The Candy Clouds of the Dreamweaver do Battle with the Battering Ram of Reality

Wink
Uncle Volodya says, “The real world is where the monsters are.”

Dreamer, you’re nothing but a dreamer
Well, can you put your hands in your head? Oh no
I said, “Far out, what a day, a year, a life it is”
You know, well you know you had it comin’ to you
Now there’s not a lot I can do…

From “Dreamer”, by Supertramp

As this tumultuous year grinds to a close, I wonder what future historians will say of it? Surely it will never be seen as a year of advancement for mankind; a year of stability, an affirmation of the bonds of brotherhood which draw us closer together. Instead, it must be viewed by the dispassionate eye of objectivity as a year of upheaval, of reversals and setbacks and chaos. A year of celebration of mean-spirited goading and provocation, a year of the drawing-together of jealous alliances seeking to preserve a world order which always worked out very well for those so allied, thank you very much. A year of cynical lip service paid to the cause of peace and understanding, trumped by disinformation, propaganda and reality-shaping. If you can’t have world peace, pray enjoy yourself with the vinyl inflatable substitute, anatomically correct for your pleasure.

I’m afraid I haven’t the patience or the resources to cover the whole world for the year. But I was struck by two very disparate recent articles on the same part of the world; Ukraine. Two very different images of what is apparently the same place, depending on whether you are viewing it through rose-coloured glasses, or framed by a toilet seat.

The first, by Andrew Wrobel at Emerging Europe (where he is a founding partner), postulates that 2019 will be a critical year for Ukraine – as, no doubt, it will; I am surprised it has staggered all the way to this point. But much of the article is spent in talking of events of the past year. Let’s take a look.

According to Wrobel, the current government of Ukraine is making serious headway upon a progressive agenda. The economy is stabilizing, President Poroshenko has pushed through a series of reforms to tackle corruption, and the resumption of international ‘lending’ to Ukraine signifies international approval of its progress.

Before we go any further – is any of that true? Not according to Bloomberg, which pointed out only last August that the economy of neighbouring Poland is three times the size of Ukraine’s, although their GDP’s were virtually identical in 1992. Correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t “Project Ukraine” supposed to make Russia envious at seeing how the adoption of the Eurolife made Ukraine rich and at peace with itself? Weren’t Russians supposed to rise up in anger and smite the shit out of Putin because of his failure to deliver the Good Life, Ukrainian style? If so, it’s difficult to imagine the chagrin of those planners now; Russia’s per-capita GDP is four times higher than Ukraine’s, and the average wage is more than double. I’m afraid I would call that zero progress, and after four years. Quite a feat for a President, really; to step into the shoes of a disgraced scallywag, make ridiculous boastful promises, and then move the nation not one inch further ahead from what it was under the scallywag’s rule. It’s gone backward, actually – Ukraine’s gold reserves have vanished, and its foreign currency reserve is wiped out. Ukraine’s ForEx stood at around $38 Billion at the onset of the Glorious Maidan (just change the viewing period on the graph to 10 years). They never reached that high-water mark again since, and only the other day Poroshenko crowed that Ukraine’s reserves should be back up to 20 Billion…once it receives its next handout from the IMF. It all reminds me of a motivational poem I read once when I was a lad;

They said it couldn’t be done;
with a smile, he went right to it.
He tackled the job that couldn’t be done…
and couldn’t do it.

I know that flies in the face of optimism and all, but, well, it is what it is. Poroshenko has made basically no reforms at all. He has talked about reforms a lot while swaggering around in front of the UN and as a guest at other speaking venues. But most reasonable people would allow that talking about things and acknowledging a need that they be done is not the same as doing them. Poroshenko’s government has stalled through every device it can bring to bear on starting up an Anti-Corruption Court, and the successful reforms on corruption Wrobel speaks of were merely another promise to set up the subject court ‘soon’, perhaps in February. That’s a month before the presidential election, and you know the issue is going to get buried again. Poroshenko only paid lip service to agreeing to set up the court in order to get the next tranche of moola from the IMF.

Bloomberg’s reference, Mikhail Minyakov, also complains, “oligarchic clans, old and new, have recaptured the state and are successfully thwarting the implementation of reforms”. Those who believe Poroshenko is heroically battling them have apparently not noticed he is one of them, among Ukraine’s richest citizens, and he has not divested himself of any of his business assets as a result of being elected President, as he promised he would. He even owns the shipyard that builds those dinky little river patrol boats for the Navy, like the two that were captured a short while ago in the Battle Of Kerch Strait; I notice the yard has been awarded a contract to build another 20 of them.

Well, that was a lot of discussion for only a couple of lines. Let’s see what else the Dreamweaver said. Mmmm….there’s a whole paragraph on all the magic Poroshenko will work with the latest ‘loan’ from the IMF – building up Ukraine’s gold and ForEx reserves, bolstering the value of the hryvnia, curbing inflation and restoring investor confidence in Ukraine’s solvency. That’s a pretty tall order for $3.9 Billion, considering Ukraine has almost twice that amount in foreign debt maturing in 2019. I would suggest investors not get too excited. Especially since Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Ukraine has never again reached half the value it was under Yanukovych since he was deposed and run out of the country. And considering Ukraine’s largest investor is the nation it claims is going to invade it at any moment.

Along with claiming the ‘loan’ amounts to an international endorsement of Mr. Proshenko’s ‘progressive policies’, Wrobel reports that Poroshenko has shut down rogue banks, authorized the creation of an anti-corruption court and raised gas prices to market levels. This last is somehow considered an anti-corruption measure which wipes out kickbacks, which I suppose it might if you assume that nobody has any money left with which to pay kickbacks. He acknowledges that the higher gas prices “punished ordinary consumers”, but, well…they should feel privileged to have had a small role in moving Ukraine forward. In fact, Poroshenko fought against raising gas prices for as long as he could; not because he can’t sleep at night for worrying about the poor voters, but because he can’t sleep at night worrying that they might vote him out. But in the end, when the IMF said “No raise in gas prices, no money”, he gave up his valiant battle…for the greater good.

We’ve already discussed Poroshenko’s imaginary creation of the anti-corruption court, since there isn’t any yet. But I’m curious – which rogue banks were shut down by Poroshenko? The most corrupt – Privatbank – remains the biggest commercial bank in Ukraine, still throwing its weight about and flinging lawsuits right and left. Quite a few banks in Ukraine have shut down because of a lack of capital – which I think you will agree is sort of detrimental to a bank’s operations – but attributing that to Poroshenko would probably send the wrong message if the aim is to make him look like a progressive. Here’s an example – Platinum Bank. It went broke just about two years ago. Interestingly, it was established in 2005 by Horizon Capital Investment. If that name rings a bell, it’s probably because the head of the company at that time was Natalia Jaresko, who later – briefly – became Ukraine’s American Finance Minister. But I could not find any examples of President Poroshenko shutting down any ‘rogue banks’, implying they are flagrantly and regularly flouting banking laws. Some 98 ‘weak’ banks were closed in what passed for banking reform, all the closures attributed to the NBU, and they were assessed to share Platinum Bank’s plight; an inability on the part of the shareholders to raise capital. Not to put too fine a point on it, but Ukraine itself would be closed for the same reason, were it not for regular handouts from the IMF and World Bank.

According to Wrobel, Poroshenko plans to apply for EU membership in 2020: slick, Wrobel – I saw what you did there. Mr. Poroshenko is most unlikely to be president in 2020, unless he can creatively employ martial law to delay or suspend elections until his chances improve from the present prospect, which has a lot in common with hopeless. Back to that in a minute. But I have to say when Mr. Wrobel alluded to Poroshenko floating into the EU upon his ‘raft of reforms’, I laughed a little bit. Laughing is good for you. Thanks, Mr. Wrobel.

Just before we move on – what is it with the English-speaking press and its hair-raising allegations of Russia “massing troops on the border”? For one thing, they have only Ukraine’s word that this is happening, and as previously discussed, Ukraine has a direct fiscal interest in seeming to be always on the brink of invasion. For another, no evidence has been offered of any such massing of military forces. For yet another, that side of the border is Russia. Russian troops massing in Russia? You don’t say. When the United States is seeding battalions here, there and everywhere, including in places it is both uninvited and very, very far from the United States, nobody seems to find that alarming or aggressive. American troops massing in America does not even register on the interest meter. Yet in order to allay the world’s fears, Russian forces must move altogether to the geographical center of Russia and remain there, conducting themselves with no more apparent martial intent than planting trees and helping elderly people across the street. Otherwise, look out – invasion, coming up. Could we please not raise the global stupidity quotient (GSQ) any higher? Please?

I have to admit Mr. Wrobel has a point when he gets to the meat of his subject – Yulia Tymoshenko. As I forecast back in the early summer, when she announced her candidacy, Ms. Tymoshenko looks to be a shoo-in for the presidency, although Mr. Wrobel doubts she will have enough support to win in the first round. In what he describes as ‘her brand of slick populism’, Tymoshenko blithely promises to solve all Ukraine’s problems in record time. He is dead-on when he points out that she offers no details of how she expects to accomplish this, and it is a matter of record that her understanding of economics and the origins of money is shaky at best; during her tenure as Prime Minster she attempted to give all civil servants a massive raise that the state budget could not possibly have afforded, and it seems likely she does not grasp the concept of limits on the money supply.

But that unsupported-promises thing reminds me of something…hey, I know what it is! Petro Poroshenko. During his mostly-just-going-through-the-motions campaign, he promised, (1) That the Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO) would last just a few hours. It lasted another four years, and the end was marked only by abandoning the name. The war goes on. (2) 1000 hryvnia per day to be paid to Ukraine’s heroic combatants in the war against the Russian-backed separatists. This never happened, not even close. (3) The sale of Roshen and his other business assets, so that he could concentrate all his energies on leading the country. In fact, he did not divest himself of any of his business assets. (4) Not to open criminal cases against journalists; nope, he was all about free speech. Until he wasn’t. (5) To bring the exchange rate of the national currency, the hryvnia, back up to 10 to the dollar. It’s been above 26 to the dollar for all of 2018, and today is 27.39. (6) All offshores will be closed. As we learned from the Panama Papers, not only were existing ones not closed, Poroshenko opened new ones with himself as the only shareholder, the most notorious being one opened as his forces were being soundly defeated at Ilovaisk. (7) Open party lists. Ha, ha. (8) Preservation of the status quo for the Russian language. (9) Find acceptable ways of cooperating with Russia. I’m afraid I can’t go any further; I’m dumbfounded by the magnitude of the betrayal of that one.

The fact of the matter is that Poroshenko has a progressive agenda like a hen can do card tricks. He can no more fix Ukraine’s problems – many of which are his own creations – than he can sing “Take On Me”. Tymoshenko can’t do it, either. Ukraine is locked into a loop of ever-increasing borrowing and begging for debt rollover until it has to declare national bankruptcy. The most optimistic forecasts notwithstanding, there is no foreseeable way for it to raise the money it needs to pay its loans plus ensure a subsistence-level standard of living for its people, not even by privatizing everything as the west is prodding it to do, and selling off all its agricultural land.

But wait! I almost forgot the other article – the one that was almost diametrically opposedFar right rally in Kiev, 1 Jan 15 to Wrobel’s rhapsody to President Porogressive. It’s this one – yes, I know Newsweek is little better than a tabloid. But it is a raving pro-American tabloid, and America is committed to a Fortress Ukraine concept which will see Ukraine become a dependable strategic outpost against Russia. Any shenanigans engaged in by Ukraine are therefore pre-forgiven because of its anti-Russian value. It is therefore remarkable that Newsweek chooses to report – in notably disapproving tones – that Ukraine is becoming steadily more radical and nationalist, and that Ukraine has made Stepan Bandera’s birthday a national holiday. Yes, although President Porogressive was a little backslidey on creating the anti-corruption court, that does not mean his legislative pen has been idle; by no means. He’s just more interested in demonstrated irritants like creating the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, and then making the former church change its name to the Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine. And the city of Lviv – Bandera’s hometown – went one better, declaring 2019 “The Year of Bandera”. Presumably with all the attendant celebratory pageantry and paradery, bearing Bandera’s portrait reverently through the streets like a scene from King’s “Children of the Corn”.

Earlier in December, Ukraine’s State Committee on Television and Radio Broadcasting banned Swedish historian Anders Rydell’s book titled Book of Thieves . The text critically analysed the actions of Ukrainian nationalist Symon Petliura whose forces killed large numbers of Jews in the early 20th century. Petilura was later killed by a Russian-born Jew in Paris in 1929.

Torchlight parades. Chanting, praising and celebrating a Nazi ally. Book banning and martial law. Newsweek is actually sounding the alarm that Ukraine is getting nuttier by the day. Pretty much the polar opposite of McOptimismville as described by Wrobel, where Tymoshenko cannot be allowed to undo all Poroshenko’s hard work, progress and success.

 

 

 

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1,034 thoughts on “The Candy Clouds of the Dreamweaver do Battle with the Battering Ram of Reality


  1. An American/Canadian/Irish/British Citizen in Moscow.

    Point of information for the blustering British Foreign Minister:

    Former U.S. marine Paul Nicholas Whelan detained in Moscow on 28 December. It is noted that the man was taken red-handed when receiving media with information constituting a state secret. Concerning it criminal case under article 276 of the criminal code of Russian Federation (“Espionage”), the sanction of the article envisages up to 20 years in prison.

    source

    At the moment, Whelan is residing at this place:


    Lefortovo gaol, Moscow

    Amongst his fellow inmates at the moment are those Ukrainian sailors (Glory to the heroes!) who recently knowingly and willingly breached Russian border regulations and procedures.

    As regards Whelan’s claim that he is a citizen of Ireland, he is, allegedly, third generation Irish and, by Irish law, therefore has the right to claim the citizenship of that country.

    So do I, for that matter: my paternal grandmother was as Irish as they come.

    Born in County Cork in 1869, on her marriage certificate is written in large letters her nationality and place of birth thus: IRISH, KANTURK, Co. CORK, IRELAND.

    She was a Fenian.

    If these Russian bureaucrats here refuse to grant me Russian citizenship, I think I’ll apply for Irish citizenship, just to give those wankers in the UK the two-finger salute.

    🙂

    Like

    1. Used to go past Levortovo nick in a trollybus almost every day for a couple of weeks 10 years ago: my youngest was born in a spanking new maternity hospital just down the road from the place.

      Like

  2. And here we go!

    U.S. Marine veteran Paul Whelan is likely to face isolation, cold showers and intense interrogations in the Russian prison where he is being held on spying charges, according to experts and accounts from people who survived detention there.

    Lefortovo Prison in Moscow, where Whelan is being held, has a long, violent history. During Joseph Stalin’s “Great Terror,” most political prisoners taken there were shot or tortured to death, according to Russian human rights nonprofit International Center Memorial.

    Founded in 1883 by Tsar Alexander III, the prison passed through generations of Russian and Soviet security officials – from the NKVD (the Interior Ministry in the early Soviet Union), to the KGB and finally the contemporary Federal Security Service (FSB). Lefortovo has historically housed some of the Soviet Union and Russia’s most prominent political prisoners and dissidents, including Alexander Solzhenitsyn, who immortalized the Soviet labor camp system in the novel Gulag Archipelago….

    A foreigner accused of spying would likely be held in solitary confinement, Applebaum says. Historically, Soviet and Russian prisons have used isolation as a way to make prisoners more susceptible to interrogation – along with darkness or bright lights, insufficient food or blankets and controlled access to bathrooms and showers, Applebaum says.

    Applebaum notes that she has not visited Russian prisons since the late 90s, but says that conditions in Russian prisons have remained markedly consistent.

    My stress.

    Elena Masyuk, a reporter for independent Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta who says she toured the prison in 2013, wrote that inmates at the prison faced uncomfortable conditions, such as showers only once a week and only cold water in the prison cells.

    However, in other ways prisoners were more comfortable than in other Moscow prisons, which are known to be crowded.

    “Lefortovo is clean, quiet, and in the corridors are carpets that are brown-beige in color. Unlike other prisons in the metropolitan area, it is only a little more than half full,” she said.

    Nicholas Daniloff, who was held in Lefortsovo in 1986 on charges of espionage, wrote in an account in U.S. News & World Report that while he had not faced physical abuse, he had been worn down by “mental torture.”

    Nothing like the mental torture that I suffer from reading such shite!

    Now get this, Novaya Gazeta reporter Elena Masyuk: when I was a guest of Her Majesty in 1985 in Her Majesty’s Prison Manchester, UK, I was only allowed a shower once a week as well, and a bloody quick one at that. Furthermore, in the cell that I shared with two others, there was a bucket that served as our “toilet” — you know, we pissed and shat in it. Then every morning, we took turns to enter the shit-pail in a sluice on the “landing” on which our cell was situated.

    Oh yes, and when I was sent to London to appear at the Court of Criminal Appeal, I was led from Brixton Prison, London, to that court shackled to two other appellants. You know, sort of like negro slaves were in the Land of the Free.

    A history of violence, they say!

    Tell me of any prison that does not have a violent history.

    Wonder what Butina thinks of this?

    source

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    1. U.S. Marine veteran Paul Whelan is likely to face isolation, cold showers and intense interrogations in the Russian prison where he is being held on spying charges, according to experts and accounts from people who survived detention there.

      Don’t you just love the “survived” bit!

      Implying that survival of legal detention in Russia is not guaranteed.

      And no one ever dies in UK / USA prisons or police bridewells, do they?

      Like

  3. Suspension of disbelief is fairly difficult in the Whelan case. Here’s a guy supposed to have been discharged from the USMC on felony charges but who enjoys the position of security director of a company that deals in automotive products. See

    https://www.borgwarner.com/newsroom/press-releases/2019/01/01/statement-regarding-paul-n.-whelan

    Not sure how many ne’er do well veterans land quite so daintily on their post service feet that they bag a decent-sounding legitimate job at a senior level and have four (to date) countries looking to provide him with consular assistance.

    A belated Happy 2019 to Stooges.

    Like

    1. From this link:
      https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/paul-whelan-spy-arrest-russia-canadian-1.4966475

      “… While serving as an administrative clerk in Iraq in 2006, Whelan was accused of attempting to steal more than $10,000 US. He was also accused of using a false Social Security number on a U.S. government computer system and using a false account on the system to grade his own examinations …”

      Doesn’t sound like the kind of person you’d want to hire as a security director for a company selling automotive spare parts. What was BorgWarner thinking when the company took him on? What kind of security director position does he hold? (Or was he … “parked” with the company, for want of a better term?)

      Whelan’s dishonourable discharge from the US Marines and the reasons behind it make him ideal intel recruitment material for an agency or government whose scruples tally with his own. He appears to have IT skills that also make him an ideal candidate for such recruitment.

      Makes you wonder …

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      1. The local news had a lengthy story on this guy (no idea why). The story focused on the conditions of his imprisonment in which, for several days, he was not provided adequate toiletries but that distressing situation has since improved. No kidding.

        Please compare and contrast this with the treatment of Butina.

        Like

  4. CBC News
    Published on 3 Jan 2019
    Canada’s inclusion of Huawei technology in 5G network infrastructure would pose a risk to the U.S., senior American Senator Mark Warner said Thursday in an interview with CBC News Network’s Power & Politics.

    Like

    1. Yes, there’s a big push to get Canada onside so that Washington can brag about consensus and western unity. But never fear – Canada will cave and line up with its sugar-daddy, especially if Trump threatens more trade sanctions or muses about cutting Canada out of an all-American 5-G network for national-security reasons. Uncle Sam is riding a hot streak right now, having fucked over any possibility of a free-trade deal between China and Canada and thus ensuring a continuing captive market for American products (especially agriculture, where by far the bulk of American exports go), and with Trudeau lobbying the USA to intervene on Canada’s behalf in the matter of the detained (and of course completely innocent) Canadians in China. Nope, we’ve had chances before to assert some degree of independence, but they’ve all ended up the same way – with Canada ever more firmly grafted to America’s fat white udder as a hungry consumer growth. And so we ever shall be. America is always happy to help out its good friend, just as long as we don’t make waves and do as we’re told.

      Like

  5. And to counter McFaul’s recent tirade about the dangers that US citizens face in Russia:

    ‘Hunt for our people goes on’: Moscow warns there’s no ‘safe place’ after US nabs Russian national
    Published time: 5 Jan, 2019 12:14
    Edited time: 5 Jan, 2019 13:41

    The Russian Foreign Ministry has issued a warning about what it describes as a “hunt on our citizens,” urging travelers to be cautious. The message follows the detention of a Russian citizen by the FBI in Saipan.

    The indictment put forward against Makarenko alleges that he and his associate Vladimir Nevidomy, a resident of Florida, tried to transfer military-grade equipment, such as night-vision rifle scopes and ammunition primers, to Russia between April and November 2013.

    Nevidomy pleaded guilty to the charges last June and is now serving a 26-month sentence. Makarenko first appeared before court on Monday and is facing 45 years behind bars if found guilty.

    Meanwhile, a Foreign Ministry statement said it learned of Makarenko’s arrest from his relatives. “US authorities – breaching the bilateral Consular Convention – did not inform us in due time about our citizen being detained,” it said.

    Makarenko’s detention is the latest in a string of arrests by US authorities of Russian citizens. Last December, Mira Terada was detained by Finnish police on an Interpol warrant initiated by the United States, according to the Russian Embassy in Finland. She was accused of engaging in drug trafficking and money-laundering activities during her brief stay in the US between 2013 and 2016.

    Like

    1. It’s pretty stupid of him to go to Saipan. It’s just an island of sweatshops for poor Asian immigrants, but since it is a US colony they get to label their products “Made in America.” Russians don’t realize that they will just make up charges if they want to take you. I think it was George Bush’s AG that said that Bill of Rights doesn’t apply to foreigners (which would naturally mean that they should stop trying to drag them into US jurisdiction).

      Like

  6. CBC News
    Published on 4 Jan 2019
    For some, there will be no beer in the new year; at least for Dry January, which is increasing in popularity. Experts say a month off drinking, even for social drinkers, can have real benefits.

    Like

  7. I just read an article on the Politico website about NASA having to dis-invite head of the Russian space program Dimitri Rogozin because Congress have extra dick powers to sanction Russians since 2017. Anyways, the article calls Rogozin an ‘ultranationalist! Quite the stretch and of course no sense of hypocrisy at all by the author. Big LOLZ. Certainly not something loveydovey US commentators would dare call Alexey Navalny!

    Like

    1. NASA did resist but caved in to Congress. The US is now a prisoner of its own propaganda – forced to do things contrary to its interest to protect the narrative.

      Like

  8. The Fraudian is reporting that a 13 year old girl was arrested on suspicion of assault on police on Westminster Bridge today as part of British ‘Yellow Jackets’ protest. ‘Suspicion’? either she did or didn’t. More likely the filth tried to drag her away and she resisted, and London’s Flimsiest took that as ‘suspicion’. Good enough for the forces protecting freedom and democracy on the Sceptic Isle.

    The second paragraph of the Fraudian article goes thus (extra emphasis mine):

    She was one of four suspects arrested for taking part in the demonstration, which had apparently not been arranged in advance with police.
    ####

    Yet when the hamsters and kreakls carry out an unsanctioned demonstration in Moscow and are hauled off by the police, there are nothing but rounds of applause emanating from the Pork Pie News Networks. Bell ends the lot of them!

    Like

    1. Yeah, that’s one of my trigger points too. I have actually read the law regulating protests and demonstrations in Russia. It’s simple enough that even someone without legal education can understand it and what needs to be done to make demonstration legal. Undoubtedly movements with actual lawyers on payroll can do that. So when Navalnysts don’t do that, repeatedly, it means they are consciously disregarding law for no reason other than making a stand and possibly attracting a few teenagers in their rebellious state. The fact that they are not sitting in prison with huge sentences for breaking the law and baiting others to break it with them is quite frustrating.

      Like

      1. It seems that Russian jurisprudence does not have the concept of contempt of court. Or it is not applied. Repeat offenders get progressively more severe punishments for deliberately ignoring the law in the precious “free” west. In the US you even have “three strikes you are out” laws that impose the harshest sentences on repeat offenders. Yet Navalny’s law breaking gets a slap on the wrist.

        One of the reasons that the Occupy Wall Street protests fizzled out was because the protesters got draconian sentences. America has a marginal amount of the freedoms it claims to have and uphold. It is a fascist oligarchy with a two-party clown show facade.

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        1. I come across Russian advocates very frequently in my job and I often ask them if there is such a thing as “contempt of court” in Russian jurisprudence. I give them examples of gross contempt here that I have read about, but seems to go unpunished.

          One example that immediately springs to mind is when the Pussy shite team repeatedly stated in court that the juddge was incompetent/not qualified to be in charge of proceedings. The counsel for those three women’s defence (Faygin and Co.) went unpunished.

          As it happens, the judge in question was the same one who dealt with me last August as regards my breach of administrative law, in tht I had remained in Russia without appropriate documentation, namely after my residence permit validity had expired on 21 May, 2017, and I had been too late to extend it.

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        2. Again, I think the law in Russia mostly ignores Navalny because that strategy appears to be working fairly well. Ordinary people who see Navalny getting away with repeated misdemeanors apparently do not think “That Lyosha’s a clever lad – maybe I will vote for him next time around”. They think he’s a jerk, and while they might be annoyed that he seems to have a charmed life, there does not seem to be a big public outcry against the government for letting him off so easy. Ditto the late Boris Nemtsov, who was forever staging actions that were calculated to get him arrested, and then making up wild stories about the government paying off convicts to rape him in prison and thereby cast doubt on his saintly masculinity. Russians mostly thought Nemtsov was a jerk, too, so perhaps letting them get away with their publicity stunts is not a bad strategy.

          Like

      2. It’s the same thing with so-called Russian anti-homosexual legislation. The Guardian’s favourite paederast is fond of making little forays into Mordor in order to attract attention to himself, and his actions there are dutifully reported in the British press..

        Last time he was here was just before the football world cup was about to start rolling in the Evil Empire:

        Tatchell’s message below the above clip:

        “My Moscow protest was in solidarity with heroic Russian & Chechen LGBT people. I salute & support their struggle. The human rights abusing Putin regime must not be allowed to score a PR coup with the World Cup. There can be no normal sporting relations with an abnormal regime”.

        Note how brutally the Moscow cops dealt with him!

        Having had a quick scroll through the comments to the above clip — all fourteen of them — they are all, bar one, in English and most criticize Tatchell’s actions: for example

        A neo-liberal human rights guided missile. Only protests against the enemies of US. They should arrest him for fraud,

        Go to the Southern States of the USA and protest there and you will end up with a bullet in the head – this guy is a media junkie and a drama queen – pun intended.

        The only comment in Russian, though some of those in English, may, of course, have been posted by Russians, reads:

        Извращенцам не место в России!!!

        There is no place for perverts in Russia!

        which is nonesense, of course, in that there exist perverts of all shades in Russia, as there do anywhere else in the world, but who decides what a “perversion” actually is and why are such “perversions” not tolerated in Russia?

        Tatchell and his ilk maintain that “society” decides. So why can’t Russian society decide what is acceptable or unacceptable behaviour in Russia?

        Or does Tatchell believe that he has the moral authority to dictate to Russian society that which is acceptable or unacceptable?

        And Tatchell IS a paederast!

        I am not using that term in the way that Russians do, in its abbreviated form, as an insult to homosexual males, namely pedo: he engaged in and promoted under-aged homosexual sex with minors, though, admittedly, he might be a bit too far over the hill now to have dalliances with young boys.

        As can be seen in the clip above, Tatchell was politely requested to accompany some police officers to the nearest police station, Tverskaya police station, which Tatchell repeatedly mispronounced as “Tverestskaya”. Tverskaya police station is about half a mile from where the arrest took place. He was not allowed to be accompanied by any of his entourage there, which gave the poseur the opportunity to ask “How do I know it’s safe to go with you?”

        So what happened to the paederast after his having been brutally arrested in Moscow on Thursday, June 14, 2018?

        Did he have the living shit beaten out of him?

        Was he mocked, ridiculed and tortured by the Orcs?

        In fact, he was released on bail after being held for a little more than an hour and was told to appear in court on June 26, 2018.

        That’s the normal procedure in the UK as well, if I rightly rememember: arrested, banged up, charged, released, pending an appearance in a local magistrate’s court if the offence was only a minor one. The procedure took so long because it always struck me that cops could only use one finger when using an ancient mechanical typewriter. (Ah, such fond memories of a misspent youth!)

        This is what also happens to Navalny’s kiddie army members and assorted kreakles following their arrests for taking part in unsanctioned rallies.

        However, Tatchell was later told by the authorities on the following Monday that he would be able to return home despite the upcoming court date.

        Why give him the opportunity to act the prima donna in a Moscow court appearance? Better just to tell him to fuck of back to London, politely.

        And a heartfelt Tweet from Tatchell to his Russian fans:

        Job well done!

        Like

        1. Meanwhile, back at Moscow’s largest homosexual night club, “Central Station”, I daresay no one seemed that bothered about Tatchell and his Tweets and his support of their right to to practise homosexual acts with one another:

          “I’ll have a Drambuie Shandy.”

          Like

          1. Do they still make “Drambuie”, I wonder?

            Yes, just checked: they do.

            Drambuie Shandy: Drambuie, lemon juice, beer.

            Ah, bollocks to the lemon juice! Just gimme a pint o’ heavy and a wee dram!

            Like

          2. … his support of their right to to practise homosexual acts with one another …

            I should add that both barmen pictured above are in full legal possession of those rights as they have, I am sure, both celebrated their 18th birthdays.

            Like

            1. Yep, in Russia you can start legally drinking at age 18.
              But you can start having consensual sex even earlier: at 16.
              Those gopniki in the photo look old enough to be doing both things, although you never know…

              Like

        2. By the way, the polite cop talking in English to that wanker Tatchell was part of a special detachment created for deployment during the football world cup tournament last year. On his sleeve he has a patch that reads “Tourist Police” in Russian and English. Members of this special detachment were recruiuted from those officers who had a good command of English.

          On the metro as well they recruited staff who could speak good English and had them sit behind windows at the metro ticket sales windows, on which there was a sign: “We speak English here”.

          They also recruited part-time metro staff to do the work of translators during the world cup and they paid well. I kept telling my bone-idle son to apply for the job, but he wouldn’t: too busy composing his frightful noises.

          Those “We speak English here” signs are still there, so the English speaking metro ticket sellers must be doing their World Cup extra paid duties full time now.

          Like

        3. And the knobhead talks about his support of the LGBT oppressed in “Russia and Chechnya”.

          I’ve got news for you, you tosser: Chechnya is “Russia”, namely a republic with limited autonomy and a federal subject of the Russian Federation.

          Saying “Russia and Chechnya” is like saying “The USA and Alabama”.

          Allegations of “gay persecution” in Chechnya were first reported on 1 April 2017 in Novaya Gazeta.

          Novaya Gazeta? Well what a surprise!

          Hang on a minute, though, isn’t the Russian press “unfree”?

          And so it kicked off: condemnations right left and centre; accusations and denials; Amnesty International gets its oar in; so does Washington…

          And protests, such as this massive one in Saint Petersburg:


          “Chechen mothers mourn their children”, was staged on 1 May 2017 on Nevsky Prospect in Saint Petersburg to protest against the persecution of gay men in Chechnya.

          I mean, what further proof of the veracity of the accusations does one need?

          I’m willing to lay £1 to a pinch of shit that those women wrapped up in black above are not Muslim mothers!

          Like

      3. Perhaps the Russian government feels that the more Navalny is allowed to get away with his shenanigans, the more he appears a pampered liberal bastard and the more people dislike and disapprove of him. He certainly is not increasing his following, as he might be able to do if people generally felt sorry for him, as they might if he was allowed to pull together a martyr’s tale of being incarcerated for fighting for human rights.

        Like

  9. RT America
    Published on 3 Jan 2019
    Rick Sanchez explores the history of US intervention in Central and Latin America by using foreign lands and labor to expand American businesses, financing the overthrow of democratically elected leaders, training oppressive military forces and contributing to the poverty and immigration issues facing the US today. Then human rights professor Dan Kovalik joins to share his insight.

    Like

    1. The NATzO fake stream media claims that Putin is offing his opponents and critics. But all we have so far is some tin foil hat conspiracy theories about Litvinenko, Politkovskaya, the Skripals. That is not even dozens of specific cases. The death toll from US regime change operations in Latin America runs into the tens of thousands in each country affected. That is what real repression looks like.

      Of course we also have every journalist death in Russia since 1991 attributed to Putin. But I have not seen any evidence that those journalists were Putin critics. In fact, they were murdered by mafia elements that flourished in Russia during the 1990s during the “non-corrupt” “golden years” of comprador Yeltsin.

      Like

      1. Most of the murdered — or to be more exact: died by unexplained unnatural causes — journalists worked in the provinces and criticized local thugs and gangsters in the ’90s, namely during the Golden Yeltsin Years. I have even seen included in a list of “murdered by Putin journalists” the name of one unfortunate photojournalist who was investigating night time street racing in Moscow and who was run over and killed by one of the competitors.

        I provide a link to a 2008 blog by Fedia Kriukov (where is he now, I wonder) on this matter that is quite revealing:

        An Audit of the Committee to Protect Journalists Claims
        Saturday, February 16, 2008

        The above linked blog concludes thus

        In summary, CPJ claims that 17 journalists have been killed in Russia since 2000 because of their professional activities. Examination of each case has found that out of 17 claims, only 5 were correct (Domnikov, Khasanov, Klebnikov, Makeev, Politkovskaya), 8 were complete falsifications (Skryl, Ivanov, Scott, Shchekochikhin, Sidorov, Kochetkov, Maksimov, Safronov), and 4 were partial falsifications (Yatsina, Yefremov, Markevich, Varisov). If we assign a truthfulness value of 50% to partially falsified claims, the overall truthfulness rate of CPJ, given this sample, is 41%. Clearly, CPJ’s definition of “strict journalistic standards” as being only 40% truthful is at variance with what any reasonable person would expect. But it is very much in line with what one would expect from a propaganda outlet.

        Of course, the desire to protect journalists’ lives is very noble. But the end does not justify the means. Engaging in outright falsifications while making the outrageous claim that “strict journalistic standards” are being followed discredits journalism as a profession and raises the obvious question of why should any special emphasis be placed on protecting that kind of people?

        [slight grammatical errors edited — ME]

        Like

  10. From about 20:10 in the video. The Anonymous hackers group has dug up documents that the factions in the British security services set up the Skripal farce as a way to “wake up” the UK to the growing Russian menace.

    Russia needs to boot out the UK ambassador and most of the UK embassy staff. It does not matter if there is a tit for tat regarding Russian embassy staff in the UK. The UK has nothing to offer to Russia. Any spying is to keep track of the lunatics and their big war plans. But the value of such spying is low at this moment and Russia needs to get its shit together in terms of military preparedness. It is pretty much a given that all of the UK embassy staff in Russia are spies and regime change architects.

    Like

    1. From Sputnik:

      Integrity Initiative LogoShock Files: What Role Did Integrity Initiative Play in Sergei Skripal Affair?

      In April that year[2015], Institute for Statecraft chief Chris Donnelly was promoted to Honorary Colonel of SGMI (Specialist Group Military Intelligence), and in October he met with General Sir Richard Barrons. Notes from the meeting don’t make clear who said what, but one despaired that “if no catastrophe happens to wake people up and demand a response, then we need to find a way to get the core of government to realise the problem and take it out of the political space”

      [My stress — ME]

      “We will need to impose changes over the heads of vested interests. We did this in the 1930s. My conclusion is it is we who must either generate the debate or wait for something dreadful to happen to shock us into action. We must generate an independent debate outside government. We need to ask when and how do we start to put all this right? Do we have the national capabilities [and/or] capacities to fix it? If so, how do we improve our harnessing of resources to do it? We need this debate now. There is not a moment to be lost”, they said.

      Operation IRIS Begins

      On 4 March 2018, former Russian military officer and double agent for MI6 Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were poisoned in Salisbury, England.

      Within days, the Institute had submitted a proposal to the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, “to study social media activity in respect of the events that took place, how news spread and evaluate how the incident is being perceived” in a number of countries.

      The bid was accepted, and the Initiative’s ‘Operation Iris’ was launched. Under its auspices, the Institute employed ‘global investigative solutions’ firm Harod Associates to analyze social media activity related to Skripal the world over.

      Moreover though, there are clear indications the Institute sought to shape the news narrative on the attack — and indeed the UK government’s response. One file dated March 11 appears to be a briefing document on the affair to date, with key messages bolded throughout.

      It opens by setting out “The Narrative” of the incident — namely “Russia has carried out yet another brutal attack, this time with a deadly nerve agent, on someone living in Britain”.

      The latest trove also raises yet further questions about the activities of the Institute for Statecraft and Integrity Initiative. In light of these revelations, reading the record of Donnelly’s meeting with General Barrons takes on an acutely chilling quality. It may be that purely serendipitously the pair got their “catastrophe”, their “something dreadful”, which “[woke] people up” and made the government “realise the problem” posed by Russia — or it could be they one way or another played a facilitative role of some kind.

      [My stress — ME]

      Like

      1. I’be been following this via the Yasha Levine twitter feed. They even identified one person, Simon Bracey-Lane, who is very likely an intelligence operative, who was part of Bernie Sanders’ campaign as a British foreigner, and later showed up in a leadership position at Integrity Initiative.

        Unfortunately, it means nothing if the mainstream media in the West keeps silent on it. However, once the Nation or even someone like the Intercept writes a story on it, it could explode. The Intercept is mainstream enough for everyone to pay attention. So far there is nothing, but maybe they are researching it. Obviously you have to be careful with the source as a reporter since it’s likely to be Russian intelligence, and check to see if what you are reporting can be backed up, but judging from the intelligence operative they outed, there is a lot of interesting, newsworthy material there.

        Like

  11. BMPD: Утвержден план-график создания российской ракеты-носителя сверхтяжёлого класса “Енисей”
    https://bmpd.livejournal.com/3484106.html

    Как сообщил 4 января 2019 года в своем микроблоге в twitter.com генеральный директор Государственной корпорации по космической деятельности «Роскосмос» Дмитрий Рогозин, «сегодня подписан детальный план-график создания к 2028 году ракеты-носителя сверхтяжёлого класса (класс «Енисей»). Разработчики – РКК “Энергия” имени С.П.Королёва (Московская область), РКЦ “Прогресс” (Самара), Центр имени М.В.Хруничева (Москва) – в части создания третьей ступени»….
    ####

    итд…

    There’s a nice graphic at the link. The super heavy version tops out at a 115t payload slated for launch along with the other versions at Plesetsk – though the lightest will also launch (I would guess initially as it would be the first model of the range to fly) at Baikonour too. I would love to see new rocket engine tech ahead of the RD-171/81/derivatives, but so far they have only mentioned sticking to tried and tested tech to help keep everything on schedule.

    Like

  12. Spot the Fuck on.:

    “Southern • 2 days ago
    Syria’s oil and natural gas resources are insignificant compared to other countries in the region.
    A reminder of WF Engdhall article on Genie oil in the Southern Golan suggested reserves of crude that would be the envy of the region not to mention provide a serious motive for Neocon friendly regime change in Syria – after all – no nation is allowed to use their resources to fund Socialistic ideals.

    The means of concluding transactions in these resources have to be approved by the financial elite – as a result regime change and sovereignty shredding trade agreements are quickly rammed through faster than anyone is able to read and remember 5000 pages of legalese.

    Subsequently, all trade needs to be concluded in the nominated currencies.

    Signed along the dotted line and don’t you dare step out of line.

    Look what happened to Socialist Libya and how Qaddafi used natural resources for the benefit of all Libyans – so much for pretending to uphold democratic ideas, Libya promptly got bombed back to the stone-age as well as having the nations gold and silver bullion confiscated.

    Back in 2011 Syria, Iraq, and Iran had announced their intention to build a gas pipeline into Europe, Qatar request to build their pipeline over Syrian territory was rejected.

    You know the rest – enter regime change in Syria courtesy of the so called free West.”

    https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/01/04/syri-j04.html

    Like

      1. Probably some antibiotics or other additives put into feed for cattle can have the same effects as a performance-enhancing drug. Chemical or other additives that help animals grow and put bulk on them might be very similar to performance-enhancing drugs in chemical structure.

        Like

        1. I read a bit of it in the newspaper in the airport, and that’s exactly it – beef cattle in some countries are fed chemical concoctions very similar to steroids to make them pack on more meat and weight. I don’t know if they would still provide enhancement if you are a second-hand consumer, but it is enough to get the substance dected in your samples.

          Like

  13. Meanwhile, on the religious front, this Sunday morning (Jan 6), the highly devout Ukrainian delegation gathered in the Stambul (=Constantinople =Istanbul) Church of St. George to be granted tomos by Patriarch Bartholomew.
    The Ukrainian delegation were led by their spiritual leader, President Poroshenko.
    Reporters report that the Ukrainian delegation exchanged Banderite greetings during the ceremony: “Glory to Ukraine! To heroes the glory!”
    After the ceremony Prez Porky was accosted by a Russian reporter who asked him, notepad in hand: “Who is the head of your church?”
    Porky responded rudely: “Russia is the aggressor!”

    [yalensis: it would have been funny if the reporter had continued: “Strange name, how do you spell that…?”]

    Like

  14. Sky Nudes: British special forces soldiers seriously hurt by IS missile
    https://news.sky.com/story/british-special-forces-soldiers-seriously-hurt-by-is-missile-11600032

    …Rudaw news, a Kurdish outlet, reports that the attack was on a Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) base in Deir al-Zour.

    An SDF official told Rudaw: “Due to a smart missile attack by ISIS, a fighter of the YPG was killed and another wounded, in addition to two British soldiers.”..
    ####

    If we accept that it was a ‘smart missile’, then a) pray how did IS/ISIL/ISIS/DAESH/whatever get hold of one, and b) what are the chances that it was one of a very large number of US TOWs sold to Saudi Arabia that were delivered to the SDF which then accidentally fell in to islamonutters hands? If that is the case, then you see that even when US soldiers are not pulling the trigger, their weapons are still hurting allies.

    Like

    1. In the twitter feed one Russian fan wrote: “Russian hokey team has won the bronze medal…”
      Hokey team, I thought that was kind of funny….
      Another Russian fan was more to the point: “And where is Russia, bitches!”

      Oh well, on the positive side, the vid shows the Russian word for “Represent”, it just doesn’t show the flag accompanying the word…

      Like

    2. They dropped a right bollock in omitting the Russian flag in that Tweet linked above, so they have taken it down, the arseholes!

      Like

      1. The video showed a series of competitor nation flags that were represented in the competition and as each flag sort of beamed in off screen right, left, above and below towards the centre of the screen, the word “represents” appeared in the language appropriate for the nation state whose flag had just come into view. However, when the Russian word for “represent” appeared on the screen, there was no Russian flag. They had left out the Russian flag.

        Like

        1. That’s just a cheap shot. The Russian Federation is always a major force in hockey, both the World Juniors and the adult levels, whether they win or not. What sort of lesson does that teach the World Junior-level players, who are about 17 years old? That sport is just more politics, and that politics are always loaded against Russia. And that even when you win fair and square through tough competition, the world grudges you your victory just because of the country you come from.

          Like

  15. AsiaTimes.com: UK’s hopes of Indo-Pacific strike group with France premature
    http://www.atimes.com/article/uks-hopes-of-indo-pacific-strike-group-with-france-premature/

    While London and Paris have been supporting each other’s navies and venturing further afield, experts warn there are limits

    …UK Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson has made it clear that the Royal Navy will keep an “unbroken presence” in the Indo-Pacific in 2019 and beyond. The British government says such a deployment is aimed at protecting the rules-based global order, including freedom of navigation, seen as the underpinning of Britain’s “security and prosperity as an island trading nation.”…
    ####

    YGTBFKM!

    It goes to show how deluded the Brits and the French are. There’s not even a squirt of comment about where India fits in to this politically or otherwise, but this makes sense as it would bring up all sorts of spoilers (cost/logistics/what ifs etc.) for Franco-Brit Disco Wonderland dreams in the region.

    I can’t imagine that the French would want to give the UK equal billing if Frogland has bases and the UK doesn’t, let alone India getting itself dragged in to a UK/Fr/US shitfight with China over ‘Freed Umb of Na Vigation’ or some such moronic principle they claim to be upholding.

    Like

      1. would indeed. H/K back in mother China’s hands, democratic Singapore’s flying equipment is mostly American* (naval stuff much more mixed**) and their current relations with Malaysia are somewhat more important at the moment, namely the latter wants to revise all sorts of agreements (water/airspace etc.) that were signed between the two nations when the former was much richer and the latter more needy. How times change.

        * https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equipment_of_the_Republic_of_Singapore_Air_Force
        ** https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equipment_of_the_Republic_of_Singapore_Navy

        Like

        1. Access to water is a big deal for Singapore. They are the leaders in water recycling – toilet to tap although they call it New Water. IIRC, they obtain about 30% of their water supply from sewage but most is used for non-potable uses such as irrigation. Its actually a cheaper source of water than seawater desalination despite the extra processing. Reverse osmosis is the key technology and, barring tears in the membranes, produces sterile water free of chemical contaminants and dissolved solids down to about 300 ppm. Raise your glass to …. never mind.

          Like

  16. Another fish for shooting in the barrel:

    U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. Sixth Fleet
    9 hrs ·
    “USS Fort McHenry (LSD 43)’s transit into the #BlackSea reaffirms our collective resolve to Black Sea security and enhances our strong relationships with our NATO allies and partners in the region,” said Vice Adm. Lisa M. Franchetti, commander, #US6thFleet. “Our routine operations in the Black Sea also demonstrate the inherent flexibility and capability of U.S. 6th Fleet naval forces.”

    Adm. Lisa M. Franchetti, commander, #US6thFleet. “Our routine operations in the Black Sea also demonstrate the inherent flexibility and capability of U.S. 6th Fleet naval forces.”

    Flexibility and capability? What does she mean? The ability to sail through the Dardanelles without bumping into anything and the ability to be vaporized within minutes of the outbreak of hostilities in the Black Sea, and be vaporized from shore launched misiles at that!

    And the arse-licker comments flow in abundance:

    Like

        1. According to her wiki , Lisa Franchetti is married and has a daughter.
          Hence, it is possible that “Franchetti” is just her married name, although wiki doesn’t specify if that’s her maiden or married name.

          I learned a long time ago not to assume any American woman’s ethnicity based on her surname!
          For example, my boss has an Italian surname, but it turns out she is Irish-Norwegian, or something like that. Fortunately, I was never foolish enough to exclaim: “So, boss, you’re a wop!”

          Like

          1. And she started off as a journalist: more accurately, she was educated to be a United States presstitute., but joined the naval reserve and ended up with lots of gold braid on her gear.

            Reminds me of the Gilbert and Sullivan ditty about an admiral…


            USN Vice Admiral Franchetti

            That amerikanskaya ulybka just kills me, especially the USN version of it:


            USN Rear Admiral Kirby

            Funny that! I always thought in the USA you didn’t get addessed by your military rank once you left a service, yet on the web, Kirby has his rank followed by “retired” in parentheses.

            Anyway, neither of the two old salts above have done as well as have Chuck Windsor and his kid sister Anne, who are both Admirals of the Fleet, Royal Navy UK.

            The last time when Charlie served in the RN was over 40 years ago, as a lieutenant and commander of a wooden hulled minesweeeper.


            Charlie in full monty, with Dave.


            Charlie’s sister (right), who outranks her husband (left), who is a mere Vice admiral.

            I think Franchetti still uses her maiden name. See

            We the Italians

            In the above linked article, and linked within USN article, she is referred to throughout as Franchetti, even in her student days.

            In biographies, her husband is rarely, if ever, mentioned: according to Wiki, it is simply stated that she is married:

            U.S. NAVY-ROK STAR

            Like

            1. What stood out for me is that she wanted be a journalist specializing in the Middle East and got her major before… jumping ship. There’s (was) a Times journalist with the same name but I doubt they are related.

              Like

            2. In the photo above, the “Princess royal” of the UK, Anne Windsor, has the rank of Admiral, not Admiral of the Fleet and her husband has the rank of Captain. Since that photo was taken, her husband has been promoted to Vice admiral:

              His wife is still an Admiral, though, and still outranks her husband.

              Her brother Charlie is an Admiral of the Fleet, however, and outranks them both.

              Like

    1. Russian may have just been blindsided – The Romanian frigate Regele Ferdinand will join forces with the US ship to create the mostest unstoppablest flotilla to cleave the waves of the Black Sea.

      You have been warned Russia! Feel the breakwater shudder from these two titans of the oceans as they head into battle at flank speed with steely resolve, all hands on deck with klaxons sounding! Calling all heroes – man your Battle Stations!

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Coventry_(F98)

      HMS Coventry was a Type 22 frigate of the Royal Navy. She was originally intended to be named Boadicea but was named Coventry in honour of the previous Coventry, a Type 42 destroyer sunk in the Falklands War. Following service in the Royal Navy she was sold to the Romanian Navy in 2003.

      She was purchased from the United Kingdom by the Romanian Navy on 14 January 2003, and renamed Regele Ferdinand (King Ferdinand) after Ferdinand I of Romania. The ship was handed over to Romania on 19 August 2004, and underwent sea trials at the same time. Regele Ferdinand was commissioned into the Romanian Navy on 9 September 2004 with the pennant number F221, and is the current flagship of the Romanian Navy. There has since been some controversy over the price at which she was bought.[1]

      Like

    2. The ship is an LSD (Landing Ship, Dock) meant to carry infantry and supporting equipment for a beachhead landing. It typically would not travel without escort in normal operations, and apparently has only two RAM (Rolling Airframe Missile) launchers to protect itself. It is, in a word, about the most non-provocative ship the USA could send. Whoopty doo.

      Like

      1. Nevertheless, a bigger warning to Putin than is the Royal Navy survey ship that Why-Don’t-You-Shut-Up-And-Go-Away Williamson sent to Odessa.

        “Vlad” must be really crapping his pants now!

        Like

        1. This truly must be, at last, the message that will bring the Russian people into the streets to cast him out. After all, Russians must have gained a sense, over the last decade, of how eager the world community is to welcome Russia with open arms just as soon as Putin is gone.

          Like

    1. Apparently Obama has become the whipping boy for the “failure” in Syria. These lunatics actually thought they could carry out the Daesh project to fruition if only Obummer stood up to “Skripal killer” Pyootin. No US project will now succeed in the Middle East thanks to Russia pro-actively looking out for its security. This includes the destruction of Iran planned for years now. Iran will be backed up by Russia with serous military force and US chihuahua pundits will have to keep blaming the president in office for being too soft on Pyootin. Over time it will become clear to the world that the US is a not just a paper tiger, but a wet one.

      Like

      1. Yes, it is amazing how far the the deep state plans have shifted- from having Syria in the bag, Russia reeling under sanctions, superior Western military technology hemming in Russia and Iran being ripe for the picking. Now, the plans are a sort of scorched earth policy – create as much destruction and division as they withdraw and hope for a black swan event to save their asses.

        Like

  17. Christmas comes but twice a year for me and it’s Christmas Eve again — Russian Eastern Orthodox Christmas that is — not to be confused with the schismatic Poroshenko Orthodox Christmas!

    Soon the bells will start ringing, calling the faithful to the midnight vigil, which will last well into the early hours of the morning., and it’s standing only in church here, no seats: sitting down in church is yet another example of Western depravity.

    So again, I wish you all

    Like

      1. Only one of several, as a matter of fact. Christians only get a 3-in-1 pack.

        Woden’s the boss, of course, with his two pet ravens Huginn (thought) and Muninn (memory/mind) and two pet wolves Geri and Freki (greedy/ravenous) and eight-legged horse Sleipnir.

        Other gods were Thunor, god of thunder; Frige, goddess of love; and Tiw, god of war.

        Frige was Mrs. Woden.

        They all could do better tricks than simply walking on water and such like.

        Like

        1. Best trick was when Thunor and Loki dressed up as bride and bridesmaid respectively to travel to the land of the giants to get Thunor’s hammer back and being able to deceive the giants at the wedding feast (though Loki had to do a lot of fast talking). I bet even Hollywood wouldn’t dare to make a film about Thor cross-dressing as part of a scheme to rescue Natalie Portman’s character from some supervillain.

          Like

        2. Oooh, I do loves me an icon! There were two very nice ones I saw (like the one above) at a brocante we went to a few weeks ago and on the back was written ‘Kazan’ in latin script. I do wonder if they were kosher and sold (illegally) during Russia’s great democratic emancipation under the brilliant Boris Yeltsin who was busy building Russia’s oligarchs fortunes…

          Like

  18. A traditional Russian Christmas carol and the place, Suzdal, is where we were last February after there had been the heaviest February snowfall on record.

    A wonderful place that was not only literally frozen when we stayed there but seemed frozen in time as well.

    Like

    1. That was lovely, ME, thanks for posting. Beautiful photography. Belated good wishes to all celebrating the Orthodox Christmas (and, of course, Woden’s men).

      Like

  19. Oh my, the gas station posing as a country is really leaving the reservation created for it by the west.

    The first real nuclear batteries are now possible thanks to the development of a process to produce Ni-63 which is a pure beta decay isotope not found in nature. The key detail is that the energy of the beta particles (electrons) emitted is low enough not to produce crystal lattice defects so the isotope can be incorporated into semiconductor material which totally traps the beta emissions and hence there is no radiation exposure outside the battery.

    The video clip talks about several grams being worth thousands of dollars as if it is some show stopper cost. This estimate is meaningless without a quantification of the amount an AA battery would need and what sort of cost savings happen when economies of scale apply to Ni-63 production. Yet another poop on the head from a journalist. There really is no scummier profession.

    Like

      1. 20 years ago news media outlets would have run such stories by an engineer or an editor with a science degree before publishing them but since then most MSM outlets have gutted their staff and whatever news ethics they used to have before sacking all their editors and long-time reporters have been destroyed as a result.

        Like

        1. Who needs competent journalists and experienced editors? The desired skill sets today is the ability to figure out what to “report” to advance your career. News is monetized (perhaps it always was but much worse/blatant today).

          Like

  20. This one is disturbing:

    https://www.rt.com/usa/448170-child-porn-killed-prison/

    A man serving 40 years for running an online child-porn ring that ensnared over 100 young girls has died after what authorities believe to be a targeted stabbing attack by inmates at a Michigan prison.

    Christian Maire, who led a group that enticed and blackmailed young girls to film themselves performing X-rated webcam shows, was fatally attacked by seven other inmates in the prison housing unit at Milan Federal Correctional Institution this week, Detroit News reports. He died several hours later after being taken to hospital. At least one of the inmates was armed with a makeshift “shiv.”

    Michal Figura, another member of the ring they called the ‘Bored Group,’ was also injured. Two correctional staff were hurt trying to break up the fight. At least five other members of the Bored Group are also incarcerated at Milan. The prison has been placed on “limited operational status.”

    Maire was sentenced to 40 years in prison for his role as leader of an international child-porn ring in which he and his co-conspirators posed as adolescent boys on dating sites and convinced their victims to strip, perform sex acts, and even cut themselves live on webcam, sometimes blackmailing girls who were reluctant to comply with their demands. They also shared pornographic photos of children as young as infants. From 2012 until their arrest in 2017, they victimized over 100 teenage and pre-teen girls

    Not disturbing that the dude was killed (child rapists do not do well in prison). The disturbing part for me is that I believe one of the members was an artist that we have know for several years before his incarceration (he is scheduled for release in 2024 for the Milan Penn). He had one-man shows and was a respected artist in the Toledo art scene. I believe his current age is 81. His changes of dying in prison are quite high. However, his arrest was around 2016 which is a little earlier than the gang’s arrest.

    We often remarked on his numerous paintings of young girls (10 – 14 I would estimate) in “sassy” or provocative poses. He was caught once with undressed young girls in his studio (no chaperone) but it was passed off as “purely artistic”. His son is serving a lengthy sentence in another state for child molestation.

    The sickest part is that his wife likely knew but failed to report – I would imagine that there was some blackmailing going on.

    Just to be snarky, if such happened in Russia, the MSM would shout to the heavens regarding the suppression of artistic freedom, and murder to “silence” anti-Putin critics.

    Like

    1. He was an artist, you say, so ars gratia artis, nothing smutty or illegal intended: not licentiousness but artistic “licence”.

      I rememember when Polanski was on the run after his having been charged in the USA with having had unlawful sex with a minor. In the course of a plea bargaining process, he ended up pleading guilty to statuatory rape, in that he was accused of drugging and raping a 13-year-old girl, but then the judge renaged and there were fears that the guilty party would be sent down for many years, so he buggered off.

      He turned up in France, of which country he is a citizen, where it seems his sexual misconduct was excused because he is an “artist”. In any case, there is no extradition treaty betwen France and the USA.

      The “artist” Polanski is part French, Polish and one of the Hebrew tribe, so he can be excused, it seems.

      Like

      1. Polanski originally served 45 days in jail, underwent a psychiatric evaluation (which determined that he was unlikely to re-offend) and was set to undertake a year of community service as part of the plea bargain worked out by his lawyers and the prosecuting lawyers. He was allowed to go to Europe where (inexplicably) he attended a party where he sat down at a table and two young women immediately sat down on either side of him and a photographer took pictures of the three. Their publication provoked an uproar and encouraged the presiding judge (Laurence Rittenband) to throw out the plea bargain arrangement and force Polanski to undergo another psychiatric evaluation. Polanski passed that one with flying colours so Rittenband sought to put him away for 50 years. With that prospect, I don’t blame Polanski for running away.

        Polanski’s lawyers and the prosecuting lawyers lodged complaints against Rittenband and Rittenband was put off the case in 1978. The victim, Samantha Gailey, later sued Polanski and they agreed to settle out of court. Polanski completed payments to Gailey / Geimer by 1997.

        Since then, Polanski has been detained twice by authorities in Switzerland (2009) and Poland (2014) at the request of the US government over the same charges. Twice the authorities examined the charges and what Polanski did as part of his punishment, and twice the authorities determined that Polanski served his time lawfully and refused to extradite him. He remains on Interpol’s wanted list to this day.

        In addition, every time this issue flares up, the original victim Samantha Geimer has to go into hiding from the media: the first time it became public (when the Swiss arrested Polanski), she took so much time off from work, she lost her job.

        This hunt for Polanski has now gone beyond being a witch hunt, and Samantha Geimer continues to suffer as well because of this hunt. I for one don’t see the value of pursuing him if he has done everything that was required of him. First degree murder in California (where Polanski committed his crime) attracts a 25-year jail sentence; how can Polanski’s crime be considered twice as serious in terms of the length of punishment he would have to undergo if he were arrested again and extradited to the US?

        Like

          1. My understanding is that Polanski definitely raped Samantha Geimer but she was unwilling to appear and testify in court so the prosecuting lawyers and Polanski’s lawyers worked out the plea bargain deal in which Polanski agreed to plead guilty to a charge of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor. This meant spending 42 days in jail (which he did), undergo a psychiatric evaluation (which he did) and then carry out a year’s worth of community service (which he would have done if Rittenband had not decided to ignore the plea bargain deal).

            In 1988 Geimer brought a civil action against Polanski and he agreed to pay damages. The amount he had to pay was fully paid only by 1997, so he was obviously stalling on the payments for a long time.

            Currently in California, depending on the nature and the details of the actual rape, rape is punishable by up to 13 years in state prison and a heavy fine may also apply.
            https://www.cga.ct.gov/2003/olrdata/jud/rpt/2003-R-0376.htm

            Had Geimer been willing to testify in court, then the charges against Polanski would have been more severe – she could have got him for unwanted oral, vaginal and anal intercourse – and the penalties would have been more severe. But then you have to consider that testifying in court could have been more traumatic for Geimer at the time because of the negative publicity that would have attached not only to Polanski but to Geimer and her mother, and the trial itself would have dragged on for months if not more than a year. Given that Geimer was very young at the time, she could have felt guilty for causing trouble to the point where she might have considered suicide.

            Because Geimer did eventually sue Polanski in a civil action and he paid up, if Geimer believes he has been punished enough, then I think bygones should be bygones.

            Like

            1. Do you think what happened to Polanski would have happened to a working class US citizen who had been accsed of raping a minor after first drugging her — a working class white US citizen, not a much lauded film director, not to mention the consequences of such an accusation that Polanski confessed to if the accused party had been a Hispanic or Black American?

              Like

              1. Your speculation is moot because as I said earlier, Samantha Geimer (then Gailey) did not wish to testify in court against Polanski, and that decision not to do so probably had some influence on the charges that were eventually made against Polanski. He ended up being charged with statutory rape which in California these days would be punished by a prison sentence lasting up to 8 years.

                If a person’s background is of significance, Polanski already had an ambivalent reputation in the US for having directed “Rosemary’s Baby” and for being the widowed husband of an actress brutally killed along with several other people by brainwashed acolytes of a deranged cult leader who planned to blame the murders on the Black Panther activists and incite racial war. The publicity that was attached to Polanski was already negative even before he met Samantha Gailey and could have been part of the media pressure on the judge to deliver a harsh sentence.
                https://www.ebony.com/news/helter-skelter-charles-manson-race-war-failed/

                It’s possible that if Polanski had not come with such baggage and celebrity as he had, his case would not have come before Rittenband (who had dealt with other cases involving celebrities) but his teenage victim might still have decided not to testify in court, the charges could still have been reduced to a statutory rape charge and he would have served no more than several years in prison at most.

                The real issue in this case was that a judge was prepared to act illegally in jettisoning the plea bargain deal and putting Polanski away for half a century (meaning he would not be released from prison until 1929, when he would be aged 95 or 96 years) instead. In practical terms, as Polanski was in his mid-40s at the time, that would have been a life sentence. Do you think Polanski should be spending a virtual life sentence in prison for a crime or crimes much less severe than his first wife’s murder?

                Like

              1. Samantha makes a very good point at 2:11 minutes in: “It just wasn’t as traumatic for me as everybody thought it was.”
                She was a 13-year-old child, she endured a very unpleasant evening with a very unpleasant man.
                People should not assume that being raped or molested will completely destroy a person, even a child. You gotta give people more credit than that. Everybody goes through some horrendous things in life, people need to be tough and try to get through it all.
                And children need to be taught, that they will most definitely encounter some horrible people as they go through life. Forewarned is fore-armed.

                Like

                1. Sadly, what you say is true. What she went through would be a holiday compared with what girls and women go through in ISIS occupied Syria,

                  Like

                2. Supposing Samantha Geimer had decided to testify in court against Polanski, I think the case could be made that constantly having to relive the incident and repeat the details before both prosecuting and defence lawyers and the jury every day, perhaps being under pressure to change the story a little to make Polanski look worse, being questioned about your sexual history before meeting Polanski, and several of these questions deliberately aiming to gaslight her, would have been draining and even potentially traumatic.

                  Like

                3. And the end result is that Polanski got away with drugging a 13-year-old girl and raping her.

                  And he said he was sorry and paid her off — because he was wealthy enough to do so.

                  Like

                4. @ Moscow Exile: Well I will leave the argument as is and we will have to agree to disagree on whether Roman Polanski has been punished enough for raping Samantha Geimer when she was 13 years old. I’ll grant that if Polanski hadn’t been famous in the first place and hadn’t had the background and baggage he had, the case would have come before a different judge, the whole saga would have proceeded in a very different direction and, depending on the charges against him, Polanski would have been punished appropriately.

                  My criticism with the whole issue as it has developed since 1978 is that a judge was willing to ignore the law and arbitrarily impose a prison sentence of 50 years on someone (a life sentence for most people) for a crime much less severe than first degree murder.

                  I should think if a person of sane mind was told he or she might be going to prison for 50 years and was then given a choice by his or her lawyer either to bunk off or to stay and risk being put away for half a century, that person would choose to flee.

                  Like

        1. This guy needs to go back to art school, because his stuff is not good.
          I mean, I can’t claim to know much about art, but I know that Rembrandt’s stuff is really good, whereas this guy’s stuff is not good. At all. Call me a philistine, if you must…

          Like

  21. All right then, move along now, nothing more to see here …

    Case Closed

    How the UK joined the dots from Salisbury Novichok attack to Vladimir Putin
    6 JANUARY 2019 • 6:00AM

    British authorities are confident they know “everything worth knowing” about the assassination attempt on Sergei Skripal, including a trail right up to Vladimir Putin.

    The Russian intelligence agency behind the Salisbury nerve agent attack has been dismantled in the UK and will remain out of action for years to come, according to government sources.

    The threat posed by the GRU, which carried out the attempted assassination of Skripal last March, has been severely curtailed as a result of the counter-terror investigation that exposed the agents who carried out the attack.

    Separate sources have told The Telegraph that details of the plot have been well established, including the chain of command…

    Unnamed sources

    Direct to “Pyutin” you say?

    Ah well, that’s it then! Case all nicely wrapped up.

    Nice work, you chaps in Whitehall, the UK Secret Intelligence Sevice and Scotland Yard — not to mention the free and unbiased British mass media and non-government controlled Brititish Broadcasting Service!

    Like

    1. This farce is a pure “proof by plausibility” stinking pile of BS. There is not a single shred of direct evidence. This includes the connection between the two “GRU agents” and the door knob of the Skripal residence. Do they even have finger prints from any of these “GRU agents” on the alleged Novichok perfume bottle? But I should not be giving them any benefit of the doubt since finger prints can be easily planted (take some tape apply it to an object with an actual finger print, peel it off and then apply it again to some object that is supposed to be incriminating; the fatty acid stain gets transferred in sufficient amounts to be able to dust a “proper” finger print. Proper for the British legal system, not proper to a physicist since the transferred stain will have features too thin to be original).

      Unfortunately, the average mass media sap thinks that proof is some sort of plausibility argument. So this smear propaganda works on millions of saps. I guess UK citizens can die for the glory of their elites in the name of subjugating Russian barbarians. But they should know that their elites will be wiped out and the whole crusade will be utterly futile.

      Like

    2. Of course British Aithorities know everything worth knowing about the case. They are responcible for it, after all. The recent Integrity Initiative leak batch made it abundantly clear.

      Like

  22. Patriarch Bartholomew gives Tomos of Autocephaly for so-called Orthodox Church of Ukraine
    January 06, 2019

    Note the date: 12th Night, the Feast of the Epiphany in the Western Gregorian calendar, the Twelfth Day of Christmas and the last day of the festive season.

    From the above linked article:

    ISTANBUL, January 6. /TASS/ The Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople presented the head of the new Ukrainian structure, the so-called Orthodox Church of Ukraine (PCU), the Tomos of Autocephaly, TASS correspondent reports from the Cathedral of St. George in Istanbul, where the document presented on Sunday.

    Before the ceremony of handing over the Tomos, an Epiphany Day liturgy was held at the cathedral, after which, Patriarch Bartholomew and Metropolitan Epiphanius delivered welcoming speeches. Meanwhile, the press service of the Ecumenical Patriarchate still has not provided the official text of Tomos of Autocephaly.

    An Epiphany prayer!

    Yesterday was the feast of the Epiphany in the Greek Orthodox Church of Istanbul.

    In the Russian Eastern Orthodox, in which today, 7 January in the Gregorian calendar used in the West, is 25 December, Christmas Day, according to the the Julian calendar used by the ROC and, it seems, by the POC (Poroshenko Orthodox Church) people as well.

    Twelfth Night in both the ROC and POC is on 19th January, according to the Julian calendar that they use, and is called kreshcheniye (christening) in Russian, and is when the faithful in Russia traditionally take a dip through the ice.

    So the new Pope of the Poroshenko schismatics operates his liturgy according to a calendar that differs from that which the schismatics now observe?

    Nothing good will come of this!

    The term “orthodoxy”, from the Greek ὀρθοδοξία —”right opinion” — is провославие in Russian and православ’я in Ukrainian: the words literally mean “right glorification” (правильное славление), namely adherence to the “correct” liturgy. And liturgy, the “correct” liturgy, has at times been a bone of contention amongst the Eastern Orthodox faithful.

    If you think that the doctors of the mediaeval Western church were nuts in arguing over such moot points as, for example, how many angels can dance on the end of a pin (that such a particular argument did indeed take place was a myth, in fact, conjured up by Protestants who, rightfully, in my opinion, took to taking the piss out of mediaeval Roman Catholic scholastics and superstitions), then that is nothing when compared to what the ROC has argued and debated about, e.g. the correct way to spell “Jesus” and does one use two fingers or three, with the thumb crossing the palm of one’s right hand when giving a blessing?

    So prepare for a reaction to the resident in Turkey Greek Pope of the POC using the Gregorian calendar.

    Like

    1. Bart has always been a heretic and an enemy of God. Every Constantinople Patriarch since Meletios IV has been likewise.

      Now that he has gone and entered into communion with unrepentant schismatics, we are free to cut ourselves off entirely from him and his clutch of flockless shepherds.

      Like

    2. Speak of the devil. Literally.
      I just started this new series on my blog on the Ukrainian tomos.
      The tomos has been published in Ukrainian translation, and Professor Vladimir Burega (of the Kiev Theological Institute) has started to break it down, section by section.
      It’s a long analysis, but, cutting to the chase, it is safe to say that Bart and Porky will loot all the church goodies and share the spoils.
      Ukrainians were snookered once again, because their “autocephaly” is a total sham. Burega tries to put some nice words on it, but basically they are now just a branch of Bart’s little empire, with even less authority than they had under the Moscow patriarch.
      Filaret also got pushed under the bus, by the way, which is some small consolation to evil-thinkers like myself.

      Like

          1. Seems pretty much like my 10 year old Rainbow but more complicated. Here is the latest Rainbow vac:

            They sell at a crazy price ($2500) but can be found on ebay (from what I hear) for less than $500 (worth it).

            Like

                1. If you had several of these robot vacuum cleaners, one for each kitten, you could have them playing dodgems on any flat surface.

                  Like

                2. No, they get bigger and their really sharp claws always find a way in to your soft bits! You mean the kittens, no?! If you mean the kittens, I haven’t been able to find any statistics about robocleaner hit and runs (around in patterns).

                  Like

  23. The Dark Lord at the Christmas midnight service last night and during the early hours of this morning:

    Путин на рождественской службе в Спасо-Преображенском соборе Санкт-Петербурга

    Putin at the Christmas service in the Sankt-Peterburg Spaso-Preobrazhenskiy Sobor [The Cathedral of the Holy Transfiguration]

    Propaganda!

    Once a KGB thug, always a KGB thug!

    Like

  24. Okay, a lot of Russophiles were upset when the Canadians posted their video of the hockey championships and showed 9 out of the 10 flags of the participating nations. All except the (current) Russian flag.
    Complaints poured in… the Canadians decided to rectify their mistake.
    So this is what they did: They posted a new video… and this one doesn’t have ANY flags in it! I reckon the thought was: We cannot possibly show a Russian flag, therefore we will show no flags at all!

    Personally, I think that’s okay. In fact, if I were a Canadian hockey official, I would have explained the gaffe thusly: “Wot?! You Putinites expect us to show that flag of the Kerensky junta — which was completely illegitimate, by the way??!! NO! Either we show the legitimate hammer and sickle flying proudly over Canadian ice rinks, or we show no flag at all. So there!”

    Like

  25. I thought the upside-down pentagram was a Satanist symbol of worship. What is he doing in a Christian church?

    Like

    1. Short answer, it is not a Christian church. It was possibly intended as a provocation toward the Russian Orthodox church. Not to worry, these a-holes may experience hell well before they die.

      Like

      1. Meanwhile, at his Tomos celebration, Prez Porky bragged that he would go down in history as the greatest Ukrainian patriot since Mazepa!
        (People should remember that Mazepa ended up being strapped to his horse backwards and sent on a wild ride through the prickly forest.)

        Like

    1. Great minds are thinking alike! I just posted part II of my opus explaining this whole dipstick thing.
      In the Tomos Bart decreed, like you say, Pavlo, that Metropolitan Epiphany has to mention Patriarch Kirill in his ritual prayer. But during his Sunday service, Epiphany balked at that, saying he would not pray for a Russian aggressor.
      On the other hand, Moscow Patriarch Kirill doesn’t exactly have the high road either, since he previously decreed that the Russian diptych will no longer mention Bart’s name. As I mention in my blogpost, the ritual Russian prayerbook now goes something like: “God bless Timmy, and Suzy, and Vanya — but NOT that heretic Bartholomew!”

      Oi… this is what Russia gets for going back to religion. Now they have a pro-Westie pope sitting in Istanbul! They should have stayed atheists, then they wouldn’t be in this pickle… grrrrr…

      Like

      1. Question: Who is the patriarch of this new church, Filaret or Bart? Filaret declared this Tuesday that he was the Patriarch (with Epiphani as Metropolitan) but I have no idea if there is anything official. Does he get (self-?)nominated? elected? is it mentioned in the Tomos? Does the final word on this belong to Constantinople Church or to the Ukrainian clergy? Will Bart and Filaret have to settle it in a mud wrestling contest?
        (Filaret’s self nomination speech:””Сегодня имеем предстоятеля Блаженнейшего митрополита Епифания, который является предстоятелем Украинской православной церкви, но я остаюсь патриархом”, – заявил Филарет во вторник во время божественной литургии в Михайловском соборе в Киеве. Его слова приводит агентство УНИАН.”)

        Like

        1. O Nat, I am mostly clueless in these deep theological questions! However, to the best of my knowledge, Filaret is NOT the patriarch of the Orthodox Ukrainian Church of Holiness (OUCH). Fil is the self-declared Patriarch of that other Schimastic Ukrainian Church (SUC), otherwise known as his own backyard.
          To Filaret’s dismay, Bart does not recognize him (Filaret), nor the SUC (as far as I know). Instead, Bart set up this brand new church, probably to bypass Filaret. And the Primate of that new church, Epiphany, is not a Patriarch, but only a measley Metropolitan. Epiphany used to be good friends with Filaret, but recently threw him under the bus. In Hollywood terms, Filaret is Margo Channing, and Epiphany is Anne Baxter. The former understandably bitter at this “All About Eve” classic diva betrayal.

          To summarize: As far as I know, Bart is the Patriarch of a city which no longer exists; Epiphany is his (=Bart’s) Metropolitan Butt-Monkey; and Filaret gets the ears of a dead donkey.

          Does that make everything crystal clear? I thought not.

          Like

          1. Haha, I’m so keeping the SUC and OUCH acronyms!

            Not crystal clear at all. To my understanding, OUCH is comprised of SUC and all other schismatic churches as well, that they “merged” together to form this new glorious OUCH, and therefore dissolved themselves. So how can Filaret remain patriarch of his church when his church no longer exists? The only other existing and recognized Church now in Ukraine besides OUCH is paradoxally the UOC of Moscow Patriarchate.

            Another bit of information I found while looking for who rules what, is that Bart nominated these two: Bishop Daniel and Bishop Hilarion, respectively bishops in the UOC of the USA and UOC of Canada, as his exarchs (i.e: a bishop who holds authority over other bishops without being a patriarch) in OUCH, and after Ukraine transferred the St. Andrews church permanently to Constantinople Patriarchate, it is bishop Hilarion who celebrated the Christmas liturgy this January 7th 2019 in that church. What a way to start their “independence”!

            Like

            1. Bingo! In this new reality, Filaret is a nobody. His tiara and scepter have been replaced by the two ears of a dead donkey.
              As they say in the world of office politics, Filaret was “passed over” in favor of Epiphany. Meanwhile, Bart is the man with the plan, his 3 major butt-monkeys are Epiphany (in the Ukraine), and the 2 you mentioned for the USA and Canada, namely Bishop Daniel and Bishop Hilarious.

              Old joke: What do you call a man who marries another man?
              Answer: A bishop!

              Like

  26. Климкин считает, что Украина не вступит в ЕС и НАТО в ближайшие пять лет

    Klimkin reckons that the Ukraine will not join the EU or NATO within the next 5 years

    “The Ukraine, such as it is today, will not join the EU in a year, nor will it in two or five, either; neither will it join NATO as well”, said Klimkin on the programme “Breakfast with 1 + 1” on Channel “1 + 1”.
    According to him, the plan for joining the EU and NATO has a “medium-term perspective”.

    “If someone tells you that we shall enter in a year or two, don’t believe it. This is sheer nonsense and misleading. And if someone says that this is a matter of at least 30 years, do not believe that either, because experience tells us otherwise“, added Klimkin.

    Don’t believe what Porky tells you, you mean?

    Don’t believe that thief and liar who’s your boss ?

    And experience over the past 30 years?

    What experience might that be, you little shit?

    The Ukraine, such as it now is, has only been in existence for just over 27 years— since 24 August, 1991 in fact.

    Like

    1. This is hilarious. The EU will take in Banderastan when it has fully disintegrated through economic rot. Yet another sample of the delusions of the Kiev junta regime.

      Like

  27. This made me smile on New Year’s Eve whilst watching the same-old performers that they roll out each year on the TV New Year spectacular show here, albeit that this year the aged Pugachyova did not appear, thank Woden!.

    Those appalling Russians had the temerity to mock the dancing of the Prime Minister of the UK, who is also noted for her excruciatingly fawning, painfully cross-legged style of courtseying before her monarch and other “royals”.

    In the clip below can be seen some vulgar Russian mocking the Right Honourable Theresa May PM as he prances around a stage in a supposed parody of Theresa May’s inimitable dancing style, whilst ballet dancer Nikolai Tsiskaridze expertly twirls alongside the impudent bastard.

    The dancing pair also sing to one another in affected mock British English accents. The bogus May sings about wanting to give Mr Tsiskaridze a peerage because his dancing would bring glory to the United Kingdom.

    However, in the real world, and not the Russian propagandistic one, Theresa May, in fact, dances much better than that Russian piss-taker suggests:

    Note in the above clip at 0:22 super May twat-brat shut-up-and-go away Williamson, Her Majesty’s Minister of Defence, he who likes to send Russia, personified as its president, “warnings”.

    Yes, welll…

    Like

    1. Theresa May’s performance reminds me of the old joke about the guy with epilepsy who won first prize at a break-dancing competition.

      Like

    1. We are enjoying (or suffering depending on your point of view) an extraordinarily mild winter in the heartland. No ice on the major lakes, no snow on the ground (total snowfall less than a few inches to date), and the current temperature is 51 F. Same is more or less true throughout the US. Trump will claim credit.

      Like

      1. It’s a degree or so above the average norm here so far this winter but still plenty of snow and frosts.

        Minus 11C as I write at 23:30, snowing; snow forecast every day all this coming week, temperature tomorrow 12/14C. First working day in the new year tomorrow.

        In 2017, however, we had the coldest Othodox Christmas on record in Moscow – minus 29C. So much for the lying German generals of WWII and “General Winter” afficionados who still say that December/January 1941/42 was the coldest on record in the Moscow area, resulting, therefore, in the first German military reverse in WWII at the Battle of Moscow.

        Not looking forward to starting work tomorrow. Trudging through the snow tires me out now. Getting old, see …

        Like

        1. That should be above minus 12/14C forecast for tomorrow.

          And that “coldest ever Moscow winter” that defeated the German army “at the gates of Moscow” is still claimed to have been minus 47C at some points of the front, which is bullshit! As I have said above, 2 years ago it was minus 29C on 7 january and it was minus 32 at my dacha, which place was right slap bang on the front line winter 1941/42.

          Like

          1. And those January 2017 temperatures that I have given above are most definitely the coldest on record, which records go back to 1867, if i rightly recall.

            None of these historical revisionists seem to have checked this meteorological data: they just speak “from authority”.

            Like

        2. General Winter … because Germans have never heard of snow and below freezing temperatures. Failure due to weather is a failure due to tactics and logistics mistakes. It is not as if there is some actual god-like General Winter about which the Reich forces could do nothing about who kicked their asses. The west is ridden with infantilism and imbecility.

          Very cold temperatures are usually not associated with a lot of snow. And frozen ground is much better for mobility than bottomless spring mud. I wonder why the Nazi loser apologists never complained about General Spring.

          Like

  28. Eat it, Bolton:

    https://www.moonofalabama.org/

    When Bolton landed in Turkey today he received a very cold welcome. The planned meeting with the Turkish President Erdogan did not take place. The meeting John Bolton, Joint Chief of Staff Joe Dunford and Syria envoy James Jeffrey held with the Turkish National Security Advisor Ibrahim Kalin was downgraded and took less than two hours. A planned joint press conference was canceled.

    The U.S. delegation did not look happy, or even united, when it left the presidential compound in Ankara.

    Shortly after Bolton’s meeting Erdogan held a speech to his parliament group. It was a slap in Bolton’s face. Via Raqip Solyu:

    Erdogan says he cannot accept or swallow the messages given by US National Security Advisor Bolton in Israel.

    Erdoğan, “YPG/PKK are terrorists. Some say ‘don’t touch them because they are Kurds’. This is unacceptable. Everyone can be a terrorist. They could be Turkmans. Their ethnicity doesn’t matter. Bolton made a big mistake by his statements”

    Erdogan on the Syria policy chaos in Washington: “As it happened in the past, despite our clear agreement with Trump on US withdrawal from Syria, different voices started to come out from different levels of the American administration.”

    Erdogan says Turkey continues to rely on Trump’s view on Syria and his decisiveness on the pullout. “We, largely, completed our military preparations against ISIS in accordance with our agreement with Trump”

    “Saying that Turkey targets Syrian Kurds, which is a lie itself, is the lowest, most dishonorable, ugliest, most banal slander ever” Erdogan added.

    Trump may yet win this one. It may be his first victory against the deep state.

    Like

    1. It’s actually looking fairly grim from an American foreign-policy standpoint regarding Turkey. Uncle Sam can continue to play the I-just-haven’t-made-up-my-mind-yet game in Syria, and actually reverse himself and decide to keep a military presence there. But if he does and it costs the United States Turkey, it will have been a tremendously bad deal for NATO.

      Looks like Turkey needs some freedom, as the popular meme goes.

      In reality the situation has gone downhill since August, when The National Review assessed that America’s ‘Turkey problem’ had ‘come to a head’.

      https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/08/flawed-us-turkey-relations-have-begun-to-crack/

      I disagree, and this is a surprisingly common theme in America’s international relations post-Trump and even before that. When America characterizes the behavior of an erstwhile ally as that of a ‘frenemy’, something it reserves for twitchy nations which were constantly on the brink of leaving the reservation anyway but who have been extraordinarily useful in the past, it is saying that country will not accept its directed-subordinate role. Radical measures were taken when the USA characterized France as ‘cheese-eating surrender monkeys’, but generally speaking America never is so deliberately insulting to its traditional European and North American allies. However, the reasoning is the same: as soon as a given country refuses to do its part, when invited to, in the furtherance of American foreign-policy goals – even knowing that doing so will not benefit the country itself and may even harm it – then it is behaving like a ‘frenemy’, soaking up American goodwill and benefits but refusing to step up to the plate like a good soldier when invited to take one for the team.

      This is the position Canada found itself in when invited to arrest Meng Wanzhou on American direction. But Trudeau is doing his best to assure Uncle Sam we are still a loyal footsoldier in the American ranks, and can be relied upon to take actions detrimental to our own national interest in order to get the job done for Team America.

      One sentence in the National Review piece stands out, for me, as an indicator that American analysts are still focused everywhere but on the Big Picture, because they just don’t want to see it – “Despite having its share of critics, the fifth-generation F-35 fighter jet with stealth capabilities is considered by many to be the best multi-role combat aircraft in the world.”

      Name one of the ‘many’ who is not either working for Lockheed-Martin or part of the supply chain which peddles American weaponry to international buyers, or a foreign-policy analyst whose brain would explode if he/she had to confront any reality but the one in which America is still simultaneously the richest and most powerful nation and the most beloved and imitated. How about test pilots? Quote me one test pilot from any nation who is willing to go on the record that the F35 is the best multi-role combat aircraft in the world. It is a piece of shit the USA privately wishes it had never built, but in which it now has so much invested that there is no going back.

      America’s ‘Turkey problem’ has nowhere near come to a head; there’s lots worse to come, and come it will if America’s approach continues to be to push Turkey around and tell it to get in line. All of which, I need hardly point out, is much to Russia’s benefit and which the Kremlin will hardly fail to act upon.

      Like

      1. Who were responsible for murdering that Russian airforce airman who had bailed out of his downed aircraft and who was dangling from his parachute as they machine-gunned him.

        Like

        1. Yes, we mustn’t forget that just because Erdogan’s current course puts him in direct opposition to NATO. On the negative side, at that time Erdogan was a loyal spear-carrier for NATO; Washington’s good friend, just as he was when Turkey was suspected of arranging chemical attacks which were blamed on Assad. And he could be again, just as soon as he perceived it was to his personal advantage more than being a friend to Russia and a gas hub for Turkish Stream. On the plus side, it should be remembered how very useful Turkey was to NATO when it did NATO’s bidding without question and then ran to NATO for protection. And what a strategic loss for NATO it would be if Turkey drifted out of its orbit. Not only for control over all the access to the Black Sea – whereupon the NATO countries might find the Montreux Convention a little more strictly observed than in past times – but considering that Turkey is studded with NATO air bases and stations and various strategic forward-deployed assets.

          Like

    1. The Guardian also told us that Paul Manafort met Julian Assange at the Ecuadorian embassy in London. Even the MSM didn’t swallow that one, especially after Manafort and Wikileaks either threatened to sue The Guardian or were consulting with their lawyers about suing for libel, and the Ecuadorian embassy said there was no way the meeting could have taken place without Manafort appearing in its visitor log and on CCTV entering the embassy.

      Like

      1. Paul Manafort has sort of become the Russia of diplomats – part of everything that’s bad and underhanded, and just invoking his name in connection with global events is enough to cast a pall of suspicion over them.

        Like

  29. The latest news from Salisbury: first, the park bench and the dining table walked the Path of Fire, then the guinea pigs and a cat followed, a house may soon do so as well, and the latest perhaps to join the queue …
    “Amesbury ambulance station may never reopen after nerve agent attack”
    https://www.salisburyjournal.co.uk/news/17343540.amesbury-ambulance-station-may-never-reopen-after-nerve-agent-attack/

    … and then at some point in the future …
    “Revised plan to redevelop Salisbury’s Maltings unveiled”
    https://www.spirefm.co.uk/news/local-news/2707454/revised-plan-to-redevelop-salisburys-maltings-unveiled/
    “Salisbury’s shopping centre to be given £69million makeover and major rebrand after infamous Novichok poisonings”
    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6275651/Salisburys-shopping-centre-given-69million-makeover-infamous-Novichok-poisonings.html

    Several comments attached to that post are of “wish we had Novichok in our shopping centre” or “they planned this all along” type. It seems that Salisbury shopping centre as it is has not been doing well because of high rents imposed by Wiltshire Council and it desperately needs a makeover. Call me cynical but maybe Wiltshire Council is using the poisoning incident to bring forward its redevelopment plans for the Salisbury shopping centre that will all but kill off local businesses.

    Like

    1. And none of the workers removing the roof of the former Skripal residence are wearing protective clothing.

      I think the Health and Safety Executive should be told.

      Like

        1. Not to mention the fact that the house is a 2-storey house and a very sturdy ladder would be needed.

          Neighbours must be scratching their heads as to why the roof is being removed when the door was contaminated. Did the Novichok somehow jump from the door handle up to the roof?

          I believe contractors were employed to erect scaffolding around the house and garage and an Army team is removing the roofs from both.

          Like

          1. There’s probably no health-threat reason for removing the roofs at all; it is probably a prelude to demolition. And there will be all the last of the evidence gone, done and dusted. Once the roofs are off, in England’s damp and rainy climate, damage to the interiors is inevitable, and the government will regretfully order them razed to the ground. And of course, to provide the right dramatic touch, the rubble will have to be hauled away in Hazmat trucks. And there will be another horrible crime against Britain in the history books, without a bit of proof ever having been provided and with the official narrative being so stupid as to defy description. There will be no use in Russia trying to overturn the official British account of events, because there will be no evidence remaining and HM government can stall until the end of time. The only one who can be ordered to preserve evidence and not dare to destroy it is Russia, which has had to hang onto that lab data for more than a year on the orders of western governments through WADA.

            Like

            1. Destruction of the house is destruction of evidence. The notion that some Novichok on the door knob contaminates the whole structure is for ignorant morons to swallow. But if in the future Russia could gain proper forensic access to the building it could debunk the whole fiction by measuring for traces of chemical decay products. Organic compounds under oxidative attack, can produce ultra-low volatility products that will remain for years. I am sure that there is no trace of any Novichok and its decay products on any part of the property and building.

              Like

  30. Those Russian untermenschen! They built a floating regasification plant that serves as an LNG tanker which offloads 5 km offshore.

    And now Kaliningrad is no longer dependent on gas transport over hostile NATzO territory.

    Like

    1. I wonder how many are actually there, and to what extent it is a desperate ruse to prevent or soften SAA operations, on the belief there may be US forces present. So far the SAA has declined to direct attacks deliberately against US troops, probably hoping to avoid giving the USA an excuse to augment its presence and declare war against Syrian forces. Which it would present, of course, as an act of retaliation and not an alliance with terrorists. Heaven forbid.

      Like

    1. Not sure how to answer that but I did find this picture (Bellingcat would be proud):

      I understand that there are both “small” and “large” curds. Other than the implied difference is size, not sure what other characteristics are relevant. (just kidding!)

      Like

            1. The other English product that I like a lot is a tinned custard called “Ambrosia”. It’s basically a custard pudding, and you can eat it right out of the can and not worry about the skin that normally forms on the top of a boiled custard!

              Like

  31. Nice rant about the fake establishment left. They do hate the working class and sound exactly like the kreakls in their attacks on the Russian people.

    Identity politics is vapid BS. Ignoring important things like jobs and quality of life and focusing on what pronoun to call trannies is absurd.

    I am supposed to kiss the asses of such lunatics? If this nutjob wanted to be treated as a woman he should have done a better job of looking like one (and screw the stereotype cover; maybe we should sort rocks into gender fluid categories too). And I will call him by the proper pronoun as all I see is testosterone rage. These mental patients and their fake left patrons do not get to make up a new language to further their agendas.

    Like

    1. “I am supposed to kiss the asses of such lunatics?”
      Yes, Kirill, you must kiss their asses. And then let them perform the same type of unspeakable acts upon you, as you are always threatening unto others.

      Like

    2. The first video was rather effective and entertaining.

      Regarding the second video, that was the worse case of PMS I have eevr seen.

      Like

  32. Oops! Sorry!

    New York Times — what a despicable rag!

    Almost as bad as the Guardian.

    See: Collusion with… Ukraine? NY Times corrects its bombshell ‘Russiagate’ report
    Published time: 10 Jan, 2019 01:07

    Like

    1. Yeah, the Ukies were the ones following the election with bated breath, not so much the Russkies.
      Ukies had bet all their hryvnas on the Hillary-horse and then stayed glued to the Teletrack screen, hoping to see their mare win.

      Like

  33. Someone’s head shall roll for this!

    Затопление Тушинского тоннеля в Москве

    Tushino tunnel flooded in Moscow

    The earth embankment around the lock basin on the Moscow canal above the tunnel failed to hold back water that must have come through a crack in the concrete lock wall.

    Из-за провала грунта в Тушинском тоннеле ограничено движение

    Restricted traffic movement because of the failure of the soil at the Tushino tunnel

    Yukietards doubtless wait in anticipation for the Crimea bridge to collapse!

    I blame those Stalin political prisoners for causing a delayed-action act of sabotage!

    The 128 km long Moscow Canal, known as the Moskva-Volga Canal until 1947, connects the Moskva River with the Volga River, starting in Moscow in Tushino in the north-west of the city and then running northwards to join the Volga River at the town of Dubna..

    The canal was constructed between 1932 and 1937 by 200,000 prisoners.

    All of them political prisoners of course — according to Western propaganda, at least; all of them inmates of the infamous “GULags”, a term used in the West to denote Soviet and even present day Russian prisons.

    A GULag [ГУЛаг], however, was not a prison: the GULag was the government agency that ran forced labour camps. And all the prisoners inside such camps were not all “political prisoners”.

    But try and tell know-it-all Westerners and they stare at you in disbelief. In the popular Western mythology, GULag means prison — as does, in like manner, a “babushka” doll means “matryoshka” doll.

    See Paul Robinson’s most recent article in Irrussianality on fake news, myths and memes concerning the Evil Empire.

    Like

    1. The engineers did not do a proper job accounting for the hydrology of the area. They just covered up an underground creek when they should have ducted it using cement pipes like those used for the sewers. I will admit that this is an example of corruption. In this case via corner cutting on a large construction project. But Ukr Banderatards should not rejoice. For them this is normal.

      Like

  34. Meanwhile, in religious news, I am up to Part IV in my translation of Burega’s piece about the Ukrainian Tomos.
    This section concerns the Ceremony of Anointment with Holy Myrrh. Turns out the Ukrainians are not trusted to prepare their own bottles of myrrh. Their myrrh will be brought to them by special courier from Constantinople! Brother Bart has his little boutique myrrh-factory in Istanbul.
    (If I were the Ukrainians, I would just use olive oil, or perhaps even canola oil, it’s better for the skin anyhow…)

    Like

    1. Yeah, as old Virgil had Laocoon say in the Aeneid:

      Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes.

      I remember that from 60 years ago as an example of “et” meaning “even” and not just “and”, thereby making Caesar’s accusatory “Et tu, Brute!” — “Even you, Brutus!”

      Like

  35. Why do Polacks obsess over Russia like this?

    Managing Russia’s dissolution

    While Moscow seeks to divide the West and fracture the EU and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) by backing nationalist and separatist parties in Europe, Washington should promote regional and ethnic self-determination inside the Russian Federation. This would send a strong signal that the West is fully capable of reacting to Moscow’s subversion.

    The rationale for dissolution should be logically framed: In order to survive, Russia needs a federal democracy and a robust economy; with no democratization on the horizon and economic conditions deteriorating, the federal structure will become increasingly ungovernable.

    To manage the process of dissolution and lessen the likelihood of conflict that spills over state borders, the West needs to establish links with Russia’s diverse regions and promote their peaceful transition toward statehood.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sort of like when Poland promoted the peaceful transition to Lithuanian statehood by seizing Vilnius in the 1919 Polish-Lithuanian war waged against the newly independent state of Lithuania or by its annexing in 1938 part of the created by the 1919 Versailles Treaty Czechoslovakia after Hitler had annexed the Sudetenland, which latter action caused Churchill to label Poland as a “hyena” of Europe”?

      “And now, when every one of these aids and advantages has been squandered and thrown away, Great Britain advances, leading France by the hand, to guarantee the integrity of Poland – of that very Poland which with hyena appetite had only six months before joined in the pillage and destruction of the Czechoslovak State” — W.S. Churchill, “The Second World War”, Chapter 19: “The Gathering Storm. Prague, Albania and the Polish Guarantee” .

      Like

    2. Polish elites have been part of the Catholic physical and cultural extermination of non-assimilated Slavs. This agenda goes back to the days of the Schism. The popes actually dispatched the first crusades against Orthodox believers. Russia is the leader of the Orthodox Slavic world so it is a natural target.

      But the Poles are demented if they think this Brzezhinski plan will work. Their claim that Russia is dividing the west is utter BS. The strife in the EU is driven by the disintegration of the middle class and not by “nationalists” (cute how the anti-immigration Polish regime is playing the pro-immigration card here). Their hope for ethnic strife in Russia is going to fail because the most likely cases (the Islamic republics like Chechnya) have expended the secession capital and Udmurts will not he clamoring for independence in any relevant time-frame. In fact, ethnic minorities in Russia know that they live in a rough neighbourhood. Seceding means falling under the influence of China in the case of Siberian ethnic groups. China is not into ethnic rights much.

      Arrogant Poles think that the EU is the center of the universe. As if most people in Russia just pine for the day of joining this fake left toilet. In many ways the Poles are like Ukrs. Full of bile and wishful thinking. And just like the Ukrs, they will be swimming in their won shit in the long run. Hating on Russia is not a plan for success.

      Like

      1. The psychopathology of the West is rooted in fear and the mirror emotion – greed. Fanatical religion, the drive for excessive wealth and the need to destroy the Other are all manifestations of that spiritual flaw. With Russia regaining its true identity, the fight against the forces of darkness can now be won. As I am wont to say, I hope Russia does not forget Serbia’s sacrifice in helping to bring humanity this new hope.

        Like

    3. This is a long-nurtured and cherished dream of Washington – that Russia is simply too big to hold together under a central government, and that surely bits of the Russian Federation would welcome independence and their own governments looking out for their own ‘national interests’. All under the enthusiastic encouragement and enabling of Washington, naturally, which would ‘manage the dissolution’ for the Russian people so that the country was broken up into independent states whose cultural and social differences were used to keep them suspicious of one another and all of whom would naturally require their own independent defense forces and border agencies. It is simply encouragement of the Russian political opposition rewritten on a grand scale, and Washington will welcome anything that breaks up the Russian Federation into manageable chunks, just as it was ecstatic over the breakup of the Soviet Union, and has endeavored since that day to ensure there can be no reunification and that those states which became independent remain coddled pets of the western establishment. The Baltics are perhaps the best example.

      Russia should seriously start backing nationalist and separatist movements in Europe. As well hung for a sheep as a lamb, and it is accused of doing it anyway, more to put the stamp of Kremlin stooges upon those parties than from any evidence of Russian backing. But state-level agencies of all large unions know how to provide support in such a way that it cannot be linked to them – only Russia, the story goes, is so clumsy and amateurish that its links are always discovered. I’m sure Russia knows how to play the game of supporting dissent very well, and it should get into that game in a big way – the consternation of the west, which knows very well Russia is not doing anything of the kind, would be something to see. They are used to being on the other end of destabilization.

      Like

  36. The Siberian Times (via Bryan Macdonald’s twitter feed): ‘Wounded rare tiger seeks human help’ at remote border post on Russian-Chinese frontier
    https://siberiantimes.com/ecology/others/news/wounded-rare-tiger-seeks-human-help-at-remote-border-post-on-russian-chinese-frontier/

    …‘By tiger standards, he is a deep old man, especially in the wild.’

    He has lived through a period when the species has made a startling comeback from being on the brink of extinction.

    Even today there are just 550 Siberian or Amur tigers living in the wild.

    But this male tiger may had played a key role in the survival of the species since when he was born there were estimated to be less than 350 tigers in the wild…

    …‘I was very pleased that the efforts of environmental organisations to educate the population were not in vain.

    ‘A decade ago, using Soviet instructions, in such a situation, border guards had to use a weapon and kill the tiger.

    ‘Now, to the honour of the border guards, they know that the animal that came to them for help does not pose a threat to their life and health….
    ####

    Excellent! That answers the question I posed here a few weeks ago as to whether Putin’s highly publicized conservation trips have had an effect, as this aspect is completely ignored about the Pork Pie News Networks who are more interested in personal attacks on a bare chested Russian president.

    Like

  37. Bloomturd: Russia Gas Link ‘Not Possible’ If Ukraine Is Harmed, Merkel Says
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-04-10/merkel-says-russia-gas-link-not-possible-if-ukraine-is-harmed

    …Sebastian Sass, a Nord Stream spokesman, said the pipeline won’t dry up gas transit through Ukraine. Of the 170 billion cubic meters of gas shipped to Europe from Russia in 2017, 90 billion went through Ukraine, 50 billion via the Baltic and 30 billion through Poland, he said…
    ####

    Much a do about f*** all. As usual, it is the customary throwing of crumbs in Porko’s direction, currently in Berlin.

    A question though for the lo-land of Po-land and the balts. If Russia is such a threat, then why do they still allow transit of Russian energy products through their territory? Isn’t that ‘trading with the enemy’, thus ‘Treason’?

    What is most delicious about it all is that for all the huffing and puffing, say Ukraine only gets gas for its needs and not transit, Pl+balts are not dumb enough (though they may threaten) to limit transfer through their territory in sympathy with Kiev. That would be holding the rest of Europe hostage on behalf of a non-EU State, i.e. the Ukraine, and certainly not Russia.

    Like

    1. These morons think that Russia will keep on selling the gas to the EU forever. Smerkel needs to go and buy a clue. Russia is about to open a massive gas spigot to China. If the EU engages in such blackmail, it will be left with its own anal piped gas. And the fictional US LNG which is never going to become real since the shale gas industry is fighting massive natural decline rates of production and the US itself has big plans for natural gas including converting from diesel to CNG.

      It’s about time these clowns shut their traps given the reality. But instead they bark louder.

      Like

    2. Merkel has tried this empty posturing before. Everybody knows that once Nord Stream II is ashore and pumping, Ukraine’s leverage is gone. Gas can still transit through Ukraine – provided the price for doing so is competitive and attractive to Russia. No more jumping up and down and stealing gas and daring Russia to do something about it. If Ukraine is not accountable for all the volumes transiting through it and if the fee for doing so is usuriously profitable for Ukraine in exchange for it basically doing nothing, then no transit, without Europe seeing a blip in its deliveries. In fact, Ukraine would have to cease its precious posturing and flinging bile and vitriol at Russia as well, because Russia would be justified in curbing transit based on perceived hostility which translates to uncertainty of the safety of transit volumes.

      Naturally Ukraine does not want that situation to prevail, but that Russia have no choice other than to transit gas through its territory; no choice implies the supplier must accept the transit nation’s terms. That’s what leverage means. Ukraine in a world that has Nord Stream II has no leverage left, and would have to compete fairly to transit Russian gas, meaning its prices could not be higher than the alternative, else the alternative would be used instead. I’m not aware of what the transit fees will be for Nord Stream II, but it stands to reason there will be some as the route – even underwater – crosses the sovereign territory of several countries. But if Ukraine seeks more than that price, its bid becomes non-competitive. In fact, you would think the west would be more supportive of Nord Stream II, as it is nothing more than a manifestation of the invisible hand of the market.

      Like

  38. Turn it off!

    After all, the likes of her above probably buggered off long ago and found a well-paid job on the Hamburg Reeperbahn!

    Like

    1. This is just a form of trash talk. And trash talk is for losers.

      Russia can sell the gas it ships to the EU via pipes to China instead and not lose a single cent. Russia’s LNG export capacity is growing by the day and it has real reserves to export, unlike the trash talking USA.

      That bimbo may as well use her neck to tie down the valve. It is her clown failed state and its NAtzO patrons that are going to get all the pain.

      Like

  39. Euractiv: France and Germany to sign Élysée 2.0 treaty
    https://www.euractiv.com/section/central-europe/news/france-and-germany-to-sign-elysee-2-0-treaty/

    France and Germany have pledged to strengthen their alliance and deepen a bilateral post-war reconciliation treaty in a bid to show that the EU’s main axis remains strong and ready to counter growing Eurosceptic nationalism in the bloc.

    …“Both states will deepen their cooperation in foreign affairs, defence, external and internal security and development and at the same time work on strengthening the ability of Europe to act independently,” states the treaty text, according to Reuters…

    …Although the final document text has not been published yet, it covers the whole range of state cooperation between Germany and France, including common approaches to foreign and security policy objectives.

    The document, negotiated over the past year, is short on details but stipulates that a priority of German-French diplomacy will be for Germany to be accepted as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council….

    …“Both states will deepen the integration of their economies towards a German-French economic area with common rules,” said the treaty text, referring also to calls for the harmonisation of economic law. In addition, they will set up a panel of experts to give economic recommendations to each government.

    Other areas of cooperation include culture, health, innovation and transport…
    ####

    File this under very Biggie.

    Interesting timing, as the UK is in the throws (up) of BREXIT and others are distracted elsewhere.

    I always wondered how German would break cover but how does it get a UN seat without the agreement of others who would also demand new UN seats (India for example) to keep the balance in the UNSC and not turn in to some kind of pro-western lock-in?

    Strategically, it doesn’t look like good news for the US though to be honest their efforts have been about promoting the EU periphery against the Franco-German axis. Knowing Washington, they’ll double down on their stupidity as is their wont for any failing strategy and especially if it is Europe and not the US that pays the consequences.

    As for the EU as a whole, I guess this is a ‘multi-speed Europe’ put in to practice, France & Germany forming the inner ring, others outside unless they toe the line reliably. The UK not to be seen…

    Like

  40. They just covered up an underground creek …

    I don’t think so.

    The ice and snow covered waters of the Moscow Canal can be seen in the photos above. The canal crosses the Volokolamskoye Highway along an aqueduct constructed some 80 years ago.

    The housing for the hydraulic machinery that opens and closes the lock gates to the right of said housing can be seen to the right of the upper two photographs. The water to the right of this machinery housing is not covered with ice, probably because of the force of the waterflow from the sluice spillway, which flow can be discerned in the pictures below, which were taken in summer at the place where the breach has taken place.:

    I lived in this part of Moscow when I first began working in the capital in 1993 and I was working near that aqueduct for 6 months last year. The city centre is in the direction of the upper part of the above photographs that were taken this morning.

    The canal was not built over a creek, though there is a stream that runs parallel to it, see below:

    The highway was widened where the canal crosses it and approach roads to the highway were constructed in the late 1990s. A new tunnel was constructed at the same time for the widened highway in order to aid the heavier flow of traffic that had come into existence since the original tunnel and aqueduct were built..

    In the lower of the above pictures, you can see the new, 1990’s tunnel to the left. and the older ones to the right.

    In the picture below, you can see the older tunnels, the original 1937 one to the left:

    What has happened is that there has been a fissure in the canal embankment causing a seepage from the canal, which soon developed into a torrent.

    Another picture taken today:

    I have seen no reports of there having been an underground creek at fault for the fissure.

    See: Кадры с места затопления Тушинского тоннеля

    Photo-shots from the scene of the Tushino Tunnel
    01/10/2019 13:47

    The Tushino tunnel on the Volokolamskoye Highway in Moscow has been partially flooded owing to erosion and subsidence of soil, reports TASS. The tunnel passes under the Moscow Canal. At the moment there is a mud flow from the resulting rupture flowing into the underpass..

    “Under the tunnel on Volokolamskoye Highway there has been erosion, which caused soil subsidence over an area measuring ​5 by 15 metres. Currently, in order to avoid damage to cars, traffic in the tunnel has been stopped, and the road section isolated”, said Herman Elyanyushkin, head of the Moscow Canal Federal State Budgetary Institution.

    According to an agency source in emergency services, an underground pedestrian crossing in the area of ​​Vodnikov and Svoboda streets has also been flooded. Experts are working at the scene. It has not yet been possible to stop the flow. Traffic movement towards the city centre along the Volokolamskoye Highway is blocked at the intersection with the Moscow Ring Road, towards the region from the Sokol metro station.

    Like

  41. There was natural drainage from the canal into the surrounding ground. It is not a sealed systems and depending on soil porosity in some places it will be more than in others. Where they built the tunnels they should have checked for such drainage features. You are right, it wasn’t an underground creek but a canal leak. It is likely that the tunnel work aggravated the leak and we see a sort of earthen dam failure in one of the canal banks.

    Like

    1. Further to the Moscow Canal springing a leak.

      It seems that the concrete wall of the aqueduct had a crack, there was a leak, the leak turned to a trickle etc., etc.

      The water flow has been stopped and repair operations are now well under way.


      All the experts believe that the reconstruction of the road, since when almost 20 years have passed, was the cause of emergency

      I said above the reconstruction was at the end of the ’90s: it was in 2001 when that new tunnel under the canal was constructed.

      From today’s Komsomolskaya Pravda

      What are the reasons for the canal burst?

      Official conclusions of the commission will have to wait for at least a week. Nevertheless, reasons for what happened have still been put forward in advance. The large-scale reconstruction of the Volokolamsk Highway, which was conducted in 2001, has been blamed on everything. Back then, the automobile tunnel was extended so as to be almost contiguous with the Moscow Canal retaining walls..

      “The Tushino tunnel is located between hydraulic structures No. 7 and No. 8. Soil erosion took place under an earthen dam near the junction of a road tunnel built in the early 2000s, in the soil adjacent to the metal piling wall”, said Herman Elyanyushkin. “But it is to early to evaluate now what happened. This is a very complex transport and water system . On the one hand, this is a road tunnel, on the other – an aqueduct. The aqueduct and hydrotechnical structures are about 80 years old. They all underwent regular checks and were not recognized as being in a state of emergency or pre-emergency.”

      However, not all experts believe that it is the reconstruction of the road that is to blame, because almost 20 years have gone by since the reconstruction was done.

      “The Moscow Canal was built before the war. Then in the USSR they worked at shock-worker pace. However, the quality of work and building material left much to be desired. Back in the ’80s, when I was a student, everyone knew about the discrepancy between the technical characteristics of the concrete that was used for the construction of the canal, and existing standards. The current state of emergency could be the result of wear and tear or the formation of cracks”, said geologist Stanislav Zavatsky Ph.D, a lecturer at the Russian State Geological Prospecting University.

      According to experts, the elimination of the consequences of the accident at the water complex will take at least a week. The situation is under the personal control of the Moscow mayor. In addition, an investigation is being undertaken by the Metropolitan Prosecutor’s office.

      I’m with geologist Stanislav Zavatsky Ph.D on this: it was crappy, 1930’s, convictimixed concrete that was to blame. Nevertheless, it lasted a good while.

      Like

  42. Tass.com: WADA experts begin work to retrieve data from Moscow Anti-Doping Lab
    http://tass.com/sport/1039393

    …They have started work on the installation of the equipment and of the data transfer block,” the minister said. “The work is done under a complete coordination as we have previously discussed all technical and organizational details, which are in full compliance with the criminal procedure code and all WADA procedures. The work is in full swing at the moment.”

    “The equipment is in full compliance with the tasks pursued by the experts, it was approved by the Investigative Committee and WADA,” Kolobkov stated. “The equipment underwent expertise inspection today, it is being installed, therefore, the process will undoubtedly progress in line with the schedule.”

    The minister also said that it was not the fault of the Russian side behind the delay in the data transfer from the Moscow Anti-Doping Lab…
    ####

    Plenty more at the link.

    Western articles about this claim that Russia refused WADA access and this was their last attempt to gain access and thus for Russia to avoid additional sanctions.

    Like

    1. It’s a no-lose exercise from the western point of view – who knows? They may uncover something incriminating that can be used to generate more Russophobia. If they do not uncover anything of value, the media will be freed to speculate (led by the British, of course, who are not afraid to go out on a limb) that all the incriminating evidence, which proved Russia’s dope-cheating guilt beyond all shadow of doubt, was deleted and removed during the delay period.

      Let me go out on my own limb – WADA has never been and will never be allowed unrestricted access to American athletes’ records and testing data as it has been permitted by Russia. When American athletes are suspected of cheating, investigators run into a stone wall at the sports organizations, which tell them to go fuck themselves. This is not speculation, but is based on documentation and previous investigations. The USA must be extra-delighted to see the spotlight focused on Russia, because it draws it away from America, which has been caught cheating many times but always reacts with outrage to any hint of accusation, as if such a suggestion is unbelievable and a grievous insult.

      Like

  43. Tass.com: BBC operates in Russia in compliance with Russian legislation, spokesperson says
    http://tass.com/society/1039425

    Earlier, Russian media watchdog said that some features on the BBC’s websites conveyed the ideas of international terrorist organizations

    …”Features conveying the ideas of international terrorist organizations have been exposed (quotes from terrorist al-Baghdadi [the leader of the Islamic State terror group outlawed in Russia – TASS]). A probe is underway to figure out whether these features are consistent with Russia’s counter-extremism legislation,” the statement reads.

    According to the watchdog, the BBC’s websites, including the Russian-language one, are checked on a regular basis in order to make sure that there are no violations of Russian laws.

    The watchdog went on to say that on January 14-31, a probe into the British Television LLP, which transmits the programs of the BBC World News TV channel in Russia, would be conducted to find out if it abided by licensing and other mandatory requirements for TV and radio broadcasting.

    On Wednesday, the company was requested to provide documents confirming its compliance with a Russian law limiting direct and indirect control of Russian media outlets by foreign organizations. Documents are to be presented by January 16….

    …Prior to that, British media regulator Ofcom had said that Russia’s RT TV channel had broken impartiality rules.
    ####

    Is the British government stupid enough to keep poking?

    Like

    1. Yes, the BBC was fond of putting a little twist on the motives of terrorist murderers in Russia by publishing such articles as the one below and, I presume, thereby, hoping to arouse a certain degree of sympathy in certain circles for the killers and their indiscriminate murders in public places, which murders the Russians, men, women, children and babes in arms, deserved, of course, in retaliation for what they had done in Chechnya ….:

      Teenage widow ‘was Moscow metro bomber’ – police


      Russian daily Kommersant published a photo of the suspect with her husband

      The murderess in the above photo is the one whose parents intrepid investigatory “journalist” Harding scuttered off south to Dagestan to interview, without first having got permission, as required, for a permit in order to enter a war zone.

      Harding got his “good copy”, writing a story describing how the killer’s parents told him that their daughter had been “a good girl”.

      Like

  44. Yes, I reckon that newest of the 3 tunnels is to blame and over which the breach in the aqueduct embankment appeared.

    They constructed that newest tunnel around 1997, when I was living about 2 miles away downtown near the metro station Sokol. I eventually moved from there because I got wed and set up home with my wife on the other side of town.

    I was glad to get away from that area because it had become one huge, noisy construction project day and night as they widened the Leningrad Highway, starting off downtown at the Belorusskiy railway terminus and, proceeding out of town, the widening work continued together with the construction of new approach roads, flyovers and underpasses and then onwards towards Sokol, then branching off right to continue in the direction of the Leningrad Highway and left along the Volokolamskoye Highway.

    In the first summer picture (above) of the canal, you can see in the top left quadrant a heavily forested area and some buildings on the downtown side of the canal nearest to its bank. That is the Civil Aviation Central Clinical Hospital. Beyond that and next to that hospital and just off picture to the left is the Anglo-American School.

    Like

  45. Ukraine is sort of cute in its understanding of the law and what it can achieve through vexatious lawsuits, which it is firing off in all directions. All of them, I need hardly say, against Russia, and the most recent of them meant to either force Russia into signing a long-term gas transit contract with Ukraine – guaranteeing it a certain amount of money for services which lie far in the future – or compensating Ukraine for money lost through not signing a new contract, to the tune of (at the moment) $12 Billion.

    https://economics.unian.info/10403682-naftogaz-names-condition-for-dropping-suit-against-gazprom.html

    Mind you, if we could just get to a place where Russia would agree to continue transiting gas at at least its present volumes, if not more, through Ukraine – at at least the present fee, if not more – why, Ukraine would be willing to drop the lawsuit, or to rewrite the terms or whatever. Leaving the reader to conclude that the whole purpose of the lawsuit is to force Russia to sign long-term gas-transit agreements with the country that hates its guts, and which it is meant to be invading any moment now. Not because Ukraine needs the security of energy supplies – my no; Ukraine would as soon cut off its own nose as use Russian gas: instead, it gets gas money from the EU to buy reverse-flowed Russian gas from an EU nation, subsequently congratulating itself for having ‘weaned itself off of Russian gas’. Quite an achievement; I daresay I could wean myself off of just about any habit but breathing if some union of nations were to keep throwing money at me for doing it. No; because Russia currently transits gas across Ukraine, that implies a legal responsibility to keep doing so. Why? Because Ukraine has become dependent on the income! Reduced to its simplest terms, this is the legal argument.

    Not hard to see, though, why Kuh-yiv is…troubled by its prospects, shall we say? This dynamic engine of reform and moral rectitude saw the profits from its 100 largest state companies shrink a devastating 42% in 2018, almost cut in half. And the main factor in this fiscal collapse was the decline in profits from Naftogaz.

    https://economics.unian.info/10402647-ukraine-s-100-largest-state-companies-shrink-net-profit-by-almost-42-in-1h-2018.html?utm_source=unian&utm_medium=related_news&utm_campaign=related_news_in_post

    Stand by, chowderheads. Because the economic picture is going to get so much worse in 2019 that even you won’t be able to believe it. And an expensive presidential election to determine which thieving oligarch gets to fuck the country up against the wall for the next, what, four years is just what you need to kick it off.

    Like

    1. Gazprom could agree to Naftogaz’s condition on the further condition that Naftogaz ensures the gas pipeline network going through Ukrainian territory is at an operational level allowing the gas to flow safely without leaking and becoming an environmental hazard. No long-term gas transit across Ukraine unless network can be guaranteed to allow safe flow.

      BTW where did this habit of saying “… off of …” as in “… the plane took off of …” come from? I know it’s not ungrammatical (we can say “the plane took off from …” and no-one bats an eyelid) and the usage dates back at least 400 years but it seems tautological.
      https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/off%20of

      Like

      1. An independent assessment was conducted on Ukrane’s pipeline network years ago, by an industry professional; it’s difficult to remember now, it was on the old blog and ages ago, and I have never been able to find it again, but I seem to recall the engineer was Scandinavian. Not from either Russia or Ukraine, in any case, and his report was scathing – an accident waiting to happen. That had to have been at least 5 years ago now, with nothing done since then, and Ukraine still blithely assures the west its pipelines will go on serving indefinitely with no requirement for major maintenance. Actually, that’s not quite fair – they’d be glad to put some serious money into maintenance, as long as someone else gave it to them.

        I’m pretty sure that in the example you cite – “The plane took off” – is correct, since that sequence of flight is called takeoff, as its opposite is landing. I did not notice any reference to “the plane took off of”, and it does sound grammatically incorrect; I believe I would always say “Take off from”.

        Examples such as “I don’t have any cash; go and get it off of your mother” are a colloquialism, probably English, but I don’t know that it is common usage here. Everyone knows what it means, but it’s awkward to say.

        Russia would be foolish to sign any further long-term gas transit contracts with Ukraine, because the stated purpose of Nord Stream II is to bypass Ukraine because of its unreliability and its thieving, neither of which it will admit to. In fact, Russia should relish telling them to get stuffed, and make it clear in no uncertain terms, Merkel or no Merkel, that there are not going to be any more fat transit contracts for Ukraine for doing dick-all. It can maintain its network if it wants to and stand by for an occasion that both legs of Nord Stream cannot handle the demand from Europe even running flat-out, and then it might get a one-off contingency flow which did not imply a continuous contract. If it doesn’t like that, tough tit.

        Merkel’s reasoning is insulting – no Nord Stream II ‘if it hurts Ukraine’. Of course Ukraine is going to squeal like a pig caught in a gate that it is being hurt if any condition prevails except the present one, in which it gets money for nothing for transiting Russian gas through a Soviet-era pipeline network it inherited when it declared itself independent, and on which it has done bugger-all since. It’s robbery, and of course Ukraine wants it to continue, because it is the robber.

        Like

        1. But the EU has demanded that Russia accept a decades long decoupling of gas from oil prices (and bog standard commercial ‘do not sell on’ conditions) as part of the agreement made with Gazprom, hence ‘providing choice’ via the spot market and to the benefit of middlewo/men European consumers.

          Or don’t these rules apply to Third (non-EU) states like the Ukraine? But hold on, but doesn’t that run counter to the Brussels Kiev DCFTA that went in to force at the beginning of 2016? How does Brussels square that circle or does it do its usual and find exceptions when it is in its favor (sic. gas pipelines that are classified as Field Pipelines and thus not subject to EU rules – i.e. the rolling exemption for TAP etc.)?

          They’ve already trodden over their own feet when the European Commission’s Legal Service advised back in 2007 that the EU has no legal instrument to block NSII even though Brussels continued to threaten Russia for breaking rules that don’t exist, not to mention think about applying the Third Energy Package retroactively against Russia as part of its mafia style threats and blackmail.

          It certainly couldn’t claim a National Security exemption itself as the EU institutions don’t have that power themselves and it can only be wielded at member state level, and even then not imposed on other states who disagree (FP & security still requires unanimity even with the Lisbon Treaty), though d*cktards like Denmark still have their hissy fits to stop NSII passing through Danish waters at the cost of several hundred million euro to Danish companies.

          So, in short, Gazprom can be found to be breaching its agreement with Brussels if it agrees to a long term gas supply contract with Kiev. It’s not byzantine, it’s turpentine!

          Like

      2. The “off” is a particle added to a verb to make a phrasal verb, in this instance, “to take off”, the “off” meaning “away”.

        Russian does the same sort of thing, only in Russian a prefix is added to the verb, making a compound verb, as in “he went off” — он ушел — where “у” is the prefix and “шел” is the past simple, masculine singular of the verb “to go”: put simply, он ушел means ‘he left/went off/went away”.

        So we have “the aeroplane flew” and “the aeroplane flew off”, the latter meaning “flew away”, and “the aeroplane took off” meaning “the aeroplane took itself away from the ground”.

        Now we come to the “of” that sometimes follows the particle “off” in phrasal verbs e.g. “the aeroplane took off of the ground”, as spoken in some colloquial and demotic English.

        Here, the “of” has its older meaning of “from”, as in “He is of my blood” or “He is made of stern stuff”: the “of the ground” means “from the ground” and the “took off” means “took itself away”.

        Therefore, “the aeroplane took off of the ground” can be rephrased as: “the aeroplane took itself away from the ground”.

        One could also say: “The aeroplane just took off of itself”, meaning “The aeroplane just flew away from the ground by its own means”.

        Likewise, “He just got up and took off of himself”, which expression is used where I come from and means “he left without any more ado/on his own accord/ without saying anything” or, vulgarly, “without saying ‘goodbye’, ‘kiss my arse’ or nothing!”

        And note the double negative (without nothing), which Russian teachers swoon over if they hear me use them, because double negatives are “against the rules” they tell me.

        They don’t know nothing!

        Like

  46. Eliezer Kotliar channels…us. Holy shit.

    https://www.jpost.com/International/It-Is-Time-To-Say-The-Truth-About-Ukraine-576677

    Here’s a teaser: “Now is a good time to ponder whether there are any winners as result of the so called “revolution of dignity”. The definite loser of this policy is the people of Ukraine, who as a result of the actions of the current Ukrainian government lost parts of Ukraine’s territory, got sucked into a bloody war in Donbas and as a result are on the way to total impoverishment while Ukraine is sinking into chaos and lawlessness. Western countries are also on the losing end, because they have effectively become hostages of the insane radicalism preached by the Ukrainian authorities, and now are forced to endure economic losses resulting from deterioration of relations with Russia.”

    Oh, yeah – now it’s a good time, now that the place is a wreck and would cost more billions than it is worth to put right, especially considering the load of divvy-heads that live there would promptly elect another rich oligarch the first chance they were given, locking the country into a continuous loop of corruption and graft. Its western sponsors don’t care at all about the state of the country so long as it remains a foil against Russia, which is the sole condition that guarantees its failure. Who will be around to pick up the pieces? Not the west.

    Not that anyone in the west will even listen, because the west knows the thing to do when you’re holding a losing hand is to double down. Works every time. Well, it doesn’t actually work every time, in fact it never works – but as long as you don’t ever have to be accountable for the tragedies your fuckery causes, it amounts to the same thing as working every time.

    Like

  47. I post this for its sheer audacity:

    https://www.yahoo.com/news/americas-absence-could-syrias-nightmare-113700381.html

    The U.S. presence in Syria is modest, with only some 2,200 U.S. special forces, whose role is to advise and support much larger numbers of Syrian Kurdish and Arab fighters. This coalition has brought stunning success. In 2014, the Islamic State controlled over thirty-four-thousand square miles in Syria and Iraq, with eight million people subjected to brutal rule. Today its control over territory is vanishing—Islamic State fighters remain holed up the Hajin pocket and other small towns and villages along the Central Euphrates River Valley—currently less than 1 percent of what the caliphate held at its peak.

    My brain briefly froze after reading the above. Could I have just read that the US coalition defeated ISIS? Can the author believe his readers are that stupid? But wait, there is more:

    Iran, Russia and Turkey lack the negotiating experience and international clout required to craft and implement a political solution to such a complex, large-scale conflict.

    Yes, the world is waiting for John Bolton to save the day. God, I need a drink.

    Like

    1. Send in Jan Egeland.

      Nobody does appropriation of success like America. Yes, your assessment appears to be correct. The technique is merely to state the fact that ISIS was defeated, and then let implication do the rest – there is a small contingent of American Special Forces in Syria, and its alliance with the Kurds has enjoyed ‘stunning success’ (by Washington’s estimation). They do not come right out and say the US Special Forces and their Kurdish partners defeated ISIS and took back all the lands that ISIS had seized…but the implication is there. One is directly associated with the other.

      Like

      1. Well, you have to admit that WWII ended in Europe 9 months after the US “got boots on the ground” in continental Europe, whereas by June 1944, whereas the Soviet Union had been fighting the Wehrmacht for 3 years, so the US made the major contribution to the allied victory against the fascists.

        Furthermore, the Soviets only started getting the better of the fascist invaders after cans of Spam had started arriving in the USSR from the munificent Uncle Sam, together with wonderfully invincible Sherman tanks etc.

        post hoc ergo propter hoc

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        1. And that “victory was caused by the opening of the Second Front” myth blithely ignores the fact that the allied “boots on the ground” second front started in Sicily, in July 1943.

          Like

        2. I don’t think anyone would deny the United States made a major contribution to the defeat of the Axis powers, and to bringing the Second World War to a close, once it finally decided to enter the war. You could probably argue that certain political forces wanted to get a feel for how it was going to go, to sort of hedge America against entering the fray on the side that was going to lose, but that’s as may be – few would downplay the gallantry of the American forces involved. But those are so rarely the ones who ruin it by boasting and bragging and exaggerating the part the USA played – WE won the war for you. Actual military members almost never boast about the country’s military achievements, and frequently do not want to talk about them at all. Quite a few of those who helped defeat Nazi Germany and the Japanese would probably be bewildered today to find both countries staunch US allies, all pals together.

          The strutting exaggerators are almost always politicians, business elites or think-tank wankers. The kind of people who assume everyone else is too stupid and uninformed to challenge their version of events. But the notion that America saved the world oh, ever so many times contributes to righteous choler when countries are asked to do the USA a simple favour in return for its munificence, and won’t cooperate. The nerve!

          Certainly nobody would argue the USA was covertly supporting the Nazis while the war was ongoing, and only pretending to fight them as cover for furthering their objectives; America took its sweet time about deciding to enter the war, but once it did, it fought determinedly and bravely to defeat the official enemy. That’s not the case in Syria, where the USA accepted that it was politically untenable to openly support ISIS, but believed it had worked out a clever way to stay close and sort of look after the boys until they had gotten the job done. Certain aspects of that duality could not have come about without the knowledge and active cooperation of senior military commanders. They had to have known they were aiding the official enemy.

          And that’s the fundamental difference between the two campaigns, although there are many.

          Like

          1. Contributed in a major way, yes; but the heavy lifting was done by the USSR.

            The telling question is this: would the USSR have defeated the Nazis if the USA had not joined in.

            I think it would have. When the Normandy landings took place, the Red Army was about to launch Operation Bagration, which kicked off on 22 June, 1944. The result of the operation was a huge victory for the SU.


            Do you see the immensity of scale of Operation Bagration, the number of divisions, the length of the front line, stretching from the Baltic to the Black Sea, albeit the front line of Operation Bagration did not go quite as far as the latter?

            At Bagration, the SU amassed more than 1.2 million soldiers and another 400,000 with the 1st Belorussian Front — a detached “left wing” taking part in a separate, but related, upcoming offensive from the south aimed at central Poland. The Soviets believed that they were facing some 850,000 Germans: They were mistaken: there was less than half that number opposite them, although the Red Army had correctly estimated how many of the enemy were in position facing them.

            The Soviets committed more than 4,000 tanks, 34,000 artillery pieces and 4,800 aircraft. According to German figures, the Wehrmacht had 495 tanks, more than 2,500 artillery pieces and 602 aircraft.

            And here is Operation Overlord:

            After the initial landings on 6 June, 1944, the allies had amassed 640,000 troops by 23 July and had 2,200 – 2,500 tanks and assault guns.

            Opposing them were originally 1,452,000, which number had increased to 2,052,299 by the end of August, at which same time the Red Army had already achieved its huge victory of Operation Bagration, a victory that had resulted in the near total destruction of German Army Group Centre.

            The Red Army liberated a vast amount of Soviet and Polish territory whose population had suffered greatly under the German occupation. The advancing Soviets found cities destroyed, villages depopulated, and much of the population killed, or deported by the occupiers. In order to show the outside world the magnitude of the victory, some 50,000 German prisoners, taken from the encirclement east of Minsk, were paraded through Moscow: even marching quickly and twenty abreast, they took 90 minutes to pass.

            The German army never recovered from the materiel and manpower losses sustained during this time, having lost about a quarter of its Eastern Front manpower, similar to the percentage of loss at Stalingrad (about 17 full divisions). These losses included many experienced soldiers, NCOs and commissioned officers, which at this stage of the war the Wehrmacht could not replace. An indication of the completeness of the Soviet victory is that 31 of the 47 German divisional or corps commanders involved were killed or captured. Of the German generals lost, nine were killed, including two corps commanders; 22 captured, including four corps commanders; Major-General Hahne, commander of 197th Infantry Division disappeared on 24 June, while Lieutenant-Generals Zutavern and Philipp of the 18th Panzergrenadier and 134th Infantry Divisions committed suicide.

            source

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            1. Yes, I think so, too – hence my allusion that political forces in the USA assessed the Nazis were not going to be victorious, and therefore decided it would be better for America’s postwar image if it were seen to demonstrably support the victors.

              America’s contribution was significant, and honest – American forces fought hard and bravely. But they were fresh troops, entering a war that was already three years raging and one in which the momentum was all on one side. I would say America’s entry certainly hastened the Nazis’ defeat, but it would likely have happened even if they had stayed home.

              How the USA managed to parlay that position into the Bretton Woods Agreement, making its national currency the global reserve, remains a mystery to me.

              Like

              1. It’s not really a mystery: all the major continental European powers were ruined or compromised by Nazi power in some way (the French for having been defeated and under Nazi rule, the Italians for their collaboration) and the British themselves had to work with the Americans especially after General Eisenhower had been head of the Allied military command in Europe. The Americans were the strongest militarily because they had entered the European war relatively late and were in a position to dictate economic terms at Bretton Woods.

                Also, the British and the French still owed huge war debts from WW1 to Wall Street.

                Like

            2. Repost of Overlord map, which I posted above but does not appear, in order to compare the scale of Overlord with that of Bagration:

              Like

          2. A quick few comments:
            – The UK did everything they could short of open collaboration with Germany to facilitate the defeat of the Soviet Union.
            – Yes it seems almost universally true that soldiers who saw serious military action never glorify war. Many become anti-war later in life.
            – The US action is Syria was as despicable as the human mind can imagine. To arm and encourage head-chopping, raping and torturing psychopaths to destroy uncounted lives for geopolitical schemes must rank among the worse crimes in post WW II history.

            Like

            1. Former SAS soldier Ben Griffin on how people are conditioned and trained to become killers in the modern British Army:

              Quite disturbing to listen to in parts.

              Like

              1. The video was informative, chilling and triggered a flood of thoughts of what it means to be an American and the differences in attitude toward war relative to British citizens (and presumably most European citizens). Thank you Jen for posting,

                I believe that most Americans, at least around here, are open and approachable. Yet, they would be more likely to kill for “ideology” than most Europeans. We celebrate gun violence, military power/the beauty of war, and the ”stand your ground” pathology (i.e. it’s better to murder rather than back away). The lionization of Chris Kyle of “American Sniper” comes to mind. The foregoing is intertwined with our view of being the Exceptional People. I think the correlation is strong.

                Americans (mostly) are not ferocious barbarians or thugs who murder for profit. They simply have no idea of the horrors of what they support. They have a comic book/superhero mentality where US military violence is for the GOOD (the video made a similar point about the UK but I suspect that it is to a substantially lesser degree).

                Until Americans are on the other end of the gun or their country collapses into rubble and their families are starving, they will continue with that mentality

                The MSM and Hollywood, in particular, have excelled in creating a pathological naivete essential to sell war and foreign domination to a nominal democracy of “good” people.

                Ben Griffin (the speaker on the video) made several points that were particularly chilling – of the thousands of “suspects” they rounded up in the midnight raids, the lucky ones were sent to Abu Ghraib. He was also quite open that these raids invariable resulted in the looting of anything of value. This supports my theory that many Western soldiers, especially those who volunteer for repeated deployments to Iraq or Afghanistan, are in it for the pillaging if not the raping and the thrill of murder. Our military leadership seems OK with that.

                I had believed that all Western armies were about the same regarding their likelihood of abuse of civilians. But it may be that the US military is worse than most for the reasons given.

                I do remain quite the patriot as this is my home and will do what is possible to make the US more humane.

                Like

    2. The authors – there were two authors – are not so stupid to say directly that the US-led coalition defeated ISIS (likely because they know that’s not true) so they write the paragraph in such a way to lead readers into making that inference.

      Like

    3. The suggestion that the coalition defeated ISIS is the second least believable part of the article, right behind the part where they say Turkey, Russia, and Iran have no negotiating experience.

      Like

    4. Of course the American’s other stunning success is in Afghanistan – they’ve only been in there 17 years and have only managed to lose control of 50% of it (much more unofficially).

      It’ll be interesting to read how that will be written off as a success. They can’t even blame Putin – that would be giving him too much credit at the same time 🙂

      Like

  48. The balllbag nailer has been sent down for 3 years in France.

    Французский суд вынес приговор художнику Павленскому за поджог банка

    But he wil soon be out and about as he has done the best part of 3 whilst being held on remand. Same goes for his common-law wife. She got 2 and a half, but wil soon be out and about with her artistic partner , wowing thea rtistic types in France, I presume.

    The prosecution insisted on his being sent down for four years and the deprivation of his parental and civil rights. “There’s not enough gratitude towards the country that took them in. They made the attack not only on state institutions, but also on its historic heritage”, said the prosecution.

    During the trial, there was a conflict betwen Pavlensky and the woman court interpreter, who, according to “Le Figaro”, refused to translate the artist’s speech after he had started screaming. Because of this, the hearing had to be adjourned until it had found another translator. In his speech, the artist said that he had dedicated his trial the Marquis de Sade.

    “Banque de France on Place de La Bastille is a precedent for the monstrous mockery of the political history of France. It follows from this that either the court should restore justice and decide to remove the Bank of France, that is representative of the Bastille, and remove all charges against me, recognizing that political art is allowed in France, or the court must justify the mockery of the authorities over society and sentence me to ten years so that such incidents not recur and be officially banned in France”.

    The court granted him neither of his requests, it seems.

    Like

  49. In Cairo, an American politician displays his gross ignorance, which is not really all that difficult a thing to do:

    “In World War II, American GIs helped free North Africa from Nazi occupation … “

    Which “Nazi occupation” might that have been, I wonder?

    When, starting in the west, was Morocco and then, moving eastwards, were Algeria, Tunisia, Libya and Egypyt” occupied by Nazis”?

    See: ‘Era of American shame over’: Pompeo delivers ‘good news’ of US ‘liberators’ returning to Mideast
    Published time: 10 Jan, 2019 21:49
    Edited time: 11 Jan, 2019 10:13

    Or does Pompeo think his kinfolk under the leadership of Il Duce were Nazis?

    Well, the Italians had Libya as a colony, that’s true, and the Vichy French held Algeria as a colony, as well as Tunisia, and Morocco as a protectorate. Were the Vichy French Nazis? Some were, I suppose, but were they “Nazi occupiers”?

    And then there was Spanish Morocco, a Spanish colony. Were the Spanish “Nazi occupiers” of Morocco?

    And there remains Egypt, an independent kingdom but de facto occupied by the British. Were the British in Egypt “Nazi occupiers”?

    Like

    1. This pompous (pompeo) ass is denigrating the British war effort in North Africa. Even if the US supplied the UK with war materiel, it cannot claim every British victory.

      Like

      1. There were British, British Empire and Dominion troops in the “Western Desert”, who originally fought the Axis ally Italy, because, apart from naval warfare, such as it is, and in which the RN undertook against Germany from Day 1 until and including the very last day of WWII, war against the Italians in Africa was the only one Britain and its allies could wage, following the fall of France in 1940 and the British evacuation from Dunkirk.

        And when the Italians started coming off second best in North Africa, the German Afrika Korps was created to bail them out.

        However, the 1942 allied victory at El Alemein against the German Afrika Korps and the Italians was a turning point in WWII and also a victory in which no US armed forces took part.

        Then the victory at El Alemein was not long followed by another major turning point in WWII: the Soviet victory at Stalingrad.

        However, the real biggie was yet to come: Kursk, July/August 1943.

        It must have been really cold at Kursk that summer. How else could that German defeat be explained?

        Like

        1. Indeed, it must have been -27 C in July and the poor Germans were simply unprepared in their summer clothes. Pity.

          Excellent point on General Winter. I don’t recall WWII taking off time during every spring, summer and fall.

          Like

  50. https://www.yahoo.com/news/patriotic-tank-film-busts-russian-box-office-record-112126967.html

    A Russian war film that tells of a Soviet soldier’s “devotion to the Motherland”, the latest in a line of state-funded patriotic blockbusters, has broken box office records after its New Year release.

    “T-34”, named after a tank used in World War II, had the best opening weekend of all time for a Russian-made movie with around 713 million rubles ($10.6 million) in takings, according to an industry newsletter.

    “This is a drama about how a concentration camp prisoner escapes from fascist captivity in an attempt to preserve his life, love and devotion to the Motherland,” a culture ministry statement said.

    Director Alexei Sidorov said the aim of the picture was to “tell a war story in a way that attracts young people and does not provoke objections from those who still remember the Great Patriotic War,” the statement added.,

    … the Great Patriotic War, as the conflict with Nazi Germany is known in Russia, have become a key tool in promoting patriotism during President Vladimir Putin’s long years in power.

    Emphasis added just so we will be sure to note that the war’s impact on Russia nowadays is mostly a prop callously used by Putin.

    Another hilarity was the comparison of a “black comedy” about the siege of Leningrad garnering 800,000 YouTube hits with the 1.3 million people who purchased tickets and went to the theaters to see T-34. BTW, I just watched a sports blooper YouTube video that had 953,000 hits. Not sure what to make of that.

    The spin never stops.

    Like

      1. Looks like the village Boltino, which is just across the railway tracks from our dacha territory.

        As I have said previously, our dacha territory was right smack bang on the front line.

        A couple of summers ago, they by chance found a mass grave near where a now abandoned village had stood. In the grave were the remains of men, women and children, murdered by Nazi invaders, about whom revisisionist apologists now say were defending Europe from the onslaught of Bolshevism.

        And not far away, they found another such grave the following year, filled with the same sort of victims.

        Deutsche Kultur am besten!

        And they’re back!

        I mean those of like mind as the Nazi invaders of the USSR.

        They never went away.

        Like

        1. Rather unfair to the majority of Germans, I am sure, namely what I wrote in German above.

          Better: Nazi “culture” at its best!

          But I do believe that in every culture there lurks a dark beast that sometimes breaks loose: the Germans are not unique in this sense.

          Like

    1. These NATzO fakes stream media hate propaganda pieces are meant to keep the NATzO sheeple in line. Any Russian reading this shit is instantly insulted by the transparent hate and distortion. Patronizing excrement meant to denigrate Russian intelligence and to dilute the sacrifice Russians made during WWII in stopping the Nazi horde.

      I use the term NATzO in a scientific manner. NATO is really the successor to the Nazis since it systematically downplays the support for the Nazis from the self-anointed “civilized” west (which today includes the support for Banderites in Ukraine) and claims success in the war against Germany when Germany blew 80% of its war resources and men on the Soviet Front (or Eastern Front). The laundering of Ukr and other Nazi collaborators and allies after WWII for use against the USSR demonstrates the continuity in policy between the Reich and NATzO.

      Like

  51. Soft, big-kid gobshite UK Secretary of State for Defence Williamson shooting off his childish big gob again:

    Earlier, speaking at a ceremony to announce the readiness of the Royal Air Force’s new F-35 Lightning II fighters in Norfolk, Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said Britain’s new fifth-gen planes sent a message to the UK’s “enemies”, including Russia. “It means don’t mess with us, because we have the capability and we have the people, and we have the will to always defend ourselves,” he said.

    Asked directly if the new F-35s should make Russia ‘scared’, Williamson answered bluntly “Yes”.

    As usual, Russia has officially responded politely and in measured tones to the wanker’s childishness:

    “The statements of the Minister of Defence of Great Britain in favour of the further militarisation of British politics bring forth, at the very least, bewilderment” — Zakharova, at a press conference on Friday, 11 January, 2019.

    see: Russia Vows Response as UK Defence Chief Issues ‘Warning to Putin’ – 12:32 11.01.2019 (updated 13:51 11.01.2019)

    Like

    1. Another demented yapping chihuahua. The UK is in no position to be making threats to Russia and giving Putin any warnings. In fact, the USA is not in any such position either. These retarded fucks have convinced themselves that they can win a “limited” nuclear war against Russia based on nothing but pure delusion and a superiority complex. They project their bile onto Russia and then threaten to punish Russia for its “sins” which they fabricated via their two bit hate propaganda MSM chorus.

      Russia needs to restore the nuclear missile situation of the 1980s. This includes aiming hundreds of megaton class IRBMs at the EU NATzO portion and thousands at the head hyena across the Atlantic. No mystical ABM system will have a 100% intercept capability. It would not even have a 70% intercept ability. But the lunatics running the NATzO asylum need to know that 99% will not save their asses.

      Like

    2. Boy – that ‘Tiny island that nobody listens to’ comment must really have rankled.

      https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/russia/10290243/Russia-mocks-Britain-the-little-island.html

      Irrespective of the fact that Putin never said it.

      https://pakistanthinktank.org/britannia-rules-the-waves-in-a-bath-tub-hats-off-to-president-putin-he-spoke-for-all-freedom-lovers

      I realize the latter reference is not a particularly strong one, although the leading graphic almost made me spit my porridge – hilarious – but no major media outlets reported that Peskov denied ever saying it and few even went so far as to say the claim was unverified; it came, naturally, from the state-controlled BBC, at an opportune moment when Call-Me-Dave needed a strawman to beat up. To put it on the record, nobody ever claimed to have heard Peskov say anything of the kind, or to have been present when it was allegedly said. It was just one of those fortuitous unsubstantiated “You gonna let him say that about your Mama?” ‘quotes’ designed to rile the folks back home and put them in a fightin’ mood. Even if Peskov actually felt that was true, he is smart enough to keep it to himself. This is just one of the many occasions when I wish Russia would not simply let the matter be put to bed, but would aggressively (if I can say that word and ‘Russia’ in the same sentence) pursue the BBC until it admitted there was no evidentiary basis for the claim.

      And Sputnik is nearly as bad as the rest – where in its report is there any justification for the headline “Russia vows response”? Russia vowed nothing of the kind, and only expressed perplexity at Williamson’s belligerence. They were even too polite to point out that Britain currently has only 9 F-35’s, and that anyone who considered that a ‘lethal offensive capability’ must have been born while his mother was standing up.

      Like

  52. Euractiv: Russia ditches dollar, opts for euro and yuan
    https://www.euractiv.com/section/economy-jobs/news/russia-ditches-dollar-opts-for-euro-and-yuan/

    A report by the Bank of Russia ( http://cbr.ru/Collection/Collection/File/14216/2019-01_res.pdf )published late on Wednesday (9 January) reveals that the country dumped $101 billion in US holdings from its reserves, shifting into euros and yuan last spring amid a new round of US sanctions.

    According to Bloomberg who broke the news, the report reveals a dramatic acceleration in a policy Russia has been pursuing for several years of reducing exposure to assets that could be affected by US sanctions…

    …The report also shows that between June 2017 and June 2018, the highest yield among the actual portfolios of currency assets was demonstrated by the yuan, which stood at 3.2% per annum, while the yield of the US dollar was 0.35% per annum.

    The Central Bank of Russia’s volume of foreign currency and gold assets increased $40.4 billion, to $458.1 billion within the same period…

    …In particular, the Commission believes it is abnormal that 80% of the EU’s energy is paid in dollars when only 2% of it is imported from the US.

    The energy sector, which imports €300 billion of fuel in dollars every year, is particularly exposed to fluctuations in the dollar, which is a risk factor.

    The Commission is considering asking EU states to contemplate using the euro in their intergovernmental energy agreements, and provide a justification if they do not use the single European currency.
    ####

    No surprise to this blog. It’s good to see progress. As usual, Russia does what it says – the opposite of the regularly shite we hear from the other side.

    Like

  53. Neuters via Antiwar.com: U.S. sanctions threaten Russian plans for passenger jet, Kommersant reports
    https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-russia-airplane/u-s-sanctions-threaten-russian-plans-for-passenger-jet-kommersant-reports-idUKKCN1P4102

    …But Kommersant, citing a senior government official and Russian aviation industry sources, said U.S. sanctions had cut off imports of components from the United States and Japan that were needed to make the plane’s wings and part of its tail fin.

    The two manufacturers whose products had been affected were Connecticut-based Hexcel of the United States and Japan’s Toray Industries, the newspaper said….

    …Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation confirmed on Thursday that U.S. sanctions had caused it problems. The company said it had taken measures to maintain wing production and had embarked upon “the step-by-step replacement of the necessary components” with Russian-made equivalents. …
    ####

    Um, but why so coy? The MC-21 is to be launched with American built PW1400G engines, so why isn’t P&W punished? What about Honeywell, Hamilton Sunstrand (UT), Rockwell Collins, Thales, Elbit, UTC, Goodrich, Zodiac, Eton, Megitt?

    At which point does this spinless creeping f*cktardia stop? I hope US (and friend) astronauts are in trampoline training.

    BTW, the MC-21 is the only airliner to have its carbon fiber wingbox produced without an autoclave..

    Like

    1. This non-story is based on the notion that Russia imports all of its composite materials which is outright bullshit. Russia may have imported some primary ingredients but it manufactures the composite wings itself. Don’t worry your little heads, Kommersant, Russia can easily import substitute primary ingredients.

      We are in the middle of a full bore propaganda campaign against Russia including via comprador news outlets like formerly run by Berezovsky Kommersant. All news is bad news and Russia can’t do anything. Recall all the huffing and puffing over a year ago how Russia would run out of its reserve funds. I recall the same sort of Chicken Little hysteria back in 2003 when Russia was facing a spike in debt servicing costs. Nothing happened.

      Like

      1. True, but the point is that these salami slicing sanctions tactics may well hit the ongoing certification process of the MC-21 if significant components have to be made, tested and certified in Russia to global aviation standards though the BMPD coverage* below claims they can make the change without impacting the expected date of certification . The other bit hat struck me was in the last paragraph that what Russia is learning about making a composite wing benefits the Sino-Russian CRAIC CR929 program. This, in my opinion is why Washington has forced those two companies to pull out, it’s ultimately about China – something that Washington has openly stated that China is their main problem and jives with all the stupid trade war stuff. Also, this is well in line with hurting anyone even linked to countries that Washington doesn’t like – look no further how it went after Europe over I-ran ties etc. If you want to do business with us, you can’t do business with them and everything else Mark points out in his comment below.

        The program is already well advanced and this chicken shit behavior by the US administration looks far more like something out of spite and weakness than strength, hence not targeting much larger American companies who would rightly tell them to f*** off. This is the very same strategy of targeting the weakest link when they have no legal or other means of shutting something down. Remember that we saw with the cancellation of South Stream. Hungary & Austria categorically told the European Commission to F*** Off and stop lying about South Stream somehow ‘violating EU regulations’, Serbia said ‘we ain’t in the EU, duh!’, so pissant Bulgarian PM Borissov became the obvious focus from both Brussels and Washington because he is spineless and incapable of doing what is best for his own citizens.

        * https://bmpd.livejournal.com/3489974.html

        Like

        1. I just saw these:

          AINOnline: Incongruent Rules Threaten EASA Certification of Russian Jets
          https://www.ainonline.com/aviation-news/air-transport/2019-01-07/incongruent-rules-threaten-easa-certification-russian-jets

          …The discrepancies result largely from the Kremlin’s 2015 decision to strip civil aircraft certification functions performed by the Commonwealth of Independent States’ Air Register of International Aviation Committee (ARMAK) and hand them over to the Federal Air Transportation Agency (Rosaviatsiya), an arm of the Russian government…

          …But the EASA warnings seem to have produced an effect, and Russia’s Ministry of Justice promised to approve changes proposed by the civil aviation team into the set of laws that correspond with those in use in the European Union. In turn, EASA did recognize Rosaviatsiya in a number of documents signed between the two, including the framework “Working Agreement in the Sphere of Flight Safety,” dated January 29, 2018…
          ####

          &

          AINOnline: SCAC Introduces ‘Electronic Passport’ for SSJ100
          https://www.ainonline.com/aviation-news/air-transport/2018-12-31/scac-introduces-electronic-passport-ssj100

          Sukhoi Civil Aircraft (SCAC) has approved plans to introduce a proprietary software package designed to store and process data for all components of the SSJ100 to assess aircraft flight readiness. Called the Aircraft Electronic Passport (AEP), the package is a reworked version of similar software introduced on indigenous aircraft by Russian lessor Ilyushin Finance Company (ILC). Initial plans call for implementing the new package on SSJ100s in operation with two airline customers. Should the program prove successful, the AEP would eventually appear on the entire SSJ100 fleet..

          Like

          1. That sounds quite a bit like the proprietary software installed on the F35, which sends data back to the United States and could in extreme circumstances allow a remote shutdown of the aircraft on the runway if, say, the customer did not pay. Or, in the case of the F35, if the customer showed a tendency to disobey Washington’s wishes. Although, to be fair, if you were that kind of customer you would probably never be allowed to buy it in the first place. Care must be taken with these ‘helpful’ software widgets that the aircraft never belongs to the customer; it is effectively just leased and the lessor can take it back at any time, or render it unusable.

            If this AEP did not send its information back to the builder, but the owners were taught to interpret it, it might be a boon to aviation. Of course if the aircraft is a lease, it is not actually the property of the lessee.

            Like

            1. ALIS may be revolutionary for military aircraft but much less so for civilian producers. Airbus & Boeing aircraft (and others) have been transmitting diagnostic data back to base for years though systems like ACARS via INMARSAT, the only limit being the cost of connection and bandwidth – something which has dropped dramatically in the last few years. That’s how MH370’s RR engines still communicated even though its comms were turned off.* Sukhoi is only really playing catch up and could possibly leapfrog the bigboys. Remember that before all this internet fangled stuff, you buy a car/tractor/airliner and would have to get it serviced at an authorized dealer.

              It’s gone too far in cases, and I think we’ve mentioned how John Deer behaves towards its customers, not to mention the whole issue of right to repair by owners of stuff they actually own. Go back a bit further and recall we were all told that we would go to prison if we made digital copies of CDs that we owned. It took a long time for reasonable legislation to be adopted because governments kiss business butt.

              Unfortunately always connected Internet Of Things seems to becoming the default for just about everything rather than only in necessary cases and its only going to get worse. New computers using powerful Qualcomm (ARM based) chipsets will always be on even when you close the lid, like the gsm already is and just another way of being tracked just about wherever you are. It’s great for governments. Creepy.

              * https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inmarsat#Malaysia_Airlines_Flight_370

              Like

              1. One-way communication is one thing, but the concept that raised alarm for me vis-a-vis the software in the F35 was that its data is cloud-based and allows the builder to communicate instructions to the software even after the purchaser has bought it. Ostensibly to allow for software updates, which is valid, but they were at pains to point out that Lockheed-Martin could actually remotely render aircraft unusable. It is perfectly understandable to need that function if the customer does not pay for the aircraft but continues to use it. But I would never trust a company as thoroughly in bed with the US Government as Lockheed-Martin is to not cripple my entire fighter fleet out of political ideology, or if the USA decided to attack me and wanted to ensure it could sweep in virtually unopposed. Anyone who buys the F35 – or future American-made aircraft, and possibly others – is going to have to factor in the ability of governments who may not always be your allies being able to shut off the aircraft you purchased.

                Like

                1. Its actually an old idea inspired by the “heart plug” from Dune.

                  I think the floating fat guy was Mad Dog Mattis but could be Pompeo or Hilary midway through her sex reassignment.

                  Like

              2. I’m sorry, a fighter named “Viggen” does not strike fear unless you refused as a kid to eat your vegetables. The “Sushi” could be a little better. Russian names for military equipment like “Mace” or “Dagger” work a lot better.

                Like

        2. Russia can retaliate by banning all NATzO certified aircraft flying over its territory. Time to grow a spine and put some pain on these Nazi fucks. As part of the ban on NATzO certified aircraft overflight, all non-Russian aircraft operated by Russian aviation companies should be removed from service immediately. If Russia loses access to western airports, then fuck it. The only ones deprived would be Russian tourists and western businessmen. Russians should not be transferring money to the west via tourism anyway. And western businessmen are not important anyway.

          Like

    2. This behavior runs completely counter to all established trade practices, in which manufacturers constantly seek to increase sales through finding new markets and increasing market share in existing ones. Both Russia and China are assessed to be growth markets – and some of the world’s biggest manufacturing nations are giving them a miss, encouraging them to develop a domestic alternative which may well surpass the present standard, given that few of the products incorporate revolutionary or particularly secret techniques to produce. How does it make sense for nations like the USA, which is struggling to reconstitute its manufacturing industry after offshoring it for decades, to wilfully cut themselves off from two of the biggest growth markets in the world? I just have to shake my head in amazement. Washington knows very well that it cannot compete with either nation for production costs, which are consistently far lower in both Russia and China. If both are urged to develop domestic alternatives to products previously purchased from American manufacturers, and given Russia’s well-founded reputation for industrial innovation, does it not follow that Russia will be able to engineer replacement parts and America will have lost those markets forever? At the same time, America is establishing and reinforcing a reputation for politicizing trade, so that potential buyers can see the US government will use any product on which they make themselves dependent as leverage. Therefore the Russian and/or Chinese-engineered replacement has the dual attraction to buyers of being cheaper, and less subject to being used as an arm-twister.

      As they say – and I often repeat – experience keeps a dear school, but fools will learn at no other. The USA is fast advancing to a position where its marketing must consist of “Buy from me, because I say so”, because there will be no other reasons.

      Like

  54. Speaking of the F35, did you know foreign customers have purchased an option from Lockheed-Martin which will prevent the onboard computer in the aircraft from sending all the details of the aircraft’s performance, sensor data and operations back to the USA via cloud technology?

    http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/23052/foreign-f-35-users-spend-millions-to-stop-jets-computer-from-sharing-their-secrets

    Nope; you’re not imagining things – foreign buyers trust the same company that engineered its aircraft to report back all its data to the United States to put a block in place which will prevent it from doing that. Bridge salesmen, submit your applications forthwith.

    Oh, and there’s this:

    The F-35’s interconnectedness already gives the U.S. government or Lockheed Martin an unprecedented level of export control. ALIS offers a way to cut off the distribution of software updates and important mission data to foreign operators, as well as possibly serve as an entryway for an offensive cyber attack to completely disable certain jets. Since ALIS identifies maintenance issues and helps order spare parts, it could make maintaining the already complex jets difficult, if not impossible.

    Like

    1. This is part of the response to your observation above about US trade practices. The US is turning into a mafia racket operation. So customers are not buying quality products at a reasonable price. They are coerced into buying whatever shit the US has to offer. Globalism for the US is now forcing countries to not buy products from Russia and others deemed “bad”. This can be seen in the S-400 sales to Turkey and India where the USA was blackmailing the buyers but has for now failed.

      Sanctions are a critical element in this mafia racket. They establish the coercion and warp it in “legality”. So Canada kidnaps a Huawei executive for the USA for some BS “crimes” which were never committed in US soil and thus where the US has zero jurisdiction. Poland has now pulled a similar kidnapping. The US is threatening to impose sanctions on the contractors in the Nord Stream II project. Ask yourself, what fucking basis would such sanctions have. Crimea? The Skripals? Magnitsky? So countries and companies around the world are being corralled into the personal pen of the US and turned into vassals.

      Like

      1. Three comments:
        – our engineering manager is from China, He was showing his new mobile phone today – a Huawei model. He said he would normally buy an Iphone but he went with the China model due to a price $400 less than the equivalent Iphone model plus it had three cameras to handle various photo situations.
        – New CNC machines from Haas (I believe the largest US manufacturer of CNC machine tools). stop after 90 days from commissioning. The controller will not allow any programs to run and only a Haas technician can clear the fault. The sole reason for this is to hold the machine hostage if payments were missed.
        – New CNC machine tools are equipped with GPS trackers to determine location and presumably report back to HQ through a cellular network. The official purpose of tracking is to detect transfer to blockaded countries which would trigger a controller lockup. The real reason, I think, is to help in repossession.

        Like

  55. Oh, dear; according to the IMF – the outfit, I cannot refrain from pointing out, which continues to ‘lend’ Ukraine money – The Suck will continue to prevail over Ukraine throughout 2019. To wit, (1) Sluggish exports which mainly consist of raw materials, (2) imports outpacing exports, (3) declining gas transit revenues in 2020 (that should probably read ‘disappeared’ gas transit revenues), (4) Foreign Direct Investment to remain in the shitter, (5) irrecoverable deadbeat loans to continue sapping the economy, and (6) foreign currency reserves inadequate. Certainly paints a rosy picture, going into an election, what? I know – vote for Tymoshenko! She’ll give everyone a huge raise, and Ukrainians will fart through silk!

    https://www.kyivpost.com/article/opinion/editorial/imfs-sobering-report.html

    Reality continues to peep through the cracks in the crumbling facade of Project Ukraine, in which the most positive thing about the economy is the offset from remittances by the 2-3 million Ukrainians working abroad (most of them in Russia). Most countries would be ashamed to admit that.

    But failure has something in common with Crimean repatriation – the west does not acknowledge it. So long as you do not say “We failed”, there is still hope. Billions later…oops. We failed.

    Like

  56. Vesti News
    Published on 11 Jan 2019
    Subscribe to Vesti News
    The performance artist Pyotr Pavlensky, an immigrant, will go on trial in Paris on charges of setting fire to the Bank of France building in the autumn of 2017. His partner, Oksana Shalygina, will also face trial. They’re charged with property damage in a manner which poses a threat to people’s lives. They face a sentence of imprisonment for 10 years. Pavlensky says that he wanted to light the flame of world revolution and to take revenge on the Bank of France for funding the government’s fight against the Paris Commune.

    Like

  57. I already posted way above on Friday (yesterday) that he got sent down for 3 years in the slammer and his common-law wife 2.5, but they’ll shortly walk free because they’ve already done most of their time on remand, which bugs me, because being on remand is cushy when compared to doing time as a convict. It is in the UK, anyway.

    The French prosecution wanted the weirdo to be sent down for 5.

    Like

    1. Posted 10 January:

      Французский суд вынес приговор художнику Павленскому за поджог банка

      French court has sentenced the artist Pavlensky for his setting fire to a bank

      Peter Pavlensky has been sentenced to three years in prison for burning a Bank of France door. A large part of the term of punishment assigned to him is suspended and because of this, he will soon be released.

      The prosecution insisted on his being sent down for four years (not 5, as I wrote above) and the deprivation of his parental and civil rights. “There’s not enough gratitude towards the country that took them in. They made the attack not only on state institutions, but also on its historic heritage”, said the prosecution.

      During the trial, there was a conflict betwen Pavlensky and the woman court interpreter, who, according to “Le Figaro”, refused to translate the artist’s speech after he had started screaming. Because of this, the hearing had to be adjourned until it had found another translator. In his speech, the artist said that he had dedicated his trial the Marquis de Sade.

      “Banque de France on Place de La Bastille is a precedent for the monstrous mockery of the political history of France. It follows from this that either the court should restore justice and decide to remove the Bank of France, that is representative of the Bastille, and remove all charges against me, recognizing that political art is allowed in France, or the court must justify the mockery of the authorities over society and sentence me to ten years so that such incidents not recur and be officially banned in France”.

      The court granted him neither of his requests, it seems.

      He got away Scott free for setting fire to a main door of the Lubyanka building.

      Just shows you what a repressive state “Putin’s Russi” is!

      Like

  58. The BBC reports on a White House statement about a NYT story about an FBI report:

    Trump-Russia: FBI probed whether Trump was working for Moscow – NYT
    2 hours ago

    I’ve got some news for the BBC :

    firstly, denial: THE ‘WILSON PLOT’;

    secondly, accusation: Harold Wilson, the KGB and the British ‘Watergate’ break-in that was the REAL reason he quit: New book on former UK spymaster reveals details of the 1974 burglary which changed the course of history

    Since the mid-1970s, a variety of conspiracy theories have emerged regarding British Labour Prime Minister Harold Wilson, who served as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1964 to 1970 and 1974 to 1976, winning four general elections. These range from Wilson having been a Soviet agent (a claim which MI5 investigated and found to be false), to Wilson being the victim of treasonous plots by conservative-leaning elements in MI5, claims which Wilson himself made

    Source: Harold Wilson conspiracy theories

    Like

    1. It looks like Russia – and, before it, the Soviet Union – has always been the bogeyman under the bed, pointed at and accused whenever you want to link a political opponent to the unspeakable. I don’t know why we should be surprised that it is the go-to whipping boy now.

      Like

    2. The ultimate grammar boy made good.

      Of his many achievements, the Open University is surely the greatest. My older brother took the time and made the effort, like many thousands, to complete a good degree with the OU.

      Wilson was well hated by the Tories. It’s a real shame that his time at No. 10 was cut short and the reins handed over to the useless Callahan.

      Like

  59. Former U.S. Marine held for spying had Russian contacts with military backgrounds

    Russian men with military education or a history of military service make up nearly half of Whelan’s more than 50 friends on VK, a popular Russian social network that resembles Facebook, the analysis by Reuters shows.

    At least 12 of his friends received military education in Russia, according to open source information, and at least another 11 appear to have completed national service.

    In addition, about a fifth of those on Whelan’s list have backgrounds in IT, engineering or civil aviation, a quarter are not connected to the military or technical sectors, and there is no information about the rest.

    Whelan’s VK account is 10 years old.

    Whelan has 55 “friends” in said acccount.

    Whelan’s command of Russian is said to be “basic”.

    Like

    1. As commented before, the most entertaining element of the spy novels of Le Carre etc is the supposed virtuosity of the Circus’s boys in blending into the societies of the countries “behind the Iron Curtain” due to their gift of the gab.

      “Went ze day vell?” is more like it.

      Like

    2. The fact that the majority of Paul Whelan’s military friends were young 20-somethings, and he being in his late 40s, would be enough to arouse suspicion in any country. I’d be curious to know also if one of his “friends” might have been a decoy set up by police or intel to track him and his conversations.

      Like

  60. https://www.rt.com/usa/448632-tulsi-gabbard-negative-reactions/

    With Representative Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) entering the 2020 presidential fray, establishment figures on both Right and Left are scrambling to smear the anti-war congresswoman with impeccable identity-politics bona fides.

    Ever since her 2017 visit to Syria, Gabbard has been condemned for daring to seek firsthand accounts rather than blindly trusting the MSM narrative, so on Friday the pundits were again off to the races, with fresh accusations of Assad-sympathizing.

    She hardly has any chance but she can help organize a true anti-war movement in this country. Perhaps that is her true intention.

    Like

    1. Perhaps. But if RT is her only endorsement, that is unlikely to work in her favour in the USA, where even admitting to watching RT is tantamount to a confession of treason.

      I just read an article the other day in the paper, citing prominent female political activists, which speculated on whether the United States was really ready for a female president. The consensus seemed to be not this time, although it went back and forth between the trouncing Hillary Clinton took last time around and the fact that she won the popular vote. Additionally, the Republicans hammered on Obama’s purported inexperience although he had been in politics for years; it was more that he was a virtual unknown than his having no grasp of the way politics works. Gabbard is considerably less experienced than Obama was, and that is certain to be a factor.

      I’d like to see her win, but purely to see the fury it would cause in the halls of neoconservatism – I no longer believe that who is elected president has anything to do with the way the country is run. A rarely-glimpsed cabal of influential business and political figures, mostly if not entirely unelected, actually pulls the strings, increasingly for its own advantage and in a parasitic relationship to the country it feeds from. Eventually it will destroy its host. But meanwhile, you could elect Eddie Murphy president and it would make absolutely no difference to the way the country is run. Anytime the power-brokers do not like a presidential decision, they start up a distraction to keep him or her busy until it can be watered down and then rescinded.

      Like

      1. It was their knowledge that POTUS had no meaningful influence that lulled them into a sense of complacency. I would not be be surprised if they actually preferred a clown running against Hilary as it would strengthen the aura of superior east coast liberalism and relegate deplorables to the dustbin of history.

        Gabbard will be eliminated early if she starts to gain traction in the electorate. Unless there are some brontosaurus skeletons in her closet, the attacks will be that she is CLEARLY a Russian agent with a doubtful enthusiasm for LGBT? rights and values. Here is what Mother Jones had to say:

        https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2019/01/tulsi-gabbard-is-running-for-president-can-she-shake-her-ties-to-dictators-and-nationalists/

        But Gabbard will stand out from her competitors not for her progressive domestic agenda, but for her support of nationalists and authoritarians abroad. At a time when members of both parties worry about the rise of autocrats, dictators, and nationalist movements around the world, Gabbard has embraced some of them

        I think a large fraction of Americans will see the utter stupidity of the above quote.

        Actually, now that am thinking about it, she could grab a significant fraction of the deplorable vote (veteran, not big on LGTB? issues, sort of hot looking, athletic, etc.). Oh my God, she is a female Putin! And I wonder if native Hawaiians will finally have a voice on the illegal annexation of their islands by an expansionist imperial power hellbent on world domination.

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        1. The big stumbling blocks for Tulsi Gabbard are her perceived opposition to the LGBTI community and her connection to the Science of Identity sect within the Hare Krishna community. Gabbard’s husband Abraham Williams, her chief of staff (Kailua Penarosa) and her fundraiser Alana Leigh Penarosa (and wife of Kailua) have ties to the sect and its leader Chris Butler.

          I’m inclined to think from reading this Huff Post piece that people within the LGBTI community deliberately inflated her “homosexual extremists” remark to insinuate that Gabbard is homophobic and they will not let go of this interpretation even if Gabbard were to explain until the day she expires what she actually meant:
          https://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/entry/tulsi-gabbard-homophobic-remarks_us_5c3a6030e4b01c93e00a5952

          Gabbard would be well advised to clarify her relationship with Science of Identity (even though previous Presidential candidates, like Mitt Romney, were never required to clarify their connections with perceived cult-like religious organisations) if only to dispel the rumours about Butler’s hold over her or her staff and set straight her attitude on LGBTI issues (because the sect is known to hold homophobic views):
          https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/03/16/tulsi-gabbard-krishna-cult-rumors_n_6879588.html

          Gabbard should also consider distancing herself from Indian PM Narendra Modi as much of his support comes from extreme Hindu nationalists associated with his party (Bharatiya Janaya Party) and the broader Hindutva (political Hindu) movement. Gabbard’s friendship with Modi may not go down very well with Christian as well as Muslim communities; there has been anti-Christian and anti-Muslim violence including lynchings in parts of India where the BJP is the dominant party.
          https://thewire.in/caste/what-explains-mob-lynchings-becoming-the-new-normal-in-india

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          1. All good points. On the other hand, Trump was able to win over Christian conservatives despite his record of divorce and infidelity. Even a significant fraction of Black and Hispanic voters supported Trump. Hispanics and Blacks who had built a good live through hard work and sacrifice were not all that interested in supporting Hilary’s open borders and pandering to Black Americans.

            I hope that her credentials as a military vet and an outspoken critic of America’s disastrous foreign policy will win the day.

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          2. Yes, the worst thing you can do in politics is apologize, thereby confessing not only that you did something wrong, but that you should have known it was wrong. Best for her to just say “My views are my own – where are we living, where we must all follow one approved ideology?”, and thereby put one’s accusers on the defensive and make herself the victim.

            But in truth she is so far out of the mainstream with her ideas that she does not have a hope – the Republicans likely will lend her covert support in hopes of splitting the Dem vote, but she has far too short a time in politics to be sufficiently seasoned (which is to say, steeped in lies and sewed up tight in corporate obligation), and if she managed to get elected (she will not), the establishment would simply go around her as it doers with Trump, inventing ties between her and Putin and painting her as some Manchurian anti-American. As I say, it does not matter at all who is president; it can be powerful if the president’s ideology is the same as the mainstream, but otherwise it can be just a symbolic position.

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            1. Trump has made a difference in giving the deplorables some voice. And his America First policy (ill-conceived as it was) has shaken the invincible globalist facade. I agree she has no chance but can help inspire the antiwar movement. Of course, the MSM has now embedded the narrative that anyone who is anti-war is a pro-Putin agent.

              One slight possibility is that Trump may appoint her to some position even though she be a democrat. I know, unlikely.

              Like

  61. @Mark and ME
    Sometimes people overlook the fact that it was Nazi Germany that declared war on the USA in the aftermath of Pearl Harbor making any American footdragging into the war de facto moot:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_declaration_of_war_against_the_United_States

    Also the extent that Western North Africa was not Nazi occupied…Well I guess that depends on whether Vichy troops are consider as Nazi allies:

    “Operation Torch
    American troops land on an Algerian beach during Operation Torch.
    In July 1942, the Allies, discussed relatively small-scale amphibious operations to land in northern France during 1942 (Operation Sledgehammer, which was the forerunner of Operation Roundup, the main landings in 1943), but agreed that these operations were impractical and should be deferred.[4] Instead it was agreed that landings would be made to secure the Vichy territories in North Africa (Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia) and then to thrust east to take the Axis forces in the Western Desert in their rear.[5] An Allied occupation of the whole of the North African coast would open the Mediterranean to Allied shipping, releasing the huge capacity required to maintain supplies around the circuitous route via the Cape of Good Hope. On 8 November, Operation Torch landed Allied forces in Algeria (at Oran and Algiers) and Morocco (at Casablanca) with the intention that once Vichy forces in Algeria had capitulated, an advance would be made to Tunis some 800 km (500 mi) to the east.”
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tunisian_Campaign

    I have wondered why the Nazi attack to literally capture Stalingrad was necessary to begin with:
    https://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/World_War_II/Stalingrad_and_the_Caucasus#The_Caucasus
    http://mapsof.net/russia/russia-map

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    1. Looking at the map it would seem that capturing the Caucasus/TransCaucasus region(s) would have had more strategic significance in terms of cutting off crucial resources from SU
      production and manufacturing operations. Not to mention getting positioned into Turkey Iran,Iraq,Syria etc.

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      1. Looking at the map you linked to in your earlier comment, I just realised that Stalingrad (now Volgograd) sits on the Volga river not far from the Don river. Capturing Stalingrad would have given the Nazis and their allies control of the Volga river all the way from the Caspian Sea (where the Nazis could have sailed out to Central Asia and Iran) to Moscow and also up the Kama river, and they would have been well situated to penetrate the Urals and western Siberia where there are considerable energy and mineral resources. Invading and capturing the Caucasus and Trans-Caucasus regions would be easy as the invasion could be done from two opposed directions (the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea). In effect, Stalingrad could have been a 2nd headquarters from which to direct future invasions in different directions.

        A Nazi victory could also have given Japan the green light to re-invade the Far East and Mongolia, and Moscow would be unable to defend those regions.

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    2. The wikibooks article was fascinating. My take on why Russia prevailed included that they had better/smarter leadership, were not blinded by hubris and their people were braver and fought harder. I appreciated the fact that the article acknowledged deep snow and blizzards also hampered the Russians.

      To address your question: Why Stalingrad?

      The unexpectedly strong resistance and the name of the city turned it into a potent symbol. It was far more psychologically important than it was strategically significant. The Soviets could not afford to lose it; the Germans could not afford to fail to seize it.

      Yes, the ultimate cage match – the Master Race versus the Untermensch.

      It was interesting that Germany acknowledged publicly that, after the Stalingrad defeat, their war effort was in serious danger. I suspect that Western leaders came to the same conclusion. The British imperative was to bleed Russia as much as possible and seek an opportunity to attack Russia once Germany had done all it could.

      Alluding to an earlier discussion, people who have experienced war are almost invariable anti-war, Accordingly, Russia, in their collective soul, seeks to avoid war while the West, hallucinating on the glories of war and the resulting power and profits, seek war.

      Vietnam diminished the war drive a little in the 70’s but by the 80’s, the US was back up to speed.

      As crazy as it may sound, I think Trump is instinctively anti-war which may be his greatest sin as President of the United States.

      Like

      1. Stalingrad was just part of a pattern. A lot of WWII analysis is superficial and worthless. It wasn’t a few key battles and “morale” that determine the progress of the war on the Soviet Front. By 1942, the USSR had basically ground the Nazi advance to a halt across the most of the front. This was the start of the demise of the Nazis since their whole shtick was the blitzkrieg. No mobility and attrition implies loss.

        I have heard a lot of revisionist western Nazi apologist BS about how Stalin was fooled and did not expect Barbarossa. This is pure bunkum since there was a massive transfer of factories far behind the western border of the USSR to the Urals and elsewhere. The Molotov-Ribbentrop pact allowed the USSR to increase its war resources by 40%. I am not going to go into all the initial failures and the massive taking of Soviet POWs, this topic is beaten to death elsewhere. But compared to all the other European powers opposing Nazi Germany, the USSR was the only one that fought back effectively. The UK was saved by the English Channel and Hitler’s wish to eventually make it an ally (interesting, eh?). It would have been rolled over like France if it was attached to the mainland. America, which takes the credit for winning WWII (gross nonsense since it only won its war against Japan), was also buffered safely by the Atlantic Ocean.

        If the USSR was run by the cartoon incompetents painted by western propaganda, there would have been no industrial capacity to fight back against the Germans. Factories and logistics are not trivialities that don’t merit note. Conventional wars pivot on these aspects. Underestimating Russia is a western disease. Napoleon, Hitler and the clowns who run NATzO were/are all engaged in it. And they had/will have their asses handed back on a platter to them.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Sure, the defeat of Nazi Germany involved many factors. Stalingrad, and more clearly Kursk, were simply highly visible convergence of many of those factors. Regarding the Molotov-Ribbentrop agreement, back in the 60’s, IIRC, it was widely recognized as a way for the SU to buy time in preparation for the inevitable war, Now, of course, it has been recast as a deal made between two forces of equal evilness.

          Liked by 1 person

    3. I have wondered why the Nazi attack to literally capture Stalingrad was necessary to begin with …”

      Operation Blau: shift line of attack southeast – take Stalingrad onwards to Baku — OIL!

      Possible further development – with the expected fall of Egypt to axis forces and the seizure of control of the Suez Canal, onwards to British India with the help of new and very willing Middle-East allies, willing to see the overthrow of British/French colonialism and “spheres of interest” there.

      Operation Torch: an Anglo-American landing, not solely American GIs “liberating North Africa from Nazi occupiers”.

      The scale of the operation may be judged by the following data:

      United States: 526 dead

      United Kingdom: 574 dead

      Compare the above with the losses at El Alemein 2:

      Axis: 30,500 to 59,000 men

      Allies: 13,560 men

      The Vichy French were not Nazis, though doubtless there were Nazis amongst them: the Vichy French were Nazi collaborators and antisemitic. Antisemitism does not make one a Nazi. Antisemitism had been rife in France for centuries..

      Most nations recognized the Vichy government as legitimate; the U.S. sent William Leahy as an ambassador, and Leahy served in that position until May 1942. Meanwhile, Charles de Gaulle objected to the legitimacy of the Vichy government from London, where he began working for the Free French movement.

      The break from the Third Republic came about in part due to the shock and humiliation of being so rapidly bested by the German military, and French leaders were looking everywhere for an explanation for their defeat. That blame fell squarely on the shoulders of Communists, socialists and Jews. Jewish people in particular had been experiencing animosity for decades, since the Dreyfus Affair of the 1890s. All three elements were believed to have taken advantage of the liberalization that occurred during the Third Republic, but France’s violent streak of anti-Semitism didn’t necessarily make Vichy a fascist regime.

      “I think the best term for them is authoritarian,” says historian Robert Paxton, the author of Vichy France: Old Guard and New Order, 1940-1944. “It doesn’t act like a fascist regime because traditionally elites have to give way, and in authoritarianism they retain power. But all the foreign Jews were put into camps, they cracked down on dissent, and it was in some ways increasingly a police state.”

      Source: Was Vichy France a Puppet Government or a Willing Nazi Collaborator?

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  62. “Overloaded with lies, hypocrisy and absurdities, the speech delivered by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at the American University in Cairo, Egypt on Thursday signaled to the collection of monarchs and despots that count as Washington’s allies in the Middle East that US imperialism is committed to a continued escalation of war in the region, particularly against Iran.”

    lies, hypocrisy and absurdities …Yep the cornerstones of American foreign policy and her geopolitical Weltanschauung!!!!!!

    https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/01/12/pomp-j12.html

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    1. I am regularly reminded of a declaration, in a Washington Post Column penned just after the US Army’s lightning drive to Baghdad, made by Annie Applebaum – “The war proved, as we all knew it would, that the USA no longer needs allies”. And it continues to behave as if that were actually true. And pretty soon it will get the chance to test its accuracy, because it won’t have any.

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  63. First off this is Western propaganda…However it is worth watching because the historical roots of the current situation on the Korean Peninsula are exposed.
    If you are not a historian with expertise in SE Asian politics..then take wild guess of who is at the bottom of the geographical splitting of this ancient society .
    I’ll give you three guesses…first two don’t count!!!!!
    https://www.pbs.org/video/kim-il-sung-kyi4fo/

    And Oh Yeah…20% of their population -2 million-mass murdered by airstrikes carried out by …….guess again . Bet some of you didn’t know that…..never heard about that air campaign in American news media…

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    1. OK, 1st guess is Japan, 2nd guess is the US, 3rd guess is the Vatican.

      Odd about the air campaign. It was not mentioned in MASH. IIRC, Curtis Lemay was high on such atrocities.

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      1. Bombing campaign was carried out by USA B-29 Superforts…..2 million North Koreans murdered….the entire country was bombed into rubble. Scorched earth payback for the Chinese -Mao-sending 200,000 troops across the Yalu to assist the North Koreans in pushing the Americans and South Koreans back below the 38th parallel.
        Yeah..You are right. I guess it would have been LeMay as commander of the Twentieth Air Force

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      2. If you were guessing at who split the peninsula into two ‘koreas’…that would be the Russians and the Americans at the end of WW2 in 1945. Korea annexed by the Japs in 1911 was then cleansed of them as Japan lost the war. But the cold war was already gathering steam and the Russians had good relations with the leaders of the korean guerilla partisans who had fought the japs. So the Russians sorta had a dog in the fight since after all eastern Russia is geographically contiguous with a number of SE asian nations. Kim ll-Sung was a celebrated hero to the korean people as he had fought the japs for most of his adult like
        and he had become trused and close to stalin and the krfemlin crew. Once North Korea’s economy had some what stabilized (1950)..the Russians cleared out,they did not remain as a colonizing presence.
        The USA han no fuckin’ business on the peninsula other than manipulative meddling…as usual.

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        1. Yes, that was what I was guessing. Japan has an interest in keeping NK isolated to keep SK from increasing its economic power that would surely otherwise occur. Th US as well. The Vatican guess just reflected their role as a partner in what we now call the deep state although their utility seems to be decreasing given the new globalist agenda that seeks the destruction of traditional values, families and sovereign nations.

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      1. One particularly nice bit:

        Question: According to CNN the United States has started the first shipments of its materiel from Syria. What are Russia’s and Turkey’s plans in Syria, given that the United States is withdrawing from that region?

        Maria Zakharova: It’s good that they started taking out their materiel. Sometimes they take someone else’s. Do you know how much of someone else’s property was taken from Iraq? It is being auctioned still.


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  64. https://www.rt.com/business/448643-musk-spacex-job-cuts/

    Elon Musk’s rocket company SpaceX is going to slash its nearly 6,000-stong workforce by 10 percent in an effort to become “leaner,” the company said in a statement cited by media.

    “To continue delivering for our customers and to succeed in developing interplanetary spacecraft and a global space-based internet, SpaceX must become a leaner company,” an email from the company president and chief operating officer, Gwynne Shotwell, read, according to the Los Angeles Times. “This action is taken only due to the extraordinarily difficult challenges ahead and would not otherwise be necessary,” it reportedly added.

    The “interplanetary spacecraft” project is facing problems and Musk is scrambling:

    https://arstechnica.com/science/2018/09/nasa-isnt-going-to-pay-for-the-bfr-so-musk-charts-a-new-course/

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    1. All that rubbish about being ‘leaner and meaner’ is what companies say when they have to cut back, not because they have settled on a new strategy. It’s the opposite of expanding, which is what a company does when it’s doing well. Every company that is grabbing more market share and reaching more customers gets bigger, not smaller.

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      1. Waiting for Musk to say he needs to take a leave of absence “to spend more time with his family”.

        There is panic among the Space Cadets and Fanboys:

        https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=47176.0

        Interestingly, SpaceX has scrapped composite construction and carbon fiber tanks for their BFR (or Starship or whatever) in favor of stainless steel construction. IIRC, the last time stainless steel was used for a space launch system was the original Atlas back in the 60’s.

        As pointed out by the narrator (a SpaceX fanboy), the thing looks like a cobbled up mock-up but Musk asserts its flight hardware. It will take a lot of Bondo body filler before they are done.

        The subcontractor is actually a specialist building water towers and is working in a tent.

        SpaceX did some good work but Musk could not or would not dial back the hype machine. Too soon to say if this is the start of the great unraveling.

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        1. You are right, that thing looks like a freaking prop. But you will never see any media coverage of this joke like you saw for the prop outside the Kalashnikov exhibit.

          Musk be experiencing the effects of the demented and unhinged expectations by Americans how their super-duper, advanced tech generated by private initiative (Triumf des Willens style) is just supposed to pop into existence and show the rest of the world how far behind number one they are.

          Space-X is a government subsidy project and will be constrained by reality and not American delusional expectations. Given the Tesla 3 debacle, there is a high chance that Space-X will flop in the near future due to lack of realistic planning.

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          1. The prop used in “Destination Moon” looked more convincing.

            Apparently, the government refused to advance a $750 million loan. So, SpaceX sold equity for $250 million and obtained a loan for another $250 million per the NASA forum. The US government has been generous with multi-billion dollar subsidies to SpaceX in the past. This suggests something is really off-kilter at SpaceX and the government did not want to be enmeshed in a financial boondoggle. The 10% staff reduction could be due to a shortfall in loan proceeds forcing cost cutting although the fan boys can spin a staff reduction into yet another unmistakable sign that SpaceX is accelerating at Warp 9 to the stars. I am a fan of space exploration but this stunt by Space is an f’ing joke.

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            1. Confidence. Confidence is what is off kilter. NASA and the government are stepping back before they get burned.

              Unlike Musk, NASA is beholden to the US Government and (as much as we can debate this) the taxpayers. They actually have to consider accountability. SpaceX, or more specifically Musk himself, has not given them accountability. What they have given NASA is reasons to worry.

              When left to their own devices, SpaceX has been able to produce a viable cargo delivery solution and while they were doing so got along well with NASA and got their funding. Lately however, Musk has been shoving his abnormally large nose into SpaceX more than usual. I theorize this is due to a lack of “BFR” and Mars news lately, as well as a lot of bad publicity for Tesla and Boring Co. Musk is on the defensive this year, and when he is he more often than not retreats to prognosticating glorious visions for SpaceX to rile up the press and get the public excited.

              Unfortunately with his track record he has been forced to make wilder and wilder claims, and this is making the NASA and Government brass nervous. It is one thing to keep SpaceX subsidized and launching cargo to keep the regular suppliers on their toes and playing the game; but when you start coming to the conclusion that the crazy person on TV saying he is going to launch human beings around the moon on an undocumented launch vehicle, with no readily apparent certification cycle or validation program, in something that looks like it is out of a 1950s Buck Rogers strip might actually do it, you usually want to cut your losses before he kills someone and it comes back to you.

              I am sure the pot smoking and “pedo man” incidents did not help either.

              Like

        2. I almost feel sorry for Musk. now that he is deteriorating into a Howard-Hughes nutcase, because he obviously has some revolutionary ideas and he is a brilliant man. I think he just listened to a lot of the wrong people who blew sunshine up his ass about what a genius he is, and he started to believe he could do anything with nothing, least of all money. What the hell – borrow it. But this idea is just…well, I don’t quite know what to call it. It panders to the egos of the very, very rich, but does it really advance knowledge or understanding? I just don’t get what he is trying to accomplish. But that’s probably because I am an unimaginative peasant.

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  65. Fake leftist Bob Rae opens his trap about the yellow jacket protestors and shows his true colours. Rae was the leader of the NDP but then became a Liberal. So he is a political opportunist. But the “left” in NATzO is the same sort of opportunist trash. Pushing PC identity politics, dumbing down the education system in the name of inclusiveness, etc.

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  66. This was a good series…..although Western produced
    The one about Stalingrad here is worth watching for the interviews alone !!!!

    I’ll try to find a cleaner copy

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    1. I remember that series first being shown here in the early ’90s. My Russian girlfriend’s mother asked me dumbfoundedly one evening while we were watching one episode in the series (it had a Russian voice-over) why the Americans called the German-Soviet War 1941-1945, what she knew as the great Patriotic War 1941-1945, the “Unknown War”. She isn’t the only Russian who has asked me that question.

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  67. Its funny how an Israeli attack on Syria was once a major story.. Now, no one cares as the attacks are inconsequential. Their MO seems to be dropping a number of GPS guided bombs from the safety of other nation’s air space. I suspect that the Russians are not trying to jam or otherwise intercept as Syria seems to be doing a good enough job and there is no need to provide Israel with operational data on the Russian air defense systems.

    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/01/israel-fires-missiles-damascus-airport-syria-state-media-190112061043686.html

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    1. The Israelis were feeling a bit ignored:

      https://www.rt.com/news/448685-israel-syria-strikes-eizenkot/

      The outgoing IDF chief of staff has acknowledged that Israel has been bombing Syria on a “near-daily” basis for years, in a massive military campaign allegedly aimed at degrading Tehran’s supposed military buildup in the region.

      The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) rarely acknowledge striking specific targets in Syria but its outgoing chief of staff just openly confessed to running a large-scale bombing campaign in its neighbor’s territory. In 2018 alone, Israel dropped around 2,000 bombs on alleged Iran-linked targets, Gadi Eisenkot told the New York Times in his final interview as chief of staff of the IDF before he retires next week.

      “We struck thousands of targets without claiming responsibility or asking for credit,” Eisenkot stated, confessing to carrying out strikes on a “near-daily” basis.

      The Israelis are so BAD ASS! That was his message.

      But now the best they can do are a few strikes per month in which most of the bombs/missiles are intercepted and the targets are little more than storage sheds. Moreover, it would be surprising that Syria would store anything of military value in such soft targets. Its similar to the cruise missile strikes – just keeping up appearances.

      Like

  68. Vesti News
    Published on 12 Jan 2019
    Subscribe to Vesti News
    John Herbst, former US Ambassador to Ukraine: “When Ukraine acquires such weapons as the Javelin, for instance, that’s capable of destroying tanks, it would hurt Russia. And that’s the price of your war against Ukraine.”

    Like

    1. Somebody needs to tell this fucktard that advanced anti-tank weaponry is already deployed in the Donbas (e.g. Kornet) by both sides. American chauvinist cunts think their second rate tech is some game changer.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/9M133_Kornet

      And these scumbag Americans and their phony concern for human rights. According to them, the 7 million people of the Donbas have no choice but to obey the Kiev coup regime. But 2 million Albanians in Kosovo have the right to turn the Serb province into an independent country. These same American fucks who jerk themselves off recollecting their glorious war of independence from Great Britain.

      Like

      1. Those US onanists who love to crow about their great victory against the British Empire seldom have, in my experience, family roots that go back to the British North American colonies of 1776. (Speaking of which, I wonder what happened to “The “Daughters of the Revolution”? Does that WASP organization still exist?) And in any case, the “revolutionaries” were the minority, as is often the case with “revolutionaries”: the “loyalists” remained British North Americans, removing themselves to what was then known as “Upper Canada” – or to the “mother country”, which latter option none other than Benjamin Franklin’s son did. As for the remainder who were not “patriots”, they just stayed stumm and got on with life.

        The vast majority of British North American colonists were British, and they were not colonized by the British: they were the European colonizers of North America. They continued to colonize and expand westwards after Great Britain had accepted their independence at the Treaty of Paris, 1783, which westwards expansion the British government had been against and which opposition was another bone of contention for the land-hungry colonists. That the land they hungered for belonged to someone else was of no consequence, albeit that the Native americans, as far as I am aware, had a different perception of “land ownership” and personal ownership in general.

        Up to the 1870s, by far the greatest number of immigrants to the USA were British: the Irish were British subjects at that time, I should add. Take a look at the family names of the combatants in the US Civil War, especially those who fought for the Confederacy: the majority, from rank and file upwards, had British ancestors. There were exceptions, of course: Longstreet’s forefathers hailed from the Netherlands and Beauregard had French ancestry, but Lee, for example, was the descendant of immigrants who came from Shropshire, England and Jefferson Davis’s forefathers hailed from Wales.

        Of the huge post-bellum flood of immigrants to the USA from Europe, the majority came from what is now Germany, hence the very many US citizens with German family names – Heather Nauert, to name but one of such millions, and not least the present US president. Interestingly, however, Eisenhower’s forebears emigrated from what is now Germany long before the American Revolution took place.

        It has often made me smile in the past when such a sentiment as parodied by John Cleese in the hilariously funny movie “A Fish Called Wanda”, namely “We whipped you Limeys real good”, has been uttered to me by US citizens having family names that are most certainly not English, Irish, Scottish or Welsh.

        Like

    2. I am so tired of hearing about the wonderful game-changing Javelin. The Ukie expats bellowed about it in comments forums for a couple of years: if we could only get the Javelin, just watch our smoke, Russians – there would go your asses. Well, they have the Javelin. Did they take Crimea back and I missed it?

      It seems as if Washington figured Putin would become so bent out of shape with fury over the delivery of the Javelin to Ukraine that he would attack. And if there actually were hundreds of thousands of Russian troops in Ukraine, and almost 1000 tanks like Porko the Lunatic says, perhaps he would. But the Javelin is an anti-tank weapon, so precious the Ukrainians will not waste it on anything else, and there are no anti-tank battles right now – all of the war seems to consist of artillery pieces shelling each other’s positions.

      Washington loves to pat itself on the back for its cleverness, and seems to think sending a handful of Javelins to Ukraine is the height of strategic brilliance. So what? Have they changed the course of the war? They may if the Ukrainians sell them, and raise a little money for their cratering economy.

      Like

      1. You and me both Mark. I do not know if the actual US armed forces are this way, but it seems that the endless legions of armchair warriors that one encounters online never cease to trumpet the superiority of US Wunderwaffen when given the opportunity. The Javelin itself being fairly high up on the totem pole of tech-wankery.

        The strangest thing about that phenomena is that from the research I had done back during the bellowing that you mention, the Javelin is a rather average and unremarkable weapon system. Admittedly I do not speak from any kind of experience or authority, but from an engineering curiosity. Its main advantages seem to be a fire and forget capability due to infrared guidance and it’s ability to punch somewhat above its weight as a (mostly) handheld system. It really does not bring anything to the table that the forces fighting in Ukraine (both Ukrainian and Novorossian) have not already dealt with or deployed themselves. Come to think of it it is not even particularly modern, especially when compared with something like the French MMP.

        Like

  69. From Bild, Germany’s most popular rag:

    US-Botschafter droht deutschen Firmen mit Sanktionen
    13.01.2019 – 06:40 UHR

    US Ambassador Threatens German Firms with Sanctions

    The yellow-press journal claims it has a letter written by the ambasssador, in which such a threat is made. The firms in question are those that are participating in the Nord Stream 2 project.

    Hardly surprising, really! Germany has been occupied by the USA since 1945.

    Like

    1. Neuters: German business group says U.S. mustn’t sanction Europe’s use of Russian gas
      https://www.reuters.com/article/us-germany-russia/german-business-group-says-u-s-mustnt-sanction-europes-use-of-russian-gas-idUSKCN1P50SR

      …“If the U.S. decided to sanction the use of Russian gas, that would be an attack on German and European sovereignty,” Wolfgang Buechele, chairman of the German Committee on East European Economic Relations, told a new year news conference.

      Any move in that direction should draw a sharp response from Berlin, he said.

      “I believe the Nord Stream 2 project is in the pure interests of not just Germany but also of Europe,” Buechele said of the pipeline, which would feed into Europe-wide gas transmission networks.

      The German Committee on East European Economic Relations is an umbrella group representing German firms doing business in Eastern Europe. ..

      …Buechele said Europe had no alternative to Russian gas, adding that the liquefied natural gas that Washington has touted as an alternative was both more expensive and more harmful to the environment.

      “We need these resources in the long term,” he said. ..

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    2. The clowns in Washington are under the delusion that they can coerce Russia to keep transiting gas through Pukeraine. They need to start shopping for clues. For example, Russia has deployed a massive amount of LNG export infrastructure including LNG tankers. It could shut down transit through the Banderite toilet and give notice that the EU needs to buy its LNG instead. Perhaps Uncle Scumbag can sanction Russian gas exports, that would make things perfectly clear for the world.

      Like

  70. FlightGlobal.com: Russian Helicopters shipped 31 EMS rotorcraft in 2018
    https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/russian-helicopters-shipped-31-ems-rotorcraft-in-201-454962/

    …Russia is creating a unified air ambulance service, for which Russian Helicopters is a key supplier.

    “At the end of 2018, the air ambulance development programme involved 60 helicopters saving lives in 34 regions of our country,” says Andrey Boginsky, director general of Russian Helicopters…
    ####

    I’m sure I’ve posted about this before, so it’s good to see a new item that shows everything is on track.

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  71. USS Fort McHenry, the latest stern threat to “Vlad” and Russia and the Crimea and all those murderin’, godless Russian SOBs!!! …

    Back after 5 days [Turkish source]

    Reported as having entered the Bosporus from the Black Sea, where it had been for 5 days; heading for the Sea of Marmara.

    Mission accomplished!

    Putin must have shat himself.

    Like

    1. I have seen assorted NATzO fanbois call Russian ships rust-buckets based on some apparent rust. This thing must be about to crumble into pure rust debris at any moment following their stellar logic.

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    2. Looking like that, she was probably enroute home from a deployment, and was asked to stop in at the Black Sea for a token show-the-flag visit to appease the Ukies and thumb the American nose at Vlad. She could not have been in that condition just in a trip from her home port to the Bosporus and 5 days in the Black Sea, and no Commander would let his ship remain in such a state in home port. Also, the vehicles on the upper deck look like generators and isolated power installations typically seen on a ship which is going into refit.

      Like

      1. Are those rust trails the result of leakages from the deck? What usually causes those rust trails and are they an indication of neglect or insufficient preparation time for the visit? Curious to know.

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        1. They are usually from overboard drains and scuppers. While alongside the sides of the ship can be scrubbed to keep her looking smart, but at sea over a long period the seawater from the deck draining over the side leaves rust trails. There is not a marine paint made that will stand up to sea exposure for very long; all it needs is a tiny crack in the surface and it has soon made its way beneath it and lifts it off as the steel under it rusts.

          For that reason, most drains terminate near the waterline rather than higher, where the stain would be more noticeable, even if they have a long run inside the hull. But scuppers which drain the free-surface water and spray off the upper decks will eventually leave rust stains over the side and you cannot practically relocate them.

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  72. From 6:00, the US sanctioned supplies of composite material inputs back in 2015. But since then Russian research institutes have come up with domestic replacements. The domestic inputs have been fully tested

    Kommersant can’t even get the story straight. Over three years late and wrong. This is the characteristic pooping of the comprardor media and 5th column malcontents on everything Russia. They really should pack their bags and bugger on off to their precious NATzO promised land. They serve no useful function in Russia and clearly have serious mental issues based on living there. Maybe living in their mythical NATzO paradise will be better for their mental health.

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    1. True, and Russia has done a stellar job of making their own, but then why the need to frighten off the US & Japanese company now?

      From the stuff I’ve already posted, I suspect that such a possibility was expected at some point but they kept foreign companies onboard as their canary/backup/alternative if necessary.

      On the plus side, Russia cannot be sued by either company as they have voluntarily withdrawn from whatever contracts they have with Russia.

      On the double plus side, all these companies shying off working with Russia though threats from Washington automatic create a list of unreliable companies for Russia. If they ever want to do business again with Russia, they’ll have to provide above and beyond standard legal guarantees that they will deliver!* Now I’m sure such guarantees could be challenged as anti-competitive or whatever, but the evidentiary precedent has been set. Speaking of anti-competitive behavior, I’m following the Apple/Qualcomm bust up – they’re both slippery b**$@ards posing as schoolgirls…

      * And let us not forget that Russia has guaranteed both Boeing and Airbus the supply of crucial titanium for their products** Time for another behind the doors warning. B&A both having design centers in Moscow employing over 1k Russians too. Keeping one’s powder dry for revenge served cold if necessary as well as considering the consequences…

      ** https://www.cnbc.com/2018/04/13/russia-could-stop-exporting-titanium-to-boeing-in-retaliation-to-trump-sanctions.html

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  73. Latest news is that the Polaks are going to construct an artificial island in Kaliningrad Bay.

    For security reasons, see.

    Польша построит остров в Калининградском заливе

    MOSCOW, 13 Jan — RIA Novosti. Poland is going to construct an artificial island in the Kaliningrad Gulf to ensure security in the region, reports the Polish newspaper Onet, referring to the tender documents of government agencies.

    The island will be in Polish territorial waters and is to be created by using material dredged during the construction of a navigable channel through the Baltic spit.

    It is reported that the island surface will be 2-3 meters above sea level and it will be elliptical in shape, having a length of about two kilometres and a width of about one.

    According to the publication, the island will not be used for tourism purposes. Its construction is estimated to cost 880 million zloty (about 16 billion rubles).

    The island is to be constructed as part of a programme for the construction of a waterway connecting Kaliningrad Bay with Gdansk. This programme is aimed at ensuring the security of the country and its defence capability in the region.

    In may 2016, the Polish government decided on the construction of a canal through the Baltic spit, which will connect the Vistula lagoon to Gdańsk Bay. In accordance with the plan, the construction of the canal will allow seagoing vessels to enter the Polish port of Elblag.

    In December 2018, the Polish authorities announced a tender for the construction of the canal, and shortly before this, the chairman of the ruling party in Poland, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, and the Minister of Maritime Affairs and Shipping, Marek Grabarczyk, set in the ground a pillar, which symbolically marks the beginning of the work.

    Must have money to burn!

    Anyway, that island will certainly scare off any Russians who have ideas of invading Poland from Kaliningrad.

    Like

    1. Other than a place to dump dredge spoils, what is its purpose exactly? Can’t do much with a pile of muck except plant a flag perhaps..

      Like

      1. The artificial island will be elliptical in form and cover an area of over 180 hectares. A football field is about 1 hectare in area.

        I’d imagine the most likely purpose would be to build a fort (such as ME suggested) for surveilling the area, a prison or a detention centre for refugees or immigrants. Already Polish authorities have said the island is not for tourism purposes so scrub out hotel complex, zoological park / animal sanctuary, amusement park, beach and swimming recreation area, and botanical gardens from the list of possible purposes.

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        1. It will still be a pile of muck. Unless breakwaters and riprap surround the entire parameter, it will slump back into the sea. Stable land will require drainage, compaction, more fill, more drainage, etc. Unless the spoils are mostly sand, it will likely never become stable enough for any use beyond a seagull sanctuary.

          Any sort of a building may require a foundation built atop pilings sunk quite deeply, perhaps hundreds of feet. It seems more like a stupid stunt to excite the yokels.

          Like

      2. If Russia was doing it – for the same announced reasons, that it would enhance its security – the western media would be afire with mockery. All the late-night comedy shows would feature brooding autocratic leaders building egg-shaped islands right off their own coast, to ‘enhance their security’, and the audience would roar with mirth. But because it is Poland – and they are a not-nutty-at-all ally – we are supposed to take them seriously. The west will probably declare a Poland Island Day in support of their wonderful idea. Maybe Raytheon will offer them a Patriot missile battery to put on it.

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  74. Vesti News
    Published on 13 Jan 2019
    Subscribe to Vesti News
    Vladimir Zhirinovsky, leader of the LDPR: “Nobody knows what and who to fight. Nobody basically knows what will happen in 2019, 2020, 2021, or 2022. The process has been initiated, the resources have been depleted. The only thing we can do is increase our military power to make them fear us and to make our pro-Western elite understand that we’ll never be partners, friends, and will never be on the same side. We’ll always be in a harsh confrontation. They should get rid of the illusion that Russia will eventually become part of the Western world.”

    Like

    1. Sometimes Zhirinovsky talks sense, and even at his worst he is more sensible than the western political establishment. He’s right, and the Russian Kreakliy should get used to the idea that the west mistrusts them just as much as it does all the other Russians, It would be happy to use them to bring about regime change, but its plan is and always will be to dismantle the Russian Federation into ethnic republics, which can be set to squabbling among themselves.

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  75. US diplomacy par excellance:

    Fucking Gobshite in Chief!

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    1. Trump threatens to ‘devastate Turkey economically’ if it attacks Kurds amid US withdrawal from Syria
      Published time: 13 Jan, 2019 23:05
      Edited time: 14 Jan, 2019 02:14

      In an apparent gesture to save face, following a questionable outcome of four years of uninvited American presence in Syria and an abrupt withdrawal, Trump has once-again credited the US military for destroying IS, disregarding the fact that most of the country was liberated from terrorists by the Syrian army, with the help of the Russian military.

      Their bullshit is so good that they believe it themselves!

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      1. It is not as it may appear. Trump knows or he has been advised that an attack by Turkey on the Kurds is unlikely given Russia’s influence in the area. So, he can posture and chest pound and get away with it. Also, it satisfies, to some extent, the hawks and the MSM. I think that the foregoing can explain much of his bombastic rhetoric. He is doing what he needs to do to survive.

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