The Bathtub Navy’s Christmas Vacation

Wink
Uncle Volodya says “Don’t let schooling interfere with your education.”

There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn’t true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true.

Soren Kierkegaard

From the start, I was a little reluctant to get drawn into the Kerch Strait fiasco, because I was convinced from the outset that it would not amount to anything despite the western cries of a major naval battle in the Kerch Strait between Russia and Ukraine. Knowing as we do that any incident in which Russia reacts in any way to Ukraine’s increasingly-ridiculous behaviour is going to get inflated until it looks like Guernica come to life, I was confident it would be the proverbial tempest in a teapot. Ukraine’s biggest surface combatant is the frigate “Hetman Sahaydachniy”, a 3,500-ton patrol ship built in the early 90’s at – ironically – the Kerch shipyard. That’s the flagship, and there’s only one of her type. There is a corvette, which is used as a training vessel, a small missile boat, and 6 Gurza-class gunboats, two of which are now interned in Kerch following the “Battle of Kerch Strait”.

You might snicker at ‘the fleet’, but a moment’s thought will cause you to realize that Ukraine is no longer much of a maritime nation.

https://www.euractiv.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2018/11/Territorial-waters-around-Crimea.jpg

This graphic (from Euractiv) displays the territorial limits within the Black Sea now controlled by Russia and those by Ukraine, since Crimea petitioned the Russian Federation for membership and it was granted. You can squirm around that fact all you like, but it only becomes more apparent that the west is ecstatic about freedom and self-determination just so long as it results in an enemy or a non-aligned country losing territory. The very minute such a rush of independence results in a strategic black eye for the western alliance, that’s the minute that a country’s leader is entitled to use whatever means and force he/she deems necessary to keep recalcitrant provinces under national control. Let anyone who is not on the western list of Approved Despots try anything like that, and an immediate outcry will ensue that he is ‘killing his own people’, and an urgent western intervention is required to ensure the equitable breakup of the country along ethnic lines, consistent with the finest traditions of freedom and democracy. Smaller pieces are often easier to boss around, unless you prefer the term ‘manage’. See how it works?

Be that as it may, you can see that while Ukraine still has access to the Sea of Azov, since it still has coastline which fronts upon it, it cannot get out of it without passing through the Russian-controlled Kerch Strait. That’s most inconvenient for it, since its other bit of seacoast, at Odessa, lies on the other side of the Kerch Strait. Similarly, the port of Mariupol, which is fairly busy commercially – there is an American-flagged merchant vessel there now at time of writing, and nearly half the ships in port are foreign-flagged – cannot be reached by sea without passing through the Kerch Strait. To be frank, Ukraine’s claim to decision-making on the Kerch Strait was always shaky; the Crimean Peninsula was gifted to Ukraine in 1954 by Nikita Khrushchev, in a move that was probably not even legal – considering it was a resolution adopted by the Presidium and was not considered or approved by the Politburo – and the demographics of Crimea at the time were overwhelmingly Russian-dominated, about 75%. Analysts suggest Khrushchev’s motive for his gift was to codify Soviet control over Ukraine, to fortify and perpetuate a subordinate relationship…and to add some 860,000 Russians to the already-large Russian minority in Ukraine. Seen in that light, it makes you wonder why Ukraine is making such a fuss over losing Crimea; it simply went back to its historic roots, and it removes a bunch of ethnic Russians – whom the Ukrainian nationalists hate with a passion – from Ukrainian territory. What’s not to like?

The other side of the strait was always Russian for as far back as living memory goes, and forms the Taman Peninsula in Krasnodar. Now both sides of the strait are Russian territory; I don’t see what’s so hard to understand about that. Is it reasonable that both land boundaries of the strait are wholly Russian, but half the water in the middle is Ukrainian, to be used at Ukraine’s pleasure?

The practices consolidated in the 2003 agreement which seems to have taken on tremendous significance to would-be sea lawyers specified shared access to the Sea of Azov. However, a couple of codicils – one, the agreement was struck when Crimea was still a part of Ukraine, and it no longer is. Two, Ukraine claims that Russia is invading it, and is its most hated enemy, one with which war is never more than a heartbeat away. Why would Russia allow a sworn enemy unrestricted access to its territorial waters – show me another nation that does. Three, the Kerch Strait Bridge did not exist in 2003; it now forms a vital land link to Crimea, for the transfer of commercial goods that it was Ukraine’s pleasure to exercise a veto over when no such link was available, blocking shipments of food into Crimea, shutting off its water and its electricity in an obvious attempt to coerce the civilian population into submission. Four, American activists with a clinical meddling dependency continue to encourage Ukraine to attack and destroy the bridge, restoring Crimea’s dependence on a a hostile Ukraine which has already demonstrated its willingness to starve the population into compliance. Five, the agreement did not ever specify free right of passage without advising the relevant Vessel Traffic Management authority of the vessel’s intent to transit, together with the customary advisory information such as vessel name, port of registry, cargo, destination, last port of call and crew complement. This amounts to a customs declaration in the case of countries which do not share a customs-union relationship with the Russian Federation. Which Ukraine, by its own vehement rejection, does not. Is it illegal to cross into another country without making a customs declaration? Try it, and find out. Now go and put on a military uniform, and try again. Was that the magic solution?

Ukraine’s story, as usual, is evolving as facts emerge. The Ukrainian navy initially claimed it had advised Russia that its ships intended to transit the Kerch Strait, and then those Russians just pounced on them for no reason when they were minding their own business.

“However, the Ukrainian navy claimed the Russians were advised that the ships were taking that route and denied they acted aggressively. Moreover, Kiev said no violation of Russian territorial sovereignty took place because they still consider Crimea to be part of Ukraine.”

So the action was promptly labeled – also as usual – as ‘unprovoked aggression by Russia’.

Let me ask you this – what do you suppose would be the American reaction to the unannounced visit of a trio of Russian navy ships to Anchorage, Alaska, using the premise that they considered Alaska to still be part of Russia? Of course they could not do that, because the United States says it bought Alaska fair and square, and it says so in American law.  But America refuses to recognize Russian law which says Crimea petitioned the Russian Federation for membership, and was accepted. So there’s the basic difference; Crimea is still part of Ukraine because the United States and its posse insist that it is until they say differently. And Ukraine is apparently good with that arrangement.

Anyway, Ukraine later abandoned that argument, and reverted to “We tried to call first, but there was nobody home”. The new story was that the ships had tried to contact VTM services, but did not get a response. They were only ‘finally’ able to raise the traffic regulator at what Russia claims was “the last minute”, pointing out the rules state that 48 hours advance notice is required for transit through the strait, and that two Ukrainian warships were allowed to pass unchallenged on September 23rd, because they had followed the rules.

Russia maintains that under new rules put in place in 2015, any vessel transiting the strait must seek permission 48 hours in advance. Russia claims that two Ukrainian warships that passed through the strait on Sept. 23 had followed those rules.

This time, according to the Russian account promulgated by the Federal Security Service, three Ukrainian ships on the Black Sea side of the strait sent word only at the last minute that they planned to transit.

Where else is ignorance of rules that have been in place for three years an excuse for ignoring them? A purely rhetorical question, since Ukraine is clearly aware of the requirement; it has strictly observed it up to this point. But it has chafed repeatedly at the restrictions imposed upon it, and appears not in any way to blame itself for welcoming a US State-Department-managed coup which cost it Crimea in the first place. Ukraine apparently believes it can shout every day that a state of war exists between itself and Russia, hold demonstrations where activists chant “Moskali to the knife!!” or “Moskali to the gallows”, but still argue that Crimea – overwhelmingly Russian – had no reason to seek independence from Ukraine, and that the two nations should still regard one another as brothers when it comes to Ukrainian maritime commerce. I don’t know about you, but I’m seeing a little bit of a disconnect there.

So the Ukrainian navy suddenly decided to send three vessels through the straits without observing the legal requirement to check in 48 hours in advance, declaring that Ukraine no longer recognizes those bullshit rules because Crimea is Ukraine. I wonder what could have brought about this escalation?

Gee; do you think it might have been the meeting in Washington on November 16th, between Ukraine’s Pavlo Munchkin and the USA’s former CIA Director and current Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo? You know, the one which resulted in a joint statement entitled “Joint Statement on U.S. – Ukraine Strategic Partnership”? Your attention is drawn to the section labeled “Security and Countering Russian Aggression”, where you will find,

The United States condemned Russia’s aggressive actions against international shipping transiting the Black Sea, the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait to Ukrainian ports. Both sides underscored that Russia’s aggressive activities in the Sea of Azov have brought new security, economic, social, and environmental threats to the entire Azov-Black Sea region.

And only 9 days later, Ukraine sends a naval group through the Kerch Strait, right underneath the Kerch Strait bridge American media has encouraged it to blow up, with counterintelligence operatives of the SBU onboard, without requesting transit in advance according to rules it is well aware of, and refuses to stop when ordered to do so by units of the Russian Federation Border Service until measures to make them stop actually escalate to an exchange of gunfire. Coincidence? I suppose it could be.

While we’re on that subject – supposing Russia were to back away in the face of Ukraine’s constant threats and posturing, and agree to actually disassemble the bridge across Kerch Strait, and let whoever in the hell wished to transit the waterway do so without paying any attention who they are or where they’re going. What route would they follow? Precisely the one they do now, directly under where the bridge now stands. Why? Because 80% of the Kerch Strait is less than a meter in depth. There is a channel, which must be dug out again twice a year of silt subsidence, which is all that allows merchant shipping to pass through it. For so long as merchant shipping traffic has passed through the Kerch Strait, that’s the way it has been. Ukraine – and Washington, with its hand up the back of its shirt, moving its big mouth – squawks about how new inspections are holding up shipping and bringing economic ruin. How long do the inspections take? Generally not longer than three hours. How long do you have to wait to transit the Panama Canal? Days.

Naturally, the west has lined up on the side of Ukraine, as it has uncritically done since the American-engineered coup to split it away from Russia – including countries like the UK, defending a belligerent Ukraine’s right to free passage through a Russian-controlled waterway while it gnashes its teeth with rage whenever Russian aircraft in international airspace come anywhere near the UK. Keep in mind, all you would-be pilots: everybody in international airspace near the UK must contact British air-traffic control, even if you have no intention of entering the UK’s airspace – failing to do so makes you a hazard to all other aviation.

Curiously, my whole motivation for doing this piece was as a response to Mary Dejevsky’s piece in The Independent; “Something has to Change with Russia and Ukraine“. And I didn’t even mention it. It’s Mary’s take on the Kerch Strait incident, as well as some related issues. It seemed to anger several readers here, and prompt cries that Ms. Dejevsky is only trotted out when sources like The Independent want to pretend to impartiality, so she’s allowed to do her little Russia-is-not-all-bad bit to showcase how fair the western press is, just so long as she stipulates that Putin usually is a wretch, or otherwise qualifies her statements. For the record, Ms. Dejevsky is often the sole dissenting western voice on Russia-related matters such as the unprecedented and panicky campaign to prevent Alexander Prokopchuk from being elected Director of Interpol. I rarely agree with everything she says, but I usually agree with a lot of it.

So I’ll leave you to read her Kerch Strait piece yourself, see what you think. But in this instance, I was inspired to write about it – which, as you can see, I didn’t – because I disagreed with a couple of the premises she introduced. One, she suggests the entire incident was quite possibly a miscommunication, with the Ukrainians unable to raise a response from Vessel Traffic Management. This is highly unlikely, since its radio equipment is top-notch among maritime communications, capable of multi-channel monitoring, and the Black Sea is not a notorious area for communication anomalies. The Ukrainian units concerned are warships, with – supposedly – communication equipment available to them that is far superior to the typical fit for run-down merchantmen. But all that aside, what is the procedure when you need permission to pass a checkpoint, and can’t raise anyone on the radio? Just assume consent, and plow ahead? How about you try that at the US border, and see what happens.

According to the US Third Fleet’s Commanding Officer, Vice-Admiral John Alexander, it’s pretty important to follow the rules. You kind of have to, if you are the only civilized nation which has not ratified the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). He was speaking as a panelist on a discussion of ‘grey zone operations’ at the WEST 18 Conference. The topic of discussion was China, and its construction of islands in the South China Sea to expand its claim to regional waters. VAdm. Alexander asserts the USA is ‘more right’ in its actions, because it follows the rules.

Just as a discussion point, the South China Sea is about 9000 miles from Washington, which asserts its right to decision-making in the region.

Another bone of contention I have with Mary’s piece is her speculation that Russia constructed the Kerch Strait bridge with blocking the navigable channel in mind. This is demonstrably not so, and were it the case, Russia would have constructed the bridge in such a way that the center section was too low to allow ships through. The center section coincides with the deep-water channel, and the rest of the strait is simply too shallow for ships of any size to pass, unless Ukraine was disposed to dig out the whole thing and maintain it through biannual dredging. I am sure I am not the only one to have seen no sign of any such intention.

Finally, I dispute her assertion that Moscow recognizes that it has ‘lost’ Ukraine. That’s a very shortsighted view, if you’ll forgive my saying so, and I will make my customary wager – a case of beer – that Russia will eventually (say, within 15 years) end up with a far closer association with the remainder of Ukraine than the European Union enjoys, if Ms. Dejevsky cares to accept it. If I were in charge of Russia, I would give western Ukraine to Poland, because the nationalist nutjobs are always going to be a problem. Russia remains by far the biggest investor in Ukraine, and European investors are conspicuously disinterested in sinking their money into the oligarchical cesspool that still sees well over half of Ukraine’s GDP under the direct (if occasionally somewhat circumspect) control of its 50 richest citizens, and most of it controlled by the top 10. This is despite Poroshenko’s regular bleating that Ukraine is a great place to make money, and his entreaties that his western friends put their money where their mouths are. When Ukraine loses its status as a transit state for Russian gas going to Europe, it will lose most of its leverage with the west, and that is just a fact – if that were coordinated with a pullout of all Russian investment in Ukraine, the latter would collapse overnight. What I believe is a far more likely eventuality is an association between central/eastern Ukraine and Russia which is more or less similar to the pre-Maidan state, with regular commerce between the two and possibly a return to customs exemption for Ukraine. Western Ukraine will have to go, or a future Ukrainian administration will have to purge it with sufficient zeal that the Bandera worshipers go underground once again.

Russia is dealing with this latest provocation by Ukraine as purely a criminal matter, not an act of war. Ukraine violated the rules by not informing VTM at Kerch Strait of its intent for the naval mission to transit at least 48 hours in advance of the passage; it is important to stress here that had they done so, there is every reason to believe – based on previous performance – that they would have been allowed to go on their way, assuming there was nothing about the presence of the SBU on board to arouse Russian suspicions. Instead, Ukraine chose to press on despite repeated radio calls to stop, firing of flares that warn of impending physical measures if the unit does not do as ordered, and finally gunfire to force the units to stop. The ships are now interned at Kerch, and the sailors detained in Russia except for those who are hospitalized for medical attention. It looks as if the Ukrainian sailors will be spending Christmas in Russia. If I were them, I’d be pretty happy about that, considering the alternative. Russian jails are probably heated.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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843 thoughts on “The Bathtub Navy’s Christmas Vacation

  1. Clearly Macron has blinked…but,according to some, his concessions to the vest people are by no means sufficient to quell the revolt.

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/france/index.html
    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6470897/Armoured-cars-equipped-machine-guns-patrol-Paris-country-braces-protests.html
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/dec/11/macron-president-of-the-rich-speech-elysee-palace-gilets-jaunes

    https://www.axios.com/macrons-national-address-calm-fury-yellow-vest-protests-e1fbe279-c441-4023-886a-c0275fa1ba79.html

    –” Economic inequality and rural resentment. Western elites breathed a sigh of relief last year when French voters rejected the candidates of the far-right and the far-left to hand their presidency to the young, charismatic, centrist – and grossly inexperienced – Macron and his just-invented political party of like-minded neophytes. But any era of good feeling was almost guaranteed to be short-lived.

    Macron’s policies – tough on middle-class workers while rolling back France’s historically high taxes on the wealthy – have caused his presidency to post approval ratings that make Donald Trump’s numbers look Lincolnesque. The gasoline tax caused those tensions to boil over because, according to the French rank-and-file, pampered Paris elites don’t understand how rural workers must drive long distances just to eke out a living wage.

    That’s hardly a uniquely French complaint. Similar tensions between cosmopolitan, urban elites and the “forgotten people” in the countryside have led far-right, anti-immigrant parties in Germany (never a good thing) to gain strength as the Angela Merkel era winds down and to England’s rolling turmoil over Brexit.

    Here in the United States, that same conflict didn’t only give us Trump but underlies antidemocratic moves in states like Wisconsin (where a top GOP lawmaker suggests that votes from urban Milwaukee and Madison shouldn’t count). And moves like Amazon bringing even more six-figure jobs to New York and D.C are exacerbating these cross-currents. Paris is a guide to how things could go south.”

    http://www2.philly.com/columnists/paris-france-yellow-vest-protests-macron-could-it-happen-in-america-20181209.html

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    1. Sad to see this. I’ve seen Dr Tim Anderson speak at a rally in Sydney way back in 2015. Even then he was being vilified by newspapers here. I hear he will be appealing against his sacking.

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    2. NATzO academic institutions have no problem hosting Ukr historical revisionists and Nazi apologists.

      Criticism only bites when it hits close to home. So we see the limits of freedom in the precious west.

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  2. The very first Moscow cable-car service opened recently. Free rides up to 23 December. Crosses Moscow River from Sparrow Hills to Luzhniki Stadium.

    So typical of a 3rd-World shithole!

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        1. Naah, too high off the ground for the public to whack him, piñata-style.

          Although if he got stuck in the middle, and the Russian winter was due in another couple of days …

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  3. Just saw this piece by Krutikov – wow! I don’t have time to do a post on it, but it seems important, so here is the most basic summary so that Stooges can plan their next few days glued to the internet:

    According to Krutikov’s sources (as an ex-KGB operative, Krutikov allegedly has sources at the highest levels of Russian intelligence), the Ukrainian army is planning a full-out assault on Donetsk this coming Friday. (So plan your lunches according!)

    [Unless, of course, averted by pieces such as this, proving to Ukies that Russians already know the plan, so if they are smart, they will scrap it tout suite, now that the cat is out of the bag.]

    Porky has entrusted command of the offensive to Moisiuk, whom he recently promoted to General on December 6.
    The attack will begin with a diversionary provocation at the Mariupol factory named after Ilyich. The ensuing explosions will cause contamination in a wide area and potentially harm the 50,000 residents living in the area. This attack will be blamed on Russia, and will serve as the casus belli.

    Following this provocation, the Ukrainian army will move on the towns of Novoazovsk and the Telmann region. They will move right up to the Russian border in the area of Konkovo and Kholodnoe. The strike force will consist of 12,000 soldiers concentrated along the line Novotroitskoe, Shirokino, Rovnopol.
    Porky has already concentrated in this area over 50 tanks, 40 artillery systems, and a bunch of mine lauchers and stuff. All just ready for the signal.

    At the vanguard of the attack will be the 128th Mountain and the 79th Parachuter Brigades. [They will be the first to die in the ensuing cauldron.]

    Coming up in the second rank [and second to die] will be the 56th Motorized Brigade and the 36th Ukrainian Marines.
    The attack is supposed to start on the morning of December 14 after an initial artillery barrage. The plan is, within a day (by December 15) to reach the DPR border.

    See, this is the difference between the vague ramblings of a, say, Nostradamus, and actually detailed predictions, like Krutikov gives! Either Krutikov can actually see into the future, or somebody has a source in the enemy camp with access to the most intimate tactics — only the Nose Knows!

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    1. We will see; if it is abandoned, Ukraine will say no such plans existed. If it is tried and fails, Moisiuk will swing for it and not Porky, who will say he didn’t really know the details, and that he leaves such matters to the military. But only a resounding success will do him any good at all. Another failure will simply assure his defeat, although at least he’ll have something to blame it on.

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    2. I had seen on another blog (can’t remember which, though) that Kiev had been planning a major attack on the Donbass region and that this was to take place on 14 December 2014 ahead of a crucial vote or decision to be made that would result in Ukrainian Orthodox church independence from the Moscow Patriarchate.

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      1. Well, there are so many seers among us now…
        Beware the Ides of December minus 1!

        But seriously, this is like Schrödinger’s cat, now that we “know” the plans of the Ukie army, will our “knowing” affect the quantum outcome of this probabilistic event?

        Oi! (too complicated for mundane minds like yours truly…)

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        1. Russia should easily detect preparations for a large scale action. Since they have said nothing about such activities my guess is that there are no such intentions by Ukraine. They could certainly try a false flag attack to justify keeping or broadening martial law but that would be about it. My psychic power, however, are not infallible.

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          1. I think the implication is that the forces are already in place, and have been for some time – perhaps a little augmentation now and again, a battalion rotates in but the one it would usually replace remains in the field. This is believable, as the Ukrainian Army has camped on the demarcation line since Ukraine was first divided, as if only their presence prevented an invasion of the rest of Ukraine.

            But there likely are signs of an impending infantry/armor battle when one is pending, and I agree Russia could hardly fail to notice them. There must be little Ukraine could do now to surprise it. I imagine, additionally, that the Ukrainian forces are thoroughly infiltrated and that Russia gets a great deal of intelligence information that way.

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            1. The Ukrainian military has amassed troops in Kiev-controlled eastern parts of the country, the spokesperson for the Russian Foreign Ministry said Thursday citing reports from international monitors. Moscow believes it to be a sign of a looming escalation between the Ukrainian government and rebel forces.

              “There are reports that within several days Kiev will stage an armed provocation on the contact line,” Maria Zakharova said, referring to the border, which separates rebel-held parts of Ukraine from the rest of the country.

              She added that martial law, imposed by the government in the east last month, will allow for the mounting of a “lightning offensive from the direction of Mariupol aimed at capturing territories on the Azov sea coast up to Russia’s border.”

              https://www.rt.com/news/446349-kiev-plans-offensive-rebels/

              Jeepers Creepers, so its true. This f’ing world is falling apart. US debt exploding, US kidnapping a high level Chinese executive, BREXIT train wreck, US congress going nuts. What next?

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      2. If so, it appears to be the worst-kept secret in Ukraine. I sincerely hope the Russian press is not going to start crying ‘wolf’ every time a rumour comes to its ears that Ukraine is about to make a stab at regaining the Donbas. But practically speaking, Russia has no reason at all to want to seize the rest of Ukraine, while Ukraine has every reason to want the Donbas back. So any suggestion of a pending attack has to be considered seriously. But the Ukrainians would rely on surprise, and that is obviously out the window.

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        1. The way I read it is that Krutikov, as an ex-KGB who still has “contacts” in the intelligence agencies, acts as conduit for important leaks. This is just my theory. Krutikov is a respected journalist as well as pundit, but he seems to have his ear to the ground.
          Anyhow, my theory is that, like you say, the Ukrainian army is thoroughly infiltrated from top to bottom by Russian intelligence. And that they really did pick up on a serious operational plan. Not just idle chatter, but the real deal, this time.

          Which the Russian intelligence services “leaked” to Krutikov as a way of letting the Ukies know: We’re on to you, so don’t do it!
          It might seem like crying wolf, but that’s my personal read on it. Dubious that Russian intelligence would risk exposing their spies in the Ukrainian military unless they thought it was really important to avert a real and imminent war over the Christmas holiday. Imagine the optics in the Westie press if and when Russia crushed the Ukrainian army on Christmas Day!

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          1. Russia did officially acknowledge that they are aware of activity suggesting a military move by Ukraine but they coyly said they learned of it through international observers.

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  4. I think this topic was posted on here a couple of years ago…maybe by me..I do not recall.
    Anyway this particular piece is very useful in contemplating what the you-know-who psychopaths would have been up to then-1945-and what their grandchildren are up to now in 2018.

    “By 1945, Soviet spies in the Manhattan Project had already given Stalin the secrets of the bomb – it was no mystery to them, just a matter of setting in place the infrastructure to make it. 4 years later, the Soviets successfully tested their first nuke. That was during peacetime. Under the pressure of war, and spurred by the desire for vengeance, they might have had nukes in half that time, by 1947. And they would have been mad as hell at the West. First, Hitler sucker punches them in 1941 and devastates their country. Then their Western “allies” dealt them an even greater betrayal in 1945, and nuked their cities to boot.
    Soviet payback for Operation Unthinkable would have resulted in the reduction of continental Europe and the British isles to radioactive wastelands. A similar fate would have befallen the heartland of Canada and whatever portions of the US that were within reach of Soviet bombers and rockets and other means of nuclear delivery.”

    https://www.quora.com/What-would-be-the-outcome-of-Operation-Unthinkable

    BTW..
    the POS neonazi/white supremacist that rammed his car over those people in Charlottesville murdering Heather Hyer…Life plus 400 years as sentencing recommendation
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlottesville_car_attack
    https://www.channel3000.com/news/heather-heyers-killer-facing-centuries-in-prison/927611958

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    1. Just remember, everything that was in reach of Soviet bombers and rockets at that time is still within reach, only with considerably shortened time of flight, greatly enhanced survivability (for the incoming missile), a reduced Circular Error Probability (CEP) that is now in yards and a greatly expanded payload in terms of destructive force versus throw weight. Greatly reduced threat to the pilots, as well, since none are required – missiles can easily reach their targets from their launch sites in Russia. Europe’s warning time would be just a couple of minutes, rather than the old “Soviet bombers are getting airborne from their fields in Russia – time for leaders to talk”.

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  5. After destroying the only toilet in the American section, did that crazy astrowoman sabotage the Soyuz in an attempt to force an early return to Earth? CIS ISS may soon find out:

    https://www.rt.com/news/446303-soyuz-space-surgery-explained/

    On Tuesday, Sergey Prokopyev and Oleg Kononenko performed an extraordinary mission outside the Soyuz MS-09, currently docked at the International Space Station (ISS). The seven-hour spacewalk was part of Russia’s probe into how a hole came to be in the spacecraft.

    The lack of drill marks on the outside of the hull suggest an inside job – inside as in done while the Soyuz was docked at the ISS. Stay tuned.

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  6. Европарламент выступил за отмену проекта «Северный поток — 2»

    The European Parliament has called for the cancellation of Nord Stream-2
    13 Dec 03:41

    The European Parliament has called for the cancellation of the “Nord Stream — 2” project.
    this has been discussed in a resolution adopted by the deputies at a session in Strasbourg on “assessment of recent events related to the Association Agreement between the Ukraine and the EU”.
    “The Ukraine plays an important role in the European supply network, and MEPs condemn the construction of the pipeline “Nord stream-2″ to bypass the Ukraine, because it is a political project that represents a threat to European energy security. They are, therefore, called to cancel it,” the resolution reads.

    Yeah, right!

    The so-called EU parliament is nothing more than a talking shop that puts its official stamp of approval on directives issued by unelected, appointed by their respective governments, EU commissioners in Brussels: brings to mind the role that the Supreme Soviet and the Central Committee played in the USSR. And the Politburo, as it were, of the EU, is situated across the Atlantic Ocean.

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    1. I wouldn’t say it was impossible, because few things are, although getting it canceled now in the face of German opposition would be quite a feat – since it is always to Germany the EU goes sobbing, cap in hand, when another of its stupid ideas goes belly-up or it needs some more money to bail out a spendthrift member. Germany will be well and truly pissed off if EU bellyachers are able to put the kibosh on it. But I think all the principals are actually convinced that Europe needs Nord Stream II, and as I have often pointed out, if the whiny minority were successful at getting it shut down, there is no guarantee Russia would agree to keep sending gas through Ukraine. It might still eliminate transit through Ukraine, and rely on its other pipelines and the resultant crazy price of gas due to shortages to make up the financial difference. People having to go without gas in Europe is no real concern of Russia, and Russia cannot reasonably be blamed for supply shortfalls the EU deliberately brings upon itself.

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      1. Indeed. That EU politicians make such ludicrous demands shows how unhinged they are. Anybody who thinks Russia will be forced to transit gas through Pukeraine is detached from reality or an idiot. I think we are going to see things come to a head soon. Porosyuk with the urging of his NATzO “friends” is preparing a military push into the Donbass. Russia will not stand and watch. There will be more of the previous volunteer support including men and equipment. If NATzO escalates by sending in support to the rotten, incompetent Ukr army then Russia will reply in kind. This means finally pulling the gas card.

        Up to now Russia has bent over backward in the face of smear and vitriol to keep shipping gas to NATzO (aka the EU). This will stop if NATzO decides to attack the Donbass. It is winter now. The EU will be utterly f*cked by any gas supply drop. And since NATzO propagandists have blown their load on Russia many times already, more smear and vitriol will not get them anything.

        Like

      2. The European Commission is ‘investigating’ the continuation of TurkStream via Bulgaria (that will take gas through Serbia an onwards)..

        Like

      1. Ha ha! I read it differently, when she mentions the Normandy Landings, I don’t think she is trying to stick it to the Germans. That would be even funnier, if it was true.
        I think this poster child for the Idiot-American is simply clueless, and doesn’t get it that American went to war AGAINST Germany.
        And that the Normandy thing was part of Germany’s crushing defeat in war.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. The Russia haters in the EU are under the delusion that supplies of Russian gas will continue no matter what they do. Of course, these imbeciles are sorely mistaken. Here we see the EU and the IMF imposing expensive, ***marked up*** Russian gas resales on Ukraine. These are the sort of “friends” that Banderastan has obtained while pissing on the only reliable and fair partner it ever had, Russia.

      Russia was making demands that its gas would not be resold to Ukraine for exactly this reason. Russian gas is used to earn some EU parasites big money at the expense of both Russia and Ukraine. These gas re-sales to Ukraine should become a Russian talking point linked to every political aspect of its relations to the EU. Time stop the soft glove treatment where any sort of NATzO (EU) abuse is ignored.

      That EU fucks also blame Russia for every protest they get should be another issue that Russia needs to raise in any interaction with the EU. This is blood libel and warmongering. And Russia better start doing something about it.

      Like

  7. The persecuted journalist’s indictment:

    “PUTIN HAS CRITICS SYSTEMATICALLY MURDERED”.

    Babchenko presents his serious accusations before the European Court of Human Rights.

    For another front-page story, how about: Babchenko has folk think he has been murdered?

    Like

    1. So maybe I am misunderstanding the nuance here, but doesn’t the fact that he is currently alive and well to present this accusation at all fundamentally invalidate the central point he is trying to make?

      Like

      1. Rather like Gary ChessPlayer who, on one of his regular visits to the US, regularly tells interviewers that no dissent is possible in Russia and that critics of Putin risk disappearing/the Gulag/death/ to which no interviewer has ever asked “if that’s so, Mr ChessPlayer, how come you’re free to travel to the US, come on a TV show like the one we’re recording now, criticise every aspect of Russian government and society, advise our government how to overthrow yours, and then, whenever you’re ready, travel back to Russia and continue with your life there unmolested?”

        Like

        1. I heard that Gary ChessPlayer has decided to take up a new board game hobby. Instead of chess, he will play “Monopoly” marathons with his sponsors. But never try to play against Trump, that guy has a knack for getting “Park Place” and “Boardwalk” right from the start. And then building hotels on them!

          Like

          1. He as murdered, but not before Ukrainian scientists cloned him and save the memories from the original and implanted them. There’s a film in that. ‘Пам’ять журналіста’ anyone? Who would play him? Ridiculous requests only please.

            Like

          2. Never, never ever buy Boardwalk in the electronic version of Monopoly. A player can jump to the square immediately before Boardwalk by paying a nominal fine thus avoiding any potential to land there. Park Place or any of the green properties are better investments. Also, good strategy is to buy every property you can and add hotels later. It really helps if you go first.

            Like

  8. Meanwhile, the “inscrutable” Chinese continue to play an odd game of deflected payback. To get even with Americans for arresting Meng, the Chinese just arrested an ex-Canadian diplomat named Michael Kovrig.
    Like the Russian newspaper says, “All the masks are off now!”
    Kudos to China, I know I would never want to cross them.

    Like

    1. I’ve been teaching a bunch of Chinese students for a few months now. I think they’re great: really friendly and very, very respectful, because I’m dead old, me, and, therefore wise — a wise, old teacher. Respect!.

      Well, I deserve some respect , don’t I?

      Don’t I?

      Like

      1. I suppose if you have big bushy eyebrows, your beard is that long and white, you dress in gilt-edged brown, green and blue robes, and you carry a big long wooden stick, your students would give you a lot of respect.

        They’re probably waiting for you to teach them a few kung fu moves too.

        Like

        1. “Grasshopper, I will teach you to catch this fly with your chopsticks.”
          “Master, why would I want to catch a fly with my chopsticks?”
          “Because they taste better that way, than on a fork!”

          Like

        2. I am totally grey now, have a full set again (left my Walter “Breaking Bad” White phase a while back) and have a лисый череп, Grasshopper!

          Like

            1. Another damned typo!

              Although it could be a newly coined word meaning “bald-foxy”?

              For some reason or other, they used to say in my old neck of the woods, “He’s as bald as a badger!” Don’t know why: I’ve never seen a bald badger, but I’ve seen mangy, if not quite bald, foxes.

              I can never understand why, but for some reason I think лысый череп [bald skull] sounds a bit risqué or vulgar or risable to Russians. I once described myself at a dinner table as having a “bald skull” and I got a look off Mrs. Exile and there as silence from the rest.

              Bloody foreigners!

              Like

              1. Maybe in Russian “bald skull” is a metaphor for circumcized penis?

                P.S. – I know an English gal from your neck of the woods (I think), somewhere around Manchester or Liverpool. Horrible accent. Anyhow, she uses expressions like “grey as a badger”, when talking about somebody with grey hair.
                Apparently badgers are everything to everyone, in England!

                Like

      1. The only reason they get away with it is because Russia fails to do the same. There are lots of American spies engaged in regime change operations in Russia. Time to start nabbing them. Fear of escalation creates conditions for capitulation. America understands only the language of force.

        Like

        1. Maybe the problem with Russia failing to arrest most of these US spies engaged in regime change operations in Russia is that the spies are actually on US territory: the US embassy in Moscow. As long as they have diplomatic cover, Russia can’t do anything that would mean breaking its own laws.

          Like

          1. They are organizing militant training camps for Russian malcontents (such as Navalnyites) in the Baltic statelets. That is basically Maidan preparations. Somebody is recruiting these malcontents and facilitating their travel abroad. So I am afraid your scenario for meddling is not realistic.

            Like

    2. I think that was to get even with Canadians, who carried out the arrest at America’s request. Since then, another Canadian has ‘disappeared’, apparently arrested. I had to laugh at the description of Kovrig’s work – he was ‘traveling about the country, meeting with dissidents and carrying out sensitive political reporting’…and the brutal, no-class Chinese had the nerve to call it ‘spying”!! Canya imagine? What would it be called if a Chinese diplomat was snooping around in Canada, meeting with opposition figures and sending reports back to China? Ummm…I think you know.

      Like

      1. Bang on cue, as soon as I saw this comment about Kovrig travelling around the country, I Googled “Kovrig” and “Xinjiang” and … wouldja believe, he has been to Xinjiang “a number of times” already!

        https://nationalpost.com/news/politics/no-coincidence-detention-of-canadian-in-china-looks-like-tit-for-tat-response-to-huawei-executives-arrest-say-former-ambassadors

        Beijing has good reason to detain this so-called diplomat: he has been meeting with Uyghur dissidents. The Chinese should be hanging this guy upside-down by his ankles and shaking everything and all his contact numbers and details of Uyghur “dissidents” out of his pockets, and then track these “dissidents” all the way to Syria or the Philippines or wherever they’ve been sent to fight.

        Like

  9. Frightful news have I brought into your home … Pugachyova has refused to sing for Russian citizens at New year.

    I have waited 40 years for this!

    Now all I need is for this knobhead to bugger off from our Festive screens:

    Like

    1. Listen, ME.

      They cannot be worse than the clique of talentless Tartanised tosspot “entertainers” wheeled out on TV in Scotland every Hogmanay. Count your blessings!

      Like

  10. Да, Владимир Путин, мы хотим как в Париже.

    Yes, Vladimir Putun, we want to be like it is in Paris

    To the meme: “Do you want it to be like it is in the Ukraine?” Putin has added: “Do you want it be like it is in Paris?” and I could not stand it and made a short video about that. “Yes, we want it to be like it is in Paris!”

    Take that same diesel fuel, which has become the main cause of French unrest. We are told on TV that this is the direct cause of the crisis. The collapsing economy of the European Union has raised prices to unimaginable amounts.

    Yep. since the beginning of the year, the price of diesel has increased in France by 20%. Now a litre there costs 112 rubles. Well, you don’t say!

    And in Russia, the price of diesel has also increased by 16% from the beginning of the year and is now at 46.4 rubles. Is it easier for us? Should we run up to Putin and thank him?

    Before we start expressing our gratitude towards him, let’s just see how this relates to the average salary.

    In France, it is 167,000 rubles (after taxes) and the average Frenchman buys 1,490 litres of diesel fuel.

    And in Russia, the average salary after taxes is 37,000 rubles, and our Russian buys 798 litres.

    And if we take into account that the real average salary in the country is around 20 thousand, then the picture becomes a completely sad one.

    Therefore, yes – we want it to be like it is in Paris. We want to be richer. We want Putin to finally leave and not hinder the country from developing.

    What a bullshitting cnut!

    He also states that Peskov’s daughter lives in Paris.

    Yes, and …?

    Like

    1. I see. So when Putin finally leaves – as he will, one day – the land will flow with the milk and honey Putin has been stealing all these years, and the average citizen’s salary will equal that of Parisians? Is that what’s going to happen? Oh, joyous day!! And all that stands in its way is Putin and his stubborn unwillingness to let the country develop. Imagine that.

      Like

      1. I’ve seen this comment from Navalny and other “liberals” reacting to Putin’s supposed remark “вы хотите как в Париже?” and replying with sarcasm “of course, мы хотим как в Париже” as if that’s what he said, when in fact what he said is “Мы же с вами не хотим, чтобы у нас были СОБЫТИЯ, похожие на Париж”. He didn’t say “do you want it to be like in Paris” in general, he said “we do not want EVENTS like the ones happening recently in Paris”. So they omit words on purpose and change the sentence, then react as if it was some ridiculous remark. (The rest of his remark is ” Мы же с вами не хотим, чтобы у нас были события, похожие на Париж, где разбирают брусчатку и жгут всё подряд, и страна потом погружается в условия чрезвычайного положения.” (Trans: We don’t want events like what was happening in Paris where paving stones were dismantled and everything was burning and emergency situation was declared).

        Like

        1. So long as Navalny feels that he speaks for all Russians when he flings his sarcastic barbs, the west feels it’s getting fair value for its money and support – see? Lyosha speaks truth to power! But he still has only a very small following of zealots and the rest of Russia ignores him, while he has been unable to increase his flock. ‘The regime’ does not consider him a serious enough threat to reward his posturing by arresting him, thus denying him his dissident street cred. The west is satisfied that Lyosha is doing a great job, so it doesn’t bother looking for a new thorn to poke Putin with, someone who might actually be charismatic and rally Russians to his/her banner of discontent. So I think it’s a pretty satisfactory arrangement all around. Navalny is sort of the Mustafa Dzemilev of Russia.

          Like

      2. At this stage anyone believing in the stolen Putin billions is a certifiable retard. We have examples of kleptocracies from around the world which includes NATzO itself. It is impossible for the head of state to live like a corrupt maggot while running a tight ship. When all these tinfoil hat conspiracy theorists produce actual evidence of large scale corruption in Russia that is linked to the highest levels of government, then we can start the discussion. Until then, these hate fantasy projections are not worth the time of day.

        Like

  11. Totally off topic, I know, but I thought I should post this so that some of you out there can see what a shithole Russia is, in case you may have thought that it might not quite be the pits that they say it really is:

    I shall have to get the Golden Ring done before I croak.

    I was in Suzdal’ and Vladimir this year.

    And as a footnote, at last, this morning, after 8 visits to that damned immigration centre situated some 35 miles southwest of Moscow, they accepted my application to be granted a full residency permit.

    Heaving it down with snow it was as well. Hope they are all nice and cosy in free and inependent you-know-where!

    Like

      1. In reply to Jenny’s question above:

        Until I toss-tail over, unless I commit some serious crime, when I could be told to bugger off. Can’t think of any really serious crime that I feel like committing, though sometimes the thought of throwing a bucketful of shit into Navalny’s grinning mug might give me some pleasure.

        A full residency permit for a foreign resident is called a вид на жительство [veet na zheetyelstva] — ВНЖ [VNZh — “vee-en-zhe”]. With such a permit, one has all the rights of a Russian citizen, unlimited, save for for voting rights and certain political rights, such as membership of a political party, standing for election to political office etc.

        Having a VNZh is, in effect, like being in possession of a Russian passport — no visas necassary in order to come and go into and out of Russia. Most folk that apply for a VNZh usually do this so as to become a Russian citizen. To do that, one must have first lived in the Evil Empire for 5 years. I wanted to do this last year, but forgot to extend my old VNZh, which I had had since 2007.

        A VNZh is only “a full residency permit” in that it has no termination date, but you have to apply for a 5-year extension every 5 years. I did that in 2012 with my old one, but forgot to repeat the extension last year and had, therefore, to leave the country, notwithstanding the fact that I have been married to a Russian citizen for 21 years, with whom I have begotten 3 Russian citizens. I shall receive my new VNZh sometime after April 23 2019, probably in 6 months from now, because you can only have a VNZh after previously having been in posession of a “temporary residency permit” for one year.

        A “temporary residency permit” — Разрешение на временное проживание [РВП – RVP] (razryeshyeneeye na vryemyennoye prozheevaneeye) — lasts for 3 years, at the end of which period of validity it cannot be extended: it must be reapplied for, and applying for an RVP is nightmarish. In fact, it is also nightmarish applying for a VNZh, but for an RVP one needs an apostiled police certificate from one’s home country, stating that one has commited no serious crimes.

        Those bastards at Scotland Yard said that I had not commited any serious crimes but that I had been convicted on several occasions for not-so-serious ones. Little did the plods at Scotland bloody Yard know, however, that the FSB had checked up long ago on me when I got married to Mrs. Exile: they said I was not a bad sort, though not squeaky clean. Jolly decent of Putin’s killers to say so, don’t you think?

        I shall apply for citizenship when I get my new VNZh next year. However, they might tell me it is back to square one for me and that I shall after live here for 5 years after having received my new VNZh before I can apply for citizenship, albeit that I have already lived in this gas-station of accountry with missiles for a quarter of a century. I reckon I shall be brown bread before 5 years are up, so bollocks to it all if that is the case.

        One has to aply for an extension to one’s VNZh not later than 2 months and no earlier than 6 months before its expiry date. The expiry date of my old VNZh was 21 March, 2017. I forgot to apply in time for an extension, so they fucked me off, which was jolly undecent of them to do so, don’t you think?

        If I am still her in 2024, when my new VNZh will need extending, I shall do my best not to forget about the urgency of such a situation. On the other hand, in 5 years’ time, I might be pushing up daises in the bosom of Mother Russia.

        I’m a morbid bastard, me, aren’t I? 🙂

        Like

        1. Typo!

          Should read above:

          However, they might tell me it is back to square one for me and that I shall have to live here for 5 years after having received my new VNZh before I can apply for citizenship…

          Like

        2. PS Sorry for appearing over familiar or patronizing, Jen, by writing “Jenny” above.

          I got my wires crossed whilst thinking of my Chinese students, one of whom answering to “Jenny”, but her real, Chinese name is Gao Fang Min.

          They nearly all have adopted a Western name. I think they do this so as to make it easier for the teacher to address them. One of the young men answers to “Davis”.

          They all work in Shanghai (I teach them on the Internet) but none of them are from that city.

          They were telling me the other day how different Shanghai Chinese is from Mandarin. The word “Shanghai”, for example, sounds almost the same in Mandarin as does the English pronunciation of that city name, but in the Shanghai dialect, “Shanghai” sounds to me something like “tsing-hee”.

          Like

    1. Russia has actual data on Kiev regime troop movements. This is not the retarded drivel from Kiev about 900 Russian tanks and Russian regular forces “occupying” the Donbas. Funny how the Russian air force that could mop up the whole Ukr army was never used once since its alleged occupation of the Donbass in 2014. Basically, anything that the Kiev regime claims is guaranteed to be a retarded joke.

      Like

    2. The reason why this is not the same thing as crying wolf, is because, in this case, the cries of “Wolf!” were not directed to the townspeople, but rather to the wolf himself.
      As in, “We know what you’re up to, Wolfie!”

      Like

  12. Update:

    https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-12-13/butina-admits-being-kremlin-agent-sought-influence-american-politics-through-nra

    “Russian firearms enthusiast Maria Butina admitted on Wednesday in US District Court in Washington that she conspired with an unnamed American to act at the direction of a Russian official “to establish unofficial lines of communication with Americans having power and influence over U.S. politics…for the benefit of the Russian Federation.”

    “After initially claiming innocence after her July arrest, the 30-year-old Butina accepted a deal with prosecutors and flipped her plea to guilty – agreeing to work with authorities who accused her of gathering intelligence on American officials as well as conservative political organizations. She has been in jail without bail since her arrest. “

    // cue more sanctions
    //she hasn’t been sentenced yet – but may be deported.

    Like

    1. It’s the same with Cohen and all the rest – Cohen once said he would ‘take a bullet for Trump’. Now he chokes up as he says he ‘did Trump’s dirty work’ when his conscience should have told him it was wrong. The investigators just sit them down and say, if you don’t cooperate with us, you’re going away forever. If you make a deal with us, you’ll do minimum time and be out before you know it. It’s just too unlikely that they are locked up for a couple of weeks, and then completely change their story to – surprise!! – exactly what the investigators need to make their case. So, obviously, they are so going to prove that Russia hacked the presidential elections, and inflicted Trump on an unsuspecting and innocent America. The witnesses will fall in line and sing like canaries. Can you say “show trial”?

      Like

      1. IIRC, she was held in solitary confinement for 5 months. She was stripped searched after each meeting with her attorney. Psychological abuse? Yes. Physical abuse? Yes. A form of torture? Yes

        Guilty of not filing a proper disclosure form, that was her only crime. Yet, the news tonight used strings of innuendos suggesting she was organizing a massive influence campaign and implied that much of the $30 million the NRA spent on the presidential campaign could have come from Russia (without a hint of evidence to back the claim).

        Like

        1. Next time some NATzO bootlick or agent makes a sound, the full force of US style justice should be meted out to them. No more mollycoddling of NATzO proxies in the name of human rights. If NATzO wants to play dirty, then it needs to feel the blowback.

          Like

          1. Like that cnut Navalny who is always inciting public disorder, which is a serious offence in most places.

            Bang the bastard up for a long time!

            Like

    2. Note that the prosecutors backtracked on everything involving “honey traps”, “contacts with the FSB”, “her aspirations towards a US education was cover-story” and so on and so forth.

      At the end of the day they had literally nothing, except she corresponded with her friend Torshin (the so-called “official”, even though he’s an absolute nobody, a lowly CBR clerk with zero political influence), back home and she was talking with various US gun nuts about their political lobbyism, since her actual lobbying efforts was about trying to import US gun culture into Russia, not vice versa. But solitary confinement, dwindling funds and a generally drawn out process took its toll, and she went for the plea bargain. The US “justice” system is truly rotten, to be perfectly honest.

      This entire story is a huge scandal.

      Now, for “whataboutism’s sake” compare this to the case of the Ukrainian subversive agent/aspiring terrorist Sentsov, and the 1. confessions of his partners-in-crime who were arrested together with him, 2. admissions of his Ukrainian handlers back in Kiev. Here, the Russian prosecutors had a fuckload of incriminating things, but this is called “politically motivated” abroad and there are multiple campaigns with ample state backing all over the place to get him freed.

      That they’re doing these things completely straight-faced is just beyond amazing.

      Like

      1. Why are the NRA not defending this woman? NRA are supposedly (according to the liberals) an all-powerful lobby who rule over the government. Couldn’t they wield a little clout on her behalf?

        Like

        1. That’s a good point – it must be quite a dilemma for them. Because the NRA are patriots – they just think America needs more guns and gun rights in order to be really free. They are overall not discontented with the way the US government runs things so long as it does not mess with guns and being able to shoot stuff. So they may be convinced Butina is against the US government. But an interesting question, although I doubt bringing the same sort of gun freedom to Russia is much of a concern for them.

          Like

          1. The NRA is a meaningless organization designed to keep American sheeple conformant and focused on irrelevant things. The original meaning of gun ownership in the US constitution was in the context of being able to raise militias that would counteract any abuse by the state. It was not about nutjobs getting Gatling guns and rocket launchers. The organization into a coherent force is the key and there is no evidence of this whatsoever from any of the gun nuts in the USA.

            Since the NRA is a piece of the US system, it is not going to engage in any actual criticism of the system. Just like the US MSM. All the badness and abuse are magically confined outside the borders of Exceptionalistan.

            Like

        2. The whole point of Butina’s arrest is that she’s supposedly spying for Putin’s government. Defending Butina would put the NRA in the awkward position of having to prove she’s not a spy and she’s not infiltrating the NRA. They would have to account for her presence at various NRA gun shows and meetings and for her apparent closeness to Paul Erickson, and argue that her appearances at these shows or with Erickson are not evidence that she is a spy. The NRA would need lots of luck convincing everyone, given that their reputation as a collection of intellectual giants is close to microscopic.

          Better to stay silent then, and at least give the impression that you didn’t do your homework checking Butina’s bona fides and look dumb, than to spend money trying to defend yourself and ruin your reputation even more.

          Like

          1. IIRC, she had a top shelf attorney ($600/hour range my guess) at least for a little while. Someone or some organization must have supported her legal defense. Although she was tortured to force a “confession”, her plea bargain was probably as good as it could have been from her point of view.

            I was curious about the source of her legal funding. Did find this NPR attack interview with her attorney:

            https://www.npr.org/2018/07/21/631089413/attorney-robert-driscoll-defends-client-maria-butina

            He is indeed a top DC attorney. She sought legal defense funding through an online appeal:

            https://www.rferl.org/a/accused-russian-agent-butina-seeks-raise-funds-online-legal-defense-driscoll/29440415.html

            The above article mentioned that:

            A Russian woman who has been charged in Washington with acting as an unregistered agent for the Russian government has launched an online fundraising campaign to pay for her legal defense.

            Maria Butina, 29, opened a website to raise money for her case after being arrested last month, her lawyer and media reported on August 17.

            Before her arrest, the gun rights advocate had built up a network of prominent Republican contacts in Washington, including at the powerful National Rifle Association (NRA), while working toward a master’s degree in political science at American University.

            “I’m Maria and I need your help,” the website of Butina’s new fundraising foundation says, with pictures of the smiling redhead at different sites around the United States.

            The embassy said Butina has not been allowed outdoor walks and guards have been conducting inspections of her jail cell every 15 minutes at nighttime — a procedure used for inmates who are considered likely to commit suicide — even though Butina is not considered a suicide risk.

            Butina also has been subject to strip searches that require her to fully undress after every meeting with her lawyers, embassy representatives, or other acquaintances, Interfax quoted the embassy as saying.

            The embassy also claimed Butina has not received medical attention she needs and has been barred from receiving letters in Russian because U.S. authorities said they might contain “coded messages.”

            A woman treated like that by the US legal system does not stir even the slightest comment in the MSM. If she were a LGBT? whatever or an illegal immigrant, it would be a far different reaction.

            Like

              1. Note the ‘mistakenly’ accusing her of offering sex for work. That was just a mistake – naughty, naughty prosecutors. No punishment, though. That’s for people who have done something bad.

                Like

    1. I think she has a slight accent. My son is dead good at spotting immigrant Russian-Americans when he hears them. There was a rapper he was watching last week and he spotted a trace of Russian accent. Turned out that the New York born rapper had a Russian dad and US mum, and that his dad had taught him to speak Russian.

      Like

      1. The verdict of Vladimir Dennisovich Exile:

        Russian: born in Russia, probably lived for about 5 years in the USA.

        Listen to how she says “Fuck off!” and how a passenger off screen says: “You shut the fuck up!”

        She says /fʌk/; he says /fək/.

        Muscovites say Фак оф — at least, kids who want to show off how super-cool that think they are do so.

        Like

        1. This is the Russian-American lad, about whom Vova said he thought he could detect a slight Russian accent and it turned out that the singer’s father is a Russian immigrant to the USA:

          That’s the sort of crap Vova writes, composes and sings, including bad language.

          However, the other day at the university where he is studying, a woman tutor of his said to him in a disparaging tone: “The only English thing about you is your family name!”

          I told him that if she says that to him again, just tell her to fuck off — in English.

          Am I a bad father, I wonder?

          Like

          1. The dead give away though is that the English-Russian translation is, according to Vova, spot on and, most likely, done by the singer, e.g. я всё проебал — I [have] fucked everything up. But the clincher is when he sings in Russian.

            Vova does that the other way round: he kicks off in Russian but then switches to dirty English.

            Can’t imagine where he picks up such bad language from.

            Like

        2. В Бруклине в Нью-Йорке 40-летняя россиянка, юрист Анна Лущинская устроила потасовку с расистскими заявлениями и избиением, вследствие чего была арестована.

          In Brooklyn, New York, a 40-year-old citizen of Russia woman lawyer, Anna Lushchinskaya, started a brawl with racist statements and blows, as a result of which she was arrested.

          Source: Анна Лущинская не впервые устроила потасовку в метро: кто она, все детали и видео скандала

          Yukie source, natch — albeit it is writ in the tongue of the accursed Moskali.

          The Yukie site describes her as a female citizen of the Russian Federation, for that is what россиянка means.

          According to the New York Post, the woman has been identified as Anna Luschinskaya, 40, of the Gravesend neighbourhood of Brooklyn, New York.

          All the reports that I have seenin the English language media have so far described the woman as being a White Caucasian. The Yukies, however, know better; they know her citizenship as well: she is a citizen of the “Aggressor Nation”.

          Don’t the Yukies know that one can be a both an “ethnic” Ukrainian and a Russian citizen?

          I’m sure they do!

          Like

  13. Back in her trademark peasant braids, Yooooolia kicks off her charm offensive in Washington, attending a flurry of meetings with bigwigs and flogging the doubtful logic that since Yanukovych had her imprisoned – and he’s a crook – that proves she is honest.

    https://www.wsj.com/amp/articles/ukraines-yulia-tymoshenko-courts-washington-after-manafort-revelations-1544284801

    Hard to say how onboard Washington is with the Yoolia train, although it’s easy to see how she has secured Ukrainian support – she has promised to cut the price of gas in half. She apparently has not noticed that raising the price of gas for Ukrainians to full market price has been an IMF regime-change priority for…oh…since forever. They tried to get Yushchenko to do it following the Orange Revolution. In order to halve the real price of gas in Ukraine, she would have to give everyone a huge raise – something she has tried before – or offer them gas at a heavily-subsidized price. There is no money in the kitty for either initiative, while the second option is exactly what the IMF fought so hard against, and championed Porky while he raised gas prices on Ukrainians until they squeaked like field mice.

    Like

    1. Funny how the current crop of Banderastani politicians promise to improve things in that failing state by fellating Uncle Scumbag harder. One note-Johnny quislings with vacuous crania.

      Like

      1. Artificial Intelligence isn’t at all what it is cracked up to be, since the Kirill-bot just keeps repeating the same memes over and over, like that “Uncle Scumbag” thing. It was the amusing the first time.
        The rest of it is just a collection of mad-libs: Combine a random adjective with a noun and be sure to include sexual references like “fellatio” or buggery. And don’t forget to tell somebody to “shove it”.

        Like

  14. Just the sort of maudlin over-the-top ‘hyoomin intrest’ story we have come to expect from the British press, complete with cheesecake photos. This, we are told, is an orphan girl who became a pro-Putin sniper (after, naturally, having been initially dismissed by her patriarchal-pig compatriots as ‘just a girl”).

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6479121/Orphan-teen-sniper-fighting-pro-Putin-forces-Ukraine-wins-beauty-contest.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490

    And my, did she show a knack for her work, killing a target at a range half that of a world record which stood until 2009. Incidentally, 3 of the top 5 longest confirmed sniper kills were made by Canadians, including the record.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/article/40381047/a-canadian-sniper-breaks-the-record-for-the-longest-confirmed-kill-shot—but-how

    But then fate took a hand in a distinctively fairy-tale way, when she won a beauty contest! Realizing there was more to life than guns and violent, totally-unexpected death, she decided to open a nice cafe in Donetsk. Just don’t forget to leave a decent tip, boys, or risk a ventilation hole in your forehead when you think you’re safe on your own doorstep! Honestly, who writes this stuff?

    Like

    1. Speaking of beauty contests, the Miss Universe competition is currently being held in Bangkok.

      Gasp! – how did THREE Russians manage to sneak into the competition without Donald Trump’s help???

      Like

    2. So beauty contests are now OK. I thought they were demeaning to women and manifestations of toxic masculinity. How flexible PC dogma becomes when it is about serving one’s interests.

      Like

  15. Запоздалая реакция на СС-овскую эмблему в ДШВ ВСУ: “пропагандисты Путина опять всех переиграли”

    Delayed reaction to the SS-emblem in Ukraine Army parachute regiment: “Putin’s propagandists have again overplayed their hand

    Less than a week after a soldier of the 95th parachute regiment had adorned himself with the emblem of the 3rd SS-Panzer-Division “Totenkopf” during a meeting with President Poroshenko, the Command of the Airborne troops of the Armed Forces of the Ukraine has published a video on Facebook with the caption: “Paratroopers against any manifestations of Nazism” and an apology made by the offender, who allegedly confused the emblem with that of a pirate flag.

    The “apology”:

    “Dear fellow countrymen and fighting brothers! I want to apologize for my use of an emblem similar to that used by Nazi units. I emphasize that I used it because of my own ignorance, regarding it as a kind of pirate flag. I admit my mistake and am ready to bear responsibility for this. I want to apologize that in a difficult time for the Ukraine, I gave Russian propagandists a reason to invent another portion of lies about our Ukraine armed forces”.

    Some of his comrades then appear, who criticize their “brother-in-arms”.

    One reaction to this Facebook “apology”:

    Maxim Shirshov: It’s the same as when into an Accident and Emergency Department is brought a man who has a 30 cm dildo stuck up his arse and who explains: “I was playing with this little cat and casually sat on the sofa, on which this thing had been left lying and which had probably been left there by one of the other guests …”

    How fucking pathetic!

    How come he did not become a submariner, seeing that he wanted to be associated with a pirate flag?


    above: a unit of Her Britannic Majesty’s Royal Piratical Navy: the captain and senior officers of HMS Triumph returning from the Mediterranean where they had been engaged in military operations against the Gaddafi “regime”.

    I wonder why folk think pirates were/are admirable person? They were/are criminals and very often murderers.

    Like

    1. Ye Gods! I should never wish that war be waged anywhere, but really — I often wish these bastards could get their collective arses whipped for once and for good!

      Like

    2. When you watch the vid, it is clear that the guy is reading a prepared script.
      This bit of Russian propaganda must have actually bitten, since the Ukies took the time to “splain” it.

      And then, in the followup vid, other parachuters swear to god they are not Nazis and hate Nazis, and then end with a collective chant of “Hail to Ukraine, Hail to the Heroes!” which was the Nazi/Banderite chant.

      https://vz.ru/news/2018/12/14/955312.html

      Like

  16. And just so no one forgets during the coming festive season about the monstrous chemical weapon attack perpetrated by Russian agents in sleepy Salisbury, the Guardian has this story today:

    ‘We did our best’: police who rushed to Skripal scene tell of shock and pride

    The Guardian, however, gives no explanation as to how all these brave folk are still in the land of the living.

    And of course, know one knows anything of the Skripals’ whereabouts.

    They might even be dead.

    Who knows?

    Theresa might know, though. And Boris. And Her Majesty’s state security goons.

    Like

    1. If a nerve agent 10 times more potent than VX was used (as claimed) then most of these initial responders would be dead or have serious health issues today.

      BTW, there is evidence that Porosyuk is going to stage a false flag chemical atrocity in Mariupol which NATzO will instantly pin on the “pro Russian militants”. Salisbury is part of the NATzO brainwashing campaign to link the minds of credulous sheeple that Russia and its allies are all mass murdering, war criminal scum. These western slimebags actually pin the use of chemical weapons by their jihadi proxies in Syria on Russia and the Syrian government.

      Like

    2. The entire Fraudian article itself, including the bits supposedly proffered by the police officers (“… we did our absolute best …”), reads as if it had been written by a PR hack.

      One would expect the police officers not to know the Skripals at all if neither of them was a drug addict, a drug dealer or in the habit of carrying more than a certain permitted amount of a particular illegal drug at any one time.

      Like

  17. Per RT:
    https://www.rt.com/russia/446488-russia-prisoners-record-low/

    Currently, 467,000 people are serving jail terms, which is the lowest number in modern Russian history.

    The decline in the number of the prisoners is the tangible result of “humanization” of Russian legislation, the official said. The number of inmates is expected to shrink further, as the authorities seek to put people behind bars only for capital offences, committed “against individual or state.”

    A new law, signed by Vladimir Putin this summer, has also contributed to the reduction of inmate numbers, according to Maksimenko.

    Per the internet:

    In 2016, the Prison Policy Initiative estimated that in the United States, about 2,298,300 people were incarcerated out of a population of 323.1 million.

    From the above, the rate of incarceration in the Land of the Free is 2.25 times higher than Mordor.

    That is really a great development in Russia.

    Like

    1. Yeah, but they’re still all innocent victims of the regime, aren’t they?

      Stands to reason, don’t it?

      A leopard can’t change its spots, can it?

      Like

    2. Putin “the tyrant” continuing his reforms of the judicial system and further reducing the incarceration rate. It was Putin who started the judicial reform process. For the first time jury trials and probation were introduced. This reduced the jail resident count by several hundred thousand right off the bat. The so-called “palpable humanitarian” Yeltsin did precisely f*ck all to reform the judicial system and was stuffing jails with starving people who stole some food.

      When it comes to Russia, the western image is a total inversion of reality. What they call tyranny is benevolent freedom. What they call aggression is pure self-defense.

      The west is an Orwellian toilet. A collection of police state thuggeries that practice the opposite of what they preach. Freedom in the west is basically “play by the elite’s rules and we will not crush your skull”. There are no mainstream journalists who openly criticize the system. They are too busy smearing Russia and others and projecting guilt and depravity. As we see in France, the alleged wealth of the west is a trickle down BS myth and most people have to work hard and still can barely get the ends to meet.

      Like

      1. Does Putin need a handle like “Putin the Benevolent” or “Putin the Guardian”. I have a slight preference for the later as if a one-word summary of Putin is needed, it could be that.

        Like

          1. His so-called family name is apt. It sounds a bit like поросенок /pərɐˈsʲɵnək/ — “piglet”:

            [audio src="https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a5/Ru-поросёнок.ogg" /]

            Like

          1. Please say that its not a real Time magazine cover. If it is, the US media has become irreversibly unhinged. Wait, even if fake, the media is clearly unhinged.

            Like

              1. The west is hysterical on the subject of Putin. Which, it has not escaped the notice of publishers and journalists, sells lots of magazines and writes a lot of paychecks. They don’t give a fuck if there is any truth to it – they never have before, and they’re always forgiven when they report bullshit. Chemical labs in Iraq, anyone? Saddam did 9-11?

                Like

                1. Indeed. But the empirical law is reinforced that when Russia is doing well and is under competent leadership, then it is has to be shat on and described in the worst possible way. When Russia is failing and run by comprador maggots like Yeltsin, then we have the singing of praises from the western media and politicians.

                  The more hate spewed at Putin, the more it cements him as the best leader in Russian history. If these fucks are going to yap about bloody, any US president outdoes Russia in terms of civilian butchery by a very large factor. The US is currently backing the Saudi butchers in their war on Yemen where millions of people are experiencing famine. Meanwhile, Putin’s reforms are reducing Russian incarceration rates. I am straining to see what is bloody about Putin. Are they claiming those Nazi paramilitary battalions running amok in the Donbas are Putin’s fault? And writing about Chechnya as some war crime in a 2016 article is thick and rich considering the situation there. Perhaps it is the fake chemical mass murder in Syria that these clowns are invoking to prove his “bloodiness”. Maybe I am supposed to believe that he is bloody because of the tinfoil hat conspiracy theories about Magnitsky, Politkovskaya, etc. Gee, Bill Clinton has a much longer and much more plausible body count attributed to him.

                  Interesting how Ivan Grozny (not “Terrible” by any rational translation) was demonized and remains demonized even to this day. He did not kill his son and he actually introduced some due process into trials. So fiefs could not lock up or execute their serfs on a whim and neither could the Russian state. Grozny secured Russia’s existence and stopped most of the slave trade raids on its territory (no Crimea was not the only place where slaves were harvested). The body count from his “civilized” European counterparts cannot be dismissed as smaller:

                  http://www.indepthinfo.com/history/30-years-war.htm

                  Like

        1. That resonates.

          Great leadership nicknames are thin on the ground these days. “The Iron Lady” was plain wishful thinking (“the Milk-snatcher” was far better) and President Micron is so-so.

          Nothing these days as good as Charles the Fat (France), Pedro the Cruel (Castile), Ramiro the Monk (Aragón) or the double act of Mad Juana and Handsome Phil (Spain).

          My favourite is the gruesome sounding aristo from Scotland: Archibald the Grim…

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          1. It is as “The Guardian” that Putin is the most exquisitely hated by the west, because he was never so prescient as when he kicked out the western ‘NGO’s’ and civil society beavering away in the trenches of regime change. In fact, the persecution of Butina may have as much to do with payback for that as it does with a general trend of Russophobia.

            Like

  18. Mark,

    I hope this comment of mine gets posted otherwise I can’t even ask for help 😀 I’ve been trying to post comments for four times now but they don’t appear. The first time I figured out it may be because of a link that was included, but the other three times there was no link and they still didn’t show. Could you check if they are in the spam filter?

    Like

      1. Nothing so glamorous, I’m afraid. Just an occasionally-overzealous spam filter. But consider yourself lucky not to be burdened with all the balatantly-commercial dreck it catches that you never see.

        Like

        1. Mention of over zealous filters brought to mind something that happened to me last week.

          I have a Facebook account that I opened quite recently and which I haveonly used 3 times. I only opened the account in order to make a comment to Sputnik.

          Having opened my Facebook acount, the “people you know” feature kicked off. One of those people was my nephew, so I entered into a chat with him. I can’t quite remember now how the drift of our chat went, but Hitler cropped up in it, my nephew saying he was an evil bastard, to which I replied that people didn’t realize how, deep in his black heart, Hitler was a fun loving guy, as a recently unearthed and never before seen photo of him proves.

          I posted the photo that I spoke of.

          Almost immediately after having posted the photo, I received a stern warning off Facebook about breach of rules. The warning said I would not be barred that time, because I was a newcomer, but next time my account would be blocked.

          Here is the photo that caused the furore off Facebook:

          I added that the dog was a mean bastard, though, trained to go straight for your balls.

          Like

        2. Gods, my spam filter is always a hoot. There are some really pornographic ones featuring words like “shaved pussy”, some completely meaningless ones which consist of random Chinese characters (I think). But usually there are these upbeat ones, like “I really love your blog, what a wonderful cheerful topic!” and that one linked to something like my post on the violent rape case in Ufa, so you know the spammer didn’t even read the actual story, just their bots randomly picking up on links.

          There was one spam IP which would say, one day, “I see that you rarely post any more” (and this when I post virtually every freaking day); and then the next day, same IP, it says, “I read your blog every day, but it is slow to load…”
          I know a bit about AI, but I can’t even imagine who takes the time to launch all these spambots…
          What is the actual point of it, I wonder?

          And yes, it’s somewhat random too, just a couple of days ago, a perfectly innocent comment by Nicola (with no links) got routed to my spam filter, even though she is an established commenter. I felt bad about that. Moral of the story: one has to sift through the filter in case there is a nugget there. I realize your filter, Mark, is probably a thousand times the size of mine, given the volume of comments you get!

          Like

    1. Yup; I did, and they were. Sorry about that, I’m on mornings this week and leave for work very early and am gone all day. Consequently I don’t have a lot of time for checking the spam filter. But even when I have lots of time I sometimes forget, so thanks for the reminder. There was nothing odd about the comment at all, sometimes it seems to be just random.

      Like

  19. I ask this in all seriousness – are the Yellow Vests a chromo-revolution orchestrated by off-stage forces? I certainly sympathize with the apparent anti-globalist tone (if that really is the case) but, come on, yellow vests? Extremely speculative but could the US/Trump be the initiator to mess with Macron? Certainly not the usual suspects in any case.

    Like

    1. If you’re wondering if “Yellow” could hint to a color revolution, the name “yellow vests” came at first because the movement started as a protest of car drivers, protesting an increase of the tax on gasoline and an even higher increase for diesel. That’s by the way one of the reasons why the movement is very large and has no particular political leaning: every one who owns a car was affected. About ten years ago, the French government, using environmental reasons, put a very high tax on gasoline and encouraged every one to use diesel instead, so a lot of people sold their cars (at a loss since no one wanted to buy cars running on gasoline), bought diesel cars (which were much more expensive) and thought they were doing their bit at improving the environment. Now, the government stated that researchers have found that diesel pollutes exactly the same, if not more, as gasoline, and using this pretext steeply increased the tax on diesel. The hypocrisy of using AGAIN environmental reasons, while almost not taxing big polluters like Total, is what angered every one, even more so than the increase itself. So car owners used the yellow vest, which is a mandatory item to have in your car in France, as a protest symbol. The vest is to be worn by a driver when he has to get out the car for some reason in the middle of the road, and since the protesters’ plan was to block the roads, they would wear their yellow vest when doing so. The government instead of dealing with this in a responsible way declared that everyone against the increase was in favor of pollution, that protesters were “prisoners of their cars”, whatever that means, and completely dismissed the fact people had immediate financial concerns besides saving the planet. As a result, even more people rallied the movement and it became what it became (i.e:more or less protesting social inequality).

      Now maybe the movement was cheered on from the outside, but I really doubt it had an outside initiator. The initiator seems mostly to be people being fed-up not just to have to pay more, but to be taken for idiots with the environmental argument.

      Like

  20. The TU-160 is the largest combat aircraft in service including the 1950’s era B-52 that is still the main strategic bomber in the USAF inventory. The Tu-160 has, by far, superior aerodynamic performance to all US bombers. With the deep modernization starting a few years back (new engines, avionics, weapons systems), it stretches its lead over Western counterparts.

    US ambassadors should stick with processing visa applications to keep their ignorance hidden.

    Like

  21. Apparently ‘eadem mutata resurgo’ characterizes the extent of the failure of european denazification.

    “Among broad layers of Jews, both within Israel and internationally, the fact that Israel, whose founding was defended with the claim that it would provide a refuge from fascism and anti-Semitism, is now welcoming and allying itself with fascists and anti-Semites is a source of extreme disquiet and revulsion.

    Salvini is only the latest in a long line of such “great friends” to pay their visit to Yad Vashem, which some Israeli critics of the Netanyahu government have described as a “washing machine,” where far-right figures go to clean themselves up, absolving themselves of their anti-Semitism through their support for Israel.

    In the Israeli daily Haaretz, Anshel Pfeffer wrote: “It is clear what they come for on the political level. Politicians who are historically tainted with their party’s past associations with fascist and neo-Nazi roots can get Israel’s kashrut [kosher] stamp by visiting the Western Wall and the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial.”

    Among these pilgrims has been Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who has described Admiral Miklos Horthy, Hungary’s World War II-era dictator, who collaborated with the Nazis in the murder of some 565,000 Jews, as “an exceptional statesman.” Like Salvini, he has engaged in a relentless demonization of the US-based, Hungarian-born billionaire George Soros, with openly anti-Semitic overtones, portraying his funding of immigrant aid groups as part of a plot to rob European nations of their Christian and racial heritage.

    Another “friend” to visit the Yad Vashem “washing machine” was Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, who rules as part of a coalition with the Freedom Party, a far-right group founded by two former Nazi SS officers. After a guide pointed out to him that some of the same Austrian towns memorialized at the site for the slaughter of their Jewish populations had recently seen anti-Semitic acts by members of the Freedom Party, the Austrian government filed a formal complaint with the Netanyahu government, which compelled the museum to issue an apology.

    Nor are such relations restricted to Europe. Also making the trek to Yad Vashem was the autocratic ruler of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte, who publicly praised Hitler and vowed to emulate him by exterminating three million “criminals.” His pilgrimage to Israel was driven in large measure by the desire to procure arms to conduct this slaughter.

    And Netanyahu has announced his plans to attend the inauguration of the fascistic former army captain Jair Bolsonaro as president of Brazil. Bolsonaro, who has praised the country’s former dictatorship and extolled the virtues of torture, had said during the election campaign that he would ape Donald Trump by moving the Brazilian embassy to Jerusalem.

    Netanyahu has cast his embrace of the far right as a brilliant exercise in realpolitik, stating during a trip to Budapest last year that he could leverage these regimes against “Old Europe,” which has continued to make its formal criticisms of Israel for its illegal occupation and settlements policy and maintain the pretense of upholding some rights for the Palestinians.

    Such a reactionary strategy would be bad enough. But the alliance between the Israeli state and the far-right is not merely a pragmatic foreign policy exercise. There is a natural ideological and political affinity that stems both from Israel’s present day political and social policies as well as the historical roots of Zionism.

    For their part, the far right and the neo-fascists admire the Zionist state for its racist policies and its determination to build an ethno-centrist society by means of Apartheid-style oppression of the Palestinian people. The passage last July of the so-called “Nation-State Law” enshrining Jewish supremacy as the legal foundation of the state is something that they would like to emulate with their own xenophobic and racialist laws.

    The same social and economic contradictions that are giving rise to the growth of neo-fascism in Europe and elsewhere are producing similar results in Israel itself. A garrison state involved in continuous acts of militarism in the Middle East, Israel is also wracked by social tensions, registering the highest poverty rate of any of the so-called developed countries and the most extreme social inequality, with the exception of the United States. These conditions have generated mounting working class protests and strikes, including a recent nationwide walkout by social workers over poor pay and deteriorating working conditions.

    Zionism itself is one variant of extreme nationalism. Before World War II and the Holocaust, it was a relatively isolated movement, which arose as a peculiar expression of the nationalism that prevailed in eastern Europe in the 19th century—one based not on universal democratic principles, but rather on exclusivist conceptions of racial, religious and linguistic hegemony. These same ideological conceptions were to underpin the rise of fascism.

    A column published Thursday in the Israeli daily Haaretz drew attention to the seemingly paradoxical affinity between Zionism and fascism, noting that the Zionist movement’s principal founder, Theodor Herzl, “believed that people with anti-Semitic views would help realize his dream because of their desire to get the Jews out of their own countries.”

    As the Zionist state has embraced anti-Semites and neo-fascists in Europe and elsewhere, it has pursued an aggressive worldwide campaign to brand as an anti-Semite who must be silenced anyone on the left daring to criticize the daily crimes committed by the Israeli occupation in the West Bank and Gaza. Presumably such a proscription should apply to anyone opposing the far-right and neo-fascist “friends of Israel.”

    Just days before Salvini’s visit, the Wall Street Journal published an article by Daniel Schwammenthal of the American Jewish Committee declaring that “Far leftists—including Jeremy Corbyn, leader of Britain’s Labour Party—pick up traditional anti-Semitic tropes, replace ‘Jews’ with ‘Zionists,’ and deny anti-Semitism.” Such slanders are part of the hysterical campaign raging throughout Europe, and in particular in Britain, to discredit left-wing political views with false accusations of anti-Semitism. Salvini’s visit exposes the filthy and absurd character of these charges and shows that the Israeli state, not its left-wing critics, is guilty of boosting neo-fascism and anti-Semitism.

    The alliance between the Israeli government and far-right and fascistic forces on a global scale is the clearest barometer of the bankruptcy and reactionary dead-end of the entire Zionist project.

    The way forward for the masses of Jewish and Arab workers in Israel and throughout the region lies in a united struggle to overthrow the Zionist state and the various bourgeois Arab regimes in the region and replace them with a United Socialist States of the Middle East. This perspective requires the building of a new revolutionary leadership through the construction of sections of the International Committee of the Fourth International in Israel and across the Middle East.
    Bill Van Auken”

    The comments to the article are informative:

    “Ron Ruggieri Kate Marshall • 5 hours ago
    A neglected witness to the Holocaust years : ” I Will Bear Witness “, diary of the Nazi years ( 1933-1941 ) by Victor Klemperer. What impressed me as I browsed the book in the library was that it deserved as much public attention as ” The Diary of Anne Frank “. Klemperer later joined the Communist Party in East Germany and was very scornful of the Zionist project in Israel.
    Ironic but true : Nazis welcomed the Jewish settlement of Palestine. Klemperer in a number of sardonic passages in his diary made it clear what he really thought about Zionism : it was Nazi ideology transplanted and modified for the New Israel in Palestine.
    Klemperer described himself as a disciple of the French philosopher Voltaire and a ” Cosmopolitan Jew “.
    Socialist internationalists must find and encourage those Jewish intellectuals not besotted by toxic Zionism to speak out. The next Holocaust will be even bigger and strictly multi-cultural.”

    https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/12/14/pers-d14.html

    Like

    1. This is what you get when you coddle Nazis as tools to fight Russia. The US was busy saving Nazi rats during and after WWII to allegedly fight communism. Sort of like the installation of death squad juntas in Latin America to prevent Socialism from being given a chance. The Communist bogey man was a lucrative racket for the US and its NATzO minions.

      Today we have the grotesque support for the Banderites who make up the Kiev regime. This is all to stick it to Russia. Russia and not Nazis and their campaigns of genocide is the real focus of hate and concern.

      Like

  22. https://theduran.com/ukraine-wants-nuclear-weapons-will-the-west-bow-to-the-regime-in-kiev/

    The former Ukrainian envoy to NATO, Major General Petro Garashchuk, recently stated in an interview with Obozrevatel TV:

    “I’ll say it once more. We have the ability to develop and produce our own nuclear weapons, currently available in the world, such as the one that was built in the former USSR and which is now in independent Ukraine, located in the city of Dnipro (former Dnipropetrovsk) that can produce these kinds of intercontinental ballistic missiles. Neither the United States, nor Russia, nor China have produced a missile named Satan … At the same time, Ukraine does not have to worry about international sanctions when creating these nuclear weapons.”

    Ukraine with nuclear weapons and ICMBs? This from a nation whose aerospace sector has virtually disappeared (e.g. Antonov), a nation that can barely keep its nuclear reactors operating and suffered a massive loss of technical talent? They may be able to cobble up a dirty bomb and try to sneak into Russia or more likely the Donbass. Such an action would justify a Russian attack to put down the mad dogs of Kiev. I suspect even NATO would not allow Kiev to seriously contemplate such a plan.

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    1. You would think that the Kiev regime would act to preserve itself. Instead it assumes that it can do anything and that Uncle Scumbag will save its sorry ass. There is no way that NATzO would be able to back a dirty nuke attack by the regime on any target. It is too heavily invested in the phobia over weapons of mass destruction.

      This category is of course absurd. Putting nuclear bombs and mustard gas on the same level is ridiculous. The former can kill millions in one shot, while the latter can kill at most a few hundred. It takes many gas attacks to kill thousands. Many nuclear weapons attacks make sure that there is a perfect glass layer formed where the top of the ground used to be.

      Like

    2. Or to become a legitimate nuclear power – I’m sure Washington is well aware of just what kind of loose cannon Ukraine is under Poroshenko. While we’re on the subject, what is Tymoshenko going to do about the nationalist battalions? If she has any sense at all, she will disband them quietly, provided she does not rely on them to come to power, as Porochoppo did. He always had an uneasy relationship with them, keeping them in the field and active as much as possible so they would not be in Kiev causing trouble, but he did not dare order them to disband. If Tymoshenko makes the cut in the first round (as she very well might if enough hopeful Ukrainians believe her daffy promises to cut their gas bills in half), she may not need the nationalist vote to stay in power.

      Anyway, as alluring as an enemy power with nukes cheek by jowl with Russia would be for Washington, they have to think long, and think of what a menace it might be to Europe if a new leader came to power who ruthlessly repressed the nationalist nutjobs and re-allied Ukraine with Russia – which is not so farfetched as it sounds. Plenty of Ukrainians must realize it is never going to be accepted as a European state, and that it is kept grabbing for the carrot as long as it is useful as a wedge against Russia. Ukraine with nukes could not be counted on to threaten only Russia with them, and Washington must have noticed what a grandiose bunch of squirrels is running the place now.

      But more to the point, a nuclear program costs money, and Ukraine is skint, stony-broke, entirely dependent on handouts from the IMF. The latter is not going to ‘lend’ money to Ukraine so it can build nuclear weapons.

      Like

      1. The IQ in Washington is low. They do not think much of any constraining variables and negative consequences for their imperial ambitions. America is like those absurd oversized donut ads you see. Grotesque, hot air inflated BS.

        So I am giving them too much credit for making rational decisions. They may actually try to station nuclear weapons in Ukraine to “deter Russia”.

        Like

  23. Naftogaz is getting some help – what a surprise! – from the United States in its pursuit of discovering the locations of Gazprom shares, with a view to recovering the $2.6 Billion awarded to it by the arbitration court. Doubtless well aware that its window of opportunity to seize the money before it gets cut off as a transit country is closing, it apparently realizes that withholding a million here and a million there from its payments is not going to bring it anywhere near its goal. So it is accelerating its efforts.

    https://www.naturalgasworld.com/ukraine-applies-to-us-courts-for-gazprom-info-66774?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Daily%20Natural%20Gas%20World%20-%20Latest%20News&utm_content=Daily%20Natural%20Gas%20World%20-%20Latest%20News+CID_939a356497f6f915d9e01e981cd24c11&utm_source=Campaign%20Monitor&utm_term=Ukraine%20Applies%20to%20US%20Courts%20for%20Gazprom%20Info

    I can’t help noticing the contrast between the zeal Ukraine now displays for collecting what it says it is owed, and its foot-dragging reluctance to pay back the money it was lent by Russia before the Glorious Maidan. Back then, it was all about stalling, and the west happily fed its fantasies of defaulting by postulating theories of it being declared ‘odious debt’ and other legal straws for it to grasp. But now, of course, Russia is a deadbeat because it won’t pay, and Uncle Sam won’t have that. The contrast couldn’t be clearer, and I hope Russia will remember when the USA finally comes gumsucking around when it wants something. And when Naftogaz announces it is ready to sign a new gas deal for transit, because it is such a reliable partner.

    Like

    1. Russia should declare force majeure on gas transit through Pukereaine on the pretext of this kangaroo court ruling. It should cease any payment for gas transit and let the EU sort out the consequences. Time for Russia to grow a pair and take some pain for its dignity. Let the hater fucks in the west squirm.

      Like

  24. Found this profile of Maria Butina, written all the way back in 2012 (Butina was still living in Russia) by no other than Julia Ioffe. It’s clear from this article that Butina has always been just a gun advocate who made no secret of her activities. Note this quote from the article “The major obstacle for Butina and her group is Putin. Never mind that he himself is an avid outdoorsman. Behind closed doors, Putin seems to have put forth the position that his surrogates are vocalizing: It (i.e: the right to gun ownership) is too soon, and too dangerous. Gudkov has a different explanation: “He’s afraid of his own people.” ” So we can assume the US knew everything about her from the beginning (her lobbying for guns, her connection to Torshin, that she’s just a “gun nut” as Julia puts it and is no secret agent, etc) and just chose to harass her now for supposed “collusion” because it suited their agenda.

    https://newrepublic.com/article/110223/the-rise-russia-gun-nuts

    Like

    1. Yahoo describes her as an “admitted foreign agent”. The image such a statement creates in the mind of most Americans is a spy with a secret radio transmitter linked to Putin’s office, sneaking around at night stealing American secrets and seducing innocent and gosh-darn nice and trusting Americans.

      Her only “crime” was allegedly not filling out a government form. All of the crap about being a seductress and bribing for information never showed up in the final charge.

      She was tortured to make an example of what happens to Russians who “meddle”, i.e., being a Russian citizen living in the US who has not crawled under a rock. There are far worse crimes committed by the US but this one is truly indicative of its meanness and pettiness.

      Like

      1. The sad thing about her is how much she absolutely idolized the US, Americans, their way of life, their liberties and rights. She seemed to know everything about their statistics, their success stories and took it as an inspiration for how an ideal society should be. Being tortured and routinely humiliated is hard enough, undergoing it by people you idolize must be crushingly confusing.

        Like

        1. I saw a brief video of her reading a statement in court admitting to the unregistered foreign agent charge. She looked broken. I did not know of the added dimension that she held a strongly positive (but supremely naive) view of America. Life lessons can be hard.

          Hope she can recover back in Russia and become a counselor for all those who hold similar positive views of America; perhaps organizing a kreakl recovery program.

          Like

        2. Yes, it must be a wrenching experience to realize that’s all just a veneer over the reality that if your conviction is pivotal to political necessity, you can be made to confess whether you have done anything wrong or not. I bet Russia and its draconian leader looks quite a bit different to her now.

          Like

    2. That’s beautiful. America chose to take out two of the most pro-American people in Russia – for God’s sake, Ioffe even attempted to link her in spirit with Navalny. Instead Washington chose to position Butina and Torshin as ears and eyes for Putin. How he must have laughed at the irony, not to mention the eventual exile of Butina back to Russia. There is absolutely no reason for Russia to punish her now – the violent stripping away of all her illusions about the Shining City on a Hill must have been devastation enough.

      Like

      1. The Amerikkkastani leadership is full of itself and detached from reality. They still think that the US is #1 and that #2 is some infinitesimal runner up. No Amerikkkastan is now 3rd rate with China and Russia outclassing it completely in military potential and even in the economy. Do not forget that GDP measures offshore economic activity. So the US multinationals making money abroad are treated as if they are making money in the US itself. If people think that China is dependent on exports and western markets, then the US and its EU minions are dependent on the global market. It is China and India which make up most of that global market. (Eventually the rest of the world will dominate but that is not any time soon).

        The western, especially Amerikkkastani, hate for Russia is rabid and unhinged. We see the power of propaganda. Just like Nazi Germany of the 1930s and Rwanda of the 1990s it enables demented opinions to form in the masses that are self sustaining and lead to genocide. Every media piece I see on Russia is firmly in the racial hate category with all sorts of denigration and falsehoods designed to make Russians look evil and NATzO bootlicks look saintly. This can be easily seen in the coverage of Ukraine. Not a squeak about war crimes when it comes to random shelling of residential areas of the Donbass by the Kiev regime and not discussion about legitimacy of this regime. It came to power in a coup and there is no question that it is illegitimate no matter how many elections it holds. It banned widely supported parties from participating so any election is by definition a farce.

        Like

        1. A large fraction of Americans, mostly in the heartland, simply don’t care about what the MSM says. They prefer to direct their energies to financial survival which seems harder every year. The US will not fall from revolution but from apathy brought about the propaganda saturation,

          Like

          1. I am hoping that these people form a critical mass to hold back the lunatics running the asylum. All the war drum banging is getting serious and the lunatics really believe that Russia will not use nuclear weapons and will just submit to being defeated via conventional war. In other words, these lunatics are banking on WWII type good days where the US GDP will be stimulated and not glassed into oblivion.

            Like

  25. There’s been much development today about the autocephaly of the Ukrainian Church, of which I didn’t understand much but the conclusion seems to be they elected Filaret’s right hand, Epifani, as head of this new church. Doing so they went against Poroshenko’s choice, he wanted someone called Simeon who is close to him and was a member of the Moscow Patriarchate to somehow give legitimacy to the autocephaleous church. It seems to me they are rushing to get this separate Ukrainian Church up and running before Orthodox Christmas.

    Like

  26. Today (15 December, 2018) in Kiev there took place a “unifying council”, initiated by the President of the Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, and the Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew.


    Praise the Lord!

    However, in this person’s Tweet below, someone else was the cause of the “unifying council” in Kiev:

    Today there will take place an event of historical proportions: a Schism. An assembly in Kiev will create an autnomous Ukrainian church. The Russian Orthodox Church will lose up to half of its “living” dioceses. In the course of 4 years, that which has taken hundreds of years to create has been destroyed by Putin and his idiots. Putin is the enemy of the Russian world.

    Putin did it!

    Not Valtsman! Not Patriarch Bartholemew of Constantinople! Not US gold!

    Putin!

    PUTIN DID IT!!!!

    And from Babchenko, a reaction to Lyosha’s above accusation:

    Read it, Ukrainians. Read, all those Ukrainians who bleat that “not all Russians are the same”. This is their future liberal Führer. [He means Navalny: the knobhead thinks Lyosha will one day be Russian head of state — ME] This is the nice, new Russia of the future, a Russia for whom you are nothing but schismatics. The living dioceses of the Russian Orthodox Church are dust — nothing but dust. A moat, crocodiles, machine-gun towers.

    Completely blown them!

    See you after you have crossed that moat atop your Abrams tank, wanker, and you are clattering down Tverskaya!

    What a tosser!

    Like

    1. “Autocephalous” above, rather than “autonomous”.

      The term that I was translating from Navalny’s Tweet means “local church”, but I thought it too weak an expression for the Ukraine “national” Orthodox Church that the Banderites yearn for, albeit the most vile of them are usually Uniates, “Greek-Catholics” or whatever.

      Babchenko is a wanker, what with his being cut to the quick as regards Navalny implying that all those who join Valtsman’s church are “heretics”.

      The local Holy Joes here regularly used to call me a “heretic” because they thought I was a Protestant. They were wrong on one count: I was and never have been a Protestant, but I was still a heretic in their eyes anyway, having been christened in the one, true, holy Catholic and Apostolic Church of Rome.

      But I fucked off that organization yonks back — when I was about 16. Now I really am a heretic — a full blown pagan!

      Gimme that old time religion!

      Waes hael!

      Yuletide cometh!

      Stuff that Coca-Cola employee Santa Claus!

      Woden’s the man!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Both Navalny and Babchenko are so far past the S-bend in their idiotic twisted thinking and assumptions, one day they might just meet and discover they have something in common, and they’ll fall in love and marry. And they’ll live unhappily ever after dumping on each other with one outburst after another.

      Like

      1. A bit confused about Navalny’s reaction. Is he opposed to the Ukrainian Hydrocephaly?
        I would have expected him to welcome it, since it undercuts the Putin regime.
        Oh well, only proves that one should Never Assume…
        Because it makes an Ass out of … etc etc….

        Like

        1. He is opposed to it, but wants to blame Putin for bringing it about.

          Interestingly, everything for Poroshenko is a matter of national security, including the creation of the Ukrainian National Church.

          https://www.newsmax.com/newsfront/EU-REL-Russia-Ukraine/2018/12/15/id/894582/

          I suppose this is so nobody will dare to challenge his decisions.

          “Ukraine was not, is not, and will not be the canonical territory of the Russian church,” Poroshenko told the gathering, adding that creating an independent Ukrainian Orthodox Church was now a matter of national security.

          “This is a question of Ukrainian statehood,” Poroshenko said. “We are seizing spiritual independence, which can be likened to political independence. We are breaking the chains that tie us to the (Russian) empire.”

          I am going to predict here and now that Ukraine of the future is going to realize it broke a few too many chains that tied it to the Russian empire. The Ukrainian church will receive no financial support from the Moscow patriarchate, and running a church is an expensive proposition – all that pomp and circumstance ain’t cheap. Ukraine has no money, and neither do Ukrainians, so no use taking your case to the people. As usual, master strategist Poroshenko should have stuck to making chocolate. In a few years, the relative poverty of the Ukrainian church will be apparent (unless Ukrainian oligarchs finance it, which is a possibility). This is not going to be a schism in name only, with the churches finding common orthodox ground and getting along for the sake of faith, but a true sundering of the bond between them, with the Ukrainian orthodox church unable to call upon the Russian orthodox for support or help. Eventually I expect many of the Russian orthodox churches in Ukraine to close or move out – probably the nationalists will help a little there, with violence or vandalism directed against the Russian orthodox church and/or its followers. Eventually Ukraine will be left with nothing but its own national churches. And no money – did I mention that?

          Like

          1. I have seen some reports from the Yukie shite-media about “tutyushki”. I forget exactly what the term was and its transliteration and can’t be bothered to check now.

            Do you remember them? When the Maidan crap was going full steam ahead and organized disrupters were allegedly being discovered everywhere? There were these so-called tityushki or whatever everywhere. Well, now there are ROC “tityushki” (or whatever) activists being reported here and there.

            Off to the dacha now. Minus 14°C (6.8°F) as I write in Moscow at 10:23, December 16, 2018. Going colder. Minus 20°C (-4°F) nightime temps forecast for next weekend.

            I hope they don’t suffer too much from the cold in Yukistan, I really do! Poor things!

            Slava Ukraini! etc.

            Like

            1. Titushki — this was a term invented by the Maidanites to characterize their opponents. Original meaning was like “goons” for the other side. As in Yanukovych-supporting goons. (Their own goons being “Celestial Angels”.)

              According to American wiki, the etymological origin of the term comes from the name of an actual person, Vadim Titushko, a mixed martial artist in Ukraine who attacked some TV journalists.

              Like

            2. Yes, I remember them well – “titushki” were ‘agents of Yanukovych’, toughs who carried out provocations in order to blame the acts on the freedom-loving Maidanites, and so discredit their peaceful revolutionary movement and provide an excuse for cracking down. When a crowd formed to resist the police peacefully by appealing to their better nature, it was titushki in the crowd who threw stones and turned the protests violent, titushki who brought weapons and fired the first shots, titushki who slashed the tires on the ambulances so that medical aid could not come to the injured. Reports of titushki popping up everywhere and committing multiple acts against the public order so that the good people of the Glorious Maidan would get the blame. Tweets flew around social media about the titushki’s latest mayhem until the crowd was like a tormented bull, confused and frightened and seeking an outlet for its fury. Of course once the Glorious Maidan had succeeded, they evaporated as if they had never been; perhaps they all crammed themselves onto Yanukovych’s getaway plane.

              Like

              1. Where all those blast-from-the past Maidanites now, I wonder?

                For example, she who was a certified nutter and had to have major face surgery, allegedly, so that her mug be rebuilt after her having been beaten up, allegedly, out on a highway somewhere?

                Or that overweight hero who had to have a lug-hole stitched on, allegedly, and undergo surgery in some Baltic state after his having been nailed up to a door and tortured, allegedly? He later became a short-lived minister of sport or youth or whatever.

                And that pony-tailed twat who used to love getting stuck in at Rada brawls or teaching folk lessons in their offices for not following the party line?

                Where are they now?

                Of course, the real star man of them all just went too far over the top and was liquidated quite early in his post-Maidan career.

                Like

        2. Ukrainian Hydrocephaly … surely you mean Ukrainian Anencephaly?

          One would think Navalny and Babchenko would find common ground and agree on something but one can see Navalny is nothing more than an opportunist and Babchenko can barely think beyond the next five seconds.

          Like

          1. He’d better learn to think beyond the next five seconds, because if your message begins to lose its attraction and your following begins to drift away, it’s pretty hard to top getting murdered as a distraction to refocus attention.

            Like

            1. How would he react to a friendly warning from the Russian security services that they had reasonable grounds to suspect that he (Navalny) was being considered for the role of Nemtsov Mark (!!!) II?

              Like

              1. I can just see Navalny fleeing to Yukiestan if the Russian security services said to him that they suspected he might become another Nemtsov; no doubt Navalny would instantly deduce that Putin was after him. And I can also see Blabchenko sneaking into Russia if he were to find out that he was a target for assassination … by the SBU. They should say hello to each other as they cross the border.

                Like

                1. That’s just the thing – Navalny struts and boasts, and his western admirers credit him with fearlessness, because he knows he is not really under any threat. In fact, he has been given probation many times when previous arrests for the same thing suggest firmer measures. Perhaps this has convinced him he is untouchable. Whatever the case, if he really thought Russia is the lawless state ruled by a dictator who offs his critics without a second thought that he claims it is, he’d be away in a moment.

                  Babchenko is just a simpleminded loudmouth who is being fitted for a dissident-hero jacket because he is on the right side from the western point of view. Anyone with any sense would look askance at the possibility of idiots like he is being in charge or given any sort of responsibility and influence.

                  Like

    3. Of course it is Putin’s fault in Navalny’s view – he failed to placate the Ukrainians and keep them as friends, by helping to pay for Ukraine to become a prosperous European-associated state, letting Ukraine keep Crimea so they could welcome the Americans in to a naval base at Sevastopol, continuing to give Ukraine preferential trade relations while it flooded Russia with European goods it pretended it had made itself, looking the other way while the nationalists pushed out all the ethnic Russians, and generally eating shit in public on demand as required by the Ukrainian government, to show its humility.

      Because if Lyosha were leader, Russia would have done all those things. And today, Russia and Ukraine would be best pals.

      Like

      1. Yes, the same fella. I think he has had a “Road to Damascus” conversion. Sachs has been very critical of US adventurism in Syria, much to the consternation of his erstwhile friends in the MSM.

        Like

    1. I read a piece (ZH?) that claimed the arrest warrant back in August had been put in by that lady Melania had The Donald fired and basically no-one in the US followed up to cancel it so Canada went ahead after hearing nothing from down south. A cock-up? Incompetence? Either way, the US continues to shaft its great friend an neighbor Canada.

      Let us recall that the FTC slapped a 292% tariff on Bombardier for its sale of CS100s to Delta at ‘under market rates’ thus undermining Boeing’s 737-800 Max offer. Never mind that the Boeing has more seats than even the largest CS-100 or even that the latter is an ideal weigh for its size rather than a shrunken overweight Boeing. Still, the upshot is that Airbus picked up the CS-100/etc. for a song, now the rebranded the A220. Trying to kill an upcoming competitor, Boeing only made its main rival much stronger. You really cannot get more stupid than that, even in so-called ‘professional’ corporate America.

      In other news, Kiev lost another Su-27 yesterday:

      https://www.rferl.org/a/ukrainian-air-force-pilot-dies-in-fighter-jet-crash/29658111.html

      Meanwhile, 15 years ago from December 14…

      https://theaviationist.com/2017/07/27/the-deadliest-air-show-accident-in-history-the-ukrainian-air-force-su-27-flanker-crash-at-sknyliv-15-years-ago-today/

      And while we are still here, let us not forget the shooting down over the Black Sea of Sibir S7 flight 1812 from Novosibirsk to Tel Aviv by missile from a Ukrainian S-200 back on 4 October 2001:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siberia_Airlines_Flight_1812

      The first is an accident, the second time (MH17) carelessness…

      Like

      1. That would be criminal negligence. An accident is something that is not anticipated and cannot be reasonably expected to occur from the activity of an individual or organization. Incompetent firing of missiles by the sort of meat-heads we see in the Ukr army today is similar to speeding through residential neighbourhoods with busted brakes. An “accident” is a likely outcome.

        MH17 was for sure the Ukr regime’s criminal attempt to smear Russia. It was not even a case of criminal negligence.

        Like

  27. Related to the discussion regarding the incarceration rate in Russia:

    https://sashat.me/2018/09/03/russias-murder-rate-a-quiet-miracle/

    The decline in Russia’s murder rate is unique. No other country has seen such a precipitous drop in murders and to such a relatively low level.

    The homicide rate in Russia has dramatically fallen (by more than 50%) along with the falling rate of incarceration. This contrasts with the rate reduction in US homicides attributed to a massive increase in incarcerations.

    The article, despite the obligatory jabs at Putin, attributes the fall mostly to social stability brought about by the Putin government. I suspect that a sense of optimism about the future is at work as well.

    Russia seems to be experiencing a phase change in its culture resulting in an increasing separation from Western values and priorities (greed, self-absorption and racism).

    The only decent American philosopher that I know suggests Russia’s civilizational peak will be achieved in about 100 years while Western civilization will face systemic collapse. This guy lives in a cabin in norther Appalachian mountains. He also maintains that the true American civilization will rise in the heartland and will be based partially on Native American values even if not done consciously.

    Like

    1. The murder rate was and remains related to criminal activity. Unlike the ludicrous claim that Putin has brought about a flourishing of corruption, he has, in fact, clamped down on the criminal gangs and the criminal rot that set in during the 1990s “golden years”. Getting rid of gangster oligarchs and their networks produces real and substantial results. The recent case of the break of the port mafia is a case in point:

      https://port.today/a-major-russian-port-owner-arrested/

      Crime is not just chaos. It is an organized system like the rest of society. The murders come from all of this hierarchy and not just junkies or whatnot. The falling murder rate also implies that drug trafficking and other violent criminal rackets are being controlled as well.

      But nevermind Putin’s achievements. Just keep bleating about Magnitsky. The west is a ripe outhouse hole. It chooses the most despicable martyrs and saints for Russian society to worship: gangster oligarch Khodorkovsky and corrupt accountant Magnitsky. And Browder is given a platform to smear Russia and Russians even though he should be doing hard time for fraud and murder.

      Like

    2. The decline in the murder rate is impressive indeed with the most significant outliers being Chukotka and Tuva, and those probably due to their remoteness, low level of economic development, past historical destruction of local cultures and poverty. Still, if you look at past homicide statistics from year to year, even the current murder rates in Tuva have come down considerably.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_federal_subjects_of_Russia_by_murder_rate

      Like

      1. Tuva is an outlier only in the baseline. The reduction of murders from the 1990s peak is dramatic. Russia is big enough to have a spectrum of local cultures and economic conditions. Lumping every part into some theoretical European category is unrealistic. So outliers will exist for centuries unless total homogenization occurs, which in my opinion is unlikely. (In fact, there is regional divergence over long timescales.).

        Like

        1. It will never be given credit for it, of course; western analysts will say, “Russian statistics tell a positive story about Russia – what a surprise”, and smirk knowingly at one another.

          Like

          1. It seems many articles about the murder rate in Russia cites information from 2010 to 2014 at the latest. Why not use current statistics? I wonder if its an attempt to maintain a meme that no longer has a basis in fact.

            One more thing, there is no reason to think that the rate will not fall further.

            Like

            1. Nothing in the western MSM is honest and objective when it comes to Russia. The current murder total of under 9,000 for a country half the size of the USA means that the US is not looking better than Russia.

              And you are right. The clampdown on gangster activity in Russia is ongoing. Organized crime is on the decline nationally and that is why Putin is being smeared as the Great Corruptor. This is the one-note Johnny ploy of the western ubermenschen. So the murder rate will go down.

              Like

  28. Vesti News
    Published on 15 Dec 2018
    Subscribe to Vesti News https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCa8M
    ARKADY MAMONTOV’S PROGRAM
    “Khodorkovsky, his accomplices and his handlers want to drag us back into the 90s. They need to get back capitals, profits and power. And if that means destroying the country, turning the federation into a confederation of half-independent quasi-states all over Russia, paying up the foreigners with natural resources, putting nuclear weapons and power industry under NATO’s control, and starting a civil war in Moscow and St Petersburg to get his share of the pie and rule the remains of the country under the able leadership of Washington, then the ends justify the means.”

    Like

    1. I watched this Vesti vid yesterday, it’s long (over an hour) but very much worth watching.
      No new scoops, but it ties altogether all of the known info about Khodorkovsky and his various criminal schemes.

      Like

    2. My oh my the Russian police goons! Unlike their freedom loving French counterparts they do not apply the gentle strikes from batons of freedom to the eyes, temples, nose and back of the head and neck. You even see those horribly mistreated Soros monkeys singing in the cop vans on their way to the judge. By contrast, in the paradise called France the protestors enjoy near comatose states of repose and will carry the brands of freedom for the rest of their lives. Such as those who have had their eyeballs and hands detached democratically.

      Like

  29. Tass: Communication channels between Russian, EU military established to coordinate activities
    http://tass.com/defense/1036208

    December 15

    Direct communication channels have been established between Russian military and defense ministries of the UK, France, Finland and Sweden to prevent dangerous military activity and decrease the likelihood of incidents in the Baltic Sea region, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Lt. Col. Alexander Fomin said on Friday at the meeting with military attaches.

    “With the aims of preventing dangerous military activities and decreasing the likelihood of incidents in the Baltic Sea region, direct communication channels over telephone were organized between Russia’s National Defense Management Center and defense ministries of the UK, France, Finland and Sweden,” Fomin said.

    According to Fomin, this work allows to avoid serious developments.

    “Contacts continued between US military leadership and commanders of NATO forces in Europe, and the Chief of Genral Staff of Russia’s Armed Forces, deputy defense ministers and central military authorities, during which the sides discussed the issues of Syrian settlement, as well as relevant problems of global and regional security,” he added.
    ####

    I thought NATO countries were refusing contacts with the Russian military until they let NATO go wherever and whenever they want? So, no war today then.

    Like

    1. That’ll get the Kiev Porker squealing. He desperately yearns for open war against Russia.

      He’ll be out on his ear soon, and will probably be bumped off by his we-are-not-Nazi Nazis if he doesn’t scarper quickly after Yooooolia becomes prez.

      Like

      1. By the way, I’ve just come back from the country and I’m “frozznt”, as they say where I was brung up in the hillbilly lands of Lancashire. It was so bloody cold that my Cannon EOS 70D digital camera (well, my son’s actually: I bought it him for his brithday 3 years ago) seized up at minus 15C°C (5°F) this afternoon as I was taking shots of the “Winter Wonderland” to send to the folks back where I use to call home.

        Poor, poor Yukies!

        Schadenfreude über Alles, über Alles in der Welt,
        Wann immer man von Bandera-anhängern spricht,
        Schadenfreude über Alles in der Welt!!!

        I’ll get me coat …

        Like

    2. I imagine any such ‘channels’ were established by NATO and were NATO’s idea, and were set up with the hope of acquiring intelligence on Russia’s intentions, capabilities and limitations. Ordinarily they would rely on NGO’s, journalists and businesspeople based in Moscow to generate their picture, and we all know how unreliable and sometimes downright corny that was by the time it had gone through the western-media spin machine, but now they mostly don’t have even that. What they mostly get back from Russia in response to provocation is silence, standard denials, or as in the case of Butina, the kind of protest and legal countering you would expect of a civilized country. Not a lot of roaring and screaming and threats, which was likely what the west was hoping for, since it makes it easy to convince the electorate that the western coalition must defend itself and its values. In fact, the west’s continuing bellicose strutting is looking more and more provocative and typical of a bully kicking sand in someone else’s face, trying to start something; why won’t the Russians respond?

      I know; let’s open up some communication channels, ‘to prevent misunderstandings’. Then maybe we can get an idea of what’s really going on in there.

      Like

  30. Gazprom’s Kaliningrad LNG terminal is getting ready to kick off.

    https://www.naturalgasworld.com/gazprom-sources-cool-down-cargo-for-kaliningrad-66790?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Daily%20Natural%20Gas%20World%20-%20Latest%20News&utm_content=Daily%20Natural%20Gas%20World%20-%20Latest%20News+CID_8a36d979c2a44732dd86d50ea6a507ef&utm_source=Campaign%20Monitor&utm_term=Gazprom%20Sources%20Cool-Down%20Cargo%20for%20Kaliningrad

    The Russian enclave of Kaliningrad on the Baltic Sea receives gas via the Minsk – Vilnius – Kaunas – Kaliningrad pipeline, but Gazprom has constructed the terminal to strengthen the energy security of this province and avoid its gas passing through Belarus and the European Union.

    Another Russian newspaper Kommersant reported late November that Gazprom plans to import 170,000 m3 LNG at $360/’000 m3 from Singapore to Kaliningrad on December 15 to launch the terminal. Russian pipeline gas would be only about $72/’000 m³, according to Kommersant.

    Like

    1. The dictators running the EU to please Uncle Scumbag don’t care about a 360/72 x 100% = 500% markup for natural gas. Sticking it to Russia is job number 1. In this regard they are just like the swine running Kiev.

      Like

    2. This is odd Why do they need to buy LNG from Singapore at such a price?
      Russia already produces LNG itself ?
      It doesn’t make economic sense

      Like

      1. You make way too many assumptions without any basis. LNG tankers can’t be thrown around like your Amazon order. The closest available tanker makes the most economic sense.

        But we see all the BS about how LNG prices and piped prices are similar for the nonsense that it is. LNG will always be substantially more expensive than piped gas. The energy cost for liquefaction is enormous. Attempts to paint loss-making cases where too many LNG tankers are trying to offload to too few customers in the EU are pathetic. If LNG becomes the primary mode for gas transport, then the price will actually go up since all fossil fuels are in deficit, globally.

        Like

      2. From some internet browsing, Singapore off loads LNG for internal consumption plus provides transshipment services for LNG carriers. So, the LNG is likely transhipped from another LNG production facility. Besides, supply decisions are made based on a number of factors such as delivery schedules, long term marketing objectives, etc. I would not read too much in this issue.

        Like

      3. There has been some news on this purchase of LNG from Singapore:
        https://www.spglobal.com/platts/en/market-insights/latest-news/natural-gas/113018-russia-nears-start-up-of-its-first-lng-import-facility-at-kaliningrad

        “.. The 174,000 cu m Marshal Vasilevskiy departed Ulsan port on November 11 and docked at the Singapore LNG terminal on November 16, where it loaded a cargo of LNG, according to Singapore-based traders and S&P Global Platts vessel tracking system cFlow.

        Marshal Vasilevskiy is a purpose-built Ice Class 1A FSRU built by South Korea’s Hyundai Heavy Industries, and registered under Gazprom’s subsidiary Gazflot, according to shipping data provider Vessels Value.

        The FSRU went live in October 2018 and the beneficial owner is Gazprom Marketing & Trading, it said.

        “We have it underway as a newbuild [sic] order heading for delivery,” a Vessels Value spokesperson said.

        The vessel’s voyage is unique because it is a reversal of the traditional LNG trade flows from the Atlantic to Asia, and is facilitated by Marshal Vasilevskiy’s ballast voyage and the need for a commissioning cargo at the destination in Kaliningrad.

        Gazprom is likely to have procured the cargo at an attractive price to make the arbitrage to Europe feasible, according to Singapore-based traders. Commodity traders who took early positions are stuck with LNG cargoes on carriers or in storage tanks around Singapore as end-user inventories are well supplied. Traders with surplus LNG would be keen to offload cargoes to stem losses …”

        In other words, Gazprom bought surplus LNG from commodity traders facing massive losses at a price lower than what the traders would have asked for otherwise. The price looks steep compared to pipeline gas but that is to help cover the traders’ losses. Gazprom may resell that surplus LNG at a higher price than what they bought it for. True, some things don’t make strict economic sense but you have to look at the transactions in a broader context to appreciate the reasons why; in this case, you have commodity traders who need to cut their losses or they would go under. Too many traders going bankrupt and kaput and the whole market for LNG in Singapore turns chaotic.

        Like

        1. That might be so, but the original article was clear that the price was about three times what Gazprom’s own price for LNG is. I got the impression they had to sort of prime the pump with some LNG, to kind of get it going so it’s operational. That might be oversimplifying, but I’m sure there is a good reason because Russia usually does not just throw money away, and it has LNG of its own. Also, they refer to it as a ‘commissioning cargo’, implying that buying foreign LNG will be a one-off. The original article refers to it as a ‘cooling down cargo’ which suggests it is to be used for a special purpose in making the LNG plant operational. It seems it was something for which they could not use their own supply, although of course it would be foolish to build an LNG terminal and then import all the LNG that passed through it. I’m sure they’re not foolish.

          Like

  31. TheRealNews
    Published on 14 Dec 2018
    While the US tried to portray the landing of Russian nuclear weapons capable bombers in Venezuela as a threat, Venezuela clearly sees the US as the threat, which is why the Russian military was invited, say Steve Ellner and Greg Wilpert

    Like

  32. Watching a series on China airing on the Smithsonian channel that uses aerial drones to shows various regions. I can say without the slightest doubt that China is FAR more developed than the US in its infrastructure. The cities put Chicago and NYC to shame, the diversity of people and culture makes the US look like a bowl of paste.

    Many of the cities compare favorably with Dubai in terms of architecture but many times larger.

    The series has made no references regarding the government or “freedom” or “human rights”. It is more of a celebration of China. Those commies are doing alright.

    Like

    1. The west is still hoping to co-opt China. It is Russia that they want to destroy. I hope a nice long alliance between China and Russia is a God’s punishment to the degenerate west.

      Like

      1. Some say Trump’s effort to move the US closer to Russia was to foster an alliance more or less against China. This would be highly unlikely to come about but it did make a kind of sense. Now Trump must try to take on China AND Russia. Good luck with that.

        Like

        1. The worst thing the US wants to do to China is to renegotiate all the offshoring of production. In the case of Russia, they want total extermination. Some star chamber of self-anointed western genius deciders concluded that the Russian market is too small to care about it. But its resources are essential.

          The drang nach osten from the west into Russia is now certifiably genetic. Not necessarily biologically genetic but some sort of macro social genetic feature.

          Like

          1. Sorry, I think that the days of the US “negotiating” with China have gone for good. I suspect that Alastair Crooke is right on the money with this article:
            https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2018/12/18/america-technology-sanctions-war-will-end-by-bifurcating-global-economy.html
            As far as understanding the dynamics of the US- Russia relationship is concerned I strongly recommend Andrei Martyanov’s blog. Here’s just his latest article- the comments are generally interesting to boot
            http://smoothiex12.blogspot.com/2018/12/what-is-this-all-about-inf-treaty-again.html

            Like

            1. Thanks for the links. But I fail to see any similarity in the treatment of China and Russia in the western information space. Russia is subjected to 24/7 spew of blood libel and hate propaganda. China is not even excoriated for its one-party government. I replied to the fact that the documentary was not pimping tropes against China. Every freaking media piece on Russia is laden with innuendo, stereotypes and tropes.

              As far as Russia is concerned the west is a lost cause. Russia is doing the right thing by looking elsewhere.

              Like

              1. I certainly agree with your point regarding the Western media’s contrasting treatments of Russia and China. That used to puzzle me greatly- I guess the West, the US specifically, was making money out of China. (I find it simply amazing what they say about Russia, and even more so that they get away with it.) In any case the World is changing and it is very unlikely that the US can control that change.

                Like

  33. RT America
    Published on 15 Dec 2018
    Economist and author, Michael Hudson, in his new book “…And Forgive Them Their Debts: Lending, Foreclosure and Redemption From Bronze Age Finance to the Jubilee Year,” shares with journalist Chris Hedges how Ancient cultures forgave debt cyclically to prevent debt peonage and the rise of an oligarch elite.

    Like

  34. TheRealNews
    Published on 15 Dec 2018
    Oscar winner Oliver Stone says even he has difficulty producing films these days, because the US corporate media silences anti-war voices, and “We’ve really gone to the right in America.”

    Like

    1. He may be right about the efforts to silence anti-war voices but it seems to be more of a liberal left effort. You know, humanitarian bombings, right to protect interventions, etc. War is divorced from political ideology, Its now just business.

      Like

        1. I am more cynical. The virtuous crusaders as they like to present themselves are sociopathic to the core. And by “business” I mean seeking control of information and money to feed their infinite narcissistic needs. My take is that the battle lines are between the empathetic and the sociopathic. Political, ideological and racial matters are irrelevant to them other than things to be exploited to advance their agenda.

          Like

          1. What I think it boils down to is that the American elite has convinced itself if Russia is not vanquished and subordinated, but is allowed to become a world power, it wants to take away their riches and influence and conquer America. I don’t see anything in past performance that suggests Russia is remotely interested in conquering America, and even less interested in bringing the rich in America to account. They would be free to continue their predatory ways if that is what they chose to do. Why not? They’re wrecking America.

            Like

            1. Some sociopaths think everyone is like them, just not as good or “free”. Others, the more “successful” ones, know that the Other is different and needs to be tricked by using their own trusting nature against them.

              Like

  35. Poroshenko lays down his condition for the cessation of martial law in the Ukraine:

    Если не начнется широкомасштабная агрессия, вторжение войск Вооруженных сил Российской Федерации на территорию Украины за пределами линии столкновения и административной границы Крыма, военное положение продлено не будет.

    If there does not begin large-scale aggression, an invasion into Ukrainian territory beyond the confrontation line and the administrative border of the Crimea by troops of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, martial law shall not be prolonged.

    So if something that’s not going to happen doesn’t happen, then the arsehole will order that the imposition of martial law be stopped.

    Must be because the Season of Goodwill and Peace on Earth to All Men fast aproaches.

    Well, it begins in 3 weeks’ time for Orthodox Yukies — that is unless their church, now free and independent from the chains of Moscow, does not adopt the Gregorian calendar before January 7th, 2019.

    Source: Порошенко назвал условие для снятия военного положения

    Like

    1. Well, Lavrov just declared that Kiev was preparing an armed provocation at the border with Crimea to happen in the last ten days of December. Given what you wrote ME, that’s exactly what’s needed for Poroshenko to extend Martial Law.

      Киев планирует вооруженную провокацию на границе с Крымом в последнюю декаду декабря – Лавров.

      Like

      1. Сергей Лавров заявил, что Россия не будет воевать с Украиной

        Sergei Lavrov has stated that Russia will never wage war against the Ukraine

        Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has promised that Russia will not wage ware against the Ukraine, reports Moscow Post correspondent .

        In an interview with Komsomolskaya Pravda, Lavrov said: “We shall not wage war against the Ukraine, I promise you that.”

        Sorry to disappoint you, Porky.

        Like

            1. An interesting Gallup poll was included among the comments. As we should not be surprised to learn, a significant percentage of Americans believes Russia interfered with the American election, although they are divided on whether it had any bearing on the outcome. But of those who believe Russia (a) interfered with the election, and (b) that interference affected the outcome, broken down by political affiliation, a whopping 78% of Democrats surveyed believe or affect to believe that both are true. Hillary lost because of the dirty Russians. To the very best of my knowledge, Mrs. Clinton has done nothing to discourage this thinking or assumption.

              https://viableopposition.blogspot.com/2018/08/americans-on-russia-will-of-people.html

              The intertubes insist that Mrs. Clinton will give it another go in 2020. I personally hope she will not, because she would most likely lose again – more decisively this time – and if the Republicans went with the same candidate it would mean another four years of Trump, which the world might not survive. But it gives you some idea what kind of vindictive Democratic administration, yearning for payback, would be waiting in the wings to take power if things shook out their way. More to the point, even if the Democrats did the smart thing and ran a charismatic, fresh candidate without much baggage, the party machine behind them would be aching for vengeance and the president would have about as much say over foreign policy as Trump does. One thing the Democratic and Republican machines have in common is an absolute faith in the American military to prevail over any foe, regardless his own capabilities. Civilian decision-makers imagine Putin is just running a bluff, and that all his next-gen weaponry is just scary stories.

              Like

  36. Earlier in the thread we were talking about the WordPress spam filter. I was just checking mine, this morning, all legitimate spam, and saw this howler:

    Gday! My name is %NAME% and I personally just wanted to say your blogging site is great! It truly is funny due to the fact I use to have a website that almost had an identical url: %BLOGURL% mine was only a few letters different. Nonetheless, I’m a big admirer of your weblog and if you at any time want a guest write-up you should email me at: %EMAIL%. I absolutely adore writing!

    And not far below this, this one, different nik and URL but probably same I.P. (I was too lazy to check):

    Hey there. I noticed your site title, “%BLOGTITLE%” does not really reflect the content of your website. When composing your site title, do you think it’s best to write it for Website positioning or for your visitors? This is one thing I’ve been battling with because I want good search rankings but at the same time I want the best quality for my site visitors.

    Do these bots really think they are fooling anyone with their silly substitution macros?

    Like

  37. Finished posting my 3-parter on the Ufa rape case.

    In previous post, I wasn’t sure if the vic “Gulnar” was Tatar or Bashkir by ethnicity.
    In my source material for this post, the reporter leaked the name of the vic’s papa, Irek Sagitov. Based on the surname, I would guess this family are Tatars. Bashkiria is mostly Bashkir, Tatar and Russian, usually you can tell who is who by the surnames. Not 100% sure, though.

    More interesting, this particular post, and the source material, shows how deeply ingrained the “Old Boys Club” in the Ufa police network. The old boys were seriously praying that this girl would be fired, now instead, she will be strolling back into the workplace tomorrow, the male cops are terrified, and they don’t know what to do or say. This girl has “balls”, by the way, how many people would be brave enough to walk back into that scorpion’s nest knowing that they all hate her guts?

    Like

      1. That’s interesting. I had written in my previous post that I couldn’t tell, from the photo, if the girl was a Tatar of Bashkir (or possibly mixed). Not that it matters that much, but I had some hopes of getting an “ethnic” angle on the family/clan issues involved. Basically, these are still traditional societies, and I managed to get in the “city vs village” issues, but I wanted to go for something deeper than just a run of the mill crime story.

        On the other hand, the girl herself, “Gulnar”, the rape victim, appears to be a very modern “Generation Me” type person. All social media and selfies galore. The type who shows up at the job interview with her mom at her side!

        Like

    1. I liked this comment by “Nussiminen”, particularly because of the creation of a new mockatory name for “Poor-Old-shenko!” We should start using that, because “Porky” is getting a bit old now.

      I can imagine the wonderful bright and sunny day with a Pindo vessel careering around just outside the Russian maritime border close to the Kerch bridge with El Trumpo and PoorOldShenko moaning, groaning, and foaming:
      ”Mr. Putin, tear down this bridge!”

      haha, that really is a good one!

      Like

      1. Especially given that – as I and others have pointed out – if the bridge were not there, merchant shipping would pass through the exact same narrow corridor, not charge up the Sea of Azov six abreast for Mariupol. It’s difficult to see the actual channel due to the relative opacity of the water, but you can see how shallow the entire area is.

        Like

          1. 11 feet at the deepest — that’s “a quarter less 2” a leadsman would have cried, or just under 2 fathoms.

            When we were holidaying in 2007 a little up the Azov coast from Kerch, I used to wade way out from the beach. I stopped doing that when, one morning, a bloody big snake nonchalantly swam past me.

            Like

            1. Well, a bit deeper than that; 14 meters (46 feet) at the maximum, and an average of 7 meters (23 feet). The average depth in the bays where there has been considerable buildup of silt is around 3 feet, but since those areas are extensive, they are going to affect the average. But as the Russian official whose name I have forgotten pointed out, the depth of over 80% of the Kerch Strait is less than a meter. That’s the important point – nobody gives a toss what the Ukies do in the Sea of Azov once they’ve gotten there, they are a Sea of Azov state with recognized beachfront property, and may sail around in it to their heart’s content. They just can’t go back and forth between there and the Black Sea without permission from the country they declare to be their greatest enemy, because they no longer own any land on either side of the Kerch Strait, and it should serve as a daily reminder to every Ukrainian in that position that they have nobody to blame for that situation but their own government and their own people. Russia did not seize Crimea by force of arms; it went entirely of its own volition, inspired by events within Ukraine which were undertaken to benefit a tiny sliver of Ukrainian society – the politicians and the nationalists. If they are unhappy with the way things turned out, they deserve to be.

              Like

  38. RT America
    Published on 17 Dec 2018
    Peter Oliver reports on the BBC’s hunt to connect France’s ‘Yellow Vest’ protest to Russia. Then Manila Chan talks to former UK Member of Parliament, George Galloway, about the BBC’s journalistic angle and why mainstream media is convinced that all people’s movements must be secretly organized by the Kremlin.

    Like

    1. Obviously, the Russia did it BS is to save the propaganda narrative driven into the brain of every western citizen about how enlightened, well-off and free is the west. That it is actually a police state collective with falling job participation and actual standards of living (i.e. shrinking middle class) is something that can never be admitted. The western media is a tool of the elites. The notion of it being some sort of impartial, independent bringer of the truth is delusional nonsense.

      Like

    1. That is a shame. The high HIV rate seems to be due to IV drug use. Russia needs to stop Afghan opium production or at least to stop opium importation.

      We have discussed before that US seems to have no concern over the explosive growth rate of opium production in Afghanistan. I wonder why.

      Like

      1. Be wary of these claims. The official Russian HIV “czar” is a stooge who routinely makes ludicrous predictions about a runaway epidemic. Then several years later when his original claims are demonstrated to be nonsense he repeats them again. It must be some sort of racket to get more state funding. Unfortunately Putin appointed all sorts of such 5th column maggots into these “civil society” posts and they have been serving NATzO propaganda agendas well ever since. Recall Illarionov and the “Human Rights Council”. These clowns do not even try to look independent and parrot every BS talking point spewed by NATzO propagandists.

        I want to see real numbers on drug use. The murder rate decline is telling me that drug use is not uncontrolled since it is one of the most intense in terms of murder and robbery (druggies can easily murder people for a their wallet or valuables and I have personal experience with this). So that is inconsistent with a stationary or increasing drug use situation. Do not forget that drug use is not equivalent to HIV infection rates. Putting these two facts together we should be seeing a decline in new HIV cases. But I never hear about this. All I hear are the stereotypical hysterical “Russia is doomed” hit pieces.

        Russia is always doomed. But it somehow survives and kicks the asses of those that invade it.

        Like

        1. Yes, I was going to discuss the disconnect between the huge decline in the murder rate in Russia and the purported ongoing high IV illegal drug use and related HIV infection rate. Murders can be accurately tracked but not so much IV drug.

          Also, I was going to contrast that with the staggering opioid death rate in the US (24% of opioid related deaths occur in the US per the internet). I suppose that US deaths are more from pills than IV injections with pills conveniently provided by Big Pharma.

          Like

      2. Not only that, but – as I have pointed out before now – the Taliban came within striking distance of wiping out opium production in Afghanistan in only two years. The USA intervened in Afghanistan, overthrew the Taliban, and opium production returned to its previous levels.

        Like

        1. Not just to harm Russia but to enrich various unsavory organizations such as the CIA and likely US militarily personnel from privates to generals plus those locals who allied themselves with the US. Foregoing is based on general principles.

          Like

  39. Yesterday I was musing about some aspect or another of WW2 and I posed to myself the question as to whether D-Day was really necessary to begin with..I was thinking why not just dislodge the Germans from Italy and move northwest to invade Southern Vichy France and also sweeping through Austria and proceeding east to link up with the Red Army in the southeast european countries, placing the Reich in a giant pincers movement ready vise. Ummmm…but a moment’s reflection reveals a little problem with that!!! Any of you see what it is?? (The ‘difficulty’ can be summed up in two words) **chuckles** (Shut up Jen!!)

    However there is merit to the notion:
    https://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/AAF/NoOverlord/index.html#conclusion

    Lots if interesting facts in the article make it worthwhile reading in any event

    Like

      1. Possibly, but after the war when Germany was being carved up, the Soviets asked for dibs only on the Ruhr. Although they had momentum with them as the war drew near the end, and would easily have taken all of Germany. God knows they bled enough for it.

        Like

      1. My suspicion is “click-bait”, old bean. After a session in the pub a few months ago I was daft enough to do one of those, and got a nice warm glow inside like I’d had a cuppa PG Tips (Polonium Special) at the Lubyanka Tearooms.

        Like

        1. Are you insinuating that someone who is not a genius knows that light travels faster than sound or that Elvis Presley was not the first US President?

          Like

  40. How low can you go?

    Well, looks like the NYT is insinuating that the Kremlin targeted “the dumb n*****s” during its successful campaign to keep St Hellary out of the White House:

    Like

    1. A lot of the ‘media’ is insinuating it, even here in Euroland. They are generally careful to parse their headlines in the text that ‘the reports found…’. It’s fairly easy to understand that the reports were written with a conclusion in mind but who signed off on such bs when headlines are claiming something as incendiary (to US citizens) as that? I’ll be keeping an eye out for blowback but I suspect that those who should be outraged at being smeared in the US will keep schtum, lest they get accused of being under the influence of Putin. This is but a McCarthyite dream what the US has become.

      Like

    2. “Facebook ads were targeted at users who had shown interest in particular topics, including black history, the Black Panther Party and Malcolm X. The most popular of the Russian Instagram accounts was @blackstagram, with 303,663 followers.
      The Internet Research Agency also created a dozen websites disguised as African-American in origin, with names like blackmattersus.com, blacktivist.info, blacktolive.org and blacksoul.us. “

      But the most popular Russian propaganda site was CountBlacula.com targeted at African-American vampires. Followed by “imdreaminofablackchristmas.com” with its persistent holiday themes.

      Like

    3. Yeah. Shucks, us white folk? We’uns is on your side! Good luck with that campaign, NYT. I’d be interested to hear the explanation how blacks represent the prison population they do, compared with their percentage of the general American population, and how the Russians brought that about.

      Nothing more than a trial “We have to stick together as AMERICANS, because RUSSIA is out to get us all”. If Russia can be used to take the impetus out of the Black Lives Matter movement, so much the better, effort well spent.

      I frankly doubt very many blacks will fall for it.

      Like

      1. https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/12/18/pers-d18.html

        As usual the coimments are spot on and some are also hilarious:

        “Trevor • 9 hours ago
        Here’s a list of the top things I would absolutely love if not for those evil Russians whispering in my ear:

        1) Stagnant wages. I have been working for the same crap pay for over 10 years.

        2) Ever-increasing rent. Unlike my wages, my rent increases every single year.

        3) Health care with a $6500 deductible.

        4) The constant warning threats from the spokespeople of the ruling-class that Social Security will soon run out of money. Funny how they never issue warning threats that the military will soon run out of money.

        5) Never-ending war. Oh man, I love death and destruction so much! We all do!

        6) $1.5 trillion tax cuts for the super-rich. They are so deserving.

        7) Our lord and savior Hillary Clinton and her love for the super-rich, imperialist wars, savage killing, and our military killing machine.

        8) Doing absolutely nothing about climate change as utter catastrophe draws ever closer. I don’t want to save humanity. I just want our richest capitalists to keep raking in huge yearly incomes.

        9) The fact that in our beloved democracy, every major policy passed is always a boon for the super-rich 1% and a total screwing up the backside for the 99%. Now THAT’S true democracy. We don’t want those evil Russians getting in the way of that.

        10) The prison industrial complex and the fact that capitalists have found brilliant ways to get rich off of war, killing people, and putting millions of people in prison for decades. In fact, I read an article yesterday that points out that capitalists are already busy investigating genius ways to get rich off of climate change and the potential deaths of billions of people.

        11) The fact that I have no pension; that even as I’ve worked a labor job for the same company for 20 years, I’m classified as an “independent contractor”, which basically means that when they don’t need me, I sit home and don’t get paid while receiving no benefits. Hey, who wants to survive retirement anyway? What lazy, greedy worker wants vacation pay? I sure don’t. I just want to leave this world knowing that rich people got a lot richer from my having been here.

        Indeed, if not for evil Russians, I would be totally oblivious to all of the screwing up the ass I get from our universally-beloved American capitalist daddies. That’s right! None of that would have ever occurred to me. Nope. Damn you Russia! Damn you all to hell!”

        Like

              1. Three years previosly to the release of that song, when the Vietnam was still raging, the late Mohammad Ali refused to be drafted.

                Boxing authorities in America today stripped Muhammad Ali (Cassius Marcellus Clay) of his world heavyweight title and suspended his boxing licence after he had refused to be inducted into the United States Army.

                Clay had stood in line with 11 other men being called up in a room in the old Post Office building in Houston, Texas, and heard his Black Muslim name called by the officer administering the oath. Clay did not move. Another officer walked up to him and said: “Mr Ali, will you accompany me, please ?” Clay did not speak, but followed him out of the room to be given a warning of the consequences of his refusal.

                He was taken back into the room and given a second chance to take the oath, but he again refused. He then signed a statement to that effect.

                Soon after he left the centre, to be mobbed by well-wishers, the New York Boxing Commission, the World Boxing Association, and the Texas Boxing Commission withdrew their recognition of him as champion.

                source

                Like

    4. Like

  41. Two overview pieces by a Hungarian academic over at SST:

    1: The great game revived – power politics in the ex-East Bloc I. by Balint Somkuti
    https://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2018/12/the-great-game-revived-power-politics-in-the-ex-east-bloc-i-.html

    …Speaking of history. Living historical memories is another regional aspect often overlooked by outside viewers. We are not like western people, who tend to view their past with a ‘get over it’ feeling. …

    …Yet thinking similarly russians seem to understand local sensitivity (see Pres. Putin’s words on borders in 2016 in a Bloomberg interview)…

    Plenty more at the link &

    2: The great game revived – power politics in the ex-East Bloc II. by Balint Somkuti
    https://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2018/12/the-great-game-revived-power-politics-in-the-ex-east-bloc-ii-.html

    …the russian modus operandi also makes you feel the relative positions, your weakness that is. You have to first make a gesture, a bona fide step which they ask of you in advance. In order to prove yourself and to show that they are in a better position. This is usually a small diplomatic support or the selling/giving up some international/national position. If you do that what comes after is usually a mutually beneficial cooperation. In case you are dealing with US officials the terms are dictated and you have the only option of saying yes. Should you say no you are immediately made the consequences felt….

    Like

  42. Media (almost) blackout? This was published almost a week ago:

    WashingtonTimes.com: Anti-Trump dossier author was hired to help Hillary challenge 2016 election results
    https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2018/dec/12/christopher-steele-hillary-clinton-was-preparing-t/

    …His scenario is contained in a sealed Aug. 2 declaration in a defamation law suit brought by three Russian bankers in London. The trio’s American attorneys filed his answers Tuesday in a libel lawsuit in Washington against the investigative firm Fusion GPS, which handled the former British intelligence officer…

    …“Based on that advice, parties such as the Democratic National Committee and HFACC Inc. (also known as ‘Hillary for America’) could consider steps they would be legally entitled to take to challenge the validity of the outcome of that election.”…

    …Mr. Steele faces a second defamation suit in London, this one from Russian entrepreneur Aleksej Gubarev, owner of XBT Holdings and provider of computer servers to thousands of clients…
    ####

    More at the link.

    This is the first I’ve heard of it in Steele’s own words before a judge

    Like

    1. Very interesting indeed, not to mention Fusion GPS, which seems to be a company formed specifically to carry out political attacks.

      https://www.foxnews.com/politics/trump-dossier-firms-smear-tactics-unveiled-fusion-gps-labeled-critic-a-pedophile-extortionist-and-drug-trafficker

      Actually mention of Fusion GPS’s upcoming day in court was made back in July, although not by what you would term the mainstream media.

      https://www.libertynation.com/court-date-looms-fusion-gps/?utm_campaign=coschedule&utm_source=facebook_page&utm_medium=Liberty%20Nation&utm_content=Court%20Date%20Looms%20for%20Fusion%20GPS

      I wouldn’t give the defamation suit in London much chance of success; defamation is a funny thing in British courts, and a heavy burden of proof is on the plaintiff not only to prove the defendant knowingly carried out defamatory attacks, but that the plaintiff was materially damaged thereby. Still, one never knows.

      Like

  43. Right now on BBC2 Grizzly Bear Cubs and Me
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0bw55dz

    Gordon Buchanan is rehabilitating six orphaned baby grizzly bears back to the wild in just nine months. Gordon joins the Pazhetnovs, a pioneering family of biologists in snowy Russia as they attempt to rehab grizzly bear cub orphans. There are over 100,000 grizzlies in Russia and, as humans encroach further into this vast wilderness, conflict is increasing. Every year hundreds of baby grizzlies are abandoned when their mothers are disturbed at their dens.

    The Pazhetnovs have been rescuing orphaned cubs for nearly three decades and have successfully returned over 200 of them back to the wild. Gordon arrives in February when six cubs have just been rescued. They are just five weeks old and each weighs less than a bag of sugar. The group is made up of three pairs of brothers. Slava and Pasha were dumped in a bin near Moscow and it is suspected that poachers killed their mother. Tolya and Tyoma were found in a box outside a vet’s in St Petersberg. Zhenya and Zhora were handed in by loggers who scared their mum away.

    Working closely with world-renowned bear rehab expert Katya Pazhetnov, Gordon will try to get the cubs back to the wild in just nine months, but without a mother bear everything is stacked against the orphans.

    Like

    1. Funnily enough, Et Al, I was thinking of posting about this programme having just watched it. First time I think I’ve ever watched anything from the BBC stable about Russia where they appear to have taken a break from propaganda. And the cubs are beyond cute – particularly the very under-confident one who lost his nerve while learning to climb trees and was stuck half way up a very tall one. All kudos to the Pazhetnov family, several generations of whom have worked with orphan cubs, returning them to the wild so they can lead authentic bear lives.

      Like

      1. What immediately sprang to mind for me is that the PPNN ridiculed Putin’s highly publicized conservation trip/holidays, preferring to laugh at the two occasions he went topless and completely ignoring the real story of whether or not he has actually encourage conservation efforts for the protection of flora and fauna throughout Russia.

        If they do mention anything, it is that Siberia is being stripped of trees and sold to the Chinese or similar horror stories. That’s about as far as the reporting goes.

        My other first thoughs on the program was 1: “Wow, there are that many bears still in Russia” and 2: “Civilized Europe has wiped out most of theirs”. Of course by ‘civilized’ I mean the traditional West, much less the CEE counties and further east and south such as the Balkans.

        Like

        1. Damn, I wrote too soon. Around 40 minutes in to the second and last episode, they run in to the loggers who are working in the forest and a few minutes later they are wandering around abandoned cabins as people have either died off or moved to the city, followed by talking to a bear hunter explaining that they can hunt from the beginning of August to November. Have I already mentioned that there are well over 100,000 bears in Russia and precious few elsewhere?

          Like

  44. Columbia SIPA
    Published on 19 Oct 2018
    Growing supplies of liquefied natural gas from the United States and other countries has dramatic implications for global gas markets, especially around pricing and flexibility of delivery. The changes underway will have important implications for traditional dominant players such as Russia, one of the top suppliers of gas to Europe.

    Like

    1. Growing by how much is the key question. These clowns make it sound like the US could ship 150 bcm/year of LNG to the EU today. Total and utter shit of a claim.

      Last time I checked there was no particular reason to deliver natural gas “just in time” like fresh fruit. So the flexibility angle is vapid hype. Natural gas customers would, above else, care about price and stability of supply. In both regards Russia has been delivering the goods for almost 40 years. LNG would be spot priced and thus customers would see wild swings in prices depending on various BS issues like weather and the mood of speculators. And port strikes. Russian pipelines suffer from none of this uncertainty.

      Like

      1. But the west continues stubbornly to try to bring in the latter system, because it allows speculators and middlemen to make money betting on which way the market will swing even when they have no gas at all to sell. The system Russia prefers is very stable, in which it sells a known or forecast amount directly to the customer. The market-mad west dislikes that sort of certainty precisely because there is no room for traders to get in there and buy and sell the same cargo six times before it reaches the end user.

        Like

    1. This gender fluidity BS stinks of machination. Since when was every disenchanted, messed up individual the total concern of society in the west? And what about all those unlisted unemployed millions who cannot get jobs? That is why the PC “left” is a total fraud. It is a sock puppet of the corporate fascists who benefit from having people expend their political action resources on vapid PC subjects instead of on what really maters: jobs and housing. I guess all these PC-tards will be happy when their gender fluid, non-white favella utopia arrives. They will have nothing to eat but they can screw each other in every hole and feel “normal”. And if they feel uncertain about their gender they can get their genitalia fixed.

      No, I am not advocating intolerance for people who are gender uncertain or have non-standard body types due to gestation and early development problems (i.e. there are women who basically have no uterus since there was break in estrogen exposure during early development together with a testosterone increase that then reset, etc.). One does not help by creating fictional transitional gender types through state coercion.

      Like

    2. Society is pretty much a lost cause, rushing around trying to pander to all the special-interest groups screaming for attention and more rights. All you can really do is try to protect your own family. I tell my daughter the way it is without any of that gender-identification filtering; I tell her you are born either a male or a female. There is not an infinite variety of genders, there are two. You can choose to live as one or the other and the chooser’s decision should be respected in the sense that you must not persecute them for it, but they cannot expect the world to change for them and it does them no favours to encourage that belief.

      All the government is interested in controlling is your money and your loyalty. But that’s a lot to ask, so they provide the illusion that you have all kinds of other control over your own life, including what particular fairy or spice girl you would like to be this month.

      Like

    3. The end result will be that women and girls will be forced to share public toilet facilities with transgender people and this in turn will affect how women and girls order their daily lives. They will not want to spend much time out of doors away from home if it means they can’t reach a safe toilet facility where they don’t have to fear being harassed or assaulted by someone pretending to be a woman. Most women, especially menstruating women, pregnant women, women with children or women with incontinence issues will end up spending most of their time at home.

      Like

      1. Unless they are vacationing in a country that is not infected with liberal madness, and believes there are only two genders and that their washrooms should be separate.

        I remember a National Geographic photography special (in book form) from ages past, called “A Day in the Life of the Soviet Union”, which featured NG’s typically breathtaking (for the quality of photographic and processing equipment which was available then) photography. One picture was of very little children taking part in communal toilet training – ranged in a hollow square around the perimeter of the room, all sitting on their little potty chairs. Is this the way we’re headed, as adults? After all, no matter what gender or morph we perceive ourselves to be, we all eliminate waste the same way. Why the need for privacy? In the end it has only turned out to be a weakness exploited by political forces. Or perhaps the opposite extreme – hundreds of thousands of toilet cubicles all over the city, each of which will accommodate only a single individual regardless what butterfly they feel like being that day.

        Perhaps it’s just me, but it would seem to be less costly on every front to simply take a stand, and say, “All this airy-fairy bullshit about bathrooms ends today. There will be washroom facilities for men and washroom facilities for women, and those who use them must make a pretty convincing outward case that they are in the right one.”

        Like

      2. At Schiphol airport (Amsterdam), female janitors often work in men’s restrooms. I need to ask my wife about male janitors working in the women’s restrooms.

        BTW, the worst smelling airport restrooms in the entire world are at Schiphol. No joke. Airport restrooms in India smell better, for example.

        Like

        1. Yes, female sailors sometimes clean the men’s bathrooms on board navy ships as well. But they must first assure themselves that nobody is inside (as the same facilities often also house the showers), and nobody can enter while the space is being cleaned.

          Now that you mention it, I’m pretty sure the women’s bathrooms are never cleaned by men. Their living quarters are often searched by men during bomb threat exercises, though.

          Like

          1. The restrooms are full of men when the female janitors are working. My wife indicates though that she has not seen male janitors in the women’s restrooms. I wonder if the female janitors deliberately fail to clean up the inevitable fluid spills resulting in the inevitable smell..

            Like

  45. Flesh and Blood real People of Color -particularly Blacks -do not buy into the lies nor are prone to be deceived or manipulated by the elitist GenX vermin in Das Neues Wissen:

    https://www.blackagendareport.com/hillary-clinton-2020-malcolm-xs-american-nightmare-steroids

    You will find this article very informative..Lots of info and links about how things are going as the cyber war between human beings and psycho vermin rages internationally:

    https://www.moonofalabama.org/2018/12/the-strange-mind-of-christopher-nigel-donnelly.html

    Like

      1. Huh? Who? Wot????
        Oh, like YOU could handle this hot tamale, you…you…you…
        why, you’re just a frivolous butterfly who toys with women’s hearts and throws them aside like soiled gloves!
        (pace Bertie Wooster)

        Like

    1. I’m sure they won’t be long in removing those decorations, now that they have been pointed out, and replacing them with something appropriate; the elaborate Ukrainian fork, or perhaps a picture of a hamburger.

      Like

  46. And on the issue of gender — language in this case, not bathrooms — I made the decision (which I will probably come to regret!) to dive into this can of worms, with this post .

    By the way, does anyone out there know (Mandarin) Chinese? I heard a rumor that Chinese does not distinguish between “he” and “she” in the pronouns.

    Like

      1. Thanks, Jen. Not knowing anything about Chinese historical linguistics: But the discrepancy between written and spoken language suggests that pronoun gender may have been at play in the Chinese grammar at some earlier era, but then dropped off due to phonemic confluence. Which created homonyms in which, e.g., former “he” and “she” now sound exactly alike, and so in effect ending gender markers.

        Eventually, in my post, I will get to the “Sapir-Whorf” business, in which I don’t believe.
        Some linguists believe in it, others don’t. I don’t, myself. Sapir and Whorf were truly great scientific linguists, but they were a bit too influenced by their background in anthropology. Hence they tended to identify language with culture itself.

        For example, if grammar influenced social attitudes to any great degree, then one would expect that Chinese merging of gender pronouns would have filled all Chinese people with egalitarian thoughts and led to women’s lib. But this merging would have happened a long time ago, well before Communism, back in the old days when Chinese women still had their feet bound!

        Other example of the tyranny (and arbitrariness) of grammar: Old Slavic languages, including Old Russian, had a “dual” case [no longer exists, sadly], whose case endings had to be tacked on to the noun and adjective when referring to TWO objects (or people) of any sort. The need for this is obvious for things that naturally come in pairs, e.g., “two hands”, “two legs”, “two eyes”, etc. But if Russian had kept this case, instead of allowing it to become obsolete, then, to this day, a Russian person would have to stop and think of the right case endings if uttering something stupid like, “Hey, I just purchased these TWO lottery ticket-s!” (with some silly dual ending instead of the plural!)

        Given this, Sapir-Whorf might hypothesize that Slavs were obsessed with concepts of duality and pairs. And yet they adopted Christianity instead of the dualistic Zoroaster religion – LOL!

        Like

        1. Collective numerals are still used in Russian and are, I believe, descendants, as it were, of the old dual number. The collectives are a series from 2 to 10: двое трое четверо пятеро шестеро семеро восьмеро девятеро десятеро. They take the genitive plural of adjectives and nouns, even when the collective numeral is in the nominative/accusative. This is because the old dual number nom/acc case ending was the same as the modern genitive plural case ending. Hence, in Russian:

          двое часов — five clocks
          трое похорон — three funerals
          через четверо суток — in four days
          пятеро саней — five sleighs
          шестеро ворот — six gates

          Above 4, cardinal numerals are usually used as they also take the genitive plural case ending, even when the number is in the nom/acc case.

          And of course, all the collective numerals decline — everything bloody well declines in Russian except for adverbs and interjections — for example: двое (nominative), двоеих (accusative), двоих (genitive), двоим (dative), двоими (instrumental), о двоих (prepositional).

          And here’s the strange thing about collective numerals in Russian: apart from with nouns that are always in the plural, they are only used with animate masculine nouns:

          двое друзей — two friends
          трое мальчиков — three boys

          but

          две сестры — two sisters
          три матери — three mothers

          The collective numeral, I am told, emphasizes the cohesiveness of a group, whereas the cardinal numeral individualizes.

          So groups of women do not have a cohesive nature in Russia? There is no “monstrous regiment of women” in Mother Russia?

          As a matter of fact, I think not, much to the chagrin of Western liberals and their Russian acolytes — Слава Богу!!!!

          🙂

          The use of collective numerals with animate feminine nouns , e.g., четверо женщин (four women) instead of четыре женщины, is a sign of substandard, colloquial Russian, I am told.

          As regards personal pronouns, in my Lancashire dialect, the feminine subject personal pronoun is not “she” but a word that sounds like “huh” and which sounds, to those who mock that dialect, that the person speaking in this dialect is a dolt who cannot distinguish between “she” and “her”.

          In fact, when someone in my old neck of the woods said, for example:

          Dos’ t’ know yon lass o’er theer? Well, huh’s getten seven childer! (Dost thou know that young woman over there? Well, she has got seven children.)

          However, that Lancashire “huh” comes from Old English, in which “he” was spelt the same but pronounced with a long “e”, sounding something like “hay”, whereas “she” was “heo”, pronounced something like “hey-uh”.

          The word “she” comes from Old Norse and replaced “heo” in most parts of English-speaking Britain, no doubt because Old English “he” and “heo” sounded too similar.

          Like

          1. Slava to the Bard Boyan, whose fingers on the lyre were as 10 swift jackdaws cackling on every string!
            Slava to the Wild Bull Vsevolod, who cut down 1000 Cumans with his trusty sword and then rode the mechanical bronco in the nearby pub!

            Anyhow… in Old Russian, the masculine dual was *dъva (two of), and the feminine was *dъvě (two of).
            The masculine dual nominative ending was -a as we see in the line from “The Tale of Igor’s Regiment”:

            Ту ся брата разлучиста на брезѣ быстрой Каялы
            (“Here the two brothers parted on the bank of the swift Kayala River”)

            As the centuries passed, that -a ending merged phonemically with the -a ending of the masculine gender singular, and that is the reason why, to this very day, Russians say “dva stol-a” (“two table”), but “p’at’ stol-ov” (“five tables”).
            Using what is essentially the genitive singular ending for the plural when coming after the number 2. Hilariously, same singular/dual ending also used for 3 and 4, but after 5 switches to the plural.

            Historical linguists point out that this odd grammatical usage is a relic of the old dual case.
            Personally, I wish that Russian had kept the dual case, because I think it’s cool. People say that it is still preserved in Slovenian and Sorbian dialects!

            Like

            1. They dare to be different; similarly, an assessment of 5 in schoolwork in Russia is the highest standard achievable. I don’t know what the criteria are, but 5 here would be the middle of the pack, and most tests and exams are scored out of 100. There must be something magic about 5.

              Like

            1. I know why! Because I was thinking ahead when writing of how the collective numerals are usually not used from the ordinal 5 onwards, ecxcept for compounds such as 21, 32, 43, 54 etc., because from there onwards the ordinal takes the genitive plural as well, whereas ordinals 2, 3 and 4 take the genitive singular.

              Like

  47. https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-12-18/inflation-targeting-madness-russia-raises-rates-again

    Putin needs to get his act together regarding the CBR. Nabiullina is acting like a disruptor to the Russian economy whether she knows it or not. As pointed out in the piece, the CBR is enforcing a rate delta over inflation of a minimum of 4%. This is lunacy. This delta should be no more than 2% and in fact can be effectively 0% under stable growth conditions. Russia does not have inflationary instability as evidenced by the events of the last 20 years.

    This makes sense because Russia’s transition involves growth and diversification which are the most effective processes to sterilize money supply increases and suppress inflation. Russia is in no way in a stag-flation regime. If it was, then the CBR’s rates would have precisely f*ck all impact on the inflation. Just as they did in other countries during the stag-flation of the 1970s.

    Like

    1. You may have noticed Trump has a tendency to make pronouncements without consulting anyone else, and in this case I imagine he has aroused surprise among the long-term planners of the so-called ‘deep state’ who prevail over his eventual decisions by making him out to be a Russian-lover or a Manchurian Kremlin plant whenever he does these things.

      Like

    2. It may be true:

      https://www.rt.com/usa/446895-usa-reactions-syria-withdrawal/

      President Donald Trump’s decision to declare ISIS defeated and order a full US withdrawal from Syria has been met with anger and disbelief by the Washington establishment that hoped for regime change in Damascus.

      Trump declared victory over Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) on Wednesday morning, as media reported that some 2,000 or so US troops will leave Syria within 60 to 100 days. Though Trump had openly spoken about wanting to leave Syria back in March, senior officials in his administration have said that US forces would stay there indefinitely.

      emphasis added

      Like

      1. Be sure to accord the appropriate emphasis also to “…has been met with anger and disbelief by the Washington establishment that hoped for regime change in Damascus.”

        You know; the same crowd that stirs up talk that Donald Trump is nothing less than a Russia-loving Russian agent whenever he says things like “I see no reason to believe Russia was involved” in the attempted murder of the Skripals, to the extent that in only a day or so, he releases a statement that he meant to say “I see no reason to believe Russia was not involved”, and that he just temporarily forgot how to speak English, the only language he speaks.

        We’ll see what he says in a few days – my money is on the Washington establishment.

        Like

          1. Alternatively, perhaps Trump is just a dolt who is incapable of simultaneously using the power of reason and the power of speech, or thinks that the storm of Russia accusations which inevitably follows one of his bold foreign-policy announcements is just coincidental.

            Like

  48. Euractiv mit Neuters: EU suffers major cyber-security scandal with publication of 1,100 secret cables
    https://www.euractiv.com/section/defence-and-security/news/eu-suffers-major-cyber-security-scandal-with-publication-of-1100-secret-cables/

    …More than 1,100 cables from the EU’s COREU coded messaging system were supplied to the Times by security firm Area 1 after it discovered the breach, the newspaper said, adding that Area 1 investigators believed the hackers worked for the China’s People’s Liberation Army.

    The cables include memorandums of conversations with leaders in Saudi Arabia, Israel and other countries that were shared across the European Union, according to the report…

    …The hackers also infiltrated the networks of the United Nations, the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), and ministries of foreign affairs and finance worldwide, the report added.
    ####

    The f*tard Fraudian leads with the following click-bait headline Russia may have nuclear arms in Crimea, hacked EU cables warn

    Like

    1. They’re really refocusing their efforts on China, aren’t they? It seems fated to be another cartoon villain like Russia, responsible at bottom for every evil and discomfiture in the world. Have your fun, westies; the bill will come due one day, and it might be a lot sooner than you think.

      Like

      1. Very curious timing no, just after the US has told Germany to drop Huawei. I hope there is a thorough and serious investigation in to this.

        Now donning my professional journalist conspiracy theorist hat, I would speculate that a) the UK did this on behalf of the US*; b) it used the NSA’s (or a derivative of) ‘Vault 7’ tools (as leaked by Chelsea Manning, nee ‘Bradley’) for obfuscating or as normal people call it ‘faking’ the origin of the cyber attack to make it look like it comes from whatever country you wish; c) the timing stinks – clearly this info has been in someone’s possession for some time so why is it now free? Cui bono?

        And btw, wtf is Area 1? It looks like another CIA or TLA seed funded company:

        Oren Falkowitz
        CEO and Co-founder

        Oren Falkowitz co-founded Area 1 Security to discover and eliminate targeted phishing attacks before they cause damage to organizations. Previously, he held senior positions at the National Security Agency (NSA) and United States Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM), where he focused on Computer Network Operations & Big Data. That’s where he realized the immense need for preemptive cybersecurity.
        ####

        So I’m calling BS purely on the count this smells like S*&#.

        * Because they have a record of doing the dirt on behalf of the USA and were recently publicly fingered (GCHQ) by the Belgian government for hacking the EU via the state telecoms company ‘Belgacom’ between 2011-2013. Or maybe they just passed it off to a third party who then passed it off to Area 1.

        Like

        1. I would add that it is claimed that the cables were accessed via phished emails to ‘diplomats in Cyprus’, the contention being that Cyprus is the weakest link in the chain. Now if that chain includes MinDef SIGNIT station on Mount Trodos that sucks up all Med traffic (as former UK Ambassador to Uzbekistan Craig Murray has pointed out on numerous occasions), then there are two elements linked to UK gov. Smelly indeed. I wonder how many hands GCHQ passed the info through before it was dumped in the open.

          Like

          1. In such a backstabbing world as today’s world is, it would be remarkable if any country of any size were completely focused on minding its own business, and completely disinterested in the backroom government chatter of other countries – and any country that was as described would be ripe for regime change the instant it went against western wishes. Russia has showed it is very much interested in what western governments are thinking and planning, by kicking out all the high-profile political NGO’s. That suggests Russia is only too aware of their power and inclination to destabilize and to cause chaos. I’m sure Russia does have people in diplomatic posts who are dedicated to discovering non-public information which influences decision-making in those countries. Just as the west has such people in Russia, and China, and everywhere. The difference is that when we do it, it is referred to as “diplomatic work involving political-reporting assignments on highly sensitive subjects”. When countries we don’t like do it, it’s “spying”.

            https://www.msn.com/en-ca/news/local/kovrig-e2-80-99s-diplomatic-work-would-have-caught-eye-of-chinese-officials-ex-boss/ar-BBQSjQy

            Take a look at Michael Kovrig’s job description in China, transpose it to a former Chinese government official who no longer holds diplomatic immunity but remains a federal government employee, put that Chinese official in Canada, roaming around talking to indigenous groups and the like – particularly after they stopped the Trans-Mountain pipeline, or were credited with doing so since their needs and wishes were not appropriately consulted – and see if the Canadian intelligence services would be satisfied with his explanation that he simply ‘loved Canada’.

            Michael Kovrig took on political-reporting assignments on highly sensitive subjects, said Guy Saint-Jacques, a former Canadian ambassador in Beijing.

            Saint-Jacques said Kovrig tried to “get the pulse” of many groups, such as displaced Tibetans scattered around China and Muslim minorities in the northwestern region of Xinjiang, where Beijing has been accused by the international community — including Canada — of mass detentions.

            “He went to remote locations trying to meet with people from these communities to try and understand what they were going through, in terms of the challenges they faced, protecting their cultures,” Saint-Jacques said in an interview. “So, all of this, obviously, would have attracted the attention of security people.” The former ambassador added that Chinese authorities have extensive files on all diplomats in China, especially those, like Kovrig, who speak fluent Mandarin.

            Like

            1. The issue with Michael Kovrig though is that, of all the various ethnic non-Han groups in China he could be conversing with, trying to find how they protect their cultures and languages from the dominant Han culture and languages, and Mandarin in particular, he spends a lot of time with groups that happen to host separatist movements that have links to organisations and government agencies in Washington DC or other countries allied with the US or part of NATO. Imagine that Kovrig’s hypothetical Chinese counterpart travelling around in Canada was singling out groups in Quebec that have a history of targeting and blowing up buildings or railway lines in Montreal, and which had contacts with Beijing-based government agencies, from which they also receive money, and then you see why Beijing has long had its eye on him.

              Like

              1. Not to mention he is in China under the auspices of the International Crisis Group – not the Canadian government per se – , described in one of the references (in the current post) as ‘an NGO with longstanding ties to the CIA’.

                Like

                1. My suspicion of the Chinese wot dun it is only hardened by the US/UK follow-up today accusing China of widespread IP theft etc. Clearly stuff has been on ice waiting for an opportunity for a clear PR run. As for industrial espionage, everyone does it, particularly among ‘allies’.

                  That the ‘Five Asses’ have the means to hoover up much of the world’s data by one means or another means that they will certainly pick up sensitive Chinese information that will of course not be wasted but laundered and passed on to their own people. You’ll have to excuse me for pointing out that no-one force the French and the Germans to give China IP over high-speed train tech (for example) and other things. In fact they were falling over themselves to get a slice of the Chinese market sure that the locals were little more than clumsy peasants run by a Communist Party with clay feet.

                  Still, would the Five Asses stop systematically spying on China in return for a quid pro quo deal? I would a) find that hard to believe; b) they’d never admit to it if they did. It would all be kept behind closed doors whilst the Five Asses claim victory…

                  Moi cynique?

                  Maybe I should also point out that despite this ongoing US-UK sabotage campaign designed to bring Les Grenouilles et La Boche on side, it has been less than convincing. Boeing has just produced its first finised 737 at its China factory and Airbus has just completed its 100th A320 build there too, not to metion that a Russian Soyuz-FG has just lofted a French spy sat (EO/IR) in to space on a Soyuz-FG from the ESA space port in French Guyana.

                  I wonder at which point the US-UK are going to realize that that their returns are only diminishing on each and extra effort to tilt the rest of Europe to further try and shaft China & Russia? Even Brussels refuses to introduce more sanctions on Russia after the ‘Kerch Incident’, most likely because they recognize that it was a Porko Special stunt.

                  Like

    1. Had Sir Robert Owen been in charge of the inquest into the causes of Perepilichny’s death, and not Nicholas Hilliard, you can bet the outcome would have been along the lines of there being a probability that Moscow might have had some involvement, therefore Putin probably did order his death.

      Like

  49. Al Beeb s’Allah GONAD (God’s Own News Agency Direct): Alexander Perepilichnyy died of natural causes, coroner rules
    https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-46620732

    …Speaking after the verdict, Mr Browder said: “The judge was working on a puzzle with only 20% of the pieces because of the Surrey Police incompetence in investigating.”..

    …Courtroom two at the Old Bailey erupted with laughter, for pharmacologist Robin Ferner had just hit the nail on the head.

    “Clarity,” he told the 15th and penultimate day of the inquest, “is not something that is manifest in the case.”

    It was something of an understatement.

    Since Alexander Perepilichnyy’s death in 2012, questions and speculation have raged.

    Was it a natural death? Or was he poisoned because of his status as a whistleblower helping expose a multi-million pound fraud in Russia?

    Clarity is what Coroner Nicholas Hilliard QC was seeking.

    #####

    The conspiracy theorists like BB, the BBC and others just can’t give it up.

    Remember kids, this is not FAKE NEWS (TM) because it is reported by civilized westerners.

    Like

    1. Browder could live to regret denigrating the competence of the Police investigation. The Police being noted for their easy come easy go attitude to criticism and famous for holding no grudges.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The Crown Prosecution Service only starts proceedings if they are at least 70% sure of a conviction, I believe, and if there is no conviction, both the srvice and the plods have the attitude that the accused “got away with it”, ‘cos they, the Crown Prosecution Service and the law enforcement agents, don’t make mistakes, see.

        Like

  50. BBC Newsnight
    Published on 19 Dec 2018
    Our Moscow correspondent Sarah Rainsford travelled east to Irkutsk in Siberia to test the mood – 5 times zones from Russia’s capital…
    Subscribe to our channel here: https://goo.gl/31Q53F

    Russian president Vladimir Putin talks about making Russia great again – restoring its status on the world stage as a country to be reckoned with.

    But a recent report has shown that more than one in five Russians now live in poverty and polls suggest that the protest mood is on the rise.

    Mr Putin’s approval rating is still around 60% – but it has been sliding.

    His move to increase the retirement age – as well as rising prices and shrinking incomes – are prompting some Russians to question the Kremlin’s priorities.

    Newsnight is the BBC’s flagship news and current affairs TV programme – with analysis, debate, exclusives, and robust interviews.

    Like

    1. Don’t look here — look over there!

      UK Poverty 2018

      Child poverty has been rising since 2011/12;

      4.1 million children are living in poverty, a rise of a half a million in the past 5 years;

      4 million workers are living in poverty, a rise of more than half a million in 5 years
      in-work poverty has been rising faster than unemployment.

      July 2018:

      Only one quarter of Britons now have a favourable view of Mrs May, while a huge 62 per cent have an unfavourable view.

      60% in favour of Putin and 62% not over enamoured with May.

      So why is the BBC so interested in Siberia?

      source

      Like

      1. So why is the BBC so interested in Siberia?

        They want to establish their base there before the Chinese take it over! 😉

        As for child poverty, it’s so great that Charles Dickens wrote about it* and the Conservative Party is trying to return the UK to its own Belle Epoque. Though that isn’t possible, they’re shooting for the early 1950s (before all those pesky Jamaicans and others came over) instead.

        * Please Sir, can I have some more sir?
        -F.off and die you little sh*t.

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        1. Hence “A Christmas Carol”, published 1843, the “Hungry ’40s” in the UK, including the Great Famine in the then Kingdom of Ireland, governed from London.

          Many now think Dickens’s masterpiece is a Christmas story. It isn’t.: it is an indictment against the horrors of the unbridled capitilism, of the capitalism that was invented in England (and Scotland and Wales I might add).

          By the time the then 30-year-old Dickens wrote “A Christmas Carol”, the Industrial Revolution in the UK had been ploughing ahead at full steam until almost brought to a shuddering halt by what were then called “a cyclical decline in trade”. But the money-grubbers engendered by the industrialization of the UK still wanted their profits, which, of course, necessitated in the 1840s, a cut in labour costs. And the new rich certainly had no time then for such fripperies as Christmas.

          By the 1840s in the UK, it was acceptable for nine-year-old boys and girls to work nine-hour days, underground in coal mines even. By the 1840s, government departments in the UK had cut their Christmas “holiday” from a week in 1797 to a single day.

          Dickens saw this. He went to Manchester, that town of archetypal “dark, satanic mills” and witnessed there abject poverty and noisome slums. It was the same in the capital, of course, and all over the rapidly becoming urbanised UK. When Dickens was in Manchester, so too was Friedrich Engels, where, besides managing his father’s cotton mill, he was busy scribbling away at his own indictement against capitalism: “The Condition of the Working Class in England”, which was published in 1845.

          The centre piece of Dickens’s “A Christmas Carol” is not where Scrooge meets the ghosts of the Christmases of the past, present and future, but where the ghost of Christmas Present presents to him two emaciated children, a boy called “Ignorance” and a girl called “Want”, and is warned of the horrors to come if “Ignorance” and “Want” are not satisfied and are allowed to grow into uneducated violent, animal-like adults, often becoming members of the criminal classes, about whom Dickens was also well aware and whom he portrayed in “Oliver Twist”.

          “Beware of them both”, the ghost tells Scrooge: “But most of all beware this boy, for on his brow I see that written which is Doom, unless the writing be erased.”


          Dark, satanic mills in the background.

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          1. By the 1840s, government departments in the UK had cut their Christmas “holiday” from a week in 1797 to a single day.

            In fact, I well remember how, in the 1970s, if Christmas Eve fell on a weekday, I finished my last shift at the coal mine where I worked at 14:15, 24th December (I nearly always worked morning shift), which meant I would be up the pit and out of the pithead baths at about 15:15 and home at about 15:45.

            The next day, Christmas Day, was a public holiday, as was 26 December, and, if the 27th was a working day, I began my next shift at 06:00.

            And January 1st was not a public holiday in England and Wales and the Province of Northern Ireland then, though it was in Scotland.

            And no, we did not have an office party on 24th..

            Like

            1. Thanks for the further detail, ME!

              By the 1840s in the UK, it was acceptable for nine-year-old boys and girls to work nine-hour days, underground in coal mines even.

              Isn’t that what used to be known as Character Building?

              Like

      2. A 20% poverty rate is actually similar to that of the USA. And the USA did not have the greatest Great Depression in the last 70 years. Russia’s economy shrank 50% during the 1990s. The US economy shrank by 25% during the 1930s.

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        1. This is what they said about the US:

          From 2009 to 2012, the top 1% in the U.S. claimed 95% of gains from the economic recovery. And the rest of country, the other 99%? They only saw income growth of 0.4% while their richer counterparts saw their incomes rise by over 30%. While the economy is superficially showing recovery from the Global Financial Crisis, the reality is that the lower classes are not recovering nearly as fast as that top 1%.

          That 0.4% may not be inflation adjusted. If so, the “recovery” has resulted in further wage losses.

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    2. More “objective” western propaganda. It is thanks to Putin that the poverty rate has fallen to 20%. He did not increase it from zero during the golden era of Yeltsin.

      And Putin never once announced he was going to make Russia great again and make it a big player on the world stage. He does not have to say this since Russia never stopped being a great power even during the 1990s and is set to become a superpower again.

      Whatever metrics were used to assign the USSR superpower status cannot be denied to modern Russia. Its economy is diversifying and developing to the level where it has surpassed that of the RSFSR. Trotting out a 20% poverty rate shows diddley squat about Russia’s development level. The other 80% are better off than they were in 1990.

      Russia has substantially upgraded its military and deployed world leading weapons systems. It is the only nuclear power that can take on the USA and its minions directly. China with its larger economy cannot.

      As for 60% support. We have to wait for the next election to see what the majority thinks. They have no reason to support NATzO and its rabid anti-Russian agenda.

      Like

  51. Al Beeb s’Allah GONAD (God’s Own News Agency Direct): Der Spiegel reporter Claas Relotius sacked over ‘invented’ stories
    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-46624297

    German news magazine Der Spiegel has sacked an award-winning staff writer after accusing him of inventing details and quotes in numerous stories.

    Claas Relotius “falsified articles on a grand scale and even invented characters”, Der Spiegel said.

    Among the articles in question are major features that had been nominated for or won awards, the magazine added…

    Mr Relotius, 33, admitted deceiving readers in some 14 stories published in Der Spiegel, the magazine said.

    In a statement on Wednesday, the German publication said it was working to establish the full extent of Mr Relotius’ “fabrications” http://www.spiegel.de/international/the-relotius-case-answers-to-the-most-important-questions-a-1244653.html after a colleague who worked with him on a story raised suspicions about his reporting…
    ####

    More at the link.

    He’s just the tit of the iceberg. al-Beeb s’allah should look closer to home, it’s Russia ‘correspondents’ perhaps, not to mention the bs pumped out of London too.

    Like

      1. “I am sick, and I need to get help”.

        Oh, well; that makes it all right, then. Not too sick to modestly accept the honours, like Reporter of the Year and such, though. Funny how the only thing that brings out such sickness and the need for help is exposure – other seminal events just don’t seem to have the same effect.

        Like

        1. It’s as if they suddenly realise they’ve been infected by a Cordyceps zombie fungus that directs them to do things they wouldn’t do otherwise.

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          1. They are just lying bastards who have cashed in on ignorance. When I used to write to the ludicrous “Comment is Free” feature in that now propagandistic arsewipe the Guardian, mostly defending the Evil Empire” corner, I used to get comments such as : “How do you know? …” and “”Of course, you have visited Russia (sarc)…” and I wanted to scream out “I f*cking well live there, you ignorant, prejudiced twats!” And, as I have already mentioned on numerous occasions here, one of the Russia-know-nothing know-it-alls once replied to one of my comments: “For a Russian, your English is quite good!”

            These lying bastard journalists know that most who read their shite don’t, won’t or can’t check up on the drivel they have penned.

            F*ck ’em all! The long and the short and the tall. They will all get their just desserts!

            Like

  52. US sanctions agaist Rusal lifted.

    I wonder why?

    Rusal is the world’s second largest aluminiun producer — after China.

    Yet in April of this year:

    THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
    Russia itself may be only buyer for Rusal’s aluminum stash
    Published: Apr 20, 2018 8:22 a.m. ET

    Aluminum from United Co. Rusal, the recently sanctioned Russian miner, is looking for a new home. But nobody knows where that home can be.

    Rusal produced 3.7 million tons of aluminum last year, but U.S. sanctions mean that almost no Western buyer, or Washington’s allies like Japan, will touch the metal not placed on exchanges before Rusal-branded products were banned, analysts say.

    China has more than enough of its own aluminum. Other countries unlikely to follow U.S. sanctions against Rusal aren’t big enough to mop up its metal.

    That leaves Russia, which has bailed out the world’s second-largest aluminum producer before, as the most likely buyer. But that also threatens a stockpile of unused metal hanging over the market and its price.

    A big “Har-har hardy-har you Russian losers!” from WSJ, I believe.

    So who’s going to buy it off those evil Russkies now?

    Хорошо смеётся тот, кто смеётся последним, as they say whilst plucking their balalaika and swigging vodka.

    Like

    1. The American press is always so smugly self-congratulatory that you want to punch them – we broke the Russians’ hearts with our big throbbing sanctions. In your dreams. The really sad thing is that most of the economic wreckage is going to roll in after Trump is gone (unless, by a miracle, he wins another term), so that he can say “Things were just fine on my watch; my administration was the greatest ever at building prosperity” while in fact it was invoking hatred for brand America around the world. But the delayed effect means it will get blamed on a succeeding administration.

      Like

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