Doctor Politico, Reliable Journatard.

Uncle Volodya says, “In politics, stupidity is not a handicap.”

“We are in the process of creating what deserves to be called the idiot culture. Not an idiot sub-culture, which every society has bubbling beneath the surface and which can provide harmless fun; but the culture itself. For the first time, the weird and the stupid and the coarse are becoming our cultural norm, even our cultural ideal.”

Carl Bernstein

Don’t wanna be an American idiot,
One nation controlled by the media;
Information age of hysteria…

Green Day, from “American Idiot

Is there, anywhere in the great trackless expanse of the internet, a pseudo-news site more gratuitously insulting, more deliberately offensive than Politico?

I have to say, the hysterical, grunting, wild-eyed hatred routinely on show there reminds me of La Russophobe in her prime. Its reliance on anyone who will say what it wants to hear reminds me of her sycophantic celebration of the ‘work’ of Paul Goble, deep thinker and self-confessed former CIA spook operating from darkest Taunton, Virginia. Once described by Mark Adomanis – remember him? Lithuanian by descent, referred to Edward Snowden as the worst kind of traitor until outed by a commenter as a former employee himself of Booz Allen Hamilton, the security consultancy which had employed Snowden – as ‘a whore who trawls through the lowest gutter press in Russia such as Novaya Gazeta, translates their articles and passes them off as analysis’. Anyway, the default mode at Politico is ‘unhinged’, while its agenda is as easy to see as a turd in a punchbowl, and about as edifying.

The example I’m most recently acquainted with is this hatchet job on Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine. Let me say up front that I am not a believer in any of the current magic vaccines, and am not interested in being vaccinated with any of them. However, this nakedly partisan attack is in a class by itself; over-the-top hyperbole that labels everything that comes from Russia a weapon. Let’s take a look.

The piece starts out neutrally enough, mentioning – accurately, enjoy it, because that might be the last time you see it for awhile – that the Russian vaccine was given the stamp of approval by The Lancet, Europe’s leading and most-respected medical journal. I would just point out here, in fairness, that The Lancet is as guilty of political bias as anything in print, and only last year was forced to withdraw its approval of a study which found hydroxychloroquine completely ineffective against the symptoms of coronavirus, and even hazardous to health. It transpired the study relied on a database which was mostly bullshit, and was overseen by a director at Brigham & Women’s Health Hospital which was at that time carrying out a trial of Remdesvir, hydroxychloroquine’s rival and a clear conflict of interest. As if that were not enough, America’s ‘leading infectious disease expert’, Dr. Anthony Fauci – living proof that if you claim every possible position on an issue, you are bound to be right on one of them – also piled on that no randomized, placebo-controlled studies have found hydroxychloroquine to be effective. For the record, it is possible if not probable that hydroxychloroquine’s studied efficacy was due to other factors. That does not change the fact that if Dr. Fauci told me my own name, I would check my driver’s license to make sure he was not lying.

Be that as it may, Politico quickly shifted into its customary sneering derision. It also wants you to know that Moscow ‘humiliated’ EU leader Josep Borrell when all he wanted to do was congratulate Russia on its success. In fact Borrell was in Moscow to talk about the Sputnik V vaccine, with a view to securing some doses for the EU. And if he had confined himself to that subject, he would have been warmly received. Unfortunately, he also wanted to shoot his European mouth off about ‘political dissident’ and ‘opposition leader’ Alexey Navalny, and to convey Europe’s absolute insistence that he be released ‘immediately and unconditionally’, which kind of smothered any possibility of cordiality from that moment on. Kind of like how if Lavrov visited Borrell in his native Spain, and ordered him to release Catalan leader Oriol Junqueras would go over among the Spanish.

“It’s a nightmare,” said German Green Viola von Cramon-Taubadel, an MEP who sits on the European Parliament’s foreign affairs committee. Likening Russia’s Sputnik strategy to its sports doping scandal, she called it an “urgent matter” that demands the EU’s attention.”

What, you mean Russia’s ‘sports doping scandal’ which saw 28 of 39 convictions overturned on appeal, and Olympic medals which had been ordered stripped from the athletes reinstated? That doping scandal? The one that saw the prosecution’s star witness, Dr. Grigory Rodchenkov, crash and burn like the Hindenburg? That doping scandal?

“How the Times could provide such minimal coverage of these important April 2018 reasoned CAS decisions on matters on which the Times had extensively reported is inexplicable. By allowing the Russian athletes, for the very first time, to confront their accusers with cross-examination, the CAS was in a position to make startling revelations about Rodchenkov and McLaren. Rodchenkov, for example, admitted that he never personally witnessed any accused Russian athlete committing doping violations themselves, including taking the illegal drug cocktail, giving a clean urine sample out of competition, tampering with a urine sample, or transmitting information to co-conspirators about the coding on the drug sample after it had been given.

Furthermore, several of Rodchenkov’s explanations of events were simply not believable. For example, Rodchenkov had stated that the swapping of urine samples occurred after 1 am, but his own diary entries confirmed his bedtime by midnight each night, with two or three exceptions. When confronted with this contradiction, he made the incredible claim that he had lied to his diary.

Dr. Rodchenkov also could not recall with any degree of accuracy the ingredients in the ‘Duchess Cocktail’ which he claimed to have invented himself, for the purpose of undetectably doping athletes.

All that notwithstanding, you can sort of see why Politico tapped von Cramon for her opinion; it had most likely already apprised itself of her Russophobic credentials from this letter she sent to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, imploring her to slow down any approval process for the Russian vaccine, citing a Russia “unfortunately notorious for politicising and manipulating even medicine and science when it serves a political goal.” No mention at all of the west, chiefly the UK and USA, politicizing sport until the Olympics is just a big rainbow-sparkle state-doping extravaganza in which actual sport comes a far-distant second to politics.

Overall I must say we still wonder why Russia is offering theoretically millions and millions of doses while not sufficiently progressing in vaccinating their own people,” she remarked…This is also a question that I think should be answered.”She underscored that Russia would need to permit inspections of its manufacturing sites and submit all of their data for scrutiny as part of the regulatory approval process

Oh; can you afford to adopt that smarmy tone, Ms. von der Leyen? I don’t think you can, and your frantic ass-covering over EU vaccine shortages bears me out.

“After harsh criticism of European vaccine procurement, von der Leyen said the pharmaceutical industry had simply not been able to keep up with the “groundbreaking pace” of vaccine development. Her agency has since set up a working group to prevent further production problems, due, for example, to shortages in the supply of ingredients.”

Once again, and probably not for the last time, it’s a good thing I am not in charge in Russia; I have no patience at all for the chowderhead inbreeders who make up the EU’s leadership, and I would long since have said, “Know what? You’re right – we’ll keep all our vaccine for ourselves and our direct-marketing clients. Thanks, and no need for further visits.” I might have thrown some sailor-talk in there too. Meanwhile, Seeking Alpha sees the Sputnik vaccine as a likely candidate for most popular vaccine outside the western world.

“Currently, there are about 20 countries that already authorized the Russian vaccine for use, while countless others are lining up, following a glowing review of the vaccine that appeared in the Lancet Journal. While the Russian vaccine will probably never be used in the US and it may only be used in a small number of EU countries, I think that its specific qualities make it a candidate to become the most popular vaccine outside the Western World.

The fact that it is over 90% effective and it is also apparently safe makes it an attractive vaccine compared with many other conventional vaccines, most of which did not achieve an effectiveness rate that is even close to the Russian one. The only two vaccines that are currently in use that also claim an effectiveness rate that is over 90% are the mRNA-based vaccines from Moderna (MRNA)and Pfizer (PFE). The two mRNA vaccines do suffer a major handicap however when it comes to distributing it and administering it in places where the infrastructure meant to keep it at very low temperatures is lacking. Russia’s vaccine can be kept in a household fridge if need be, while the Pfizer vaccine needs to be kept at -70 Celsius. Given its overall advantages, I foresee this vaccine becoming the preferred available choice for literally billions of people around the world.”

Would Russia’s time be well-spent trying to influence the United States, do you think? What about Europe, especially under its current wildly-incompetent leadership? Or would it be better off working with countries who don’t spit on the doorstep when it rings the bell? That’s what I thought, too. Russia and China both have made significant progress in South and Central American relations, while the Trumpian debacle of trying to hammer the Guaido peg into the Venezuela hole is still fresh in everyone’s mind. Europe’s view is “If we’re not your friend, you don’t have any friends”. Washington’s is “I’ll think about your offer while you tell me who is going to be the leader of our gang”. What would you say to two actual people who behaved like that? Would it be two words? Would they be ‘Happy Birthday”? I thought not.

Back to the Politico attack piece, and Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonytė.

“Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonytė is also staking out her opposition to the Russian jab, and has said her country will shun Sputnik even if the EMA approves it. There’s “no doubt” that Russia’s efforts to sell the vaccine to Europe are “yet another geopolitical game,” she warned.”

The Lithuanians have elevated Russophobia to a national obligation; it’s part of being a patriotic Lithuanian. Of which there are now 2.79 million, meaning total citizens and not necessarily ethnic Lithuanians, down from a high of 3.7 million in 1992, which was just about exactly the moment it announced its independence from the USSR. Before that it had seen a steady climb in demographics, so that the population of Lithuania now is about what it was in 1955, maybe a bit less. Freedom is untidy, right? Anyway, imagining once again that I am leader of the Russian Federation, I’d be saying, “Make a note of that, Sergey; no vaccine for Lithuania, I don’t care if they’re injecting mosquito repellent in desperation.” Don’t let your mouth get your face in trouble, Ingrida – at the moment Lithuania has an accumulated 194,051 COVID cases, of whom 3,171 have died. Lithuania currently is experiencing a vaccine shortage and has only the Pfizer vaccine; its hope of achieving herd immunity rests on acquiring millions of doses of the Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca vaccines, the former currently awaiting approval from the EU, and the latter just approved end of last month. The AstraZeneca vaccine achieved only 60% efficacy in trials. Against Sputnik’s 91.6% assessed efficacy. But Lithuanian pride? Priceless.

I see the Sputnik V vaccine being very well received in places like Africa, where a freezer that keeps your vaccines at a comfy -70 Celsius might be a bit hard to come by, like the Pfizer vaccine requires. It’s also much cheaper. I see it doing well in Eastern Europe, once some of the snotty pretenders realize they are going to be at the back of the line for vaccines that the west cannot seem to make fast enough.

I also see this not being a long-term issue, because people around the world are already fed up with the high-handedness of public-health Caligulas, and are not going to take kindly to being told they now need an annual COVID vaccination to cope with an always-mutating virus that just laughs mockingly at herd immunity. Someday, someday soon, a critical mass of people is going to say under its breath, “This far, no further”.

But the sheer prickishness of the leaders of the EU will be remembered, long after COVID has shuffled offstage. The hysteria of the German Greens, former radical liberals gone momentarily respectable simply because the rest of Germany’s government is as dysfunctional as a Marilyn Manson concert. The clumsy defensiveness of Borrell, who didn’t realize he had been insulted until he got home and his barking-mad colleagues told him all about it. The icy condescension of von der Leyen. Uncle Sam, grinning in the wings, ready to bend the EU over and fuck it ’til it cries with its own fancy deep-freeze twice-as-nice-for-twice-the-price vaccines. Remember.

You brought it all on yourselves.

2,164 thoughts on “Doctor Politico, Reliable Journatard.

  1. In case you missed it.

    Euractiv: Russian-Estonian foreign ministers hold discussion for first time in five years
    https://www.euractiv.com/section/politics/short_news/russian-estonian-foreign-ministers-hold-discussion-for-first-time-in-five-years/

    Estonian and Russian foreign ministers, Eva-Maria Liimets and Sergei Lavrov, held a discussion last Friday on the situation in Ukraine and the unratified border agreement between Estonia and Russia, Estonian broadcaster ERR News reported.

    The 20-minute phone conversation is the first in five years and can be seen as a step forward in resolving tensions on the Russian-Ukrainian border…

    …Commentators have already described the discussion as two separate monologues, with Estonian MP Marko Mihkelson saying the call between foreign ministers was more a way for the two to become acquainted, adding that what mattered was that a conversation had started.
    ####

    Another PR stunt.

    Estonia supposedly wants to talk about the unratified border agreement but brings up the Ukraine, something it has nothing to do with (apart from as Brussels parrot). Then it wants to have a friendly conversation. I don’t know how many of my fellow Kremlin Stooges have read the Asterix comics, but when the first fish starts flying the amity has rapidly evaporated.

    As for the border, WTF does ‘move forward’ mean? Does Tallin actually expect Russia to give up territory or just give them some fake PR victory?

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  2. Apparently, I have been banned from the Saker blog. My sin? Rather gently pointing out that he should go easy on condemning Alexander Mercouris for wrong predictions when the Saker himself made spectacularly wrong predictions including that Russia should not support Syria nor help the rebels in Ukraine. I gave the Saker over $50,000 which may have saved his family from bankruptcy if I am to believe his sob story. Now I am banned for pricking his ego.

    Mark, please feel free to delete this post if you feel it is inappropriate. I’m just a little hot under the collar at the moment,

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Not at all; you can vent as you please. I think I am the last person in North American to not know who The Saker is, or perhaps I am just not very curious. I read the blog occasionally and it often has very good insights. But anyone who tries to forecast future happenings is going to have to go on what his or her instincts suggest will happen, and roll the dice. And we are all occasionally wrong; some are pretty much always wrong.

      Alex has good analysis skills and he usually explains why he thinks something will happen a certain way. His reasons are usually sound, but that does not mean the future will turn out the way he said it would, even if his reasoning was accurate. And there’s nothing like being right a couple of times to make you cocky, and to think, you know what? I’m good at this. I’ve been embarrassingly wrong myself more than once, often just after being right and thinking I knew everything.

      I recall that whole debacle about Carlos the mysterious Ukrainian Air Traffic Controller started at The Saker blog. I’m still not sure what to think about that, but it looks like it might have been a red herring, one of those softballs the regime-changers pitch just so they can hit it out of the park, the way StopFake sets up tempting baits using scenarios it knows it can 100% prove are false, and then waits for someone to excitedly report it so they can jump on it and make them look like a fool.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The Saker tends to thump the Bible when cornered. His understanding of national and global economics is that of an Ayn Rand acolyte. He is good on specific military analyses. That is enough on the Saker. May he enjoy his celebrity status.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Club Orlov presents a rather interesting solution to the Ukraine problem – evacuation of the Donbass population to Russia! The Mink treaty would prevent Kiev from occupying the Donbass. Russia gains a motivated and good quality work force not to mention fulfilling one of Putin’s objectives of protecting Russian citizens.

    The Ukonazis, denied their victims, will turn on each other.

    I am not doing justice to the full argument. It is just a novel and clever solution. It would not be cheap but less expensive than a war.

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    1. Interesting solution but it founders on the assumption that Ukraine’s interest in the area does not include driving out the Russian-speaking population (which might extend as far as genocide as the most extreme option) to free up the land for foreign mining, agribusiness or other corporate exploitation.

      Even if Kiev were to abide by the Minsk treaty, the empty space could be filled up by a third party and there’d be nothing Kiev could do to stop that third party, especially if that third party was supplying Kiev with drones and mercenary fighters against Russia. (Turkey, I’m looking at you.)

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      1. True, Kiev would consider it a successful genocide but the “victims” would be better off than living in Ukraine. Few foreign investors are interested in Ukraine so gaining the Donbass region may not change that situation. Moreover, a scorched-earth withdrawal may occur despite official efforts to the contrary.

        If Russia were to forbid remittance from Russia to Ukraine, a substantial portion of the Ukrainian economy would cease.

        It’s ugly but it seems better than war.

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        1. “If Russia were to forbid remittance from Russia to Ukraine, a substantial portion of the Ukrainian economy would cease.”

          Russia also remains Ukraine’s biggest foreign investor by a wide margin. If Russia simultaneously pulled all its investments out, forbade money transfers between Russia and Ukraine and stopped paying transit fees, Ukraine would be squealing to Uncle Sam to save it.

          It doesn’t because, I believe, some part of Russia hopes that one day Ukraine and Russia can be friends again, when the political extremists are gone, either through being voted out or overthrown. There remain many friendly connections between the two countries despite the official policy of enmity, and a lot of family relationships. As I think I have mentioned before, my brother-in-law is Ukrainian by birth, although he has lived almost all his life in Russia. He is married to my wife’s older sister.

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          1. Wouldn’t it be tough love for Russia to pull the plug on the Ukraine economy? Those Ukrainians who truly understand why Russia did what it did will remain loyal to Russia. Those who do not will view Russia as weak. The ideal outcome is that the loyals will come to power by their own actions without help from Russia. That would be a sustainable outcome.

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              1. It’s an internal matter best worked out by the people who live there using their own brand of justice.

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      2. Svidomites include expansion in their policies; note: unlike “Russian expansion”, this is not “aggression”!

        Svidomites consider Voronezh a Ukrainian city. It’s the capital of the Russian Black Earth region. There’s black earth in the Ukraine, therefore, its eastwards extension into Russia is also Ukrainian

        The stupid twats also consider the Krasnodar Territory of Russia as part of the Ukraine as well, because there are Cossacks that live there.

        This “Greater Ukraine” that the bastards have in mind stems from a WWI map of a new, post-WWI independent Ukraine drawn up by the hopefully victorious in that war Austro-Hungarian Empire, whose Greek-Orthodox/Roman Catholic Galitsian subjects were the great grandparents of present-day Svidomite Galitsian shits.

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    2. But it would also remove one major obstacle of the Ukraine joining NATO, no territorial disputes. Leaving would essentially be seen as inviting NATO troops to Russia’s border.

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      1. True, but would Minsk need implementation first?

        Not to make light of NATO but the more puffed up they become, the weaker they are. Will Ukrainians (other than the Nazi thugs who would not a good fighting force) weaken the NATO ground forces? Same for most of the other new NATO members – count them out if there is a real war. The only NATO advantage would be forward deployed air bases which may not be much of an advantage given Russian weapon technology.

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        1. I doubt it. The fact that Zelensky has said that the Minsk Agreement is dead and the total silence from NATO says enough. It’s the same methodology practiced since ex-Yug. Only agree to a cease-fire to save yourself, rearm, train and rebuild before attacking again.

          I don’t see any wisdom in having NATO closer to Russia, rather keeping your enemy at arms length or preferably much further away is a considerable quality all of its own. I wouldn’t want nuclear capable F-35 stationed anywhere near either.

          As for Crimea (territorial disputes), I’m sure that NATO doesn’t mind it’s on Kiev’s ‘to do’ list. After all it is not a messy front line but a very clearly defined peninsula. The west has been more than happy to bend its rules in to pretzels for joining the EU too.

          The USA is behaving as if they think they are immune from being hit if they yet again cause trouble in u-Rope, despite Russia having proven and unstoppable weapons systems (Avantgard etc.). Russia won’t pick a fight. That’s quite a big assumption to make when you are pushing their red lines regularly, not to mention surprise of attack is a key quality.

          On the plus side, Russia has announced that a summit with Bi-Dumb is not on the cards at this moment in time. No doubt they want Washington to prove they are trustworthy. That’ll be a long haul which I cannot see the US maintaining for very long. They just have to poke.

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      2. Would NATO really accept it, do you think? A lot of the factors that would have made Ukraine an enrapturing plaything for NATO – it’s status as a major trading partner with Russia, the porous border, ease of traveling back and forth, the common language – have already been removed, hardened or subjected to additional scrutiny. Ukraine is desperately poor, much of it is in ruins and it has lost a major source of viable income in the crumbling of its gas transit system. If the west was going to make it into a prosperous western satellite, enjoying bustling trade with Europe and the USA, it would already have done so – the Ukrainian government has more than proven its loyalty. But pretty much all it buys from Ukraine is sunflower oil, and concessions such as building American helicopters in Ukraine are merely a transfer of US taxpayer dollars to the US government, since the helicopters it builds will be bought by Ukraine for its armed forces. If there was much Europe could do to welcome Ukraine to the fold, you’d think it would already be doing it. And nobody seems to have a couple of hundred billion dollars lying around to rebuild it and drag it up to European standards, without even addressing the problems of rampant corruption and an oligarch network which controls about 70% of its GDP.

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  4. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki announced at a briefing on April 13 that the US in its relations with Russia sought predictability rather than trust.

    See:

    ‘US policy is the polar opposite’: Diplomat fires back at Psaki’s ‘predictability’ remark
    Over the past 10 years, the US has become the most unpredictable state, Maria Zakharova said

    How about this for a prediction from the Evil Empire:

    «Мы вас похороним!»

    Wrongly translated as a threat, thus:

    We will bury you!

    However, in 1956, First Secretary Khrushchev said: “About the capitalist states, it doesn’t depend on you whether or not we exist. If you don’t like us, don’t accept our invitations, and don’t invite us to come to see you. Whether you like it or not, history is on our side. We shall bury you!”

    “We will bury you” is a statement of intent, an assertion, a promise/threat.

    “We shall bury you” means that it is pre-ordained, a foregone conclusion, a fact that we shall be at your funeral.

    See, a foregone conclusion, fate, rule of nature, God’s “will” if you wish, because Krushchev said “history is on our side”.

    One day I shall die! I am not predicting this absolute fact; I do not intend to die: at present it is not my will to die sometime after now.

    Most however took what Krushchev said as a nuclear threat — because of that “will” translation.

    Most seem not to know nowadays the semantic difference between “I/we shall do” and “I/we will do”.

    However when welcoming Mr. Krushchev to Los Angeles in 1959, the mayor of that city got it right:

    “We do not agree with your widely quoted phrase ‘We shall bury you’. You shall not bury us and we shall not bury you. We are happy with our way of life. We recognize its shortcomings and are always trying to improve it. But if challenged, we shall fight to the death to preserve it.”

    That mayor of Los Angeles was an educated man by the sound of it. Much more educated than a couple of erstwhile Governors of California whom I can remember.

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    1. He may have been an educated man, and back then, the part about ‘we recognize its shortcomings and are always trying to improve it’ might even have been true. But in modern times the only shortcoming of the freedom-and-democracy package which is recognized is that there remain pockets of resistance. It is touted as imperfect at the same time as its ardent marketers could not name a single thing which would improve it other than the earth’s complete envelopment by it. The emergence of a few more multi-billionaires and millionaires every year is celebrated as a triumph, while the living standard of the middle class groans and stretches in an attempt to hold on to its pitiful gains.

      I always interpreted the ‘we will bury you’ remark in the ‘we shall be around for your funeral’ context, as in ‘we will outlast you; when you are gone, we will still be here’. Not an intention to assault the United States until it is dead and then bury it, simply a confidence that its system cannot sustain it. And that assessment looks more accurate all the time.

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      1. I always interpreted the ‘we will bury you’ remark in the ‘we shall be around for your funeral’ context, . .

        Exactly!

        The verb Krushchev used was the future tense of похоронить.

        похороны means “a funeral” (strangely, only in the plural — plurale tantum)

        So Мы вас похороним really means “we shall/will funeralize you”.

        The verb “to bury” as in “to bury a bone” is , i.e. закопать кость (кость — bone).

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  5. Antiwar.com: Top US/NATO Commander Prepared to Use ‘Full Weight of the Transatlantic Alliance’ Against Russia and China
    https://news.antiwar.com/2021/04/13/top-us-nato-commander-prepared-to-use-full-weight-of-the-transatlantic-alliance-against-russia-and-china/

    General Tod Wolters, the dual-hatted top commander of U.S. European Command and NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Europe, testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee on April 13 as part of a review of the 2022 Pentagon authorization request and the Future Years Defense Program. He appeared primarily in his first capacity, though the two roles are coterminous. As top NATO commander he can requisition the military assets of thirty nations with a combined population of over one billion people….
    ####

    A lot more Full-Spectrum Insanity at the link.

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    1. Whoopty doo. When he says ‘full weight of the Transatlantic Alliance’, he means, “Europe first, and that’s where the battleground will be’. As I and others have pointed out before, he no longer gets to make that call, and American cities are as much on the bargaining table as any in Europe. Washington is suffused with righteous rage on grounds it has completely invented, but underlying it is fury that Russia and China will not capitulate, cannot be made to, and are increasingly uncoupling their economies from the west so as to decrease vulnerability to coercion. I would think adamant resistance would be a warning – you’re not getting your own way, and if you try, oh; it will be very costly. But Washington still apparently thinks you only have to rattle the sabre in its scabbard, and the monkeys will begin to shriek and hide their heads. It is sleepwalking into a major war that will devastate society, perhaps irrecoverably. But it is guaranteed that it will have to actually fight it, and is not going to reap the spoils simply by threatening it.

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  6. Al’s Jizz Error via Antiwar.com: Fury in Armenia as Azerbaijan displays war trophies
    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/4/13/fury-in-armenia-as-azerbaijan-displays-war-trophies

    Baku showcases ‘park of trophies’ displaying the helmets of Armenian troops who died in Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
    ####

    Is this ‘civilized’ because they are not using skulls? Remember kids, the Azeri dictatorship is an important strategic ally to the west and don’t expect to hear much from all those famous human rights defenders, even less the u-Ropean Parliament blowhards.

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    1. A good lesson for Armenia in what it cost to support a ‘democratic reformer’. I remember when Armenia’s liberals were giddy over Pashinyan’s victory, considering it a stinging rebuttal to Russia.

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  7. Middle Easy Why via Antiwar.com: UK bill shielding soldiers from war crimes charges challenged in House of Lords
    https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/uk-bill-shielding-soldiers-war-crimes-charges-challenged-house-lords

    Lords vote to amend Overseas Opposition Bill to ensure serious offences by military personnel, including genocide and torture, can be prosecuted

    …There remain concerns, however, that the government will steamroll the bill through the House of Commons…
    ####

    Do as we say, not as we do.

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  8. Interfax via Antiwar.com: Russia detains academic for allegedly passing secrets to NATO country: Interfax
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-russia-security-court/russia-detains-academic-for-allegedly-passing-secrets-to-nato-country-interfax-idUSKBN2C025G

    …Valery Golubkin, a professor who works at a Moscow institute studying aerodynamics, was accused of handing over secrets in a case involving an arrested physicist, Anatoly Gubanov, Interfax said, quoting a source. It did not name the NATO country…

    …“He’s an academic. His job (involves) a pen and paper, not handing over secrets,” lawyer Alexander Timoshenko was quoted as saying…

    …Critics of the Kremlin say the arrests often stem from unfounded paranoia…
    ####

    Paranoia? The UK arrested a former Rolls Royce turbine expert a few years back. Found it:

    ‘He would NEVER spy for China!’: Daughter defends engineer accused of plot to steal F-35B jet secrets’
    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5841851/British-former-Rolls-Royce-engineer-73-arrested-Official-Secrets-Act-China-plot.html

    ####

    And guess what, the trial was held in camera (not open to the public). It must be paranoia too. There are plenty of other cases also in the US where people have been interrogated for much less.

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    1. Anyone plotting to steal ‘F-35 secrets’ could only have wanted to make the process known to his own engineers to ensure they did not ever duplicate it, even accidentally.

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      1. Of course if the engineer Bryn Jones had been making regular trips to Albania and was receiving card-carrying MEK-member visitors from Albania quite a lot, he probably would never have come to the attention of MI5 in the first place.

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  9. Life is good. How Daria Navalnaya is studying at Stanford, thanks to the blog
    Yesterday


    Thanks dad!

    [Piling on weight, it seems. Too many BigMacs and milk shakes?]

    Suppose you are unemployed, and, basically, you have never worked, plus you have two convictions for fraud, what should you do in this situation? Is it correct to send your daughter to the USA, where she studies at the most prestigious and, accordingly, the most expensive university in the world?

    No, you are lying: you have sold out. However, Daria, thanks to her talent and Einstein-like knowledge, has been able enter Stanford absolutely free of charge.

    Um, um, okay then . . . So we go to the website of the university itself and read that foreign students study only on a paid basis. It turns out inconveniently, even if we assume that Daria had invented a perpetual motion machine, and along the way had proved string theory, then even in such a case, you need to prepare a suitcase full of money.

    A year of study at Stanford costs more than fifty thousand dollars; fees vary depending on the faculty, and the total cost of studies goes for two hundred thousand dollars. And this is only for studies and does not include accommodation and other expenses.

    It’s okay, yes, of course. It’s commendable that money is invested in education. This should only be welcomed, but I should like to ask where such a huge amount of money comes from. From a convicted, unemployed Lyosha? Well, you understand the rhetorical question. if you just think a little, it immediately becomes clear where the rivers of cash flow from.

    And, of course, you need to add that Daria herself wrote a touching story about how she entered an American university.

    It turns out that she sent a link to her personal blog to the Stanford admissions office, and lo and behold, the stern uncles and aunties, looking at this blog, shed tears. And they urgently wrote to Dasha, if you come here, we will enroll you and, moreover, you will study without paying any fees, and your accommodation will also be free, and there is also a canteen there.

    My handkerchief is all wet. And that’s what happened. We were told that this is a ruthless world of capitalism, Atlas shrugs, and suddenly there is such patronage — to an unknown girl from Russia.

    Now, now, I will just tear myself away, right to the depths of my soul: this story touched me. Everything is decided, guys. I will also send a link to my blog to Stanford, and suddenly, what happened with Daria will be repeated. They might even be moved by my articles. And they will write, Tatar, what money? Come as she did; live here, and the American taxpayers will pay for all this.

    Do you think this will happen?

    And of course, it is worth noting, directly emphasizing with a bold line, that Daria has not been to Russia in order to support her father,:she was not been to the rallies, was not at the court hearings, and she did not collect a dacha in the colony. Well, that’s right, study is more important, and others will go out onto the streets, and others will receive fines, and if maybe a criminal record. it is not for nothing that Atlas shrugged.

    Like

    1. Rushed the last paragraph above. Should read:

      And of course, it is worth noting by boldly underlining this, that Daria has not been to Russia in order to support her father, she has not been to the rallies, has not been at the court hearings, and she has not been given a summer cottage in a prison colony. Well yes, you’re right: study is more important. And others will go out onto the streets, and others will receive fines, and maybe a criminal record. It is not for nothing that Atlas shrugged.

      Like

  10. You’re going to go down!

    4.04.2021, 14: 58 updated at 17: 11
    The prosecutor asked for a year of correctional labor for Sobol

    The prosecutor has asked that the lawyer of the FBK (entered in the register of foreign agents) Lyubov Sobol be sentenced to one year of correctional labour with a fine of 20% of her salary in a criminal case on entering a home with the use of violence (Part 2 of Article 139 of the Criminal Code), the Kommersant correspondent reports. The court session is being held in the Perovsky District Court of Moscow.

    The prosecution attributed Sobol’s minor child to mitigating circumstances, and the commission of the crime as part of a group of persons by prior agreement to aggravating circumstances.

    “There is no doubt that the verdict will be today, and it will be a guilty verdict”, Sobol wrote on Twitter. Later, the court announced that the verdict will be announced on April 15.

    Lyubov Sobol is accused of harming Galina Subbotina, the mother-in-law of Konstantin Kudryavtsev, whom opposition leader Aleksey Navalny considers a participant in his alleged poisoning. A criminal case was opened against her on December 25. The investigation claims that Sobol inflicted “bodily injuries” on the victim.

    Have a wonderful time in a “concentration camp”, Lyuba!

    Like

      1. If they somehow managed to get Volkov, Pevchikh and Vasilyeva sent down together with Sobol, they’d have a full house — three of a kind and a pair.

        One can but dream . . .

        Like

    1. I wonder if they will let her bring in her cameraman to record the reading of the verdict, and permit her to control the narrative and ask her fiery questions? What do you say, Russia? One more time, for the good times?

      Like

  11. Sobol’s actions still appear as a laugh a minute!

    Lyubov Sobol offered state employment
    The prosecutor asked for a year of correctional labour for her breaking into an apartment


    How can they do this to me??!!
    14.04.2021, 23: 03

    On April 15, a verdict is due to be handed down in the case of entering a home with the use of violence, in which Alksey Navalny’s associate Lyubov Sobol is accused. On Wednesday, the case continued to be considered in an off-site session of the Magistrate’s Court in Perovo. For causing harm to Galina Subbotina, the mother-in-law of Konstantin Kudryavtsev, whom Mr. Navalny considers a participant in his alleged poisoning, the prosecutor requested a year of correctional labour for Ms. Sobol. The defensce insists that Ms. Subbotina voluntarily let the defendant in, but still expects a guilty verdict.

    Lyubov Sobol appeared in court surrounded by bailiffs, who accompanied her until the end of the hearing. The day before, the judge Inna Shilobodina decided to have the defendant forcibly brought to the hearing, as she had not come to the previous meeting and had given no explanation for her not doing so. Her lawyer, Vladimir Voronin, also had not arrive that day at the appointed time, but informed her in advance that he would be busy with another case. On Wednesday, the judge decided to play it safe and called a lawyer to attend the hearing,. However, this lawyer did not introduce herself and did not even want to talk to the client.

    The hearing began again with bickering.

    Sobol suspected that the summoned defence lawyer “would work for the investigation”, and announced her recusal, and the lawyer in response threatened her with criminal proceedings for defamation.

    On her phone, the defendant filmed everything that happened, despite the judge banning this, for which the prosecutor Konstantin Goloviznin, who got involved in the altercation, asked that Sobol be removed from the courtroom. As a result, Shilobodina still accepted the challenge to the appointment of the lawyer and simply ignored Lyubov Sobol’s attempts to shoot a video. The judge herself was not filmed: two bailiffs blocked her with their backs, and three more closed themselves around Lyubov Sobol’s table. In the social network, the defendant joked that she was surrounded by a “hedge”.

    The court did not easily examine the video materials contained in the case (including recordings from the entrance camera and from Lyubov Sobol’s phone, as well as a fragment of the Navalny LIVE program): the video from the disks was not started, and there was no equipment to view the recorded testimony.

    Lawyer Voronin presented an independent linguistic examination, which showed that the accused and the victim did not show aggression or threats towards each other. The court attached the expert examination to the case, but refused other defence requests, including a request for the appearance of Konstantin Kudryavtsev himself.

    In response, Lyubov Sobol accused the judge of partiality, pointing out that she “constantly corresponds with someone on the phone”.

    Shilobodina rejected the challenge to the judge.

    Prosecutor Goloviznin again stated that he considers Lyubov Sobol guilty of a crime committed to “popularize the individual.” According to the prosecution, on December 21, she tricked her way to apartment 37, where Galina Subbotina lived. She shook hands with Subbotina and, “taking advantage of the victim’s helplessness”, entered the dwelling. Thus, the defendant caused physical and moral harm to the victim, the prosecutor explained. He stated that Sobol being the mother of a minor was a mitigating circumstance, and that the committing of a crime by a group of persons by prior agreement was an aggravating one (the indictment states that a criminal case against unidentified organizers was singled out for separate proceedings). As a result, the prosecutor requested for that the defendant be sentenced to a year of correctional labour with a deduction of 20% of the salary (the maximum penalty under part 2 of art. 139 of the Criminal Code — two years of imprisonment).

    Lawyer Voronin objected that the motive for “popularizing the personality” was not justified, and the victim was not the owner of the apartment 37 and could not act as a victim, whilst the owner, Konstantin Kudryavtsev, does not appear in the case. The lawyer insisted that Lyubov Sobol only asked to talk to Kudryavtsev, and Subbotina had allowed her to do this and cleared the passage to the apartment. From this, according to the defence lawyer, it follows that the defendant had no intent to enter, and that Subbotina did not interfere with her access — which, in turn, contradicts the charge of forcible illegal entry.

    Lyubov Sobol had the lat word in in demanding that Kudryavtsev be summoned to court and and that the poisoning of Aleksey Navalny be investigated.

    [Which is, of course, the whole point of the “lawyer” Sobol’s performance, namely to keep the Navalny poisoning fantasy on the front page — ME.]

    She called her criminal case “indistinct”, “meaningless” and ” concocted when kneeling down”. “You could be doing normal things, but instead you’re looking at a case that’s not worth a damn.”

    [Such eloquence! — ME]

    Nadezhda Moiseeva, lawyer of the Bar Association” Kurganov & Partners”, considers the required punishment “unequivocally unfair”, but it can be mitigated by the positive characteristics of Lyubov Sobol, the small gravity of the imputed crime and the absence of consequences: “It is unlikely that the court will agree with the proposed punishment. Most likely, a minimum fine will be applied” The defendant herself has no doubt that a guilty verdict will be passed.

    A libel case has been opened against Leonid Volkov
    At the request of businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin, the Russian Interior Ministry has opened a criminal case on libel (Part 5 of Article 128.1 of the Criminal Code) against Leonid Volkov, the coordinator of Aleksey Navalny’s regional headquarters. The corresponding resolution was published by the press service of the entrepreneur. Mr. Prigozhin asks that the information posted on September 1, 2020 in social networks by Volkov that the businessman is “a particularly dangerous criminal convicted of numerous crimes, and is a murderer of journalists” be recognized as untrue. Also, Mr. Prigozhin asks that Volkov be interrogated “to confirm his participation in the publication of slander”. Investigators have already recognized Yevgeny Prigozhin as a victim. His press service noted that in the near future it willbe possible to file applications for the initiation of criminal cases on the same charge against Navalny’s associates Lyubov Sobol and Vladimir Milov.

    Recall that Yevgeny Prigozhin initiated a number of court cases against the opposition with a demand to refute the information posted in their social networks that discredit his honour, dignity and business reputation (Article 152 of the Civil Code), and to compensate for the damage caused to him. Some of the claims have already been satisfied.

    Leonid Volkov is abroad. A criminal case has been opened against him for encouraging minors to participate in the January protests (Part 2, paragraphs “a” and ” b ” of Article 151.2 of the Criminal Code). The Investigatory Committee of the Russian Federation has put the oppositionist on the interstate wanted list.

    Like

  12. Folks, from the Crimea Putin’s armed forces are ready to attack the Kherson Region. On their route is Skadovsk, a town full of children’s sanatoria! This scum want to begin by bombing children! See investigations by E. Vasilyeva on YouTube

    See: Skadovsk

    Keep it up, woman! You’re doing really well!

    Слава дебілам Бандерастану!
    Дебілам, Слава!

    Like

      1. She reminds me a little of one of those women who were pictured butchered like hogs, huge pieces of their bodies missing, in that charming little east-Ukrainian town after a friendly Ukie ground-attack SU-25 buzzed the town and loosed off a self-improvement blast with his anti-tank gun. There were no children, though, so I suppose that makes them better than Putin, the scum. That will teach him to invite the Beacon of Crimean Truth to his classified briefings and reveal all his intentions in front of her.

        Like

  13. It’s claimed (by Turkey) that the USA has cancelled the deployment of two USN ships to the Black Sea. No confirmation from other sources.

    Like

      1. Antiwar.com: Russia Warns US Against New Sanctions
        https://news.antiwar.com/2021/04/14/russia-warns-us-against-new-sanctions/

        Biden spoke with Putin on Tuesday and proposed an in-person meeting

        …In the call with Putin, Biden proposed an in-person meeting and said the US and Russia should work together in areas like arms control. On Wednesday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said new sanctions from the US would mean Biden’s “words” would not “correlate” with his actions…
        ####

        The US tries to impose the rules. Agree here, kick there. Russia calls BS and so there will be consequences for the US’s supposed firewalled foreign policy plan. Failure right out of the gate for Bi-Dumb.

        Like

  14. FAIR.org: Support the Tropes
    https://fair.org/home/support-the-tropes/

    How media language encourages the left to support wars, coups and intervention

    In an earlier piece (FAIR.org, 3/3/21 https://fair.org/home/humanitarian-imperialism/ ), we explored some country case study examples of how the press helps to manufacture consent for regime change and other US actions abroad among left-leaning audiences, a traditionally conflict-skeptical group….
    ####

    The rest at the link.

    Lest anyone forgets that western intervention sets everything back by decades, no doubt because there is profit in building stuff up from scratch the right way.

    Like

    1. Yes, the US intervention in Afghanistan was to SAVE THE WOMEN!

      Before the US funded and trained the mujahedin to destroy Afghan society (and to enslave women), Afghanistan was developing nicely as a socialist state with the attendant egalitarian values and development of opportunity for women in education and professional occupations.

      The articles by the NYT set a new standard for misinformation.

      Like

      1. That’s why I’m sorry to see them as the source of the occasional bit of truth, which is usually just acknowledging the truth of some fact discovered by someone else or assessed by a field expert. Like the study which concluded the chance of contracting coronavirus by touching a contaminated surface was 1 in 10,000. They are such liars that even when they print the truth, they taint it with their terrible reputation for lying.

        Like

  15. Another bleating liberast blogs shite:

    Свободу политзаключенным!

    Freedom for political prisoners!
    olga1982a
    April 15th, 10:35
    I don’t really want Navalny to die of a hunger strike in a cursed Russian prison [Oh, that’s nice to know . . . idiot! — ME]. I want him to live to see the Nobel Peace Prize awarded to him, which he absolutely deserved for his heroism. Then we’ll all be a little stronger, and our main beacon will shine even brighter. Russia is a country where at least one person has to tell the truth. And now there is such a person — this is Aleksey Anatolyevich Navalny. They are trying to kill him for the truth, but we must not allow this to happen.

    Olga, shouldn’t you be at school now?

    Like

  16. Daily Fail headline: Russian troops paint their tanks with ‘invasion stripes’
    ####

    Now that’s real journalism! I can imagine that the DM could be called as an expert witness considering its anal-y-tical chops.

    Like

  17. Antiwar.com: US Claims Preventing Fuel Ships From Docking in Yemen Is ‘Not a Blockade’
    https://news.antiwar.com/2021/04/14/us-claims-preventing-fuel-ships-from-docking-in-yemen-is-not-a-blockade/

    State Department said Saudi Arabia is not to blame for the blockade, shifts blame to exiled Hadi government which only has power due to foreign support

    The US State Department claimed in comments to Vox that Yemen is not under blockade even though the Saudis are actively preventing fuel ships from docking in the port of Hodeidah. Shipments are still being blocked despite UN warnings that 400,000 Yemeni children will starve to death this year if conditions don’t change.

    “It is not a blockade,” a State Department spokesperson told Vox on Monday. “Food is getting through, commodities are getting through, so it is not a blockade.” …
    ####

    More at the link.

    The Good Genocide.

    Like

  18. https://www.rt.com/russia/521148-us-sanctions-national-debt-retaliation/

    The US unloads serious financial sanctions against Russia including efforts to dissuade purchase of Russian sovereign bonds. Meanwhile, the mealy mouth Biden wants to have a meeting with Putin – no doubt to prance and posture on how tough he is.

    The gloves are coming off. Expect Russia to be expelled from SWIFT. Expect Russia to stop supply of critical materials to the US. Folks, this is just the beginning.

    Like

    1. Just like t-Rump, he wants Russia/i-Ran/anyone to go easy (on American agression of choice) in response and give the USA a PR victory. Which bit didn’t they hear Russia say that is not a game it will play? Anyway, the wheels will continue to come off this year. Oh, and America has expressed their ‘concern’ about Russia being in Syria.

      For u-Rope they have expressed solidarity with the US but done nothing and Bi-Dumb has left Germany alone on NordStream II, so it suits them and Russia, who will give Bi-Dumb a sizeable slap back to which we all expect no meaningful response, as this is all about B-Dumb swinging his pickle dick foreign policy chops to show that he da Man.

      Like

      1. They went for the easy stuff too. Lots of stuff they didn’t do including what both Dems & Repubs were demanding in Congress. The absence of certain actions and choices speaks volumes…

        Like

        1. What they did do was quite serious. After Russia retaliates, expect a new round of US sanctions. The US can’t back down – it’s now or never if they are to box Russia in.

          I sincerely hope that this new level of confrontation will give Serbia a chance to break free of the West.

          Like

          1. Yes, I agree, but it also could have been much worse and as for SWIFT Russia already has an alternative available not to mention that there are many international companies in Russia that also rely on SWIFT.

            As for retaliation, I think we are in new territory, certainly from the Russian side. I don’t think USA retaliation to Russian retaliation to US sanctions is a given if it is propotionate.

            As others have written, the USA long missed its opportunity to ‘box Russia in.’ The internationalization of Russia has ironically provided it some insulation. Boing needs Russian titanium, the International Space Station, satellites etc. There’s still a whole swathe of very high value products that the USA has only nibbled at the edges. I read recently that Russia is proceeding to take new Boing deliveries and has quite a lot of western airliners on order.* Why wasn’t this hit? Because of the very real consequences. Throwing out a few people is clear, clean and simple.

            Considering the second link below, even Boing is localizing operations to Russia, something which I have previously posted more than once General Electric has also done (and probably quite a few others). American administrations listen to very big business. What about Microsoft etc. etc.? Again, not touched. Vis aircraft, Russia could simply ban western overflights. Considering how fragile most airlines are economically right now, any extra cost would be most unwelcome.

            http://www.rusaviainsider.com/aeroflot-resumes-taking-deliveries-of-western-built-aircraft/

            http://www.rusaviainsider.com/aeroflot-opens-new-mro-hangar-transfers-boeing-777-heavy-maintenance-to-russia/

            http://www.rusaviainsider.com/rosaviatsiya-boss-russia-will-need-700-new-aircraft-by-2030/

            Like

            1. Vis Serbia, I don’t know if you have been following but they’ve received far more vaccines from Russia and China than anything from the EU. They’ve also donated vaccines to RS, Northern Macedonia and Montenegro. 30% of the population is vaccinated already with at least the first does. Serbia maintains a toe in both camps which is a strategically sound concept. Strategic ambiguity and making Brussels nervous is a sound policy in my opinion, especially when Brussels harps on about how many more €€€s they have given Serbia (pocket change), but when it comes to an emergency it looked after itself first. Hopefully ‘close but no cigar’ is the case.

              Like

              1. I agree that Serbia is playing the EU but it’s a dangerous game. With battle lines being drawn, Serbia needs to be ready for make a break to Russia and China.

                Like

                1. It’s a dangerous neighborhood. It has been for a long time thanks to the ‘Great Powers.’

                  It would be better for the west to reject Serbia first before moving. They won’t of course do that openly but through the usual provocation and intimidation. That Serbia has a good economy (compared to the rest of the region) and there’s been quite a bit of western business investment there provides some insulation as the west would end up essentially sanctioning itself. We’ve seen this already with Russia too with lots of noise about ‘tough sanctions’ but in reality quite careful. A Financial Crimes headline this morning reads ‘Western investors brus off US bond sanctions on Russia.’ With sclerotic economic growth in the west, Russia and China/Asia are very good bets well in to the future. Money talks and the US is money based on absolutely everything.

                  Meanwhile a non-paper on re-drawing borders has been doing the rounds here in u-Rope:

                  Euractiv: Michel silent over unofficial document mulling border changes in Western Balkans
                  https://www.euractiv.com/section/enlargement/news/michel-silent-over-unofficial-document-mulling-border-changes-in-western-balkans/

                  #####

                  There is one gigantic flaw in it. The assumption that the Albanian political classes will be happy with just Kosovo as part of Greater/Natural/Whatever Albanian. They still want pieces of Montenegro, Northern Macedonia etc., probably all the way up to Vienna! 😉

                  Like

            2. Putin has approved funding for a new Russian space station with construction to begin well before the ISS is decommissioned and deorbited. The Russian station will have a near-polar orbit to ensure overflight of all Russian territory.

              Russian Space Web reports that the new Russian station will be operational before the ISS is retired.

              Like

                1. That is my understanding as well. The orbit of the Chinese station would probably be optimized for its own needs.

                  However, Russian and China seem committed to joint lunar exploration with a permanently manned lunar outpost. I don’t know if a space station in LEO would be a part of that effort.

                  Like

            1. Then why did they turn back their ships in the Marmara Sea? It looks like more posturing for domestic appeal to me. I think there’s a good chance that nothing will happen but big words after Russia retaliates in kind. I also hope it is Russia that holds off on the summit so it is not at BDA’s timing which he wants to get done well before Mid-Terms. That’s the squeeze Russia could play.

              Like

              1. I think Washington took Moscow’s warning seriously. Any miscalculation by the US ships and it’s lights out.

                The fear-monger click-bait artist whose name I shall not mention insisted that the US ships turned back as general war was about to break out. Will he be wrong again?

                On the other hand, a broken clock is right twice a day.

                Like

                1. The fear-monger click-bait artist has already walked back his claims of imminent general war in Ukraine. Of course there was no acknowledgment that he was dead-ass wrong regarding the claims that general war was extremely likely in the next day or so. How can someone make so many bold statements that are consistently wrong yet have a substantial following?

                  Like

              2. I don’t necessarily mean the USA will jump straight to war, and I agree they’re probably not at that stage yet, but the constant upping the ante keeps driving global affairs toward a position from which there is no turning back; the only remaining step left is war. The United States has already gone far, far out on that limb with completely fabricated reasoning that I cannot believe anyone buys, like Russia ‘interfering in the elections’. Sooner or later it will find itself in a place where the instigators will say “Fuck the sanctions. It’s not working. Let’s just do it”.

                If Bidet is doing this as a distraction from the grotesque amounts the government is ‘borrowing’ from the federal treasury – meaning simply printing more money and ‘lending’ it to itself – it is foolish, because that logic implies that a constant distraction will be needed, forever.

                Like

      2. I still don’t think they will order Brussels to disconnect Russia from SWIFT. It is too useful as a surveillance tool for monitoring the movement of money in and out of Russia. If the US, in a fit of shit-the-bed petulance, has Russia disconnected and it reverts to a domestic alternate which the USA has no part of, Russia could carry on financial arrangements with foreign partners that the USA could not see. How can it police what it can’t see?

        Russia should, on its own initiative, begin drawing down the amount of transactions it conducts through SWIFT, although America’s allies play their parts by refusing to use anything else, and also on its own initiative, begin switching over its national banks to a different system as much as they can get foreign banks to cooperate with. And, needless to say, cut the USA out entirely. Also it is time for a titanium/RD-180 embargo. And perhaps a little reduction in energy supplies to Europe, just as a subtle chastisement for its pathetic brown-nosing.

        Like

  19. RuAviation.com: Superjet is being updated
    http://www.rusaviainsider.com/rosaviatsiya-boss-russia-will-need-700-new-aircraft-by-2030/

    The United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) is working on a new version of the Superjet 100 aircraft. The program, called SSJ NEW, envisages the development of a aircraft in which dozens of foreign systems and components will be replaced with domestic ones. It is planned to install the promising Russian PD-8 engine on the aircraft, which is being developed by the United Engine Corporation.
    #####

    More at the link.

    Meawhile I read that the USA is to give the lo-land of Po-land five ancient C-130H Hercules from the Boneyard. No doubt for free, but $$$ for upgrades.

    https://defence-blog.com/news/poland-inks-deal-with-u-s-for-5-c-130h-hercules-aircraft.html

    Like

  20. Biden’s speech given earlier today on the US actions against Russia:

    The speech was the usual mix of bombast and nicey-nice BS.

    There will be no serious war in Ukraine despite claims by that click-bait artist whose name I will not mention.

    MoA had a good analysis regarding the recent decision by the US to cancel deployment of those two warships to the Black Sea.

    Like

  21. 14: 06, April 15, 2021
    Lyubov Sobol has been given 1 year of correctional labour on probation in the case of illegal entry into someone else’s apartment

    This verdict was passed by Justice of the Peace Inna Shilobodina at a visiting session of the Perovsky Court of Moscow.


    The woman above is a lawyer, they say.

    Sobol and her lawyer Vladimir Voronin came to the Perovsky court separately from each other. They were met on the street by several dozen journalists. Sobol decided to wear a T-shirt with the inscription “Where is the criminal case on poisoning Navalny”. An unusually large number of bailiffs were near her during this process. Their presence in large numbers was explained quite quickly: as soon as Sobol decided to raise her phone camera in the direction of Judge Inna Shilobodina, the bailiffs closed in around her until the end of the reading of the verdict.

    The judge read the text quite quietly: it was almost a whisper. From the verdict itself, it followed that the court considered the testimony of prosecution witnesses and victims to be justified. Among them was Galina Subbotina: this is the mother-in-law of Konstantin Kudryavtsev, whom Alexey Navalny’s associates call an employee of the FSB and a participant in the operation to poison the politician.

    The verdict in the case of illegal entry into their apartment was perceived by the victims almost without any emotions, unlike Sobol: she called what was happening “shame and shame”. The judge, in turn, explained the right to appeal her decision, almost going to her room.

    The state prosecution also previously requested 1 year of correctional labor for Sobol — however, as a real, and not a suspended sentence. The court also decided to withhold 10% of Sobol’s earnings to the state revenue — the prosecutor had previously asked to withhold 20%. The politician intends to appeal the verdict.

    A slap on the wrist again! Suspended sentence.

    Sobol is going to appeal of course. She and her counsel are making a lot of noise about the fact that Kudryavtsev was not called as a witness.

    Of course, it is that person whom they want to parade around in court as one of the Bullshitter’s poisoners, he who blabbed freely, as an FSB agent usually does, to super sleuth Navalny as the latter phoned him from Berlin in the presence of MI6 operative Pevchikh.

    My evidence for Pevchikh being an MI6 spook?

    I have none.

    I need none.

    I need no evidence, just as the hysteric Sobol and the gobshite Navalny have none against Kudryavtsev.

    Like

  22. Latest whinging and whining from Banderastan:

    Kiev accuses Russia of closing Black Sea strait to its warships, blocking Ukrainian navy from port while sailors carry out drills
    15 Apr, 2021 19:25

    Did I read “freedom of navigation” there?

    That phrase sounds familiar!

    Freedom of navigation through the Kerch Strait?

    Do the retards in Kiev think that the Sea of Azov is going to be for them what the South China Sea is for the hegemon?

    Forget it morons!

    Russia already has internationally recognized rights in the Kerch Strait and Sea of Azov.

    Like

  23. SolarWinds: Russian intelligence behind major cyber attack, Raab reveals as US expels diplomats
    ‘We see what Russia is doing to undermine our democracies’, foreign minister says
    8 hours ago

    Russian intelligence was behind a major cyber attack that effected more than 100 major US firms as well as branches of the US government, the UK foreign office has revealed.

    In a statement the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) said British Intelligence had assessed that it was “highly likely” Moscow was behind the SolarWinds hack, which saw hackers infiltrate government agencies and corporate secrets of the likes of Microsoft in early 2020.

    [my stress — ME]

    “We see what Russia is doing to undermine our democracies”?

    But the article states at its beginning that this is a fact, then in the second paragraph, this “fact” is stated as being “highly likely”.

    And what of this “democracy” that is being “undermined” by the Orcs and which Raab is whinging about? Is that the same “democracy” that US politicians like to call “our democracy”, something sacrosanct and manifested by the “exceptional nation”, upon which divine omnipotence has bestowed this gift with which it can execute its “manifest destiny”.

    Stick your “democracy” up where the sun doesn’t shine, mister!

    Like

    1. From GOV.UK:

      Press release
      Russia: UK exposes Russian involvement in SolarWinds cyber compromise

      The UK government has for the first time today exposed details of the SVR’s cyber programme.

      The SVR is Russia’s civilian foreign intelligence service and is the successor organization to the KGB’s First Chief Directorate. It predominantly targets overseas governmental, diplomatic, think-tank, healthcare and energy targets for intelligence purposes. It is technologically advanced, developing capabilities to try to operate undetected against countries in Europe, NATO members and its near neighbours.

      A compromise of SolarWinds IT services firm was discovered in December 2020. SolarWinds confirmed 18,000 organisations across the world including US Government departments were affected. The overall impact on the UK of the SVR’s exploitation of this software is low. National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) advice on how to protect against this threat is available

      The NCSC has assessed that it is highly likely Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Services are responsible for the compromise of SolarWinds software, Orion, and subsequent targeting. Further details on the framework used by the UK Government for all source intelligence assessments, including the probability yardstick, are available from here

      SVR cyber actors are known and tracked in open source as: APT29 Cozy Bear The Dukes.

      And on and on it goes …

      BUT . . . what H.M. Govt. has “exposed” is only that “it is highly likely Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Services are responsible for the compromise of SolarWinds software, Orion, and subsequent targeting”.

      I have an exposure to make:

      I think it highly likely that Raab wears women’s underwear when sitting in the House of Commons.

      Like

      1. Uh huh. Russia keeps on dabbling and meddling and getting caught, but it never stops even though its dabbling and meddling never go beyond ‘low impact’. Because it loves more sanctions. It is technologically advanced, but no match for the clever Brits, who always catch it but can never stop it. Fuck off, why not?

        Like

        1. CNN: Former SolarWinds CEO blames intern for ‘solarwinds123’ password leak
          https://edition.cnn.com/2021/02/26/politics/solarwinds123-password-intern/index.html

          ####

          Why is organized crime ruled out? Not only has it gone massively transnational since the 1990s, it’s gone global (ransomware etc.)? The whole ‘only states can do it’ is a very lazy way of avoiding looking at anyone else. What we learned from Snowden and elsewhere is that there is a whole world of hacking code that can be downloaded and modified for your specific needs, and someone to do it if you pay them. Add to that Russia is not the only country that uses cyrillic… But why let pesky facts (Scooby Doo!) get in the way?

          Like

  24. Ex-FBK activist explains reasons for Sobol’s scandalous behaviour in court
    April 15, 2021 10:46

    Lyubov Sobol is trying to prove her usefulness to Western investors by provocations, said ex-FBK activist Vitaly Serukanov.

    Moscow, April 15. Lyubov Sobol has sunk to the very bottom of the hierarchy of the “Anti-Corruption Fund”(recognized as a foreign agent in Russia) and is trying to prove her usefulness to Western investors through provocations. This was stated in an interview with the FAN* by lawyer and former FBK activist Vitaly Serukanov.

    According to Serukanov, in the course of the” apartment case”, Sobol does what he knows best — creates provocations.

    The lawyer expressed his opinion:

    The provocations are simple, uncomplicated, but at the same time disgusting”. Unfortunately, it seems that her sect and Navalny’s like this behaviour. I should call it “Sobol Justice”. When a person does not respect either the law or the people around them, then such people have nothing to do with politics.

    Serukanov also commented on the punishment that the prosecutor had asked for the FBK lawyer. Recall that we are talking about one year of correctional labour and the withholding of 20% of her salary in favour of the state.

    As for the punishment, I am sure that Sobol will not appear for any correctional work”, the ex-FBK activist said. “She will try to ignore it, displaying in every waY possible way that she is not interested, and in the future will spit on the law. Lyubov needs provocation here. And these correctional works are a great reason for her to arrange a provocation.

    Vitaly Serukanov expressed confidence that Lyubov Sobol is not going to give up 20% of her salary.

    They will find some illegal way to avoid this measure of responsibility”, the lawyer stressed. “That’s why Sobol isn’t afraid. She has lost all sense of boundaries and is already running like a provocative tank – and testing the patience of our justice system and state.

    The FAN interlocutor believes that a course of provocation is beneficial to Sobol because of financial considerations.

    It is clear that the worse it is for Sobol, the better it is now for her — no matter how paradoxical this may sound”, Serukanov concluded. “Because in the FBK hierarchy, she has fallen to the very bottom. And with the help of provocations, she now needs to prove her usefulness, including to Western investors, who may start investing in her, already bypassing Leonid Volkov. As we know, Sobol and Volkov have a big conflict right now. Therefore, Lyuba is already acting according to her plan and trying to survive. What can she do? Only provocations.

    Earlier, political analyst Alexey Mukhin told FAN what could motivate such actions of the FBK employee.

    *Federal News Agency: Russian Internet publication, founded in May 2014 in St. Petersburg and focused on the coverage of federal news. A number of Russian and foreign publications call FAN the largest publication in the “media factory”, which is associated with the entrepreneur Yevgeny Prigozhin and the Internet Research Agency.

    Source: Russian Wiki Федеральное агентство новостей

    Like

  25. Russia Observer: RUSSIAN FEDERATION SITREP 15 APRIL 2021
    https://patrickarmstrong.ca/2021/04/15/russian-federation-sitrep-15-april-2021/

    UKRAINE-RUSSIA WAR. Lots of heavy stuff moving in Russia; especially big artillery systems: 2S4 heavy mortars, 2S7 long-range guns and Iskanders. (Powerful counter-battery fire would be both effective and semi-deniable). Stockpiles of equipment near Voronezh. Two armies (corps) plus airborne formations (probably more than NATO could field anywhere in real life; certainly never as quickly). ..
    ####

    Plenty more at the link.

    Like

    1. Turkey: Russia plays hardball over tourism amid Ukraine dispute
      https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/turkey-russia-ukraine-tourism-drones-dispute

      By suspending flights to Turkey, Moscow is pressuring Ankara over weapons sales to Ukraine at a time where it needs Russian tourists during a currency crisis

      …In 2019, more than seven million Russian tourists visited Turkey and more than 80 percent ended up in Antalya.

      Annually they pump $4bn to $4.5bn into the Turkish economy in revenues that are now crucial due to lack of foreign exchange reserves in the Turkish Central Bank’s coffers, with net reserves standing at minus $47bn amid a currency crisis…

      …“This year the Russian tourists are even more important because we already lost two thirds of the tourism market due to the pandemic,” Genc, the businessman, said.

      “Russians were the only ones who remained and were a lifeline for many companies. And they are the ones who spend more per person in the country.”…
      ####

      Already covered by PaRo above but worth the addition. In Sultin’ Erd O’Grand was warned. Maybe NATO countries will pony up the difference, or Turkey as NATO member will just have to Take One for The Team.(tm)

      Like

  26. Al’s Jizz Error via Antiwar.com: Lula clear to take on Bolsonaro as Brazil court upholds ruling
    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/4/16/lula-clear-to-take-on-bolsonaro-as-brazil-court-upholds-ruling

    The next presidential election is set for October 2022 and the devastating toll of the pandemic is likely to be a key issue.

    …The ruling does not find Lula innocent but in effect places prosecutors back at square one by sending the cases to a different court…
    ####

    I hope Lula has good security.

    Like

  27. Latest Instagram from the Bullshitter (better said, his advocates):

    This morning, a woman colonel stood over me and said: your blood test indicates a serious deterioration in health and risk. If you do not give up on your hunger strike, then we are ready to move on to force feeding now.

    And then she described the delights of force-feeding to me. Straight jacket and other joys.

    And I listened and returned to kindergarten. I am 3 years old and a similar woman makes me eat boiled chicken skin. And I am through tears, but I say no. And the woman also promises to feed me with force, to swaddle me and tie my hands.

    But the difference is also big. In kindergarten, I instinctively realized that they had no right to feed me nasty boiled chicken skin. And now I just point my finger at the point of the law and say: sorry. Don’t force-feed me. I myself sing. This is my absolutely guaranteed right: to be examined by an independent civilian doctor. Why did you abolish this right in relation to me, and I need to achieve it with a hunger strike?

    And the answer is simple, although it consists of two parts:

    a) they are afraid that it will turn out that the loss of sensation of the limbs that occurs may be associated with poisoning. The old ones. Or something new, I won’t be surprised
    b) the general rule of thumb is that a person is a slave of the system. Moreover, a political prisoner. he should always refuse everything. And if he protests, then it is better to force-feed than to comply with legal requirements.

    So I understand once again: I protest not only for myself, but also for hundreds of thousands of those who have no rights. Only they also do not have an Instagram to write there. Here.

    My head is spinning a lot, but for now I am walking because I feel your support. Thank you!

    Today, 15:00

    Why can’t he just fuck off and die?

    Life’s just not fair!

    Like

    1. Why does everybody – including native English speakers – say “Straight Jacket”? It’s “Strait”. as in ‘straitened’, as in ‘restricted’. Same thing with “Tow the line”. What kind of sense does that make? Dragging a piece of rope around? It’s “Toe” the line, as in step up to the chalk mark with your toes touching it, like you are ready to start.

      And Lyosha is probably just making that up, further threats of cruelty from the endlessly-cruel regime. By the time you have to be force-fed there should be no need to put you in restraints except to prevent you from interfering with the transfer of food to you through a tube. You would be so weak there would be no need to do anything other than strap your hands down. I imagine in reality he is a long way from that stage – he hasn’t the courage to starve himself, or in fact to deny himself anything that he wants; that’s why he was always fucking off on vacation with his lovely family after dipping into the funding for anti-corruption. And now he’s churning out the noble prose like Solzhenitsyn. It must amuse him to know how nauseating realistic people find it. It’s only the starry-eyed ideologues who rhapsodize, “What a hero! What a man!”

      He’s ‘still walking’, but the authorities are telling him there has been a serious deterioration in his health and they are ready to start force-feeding? That make sense to anybody?

      The Russian prison system should just strangle the fucker and then say, “Oh, whoops! He starved to death! What a pity; guess we should have been watching for that. Oh, well – he got what he wanted. Buried in an unmarked grave – anybody want his shoes?” What next – Volkhov on a hunger strike? That’d take some believing, not to mention he could live on his fat for six months.

      Like

      1. I had to look up смирительная рубашка with “Google Translate”, which gave me: “straightjacket”.

        However, further down the translation pane, I have since found:

        Translations of смирительная рубашка
        Part of speech
        Noun
        straitjacket
        смирительная рубашка, ограничительные меры
        camisole
        камзол, лифчик, смирительная рубашка
        strait-waistcoat
        смирительная рубашка, ограничительные меры

        Some dubious translations there, I think, because one of the first new Russian words that I learnt after having moved to the USSR in 1989 and not one that I had learnt from my undergraduate Russian course in the UK, was лифчик [leefcheek].

        This below is a лифчик

        Like

      2. Spellchecking programs and algorithms are probably changing the spellings so much that over time people no longer bother to correct the incorrect “corrections and they end up becoming acceptable spellings.

        Like

  28. And the first comments to the above:

    minrichlh
    God save and protect Alexei!

    fridmanbila
    Alexei Navalny president of Russia ❤️🙌🔥

    kirill_kolyadinnn
    Poor guy, he must have thought he was in a sanatorium or preventorium😂😂😂😂, everything to every junkie and a personal doctor)))))

    geolog20i8
    Aleksei, you are a folk hero, here he is a true patriot, a martyr, a victim of the regime, a fighter for the rights of Russian citizens, health to you and your loved ones! Russia will be free. #Freedom for Aleksei Navalny

    a.karpowww
    …And Putin’s nasty smirk….

    elen.a_78_ryeltor
    He hasn’t eaten again😢

    ya_volshebnaya
    👏👏

    vitalykrupnov
    Lyosha we’re with you!

    Like

  29. al-Beeb s’Allah: Afghanistan war: US spies doubt reports of Russian ‘bounties’ for troops
    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-56775660

    The White House has acknowledged there was little evidence that Russia had offered Taliban militants bounties to kill US soldiers in Afghanistan.

    A spokeswoman for President Joe Biden said the claim had “low to moderate confidence” from US spy chiefs…

    …A cautionary tale

    Analysis box by Anthony Zurcher, North America reporter

    …The original coverage of the bounties story included acknowledgment of nuance and uncertainty. Much of that was lost in the white-hot crucible of US politics, however.

    These latest revelations should provide a cautionary tale: take anonymous reports, even when they come from official sources, with a healthy dose of salt.
    ####

    Oh F**k off.

    When it comes to Russia the BBC leaves professional journalism at the UK border. They’ll publish any old bs however ridiculous, of course anonymous/unnamed official etc.or just plain boiler plate from the ho’s mouth for years

    In other news I read that REF/RL in Russia is appealing to the ECHR against massive fines by the Russian state because as a Foreign Agent, it did not label its news reports with that as required by Russian law. Here it is:

    https://www.euractiv.com/section/global-europe/news/radio-free-europe-petitions-strasbourg-court-to-block-russian-fines/
    ####

    Russia’s response.

    RT.com: Russia to expel 10 American diplomats and considering ‘painful’ measures aimed at US businesses – Lavrov
    https://www.rt.com/russia/521284-lavrov-us-diplomats-businesses-sanctions/

    … Lavrov added that, with the US currently employing 450 diplomatic staff in Russia, and Russia employing 350 in the US, “the Americans will be asked to bring the number of employees in Russia in line with the number of Russians in the United States,” should relations between the two countries sour further.

    Lavrov also said that Russia had the opportunity to inflict “painful measures” on US businesses, but would not take action at this time…

    ####

    ‘At this time…’ Indeed.

    Meanwhile the news out of Pakistan in relation to €µ’s remarks shows what a stupid f/k he is,

    Rt.com: France tells its citizens to flee Pakistan as deadly anti-French riots intensify over Emmanuel Macron’s perceived slight on Islam
    https://www.rt.com/op-ed/521261-france-pakistan-khan-macron/

    ####

    Like

    1. The RT article stated:

      Lavrov announced the news at a press conference on Friday, adding that Moscow would ban US funds and NGOs from interfering in Russia’s internal affairs.

      I hope that he is serious and makes the ban broad and permanent.

      Like

    2. Why will Russia not take action against US businesses in Russia? Why the hesitancy? It’s not as if the USA would reciprocate by kicking out a bunch of Russian businesses – there aren’t any, while Russia still remains a potential growth market for American business. What the fuck are they doing?

      Looking at it dispassionately, Russia probably does not have to take official action against American business in Russia. If I were a Russian, I would certainly not want to buy a new Ford Expedition, for example, considering that next month I might not be able to get it serviced anywhere in the country.

      As for diplomats, though, reducing the Americans to exactly the same numbers as Russians in America should have been the immediate step this time, with the next step held in reserve being emptying the country of all diplomatic and business presence. Kick them all the hell out. The world is lining up on two sides, with very few countries still playing both sides, and it seems pretty clear that sooner or later Russia is going to have to break all ties with the United States. Why wait for it to be forced upon you?

      Like

      1. My guess is that Russia believes pressure from US businesses potentially affected by a strong Russian response (think Boeing) will force the administration to stop further posturing and games. Russia certainly has back-channel communications with key US businesses and may be assured that the US will not impose additional sanctions. It may be a matter of faith on my part but that is my story.

        Like

    3. Reminiscence of the Future: In A Normal (Rational) World That Would Have Been…
      https://smoothiex12.blogspot.com/2021/04/in-normal-rational-world-that-would.html

      ####

      Martyanov asking basic questions that the BBC is unable to (professionally).

      Warning, Zingers within.

      And Bernhard at Moon of Alabama somewhat more analytical (sic minus the swearing): Three Recent Failures In Foreign Policy Coordination – Why Is Jake Sullivan Creating Such A Mess?
      https://www.moonofalabama.org/2021/04/three-recent-failures-in-bidens-foreign-policy-planing-.html

      Like

  30. 1 hour ago:

    16.04.2021, 20:24
    Russia has imposed sanctions against the heads of the FBI and National Intelligence of the United States

    The Russian Foreign Ministry has published a list of US citizens who are banned from entering the country in connection with the response to anti-Russian sanctions. Among them are FBI Director Christopher Wray, Director of National Intelligence Avril Haynes and US President’s domestic policy adviser Susan Rice.

    Also, entry to Russia is prohibited:

    • to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland;

    • Director of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Prisons Michael Carvajal;

    • Head of the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Alejandro Mayorkas;

    • National Security Adviser to US President Donald Trump (from 2018 to 2019) To John Bolton;

    • former Director of the CIA (from 1993 to 1995), a participant in the negotiations between the United
    States and the USSR on START-1 (from 1983 to 1986), Robert Woolsey.

    On April 15, the United States jointly imposed anti-Russian sanctions in connection with cyber attacks, the annexation of the Crimea and Sevastopol, and interference in elections, and announced the expulsion of 10 Russian diplomats. The next day, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov announced retaliatory actions. Among them are the expulsion of ten diplomats, a ban on American diplomatic missions in Russia to hire Russians and third-country citizens, and restrictions on short-term travel of diplomats. Also, according to Mr. Lavrov, the US Ambassador to Moscow, John Sullivan, is recommended to go “home for consultations”

    “is recommended to go ‘home for consultations'” is a diplomatic way of saying “get the fuck out of here!”

    Like

    1. Russia publishes retaliatory sanctions against the United States
      The Russian Foreign Ministry has
      published on its website a list of retaliatory sanctions against the United States. The document states that the measures are being taken in connection with Washington’s hostile actions, while the latest decisions of the administration of President Joe Biden are called an attack on Moscow.

      The ministry points out that “the United States continues to make short-sighted bets on bankrupt scenarios of ‘containing Moscow’.” It is emphasized that such behaviour will only lead to further degradation of relations between the two countries. Russia also emphasizes that the sanctions pressure is futile.

      source

      Like

    2. Good; starting with the Ambassador himself is exactly the way to go, instead of firing the photocopier boy the way they usually do in these tit-for-tat exchanges. Boot them all out and tell them to never come back.

      I notice the USA’s action of expelling diplomats has not so far started a landslide of expulsions among its European allies, although doubtless if Uncle Sam cracks the whip, some of the toadies will fall into line.

      Like

      1. Response from US State Department:

        Our recent actions were proportionate and appropriate to Russia’s harmful activities. Today’s announcement by the Russian government was escalatory and regrettable,” a State Department spokesman said in a statement on Friday evening. “It is not in our interest to get into an escalatory cycle, but we reserve the right to respond to any Russian retaliation against the United States.

        Huff and puff away you tossers!

        Like

  31. What a shower of useless tossers!

    Here it is, a list of all the little darling “Carbonari” who wish to demonstrate! The database of Navalny’s sympathizers has been leaked to the public
    People have set themselves up by marking themselves on a map as being prepared to protest.

    So, something has happened about which there had been warnings yet it was believed that it basically could not happen. The database of sympathizers for Aleksey Navalny, which his Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK – recognized as a foreign agent) has been gathering all spring, has been leaked into the network and become publicly available. In plain Russian, everyone who signed up in reply to the FBK call to mark their geo-points on a map in order to show their agreement that they are ready to go to an opposition rally are now known. All the e-mail and home addresses of potential Russian “Carbonari” [secret revolutionaries — ME] on one disk are just a gift on a saucer with a blue border for the security forces.

    Here they are, the darlings, they themselves signed for the business, no one forced them to do so. Take hold of it and make use of it.

    And it’s also funny: they leaked 530,000 addresses, but 439,000 people are registered on the FBK website. All right, it is some kind of a discrepancy. But all the same, it suggests that the database was leaked by FBK operatives themselves, on the one hand to show how many of them there are, but on the other hand – to show how squeaky clean they are and that the bots, they say, have been cleaned out.

    Especially touching are the journalists who have found their data in the leaked database. For a second, they were registered as protesters, ready to “Go Onto the Streets to Rally”. So the law enforcement agencies can now feel free to register all these angry people and easily detain them at an illegal rally, no matter what kind of identity jacket they may be wearing. Because when a journalist registers for a protest, he is no longer a journalist but a participant of an uncoordinated action.

    If it was really hackers who did this, then this is just additional proof that the whole campaign is worthless. If you cannot secure your data on the internet, how will you secure your “Beautiful Russia of the Future”? With NATO soldiers?

    Earlier reports said that the hackers who had leaked the database estimated that 70% of the registering of persons ready to participate in protests with the FBK was done by bots.

    Like

    1. Same story, different source:

      Email addresses of Navalny’s supporters have been leaked online


      Suckers!

      Hackers have taken possession of a database with the addresses of supporters of Aleksey Navalny. Now supporters of the opposition leader are threatened having their identities disclosed and their addresses being sold to advertising companies. Navalny’s team has confirmed the authenticity of the database, apologized and said that they had entrusted the processing of email addresses of supporters to a third-party service.

      The email addresses of Navalny’s supporters who registered on the site in support of him fell into the hands of unknown hackers. Representatives of the opposition leader’s team confirmed that the database is authentic.

      Hackers announced the leak themselves by sending emails with the attached file to the stolen addresses. The 28.5 megabyte csv table contains about 529,000 email addresses, as well as the exact time of registration and confirmation of the address. “Of these addresses, 70% are of bots” ,the authors of the letter claim. “But there are also real people like you.”

      Hackers have threaten that they would “continue to receive new data” about those who continue to “participate in the actions of the super- IT specialist Volkov”, meaning the head of the Navalny’s network of regional headquarters, Leonid Volkov.

      In addition, the letter contains a direct threat to disclose information about citizens who have registered on the site. free.navalny.com: “In the meantime, we are starting to deanonymize emails, and we shall soon find out your names, ‘phone numbers, and addresses”. After that, the attackers promise to sell the database to advertising companies.

      In the official telegram channel “Navalny’s Team”, Director of the Anti-Corruption Foundation Ivan Zhdanov confirmed that the database sent out is true. According to him, the organizers of the campaign in support of Navalny use mailgun.com, a third-party service for mailings, since when working with a large number of email addresses, the use of third-party services cannot be avoided. “We apologize for the trouble. This is the first time that this has happened for the first time. We shall do everything to prevent this situation from happening again”, Zhdanov added.

      Website free.navalny.com was launched in March to register participants of a future rally demanding the release of Navalny. Supporters of the politician promise to announce an All-Russian peaceful protest action when more than 500,000 people have been registered on the site.

      On February 2, the Simonovsky Court of Moscow decided to replace Navalny’s suspended sentence in the Yves Rocher case with a custodial one of three and a half years in a general regime penal colony. The court supported the position of the Federal Penitentiary Service that Navalny had repeatedly violated the terms of the probationary period. The opposition leader was arrested on 17 January 2021, when he returned to Russia from Germany,where he had been treated for poisoning and coma. After several weeks of being held in the IK-2 penal colony in Pokrov, Navalny went on a hunger strike, protesting against not being allowed to see his personal doctor.

      Liberast publication!

      Note how it states that the Bullshitter had been treated for “poisoning and coma”.

      No mention of the fact that the coma had been induced by doctors in Omsk, albeit that he had allegedly gone into a coma on board a flight from Tomsk to Moscow, after he had he started howling, screaming and writhing in agony caused by his poisoning by “Novichok”.

      In Germany, however, he said after his having been withdrawn from his medically induced coma that he had suffered no pain on board the aeroplane.

      He’d been wised up by the Germans, see , as regards the effects of nerve-agent poisoning.

      There are more holes in this Navalny-CIA-BND-MI6 story than there are in a Swiss cheese!

      Like

      1. It’s why I am hesitant even to sign online petitions, including issues that are important for me. It is a ready-made list of ‘agitators’ for any government service opposed to the position, and it is completely open-source; anyone can select the entire list and copy it. I would imagine that what Volkhov knows about computer security could be dropped into your eye without making you blink, and I daresay agencies and individuals in Russia are following his daily communications with great interest. You can’t put anything out on the internet with any degree of confidence that it cannot be compromised, and the only ways you can be confident your material designed for a selected audience cannot become public to the world are (1) don’t send it, and (2) make it impossible for anyone to read, including the audience it is intended for. Even if you send it in code, smarter people than your intended audience will crack it.

        Like

  32. Boing civil state of play.

    FlightGlobal.com: Boeing loses 800 firm orders in first year of pandemic
    https://www.flightglobal.com/airframers/boeing-loses-800-firm-orders-in-first-year-of-pandemic/143288.article

    …That is down from the 17,835 total orders, including 5,049 in the backlog, that Boeing held at the end of March 2020, company data shows…

    …However, Boeing has landed some landmark 737 Max sales of late, helping compensate for the losses. For instance, Ryanair ordered 75 Max in December 2020, United Airlines signed for 25 in February and Southwest Airlines made big news in March with orders for 100 737 Max 7s….
    ####

    Those RyanAir 737s are special ‘high density’ (aka ‘cattle class’) 737s.

    Like

    1. Some budget airlines are grabbing the 737 MAX because they can get it dirt cheap on a volume buy, and they are gambling that the company will shrug this off when things are restored to normal. Business will not sit passively and watch while public health destroys the entire western system of commerce, and it is not going to adjust to a Klaus Schwabbe techno-robot world either.

      Like

  33. Oh, and buh-bye to five of the interfering, meddlesome and self-righteous Poles as well.

    https://polandin.com/53342066/russia-announces-expulsion-of-five-polish-diplomats

    Beat it.

    In the same publication, the USA mulls the idea of a ‘Special Envoy’ to stop Nord Stream II. The ‘Special Envoy’ post has acquired increasing excitement and popularity since the British Government made Tony Blair one, because he was down to his last millions after losing the election, and needed a good job that would keep him out of trouble and, well, wealthy.

    https://polandin.com/53277509/us-wants-to-appoint-special-envoy-to-stop-nord-stream-2-construction

    Amos Hochstein has been offered the job, which likely consists largely of who’s going to be left without a chair when the music stops and Gazprom announces the pipeline is complete. You probably remember Hochstein as one of the American ‘special advisors’ on the Board of Directors at Ukraine’s Naftogaz; he was not very impressed with the way they ran things.

    https://www.intellinews.com/independent-director-at-naftogaz-resigns-over-opposition-to-reforms-193947/

    Now that the pipeline is in the final stages of construction, the Democrats are thrashing about looking for someone to take the blame for failing to stop it. They can hardly blame Trump – no combination of Democrats came even close to equaling the damage Trump did in his attempts to force Russia to take a knee, with the USA’s endless and monotonous sanctioning and bullshit. Anyone so foolish as to assume the duties of Special Envoy to America’s project to stop the pipeline is going to be held up as a complete failure when the pipeline completes. But it will probably pay pretty nice until then.

    Like

    1. I’m going to have to disagree with you, Mark, when you say “They can hardly blame Trump –…” – in the current media environment, they can *absolutely* blame Trump for this or anything else, the facts be damned. I think the whole effort to stop NS II is really riding on Ukraine escalation, but it seems highly likely to me that absolutely every US problem that cannot be ignored will be blamed on orange bad man and his wicked minions.

      Like

      1. Yes, okay, bad choice of words; they can hardly blame Trump WITHOUT BEING HYPOCRITICAL. Trump did quite a bit more to get on Russia’s bad side, in spite of his waffling and qualifications, than Saint Obama. Obama imposed the original economic sanctions which were ‘called for’ by the destruction of MH-17, but they didn’t really do any serious damage to Russia except for a brief and very scary run on the ruble. But that was stopped and stabilized in less than a week, and since then things have remained about the same – far more damage to Europe, which doesn’t have alternative markets to sell the goods it used to sell to Russia, than Russia, which quickly accessed alternative markets to obtain the goods they used to buy from Europe.

        Arguably Trump had an even harder time, because Europe worshiped Obama, would do anything for him, while it loathed Trump.

        Like

  34. Check this out – hello from Naziland.

    https://www.cp24.com/news/ontario-gives-police-authority-to-stop-people-vehicles-ask-purpose-of-travel-1.5390791

    Apparently everyone knows that there is a much lower risk of getting a virus outside than inside, but Doug Ford just sent everyone home for another two weeks, and gave the cops authority to stop vehicles to ascertain if their travel is essential. That’s it; the free world is gone, at least in this country. Politicians have complete investment in making everyone so terrified that they dare not disobey. Lawd, have mercy! It’s the tenth wave!!! Will anyone survive!! Panic!!!

    Like

  35. 16 APR, 19:54 Updated 20:12
    NATO called on Russia to ensure freedom of navigation in the Black Sea and the Kerch Strait
    The alliance statement argues that the “planned” restriction of freedom of navigation by the Russian Federation “will become an unjustified action, part of a broader spectrum of destabilizing Russian actions”.

    BRUSSELS, April 16. / TASS /. The North Atlantic Alliance calls on Russia to ensure freedom of navigation in the Black Sea and the Kerch Strait. This is stated in a statement of the North Atlantic Council, published on Friday by the NATO press service.

    It argues that “Russia’s planned restriction of freedom of navigation in the Black Sea and the Kerch Strait will become an unjustified action, part of a broader spectrum of Russian destabilizing actions”.

    “We call on Russia to allow free access to Ukrainian ports in the Sea of ​​Azov and freedom of navigation,” the document says. It reiterates its concern over the buildup of Russia’s military capabilities in the Crimea and reiterates the well-known position of NATO, which boils down to the fact that the alliance will never recognize the peninsula as part of Russian territory. [My stress — ME]

    According to the bulletin of the Navigation and Oceanography Directorate of the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation, from April 24 to October 31, the passage of foreign warships and other state vessels in a number of Black Sea regions in the zone of Russia’s territorial waters is suspended. The document does not specify for what reason and in the interests of which department the indicated areas are closed.

    . . . the alliance will never recognize the peninsula as part of Russian territory.

    Message received loudly and clearly.

    Nothing more to say.

    Go away! Don’t bother us any more!

    Reading readers’ comments to RT and Sputnik to items on very recent escalations in tensions between the USA and Russia, I have to say that I am getting rather pissed off with the way some commenters repeatedly bandy around the term “Anglo-Saxon” when criticising the world hegemony and its policies.

    This usage of “Anglo-Saxon” in this sense is not only erroneous, but also racist. I think it was the French who first stated this usage towards the turn of the 20th century, and even at that time, many, including French politicians, were critical of the term being used in this way.

    The population of the USA is not “Anglo-Saxon”. At a push, one might say that it largely was until about the middle of the 19th century, but since the post-US Civil War expansion of the USA, massive immigration to that country from Europe ensued. In fact, the largest contingent of immigrants settling in late 19th century USA were from what is now called Germany. And of course, there those immigrants whose ethnicity one dare not castigate and very many of whose descendants control the USA financially and politically, not to mention their control of the US “soft power” industry.

    Of course, “Anglo-Saxon” America is used to describe the governance of the USA, both politically and fiscally, and the term employed is meant to imply that there is some diabolical relationship between Westminster and Washington, that the American Revolution was a sham, and that the British (Anglo-Saxon???) Empire continues under the guise of being the present world hegemony, namely “Pax Britannia” became “Pax Americana”.

    Horse manure!

    If each time I see “Anglo-Saxon Empire” used to describe the USA and I responded “You mean the ‘Jew S.A.’?” I would be taken to the cleaners by the righteous.

    I write this as an “Anglo-Saxon”. My family name is Saxon. My family hails from the North West of England. I am not a tea sipping “Limey Faggot”. I don’t speak English as though I had a pound of plums in my mouth, and, on the very rare occasions when I am in the UK, the further away am I from that cesspit of Westminster, the happier I feel. The likes of Boris Johnson (an “Anglo-Saxon?) David Cameron (an “Anglo-Saxon”?), Theresa May (possibly “Anglo-Saxon”) and yes, even Winston Churchill (an “Anglo-Saxon”?) feel more alien to me than my Russian neighbours.

    I have to confess though, that one of my grandmothers was Irish, from County Cork.

    Like

    1. Even the old 1993 Ukraine-Russia Kerch Agreement states that foreign warships passing through need the agreement of both the Ukraine & Russia. Ukraine also previously took Russia to court but got a mixed ruling vis-a-vis UNCLOS which among others stated the obvious that it cannot take a position on sovereignty or territorial claims.

      Like

    2. Access to Ukrainian ports on the Sea of Azov was always restricted to traffic which had obtained permission to transit the Kerch Strait, whether it was recognized as all-Russian or only half-Russian; the Ukrainians did not maintain a Vessel Traffic Management system there, and now they can’t because it isn’t their land anymore. It is an issue of maritime safety, not politics, and those who control vessel traffic through the Kerch Strait could hardly just put their feet up and do the crossword while all traffic exercised ‘freedom of navigation’. They would only have to do it once during a busy time for everyone to understand why. Not to mention the American warships have a somewhat checkered record for seamanship in congested waters.

      https://www.forbes.com/sites/hisutton/2019/11/17/new-lessons-for-navy-after-spate-of-collisions-between-warships-and-civilian-vessels/?sh=3973698a3f2f

      Of course to illustrate that vessels sometimes turn off their AIS systems so as to remain ‘discreet’, the American author used a Russian ship. Because the Russians are such sneaky bastards. Both the FITZGERALD and the McCAIN had their AIS turned off when they collided with civilian vessels, and it is fairly routine for US warships to spoof everyone as to their true identity because they are exceptional.

      Like

      1. The Forbes article uses the collision of the Norwegian frigate with the oil tanker in November 2028 as its primary example, and advocates for more and better training. It is my understanding though that at the time of collision, there were several people on the navigation deck and a training exercise may have been ongoing. A US naval officer was present as well and to my knowledge that person’s presence or actions at the time of the collision have never been adequately explained.

        After all, the frigate was moving much too quickly in an already crowded fjord, and the oil tanker was near stationary with its warning lights already on.

        Like

        1. HELGE INGSTAD was returning from a NATO deployment. She was in home waters which should have been familiar to her, although it was pitch-dark, around 04:00 if I remember right. The article did make an excellent point, however; even if HELGE INGSTAD was not transmitting her AIS code (no reason for her not to, she was in home waters and no longer part of the NATO group, but whatever), SOLA TS was. AIS symbology on a radar display is a green wedge, with the point toward the direction the vessel is traveling; ‘hooking’ the symbol results in the vessel’s name being displayed on the main display, with its navigational data – course, speed and closest point of approach using the current data for both ships – displayed in a sidebar. Even if HELGE INGSTAD was not transmitting on AIS, she could still read it and should have been able to tell SOLA TS was a vessel, and moving out into her path. The story the warship’s officers told investigators was that because SOLA TS was still brightly illuminated using all her deck lights, they assumed the ship was actually a part of the terminal it had just left. An error impossible to make if AIS was still working in receive-only. And why wouldn’t it be? Why would you willfully blind yourself when you are tearing through a congested passage in the dark at 17 knots? HELGE INGSTAD was going far too fast for the circumstances, and at a minimum should have throttled back as soon as uncertainty began to be felt. But she was still going 17 knots when she struck. Additionally, she was told not less than twice to alter course to prevent a collision. Here’s the live radar video from the Vessel Traffic Management perspective.

          It is a textbook example of how to do everything wrong. SOLA TS cannot give way – there are three more vessels on her starboard side, heading north up the channel. HELGE INGSTAD does not reduce speed, and disobeys the instruction of VTM (called VTS here, presumably for Vessel Traffic System or perhaps Supervisor). When collision is inevitable – HELGE INGSTAD could probably see the tanker clearly at that point even in the dark – INGSTAD turns hard to port, right across SOLA’s bow and out into the traffic lanes where three more vessels are approaching. She already knew starboard was safe; VTS ordered her to direct her course to starboard. An incredible parade of incompetence in which literally nothing was done right.

          Like

  36. Now we’re talking!

    Aleksey Navalny’s associates are being driven underground
    The prosecutor’s office asked the court to recognize the oppositionist’s organizations as extremist
    Kommersant from 17.04.2021, 10: 47

    The Moscow Prosecutor’s Office has sent a lawsuit to the Moscow City Court in order that three organizations created by Aleksey Navalny be recognized as extremist: a network of his regional headquarters and the previously entered by the Ministry of Justice in the register of foreign agents Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) and the Foundation for the Protection of Citizens’ Rights (FZPG). The prosecutor’s office considered that these organizations “under the guise of liberal slogans” want to shake the foundations of the constitutional order, using the “colour revolution scenario”. Associates of the imprisoned Navalny believe that this decision is connected with preparations for the spring rally for his release and for the autumn State Duma elections, in which the opposition intends to deprive United Russia of a majority using the Smart Voting system. Experts believe that the accusation of extremism will actually transfer Aleksey Navalny’s associates to an illegal position.

    Moscow prosecutors conducted an inspection of FBK, FZPG and Navalny’s headquarters on behalf of the Prosecutor General’s Office. In the claim sent to the court following the results of the audit, it is noted that “under the guise of liberal slogans “these organizations create conditions for destabilizing the social and public political situation”.

    The Moscow Prosecutor’s Office said in a statement that the “actual” purpose of Navalny’s organizations’ activities “is to create conditions for changing the foundations of the constitutional order, including using the scenario of a colour revolution”.

    In addition, these structures, according to the prosecutor’s office, carry out the activities of “foreign and international organizations, in respect of which a decision has been made to recognize their activities as undesirable”. The report of the Prosecutor’s Office does not contain a description of specific offences.

    FBK Director Ivan Zhdanov and head of the network of regional headquarters Leonid Volkov in a joint statement have suggested that the court will side with the prosecutor’s office and this will entail hundreds of new criminal cases: “Each of our employees will be under attack. Just the very fact of working in the FBK or in one of the regional headquarters will be a reason to give them from two to six years in prison. This is the best case scenario. And at worst, criminal cases will be opened even for volunteers, for sympathizers, for those who distribute leaflets or even participate in our activities in any way”.

    Nevertheless, the opposition assured that Navalny’s team would try to protect its employees and continue to work “peacefully, publicly and effectively”.

    Mansur Gilmanov, a lawyer for Apologiya Protesta, believes that if the court takes the side of the prosecutor’s office, any indication of a person belonging to the FBK and FZPG will be the basis for conducting an extremism check: “There is also a danger of reposting messages, videos and texts of investigations of these organizations, since they have become extremist”. The lawyer draws attention to the fact that the lawsuit was filed immediately after the Tushinsky court of Moscow on April 16 sentenced FBK videographer Pavel Zelensky to two years in a penal colony in the case of calls to extremism.

    Pavel Chikov, head of the Agora international human rights group, believes that following the recognition of Navalny’s organizations as extremist, the organizers of their activities face from six to ten years in prison under Part 1 of Article 282.2 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, and the participants (under Part 2 of the same article) — from two to six years in a penal colony. In addition, the demonstration of symbols of these organizations will be prohibited under Article 20.3 of the Administrative Code and will be punished up to 15 days of arrest, adds Mr. Chikov: “Those found guilty of demonstrating the symbols of an extremist organization will be banned from being elected to government bodies for a year. People can also be held accountable for past posts (a decade or more ago) with the symbols of an organization recognized as extremist”.

    In addition, extremist organizations are prohibited from any banking activity, and those who donate money to them face punishment under Article 282.3 of the Criminal Code on financing extremist activities (the maximum penalty is up to eight years in prison).

    Finally, even before the court considers the claim, the prosecutor’s office may suspend the activities of these organizations.

    Navalny’s supporters in the regions are complaining of pressure from the authorities
    Navalny’s associates believe that the reasons for pressure from the authorities and law enforcement agencies are their intention to hold a rally in support of him and the upcoming campaign for the State Duma elections. For the first time, the opposition leader’s team intends to use the “Smart Voting” system of support for the most powerful opposition candidates on a national scale. The opposition is confident that if 5 million voters join the project, they will be able to deprive “United Russia” of its majority in parliament, so the authorities, in their opinion, will try to block the main pre-election brainchild of Aleksey Navalny’s team under various pretexts.

    Political analyst Pavel Salin considers the outcome of the prosecutor’s check to be the “logical conclusion” of the course taken by the authorities to completely neutralize the protest.

    He notes that until recently, the authorities used “pinpoint tactics”: they conducted searches in certain regional headquarters of Aleksey Navalny, but this apparently did not bring the desired result, since the activists continued to work: “And now they have decided to ban all political structures altogether, leaving them no opportunities for legal activity”.

    Political analyst Konstantin Kostin says that he is not familiar with the essence of the charges brought against Navalny’s structures and it is difficult for him to comment on the decision of the prosecutor’s office. As for “Smart Voting”, this system has nothing to do with the electoral process and is aimed at “attributing victories to the parliamentary opposition”, the expert is sure: “This is not an attempt to somehow influence the election results, and therefore it is pointless to talk about the danger of this project’s influence on electoral processes. Accordingly, the system developed by the oppositionists is not dangerous for the authorities, and there is no point in trying to block it in any way”.

    Made my day!

    These liberast bourgeois arsehole idlers really believe in their fantasies; they really believe that their “smart voting” will stymie the wishes of the majority of the great unwashed at the polling stations.

    These bourgeois twats hate the masses. They’re stupid, see, are the proles, not smart and educated and artistic as they are.

    The article is from a bourgeois rag, by the way and not from a “Kremlin controlled” one.

    Like

    1. Those with the least life experience inhabit the universities (with concentration in the humanities) or are rich spoiled brats. Yet, they feel qualified to tell us how to live. Insane? Yes.

      Maybe Mao was right in a way, put these folks to work in real jobs exposed to harsh reality. Then, let’s see what they have to say.

      Like

      1. Oh, I can give you a preview: “It’s too heeaavvy!!! Surely one person was never meant to lift that!” “You don’t have to stand for that from him, you know; it’s against your rights as a pansexual. You should complain.” “Ze has a problem with the Cotter account; Zir and I were wondering if you could come and take a look”. “I think I got a bad cucumber spritzer at lunch – I’m not feeling well, I think I’d better go home.”

        Like

        1. He said hurtful words! Why can’t I listen to my I-pod? What! I can’t walk around the shop texting? What’s wrong watching porn at work? The employee manual did not specifically say I can’t sleep on the job.

          Like

    2. Certainly is a funny old world, innit? Under the guise of ‘spreading freedom’, those sympathetic to Navalny’s cause are being asked to vote for a candidate selected for them by Navalny’s organization. Well, that’s freedom, surely? Saves you from all the bother of studying the candidates’ platforms and policies, as well. You just put a check mark beside the name you were told to vote for. But don’t go up to the first person you see who looks like a western reporter, and ask if he knows where you go to get paid for voting. Only those who vote for Putin candidates do that.

      Irony abounds in today’s world – the government of free America never ceases its efforts to guide the selection of public officials in Russia toward its own choices, which are uniformly reformers or pro-western candidates, and assures Russians that it is all about freedom of choice. Klaus Schwabbe says that in the future ‘you’ll own nothing, and you’ll be happy’ but maintains that is not a bit like communism.

      Navalny is a demonstrated foreign agent in the service of the US government – American ‘democracy-promotion’ agencies finance him and the press of America and its allies sing his praises. Given that America and its allies have a stated goal of removing the Russian leader and installing a government which will be compliant with western goals and objectives, the Russian government absolutely should regard Navalny as a foreign agent and a fifth-columnist.

      Like

  37. Remember kids, when the PPNN drizzles s/t it is still called ‘journalism’ and not propaganda:

    Wednesday:

    Politico.eu: Russia’s Sputnik vaccine injects divisions into EU
    https://www.politico.eu/article/russia-sputnik-coronavirus-vaccine-divisions-eu/

    Moscow’s jab triggers splits between — and within — governments.

    April 14, 2021

    By Carlo Martuscelli and Laurenz Gehrke
    ####

    Today (Saturday):

    al-Beeb s’Allah: Sputnik V: How Russia’s Covid vaccine is dividing Europe
    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-56735931

    By Kevin Connolly
    BBC News, Brussels
    ####

    Why let a good and lazy trope go to waste?

    u-Rope was divided long before ‘Sputnik-V’ and will be divided long after. ‘Ever expanding union’ has brought indigestion. Lazy journalists & Brussels gobshites are well practiced at deflecting criticizm elsewhere whenever possible and away from Brussel’s incompetence and self-harming policies.

    Like

    1. Oh, dear! The Argentinian president tested positive for COVID after two injections of Sputnik! That never happens with American vaccines, which match their claims as to efficacy completely and confer complete immunity.

      https://www.ibtimes.com/hundreds-michiganders-get-covid-after-receiving-vaccine-3-die-3175654

      Not to mention that you could test a truck tire positive for COVID if you use the PCR test. Contemptible. Play vaccine snob if you want to – none of them confer immunity anyway, and all are only meant to mitigate your symptoms until your next booster shot. This is meant to be a medical intervention that will last the rest of your life. The world is overpopulated anyway; a couple of hundred thousand less idiots will make no difference whatsoever. If they’re all BBC readers, so much the better.

      Like

  38. Meanwhile:

    Euractiv & betabriefing: Belgrade’s virology institute starts filling first Sputnik V control vials
    https://www.euractiv.com/section/politics/short_news/belgrades-virology-institute-starts-filling-first-sputnik-v-control-vials/
    ####

    Extra leverage for Brussels vis Bruxelles.

    And the Baltic chuihuahuas have put in their 5 euro cents in (equivalent to what they contribute to the EU budget).

    Euractv: Baltic ministers call for ‘red lines’ towards Russia in Kyiv trip
    https://www.euractiv.com/section/politics/short_news/baltic-ministers-call-for-red-lines-towards-russia-in-kyiv-trip/

    “Red lines” should be drawn, the Baltic ministers said, as they stressed that the EU should be prepared to impose further sanctions on Russia due to its aggressive actions in the region.

    However, some member states are increasingly voicing concerns over the anticipatory stance of the EU’s policy and whether Brussels is ready to keep their diplomatic promises if the situation escalates further…
    ####

    Give the children some crayons to play with!

    The appropriate response from the rest of u-Rope should be, ‘We’ll be right behind your troops in the Ukraine. Honest!

    Like

  39. Antiwar.com: Ukrainian President: Proposed Nord Stream 2 Pipeline Is War, ‘Occupied Territories’ Are Worse Than Chernobyl
    https://news.antiwar.com/2021/04/16/ukrainian-president-proposed-nord-stream-2-pipeline-is-war-occupied-territories-are-worse-than-chernobyl/

    …in what appears to be a reference to last year’s strikes over pension changes and perhaps also to the Yellow Vest protest movement, the words “I do not know one hundred percent whether Russia was involved in these conflicts, strikes in France, or not.” The last comment was printed in one of France’s leading newspapers…

    …he praised Turkish-Ukrainian cooperation which includes a joint approach to “the issue of Crimean Tatars or Crimeans who were deprived of their home and left after the occupation.” He also said, ” For me, Crimea and Donbas have never left, these are definitely our territories.” They, like Nagorno-Karabakh and Crimean Tatars, will have to be “liberated.” By force of arms…
    ####

    He’s become an American. He actually believes his own propaganda. The irony that he is by profession a comedian and his own words will come back to bite him long in to the future.

    Like

  40. Antiwar.com: Democrats Reintroduce Bill to Block US From Using Nuclear Weapons First
    https://news.antiwar.com/2021/04/16/democrats-reintroduce-bill-to-block-us-from-using-nuclear-weapons-first/

    China and India are the only nuclear powers with a no first use policy

    …The legislation was introduced by Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA).

    The bill reads: “It is the policy of the United States to not use nuclear weapons first.” The legislation will be reviewed by the foreign affairs committees of each chamber of Congress…
    ####

    A small spark of common sense in the darkness. How long before it is snuffed out? I can’t see the US giving up the leverage of mass nuclear genocide because it might make it look ‘weak.’ Hopefully I’ll be proved wrong.

    Like

  41. Al’s Jizz Error via Antiwar.com: Russia to close parts of Black Sea near Crimea for six months
    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/4/16/russia-to-close-parts-of-black-sea-near-crimea-for-six-months

    Ukraine and the EU condemn Russia’s decision to restrict the navigation of foreign military and official ships.

    …“From 21:00 on April 24 until 21:00 on October 31, passage through the territorial sea of the Russian Federation for foreign military ships and other state vessels will be halted,” the state-run RIA Novosti news agency cited a defence ministry statement as saying on Friday.

    The restrictions will affect the western tip of Crimea, the peninsula’s southern coastline from Sevastopol to Hurzuf, and a “rectangle” off the Kerch peninsula near the Opuksky Nature Reserve.
    ####

    Like

  42. In an industry shocker, NASA has selected SpaceX to develop the Artemis lunar lander. SpaceX was viewed as the least qualified of the three candidates and with a proposal with the highest technical risk.

    But the SpaceX proposal was audacious in its scope. I can’t help but think it was a political decision driven by the Russian/Chinese plans to set up a lunar output by 2030.

    NASA is unhinged. SpaceX has a minuscule chance to achieve the needed technical requirements and no chance to come close to the published schedule.

    Like

    1. Certainly, Space X has managed an impressive run of explosions of late – though, in fairness, it looks like they’re at least somewhat landing related (and automated rocket vertical landing seems like a bit of a tricky business), but then that’s an almost inevitable product of rushed development – think back to the Mercury and Vostok programs during the hot space race. The difference her, is that I don’t see the Russians or Chinese rushing to the moon, but space may get a bit more exciting the next little while
      The elision of Yuri Gagarin from the US cosmonautics day announcement tells us that’s still a sore spot after 60 years, how much more so a joint Chinese / Russian lunar base this time around, should it play out like that?

      Like

      1. The Starship development approach defies logic and engineer sense. They started off using a company that fabricates water towers with welds that look like smeared boogers. Why? Who in their right mind would use such an approach for anything related to human safety much less the rigors of aerospace equipment.

        The fan boys breathless report that the welds are improving with every new Starship. JHC! Why didn’t they go straight to good welds using procedures established over the past 50 years.

        I will say one reason and it may be the main reason – SpaceX needs to be in the news to keep the Musk equity bubble inflated.

        Like

        1. Well, SS welding is a PITA at best, but yeah, it’s been done successfully since Christ was a cowboy, but Elon knows more about everything than anybody. However, for all his insane nonsense, I think – if it were my money I’d bet on Space X before the also-rans, so long as you don’t mind blowing up a few dozen more spaceships *Sigh* – it’s a bit crazy making, eh?

          Like

          1. I don’t know. The Raptor engine (what, now SN 40?) continue to have reliability problems. It’s ability to relight is pretty impressive but that is about it. I suspect that after a slew of modifications, the Starship weight will grow to the point of hardly any net capacity to orbit.

            They claims a turnaround time of hours yet the mature Falcon needs weeks for a turnaround. 27 Raptors need to perform well for the 1st stage yet the Raptor has ongoing problems.

            I do like the focus on simple designs using readily available materials but the development “evolution” is a joke. The Soviets used a similar (but more sophisticated effort) with the N1. It would have worked with a few more iterations but the political will was gone,

            If SpaceX does well relative to to the SLS, ULA or Blue Origins, it is more due to incompetence of the competition. But, if I were to bet, I would go with ULA.

            Like

          2. Elon has the advantage of unlimited government funding; he already has them over a barrel where unless he is a success, they have no chance of recovering the millions they already let him borrow. So they just let him keep on borrowing more. Meanwhile the personal wealth he accumulates by the rising price of his stock is his to keep.

            There is no way his pointy garbage can is ever going into space; it can barely survive the stress of liftoff, and occasionally it doesn’t. I thought he was joking at first, fielding that thing that looked like a grain silo with a dunce cap on top; compare it with NASA rockets, and it looks like a prop from The Wizard of Oz. I’m sure it is not fully fueled for its series of tests, either, since it only needs to go a short way and extra fuel presents an additional hazard on landing. When fueled for an interstellar mission it is going to be at least twice as heavy, and if there is an explosion it will make all the foregoing ones look like blowing out the candles on a birthday cake.

            Like

    2. There’s the clue, right there. “But the SpaceX proposal was audacious in its scope.” That’s playing to Musk’s strengths. “Ha, ha!! Is THAT all it’ll do? MY rocket will jerk you off while it’s folding your laundry and singing the baby to sleep. Did I mention it comes with a bottle-opener at every seat? Oh, and one more thing; it also runs on piss, and uses no other fuel whatsoever – bring lots of beer, so the crew can urinate their way to other galaxies!!” What is NASA likely to do in the face of such riches, but blink and sign?

      Like

      1. It would be a breakout attempt by the US to dominate orbital and cislunar space. But it is a double or triple edge sword for SpaceX. NASA will insist on things like abort systems, much higher safety factors, etc. than SpaceX was planning.

        The contract award basically create a monopoly for SpaceX in the US launch market (not counting micro launchers). Although the funding was nominally to develop a lunar lander, the bulk of it will be used to develop the booster and Starship – a $2.9 billion subsidy for SpaceX.

        The geopolitical implications are overwhelming in this decisions. It can be viewed as Star Wars redux – force Russia into a ruinously expensive competition for ulta-low cost launch costs.

        Like

        1. Well, it’ll be a “break out the popcorn” show for the next little while, I guess.

          It’s interesting to see the elimination of the usual aerospace crowd – Dynetics and Blue origins were both (relative) new kids in that game. Given the way things are working in the US right now for high tech govt programs (Littoral combat ship, Zumwalt class, USS Gerald Ford, F-35), the indicators are bad, but NASA is a bit of a different beast, so we’ll have to see if they can make a silk purse out of this sow’s ear.

          The big concern I have is the schedule, I can see the US wrapping itself into a “Must beat the Russians / Chinese” lather, which may not end well. The Chinese and Russians will, hopefully, resolutely refuse to play space race games.

          Like

          1. The “Angry Astronaut” is a fan boy but does ask hard questions regarding SpaceX and the seemingly arbitrary selection criteria used by NASA in picking SpaceX. As he indicated, NASA is taking a huge risk with its decision.

            The Soviets correctly concluded that the US Space Shuttle made absolutely no economic sense but could provide a break-out potential for launching large military payloads at a fast cadence. Fortunately for world peace, the Shuttle had way too many technical shortcomings to achieve a fast turnaround. It was supposed to be 2 weeks but was more like 6 months of rebuilding.

            My guess is strong political pressure forced NASA to pick SpaceX and the report referred to above showed that bias. There is little doubt that NASA and its controllers will regret their decision. Meanwhile, Russia and China will move at pace determined by engineering requirements and not geopolitical competition. Why should they hurry? Trends are all good for their geopolitical/economic security.

            Like

  43. Чемодан , вокзал, Бандерастан!

    17 апреля 2021 12:09
    В Петербурге ФСБ задержан с поличным украинский консул: Возможные последствия
    Задержанный консул Александр Сосонюк уже передан в диппредставительство Незалежной и явно начал собирать чемоданы

    17 April 2021 12:09
    In St. Petersburg the FSB has detained the Ukrainian consul red-handed: Possible consequences
    The detained consul Alexander Sosonyuk has already been transferred to the diplomatic mission of “Independent” Ukraine and has clearly begun to pack his bags


    Ukrainian consul Aleksander Sosonyuk was caught red-handed.

    Consul of the Consulate General of the Ukraine in St. Petersburg, Aleksander Sosonyuk, was detained by FSB operatives during a meeting with a Russian citizen whilst receiving information of a classified nature from the database of law enforcement agencies and the FSB of the Russian Federation. This message was spread by the Public Relations Centre (TsSChS) of the FSB on the morning of April 17. As explained by the Public Relations Centre, the activities of the Ukrainian diplomat are hostile towards Russia.

    The detention itself took place on the eve of April 16. The Ukrainian consul was caught, as they say, red-handed. He hardly put up any resistance and he was unable to bite into a capsule containing pork lard — sorry! — poison in one of his teeth. If anyone did not understand the last piece of information, it was just a joke. As far as resistance is concerned, a person with diplomatic status and immunity is unlikely to aggravate the situation.

    Moreover, in general he is not under any threat. At most, Sosonyuk will be declared persona non grata in Russia and sent to the Ukraine. By the way, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry has already announced that they are preparing a symmetrical response and now they are only choosing a specific name from the list of Russian diplomats who will be sent to Russia. But there is just a nuance — the symmetry of the response is usually used when simply expelling certain persons who are suspected of any prohibited activity. In this case, Sosonyuk was caught red-handed. And the Ukraine clearly does not have a Russian diplomat in mind who could be detained upon receipt of some classified or classified information constituting a state or military secret of the “Independent” Ukraine. However, Kiev has long ceased to worry about such trifles.

    In the comments to this news on social networks, there are often mocking remarks that say Ukrainian diplomats have reached an extreme degree of degradation, and that it was quite natural to expect a failure of the operation from a person with such a surname. [Sosonyuk is similar to “sosynok” – “cock sucker” — ME} However, things may not be quite so simple.

    The use of a diplomatic roof for a cadre intelligence officers is far from new in international relations. There is even a special list of posts in the embassies, to which full-time spies are appointed. And the special services of the host country are well aware of this. As a rule, intelligence is carried out by the staff of the military attaché, the second or third echelon employees of the diplomatic mission. But as far as consuls are concerned, they, as a rule, are not intelligence officers. The consular service is engaged in protecting the rights of its citizens and companies of its state on the territory of the host country, and the consul, even if he is not a general consul, but simply a consul, is a diplomat of too high a rank to risk failure in such an operation. But do not forget that we are dealing with the Ukraine.

    Accordingly, in this situation we are dealing either with a very skillful intelligence officer, who has been on the lists of Ukraine Consulate Generals in St. Petersburg since 2012, or indeed a member of the Ukrainian intelligence service sent as an ordinary career diplomat to a meeting because a staff shortage in his own ranks. The answer to this question is undoubtedly already known to the FSB, but we are unlikely to be told about it. It is quite possible that some of the information about Sosonyuk’s real occupation will emerge during the trial of the person who passed him information of interest to the Ukrainian special services. But this is also possible only if the contact of the Ukrainian diplomat was actually recruited by the Ukrainian intelligence service, and was not skillfully framed by the same FSB and actually worked for the Russian special service and on its instructions.

    Let us recall that in Russia, trials are regularly held against citizens of both the Ukraine and Russia, who are trying to get classified information, samples of weapons or spare parts for them, as well as economic information of a strategic nature. for example, former Ukrainian footballer Vasyl Vasilenko was sentenced to 12 years in a strict regime colony for trying to transfer components for the S-300 surface-to-air missile system to Ukroboronprom.[Yukiestan Defence Industry]. In any case, we should remind you that Sosonyuk is faced with nothing in our country except expulsion to the Ukraine. He has already been handed over to employees of the Ukrainian diplomatic mission and has evidently begun to pack his suitcases. At the most, Russia may close the Consulate General of the Ukraine in St Petersburg. But it is unlikely to come to that, as such a move would certainly provoke the same response from Kiev.

    It has become known that Russia is expelling the detained Ukrainian consul. Sosonyuk has been advised to leave the country within 72 hours.

    See ya . . . sucker!

    Like

    1. My guess is that the FSB long had its suspicions about Alexander Sosonyuk based on past reports of his conduct and trapped him in a scheme with the cooperation of someone or a company that had to use the Ukrainian consulate’s services regularly. The FSB probably also takes for granted that all Ukrainian consulates in Russia are staffed by SBU / CIA people and is watching them closely. Sosonyuk is a fool if he thought he could get away.with procuring classified sensitive information.

      Like

    2. TASS has reported that Kiev is expelling a senior Russian diplomat within 72 hours from 19 April 2021 in response to Sosonyuk’s expulsion.

      Like

  44. Just a personal observation on a Covid death. A friend attended a funeral of a person who he claimed died from Covid. Being a skeptic, I ask him if the deceased suffered from any comorbidity. He answered that the deceased has had 21 heart stints and was diagnosed with terminal cancer but also contracted Covid. Cause of death was listed as Covid and that confirms in my friend’s mind that Covid was killing us en massee.

    I will be the first to say that Covid is not pleasant and seems to have a persistent affect lasting several week. Oddly, I had two changes in behavior – my sweet tooth (specifically for chocolate) is gone and I hardly listen to music. That, I don’t understand.

    Like

    1. Ha, ha!! I haven’t even had COVID, at least as far as I know, and I have lost all commitment to living in Canada forever, my respect for nearly all my fellow citizens for critical thinking and all my belief that Canadians were better than Americans at resistance to being fed horseshit. That’s not true at all, and we are all one big, happy disheveled family of jingoistic know-nothings, mouths hanging open as we watch the TV news with simpleminded faith that we are being told the absolute truth. Gone – all gone! What a cruel disease.

      Like

      1. My view of politics and economics remain unaffected by the Covid experience. As noted, my diet has improved and I also lost 10 pounds. Not saying Covid was a net positive experience but it was not all bad.

        Like

        1. Well, for me, the overall experience was one of profound disappointment. I never thought Canadians would sit still for mask mandates. But they did, even though the most rudimentary research would tell the searcher they do not do anything significant to prevent respiratory viruses from transmitting freely. Canadians were among the most judgy and vituperative toward ‘anti-maskers’ and ‘anti-vaxxers’, and it got so I could not even read the ‘letters to the editor’ page of the paper because it would make me so angry I couldn’t see straight, what with all the maudlin squalling from the old people, “Doctor Bonnie, we’re SCARED! Please make everyone wear a mask all the time!” and the moral high-grounders grunting that anyone who wouldn’t wear a mask ought to be denied medical benefits if they got sick. Sure, after I paid into them for almost 50 years, and since the mid-80’s in British Columbia. These are the people who helped whip the Nazis? Give me strength. Now it’s all about virtue-signaling and obedience, vying with one another to see who can be the best morale-booster for Fun Things To Do To Keep Your Spirits Up During The Pandemic and complimenting the government on what a great job it’s doing. We didn’t need those pesky rights, anyway – tell you what: why don’t we just let YOU decide what I’m allowed to do? Frankly, it’s embarrassing how pitiful it all is. The government must think it has stumbled onto a gold mine – the people will tolerate practically any indignity or hardship, you only have to tell them what heroes they are for supporting their community.

          Like

          1. Western people like to be scared. Their lives are otherwise empty so being scared given them a purpose – a (french phrase) to live. The fear then drives moral posturing and even vigilantism. I am sure that the thousands of social science research projects over the years have determined how to herd a population using fear, feeling of moral superiority, narcissism and anger.

            I think a business can be created selling apparel emblazoned with “I’m a fucking idiot”. The first step to recovery is to acknowledge the problem.

            Like

            1. There’s scaring people…and then there’s lying to them to herd them. You probably recall a few months back, when the WHO changed its onsite definition of ‘herd immunity’ to exclude natural immunity, and to thereby imply that the only way to achieve herd immunity is through vaccination.

              With ‘vaccines’ that do not confer immunity? How is that supposed to work? Ever? You will gain the kind of herd immunity which relies on an annual booster shot, and then will only promise that if you get COVID, you will not be seriously ill. Most people who get it now are not seriously ill, without doing anything, least of all taking a vaccine which does not vaccinate and remains experimental.

              You can only scare people as long as the threat you use is scary. It is departing from simply scaring people when you have to make up stuff to scare them.

              https://www.wusa9.com/article/news/verify/verify-changes-who-definition-herd-immunity-not-secret/507-f90c0199-c88e-4c66-8313-b4ae6e2a72ad

              Such as “Never in the history of public health has herd immunity been used as a strategy for responding to an outbreak, let alone a pandemic. It is scientifically and ethically problematic”. That’s the current Director-General of the WHO. Notice he does not say, ““Never in the history of public health has herd immunity been used for responding to an outbreak, let alone a pandemic. It is scientifically and ethically problematic,” He only says that never has it been used ‘as a strategy’, as in a deliberate plan. Oh, just do nothing – it’ll sort itself out. Of course no public-health figure has ever said that; they’d be crucified. But it is herd immunity achieved through natural resistance which beats back the flu, every time. What does he think – flu shots stop it? Flu shots, because influenza is a virus, only promise to ease your symptoms and protect you from getting very sick, just like coronavirus ‘vaccines’. Yet the flu shot is not advertised as a ‘vaccine’. It’s called ‘the flu shot’, like the UK designated the COVID ‘vaccines’ as ‘jabs’. You need a new flu shot every year, and the medical cocktail-shakers try to guess what variant they will be facing the year to come. Just like COVID, which the ‘experts’ now expect will be around forever, so you’ll need a ‘jab’ every year to counter the latest variant. A ‘jab’ like the one that is netting Pfizer over $4 Billion in profits this year.

              https://www.brusselstimes.com/news/business/152523/vaccines-pfizer-forecasts-4-billion-profit-this-year/

              Like

    2. This Covid curse has been the bane of my life this past 12 months.

      As you may know already, I was due to be admitted to hospital over a year ago in order to undergo a minor surgical repair job on my much abused mortal frame . . . and then came the shamdemic.

      So at long last, having been under house arrest for almost 12 months, I at at last have got the ball rolling again.

      I had a chat with a consultant last week at Clinical Hospital No.24, Moscow, and I have to get medical data about myself at my local clinic, data showing that I am not suffering from TB, syphilis etc, have an ECG, have a blood analysis, and all this must be done within the next fortnight. Then I go back to No.24, hand in the data, and wait to be told the date of my admittance.

      Last year, I was told that the job would be done very quickly and I should only have to stay in dock overnight for observation, following which I could go home.

      But get this! Having finally been admitted to Hospital No.24 in the very near future, I shall then have to go into quarantine for 3 bloody days because of this Covid crap.

      Load of bollocks!

      Hospital No.24, Moscow, is brand new, by the way:

      I have met many fellow fellow countrymen and US citizens here have been totally gobsmacked when I have told them that I have had treatment in Russian hospitals. They are scared shitless of having Orcish medical treatment. I’m not! See below:


      I’m sure she would help keep my pecker up when I am in hospital.

      Like

  45. There has been a lot of talk about the weakness of the Russian counter-sanctions. However, perhaps the real bite is the banning of western NGOs trying to foment regime change in Russia. That will hurt western plans far more than expelling additional diplomats or banning American officials from visiting Russia. Another judo move by Russia? I think so.

    Like

    1. Russia still retains a lot of leverage, in that it could cut the USA off from titanium exports and rocket engines. The USA has pretty much nothing left but playground insults and energy exports. If it embargoed the transfer of Russian energy to Europe the shit would hit the fan pretty fast, with the risk that Europeans would become angry enough with the USA to simply ignore Washington’s orders.

      Like

  46. The April Public Opinion Foundation [FOM] survey has shown a drop in interest in Navalny down to 1%
    April 16, 2021 13: 23

    Interest in Navalny has fallen compared to the previous week, when the name of the opposition leader was mentioned by 2% of Russians.

    The Public Opinion Foundation of Russia has released survey data on the events of the week of April 5-11. According to the study, the interest in Navalny has fallen, despite the active presence of the oppositionist in the information agenda.

    The aggravation of the situation in the Ukraine came first (18%), the coronavirus epidemic and vaccination came second (7%), and price increases came third (3%). As a significant event of the week, news about Navalny was mentioned by 1% of Russians, along with the death of Prince Philip and criminal events. Respondents noted that they were following news about Navalny’s health and hunger strike.


    The April FOM survey showed a drop in interest in Navalny to 1%

    The FOM poll showed that interest in Navalny had dropped compared to the previous week, when the name of the opposition leader was mentioned by 2% of Russians. Similar results were shown in the time span 22-28 March, when the founder of FBK (recognised as a foreign agent) was reported to have returned to the infofield with health complaints. The new data on the opposition leader’s imprisonment increased slightly the interest in Navalny, whose name was mentioned by 1% of respondents by that time.

    Recall that throughout February, attention to Navalny was high, although mostly negative. At the beginning of the month, his last name was mentioned by 35% of respondents, which was due to the sentencing on February 2. By the end of the month, interest in the opposition leader dropped to 8%, and by mid-March it was already 2%.

    Navalny is in custody in IK-2 in Pokrov as a result his conviction for fraud. On March 24, the opposition leader’s lawyers announced Navalny’s health problems and failure to provide him with medical assistance, despite medical examinations having been conducting, treatment prescribed and a medical consultation called for. As a sign of disagreement with the non-admission of a chosen specialist to the colony, the founder of FBK went on a hunger strike on March 31, which continues to this day.

    Interest in the Bullshitter is sure to increase if he dies, though — maybe to as high as 3% for a couple of days.

    Political analyst Konfisakhor explains how the Russian political system will react to Navalny’s death
    April 12, 2021, 16: 26


    Don’t ya hear me? IM GONNA DIE, I TELL YA!!!! You just watch if I don’t!!!!!

    If opposition leader Alexey Navalny dies as a result of a hunger strike, this will not lead to serious political consequences in the country due to the passive mood of society. This opinion was expressed by Associate Professor of the Department of Political Psychology at the Faculty of Psychology of St. Petersburg State University Alexander Konfisakhor in an interview with a Rosbalt correspondent.

    “Unfortunately, if Navalny passes away, there will be no special consequences for the Russian political system. It has already demonstrated that it is ready to take the most extreme and harsh measures. The death of the politician will be a moral blow only for those people who still doubt his rightness today”, the expert said.

    According to him, the apogee of protest moods in connection with Navalny was supposed to have been episodes with his detention at the airport and at court, but the moment was lost. The political scientist is sure that there will be no rallies on the same scale as there were on January 23 and 31, even if the politician’s hunger strike ends in death.

    “There is no alternative to Aleksey Navalny at the moment. He is one of the key opposition politicians. After all, what is important here is what price a person is willing to pay for participating in political activities. It is one thing when you are discredited, deprived of your job, and another when you are ready to give your life, pay the highest price that a person is capable of”, Aleksander Konfisakhor is sure.

    According to the political scientist, the death of Navalny is an undesirable scenario for the Kremlin, as it brings with it “unnecessary noise”. “Although the Kremlin does not care how people react to its actions, it is still fraught with unnecessary problems. They will try to avoid a fatal outcome, but this is not the worst thing, according to the Kremlin. In the spirit of ‘well, it has just turned out so’ “, the expert summed up.

    Recall that on March 31, opposition politician Navalny went on a hunger strike, saying that he would not eat until a doctor had been called to see him. Earlier, he had complained of severe pain in his leg and back. On April 12, it became known from Navalny’s Twitter account that during the hunger strike, he had lost 8 kilograms and 15 kilograms during his entire stay in the colony. His associates also report that he is constantly threatened with forced feeding — a cruel and humiliating procedure.

    Nobody — well almost nobody HERE IN RUSSIA — gives a flying fuck about you, Lyosha.

    So get on with it then!

    Like

    1. So by my reckoning, then, the Bullshitter has been without food for 17 days. And he’s still walking around? He would do well to conserve his strength, and not worry so much about the people of Russia. because they plainly are not very worried about him.

      When he has not eaten for a couple of months, but is still not dead, suspicion will begin to grow that he might be having the odd snack on the side. It’s never a good idea to announce that you will starve yourself to death if you don’t get what you want, considering you are in the custody of people who don’t care if you die, if you don’t mean to go through with it. And Navalny plainly does not. Now he just looks like a big girl’s blouse. I suppose when he does not die the caterwauling from Team Navalny will be that the cruel regime force-fed him and kept him alive, not even allowing the poor man the dignity of a chosen death.

      Like

      1. A lawyer has assessed the data published in the media about Navalny’s health
        April 17, 2021

        Supporters of blogger Aleksei Navalny have published in the media the alleged results of his tests done in the colony (which should be a medical secret) and claim that “at any moment his heart may stop”, but was not there a contradiction here, lawyer Dmitry Agranovsky has asked.

        As the lawyer has pointed out in his Telegram channel, Navalny’s supporters themselves “have argued that he has not been provided with medical assistance”.

        “And anyway, should incompetent people throw around such loud statements in the sympathetic media? Unless, of course, they really want to help Navalny rather than make his situation worse”, Agranovsky added.

        In early April, Navalny was transferred to a medical unit with symptoms of acute respiratory infections, which had been revealed in him during a routine medical examination. After that, a video from the medical unit of the correctional colony appeared on the Web, where the convict performs various physical exercises. On Tuesday, the regional department of the Federal Penitentiary Service reported that Navalny, who is serving a sentence in IK-2 in the Vladimir region, is not suffering from tuberculosis and coronavirus infection.

        Recall, on February 28, the convicted of fraud blogger was taken to a correctional colony in the Vladimir region. FSIN director Alexander Kalashnikov said that there was no threat to the security of Aleksei Navalny, that in the colony he would be kept in “absolutely normal” conditions. The Human Rights Commission also reported that Navalny had no complaints about his conditions of detention and the actions of the colony employees, and that his relations with other convicts were normal.

        Translation of “Telegram” channel linked above:

        Supporters of Navalny are publishing in the media, allegedly, the results of his tests done in the colony (which, it seems, should be a medical secret) and claim that “at any moment his heart may stop.” Is there a contradiction here? After all, they themselves have asserted that “no medical assistance is provided to him”. And in general, And anyway, should incompetent people throw around such loud statements in the sympathetic media? Unless, of course, they really want to help Navalny rather than make his situation worse.

        “Telegram” posted by Dmitry Vladimirovich Agranovsky: born on May 4, 1971 in the town of Elektrostal in the Moscow region. His father was Agranovsky Vladimir Borisovich, a lawyer, and his mother was Agranovskaya Emma Viktorovna, a sanitary doctor.

        Source: CPRF

        He’s a Commie, goddamit!!!!

        So he is a member of a real opposition party!

        The above CPRF site reads further:

        Graduated with honours from the Moscow Regional Polytechnic, specializing in computer repair and operation, and from Lomonosov Moscow State University, Faculty of Law, specializing in constitutional law.

        He has been working as an advocate since 1996, from 1996 to 2008 he was a member of the Moscow Regional Bar Association (Elektrostal branch) and was awarded Certificates of Merit from the Bar.

        Since 2008 he has been a member of the “Liptser, Stavitskaya and Partners” Moscow Bar Association”.

        Since 2009, he has been a Director of the “Liptser, Stavitskaya & Partners Moscow Bar Association”. Specialization of the Bar – criminal cases and cases in the European Court of Human Rights.

        In 1997, he was first elected to the City Council in Elektrostal. In 2015 he was elected for the fifth term. In the Council of Deputies from 1997 to the present is the head of the deputy Commission on legal issues. He was awarded the Badge of Honour “For Services to the City of Electrostal”, certificates of honour for active work in the Council of Deputies, a Certificate of Honour from the Chairman of the Moscow Regional Duma, a letter of thanks from the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands for “the great work in protecting the Dutch citizen Vladimir Lind, which led to a happy ending and which the Embassy appreciates very much”.

        Patriotic publicist. Author of more than 300 articles in the newspapers Zavtra and Sovetskaya Rossiya. Winner of the “Word to the People” award.

        Member of the CPRF since 1994. Candidate member of the CPRF Central Committee. Awarded the Order of the Central Committee of the CPRF “Party Valour” and “For Services to the Party” as well as party certificates and commendations.

        From 2005 to the present time he has been Assistant to the First Deputy Chairman of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation I.I. Melnikov.

        Member of the Centre for Assistance to International Protection. Actively engaged with the European Court of Human Rights, 14 complaints won, more than 40 in the process of communication (ongoing).

        From 2005 to 2010 he took part in the programme “The Court is Coming” on RTR.

        In September 2004 the editors of the magazine Profile included him in the list of 40 best-known lawyers in Russia.

        According to GQ magazine (2012), he is one of the 20 most influential lawyers in Russia.

        According to http://viperson.ru/ (October 2014) he is ranked 59th in the rating of lawyers in Russia.

        Since February 2013, he has hosted the social and political programme Point of View on the Krasnaya Liniya channel.

        Languages spoken: English.

        Furthermore, he is a real lawyer and a real politician, unlike that gobshite, unemployed blogger of note.

        I bet none of Vladimir Borisovich’s children, if he has any, study at Stanford for free!

        Like

  47. “Punish Moscow”: what will happen after Russia is disconnected from SWIFT
    08: 00 13.04.2021 (updated: 09: 41 13.04.2021)

    MOSCOW, April 13-RIA Novosti, Natalia Dembinskaya. Disconnecting Russia from SWIFT, the global interbank communication system, is already being threatened not only in the United States, but also in Europe. This time, the European Parliament has called for tough coordinated measures. What this threatens and whether the domestic financial system is ready for such a scenario – in the material RIA Novosti.

    Back to the old ways

    More than 11 thousand organizations in two hundred countries are connected to the international interbank information transfer and payment system SWIFT. Russia is one of the three largest operators of SWIFT, and it has been threatened with disconnection from it since 2014. The reasons are different: the Crimea, the Donbass, the Skripal case, and the situation with blogger Aleksey Navalny. As soon as he took office as president of the United States, Joe Biden promised to cut off Russia from SWIFT.

    In December, Reuters, citing sources familiar with the plans of the president’s team, reported Biden’s intention to “punish” Moscow for its alleged involvement in a hacker attack on US government institutions. This should lead to “serious economic, financial or technological losses for Russia”. One option is to disconnect from SWIFT, said James Andrew Lewis, a cybersecurity expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.

    In April, the situation in eastern Ukraine escalated — a new pretext. The topic was picked up in Europe. As Manfred Weber, the head of the European Parliament’s leading faction, the “European People’s Party”, put it: Moscow “is continuing a course of dangerous provocations”.

    In his opinion, “by increasing its military presence” near the border with the Ukraine, Moscow is testing the patience of the West. Therefore, the US and the EU must give a coordinated response. As the parliamentarian emphasized, if the situation escalates,”the time for metered sanctions will be over”. As measures that “must become real options”, Weber suggested “the large-scale freezing of the oligarchs’ accounts” and, again, disconnection from SWIFT.

    There will be problems

    On the one hand, Russia has its own System for Transmitting Financial Messages (SPFS), which was launched in 2014. All Russian banks and about a dozen foreign ones from the countries of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) are connected to it. After disconnecting from SWIFT, banks will switch to the Russian equivalent. However, for international payments, the SPFS is not yet a full-fledged replacement, so the impact will be serious.

    Experts point out that the volume of Russian export and import operations in dollars and euros is significant, and it is impossible to find an alternative for many product groups.

    “Disconnecting from SWIFT will paralyze the transactions of Russian banks”, warns Ararat Mkrtchyan, chief strategist at the index company Beta Financial Technologies. “Major exporters will suffer the most. They will have to work exclusively with foreign banks to service their operations. There will be many intermediaries who circumvent the restrictions. Especially the financial institutions of the EAEU countries will benefit from this.”

    Everything is solved

    However, the disaster will not happen in any case.

    “By itself, disconnecting Russian banks from SWIFT means only an increase in the cost and slowing down of financial transactions between counterparties. Obviously, traditional chains will break, and it will take some time to restore them. But in a week or two it is quite possible to do this”, points out Oleg Bogdanov, a leading analyst at QBF.

    Another thing, the expert adds, if the freezing of dollar funds of Russian residents follows, then a panic reaction in the markets is possible. It will take a quarter or two for things to calm down, but in the end, financial ties will still be restored.

    Sharp currency fluctuations are inevitable. However, after a short period of turbulence, the ruble exchange rate will return to normal.

    More expensive for yourself

    Still, the flip side of Russia’s disconnection from SWIFT suggests that it won’t go any further than threats. First, SWIFT is a private company that makes money from Russian banks. Moreover, they use the system not only for international transactions, but also for domestic inter-bank transfers. In order for SWIFT to disconnect someone, an EU decision or US sanctions against SWIFT itself are needed. But in this case, Russia’s trading partners – European and American businesses – would be left out.

    “This circumstance could be considered as force majeure, which would not allow Russian companies and the state to pay for existing obligations. The country’s external debt is about $ 450 billion. Accordingly, there will be financial problems for creditors. In addition, transactions with major trading partners, and the largest of them is the European Union, will be difficult. Calls in the European Parliament are nothing more than market populism”, says Andrey Kochetkov, a leading analyst at Otkritie Broker.

    The United States will also have a hard time. First, Washington has only a hypothetical influence on SWIFT, which is headquartered in Belgium. Secondly, Russia may respond with tough sanctions against American banks and politicians.

    Like

    1. I agree with Bogdanov, and continue to maintain it will not happen – the surge of childish joy Washington would feel at having stuck a thumb in the eye of its ancient enemy would quickly turn to chagrin that it now was unable to spy on what the Russians are doing with state money as well as general commercial trends; how is it ever to know if any of its spoiling activities are having any effect if it can’t SEE? SWIFT lets the Americans watch all global financial transactions, although the system was European in origin – as the global cop, Uncle Sam just sort of muscled his way in there as the ostensible watcher for bad guys and financial crime, and Europe let it. Now America essentially owns it, by the same rule that lets America own and control everything that it does; Uncle Sam says “Do this”, and the Europeans jump to it.

      As I also believe, Russia should take steps to reduce its use of SWIFT anyway – it has come under criticism since 2018 for its clumsiness and unnecessary extra routings, which mean the transactions take longer to complete and each step levies its own fees.

      “A series of articles published on 23 June 2006 in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the Los Angeles Times revealed a program, named the Terrorist Finance Tracking Program, which the US Treasury Department, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and other United States governmental agencies initiated after the 11 September attacks to gain access to the SWIFT transaction database.

      After the publication of these articles, SWIFT quickly came under pressure for compromising the data privacy of its customers by allowing governments to gain access to sensitive personal information. In September 2006, the Belgian government declared that these SWIFT dealings with American governmental authorities were a breach of Belgian and European privacy laws.

      In response, and to satisfy members’ concerns about privacy, SWIFT began a process of improving its architecture by implementing a distributed architecture with a two-zone model for storing messages.

      Concurrently, the European Union negotiated an agreement with the United States government to permit the transfer of intra-EU SWIFT transaction information to the United States under certain circumstances. “

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Society_for_Worldwide_Interbank_Financial_Telecommunication#U.S._control_over_transactions_within_the_EU

      The reference also discusses how the United States was able to seize funds being transferred between two EU countries, because the transaction briefly passed through an American bank.

      I can bear witness to this; early in our relationship, before the missus and I were married and she still lived in Russia, I was experimenting with ways to send funds to her. I sent a cash transaction of $100.00 Canadian from the Royal Bank of Canada to an account at Sberbank in Vladivostok. It went via SWIFT. The record of transactions showed that the money was converted to American dollars (fee charged), then to rubles (fee charged) and deposited in the client account, at which point it had been reduced to about $62.00 Canadian in value, nearly half of it being absorbed by transaction fees. So far as I am aware, all transactions incur that procedural step of briefly – literally an eyeblink – being converted to US dollars before being reconverted to the end-user currency. For that eyeblink, the Americans have actual possession of that money, and if they are watching for it they can confiscate it if it falls under their sanctions programs that they have imposed because others trusted them to make and enforce sensible laws. In case anyone remains who did not yet get the message, whenever Americans are given control over international processes, they bend them to their own service and interests, and stand on international law only so long as it does not prevent them from doing as they like. Where it does, it is ignored.

      There is already an international SWIFT alternative, built by the same people who built SWIFT: Global Payments Innovation (GPI).

      “SWIFT has been criticized for its inefficiency, with the Financial Times observing in 2018 that transfers frequently “pass through multiple banks before reaching their final destination, making them time-consuming, costly and lacking transparency on how much money will arrive at the other end”. SWIFT has introduced its own improved service, called “Global Payments Innovation” (GPI), stating that as of 2018 it had been adopted by 165 banks, and was completing half of its payments in under 30 minutes.”

      So I could see Washington perhaps symbolically disconnecting Russia from SWIFT, but leaving its connection with GPI untouched, so Bidet could dance and claim a great victory for America. But I’m still leaning toward probably not, because America always wants the greatest degree of surveillance opportunity. Then it doesn’t even have to be always watching – you know that it COULD be, and govern yourself accordingly.

      If I am wrong and Uncle Sam does shit the bed as usual and have a tantrum until he gets his way, Russia will use its own system domestically as well as internationally to the degree possible. It will likely rely on Chinese international connections for the rest. Russia remains a relatively wealthy country with very low debt, so its financial reliability is high and there will always be connections where they can benefit financially. What will emerge will be a global financial network that increasingly excludes the United States or contains built-in backdoors that it is unaware of, to guard specifically against Uncle Sam sitting jealously on top of the entire world’s money pile.

      Like

      1. That which you described as happening to the money transfer that you sent your then wife-to-be in Vladivostok has been going on for years. I remember how a few years before I got wed i got talking to an old bloke whilst sharing a park bench with him and his telling me how his son had emigrated to the USA and sent him $100 every month (quite a lot of money in the “Glorious Yeltsin Years” for an ordinary Ivan), but he only ended up getting about 60 bucks.

        I started transferring funds from my UK account to here when my two eldest started their higher education. My UK bank is Natwest, and I have two Russian bank accounts here: VTB and Sberbank, the latter being the national savings bank and the former, “External Trade Bank”, also being part of Bank of Russia. NatWest refused point blank to make a money transfer to them. So I opened an account with UniCredit Bank, an Italian outfit, and there was no problem in making transfers. Each transfer can be no more than £10,000 and the fee is £12. Only 3 days it takes.

        The only other foreign high street banks that operate here now are the Austrian bank Raiffeisen and City Bank (formerly New York City Bank). No British banks. HSBC and Lloyds Bank UK made brief appearances here about 10 years ago, but they chickened out. The Orcs must have scared them off.

        Like

  48. StrategicCulture.org: So Who Wants a Hot War?
    https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2021/04/16/so-who-wants-a-hot-war/

    Pepe Escobar
    April 16, 2021

    It’s not by accident that the Hegemon is going no holds barred to harass and try to smash Eurasian integration by all means available.

    It’s a scorpion battle inside a vortex of distorted mirrors inside a circus. So let’s start with the mirrors in the circus.

    The non-entity that passes for Ukrainian Foreign Minister traveled to Brussels to be courted by US Secretary of State Blinken and NATO secretary-general Stoltenberg..
    ####

    The rest at the link.

    Like

    1. Could have been worse: could have been that erstwhile Yukie foreign minister who liked groping that USA United Nations Horror Comic of an envoy Samantha Power.

      His groping of her must be the worst case of beer goggle syndrome that I have ever witnessed.

      Like

      1. Yeah, that was just embarrassing. She has a face like a wooden Indian. ‘Course, he wouldn’t know that because he couldn’t see it unless he was standing on a chair. The look on his face said he fancied his chances, though.

        Like

  49. Vinyard the Saker: Russian official statements about counter-actions to US sanctions
    http://thesaker.is/russian-official-statements-about-counter-actions-to-us-sanctions/

    16 April 202119:28

    Foreign Ministry statement on measures in response to hostile US actions
    https://www.mid.ru/en/foreign_policy/news/-/asset_publisher/cKNonkJE02Bw/content/id/4689067

    We will introduce the following countermeasures in response to anti-Russian sanctions in the near future:

    Employees of US diplomatic missions will be expelled on a reciprocal basis in numbers proportional to the actions taken by the US authorities against Russian diplomats.

    Incidentally, we noted how quickly Warsaw played up to the US administration by demanding the departure of three Russian diplomats from Poland. In turn, five Polish diplomats will be expelled from Russia.

    The US Embassy’s practice of using short-term trips by State Department staff to support the functioning of diplomatic missions will be restricted. The issuance of visas to them will be reduced to a minimum: up to 10 people per year on a reciprocal basis.

    In strict conformity with the Vienna conventions on diplomatic relations and Russian law, including the Labour Code, measures will be taken to discontinue completely the practice of US diplomatic missions employing citizens of the Russian Federation and third countries as administrative and technical staff.

    The bilateral 1992 memorandum of understanding on open ground is declared invalid due to systematic violations of rules for trips in the Russian Federation by employees of US diplomatic missions.

    Plans are in place to halt the activities in the Russian Federation of American foundations and NGOs controlled by the Department of State and other US government agencies. These consistent, long-term efforts will be brought to an end, all the more so since the United States shows no intention of scaling back its systematic subversive efforts underpinned by a wide array of laws.

    Obviously, this very tense situation objectively requires the ambassadors of our countries to be in their respective capitals to analyse developments and hold consultations…
    ###

    More at the link.

    So we see that it is not just a reciprocal expulsion of ten US diplomats, but visa/short-trip restrictions and the employement of no Russian citizens. No wonder the Pork Pie News Networks are ignoring the details. Yet again you have to go to the horse’s mouth to get the full picture.

    Like

    1. That’s actually a wise step, to discontinue the employment of Russian citizens by US diplomatic missions, for several reasons. One, it makes Washington import its own translators instead of relying on locals who also speak English. They would have no network of friends and relatives in Russia, or not likely, which would make it easier to keep tabs on them when in Russia rather than having to follow around all the local employees to see if they have been turned and are soliciting information for their new masters. Two, it would end the rueful head-shaking and expressions of regret when Washington is ordered to scale down its presence in Russia, and the doleful statements about how many locally-engaged Russians will lose their good lucrative jobs and what a blow it will be to their families. Personally, if the two countries are really such enemies, I do not see the sense in either maintaining a diplomatic presence in either country.Just kick all the Americans out and bring all the Russians home.

      I hope Canada does not do the same – the Canadian consul in Vladivostok, Tatiana Demenok, is a personal friend of ours and she has been in the job many years. She was a great source of support when I was having all my troubles bringing the missus here, and it was always good to see her on every visit. We even went to her home for shashlik. Good times.

      Like

  50. 17.04.2021, 17:15
    The head of the “Alliance of Doctors” reported on the critical condition of Navalny

    The head of the “Alliance of Doctors” trade union (recognized as a foreign agent), the attending physician of opposition leader Aleksey Navalny, Anastasia Vasilyeva, has published a copy of biochemical analysis of his blood. According to her, the politician has an increased risk of kidney failure and there is a possibility of cardiac arrest. Earlier, Navalny’s doctors appealed to the head of the Federal Penitentiary Service, Alexander Kalashnikov, with a request to allow them to examine the patient, calling his condition “critical”.

    The doctors have made an “urgent request” for talks with employees of the medical unit in the Navalny colony to discuss the research conducted and the prescribed treatment and “removing the patient from a critical condition that threatens a fatal outcome”. “We ask to be allowed to see our patient, who we have been observing for many years. We are also ready to immediately start negotiations and do everything possible today, as any delay and waiting during the weekend can lead to serious consequences for the life and health of our patient”, the statement published on the eve of the event reads. Novaya Gazeta.

    “The second day has already passed, but no one has answered us”, Anastasia Vasilyeva’s team reported on Twitter today. “Potassium in the blood serum is 7.1 mmol/l. These numbers are critical. This means both kidney failure and the fact that at any moment severe cardiac arrhythmias can occur: ventricular fibrillation up to cardiac arrest”.

    And get this: None of them have seen the bastard, have even been allowed into the “concentration camp”, but they know his condition is “critical”.

    So long, Bullshitter!

    Enjoy your forthcoming trip into oblivion.

    Like

    1. Yes, it’s amazing, the things an ophthalmologist can determine from a blood sample. He’s certainly getting his money’s worth out of having her as a personal doctor; she is an expert in all branches of medicine. It’s almost a shame he cannot get pregnant – she’s probably a pediatrician, too.

      Like

  51. The Moscow Prosecutor’s Office appealed yesterday to the Moscow City Court with a demand that FBK* andthe headquarters of Navalny’s Foundation for the Protection of Citizens’ Rights* be recognized as extremist organizations. The ministry claims that these organizations “under the guise of liberal slogans, create conditions for destabilizing the social, political and social situation in the country”.

    Amongst other things, the supervisory authority claims that the real goals of the work of these organizations are to create conditions for changing the foundations of the constitutional system of Russia, including by the implementation of a “colour revolution scenario”. Of course, if the court satisfies the claim of the prosecutor’s office, citizens will face criminal liability for participating in these organizations. The opposition leader’s associates immediately linked the prosecutor’s claim to the upcoming rallies in support of Navalny, as well as the upcoming elections. In general, as noted by the head of Navalny’s regional headquarters, Leonid Volkov, and the director of FBK* Ivan Zhdanov, they expected pressure from the authorities in the run-up to the rallies and parliamentary elections, but now they are convinced that “the Kremlin’s tower has been blown off”, and therefore Russians should prepare for dark times.

    Recognition of Navalny’s team as extremist equates its symbolism to the swastika.

    Zhdanov and Volkov made a corresponding statement in the Telegram channel “Navalny’s Team”, adding that, in their opinion, now everyone who simply disagrees with the actions of the authorities can actually be recognized as an extremist.

    “The prosecutor’s office demands that Navalny’s Headquarters and the FBK* be recognized as extremist organizations. It’s really powerful stuff, that’s for sure. Of course, we are used to working under the conditions of regular searches and frozen accounts, administrative arrests and criminal proceedings. We have been building our political organization for 10 years, while learning how to survive under incredible pressure, change, become effective and emerge victorious from the most impossible situations. At the same time, we have always conducted our activities peacefully and exclusively within the framework of the current legislation. Peaceful rallies, anti-corruption investigations, public activities, participation in elections, monitoring.

    The most difficult year for us will be 2021. Navalny is in prison, has been on hunger strike for 18 days and is on the verge of vital organ failure.

    We are preparing to defeat “United Russia” in the autumn elections. And we shall do it peacefully, openly and transparently. And the authorities are responding to this very clearly.

    Hollywood for Navalny: Cumberbatch and Duchovny ask Putin to let doctors see the opposition leader.

    There is almost no doubt about what decision the court will make on the demand from the prosecutor’s office. Navalny’s headquarters and FBK* will soon be recognized as extremist organizations. This will open the way to the institution of hundreds of criminal cases; each of our employees may be under attack. In a situation where the Kremlin has torn down the tower, it is necessary to prepare for any madness.

    This is a dark time for free-thinking people and for Russian civil society. In fact, the Kremlin has just demanded that all those who disagree with it be recognized as extremists. Who doesn’t agree with rising prices and palaces, corruption and raising the retirement age? Who is ready to protest against this?..

    We shall have to look for answers to very difficult questions. How to ensure the safety of staff, volunteers and supporters: how to work in the new environment. Of course, we don’t have any quick answers to these questions. But we will certainly find them. We will continue our work, doing it publicly, peacefully and effectively”, the oppositionist’s associates write on their Telegram channel.

    *The Anti-Corruption Foundation and the Foundation for the Protection of Citizens ‘ Rights are included by the Ministry of Justice in the register of NGOs-foreign agents.

    Sobesednik.ru it does not encourage you to participate in unauthorized actions.

    Source: Sobesednik.ru

    The party’s over, arseholes!

    Like

    1. What? The Bullshitter is on the verge of vital organ failure in only 18 days, but only two days ago he was still walking and was only a bit light-headed? Obviously his brain is not one of the vital organs on the verge of failing. Team Navalny needs to do some research on malnutrition. Also it needs to learn to manage expectations, because from this it sounds as if the Bullshitter is on his last breaths. What will it be in a week if he’s still not dead – a miracle?

      Like

  52. The traditional advice about “If you really need something done, give the task to a busy person” may be well-founded. From Open Thread #13 at the Saker:

    “teranam13 on April 17, 2021 · at 2:48 pm EST/EDT
    Something dark and hidden is seems to be in motion that has nothing to do with truth or reality or even with words being uttered by leaders in the West. it is the fog of fantasm.

    https://www.rt.com/russia/521369-czech-republic-expels-russian-diplomats/

    Reply

    K. Kraus on April 17, 2021 · at 4:45 pm EST/EDT
    It is because of Sputnik to be about imported to Czechia and current talks about a new nuclear plant from Russia to be built in Czechia. The head of secret service is well known for his loyality, but not to his homeland, but to CIA. He was even awarded by some CIA medal. The service under his command is a corp of puppets. His previous funny story was about an agent from Russia with a bag full of ricin oil who was send to kill a municipial politic from Prague 6 district and another called in Czechia the pig of Řeporyje, politician and clown from Prg suburbia. Also known from a Russian TV, as a clown, kind of and and under influence. Btw. In the said depot were also arms prohibited by international law. Gliwice, but very stupit and abound old thing, what coincidence. Culprits from Russia? Err, the same two, who smeared the door in Salisbury with Novichok. Perhaps you know the story about Josef Švejk and the Gendarmerie Corporal Flanderka during WWI. The same class collaborating idiots as Flanderka was.”

    Like

    1. And then there is this:

      https://sputniknews.com/europe/202104171082657764-czech-republic-to-expel-russian-diplomats-suspected-of-working-for-russian-intelligence/

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) – According to Czech media, the employees of the Russian Embassy in Prague were given 48 hours to leave the country.

      Czech Interior Minister Jan Hamacek said on Saturday that 18 Russian diplomats would be expelled from the country on suspicion of being officers of Russia’s special services, Czech media reported on Saturday.

      Prime Minister Andrej Babis, in his turn, said, as quoted by the Nova broadcaster, that the reason for the move is the suspicion that Russian military intelligence officers were involved in the explosion of an ammunition depot in Vrbetice in 2014.

      “It caused enormous damage … But above all, two of our compatriots were killed there”, Babis said.

      Like

      1. The escalation is on.

        Vis the Czech story, nowhere do you read why Russia would want to blow up an ammunition dump. But the story has had its result in getting supposedly pro-Russian Babis to expel Russian diplomats/whatever.

        The other escalation is that the UK has announced it wil send two warships to the Black Sea, one of them the 1billion pound Type 45 air defense destroyer, the same class that a few years back was unable to provide enough cooling for its electronics if the water was too warm. This has now been fixed.

        This looks like an all out attempt to kill NSII and bring u-Rope to near war levels. That is on the premise that Russia can be provoked to which NATO will obviously have to respond. It’s going to be another long hot summer of total bs, though we’ll have to keep a close eye on what is actually happening and what is claimed to be happening (usually different by quite a margin).

        Like

        1. NATO is of course already protesting about Russia’s temporary blocking of bits of the Black Sea which Russia is only doing to stop the Ukraine from escalating or being tempted to attack Russian targets such as the Crimea bridge.

          The obvious countermeasure to the UK ships is for them to be very closely shadowed by a lot more ships, military or other to literally limit their room for manoeuver. There’s no need to let missiles fly but old skool ramming might become order of the day. Expensive ships are expensive to fix and can take quite a long time during which they would not be available for any military service…

          Here’s the boilerplate

          https://www.reuters.com/business/aerospace-defense/uk-warships-sail-black-sea-may-ukraine-russia-tensions-rise-sunday-times-2021-04-18/

          …One Type 45 destroyer armed with anti-aircraft missiles and an anti-submarine Type 23 frigate will leave the Royal Navy’s carrier task group in the Mediterranean and head through the Bosphorus into the Black Sea, according to the report…

          Like

          1. I suppose they imagine they will provide military escort for Ukrainian civilian shipping, ostentatiously ‘covering’ them from Russian vessels pouncing on them, and the accounts in the back-home press will read like Boys Own paper, ‘wor lads in conditions fraught with peril. I further expect the British ships will attempt to test the blockade, yammering the whole while about freedom of navigation, and the possibility of an incident is certainly greater. Because that’s what they’re there for, innit? To cause an incident.

            But they still must limit their provocations to the Black Sea. They cannot transit the Kerch Strait without advance notice and permission, and once inside their sea room is extremely limited by the shallow waters.

            Like

        2. The rationale is laughably stupid – why would Russia blow up a Czech ammo dump and why would it take 7 years to bring this to public attention? I like to think that this story was used as a signal to the world that the Czech government was coerced into this action and issued an absurd justification that most will see through after a few seconds. True, will will delay some projects with Russia but only briefly I would hope.

          Like

          1. Because they are Russian. The professional media class of the west is more than happy to go along with this, suspending disbelief and dancing around it with all sorts of other explanations. The BBC is very good at this as unlike their other colleagues they are never direct. Being spineless has its value.

            My prediction for this year. RT will be banned from the UK and the BBC from Russia. It’s such an easy dick PR friendly move to do when tensions are being deliberately hightened. Who else will join in I assume would be the US, Canada and a couple of u-Ro’s.

            Like

          2. The Czechs’ administration must be a sight to behold – they still have visitor data stored from 2014, and can go back and check the entire database to see who from Russia visited. Awesome.

            Like

        3. As usual, Washington has managed to convince its allies that keeping the LNG market safe for democracy is of paramount importance, even as the countries who were formerly responsible have quadrupled their debt – or more – as a result of money-printing so all the workers could stay home during the ‘deadly plague’. You can’t get anyone to work now for minimum wage – they can stay home and pocket that for free from the government. That’s yer stimulus, right there, folks. Stimulus to be idle, just look for the flashing red light on the mailbox when the cheque comes in. No matter how often Washington prods its allies to take another one for the team, some of them can always be counted on to damage themselves in the cause of American hegemony, for which they will receive nothing.

          Like

          1. There may be a quid pro quo for the Czech diplomats executing the US plan. My guess is 50,000 euros in a Swiss account. Everybody is happy. That is how the West works.

            Like

  53. Pathetic!

    Czechs announce expulsion of 18 Russian diplomats, as Prague claims ‘intel officers’ involved in 2014 munitions depot explosion
    17 Apr, 2021 18:07 / Updated 2 hours ago

    Rainsford gets her knickers into a twist:

    Several explosions rocked an ammunition depot in the village of Vrbetice, some 330km southeast of Prague, in October 2014. The blasts killed two employees of a private company that had been renting the warehouse from the Czech military.

    Also on Saturday, the Czech police placed two Russian citizens, who had allegedly visited Vrbetice at the time of the explosions, on the wanted list over “serious crime.” They were identified as Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov – the same persons that Britain accused of being the Russian spies in the UK responsible for using the infamous ‘Novichok’ chemical agent on double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury in March 2018.

    Yes, it is they: the original dastardly duo again!

    What makes the timing of the Czech accusations against Russia more “interesting,” is that they come just days before FM Hamacek was expected in Moscow to discuss the purchase of Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine for the Czech Republic, political analyst Dmitry Babich told RT. Often criticized for being too “friendly” with Moscow, President Zeman, who openly expressed his support for the idea of buying Sputnik V, may now be forced to prove his “patriotism” and “demand explanations from Russia,” Babich believes.

    As part of a “larger picture,” growing tensions in eastern Ukraine should also be taken into account, geopolitical analyst and consultant Rainer Rothfuss added, noting that no clear evidence of Russia’s involvement has yet been presented. “Words aren’t enough… No evidence shows Petrov and Boshirov’s involvement, so it’s just handy to show those familiar faces,” Rothfuss said. “Until we see evidence we must assume that it’s another crisis between Western Europe, America, of course, and Russia.”

    The Czech authorities were simply following “Washington’s Russophobic track,” the chairman of the Parliament’s Committee on International Affairs, Leonid Slutsky, said, adding that he believes there have been “no actual reasons” for a crackdown on Russian embassy staff.

    I am in full agreement with Tsargrad (below):

    “IT’S NOT EVEN FUNNY ANYMORE”: THE CZECH INTERIOR MINISTRY BELIEVES THAT THE EXPLOSION IN VRBETICE WAS ARRANGED BY PETROV AND BOSHIROV-PHOTO

    The official website of the Czech Interior Ministry reports that it was Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov who blew up warehouses in the village of Vrbetice in 2014. “It’s not even funny anymore,”comments Ilya Craft.

    The Czech Republic accused the “Skripal poisoners” Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov of blowing up an ammunition depot in the village of Vrbetice in 2014. On the official website of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the country published portraits of men.

    Russian businessmen Petrov and Boshirov gained notoriety after Britain accused them of trying to poison defector spy Skripal and his daughter with Novichok poison. The men had to appear on television to clear themselves of the absurd charges.

    Czech police say the bombings were planned… the same Petrov and Boshirov. It’s not even funny anymore,

    – Ilya Craft comments on the message in his Telegram channel.

    There can be no doubt about it. The official website of the Czech Interior Ministry reports that the warehouses in Vrbetice were blown up by Petrov and Boshirov,

    – confirms the Telegram channel “Major and General”.

    “Why don’t we have a real Czech beer…” – thought Petrov and Boshirov – and then everything started to spin literally with cosmic speed…

    – Yulia Vityazeva is ironic.

    The Czech Republic used an explosion at an ammunition depot in the village of Vrbetice in 2014 as a pretext for expelling 18 Russian diplomats. Now it turns out that all this is a complete spectacle.

    And now, from Russian blogger Meow Dei Tsin [МЯУ ДЭ ЦЗИН] and his helpful feline friend:

    New prank from Petrov and Boshirov. Now in the Czech Republic.
    Today

    Behold, the restless ones! Skripal was not enough for them.

    Now they are blamed for the explosion at an ammunition depot in Czech Vrbetice .

    The cat then corrects me, saying that everything is the other way around: they first got into trouble in the Czech Republic, and then, having got into the taste for it, they got to the Skripals.

    Aah…! Wrong again. These two events are closely related, it turns out.

    And the case, citizens, was like this. Back in 2014, when there was no covid, people did not wear masks and moved freely across countries and continents… Not all people, of course. But GRU officers, for sure.

    So, once upon a time there were Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Bashirov, they are also Alexander Mishkin and Anatoly Chepiga. They were Russian citizens, and, as is usually the case with these citizens, GRU officers.

    Exactly what names they were called in October 2014 is unknown. I don’t think we’d have remembered if we’d asked them. Yes, there is no wonder one gets so confused.

    However, we have quite objective and fresh information received from the Czech police that their names at that time were generally Nicolae Pop and Ruslan Tabarov.

    I wonder how they handle it… You wake up in the morning and you don’t know who you are on that day.

    But we continue. The above-mentioned multi-named citizens of the Russian Federation at that time were engaged by THE REGIME to poison their former colleague, and at the same time, British spy Sergei Skripal.

    Well, how should it not have been necessary to poison him, I ask you. It was absolutely necessary to poison him. After having left his post as a colonel in the GRU in 1999, following his exposure, he served a four-year sentence in a Russian GULAG, was pardoned and exchanged in 2010, this renegade still had a lot of secrets, though not information that in its first bloom. Not only that, but he also allowed himself to get British citizenship and live happily in Salisbury. And THE REGIME could not tolerate such circumstances in any possible way at all.

    So his colleagues had been chasing him for years all over Europe in the hope of choosing a better moment. Well, you know, they usually do — remember the case of one of our famous bloggers.

    In that memorable October of 2014, they followed Skripal to the Czech Republic. They say, by the way, that he worked there part-time for a living, sharing rotten spy information with Czech intelligence, and therefore often visited this country.

    Well, that’s right, the British already had nothing to buy off him, and there [in the Czech Republic] were, fresh, naive ears.

    We can only speculate further. I see this case as follows: having failed to smear a single item of Skripal’s underwear with the universal killer Novichok, these guys were very angry. And when they did not find a single spire worthy of attention in Vrbetice, they went totally berserk.

    And when they got mad, they naturally threw bottles of Novichok into the nearest trash can[and headed off for the UK]

    Later, they got Skripal, but you all already know this story.

    What we have for you today is this:

    [translation from above Czech news report]

    Because of the explosion in Vrbetice, the police are looking for the two persons who poisoned Skripal with Novichok.
    Today at 20:26 – Prague
    Czech police are looking for two men with Russian passports in connection with the suspicion that the Russian GRU special services are involved in the explosions of ammunition in Vrbetice. The couple was supposed to have moved to the Czech Republic, especially Moravia, in autumn 2014, when the incident occurred. The police have released their photos and they show the very men who are suspected in the UK of poisoning double agent Sergei Skripal with Novichok in 2018.

    And the Czech Republic police worked hard to find the perpetrators. And now, after a long seven years, they have finally been successful. Portraits of the criminals now look at you sternly from the pages of the Czech press and the police bulletin on the search for them.

    Well, the police probably know best.

    However, citizens, one unfortunate coincidence happened. Annoying, but interesting.

    First Deputy Prime Minister of the Czech Republic Jan Gamacek was due to fly to Moscow on Monday for a trial batch of the Sputnik V vaccine.

    But, as you can imagine, after such piggishness on the part of the Russian Federation, the visit was cancelled. Instead, he announced the expulsion of 18 (!) Russian diplomats.

    Intriguing!

    However, don’t you think that Murphy’s Law has been rampant lately?

    So as soon as the Nord Stream project was about to be completed, it started… One day someone is ill, the next day a war is on the doorstep. The vaccine is about to go to the Czech Republic – then bang! Petrov and Boshirov, or whatever their name is, fucked everything up. Yeah, and they didn’t even get the Skripals in time either, to be honest…

    Oh! The cat has just come up with a version. He says Murphy was an American ….

    And what does this mean, you may ask. What if the cat is right? Isn’t America poking its nose around here?

    Oh, come on, let’s not unnecessarily come up with new propositions, as old Occam (not an American) once said whilst sharpening his razor.

    What does America have to do with it, right? As you know, both the Ukraine and the Czech Republic are quite independent subjects of politics. And there is nothing to say about our compatriot whose health is weak. Here we have absolute independence and incorruptibility.

    It just so happens. It happens, so…

    So I should like to wish you the following: may Murphy’s Law in all its manifestations pass you by. And if that’s not possible, may its effect be limited to a piece of toast that has fallen onto the floor butter side down.

    Hello from the cat and good night to you all!

    Like

    1. How exciting! The allies are coming through for Uncle Sam again, expelling Russian diplomats on whatever excuses they can come up with! Be next to expel a Russian diplomat, and claim your reward – a nice pat on the head.

      I frankly don’t think Washington gets much of a woodie over what the Poles and the Czechs do. The former are doglike sycophants, and the latter are plainly unstable. The real targets are France and Germany; I imagine they are under considerable pressure to follow suit.

      Russia can always punish the Czechs later, at its convenience, since more than 60% of their gas comes from Russia. Save that kick in the pants for next winter. But Washington really needs to be reined in sharply, it is getting to be a real annoyance with its constant agitation and pot-stirring.

      Like

      1. According to Czech polling most of them are fairly neutral about Russia and have less problems with Russians themselves. But that’s irrelevant. When Czecia’s institutions are state captured by the transindental atlantic alliance that’s all that counts.

        I’ve been posting here for quite a while about the constant attempts to undermine Babis and Zeman and the best that they can come up with for the former is ‘conflict of interest’ which is a remarkably malleable phrase on account of him being an AgriBusinessman who used perfectly legal means to get EU subsidies for his companies, something which happens EU-wide, many large (quite rich) private landowners take full benefit simply for owning land.

        Like

          1. And all the time they keep trumpeting how free we are, we should be grateful, people died for our freedom. I wonder how many of them would have gone if they could have seen into the future.

            Like

  54. Carroll of the owned by a naturalized British son of a cunt of a Russian Oligarch “Independent” rag waxes lyrical about the Evil One:

    ‘The Kremlin is following Stalin’s toolbook,’ says Russia’s top documentary director
    Venerated director

    Vitaly Mansky talks to Oliver Carroll, a week after he and his documentary film festival came under attack from Kremlin-backed vigilantes

    [Behind a wall. I have access to such walled articles, but I can’t be arsed — ME]

    Over 21 years, by turning the dual screws of repression and simulacrum, Vladimir Putin’s Kremlin has seized control over most influential public spheres of expression in Russia.

    Parliament and public politics have been neutered, the media largely muzzled, and it looks as though the Internet is next in line for attack. So it’s all the more remarkable when you see projects of real freedom and free speech finding their way to the light of day.

    One project that has consistently defied the hostile environment has been ArtDocFest, a documentary film festival founded and headed by the venerated film director Vitaly Mansky.

    Vitaly Vsevolodovich Mansky: a Yukie — even worse, a Galitsian — born Lvov, 1963.

    Documentary film director. Founder of a festival of documentary movies, ArtDocFest. Has resided in Riga since 2014. Artdocfest has since collaborated with the Riga International Film Festival.

    Mansky is the stupid twat who posed outside the Lubyanka with an outsize pair of men’s underkeks in protest over the Bullshitter’s alleged smearing of his underpants by that most deadly of nerve agents:

    Films about to be screened at this “festival” have regularly been prohibited.

    From ColonelCassad: ArtDocFest 2021 is closing

    Police officers and Rospotrebnadzor sealed the Artdokfest premises in the St. Petersburg Cinema House, the organizers said on Facebook.

    Earlier, the event page reported on the verification of the film festival due to the statement of Timur Bulatov (Isaev), a well – known St. Petersburg activist who opposes representatives of the LGBT community.

    “We have polite police and Rospotrebnadzor in the lobby with us. The audience is still watching the film “Rastorguev”. We are waiting for verdicts from the police authorities, we are talking with representatives of Rospotrebnadzor…”, the message said.

    How terrible! Why, one would think that there is a law against the promotion of homosexuality to minors in Russia!

    Last year, the documentary film screenings at the Artdokfest at the Angleterre cinema in St. Petersburg were also canceled a few hours before the start by the decision of Rospotrebnadzor.

    Artdokfest is an international festival of author’s documentary films, which takes place in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Riga. Films made in Russian or the languages of the peoples of Russia are allowed to participate in the competition program of the festival.

    https://www.interfax.ru/russia/759377 – цинк

    More to the point, Cassad continues:

    Just to remind you about the activities of these assholes. And here I’m not talking about Rospotrebnadzor.

    In 2017, these characters were rolled in the Russian Federation “film” “directed by” Sentsov as well as a film advertisement for the Right Sector [https://colonelcassad.livejournal.com/3819287.html].

    The German Friedrich Ebert Foundation was involved in the organization of Artdokfest. The one who organized Kolya’s trip from Urengoy to the Bundestag. By the way, this fund, unlike NED, NDI, USAID or the Soros Foundation, still operates on the territory of the Russian Federation.

    The film “Mustafa” about Dzhemilev was also promoted through Artdokfest. It was shot with the assistance of American and Ukrainian structures and NGOs.

    What about this time? As the reader who sent me a tip to this news points out, the film “Summer War” is being shown in the out-of-competition screening of the next “Artdokfest”, which is scheduled to be shown on April 6 at the Oktyabr cinema in St. Petersburg.

    And what is this film about?

    The film’s main characters are 12-year-old children from Kiev.

    Jasmine grows up in a loving family and Yastrip lacks warmth and care. Jasmine is determined to succeed at all costs, and Yastrip just wants to find a place where he is loved. They attend the camp “Azovets”, which aims to raise a new class of patriotic soldiers for the Ukraine of tomorrow. There, children learn to be real Ukrainians: to fight, shoot, receive and give orders. Over time, this life changes them.

    It is very important to show how children are trained in the training camp of a neo-Nazi terrorist organization.

    Need I go further?

    Don’t forget now, the organiser of Artdocfest is from Lvov.

    You can take a Banderite out of Banderastan but you cannot take Banderastan out of a Banderite!

    Like

    1. Venerated by Russians documentary film director Mansky . . .

      From Rosbalt because the kreakl Mansky lives in a Baltic state:


      Behold! A kreakl in exile in Latvia.

      On the YouTube channel “Rosbalt News” the next issue of the weekly information program “O!Five! Rosbalt”, the guest of which was the director Vitaly Mansky.

      How was Artdocfest disrupted in St. Petersburg? How did the St. Petersburg authorities explain the conflict situation? What was the reaction of the cultural community of the Northern Capital? What can happen to Aleksey Navalny today, what is he fighting for and when will he be released? How was Mansky tried for the action with the underpants? When will Russians who are eating potatoes and pasta stop voting for United Russia? Is it possible to compare the standard of living of residents of Russia and Latvia? Do the residents of Donbass want to join Russia? How did Vladimir Putin assess the Russian people at the beginning of his presidential career?

      These questions are answered by Vitaly Mansky, director and president of the Artdokfest festival. The presenters are journalists Alexey Voloshinov and Stanislav Koryagin.

      And don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel, we are working for you!

      See! Russians must live in shitsville compared to the delights of life in Latvia.

      Like

  55. Antiwar.com: Tucker Carlson with Col. Douglas Macgregor on the Russian Bounty Story and US Hostility Against Russia
    https://www.antiwar.com/blog/2021/04/16/tucker-carlson-with-col-douglas-macgregor-on-the-russian-bounty-story-and-our-hostility-against-russia/

    ####

    I don’t particularly like Carlson considering stuff he’s said in the past and he’s a republican who thinks China is the enemy rather than a democrat who thinks Russia is the enemy, but unlike many other US news anchors, on certain subjects he asks the basic, logical journalist questions that anchors are supposed to do. I.e. competence. The public knows when they are being lied to and I think that is prabably the biggest reason Carlson has such high ratings, not to mention others seguing on from all the lies they have been spouting for years despite those lies having been made public. Essentially treating people as stupid is a very big mistake.

    Like

    1. His China stance is annoying. Not to apologize for this but he has to promote a boogeyman (preferably communist) to keep his position at FOX. And he has shown the ability to change his views. He is heads and shoulders above any other US MSM commentator in my opinion.

      Like

  56. This is a surprise as to the timing:

    Russia will end its participation in the International Space Station after it reaches the end of its planned lifespan in 2024, a senior official has confirmed. Moscow is already working on a new station to replace the current one.

    https://www.rt.com/russia/521414-iss-russia-quits-2025/

    The US was seeking to extend the life to 2028. The station needs the Russian modules to provide life support and reboost. Will Russia detach their modules in 2024 ending the station?

    Like

    1. I’m not so sure they can get it up that quickly. Space stations are still hugely expensive and one Russian module is already a bit holy! Russia’s Proton can lift 22.8 tonnes in to LEO. Nauka weighs in at 20 tonnes. If the space station is to have a polar orbit it will need more energy to get there so may be launched from Plesetsk. If they were to use other modules from the ISS it would need to get from A to B, via spacetug (not a euphimism). Zarya was launched back in 1998. I don’t want to be cynical, but Russia has been serially late with ISS modules.

      http://www.russianspaceweb.com/iss_fgb2.html

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

      http://www.russianspaceweb.com/iss_russia.html

      Like

      1. Agreed on all points. If they can improve their engineering and project management in civilian space to match their military capability, they can have a permanently manned space station by 2027-8.] per Russian Space Web (behind a paywall). The Angara V with a hydrogen stage and cross-feed can loft 40 tons. Per Russian Space Web

        The gist of the proposed strategy was building the new Russian station far in advance of wrapping up the country’s activities aboard the ISS. It meant that between six and seven transport ships, including three or four with crews, would have to be launched to both habitats during a transition period lasting up to five years in the second half of the 2020s. Missions from Baikonur would have to continue heading to the ISS, while all flights to the new station would originate from the new Vostochny spaceport, according to the proposed timeline.

        During the transition period, two or three cosmonauts would be permanently inhabiting the Russian ISS segment, while at least one two-person crew would be paying annual visits to the ROSS complex during its construction.

        Such a scenario surely presents a considerable financial and logistical challenge for ground processing infrastructure, launch facilities and mission control. Of course, if implemented, it would also be a boon for RKK Energia, which builds the Soyuz and Progress ships.

        Can to do polar orbits from Vostochny? Apparently so.

        Like

        1. If they do manage to get an orbiting space station commissioned, I hope they are not going to share their discoveries ‘for the good of all mankind’. Not while so much of it wishes them ill.

          Like

    2. The less joint ventures Russia has with the United States, the better off it will be. This has been building for a long time, but now it is out in the open – a deep vein of loathing for Russia runs through America, and you would almost think they had once been a blood enemy of the USA, like the ‘Nips’ and the ‘Krauts’, both long since forgiven. America no longer shudders at the mention of Nazism, like those who came home from the war did…but their revulsion for Stalinism is as fresh as if it had been taught yesterday. If you mention that some people in the world still worship Hitler, they just laugh; no danger there, just lads having a bit of fun. But those same people have no trouble believing a majority of Russians yearn for the return of Stalin; that’s why Putin has stayed around so long, you know. Just like Stalin, to the life. And the Russians are Communist, and they want to remake the world in their own image; the bedrock of Communism is the urge to spread it.

      A future American leader might be moved to try and mend fences with Russia. If he or she were a strong enough leader, they might even brush off criticism, as Trump was unable to do, and maybe even make it to a second term. But that would be it, and the next president would reverse it, with the complete wiping out of anything that had been achieved. It is better to face it; Russia and America can never be friends. The USA regards Russia as an adversary at the very least, and so long as it will not kneel to American power, it cannot be allowed to live. Russia will be able to make friends among American allies only when the USA is no more.

      Like

  57. And now this in Belarus:

    https://www.rt.com/russia/521391-belarus-lukashenko-assassination-plot/

    Several people, including two in Russia, have been arrested for allegedly plotting an armed insurrection against the Belarusian president. He claims that the US may have sanctioned the assassination attempt.

    Lukashenko’s flirtation with the West should be history at this point. If there is trouble in Ukraine, the West should not expect any help from Belarus. Rather, Belarus would likely join any Russia effort if asked.

    Like

    1. Alternatively, Lukashenko might have made it up so as to give himself an excuse to break off relations with the Americans. I don’t doubt they want him gone, and I would certainly not suggest they are above assassination, but plans like that are typically more than a year in the making, and Bidet has barely been president since breakfast. Bet that’s about as far back as he can remember, too.

      Like

      1. My thoughts too but even if he did you can be sure that there is at least one US plot (ridiculous or not) to topple him/wipe out the top cadre.

        The propaganda timing is quite good too. While the west gears itself up over the fake Czech story, this is coming the other way, and hopefully more. More noise is inverse to more action, so that gives some hope. If you can do something you do it, you don’t have to shout a lot which you do if you cannot do something.

        Like

        1. Oh, I am confident there is continuous plotting to overthrow all the leaders of countries the USA considers enemies, or as simply in the way – we haven’t heard anything about how cruel or selfish Maduro is for ages, but I’d bet he comes up every day in some think-tank or other. They’re running out of time, though; it’s been quite a stretch since the USA started a new war, and people must be wondering – are they all talk?

          Like

      2. Biden wouldn’t remember breakfast at all. His wife Dr Jill gives him his milk bottle with the protein shake every two hours.

        Like

  58. Russian liberalism repeats the fate of mammoths
    April 14, 2021


    Average age of the above arseholes?

    For the Russian liberal consciousness, it has always been fundamentally important to feel part of a large global project coming from the West. On this foundation, Russia has both systemic liberalism, mainly economic, and non-systemic, mainly cultural and political. The problem is that the usual versions of such liberalism, rooted in American or European reality, are now turning into anachronisms. As a result, Russian liberalism – both in the systemic and non-systemic versions – is increasingly lagging behind its Western standard to such an extent that there is a real prospect of its extinction.

    One of the main features of American and global politics today is the transformation of liberal ideology into something new, something called “wokeism”. We are talking about a bizarre mixture of left-wing liberalism, progressivism, environmentalism, political feminism, and, increasingly, the ideology of “democratic socialism”.

    Nothing new can appear without fighting the old. American publicists who justify this phenomenon cite the “Trump phenomenon” as the main factor in the growing popularity of the woke ideology. However, in fact, the old thing that wokeism struggles with in the first place is any previous “outdated” versions of liberalism and economic neoliberalism, as they were understood at least in the 1990s and even in the noughties, not to mention the classical liberalism of the XIX century.

    Wokeism challenges the prevailing ideas of Western civilization about the structure of the private sphere, including issues such as religious beliefs, personal relationships, and parenting. The ideology of woke differs from previous concepts in its coercive and even punitive nature. It is inherently radical, and it is aimed at suppressing opponents, silencing them, or publicly repenting for “wrong views.”

    Adherents of political correctness stated: “You can’t say that”. Followers of woke say: “You have to say it – or suffer the consequences of your bad decisions”. This approach was most clearly manifested in the so-called cancel culture, in which, for example, hundreds of thousands of objectionable accounts were deleted from social networks, up to the pages of US President Donald Trump.

    The “new liberalism” is constantly growing, especially in the United States. The congressional elections in November 2020 led to a noticeable increase in supporters of these views among parliamentarians from the Democratic Party. Even during the pre-election period in the Democratic primaries, candidates from among the “new liberals” like the already famous Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez often confidently defeated competitors – more moderate liberals, including honoured parliamentarians who had represented their districts and states in Congress for decades. After the election, the speaker of the lower house of Congress, Nancy Pelosi, was able to regain this post only at the mercy of congressmen from the “new liberals”, who had enough votes to block her election. New liberals in the United States who promote the ideology of woke are willing, unlike the old generation of liberals, to identify with socialists. Given the role of the United States as a superpower and a trendsetter of political and cultural fashions, the conflict between old and new American liberals inevitably shifts to the rest of the world. As the new generation of liberals grows stronger in the United States, politicians around the world who identify as liberals will either have to adapt to this new force or seek connections with other partners in the West.

    The conflict between old and new liberalism is gradually becoming relevant for the liberal camp in Russia as well. Again, liberals in Russia in the post-Soviet era are either part of some global ” shadow elite” or those who feel a “spiritual belonging” to a global project that is primarily associated with the United States. In our country, this conflict can be particularly acute, since the “old liberals” in Russia are an anti – socialist and anti-Soviet force in their genesis and views. Meanwhile, “on the other side of the hill” there is a growing demand for the USSR: it is no coincidence that in such new products of Western mass culture as the acclaimed TV series “Queen’s Move”, the Soviet Union looks much nicer than the United States.

    The penetration of a new left-wing liberalism into the country is already underway. A vivid manifestation of this process was the controversy over the manifesto of theatre director Konstantin Bogomolov “Abduction of Europe 2.0”. To Bogomolov’s text, which can reasonably be called programmatic from the point of view of defending the ideology of “old liberalism” and Russia as its future embodiment, “Novaya Gazeta” responded with two words: “OK, boomer!” This is a purely American meme, which is usually used in online disputes with representatives of the older generation of “baby boomers” (born in 1943-1963), although Bogomolov himself does not belong to this age category. “Novaya Gazeta” considered it appropriate to defiantly avoid substantive polemics – this is an important symptom of the acceptance of left-wing Americanization by the editorial staff of this media and its adaptation to the ideology of “new normality” and new liberalism.

    The prevailing trend in Russian liberalism today is, of course, one of the varieties of “old liberalism”. Its origin took place in 1987-1990, largely because of two personalities who helped form a team of young Soviet economists capable of carrying out neoliberal reforms in our country. The first of these figures is Lubo Sirz, a Slovenian dissident and president of a London-based think tank, a centre for the study of Communist economies. The second person was Sirz’s friend and business partner – the British economist Lord Ralph Harris, one of the closest advisers to the famous Margaret Thatcher, the British Prime Minister who made a great contribution to the development of her neoliberal reforms.

    Sirz and Harris were convinced that the economies of the socialist countries would collapse, after which the states of the former socialist bloc would urgently need liberal market reformers. They were looking for suitable people and found them in the person of Anatoly Chubais and his associates. It was Sirz and Harris who, in 1990, helped shape their Soviet wards into a team capable of implementing neoliberal reforms.

    The core of the future systemic liberals was formed in 1990 at a conference in Paris chaired by Lord Harris. Its members included, among others, Yegor Gaidar, Anatoly Chubais, Andrey Illarionov, Sergey Glazyev, Sergey Vasiliev (Research director at the Higher School of Economics in St. Petersburg), Konstantin Kagalovsky (former major manager at Yukos), Andrey Nechaev (former Minister of Economy in the Gaidar government), Vladimir Mau (Rector of the RANEPA) [The Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration under the President of the Russian Federation, the largest federal state-funded institution of higher professional education located in Moscow — ME], Peter Aven (head of the Board of Directors of Alfa-Bank and former Minister of Foreign Economic Relations of the Russian Federation).

    In the 1990s, the personal composition of this team underwent many changes. For example, Glazyev and Illarionov left its ranks, but new figures entered them, including Aleksey Kudrin and Leonid Gozman. However, the backbone of this group remained unchanged and retained a huge influence on the socio-economic policy of Russia throughout the post-Soviet period.

    The leading current in Russian liberalism was a fully-fledged network of like-minded people, closely connected with the global “shadow elites”. Back in the 1990s, the modern Russian elite established close contacts with the then dominant liberal-centrist group of the US Democratic Party establishment, focused on the Clinton family. The main players in it were Robert Rubin and Larry Summers – the US Treasury secretaries in the Clinton administration, the creators of the neoliberal economic model and the policy of globalization – the notorious “Washington consensus”.

    Today, Russian liberalism is losing its traditional partners in the West, who are being replaced there by the “new liberals”. The recent events surrounding Larry Summers have clearly shown what long-standing ties with the “old liberals” in the West will soon be worth. A former U.S. Treasury Secretary in 1999-2001, then Chancellor of Harvard University (2001-2006) and head of the National Economic Council of the United States (2009-2010), Summers was one of the most influential figures among the American “old liberals”. In 2020, he was an economic policy adviser on Biden’s campaign staff and was considered a possible candidate for an important post in his future administration.

    All of Summers ‘ prospects went up in smoke when groups of progressive activists recorded an appeal to the then candidate Biden, demanding that he give up the services of such a “toxic figure” as Larry Summers. The latter was accused of organizing “an economic policy that led to an immeasurable social stratification of society and an environmental crisis”. As a result, the former all-powerful economist and financier was forced to back down, saying that he was not looking for a position in the emerging Biden administration.

    Russian liberalism, still alive with the ideological baggage of the late twentieth century, is rapidly losing its common language with the West. Few things are as unfashionable in the West today as Reaganomics or Thatcherism. Even Klaus Martin Schwab, the godfather of the World Economic Forum in Davos, is convinced that neoliberalism is outdated and must die. Rooted in American politics – sometimes in families, with grandfathers and great-grandfathers-congressmen – “respected people” are being massively deprived of elected positions in favour of” simpletons”, who firmly believe in the correctness of the teachings of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin. And it is absolutely impossible to imagine them on the same wavelength as has Leonid Gozman.

    Systemic Russian liberalism must either accept the role of the aging brontosaurus in Russian reality, or transform itself. The first way is to really become the “stealers of Europe” (as Bogomolov has suggested), switching from neoliberalism to classical liberalism.

    In the 1990s, proponents of neoliberal reforms moved the country to a market-oriented path and integrated themselves into both the new control circuit within the country and global trends. The price for this was the elimination of the Soviet middle class and the elimination of the significant role of domestic intellectuals, who began to be considered as “accomplices” in the “murder of the country” (including the “Siloviki” of the Russian elite). [Politicians who came into politics from the security, military, or similar services, often the officers of the former KGB, GRU, FSB, SVR, FSO, the Federal Drug Control Service, or other armed services — ME.]

    Rejecting the ideology of wokeism-socialism, while simultaneously rejecting neoliberal economic practices, promises to recreate the domestic intellectual environment within the country, which is consistent with its ancestors – Russian designers and engineers of the XX and even XIX centuries, who created the technological foundation of Russia “Model of 1913”. Outside of Russia, in the global dimension, in this case, you can find allies among the liberal-conservative political and economic circles of the influential elite of America and Europe, who also do not feel happy about the new “totalitarianism with a human face”,

    The second method is even more original. We are talking about a creative continuation of the Soviet experiment – already as a liberal one, under a new name and with a new adapted ideology, of course, as an alternative to the ideology of wokeism. Both options involve a huge amount of preparatory intellectual work, long planning horizons, and will forever change the image of Russian liberals, while allowing them to maintain their place in Russian reality.

    The text was written in collaboration with political scientist Alexey Chernyaev.

    All this is the result of that curse called postmodernism foisted on the world by French “philosophers” and long rejected by philosophers of the English-speaking world, for there is one thing that is anathema to postmodernists and that is being labelled as one who adheres to an outmoded, old fashioned system of beliefs. To be a postmodernists, it is not simply necessary to be modern but way beyond modern.

    In the words of Plato: it’s all a load of bollocks!

    By the way, my smart elder daughter is a student at RANEPA. I want her to be the first woman president of Russia.

    Like

  59. ResponsibleStatecraft.org: NATO is best when it is doing nothing
    https://responsiblestatecraft.org/2021/04/12/nato-is-best-when-it-is-doing-nothing/

    Written by
    Anatol Lieven

    NATO is an organization that is very good at not actually doing anything —and it should stay that way. It is when NATO tries to do things that it causes endless amounts of trouble. ..

    …As to NATO as a force actually to fight Russia, the reality of this was brought home to me by a conversation with a former member of NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer’s staff during the effort of the Secretariat (driven by Washington) to bring Georgia and Ukraine into NATO in 2007-2008. I asked him what contingency plans the NATO staff had drawn up for the obvious possibility of a war between Georgia and Russia over the fate of Georgia’s separatist territories.

    “None,” he replied. I expressed incredulity. “You don’t understand,” he said. “The whole idea of NATO expansion was sold to European electorates with the promise that they would never actually have to fight to defend these countries. So for a member of the NATO staff to talk about this possibility would have been interpreted in the Secretariat as opposition to Georgian membership and would have ended their career.”..
    ####

    A lot more at the link.

    Like

  60. Gilbert Doctorow: Bombast from Washington: Joe Biden’s Russia sanctions
    https://gilbertdoctorow.com/2021/04/16/bombast-from-washington-joe-bidens-russia-sanctions/

    Yesterday, shortly after the White House issued its four-page Fact Sheet on the sanctions about to be imposed on Russia (“Imposing Costs for Harmful Foreign Activities by the Russian Government”), I was invited by RT International in Moscow to be a “first responder” and provide an analytical comment at the top of their 16.00 news hour program….

    …Post Script – …

    …They have revoked a 1992 agreement with the United States on free movement of their diplomats around the Russian Federation; they will now be limited to 25 miles, as in the days of the Soviet Union….

    …Moreover, they have publicly recommended that the U.S. ambassador to Russia go home for extended consultations, effectively decapitating the embassy and winding down its work…
    ####

    I’m glad to see that I picked up on the same FT headline as evidence of bs sanctions.

    In other news Russia has deployed an A-50 AWACS/EW/ELINT/whatever to Rostov-na-Done, and another to Kaliningrad oblast.

    Like

  61. The UK press is parroting government boilerplate vis Czechia/Skripal/expulsions whatever using the word ‘linking.’ It’s almost as if they’ve learned nothing since Saddam’s fake WMDs. Well they have. Keep following orders independently and freely of your own volition, or else.

    The Independent: Salisbury suspects ‘linked’ to Czech explosion

    BBC News: Salisbury suspects ‘linked’ to Czech blast

    Daily Mail: Russian agents accused of carrying out Salisbury novichok attack linked to Czech bombing

    RT.com: ‘Did they shake Biden’s stairs too?’ Russians say LMAO after Salisbury poisoning suspects linked to explosion at Czech ammo depot
    https://www.rt.com/russia/521416-petrov-boshirov-memes-russia/

    Like

  62. https://tass.com/science/1279033

    MOSCOW, April 16. /TASS/. Russia’s Energomash Research and Production Association (part of the State Space Corporation Roscosmos) handed over six RD-180 engines to the US side, Roscosmos announced on Friday.

    “On Wednesday, April 14, 2021, a ceremony was held at the Energomash Association named after Academician Glushko to hand over six RD-180 engines to the US customers. Representatives of Pratt & Whitney, United Launch Alliance and RD Amross signed the record forms on the engines,” Roscosmos said in a statement.

    This will be the last shipment under the existing contract, Roscosmos specified.

    I don’t know how many RD-180s the US has in its inventory. The replacement rocket is the ULA Vulcan Centaur which may have its first launch later this year. It would likely take several years for the Vulcan to achieve reliability. Will the US run out of RD-180s before the Vulcan is ready?

    Like

    1. This is a good place to draw a line under the practice of selling to the enemy. The current contract has been honourably filled. There should be no more. Let them depend on the fantasy whizbang engineering of Elon ‘Kaboom’ Musk.

      Like

  63. Nothing proves the genocidal hypocrisy of NATO better than the Navalny drama. NATO could not care less about the millions of people who have died or lost everything they owned as a consequence of the warfare, sanctions, and sabotage. But we are supposed to believe that they care about the life of one person? Maybe they really do care about him–they may believe that the life of one of “their own” is truly worth more than the lives of millions of “others.”

    Like

    1. And that is how precision journalism works in the West – all calibrated emotions and no facts. It is an evil system. Iran calls the West the Great Satan and for good reason.

      Like

    2. Western regard for Navalny is directly proportional to his value as an irritant. Volkhov knows this, and that is why Team Navalny keeps churning out new demands, new agitation for protests every day, and tries to invest Navalny with nobility. If by some miracle Navalny was able to topple Putin, I frankly don’t think the US Department of State would permit him to serve as president. They probably have someone a whole lot smarter in mind. Navalny could not govern Elbonia.

      Like

  64. Volkov’s mass demonstration in support of the imprisoned unemployed blogger is scheduled for April 21st.

    That’ll be a fun day!

    Saving “Parteigenosse” Volkov
    Yesterday

    [Parteigenosse: “party member” auf Deutsch — ME]

    Aleksey Navalny’s hunger strike, coupled with claims that his health is in grave danger, does not seem to have had the desired effect on the Russian authorities. “Political prisoner No. 1” was kindly warned that if he seriously intends to harm his own health by going on a hunger strike, he will not be allowed to do so and will be force-fed. In addition, Navalny’s ending of the hunger strike is a diplomatic solution to rescue from police batons and criminal records in their biographies thousands of representatives of radical liberal youth, who are already ready to take to the squares to save their leader, who continues to languish in the dungeons of the GULAG and suffer inhuman torments in the name of the triumph of democracy in Russia.

    In turn, Leonid Volkov, Navalny’s FBK party boss, who has remained at the helm of the movement in the absence of the leader, has already managed to prove himself to be absolutely incompetent. The beautiful story with lanterns Hong Kong style was implemented in an extremely mediocre way and collected only caustic sarcastic stories and comments in the federal media. The history of the subscriber base of the campaign “For freedom to Navalny!”where out of 550,000 subscribers, 70% have turned out to be bots, also did not add authority to Volkov.

    In addition to the obvious blow to the image of the opposition movement, Volkov’s leadership raises a serious question among his comrades: how is Leonid going to account for the funds spent? Apparently, FBK management is on the verge of a serious split: Yarmysh and Zhdanov, Volkov’s “clients” who actually feed out of his hand, are ready to support their patron. Sobol and Lyaskin, on the other hand, are not shy about voicing their grievances and are not averse to a reshuffle in the party leadership.

    In this situation, the protest actions that spontaneously began during Putin’s address to the Federal Assembly may become the salvation for Leonid Volkov, allowing him to blur the deplorable results of his work and for a while forget about the ineptly wasted (or even appropriated) funds. The internal party opposition is unlikely to dare to arrange a split in the party leadership and wash dirty linen in public against the background of a hot stage of confrontation with the regime.

    So it would be more correct to call possible opposition actions on April 21 as actions “For saving Volkov”, and not “Freedom for Navalny”.

    Like

  65. In the light of the near completion of NS2, if I were the Bullshitter, I should be very worried If I were Navalny after having heard of the following, uttered by Jake Sullivan, National Security Advisor to President Biden:

    Like

      1. That’s not the Sullivan Tweet above that I had in mind when saying that if I were Navalny I should be very afraid.

        The Tweet I had in mind is one where Sullivan says that if Navalny goes the same way as Nemtsov did, then Russia would be punished hard.

        Bump the Bullshitter off and then its all systems go for closing NS2!

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        1. In his dreams would Navalny go like Nemtsov did, crossing the bridge to go home after a luxurious meal, in the company of a lovely young woman young enough to be his daughter, and the prospects of noisy sex ahead? I am pretty sure Lyosha’s ‘hunger strike’ and failing health are mostly campaign constructions, counted on for amplification by the solicitous west, which had no such concerns for Assange. If the west thinks you are innocent of all charges, why, it just can’t STAND you being imprisoned, especially when you shill so well for western objectives, but if you are a reprehensible criminal like Assange, who blabbed about things the west wanted kept on the down-low, well, you got what was coming to you.

          Once again, if Nord Stream II were canceled, that’d be the last attempt. Russia would know that no matter where they ran it, the USA would mount a campaign against it, and its European partners would fold. Why waste any more money? So if Europe is ready to accept a greatly-reduced energy supply, it can do as it likes. If it wants to be the plaything of the United States and subject to its constant whims and tinkering, go ahead. But there would not be another attempt, and Germany would go back to being the cookie jar raided regularly by European countries that cannot stick to a budget, and not much else. And Germany knows it.

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      2. How? More sanctions? Or do you mean an actual attack? Over Navalny? Would that really have much public support in America, do you think? America going to war with another nuclear power, putting its own citizens in the long-distance crosshairs, over Navalny?

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        1. But going to war over Navalny would be fighting for freedom and democracy, which always causes a lump in the throat of USA patriots!

          Navalny is the Russian people’s choice for president, only the Evil One denies them that choice.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. “freedom and democracy” – that surely has to be the phrase of the last century and into the current …

            I have been quietly perusing quite a bit of material on that very topic – particularly around WWI, the Diktat of Versailles and on to WWII – and this comes to mind …

            Bernays and Propaganda by Larry Romanoff
            https://uprootedpalestinians.wordpress.com/2021/02/08/bernays-and-propaganda/

            “Many years ago, the Jewish-American political commentator Walter Lippmann realised that political ideology could be completely fabricated, using the media to control both presentation and conceptualisation, not only to create deeply-ingrained false beliefs in a population, but also to entirely erase undesirable political ideas from the public mind. This was the beginning of not only the American hysteria for freedom, democracy and patriotism, but of all manufactured political opinion, a process that has been operative ever since.”

            […]

            “US President Wilson was desperate to fulfill his obligations to his handlers by putting the US into the First World War as they wished, but was having little success with public opinion at home; few Americans wanted to enter the European war.
            In 1917 Wilson founded what was called The Committee on Public Information, of which Bernays became a star member.

            It was Bernays’ vast propaganda schemes and his influence in promoting the patently false idea that US entry to the war was primarily aimed at “bringing democracy to all of Europe”, that proved so successful in altering public opinion about the war.
            Thanks to Edward Bernays, American war marketing was born and would never die.“

            […]

            Bernays was apparently stunned by the outstanding success of his democracy slogan and hate campaign in swaying public opinion in favor of war, and so immediately began to apply his model to peacetime enterprises.”

            Same old lies – same old liars … !

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            1. I had my great grandfather’s WWI army medals when I lived in the UK. It used to intrigue me how on one of them, the “The Victory Medal”, was inscribed on the inverse side: “The Great War for Civilisation 1914 – 1919”.

              Even as a kid, I thought that strange.

              Were the Germans and Austrians uncivilised?

              Austro-Hungarian Empire citizens, actually, of which only 15% were German, the remainder being Slavs (Poles, Galitsians [aka Ruthenians or Ukrainians at that time], Czechs, Slovaks, Slovenians, Croatians, Bosnia-Herzegovinians), Hungarians, Romanians and Italians.

              Maybe the Ottoman Turks were uncivilized?

              I think they were.

              But later, as I began to study more about the history of the outbreak of WWI, it seemed to me that the bullshit peddled as regards the Entente Powers was that they were on the side of “liberal democracy”, whereas the Central Powers were most definitely neither liberal nor democracies. And the big baddies were the militaristic Prussians, who were subjects of the King of Prussia, the dominant German state. The King of Prussia was also the Emperor of Germany.

              But was the Russian Empire, an Entente Power, also a liberal democracy in 1914?

              I should hardly think so.

              And in any case, what’s so shit hot about liberalism and democracy?

              Liberalism soon degenerates into self-centred anarchy and “democracy” gives morons the right to participate equally with often decidedly smarter, educated others in the selection of those who shall form the national legislature, not that those elected don’t fix the laws to their own benefit and feather their own nests relentlessly.

              Liked by 1 person

              1. Thank you ME – I am only catching up to your much deeper reading on this topic (and I mean that respectfully). Happy to continue this conversation spasmodically and share my findings.

                Speaking of Versailles, I have only recently learnt that in making the world “safe for democracy” the maestros of Versailles also reassigned the Chinese province of Shandong under Japanese rule.

                Check out the map – Shandong is a fairly northern coastal region south of Beijing, that sticks out into the Yellow Sea towards Korea (at that time occupied but not yet divided), and nowhere near Japan.

                It is to be noted that having provided large numbers [tens of thousands?] of Chinese labourers sent to France to help “the war effort” (like digging graves and then dying on the muddy battlefields themselves with no way of getting home), China expected their contribution to be acknowledged and for them to be treated fairly.

                But Shandong to Japan!? Good grief – it would be like giving Victoria to New Zealand. Come to think of it … mmm … you can’t till the defference today innyway … especially under the regimes of Andrews and Ardern.

                Contemplating rule over that part of mainland China by a foreign power is almost as ridiculous as – well – thinking that Taiwan (or Hong Kong) is actually part of China. Who were these Versailles geniuses anyway – and what were they thinking? … planning?

                Incidentally, the outrageous treatment of China at Versailles led to the May 4th (1919) movement and massive protests in Tienanmen Square (the real ones), a boycott [BDS] on Japanese goods and acted as the catalyst for the rise of Chinese Nationalism and ultimately to the end of the ’century of humiliation’ and the ultimate ‘rise of China’.

                […]

                Furthermore, it wasn’t just the German people of Danzig and Sudetenland who had been forced to live under hostile alien regimes, it was also the Russians, notably of vast areas of Belarus and Ukraine (which I think fair to identify as ‘Russian’, particularly at that time -again, check out the maps pre, post and current).

                In fact this was the basis of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact –the abomination and injustice of Versailles was to be erased with German civilians returning to Germany and Russians (Belarusians and Ukrainians) returning to Russian ‘sphere of interest’.

                In fact Hitler said at the time (quotes are from Hitler’s speeches from September 1939 to early 1940) …

                [Hitler was livid at Churchill and his Jewish plutocrat handlers for their relentless warmongering.]

                “Russia and Germany fought each other in the World War only to suffer its consequences equally in the end. This shall not happen a second time! Yesterday in Moscow and Berlin, the Non- Aggression and Mutual Assistance Pact-which had originally entered into force upon signature-was accorded final ratification. In Moscow this pact was as warmly welcomed as you welcomed it here. I second every word of the Russian Foreign Commissar Molotov’s speech

                [….]

                Hence, we have beaten the Poles in scarcely eighteen days. [as far as Hitler was concerned the ’war’ was over.] Thereby we brought about a situation which may well enable us to speak with the representatives of these people calmly and in reasoned terms. In the meantime, Russia has felt it necessary, to safeguard the interests of its Belorussian and Ukrainian minorities, to march into Poland as well. And now we witness how England and France are outraged at this cooperation of Germany and Russia. It is termed a heinous crime-yes, one Englishman even writes that it is perfidious.

                […]

                Well, my dear gentlemen of the Great Britannic World Empire, Germany’s objectives are very limited in fact. We have discussed this in great detail with Russia, as the Russians are our next-door neighbors and, in the end, those most immediately affected. Accordingly, England ought to welcome the understanding arrived at by Germany and Soviet Russia. For the arrival at this understanding should remove once and for all the haunting images of the present German regime being out to conquer the world, an image which robbed the British statesmen of their sleep so many nights. It ought to be reassuring to know that it is not true that Germany wishes to conquer the Ukraine, or wished to do so in the past.

                […]

                Both states [Germany and Soviet Russia] have resolved not to allow problematic situations to arise between them which might bear within them the seeds of internal unrest and, therefore, of external disruptions, or which might detrimentally affect the relationship between these two great powers. Germany and Soviet Russia have clearly delineated their respective spheres of interests. Each has resolved to see to peace and order in its part of the world and to prevent everything which might possibly be to the detriment of its partner.
                And hence it is one of the missions of a farseeing new order of European life to see to these resettlements [Danzig, Sudetenland, Belarus and Ukraine] in order to diffuse at least part of the potential for conflict in Europe. Germany and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics have agreed to assist each other in this. The German Reich Government will therefore not allow the developing Polish remnant-state (Reststaat) to irritate the Reich or to become an irritant in the relations between the German Reich and Soviet Russia.

                As Germany and Soviet Russia undertake this redevelopment project, both states can rightly point out that the attempt to resolve this problem with the methods of Versailles has completely failed. And it had to fail since these tasks cannot be resolved at a green table or through simple directives. Most of the statesmen who gave their opinion on this most complicated matter at Versailles did not have any training in history; indeed, often they did not even have the faintest idea of the essence of the task that had been posed.

                They bore no responsibility for the consequences of their actions.

                Still reading – I can’t wait to discern when and why it all ‘went south’ – but it is clear that Churchill and his handlers were not about to let peace prevail.

                I refer to my earlier quoted passage:

                “Walter Lippmann realised that political ideology could be completely fabricated, using the media to control both presentation and conceptualisation, not only to create deeply-ingrained false beliefs in a population, but also to entirely erase undesirable political ideas from the public mind. This was the beginning of not only the American hysteria for freedom, democracy and patriotism, but of all manufactured political opinion, a process that has been operative ever since.“

                As an impartial ‘alien observer’ … we’ve all been had.

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                1. Hence, we have beaten the Poles in scarcely eighteen days. [as far as Hitler was concerned the ’war’ was over.]

                  The war with Poland was over, but not Hitler’s long planned war against the USSR that had not yet started but was destined to, or was Hitler telling porkies in Mein Kampf some 16 years before the Nazi invasion of the USSR, when he dictated the following:

                  Wollte man in Europa Grund und Boden, dann konnte dies im grossen und ganzen nur auf Kosten Russlands geschehen, dann musste sich das neue Reich wieder auf die Strasse der einstigen Ordensritter in Marsch setzen, um mit dem deutschen Schwert dem deutschen Pflug die Scholle, der Nation aber das tägliche Brot zu geben.

                  If one wanted territory in Europe, this could be done on the whole at the expense of Russia, and the new Reich would have to set out to march over the road of the former Knights, in order to give soil to the German plough by means of the German sword, and to give daily bread to the nation.

                  See also: Karl Kampf: “Der Terminus “Lebensraum” in Hitlers “Mein Kampf”.

                  [Karl Lange: The Term “Lebensraum in Hitler’s “Mein Kampf”]

                  Man tut Hitler und dem Nationalsozialismus zuviel Ehre an, wenn man bei der Analyse des nationalsozialistischen Imperialismus das Wort Philosophie, nämlich in der Zusammensetzung „Lebensraumphilosophie” verwendet. Hitler war kein Philosoph, und seine Gefolgsleute noch weniger. Wohl aber ist es möglich, von einer „Theorie vom Lebensraum” zu sprechen, „auf der die nationalsozialistische Außenpolitik grundsätzlich beruhte”.

                  Es ist auch richtig, daß die Theorie, welche militärpolitische, ernährungspolitische und rassenbiologische Tendenzen umschloß, schon zum Zeitpunkt der Machtergreifung „voll ausgebildet war” und daß der Begriff „Lebensraum” schon in Hitlers lange vor der Machtergreifung verfaßtem Buche „Mein Kampf” „voll ausgebildet” gewesen ist.

                  One does too much honour to Hitler and National Socialism if one uses the word philosophy, namely in the term “Lebensraumphilosophie”, when analysing National Socialist imperialism. Hitler was not a philosopher, and his followers even less so. But it is possible to speak of a “theory of Lebensraum”, “on which National Socialist foreign policy was fundamentally based”.

                  It is also true that the theory, which included military-political, nutritional-political and racial-biological tendencies, was already “fully developed” at the time of the seizure of power and that the term “Lebensraum” was already “fully developed” in Hitler’s book “Mein Kampf”, written long before the seizure of power.

                  Liked by 1 person

                2. Thanks for Exhibit A, ME – I am taking such passages into consideration and trying to reconcile with the actual events (and words) 16 years later. Let’s see what falls on both sides of the ledger – one side is purposefully kept empty.

                  Regarding your last line “if he was not too pissed to do so”, I believe the name Norman Shelley comes to mind, although obviously on a Churchill friendly site that would be contested.

                  Thank you also to Jen (and Mark) – I agree and am acutely mindful of ‘reading between the lines’ no matter what the source of news or information – for example, on any significant geopolitical topic, one cannot believe a single word that is delivered by the Washington Post, New York Times, CNN, BBC or Australia’s own ABC, just to name a few representative sites. (Just look at the Navalny saga which I am following casually here with much interest.) Then of course, we have Magnitsky, the Skripals, Assad’s chemical weapons, Hussain’s WMD, 911’s 19 Arabs – etcetera ad infinitum. The question is when (if ever) do any of these sources actually tell you an ounce of truth.

                  Then of course you also have the ‘debunkers’ like CIA’s Snopes. So you really do have to try and separate yourself from the trees and decide for yourself what makes sense in terms of consistency and causality.

                  What I am sure of is that much (most) of what we have been taught about WWI and WWII is false – it’s a question of trying to unravel which bits are true or otherwise. One golden rule is that if a source lies to you once it probably lies to you all the time.

                  Just to reiterate or clarify, just as I read or listen to Putin’s speeches and am some way through Book I of “The Governance of China”, a compilation of Xi Jinping’s speeches and writings, I am reading Hitler’s speeches (concentrating from mid 1939) in the expectation of finding the proverbial smoking gun that confirms all that I have been led to believe. So far there is plenty of material to place on the empty side of the ledger.

                  I think we have covered the Versailles Diktat and Poland (in particular Danzig) issue and I am convinced that Hitler had come to an amicable and reasonable arrangement whereby the German citizens would come back under German administration but Poland would have free and unhindered access to the Baltic Sea. Unfortunately Marshal Pilsudski died and it goes without saying that Hitler was no fan of Rydz-Śmigły.

                  ”At the time, a man of undeniable, realistic insight and great energy governed Poland. I managed to conclude an agreement with Marshal Pilsudski which would smooth the path toward peaceful understanding between both nations; an agreement which strove to secure at least a base, by completely ignoring the Versailles Treaty, for a reasoned, bearable cohabitation.”

                  As long as the Marshal lived, it seemed as though this attempt could perhaps contribute to a relaxation of the tense situation. Immediately after his death, the fighting against Germans started anew. This struggle-which found a manifold expression-increasingly embittered and poisoned the relations between the two peoples. It is hardly possible in the long run to stand by patiently while the German minorities living in this state, whose existence means a great injustice to Germany, are being persecuted in an almost barbaric fashion.

                  [September 19, 1939]

                  Incidentally, we know these speeches were public and closely scrutinised by the British …

                  Click to access CAB66_1_39hitleratdanzig091939.pdf

                  On that question of barbaric persecution … more in due course (this is getting too long).

                  “You know that two different doctrines govern Russia and Germany. There remained but one question to be resolved: as Germany has no intent of exporting its doctrine, and at the moment that Soviet Russia no longer contemplates exporting its doctrine to Germany, I no longer see any compelling reason why we should continue to take opposing stances. Both of us are aware that any struggle between our two peoples would merely benefit third parties. Hence we have determined to enter into a pact which shall preclude the application of force between us for all time. It also obliges us to seek mutual consultation in certain European questions. Moreover, it shall render possible economic cooperation and, above all, ensure that the strength of the two great states is not squandered in rivalry with each other.

                  [September 1, 1939]

                  The Non-Aggression and Mutual Assistance Pact with the Soviet Union constituted the most outstanding feature of the year now past. From the outset, the attempt of the plutocratic statesmen of the West to pit Germany and Russia against each other was foiled; the desired blood-letting in both nations to the advantage of third parties was forestalled; an encirclement of Germany was prevented.

                  [January 1, 1940]

                  It is these “third fucking parties” that we need to focus on – they are alive and well and aggressively active to this day on many fronts. I consider that they are behind all false flags and conspiracies, including Navalny [et al] – and particularly COVID.

                  I will share more in due course but just as an aside … (at my own pace so we should not bombard each other.)

                  • Why The Truth About Britain’s Role In Fomenting WWII Will Remain Hidden & The Myth She Fought A Clean War Will Persist.

                  https://wearswar.wordpress.com/2019/02/22/why-the-truth-about-britains-role-in-fomenting-wwii-will-remain-hidden-the-myth-she-fought-a-clean-war-will-persist/

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                3. From 1644 to 1912, China was ruled by a Manchu family (surname: Aisin GIoro) so during that time China belonged to the Manchus. Since the family and their Manchu noble and soldier allies set themselves up in Beijing rather than establish their capital in Manchuria, saying that China belonged to Manchuria wouldn’t be the same as saying China belonged to the Manchus.

                  In the linked map, the shaded area labelled “Manchu homeland” was actually off-limits to Han Chinese immigration until some time in the late 19th century or early 20th century when the Manchus or their successors realised the area might be taken over by foreigners if it remained sparsely settled:
                  https://external-preview.redd.it/T6osPgCmQlfGjcLhnh7c-faZVFi4k5copiewzFdPnPE.png?auto=webp&s=05e71b0f6ff1efd210333d091ca4dcc05ed2a40b

                  Liked by 1 person

                4. It’s a good idea to be aware, when reading Hitler’s speeches – and indeed any other politician’s speeches – that they are always written with an audience in mind and therefore they are not always reflective of what Hitler actually thought of the subject or topic of the speech. Especially if Hitler had someone proof-read his speeches for grammar, spelling and ease of flow, and to get rid of parts that deviated into opinion and detracted from the supposed aims of the speech or the context in which the speech was to be delivered.

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                5. What Hitler “wrote” in “Mein Kampf” was, in fact, dictated in Landsberg prison to his most devoted of acolytes Rudolf Hess, who was an educated man: from a wealthy business family, higher education at a business school in French-Speaking Neuchâtel, Switzerland. Hitler, on the other hand, was a bone-idle, Bohemian wastrel who never had a real job in his life.

                  When you read “Mein Kampf” in German (I have a copy here, three copies, as a matter of fact, in Russian, German and English: it is not banned in Russia), you can understand what a provincial shit-kicker of an Austrian bumpkin Hitler was — and I mean from the very first paragraph.

                  [By the way, in case any might think I am a closet Nazi, I have three copies of the Bible as well, in the 2 languages that I am most familiar with, as well as one bible in my mother tongue. I prefer the English King James Version.]

                  Hitler’s original idea for a title for his endless rant about his life (up to 1925 at least) and his “ideology” gives an idea of what a wanker he was:

                  “Four and a Half Years of Struggle against Lies, Stupidity and Cowardice”.

                  I guess it was the ever faithful Rudolf who suggested that “Mein Kampf” would be a more snappy title.

                  By the way, Nobel Literature Laureate W.S. Churchill never wrote a book either: he dictated them all. He usually dictated his speeches as well, which he, of course, could deliver rather splendidly, they say, if he was not too pissed to do so.

                  Liked by 1 person

                6. Further to Churchill’s “written” works, I should imagine he wrote his first, a description of a punitive campaign in the NorthWest Frontier of British India, written when he was a British army officer, and a description of the British Sudan Campaign, written when he was a journalist, and also his book about his adventures in South Africa, where, again he was a journalist when captured by the Boers, from whom he eventually managed to escape.

                  As for the rest of his works, they were certainly mostly dictated.

                  Liked by 1 person

                7. Churchill – “Shall We All Commit Suicide”

                  Last time I looked they wanted $400 for the short essay “Shall We All Commit Suicide” [no longer available]

                  https://www.churchillbookcollector.com/pages/books/001801/winston-s-churchill/shall-we-commit-suicide

                  but you can find it included in “Thoughts And Adventures” for free (Pp 245-254).

                  https://archive.org/details/in.ernet.dli.2015.209945/page/n11/mode/2up

                  Scary musings of a psychopath with a lust for War and Death.

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                8. “This war could not be avoided because the politics of Great Britain – under the influence of your person and of your friends [and handlers] of like opinions in all fields – persisted constantly to hinder the life interests and the most natural development of the German people; and – filled with the senile ambition to uphold the British hegemony – preferred the Second World War to an understanding, as we on our side had tried time and again to bring about, beneficial to both of the most prominent nations of Europe.
                  […]
                  “It is my fervent wish that you may at least live to see the day on which the world, and the western nations in particular, will become aware of the bitter truth that it was you and your friend Roosevelt who sold the future to Bolshevism for a cheap personal triumph over nationalistic Germany.”

                  • Hermann Göring – Letter to Winston Churchill (10 October 1946)

                  https://archive.org/details/hermann-goering-letter-to-winston-churchill

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                9. The last biography of Churchill that I read was that by Roy Jenkins. Below is Jenkins’ description of Churchill’s October 1899 voyage to South Africa, where he was to report on the Anglo-Boer War for the “Morning Post”:

                  By 14 October* Churchill was embarked on a Castle Line ship and on his way to Cape Town and the front. It was not entirely a question of quick and sudden reaction. Churchill had done a good deal of
                  anticipation and advance planning. In mid-September, fortified by a competing offer from the Daily Mail, he had made a remarkably favourable journalistic arrangement with the Morning Post. He was to be paid £250 a month for a four-month assignment (the equivalent of a modern salary of £160,000) plus all expenses. And in early October he had got Chamberlain, the most dominant of Colonial Secretaries, to
                  commend to Alfred Milner, the most powerful of High Commissioners,’the son of my old friend’.

                  When Churchill sailed on the Dunottar Castle he was in the company of Sir Redvers Buller, the just-appointed Commander-in-Chief for the war, plus staff, and – personal for Churchill – by a fine consignment of sixty bottles of alcohol together with a dozen of Rose’s Lime Juice. This fortifying baggage was interesting not so much for its size, which was quite modest and fitted in with the fact that Churchill never drank quite as much as, not entirely to his displeasure, he was reputed to do, as for the prices which the bill revealed. The claret cost two shillings a bottle, the port three shillings and sixpence, the vermouth three shillings and the Scotch whisky four. The only mildly extravagant items were
                  vintage champagne at nine shillings a bottle and Very Old Eau de Vie at twelve and sixpence.

                  The voyage was not pleasant. Churchill’s constant search for long distance adventure was made the more impressive by his thoroughly disliking turn-of-the-century liner life, which through a film of nostalgia sounds so attractive. Frequently he was sick. He also hated the constrictions of a ship. ‘What an odious affair is a modern sea journey,’ he wrote in his first despatch for the Morning Post. However the Dunottar Castle got him to Cape Town by the end of the month in which the war had started.

                  * Churchill himself (My Early Life, p. 244) gives the date of embarkation as 1 1 October,
                  but it is clear from letters which he wrote, including one ‘in the train’ (to Southampton)
                  on 14 October, that his memory played him false.

                  Despite the fact that Churchill, according to Jenkins, “never drank quite as much as, not entirely to his displeasure, he was reputed to do”, he nevertheless took with him on his two-week voyage to Cape Town a “quite modest” amount of booze: 60 bottles of alcohol, which beverages included claret, port, vermouth, champagne and Scotch whisky.

                  I presume that he did not take any India Pale Ale with him.

                  Was he intending to carry around his booze with him in his baggage for the duration of the war, or was he going to quaff the lot whilst bored rigid on board the Dunottar Castle, I wonder, and replenish his supplies in South Africa?

                  How long did he think the war would last? No more than a couple of months, I should imagine.

                  It didn’t, and he was captured by the Boers.

                  I wonder if they got their hands on his stash of booze?

                  Liked by 1 person

                10. “I presume that he did not take any India Pale Ale with him.“

                  I do appreciate your wit and depth of reading-based knowledge … are you sure you didn’t mean ‘Bengali Pale Ale’? 😊

                  Thanks for tolerating my input – don’t let me distract you.

                  Hey, completely off topic …

                  Earlier this evening I attended a book launch at the SA (South Australian) State Library.

                  https://www.google.com/maps/uv?pb=!1s0x6ab0ced46053e629%3A0x854332c7e3153d9d!3m1!7e115!4shttps%3A%2F%2Flh5.googleusercontent.com%2Fp%2FAF1QipPPYxUzDG6hg1mzQBrXfqfspm14gBq1Y_C1ieJY%3Dw216-h144-k-no!5smortlock%20wing%20-%20Google%20Search!15sCgIgAQ&imagekey=!1e10!2sAF1QipPPYxUzDG6hg1mzQBrXfqfspm14gBq1Y_C1ieJY&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwik8J7xjpLwAhVXzjgGHaRWBR0QoiowG3oECC8QAw

                  “On Hermitt Hill – Benjamin Herschell Babbage and the Lake Torrens Myth” – Rod Tucker
                  What a wonderful experience – the presentations were superb, particularly that of Colin Harris (past president RGSSA).

                  The author Rod Tucker came across as a delightful, humble and very amicable fellow – with an eminent science and engineering background (retired Laureate Emeritus Professor of Electrical Engineering at the University of Melbourne).

                  His great-great grandfather was a teamster on the Babbage expedition of 1858.

                  He donated some priceless historical artefacts including some watercolours and his great great grandfather’s diary of the expedition to the State Library for safe custodianship in perpetuity.

                  From the “Introduction”:

                  “The story of Babbage’s explorations gives insight into the politics of colonial land exploration in the mid-nineteenth century. It highlights the ability of daily newspapers to influence public opinion and shape government thinking. Babbage was a man of science, energetic and conscientious, and with a sincere desire to serve South Australia. He achieved much in his expeditions, but he experienced political bastardry and endured unjustified criticism by a biased and sometimes ill-informed press. His enemies disparaged him, inflicting a devastating an unwarranted loss of public face. He deserved better.”

                  [Babbage’s own ?descendant was of the first programmable computer fame.]

                  I purchased two signed copies “Happy Exploring – Rod Tucker”

                  Like

    1. Navalny’s current soliloquies – which are of course not written by him – are so perfectly like his usual self-centred (but tongue in cheek; “I’m not doing it for ME, I’m doing it for YOU”) blabber that I wonder if he ever wrote anything. We’ve seen him speak on video, so we know he is capable of speech, but otherwise it could have been someone else all along.

      Like

  66. Politico.eu: Czechs pull back from Russia after bombing allegations
    https://www.politico.eu/article/czechs-expel-russian-envoys-alleging-kremlin-role-in-deadly-2014-blast/

    One Czech politician called claims Russia had been behind a deadly 2014 warehouse explosion ‘the largest attack on our territory since’ a Soviet invasion in 1968.

    …The Czech weekly Respekt reported that the two Russian agents, named as Anatoly Chepiga and Alexander Mishkin, were in the Czech Republic and probably on the site of the ammunition depot in October 2014 when the deadly explosion took place.

    According to Czech police, the two men used the two Russian passports as well as a Moldovan and Tajikistan passport while in the Czech Republic.

    Respekt also reported that the depots targeted by the Russians belonged to a Bulgarian arms dealer who was selling weapons to the Ukrainian interior ministry and National Guard, whose members fought in the war in Donbas against pro-Russian separatists….
    ####

    So another ‘bumbling Russian agent story!’ Using different passports is ludicrous from a tradecraft practice pov particularly if you are using the same photos.

    That the Czech Republic is allowing dodgy weapons salesmen to use their territory to launder old soviet weapons/whatever to the Ukraine who is fighting against its own people in a civil war should be the story here (not for the western media of course) but friends of the USA have been doing that for decades, dating back to providing ex-Soviet supplies to Croatia and Bosnia and just about every other conflict they’ve had their dirty little hands in.

    The Respekt journal rings a bell. I seem to recall that is has previously been used to launder ‘intelligence’ (sic dirty ops) against Babis and others considered ‘pro-Russia’ or ‘not anti-Russia enough.’ The PPNN can as usual simply accept it as just another small journalism investigation outlet without having to question its remarkable access to ‘secret information.’ The circlejerk continues…

    Like

  67. Volkov and Zhdanov are going to remotely lead the “final battle” as early as Wednesday: Saving Private Navalny. Take 2
    Yesterday

    You know, I really want to believe that this so-called “battle between good and neutrality” will really be the final battle. The instigators and provocateurs will be identified close to the sick Alyosha and will finally, by means of occupational therapy, be of some benefit to the motherland. And maybe then these guys will realise that it’s a bad idea to schedule an all-nation rally on a Wednesday night.

    But since Lyonya and Vanya have never worked a day in their lives, they don’t know that, for the most part, workers only end their working day at seven. So the April march will once again be attended by students and schoolchildren (again, not working, but partying), citizens loitering in life (formerly known as slackers) and, of course, a small number of loyal adherents of the Navalny.


    The chief planner and idle, thieving bourgeois slob Volkov counting the participants in the rally.

    These people, no matter how much they had wanted to, have not been able to reach the cherished figure of “500,000”, even though they drew blue circles on the map, wherever they had to, half a million did not materialize. But comrades Volkov and Zhdanov assure from abroad in their propaganda video that there will be many more than the already declared 456,000 participants.

    “Aleksei Navalny’s life and the fate of Russia depend on how many citizens take to the streets that day.” Don’t worry about it. Of course some will come out. And they’ll even yell something, and the especially zealous will make some noise (until the first police trundle). What I shouldn’t advise you to do, though, is to put such two notions as “the life of a convicted criminal” and “the fate of all Russia” next to each other. You will be quickly shown on your fingers and graphically demonstrated that the Navalnyites are just a fraction of our country’s population and that Navalny is a paid Western provocateur who shall remain in prison.

    Dear readers and subscribers of “Signor Robinson” channel, put 👍 if you have more pleasant and useful things to do on this Wednesday than trample asphalt on the main squares of the cities with posters like: “Down with the Tsar! All power to the hamsters! Save Private Navalny!”

    Like

  68. SouthFront.org: Balance Of Power In The Black Sea: Will The Montreux Convention Prevail?
    https://southfront.org/balance-of-power-in-the-black-sea-will-the-montreux-convention-prevail/

    ####

    That’s a fairly decent write up.

    In Sultin’ Erd O’Grand flip back to the west wasn’t much of a surprise apart from maybe the speed at which it happend after Bi-Dumb’s election.

    The EU/NATO have also soft-pedalled him. My question is how long will it be before he yet again threatens to flood u-Rope with refugees/terrorists from Syria as he has increasingly been violating the agreement with Russia in the north. I expect it to come to a head over this summer one way or another.

    There are all sorts of reasons why Erd O’Grand should be punished but the west wants Russia to do it so that they can pick up the pieces. Russia by restricting flight for tourism to Turkey have rather hit him in the juglar which would only increase internal dissent with him because it is his policies that cause the reaction. If that ultimately topples him, whomever is next would likely want to keep the peace and the previous strategic status quo (as in no trouble) and concentrate on the economy, as Erd O’Grand himself did before he decided to get involved in the Syria project. It’s all about who’s left holding the ball…

    As for the Montreux Convention, regardless of what happens Russia has far more military ships in the Black sea than any other. NATO states Bg/Ro will not be churning out miliary tonnage any time soon that would change the balance. Turkey could try but it would be on its lonesome and Russia’s main strategic interest of severely limiting non-Black Sea ships in the region is very sensible by any standard. Anyone doing the opposite is a warmonger, however much they might have the media on their side and the public will know it too.

    Like

      1. Other than collecting intelligence and PR for the misinformed, there is no possible military value in NATO ships sailing the Black Sea. Could they make it any easier for Russia to sink them with hardly working up a sweat?

        Like

    1. Erdogan knows very well that his ambiguity makes Turkey a potential major strategic prize for Washington, and therefore he need not commit to anything, fear American threats or hesitate to do as he pleases. Washington has already forgiven him for buying the S-400, would let him get away with a great deal more and would probably even respond positively if he announced a late decision to acquire the F-35 after all, although there’s no reason to imagine he is completely crazy, as he would have to be to buy that flying brick.

      The leading graphic in the reference suggests the moment for Russia to strike an inbound naval force would be while they were in the Sea of Marmara, where they would have almost no room to maneuver.

      Like

      1. He could make a decision to buy the F-35 turkey by offering to make parts for it but make no commitment as to when all those parts will be delivered. (The word “all” is the operational word: Turkey could send the parts bit by bit and drag out the whole process if no-one commits to a deadline.) The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program has been in existence since 1997 at least so there’s no obvious hurry to get it done.

        Like

        1. Turkey was already part of the F-35 supply chain. It has cost the US to bring production home.

          https://www.airforce-technology.com/features/f-35-supply-chain-gao/

          The F-35 programme has found new sources for over 1,000 components for the fighter that were being made in Turkey, however, there are 15 ‘key parts’ that are not being manufactured at the needed production rate to build the aircraft.

          The GAO report said: “According to programme officials, some suppliers for the F-35 struggled to meet increased production demands in 2019 and, as a result, the program witnessed increased rates of late deliveries or parts shortages.”

          The US ejected Turkey from the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter programme in 2019…

          Like

          1. It strikes me that the United States ought to adopt a new method for arms marketing. Because I remember the way it handled the news that Turkey was considering the purchase of the S-400. The United States adopts, fairly often, the reverse-carrot-and-stick method; nearly always when it considers the junior partner does not possess the same degree of polish and sophistication – to say nothing of power – as Americans. It is awed by most of the European accents and will deal with them mostly as equals. But Turkey would be one of those countries where the pre-departure briefing would be “They only understand force. Be tough, and show them the stick”.

            Consequently, the conversation from Uncle Sam’s side, summarized from what we saw in news releases, went something like “Well, this has been amusing. Now, let me tell you what you’re going to do. You’re going to tell the Russians the deal is off. Then you’re going to but the Patriot instead. Then we’ll talk about how many F-35’s we’ll let you buy.”

            You can imagine how trying to roll Erdogan went over with Erdogan.

            Accordingly, I propose a new approach. Send off the envoy with the following instructions; “Off you go. I don’t care what you have to do. But come back with a deal, or don’t come back. Because if you do, and you haven’t got it, you’re fired.” Instead of reading skin mags all the way over and then showing up for the negotiations with the attitude of a visiting plenipotentiary, the aide would be cramming all the way on what his host was like, his customs and traditions, past behaviors that had annoyed him and past pitches which had failed.

            Like

  69. AsiaTimes.com: Biden’s China policy at a strategic inflection point
    https://asiatimes.com/2021/04/bidens-china-policy-at-a-strategic-inflection-point/

    China, France, Germany summit signals Biden’s China containment strategy has already been cast adrift
    ####

    Rest at the link.

    A nice summation. But that doesn’t mean BDA are giving up. They’ll just get bigger shovels and at a push may STB (Soil-The-Bed) for u-Rope if necessary, just as they are doing for the Czech Republic (and with the agreement of Czech intelligence/atlanticists) right now.

    Like

  70. AsiaTimes.com: Biden’s zigzag diplomacy aims to agitate Russia
    https://asiatimes.com/2021/04/bidens-zigzag-diplomacy-aims-to-alienate-russia/

    US leader’s muddled messaging towards Moscow signals he may have lost control of policy to the ‘Deep State’

    by MK Bhadrakumar

    In his landmark foreign policy speech delivered from the US State Department on February 4, President Joe Biden proclaimed “America is back. Diplomacy is back at the center of our foreign policy.”

    That maxim was put to the test last week. And it failed to make the grade. ..

    ####

    Much to agree with but Bi-Dumb is de facto ‘Deep State’ or whatever. Rapidly becoming a hollow puppet (like Regan) as his faculties decline. They’ve clearly set out a ‘very clever strategy’ vis Russia that is already floundering on the rocks, but that won’t stop them pushing their ship further up the rocks. Tradition, innit?

    The strategy is jumping up and down, shouting & waving arms in the hope that Russia will be distracted and give them a win somewhere, rather than go off for a cup of tea and come back with the tranquilizer gun and set things straight, again, as Russia has done many times over the last few years.

    Like

    1. “However, as it turned out, these sugar-coated words hid a bitter pill to swallow – that Russia should gracefully accept the sanctions and simply reconcile with the idea of a selective engagement with Washington whenever it suited US interests.”

      As an explanation of the Bidet Administration’s Russia policy, I think that small paragraph goes a long way. America shows Putin the stick. Then it offers him a carrot. He is supposed to grasp that American will is impossible to deny or forestall, and take the out that he is being offered; attend a summit, agree that the two countries have much to talk about, sing songs of reconciliation and rummage through his trunk of concessions to ponder – hypothetically, of course – what Russia might give away to obtain yet another conditional offer of uneasy peace. There is nothing ‘zigzag’ about Biden’s ostensible policy; on the contrary, it is quite straightforward. A powerful show of force and a display of global influence, followed by an offhand proposal that the two leaders get together to talk about how this could all go away.

      Fortunately, Putin did not buy it, and the ‘offer’ – to capitulate to American hegemony – was scornfully rejected. American power doesn’t go as far as it used to. Additionally, it is expensive, and technically speaking, America doesn’t have any money. Oh, it just goes to the woodshed and prints up another trillion whenever it feels like it, but that steadily devalues the currency, makes it less attractive as a safe haven, and increases a debt load which is already unsustainable at over 100% of GDP. How far beyond owing every single dollar produced to creditors can you realistically go? Even when the biggest creditor is America itself?

      Like

    1. Hey Raab, you slimy get, seen this?

      Czech PM says Russia did NOT attack Czechia, alleged blowing up of munition depot was ‘not act of state terrorism’

      “It was not an act of state terrorism, which means that Russia did not attack the Czech Republic,” Babis said on Monday. “Once again – it was not an act of state terrorism, it was an attack on goods belonging to a Bulgarian arms dealer.”

      Hey Raab, your father was a Czech Four by Two, wasn’t he?

      Did he flee the Red Army in Czechoslovakia or when the Nazis took that place after their annexing the Sudetenland?

      Oh, in 1938 was it? Only 6 years old was he?

      So he fled the Nasty Nazis and not the Subhuman Soviets did he?

      So what’ve you got against the Russians then?

      Oh right! You’re one of those who reckons Stalin was much worse than Hitler, his Soviet Union having killed many more than Hitler’s Germany did.

      Like

      1. And not perpetrated by Boshirov and his GRU sidekick, either way. I doubt very much they have records of who visited the Czech Republic from every foreign country 7 years ago, and if they did it would not imply that is ‘evidence’ that Russians carried out an attack.

        Like

  71. Reminiscences of the Future: How “Stretching” Looks like.
    https://smoothiex12.blogspot.com/2021/04/how-stretching-looks-like.html

    Andrei Raevsky (The Saker) made an astute operational-strategic observation yesterday when noted that:…
    ####

    All at the link.

    It’s been a long time since I watched Mecouris. I’d forgotten how good he is. Very interesting comments on new documents about the (original) Crimean war that have come to light in recent years as written about by Figes.

    Like

    1. re: Russian Empire military actions in Eastern Anatolia during the Crimea War and WWI.

      During the whole of the Russian Empire participation in WWI right up to the 1917 Bolshevik coup, the Russian Black Sea fleet never lost control of that Russian lake. Furthermore, the Russian Imperial army was deep within Anatolia, kicking Ottoman arse right up to the the cessation of Russian hostilities.

      After the Bolshevik capitulation at Brest-Litovsk, the Turks got everything back that they had lost and kept it even after Versailles, even though the Ottomans had been one of the defeated Central Powers.

      Like

  72. “Boomerang effect” – Navalny’s supporters received exactly what they had been fighting for all these years, namely: “Recognition”…
    Today

    Unknown persons have published a database of e-mail addresses of Alexey Navalny’s supporters who have expressed their readiness to attend a rally demanding the release of the opposition leader. Ivan Zhdanov, director of the Anti-Corruption Foundation (declared a foreign agent by the Russian Ministry of Justice – author’s note), volunteered to reassure the agitated audience of “regime fighters”, confirming the authenticity of the posted data, apologizing and asking supporters of the jailed Navalny not to worry. Because, according to Mr Zhdanov, the only thing the perpetrators can do is write a threatening letter, which, as you understand, is unpleasant, but not fatal…

    The liberal Russian-language Latvian online publication Medusa looks at this situation a little differently. It published an essay in which it tried to slightly “tickle the nerves” of its readers by displaying in its article on the data leak some likely negative consequences for the person whose email appeared in the published list. So, in addition to other things, “Medusa journalists” pay attention to the fact that although the published data does not contain a word about specific people, but only postal addresses, application submission times and registration confirmations do appear — seemingly harmless information, but even these data can be quite “sensitive”.


    Suffer little children to come unto me . . .

    According to the Meduza representatives, you can be de-anonymised, i.e. you can be identified as an online user or an authentic place of access to the network. And what is really “sad”, relying on the “base of oppositionists”, if necessary, the law enforcers may come to your “doorstep”. And employers or management of educational institution, where you study now can exert pressure on you, based on your political preferences. And such a development is a huge problem for supporters of the “Berlin patient”, as we all know.

    It’s one thing when you use your face hidden behind a mask to call out through social networks for aggression against the police, for disobedience, for vandalism; when you use your email to call for unauthorized rallies and involve minors in it, and you get away with it. You keep your job, your student scholarship, and manage to avoid the scrutiny of law enforcement agencies. But it’s quite another thing when you realize that the time of unpunished debauchery has passed, that now you bear full responsibility for what you did, because your electronic data is now in the hands of not only law enforcement agencies, but also, perhaps, those who really don’t like it when they try to shake their state from within.


    Navalny live! — Get a life FFS!!!

    What else can you get out of this news? Perhaps only the fact that the attackers who published the data of the email addresses of those who registered on the site “free.navalny.com The website” announcing upcoming rallies demanding the release of Navalny claims that 70% of those who registered are bots. And, probably, this is what was, in principle, worth getting acquainted with such news . Many of my readers have already expressed earlier that all these signatures, all these “dances with tambourines” in the circle of 500 thousand subscribers is nothing more than yet another pre-planned performance. Similarly, the non-systemic opposition and their Western curators hope to continue to destabilize the situation in Russia in the absence of their leader, blogger Navalny.


    Navalny with on the “Russia March” 2011

    And finally, you know, the boomerang effect has not yet been cancelled. Remember all those attempts by Russian liberals to expose the guardians of law and order, or the citizens of our country who sympathize with the current government, their attempts to create some kind of lists of those who continue to support the policy of President Putin? They never cared about the fate of the Russians, who, at the whim of the fighters against the “Putin regime,” ended up in the role of an “outcast.” Our non-systemic opposition longed to rip off the police masks, to reveal their places of residence, educational institutions in which their children study, not realizing what consequences that could lead to.

    They broke into the houses of those whom they considered objectionable, demonstratively disregarding the rights of all who dared to resist them. Their army of Internet trolls attacked anyone who disagreed with the ideology of prisoner Navalny and others like him. And the most surprising thing is that all this orgy invariably found support in the “democratic” states of Europe and the United States, but as soon as the situation turned into a mirror image, then everyone immediately started talking about “oppression by the regime”, pressure and intimidation of supporters of the liberal opposition …

    Just before the publication of my article, news came that the support team of prisoner Navalny had decided not to wait any longer for the collection of 500 thousand signatures. And they announced that the action “Freedom to the blogger” will be held on April 21, i.e. already the day after tomorrow. This epic action “starts” at 19:00 on the central squares of all Russian cities. The reason for the sudden change in the actions of the non-systemic opposition was claimed to have been the catastrophic situation that has developed with the health of blogger Navalny.

    Events are moving too fast and too badly. You can’t wait and put it off any longer. An extreme situation requires extreme solutions. We are announcing the rally now

    Navalny has said.…

    Now everything has fallen into place, and the fake hacking, fake signatures for prisoner Navalny, and the falsehood with which supporters have tried to justify a sudden change in their plans. All this was necessary only to interrupt the agenda of the authorities, namely, to disrupt the message of President Putin to the Federal Assembly planned for the same day with his rallies. You can be sure that the spotlights and TV cameras of all Western media outlets and our liberal publications will be aimed at street protests, and the Russian law enforcement forces will face a very serious test of “strength”. After all, you can already be one hundred percent sure that the protesters will do everything to achieve a “bloody picture” of the brutality of the authorities. And thus “peaceful demonstrations” of those who disagree with the “Putin regime” and slogans about “Freedom to Aleksey Navalny” will be in opposition opposed to the main agenda of that day.

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CkQ2i2sWgAAEjIs.jpg:large

    Europe’s eternal lackeys,
    Her spiritual slaves,
    You have perverted your father’s experience
    And betrayed your ancestors’ coffins.

    You’re the servants of the wrong,
    Servants of alien schemes,
    You’ve become the cattle of Europe,
    You loved the whistling of whips.

    You’ve betrayed Russia a hundred times over,
    You’ve betrayed Russia a hundred times over.
    Russia forgave you, but you’re pulling your necks back.
    You have stretched your neck to the yoke.

    Your homeland is dearer to you than a stranger.
    And that’s why you’re destined
    to know the will… …of your lord…
    And forever bow to him.

    Like

  73. 12: 00, April 19, 2021
    Navalny is to be be transferred from a penal colony to a regional hospital

    Aleksey Navalny, founder of the Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK, included by the Ministry of Justice in the register of organizations performing the functions of a foreign agent) is to be transferred from the colony to a hospital of the regional hospital. This is reported by RIA Novosti with reference to the Federal Penitentiary Service.

    The decision to transfer the patient was made by the commission of doctors of the medical and sanitary unit No. 33 of the Federal Penitentiary Service of Russia. It is noted that the hospital for convicts is located on the territory of correctional colony No. 3 in the Vladimir region.

    Previously, State Duma Deputy Balbek called the US statement on the consequences in the event of Navalny’s death a farewell letter to the opposition leader. “The United States has announced to the whole world that Navalny doesn’t have long to live, they have already written him a ticket to the next world, just to mess up Russia”, the MP said.

    On 13 April, the Federal Penitentiary Service said that Navalny’s health had improved, noting that he had been transferred from the medical unit to a detachment of the penal colony.

    In early April, Navalny, who is serving his sentence in penal colony No. 2 in the Vladimir region, was diagnosed with symptoms of acute respiratory infection. The first reports of his deteriorating health appeared in late March. The regional department of the Federal Penitentiary Service stated that the prisoner’s condition was considered satisfactory.

    In February, the Moscow City Court ruled that Navalny’s suspended sentence in the Yves Rocher case had been replaced with a real one. He was charged with 60 public order offences following his suspended sentence.

    Like

  74. The United States intends to give the statists the last battle. Navalny’s supporters are called to the streets
    Today

    Navalny’s supporters hiding abroad have announced a nationwide protest on 21 April. Notably, it will be on the day of the President’s Address to the Federal Assembly, where important decisions on the further sovereignization of Russia will be announced. In particular, to accelerate the economic turnaround from liberal monetarism to state capitalism.

    All this takes place against the backdrop of the crackdown on Navalny’s organisations, which will soon be deemed extremist


    Hello kiddies!

    On our channel we have often written about Russia’s move away from liberal monetarism, a process that began in 2020 and is progressing rapidly. However, we have missed another important point, namely the mopping up of US agents of influence inside Russia. Yes, we have covered the weakening of systemic liberals, but somehow we have not paid much attention to their street puppets.

    Now we say with confidence: the so-called non-systemic opposition will soon be done away with. Once again, it was not so much for internal reasons as for external ones. It is Washington’s actions that are leading to fairly rapid decisions on Russia’s sovereignty. Both economically and politically.

    Had not the U.S. stepped up the pressure on Russia, and had Russia acted in its usual leisurely fashion, which, it must be said, was paying off, then our economy would still be run by system liberals, and there would still be clashes with the police in the streets by the small but very combative and aggressive supporters of Navalny and company.

    But apparently the old timers in Washington want to smash Russia in their own lifetime, without putting it off for 10-15 years. As we can see, the result has been quite the opposite to that which they had wished for.

    Luckily, the government officials have been able to deal with Navalny fairly easily. If the FBK and his other organisations are found to be extremist, we will be stating the final defeat of the American network of agents. Admittedly, I had thought that the systemic liberals would have been able to drag out the process and somehow thwart the statists, but no, they aren’t succeeding.

    On the collaboration between the CPRF and Navalny:

    Navalny’s supporters wanted to gather 500,000 people for an overnight protest. But, of course, they failed to do so, and time was short.

    In view of this, a decision was made to combine the “large-scale” protest with the Presidential Address. The Americans want to create a picture for the Western media. Ostensibly, Putin will be voicing statesmanlike decisions in the face of mass protests.

    In fact, they are unlikely to be able to do this. Throughout Russia, the maximum will be 100-120 thousand. In Moscow – no more than 10-15 thousand, which is statistically insignificant error for a city with 12 million inhabitants.

    Our people have grown very much wiser. In this regard, the support of the non-systemic opposition has slipped to a minimum. If 10 years ago, citizens bought into the beautiful populist slogans, blaming Putin for all their troubles, now this is no longer the case.

    People understand that politics is a very complex thing, in which the interests of various states, clans, groups, etc. are intertwined. Everything is much more complicated than simply being divided into black and white. Globalists and American agents of influence can be in the most unexpected places: in the government, and in United Russia, and in non-systemic opposition. Therefore, it is always necessary to look at the actions of specific individuals, and not to put clichés on the basis of primitive logic.

    Don’t forget to give us a like 🙂

    Like

  75. Another rat has left the sinking ship . . .

    Today 9: 06 am
    “We decided that it’s better for me not to get into this whole arrest situation right now…”
    Navalny’s associate Vladimir Milov left Russia

    Vladimir Milov, an associate of opposition leader Aleksey Navalny, has left Russia. He announced his decision and its reasons on the air of Navalny LIVE. “I am physically close to Leonid [Volkov], I am not in Russia”, Milov stated.


    Screenshot “Navalny LIVE”

    He also explained his long absence from the channel. “When there were these January protests, I had a full entrance of cops. They did not enter the apartment at the time, but I understood that this [detention] would take place in the near future. And I definitely wasn’t allowed to go on the air. In the summer of 2019, when we had violent protests in Moscow, they took me right out of the studio and put me in jail right away for a month”, Milov recalled.

    He explained that the decision to leave the country was made after his having consulted colleagues. “We decided that it is better for me not to get into this whole arrest situation now, because I have an important area of work. Those who subscribe to my YouTube channel know that I am actively engaged in international politics and international relations there. And now this is super important, because the fate of Alexey Navalny largely depends on the international reaction”, Milov said.

    See ya!

    Like

    1. On April 21, there will be a new rally, but not everyone will be going
      Yesterday

      Well then, our active kiddies, sitting far, far from Russia, have again announced a rally? Have you all bought crackers to go with your beer? Such a sin to look on with sober eyes!

      But the ranks of those who are going to join in, I see, are thinning greatly. Everyone has objective circumstances for not going. Volkov is already howling at the moon over the organizing of such matters! Go, he says, to the rally, you oppositionists! But they don’t want to.

      Denis Mikhailov, the coordinator of one of the [Navalny] headquarters, who has already been fined 7 million roubles by the state for his actions, angrily swears:

      “It’s easy to announce a rally when you’re safe and sound abroad. Here it is much more difficult to do so: pressure on the opposition now exceeds anything previously”

      he complains.

      But how can you not be put under pressure, my dears? Be grateful that so far they are only pushing you with their hands!

      Otherwise, Putin and Lavrov will put on their hats and when we see them, we shall clap our hands so loudly that you will be deafened by the applause.

      But Leonid Volkov is swearing and stamping his feet, demanding that people go to the barricades, no matter how expedient things may be for them. And from Margarita Yudina will come the perennial question: “What are you doing, eh?” after which she will fall to the ground with injuries of varying degrees of severity, having received an answer.


      Yudina, who did a fall in front of cameras after a cop had kicked her out of the way in St. Pete. as she approached him, asking “What are you doing?”, when he was taking an apprehended person to a Paddy Wagon. She was kept in hospital overnight. Fuck all wrong with her.

      Now where shall I go, where shall I goto? You’ve been paid, be happy. Have pity on yourself: you’re no longer a girl. Oh, these gulls of the evolution! Go and listen to the president’s message; absorb information! At least his words might make your oppositionist face brighten up a little.


      Yudina — victim of a brutal assault by one of Putin’s cops.

      What am I saying? When did it evey appear bright …

      Yaroslav Scherbakov, head of the “Yabloko” regional branch in Chelyabinsk, is not happy about the need to scream and shout into the wind on April 21. He is not happy about all of this either:

      We have always advocated and still do advocate the free exercise of basic constitutional rights: freedom of speech and peaceful assembly. But unfortunately, in the current climate this involves a great risk to physical freedom

      Yaroslav said angrily.

      Exactly! At great risk to physical freedom, this must be clearly understood.

      But the money has to be earned! Before the protest action was announced, a hefty tranche of 500,000 rubles dropped into FBK’s bitcoin account. Not much, of course, but enough to buy kefir and enemas for Navalny.

      And Sergei Boyko, the head of Navalny’s headquarters in Novosibirsk, was not allowed to go to the revolution by his wife. This is what he said:

      I will not take part in the organisation of this particular rally for family reasons

      And rightly so. Not everyone is as bruised by the revolution as was Yulia, who was inoculated with the Russian vaccine the other day. My wife told me to stay home! April 22nd, she says, go wherever you want, celebrate Lenin’s birthday. But on the 21st, don’t go out the door! You’ll be eating porridge in prison.

      And Vladimir Milov has made a fine excuse! In the Sunday Volkov broadcast (let’s call it “Evening with Leonid Volkov”!) he said that he was not in Russia, and if anyone questioned his reason for not being in Russia:

      I had better not get into this whole arrest situation, because I have an important area of work: I deal with international politics, international relations, and right now this is super important, because in many ways, Aleksei Navalny’s fate depends on the international reaction,

      said Volodya. [i.e. Milov — ME]

      Aleksei Navalny’s fate depends on the Federal Penitentiary Service, the prison governor and his fellow prison inmates. The international reaction has been tightly bolted down.

      Although I agree that no one is better off under this whole threat of arrest situation.

      Like

  76. RT.com: UK govt to announce long-awaited equivalent of US ‘foreign agent’ registration act at Queen’s speech – media
    https://www.rt.com/uk/521466-uk-spy-powers-johnson-fara/

    …Prime Minister Johnson will also announce a new central register for foreign agents, according to the Times, which will be modeled after the US Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). ..

    …It covers lobbyists, political consultants, fundraisers and such. ..
    ####

    A prelude to banning RT no doubt. It’s a ‘do something’ move that looks strong but only occurs in the absence of being able to actually do anything.

    Like

    1. Pfffttt! Simply claim to be special, and consequently not subject to registration. Works for the Israelis in the USA, and likely will in the UK as well. When such deflection is not sufficient, Israel simply ignores the order – are you listening, Russia? Kennedy ordered Israel to register as a Foreign Agent in 1962. They stalled until 1965, by which time they had restructured AIPAC. The Zionist Order of America (ZOA) ignored seven separate orders from the US government to register as a Foreign Agent. But of course, in America, the Israelis have the same status as little brothers you can’t help loving because they’re so cute, even when they mess up your record collection and forget to walk the dog so it takes a poo in your room.

      https://original.antiwar.com/smith-grant/2017/09/16/israels-foreign-agents-dont-register-russias-2/

      Like

  77. Vis my earlier comment up the page* about how the Common Agricultural Policy has paid out big to large landowners/agribusiness etc. including Czech PM Babis for which he is uniquely bad yet f/ked the small farmers, there’s this today:

    Euractiv: Agriculture Commissioner points finger at CAP for demise of small farms
    https://www.euractiv.com/section/agriculture-food/news/agriculture-commissioner-points-finger-at-cap-for-demise-of-small-farms/

    The rapid EU-wide loss of family and small-scale farms is in part due to the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), the EU’s agricultural Commissioner Janusz Wojciechowski has said, pointing to the policy’s “errors and mistakes”.

    …that between 2005 and 2014, as many as 4 million farms have disappeared in the EU, many of which were small farms.

    “They were vanishing to the tune of a thousand a day,” Wojciechowski said, citing the example of his home country of Poland, which according to the latest agricultural census released this month has lost 190,000 of its farms, or 13%, in the past 10 years…
    ####

    Well done Brussels!

    * https://thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com/2021/02/21/doctor-politico-reliable-journatard/comment-page-5/#comment-57434

    Like

  78. Expect a shortage of virgins in heaven:

    https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/202104191082674470-russian-forces-destroyed-terrorists-shelters-northeast-of-syrias-palmyra-up-to-200-militants-dead/

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Militants created a camouflaged base northeast of Syria’s Palmyra, where groups were formed for terrorist attacks and explosive devices were made. Russian Aerospace Forces planes have hit these targets, Rear Adm. Alexander Karpov, deputy head of the Russian Center for Reconciliation of Warring Parties in Syria, said on Monday.

    During a press briefing, he noted that Russian forces received information that “militants set up a camouflaged base northeast of Palmyra, where combat groups were formed to send and carry out terrorist attacks in various regions of the country, as well as the manufacture of improvised explosive devices was set up.”

    Karpov added that after the location of these objects had been confirmed, air strikes had been inflicted on them by Russian Aerospace Forces.

    “As a result … two shelters, up to 200 militants, 24 pickup trucks with heavy machine guns, as well as about 500 kilograms of ammunition and components for making improvised explosive devices were destroyed,” Karpov said.

    Like

    1. Excellent, although when the spokesman says ‘up to this many’ it is usually the most optimistic assessment and typically high by quite a few. That’s true no matter who is reporting. But to strike a hidden base at all is an accomplishment as it increases the fear that there is nowhere to safely hide.

      Like

  79. 04: 00, 20 April 2021
    US Ambassador to Moscow refused to leave Russia

    US Ambassador to Moscow John Sullivan has refused to leave Russia, despite the recommendation to go to Washington for consultations. This is reported by Axios with reference to sources.

    According to the publication, Sullivan adheres to the position that the Russian side should “force him to leave” if it wants him to leave Moscow.

    Who or what does the man think he is?

    Does he consider himself to be someone exceptional, exempt from the rules of diplomacy, not to mention good manners?

    Does he not consider himself as a guest, and an an unwelcome one at that, in Russia, and when asked to leave, he should do so decorously?

    Or is that too much to ask of an American “diplomat”?

    I suggest that he be treated in a way that corresponds to the boorish way he is behaving: he should be frog-marched onto the first flight to Washington.

    Like

  80. I see the professor’s gone the whole hog and declared that he believes that the Czechs are “bang to rights” over Petrov and Boshirov and also that they poisoned the Skripals and ditched the infamous Novichok perfume spray that resulted in the death of an unfortunate woman.

    Likewise, I think that this news should dispel any doubts that anybody still has about the role of Petrov and Boshirov in the Skripal poisoning. I for one never thought that they were in Salisbury to ‘look at the spire’. A less plausible pair of cultural tourists it would be hard to find. But anybody who was prepared to give them the benefit of the doubt should now think again. As I said, it’s too coincidental to be innocent. Likely as not, the Russians are guilty as charged, both in Salisbury and in Czechia.

    I wonder why the same poison didn’t kill the Skripals and all around them, not to mention the detective, the ducks in the park etc., etc.

    See: CZECH MATE

    Like

    1. Seems odd that Petrov and Boshirov (or Myshkin and Chepiga) would always work together as a tag team whether trying to blow up a state-owned / privately run arms depot that already had decrepit Soviet-era weapons on the verge of exploding (and the arms depot itself possibly in a state where it could spontaneously combust if the wind changed direction) or trying to assassinate an ex-spy by smearing the door knob of his house with a poison that degrades in the presence of water vapour on a weekend when the weather was cloudy and the humidity level was 87% at 12pm and rising. If they were travelling around a lot together, doing certain things and leaving a trail of destruction behind, would that not raise suspicion in the countries where they were travelling? The GRU would be stupid in always sending them on missions together.

      I don’t understand the reasoning behind Paul Robinson’s article, unless he wrote it as satire (and I did think while reading it that it was satire), that the supposed presence of Boshirov and Petrov near Vrbetice in 2014 – an assertion the Czech govt makes 7 years after the event and 3 years after the Skripal poisoning incident – strengthens the argument that Boshirov and Petrov were indeed GRU agents sent after Sergei Skripal.

      There have been similar explosions of munitions depots in Ukraine in recent years and some of these have been blamed on sabotage. If we were to use the principle known as Occam’s razor, the simplest explanations for the Ukrainian explosions and perhaps the Vrbetice explosion are that the munitions were kept in a poor state liable to spontaneous combustion; and if they were indeed illegally trafficked weapons, then an explosion would conveniently wipe out most evidence of their existence.

      Like

    2. This presupposes they actually were there, in Czechia, 7 years ago. That might actually be too much to be a coincidence, but I have not seen anything like proof they were.

      Like

  81. Euractiv mit Neuters: https://www.euractiv.com/section/global-europe/news/czechs-say-russian-retaliation-stronger-than-expected-seeks-eu-solidarity/
    https://www.euractiv.com/section/global-europe/news/czechs-say-russian-retaliation-stronger-than-expected-seeks-eu-solidarity/

    The Czech Republic said on Monday (19 April) Russia’s eviction of 20 Czech embassy employees in response to Prague’s expulsion of 18 Russian staff was a stronger than expected reaction and the government would consider further steps.

    …“The reaction (by Russia) is stronger than we had expected, it is more diplomats than the number of intelligence officers we expelled,” Hamáček told a televised news conference.

    “I will meet the prime minister and discuss if and when the Czech side may need to take some further steps.”..

    …In an interview with a local newspaper, Hamáček confirmed the trader to have been Emilian Gebrev, an arms factory owner who survived an attempt to poison him with Novichok in 2015. Bulgarian prosecutors charged three Russians in absentia in 2020 with his attempted murder.

    Gebrev’s company EMKO denied on Monday that it had made or planned any shipment from the Czech warehouse in the months before the explosion or for at least a year after the blast…
    ####

    Mommy!?

    I guess we’ll see if those screeching in Prague are even more stupid than previously thought.

    Like

    1. The Czechs are unexpectedly clever at mathematics. It took them nearly no time at all to assess that 20 is more than 18, and they plainly suspected their allies were still working their sums.

      When you go in to hobnob with the Prime Minister, Fuckie off the HOOD, take this chart with you. It might compel some moderation in tone.

      https://www.statista.com/statistics/691117/dependency-on-energy-imports-in-the-czech-republic/

      While you’re in the process of ‘considering further steps, consider that you asked for EU solidarity because it had not already been offered. You were invited to take one for the team, and you did. Dunce caps are non-adjustable.

      Note also that the alleged Bulgarian arms dealer whose stock the Russians allegedly blew up is yet another addition to the club of Targets The Hapless Russians Tried To Poison With Novichok Who Did Not Die.

      Like

  82. Even more stupid here: Europe’s strategic long-shot: More warships in the Indo-Pacific
    https://www.politico.eu/article/europes-strategic-long-shot-more-warships-in-the-indo-pacific/

    Naval ambitions come as part of EU’s strategy to extend its Asian reach and counter the rise of China.

    …Indeed, the Indo-Pacific draft strategy suggests that Europe’s priority would be to seek partners, rather than rely on its own armadas. “The EU will further develop partnerships and strengthen synergies with likeminded partners and relevant organizations in security and defence,” the plan said…
    ####

    Plenty more at the link.

    Translation: The EU cannot afford and will not spend massive sums of money on naval ships to patrol the region. They prefer local hamsters to do it for them. This is much the same way that the US ‘special friends’ are expected to throw themselves on to the bayonets of enemies in return for a beautiful eulogy.

    Another reason why China might decide to pull the plug on the EU-China deal, though the paper talks about the EU improving control over its supply chain yet it wants the benefit of its companies in China to make big profits and bring them home. Why should China allow EU states to use their sales in China to by weapons/whatever to use against China?

    Like

  83. Glenn Grenewald: The Media Lied Repeatedly About Officer Brian Sicknick’s Death. And They Just Got Caught.
    https://greenwald.substack.com/p/the-media-lied-repeatedly-about-officer

    Just as with the Russia Bounty debacle, they will never acknowledge what they did. Their audience wants to be lied to for partisan gain and emotional pleasure.
    ####

    All at the link.

    Yet another case of the corporate press telling lies and moving on as if they hadn’t, which they have been doing for years. Remember kids, the stupid American public won’t notice! /sarc.

    Like

  84. That Sullivan column sums up the state of our business perfectly – journalists believing the public tunes them out not because they’re in a bubble of their own self-regard, but because the public is morally inferior.

    ####

    That’s something they in common with Russian liberasts. But do the former believe like the latter that large swathes of the population should not be allowed to vote if they have the wrong view?

    Like

  85. Antiwar.com: EU Walks Back Claim of 150,000 Russian Troops Near Ukraine Border
    https://news.antiwar.com/2021/04/19/eu-walks-back-claim-of-150000-russian-troops-near-ukraine-border/

    Last week, Ukraine said Russia has 80,000 troops along the border, but how Kyiv determined the numbers is not clear

    …The number was corrected in a transcript of his briefing ( https://eeas.europa.eu/headquarters/headquarters-homepage/96873/informal-video-conference-eu-foreign-affairs-ministers-remarks-high-representativevice_en ) on the EU’s website to “over 100,000.”..

    ####

    Well if EU Airhole Borrel insists on taking ‘facts and figures’ directly from Kiev as correct then this is the obvious result. He looks like an even bigger a**hole than before. Doesn’t he want the job or because it is Russia you can repeat any old lie without consequence?

    On the plus side over-egging the numbers works in Russia’s favor and against anyone who thinks NATO should go in and ‘sort things out.’

    Like

  86. Axios via Antiwar.com: Scoop: U.S. ambassador refuses Kremlin push to leave Russia
    https://www.axios.com/john-sullivan-ambassador-russia-sanctions-5215f137-c473-42f8-a6ac-a49cf5b1f4b4.html

    …The bottom line: Biden wants stability and predictability to define his relationships with Putin and Russia, while his administration focuses on China.

    By ignoring the Kremlin’s suggestion to recall Sullivan, the administration isn’t taking the bait to escalate, while making it clear that Biden gets to decide who his ambassador is, not Putin.
    ####

    BDA has been warned. His own administration escalated while talking of stabilization of relations with Russia and then lost control and was forced to recall its two warships before they entered the Black Sea. Russia’s suggestion here can be read as ‘one more stupid f/k step and he’s out. You’ve been warned.’ BDA has put itself on thin ice. The report just peddles US centric talking points (the contradictory ‘USA wants stabilization’) and quoting McFool only seals it.

    Like

    1. That’s pretty childish, really, to metaphorically award the victory to Biden because he ‘gets to decide who his ambassador is, not Putin.’ It is pretty easy to render an undesired ambassador non-functional by simply ignoring him or her and not involving that ambassador in any talks or responding to any of his/her calls or messages, as if they were not there. As far as I know, Russia’s ambassador is still in Russia since Bidet’s interview in which he agreed Putin is a killer.

      If necessary, Moscow can simply declare the US Ambassador persona non grata and order him to leave. That way, Putin does indeed get to decide who the US Ambassador is and not Biden.

      Like

      1. izwest (izwest) wrote,
        2021-04-20 10:50:00

        U.S. Ambassador Leaves Russia To “Visit Family”

        US Ambassador to Russia John Sullivan will return to the US, Axios reported with reference to the State Department.

        “Ambassador Sullivan will return to the United States this week to visit his family and meet with members of the new administration, with whom he has not had the opportunity to consult since he agreed to continue serving in his post indefinitely,” the State Department spokesman said, noting that the ambassador “will return to Moscow in the coming weeks.”

        Axios previously reported that US Ambassador to Russia John Sullivan refuses to leave the country, despite Moscow’s recommendations to do so.

        According to the outlet, Sullivan was summoned to a meeting with presidential aide Yuri Ushakov, who recommended that he return to Washington for consultations with officials of President Joe Biden, but the ambassador continued his work in Moscow.

        According to people familiar with Sullivan, he believes that if the Russian authorities want him to leave the country, they will have to force him to do so.

        On April 16th, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said at a press conference in Moscow that Ushakov suggested that Sullivan “go to his capital and hold detailed serious consultations there.”

        On April 15th, the US Treasury announced that 15 Russian citizens and 25 Russian companies were included in the sanctions list for Russia’s “malicious activities” – for conducting cyber-attacks, interference in elections and for the situation in Crimea. Also, ten Russian diplomats are being expelled from the United States. In addition, the US Treasury has introduced new sanctions on the Russian government debt.

        In response, on April 16th, Russia closed the entry of eight current and former American high-ranking officials, banned the hiring of Russian and third-country nationals in the US diplomatic mission, and also announced its intention to denounce an agreement with the United States that regulates the movement of diplomats in the host country.

        April 20, 2021
        7:29 AM MSK
        World
        U.S. ambassador to Russia will return home briefly -Axios
        Reuters

        The U.S. ambassador to Russia, John Sullivan, will be returning to the United States this week before returning to Moscow “in the coming weeks”, Axios reported late Monday, citing a statement from the State Department.

        Like

        1. Once he returns to The Beacon Of Freedom, he can always claim any failure to return to Russia within, say, three weeks is because the infernal Russians are blocking his travel arrangements.

          Like

  87. “Expelling Aleksei Navalny from the country is the best solution for the authorities”
    Dmitry Drize – on the proposal to revoke citizenship for calls for sanctions.
    18.02.2021, 19:34

    An interesting topic — this is how the Kremlin commented on Nikita Mikhalkov’s initiative to deprive citizens of citizenship for calls for sanctions against Russia. Spokesman for Vladimir Putin Dmitry Peskov said that such proposals are of public interest. As for concrete decisions, this is not the prerogative of the presidential administration. It cannot be ruled out that Aleksei Navalny and his associates will be the first to fall under new legislation. Dmitry Drize, a political observer for “Kommersant FM”, considers the expulsion of the oppositionist from the country very likely.

    In the linked “Kommersant” article is an audio file, in which one can listen to Drize speaking on “Kommersant FM”. Below is a translation of the transcript of what Drize says:

    Nikita Sergeevich Mikhalkov has recently shown high civic activity. He just reproached the creative workers for supporting Aleksei Navalny, and here is a new initiative. A well-known filmmaker proposes to have legislation [an “article” of law — ME] returned [to the criminal code: Russian law has a codex of statute laws — ME] on the deprivation of citizenship of a country — in this case, of the Russian Federation — for calling for the imposition of sanctions against the state. It is clear whom we are talking about: about Navalny and his associates.

    Russian news agencies have promptly provided background information as regards was the case in the Soviet Union. So, a citizen of the USSR could be deprived of citizenship, but only in an exceptional case, by a decision of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet, namely “If a person has committed acts discrediting the high rank of a citizen of the Soviet Union and damaging the prestige or state security of the USSR”.

    At the same time, Nikita Sergeevich has cited as an example the famous “Philosophers’ Steamships” of 1922, when representatives of the intelligentsia, as well as the great Russian thinkers and philosophers — those who are usually called the “The Flower of the Nation”, were expelled from Soviet Russia [“Philosophers’ Steamship” or “Philosophers’ Ships”, also known individually as a “Philosopher’s Steamboat” was a term used for the steamships that transported intellectuals expelled from Soviet Russia — ME]. In fact, to hear this from Mikhalkov is somewhat strange, since he has always positioned himself as an opponent of the Bolsheviks and a supporter of the revival of real Russian culture and art. The “Philosophers’ Steamships” is exactly what is now called spiritual bonding. In fact, it was then that they began to gradually drift away from us.

    However, the list can be expanded. There are examples from the relatively recent past. In 1974, the Nobel Prize winner Aleksander Solzhenitsyn was deprived of his citizenship and expelled from the country. His works are now taught at schools and a street in Moscow is named after the writer. [Near my house. They changed the earlier name of the street, “Great Communist Street”, the philistines! 🙂 — ME] Later, in 1978, whilst in Paris, Mstislav Rostropovich and Galina Vishnevskaya learnt from a TV news broadcast of the deprivation of their Soviet citizenship. Both need no introduction. Without a doubt, Navalny, Volkov and others will be flattered in their own way to be in such a company.

    So, we quietly return to the present day. Mikhalkov is not the first to propose (let’s call a spade a spade) the expulsion of Navalny from the country. And, in all honesty, for the authorities this is the best way out of a difficult situation, and even, one might risk saying, it is almost the only one.

    Sitting in prison or in a colony is unpleasant from a physical point of view, but it is very beneficial from a political point of view. His rating is growing by leaps and bounds. The person involved has become the leader of the Russian opposition, recognized by the West.

    [His rating is growing by leaps and bounds? Not according to recent polls it is not! — ME]

    And, most importantly, you need not do anything for this — you just have to serve your sentence. And the state leadership is forced to listen to constant reproaches from Western partners, and now the next sanctions are not far off.

    Therefore, what is happening now can be called the processing of public opinion. The right background is needed here. As for the form of the legislature, there will be no problems there: we have full agreement on this score from all branches of the government. Moreover, the relevant procedures are spelt out in one way or another in the laws. As for the moral aspects and not very pleasant historical parallels, what can I say here? “Russia is the last island of freedom.” Not a joke. There are, of course, concerns. First there was the “Philosopher’s Steamship”, then there came 1937. However, let us not get carried away. One should always remain optimistic and hope for the best.

    No need for a steamship, just a flight ticket to Riga, where he can joinn Volkov and the rest of the shits in Latvia.

    Like

    1. Albion is notoriously perfidious, but has it been giving tuition to the Germans? I spotted this speculation about a sort of slow-mo “Georgi Markov” at the comments on the Saker Open Thread #14:

      OldStranger on April 20, 2021 · at 12:53 am EST/EDT
      “What happens to Mr. Navalny in the custody of the Russian government is the responsibility of the Russian government,” This sentence trigger a question (I admit it is a far fetch assumption…): what if Navalny, during his stay in Germany, was “treated” with a deadly toxin, bug (whatever) with a slow progression but nevertheless deadly. Once in custody of the Russian government (everybody knew that he will be arrested and jailed) the government will be held accountable for his health/death…consequently the calls for his liberation (and a possible antidot administration) and in case of his death the media triggered hysteria would justify any sanctions against Russia ( a kind of Trojan horse…sort of..Navalny was not suppose to know anything about that plot). Stay safe!”

      Like

      1. I must admit I had not considered that; it reminds me of a fictional novel I read once, in which two captured anarchists were released by the state holding them, on demands from their followers or perhaps it was some sort of exchange. Anyway, the intelligence services of the nation holding them had given them pills they said were vitamins, something like that, which actually contained two disparate substances which were separated by a tiny metallic wafer, and which was eaten away over a period of hours, then allowing the two volatile ingredients to mix. Thus it was that as they were holding up their hands to cheering crowds of their supporters, as they deplaned, both doubled over in agony and died in minutes.

        It does make for exciting speculation, but Russia is pretty good at medicine and Navalny would have had the full spectrum of tests. I doubt they would have suspected such a deception – although they might have – but I find it hard to imagine such a scam would go undetected. If the level of a certain chemical in his blood continued to rise despite his having no access to it, they would certainly smell a rat. And it would have to have a fairly rapid release to not have been eliminated by his body by now.

        I suppose it might be something that occurs naturally in the body, just not in such volumes. I believe I mentioned before that a ship’s medical officer once told me if you ever want to rub someone out using a method most unlikely to be detected, give them an overdose of epinephrine, such as is found in an epi-pen carried by bee-sting-allergics. It is found naturally in the body, dissipates rapidly, and if administered to someone who does not need it induces heart failure.

        Like

          1. I saw the original of that film in the local theatre, the Capitol, in Middleton, Nova Scotia, where my high school was located. The theatre had an actual red velvet curtain and a balcony; no hicks, us. It is apparently a pub now, although it appears to still have the original sign.

            Like

  88. Countdown to showdown . . .

    20.04.2021, 14:07
    Moscow authorities did not approve the rally of Navalny’s supporters

    The action planned on Manezhnaya Square in Moscow on Wednesday, April 21, has not been approved, as the declared organizers are not located on the territory of Russia, the Department of Regional Security and Anti-Corruption said. A rally in support of opposition leader Alexey Navalny, who is serving time in a penal colony, was previously announced by his supporters.

    “The notification was submitted to the Moscow government in violation of the requirements established by federal law. In addition, the citizens declared in the notification as the organizer of the event and the person authorized by the organizer of the event to perform administrative functions for its organization and holding, are currently located outside the Russian Federation”, the department said.To Interfax).

    The notification was submitted by the director of FBK (recognized as a foreign agent) Ivan Zhdanov and the coordinator of the regional headquarters of the opposition leader Leonid Volkov, Mr. Zhdanov said in Telegram.

    Supporters of the opposition leader decided to hold rallies in the central squares of Russian cities on April 21. Earlier, they wanted to wait for the gathering of 500 thousand people through the event’s website, but changed their plans due to the deterioration of the oppositionist’s health. The Russian Interior Ministry and the Prosecutor General’s Office called on citizens to refuse to participate in uncoordinated actions. The prosecutor’s office of the capital filed a lawsuit to recognize three organizations created by Alexey Navalny as extremist.

    They should all be arrested.

    It starts at 19:00.

    Those who turn up know what they are letting themselves in for.

    No fines — custodial sentences!

    And when they have been sent down, they can go on a hunger strike.

    Like

      1. It is now snowing and has been all day but with no accumulation. The big concern here is general rioting if Chauvin is not convicted of 2nd degree murder (manslaughter will not be enough).

        Like

        1. As you likely now know from breaking news, he was convicted of murder.

          Record highs here, it’s like summer, but rain re-enters the forecast Friday and Saturday. Just as well; it’s too early now to start the hot, dry weather and if that happened a lot of trees might not make it to the fall rains. This place is not at all like a coastal rain forest any more, as it used to be, and some tree types are having serious trouble adjusting.

          https://www.vicnews.com/news/temperature-records-eyed-for-victoria-with-sunny-weekend-forcast/

          Like

          1. Yay! Snowing here at 07:00. Not accumulating, but chilly. Hope those kiddiewinks who gather at Manezh Square get cold and wet this evening.

            They won’t get there anyway, because it’s right next to the Kremlin. It’s where the Bullshitter always tries to lead his kiddies, Pied-Piper like, down Tverskaya Street from Pushkin Square, and always gets arrested for trying to do so.

            I am convinced that many of the Navalnyite bloggers who are swamping the web here right now are juveniles or, at least, naive “adults”.

            I read a stupid blog off one yesterday evening in which the blogger described how he was shocked at the difference in conditions in a Great Patriotic War military train at a museum in Tula that he had visited, namely the officers’ carriages were better than those for the other ranks.

            The blogger wrote that as long as Russians accept this lack of social equality, Russia will remain a state where there are no good roads, hospitals and schools as there are in other countries. This inequality, the blogger maintained, is inbred amongst Russians: that’s why they do not criticize Putin’s possession of a palace.

            Written by a child, I suspect.

            Or an idiot.

            A childish idiot.

            Like

    1. Sucks to be Navalny, I guess. Funding may be on the line if they don’t get the crowds out.

      And over on the space front, this little nugget from TASS https://tass.com/science/1280385
      Most notably,
      Russia’s Energia Space Rocket Corporation has been assigned the task of making the first basic module for a new Russian orbital station ready in 2025. ( a repurpose of one originally intended for the ISS)
      and
      Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov’s office announced on April 18 that the space station’s condition left much to be desired. In order to avoid any risks in case of accidents, it was necessary to carry out a technical inspection of the station. After this, a decision should be made on the orbital outpost’s further operation, it explained
      (transition away, post 2025, if at all).

      Cheers,

      Like

    2. unz.com is blocked as a “security threat” on FireFox per the following:

      Warning: Potential Security Risk Ahead

      Firefox detected a potential security threat and did not continue to http://www.unz.com. If you visit this site, attackers could try to steal information like your passwords, emails, or credit card details.

      Chrome provide a sightly different message but still blocks access.

      There seems to be no way around the block so Unz review has been removed from internet access, as far as I can tell, in the US.

      Like

  89. If we remain silent now, it will be the darkest of times for free people. Russia will plunge into complete darkness. Peaceful political activity in Russia will become impossible.

    The final battle between good and neutrality
    21 April 19:00

    The final battle between good and neutrality
    There exist circumstances in which one has to act quickly, otherwise otherwise the irreparable will happen. At such moments, decisions must be made
    [instantly, because decisions can change everything. Now is the moment.]
    navalny.com

    Remember, this call to arms has been made by a man who is supposedly now at death’s door, but you can see at the linked above site that he apparently still has energy enough to continue pumping out his bullshit.

    I have just been watching Volkov talking to Albats live. He has just told her that the Bullshitter is now very weak, but he can still walk around.

    Fucking crap!

    Like

    1. Pure American tactics – something must be done nownownow don’t waste time overthinking it, it is time for actionactionaction. We can sort everything out later, but if we don’t do something now we will never regain the initiative.

      Like

    2. He [Volkov] has just told her [Albats] that the Bullshitter is now very weak, but he can still walk around.

      Volkov is in Riga, Latvia.

      Albats is in Moscow, Russia.

      The Bullshitter is in a prison hospital in Vladimir, Russia, situated some 112 miles northeast of Moscow as the crow flies.

      And Volkov, who has not stepped foot in Russia for quite a while now, knows that the Bullshitter is weak but walking around in a hospital in Vladimir, situated some 622 miles east of Riga.

      Like

  90. Both the Independent (crAP) and Guardian reporting of the US Ambassador to Russia returning home is rather dry:

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/us-ambassador-in-moscow-heads-home-for-consultations-john-sullivan-joe-biden-washington-moscow-ambassador-b1834300.html
    ###

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/apr/20/us-ambassador-john-sullivan-to-leave-moscow-as-tensions-rise
    ###

    The Guardian inserted Fiona Hill’s very weak excuse of ‘Biden being wise’ quote to take the sting out of the BDA being spanked very hard diplomatically.

    Neo-cons at home are furious, but then they are not responsible for anything they say or do.

    What did they think was going to happen? Bi-Dumb’s victorious mental Kung-Fu vs. Putin’s physical Judo? The only thing BDA has managed is to put themselves in to a smaller box of their own making.

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  91. Dropped a bollock!

    To transfer a healthy person to a hospital, where the departments are different, but all the patients have tuberculosis, it is absolutely tough. This is an unprofessional and Gestapo decision to forcibly inoculate tuberculosis in a person with a reduced immune status, so as not to let his doctors see him.

    So the sly rich bitch now thinks the gobshite Bullshitter is healthy?

    Navalny’s ophthalmologist has said he is healthy
    April 19, 2021

    Anastasia Vasilyeva, the personal ophthalmologist of convicted blogger Aleksey Navalny, has said that he is healthy and there is no need to transfer him to the hospital.

    “To transfer a healthy person to a hospital, where the departments are different, but all the patients have tuberculosis, is really tough”,Vasilyeva wrote on Twitter.

    Recall, the press service of the Federal Penitentiary Service for the Vladimir region reported that doctors had decided to transfer Navalny from the penal colony in Pokrov to a hospital of the regional hospital for convicts in Vladimir.

    The ministry noted that currently “Navalny’s health condition is assessed as satisfactory” and that he was examined daily by a general practitioner. With the patient’s consent, he has been prescribed vitamin therapy.

    In early April, Navalny was transferred to a medical unit with symptoms of acute respiratory infections, which were detected during a routine medical examination. After that, a video from the medical unit of the correctional colony appeared on the Network, where the convict perf