoring it. And while the Wikipedia entry brushes Russia aside as a momentary lapse of reason on the part of the great and powerful, you can’t pick up a newspaper or turn on the television without hearing and seeing how Russia is wrecking the whole world and warping international cooperation and plundering this and seizing that. The G7 gets together to talk about global economic matters, which it seems to know less than the square root of fuck-all about since economic crisis has followed upon economic crisis and the G7’s debts keep mounting, while it ladles out money to vanity projects like Ukraine even though its oligarchs happily steal it before it hits the ground. The west has already plowed somewhere between 12 and 15 Billion into Ukraine, more than half the amount originally assessed as necessary to get it out of its economic mess immediately pre-Maidan. For what? The living standard of the average Ukrainian has collapsed, nothing in Ukraine is materially improved, but its president and its oligarchy – such members of it who have avoided western persecution by being tight with the President – have become richer and richer. Where’s the money going? You tell me, Einstein. All that notwithstanding, when the G7 gets together, what does it talk about? Russia, and how it can be subdued and brought to heel.

          Russians know very well. Elect a squishy huggy president like Medvedev, who will jump through hoops until his thigh muscles quiver in order to win western pats on the head and a few attaboys. And that’s why I trust them not to do it.

          Like

          1. If Canada is part of the G7 then there is no reason to exclude Russia based on its “limited weight”.

            But I say, why should Russia care. The G7 is a NATzO talking club of total irrelevance. Russia’s opinion would have been systematically ignored regardless of any objective facts. Russia is correct that the G20 is worth more attention.

            Like

            1. According to today’s news, Russia will remain excluded if Canada has anything to say about it, because the Canadian Foreign Minister for Ukraine says so. There are no circumstances under which Russia can be readmitted given its current behavior, she says, which includes annexing Crimea, invading Ukraine and poisoning the Skripals. So I guess she is calling the foreign-policy shots for the country now. Some would say that’s a tall responsibility to give to a descendant-of-Nazis extremist west-Ukrainian zealot, but apparently Trudeau is content to let her have free rein. Tune in next year, when Pik Botha’s daughter is appointed Minister for Anti-Apartheid Policies. What could go wrong?

              Like

  19. Lyonya opines that Kuh-yiv’s signing on to the Anti-Corruption Court will probably be enough to get the IMF to loosen the purse-strings again. Hey, it’s a shitty deal and probably just a meaningless gesture, but the optics of not shoveling money Poroshenko’s way are bad for the west, and it’s better than nothing, right? Besides, the IMF only disburses money – it’s not like it earned it.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/amp/view/articles/2018-06-08/ukraine-takes-a-baby-step-with-new-anti-corruption-court

    Bershidsky is an intelligent man, and honest by his own lights, and he does make an effort to see it from Poroshenko’s point of view. Similarly, he does point out that no other European country has a parallel court whose judges are selected by foreigners, nor would any European country sit still for such an affront. But his liberal sensibilities prevent him from seeing – or at least acknowledging – that the west would not hesitate to use this tool to mold and shape the government of Ukraine to its liking, for strategic advantage rather than what the Ukrainian people want.

    I imagine they’re all for it in Washington, too, where foreign interference in national elections is a grotesque injustice. No reason, though, why America should not have an influential voice in selecting judges who serve on a court whose authority would, when necessary, overrule that of the national system. You have to do that sort of thing when the country is hopelessly corrupt, which America is not.

    https://www.juancole.com/2013/12/corrupt-country-world.html

    Like

  20. http://www.wsws.org/fr/articles/2018/06/08/pers-j08.html

    “Les chroniqueurs du New York Times Nicholas Kristof et Thomas Friedman, qui sautent sur la moindre occasion de dénoncer avec la plus grande indignation morale les prétendues atrocités menées par le régime Assad ou les forces russes afin de réclamer une escalade des interventions américaines «humanitaires», ont tous les deux apparemment été pris du syndrome de la page blanche.

    En gros, les éditorialistes et commentateurs des médias américains soutiennent que Trump n’est pas allé assez loin en Syrie et que les guerres des États-Unis et les occupations qui font rage depuis plus de 15 ans doivent être élargies pour contrer tout défi que poserait la Russie ou l’Iran à la domination américaine du Moyen-Orient.”

    Yup!!!

    Like

    1. A fine pair indeed, poster-boys for selective outrage. Thomas Friedman kept moving the goalposts in Iraq by six-month increments, by which time he was confident the United States would have turned it into a prosperous western-oriented market democracy, until he finally melted down in a pool of self-pity in the spring of 2004.

      Nicholas Kristof is a regular on the subject of human rights, but so far as I am aware had no comment on America’s fierce resistance to the overthrow of militant extremists who had established themselves in Aleppo, and whose swan song included a suicide bomber who lured children closer by handing out free bags of potato chips before blowing more than 65 of them to bits.

      http://torontosun.com/2017/04/17/isis-suicide-bomber-lures-kids-with-chips/wcm/05cef841-e6cc-4e04-a510-c0d3f3e87db1

      Like

  21. https://syria360.wordpress.com/2018/06/05/raqqa-in-ruins-and-civilians-devastated-after-us-led-war-of-annihilation/

    “Raqqa residents, such as air strike survivor Munira Hashish, tell a different story: “Those who stayed died and those who tried to run away died. We couldn’t afford to pay the smugglers; we were trapped.” She and her children eventually managed to escape through a minefield “by walking over the blood of those who were blown up as they tried to flee ahead of us.”

    Like

  22. The BBC continues relentlessly pumping out shite about Russia:

    Why Russian workers are being taught how to smile

    I presume Rosenberg has written the text on the video enclosed above, which begins thus:

    Ahead of the World Cup, Russian train conductors are being taught how to smile at foreigners …

    Train conductors? Why does a correspondent for the British Broadcasting Corporation call railway guards “train conductors”?

    Russians don’t like what they call “American smiles” because they mean nothing, are insincere.

    When Russians smile, they mean it, and the word “friend” is not to be trifled with in Russian either: being a friend for a Russian is a serious, hopefully lifelong, commitment. Such inane expressions as “He’s my second best friend” confuse Russians: a friend is a friend.

    I don’t like “American smiles” either, and when I am told to have a nice day, I want to say “Fuck off! I’ll choose if I want to have a nice day” — because those who utter this inanity do not mean what they say: It’s crap; it means nothing., such as that other, insincere cliché: “My thoughts and prayers are with him/her/them!”

    Likewise when “Enjoy!” is said to me, I get irritated.

    Is that an order? Sounds bloody rude to me! How about: “I hope you enjoy your meal, sir”?

    The psychologist at the beginning of the clip is not a Russian (russkaya), by the way: with the surname Mustafina, she is probably a Tatar, a Russian citizen (rossiyanka).

    In the video, the text reads “In Russia, a smile can land you in trouble”, following which statement a woman appears, who, in order to prove Rosenberg’s point, says she was stopped by a policeman for smiling.

    So Rosenberg has provided one woman, a Russian citizen (a kreakl, clearly), to prove his point?

    How did he find her? Did he put out an ad?

    I should be grateful for small mercies, though: at least he did not seek out in the vicinity a nest of “oppositionists” in order to get a real insight about the Russian attitude towards smiling at complete strangers, something that his pain-in-the-arse colleague Rainsford surely would have done.

    The woman who alleges she was stopped by a policeman because she was smiling on the street says, whilst standing on a bridge over the Vodootvodnyi kanal quite near to where I live in Moscow :

    “Afterwards, I asked him why did he stop me …”

    No!

    Afterwards, I asked him why he had stopped me …

    Reported speech, indirect question!

    And the rest of the video shows Russian dickheads arsing around in a park as though they were on an excursion from the local nuthouse.

    That’s what it’s like in Russia.

    Thank you BBC!

    Have a nice day!

    Now fuck off — forever!

    And I sincerely mean that!

    🙂

    Like

  23. Successor to Psaki, who has a BA in Philosophy, is Nauert, who has a degree in journalism.

    However, it seems that Nauert has undertaken a course in how to dress and be seated decorously before a camera:

    Nor has she studied Modern history:


    Yes, you can quote me!

    Nauert at a recent State Department briefing:

    “Looking back at history, today is the anniversary of the speech, which proclaimed the Marshall plan. Tomorrow is the anniversary of the landing in Normandy. We have a very long history and strong relationship with the government of Germany”.

    Like

    1. “Temps have reached record highs!” as Heather does her Sharon Stone impersonation.
      It’s true, my temperature went up when I saw that photo!

      Like

  24. Who says Russians have no sense of humour?


    I see …you’re not wearing a cross!

    Today, Saturday, 9 June, 2018, is a working day in lieu of Monday, as Tuesday, 12 June, is a state holiday: Russia Day.

    So, starting tomorrow, we shall have 3 days off work again!

    I’m off to the dacha this evening — come back late Tuesday.

    Urah!!!!

    Like

  25. Former Minister of Economic Development of Russia, Alexei Ulyukayev, who was sentenced to eight years in prison for bribery, has started to serve his sentence under a “strict regime” in a penal colony in the Tver region.

    Note: a “colony”, not a bloody GULag, as they love to say in the West: a “prison camp” is what a “colony” is!

    And not in Siberia either.

    Just up the road as it were, from Moscow.

    You watch: the thieving bastard will be out in two.

    This is where he”ll do his porridge:


    colony No.1 on the outskirts of Tver: prisoners are allowed to play basketball.


    [above] Visitors to Tver Colony No.1

    No slammers visible!

    From the Tver local newspaper:

    Mother’s Day in Russia is celebrated on Sunday, November 27. In honour of the holiday, Strict Regime Correctional Colony No.1 had a “parent’s day”…

    After a short tour of the colony, prisoners’ mothers had a tea party.

    Now don’t you all forget now, that’s a “GULag” that they’re describing!

    Ulyukayev shall not serve his sentence together with “criminals in law” [seriously big-time criminals who adhere to a criminal gangster “code of behaviour”]. He will be classified as a “red”, meaning he will not be thrown amongst gangsters, thieves, drug dealers etc.

    At Colony No.1 the convicts produce manufactured goods — bags, backpacks, clothing for commercial firms in Moscow and Tver, stainless steel products, spiral staircases; they also repair agricultural machinery there.

    Colony No.1 is situated near the banks of the Volga.

    Sounds like a fun place to be!

    🙂

    See: В ОНК сообщили о направлении Улюкаева в «образцово-показательную колонию»

    Like

  26. BBC:

    MH17 crash: Relatives hold chair protest at Russian embassy in The Hague
    7 hours ago

    Relatives of the victims of a Malaysia Airlines passenger jet downed in July 2014 have held a silent protest in front of Russia’s embassy in The Hague.

    No empty chairs placed in the vicinity of the Ukrainian embassy, of course.

    In September 2016, an international team of criminal investigators said evidence showed the plane had been destroyed by a Russian-made Buk missile.

    In May this year, the Dutch-led team of investigators said the missile had come from a unit based in western Russia.

    Russia insists that none of its weapons were used.

    I have stressed above what is an out and out lie.

    On the contrary, the latest “evidence” of Russian guilt presented by the JIT — a remarkably unscathed BUK missile propellant housing that bears a serial number indicating that it was manufactured in the USSR/Russia — has been recognized by the Russian MoD as being of Russian manufacture. However, had that missile been in the service of the Russian army, then its serial number would have meant that it would have been taken out of service and destroyed no later than 2011.

    However, identical missiles were still being delivered to the UkSSR up to 1991, ergo …

    Like

    1. Even if Russian weapons were used, Russia did not shoot it down. Where are the f*ckers protesting the USA, Canada, UK and the rest of NATzO for selling weapons to Saudi Arabia as it starves 18.4 million people to death in Yemen (according to the UN)?

      Like

      1. https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20180423-yemen-saudi-coalition-strikes-wedding-kills-bride-and-guests/

        https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20171122-the-siege-of-yemen-is-at-the-behest-of-saudi-arabia-with-arab-and-international-collusion/

        They’re-in the eyes of the West- raghead sand niggers who have fallen out of favor with the pieces of camel fuckin’ vermin in Riyadh who when they tire of bestiality are performing fellatio on the zionist vermin in Tel Aviv…..

        Like

  27. Fellow stooges, you might be interested in my post about Jewish Banderites, which I just finished this morning.
    The lede is that a representative of the Lubavitch Hassidic Jews gave a keynote speech at the recent Ukrainian Language and Culture Competition in Kiev named after an UPA fighter named Petro Yatsyk, who fled from Ukraine when the Nazis lost and he emigrated to (guess where?) Canada!
    So, this Hassidic girl Diana (and I didn’t even know that the Hassids had female members) sucked up to the Banderite audience, whipping them up around the fact that they both have a common enemy – guess who?
    Like I say in my post, Diana will be doomed to roam the Earth seeking penance for her sin of ingratitude…

    Like

  28. My belated two cents on war flix:
    Well obviously Fail Safe and Dr. Strangelove are at the top of my list..
    But hands down my favorite WW2 flix is The Dirty Dozen….

    Synopsis…A pack of Nazis and their gfs get EXACTLY what’s coming to them!!!

    But I think this clip will give most of you a chuckle!!!

    Oh…and this is first rate also:
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Enemy-Gates-DVD-Jude-Law/dp/B00005OLA6/ref=pd_cp_74_4?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B00005OLA6&pd_rd_r=ab7175ed-6c16-11e8-b50d-2bb3840ad137&pd_rd_w=r1Ppq&pd_rd_wg=WIwwn&pf_rd_i=desktop-dp-sims&pf_rd_m=A3P5ROKL5A1OLE&pf_rd_p=3262852920272843952&pf_rd_r=KTW1E9333HACKHZGB57V&pf_rd_s=desktop-dp-sims&pf_rd_t=40701&psc=1&refRID=KTW1E9333HACKHZGB57V

    Like

  29. http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/06/09/pers-j09.html

    “denis ross • 11 hours ago
    Excellent report, but did not mention European powers (and China) moving into South America challenging US determination to hold onto the Monroe Doctrine.
    ****Colombia, for example, now comes under NATO protection, ****and Colombia is next door to troubled Venezuela where allegedly Cuba, Russia and Chia as well as the USA have interests. ”

    Colombia is under NATO protection??????,,,THAT I did not know!!!!!!

    Some of the comments are well worth reading….

    Like

  30. Депутаты Европарламента призвали Порошенко возглавить гей-парад в Киеве
    20:28 09.06.2018

    Members of the European Parliament have called upon Poroshenko to lead a parade of homosexuals in Kiev

    MOSCOW, 9 Aug — RIA Novosti. The European Parliament has called on Petro Poroshenko and members of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Ukraine and the Verkhovna Rada deputies to join the “equality March” in Kiev and “be in its front ranks”.

    The letter reads:

    European Parliament

    OPEN LETTER

    To honourable President Poroshenko,

    To the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, To the distinguished members of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine,

    One of the founding principles of the European Union is to ensure equal rights for everyone,
    regardless of their gender, nationality, skin colour or sexuality. As Ukrainians are progressing
    on the path towards European integration, we salute the progress made for greater LGBTI
    equality.

    Two years of violence-free Kyiv Pride events has demonstrated the country’s commitment to the right of peaceful assembly, which so many sacrificed their lives for during the Maidan Revolution. We urge the Ukrainian authorities to preserve peace this year on June 17th and provide security backing for the upcoming Kyiv Pride.

    We also urge Ukrainian authorities, Members of the Parliament, Cabinet of Ministers and the
    President to strengthen the country’s commitment to a European future and take up the
    unfinished job of providing equal access to basic rights for LGBTI Ukrainians.

    We regret to see that the legislative progress is stalled: while NGOs recorded multiple instances of hate speech and hate crime in 2017 in Ukraine, Ukraine remains one of the last places in Europe where no laws protect LGBTI minorities from either of the two. Civil society’s recommendations to the Health Ministry for improving legal recognition and healthcare access for trans Ukrainians haven’t been adopted. To this day, LGBTI public events all over the country face regular disruptions and attacks.

    No one’s rights are safe until the rights of all are protected.

    Big changes often start with symbolic gestures. We encourage Ukrainian leaders and authorities to join their citizens for the Kyiv Pride on June 17th. Make history and be in the front row as Ukrainians march towards being a strong, diverse and equal democracy within our European family of states.

    Sincerely,

    HARMS, Rebecca (Greens/EFA, Germany)
    ROSATI, Dariusz (EPP, Poland)
    AUŠTREVIČIUS, Petras (ALDE, Lithuania)
    BECERRA BASTERRECHEA, Beatriz (ALDE, Spain)
    BENIFEI, Brando (S&D, Italy)
    CORAZZA BILDT, Anna Maria (EPP, Sweden)
    BONI, Michał (EPP, Poland)
    DALLI, Miriam (S&D, Malta)
    DANCE, Seb (S&D, United Kingdom)
    DEMESMAEKER, Mark (ECR, Belgium)
    DURAND, Pascal (Greens/EFA, France)
    FARIA, José Inácio (EPP, Portugal)
    FEDERLEY, Fredrick (ALDE, Sweden)
    GRIFFIN, Theresa (S&D, United Kingdom)
    IN’T VELD, Sophie (ALDE, Netherlands)
    JÁVOR, Benedek (Greens/EFA, Hungary)
    KAILI, Eva (S&D, Greece)
    KIRTON-DARLING, Jude (S&D, United Kingdom)
    NIEDERMÜLLER, Péter (S&D, Hungary)
    REINTKE, Terry (Greens/EFA, Germany)
    ROZIÈRE, Virginie (S&D, France)
    SÁNCHEZ CALDENTEY, Lola (GUE/NGL, Spain)
    SCHOLZ, Helmut (GUE/NGL, Germany)
    SCHUSTER, Joachim (S&D, Germany)
    SCOTT CATO, Molly (Greens/EFA, United Kingdom)
    SMITH, Alyn (Greens/EFA, United Kingdom)
    STAES, Bart (Greens/EFA, Belgium)
    STEVENS, Helga (ECR, Belgium)
    TAYLOR, Keith (Greens/EFA, United Kingdom)
    TELIČKA, Pavel (ALDE, Czech Republic)
    TRÜPEL, Helga (Greens/EFA, Germany)
    VANA, Monika (Greens/EFA, Austria)
    VAUTMANS, Hilde (ALDE, Belgium)
    VIOTTI, Daniele (S&D, Italy)
    WARD, Julie (S&D, United Kingdom)


    Thank you, but I should prefer not to …

    Like

    1. It would be more meaningful gesture, if Porky and Groisman marched together hand in hand, and also smooched on the podium, to the applause of their minions.

      Like

  31. Yawn – same old story over at Newsweek; a punchy headline which seems to have little relevance to the content, and content in which the authors appear to have only changed a couple of words from last year so they won’t be accused of plagiarizing themselves.

    https://www.yahoo.com/news/u-demands-russian-forces-leave-153649414.html

    US demands Russian forces leave Ukraine. But in the first sentence it says the US ‘urged’ Russia to withdraw. In what language are ‘urged’ and ‘demanded’ interchangeable?

    No real proof has ever been offered that Russian active-service military forces are in Ukraine. Oh, I know Kuh-yiv keeps SAYING they are, hundreds of thousands of them, but that isn’t proof.

    Damien Sharkov is a bit of a tit, as well, it seems – he says that tensions between Russia and the USA are ‘in free-fall’. In fact, they are ‘escalating”, not falling. That’s relations you’re thinking of, and those actually are in free-fall. It is things like this which make me think the authors are just plugging values into a formula, and not really thinking about what they’re writing.

    Oh, look – Ukraine estimates that the number of Russian tanks in Ukraine ‘increased tenfold’ in four years. So if there were a hundred, now there are a thousand. Which would be more than a third of Russia’s active strength for main battle tanks. More than a third of Russia’s entire armored fist, and it cannot defeat the Ukrainian army? Can’t move the front lines an inch? Where are they? Are they disguised as flower gardens during daylight hours? Why are almost all of the pictures of tanks on the Donbass front lines Ukrainian tanks?

    How did they get there? Well, that’s easy – they came in among the cargo of alleged ‘humanitarian aid’ in white semi-trailers traveling in convoy from Russia. They know this because Russia will not allow the OSCE to inspect the cargoes first, and, well…because there’s just no other plausible explanation.

    IS that a plausible explanation? Let’s look. How many tanks could you hide in a semi-trailer box? Considering a standard tractor-trailer box cannot exceed 102 inches in width, which is 8.5 feet, and a T-72 is almost 12 feet wide (11 ft 9 in.), I would guess none. It is this kind of lazy stupidity (remember when Gadaffi was hiding his tanks in underground water pipes, so that NATO had to bomb the Libyans’ water supply?) that gives rise to the absolute contempt in which western ‘journalism’ is held.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T-72

    http://www.dimensionsinfo.com/standard-tractor-trailer-dimensions/

    But let’s say one. One tank. Russia has sent 70 convoys of humanitarian aid to East Ukraine, and I daresay not all of it was food and medicine. It is conceivable a few boxes of ammunition, perhaps a small artillery piece or two found their way into the load. But even if a tank would fit in a tractor-trailer, it weighs over 40 tons and is 31 feet long. There wouldn’t be room for too much else, and you’d think someone would have gotten a picture of Russian trucks unloading hundreds of tanks. Ukraine controls the skies over the Donbass, and while it is a little leery of trying to use air power to advantage like it did early on, it flies drones over Donbass all the time, not to mention the USA’s vaunted photo-reconnaissance satellite capability. But for some reason they still rely on Google Earth and other publicly-available media for their ‘evidence’ which frequently turns out to be embarrassing.

    https://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/ukraine-crisis/kremlin-satellite-images-russian-troops-computer-games-n191771

    Like

    1. Meanwhile Bulgaria comes crawling back, and is touchingly grateful that Russia is ‘not vindictive’, and will not punish it further than it has already experienced. I have to say, my regard for Borisov rose a little after he publicly admitted the fault was his own and that he had been disastrously stupid. It will rise more if Russo-Bulgarian cooperation adheres, on Bulgaria’s part, to the once-bitten-twice-shy rule where Europe is concerned.

      Russia was building a new nuclear power plant with a town around it for the engineers and their families; hundreds if not thousands of jobs. To reward Bulgaria for its ‘principled stand’ which cost it 400 million Euros a year in transit fees plus the collapse of the power plant project, Europe built a small stadium in Bulgaria.

      Handsome is as handsome does, they say. Looks like the word is getting around. If its prancing and wetting itself with Russophobic excitement costs Britain millions, I don’t mind.

      Like

      1. I like that little smirk on Putin’s face (4:04 minutes in) when he says, “Now we’ll be going through Turkey.”
        For those not in the know, Turkey and Bulgaria are ancient arch-enemies, going way back.

        Like

        1. 5:10 , ‘the senior partner is the one that usually pays‘ preceded by Putin rubbing his forehead while Borissov was speaking.

          Like

  32. ESPN
    Published on 9 Jun 2018
    Golden State Warriors’ stars Steph Curry and Kevin Durant land in Oakland and emerge from the plane with trophies, while Swaggy Champ emerges shirtless with a champagne bottle while fans cheer.

    Like

  33. NHL
    Published on 8 Jun 2018
    From the improbable Vegas Golden Knights run to the defending champs attempt at a three-peat, the emotional Jets-Predators heavyweight battle and Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals getting over the hump and ending a franchise long Cup drought, it’s the top moments from the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs

    Like

  34. TheRealNews
    Published on 9 Jun 2018
    At the OAS nineteen member states voted in favor, four against and eleven abstained when the US tried to have Venezuela sanctioned. US will not hesitate to bear tremendous pressure on member countries to get its way in Latin America. We speak to CEPR’s Mark Weisbrot about the vote and how it came about

    Like

    1. Generally speaking the USA is blind to its own bullying – although it abhors it in others and shouts angrily about the right of the people to exercise free will – because of the exceptionalist rubbish it is fed. America cannot behave but in the interests of man, because even when its motives appear selfish, it is doing what it does for your own good. The exercise of intimidation to secure victory in a vote, thereby legitimizing future actions, is exactly the sort of thing the western media beats its breast and sobs about when it claims to observe it in countries it has targeted for regime change.

      Washington worked in exactly the same way through the Arab League in the run-up to American intervention in Syria, ignoring reports it did not like because they did not sufficiently affirm Assad’s brutality and playing up things it did like, but in the end the Arab League’s observer mission was discontinued and its conclusions ignored. Washington regularly uses international groups it dominates to give it cover and provide legitimacy to its narrative-shaping.

      Like

  35. BBC:

    Arkady Babchenko: Fake Ukrainian killer details plot
    By Jonah Fisher
    BBC Kiev correspondent
    52 minutes ago

    [09:00 Moscow time, 10 June 2018, now as I write]

    The man tasked with assassinating Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko in Kiev says he only played along to gain vital intelligence.

    Oleksiy Tsymbaliuk, a former Orthodox priest, says he informed the security services the moment he was approached.

    “I’m Arkady Babchenko’s murderer,” Mr Tsymbaliuk tells me with a big laugh as we meet in a Kiev cellar.

    Mr Babchenko sent shock waves around the world when he faked his own death last month before appearing on TV.

    In an exclusive interview with the BBC, Mr Tsymbaliuk explained the alleged role he played in the hoax in the Ukrainian capital.

    An active member of one of Ukraine’s right-wing groups, he has been a volunteer in the war against Russian-backed rebels in the east.

    [My stress. So where’s the Russian connection? No evidence given as yet as regards an order from Putin, the Kremlin or whatever to commit the foul deed? Perhaps the motive for the alleged murder attempt is just the usual manic Ukrainian right-wing hatred of anyone who is Russian, even such a piece of shit as is Babchenko — whose family name, by the way, is Ukrainian — the murder of whom to be blamed on the Moskali? And it matters not if someone is wasted in the process, because the intended murder victim, though clearly a “friend” of the Ukraine and very much in the public eye, is, nevertheless, a Mongol-Tatar subhuman?— ME]

    Has he ever killed anyone? It’s an uncouth question, he tells me.

    In early April, Mr Tsymbaliuk says he was approached by fellow Ukrainian Borys Herman to carry out an assassination.

    Through a combination of face-to-face meetings, instant messaging, and a cash advance of $14,000 (£10,400) they allegedly made plans to kill Mr Babchenko.

    A contact from his time in the east, Mr Tsymbaliuk says he thinks he was chosen because Mr Herman, a weapons manufacturer, thought he could be easily manipulated.

    If that is true it was a bad miscalculation: Mr Tsymbaliuk had in fact gone straight to Ukraine’s security services, and recorded all their interactions.

    A few days before the fake assassination was due to take place, Mr Tsymbaliuk met his target – Mr Babchenko – for the first time at the Russian journalist’s apartment.

    “A [security service] operative introduced us to each other with the words ‘say hello to your possible murderer’,” Mr Tsymbaliuk says with a chuckle. “I told him: ‘You don’t get a chance every day to do a slap in the face of Putin’.”

    Then, on 29 May, the staged murder was unveiled, with Mr Tsymbaliuk going through the motions as if he was a real killer, in case he was being followed.

    “I finished my soup, called a taxi and I went to kill Babchenko,” he tells me with a smile.

    “[At the apartment, Babchenko] was lying on the floor in a pool of blood waiting for the ambulance to arrive. I wished him good health and he asked that I not make him laugh.”

    With that brief exchange over, Mr Tsymbaliuk left to a safe house where he watched news of the murder emerge on social media.

    Later that night, he sent a message to Mr Herman telling him that “the parasitic worm is dealt with” and in the early hours of the morning a reply came through that they should meet.

    That meeting never happened as security agents moved in and detained Mr Herman as he made plans to leave the country. Shortly afterwards, Mr Babchenko stunned the world by being presented alive at a televised news conference.

    Mr Herman has not denied plotting with Mr Tsymbaliuk but now says he was also working with Ukraine’s SBU security services and knew all along that the assassination would be faked.

    As yet Mr Herman and his legal team have produced no evidence to support that claim.

    Oh, what a tangled web we weave
    When first we practise to deceive!

    And all his because the Svidomites and their diaspora still smart over the defeat of their soul mates, the Nazis, and, following that defeat, the “occupation” of the UkSSR by the USSR, which latter, by the way, had created the state that it “occupied” until 1991.

    Oh yeah, and there’s “Holodomor” to avenge, albeit it was created by the Svidomites so as to bleat: “We were for Hitler and Hitler was bad? Six million Jews murdered??? Stalin was just as bad or even worse than Hitler! He launched a genocide programme against us and murdered far more than Hitler through starvation!!!”

    Yeah, they were pretty hungry in Polish Galitsia, 1932-1933. [sarc.]

    Like

    1. Ummm….where in this plot did the list of 47 journalists who were supposed to be killed for the Rodina appear? How did Babchenko’s ‘murder’ facilitate its discovery? A murder, as we see, which was plainly a huge joke between Babchenko and his ‘killer’ despite the heartbreak it allegedly caused his wife, but he couldn’t tell her because it was so serious, he was confronting the entire bloody Russian state and so forth, although the SBU claims his family was in on it all along? They didn’t have enough evidence of a crime without carrying out this silly pantomime? Is it not illegal to procure someone’s death in Ukraine, they have to actually be killed first? Supposedly all the conversations in which the ‘killer’s’ services were procured were recorded. They didn’t wait for Savchenko to blow up Parliament and shoot everyone before they arrested and jugged her.

      I don’t see how going through with the supposed killing was the critical piece of the plot that revealed the obviously imaginary ‘hit list’.

      Like

  36. Full steam ahead from today’s Independent:

    No prostitutes, beggars, dogs (or students) please, it’s the World Cup
    Russia has stopped short of a wide-scale crackdown of undesirable elements, but not everyone, it seems, is welcome at the big party

    In the often paranoid months ahead of the 1980s Olympics, nervous Soviet leaders removed every perceivable risk from Russia’s streets.

    Parents were told to send their children to pioneer camps, lest they become infected by foreign disease. Students were sent to work the fields, lest foreign depravity dirty their souls. Leading dissidents were advised to stay at home, or imprisoned in psychological wards, lest they brought too much attention to themselves.

    Stray dogs were killed; and prostitutes, beggars, and other undesirable elements swept away past the “101km mark” – a point beyond the city borders where few foreigners went.

    Thirty-eight years on, history seems to be repeating itself.

    Once again, Russia is getting ready to host a profoundly politicised sporting event in a context of general distrust….

    Just as they did before the Sochi Olympics — doing their utmost to denigrating everything about Russia.

    Point of information:

    Shortly before the recent “royal” wedding that took place at Windsor Castle, UK, the town’s streets were cleared of beggars. Windsor, being a top UK tourist venue, provides good pickings for cadgers, who, in my experience, very often seem to be young and fit and capable of finding gainful employment, which puzzling appearance and conclusion my children also seem to have reached when we were in London, 2016, they being well accustomed to seeing dirty, diseased, stinking, hopelessly alcoholic bomzhi in certain parts of Moscow, including the metro system.

    However, the hordes of bedecked in plastic Union Flags royalist freaks who descended on the Berkshire town in order to catch a glimpse of a small time Hollywood actress getting wed to a grandson of the British head of state, were allowed to sleep on the streets and in Great Windsor Park the night before the royal spectacular, so as they could howl and cheer as the wedding procession passed by them.

    Funny that, isn’t it?

    This statement from the above-linked Independent article: “Parents were told to send their children to pioneer camps, lest they become infected by foreign disease” is an out-and-out lie.

    In the USSR, the vast majority of parents (usually with an only child) sent their offspring to Pioneer camps every summer, and not to protect them from filthy capitalist tourists.

    My wife was sent to a camp every summer, as were all my acquaintances who were brought up in the SU.

    Like

    1. Wasn’t it London that celebrated holding the 2012 Olympic Games by installing anti-missile batteries on top of residential apartment blocks (and thereby endangering the lives of people living in those blocks) and going into virtual lockdown with war ships parked in the Thames and tanks on the streets during the two-week duration of the Games?

      I remember reading something also about Zil lanes being painted on London streets for the exclusive use of corporate ticket-holders to various sports events.

      Like

    2. My missus as well, when she was that age, and our nieces when they were children. Those camps were reckoned to be very good experience for children. I’m sure I mentioned before that the missus learned to field-strip, reassemble and fire an AK-47 when she was a Pioneer, but it did not make her crave a gun of her own or imbue her with a lust to kill. She’s never had anything to do with weapons since, and is quite a peaceful person – far more so than I, I am afraid. By contrast, when I worked with military cadets some years ago in Quebec, there was debate as to whether they should be allowed to march in the Remembrance Day Parade with weapons, although these were just hard-rubber replicas which are used for practice rifle drill at the halt because they are not damaged if dropped. In the end it was decided even that invoked too violent an image, and they marched without weapons.

      England’s hate for Russia is turning it into a cancerous boil of Russophobia, probably the most virulent in the world, including Ukraine. I hope Russia remembers that when it is time for England to negotiate its own energy purchases post-Brexit, and tells them to go fuck themselves sideways with a wire barbecue brush. Let them be a captive market for American LNG.

      Like

      1. I should also like to point out that the following in the above-linked Independent article is also a load of mendacious shite, namely the statement quoted by the “journalist” that was made by a retired whore (“sex worker”), a certain Irina Maslova, who just happens to be the head of a Whores’ NGO:

        “The majority of brothels in St Petersburg have decided to stop working,” she tells The Independent.

        “We called around 18 of them the other day, and the response was the same – things have become so frightening there is no way we’ll be opening our doors.”

        Brothels are closed on a regular basis here. When there’s a police raid, it hits the local news.

        Know why?

        Because they are illegal!!!

        At all times. Not just when there’s a major sporting event here.

        Now, I’m not so naive as to maintain that no illegal brothels operate here and that many of them do so with the connivance of the cops, but what I am saying is that the closing down of brothels which the whore whines about is done legally.

        And I guarantee that whores will still be rolling it in during the next couple of weeks. I’m talking about the top-end of the market: glamour-model type whores who come up to you and lay their cards straight on the table in such clubs as “Night Life” (Swedish owned) on the left at the top of Tverskaya as you come to Pushkin Square.

        “Top-class “escorts” is the euphemism used to describe these sisters of Satan.

        What’s the difference between a “top-class escort” and a poxed up whore who’ll let you have a knee-trembler in a dark alley at the back of Tverskaya for a few bucks?

        About $500, I reckon.

        Time was in the good o’l Yeltsin years when you could hire a drop-dead gorgeous whore for $200 — a night.

        I blame Putin!

        Like

  37. I have just posted to the Independent:

    “Parents were told to send their children to pioneer camps, lest they become infected by foreign disease” is not quite true.

    In the USSR, the vast majority of parents (usually with an only child) sent their offspring to Pioneer camps every summer, and not to protect them from filthy capitalist tourists.

    My wife was sent to a camp every summer, as were all my acquaintances who were brought up in the SU

    Note: I did not write “out and out lie” as I posted earlier above.

    My mailing was up on the Independent comments board for about 10 minutes, then down the black hole it went!

    Like

  38. The eastern Ukraine rebels are now sporting the home grown and produced 217mm Cheburashka multiple rocket system! Easy to produce, maintain, reload and use:

    Like

  39. In other news, Putin confirmed during Direct Line that the Russian heavy rocket system is still in the works and a ‘reusable launch’ too. Despite all the naysayers, this all rather makes sense considering the rather large amount of cash invested in to Russia’s far east Plesetsk space port.

    Like

  40. India told the US of A that it will buy the Russian S-400 SAM system despite US CAATSA (which is not Caaat Sir!) threats . Washington’s move.

    Like

  41. Al Jazeera English
    Published on 10 Jun 2018
    On The Listening Post this week: Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko faked his death to escape his killers but his stunt could cause problems for the media. Plus, nostalgia producers in Iranian diaspora media.

    Like

    1. Why would faking his death save him? Clearly the alleged perp is a fake. And if the “Russian regime” is after him, what is stopping some other assassin from offing this clown in the future? Did Babychinko get assassination immunity or something?

      Like

      1. Babchenko not only put his own life in danger by agreeing to participate in the SBU stunt but also made life for other journalists (be they pro-Kiev or not) working in Banderastan more dangerous. Any one of these journalists who displeases the SBU or some other agency in the country can become a target and the responsibility for murder can be brushed off onto the Russian government.

        Like

  42. The Jimmy Dore Show
    Published on Jun 10, 2018
    The Oslo Freedom Forum is supposed to be about Human Rights, further exploration reveals a Neo-Con Regime Change agenda.

    Like

  43. I caught most of part two of Frankie Boyle’s World Cup on al-beeb s’allah. What a dick. Some business men invite him to share their VIP box at a football match, but Frankie likens it to being a member of the Politburo looking down on the people and would have preferred to be down there along with the fans. If that had been the case, then it would have been a bit more difficult to film, let alone hear anything he says. What a dick. Anyway, he finishes by saying propaganda by both sides is unhelpful and manages to say ‘Fuck this’ as his final words after telling the view that during several of his ‘interviews’, interviewees interrupted to tell him that “Don’t take this as criticizm of Putin of those ruling the country” to which Boyle helpfully explains to lesser Russian experts that ‘Fear is how Putin keeps the Russian population in line.’

    It doesn’t occur to him that his three week BBC paid jolly to flounce around Russia and enjoy the hospitality of Russians is entirely part of the propaganda that he supposedly abhors. F*&ing ignorant dick.

    Like

  44. This is just the western media in the new normal – trying to make every international event in Russia such a grim experience for the country that it will never put its name forward again.

    Like

  45. Antiwar.com: Democrats Use Bipartisan Anti-Diplomacy Playbook, but Moon Has Changed the Game
    https://original.antiwar.com/Stu_Smallwood/2018/06/10/democrats-use-bipartisan-anti-diplomacy-playbook-but-moon-has-changed-the-game/

    With the Singapore summit fast approaching, leading Democratic Senators headed by Chuck Schumer went to battle against diplomacy, issuing a letter to President Trump on June 4th demanding an impossible set of preconditions for North Korean sanctions relief. In doing so, they took a page out of an old bipartisan playbook for derailing diplomatic initiatives with pariah states.

    Making an Offer They Must Refuse

    In the letter, the Democrats announced their resolve to oppose any sanctions relief unless (to paraphrase) North Korea agrees to 1) dismantle and eliminate all chemical and biological weapons (in addition to nukes); 2) completely cease production and enrichment of uranium and plutonium for weapons purposes and dismantle all related infrastructure; 3) eliminate all existing ballistic missiles and never test another (giving up the sovereign right to possess conventional weapons for national defense); 4) permit to surprise inspections “anywhere, anytime” to verify the absence of the above (presumably yielding access to every corner of the state, including Kim Jong-un’s bedroom); and 5) consent to these outrageous conditions unto eternity….
    ####

    More at the link.

    File this under ‘Because they can/stick it to the opposition

    Like

    1. The Donald will probably not mind very much, because the United States will not agree to relax sanctions in any case, and it is in American interests to prevent any reunification of the two Koreas. America is too fond of using North Korea as a stick to beat China, and South Korea as an excuse to stage joint military exercises in the region. So he could be counted on to fuck it up anyway, even if he didn’t indulge in some boorish insult by accident.

      Like

      1. At present, Trump and Kim have signed a declaration in which both the US and North Korea agree to work for peace and prosperity, and to commit to recover the remains of Korean War POWs and MIAs. NK has reiterated its April 27, 2018 Panmunjom declaration to work towards complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula, without setting a time when this will start and a period when it will be done. So this is a “deal” that everyone can be happy with, because neither country has actually committed to do anything definite in the near future.

        https://www.dropbox.com/s/l2v47h6x0xjdff4/US-DPRK%20Joint%20Statement%20-%20Jun%2012%202018.pdf?dl=0

        The US has not pledged to eventually remove or reduce the thousands of its troops in South Korea or close any of its bases in that country, or to reduce its annual Operation Foal Eagle exercises with SK near the NK borders. If the US doesn’t commit to demilitarising SK by withdrawing its troops or de-escalating the military exercises, then NK won’t commit to reducing its own nuclear weapons facilities. That is the sticking point.

        Trump is likely to be amenable to demilitarisation of SK (bringing US troops home was part of his election campaign) but whether Capitol Hill is, is something else altogether.

        Like

  46. BMPD Livejournal: Новый рекорд болгарского оружейного экспорта
    https://bmpd.livejournal.com/3229991.html#cutid1

    Выступая на открытии 30 мая 2018 года в болгарском Пловдиве 12-й оборонно-промышленной выставки HEMUS-2018, заместитель министра экономики Болгарии Александр Манолев сообщил, что в 2017 году болгарская оборонная промышленность экспортировала военной продукции на сумму более 1,2 млрд евро. Это, видимо, абсолютный рекорд болгарского оружейного экспорта в истории….
    ####

    More at the link.

    I’m sure Bulgarian PM Borissov is very grateful for the USA helping Bulgaria replace lost South Stream revenue with weapons export to state sponsors of terrorism in the Gulf. The only surprise is the large contracts with I-rack. Why buy Bulgarian when they already have very good relations with Russia? Cheaper? Probably. Dodgier? Certainly.

    Like

    1. First I heard of it. When I left for work, the last news I had heard, Trump was smirking and saying he thought they should be able to get out a joint communique. When someone shouted out a question to Trudeau if he was upset that Trump was leaving early (which was planned, because of the North Korea thing), Trump answered for him; “He’s glad”, and laughed like it was all a big joke. The rest is news to me, but not really, because Trump is completely predictable in his unpredictability. If he made reassuring statements about playing nice with allies, it was nearly a guarantee that he would do something completely different as soon as he was out of sight.

      But Russia is an ‘unreliable partner’. Quite.

      A trade war between Canada and the United States would be immensely damaging to Canada, as up to 80% of our exports go to the USA. However, we are the USA’s largest supplier of foreign oil. I doubt Trudeau would have the nerve to shut it down, but I certainly would. There are obviously no rules any more for the WTO, so countries can bring whatever threats against each other they like. Trump seems to think all you have to do is talk tough with other countries, and they will fold. Let’s see if he’s right.

      Like

      1. Monsieur Chapman:
        Votre chef dit:
        Ce n’est pas fini avant que ce soit fini!!!

        “Trudeau began his news conference by announcing that a communiqué had been signed by all seven heads of government—representing Germany, France, Britain, Italy, Japan, Canada and the US. That statement evoked applause from the assembled journalists, who spent the weekend worrying over the prospect of a failure to obtain unanimous support for a final declaration—something without precedent in the 45-year history of the annual summits of major capitalist governments.

        Under questioning from Canadian reporters, he criticized the tariffs imposed by Trump and declared that he would go ahead with plans to impose $12.8 billion in retaliatory tariffs on July 1. He also reiterated Canada’s rejection of US demands that a revamped North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) include a sunset clause that would require that it be renegotiated after a set number of years. Seeking to whip up nationalist sentiment, he said Canada “will not be pushed around.”

        http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/06/12/trad-j12.html

        “Under these conditions, and in the context of a global crisis of the capitalist system, the US is resorting to the methods of trade war in an attempt to offload its crisis onto its major competitors—a path that, as in the 1930s, leads inexorably to world war.”

        The following articles are NOT sympatico on what economic and/or interrelated geopolitical military ambitions led to WW2

        http://www.independent.org/newsroom/article.asp?id=1930
        https://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2011/10/20/why-wwii-got-us-out-of-the-great-depression-and-why-present-government-spending-would-not-do-the-same/

        However the two articles taken together with the closing quote (supra) from the wsws article lead to interesting speculations…

        Like

        1. Trump cast this response from Trudeau as a stab in the back, and that he felt safe saying it while Trump was in the air, because Trudeau must not know that television on planes – which is a new thing ginned up by America especially for Trump – is possible. White House trade advisor Peter Navarro ranted that there is “a special place in hell for Justin Trudeau”,

          https://duckduckgo.com/?q=special+place+in+hell+for+Trudeau&t=ffsb&atb=v113-3_f&ia=news

          while his boss snarked that Trudeau’s supposed ignorance in not understanding how radio waves behave at cruise altitudes is going to “cost the Canadian people a lot of money”.

          The Canadian attitude immediately flipped to Fuck You, Trump, and Fuck You, America.

          http://nationalpost.com/opinion/john-ivison-public-anger-at-trumps-bully-tactics-creates-conditions-for-boycott-america-campaign

          I will carefully investigate the origin of whatever I buy, and if it was made in America or if the company that produces it is American, I’ll look for an alternative somewhere else. It might be a little inconvenient, but if a trade war is worth doing, it’s worth doing well, am I right? Bring it on, you presidential spazzcock.

          Navarro later apologized, but I think people have had enough of America talking tough for the cameras and then quietly reframing it after it’s had its fun showing off. Too late, Peter. For me, anyway.

          https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-06-12/u-s-s-navarro-apologizes-for-inappropriate-trudeau-comments

          Like

  47. Ukraine, seeing the bogeyman under the bed again. It has already organized an ‘alternative to the World Cup’, which it hopes will draw audience participation away from Russia. Now it proposes to investigate the Karpatalya team – ethnic Hungarians living in Ukraine – for separatist sympathies.

    Not even Das Reich was this much fun; I can’t imagine why more people don’t want to move to the newest Yurrupean country.

    https://m.investing.com/news/world-news/ukraine-accuses-soccer-team-of-supporting-separatism-1488512?ampMode=1

    Like

  48. The UN has time and concern and indignation and money to spare for an investigation into Russian air strikes in Syria because the White Helmets say that’s what happened. But there’s no appetite for an investigation into the American destruction of Raqqa. Probably because Ms. Haley is looking around and taking names. Nobody wants to lose their job.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/amp/world-middle-east-44437718

    https://www.bbc.com/news/amp/uk-44366521

    Like

  49. The Syrian government reopens the Homs-Hama Highway, after seven years of closure due to ‘rebel’ activity and war. Trenchant paragraph for the Galeotti-RFE/RL ‘Quagmire’ crowd:

    From holding less than a fifth of Syria in 2015, Assad, with Russian and Iranian help, has recovered control of the largest chunk of the country.

    Like

  50. This is CNN, point and laugh: http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2018/06/11/embarrassment-for-cnn-as-chris-cuomo-s-new-show-trounced-by-msnbc-in-anti-trump-smackdown.html

    “In an embarrassing setback for CNN, the network’s heavily promoted new 9 p.m. show, “Cuomo Prime Time,” finished well behind arch-rival MSNBC during its inaugural week. Observers say it’s the latest sign that CNN’s anti-Trump programming strategy may be faltering. Most troubling for CNN executives — “Cuomo Prime Time” finished its first week with viewership down 9 percent compared to CNN’s 9 p.m. programing the same week last year. In addition, Friday’s episode lost 23 percent of the viewers who tuned in for last Monday’s much-heralded premiere.

    The program, anchored by Democratic political scion Chris Cuomo, finished well behind both Fox News’ “Hannity” and MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show” despite the CNN host landing high-profile, first-week interviews with former New York City Mayor turned Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani and White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders. The initial week of “Cuomo Prime Time” averaged 1.1 million total viewers, while Maddow averaged 2.6 million and Hannity averaged 3.2 million, according to Nielsen.”

    I guess Cuomo Prime Time was primed to be dissed, time and time again.

    Like

  51. The (toilet) papers are squealing about Egypt’s world cup team setting up camp in Grozny. Mo S’Allah had pictures together with Ramzan ‘Are my pets scary’ Kadyrov. Human Shites Watch is spitting…

    Like

  52. Euractiv:

    https://www.euractiv.com/section/energy/news/poland-wants-to-speed-up-progress-on-gas-directive/

    …Germany, Austria, Belgium and the Netherlands have opposed attempts to accelerate work on the gas directive; media have reported, citing an EU diplomat. At the meeting held on Monday, Kurtyka reminded that talks between Russia, Ukraine and the European Commission on the transit of gas through Ukraine are about to start soon after the expiry of the transmission contract….
    ####

    What’s that sound????

    Nyum! Nyum! Nyum!

    The sound of having their cake and eating it (not the Poles and friends who obviously have no regard for the law, in particular ignoring basic legal advice and applying a future law/directive retrospectively). America has Poptarts, U-rope has Fuktarts.

    Like

    1. What the Poles pretend not to grasp, probably deliberately, is that Nord Stream II is designed to circumvent and replace gas transit through Ukraine, not supplement it. If Europe is successful at forcing Russia to continue transiting gas at the present volumes through Ukraine, then they are correct that Nord Stream II is not needed; it is designed to replace gas flow through Ukraine. Ukraine seems to have woken up to that fact rather late, perhaps because it assumed Uncle Sam would be able to put the brakes on. but they’re making up for lost time now by shouting it to the world – Russia must continue using Ukraine’s gas transit system, and pay Ukraine whatever Kuh-yiv thinks is reasonable for transit fees.

      A few countries who do not give a damn about anyone but themselves – although they cloak it under the rubric of ‘European Unity’ – do not care if Ukraine gets up to its usual prima-donna hijinks, and starts fucking with transit of Europe’s gas in a ploy to force Russia to do something they want, usually to either give them free gas or pay higher transit fees. Bottom line, and Europe should think of it in exactly these terms, is the Poles are arguing Ukraine should be given control over Europe’s gas supplies. Who thinks that’s wise. given that Europe has spent the last four years stoking Ukrainian hatred for Russia and giving Ukraine a free pass to make up whatever stories it likes?

      Think carefully, Europe. If you manage to kibosh Nord Stream II, Russia will likely not try again to build further pipelines, but will just resign itself to transiting through Ukraine, and if Ukrainian terms become too insufferable, Europe will get a gas shortage when transit is stopped except for that through other pipelines. The Ukrainians will scream that Russia is to blame, unreliable partner, bla, bla, but Europe will still be dealing with a major gas shortage, and their American pals cannot make up the shortfall or anything even close. Russia will make up most of the lost revenue for volume with crazy gas prices for what it manages to transit through alternative pipelines, and I daresay there will be a brisk trade in Russian LNG as well. Either way, I’m pretty confident Russia will not allow itself to be outmaneuvered by Ukraine, given that all Ukraine does is move Russian gas through its pipes – it doesn’t have any itself, or not enough to even supply itself fully, never mind exporting it.

      Perhaps the worst thing about the European Union is having to put up with Johnny-Come-Lately east-European popinjays who think they swing as much weight as the regulars, and are willing to make a bad deal for the alliance so long as they get a good deal for themselves.

      Like

  53. Channel 4 News
    Published on Jun 12, 2018
    The FIFA World Cup is coming to Russia. As the world’s most-watched competition kicks off, questions hang over the safety of travelling fans. Threats of hooliganism, racism and homophobia are at the forefront of officials’ minds as hundreds of thousands of fans from all over world converge on eleven host cities.

    Like

      1. I hear England’s first game is against Tunisia in Volgograd on Monday. Russian “hooligans” should remind English fans of who really won the Second World War.

        Me, I’m saying my prayers for the Australian team, due to play France (gulp!) this Saturday in Kazan.

        Like

        1. I don’t know who I should root for. Technically I’m a Francophile, but I’m pretty ticked off with France right now. So maybe I’ll root for Australia, who knows?
          🙂

          Like

          1. I know what you mean – I almost feel like everyone is an enemy, which is kind of paranoid. But it’s because of the disgraceful behavior of their governments.

            I mentioned the other day the building interest in a boycott American program, or I suppose a philosophy would be more accurate. Investing.com sneers that Canadians might find it very hard to do, simply because almost all their dominant products are American-made or are made by a company in which the United States is a major investor, so that even if you think you are boycotting American products, America still makes money (sometimes more, if that compasny’s market share increases because of the belief on the part of Canadians that they are not buying American).

            https://m.uk.investing.com/news/economy-news/antius-consumer-boycott-canadians-may-find-it-hard-to-pull-off-1212190?ampMode=1

            I’ll give you a microcosmic example – fishie crackers. You know, those little goldfish-shaped cheese flavoured crackers. We are pretty careful what we put in our daughter’s lunch, and she mostly eats healthy foods like fruits and vegetables, but fishie crackers are a small indulgence and she gets a handful of those nearly every day. I knew the company that makes them – Pepperidge Farm – is American. So I decided, no more of those. Let’s get an alternative product. The next-best choice – simple ingredients, not oceans of lard and paint-tins of sugar – was Annie’s Bunnies; similar crackers but shaped like rabbits. Whoops! California company, a surprise to me. I finally settled on Christie’s Cheese Nips, made by the Christie Brown Company in Mississauga, Ontario. Which, I was aghast to learn, is a division of Nabisco International, which began as an American company (National Biscuit Company), was merged with RJ Reynolds – a tobacco company!!!!! – and was privately acquired by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. (an American company) in 1989, and then was once more independent (but American) in 1999 with the spin-off of RJ Reynolds shares.

            So it isn’t enough to just read “made in Canada” on the box. In many cases, it is made in Canada by a company which is majority-owned by a bigger American company. Corporate roots go deep, far below the surface.

            Fruit is another example. We eat a lot of it, and at this time of year, almost all of it is from California; vegetables, too. Our strawberries are just starting to come on, and in a month we will be able to thumb our noses at the Americans and not buy anything in the fruit-and-vegetables line that comes from the USA until fall. But then we will have to swallow our pride and once more buy American, or not eat fruit and vegetables. Some comes from Mexico, and this morning I bought tangerines from Spain. But most of the produce is from California, because it’s plentiful, cheap and benefits from a short shipping distance; California is right next door.

            And that’s how they get you. and make you a captive. It is now almost impossible to buy things in Canada where you are not putting money in some American’s pocket, somewhere. If they don’t make or majority-own the product, they own shares in the import company that brings it in. Our trade practices are inextricably linked. A lesson Russia learned early enough to back away.

            Keep in mind, though, that you don’t need to make a company lose money to damage it. Major corporations cannot be stagnant – they have to be constantly increasing market share, always pushing ahead, selling more, expanding, or they are gobbled up in a merger or hostile takeover by another company. A slump in sales can do just as much damage as a long-term decline, if it occurs at the right moment.

            The best avenue for a boycott-America campaign would seem to be cars. American cars are really not that great in the global market, and their main attraction in Canada is that they are cheap. You could buy a Toyota instead of a Ford, and strike a blow for freedom without suffering an inferior product, or borrowing your kid’s college money to buy a German car. Big auto companies are a major underpinning of the American corporate structure.

            But if you looked at it a little, you would probably find that Ford you didn’t buy was assembled in a Canadian plant by Canadian workers, using made-in-Canada parts, because the car-parts industry in Canada is huge although we don’t have any car companies of our own.

            It’s too late for us. Save yourselves.

            Like

            1. You could buy a Toyota instead of a Ford, and strike a blow for freedom without suffering an inferior product, or borrowing your kid’s college money to buy a German car.

              I’m not sure how to interpret this. I can understand your position on Japanese cars compared to American ones, but your position on German ones (and their quality) was a bit ambiguous (i.e. are you saying German cars are as bad as American cars, or are they on the same league as Japanese cars?). If it’s not too much trouble, can you clarify on that one?
              Thanks.

              Like

            2. Better still, don’t drive, like what I do.

              I remember once how one smart arse, after finding out that I don’t drive , don’t know how to and have never had a car, sneeringly said to me in a pub in England: “So I suppose you bum lifts all the time?”

              I replied: “No, I don’t”.

              “So how do you get around then?” he asked mockingly.

              “I use things called buses and trains”, I replied.

              I will not use a horse, though.

              I don’t like horses much. They’re big sly bastards, I think, and ready to get one back at you.

              Wel, I suppose I would have a bad attitude to humans as well if I were a horse and forced to carry humans around an my back all the time or pull their waggons.

              Like

              1. German cars still have a pretty good reputation, but it’s interesting that Japanese cars were offered as a comparison. Having owned both – BMW (an X5 and an X3) and my current ’98 Nissan Sentra – Japanese engines have a well-earned reputation for going on and on, some of them to better than 400k, which is a lot to expect from a car. Except for the very top end of the line, Japanese cars usually do not compare to German cars for quality of interior appointments – what the dealers call ‘fit and finish’ – or power and acceleration (my poor old Nissan is like driving a Mitsubishi Zero when I am merging onto the highway and trying to get up to highway speed), but they have earned their own niche in automotive history, especially where price is concerned.

                Also, there are a number of claimants to having had a hand in the development of the modern internal-combustion engine. Not all of them are German by any means, and some precede the German engineers by quite a stretch. A German engineer is credited with having built the first internal-combustion engine which has not changed much in principle between then and now (there was no electronic ignition then, obviously), but he had a lot of predecessors designs to build on, and could fairly be said to have improved it rather than invented it.

                Further, that’s a pretty narrow window on which to base a statement that the Germans are an inferior people. I wouldn’t say that, although some of them are a little big-headed based on nothing but their nationality at birth. But I sometimes find that of the English as well.

                Like

                1. It was gas engines that Benz improved on.

                  Benz is to internal combustion engines as is Watt is to steam engines. The latter certainly didn’t invent steam engines, but he made vast improvements to those that already existed, such as Newcomen’s engine.

                  The biggest gas engine manufactures in the UK was Crossley’s in Manchester.

                  Like

                2. I wasn’t thinking of Benz; I was referring to Nikolaus Otto, Gottlieb Daimler (Benz’s later associate) and Wilhelm Maybach’s cooperation on the first four-stroke engine, which is the counterpart of the modern internal-combustion engine. Benz invented a two-stroke engine three years later.

                  Like

                3. Further, that’s a pretty narrow window on which to base a statement that the Germans are an inferior people.

                  The mention of internal combustion engines was an attempt at a counterargument to Pavlo’s (racial?) remark about Germans being some “inferior race”, if not a (however subtle) warning to not bite the hand that feeds him. Claiming that Germans are “inferior” because of their government’s ineptitude would be just as bad as saying that e.g. Canadians are “stupid” because of the policies of Trudeau (or Harper, depending on who you ask).
                  Sorry for any confusion back there. I hope this clears it up.

                  Like

          2. I like to support the underdog…

            They somtimes win, and that is fun… !

            Like Denmark in 1992 in the UEFA European Championship…

            They were not qualified for the tournament, but they won… (A “little” unfair, since NATO/UEFA let Denmark take the place of the country they bombed..)

            Since Norway is not in the tournament i will have to support Iceland.

            This has nothing to do with the fact that my mother is from Iceland….

            Go Vikings!

            Like

      1. Yga Kostrzewa, an activist and spokeswoman for Lambda Warszawa, compared the presence of the Catholic Church in Poland to an octopus in terms of how it influences culture and society: the presence of a church in every town and village; its role in religious education in school; the way the government consults it about legislation, and so on. When there is a discussion of gay or trans issues on television, a member of an LGBTQ organisation like KPH or Lambda Warszawa will be invited to participate, but so will a Catholic priest.

        Well, this is the essence of the matter, no?
        The ominiprescence and totalitarian influence of the Catholic Church!

        There cannot be any liberation of the human spirit until people liberate themselves from this “octopus”, that’s true enough.

        Like

        1. If I were an octopus, I would be feeling a little put-upon and insulted. It’s only been a few months since The Economist published its edition featuring Putin as an octopus on the cover; obviously, it was not meant to be a compliment. Interestingly, the Rothschild family was once pictured in the same fashion, as a multi-tentacled beast with a sucker-studded finger in every pie – and now the Rothschilds own nearly 30% of The Economist, and two of the family sit on its board.

          https://www.sott.net/article/378165-Rothschild-propaganda-rag-The-Economist-portrays-Putin-as-octopus-projection-or-envy

          The octopus is highly intelligent considering the size of its brain, shy and retiring by nature and takes only what it needs to live. One could do much worse than be compared to an octopus, although it is in the nature of dramatists to draw ridiculous comparisons which play to people’s ignorance. The Rothschild family is well-educated rather than highly intelligent, secretive rather than shy, and I don’t think we need to explore further the comparison with taking only what they need to live.

          Like

          1. That’s all true. Octopi are smart and brainy, as well as tasty.
            Their giant brains can control, separately, each sucker on each tentacle.
            That’s a heck of a lot of neuron connections!
            People probably confuse the good and gentle octopi with squid. The latter actually are evil, if you don’t believe me just ask Captain Nemo.

            Like

        2. I remember how an old acquaintance of mine, a Dubliner and devout member of the Roman Church, suddenly turned against his erstwhile faith when Catholic priests in Ireland began to rant from their pulpits about proposed abortion laws.

          Like

  54. Oh…look. Here’s the foreign ministers of Ukraine, France, Germany and Russia, helpfully lined up in order of height. Look who is tiniest – Pavlo Rumpleklimkin. According to the western fascination with physical height and the never-fail certainty of its highlighting how short Putin is compared with other world leaders, that must mean Rumpleklimkin is a lightweight lawn ornament while Sergei Lavrov is the genius of the group.

    http://amp.star-telegram.com/news/nation-world/world/article212950044.html

    Like

    1. The above link doesn’t work, but the article to which it links must have been published before yesterday.

      Old baggy draws Rumpelklimkin is no longer Foreign Minister to Banderastan.

      Klimkin quit his post yesterday.

      Like

      1. TASS:

        29 AUG, 20:29
        Vadim Pristaiko elected Ukraine’s new foreign minister
        Addressing the lawmakers, Pristaiko said that Kiev had six months to regain control over the state border in Donbass

        Addressing the lawmakers, Pristaiko said that Kiev had six months to regain control over the state border in Donbass. “We will be thinking over further steps to resume peaceful life, to organize elections, to conduct an amnesty, to remove trade restrictions, to regain full control over our borders [in Donbass],” he pledged, adding it did not matter how it would be done, “either by means of inviting a peacekeeping mission or through implementing the Minsk accords.” “What matters is that we have six months for that,” he said, stressing that Ukraine needed peace and stability and Kiev could not “indulge in endless talks in various formats.”
        So how about ceasing forthwith bombarding civilians in the Donbas?

        If you shitwits do that, I’m sure the Russia supported Donbas “terrorists” will respond by ceasing the bombardment of Kiev, Lvov, Ivano-Frankivsk etc., etc.

        A laugh a minute are these Yukie cnuts!

        Like

      2. I can’t imagine too many will miss him. Desertion by the Poroshenko-era ministers is the most ringing endorsement Zelenskiy could receive. I still don’t care much for him and his Euro-chatter, but the departure of Rumpelklimkin is a mark in Zelenskiy’s favour – if Klimkin thought he could keep up his nationalistic Russia-bashing, he would have never left.

        Like

  55. I just made the mistake of stopping for a minute on BBC One. They had David Dimbleby on ‘The One Show’, an evening sofa bollocks trifle of sorts program, explaining to his incredulous yet believing sofa colleagues that in his program on Russia tonight, he met opposition people and one lawyer in particular who said that ‘thousands of Russians are sitting in jails because of something they have written online that was not acceptable‘, and get this, one lade even told Dimbleby that ‘I have no problem writing whatever I want but you never know when you just might be killed in a car accident or something, Dimbleby explaining that the FSB is the modern KGB and that while Putin may not personally order the hits, there are many out there in the service who would do so just to make him happy.

    Nothing but Full Spectrum Imbecility from the length and breadth of British ‘personalities’. Nothing too low to believe, nothing to incredulous, they just lap it up. We should hardly be surprised because this same kind of witch hunt worked a peach for the Nazis, with many of the intelligentsia full in. It’s one thing to read about it in history books, its another to see in in full swing before your eyes. The much repeated phrase ‘Never Again’ has never been so vapid and meaningless. These morons really believe what they are saying and every retarded thing they are told.

    Like

    1. 2nite:

      Putin’s Russia with David Dimbleby
      https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0b6q3yw

      As thousands of British fans prepare to travel to Russia for the World Cup, David Dimbleby returns to a country he first visited when Yeltsin came to power 25 years ago. For 18 of those years, Vladimir Putin has ruled the largest country on earth, and he has another six years ahead of him. But with talk of a new Cold War, and with British Intelligence accusing Putin’s government of ‘criminal thuggery’, this Panorama special asks what Russians see in him and how he has held on to power for so long.

      David talks to an eclectic mix of Putin’s supporters, from a mother of ten who has been awarded the Order of Parental Glory, to a deputy prime minister and one of Putin’s advisors. He joins children as young as seven learning to load and shoot guns in a patriotic youth club, and a group of young Muscovite fans of the president who are trying to cash in on the Putin brand.

      David also hears from opposition protestors, lawyers and journalists who reveal the extent and ruthlessness of the Kremlin’s autocratic rule.
      ####

      OK, I know I shouldn’t bother, but Dimbleby hosts ‘Question Time’ where MPs & others are questioned by a live audience once a week and is supposed to be a cynical, wizened, wily old journalist. It just goes to show, no-one can turn participation in a good witch hunt down.

      Like

        1. I just don’t know why people choose to participate in these shows – are they really expecting fair and balanced coverage?

          Like

          1. I managed the first twenty minutes before I had to switch off. All the tricks were in play, exaggeration, omission, editing, cynical looks, cherrypicking.

            It started off with a look back at the state of Russia under Yeltsin and then fast forwarded to explain that those who had big families could get decent state support, but Dimblebuggery going to meet a family with ten children, each two years apart. Yes, the BBC mirrors the worst kind of red top tabloid journalism. Critical views came from the head of the Levada Center, a former speech writer for Putin etc. to which Dimblebuggery only asked helpful questions. Everyone else was asked cynical questions. He even visited the studios of RT and briefly spoke to one of its Irish journalists, insisting that as RT is state owned and funded, he must get orders from the Kremlin. The journalist says he does what he wants and the only people he listens to is his immediate bosses. As you can imagine, there was nothing more to be heard from him as that didn’t fit the meme.

            I caught the last five minutes too and his conclusion. Predictable.

            Like

    2. Et Al, I’m not sure the morons are true believers. I think it’s simpler than that – it’s just all about the money. David Dimbleby and those of his ilk are free to say what they like because their paymasters like what they say. They would not be in the position they are unless they were totally reliable and produced whatever propaganda was needed for whatever purpose whenever. If Dimbleby actually functioned as a genuine journalist and started critically examining what he was told by the Russian ‘opposition’, well, he wouldn’t have a job for very long. Deep down, they all know this.

      Russophobia pays – very average folk (step forward Luke Harding) get opportunities other, better qualified people can only dream of – write for national newspapers, get books published, appear as ‘expert’ witnesses before parliamentary committees, act as the go-to talking heads for TV political pundits etc etc and it’s all kerching…..the money keeps rolling in.

      Like

      1. I’m sure that’s true Fern, but as we know from history, not everyone needs to be a true believer, just not oppose what is going on and keep their heads down and their mouths shut. It’s not self-censorship of course…

        Those on the sofa with him met his claims with a collective intake of breath in temporary incredulous yet believing silence. You could see the thought ‘well he is Dimbleby and he has been there so he should know so it should be true’ running through their heads. It was that genuine initial reaction that shows how receptive people are to whatever is claimed due to the steady drip drip of propaganda. Now whether later at home it occurs to them that it may be exaggeration, let alone unverifiable in any meaningful way is really beside the point.

        Al-beeb World Service is reporting the football world cup and this morning have two Russian football fans in the studio with the presenter. The other presenter commented at one point that ‘many countries that have problems with Russia‘ will be playing.. It’s the same mealy-mouthed ‘International Community‘ dishonest schtick to give the impression that Russia is a global outcast when in fact it is a handful of super powerful nations who are throwing shitfits because they cannot intimidate Russia in to doing their bidding.

        I know I should ignore all this but I like the Beeb for culture, drama and stuff. It just that there is just about no subject you can listen (or watch) where their crap doesn’t come up. It’s relentless. I also know it is all meaningless as this really is the best they can do, they’ve failed at absolutely everything else in this absence, all they are left to do is punish and buff up their own credentials. What does one have to do to get some peace and quiet? Throw out the TV, radio and Internet?

        Like

    3. Dimbleby inherited his lifetime gig in a State run organisation just as many others have. But there’s no nomenklatura in the UK. Oh, no. Multigenerational onscreen talents, that’s what we have.

      Like

  56. Channel 4 News
    Published on Jun 13, 2018
    With less than 24 hours to go before the first game, and five days before England’s match with Tunisia, the Home Office has said it has blocked more than 1,200 people with a history of football violence from going to Russia.

    But what sort of welcome can the fans who are going to support England expect?

    Like

    1. What the fuck does Alexey Navalny, ‘the host nation’s political opposition leader’, have to do with the World Cup? Is he an athlete? A sports expert? Where does he find the time? The mention of him in the context of national security surrounding an international sporting event is totally gratuitous, like Vesti doing a spot in London on the 2012 Summer Olympics, and mentioning that Tony Blair lied about the reasons for Britain involving itself in the Iraq War.

      And yes, it was just like the Brits to show a picture of Russian soldiers assembling for duty, and then interview a convicted football hooligan to get his take on the chances of violence. It would be almost worth going through the process for journalistic accreditation so I could go to England, take a long-distance shot of the Royal Courts of Justice, and then interview a crackhead on British drug laws. Never mind that the hooligan – or reformed hooligan, whatever – gives an endorsement of Russian security measures; his opinion is hardly an objective look at the situation.

      Like

  57. Channel 4 News
    Published on Jun 13, 2018
    The SNP have walked out of the House of Commons in protest at their leader in Westminster, Ian Blackford being ordered to leave Prime Minister’s Questions.

    Like

      1. It’s been done before:

        It is high time for me to put an end to your sitting in this place,
        which you have dishonoured by your contempt of all virtue, and defiled by your practice of every vice.

        Ye are a factious crew, and enemies to all good government.

        Ye are a pack of mercenary wretches, and would like Esau sell your country for a mess of pottage, and like Judas betray your God for a few pieces of money.

        Is there a single virtue now remaining amongst you? Is there one vice you do not possess?

        Ye have no more religion than my horse. Gold is your God. Which of you have not bartered your conscience for bribes? Is there a man amongst you that has the least care for the good of the Commonwealth?

        Ye sordid prostitutes have you not defiled this sacred place, and turned the Lord’s temple into a den of thieves, by your immoral principles and wicked practices?

        Ye are grown intolerably odious to the whole nation. You were deputed here by the people to get grievances redressed, are yourselves become the greatest grievance.

        Your country therefore calls upon me to cleanse this Augean stable, by putting a final period to your iniquitous proceedings in this House; and which by God’s help, and the strength he has given me, I am now come to do.

        I command ye therefore, upon the peril of your lives, to depart immediately out of this place.

        Go, get you out! Make haste! Ye venal slaves be gone! So! Take away that shining bauble there, and lock up the doors.

        In the name of God, go!

        Oliver Cromwell, April 20, 1653.

        Nice one, Olly!

        He said “Take away that shining bauble there” to his heavies, soldiers of the New Model Army, who had been called into the chamber.

        The bauble he refers to was the mace, symbol of Parliamentary authority — well, royal authority, in fact, but the king had already been topped 4 years previously.


        Oliver’s army was there to stay for a while …

        Declan Patrick MacManus, aka Elvis Costello: Scouse/Birkenhead/London warbler — of Irish descent, honest!

        And yes, he does use that word in his 1979 ditty.

        Like

  58. Anyone who wants a break from the British Bullshitting Corporation and David Dumblebumblebee can watch this mockumentary about two Australians who travel to Russia to find football “hooligans” they can bond with. They look for the Orel Butchers and Vasily the Killer who were fingered by the BBC as instigators in the riots at the UEFA Euro 2016 championships in Marseilles.

    The two Australians Alex and Aleksa are the same guys who went to North Korea last year because they heard from the MSM that men there can only have their hair cut in 28 styles approved by the government so one of them tried to get his hair and moustache styled a different way.

    Like

  59. I just started a 2-parter this morning about Russia moving its “Russia Day” celebrations in Israel this year from Tel-Aviv to the Russian IPPO compound in Jerusalem.
    Many people are upset, including Palestinians.
    I reckon also that faction of “Russophiles” will be upset, who see Russia as the champion of the anti-Jew – LOL!
    In reality, I speculate that this was either (a) just a dumb ill-thought-out gaffe, or (b) perhaps indeed Russia showing sneaky support for Nutty Yahoo’s claim to East Jerusalem???

    Like

  60. Just back from the dacha after having enjoyed an extra-long holiday weekend. (Tuesday 12 June was a public holiday [Russia Day]; Saturday, 9 June was in lieu of Monday, 11 June. I had no work scheduled for Saturday (for Monday) and no work yesterday, Wednesday, 13 June. I also had no work on Friday, 9 June. So, Thursday evening, 8 June, I buggered off to my property and returned to Moscow at 13:00 today.

    Life really is hell here!

    Well, it’s going to be particularly hellish for me for the next fortnight or so, because I cannot stand that round-ball game: overrated and played by a load of obscenely overpaid Jessies!

    But to the point of this comment:

    For several years I have been considering transferring most, if not all, of my money at present banked in the UK at NatWest Bank. I transferred money to a Russian Bank account (UniCredit Bank — an Italian/Russian outfit with some others thrown in) in 2007, as necessitated by the regulations concerning the acquisition of a full residence permit. To get an FRP, one had to in 2017 have at least $17 thousand in a Russian bank account. So the transfer was made. No problem.

    My son is ending his first university term now and I have to pay his fees for his second year this September. My elder (18 this Christmas) daughter has this very day pleased us with her getting 69% for Higher Mathematics (the higher the percentages, the bigger is a govt. discount on course fees). She must take after her engineer mum, who has high numeracy skills (better than me, at any rate), but my elder daughter wants to be a bloody journalist now FFS! So come September, I have to start shelling out for my Lena’s higher education.

    I’m old. I might toss tail over any day now (don’t plan to, mind) and my wife is much younger than I am. So, it’s time to get that money at NatWest over here where it can be put to good use, namely to support my family and my wife, who, as it happens, qualifies for a British miner’s widow pension when I croak.

    Having done some research on the web, the general opinion is: do not transfer bank-to-bank as banks are robbing bastards with their bum exchange rates and exorbitant fees. Use a transfer broker, they say.

    So I decided to do this, opting for the services of a top, highly recommended, secure broker called TorFX.

    In fact, I first approached TorFX a regards the transfer that I made in 2007. In the end, I chose bank-to-bank, but since 2007, TorFX has been touting me for business almost on a fortnightly basis.

    Last week, I informed TorFX that I wished them to broker a sizable transfer. They were delighted to learn of my wish. Then I gave them details of my Russian VTB account, which bank is 60.9% owned by the state. and considered “safe”.

    The next day, I received the following message from TorFX:

    8 Jun 2018, 17:26
    Dear Moscow Exile,
    Thank you for your email and documents. I have spoken to our accounts team and unfortunately VTB bank is a bank we are unable to transfer money to.

    I then informed TorFX that I have another account here, at the state savings bank Sberbank — [as of 2014] the largest bank in Russia and Eastern Europe, and the third largest in Europe, ranked 33rd in the world and first in central and Eastern Europe in The Banker’s Top 1000 World Banks ranking.

    The following day I received this message off TorFX:

    I have checked with accounts and unfortunately we are unable to send to Sberbank for the same reason.
    I apologise for any inconvenience.

    No reason given, of course: they gave no reason for refusing the first transfer request that I had made.

    TorFX proudly boasts that it has been “Voted International Money Transfer Provider of the Year 2016, 2017 and 2018”.

    Russia excluded, it seems.

    Thank you Mr. Browder.

    Sergei Magnitsky, you did not die in vain!

    Like

    1. I thought that private individuals (citizens) are exempt from sanctions? I guess that is the point, to force any company that has any dealings in the west (let alone based there) to voluntarily sanction private individuals under fear of reprisals from the US, whether legal or not.

      Like

  61. The Register: Ex-Rolls-Royce engineer nicked on suspicion of giving F-35 info to China
    https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/06/14/rolls_royce_engineer_spy_china_arrest_allegations/

    73-year-old taken in by counter-terror cops – report

    …Rolls-Royce’s one-time chief combustion technologist Bryn Jones, 73, was arrested at his Derbyshire, UK, home by the Metropolitan Police’s Counter Terrorism Command on Tuesday.

    MI5 is said to have received intelligence that “classified defence information” may have been passed to China as part of a plot involving Jones. Jones was apprehended during an “ultra discreet” police operation that included a search of a nearby office…

    …Jones is reportedly a visiting professor in gas turbine combustion at China’s Aeronautical University of Xian….
    ####

    More bullshit, especially for someone who left as far back as 2003. Does anyone else see Washington’s hand in this? It smacks more of a twofer, 1: pour décourager les autres; and 2: cockblocking China from gaining from anyone’s expertize however long ago, whether it is nat security related or not. Even the commentards to the piece are baffled.

    Like

  62. FlightGlobal.com: Poland suspends latest helicopter acquisition
    https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/poland-suspends-latest-helicopter-acquisition-449460/

    Poland’s increasingly farcical programme to procure new helicopters for its armed forces has lurched to a new low after bidders for an eight-unit combat search and rescue tender were told the programme was being shelved.
    ####

    More at the link.

    The lo-land-of-Po-land under PiS likes to blow hot against the Russian threat ™, but even they cannot in to round holes make square pegs go. Blowing themselves more like…

    Like

  63. Euractiv: New EU ‘Peace fund’ could buy weapons for Africa
    https://www.euractiv.com/section/defence-and-security/news/new-eu-peace-fund-could-buy-weapons-for-africa/

    The EU wants to pay for military equipment, including lethal weaponry, for partner countries in crisis zones such as Africa’s Sahel region as part of a €10.5-billion “peace facility” launched on Wednesday (13 June).

    The bloc says the new European Peace Facility (EPF) is needed to make its training missions in three African countries more effective and to enable it to contribute to peacekeeping efforts elsewhere in the world…

    …The commission hopes to get approval for the EPF from EU national governments in the first half of next year so it can start work on 1 January 2021.

    But diplomatic sources say the question of whether the EU should provide arms has not been formally discussed by European ministers, and some countries, particularly those with a history of neutrality, may be reluctant…
    ####

    It’s for peace, not war! Still, this is yet another example of U-rope starting to put all their various ducks in a row to build a European army, whether or not they decide to swing those balls. I suppose you could consider it as competition to the US Africom Command, giving African states the choice of whose weapons they’d like to blow people up with, even if they are all Western. Despite all that, Russia and China equipment is still popular.

    Like

  64. Neuters: May will push for enhanced sanctions against Russia
    https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-russia-britain-sanctions/may-will-push-for-enhanced-sanctions-against-russia-idUKKBN1J91F1

    British Prime Minister Theresa May said on Wednesday she would push for enhanced sanctions against Russia at a summit of EU leaders later this month.

    “I will be pressing to ensure that we maintain sanctions against Russia,” May told parliament. “Indeed, I think there are some areas where we should be enhancing that sanctions regime.”

    Relations between London and Moscow hit a post-Cold War low earlier this year after the poisoning of a former Russian spy in an English city that Britain blamed on Russia.
    ####

    The last one of the last pushes by the old queen. The UK has no veto on EU affairs or much influence left, so this looks like another easy Do Something PR exercise designed in the halls of Westminster to cover the UK’s total lack of soft power.

    Like

  65. I’m watching the Russia-Saudi match. At one point the active pitchside advertizing showed ‘Bud’ (USA) & HiSense (China) side by side… HiSense has the rights to sell tv’s to north America under the ‘Sharp’ brand and is buying a 95% stake in Toshiba Visual Solutions. Chinese firm haier has bought General Electric’s appliances division back in 2016. The US may sanction China, but what about the above. Silence so far…

    Like

    1. I watched the second half and both teams were pretty woeful. Egypt and Uruguay will wipe the floor with Russia and Saudi Arabia. Interesting to see how the camera picked out a spectator all tricked out as the only LGBT in the village, so to speak.
      Good goals, though.

      Like

      1. 5-0 to the Mongol-Tatar Mischlinge!

        My traitorous wife and son put money against Russia winning.

        For that, they shall surely be whipped of to a Siberian “GULag” this coming night.

        Serves ’em right, traitorous dogs!!!!

        🙂

        Like

            1. How could they do that? They haven’t any money, now that their economy is in tatters as a result of British-led sanctions. Bribe Saudi Arabia, one of the per-capita wealthiest countries, to lose? When Putin has egg and chips every night for dinner because he can’t afford meat? When he can’t even starve the Ukrainian peasants to death any more to raise the money? All his attempts to raise another Holodomor have fallen flat, thanks to Poroshenko’s powerful (not to mention alliterative) protection.

              Like

              1. Egg and chips every night?

                The lucky bastard!

                Every night we have gravel swept from the gutter and fried in black sump oil that has leaked from clapped out Soviet truck engines.

                And no salt with it either!!!1

                Like

  66. Peter ‘Lower the age of consent’ Twatchell was arrested in Moscow today for his one man protest, which al-beeb s’allah told me would not a problem under normal circumstances, but as it is the Football World Cup, there are temporary more stringent rules in place. Twatchell was brought before a judge and was released, ordered to return to court on June 26.

    Like

    1. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/peter-tatchell-moscow-arrest-russia-world-cup-2018-lgbt-gay-rights-protest-red-square-a8398691.html

      …Before arresting the British campaigner, the Russian police officers first discussed the constitution with him for around 10 minutes, according to The Independent‘s Moscow correspondent Oliver Carroll, who was on the scene.

      Mr Tatchell was allowed to walk to a nearby police car where he was initially questioned, before being driven away to a police station…

      Like

      1. Yes, it’s great fun to cry out for the rights of the ‘veteran campaigner’ for pedophilia when he’s far away. Parents the world over who protest the heavy-handed gay-bashing tactics of Moscow should invite Tatchell to babysit their 8-year-old sons while they go away for the long weekend, just to showcase their support for gay rights.

        But I think we all knew deviates like him would come out of the woodwork for any international event in Russia – it’s one of the few places on earth he can go and demonstrate for his wretched cause and receive support from his countrymen, because their repugnance for Russia and Russians is greater than their repugnance for child buggery.

        Like

        1. In 1997, Tatchell wrote a letter to the Guardian in defence of what he called an “academic” book about ‘boy-love’, calling the work “courageous”. Tatchell wrote:

          ” The positive nature of some child-adult sexual relationships is not confined to non-Western cultures. Several of my friends — gay and straight, male and female — had sex with adults from the ages of nine to 13. None feel they were abused. All say it was their conscious choice and gave them great joy…it is time society acknowledged the truth that not all sex involving children is unwanted, abusive and harmful”.

          In 1986, in the book “Betrayal of Youth”, he had already argued for the ending of the age of consent. That book was edited by a former leading light in the Netherlands based “Paedophile Information Exchange”., who, I believe, was later imprisoned for his paederasty.

          Tatchell was asked several times in the Guardian CiF feature if he still stood by these opinions of his. As far as I am aware, he hedged around giving an unequivocable reply.

          Tatchell in his Guardian opinion pieces (and the Guardianistas really love him, always referring to him as “Peter”) often put forward his case that there exists a “sex-shame culture”, that such shame is a societal invention, that the vast majority of people in human society is “oppressed” by “the whole sex-shame culture”.

          Tatchell and his ilk demand that there should be no “sex-shame culture”. There remains, however, whether Tatchell likes this or not, a worldwide abhorrence — a “paedophilia-abhorrence culture” one might even say.

          Surely, if, as Tatchell has maintained in his Guardian CiF arguments, everything is artificially decided by society, abhorrence at adults having sex with small children must have been artificially decided too: we must all have been conditioned by society to abhor this sexual practice. It matters not what argument you put forth against such a practice: if you support Peter Tatchell’s views outlined in his CiF piece written to celebrate his 40-year struggle against the “sex-shame culture”, those arguments must be weighed in the same balance thus:

          According to Tatchell, sexual mores are decided by society. According to his way of thinking, arguments against sex with minors are all societally decided:

          Lack of maturity? — Societally decided.

          Lack of ability to grant consent? — Societally decided etc.

          And as regards what he calls the “sex-shame culture”, Tatchell’s arguments might run as follows:

          No sex with animals? — Societally decided.

          No sex with dead bodies? — Societally decided.

          Men having sex with non-consenting women? — Societally decided.

          Tatchell & Co. demand, therefore, that our present societal norms that allow for sexual shame and penalisation of the shameful be outlawed in the name of Tatchell’s wished-for sexual “freedom”; not satisfied, apparently, with the fact that he has been able for many years in the UK to undertake homosexual acts with impunity with any consenting adult, he demands even more freedoms such as …?

          [Tatchell is an Australian, by the way. When he arrived in London, on his own admittance, he very quickly began to live with an underage homosexual partner, a 17-year-old, who, no doubt, consented, though not an “adult”. Thatcher wants the law changed so that if one wishes, one can embark on homosexual “partnerships” with children.]

          Tatchell has made more than one sortie into Russia to spread his word.

          I should imagine that for Tatchell the term “democracy” mean a political system where lawmakers abide by the decision of the majority in a free and fair, secret ballot made by those enfranchised according to the constitution. If that be the case, then Russians are no less “democratic” in their decision making than the British: every Russian citizen over the age of 18 years of age, except the insane and those in prison, has the right to cast a vote.

          In the Russian Federation, homosexual acts between consenting adult males is not illegal. However, if in Russia a democratic vote, as defined above, were to be taken over the question whether both male and female homosexuals should be allowed to parade their sexual preferences publicly in a so-called “Gay Pride” parade, there would be a resounding “no” from the majority.

          If the Moscow Mayor were to allow a “gay parade” in Moscow, there would most definitely be a serious breach of public order. Such disorder would not only be orchestrated by extremely right wing political morons and, in my opinion, equally moronic Christian and Muslim zealots, but also by a broad section of society.

          Homosexuals such as Tatchell describe this situation in Russia using cliched phrases such as “lack of democracy” and “totalitarianism”. However, should Tatchell and his like-minded homosexual provocateurs attempt to do in Moscow what they did in London in order to draw attention to their cause, namely to assemble at shoolyard gates in order to proselytize their homosexuality to schoolchildren, they would, in my opinion, without any shadow of a doubt whatsoever, be putting their lives in danger at the hands of the Russian general public.

          Some would say that this would be clear evidence that Russia is not really a civilized state; others would beg to differ.

          Like

          1. If one were to offer a scenario in which an adult were empowered to use his maturity and position of authority to persuade a child to commit a crime, such as to steal or to murder, society would not hesitate to affirm that children lack the judgment, and experience from which it springs, to differentiate right from wrong. That same society would not hesitate to condemn the adult who persuaded a child to steal, knowing that the child is unaware it is wrong. But when it comes to sexual activity, the pedophile crowd skillfully wields the red cape before the bull’s eyes, and changes ‘wrong’ to ‘illegal’. It is a crime to steal or to murder, for obvious reasons – but why is the sexual act a crime?

            But it’s actually the same situation, and the crime in it is persuading someone who cannot properly exercise judgment than an act is not wrong when they don’t know enough to say whether it is or is not.

            Like

            1. I’m looking forward to him doing a one man tour of the Gulf States for starters. He’s all for low hanging fruit though…

              Like

  67. As the Bear’s coat starts to fray at the edges..

    “Thus, the Nezavisimaya Gazeta recently cited the following numbers with regard to health care: “Since 2000, the number of hospitals in Russia has declined by about 300 to 350 per year. In the past 16 years, their number has been reduced by a factor of five. Especially within the framework of the restructuring and optimization of the health care system, clinics in small towns in the countryside and villages are being shut down. The number of polyclinics has also significantly declined: of 21,300 only 18,600 remain.”

    The number of pediatricians in Russia has declined from 72,000 to 58,000 between 2000 and 2016, and between 2005 and 2014, the number of outpatient hospitals has declined by 2.4 times in the countryside, thus dramatically worsening the access to medical aid for children there.

    At the same time, the government spares no money when it comes to supporting the oligarchs, banks and major businesses. The Russian Central Bank has recently spent 2,62 trillion rubles ($41.2 billion) to readjust three private banking groups. The “Vneshekonombank”, a state enterprise with special status, which is directly led by the government, has received over 1 trillion rubles ($15.92 billion) from the state budget between 2016 and 2017, channelled through the Central Bank. By contrast, the latest social initiatives of the president to improve the demographic situation are estimated to cost some 80 billion rubles ($1.27 billion) per year.”

    Never mind the coat..oligarchical fangs differ not at all from one species of beast to another…

    http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/06/14/puti-j14.html

    Like

      1. sarcasm is a poor substitute for inadequate health care…which -BTW-the latter is rampant in the supposedly civilized West..

        Like

        1. Very well then: the sick and infirm are not dying on the streets.

          And if you don’t like sarcasm, how about a little vulgarity:

          I wouldn’t wipe my arse with Nezavisimaya Gazeta.

          Like

          1. Why do you believe health care is inadequate in Russia?

            Does the alleged fact that in Russia fewer hospitals have been built in recent years than before indicate a decline in health care in Russia?

            In my home town in the UK, they built 5 big new secondary schools [high schools in the US] in the ’60s. Twenty years later, all of them had been demolished.

            Does this fact reflect a decline in educational standards in my home town over 30 years ago?

            I think not.

            I have been in hospital 4 times in Russia over the past 25 years: I survived. I am still alive and well and I paid NOWT!

            As it happens, I paid for a full health check at a private clinic here last month.

            The check included:

            various blood tests

            an ultrasonic scan

            an electrocardiograph

            a fluoroscopy

            a colonoscopy

            a gastroscopy

            It cost me about $70.

            They said I was healthy, giving me special praise for the condition of my heart, lungs and liver: I presume that’s because I don’t smoke and haven’t drunk for over 10 years. They told me that there was too much fat around my gall bladder and pancreas, though. This might be due to my love of salo. They didn’t say that: that’s my theory.

            Like

            1. From 2000 through to 2015 the number of hospitals in Russia has halved, from 10.7 thousand to 5.4 thousand, as estimated by experts at the Centre for Economic and Political Reforms (CEPR) based on Rosstat data. In its report “Health Care. Optimization of the Russian health care system in action”, experts say that if the authorities continue to close the hospital at such a rate (353 per year), by 2021 / 2022 the number of medical institutions in the country will reach 3 million, that is, the number that the Russian Empire had in 1913.

              Reduction of number of hospitals in Russia

              So there’s the spin: Russian health care is on the same level as it was during the last days of the Empire over 100 years ago.

              But quantity does not necessarily reflect quality, does it?

              Health care reform began in 2010, when the law on mandatory health insurance was adopted.

              [By the way, last week I received my state health insurance certificate. I had previously had one from 2003 until last May, but when, through my own negligence, I lost my permission to reside in Russia as a foreign citizen, my state insurance policy was terminated. Having in April been once again granted permission to reside in Russia, I was qualified to receive a National Health Insurance policy, but I only got round to applying for this policy last week — because I am not at death’s door, I hope! It took me about 30 minutes to get the policy: I showed my passport in which my residence permit and my registered address in Moscow is stamped and duly received my state health insurance policy. I paid nothing. I pay Russian income tax, though — at a fixed rate of 13%. The bureaucrat was surprised when i told her that I was still working. I became of Russian pensionable age 9 years ago. Having a state health insurance policy means that all medical treatment for me in state hospitals here is “free”.]

              The health care reform began here in 2010

              [It]has consisted of the optimization of costs as a result of the closure of inefficient hospitals and the use of high-tech medical institutions [My stress — ME]. The authors of the report explained that they they have taken into consideration the 15 years that Vladimir Putin has been in governmental office , including his term of office as Prime Minister. In addition, the active reform and optimization of health began in 2003-2005, which is evident from statistics on the number of hospitals and clinics.

              In short: they have closed down the shitholes and the far fewer hospitals that now remain in operation are working more efficiently and with up-to-date technology.

              I know: I’ve been in them.

              Source: РБК

              RBK is neither “Kremlin controlled” nor “Putin friendly”.

              Like

              1. The graph is the typical BS with numbers spread by propagandists. What matters is the total hospital capacity (e.g. beds and nurses) and not the integer count of hospitals. One big new hospital can replace several smaller, decrepit old ones. So the total number falling from 10,700 in 2000 to 5,400 in 2015 does not imply that the capacity was reduced.

                Like

                1. I should say that the state of Russian state health care is on a par with that of the United Kingdom. Granted, I read regular shock-horror stories about British NHS mismanagement, understaffing etc. from news media that has an agenda to follow. Nevertheless, I am satisfied with the health care that I have been given here.

                  Much to the amazement of many of my fellow countrymen here (whom I avoid like the plague) and US colleagues (who, in my experience, I often find to be more tolerable than my compatriots), my three children were all born in state hospitals. They were all safely delivered and neither they nor my wife suffered as a result. Russian hospitals are not charnel houses, although I get the distinct impression that many Westerners think that they are as a result of their endless conditioning by the Western media.

                  Here’s an example of the result of Western ant-Russian propaganda: the article below appeared in yesterday’s British Independent:

                  Russia warns Norway of ‘consequences’ after it invites in more US Marines

                  To which article the following comment was made by Airman48, who, I believe, claims to be a US “vet”:

                  “Russia warns Norway of ‘consequences’” More threats from Russia that belies the facts Russia is a weak regional power , rife with corruption, teetering on the brink of economic collapse and on the verge of transitioning from a pariah state to a failed state for the second time in 30 years. Russia’s entire military is smaller than the USMC, and its military equipment is antiquated and in disrepair, because Russia can’t afford to pay troops or maintain equipment. Which is why Russia has increasingly focused on cyber warfare as a cheaper alternative to kinetic warfare. Russia has conducted systematic attacks against the sovereignty of the US and our allies. These attacks are acts of war. Allowing Russia to continue to wage war against the west is antithetical to the interests of the US and our allies.

                  And there’s this typical one from, I presume, judging by the spelling, a fellow countryman, a so-called “Brit” (how I loathe that term):

                  feral-nerd
                  40 minutes ago
                  …and the Scandinavians aren’t planning to invade Russia, it’s Russia that’s invading it’s neighbours and annexing their territory.

                  How appropriate that the latter commenter, who seems to have problems with punctuation, labels himself as a “nerd”.

                  Like

              2. In the U.S. smaller hospitals are busy merging into larger network. In many states, where there used to be, say, 10 community hospitals, there is now 1 larger network. On the books, it looks like 9 hospitals were lost, but that’s not actually the case.
                The individual buildings, beds, and even staff may remain in place, they just have a different corporate logo now. I don’t know if this is the same phenomenon that is happening in Russia?

                Like

                1. It looks like it is: consolidation of resources.

                  That small-town hospital where they patched me up in 2008 after my flying off a mountain bike, was new and is what is called in the UK a “cottage hospital”. The orthopaedic surgeon there was concerned whether I should need some orthopaedic engineering work done on a bad break that was located where I had already suffered a bad break whilst playing rugby almost 50 years previously. They were going to pack me off to some special orthopaedic place in Moscow, but as things turned out, the break knitted.

                  Still bloody hurts though — especially when the temperature falls to below minus 20°C [minus 4°F].

                  All the rest of the gang in my orthopaedic ward were local yokels. One poor lad had broken his back after falling through a barn roof. They were all farmhand casualties. Needless to say, I was an object of intense interest to them during my stay there, especially when I sat sipping my afternoon Earl Grey tea, my right-hand little finger so delicately raised as I held my porcelain tea cup, and eating McVitie’s Digestives.

                  The doctors and nurses there were great and seemed rather apologetic about an English gentleman having to suffer the indignity of being billeted with a load of hayseeds.

                  Needless to say, whilst there, I suffered my dismal lot manfully, upper lip ever stiff.

                  🙂

                  Like

              3. Jesus God ME..my comments were not about the inadequacies of Russian health care..

                There are two axioms:

                1) NONE of us get out of this MF (life) alive.

                2) If you are affluent then you can afford the best that current state of the art medicine can
                provide…..until your clock runs out..then see 1) above.

                EOS..

                Like

                1. You wrote above:

                  “As the Bear’s coat starts to fray at the edges..”

                  And then went on to quote at length an article from Nezavisimaya Gazeta, which quote included the following:

                  The number of pediatricians in Russia has declined from 72,000 to 58,000 between 2000 and 2016, and between 2005 and 2014, the number of outpatient hospitals has declined by 2.4 times in the countryside, thus dramatically worsening the access to medical aid for children there.

                  At the same time, the government spares no money when it comes to supporting the oligarchs, banks and major businesses.

                  So why: “Jesus God ME..my comments were not about the inadequacies of Russian health care..”, when you quoted above and at length an article from a rag whose main purpose is to endlessly denigrate the “regime”, having firstly seemingly agreed with the NG article by referring to the fraying of the edges of the “Bear’s coat” before quoting from it?

                  Like

    1. The downsizing is consistent with the demographic decline. The birth rate plus immigration minus death rate inflection point only occurred in 2016. So this liberast rag is engaging in the usual twisting of the truth to pimp a NATzO propaganda agenda.

      Like

    2. Wasn’t Nezavisimaya Gazeta owned by Boris Berezovsky back in the 1990s?

      BTW I recall Lyttenburgh and myself noting Clara Weiss’s reporting on the Kemerovo shopping mall fire in which she relied on sources like “Novaya Gazeta” and Meduza.io, who can be relied on to be antagonistic towards the Russian government and to put a negative spin on what it does or whatever happens regardless of what the government does or does not do. Why does Weiss consistently prefer to source her information from such outlets?

      For example, of the 14,000 paediatricians who disappeared in the 16 years up to 2016, what percentage of these disappearances was people retiring or taking extended leave from work (to have families or to pursue further study)?

      I don’t understand this sentence: “Since 2000, the number of hospitals in Russia has declined by about 300 to 350 per year” – what is this supposed to mean? That the number of hospitals being built per year has declined from 650 to 350? If that is the case, then perhaps that means Russia has actually reached a point where new hospital construction can slow down – because most parts of the country now have adequate health facilities and there is now a risk that some places now have too many hospitals.

      Like

      1. A certain other person also was very fond of using Medusa as his source of information as well as RBK.

        The media group РосБизнесКонсалтинг (RosBiznesKonsalting: seems they felt obliged to use English syntax to form the name of the group, which in Russian is Группа компаний «РБК») has had as its general director since January 2014 a certain Nikolay Molibog:

        Not long left school by the looks of it. in fact, he’s now 43. Maybe it’s because I am now so long in the tooth, but the whole RBK top management team seems to me to be not long out of school.

        The owner of RBK is 51-year-old entrepreneur Grigoriy Beryozkin:

        b>The dirt on Beryozkin Grigory Viktorovich

        Grigory Viktorovich Berezkin (b. August 9, 1966, Moscow) — Russian businessman, owner of ESN [insurance — ME] group. The main areas of activity of the companies are the oil and electricity industries. Candidate of chemical Sciences. Biography

        In 1988 he graduated from the chemical faculty of the Moscow University, having specialized in “petrochemistry”.

        In 1991 he graduated from graduate school, and in 1993 he defended his thesis.

        From 1991 up to 1994 he worked at MSU as a Junior researcher.

        In 1992, together with Alexander Mamut and Vladimir Gruzdev, he founded the company “Slavyanka” on the basis of store No. 2 October DEWA, which became the basis of the future network of supermarkets “The Seventh Continent”. [High end of the market chain stores — ME]

        In 1993, after having started trading oil, he met up with Roman Abramovich, who was involved in the supply of petroleum products from the Republic of Komi.

        Under the patronage of Roman Abramovich, in 1994 he became Deputy General Director of “Komineft”, and at the same time that its general representative in Moscow. While managing the company “Mesko” — joint venture “Komineft” and RAO “International economic cooperation”, which was one of the key shareholders of “Komineft”.

        In the same year, based on “Komineft”, the Ukhta refinery, and the “Kominefteprodukt” holding “KomiTEK” was created.

        In 1995 he ran as an independent candidate for deputy of the State Duma of the Russian Federation.

        In 1996-1997 Berezkin headed “KomiTEK — Moscow” (KTM sales structure “KomiTEK”); on behalf of “Sibneft” he exported crude oil “NNG”.

        In 1997, he consolidated in his hands the levers of KomiTEK and became Chairman of the Board of Directors of the company. In the same year he purchased “Evroseverneft” (38 %) and “Security-Trust” (29 %), providing securities for the “National Reserve Bank” (NRB). In 1997-1999 he waschairman of the Board of Directors of ZAO AKB “Uhtabank”.

        From 1997 to 2005 he was chairman of the board of JSC “Evroseverneft” (UST)…

        Since 2010 he has been a member of the Board of Directors of JSC “Russian Railways”…

        He has worked for the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs since 2000 and has been a member of the management board of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs since 2008… Since 2010 he has been chairman of the Federal Commission for Energy. Meetings of the Commission under the chairmanship of G. V. Berezkin have reviewed the proposals on amendments to legislative acts to ensure the efficient development of the power complex of the Russian Federation, exceptions to the substantial growth of electricity prices for industrial consumers. They also discussed about the possibility of concluding and the correct account in the trading system of the wholesale market of free bilateral contracts for the supply of electricity, participation in the wholesale market, end users, and independent energy retail companies in the price of the wholesale market. Considered the possibility of regulatory consolidation of the rights of consumers to choose a tariff for transmission services, as well as to eliminate excessive penalties for exceeding the stated amount of power.

        Property owned by and under the control Berezkin: 50,5 % of shares of “Company Acts”. (According to the directory companies in the business portal Vedomosti: 51 % of the ESN group is owned by Grigory Berezkin, ENEL (49 %)). Uyarskaya rail loading terminal (OOO “NT-service”), “Energoauditcontrol” and25% of the shares Rusenergoresurs ( supply of electricity Transneft)

        Among media assets:

        The publishing house “Komsomolskaya Pravda”. The Media company “RZD-Partner”. The magazine “Power Engineering Today”. The newspaper “Metro”. Grigory Berezkin has sponsored the first in Russia exhibition of the Italian artist Titian in the Pushkin Museum.

        Scandals: According to “Novaya Gazeta”, Grigory Berezkin has a very mixed reputation in the business community. The former Minister of Fuel and Energy of Russia, Victor Kalyuzhny, actually accused Gregory Berezkin of frauds associated with oil production, which led to the abolition of the company “KomiTEK”: “Who in Komi has used this oil? Grigory Berezkin, who for all his life no one has come all that close to, and only the money rolls in as cash flows. His team was not concerned about the technical production. He has created dozens of structures and pilfered all of KomiTEK to shreds!” In 2002, the government decided to tighten control over the Yakut diamond-mining company “ALROSA”, but faced with the protest of the local authorities. Gregory Berezkinhas tried to capitalize on this situation by starting negotiations to purchase 5% of ALROSA shares from the Fund of Social Guarantees for Russian Government Servicemen. In response, the Ministry of Property Relations decided to liquidate the fund. The dispute lasted until the end of 2002 and was resolved in favour of the state after the personal intervention of Alexei Kudrin. The company “Rosenergoatom”, of which on 75% belongs to the “Group SST”, is trying to take over the frequency for the deployment of 4G in Russia. According to experts, for the purchase of the “Group SST” is trying to use administrative resources. The company Rusenergosbyt, owned by Grigory Berezkin, has supplied the Gazprom electricity at a price 60 % above market value.

        Family Married, four children.

        Truly, a man with the best interests of the people at heart!

        Like

    3. “… The “Vneshekonombank”, a state enterprise with special status, which is directly led by the government, has received over 1 trillion rubles ($15.92 billion) from the state budget between 2016 and 2017, channelled through the Central Bank …”

      Sounds like standard procedure for a government-owned development and investment bank whose function is to invest in Russian economic development.

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

      “… The Russian government uses VEB to support and develop the Russian economy and to manage Russian state debts and pension funds. It is a part in the government’s plan to diversify the Russian economy … and to do so receives funds directly from the federal state budget …

      The bank has been used to fund industrial and infrastructure projects, as well as off-budget spending on government projects such as the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics … Another one of its unofficial functions has been to act as a rescue fund for failing businesses …”

      If the funding from the federal state budget comes through the Central Bank, that would be a normal and in fact a transparent procedure, nothing secretive as the expression “… channelled through the Central Bank …” would imply. If Moscow wanted to know how much money VEB was receiving at a particular time, the Central Bank would hold records of the transactions.

      Like

    4. Nezavisimaya Gazeta forgets to mention that the small towns in which these hospitals and clinics were situated have themselves closed down, emptied out, vanished in the global movement of populations to large cities. This is a pretty well-known phenomenon, since it is observable and has been talked about for some time; more than half of the world’s population now lives in cities.

      https://theconversation.com/the-worlds-urban-population-is-growing-so-how-can-cities-plan-for-migrants-49931

      Like

  68. Our youngest child was born in 2008 — in a spanking new hospital.

    I was last in hospital here in that same year — way out in the sticks in a little country town called Ruza.

    The hospital in Ruza where I spent a week in an orthopaedic ward had been built in 2006.

    Like

    1. Front page cartoon from Vesti ” Here we are , a couple of months after Brexit, and gas in Britain costs €4000,00 per 1000 cm – ha, ha, ha!!! Better get started on busting up Granny’s piano for firewood, you buck-toothed gits!!!”

      Like

        1. British subjects as a whole did not keep coal in their bathtubs, only a certain type of the filthy British working classes did.


          Chester-le-Street, Co. Durham, 1937: coal miner taking a bath at the end of his shift.

          And after the water had been tipped down the yard, he no doubt filled the galvanized tin tub with the coal that he received as part payment from the mining company that employed him.

          As it happens, I’m old enough to just remember my granddad doing that, and my uncle, his son.

          I used to get bathed as a kid in a tub just like that: no bathroom, see.

          Used to have in our cottage a big fire range like the one in the picture as well. I remember it being yanked out of the wall when I was about 7-years-old and it being replaced by a state-of-the-art tiled fireplace.

          I never got a coal allowance, though, when I was employed as a miner, because I was single: only married householders got a coal allowance.

          Tight bastards!

          Like

  69. Well, well; look at that. Chinese Jiangsu Seraphim Solar System Co., Ltd. has won a large contract to supply Ukraine with a big solar-power plant.

    https://www.marketwatch.com/story/seraphim-wins-246mw-solar-project-ukraines-largest-2018-06-14-8183300

    It will be built in Dnepropetrovsk by DTEK…which is owned outright by Poroshenko chum Rinat Akhmetov.

    https://www.kyivpost.com/business/national-energy-regulator-falls-total-control-president.html

    Is there any company in Ukraine which employs more than 10 people and is not controlled by an oligarch or the president?

    But I repeat myself.

    Like

  70. Moscow Times:

    Russia shocked friend and foe on Thursday evening by trouncing Saudi Arabia 5-0 in the opening match of the World Cup. Denis Cheryshev, who came on as a sub after 20 minutes, stole the limelight by putting away two goals.

    — As Russia hammered the back of the Saudi net, the cameras zoomed in on Vladimir Putin shrugging apologetically towards Saudi Prince Mohammad bin Salman.

    — Off the pitch, Russia’s Energy Minister Alexander Novak and Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih agreed to expand cooperation in the oil and gas sector.

    — The opening match marked the beginning of what is bound to be a tournament laced with politics.

    Just days earlier, Liverpool star and Egypt national Mohammed Salah was criticized for posing in a photo with Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov. The Egyptian side is tipped to be Russia’s most difficult match of the tournament.

    And who, might I ask, is doing this lacing of the tournament with politics?

    The Russians?

    Mark Galeotti certainly seems to know who is responsible for lacing sport with politics. Well he would do, wouldn’t he?

    Fear Not the Honeypot (Op-ed)
    The fears of the Western press are rooted in Putin’s hostile geopolitical strategy.


    Oh look! It’s that nice Miss Chapman (neé Kushchenko) again!

    …for Putin, this is a prestige project intended to rebuild Russia’s depleted stocks of soft power. The Kremlin wants the World Cup to go smoothly. As with the Sochi Winter Olympics, the word has been put out to the country’s godfathers that it will be very displeased if visitors’ experiences are soured.

    Inside information — direct from Prague!

    This is a state with formidable security assets at its disposal. Much of their time may be wasted dispersing anti-government protests, shaking down innocent travelers from the North Caucasus and eavesdropping on opposition leaders’ phone calls.

    Yep! That’s what OMON’s for: beating up Navalny’s thousands and thousands of determined Rubberduckians every weekend.

    And Galeotti, of course, is wary of “… the impact of Putin’s increasingly aggressive geopolitical campaign to assert his country’s status as a great power“.

    Yeah verily!

    Mr. Fucking Know-It-All warns:

    Constrained by the very real limits of Russian economic and even military strength, but liberated by the divisions and often timidity of the West, Putin has unleashed a campaign of disinformation, subversion and intimidation. He does not appear to expect to win friends, but instead, like a global bully, wants to look too formidable, too unpredictable, too dangerous to ignore. His hope is that this persuades enough of the West that it has to make a deal with him and accept his terms.

    This has terrible long-term costs and risks, though. Putin risks making Russia into an international pariah, betraying many Russians’ hopes that they can find a peaceful place in the global community.

    I don’t know whether I should feel sorry for the sad bastard.

    Nah … he’s just a piece of shit singing for his supper.

    Like

    1. You will never get any other sort of analysis from that source – his mind is made up, and if he doesn’t see what he expects to see, well, then, that’s because you are hiding it. His job is not to tell you what is actually going on in Russia – it’s to interpret what is actually going on in language that reassures the west it is still top dog and Putin just a little street thug with pretensions to grandeur. Putin pretends to be confident, but inside he is quaking with fear of the west and its endless legions, while at the same time he is jealous of its riches and friendships.

      There’s no use trying to introduce reality to the discussion – so much is invested in remaining deluded.

      Like

  71. Neuters via Antiwar.com: U.S. charges Russians with violating sanctions by sending jet fuel to Syria
    https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-mideast-crisis-syria-fuel/u-s-charges-russians-with-violating-sanctions-by-sending-jet-fuel-to-syria-idUKKBN1JA2XQ

    ####

    Will this kind of demented behavior ever end? On the plus side, in the old days Washington could just bring pressure to bear on the offenders/offending country and get their way. Now they are left with loft extra-legal judgments made by retarded judges back home in the US of A! All signs of the on going decline.

    Like

    1. What do they imagine Russian jets run on? Daisy petals?

      “The U.S. sanctions on Syria and Crimea thwart Syria’s support of terrorism and its pursuit and use of weapons of mass destruction,” U.S. Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers said in a statement.

      Yes, Syria was so much better off when it was under American military protection, and ISIS was loose in the suburbs of Damascus and the government’s back was to the wall. Uncle Sam was doing an awesome job.

      Like

  72. Now here’s a thing that you won’t read in the Daily Shagging Mail, the Telegraph, the Times and the other objective and impartial purveyors of British propagandistic falsehoods ….

    I was telling my old workmate from down the pit that I hadn’t watched last night’s Russia win as I had been at work, and about my wife and son betting against a Russian win and how I have never been a gambler and how daft I thought my wife and son had been for blowing 1,000 rubles on a silly bet.

    My old mate had watched the Russian win against Saudia Arabia on TV and replied thus to my last mailing to him:

    I agree mate…I’ve never been a betting man, to be honest l don’t think l would know how to put a bet on in a bookie’s…

    Regarding the game last night, it’s not very patriotic to bet against your own team but a bet’s a bet and you want to win….Good luck to Russia because they played as a team and all five goals were good uns…

    There’s a son of a bloke l know who is over there to watch England and he can’t get over how nice Moscow is and the folk….he’s told his dad that he intends to revisit at a later date to really take in the city and its attractions….

    To be honest…I’ve not took too much bother over the tournament as yet but l might gee myself up when England play on Monday…

    Speak soon

    [My stress.]

    If he had written that which I have stressed above in a comment to a UK “newspaper”, he’d have been swamped, no doubt, with such stupid enquiries as “What’s the weather like today on Savushkin Street”.

    Like

  73. OK…I get it…

    Russia GOOD in every respect…no discussion permitted!!!

    NS :BAD ..an obvious CIA/MI6 plant who promotes lies and disinfo about the Russkies!!

    Da!!!…there we have it!!

    BTW….the gutless vermin described below are what Stooges should condemn:

    “Groups and publications like the ISO, Jacobin and others have fully embraced the #MeToo movement, which has been used to carry out a systematic campaign to undermine due process under the guise of opposing sexual assault. In many ways, the genesis of this right-wing movement lay with the charges against Assange, which set an example for how false or unsubstantiated allegations of sexual assault could be used to promote the policy aims of the Democratic Party and the ruling class as a whole
    The abandonment of Assange by these groups is a reflection, fundamentally, of their class basis. They are organizations of the **upper-middle class** that, whatever their socialist rhetoric, support American imperialism and the capitalist system. Genuine opposition to the attack on democratic rights, and support for Assange, must be rooted in a different social force, connecting the fight for Assange’s freedom to the building of a mass socialist movement against inequality and imperialist war.”

    http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/06/11/assa-j11.html

    Like

    1. NS, we have never said that whatever Russia does is always good. We’re just criticising the way the WSWS writer on Russian-related issues Clara Weiss sources her information and uses it in ways that misrepresent the actual situation in the country. It is only fair and proper that we call her out on the way she uses particular statistics about the number of hospitals being built in Russia each year and the number of paediatricians in the country to denigrate the healthcare system there, without reference to the changing demographics that might necessitate consolidating hospitals and medical clinics so that they are located in areas where they are most needed. There is no use maintaining a hospital and stocking it with expensive equipment in a locality if there are not enough people in the area and the local taxes they pay are not sufficient to pay the salaries of the doctors, nurses, technicians and administrative staff (including IT, kitchen and cleaning staff) needed to work in the hospital and operate all its equipment.

      Likewise the information about Moscow funding major banks – one of these banks being a state-owned bank that should receive funding from the Central Bank of Russia and whose purposes include funding infrastructure development that benefits communities among other things – appears to have been twisted to support the notion that Moscow favours its financial sector and its corporate elites’ interests over the public interest. The impression I come away with is that Weiss selectively picks information that conforms to an agenda that is not objective. She appears unable to analyse whatever information she gets from a dubious set of sources, one of which (Meduza.io) was often quoted by the troll who was flooding the KS comments forums.

      Like

  74. Center for Strategic & International Studies
    Streamed live on Jun 14, 2018
    As of May 7, Vladimir Putin has begun his fourth term as the President of the Russian Federation. The next six years seem poised to be pivotal, with U.S. foreign policy in flux, the world responding, and Russia redefining its roles and responsibilities. Yet, one trend that continues unabated is a downward spiral in tensions between Moscow and Washington. Many western experts see Putin himself as the reason for problems past and present. What, then, does his continued rule mean for U.S. Russian relations, and how might each country adjust its policies to better further domestic, foreign policy, and security goals? Join us in this conversation with past Russian government and opposition leaders regarding what Moscow and Washington can do, and what they are likely to. This event is organized in cooperation with the Institute of Modern Russia (IMR).

    Like

      1. You think? Look at their credentials – “Worked with Boris Nemtsov”; former Chatham House; formerly worked for the International Republican Institute; Golos; the Potomac Foundation; Vedomosti…

        Like

      2. I just looked at Free Russia Foundation HQ’s address on that website:

        HEAD OFFICE
        The Ronald Reagan Building
        1300 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Suite 700
        Washington DС 20004

        Wow, just a stone’s throw from … The White House?

        Like

  75. Климкин призвал испортить чемпионат мира по футболу в России‍

    Klimkin has urged that the World Cup in Russia be spoiled
    15.06.2018 | 23:08

    The Ukraine Minister of Foreign Affairs has expressed the opinion that the state should make every effort to spoil the World Cup in Russia, “Ukrainian News” reports.

    According to him, the Ukraine “must spoil the football festival”, but did not say what methods would be used.

    Klimkin also said that he had prompted the leadership of the Ukraine to take such a radical step.

    “We are planning our actions in such a way that every fan who travels to the Russian Federation understands that he is not going to a football festival, but to a state where there are political prisoners. Russia has always and everywhere violated all international norms”, Klimkin added.

    Pathetic!

    Like

  76. FIFATV
    Published on Jun 14, 2018
    Hosts Russia could not have wished for a better start to their own FIFA World Cup™ following their resounding 5-0 victory over Saudi Arabia.

    Like

  77. Washington Post, 1 day ago:

    Putin hoped his World Cup bid would improve relations with the West. They’ve suffered instead.

    By Eli Rosenberg.

    Eli Rosenberg
    Washington, D.C.
    General assignment reporter covering national and breaking news
    Education: University of California at Los Angeles, BA in American literature and Latin American studies
    Eli Rosenberg is a reporter on The Washington Post’s General Assignment team. He worked as a reporter at the New York Times and the New York Daily News during 10 years living in New York, where he covered cover policing, courts, and other urban issues. He is originally from California.

    Old Eli is clearly well qualified to write about Russian politics!

    Like

    1. Yes, well, it was a foregone conclusion that Russia would try and fail. The west are the succeeders, and Russia constantly tries to ape them and constantly comes up short…in their eyes.

      Thank God they’re no longer friends. Who would hang around with such can’t-get-over-myself pricks as the west are?

      Like

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